Commune: Chęciny (pow. kielecki, woj. świętokrzyskie) , Sitkówka-Nowiny (pow. kielecki, woj. świętokrzyskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Hydrothermal veins in Devonian limestones discordantly covered by Permian conglomerates, Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mts., Kielce subregion.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Historical mining, hydrothermal veins and paleokarst.

Comparative assessment justification:
Góra Żakowa represents one of the largest area of historical mining of lead ores in the region with the highest number of accessible mines (with outcrops of hydrothermal, tectonic and karst phenomena) registered now.

Protection status and accessibility:
Main part of the area is protected in the nature reserve “Góra Żakowa” (since 1999, 50.5 ha) – accessible by touristic trail.

Character of site: Hill with historical mines.

Area: 70 ha

Altitude: 290-370 m a.s.l.

Lithology: hydrotermal veins, limestones

Discipline: Geomorphology, Mineralogy, Geology of mineral deposits

Process Age: *all periods

Bedrock Age: Permian, Devonian, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
Góra Żakowa represents hill (70 m above surrounding plains) with several summits, formed of the Devonian limestones. The limestones, dipping to NNE, are discordantly overlain by the Zechstein conglomerates (slightly dipping to the north) on the northern slope of the hill. The Devonian and Permian are cut by transversal and longitudinal faults. Veins of two stages of hydrothermal processes occur in the Devonian and partly Zechstein. The older phase, developed during the Carboniferous-Early Permian represents relatively thick, mainly transversal veins of coarse-crystalline, white or pink calcite. This type of calcite, called “różanka” was used as marble and quarried from 17th to the 20th century. Small historical quarries of the calcite and Devonian limestones (also used as marble) are situated in the Góra Żakowa. The younger hydrothermal phase, presumably Late Permian-Early Triassic, is represented with numerous thin veins of longitudinal, transversal and diagonal orientations, which are composed of calcite, barite and galena. Galena was a matter of exploitation since Middle Ages to the beginning of 20th century. Numerous historical mine fields are located on the area of the Góra Żakowa. Characteristic types of mining relics are: a) accessible shafts and galleries excavated in the Devonian limestones and Zechstein conglomerates (ca 20 objects 3-38 m deep); b) deep and elongated open pits (“chinks”); c) depressions formed due to mine (schafts) destruction; d) dumps. The hydrothermal veins, often accompanied with tectonic forms and paleokarst forms crop out in the mine galleries now. Natural crags and cave (57 m long) are situated on the area, too.


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