Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 28 Number 3: 133-140 - July 1966

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Bedding-Plane Anastomoses and Their Relation to Cavern Passages
Ralph O. Ewers


Bedding-plane anastomoses (braided solution tubes) occur in many sizes and appear to form a continuum from channels several millimeters in diameter to the spaces between the largest roof pendants. Bedding-plane anastomoses are common in areas of poorly jointed limestone and appear on the undersides of the strata. The features extend over large areas of a bedding surface and are strongly influenced by minor fractures. Bedding-plane anastomoses are unquesitonably phreatic in origin and often certainly predate adjacent or confluent cavern passages. In many cases it appears that a cavern passage results either from an extension of the anastomoses along a route predetermined by the presence of a minute fracture or from the breaching of a stratum by growth of anastomoses from below where two or more sets exist superimposed on adjacent bedding surfaces.

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