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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That overburden is 1. the loose soil, sand, silt, or clay that overlies bedrock. in some usages it refers to all material overlying the point of interest. 2. the total cover of soil and rock overlying an underground excavation.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for hypogenic cave (Keyword) returned 68 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 68
Hypogenic caves in France. Speleogenesis and morphology of the cave systems, 2010, Audra Ph. , D'antoninebecourt J. C. , Bigot J. Y.

Hypogenic caves develop by recharge from below, not directly influenced by seepage from the overlying land surface. Several processes of speleogenesis are combined, involving CO2 or H2S produced at depth. If the recharge from depth remains uniform, the growth of selected fissures is prevented, giving rise to maze cave systems with an upward development trend, which is defined as “transverse speleogenesis” [Klimchouk, 2003]. Hypogenic caves are much fewer than epigenic caves (i.e. developed downwards by meteoric water with aggressivity derived from soil). In France, as in the rest of the world, hypogenic caves were poorly recognized until recently because of their lower frequency, subsequent epigenic imprint often hiding the true origin, and the absence of a global conceptual model. However, about a hundred of hypogenic caves have been identified recently in France. The extreme diversity of hypogenic cave patterns and features is due to the variety of geological and topographic settings and types of flow. Thermal caves are a sub-set of hypogenic caves. Active thermal caves are few and small (Mas d’En Caraman, Vallon du Salut). Often, thermal in fluences only occur as point thermal in feeders into epigenic caves (Mescla, Estramar). In addition to the higher temperature, they may be characterized by CO2 (Madeleine) or H2S degassing, by warm water flowing in ceiling channels, or by manganese deposits. The Giant Phreatic Shafts locate along regional active fault lines. They combine all characteristics (thermal, CO2, H2S), due to the fast rising of deep water. The Salins Spring has been explored by scuba diving down to –70 m. Such a hyperkarstification is responsible for the development of the deepest phreatic shafts of the world: pozzo del Merro, Italy (-392 m). Inactive hypogenic caves may be recognized by their specific mineralization or by the presence of large calcite spar. Metallic deposits are due to the rising of deep waters that are warm, aggressive, and low in oxidation potential. Mixing with meteoric water generates Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfidic ores. Iron deposits as massive bodies (Lagnes) or onto microbial media (Iboussires, Malacoste) making specific facies, such as “black tubes”, iron flakes, and iron pool fingers. Other frequent minerals are Mn oxides and Pb sulfur. In such low thermal conditions, calcite deposits occur as large spar in geodes or as passage linings. Other inactive hypogenic caves may also be recognized by characteristic patterns, such as mazes. The relatively constant recharge into confined karst aquifers suppresses fissure competition, so they enlarge at similar rates, producing a maze pattern. In horizontal beds, mazes extend centrifugally around the upwelling feeder. The juxtaposition of multiple discrete vertical feeders produces extended horizontal mazes. In gently tilted structures, 2D mazes extend below aquitards, or along bedding or more porous beds (Saint-Sbastien). In thick folded limestone the rising hypogenic flow alternatively follows joints and bedding planes, producing a 3D maze cave in a stair case pattern (Pigette). Isolated chambers are large cupola-like chambers fed by thermal slots. Thermal convection of air in a CO2-rich atmosphere causes condensation-corrosion that quickly produces voids above the water table (Champignons Cave). Sulfuric acid caves with replacement gypsum are produced by H2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. H2S oxidizes to H2SO4, which corrodes the carbonate rock and replaces it with gypsum. The strongest corrosion occurs above the water table, where sulfide degassing and thermal convection produce strong condensation-corrosion. Caves develop head ward from springs and from thermo-sulfuric slots upward (Chevalley-Serpents System). The low-gradient main drains record base level positions and even the slightest stages of water-table lowering (Chat Cave). Hypogenic speleogenesis provides better understanding of the distribution of karst voids responsible for subsidence hazards and the emplacement of minerals and hydrocarbons.


Groundwater fluctuations in heterogeneous coastal leaky aquifer systems, 2010, Chuang M. H. , Huang C. S. , Li G. H. , Yeh H. D.

