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speleothem Syllabification: spe·le·o·them
Pronunciation: /ˈspēlēəˌTHem/

Definition of speleothem in English:


A structure formed in a cave by the deposition of minerals from water, e.g., a stalactite or stalagmite.
Example sentences
  • Stalactites, stalagmites, and other speleothems - or cave formations - grow as water travels through rocks, dissolves minerals, and then seeps into caves and redeposits those substances.
  • The most common type of speleothems studied for palaeoclimate are cylindrical stalagmites.
  • Water chemical data are important for palaeohydrological interpretations, but in this case we restrict the discussion to available water data from close to the studied speleothems.


1950s: from Greek spēlaion 'cave' + thema 'deposit'.

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