Advertisement

Hypogene Gypsum Caves in Piedmont (N-Italy)

  • Cinzia Banzato
  • Bartolomeo Vigna
  • Adriano Fiorucci
  • Jo De WaeleEmail author
Chapter
  • 1k Downloads
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)

Abstract

Piedmont (N-Italy) is one of Italy’s regions where Messinian gypsum outcrops most extensively. Some gypsum caves have been explored in the past, but no detailed speleogenetic studies have been carried out. The discovery of unexpected large underground voids in a gypsum quarry near Moncalvo has demonstrated the presence of intrastratal karst systems with an origin at least partly linked to rising groundwater flow. A detailed look at one of the gypsum caves near Alba (Monticello cave) has revealed this labyrinth to be another classical example of intrastratal gypsum karst, clearly formed by the rising of undersaturated groundwater through a confined Messinian gypsum bed. This chapter deals with the typical hypogene morphologies in these caves and also reports some new results on the geochemistry of the waters of the Moncalvo area.

Keywords

Messinian gypsum Intrastratal karst systems Maze caves Karst geomorphology Hydrogeochemistry 

References

  1. Bonetto S, Fiorucci A, Fornaro M, Vigna B (2008) Subsidence hazards connected to quarrying activities in a karst area: the case of the Moncalvo sinkhole event (Piedmont, NW Italy). Est J Earth Sci 57(3):125–134CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Boni A, Casnedi R (1970) Note illustrative della Carta Geologica d’Italia. Sheets 69 (Asti) and 70 (Alessandria). Serv Geol It, p 64Google Scholar
  3. Clari P, Bernardi E, Cavagna S, Dela Pierre F, Irace A, Lozar F, Martinetto E, Trenkwalder S, Violanti D (2008) Alba e tramonto della Crisi Messiniana. Alba, 10–11 ottobre 2008, Excursion Guidebook, p 43Google Scholar
  4. Columbu A, De Waele J, Forti P et al (2015) Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region. Geology 43(6):539–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. D’Angeli IM, De Waele J, Galdenzi S et al (2016) Sulfuric acid caves of Italy: an overview. Deepkarst, Carlsbad 11–14 Apr 2016, pp 85–88Google Scholar
  6. Dela Pierre F, Clari P, Cavagna S et al (2002) The Parona chaotic complex: a puzzling record of the Messinian (Late Miocene) events in Monferrato (NW Italy). Sedim Geol 152:289–311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Dela Pierre F, Piana F, Fioraso G et al (2003) Note illustrative della Carta Geologica d’Italia alla scala 1:50.000, Sheet 157 (Trino). APAT and Dipart Dif Suolo, p 147Google Scholar
  8. Dela Pierre F, Bernardi E, Cavagna S et al (2011) The record of the Messinian salinity crisis in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (NW Italy): The Alba section revisited. Palaeogeogr Palaeoclim Palaeoecol 310:238–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dela Pierre F, Clari P, Natalicchio M, Ferrando S, Giustetto R, Lozar F, Lugli S, Manzi V, Roveri M, Violanti D (2014) Flocculent layers and bacterial mats in the mudstone interbeds of the Primary Lower Gypsum unit (Tertiary Piedmont basin, NW Italy): Archives of palaeoenvironmental changes during the Messinian salinity crisis. Mar Geol 355:71–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. De Waele J, Galdenzi S, Madonia G, Menichetti M, Parise M, Piccini L, Sanna L, Sauro F, Tognini P, Vattano M, Vigna B (2014) A review on hypogene caves in Italy. In: Klimchouk A, Sasowski ID, Mylroie J, Engel SA, Summers Engel A (eds) Hypogene cave morphologies. Karst Water Institute, Special Publication 18:28–30Google Scholar
  11. De Waele J, Audra P, Madonia G et al (2016) Sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) close to the water table: examples from southern France, Austria, and Sicily. Geomorph 253:452–467CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Di Maggio C, Madonia G, Parise M, Vattano M (2012) Karst of Sicily and its conservation. J Cave Karst Stud 74(2):157–172CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Forti P, Sauro U (1996) The gypsum karst of Italy. Int J Spel 25(3):239–250CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Galdenzi S, Menichetti M (1995) Occurrence of hypogenic caves in a karst region: examples from central Italy. Env Geol 26:39–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ghielmi M, Rogledi S, Rossi M (1998) Studio stratigrafico-sedimentologico dell’area padana. Rapporto Interno Agip, San Donato Milanese, Italia, p 72Google Scholar
