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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 intermontane basin is a basin lying between two mountain ranges [16].?

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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.
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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 karst processes. (Keyword) returned 13 results for the whole karstbase:
Le karst mconnu du domaine aride et semi-aride, 1983, Jennings, J. N.
Knowledge of semiarid-arid karst is poor, especially as regards process rates. Explanation of well-developed karst here must then depend on independent environmental history. Impoverishment in carbonate karst with decreasing rainfall is demonstrable but the factor of inadequate cave exploration has to be weighed. Distinction between desert and karst factors presents problems. Individuality in dryland karst is more a question of changing relative importance of phenemena found more widely than of distinctive forms. Such process studies as exist suggest wide variation. Gypsum karst develops as well in semiarid as humid climate and halite karst is expressed best in arid.

Bathymetry and origin of Lake Timk, South West Tasmania, 1990, Kiernan, Kevin

The bathymetry of Lake Timk suggests that it is a glacially over-deepened rock basin but one which owes much of its form to preglacial karst processes. Underground drainage from the lake forms part of an integrated karst conduit system. The lake bed does not provide the base level of vadose circulation in the karst at the present time as at least one negotiable cave extends under the lake.

Tectonic Speleogenesis of Devils Hole, Nevada, and Implications for Hydrogeology and the Development of Long, Continuous Paleoenvironmental Records, 1994, Riggs Alan C. , Carr W. J. , Kolesar Peter T. , Hoffman Ray J. ,
Devils Hole, in southern Nevada, is a surface collapse into a deep, planar, steeply dipping fault-controlled fissure in Cambrian limestone and dolostone. The collapse intersects the water table about 15 m below land surface and the fissure extends at least 130 m deeper. Below water, most of the fissure is lined with a >30-cm-thick layer of dense maxillary calcite that precipitated continuously from groundwater for >500,000 yr. The thick mammillary calcite coat implies a long history of calcite-supersaturated groundwaters, which, combined with the absence of dissolutional morphologies, suggests that Devils Hole was not formed by karst processes. Devils Hole is located in a region of active extension; its tectonic origin is shown by evidence of spreading of its planar opening along a fault and by the orientation of its opening and others nearby, perpendicular to the northwest-southeast minimum principal stress direction of the region. Most Quaternary tectonic activity in the area, including seismicity and Quaternary faults and fractures, occurs on or parallel to northeast-striking structures. The hydrogeologic implications of this primarily structural origin are that fracture networks and caves opened by extensional tectonism can act as groundwater flowpaths functionally similar to those developed by karst processes and that, during active extension, transmissivity can be maintained despite infilling by mineral precipitation. Such extensional environments can provide conditions favorable for accumulation of deposits preserving long, continuous paleoenvironmental records. The precipitates in Devils Hole store chronologies of flow system water-level fluctuations, hydrochemistry, a half-million-yr proxy paleoclimate record, evidence of Devils Hole's tectonic origin, and probably atmospheric circulation

Organic matter in the Upper Silesian (Mississippi Valley-type) Zn-Pb deposits, Poland, 1999, Sassgustkiewicz M. , Kwiecinska B. ,
Organic matter contained in large amounts in the Upper Silesian Zn-Pb ore deposits has been identified as dopplerite-calcium humate. This humic, amorphous substance was precipitated from humic acids by calcium ion loading. The precipitation of dopplerite was contemporaneous with sulfide deposition at the time of initial and mature karst processes. The hydrothermal karst dissolution supplied calcium ions but the source of humic acids is still conjectural. The geochemical data indicate that the most probable source for the organic matter deposited in the Zn-Pb ores are overlying Triassic Keuper shales containing dispersed humic organic substance

