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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 tagging is affixing a metal tag bearing a cave number near its entrance, normally by means of rock drill and a small nail [25].?

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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
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Your search for glacial karst (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
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.


Le Vercors : un massif de la moyenne montagne alpine, 1984, Delannoy, J. J.
THE VERCORS: A MASSIF OF MIDDLE ALPINE MOUNTAIN - The Vercors is a forested massif of middle mountain, in the French Northern Prealps. The characteristic of the Vercors massif is the thick and massif urgonian limestones, which underlines a folded structure. The Vercors quickly hold the attention of speleologists, who had put forward the density and diversity of karstic aspects since the beginning of the century. Landforms display glacial karstic landscapes more or less damaged in terms of bio-climatic levels of mounts and depressions landscapes and of deep water gaps, which main flows of the massif are flowing in. The notion of the morphoclimatic heritage applies to the underground karst for which glacial quaternary episodes have been determinant in the large systems genesis (gouffre Berger - Scialet de la Fromagre, Antre des Damns, Combe de Fer...). The study of underground deposits allows to bring up-to-date various period of karst development; a preglacial stage (e.g. upper levels of Cuves de Sassenage, Gournier, Coufin-Chevaline...). The study of the current dynamic shows that the Vercors as an important karstic ablation, between 120 to 170mm/ky. The karstic dynamic exerts mainly on the superficial slab of the massif (from 80 to 50% of the whole ablation). The Vercors can be considered as the best example of calcareous massif in temperate middle mountains, thanks to the combination of various favourable parameters: pure karst rocks, morpho-climatic episodes not constraining, and a high karstic dynamic.

Un exemple de karst haut-alpin : le Dsert de Plat (Haute-Savoie), 1984, Maire, R.
AN EXAMPLE OF HIGH ALPINE KARST: THE DSERT DE PLAT (HAUTE-SAVOIE) - Situated in the French Northern Alps between 1600m and 2800m elevation, the Dsert de Plat is characterised by a wet, cold and very snowy climate (P = 2400-2800 mm/year). We observe several morphoclimatic levels: the upper mountain karst (1500-1700m), the subalpine karst (1700-1950m), the alpine karst (1950 - 2600m) and the proglacial karst (well developed in the Haut-Giffre massif. Glacio-karstic landforms like cirque-dolines and pavements (Schichttreppenkarst) are inherited from the quaternary glaciations. The deep karst underlines the part of quaternary climatic sequence with complex drainage and fillings. Now, the karstic flow is a nival type (maximum during the spring and summer minimum) but the hydrochemical cycles are opposite (spring minimum). Nevertheless, because of a very abundant underground discharge during hot season (80%), the exported limestone reaches 75% of annual amount. The specific dissolution is strong (104 mm/ky), but it does not reach the optimum of forest mountain karst, like Vercors (120-170mm/ky).

Palokarst palozoque en Antarctique, 1986, Maire R. , Laurent R.
PALEOZOIC KARST IN ANTARCTICA - Karst features in Antarctica have been rarely observed. In their study on the geology of the Beardmore Glacier area in the Transantarctic Mountains (south of Ross Ice Shelf), BARRET and al. (1968) describe a pre-glacial karst topography (Mt. Counts) and especially a former cave (diameter 10 m) 10 m below the erosion surface and filled with coarse green sandstone. Shaped in the "Shackleton limestone" (Low to Middle Cambrian) probably during the Permo-Carboniferous (hercynian cycle), this karst is fossilised by the Pagoda formation, a permian tillite of the Beacon sequence (Devonian-Permian- Triassic).

Bathymetry and origin of Lake Timk, South West Tasmania, 1990, Kiernan, Kevin

The bathymetry of Lake Timk suggests that it is a glacially over-deepened rock basin but one which owes much of its form to preglacial karst processes. Underground drainage from the lake forms part of an integrated karst conduit system. The lake bed does not provide the base level of vadose circulation in the karst at the present time as at least one negotiable cave extends under the lake.


MICROBIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN THERMOGLACIAL KARST SPRINGS, SOUTH SPITSBERGEN, 1994, Lauritzen S. E. , Bottrell S. ,
Along the Hornsund fault zone, South Spitsbergen (76-degrees-60'N), thermokarstic springs smell of H2S and display either growth of, or eject fragments of, organic slime. The temperature in individual springs varies between 4 and 15-degrees-C. Their rate of discharge is approximately 1 L s-1 to 18 m3 s-1, corresponding to a minimum temperature of 30-degrees-C within the base of the aquifer. The water, which contains a few ppm SO4(2-), 0.5 ppm S2-, and several thousand ppm NaCl, appears to be a mixture of turbid glacial meltwater and hot brine. Water chemistry and stable isotopes indicate that the salinity is not the result of simple dilution of modern seawater from the brackish zone beneath the coastal karst aquifer, but rather originates from a deep thermal brine component where concentrations and isotopic composition of various species are controlled by water-rock interaction in the source area of the brine. A value of DELTAdeltaS-34 of up to about 30 parts per thousand indicates that sulfide is a bioreduction product of sulfate. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies revealed bacteria and fungal hypha in the organic slime, and larger spherical particles (approximately 3.8 mum diameter) that display high concentrations of Fe and S. These findings demonstrate the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria within the subpermafrost aquifer

Statistical evaluation of glacier boreholes as indicators of basal drainage systems, 1996, Smart C. C. ,
Between 1988 and 1992 closely spaced arrays of boreholes were drilled at Small River Glacier, British Columbia. The borehole arrays have been used to investigate the interannual and spatial consistency of patterns of basal hydraulics beneath the glacier. A simple robust classification was devised identifying unconnected, high standing, low standing and dry base water levels in boreholes. Spatial and interannual comparisons were made using a simple nearest neighbour statistic, corrected for differences in frequency of different borehole types and evaluated using Monte Carlo confidence intervals to compensate for array form. Arrays in the lower ablation zone showed spatial and interannual coherence, with three distinct areas characterized by low water pressure, till-associated non-connection and high pressure. There was no indication of a dominant conduit. Slightly higher up-glacier borehole patterns were less coherent, and varied from year to year, probably a result of subglacial karst capturing basal waters at a number of low pressure points at the bed. Therefore both the upper and lower arrays at Small River Glacier appear to encompass unusual drainage conditions. The nearest neighbour analysis provides valuable constraints on more specific interpretation

Late Wisconsinan deglaciation of Alberta: Processes and paleogeography, 1996, Mandryk C. A. S. ,
The scarcity of lake basins in Alberta dating earlier than 11,000 BP has been interpreted as indicating the continued presence of active glacial ice. Because of the related implication that the presence of ice precludes the existence of an ice-free corridor, it is useful to examine this issue more closely. Due to the effects of deglaciation, many areas of Alberta were dominated by chaotic ice-stagnation conditions, with continual reversal of topography and rapid transformation of the surface. The dynamic nature of the environment affects arguments regarding the existence of an ice-free corridor as well as having implications for archeological site formation, preservation and discovery. Deglaciation models utilizing paradigms of active ice retreat may result in dichotomous depictions of the land surface as either ice covered or deglaciated. Due to the insulating properties of supraglacial debris, stagnant ice results in a situation that is simultaneously neither and both of the above conditions. While the landscape is ice covered and thus not 'ice-free', an accessible landscape characterized by glacial karst topography exists on top of the stagnating ice surface. General reconstructions of the impact of stagnant ice and glacial karst topography on the paleogeography of Alberta are presented for discussion. Copyright (C) 1996 INQUA/Elsevier Science Ltd

A pre-Pliocene or Pliocene land surface in County Galway, Ireland, 1997, Coxon P, Coxon C,
This paper describes a site on the Carboniferous limestone of County Galway, Ireland, where a complex of gorges, cave passages and shallow surface depressions is filled with organic silt and clay overlain by white quartz sand. The dating of the biogenic deposits to the Late Pliocene by biostratigraphical means provides a record of this largely undocumented period of Irish geological history. However, the particular importance of this site is that unlike other Irish karst infills, it represents not just the localized preservation of material in a closed depression but evidence of a more widespread cover of sediments suggesting the preservation of a Pliocene or pre-Pliocene land surface. This implies that glacial action throughout the Pleistocene has resulted in relatively little bedrock erosion in this region and raises the possibility that the present day landscape of the western Irish limestone lowlands may retain influences of preglacial karstification

