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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 argillaceous limestone is limestone containing considerable amounts of clay [16].?

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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 british-west-indies (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
The Geology of the Cayman Islands (British West Indies), and their Relation to the Bartlett Trough, 1926, Matley Charles Alfred,
The Cayman Islands, a small dependency of the British Empire, with a local government controlled by the Government of Jamaica, occupy an isolated position of exceptional interest, both geographical and geological, in the Caribbean Sea. Situated between Jamaica and Cuba, and flanked on the south by the great depression of the Bartlett Trough, which descends over 20,000 feet within 18 miles of the shores of Grand Cayman, they are the only projecting peaks in the submarine ridge that extends from the Sierra Maestra of Cuba to the Misteriosa Bank in the direction of British Honduras. This ridge, though a recognized submarine feature, is irregular, and a depression of 7000 feet lies in it between Grand Cayman and the Lesser Caymans. The dependency consists of three islands, of which the two smaller, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, are separated by only 4 miles of sea, while the third, Grand Cayman, is about 60 miles away. Cayman Brac is situated about 125 miles north-west of Montego Bay (Jamaica), and Grand Cayman lies 178 miles west-north-west of Negril Point, the nearest point of Jamaica, and about 150 miles from the Isle of Pines (Cuba). The combined area of the three islands is about 100 square miles. Columbus discovered the Lesser Caymans in 1503, and named them Las Tortugas', as the shores were swarming with turtle. Grand Cayman was discovered at some later unknown date, and is first recorded in history as being in the occupation of Spanish buccaneers. Europeans appear to have been ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Black Phytokarst from Hell, Cayman Islands, British West Indies, 1973, Folk Rl, Roberts Hh, Moore Ch,
Erosion by filamentous algae, comparison with ordinary karst, scanning electron microscopy, Bluff Limestone

Caymanite is a laminated, multicoloured (white, red, black) dolostone that fills or partly fills cavities in the Bluff Formation of the Cayman Islands. The first phase of caymanite formation occurred after deposition, lithification, and karsting of the Oligocene Cayman Member. The second phase of caymanite formation occurred after joints had developed in the Middle Miocene Pedro Castle Member. Caymanite deposition predated dolomitization of the Bluff Formation 2-5 Ma ago. Caymanite is formed of mudstones, wackestone, packstones, and grainstones. Allochems include foraminifera, red algae, gastropods, bivalves, and grains of microcrystalline dolostone. Sedimentary structures include planar laminations, graded bedding, mound-shaped laminations, desiccation cracks, and geopetal fabrics. Original depositional dips ranged from 0 to 60-degrees. Although caymanite originated as a limestone, dolomitization did not destroy the original sedimentary fabrics or structures. The sediments that formed caymanite were derived from shallow offshore lagoons, swamps, and possibly brackish-water ponds. Pigmentation of the red and black laminae can be related to precipitates formed of Mn, Fe, Al, Ni, Ti, P, K, Si, and Ca, which occur in the intercrystalline pores. These elements may have been derived from terra rossa, which occurs on the weathered surface of the Bluff Formation. Caymanite colours were inherited from the original limestone. Stratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence shows that sedimentation was episodic and that the sediment source changed with time. Available evidence suggests that caymanite originated from sediments transported by storms onto a highly permeable karst terrain. The water with its sediment load then drained into the subsurface through joints and fissures. The depth to which these waters penetrated was controlled by the length of the interconnected cavity system. Upon entering cavities, sedimentation was controlled by a complex set of variables

On Grand Cayman, freshwater bodies present in the Bluff Formation are typically small and occur as thin lenses floating on top of dense saline water. Evaluation of the water resource potential of these freshwater lenses is difficult because of their variable hydrological conditions, complex paleohydrogeology and aquifer heterogeneity. Secondary porosity created by preferential dissolution of aragonitic fossil components is common. Open fissures and joints developed under tectonic stress and karst development associated with sea-level fluctuations are, however, the two most important causes of porosity and permeability in the aquifers on Grand Cayman. Fracture and karst porosity control the lens occurrence by: (1) acting as avenues for the intrusion of seawater or upward migration of saline water; (2) acting as recharge focal points; (3) enhancing hydrodynamic dispersion; (4) defining lens geometry; (5) facilitating carbonate dissolution along joints and fissures. A clear understanding of the hydrological and geological conditions is important in developing small lenses in a setting similar to that on Grand Cayman. This pragmatic approach can help identify the optimum location of the well field and avoid areas particularly susceptible to saline water intrusion

