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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 hydraulic conductivity is 1. a proportionality constant relating hydraulic gradient to specific discharge which for an isotropic medium and homogeneous fluid, equals the volume of water at the existing kinematic viscosity that will move in unit time under a unit hydraulic gradient through a unit area measured at right angles to the direction of flow [22]. 2. the volume of water that will move through a medium in a unit of time under a unit hydraulic gradient through a unit area measured perpendicular to the direction of flow [22]. 3. the ability of a rock unit to conduct water under specified conditions [10]. it is typically expressed as gpd/ft2, ft/day, or m/day.?

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

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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 human activity (Keyword) returned 36 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 36
The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

Le karst du gypse du centre de la dpression de l'Ebre (Espagne), 1990, Soriano, M. A.
THE GYPSUM KARST OF THE CENTER OF THE EBRE BASSIN (SPAIN) - The central Ebro basin was filled with evaporitic deposits (gypsum and limestones) during the Miocene. During the Quaternary, several alluvial terrace and pediment levels were developed and they overlay the gypsum deposits. A large number of karstic landforms developed on gypsum have been found. The most important reason is its high solubility. We have found different types of microlandforms. The most important are Rillenkarren, solution pits and micro etching. There are also small tumuli. They are active at present. We have differentiated three macrolandforms: paleocollapses, depressions and alluvial dolines. The paleocollapses are very narrow and deep. They are filled with quaternary materials. They are not active and were generated in the Middle or Upper Pleistocene. The depressions were developed by the gypsum dissolution, together with topographical and geomorphologic factors. They do not seem to be active nowadays. The alluvial dolines are developed on the terrace and pediment deposits, which overlay gypsum materials. There is basin, well and pan-shaped dolines and they are especially frequent in the T2 terrace level. From the study of aerial photographs of different years, the variations in the number and size of dolines and their density have been determined. Natural factors (lithology and fractures), together with human activities (irrigation) are the principal causes in their development.

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

Evaporite karst in the United States, 1997, Johnson K. S. ,
Evaporites, including gypsum (or anhydrite) and salt, are the most soluble of common rocks; they are dissolved readily to form caves, sinkholes, disappearing streams, and other karst features that typically are found in limestones and dolomites. The four basic requirements for evaporite karst to develop are: (1) a deposit of gypsum or salt; (2) water, unsaturated with CaSO4 or NaCl; (3) an outlet for escape of dissolving water; and(4) energy to cause water to now through the system Evaporites are present in 32 of the 48 contiguous states, and they underlie about 35-40% of the land area; they are reported in rocks of every geologic system from the Precambrian through the Quatemary. Evaporite karst is known at least locally (and sometimes quite extensively) in almost all areas underlain by evaporites. The most widespread and pronounced examples of both gypsum and salt karst are in the Permian basin of the southwestern United States, but many other areas are also significant. Human activities have caused some evaporite-karst development, primarily in salt deposits. Boreholes may enable (either intentionally or inadvertently) unsaturated water to now through or against salt deposits, thus allowing development of small to large dissolution cavities. If the dissolution cavity is large enough and shallow enough, successive roof failures above the cavity can cause land subsidence or catastrophic collapse

Strategic ground water management for the reduction of karst land collapse hazard in Tangshan, China, 1997, Wang H. T. , Li Y. X. , Wang E. Z. , Zhao Z. Z. ,
Karst land collapse is a geological hazard caused mainly by human activities such as the pumping of ground water. The present study is aimed at determining a management strategy to minimize the risk of karst land collapse in the urban area of Tangshan, China. A method of groundwater management for multi-aquifer systems with groundwater confined and unconfined interchange properties has been developed. A groundwater simulation model and a management model are constructed for the studied area. The data used by the simulation and management models include the geometry of the aquifer systems, the parameters of hydrogeology, the distribution of recharge, and discharge in the simulation period and the historical water table elevations. The results of the model calculations show that the total balance between recharge and discharge for both Quaternary and bedrock aquifers is 4.7 x 106 m(3) in the period from November 1989 to October 1990. The optimal annual average pumping rate from the underlying bedrock aquifer is some 25.8 x 10(6) m(3), which is 54.4% of that which was pumped out of the aquifer in the hydrological year of 1990. If the management plan is carried out, the groundwater level in the bedrock aquifer will recover its confined state in most of the areas at risk of land collapse. This is the most resistant state to collapse in terms of groundwater flow.

