New, remarkably dry parts of the Gamslöcher-Kolowrat Cave at 728 to 853 m depth have been explored in the Untersberg near Salzburg in Austria. This region is called the Desert, its greatest cavity is called the White Hall. The new cave part is characterized by various white speleothems. The predominant ones are snow-like calcite powder with an extremely low density, and fine gypsum needles. Gypsum also occurs in the form of balls stuck to vertical walls. In addition, fluorescent hydromagnesite crusts, Mg5(CO3)4(OH)2·4H2O, as well as the sodium sulfate mineral mirabilite were identified in this part of the cave. Mirabilite and gypsum needles differ from the gypsum balls in their isotopic sulfur signature (δ34S of -16.9‰ and -18.4‰ vs. +2.9‰). The unusually low sulfur isotopic compositional values are tentatively explained by a source of bacteriogenetic sulfur from sulfides.
Bieniok, Anna; Georg Zagler; Uwe Brendel; and Franz Neubauer.
Speleothems in the dry Cave Parts of the Gamslöcher-Kolowrat Cave, Untersberg near Salzburg (Austria).
International Journal of Speleology,
Available at: http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs/vol40/iss2/4