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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 thermokarst is 1. a pitted periglacial or former periglacial surface in superficial deposits, produced by settling or caving of the ground after melting of ground ice [10]. 2. a term applied to topographic depressions in karstic terranes resulting from the thawing of ice. see cryokarst.?

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

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Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
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 intensity (Keyword) returned 94 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 94
Paleoclimate and location of the border between Mediterranean climate region and the Saharo-Arabian Desert as revealed by speleothems from the northern Negev Desert, Israel, , Vaks A. , Barmatthews M. , Ayalon A. , Matthews A. , Frumkin A. , Dayan U. , Halicz L. , Mogilabin A. , Schilman B. ,
Speleothem bearing karstic caves of the northern Negev Desert, southern Israel, provides an ideal site for reconstructing the paleoclimate and paleo-location of the border between Mediterranean climate region and the Saharo-Arabian Desert. Major periods of speleothem deposition (representing humid periods) were determined by high resolution 230Th-U dating and corresponding studies of stable isotope composition were used to identify the source of rainfall during humid periods and the vegetation type. Major humid intervals occurred during glacials at 190-150[no-break space]ka, 76-25[no-break space]ka, 23-13[no-break space]ka and interglacials at 200-190[no-break space]ka, 137-123[no-break space]ka and 84-77[no-break space]ka. The dominant rainfall source was the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, with a possible small contribution from southern tropical sources during the interglacial periods. When the interglacial interval rainfall was of Eastern Mediterranean origin, the minimum annual rainfall was ~ 300-350[no-break space]mm; approximately twice than of the present-day. Lower minimum amounts of precipitation could have occurred during glacial periods, due to the cooler temperatures and reduced evaporation. Although during most of the humid periods the vegetation remained steppe with mixed C3 C4 vegetation, Mediterranean C3 type steppe-forest vegetation invaded southward for short periods, and the climate in the northern Negev became closer to Mediterranean type than at present. The climate was similar to present, or even more arid, during intervals when speleothem deposition did not occur: 150-144[no-break space]ka, 141-140[no-break space]ka, 117-96[no-break space]ka, 92-85[no-break space]ka, 25-23[no-break space]ka, and 13[no-break space]ka-present-day.Precipitation increase occurred in the northern Negev during the interglacial monsoonal intensity maxima at 198[no-break space]ka, 127[no-break space]ka, 83[no-break space]ka and glacial monsoonal maxima at 176[no-break space]ka, 151[no-break space]ka, 61[no-break space]ka and 33[no-break space]ka. However, during interglacial monsoonal maxima at 105[no-break space]ka and 11[no-break space]ka, the northern Negev was arid whereas during glacial monsoonal minima it was usually humid. This implies that there is not always synchroneity between monsoonal activity and humidity in the region.Oxygen isotopic values of the northern Negev speleothems are systematically lower than contemporaneous speleothems of central and northern Israel. This part is attributed to the increased rainout of the heavy isotopes by Rayleigh fractionation processes, possibly due to the farther distance from the Mediterranean coast

Techniques Used in Studies with High-Intensity Gamma Radiation, 1956, Brownell Le, Nehemias Jv,

Karst-hydrological researches in Hungarian caves., 1965, Kessler Hubert
Although Hungary does not belong to the large Karst countries, extensive speleologic and karst-hydrologic investigations are carried out. On the one hand, Hungary owns one of the largest stalactite caves in the world, on the other hand the majority of raw materials and the connected industries are linked with Karst regions which pose particular water supply problems. The largest water supplying caves are in the North of Hungary. The best known cave is the Aggtelek cave with a length of 22 km, but there are numerous other, recently disclosed caves of a length of 1-5 km, which were discovered by way of artificial means and on the basis of many years of hydrologic observations. Of particular interest are the active thermal caves with waters of 30C. In one of these latter a diver discovered and measured a siphon of a length of 300 m. By way of experiment, speleotherapic treatments were applied in some of these caves. By calculation of decades of series of measures an applicable formula was established for the calculation of the percent of seepage in the Karst regions. In several of these caves the influence of precipitation on the intensity of stalactite formation was measured. The indication of the so-called ,,year-rings" in the stalactites furnishes data concerning precipitation of bygone millenaries, which are also valuable for the investigation of periods. In several caves the changes in ion concentration of the water currents was measured and the correlation with the cross section of the caves was determined. On the basis of complex measurements in Karst sources the possibility of disclosing hitherto unknown cave systems arises. In this manner, recently several caves were artificially discovered.