Mapping groundwater vulnerability: the Irish perspective, 1998, Daly D, Warren Wp,
The groundwater protection scheme used in the Republic of Ireland since the 1980s had not encompassed the vulnerability mapping concept. Yet internationally, vulnerability maps were becoming an essential part of groundwater protection schemes and a valuable tool in environmental management. Consequently, following a review of protection schemes world-wide, the scheme used in Ireland was updated and amended to include vulnerability maps as a crucial component of the scheme. The approach taken to vulnerability assessments and mapping in the Republic of Ireland has been dictated by the following fundamental questions: Vulnerability of what? Vulnerability to what? Which factors determine the degree of vulnerability? What is the appropriate scale for map production? How can limitations and uncertainties be taken into account? How can vulnerability assessments be integrated into environmental and resource management? The following decisions were made: (i) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater, not aquifers or wells/springs; (ii) the position in the groundwater system specified to be of interest is the water-table (i.e. first groundwater encountered) in either sand/gravel aquifers or in bedrock; (iii) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants generated by human activities (natural impacts are a separate issue); (iv) as the main threat to groundwater in Ireland is posed by point sources, we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants released at 1-2 m below the ground surface; (v) the characteristics of individual contaminants should not be taken into account; (vi) the natural geological and hydrogeological factors that determine vulnerability are the sub-soils above the watertable, the recharge type (whether point or diffuse) and, in sand/gravels, the thickness of the unsaturated zone; (vii) based on these factors, four vulnerability categories are used (extreme, high, moderate and low); (viii) map scales of 1:50 000 and 1:10 000 are preferred; (ix) limitations and uncertainties are indicated by appropriate wording on the maps and a disclaimer; (x) vulnerability maps should be incorporated into groundwater protection schemes, which should be used in decision-making on the location and control of potentially polluting developments. Vulnerability maps have now been produced for a number of local authority areas. They are an important part of county groundwater protection schemes as they provide a measure of the likelihood of contamination, assist in ensuring that protection schemes are not unnecessarily restrictive of human economic activity, help in the choice of engineering preventative measures, and enable major developments, which have a significant potential to contaminate, to be located in areas of relatively low vulnerability and therefore of relatively low risk, from a groundwater perspective

Water vulnerability assessment in karst environments: a new method of defining protection areas using a multi-attribute approach and GIS tools (EPIK method), 1999, Doerfliger N, Jeannin Py, Zwahlen F,
Groundwater resources from karst aquifers play a major role in the water supply in karst areas in the world, such as in Switzerland. Defining groundwater protection zones in karst environment is frequently not founded on a solid hydrogeological basis. Protection zones are often inadequate and as a result they may be ineffective. In order to improve this situation, the Federal Office for Environment, Forests and Landscape with the Swiss National Hydrological and Geological Survey contracted the Centre of Hydrogeology of the Neuchatel University to develop a new groundwater protection-zones strategy in karst environment. This approach is based on the vulnerability mapping of the catchment areas of water supplies provided by springs or boreholes. Vulnerability is here defined as the intrinsic geological and hydrogeological characteristics which determine the sensitivity of groundwater to contamination by human activities. The EPIK method is a multi-attribute method for vulnerability mapping which takes into consideration the specific hydrogeological behaviour of karst aquifers. EPIK is based on a conceptual model of karst hydrological systems, which suggests considering four karst aquifer attributes: (1) Epikarst, (2) Protective cover, (3) Infiltration conditions and (4) Karst network development. Each of these four attributes is subdivided into classes which are mapped over the whole water catchment. The attributes and their classes are then weighted. Attribute maps are overlain in order to obtain a final vulnerability map. From the vulnerability map, the groundwater protection zones are defined precisely. This method was applied at several sites in Switzerland where agriculture contamination problems have frequently occurred. These applications resulted in recommend new boundaries for the karst water supplies protection-zones

