Palaeokarst Traditional Geocache
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The village Úrkút is to be found on the south part of the Bakony hills. This was the mining centre in Hungary for the production of sedimentary manganese originating from the deep of the see in the Mesozoic. Due to the exhausted manganese reserves there is no mining anymore on the surface; the once mine and its surroundings, today a nature reserve, feature a wealth of extraordinary geological curiosities like surfaced palaeokarst of many million years.
What is the secret of the tropical palaeokarst, which surfaced during mining? In the Jurassic, in the middle of the Mesozoic, more than hundred and fifty million years ago there was no trace yet of the Bakony hills or the other members of the Transdanubian Hills. At that time the area belonged to the primeval African plate. There, where today the hills are, surged the Tethys sea. On a huge platform of carbonat the sedimentary process was going on at its slow pace. Later the platform had broken up and its blocks shifted vertically. There were some pieces that emerged from the see and others that sank. Manganese formed on and accumulated in the holes of one of these isolated platforms. Sediment from the see continued to be deposited on the manganese layer for many million yeras. In the Cretaceous, the Jurassic limestone that contained the manganese in its deep dolines slowly emerged. In the wet tropical climate karst formed quickly. Wonderful formations, cones, towers, deep dolines and trenches had been created. During the mining period the sediment layers together with the manganese were removed and so the beautifully shaped palaeokarst surfaced.
In the village Úrkút at the coordinates of N47° 04.908'; E17° 38.730' you should leave the main road. You will quickly find one of the gates to the enclosed nature reserve. The gate is never locked - since it cannot be - and you pay no entry fee. Here starts the palaeokarst showcase on the Csárda hill.
You will find a composition of 30-40 meters high rock towers, deep and narrow holes and trenches and standalone rocks and stones. You can make out the traces of the water forming the karst. You will also find kettle holes formed through evorsion by the sediment of swirly deluges. Apart from the extremely reach assortment of formations it is interesting to study the stones themselves. The ferri- and manganiferous hard crust that has precipitated on the surface of the limestone is very specific. The stones are very reach in fossils. Inhabitants of the tropical primeval Tethys sea, like the crinoids (sea lillies), the shell like brachiopods and the spiral shelled ammonites have been conserved inside the stones in great quantities.
And, on the surface, at the foot of a double-trunked tree, camouflaged by a few stones, there is a Tupperware of 260 millimetres diameter and 160 millimetres height for you to explore, i.e., the cache.
We wish you a nice walk and good treasure hunting,
Anikó and Miki
(No hints available.)