Role of sediment in speleogenesis; sedimentation and paragenesis

Publication year: 2011
Source: Geomorphology, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 13 June 2011

Andrew R., Farrant , Peter L., Smart

Although the effects of sedimentation in caves have been recognised for many years, its role in speleogenesis is frequently overlooked. Influxes of sediment into a cave system fundamentally alter the way cave passages develop, either by alluviation in a vadose environment, forcing lateral corrosion and the development of notches, or by upwards dissolution in a phreatic environment through a process known as paragenesis. Sediment influxes affect the hydrological functioning of a karst aquifer by changing the way conduits behave and subsequently develop both in plan and long section.Here we give an overview of the mechanisms of cave sedimentation and describe…