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Carbonates and Evaporites

, Volume 10, Issue 2, pp 215–224 | Cite as

Banana holes: Unique karst features of the Bahamas

  • J. G. Harris
  • J. E. Mylroie
  • J. L. Carew
Article

Abstract

Banana holes are circular to oval voids with diameters ranging from 2 meters to more than 10 meters, and with depths up to 5 meters, which are found throughout the Bahamas. They are named for a specialty crop sometimes grown in the thick moist soils that accumulate in them. They commonly have vertical or overhung walls, and exhibit phreatic dissolutional morphology. Occasionally, banana holes are found with complete or nearly complete roofs.

Banana holes are the result of shallow-phreatic dissolution in the top of a fresh-water lens supported by the last interglacial sea-level highstand (ca. 125,000 years ago). Their current surface expression is the result of the partial or total collapse of their thin roofs. They did not originate by progradational collapse from depth, or by vadose processes. Once expressed on the surface by roof collapse, however, banana hole floors are modified by vadose waters with elevated CO2 concentrations derived from the organic material that collects within them.

Banana holes pose a significant land use hazard in the Bahamas, especially those with intact roofs. Geophysical techniques such as ground-penetrating radar are necessary to locate these cryptic banana holes.

Keywords

Evaporite Geophysical Technique Roof Collapse Blue Hole Specialty Crop 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. G. Harris
    • 1
  • J. E. Mylroie
    • 1
  • J. L. Carew
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of GeosciencesMississippi State UniversityMississippi State
  2. 2.Department of GeologyUniversity of CharlestonCharleston

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