Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 60 Number 3: 146-150 -December 1998

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Gypsum Speleothems of Freezing Origin
Victor V. Korshunov and Elena V. Shavrina


Seasonal freezing affects the development of gypsum speleothems in caves of the Pinega area of the Russian European North including two types of deposits not previously described. One type, called gypsum yozh (hedgehog), grows in dense clay sediment within a high supersaturation environment. Originally growing in a direction away from the freezing front, they later enlarge almost symmetrically. Their shapes and characteristics are dependent on various factors and provide interesting comparisons with gypsum roses from arid regions. A second, very rare, type of gypsum speleothem appears to be produced from concretions of gypsum powder accumulated in cavities within an underground ice body. Recrystallization of the gypsum is controlled by fluctuating local temperature and seasonal freezing in an environment of low supersaturation.

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