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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 cross fault is a geologic fault that is oblique or at right angles to the strike direction of the beds.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
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 reduction (Keyword) returned 119 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 106 to 119 of 119
Hypogene Processes of the Gypsum Beds in Sangaw Sinkholes, Kurdistan Region, NE-Iraq, 2011, Ameen, B. M.

The Sangaw region is located at the western part of Zagros orogenic belt at the boundary between Low and High Folded Zones, Sulaimani governorate in Kurdistan region. The area characterized by low amplitude folds that are trending northwest southeast and arranged in en echelon pattern. The exposed formations are Eocene Pila Spi (limestone), middle Miocene Fat`ha(lagoon) and Upper Fars (clastics) formations. Many large and small sinkholes are found around Ashdagh anticline; some of them about 50 m in diameter and about 30 m deep. Some are developed into complicated cave systems with collaps blocks and breccias in addition to narrow passages and fissures. The largest of them is located directly to the west of Darzilla village at the southeastern plunge of Ashdagh anticline. The sinkholes occur in Fat`ha and in the Pila Spi Formations. The walls of the sinkholes are covered by secondary gypsum, sulfur, bitumen and secondary calcite. Inside the cave collapse, breccias and blocks with lensoidal stratified clayey sediments as weathering product could be seen. The water is acidic (pH=4) inside the caves and discharges as large spring (200L/S) with white milky color; it is called in the local Kurdish language, “Awa Spi “which means white stream. The weathering of the carbonate rocks is intense inside the cave and appears as honeycombs and rills mark which have very rough surface with dull color. The sinkholes were produced from the dissolution of thick gypsum and limestone beds. The origin of these caves has been proposed to be hypogenic speleogenesis due to the presence of gypsum and bitumen. These materials with the aid of bacteria enrich the water with H2S which aciditfies the water and precipitates the sulfur and secondary gypsum on the cave wall. The formation of H2SO4 by oxidaton of H2S is the main reason that aid the sinkhole hypogene generation in Sangaw area. A realistic model is drawn to interpret and connect the following: 1- The stratigraphy and structure of the area encourage the generation of underground stagnant pond suitable for reacting with the emanating H2S necessary for the hypogene generation of the sinkholes and precipitation of secondary native sulfur and gypsum.2- dissolution of gypsum and its reduction by bacteria. 3- upward migration of bitumen from nearby oil traps(hydrocarbon accumulation).


Managing the Survey Information of the Caves of Judbarra / Gregory National Park, Northern Territory, 2012, Kershaw, Bob

The extensive caves in the Judbarra / Gregory National Park have been surveyed using traditional techniques since 1990. The techniques used have developed over time, as new technologies have become available to cavers. With the introduction of hardware such as Global Positioning System handheld units and electronic survey equipment, surveying has become easier, especially in small physically restricting passages. The use of computers and cave data reduction software since the mid-1990s has automated the calculation and plotting of survey shot data. Software that enables the production of maps is time-consuming to learn to use; however, the maps are of high quality, and are easy to maintain and adjust as subsequent expeditions continue to add cave survey data. As the amount of data and the number of users of the data grow, a set of protocols has been developed to ensure the integrity and security of a master data set.


Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of the Middle Miocene Badenian gypsum-associated limestones of West Ukraine, 2012, Peryt T. M. , Durakiewicz T. , Peryt D. , Poberezhskyy A.

