Late quaternary speleogenesis and landscape evolution in a tropical carbonate island: Pango la kuumbi (kuumbi cave), zanzibar

Kourampas, Nikos, Shipton, Ceri, Mills, William, Tibesasa, Ruth, Horton, Henrietta, Horton, Mark, Prendergast, Mary, Crowther, Alison, Douka, Katerina, Faulkner, Patrick, Picornell, Llorenc and Boivin, Nicole (2015) Late quaternary speleogenesis and landscape evolution in a tropical carbonate island: Pango la kuumbi (kuumbi cave), zanzibar. International Journal of Speleology, 44 3: 293-314. doi:10.5038/1827-806X.44.3.7


Author Kourampas, Nikos
Shipton, Ceri
Mills, William
Tibesasa, Ruth
Horton, Henrietta
Horton, Mark
Prendergast, Mary
Crowther, Alison
Douka, Katerina
Faulkner, Patrick
Picornell, Llorenc
Boivin, Nicole
Title Late quaternary speleogenesis and landscape evolution in a tropical carbonate island: Pango la kuumbi (kuumbi cave), zanzibar
Journal name International Journal of Speleology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1827-806X
1827-7713
Publication date 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.5038/1827-806X.44.3.7
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 44
Issue 3
Start page 293
End page 314
Total pages 284
Place of publication Bologna, BO, Italy
Publisher Societa Speleologica Italiana
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Kuumbi Cave is one of a group of caves that underlie a flight of marine terraces in Pleistocene limestone in eastern Zanzibar (Indian Ocean). Drawing on the findings of geoarchaeological field survey and archaeological excavation, we discuss the formation and evolution of Kuumbi Cave and its wider littoral landscape. In the later part of the Quaternary (last ca. 250,000 years?), speleogenesis and terrace formation were driven by the interplay between glacioeustatic sea level change and crustal uplift at rates of ca. 0.10-0.20 mm/yr. Two units of backreef/reef limestone were deposited during ‘optimal’ (highest) highstands, tentatively correlated with MIS 7 and 5; (mainly) erosive marine terraces formed in these limestones in ‘suboptimal’ highstands. Kuumbi and other sub-terrace caves developed as flank margin caves, in the seaward portion of freshwater lenses during such ‘suboptimal’ highstands. Glacioeustacy-induced fluctuations of the groundwater table may have resulted in shifts from vadose (with deposition of well-developed speleothems) to phreatic/epiphreatic conditions in these caves. At Kuumbi, Late Pleistocene (pre-20,000 cal. BP) ceiling collapse initiated colluvial deposition near-entrance and opened the cave to large plants and animals, including humans. A phase of terminal Pleistocene human occupation ca. 18,500-17,000 cal. BP resulted in the deposition of a dense assemblage of Achatina spp. landsnails, alongside marine molluscs and mammal remains (including zebra, buffalo and other taxa now extinct on Zanzibar). The Holocene part of the cave stratigraphy near-entrance records phases of abandonment and intensified late Holocene human use.
Keyword Archaeology
Carbonate island karst
Cave deposits
East Africa
Zanzibar
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
 
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