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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 shear stress is see stress, shear.?

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Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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
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Your search for alluvial deposits (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Phreatobiological researches II., 1965, Motas Constantin, Serban Eugne
The present note calls into question the opinion of different authors concerning the presence or lack of adult Niphargus near the phreatic table (superior layer of phreatic water) in zones prospected by Karaman-Chappuis method. Our investigations have proved the reason for which Niphargus adults were less frequent in the superior layer of the phreatic water is rather concerned with our investigation means; which are very approximate -, than with the ecological or ethological requirements of these animals. The assertion that the phreatic fauna performs downward migrations during the floods must be considered as doubtful. During floods it is impossible to dig into the alluvial deposits immediately near the stream, these being completely flooded; so, we are obliged to dig in regions more distant from the riverside, which are not flooded. It is well known that in this zone the biocoenosis contains always a greater number of phreatobius elements. One of the authors (C. Motas) introduce the terms: rithrobios; for the fauna inhabiting the epigean streams, phreatobios; for that inhabiting the phreatic water, and geobios; for the terrestrial world.

La tanne des Biolles, un axe de drainage majeur sous le massif du Margriaz (Bauges, Savoie, France), 1996, Hoblea F. , Dodelin C. , Lasserre D. , Bottazzi J. , Maniez P.
The entrance of the Tanne des Biolles is located 1670 m high in the Mount Margeriaz. Urgonian limestones are inclined towards the east. This moun-tain is well known for its numerous, very long and narrow meanders, espe-cially the Tanne aux Cochons - Tanne Froide system which is the deepest cave in Savoie F825 m, 17km). The Tanne des Biolles was discovered in 1985, but an obstruction near the entrance was cleared only in 1993, thus opening the way to several kilo-metres of wide galleries (20 m x 20 m). Such a large size, exceptional for the Margeriaz can be explained by the fact that the cave has developed in a little faulted transverse syncline which leads the underground stream directly to the Pissieu vauclusian spring, 1000 m lower. The stream is strong enough to score the marl--limestones of the hauterivian level which is usually the watertight floor. The biggest volumes are thus dug into the Hauterivian. This paper presents the special speleomorphology of the Tanne des Biolles, and a water tracing test made in May 1995. The existence of another exsurgence, situated downstream the Pissieu at the base level of the main valley in the Bauges, and obstructed by alluvial deposits, is thus confirmed by this experience.

Determining the Exposure Age of a Karst Landscape, 1996, Frumkin A,
An extensive salt karst system has developed in Mount Sedom salt diapir, Israel, during the Holocene. Multilevel vadose caves were14C dated using wood fragments embedded in alluvial deposits. The oldest date of each cave is used to constrain the age of the salt exposure. The upper portion of the southeastern escarpment was the first to rise above base level ~7100 yr B.P. Caves in the surrounding area indicate gradual landscape exposure around this initial karstified area between 7000 and 4000 yr B.P. The northern part of the mountain experienced a similar exposure history, lagging some 3000 yr after the southern part. This lag may be attributed to the narrow width of the diapir in the north, which increases viscous drag at the borders of the rising diapir