CO2 source-sink in karst processes in karst areas of China, 1999, Jiang Z. C. , Yuan D. X. ,
The CO2 source-sink of atmospheric greenhouse has a close relationship with karst processes. The corrosion of carbonate rocks lends to the sink of atmospheric CO2, whereas the deposition of carbonate rocks gives off CO2 into atmosphere, which is one of the sources of atmospheric CO2. According to the exposed areas of carbonate rocks in China, the flux of atmospheric CO2 consumed in karst processes is estimated at about 1.77 x 10(13) g CO2/a, Considering the global karst area the flux Of atmospheric CO2 consumed in corrosion may be an important parr of the missing sink. And the sink has a tendency of continuous increase. The release of CO2 from karst water is usually less than the sink of atmospheric CO2 consumed in karst processes. But in active tectonic zone the release of high CO2 concentration of mantle source in the geothermal karst water should not be neglected

Paleoseismic phenomena in karst terrains in Bulgaria and Morocco, 2003, Angelova Dora, Belfoul M'hamed Alaeddin, Bouzid Sophia, Filahi Mustapha, Faik Farid

During the recent years there has been a growing interest in recording and investigating the effects of paleoseismic events in surface and underground karst in almost all countries. Karst represents a reliable reference marker for understanding the potential seismicity in regions with instrumentally established low to moderate seismicity. The karst errains in Bulgaria and Morocco occupy considerable areas. The disturbances in surface and underground karst had usually been provoked by catastrophic one-act events or by repeatedly activated movements by earthquakes. The catastrophic seismic events had disturbed the naturally interrelated karst ecosystems and were the reason for rejuvenation, reactivation or attenuation of karst processes. The natural surface and underground relief had been partially or entirely destroyed; a new type of relief had been formed; the geological environment had been disturbed; changes occurred in the flowrate and direction of surface and underground karst water; wetlands of the gravitation type had been formed; natural caves, local grabens, rock-falls and landslides collapsed partially or entirely and terrains were subjected to subsidence and destruction; the ecological balance in urbanized territories had been disturbed. The present work considers the different types of paleoseismic phenomena in the karst terrains in Bulgaria and Morocco. Recommendations are given for the protection of these areas.

The effect of syndepositional deformation within the Upper Permian Capitan Platform on the speleogenesis and geomorphology of the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA, 2006, Kosa Eduard, Hunt David W. ,
The Guadalupe Mountains in New Mexico and Texas are home to more than 300 caves. Caves have been formed within the Upper Permian Capitan carbonate platform and are oriented along two structural trends, one of which is parallel to the platform margin and the other of which is roughly perpendicular to it. Our recent studies of the Capitan Platform have identified syndepositional faults associated with growth monoclines and synclines in Slaughter Canyon, New Mexico, and these are also parallel to the platform margin. In this study, we demonstrate that syndepositional faults and folds are also present in Rattlesnake and Walnut Canyons, as much as 19 km along strike, and that they have exerted control on karstification of the Guadalupe Mountains from the Upper Permian until present.Three distinctive episodes of karst formation have been recognised in outcrops on the basis of karst-filling deposits and crosscutting relationships. The syndepositional 'Phase 1 karst' was formed along syndepositional faults and fractures and is filled by platform-derived sediments. The burial 'Phase 2 karst' is filled by post-Permian siliciclastics and is limited to the youngest syndepositional faults and fractures that penetrate the platform in the proximity of its terminal margin. Connectivity of these youngest faults and fractures to the platform top and the overlying stratigraphy is inferred to have controlled the distribution of the Phase 2 karst. The 'Phase 3 karst' includes the present cave systems, which were mainly formed by sulphuric acid produced by mixing of fossil and fresh underground waters in conjunction with the uplift of the Guadalupe Mountains in the Late Tertiary, and have since been modified by vadose karst processes. The Phase 3 karst caves are not solely developed along syndepositional faults and fractures as the earlier karst palaeocaverns are, but also follow another, uplift-related, structural trend.Syndepositional folds, faults, and fractures in the Capitan Platform have influenced the shaping of the modern surface geomorphology of the Guadalupe Mountains by controlling drainage and, hence, erosion. Trellis drainage parallel to the platform margin is developed where syndepositional folds, faults, and fractures occur. The morphology of the trellis drainage varies systematically across the range in response to the character of the deformation structures and karst features along which the drainage channels have developed


