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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 meandering karren is these are small grooves cut directly into the rock surface, generally a few centimeters wide and deep. their size remains the same or decreases downslope and usually exhibit small meanders with typical undercut slopes and slip-off slopes. they frequently appear in the bottom of larger grooves such as rinnenkarren [3]. see also wall karren; humus-water grooves. synonym: (german.) maanderkarren.?

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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 paragenesis (Keyword) returned 25 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 25
ASSOCIATION OF TEPEES AND PALEOKARST IN THE LADINIAN CALCARE-ROSSO (SOUTHERN ALPS, ITALY), 1994, Mutti M. ,
The Ladinian Calcare Rosso of the Southern Alps provides a rare opportunity to examine the temporal relationships between tepees and palaeokarst. This unit comprises peritidal strata pervasively deformed into tepees, repeatedly capped by palaeokarst surfaces mantled by terra rossa. Palaeokarsts, characterized by a regional distribution across the Southern Alps, occur at the base and at the top of the unit. Local palaeokarsts, confined to this part of the platform, occur within the Calcare Rosso and strongly affected depositional facies. Tepee deformation ranges from simple antiformal structures (peritidal tepecs) to composite breccias floating in synsedimentary cements and internal sediments (senile tepees). Peritidal tepees commonly occur at the top of one peritidal cycle, in association with subaerial exposure at the cycle top, while senile tepees affect several peritidal cycles, and are always capped by a palaeokarst surface. Cements and internal sediments form up to 80% of the total rock volume of senile tepees. The paragenesis of senile tepees is extremely complex and records several, superimposed episodes of dissolution, cement precipitation (fibrous cements, laminated crusts, mega-rays) and deposition of internal sediments (marine sediment and terra rossa). Petrographical observations and stable isotope geochemistry indicate that cements associated with senile tepees precipitated in a coastal karstic environment under frequently changing conditions, ranging from marine to meteoric, and were altered soon after precipitation in the presence of either meteoric or mixed marine/meteoric waters. Stable isotope data for the cements and the host rock show the influence of meteoric water (average deltaO-18 = - 5.8 parts per thousand), while strontium isotopes (average Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.707891) indicate that cements were precipitated and altered in the presence of marine Triassic waters. Field relationships, sedimentological associations and paragenetic sequences document that formation of senile tepees was coeval with karsting. Senile tepees formed in a karst-dominated environment in the presence of extensive meteoric water circulation, in contrast to previous interpretations that tepees formed in arid environments, under the influence of vadose diagenesis. Tepees initiated in a peritidal setting when subaerial exposure led to the formation of sheet cracks and up-buckling of strata. This porosity acted as a later conduit for either meteoric or mixed marine/meteoric fluids, when a karst system developed in association with prolonged subaerial exposure. Relative sea level variations, inducing changes in the water table, played a key role in exposing the peritidal cycles to marine, mixed marine/meteoric and meteoric diagenetic environments leading to the formation of senile tepees. The formation and preservation in the stratigraphic record of vertically stacked senile tepees implies that they formed during an overall period of transgression, punctuated by different orders of sea level variations, which allowed formation and later freezing of the cave infills

Solutional and erosional morphology, 2000, Lauritzen Se. , Lundberg J.
Caves are produced through the action of speleogenetic agents acting under various constraints to produce speleogenetic facies. These facies, expressed at the meso- and micro-scale, reflect the major and minor speleogenetic agents that operated on that cave; they also reflect the history of the cave, both during speleogenesis proper and during the post-speleogenetic phase, in particular the most recent history. Geological control is evident through the association of caves with guiding voids (the singularities that govern permeability) and passage shape with rock chemistry (solubility). Hydrological control guides the locus and direction of dissolution; phreatic conditions support omnidirectional dissolution and thus hydraulically controlled tubular forms, while vadose conditions allow only unidirectional dissolution and thus gravity-controlled canyon forms and karren-like features. Of the micro-forms, scallops are specific flow indicators that yield both directional and quantitative information like flow rates and various hydraulic parameters specific to the cave passages. The presence of a sediment fill may further direct corrosion; in the phreatic zone this causes paragenesis; in the vadose zone, sediments cause lateral undercutting and eventually collapse. Vadose streams display many of the forms of surface streams, such as migrating meanders, entrenchment, rock-mill pot-holes, and waterfalls. Vadose shafts, dome-pits and condensation-corrosional forms are perhaps specific to the cave enviroment. The various vadose, phreatic and certain water-table-specific forms are, in combination, powerful methods for reconstructing phases of speleogenesis as well as external base levels. Combined with speleothem dating techniques, they become important methods for determining erosion rates and landscape evolution.

