The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 44 Number 3: 90-97 - July 1982

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Mineralogy of the Butler Cave-Sinking Creek System
William B. White


The Butler Cave-Sinking Creek System is characterized by scattered areas in which flowstone and dripstone occur and by a few more localized areas in which complex erratic speleothems containing aragonite and hydromagnesite occur. The aragonite occurs mainly in nodular speleothems of various sizes and shapes. Hydromagnesite occurs as moonmilk which appears to be a residual deposit formed from solutions depleted in calcium by the precipitation of aragonite. Gypsum occurs as wall crusts apparently formed in situ by oxidization and transport of sulfide minerals finely dispersed in thin shale bands in the limestone. Poorly crystallized goethite has been identified. A complex group of phosphate mainerals occurs mainly in pockets and vugs in the clastic sediments of the Butler Cave section. Taranakite, hydroxyapatite, crandallite and perhaps sasaite have been identified.

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