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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. ...

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That reservoir evaporation is evaporation from the free surface of impounded water bodies [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 hypogenic caves (Keyword) returned 57 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 57
Distinction between epigenic and hypogenic maze caves, 2011, Palmer, Arthur N.

Certain caves formed by dissolution of bedrock have maze patterns composed of closed loops in which many intersecting fractures or pores have enlarged simultaneously. Their origin can be epigenic (by shallow circulation of meteoric groundwater) or hypogenic (by rising groundwater or production of deep-seated solutional aggressiveness). Epigenic mazes form by diffuse infiltration through a permeable insoluble caprock or by floodwater supplied by sinking streams. Most hypogenic caves involve deep sources of aggressiveness. Transverse hypogenic cave origin is a recently proposed concept in which groundwater of mainly meteoric origin rises across strata in the distal portions of large flow systems, to form mazes in soluble rock sandwiched between permeable but insoluble strata. The distinction between maze types is debated and is usually based on examination of diagnostic cave features and relation of caves to their regional setting. In this paper, the principles of mass transfer are applied to clarify the limits of each model, to show how cave origin is related to groundwater discharge, dissolution rate, and time. The results show that diffuse infiltration and floodwater can each form maze caves at geologically feasible rates (typically within 500 ka). Transverse hypogenic mazes in limestone, to enlarge significantly within 1 Ma, require an unusually high permeability of the non-carbonate beds (generally ≥ 10−4 cm/s), large discharge, and calcite saturation no greater than 90%, which is rare in deep diffuse flow in sedimentary rocks. Deep sources of aggressiveness are usually required. The origin of caves by transverse hypogenic flow is much more favorable in evaporite rocks than in carbonate rocks.


Ascending speleogenesis of Sokola Hill: a step towards a speleogenetic model of the Polish Jura, 2011, Gradziń, Ski M. , Hercman H. , Kiciń, Ska D. , Pura D. , Urban J.

The paper deals with the origin of caves in Sokola Hill (Polish Jura). the caves abound in solution cavities in the walls and ceilings, many of them arranged hierarchically, some others arranged in rising sets. blind chimneys and ceiling half-tubes are also present. these features collectively indicate that the caves originated under phreatic conditions by an ascending flow of water, probably of elevated temperature. Phreatic calcite spar, crystallized from water of elevated temperature, lines the cave walls. during the formation of the caves the Jurassic limestone aquifer was confined by impermeable cover. three possible scenarios for the origin of the caves are suggested. the first scenario points to formation of the caves during the Palaeogene prior to the removal of the confining cretaceous marls. the second connects the origin of the caves with regional palaeoflow driven by tectonic loading by carpathian nappes to the south, while the third refers to local topographically driven palaeoflow. both the second and third scenarios assume that the Polish Jura had a cover of Miocene impermeable clastics. All the scenarios account for the origin of the caves in Sokola Hill and explain the common occurrence of ascending caves throughout the Polish Jura.

In the subsequent stages of evolution the caves were partly filled with various deposits. conglomerates composed of Jurassic limestone clasts, quartz sands and sandstones are preserved as erosional remnants, locally covered by or interfingered with calcite flowstones. the clastic deposits were laid down by surface streams that invaded the caves earlier than 1.2 Ma. the caves were not invaded by water from Pleistocene glaciers, which is proved by the assemblage of heavy minerals in the cave clastics.


Fluid migration and porosity evolution in the Buda Hills, Hungary – selected examples from Triassic and Paleogene carbonate rocks/Dissertation submitted to the Ph.D. program for Geology and Geophysics at the Ph.D. School of Earth Sciences, Eötvös Lor, 2011, Poros, Zsófia

Porosity evolution of carbonates in the Buda Hills was the subject of this research. The aim was to provide an analogue for carbonate reservoirs that underwent multiphase diagenesis. Two major porosity types were recognized: 1) micro-porosity of powdered Triassic dolomites 2) cavernous and fracture porosity represented by the famous hypogenic cave system, hosted by Triassic and Paleogene carbonates. Powderization of dolomite is a general phenomenon in the Buda Hills, where its areal extent is exceptionally large compared to similar occurrences elsewhere in the world. Geochemistry and mineralogy of the dolomite remained constant throughout the disintegration. Powderization is absent at places where the Triassic dolomites are partially calcitized as a result of karst related dedolomitization. Since powderization was controlled by surface related processes and no geochemical changes were associated with it, disintegration of dolomite is interpreted as the result of sub-recent physical weathering, supposedly related to frost action.

