UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Kempe, S.
Klimchouk, A.; Sasowsky, I.; Mylroie, J.; Engel, S.A.; Engel, A.S.
Hypogene limestone caves in germany: geochemical background and regionality
Hypogene Cave Morphologies. Selected papers and abstracts of the symposium held February 2 through 7, 2014, San Salvador Island, Bahamas. Karst Waters Institute Special Publication 18
Leesburg, Virginia

Germany exhibits a very diverse geological history. Thus, a large number of stratigraphically, petrographically and tectonically different carbonate and sulfate rocks exist that have been subject to karstification. Here, I discuss first the possible “agents” (sensu Klimchouk) of hypogene karstification. Three principally different processes are identified: water rising because of buoyancy (either thermally or concentration induced), in-situ oxidation of siderite, or rising gases (CO2, CH4 or H2S). Next, a rough overview of German caves and karst is presented. If applying the most pertinent epigene versus hypogene morphological characteristics, it becomes evident that hypogene caves occur in many different areas, often side-by-side with clearly epigene caves. For many areas, the agents of hypogene speleogenesis must remain unclear. This applies for most caves in the Paleozoic limestones of the Rhenish Schist Massif. Only the Iberg/Harz caves seem to be a clear case, with the world-wide highest concentrations of siderite weathering-induced caves occur. The large cavities discovered recently in the Blauhöhlen System and some of the deep pit caves in the Swabian Alb may have their explanation in volcanic CO2, having emanated from some of the 355 pipes of the Swabian volcanic field. Most striking is the high concentration of hypogene caves in the Franconian Alb. Many of them occur in a small area while other areas are devoid of larger caves. Here the tectonic situation suggests that fractures could have taped reservoirs of either sulfide or methane from below. The finding of goethitic crusts in the Bismarckgrotte may indicate that rising anaerobic gases could have been involved

: 978-0-9789976-7-0
Kempe, S., 2014, Hypogene limestone caves in germany: geochemical background and regionality , 48 - 56 http://www.karstwaters.org/publications/.php