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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. ...

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 dog-tooth crystal; dog-tooth spar is a variety of calcite in the form of sharppointed crystals [10].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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;
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Your search for blocking (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
Spatial variability in cave drip water hydrochemistry: Implications for stalagmite paleoclimate records, , Baldini Jul, Mcdermott F, Fairchild Ij,
The identification of vadose zone hydrological pathways that most accurately transmit climate signals through karst aquifers to stalagmites is critical for accurately interpreting climate proxies contained within individual stalagmites. A three-year cave drip hydrochemical study across a spectrum of drip types in Crag Cave, SW Ireland, reveals substantial variability in drip hydrochemical behaviour. Stalagmites fed by very slow drips ( 2[no-break space]ml/min) sites, apparently unconnected with local meteorological events. Water from these drips was typically undersaturated with respect to calcite, and thus did not result in calcite deposition. Data presented here suggest that drips in this flow regime also experience flow re-routing and blocking, and that any stalagmites developed under such drips are unsuitable as mid- to high-resolution paleoclimate proxies. Most drip sites demonstrated seasonal [Ca2] and [Mg2] variability that was probably linked to water excess. Prior calcite precipitation along the flowpath affected the chemistry of slowly dripping sites, while dilution predominantly controlled the water chemistry of the more rapidly dripping sites. This research underscores the importance of understanding drip hydrology prior to selecting stalagmites for paleoclimate analysis and before interpreting any subsequent proxy data

Prsentation du Causse Comtal (Aveyron), 1987, Solier, P.
THE " CAUSSE COMTAL " (AVEYRON, FRANCE): GEOLOGY, HYDROGEOLOGY AND INVENTORY OF MAIN CAVES - The " Causse Comtal " (S = 265 km2) forms a sedimentary bridge between the " Causses du Quercy " in the west and the " Grands Causses " in the east. With a middle humid climate (P = 1000 mm/y, T = 9,4 C, Evap. = 450-500 mm/y), this plateau karst presents two aquifer levels in the Lower and Middle Jurassic separated by a marly layer. These formations cover a paleozoic basement (sandstone, argillite from Carboniferous and Permian, crystalline rocks). The hydrogeological basins are controlled by E-W reverse faults due to the N-S pyrenean compression. The main spring is near Salles-la-Source in the western part (average discharge: 840 l/s; flood : 10 m3/s); it drains a 50-55 km2 area. The morphological and speleological evolution is subordinated to an erosion surface from Upper Cretaceous - Tertiary. Often stopped up (blocking), the numerous fossil caves probably date from the end of Cenozoic era. The large subterranean passages (active or semi-actives galleries; ex.: Tindoul de la Vayssire) are plio-quaternary.

Quaternary tectonics: Influence on the structure of two karstic aquifers of Languedoc (France), 2001, Josnin J. Y. ,
Our research focuses on the effect of Quaternary tectonics on the organization of the conduit network of karst ground water flow. In the Languedoc region, the major karstic systems are developed in Malm and Lower Cretaceous platform limestones. Most of these systems are polygenetic, their genesis and evolution having been controlled by fracturing that occurred during major tectonic phases (ante-Senonian, Eocene, Oligocene, Aquitanian, Pliocene). These complex karst systems were reactivated following Messinian eustatic events, under tectonic conditions which are not well-known, particularly those that occurred during the Quaternary. Small scale deformations and a lack of seismic activity make characterization of current tectonics in Mediterranean Languedoc difficult. The presence of vertical offsets, however, demonstrates that there are active faults in the interior of or in proximity to karst systems. In two karst aquifers within the Garden basin, we have observed a correlation between the orientations of active faults and the principal karst conduits. In the Mialet basin, we demonstrate that erosion resulting from post-Miocene uplift (and so changes of boundary conditions) divides the aquifer into smaller, independent units. In the St Chaptes basin, we reconstruct the history of the karst, proposing that tectonic and eustatic events were predominant in the karstification process and that the climatic conditions were only of secondary importance. We also show how the reactivation of faults can lead to the unblocking of abandoned karst conduits, allowing their reintroduction into the active flow system, a phenomenon that can be explained by the combined influence of the present stress field and hydraulic gradients. This work, which represents a preliminary study, leads to hypotheses that we will subsequently validate through different successive modelings

