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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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Featured article from karst/cave journal

Cave and Karst Science, 2010, Vol 37, Issue 1, p. 9-22
Derbyshire pipe veins - deep-seated speleogenesis

In the Derbyshire lead-mining field pipe veins are those mineral deposits developed along the bedding or along other nearly horizontal discontinuities in the Carboniferous Limestone. The pipes commonly show evidence of pre-mineralization caverns developed by dissolution in slow-moving hydrothermal waters derived from adjacent basins under changing tectonic stress regimes, aided by seismic pumping from repeated fault movements. Other pipes were developed at the base of regionally dolomitized limestones, again preceding mineralization. In late Carboniferous times the caverns were filled or lined with the hydrothermal Pb-Zn-F-Ba-Ca mineral suite. In some pipes post-mineralization dissolution has led to partial collapse of the mineral linings. Evidence of vadose cave development is largely limited to the Blue John pipes of Treak Cliff at Castleton, but in the Winster and Matlock area there are pipes with fills of clastic sediment largely of glacial outwash character.