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Acta Carsologica

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The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (per ascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systems were selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past, the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreatic and vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of local water courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocene geomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates several common characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or in close vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regional importance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/ fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation of meteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the 3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4) speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework, rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicate ascending 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 in spite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strong epiphreatic remodelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontal passages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilings and notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape; (7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitates are poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on the present surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadly precipitate 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 vauclusian ascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves contains clear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There are missing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took part during speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhat increased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesis at least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannot be directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermal process (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978), therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.


Ascending speleogenesis, Hypogene speleogenesis, Belianska CAve, Jasovska Cave, Plavecka Cave and Shaft, Liskovska Cave, Zapolna Cave, Na Pomezi Cave System

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Slovakia; Czechia

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English and Slovenian




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