Rapport entre karst et glaciers durant les glaciations dans les valles pralpines du sud des Alpes, 1998, Bini Alfredo, Tognini Paola, Zuccoli Luisa
At least 13 glaciations occurred during the last 2.6Ma in the Southern pre_alpine valleys. The glaciers scouring alpine and pre-alpine valleys had all the same feature, being valley temperated glaciers. Their tracks and feeding areas were always the same, just like the petrological contents of their deposits. Contrary to previous assumptions until a few years ago, the origin of these valleys and of the lakes occupying the floor of some of them (Orta, Maggiore, Como, Iseo, Garda Lakes) is due to fluvial erosion related to Messinian marine regression. The valley slopes modelling is Messinian in age, too, while most caves are older. As a general rule, glaciers worked on valley slopes just as a re_modelling agent, while their effects were greater on valley floors. The karstic evolution began as soon as the area was lifted above sea level (upper Oligocene - lower Miocene), in a palaeogeographical environment quite different from the present one, although the main valley floors were already working as a base level. During Messinian age, the excavation of deep canyons along pre-existing valleys caused a dramatic lowering of the base level, followed by a complete re-arrangement of the karstic networks, which got deeper and deeper. The Pliocene marine transgression caused a new re-arrangement, the karst network getting mostly drowned under sea level. During these periods, the climate was hot-wet tropical, characterised by a great amount of water circulating during the wet season. At the same time tectonic upliftings were at work, causing breaking up of the karst networks and a continuous rearrangement of the underground drainage system. In any case, karstic networks were already well developed long before the beginning of Plio-Quaternary glaciations. During glaciations, karst systems in pre-alpine valleys could have been submitted to different drainage conditions, being: a) isolated, without any glacial water flowing; b) flooded, connected to the glacier water-filled zone; c) active, scoured by a stream sinking at glacier sides or in a sub glacial position. The stream could flow to the flooded zone (b), or scour all the unflooded system long down to the resurgence zone, the latter being generally located in a sub glacier position. The glacier/karst system is a very dynamic one: it could get active, flooded or isolated depending on endo- and sub-glacial drainage variations. Furthermore, glaciers show different influences on karstic networks, thus working with a different effect during their advance, fluctuations, covering and recession phases. Many authors believe, or believed, the development of most surface and underground karst in the Alps is due to glaciations, with the last one held to be mostly responsible for this. Whatever the role of glaciers on karstic systems, in pre-alpine valleys caves, we do not have evidence either of development of new caves or of remarkable changes in their features during glaciations. It is of course possible some pits or galleries could have developed during Plio-Quaternary glaciations, but as a general rule glaciers do not seem to have affected karstic systems in the Southern pre-alpine valleys with any remarkable speleogenetic effects: the glaciers effects on them is generally restricted to the transport of great amounts of debris and sediments into caves. The spotting of boulders and pebbles trapped between roof stalactites shows that several phases of in- and out-filling of galleries occurred with no remarkable changing in pre-dating features, including cave decorations. The presence of suspended karst systems does not prove a glacial origin of the valleys, since most of them pre-date any Plio-Quaternary glaciation, as shown by calcite cave deposits older than 1,5Ma. The sediments driven into caves might have caused a partial or total occlusion of most galleries, with a remarkable re-arrangement of the underground drainage system. In caves submitted to periglacial conditions all glaciations long, we can find deposits coming from weathered surface sediments, sharp-edged gelifraction debris and, more rarely, alluvial deposits whose origin is not related to the circulation of the glacial meltwater. In caves lower than or close to the glaciers limit we generally find large amounts of glacier-related deposits, often partly or totally occluding cave galleries. These sediments may be directly related to glaciers, i.e. carried into caves by glacial meltwaters, resulting from surface glacial deposit erosion. They generally show 3 dominant facies: A) lacustrine deposits; B) alluvial deposits and C) debris flow deposits facies. The only way of testing the soundness of the forementioned hypothesis is to study the main characters and spreading of cave sediments, since they are the only real data on connection of glaciers to endokarst networks.