Seminar on Karst Denudation - Effect of Runoff on Corrosion Intensity in the North-west Dinaric Karst, 1972, Gams Ivan

Seminar on Karst Denudation - Solution intensity on various types of Calcareous Rocks in Czechoslovakia, 1972, Stelcl O.

Karst processes of the eastern upper Galilee, Northern Israel, 1974, Gerson R,
Karst processes dominate most of the geomorphic activity in the Upper Galilee, consisting mainly of dolomites and limestones. Study of the chemical evolution of water passing through the karst hydrologic cycle clearly shows that the major portion of its carbonate solute is gained subaerially and in the upper part of the vadose zone. Most cave and spring water is already saturated with respect to aragonite and calcite.The karst depressions typical to surface morphology are mostly associated with fault-line traces. Their evolution is possible mainly in areas sloping initially less that 5[deg].The absence of evolved caves, representing well-developed karst of an earlier period, is attributed mainly to the marginal climate throughout the past combined with tectonic, and hence hydrologic, instability of the region.The discharge of the karst prings shows clearly dependence on annual precipitation, with a lag of about 2 years of the response to drought or more humid periods. Long-term fluctuations are larger in the smaller T'eo Spring than in the affluent 'Enan Springs.Most of the denuded material is extracted from the region as dissolved load via underground conduits and only small amounts as clastics. Mean long-term denudation is approximately 20 mm/1000 years, averaged for the surface area contributing to the springs.In spite of the above, most topographic forms are shaped by runoff erosion, active during medium to high intensity rainstorms. Solution processes prevail during low to medium rainfall intensities, while different parts of the region are denuded at similar rates. Even in karst depressions, erosion becomes dominant after their bottoms are covered by almost impervious terra-rossa mantle

Geomorphology of the North Karst, South Nahanni River Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, PhD Thesis, 1976, Brook, George Albert,

First investigated on the ground in June 1972, the Nahanni karst of northern Canada is the most complex karst terrain yet reported from high latitudes. It is centered at 61°28' N, longitude 124°05' W and lies within the zone of discontinuous permafrost. Mean annual temperature is 24°F and mean total precipitation 22.3 inches. Principal karst forms are fracture-located karst streets and irregularly-shaped closed depression called karst platea which may be up to 600 feet in depth. Platea often contain karst towers which are residuals of wall recession. Vertical-walled pond dolines up to 120 feet deep are common in bare karst areas while subjacent karst collapse, subsidence and suffosion depressions occur on marginal shale- and drift-mantled surfaces. Three small poljes have been identified, two produced entirely by solution, the other a structural form. These are periodically inundated. There are several peripheral fluvial canyons up to 3,000 feet deep that are blocked by glacial drift and which presently drain underground. Similarity in the hydrogeological properties of Nahanni Formation limestones at a variety of scales has led to the development of morphologically-identical karst forms which range in size from inches up to hundreds of feet. Furthermore, many of these landforms are part of a developmental sequence that at one scale links vertical-walled dolines, karst streets, platea and poljes; and at another links solution pits, grikes and joint hollows on limestone pavements. The evidence suggests that poljes form by the coalescence of dolines and uvalas just as Cvijic suggested in 1918. In attempting to explain the almost "tropical" nature of the sub-arctic Nahanni karst landform assemblage, a number of facts are of importance.
(a) The Nahanni Formation limestones have been highly warped and intensively fractures during the past one million years. Open fractures have encouraged karstification by allowing easy movement of water underground. Warping has provided the relief necessary for the development of solutional forms with a distinct vertical component.
(b) The karst can not be considered relict because it was glaciated during the Pleistocene. In addition the hydrological activity in it today is comparable with that in many humid tropical karst areas.
(c) Solutional denudation rates governed by aspects of surficial and bedrock geology may in some localized areas be equivalent to rates in humid tropical carbonate regions.
(d) At present rates, the most highly developed forms could have been produced within the last 200,000 years and because there is evidence to indicate that the karst may not have been glaciated for up to 250,000 years, such a period has been available for solutional development.
Because the Nahanni region has not been glaciated for an extremely long period, it may be one of only a few high-latitude carbonate terrains that have had time to develop fully. Its very existence questions the validity of the concept that the intensity and direction of karst development is climate-controlled. In the Nahanni at least, the structural and lithological properties of the host limestone appear to have been of greater importance. The labyrinth karst type present in regions of humid-tropical to sub-arctic climate, is an outstanding example of a structurally-controlled karst landscape. It may well be that the same controls also influence the distributions of other karst types.

