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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 hydrograph separation is the separation of a hydrograph into its different components to analyze flow contributions [16].?

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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 ancient (Keyword) returned 169 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 169
Controversy over the great flood hypotheses in the Black Sea in light of geological, paleontological, and archaeological evidence, , Yankohombach Valentina, Gilbert Allan S. , Dolukhanov Pavel,
Legends describing a Great Flood are found in the narratives of several world religions, and the biblical account of Noah's Flood is the surviving heir to several versions of the ancient Mesopotamian Flood Myth. Recently, the story of the biblical deluge was connected to the Black Sea, together with the suggestion that the story's pre-Mesopotamian origins might be found in the Pontic basin [Ryan, W.B.F., Pitman, III, W.C., 1998. Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History. Simon and Schuster, New York]. Based on the significance of this flood epic in the Judeo-Christian tradition, popular interest surged following publication of the idea.Currently, two Great Flood scenarios have been proposed for the Black Sea: (1) an Early Holocene event caused by catastrophic Mediterranean inflow at 7.2 ky BP (initial hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 1997. An abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf. Marine Geology 138, 119-126]) or 8.4 ky BP (modified hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 2003. Catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science 31, 525-554.); and (2) a Late Pleistocene event brought on by Caspian influx between 16 and 13 ky BP [Chepalyga, A.L., 2003. Late glacial Great Flood in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2-5 November 2003, Seattle, USA, p. 460]. Both hypotheses claim that the massive inundations of the Black Sea basin and ensuing large-scale environmental changes had a profound impact on prehistoric human societies of the surrounding areas, and both propose that the event formed the basis for the biblical Great Flood legend.This paper attempts to determine whether the preponderance of existing evidence sustains support for these Great Floods in the evolution of the Black Sea. Based upon established geological and paleontological data, it finds that the Late Pleistocene inundation was intense and substantial whereas the Early Holocene sea-level rise was not. Between 16 and 13 ky BP, the Late Neoeuxinian lake (the Late Pleistocene water body in the Pontic basin pre-dating the Black Sea) increased rapidly from ~-14 to -50 m (below the present level of the Black Sea), then rose gradually to ~-20 m by about 11 ky BP. At 11-10 ky BP (the Younger Dryas), it dropped to ~-50 m. When the Black Sea re-connected with the Sea of Marmara at about 9.5 ky BP, inflowing Mediterranean water increased the Black Sea level very gradually up to ~-20 m, and in so doing, it raised the salinity of the basin and brought in the first wave of Mediterranean immigrants. These data indicate no major drawdown of the Black Sea after the Younger Dryas, and they do not provide evidence for any catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea in the Early Holocene.In addition, available archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidence from the Pontic region reveal no recognizable changes in population dynamics between 14 and 6 ky BP that could be linked to an inundation of large magnitude [Dolukhanov, P., Shilik, K., 2006. Environment, sea-level changes, and human migrations in the northern Pontic area during late Pleistocene and Holocene times. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 297-318; Stanko, V.N., 2006. Fluctuations in the level of the Black Sea and Mesolithic settlement of the northern Pontic area. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 371-385]. More specifically, Mesolithic and early Neolithic archaeological data in southeastern Europe and Ukraine give no indications of shifts in human subsistence or other behavior at the time of the proposed catastrophic flood in the Early Holocene [Anthony, D., 2006. Pontic-Caspian Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies at the time of the Black Sea Flood: A small audience and small effects. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 345-370; Dergachev and Dolukhanov, 2006. The Neolithization of the North Pontic area and the Balkans in the context of the Black Sea Floods. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 489-514]

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

Unusual speleothems resembling giant mushrooms occur in Cueva Grande de Santa
Catalina, Cuba. Although these mineral buildups are considered a natural heritage, their
composition and formation mechanism remain poorly understood. Here we characterize
their morphology and mineralogy and present a model for their genesis. We propose that
the mushrooms, which are mainly comprised of calcite and aragonite, formed during four
different phases within an evolving cave environment. The stipe of the mushroom is an
assemblage of three well-known speleothems: a stalagmite surrounded by calcite rafts
that were subsequently encrusted by cave clouds (mammillaries). More peculiar is the
cap of the mushroom, which is morphologically similar to cerebroid stromatolites and
thrombolites of microbial origin occurring in marine environments. Scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) investigations of this last unit revealed the presence of fossilized
extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)—the constituents of biofilms and microbial
mats. These organic microstructures are mineralized with Ca-carbonate, suggesting that
the mushroom cap formed through a microbially-influenced mineralization process. The
existence of cerebroid Ca-carbonate buildups forming in dark caves (i.e., in the absence
of phototrophs) has interesting implications for the study of fossil microbialites preserved
in ancient rocks, which are today considered as one of the earliest evidence for life on
Earth.


