Sulfur-Based Speleogenesis in the Cumberland Plateau, USA

  • Lee J. FloreaEmail author
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


By any measure, both in the classical (Crawford in groundwater as a geomorphic agent. Allen and Unwin, Boston, pp 294–338, 1984; White in geomorphology and hydrology of karst terrains. Oxford University Press, New York, 1988; Sasowsky and White in Water Resour Res 30(12):3523–3530, 1994) and the present framework (Anthony and Granger in J Cave Karst Stud 66(2):46–55, 2004; Simpson and Florea in Caves and karst of America. National Speleological Society, Huntsville, pp 70–79, 2009), the karst landscapes of the Cumberland Plateau (western margin of the Appalachian Basin, eastern USA) are epigenic in nature. Discrete meteoric recharge is conveyed through sinking streams, sinkholes, and an epikarst reservoir into an integrated conduit system and toward topographically lower springs (Florea in J Hydrol 489:201–213, 2013a). The purpose of this brief manuscript is not to redefine that context, but to summarize a suite of data (Florea in investigations into the potential for hypogene speleogenesis in the Cumberland Plateau of southeast Kentucky, U.S.A. Brno, Czeck Republic, pp 356–361, 2013b; Florea in Acta Carsologica 42(2):277–289, 2013c; Florea in Earth Surf Proc Land, 2015) that suggest that geochemical reactions involving sulfur associated with shallow petroleum reservoirs may have played a role in a polygenetic evolution of some Cumberland Plateau caves.


South Central Kentucky Sulfur isotopes Carbon isotopes Hypogenic karst Principal component analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana Geological SurveyIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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