Hypogene speleogenesis is widespread throughout the Delaware Basin region as evidenced by intrastratal dissolution, hypogenic caves and suites of diagenetic minerals. The world famous carbonate caves of the Capitan reef facies of the Guadalupe Mountains have long been associated with sulfuric acid processes and recently have been associated with semi-confined, hypogene dissolution. However, evaporite karst within Permian backreef and basin-filling facies has been traditionally associated with surficial, epigene processes. On the eastern edge of the Delaware Basin cavernous porosity associated with oil reservoirs in Permian carbonates have been attributed to eogenetic karst processes.
Interbedded (evaporite / carbonate), backreef facies within the mid-Permian Seven Rivers Formation exhibit characteristics of hypogene karst associated with semi-confined dissolution controlled by the eastward migration and entrenchment of the Pecos River. Coffee Cave is a good example of hypogene dissolution, forming a multi-storey, rectilinear maze with abundant distinctive morphologic feature suites (i.e. risers, channels and cupolas) indicative of hypogene speleogenesis. Other caves within the Seven Rivers and Rustler Formations show similar patterns, although often less well developed.
Within the Delaware Basin, Castile Formation evaporites have been extensively modified by hypogene processes. Field mapping coupled with GIS analyses clearly shows that karst development and evaporite calcitization are highly clustered throughout the outcrop area. Individual caves commonly exhibit complex morphologies, including complete suites of morphologic features indicative of intrastratal dissolution. Clusters of hypogene caves are commonly associated with clusters of evaporite calcitization and often occurrences of secondary selenite bodies, suggesting all three are genetically related. Brecciated cores and associated native sulfur deposits indicate that calcitized evaporites are the result of semi-confined sulfate reduction in the presence of ascending hydrocarbons. Hypogene caves are currently being overprinted by epigene processes as surface denudation results in breaching of previously confined solutional conduits. However, calcitized evaporites stand as resistant masses attesting to the widespread importance of hypogene processes within the Castile Formation.
On the southern end of the Central Basin Platform, the spatial distribution of cavernous porosity, secondary mineralization and abundant karst fabrics within the Yates Field carbonate strata provide convincing evidence that karst porosity, at least locally, within the San Andres and overlying Permian strata is the result of hypogene speleogenesis. Porosity development appears to have been enhanced by high geothermal gradients and the addition of sulfuric acid-rich fluids, reminiscent of the same processes that have been proposed for the extensive carbonate caves of the Guadalupe Mountains.
Recognition of the widespread occurrence of hypogene speleogenesis throughout the Delaware Basin region indicates that the regional diagenetic evolution has been significantly affected by confined fluid migration, including not only the development of porosity but also the emplacement of many secondary mineral deposits. Therefore, future natural resource management plans must consider the nature of hypogene karst in site evaluations throughout the region in order to better predict geohazards, potential groundwater contamination and characterize mineral resources.


In the middle of the Prut River valley, which stretches along the boundaries of Ukraine, Moldova and Romania and passes across an area of gypsum karst, there are zones in the geological sequence where the gypsum is replaced by overlying laminated clays for its entire thickness (25 m) due to karst processes. The authors believe that the formation of such zones is not related to fluvial erosion but is caused by hypogenic dissolution of the gypsum from the bottom, resulting in subsidence and introduction of the overlying clays into the stratigraphic level of the gypsum. The process was most intense within the zone of a hypothetical fault along which the Prut R. valley is aligned. The fault zone provided for preferential access of con?ned groundwater in the sub-gypsum aquifer to the base of the gypsum bed, and its intense dissolution and removal by rising ?ow.

