Cave Sediments and Paleoclimate

Malcolm S. Field


The National Speleological Society was founded in 1941, near the end of a remarkable period in the history of speleogenesis. Many well-known geologists had published on the topic during the previous decade. For various reasons the NSS did not benefit from this wave of interest, and its members were faced with reconstructing the subject from a fresh beginning. The topic was developed mainly by individuals who started as cave explorers and extended that interest into science. Some of the advances over the past 65 years include new field and laboratory techniques, models of cave origin, introduction of sulfuric acid speleogenesis, coastal cave studies, recognition of microbial mediation of cave processes, geochronology and paleoclimatology, digital modeling, and growing attention toward lava caves.