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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. ...

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That calc-sinter is see sinter.?

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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
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Your search for texture (Keyword) returned 58 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 58
Cave Paintings From Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua, 1971, Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K

Kitava is the most easterly island of the Trobriand group. It is an uplifted coral atoll, oval in plan, with a maximum diameter of 4 1/2 miles. The centre of the island is swampy and surrounded by a rim that reaches a height of 142 m. Caves occur in various parts of the rim and several have been described in a previous article (Ollier and Holdsworth, 1970). One of the caves, Inakebu, is especially important as it contains the first recorded cave drawings from the Trobriand Islands. Inakebu is situated on the inner edge of the island rim at the north-eastern end of the island. Map 1 shows the location of the cave on Kitava Island. Map 2 is a plan of the cave, surveyed by C.D. Ollier and G. Heers. The location of the cave drawings is shown on the plan. Inakebu is a "bwala", that is a place where the original ancestor of a sub-clan or dala is thought to have emerged from the ground. The bwala tradition is common throughout the Trobriands and neighbouring islands. It has been described by many writers on the anthropology of the area, and was summarised in Ollier and Holdsworth (1969). The people believe that if they enter such places they will become sick and die. Until November, 1968, no member of the present native population had been in the cave, though there is a rumour that a European had entered it about 20 years before, but turned back owing to lack of kerosene. It must be admitted that this tale sounds rather like the stories one hears in Australia that Aborigines were afraid of the dark caves and therefore did not go into them. In fact, the many discoveries in the Nullarbor Plain caves show that they did, and the cave drawings in Inakebu show that someone has been in this cave. The point is that it does not seem to be the present generations who entered the caves but earlier ones; people from "time before" as they say in New Guinea. The first known European to enter the cave was Gilbert Heers, a trader in copra and shell who lived on the nearby island of Vakuta. He went into the cave on 8 November 1968 accompanied by Meiwada, head of the sub-clan associated with Inakebu, who had never been inside before. Heers and Meiwada investigated the two outer chambers but then turned back because they had only poor lights. They returned with better light on 15 November. Since they had not become sick or died, they then found seven other men willing to accompany them. They found the narrow opening leading to the final chamber, and discovered the drawings. None of the men, many of whom were quite old, had ever seen the drawings or heard any mention of them before. The drawings are the only indication that people had previously been in this deep chamber. There are no ashes or soot marks, no footprints, and no pottery, bones or shells such as are commonly found in other Trobriand caves, though bones and shells occur in the chamber near the entrance. With one exception, the drawings are all on the same sort of surface, a clean bedrock surface on cream coloured, fairly dense and uniform limestone, with a suitably rough texture. Generally the surface has a slight overhang, and so is protected from flows or dripping water. On surfaces with dripstone shawls or stalactites, the drawings were always placed between the trickles, on the dry rock. We have found no examples that have been covered by a film of flow stone. The one drawing on a flow stone column is also still on the surface and not covered by later deposition. A film of later deposit would be good to show the age of the drawings, but since the drawings appear to have been deliberately located on dry sites the lack of cover does not indicate that they are necessarily young. There are stencil outlines of three hands, a few small patches of ochre which do not seem to have any form, numerous drawings in black line, and one small engraving.


Structure, Sediments and Speleogenesis at Cliefden Caves, New South Wales, 1978, Osborne, R. Armstrong L.

The Cliefden Caves have developed in the Late Ordovician Cliefden Caves Limestone mainly by solution in the phreatic zone. Speleogenesis has been inhibited in steeply dipping thinly bedded limestone and shows a high degree of structural control. Collapse has been significant in late stage development of the caves. Much sediment has been deposited in the four caves studied in detail - Main Cliefden, Murder, Boonderoo and Transmission. Formed in the phreatic zone, layered clay fill is the earliest sediment deposited and occurs in all but Transmission Cave. The phosphate mineral heterosite is found in these sediments. Subaqueous precipitation deposits deposited in the phreas or vadose pools are distinguished from speleothems by their texture. Aragonite is inferred to have been deposited in these sediments and to have since inverted to calcite. Friable loam and porous cavity fill are the most common vadose deposits in the caves. Vadose cementation has converted friable loam to porous cavity fill. Speleothem deposits are prolific in Main Cliefden, Murder and Boonderoo Caves. Helictites are related to porous wall surfaces, spar crystals result from flooding of caves in the vadose zone and blue stalactites are composed of aragonite. Cliefden Caves belong to that class proposed by Frank (1972) in which deposition has been more important than downcutting late in their developmental history.