The middle Miocene Badenian basin of the Carpathian Foredeep is characterized by complex sedimentary and diagenetic carbonate-evaporite transitions. Six locations have been selected to evaluate the controls on the carbonand oxygen isotopic composition of the Badenian gypsum-associated limestones of the Tyras Formation in WestUkraine. At three locations marine limestones overlie the gypsum, at one location (Anadoly) the gypsum-associatedlimestones are polygenic, and at two localities (Pyshchatyntsi and Lozyna) gypsum deposits are lacking. Thestudied limestones have originated as primary, mostly peloidal carbonates as well as secondary carbonates formed by hypogene sulphate calcitisation. They show a wide range of δ13C (from from -0.9‰ to -39.8‰) and δ18O values(from 0.9‰ to -12.2‰). The Badenian limestones formed in marine environments (either as deposits accumulatedat the bottom of the sea or forming the infillings of solution cavities within gypsum) have less negative δ18O values compared to predominantly diagenetic formations. Wide ranges and usually very negative δ13C values andlow δ18O values of those limestones indicate that they suffered important meteoric diagenesis as supported bycommon sparitic fabrics. In addition, a large range of δ13C values even in the group of samples characterized byless-negative δ18O values shows that bacterial sulphate reduction and methane oxidation were active processes inthe pore fluids of the Tyras Formation. Very low carbon isotopic compositions (δ13C values from -22 to -40‰) of some sparitic limestones in the studied sections indicate the occurrence of oxidized methane within the diagenetic environment. Accordingly, the isotopic signatures of the studied limestones are a combination of both primary and secondary processes, the latter having a primordial importance. The common occurrence of similar negative δ13Cand δ18O values in evaporite-related carbonates in other Miocene evaporite basins suggest that extensive dissolution-reprecipitation in diagenetic or vadose-phreatic environments were common in evaporite-related carbonates.


Carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of the Middle Miocene Badenian gypsum-associated limestones of West Ukraine, 2012, Peryt T. M. , Durakiewicz T. , Peryt D. , Poberezhskyy A.

The middle Miocene Badenian basin of the Carpathian Foredeep is characterized by complex sedimentary and diagenetic carbonate-evaporite transitions. Six locations have been selected to evaluate the controls on the carbonand oxygen isotopic composition of the Badenian gypsum-associated limestones of the Tyras Formation in WestUkraine. At three locations marine limestones overlie the gypsum, at one location (Anadoly) the gypsum-associatedlimestones are polygenic, and at two localities (Pyshchatyntsi and Lozyna) gypsum deposits are lacking. Thestudied limestones have originated as primary, mostly peloidal carbonates as well as secondary carbonates formed by hypogene sulphate calcitisation. They show a wide range of δ13C (from from -0.9‰ to -39.8‰) and δ18O values(from 0.9‰ to -12.2‰). The Badenian limestones formed in marine environments (either as deposits accumulatedat the bottom of the sea or forming the infillings of solution cavities within gypsum) have less negative δ18O values compared to predominantly diagenetic formations. Wide ranges and usually very negative δ13C values andlow δ18O values of those limestones indicate that they suffered important meteoric diagenesis as supported bycommon sparitic fabrics. In addition, a large range of δ13C values even in the group of samples characterized byless-negative δ18O values shows that bacterial sulphate reduction and methane oxidation were active processes inthe pore fluids of the Tyras Formation. Very low carbon isotopic compositions (δ13C values from -22 to -40‰) of some sparitic limestones in the studied sections indicate the occurrence of oxidized methane within the diagenetic environment. Accordingly, the isotopic signatures of the studied limestones are a combination of both primary and secondary processes, the latter having a primordial importance. The common occurrence of similar negative δ13Cand δ18O values in 


Natural and anthropogenic factors which influence aerosol distribution in Ingleborough Show Cave, UK, 2013, Smith A. C. , Wynn P. M. , Barker P. A.

Monitoring in Ingleborough Show Cave (N. Yorkshire, UK) reveals the influence of tourism and cave management techniques on different parameters of the cave atmosphere. Exploratory aerosol monitoring identified a 0.015 ± 0.03 mg/m3 (≈70%) reduction in airborne particulates within the first 75 meters of cave passage and two major aerosol sources within this artificially ventilated show cave. Autogenic aerosol production was identified close to active stream ways (increases of <0.012 mg/m3), suggesting the expulsion of water-borne aerosols during turbulent water flow. The presence of tourist groups also increased aerosol concentrations within the cave (increases of <0.021 mg/m3), either by transporting them from an allogenic source or through the disturbance of particles which had previously been deposited within the cave environment. Exploratory aerosol data is presented alongside more routine analytical monitoring, helping to contextualise the impact of cave management strategies on natural cave atmospherics.


