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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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. ...

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 insectivore is an animal that feeds on insects. almost all species of north american bats are insectivores [23]. see also carnivore; herbivore; omnivore.?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 joints (Keyword) returned 97 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 97
Conduit enlargement in an eogenetic karst aquifer, ,
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Moore Paul J. , Martin Jonathan B. , Screaton Elizabeth J. , Neuhoff Philip S.

Most concepts of conduit development have focused on telogenetic karst aquifers, where low matrix permeability focuses flow and dissolution along joints, fractures, and bedding planes. However, conduits also exist in eogenetic karst aquifers, despite high matrix permeability which accounts for a significant component of flow. This study investigates dissolution within a 6-km long conduit system in the eogenetic Upper Floridan aquifer of north-central Florida that begins with a continuous source of allogenic recharge at the Santa Fe River Sink and discharges from a first-magnitude spring at the Santa Fe River Rise. Three sources of water to the conduit include the allogenic recharge, diffuse recharge through epikarst, and mineralized water upwelling from depth. Results of sampling and inverse modeling using PHREEQC suggest that dissolution within the conduit is episodic, occurring only during 30% of 16 sampling times between March 2003 and April 2007. During low flow conditions, carbonate saturated water flows from the matrix to the conduit, restricting contact between undersaturated allogenic water with the conduit wall. When gradients reverse during high flow conditions, undersaturated allogenic recharge enters the matrix. During these limited periods, estimates of dissolution within the conduit suggest wall retreat averages about 4 × 10−6 m/day, in agreement with upper estimates of maximum wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because dissolution is episodic, time-averaged dissolution rates in the sink-rise system results in a wall retreat rate of about 7 × 10−7 m/day, which is at the lower end of wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because of the high permeability matrix, conduits in eogenetic karst thus enlarge not just at the walls of fractures or pre-existing conduits such as those in telogenetic karst, but also may produce a friable halo surrounding the conduits that may be removed by additional mechanical processes. These observations stress the importance of matrix permeability in eogenetic karst and suggest new concepts may be necessary to describe how conduits develop within these porous rocks.


Joints, Shale Bands and Cave Formation: A Special Case [Somerset], 1954,
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Stanton W. I.

Observations on the evolution of caves., 1964,
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Cavaille Albert
In this note, which results from a paper published in France, the author defines the "karst system" formed by several successive levels, at the heart of a limestone mass: joints of surface feeding, vertical chimneys, galleries which are alternatively dry and full of water according to the season, a network of continually drowned clefts. He then studies modifications in this system resulting from internal causes, corrosion, filling and sedimentation, concretion. Then he shows how this evolution of the karst system may be modified by general conditions: geology, tectonics, geography with the losses, resurgences and the role of surface formations. The deepening of the river level may create a structure of differing levels in the various karst system, but their positioning is always slower than the streams erosion and it comes about later. In any case, the caves in a dried karst system undergo an evolution on their own. Finally, the author gives the definition of the terms used to explain the evolution in the karst system: "embryonic galleries" in the network of clefts, "young galleries" in the zone which is alternately wet and dry, "mature galleries" where the concretion and the erosion are balanced, "old galleries" where the concretion is becoming more and more important, "dead galleries" where the cave is completely filled by the deposits and concretions. This classification will easily replace the inexact terms of "active galleries" and "fossilized galleries" which are too vague and lead to confusion.

Laboratory and field evidence for a vadose origin of foibe (domepits)., 1965,
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Reams Max W.
Foiba (plural, foibe) is a term derived from the northeastern Italian karst region. The word is here suggested for use in preference to other terms referring to vertical cavities in soluble rocks. Foiba is defined as a cavity in relatively soluble rock which is natural, solutional, tends toward a cylindrical shape, and possesses walls which normally approach verticality. In laboratory experiments, limestone blocks were treated with dilute hydrochloric acid, and cavities resembling foibe were produced. Vertical walls developed only when a less soluble layer capped the limestone block or when the acid source was stationary, allowing acid to drip to the area directly below. Water analyses from foibe in central Kentucky and Missouri indicate that the water has had less residence time in the zone of aeration than other waters percolating through the rocks and entering the caves. In central Kentucky, foibe seem to be developed by migrating underground waterfalls held up by less soluble layers or by water moving directly down joints below less soluble layers. In Missouri, foibe are formed by joint enlargement below chert layers. Those foibe in the ceilings of caves are complicated by the enlargement of the lower part of the joints by cave streams during fluctuating water table conditions. In limestone caves of Kansas, foibe are formed in a similar manner as in Missouri. The foibe of the gypsum caves of Kansas are formed mainly on the sides of steep collapse sinkholes and lack joint control although they form beneath less soluble layers in the gypsum. Dripping water is necessary for the development of vertical walls by solution. Less soluble layers seem to be the unique feature which allows water to drip and pour into foibe. The floors of foibe are formed by less soluble layers or near the water table. If foibe intersect previously formed cave passages, no floors may develop.

