Cave Pearl Landscape
Reference work entry
Cave pearls are also known as cave bombs, cave balls and cave pisolites. This landform feature is composed of cave deposits with a bead-shaped appearance. Their shapes can be spherical, egg-shaped, oval, subrounded, club-shaped or other irregular shapes, and the colour can be white, greyish white, grey, earthy yellow, meaty red and brown. They can vary significantly in size; the smallest can be 1 mm in diameter, most are 1–3 mm in diameter, and the largest can be dozens of centimetres in diameter (a cave ball). A cave pearl is generally composed of a core and a shell. The core mainly consists of muddy materials, calcite microcrystals and sometimes clastic quartz, limestone or travertine fragments, or even animal skeletons or wood fragments. The shell is composed of fine granular or short columnar calcite with a concentric layered structure. They usually form in water bodies subjected to constant disturbance; under these conditions, not all calcium carbonate balls are deposited and...
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