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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 solid volume is the volume of solid particles in a porous sample [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 channels (Keyword) returned 142 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 142
Karst-like features in badlands of the Arizona Petrified Forest, 1963, Mears Brainerd,
Sinks, disappearing streams, hanging valleys, and natural bridges add a karst-like element to the miniature mountain topography represented in badlands. The Chinle Formation [Triassic] of the Petrified Forest in Arizona largely consists of compact, montmorillonitic and illitic claystones. Sinks in it result from disaggregation of swelling clay minerals rather than solution which affects limestone in true karsts. Ravines whose bottoms are pierced by sinks may develop into hanging valleys because their channels, robbed of surface flow downstream from these swallow holes, cannot keep pace with downcutting in the master drainage to which they are tributary. Growth of the sinks soon creates a disappearing stream that continues to deepen the upstream segment of a ravine. Thus the abandoned downstream segment beyond the sinks, no longer eroded by the stream, develops into a transverse barrier. Where the abandoned channel was initially short, the barrier may be eventually narrowed by weathering and slope erosion to form a natural bridge. Other bridges consist of jumbled material. that has collapsed from steep valley walls, undercut by small stream meanders

Donnees geomorphologiques sur la region de Fresh Creek, Ile Andros (Bahama), 1974, Bourrouilh F,
A geomorphological study of the east coast of Andros (Fresh Creek area) shows the existence of a paleotopography represented by low-altitude hills (few metres). This paleotopography is protected by the presence of a calcitic Quaternary crust which covers Pleistocene calcarenite.In the western part of the area, there are long woody axes, oriented NE-SW, parallel to the channels of the creek. They end at two kilometres from the coast, along which is a second kind of lower hills, orthogonal to the first.The first axes can be interpreted as megaripples as seen at the present time on modern deposits (on the Great Bahama Bank) and fossilized by the upper crust. The second direction is made by accretion ripples along the coast.The surface of the Bahamian calcarenite has been studied. The Bahamian karst presents two topographical forms: “blue holes” like those outside the island, which are 60-80 m in diameter and both sparse and deep; and “washtub” dolines; these are numerous and shallow, and, from low altitude, exhibit a honeycombed aspect on the surface. This karstic topography with dolines and blue holes is also seen through the water of the Creek the hard bottom of which is covered only here and there with a few centimetres of sediments. Hence, there is a submerged karstic topography, made of the same elements as the aerial karst, but submerged by the Holocene transgression. The present karstic relief, in relation with the different eustatic levels of the Quaternary, has begun 120,000 years ago, according to the isotopic ages, and might be composed by different steps, difficult to show now, in the topography.The blue holes in the interior of the island of young and little evolved karst, were formed more by solution than by collapse of the karstic caves, because of the absence of a real river to drain the Andros shelf at the time of low sea levels. Blue holes of the inside of the island, as they are called, with submarine openings, have the same salinity as the water of the creek (17.5 g/l). The dolines with very low salinity (0.7 g/l to 3.8 g/l) are filled with stromatolites and charophytes, slowly forming sediments made up essentially of high-magnesian calcite.It seems that the Andros Island karst can be compared with that of the Yucatan, where there are round and deep open pits, called cenote, of which the Bahamian equivalent would be the blue holes which were drowned by the Holocene transgression.ResumeSur l'ile Andros, zone emergee du Grand Banc de Bahama, l'auteur montre l'existence d'une paleotopographie comprenant deux categories de rides d'orientation differente et semblant fossilisee par une croute calcitique recente et l'existence d'un karst aux formes jeunes, bien qu'heritage d'un karst holocene en voie de submersion. Ces formes sont des “blue holes” ou trous bleus circulaires (60 a 80 m de diametre) et peu nombreux, et des dolines, dites en baquet. Dans ces dolines se deposent actuellement des croutes stromatolithiques calcitiques dont l'etude est faite par diffractometrie de rayons X et microscopie electronique a balayage

Karst development in Ordovician carbonates: Western Platform of Newfoundland, Master of Science (MS) Thesis, 1978, Karolyi, Marika Sarolta

