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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. ...

Did you know?

That macropore is a pore with dimensions such that capillary forces become less important during flow [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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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 breccias (Keyword) returned 95 results for the whole karstbase:
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Signification des remplissages des karsts de montagne, quelques cls lusage des splologues, 1995,
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Audra, P.
This paper is intended to cavers in order to help them identify the most significant mountain karst infillings. Carbonated varves sedimentation occurs during floodings in glacial environment. The varves block the deep parts of the networks. Pebbles sealings show a powerful erosion in the vadose zone, near glacial sinkholes. Gelifract spreadings are indicators of frost and snow action in periglacial environment. Reworked weathered rocks are the most ancient deposits, inherited from tertiary warm phases when karstification occurred under regolith covers. Their clearing is partly simultaneous with cave systems elaboration, in relation to the alpine uplift, during Pliocene. Speleothems are also warm or temperate climate indicators. Crystalline morphology reflects environmental characteristics, while their surface sight could have been smoothed during discharge reactivations. Finally, some infillings could have recorded neotectonic movements: broken speleothems, deformed clastic sediments, etc.

THE KASKASKIA PALEOKARST OF THE NORTHERN ROCKY-MOUNTAINS AND BLACK-HILLS, NORTHWESTERN USA, 1995,
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Palmer A. N. , Palmer M. V. ,
The Kaskaskia paleokarst, part of the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian unconformity in North America, is typified by sinkholes, fissures, and dissolution caves at and near the top of the Kaskaskia Sequence (Madison Limestone and equivalents) and is covered by basal Absaroka siliciclastics (Chesterian to Morrowan). In the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills of the northwestern U. S. A. it postdates earlier features produced by sulfate-carbonate interactions, including breccias, dissolution voids, bedrock alteration, and mineralization. Both the paleokarst and earlier features have been intersected by post-Laramide caves. Ore deposits, aquifers, and petroleum reservoirs in the region are also concentrated along both the paleokarst horizons and earlier sulfate-related features. Each phase of karst modified and preferentially followed the zones of porosity and structural weakness left by earlier phases, producing an interrelated complex of now-relict features. All should be considered together to explain the present aspect of the paleokarst

THE ORIGIN OF RAUHWACKES (CORNIEULES) BY THE KARSTIFICATION OF GYPSUM, 1995,
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Schaad W. ,
Rauhwackes (cornieules or cargneules) are breccias with a caicareous matrix and mainly dolomitic components that weather to form cavernous rocks. They are very often associated with tectonic contacts, e.g. detachment horizons. The origin of rauhwackes is still controversial, but has been attributed to the weathering and alteration of dolomite-bearing evaporites, the tectonisation of dolomites or other processes. New data based on field investigations show that the karstification of evaporites leads to the formation of rauhwackes. Two end member evaporitic protoliths can be distinguished: dolomite-bearing gypsum and gypsum-bearing dolomite. The karstification of the different protoliths leads to the formation of structurally distinct rauhwackes. Dolomite-bearing gypsum is associated with unstructured, often polymictic rauhwackes which reflect the shape of the karst cavities and which are interpreted as karst sediments. Gypsum-bearing dolomite occurs with stratiformal rauhwackes with fitting dolomite fragments that are arranged in layers. These rauhwackes can be regarded as collapse breccias. All investigated rauhwackes seem to have been formed after the alpine deformations and are probably of Quaternary age. In certain cases, the karstification of the evaporites and the formation of rauhwackes may have been favoured by fluvial or fluvioglacial processes at the surface. Therefore, these rauhwackes have nothing to do with alpine tectonics. Rather, it was the evaporitic protoliths of the rauhwackes that acted as detachment horizons and incompetent layers during folding

Paleoalpine karstification - The longest paleokarst period in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia), 1995,
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Cincura J, Kohler E,
The considerable areal extent and great thicknesses of Middle/Upper Triassic carbonate complexes influenced favourably the formation of karst during subaerial periods. The lower boundary of the Paleoalpine karst period is age-determined by the gradual emergence of the basement - during the Upper Cretaceous in the Central Western Carpathians and even earlier in the Inner Carpathians. The upper boundary can be dated by marine transgression The start of the transgression is not synchronous and it varies in a broad range from Upper Cretaceous to Upper Eocene and maybe even up to Oligocene/Miocene. The typical products of the period include typical karst bauxites filling karst cavities, ferri crusts, red clays, collapse and crackle breccias with speleothems, freshwater limestones or polymict conglomerates