Spontaneous and induced acivity patterns in troglobite beetles (Genera Aphaenops, Geotrechus,Speonomus)., 1978, Lamprecht G. , Weber F.
In Constant temperature the troglobite beetles Aphaenops cerberus and pluto, Geotrechus orpheus and Speonomus diecki are aperiodically active. By periodogram analysis neither circadian nor ultradian or infradian periodic components can be found. Moreover there are no relevant correlations between the lengths of successive activity bursts and rest pauses. Consequently the activity patterns are stochasticly structured.; In cases with constancy of activity respectively rest behaviour the probabilities for the transition from activity to rest and from rest to activity are computed using the Frequency histograms of lengths of activity bursts and rest pauses. The transition probability is time-invariant if the observed histogram can be approximated to the negative exponential function. Y=ae -fx . The transition probability increases continuously if the observed histogram can be approximated to the Poisson or normal function. -74% of the investigated frequency histograms of the length of activity bursts and 57% of the histograms of the lengths of rest pauses can be approximated to one of the tested functions. -Aphaenops and Geotrechus specimens do not react to changes of the illumination intensity. Conversely temperature cycles induce distinct activity periodicities. In Aphaenops the mean length of activity bursts is -on the average; less temperature dependent than the mean length of rest pauses. Moreover, in this species the mean length of bursts is weakly negatively correlated with the mean length of pauses.; The evolution and adaptive reactions of the random mechanism of activity control in troglobite animals are discussed.

Humidity responses and the role of Hamann's organ of cavernicolous Bathysciinae (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1978, Luccarelli Marco, Sbordoni Valerio
The humidity responses of Bathysciola derosasi and Leptodirus hohenwarti, two species of troglobitic Bathysciinae showing different degrees of adaptation to cave environment, have been studied. Intact and antennectomised subjects were tested using choice-chambers with various combinations of relative humidity alternatives (i.e. 20-100%, 50-100%, 90-100%, 50-90% and, as controls, 100-100%) to investigate the role played by the sense organs situated on the 7th, 9th and 10th antenna segments. The results show that intact-antenna subjects of both species are very sensitive to humidity gradients and that their intensity of reaction varies according to the intensity of stimulus, as previously reported by Argano, Sbordoni and Cobolli Sbordoni (1969). The antennectomy experiments show that receptors situated on the 7th, 9th and 10th antenna segments (Hamann's organ) are involved in hygroreception. In Leptodirus. insects antennectomised below the 9th segment show a reduced intensity of reaction, while those antennectomised below the 7th segment show no positive response at all. This seems to indicate that receptors in the 9th and 10th antennal segments have additive roles beyond that of the 7th. Further research is needed to ascertain whether the antennal organs of Bathysciinae may have yet further additional sensory roles (e.g. chemioreception) as their complex structure suggests.

Essai sur l'analyse des cavits kars-tiques du massif de Marseilleveyre et des archipels de Riou et du Frioul (Marseille), 1983, Blanc J. J. , Monteau R.
ESSAY ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE KARSTIC CAVES OF THE MASSIF DE MARSEILLEVEYRE AND OF THE RIOU-FRIOUL ARCHIPELAGOS, MARSEILLE, FRANCE - Statistical analysis and numeric treatment about the karstic caves of the Marseilleveyre Massif and Riou-Frioul archipelagos. We deal with the relationships between the lithology of consolidated speleothems, geologic framework, jointing intensity, morphology and mechanical phenomena (decompression and neotectonic actions).