The Appalachian fold belt system in Newfoundland is divided into three tectonic divisions: Western Platform; Central Mobile Belt; Avalon Platform Rocks of the Western Platform range in age from Precambrian to Carboniferous. Major karst areas are found there is Ordovician and Carboniferous rocks. Karst features of the study area (Goose Arm to Bonne Bay Big Pond) are in the Ordovician carbonates of the undivided St. George and Table Head Formations, covering a few hundred square kilometers. Features include karren, sinkholes, sinking streams, and karst springs, caves and other solutional and collapse features.
In the study area multiple fold and faulting episodes complicate the geology. Extensive and probably repeated glaciations have produced rugged terrane with U-shaped valleys and as much as 300m relief on the carbonates. There is variable but thick till cover. A class or classes of ice-scoured closed depressions with internal drainage are recognized. Postglacial karst forms are limited to varieties of karren (mainly littoral), small sinkholes, and cave systems that are inaccessively small in most instances. Distribution of all karst features is highly irregular.
Hydrologic patterns follow fluvial, fluviokarstic and holokarstic drainage. Large number of sinking ponds have seasonal overflow channels. The ground water drainage routes are generally short and shallow, with varied hydraulic gradients. Few instances of ground water route integration to regional springs is found.
The water chemistry of the area displays a tight normal distribution of hardness. This is attributed to the ponding effect. Seasonal trends show an overall increase in total hardness and other parameters, with some ponds showing linear increases and others cyclic variations.
Karst type and distribution is complex and irregular, but both glaciokarstic and karstiglacial development is present. The majority of karst forms point to karstiglacial development where previous karst forms have been modified by ice. Karstification is controlled by geology, rock lithology, hydraulic gradients and glacial scour and infill. Karstic processes continue to operate today, modifying the scoured basins and creating new karst forms.


Shallow-marine carbonate facies and facies models, 1985, Tucker M. E. ,
Shallow-marine carbonate sediments occur in three settings: platforms, shelves and ramps. The facies patterns and sequences in these settings are distinctive. However, one type of setting can develop into another through sedimentational or tectonic processes and, in the geologic record, intermediate cases are common. Five major depositional mechanisms affect carbonate sediments, giving predictable facies sequences: (1) tidal flat progradation, (2) shelf-marginal reef progradation, (3) vertical accretion of subtidal carbonates, (4) migration of carbonate sand bodies and (5) resedimentation processes, especially shoreface sands to deeper subtidal environments by storms and off-shelf transport by slumps, debris flows and turbidity currents. Carbonate platforms are regionally extensive environments of shallow subtidal and intertidal sedimentation. Storms are the most important source of energy, moving sediment on to shoreline tidal flats, reworking shoreface sands and transporting them into areas of deeper water. Progradation of tidal flats, producing shallowing upward sequences is the dominant depositional process on platforms. Two basic types of tidal flat are distinguished: an active type, typical of shorelines of low sediment production rates and high meteorologic tidal range, characterized by tidal channels which rework the flats producing grainstone lenses and beds and shell lags, and prominent storm layers; and a passive type in areas of lower meteorologic tidal range and higher sediment production rates, characterized by an absence of channel deposits, much fenestral and cryptalgal peloidal micrite, few storm layers and possibly extensive mixing-zone dolomite. Fluctuations in sea-level strongly affect platform sedimentation. Shelves are relatively narrow depositional environments, characterized by a distinct break of slope at the shelf margin. Reefs and carbonate sand bodies typify the turbulent shelf margin and give way to a shelf lagoon, bordered by tidal flats and/or a beach-barrier system along the shoreline. Marginal reef complexes show a fore-reef--reef core--back reef facies arrangement, where there were organisms capable of producing a solid framework. There have been seven such phases through the Phanerozoic. Reef mounds, equivalent to modern patch reefs, are very variable in faunal composition, size and shape. They occur at shelf margins, but also within shelf lagoons and on platforms and ramps. Four stages of development can be distinguished, from little-solid reef with much skeletal debris through to an evolved reef-lagoon-debris halo system. Shelf-marginal carbonate sand bodies consist of skeletal and oolite grainstones. Windward, leeward and tide-dominated shelf margins have different types of carbonate sand body, giving distinctive facies models. Ramps slope gently from intertidal to basinal depths, with no major change in gradient. Nearshore, inner ramp carbonate sands of beach-barrier-tidal delta complexes and subtidal shoals give way to muddy sands and sandy muds of the outer ramp. The major depositional processes are seaward progradation of the inner sand belt and storm transport of shoreface sand out to the deep ramp. Most shallow-marine carbonate facies are represented throughout the geologic record. However, variations do occur and these are most clearly seen in shelf-margin facies, through the evolutionary pattern of frame-building organisms causing the erratic development of barrier reef complexes. There have been significant variations in the mineralogy of carbonate skeletons, ooids and syn-sedimentary cements through time, reflecting fluctuations in seawater chemistry, but the effect of these is largely in terms of diagenesis rather than facies

