Talk:Stalactite

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merger[edit]

shouldn't this article be merged with stalagmites? they are very closely related, and chances are people would like to know about both. --58.107.30.145 13:32, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

pic removal[edit]

By definition, stalagtites are in caves, so I have removed the icicle pic. Even if it has some relevance, there are just too many pictures here for such a small article. --DanielCD 14:07, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

  • One or more of these photos should be replaced (especially the dark one) with ones that are better for for illustrative purposes.Ian mckenzie 23:11, 27 February 2006 (UTC)

Does anyone know if there is any evidence that microorganisms are involved in the formation of stalactites? 80.42.69.126 00:57, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

largest stalactite[edit]

This claim is a little dubious. Could a citation be put up? I know of one that is reportedly larger by quite a bit. Is this information at all useful if it is not going to be objective? --5telios 14:25, 5 July 2006 (UTC)

Dubious or not, it seems to me that this article makes two conflicting claims - it says the largest stalactite is believed to be in Rio (20m)and then says it's in Israel (8.2m). This can't be right. Phil2415 (talk) 17:13, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Stalactiflat[edit]

Now this is a cool formation. Anyone care to write an article? Oh, and I have a photo if anyone does write such an article. Rklawton (talk) 01:28, 2 June 2008 (UTC)


a quick question...[edit]

why does your article say "An average growth rate is 0.13 mm (0.005 inches) a year. The quickest growing stalactites are those formed by fast-flowing water rich in calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide, these can grow at 3 mm (0.12 inches) per year.[2]" when science proves that to be a lie?
the Lincoln memorial was made in 1922, but 50 inch stalactites grow on it. this mine was only about 50 years old... so the concrete fallacy will not work on this one. http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/Magazines/images/202Cave.jpg
so why post lies? Iceveela (talk) 07:36, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

Growth rates[edit]

"An average growth rate is 0.13 mm (0.0051 inches) a year. The quickest growing stalactites are those formed by fast-flowing water rich in calcium carbonate and carbon dioxide, these can grow at 3 mm (0.12 inches) per year" - I assume the picture next to it wasn't taken over years, so growth rates are possibly much faster then that. --196.2.126.173 (talk) 14:51, 9 April 2011 (UTC)

The picture next to it is not calcite. It is some mineral which crystalizes at a much faster rate for purposes of the demonstration. WTucker (talk) 01:08, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Limestone bias[edit]

It appears that this article only specifically states that stalactites are limestone formations only which is strictly false. While there already is a lavacicle article, it notes the lavacicle term is generic. I have sources that could add to the lavacicle article, even noting the origination of the term, as well as broadening the stalactite/stalagmite articles to be inclusive of non-limestone formations.

I may recommend that the lavacicle article be migrated to inclusions in both the stalactite/stalagmite articles on lava formations, since lavacicles are both stalactites and stalagmites and obviously generic in description. Perhaps this article should differentiate between primary formations (those in lava) and secondary formations (those in limestone, etc.) Leitmotiv (talk) 02:52, 7 July 2013 (UTC)

I'm not at all sure about these recent changes. I have been unable to find a definition for stalactite that matches what we now have. I have waded through about a dozen dictionaries and glossaries and virtually all refer to them as a type of speleothem, related to precipitation from groundwater. The mechanism of formation of stalactites and lavacicles is fundamentally different, even if the forms are similar. Mikenorton (talk) 20:49, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
I added the reference for you. I have more if you want. It strictly says that "a stalactite is not necessarily a speleothem." And it gives examples of others (not in the wiki article, yet) including: "amberat, lava, minerals, mud, peat, pitch, sand, and sinter." The source of this reference comes from Bulletin 87 of the Western Speleological Survey. Highly scientific in nature and reputable as are the rest of Larson's work. Right now we have authoritative sources for lava stalactites, and I could get some for ice stalactites (see Crystal Ice Cave in Lava Beds National Monument). Plenty of literature on other kinds of stalactites too. So let's be inclusive, not exclusive.
"Forms are similar", therefore they are both stalactites. What this means is that there is no one way in which they form. There should not be limestone bias in this article. Primary methods for formation are equally as valid as secondary methods.
The term "lavacicle" is pedestrian in nature, not scientific, and does not differentiate between stalagmites or stalactites, let alone anything else it may be describing. It's an archaic term from 50 years ago, coined by Phil Brogan for Lavacicle Cave. Now it is noted in the article as a passing reference. I recommend not using it any further if you wish to sound professional.
Additionally, since a stalactite can be made out of "minerals" (meaning plural) this means that limestone should not be the narrow focus of this article. Stalactites composed of other minerals besides limestone exist, including ice. Which I added in the original edit I made recently. Leitmotiv (talk) 21:11, 8 July 2013 (UTC)
Small addendum - Looks like I am wrong about Phil Brogan being the coiner of the term lavacicle. It is unknown who coined it, but the first written usage appears in 1923 as "lava-cicle" in The Lava River Tunnel, by Williams. MacArthur credited Phil Brogan in 1959 when describing "lava 'icicles'." Larson notes: "'Lavacicle' is a general term that has been applied to nearly anything of a primary nature that protrudes into a lava tube. It is ambiguous unless qualified."
Since those early days, the term stalactite has taken favor because of its accuracy and the plethora of different kinds of stalactites found in lava tubes, as well as to differentiate from stalagmites as Larson has noted. Hundreds of sources are available for lava stalactites and stalagmites. Like I said, lavacicle is an archaic and generic term and has been phased out. Leitmotiv (talk) 19:08, 9 July 2013 (UTC)