Commune: Wiślica (pow. buski, woj. świętokrzyskie)
Framework element or context represented:
Karst valley, caves and other karst forms in the Badenian gypsum of the Nida Basin, representing sediments of peripheral part of the Fore-Carpathian marine basin.
Primary geological/geomorphological interest:
Karst valley and caves in gypsum rocks.
Comparative assessment justification:
The most illustrative example of mature karst forms developed in gypsum in Poland.
Protection status and accessibility:
Nature reserve “Skorocice” (since 1960), well accessible - located in the village.
Character of site: Karst valley.
Area: 7.7 ha
Altitude: 205-220 m a.s.l.
Lithology: gypsum (anhydrites)
Discipline: Geomorphology, Petrography
Process Age: Quaternary, Neogene, *all periods
Bedrock Age: Neogene, *all periods
Description of primary interest:
Skorocice Gorge represents typical karst valley developed due to roof failures of karst subsurface conduits formed in gypsum. The gypsum sequence outcropped in the gorge is composed of layer of giant-crystalline gypsum intergrowth forming palisade structure (3 m thick), overlain by bedded grass-like (selenite) gypsum (2 m) and bedded sabre-like gypsum (several meters thick). The dome structure, unique and specific for sabre-like gypsum of the Nida Basin is situated just above the gorge. The gorge consists of two parts: upper, blind segment and lower segment, which are separated by natural rocky bridge and connected by Jaskinia Skorocicka cave (352 m long, the longest cave in gypsum in Poland) with Skorocicki Stream. 25 other caves and rocks shelters as well as numerous surface karst forms – hums (karst spurs), depressions, rock walls – are situated in the both parts of the valley. Among the caves predominant horizontal, usually tubular passages representing relics of subsurface conduits. Some of them have been still subsurface sections of the stream channel. Traces of stream channel incision into the bottom of the conduit are observed in the Jaskinia Skorocicka cave. Small secondary gypsum (also calcite) forms – botryoidal aggregates, incrustationsand stalactites – occur in some caves. Karst forms of Skorocice represent entrenched and denuded phases of speleogenesis and have been formed mainly in shallow phreatic-vadose transitional zone during prolonged period of slow water table lowering in Neopleistocene and Holocene. They differ from large caves in gypsum of the Western Ukraine with geological and hydrological conditions of development.
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