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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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. ...

Did you know?

That cavernous rock is any rock that has many cavities, cells, or large interstices (e.g., a cliff face pitted with shallow holes resulting from cavernous weathering).?

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

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What is Karstbase?



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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 shale (Keyword) returned 78 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 78
Joints, Shale Bands and Cave Formation: A Special Case [Somerset], 1954,
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Stanton W. I.

Breccia and Pennsylvanian cave filling in Mississippian Saint Louis Limestone, Putnam County, Indiana, 1961,
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Smith Ned Myron, Sunderman Jack Allen, Melhorn Wilton Newton,
A limestone breccia and several bodies of shale and sandstone in Mississippian St. Louis limestone were discovered in a quarry opened during the summer of 1959 in the SE1/4NW1/4 sec. 15, T.15N., R.4W., Putnam County. A small mass of sandy limestone conglomerate overlay part of the breccia. Nearly all these bodies have been removed in quarrying. The breccia and the shale-sandstone masses appear to have originated from 2 separate geologic processes which occurred at 2 different times. The origin of the breccia is in doubt because not enough critical evidence is available to prove conclusively and single origin. The authors believe, however, that the breccia probably is the product of a submarine rock slump during St. Louis time which was triggered by the tectonic activity that initiated early movements along the Mt. Carmel fault. Other possible origins, such as solution of evaporites accompanied by collapse of overlying rock or formation of caves in a karst terrain followed by roof collapse, are not supported by the evidence observed. The shale-sandstone bodies are believed to be rocks of Pennsylvanian age which were deposited in caverns developed during the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian erosion interval. The limestone conglomerate is probably of the same age as the shale-sandstone bodies

Gypsum Specimens from Shale Cavern, Lost Johns Cave, Leck Fell, 1962,
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Marsdenley B.

Geomorpholgy of the Dip Cave, Wee Jasper, New South Wales, 1963,
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Jennings, J. N.

The Dip Cave lies about three miles south of Wee Jasper on the western side of the Goodradigbee valley about 500 yards from the river. The cave underlies the nose of a spur running fairly steeply down from Wee Jasper range west of the valley. Only the terminal part of the spur is of limestone, the rest is of impervious rocks. In fact, shales outcrop along the road immediately above the cave. Below this spur there is a much more gently inclined bench in the limestone, trenched by steep-sided gullies coming down from the two flanks of the spur.

Paleohydrology and Streamflow Simulation of three Karst Basins in Southeastern West Virginia, U.S.A., PhD Thesis, 1975,
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Coward, Julian Michael Henry

This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of karst hydrology. To do this, the present day hydrology and the paleohydrology were determined in three karst basins. The basins chosen were the Swago, Locust and Spring Creek basins in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties, West Virginia. A number of conventional field techniques were used successfully in this study, including the following: current meter and dye dilution gauging; dye and lycopodium stream tracing; geological and cave mapping; the setting up of stage recorders; geochemistry; and limestone erosion measurements. The climate of the region was investigated to obtain realistic precipitation, temperature and potential evaporation data over the study basins.
It was found that the mean precipitation over two of the basins was 30% higher than recorded data in the valleys. The karst development of the basins was found to take place in four major stages. These were: A) initial surficial flow, B) strike controlled drainage, C) major piracies from one sub-basin to another, and D) shortening of the flow routes. The major controls on the karst development were found to be: A) the Taggard shale, B) the strike direction, which controlled early basin development, and C) the hydraulic gradient from the sink to rising, which controlled later basin development.
To better assess the quantitative hydrology, and to assist in determining the type of unexplorable flow paths, a watershed model was developed. This modelled the streamflow from known climatic inputs using a number of measured or optimized parameters. The simulation model handled snowmelt, interception, infiltration, interflow, baseflow, overland flow, channel routing, and evaporation from the interception, soil water, ground water, snowpack and channel water. The modelled basin could be split up into 20 segments, each with different hydrological characteristics, but a maximum of 3 segments was used in this study.
A total of 29 parameters was used in the model although only 10 (other than those directly measurable) were found to be sensitive in the three basins. The simulated streamflow did not match the real flows very well due to errors in the data input and due to simplifications in the model. It was found, however, that as the proportion of the limestone in a segment increased the overland flow decreased, the interflow increased, the baseflow and interflow recessions were faster, the soil storages were smaller and the infiltration rate was higher, than in segments with a larger proportion of exposed clastics. The flow characteristics of the inaccessible conduits were inferred from the channel routing parameters and it was postulated that the majority of the underground flow in the karst basins was taking place under vadose conditions.

