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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 potable water is water that is suitable for human consumption [22].?

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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 plio-pleistocene (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Observations prliminaires sur les cavits de la rgion du lac Centrum (NE Groenland), 1987, Loubiere, J. F.
CAVES OF CENTRUM LAKE AREA (NE GREELAND) - In 1983, M.Chiron, G.Favre, J-F. Loubire and J-P. Ttard identified a network of caves located in the extreme nord-east of Greenland. A cambro-silurian limestone zone stretches out to the south-west of Kronprins Christians land, the northern extremity of the great range of folded mountains of eastern Greenland. During an era characterised by the absence of permafrost and by a warmer climate favouring underground water circulation, these limestone formations were hollowed out by karstic river system. Such climatic conditions have long ceased to exist. During the major glaciations of the Quaternary period, the cavities were greatly modified. Glacier movements, cutting into the plateau, broke up the networks. The original underground deposits were then altered by allochtonous material of aeolian and morainic composition. Severe and ongoing frost shattering has added to this destructive process. It is hoped that this article will help to draw attention to these caves and to the more general subject of paleo-climates, especially their effects in the polar region during the Plio-Pleistocene transition (Electron Spin Resonance method on stalagmite and discovery of a mycelian hypha into calcite structure).

Alpine karsts. Genesis of large subterranean networks. Examples : the Tennengebirge (Austria) - the Ile de Crémieu, the Chartreuse and the Vercors (France), PhD Thesis, 1993, Audra, Philippe

This work, based on the study of several underground alpine networks, aims to propose some milestone in the history of these karstic regions.

The first part of the work is made up of three regional studies.

The Tennengebirge mountains are a massif of the limestone High Alps in the region of Salzburg in Austria. A cone karst close to the base level developed in the Neogene. Streams from the Alps fed the karst, resulting in the huge horizontal networks of which the Eisriesenwelt provides evidence. During the successive phases of upthrust, the levels of karstification, whether on the surface or deeper down, settled into a tier pattern, thus descending in stages from the base level. From the Pliocene era onwards, thanks to an increase in potential, alpine shafts replace the horizontal networks. The formation of these shafts is more pronounced during glaciation. The study of the Cosa Nostra - Bergerhöhle system developing 30 km of conduits on a gradient reaching almost 1 500 m provides a fairly full view of the karstification of this massif. It includes the horizontal levels developed in the Miocene and the Plio-Pleistocene, joined together by vertical sections. The most noteworthy features of the Tennengebirge, as in the neighboring massifs, lie first and foremost in the extreme thickness of the limestone which has recorded and immunized the differents steps of karstification. Secondly, the size of the networks can be, for the most part, accounted for by the contribution of allogenous waters from the streams of the Neogene and the glaciers of the Pleistocene. Generally sudden and unexpected, these flows of water engendered heavy loads (up to 600 m), simultaneously flooding several levels. To a lesser extent, the situation is similar today.

The Ile de Cremieu is a low limestone plateau on the western edge of the Jura. Due to its location in the foothills, the lobes of the Rhône glacier have covered it up, obliterating the surface karst. However, widespread evidence of anteglacial morphologies remains : paleokarst, cone karst, polygenic surface. Because of glacial plugging, access to the underground karst is limited. The main cavity is the cave of La Balme. Its initial development dates back to an early period. The morphological study has permitted the identification of several phases which go back to the Pleistocene and which are related to the Rhône glacier. The latter brought about modifications in the base level by supplying its merging waters as well as moraine material. These variations in the base level shaped the drainage structure. The underground glacial polishes are one of the noteworthy aspects recorded.

The massives of the Moucherotte and dent de Crolles belong to the northern French Prealps. They conceal large networks, respectively the Vallier cave and the Dent de Crolles. They were formed in the early Pliocene after the final orogenic phase and are in the form of horizontal conduits. The upthrust, which brought about the embanking of the Isère valley, left them in a perched position by taking away the basin which fed them. They were later, however, able to take advantage of waters from the Isère glacier during a part of the Pleistocene. The Vallier cave contains particularly glacio-karstic sediments of the lower Pleistocene, representing unique evidence of glaciation during this period. The vertical networks were put in place at the end of the Pliocene with the increase in karstification potential ; they underwent changes in the Pleistocene due to the effect of autochton and allogenous glaciers.

