The NSS Bulletin - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 54 Number 2: 69-76 - December 1992

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Mineralogy of Clay Sediments in Three Phreatic Caves of the Suwannee River Basin
Harris W. Martin and Willie G. Harris


Bottom surface clay was sampled from two cave systems in Ocala Limestone draining into the Suwanne River (Peacock and Telford Springs Caves) in Suwannee County, Florida and one cave system in Suwannee Limestone draining into the Withlacoochee River (Madison Blue Spring Cave) in Madison County, FL. In all three cave systems, the predominant clay mineral observed was kaolinite. Kaolinite is also the predominant clay mineral found in most Florida and south Georgia soils in the Suwannee River basin. Quartz was found in the clay- or silt-sized fractions from Peacock and Madison Blue Caves. The fine clay fraction from Madison Blue Cave contained a small concentration of smectite. Gray-colored sediments from Telford and Madison Blue Caves contained some crystalline pyrite. The dominance of kaolinite may be evidence for the depositional (allochthonous) rather than in situ (autochthonous) origin of these materials.

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