Geomorphology of the North Karst, South Nahanni River Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, PhD Thesis, 1976,
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Brook, George Albert,

First investigated on the ground in June 1972, the Nahanni karst of northern Canada is the most complex karst terrain yet reported from high latitudes. It is centered at 61°28' N, longitude 124°05' W and lies within the zone of discontinuous permafrost. Mean annual temperature is 24°F and mean total precipitation 22.3 inches. Principal karst forms are fracture-located karst streets and irregularly-shaped closed depression called karst platea which may be up to 600 feet in depth. Platea often contain karst towers which are residuals of wall recession. Vertical-walled pond dolines up to 120 feet deep are common in bare karst areas while subjacent karst collapse, subsidence and suffosion depressions occur on marginal shale- and drift-mantled surfaces. Three small poljes have been identified, two produced entirely by solution, the other a structural form. These are periodically inundated. There are several peripheral fluvial canyons up to 3,000 feet deep that are blocked by glacial drift and which presently drain underground. Similarity in the hydrogeological properties of Nahanni Formation limestones at a variety of scales has led to the development of morphologically-identical karst forms which range in size from inches up to hundreds of feet. Furthermore, many of these landforms are part of a developmental sequence that at one scale links vertical-walled dolines, karst streets, platea and poljes; and at another links solution pits, grikes and joint hollows on limestone pavements. The evidence suggests that poljes form by the coalescence of dolines and uvalas just as Cvijic suggested in 1918. In attempting to explain the almost "tropical" nature of the sub-arctic Nahanni karst landform assemblage, a number of facts are of importance.
(a) The Nahanni Formation limestones have been highly warped and intensively fractures during the past one million years. Open fractures have encouraged karstification by allowing easy movement of water underground. Warping has provided the relief necessary for the development of solutional forms with a distinct vertical component.
(b) The karst can not be considered relict because it was glaciated during the Pleistocene. In addition the hydrological activity in it today is comparable with that in many humid tropical karst areas.
(c) Solutional denudation rates governed by aspects of surficial and bedrock geology may in some localized areas be equivalent to rates in humid tropical carbonate regions.
(d) At present rates, the most highly developed forms could have been produced within the last 200,000 years and because there is evidence to indicate that the karst may not have been glaciated for up to 250,000 years, such a period has been available for solutional development.
Because the Nahanni region has not been glaciated for an extremely long period, it may be one of only a few high-latitude carbonate terrains that have had time to develop fully. Its very existence questions the validity of the concept that the intensity and direction of karst development is climate-controlled. In the Nahanni at least, the structural and lithological properties of the host limestone appear to have been of greater importance. The labyrinth karst type present in regions of humid-tropical to sub-arctic climate, is an outstanding example of a structurally-controlled karst landscape. It may well be that the same controls also influence the distributions of other karst types.

