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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 suunto clinometer (registered TM) is a small, handheld pendulum clinometer commonly used in cave survey [25].?

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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 chlorite (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
Karstic Fills in the Clusette Tunnel (Jura of Neuchatel Switzerland)., 1975, Meia Jean, Pochon Michel
The piercing of a road tunnel in the flank of a limestone (Malm) anticline in the Neuchatel Jura uncovered karstic forms transformed for the most part, by decarbonated soils. Mineralogical analysis of these latter, through the use of X-ray diffraction, reveals a great analogy with the surface soils. At more than 200 meters depth, the same allochtone mineralogical suite of aeolian origin which constitutes the largest part of the soils of the High Jura Mountains in Switzerland, is found: an abundance of ferriferous chlorite, and of quartz, plagioclase and potassic feldspar. The various factors favouring this deep infiltration are discussed.

Diagenetic concretions from the cave clastic sediment, Cave in Tounj quarry, Croatia, 1998, Lackovič, Damir

Diagenetic concretions from Cave in Tounj quarry (central Croatia) are studied. Concretions are found in non-cemented unsorted clastic cave deposit. They consist of particles of different size (clay to pebble) and from different provenance. One part of calcite and clay minerals are coming from speleothems and cave walls limestone. Detrital particles: chert, quartz, muscovite, chlorite, ilmenite, magnetite and most of clay, are probable transported into the cave from Triassic and Pleistocene clastic sediments from the surface. Autochthonous constituents of concretions are limonitic pizoids and some calcite cement. Composition of concretion is similar to the composition of surrounding non-cemented sediment.


Mineralogy and geochemistry of trace elements in bauxites: the Devonian Schugorsk deposit, Russia, 2001, Mordberg L. E. , Stanley C. J. , Germann K. ,
Processes of mineral alteration involving the mobilization and deposition of more than 30 chemical elements during bauxite formation and epigenesis have been studied on specimens from the Devonian Schugorsk bauxite deposit, Timan, Russia. Chemical analyses of the minerals were obtained by electron microprobe and element distribution in the minerals was studied by element mapping. Interpretation of these data also utilized high-resolution BSE and SE images. The main rock-forming minerals of the Vendian parent rock are calcite, dolomite, feldspar, aegirine, riebeckite, mica, chlorite and quartz; accessory minerals are pyrite, galena, apatite, ilmenite, monazite, xenotime, zircon, columbite, pyrochlore, chromite, bastnaesite and some others. Typically, the grain-size of the accessory minerals in both parent rock and bauxite is from 1 to 40 {micro}m. However, even within these rather small grains, the processes of crystal growth and alteration during weathering can be determined from the zonal distribution of the elements. The most widespread processes observed are: (1) Decomposition of Ti-bearing minerals such as ilmenite, aegirine and riebeckite with the formation of leucoxene', which is the main concentrator of Nb, Cr, V and W. Crystal growth can be traced from the zonal distribution of Nb (up to 16 wt.%). Vein-like leucoxene' is also observed in association with organics. (2) Weathering of columbite and pyrochlore: the source of Nb in leucoxene' is now strongly weathered columbite, while the alteration of pyrochlore is expressed in the growth of plumbopyrochlore rims around Ca-rich cores. (3) Dissolution of sulphide minerals and apatite and the formation of crandallite group minerals: crandallite' crystals of up to 40 {micro}m size show a very clear zonation. From the core to the rim of a crystal, the following sequence of elements is observed: Ca [->] Ba [->] Ce [->] Pb [->] Sr [->] Nd. Sulphur also shows a zoned but more complicated distribution, while the distribution of Fe is rather variable. A possible source of REE is bastnaesite from the parent rock. More than twelve crandallite type cells can be identified in a single crandallite' grain. (4) Alteration of stoichiometric zircon and xenotime with the formation of metamict solid solution of zircon and xenotime: altered zircon rims also bear large amounts of Sc (up to 3.5 wt.%), Fe, Ca and Al in the form of as yet unidentified inclusions of 1-2 {micro}m. Monazite seems to be the least altered mineral of the profile. In the parent rock, an unknown mineral of the composition (wt.%): ThO2 - 54.8; FeO - 14.6; Y2O5 -2.3; CaO - 2.0; REE - 1.8; SiO2 - 12.2; P2O5 - 2.8; total - 94.2 (average from ten analyses) was determined. In bauxite, another mineral was found, which has the composition (wt.%): ThO2 - 24.9; FeO - 20.5; Y2O5 - 6.7; CaO - 2.0; ZrO - 17.6; SiO2 - 8.8; P2O5 - 5.4; total - 89.3 (F was not analysed; average from nine analyses). Presumably, the second mineral is the result of weathering of the first one. Although the Th content is very high, the mineral is almost free of Pb. However, intergrowths of galena and pyrite are observed around the partially decomposed crystals of the mineral. Another generation of galena is enriched in chalcophile elements such as Cu, Cd, Bi etc., and is related to epigenetic alteration of the profile, as are secondary apatite and muscovite

