Title

Arid hypogene karst in a multi-aquifer system: hydrogeology and speleogenesis of Ashalim Cave, Negev Desert, Israel

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Publication Date

January 2018

Volume Number

466

Abstract

Ashalim maze cave, and neighbouring caves in the NW Negev Desert, Israel demonstrate hypogene karst features. These features are shown to have developed as a result of the mixing of two types of groundwater flowing in opposite directions within two tiers of Cretaceous rock aquifers. The stable isotope composition indicates that the lower Kurnub sandstone aquifer was recharged over far-field Nubian Sandstone outcrops in the vicinity of the Precambrian basement outcrops of the Sinai Desert, which belongs to the Afro-Arabian dome. The water flows northward and rises into the Judea carbonate aquifer through deep faults. A similar hydrogeological system is inferred for the speleogenetic period of Ashalim Cave. Dewatering of the cave occured in the Pliocene due to regional uplift. This is indicated by the first vadose speleothems, dated to the late Pliocene (3.1 Ma). This was followed by surface denudation, which breached the cave and formed the present entrance.

Keywords

Aquifers, Arid environment, Asia, Carbonates, Caves, Clastic rocks, Endogene processes processes, Genesis, Ground water, Isotopes, Israel, Karst, Karst hydrology, Middle East, Negev, Sandstone, Sedimentary rocks, Sinai, Solution features, Speleothems, Stable isotopes, Terrestrial environment, Unsaturated zone, Ashalim Cave

Document Type

Article

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

doi:10.1144/SP466.3

Language

English

Identifier

SFS0039951_00001

 
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