CYCLOSTRATIGRAPHY OF MIDDLE DEVONIAN CARBONATES OF THE EASTERN GREAT-BASIN, 1995,
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Elrick M,
Middle Devonian carbonates (250-430 m thick) of the eastern Great Basin were deposited along a low energy, westward-thickening, distally steepened ramp. Four third-order sequences can be correlated across the ramp-to-basin transition and are composed of meter-scale, upward-shallowing carbonate cycles (or parasequences). Peritidal cycles (shallow subtidal facies capped by tidal-flat laminites) constitute 90% of all measured cycles and are present across the entire ramp. The peritidal cycles are regressive- and transgressive-prone (upward-deepening followed by upward-shallowing facies trends). Approximately 80% of the peritidal cycle caps show evidence of prolonged subaerial exposure including sediment-filled dissolution cavities, horizontal to vertical desiccation cracks, rubble and karst breccias, and pedogenic alteration; locally these features are present down to 2 m below the cycle caps. Subtidal cycles (capped by shallow subtidal facies) are present along the middle-outer ramp and ramp margin and indicate incomplete shallowing. submerged subtidal cycles (64% of all subtidal cycles) are composed of deeper subtidal facies overlain by shallow subtidal facies. Exposed subtidal cycles are composed of deeper subtidal facies overlain by shallow subtidal facies that are capped by features indicative of prolonged subaerial exposure (dissolution cavities and brecciation). Average peritidal and subtidal cycle durations are between approximately 50 and 130 k.y. (fourth- to fifth-order). The combined evidence of abundant exposure-capped peritidal and subtidal cycles, transgressive-prone cycles, and subtidal cycles correlative with updip peritidal cycles indicates that the cycles formed in response to fourth- to fifth-order, glacio-eustatic sea-level oscillations. Sea-level oscillations of relatively low magnitude (< 10 m) are suggested by the abundance of peritidal cycles, the lack of widely varying, water-depth-dependent facies within individual cycles, and the presence of noncyclic stratigraphic intervals within intrashelf-basin, slope, and basin facies. Noncyclic intervals represent missed subtidal beats when the seafloor lay too deep to record the effects of the short-term sea-level oscillations. Exposure surfaces at the tops of peritidal and subtidal cycles represent one, or more likely several, missed sea-level oscillations when the platform lay above fluctuating sea level, but the amplitude of fourth- to fifth-order sea-level oscillation(s) were not high enough to flood the ramp. The large number of missed beats (exposure-capped cycles), specifically in Sequences 2 and 4, results in Fischer plots that show poorly developed rising and falling limbs (subdued wave-like patterns); consequently the Fischer plots: are of limited use as a correlation tool for these particular depositional sequences. The abundance of missed beats also explains why Milankovitch-type cycle ratios (similar to 5:1 or similar to 4:1) are not observed and why such ratios would not be expected along many peritidal-cycle-dominated carbonate platforms

GEOLOGY AND ORE GENESIS OF THE MANGANESE ORE-DEPOSITS OF THE POSTMASBURG MANGANESE-FIELD, SOUTH-AFRICA, 1995,
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Vonplehweleisen E. , Klemm D. D. ,
The Postmasburg Mn/Fe-ores occur exclusively in dolomitic Precambrian sinkhole structures with siliceous breccias and shales as hostrocks. The main manganese minerals are braunite and bixbyite, apart from secondary alteration products of the psilomelane-manganomelane family. Various generations of ore minerals could be identified. The ore mineralization is subdivided into three different genetic types. They are classified either as pure karst deposits or as combined formations of karst origin and shallow marine sedimentation due to the transgression of the Banded Iron Formation (BIF) sea. Post-sedimentary metamorphism is identified as very low grade. The development of the different ore types is illustrated schematically

Karst Geomorphology and Hydrogeology of the Northeastern Mackenzie Mountains, District of Mackenzie, N.W.T., PhD Thesis, 1995,
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Hamilton, James P.

