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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. ...

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That valley spring is see spring, valley.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for paradigm (Keyword) returned 22 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 22
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

Introduction une histoire des tudes karstiques, 1990, Renault, Ph.
History of speleo-karstology: an introduction - Before any historical study, it seems important to recall some general notions, studied in recent publications. History of sciences does not limit itself to a repertory of events or to statistics, even when those matters give the basic and main notions. It traces back the evolution of a thought acting upon nature. The historico-critical analysis shows that the noticed trajectories are irregular and moved by crisis for instance with Newton, Lavoisier, Einstein correspond to theory conflicts. Bachelard, Khun, Piaget, etc., bring the analytic elements particularly the notion of paradigm explaining the constant readjustments of scientific system. History of science, behind the stories, must identify the elements of epistemology, which explains the successive points of view of a discipline.

Late Wisconsinan deglaciation of Alberta: Processes and paleogeography, 1996, Mandryk C. A. S. ,
The scarcity of lake basins in Alberta dating earlier than 11,000 BP has been interpreted as indicating the continued presence of active glacial ice. Because of the related implication that the presence of ice precludes the existence of an ice-free corridor, it is useful to examine this issue more closely. Due to the effects of deglaciation, many areas of Alberta were dominated by chaotic ice-stagnation conditions, with continual reversal of topography and rapid transformation of the surface. The dynamic nature of the environment affects arguments regarding the existence of an ice-free corridor as well as having implications for archeological site formation, preservation and discovery. Deglaciation models utilizing paradigms of active ice retreat may result in dichotomous depictions of the land surface as either ice covered or deglaciated. Due to the insulating properties of supraglacial debris, stagnant ice results in a situation that is simultaneously neither and both of the above conditions. While the landscape is ice covered and thus not 'ice-free', an accessible landscape characterized by glacial karst topography exists on top of the stagnating ice surface. General reconstructions of the impact of stagnant ice and glacial karst topography on the paleogeography of Alberta are presented for discussion. Copyright (C) 1996 INQUA/Elsevier Science Ltd

Mapping Chicxulub crater structure with gravity and seismic reflection data, 1998, Hildebrand A. R. , Pilkington M. , Ortizaleman C. , Chavez R. E. , Urrutiafucugauchi J. , Connors M. , Granielcastro E. , Camarazi A. , Halpenny J. F. , Niehaus D. ,
Aside from its significance in establishing the impact-mass extinction paradigm, the Chicxulub crater will probably come to exemplify the structure of large complex craters. Much of Chicxulub's structure may be mapped' by tying its gravity expression to seismic-reflection profiles revealing an [~]180 km diameter for the now-buried crater. The distribution of karst topography aids in outlining the peripheral crater structure as also revealed by the horizontal gradient of the gravity anomaly. The fracturing inferred to control groundwater flow is apparently related to subsidence of the crater fill. Modelling the crater's gravity expression based on a schematic structural model reveals that the crater fill is also responsible for the majority of the negative anomaly. The crater's melt sheet and central structural uplift are the other significant contributors to its gravity expression. The Chicxulub impact released [~]1.2 x 1031 ergs based on the observed collapsed disruption cavity of [~]86 km diameter reconstructed to an apparent disruption cavity (Dad) of [~]94 km diameter (equivalent to the excavation cavity) and an apparent transient cavity (Dat) of [~]80 km diameter. This impact energy, together with the observed [~]2 x 1011 g global Ir fluence in the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) fireball layer indicates that the impactor was a comet estimated as massing [~]1.8 x 1018 g of [~]16.5 km diameter assuming a 0.6 gcm-3 density. Dust-induced darkness and cold, wind, giant waves, thermal pulses from the impact fireball and re-entering ejecta, acid rain, ozone-layer depletion, cooling from stratospheric aerosols, H2O greenhouse, CO2 greenhouse, poisons and mutagens, and oscillatory climate have been proposed as deleterious environmental effects of the Chicxulub impact with durations ranging from a few minutes to a million years. This succession of effects defines a temperature curve that is characteristic of large impacts. Although some patterns may be recognized in the K-T extinctions, and the survivorship rules changed across the boundary, relating specific environmental effects to species' extinctions is not yet possible. Geochemical records across the boundary support the occurrence a prompt thermal pulse, acid rain and a [~]5000 year-long greenhouse. The period of extinctions seems to extend into the earliest Tertiary

