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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

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That water pot is see kamenica, solution pan.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for clastic sediments (Keyword) returned 50 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 50
Isotopic and geochemical evolution of ground and surface waters in a karst dominated geological setting: A case study from Belize, Central America, 2004, Marfia A. M. , Krishnamurthy R. V. , Atekwana E. A. , Panton W. F. ,
Analysis of stable isotopes and major ions in groundwater and surface waters in Belize, Central America was carried out to identify processes that may affect drinking water quality. Belize has a subtropical rainforest/savannah climate with a varied landscape composed predominantly of carbonate rocks and clastic sediments. Stable oxygen (delta(18)O) and hydrogen (deltaD) isotope ratios for surface and groundwater have a similar range and show high d-excess (10-40.8parts per thousand). The high d-excess in water samples suggest secondary continental vapor flux mixing with incoming vapor from the Caribbean Sea. Model calculations indicate that moisture derived from continental evaporation contributes 13% to overhead vapor load. In surface and groundwater, concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) ranged from 5.4 to 112.9 mg C/l and delta(13)C(DIC) ranged from -7.4 to -17.4parts per thousand. SO42, Ca2 and Mg2 in the water samples ranged from 2-163, 2-6593 and 2-90 mg/l, respectively. The DIC and delta(13)C(DIC) indicate both open and closed system carbonate evolution. Combined delta(13)C(DIC) and Ca2, Mg2 SO42- suggest additional groundwater evolution by gypsum dissolution and calcite precipitation. The high SO42- content of some water samples indicates regional geologic control on water quality. Similarity in the range of delta(18)O, deltaD and delta(13)C(DIC) for surface waters and groundwater used for drinking water supply is probably due to high hydraulic conductivities of the karstic aquifers. The results of this study indicate rapid recharge of groundwater aquifers, groundwater influence on surface water chemistry and the potential of surface water to impact groundwater quality and vise versa. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Lithofacies and transport of clastic sediments in karstic aquifers, 2004, Bosch R. F. , White W. B.

An overview of the current research carried out in the French Western Alps karsts, 2004, Audra, Philippe

Current research encloses karst systems geomorphologic approach, recent advances in study of karst structures which date back from the Upper Miocene. Karst genesis in Western Alps is brought up by systemic analysis, according to a geomorphologic approach. It uses the "karst immunity" that conserves old drainage structures and their associated sediments. Karst landscapes can be sorted into horizontal and vertical forms. Speleothems are clearly connected to the presence of vegetation but they also record geomorphic crisis. Clastic sediments reveal mechanical erosion. This approach concludes with karst genesis and speleogenesis reconstruction, which blend together evolution stages, environment characterization and processes. Researchers reconsider the preponderant part previously attributed to glaciers. Karst appears immediately when a gradient exists and when the aquifer is stripped of its impervious cover. Such conditions occurred from the Upper Miocene and sometimes before. Karsts of the Pleistocene age are only met in the Inner Alps where cover stripping occurred later. Vertical systems composed of shaft series are old and become more complex. Field evidence refutes Ford's classification, which assigns a deep phreatic origin. A brief account of the present state of knowledge, according to region and researcher's scientific themes, allows establishing the last decade's advances. It also shows a disparity between the North and the South Western Alps, where Vercors appears to be one of the best studied massifs in the Alps.

Palaeomagnetic and U-series dating of cave sediments in Baradla Cave, Hungary, 2004, Bosá, K Pavel, Hercman Helena, Kadlec Jaroslav, Mó, Ga Já, Nos, Pruner Petr

Fine-grained siliciclastic sediments from the main gallery and upper cave level show nearly uniform composition and sedimentary textures. Palaeomagnetic analysis indicates normal magnetic polarisation of all samples, i.e. the age younger than Brunhes/Matuyama boundary at 780 ka. Flowstone/stalagmite covering siliciclastics in the upper cave level contains reverse polarised samples dated by U-series method to about 114ý115 ka, which can be identified as the Blake Event. The uniform composition of sediments can indicate the infill of the cave during a single event caused by the blockage of drainage routes due to geological (collapse) or palaeoclimatic (ice) changes, which took part before ca 130 to 150 ka as indicating by the oldest U-series data from the whole DomicaýBaradla Cave System.

