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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 output point is a point where water exists from an underground drainage route or aquifer. an obvious output point is a surface resurgence or exsurgence, where drainage emerges from a conduit system. less obvious are points where drainage leaves a carbonate aquifer and enters an adjacent non-carbonate bed, such as a sandstone aquifer [9].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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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 loess (Keyword) returned 19 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 19
Subsidences and erosion in loess soils, 1987, Savvateev S. S. , Kriger N. I. , Lavrusevich S. A. , Petrov A. G. ,

Causes of land subsidence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1997, Amin A, Bankher K,
The occurrence of land subsidence in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia is either natural or manmade. Natural land subsidence occurs due to the development of subterranean voids by a solution of host rocks in carbonate and evaporite terrains, over many areas of Saudi Arabia. Man-induced land subsidence is either due to the removal of groundwater in the agricultural areas or to wetting of unstable soils. Therefore, earth fissures and a lowering of the ground surface in unconsolidated sediments took place in alluvial plains and volcanic vent terrains. Unstable soils include Sabkha soils and loess sediments. These types of soils occur in coastal plains, desert areas and volcanic terrains. When this soil is wetted either during agricultural activities, waste disposal or even during a rain storm, subsidence takes place due to either the removal of salts from the Sabkha soil or the rearrangement of soil particles in loess sediments

An investigation, using the chalk karst of Haute-Normandie (France), as an example of the relationships between the surface and endokarst using a granulometric method, 1998, Lacroix M. , Leboulanger T. , Wang H. Q. , Feeny V. , Dupont J. P. , Meyer R. ,
Karst, by definition, is the result of rock dissolution. Ii the rock is not completely soluble, residues will remain ('acquired' particles). This insoluble material, present in the springs issuing From the karst body after some time lag, provides information regarding karst processes taking place within the rock body. The presence of pathways between the surface and the endokarst is reflected by an increase in the suspended particulate material (SPM) that may be considered to be 'inherited' from outside of the karst system, By the study of microgranulometric spectra the origins of the particles are differentiated and, on this basis, a classification of karst systems is proposed. The technique was applied to the chalk karat of Haute Normandie (France) by obtaining characterisations of the microgranulometric fraction of the main surface formations (clay-with-flints and loess) and that produced by dissolution of the chalk. By the comparison of these spectra with those of the SPM contained in ten karst springs, it was possible to define two types of karsts ('open' and 'closed') and their intermediates. In 'closed' karst a majority of the particles originated from the dissolution of the chalk itself, while in the 'open' karst, the majority of the particles are derived from the surface formations. This notion of 'aperture' is quite different from the conventional allogenic/authigenic karst classification which implies the formation of an impermeable residual soil that focuses surface water inputs

Mise en evidence des relations surface-endokarst par la microgranulometrie, exemple du karst crayeux haut-normand, 1998, Lacroix Michel, Leboulanger Thierry, Wang Huaqing, Feeny Veronique, Dupont Jean Paul, Meyer Robert,
Karst, by definition, is the result of rock dissolution. If the rock is not completely soluble, residues will remain ('acquired' particles). This insoluble material, present in the springs issuing from the karst body after some time lag, provides information regarding karst processes taking place within the rock body. The presence of pathways between the surface and the endokarst is reflected by an increase in the suspended particulate material (SPM) that may be considered to be 'inherited' from outside of the karst system. By the study of microgranulometric spectra the origins of the particles are differentiated and, on this basis, a classification of karst systems is proposed. The technique was applied to the chalk karst of Haute Normandie (France) by obtaining characterisations of the microgranulometric fraction of the main surface formations (clay-with-flints and loess) and that produced by dissolution of the chalk. By the comparison of these spectra with those of the SPM contained in ten karst springs, it was possible to define two types of karsts ('open' and 'closed') and their intermediates. In 'closed' karst a majority of the particles originated from the dissolution of the chalk itself, while in the 'open' karst, the majority of the particles are derived from the surface formations. This notion of 'aperture' is quite different from the conventional allogenic/authigenic karst classification which implies the formation of an impermeable residual soil that focuses surface water inputs