Karst Geomorphology: Sulfur Karst Processes, 2013, Hose, L. D.

Recognition and understanding of the important role of sulfur redox processes in developing karst has grown over the last25 years with the discovery of remarkable sulfur-rich caves worldwide and advances in geomicrobiology. Recent work hasshown that microbes interact with hydrocarbons, calcium sulfate bedrock, magmatic fluids, and sulfide ore minerals toreduce gypsum/anhydrite to calcite, produce hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid, convert limestone to gypsum, in crease porosity in carbonate bedrocks, precipitate massive sulfur, and deposit Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) ores. These processesare most active in the shallow phreatic and vadose-phreatic subsurface, where transitions between aerobic and anaerobicconditions exist.


Evaluation of permeability and non-Darcy flow in vuggy macroporous limestone aquifer samples with lattice Boltzmann methods, 2013, Sukop M. C. , Huang H. , Alvarez P. F. , Variano E. A. , Cunningham K. J.

Lattice Boltzmann flow simulations provide a physics-based means of estimating intrinsic permeability from pore structure and accounting for inertial flow that leads to departures from Darcy’s law. Simulations were used to compute intrinsic permeability where standard measurement methods may fail and to provide better understanding of departures from Darcy’s law under field conditions. Simulations also investigated resolution issues. Computed tomography (CT) images were acquired at 0.8 mm interscan spacing for seven samples characterized by centimeter-scale biogenic vuggy macroporosity from the extremely transmissive sole-source carbonate karst Biscayne aquifer in southeastern Florida. Samples were as large as 0.3 m in length; 7–9 cm-scale-length subsamples were used for lattice Boltzmann computations. Macroporosity of the subsamples was as high as 81%. Matrix porosity was ignored in the simulations. Non-Darcy behavior led to a twofold reduction in apparent hydraulic conductivity as an applied hydraulic gradient increased to levels observed at regional scale within the Biscayne aquifer; larger reductions are expected under higher gradients near wells and canals. Thus, inertial flows and departures from Darcy’s law may occur under field conditions. Changes in apparent hydraulic conductivity with changes in head gradient computed with the lattice Boltzmann model closely fit the Darcy-Forchheimer equation allowing estimation of the Forchheimer parameter. CT-scan resolution appeared adequate to capture intrinsic permeability; however, departures from Darcy behavior were less detectable as resolution coarsened.


Marine seismic-reflection data from the southeastern Florida Platform: a case for hypogenic karst, 2013, Cunningham, Kevin J.

Recent acquisition of twenty marine seismic-reflection profiles suggests a hypogenic karst origin for the Key Biscayne sinkhole located on the seafloor of Miami Terrace at the southeastern part of Florida Platform. Analysis of the seismic-reflection data strongly suggest the submarine sinkhole was produced by dissolution and collapse of Plio(?)-Pleistocene age carbonate strata. A complex fault system that includes compres-sional reverse faults underlies the sinkhole, providing a physical system for the possible exchange of groundwater with the sinkhole. One seismic profile is suggestive of a mas-ter feeder pipe beneath the sinkhole. The feeder pipe is characterized by seismic-reflection configurations that resemble megabreccia and stratal collapse. The sinkhole is located at a depth of about 365 m below sea level. The record of sea-level change dur-ing the Plio(?)-Pleistocene and amount of subsidence of the Florida Platform during this span of time indicates that the sinkhole has always been submerged at a water depth of about 235 m or more. Thus, the near-surface epigenic karst paradigm can be ruled out. Possible hypogenic models for sinkhole formation include ascending fluids along the fault system, such as, dissolution related to the freshwater/saltwater mixing at a regional groundwater discharge site, or processes related to gases derived from gener-ation of hydrocarbons within deep Mesozoic strata. Hydrocarbon-related karstification provides several possible scenarios: (1) oxidation of deep oil-field derived hydrogen sulfide at or near the seafloor to form sulfuric acid, (2) reduction of Cretaceous or Paleocene anhydrite or both by oil-field methane to form hydrogen sulfide and later oxidation to form sulfuric acid, and (3) carbon-dioxide charged groundwater reacting to form carbonic acid. Further, anerobic microbes could form methane outside of a hy-drocarbon reservoir that ascends through anhydrite to form hydrogen sulfide and later oxidized to sulfuric acid.


