Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 60 Number 1: 58-62 - April 1998

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Base-Level Changes Inferred from Cave Paleoflow Analysis in the Lagoa Santa Karst, Brazil
Augusto S. Auler


The interpretation of flow marks in relict cave passages in two drainage basins in the tropical karst of Lagoa Santa, East Central Brazil was used to characterize past flow routes. Comparison with present groundwater flow deduced from dye tracing was performed in order to assess the evolutionary history of the karst drainage basins. Samambaia Basin's dry caves show that paleoflow in this basin was directed towards other local base levels, suggesting that some fluviokarst features in the basin were generated in a later stage. Paleoflow analysis in the Palmeiras-Mocambo Basin shows that flow direction has not changed significantly since the genesis of today's dry caves. Relict caves can provide useful clues on the paleohydrology of karst areas.

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