Agriculture, landscape and human impact in some karst areas of Italy, 1999, Burri Ezio, Castiglioni Benedetta, Sauro Ugo
Italy is made up for about 1/5 of its surface by soluble rocks, which represent the arena of karst environments. The karst morpho-units, some hundreds, are mainly distributed inside the alpine structure of the Mediterranean mountains. A very large number of rock formations are present, different in facies, lithology, age, etc. Among these, carbonate rocks prevail, followed by gypsum and salt. Most of the carbonate rocks are limestones sedimented in a platform environment and they show a wide range of porosity, frequency of fractures and bedding planes. The climatic processes, the expression of some different sub-types of Mediterranean climate (from the typical Mediterranean to sub-atlantic and sub-continental varieties), are the main control of the recent morphodynamics inside the karst morpho-units. In some areas the variability of precipitation is very high. The soil-water deficit during summer, together with the steep slopes, makes these environments highly vulnerable to human impact, especially in relation to soil use for grazing and agriculture. The soils, with enriched mineral contents from the fall of loess-like sediments or of volcanic ashes, were surely very appealing to the first farmers.

Element geochemistry of weathering profile of dolomitite and its implications for the average chemical composition of the upper-continental crust - Case studies from the Xinpu profile, northern Guizho, 2000, Ji H. B. , Ouyang Z. , Wang S. J. , Zhou D. Q. ,
Geochemical behavior of chemical elements is studied in a dolomitite weathering profile in upland of karst terrain in northern Guizhou. Two stages can be recognized during the process of in situ weathering of dolomitite: the stage of sedentary accumulation of leaching residue of dolomitite and the stage of chemical weathering evolution of sedentary soil. Ni, Cr, Mo, W and Ti are the least mobile elements with reference to Al. The geochemical behavior of REE is similar to that observed in weathering of other types of rocks. Fractionation of REE is noticed during weathering, and the two layers of REE enrichments are thought to result from downward movement of the weathering front in response to changes in the environment. It is considered that the chemistry of the upper part of the profile, which was more intensively weathered, is representative of the mobile components of the upper curst at the time the dolomitite was formed, while the less weathered lower profile is chemically representative of the immobile constitution. Like glacial till and loess, the 'insoluble' materials in carbonate rocks originating from chemical sedimentation may also provide valuable information about the average chemical composition of the upper continental crust

Geological hazards in loess terrain, with particular reference to the loess regions of China, 2001, Derbyshire E,
The considerable morphodynamic energy provided by the continuing tectonic evolution of Asia is expressed in high erosional potentials and very high rates of sediment production that make this continent unequalled as a terrestrial source of primary silt. Many of these environments are hazardous, threatening human occupation., health and livelihood, especially in regions of dense population such as the loess lands of north China. Dry loess can sustain nearly vertical slopes, being perennially under-saturated. However, when locally saturated, it disaggregates instantaneously. Such hydrocompaction is a key process in many slope failures, made worse by an underlying mountainous terrain of low-porosity rocks. Gully erosion of loess may yield very high sediment concentrations ( > 60% by weight). Characteristic vertical jointing in loess influences the hydrology. Enlarged joints develop into natural sub-surface piping systems, which on collapse, produce a 'loess karst' terrain. Collapsible loess up to 20 m thick is common on the western Loess Plateau. Foundation collapse and cracked walls are common, many rapid events following periods of unusually heavy monsoonal rain. Slope failure is a major engineering problem in thick loess terrain, flow-slide and spread types being common. The results are often devastating in both urban and rural areas. An associated hazard is the damming of streams by landslides. The human population increases the landslide risk in China, notably through imprudent land-use practices including careless water management. A number of environmentally related endemic diseases arise from the geochemistry of loess and its groundwaters. including fluorosis, cretinism, Kaschin-Beck Disease, Keshan Disease and goitre. The Chinese desert margins also have a major atmospheric dust problem. The effect of such dust upon human health in these extensive regions, including many large cities, has yet to be evaluated, but pneumoconiosis is thought to affect several million people in north and west China. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

