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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 pocket storage is water storage in depressions on the land surface [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 coring (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Barbuda--an emerging reef and lagoon complex on the edge of the Lesser Antilles island are, 1985, Brasier M, Donahue J,
The Pliocene to Holocene limestones of Barbuda have formed on a wide, shallow, outlying bank of the Lesser Antilles island arc, some 50 km east of the older axis of the Limestone Caribbees and 100 km east of the newer axis of the active Volcanic Caribbees. Contrasts with neighbouring islands of similar size include the lack of exposed igneous basement or mid-Tertiary sediments, the dominance of younger flat-lying carbonates, and the greater frequency of earthquake shocks. The history of emergence of the island has been studied through aerial reconnaissance, mapping, logging, hand coring, facies and microfacies analysis. These show a pattern of progressively falling high sea level stands (from more than 50 m down to the present level) on which are superimposed at least three major phases of subaerial exposure, when sea levels were close to, or below, their present level. This sequence can be summarized as follows: 1, bank edge facies (early Pliocene Highlands Formation) deposited at not more than c. 50-100 m above the present sea level; 2, emergence with moderate upwarping in the north, associated with the Bat Hole subaerial phase forming widespread karst; 3, older Pleistocene transgression with fringing reefs and protected bays formed at l0 to l5 m high sea level stands (Beazer Formation); 4, Marl Pits subaerial phase with widespread karst and soil formation; 5, late Pleistocene transgression up to m high stand with fringing and barrier reefs, protected backreefs and bays (Codrington Formation Phase I); 6, gradual regression resulting in emergence of reefs, enclosure of lagoons, and progradation of beach ridges at heights falling from c. 5 m to below present sea level (Codrington Phase II); 7, Castle Bay subaerial phase produced karst, caliche and coastal dunes that built eastwards to below present sea level; and 8, Holocene transgression producing the present mosaic, with reefs, lagoons and prograding beach ridge complexes, with the present sea level reached before c. 4085 years BP. The evidence suggests that slight uplift took place in the north of the island after early Pliocene times. Subsequent shoreline fluctuations are consistent with glacio-eustatic changes in sea level, indicating that the island has not experienced significant uplift during the Quaternary

Scuba observations of standstill levels in Elba Island (ltaly) and in Marie-Galante (West Indies). A worldwide sequence?, 1999, Collinagirard J,
Scuba observations (0 to -60 m) in Provence and Corsica and new data from Elba Island (Italy) indicate the bathymetric location of eustatic erosion levels in the Mediterranean Sea. A general sketch is given (standstill levels at-ii m, -17 m, -25 m, -35 m, -45 m, -50 m/55 m, -100 m). Isotopic data suggest contemporaneity of -100 m and -55 m levels with the two slow-down phases of Holocene transgression documented in Barbados and Tahiti coring (MWP-1A and 1B). Transgression acceleration after 14 000 BP explains the conservation of these littoral morphologies. Tectonics or isostasic movements (never more than 5 m) are prooved by differences observed in different areas of the world

Geophysical surveys over karst recharge features, Illinois, USA, 2001, Carpenter Pj, Ahmed S,
Karst aquifers supply a significant fraction of the world's drinking water. These types of aquifers are also highly susceptible to pollution from the surface with recharge usually occurring through fractures and solution openings at the bedrock surface. Thickness of the protective soil cover, macropores and openings within the soil cover, and the nature of the weathered bedrock surface all influence infiltration. Recharge openings at the bedrock surface, however, are often covered by unconsolidated sediments, resulting in the inadvertent placement of landfills, unregulated dump sites, tailing piles, waste lagoons and septic systems over recharge zones. In these settings surface geophysical surveys, calibrated by a few soil cores, could be employed to identify these recharge openings, and qualitatively assess the protection afforded by the soil cover. In a test of this hypothesis, geophysical measurements accurately predicted the thickness of unconsolidated deposits overlying karstic dolomite at a site about 100 km south of Chicago, Illinois. Zones of elevated electrical conductivity and high ground-penetrating radar (GPR) attenuation within the sediments coincided with subcropping solutionally-enlarged hydraulically active bedrock fractures. These fractures extend to over 12-m depth, as shown by 2-D inverted resistivity sections and soil coring. Anomalous electromagnetic (EM) conductivity and GPR response may be due to higher soil moisture above these enlarged fractures. An epikarstal conduit at 2.5-m depth was directly identified through a GPR survey. These results suggest that surface geophysical surveys are a viable tool for assessing the susceptibility of shallow karst aquifers to contamination