2D and 3D GPR imaging of sinkholes and dissolution features in Jandaíra karst of Fazenda Belém oil field, Potiguar Basin-CE, northeast of Brazil, PhD Thesis, 2005, Xavier Neto, Pedro

In Fazenda Belém oil field (Potiguar Basin, Ceará State, northeast Brazil) occur frequently sinkholes and sudden terrain collapses associated to an unconsolidated sedimentary cap covering the Jandaíra karst. This research was carried out in order to understand the mechanisms of generation of these collapses. The main tool used was Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). This work is developed twofold: one aspect concerns methodology improvements in GPR data processing whilst another aspect concerns the geological study of the Jandaíra karst. This second aspect was strongly supported both by the analysis of outcropping karst structures (in another regions of Potiguar Basin) and by the interpretation of radargrams from the subsurface karst in Fazenda Belém.

It was designed and tested an adequate flux to process GPR data which was adapted from an usual flux to process seismic data. The changes were introduced to take into account important differences between GPR and Reflection Seismic methods, in particular: poor coupling between source and ground, mixed phase of the wavelet, low signal-to-noise ratio, monochannel acquisition, and high influence of wave propagation effects, notably dispersion. High frequency components of the GPR pulse suffer more pronounced effects of attenuation than low frequency components resulting in resolution losses in radargrams. In Fazenda Belém, there is a stronger need of an suitable flux to process GPR data because both the presence of a very high level of aerial events and the complexity of the imaged subsurface karst structures. The key point of the processing flux was an improvement in the correction of the attenuation effects on the GPR pulse based on their influence on the amplitude and phase spectra of GPR signals. In low and moderate losses dielectric media the propagated signal suffers significant changes only in its amplitude spectrum; that is, the phase spectrum of the propagated signal remains practically unaltered for the usual travel time ranges. Based on this fact, it is shown using real data that the judicious application of the well known tools of time gain and spectral balancing can efficiently correct the attenuation effects. The proposed approach can be applied in heterogeneous media and it does not require the precise knowledge of the attenuation parameters of the media. As an additional benefit, the judicious application of spectral balancing promotes a partial deconvolution of the data without changing its phase. In other words, the spectral balancing acts in a similar way to a zero phase deconvolution. In GPR data the resolution increase obtained with spectral balancing is greater than those obtained with spike and predictive deconvolutions.

The evolution of the Jandaíra karst in Potiguar Basin is associated to at least three events of subaerial exposition of the carbonatic plataform during the Turonian, Santonian, and Campanian. In Fazenda Belém region, during the mid Miocene, the Jandaíra karst was covered by continental siliciclastic sediments. These sediments partially filled the void space associated to the dissolution structures and fractures. Therefore, the development of the karst in this region was attenuated in comparison to other places in Potiguar Basin where this karst is exposed. In Fazenda Belém, the generation of sinkholes and terrain collapses are controlled mainly by: (i) the presence of an unconsolidated sedimentary cap which is thick enough to cover completely the karst but with sediment volume lower than the available space associated to the dissolution structures in the karst; (ii) the existence of important structural of SW-NE and NW-SE alignments which promote a localized increase in the hydraulic connectivity allowing the channeling of underground water, thus facilitating the carbonatic dissolution; and (iii) the existence of a hydraulic barrier to the groundwater flow, associated to the Açu-4 Unity.