Trace-element partition coefficients in the calcite-water system and their paleoclimatic significance in cave studies, 1983, Gascoyne M,
Speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites) formed in limestone caves have been found to contain much information on the timing and intensity of past climates, from analysis of their U, Th, 13C and 18O contents. Because the incorporation of certain trace elements (e.g., Mg, Mn and Zn) in calcite is known to be temperature-dependent, it may be possible to use variations in trace-metal content of fossil speleothems as an alternative paleotem-perature indicator. Using specially developed ion-exchange sampling techniques, analysis of trace-metal content of seepage water and associated fresh calcite deposits in caves in Vancouver Island and Jamaica shows that Mg is distributed between phases in a consistent manner within the temperature regimes of the caves (7[deg] and 23[deg]C, respectively). Average values of the distribution coefficient for Mg are respectively 0.017 and 0.045 at these temperatures. These results indicate that the Mg content of calcite varies directly with temperature and in a sufficiently pronounced manner that a 1[deg]C rise in depositional temperature of a speleothem containing 500 ppm Mg, at ~10[deg]C, would be seen as an increase of ~35ppm Mg -- a readily determinable shift. Other factors affecting Mg content of a speleothem are considered

Observations on the Buchan Karst During High Flow Conditions, 1987, Finlayson Brian, Ellaway Mark

In late July 1984 heavy rain at Buchan in East Gippsland produced widespread flooding and activated the dry valley network and vadose cave system on the Buchan limestones. The heavy rainfall was caused by the movement southwards along the New South Wales coast of a low pressure centre which originated in southeast Queensland. Intensity - frequency - duration analysis of the rainfall event indicates that while the 24 hour fall on the day the flooding occurred had a recurrence interval of only 1.75 years, the 96 hour and the 120 hour duration had recurrence intervals of 3.8 and 8.0 years respectively. The flood peak in the Buchan River had a recurrence interval of 4.3 years. These analyses indicate that the dry valleys and vadose cave systems are hydrologically active quite frequently under present climatic conditions. Water quality observations were made on surface streams and springs in the Buchan area during the flood and the results are compared with similar data collected under low flow conditions.

Sport and Scout Caving - The Present Dilemma, 1987, Crabb, Evalt

This paper traces the evolution of organised caving as a post World War 2 phenomenon, and the changes in practice and attitude that have occurred. These practices are contrasted against stated behavioural codes. Parallel to this, the development of caving as a scouting activity is discussed, with reference to the general principles and practices of scouting. The author has been working toward evolving policies and practices within scouting which are consistent with the needs of conservation and the underlying philosophies of scouting. Implementation of these attitudes in one area is fully detailed, with some comment on the success and acceptability of the program. This training program is contrasted against the foreshadowed N.S.W. Branch Policy on Rock-Related Activities. The sequential discussion highlights some weaknesses within clubs and A.S.F., particularly in our methods of communication. There are no firm proposals, but possible directions for future discussions are indicated. It is the intention of this paper to give a historical perspective to some of the present perceived conflicts; in reality, the only conflict is between our oft-expressed aim of conservation of caves (i.e. safeguard the karst heritage of Australia), and our visible activity - use of caves for recreational activity. Both the intensity of expression of our concern, and lessening of self-constraint on recreational activity have greatly magnified with time; we are fast approaching a 'crossroads' scenario where our credibility is at great risk.