Summaries of papers read at The Engineering Group Regional Meeting-Cardiff 1977: Engineering Geology of Soluble Rocks, 1978,
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Engineering Geology of the South Wales Coalfield and its margins--with particular reference to the Carboniferous Limestone. By J. G. C. Anderson. The stratigraphical succession of the Cardiff district ranges from Silurian to Lower Jurassic, while structurally the rocks have been affected by Caledonian, Hercynian and Alpine movements. Caledonian folding is relatively weak but powerful Hercynian (Asturian) folding and faulting took place about the end of the Westphalian; the elongate South Wales Coalfield Basin being formed at this time. Mesozoic strata, up to the Liassic, are also folded and faulted by movements which may have been as late as the Miocene. Silurian rocks which occur in the Usk and Rumney Inliers consist of sandstones, siltstones and shales (often calcareous) as well as some limestones. The argillaceous rocks often weather deeply and degenerate to clay with rock lithorelicts, consequently they pose problems in foundations and cuttings, e.g. on the east side of Cardiff. The Old Red Sandstone, both Lower and Upper divisions are present, is made up of marls, sandstones and conglomerates. Some of the sandstones are aquifers and provide water in commercial quantities. The marls, especially where steeply inclined are liable to slipping, as happened for example, in the Brynglas (M4) Tunnel at Newport. The Carboniferous Limestone surrounds the coalfield and consists mainly of limestone and dolomite (see also below). The Millstone Grit does not contain the gritty sandstones of the Pennines and is made up mainly of strong siliceous sandstones and shales. The Coal Measures show the usual lithology; a ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Messinian event in the black sea, 1979,
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Hsu Kenneth J. , Giovanoli Federico,
Three holes were drilled during the 1975 DSDP Leg 42B drilling the Black Sea. A section from Hole 380, at 2107 m water depth on the western edge of the abyssal plain, is 1074 m thick, and provides the most complete stratigraphic section. Dating of the sediments is based upon (1) fossil evidence from pollen, crustaceans, benthic foraminifera, and diatoms, (2) correlation with climatic changes and with unusual isochronous events that have been dated elsewhere, (3) paleomagnetic data, and (4) estimates of sedimentation rate.The history of Black Sea sedimentation recorded by the DSDP cores includes black shale sedimentation during the Late Miocene, followed by periodic chemical sedimentation from Late Miocene to Early Quaternary, and a change to dominantly terrigenous sedimentation from the Middle Quaternary. These hemipelagic and turbiditic sediments were deposited in lacustrine and brackish marine environments. The Messinian sediments, however, consist of stromatolitic dolomite, oolitic sands, and coarse gravels, deposited in supratidal and intertidal environments. The intercalation of the shallow-water sediments in a deep-water sequence suggests a drastic lowering of the water-level within the Black Sea basin during the Messinian so that the edge of the present abyssal plain was then the edge of a shallow lake.The Messinian draw-down phase of the Black Sea was in existence for about 100,000 years during the Lago-Mare stage of the salinity crisis. The evaporated waters formed an alkaline lake before it was drowned by a brackish marine transgression correlative to the Trubi transgression of the Mediterranean

Karst development and the distribution of karst drainage systems in Dejiang, Guizhou Province, China, 1983,
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Song Linhua, Zhang Yaoguang, Fang Jinfu, Gu Zhongxong,
The nature of karstification of two contrasting areas on the north Guizhou Plateau (south China) is shown to be controlled by structure, lithology, geomorphic history and tectonics, and causes significant differences to arise in the subsurface drainage systems of the areas.The Shaqi area lies in a syncline of Permo-Triassic limestones underlain by an insoluble sandy shale which forms the local base level. Karst landforms are strongly influenced by the presence of four erosion levels corresponding to four periods of rejuvenation of the drainage systems. Drainage is concentrated along the syncline axis, and one system (Naoshuiyan) has been pirating another (Lengshuiyan) by headward retreat. Cave passages are typically phreatic.The Dejiang Town area lies in an anticline of Cambrian dolomite and Ordovician limestone. Three large subsurface drainage systems have developed along parallel faults, and have typically vadose cross-sections

