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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 confined aquifer is 1. an aquifer bounded above and below by confining units of distinctly lower permeability than that of the aquifer itself. 2. an aquifer containing confined ground water. generally, a confined aquifer is subject to pressure greater than atmospheric [6].?

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

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Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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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
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Your search for maze cave (Keyword) returned 76 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 76
The Origin of Maze Caves, 1975, Palmer, Arthur N.

Artesian genesis of the large maze caves in the Miocene gypsum of the Western Ukraine, 1990, Klimchouk A. B.

Large Maze Caves in Gypsum in the Western Ukraine: Speleogenesis Under Artesian Conditions, 1991, Klimchouk, Alexander B.

Limestone caves form along ground-water paths of greatest discharge and solutional aggressiveness. Flow routes that acquire increasing discharge accelerate in growth, while others languish with negligible growth. As discharge increases, a maximum rate of wall retreat is approached, typically about 0.01-0.1 cm/yr, determined by chemical kinetics but nearly unaffected by further increase in discharge. The time required to reach the maximum rate is nearly independent of kinetics and varies directly with flow distance and temperature and inversely with initial fracture width, discharge, gradient, and P(CO2). Most caves require 10(4) - 10(5) yr to reach traversable size. Their patterns depend on the mode of ground-water recharge. Sinkhole recharge forms branching caves with tributaries that join downstream as higher-order passages. Maze caves form where (1) steep gradients and great undersaturation allow many alternate paths to enlarge at similar rates or (2) discharge or renewal of undersaturation is uniform along many alternate routes. Flood water can form angular networks in fractured rock, anastomotic mazes along low-angle partings, or spongework where intergranular pores are dominant. Diffuse recharge also forms networks and spongework, often aided by mixing of chemically different waters. Ramiform caves, with sequential outward branches, are formed mainly by rising thermal or H2S-rich water. Dissolution rates in cooling water increase with discharge, CO2 content, temperature, and thermal gradient, but only at thermal gradients of more than 0.01-degrees-C/m can normal ground-water CO2 form caves without the aid of hypogenic acids or mixing. Artesian flow has no inherent tendency to form maze caves. Geologic structure and stratigraphy influence cave orientation and extent, but alone they do not determine branch-work versus maze character

Gypsum karst in the Western Ukraine., 1996, Klimchouk Alexander
The great gypsum karst of the Western Ukraine, which is associated with Miocene (Badenian) gypsum, provides the worlds foremost examples of intrastratal gypsum karst and speleogenesis under artesian conditions. Differential neotectonic movements have resulted in various parts of the territory displaying different types (stages) of intrastratal karst, from deep-seated, through subjacent, to entrenched. Internal gypsum karstification proceeded mainly under confined hydrogeological conditions. While such development still continues in part of the territory, other parts exhibit entrenched karst settings. Huge relict maze cave systems have been explored here, five of which are currently the longest known gypsum caves in the world. They account for well over half of the total length of gypsum cave that has been explored. This unique concentration of large caves reflects the local coincidence of specific structural prerequisites of speleogenesis (character and extent of fissuring), favourable regional evolution (rapid uplift, and fossilization of maze systems), the presence of overlying limestone aquifers, and a widespread clayey protective cover (which prevented the total infilling and/or destruction of the caves). Surface karst evolved as a consequence of the internal karstification in the gypsum, and the karst landform assemblages differ between the territories that present different types of karst.

The Moestroff Cave: A study of the geology and climate of Luxembourg's largest maze cave, 1997,

Simulation of the evolution of maze caves., 1997, Clemens T. , Hiickinghaus D. , Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Teutsch G.
The development of cave systems in carbonate rocks depends on a variety of boundary and initial conditions. Among the cave systems, two main types of geometries can be distinguished: the dendritic and maze pattern. A numerical model has been developed capable of modeling the genesis of karst systems in complex geological environments. It is applied to simulate the development of the above mentioned two different types of cave geometries. The results confirm that a prerequisite for the development of maze caves is evenly distributed recharge (White 1969). However more important for the development of maze caves is that flow through the system is restricted by an overlying less conductive horizon, e.g. a sandstone caprock. Thus the feed back mechanism of higher flow rates leading to higher dissolution rates and therefore the preferential development of a small number of tubes does not dominate the evolution of the karst aquifer. This hydraulic restriction furthers the development of other conduits also to achieve a significant diameter.