Geomorphological Characteristics of the Italian Side of Canin Massif (Julian Alps) using Digital Terrain Analysis and Field Observations , 2011, Telbisz Tams, Mari Lszl, Szab Lnrd

In this paper, by the example of Canin Massif, it is demon­strated, how GIS-techniques can be used for the study of high mountain karst terrains. In case of Canin, elevation and slope histograms show characteristic differences in plateau levels and landforming processes between the northern, western and southern sectors of the mountains. Ridge and valley map (de­rived from the digital elevation model) and thalweg analysis are used to recognize drainage reorganizations north of the Italian Canin plateau. Potential snow accumulation locations and nu­nataks are determined based mainly on the slope map. Geo­morphological sketch maps and statistical analysis of closed depressions are also carried out in this study supporting the relatively young age of superficial karstification and the strong structural impact. Finally, it is concluded, that quantitative and visual capabilities of GIS are useful in discriminating the effects of glacial, fluvial, structural and karst processes.

El karren litoral a lEs illEs BalEars, 2011, Gmezpujol L. , Forns J. J. , Pomar F.

Coastal exokarstic landforms are quite common features at the Balearic Islands, owing to the presence of extensive coastal limestone outcrops as well as to the suitable hydrodynamic and bioclimatic environment that promotes the development of karst processes. Pinnacles, basin pools, pits and notches, among others, can be seen, especially in the south and southeastern coast of Mallorca, the southern coast of Menorca and all around Formentera. Otherwise the presence of coastal karren in northern Mallorca, Menorca and Eivissa is less prominent due to lithology. Coastal karren at Balearic Islands are quite remarkable because of their morphological variety and occurrence on different rock types, but also as a subject of study on the effect of hydrodynamic gradients and the precipitation and temperature settings or on the biological influence in karst processes. Coastal karren together with plunging cliffs and Quaternary aeolianites exploited as rock quarries are the foremost representative feature of Balearic Islands coastline

Salt Karst, 2013, Frumkin, A.

Halite is the most soluble common mineral. Salt karst is concerned with extremely soluble and erodible rock-salt geomorphology, which demonstrates a dynamic end member to karst processes. Salt outcrops are rare, due to the high solubility, and common total dissolution underground, but subsurface salt is common, and commonly associated with environmental problems. These are associated with salt hazards, generally due to anthropogenic modification of hydrological systems, causing aggressive water to attack salt rock. Most salt outcrops appear under desert conditions, where the salt mass escapes total dissolution. In such outcrops, runoff produces well-developed karst terrains, with features including karren, sinkholes, and vadose caves. Existing salt relief is probably not older than Pliocene, but the known well-developed

Quaternary glacial cycles: Karst processes and the global CO2 budget, 2013, Larson Erik B. , Mylroie John E.

Extensive research has been conducted investigating the relationship between karst processes, carbonate deposition and the global carbon cycle. However, little work has been done looking into the relationship between glaciations, subsequent sea level changes, and aerially exposed land masses in relation to karstic processes and the global carbon budget. During glaciations sea-level exposed the world’s carbonate platforms. with the sub-aerial exposure of the platforms, karst processes can occur, and the dissolution of carbonate material can commence, resulting in the drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere as HCO3−. Furthermore, the material on the platform surfaces is primarily aragonite which is more readily soluble than calcite allowing karst processes to occur more quickly. During glaciations arctic carbonates and some of the temperate carbonates are blanketed in ice, effectively removing those areas from karst processes. Given the higher solubility of aragonite, and the extent of carbonate platforms exposed during glaciations, this dissolution balances the CO2 no longer taken up by karst processes at higher latitudes that were covered during the last glacial maximum The balance is within 0.001 GtC / yr, using soil pCO2 (0.005 GtC / yr assuming atmospheric pCO2) which is a difference of <1% of the total amount of atmospheric CO2 removed in a year by karst processes. Denudation was calculated using the maximum potential dissolution formulas of Gombert (2002). On a year to year basis the net amount of atmospheric carbon removed through karstic processes is equivalent between the last glacial maximum and the present day, however, the earth has spent more time in a glacial configuration during the quaternary, which suggests that there is a net drawdown of atmospheric carbon during glaciations from karst processes, which may serve as a feedback to prolong glacial episodes. This research has significance for understanding the global carbon budget during the quaternary.

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