Utilisation de la mthode des traages pour l'tude des aquifres fissurs en milieu calcaire, 1986, Fourneaux J. C. , Sommeria L.
USE OF THE TRACING METHODS TO STUDY THE FISSURED AQUIFERS IN LIMESTONES - The limestones aquifers study by tracing shows the fissured zones, with or without karstic stream channels. Inversely that happens when the tracer is injected in a place in connection with an important drain, the tracer injected anywhere in the aquifer (wells, drill...) will be dispersed in space and in time. The dispersion will be more important especially as the jointing is developed. Analysis of the relation between concentration and time permit often to separate the open-channels flow from the flow in fissured zone. The results presented here come from different multi-tracing operations in limestone areas, in France.

Geophysical mapping techniques in environmental planning, 1987, Culshaw Mg, Jackson Pd, Mccann Dm,
Geophysical information can be used to identify geological features, some of which may be a problem during the planning, design or construction of a new development. The location of magnetic dykes, the investigation of buried channels, or of landslips, the determination of the thickness of drift deposits or the identification of natural or man-made cavities are all problems which can be studied by geophysical surveying methods on both a regional or local scale. The information obtained can then be incorporated into factual or interpreted engineering geological maps for use by planners or engineers. In this paper, the contribution that geophysical surveying methods can make at the planning, design, construction and monitoring stages of a development is examined and illustrated with a number of case histories

Deposition of Tufa on Ryans and Stockyard Creeks, Chillagoe Karst, North Queensland: The Role of Evaporation, 1987, Dunkerley, D. L.

A spring which feeds Ryans and Stockyard Creeks west of Cillagoe, was examined in order to understand the circumstances producing extensive deposits of tufa in the stream channels. The spring water was found to be of considerable hardness (300 ppm total carbonates) and to emerge only very slightly supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, but undersaturated with respect to dolomite. Both saturation levels rose very rapidly during the first 150 m of subaerial flow, as did pH and water temperature. In contrast to the reported behaviour of other limestone springs, carbonate hardness at this site does not decrease monotonically downstream, but rather locally undergoes significant increases. In particular, magnesium hardness at 1 km downstream is more than 4 times its value at the spring. These phenomena are explained in terms of evaporative concentration of the dissolved carbonates and in terms of possible chemical changes associated with the mixture of waters having contrasting characteristics at channel and pool sites along the streams.


Subterranean Waterworks of Biblical Jerusalem: Adaptation of a Karst System, 1991, Gill Dan,
Ancient Jerusalem has long been known to possess a system of subterranean waterworks by which the spring of Gihon, which issues outside the walls, could be approached from within the city, and its waters diverted to an intramural pool. Most scholars regarded these waterworks as man-made, but the techniques of underground orientation and ventilation employed by the builders, as well as the numerous anomalies and ostensible mistakes in design, mystified investigators. Geological investigation has revealed the waterworks to be part of a well-developed karst system, a network of natural dissolution channels and shafts, in the limestone and dolomite underlying the city. Thus, it was not through primary planning but by means of skillful adaptation of these pre-existing natural features that the city was ensured of a dependable water supply during both war and peace. Likewise, knowledge of the subterranean access may have played a role in David's capture of the Jebusite city

