Cave Notes

Cave Notes

Material Information

Cave Notes
Series Title:
Cave Notes: A Review of Cave and Karst Research
Cave Research Associates
Cave Research Associates
Tumbling Creek Cave Foundation
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Geology ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


General Note:
Contents: A magnesium-bearing speleothem from Silent River Cave, Grand Canyon, Arizona / George D. Mowat -- A fossil bassariscus from Hanging Gardens Cave, California / Richard E. Graham -- Analytical reviews / Arthur L. Lange, Allen Kaplan -- Proceedings -- Secretary's Note / Arthur L. Lange -- Errata -- Annotated bibliography. Cave Notes(vols. 1-8) and Caves and Karst: Research in Speleology(vols. 9-15) were published by Cave Research Associates from 1959-1973. In 1975, the Tumbling Creek Cave Foundation compiled complete sets of the journals in three volumes. The Foundation sells hardbound copies of the material to support its activities.
Open Access - Permission by Publisher
Original Location:
Tumbling Creek Cave Foundation Collection
Original Version:
Vol. 2, no. 3 (1960)
General Note:
See Extended description for more information.

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
K26-00631 ( USFLDC DOI )
k26.631 ( USFLDC Handle )
13702 ( karstportal - original NodeID )
0008-8625 ( ISSN )

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CAVE NOTES Publication of Cave Research Associates Volume 2. No.3 Mayl June, 1960 A member of the orig1llal 8%:ploration party entering Silen:t River Cave,. O:rand Canyon, Arizona. (Photo by George Mowat)


A MAGIlESIUM-BEARIIn SPELEotHEM FROM SILENT RIVER CAVE, GRAIiD CANYON, ARIZONA by George D. Mowat, C. R. A. In the summer of 1959 a delicate, pearly speleothem was observed in Silent River Gave, Grand Canyon, Arizona! Bulbous protuberanoes, fronds, and even snail-shaped structures were seen on the walls, 1n cracks, and among coralline speleothem e Beceuae of it-a pearly luster, this speleothem was called a nacro llte. II The largest nacrollte structure was about three centimeters through. These forms are made of lamellae usually thinner than one millimeter. The lamellae are eas1ly bent, but are inelastic. The bulbous torma are hollow. A nacreous, white sheen 1s the most immediately apparent character1st1c. Some of this material was collected** and tested in the laboratory, and the following informat1on obtained: Mineral is a carbonate. (Dissolves with effervescence in 6N Hel) Mineral contains no oalcium. (Oxalate test) Minersl gives strong magnesium test. M1nersl 1s 1nf'us'\.ble ,,1 th the blowp1pe. An optioal study showed that the nacrolite 1s mioroor1stal~lne with a maximum grain size of about 0.03 millimeters. The lamellae are made of tabular, 1rregularly shsped grains averaging between 0.01 and 0.02 millimeters 1n diameter. The mineral 1s anisotropic, but be cause of the small grain size it could not be determined whether it La uniaxial or biaxial, positive or negative. The index of refraction as determined by immersion media varies from approximately 1.528 to ',540. It 1s possible that a Figure 1. A nacrolite in Silent River Cave, Grand Canyon, Arizona. Height ..... 30m. (Photo by George Mowat) The discovery and exploration of Silent River Cave was carried out in the sUJ!Illler of 1959 with the cooperation of the National Park Servt.ce We wish to thank Mr. P. E. Schulz, park naturalist, for his aid in the project. ed ** The nacrolite specimen is being consigned to the study collection of the Grand Canyon Museum. ed ~8


