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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. ...

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That energy head is hydraulic head plus velocity head [16].?

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Your search for hypogene speleogenesis (Keyword) returned 132 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 132
Classification of cave dypsum deposits derived from oxidation of H2S, 1994, Buck M. J. , Ford D. C. , Schwarcz H. P.

The Vazante zinc mine, Minas Gerais, Brazil; constraints in willemitic mineralization and fluid evolution, 1999, Lena Virginia Soares Monteiro, Jorge Silva Bettencourt, Baruch Spiro, Rodnei Graca, And Tolentino Flavio De Oliveira
The Vazante Mine is located in the Vazante District, the largest zinc district in Brazil. The Vazante deposit consists dominantly of an unusual willemitic ore. Small sulfide bodies are tectonically imbricated with the willemitic ore, within the Vazante shear zone. Structural styles of deformation and petrographic and isotopic evidence indicate that willemitic mineralization and deformation occurred synchronously during the Neo-Proterozoic. Various generations of hydrothermal veins and hydraulic breccias may pre-date, accompany and overprint the mineralization. Ore-formation temperatures are deduced from stable isotope geothermometry and mineral chemistry of both sulfide bodies and willemitic ore. Temperatures during the main stage of mineralization range from 206 degrees C to 294 degrees C (willemitic ore) and 317 degrees C (sulfides), and reflect the prevailing metamorphic conditions within the shear zone. The fluid from which the gangue minerals of the sulfide bodies precipitated (at 250 degrees C) had an oxygen isotopic average value of delta 18 O = +19.4 per mil. This value appears to reflect the interaction of metamorphic fluid with the carbonate rocks of the Vazante formation. At 250 degrees C, the fluid in equilibrium with the vein mineral phases and willemitic ore assemblage exhibits a uniform oxygen isotopic composition, with an average value of delta 18 O = +11.5 per mil. The positive linear covariance of delta 18 O and delta 13 C ratios of the carbonates is most likely due to the mixing of metamorphic and meteoric fluids. The delta 34 S values of sulfides indicate a direct crustal origin for the sulfur. It is suggested that the sulfur is largely derived from pre-existing sulfide bodies and has been transported by metamorphic fluids. The willemitic ore may have originated from the precipitation of metal in sulfur-poor fluids under oxidized conditions, within the Vazante shear zone.

Hydrogeological conditions of development and genesis of the karst cavities in the Neogenic sulphate deposits of the Volyno-Podilsky artesian basin, 1999, Klimchouk A. B.

The genesis of the largest gypsum caves in the world and their hydrogeologic role are considered. The caves are developed in the Neogene sequence of the southwestern outskirts of the Volyno-Polilsky artesian basin. Four evolutionary-stadial settings of the formation of groundwater of the Miocene thickness are distinguished. It is found that the large maze cave systems in the gypsum are formed under conditions of a confined aquifer system due to dispersed recharge from a basal aquifer, under general ascending circulation through the gypsum layer. The general and regional models of artesian speleogenesis are elaborated, based on the ideas about substantial role of transverse percolation through dividing layers in multi-layer artesian systems and inversion of hydrogeological function of components of the geo-filtration section during speleogenesis. The conceptions about structure and evolution of groundwater circulation in the Miocene aquifer system, as well as related concepts on speleogenesis in the gypsym, constitute a new basis for solving a number of practical problems of region hydrogeology, engineering geology, geochemistry and environment.

