Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 22 Part 1: 19-22 - January 1960

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Origin of Bermuda Caves
J Harlen Bretz


Throughout Pleistocene time, the calcareous island group of Bermuda has repeatedly been partially inundated and emergent. The land areas have been continuously attacked and reduced by rain and groundwater, but they have been recurrently renewed by deposition of marine limestone and, on surviving lands, of shore-borne and wind-transported carbonate sand, now eolianite. At present, the karst topography and the caves are largely below sea level, and their origin must date from times of continental glaciation. When the islands were larger because of lowered sea level, a lens of fresh groundwater occupied the present position of the caves. Later rise of sea level destroyed these phreatic conditions, and the caves assumed their present state in which they are partly filled with sea water.

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