The terrain collapse mechanisms in Fazenda Belém occur according to the following temporal evolution. The meteoric water infiltrates through the unconsolidated sedimentary cap and promotes its remobilization to the void space associated with the dissolution structures in Jandaíra Formation. This remobilization is initiated at the base of the sedimentary cap where the flow increases its abrasion due to a change from laminar to turbulent flow regime when the underground water flow reaches the open karst structures. The remobilized sediments progressively fill from bottom to top the void karst space. So, the void space is continuously migrated upwards ultimately reaching the surface and causing the sudden observed terrain collapses. This phenomenon is particularly active during the raining season, when the water table – that normally is located in the karst – may be temporarily located in the unconsolidated sedimentary cap.

Paratethyan-Mediterranean connectivity in the Sea of Marmara region (NW Turkey) during the Messinian, 2006, Cagatay Mn, Gorur N, Flecker R, Sakinc M, Tunoglu C, Ellam R, Krijgsman W, Vincent S, Dikbas A,
The Sea of Marmara region is thought to have been a gateway between Paratethys and the Mediterranean since the Middle Miocene, and is therefore an important control on water mass exchange between the two realms. The Miocene successions in the northeastern Aegean and northwestern Marmara regions indicate that the first Mediterranean marine transgression to affect these areas occurred during the late Serravallian.In the northeastern Aegean region, frequent marine incursions occurred during the Tortonian and Messinian stages. The Messinian stage in this area is represented by a package of brackish- to fresh-water carbonates with some marine sandstone-siltstone interbeds (Alcitepe Formation), which conformably overlies the Tortonian Kirazli Formation. The Messinian sequence is overlain with an erosional contact by a shallow marine siliciclastic sequence (Goztepe Formation) of Zanclean age. With its brackish- to fresh-water carbonates and broadly constrained age, the Messinian sequence is interpreted as being coeval with the Upper Evaporite-Lago Mare sequence observed in western Mediterranean basins.In the western Marmara region, the Pontian (Messinian) Alcitepe Formation consists of bioclastic and oolitic limestones with basal clastic rocks. It conformably overlies the fluvio-lacustrine siliciclastic sediments of the Middle to Upper Miocene Kirazli Formation and is overlain by fluvio-lacustrine sediments of the Kimmerian (5.5-3.2[no-break space]Ma) Truva and Tevfikiye formations with an erosional contact.The bioclastic limestones of the Alcitepe Formation in the western Marmara region contain a molluscan and ostracod fauna that are endemic to Paratethys. These fauna indicate deposition in a shallow, brackish- to fresh-water environment. Faunal and paleomagnetic analyses of a section of the Alcitepe Formation at Yenimahalle (Canakkale) confirm that the formation is of Pontian age and represents chron C3r (6.04-5.24[no-break space]Ma). The ostracod analysis indicates that during deposition of the Alcitepe Formation, salinity increased from brackish in the lower part to more saline conditions in the upper part. Ostracod valves have low 87Sr / 86Sr values relative to coeval Late Miocene ocean water. This indicates that exchange between the Sea of Marmara region and the global ocean was restricted throughout this period. Fossil and Sr-isotope evidence suggests, however, that there was a Paratethyan-Marmara connection during the deposition of the lower part of the Alcitepe Formation, with Paratethyan influence reaching the north Aegean. Connection via Marmara between Paratethys and the Mediterranean was not re-established until the late Aktchagylian (Late Pliocene). The re-connection was caused by both increased activity on the North Anatolian Fault and global sea level rise

