Kaltbach cave (Siebenhengste, Switzerland): Phantom of the Sandstone?
Philipp Häuselmann, Paola Tognini - (34/2,2005)
Kaltbach cave is developed within the Eocene Hohgant sandstone in the Siebenhengste area in Switzerland. A remapping project of the cave resulted in a huge increase in length. It also produced a complete, updated map and longitudinal section. The cave's morphology does not fit with the "normal" speleogenesis: it is a so-called phantom cave. Phantoms are created by differential weathering of impure limestone under a preferably warm climate and a very low hydrologic gradient. Once the gradient steepens, the undissolved residual sediments are piped out, the "cave" manifests itself. The paper discusses the geomorphological features that permit to recognize the phantom caves.