KARST HAZARDS, 2013, Andreychouk Viacheslav, Tyc Andrzej

Karst hazards are an important example of natural hazards. They occur in areas with soluble rocks (carbonates, mostly limestone, dolomite, and chalk; sulfates, mostly gypsum and anhydrite; chlorides, mostly rock salt and potassium salt; and some silicates, quartzite and amorphous siliceous sediments) and efficient underground drainage. Karst is one of the environments in the world most vulnerable to natural and human-induced hazards. Karst hazards involve fast-acting processes, both on the surface and underground (e.g., collapse, subsidence, slope movements, and floods) and their effects (e.g., sinkholes, degraded aquifers, and land surface). They frequently cause serious damage in karst areas around the world, particularly in areas of intense human activity. Karst threat is the potential hazard to the life, health, or welfare of people and infrastructure, arising from the particular geological structure and function of karst terrains. The presence of underground cavities in the karst massif masks the threat from the hazards of collapse. This means that in some instances, the potential threats from karst, which are inherent features of the karst environment, become hazards. They range in category from potential to real. The term (karst hazards) is related to two other terms, used mostly in applied geosciences, particularly engineering geology – risk assessment and mitigation. Risk is the probability of an occurrence, and the consequential damages are defined as hazards. Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized hazard. Quantitative risk assessment requires calculations of two components: the magnitude of the potential loss and the probability that the loss will occur. Risk assessment is a step in a risk management. Mitigation may be defined as the reduction of risk to life and the environment by reducing the severity of collapse or subsidence, building subsidence-resistant constructions, restricting land use, etc.


Biospeleogenesis, 2013,

Microorganisms have shaped the world around us, yet their role in karst processes and speleogenesis remains poorly understood. Biospeleogenesis is the formation of subsurface cavities and caves through the activities of microorganisms, by either respiratory (redox) or metabolic chemistries. In carrying out energy acquisition and the metabolic processes of growth, microorganisms change the local geochemistry of the environment. Such activities can dramatically accelerate speleogenesis and even lead to cave formation in geochemical environments that would otherwise not be conducive to dissolution. The aim of this chapter is to help the reader understand the importance of microbial activity in geochemistry and how such activity can lead to the formation and morphology of caves. The chapter then describes the role that microorganisms are known to have in speleogenesis (carbonic and sulfuric acid biospeleogenesis), hints that such activity may be occurring in newly described cave systems (iron biospeleogenesis), and a potential role in other cave systems (quartzite biospeleogenesis). It is hoped that the reader will gain an understanding of what motivates microorganisms to dramatically change their environment, understand the potential geochemical conditions where such activity could occur, and allow the informed geologist to make predictive statements as to the potential of, and for, biospeleogenesis


HYPOGENE VS EPIGENE CAVES: THE SULFUR AND OXYGEN ISOTOPE FINGERPRINT, 2014, Onac, B. P.

