Genesis of schlottenkarren on the Avon peninsula of nova Scotia (Canada) with implications for the geochronology of evaporite karsts and caves of Atlantic Canada

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International Journal of Speleology, ISSN: 1827-806X, Vol: 46, Issue: 2, Page: 267-276

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Moseley, Max
University of South Florida Libraries
Earth and Planetary Sciences; schlottenkarren; gypsum; speleogenesis; geochronology; Canada; Geomorphology; Speleology
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Exposed schlottenkarren karst terrains developed on gypsum-anhydrite evaporites in the Canadian Maritime provinces might be post-Glacial landscape features (formed on glaciallydenuded rocks after they are uncovered by progressive erosion of overlying glacial tills) or exhumed pre-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) morphologies (filled with glacial till and revealed by erosion of the tills). In this paper the hydrological conditions necessary for the formation of schlottenkarren, the speleogenetic processes involved and their chronology are reconsidered and reinterpreted. It is proposed that they are essentially pre-LGM features which have survived from the Wisconsinan. It is concluded that the degree of glacial scouring and denudation of evaporite karsts in the region is highly variable and many or most karst landforms and associated caves probably have significant pre-LGM components in their development. Attention is drawn to the potential value of the chronological records in sediments preserved in these karsts for understanding the Quaternary in the region.