Park Ranch Gypsum Caves

A Visit to Two Gypsum Caves in the Gypsum Plain of New Mexico, South of Carlsbad

In Three Parts, Each With Multiple Pages

Part 3:      Cave B

Page 3-2:  Interesting rock fabrics along the way

Just like in the previous cave, there was a pinch-point which I could not fit through, but luckily, also just like in the previous cave, there was an upper ridge to walk on to get by:

The rock was quite intriguing here:

Evidence for organic matter and sulfur in the process of oxidizing suggests that with every water pulse these openings are changing just a tiny little bit:

A pool, remnant of the last storm, from about 9 months ago (no measurable rain since September 2010, and it is now almost June 2011!

Banded gypsum, suggesting successive episodes of gypsum precipitation from overlying sea waters, twisted and deformed as the land rose:

Plenty of room to walk and plenty of air, but you are often walking at strange angles and touching the walls for support:

Judging by the water-marks, my guide took the high road.  Therefore I did too.  I like the way these cave pavements form and are quite resistant to erosion in their mid-sections but get eaten away at the edges to make such islands:

This particular pavement-on-a-pedestal continued quite a while:

I promise to come down off my pedestal for the next/last page.

PART 1:   Introduction

Page 1-1:  General introduction to the Gypsum Plain and its karst features

Page 1-2:  A look around before heading into the caves  

Part 2:      Cave A

Page 2-1:  Moving into the cave

Page 2-2:  Deeper into the cave

Page 2-3:  A good place to stop and return

Part 3:      Cave B

Page 3-1:  Looking around before entering the cave and coming to a good place to turn around

Page 3-2:  Interesting rock fabrics along the way YOU ARE HERE

Page 3-3:  Merging with other underground streams before the exit NEXT

The Vincent Online-Guide to Spelunking Opportunities near Carlsbad

Another set of Gypsum-Plain pages: The Black River

Carlsbad Caverns:  Photos or a Movie (page has links to four movies, one is about Carlsbad Caverns, and has instructions for use)

What made this place the way it is today?  Looking back at the Permian.

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