This thesis describes the geomorphology and hydrogeology of karst systems in portions of the northeastern Canyon Ranges of the Mackenzie Mountains and the Norman Range of the Franklin Mountains. N.W.T. In the region, mean annual temperatures are -6 to -8°C, total annual precipitation is 325 to 500 mm, and permafrost has a widespread to continuous distribution. The area was glaciated in the Late Wisconsinan by the Laurentide Ice Sheet.
The Canyon Ranges and Norman Range are composed of a sequence of faulted and folded miogeoclinal sedimentary rocks that span the Proterozoic to Eocene. The geology is reviewed with an emphasis on strata that display karst. Included are several dolomite and limestone formations, two of which are interbedded with evaporites in the subsurface. The principal groundwater aquifer is the Lower Devonian Bear Rock Formation. In subcrop, the Bear Rock Formation is dolomite and anhydrite, outcrops are massive calcareous solution breccias. This is the primary karst rock.
The regional distribution and range of karst landforms and drainage systems are described. Detailed mapping is presented from four field sites. These data were collected from aerial photography and ground surveys. The karst has examples of pavement, single and compound dolines, subsidence troughs, polje, sinking streams and lakes. and spring deposits. The main types of depressions are subsidence and collapse dolines. Doline density is highest on the Bear Rock Formation. Surficial karst is absent of less frequent in the zone of continuous permafrost or outside the glacial limit.
At the field sites, water samples were collected at recharge and discharge locations. Samples were analyzed for a full range of ionic constituents and many for natural isotopes. In addition, several springs were monitored continuously for discharge, temperature, and conductivity. Dye tracing established linkages between recharge and discharge at some sites. These data are summarized for each site, as is the role of permafrost in site hydrology.
The relationships between geological structure, topography, ,and groundwater systems are described. Conduit aquifers are present in both dolomite and limestone. These systems are characterized by discharge waters of low hardness and dissolved ion content. Aquifers in the Bear Rock Formation have a fixed flow regime and often have highly mineralized discharge. At the principal field site. there was a time lag of 40 to 60 days between infiltration and discharge in this unit. At a second site, flow through times were on the order of years. Variability in these systems is attributed to bedrock properties and boundary conditions.
Preliminary rates of denudation are calculated from the available hydrochemical data. Total solutional denudation at the primary field site is approximately 45 m³ kmˉ² aˉ¹ (mm kaˉ¹). The majority is attributed to the subsurface dissolution of halite and anhydrite. The predominance of subsurface dissolution is linked to the high frequency of collapse and subsidence dolines and depressions.
The karst features and drainage systems of the northern Mackenzie Mountains date to the Tertiary. Glaciation has had a stimulative effect on karst development through the subglacial degradation of permafrost and the altering of boundary conditions by canyon incision.


Biology of the Caves at Sinkhole Flat, Eddy County, New Mexico, 1996,
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Cokendolpher, J. C. , Polyak, V. J.
Quantification of limestone petrology and structure in a 25 km section of the northern Vaca Plateau, Belize, facilitated development of a model of speleogenesis and evolution of area caves and the karst landscape. The limestones in the study area are mostly depositional breccias developed between the mid-Cretaceous and mid-Tertiary adjacent to the emergent Maya Mountain Fault Block. Micritic and some fossiliferous-pelletic lithoclasts of the Cretaceous Campur Formation are cemented by sparite which formed in a shallow-sea high energy environment adjacent to the emergent area. Planes of structural weakness developed in the Campur Limestone have similar orientations to contemporary karst landform features including solution valleys, the long-axis of depressions, and cave passages. This correspondence suggests an important structural control on the formation and evolution of area caves and the karst landscape. Base level modification by way of valley incision and the development of secondary permeability enhanced interfluve development, causing caves to be truncated along valley sides and abandoned as active flow routes. The dry valleys and stair-step cave profiles indicate that the lowering of base level through time was interspersed with stable periods when horizontal cave passages were excavated.

