Worthington (2001) proposes that because groundwater viscosity decreases with depth as a consequence of geothermal heating, deep flow paths and dissolutional cave genesis will be favored where path length is greater than ∼3 km, and is abetted if there is steep stratal dip. He suggests that some major explored caves developed in accordance with these controls.


I disagree with much of the argument, beginning with the introductory assertion that the question “whether dissolution resulting in cave development should occur close to the water table … or deep below” (p. 335) is unresolved. There is a resolution, (Ford, 1971 and...

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