Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 27 Number 1: 27-32 - January 1965

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Stream Potholes as Indicators of Erosion Phases in Limestone Caves
Derek C. Ford


Large stream potholes studied in two sample caves in the southwest of England are entrenched in a manner that suggests two phases of development - 1. pothole drilling by a large stream; 2. elimination of the pothole by a stream of reduced volume. Remnants of other potholes are also preserved in the channel walls above the level of large stream activity. Alignment of these remnants implies an earlier channel floor that underwent the sequence of pothole drilling and elimination before the latest potholes were formed. These variation of erosive activity cannot be attributed to local geologic structure or to stream piracy and are thought to be the result of climatic fluctuations during the Pleistocene.

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