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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 carbonate-hydroxylapatite is a cave mineral - ca5(po4,co3)3(oh) [11].?

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

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Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 sedimentary rocks (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 24
Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, , Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.


Atlas of Sedimentary Rocks under the Microscope, 1984, Adams A. E. , Mackenzie W. S. , Guilford N

Two generations of karst-fill sedimentary rocks within Chuniespoort Group dolomites south of Pretoria, 1987, Wilkins C. B. , Eriksson P. G. , Van Schalkwyk A. ,

A major palaeokarst erosion surface is developed within the middle Proterozoic Elu Basin, northwestern Canada. This palaeokarst is named the sub-Kanuyak unconformity and truncates the Parry Bay Formation, a sequence of shallow-marine dolostones that were deposited within a north-facing carbonate platform under a semi-arid climate. The sub-Kanuyak unconformity exhibits up to 90 m of local relief, and also formed under semi-arid conditions when Parry Bay dolostones were subaerially exposed during a relative sea-level drop of about 180 m. Caves and various karren developed within the meteoric vadose and phreatic zones. Their geometry, size and orientation were largely controlled by northwest- and northeast-trending antecedent joints, bedding, and lithology. Near-surface caves later collapsed forming valleys, and intervening towers or walls, and plains. Minor terra rossa formed on top of highs. Karstification was most pronounced in southern parts of Bathurst Inlet but decreased northward, probably reflecting varying lengths of exposure time along a north-dipping slope. The Kanuyak Formation is up to 65 m thick, and partially covers the underlying palaeokarst. It consists of six lithofacies: (i) breccia formed during collapse of caves, as reworked collapse breccia and regolith; (ii) conglomerate representing gravel-dominated braided-fluvial deposits; (iii) sandstone deposited as braided-fluvial and storm-dominated lacustrine deposits; (iv) interbedded sandstone, siltstone and mudstone of sheet flood origin; (v) dolostones formed from dolocretes and quiet-water lacustrine deposits; and (vi) red-beds representing intertidal-marine mudflat deposits. Rivers flowed toward the northwest and northeast within karst valleys and caves; lakes were also situated within valleys; marine mudflat sediments completely cover the palaeokarst to the north. A regional correlation of the sub-Kanuyak unconformity with the intra-Greenhorn Lakes disconformity within the Coppermine homocline suggests that similar styles of karstification occurred over an extensive region. The Elu Basin palaeokarst, however, was developed more landward, and was exposed for a longer period of time than the Coppermine homocline palaeokarst

A statewide survey by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Social Services with U.S.E.P.A. assistance reported an anomalously high percentage of homes in Door County with radon concentrations in excess of 20 pCi/L. The results were of interest because the county is underlain by marine sedimentary rocks rather than the igneous and metamorphic crystalline types usually associated with elevated radon concentrations. A voluntary population of 55 homes was tested for radon using activated charcoal canisters. This population was also asked to provide questionnaire response data on family, home, and socioeconomic aspects. The data were separated into socioeconomic, energy efficiency, radon access, and karst level categories and statistically analyzed. A subpopulation was selected from the larger population for detailed site investigation, which included additional in-home air testing and, at some sites, water supply analysis and in-ground testing for radon. The field investigations collected information on the geology, soil, topography, and home construction and use. The results of the investigation verified and characterized the radon occurrences iu Door County. The presence or absence of karst features is shown to be statistically significant to radon levels

Karst Geomorphology and Hydrogeology of the Northeastern Mackenzie Mountains, District of Mackenzie, N.W.T., PhD Thesis, 1995, Hamilton, James P.

