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Geology/Cave Structures.


QUESTION: Dear Dr D S Subrahmanyam

Are Caves always Closed Structures ?. i.e. The Entry and Exit Points are always the same. There can be multiple entry points to enter the cave structure but the entry points will be always the exit points ?. Exit point i mean is coming out of the cave structure. For example in a Theater hall the entry (To enter the Cinema Hall) and exit (To exit the Cinema Hall) points may be different.

Will there be any specific advantages if exit points are created /constructed (only if exit points do not exist) within the cave
structures ?

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

ANSWER: Dear Prashant S Akerkar, Goodafternoon and Fraternal Greetings!

I am happy to answer your question to the best of my knowledge.

Caves are formed naturally by the weathering of rock and they often extend deep by various geologic processes and can be variable sizes. They may or may not have different openings and exit points depends upon the natural process which  involves a combination of chemical processes, erosion from water, tectonic forces, microorganisms, pressure, atmospheric influences.

Throughout history, primitive peoples have made use of caves for shelter, burial, or as religious sites. When humans started using these natural caves for their shelter, they started digging and make exit and different entry points for ventilation and lighting.

There are multiple advantages if they are constructed/formed with separate exit points. Cross ventilation of air, natural lighting and also escape way if something happens in the cave are the advantages.

with kind regards

Dr. D S Subrahmanyam

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Dear Dr D S Subrahmanyam

Thank you.

Can Caves exploration help in identifying potential sources of Minerals
for Mankind ?.

Awaiting your reply,

Thanks & Regards,
Prashant S Akerkar

Dear Sir, In continuation to my earlier answer, the answer for the second question is as follows

Most caves are formed in limestone by geological processes but can also form in other rocks, including chalk, dolomite, marble, salt, and gypsum. Rock is dissolved by natural acid in groundwater that seeps through bedding-planes, faults, joints and so on.
We canít rule out the possible occurrence of valuable minerals in most of the caves. For example Borra caves of Ananthagiri near Visakhapatnam are basically limestone formations, the area surrounding these are of mica formations which are prospected for precious stones like rubies. But this is an exception rather than a rule.

Another example is Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico  now believed to be examples of another type of solutional cave. They were formed by H2S (hydrogen sulfide) gas rising from below, where reservoirs of oil give off sulfurous fumes. This gas mixes with ground water and forms H2SO4 (sulfuric acid). The acid then dissolves the limestone from below, rather than from above, by acidic water percolating from the surface.

Cave exploration will definitely help in finding the possible occurrence of some valuable minerals, but it is difficult exercise. Surrounding areas near by caves may give possible idea about the mineral wealth, because the cave is also part of the surrounding area only.
with regards

Dr. D S Subrahmanyam


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Dr D S Subrahmanyam


All questions related to Geology, Geotechnical Engineering (especially in-situ stress, in-situ Deformability and Shear investigations) required for underground tunnels and excavations, Dimensional Stone Mining. Can't answer Soil dynamics related to Geotechnical Engineering


Geology and Geotechnical Engineering and Dimensional Stone Mining

National Institute of Rock Mechanics (Govt of India)

International Journal of Mining Engineering and some other Indian journals

Doctorate in Geology

Awards and Honors
Reviewer for 3 International Journals

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