Underground solution canyons in the Central Kentucky karst, U.S.A., 1967,
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Watson Richard A.
Solution canyons are underground voids 1 to 15 + meters wide, 3 to 45 + meters high, and 30 to 300 + meters long. Floors are stepped, ceilings level. Size increases downstream. Their course is sinuous, with some angularity. They occur parallel to and directly under or slightly offset from the thalwegs of re-entrant valleys tributary to major karst valleys. A section across a re-entrant and underlying solution canyon shows a rough hour-glass shape. Solution canyons are related genetically to solutional vertical shafts, forming where removal of the impermeable sandstone caprock permits the vertical descent of water through jointed limestone. Surface runoff concentrates along re-entrant thalwegs where a largo quantity of water goes underground. This water, plus subsurface water flowing over the caprock breached by the valleys, follows the easiest route to baselevel down major vertical joints oriented parallel to the thalwegs. Solution by water seeping down these joint planes forms solution canyons.

The Cave Spring Cave Systems, Kimberly Division of Western Australia, 1967,
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Lowry, David C.

The three cave systems are developed along the course of a seasonal stream that has been superposed on a range of Devonian Limestone in north-western Australia. The cave system furthest upstream has the greatest known development of cave passages in the region (more than 2,300 yards) and is controlled by two sets of vertical joints approximately at right angles to each other.


Orientations and Origins of Joints, Faults and Folds in the Carboniferous Limestones of N.W. England, 1973,
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Moseley F.

Caves and Karst On Misima Island, Papua New Guinea, 1978,
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Ollier C. D. , Pain C. F.

27 caves were examined on Misima Island. Most are sea caves, but some have clear phreatic origins and some result from vadose solution along joints. One cave is formed by washing out of fragments in fault-shattered gneiss. Karst development in the raised coral appears to have been limited by the absence of streams flowing through the limestone. This results from the geomorphic development of the area, which has isolated the coral into discontinuous patches. Many caves have human burials, with associated pottery and one cave contains at least 100 skulls.


Granite Caves in Girraween National Park, South-East Queensland, 1982,
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Finlayson, Brian

Four caves and two underground streams in granite occur within the Girraween National Park. Only two of these sites have previously been reported. They mainly occur on the margins of major joints in the granite where streams descend into troughs along the joints. The caves are themselves formed in minor joints. In some cases streams have worked their way down from the surface along a joint but at three of the sites streams flow through horizontal joints in the granite which have not been opened from the surface. For these sites it is not clear how the initial passage was opened up underground. The two possible mechanisms suggested here are solution and joint opening following pressure release. The cave morphology clearly indicates that once the path flow is open, abrasion becomes the major process. Flowstone terraces, 'cave coral', and cemented gravels are found in the caves. The speleothems and the cement are amorphous silica (Opal A). Caves in granite may be more common than was previously thought.


Hydrology of autogenic percolation systems in some tropical karst outcrops, West Malaysia, 1983,
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Crowther J,
This paper reports on the flow regimes of underground seepages in three tower-karst outcrops and in the Setul Boundary Range, West Malaysia. Groundwater movement in the tower-karst hills, which comprise very pure, massive marbles, is confined to vertical and subvertical joints. Although flow is primarily diffuse and the discharges of the majority of seepages correlate most closely with rainfall in antecedent periods of 1-16 days or more, some stormflow occurs along conduits in the upper parts of these aquifers. Many of these conduits appear to peter out at depth into tight rock fractures, thereby forming funnel-shaped underground reservoirs which serve to moderate discharge variations. In contrast, the limestones of the Setul Boundary Range are less pure and retain much of their original bedding. The presence of near-horizontal bedding plane fractures favours lateral groundwater movement and the development of integrated drainage networks within the rock. Compared with the tower-karst caves, seepage rates are generally higher and more responsive to short-term variations in rainfall. The marked difference in topography between the tower-karst hills and the Setul Boundary Range is largely attributable to the contrasted geohydrological properties of the limestones

The role of the subcutaneous zone in karst hydrology, 1983,
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Williams Paul W. ,
The subcutaneous zone is the upper weathered layer of rock beneath the soil, but above the permanently saturated (phreatic) zone. It is of particular hydrological importance in karst because of its high secondary permeability, arising from the considerable chemical solution in this zone. However, corrosional enlargement of fissures diminishes with depth; thus permeability decreases in the same direction with the result that percolation is inhibited, except down widened master joints and faults. Storage of water consequently occurs in this zone, particularly after storms. The upper surface of this suspended saturated layer in the subcutaneous zone is defined by a perched water table, which slopes towards points of rapid vertical percolation. The potential induces lateral water movement converging on the most permeable areas such as beneath dolines. Leakage from the subcutaneous store sustains slow percolation in the vadose zone. Cross-correlation of rainfall with percolation rates in caves in New Mexico, U.S.A., and New Zealand reveal response lags of 2-14 weeks with no apparent relationship to depth below the surface. Other percolation sites show no correlation with rainfall; interpreted as being a consequence of considerable friction in tight fissure networks. The recognition of storage and rapid as well as very slow percolation from the subcutaneous zone requires re-interpretation of the components of hydrographs from karst springs and of some conceptual models of karst aquifers. The importance of subcutaneous storage in sustaining baseflow discharge at some sites must be recognised, as must the contribution of subcutaneous water to flood hydrographs. Methods of estimating the volumes of subcutaneous and phreatic components of karst-spring flood hydrographs are presented. The paper concludes with a discussion of the significance of subcutaneous hydrologic processes for an understanding of karst geomorphology. The desirability of explaining karst landform evolution in terms of hydrologic processes is stressed

