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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 nitromagnesite is a cave mineral - mg(no3)2.6h2o [11].?

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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 pores (Keyword) returned 47 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 47
Data on the Algal Flora of Kolyuk cave close to Manfa (Hungary)., 1965, Claus George
The Kolyuk cave lies in the southern part of Hungary in the Mecsek Mountains, about 3 km. in distance from the village of Mnfa. The material accepted for investigation originated from a recently discovered and until now completely entombed part of the cave. It was collected by the geologist Gbor Magyari and consisted of material scraped from the walls and ceiling of a cavity in the cave, which could be reached only by underwater swimming. From these scrapings cultures were installed with sterile Knopp solution and after the algae present in the collection reproduced, a diversified flora developed which consisted of the following: Cyanophyta; 20 species, varietates and formae; Bacillariophyta; 2 species and varietas; Chlorophyta; 7 species. There was a total of 29 different taxa. Since the cave from which the collections were made was completely devoid of light, it is especially significant that a well developed blue-green algal flora was found. We thus have further evidence for our previously advanced theory (Claus, 1955, 1962 a, 1962b) that some algae were present in the caves at the time of their origin. They were able to survive in an actively assimilating vegetative state and not only in the form of cysts or arthrospores.

Symposium on Hydrology - Tracing Swallet Waters using Lycopodium Spores, 1968, Atkinson T. C.

Yates and other Guadalupian (Kazanian) oil fields, U. S. Permian Basin, 1990, Craig Dh,
More than 150 oil and gas fields in west Texas and southeast New Mexico produce from dolomites of Late Permian (Guadalupian [Kazanian]) age. A majority of these fields are situated on platforms or shelves and produce from gentle anticlines or stratigraphic traps sealed beneath a thick sequence of Late Permian evaporites. Many of the productive anticlinal structures are elongate parallel to the strike of depositional facies, are asymmetrical normal to facies strike, and have flank dips of no more than 6{degrees}. They appear to be related primarily to differential compaction over and around bars of skeletal grainstone and packstone. Where the trapping is stratigraphic, it is due to the presence of tight mudstones and wackestones and to secondary cementation by anhydrite and gypsum. The larger of the fields produce from San Andres-Grayburg shelf and shelf margin dolomites. Cumulative production from these fields amounts to more than 12 billion bbl (1.9 x 109 m3) of oil, which is approximately two-thirds of the oil produced from Palaeozoic rocks in the Permian Basin. Eighteen of the fields have produced in the range from 100 million to 1.7 billion bbl (16-271 x 106 m3). Among these large fields is Yates which, since its discovery in October 1926, has produced almost 1.2 billion bbl (192 x 106 m3) out of an estimated original oil-in-place of 4 billion bbl (638 x 106 m3). Flow potentials of 5000 to 20 000 bbl (800 to 3200 m3) per day were not unusual for early Yates wells. The exceptional storage and flow characteristics of the Yates reservoir can be explained in terms of the combined effects of several geologic factors: (1) a vast system of well interconnected pores, including a network of fractures and small caves; (2) oil storage lithologies dominated by porous and permeable bioclastic dolograinstones and dolopackstones; (3) a thick, upper seal of anhydrite and compact dolomite; (4) virtual freedom from the anhydrite cements that occlude much porosity in other fields which are stratigraphic analogues of Yates; (5) unusual structural prominence, which favourably affected diagenetic development of the reservoir and made the field a focus for large volumes of migrating primary and secondary oil; (6) early reservoir pressures considerably above the minimum required to cause wells to flow to the surface, probably related to pressures in a tributary regional aquifer

ORIGIN AND MORPHOLOGY OF LIMESTONE CAVES, 1991, Palmer A. N. ,
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

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

ESTIMATION OF PREFERENTIAL MOVEMENT OF BROMIDE TRACER UNDER FIELD CONDITIONS, 1994, Jabro J. D. , Lotse E. G. , Fritton D. D. , Baker D. E. ,
Leaching of agricultural chemicals from the root and vadose zones into groundwater is an important environmental concern. To procure a better understanding of the movement and transport of agricultural chemicals through the soil profile, a field research study was conducted to estimate bromide leaching losses under saturated conditions where preferential flow is occurring. The field data were then used to evaluate the LEACHM model. Eighteen double-ring infiltrometers were used to apply a pulse (100 mm depth) of bromide tracer on two previously saturated soils located in a karst region of southeastern Pennsylvania. Internal drainage over the next seven days resulted in nearly 51 % of the applied Br- being leached to a depth below 0.80 m. The LEACHM model was used to simulate the amount of bromide leached in each infiltrometer. The model predicted, accurately, an average of 46% of the applied Br- leached below the 0.80 m depth. Mcan values of bromide concentration in the soil profile were predicted within two standard deviations of the measured mean for all depths except for the 0.20-0.40 m depth increment where the model overpredicted the bromide concentration. The model predictions of Br- leached were tested against field measurements using several statistical tests. The LEACHM model performed adequately under preferential flow conditions, perhaps because the infiltration rate at each site was used as a model input. This, actually, is some measure of the macropore flow process and suggests that simple models such as LEACHM can be used in the field, as long as a distribution of infiltration rates is used as an input