  16. Ghielmi M, Vigna B, Violanti D et al (2002) Evoluzione tettono-sedimentaria della successione plio-pleistocenica nel settore del Piemonte centro-meridionale. Atti 81a Riunione estiva della Società Geologica Italiana, Torino, 10–12 settembre 2002, pp 181–182Google Scholar
  17. Ghielmi M, Minervini M, Nini C et al (2010) Sedimentary and Tectonic Evolution in the Eastern Po-Plain and Northern Adriatic Sea Area from Messinian to Middle Pleistocene (Italy). In: Sassi FP (ed) Nature and geodynamics of the Lithostere in Northern Adriatic. Rend Fis Acc Lincei 21(Suppl. 1):131–166Google Scholar
  18. Hsu KJ, Ryan WBF, Cita MB (1972) Late Miocene desiccation of the Mediterranean. Nature 242:240–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Klimchouk AB (2007) Hypogene speleogenesis: hydrogeological and morphogenetic perspective. Natl. Cave Karst Res. Inst., Carlsbad, USA, p 106Google Scholar
  20. Mayer-Eymar K (1867) Catalogue systématique et descriptif des fossiles des terraines tertiaires qui se trouvent au Musée Fedéral de Zürich. Mayer, ZürichGoogle Scholar
  21. Minervini M, Ghielmi M, Rogledi S et al (2008) Tectono-stratigraphic framework of the Messinian-to-Pleistocene Succession in the Western Po-Plain Foredeep (Italy). 84° Congresso Nazionale della Società Geologica Italiana—Sessione 26, Sassari (Italy), 15–17 Settembre 2008, pp 562–563Google Scholar
  22. Mosca P, Polino R, Rogledi S et al (2010) New data for the kinematic interpretation of the Alps-Apennines junction (Northwestern Italy). Int J Earth Sci Geol Rundsch 99:833–849CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rossi M, Mosca P, Polino R et al (2009) New outcrop and subsurface data in the Tertiary Piedmont Basin (NW Italy): unconformity-bounded units and their relationships with basin modification phases. Riv Ital Paleontol Stratigr 115(3):305–335Google Scholar
  24. Ryan WB, Cita MB (1978) The nature and distribution of Messinian erosional surfaces—indicators of a several-kilometer-deep Mediterranean in the Miocene. Mar Geol 27(3):193–230CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Selli R (1960) Il Messiniano Mayer-Elmar 1867. Proposta di un neostratotipo. Giorn Geol Ser. 2(28):1–33Google Scholar
  26. Sturani C (1973) A fossil eel (Anguilla sp.) from the Messinian of Alba (Tertiary piedmontese basin). Palaeoenvironmental and palaeogeographic implications. “Messinian events in the Mediterranean”. Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam, pp 243–255Google Scholar
  27. Sturani C (1978) Messinian facies in the Piedmont Basin. Mem Soc Geol Ital 16(1976):11–25Google Scholar
  28. Vigna B (2014) L’attività del Politecnico di Torino per lo studio dei fenomeni di scivolamento planare delle Langhe. Parte I: assetto geologico-strutturale ed idrogeologico. Atti Convegno L’alluvione del 5–6 Novembre 1994 in Piemonte. Venti anni di Attività nella previsione e prevenzione in ambito geo-idrologico. Torino, 28–29 ottobre 2014, pp 269–274Google Scholar
  29. Vigna B, Banzato C (2015) The hydrogeology of high-mountain carbonate areas: an example of some Alpine systems in Southern Piedmont (Italy). Env Earth Sci 74(1):267–280CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vigna B, Accattino G, Amalberto S et al (2008) La successione messiniana nel settore di Moncalvo—Calliano (Basso Monferrato): un tipico bacino cannibalistico? In: Alba e tramonto della crisi messiniana, Alba 10–11 ottobre 2008Google Scholar
  31. Vigna B, Fioraso G, Banzato C, De Waele J (2010a) Evolution of karst in messinian gypsum (Monferrato, Northern Italy). Geod Acta 23(1–3):29–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Vigna B, Fiorucci A, Banzato C, Forti P, De Waele J (2010b) Hypogene gypsum karst and sinkhole formation at Moncalvo (Asti, Italy). Z Geom Suppl 54(2):285–306CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cinzia Banzato
    • 1
  • Bartolomeo Vigna
    • 1
  • Adriano Fiorucci
    • 1
  • Jo De Waele
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure EngineeringPolitecnico di TorinoTurinItaly
  2. 2.Italian Institute of Speleology, Department of Biological, Geological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

Personalised recommendations