Monuments Sight Seeing Attractions Crystal Mountain
A small natural arch in the rock and the glittering calcite crystal walls make it a perfect place to pose for photos.
This is what geologists call an exhumed cave , a cave complete with stalagmites and stalactites that has been thrust upwards by earth movement and with time has lost its roof to erosion and has almost weathered away.
The calcite crystal developed in paleo caves of khoman chalk.
The crystal mountain stands on the very edge of the of the White Desert , and soon the black iron and basalt pebbles give way to the sand-blown chalk formations which loom on either side of the road.
There are well-exposed caves and paleokarst topography developed within the Maastrichtian Khoman chalk.
The paleokarst topography comprises huge collapsed breccias and paleocaves with columnar-shaped stalagmites.
The collapsed breccias are composed of meter-sized rounded chalky limestone blocks within the massive Khoman Chalk, The outer surface of the breccias are surrounded concentric layers of stratified and centimeter-sized and triagonal clean calcite crystals.
Black to dark brown impurities occur between and along the crystal boundaries.
The paleocaves are composed rimmed with the calcite crystals.
The caves seems to be developed around the brecciated blocks that later on dissolved leaving concentric layers of secondary coarse crystalline calcite around the leached blocks.
Some of these caves are filled with laminated reddish colored clay, silt and coarse sand of channel origin (cave floor fill).
The caves were probably produced by episodes of subaerial exposure during multiple exposure events known from Maastrichtian through Oligocene time.
The paleoclimate during this period in Egypt was considerably wetter, with monsoonal and even tropical rain forest climates during the late Eocene and Oligocene (Bown and Kraus, 1988).