Existence of karsts into silicated non-carbonated crystalline rocks in Sahelian and Equatorial Africa, hydrogeological implications, 2002, Willems Luc, Pouclet Andre, Vicat Jean Paul,
Various cavities studied in western Niger and South Cameroon show the existence of important karstic phenomena into metagabbros and gneisses. These large-sized caves resulted from generalized dissolution of silicate formations in spite of their low solubility. Karstification is produced by deep hydrous transfer along lithological discontinuities and fracture net works. The existence of such caves has major implications in geomorphology, under either Sahelian and Equatorial climate, and in hydrogeology and water supply, particularly in the Sahel area. Introduction. - Since a few decades, several karst-like morphologies are described in non-carbonated rocks (sandstones, quartzites, schistes, gneisses...) [Wray, 1997 ; Vicat and Willems, 1998 ; Willems, 2000]. The cave of Guessedoundou in West Niger seems to be due to a large dissolution of metagabbros. The cave of Mfoula, South Cameroon, attests for the same process in gneisses. This forms proof that big holes may exist deeper in the substratum even of non-carbonated silicate rocks. Their size and number could mainly influence the landscape and the hydrogeology, especially in the Sahelian areas. Guessedoundou, a cave into metagabbros in West Niger. - The site of Guessedoundou is located 70 km south-west of Niamey (fig. 1). The cave is opened at the top of a small hill, inside in NNE-SSW elongated pit (fig. 2 ; pl. I A). The hole, 3 to 4 m deep and 20 m large, has vertical walls and contains numerous sub-metric angular blocks. A cave, a few meters deep, comes out the south wall. Bedrocks consist of metagabbros of the Makalondi greenstone belt, a belt of the Palaeoproterozoic Birimian Formations of the West Africa craton [Pouclet et al., 1990]. The rock has a common granular texture with plagioclases, partly converted in albite and clinozoisite, and pyroxenes pseudomorphosed in actinote and chlorite. It is rather fairly altered. Chemical composition is mafic and poorly alkaline (tabl. I). A weak E-W schistosity generated with the epizonal thermometamorphism. The site depression was created along a N010o shear zone where rocks suffered important fracturation and fluid transfers, as shown by its silification and ferruginisation. The absence of human activity traces and the disposition of the angular blocks attest that the pit is natural and was due to the collapse of the roof of a vast cavity whose current cave is only the residual prolongation. To the vertical walls of the depression and at the cave entry, pluridecimetric hemispheric hollows are observed (pl. I B). Smooth morphology and position of these hollows sheltered within the depression dismiss the assumptions of formation by mechanical erosion. In return, these features are typical shape of dissolution processes observed into limestone karstic caves. That kind of process must be invoked to explain the opening of the Guessedoundou cave, in the total lack of desagregation materials. Dissolution of metagabbro occurred during hydrous transfer, which was probably guided by numerous fractures of the shear zone. Additional observations have been done in the Sirba Valley, where similar metabasite rocks constitute the substratum, with sudden sinking of doline-like depressions and evidence of deep cavities by core logging [Willems et al., 1993, 1996]. It is concluded that karstic phenomena may exist even in silica-aluminous rocks of crystalline terrains, such as the greenstones of a Precambrian craton. Mfoula a cave into gneisses in South Cameroon. - The cave of Mfoula is located 80 km north-east of Yaounde (fig. 3). It is the second largest cave of Cameroon, more than 5,000 m3, with a large opening in the lower flank of a deep valley (pl. I C). The cavity is about 60 m long, 30 m large and 5 to 12 m high (fig. 4; pl. I D). It is hollowed in orthogneisses belonging to the Pan-African Yaounde nappe. Rocks exhibit subhorizontal foliation in two superposed lithological facies: the lower part is made of amphibole- and garnet-bearing layered gneisses, and the upper part, of more massive granulitic gneisses. Average composition is silico-aluminous and moderately alkaline (tabl. I). The cave is made of different chambers separated by sub-cylindrical pillars. The ceiling of the main chamber, 6 m in diameter, is dome-shaped with a smooth surface (D, fig. 4). The walls have also a smooth aspect decorated with many hemispherical hollows. The floor is flat according to the rock foliation. They are very few rock debris and detrital fragments and no traces of mechanical erosion and transport. The general inner morphology is amazingly similar to that of a limestone cave. The only way to generate such a cavity is to dissolve the rock by water transfer. To test the effect of the dissolution process, we analysed a clayey residual sampled in an horizontal fracture of the floor (tabl. I). Alteration begins by plagioclases in producing clay minerals and in disagregating the rock. However, there is no more clay and sand material. That means all the silicate minerals must have been eliminated. Dissolution of silicates is a known process in sandstone and quartzite caves. It may work as well in gneisses. To fasten the chemical action, we may consider an additional microbial chemolitotrophe activity. The activity of bacteria colonies is known in various rocks and depths, mainly in the aquifer [Sinclair and Ghiorse, 1989 ; Stevens and McKinley, 1995]. The formation of the Mfoula cave is summarized as follow (fig. 5). Meteoric water is drained down along sub-vertical fractures and then along horizontal discontinuities of the foliation, particularly in case of lithological variations. Chemical and biological dissolution is working. Lateral transfers linked to the aquifer oscillations caused widening of the caves. Dissolved products are transported by the vertical drains. Regressive erosion of the valley, linked to the epeirogenic upwelling due to the volcano-tectonic activity of the Cameroon Line, makes the cavities come into sight at the valley flanks. Discussion and conclusion. - The two examples of the Guessedoundou and Mfoula caves evidence the reality of the karsts in non-carbonated silicated rocks. The karst term is used to design >> any features of the classical karst morphology (caves, dolines, lapies...) where dissolution plays the main genetical action >> [Willems, 2000]. Our observations indicate that (i) the karst genesis may have occurred into any kind of rocks, and (ii) the cave formation is not directly dependent of the present climate. These facts have major consequences to hydrogeological investigations, especially for water supply in Sahelian and sub-desertic countries. Some measurements of water transfer speed across either sedimentary pelitic strata of the Continental terminal or igneous rocks of the substratum in West Niger [Esteves and Lenoir, 1996 ; Ousmane et al., 1984] proved that supplying of aquifers in these silico-aluminous rocks may be as fast as in a karstic limestone. That means the West Niger substratum is highly invaded by a karstic net and may hidden a lot of discontinuous aquifers. The existence of this karst system can be easily shown by morphological observations, the same that are done in karstic limestone regions (abnormally suspended dry valleys, collapses, dolines...). Clearly, this must be the guide for any search of water, even in desertic areas where limestones are absent