Ancient Cave Lore, 1947, Stebbins, Benton P.

An Ancient Underground Church in Weid Hanzir, Malta, 1952, Shaw T. R.

Ecology, systematics and distribution of two sympatric in North-Germany living Bathynella species (Crustacea, Syncarida)., 1968, Husmann Siegfried
The sympatric occurrence of two bathynellids previously considered races of Bathynella natans; natans and stammeri; is evaluated as a natural ecological-genetic experiment. Since no hybrids appear in mixed populations, these forms are proven to be full species: Bathynella natans Vejdovsky and Bathynella stammeri (Jakobi). Besides the form of the mandibles, which until now was the only taxonomically useful diagnostic character in the genus Bathynella, 7 additional, suitably applicable morphological characters have been found (Table 3). The Bathynella biotope investigated is assigned to the "eustygopsammal" subterranean life province (Husmann 1966), which is associated with the "Parastenocaris-Bathynella" biocoenosis (Husmann 1962). This particular biocoenosis is evidently resistant to organic pollution of ground water. The sympatric existence of Bathynella natans and B.stammeri can be explained by consideration of the geo-limnological developmental history of the interstitial zone of the North German low plain. Sands and gravels were widely deposited in the North German Basin by northward-retreating glaciers, creating microcavernous living space and passages for the interstitial fauna. This microfauna could find passages in layers of sand under and along the northward-flowing streams. Primitive Ice-Age streams (,,Urstromtler" of Keilhack) formed east-to-west cross-connections between the south-north distributional corridors. The great geographical expansion of the tributary river courses which reached the north German plain before, during, and after the Ice Age suggests that ground water habitats were temporarily separated and later rejoined by orogenic movements of the earth's surface. Such an orogenically caused, geomorphological isolation lasting for a sufficiently long geological period could have led to the result that species, originating in isolation from the same phylogenetic stock, subsequently were brought together again in the same biotope. This is particularly true for bathynellids, which as archaic types (Lebensformtypen) of the ancient, extreme "mesopsammal" biotope (Remane) are quite likely to have become sympatric in such a manner.

Ecology, systematics and distribution of two sympatric in North-Germany living Bathynella species (Crustacea, Syncarida)., 1968, Husmann Siegfried
The sympatric occurrence of two bathynellids previously considered races of Bathynella natans; natans and stammeri; is evaluated as a natural ecological-genetic experiment. Since no hybrids appear in mixed populations, these forms are proven to be full species: Bathynella natans Vejdovsky and Bathynella stammeri (Jakobi). Besides the form of the mandibles, which until now was the only taxonomically useful diagnostic character in the genus Bathynella, 7 additional, suitably applicable morphological characters have been found (Table 3). The Bathynella biotope investigated is assigned to the "eustygopsammal" subterranean life province (Husmann 1966), which is associated with the "Parastenocaris-Bathynella" biocoenosis (Husmann 1962). This particular biocoenosis is evidently resistant to organic pollution of ground water. The sympatric existence of Bathynella natans and B.stammeri can be explained by consideration of the geo-limnological developmental history of the interstitial zone of the North German low plain. Sands and gravels were widely deposited in the North German Basin by northward-retreating glaciers, creating microcavernous living space and passages for the interstitial fauna. This microfauna could find passages in layers of sand under and along the northward-flowing streams. Primitive Ice-Age streams (,,Urstromtler" of Keilhack) formed east-to-west cross-connections between the south-north distributional corridors. The great geographical expansion of the tributary river courses which reached the north German plain before, during, and after the Ice Age suggests that ground water habitats were temporarily separated and later rejoined by orogenic movements of the earth's surface. Such an orogenically caused, geomorphological isolation lasting for a sufficiently long geological period could have led to the result that species, originating in isolation from the same phylogenetic stock, subsequently were brought together again in the same biotope. This is particularly true for bathynellids, which as archaic types (Lebensformtypen) of the ancient, extreme "mesopsammal" biotope (Remane) are quite likely to have become sympatric in such a manner.