third. index of' refraction exist.s for the direction perpendicular to the tablets. The mineral that best fits these data is hydromagnesite. Un1'ort.unately, authorities disagree on their data for hydromagnesi t.e larsen and Berman list hydromagnesite (4MgO' 3C02' 4l1:10) as monoclinic with Nx='. 523, !Iv~I. 527 and N ~1. 545. Th~y give the mfneral as biaxial posl tlve J 2V medium large, 0 Z=b, angle of Y with c = 43, cleavage 010, tabular 100, and difficultly soluble in acid~ A. F. Ro~r8 gives the same data. Winchell and Winchell mention 'these values and also attribute the following values to Larsen: Nx=I.527, !Iv=1.530, and Nz=1.540. However Winchell and Winchell give these dt.:ta: hydromagnesite (Mg5(OHI 2 (C0 3 )!>'4H 2 0) orthorhombic dipyramidal, X=b, Y=c, (-)2V very large, 1Ix=1.515, N y =l. 530. and N z =1.544. Winchell and Vlnchell queation whether their hydromagnesite is a different mineral t.han the ones mentioned above. Figure 2. Photomicrograph of' flake f'rom a nacrolite between cr-oeeed nicols. Light and dark areas are crystal grains randomly oriented with respect to polarization of incident light. Length shown ....... 1.5mm. (Photo by George Mowat) It 1s evident that more Inf'orma'tlon 1s needed on the optlca1 properties and chemical composition of References, LJJlSliIf, ESPI!R S and lIAIlJIY IlEIlJ4AIl (193'4) 'l'h~._"",,~~.oo'pio dot_hOll o~ the nonopaque minerals .. U.S. Geological Survey :Bu11$tin 848, -p 102. nNCRKLL, ALllXAI1llllIl N., and HORACE WlIfC!lILL (1951). Blo"""ts o~ optical eralogr. Part ns Descriptions of' minerals. Johll Wil.,&: SOIlS, Ifew York. ROGJmS, A.F.:. The crystallograpb,y" of' b,y"dromagneai'te .Aaer. Jour. Sci., tier. 5 vol. 6. #31, p 37-47. July 1923. 19


A FOSSIL BASSARISCUS FROM HANGING GARDENS CAVE, CALIFORNIA by Richard E, Graham, C, R. A. Hanging Gardens 1s a cave 1n the Calaveras limestone near Columbia, california, representing the remnants or a once extensive karst which todsy is found as isolatsd pearched areas capped by lava. On April 12, 1959, I collected the proximal portion of the left mandible of s. Bassarlscu8 8.stutus from the :fissure fill 1n the lower portion of this cave This specimen and other skeletal elements wers firmly imbedded in this matrix indicating that tjutae bones are contemporaneouB with the fill material. The specimen was removed and studied 1n an ef'f'ort to determine the age of the fissure fill. r _c:::o::m::pa=r:.i:s:.o:::n::,,:o:::f:...:t:h::i::S~S:.:pe=c.:im=e:n~w1.::th::..Ba~S"s1a~r~i:FsFciuES, 1n the collect.ions of both the Museum of Vertebrate ZOology and the Department of Paleontology of the Uni versi ty of Cel1fornia ehows that the Hanging Gardens specimen most closely approximates B. a. raptor (Baird) which presently lives in the vicinity of ths cave. Two views of this specimen appear 1n Figure 3. The measurements are as follows: length of P4, 4.9mm.; length of Ml, 8.Omm.; lsngth of trigonid, 5. 1mm.; width of trigonid, 3,6mm,; length of talonid, 2.8Iun.; width of talonid, 3.0 ... ,; .rstio of trlgbnid length to talonid length of M1, 55.0. The Pliocene BassarlscuB are sufficiently distinct in size and dental characteristics to discount the possibility of this specimen's being that old. With the upper dentition unavailable, I ~e no means o~ distinguishing this specimen from other Pleistocene or Re cent Ringtails, although this specimen 19 clearly no older than Qua ternary. With the upper dentition, however, it might hove been poeeible to aesign it to B. sonoitensis (Skinner 1942), since in a recent paper Hall ..... _~ __ ~_~ ...... suggests the possibility that the Pleistocene B. B.stutUB removed from Potter Creek Cave, Shasta County, California may actually be B. eonoitsneis, but on the baBis of the material I .. 15 rom Figure 3. Prox1mal portion ot "the lett mandible ot Ba.seariaous astutus trom Hanging Qar(sns Cay.. (Photo by Nancy Slusser) 20