INFILTRATION MECHANISMS RELATED TO AGRICULTURAL WASTE TRANSPORT THROUGH THE SOIL MANTLE TO KARST AQUIFERS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA, USA, 1995, Iqbal M. Z. , Krothe N. C. ,
A hydrogeological study was conducted, during the 1991-1992 water year, in the clay-soil mantled portion of a limestone terrain in southern Indiana. The purpose of the study was to investigate the modes of soil-water infiltration contributing to rapid transport of nitrate to the saturated zone. The I-year-cycle profiles of nitrate concentration vs. time show a consistent increase of nitrate at various depths in the unsaturated zone during the period of investigation. The increase of nitrate in soil water is attributed to the rapid flushing of the inorganic fertilizers from the fields after the area received sufficient rainfall in late fall. The investigation also showed a major movement of nitrate in quick pulses through the unsaturated zone, rather than a slow uniform recharge, immediately after a major storm event. The asymmetric profiles of nitrate concentration vs. depth point to the existence of preferential flow through macropores in the clay-soil mantle above the bedrock. Soil-water transport between storm events is by matrix type flow. Nitrogen isotopes were analyzed for representative groundwater samples collected before and immediately after fertilization of fields in the summer, 1991. The delta(15)N values of the samples did not show any major shift in nitrate sources between the sampling periods. The summer of 1991 was extremely dry prohibiting vertical transport of nitrate from the fields to the groundwater system. Any change in nitrate concentration in groundwater during this time is attributed to the mixing through lateral flow within the aquifer

Lecania pusilla, a new bryophilous lichen from the Trieste Karst, 1996, Tretiach M. ,
Lecania pusilla Tretiach sp. nov. is described from the Trieste Karst, where it was collected twice on epilithic mosses in protected overhangs. The new species is characterized by simple or uniseptate spores, pruinose apothecia, and Bacidia-type asci; it has a reduced, granular thallus with no lichen substances. (C) 1996 The British Lichen Society

Hydrochemographs of Berghan Karst Spring as Indicators of Aquifer Characteristics, 1997, Raeisi, E. , Karami, G.
Berghan Spring is located in the southern part of Iran, northwest of Shiraz. The catchment area of the spring consists of the southern flank of the Gar Anticline, which is made up of the karstic calcareous Sarvak Formation. There are no sinkholes or other karst landforms in the catchment area. Because of the existence of several faults, the aquifer has been brecciated and may have caused karstification to occur in most of the pores and fissures. The specific conductance, pH and water temperature were measured once every twenty days for a period of 32 months and water samples were analyzed for major anions and cations. Flow rate was measured daily during the recession, and once every three weeks during the rest of the study period. Using the WATEQF computer model, the partial pressure of carbon dioxide and the saturation index of calcite and dolomite also were estimated. Three distinct periods, the first recession, the second recession, and precipitation, were observed in the hydrograph of Berghan Spring. No considerable differences were observed between the first and second recession coefficients. Base flow constitutes 71.5%, 100% and 66.2% of total flow in the first recession period, the second recession period and the precipitation period, respectively. The variation of specific conductance, calcium and bicarbonate concentrations and calcite saturation indices are not significant during the study period, implying that aquifer characteristics control the chemical behavior of the spring. The morphology and geology of the Berghan Spring catchment area, and data from hydrographs and chemographs, show that the hydrologic system is dominantly diffuse flow. Evidence for this is shown by autogenic recharge, a brecciated aquifer, and small values and slight differences in hydrograph recession coefficients. In addition, specific conductance, calcium and bicarbonate concentrations, and water temperature did not show significant variations during the study period suggesting a diffuse flow aquifer.