In Russian and Ukrainian, with abstract in English


Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers., 2000,
The aim of this book is to present advances made in recent decades in our understanding of the formation of dissolutional caves, and to illustrate the role of cave genetic ( speleogenetic ) processes in the development of karst aquifers. From the perspective of hydrogeology, karst ground water flow is a distinct kind of fluid circulation system, one that is capable of self-organization and self-development due to its capacity to dissolve significant amounts of the host rock and transport them out of the system. Fluid circulation in soluble rocks becomes more efficiently organized by creating, enlarging and modifying patterns of cave conduits, the process of speleogenesis. We can assert that karst ground water flow is a function of speleogenesis and vice versa . The advances in cave science are poorly appreciated in what may be termed ?mainstream hydrogeology?, which retains a child-like faith in flow models developed in the sand box. Many karst students also will not be aware of all emerging concepts of cave origin because discussions of them are scattered through journals and books in different disciplines and languages, including publications with small circulation. An understanding of principles of speleogenesis and its most important controls is indispensable for proper comprehension of the evolution of the karst system in general and of karst aquifers in particular. We hope this book will be useful for both karst and cave scientists, and for general hydrogeologists dealing with karst terranes. This book is a pioneer attempt by an international group of cave scientists to summarize modern knowledge about cave origin in various settings, and to examine the variety of approaches that have been adopted. Selected contributions from 44 authors in 15 nations are combined in an integrated volume, prepared between 1994 and 1998 as an initiative of the Commission of Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis, International Speleological Union. Despite a desire to produce an integrated book, rather than a mere collection of papers, the editors' policy has not been directed toward unifying all views. Along with some well-established theories and approaches, the book contains new concepts and ideas emerging in recent years. We hope that this approach will stimulate further development and exchange of ideas in cave studies and karst hydrogeology. Following this Introduction, (Part 1), the book is organized in seven different parts, each with sub-chapters. Part 2 gives a history of speleogenetic studies, tracing the development of the most important ideas from previous centuries (Shaw, Chapter 2.1) through the early modern period in the first half of this century (Lowe, Chapter 2.2) to the threshold of modern times (W.White, Chapter 2.3). The present state of the art is best illustrated by the entire content of this book. Part 3 overviews the principal geologic and hydrogeologic variables that either control or significantly influence the differing styles of cave development that are found. In Chapter 3.1 Klimchouk and Ford introduce an evolutionary approach to the typology of karst settings, which is a taken as a base line for the book. Extrinsic factors and intrinsic mechanisms of cave development change regularly and substantially during the general cycle of geological evolution of a soluble rock and , more specifically, within the hydrogeologic cycle. The evolutionary typology of karst presented in this chapter considers the entire life cycle of a soluble formation, from deposition (syngenetic karst) through deep burial, to exposure and denudation. It helps to differentiate between karst types which may concurrently represent different stages of karst development, and is also a means of adequately classifying speleogenetic settings. The different types of karst are marked by characteristic associations of the structural prerequisites for groundwater flow and speleogenesis, flow regime, recharge mode and recharge/discharge configurations, groundwater chemistry and degree of inheritance from earlier conditions. Consequently, these associations make a convenient basis to view both the factors that control cave genesis and the particular types of caves. Lithological and structural controls of speleogenesis are reviewed in general terms in Chapters 3.2 (Klimchouk and Ford). Lowe in Chapter 3.3 discusses the role of stratigraphic elements and the speleo-inception concept. Palmer in Chapter 3.4 overviews the hydrogeologic controls of cave patterns and demonstrates that hydrogeologic factors, the recharge mode and type of flow in particular, impose the most powerful controls on the formation of the gross geometry of cave systems. Hence, analysis of cave patterns is especially useful in the reconstruction of environments from paleokarst and in the prediction and interpretation of groundwater flow patterns and contaminant migration. Any opportunity to relate cave patterns to the nature of their host aquifers will assist in these applied studies as well. Osborne (Chapter 3.7) examines the significance of paleokarst in speleogenesis. More specific issues are treated by Klimchouk (The nature of epikarst and its role in vadose speleogenesis, Chapter 3.5) and by V.Dublyansky and Y.Dublyansky (The role of condensation processes, Chapter 3.6). Part 4 outlines the fundamental physics and chemistry of the speleogenetic processes (Chapter 4.1) and presents a variety of different approaches to modeling cave conduit development (Chapter 4.2). In Chapter 4.1, the chemical reactions during the dissolution of the common soluble minerals, calcite, gypsum, salt and quartz, are discussed with the basic physical and chemical mechanisms that determine their dissolution rates. As limestone is the most common karst rock and its dissolution is the most complex in many respects, it receives the greatest attention. Dreybrodt (Section 4.1.1) and Dreybrodt and Eisenlohr (Section 4.1.2) provide advanced discussion and report the most recent experimental data, which are used to obtain realistic dissolution rates for a variety of hydrogeologic conditions and as input for modeling the evolution of conduits. Although direct comparisons between theoretical or analytical dissolution rates and those derived from field measurements is difficult, a very useful comparison is provided by W.White (Section 4.1.3). The bulk removal of carbonate rock from karst drainage basins can be evaluated either by direct measurement of rock surface retreat or by mass balance within known drainage basins. All of these approaches make sense and give roughly accurate results that are consistent with theoretical expectations. It is well recognized today that the earliest, incipient, phases of speleogenesis are crucial in building up the pattern of conduits that evolve into explorable cave systems. It is difficult to establish the major controls on these initial stages by purely analytical or intuitive methods, so that modeling becomes particularly important. Various approaches are presented in Chapter 4.2. Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen present the results of systematic study of the propagation of conduits between input and output points in an anisotropic fissure, using a variety of hardware and software models, in series representing the "single input", "multiple inputs in one rank", and "multiple inputs in multiple ranks" cases (Section 4.2.1). The results indicate important details of the competitive development of proto-conduits and help to explain branching cave patterns. In the competition between inputs, some principal tubes in near ranks first link ("breakthrough") to an output boundary. This re-orients the flowfields of failed nearby competitors, which then extend to join the principal via their closest secondaries. The process extends outwards and to the rear, linking up all inputs in a "cascading system". The exploding growth of computer capability during the last two decades has greatly enhanced possibilities for digital modeling of early conduit development. Investigating the growth of a single conduit is a logical first step in understanding the evolution of caves, realized here by Dreybrodt and Gabrov?ek in the form of a simple mathematical model (Section 4.2.2) and by Palmer by numerical finite-difference modeling (Section 4.2.3). The models show that positive feedback loops operate; widening a fracture causes increasing flow through it, therefore dissolution rates increase along it and so on, until finally a dramatic increase of flow rates permits a dramatic enhancement of the widening. This breakthrough event terminates the initial stage of conduit evolution. From then on the water is able to pass through the entire conduit while maintaining sufficient undersaturation to preserve low-order kinetics, so the growth rate is very rapid, at least from a geological standpoint -- usually about 0.001-0.1 cm/yr. The initiation ("breakthrough") time depends critically on the length and the initial width of the fracture and, for the majority of realistic cases, it covers a time range from a few thousand years to ten million years in limestones. The modeling results give a clear explanation of the operation of selectivity in cave genesis. In a typical unconfined karst aquifer there is a great range of enlargement rates along the competing flow routes, and only a few conduits will grow to enterable size. The modeling also provides one starting point (others are discussed in Chapter 5.2) to explain uniform maze patterns, which will be favored by enlargement of all openings at comparable rates where the discharge/length ratio is great enough. Single-conduit modeling has the virtue of revealing how the cave-forming variables relate to each other in the simplest possible way. Although it is more difficult to extend this approach to two dimensions, many have done so (e.g. Groves & Howard, 1994; Howard & Groves, 1995; in this volume ? Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen, Section 4.2.1; Dreybrodt and Siemers, Section 4.2.4, and Sauter and Liedl, Section 4.2.5). The modeling performed by Dreybrodt and Siemers shows that the main principles of breakthrough derived from one-dimensional models remain valid. The evolution of karst aquifers has been modeled for a variety of different geological settings, including also variation in lithology with respect to the dissolution kinetics. Sauter and Liedl simulate the development of conduits at a catchment scale for fissured carbonate rocks with rather large initial openings (about 1 mm). The approach is based upon hydraulic coupling of a pipe network to matrix continuum in order to represent the well-known duality of karst aquifer flow systems. It is also shown how understanding of the genesis of karst aquifers and modeling of their development can assist in characterization of the conduit system, which dominates flow and transport in karst aquifers. An important point that has emerged from cave studies of the last three decades is that no single speleogenetic model applies to all geologic and hydrologic settings. Given that settings may also change systematically during the evolutionary geological cycles outlined above (Chapter 3.1), an evolutionary approach is called for. This is attempted in Part 5, which is organized to give extended accounts of speleogenesis in the three most important settings that we recognize: coastal and oceanic (Chapter 5.1), deep-seated and confined (Chapter 5.2) and unconfined (Chapter 5.3). Each Chapter begins with a review of modern ideas on cave development in the setting, followed by representative case studies. The latter include new accounts of some "classic" caves as well as descriptions of other, little-known cave systems and areas. Readers may determine for themselves how well the real field examples fit the general models presented in the introductory sections. Mylroie and Carew in Chapter 5.1 summarize specific features of cave and karst development in young rocks in coastal and island settings that result from the chemical interactions between fresh and salt waters, and the effects of fluctuating sea level during the Quaternary. The case studies include a review of syngenetic karst in coastal dune limestones, Australia (S.White, 5.1.1) and an example of speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands (Gunn and Lowe, 5.1.2). Klimchouk in Chapter 5.2 reviews conditions and mechanisms of speleogenesis in deep-seated and confined settings, one of the most controversial but exciting topics in modern cave research. Conventional karst/speleogenetic theories are concerned chiefly with shallow, unconfined geologic settings, supposing that the karstification found there is intimately related to surface conditions of input and output, with the dissolution being driven by downward meteoric water recharge. The possibility of hypogenic karstification in deeper environments has been neglected for a long time, and the quite numerous instances of karst features found at significant depths have usually been interpreted as buried paleokarst. However, the last decade has seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogene dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which often precedes unconfined development (Hill, 1987, 1995; Klimchouk, 1994, 1996, 1997; Lowe, 1992; Lowe & Gunn, 1995; Mazzullo & Harris, 1991, 1992; Palmer, 1991, 1995; Smart & Whitaker, 1991; Worthington, 1991, 1994; Worthington & Ford, 1995). Confined (artesian) settings were commonly ignored as sites for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves in the confined area. However, the recognition of non-classical features in artesian flow, namely the occurrence of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concepts of transverse speleogenesis and of the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows for a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and of views on the origin of many caves. It is proposed that artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception and also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the structural prerequisites exist. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. Hypogene speleogenesis occurs in rocks of varied lithology and can involve a variety of dissolution mechanisms that operate under different physical constraints but create similar cave features. Case studies include the great gypsum mazes of the Western Ukraine (Klimchouk, Section 5.2.1), great maze caves in limestones in Black Hills, South Dakota (Palmer, Section 5.2.2) and Siberia (Filippov, Section 5.2.3), karstification in the Redwall aquifer, Arizona (Huntoon, Section 5.2.4), hydrothermal caves in Hungary (Y.Dublyansky, Section 5.2.6), and sulfuric acid speleogenesis (Lowe, Bottrell and Gunn, Section 5.2.7, and Hill, Section 5.2.8). Y.Dublyansky summarizes the peculiar features of hydrothermal speleogenesis (Section 5.2.5), and V.Dublyansky describes an outstanding example of a hydrothermal cavity, in fact the largest ever recorded by volume, in the Rhodope Mountains (Section 5.2.9). Recognition of the scale and importance of deep-seated speleogenesis and of the hydraulic continuity and cross-formational communications between aquifers in artesian basins is indispensable for the correct interpretation of evolution of karst aquifers, speleogenetic processes and associated phenomena, regional karst water-resource evaluations, and the genesis of certain karst-related mineral deposits. These and other theoretical and practical implications still have to be developed and evaluated, which offers a wide field for further research efforts. Ford in Chapter 5.3 reviews theory of speleogenesis that occurs where normal meteoric waters sink underground through the epikarst or dolines and stream sinks, etc. and circulate in the limestone or other soluble rocks without any major artesian confinement. These are termed common caves (Ford & Williams, 1989) because they probably account for 90% or more of the explored and mapped dissolutional caves that are longer than a few hundred meters. This estimate reflects the bias in exploration; caves formed in unconfined settings and genetically related to surface recharge are the most readily accessible and hence form the bulk of documented caves. Common caves display chiefly the branchwork forms where the dissolutional conduits occupy only a tiny proportion of the total length or area of penetrable fissures that is available to the groundwaters. The rules that govern the selection of the successful linkages that will be enlarged into the branchwork pattern are supported in the models presented in Chapter 4.2. In the long section caves may be divided into deep phreatic, multi-loop, mixed loop and water table, and ideal water table types, with drawdown vadose caves or invasion vadose caves above them. Many large systems display a mixture of the types. The concepts of plan pattern construction, phreatic, water table or vadose state, and multi-phase development of common caves are illustrated in the case studies that follow the introduction. They are organized broadly to begin with examples of comparatively simple deep phreatic and multi-loop systems (El Abra, Mexico, Ford, Section 5.3.1 and Castleguard Cave, Canada, Ford, Lauritzen and Worthington, Section 5.3.2), proceeding to large and complex multi-phase systems such as the North of Thun System, Switzerland (Jeannin, Bitterly and Hauselmann, Section 5.3.3) and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (Palmer, Section 5.3.8), to representatives of mixed vadose and phreatic development in mountainous regions (the Alps, Audra, Section 5.3.4; the Pyrenees, Fernandez, Calaforra and Rossi, Section 5.3.5; Mexico, Hose, Section 5.3.6) and where there is strong lithologic or structural control (Folded Appalachians, W.White, Section 5.3.7; gypsum caves in the South of Spain, Calaforra and Pulido-Bosch, Section 5.3.10). Two special topics are considered by W.White in Section 5.3.9 (Speleogenesis of vertical shafts in the eastern US) and Palmer (Maze origin by diffuse recharge through overlying formation). The set concludes with two instances of nearly ideal water table cave development (in Belize and Hungary, Ford, Section 5.3.12), and a review of the latest models of speleogenesis from the region where modern karst studies in the West began, the Classical Karst of Slovenia and Trieste (?u?ter?ic, Section 5.3.13). In Parts 2-5 attention is directed primarily on how the gross geometry of a cave system is established. Part 6 switches focus to the forms at meso- and micro- scales, which can be created during enlargement of the cave. Lauritzen and Lundberg in Chapter 6.1 summarize the great variety of erosional forms ( speleogenetic facies ) that can be created by a wide range of speleogenetic agents operating in the phreatic or vadose zones. Some forms of cave passages have been subject to intensive research and may be interpreted by means of simple physical and chemical principles, but many others are polygenetic and hence difficult to decipher with certainty. However, in addition to the analysis of cave patterns (see Chapter 3.4), each morphological element is a potential