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998, Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Oxidation of organic matter in a karstic hydrologic unit supplied through stream sinks (Loiret, France), 1998, Alberic P, Lepiller M,
The aim of this paper is to appraise the ability of the oxidation of riverine organic matter in the control of limestone dissolution, in a karst network. Biogeochemical processes during infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer have already been described for an average flow velocity of 4-5 m d(-1) (Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R, and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706; Von Gunten, H. R., Karametaxas, G., Krahenbuhl, U., Kuslys, M., Giovanoli R., Hoehn E. and Keil R. (1991) Seasonal biogeochemical cycles in riverborne groundwater. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 55, 3597-3609; Bourg, A. C. M. and Bertin, C. (1993) Quantitative appraisal of biogeochemical chemical processes during the infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 27, 661-666). Karstic drainage networks, such as in the River Loire-Val d'Orleans hydrologic system (Fig. 1), make possible flow velocities up to 200 m h(-1 a) and provide convenient access to different water samples several tens of km apart, at both extremities of the hydrologic unit (Chery, J.-L. (1983) Etude hydrochimique d'un aquifere karstique alimente par perte de cours d'eau (la Loire): Le systeme des calcaires de Beauce sous le val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans; Livrozet, E. (1984) Influence des apports de la Loire sur la qualite bacteriologique et chimique de l'aquifere karstique du val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans). Recharge of the karstic aquifer occurs principally from influent waters from stream sinks, either through coarse alluvial deposits or directly from outcrops of the regional limestone bedrock (Calcaires de Beauce). Recharge by seepage waters From the local catchment basin is small (Zunino, C., Bonnet, M. and Lelong, F. (1980) Le Val d'Orleans: un exemple d'aquifere a alimentation laterale. C. R. somm. Soc. Geol. Fr. 5, 195-199; Gonzalez R. (1992) Etude de l'organisation et evaluation des echanges entre la Loire moyenne et l'aquifere des calcaires de Beauce. These, Universite d'Orleans) and negligible in summer. This karstic hydrologic: system is the largest in France in terms of flow (tens to hundreds of m(3)/s) and provides the main water resource of the city of Orleans. Chemical compositions of influent waters (River Loire) and effluent waters (spring of the river Loiret) were compared, in particular during floods in summer 1992 and 1993 (Figs 2-4). Variation of chloride in the River Loire during the stream rise can be used as an environmental tracer of the underground flow (Fig. 2). Short transit times of about 3 days are detectable (Fig, 2) which are consistent with earlier estimations obtained with chemical tracers (Ref. in Chery, J.-L. (1983) These, Universite d'Orleans). Depending on the hydrological regime of the river, organic carbon discharge ranges between 3-7 and 2-13 mg/l for dissolved and particulate matter respectively (Fig. 3). Eutrophic characteristics and high algal biomasses are found in the River Loire during low water (Lair, N. and Sargos, D. (1993) A 10 year study at four sites of the middle course of the River Loire. I - Patterns of change in hydrological, physical and chemical variables in relation to algal biomass. Hudroecol. Appl. 5, 1-27) together with more organic carbon rich suspended particulate matter than during floods (30-40 C-org % dry weight versus 5-10%). Amounts of total organic carbon and dissolved oxygen (Fig. 3) dramatically decrease during the underground transport, whereas conversely, dissolved calcium, alkalinity and inorganic carbon increase (Fig. 4). Anoxia of outflows map start in April. Dissolution of calcium carbonates along the influent path outweighs closed system calcite equilibrium of inflow river waters (Table 3). The impact of organic matter oxidation on calcite dissolution may be traced by variations of alkalinity and total carbonates in water. Following, Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R. and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706), results are shown graphically (Fig. 5). Extent of reactions is controlled by the consumption of dissolved O-2 and nitrate for organic matter oxidation and by the release of Ca2 for calcite dissolution (Table 2). The karstic network is considered to behave like a biological reactor not exchanging with the atmosphere, with steady inhabitant microbial communities (Mariotti A., Landreau A, and Simon B. (1988) N-15 isotope biogeochemisrry and natural denitrification process in groundwater: Application to the chalk aquifer of northern France. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 1869-1878; Gounot, A.-M. (1991) Ecologie microbienne des eaux ei des sediments souterrains. Hydrogeologie, 239-248). Thus, energy requirements only are considered, not carbon assimilation. Moreover, there is no necessity to invoke any delay for nitrification enhancement, as observed elsewhere, after waste water discharge into the river (Chesterikoff, A., Garban, B., Billen, G. and Poulin, M. (1992) Inorganic nitrogen dynamics in the River Seine downstream from Paris (France). Biogeochem. 17, 147-164). Main microbial processes are assumed to be aerobic respiration, nitrification and denitrification. Reactions with iron and manganese, real but not quantitatively important, were neglected. Sulphate reduction and methane formation, certainly not active, were not considered. Denitrification, which is suggested by low nitrate and ammonium concentrations and anoxia in the outflow, is known to be rapid enough to be achieved in a short time (Dupain, S. (1992) Denitrification biologique heterotrophe appliquee au traitement des eaux d'alimentation: Conditions de fonclionnement et mise au point d'un procede. These, Universite Claude Bernard, Lyon). Reaction are somewhat arbitrary but conform to general acceptance (Morel, M. M. and Hering, J. G. (1993) Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry. Wiley, New York). Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Mulder A., van de Graaf, A. A., Robertson, L: A. and Kuenen, J. G. (1995) Anaerobic ammonium oxidation discovered in a denitrifying fluidized bed reactor. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 16, 177-184). although possible, was not considered. In fact, C/N ratio of the reactive organic matter has only mild repercussions on the results; i.e. in the same range as the analytical errors for alkalinity and total carbonates. The objective was simply to roughly confront characteristics of outflowing waters and the calculation. Respective roles of aerobes and denitrifiers, for instance, are not certain. Several periods during low water or floods were selected with various ranges for calcium dissolution or nitrate and oxygen concentrations. The result is that in most cases simulation and data are in reasonable accordance (Fig. 5). Amounts of organic matter in River Loire are generally sufficient to sustain the process (Table 3. Particulate organic matter is probably the most reactive. The balance of oxidation of organic matter indicates that about 65 mu g C-org/l.h are oxidized during the transport without much variation with the river regime or organic discharge. It is concluded that limestone dissolution is directly dependent on organic matter oxidation, but variation occurs (7-29 mg CuCO3/l) with the level of bases that can be neutralized in the River Loire water. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Evolution of river network at the 'Cevennes-Grands Causses' transition: Consequences for the evaluation of uplift, 2001, Camus H,
The Mediterranean catchment of the Cevennes (S. France) presents deep incision of the river network (fig. 1 and 2). Combined geomorphology and analyses of the residual sedimentary formations allows to reconstruct a complex history of river network evolution, including capture of tributaries of the Herault River (fig. 1, 2 and 3). The history of uplift of the upstream drainage area could be estimated from the provenance studies of the fluvial and karstic deposits, however river incision is also controlled sea-level changes and differential erosion, which makes reconstruction more complex. Allochthonous clasts types Analyses of allochtonous deposits on the Grands Causses surface reveals different origin for sediments from the hill top and the Airoles valley (fig. 4b), which was previously unrecognised. Facies 1 is found on the highest points of the Grands Causses surface (well sorted rounded quartz pebbles in red shale matrix) it corresponds to a weathered residual sediments (dismantling of an ancient cover). Facies 2 is found on the slope of the Airoles Valley (fig. 7). It consists of alluvial crystalline poorly sorted clasts with outsized clasts (up to 50cm) of quartz-vein, schists in a matrix of shales and sand (weathered granite). Between the hill tops and the Airoles Valley, karstic network presents a sediment fill with clasts reworked from facies I and facies 2 (fig. 6). Airoles valley model : an example of diachronic formation of drainage network The Airoles dry valley stretches on the Grands Causses from the north (700 m) to the south into the present thalweg line of the Vis canyon (500 m) (fig. 1b & 3). Crystalline deposits witness an ancient catchment in the Cevennes. Presently, the catchment in the crystalline basement is disconnected and captured by the Arre River flowing eastwards (fig. 3 & 4a). The profile of the Airoles abandoned valley connects with the present Vis Canyon, therefore, at the time of capture, incision of the Vis canyon had reached its present altitude (fig. 4a). The geomorphologic evolution of this area took place in three stages (fig. 8). 1) The Grands Causses acted as piedmont for the crystalline highlands of the Massif Central (fig. 8A). A latter karstic evolution (tropical climate) allowed the weathered residual sediments (facies 1) (fig. 8A). 2) Incision of the Vis karstic canyon implies that the Herault incision and terraces (facies 2) (fig, 8B) of the Airoles valley occurred during this stage. 3) The Arre valley head propagates westward by regressive erosion and finaly captured the Airoles river crystalline catchment (fig. 8C). Consequence for the Cevennes uplift and hydrographic network development Although the values of present vertical incision in the Vis canyon and in the Arre valley are similar, but they achieved at different time. In addition, the narrow and deep canyon of the Vis is due to vertical incision from the karstic surface of the Grands Causses, whereas the Arre wide valley results from (a younger) lateral slops retreat from a low Herault base-level. The Vis karstic canyon developed in a similar way to the major karstic canyons of both Mediterranean and Atlantic catchment (i.e. Tarn). This rules out a Messinian Mediterranean desiccation as incision driving mechanism and suggests tectonic uplift of the Cevennes and surrounding areas. The Tam being already incised by 13 My [Ambert, 1990], it implies a Miocene age for the incision. Conclusion The amplitude of the vertical incision cannot therefore be used in a simple way to interpret the uplift history of the basement. Consequently, geomorphologic analysis appears to be a prerequisite to distinguish the part played by each factor, and to select the site of uplift measurement