In the past, the coastal leaky aquifer system, including two aquifers and an aquitard between them, was commonly assumed to be homogeneous and of infinite extent in the horizontal direction. The leaky aquifer system may however be heterogeneous and of finite extent due to variations in depositional and post depositional processes. In this paper, the leaky aquifer system is divided into several horizontal regions for the heterogeneous aquitard and underlying aquifer. A one-dimensional analytical model is developed for describing the head fluctuation in such a heterogeneous leaky aquifer system. The hydraulic head of the upper unconfined aquifer is assumed constant. It is found that both the length and location of the discontinuous aquitards presented in the coastal area have significant effects on the amplitude and phase shift of the head fluctuation in the lower aquifer. In addition, the influence of the formation heterogeneity on the spatial head distribution is also investigated.


Hypogenic caves in France. Speleogenesis and morphology of the cave systems, 2010, Audra Philippe, D’antoninobecourt Jeanclaude, Bigot Jeanyves

Hypogenic caves develop by recharge from below, not directly influenced by seepage from the over lying land surface. Several processes of speleogenesis are combined, involving CO2 or H2S produced at depth. If the recharge from depth remains uniform, the growth of selected fissures is prevented, giving rise to maze cave systems with an upward development trend, which is defined as “transverse speleogenesis” [Klimchouk, 2003]. Hypogenic caves are much fewer than epigenic caves (i.e. developed downwards by meteoric water with aggressivity derived from soil). In France, as in the rest of the world, hypogenic caves were poorly recognized until recently because of their lower frequency, subsequent epigenic imprint of tenhiding the true origin, and the absence of a global conceptual model. However, about a hundred of hypogenic caves have been identified recently in France. The extreme diversity of hypogenic cave patterns and features is due to the variety of geological and topographic settings and types of flow. Thermal caves are a sub-set of hypogenic caves. Active thermal caves are few and small (Mas d’En Cara man, Vallondu Salut). Often, thermal in fluences only occur as point thermal infeeders into epigenic caves (Mescla, Estra mar). In addition to the higher temperature, they may be characterized by CO2 (Madeleine) or H2S degassing, by warm water flowing in ceiling channels, or by manganese de posits. The Giant Phreatic Shafts locate along regional active faul tlines. They combine all characteristics (thermal, CO2, H2S), due to the fast rising of deep water. The Salins Spring has been explored by scuba diving down to –70 m. Such a hyperkars tification is responsible for the development of the deepest phreatic shafts of the world: pozzo del Merro, Italy (-392 m). Inactive hypogenic caves may be recognized by their specific mineralization or by the presence of large calcite spar. Metallic deposits are due to the rising of deep waters that are warm, aggressive, and low in oxidation potential. Mixing with meteoric water generates Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfidicores. Iron deposits as massive bodies (Lagnes) or ontomicrobial media (Ibous sières, Malacoste) making specific facies, such as “black tubes”, iron flakes, and iron pool fingers. Other frequent minerals are Mn oxides and Pb sulfur. In such low thermal conditions, calcite deposits occur as large spar in geodes or as passage linings. Other inactive hypogenic caves may also be recognized by characteristic patterns, such as mazes. The relatively constant recharge into confined karst aquifers suppres ses fissure competition, so they enlarge at similar rates, producing a maze pattern. In horizontal beds, mazes extend centrifugally around the upwelling feeder. The juxtaposition of multiple discrete vertical feeders produces extended horizontal mazes. In gently tilted structures, 2D mazes extend below aquitards, or along bedding or more porous beds (Saint-Sé bastien). In thick folded limestone the rising hypogenic flow alternatively follows joints and bedding planes, pro ducing a 3D maze cave in a stair case pattern (Pigette). Isolated chambers are large cupola-like chambers fed by thermal slots. Thermal convection of air in a CO2-rich atmosphere causes condensation-corrosion that quickly produces voids above the water table (Champignons Cave). Sulfuric acid caves with replacement gypsum are produced by H2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. H2S oxidizes to H2SO4, which corrodes the carbonate rock and replaces it with gypsum. The strongest corrosion occurs above the water table, where sulfide degassing and thermal convection produce strong condensation-corrosion. Caves develop headward from springs and from thermo-sulfuric slots upward (Chevalley-Serpents System). The low-gradient main drains record base-level positions and even the slightest stages of water-table lowering (Chat Cave). Hypogenic speleogenesis provides better understanding of the distribution of karst voids responsible for subsidence hazards and the emplace ment of minerals and hydrocarbons.