tool that can aid our inferences on the origin of caves and on major characteristics of respective past hydrogeological settings. In Chapter 6.2 E.White and W.White review breakdown morphology in caves, generalizing that the processes are most active during the enlargement and decay phases of cave development. Early in the process breakdown occurs when the flow regime shifts from pipe-full conditions to open channel conditions (i.e. when the roof first loses buoyant support) and later in the process breakdown becomes part of the overall degradation of the karst system. The chapter addresses the mechanism of breakdown formation, the geological triggers that initiate breakdown, and the role that breakdown plays in the development of caves. As the great majority of both theoretical considerations and case studies in this book deal with speleogenesis in carbonate rocks, it is useful to provide a special forum to examine dissolution cave genesis in other rocks. This is the goal of Part 7. Klimchouk (7.1) provides a review of speleogenesis in gypsum. This appears to be a useful playground for testing the validity and limitations of certain general speleogenetic concepts. Differences in solution kinetics between gypsum and calcite impose some limitations and peculiar features on the early evolution of conduits in gypsum. These peculiarities appear to be an extreme and more obvious illustration of some rules of speleogenetic development devised from conceptual and digital modeling of early conduit growth in limestones. For instance, it is shown (e.g. Palmer, 1984, 1991; Dreybrodt, 1996; see also Chapter 3.4 and Section 4.2.2) that initiation of early, narrow and long pathways does not seem feasible under linear dissolution rate laws (n=1) due to exponential decrease of the dissolution rates. Although the dissolution kinetics of gypsum are not well known close to equilibrium it is generally assumed that they are controlled entirely by diffusion and therefore linear. If dissolution of gypsum is solely diffusion-controlled, with no change in the kinetic order, conduit initiation could not occur in phreatic settings or by lateral flow through gypsum from distant recharge areas in artesian settings. Hence, the fact that maze caves are common in gypsum in artesian conditions (see Section 5.2.1) gives strong support to a general model of "transverse" artesian speleogenesis where gypsum beds are underlain by, or sandwiched between, insoluble or low-solubility aquifers (Chapter 5.2), and suggests that it may be applicable to cave development in carbonates. In unconfined settings, speleogenesis in gypsum occurs along fissures wide enough to support undersaturated flow throughout their length. Linear or crudely branching caves overwhelmingly predominate, which rapidly adjust to the contemporary geomorphic setting and to the maximum available recharge. Also, if considerable conduit porosity has been created in deep-seated settings, it provides ready paths for more intense groundwater circulation and further cave development when uplift brings the gypsum into the shallow subsurface. Speleogenesis in salt, reviewed in general and exemplified by the Monte Sedom case in Israel (Frumkin, Chapter 7.2), has been documented only in open, unconfined settings, where it provides a model for simple vadose cave development. Chapter 7.3 deals with speleogenesis in quartzites, illustrated by case studies from southeastern Minas Gerais, Brasil (Correa Neto, 7.3.1) and South Africa (Martini, 7.3.2). The process involves initial chemical weathering of the quartzite to create zones of friable rocks (sanding, or arenisation) which then are removed by piping, with further conduit enlargement due to mechanical erosion by flowing water. Part 8 combines the theoretical with some applied aspects of speleogenetic studies. Worthington, Ford and Beddows (8.1) show the important implications of what might be termed "speleogenetic wisdom" when studying ground water behaviour in karst. They examine some standard hydrogeological concepts in the light of knowledge of caves and their patterns, considering a range of case studies to identify the characteristic enhancement of porosity and permeability due to speleogenesis that occurs in carbonate rocks. The chapter focuses on unconfined carbonate aquifers as these are the most studied from the speleological perspective and most important for water supplies. Four aquifers, differing in rock type, recharge type (allogenic and autogenic), and age (Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic), are described in detail to demonstrate the extent of dissolutional enhancement of porosity and permeability. It is shown that all four cases are similar in hydraulic function, despite the fact that some of them were previously characterized as different end members of a "karst ? non-karst" spectrum. Enhancement of porosity by dissolution is relatively minor: enhancement of permeability is considerable because dissolution has created dendritic networks of channels able to convey 94% or more of all flow in the aquifer, with fractures providing a small proportion and the matrix a negligible amount. These conclusions may be viewed as a warning to hydrogeologists working in carbonate terranes: probably the majority of unconfined aquifers function in a similar manner. Sampling is a major problem in their analysis because boreholes (the conventional exploration tool in hydrogeology) are unlikely to intersect the major channels that are conveying most of the flow and any contaminants in it. It is estimated, using examples of comprehensively mapped caves, that the probability of a borehole intersecting a conduit ranges from 1 in 50 to 1 in 1000 or more. Boreholes simply cannot be relied upon to detect the presence of caves or to ?characterise? the hydrologic functioning of cavernous aquifers. Wherever comprehensive evidence has been collected in unconfined carbonate aquifers (cave mapping plus boreholes plus lab analysis of core samples) it suggests that dissolution inexorably results in a similar structure, with channel networks providing most of the permeability of the aquifer, yet occupying a very minor fraction of its volume (Worthington, Ford and Beddows). Lowe (Chapter 8.2) focuses on developments in understanding the vital role played by karstic porosity, (broadly viewed as being the product of speleogenesis), in the migration of mineralizing fluids (or hydrocarbons) and in their deposition (or storage), and comments on the potential role of new speleogenetic concepts in developing greater understanding in the future. Although some early workers were clearly aware of actual evidence for some kind of relationship, and others noted its theoretical likelihood, it has been ignored by many until relatively recent times. This shortfall has gradually been redressed; new understanding of the extent and variety of karst processes is ensuring that new relationships are being recognized and new interpretations and models are being derived. The chapter does not pretend to give a comprehensive account of the topic but clearly demonstrates the wide applicability of speleogenetic knowledge to issues in economic geology. In Chapter 8.3 Aley provides an overview of the water and land-use problems that occur in areas with conduit aquifers. He stresses that sound land management must be premised on an understanding that karst is a three-dimensional landscape where the surface and subsurface are intimately and integrally connected. Failure to recognize that activity at the surface affects the subsurface, and the converse, has long been the root cause of many of the problems of water and land use in karst regions. Karst areas have unique natural resource problems, whose management can have major economic consequences. Although there is an extensive literature on the nature of particular problems, resource protection and hazard minimization strategies in karst, it rarely displays an advanced understanding of the processes of the conduit formation and their characteristics yet these will always be involved. This book does not pretend to be a definitive text on speleogenesis. However, it is hoped that readers will find it to be a valuable reference source, that it will stimulate new ideas and approaches to develop and resolve some of the remaining problems, and that it will promote an appreciation of the importance of speleogenetic studies in karst hydrogeology and applied environmental sciences. Acknowledgements: We sincerely thank all contributors for their willing cooperation in the long and difficult process of preparing this book, for their participation in developing its logic and methodology and their cheerful response to numerous requests. We thank all colleagues who discussed the work with us and encouraged it in many ways, even though not contributing to its content as authors. We are particularly grateful to Margaret Palmer for invaluable help in editing the English in many contributions, to Nataly Yablokova for her help in performing many technical tasks and to Elizabeth White who prepared comprehensive index. Our thanks are due to Dr. David Drew, Dr. Philip LaMoreaux, Dr. George Moore and Prof. Marian Pulina for reviewing the manuscript and producing constructive notes and comments on improvement of the final product. The organizational costs and correspondence related to the preparation of the book were partially sponsored by the National Speleological Society, the publisher. We thank David McClurg, the Chair of the NSS Special Publication Committee, for his extensive technical and organizational support in the preparation and publishing processes.

