Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Jennifer Collins, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Matthew Pasek, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Phillip van Beynen, Ph.D.

Committee Member

David Rabson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Philip Reeder, Ph.D.


carbonate fines, dissolutional widening rate, incomplete solution, speleogenic model


Reports an investigation of the effects of chemical and physical weathering on submerged karst surfaces that pairs laboratory studies with computer modeling studies. The first study attempts to quantify the production of carbonate fines; soluble sediments produced by the incomplete dissolution of karst minerals during chemical weathering. Results show carbonate fine production in relation to dissolutional action; Chalk: 42.8%; Coquina: 2.6%; Dolomite: 3.1%; Gray Limestone: 4.8%; Ocala Limestone: 3.1%; Shell Limestone: 6.1%; Travertine: 8.6%. Due to the use of hydrochloric acid as opposed to carbonic acid these results may not be fully valid for application to natural speleogenic processes. The Limestone Weathering Model, a numerical-computer model, was developed using these experimental findings as minimal values compared with published rates. Reported as the actual volume of rock mass lost to both dissolution and to carbonate fine production, the rates for carbonate fine production ranged from 5.8% to 10.9% (year 1- 5.8%, year 2- 8.5%, year 3- 9.7%, year 4-10.3%, year 5- 10.9%), with a mean value for carbonate fine production of 9%, but a continuing rate after five years approaching 11%. The second study uses metrological laser scanning to measure the erosive loss due hydraulic shearing force and corrasion on submerged limestone surfaces. The rates for material removed using increasing velocity values (0.3m/s, 0.5m/s, 1.0m/s, 1.5m/s, 2.0 m/s, 2.5m/s) during flow durations of less than 6 minutes duration were : 1) Hydraulic shearing force- 0.3µm/s, 0.5µm/s, 0.4-1.7µm/s, 2.5 µm/s, 5.5 µm/s, 2) Corrasion- 0.3 µm/s, 0.7 µm/s, 1.5 µm/s, 1.5-1.8 µm/s, 8.9 µm/s, 8.1 µm/s. The study model was modified to return these rates for hydraulic shearing force limited by the depth of the chemical corrosion of the surface. The model returns % rock volume lost to hydraulic shearing force compared to dissolutional rate (1mm/y) for 3 flow velocities (0.03m/s<, 1.0m/s<, 2.5m/s<) on 4 timing schedules: Annual 7.8,14.3,19.6, Semiannual 21.1,21.1,69.7, Quarterly- 32.8,43.6, 70.9, Monthly- 80.0, 109.3, 200.3. Model demonstrates significant effect (7.8% to 200% over dissolutional rate) on speleogenic rates from even infrequent, moderate changes in flow velocities due to storm events. Study’s results support the significance of chemical weathering by disaggregation and physical weathering by hydraulic shearing force as major factors in the processes of karst speleogenesis.