Seismotectonic versus man-induced morphological changes in a cave on the Arrabida chain (Portugal), 1999, Crispim Ja,
Distinctions between cave morphologies originating from seismic or active tectonics and those generated by natural elastic breakdown or by human activity must be made using unambiguous interpretative criteria. Easily accessible caves in particular, which may have been visited for centuries or millennia, or caves located near engineering works or quarries using great quantities of explosives, may have broken speleothems, breakdowns or detachment joints unrelated to seismic events or tectonic movements. Zambujal cave lies near neotectonic and seismic structures associated with a Plio-Quaternary 200 m uplift of the Arrabida chain and has suffered impacts resulting from quarrying, followed by possible vandalism. It is thus an example for which it is difficult to decipher morphological agents as there is the possibility that identical forms have been generated by several causes, which may have repeated at different episodes of its evolution. However, a careful morphological interpretation makes it possible to accept the existence of two seismic episodes, an 'ancient' one and a 'modern' one. The detection of other episodes between these is only possible using absolute dating. (C) Elsevier, Paris

Review of groundwater pollution and protection in karst areas, 1999, Kacaroglu F. ,
Karst groundwater (the water in a karst aquifer) is a major water resource in many regions of some countries. Water requirements for most of the settlements in the karstic regions are supplied from karst aquifers. Karst environments are also used for the disposal of liquid and solid domestic agricultural, and industrial wastes, which result in karst groundwater pollution. Karst aquifers have specific hydraulic and hydrogeologic characteristics that render them highly vulnerable to pollution from human activities. Karst groundwater becomes polluted more easily and in shorter time periods than water in non-karstic aquifers. Thus, protection measures are required to preserve the quality and quantity of karst groundwater that specifically consider the vulnerability of the karst environment. In order to preserve karst groundwater, the geological, hydrological and hydrogeological characteristics of the karst area must be investigated and information on polluting activities and sources must be collected. Then, a comprehensive protection and control system must be developed consisting of the following six components: (1) develop and implement a groundwater monitoring system, (2) establish critical protection zones, (3) develop proper land use strategies, (4) determine the reasonable development capacity of the karst aquifer, (5) control and eliminate when necessary sources of pollution, (6) increase public awareness of the value and vulnerability of karst aquifers

Collapse and subsidence associated with salt karstification along the dead sea, 2001, Frumkin A, Raz E,
Two types of sinkholes are observed along the Dead Seashore, Israel. The first is associated with vadose dissolution in Mount Sedom salt diapir. The second is associated with dissolution under the watertable along the retreating Dead Sea shore. The Dead Sea level is falling dramatically, mainly because of human activity. Simultaneously, the take shores suffer tremendous impact since the late 1980s: The ground is collapsing and subsiding in hundreds of points along the take, with people, roads and property being swallowed in the more catastrophic events. The collapse is believed to result from dissolution of salt by aggressive groundwater, following the retreat of Dead Sea level and the groundwater halocline. Geological evidence suggests that a previous major lake level fall occurred naturallysimilar to2000 BCE. This may provide a new explanation for a curious historical-geological phrase in the book of Genesis, suggested to record formation of collapse sinkholes which occurred in response to the historic falling take level, associated with climatic desiccation

Isotopic compositions of strontium in river water of Guizhou karst areas, China, 2001, Han G. L. , Liu C. Q. ,
We have carried out a study on the variation of strontium isotope composition of river waters, Wujiang and Yuangjiang River, in karst areas of Guizhou Province, China. The results obtained permit us to characterize the geochemistry of the river draining karst terrain and obtain a better understanding of main controls of catchment geology, chemical weathering of different rocks, and evaluate impact of human activities on the environment. The isotopic ratios of dissolved Sr in all rivers are between Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.7077 and 0.7110, totally lower than the weighted average of Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.7119 for the world large rivers. The Wujiang River waters have Sr concentrations from 1.0 to 6.1 mu mol/L, while the Yuanjiang River waters have much lower Sr concentrations ranging from 0.28 to 1.3 mu mol/L. Most of the river waters from the Wujiang river are characterized by low Ca/Sr and Mg/Sr, and Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios, in which a majority of river waters are of Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios lower than the average Sr isotope ratio (Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.709) of present seawater. The higher Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios are observed in the river waters in the lower reach of the Wujiang River, where the lithology is dominated by detrital rocks and dolomite. The water from Yuanjiang River show higher Ca/Sr, Mg/Sr and Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios due to weathering of silicates, as compared to the river waters from Wujiang river