Environmentally acceptable effect of hydrogen peroxide on cave “lamp-flora”, calcite speleothems and limestones, 2003, Faimon J, Stelcl J, Kubesova S, Zimak J,
Mosses, algae, and cyanobacteria (lamp-flora) colonize illuminated areas in show caves. This biota is commonly removed by a sodium hypochlorite solution. Because chlorine and other deleterious compounds are released into a cave environment during lamp-flora cleansing, hydrogen peroxide was tested as an alternative agent. In a multidisciplinary study conducted in the Katerinska Cave (Moravian Karst, Czech Republic), 12 algae- and cyanobacteria taxons and 19 moss taxons were detected. The threshold hydrogen peroxide concentration for the destruction of this lamp-flora was found to be 15 vol.%. Based on laboratory experiments in stirred batch reactors, the dissolution rates of limestones and calcite speleothems in water were determined as 3.77 x 10-3 and 1.81 x 10-3 mol m-2 h-1, respectively. In the 15% peroxide solution, the limestone and speleothem dissolution rates were one order of magnitude higher, 2.00 x 10-2 and 2.21 x 10-2 mol m-2 h-1, respectively. So, the peroxide solution was recognised to attack carbonates somewhat more aggressively than karst water. In order to prevent the potential corrosion of limestone and speleothems, the reaching of preliminary peroxide saturation with respect to calcite is recommended, for example, by adding of few limestone fragments into the solution at least 10 h prior to its application