Caves, fossil mouldic cavities, sinkholes and solution-widened joints are common in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members of the Bluff Formation (Oligocene Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac because they have been subjected to repeated periods of karst development over the last 30 million years. Many voids contain a diverse array of sediments and/or precipitates derived from marine or terrestrial environs, mineral aerosols, and groundwater. Exogenic sediment was transported to the cavities by oceanic storm waves, transgressive seas, runoff following tropical rain storms and/or in groundwater. At least three periods of deposition were responsible for the occlusion of voids in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Voids in the Cayman Member were initially filled or partly filled during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. This was terminated with the deposition of the Pedro Castle Member in the Middle Miocene. Subsequent exposure led to further karst development and void-filling sedimentation in both the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Speleothems are notably absent. The void-filling deposits formed during these two periods, which were predominantly marine in origin, were pervasively dolomitized along with the host rock 2 5 million years ago. The third period of void-filling deposition. after dolomitization of the Bluff Formation, produced limestone, various types of breccia, terra rossa, speleothemic calcite and terrestrial oncoids. Most of these deposits formed since the Sangamon highstand 125 000 years ago. Voids in the present day karst are commonly filled or partly filled with unconsolidated sediments. Study of the Bluff Formation of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac shows that karst terrains on isolated oceanic islands are characterized by complex successions of void-filling deposits that include speleothems and a variety of sediment types. The heterogenetic nature of these void-filling deposits is related to changes in sea level and climatic conditions through time

At Tylicz, near Krynica Spa (Polish Carpathians), spelean deposits fill fissures and caverns in Eocene flysch rocks. They occur as: (1) clastic cave sediments transformed into hard crusts due to cementation by finely crystalline low-Mg calcite, (2) drusy calcite that covers crust surfaces and fills voids in the crust and (3) colloform calcite. Two varieties of drusy calcite are distinguished: acicular and columnar. The acicular calcite is built up of crystallites forming spherulitic fans or cones. In places it is syntaxially covered with colloform calcite. The drusy calcite is low-Mg ferroan calcite with non-ferroan subzones, whereas the colloform calcite is a low-Mg non-ferroan variety. The columnar calcite crystals form fan-like bundles. Cross-sections cut perpendicular to the c-axes of columnar crystals are equilateral triangular in shape, although some have slightly curved edges. The columnar crystals have steep rhombic terminations and most have curved triangular faces, i.e. gothic-arch calcite. Saddle crystals have also been observed. The columnar crystals are composed of radially orientated crystallites whose long dimension is parallel to the c-axis. The curved crystal faces of such polycrystals are interpreted as a result of differential growth rates of the crystallites. The spelean calcites precipitated from CO2-saturated water. The high rate of CaCO3 Precipitation is thought to be responsible for the formation of radial structures. Finely crystalline calcite formed within pore spaces of clastic sediments close to the water-air interface, drusy calcite crystallized beneath the water-air interface, and colloform calcite precipitated from thin films of water

The Cayman Unconformity, which separates the Pedro Castle Formation (Pliocene) from the underlying Cayman Formation (Miocene), is a sequence boundary that developed during the Messinian, when sea level was at a lowstand due to glaciation in the Southern Hemisphere. By the end of the Messinian, Grand Cayman was an atoll-like island that had an elevated peripheral rim that was up to 41 m above the central depression. The Cayman Formation contains paleocaves and paleosinkholes that were linked to the Cayman Unconformity. The topography on the Cayman Unconformity is attributed to erosional processes, because (1) there is no evidence of carbonates that formed by constructional processes (i.e., reefs, dunes) in the elevated peripheral rim, and (2) there is ample evidence of dissolutional features in the Cayman Formation. The topography developed on the interior of Grand Cayman during the Messinian was uneven. A deep, basin-like depression, with its base as much as 50 m below the peripheral rim, formed on the western part of the island. By comparison, the floor of the depression on the eastern part of the island was 20-30 m higher. The difference in the topography, which is a reflection of the amount of bedrock dissolution, suggests that the effective rainfall was highest over the western part of the island. The relief on the Cayman Unconformity and associated structures shows that base level during the Messinian karst development was at least 41 m below present-day sea level. This is also provides an estimate of the Messinian lowstand position because the base level in oceanic karst settings is usually controlled by sea level

Messinian (late Miocene) karst on Grand Cayman, British West Indies; an example of an erosional sequence boundary, 1994, Jones Brian, Hunter Ian G. ,