Imprints of hydrocarbon-bearing basinal fluids on a karst system: mineralogical and fluid inclusion studies from the Buda Hills, Hungary, 2011, Poros Zsofia, Mindszenty Andrea, Molnar Ferenc, Pironon Jacques, Gyori Orsolya, Ronchi Paola, Szekeres Zoltan

Calcite veins and related sulphate–sulphide mineralisation are common in the Buda Hills. Also, abundant hypogenic caves are found along fractures filled with these minerals pointing to the fact that young cave-forming fluids migrated along the same fractures as the older mineralising fluids did. The studied vein-filling paragenesis consists of calcite, barite, fluorite and sulphides. The strike of fractures is consistent—NNW–SSE—concluding a latest Early Miocene maximum age for the formation of fracture-filling minerals. Calcite crystals contain coeval primary, hydrocarbon-bearing- and aqueous inclusions indicating that also hydrocarbons have migrated together with the mineralising fluids. Hydrocarbon inclusions are described here for the first time from the Buda Hills. Mixed inclusions, i.e., petroleum with ‘water-tail’, were also detected, indicating that transcrystalline water migration took place. The coexistence of aqueous and petroleum inclusions permitted to establish the entrapment temperature (80°C) and pressure (85 bar) of the fluid and thus also the thickness of sediments, having been eroded since latest Early Miocene times, was calculated (800 m). Low salinity of the fluids (<1.7 NaCl eq. wt%) implies that hydrocarbon-bearing fluids were diluted by regional karst water. FT-IR investigations revealed that CO2 and CH4 are associated with hydrocarbons. Groundwater also contains small amounts of HC and related gases on the basin side even today. Based on the location of the paleo- and recent hydrocarbon indications, identical migration pathways were reconstructed for both systems. Hydrocarbon-bearing fluids are supposed to have migrated north-westward from the basin east to the Buda Hills from the Miocene on.


Hypogenic caves in western Umbria (central Italy), 2011, Menichetti, Marco

Three karst areas located in the western sector of the Umbria Region (Central Italy) are here described: one north of Perugia, and the others to the south, close to Todi. All the end members of karst processes, from solution caves to quaternary travertine deposits, are present in this region, associated with CO2 and H2S emissions. The geological and hydrogeological aspects of the main karst systems are analyzed and their underground morphologies and patterns taken into account. Caves have different sizes and vary from a single conduit to complex systems, where the passages show features related to a possible hypogenic speleogenesis. In the area north of Perugia there are small horizontal and vertical solution caves developed in poorly karstified marly limestone, along fracture systems, where phreatic morphologies are prevalent. The endogenic CO2 emissions seem to drive the underground karst evolution. Pozzi della Piana, located west of the town of Todi, is a fossil branchform network cave system developed in a quaternary travertine and extending for more than 2500 m. The cave passages are arranged on at least two levels, with phreatic morphologies, cupola ceilings, and blind pits. Microcrystalline spalled gypsum blocks are associated with cusp features and wall pockets. The cave-forming process is believed to be linked to travertine deposition by supersaturated carbonate hydrothermal water rich in H2S. In the Parrano area, the underground karst system consists of solution caves extending for many hundreds of meters at different elevations in both sides of a small gorge. The cave patterns vary from single conduits to ramiform passages with anastomotic galleries and pits that intercept the water table with a temperature of 26°C, pCO2 of 0.1 atm, and H2S concentrations of 10 mg/l. Spongework, corrosion pockets, and cupola ceilings are common morphologies, with gypsum replacing limestone wall deposits. Cave formation by hypogenic speleogenesis is also well known in the Apennine karst system of M. Cucco and Frasassi, where both fossil and active processes are observable. The same processes are responsible for the genesis of these karst systems in different geological and hydrogeological contexts.


Distinction between epigenic and hypogenic maze caves, 2011, Palmer, Arthur N.