The stratigraphical record and activity of evaporite dissolution subsidence in Spain, 2001, Gutierrez F. , Orti F. , Gutierrez M. , Perezgonzalez A. , Benito G. , Prieto J. G. , Valsero J. J. D. ,
The evaporite formations tin outcrop and at shallow depth) cover an extensive area of the Spanish territory. These soluble sediments are found in diverse geological domains and record a wide time span from the Triassic up to the present day. Broadly, the Mesozoic and Paleogene formations (Alpine cycle) are affected by compressional structures, whereas the Neogene (post-orogenic) sediments remain undeformed. The subsidence caused by subsurface dissolution of the evaporites (subjacent karst) takes place in three main types of stratigraphical settings: a) Subsidence affecting evaporite-bearing Mesozoic and Tertiary successions (interstratal karst); b) Subsidence in Quaternary alluvial deposits related to the exorheic evolution of the present-day fluvial systems (alluvial or mantled karst); c) Subsidence in exposed evaporites (uncovered karst). These types may be represented by paleosubsidence phenomena (synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary) recognizable in the stratigraphical record, or by equivalent currently active or modem examples with surface expression. The interstratal karstification of the Mesozoic marine evaporites and the consequent subsidence of the topstrata is revealed by stratiform collapse breccias and wedge-outs in the evaporites grading into unsoluble residues. In several Tertiary basins, the sediments overlying evaporites locally show synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary subsidence structures. The dissolution-induced subsidence coeval to sedimentation gives place to local thickenings in basin-like structures with convergent dips and cumulative wedge out systems. This sinking process controls the generation of depositional environments and lithofacies distribution. The postsedimentary subsidence produces a great variety of gravitational deformations in the Tertiary supra-evaporitic units including both ductile and brittle structures (flexures, synforms, fractures, collapse and brecciation). The Quaternary fluvial terrace deposits on evaporite sediments show anomalous thickenings (> 150 m) caused by a dissolution-induced subsidence process in the alluvial plain which is balanced by alluvial aggradation. The complex space and time evolution pattern of the paleosubsidence gives place to intricate and anarchical structures in the alluvium which may be erroneously interpreted as pure tectonic deformations. The current subsidence and generation of sinkholes due to suballuvial karstification constitutes a geohazard which affects to large densely populated areas endangering human safety and posing limitations to the development. An outstanding example corresponds to Calatayud historical city, where subsidence severely damages highly valuable monuments. The subsidence resulting from the underground karstification of evaporites has determined or influenced the generation of some important modem lacustrine basins like Gallocanta, Fuente de Piedra and Banyoles lakes. The sudden formation of sinkholes due to the collapse of cave roofs is relatively frequent in some evaporite outcrops. Very harmful and spectacular subsidence activity is currently occurring in the Cardona salt diapir where subsidence has been dramatically exacerbated by mining practices

