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A note on the occurrence of a crayback stalagmite at Niah Caves, Borneo

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Author(s): Lundberg Joyce | McFarlane Donald A.

Journal: International Journal of Speleology
ISSN 0392-6672

Volume: 40;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 39;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: crayback | stalagmite | cyanobacteria | phototropic | stromatolitic | Sarawak | Malaysia

ABSTRACT
Crayback stalagmites have mainly been reported from New South Wales, Australia. Here we document a small crayback in the entrance of Painted Cave (Kain Hitam), part of the Niah Caves complex in Sarawak, Borneo. Measuring some 65 cm in length and 18 cm in height, this deposit is elongate in the direction of the dominant wind and thus oriented towards the natural tunnel entrance. It shows the classic humpbacked long profile, made up of small transverse segments or plates, in this case the tail extending towards the entrance. The dark blue-green colour down the centre suggests that cyanobacterial growth follows the track of the wind-deflected roof drip. The dry silty cave sediment provides material for accretion onto the biological mat. This is the only example known from Borneo and one of the very few known from outside of Australia.
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