Certain caves formed by dissolution of bedrock have maze patterns composed of closed loops in which many intersecting fractures or pores have enlarged simultaneously. Their origin can be epigenic (by shallow circulation of meteoric groundwater) or hypogenic (by rising groundwater or production of deep-seated solutional aggressiveness). Epigenic mazes form by diffuse infiltration through a permeable insoluble caprock or by floodwater supplied by sinking streams. Most hypogenic caves involve deep sources of aggressiveness. Transverse hypogenic cave origin is a recently proposed concept in which groundwater of mainly meteoric origin rises across strata in the distal portions of large flow systems, to form mazes in soluble rock sandwiched between permeable but insoluble strata. The distinction between maze types is debated and is usually based on examination of diagnostic cave features and relation of caves to their regional setting. In this paper, the principles of mass transfer are applied to clarify the limits of each model, to show how cave origin is related to groundwater discharge, dissolution rate, and time. The results show that diffuse infiltration and floodwater can each form maze caves at geologically feasible rates (typically within 500 ka). Transverse hypogenic mazes in limestone, to enlarge significantly within 1 Ma, require an unusually high permeability of the non-carbonate beds (generally ≥ 10−4 cm/s), large discharge, and calcite saturation no greater than 90%, which is rare in deep diffuse flow in sedimentary rocks. Deep sources of aggressiveness are usually required. The origin of caves by transverse hypogenic flow is much more favorable in evaporite rocks than in carbonate rocks.


Ascending speleogenesis of Sokola Hill: a step towards a speleogenetic model of the Polish Jura, 2011, Gradziń, Ski M. , Hercman H. , Kiciń, Ska D. , Pura D. , Urban J.

The paper deals with the origin of caves in Sokola Hill (Polish Jura). the caves abound in solution cavities in the walls and ceilings, many of them arranged hierarchically, some others arranged in rising sets. blind chimneys and ceiling half-tubes are also present. these features collectively indicate that the caves originated under phreatic conditions by an ascending flow of water, probably of elevated temperature. Phreatic calcite spar, crystallized from water of elevated temperature, lines the cave walls. during the formation of the caves the Jurassic limestone aquifer was confined by impermeable cover. three possible scenarios for the origin of the caves are suggested. the first scenario points to formation of the caves during the Palaeogene prior to the removal of the confining cretaceous marls. the second connects the origin of the caves with regional palaeoflow driven by tectonic loading by carpathian nappes to the south, while the third refers to local topographically driven palaeoflow. both the second and third scenarios assume that the Polish Jura had a cover of Miocene impermeable clastics. All the scenarios account for the origin of the caves in Sokola Hill and explain the common occurrence of ascending caves throughout the Polish Jura.

In the subsequent stages of evolution the caves were partly filled with various deposits. conglomerates composed of Jurassic limestone clasts, quartz sands and sandstones are preserved as erosional remnants, locally covered by or interfingered with calcite flowstones. the clastic deposits were laid down by surface streams that invaded the caves earlier than 1.2 Ma. the caves were not invaded by water from Pleistocene glaciers, which is proved by the assemblage of heavy minerals in the cave clastics.


Fluid migration and porosity evolution in the Buda Hills, Hungary – selected examples from Triassic and Paleogene carbonate rocks/Dissertation submitted to the Ph.D. program for Geology and Geophysics at the Ph.D. School of Earth Sciences, Eötvös Lor, 2011, Poros, Zsófia

Porosity evolution of carbonates in the Buda Hills was the subject of this research. The aim was to provide an analogue for carbonate reservoirs that underwent multiphase diagenesis. Two major porosity types were recognized: 1) micro-porosity of powdered Triassic dolomites 2) cavernous and fracture porosity represented by the famous hypogenic cave system, hosted by Triassic and Paleogene carbonates. Powderization of dolomite is a general phenomenon in the Buda Hills, where its areal extent is exceptionally large compared to similar occurrences elsewhere in the world. Geochemistry and mineralogy of the dolomite remained constant throughout the disintegration. Powderization is absent at places where the Triassic dolomites are partially calcitized as a result of karst related dedolomitization. Since powderization was controlled by surface related processes and no geochemical changes were associated with it, disintegration of dolomite is interpreted as the result of sub-recent physical weathering, supposedly related to frost action.

