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CaCO3(s) + H2O(l) + CO2(aq) → Ca(HCO3)2(aq)

Whether you know it or not, you may have some bits of stalactites or stalagmites in your own house. Construction companies commonly use limestone and other mineral deposits found in caves for building in homes. Onyx marble, a deposit found in stalactites and stalagmites, is a decorative stone that can be used for fireplaces, island tabletops and lamps, sinks, bowls and vases.

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.

Stalactites are mainly found in limestone caves. The one in this picture is in Shi Hua Caves and uses artifical lights to create a popular tourist attraction.

You can try this experiment on your own at home, to get a better undertanding of how this formation works!

A stalactite or dripstone, is a type of speleothem that hangs from the ceiling or wall of limestone caves and is formed by first synthesis and then decomposition. Limestone(calcium carbonate rock [CaCo3]) is dissolved by water[H20] that contains carbon dioxide[C02], forming a calcium bicarbonate solution[Ca(HCO3)2].When the water drips down it leaves a percipitate that slowly builds up creating these unique formations- that change depending on the angle the water drips down.

The corresponding formation on the floor underneath a stalactite is known as a stalagmite. Given enough time, these formations can meet, resulting in a column or pillar.

ReferencesCHEMISTRY. (2010, October 8). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http:// baleko.blogspot.ca/2010/10/ formation-ofstalactites-and.htmlSpangler, S. (2012, April 18). Washing Soda Stalactite -Cave Pillar - Sick Science! #084. Retrieved March 30,2015, from https:// www.youtube.com/watch v=TXtv5kyF0QEStalactite. (n.d.). Retrieved March 30, 2015, from http://userpages. umbc.edu~brennaStalactite. html#formandtypePictures:http://img.geocaching.com/cache/large cf547b92-9145-485aa096-06e 1607f12b0.jpghttp://innovationonearth.files.wordpress. com/2012/07img_8992colors.jp g?w=538&h=358http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/ commons/8/80 Tropfsteinani mation.gif

Stalactite Equation


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