Hydrogeology of glacial and subglacial karst aquifers: Small River, British Columbia, Canada., 1997, Smart C. C.
The Small River Glacier overlies two active conduit karst aquifers and has been studied to understand the nature of subglacial karst hydrology. Profoundly undersaturated surface meltwaters recharge the karst through moulins focused on the crest of large hummocks. Supraglacial traces reached karst springs faster than extraglacial waters, perhaps a result of paraglacial occlusion of sinks beyond the glacier margin. Glacier-karst flow routes were open channel and maintain very low (atmospheric) water pressures at the glacier bed. Variable divergence of replicate traces demonstrated that hydrogeographic divides were fuzzy and unstable. Divergence occurs through overflow and hydraulic switching rather than changes in the conduit. Subglacial flow followed a complex "submarginal" drainage system to the snout which gave highly anomalous hydraulic characteristics.

24 h Tracer Tests on Diurnal Parameter Variability in a Subglacial Karst Conduit: Small River Valley, Canada., 2001, Ross Jh. , Serefiddin F. , Hauns M. , Smart C. C.
Repeated dye tracer tests were undertaken for two complete diurnal discharge cycles at Small River Glacier, British Columbia. The injection site is a well developed glacier moulin. Monitoring was done at a karst spring in a cave entrance 1530 m down valley. The spring is the major outlet of glacial meltwater and also drains karstified glacier forefields. High flow velocities and low dispersivities indicate a very well developed conduit flow system. Discharge and velocity show strong diurnal cycles and are controlled by the amount of meltwater. The relationship of increasing velocity with discharge is approximately linear. Dispersivity values do not show any significant variation under diurnal discharge cycles. These results show the importance of diurnal variation in a transient groundwater system.

Notion and forms of contact karst, 2001, Gams, Ivan

These forms are through valley, blind valley, karst plain, cave with allogenic river, overflow polje, cave on the impermeable rock, subglacial karst and interstratal karst. Emphasized is the role of climate and alluvium for closed basins by comparing Wombeyan cave area in Australia with polje Velo polje in Julian Alps (Slovenia). In the temperate humid alpine climate is intensive mechanical weathering on the steep and bare slopes above Velo polje (1680 m) and steep dry valley rising up to 2200 m. After heavy downpour the periodical brook Velski potok is sinking on the 400 m wide bottom and depositing new sheet of rubble, sand and organic particles. This process lasted since last glacier retreat 9 - 10,000 years ago. Despite age of many hundred million years and confluence of two rivers from surroundings built of igneous rocks on southern corner of 3,6 km2 large isolated Wombeyan marble there prevail gorges, caves and narrow valleys without large alluviated bottoms, and the surface is not levelled. The main reasons for the difference are in this view the semi-arid climate and the absence of alluvium causing larger and longer moist contact of alluvium with limestone basis.


Glacier Caves and Glacial Karst in High Mountains and Polar Regions, 2005,

The impact of glacier ice-contact and subglacial hydrochemistry on evolution of maze caves: A modelling approach, 2010, Skoglund Rannveig Ovrevik, Lauritzen Steinerik, Gabrovsek Franci

Labyrinth and maze cave networks are a conspicuous feature in formerly glaciated stripe karst in Scandinavia. Often found in topographically “impossible” situations, their genesis is attributed to glacial ice-contact conditions. This is further supported by observing that individual networks may either be influent, effluent or through-flow; depending on the attitude of the host rock and former glacier directions. The ice-contact hypothesis is tested by using a finite difference, fracture network model where chemical and hydrological conditions can be varied. Subglacial chemistry alone (low partial pressure of CO2, low temperature) is not sufficient to favour mazes over linear caves. However, when coupled with high input saturation ratio, high and varied hydraulic gradients and glacial hydrology, the model produced cave patterns comparable in scale and complexity to our field examples.


The combe de Crousette Area (Mercantour National Park, Mount Mounier, Alpes-Maritimes,France): Landscape asset of a juvenile postglacial karst, 2010, Gilli E. , Audra P. , Nobecourt J. C. , Tordjman P


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