Genesis of paleokarst and strata-bound zinc-lead sulfide deposits in a Proterozoic dolostone, northern Baffin Island, Canada, 1984,
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Olson R. A. ,
Society Cliffs Formation; episodes of karstification since its deposition. During the first karst episode an evaporite solution-collapse breccia formed ubiquitously on the western Borden Peninsula. During the second karst episode a holokarst developed and an integrated cave system was formed. The caves subsequently were filled with sulfides and carbonate minerals; several interesting sedimentary structures exist in the zinc-lead sulfide deposits. The ore fluid and contained metals are postulated to have been derived during a late-stage dewatering of the black shale that underlies the Society Cliffs Formation. Sulfide deposition may have been caused by chemical reduction of sulfate that existed in the ore fluid when the fluid entered hydrocarbon-filled caves. During the third and fourth episodes of karstification, only merokarst developed in the Society Cliffs Formation. Karst effects which formed during these episodes include oxidized sulfide deposits and surface solution corridors.--Modified journal abstract

Hydrogologie karstique du polj d'lrmene, Bodrum (Turquie), 1985,
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Canik, B.
KARSTIC HYDROGEOLOGY OF THE IRMENE POLJE - BODRUM (TURKEY) - The Irmene polje (25 km2) is located in the Bodrum peninsula, Turkey. The formation exposed, are coloured argilaceous schists, blackish shales and sandstones of a paleozoic age. They are overlapped by unconformable carbonate formations of Early Triassic to Late Jurassic. The karstification is mostly developed on the non-dolomitic parts of the fissured limestones. The groundwater flow is generally northwards, towards coastal or submarine springs. Thus, it is calculated that a discharge of about 40 l/s can be obtained from possible wells to supply water for the Irmene village. We propose to increase the infiltration rate within the karstic aquifer by building barriers, which would favour runoff towards natural wells or sinks not active for the moment.

Cave dams of the Guanyan System, Guangxi, China, 1987,
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Smart P. L. , Waltham A. C. ,
With well over 1 million km2 of carbonate rocks exposed at the surface, and a history of exploitation spanning in excess of 2000 years, the Chinese probably have more experience than any other people in developing the water resources of carbonate aquifers. Interestingly, many of the smaller scale projects are carried out by local farmers and co-operatives, with little recourse to the advice of professional engineers and hydrologists, although even in large regional schemes, much local expertise and labour is involved (see for example Hegtkcar 1976). While recently some of the Chinese work on karst hydrology has become available in the west (Song 1981; Song et al 1983; Yuan 1981, ) much of the practical experience resulting from these local and small scale developments remains unpublished even in China. We were therefore very fortunate to be able to examine the engineering works associated with the Guanyan cave system, just south of Guilin, Guangxi Province, SE China, during a recent joint venture with the Institute of Karst Research, Ministry of Geology, Guilin. The Guanyan (Crown Cave) system is developed in a sequence of relatively pure, predominantly finegrained limestones and dolomites over 2600 m thick, and ranging from Devonian to Carboniferous in age (Yuan 1980). These are folded into thrust faulted, NW-SE-trending folds, but dips are generally less than 30{degrees}. The underlying impermeable shales, siltstones and sandstones form a mountainous terrain rising to 1400 m above sea-level east of the limestone, and provide the headwaters for streams feeding into the caves (Fig. ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

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Iusupova I. F. ,

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Davis Jd, Brook Ga,
Upper Sinking Cove, dissecting the eastern escarpment of the Cumberland Plateau, is characterized by a multiple aquifer, predominantly vadose hydrologic system with minor surface components. There is a central trunk channel along the axis of the cove and a network of independent tributaries. Aquitards within the limestones, particularly Hartselle Formation shales, have influenced both cave and surface landform development by perching ground waters and slowing the vertical growth of closed depressions. Long-term solutional denudation in the portion of the cove underlain by limestones (40 per cent) is an estimated 56 mm per 1000 years, suggesting that karst development began 15-16 million years ago. Despite lower soil CO2 and spring water hardness, 61 per cent of annual denudation occurs in the six winter months when 76 per cent of yearly runoff occurs. Landform development in Upper Sinking Cove appears to have begun as stream erosion carved a valley first in the sandstone caprock of the escarpment and later in the underlying Pennington Formation limestones containing numerous shale layers which promoted surface stream flow. Eventually stream erosion exposed the massive Bangor limestones which allowed deep ground water flow. Surface streams were pirated underground with the eventual formation of the chain of three closed depressions which constitute Upper Sinking Cove

