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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 pressure head is hydrostatic pressure expressed as the height of a column of water that the pressure can support at the point of measurement [22]. see also head, static; pressure, hydrostatic.?

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

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 karst cavity (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
Predicting the settlements of a columnar foundation on a bed weakened by a karst cavity, 1995, Bartolomei L,

Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the continental karst-hosted supergene manganese deposits in the western Rhodope massif, Macedonia, northern Greece, 1997, Nimfopoulos M. K. , Pattrick R. A. D. , Michailidis K. M. , Polya D. A. , Esson J. ,
Economic Mn-oxide ore deposits of commercial grade occur in the Rhodope massif near Kato Nevrokopi in the Drama region, Northern Greece. The Mn-oxide mineralization has developed by weathering of continental hypogene rhodochrosite-sulphide veins. The vein mineralization is confined by tectonic shear zones between marble and metapelites, extending laterally into the marble as tabular, pod or lenticular oreshoots (up to 50 m x 20 m x 5-10 m). Supergene oxidation of the hypogene mineralization led to the formation of in-situ residual Mn-oxide ore deposits, and secondary infills of Mn-oxide ore in embryonic and well developed karst cavities. Whole rock geochemical profiles across mineralized zones confirm the role of thrusts and faults as solution passageways and stress the importance of these structures in the development of hydrothermal and supergene mineralization at Kato Nevrokopi. Three zones an recognized in the insitu supergene veins: (A) a stable zone of oxidation, where immobile elements form (or substitute in) stable oxide mineral phases, and mobile elements are leached; (B) a transitional (active) zone in which element behavior is strongly influenced by seasonal fluctuations of the groundwater table and variations in pH-Eh conditions; and (C) a zone of permanent flooding, where variations in pH-Eh conditions are minimal. Zone (B) is considered as the source zone for the karst cavity mineralization. During weathering, meteoric waters, which were CO2-rich (P-CO2 similar to 10(-3.8) to 10(-1.4)) and oxygenated (fO(2) -10(-17) for malachite), percolated downward within the veins, causing breakdown and dissolution of sulfides and marble, and oxidation of rhodochrosite to Mn-oxides. Karat cavity formation was favored by the high permeability along thrust zones. Dissolved Mn2 was transported into karst cavities in reduced meteoric waters at the beginning of weathering (pH similar to 4-5), and as Mn(HCO3)(2) in slightly alkaline groundwaters during advanced weathering (pH similar to 6-8). Mn4? precipitation took place by fO(2) increase in ground waters, or pH increase by continuous hydrolysis and carbonate dissolution. In the well developed karst setting, some mobility of elements occurred during and after karst ore formation in the order Na>K>Mg>Sr>Mn>As>Zn>Ba>Al>Fe>Cu>Cd>Pb. (C) 1998 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petrolem. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Calcrete morphology and karst development in the Upper Old Red Sandstone at Milton Ness, Scotland, 2000, Balin Df,
The Upper Old Red Sandstone at Milton Ness, Scotland, is notable for its excellent preservation of calcrete textures, which are comparable with some of the best Quaternary examples. It is also significant for the implications that can be drawn from the association between karst and calcrete, with this example interpreted to have formed entirely within a semi-arid environment. Karst cavities were developed in a mature hardpan calcrete, generated in sandy fluvial sediments with associated aeolian deposits. Subsequent to karst cavity generation, clasts derived from the subaerially exposed hardpan were locally transported and deposited as a laterally traceable bed connecting the tops of all the cavities. Both this bed and the karst infills were subsequently recalcretized in the final phase of the profile's evolution. Although calcrete-karst associations often are interpreted as the alternation between semi-arid and humid climates, respectively, this example is interpreted to be a result of water accumulating on the nearly impervious hardpan surface under fairly constant semiarid conditions, evidenced by the recalcretization of both the karst infill and the calcrete-derived breccia ( boulder calcrete'). Additional substrate modification also has taken place by plant roots; the remarkable development of rhizoliths in these Old Red Sandstone sediments should emphasize the need to consider plant influence on other non-marine rocks of post-Silurian age

Le gaz carbonique dans la dynamique de l'atmosphere des cavites karstiques : l'exemple de l'Aven d'Orgnac (Ardeche): Carbon dioxide in karst cavity atmosphere dynamics: the example of the Aven d'Orgna, 2001, Bourges F, Mangin A, D'hulst D,
ResumeLe suivi des teneurs en CO2 de l'atmosphere de grotte montre que le transfert aerodynamique peut etre un processus majeur de la dynamique du systeme karstique. Les parametres meteorologiques et la geometrie des cavites controlent les echanges entre l'atmosphere souterraine et l'exterieur. L'air enrichi en CO2 biogenique transite en ecoulement diphasique par le reseau microfissural depuis le sol jusque dans la grotte ou il est produit en continu au niveau des parois. L'analyse des vidanges aerodynamiques de zones confinees et des mesures de debit donnent la production moyenne de CO2 par unite de surface dans la cavite