Cave Development during a Catastrophic Storm in the Great Valley of Virginia, 1971, Doehring Do, Vierbuchen Rc,
Observations made before aind after a catastrophic storml support the conclutsion that caves receivinig storm recharge may be significantly developed in the vadose zone by the processes of niass transfer. These processes are greatly accelerated during times of major floods. Evidence indicates that in ancient times floods of similar magnitude have occurred

Cavernicolous Pseudoscorpions from Macedonia., 1974, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
A cavernicolous pseudoscorpion of the genus Neobisium Chamberlin 1930 is living in Kalina Dupka cave in the Bistra Highland of western Macedonia. This pseudoscorpion clearly differs from the other members of the subgenus Blothrus Schiodte 1849, and belongs to the new species N. (B.) princeps, the principal features of which are described in this study. The nearest relatives of this species are N. (B.} spelaeum (Schiodte) 1849, and N. (B.) stygium Beier 1931, both from Slovenian and Croatian caves. From chelal dentition N. (B.) princeps may be considered as the most primitive element of the princeps-stygium-spelaeum series. This new species is in a subterranean mode of life of extreme specialization. Relating to biogeography, it belongs to the endemic pseudoscorpion fauna in Macedonia. After finding pseudoscorpions in Zmejovica cave (Porece mountainous area), we confirmed the presence of the species N. (E.) karamani (Hadli) 1929 in west Macedonia. Morphologic analysis of male specimens from that new locality enabled us to complete description of this species previously based on a single female specimen. The comparison of Hadzis species with N. (E.) remyi Beier 1939 from west Serbian caves, with N. (E.) brevipes (Frivaldsky) 1866 and N. (E.) leruthi Beier 1931 from Turda and Bihar caves in southern Carpathians, leads to the conclusion that these pseudoscorpions belong to a closely related species group. Judging by actual distribution of these species, the possibility exists that a wide area in the ancient Balkanic dry land had been populated by the initial form of that series. As for its preferences for habitat N. (E.) karamani is an exclusive inhabitant of subterranean environment. Relating to biogeography, it may be considered as a relic of Mediterranean Tertiary fauna and its endemic differentiation as developed under the conditions of the evolution of karst relief in southern countries of the Balkan Peninsula. In conclusion, from actual knowledge and the results of this study caves in Macedonia are inhabited by three endemic species of pseudoscorpions of genus Neobisium (Blothrus), namely: N.(B.) ohridanum Hadzi 1940,N. (B.) karamani (Hadzi) 1929, and N. (B.) princeps Curcic 1974. Judging by known blothroid pseudoscorpions, it is possible Macedonia represents one of the centres of origin and genesis for autochthonous and residual fauna of the Tertiary age.

Investigations into the watertightness of the proposed Gordon-above-Olga hydro-electric storage South-west Tasmania, 1974, Roberts Glyn T. , Andric Miodrag,
The Gordon-above-Olga scheme is one of several major hydro-electric developments under investigation in the south-west of Tasmania. The proposed storage area includes a zone of Palaeozoic limestone forming part of the eastern limb of a synclinal structure which provided a potential for the existence of leakage paths capable of threatening the viability of the scheme. The geology of the area is described and the methods used in assessing the likelihood of existence of subjacent karst are detailed. The conclusion is drawn on several grounds that neither recent nor ancient activity is likely to have markedly affected the limestone through the synclinorium. In consequence the water-tightness of the proposed reservoir is predicted

The karst of Transvaal (South Africa)., 1976, Kavalieris I. , Martini Jacques E. J.
The Transvaal Karst is a world important example of a Karst developed on a very old dolomite. Its unique character is due to the composition of the rock and history of development. The dissolution of the dolomite is interesting and has an important effect on the character of the caves developed. The caves preserved in this area include the longest known in South Africa and are perhaps among the largest dolomite systems known in the world. They are very old and in some cases contain important palaeontological deposits (Australopithecine fauna). The caves to various degrees are in a state of de-generation, having been exposed for a very long period above the water-table. For the greater part of the Karst area, aggressive vadose waters, and long exposure has resulted in the accumulation of a thick covering of residual material. The plateau-like geomorphology and low rainfalls has prevented physical erosion and significant removal of this debris from the land surface. The caves themselves are often characterized by collapse and in general lack of formations. Massive calcite formation in the caves is usually partly or nearly completely redissolved and are relics of past colder climatic periods with winter rains. Formations active now are small, usually delicate and often due directly to evaporation. The heavy mantle of residual debris preserved under some of the more ancient of South African landsurface relics (the African Surface) poses a serious economic problem of stability, with mans' utilization of the environment. A greater understanding of the Karst, its evolution and properties is thus of considerable practical importance.

Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology of the Sierra de El Abra and the Valles-San Luis Potosí Region, México, PhD Thesis, 1977, Fish, Johnnie Edward

The general objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of the karst hydrology, the nature and origin of the caves, the water chemistry, the surface geomorphology, and relationships among these aspects for a high relief tropical karst region having a thick section of limestone. The Valles-San Luis Potosí region of northeastern México, and in particular, the Sierra de El Abra, was selected for the study. A Cretaceous Platform approximately 200 km wide and 300 km long (N-S) delimits the region of interest. A thick Lower Cretaceous deposit of gypsum and anydrite, and probably surrounded by Lower Cretaceous limestone facies, is overlain by more than 1000 m of the thick-bedded middle Cretaceous El Abra limestone, which has a thick platform-margin reef. The Sierra de El Abra is a greatly elongated range along the eastern margin of the Platform. During the late Cretaceous, the region was covered by thick deposits of impermeable rocks. During the early Tertiary, the area was folded, uplifted, and subjected to erosion. A high relief karst having a wide variety of geomorphic forms controlled by climate and structure has developed. Rainfall in the region varies from 250-2500 mm and is strongly concentrated in the months June-October, when very large rainfalls often occur.
A number of specific investigations were made to meet the general objective given above, with special emphasis on those that provide information concerning the nature of ground-water flow systems in the region. Most of the runoff from the region passes through the karstic subsurface. Large portions of the region have no surface runoff whatsoever. The El Abra Formation is continuous over nearly the whole Platform, and it defines a region of very active ground-water circulation. Discharge from the aquifer occurs at a number of large and many small springs. Two of them, the Coy and the Frío springs group, are among the largest springs in the world with average discharges of approximately 24 m³/sec and 28 m³/sec respectively. Most of the dry season regional discharge is from a few large springs at low elevations along the eastern margin of the Platform. The flow systems give extremely dynamic responses to large precipitation events; floods at springs usually crest roughly one day after the causal rainfall and most springs have discharge variations (0max/0min) of 25-100 times. These facts indicate well-developed conduit flow systems.
The hydrochemical and hydrologic evidence in combination with the hydrogeologic setting demonstrate the existence of regional ground-water flow to several of the large eastern springs. Hydrochemical mixing-model calculations show that the amount of regional flow is at least 12 m³/sec, that it has an approximately constant flux, and that the local flow systems provide the extremely variable component of spring discharge. The chemical and physical properties of the springs are explained in terms of local and regional flow systems.
Local studies carried out in the Sierra de El Abra show that large conduits have developed, and that large fluctuations of the water table occur. The large fossil caves in the range were part of great deep phreatic flow systems which circulated at least 300 m below ancient water tables and which discharged onto ancient coastal plains much higher than the present one. The western margin swallet caves are of the floodwater type. The cave are structurally controlled.
Knowledge gained in this study should provide a basis for planning future research, and in particular for water resource development. The aquifer has great potential for water supply, but little of that potential is presently used.


Magniezia gardei n.sp. (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota): a Stenasellid from the underground waters of Southeastern Morocco., 1978, Magniez Guy
This new species has been discovered in the waters of Kef Aziza Cave, on the Saharian slopes of the High Atlas Range, Southeastern Morocco. Magniezia gardei n.sp. belongs to the same Genus as four species previously described from the phreatic waters of the Guinean area. So, it is assumed that this Moroccan species should be a relict of the ancient aquatic hypogean fauna of the entire West Africa, nowadays protected by the development of an arid climate.

Cave and Landscape Evolution At Isaacs Creek, New South Wales, 1979, Connolly M. , Francis G.