Changing perspectives in the concept of 'Lago-Mare' in Mediterranean Late Miocene evolution, 2006, Orszagsperber Fabienne,
The Cenozoic Alpine orogeny caused the partition of Tethys into several basins. During the Late Neogene, the Mediterranean attained its final configuration, whereas, eastwards, the Paratethys, isolated from the World Ocean, disintegrated progressively into a series of smaller basins. As a result, an endemic fauna developed in these basins, mainly composed of brackish to freshwater faunas, indicating an environment affected by changes in water salinity. These small basins of the Paratethys were named 'Sea-Lakes' by Andrusov [Andrusov, D., 1890. Les Dreissenidae fossiles et actuelles d'Eurasie. Geol. min. 25, 1-683 (in Russian)]. Subsequently this name was translated into 'Lac-Mer' [Gignoux, M., 1936. Geologie stratigraphique, 2[deg]edition, Masson, Paris].In the Mediterranean isolated from the Atlantic at the end of the Miocene (Messinian), thick evaporites deposited, consisting of a marine Lower Evaporite unit and an Upper Evaporite unit, mainly of continental origin. Ruggieri [Ruggieri, G., 1962. La serie marine pliocenica e quaternaria della Val Marecchia. Atti Acad. Sci. Lett. Arti. Palermo, 19, 1-169.] used the term 'Lago-Mare', to characterize the brackish to fresh water environment which occurred within the Mediterranean at the end of the Messinian.During recent decades, numerous scientific investigations concerning the history of the Messinian within the Mediterranean were devoted to the understanding of conditions prevailing after the deposition of the marine evaporites. Brackish to freshwater faunas are found in several outcrops and boreholes in the Mediterranean, both in the uppermost beds of gypsum and inter-bedded within the clastic sediments of the Upper Evaporite Unit, immediately preceeding the flooding by the marine Pliocene waters. These faunas, because of their similarities with the fauna described in the Paratethys, were named 'Paratethyan', or 'Caspi-brackish' fauna, this leading some authors to imply a migration of these fauna from Paratethys to the Mediterranean. However, others refute this hypothesis.New data induced some researchers to consider that exchanges existed between the Mediterranean and the Eastern Paratethys and also between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean at the Miocene-Pliocene transition. These investigations now take advantage of the accurate time scales established by authors (biostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy), allowing good stratigraphic correlations between the Mediterranean and the Paratethys, and precisions on the geodynamic evolution of this area.Furthermore, sediments at the base of the Zanclean (MPl1), locally containing brackish to fresh water faunas conducted authors to attribute this formation to an infra- or pre-Pliocene and also to a Lago-Mare 'event'.Thus, the 'Lago-Mare' concept drifted from its original meaning, and is evolving because of progresses in the understanding of the Mediterranean geodynamics and the adjacent areas during the Miocene-Pliocene transition

Cave sediments and paleoclimate, 2007, White William B.
This paper is a review of cave sediments: their characteristics and their application as paleoclimate archives. Cave sediments can be separated into two broad categories, clastic sediments and chemical sediments. Of these, stream-transported clastic sediments and calcite speleothems are both the most common and also the most useful as climatic records. Techniques for dating cave sediments include radiocarbon and U/Th dating of speleothems and paleomagnetic reversals and cosmogenic isotope dating of clastic sediments. Cosmogenic isotope dating of clastic sediments in caves with multiple levels or which occur at different elevations provide a geomorphic record of cave ages and river system evolution over the past 5 Ma. Isotope profiles, trace element profiles, color banding and luminescence profiles of speleothems, mainly stalagmites, produce a detailed paleoclimate record with very high time resolution over the past several hundred thousand years. There is potential application of these methods to late Holocene climates with implications for evaluation of current concern over global warming.