Forecasting of turbid floods in a coastal, chalk karstic drain using an artificial neural network, 2001, Beaudeau P, Leboulanger T, Lacroix M, Hanneton S, Wang Hq,
Water collected at the Yport (eastern Normandy, France) Drinking Water Supply well, situated on a karst cavity, is affected by surface runoff-related turbidity spikes that occur mainly in winter, In order to forecast turbidity, precipitation was measured at the center of the catchment basin over two years, while water level and turbidity were monitored at the web site. Application of the approach of Box and Jenkins (1976) leads to a linear model that can accurately predict major floods about eight hours in advance, providing an estimate of turbidity variation on the basis of precipitation and mater level variation over the previous 24 hours. However, this model is intrinsically unable to deal with (1) nonstationary changes in the time process caused by seasonal variations of in ground surface characteristics or tidal influence within the downstream past of the aquifer, and (2) nonlinear phenomena such as the threshold for the onset of runoff. This results in many false-positive signals of turbidity in summer. Here we present an alternative composite model combining a conceptual runoff submodel with a feedforward artificial neural network (ANN), This composite model allows us to deal with meaningful variables, the actioneffect of which on turbidity is complex, nonlinear, temporally variable and often poorly described. Predictions are markedly improved, i.e,, the variance of the target variable explained by 12-hour forward predictions increases from 28% to 74% and summer inaccuracies are considerably lowered. The ANN can adjust itself to new hydrological conditions, provided that on-line learning is maintained

Karst breakdown mechanisms from observations in the gypsum caves of the Western Ukraine: implications for subsidence hazard assessment, 2002, Andrejchuk Vjacheslav, Klimchouk Alexander
The term karst breakdown is employed in this paper to denote the totality of processes and phenomena of gravitational and/or hydrodynamic destruction of the ceiling of a karst cavity and of the overlying sediments. It refers not only to the existence of a surface subsidence (collapse) feature but, first of all, to the "internal" (hidden in the subsurface) structures that precede development of a surface form. This study reports and discusses the results of direct mapping and examination of breakdown structures in the gypsum karst of the Western Ukraine, at the level of their origin, i.e. in caves. The accessibility of numerous laterally extensive maze cave systems in the region provided an excellent opportunity for such an approach, which made it possible to examine the relationship between breakdown structures and particular morphogenetic or geological features in caves, and to reveal stages of breakdown development. It is found that breakdown is initiated mainly at specific speleogenetically or geologically "weakened" localities, which classify into a few distinct types. The most of breakdowns, which are potent to propagate through the overburden, relate with the outlet cupolas/domepits that represent places where water had discharged out of a cave to the upper aquifer during the period of transverse artesian speleogenesis. Distribution of breakdown structures does not correlate particularly well with the size of the master passages. Several distinct mechanisms of breakdown development are revealed, and most of them proceed in several stages. They are guided by speleogenetic, geological and hydrogeological factors. The study confirms that a speleogenetic approach is indispensable to the understanding of breakdown pre-requisites and mechanisms, as well as for eventual subsidence hazard assessment. Direct observations in caves, aimed both at speleogenetic investigation and breakdown characterization on regional or site-specific levels, should be employed wherever possible.

Stability charts for predicting sinkholes in weakly cemented sand over karst limestone, 2002, Goodings D. J. , Abdulla W. A. ,
Forty-nine physical models of sinkhole development were constructed and tested using a geotechnical centrifuge to replicate full scale sinkhole development in the small models. The soil profile studied was weakly cemented sand, overlying cavities in karst limestone with uncemented sand over the cemented sand layer in half the models. In configurations with no uncemented soil overburden, the parameters critical to predicting failure were: the unit weight of the cemented sand,,; the thickness of the cemented sand overlying the karst cavity, H-c; the true cohesion of the weakly cemented sand, c; and the diameter of the underlying karst cavity, D. Brittle collapse of the cemented soil into the underlying cavity took one of two forms depending on geometry: when H-c/D was less than or equal to 0.25, the plug of soil that fell into the cavity penetrated through the full thickness of the cemented layer leaving an open hole. When H-c/D was greater than or equal to 0.31, the plug of soil that fell into the cavity did not penetrate through the full thickness of the cemented layer, but left behind a stable arch. A dimensionless stability chart was developed based on model results relating (gamma(c)H(c)/c) and (H-c/D) at failure; that chart can be used to predict the onset of failure extrapolating to configurations and soil cementation strengths not specifically tested in this research. A study was also made of the influence of uncemented sand overburden on hastening sinkhole development for configurations with ratios of H-c/D less than or equal to 0.25; the thickness of the uncemented overburden was varied. At the brink of sinkhole development, there was significant arching within the uncemented sand, and the influence of the overburden on hastening sinkhole failure was much less than the full geostatic overburden. The maximum uncemented overburden pressure bearing down on the breakthrough plug never exceeded the weight of a cone of sand of diameter D', and height 1.25D', where D' equals the diameter of the top of that inclined plug. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved

Karst breakdown mechanisms from observations in the gypsum caves of the Western Ukraine: Implications for subsidence hazard assessment, 2003, Klimchouk A. B, Andrejchuk V. N.

