Underground water

Water commonly found underground creating caves is mainly of meteoric origin, however other kinds of water may be mixed to it in various ways. The following can be found: “Connate” water, i.e. ancient water that was trapped in a sedimentary rock during its formation, and generally very rich in salts, and therefore potentially very aggressive; deep so-called “juvenile” water, produced by magma activity, often very hot and aggressive; or meteoric water that reaches the deeper layers where it is heated and enriched with salts and acids and then comes out at the surface again through faults, generally with the characteristics of hydrothermal water. These are almost always very aggressive waters and generally their temperature is high. When these deep waters come into contact with the rock, they give rise to very rapid and intense dissolution processes, known as hyperkarst processes creating particular caves, called hypogenic caves (i.e. generated from the deep) as for example the Grotta Giusti cave near Pistoia.

Special reports

From the Multimedia section

Facts

  • 13 May 2011

    A walk underground

    The longest caves in the world are in Kentucky, the caves of Mammoth...

    24 February 2011

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates...

  • 13 May 2011

    The climate underground

    Going down deep in the Earth’s crust, the temperatures increase gradually...

    Amphibians in a cave

    Proteus is an amphibian of white-yellowish or light pink colour...

  • Can you breathe in a cave?

    One of the most common beliefs is that in caves the air is often stuffy...

    Ice in caves

    In high mountain or high latitude environments, many caves can contain ice deposits...

  • A walk underground

    The longest caves in the world are in Kentucky, the caves of Mammoth...

  • 24 February 2011

    And in underground tunnels?

    There are groups of terrestrial animals that eat insects, worms and other invertebrates...

  • 13 May 2011

    The climate underground

    Going down deep in the Earth’s crust, the temperatures increase gradually...