The second part of the work deals in general with the various forms and processes of karstification, sometimes going beyond the Alps. The study of cave deposits is a privileged tool in the understanding and reconstruction not only of the history of the networks but also the regional environment. The dating of speleothems by the U / Th method has very ofen given an age of over 350 000 years. The age of the networks is confirmed by the use of paleomagnetism which has yielded evidence of speleothems and glacio-karstic sediments anterior to 780 000 years. Anisotropic measurements of magnetic susceptibility have been used to distinguish the putting into place of glacio-karstic deposits by decantation.

Measurements of calcite rates lead to a typology of sediments based on their nature and carbonate content (rehandled weathered rocks, fluvial sands, carbonated varves, decantation clays). Granulometry confirms this differenciation by supplying precise details of transport and sedimentation modes : suspension and abrupt precipitation of clay, suspension and slow decantation of carbonated varves, suspension and rolling together with a variable sorting of sand and gravel. Mineralogical analyses oppose two types of detrital deposits. On the one hand, the rehandling of antequaternary weathered rocks extracted by the karst as a result of scouring during environmental destabilization and on the other hand, sediments characteristic of the ice age of the Pleistocene. The latter are not highly developed and their arrival in the karst is always later. Examination of heavy minerals, the morphoscopy of quartz grains and study of micromorphologies on thin blades provide precise details of conditions of evolution. The use of these methods of investigation allows for an accurate definition of the features of the evolution of the differents types of fillings, particularly speleothems, rehandled weathered rocks as well as carbonated varves. This wealth and complexity are emphasized by a detailed study of the sedimentary sequences of the Vallier cave and of the Bergerhöhle.
Speleogenesis is approached last of all in the light of above study. Emphasis is placed on the major part played by corrosion in the temporarily phreatic zone and on its many consequences (multi-level concept, simultaneous evolution of levels, origin of deep waterlogged karsts…).
Varia tions in the base level have induced karstification in contexts in which the potential was weak. These were followed by periods of increased potential to which were added the effects of glaciation. Perched horizontal levels belong to the first stages which ended in the early Pliocene, whereas alpine shafts developed in the second context. The role of structure and the parameters governing the shape of conduits (pits, meanders, canyons) are also dealt with. The different parts of the karst are borne in mind when dealing with the strength of karstic erosion during the ice age. It notably appears that it is weak on the crests and more or less non-existent in the deep parts of the karst which are liable to flooding. Finally, a preliminary analysis of an observation of neotectonic traces is presented.

Rgulation romaine et drainage moderne du Fucino, lac karstique de lAbruzze (Italie centrale), 1995, Burri E. , Leveau P. , Nicod J.
The closed basin (polje-like) of Lake Fucino (+660 m) in Abruzzo is of tectonic origin with very considerable plio-pleistocene filling. The underground drainage by the south-west ponors is insufficient. Thereby the lake is subject to continual oscilla-tions, particularly in keeping with the cli-matic fluctuations studied for the holocene period and historic times. The drainage was carried out in 1st century A.D. under Emperor Claudius, by the dig-ging of a 5640m tunnel, and continued by Traianus and Adrianus, for the stabili-zation of the lake level, and land reclama-tion. By the 5/6th century, for lack of repair, this canal had ceased to function and the lake returned to its original dimension. In mid 19th century, a Company founded by a rich Roman ban-ker, A. Torionia, had a new canal built utilising the original Roman one. This led to the complete draining out of the lake by a canal system, and the full land reclama-tion renewed after the agrarian reform (1951) by a public society, the E.R.S.A.

