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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 dark adaptation is a change in the retina of the eye sensitizing it to dim light (the eye "becomes accustomed to the dark") [25]. compare light adaptation.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for hypotheses (Keyword) returned 54 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 54
Controversy over the great flood hypotheses in the Black Sea in light of geological, paleontological, and archaeological evidence, , Yankohombach Valentina, Gilbert Allan S. , Dolukhanov Pavel,
Legends describing a Great Flood are found in the narratives of several world religions, and the biblical account of Noah's Flood is the surviving heir to several versions of the ancient Mesopotamian Flood Myth. Recently, the story of the biblical deluge was connected to the Black Sea, together with the suggestion that the story's pre-Mesopotamian origins might be found in the Pontic basin [Ryan, W.B.F., Pitman, III, W.C., 1998. Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History. Simon and Schuster, New York]. Based on the significance of this flood epic in the Judeo-Christian tradition, popular interest surged following publication of the idea.Currently, two Great Flood scenarios have been proposed for the Black Sea: (1) an Early Holocene event caused by catastrophic Mediterranean inflow at 7.2 ky BP (initial hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 1997. An abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf. Marine Geology 138, 119-126]) or 8.4 ky BP (modified hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 2003. Catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science 31, 525-554.); and (2) a Late Pleistocene event brought on by Caspian influx between 16 and 13 ky BP [Chepalyga, A.L., 2003. Late glacial Great Flood in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2-5 November 2003, Seattle, USA, p. 460]. Both hypotheses claim that the massive inundations of the Black Sea basin and ensuing large-scale environmental changes had a profound impact on prehistoric human societies of the surrounding areas, and both propose that the event formed the basis for the biblical Great Flood legend.This paper attempts to determine whether the preponderance of existing evidence sustains support for these Great Floods in the evolution of the Black Sea. Based upon established geological and paleontological data, it finds that the Late Pleistocene inundation was intense and substantial whereas the Early Holocene sea-level rise was not. Between 16 and 13 ky BP, the Late Neoeuxinian lake (the Late Pleistocene water body in the Pontic basin pre-dating the Black Sea) increased rapidly from ~-14 to -50 m (below the present level of the Black Sea), then rose gradually to ~-20 m by about 11 ky BP. At 11-10 ky BP (the Younger Dryas), it dropped to ~-50 m. When the Black Sea re-connected with the Sea of Marmara at about 9.5 ky BP, inflowing Mediterranean water increased the Black Sea level very gradually up to ~-20 m, and in so doing, it raised the salinity of the basin and brought in the first wave of Mediterranean immigrants. These data indicate no major drawdown of the Black Sea after the Younger Dryas, and they do not provide evidence for any catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea in the Early Holocene.In addition, available archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidence from the Pontic region reveal no recognizable changes in population dynamics between 14 and 6 ky BP that could be linked to an inundation of large magnitude [Dolukhanov, P., Shilik, K., 2006. Environment, sea-level changes, and human migrations in the northern Pontic area during late Pleistocene and Holocene times. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 297-318; Stanko, V.N., 2006. Fluctuations in the level of the Black Sea and Mesolithic settlement of the northern Pontic area. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 371-385]. More specifically, Mesolithic and early Neolithic archaeological data in southeastern Europe and Ukraine give no indications of shifts in human subsistence or other behavior at the time of the proposed catastrophic flood in the Early Holocene [Anthony, D., 2006. Pontic-Caspian Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies at the time of the Black Sea Flood: A small audience and small effects. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 345-370; Dergachev and Dolukhanov, 2006. The Neolithization of the North Pontic area and the Balkans in the context of the Black Sea Floods. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 489-514]

Olmec Cave Paintings: Discovery from Guerrero, Mexico, 1969, Grove David C. ,
A cave in Guerrero, Mexico, investigated in 1968, contained previously unreported Olmec paintings. These paintings, some of the oldest known in Mesoamerica, are stylistically similar to Olmec art from the site of LaVenta, on Mexico's Gulf Coast, but contain several important glyphic motifs never previously known to have existed at this time level. The iconography of the paintings confirms several important hypotheses concerning basic concepts of Olmec religion; the cave itself was probably a shrine to water and fertility. Several pre-Hispanic textile fragments found in the cave are probably from a later culture period

Seminar on Karst Denudation - Hypotheses of Karst Landform development in Jamaica, 1972, Smith D. I. , Drew D. P. , Atkinson T. C.

