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Republished from Journal of Cave and Karst Studies 64 (3), pp.153-164 Open link

UIS KHS Commission
The genesis of the Tennengebirge karst and caves (Salzburg, Austria)
Abstract:

Research has been carried out in the Tennengebirge Massif (Salzburg, Austria) with specific attention to karst morphology, cave systems, and sediments. This study reveals the genesis of the karst and the underground systems of the Tennengebirge, since the Oligocene. Large horizontal systems, which date back to the Miocene, were studied through the example of the caves Hornhohle and Eisriesenwelt, which respectively represent Ruinenhohlen (“cave ruins”) and Riesenhohlen (“giant caves”). The Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhohle System is typical of a mostly vertical large high-relief, alpine cave. The main characteristic of this network is major development in the vadose zone. The shafts' morphology is in “stairs beneath a faulted roof.” At greater depth, they connect to a perched epiphreatic zone, which is typical of a dammed karst. The main underground sediments are of paleoclimatic and hydrodynamic significance, corresponding to hot, stable, or unstable environments (flowstones, reworked weathered rocks) and cold environments (carbonate varves, glacial pebbles). A preliminary study of the Tennengebirge sediments reveals significant information about its evolution throughout Pliocene-Quaternary time.