Reference work entry
A speleothem is sediment deposited in a cave due to chemical precipitation or crystallisation from solution. Based on the mode of sedimentation, Zhu Xiewen categorised speleothems into five types: gravitational water deposits, non-gravitational water deposits, synergetic deposits, superimposed deposits and isohomogenous deposits. These 5 types include more than 60 individual forms. Inside over 400 karst caves that have been opened to tourists in China, common and important speleothems include gravitational water depositional features such as soda straws, stalactites, heliotropic stalactites, stalagmites, pillars, stone curtains, cave flags, stone waterfalls, stone shields, rimstones, rimstone dams, stone terraces and calcite rafts; non-gravitational water depositional features such as helictites, colour band flowerstones, and calcite flowerstones; synergetic deposits such as lotus pots, calcium membrane crystal cones, palm-like stalagmites, breast-shaped stalactites and calcite beads;...
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