Palustrine carbonates are shallow fresh-water deposits showing evidence of subaqueous deposition and subaerial exposure. These facies are common in the geological record. The intensity of modification is highly variable depending on the climate and the length of emergence. Palustrine limestones have previously been interpreted as marginal lacustrine deposits from fluctuating, low-salinity carbonate lakes, but several problems remain with existing facies models: 1) palustrine carbonates possess a lacustrine biota but commonly display fabrics similar to those of calcretes and peritidal carbonates; 2) the co-occurrence of calcrete horizons and karst-like cavities is somewhat unusual and appears to indicate contemporaneous carbonate precipitation and dissolution in the vadose zone; 3) the dominance of gray colors indicates water-saturation, apparently inconsistent with the evidence for strong desiccation overprint; 4) profundal lake deposits are generally absent from palustrine sequences, and sublittoral facies commonly make up only a small proportion of total thicknesses; 5) no good modem analogue has been identified for the palustrine environment. Analogy with the Florida Everglades suggests a re-interpretation of palustrine limestones, not as pedogenically modified lake margin facies but as the deposits of extensive, very shallow carbonate marshes. The distribution of environments in the Everglades is determined by the local hydrology, reflecting the control of seasonal water-level fluctuations and topography. Climate and topography were the main controls on deposition of ancient palustrine carbonates. As in peritidal sequences, aggradational cycles are capped by a range of lithologies (evaporites, desiccation and microkarst breccias, calcretes, lignite or coal horizons etc.), permitting interpretation of the climate. Careful analysis of lateral facies variations may permit reconstruction of subtle topography. Consideration of the Florida Everglades as a modem analogue for the palustrine environment has suggested the development of an exposure index for fresh-water carbonates