Ground-water silicifications in the calcareous facies of the Tertiary piedmont deposits of the Atlas Mountain (Hamada du Guir, Morocco), 1997, Thiry M. , Benbrahim M. ,
The Tertiary piedmont deposits (Hamada Formations), on the southern edge of the Haut-Atlas mountains, form extensive tablelands in the Boudenib area. They consist of two main sedimentary sequences, the Hamada de Boudenib and the Hamada du Guir, of Eocene and Miocene age. Both sequences show elastic facies at their base (conglomerates, calcareous sandstones, silty clays) and end with thick lacustrine limestones and pedogenic calcretes are characterised by rather confined facies, palygorskite-rich, with some gypsum in the second sequence. The recent evolution of the region is marked by the dissection of the tableland that is lined with high cliffs. The water flaw is mainly through wide karst features as there is no major river on the tableland. Silicifications which affect the different facies, form pods of various shape and size, and show an erratic spatial distribution. In the calcareous sandstones, there are irregularly shaped tubules of about 5 cm in diameter, more planar bodies from 5 to 50 cm thick, which frequently display voids lined with translucent silica concretions. The conglomerates display relatively few silicifications, the more characteristic ones consist of a silica cortex on some Limestone pebble and silica plates fitting closely the base of the pebbles. The lacustrine limestones and the calcretes from the upper part of the formation show frequently well developed silicifications. These show very variable shapes; horizontally stretching layers, interconnected or isolated amoeba-like bodies, thin slabs, karst micro-breccia, with frequent concretionnary structures, and quartz crystallisations. Limestone nodules remain often included in these silicifications. The more argillaceous facies display either small tubules or thin plates formed of translucent concretionnary silica. As a rule, the importance of the voids and related structures (concretions, drusy crystals) has to be noticed in all these silicifications, sometimes they are also linked with fractures or karst pipes. Petrography of the silica minerals, their relation with the primary structures. their distribution and their succession, give invaluable information on the silicification processes. Microcrystalline and fibrous quartz are the most common silica minerals, including minor amounts of opal and euhedral quartz. But micrographic arrangements show clearly that primary opal deposits have been more extensive and have recrystallized into chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, or even ''flame-like'' quartz. Silica deposits in voids make up an important part of the silica pods. The tubules and thin plates of translucent silica of the argillaceous facies are formed of laminar chalcedony deposited around voids. Silica deposits in voids are also particularly obvious in the sandstones. The pores between the quartz grains are then cemented by fibrous quartz and little opal. Some samples show very large cemented voids that cannot be related to the primary porosity of the sandstone. These large voids correspond to the dissolution of the primary calcareous cement, which even led to the collapse of the sandstone fabric. In the limestones, there are silicified micro-karst breccia with a very high primary porosity cemented by quartz crystals, and even in the large microcrystalline quartz zones there are numerous void fillings, the primary porosity often exceeding 50%. There is obviously the alternation of silica deposits and calcite dissolution. Beside the void filling, silicifications comprise also matrix epigenesis, that is replacement of the carbonate by silica with preservation of most of the limestone structures, without development of voids. Nevertheless, the epigenesis of the limestone matrix is restricted to the vicinity of the voids. The silicifications relate to diagenetic processes. The main part of the silica is formed of void deposits and matrix replacement (epigenesis) on the edge of the voids. These void deposits give evidence of the feeding solutions. The regularity of the deposits all around the voids point out to a hydrologic regime characterised by a ground-water our now. Silica originates most probably from alteration of the magnesian clay minerals along the ground-water path. Regarding the low solubility of silica in surficial waters, high flows are needed in order to renew continuously the silica precipitated from solution. This points to a relatively humid climate at time of silicification, and to relief and incised landscapes to bring about these high flows

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998, Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Symposium Abstract: Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction through a study of spores and organic acids in speleothems, 1999, Mcgarry S.

Paleokarsts in late Precambrian and Ordovician carbonates, Kalpin-Shaya uplift zone, Tarim basin, China, 1999, Cao Hs, Yang Jd, Wang Dn,
The reservoir properties in the Kalpin-Shaya uplift zone, Tarim basin, are a common concern with regards to petroleum exploration and reservoir evaluation alike. Dissolution and paleokarst have a positive impact on the porosity as well as the storage capacity of carbonate reservoirs because the secondary porosity related to dissolution and paleokarst serves as excellent traps for migrating hydrocarbons. In order to evaluate the reservoir characteristics reasonably in the late Precambrian and Ordovician carbonate rocks, the secondary porosity, which was produced by dissolution and paleokarstification in late diagenetic stage. should be studied because the primary pores were mostly destroyed during the early-middle diagenesis due to serious compaction and multi-cementation. Carbonate rocks ate among the most important collectors of oil and gas accumulations in the world Important oil and gas reservoirs in paleokarst-containing carbonate rocks are known worldwide because micropores and megapores, such as solution openings, solution fissures, funnels, sinkholes. and caves, serve as the fundamentally important secondary porosity in those rocks. Several wells revealed that the Kalpin-Shaya region is a prospective target for oil and gas exploration. The reservoir carbonates of the Kalpin-Shaya uplift zone in the northern Tarim include dolomites and limestones. The best dolomite reservoirs are in the late Precambrian Qigebulake Formation (Z(2)(2)), the lower Qiulitage Group (is an element of(2-3)), the upper Qiulitage Group (O-1(1)), smd the Xiaoerbulake Formation (is an element of(1)), whereas limestone reservoirs are in the middle-upper formations of the upper Qiulitage Group (O-1(2-3)). On the basis of the study of petrology, paleontology, and stratigraphy from field work and well core data, the pore spaces within the Precambrian and Ordovician carbonate reservoirs are studied with the aim of proving that all secondary pores are controlled by dissolution and paleokarst

