Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2016, Vol. 71 ›› Issue (11): 2010-2019.doi: 10.11821/dlxb201611011

• Geomorphology • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The evolution of the cavernous potholes in Yinhe Cave, Suiyang county, Guizhou province

Mingda CAO1,2(), Zhongfa ZHOU1,2(), Jie ZHANG1,2, Chao YIN1,2, Yanxi PAN1,2, Lihui YAN1,3, Quan CHEN1,2   

  1. 1. School of Karst Science, Guizhou Normal University, Guiyang 550001, China
    2. State Key Laboratory Incubation Base for Karst Mountain Ecology Environment of Guizhou Province, Guiyang 550001, China
    3. State Engineering Technology Center of Karst Rock Desertification Rehabilitation, Guiyang 550001, China
  • Received:2016-07-19 Revised:2016-10-20 Online:2016-11-25 Published:2016-11-29
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation, No.41361081;Guizhou Science and Technology Plan, No.[2014]4004-2;Guizhou Major Application of Basic Research Project, No.[2014]200201


This paper measures and conducts a statistical quantitative analysis of 49 potholes on the subterranean river bedrock of Yinhe Cave, a forming cave in Loushanguan Formation of Middle-Upper Cambrian Series, Guizhou province. After a description on morphological characteristics and spatial distribution, the paper discusses the evolutionary process and influencing factors of the formation. It is concluded that the potholes in the Yinhe River are mostly extremely shallow upside-down omega and wok shaped, and are at a relatively early stage of formation; the major axis and minor axis of the potholes are correlated to some extent, but the average diameter and depth are poorly correlated, indicating that the potholes tend to enlarge the diameter during the floor period and deepen the depth of corrosion during the drought period, as one of the riverbed downcutting forms of subterranean rivers; the potholes of Yinhe Cave develop in three stages: saucer shaped stage, upside-down omega shaped stage, and wok shaped stage, under the influence of such factors as hydrodynamic conditions, tectonic conditions, bed load, bed rock properties and corrosion; cavernous potholes are formed by the erosion and corrosion of running water, instead of glacier, which are essentially different from moulins in formation.

Key words: Yinhe Cave, Suiyang, evolutionary process, quantitative analysis, cavernous potholes, Guizhou