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Types of Caves

There are several different types of caves, here are some examples.

There are many types of caves including fissure, talus, solutional, granite, slate, erosional, man-made, rare emerged sea caves, sea caves, and sandstone caves.

Fissure caves, such as the Allagash Ice caves, are made by large connected open spaces where the rock has been detatched from the bedrock in a process called isostatic rebound when the glacier retreated.


Here is my mother in the first room of Allagash Ice Cave.
The Ice Caves are an example of a fissure cave.

Talus caves are similar to fissure caves in that they were both created by glaciers. Talus caves are created when very large boulders are piled up and are know to most people as rock slides. But crawl around the base of the rocks and you are very likely to find a cave.


Here are James Mason and my father in Debsconeag
Ice Caves which are an example of talus caves.

Solutional caves are where water has run down a crack in bedrock and has slowly dissolved the rock creating a cavity. The most common type of solutional cave is limestone. There are very few solutional caves in Maine because of our geology and they take even longer to form in cooler climates.

Sandstone Sea Caves and errosional granite sea caves are caused by the waves mechanically eating away at the rock. Many of these caves may be on dry land now, but they used to be at the ocean's edge. The coast of Maine is littered with these types of caves.


This is a sea cave that is no longer near the
edge of the ocean in Acadia National Park, Maine.

The emerged sea caves are a very rare type of cave. These caves are still located under the surface of the ocean. Many people come from all over the world to explore and study the emerged caves of Maine. To explore these caves you must be a certified cave diver as it is a very dangerous avocation.