Dictionary of Geotourism

2020 Edition
| Editors: Anze Chen, Young Ng, Erkuang Zhang, Mingzhong Tian

Curlstone Landscape

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-13-2538-0_446
Curlstones are curved dendritic travertine inside the karst caves. They are also called stone branches or spiral stalactites. A curlstone landscape is a scenery composed of these features. They are generally very delicate with diameters less than 1 mm. They can grow horizontally or curl upwards to form dendritic features. They are generally believed to be formed in connection with a process in which the calcium carbonate saturated water seeps slowly from cave cracks or the capillary pores of stalactites at such a slow rate that the effect of gravity is less than that of the surface tension, and subsequently the stone branches can grow haphazardly in every direction. Their formation is also believed to be related to the wind and microbial effects in the cave. Bama Crystal Palace, Guangxi Province, contains many stone branches. Furong Cave in Wulong, Chongqing City, has a large area of staghorn-like curlstones, the longest of which is 53 cm long. These features are rare in China and...
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