This thesis describes the geomorphology and hydrogeology of karst systems in portions of the northeastern Canyon Ranges of the Mackenzie Mountains and the Norman Range of the Franklin Mountains. N.W.T. In the region, mean annual temperatures are -6 to -8°C, total annual precipitation is 325 to 500 mm, and permafrost has a widespread to continuous distribution. The area was glaciated in the Late Wisconsinan by the Laurentide Ice Sheet.
The Canyon Ranges and Norman Range are composed of a sequence of faulted and folded miogeoclinal sedimentary rocks that span the Proterozoic to Eocene. The geology is reviewed with an emphasis on strata that display karst. Included are several dolomite and limestone formations, two of which are interbedded with evaporites in the subsurface. The principal groundwater aquifer is the Lower Devonian Bear Rock Formation. In subcrop, the Bear Rock Formation is dolomite and anhydrite, outcrops are massive calcareous solution breccias. This is the primary karst rock.
The regional distribution and range of karst landforms and drainage systems are described. Detailed mapping is presented from four field sites. These data were collected from aerial photography and ground surveys. The karst has examples of pavement, single and compound dolines, subsidence troughs, polje, sinking streams and lakes. and spring deposits. The main types of depressions are subsidence and collapse dolines. Doline density is highest on the Bear Rock Formation. Surficial karst is absent of less frequent in the zone of continuous permafrost or outside the glacial limit.
At the field sites, water samples were collected at recharge and discharge locations. Samples were analyzed for a full range of ionic constituents and many for natural isotopes. In addition, several springs were monitored continuously for discharge, temperature, and conductivity. Dye tracing established linkages between recharge and discharge at some sites. These data are summarized for each site, as is the role of permafrost in site hydrology.
The relationships between geological structure, topography, ,and groundwater systems are described. Conduit aquifers are present in both dolomite and limestone. These systems are characterized by discharge waters of low hardness and dissolved ion content. Aquifers in the Bear Rock Formation have a fixed flow regime and often have highly mineralized discharge. At the principal field site. there was a time lag of 40 to 60 days between infiltration and discharge in this unit. At a second site, flow through times were on the order of years. Variability in these systems is attributed to bedrock properties and boundary conditions.
Preliminary rates of denudation are calculated from the available hydrochemical data. Total solutional denudation at the primary field site is approximately 45 m³ kmˉ² aˉ¹ (mm kaˉ¹). The majority is attributed to the subsurface dissolution of halite and anhydrite. The predominance of subsurface dissolution is linked to the high frequency of collapse and subsidence dolines and depressions.
The karst features and drainage systems of the northern Mackenzie Mountains date to the Tertiary. Glaciation has had a stimulative effect on karst development through the subglacial degradation of permafrost and the altering of boundary conditions by canyon incision.

Fault and stratigraphic controls on volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits in the Strelley Belt, Pilbara Craton, Western Australia, 1998, Vearncombe S. , Vearncombe J. R. , Barley M. E. ,
Early Archaean, Fe-Zn-Cu volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits of the Strelley Belt, Pilbara Craton. occur at the top of a volcanic dominated sequence, at the interface of felsic volcanic rucks and siliceous laminites, beneath an unconformity overlain by elastic sedimentary rocks. The structure of the Sulphur Springs and Kangaroo Caves VMS deposits is relatively simple, with the present morphology reflecting original deposition rather than significant structural modification. The rocks have been tilted giving an oblique cross-sectional view of discordant high-angle, deep penetrating faults in the footwall, which splay close to the zones of voltcanogenic massive sulphide mineralization. Faults do not extend far into the overlying sedimentary cover, indicating their syn-volcanic and syn-mineralization timing. Both the Sulphur Springs and Kangaroo Caves sulphide deposits are located within elevated grabens in a setting similar to massive sulphide mineralization in modern back-are environments. Mineralization at Sulphur Springs and Kangaroo Caves is located at the edge of the grabens, at the site of intersecting syn-volcanic extensional faults.

Growth and demise of an Archean carbonate platform, Steep Rock Lake, Ontario, Canada, 1999, Kusky T. P. , Hudleston P. J. ,
The Steep Rock Group of northwest Ontario's Wabigoon subprovince is one of the world's thickest Archean carbonate platform successions. It was deposited unconformably over a 3001-2928 Ma gneissic terrane, and contains a remarkable group of biogenic and oolitic limestones, dolostones, micrites, and karat breccias capped by a thick paleosol developed between and over karst towers. The presence of aragonite fans, herringbone calcite, and rare gypsum molds suggests that the carbonate platform experienced at least local anaerobic and hypersaline depositional conditions. This sequence shows that a combination of chemical and biological processes was able to build a carbonate platform 500 m thick by 3 billion years ago. The carbonate platform is structurally overlain by a mixture of complexly deformed rocks of the Dismal Ashrock forming a melange with blocks of ultramafic volcaniclastic rocks, mafic volcanics, carbonate, tonalite, lenses of Fe-ore rock, and metasedimentary rocks, in a shaly, serpentinitic, and fragmental ultramafic volcaniclastic matrix. The melange shows evidence of polyphase deformation, with early high-strain fabrics formed at amphibolite facies, and later superimposed brittle fabrics related to the final emplacement of the melange over the carbonate platform. An amphibolite- through greenschist-grade shear zone marks the upper contact of the melange with overlying mafic volcanic and tuffaceous rocks of the ca. 2932 Ma Witch Bay allochthon, interpreted as a primitive island are sequence. We suggest an evolutionary model for the area that begins with rifting of an are sequence (Marmion Complex of the Wabigoon are) that initiated subsidence and sedimentation on the Steep Rock platform and its correlatives that extend for a restored strike length exceeding 1000 km. Shallow water carbonate sedimentation continued until the platform was uplifted on the flanks of a flexural bulge related to the approach of the Witch Bay allochthon, representing collision of the rifted are margin of the Wabigoon subprovince with the Witch Bay are. Melange of the Dismal Ashrock was formed as off-axis volcanic rocks were accreted to the base of the Witch Bay allochthon prior to its collision with the Steep Rock platform