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Soudet H. J. , Sorriaux P. , Rolando J. P. ,
The Rospo Mare oil field is located in the Adriatic Sea, 20 km off the Italian coast. The reservoir lies at a depth of 1300 m and consists of a paleokarst oi Oligocene to Miocene age which developed within Cretaceous limestones, now covered by 1200 m of Mio-Pliocene sequences. The oil column is about 140 m 8 high. The karstic nature of the reservoir was identified through vertical, cored drill holes which allowed us to analyse the various solution features and the sedimentary infilling (speleothems, terra rossa, marine clays), as well as their vertical distribution. Erosion morphology at the top of the karst is highly irregular, including in particular paleovalleys as well as many pit-shaped sink holes. Detailed geophysical knowledge of that morphology helped to optimize the development of the field through horizontal drilling. Observations concerning the upper part of the reservoir were compared to a palaeokarst of the same age, outcropping widely onshore, in quarries located nearby. The Rospo Mare paleokarst is an integral part of the ante Miocene paleokarst assemblages of the periphery of the Mediterranean which were formed in tropical conditions. Only the fractures enhanced by meteoric water during the formation of the karat are important for reservoir connectivity. During the formation of the karst there were several phases of dissolution and infilling which modified the geometry of the open fissures and only these fractures play an important role in the reservoir drainage. Vertically we can distinguish three very different zones from top to bottom: at the top the epikarst (0-35 m) in a zone of extension. All the fractures have been enlarged by dissolution but the amount of infilling by clay is substantial. The clays are derived either from alteration of the karat fabric or by deposition during the Miocene transgression; the percolation zone (15-45 m) is characterized by its network of large fractures vertically enlarged by dissolution which corresponds to the relict absorption zones in the paleokarst. These fractures, which usually have a pluridecametric spacing, connect the epi-karst with the former sub-horizontal river system. This zone has been intersected by the horizontal wells during the field development. In this zone there are local, horizontal barriers oi impermeable clay which can block vertical transmissibility. In these low permeability zones the vertical fractures have not been enlarged due to dissolution hence the horizontal barrier; the zone of underground rivers (35-70 m) is characterized by numerous horizontal galleries which housed the subterranean ground water circulation. When these fissures are plurimetric in extent this can lead to gallery collapse with the associated fill by rock fall breccia. This can partly block the river system but always leaves a higher zone of free circulation with high permeabilities of several hundreds of Darcys. These galleries form along the natural fracture system relative to the paleohydraulic gradient which in some cases has been preserved. The zone below permanent ground water level with no circulation of fluids is characterized by dissolution limited to non-connected vugs. Very locally these fissures can be enlarged by tectonic fractures which are non-connected and unimportant for reservoir drainage. Laterally, only the uppermost zone can be resolved by seismic imaging linked with horizontal well data (the wells are located at the top of the percolation zone). The Rospo Mare reservoir shows three distinct horizontal zones: a relict paleokarst plateau with a high index of open connected fractures, (area around the A and B platforms); a zone bordering the plateau (to the north-east of the plateau zone) very karstified but intensely infilled by cap rock shales (Miocene - Oligocene age); a zone of intensely disturbed and irregular karst paleotopography which has been totally infilled by shales. The performance of the production wells is dependent on their position with respect to the three zones noted above and their distance from local irregularities in the karst paleotopography (dolines, paleovalleys)

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