The phosphate minerals from three Romanian caves that host bat guano deposits have been investigated. The XRD and SEM analyses have revealed the presence of seven phosphates (brushite, francoanellite, hydroxylapatite, leucophosphite, taranakite, vashegyite and variscite) along with the more common gypsum, calcite and various allochthonous clay minerals. The occurrence of these phosphate minerals highlights the decomposition and various reactions that take place between the phosphate-rich solutions leaching out from the guano and different cave sediments and/or bedrock. The variation of the environmental conditions in the vicinity and within the guano accumulations is responsible for the type of mineral that is being precipitated. The abundance of specific phosphates indicates changes of the pH (from acidic to alkaline) and moisture (both wet and dry conditions) in all the three caves.
Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Speleology, v. 3, p. 483-485
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bogdan-onac/59/