have available, I have tentatively identi:fied the specimen as B. aatutus. It is clear that little basis exists for assuming the fissure fill in Hanging Gardens Cave to be older than Quaternary, and the author suggests it is late Pleistocene or Early jtecent despite the lava capping over the local limestone which has led to speculation of' greater age for this cave. The specimen has been deposited in the California Academy of Sciences paleontological collection, #36770. References. HALL, E.R. Small carnivores from San Josecito Cave (Pleistocene), Nuevo Leon, Mexico. University of Kansas'Publications Museum of Natural History. vol. 9, #20, p 531-538. Jan. 14, 1960. SKINNER, M.F. The feune of' Papago Springs Cave, Arizona. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. vo'l 80, art. 6, 1" 143-220, 19 figs. Nov. 6, 1942. * * ANALYTICAL REVIEWS NUNEZ JIMENEZ, A. GeO~af1a de Cuba. 2~ Edicion. Editorial Lex, Ia Habana 624 p., 17 il1us. 1959. The first edition of this volume never came to print. The editorial offices were stormed by the forces of President Batista, then still in power, and all copy, photographs, and type destroyed. This seoond edition, produced under the new government of Fidel Castro, reflects the author' B pr-ovccat.ton, Professor NUnez Jimenez t.ake s every opportunity to rail at the old regime and extol the revolutionaries and the objectives of their administration. The book 1s a political document, complete with a message from Dr. Castro, printed on native cane paper, to be ser-ved as a geography text to the students of Cuba. In addition to his offices as captain in the rebel army and Executive Director of the National Institute of' Agrarian Reform, the author is professor of geography at the Universidad Central de Las Villas. and founder af the Sociedad Espeleo16gica de Cuba. He has written much on Cuban caves (see, Cave Notes, voj 1, #1, p. 2-3, Jan.!Feb. 1959). Herein lies the value of this geography to apelealogists, for from the cove~ jacket onward its pages are stocked with cave descriptions, maps, photographs, and accounts of the karst, or limestone terrain that abounds on the island. Caves ranging in size from small archeological shelters to the 15km. Gran Caverna de Santo Tomas are represented, and readers may follow the original explorations of Dr. NUnez Jimenez and his speleological group down 21


the magnificent streamways of santo Tomas. We read of natural bridges, underground rivers, springs, "slnks, guano depoaj.t.e ,. and. of' the characteristic tropical karst forms--mo5otes (isolated limestone knobs) and their surrounding plains, called/hOyoS or Randpo13en (see Cave Notes, vol. I, #4, P. 13-15. July Aug. 1959). We learn too of the important role that caves played during the revolution as arsenals, shelters, and fortresses, and of the plans that the new government has for some or these oave s It is certain, at least, that Cuban studsnts reading this textbook will become well acquainted with the caves of their isla.nd country. Arthur L. Lange, C. R. A .. .. .. .. .. BROECKER, WAlLACE S., EDWIN A. OLSON. and HIlL C. ORR. Radiocarbon measurements and annual rings in cave formations. ~, ve i -185, #4706. Jan. 9. 1960. Since the early 1950' s Orr bas baen concerned with the dating of travertine deposits in Moaning Gave, Calaveras Co., california. This bottle-sbapsd trap bas yielded sn abundance of archeological material. Orr! B first determinations were based on the rate of' deposition of travertine 8S calC1lla.ted trom the thiclmess of calcite encrusting nails left in the cave in 1922 (Orr, fuil C; Excavations in Moaning Cave. Se.ntaBoorbara Museum of Natural History. Dept. of Anthropology Bulletin #1, P. 11-15. 1952; Orr, Phil C. Spsleothem age dating. Texas Archeol. Soc. Bulletin, vo'l 24, P. 7-17. Oct. 1953). This article presents the results o~ a recent calculation f'rom the radiocarbon content of samples from an 8.8cm. encrustation of' travertine on s. human femur, and correlates this with a ring count on the same deposit.. The radiocarbon determination f!l've a period of 1400 250 years as the time required to ~orm t.he 8.8cm. crust. This is compared to a ring count of 1400. A d1f~erent approach to the radiocarbon evi~ de nee gave 1950 ys .... s as an uppsr llllit on the time of growth. The earl1er rate-of-deposition calculation gave 2494 years for the period.o~ growth of thie depoeit. The lines ot reasoning used to arrive at these results are described, and thare is some d1scussian of the radiocarbOn cont.ent to be expected in recently C1eposited carbonates. Allen Kaplan, C. R. A. -22


PROCEEDINGS Th1s year marks the 40th. anniversary of', the f1rst speleolog1cal 1nst1tute in the world, the Inst1tul de Speolog1e de Cluj in Rouman1a. Founded by Dr. Emile Racov1tza, and now d1rected by h1s st.udent, Dr. Mihal Serban, this institution has maintained world promlnance 1n many areas of speleological research. In conjunction with this celebration Serban,and his collea.gue, I. Vlehmann, announce t.hat their book, Ima68s deB Grottoes de 1a Republlgue Populalre Roumalne, will be finished this year. This book, which will contain texts in English, French, Germap., and Russian, will be designed to reach a world audience. It will contain a wealth of information on Roumanian apeleology including a large number of photographs of' newly discovered caves and a biography of RacQvltza., the first blospeleologlst. This publication promises to be one of "the most slgnlfl'cant works to appear from this area since the Travaux de 11 lnst! tut de 3OO010gi6 de Cluj. '* * Secretaryls Note: During a recent meeting of the directors of Cave Research Associates, Mr. William B. Beatty and Mr. Malcolm Farmer were elected members of an advisory board provided for in the charter. Mr. Beatty 1s a senior mining engineer with Stanford. Research Institute, Menlo Park, Galifornia, and Mr. Farmer 1s an anthropologist at Whittier College, Whitt1er, Cal 1forn1a We thank them both for the1r 1nterest and assistance during the past several years. Beginning with this issue of cave Notes, our new editor, Allen B. Kaplan, takes over its preparation. R. de Sauaaur'e is managing edl tor of' the publication. Manuscripts as well as Bubscriptions may be addressed to our headquarters address on page 24. Arthur L. lange, Secretary n * * Erratas Vol. 2, #2, Ilarch/April 1960 p 15r Read June 1959 instead o:fJune 1949. p 1I6t Rea.d a-ymgogrps ealifornianu8 instead. of bows tJalifornieua. 23


