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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. ...

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Your search for lithification (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
Sulfate reducing bacteria in microbial mats: Changing paradigms, new discoveries, 0000, Baumgartner Lk, Reid Rp, Dupraz C, Decho Aw, Buckley Dh, Spear Jr, Przekop Km, Visscher Pt,
Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) have existed throughout much of Earth's history and remain major contributors to carbon cycling in modern systems. Despite their importance, misconceptions about SRB are prevalent. In particular, SRB are commonly thought to lack oxygen tolerance and to exist only in anoxic environments. Through the last two decades, researchers have discovered that SRB can, in fact, tolerate and even respire oxygen. Investigations of microbial mat systems have demonstrated that SRB are both abundant and active in the oxic zones of mats. Additionally, SRB have been found to be highly active in the lithified zones of microbial mats, suggesting a connection between sulfate reduction and mat lithification. In the present paper, we review recent research on SRB distribution and present new preliminary findings on both the diversity and distribution of [delta]-proteobacterial SRB in lithifying and non-lithifying microbial mat systems. These preliminary findings indicate the unexplored diversity of SRB in a microbial mat system and demonstrate the close microspatial association of SRB and cyanobacteria in the oxic zone of the mat. Possible mechanisms and further studies to elucidate mechanisms for carbonate precipitation via sulfate reduction are also discussed

Lithification of peritidal carbonates by continental brines at Fisherman Bay, South Australia, to form a megapolygon/spelean limestone association, 1982, Ferguson J, Burne Rv, Chambers La,
Lithification, which commenced less than 3000 yrs BP is still active, and has formed a cavernous limestone containing megapolygons, tepees, and speleothems including pisoliths, floe aragonite, and aragonite pool deposits. The emerging waters evolved from low alkalinity waters of Pleistocene sand and clay coastal plain aquifers which passed through an underlying Tertiare marine carbonate aquifer, have high P CO2 , total carbonate, Ca, and sulfate concentrations. They are close to saturation with respect to aragonite, and their mMg (super 2) /mCa (super 2) ratios approach or exceed the critical aragonite precipitation value. Features which diagnose ancient examples of this process: primary aragonitic cements with high mSr (super 2) /mCa (super 2) values; nonmarine delta 34 S values in gypsum; two superimposed networks of surface polygons, one delineated by extensional boundaries, the other by tepees; high-water vadose-zone isopachous grain cements; interconnected, speleothem-lined cavities; and the presence of evaporites only in surface sediments. Possible ancient examples are recognized in West Texas, Lombardy, and the Atlas Mountains. The areal extent of each of these deposits suggests that the process may be a geologically important feature, and its products may be diagnostic of semi-arid or arid-zone paralic sedimentation.--Modified journal abstract

CAYMANITE, A CAVITY-FILLING DEPOSIT IN THE OLIGOCENE MIOCENE BLUFF FORMATION OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1992, Jones B. ,
Caymanite is a laminated, multicoloured (white, red, black) dolostone that fills or partly fills cavities in the Bluff Formation of the Cayman Islands. The first phase of caymanite formation occurred after deposition, lithification, and karsting of the Oligocene Cayman Member. The second phase of caymanite formation occurred after joints had developed in the Middle Miocene Pedro Castle Member. Caymanite deposition predated dolomitization of the Bluff Formation 2-5 Ma ago. Caymanite is formed of mudstones, wackestone, packstones, and grainstones. Allochems include foraminifera, red algae, gastropods, bivalves, and grains of microcrystalline dolostone. Sedimentary structures include planar laminations, graded bedding, mound-shaped laminations, desiccation cracks, and geopetal fabrics. Original depositional dips ranged from 0 to 60-degrees. Although caymanite originated as a limestone, dolomitization did not destroy the original sedimentary fabrics or structures. The sediments that formed caymanite were derived from shallow offshore lagoons, swamps, and possibly brackish-water ponds. Pigmentation of the red and black laminae can be related to precipitates formed of Mn, Fe, Al, Ni, Ti, P, K, Si, and Ca, which occur in the intercrystalline pores. These elements may have been derived from terra rossa, which occurs on the weathered surface of the Bluff Formation. Caymanite colours were inherited from the original limestone. Stratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence shows that sedimentation was episodic and that the sediment source changed with time. Available evidence suggests that caymanite originated from sediments transported by storms onto a highly permeable karst terrain. The water with its sediment load then drained into the subsurface through joints and fissures. The depth to which these waters penetrated was controlled by the length of the interconnected cavity system. Upon entering cavities, sedimentation was controlled by a complex set of variables

Abstract: Speleogenesis in aeolian Calcarenite: a case study in Western Victoria IN: Proceedings of the Wombeyan Karst Workshop November 19-22, 1993 , 1993, White, Susan

The simultaneous lithification of the carbonate dunes into aeolian calcarenite rock and the development of solutional karst features in the dunes is the characteristic feature of the speleogenesis of the area.