Isaacs Creek Caves are situated in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and form a distinct unit within the Timor karst region. The larger caves such as Man, Helictite and Belfry all show evidence of early development under sluggish phreatic conditions. Nevertheless later phases of dynamic phreatic and vadose development occurred in Belfry and Helictite caves. In the case of Helictite Cave sluggish phreatic, dynamic phreatic and vadose action may have operated simultaneously in different parts of the same cave. After each cave was drained through further valley incision by Isaacs Creek, extensive clay fills derived from surface soil were deposited in it. There has been considerable re-excavation of the fills; in Main Cave younger clay loams have partially filled the resulting cavities and thus underlie the older clays. The earliest speleogenesis took place in Main Cave which pre-dates the valley of Isaacs Creek. This cave now lies in the summit of Caves Ridge about 100m above the modern valley floor. Helictite and Shaft Caves formed when the valley had been cut down to within 30m of its present level and some early phreatic development also took place in the Belfry Cave at this time. Later phases of dynamic phreatic and vadose development in Belfry Cave occurred when the valley floor lay about 12m above its present level and can be correlated with river terraces at this height. Evidence from cave morphology, isotopic basalt dates and surfaces geomorphology indicates that Main Cave formed in the Cretaceous and that Helictite Cave, Shaft Cave and the early development in Belfry Cave date from the Palaeogene. Although the dynamic phreatic and vadose action in Belfry Cave is more recent, it may still range back into the Miocene. This is a much more ancient and extended chronology than has hitherto been proposed for limestone caves and is in conflict with widely accepted ideas about cave longevity. Nevertheless evidence from Isaacs Creek and other parts of the Hunter Valley indicates that the caves and landforms are ancient features and thus notions of cave longevity developed in younger geological environments of the northern hemisphere do not apply in the present context.


Abstract: Darwin and Diprotodon: The Wellington Cave Fossils and the Law of Succession IN: Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 104, 1980 for 1979:265-272, 1981, Dugan, Kathleen G.

The fossils from Wellington Caves, some of them 'giant', are well known to Australian speleologists, finds of importance for the study of Australian fauna from early discovered caves. What I think we did not appreciate was that the Wellington 'bones' have a place in the world history of science of significance also, the theme of this paper. Many of you will have watched the BBC-TV series on 'The Voyage of the Beagle'; much was made of the importance to Darwin in developing his theory of evolution of the fossils he found in southern South America. There fossils of giant relatives of sloths, llamas and armadillos helped to make clear to him the notion of the geological succession of life, a basic part of his theory along with the idea of natural selection to which the finches and the tortoises of the Galapagos Islands proved crucial. However it seems that Darwin was previously aware of the similar significance of the Wellington Caves bones for the law of succession from Charles Lyell's Principles of Geology which quotes William Clift's identifications of dasyures, wombats and kangaroos amongst them. The fact that these recently extinct animals were closely related to the distinctive modern marsupial fauna of Australia counted much against earlier conceptions such as Cuvier's catastrophic theory or Buckland's ideas of successive divine creations within a short time span. Watchers of the TV series will remember the devious role played by the palaeontologist, Sir Richard Owen, in organising public opposition to Darwin at the famous Oxford meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. This article relates the series of rearguard actions of Owen to maintain that there was a fossil elephant component in the ancient Australian fauna, damaging to Darwinism. But the growing evidence from Australia, not all of it from caves, of course, finally extinguished this red herring, started by that doctrinaire N.S.W. colonial, the Reverend John Dunmore Lang.


Lithification of peritidal carbonates by continental brines at Fisherman Bay, South Australia, to form a megapolygon/spelean limestone association, 1982, Ferguson J, Burne Rv, Chambers La,
Lithification, which commenced less than 3000 yrs BP is still active, and has formed a cavernous limestone containing megapolygons, tepees, and speleothems including pisoliths, floe aragonite, and aragonite pool deposits. The emerging waters evolved from low alkalinity waters of Pleistocene sand and clay coastal plain aquifers which passed through an underlying Tertiare marine carbonate aquifer, have high P CO2 , total carbonate, Ca, and sulfate concentrations. They are close to saturation with respect to aragonite, and their mMg (super 2) /mCa (super 2) ratios approach or exceed the critical aragonite precipitation value. Features which diagnose ancient examples of this process: primary aragonitic cements with high mSr (super 2) /mCa (super 2) values; nonmarine delta 34 S values in gypsum; two superimposed networks of surface polygons, one delineated by extensional boundaries, the other by tepees; high-water vadose-zone isopachous grain cements; interconnected, speleothem-lined cavities; and the presence of evaporites only in surface sediments. Possible ancient examples are recognized in West Texas, Lombardy, and the Atlas Mountains. The areal extent of each of these deposits suggests that the process may be a geologically important feature, and its products may be diagnostic of semi-arid or arid-zone paralic sedimentation.--Modified journal abstract

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