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Speleogenesis issues:

Republished from Cave & Karst Science 29 (1), 2002, 5-12. Open link

UIS KHS Commission
Speleogenesis along sub-vertical joints: A model of plateau karst shaft development: A case study: the Dolný Vrch Plateau (Slovak Republic)

Speleogenesis of narrow and relatively deep karst shafts (avens) was studied in the Slovak part of the Dolný Vrch Plateau (the Slovak Karst Biosphere Reserve, SE Slovakia). Most of the 211 shafts and shaft-related depressions located on the plateau have similar characteristics and no shaft has a known accessible connection to an active horizontal cave system. Dominant tectonic fractures are sub-vertical (sloping 70 - 90°) in most of the shafts. Several microforms, e.g. scallop-like forms, wall troughs or networks of protruding veins, evidence the main speleogenetic processes.
Water film dissolution extends the fractures, usually at the base of the epikarstic zone (Klimchouk, 1995), while the scallop-like forms develop. Then corrosive and erosive action of dripping water takes place and the wall troughs develop downwards - the shaft develops progressively now. Increased carbon dioxide concentration makes the solutions more aggressive and enables the processes working on the shaft bottoms. Water film action and selective condensation corrosion are responsible for upward shaft development. Later, shafts open to the surface, interacting with the effects of surface denudation.