Al-Daher Cave (Bergish), Jordan, the First Extensive Jordanian Limestone Cave: A Convective Carlsbad-Type Cave?


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Al-Daher Cave (Bergish), Jordan, the First Extensive Jordanian Limestone Cave: A Convective Carlsbad-Type Cave?

Material Information

Title:
Al-Daher Cave (Bergish), Jordan, the First Extensive Jordanian Limestone Cave: A Convective Carlsbad-Type Cave?
Series Title:
Journal of Cave and Karst Studies
Creator:
Kempe, Stephan
Al-Malabeh, Ahmad
Al-Shreideh, Ahmad
Henschel, Horst-Volker
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Al-Daher Cave ( local )
Jordan, Limestone ( local )
Karst ( local )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )

Notes

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.
Original Version:
Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, Vol. 68, no. 3 (2006-12-01).

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.
Resource Identifier:
K26-00033 ( USFLDC: LOCAL DOI )
k26.33 ( USFLDC: LOCAL Handle )

USFLDC Membership

Aggregations:
University of South Florida
Karst Information Portal

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serial

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AL-D A HER C A VE (BERGISH), JOR DA N, THE FIRST E XTENSIVE JOR DA NI A N L IMESTONE C A VE: A CONVE C TIVE C A RLS BAD T YPE C A VE?STEPHAN KEMPE University of Technology, Institute of Applied Geosciences, Schnittspahnstr. 9, D-64287 Darmstadt, Germany. kempe@geo.tu-darmstadt.de AHMAD ALMALABEH H ashemite University, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, P.O. Box 150459, Zarka 13115, Jordan. Am@hu.edu.j oAHMAD AL-SHREIDEH Jordan Society of Friends of Archaeology, P.O. Box 25, Dier Abi Said 21710, Jordan. shreideh@yahoo.co m HOR S T-VOL K ER HEN S CHEL P.O. Box 110661, D-64221 Darmstadt, Germany. h-v.henschel@henschel-ropertz.deLOCATION AND TOPOGRAPHY et al. et al. et al. et al. e.g. , Ca 2 TECTONIC SETTING et al. , et al. et al. 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 Re serve 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 m 2 , were formed within a square of 70 70 m. The cave is constrained to certain limestone strata, lami nated 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 H 2 S, or possibly even CH 4 , 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 govern Journal of Cave and Karst Studies Journal of Cave and Karst Studies

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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies et al. e.g. Figure 1. L ocation of Al-Daher Cave and its geologic setting along the eastern margin of the Jordan G raben. A. AlM alabeh after Abdelhamid, 1995).ALDAHER CA V E ( BERGI S H), JORDAN,THE FIR S T EXTEN S I V E JORDANIAN LIME S TONE CA V E: A CON V ECTI V E CARL S BADTYPE CA V E?

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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies LITHO S TRATIGRAPHIC SUCCE SS ION e.g. et al. et al. i.e. DE S CRIPTION O F ALDAHER CA V E KEMPE, ALMALABEH, AL-SHREIDEH, AND HEN S CHEL

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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies Figure 3. M ap of Al-Daher Cave with passages shaded and highlighted directions of passages identical to the joint ing of the rock in response to the pressure of the Dead S ea line suggests show cave trail with a minimum of impact to the cave. Dashed arrows indicate passages that must be widened if the cave should be commercialized. L ines mark above Chert B. Figure 6. N on-lam inated limestone between Chert B and C with grapelike small chert nodules.ALDAHER CA V E ( BERGI S H), JORDAN,THE FIR S T EXTEN S I V E JORDANIAN LIME S TONE CA V E: A CON V ECTI V E CARL S BADTYPE CA V E?

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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies Figure 7. Lami nated limestone between Chert C and D with loaflike large nodules. Figure 8. V ertical, large nod ules from the laminated lime the G eopit. view). N ote the band of Chert B in the upper third of the picture. KEMPE, ALMALABEH, AL-SHREIDEH, AND HEN S CHEL

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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies SPELEOGENE S I S i.e. e.g. e.g. e.g. e.g. 2 e.g. 2 e.g., 2 e.g. 2 2 4 4 ALDAHER CA V E ( BERGI S H), JORDAN,THE FIR S T EXTEN S I V E JORDANIAN LIME S TONE CA V E: A CON V ECTI V E CARL S BADTYPE CA V E? 2 4 2 2 2 2 2 2

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Journal of Cave and Karst Studies i.e. SPELEOTHEM S i.e., e.g. et al. ANTHROPOGENIC IMPACT/ UTILIZATION AC K NOWLEDGEMENTS RE F ERENCE S th In: In: KEMPE, ALMALABEH, AL-SHREIDEH, AND HEN S CHEL

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th In, aged stalagmite (note new growth across breakage sur faces). T his sort of damage sion of stalagmitic column gested as one possible cause, as well as cave ice that could have formed during continental cold climate during glacial ALDAHER CA V E ( BERGI S H), JORDAN,THE FIR S T EXTEN S I V E JORDANIAN LIME S TONE CA V E: A CON V ECTI V E CARL S BADTYPE CA V E? Journal of Cave and Karst Studies Figure 12. M odel of dissolution-driven convection in a part of the cave.


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