Hydraulic processes in the origin of tiankengs, 2006, Palmer An, Palmer Mv
Tiankengs are formed most commonly by the collapse of bedrock into underlying caves that contain active rivers. The collapse propagates itself by blocking and diverting the underground streams, so that hydraulic gradients become steeper and the solutional and erosional capacities are enhanced. Most of the volume of a tiankeng is produced by removal of mass by the cave streams. A large and fluctuating discharge is most favorable. As diversion passages form and enlarge, they foster further collapse and diversion. Stress release around the collapse encourages the opening of new fractures with trends that differ from regional fracture patterns. These processes account for the large scale of tiankengs in comparison to the original cave passages.

Cave Aragonites of New South Wales [abstract], 2006, Rowling Jill
Aragonite is unstable in fresh water and usually reverts to calcite, but it is actively depositing as a secondary mineral in the vadose zone of some caves in New South Wales. Aragonite deposits were examined to determine whether the material is or is not aragonite. Substrates to the aragonite were examined, as was the nature of the bedrock. The physical, climatic, chemical and mineralogical influences on calcium carbonate deposition in the caves were investigated. The study sites are all located in Palaeozoic rocks within the Lachlan Fold Belt tectonic region of New South Wales. Several factors were found to be associated with the deposition of aragonite instead of calcite speleothems. They included the presence of ferroan dolomite, calcite-inhibitors (in particular ions of magnesium, manganese, phosphate, sulfate and heavy metals), and both air movement and humidity. Chemical inhibitors work by physically blocking the positions on the calcite crystal lattice which would have otherwise allowed calcite to develop into a larger crystal. Often an inhibitor for calcite has no effect on the aragonite crystal lattice, thus aragonite may deposit where calcite deposition is inhibited. Another association with aragonite in some NSW caves appears to be high evaporation rates allowing calcite, aragonite and vaterite to deposit. Vaterite is another unstable polymorph of calcium carbonate, which reverts to aragonite and calcite over time. Vaterite, aragonite and calcite were found together in cave sediments in areas with low humidity.

Hydraulic processes in the origin of tiankengs, 2006, Palmer An, Palmer Mv
Tiankengs are formed most commonly by the collapse of bedrock into underlying caves that contain active rivers. The collapse propagates itself by blocking and diverting the underground streams, so that hydraulic gradients become steeper and the solutional and erosional capacities are enhanced. Most of the volume of a tiankeng is produced by removal of mass by the cave streams. A large and fluctuating discharge is most favorable. As diversion passages form and enlarge, they foster further collapse and diversion. Stress release around the collapse encourages the opening of new fractures with trends that differ from regional fracture patterns. These processes account for the large scale of tiankengs in comparison to the original cave passages.

Hydraulic considerations in the development of tiankengs, 2006, Palmer Arthur N. , Palmer Margaret V.

Tiankengs are formed most commonly by the collapse of bedrock into underlying caves that contain active rivers. The collapse propagates itself by blocking and diverting the underground streams, so that hydraulic gradients become steeper and the solutional and erosional capacities are enhanced. Most of the volume of a tiankeng is produced by removal of mass by the cave streams. A large and fluctuating discharge is most favorable. As diversion passages form and enlarge, they foster further collapse and diversion. Stress release around the collapse encourages the opening of new fractures with trends that differ from regional fracture patterns. These processes account for the large scale of tiankengs in comparison to the original cave passages.