Baiyun cave in Naigu Shilin, Yunnan karst, China, 2001, Sebela S. , Slabe T. , Kogovsek J. , Liu H. , Pruner P. ,
The Baiyun cave is a 380 m long karst cave in the Naigu Shilin, situated 70 km southeast of Kunming, Yunnan Province, China. The prevailing orientations of the cave passages are N110 degrees -120 degreesE and NO degrees -IO degreesW and those of the fissures in the cave are N30 degrees -40 degreesW and N20 degrees -30 degreesW. The cave is developed in the thick-bedded Lower Permian Qixia Formation. The cave has an active water flow and is currently at the near water-table stage. There are large amounts of different infills of cave sediments. The cave shows different stages of paragenesis. The palaeomagnetic analysis of cave sediments shows that their ages are younger than 780 ka B.P. (the Brunhes Chron). The upper part of the sampled profile belongs to the reverse Blake event (112.3-117.9 ka B.P.). The formation of the Baiyun cave is directly connected with the development of the Naigu Shilin. The formation of karst underground and surface features depends on the regional tectonic deformation and the Cenozoic extension of the study area

Paleokarst: cessation and rebirth?, 2003, Osborne, R. A. L.

The transformation of active karst into paleokarst by burial, isolation or cessation of process is not necessarily permanent. Paleokarst structures and landforms can be and are exhumed or reactivated, sometimes on numerous occasions. There is not a great deal of similarity between the localities where exhumation and reactivation of paleokarst has been reported. Exhumation and reactivation however have not been reported in many karsts that are similar to those where they have been reported. Exhumation and reactivation appears to be favoured in four situations: - the margins of sedimentary basins overlying grand unconformities, the axes of anticlines, narrow steeply-dipping impounded karsts and where paleokarst fill contains unstable minerals. Six processes are principally responsible for exhumation and reactivation: - per-ascensum speleogenesis, eustatic sea level changes, paragenesis, high density speleogenesis, glaciation, and large-scale meteoric speleogenesis. On some occasions karst landforms, particularly caves or segments of caves, may survive intact and unfilled for geologically significant periods of time. These may be completely isolated from the surface environment, or become reactivated by entrance formation due to breakdown, surface lowering or headward erosion. The intersection and reactivation of ancient open cavities and of exhumed cavities by “modern” caves may be much more common than is currently recognised. If caves have histories as long and as complex as the karsts in which they are developed then many “modern” caves will be composite features composed of interconnected “modern”, relict and exhumed cavities excavated at different times by different processes. Unravelling these histories is the new challenge facing cave science. It will require caves to be studied in a much more detailed, thorough and systematic manner and will also require the application of new technologies in surveying, analysis and dating


Paragenesis, 2004, Farrant A.

