Theses and Dissertations


Ioan Lascu

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 (M.S.)


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Flank margin caves of the Bahamas are formed by mixing dissolution in a fresh-water lens. As they evolve, the probability of intersecting neighboring voids increases, and they enlarge in a nonlinear fashion. Large flank margin caves become constrained by surface topography and their morphology is influenced by the shape of the enclosing land mass as a result. High phreatic ceilings can be dissolved if the fresh-water lens is distorted by lithological heterogeneities or hydrologic loading due to storm events. Early diagenesis of the host rock causes the reorganization of porosity and permeability through dissolution and cementation processes. Meteoric overprinting occurs but cannot be used as a tool in determining the age of eolianites or the climatic conditions at the time of deposition. Current evidence indicates an OIS 5e speleogenesis of large flank margin caves. An OIS 11 origin can be advanced only with compelling evidence of a pre-OIS 5e highstand.