Age and Origin of Carlsbad Cavern and Related Caves from 40Ar/39Ar of Alunite

Citation

Material Information

Title:
Age and Origin of Carlsbad Cavern and Related Caves from 40Ar/39Ar of Alunite
Series Title:
Science
Creator:
Polyak, Victor J.
McIntosh, William C.
Guven, Necip
Provencio, Paula
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Carlsbad Cavern ( local )
Lechuguilla Cave ( local )
Hypogene Caves ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

Abstract:
40Ar/39Ar dating of fine-grained alunite that formed during cave genesis provides ages of formation for the Big Room level of Carlsbad Cavern [4.0 to 3.9 million years ago (Ma)], the upper level of Lechuguilla Cave (6.0 to 5.7 Ma), and three other hypogene caves (11.3 to 6.0 Ma) in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. Alunite ages increase and are strongly correlative with cave elevations, which indicates an 1100-meter decline in the water table, apparently related to tectonic uplift and tilting, from 11.3 Ma to the present. 40Ar/39Ar dating studies of the hypogene caves have the potential to help resolve late Cenozoic climatic, speleologic, and tectonic questions.
Original Version:
Science, Vol. 279, no. 5358 (1998-03-01).

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Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

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