Hypogenic caves are found along older calcite-barite-fluorite-sulphide veins, pointing to the fact that young cave-forming fluids migrated along the same fractures as the older mineralizing fluids did. Predominantly NNW–SSE strike of fractures concludes a latest Early Miocene maximum age for the fracture-filling minerals. Vein-calcite contains coeval primary, HC-bearing- and aqueous inclusions indicating that also HCs have migrated together with the mineralizing fluids. The coexistence of aqueous and HC inclusions permitted to establish the entrapment temperature (80°C) and pressure (85 bar) of the fluid and thus also the thickness of sediments, having been eroded since latest Early Miocene times, was calculated (800 m). Low salinity of the fluids (<1.7 NaCl eq. wt%) implies that HC-bearing fluids were diluted by regional karst water. Fluid inclusion studies also revealed that aggressive gases (e.g. CO2, H2S) were associated with HCs and that these gases may have played a role in dissolution of the carbonates. Based on the location of the paleo- and recent HC indications, identical migration pathways were reconstructed for both systems. It was proved that HC-bearing fluids have migrated northwestward from the basin east to the Buda Hills from the Miocene on. Due to the uplift related intensification of groundwater circulation, the proportion of hydrothermal fluids has diminished in favour of cold meteoric fluids. Establishment of the actual porosity of the Buda Karst initiated in Miocene times and earlier diagenetic history of the carbonates affected only the powderization of dolomite, and it had no direct effect on the localization of hypogenic caves.


Speleogenesis, Hypogenic, 2012, Klimchouk, Alexander

Recognition of the cave development at depths below the near-surface environment, largely during mesogenesis by processes not directly related to the surface, signifies a major paradigm shift in karst science, previously overwhelmingly dominated by the epigene concepts and models. Such caves form by upwelling waters of meteoric and deeper origins driven by hydrostatic pressure and other sources of energy. They occur widely through the upper part of the Earth’s crust, although become available for direct study only when shifted to the shallow subsurface during uplift and erosion, or through mines or boreholes. Hypogenic caves form in different rocks in a wide range of geological and tectonic settings and include some of the largest known caves in the world. Hypogene karst is one of the fundamental categories of karst, at least of equal importance with more familiar epigenic karst. The more comprehensive approach to karst that emerges implies that speleogenesis should be viewed in time scales of the host rock life, in the context of its diagenetic evolution and the evolution of basin-scale groundwater circulation regimes and systems in response to tectonic processes and geomorphic development. The rapidly evolving deeper understanding of hypogene speleogenesis has broad implications for many applied fields such as prospecting and characterization of hydrocarbon reservoirs and mineral resources, groundwater management, geological engineering, and related activities.


Corrosion morphology and cave wall alteration in an Alpine sulfuric acid cave (Kraushöhle, Austria), 2012, Plan Lukas, Tschegg Cornelius, De Waele Jo Spö, Tl Christoph

Whereasmost karstic cavesworldwide are formed by carbonic acid, a small but significant number of sub-surface cavities are the product of sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). In the Eastern Alps, no cave has so far been attributed to this type. In this multidisciplinary studywe demonstrate that Kraushöhle in northern Styriawas indeed formed by SAS. The cave pattern shows individual chambers, 3D-mazes and blind galleries, as well as typical SAS morphologies such as cupolas, gypsum replacement pockets, corrosion notches and convection niches. “Ceiling pendant drip holes” are described here for the first time and these corrosion features are fully consistent with the SAS model. Other features of Kraushöhle include thick gypsum deposits with strongly depleted δ34S values and other minerals – mostly sulfates – indicating highly acidic conditions. We also studied acid–rock interaction processes giving rise to widespread corrosion and concomitant replacement by gypsum. Petrographic and geochemical analyses reveal the presence of a distinctive alteration layer of highly increased porosity at the interface between the host limestone and the secondary gypsum. Dissolution and replacement of the limestone was fast enough to prevent the development of C and O isotopic alteration halos but resulted in selective leaching of elements. This stable isotope signal is thus different from the pronounced isotope gradient commonly observed in CO2-dominated hypogenic caves. Petrographic observations reveal that the limestone–gypsum replacement was a nearly constant volume process.Whereasmost karstic cavesworldwide are formed by carbonic acid, a small but significant number of sub-surface cavities are the product of sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). In the Eastern Alps, no cave has so far been attributed to this type. In thismultidisciplinary studywe demonstrate that Kraushöhle in northern Styriawas indeed formed by SAS. The cave pattern shows individual chambers, 3D-mazes and blind galleries, as well as typical SAS morphologies such as cupolas, gypsum replacement pockets, corrosion notches and convection niches. “Ceiling pendant drip holes” are described here for the first time and these corrosion features are fully consistent with the SAS model. Other features of Kraushöhle include thick gypsum deposits with strongly depleted δ34S values and other minerals – mostly sulfates – indicating highly acidic conditions. We also studied acid–rock interaction processes giving rise to widespread corrosion and concomitant replacement by gypsum. Petrographic and geochemical analyses reveal the presence of a distinctive alteration layer of highly increased porosity at the interface between the host limestone and the secondary gypsum. Dissolution and replacement of the limestone was fast enough to prevent the development of C and O isotopic alteration halos but resulted in selective leaching of elements. This stable isotope signal is thus different from the pronounced isotope gradient commonly observed in CO2-dominated hypogenic caves. Petrographic observations reveal that the limestone–gypsum replacement was a nearly constant volume process.


