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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. ...

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That water logged is water saturated [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 chalcedony (Keyword) returned 6 results for the whole karstbase:
Occurrence and significance of stalactites within the epithermal deposits at Creede, Colorado, 1996, Campbell Wr, Barton Pb,
In addition to the common and abundant features in karst terranes, stalactites involving a wide variety of minerals have also been found in other settings, including epigenetic mineral deposits, bur these are almost always associated with supergene stages. Here we describe a different mode of occurrence from the Creede epithermal ore deposits, in Colorado, wherein stalactites of silica, sphalerite, galena, or pyrite formed in a vapor-dominated setting, below the paleo-water table, and except possibly for pyrite, as part of the hypogene mineralization. Axial cavities may, or may not, be present. No stalagmites have been recognized. The stalactites are small, from a few millimeters to a few centimeters long and a few millimeters in outer diameter. They represent only a small fraction of one percent of the total mineralization, and are covered by later crystals. Their growth orientation usually is unobservable; however, the parallel arrangement of all stalactites in a given specimen, consistency with indicators of gravitational settling, and the common presence of axial structures make the stalactitic interpretation almost unavoidable. In contrast with common carbonate stalactites, the growth mechanism for th sulfide and silica stalactites requires extensive evaporation. Stalactitic forms have also been reported from other deposits, mostly epithermal or Mississippi Valley-type occurrences, but we caution that stalactite-like features can form by alternative processes

Ground-water silicifications in the calcareous facies of the Tertiary piedmont deposits of the Atlas Mountain (Hamada du Guir, Morocco), 1997, Thiry M. , Benbrahim M. ,
The Tertiary piedmont deposits (Hamada Formations), on the southern edge of the Haut-Atlas mountains, form extensive tablelands in the Boudenib area. They consist of two main sedimentary sequences, the Hamada de Boudenib and the Hamada du Guir, of Eocene and Miocene age. Both sequences show elastic facies at their base (conglomerates, calcareous sandstones, silty clays) and end with thick lacustrine limestones and pedogenic calcretes are characterised by rather confined facies, palygorskite-rich, with some gypsum in the second sequence. The recent evolution of the region is marked by the dissection of the tableland that is lined with high cliffs. The water flaw is mainly through wide karst features as there is no major river on the tableland. Silicifications which affect the different facies, form pods of various shape and size, and show an erratic spatial distribution. In the calcareous sandstones, there are irregularly shaped tubules of about 5 cm in diameter, more planar bodies from 5 to 50 cm thick, which frequently display voids lined with translucent silica concretions. The conglomerates display relatively few silicifications, the more characteristic ones consist of a silica cortex on some Limestone pebble and silica plates fitting closely the base of the pebbles. The lacustrine limestones and the calcretes from the upper part of the formation show frequently well developed silicifications. These show very variable shapes; horizontally stretching layers, interconnected or isolated amoeba-like bodies, thin slabs, karst micro-breccia, with frequent concretionnary structures, and quartz crystallisations. Limestone nodules remain often included in these silicifications. The more argillaceous facies display either small tubules or thin plates formed of translucent concretionnary silica. As a rule, the importance of the voids and related structures (concretions, drusy crystals) has to be noticed in all these silicifications, sometimes they are also linked with fractures or karst pipes. Petrography of the silica minerals, their relation with the primary structures. their distribution and their succession, give invaluable information on the silicification processes. Microcrystalline and fibrous quartz are the most common silica minerals, including minor amounts of opal and euhedral quartz. But micrographic arrangements show clearly that primary opal deposits have been more extensive and have recrystallized into chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, or even ''flame-like'' quartz. Silica deposits in voids make up an important part of the silica pods. The tubules and thin plates of translucent silica of the argillaceous facies are formed of laminar chalcedony deposited around voids. Silica deposits in voids are also particularly obvious in the sandstones. The pores between the quartz grains are then cemented by fibrous quartz and little opal. Some samples show very large cemented voids that cannot be related to the primary porosity of the sandstone. These large voids correspond to the dissolution of the primary calcareous cement, which even led to the collapse of the sandstone fabric. In the limestones, there are silicified micro-karst breccia with a very high primary porosity cemented by quartz crystals, and even in the large microcrystalline quartz zones there are numerous void fillings, the primary porosity often exceeding 50%. There is obviously the alternation of silica deposits and calcite dissolution. Beside the void filling, silicifications comprise also matrix epigenesis, that is replacement of the carbonate by silica with preservation of most of the limestone structures, without development of voids. Nevertheless, the epigenesis of the limestone matrix is restricted to the vicinity of the voids. The silicifications relate to diagenetic processes. The main part of the silica is formed of void deposits and matrix replacement (epigenesis) on the edge of the voids. These void deposits give evidence of the feeding solutions. The regularity of the deposits all around the voids point out to a hydrologic regime characterised by a ground-water our now. Silica originates most probably from alteration of the magnesian clay minerals along the ground-water path. Regarding the low solubility of silica in surficial waters, high flows are needed in order to renew continuously the silica precipitated from solution. This points to a relatively humid climate at time of silicification, and to relief and incised landscapes to bring about these high flows

