The Judean Desert—The Major Hypogene Cave Region of the Southern Levant


Material Information

The Judean Desert—The Major Hypogene Cave Region of the Southern Levant
Series Title:
Hypogene Karst Regions and Caves of the World
Frumkin, Amos
Langford, Boaz
Porat, Roi


Subjects / Keywords:
Maze Caves ( local )
Desert Karst ( local )
Sulfuric Acid ( local )
Syrian Arc ( local )
Confined Caves ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


The Judean Desert in eastern Israel consists of a Late Cretaceous epicontinental carbonate terrain formed at the interface between the Neotethys Ocean and the Gondwanian African-Arabian plate. Various rock types were deposited through fluctuations between marine and continental environments due to ingressions and regressions. Orogenic folding of the Syrian Arc fold system occurred between the Late Cretaceous and the Neogene. The folds formed a barrier for deep flowing groundwater, which upwelled along the SE flank of the folds. Possibly mixing with local confined circulation, the hypogene flow created maze caves at the top of the Late Cretaceous limestone, under the confinement of thick chalk, and marl successions. The larger caves are up to 3.5-km-long 2D mazes, less comm with some additional tiers. Speleogenesis occurred most likely during the Oligocene, when far-field recharge could reach the Judean Desert. During the Neogene, the Dead Sea transform has dissected the region, forming a deep endorheic depression at the eastern border of the Judean Desert. This was followed by the lowering of the water table and related dewatering of the caves. Fault escarpments and downcutting canyons have dissected the caves, forming the present entrances. The caves are mostly dry, with rare speleothems. Gypsum rinds indicate that hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid took part in speleogenesis.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of South Florida Library
Holding Location:
University of South Florida
Rights Management:
This object is protected by copyright, and is made available here for research and educational purposes. Permission to reuse, publish, or reproduce the object beyond the bounds of Fair Use or other exemptions to copyright law must be obtained from the copyright holder.

USFLDC Membership

University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

Postcard Information



Download Options


No images or PDF downloads are available for this resource.

Cite this item close


Cras ut cursus ante, a fringilla nunc. Mauris lorem nunc, cursus sit amet enim ac, vehicula vestibulum mi. Mauris viverra nisl vel enim faucibus porta. Praesent sit amet ornare diam, non finibus nulla.


Cras efficitur magna et sapien varius, luctus ullamcorper dolor convallis. Orci varius natoque penatibus et magnis dis parturient montes, nascetur ridiculus mus. Fusce sit amet justo ut erat laoreet congue sed a ante.


Phasellus ornare in augue eu imperdiet. Donec malesuada sapien ante, at vehicula orci tempor molestie. Proin vitae urna elit. Pellentesque vitae nisi et diam euismod malesuada aliquet non erat.


Nunc fringilla dolor ut dictum placerat. Proin ac neque rutrum, consectetur ligula id, laoreet ligula. Nulla lorem massa, consectetur vitae consequat in, lobortis at dolor. Nunc sed leo odio.