Articles | Volume 25, issue 5
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 2895–2913, 2021
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 25, 2895–2913, 2021

Research article 28 May 2021

Research article | 28 May 2021

Early hypogenic carbonic acid speleogenesis in unconfined limestone aquifers by upwelling deep-seated waters with high CO2 concentration: a modelling approach

Franci Gabrovšek and Wolfgang Dreybrodt

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Cited articles

Andre, B. and Rajaram, H.: Dissolution of limestone fractures by cooling waters: Early development of hypogene karst systems, Water Resour. Res., 41, W01015,, 2005. 
Audra, P. and Palmer, A. N.: Research frontiers in speleogenesis. Dominant processes, hydrogeological conditions and resulting cave patterns, Acta Carsologica, 44, 315–348,, 2015. 
Birk, S., Liedl, R., Sauter, M., and Teutsch, G.: Hydraulic boundary conditions as a controlling factor in karst genesis: A numerical modeling study on artesian conduit development in gypsum, Water Resour. Res., 39, 1004,, 2003. 
Birk, S., Liedl, R., Sauter, M., and Teutsch, G.: Simulation of the development of gypsum maze caves, Environ. Geol., 48, 296–306,, 2005. 
Buhmann, D. and Dreybrodt, W.: The kinetics of calcite dissolution and precipitation in geologically relevant situations of karst areas, 2. Closed system, Chem. Geol., 53, 109–124, 1985. 
Short summary
The evolution of karst aquifers is often governed by solutions gaining their aggressiveness in depth. Although the principles of hypogene speleogenesis are known, modelling studies based on reactive flow in fracture networks are missing. We present a model where dissolution at depth is triggered by the mixing of waters of different origin and chemistry. We show how the initial position of the mixing zone and flow instabilities therein determine the position and shape of the final conduits.