The hypogenic caves: a powerful tool for the study of seeps and their environmental effects, 2002, Forti P, Galdenzi S, Sarbu Sm,
Research performed in caves has shown the existence of significant effects of gas seeps, especially CO2 and H2S, within subterranean voids. Carbon dioxide causes important corrosive effects and creates characteristic morphologies (e.g., bell-shaped domes, bubble's trails), but is not involved in the deposition of specific cave minerals. On the other hand, in carbonate environments, hydrogen sulfide when oxidized in the shallow sections of the aquifer generates important corrosion effects and is also responsible for the deposition of specific minerals of which gypsum is the most common.Studies performed in the last few years have shown that H2S seeps in caves are associated with rich and diverse biological communities, consisting of large numbers of endemic species. Stable isotope studies (carbon and nitrogen) have demonstrated that these hypogean ecosystems are entirely based on in situ production of food by chemoautotrophic microorganisms using energy resulting from the oxidation of H2S.Although located only 20 m under the surface, Movile Cave does not receive meteoric waters due to a layer of impermeable clays and loess that covers the Miocene limestone in which the cave is developed. In the Frasassi caves, where certain amounts of meteoric water seep into the limestone, the subterranean ecosystems are still isolated from the surface. As the deep sulfidic waters mix with the oxigenated meteoric waters, sulfuric acid limestone corrosion is accelerated resulting in widespread deposition of gypsum onto the cave walls.Both these caves have raised a lot of interest for biological investigations regarding the chemoautotrophically based ecosystems, demonstrating the possibility of performing such studies in environments that are easily accessible and easy to monitor compared to the deep-sea environments where the first gas seeps were discovered

Microgranulometric approach to a chalk karst, western Paris Basin, France, 2002, Lacroix M. , Rodet J. , Wang H. Q. , Laignel B. , Dupont J. P. ,
By definition, karst is the result of dissolution, and if the rock is not completely soluble, residues will remain ('acquired' particles). These insoluble residues provide a history of karstic activity and can be found in the outflows after a possible storage period in the endokarst. A direct connection, even if temporary, between the endokarst and the surface is reflected by the contribution of particles, which are referred to as 'inherited'. We have studied the chalk karsts of Haut Normandie by comparing microgranulometric spectra of suspended matter (SM), in subterranean waters and in solutions of the main surface formations (Clay-with-Flints Complex (CFC) and loess) and the Chalk dissolution products of all local stratigraphic levels. Based on these microgranulometric spectra, we propose a conceptual model for processes occurring in chalk karsts and a classification scheme for karstified systems according to how such systems deal with particles. In a 'closed' karst, the suspended matter tends to come from the Chalk itself, while in the case of an 'open' karst, the majority of suspended particles comes from surface formations. This notion of 'openness' differs from the currently used categorization into allogenic and autogenic systems, which depends upon an impermeable cover concentrating the infiltration. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved

Eustatic sea-level and climate changes over the last 600 ka as derived from mollusc-based ESR-chronostratigraphy and pollen evidence in Northern Eurasia, 2002, Molodkov Anatoly N. , Bolikhovskaya Nataliya S. ,
We reconstruct and correlate palaeoclimatic events and deposits from shelf, glacial, periglacial, and extraglacial zones of northern Eurasia over the last 600,000 years. The chronostratigraphical correlation of identified palaeoenvironmental and sea-level events and corresponding horizons is based on electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis of subfossil mollusc skeletal remains from marine, freshwater and Acheulian-bearing cave-site deposits. Over 230 shell samples from more than 40 sites along the continental margin of Eurasian north, in the Black and Caspian sea basins and terrestrial shells from a Lower Palaeolithic cave-site in the Northern Caucasus were dated via ESR to produce a late Quaternary geochronology. The Pleistocene composite section of the loess-palaeosoil formation includes two reference sections--Likhvin and Arapovichi--from the centre of the East-European plain. The palyno-chronostratigraphic record is interpreted as the product of six warm-climate/high sea-level events including the current interglacial, and six glacial events. They are presented either as complete climatic rhythms of glacial and interglacial rank, or by considerable portions of climatic-phytocoenotic phases constituents of the rhythm. The full-interglacial conditions are centred at about 580, 400, 310, 220 and between 145-70 calendar ka. A broad correspondence between long palynological sequence, directly ESR-dated warm-climate-related events and other palaeoenvironmental records described in the literature has been noted for 11 upper oxygen isotope stages (11 to 1). The results obtained in this study exemplify the potential of integrated chrono-climatostratigraphic sequences in linking marine and terrestrial palaeoclimate records that may eventually span the whole Brunhes chron