Hypogenic caves are found along older calcite-barite-fluorite-sulphide veins, pointing to the fact that young cave-forming fluids migrated along the same fractures as the older mineralizing fluids did. Predominantly NNW–SSE strike of fractures concludes a latest Early Miocene maximum age for the fracture-filling minerals. Vein-calcite contains coeval primary, HC-bearing- and aqueous inclusions indicating that also HCs have migrated together with the mineralizing fluids. The coexistence of aqueous and HC 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 HC-bearing fluids were diluted by regional karst water. Fluid inclusion studies also revealed that aggressive gases (e.g. CO2, H2S) were associated with HCs and that these gases may have played a role in dissolution of the carbonates. Based on the location of the paleo- and recent HC indications, identical migration pathways were reconstructed for both systems. It was proved that HC-bearing fluids have migrated northwestward from the basin east to the Buda Hills from the Miocene on. Due to the uplift related intensification of groundwater circulation, the proportion of hydrothermal fluids has diminished in favour of cold meteoric fluids. Establishment of the actual porosity of the Buda Karst initiated in Miocene times and earlier diagenetic history of the carbonates affected only the powderization of dolomite, and it had no direct effect on the localization of hypogenic caves.


Speleogenesis, Hypogenic, 2012, Klimchouk, Alexander

Recognition of the cave development at depths below the near-surface environment, largely during mesogenesis by processes not directly related to the surface, signifies a major paradigm shift in karst science, previously overwhelmingly dominated by the epigene concepts and models. Such caves form by upwelling waters of meteoric and deeper origins driven by hydrostatic pressure and other sources of energy. They occur widely through the upper part of the Earth’s crust, although become available for direct study only when shifted to the shallow subsurface during uplift and erosion, or through mines or boreholes. Hypogenic caves form in different rocks in a wide range of geological and tectonic settings and include some of the largest known caves in the world. Hypogene karst is one of the fundamental categories of karst, at least of equal importance with more familiar epigenic karst. The more comprehensive approach to karst that emerges implies that speleogenesis should be viewed in time scales of the host rock life, in the context of its diagenetic evolution and the evolution of basin-scale groundwater circulation regimes and systems in response to tectonic processes and geomorphic development. The rapidly evolving deeper understanding of hypogene speleogenesis has broad implications for many applied fields such as prospecting and characterization of hydrocarbon reservoirs and mineral resources, groundwater management, geological engineering, and related activities.


Corrosion morphology and cave wall alteration in an Alpine sulfuric acid cave (Kraushöhle, Austria), 2012, Plan Lukas, Tschegg Cornelius, De Waele Jo Spö, Tl Christoph

