Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms
Based on "A Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology with Special to Environmental Karst Hydrology" EPA/600/R-02/003, 2002, EPA: Washington, DC., Speleogenesis Glossary includes 2699 cave & karst terms
Minerals containing the SO4 2- radical, formed by precipitation from water. The most common are the anhydrous and hydrated calcium sulfates, anhydrite (CaSO4) and gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O). Sulfates are deposited as a generally minor component of most carbonate successions, but due to their high solubility they may not survive subsequent dissolution by ground water. Even if they survive subsequent dissolution by ground water. Even if they survive at depth, they tend to dissolve as they are raised nearer to the surface following uplift and erosion of overburden. Removal of sulfates by dissolution may contribute to the early establishment of secondary permeability in limestone sequences. Sulfate solutions have a limited corrosional effect upon calcium carbonate, but may also be oxidized to produce sulphuric acid, which is highly corrosive of limestone.