SPELEOGENESIS IN AEOLIAN CALCARENITE - A CASE-STUDY IN WESTERN VICTORIA, 1994, White S. ,
Most studies of karst landscapes and their processes have been concerned with consolidated, often well-jointed limestones. There are particular problems involved in the study of karst procesess in softer, less-compact limestones such as chalk, coral reefs, and aeolian calcarenite. Previous studies in aeolian calcarenite indicated these problems and a scheme was developed of speleogenesis in aeolian calcarenite. A study of karst processes in aeolian calcarenite at Bats Ridge in western Victoria has developed this scheme further. The karst features and processes at Bats Ridge are an integral part of the landscape of a mid-Pleistocene calcarenite dune system. The resolution of problems of the rapid subaerial speleogenesis in the area is achieved by the synthesis of the known karst features of the ridge and the geology and geomorphology of the area. Karst development on this aeolianite ridge depends on lithological conditions as well as the availability of aggressive water capable of solution. The diagenesis of the calcarenite is occurring now and must have been occurring by the mid-Pleistocene. This simultaneous lithification of the carbonate dunes into aeolian calcarenite rock and the development of solutional karst features in the dunes is the characteristic feature of the speleogenesis in this area. It is the formation of a hardened kankar layer (cap rock) in the dunes of sufficient compressive and tensile strength to support cavities, which is the result of these interrelated factors, that has strongly determined the formation of the karst features

The role of high-energy events (hurricanes and/or tsunamis) in the sedimentation, diagenesis and karst initiation of tropical shallow water carbonate platforms and atolls, 1998, Jan F. G. B. L. ,
Karst morphology appears early, even during carbonate sediment deposition. Examples from modern to 125-ka-old sub-, inter- and supratidal sediments are given from the Bahamas (Atlantic Ocean) and from Tuamotuan atolls (southeastern Pacific Ocean), with mineralogical and hydrological analyses. Karstification is favoured by the aragonitic composition of bioclasts coming from the shallow marine bio-factory. Lithification by aragonite cements appears as a rim around carbonate deposits and dissolution and non-cementation start at the same time on modern supratidal deposits (Andros micrite or atoll coral rudite) and provoke the formation of a central depression on small or large carbonate platforms. In fact, this early solution of the centre of platforms is closely related to the location of each of the studied examples on hurricane tracks. High-energy events, such as hurricanes and tsunamis, affect sediment transport but hurricanes also affect diagenesis as a result of the enormous volume of freshwater carried and discharged along their paths. This couple, lithification- solution, is localised at sea level and accompanies sea-level fluctuations along the eustatic curve. Because of the precise location of hurricane action all around the Earth, early karstification by aragonite solution, cementation and supratidal carbonate sediment accumulations thigh-energy trails) act together on all the platforms and atolls located inside the Tropics (23 degrees 27') between roughly 5 degrees-10 degrees and 25 degrees on both hemispheres. However, early karstification acts alone on shallow carbonate platforms including atolls along the equatorial belt between 5 degrees-10 degrees N and 5 degrees-10 degrees S. These early steps of karstification are linked to the ocean-atmosphere interface due to the bathymetrical position of shallow carbonate platforms, including atolls. They lead to complex karstified emerged platforms, called high carbonate islands, where carbonate diagenesis, together with the development of bauxite- and/or a phosphate-rich cover and phreatic lens, will occur. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Syngenetic karst in coastal dune limestones: a review, 2000, White S.
Studies in coastal aeolianite systems show that rapid speleogenesis is possible in such relatively poorly lithified conditions. Simultaneous lithification of Pleistocene carbonate dunes and the development of solutional karst features can be explained in terms of the precipitation and solution of carbonate grains within the dunes, and the characteristics and position of the water table over time. An area of such rapid subaerial syngenetic karst in southwestern Victoria, Australia is described in terms of its caves and karst features and their speleogenetic controls.

