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Publication Date

December 2006

Abstract

In spite of the vast limestone area present in Jordan, no karstic caves to speak of were known there until 1995 when Al-Daher Cave was discovered. The cave is situated east of Bergish Reserve for Ecotourism in the mountains of Bergish at about 830 m above sea level. The cave formed in the Wadi As Sir Limestone Formation of Upper Cretaceous age. It is a maze developed along NW-SE and NE-SW striking joints which owe their existence to the Dead Sea Transform Fault situated a few kilometers to the west of the cave. Rooms, with a total area of 1750 m2 , were formed within a square of 70 × 70 m. The cave is constrained to certain limestone strata, laminated and non-laminated, divided by four chert layers that form distinctive markers throughout the cave. Chert nodules occur also within the limestone layers. The cave formed phreatically exclusively by dissolution within a small body of rising and convecting water. It is suggested that the very localized solution capacity derived from the oxidation of either H2 S, or possibly even CH4 , by oxygen present near the former water table. Thus, Al-Daher Cave may have formed by a process similar to that which formed the Guadalupe Mountain caves, New Mexico, among them Carlsbad Cavern. The altitude of the cave suggests that it may be as old as upper Miocene. The cave contains several relict generations of speleothems but also active forms. The local government is hoping to develop the cave into a show cave; it would be the first in Jordan.

Keywords

Al-Daher Cave, Jordan, Limestone, Karst

Description

RDA

Subject: topical

Al-Daher Cave; Jordan, Limestone; Karst

Type

Article

Genre

serial

Identifier

K26-00033

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