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Featured article from karst/cave journal

International Journal of Speleology, 2012, Vol 41, Issue 2, p. 189-198
In defense of a fluctuating-interface, particle-accretion origin of folia
Abstract:

Two recent papers have proposed radically different modes of origin for cave folia. Audra et al. (2009) propose subaqueous origin of carbonate folia via hypogenic CO2 bubble trapping, with concurrent condensation-corrosion and evaporative precipitation within individual folia gas pockets. Queen (2009) proposes that at least some folia are analogous to suboceanic tufa-tower “flanges” and may result from subaqueous freshwater mixing into a briny environment. The purpose of this paper is to show that neither of these mechanisms can be the fundamental process responsible for folia morphology in cave deposits, and that accretion from adherent particles at fluctuating interfaces is the only mechanism that has been shown to apply to folia of all compositions and in all cave environments where they are known to occur.