Within the Franco-Belgian segment of the Hercynian orogen, two thick Dinantian anhydritic formations are known, respectively in the Saint-Ghislain (765 m) and Epinoy 1 (904 m) wells. Nevertheless, occurrences of widespread extended breccias and of numerous pseudomorphs of gypsum/anhydrite in stratigraphically equivalent carbonate deposits (boreholes and outcrops), suggest a larger extent of the evaporitic conditions (fig. 1, 2). The present distribution of evaporites is controlled by palaeogeographical differentiation and post-depositional parameters such as tectonics and dissolution. These latter have dissected the deposits formerly present in all the structural units. By using depositional, diagenetic and deformational characters of these formations, the article provides a model for the reconstruction of a dislocated evaporitic basin. This segment of the Hercynian chain is schematically composed of two main units (fig. 1, 3) : (1) the autochthonous or parautochthonous deposits of the Namur synclinorium, (2) the Dinant nappe thrusted northward over the synclinorium of Namur. The major thrust surface is underlined by a complex fault bundle (faille du Midi) seismically recognized over more than 100 km. A complex system of thrust slices occurs at the Hercynian front. Except for local Cretaceous deposits, most of the studied area has been submitted to a long period of denudation since the Permian. Sedimentary, faunistic and geochemical data argue for a marine origin of the brines which have generated the evaporites interbedded with marine limestones. Sedimentary structures. - The thick evaporitic formations are composed of calcium-sulfates without any clear evidence of the former presence of more soluble salts (with the exception of a possible carbonate-sulfate breccia in the upper part of the Saint-Ghislain formation). As in all the deeply buried evaporitic formations, the anhydrite is the main sulfate component which displays all the usual facies : pseudomorphs after gypsum (fig. 4A, B), nodular and mosaic (fig. 4C), laminated. The gypsum was probably an important component during the depositional phase despite the predominant nodular pattern of the anhydrite. Early diagenetic nodular anhydrite may have grown during temporary emersion of the carbonates (sabkha environments), but this mechanism cannot explain the formation of the whole anhydrite. So, most of the anhydrite structures result from burial-controlled gypsum --> anhydrite conversion and from mechanical deformations. Moreover, a complex set of diagenetic processes leads to various authigenic minerals (celestite, fluorite, albite, native sulfur, quartz and fibrous silica) and to multistaged carbonate <> sulfate replacements (calcite and dolomite after sulfate, replacive anhydrite as idiomorphic poeciloblasts, veinlets, domino-like or stairstep monocrystals...). These mineral transformations observed ill boreholes and in outcrops have diversely been controlled during the complex evolution of the series as : depositional and diagenetic pore-fluid composition, pressure and temperature changes with burial, bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction, deep circulations favored by mechanical brecciation, mechanical stresses, role of groundwater during exhumation of the series. Deformational structures. - A great variety of deformational structures as rotational elongation, stretching, lamination, isoclinal microfolding, augen-like and mylonitic structures are generated by compressive tectonic stresses (fig. 4D to J). The similarities between tectonic-generated structures and sedimentary (lamination) or diagenetic (pseudo-nodules) features could lead lo misinterpretations. The calcareous interbeds have undergone brittle deformation the style and the importance of which depend of their relative thickness. Stretching, boudins, microfolds and augen structures F, H. I) affect the thin layers while thicker beds may be broken as large fractured blocks dragged within flown anhydrite leading to a mylonitic-like structure (fig, 4G). In such an inhomogeneous formation made of interlayered ductile (anhydrite) and brittle (carbonate) beds, the style and the intensity of the deformation vary with respect to the relative thickness of each of these components. Such deformational features of anhydrite may have an ubiquitous significance and can result either from compressive constraints or geostatic movements (halokinesis). Nevertheless, some data evidence a relation with regional tangential stresses: (1) increase of the deformation toward the bottom of the Saint-Ghislain Formation which is marked by a deep karst suggesting the presence of a mechanical discontinuity used as a drain for dissolving solutions (fig. 3, 4); (2) structural setting (reversed series, internal slidings) of the Epinoy 1 formation under the Midi thrust. However, tectonic stresses also induce flowing deformations which have contributed to cause their present discontinuity. It can be assumed that the evaporites played an active role for the buckling of the regional structure as detachment or gliding layers and more specifically for the genesis of duplex structures. Breccia genesis. - Great breccia horizons are widely distributed in outcrops as well as in the subsurface throughout the greater part of the Dinant and Namur units (fig. 2). The wide distribution of pseudomorphosed sulfates in outcrops and the stratigraphical correlation between breccia and Saint-Ghislain evaporitic masses (fig. 2) suggest that some breccia (although not all) have been originated from collapse after evaporites solution. Although some breccia may result from synsedimentary dissolution, studied occurrences show that most of dissolution processes started after the Hercynian deformation and, in some cases, were active until recently : elements made of lithified and fractured limestones (Llandelies quarries) (fig. 5A), preservation of pseudomorphs of late replacive anhydrite (Yves-Gomezee) (fig. 5B, C), deep karst associated with breccia (Douvrain, Saint Ghislain, Ghlin boreholes) (fig. 3, 4, 5D)). Locally, the final brecciation may have been favored by a mechanical fragmentation which controlled water circulations (fig. 5E). As postulated by De Magnee et al. [19861, the dissolution started mostly after the Permian denudation and continued until now in relation with deep circulations and surface weathering (fig. 6). So, the above-mentioned occurrences of the breccia are logically explained by collapse after dissolution of calcium-sulfates interbeds of significant thickness (the presence of salt is not yet demonstrated), but other Visean breccia may have a different origin (fig. 5F). So, these data prove the extension of thick evaporitic beds in all the structural units including the Dinant nappe, before dissolution and deformation. Implications. - Distribution of Visean evaporites in northern France and Belgium is inherited from a complicated paleogeographic, tectonic and post-tectonic history which has strongly modified their former facies, thicknesses and limits (fig. IA, 6). Diversified environments of deposition controlled by both a palaeogeographical differentiation and water level fluctuations led to the deposition of subaqueous (gypsum) or interstitial (gypsum, anhydrite) crystallization. Nevertheless, most of the anhydrite structures can be interpreted as resulting from burial conversion of gypsum to anhydrite rather than a generalized early diagenesis in sabkha-like conditions. Deformation of anhydrite caused by Hercynian tangential stresses and subsequent flow mechanisms, have completed the destruction of depositional and diagenetic features. The tectonic deformations allow us to consider the role of the evaporites in the Hercynian deformations. The evaporites supplied detachment and gliding planes as suggested for the base of the Saint-Ghislain Formation and demonstrated by the structural setting of Epinoy 1 evaporites in reverse position and in a multi-system of thrust-slices below the Midi overthrust (fig. 7). So, although the area in which evaporation and precipitation took place cannot be exactly delineated in geographic extent, all the data evidence that the isolated thick anhydritic deposits represent relics of more widespread evaporites extending more or less throughout the different structural units of this Hercynian segment (fig. 1B). Their present discontinuity results from the combination of a depositional differentiation, mechanical deformations and/or dissolution

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