The classical epigene speleogenetic model in which CO2 is considered the main source of acidity has been challenged over the last three decades by observations that revealed cave passages unrelated to groundwater drainage routes and surface topography. Most of these passages show unusual morphologies, such are cupolas, floor feeders (i.e., inlets for deep-seated fluids), and huge irregular-shaped rooms that terminate abruptly, and often a rich and diverse mineral association. A hypogenetic speleogenetic pathway was proposed for this group of caves.
The presence of abundant gypsum deposits in caves with one or more of the passage morphologies listed above, have prompted scientists to suggest a new theory (i.e., sulfuric acid speleogenesis, SAS) of cave development. In the hypogenic SAS model, the source of acidity is the sulfuric acid produced by oxidation of H2S (originating from sulfate reduction or petroleum reservoirs) near or at the water table, where it dissolves the limestone bedrock and precipitates extensive gypsum deposits. SAS is now thoroughly documented from numerous caves around the world, with the best examples coming from the Guadalupe Mountains (NM), Frasassi caves (Italy), selected caves in France, Cueva de Villa Luz (Mexico), and Cerna Valley (SW Romania).
To date, discrimination between epigene and hypogene speleogenetic pathways is made using cave morphology criteria, exotic mineral assemblages, and the predominantly negative δ34S values for the cave sulfates. This presentation highlights the role sulfur and oxygen stable isotope analyses have in discriminating between epigene and hypogene caves.
Based on a number of case studies in caves of the Cerna Valley (Romania), we found that relatively S-depleted isotopic composition of cave minerals alone does not provide enough information to clearly distinguish SAS from other complex speleogenetic pathways. In fact, δ34S values of SAS by-products depend not only on the source of the S, but also on the completeness of S redox reactions. Therefore, similar studies to this are needed to precisely diagnose SAS and to provide information on the S cycle in a given karst system.
Integrating cave mineralogy, passage morphology, and geochemical studies may shed light on the interpretation of polygenetic caves, offering clues to processes, mechanisms, and parameters involved in their genesis (sulfate-dominated).


Deep conduit flow in karst aquifers revisited, 2014, Kaufmann Georg, Gabrovšek Franci, Romanov Douchko

Caves formed in soluble rocks such as limestone, anhydrite, or gypsum are efficient drainage paths for water moving through the aquifer from the surface of the host rock towards a resurgence. The formation of caves is controlled by the physical solution through dissociation of the host rock by water or by the chemical solution through reactions of the host rock with water enriched with carbon dioxide. Caves as large underground voids are simply the end member of secondary porosity and conductivity characterizing the aquifer.

Caves and their relation to a present or past base level are found both close to a past or present water table (water-table caves) and extending far below a past or present water table (bathy-phreatic caves). One explanation for this different speleogenetic evolution is the structural control: Fractures and bedding partings are preferentially enlarged around more prominent faults, thus the fracture density in the host rock controls the speleogenetic evolution. This widely accepted explanation [e.g. Ford and Ewers, 1978] can be extended by adding other controls, e.g. a hydraulic control: As temperature generally increases with depth, density and viscosity of water change, and particularly the reduction of viscosity due to the increase in temperature enhances flow. This hypothesis was proposed by Worthington [2001, 2004] as a major controlling factor for the evolution of deep-bathyphreatic caves.

We compare the efficiency of structural and hydraulic control on the evolution of a cave passage by numerical means, adding a third control, the chemical control to address the change in solubility of the circulating water with depth. Our results show that the increase in flow through deep bathy-phreatic passages due to the decrease in viscosity is by far outweighted by effects such as the decrease in fracture width with depth due to lithostatic stress and the decrease in solubility with depth. Hence, the existence of deep bathy-phreatic cave passages is more likely to be controlled by the structural effect of prominent faults.