Speleogenesis: Deep-Seated and Confined Settings, 2004, Klimchouk A.

The role of karst in the genesis of sulfur deposits, Fore-Carpathian region, Ukraine, 2005, Klimchouk, A.

Most of exogenous epigenetic sulphur deposits are clearly associated with intensely karstified carbonate and sulphate rocks. This paper demonstrates, using the Pre-Carpathian region as an example, that karstification is one of the most important processes guiding the formation of sulphur deposits. This is determined by a coincidence of some major prerequisites of these two processes.
In the Podol’sky and Bukovinsky regions the Miocene aquifer system is well drained by erosion valleys; the giant network caves known here in gypsum formed under past artesian conditions. In the region of sulphur deposits, associated with the same karstified gypsum strata, true artesian conditions still prevail. Hydrogeologic data show that abundant cavities detected in the vicinity of sulphur deposits can be interpreted as having the same origin as the relict caves of the Podol’sky and Bukovinsky regions. The widespread belief that the gypsum/anhydrite bed in the region is an aquifuge separating the Miocene aquifers is inadequate. This belief caused much controversy with regard to the genetic interpretations of sulphur deposits in the region. Cave systems formed by the upward water flow through the gypsum/anhydrite bed govern the water exchange between the aquifers within the aquifer system.
A new karst model for the formation of sulphur deposits is suggested. It agrees well with the hydrogeological features of the Miocene sequence and with biogeochemical mechanisms of sulphur origin in low-temperature diagenetic environments.