Paleosubsidence and active subsidence due to evaporite dissolution in Spain, 2002, Gutierrez F. , Orti F. , Gutierrez M. , Perezgonzalez A. , Benito G. , Gracia F. J. , Duran J. J. ,
Evaporite formations crop out or are at shallow depth present in an extensive area of Spain. These soluble sediments occur in diverse geological domains and were deposited over a long time span, from the Triassic up to the present day. Broadly, the Mesozoic and Paleogene formations (Alpine cycle) are affected by compressional structures, whereas the Neogene (post-orogenic) sediments remain undeformed. Subsidence caused by subsurface dissolution of evaporites (subjacent karst) takes place in three main types of stratigraphic settings: a) subsidence affecting evaporite-bearing Mesozoic and Tertiary successions (interstratal karst); b) subsidence in Quaternary alluvial deposits related to the exorheic evolution of present-day fluvial systems (alluvial or mantled karst); and c) subsidence in exposed evaporites (uncovered karst). These types may be represented by paleosubsidence phenomena (synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary) recognizable in the stratigraphic record, or by equivalent, currently active or modem examples which have a surface expression. Interstratal karstification of Mesozoic marine evaporites, and the consequent subsidence of overlying strata, is revealed by stratiform collapse breccias and wedge outs of the evaporites grading into unsoluble residues. In several Tertiary basins, the sediments overlying evaporites locally show synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary subsidence structures. Dissolution-induced subsidence coeval with sedimentation is accompanied by local thickening of strata in basin-like structures with convergent dips and cumulative wedge-out systems. This sinking process controls the generation of depositional environments and lithofacies distribution. Postsedimentary subsidence produces a great variety of gravitational deformations in Tertiary supra-evaporitic units, including both ductile and brittle structures (flexures, synforms, fractures, collapse, and brecciation). Quaternary fluvial terrace deposits overlying evaporites show anomalous thickenings (>150 m) caused by a dissolution-induced subsidence process in the alluvial plain, which is balanced by alluvial aggradation. The complex evolution (in time and space) of paleosubsidence leads to intricate and chaotic structures in the alluvium, which may be erroneously interpreted as pure tectonic deformations. The current subsidence and generation of sinkholes due to suballuvial karstification constitutes a geohazard which affects large, densely populated areas, and thus endangers human safety and poses limitations on development. An outstanding example can be seen in Calatayud, an important historical city where subsidence has severely damaged highly valuable monuments. Subsidence resulting from the underground karstification of evaporites has caused or influenced the generation of some important modem lacustrine basins, such as Gallocanta, Fuente de Piedra, and Banyoles Lakes. The sudden formation of sinkholes due to collapse of cave roofs is fairly frequent in some evaporite outcrops. Very harmful and spectacular subsidence activity is currently occurring in the Cardona salt diapir, where subsidence has been dramatically exacerbated by mining practices

