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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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Featured article from geoscience journal

International Journal of Earth Sciences/International Journal of Earth Science, 2009, Vol 98, p. 665-676
Identifying low-temperature hydrothermal karst and palaeowaters using stable isotopes: a case study from an alpine cave, Entrische Kirche, Austria

The area south of the prominent east–west trending Salzach Valley at the northern rim of the Central Alps of Austria has long been known to host anomalously warm springs emerging from a highly deformed calcite marble (Klammkalk). This unit also hosts cavities whose shapes suggest a hydrothermal karst origin and which are lined by calcite spar. We report here petrographic and isotopic evidence suggesting that dissolution by ascending low-temperature thermal waters also played an important role in the origin of a large cave in this region, Entrische Kirche.