Tree-mould caves in Slovakia., 2003, Gaal Ludovit
Four tube-shaped caves are described in this work, which origined in consequence of weathering the trees. Their length ranges from 5.8 to 17 m. All of them occur in neovolcanic rocks of Middle Slovakia, in epiclastic andesite conglomerates, breccias or in the tuffs. Some other caverns are close to the entrance of this caves, however they are inaccessible for a man. Thin rim of silicates (opal or chalcedony) occurs in some of them.

Cavity-based secondary mineralization in volcanic tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: a new type of the polymineral vadose speleothem, or a hydrothermal deposit?, 2005, Dublyansky Y. V. , Smirnov S. Z.
Secondary minerals (calcite, chalcedony, quartz, opal, fl uorite, heulandite, strontianite) residing in open cavities in the Miocene rhyolite tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada have been interpreted by some researchers as "speleothemic" formations, deposited as a result of downward infiltration of meteoric waters (DOE, 2001, Whelan et al., 2002). The major mineral of the paragenesis, calcite, shows spectacular trend of the textural and crystal morphology change: from anhedral granular occurrences, through (optional) platelet, bladed and scepter varieties, to euhedral blocky morphologies. The trend is consistent with the overall decrease in the supersaturation of the mineral forming solution. Stable isotope properties of calcite evolve from 13C-enriched (?13C = +4 to +9 PDB) at early stages of growth to 13C-depleted (-5 to -10 ) at late stages. The non-cyclic character of the isotope record and extreme variations of isotopic values argue against the meteoric origin of mineral forming fluids. The ?13C >4 PDB require isotope partitioning between dissolved CO2 and CH4, which is only possible in reducing anoxic environment, but not in aerated vadose zone. Fluid inclusions studied in calcite, quartz and fluorite revealed that the minerals were deposited from thermal solutions. The temperatures were higher at early stages of mineral growth (60 to 85oC) and declined with time. Most late-stage calcites contain only all-liquid inclusions, suggesting temperatures less than ca. 35-50oC. Minerals collected close to the major fault show the highest temperatures. Gases trapped in fluid inclusions are dominated by CO2 and CH4; Raman spectrometry results suggest the presence of aromatic/cyclic hydrocarbon gases. The gas chemistry, thus, also indicates reduced (anoxic) character of the mineral forming fluids. Secondary minerals at Yucca Mountain have likely formed during the short-term invasion(s) of the deep-seated aqueous fluids into the vadose zone. Following the invasion, fluids, initially equilibrated with the deep (reduced, anoxic) environment, evolved toward equilibrium with the new environment (cooling, degassing, mixing with shallow oxidizing waters, etc.). While some features of mineralization are compatible with the "speleothemic" or "meteoric infiltration" model, most of the evidence does not lend itself to rational explanation within this model.

