Cavernous Weathering Features

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-9213-9_54-1

Definition

Formation of micro- to macroscale cavities on the rock surface by selective hollowing out of rock outcrops and boulders.

Category

A type of rock weathering feature.

Synonyms

Description

Cavernous weathering may form solitary cavities or pseudo-regular structures of cavities separated by (sometimes very thin) walls on the surface of rocks. The terms “honeycomb weathering,” “stone lace,” or “stone lattice” are derived from the appearance of these peculiar patterns. The cavities can vary from centimeter to meter scale in width/diameter (see Subtypes). In a mature stage of weathering, the separated alveoli may coalesce and form bigger cavities due to the loss of walls. The orientation of cavities often follows the direction of bedding planes in sedimentary rocks and seems to be influenced also by gravity (Mikuláš 2001; McBride and Picard 2004). Mikuláš (2001) distinguishes...

Keywords

Clay Porosity Crystallization Magnesium Sandstone 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access

References

  1. Allen CC, Conca JL (1991) Weathering of basaltic rocks under cold, arid conditions – Antarctica and Mars. Proc Lunar Planet Sci Conf 21:711–717, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  2. Andre M-F, Hall K (2005) Honeycomb development on Alexander Island, glacial history of George IV Sound and palaeoclimatic implications (Two Step Cliffs / Mars Oasis, W Antarctica). Geomorphology 65:117–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ashley JW, Golombek MP, Christensen PR, Squyres SW, McCoy TJ, Schröder C, Fleischer I, Johnson JR, Herkenhoff KE, Parker TJ (2011) Evidence for mechanical and chemical alteration of iron-nickel meteorites on Mars: process insights for Meridiani Planum. J Geophys Res 116:E00F20. doi:10.1029/2010JE003672Google Scholar
  4. Crumpler LS et al (2005) Mars exploration rover geologic traverse by the spirit rover in the plains of Gusev crater, Mars. Geology 33(10):809–812. doi:10.1130/G21673.1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Darwin CR (1839) Journal of researches into the natural history and geology of the countries visited during the voyage of HMS Beagle round the world. D. Appleton, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  6. Haeberle D (1915) Die gitter-, netz- und wabenförmige Verwitterung der Sandsteine. Geol Rundsch 6:264–285 (in German)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Head JW, Kreslavsky MA, Marchant DR (2011) Pitted rock surfaces on Mars: a mechanism of formation by transient melting of snow and ice. J Geophys Res 116:E09007. doi:10.1029/2011JE003826Google Scholar
  8. Huinink HP, Pel L, Kopinga K (2004) Simulating the growth of tafoni. Earth Surf Process Landf 29:1225–1233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Levy JS, Marchant DR, Head JW (2010) Thermal contraction crack polygons on Mars: a synthesis from HiRISE, Phoenix, and terrestrial analog studies. Icarus 206:229–252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Malin MC (1974) Salt weathering on Mars. J Geophys Res 79(26):3888–3894CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. McBride EF, Picard MD (2004) Origin of honeycombs and related weathering forms in Oligocene Macigno sandstone, Tuscan coast near Livorno, Italy. Earth Surf Process Landf 29:713–735CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. McBride EF, Picard MD (2005) Origin and development of tafoni in Tunnel Spring tuff, Crystal Peak, Utah, USA. Earth Surf Process Landf 25:869–879CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Mikuláš R (2001) Gravity and orientated pressure as factors controlling “honeycomb weathering” of the Cretaceous castellated sandstones (northern Bohemia, Czech Republic). Bull Czech Geol Surv 76(4):217–226Google Scholar
  14. Mottershead DN (1994) Tafoni on coastal slopes, south Devon, U.K. Earth Surf Process Landf 19:543–563CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Mustoe G (1982) The origin of honeycomb weathering. Geol Soc Am Bull 93:108–115CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Mustoe G (1983) Cavernous weathering in the Capitol Reef Desert, Utah. Earth Surf Process Landf 8:517–526CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mutch TA, Grenander SU, Jones KL, Patterson W, Arvidson RE, Guinness EA, Avrin P, Carlston CE, Binder AB, Sagan C (1976) The surface of Mars: the view from the Viking 2 lander. Science 194:1277–1283. doi:10.1126/science.194.4271.1277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Robinson DA, Williams RBG (1994) Sandstone weathering and landforms in Britain and Europe. In: Robinson DA, Williams RBG (eds) Rock weathering and landform evolution. Wiley, Chichester, pp 371–391Google Scholar
  19. Rodriguez-Navarro C (1998) Evidence of honeycomb weathering on Mars. Geophys Res Lett 25(17):3249–3252CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Rodriguez-Navarro C, Doehne E, Sebastian E (1999) Origins of honeycomb weathering: the role of salts and wind. Geol Soc Am Bull 111(8):1250–1255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Siedel H (2010) Alveolar weathering of Cretaceous building sandstones on monuments in Saxony, Germany. Geol Soc Lond Spec Publ 333:11–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Steiger M (2005) Crystal growth in porous materials - I: the crystallization pressure of large crystals. J Cryst Growth 282:455–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Thomson BJ, Schultz PH (2003) Analogs of Martian surface components: distinguishing impact glass from volcanic glass. Lunar Planet Sci XXXIV, abstract #1416, HoustonGoogle Scholar
  24. Thomson BJ, Schultz PH (2007) The geology of the Viking Lander 2 site revisited. Icarus 191:505–523CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Turkington AV (1998) Cavernous weathering in sandstone: lessons to be learned from natural exposure. Q J Eng Geol 31:375–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Turkington AV, Phillips JD (2004) Cavernous weathering, dynamical instability and self-organization. Earth Surf Process Landf 29:665–675CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Viles H (2001) Scale issues in weathering studies. Geomorphology 41:63–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Viles H (2005) Self-organized or disorganized? Towards a general explanation of cavernous weathering. Earth Surf Process Landf 30:1471–1473CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TU Dresden, Institute of Geotechnical EngineeringDresdenGermany