The term karst breakdown is employed in this paper to denote the totality of processes and phenomena of gravitational and/or hydrodynamic destruction of the ceiling of a karst cavity and of the overlying sediments. It refers not only to the existence of a surface subsidence (collapse) feature but, first of all, to "internal" (hidden in the subsurface) structures which precede a surface form.
This study reports and discusses the results of direct mapping and examination of breakdown structures in the gypsum karst of the Western Ukraine at the level of their origin, i.e. in caves. Accessibility of numerous laterally extensive maze cave systems in the region provided an excellent opportunity for such an approach and made it possible to examine the relationship of breakdown structures with particular morphogenetic and geologic features in caves and to reveal stages of breakdown development.
It is found that breakdowns initiate mainly at specific speleogenetically or geologically "weakened" localities that classify into few distinct types. The most of breakdowns potent to propagate through the overburden relate with the outlet cupolas/domepits that represent places where water had discharged out of a cave to the upper aquifer during the period of transverse artesian speleogenesis. Distribution of breakdown structures does not appreciably correlate with the size of master passages. Several distinct mechanisms of the breakdown development are revealed, most of them proceed in several stages. They are controlled by speleogenetic, geological and hydrogeological factors.
We show that speleogenetic approach is indispensable for understanding of breakdown pre-requisites and mechanisms and for eventual subsidence hazard assessment. The direct cave observations aimed to both, speleogenetic investigation and breakdown characterization on regional or site-specific levels should be employed wherever possible.


Der Karst auf der Erzwies, Bad Hofgastein (Salzburg)., 2005, Hfer, G(iorgio).
The Erzwies (ore meadow) is located in the upper part of the Angertal near Bad Hofgastein at an altitude of 2200 to 2500 m. The geology is dominated by 10 to 20 m thick marbles, surrounded and underlain by gneiss (Zentralgneis). Numerous karst phenomena are bound to a system of NNE-SSW- and E-W-striking joints. Quartzitic schists are locally folded into the marbles, resulting in different types of polje, springs, caves, shafts and sinkholes. The runoff of creeks and springs was studied and temperature, electrical conductivity and pH were measured. Karst waters have conductivity values of more than 100 S/cm and pH values slightly above 8, while the conductivity values of surface waters and springs in gneiss are 60 to 90 S/cm with pH values of less than 8. A cave system called Silberpfennighhle (2586/10) appears too large given the short time of its formation and missing signs of tectonic control. A model is proposed whereby the interactions of fluids derived from oxidation of ore minerals resulted in subsurface dissolution and karst cavity formation.[Geologie, Tektonik, Erkundung der Gewsser hinsichtlich Schttung, Leitfhigkeit, pH-Wert und Temperatur; Quellhhle in der Erzwies (2586/9), Silberpfennighhle (2586/10); Hhlengenese]

Der Karst auf der Erzwies, Bad Hofgastein (Salzburg), 2005, Hfer, G.
The Erzwies (ore meadow) is located in the upper part of the Angertal near Bad Hofgastein at an altitude of 2200 to 2500 m. The geology is dominated by 10 to 20 m thick marbles, surrounded and underlain by gneiss (Zentralgneis). Numerous karst phenomena are bound to a system of NNE-SSW- and E-W-striking joints. Quartzitic schists are locally folded into the marbles, resulting in different types of polje, springs, caves, shafts and sinkholes. The runoff of creeks and springs was studied and temperature, electrical conductivity and pH were measured. Karst waters have conductivity values of more than 100 S/cm and pH values slightly above 8, while the conductivity values of surface waters and springs in gneiss are 60 to 90 S/cm with pH values of less than 8. A cave system called Silberpfennighhle (2586/10) appears too large given the short time of its formation and missing signs of tectonic control. A model is proposed whereby the interactions of fluids derived from oxidation of ore minerals resulted in subsurface dissolution and karst cavity formation.