The Lower Triassic Montney Formation, west-central Alberta, 1997,
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Davies Gr, Moslow Tf, Sherwin Md,
The Lower Triassic Montney Formation was deposited in a west-facing, arcuate extensional basin, designated the Peace River Basin, on the northwestern margin of the Supercontinent Pangea, centred at about 30 degrees N paleolatitude. At least seasonally arid climatic conditions, dominance of northeast trade winds, minimum fluvial influx, offshore coastal upwelling, and north to south longshore sediment transport affected Montney sedimentation. Paleostructure, particularly highs over underlying Upper Devonian Leduc reefs and lows associated with graben trends in the Peace River area, strongly influenced Montney depositional and downslope mass-wasting processes. A wide range of depositional environments in the Montney is recorded by facies ranging from mid to upper shoreface sandstones, to middle and lower shoreface HCS sandstones and coarse siltstones, to finely laminated lower shoreface sand and offshore siltstones. and to turbidites. Dolomitized coquinal facies occur at seven stratigraphic horizons in the Montney. Some coquinas are capped by karst breccias and coarse-grained aeolian deflation lag sand residues indicating subaerial exposure. The Montney has been divided into three informal members that have been dated by palynology and compared with global Early Triassic sequences. The subdivisions are: the Lower member, of Griesbachian to Dienerian age, correlated with a third-order cycle; the Coquinal Dolomite Middle member, of mixed Dienerian and Smithian ages; and the Upper member, of Smithian to Spathian age, correlative with two, shorter-duration third-order cycles. A forced regressive wedge systems tract model is adopted for deposition of the Coquinal Dolomite Middle member and for turbidites in the Valhalla-La Glace area of west-central Alberta. With this model, coquinas and turbidites accumulated during falling base level to lowstand, with a basal surface of forced regression at the base of the coquina and a sequence boundary at the top of the coquinal member. This is supported by the evidence for subaerial exposure and maximum lowstand at the top of the coquina. Very limited grain size distribution in the Montney, dominantly siltstone to very fine-grained sandstone, but often very well sorted, is interpreted to reflect an aeolian influence on sediment source and transport, High detrital feldspar and detrital dolomite in the Montney are consistent with (but not proof of) aeolian source from an arid interior, as is high detrital mica content in finer size grades. Extensive and often pervasive dolomitization, and early anhydrite cementation within the Montney, are also consistent with an arid climatic imprint. As new exploratory drilling continues to reveal the wide range of facies in the Montney, it adds to both the complexity and potential of this relatively unique formation in western Canada

Principal features of evaporite karst in Canada, 1997,
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Ford Dc,
Outcrops of sulfate arid mixed sulfate-carbonate rocks are common everywhere in Canada outside of the Shield province. Interstratal salt deposits are abundant in the interior lowlands. Types of karst that occur are determined chiefly by relations between (i) formation thickness and purity, (ii) regional topography and hydraulic gradient (iii) effects of receding Wisconsinan and earlier glaciers, and (iv) extent of modern permafrost. Exposures of bare karst on thick, pure sulfate formations are comparatively rare. Two principal landform types found on them are: (1) high-density polygonal karst (micro-sinkhole densities of thousands per km(2)); where hydraulic gradients are high and tills are thin; (2) hills and ridges of blocks uplifted and fractured by hydration (anhydrite) tectonics at paleo-icefront positions where hydraulic gradients are low. Deeply till-mantled karst dominated by collapse and suffosion sinkholes in the mantling detritus is well developed in southwestern Newfoundland and in central and northern Nova Scotia. Covered karst is abundant on sulfates conformably overlain by carbonate br elastic strata; collapse sinkholes ale the principal landform. Very large breccia pipes (up to 25 x 15 km) ale associated with deep subrosion of salt during glacier recessions. Syngenetic breccia karst is a fourth, distinct category created in some formations of thin, interbedded dolostones and sulfates. Where these are exposed td high hydraulic gradients, deep calcite-cemented breccias were formed in a first generation, upon which sinkhole and pinnacle karsts and dissolution drape topographies were able to develop rapidly in late-glacial and post-glacial conditions

Dissolution-collapse breccias and paleokarst resulting from dissolution of evaporite rocks, especially sulfates, 1997,
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Friedman G. M.

Breccias in the lower part of the Mississippian Windsor Group and their relation to Zn-Pb mineralization; a summary, 1998,
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Lavoie Denis, Sangster D. F. , Savard Martine M. , Fallara Francine,