Cavity-based secondary mineralization in volcanic tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: a new type of the polymineral vadose speleothem, or a hydrothermal deposit?, 2005, Dublyansky Y. V. , Smirnov S. Z.
Secondary minerals (calcite, chalcedony, quartz, opal, fl uorite, heulandite, strontianite) residing in open cavities in the Miocene rhyolite tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada have been interpreted by some researchers as "speleothemic" formations, deposited as a result of downward infiltration of meteoric waters (DOE, 2001, Whelan et al., 2002). The major mineral of the paragenesis, calcite, shows spectacular trend of the textural and crystal morphology change: from anhedral granular occurrences, through (optional) platelet, bladed and scepter varieties, to euhedral blocky morphologies. The trend is consistent with the overall decrease in the supersaturation of the mineral forming solution. Stable isotope properties of calcite evolve from 13C-enriched (?13C = +4 to +9 PDB) at early stages of growth to 13C-depleted (-5 to -10 ) at late stages. The non-cyclic character of the isotope record and extreme variations of isotopic values argue against the meteoric origin of mineral forming fluids. The ?13C >4 PDB require isotope partitioning between dissolved CO2 and CH4, which is only possible in reducing anoxic environment, but not in aerated vadose zone. Fluid inclusions studied in calcite, quartz and fluorite revealed that the minerals were deposited from thermal solutions. The temperatures were higher at early stages of mineral growth (60 to 85oC) and declined with time. Most late-stage calcites contain only all-liquid inclusions, suggesting temperatures less than ca. 35-50oC. Minerals collected close to the major fault show the highest temperatures. Gases trapped in fluid inclusions are dominated by CO2 and CH4; Raman spectrometry results suggest the presence of aromatic/cyclic hydrocarbon gases. The gas chemistry, thus, also indicates reduced (anoxic) character of the mineral forming fluids. Secondary minerals at Yucca Mountain have likely formed during the short-term invasion(s) of the deep-seated aqueous fluids into the vadose zone. Following the invasion, fluids, initially equilibrated with the deep (reduced, anoxic) environment, evolved toward equilibrium with the new environment (cooling, degassing, mixing with shallow oxidizing waters, etc.). While some features of mineralization are compatible with the "speleothemic" or "meteoric infiltration" model, most of the evidence does not lend itself to rational explanation within this model.

A terminological matter: paragenesis, antigravitative erosion or antigravitational erosion ?, 2009, Pasini G.
In the speleological literature three terms are utilized to designate the ascending erosion: paragenesis (= paragnsis, coined in 1968), antigravitative erosion (= erosione antigravitativa, coined in 1966) and antigravitational erosion (wrong English translation of the Italian term erosione antigravitativa, utilized later on). The term paragenesis should be abandoned because of the priority of the term erosione antigravitativa - on the ground of the law of priority and because of its ambiguous etimology. On the other hand, the term antigravitational erosion should be forsaken in favour of the term antigravitative erosion, given the meaning that the terms gravitation and gravity have in Physics. Therefore, to designate the phenomenon of the ascending erosion there would be nothing left but the term antigravitative erosion. The antigravitative erosion process and its recognizability are illustrated. Examples of caves with evident antigravitative erosion phenomena, developed in different karstifiable rocks and in several parts of the world, are given. It is recalled that the antigravitative erosion is a phenomenon well-known since 1942 and widely proven and supported, and that it is relatively easy in many cases - to recognize the antigravitative origin of karstic passages. It is stressed that the antigravitative erosion is an important phenomenon, exclusive of the karstic caves and unique in nature.

MORPHOLOGY AND GENESIS OF THE MAIN ORE BODY AT NANISIVIKZINC/LEAD MINE, BAFFIN ISLAND, CANADA: AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLEOF PARAGENETIC DISSOLUTION OF CARBONATE BEDROCKS WITHPENE-CONTEMPORANEOUS PRECIPITATION OF SULFIDES AND GANGUEMINERALS, 2009, Ford D.

