Glaciation and saline-freshwater mixing as a possible cause of cave formation in the eastern midcontinent region of the United States: a conceptual model

Samuel V Panno, W. L. Bourcier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a hypothesis for the formation of caves and associated karst features near the southern margins of the Illinois, Michigan, and Appalachian basins. Spatial and temporal relations among intracratonic basins, karstic terrain, and continental glaciation suggest that Pleistocene glaciation may have initiated the discharge of saline waters from the margins of these basins. The upward migration of basin-derived saline waters into near-surface aquifers would result in the mixing of saline waters with infiltrating glacial meltwater and meteoric water. The development of a vertically restricted zone of mixing of saline and fresh water in limestone aquifers would result in the dissolution of limestone; this mechanism could be responsible for the formation, or at least the initiation, of some caves and associated karst features in the midcontinent region. -from Authors

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-772
Number of pages4
JournalGeology
Volume18
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Glaciation and saline-freshwater mixing as a possible cause of cave formation in the eastern midcontinent region of the United States: a conceptual model'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this