GIS-based generation of a karst landscape soil map (Blaubeuren Swabian Alb Germany), 2002, Koberle G. , Koberle P. M. ,
The karst landscape of the Swabian Alb in southwestern Germany is characterised by a year-round humid climate with an annual precipitation of up to 1200 mm and an average temperature of VC. Infiltration ranges are 50-55%, resulting in an annual water flow into the karst aquifer up to 660 millions litres per km(2). In view of the great expanse of the karst landscape of the Swabian Alb, measuring some 200 x 40 km, this is a water reservoir of immense significance. Due to the laws of karst water movement the infiltrating water is very vulnerable to contamination. The only geogenic protection is afforded by the periglacial, loess-containing layers and evolved constituent soils covering the karst landscape. This means that geomorphology and the distribution of soils in this region is of great significance to the protection of karst water. At present only 2 of the approx. 60 topographic map sheets with a scale of 1 :25,000 that cover the Swabian Alb are available as pedological maps. Another 8 pedological map sheets are under preparation. Since the compilation of pedological maps is extremely costly both in terms of time and money, it appears improbable that a complete pedological map of the entire Swabian Alb will be available in the near future. A digital pedological map was prepared from the 1:50,000 topographic map of Blaubeuren on the basis of geomorphological knowledge as well as a morphometric analysis. For this purpose the morphometric parameters slope, profile curvature, plan curvature and topographic wetness index were calculated from a specially generated DGM (Digital Elevation Model). A maximum likelihood analysis was performed on the morphometric parameters on the basis of approx. 700 soil profiles used as training areas. The pedological maps included in the Annex were verified both in the field and on the computer. They provide an inexpensive basis for further ecosystem analyses

Soil types and eolian dust in high-mountainous karst of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Zugspitzplatt, Wetterstein Mountains, Germany), 2003, Kufmann C. ,
This, study deals with the soil formation on pure limestone in the high-mountainous karst of Wetterstein Mountains (Northern Calcareous Alps). The study area in detail covers the alpine (2000 to 2350 in) and the subnivale zone (2350 to 2600 in) of Zugspitzplatt, a tertiary paleosurface situated next to the highest summit of Germany (Zugspitze 2963 in). The formation of autochthonous soils is determined by the following parameters: uniform geology and geochemistry of Triassic limestone (CaCO3 MgCO3 greater than or equal to 98%), variable substrata (solid rock, debris, local moraine), hypsometric pattern of vegetation modified by microclimate and aspect, variety of micro-environments in karst relief. In the subnivale zone, only leptosols (lithic, skeletic) and regosols (calcaric, humic) occur, whereas in the alpine zone different stages of folic histosols and rendzic leptosols prevail due to the diversity of vegetation. The purity of limestone prevents a distinct contribution of residues to soil formation. Instead of expected A-B-C profiles, the residues are mixed with organic matter of folic horizons (O-OB-C). Only in karst depressions or on local moraines small Bt horizons (2 to 5 cm) occur. They mark a developed stage of folic histosol (O-OB-Bt-C) representing the climax of autochthonous mineral soil genesis in the study area. Special features are brown deposits (mean thickness 30 cm) covering large parts of the alpine zone. On the basis of mineralogical (X-ray diffraction, heavy minerals) and pedological data (grain size, soil chemistry), eolian origin is indicated. The resulting soils are classified as loess loam-like cambisols (Ah-Bw-2(Bt)-2C) and are related to late glacial loess deposition (Egesen-Stade of Younger Dryas). The abundance of mica and silt in the surface layers and the grain size distribution of snow dust samples prove that dust influx by southerly winds is still continuing. The major sources for both late glacial and present-day dust are magmatic and metamorphic rock formations of the Central Alps. Additionally, local dust transport from adjacent outcrops of Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sediments is evident. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

