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    STUDIA GEOLOGIA - Issue no. 1 / 2007  
         
  Article:   GYPSUM DEPOSITS IN CENTRAL ITALY CAVES: SPELEOGENETIC CONSIDERATIONS.

Authors:  BOGDAN P. ONAC, MIRONA I. CHIRIENCO, MARCO MENICHETTI, SIMON BOTTRELL.
 
       
         
  Abstract:  The main caves in Central Italy - Monte Cucco and Frasassi - are made up of tridimensional maze systems developed in a Jurassic carbonate bank, on the external side of anticlines where they are dissected by thrust faults. The internal morphologies of the passages, galleries, and shafts present solutional galleries characterized by cupolas and blind pits, anastomotic passages, roof pendants, and phreatic passages situated at different levels. All the caves present gypsum deposits often associated with clays. In the Gola di Frasassi caves, in the galleries that reach the phreatic zone where mineralized waters (rich in sulphuric acid) are rising, microcrystalline gypsum forms on the limestone walls. Gypsum deposition is related to the reaction between the sulphuric acid (produced by microbial or abiotic sulphur oxidation) and the carbonate host rock.  
         
     
         
         
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