Hypogene Speleogenesis in the Karst of Poland—Regional Review

  • Michał Gradziński
  • Andrzej TycEmail author
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


Karstified rocks are widely distributed in Poland; most of them are covered by unconsolidated Cenozoic deposits. Paleozoic and Mesozoic carbonates and Neogene evaporites host numerous paleokarstic features and solution caves, being of polygenetic and multi-stage origin. Works on hydrothermal karst and sulfide ores emplaced in caves of the Silesian-Kraków region, the large paleokarst caves filled with Permian internal sediment or thermal convection model for caves in the Polish Jura date back to the 1970s. Quite well-documented hydrothermal karst is preserved as paleokarstic features in several localities in the Silesian-Kraków region, Holly Cross Mts. and Sudetes. Characteristic cave sediments including crystalline calcite spar, sulfide ores emplaced within hydrothermal cave sediments and solution-collapse breccias are associated with these features. Travertines, which are surface manifestation of hypogene karst, dated through their paleontological assemblage, support their post-Variscan—Permian and Late Triassic age. Their hydrothermal origin was also determined by detailed studies of sediments and fluid inclusions. Less certain, based mainly on studies of relict cave morphology and limited calcite spar, are the Cenozoic—Paleogene and Neogene hypogene events in the Carpathians (Tatra Mts.) and their foreland (Polish Jura). Review of published references and concepts related to hypogene origin of caves and karst in Poland is presented in this contribution.


Hypogene speleogenesis Hydrothermal karst Ascending caves South Poland 



The authors wish to thanks anonymous reviewers for constructive comments and Augusto S. Aurel for editorial handling.


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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geological SciencesJagiellonian UniversityKrakówPoland
  2. 2.Department of GeomorphologyUniversity of SilesiaSosnowiecPoland

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