Road and bridge construction across gypsum karst in England, 2002, Cooper Ah, Saunders Jm,
Gypsum karst problems in the Permian and Triassic sequences of England have caused difficult conditions for bridge and road construction. In Northern England, the Ripon Bypass crosses Permian strata affected by active gypsum karst and severe subsidence problems. Here, the initial borehole site investigation for the road was supplemented by resistivity tomography studies. The roadway was reinforced with two layers of tensile membrane material within the earth embankment. This will prevent dangerous catastrophic collapse, but will allow sagging to show where problems exist. The River Ure Bridge was constructed across an area of subsidence pipes filled with alluvial deposits. It was built with extra strength, larger than normal foundations. If one pier fails, the bridge is designed for adjacent arches to span the gap without collapse. The bridge piers are also fitted with electronic load monitoring to warn of failure. In the Midlands area of England, road construction over Triassic gypsum has required a phase of ground improvement on the Derby Southern Bypass. Here, the gypsum caps a hill where it was formerly mined; it dips through a karstic dissolution zone into an area of complete dissolution and collapse. The road and an associated flyover were built across these ground conditions. A major grouting program before the earthworks began treated the cavities in the mine workings and the cavernous margin of the gypsum mass. Within the karstic dissolution zone, gypsum blocks and cavities along the route were identified by conductivity and resistivity geophysical surveys, excavated and backfilled. In the areas of complete dissolution and collapse, the road foundation was strengthened with vibrated stone columns and a reinforced concrete road deck was used. (C) 2002 S. Yamamoto. Published by Elsevier Science B.V on behalf of NERC. All rights reserved