Pleistocene depositional history in a periglacial terrane: A 500ka record from Kents Cavern, Devon, United Kingdom., 2007, Lundberg, J. And Mcfarlane, D. A.
The signifi cance of the stratigraphic record in Kents Cavern, Devon, United Kingdom, to the interpretation of the British Quaternary is confi rmed on the basis of a thorough reexamination of the deposits in concert with 2 new Al-Be cosmogenic and 34 new thermal ionization mass spectrometry U-Th dates. The deposits show evidence of complex reworking in response to periglaciation, and the main fl owstone deposit is a multilayered complex spanning marine isotope stage (MIS) 11?3. The lowermost unit of fl uvial sands is Cromerian or older. The second deposit, a muddy breccia of surfi cial periglacial solifl uction material containing Acheulian artifacts, entered the cave during MIS 12 from highlevel openings to the west. Cave bears denned in the cave during MIS 11, the Hoxnian interglacial; their bones are capped by an MIS 11 calcite fl owstone layer. From MIS 11 onward, each interglacial period and the warmer interstadial periods (MIS 11, 10b, 9, 7, 6b, 5, and 3) produced calcite fl owstone deposition in the cave; MIS 9 was particularly active. Each glacial or stadial period (MIS 10c, 10a, 8, 6c, 6a, 4, and 2) caused periglacial activity in the cave, during which the thinner layers of calcite were fractured by frost heave and redistributed by solifl uction. This sequence was interrupted during MIS 3?2 with the introduction of sandy and stony clastic sediments from entrances to the east, and fi nally cemented by the uppermost layer of MIS 1 fl owstone. This is the fi rst publication of welldated and clearly documented evidence of frost heaving in interior cave passages. The Kents Cavern record of continuous, repeated sedimentation events followed by frost shattering and remobilization events over the past 500 k.y. is probably unique in the karst literature and establishes Kents Cavern as a site of international scientifi c interest.

Evidence for habitual use of fire at the end of the Lower Paleolithic: Site formation processes at Qesem Cave, Israel, 2007, Karkanas, P. , Shahackgross, R. , Ayalon, A. , Barmatthews, M. , Barkai, R. , Frumkin, A. , Gopher, A. , And Stiner, M. C.
The Amudian (late Lower Paleolithic) site of Qesem Cave in Israel represents one of the earliest examples of habitual use of fire by middle Pleistocene hominids. The Paleolithic layers in this cave were studied using a suite of mineralogical and chemical techniques and a contextual sedimentological analysis (i.e., micromorphology). We show that the lower ca. 3 m of the stratigraphic sequence are dominated by clastic sediments deposited within a closed karstic environment. The deposits were formed by small scale, concentrated mud slurries (infiltrated terra rosa soil) and debris flows. A few intervening lenses of mostly in situ burnt remains were also identified. The main part of the upper ca. 4.5 m consists of anthropogenic sediment with only moderate amounts of clastic geogenic inputs. The deposits are strongly cemented with calcite that precipitated from dripping water. The anthropogenic component is characterized by completely combusted, mostly reworked wood ash with only rare remnants of charred material. Micromorphological and isotopic evidence indicates recrystallization of the wood ash. Large quantities of burnt bone, defined by a combination of microscopic and macroscopic criteria, and moderately heated soil lumps are closely associated with the woodash remains. The frequent presence of microscopic calcified rootlets indicates that the upper sequence formed in the vicinity of the former cave entrance. Burnt remains in the sediments are associated with systematic blade production and faunas that are dominated by the remains of fallow deer. Use-wear damage on blades and blade tools in conjunction with numerous cut marks on bones indicate an emphasis on butchering and prey-defleshing activities in the vicinity of fireplaces.

Clastic sediments in caves imperfect recorders of processes in karst, 2007, Sasowsky, I. D.

Clastic sediments have played an important role in deciphering geologic history and processes since the inception of the discipline. Early studies of caves applied stratigraphic principles to karst deposits. The majority of cave deposits are breakdown and alluvium. The alluvial materials have been successfully investigated to determine ages of caves, landscape evolution, paleoenvironmental conditions, and paleobiota. Rapid stage changes and the possibility of pipe-full flow make cave deposits different than surface deposits. This and other factors present difficulties with interpreting the cave record, but extended preservation is afforded by the “roofing” of deposits. Dating by magnetism or isotopes has been successful in many locations. Caves can be expected to persist for 10 Ma in a single erosive cycle; most cave sediments should be no older than this.


