Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mylroie, E. John

Committee Member

Kirkland, Brenda

Committee Member

Rodgers, John

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Caves on carbonate islands are useful indicators of past sea level because cave formation is dependent on sea-level controlled freshwater lens position (flank margin caves), or form in direct contact with coastal processes (sea caves). Sea-level curves present a useful proxy for glacioeustatic and paleoclimate studies, so caves offer useful data. Once a flank margin cave is breached, it may be modified and eroded by waves. This overprinting leads to morphology similar to that of sea caves. While both indicate past sea level, they reveal differing information about the amount of denudation that has occurred to expose them (a paleoclimate indicator), so differentiation of these cave types is important. This study presents some of the first sea cave data from carbonate islands, and makes morphological comparisons between flank margin caves and sea caves from the Bahamas, California, and Maine. Using morphometric techniques, these caves can be distinctly identified.



Bahamas||morphometry||geomorphology||flank margin cave||sea cave