Further phreatic cave systems under the Swaledale-Wensleydale surface watershed in the Yorkshire Dales, UK, 2012, Harrison, Tony

Four widely separated groups of phreatic network caves below the moors separating Swaledale and Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales have previously been reported, including a group of five closely-related systems accessed through the levels of Devis Hole Mine. Further exploration has now uncovered four more phreatic systems, including another network maze in Devis Hole, the Horn's Workings Cave Series. While similar in geomorphological structure to the earlier discoveries, this Series is distinct in having, in addition to horizontal passages, a number of shafts reaching towards the base of the Main Limestone beds in which all of the six cave series reside. This may be due to the presence of a syncline affecting the strata in this area of the mine, which would have provided a natural drainage route and might also have allowed joints to open, thus enabling vertical shafts to develop. The Horn's Workings Cave Series has been worked intensively by 19th century lead miners, and comparison of a recent survey of Horn's Workings with one made by the miners in 1857 indicates the high degree of accuracy achieved by the earlier surveyors. Two of the other recently discovered systems, Smithy Level Caves and Summer Lodge East Level Cave, are also accessed through old lead mines. Both display classic phreatic features modified by later vadose activity. The final new discovery is Shivery Gill Pot, a small extension of the previously examined group of Sod Hole Gill Caves. The nature of the range of phreatic systems now known to exist beneath the Swaledale-Wensleydale surface watershed implies that numerous other network caves might exist in the upper part of the Main Limestone in this region. These beds extend over a distance of more than 20km from west to east, but they are at outcrop only locally, so if such network caves are present they will probably only be discovered and accessed from the old lead mine workings that are a major feature of this part of the Dales landscape.


Phreatic maze caves, Grinton Moor, Swaledale, UK: survey of the Devis Hole Mine Caves, 2012, Harrison, Tony

Remarkable phreatic maze caves, first entered by Victorian miners searching for lead ore, have been rediscovered in a series of digs over the last 40 years by members of the Moldywarps Speleological Group (MSG) in Devis Hole Mine, Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales. Most of the discoveries have been reported in three published reports. Previous surveys of individual sections of the natural caves have now been brought together for the first time in a single survey of the entire mine explored to date.


Acqua Fitusa Cave: an example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave in Central Sicily, 2012, Vattano M. , Audra Ph. , Bigot J. Y. , Waele J. D. , Madonia G. , Nobcourt J. C.

