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February Bulletin 2024

HISTORY OF THE SULFURIC ACID THEORY OF SPELEOGENESIS IN THE GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS, NEW MEXICODAVID H. JAGNOW P. O. Box 93398, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87119-3398 USACAROL A. HILL 17 El Arco Drive, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87123-9542 USADONALD G. DAVIS 441 S. Kearney St., Denver, Colorado 80224-1237 USAHARVEY R. DUCHENE 7216 East Bentley Circle, Englewood, Colorado 80112-1197 USAKIMBERLEY I. CUNNINGHAM Geo-Microbial Technologies Inc., P.O. Box 132, Ochelata, Oklahoma 74051 USADIANA E. NORTHUP Biology Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131 USA J.MICHAEL QUEEN 814 North Canal Street, Carlsbad, New Mexico 88220 USAThe history of events related to the sulfuric acid theory of cave development in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA, is traced from its earliest beginnings to the present. In the 1970s and early 1980s, when this hypothesis was first introduced, the reaction was one of skepticism. But as evidence mounted, it became more accepted by both the speleological and geological communities. Nearly 30 years after it was introduced, this theory is now almost universally accepted. In the last decade, the sulfuric acid theory of Guadalupe caves has been applied to other caves around the world. It has also impacted such diverse fields as microbiology, petroleum geology, and economic ore geology. This theory now stands as one of the key concepts in the field of speleology.

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