Caves Formed within Upper Cretaceous Skarns at Băiţa, Bihor County, Romania: Mineral Deposition and Speleogenesis

Document Type


Publication Date



skarn, hydrothermal karst, cave, mineralogy, speleogenesis, Bǎiţa, Bihor County, Romania

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



The Bǎiţa metallogenic district, in Bihor County, Romania, is genetically connected to a deep-seated Upper Cretaceous granitic pluton. Within this district, several bodies of skarn host economic concentrations of Mo, W, Bi, Cu, Pb, Zn, B, wollastonite, and marble. During mining, numerous karst cavities were encountered. Minerals such as wittichenite, antimonian luzonite, natrolite, quartz, chalcanthite, rosasite, glaukosphaerite, aurichalcite, azurite, malachite, norsethite and, more commonly, calcite, aragonite, hydromagnesite, and goethite were found within these skarn-hosted caves as crusts, coralloids, minute crystals, aggregates, and earthy masses. Some of the minerals are of hydrothermal origin, whereas others are interpreted to have formed during episodes of hydrothermal or vadose alteration. A third group consists of minerals that were precipitated from low-temperature karstic waters. Although most skarn-hosted cavities exhibit the classical features of meteoric-water-induced cave, their mineralization, morphology, and position within the skarn support a hydrothermal or a mixed hydrothermal-vadose origin.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

The Canadian Mineralogist, v. 40, issue 6, p. 1693-1703