New constraints on the origin of the Australian Great Barrier Reef: Results from an international project of deep coring, 2001, Drilling Icfgbr,
Two new boreholes provide the first direct evidence of the age of the Australian Great Barrier Reef. An inner shelf sequence (total depth, 86 m; basal age = 210 {} 40 ka) comprises a dominantly siliciclastic unit (thickness [~]52-86 m), overlain by four carbonate units (total thickness 0-34 m). A shelf-edge and slope sequence (total depth 210 m) reveals three major sections: (1) a lower section of resedimented flows deposited on a lower slope, (2) a mid-section including intervals of corals, rhodoliths, and calcarenites with low- angle graded laminae, and (3) an upper section of four shelf- margin coral-reef units separated by karst surfaces bearing paleosols. Sr isotope and magnetostratigraphic data indicate that the central Great Barrier Reef is relatively young (post Bruhnes-Matuyama boundary time), and our best estimate for the onset of reef growth on the outer barrier system is ca. 600 {} 280 ka. This date suggests that reef initiation may have been related to the onset of full eccentricity-dominated glacio-eustatic sea-level oscillation as inferred from large-amplitude 'saw-tooth' 100 k.y. {delta}18O cycles (after marine isotope stage 17), rather than to some regional environmental parameter. A major question raised by our study is whether reef margins globally display a similar growth history. The possibility of a global reef initiation event has important implications for basin to shelf partitioning of CaCO3, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and global temperature change during Quaternary time

Engineering approaches to conditions created by a combination of karst and faulting at a hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, 2002, Cooley T,
Foundations for a major expansion and modification of a multistory hospital in Birmingham, AL, were founded on faulted and karst-dissolutioned dolomite. The foundation approach had to accommodate a high degree of uncertainty concerning local conditions due to limited access for exploration and extremely variable rock conditions. The scope of the construction included excavation of a subbasement into rock with associated tiebacks to support adjacent foundations, installation of rock-bearing shear walls and rock anchors under the existing hospital, and installation of rock-bearing caissons and wall foundations outside the existing hospital. Local complications included areas of highly shattered rock, a generally pinnacled rock surface with average relief of 3-6 m (10-20 ft), locally very deep cutters and pits, areas where dolomite was weathered to sand or weak rock up to 3 m (10 ft) thick, and pockets of flowing sand and mud near the rock surface. Because of the complexity of site conditions and limited initial access to the site, on-site geotechnical services required innovative approaches to gather additional information on the highly variable and ambiguous rock conditions and adapt detailed foundation design and foundation approaches to the actual conditions encountered. These approaches included triple-tube coring of shattered rock at selected caisson locations; development of a technique for installation of rock anchors into shattered rock, determination of required undercut depths, and remediation at individual foundations where rock was shattered, disaggregated, or steeply pinnacled; characterization of individual cutters by airtrack probing for remediation information in wall foundations; low-angle coring for cutter characterization in the tieback area; change in foundations from walls to caissons or caissons to mat foundations in select areas; and above all, careful judgment-based design. Limitations of characterization methods are also discussed. A fundamental understanding of karst processes and three-dimensional conceptualization was an essential part of the engineering required for this project. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Application of matrix analysis in delineating sinkhole risk areas along highway (I-70 near Frederick, Maryland), 2003, Zhou W. F. , Beck B. F. , Adams A. L. ,
Sinkhole collapse in the area of Maryland Interstate 70 (I-70) and nearby roadways south of Frederick, Maryland, has been posing a threat to the safety of the highway operation as well as other structures. The occurrence of sinkholes is associated with intensive land development. However, the geological conditions that have been developing over the past 200 million years in the Frederick Valley control the locations of the sinkholes. Within an area of approximately 8 km(2), 138 sinkholes are recorded and their spatial distribution is irregular, but clustered. The clustering indicates the existence of an interaction between the sinkholes. The point pattern of sinkholes is considered to be a sample of a Gibbsian point process from which the hard-core Strauss Model is developed. The radius of influence is calculated for the recorded sinkholes which are most likely to occur within 30 m of an existing sinkhole. The stochastic analysis of the existing sinkholes is biased toward the areas with intensive land use. This bias is adjusted by considering (1) topography, (2) proximity to topographic depressions, (3) interpreted rock formation, (4) soil type, (5) geophysical anomalies, (6) proximity to geologic structures, and (7) thickness of overburden. Based on the properties of each factor, a scoring system is developed and the average relative risk score for individual 30-m segments of the study area is calculated. The areas designated by higher risk levels would have greater risk of a sinkhole collapse than the areas designated by lower risk levels. This risk assessment approach can be updated as more information becomes available

