To assess the feasibility of magnetostratigraphic analyses in the cave, a series of samples collected in 1988 was analyzed by Fred Luiszer in the University of Colorado Paleomagnetism Laboratory; the results were interpreted by Luiszer and subsequently by V. A. Schmidt (pers. comm., 1993). The results suggested that sediments about 10 cm below the surface of the Gypsum Room were potentially normally magnetized. Additional samples were taken and interpreted by Schmidt in 1990. Those from Tobacco Road taken near the surface from sediments about 1 m below the ceiling showed some signs of reversal; this location was about two-thirds of the way toward the Velvet Room. Farther toward the Velvet Room, samples from near the surface exhibited normal polarity. None of these samples provided conclusive results, but the observations indicated that future work could prove fruitful.
Was this article helpful?