Mineralogical and Stable Isotope Studies of Kaolin Deposits: Shallow Epithermal Systems of Western Sardinia, Italy, 2005, Simeone R. , Dilles J. H. , Padalino G. , Palomba M. ,
Large kaolin deposits hosted by Miocene silicic pyroclastic rocks in northwestern Sardinia represent hydrothermal alteration formed within 200 m of the Miocene paleosurface. Boiling hydrothermal fluids ascended steeply dipping faults that are enveloped by altered rock. The broadly stratiform kaolin deposits constitute advanced argillic alteration that was produced in a steam-heated zone near the paleosurface overlying the deeper hydrothermal systems. The deeper zones represent two distinct types of epithermal systems: weakly acidic (inferred low-sulfidation) systems at Tresnuraghes and acidic (high-sulfidation) systems at Romana. Tresnuraghes is characterized at depth by chalcedony {} quartz {} barite veins within a 50-m-wide zone of K-feldspar-quartz-illite alteration and overlying local occurrences of chalcedony sinter, which define the paleosurface. Kaolin deposits near the paleosurface are characterized by zonation outward and downward from an inner shallow zone of kaolinite 1T-opal {} dickite {} alunite (<20-{micro}m-diam grains) to an outer deeper kaolinite 1M-montmorillonite-cristobalite. This zonation indicates formation by descending acidic fluids. The system evolved from ascending weakly acidic or neutral fluids that boiled to produce H2S-rich vapor, which condensed and oxidized within the near-surface vadose zone to form steam-heated acid-sulfate waters and kaolin alteration. At Romana, veins at depth contain chalcedony or quartz and minor pyrite and are enclosed in up to 20-m-wide zones of kaolinite 1T-quartz alteration. Near hydrothermal vents along the paleosurface, chalcedonic silica is enclosed within a zone of kaolinite 1T-alunite (<50-{micro}m-diam grains)-quartz-opal {} dickite {} cristobalite. Kaolin quarries near the paleosurface display outward and downward zoning to kaolinite 1T-opal {} cristobalite and then to montmorillonite-kaolinite 1T {} opal, consistent with formation by descending low pH fluid. The siliceous and advanced argillic alteration along steep conduits formed from acidic ascending magmatic-hydrothermal fluids, whereas the near-surface kaolin formed from steam-heated meteoric waters. Alteration mineral assemblages and stable isotope data provide evidence of the temperature and source of hydrothermal fluids. Barite from Tresnuraghes (average{delta} 18O = 17.1{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 18.8{per thousand}), one alunite sample from Romana ({delta}18O = 12.0{per thousand},{delta} D = -3{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 16.7{per thousand}), and quartz from both localities ({delta}18O = 15.9-22.0{per thousand}) formed in hydrothermal feeders. Source fluids were likely mixtures of meteoric water and minor magmatic fluid, similar to other epithermal systems. Kaolinite-dickite minerals from the kaolin deposits ({delta}18O = 16.6-21.4{per thousand},{delta} D = -43 to -53{per thousand}) formed from steam-heated meteoric water having{delta} D = - 20 per mil, consistent with the presence of anomalous Hg and fine-grained Na- and Fe-poor alunite. The laterally extensive kaolin deposits in Sardinia, and possibly similar deposits elsewhere in the world, appear to represent the uppermost parts of large hydrothermal systems that may be prospects for gold at depth

A 164 ka record of environmental change in the American Southwest from a Carlsbad Cavern speleothem , 2006, Brook George A. , Ellwood Brooks B. , Railsback L. Bruce, Cowart James B.

A horizontal core 2.8 m in length drilled from the Georgia Giant column in Carlsbad Cavern provides climate information for the last 164 ka. Forty-six alpha spectrometric U-series ages determined at intervals of ∼7.6 cm along the core indicate five periods of deposition and five hiatuses, the longest from 136 to 110 ka. Variations in growth rate (0 to 70 mm/ka), in the abundance of aragonite, chalcedony, and Fe-bearing phases, and in 13C indicate that glacial intervals of the last 164 ka, OIS 6, 4, and 2, were much wetter than today, as were the colder substages 5d and 5b of OIS 5. By contrast, during the two warmest periods of the past 164 ka, namely OIS 5e and 1, there was no deposition on either side of the speleothem, suggesting conditions as dry or drier than today. The record from Carlsbad parallels data from many other sites in the southwestern USA and northern Mexico, and data from marine sediments and ice cores, demonstrating the extent to which ice sheet fluctuations influenced conditions in southern New Mexico. Detailed correlation of δ13C values in the Georgia Giant, which range from −6.6 to +0.9‰ relative to PDB, with distant speleothem records and with data from ice cores, further documents the linkage of southwestern climate with global-scale extent of glaciation. Values of δ18O in the Georgia Giant core range from −9.7 to −4.7‰ relative to PDB and average −6.6‰. 18O-depleted carbonate in the Georgia Giant during OIS 6, at a time when the world's oceans were enriched in 18O, suggests that precipitation during cold intervals was brought largely by Pacific air masses in fall, winter and spring as a result of the southward displacement of the polar jet stream by the growth of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. Termination II, marking the end of the penultimate glaciation, is well defined in the core's δ18O data. Analytical uncertainties in the radiometric ages do not preclude a start of Termination II as late as 128 ka, as suggested by SPECMAP data. However, data from the Georgia Giant core are more compatible with an earlier start like that obtained from Devils Hole and Vostok data, raising the possibility that early warming was widespread in the U.S. southwest region by 145 ka. 

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