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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That tower karst, towerkarst, turmkarst is 1. a spectacular variety of karst landscape dominated by steep or vertical sided limestone towers each 30-300m high. by far the most extensive and best developed tower karst is the guangxi province of southern china. towers originate as residual cones and are then steepened by water table undercutting from surround alluviated plains. tectonic uplift matched by karst erosion then increases tower heights, but if uplift exceeds surface lowering the towers are raised to hillside locations and the landscape is rejuvenated to form a new generation of dolines and cone karst. many towers are riddled with relict caves at high levels, and with active caves through their bases [9]. 2. karst topography characterized by isolated residual limestone hills displaying numerous shapes (e.g., cone shaped, steep-sided) separated by areas of alluvium or other detrital sand; towers are generally forest-covered hills, and many have flat tops. they may form as isolated hills or in groups. 3. a type of karst topography, common in the tropics, in which the residual hills rise in steep-sided but flat-topped mounds (resembling towers) from intervening depressions or dolinas (sinkholes) [20]. synonyms: (french.) karst a tourelles, karst a tours; (german.) turmkarst, kegelkarst; (italian.) carsismo con forme residuali a torre; (spanish.) karst de torres; (turkish.) kuleli karst. see also cone karst; cupola karst; pinnacle karst; fengcong; fenglin.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals


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International Journal of Speleology, 2012, Vol 41, Issue 2, p. 309-318

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Cryogenic fracturing of calcite flowstone in caves: theoretical considerations and field observations in Kents Cavern, Devon, UK

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Abstract:

Several caves in Devon, England, have been noted for extensive cracking of substantial flowstone floors. Conjectural explanations have included earthquake damage, local shock damage from collapsing cave passages, hydraulic pressure, and cryogenic processes. Here we present a theoretical model to demonstrate that frost-heaving and fracture of flowstone floors that overlie wet sediments is both a feasible and likely consequence of unidirectional air flow or cold-air ponding in caves, and argue that this is the most likely mechanism for flowstone cracking in caves located in Pleistocene periglacial environments outside of tectonically active regions. Modeled parameters for a main passage in Kents Cavern, Devon, demonstrate that 1 to 6 months of -10 to -15° C air flow at very modest velocities will result in freezing of 1 to 3 m of saturated sediment fill. The resultant frost heave increases with passage width and depth of frozen sediments. In the most conservative estimate, freezing over one winter season of 2 m of sediment in a 6-m wide passage could fracture flowstone floors up to ~13 cm thick, rising to ~23 cm in a 12-m wide passage. Natural flaws in the flowstone increase the thickness that could be shattered. These numbers are quite consistent with the field evidence.

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Keywords: speleothem, frost heave, periglacial, kents cavern, ice, cave, pleistocene

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Link to the original publication

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