Verification of Post-glacial Speleogenesis and the Origins of Epigene Maze Caves in New York
Cooper, Max P.
AdvisorMylroie, John E.
CommitteeClary, Renee M.
Schmitz, Darrel W.
Dissolutional features called karst exist on the surface, and in the subsurface as caves. In glaciated regions caves were thought to be post-glacial in origin. Work in the 1970s demonstrated that pre-glacial caves existed, but did not answer if a cave could form post-glacially. A model proposed by Mylroie and Carew (1987) states that a post-glacial cave would be controlled entirely by glacial features and the deranged drainage of glaciated terrains. Caves known as maze caves form at maximum rates, and could form to navigable size in the time since deglaciation. Maze caves form in the shallow subsurface, allowing them to be removed in subsequent glaciations. GIS water flow analysis, and calculation of formation times using cross-section data demonstrates that maze caves in the glaciated region of New York are post-glacial in origin fitting in the deranged drainage and forming in the time since deglaciation.