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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

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 terrestrial is living on land. not to be confused with "epigean." terrestrial cave animals include blind beetles, rnillipedes, spiders, and crickets [23]. see also aquatic.?

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


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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 slopes (Keyword) returned 106 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 106
Morphometric analysis of dolines, 1992,
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Bondesan Aldino, Meneghel Mirco, Sauro Ugo
The doline is the most specific surface form of karst landscapes, which enables one to distinguish them from "normal" erosion landscapes shaped by surface water. From a morphodynamic point of view the doline constitutes an elementary hydrographic unit, comparable to a simple basin, which, with its system of slopes, conveys water to the absorbing points at the bottom into an underground network. The morphometric study of these karst landforms enables a quantitative analysis of karst environment. Comparisons of the various parameters may give unexpected results and lead to new hypotheses about the evolution and the dynamism of the karst "geo-ecosystem". All the main morphometric parameters of the dolines are listed and explained and a preliminary discussion about some methods of spatial analysis is developed. It is intended to give methodological suggestions about data sources, systems of measurement, and to stimulate some reflection on the choices of possible processing of morphometric variables and on the significance of statistical analysis applied to different parameters. After a brief review of some morphometric and spatial analyses made in the past by different authors, three different examples are presented, relative to karst areas of the Venetian Prealps (Cansiglio-Cavallo, Montello) and of the Carso di Trieste. From these few examples one can understand how to confront this complex subject and what kind of results the analysis of morphometric parameters may give. In interpreting the results it is evident that one must not forget the geological, geomorphological, pedological, vegetational and climatic context of the karst area.

MORPHOMETRY AND EVOLUTION OF FENGLIN KARST IN THE SHUICHENG AREA, WESTERN GUIZHOU, CHINA, 1992,
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Xiong K. N. ,
Four areas with different styles of fenglin (tower and cone karst) are investigated using morphometric techniques in the Shuicheng area of Guizhou Province. The karsts were formed in the Neogene and were uplifted during the Quaternary, to present elevations of about 1800 m. Measurements were made of the characteristics of 745 cones using maps and aerial photographs supplemented by field investigations. The karst cones are found to be of almost constant slope angle (45-degrees to 47-degrees) regardless of structure, but with a tendency for slightly lower slopes to occur where the carbonates have impure interbeds. Although generally symmetrical in plan, elongation of both cones and intervening depressions appears controlled by major elements of the structure and the general slope of the topography. Spatial analysis shows the cones to be relatively uniformly distributed in three of the four cases studied. Morphometric evidence points strongly to parallel slope evolution of cones. A model is offered of landscape evolution in which sequential development occurs through stages of karst-tableland with dolines to fencong-depression to fenglin-depression and finally to fenglin-plain. Geological control becomes less influential as this development proceeds, with the smaller and more widely spaced cones of the later stages becoming increasingly symmetrical in form

LIMESTONE QUARRYING AND QUARRY RECLAMATION IN BRITAIN, 1993,
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Gunn J. , Bailey D. ,
Limestones have been worked for many thousands of years initially for building stone and agricultural lime and more recently for a wide range of construction and industrial uses. In most industrialized countries limestone quarries represent the most visually obvious and, in both process and landform terms, the most dramatic anthropogenic impact on karst terrain. However, quarrying has to date, received surprisingly little attention from karst scientists. Research in the English Peak District suggested that the postexcavation evolution of quarried limestone rock faces was in part a result of the methods used in their excavation, and this led to the development of a technique designed to reduce the visual and environmental impacts of modern quarries by ''Landform replication.'' This involves the use of controlled ''restoration blasting'' techniques on quarried rock slopes to construct a landform sequence similar to that in the surrounding natural landscape. The constructed landforms are then partially revegetated using appropriate wildflower, grass, and/or tree species

Impacts of primary deforestation on limestone slopes in northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, 1993,
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Harding K. , Ford D. C.