Hypogene and supergene alteration of the Late Palaeozoic Ratburi Limestone during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic (Thailand, Surat Thani Province). Implications for the concentration of mineral commodities, 2005, Dill H. G. , Botz R. , Luppold F. W. , Henjeskunst F.
An interdisciplinary study of the Upper Carboniferous to Middle Permian Ratburi Group, Peninsular Thailand, is presented. The investigation involved sedimentary petrography, inorganic geochemistry, Sr, C, O isotope analyses, micropalaeontology as well as radio-carbon age dating. Emphasis was placed on the post-depositional evolution of the Ratburi Limestone in the Surat Thani Province. The Holocene chemical residues and the various calcite and dolomite minerals which have formed since the Late Palaeozoic in the Ratburi Limestone are the product of a complex, multistage alteration which is called supergene and hypogene karstifications, respectively. Sedimentation took place in a shelf environment with some reefs evolving during the late Murgabian at the shelf margin. There was no pre-concentration of elements, except for Ca and F during sedimentation. Diagenetic neomorphism and cementation under marine and freshwater conditions caused the Ratburi Limestone to convert into a marble-like rock. Fabric-selective dolomitization is of local scale and has impacted only on part of the Ratburi Limestone during the Lower to Upper Permian. A significant enhancement of pore space and better conduits were generated during the Late Cretaceous epithermal alteration. The most favorable conditions for the accumulation of metals were provided during the high-temperature stage of epithermal alteration when a low-metal concentration with As, Zn, Sb, U, Co and Pb existed. Unlike the other elements, Sb was subject to a multiphase concentration, giving rise to a considerable Sb deposit in the region. The most recent stage of karstification produced numerous caves, dripstones, tufa terraces and encrustations around brine pools in the study area. This alteration originated from per descensum and per ascensum processes which may be traced back to 15,000 years before present. The alteration of the Ratburi Limestone may be subdivided into two parts. The prograde post-depositional alteration, beginning with diagenesis, reached its temperature climax during epithermal subsurface alteration I. The retrograde branch of alteration lasted until the most recent times. The initial stages deposition and diagenesis took place under more or less closed-system conditions relative to the succeeding stages of the prograde alteration which saw the strongest influx of metal-bearing brine during the epithermal stage I. The retrograde branch of alteration is element-conservative.

Cathedral Cave, Wellington Cave, New South Wales, Australia. A multiphase, non-fluvial cave., 2007, Osborne R. A. L.
Cathedral Cave is an outstanding example of a class of multiphase caves with largely non-fluvial origins. It contains large cavities such as cathedrals and cupolas, characteristic of excavation by convection currents in rising waters. Smaller-scale features such as rising half-tubes, pseudonotches, curved juts, projecting corners, blades and bridges indicate intersection and exhumation of older cavities during the formation of younger ones. It is possible to recognize at least ten significant phases of speleogenesis by morphostratigraphy, in addition to the four generations of cave-filling palaeokarst deposits intersected by the cave. The cave we see today results from the progressive integration of a number of previously disconnected or poorly connected solution cavities.

Hypogene Speleogenesis: hydrogeological and morphogenetic perspective. (Alexander Klimchouk, National Cave and Karst Research Institute Special Paper n. 1, 106 pages, 2007 ISBN-10 0-9795422-0-0 ISBN-13 978-0-9795422-0-6), 2007, Forti, Paolo

A review of the book: Klimchouk, A.B. Hypogene Speleogenesis: Hydrogeological and Morphogenetic Perspective


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

Isotope geochemistry of the mafic dikes from the Vazante nonsulfide zinc deposit, Brazil, 2007, Babinski M. , Monteiro L. V. S. , Fetter A. H. , Bettencourt J. S. , Oliveir T. F.
The Vazante Group, located in the northwestern part of Minas Gerais, hosts the most important zinc mine in Brazil, the Vazante Mine, which represents a major known example of a hypogene nonsulfide zinc deposit. The main zinc ore is represented by willemite and differs substantially from other deposits of the Vazante-Paracatu region, which are sulfide-dominated zinc-lead ore. The age of the Vazante Group and the hosted mineralization is disputable. Metamorphosed mafic dikes (metabasites) that cut the metasedimentary sequence and are affected by hydrothermal processes recently were found and may shed light on the geochronology of this important geological unit. Zircon crystals recovered from the metabasites are xenocrystic grains that yield U?Pb conventional ages ranging from 2.1 to 2.4 Ga, so the basement of the Vazante Group is Paleoproterozoic or has metasedimentary rocks whose source area was Paleoproterozoic. Pb isotopes determined for titanite separated from the metabasites have common, nonradiogenic Pb compositions, which prevents determination of their crystallization age. However, the Pb signatures observed for the titanite crystals are in agreement with those determined for galena from the carbonate-hosted Zn?Pb deposits hosted by the Vazante Group, including galena from minor sulfide ore bodies of the Vazante deposit. These similarities suggest that the metalliferous fluids that affected the metabasites may have been those responsible for galena formation, which could imply a similar lead source for both nonsulfide and sulfide zinc deposits in the Vazante?Paracatu district. This common source could be related to deep-seated, basin-derived, metalliferous fluids associated with a long-lived hydrothermal system related to diagenesis and deformation of the Vazante Group during the Neoproterozoic.