High-resolution magnetostratigraphy of speleothems from Snežna jama, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 2002, Bosá, K Pavel, Hercman Helena, Mihevc Andrej, Pruner Petr

The Snežna jama Cave is located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, NE Slovenia, in a Raduha Ridge. The cave is a huge, more or less horizontal fossil phreatic/epiphreatic conduit. It is penetrated by vertical shafts - invasion vadose (proglacial) caves. Close to the cave entrance, there is about 3 m high wall composed of speleothems - a complex sequence of flowstone with numerous breaks in deposition, six of them are principal. The lower part of the profile (about 85 cm) contains abundant terrigenous component (terra rossa-derived clay). Stalagmites developed in several periods are completely buried by nearly horizontal younger sequences of flowstone. Continuous speleothem log was recovered from the profile in a total length of about 2.4 m. The rock column was cut to cubes in the laboratory (2x2x2 cm) and studied both by thermal demagnetisation (23 samples, 12 steps - 20 to 620 °C) and alternating field method (98 samples, 14 steps - 1 to 100 mT). Magnetic properties identified the lithological boundary. In contrast to the upper part, the lower one shows both higher magnetic susceptibility and higher remanent magnetisation. The turn point can indicate important palaeogeographical change. Magnetostratigraphic log is composed of 7 normal and 6 reverse polarised magnetozones. The age of speleothems detected by the U-series alpha-counting spectrometry falls outside the method range, i.e. over 350 ka. Uranium isotopic equilibria indicate the age over 1.2 Ma. The age of the fill is pre-Quaternary, clearly older than 1.77 Ma. The most probable age from correlation with geomagnetic polarity timescales is about 3.0 to 5.0 or 1.8 to 3.6 Ma. Both possibilities can indicate the growth rate of speleothems of about 1.1 to 1.3 m per 1 Ma. The age of speleogenesis can be compared to some of unroofed caves in the area of the Classical Karst (SW Slovenia) connected with the Messinian period. Snežna jama was uplifted to high altitudes by younger (Plio-Pleistocene) uplift of the Alpine chain.

The 'Calamine' of Southwest Sardinia: Geology, Mineralogy, and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Supergene Zn Mineralization, 2003, Boni M, Gilg Ha, Aversa G, Balassone G,
The mining district of southwest Sardinia, Italy, is one of the classic areas where primary carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb sulfide ores are associated with a relatively thick secondary oxidation zone containing Zn (hydroxy-)carbonates and silicates, the so-called 'calamine,' exploited until the 1970s. The extent of the capping oxidized ore zones, reaching deep below the surface, is generally independent of the present-day water table. The base of the oxidation profile containing nonsulfide Zn minerals in various uplifted blocks in the Iglesiente area can be both elevated above or submerged below the recent water table. The genesis of the ores is therefore considered to be related to fossil, locally reactivated, oxidation phenomena. The mineralogy of the nonsulfide mineralization is generally complex and consists of smithsonite, hydrozincite, and hemimorphite as the main economic minerals, accompanied by iron and manganese oxy-hydroxides and residual clays. This study places the secondary ores in the context of the tectonostratigraphic and climatic evolution of Sardinia and includes a petrographic and mineralogic study of the most abundant minerals, relating the mineralogy of secondary Zn and Pb carbonates to their stable C and O isotope geochemistry and constraining the origin of the oxidizing fluids and the temperature of mineralization. The{delta} 18OVSMOW values of smithsonite are homogeneous, regardless of crystal morphology, position, and mine location (avg. 27.4 {} 0.9{per thousand}). This homogeneity points to a relatively uniform isotopic composition of the oxidation fluid and corresponding formation temperatures of 20{degrees} to 35{degrees}C. Considering the karstic environment of smithsonite formation in southwest Sardinia, this high temperature could be due to heat release during sulfide oxidation. The carbon isotope compositions of secondary Zn carbonates display considerable variations of more than 9 per mil ({delta}13CVPDB from -0.6 to -10.4{per thousand}). This large range indicates participation of variable amounts of reduced organic and marine carbonate carbon during sulfide oxidation. The isotopic variation can be related to a variation in crystal morphologies of smithsonite, reflecting different environments of formation with respect to water table oscillations in karstic environments (upper to lower vadose to epiphreatic). The same range in{delta} 13C isotope values is displayed by the calcite associated with Zn carbonates and by recent speleothems. The most reliable time span for the deposition of bulk calamine ore in southwest Sardinia ranges from middle Eocene to Plio-Pleistocene, although further multiple reactivation of the weathering profiles, peaking within the warm interglacial periods of the Quaternary, cannot be excluded