Nanisivik (Inuit – “the place where they find things’) zinc/lead mine is located at Lat. 73o N in northwestern Baf?n Island. The host rock is a Proterozoic platform carbonate 260-800 m thick, medium to massively bedded and pervasively dolomitized. It rests on mixed shales and shaly dolomites, and is overlain by 150+ m of further shales functioning as an aquitard. These formations were buried by later Proterozoic strata, uplifted, eroded and buried again in a Cambrian sedimentary basin. The ore-grade deposits are contained within a horst block of the dolomites dipping NW at 15o across it. Graben to the north and south are roofed in the overlying shales. The principal deposit, the Main Ore, is of zinc, lead and iron sul?de precipitates plus gangue minerals, chie?y secondary dolomite. It extends for three km E-W along the horst. It is horizontal, at ~300 m above sea level and terminated at both ends by modern valley entrenchments. The Main Ore body is consistently ~100 m in width and ?ve-seven m in depth. This wide ceiling is a nearly planar, horizontal corrosion bevel. The sulfdes scarcely extend above it anywhere. Within the Main Ore two or more generations of tapered ?ns of dolomite in situ extend from both south (updip) and north (downdip) walls into the cavity. Fin surfaces truncate the bedding. Edges of ?ns are sinuous, some meandering with a wavelength of ~50 m. Very sharp, horizontal corrosion notches 20-30 cm high extend into the dolomite walls for at least 20 m (the limit of deep crosscuts in the mine). They are ?lled with layered pyrites which continue out into the ore body as regular sheets truncating earlier, dipping mineral layers until they themselves are truncated by later fillings. One exceptional notch, one meter deep, is at least 350 m in breadth. The ore displays four sedimentary modes: (i) regular layers settled or precipitated onto the cavity floor; (ii) chaotic polymict breccias suggestive of channel cut-and-?ll episodes; (iii) the horizontal pyrite sheets in corrosion notches; (iv) minor metasomatic replacements of dolomite. The ore cavity was created by paragenesis in a channel ?ow mode, with ore and gangue deposition on the floor taking place in tandem with dissolutional cavity creation upwards,. Principal deposition took place when a fluid interface could be rigorously maintained. Fluid inclusions indicate derivation of the metals from exchange reactions with metalliferous sediments (the underlying shales), indicating low water/rock ratios and moderate temperatures. The ore fluids were similar to oil field brines. Sulfur isotope fractionations indicate temperatures of 90-150 +/-40o C, suggesting that the Main Ore formed along a gas/brine interface at a depth of at least 1600 m as a consequence of ?uid expulsion in the subsiding Cambrian sedimentary basin.


A terminological matter: paragenesis, antigravitative erosion or antigravitational erosion?, 2009, Pasini, G.

In the speleological literature three terms are utilized to designate the “ascending erosion”: paragenesis (= paragénésis, coined in 1968), antigravitative erosion (= erosione antigravitativa, coined in 1966) and antigravitational erosion (wrong English translation of the Italian term erosione antigravitativa, utilized later on). The term paragenesis should be abandoned because of the priority of the term erosione antigravitativa - on the ground of the “law of priority” – and because of its ambiguous etimology. On the other hand, the term antigravitational erosion should be forsaken in favour of the term antigravitative erosion, given the meaning that the terms gravitation and gravity have in Physics. Therefore, to designate the phenomenon of the “ascending erosion” there would be nothing left but the term antigravitative erosion. The antigravitative erosion process and its recognizability are illustrated. Examples of caves with evident antigravitative erosion phenomena, developed in different karstifiable rocks and in several parts of the world, are given. It is recalled that the antigravitative erosion is a phenomenon well-known since 1942 and widely proven and supported, and that it is relatively easy – in many cases - to recognize the antigravitative origin of karstic passages. It is stressed that the antigravitative erosion is an important phenomenon, exclusive of the karstic caves and unique in nature.


Pennsylvanian paleokarst and cave fills from northern Illinois, USA: a window into Late Carboniferous environments and landscapes, 2009, Plotnick R. E. , Kenig F. , Scott A. C, . Glasspool I. J, . Eble C. F. , Lang W. J.

A new fault-associated paleokarst and cave fill has been discovered in north-central Illinois, emplaced in Ordovician limestones. The palcokarst preserves many original solution features, such as oriented grooves, pendants, and half tubes. Many of the ancient cave passages have rounded bottoms and flat roofs. Together these suggest that the original elliptical, phreatic cave passages grew upward by paragenesis, in which the floor of the cave is protected from dissolution by the presence of sediment, while the ceiling of the cave grows upward by dissolution. The fill is dated as Moscovian (Middle Pennsylvanian) based on palynological data and can be correlated with the Tradewater Formation. The fills are composed of a fining-upward sequence of relatively unindurated elastic sediments that contain well-preserved plant fossils, most notably voltzialean conifer and cordaite remains, representative of vegetation living in well-drained areas. Many of the macrofossils are fragmentary but charcoalified and, along with the megaspores, are uncompressed and preserve exceptional morphological and anatomical data. The presence of abundant charcoal in the fills, as well as diagnostic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, indicates significant wildfire activity in this area during this interval.