Palaeokarst systems in the Neoproterozoic of eastern North Greenland in relation to extensional tectonics on the Laurentian margin, 1999, Smith M. P. , Soper N. J. , Higgins A. K. , Rasmussen J. A. , Craig L. E. ,
Palaeokarst, in the form of large, uncollapsed cave systems, is described from the Proterozoic of Kronprins Christian Land, eastern North Greenland. The endokarst, of entirely meteoric origin, is developed in dolostones of the Fyns So Formation (Hagen Fjord Group, Riphean). At one locality, Hjornegletscher, shallow, sub-horizontal phreatic conduits are present below an unconformity surface and are infilled by the overlying Ediacaran Kap Holbaek Formation. In Saefaxi Elv, the unconformity is overlain by the Wandel Valley Formation, an Early Ordovician carbonate sequence that is widely transgressive over northeastern Greenland. Vertical vadose fissures extend down towards the phreas, but the cave systems are again filled by Kap Holbaek Formation sediments. At Hjornegletscher, channels up to 40 m wide incise the phreatic system, pointing to relative base-lever lowering before, or during, deposition of the Kap Holbaek Formation. Recognition of a depositional hiatus between the Fyns So and Kap Holbaek formations, in what was previously thought to be a continuous Vendian Hagen Fjord sequence, has implications for regional correlation and tectonics. The unconformity could represent most of Vendian time, accounting for the absence, in this area, of glaciogenic sedimentary rocks in the Hagen Fjord Group. This permits correlation of the Fyns So Formation with other end-Riphean transgressive carbonate sequences developed in East Greenland, Svalbard and perhaps Scotland, that represent the culmination of a major pre-Iapetan rift-sag cycle. Secondly, recognition of the scale of the sub-Wandel Valley unconformity points to regional uplift and tilting of northeastern Greenland in mid-Cambrian to earliest Ordovician time. This must represent a phase of renewed extension of the Iapetus passive margin that is unique to this corner of Laurentia, not terrane collision as previously suggested

The Shaimerden Supergene Zinc Deposit, Kazakhstan: A Preliminary Examination, 2003, Boland Mb, Kelly Jg, Schaffalitzky C,
The Shaimerden supergene zinc deposit in the southern Urals Mountains is located in the province of Kostanai in northwest Kazakhstan. It lies at the southern end of the Kostanai megasyncline, a north-northeast-trending, structurally controlled area of lower Paleozoic clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks and volcanic rocks. A zinc-lead resource estimated at 4,645,100 tonnes at 21.06 percent Zn has been defined. The deposit is hosted within a sequence of intertidal to open-marine carbonates and evaporites of Visean (Early Carboniferous) age. Although drilling to date has not intersected a fault, significant faulting in the area is suggested by the presence of polymict debris flows comprising a wide range of carbonate facies and by large variations in micropaleontologic dates. Sulfide deposits replaced hydrothermally dolomitized carbonates and were subsequently reworked into polymict conglomerates of probable Carboniferous age that were deposited in a marine environment. Weathering of the sulfide mineral deposits took place during the Triassic Period, following uplift during the late Paleozoic. The weathering occurred in situ, and small intervals of relict sulfides were preserved in the center of the deposit. The degree of weathering increases outward from the center of the deposit, which passes from massive sulfide to massive hemimorphite-smithsonite to weathered clays with hemimorphite-smithsonite fragments. The supergene minerals are overlain by bauxitic clays of Cretaceous age and Quaternary silty soils and sands