Landscape Evolution and Cave Development in Response to Episodic Incision of the Cumberland River, Tennessee and Kentucky, USA., 2003, Anthony, Darlene M. Ph. D.

Episodic incision punctuated by periods of base level stability during the Plio-Pleistocene left the Upper Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky deeply entrenched into the unglaciated Appalachian Plateaus. The relative chronology of episodic river incision and base level stability is well documented thanks to over a century of careful mapping of upland surfaces, inset straths, and terrace gravels. Constraining the timing of these incision events has been difficult, however, primarily due to a lack of suitable dating methods for terrace materials ranging from several hundred thousand to several million years of age, and reworking of upland gravels onto lower terraces. These problems are solved by dating the burial age of undisturbed cave sediments in place of terrace deposits, using the differential decay of cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in quartz exposed to cosmic radiation at the surface. This study offers a new chronology of river incision beginning with initial incision into the Highland Rim after ~3.5 Ma; development of the Parker strath between ~3.5 and ~2 Ma; incision of the Parker strath at ~2 Ma; development of a major terrace beneath the Parker strath between ~2 and ~1.5 Ma; incision into this terrace at ~1.3 Ma; and the development of several discontinuous terraces above the modern flood plain between ~1.3 Ma and the present.
Large caves on tributaries of the Upper Cumberland River record a headward wave of incision in the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The passage of a knickpoint in the system is modeled as a perturbation to steady-state incision according to the stream power law, which is tested against the abandonment dates in seven caves. Model results for m/n = 0.68 are within previously published theoretical and empirical values of 0.5 to 1.0, but suggest that values for the drainage-area exponent m are several times higher
than previous studies. This may be caused by a stronger variance of discharge to drainage area in fluviokarst reaches compared with non-karst watersheds. Knickpoint migration rates in limestone bedrock channels of fluviokarst tributaries to the Cumberland River are calculated between 10-18 cm/year during the Plio-Pleistocene, with m = 1.91 and m/n = 0.79.

