Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 60 Number 3: 151-155 -December 1998

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Geochemistry of Fluorite and Related Features of the Kugitangtou Ridge Caves, Turkmenistan
Vladimar Maltsev and Viktor Korshunov


This paper presents a model explaining the fluorine geochemistry in the Cupp-Coutunn Cave System, in the Kugitangtou Ridge, southeastern Turkmenistan. By the corrosive activity of biologically derived sulfuric acid, HF gas is released by weathering of fluorite in residual cave deposits and in speleothems formed during a period of thermal activity. Secondary fluorite is produced, and conditions are provided for silica and aluminum mobility in the caves. The latter process helps to explain the origin of the clay mineral sauconite, Zn3(Si4O10)(OH)2ĚnH2O, and fraipontite, (Zn,Al)3(SiAl)2O5(OH)4, a member of the kaolinite-serpentine group.

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