RILLENKARREN ON GYPSUM IN NOVA-SCOTIA, 1993,
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Stenson R. E. , Ford D. C. ,
Rillenkarren are defined as densely packed, rainfall generated, bedrock channels, forming on slopes. They are usually no more than a few centimetres in width. Their lengths are dependant on the downslope extent of exposed bedrock, Rillenkarren exist in many karst terraines on many types of rock. Rillenkarren on gypsum were measured at four differing sites in Nova Scotia. The results are compared with previous data for naturel rillenkarren on limestones. It was found that gypsum rillenkarren tend to exhibit a smaller mean width that those on limestone. Mean lengths could not be established because rillenkarren elongation on the gypsum was limited by the length of the exposed surface. These conclusions result from the first systematic study of naturally occurring rillenkarren on gypsum and are contrary to the previously speculated dimensions reported by various authors

A morphological analysis of Tibetan limestone pinnacles: Are they remnants of tropical karst towers and cones?, 1996,
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Zhang D. A. ,
Limestone pinnacles on mountain slopes in Tibet were measured for morphological analysis and the results were compared with those from tropical towers and cones on karst mountain slopes of Shuicheng, southwest China. In the form analyses, the symmetric products (P) of Tibetan pinnacles present large differences between individual pinnacles. The plan forms, represented by long/short axes ratios (R(L/S)), are mostly irregular and scattered and the diameter/height ratios (R(dfh)) reveal that the Tibetan I features could belong to any three cone or tower karat types, according to Balaze's classification of karst towers. The direction of pinnacle development seems to be primarily related to slope aspect and to geological structure. The morphological structure and orientation analyses show that pinnacle development is largely controlled by lithological and stratigraphic conditions. The closed water catchment structure, which is a basic feature in karat areas, has not been found in the limestone pinnacle areas of Tibet. The results of the form and structure analyses for the Tibetan pinnacles differ from those for tropical and subtropical karst areas. Further analysis indicates that Tibetan limestone pinnacles were formed by strong physical weathering under periglacial conditions. Four kinds of morphogenesis of the pinnacles are suggested

Holocene stratigraphy of Cobweb Swamp, a Maya wetland in northern Belize, 1996,
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Jacob J. S. , Hallmark C. T. ,
We investigated the soils and sediments of Cobweb Swamp, adjacent to the archaeological site of Colha in northern Belize, to adumbrate landscape evolution and the impact of the ancient Maya on a tropical palustrine wetland. The Cobweb section exposes a complex and dynamically evolving landscape, with a rich interplay between natural and human forces. The Cobweb depression probably formed as a karstic doline or polje in interbedded limestone and marl of late Tertiary or Pleistocene age. During the latest Pleistocene, a terrestrial marsh covered most of the depression. Slope wash and colluviation from adjacent slopes impacted the depression during the early Holocene, possibly in response to a drier and cooler climate reported to have occurred in the region during this time. After ca. 5600 B.P., the Cobweb depression was affected by relatively rapidly rising sea levels in the area, and a brackish lagoon filled the basin. By 4800 B.P., a peat filled in the lagoon, probably because precipitation of a marl in the lagoon coupled with decreasing rates of sea-level rise enabled emergent vegetation to encroach the shallowing waters. Humans first began to affect the landscape when this peat was at the surface. Massive deforestation, resulting in increased runoff and rising water levels, is the most likely explanation for a fresh-water lagoon that again inundated the Cobweb depression between 3400 and 500 B.P. The Maya Clay was deposited on the edge of this lagoon as the result of upland erosion, almost as soon as deforestation began, but the bulk of the deposit was coincident with the sudden collapse of the Classic Maya civilization ca. 1000 B.P., suggesting that significant environmental degradation was associated with the demise of the Classic Maya. Peat began to fill the Cobweb lagoon sometime before 500 B.P., probably the result of shallower water levels from decreasing runoff resulting from reforestation after abandonment by the Maya. ------------------------------------------------------

Analysis of well hydrographs in a karst aquifer: Estimates of specific yields and continuum transmissivities, 1996,
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Shevenell L. ,
Hydrograph analysis techniques have been well developed for hydrographs obtained from streams and springs, where data are cast in terms of total discharge. The data obtained from well hydrographs provide water level versus time; hence, a method of hydrograph analysis is required for situations in which only water level data are available. It is assumed here that three segments on a recession curve from wells in a karst aquifer represent drainage from three types of storage: conduit (C), fracture (F) and matrix (M). Hydrographs from several wells in a karst aquifer are used to estimate the specific yields (S-y) associated with each portion of the aquifer (C, F, M), as well as continuum transmissivities (T). Data from three short injection tests at one well indicate continuum rat this well bore is approximately 5 m(2) day(-1), and tests at numerous other wells in the aquifer yield results between 1 and 7 m(2) day(-1). The T estimated with well hydrographs from two storms indicates a T of 9.8 m(2) day(-1). Well-developed conduit systems in which water levels in wells show a flashy response typically show S(y)s of 1 x 10(-4), 1 x 10(-3), and 3 x 10(-3) for C, F, and M, respectively. Less well-developed conduit areas show more nearly equal S(y)s (8.6 x 10(-4), 1.3 x 10(-3), 3 x 10(-3)). Areas with no evidence for the presence of conduits have only one, or in some cases two, slopes on the recession curve. In these cases, water-level responses are slow. Recession curves with a single slope represent drainage from only the lower T matrix. Those with two slopes have an additional, more rapid response segment on the recession curve which represents drainage from the higher T, lower S-y, fractures in the system