Perspectives on karst geomorphology in the 20th century, 1998, Ford, Derek

The article presents a short history of karst geomorphology development in the 20th century. It began with Cvijic and discused in details the geographical cycle of erosion and karst, climatic geomorphology, and global models of carbonate dissolution. The positive side of modern studies in karst geomorphology are multidisciplinarity and opening towards international research community and is not confined within paradigms. Three most important aspect in modern karstology are the study of "rock control", of deep karstification, and of the paleokarst. The role of Dinaric karst in the development of karst geomorphology is emphasised.

Hydrotermalni puvod jeskyni v Ceskem krasu: nove paradigma, 1999, Suchy V. , Zeman A.

The caves developed in Lower Paleozoic carbonate rocks of the Bohemian Karst are interpreted as a result of a hydrothermal dissolution. The main evidence includes 1) a close spatial link of the caves to hydrothermal calcite veins, 2) a variety of distinctive dissolution forms indicative of non-gravitational hydrodynamics, and 3) presence of specific, exotic precipitates within the caves. Moreover, most of the features typical of the caves of the Bohemian Karst can be readily compared to those of the Zbrasov Caves of Moravia that have been known for long as a typical example of hydrothermal caves. The origin of at least some hydrothermal caves in the Bohemian Karst and elsewhere in the Czech Republic could have been tied to the circulation of warm fluids along active tectonic lineaments. A line of indirect evidence indicates that in the Bohemian Massif, transient pulses of fluid activity that were responsible for the origin of hydrothermal caves may have occurred since Tertiary period.

Seawater intrusion in complex geological environments, 2005, Abarca Cameo, Elena

Modelling seawater intrusion (SWI) has evolved from a tool for understanding to a water management need. Yet, it remains a challenge. Difficulties arise from the assessment of dispersion coefficients and the complexity of natural systems that results in complicated aquifer geometries and heterogeneity in the hydraulic parameters. Addressing such difficulties is the objective of this thesis. Specifically, factors that may affect the flow and transport in coastal aquifers and produce heterogeneous salinity distributions are studied.

First, a new paradigm for seawater intrusion is proposed since the current paradigm (the Henry problem) fails to properly reproduce observed SWI wedges. Mixing is represented by means of a velocity dependent dispersion tensor in the new proposed problem. Thereby, we denote it as "dispersive Henry problem". SWI is characterized in terms of the wedge penetration, width of the mixing zone and influx of seawater. We find that the width of the mixing zone depends basically on dispersion, with longitudinal and transverse dispersion controlling different parts of the mixing zone but displaying similar overall effects. The wedge penetration is mainly controlled by the horizontal permeability and by the geometric mean of the dispersivities. Transverse dispersivity and the geometric mean of the hydraulic conductivity are the leading parameters controlling the amount of salt that enters the aquifer.

Second, the effect of heterogeneity was studied by incorporating heterogeneity in the hydraulic permeability into the modified Henry problem. Results show that heterogeneity causes the toe to recede while increases both the width and slope of the mixing zone. The shape of the interface and the saltwater flux depends on the distribution of the permeability in each realization. However, the toe penetration and the width of the mixing zone do not show large fluctuations. Both variables are satisfactorily reproduced, in cases of moderate heterogeneity, by homogeneous media with equivalent permeability and either local or effective dispersivities.

Third, the effect of aquifer geometry in horizontally large confined aquifers was analyzed. Lateral slope turned out to be a critical factor. Lateral slopes in the seaside boundary of more than 3% cause the development of horizontal convection cells. The deepest zones act as preferential zones for seawater to enter the aquifer and preferential discharging zones are developed in the upwards lateral margins. A dimensionless number, Nby, has been defined to estimate the relative importance of this effect.