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

Karst in evaporite rocks of the United States, 2002, Johnson K. S. ,
Evaporites are the most soluble of common rocks; they are dissolved readily to form the same range of karst features that typically are found in limestones and dolomites. Evaporites, including gypsum (or anhydrite) and salt, are present in 32 of the 48 contiguous United States, and they underlie about 35-40% of the land area. Evaporite outcrops typically contain sinkholes, caves, disappearing streams, and springs. Other evidence of active karst in evaporites includes surface-collapse features and saline springs or saline plumes that result from dissolution of salt. Many evaporites, including some in the deeper subsurface, also contain evidence of paleokarst that is no longer active; this evidence includes dissolution breccias, breccia pipes, slumped beds, and collapse structures. Evaporites occur in 24 separate structural basins or geographic districts in the United States, and either local or extensive evaporite karst is known in almost all of these basins or districts. Human activities also have caused development of evaporite karst, primarily in salt deposits. Boreholes or underground mines may enable (either intentionally or inadvertently) unsaturated water to flow through or against salt deposits, thus allowing development of small to large dissolution cavities. If the dissolution cavity is large enough and shallow enough, successive roof failures can cause land subsidence or catastrophic collapse. Evaporite karst, both natural and human-induced, is far more prevalent than commonly believed

The environmental impacts of human activities and engineering constructions in karst regions, 2002, Milanovic P. ,
With increasing demands on water resources in karst regions, an important issue is how to keep the balance between the necessity for development and preservation of complex and unpredictable hydrogeological systems. Karst terrains have been modified and adapted through a range of human activities as needs for drinking water, hydroelectric power and other resources increase. In many regions, reclamation projects, construction of large dams and reservoirs, deep underground excavations and complex foundation structures have had a detrimental impact on the environment. However, because each karst region is unique, the nature of environmental change is unpredictable, often occurs very rapidly, and similar situations are seldom, if ever, repeated. Changes in karst function can have a profound impact on regional ecological, infrastructure, social and political systems. The majority of impacts can be foreseen and mitigated by appropriate designs. Ecological and environmental protection is more difficult when the changes are unexpected and source of problem is some distance from the impacted area. Optimal environmental protection requires a multidisciplinary approach, a lot of patience and perseverance, and adequate funds. Legal aspects and insurability are also very important basic elements in karst environmental protection. Criteria for determining the environmental protection, as well as regulatory procedures that are applicable for nonkarst regions are generally not suitable for karst terrain. Successful solutions require serious and complex geological/hydrogeological investigation programs and close co-operation of a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers: geologists, civil engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, sociologists and many others. In karst areas where interrelations and interactions are inadequately known, the ultimate aim is identification of crucial parameters that define causes and consequences between human activities and the resulting impact (cause-and-effect relations). As a consequence of human activities and engineering construction in karst regions, the common negative environmental impacts are: severe spring discharge change, groundwater quality deterioration, endemic fauna endangering, waste disposal failures, induced seismicity, induced sinkholes, and a number of different secondary uncertainties. In some cases, socio-economic problems related to migration from submerged regions are very pronounced. Similar problems are related with flooding of cultural and historical monuments and natural rarities. The major aims of proper planning of water resource systems in karst terrain are to minimize negative and to maximize positive environmental impacts. The optimal strategy of water resources development in karst areas is a key requirement for regional socio-economic development

Book Review: Karst hydrogeology and human activities: consequences and implications, 2002, Goldie Helen,

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