Simulation of the evolution of maze caves, 1997, Clemens T. , Huckinghaus D. , Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Teutsch G.

The initiation of hypogene caves in fractured limestone by rising thermal water: investigation of a parallel series of competing fractures, 1999, Dumont K. A. , Rajaram H. , Budd D. A.
Integrated cave systems can either form at or near the surface of the earth (epigenic) or at some depth below the earth's surface (hypogenic)For caves that form in fractured limestone, the two most common types of cave-system morphologies are branchwork and mazeworkBranchwork caves are composed of tributaries that coalesce in the downstream direction, similar to surface streamsMazework caves exhibit two or more sets of parallel passages intersecting in a grid-like patternThe majority of epigenic caves exhibit branchwork morphologies, which represent the dominance of individual flow pathsIn contrast, mazework caves develop when dissolution occurs along numerous flow pathsWhereas most epigenic caves are related to surficial meteoric flow systems, some mazework caves are thought to have formed in hypogene environments where rising thermal water cools in response to the geothermal gradientOur objective is to examine the fundamental cause for the difference in morphology between epigenic and thermal hypogenic cave systems using numerical modelsIn particular, we are examining the competition between different flow paths in fractured limestone undergoing dissolutional enlargementAs noted in previous numerical studies, epigenic systems are characterized by the dominance of a single flow path, which is consistent with the structure of epigenic cavesSo, in order to explain the structure of maze caves, one has to explain why no single flow path attains dominanceThe retrograde solubility of calcite coupled with heat transfer from the fluid to the rock is hypothesized to provide the mechanism by which dissolutional power is distributed among all competing flow pathsNumerical models of fluid flow, heat transfer, and calcite dissolution chemistry are integrated to develop a model of hypogene cave initiation in fractured limestoneFlow is assumed to occur in the presence of a spatially variable rock temperature field that is constant through timePreliminary numerical modeling results for a system of parallel fractures demonstrate the differences in the nature of competition between flow paths in epigenic (constant temperature) and hypogenic systems (flow in the presence of a negative thermal gradient)Differences in results using various kinetic models for calcite dissolution are also presentedThe role of aperture variation and distribution in a parallel set of fractures is also examined

Hydrogeological conditions of development and genesis of the karst cavities in the Neogenic sulphate deposits of the Volyno-Podilsky artesian basin, 1999, Klimchouk A. B.

The genesis of the largest gypsum caves in the world and their hydrogeologic role are considered. The caves are developed in the Neogene sequence of the southwestern outskirts of the Volyno-Polilsky artesian basin. Four evolutionary-stadial settings of the formation of groundwater of the Miocene thickness are distinguished. It is found that the large maze cave systems in the gypsum are formed under conditions of a confined aquifer system due to dispersed recharge from a basal aquifer, under general ascending circulation through the gypsum layer. The general and regional models of artesian speleogenesis are elaborated, based on the ideas about substantial role of transverse percolation through dividing layers in multi-layer artesian systems and inversion of hydrogeological function of components of the geo-filtration section during speleogenesis. The conceptions about structure and evolution of groundwater circulation in the Miocene aquifer system, as well as related concepts on speleogenesis in the gypsym, constitute a new basis for solving a number of practical problems of region hydrogeology, engineering geology, geochemistry and environment.

