Processes to form a void

There are many mechanisms leading to the formation of cavities and voids underground. Some caves are classified as “primary” because they are generated at the same time as the rocks containing them, others instead form subsequently, due to rock weathering that modify their original characteristics.

Primary caves

  • Formed by biologic processes (in coral reefs)
  • Formed by lava flows
  • Formed by cooling processes

Secondary caves

  • Eolian caves
  • Sea caves
  • Tectonic caves
  • Karst caves

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • 13 May 2011

    A walk underground

    The longest caves in the world are in Kentucky, the caves of Mammoth...

    24 February 2011

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates...

  • 13 May 2011

    The climate underground

    Going down deep in the Earth’s crust, the temperatures increase gradually...

    Amphibians in a cave

    Proteus is an amphibian of white-yellowish or light pink colour...

  • Can you breathe in a cave?

    One of the most common beliefs is that in caves the air is often stuffy...

    Ice in caves

    In high mountain or high latitude environments, many caves can contain ice deposits...

  • A walk underground

    The longest caves in the world are in Kentucky, the caves of Mammoth...

  • 24 February 2011

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates...

  • 13 May 2011

    The climate underground

    Going down deep in the Earth’s crust, the temperatures increase gradually...