Geomorphologische Untersuchung und genetische Interpretation der Dachstein- Mammuthhle (sterreich), 2010, Plan L. , Xaver A.
The speleogenesis of Dachstein-Mammuthhle, the third-longest cave system in the Northern Calcareous Alps, has been discussed controversially in the past. Using morphologic mapping and morphometric data of the central parts of the cave in combination with modern speleogenetic models a re-evaluation of its development is attempted. The geometry of the cave and several small-scale features (e.g., scallops, karren, ceiling meanders), which date back to the early history of the cave formation, lead to the following interpretion: old phreatic parts (galleries, mazes, and some pits) developed under epiphreatic conditions during flood events, followed by younger, vadose canyon-shaft-systems. Scallops and sedimentary structures indicate a general westward flow direction. Sediments played an important role during the formation of the profiles, i.e. the profiles expanded upward (paragenesis) because the floor of the galleries was sealed by sediments, and only part of the cross section, as it can be seen today after removal of these sediments, was occupied by water. This is relevant for calculations of the palaeodischarge from mean scallop lengths and cross-section areas. Paragenesis can only be ruled out for the origin of the keyhole profile of the so-called Canyon (near the Westeingang) and the palaeodischarge was estimated to 16 m/s. This, however, was probably only a fraction of the total discharge of this system as several additional large galleries occur at the same cave level. The former catchment area was probably located south of todays Northern Calcareous Alps

Fluid flow reconstruction in karstified Panormide platform limestones (north-central Sicily): Implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Sicilian fold and thrust belt, 2010, Dewever B. , Berwouts I. , Swennen R. , Breesch L. , Ellam R. M.

Diagenetic analysis based on field and petrographic observations, isotope and microthermometric data was used to reconstruct the fluid flow history of the Cretaceous shallow water limestones from the Panormide platform exposed in north-central Sicily. Analysis focused on diagenetic products in cavities and dissolution enlarged fractures of the karstified limestones that occur just below a regional unconformity. The fluid flow history could be broken down into five stages that were linked to the kinematic and burial history of the region. (1) Petrography (zoned cathodoluminescence and speleothem textures) and stable isotopes (6.5 PDB &/Tm_2 to _5 _C), but at increasingly higher temperatures (Th 60–120 _C). This has been interpreted as precipitation during Oligocene foredeep burial. (4) Hot (Th 130–180 _C), low saline (Tm he low salinity and relatively high d18OSMOW signatures of the fluids are interpreted to be the result of clay dewatering reactions. The presence of bitumen and associated fluorite with hydrocarbon inclusions at this stage in the paragenesis constrains the timing of oil migration in the region. (5) Finally, high saline fluids with elevated 87Sr/86Sr (0.7095–0.7105) signatures invaded the karst system. This last fluid flow event was possibly coeval with localized dolomitization and calcite cementation along high-angle faults of Pliocene age, as suggested by identical radiogenic signatures of these diagenetic products.


Imprints of hydrocarbon-bearing basinal fluids on a karst system: mineralogical and fluid inclusion studies from the Buda Hills, Hungary, 2011, Poros Zsofia, Mindszenty Andrea, Molnar Ferenc, Pironon Jacques, Gyori Orsolya, Ronchi Paola, Szekeres Zoltan