Etude des palokarsts des environs de Saint-Remze (Ardche, France) : mise en vidence dune rivire souterraine fossilise durant la crise de salinit messinienne, 2005, Martini, Jacques
Paleokarst investigation near Saint-Remze, Ardche, France discovery of an underground river fossilized during the Messinian salinity crisis - The paleokarst features studied in this paper are hosted in Lower Cretaceous limestone and generally appear as filled caves, subsequently de-roofed by denudation. The most important of them forms a sequence of segments developed at a relatively constant elevation of 360-380 m above sea level and can be traced over a length of 5.2 km. The ancient cave passages generally appear as soil covered bands, 5 to 20 m in width and limited on both sides by limestone outcrops. At surface the nature of the cave filling is revealed mainly by scattered blocks: calcite from speleothems and calcified clay, silt, sand and breccia. In the best preserved places, the earth band lies in a trench, where the walls may display a cave morphology and where the filling is often exposed in a undisturbed state. Three types of detrital cave filling have been identified, which in stratigraphical order are as follows: 1) Beige-grey silt, sand and microconglomerate of immature alluvials, with elements of Paleozoic granites and metamorphic rocks, and Upper Miocene volcanics, both originating from the Cvennes Mountains 30 km to the NW. The lithological composition is comparable to the recent alluvials of the Paleokarst investigation near Saint-Remze, Ardche, France discovery of an underground river fossilized during the Messinian salinity crisisArdche River, which is flowing a few kilometers to the SW and is deeply entrenched into a canyon at elevations of 40 to 80 m. The karst context, combined with the biostratigraphical data obtained from rodent molars in the alluvials, suggests an Uppermost Miocene age, comprised between ~5.8 and ~5.45 Ma. 2) Red mature alluvials and colluvials originating from local reworking of surficial karst residuals. At one spot they gave a paleontological age of 3.6 to 3.0 Ma, but from the local karst context one may expect ages from final Miocene to Pleistocene in other spots. 3) Monogenic breccia generated from wall gelifraction, which is Pleistocene after rodent molars found in two places. The paleocave is visualised as formed by an underground stream fed from swallow-holes on the bank of the Ardche River, when it was flowing more than 300 m higher than its actual bed. With regard to its relatively constant elevation and a discordant relationship with the country rock bedding, it is interpreted as a vadose cave controlled by a paleo-water-table. The other fillings (2 and 3) were deposited during subsequent vadose speleogenesis and after considerable water-table lowering. The elevation of this fossilised underground river coincides fairly well with the pre-salinity crisis abandonment surface (5.52 Ma), which is evidenced in the area by high perched gravel relics. The end of the speleogenesis could have taken place just before this event (~5.6 Ma) or at an age not younger than ~5.45 Ma. In the latter possibility, speleogenesis had to be working before the regressive erosion generated by the drastic lowering of the Mediterranean Sea [5.52 to 5.33 Ma, Clauzon et al, 2005 ] reached the area and de-watered the deep karst aquifer. This fossil underground river provides also information about the morphological evolution of the area. For instance the nature of the immature alluvials suggests that the torrential regime of the Ardche was about the same than today. It also indicates that the important and famous cave systems in the area (Grotte de Saint-Marcel, Aven dOrgnac, Systme de Foussoubie, Grotte Chauvet), which are developed at lower elevations, cannot be older than ~5.6 Ma and most likely formed mainly during the Plio-Pleistocene, although most of them have been initiated during the salinity crisis.

Early late Pliocene paleokarstic fillings predating the major Plio-Pleistocene erosion of the Quercy table, SW-France, 2007, Aguilar J. P. , Michaux J. , Pé, Lissié, T. , Sigé, B.

This evolution consists, first in the elaboration of the underground net systems, then in a long polyphased process of filling – emptying the karstic voids, according to the up and down base level changes that occurred almost continuously during the first half of the Tertiary era. The filling sediments are mostly vadose clay deposits, the various ages of which being established from the study of their fossil vertebrate contents (for latest accounts see Pélissié & Sigé 2006). Then, since latest Oligocene times, the Quercy platform was covered with prograding lacustrine sediments of the Aquitaine Basin. Finally, the whole structure was strongly worn down by the so- called Plio-Pleistocene erosional phase: the previously deep underground system became closer to the surface, and was exposed both to erosion and widening, but also Plio-Pleistocene fillings occurred as shown by the fossils they include (Crochet et al. 2006). Among the latter are rare Late Pliocene and Plio-Pleistocene tooth specimens.

Multilevel Caves and Landscape Evolution, 2012, Anthony, Darlene M.

Multilevel caves are formed by periods of water table stability punctuated by changes in the position of the water table. These cave systems are hydrologically linked to regional rivers and can be used to date episodes of river stability and incision. The measurement of cosmogenic radioisotopes in cave sediments yields a burial age for the sediment, which in turn equates to the time of passage abandonment due to water-table lowering. Karst geomorphologists and others are using burial dates from multilevel caves to calculate Plio-Pleistocene rates of river incision, tectonic uplift, and erosion in various parts of the world.

Drowned Karst Landscape Offshore the Apulian Margin (Southern Adriatic Sea, Italy), 2012, Taviani M. , Angeletti L. , Campiani E. , Ceregato A. , Foglini F. , Maselli V. , Morsilli M. , Parise M. , Trincardi F.

