Brice told me that whenever someone was offering a tour of the Great Onyx Cave, I had to go on it. Shannon is leading a group of 9th graders into that cave with lessons of geology, learning what conditions allow for certain formations in a cave. Woohoo!
This was great timing because of seeing Cub Run Cave over the weekend and being impressed by it. The Great Onyx Cave was acquired by the Park in the early 1960s when the Edwards family gave the land and what's under it to them. And what a cave it is!
As soon as we walked into the cave, we were astounded by the great formations of soda straws, flowstone, stalagtites and stalamites, and columns that many people think make up a "good" cave. those formations are there because there is no sandstone cap on the surface. Sandstone blocks the water from getting into the cave and water is needed to make those formations out of dissolving limestone. And that's enough geology for me, so that's all you get! HA!
When we walked further back into the cave, we came into a big room that looks just like many rooms of Mammoth Cave because it has a sandstone cap but many many years ago, water rushed through here. Further in, the cave was drier for longer and gypsum could start and grow. That melts very easily from moisture and heat. This cave has it all!