Document Type : Original Research Paper


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

2 Geological Survey of Iran, West Territory, Sanandaj, Iran


Kraftu cave, 67 km northwest of Divandareh in Kurdistan province, includes four floors. The bottom of the second floor, in the bat hall, is covered by thick guano deposits. SEM–EDX analyses of the guano deposits showed secondary sulfate (gypsum, cesanite), phosphate (phosphammite, brushite, taranakite, francoanellite, whitlockite, leucophosphite, spheniscidite, pyrocoproite), and nitrate (urea, niter) minerals, along with microorganisms and chitin. Occurrence of these minerals is due to changes in the pH (from acidic to alkaline) and moisture (wet and dry conditions) in the presence of microorganisms. Bat guano has accumulated in Karaftu cave during three different paleoclimate conditions, from base to top, including dry, wet, and dry conditions. A comparison between distributions of secondary minerals and Ce-anomalies along the profile represents that taranakite only forms in wet conditions, but whitlockite, urea, and cesanite only occur in dry ones. Therefore, they are significant indicators of climate in the geologic record, but other minerals, because they can be in both conditions, don't be so.Various reactions between the solutions derived from guano with substrate have resulted in phosphatization and dolomitization of bedrock. The abundance of chitin in the Karaftu cave guano deposits indicates that they are feces of insectivorous bats.


Main Subjects

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