Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 59 Number 2: 87-90 - August 1997

A publication of the National Speleological Society

A Model of Structure and Genesis for the Gypsum “Nest” Found in the Geophysicheskaya Cave (Kugitangtou Mountains, Turkmenistan)
V.A. Maltsev


A description, and a possible structure and genetic mechanism for a “gypsum nest”, a very rare speleothem consisting of gypsum needles growing from a drying clay massif, are considered. Because of conservation concerns, theoretical modeling is the only acceptable method for studying this complicated and delicate feature. The model suggested considers the “nest” as a screw-dislocated spherocrystal, with its sub-individuals separated by corrosion at some initial stage, and having separate growth at later stages.

EDITORS’ NOTE: Some mineralogical terms that are not in common use in the English literature are defined at the end of this paper for the use of the reader.

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