Whereasmost karstic cavesworldwide are formed by carbonic acid, a small but significant number of sub-surface cavities are the product of sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). In the Eastern Alps, no cave has so far been attributed to this type. In this multidisciplinary studywe demonstrate that Kraushöhle in northern Styriawas indeed formed by SAS. The cave pattern shows individual chambers, 3D-mazes and blind galleries, as well as typical SAS morphologies such as cupolas, gypsum replacement pockets, corrosion notches and convection niches. “Ceiling pendant drip holes” are described here for the first time and these corrosion features are fully consistent with the SAS model. Other features of Kraushöhle include thick gypsum deposits with strongly depleted δ34S values and other minerals – mostly sulfates – indicating highly acidic conditions. We also studied acid–rock interaction processes giving rise to widespread corrosion and concomitant replacement by gypsum. Petrographic and geochemical analyses reveal the presence of a distinctive alteration layer of highly increased porosity at the interface between the host limestone and the secondary gypsum. Dissolution and replacement of the limestone was fast enough to prevent the development of C and O isotopic alteration halos but resulted in selective leaching of elements. This stable isotope signal is thus different from the pronounced isotope gradient commonly observed in CO2-dominated hypogenic caves. Petrographic observations reveal that the limestone–gypsum replacement was a nearly constant volume process.Whereasmost karstic cavesworldwide are formed by carbonic acid, a small but significant number of sub-surface cavities are the product of sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). In the Eastern Alps, no cave has so far been attributed to this type. In thismultidisciplinary studywe demonstrate that Kraushöhle in northern Styriawas indeed formed by SAS. The cave pattern shows individual chambers, 3D-mazes and blind galleries, as well as typical SAS morphologies such as cupolas, gypsum replacement pockets, corrosion notches and convection niches. “Ceiling pendant drip holes” are described here for the first time and these corrosion features are fully consistent with the SAS model. Other features of Kraushöhle include thick gypsum deposits with strongly depleted δ34S values and other minerals – mostly sulfates – indicating highly acidic conditions. We also studied acid–rock interaction processes giving rise to widespread corrosion and concomitant replacement by gypsum. Petrographic and geochemical analyses reveal the presence of a distinctive alteration layer of highly increased porosity at the interface between the host limestone and the secondary gypsum. Dissolution and replacement of the limestone was fast enough to prevent the development of C and O isotopic alteration halos but resulted in selective leaching of elements. This stable isotope signal is thus different from the pronounced isotope gradient commonly observed in CO2-dominated hypogenic caves. Petrographic observations reveal that the limestone–gypsum replacement was a nearly constant volume process.


Further phreatic cave systems under the Swaledale-Wensleydale surface watershed in the Yorkshire Dales, UK, 2012, Harrison, Tony

Four widely separated groups of phreatic network caves below the moors separating Swaledale and Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales have previously been reported, including a group of five closely-related systems accessed through the levels of Devis Hole Mine. Further exploration has now uncovered four more phreatic systems, including another network maze in Devis Hole, the Horn's Workings Cave Series. While similar in geomorphological structure to the earlier discoveries, this Series is distinct in having, in addition to horizontal passages, a number of shafts reaching towards the base of the Main Limestone beds in which all of the six cave series reside. This may be due to the presence of a syncline affecting the strata in this area of the mine, which would have provided a natural drainage route and might also have allowed joints to open, thus enabling vertical shafts to develop. The Horn's Workings Cave Series has been worked intensively by 19th century lead miners, and comparison of a recent survey of Horn's Workings with one made by the miners in 1857 indicates the high degree of accuracy achieved by the earlier surveyors. Two of the other recently discovered systems, Smithy Level Caves and Summer Lodge East Level Cave, are also accessed through old lead mines. Both display classic phreatic features modified by later vadose activity. The final new discovery is Shivery Gill Pot, a small extension of the previously examined group of Sod Hole Gill Caves. The nature of the range of phreatic systems now known to exist beneath the Swaledale-Wensleydale surface watershed implies that numerous other network caves might exist in the upper part of the Main Limestone in this region. These beds extend over a distance of more than 20km from west to east, but they are at outcrop only locally, so if such network caves are present they will probably only be discovered and accessed from the old lead mine workings that are a major feature of this part of the Dales landscape.


Phreatic maze caves, Grinton Moor, Swaledale, UK: survey of the Devis Hole Mine Caves, 2012, Harrison, Tony

Remarkable phreatic maze caves, first entered by Victorian miners searching for lead ore, have been rediscovered in a series of digs over the last 40 years by members of the Moldywarps Speleological Group (MSG) in Devis Hole Mine, Swaledale, in the Yorkshire Dales. Most of the discoveries have been reported in three published reports. Previous surveys of individual sections of the natural caves have now been brought together for the first time in a single survey of the entire mine explored to date.


Acqua Fitusa Cave: an example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave in Central Sicily, 2012, Vattano M. , Audra Ph. , Bigot J. Y. , Waele J. D. , Madonia G. , Nobcourt J. C.