Zoloushka Cave, 2007, Andreychouk V.

In March 2007 there was a 30th anniversary of a discovery of the Zoloushka (Cinderella) Cave, which is one of the largest gypsum caves in the world. Until now over 90 km of passages of a total volume of 0.65 million m3 have been mapped. The cave was accidentally encountered by the face of a gypsum quarry in 1946, but it was not penetrated by speleologists until 30 years later. From the very beginning of exploration, the cave attracted the attention of many speleologists and later - geographers and geologists. It became a notable supplement to the family of the largest gypsum caves, which were investigated in the area of the neighboring Podolsky (Podolia) region. It appeared however not entirely similar to them: as compared to the cave systems in Podolia the Zoloushka Cave shows more voluminous passages and it is more filled with clayey sediments. The cave passages developed mainly in the upper part of the gypsum layer, which resulted in collapses in many sections. The main feature of the Zoloushka Cave is that it was artificially uncovered (in the quarry face) and it was not accessible until the gypsum layer was drained by pumping out karst water. The quarry exposed rich groundwater reservoir ? a large karst aquifer. Gradual deepening and extension of the quarry caused the increase of outflow rate and the increase of water withdrawal. In the late 1960s, when the most (18-20m) of the gypsum layer (total thickness 24-26 m) was entrenched, the karst system had been already drained. Groundwater, marking the surface of a depression cone, was preserved only in the lowest parts of the cave. The karst system became accessible to investigations. Opening of the Zoloushka maze had interrupted the natural evolution of the hydrogeological settings ? it had occurred in the moment when it was almost totally filled with water. The caves in the Podolia region underwent this stage tens of thousand years earlier. Modern draining and younger age of the Zoloushka Cave determined a specific character of its internal relief (increased moisture of deposits, lack of secondary gypsum formations which are so typical for the Pololian?s caves), and caused different processes to operate (roof subsidence, sediment drying/draining, water flows between different areas, etc.), which accompanied a sudden conversion from water-filled chambers to empty ones. It became clear from the very beginning that the cave is an extremely interesting object from a scientific point of view. The cave provided a unique opportunity to carry out multi-aspect investigations. Many phenomena and features were observed by speleologists for the first time. Morphological features of the cave, such as large cylindrical pits created by rising underground water, evidence undoubtedly a confined origin of the cave system. The morphogenetic studies in the cave have played an important role in understanding problems of karst development in this region and establishing a new (artesian) regional concept of speleogenesis. The abundance of iron-manganese deposits in the cave attracted the attention of geochemists, who determined the presence of numerous geochemical processes which occurred when the cave became drained. The cave made it possible for speleologists to study the mechanisms of sinkhole development, which is extremely important for an adequate understanding and assessment of karst hazards. The cave sediments contain numerous carbonate insertions (lithified fills of relict fissures in gypsum), which make it possible to reconstruct important palaeogeographic, palaeotectonic and palaeokarstic events. During all these years the cave has been well studied. This work represents a kind of summary of all the hitherto achievements and has a general and complex character. Many problems however remained unresolved. Therefore the aim of this work is not only to present general results of the investigations which have been carried out in the Zoloushka Cave, but also to attract the interest of specialists of different fields in order to enlarge and intensify the investigations in the cave itself and its surrounding. The book's twelve chapters deal with history of the cave discovery and study, natural conditions and karst of the region, geological environment of the cave, speleomorphogenesis, morphological structure of the cave network, hydrology, breakdown processes and sinkhole development, cave sediments, cave microclimate, life in the cave, cave genesis and age, scientific and practical importance of the cave.

In Russian, with extended abstract and captions in English and Polish.


Hypogene Speleogenesis: Hydrogeological and Morphogenetic Perspective., 2007, Klimchouk A. B.

This book provides an overview of the principal environments, main processes and manifestations of hypogenic speleogenesis, and refines the relevant conceptual framework. It consolidates the notion of hypogenic karst as one of the two major types of karst systems (the other being epigenetic karst). Karst is viewed in the context of regional groundwater flow systems, which provide the systematic transport and distribution mechanisms needed to produce and maintain the disequilibrium conditions necessary for speleogenesis. Hypogenic and epigenic karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems are predominantly local systems, and/or parts of recharge segments of intermediate and regional systems. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems.

Various styles of hypogenic caves that were previously considered unrelated, specific either to certain lithologies or chemical mechanisms are shown to share common hydrogeologic genetic backgrounds. In contrast to the currently predominant view of hypogenic speleogenesis as a specific geochemical phenomenon, the broad hydrogeological approach is adopted in this book. Hypogenic speleogenesis is defined with reference to the source of fluid recharge to the cave-forming zone, and type of flow system. It is shown that confined settings are the principal hydrogeologic environment for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, there is a general evolutionary trend for hypogenic karst systems to lose their confinement due to uplift and denudation and due to their own expansion. Confined hypogenic caves may experience substantial modification or be partially or largely overprinted under subsequent unconfined (vadose) stages, either by epigenic processes or continuing unconfined hypogenic processes, especially when H2S dissolution mechanisms are involved.

