Hypogene Features in Sandstones: An Example from Carboniferous Basins of Central and Western Bohemia, Czech Republic

  • Václav SuchýEmail author
  • Ivana Sýkorová
  • Jiří Zachariáš
  • Jiří Filip
  • Vladimír Machovič
  • Ladislav Lapčák
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


Concave and cavernous forms including rising wall channels, rising sets of coalesced copula, ceiling half-tube channels, separate ceiling copula, ceiling chimneys, and half-spherical upward-convex arches locally occur in surface outcrops of Carboniferous arkose sandstones in central and western Bohemia. Many of these negative forms conventionally described as tafoni and/or honeycombs have been traditionally interpreted as products of various exogenous weathering processes. Based on the line of indirect evidence, we propose an alternative interpretation in which these features represent transitional and outlet members of the morphologic suite of rising flow (MSRF), indicative of their subsurface hypogene origin. The negative forms are commonly associated with bedding planes and subvertical fractures mineralized with goethite and jarosite. The reflectance of coal particles embedded in sandstone along mineralized bedding planes (0.91–1.03% R r ) is appreciably higher with respect to those of adjacent unaltered arkose host rocks (0.61–0.85% R r ), pointing to the thermal overprint by hot fluids. Moreover, the walls of many cavities are covered by sandy-disintegrated alterite locally mineralized with gypsum, dickite, goethite, authigenic quartz, pickeringite, and bischofite. We suggest that these phenomena, including the origin of characteristic concave forms and mineralogical alterations of arkose host rocks, may have been due to warm, CO2-saturated and possibly H2S-rich brines that ascended from the deepest stratigraphic units of the Carboniferous succession via the network of subvertical tectonic fractures and migrated laterally outward along permeable bedding planes. As indicated by the apatite fission track analysis and wider geological observations, the alteration of arkose sandstones probably occurred at relatively shallow depth of burial, during the Tertiary uplift of the Bohemian Massif 15–20 Ma ago. In this environment, the alteration may have been accelerated by the effects of mixing corrosion where heated deep basinal fluids interacted with shallower interstratal waters. When the uplifted sandstone sequences eventually reached the surface, the hypogene cavities and altered cliff walls were subjected to subaerial weathering and fluvial erosion processes the effects of which were superimposed on older hypogene features.


Speleogenesis Sandstone Vitrinite reflectance Fission tracks Diagenesis Weathering 



We wish to acknowledge the support provided by the Operational Program Prague—Competitiveness, project “Centre for Texture Analysis” (No. CZ.2.16/3.1.00/21538) and the program of a long-term conceptual development of the research organization RVO: 67985891. Our gratitude also goes to Dr Antonín Zeman (formerly the Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics CAS) for his assistance with optical microscopic research. Ms Lenka Borecká (Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics ASCR) has been helpful with the preparation of the diagrams. The paper has substantially benefited from constructive reviews and editorial effort of the editors Alexander Klimchouk and Jo De Waele.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Václav Suchý
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ivana Sýkorová
    • 2
  • Jiří Zachariáš
    • 3
  • Jiří Filip
    • 4
  • Vladimír Machovič
    • 5
    • 2
  • Ladislav Lapčák
    • 5
  1. 1.Praha 6Czech Republic
  2. 2.Institute of Rock Structure and Mechanics v. v. i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPrague 8Czech Republic
  3. 3.Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPraha 2Czech Republic
  4. 4.Institute of Geology of the CAS v. v. i., Academy of Sciences of the Czech RepublicPraha 6-LysolajeCzech Republic
  5. 5.University of Chemistry and Technology PraguePrague 6Czech Republic

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