All these factors can be determinant to explain the evolution of salinity in aquifers such as the Main aquifer of the Llobregat delta. Finally, a management model of this aquifer is developed to optimally design corrective measures to restore the water quality of the aquifer. The application of two different optimization methodologies, a linear and a non-linear optimization method, allowed (1) to quantify the hydraulic efficiency of two potential corrective measures: two recharge ponds and a seawater intrusion barrier; (2) to determine the water necessary to be injected in each of these measures to restore the water quality of the aquifer while minimizing changes in the pumping regime and (3) to assess the sustainable pumping regime (with and without the implementation of additional measures) once the water quality has been restored. Shadow prices obtained from linear programming become a valuable tool to quantify the hydraulic efficiency of potential corrective measures to restore water quality in the aquifer

The Messinian salinity crisis: Looking for a new paradigm?, 2006, Roveri M. , Manzi V. ,
The importance of the sedimentary record of Messinian events in the Apennines foredeep is due to its geological and structural settings, which allow the reconstruction of the relationships between marginal and basinal settings and provide fundamental insights into some important issues. A geologic-stratigraphic model of the Messinian Apennine foredeep indicating a possible solution for closing the last `Messinian gap' is here presented. Moreover, the establishment of a preliminary high-resolution stratigraphy for the terminal Lago Mare stage allows us to attempt Mediterranean-scale correlations across different structural settings.The Messinian evolution of the Apennine foredeep and some considerations of adjacent areas suggest the great importance of tectonic deformation in controlling Messinian events. The intra-Messinian unconformity is a common feature of the marginal basins of the Mediterranean, and it is associated in many cases to the collapse and resedimentation of primary evaporites. The genesis of such unconformity seems to be strictly related to a general tectonic reorganization of the Mediterranean area. Preliminary observation on the stratigraphy of the Lago Mare stage suggest that the high-frequency lithological cyclicity observed in the non-marine deposits of this stage, as well as the superimposed transgressive trend, are common to many Mediterranean basins. These characteristic features might reflect the interplay between a longer-term tectonic trend and higher-frequency, precession-related, climatic changes; this could represent a fundamental tool for establishing a high-resolution stratigraphic framework of the latest Messinian allowing long-distance correlations between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and hence more accurate palaeoenvironmental studies

On the importance of geological heterogeneity for flow simulation, 2006, Eaton Tt,
Geological heterogeneity is recognized as a major control on reservoir production and constraint on many aspects of quantitative hydrogeology. Hydrogeologists and reservoir geologists need to characterize groundwater flow through many different types of geological media for different purposes. In this introductory paper, an updated perspective is provided on the current status of the long effort to understand the effect of geological heterogeneity on flow using numerical simulations. A summary is given of continuum vs. discrete paradigms, and zonal vs. geostatistical approaches, all of which are used to structure model domains. Using these methods and modern simulation tools, flow modelers now have greater opportunities to account for the increasingly detailed understanding of heterogeneous aquifer and reservoir systems.One way of doing this would be to apply a broader interpretation of the idea of hydrofacies, long used by hydrogeologists. Simulating flow through heterogeneous geologic media requires that numerical models capture important aspects of the structure of the flow domain. Hydrofacies are reinterpreted here as scale-dependent hydrogeologic units with a particular representative elementary volume (REV) or structure of a specific size and shape. As such, they can be delineated in indurated sedimentary or even fractured aquifer systems, independently of lithofacies, as well as in the unlithified settings in which they have traditionally been used. This reconsideration of what constitutes hydrofacies, the building blocks for representing geological heterogeneity in flow models, may be of some use in the types of settings described in this special issue