Hypogenic confined systems evolve to facilitate cross-formational hydraulic communication between common aquifers, or between laterally transmissive beds in heterogeneous soluble formations, across cave-forming zones. The latter originally represented low-permeability, separating units supporting vertical rather than lateral flow. Layered heterogeneity in permeability and breaches in connectivity between different fracture porosity structures across soluble formations are important controls over the spatial organization of evolving ascending hypogenic cave systems. Transverse hydraulic communication across lithological and porosity system boundaries, which commonly coincide with major contrasts in water chemistry, gas composition and temperature, is potent enough to drive various disequilibrium and reaction dissolution mechanisms. Hypogenic speleogenesis may operate in both carbonates and evaporites, but also in some clastic rocks with soluble cement. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. It may not be manifest at the surface at all, receiving some expression only during later stages of uplift and denudation. In many instances, hypogenic speleogenesis is largely climate- independent.

There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition in an initial flowpath network. This accounts for the development of more pervasive channeling and maze patterns in confined settings where appropriate structural prerequisites exist. As forced-flow regimes in confined settings are commonly sluggish, buoyancy dissolution driven by either solute or thermal density differences is important in hypogenic speleogenesis.

In identifying hypogenic caves, the primary criteria are morphological (patterns and meso-morphology) and hydrogeological (hydrostratigraphic position and recharge/flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system). Elementary patterns typical for hypogenic caves are network mazes, spongework mazes, irregular chambers and isolated passages or crude passage clusters. They often combine to form composite patterns and complex 3- D structures. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, and in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in cave patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Presence of the characteristic morphologic suites of rising flow with buoyancy components is one of the most decisive criteria for identifying hypogenic speleogenesis, which is much more widespread than was previously presumed. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world.

The refined conceptual framework of hypogenic speleogenesis has broad implications in applied fields and promises to create a greater demand for karst and cave expertise by practicing hydrogeology, geological engineering, economic geology, and mineral resource industries. Any generalization of the hydrogeology of karst aquifers, as well as approaches to practical issues and resource prospecting in karst regions, should take into account the different nature and characteristics of hypogenic and epigenic karst systems. Hydraulic properties of karst aquifers, evolved in response to hypogenic speleogenesis, are characteristically different from epigenic karst aquifers. In hypogenic systems, cave porosity is roughly an order of magnitude greater, and areal coverage of caves is five times greater than in epigenic karst systems. Hypogenic speleogenesis commonly results in more isotropic conduit permeability pervasively distributed within highly karstified areas measuring up to several square kilometers. Although being vertically and laterally integrated throughout conduit clusters, hypogenic systems, however, do not transmit flow laterally for considerable distances. Hypogenic speleogenesis can affect regional subsurface fluid flow by greatly enhancing initially available cross- formational permeability structures, providing higher local vertical hydraulic connections between lateral stratiform pathways for groundwater flow, and creating discharge segments of flow systems, the areas of low- fluid potential recognizable at the regional scale. Discharge of artesian karst springs, which are modern outlets of hypogenic karst systems, is often very large and steady, being moderated by the high karstic storage developed in the karstified zones and by the hydraulic capacity of an entire artesian system. Hypogenic speleogenesis plays an important role in conditioning related processes such as hydrothermal mineralization, diagenesis, and hydrocarbon transport and entrapment.

An appreciation of the wide occurrence of hypogenic karst systems, marked specifics in their origin, development and characteristics, and their scientific and practical importance, calls for revisiting and expanding the current predominantly epigenic paradigm of karst and cave science.


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MINERAL COMPOSITION OF SPELEOTHEMS AND MINERALIZATION OF BRECCIA PIPES: EVIDENCE FROM CORKSCREW CAVE, ARIZONA, USA, 2007, Onac Bogdan P. , Hess John W. , White William B.
Solution-collapse breccia pipes are common features in northwestern Arizona. They were mineralized with uranium, but associated with it are a suite of elements (e.g., As, Mo, V, Ba, Cu, Pb, and Fe) that may form other ore minerals. Breccia bodies are in some cases cut by cave passages, such as at Corkscrew Cave, Arizona, where such structures are exposed along the walls and on the cave ceilings. The abundance of gypsum and barite throughout the cave and their isotopically light 34S value (?11 to ?7) suggest deposition from warm sulfidic solutions that were also responsible, at least in part, for development of the recent cave passages that dissect older paleokarst breccia bodies. The presence of calcite showing depleted 18O values (?11.3 and ?16.9) is considered indicative of a low-temperature hydrothermal episode in the deposition history of cave minerals. Groundwater percolating through the breccia-pipe bodies mobilized and transported ore-related ions into the cave, where they formed a unique assemblage of minerals (i.e., hörnesite, talmessite, carnotite, tyuyamunite, claudetite, and powellite) that mirror breccia-pipe mineralization.

The polygenetic caves of Cuatro Cinegas (Coahuila, Mexico): morphology and speleogenesis., 2007, Piccini Leonardo, Forti Paolo, Giulivo Italo, Mecchia Marco
The Cuatro Cinegas area is renown worldwide for its thermal springs, which feed a unique ecosystem consisting of many pools, lakes and marshes. The pools also represent a very important water resource in a region characterized by scarce rainfalls. Field investigation has emphasized the role of karst in the hydrogeology of the area. Only few and restricted forms of surface karst are represented; caves are mainly relics of old speleogenetic phases of thermal and bathyphreatic water flow.

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