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Morphological relationships between erratic boulders and associated bedrock limestone fins or rock comets, Madre de Dios Archipelago, Chile


, : Morphological relationships between erratic boulders and associated bedrock limestone fins or rock comets, Madre de Dios Archipelago, Chile. Proceedings of the International Congress of Speleology 15, . 3: 1463-1466

Rock comets are apparently unique karst landforms composed of glacial erratic boulders and bedrock limestone fins from the Madre de Dios Archipelago, Chile. Fins form due to differential erosion under conditions of prolific rains and strong frequent winds. We measured 50 erratics at two sites as well as their proximal bedrock fin, fin orientation and grooves adjacent to the windward side of the erratic boulders and analyzed this data with standard statistics. Comet orientation varied 29 degrees at Suplador Pass while on Tarlton Island comet orientation varied 52 degrees due to the wider distribution of the comets across a ridgeline. Erratic width was a good predictor of fin width and groove width. But, these were the only strong relationships demonstrated. Erratic height is not a good predictor or fin height or length and erratic average dimensions are also not a good predictor of fin length. Erratic height also does not predict groove depth. Overall comets seem to develop based upon more specific and localized conditions such as the overall shape of the erratic, location relative to other comets, bedrock features, or vegetation and specific location along the ridge line or pass area all of which effect wind flow and rain fall.

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