DIAGNOSTIC PLOTS APPLIED TO PUMPING TESTS IN KARST SYSTEMS, 2012, MarÉ, Chal Jeanchristophe, Ladouche Bernard, Dewandel Benot, Fleury Perrine, DÖ, Rfliger Nathalie

Pumping tests conducted on wells intersecting karst heterogeneities such as the conduit network are difficult to interpret. Nevertheless, this case can be solved by assimilating the horizontal karst conduit to a finite conductivity vertical fracture. In this case, several flow patterns corresponding to the respective contributions of karst subsystems (fractured matrix, small conduits, and main karst drainage network) can be identified on the diagnostic plot of the drawdown derivative. This is illustrated on two examples from Mediterranean karst systems in southern France. A pumping test on a well intersecting the main karst drainage network of the Cent-Fonts karst system shows (i) a preliminary contribution of the karst conduit storage capacity followed by (ii) linear flows into the fractured matrix. A pumping test on a well intersecting a small karst conduit of the Corbières karst system shows the existence of (i) bi-linear flow within both the karst conduit and the fractured matrix at early times, followed by (ii) radial flows within the fractured matrix and (iii) finally the contribution of a major karst cavity. The use of diagnostic plots allows identifying the various flow regimes during pumping tests, corresponding to the response of the individual karst aquifer subsystems. This is helpful for improving the understanding of the structure of the karst aquifer and flow exchanges between subsystems.


Electrical resistivity surveys of anthropogenic karst phenomena, southeastern New Mexico, 2012, Land L. , Veni G.

A small but significant number of sinkholes and other karst phenomena in southeastern New Mexico are of human origin and are often associated with solution mining of salt beds in the shallow subsurface. In 2008 two brine wells in a sparsely populated area of northern Eddy County, New Mexico, abruptly collapsed as a result of solution mining operations. The well operators had been injecting fresh water into underlying salt beds and pumping out brine for use as oil field drilling fluid. A third brine well within the city limits of Carlsbad, New Mexico, has been shut down to forestall possible sinkhole development in this more densely populated area. Electrical resistivity surveys conducted over the site of the brine well confirm the presence of a large, brine-filled cavity beneath the we0llhead. Laterally extensive zones of low resistivity beneath the well site represent either open cavities and conduits caused by solution mining or highly fractured and/or brecciated, brine-saturated intervals that may have formed by sagging and collapse into underlying cavities. The data also indicate that significant upward stoping has occurred into overlying strata.


Occurrence of diagenetic alunites within karst cavity infill of the Dammam Formation, Ahmadi, Kuwait: an indicator of hydrocarbon gas seeps, 2014, Khalaf F. I. , Abdullah F. A.

Alunite minerals occur as white powdery lumps and laminated coloured deposits within cavity and solution channel infill of the palaeokarst zone of the Upper Eocene Dammam Formation. This formation is exposed in a quarry located on the Al Ahmadi ridge within the Greater Burgan oil field in southern Kuwait. Field occurrences and sedimentary structures of the alunite deposits were described. Collected samples were petrographically described, and their mineralogy and geochemistry were determined using X-ray diffraction and X-ray fluorescence, respectively. Microfabrics were investigated using SEM, revealing that they are primarily composed of fibrous alunogen (hydrous aluminium sulphate) and pseudo-cubical K-alunite (hydrous potassium aluminium sulphate). Their mode of occurrence suggests a hypogenetic origin, where sulphide gases associated with hydrocarbon gases reacted with an Al-rich solution leached from clay minerals and feldspars of the cavity-fill muddy sand sediments. The hydrocarbon gases may have seeped from subsurface petroliferous formations within the Greater Burgan oil field along vertical fractures. This study suggests that these acidic seeps may have played a role in the development of the palaeokarst zone of the Dammam Formation


Occurrence of diagenetic alunites within karst cavity infill of the Dammam Formation, Ahmadi, Kuwait: an indicator of hydrocarbon gas seeps, 2014,

Alunite minerals occur as white powdery lumps  and laminated coloured deposits within cavity and solution  channel infill of the palaeokarst zone of the Upper Eocene  Dammam Formation. This formation is exposed in a quarry  located on the Al Ahmadi ridge within the Greater Burgan oil  field in southern Kuwait. Field occurrences and sedimentary  structures of the alunite deposits were described. Collected  samples were petrographically described, and their mineralogy  and geochemistry were determined using X-ray diffraction  and X-ray fluorescence, respectively. Microfabrics were investigated  using SEM, revealing that they are primarily composed  of fibrous alunogen (hydrous aluminium sulphate) and  pseudo-cubical K-alunite (hydrous potassium aluminium sulphate).  Their mode of occurrence suggests a hypogenetic  origin, where sulphide gases associated with hydrocarbon  gases reacted with an Al-rich solution leached from clay  minerals and feldspars of the cavity-fill muddy sand sediments.  The hydrocarbon gases may have seeped from subsurface  petroliferous formations within the Greater Burgan oil  field along vertical fractures. This study suggests that these  acidic seeps may have played a role in the development of the  palaeokarst zone of the Dammam Formation.


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