For the first time in the Classical Karst, paleontological data enabled to match the magnetostratigraphic record precisely with the geomagnetic polarity timescale in two studied sites: (i) a series of speleothems alternating with red clays in Račiška pečina Cave (Matarsko podolje), and (ii) an unroofed paleocave of the Črnotiče II site (Podgorski kras Plateau) completely filled by fluvial clastic sediments covered by speleothems. The later sites are also characterized by a rich appearance of fossil tubes of autochthonous stygobiont serpulid Marifugia cavatica. The vertebrate record is composed mostly of enamel fragments of rodents and soricomorphs. Absence of rootless arvicolids as well as taxonomic composition of the mammalian fauna suggests the Pliocene age of both sites. For (i) Račiška pečina (with Apodemus, cf. Borsodia) it was estimated to middle to late MN17 (ca 1.8–2.4 Ma), while (ii) the assemblage from Črnotiče II (with Deinsdorfia sp., Beremedia fissidens, Apodemus cf. atavus, Rhagapodemus cf. frequens, Glirulus sp., Cseria sp.) is obviously quite older: MN15–MN16 (ca 3.0–4.1 Ma). In respect to congruence of biostratigraphic and paleomagnetic data and a reliable sedimentary setting of the samples we propose to apply the respective datum also as the time of one ancient speleogenetic phase in the Classical Karst.

Sediment flushing in Mystic Cave, West Virginia, USA, in response to the 1985 Potomac Valley flood, 2009, Van Gundy J. J. , White W. B.
The great November 5, 1985 Potomac Valley flood was responsible for the release of 1800 m3 of alluvial and colluvial sediment from the walls of the entrance doline of Mystic Cave. Flood waters were sufficiently powerful to flush the entire mass of sediment not only into the cave but through the cave. Remnants of the sediment mass in the form of sand bars and a few cobbles wedged in speleothems were the only evidence in the cave that the huge mass of sediment had moved through. The sediment moved as a suspended mass in water moving at peak velocities of many meters per second. Present day cave sediments must be interpreted with the understanding that entire sediment fillings can be transported or rearranged by single extreme events

Sediment flushing in Mystic Cave, West Virginia, USA, in response to the 1985 Potomac Valley flood, 2009, Van Gundy J. J. , White W. B.

The great November 5, 1985 Potomac Valley flood was responsible for the release of 1800 m3 of alluvial and colluvial sediment from the walls of the entrance doline of Mystic Cave. Flood waters were sufficiently powerful to flush the entire mass of sediment not only into the cave but through the cave. Remnants of the sediment mass in the form of sand bars and a few cobbles wedged in speleothems were the only evidence in the cave that the huge mass of sediment had moved through. The sediment moved as a suspended mass in water moving at peak velocities of many meters per second. Present day cave sediments must be interpreted with the understanding that entire sediment fillings can be transported or rearranged by single extreme events.

CLASTIC SEDIMENTS IN THE BUTLER CAVE SINKING CREEK SYSTEM, VIRGINIA, USA, 2010, Chess Daniel L. , Chess Catherine A. , Sasowsky Ira D. , Schmidt Victor A. & White William B.
The Butler Cave - Sinking Creek System in Bath County, Virginia, consists of a master trunk passage along the axis of a syncline with a trellis arrangement of dip-oriented side caves. The western set of dip passages contain a sequence of massively and chaotically bedded sand and cobble sediments. Massive cobble fills also occur in the strike-oriented trunk passage. Cave passages on the eastern side of the syncline contain mostly sand and silt. The light fraction of the sediments consists predominantly of quartz and rock fragments. The sediments contain several percent heavy minerals composed of iron oxides, zircon, rutile, tourmaline and other minerals. Measurement of the visible and near infrared diffuse reflectance spectra shows at least three populations of sediments to be present: an iron-rich, clay-poor group; a clay-rich group; and a gypsiferous sediment. The iron minerals provided a paleomagnetic signal. Sediments from the trunk passage, deposited by recent underground drainage, contained a normal pole direction. Sediments from the dip passages were paleomagnetically reversed, showing the deposition dates from prior to 780,000 years. In one instance reversed polarity deposits overlie normal polarity, implying a minimum age of 990,000 years for the reversed sediments.

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