In Russian and Ukrainian, with abstract in English

Speleogenesis in gypsum, 2000, Klimchouk A.
The main differences between the solutional properties of gypsum and those of calcite lie in the much higher solubility of gypsum, and in dissolution kinetics of gypsum which is solely diffusion controlled. Unlike calcite, no change of kinetic order occurs with an increase in concentration. Initiation of long lateral flow paths through gypsum is virtually impossible due to the rapid rate of dissolution; no kinetic mechanisms allow slow but uniform dissolutional enlargement throughout the flow paths. Near the surface, fissures are already wide enough for cave development to occur, which is extremely competitive due to rapid dissolution kinetics and the strong dependence of enlargement rates on flow velocity and discharge. Thus caves in gypsum in exposed settings are mainly linear or crudely branching, rapidly adjusting to the contemporary geomorphic setting and available recharge. Vertical pipes or pits form in the vadose zone. No deep phreatic development and no artesian development by lateral flow from distant recharge areas can occur. However, cave origin and development does occur in deep-seated confined settings where gypsum beds in stratified sequences are underlain by, or sandwiched between poorly soluble aquifers. Two situations support cave origin in gypsum in deep-seated settings: (1) transverse flow through gypsum between overlying and underlying aquifers, and (2) lateral flow in an insoluble but permeable aquifer underlying a gypsum bed. The former situation generates either maze caves where uniformly distributed fissure networks exist in the gypsum, or discrete voids where the otherwise low-fissured gypsum is disrupted by prominent tectonic fractures. If considerable conduit porosity has been created in a deep-seated setting, it provides ready paths for more intense groundwater circulation and further cave development when the gypsum is uplifted into the shallow subsurface. Thick and low-fissured sulfate strata can survive burial with no speleogenesis at all where surrounded by poorly permeable beds. When exposed to the surface, such gypsum deposits undergo speleogenetic development with no inherited features, presenting the pure line of open karst.

Speleogenesis of the great gypsum mazes in the Western Ukraine, 2000, Klimchouk A.
Speleogenesis in the region proceeded mainly under confined hydrogeological conditions. While such development still continues in part of the territory, other parts exhibit entrenched karst settings. Huge relict maze cave systems have been explored here, five of which are currently the longest known gypsum caves in the world. They account for well over half of the total length of gypsum caves that has been explored around the world. This unique concentration of large caves is due to the local coincidence of several factors: confined speleogenetic settings with dispersed upward recharge from a basal aquifer, specific structural prerequisites of artesian speleogenesis (nature and frequency of fissuring), favorable regional evolution (rapid uplift, and fossilization of maze systems), and the presence of an overlying limestone bed and a widespread clayey protective cover (which prevented later infilling and/or destruction of the caves). Maze cave development in the Western Ukraine is not specific to gypsum, but it is quite characteristic of confined flow and transverse speleogenesis in a multi-storey aquifer system, provided proper structural conditions exist. The main advantage of speleogenetic studies in gypsum is that, due to its high solubility and fast dissolution kinetics, morphologic evidence of the flow pattern is well displayed and can be rather easily reconstructed. The great gypsum caves in the Western Ukraine can serve as a model example of the transverse artesian speleogenesis.

Speleogenesis under deep-seated and confined settings, 2000, Klimchouk A. B.
The terms deep-seated, hypogenic and artesian speleogenesis refer to closely related and overlapping (although not entirely equivalent) concepts. Concerning groundwater hydrodynamics, the vast majority of deep-seated and hypogenic karst develops under confined settings, or settings that are unconfined but paragenetic or subsequent to confinement. Certain diagnostic features of confined groundwater circulation and deep-seated environments distinguish these conditions from those formed in unconfined settings. The last few decades have seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogenic dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which commonly precedes unconfined development. Views of artesian speleogenesis are controversial. It was commonly ignored as a site for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves within the confined area. However, the recognition of aspects derived from non-classical views of artesian flow, namely the role of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concept of transverse speleogenesis, and the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and views on the origin of many cave types. Under artesian speleogenesis, discharge through a cave is always hydraulically controlled, being constrained either by the hydraulic capacity of the passages or by that of the major confining bed or other overlying formations. In contrast to normal phreatic conditions, the discharge and enlargement rate do not increase dramatically after the kinetic breakthrough in the early evolution of conduits. Dissolution rates depend mainly on the mass balance rather than on solution kinetics during the artesian stage. Artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception, but it also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world and of many smaller caves. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the proper structural prerequisites exist. The most common flow pattern favoring artesian speleogenesis is upward cross-formation flow in areas of topographic/potentiometric lows. The hydrodynamic influence of prominent valleys or depressions may extend more than a thousand meters below the surface. Artesian speleogenesis and flow through soluble beds are commonly transverse, with conduit development occurring across the beds rather than laterally. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing basins.

