Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 61 Number 2: 84-88 - August 1999

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Dating of Speleothems in Kartchner Caverns, Arizona
Derek C. Ford and Carol A. Hill


Uranium-series dates on calcite travertine samples collected from Kartchner Caverns range from ~200- 40 Ka. These dates span from the Illinoian glacial to the Wisconsin glacial, but the majority cluster within the wetter Sangamon interglacial. Petromorphic vein quartz (>35 Ka from alpha spectrometry and >1 Ma from 234U/238U ratios) dates from an earlier thermal episode associated with Basin and Range faulting. All that can be surmised about the time of cave dissolution from these dates is that it happened >200 Ka.

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