An example of sedimentary filling in the chalk karst of the Western Paris Basin: Characterization, origins and hydrosedimentary behaviour, 2004, Laignel B. , Dupuis E. , Rodet J. , Lacroix M. , Massei N. ,
The Petites Dales cave is a favourable site for studying the sedimentary fillings of the chalk karst of the Western Paris Basin. Our study is based on the lithological characterization of karstic sediments and mineralogical and chemical comparisons between these sediments and the likely sedimentary sources (insoluble residue of chalk, clay-with-flints, loess). Our results show that there are three main families of sediment in the Petites Dales karst: brown clayey silts, beige silts, pale beige silts. The karst sediments essentially originate in the mechanical erosion of loess. The insoluble residue of chalk, coming from the chalk weathering, is only located in the brown clayey silts, and constitutes a weak amount of this sediment type. According to these results, we propose three conceptual models of hydro sedimentary behaviour of the Petites Dales karstic system that could have resulted in such an intra-karstic deposition sequence

The morphological research of the Basalt and Loess covered plateaus in the Bakony Mts. (Transdanubian Middle Mts. - Hungary), 2005, Já, Nos Mó, Ga, Ró, Bert Né, Meth

We have conducted our morphological researches on the loess-covered Tési plateau and on the basalt covered karst area around Mt. Kab in the southern part of the Bakony Mts. The nearly 600 m high basalt covered Mt. Kab emerges high from the undulating mountains and hilly areas of the Southern Bakony Mts. Its surface, an area about 35-40 km_ is covered by basaltic rocks of different thickness. Pseudokarstic landforms (depressions) developed on the basalt surface due to the karstic corrosion of the buried limestone layers. Grouping the objects of different morphology and evolution rate, and studying in corellation the genetic marks of the significant groups, a special karst process can be drawn, in which the depressions of various form can be understood as different stations of the same evolutionary series. The Mesosoic rocks building up the 60 km_ Tési plateau emerge to the surface rarely above the loess cover. There is agricultural activity on most part of the plateau. Typical covered karstic landforms developed on the 3-5 m thick loess cover. Subsidence dolines or alluvial streamsink dolines with a small catchment area were formed on the summits. We studied the processes, forms and occurrence of recent covered karst of Mt. Bakony, and these studies shows that on the covered karst surface of the Tési-plateau the recent pit formation along with baticapture connected to hidden and real rock boundary, as well as the opening and activation of paleokarstic passages developed before loess formation also play a role in the evolution of the covered karst surface forms of the Tési-plateau.


The morphological research of the Basalt and Loess covered plateaus in the Bakony Mts. (Transdanubian Middle Mts. Hungary), 2005, Mó, Ga J, Né, Meth R.

We have conducted our morphological researches on  the loess-covered Tési plateau and on the basalt covered karst area around Mt. Kab in the southern part of the Bakony Mts. The nearly 600 m high basalt covered Mt. Kab emerges high from the undulating mountains and hilly areas of the Southern Bakony Mts. Its surface, an area about 35-40 km² is covered by basaltic rocks of different thickness. Pseudokarstic landforms (depressions) developed on the basalt surface due to the carstic corrosion of the buried limestone layers. Grouping the objects of different morphology and evolution rate, and studying in corellation the genetic marks of the significant groups, a special karst process can be drawn, in which the depressions of various form can be understood as different stations of the same evolutionary series. The Mesosoic rocks building up the 60 km² Tési plateau emerge to the surface rarely above the loess cover. There is agricultural activity on most part of the plateau. Typical covered karstic landforms developed on the 3-5 m thick loess cover. Subsidence dolines or alluvial steamsink dolines with a small catchment area were formed  on the summits. We studied the processes, forms and occurrence of recent covered karst of Mt. Bakony, and these studies shows that on the covered karst surface of the Tési-plateau the recent pit formation along with baticapture connected to hidden and real rock boundary, as well as the opening and activation of paleokarstic passages developed before loess formation also play a role in the evolution of the covered karst surface forms of the Tési-plateau.


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