UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Menichetti, M.
Klimchouk, A.; Sasowsky, I.; Mylroie, J.; Engel, S.A.; Engel, A.S.
Hypogene speleogenesis and co2: suggestions from karst of italy
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

The carbon dioxide produced in the soil and dissolved in the percolation water is considered as the main agent for karstification in the carbonate rocks. Superficial morphologies and underground caves are product of the corrosion of the limestone, while carbonate speleothems is the other end member of the process.
Hypogene speleogenesis driven by deep seated fluids is the cave formation processes for the main karst systems in the Apennines of Italy. Hydrogen sulfide and endogenic carbon dioxide are the main agents for underground karst corrosion and the soil carbon dioxide plays a secondary rule. The limestone corrosion driven by hydrogen sulfide produces gypsum deposits in caves that could be assumed as the indicator of the hypogene speleogenesis. The action of endogenic carbon dioxide in the cave formation, especially if it operates at lower temperature, is not easy to detect and the resulting cave morphology is not helpful to recognize the cave formation process.
The main sources of carbon dioxide in the underground karst system in the Apennines of Italy can be related to different processes driven by the endogenic fluids emissions. The crustal regional degassing seems to be the prevalent source for carbon dioxide in the karst massifs with the main release in the groundwater. Hydrogen sulfide and methane oxidation, possibly mediated by bacteria activity, are other sources in the buried Cenozoic sediments. Releasing of carbon dioxide along the faults and in the fractures occurring in the carbonate rocks is an important source, especially in the seismically active area. Finally, thermogenic reactions with carbonate rocks are well known as one of the main production mechanism of carbon dioxide released in the atmosphere.
Data from carbon dioxide monitoring in several caves show a relevant contribution of the endogenic carbon dioxide (about 75 %) in the karst system which drives the speleogenesis reactions and shapes the underground morphologies.

Menichetti, M., 2014, Hypogene speleogenesis and co2: suggestions from karst of italy , 72 - 72 http://www.karstwaters.org/publications/.php