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Caves of the Mátra Mountains

The 1000 km2 Mátra Mountains are situated in the central region of the North Hungarian Mountain Range between the Tarna and Zagyva Rivers. Here the highest summit in Hungary is to be found, the 1014 m high "Kékes". The Matra comprises of a stratovolcanic group with several eruption centres.

The eruptions happened in the Miocene and has resulted in various formations of lava rocks and pyroclastics. Today the original volanic forms are unrecognizable due to several hundred metre of selective denudation. On the northern slopes pebbly and sandy sediments were deposited.

Non-karstic caves can be found in nearly all of the rock formations. We have found 83 natural non-karstic caves and 16 artificial cavities, called caves. Tventy-seven caves are occuring in andesite, for instance, the Bárány-k Caves, and the Vörös-k-bérci Caves. Thirty caves are known in the andesite agglomerate at the "Tekeres-k "and along the Ülés Creek. In the southern region, Miocene (BadenianStage) rhyolite occurs. Three caves were developed in this formation, the longest is the 133 m long Nagy Cave in "Csák-k". In the north-western region of the mountains 7 caves were found. They were formed in Miocene (Badenian Stage) rhyodacite tuff. Among these caves are the 428 m long "Csörg-lyuk", the longest non-karstic cave in Hungary and the smaller Macska Cave and "Farkas-lyuk". "Asztag-ki-üreg" was formed in quartz. In some places sandstone and conglomerate were deposited during the lower Miocene. We have found 15 caves in the sediments, such as "Sárkány-gödör" in sandstone and Mókus-bácsi Cave in conglomerate. The 16 artificial cavities were dug in various rock types.

Amongst the caves of the Mátra Moutains are two types of syngenetic originating caves. In the former ore mine of  Gyöngyösoroszi a crystal cave was found at a depth of several hundred metres. The cave was formed at the edge of an ore dyke and the tracyandesite from the influence of the ascending hot solutions. Its walls were covered with large brilliant individual crystals (mainly amethysts). Unfortunately, immediately after its discovery, the cave was looted and filled in. After mining operations were abandoned the whole system was flooded.

Gyula Cave, Kis-Gyula-barlang and Vidróczki Cave near Mátrakeresztes and Mátraszentimre are gas bubble cavities. Gyula Cave has archeological importance.

The postgenetic caves are frequently of tectonic origin. Tectonic movements have resulted, for example in the formation of  Macska Cave and Kék-útmenti Cave. The longest Hungarian non-karstic cave, "Csörg-lyuk" has an atectonic origin. The development of this cave can be traced back to a landslide and the consequent aggradation.

Rock fragmentation has resulted in the formation of "Farkas-lyuk" in rhyodacite tuff and the Vasalótalp Rock Shelter in the edge of the sandstone and conglomerate rocks.

The Rock Shelter of  Ülés Creek is the result of whirl erosion, while "Sárkány-gödör" and the Csillámos Rock Shelter are formed by lateral erosion. The Mókus-bácsi Cave in flinty conglomerate was developed by alkaline dissolution.

The pseudocaves, Csörg-pataki Pseudocave, and the "Asztag-ki-üreg" are to be found among the large volcanic boulders. Nagy Cave in Csák-k is a typical cave formed by the collapse of a former millstone mine.

The following caves are longer than 10 m in the Mátra Moutains:



Rhyodacite tuff



/-30 m


Nagy Cave in Csák-k




/±14,5 m


Mókus bácsi Cave




/+1 m


Macska Cave

Rhyodacite tuff



/+4,7 m


Crystall Cave in the ore mine



appr. 13 m

Most of the non- karstic caves are in Abasar (16 caves), in Mátraszentimere (14 caves) and in Parádsasvár (7caves). The total length of the natural non-karstic caves is 837 m. The listed artificial cavities total 181 m in length.

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