Hypogenic caves are generated by water recharging from below independently of seepage from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. These waters are often thermal and enriched in dissolved gases, the most common of which are CO2 and H2S. Hypogenic caves can be thermal caves, sulphuric acid caves, basal injection caves. They differ from epigenic caves in many ways, such as: speleogenetic mechanisms, morphological features, chemical deposits, and lack of alluvial sediments (KLIMCHOUK, 2007; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; PALMER, 2011). Several studies were conducted to evaluate the hypogenic origin of a large number of caves (AUDRA et alii, 2010; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; STAFFORD et alii, 2009). A significant contribution was given by the work of Klimchouk (2007) that systematically provided instruments and models to better understand and well define the hypogenic karst processes and landforms. Detailed studies on hypogenic caves were carried out in Italy since the 90s in different karst systems, especially in the Central and Southern Appenines. These studies mainly concerned chemical deposits related to ascending water and micro-biological action (GALDENZI & MENICHETTI, 1995; GALDENZI, 1997; PICCINI, 2000; GALDENZI & MARUOKA, 2003, FORTI & MOCCHIUTTI, 2004; GALDENZI, 2012). In this paper, we present the first results of researches conducted in Acqua Fitusa cave that was believed to be an epigenic cave until today. Acqua Fitusa cave is located in Central Sicily, along the north-eastern scarp of a N-S anticline, westward vergent, forming the Mt. La Montagnola. The cave formed in the Upper Cretaceous Rudist breccias member of the Crisanti Fm., composed of conglomerates and reworked calcarenites with rudist fragments and benthic foraminifers ( CATALANO et alii, 2011). The cave consists at least of three stories of subhorizontal conduits, displaying a total length of 700 m, and a vertical range of 25 m. It represents a clear example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave, produced mainly by H 2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. Despite the small size, Acqua Fitusa cave is very interesting for the abundance and variety of forms and deposits related to rising waters and air flow. A ~ 7 m deep inactive thermo-sulphuric discharge slot intersects the floor of some passages for several meters (Fig. 1). Different morphologies of small and large sizes, generated by condensation-corrosion processes, can be observed along the ceiling and walls: ceiling cupolas and large wall convection niches occur in the largest rooms of the cave; deep wall convection niches, in places forming notches, incise cave walls at different heights; condensation-corrosion channels similar to ceiling-half tubes carve the roof of some passages; replacements pockets due to corrosion-substitution processes are widespread; boxwork due to differential condensation-corrosion were observed in the upper parts of the conduits. Sulphuric notches with flat roof, linked to lateral corrosion of the thermal water table, carve the cave walls at different heights recording past stages of base-level lowering. 


Boxwork and ferromanganese coatings in hypogenic caves: An example from Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) , 2012, Gazquez Fernando, Calaforra Josemaria, Rull Fernando

This paper examines the greyish-blue deposits that were recently discovered in the lower levels of the Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) which occur as patinas over the walls and ceilings, as well as coating boxwork formations. Their mineralogy was determined using XRD and micro-Raman spectroscopy, while EDX microanalysis was used to determine their elemental composition. The mineralogical analyses revealed the presence of Mn oxides (todorokite and pyrolusite) and Fe with a low degree of crystallinity, whereas EDX microprobe showed elevated concentrations of Mn (38.2 wt.%), Fe (15.2 wt.%) and Pb (8.1 wt.%). The ferromanganese oxyhydroxides occur as botryoidal aggregates overlying blades of calcite that have a visibly sugary texture. The speleogenetic model proposed describes (1) an initial phase of precipitation of hydrothermal calcite veins (of hypogenic origin) within the fissures of the host rock under phreatic conditions and (2) a subsequent vadose phase involving preferential corrosion of the carbonate host rock caused by lowering of the pH resulting from CO2 diffusion in condensed water and oxidation of Fe and Mn under aerobic conditions, probably mediated by microorganisms. It is this later phase that gave rise to the boxwork. The boxwork of the Sima de la Higuera Cave is a singular example of a formation that is generated by dissolution–corrosion of the rock due to acidification caused by oxidation of iron and manganese.