Groundwater in the dolostone aquifers of the Bluff Group (Oligocene-Miocene) on Grand Cayman is divided into fresh, lightly and highly brackish, and saline (Type I and II) zones according to chemical characteristics that were determined during a 3 year (1985-1988) monitoring program. Brackish and Type I saline waters display the greatest variation in chemical properties whereas the Type II saline water has the most stable chemical characteristics. Most groundwaters from these dolostone aquifers are thermodynamically capable of precipitating calcite and/or dolomite. The saturation indices for these minerals, however, vary through time and space even in the context of small water lens. Simple mixing of fresh and sea water cannot explain the chemistry of the water found in the joint and karst controlled dolostone aquifers of Grand Cayman. Deviation from a simple mixing model is due to variations caused by tidal fluctuation, the rate of rain water recharge, influx of Ca-rich groundwater from the surrounding limestone aquifers, influx of CO2-rich surface water from sinkholes and swamps, and water-rock interactions (dissolution and precipitation of calcite and dolomite). Sustained groundwater abstraction from a lens can significantly alter the hydrochemistry of the water lens. This suggests that hydrochemical characterization of small fresh water lenses, like those on Grand Cayman, cannot be based on spot or short-term sampling. Interpretation of such fluids in terms of calcite-dolomite precipitation and/or dissolution must be treated with caution if the data base has not been derived from long-term monitoring

The twilight zone of a cave, an environment transitional between the well-illuminated environment outside the cave and the dark environment of the cave interior, is one of the most unusual microenvironments of the karst terrain. Walls in the twilight zone of caves on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac are coated with a biofilm that incorporates a diverse assemblage of epilithic microbes and copious mucus. Most microbes are different from those found elsewhere in the karst terrains of the Cayman Islands, probably because they have adapted to life in the poorly illuminated twilight zone. None of the microbes employ an endolithic life mode, and less than 10% of them show evidence of calcification. The biofilm does, however, provide a medium in which a broad spectrum of destructive and constructive processes operate. Etching, the dominant destructive process, produces residual dolomite, residual calcite, blocky calcite, and spiky calcite. Constructive processes include precipitation of calcite, dolomite, gypsum, halite, and sylvite. Although filamentous microbes are common, examples of detrital grains trapped and bound to the substrate are rare. Destructive processes are more common than constructive ones

Cavities in the dolostones of the Cayman Formation (Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac commonly contain spar calcite cements and/or a variety of exogenetic (derived from sources external to the bedrock) and endogenetic (derived from sources in the bedrock) internal sediments. Micrite is a common component in many of these internal sediments. The exogenetic micrite, which is typically laminated and commonly contains fragments of marine biota, originated from the nearby shallow lagoons. The endogenetic micrite formed as a residue from the breakdown of spar calcite crystals by etching, as constructive and destructive envelopes developed around spar calcite crystals, by calcification of microbes, by breakdown of calcified filamentous microbes, and by precipitation from pore waters. Once produced, the endogenetic micrite may be transported from its place of origin by water flowing through the cavities. Endogenetic micrite can become mixed with the exogenetic micrite. Subsequently, it is impossible to recognize the origin of individual particles because the particles in endogenetic micrite are morphologically like the particles in exogenetic micrite. Formation of endogenetic micrite is controlled by numerous extrinsic and intrinsic parameters. In the Cayman Formation, for example, most endogenetic micrite is produced by etching of meteoric calcite crystals that formed as a cement in the cavities or by microbial calcification. As a result, the distribution of the endogenetic micrite is ultimately controlled by the distribution of the calcite cement and/or the microbes-factors controlled by numerous other extrinsic variables. Irrespective of the factors involved in its formation, it is apparent that endogenetic micrite can be produced by a variety of processes that are operating in the confines of cavities in karst terrains

Geomicrobiology of caves: A review, 2001, Northup D. E. , Lavoie K. H. ,
In this article, we provide a review of geomicrobiological interactions in caves, which are nutrient-limited environments containing a variety of redox interfaces. Interactions of cave microorganisms and mineral environments lead to the dissolution of, or precipitation on, host rock and speleothems (secondary mineral formations). Metabolic processes of sulfur-, iron-, and manganese-oxidizing bacteria can generate considerable acidity, dissolving cave walls and formations. Examples of possible microbially influenced corrosion include corrosion residues (e.g., Lechuguilla and Spider caves, New Mexico, USA), moonmilk from a number of caves (e.g., Spider Cave, New Mexico, and caves in the Italian Alps), and sulfuric acid speleogenesis and cave enlargement (e.g., Movile Cave, Romania, and Cueva de Villa Luz, Mexico). Precipitation processes in caves, as in surface environments, occur through active or passive processes. In caves, microbially induced mineralization is documented in the formation of carbonates, moonmilk, silicates, clays, iron and manganese oxides, sulfur, and saltpeter at scales ranging from the microscopic to landscape biokarst. Suggestions for future research are given to encourage a move from descriptive, qualitative studies to more experimental studies

