Reference : Karsts in sandstones and quartzites of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Scientific journals : Article
Physical, chemical, mathematical & earth Sciences : Earth sciences & physical geography
Karsts in sandstones and quartzites of Minas Gerais, Brazil
Willems, Luc mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de géologie > Pétrologie sédimentaire >]
Rodet, Joël [University of Rouen > Continental and Coastal Morphodynamics,
<br />Laboratory of Geology >]
Pouclet, André [University of Orleans > Earth Sciences Institute >]
Melo, Sergio [Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Belo
<br />Horizonte, Brazil) > Instituto de Geociências >]
Rodet, Maria-Jacqueline [Museu de História Natural Jardim Botânico (Brazil) > >]
Compère, Philippe mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement > Département des sciences et gestion de l'environnement >]
Hatert, Frédéric mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Département de géologie > Minéralogie et cristallochimie >]
Auler, A. S. [Carste Consultores Associados (Brazil) > >]
Cadernos do Laboratorio Xeolóxico de Laxe
[en] The state of Minas Gerais (Brazil) is characterized by significant karst regions, which develop
<br /><br />in both sandstone and quartzite terrains and display complex suites of underground and surfaceforms. In the Espinhaço Ridge, Central Minas Gerais, several caves of up to a few hundred metres long, occur in the surroundings of the town of Diamantina. Some of these caves, such as Salitre actually consist of swallow-holes. Other horizontal caves are characterized by corrosion forms generated in the phreatic zone. In some places, such as in the Rio Preto area, these phreatic forms are overprinted by ceiling tubes, suggesting a polyphase karst evolution, prior to the draining in the cave. Remains of paths, with circular cross section up to one metre in diameter, can be found through residual tower-like surface landforms widely present in the landscapes. Their dissection is due to a generalised karstification in the area, resulting in closed canyons, megakarrens and kamenitzas. In Southern Minas Gerais, close to the Mantiqueira Ridge, the caves of the Ibitipoca state park can reach more than 2 km in length. These caves are associated with a very large hanging geological syncline. Several of these caves contain active streams, which flow for hundreds of metres before disappearing in sand-choked passages. Keyhole cross sections characterize steeply descending passages in these caves, indicatinga chan ge from slow phreatic flow towards a faster vadose flow responsible for the vertical incision of the passage. Such change is probably related to base level lowering and/or to turn in the direction of the water flow. Several generations of wall-pockets, from a few centimetres to over a metre long, occur into the caves. These features are good indicators of the initial phase of speleogenesis, generating the initial conduits by their coalescence. This mechanism is also responsible for cut-off meanders. In the area, the main river flows along the syncline axis and cuts through a rock barrier, generating a tunnel-like passage. This cave drains, through resurgences in its walls, part of the water that flows in other caves located in the flank of the syncline.
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