Paleocollapse structures as geological record for reconstruction of past karst processes during the upper miocene of Mallorca Island, 2004, Robledo Ardila P. A. , Durn J. J. , Pomar L.
Paleocollapse structures and collapse breccias are one of the major features for paleokarst analysis and paleoclimate record. These are affecting the Llucmajor and Santany carbonate platforms. These platforms, of southern and eastern Mallorca respectively, are a good example of progradation reef platform in the western Mediterranean. The Santany platform is constituted of two sedimentary units, both affected by paleocollapse structures: (1) The Reef Complex attributed to the upper Tortonian-lower Messinian; (2) Santany Limestone attributed to the Messinian. There are abundant paleocollapse outcropping in the Reef Complex and Santany Limestone units. These structures have been produced by roof collapse of caverns developed in the underlying reefal complex. According to the genetic model, the origin of same paleocollapse structures may be related to early diagenetic processes controlled by high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. During the lowstands of sea level, fresh water flow or mixing zone might have created a cave system near the water table by dissolution of aragonite in the reef front facies and coral patches existing in the lagoonal beds. During subsequent rise and highstands of sea level, inner-shelf beds overlaid the previously karstified reef-core and outer-lagoonal beds. Increase of loading by subsequent accretion of the shallow-water carbonate might have produced paleocollapse structures by gravitational collapse of cave roof. Morphometric and structural classification of paleocollapse is based on geometric and structural criteria according to the type of deformed strata and strata dip. Paleocollapse structures can be classified according to geometric section, size of the paleocave and lithification degree of the host rock when collapsed. Breccias are classified as crackle, mosaic and chaotic types. In same paleocollapse the type of breccias present a vertical and lateral gradation, from crackle in the upper part, to chaotic in the lower part of the paleocollapse. Chaotic breccias grade from matrix-free, clasts-supported breccias to matrix-supported breccias. Relationship with high frequency of sea-level fluctuation, facies architecture, classification features and products permit to enhance a general paleoclimatic framework.

The Genesis of the Hope Downs Iron Ore Deposit, Hamersley Province, Western Australia, 2006, Lascelles Desmond F. ,
The banded iron formation (BIF)-hosted Hope Downs high-grade hematite ore deposits are situated within the Marra Mamba Iron Formation with subsidiary deposits in the Brockman Iron Formation of the Archean to Proterozoic Hamersley Group of Western Australia. The main orebody extends to 260 m below the surface and is unusually rich in martite (pseudomorphous hematite after magnetite) and poor in limonite and goethite compared to other ore deposits of the Marra Mamba Iron Formation. The high-grade hematite ore is mainly within the Newman Member but also occurs in parts of the Nammuldi Member together with low-grade limonitic ore that becomes high grade after calcining. Karst erosion of the overlying Wittenoom Formation has produced steep-sided buried valleys adjacent to the in situ orebodies that contain thick deposits (<160 m) of goethitic and sideritic sediments, including remnants of Robe Pisolite Formation, bedded siderite, hematite gravels, red ochreous detrital material, and enriched scree deposits that are additional sources of ore. The ore consists of low phosphorous martite-limonite-goethite derived from chert-free BIF by supergene weathering. No evidence of the complete carbonate replacement of chert has been found at Hope Downs nor were any traces of preexisting chert bands seen in the ore, despite the abundance of chert bands in BIF elsewhere. A variety of textures and composition shown by cherty BIF adjacent to the orebodies is described from which the origin of the chert-free BIF is inferred, including sedimentary structures consistent with density-current deposition. A model is presented for the origin of the host iron formation and the ore deposits, in which density currents transported reworked iron silicates and hydroxides in colloidal suspension onto an unstable sea floor. The amorphous silica produced during diagenesis of Al-poor iron silicates formed the characteristic chert bands of BIF but some of the hydrous amorphous silica was lost prior to lithification to form chert-free BIF. Weathering of the chert-free BIF produced the high-grade hematite ore that is exposed today

Modeling complex flow in a karst aquifer, 2006, Quinn John J. , Tomasko David, Kuiper James A. ,
Carbonate aquifers typically have complex groundwater flow patterns that result from depositional heterogeneities and post-lithification fracturing and karstification. Various sources of information may be used to build a conceptual understanding of flow in the system, including drilling data, well tests, geophysical surveys, tracer tests, and spring gaging. These data were assembled to model flow numerically in Germany's Malm Formation, at a site where water disappears from the beds of ephemeral stream valleys, flows through conduit systems, and discharges to springs along surface water features. Modeling was performed by using a finite-difference approach, with drain networks, representing the conduit component of flow, laced throughout the porous medium along paths inferred on the basis of site data. This approach represents an improvement over other karst models that attempt to represent a conduit by a single, specialized model node at the spring location or by assigning a computationally problematic extremely high permeability to a zone. By handling the conduit portion of this mixed-flow system with drains, a realistic, interpretive flow model was created for this intricate aquifer

Modeling complex flow in a karst aquifer, 2006, Quinn John J. , Tomasko David, Kuiper James A. ,