Large karst depressions on the Yorkshire Dales limestone: interim results and discussion. An early indication of a new paradigm, 2007, Marker, Margaret And Helen Goldie.
Although some polygenetic large depressions were reported early from the Yorkshire glaciated karst, which is typified by pavements, scars and dissected by steep U-shaped valleys (dales), the research reported here into the distribution and characteristics of large karstic depressions has resulted in identification of many more such landforms. These depressions are a scale order larger than the dolines (known locally as shakeholes). Their number, dimensions and distribution imply that they form a significant older component in the landscape, developed during a much longer period than the shakeholes, which have formed since the end of the Devensian glaciation. The data are discussed with reference to 4 areas: Area 1 comprises 3 outliers in the west, north and east; Area 2 (divided into 2.1 and 2.2) lies along part of the Craven Fault system east and west of the Ribble valley, and Area 3 comprises a higher limestone area, designated the Malham High Country, northeast of Malham Tarn, where the complex depressions were first identified. A distribution map, based on stereoscopic aerial photo analysis with ground control, shows almost 500 depressions located in the area extending from west of Kingsdale to east of Wharfedale. The distribution of the depressions demonstrates that they are clustered and localized both by area and vertically. They are now found preferentially within the Asbian Gordale Limestone Member and in Brigantian limestones of the overlying Alston Formation (Yoredale Group).

Hypogene Speleogenesis: Hydrogeological and Morphogenetic Perspective., 2007, Klimchouk A. B.

This book provides an overview of the principal environments, main processes and manifestations of hypogenic speleogenesis, and refines the relevant conceptual framework. It consolidates the notion of hypogenic karst as one of the two major types of karst systems (the other being epigenetic karst). Karst is viewed in the context of regional groundwater flow systems, which provide the systematic transport and distribution mechanisms needed to produce and maintain the disequilibrium conditions necessary for speleogenesis. Hypogenic and epigenic karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems are predominantly local systems, and/or parts of recharge segments of intermediate and regional systems. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems.

Various styles of hypogenic caves that were previously considered unrelated, specific either to certain lithologies or chemical mechanisms are shown to share common hydrogeologic genetic backgrounds. In contrast to the currently predominant view of hypogenic speleogenesis as a specific geochemical phenomenon, the broad hydrogeological approach is adopted in this book. Hypogenic speleogenesis is defined with reference to the source of fluid recharge to the cave-forming zone, and type of flow system. It is shown that confined settings are the principal hydrogeologic environment for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, there is a general evolutionary trend for hypogenic karst systems to lose their confinement due to uplift and denudation and due to their own expansion. Confined hypogenic caves may experience substantial modification or be partially or largely overprinted under subsequent unconfined (vadose) stages, either by epigenic processes or continuing unconfined hypogenic processes, especially when H2S dissolution mechanisms are involved.

Hypogenic confined systems evolve to facilitate cross-formational hydraulic communication between common aquifers, or between laterally transmissive beds in heterogeneous soluble formations, across cave-forming zones. The latter originally represented low-permeability, separating units supporting vertical rather than lateral flow. Layered heterogeneity in permeability and breaches in connectivity between different fracture porosity structures across soluble formations are important controls over the spatial organization of evolving ascending hypogenic cave systems. Transverse hydraulic communication across lithological and porosity system boundaries, which commonly coincide with major contrasts in water chemistry, gas composition and temperature, is potent enough to drive various disequilibrium and reaction dissolution mechanisms. Hypogenic speleogenesis may operate in both carbonates and evaporites, but also in some clastic rocks with soluble cement. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. It may not be manifest at the surface at all, receiving some expression only during later stages of uplift and denudation. In many instances, hypogenic speleogenesis is largely climate- independent.

There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition in an initial flowpath network. This accounts for the development of more pervasive channeling and maze patterns in confined settings where appropriate structural prerequisites exist. As forced-flow regimes in confined settings are commonly sluggish, buoyancy dissolution driven by either solute or thermal density differences is important in hypogenic speleogenesis.

In identifying hypogenic caves, the primary criteria are morphological (patterns and meso-morphology) and hydrogeological (hydrostratigraphic position and recharge/flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system). Elementary patterns typical for hypogenic caves are network mazes, spongework mazes, irregular chambers and isolated passages or crude passage clusters. They often combine to form composite patterns and complex 3- D structures. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, and in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in cave patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Presence of the characteristic morphologic suites of rising flow with buoyancy components is one of the most decisive criteria for identifying hypogenic speleogenesis, which is much more widespread than was previously presumed. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world.

