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Naica Cueva de los Cristales
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Added in: january 2014
Last Modified in: january 2014
Geology site description:
In the underground Naica mine in Mexico there are several caves with giant selenite crystals (a type of gypsum). The largest cave was discovered during drilling in 2000. In the mine Lead, zinc and silver ore is mined. The largest crystal is one meter thick and 15 meters long.
The cave is located at a depth of 300 meters and was formed by dissolution of limestone by water. The crystals are formed by crystallization of dissolved substances from hydrothermal water circulating here due to the proximity of magma chambers in the Earths crust. It is estimated that the crystals formed in about half a million years. Because the geological conditions have remained the same this long, the crystals were able to grow very large. The caves are now dry, only because of the pumps for the mining operation.
The cave with the crystal is not open for the public to visit because of the dangerous conditions and high temperatures. See the Website for more information.
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Naica is located in the northwest of Mexico in the state of Chihuahua.Drag the map and zoom in or out for the best view of this geology site.
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