Espeleotemas de ópalo y pseudocarst granítico

The amorphous silica (opal-A) speleothems associated to the open structural system of granitic rocks where the slow circulation of runoff is produced are mainly the result of the biological degradation of the rock. These speleothems are found in many different geographic, climatic and geological environments though always associated to granitoids. They show two different morphologies: cylindrical or long bodies and laminar or layered forms. They are internally formed by a mass of clasts and spheres of opal-Awith a porous texture that evolves to compact and massive due to the reiteration of the re-dissolution/re-precipitation of the amorphous opal by the water that circulates through it after each rainfall period. A final characteristic of each growth stage (end of rainy period) is the development of whiskers of minerals, normally gypsum, on the water output points of the speleothems. The dimensions of the speleothems are millimetric (length and/or thickness). In this paper their morphology and mineralogy are described based on their study by SEM, XRD and XRF, and there is established a new and more complete genetic hypothesis than the one that exists up to now to understand their formation ​
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