Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Mylroie, John E.

Committee Member

Kirkland, Brenda L.

Committee Member

Schmitz, Darrel W.

Committee Member

Rodgers, John C., III

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access


Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Arts and Sciences


Department of Geosciences


Sea-level change during the Quaternary has had significant impacts on the geology of the Bahamas and the global carbon budget. During periods of low sea-level position conduit caves form in the Bahamas as a function of their respective water budgets. These conduit caves can then collapse and if this collapse reaches the surface a progradational collapse blue hole can be made. Upon subsequent sea-level rise these blue holes can become sediment inilled. Tidal pumping through these sedimentilled blue holes can result in the formation of whitings. Whitings are formed when the tidally pushed water warms and degasses CO2, driving the precipitation of CaCO3. Whitings are also formed on the shallow banks by resuspension by fish. As sea-level fluctuates the amount of land in the Bahamas and other carbonate regions increases or decreases with sea-level fall or rise, respectively. As the amount of land increases in the Bahamas and other carbonate regions, there is a decrease of carbonate rock exposure at high latitudes due to glaciation. The loss of high latitude carbonates is made up for in the gain of low latitude carbonates in terms of rates of inorganic carbon drawdown associated with karst processes. Additionally, this inorganic carbon draw down from karst processes represents approximately 16% of the unknown carbon sink as reported by the IPCC. This study is significant in that it contributes to the understanding of sea-level fluctuations in relation to the geology of the Bahamas and the global carbon budget.