Caves in caves: evolution of post-depositional macroholes in stalagmites

Shtober-Zisu, N., Schwarcz, H. P., Chow, T., Omelon, C. R. and Southam, G. (2014) Caves in caves: evolution of post-depositional macroholes in stalagmites. International Journal of Speleology, 43 3: 323-334. doi:10.5038/1827-806X.43.3.9

Author Shtober-Zisu, N.
Schwarcz, H. P.
Chow, T.
Omelon, C. R.
Southam, G.
Title Caves in caves: evolution of post-depositional macroholes in stalagmites
Journal name International Journal of Speleology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0392-6672
Publication date 2014-09
Year available 2014
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5038/1827-806X.43.3.9
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 43
Issue 3
Start page 323
End page 334
Total pages 12
Place of publication Bologna, Italy
Publisher Societa Speleologica Italiana
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract In a previous paper (Shtober-Zisu et al., 2012) we described millimeter to centime-sized fluid-free holes within the interiors of stalagmites of widely varying origin. We present here further observations of this phenomenon, using X-ray tomography, macroscopic and microscopic observation of sections of twenty-six stalagmites from various sites in North America and the Caribbean region. We can distinguish three types of cavities in speleothems: primary µm-sized fluid inclusions; mm to cm sized holes, aligned along the stalagmite growth axis which are clearly syngenetic; and µm to cm-sized holes away from the growth axis (“off-axis holes or OAHs”) deeply buried inside their host stalagmites, and cutting primary growth layers. Neither axial nor off axis holes contain fluid today. Off-axis holes appear to have been formed by internal corrosion of the calcite host, possibly enhanced by the action of bacteria which were sustained by permeation of through the body of the stalagmite of water containing dissolved organic species. A modern stalagmite from Israel is shown to contain bacteria associated with active hole formation.
Keyword Macroholes
Axial holes
Off-axis holes (OAHs)
Diagenetic porosity
Annually laminated speleothems
Stable isotope
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: School of Earth Sciences Papers
Official 2015 Collection
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Created: Fri, 16 Jan 2015, 10:49:35 EST by Ashleigh Paroz on behalf of School of Earth Sciences