Nitrobacter in Mammoth Cave., 1977, Fliermans C. B. , Schmidt E. L.
Mammoth Cave, a large lirnestone cavern in Mammoth Cave National Park in the Central Kentucky karst, was first mined for saltpetre in 1808 and was a major source of nitrates used in the manufacture of gunpowder during the War of 1812. The mechanism of saltpetre formation is unknown, although hypotheses encompassing both biotic and abiotic functions have been suggested. Present studies were conducted in various saltpetre caves using species specific fluorescent antibodies in order to determine if the chemoautotroph, Nitrobacter, were present. Population densities and species distribution of Nitrobacter were studied in relation to chemical and physical parameters for over 200 sediment samples from Mammoth Cave. Both the isolation and immunofluorescence data indicate that Nitrobacter are present in relatively high population densities in Mammoth Cave sediments, and that such bacteria are common among saltpetre caves in the southeastern United States. Immunofluorescence data further indicates that N. agilis dominates the Nitrobacter population in Mammoth Cave. The possibility that Nitrobacter is the etiological agent for saltpetre formation is suggested.

A critical review of hypotheses on the origin of vermiculations., 1978, Bini Alfredo, Gori M. Cavalli, Gori Silvio
Mud and clay vermiculations are irregular and discontinuous deposits of incoherent materials, almost ubiquitous, found both inside and outside of caves, overlying limestone or other materials, they are formed from many substances (clay, mud, candle-black, colloidal silica, etc.) also their shape dimensions vary greatly. The following genetical hypotheses have been proposed: fossil fillings; chemico-genetical deposition; biological formation; mechanical deposition from moving water or air; clay-layer drying process (Montoriol-Pous hypothesis); physicochemical deposition from drying liquid films. The last is proposed by the authors who, having discussed the various hypotheses, give many examples and the results of some experiments. They distinguish two types of vermiculations: Type 1 or negative vermiculations Type II or normal vermiculations. The genesis of type I is explained by the Montoriol-Pous hypothesis; these vermiculations are large and made of clay or other colloidal material, and are due to the gradual drying of a layer of clay or other substance. The last stage of this drying process causes the vermiculations to form in a more or less dried state. The vermiculations of the second type are small and thin, much ramified and always with a clear halo around them. Vermiculations consisting of many materials have been observed, usually as macroscopic aggregates. They are caused by the drying of a liquid film containing suspended colloidal particles. The proposed mechanism provides a good explanation of all the observed characteristics of vermiculations.

The development of limestone cave systems in the dimensions of length and depth., 1978, Ewers R. O. , Ford Derek Clifford
Karst caves are defined as solutional cavities 5-16 mm in diameter and discussion is limited to cases where such continuously extend to a surficial input or output or both. Three opposed sets of general genetic hypotheses ("the classical hypotheses") have been presented for such caves, Arguing that the majority develop 1) in the vadose zone 2) in the phreatic zone 3) proximate and parallel to a watertable. It is contended here that vadose, phreatc and watertable caves are all of common occurrence and may be linked in one genetic theory. A four state model is proposed in which ideal phreatic and watertable caverns are end members: in a given massif of soluble rock the state (cave type) that develops is a function of the frequency of fissures penetrable by groundwater. The water-table type is the high frequency end member. Fissure frequency increases with passage of time after onset of karstification and gradational features may also develop to modify phreatic types. Vadose caves may be of "drawdown" type (following an initial phreatic path) or "invasion" type (developing a new path through rock drained by earlier caves). Extensive cave systems may comprise vadose, phreatic and/or watertable developed contemporaneously.

Sea Caves of King Island, 1979, Goede Albert, Harmon Russell, Kiernan Kevin

Investigation of two King Island sea caves developed in quartzitic rocks shows them to contain a wealth of clastic and chemical sediments. Clastic sediments consist of wave-rounded cobbles, debris cones, and angular rock fragments produced by frost weathering and crystal wedging. Chemical deposits include a variety of calcium carbonate speleothems and also gypsum occurring as wall crusts and blisters. The latter appear to be a speleothem type of rare occurrence. Growth of gypsum is responsible for some crystal wedging of the bedrock. Three basal stalagmite samples have been dated by the Th/U method indicating Late Pleistocene as well as Holocene speleothem growth. The caves are believed to have formed by preferential wave erosion during the Last Interglacial in altered and fractured quartzites. The evidence for pre-Holocene evolution of sea caves and geos in the Tasman region is summarised. Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands provide a particularly favourable environment for the preservation of relict landforms on rocky coasts because of Late Quaternary uplift. The potential of further studies of sea caves to test two recently advanced archaeological hypotheses is discussed.


Cave Development in the Guadalupe Mountains: A Critical Review of Recent Hypotheses, 1980, Davis, Donald G.

Some Implications of Competition for Cave Stream Communities., 1981, Culver David C.
Based on recent theoretical work by Robert May and Richard Levins, two hypotheses about time fluctuations in abundance of competing species were generated. Data for isopods and amphipods from four cave stream communities in Virginia and West Virginia were used to test the predictions. First, variance of total abundance should be less than the sum of the variances of individual species' abundances. In three of four communities studied, the prediction was confirmed, but none were statistically significant. Positive correlations among carrying capacities of competing species may explain the poor agreement with predictions. Second, the signs of 19 correlations and partial correlations of species abundances were predicted on the basis of relative magnitudes of direct and indirect effects of competition, and of these predictions, 16 were confirmed by the data, including 5 statistically significant ones. Most interesting was the finding that competitors can be positively correlated.