Hydrogeologic control of cave patterns, 2000, Palmer A. N.
Cave patterns are controlled by a hierarchy of hydrogeologic factors. The location and overall trend of a cave depends on the distribution of recharge and discharge points within the karst aquifer. Specific cave patterns, i.e. branchwork vs. maze patterns, are controlled mainly by the nature of the groundwater recharge. Individual passage configurations are determined by the structural nature of the bedrock and by the geomorphic evolution of the aquifer. The origin of branchwork caves is favored by point recharge sources of limited catchment area. Floodwater recharge, especially through sinking streams, tends to produce maze caves or local mazes superimposed on branchwork caves. Through floodwater activity, anastomotic mazes form in prominently bedded aquifers, network mazes in prominently fractured aquifers, and spongework mazes in highly porous or brecciated rocks. Epikarst, network caves, and spongework caves are also produced by diffuse or dispersed infiltration into the karst aquifer, and network and spongework caves can be the product of mixing of two waters of contrasting chemistry. Ramiform caves are produced most often by rising water rich in hydrogen sulfide, which oxidizes to sulfuric acid. Deep-seated processes that help to initiate cave development include the interaction between carbonates and sulfates, which can greatly increase the solubility of dolomite, gypsum, and anhydrite, while calcite precipitates. Although tightly confined artesian conditions have long been associated with the origin of maze caves, they actually have no inherent tendency to form mazes. The slow movement of groundwater close to equilibrium with dissolved bedrock, typical of tightly confined artesian aquifers, is the least favorable setting for maze development.

Speleogenesis of the Black Hills Maze Caves, South Dakota, USA, 2000, Palmer A. N. , Palmer M. V.
Caves of the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA, are located in the Madison Limestone of Mississippian (early Carboniferous) age in a zone of diagenetic breccias and late-Mississippian paleokarst. Most of the caves are extremely complex networks with multiple stratigraphically controlled storeys. Today they are essentially hydrologic relics. Their history is as complex as the caves themselves: (1) The earliest cave openings were formed by diagenetic processes, mainly by the dissolution and reduction of sulfates. Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide produced many small and rather isolated voids lined by brecciated bedrock. (2) Late Mississippian exposure produced caves, dolines, and surface fissures, which were later filled with basal Pennsylvanian (late Carboniferous) sands and clays of the Minnelusa Formation. (3) Deposition of sedimentary strata buried these early karst features to depths of at least two kilometers. During this time, voids that had not been entirely filled by Pennsylvanian sediment were lined by a thin layer of scalenohedral calcite, and later by quartz. (4) Uplift of the Black Hills at the end of the Cretaceous Period exposed the Madison Limestone once again, allowing rapid groundwater flow through it. The earlier caves and solution pockets were enlarged at this time. (5) A thick layer of rhombohedral calcite precipitated on the cave walls, probably as the result of stagnation of groundwater caused by late Tertiary aggradation, which blocked spring openings. (6) Both before and after the calcite wall crust was deposited, deep subaerial weathering produced boxwork, with veins of calcite that had replaced earlier sulfates, as well as thick accumulations of carbonate sediment. The Tertiary cave enlargement probably involved mixing of at least two of the following water sources: artesian flow from recharge along the carbonate outcrop area, diffuse recharge through the overlying sandstone, and rising thermal water. There is evidence for all three sources, but the relative importance of each is still uncertain.

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