Temporal evolution of tertiary dolostones on Grand Cayman as determined by Sr-87/Sr-86, 2003, Jones B. , Luth R. W. ,
On the Cayman Islands, the Tertiary Bluff Group (Brac Formation, Cayman Formation, Pedro Castle Formation) is onlapped and overlain by the Pleistocene Ironshore Formation. On Grand Cayman, the Brac Formation and Cayman Formation are formed of finely crystalline dolostones; whereas the Pedro Castle Formation is formed of finely crystalline dolostones, dolomitized limestones, and limestones. No dolomite has been found in the Ironshore Formation. Dolostones in the Bluff Group, which retained their original depositional textures and lack evidence of any recrystallization, are formed of small (typically 5-15 mum long) interlocking, euhedral dolomite crystals. Dolomite cement is present in the Brac Formation and Cayman Formation but is very rare in the Pedro Castle Formation. Most of the dolomite crystals are characterized by oscillatory zoning with alternating zones of low-Ca calcian dolomite and high-Ca calcian dolomite. Grand Cayman is ideal for assessing the temporal evolution of Tertiary dolostones because the dolostones are young, have not been recrystallized, and are geographically isolated by the deep oceanic waters around the island. Interpretation of 158 new Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios from the dolostones in the Bluff Group indicate that the succession underwent three time-transgressive phases of dolomitization during the Late Miocene, the Late Pliocene, and Pleistocene. Petrographically similar dolomite was produced during each phase of dolomitization that was mediated by the same type of fluid and the same general conditions. Dolomitization was part of a dynamic cycle of processes that followed major lowstands. Karst development during the lowstands preconditioned the limestones for dolomitization by increasing their porosity and permeability. Thus, vast quantities of the dolomitizing fluids could freely circulate through the strata during the subsequent transgression. Dolomitization ceased once a stable highstand had been attained

Petrography of Finely Crystalline Cenozoic Dolostones as Revealed by Backscatter Electron Imaging: Case Study of the Cayman Formation (Miocene), Grand Cayman, British West Indies, 2003, Jones Brian, Luth Robert W. ,
Finely crystalline Cenozoic island dolostones, like those found in the Cayman Formation on Grand Cayman, are commonly assumed to be petrographically and compositionally homogeneous. Backscatter electron images (BSEI), however, show that the constituent dolomite crystals (< 100 {micro}m long and commonly < 20 {micro}m long) are commonly zoned with respect to their mol % CaCO3 content. Moreover, such images allow (1) depiction of growth patterns in the constituent crystals, irrespective of their origin, (2) recognition of replacive dolomite as opposed to dolomite cement, and (3) delineation of 'stratigraphic packages' in the dolomite cements that reflect different episodes of cementation. Integration of this information forms the basis for paragenetic interpretations of the dolostones. On Grand Cayman, the Miocene Cayman Formation can be divided into friable, high-porosity dolostones and hard, low-porosity dolostones. Backscatter electron images show that the hard dolostones are characterized by complex arrays of zoned dolomite cements that have occluded most of the pores. Caymanite, an internal sediment, has occluded many of the larger cavities. In contrast, the high-porosity dolostones contain little cement and no internal sediments. Precipitation of the cements and the deposition of internal sediments were related to the passage of large volumes of water through some of the dolostones. Thus, the hard, low-porosity dolostones are found in the 'cap rock' of the formation, in coastal locations, and in areas close to solution-widened fractures. Conversely, the friable, high-porosity dolostones form the lower 'porous unit' of the formation in the interior of the island, where the passage of water was more restricted

Karren features in Island Karst: Guam, Mariana Islands, 2004, Taborosi D. , Jenson J. W. , Mylroie J. E. ,
Dissolutional sculpturing (karren) in island karst terrain is distinct from karren in inland continental settings, whether temperate or tropical. Reef, lagoonal and eolian limestones that form most young carbonate islands are eogenetic, meaning they have not undergone significant diagenesis and exhibit high primary porosity and extreme heterogeneity. These lithologic qualities, combined with other characteristics of island karst, including the effects of autogenic recharge, tropical climate, and the proximity of the ocean, result in the development of unique karren forms. Highly irregular, composite karren forms are dominant, while linear forms, especially hydrodynamically shaped features, are rare or absent. The most common karren type on Guam is an assemblage of densely packed solution pits, separated by jagged ridges and sharp tips. It dominates the surfaces of all young reef limestones and ranges in texture from extremely jagged coastal forms, to somewhat more subdued inland features. It covers large areas, forming karrenfelds of jagged pit and pinnacle topography. Lacking a unique and accurate geomorphic term, this karren assemblage exists in a variety of similar forms, and its development is poorly understood. We propose the term 'eogenetic karren,' as it emphasizes the eogenetic nature of host limestone as the common factor controlling the development of variants of this karren type, while avoiding references to geographic settings or any of the poorly understood and variable genetic mechanisms. In addition to eogenetic karren, other forms of karren occur on carbonate islands but are limited to specific lithologic and environmental settings. Hydrodynamically-controlled features, dominant in interior continental settings of both classical temperate and tropical karsts, are nearly absent on Guam and similar islands, and form only locally in outcrops of dense, diagenetically mature, and recrystallized, limestones

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