Le karst des Monts Padurea Craiulu (Roumanie), 1986, Badescu, D.
THE KARST OF PADUREA CRAIULUI MOUNTAINS AND THE SYSTEM OF TINOASA-CIUR-TOPLITZA DE ROSIA (ROMANIA) - Padurea Craiului mountains represent one of the most interesting karstic area of Romania. The existence of limestones affected by a lot of tectonics accidents had done these mountains to have distinct morphological aspects. The relative developed hydrographic network, together with the geological structure and the favourable tectonic, brought about a lot of endokarstic and exokarstic phenomena too. This is very clear in Runcuri plateau, which lodges the karstic systems Tinoasa-Ciur-Toplitza. The influence of the tectonic is demonstrated by the underground observations about the fissures. The development of these systems, as well as the morphology of the caves, are influenced by the structure and texture of the different jurassic limestones.

DOLOMITE-ROCK TEXTURES AND SECONDARY POROSITY DEVELOPMENT IN ELLENBURGER GROUP CARBONATES (LOWER ORDOVICIAN), WEST TEXAS AND SOUTHEASTERN NEW-MEXICO, 1991, Amthor Je, Friedman Gm,
Pervasive early- to late-stage dolomitization of Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group carbonates in the deep Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico is recorded in core samples having present-day burial depths of 1.5-7.0 km. Seven dolomite-rock textures are recognized and classified according to crystal-size distribution and crystal-boundary shape. Unimodal and polymodal planar-s (subhedral) mosaic dolomite is the most widespread type, and it replaced allochems and matrix or occurs as void-filling cement. Planar-e (euhedral) dolomite crystals line pore spaces and/or fractures, or form mosaics of medium to coarse euhedral crystals. This kind of occurrence relates to significant intercrystalline porosity. Non-planar-a (anhedral) dolomite replaced a precursor limestone/dolostone only in zones that are characterized by original high porosity and permeability. Non-planar dolomite cement (saddle dolomite) is the latest generation and is responsible for occlusion of fractures and pore space. Dolomitization is closely associated with the development of secondary porosity; dolomitization pre-and post-dates dissolution and corrosion and no secondary porosity generation is present in the associated limestones. The most common porosity types are non-fabric selective moldic and vuggy porosity and intercrystalline porosity. Up to 12% effective porosity is recorded in the deep (6477 m) Delaware basin. These porous zones are characterized by late-diagenetic coarse-crystalline dolomite, whereas the non-porous intervals are composed of dense mosaics of early-diagenetic dolomites. The distribution of dolomite rock textures indicates that porous zones were preserved as limestone until late in the diagenetic history, and were then subjected to late-stage dolomitization in a deep burial environment, resulting in coarse-crystalline porous dolomites. In addition to karst horizons at the top of the Ellenburger Group, exploration for Ellenburger Group reservoirs should consider the presence of such porous zones within other Ellenburger Group dolomites

HALITE SALTERN IN THE CANNING BASIN, WESTERN-AUSTRALIA - A SEDIMENTOLOGICAL ANALYSIS OF DRILL CORE FROM THE ORDOVICIAN-SILURIAN MALLOWA SALT, 1992, Cathro Dl, Warren Jk, Williams Ge,
The Late Ordovician-Early Silurian Mallowa Salt of the Carribuddy Group, Canning Basin, north-west Australia, is the largest halite deposit known in Australia, attaining thicknesses of 800 m or more within an area of approximately 200 000 km2. Study of 675 m of drill core from BHP-Utah Minerals' Brooke No. 1 well in the Willara Sub-basin indicates that the Mallowa Salt accumulated within a saltern (dominantly subaqueous evaporite water body) that was subject to recurrent freshening, desiccation and exposure. Textures and bromine signatures imply a shallow water to ephemeral hypersaline environment typified by increasing salinity and shallowing into evaporitic mudflat conditions toward the top of halite-mudstone cycles (Type 2) and the less common dolomite/anhydrite-halite-mudstone cycles (Type 1). The borate mineral priceite occurs in the capping mudstones of some cycles, reinforcing the idea of an increasing continental influence toward the top of mudstone-capped halite cycles. The rock salt in both Type 1 and Type 2 cycles typically comprises a mosaic of large, randomly orientated, interlocking halite crystals that formed during early diagenesis. It only partially preserves a primary sedimentary fabric of vertically elongate crystals, some with remnant aligned chevrons. Intraformational hiati, halite karst tubes and solution pits attest to episodic dissolution. Stacked Type 2 cycles dominate; occasional major recharges of less saline, perhaps marine, waters in the same area produced Type 1 cycles. The envisaged saltern conditions were comparable in many ways to those prevailing during the deposition of halite cycles of the Permian Salado Formation in New Mexico and the Permian San Andres Formation of the Palo Duro Basin area in Texas. However, in the Canning Basin the cycles are characterized by a much lower proportion of anhydrite, implying perhaps a greater degree of continental restriction to the basin. The moderately high level of bromine in the Mallowa Salt (156.5 43.5 ppm Br for primary halite, 146.1 54.7 ppm Br for secondary halite) accords with evolved continental brines, although highly evaporative minerals such as polyhalite and magnesite are absent. The bromine levels suggest little or no dissolution/reprecipitation of primary halite and yet, paradoxically, there is little preservation of the primary depositional fabric. The preservation of early halite cements and replacement textures supports the idea of an early shutdown of brine flow paths, probably at burial depths of no more than a few metres, and the resultant preservation of primary bromine values in the secondary halite