Paleosubsidence and active subsidence due to evaporite dissolution in the Zaragoza area (Huerva River valley, NE Spain): processes, spatial distribution and protection measures for transport routes, 2004, Guerrero J. , Gutierrez F. , Lucha P. ,
The lowest 17-km long reach of the Huerva River valley, down to its confluence with the Ebro River in Zaragoza city, flows across salt-bearing evaporites of the Ebro Tertiary Basin (NE Spain). Upstream, the horizontally lying Miocene evaporites are interfingered with non-soluble distal alluvial fan facies (shales and sandstones). The proportion of soluble facies in the Huerva River valley increases in a downstream direction towards the basin depocenter. On the basis of the type and magnitude of the paleosubsidence features, the valley has been divided into four reaches. Along reach I, undeformed terrace deposits less than 4 m thick rest on insoluble detrital bedrock. In reaches II and III, dissolution at the alluvium-bedrock boundary has generated local thickening, deformation and paleocollapse structures, which only affect the alluvial mantle. In reach IV, terrace deposits thicken to over 60 m resulting from a large-scale synsedimentary subsidence. In this sector, subsidence locally affects to both the alluvium and the underlying bedrock. This indicates that dissolution acts at the rockhead beneath the alluvial cover (alluvial karst) and within the evaporitic substratum (interstratal karst). The development of an intraevaporitic karst in reach IV is attributed to gypsum and salt dissolution. Irregular terrace gravel bodies (gravel pockets) embedded in a fine-grained matrix associated with paleocollapse structures have been interpreted as liquefaction-fluidization structures resulting from ground acceleration and suction induced by catastrophic collapses. Subsidence is currently active in the region affecting areas with a thin alluvial cover in reaches III and IV. The low subsidence activity in most of Zaragoza city is explained by the presence of thickened (around 50 m) and indurated alluvial deposits. In the surrounding area, numerous buildings in Cadrete and Santa Fe villages have been severely damaged by subsidence. Natural and human-induced subsidence favours the development of slope movements in the gypsum scarp overlooking Cadrete village. Several transport routes including the Imperial Canal (irrigation canal) and the recently completed Madrid-Barcelona high-speed railway are affected by human-induced sinkholes. The paleocollapse structures exposed in the trenches of this railway and a ring road under construction point to hazardous locations underlain by cavities and collapse structures where special protection measures should be applied. Rigid structures are recommended beneath the high-speed railway with sufficient strength to span the larger sinkholes with no deformation. Electronic monitoring devices linked to a warning system can detect subtle subsidence-induced deformations in carriageways or railways. This research demonstrates that the study of the paleokarst helps to understand the processes involved in the present-day subsidence phenomena and their general spatial distribution. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Magnetic prospection as an efficient tool for doline detection: a case study in the central Ebro Basin (northern Spain), 2007, Mochales T. , Pueyo E. L. , Casas A. M. , Soriano M. A. ,
The presence of alluvial dolines in the Ebro Basin causes problems to both agricultural and urban areas. At present, new urbanization of former farming areas requires new tools to detect karst zones and so diminish the hazard linked to collapses. In the surroundings of Zaragoza, dolines (developed mainly on Quaternary alluvial terraces covering a Tertiary gypsum substratum) are commonly filled with alluvial deposits, agricultural soils, urban debris, etc. Measurements of magnetic susceptibility show a remarkable contrast between host rocks and cavity fillings, demonstrating the value of magnetic surveying. A field test was made in a recently collapsed (September 2003) doline filled currently with urban debris. A magnetic survey was carried out following a 130 m2 grid, with 1-10 m spacing between profiles. A proton magnetometer with gradiometer was utilized, and the total field intensity and gradient measurements were taken. The magnetic survey demonstrated a strong anomaly with a dipole defined by more than 650 nT and a gradient of about 100 nT m-1. The 2.5-dimensional (2.5D) modelling of the magnetic anomaly fits well with the known geometrical data. Two other dolines (that are not clearly defined at the surface) were also detected during the survey. These results validate the starting hypothesis and open a new research approach to the problem. The magnetic survey output allows the construction of realistic geological models

New knowledge on the Monte Conca gypsum karst system (central-western Sicily, Italy), 2011, Madonia Giuliana, Vattano Marco

