Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 61 Number 2: 41-43 - August 1999

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Overview of Kartchner Caverns, Arizona
Carol A. Hill


In this paper, the sequence of events for Kartchner Caverns and surrounding region are correlated and traced from the Mississippian Period to the present. Pre-cave events include the deposition of the Escabrosa Limestone during the Mississippian Period and block faulting and hydrothermal activity in the Miocene Epoch. The cave passages formed in the shallow phreatic zone ~ 200 Ka. Vadose events in the cave include the inwashing of pebble gravels and a maximum deposition of travertine during the Sangamon interglacial. Backflooding by undersaturated water caused bevelling of the limestone and travertine. Recent events include the habitation of the cave by vertebrates and invertebrates, and the discovery and development of the cave by humans.

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