SPELEOGENESIS ALONG DEEP REGIONAL FAULTS BY ASCENDING WATERS: CASE STUDIES FROM SLOVAKIA AND CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012, Bella Pavel, Bosak Pavel

The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (perascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systemswere selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past,the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreaticand vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of localwater courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocenegeomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates severalcommon characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or inclose vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regionalimportance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation ofmeteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4)speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework,rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicateascending speleogenesis in deep phreatic to phreatic environments;(5) they exhibit poor relation to the present landscape;in some of them fluvial sediments are completely missing inspite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strongepiphreatic re-modelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontalpassages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilingsand notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape;(7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitatesare poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on thepresent surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadlyprecipitate travertines; (8) caves can be, and some of them are,substantially older than the recent landscape (Pliocene, Miocene),and (9) caves were formed in conditions of slow water ascent, which differentiate the process from faster vauclusianascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves containsclear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There aremissing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took partduring speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhatincreased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesisat least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannotbe directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermalprocess (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978),therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.


Boxwork and ferromanganese coatings in hypogenic caves: An example from Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain), 2012, Gazquez Fernando, Calaforra Josemaria, Rull Fernando

This paper examines the greyish-blue deposits that were recently discovered in the lower levels of the Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) which occur as patinas over the walls and ceilings, as well as coating boxwork formations. Their mineralogy was determined using XRD and micro-Raman spectroscopy, while EDX microanalysis was used to determine their elemental composition. The mineralogical analyses revealed the presence of Mn oxides (todorokite and pyrolusite) and Fe with a low degree of crystallinity, whereas EDX microprobe showed elevated concentrations of Mn (38.2 wt.%), Fe (15.2 wt.%) and Pb (8.1 wt.%). The ferromanganese oxyhydroxides occur as botryoidal aggregates overlying blades of calcite that have a visibly sugary texture. The speleogenetic model proposed describes (1) an initial phase of precipitation of hydrothermal calcite veins (of hypogenic origin) within the fissures of the host rock under phreatic conditions and (2) a subsequent vadose phase involving preferential corrosion of the carbonate host rock caused by lowering of the pH resulting from CO2 diffusion in condensed water and oxidation of Fe and Mn under aerobic conditions, probably mediated by microorganisms. It is this later phase that gave rise to the boxwork. The boxwork of the Sima de la Higuera Cave is a singular example of a formation that is generated by dissolution–corrosion of the rock due to acidification caused by oxidation of iron and manganese.


Hypogene Speleogenesis, 2013, Klimchouk, A. B.

Recognition of the wide occurrence, significance, and specific characteristics of hypogene speleogenesis during last twodecades signifies a major paradigm shift in karst science, previously overwhelmingly dominated by epigene concepts and models. Hypogene karst is one of the fundamental categories of karst, at least of equal importance with more familiar epigenic karst. Hypogene and epigenic karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns, and segments off low systems, which are characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical, and thermal conditions. Hypogene speleogenesis is the formation of solution-enlarged permeability structures by water that recharges thecavernous zone from below, independent of recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. It develops mainly in leaky confined conditions, although it may continue through unconfined ones. Hydraulic communication along cross-formational flow paths, across lithological boundaries, different porosity systems, and flow regimes allows deeper ground waters in regional or intermediate flow systems to interact with shallower and more local systems, permittinga variety of dissolution mechanisms to operate. A specific hydrogeologic mechanism acting in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition seen in the epigenic development. Hypogenic caves occur in different soluble rocks in a wide range of geological and tectonic settings, basinal throughorogenic. Overall patterns of cave systems are strongly guided by the spatial distribution of the initial (prespeleogenetic) permeability features and hydrostratigraphic barriers and interfaces within the soluble and adjacent units, by the mode of water input to, and output from, cave-forming zones and by the overall recharge–discharge configuration in the multiple aquifer system. Because of their transverse nature, hypogene caves have a clustered distribution in plan view, althoughinitial clusters may merge laterally across considerable areas. Hypogene caves display remarkable similarity in their pattern sand mesomorphology, strongly suggesting that the type of flow system is the primary control. The rapidly evolving understanding of hypogene speleogenesis has broad implications for many applied fields such asprospecting and characterization of hydrocarbon reservoirs, groundwater management, geological engineering, and mineral resources industries


Hypogene speleogenesis in Italy, 2013, Menichetti, M.