The south Adriatic shelf offshore of the predominently carbonate Apulian coast is characterized by a peculiar rough topography interpreted as relic karst formed at a time of lower sea level. The study area covers a surface of about 220 km2, with depths ranging from 50 to 105 m. The most relevant and diagnostic features are circular depressions a few tens to 150 m in diameter and 0.50 to 20 m deep thought to be dolines at various stages of evolution. The major doline, Oyster Pit, has its top at about 50 m water depth and is 20 m deep. It is partly filled with sediments redeposited by episodic mass failure from the doline’s flank. Bedrock samples from the study area document that Plio-Pleistocene calcarenites, tentatively correlated with the Calcarenite di Gravina Fm, are a prime candidate for the carbonate rocks involved in the karstification, although the presence of other units, such as the Peschici or Maiolica Fms, is not excluded. The area containing this subaerial karst landscape was submerged about 12,500 years ago as a result of the postglacial transgression over the continental shelf.

The geomorphological map of the Castel de Britti area (Northern Apennines, Italy): an example of how teaching geomorphological mapping in a traditional and practical way, 2012, De Waele Jo, Anfossi Giulia, Campo Bruno, Cavalieri Francesco, Chiarini Veronica, Emanuelli Valeria, Grechi Umberto, Nanni Paolo, Savorelli Flavio

Teaching how to map the geomorphology of an area cannot be done in a satisfying manner in a lecture room only, but requires practical exercises both in the laboratory and in the field. A preliminary study of the existing geological maps, of the geomorphological legends and symbols used in Italy and of the landslide inventory has preceded a detailed four days long field mapping campaign carried out by students in the framework of their Msc. Course on “Geomorphological Mapping” at Bologna University. The Geomorphological Map in scale 1:5,000 produced by some of these students is presented in this paper.

The study area is located in the northern Apennines, a few kilometres East of Bologna, along the Idice Valley (N-Italy). Lithologies are mainly composed of clayey and marly sequences ranging in age from Cretaceous to Plio-Pleistocene, sands and sandstones of Pleistocene age, and Messinian gypsum, these last being the most resistant rocks.

Besides the greater scale used in this map, allowing for a more detailed representation of the mapped features, this map also shows the recent evolution of the landslides in this actively mass wasting area.

Hidden sinkholes and karst cavities in the travertine plateau of a highly-populated geothermal seismic territory (Tivoli, central Italy), 2015,

Sinkholes and other karst structures in settled carbonate lands can be a significant source of hazard for humans and human works. Acque Albule, the study area of this work, is a Plio-Pleistocene basin near Rome, central Italy, superficially filled by a large and thick deposit of late Pleistocene thermogene travertine. Human activities blanket large portions of the flat territory covering most evidence from geological surface processes and potentially inducing scientists and public officials to underestimate some natural hazards including those connected with sinkholes. To contribute to the proper assessment of these hazards, a geomorphologic study of the basin was performed using digital elevation models (DEMs), recent aerial photographs, and field surveys. Historical material such as old aerial photographs and past geomorphologic studies both pre-dating the most part of quarrying and village building was also used together with memories of the elderly population. This preliminary study pointed out the presence of numerous potentially active sinkholes that are at present largely masked by either quarrying or overbuilding. Where this first study pointed out the apparent absence of sinkholes in areas characterized by high density of buildings, a detailed subsurface study was performed using properly-calibrated electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) and dynamic penetration measurements (DPSH), together with some borehole logs made available from the local municipality. This second study highlighted the presence of sinkholes and caves that are, this time, substantially hidden to the resolution of standard methods and materials such as aerial photographs, DEMs, and field surveys. Active sinkhole subsidence in the Acque Albule Basin may explain, at least in part, the frequent damages that affect numerous buildings in the area. The main conclusion from this study is that the mitigation of sinkhole hazard in highly populated areas has to pass through a thorough search of (hidden) sinkholes that can be masked by the Anthropocenic molding and blanketing of the territory. For these purposes, data from historical (pre-Anthropocene) documents as well as, where possible, subsurface investigations are fundamental.

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