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Punkva Caves

Characteristics / Evolution of the Caves

The development of the Punkva caves

Over 1100 caves are recorted in the Moravian Karst. They came into existence gradually by erosion and some corrosive activities of precipitated water and its underground streams in the tectonic interrupted and relatively soluable layers of limestone. The Punkva caves form the spring-up and paleospring-up part of the hydro-graphic system of the Punkva river. Its water sources sink down in the draft areas near Holštějn and Sloup and flow through the longest cave system of the Czech Republic - Amateur cave where there is their confluence. The Punkva river springs up then on the floor of Macocha Abyss and flows through the active branches of the Punkva caves as far as 120 m of the deep karst canyon - Pustý žleb (Waste ditch). The other parts of the caves are dry on the standard water conditious.

The Punkva caves belong among younger caves from the view of their development. In the previous phases the underground Punkva flew away through paleosprings to Suchý žleb (Dry ditch) (it is the present Kateřina’s cave), before that it flew, maybe, even to Jedovnice basin.

The Punkva caves originated on several floors, that is why crashing of ceilings and fallings arose on the crossing of the geologival disorders. This way the huge Macocha abyss or the tall Reichenbach’s cathedral came into existence. 80 m tall chimneys made by vertical water influence are very typical there. The tunnel corridor is a pretty example of the huge pressure - eroded pipe. The geomorphological place of interest in the Punkva caves is underground flute cracks made by intensive water flowing down on the sheer walls.