Nonsulfide and sulfide-rich zinc mineralizations in the Vazante, Ambrsia and Fagundes deposits, Minas Gerais, Brazil: Mass balance and stable isotope characteristics of the hydrothermal alterati, 2007, Soares Monteiro Lena Virgí, Nia, Bettencourt Jorge Silva, Juliani Caetano, De Oliveira Tolentino Flvio
The Vazante Group hosts the Vazante nonsulfide zinc deposit, which comprises high-grade zinc silicate ore (ZnSiO4), and late-diagenetic to epigenetic carbonate-hosted sulfide-rich zinc deposits (e.g. Morro Agudo, Fagundes, and Ambrósia). In the sulfide-rich deposits, hydrothermal alteration involving silicification and dolomitization was related with ground preparation of favorable zones for fluid migration (e.g. Fagundes) or with direct interaction with the metalliferous fluid (e.g. Ambrósia). At Vazante, hydrothermal alteration resulted in silicification and dolomite, siderite, jasper, hematite, and chlorite formation. These processes were accompanied by strong relative gains of SiO2, Fe2O3(T), Rb, Sb, V, U, and La, which are typically associated with the nonsulfide zinc mineralization. All sulfide-rich zinc ores in the district display a similar geochemical signature suggesting a common metal source from the underlying sedimentary sequences. Oxygen and carbon isotope compositions of hydrothermally altered rocks reveal a remarkable alteration halo at the Vazante deposit, which is not a notable feature in the sulfide-rich deposits. This pattern could be attributed to fluid mixing processes involving the metalliferous fluid and channelized meteoric water, which may control the precipitation of the Vazante nonsulfide ore. Sulfide deposition resulted from fluid?rock interaction processes and mixing between the ascending metalliferous fluids and sulfur-rich tectonic brines derived from reduced shale units.

The mineralogical study of the Grotta Inferiore di Sant’Angelo (southern Italy), 2014, Catalano M. , Bloise A. , Miriello D. , Apollaro C. , Critelli T. , Muto F. , Cazzanelli E. , Barrese E.

In the present work, thirteen samples collected from the Grotta Inferiore di Sant’Angelo near the town of Cassano allo Jonio (Calabria region, southern Italy) were analyzed for their mineralogy. The Grotta Inferiore di Sant’Angelo is made up of subhorizontal, interlinked galleries between 400 and 450 meters above sea level. The floor is littered with deposits such as bat-guano, gypsum, and many speleothems that also cover the walls. The samples were identified and characterized by X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive spectrometer, microthermometry, and micro-Raman spectroscopy. The ten primary minerals identified in this study belong to six different groups: carbonate, sulfate, apatite, oxide and hydroxide, halide, and silicate. Clay minerals and eight other detrital minerals were also found: enstatite, rutile, magnesite, pyrite, chrysotile, quartz, dolomite, and chlorite. Characterization of cave minerals could be useful to improve the knowledge of the relation between them and the lithology of the host rocks


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