Extended Abstract: Cave Aragonites of New South Wales, 2006, Rowling, Jill

Aragonite is unstable in fresh water and usually reverts to calcite, but it is actively depositing as a secondary mineral in the vadose zone of some caves in New South Wales. Aragonite deposits were examined to determine whether the material is or is not aragonite. Substrates to the aragonite were examined, as was the nature of the bedrock. The physical, climatic, chemical and mineralogical influences on calcium carbonate deposition in the caves were investigated. The study sites are all located in Palaeozoic rocks within the Lachlan Fold Belt tectonic region of New South Wales. Several factors were found to be associated with the deposition of aragonite instead of calcite speleothems. They included the presence of ferroan dolomite, calcite-inhibitors (in particular ions of magnesium, manganese, phosphate, sulfate and heavy metals), and both air movement and humidity. Chemical inhibitors work by physically blocking the positions on the calcite crystal lattice which would have otherwise allowed calcite to develop into a larger crystal. Often an inhibitor for calcite has no effect on the aragonite crystal lattice, thus aragonite may deposit where calcite deposition is inhibited. Another association with aragonite in some NSW caves appears to be high evaporation rates allowing calcite, aragonite and vaterite to deposit. Vaterite is another unstable polymorph of calcium carbonate, which reverts to aragonite and calcite over time. Vaterite, aragonite and calcite were found together in cave sediments in areas with low humidity.


Flow capture and reversal in the Agen Allwedd Entrance Series, south Wales: evidence for glacial flooding and impoundment, 2007, Simms, Michael J And John B Hunt.
Detailed observations of passage morphology, scallop orientations, and cross-cutting relationships of vadose notches and roof heights within a small area of the Agen Allwedd cave system, south Wales, reveal a complex history of flow re-routing linked to several successive phreatic-vadose cycles. At least three discrete phases of phreatic development can be recognized, each succeeded by a period of vadose entrenchment. Two distinct episodes of flow diversion are evident and were initiated during separate phreatic phases. The repeated establishment of phreatic conditions at such a high level within the cave system can be attributed either to glacial impoundment of meltwater recharge and/or the creation of a localized perched phreas as a result of temporary blockages. We conclude that glacial meltwater from the Usk valley glacier entered the cave along its northern edge and was impounded as a result of valley glaciers blocking lower outlets, causing flooding of the entire cave system during glaciations. Vadose entrenchment then occurred as much of the cave was drained during ensuing interglacial(s). Drainage rerouting occurred in response to temporary, but prolonged, blockages that allowed meltwater recharge to generate high hydrostatic pressures. Newly opened or exposed fractures in the limestone were thereby exploited, creating bypass routes. This model, which is consistent with what is known of ice depths across the region during the Pleistocene, has significant implications for the evolution of the entire cave system and indeed for other caves in broadly analogous situations in south Wales and beyond.

Speleothem microstructure/speleothem ontogeny: a review of Western contributions, 2012, White William B.

Mineral ontogeny is the study of the growth and development of mineral deposits in general and, in the present context, speleothems in particular. Previous researchers, mainly in Russia, have developed a nomenclatural hierarchy based on the forms and habits of individual crystals and the assembly of individual crystals into both monomineralic and polymineralic aggegates (i.e. speleothems). Although investigations of the growth processes of speleothems are sparse, there is a large literature on growth processes of speleothem minerals and related crystals in the geochemical and materials science literature. The purpose of the present paper is to sort through the various concepts of crystal growth and attempt to relate these to observations on speleothems and to the Russian conceptual framework of mineral ontogeny. For calcite, the most common mineral in speleothems, the activation energy for two dimensional nucleation (required for the growth of large single crystals) is almost the same as the activation energy for three- dimensional nucleation (which would result in the growth of many small crystals). Calcite growth is highly sensitive to minor impurities that may poison growth in certain crystallographic directions or may poison growth altogether. Extensive recent research using the atomic force microscope (AFM) provides many details of calcite growth including the transition from growth on screw dislocations to growth by two-dimensional nucleation. The deposition of aragonite speleothems requires metastable supersaturation curve and is usually ascribed to the impurities Mg2+ and Sr2+. AFM studies reveal that Mg2+ poisons calcite growth by blocking deposition sites on dislocations, thus allowing supersaturation to build up past the aragonite solubility curve. Sr2+ precipitates as a Sr-rich nucleus with the aragonite structure which acts as a template for aragonite growth. The different morphology of gypsum speleothems can be explained by the different growth habit of gypsum. Examples of twinned growth, dendrite growth, and spherulitic growth are common in the crystal growth literature and can be used to interpret the corresponding cave forms. Interpretation of monomineralic aggregate growth follows from individual crystal mechanisms. Interpretation of polymineralic aggregate growth requires knowing the evolving chemistry which in turn requires new methods for the sampling and analysis of microliter or nanoliter quantities of fluid.


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