AJl1IOTA'fiI) BIIlLIOGRAPIlY GLASS, BRYAN.P. &:. CLAUDB lie W,ARD. lIat'il of !the genus lfyotis from Oklaho,ma. Journal of'llamraalogr, vc'l 40, #2, p 194-201. 1959. Brief acoounts of' speoies aad collecting localities, with descriptions of the genus lfyotis :from Oklahoma. This study increases the number of known Oklahoma bat species from four to eight. It is hoped that the policy of' revealing the localities of' the bat roosts does not defeat the altruistic purposes of the bat specialists by giVing these aites too mtlcll publicity. SAVORY, H. J. Settlement in the tnamooko Polje. Geographical Journal, vol. 124, Part I, p. 41-55. IIarch 1958. A discussion of' the human geography of a karst region in Czechoslovakia. The author deeembee the karst features and their contribution to the economic balance of the region. MUMFORD, RUSSELL E. Population turnover in wintering bats in Indiana. Journal of :Ma.mmalogr, vo'L, 40, #2, p 253-261. :May 1958. A detailed study of the winter turnover of Eptesicus in Dcnnehue t e Cave, Lawrence Co., Indiana. Visits between August 7, 1954 and April 28, 1955 revealed that at lQast 109 Brown Bats used the cave. The average number per visit was 6.8, but in 28 of the visits no bats were seen. The maximum was 39, in mid-February. Mumford concludes that the bats are activ"e throughout the winter and show evidence of feeding. FRENCH, NORMAN R. &; RONALD W. HODGES. Torpidity in cave-roosting hummin~ birds. Condor, vot 61, #3., p 223, Ma::f/June 1959. Ovenbirds and hummingbirds were found in a small cave at 13,000 feet elevation, 45 miles southeast of Quito, Ecuador. Five 9f the hummingbirds Oreothoehilus ohimborazo were found olinging rough-feathered to the cave ceiling in a torpid condition. The authors suggest that the hummingbirds seek refuge in cave entrances and periodically become torpid at these a1 titudes. BLANC. A. Repertoire bibliographique oritique des etudes de relief karstique en Yougoslavie depufe JOV8l'l. Cvijic'. ParilU Centre National de 1& Recherohe Soientifi ue. Centre de Documentation Carte a hique et Geographique, II moires et Documents, Tome ,p. 135-221'. n.d. ca. 1958). A. comprehensive review of karat research and prcblems in Yugosla.via sinoe the work: of Cvijic', around 1920, with emphasis on recen-t ideas and progress. A bibliography" of 368 references is prOVided, representing works since 1920. Earlier literature is cited in footnotes. Altogether, a major contribution to speleo1cgy. CAVE NOTES is available bimonthly for 11.00 per year. or on exohange. Mid-year subsoriptions receive the earlier copies for that volume. Subsoriptions and oommunications should be addressed tOI CAVE RESEARCH .ASSOCIAT~, 191U lIiI.rlatley Waq-, Berkeley 4. California. 24

A magnesium-bearing speleothem from Silent River Cave,
Grand Canyon, Arizona / George D. Mowat --
A fossil bassariscus from Hanging Gardens Cave,
California / Richard E. Graham --
Analytical reviews / Arthur L. Lange, Allen Kaplan --
Proceedings --
Secretary's Note / Arthur L. Lange --
Errata --
Annotated bibliography.
Cave Notes(vols. 1-8) and
Caves and Karst: Research in Speleology(vols. 9-15)
were published by Cave Research Associates from 1959-1973. In
1975, the Tumbling Creek Cave Foundation compiled complete
sets of the journals in three volumes. The Foundation sells
hardbound copies of the material to support its


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