WATER-BUDGET, FUNCTIONING AND PROTECTION OF THE FONTAINE-DE-VAUCLUSE KARST SYSTEM (SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE), 1992, Blavoux B, Mudry J, Puig Jm,
The karst aquifer of the well-known Fontaine de Vaucluse has been recently studied, results have been got about delimitation of the system and its working. Geological data (lithology and structure) have allowed to delimit an 1115 Km2 intake area including Ventoux-Lure north facing range (1,909-1,826 m) and the Plateau which is prolonging it southwards (Fig. 1 and 2). The average altitude of the whole area, obtained by balancing elevation belt surfaces, is about 870 m. This elevation squares with results of tracing tests (Fig. 3), environmental physical, chemical and isotopic tracings, that allow to value a 850 m average altitude for the intake area (Fig. 4). The moisture balance has been computed from an altitude belts climatic model, using local rain an temperature gradients (Fig. 5 and Table II), because the weather network is not representative. So, rainfalls rise of about 55 mm per 100 m elevation and temperature decreases of about 0.5-degrees-C per 100 m. The consequence of these two antagonist phenomena is the quasi constant value of actual evapotranspiration on each altitude belt. With the Fig. 7 organigram, curves of effective rainfalls and infiltration coefficient versus elevation can be plotted (Fig. 6). This computation shows that 3/4 of the total and the whole of dry season effective rainfalls are provided by the part of the intake area situated above the average altitude: on the lowest belt, effective rainfalls are only 120 mm per year and increase to 1380 mm on the upper section (Fig. 8 and Table 1). The weighted effective rainfalls are about 570 mm per year for the whole intake area. Hydrodynamical and physico-chemical studies show, despite its large size, the weak inertia of the system, so proves its good karstification, that confirms for the whole system the pin-point speleological observations. The discharge of the spring, which average value is 21 m3.s-1 (only 18 for the last ten years), can exceed 100 m3.s-1 and the minimum has never been lower than 3.7 m3.s-1 (Fig. 9). When it rains on the intake area, the increase of the discharge is very sudden in a rainy period : one to four days. This short delay is due to seepage through epikarst and unsaturated zone. During dry periods, the spring reaction is deadened, due to storage in the unsaturated zone. The silica content distribution was plotted during several hydrokinematical phases (Fig. 10). It shows: an almost unimodal distribution for the 8 km2 fissured limestone aquifer of Groseau; a multimodal one for the 1115 km2 karst aquifer of Fontaine de Vaucluse. This proves that karstification is more important than size in the response of the system. Weak summer rainfalls do not influence the discharge, nevertheless they influence chemistry of the spring water, and so interrupts the water depletion phasis. Then, the decrease of discharge can continue after the end of the chemical depletion phasis, water which is overflowing after summer rainfalls (in a dry period) is influenced hy the chemistry of seepage water : on the graph of a principal components analysis, done on chemical variables. an hysteresis phenomenon can be seen (Fig. 11). A discriminant analysis (Fig. 12) confirms that these autumn waters, with high ratio seepage tracers, are not reserve waters from the saturated zone. The ratio of reserve water in the total discharge, is preponderant: 3/4 and 2/3 respectively of the yearly runoff volumes for 1981 and 1982 (Fig. 13), but an important part of these reserves can be stored in the unsaturated zone. This storage capacity can be valued by different means: transposing to Vaucluse (1115 km2) the volume measured on another karst system in the Pyrenees (13 km2); it gives about 100 million m2; using setting parameters of Bezes model (1976) on the same aquifer: it gives 113 million m3; using depletion curves, that show, for instance during the 1989 summer and autumn dry period, a 80 million m3 volume. In all cases, we get a value of about one hundred million m3 for the storage capacity of the unsaturated zone. With a 20 m range of fluctuation for the water table and with a 10(-2) specific yield, on a 500 to 1,000 km2 saturated zone, the zone of fluctuation can release about 10 to 20 million m3. Then, the volume of water stored in the whole saturated zone, with a 300 m minimum thickness (depth of the waterlogged pit of the Fontaine), a 500 km2 minimum surface and a 10(-3) specific yield, is about 150 million m3, including 27 million m3 stored in the channels. So, the unsaturated zone represents a significant part of the whole storage capacity and most of the yearly renewable reserves. Paradoxically, the biggest french spring is not tapped at all; as its intake area is neither a regional nor a national park, no general protection covers it : because of its good karstification, the vulnerability of the system is important. Good quality of water is attributable to the low population and human activities density on the intake area (4 inh.km-2). A great part of the intake area is uncultivated (large forest and ''garrigues'' areas). Due to the lack of surface water and scantness of soils, agriculture is not intensive (lavender, thyme, sage and bulk wheat fields. meadowlands). On the mountainous zone, roads are salted in winter and snowmelt water can reach a significantly high chloride ratio than in a natural climatic functioning (for instance 25 mg.l-1 in Font d'Angiou where the ratio would have been 3 mg.l-1). As tourism is developing both on the mountain and on the plateau, the management of the highest intake area must be carefully held: its part is preponderant in the feeding of the system

