Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

2 Ph.D. Student, Department of Earth Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, University of Kurdistan, Sanandaj, Iran

3 M.Sc., Geological Survey of Iran, West Territory, Sanandaj, Iran


Karaftu Cave is located in the 67 km northwest of Divandareh, Kurdistan province. It includes four floors, which the bottom of the second floor, in the bat’s hall, is covered by thick guano deposits. In this study, the distribution of trace elements plus rare earth elements, as well as age determination, based on 14C, of guano was investigated. Fresh guano decays through bacterial and fungal metabolism and can release organic and inorganic acids. Interactions between these acidic solutions with guano were caused by leaching and changing the distribution and ratios of elements. The rate of leaching is determined by changes in the patterns of distribution of elements and the ratios of Th/U and LREEs/HREEs. The Eu/Eu* and Ce/Ce* ratios are applied to obtain information about the paleoredox conditions of guano deposition. Based on this study, three different climatic conditions, including dry, wet, and dry terms, have been recognized. Geochemical data of guano samples on the La/Th-Hf and Th-Sc diagrams represent intermediate-mafic source rocks. Plot the samples on the Th-Sc-Zr/10 and La/Th-Sc/Ni diagrams, suggesting that their source rocks evolved in a continental island arc tectonic setting. Based on 14C dating, the onset of guano production is about 14260 ± 50 BP after the Last Glacial Maximum recorded worldwide and close to the study area in Zaribar Lake, Zagros Mountains, and Alpine Mountains. The average accumulation rate of guano deposits has been 3.7 mm/year in Karaftu Cave.


Main Subjects

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