The refined conceptual framework of hypogenic speleogenesis has broad implications in applied fields and promises to create a greater demand for karst and cave expertise by practicing hydrogeology, geological engineering, economic geology, and mineral resource industries. Any generalization of the hydrogeology of karst aquifers, as well as approaches to practical issues and resource prospecting in karst regions, should take into account the different nature and characteristics of hypogenic and epigenic karst systems. Hydraulic properties of karst aquifers, evolved in response to hypogenic speleogenesis, are characteristically different from epigenic karst aquifers. In hypogenic systems, cave porosity is roughly an order of magnitude greater, and areal coverage of caves is five times greater than in epigenic karst systems. Hypogenic speleogenesis commonly results in more isotropic conduit permeability pervasively distributed within highly karstified areas measuring up to several square kilometers. Although being vertically and laterally integrated throughout conduit clusters, hypogenic systems, however, do not transmit flow laterally for considerable distances. Hypogenic speleogenesis can affect regional subsurface fluid flow by greatly enhancing initially available cross- formational permeability structures, providing higher local vertical hydraulic connections between lateral stratiform pathways for groundwater flow, and creating discharge segments of flow systems, the areas of low- fluid potential recognizable at the regional scale. Discharge of artesian karst springs, which are modern outlets of hypogenic karst systems, is often very large and steady, being moderated by the high karstic storage developed in the karstified zones and by the hydraulic capacity of an entire artesian system. Hypogenic speleogenesis plays an important role in conditioning related processes such as hydrothermal mineralization, diagenesis, and hydrocarbon transport and entrapment.

An appreciation of the wide occurrence of hypogenic karst systems, marked specifics in their origin, development and characteristics, and their scientific and practical importance, calls for revisiting and expanding the current predominantly epigenic paradigm of karst and cave science.


As an example of long-term human intervention onto karst geo­morphology, the article deals with the area of the Logaško polje, where degradation processes of dolines have been very intense during the last fifty years. The analysis of aerial photographs from different periods (years 1944 and 2000) was carried out on a study area of 604 ha. It showed that 77.5 % of dolines (441 of total 569) have completly disappeared mostly by being filled up with different waste materials (excavation material, municipal, industrial and building waste etc.) or they were built up while 22.5 % (128) of dolines have been entirely or partly preserved. Several anthropogenic factors that had an important influence on doline-changes are being evaluated. Despite the fact, that doline is a typical geomorphological feature in karst landscape the public (local or state) and the scientific sphere pay little at­tention on their geomorphological preservation and protection. Considering the paradigm of sustainability, the landscape and its landforms, as they are part of Earth’s surface, would need to be classified as a non-renewable natural heritage or even non-renewable natural resources.

Morphogenesis of hypogenic caves, 2009, Klimchouk A. B.

Hypogenic speleogenesis is the formation of solution-enlarged permeability structures by waters ascending to a cave-forming zone from below in leaky confined conditions, where deeper groundwaters in regional or intermediate flow systems interact with shallower and more local groundwater flow systems. This is in contrast to more familiar epigenic speleogenesis which is dominated by shallow groundwater systems receiving recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, formed by different dissolutional mechanisms operating in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Hypogenic caves commonly demonstrate a characteristic morphologic suite of cave morphs resulting from rising flow across the cave-forming zone with distinct buoyancy-dissolution components. In addition to hydrogeological criteria (hydrostratigraphic position, recharge-discharge configuration and flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system), morphogenetic analysis is the primary tool in identifying hypogenic caves. Cave patterns resulting from ascending transverse speleogenesis are strongly guided by the permeability structure in a cave formation. They are also influenced by the discordance of permeability structure in the adjacent beds and by the overall hydrostratigraphic arrangement. Three-dimensional mazes with multiple storeys, or complex 3-D cave systems are most common, although single isolated chambers, passages or crude clusters of a few intersecting passages may occur where fracturing is scarce and laterally discontinuous. Large rising shafts and collapse sinkholes over large voids, associated with deep hydrothermal systems, are also known. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world. More importantly, hypogenic speleogenesis is much more widespread than it was previously presumed. Growing recognition of hypogenic speleogenesis and improved understanding of its peculiar characteristics has an immense importance to both karst science and applied fields as it promises to answer many questions about karst porosity (especially as deep-seated settings are concerned) which remained poorly addressed within the traditional epigenetic karst paradigm.


