SREL Reprint #1867

 

 

 

 

MINERALOGY OF CLAY SEDIMENTS IN THREE PHREATIC CAVES OF THE SUWANNEE RIVER BASIN

HARRIS W. MARTIN
Division of Biogeochemistry, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, University of Georgia, Aiken, SC 29802

WILLIE G. HARRIS
Soil and Water Science Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611

Bottom surface clay was sampled from two cave systems in Ocala Limestone draining into the Suwannee River (Peacock and Telford Springs Caves) in Suwannee County, Florida and one cave system in Suwannee Limestone draining into the With lacoochee River (Madison Blue Spring Cave) in Madison County, FL. In all three cave systems, the predominant clay mineral observed was kaolinite. Kaolinite is also the predominant clay mineral found in most florida and south Georgia soils in the Suwannee River basin. Quartz was found in the clay- or silt-sized fractions from Peacock and Madison Blue Caves. The fine clay fraction from Madison Blue Cave contained a small concentration of smectite. Gray-colored sediments from Telford and Madison Blue Caves contained some crystalline pyrite. The dominance of kaolinite may be evidence for the depositional (allochihonous) rather than in situ (autochthonous) origin of these materials.

SREL Reprint #1867

Martin, H.W. and W.G. Harris. 1992. Mineralogy of clay sediments in three Phreatic caves of the Suwannee River Basin. The National Speleological Society Bulletin 54:69-76.

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