Carbonate aquifers typically have complex groundwater flow patterns that result from depositional heterogeneities and postlithification fracturing and karstification. Various sources of information may be used to build a conceptual understanding of flow in the system, including drilling data, well tests, geophysical surveys, tracer tests, and spring gaging. These data were assembled to model flow numerically in Germany’s Malm Formation, at a site where water disappears from the beds of ephemeral stream valleys, flows through conduit systems, and discharges to springs along surface water features. Modeling was performed by using a finite-difference approach, with drain networks, representing the conduit component of flow, laced throughout the porous medium along paths inferred on the basis of site data. This approach represents an improvement over other karst models that attempt to represent a conduit by a single, specialized model node at the spring location or by assigning a computationally problematic extremely high permeability to a zone. By handling the conduit portion of this mixed-flow system with drains, a realistic, interpretive flow model was created for this intricate aquifer.


Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst?, 2011, Aubrecht R. , Lanczos T. , Gregor M. , Schlogl J. , Smida B. , Liscak P. , Brewercarias C. H. , Vlek L.

Venezuelan table mountains (tepuis) host the largest arenite caves in the world. The most frequently used explanation of their origin so far was the "arenization" theory, involving dissolution of quartz cement around the sand grains and subsequent removing of the released grains by water. New research in the two largest arenite cave systems - Churi-Tepui System in Chimanta Massif and Ojos de Cristal System in Roraima Tepui showed that quartz dissolution plays only a minor role in their speleogenesis. Arenites forming the tepuis are not only quartzites but they display a wide range of lithification and breakdown, including also loose sands and sandstones. Speleogenetic processes are mostly concentrated on the beds of unlithified sands which escaped from diagenesis by being sealed by the surrounding perfectly lithified quartzites. Only the so-called "finger-flow" pillars testify to confined diagenetic fluids which flowed in narrow channels, leaving the surrounding arenite uncemented. Another factor which influenced the cave-forming processes by about 30% was lateritization. It affects beds formed of arkosic sandstones and greywackes which show strong dissolution of micas, feldspars and clay minerals, turning then to laterite ("Barro Rojo"). The main prerequisite to rank caves among karst phenomena is dissolution. As the dissolution of silicate minerals other than quartz appears to play not only a volumetrically important role but even a trigger role, these arenitic caves may be ranked as karst.


Comment on Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst? by R. Aubrecht, T. Lnczos, M. Gregor, J. Schlgl, B. Smda, P. Lisck, Ch. Brewer-Caras, L. Vlcek, Geomorphology 132 (2011), 351365, 2013, Sauro F. , Piccini L. , Mecchia M. , De Waele J.

In the recent work of Aubrecht et al. (2011) the presence of “unlithified or poorly-lithified beds” of sands in the quartz-sandstone stratigraphic succession is proposed as a key factor for speleogenesis in the Venezuelan tepuis.In this comment we observe that in the cited work the geologic history of the region, in terms of sedimentation environment, diagenesis and low grade burial metamorphism, has not been considered. Furthermore, the peculiar “pillar flow” columns that Aubrecht et al. describe as a proof of the unlithification are lacking in many other different cave systems in the same area.

Four critical points are discussed: the burial metamorphism of the Mataui Formation, the significance of the Schmidt Hammer measurements, the cave morphologies and the role of SiO2 dissolution. Finally we suggest that weathering, in its wider significance, is probably the triggering process in speleogenesis, and there is no need to invoke a differential diagenesis of the sandstone beds. ©


Comment on Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst? by R. Aubrecht, T. Lnczos, M. Gregor, J. Schlgl, B. Smda, P. Lisck, Ch. Brewer-Caras, L. Vlcek, Geomorphology 132 (2011), 351365, 2013, Sauro Francesco, Piccini Leonardo, Mecchia Marco, De Waele Jo

In the recent work of Aubrecht et al. (2011) the presence of “unlithified or poorly-lithified beds” of sands in the   quartz-sandstone stratigraphic succession is proposed as a key factor for speleogenesis in the Venezuelan tepuis.   In this comment we observe that in the cited work the geologic history of the region, in terms of sedimentation   environment, diagenesis and low grade burial metamorphism, has not been considered. Furthermore, the   peculiar “pillar flow” columns that Aubrecht et al. describe as a proof of the unlithification are lacking in   many other different cave systems in the same area.   Four critical points are discussed: the burial metamorphism of the Mataui Formation, the significance of the   Schmidt Hammer measurements, the cave morphologies and the role of SiO2 dissolution. Finally we suggest   that weathering, in its wider significance, is probably the triggering process in speleogenesis, and there is no   need to invoke a differential diagenesis of the sandstone beds


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