RILLENKARREN ON GYPSUM IN NOVA-SCOTIA, 1993, Stenson R. E. , Ford D. C. ,
Rillenkarren are defined as densely packed, rainfall generated, bedrock channels, forming on slopes. They are usually no more than a few centimetres in width. Their lengths are dependant on the downslope extent of exposed bedrock, Rillenkarren exist in many karst terraines on many types of rock. Rillenkarren on gypsum were measured at four differing sites in Nova Scotia. The results are compared with previous data for naturel rillenkarren on limestones. It was found that gypsum rillenkarren tend to exhibit a smaller mean width that those on limestone. Mean lengths could not be established because rillenkarren elongation on the gypsum was limited by the length of the exposed surface. These conclusions result from the first systematic study of naturally occurring rillenkarren on gypsum and are contrary to the previously speculated dimensions reported by various authors

Analysis of sea water intrusion associated with karstic channels beneath Ovacik Plain, southern Turkey, 1993, Elkhatib H. , Gunay G.

Analyse des conditions de dveloppement de la karstification profonde, 1994, Fourneaux, J. C.
Karstification is a dissolving process which enlarges some channels clefts and fractures and eventually creates caves. The phenomenon Is only possible in deep areas located under the base level, if water flows easily. The analysis of the physical and chemical data accumulated at the beginning of the flood shows hotter and more mineralised waters once the flow starts accelerating. The hydrodynamic study of the phenomenon allows to build a model that explains the deep karstification process. The deep karstification process occurs when a very heterogenous distribution of pressures briefly takes place in the aquiferous system at the beginning of the recharge. This is due to the fact that the waters reach the karstic conduits at different times and therefore the refill and the eviction of waters do not occur uniformly in the saturated zone. Actually, the very mineralised waters located under the base level in the caves, conduits and other holes are evicted first. Then, these waters are replaced by aggressive waters, which are often with a high C02 concentration. As a result, the limestones dissolution process starts again in the area under the outlet point and the splits and bed ding joints keep on enlarging. The heterogeneous distribution of pressures also opens new splits through a corner effect and leads to the development in depth of the karstification process.

Evolution of the Lefroy and Cowan palaeodrainage channels. Western Australia, 1994, Clarke J. D. A.

RAPID ENTRENCHMENT OF STREAM PROFILES IN THE SALT CAVES OF MOUNT SEDOM, ISRAEL, 1995, Frumkin A, Ford Dc,
Rock salt is approximately 1000 times more soluble than limestone and thus displays high rates of geomorphic evolution. Cave stream channel profiles and downcutting rates were studied in the Mount Sedom salt diapir, Dead Sea rift valley, Israel. Although the area is very arid (mean annual rainfall approximate to 50 mm), the diapir contains extensive karst systems of Holocene age. In the standard cave profile a vertical shaft at the upstream end diverts water from a surface channel in anhydrite or elastic cap rocks into the subsurface route in the salt. Mass balance calculations in a sample cave passage yielded downcutting rates of 0.2 mm s(-1) during peak flood conditions, or about eight orders of magnitude higher than reported rates in any limestone cave streams. However, in the arid climate of Mount Sedom floods have a low recurrence interval with the consequence that long-term mean downcutting rates are lower: an average rate of 8.8 mm a(-1) was measured for the period 1986-1991 in the same sample passage. Quite independently, long-term mean rates of 6.2 mm a(-1) are deduced from C-14 ages of driftwood found in upper levels of 12 cave passages. These are at least three orders of magnitude higher than rates established for limestone caves. Salt cave passages develop in two main stages: (1) an early stage characterized by high downcutting rates into the rock salt bed, and steep passage gradients; (2) a mature stage characterized by lower downcutting rates, with establishment of a subhorizontal stream bed armoured with alluvial detritus. In this mature stage downcutting rates are controlled by the uplift rate of the Mount Sedom diapir and changes of the level of the Dead Sea. Passages may also aggrade. These fast-developing salt stream channels may serve as full-scale models for slower developing systems such as limestone canyons

Uplift rate relative to base-levels of a salt diapir (Dead Sea Basin, Israel) as indicated by cave levels, 1996, Frumkin A,
Rapid downcutting rates in the extremely soluble salt of the Sedom diapir, Dead Sea basin, Israel, allow cave channels to become rapidly graded with respect to base level. Diapir uplift leaves the older passages high and dry above present base level. Dating these passages by 14C allows us to estimate diapir uplift rates, taking into account previous Dead Sea levels. Maximum mean Holocene uplift rates are 6-7 mm a-1 along the eastern fault of Mount Sedom

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