Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 34 Number 4: 137-141 - October 1972

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Deposition of Calcite, Aragonite, and Clastic Sediments in a Missouri Cave During Four and One-Half Years
Max W. Reams


Two containers were left in Cox Cave, Missouri for four and one-half years. One was placed in a solutional shaft (foiba) and received 0.81 g/year of clastic debris and 0.0011 g/(cm²)(year) of calcite precipitate on the inside walls but little on the outside walls. The volume of clastic debris introduced is not large enough to account for much of the sediment found in the cave. Other foibe with more direct surface connections probably supplied much of the clastic sediments to Cox Cave. The second container, placed beneath stalactites, received little clastic debris; it did receive 0.019 g/(cm²)(year) of calcite and aragonite precipitation on the inside wall. The exterior of the container collected about 0.0095 g/(cm²)(year) of nearly pure aragonite. Aragonite may be favored in calcium carbonate crystalization by rapid loss of carbon dioxide from highly saturated solutions.

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