Growth and demise of an Archean carbonate platform, Steep Rock Lake, Ontario, Canada, 1999,
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Kusky T. P. , Hudleston P. J. ,
The Steep Rock Group of northwest Ontario's Wabigoon subprovince is one of the world's thickest Archean carbonate platform successions. It was deposited unconformably over a 3001-2928 Ma gneissic terrane, and contains a remarkable group of biogenic and oolitic limestones, dolostones, micrites, and karat breccias capped by a thick paleosol developed between and over karst towers. The presence of aragonite fans, herringbone calcite, and rare gypsum molds suggests that the carbonate platform experienced at least local anaerobic and hypersaline depositional conditions. This sequence shows that a combination of chemical and biological processes was able to build a carbonate platform 500 m thick by 3 billion years ago. The carbonate platform is structurally overlain by a mixture of complexly deformed rocks of the Dismal Ashrock forming a melange with blocks of ultramafic volcaniclastic rocks, mafic volcanics, carbonate, tonalite, lenses of Fe-ore rock, and metasedimentary rocks, in a shaly, serpentinitic, and fragmental ultramafic volcaniclastic matrix. The melange shows evidence of polyphase deformation, with early high-strain fabrics formed at amphibolite facies, and later superimposed brittle fabrics related to the final emplacement of the melange over the carbonate platform. An amphibolite- through greenschist-grade shear zone marks the upper contact of the melange with overlying mafic volcanic and tuffaceous rocks of the ca. 2932 Ma Witch Bay allochthon, interpreted as a primitive island are sequence. We suggest an evolutionary model for the area that begins with rifting of an are sequence (Marmion Complex of the Wabigoon are) that initiated subsidence and sedimentation on the Steep Rock platform and its correlatives that extend for a restored strike length exceeding 1000 km. Shallow water carbonate sedimentation continued until the platform was uplifted on the flanks of a flexural bulge related to the approach of the Witch Bay allochthon, representing collision of the rifted are margin of the Wabigoon subprovince with the Witch Bay are. Melange of the Dismal Ashrock was formed as off-axis volcanic rocks were accreted to the base of the Witch Bay allochthon prior to its collision with the Steep Rock platform

The Vazante zinc mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil; constraints in willemitic mineralization and fluid evolution, 1999,
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Lena Virginia Soares Monteiro, Jorge Silva Bettencourt, Baruch Spiro, Rodnei Graca, And Tolentino Flavio De Oliveira
The Vazante Mine is located in the Vazante District, the largest zinc district in Brazil. The Vazante deposit consists dominantly of an unusual willemitic ore. Small sulfide bodies are tectonically imbricated with the willemitic ore, within the Vazante shear zone. Structural styles of deformation and petrographic and isotopic evidence indicate that willemitic mineralization and deformation occurred synchronously during the Neo-Proterozoic. Various generations of hydrothermal veins and hydraulic breccias may pre-date, accompany and overprint the mineralization. Ore-formation temperatures are deduced from stable isotope geothermometry and mineral chemistry of both sulfide bodies and willemitic ore. Temperatures during the main stage of mineralization range from 206 degrees C to 294 degrees C (willemitic ore) and 317 degrees C (sulfides), and reflect the prevailing metamorphic conditions within the shear zone. The fluid from which the gangue minerals of the sulfide bodies precipitated (at 250 degrees C) had an oxygen isotopic average value of delta 18 O = +19.4 per mil. This value appears to reflect the interaction of metamorphic fluid with the carbonate rocks of the Vazante formation. At 250 degrees C, the fluid in equilibrium with the vein mineral phases and willemitic ore assemblage exhibits a uniform oxygen isotopic composition, with an average value of delta 18 O = +11.5 per mil. The positive linear covariance of delta 18 O and delta 13 C ratios of the carbonates is most likely due to the mixing of metamorphic and meteoric fluids. The delta 34 S values of sulfides indicate a direct crustal origin for the sulfur. It is suggested that the sulfur is largely derived from pre-existing sulfide bodies and has been transported by metamorphic fluids. The willemitic ore may have originated from the precipitation of metal in sulfur-poor fluids under oxidized conditions, within the Vazante shear zone.

The Makapansgat Australopithecine site from a speleological perspective, 1999,
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Latham Alf G. , Herries Andrew, Quinney Patrick, Sinclair Anthony, Kuykendall Kevin,
Remains of Australopithecus africanus from the Limeworks Cave, Makapansgat, South Africa, are believed to belong mainly to a metre-thick, bone-rich, speleothem layer. The flowstone is one stratum among a sequence of speleothems, muds, silts, sands and fine and coarse breccias, the study of which has evoked some disagreement. The limeworkers' excavations revealed some stratigraphic relationships but they have obscured others. Partly because of this, controversy surrounds the supposition about whether there are separated depositional basins within the overall site and, if so, whether strata can be securely correlated. This is important because a reconstruction of an overall stratigraphic sequence was used as a basis for a magnetostratigraphic reversal record and by which the site has been tentatively dated. There is qualification and disagreement about the origin of the various flowstones and the actual depositional environment of the muds and silts. Evidence is presented which rules out some previous interpretations. From the point of view of the Australopithecine fossils themselves, it can be said that the calcite matrix in which they were provenanced was a low-energy environment and that the dense bone accumulation of this layer almost certainly did not arise by the action of floods, as previously supposed. The most likely main cause of the dense accumulation was hyena denning activity. It is clear that further work is needed to see how a reliable overall sequence can be established and that closer sampling is required for magnetostratigraphy

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