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MARTINEZ, JOSEPH D., Consultant, Baton Rouge, LA, and WHITNEY J. AUTIN,* Louisiana Geological Survey, Baton Rouge, LA

ABSTRACT: Waterfalls and Travertine in the Tunica Hills Mississippi

Waterfalls of significant size flowing over ledges of indurated silts and clays occur on Clark Creek in the southwestern Wilkinson County, Mississippi, in the Tunica Hills. Travertine deposits are associated with these falls and other segments of steeper gradient in the upper reaches of the stream. Clark Creek flows through outcropping rocks of Miocene Pascagoula and Hattiesburg clays and silts. These deposits are located structurally over the South Mississippi uplift, which is still a positive feature. The steep gradients of the stream result from the incised valley of the modern Mississippi River at this location. The location of these falls and travertine deposits were mapped by Martinez in 1952. He attributed the origin of the travertine in Clark Creek to be due to the high conten of calcium carbonate in the water of the creek, which had its source from the thick section of loess dissected by the headwaters of the stream. The falls, which range from 15 to 18 ft in height, occur where the stream cuts very indurated silty clays. They may owe their origin in part or entirely to the occurrence of travertine at their top surfaces. Travertine may have formed early in the development of the falls at nick points in the stream. Consequent aeration of the water caused travertine deposition and a formation of a cap rock for the waterfalls.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90989©1993 GCAGS and Gulf Coast SEPM 43rd Annual Meeting, Shreveport, Louisiana, October 20-22, 1993.