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Non-karstic Caves of the Soproni Mountains
The medium height Soproni Mountains are to be found in the eastern foothills of the Alps in the vicinity of the Lake Fertõ (Neusiedler See). They cover an area of 500 km2. Three-quarters of the mountains belong to Austria (Ödenburger Gebirge) and only one-quarter are in Hungarian territory. The central part is the Soproni Block. They were formed by crustal movements and the denudation. Further north and northwest are found four lower, intermonane basins divided into blocks: the Balfi-, Ruszti-, and Darufalvi Blocks and the Dudlesz Forest.
The bedrock of the mountain is Upper Carbonic crystalline schist and gneiss. This formation outcrops in a significant area, while in other parts it is overlain by Miocene pebble, sand and "Lajta Limestone". Pleistocene and Holocene fluvial deposits are the uppermost layers of the intermonane basins. One cave was found in the crystalline bedrock. Four caves are known in the Miocene (Sarmatian) conglomerate and sandstone. Nineteen karstic caves were found in "Lajta Limestone". These are formed in the Balfi- and Ruszti Blocks.
Several artificial cavities were excavated in the "Lajta Limestone" for mining purposes and in conglomerate as air raid shelter (Szálasi Air Raid Shelter). The cavities in the Fertõrákos quarry and Szentmargitbánya quarries date from the Roman Age. The Mithrász Cave is remarkable. It is a partly excavated, and partly built Roman sanctuary.
Of the five non-karstic caves, one is developed in gneiss two are developed in calcareous conglomerate and two are formed in calcareous sandstone. All the five caves have a complex development. The cave in the gneiss had developed by the influence of along the fault lines rising hot solutions. These solutions caused a rock fragmentation. The fine rock fragments were fallen out as the quarry operation had reached the fragmentation zone of the faults. In the case of the caves formed in sedimentary rocks in the first phase water seeping along the bedding planes dissolve the calcareous cemented material. The holes were widened as the erosion washes away the grains of the loosened rock. Finally the caves were further widened as collapses occurred along the bedding planes.
The non-karstic caves of the Soproni Mountains:
1. Bécsi Hill Cave conglomerate Sopron 24/+0,5 m
2. Ferenc Cave calcareous sandstone Sopron 26/+2,5 m
3. Ottó Cave calcareous sandstone Sopron 15/+4 m
4. Szikla Rock Shelter calcareous conglomerate Sopron 2/+1,1 m
5. Cave of the Bánfalvi Quarry gneiss Sopron – Bánfalva 2,3/+1,8 m
Total length: 70 m