Problemas de Fugas a Traves dei Karst en la Presa de Tous (Espana) (Anlisis estructural, prevision del comportamiento y recomendeciones)., 1983, Bermejo Fernando, Pablo Cano Juan, Del Val Joaquin, Eraso Adolfo, Navarro Jos Vicente, Parra Felix, Ribelles Jesus, Saintaubin Julia, Valdes Consuelo
In the present work, the problems of leakages happened in Tous's dam (Valencia-Spain) are studied. Tous's dam is built on karstic terrains with the existence of caverns and strike-slip faults that at the same time become karstic. In this study the techniques of structural geology are applied, so, we deduct the karstic drainage directions, by using determined hypothesis of work. The confirmation of these hypotheses in the course of our fieldwork has permitted to quantify the probability of those leakages for each direction we found. This circumstance has permitted to foretell the places where it would be possible to expect leakages with the increase of the height of the dam foreseen for a second phase of building.

Pseudo-karst dans les roches grso-quartzitiques de la formation Roraima (Gran Sabana, Venezuela), 1985, Pouyllau M. , Seurin M.
QUARTZITE PLATEAUX OF THE RORAIMA FORMATION (GRAN SABANA - VENEZUELA) - The high sandstone-quartzite plateaux of the Roraima period situated in the Gran Sabana region of south-east Venezuela have some specific macro- and micro-geomorphological characteristics. On one hand, this Precambrian sedimentary cover includes some spectacular relief consisting of high structural plateaux affected by major anticlines, synclines, and monoclines, partly dismantled by erosion. On the other hand, and on a smaller scale, pseudo-karst have developed on the surface (karren) and at depth (caves, shafts). Several hypotheses are put forward in an attempt to explain the genesis of this pseudo-karst.

The evolution of non-relictual tropical troglobites, 1987, Howarth Francis G.
The discovery of terrestrial troglobites living in caves on young oceanic islands with close epigean relatives living in nearby surface habitats offers unique opportunities to develop and test hypotheses concerning their evolution. Studies comparing the physiological ecology of troglobites with their epigean relatives suggest that troglobites are highly specialized to exploit resources within the system of interconnected medium-sized voids (mesocaverns) and only colonize cave passages (macrocaverns) with a stable, water vapor-saturated atmosphere. Few other animals can live in the mesocaverns. Rather than being relicts isolated in caves by the extinction of their epigean ancestral population, troglobites appear to evolve by a process called adaptive shift from species that are frequent accidentals in the mesocaverns.

Morphometric analysis of dolines, 1992, Bondesan Aldino, Meneghel Mirco, Sauro Ugo
The doline is the most specific surface form of karst landscapes, which enables one to distinguish them from "normal" erosion landscapes shaped by surface water. From a morphodynamic point of view the doline constitutes an elementary hydrographic unit, comparable to a simple basin, which, with its system of slopes, conveys water to the absorbing points at the bottom into an underground network. The morphometric study of these karst landforms enables a quantitative analysis of karst environment. Comparisons of the various parameters may give unexpected results and lead to new hypotheses about the evolution and the dynamism of the karst "geo-ecosystem". All the main morphometric parameters of the dolines are listed and explained and a preliminary discussion about some methods of spatial analysis is developed. It is intended to give methodological suggestions about data sources, systems of measurement, and to stimulate some reflection on the choices of possible processing of morphometric variables and on the significance of statistical analysis applied to different parameters. After a brief review of some morphometric and spatial analyses made in the past by different authors, three different examples are presented, relative to karst areas of the Venetian Prealps (Cansiglio-Cavallo, Montello) and of the Carso di Trieste. From these few examples one can understand how to confront this complex subject and what kind of results the analysis of morphometric parameters may give. In interpreting the results it is evident that one must not forget the geological, geomorphological, pedological, vegetational and climatic context of the karst area.

EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF KARST SYSTEMS .2. TURBULENT-FLOW, 1995, Howard A. D. , Groves C. G. ,
A simulation model developed to explore patterns of fracture enlargement within incipient limestone karst aquifers has been extended to turbulent flow. In contrast to the highly selective passage enlargement that occurs early in cave network development under laminar flow, the transition to turbulent flow results in more general passage enlargement, leading to maze networks when initial fractures are large and hydraulic gradients are high. These results support previously published hypotheses for the development of maze patterns, including formation within structural settings that have created initially large fractures or within flow systems periodically inundated by flooding. Maze development is also favored under turbulent flow when passages are entirely water filled, and where the groundwater flow system is long-lived. By contrast, branched patterns are most common when passages become free-surface subterranean streams, because depression of the piezometric surface along main passages, downcutting along main passages, and possible infilling with sediment of side passages limit the sharing of discharge among interconnected fractures or bedding planes that promote maze development

Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc thesis, 1996, Jeannin, P. Y.

This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour.
Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits.
These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow).
For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable.
Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s.
Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k', turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena.
The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models.
The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.


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