The fate of CO2 derived from thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) and effect of TSR on carbonate porosity and permeability, Sichuan Basin, China, 2015, Hao Fang, Zhang Xuefeng, Wang Cunwu, Li Pingping, Guo Tonglou, Zou Huayao, Zhu Yangming, Liu Jianzhang, Cai Zhongxian

This article discusses the role ofmethane in thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR), the fate of TSR-derived CO2 and the effect of TSR on reservoir porosity and permeability, and the causes of the anomalously high porosity and permeability in the Lower Triassic soured carbonate gas reservoirs in the northeast Sichuan Basin, southwest China. The Lower Triassic carbonate reservoirs were buried to a depth of about 7000 m and experienced maximum temperatures up to 220 °C before having been uplifted to the present-day depths of 4800 to 5500 m, but they still possess porosities up to 28.9% and permeabilities up to 3360 md. The present-day dry gas reservoirs evolved from a paleo-oil accumulation and experienced varying degrees of TSR alteration as evidenced from the abundant sulfur-rich solid bitumens and varying H2S and CO2 concentrations. TSR occurred mainly within the oil and condensate/wet gas windows, with liquid hydrocarbons and wet hydrocarbon gases acting as the dominant reducing agents responsible for sulfate reduction, sulfur-rich solid bitumen and H2S generation, and calcite precipitation. Methane-dominated TSR was a rather late event and had played a less significant role in altering the reservoirs. Intensive H2S and CO2 generation during TSR resulted in calcite cementation rather than carbonate dissolution, which implies that the amount of water generated during TSR was volumetrically insignificant. 13C-depleted CO2 derived from hydrocarbon oxidation preferentially reacted with Ca2+ to form isotopically light calcite cements, and the remaining CO2 re-equilibrated with the 13C-enriched water–rock systems with its δ13C rapidly approaching the values for the host rocks, which accounted for the observed heavy and relatively constant CO2 δ13C values. The carbonate reservoirs suffered from differential porosity loss by TSR-involved solid bitumen generation and TSR-induced calcite and pyrite precipitation. Intensive TSR significantly reduced the porosity and permeability of the intervals expected to have relatively high sulfate contents (the evaporative-platform dolostones and the platform-margin shoal dolostones immediately underlying the evaporative facies). Early oil charge and limited intensity of TSR alteration, together with very low phyllosilicate content and early dolomitization, accounted for the preservation of anomalously high porosities in the reservoirs above the paleo-oil/water contact. A closed system seems to have played a special role in preserving the high porosity in the gas zone reservoirs below the paleo-oil/water contact. The closed system, which is unfavorable for deep burial carbonate dissolution and secondary porosity generation, was favorable for the preservation of early-formed porosity in deeply buried carbonates. Especially sucrosic and vuggy dolostones have a high potential to preserve such porosity.


Sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) close to the water table: Examples from southern France, Austria, and Sicily, 2015,

Caves formed by rising sulfuric waters have been described from all over the world in a wide variety of climate  settings, from arid regions to mid-latitude and alpine areas. H2S is generally formed at depth by reduction of  sulfates in the presence of hydrocarbons and is transported in solution through the deep aquifers. In tectonically  disturbed areas major fractures eventually allow these H2S-bearing fluids to rise to the surface where oxidation  processes can become active producing sulfuric acid. This extremely strong acid reacts with the carbonate  bedrock creating caves, some of which are among the largest and most spectacular in the world. Production of  sulfuric acid mostly occurs at or close to the water table but also in subaerial conditions in moisture films and  droplets in the cave environment. These caves are generated at or immediately above the water table, where  condensation–corrosion processes are dominant, creating a set of characteristic meso- and micromorphologies.  Due to their close connection to the base level, these caves can also precisely record past hydrological and  geomorphological settings. Certain authigenic cave minerals, produced during the sulfuric acid speleogenesis  (SAS) phase, allow determination of the exact timing of speleogenesis. This paper deals with the morphological,  geochemical and mineralogical description of four very typical sulfuric acid water table caves in Europe: the  Grotte du Chat in the southern French Alps, the Acqua Fitusa Cave in Sicily (Italy), and the Bad Deutsch Altenburg  and Kraushöhle caves in Austria


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