Stalagmite evidence for the precise timing of North Atlantic cold events during the early last glacial, 2007, Drysdale Rn, Zanchetta G, Hellstrom Jc, Fallick Ae, Mcdonald J, Cartwright I,
Evidence of millennial-scale cold events following the last interglacial are well preserved in North Atlantic marine cores, Greenland ice, and pollen records from Europe. However, their timing was previously undetermined by radiometric dating. We report the first precise radiometric ages for two such events, C23 (105.1 {} 0.9 ka to 102.6 {} 0.8 ka) and C24 (112.0 {} 0.8 ka and 108.8 {} 1.0 ka), based on stable carbon and oxygen isotope measurements on a stalagmite from Italy (CC28). In addition to providing new information on the duration of these events in southern Europe, the age data provide invaluable tuning points for the Melisey I (C24) and Montaigu (C23) pollen zones identified in western Europe. The former event is of particular significance because it represents the end of the Eemian interglacial forest phase in western Europe. The new age data will also allow fine tuning of the timing and duration of Greenland stadial 24 (equivalent to C23) in the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core and, via a common gasage chronology, tuning of the Vostok and EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) ice cores

Scientific drilling of speleothems a technical note, 2012, Sptl Christoph, Mattey David

This short article provides detailed descriptions of custom-made and commercially available hand-held drilling gear and options for water-flushing units specifically designed to obtained good-quality core material from speleothems even in remote cave regions. We use small-diameter (6-7 mm) diamond drill bits to obtain aliquots of calcite (as little as a few hundreds of milligram) from the interior of the basal part of in-situ stalagmites. These small cores are used to date the onset of stalagmite growth and occasionally to obtain other compositional information. Larger diameter drill bits produce cores 25-32 mm in diameter and up to 1.3 m in length which reveal internal structures and provide axial transects for chemical and isotope analysis and material for preparation of thin sections. This system has been successfully employed to sample flowstone and thick stalagmites. Given the growing interest in speleothem as archives of past environmental change, careful sample selection is primordial to keep the impact of sampling in these unique environments at a minimum. Low-invasive drilling is an essential technique and maximizes the amount of information gained.

Geoelectrical Characterization of Sulphate Rocks, 2012, Guinea Maysounave, Ander

Gypsum rocks are widely exploited in the world as industrial minerals. The purity of the gypsum rocks (percentage in gypsum mineral –CaSO4•2H2O- in the whole rock) is a critical factor to evaluate the potential exploitability of a gypsum deposit. It is considered than purities higher than 80% in gypsum are required to be economically profitable. Gypsum deposits have been studied with geoelectrical methods; a direct relationship between the electrical resistivity values of the gypsum rocks and its lithological composition has been established, with the presence of lutites being the main controlling factor in the geoelectrical response of the deposit. This phenomenon has been quantified by means of a combination of theoretical calculations, laboratory measurements and field data acquisition. A geoelectrical classification of gypsum rocks defining three types of gypsum rocks has been elaborated. Anhydrite (CaSO4) is frequently found in gypsum quarries and in no-outcropping sulphates. Because of its highest hardness than gypsum it supposes a problem for the extraction of gypsum; the fronts of the quarries in which anhydrite is found are stopped at the moment when it appears. The electrical properties of calcium sulphates have been studied by means of geoelectrical methods. The conductivity of crystals has been tested in laboratory. A direct relationship between the electrical conductivity values of the calcium sulphate rocks and its lithological composition has been established being the lutitic matrix the main controlling factor when it is percolant (connected at long range). When the rock is matrix dominant, the electrical resistivity trend is bond to the Hashin-Shtrikman lower bound for multiphase systems. On the other hand, when the rock is calcium sulphate dominant the trend shows the one of the Hashin-Shtrikman upper bound. A geoelectrical classification for calcium sulphate rocks has been elaborated. With this classification it is possible to differentiate between calcium sulphate rocks with different composition according to their electrical resistivity value. Glauberite (Na2Ca(SO4)2) is nowadays exploited as industrial mineral. Glauberite rocks usually have high lutite content in their composition, together with other evaporictic minerals as gypsum, anhydrite or halite among others. There is no reference to the conductivity of glauberite rocks in the bibliography, but due to their impurity it is expected to observe values as the observed for other sulphates in the matrix domain (less than 55% in purity). Two areas of the Ebro river basin (the Zaragoza and La Rioja sectors) have been studied by means of electrical resistivity tomography profiles, in which glauberite has been found in boreholes. As example of application for the study of sulphate deposits, an electrical resistivity tomography survey has been carried out in the Pira Gypsum member (SE of Catalan margin of the Tertiary Ebro Basin, Spain). Additionally, a continuous coring drill was performed in order to support the study. Electrical imaging has been successfully applied to identify the gypsum deposits interlayered in lutite units. Another resistivity survey has been carried out in an active gypsum quarry in the Gelsa Gypsum unit (Zaragoza, N Spain). During the extraction of the rock, the most important parameters to know are the purity changes in the deposit. Sudden changes in the purity make the processing of the raw material less profitable. The performed profiles have shown different gypsum layers from which the purest layers have been identified. Electrical resistivity tomography lines are useful in prospection of gypsum deposits. However, electrical imaging prospection should be supported by an accurate petrological study of the deposits, in order to properly interpret the resistivity profiles.