The Monte Conca karst system is located in Central-Western Sicily, where Messinian evaporites are widespread. Here, the evaporites lie on lower Messinian-middle Serravallian clayey-marly-sandy deposits and are overlain locally by Pliocene marly limestones. These successions are affected by E-W, and to a lesser degree N-S and NW-SE, high-angle faults that have also produced lateral contacts between the gypsum units and the clayey-marly deposits. The cave passages reach altogether about 2.4 km in length and 130 m in depth, and the system consists of a sink cave, a resurgence and a relict resurgence. At large scale it is characterized by superimposed levels of sub-horizontal galleries connected by vertical shafts, which are developed in adjustment to the contemporary geomorphological setting. Until 2003, the sink cave was known to have been formed by a stream-sink, an upper horizontal gallery, a sequence of four shafts and a lower gallery. New explorations have discovered 1.5 km of relict passages that are correlatable with the inactive resurgence level and that occur at intermediate elevations between the two stories of galleries. Sinks of these relict branches are located headward of the actual sink point, but they have been sealed and covered by thick debris and alluvial deposits from the surface slopes. The resurgence consists of two superimposed galleries, the upper one inactive and the lower one active in equilibrium with the current local base level. The relict resurgence is located about 40 m above the resurgence and is characterized by a sub-horizontal gallery partially filled by copious alluvial deposits. Analysis of the gallery patterns and of the cave landforms suggests that the karst system is a multi-layer system formed under unconfined conditions. Additionally, analysis suggests that its evolution is due to a succession of stillstand and lowering phases of the karst base level, according to a regional uplifting trend, and to surface slope processes, which have complicated the structure of the karst system.

Surface and subsurface drainage evolution of the Corfino and Soraggio Karst areas (Tuscany, Italy), 2011, Mariannelli Giampaolo, Piccini Leonardo

The Pania di Corfino and Ripa di Soraggio are two minor karst areas in Tuscany, having a surface of only 11 km2, but contain more than 100 known caves. Some caves are old epi-phreatic passages testifying to a discontinuous lowering of base level in the two major valleys that cross the carbonate outcrops: the Serchio di Soraggio and the Fiume rivers, respectively located along the NW and SE borders of the massif. The spatial-altimetric distribution of major caves, which are found on a vertical range of a few hundreds of meters, and their relationships with the position of surface alluvial deposits have allowed to infer a first evolutionary framework of karst during the late Quaternary. If we refer to a simple model, where fluvial deposition occurs mainly during cold stages and incision during warm stages, the discrete distribution of cave passages suggests that the different epi-phreatic phases are the responses to the alternation of cold and warm periods. In any case, the re-organization of the river network induced by the tectonic uplift had a relevant effect on cave systems. First, the underground diversion of surface drainage enhanced the downcutting of NW and SE peripheral streams, which received a larger quantity of water through karst springs due to the favored morpho-structural setting. Successively, the backward piracy of the allogenic catchments of the karst systems by surface tributaries led to the dewatering of caves and to the present situation.

Hydrodynamic modeling of a complex karst-alluvial aquifer: case study of Prijedor Groundwater Source, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013, Polomčić Dušan, Dragišić Veselin, Živanović Vladimir

Middle Triassic fractured and karstified limestone and dolomite form a karst aquifer in the Sana River Valley near the town of Prijedor. As a result of intensive tectonic movements, carbonate rocks are mostly below the Sana River level, covered by younger Pliocene and alluvial deposits. The main source of groundwater recharge is infiltration from the Sana River through its alluvium over most of the aquifer. The main objective of the research reported in this paper was to evaluate the hydraulic relationships of the alluvial, Pliocene and karst aquifers in order to better understand the water supply potential of the karst aquifer. Although the use of hydrodynamic modeling is not very common with karst aquifers, the developed model provided significant and useful information on the groundwater budget and recharge type. The influence of fault zones and spatial anisotropy of the karst aquifer were simulated on the hydrodynamic model by varying permeability on the xand y­axes of the Cartesian coordinate system with respect to the fault, the main pathway of groundwater circulation. Representative hydraulic conductivities were Kx

 = 2.3·10­3

 m/s and Ky

 = 5.0·10­3

 m/s in the faults of Nw to SE direction, and Kx

 = 2.5·10­3

 m/s and Ky


 m/s in the faults of Sw to NE trend. Model research showed that the karst aquifer can be used in the long term at maximal tested capacities and that current groundwater exploitation is not compromised in dry periods when the water budget depends entirely on recharge from the Sana River.

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