Origin and Significance of Postore Dissolution Collapse Breccias Cemented with Calcite and Barite at the Meikle Gold Deposit, Northern Carlin Trend, Nevada, 2003, Emsbo P, Hofstra Ah,
The final event in a complicated hydrothermal history at the Meikle gold deposit was gold deficient but caused extensive postore dissolution of carbonate, collapse brecciation, and precipitation of calcite and barite crystals in the resulting cavities. Although previously interpreted to be part of the Carlin-type hydrothermal system, crosscutting relationships and U-Th-Pb geochronology constrain this hydrothermal event to late Pliocene time (ca. 2 Ma), nearly 36 Ma after ore formation. Mineralogic, fluid inclusion, and stable isotope data indicate that postore hydrothermal fluids were reduced, H2S-rich, unevolved meteoric waters ({delta}18O = -17{per thousand}) of low temperature (ca. 65{degrees}C). The{delta} 18O values of barite and calcite indicate that these minerals were in isotopic equilibrium, requiring that barite SO4 was derived from the oxidation of reduced sulfur; however, preexisting sulfides in breccia cavities were not oxidized. The{delta} 34S (15{per thousand}) values of barite are higher than those of local bulk sulfide and supergene alunite indicating that SO4 was not derived from supergene oxidation of local sulfide minerals. The 15 per mil {delta}34S value suggests that the H2S in the fluids may have been leached from sulfur-rich organic matter in the local carbonaceous sedimentary rocks. A reduced H2S-rich fluid is also supported by the bright cathodoluminescence of calcite which indicates that it is Mn rich and Fe poor. Calcite has a narrow range of {delta}13C values (0.3-1.8{per thousand}) that are indistinguishable from those of the host Bootstrap limestone, indicating that CO2 in the fluid was from dissolution of the local limestone. These data suggest that dissolution and brecciation of the Bootstrap limestone occurred where H2S-rich fluids encountered more oxidizing fluids and formed sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Intense fracturing in the mine area by previous structural and hydrothermal events probably provided conduits for the descent of oxidized surface water which mixed with the underlying H2S-rich waters to form the dissolving acid. The surface-derived fluid apparently contained sufficient oxygen to produce H2SO4 from H2S but not enough to alter pyrite to Fe oxide. Although H2S is an important gold-transporting ligand, the temperature was too low to transport a significant amount of gold. The presence of analogous calcite- and barite-lined cavities in other Carlin-type deposits suggests that the generation (and oxidation) of H2S-rich meteoric waters was a common phenomenon in north-central Nevada. Previous sulfur isotope studies have also shown that the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks were the principal source of H2S in Devonian sedimentary exhalative-type, Jurassic intrusion-related, Eocene Carlin-type, and Miocene low-sulfidation gold deposits in the region. The similar sulfur source in all of these systems suggests that basin brines, magmatic fluids, and meteoric waters all evolved to be H2S-rich ore fluids by circulation through Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. Thus, although not directly related to gold mineralization, the recent hydrologic history of the deposit provides important clues to earlier ore-forming processes that were responsible for gold mineralization

Alligator Ridge District, East-Central Nevada: Carlin-Type Gold Mineralization at Shallow Depths, 2003, Nutt Constance J. , Hofstra Albert H. ,
Carlin-type deposits in the Alligator Ridge mining district are present sporadically for 40 km along the north-striking Mooney Basin fault system but are restricted to a 250-m interval of Devonian to Mississippian strata. Their age is bracketed between silicified ca. 45 Ma sedimentary rocks and unaltered 36.5 to 34 Ma volcanic rocks. The silicification is linked to the deposits by its continuity with ore-grade silicification in Devonian-Mississippian strata and by its similar{delta} 18O values (~17{per thousand}) and trace element signature (As, Sb, Tl, Hg). Eocene reconstruction indicates that the deposits formed at depths of <300 to 800 m. In comparison to most Carlin-type gold deposits, they have lower Au/Ag, Au grades, and contained Au, more abundant jasperoid, and textural evidence for deposition of an amorphous silica precursor in jasperoid. These differences most likely result from their shallow depth of formation. The peak fluid temperature (~230{degrees}C) and large{delta} 18OH2O value shift from the meteroric water line (~20{per thousand}) suggest that ore fluids were derived from depths of 8 km or more. A magnetotelluric survey indicates that the Mooney Basin fault system penetrates to mid-crustal depths. Deep circulation of meteoric water along the Mooney Basin fault system may have been in response to initial uplift of the East Humboldt-Ruby Mountains metamorphic core complex; convection also may have been promoted by increased heat flow associated with large magnitude extension in the core complex and regional magmatism. Ore fluids ascended along the fault system until they encountered impermeable Devonian and Mississippian shales, at which point they moved laterally through permeable strata in the Devonian Guilmette Formation, Devonian-Mississippian Pilot Shale, Mississippian Joana Limestone, and Mississippian Chainman Shale toward erosional windows where they ascended into Eocene fluvial conglomerates and lake sediments. Most gold precipitated by sulfidation of host-rock Fe and mixing with local ground water in zones of lateral fluid flow in reactive strata, such as the Lower Devonian-Mississippian Pilot Shale