Carbonate Petrography: Grains, Textures Case Studies, 1996,

Peculiar landforms in the gypsum karst of Sorbas (southeastern Spain), 1997, Calaforra Jm, Pulidobosch A,
The gypsum karst of Sorbas is developed in selenitic Messinnian gypsum, the sequence being about 120 meters in depth. Within an outcrop of only 12 km(2) there is a great variety of karstic forms, among which the high density of dolines and cavities (over 1000 identified to date) is a notable feature. There also exist many and varied karren landforms, interstratification forms, and tumuli. The karren landforms are strongly developed and are of diverse types. There are also examples of microkarren and nanokarren, such as exfoliation karren or dissolved vacuoles determined by the texture and gypsum crystalline orientation Some of these forms are unique to gypsum materials and have been described for the first time in this area The interstratal erosion karst is very well developed due to the marry intercalations existing in the gypsum deposits. This circumstance determined the speleogenesis of the area, with the formation of galleries following the stratification planes. With this structure, the gypsum strata are little altered, and erosion of the marry strata occurs. In some zones, there is an erosive interstratification karst The tumuli are hollow subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum, with sizes varying from a few centimeters to several meters in diameter. Their origin is determined by processes of intercrystalline solution and precipitation, together with the capillary movement of the interstitial water in the gypsum stratum. Their development is related to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that are characteristic of semidesert zones such as Sorbas

Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and structural geology of gypsum caves in east central New Mexico, 1997, Forbes J, Nance R,
Hundreds of solution caves have developed in evaporites and carbonates of the Permian San Andres Formation where it crops out between Vaughn and Roswell, New Mexico, USA. Several of the caves are over 3.2 km (2 miles) in length, and the deepest has a vertical extent of over 120 m (400 feet). These gypsum caves afford an extraordinary opportunity to examine the evaporite rocks in which they are developed. We have examined interbedded gypsum and dolostone strata exposed in the walls of 11 of these caves, and show stratigraphic sections on two geologic cross sections. Gypsum textures exposed in the caves include massive, nodular, and laminar types. While we refer to them as ''gypsum caves,'' gypsum is not the only lithology exposed. Some cave passages and rooms are developed in thick dolostone units intercalated with or overlain by gypsum beds. Correlation of beds exposed in two or more caves has allowed us to infer the local geologic structure. The sedimentary sequence penetrated by a cave exerts a profound effect on the geometry and passage cross-section of the cave. Many cave passages have gypsum walls and a dolostone or limestone floor. Although many of the cave passages flood completely during major storm events, the stairstep profile of most of the caves is indicative of speleogenesis that has occurred predominantly within the vadose zone

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.


Hydrochemical Interpretation of Cave Patterns in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, 2000, Palmer, A. N. , Palmer, M. V.
Most caves in the Guadalupe Mountains have ramifying patterns consisting of large rooms with narrow rifts extending downward, and with successive outlet passages arranged in crude levels. They were formed by sulfuric acid from the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide, a process that is now dormant. Episodic escape of H2S-rich water from the adjacent Delaware Basin, and perhaps also from strata beneath the Guadalupes, followed different routes at different times. For this reason, major rooms and passages correlate poorly between caves, and within large individual caves. The largest cave volumes formed where H2S emerged at the contemporary water table, where oxidation was most rapid. Steeply ascending passages formed where oxygenated meteoric water converged with deep-seated H2S-rich water at depths as much as 200 m below the water table. Spongework and network mazes were formed by highly aggressive water in mixing zones, and they commonly rim, underlie, or connect rooms. Transport of H2S in aqueous solution was the main mode of H2S influx. Neither upwelling of gas bubbles nor molecular diffusion appears to have played a major role in cave development, although some H2S could have been carried by less-soluble methane bubbles. Most cave origin was phreatic, although subaerial dissolution and gypsum-replacement of carbonate rock in acidic water films and drips account for considerable cave enlargement above the water table. Estimates of enlargement rates are complicated by gypsum replacement of carbonate rock because the gypsum continues to be dissolved by fresh vadose water long after the major carbonate dissolution has ceased. Volume-for-volume replacement of calcite by gypsum can take place at the moderate pH values typical of phreatic water in carbonates, preserving the original bedrock textures. At pHs less than about 6.4, this replacement usually takes place on a molar basis, with an approximately two-fold volume increase, forming blistered crusts.

