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Non-karstic Caves of the Cserhát Mountains

The 3000 km2 Cserhát Mountainsform the hill countryof the North Hungarian Mountains between the Börzsöny and MátraMountains. The major part of the landscape consists of  low hills formed of sandstone and clay. In the south-western area of the region, tectonic upheaval has caused Triassic limestone blocks to rise from the younger sediments.In the middle and eastern areas of the mountains andesite rift volcanoes  appear.

The caves of the region are very diverse as a consequence of the varied geomorphology, the different rock formations and the complex development  of the landscape (repeated uplifting, sinking and volcanic activity).About120 karst caves are known in the Triassic limestone blocks, whichcoverless than 1% of the area (20 km2).

The 24 non-karstic caves have developed mainly insedimentary formations  and subordinately in volcanic rocks. Six caves occurin calcareous, in quartziferous  or in marly sandstone. In marly clay   andin compact clay (called "slir" locally) 3 caves have been listed.

Five caves have developed in andesite. Tree moldcaves occur in rhyodacite  tuff  beyond the Hungarian border in Slovakia and in andesit-conglomerate- sandstone formation near Nógrádszakál village. Seven other caves are known in the surrounding of Nógrádszakál village also in andesit-conglomerate - sandstone formation. Ten artificial caves in andesite tuff and in loess have also been listed, because they are considered as caves by the local population.

Three of the four cave in andesite are syngenetic.They have been   formed by a volcanic steam explosion ( Függ §-k§i   Cave, "Dupla-üreg" and the now destroyed Sámsonházi Bubble Cave), which   are witnesses to the intensity of the Miocenevolcanic activity. The   fourth non-karstic cave, the Sárkányfürd§ Cave has been formed by the   lateral erosion of Cserkúti Creek.      

One cave is known in andesite agglomerate. The 21m long Erd §kürti Andesite Cave opensin a quarry. It appears to be a syngeneticcave. On the swampy moorlandfalling hot volcanic gravel heated upthe swamp water, pressure of the steamwhich was generated as a result of this caused a hollow to form in the andesiticgravel.

In the marly clay, in sandstone, and in compactclay, the caves are usually formed as a result of rock fragmentation. TheFels §petényi Cave and the PappenheimCave are the results of this break down. The Bercel-hegyi Cave isthe result of erosion, while the Sz §l§-hegyi Caves were formed by collapse.The Betyár Cave in Szentkút has undergone a complex development. Erosion, dissolution and rock fragmentation have all played part in the formation of this cave.

In several non-karstic caves in the CserhátMountains (Betyár Cave, Függ§-k§iCave and Pappenheim Cave) paleontological excavations were carried out.As a result of these excavations 35 species of molluscs and 100species of vertebrates have been found from the Würm to the Holoceneperiods.

The following caves are longer than 10 m in theCserát Mountains:

1.

Betyár Cave

Carbonateous sandstone

Mátraverebély

61,7

/±6 m

2.

Remete Caves

Sandy, clayey marl

Mátraverebély

32,7

/+2 m

3.

Fels§petényi Cave

Quartziferous sandstone

Fels§petény

30

/+28 m

4.

"K§lyuk"

Sandstone

Kishartyán

22

/+2 m

5.

Erd§kürti Andesitecave

Andesite agglomerate

Erd§kürt

21

/-2 m

6.

Pappenheim Cave

Sandstone

Buják

11,5

/+2,5 m

The total length of the non-karstic caves is 207m and the lengthof the artificial caves is 33 m.

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