Calcite veins and related sulphate–sulphide mineralisation are common in the Buda Hills. Also, abundant hypogenic caves are found along fractures filled with these minerals pointing to the fact that young cave-forming fluids migrated along the same fractures as the older mineralising fluids did. The studied vein-filling paragenesis consists of calcite, barite, fluorite and sulphides. The strike of fractures is consistent—NNW–SSE—concluding a latest Early Miocene maximum age for the formation of fracture-filling minerals. Calcite crystals contain coeval primary, hydrocarbon-bearing- and aqueous inclusions indicating that also hydrocarbons have migrated together with the mineralising fluids. Hydrocarbon inclusions are described here for the first time from the Buda Hills. Mixed inclusions, i.e., petroleum with ‘water-tail’, were also detected, indicating that transcrystalline water migration took place. The coexistence of aqueous and petroleum inclusions permitted to establish the entrapment temperature (80°C) and pressure (85 bar) of the fluid and thus also the thickness of sediments, having been eroded since latest Early Miocene times, was calculated (800 m). Low salinity of the fluids (<1.7 NaCl eq. wt%) implies that hydrocarbon-bearing fluids were diluted by regional karst water. FT-IR investigations revealed that CO2 and CH4 are associated with hydrocarbons. Groundwater also contains small amounts of HC and related gases on the basin side even today. Based on the location of the paleo- and recent hydrocarbon indications, identical migration pathways were reconstructed for both systems. Hydrocarbon-bearing fluids are supposed to have migrated north-westward from the basin east to the Buda Hills from the Miocene on.


Role of sediment in speleogenesis; sedimentation and paragenesis, 2011, Farrant Andrew R. , Smart Peter L.

Although the effects of sedimentation in caves have been recognised for many years, its role in speleogenesis is frequently overlooked. Influxes of sediment into a cave system fundamentally alter the way cave passages develop, either by alluviation in a vadose environment, forcing lateral corrosion and the development of notches, or by upwards dissolution in a phreatic environment through a process known as paragenesis. Sediment influxes affect the hydrological functioning of a karst aquifer by changing the way conduits behave and subsequently develop both in plan and long section.

Here we give an overview of the mechanisms of cave sedimentation and describe how the process of alluviation and paragenesis affect speleogenesis. A characteristic suite of meso- and micro-scale dissolutional features can be used to recognise paragenetic development, which is reviewed here. In a vadose environment these include alluvial notches, whilst in a phreatic environment, half tubes, anastomoses and pendants, bedrock fins and paragenetic dissolution ramps result. Using these to identify phases of sedimentation and paragenesis is crucial for reconstructing denudation chronologies from cave deposits. We suggest that sedimentation and paragenesis are most likely to occur in certain geomorphological situations, such as ice marginal and periglacial environments, beneath thick residual soils and where rivers can transport fluvial sediment into a cave, either via stream sinks or back-flooding.


Revisiting three minerals from Cioclovina Cave (Romania), 2011, Onac Bogdan P. , Effenberger Herta S. , Collins Nathan C. , Kearns Joe B. , Breban Radu C.

Cioclovina Cave in Romania’s Southern Carpathians is a world-renowned cave site for its paleontological, anthropological, and mineralogical (type locality of ardealite) findings. To date, over 25 mineral species have been documented, some unusual for a cave environment. This paper presents details on the occurrence of collinsite [Ca2(Mg,Fe2+)(PO4)2·2H2O], atacamite [Cu22+Cl(OH)3], and kröhnkite [Na2Cu2+(SO4)2·2H2O] based on single-crystal X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, stable isotope analyses, and scanning electron microscope imaging. This is the first reported occurrence of kröhnkite in a cave environment. Atacamite represents the weathering product (in the presence of Lower-Cretaceous limestone-derived chlorine) of copper minerals washed into the cave from nearby ore bodies. Atacamite, and kröhnkite have similar sources for copper and chlorine, whereas sodium probably originates from weathered Precambrian and Permian detrital rocks. Collinsite is believed to have precipitated from bat guano in a damp, near-neutral pH environment. The results show the following sequence of precipitation: ardealite-brushite-(gypsum)-atacamite-kröhnkite. This suggests that the observed mineral paragenesis is controlled by the neutralization potential of the host-rock mineralogy and the concentrations of Ca, Cl, Cu, and Na.


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