Hypogenic and hypergenic (epigenic) karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, which are characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems, which had long been the focus of most karst/speleogenetic research, are predominantly local systems receiving recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems dominated by upward flow, although mixing with local systems is commonly involved. Hypogenic speleogenesis tends to operate over long time spans, continuously or intermittently. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic karst may not be expressed at the surface and is largely climate-independent. Hypogenic speleogenesis is the formation of solution-enlarged permeability structures by waters ascending through a cave-forming zone from below. It develops in leaky confined conditions although it may continue through unconfined ones. Vertical hydraulic communication across lithological boundaries and different porosity systems allows deeper groundwaters in regional or intermediate flow systems to interact with shallower and more local systems, permitting a variety of dissolution mechanisms. There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition seen in the development of initial flowpath networks in hypergene cave genesis, accounting for the more uniform and pervasive conduit development found in the hypogene. Hypogenic caves are found in a wide range of geological and tectonic settings, basinal through folded, being formed by different dissolutional mechanisms operating in various lithologies. Despite these variations, the resulting caves tend to display remarkable similarity in their patterns and meso-morphology, strongly suggesting that the type of ?ow system is the primary control. Hypogenic caves commonly demonstrate a characteristic suite of cave morphologies resulting from rising ?ow across the cave-forming zone, with distinct buoyancy dissolution components. Cave patterns in hypogenic speleogenesis are guided by the initial permeability structure, its vertical heterogeneities (discordance in the permeability structure between adjacent beds) and the mode of water input to, and output from, the cave-forming zone. The latter again depends on relationships between permeability structures in the cave-forming zone and formations that lie below and above. Because of its “transverse flow” nature hypogenic speleogenesis has a clustered distribution in plan view, although initial clusters may merge during further development and extend over considerable areas. Recognition of the wide occurrence, significance and specific characteristics of hypogenic speleogenesis represents a major paradigm shift in karst science that answers many questions not satisfactorily addressed previously.

The initial stages of cave formation: Beyond the one-dimensional paradigm, 2011, Szymczak Piotr, Ladd Anthony J. C.

The solutional origin of limestone caves was recognized over a century ago, but the short penetration length of an undersaturated solution made it seem impossible for long conduits to develop. This is contradicted by field observations, where extended conduits, sometimes several kilometers long, are found in karst environments. However, a sharp drop in the dissolution rate of CaCO3 near saturation provides a mechanism for much deeper penetration of reactant. The notion of a “kinetic trigger” – a sudden change in rate constant over a narrow concentration range – has become a widely accepted paradigm in speleogenesis modeling. However, it is based on one-dimensional models for the fluid and solute transport inside the fracture, assuming that the dissolution front is planar in the direction perpendicular to the flow. Here we show that this assumption is incorrect; a planar dissolution front in an entirely uniform fracture is unstable to infinitesimal perturbations and inevitably breaks up into highly localized regions of dissolution. This provides an alternative mechanism for cave formation, even in the absence of a kinetic trigger. Our results suggest that there is an inherent wavelength to the erosion pattern in dissolving fractures, which depends on the reaction rate and flow rate, but is independent of the initial roughness. In contrast to one-dimensional models, two-dimensional simulations indicate that there is only a weak dependence of the breakthrough time on kinetic order; localization of the flow tends to keep the undersaturation in the dissolution front above the threshold for non-linear kinetics.

Research Highlights
- A kinetic trigger is not a prerequisite for limestone cave formation. - The added spatial dimension has a larger impact on breakthrough times than a kinetic trigger. - Planar dissolution front in a fracture is unstable to infinitesimal perturbations. - The most unstable wavelength depends on reaction kinetics and flow rate. - The instability leads to the formation of rapidly advancing, wormhole-like channels.

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