• Gypsum schlottenkarren in Nova Scotia are shown to be pre-Last Glacial Maximum in age
  • This has wider implications for the genesis and chronology of regional evaporite karsts and caves
  • Schlottenkarren form only where there is sufficient hydraulic head and free drainage
  • Palaeokarst sediments might be of great value in studies of the Quaternary in the region


Exposed schlottenkarren karst terrains developed on gypsum-anhydrite evaporites in the Canadian Maritime provinces might be post-Glacial landscape features (formed on glacially-denuded 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.



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