Through more than one century of speleological research in Italy, many hypogenic limestone caves have been explored, mapped and studied. These caves are characterized by a variety of patterns and morphological sizes including three-dimensional maze sys-tems and deep shafts, with both active endogenic CO2 and H2S vents.
An integrate approach taking in account geological, hydrological and geochemical set-tings permit to recognize the main hypogenic speleogenetic process. The H2S oxidation to sulfuric acid, by oxygen-rich groundwaters as well as in the atmosphere is actually the main active hypogenic cave-forming processes. Both phreatic and vadose corrosion reactions involve chemotropic microbial activity, with sulfur-redox bacterial communi-ties that generate sulfuric acid as metabolic product. The bedrock corrosion produce sulfate ions in the phreatic zone and gypsum replacement in the limestone walls of the vadose sectors of the caves. The caves are characterized by both fossil and active pas-sages in which water rich in H2S as well as endogenic CO2 plays a determinant role in speleogenesis. Although sulfuric acid-related speleogenesis typically produces gypsum deposits, in caves where the karstification processes are driven by subterranean CO2 sources, voids and speleothems are the only final products.
In Italy all the end-members of the karst processes can be found, from solution caves to outcrop of carbonate travertine. The hypogenic caves are concentrated for largest and both fossils and active systems in the Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Latium regions (Menichetti, 2009). These consist of few tens of kilometers of solutional passages with galleries and shafts, which are characterized by large rooms, cupola and blind pits, anas-tomotic passages, bubble trails roof pendants, knife edges, and phreatic passages. Ac-tive smaller karst systems are known in Southern Italy in Apulia, Campania and Sicily, related to the geothermal anomaly associated with CO2 and H2S vents.


Hypogene speleogenesis in Italy, 2013, Menichetti, Marco

HYPOGENE SULFURIC ACID SPELEOGENESIS AND RARE SULFATE MINERALS (FIBROFERRITE, JAROSITE SUBGROUP) BAUME GALINIERE CAVE (ALPES-DE-HAUTE-PROVENCE, FRANCE), 2013, Audra P. Gá, Zquez F. Rull F. Bigot J. Y. Camus H.

 

The oxidation of sulfide sources (H2S gas, pyrite, hydrocarbons) produces sulfuric acid that strongly reacts with bedrock, causing limestone dissolution and complex interactions with other minerals. This type of cave development, known as sulfuric acid speleogenesis, is a subcategory of hypogenic speleogenesis, where aggressive water rises from depth. It also produces uncommon minerals, mainly sulfates. Baume Galinière is located in Southern France, in the Vaucluse spring watershed. This small maze cave displays characteristic features such as corrosion notches, calcite dikes and iron crusts, and sulfate minerals. Thirteen minerals were identified, including elemental sulfur, calcite, quartz, pyrite, goethite, gypsum, fibroferrite, plus all of the six members of the jarosite subgroup (jarosite, argentojarosite, ammoniojarosite, hydroniumjarosite, natrojarosite, plumbojarosite). The Baume Galinière deposits are the first documented cave occurrence of argentojarosite and the second known occurrence of plumbojarosite, hydronium jarosite, ammoniojarosite, and fibroferrite. Together with other hypogenic caves in the Vaucluse watershed, Baume Galinière Cave owes its origin in buried conditions to deep water rising along major faults, mixing with meteoric water at the contact of the karst aquifer and overlying impervious cover, and causing pyrite deposition. Sulfuric acid speleogenesis occurred later after base level drop, when the cave arrived in shallow phreatic then in vadose zone, with oxidation of pyrites involving sulfidic gases. Attenuated oxidation is still occurring through condensation of incoming air from outside. Baume Galinière Cave records the position of the paleo-cover and documents its retreat in relationship to valley incision caused by uplift and tilting of the Vaucluse block during Neogene.


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