Calcrete morphology and karst development in the Upper Old Red Sandstone at Milton Ness, Scotland, 2000, Balin Df,
The Upper Old Red Sandstone at Milton Ness, Scotland, is notable for its excellent preservation of calcrete textures, which are comparable with some of the best Quaternary examples. It is also significant for the implications that can be drawn from the association between karst and calcrete, with this example interpreted to have formed entirely within a semi-arid environment. Karst cavities were developed in a mature hardpan calcrete, generated in sandy fluvial sediments with associated aeolian deposits. Subsequent to karst cavity generation, clasts derived from the subaerially exposed hardpan were locally transported and deposited as a laterally traceable bed connecting the tops of all the cavities. Both this bed and the karst infills were subsequently recalcretized in the final phase of the profile's evolution. Although calcrete-karst associations often are interpreted as the alternation between semi-arid and humid climates, respectively, this example is interpreted to be a result of water accumulating on the nearly impervious hardpan surface under fairly constant semiarid conditions, evidenced by the recalcretization of both the karst infill and the calcrete-derived breccia ( boulder calcrete'). Additional substrate modification also has taken place by plant roots; the remarkable development of rhizoliths in these Old Red Sandstone sediments should emphasize the need to consider plant influence on other non-marine rocks of post-Silurian age

Dolomitization of Holocene Shallow-Marine Deposits Mediated by Sulfate Reduction and Methanogenesis in Normal-Salinity Seawater, Northern Belize, 2000, Teal Chellie S. , Mazzullo S. J. , Bischoff William D. ,
Dolomite constitutes an average of 12% of the Holocene organic-rich sediments over a 15 km2 area of the Cangrejo Shoals mudbank in northern Belize. Although it defines a laterally persistent stratiform body that averages 3 m thick, it is present throughout the 7.6-m-thick sediment section. These transgressive sediments are less than [~]6400 years old and were deposited in shallow-marine environments of normal salinity. The dolomite is dominantly cement, and average crystal size is 7 m. There are no significant correlations among amount of dolomite vs. sediment texture, mineralogy, porosity, or mole % MgCO3 in associated particulate high-Mg calcite, depth, or location on the shoals. The dolomites are poorly ordered and calcic (39.5-44.5 mole % MgCO3), with low mean Mn (210 ppm) and relatively high mean Sr (1034 ppm) concentrations. There is no evidence of recrystallization or geochemical alteration of the dolomite. {delta}18O values of the dolomites range from 0.5 to 2.8{per thousand}PDB, and the mean value (2.1{per thousand}) suggests that the dolomite precipitated from normal-salinity pore water. Dolomite {delta}13C values range from -5.2{per thousand} to .6{per thousand}PDB (mean seawater {delta}13C = 0.5{per thousand}), which suggests dolomitization promoted by both bacterial sulfate reduction and methanogenesis in environments with anoxic pore water. Dolomitization attending these organodiagenetic reactions apparently was reversible over time, and episodic rather than continual precipitation is indicated. Requisite Mg and Ca were provided by seawater and by some dissolution of host sediments. The most rapid period of dolomitization may have been during early transgression, when relatively high sedimentation rates sustained high levels of organodiagenesis and pore-water alkalinities

