Paper No. 3
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM
THE ROLE OF COMMUNICATION IN THE EVOLUTION OF THINKING ABOUT CAVES AND GROUNDWATER
The direction of karst (cave) science throughout its history has been determined by communication or, more commonly, the lack of communication between non-scientist cavers and non-caving physical geologists writing about karst. The history has seen (1) a disconnect between data acquisition and data interpretation, (2) problems of communication that result from this disconnect, and (3) regionalism that results from the lack of communication. The regionalism evident in speleogenetic theories of the early to mid-1900's (e.g., Cvijic, Grund, Swinnerton, Davis) developed because of the weight of evidence placed upon local and/or limited observations. Such theories failed to take into account findings from karst of diverse geologic settings. Additionally, the direction of karst science has been affected by a lack of communication between karst scientists and ground-water specialists with passing interest and no knowledge of karst (e.g., Hubbert). This lack of communication hindered the cooperative efforts needed to advance intuitive notions of karst held by the hydrogeologic community at large. The results of many recent studies in karst aquifers, however, suggest that barriers of communication are coming down. Karst geology and hydrogeology are coming together to analyze multiple-porosity systems. One such example is the Upper Floridan Aquifer, where the rocks are young enough that they retain the variations in intergranular porosity reflective of their environments of deposition, but they also have been overprinted by a distribution of secondary porosity that justifies the name karst.