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Stalagmites from Ning Bing range, WA inform about cyclones

Zebra Rock Gallery was visited by researchers from Cornell College, Iowa, USA who are researching stalagmites (Speleothem) from Western Australia for what they can tell us about tropical cyclones. It appears that the deposition of mud in the stalagmites is related to flooding of caves during tropical cyclones.
 
The pattern of mud deposited can give information about the occurrence of tropical cyclones over time. Dr. Rhawn Denniston and two undergraduate students together with John Cugley from the Cave Exploration Group, WA visited our workshop today and were assisted by William NunnRod Creagh and Colin Hackett to slice the collected stalagmites in half longitudinally. One of the two sections will be sent to the WA Museum (as a specimen) and the other to the USA for mineral analysis.  
 
Further specimens will be collected from Windjana Gorge and other sites in WA. The results to be published in scientific peer-reviewed geology journals will hopefully correlate with the fossil and geophysical records and may also be predictive of future tropical cyclones. 
 
Images below
{Click on thumbnail for larger image)
 
Dr Rhawn Denniston with a sliced Stalagmite : Stalagmite from Ning Bing Range WA made of aragonite up to 5000years old.Willie and Rod Creagh begin the task. : Ning Bing stalagmite cut with a diamond saw.Willie with a sliced stalagmite : Cut longitudinally with a diamond tipped saw. One half to the WA Museum as a specimen, the other half to the USA for mineral analysisStalagmite is marked for special cutting
Ning Bing range stalagmite in for the cut Ning Bing range Stalagmite : A diamond tipped saw blade is usedNing Bing range Stalagmite : A diamond tipped saw blade is usedWillie cutting a Ning Bing stalagmite : A diamond tipped saw blade cuts it like cheese !
Ning Bing range Stalagmite cut in two : One half for Museum specimen. Other for mineral analysis in the USANing Bing range Stalagmite cut in two : Deposition of mud bands related to flooding of caves during tropical cyclonesStalagmite (Speliothem) on Natural History Book : Stalagmites from Ning Bing Range are not found in this authoratie "comprehensive" natural history book.A slice of Ning Bing stalagmite : Made of aragonite approx 5000 years old

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