Un pseudo-karst dans les argiles (Las Bardenas, Navarre, Espagne), 1986,
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Maire R. , Pernette J. F.
PSEUDO-KARST IN SANDY-CLAY (LAS BARDENAS NAVARRA-, SPAIN) - The spectacular badlands of Las Bardenas are situated south of the Navarra province (NE Spain); they develop in the sandy-clay (Oligo-Miocene) of the tertiary Ebra basin, with a semi-arid climatic context (<400 mm/year). Pseudo-karstic landforms have been observed near mini-canyons: sinkholes, pits, caves, natural bridges... This morphology of mechanical origin is possible because the running waters disappear underground into the decompression fissures generated on the edges of canyon cliffs. Yet, in a few caves, the gallery is made directly in the mass of sandy-clay, without the help of joints, cracks or fissures ("piping"). This recent pseudo-karst and badlands are the obvious consequence of the historical destruction of forest during the Middle Age.

Les phnomnes karstiques des quartzites d'Afrique du Sud, 1987,
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Martini, J.
KARST FEATURES IN QUARTZITE OF SOUTH AFRICA - The author describes karst features developed in quartzite and also, but to a lesser extent, in weathered diabase and in wad. In quartzite, the karst is due to weathering along joints and bedding planes, producing softer areanaceous boundaries. Later, vadose caves form by piping in the weathered material, starting at a spring and progressing upstream. The karst features include dolines, swallow-holes, and caves, grouped in very localised systems. Over most of the quartzite plateaus, however, real karst features are absent and the drainage remains superficial. The only ubiquitous features, reminiscent of lapies, consist of pinnacles left after erosion of sand. As most of the time they are not associated to deep karst systems, the author proposes that they should not be considered as karst features. Other caves are developed in weathered diabase and dolomite (wad), sandwiched between resistant quartzite layers. They result from the erosion of these soft layers. The author is of the opinion that the term karst rather than pseudokarst should be used to describe this morphology developed in silica and silicate rocks. The reason is that not only the features produced compare well with the ones observed in " soluble rocks " (limestone, gypsum, etc.), but that the genetical process is very similar. It is suggested that the term pseudokarst should be used only in cases were the genesis is different.

Rock Joints, 1990,
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A MIDDLE PROTEROZOIC PALEOKARST UNCONFORMITY AND ASSOCIATED SEDIMENTARY-ROCKS, ELU BASIN, NORTHWEST CANADA, 1991,
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Pelechaty S. M. , James N. P. , Kerans C. , Grotzinger J. P. ,
A major palaeokarst erosion surface is developed within the middle Proterozoic Elu Basin, northwestern Canada. This palaeokarst is named the sub-Kanuyak unconformity and truncates the Parry Bay Formation, a sequence of shallow-marine dolostones that were deposited within a north-facing carbonate platform under a semi-arid climate. The sub-Kanuyak unconformity exhibits up to 90 m of local relief, and also formed under semi-arid conditions when Parry Bay dolostones were subaerially exposed during a relative sea-level drop of about 180 m. Caves and various karren developed within the meteoric vadose and phreatic zones. Their geometry, size and orientation were largely controlled by northwest- and northeast-trending antecedent joints, bedding, and lithology. Near-surface caves later collapsed forming valleys, and intervening towers or walls, and plains. Minor terra rossa formed on top of highs. Karstification was most pronounced in southern parts of Bathurst Inlet but decreased northward, probably reflecting varying lengths of exposure time along a north-dipping slope. The Kanuyak Formation is up to 65 m thick, and partially covers the underlying palaeokarst. It consists of six lithofacies: (i) breccia formed during collapse of caves, as reworked collapse breccia and regolith; (ii) conglomerate representing gravel-dominated braided-fluvial deposits; (iii) sandstone deposited as braided-fluvial and storm-dominated lacustrine deposits; (iv) interbedded sandstone, siltstone and mudstone of sheet flood origin; (v) dolostones formed from dolocretes and quiet-water lacustrine deposits; and (vi) red-beds representing intertidal-marine mudflat deposits. Rivers flowed toward the northwest and northeast within karst valleys and caves; lakes were also situated within valleys; marine mudflat sediments completely cover the palaeokarst to the north. A regional correlation of the sub-Kanuyak unconformity with the intra-Greenhorn Lakes disconformity within the Coppermine homocline suggests that similar styles of karstification occurred over an extensive region. The Elu Basin palaeokarst, however, was developed more landward, and was exposed for a longer period of time than the Coppermine homocline palaeokarst

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