Evolution of the Bystrej Valley caves (Tatra Mts, Poland) based on corrosive forms, clastic deposits and U-series speleothem dating

Ditta Kicińska, Helena Hercman, Krzysztof Najdek


The origin and age of cave deposits, as well as palaeogeographical changes in the Bystrej catchment during the last ca. 250 ka, were reconstructed in Magurska, Kasprowa Niżnia, Goryczkowa, Kalacka and Bystrej caves (the Bystrej Valley). The reconstruction is based on the study of corrosive forms, heavy mineral analyses and U-series dating of speleothems. Two generations of palaeoflows were distinguished by observations of scallops and heavy mineral analyses. In the older stage, now abandoned caves drained massifs surrounding the Bystrej Valley and part of an adjacent valley. The direction of palaeoflow changed as a result of the water capture after Kasprowa Niżnia Cave came into being. In the later stages, the evolution of cave systems was controlled by glaciation-deglaciation cycles. Probably at this time, some caves located in the lowest parts of the massifs also started to be formed. U-series speleothem dating allows the determination of five phases of speleothem deposition: ca. 220–150 ka, ca. 135–105 ka, ca. 95–70 ka, ca. 40–23 ka and during the Holocene.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.14241/asgp.2017.007