Whatן¿½s the Difference Between a Cave and a Cavern?

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Caves and caverns are both underground passageways, but theyג€™re not the same! They both originate from the same root word (cavern), but their definitions are quite different. Caves are formed by geologic processes over millions of years; caverns are formed by smaller-scale volcanic activity that reaches a limited extent.
Cave is an older term for a smaller, more intimate passageway; this remains true today. A cavern is generally larger than a cave, and sometimes additional passageways lead from the main passage. The end condition of each varies, too. For example, if a cave has steep walls and limited light, it could become a small room known as a cave-in; this would be known as a secondary closure in a cavern.

Which is bigger a cavern or a cave?

I think that caverns are generally bigger than caves. A cave, such as the Carlsbad Caverns, is a smaller space. On the other hand, a cavern, such as Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky, can be large in size and have multiple passageways.

What makes a cavern a cavern?

Caves and caverns both have a different shape than the other. This distinction has a lot to do with their formation. Caves are formed by geologic processes over millions of years, while caverns are formed by smaller-scale volcanic activity that reaches a limited extent.
The end condition of each varies, too. For example, if a cave has steep walls and limited light, it could become a small room known as a cave-in; this would be known as a secondary closure in a cavern. The same is true for the other way around: if you have an open space with no high walls at the end, itג€™s likely to be called a cavern instead of a cave!

What are the four types of caves?

There are four types of caves: single-chamber caves, multiple-chamber caves, ice-walled caves, and lava tubes.
The most common type is the single-chamber cave, which has one main passageway or one entrance and one exit. The second type is the multiple-chamber cave, which has several independent entrances and exits. The third type is the ice-walled cave, which is formed by water freezing in rock crevices and expanding to form a roof over an existing passage; this process also forms stalactites and stalagmites. Finally, the last type is the lava tube system, which consists of many interconnected passages mostly under water but at least partially above ground.

Does cavern mean cave?

Cave is an older word for a smaller, more intimate passageway; this remains true today. A cavern is generally larger than a cave, and sometimes additional passageways lead from the main passage. The end condition of each varies, too. For example, if a cave has steep walls and limited light, it could become a small room known as a cave-in; this would be known as a secondary closure in a cavern.
A cavern may be called a cave if itג€™s a part of the same area or connected to another passage.

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Beth Kent

Beth Kent

Hi, Welcome to my caving world!
I've been caving for the past 23 years, and through these years, I have learned so much about caving life and its techniques. I genuinely believe that caving is one of the most fascinating activities out there, and if you haven't tried it yet, you should!

About Me

The exploration of natural or artificial caverns from casual trips to caves with well-established trails to expeditions into remote and largely unexplored caverns is a great passion for me for the past 15 years. Sharing it here with you is my new hobby so I hope  you enjoy :)

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