Micromorphology of cave sediments



Publication Details

Karkanas, P. & Goldberg, P. (2013). Micromorphology of cave sediments. In J. Shroder & S. Frumkin (Eds.), Treatise on Geomorphology, Vol. 6, Karst Geomorphology (pp. 286-297). San Diego, United States: Academic Press.


Cave sediments are commonly fine grained and lack macroscopic sedimentary structures. Only a detailed analysis of the micromorphological characteristics permits an accurate determination of the sedimentary dynamics of such cave deposits. Microscopic sorting, grading, clast orientation, lamination, intercalation, deformation structures, and porosity are some of the features used to identify microfacies such as lacustrine, slackwater, debris flow, slumping, sheetwash, hyperconcentrated flows, and solifluction. In combination with micromorphological data derived from post-depositional diagenetic trends and anthropogenic evidence, it is possible to reconstruct the evolution of a cave, and the climatic history and landscape evolution of the area.

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