6.20 Sulfuric Acid Caves: Morphology and Evolution


Material Information

6.20 Sulfuric Acid Caves: Morphology and Evolution
Series Title:
Treatise on Geomorphology
Palmer, Arthur N.
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Carlsbad Cavern ( local )
Cave Evolution ( local )
Cave Morphology ( local )
Frasassi Cave System ( local )
Geochemistry ( local )
Groundwater Processes ( local )
Hydrogen Sulfide ( local )
Hypogene Speleogenesis ( local )
Kane Caves ( local )
Lechuguilla Cave ( local )
Subaerial Speleogenesis ( local )
Sulfuric Acid ( local )
Tectonics ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


Many hypogene caves are formed by sulfuric acid produced by the oxidation of sulfides, particularly hydrogen sulfide. This cave development can take place below, at, or above the water table. Most cave enlargement is subaerial, in water films and droplets that absorb gaseous hydrogen sulfide and oxygen. Sulfuric acid caves have irregular patterns with large variations in cross section and elevation, with relatively few subhorizontal passages formed along the water table. Cave origin is scattered, localized, and sporadic. Sulfuric acid caves provide evidence for regional geomorphic and tectonic history, groundwater flow patterns, and redox geochemistry.
Original Version:
Treatise on Geomorphology, Vol. 6 (2013-01-01).

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University of South Florida Library
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