Sudden cover-collapse sinkhole (doline) development is uncommon in the karstic Cretaceous-age Edwards limestone of central Texas. This paper presents a case-study of a sinkhole that formed within a stormwater retention pond (SWRP) in southwest Austin. Results presented include hydrogeologic characterizations, fate of stormwater, and mitigation of the sinkhole. On January 24, 2012, a 11 cm (4.5 in) rainfall filled the SWRP with about 3 m (10 ft) of stormwater. Subsequently, a sinkhole formed within the floor of a SWRP measuring about 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and 4 m (12 ft) deep. About 26.5 million liters (7 million gallons) of stormwater drained into the aquifer through this opening. To determine the path, velocity, and destination of stormwater entering the sinkhole a dye trace was conducted. Phloxine B was injected into the sinkhole on February 3, 2012. The dye was detected at one well and arrived at Barton Springs in less than 4 days for a minimum velocity of 2 km/day (1.3 mi/day).Review of pre-development 2-foot topographic contour and geologic maps reveals that the SWRP was built within a broad (5,200 m2; 6 acre), shallow depression bounded by two inferred NE-trending fault zones. Photographs taken during SWRP construction showed steep west-dipping bedrock in the northern SWRP wall. Following collapse of the sinkhole, additional hydrogeologic characterization included excavation to a depth of 6.4 m (21 ft), surface geophysics (resistivity), and rock coring. Geologic materials consisted mostly 89of friable, highly altered, clayey limestone consistent with epikarst in-filled with terra rosa providing a cover of the feature. Dipping beds, and fractured bedrock support proximity to the mapped fault zone. Geophysics and surface observations suggested a lateral pathway for stormwater flow at the junction between the wet pond’s impermeable geomembrane and compacted clay liner for the retention pond. The collapse appears to have been caused by stormwater down-washing poorly consolidated sediments from beneath the SWRP and into a pre-existing karst conduit system.

Mitigation of the sinkhole included backfill ranging from boulders to gravel, a geomembrane cover, and reinforced concrete cap. Additional improvements to the SWRP included a new compacted clay liner overlain by a geomembrane liner on the side slopes of the retention pond.


Cedar Ridge Dam and Reservoir will be built to supply water for the city of Abilene, Texas. The original damsite (CR) was to be located on Clear Fork of Brazos River in Throckmorton County, but initial coring of the damsite encountered unsuspected gypsum beds in the Permian-age Jagger Bend/Valera Formation. Gypsum is a highly soluble rock that typically contains karst features, and its presence in a dam foundation or impoundment area could allow water to escape from the reservoir. A decision was made to look at potential sites farther upstream (to the southwest), where west-dipping gypsum beds would be deeper underground and karst problems would be minimized or eliminated.The first phase of the relocation was a comprehensive field study of Clear Fork Valley, upstream of the original damsite, to identify gypsum outcrops; gypsum was exposed at only one location, just above damsite CR. The second phase of the study was examination of nearly 100 petroleum-test geophysical logs to identify, correlate, and map the subsurface gypsum and associated rock layers upstream of the original damsite. The gypsiferous sequence is 30–45 m thick, and consists of 8 gypsum beds, mostly 1–3 m thick, interbedded with red-brown and gray shale units 1–10 m thick. Gypsum beds comprise 25–30% of the gypsiferous sequence. Gypsum beds dip uniformly to the west at about 7 m/km (about 0.4 degrees), and thus the uppermost gypsum is at least 23 m beneath the newly proposed damsite (A), about 8 km to the southwest.Subsequent coring and other studies of the new damsite A confirm that gypsum beds are 23 m beneath the newly proposed dam. There is no evidence of solution channels or other karst features beneath this site, and thus there is little likelihood of water loss from the reservoir at the new site due to gypsum karst.

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