Cave with curtains of stone
The Gußmann Cave is a small fissure cave with four halls connected by narrow, high passages. It has various dripstones, sinter curtains and a water-filled sinter pool.
Dripstones are formed when limestone precipitates from water dripping into the cave. Previously, the cave must have been dissolved by water and then fell dry. So, dripstones are always much younger than the cave itself.
Sinter curtains are formed when water flows on the same trail along the cave wall or ceiling. On its way it constantly deposits sintered limestone. Over time, a thin layer forms and increases in size. Some sinter curtains are translucent and shine when illuminated from behind with a flashlight.
The age of the caves in the Swabian Alb is still discussed among scientists. Cave formation is a process that is still ongoing. Therefore, lime dissolution may still be taking place in some sections of a cave with cavities enlarging, whereas dripstones may already be forming in another section higher up.