Hypogenic caves are generated by water recharging from below independently of seepage from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. These waters are often thermal and enriched in dissolved gases, the most common of which are CO2 and H2S. Hypogenic caves can be thermal caves, sulphuric acid caves, basal injection caves. They differ from epigenic caves in many ways, such as: speleogenetic mechanisms, morphological features, chemical deposits, and lack of alluvial sediments (KLIMCHOUK, 2007; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; PALMER, 2011). Several studies were conducted to evaluate the hypogenic origin of a large number of caves (AUDRA et alii, 2010; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; STAFFORD et alii, 2009). A significant contribution was given by the work of Klimchouk (2007) that systematically provided instruments and models to better understand and well define the hypogenic karst processes and landforms. Detailed studies on hypogenic caves were carried out in Italy since the 90s in different karst systems, especially in the Central and Southern Appenines. These studies mainly concerned chemical deposits related to ascending water and micro-biological action (GALDENZI & MENICHETTI, 1995; GALDENZI, 1997; PICCINI, 2000; GALDENZI & MARUOKA, 2003, FORTI & MOCCHIUTTI, 2004; GALDENZI, 2012). In this paper, we present the first results of researches conducted in Acqua Fitusa cave that was believed to be an epigenic cave until today. Acqua Fitusa cave is located in Central Sicily, along the north-eastern scarp of a N-S anticline, westward vergent, forming the Mt. La Montagnola. The cave formed in the Upper Cretaceous Rudist breccias member of the Crisanti Fm., composed of conglomerates and reworked calcarenites with rudist fragments and benthic foraminifers ( CATALANO et alii, 2011). The cave consists at least of three stories of subhorizontal conduits, displaying a total length of 700 m, and a vertical range of 25 m. It represents a clear example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave, produced mainly by H 2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. Despite the small size, Acqua Fitusa cave is very interesting for the abundance and variety of forms and deposits related to rising waters and air flow. A ~ 7 m deep inactive thermo-sulphuric discharge slot intersects the floor of some passages for several meters (Fig. 1). Different morphologies of small and large sizes, generated by condensation-corrosion processes, can be observed along the ceiling and walls: ceiling cupolas and large wall convection niches occur in the largest rooms of the cave; deep wall convection niches, in places forming notches, incise cave walls at different heights; condensation-corrosion channels similar to ceiling-half tubes carve the roof of some passages; replacements pockets due to corrosion-substitution processes are widespread; boxwork due to differential condensation-corrosion were observed in the upper parts of the conduits. Sulphuric notches with flat roof, linked to lateral corrosion of the thermal water table, carve the cave walls at different heights recording past stages of base-level lowering. 


Boxwork and ferromanganese coatings in hypogenic caves: An example from Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) , 2012, Gazquez Fernando, Calaforra Josemaria, Rull Fernando

This paper examines the greyish-blue deposits that were recently discovered in the lower levels of the Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) which occur as patinas over the walls and ceilings, as well as coating boxwork formations. Their mineralogy was determined using XRD and micro-Raman spectroscopy, while EDX microanalysis was used to determine their elemental composition. The mineralogical analyses revealed the presence of Mn oxides (todorokite and pyrolusite) and Fe with a low degree of crystallinity, whereas EDX microprobe showed elevated concentrations of Mn (38.2 wt.%), Fe (15.2 wt.%) and Pb (8.1 wt.%). The ferromanganese oxyhydroxides occur as botryoidal aggregates overlying blades of calcite that have a visibly sugary texture. The speleogenetic model proposed describes (1) an initial phase of precipitation of hydrothermal calcite veins (of hypogenic origin) within the fissures of the host rock under phreatic conditions and (2) a subsequent vadose phase involving preferential corrosion of the carbonate host rock caused by lowering of the pH resulting from CO2 diffusion in condensed water and oxidation of Fe and Mn under aerobic conditions, probably mediated by microorganisms. It is this later phase that gave rise to the boxwork. The boxwork of the Sima de la Higuera Cave is a singular example of a formation that is generated by dissolution–corrosion of the rock due to acidification caused by oxidation of iron and manganese.


SPELEOGENESIS ALONG DEEP REGIONAL FAULTS BY ASCENDING WATERS: CASE STUDIES FROM SLOVAKIA AND CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012, Bella Pavel, Bosak Pavel

The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (perascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systemswere selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past,the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreaticand vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of localwater courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocenegeomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates severalcommon characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or inclose vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regionalimportance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation ofmeteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4)speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework,rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicateascending speleogenesis in deep phreatic to phreatic environments;(5) they exhibit poor relation to the present landscape;in some of them fluvial sediments are completely missing inspite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strongepiphreatic re-modelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontalpassages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilingsand notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape;(7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitatesare poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on thepresent surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadlyprecipitate travertines; (8) caves can be, and some of them are,substantially older than the recent landscape (Pliocene, Miocene),and (9) caves were formed in conditions of slow water ascent, which differentiate the process from faster vauclusianascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves containsclear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There aremissing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took partduring speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhatincreased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesisat least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannotbe directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermalprocess (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978),therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.


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