What Are The Different Types of Caves?

What Are The Different Types of Caves-

Exploring caves can be plenty of fun, and when you know which cave you are visiting, you can have so much more fun in making sure you get to everything available. There are a variety of caves all over the world that people should visit.

What Are The Different Types of Caves?

There are numerous different caves that you can visit all over the world. Most of them have a variety of different formations, and others blend into two categories. Understanding the different caves is a great way to ensure you know more about the history, and how many of these caves have formed over time.

  • Solution Caves
  • Rock Shelters
  • Glacier Caves
  • Sea Caves
  • Eolian Caves
  • Talus Caves
  • Lava Caves

To help you better decide which caves you want to visit, we have created this article. The article will focus on seven of the most common caves you might come across. These caves are open to the public, and they should be very attractive for you to visit and learn something new. We will break them down and show their benefits and dangers.

Cave Type And Descriptions

Each of these caves should be a journey for you to visit, and you will have plenty of fun when you access them. However, you should know what you are getting into, which means understanding the meaning and what they offer. Knowing which dangers you might encounter is a great way to be prepared for visiting them.

Solution Caves

Solution caves are the most common and complex caving systems you can come across. They are formed in the soluble rock, which is also where the name comes from, and these caves are formed when underground water seeps through some of the cracks. They vary in size, and many of them can be gigantic.

What makes them so attractive is the fact that they are easily accessible. These caves often have large stalagmites and stalactites that people come to see. In some of them, you might even come across writings on the wall.

If you visit a docile cave, there are very few dangers that you will encounter. However, they might be flooded during the wet seasons, and in the cold weather, there are many icicles that you should be wary of when entering.

Rock Shelters

Rock shelters are some of the more basic caves, and while they might not be as complex as many of the other caves, they form nice corridors for people to visit. These caves often form when weaker rock is eroded beneath sandstone, which gives them a roof and a solid basis.

The great thing about these caves is that they serve a purpose for studying rock formations. They might not have as many complexities on the inside, but they can certainly be interesting to explore. Many rock shelters around the world are also UNESCO heritage sites.

These caves are not unstable, which makes them some of the safer caves to visit. They often form tourist attractions, and with the right assistance, you can easily book a tour and study some of the fascinating rock formations.

Glacier Caves. 

Glacier caves are some of the most spectacular caves you can visit. These caves are formed when heat seams through the crevasses of glaciers and melts some of the ice. The ice water is often melted and runs down the mountain. They are most commonly found near the snout of existing glaciers.

Aside from ice formation, there is not much you can see when visiting these caves. However, they often have an eerie feeling about them that many people might not be comfortable with. Since there is very little rock for you to rely on, they are considered dangerous.

The only time these caves can be visited is when the ice is frozen solid. The ice makes it possible for individuals to walk through the cave corridors. However, they are extremely volatile, and if you don’t the right gear, you should stay away.

Sea Caves

The sea caves are some of the most unique caves that you can encounter. They are formed by years of waves smashing into the bedrock and eroding the bedrock. They are found near the coastline of countries, and they can often be islands as well.

Sea caves will have plenty of water, but they are intriguing to behold. No two caves are the same, and you can stand and see the power of the ocean on the inside with the corridors. These caves are unique and often serve as a tourist attraction.

Reaching them can be an issue, and you might need some assistance. Some of the best sea caves can only be accessed via boat and when it is low tide. However, it would be best to be careful as being stuck in one of these caves during a rising tide can be dangerous.

Eolian Caves

If you have ever heard of caves found in the desert, the chances are that you have come across an Eolian Cave. These caves are formed by wind and sand constantly battering into the sides of mountains. Over multiple years, they can erode and create unique formations. However, these caves are often not as deep.

The Eolian Caves are very basic, and they generally consist of a corridor and a few walls. They were often used to hide and store precious artifacts. They can be used as a shelter when stranded, and you might even find ancient relics in some of these caves.

These caves don’t have many dangers, and they often serve as shelter to keep you away from the dangers of the outside. However, you might come across bats or other wildlife, which have occupied the cave.

Talus Caves. 

Talus caves are another basic cave with basic formations. They are often the result of a rockslide or boulders that fall from the top of the hill. The caves tend to be small and only take up the space that the boulder would have occupied.

Functioning Talus caves are easily accessible. You should be able to find plenty of them around the world, and some of them might have some interesting carvings. These caves can also have unique drawings for people who use them for shelter.

There are not many dangers associated with these caves, and they are docile for the most part. However, if there are constant rockslides in the area, you might want to be wary of loose rocks beneath your feet.

Primary Cave – Lava Cave

The primary caves are some of the oldest caves you can come across. These caves are formed at the same time as the rock formation around them, and they are not a result of constant erosion. Lava caves are the perfect example, and they are formed by holding lava leaving air pockets when depositing sediment.

Aside from the unique formations, there is not much interesting going on in these caves. They have lava sediment, but occasionally, you might find them having different rocks and elements that you can work with.

Aside from being close to an active volcano, there are no real risks for visiting these caves. They are docile for the most part, and they only see action when volcanic activity is detected.

What Are The Different Types of Caves Summary

If you love caving and exploring different caves, you can use this list to consider which cave you need to look for. Many of them are Heritage sites and even tourist attractions that will give you plenty to see. Let us know in the comment section which of these caves you have visited.

Need Gear to Go Caving or Spelunking?

If you are planning a caving adventure, you want to make sure that you have the right gear.  Check out our beginners guide for caving equipment.

Different Types of Caves

Lee G.

I love the outdoors! Everything from hiking, climbing, rappelling, and caving.

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