Role of cave information in environmental site characterization,, 1999, Jancin M.
For consultants concerned with developing site-specific conceptual models for flow and transport in karst, cave information can be worth accessingAt the scale of the basin, caves often display patterns that correlate with both the flow and recharge characteristics of their aquifersCharacterization of overall basin hydrology bolsters predictions and monitoring recommendations which address the siteAlthough the presence of caves beneath or near sites is rare, site-based information such as water-table maps (under both natural and pumping conditions), well water-level fluctuations, well turbidity observations, borehole-void yields during drilling, and dye-trace results, are potentially useful in defining conduit-flow boundaries to diffuse-flow blocksThe appropriate choice of dye-tracer methods should acknowledge whether most site conduits (or borehole voids, or even caves) are within the epikarst, the vadose zone, the phreatic zone, or the oscillation zoneFor inferences on site flow directions, it is useful to compare the directional frequencies of cave passages and joints, faults, and photolinears in the areaThere is evidence that where caves are well developed, there tends to be a low correlation between photolinear locations and relatively high well yieldsLNAPL migration will be retarded where main conduits are well beneath the water table, but an extensive overlying system of saturated epikarstic pores serve as trapsKarst with high seasonal or storm variations in water level will tend to repeatedly remobilize LNAPLsGiven sufficient volume, DNAPLs can penetrate vertically integrated networks of pores, fractures, or solution conduits to great depthHowever, where such pathway networks are lie above relatively tight lithologies at shallow depth, and are not sediment filled, lateral movement can greatly exceed vertical movementCharacterization of the 3-D nature of pores and pathways is an important element in understanding the migration of free product, and therefore in understanding the evolution of associated aqueous plumes

Controls on trace element (Sr-Mg) compositions of carbonate cave waters: implications for speleothem climatic records, 2000, Fairchild Ij, Borsato A, Tooth Af, Frisia S, Hawkesworth Cj, Huang Ym, Mcdermott F, Spiro B,
At two caves (Clamouse, S France and Ernesto, NE Italy), cave drip and pool waters were collected and sampled at intervals over a 2-3 year period. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca concentration ratios, corrected for marine aerosols, are compared with those of bedrocks and, in some cases, aqueous leachates of soils and weathered bedrocks. Cave waters do not lie along mixing lines between calcite and dolomite of bedrock carbonate, but typically show enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. Four factors are considered as controlling processes. (1) The much faster dissolution rate of calcite than dolomite allows for the possibility of increase of Mg/Ca if water-rock contact times are increased during drier conditions. A theoretical model is shown to be comparable to experimental leachates. (2) Prior calcite precipitation along a flow path is a powerful mechanism for generating enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios. This mechanism requires the solution to lose CO, into pores or caverns. (3) Incongruent dolomite dissolution has only limited potential and is best regarded as two separate processes of dolomite dissolution and calcite precipitation. (4) selective leaching of Mg and Sr with respect to Ca is shown to be important in leachates from Ernesto where it appears to be a phenomenon of calcite dissolution. In general selective leaching can occur whenever Ca is sequestered into precipitates due to freezing or drying of soils, or if there is derivation of excess Sr and Mg from non-carbonate species. The Ernesto cave has abundant water supply which in the main chamber is derived from a reservoir with year-round constant P-CO2 of around 10(-2.4) and no evidence of calcite precipitation in the karst above the cave. Two distinct, bur overlying trends of enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca away from the locus of bedrock compositions are due to calcite precipitation within the cave and, at a variable drip site, due to enhanced selective leaching at slow drip rates. Mg-enhancement in the first chamber is due to a more dolomitic bedrock and longer residence times. The Clamouse site has a less abundant water supply and presents geochemical evidence of prior calcite precipitation. both in the cave and in overlying porous dolomite/dedolomitized limestone bedrock. Initial P-CO2 values as high as 10(-1) are inferred. Experimental incubations of Clamouse soils which generated enhanced P-CO2 and precipitated CaCO3 had compositions similar to the karst waters. Calcite precipitation is inferred to he enhanced in drier conditions. Hydrological controls on cave water chemistry imply that the trace element chemistry of speleothems may be interpretable in palaeohydrological terms. Drier conditions tends to promote not only longer mean residence times (enhancing dolomite dissolution and hence Mg/Ca), but also enhances degassing and calcite precipitation leading to increased Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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