Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 34 Number 4: 115-128 - October 1972

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Stratigraphy of and Characteristics of Cavern Development in the Carbonate Rocks of New Jersey
Richard Dalton and Frank J. Markewicz


Caves of various sizes and shapes occur in the "Kittatinny limestone" of northern New Jersey; however, until the recent subdivision of this thick carbonate section, the formation or formational members in which the caves occurred was not known. Compilation of the cavern data and recognition of the formations or formational members in which the caves occur has resulted in interesting conclusions and provides clues for finding additional caves.

Recent mapping by the authors in the dolomitic rocks of northern New Jersey, detailed core logging in conjunction with an examination of the open rock core trench at the Spruce Run Reservoir site, examination of the Round Valley Reservoir pipeline trench, and preparation of the New Jersey Cave Bulletin form the basis of the results obtained in this study.

The relationship between cavern development and the stratigraphy and lithology of the "Kittatinny limestone" is compared with the geologic relationships of caves found in other carbonate formation in New Jersey. These results show that the relatively coarse-grained dolomitic units of the "Kittatinny" in New Jersey are more amenable to solution than are finer-grained rocks; consequently, there is a greater chance of finding caves in those formations containing coarse-grained units. The results of studies of caves in dolomitic rocks are compared to those of caves found in the Devonian-Silurian-Ordovician limestones and in the Precambrian Franklin marble. Studies on limestone solution by Rauch (1970) indicate that caverns develop more readily in fine-grained limestones than in coarse-grained rocks, which is the opposite of what we find in the dolomitic rocks of New Jersey.

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