Hypogene Caves in Slovakia

  • Pavel BellaEmail author
  • Ľudovít Gaál
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


During the Alpine orogeny of the Western Carpathians, hypogene caves have originated in different settings and epochs. Several caves of hydrothermal origin in crystalline limestones and metasomatic secondary quartzites (metasomatic silicites) are known in the central zone of the Štiavnica stratovolcano, Štiavnické vrchy Mountains. The early phases of speleogenesis in the crystalline limestone near Sklené Teplice Spa were caused by post-magmatic dissolution linked either to the emplacement of subvolcanic granodiorite intrusions during Late Badenian time or to the spatially associated Late Sarmatian epithermal system. Speleogenesis in metasomatic secondary quartzites in the Šobov quarry is related to deep-seated hydrothermal processes associated with a diorite intrusion in the northern part of the central zone of the Štiavnica stratovolcano during its pre-caldera evolution phase in Upper Badenian. Unusual caves in metasomatic magnesite, with mineralogical evidences of their hydrothermal origin, were investigated in the Revúcka vrchovina Mountains. Paleokarst geoda-like cavities and small hydrothermal caves occur in nappe structures of Triassic carbonates that were uplifted within the Tatra-Fatra belt of core mountains (many of these cavities are integrated into younger and larger non-hypogene caves). Cavities with thermal water in underlying and faulted Mesozoic carbonates (covered by Neogene or Paleogene sedimentary rocks) were identified by boreholes in some intermontane basins (Rimavská kotlina Basin, Liptovská kotlina Basin). A phreatic shaft formed by progradational collapse of non-carbonate beds disrupted by artesian karstification of underlying carbonates occurs at Tornaľa Town in the Rimavská kotlina Basin. Several caves with hypogene morphologies have originated along marginal faults of horst structures or fault edges of horst–graben structures (speleogenesis by thermal or slightly heated ascending waters, but mineralogical evidences of hydrothermal karstification were not found).


Artesian karstification Hydrothermal cave Post-magmatic dissolution Magnesite karst Cavernous metasomatic secondary quartzites Western Carpathians 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Nature Conservancy of the Slovak Republic, Slovak Caves AdministrationLiptovský MikulášSlovakia
  2. 2.Pedagogical Faculty, Department of GeographyCatholic University in RužomberokRužomberokSlovakia

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