Commune: Chęciny (pow. kielecki, woj. świętokrzyskie)

Framework element or context represented:
Hydrothermal calcite veins in Devonian limestones discordantly overlaid by the Permian-Triassic, the Świętokrzyskie (Holy Cross) Mts., Kielce subregion.

Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Variscan tectonics (discordance) and hydrothermal phenomena, historical quarrying.

Comparative assessment justification:
The site with well exposed forms and phenomena representative for geo(morpho)logical evolution of the region: Variscan and post-Variscan hydrothermal forms, Variscan tectogenesis and Cenozoic morphogenesis.

Protection status and accessibility:
Natural reserve “Góra Zelejowa” (since 1954) – well accessible by touristic trail.

Character of site: Hill with geological outcrops, karst forms and natural rocky relief.

Area: 67 ha

Altitude: 300-372 m a.s.l.

Lithology: hydrotermal veins, sandstones, conglomerates, breccias, limestones, gravels, sands, clays

Discipline: Geomorphology, Mineralogy, Tectonics, Geology of mineral deposits

Process Age: Neogene, Paleogene, Devonian, *all periods

Bedrock Age: Neogene, Paleogene, Triassic, Permian, Devonian, *all periods

Description of primary interest:
Góra Zelejowa represents structural hill (rising 70 m above surrounding plains) formed of Devonian bedded limestones steeply dipping to the north (60-90º NNE). Devonian limestones are cut by three large transversal calcite veins (with calcite-limestone breccias) reaching thickness 4-16 m. The coarse-crystalline calcite represents hydrothermal, low-temperature mineralization related to post-Variscan evolution (Late Carboniferous-Early Triassic). White and pink (hematite bearing) calcite, called “różanka zelejowska”, was quarried on the Zelejowa Góra (in several small quarries) from 16th to the half of 20th century and used as a marble. After Variscan tectogenesis and uplift Zelejowa was a hill, which was gradually buried by Permian and Triassic sediments. It is documented by relics of paleosurface covered by blankets of sediments: a) paleo-cliff and coastal zone covered by littoral Zechstein breccia or conglomerate – on the northern slope of the hill; b) paleokarst form filled with Permian-Early Triassic conglomerate – on the hill ridge; c) blocks of sandstone and other sediments (clays, gravels, sands) representing weathered Bundsandstein rocks redeposited to Cenozoic paleokarst forms: sinkhole, fissures, shafts. Spatial position of paleokarst forms and lack of Triassic sediments “in situ” in the vicinity of the hill now, suggest they affiliation to one of the oldest phases of Cenozoic karstification. Partly bare, uncovered rocky ridge and slopes of the Zelejowa Góra have undergone to current karstification, what is manifested by grikes and microlapies. Small caves registered on the hill represent mainly pseudokarst, gravitational forms.


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