SOCORRO, N.M., April 7, 2003 -- The New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources (NMBGMR) recently published the latest issue of New Mexico EARTH MATTERS, a free, semi-annual newsletter for New Mexicans interested in the state's water, landscapes, and earth resources. The primary focus of the current issue is on caves and karst in New Mexico.

Caves are due to karst, solution features in soluble sedimentary rocks, such as limestone and gypsum. Previously believed to form only near the surface, karst is now known to also form deep underground.

"The caves of New Mexico are among the most outstanding, beautiful, and geologically significant in the world," the featured article states. New Mexico is home to the deepest cave and the longest gypsum cave in the United States, as well as Carlsbad Cavern, a major tourist attraction.

The article goes on to list the different types of karst, which include carbonic acid, sulfuric acid, and evaporite karst. Carbonic acid karst is the most common, accounting for over 90 percent of the planet's karst terrain. Sulferic acid karst, however, is responsible for some of the most spectacular caves in New Mexico, including Carlsbad Cavern.

This issue also features a staff profile of David W. Love, Principal Senior Environmental Geologist, who has worked with the NMBGMR for more than 20 years. The article highlights his career and professional achievements.

New Mexico EARTH MATTERS is available twice a year, free of charge, from the NMBGMR. For more information about the periodical or any other NMBGMR publication, write to the Bureau Publications Office, New Mexico Tech, 801 Leroy Place, Socorro, NM 87801, or call (505) 835-5410, or visit the website at http://geoinfo.nmt.edu.