Dolomitization and Dolomite Neomorphism: Trenton and Black River Limestones (Middle Ordovician) Northern Indiana, U.S.A, 2000, Yoo Chan Min, Gregg Jay M. , Shelton Kevin L. ,
The Trenton and Black River Limestones are dolomitized extensively along the axis of the Kankakee Arch in Indiana, with the proportion of dolomite decreasing to the south and southeast of the arch. Planar and nonplanar dolomite replacement textures and rhombic (type 1) and saddle (type 2) void-filling dolomite cements are present. Three stages of dolomitization, involving different fluids, are inferred on the basis of petrographic and geochemical characteristics of the dolomites. Nonferroan planar dolomite has relatively high {delta}18O values (-1.8 to -6.1{per thousand} PDB) and has 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70833 to 0.70856) that overlap those of Middle Ordovician seawater. Petrography, geochemistry, and the geometry of the dolomitized body suggest that the planar dolomite was formed in Middle and Late Ordovician seawater during the deposition of the overlying Maquoketa Shale. Ferroan planar and nonplanar dolomite occurs in the upper few meters of the Trenton Limestone, confined to areas underlain by planar dolomite. This dolomite contains patches of nonferroan dolomite with cathodoluminescence (CL) characteristics similar to underlying planar dolomite. Ferroan dolomite has relatively low {delta}18O values (-5.1 to -7.3{per thousand} PDB) and has slightly radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70915 to 0.70969) similar to those obtained for the overlying Maquoketa Shale. These data indicate that ferroan dolomite formed by neomorphism of nonferroan planar dolomite as fluids were expelled from the overlying Maquoketa Shale during burial. The absence of ferroan dolomite at the Trenton-Maquoketa contact, in areas where the earlier-formed nonferroan planar dolomite also is absent, indicates that the fluid expelled from the overlying shale did not contain enough Mg2 to dolomitize limestone. Type 1 dolomite cement has isotopic compositions similar to those of the ferroan dolomite, suggesting that it also formed from shale-derived burial fluids. CL growth zoning patterns in these cements suggest that diagenetic fluids moved stratigraphically downward and toward the southeast along the axis of the Kankakee Arch. Type 2 saddle dolomite cements precipitated late; their low {delta}18O values (-6.0 to -7.0{per thousand} PDB) are similar to those of the type 1 dolomite cement. However, fluid-inclusion data indicate that the saddle dolomite was precipitated from more saline, basinal fluids and at higher temperatures (94{degrees} to 143{degrees}C) than the type 1 cements (80{degrees} to 104{degrees}C). A trend of decreasing fluid-inclusion homogenization temperatures and salinities from the Michigan Basin to the axis of Kankakee Arch suggests that these fluids emerged from the Michigan Basin after precipitation of type 1 cement

Dissolution tubules: A new karst structure from the English chalk, 2000, Lamontblack J. , Mortimore R. ,
The Chalk of England is not renowned for producing karst landforms. This paper introduces a previously undescribed karst phenomenon, termed here dissolution tubules, from the Chalk of Sussex. The internal structure of these features was investigated by developing a novel method of resin impregnation and acid digestion. This revealed tubules to be a truly dendritic landform. Their relationships with chalk macrotextures were investigated using the Bushinski oil technique (BROMLEY 1981) and revealed an association with trace fossil burrows. Detailed electron microscopic examination of chalk adjacent to the karst surface, employing the textural analysis methods of MORTIMORE & FIELDING (1990), revealed dissolutional textural modification of the chalk to a depth of approximately 15 mm beneath the dissolution surface and a possible spatial association of dissolution tubules with microfractures. Dissolution tubules in the field were found overlying major discontinuities such as subhorizontal sheet flints, marl seams, hardgrounds, major fractures and caves. Evidence gathered suggests mixing corrosion (BOGLI 1964) as the process responsible for their formation

The evolution of karst and caves in the Konûprusy region (Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic), Part III: Collapse structures, 2000, Bosak, Pavel

Vertical and subvertical pipes are circular to ovate in shape with diameters from 2-4 m up to tens of metres and with proven depth up to 82 m. Some of them terminate by horizontal cave levels at depth. Pipes are filled with complicated sedimentary sequences with clearly developed collapse structures. The fill is composed of pre-Cenomanian, Cenomanian-Turonian and Tertiary deposits. Internal structures of the fill indicate multi-phase collapses. Cretaceous and pre-Cretaceous deposits are often subvertical with chaotic internal texture. In the centre of some of pipes, there are traces of younger collapses, most probably induced by continuing karstification and suffosion at depth. Tertiary deposits overlay the Cretaceous ones unconformably; they show gentler centripetal inclination, but in places they fill the central parts of collapsed fill. The origin of solution pipes is connected with hydrothermal activity most probably during Paleogene to Miocene, when the surface of limestones was still covered by slightly eroded cover of Upper Cretaceous platform sediments. Hydrothermal karst forms developed up to the surface of limestones as the piezometric level was situated within the Cretaceous cover. After the lost of buoyancy support of water, sedimentary cover started to move (collapse) down.


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