Volume 23 1980
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Browsing Volume 23 1980 by Author "Partridge, T. C."
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- ItemThe nature and genesis of solution cavities (Makondos) in Transvaal Cave breccias(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1980) Brink, A. B. A.; Partridge, T. C.The discovery of a large part of the cranium of a hominid, evidently closely related to Homo habilis (Hughes and Tobias 1977) in a solution cavity within the calcified Member 5 of the Sterkfontein Formation (Partridge 1978) has again drawn attention to the frequent occurrence of these features in the hominid-bearing breccias of the Transvaal. The authors first studied these features at Makapansgat (fig. 1) some fifteen years ago and have since then become aware of their very widespread occurrence in soluble rocks in many parts of the world. All subsequent information has served to confirm the origin of these features, but, since these were never published, it is worthwhile to place these findings on record. Solution cavities, or Makondos, in the Transvaal cave breccias are soil-filled pits shaped like an inverted cone. Their walls and intervening areas of the calcified cave deposit are usually rough, and the coalescing of adjacent cavities below the surface is common. They seldom exceed 2 m in diameter and 6 m in depth and occur at intervals of 2 to 3 m in the calcified cave deposit.
- ItemThe sedimentology of some Transvaal hominid cave deposits and its environmental and chronological implications(Bernard Price Institute for Palaeontological Research, 1980) Partridge, T. C.The sedimentology of cave deposits is principally influenced by two sets of factors: (1) those relating to the morphology of the depository and its evolution through time; and (2) those resulting from external influences, including the production of sediments and their introduction into the cave under varying conditions of climate and vegetation cover. The interaction of these two sets of factors often poses unique sedimentological problems which differ markedly from those encountered in other sedimentary environments. In particular, the imprint of intracavernous conditions on specific sedimentary facies frequently complicates interpretations relative to extracavernous environmental influences. Inferences from sedimentological studies should, therefore, be supplemented as far as possible with other evidence - for example from isotope analyses, palynology and faunal studies - in any meaningful attempt to reconstruct ancient environments from these deposits. The sequence of intracavernous events which occurred during the accumulation of the Makapansgat and Sterkfontein Formations will be outlined in relation to the probable imprint of external changes. When viewed in conjunction with the evidence of variations in the concentrations of 13C and 18O in the various stratigraphic units and with interpretations relative to the extent of the cover of woody vegetation near each site, a fairly consistent picture of climate fluctuations emerges. These early fluctuations may, in a general way, parallel those recorded by Shackleton and Opdyke in the northern hemisphere for the period between 3,2 My B.P. and the beginning of the Quaternary.