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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 A-horizon is the topmost eluviated horizon of a soil profile [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 cryptokarst (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Observations morphologiques sur le gosystme karstique du Rupt du Puits (Meuse, Lorraine), 1995, Jaillet S. , Gamez P.
The karst system of Rupt-du-Puits is situated east of the Paris basin (Barrois and Perthois), in the Portlandian limestones covered by sands and clays of Lower Cretaceous. It presents 21 km of surveyed passages in several networks (catchment = 13 km2). In this typical covered karst (cryptokarst), we observe two kinds of alimentation: rapid (swallow holes) and slow (wet soils). On the exokarst, the valleys move by retreat of swallow holes and karst stepping. In the endokarst, the variations of the base level determine several stages of stream piracy (elbows of capture). The karst morphology depends on climatic changes and the evolution of the drainage pattern during the Upper Pleistocene.

Les Forts de Pierre ou Stone forests de Lunan (Yunnan, Chine), 1996, Ford D. , Salomon J. N. , Williams P.
"Stone forests " are well known in Southern China. We describe the type site in Lunan County on the Yunnan Plateau at about 1800 m. "Stone forests " are a spectacular form of karren, similar to the "tsingy" of Madagascar or pinnacles of Mulu. In Yunnan they are developed in massive Permian limestones and dolomites. The "Stone forests" are high fluted towers, typically more ruiniform in dolostones, that attain 20-30m in height, exceptionally 40m. They occur in patches of several square kilometres in extent in a rolling polygonal karst landscape with about 150 m local relief Three phases of evoluti6n are recognized spanning 250 Ma from the Permian until the present: 1) Mid Permian karstification and burial by Upper Permian continental basalts, 2) Mesozoic erosion and re-karstification, then burial in the Eocene by thick continental deposits, 3) Late Tertiary and Quaternary exhumation and re-karstification. No other "Stone forests" in the world show this complexity of evolution.

L'halloysite karstique; comparaison des gisements types de Wallonie (Belgique) et du Perigord (France), 1997, Perruchot A. , Dupuis C. , Brouard E. , Nicaise D. , Ertus R. ,
Two cryptokarstic (covered karsts) halloysitic deposits were compared: the Entre Sambre et Meuse in Belgium and the Perigord in France. Both belong to a continental margin subject to marine transgression and regression cycles which enhance the karstic activity. This geodynamic context appears to be very favourable to the formation of halloysite. The similarity of the geodynamic context of both sites leads to a genetic convergence linked to specific properties of the cryptokarstic system, especially, the ability to collect the percolating waters and to juxtapose the conditions of precipitation, accumulation and maturation of the halloysite silico-aluminous gel precursors. However, each site also displays pronounced specificities relevant to: the nature of the host rock of the halloysite (a partly silicified limestone in the first, a smectite-kaolinite argilite in the second); the aluminium source (allochthonous in the first, relatively autochthonous in the second); and the halloysite content of the deposits (of approximately 100% in the first, and 40% maximum in the second)

Trace element (Th, U, Pb, REE) behaviour in a cryptokarstic halloysite and kaolinite deposit from Southern Belgium: importance of 'accessory' mineral formation for radioactive pollutant trapping, 2002, De Putter T, Andre L, Bernard A, Dupuis C, Jedwab J, Nicaise D, Perruchot A,
Hectometer wide cryptokarsts in Paleozoic limestone from Southern Belgium have been studied, to determine to what extent U, Th, Ph and rare earth elements (REE) have been mobilized in the karst sedimentary filling, during a Miocene weathering event. The weathering process resulted in the massive halloysite/kaolinite formation at the karst wall. As with most fossil systems, data on weathering fluid chemistry are lacking, hence it is difficult to quantify relevant parameters such as pH, Eh, and to address solution chemistry. However, on the basis of both field studies of more recent systems, and of geochemical modeling, it is proposed that moderately acid fluids percolated through a multi-layer sedimentary filling, in near-surface conditions and in a temperate/warm climate. Special attention is paid to the trace element immobilization/trapping processes, in newly crystallized REE phosphates, at the karst wall. Analytical methods used include major/trace element geochemistry (emission ICP, ICP-MS) and mineralogy (XRD, SEM, TEM, microprobe). The results suggest that both the sandy sediments that are in contact with the karst carbonate wall, and the carbonate wall itself acted as a kind of geochemical 'barrier'. Mineralization cells settled there, at the decimeter to meter scale. This results in sequential trace element (Pb, Th, REE, U) trapping, according to the affinity of these elements for the aqueous solution. At the end of the sequence, minute U-rich automorphic (Ce, Nd) monazite crystals (from 3 nm upwards) formed on kaolinite flakes. Though the analogy between the studied cryptokarst and planned surface-based repositories for low-level radioactive waste (LLW) in argillaceous context is far from complete, the results outlined here are relevant because they show that even in natural-i.e. intrinsically uncontrolled and unmonitored-systems, 'pollutant' radionuclide (U, Th, REE, Pb) migration paths are often limited in space. Various processes converge towards trapping of these elements, that are present in the radioactive waste. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Interpretation of recent structures in an area of cryptokarst evolution - neotectonic versus subsidence genesis, 2002, Dias Rp, Cabral J,
The study area (Algarve) is located near the Eurasia-Africa plate boundary, experiencing significant tectonic and seismic activities. Regional geology is characterised by the presence of Mesozoic and Miocene carbonate rocks which are affected by karst phenomena. This karst is covered by terrigenous sediments of Upper Miocene and Pliocene-Pleistocene age. In the study area, the Pliocene-Quaternary cover deposits are affected by a large number of mesoscopic structures, including joints, faults, and a few folds, which indicate neotectonic activity. However, these sediments also present similar structures that result from underground karst evolution, raising the need to differentiate the neotectonic structures from those of non-tectonic origin. In fact, a variety of ductile, semi-brittle and brittle structures develop in the sediments that fill up the karst wells, controlled by different theological behaviour of the cover deposits, various strain rates associated with sudden collapse or progressive sinking, and the variable shape of the karst pits walls. The structure's geometry, geographical dispersion and directional scattering were used as criteria to infer a non-tectonic genesis. It is discussed whether some karst related structures may be controlled by the contemporary tectonic stress field and consequently are interpreted in the regional geodynamical framework. (C) 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved

Ochtina Aragonite Cave (Western Carpathians, Slovakia): Morphology, mineralogy of the fill and genesis, 2002, Bosak P, Bella P, Cilek V, Ford Dc, Hercman H, Kadlec J, Osborne A, Pruner P,
Ochtina Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The metalimestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as isolated lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained. Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and bimessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. Thermal ionisation mass spectrometry and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka - Allerod) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the, younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave

Cryptokarst: a case-study of the Quaternary landforms of southern Apulia (southern Italy), 2003, Marsico Antonella, Selleri Gianluca, Mastronuzzi Giuseppe, Sanso Paolo, Walsh Nicola

Cryptokarst is a karst developed beneath a permeable and not karstifiable formation by percolating waters. The permeable rock acts as a storage of water which feeds slow seepage and infiltration enhancing the alteration of bedrock. The resulting forms consist of depressions, filled by the covering sediments, and pinnacles. The sinking of the permeable cover can produce depressions on the topographic surface. Erosion of the cover exposes a landscape characterised by pinnacles, ruinforms and dolines. In the Apulia region, cryptocorrosion surfaces are characterized by solution pipes 4-5 meters deep and with variable width (from a few centimeters to about one meter). Pipes walls are covered by a brownish carbonate crust, from a centimeter to more than 10 centimeters thick. The continental sands are only found in these depressions. The cryptocorrosion process took place late in the Middle Pleistocene on Quaternary marine abrasion terraces covered by no-carbonate sandy-silty continental deposits. The process stopped before the Last Interglacial age in response of an abrupt climatic change that induces a calcium carbonate precipitation and the formation of a carbonate crust.


Ochtin Aragonite Cave (Slovakia): morphology, mineralogy and genesis, 2005, Bosk P. , Bella P. , Cilek V. , Ford D. C. , Hercman H. , Kadlec J. , Osborne A. , Pruner P. ,

Ochtiná Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The limestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained.
Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and birnessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. TIMS and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka – Alleröd) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave.


New data on the development of the Baradla Cave (Hungary, Aggtelek karst), 2012, Mrton, V.

The development of karst landforms of the Aggtelek Plateau was investigated concerning the role of these valleys in the genesis of the Baradla Cave, which is located on the Plateau. New data were collected by geophysical method (Vertical Electrical Sounding) from a few dolines of a selected valley of the Aggtelek Plateau. The geophysical profiles confirm that the dolines of the valley bottom did not develop from sinkholes, but they are solution dolines. Morphological characteristics of the valleys of the Plateau suggest that these valleys are not the continuation of the valley of the recent covered karst. The former catchment area of these valleys might have been on the Plateau and north of Kecső valley. Their bottoms tilted into southern direction. Therefore the subsurface capture places of their streams might have been near to the recent sinking line.The sediments (Borsodi Gravel Formation) which were eroded from the above mentioned areas also contributed to the genesis of the Baradla Cave.


NEW DATA ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE BARADLA CAVE (HUNGARY, AGGTELEK KARST), 2012, Marton, Veress

The development of karst landforms of the Aggtelek Plateau was investigated concerning the role of these valleys in the genesis of the Baradla Cave, which is located on the Plateau. New data were collected by geophysical method (Vertical Electrical Sounding) from a few dolines of a selected valley of the Aggtelek Plateau. The geophysical profiles confirm that the dolines of the valley bottom did not develop from sinkholes, but they are solution dolines. Morphological characteristics of the valleys of the Plateau suggest that these valleys are not the continuation of the valley of the recent covered karst. The former catchment area of these valleys might have been on the Plateau and north of Kecső valley. Their bottoms tilted into southern direction. Therefore the subsurface capture places of their streams might have been near to the recent sinking line.The sediments (Borsodi Gravel Formation) which were eroded from the above mentioned areas also contributed to the genesis of the Baradla Cave.


The primokarst, former stages of karstification, or how solution caves can born, 2014, Rodet, J.

The historical approach of the karst always gave preferential treatment to the study of the superficial phenomena or underground cavities explored by human. However as demonstrated by hydrogeologists, the main karst development keep out of reach because of the too small sizing of drains or due to its filling. Consequently appears the question about the inception drain, the way used by the water from the sink hole to reach its resurgence. Some authors consider this primary link as obvious when the practice demonstrates clearly that the hydrodynamic continuity results of a very long, complex and selective evolution, essentially geochemical. This is the field of the drain inception stages, that we can spell “prekarst” or “primokarst”. Those stages include the successive fields of isalterite and alloterite. This last one opens by compaction a free space and allows a concentrated hydrodynamic flow. These processes, at the origin of the endokarst initiation, can develop on the side of synchronous mechanical dynamics if in the same drain or under a regolith coverage, something divides the bedrock and the quick flow. Without any doubt, this is the purview of the cryptokarst and of the cave walls under filling. We can observe it in the progradation front of the introduction karst or in the retrogradation front of the restitution karst.


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