Theses and Dissertations


Monica J Roth

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mylroie, John E.

Committee Member

Kirkland, Brenda L.

Committee Member

Schmitz, Darrel W.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Flank margin caves are karst features that develop in the freshwater/saline mixing zone within the carbonate islands of the Bahamas. The flank margin caves that are currently exposed developed during the last interglacial sea level highstand (+6 m; ~125 ka). Initially small ovid chambers, the caves increase in size to about 100 m2, then interconnect with adjacent chambers to form medium-sized caves. At about 1000 m2, these medium-size caves interlink forming large caves that are laterally extensive, vertically restricted, do not penetrate the fresh-water lens a significant amount, and run parallel to the axis of the ridge in which they formed. Small caves have a much smaller area to perimeter ratio than do large caves. As cave chambers grow and interconnect, perimeters become much more complex, and the number of bedrock columns in the cave increases. These results have implications for water resource management, and porosity modeling.



Bahamas||geology||cave||mixing chamber||karst||flank margin cave