Surface sediment characteristics and tower karst dissolution, Guilin, southern China, 2003, Tang Tao,
Dissolution of extensive outcrops of limestone and dolostone in humid tropical and subtropical southern China produced numerous caves and residual hills that are referred as tower karst. This study identifies and relates the physical and chemical characteristics of the surface sediment with the limestone bedrock in Guilin to assess the influence of the limestone dissolution process on sediment composition.The results of this study indicated that (i) both limestone and dolostone of the region are very pure (99.5% and 98.5% of CaCO3 and MgCO3, respectively); (ii) the material composition of limestone and dolostone is different from that of soil and sediment of the region: constituents of surface sediments are highly related with the clastic sedimentary rocks, such as the mudstone, but show negative correlation with limestone and dolostone; (iii) the limestone formations are highly resistant to physical weathering and disintegration; their durability versus physical weathering and their high susceptibility to chemical dissolution account for why residual towers can form and persist; (iv) a dual-zone environmental structure exists vertically downward from the surface in Guilin: the zone of unconsolidated clastic sediments that is predominantly acidic, and the zone of karstified limestone that is predominantly basic. The evidence suggests that the environment and processes differ in these two zones. The chemical dissolution of limestone that formed tower karst of the region is not mainly responsible for the accumulation of clastic sediment on the surface

Encyclopedia of Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks, 2003, Middleton G. V.

Heterogeneity in Fill and Properties of Karst-Modified Syndepositional Faults and Fractures: Upper Permian Capitan Platform, New Mexico, U.S.A, 2006, Kosa Eduard, Hunt David W. ,
This study examines the heterogeneity in properties of syndepositional faults and fractures found in the Upper Permian Capitan carbonate platform, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico. Syndepositional faults and fractures grew incrementally, and were repeatedly exploited by early karst as the platform developed. Primary fault and fracture rocks were preferentially dissolved to form structure-controlled paleocaverns, which were subsequently filled with platform-derived sediments. These are divided here into three groups: (i) carbonate-dominated, (ii) siliciclastic-dominated, and (iii) mixed carbonate-siliciclastic lithologies. The affinity of the paleocavern-filling deposits to platform strata permits linking of the different fill types to different stages of sea-level cycle. Consequently, periods of dissolution and deposition within paleocaverns can be tied to the platform's sequence stratigraphy. Paleocavern-filling sediments have a distinct vertical stratigraphy, and are observed to vary with distance from the platform margin over a distance of 2.6 km. Their distribution is thus to some extent predictable. Vertical and lateral variability in paleocavern fill is chiefly related to siliciclastic-filled karstic chimneys that narrow downwards and tend to become more frequent and laterally extensive upwards. This is because upper structural levels of fault and fracture zones were more frequently opened by early karst, and also because siliciclastics are not prone to dissolution, whereas carbonates are. Across platform, karst-modified faults and fractures located close to the platform margin are dominated by carbonate lithologies. The proportion and vertical penetration of siliciclastics increases with distance from platform margin. These patterns appear to reflect variations in the frequency and duration of subaerial exposure events across the basinward-inclined Capitan platform. The results of this study have implications for understanding properties of early faults and fractures in carbonate strata. Faults and fractures presented here are heterogeneous, and the heterogeneity is related principally to distribution of sedimentary rocks within paleocaverns developed along them. As a consequence, their properties are not related to dimensions or throw, as is the case for faults and fractures within siliciclastic rocks. Data and interpretations presented here have implications for Capitan hydrocarbon reservoirs, and can be applied to characterization of faults and fractures in other carbonate platforms subjected to early deformation

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