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Abstract

Existing karstogenetic models have not explained the inception and development of global karst, especially the origin and occurrence of extensive secondary porosity and flowpaths. Karstogenesis appears to be explainable by proposing a hypogene model of origin, previous to the exogene one. Known to ore geologists for a long time, hydrothermal karsting could very well be responsible for global karsting, provided a global hydrothermal activity. The geological conditions towards the end of the Flood and immediately after may well have included such widespread hydrothermalism and if so, rapid karsting would have resulted. Post-Flood karstogenesis was also boosted by acids produced by decay of huge quantities of organic matter. Present day ocean bottom hydrothermal vents have been found to extract actively calcium from igneous rocks and to redeposit it as carbonate chimneys. This confirms the acidic character of hydrothermal solutions and supports a rapid hydrothermal karsting model. Hydrothermal karsting after the Flood may have unfolded in consecutive stages, marking the shift from per ascensum (upward) exclusively hypogene karsting in the initial phase, towards a per descensum (downward) exogene karsting. This led to multi-stage cave systems and subsequently to the fusion of surface and subsurface karst. Subsequently, exogene karsting has re-shaped hypogene karst into the karstlands of today.

Keywords

Karst, definitions, karsting episodes, exogene karsting, hypogene karsting, sulfuric acid speleogenesis, Guadalupe Mountains karst, hydrothermal activity and the Flood, post-Flood hydrothermal karsting, Young Earth karsting model, karst denudation rate, hydrothermal ores, hydrothermal vents, geysers

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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