Limestone dissolution processes in beke doline Aggtelek National Park, Hungary, 1997,
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Zambo L. , Ford D. C. ,
Aggtelek National Park, Hungary, is a limestone karst upland characterized by karren, dolines and river caves. For a period of two years, climatic and carbonate dissolution variables were monitored at four depths in a 7.5 m shaft through the soil fill in the floor of a typical large (150m diameter) doline. Results are compared to other monitoring stations in shallow soils on side slopes. Runoff and groundwater flow are focused into the base of the doline soil fill, where moisture is maintained at 70-90 per cent field capacity and temperatures permit year-round production of soil CO2. The capacity to dissolve calcite (limestone) ranges from c. 3 g m(-2) per year beneath thin soils on the driest slopes to 17-30 g m(-2) per year in the top 1-2 m of doline till and at its base 5-7 m below.

Occurrence of selected herbicides and herbicide degradation products in Iowa's ground water, 1995, 1997,
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Kolpin D. W. , Kalkhoff S. J. , Goolsby D. A. , Sneckfahrer D. A. , Thurman E. M. ,
Herbicide compounds were prevalent in ground water across Iowa, being detected in 70% of the 106 municipal wells sampled during the summer of 1995, Herbicide degradation products were three of the four most frequently detected compounds for this study. The degradation product alachlor ethanesulfonic acid was the most frequently detected compound (65.1%), followed by atrazine (40.6%), and the degradation products deethylatrazine (34.9%), and cyanazine amide (19.8%). The corn herbicide acetochlor, first registered for widespread use in the United States in March 1994, was detected in a single water sample, No reported herbicide compound concentrations for this study exceeded current U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant levels or health advisory levels for drinking water, although the herbicide degradation products examined have get to have such levels established. The occurrence of herbicide compounds had a significant, inverse relation to well depth and a significant, positive relation to dissolved-oxygen concentration. It is felt that both well depth and dissolved oxygen are acting as rough surrogates to ground-water age, with younger ground water being more likely to contain herbicide compounds. The occurrence of herbicide compounds was substantially different among the major aquifer types across Iowa, being detected in 82.5% of the alluvial, 81.8% of the bedrock/ karst region, 40.0% of the glacial-drift, and 25.0% of the bedrock/nonkarst region aquifers. The observed distribution was partially attributed to variations in general ground-water age among these aquifer types. A significant, inverse relation was determined between total herbicide compound concentrations in ground water and the average soil slope within a 2-km radius of sampled wens. Steeper soil slopes may increase the likelihood of surface runoff occurring rather than ground-water infiltration-decreasing the transport of herbicide compounds to ground water. As expected, a significant positive relation was determined between intensity of herbicide use and herbicide concentrations in ground water

Hydrological response of small watersheds following the Southern California Painted Cave Fire of June 1990, 1997,
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Keller E. A. , Valentine D. W. , Gibbs D. R. ,
Following the Painted Cave Fire of 25 June 1990 in Santa Barbara, California which burned 1214 ha, an emergency watershed protection plan was implemented consisting of stream clearing, grade stabilizers and construction of debris basins. Research was initiated focusing on hydrological response and channel morphology changes on two branches of Maria Ygnacio Creek, the main drainage of the burned area. Research results support the hypothesis that the response of small drainage basins in chaparral ecosystems to wildfire is complex and flushing of sediment by fluvial processes is more likely than by high magnitude debris flows. During the winter of 1990-1991, 35-66 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 10 cm per hour for a five-minute period were recorded with a seasonal total of 100% of average (normal) rainfall (average = 63 cm/year). During the winter of 1991-1992, 48-74 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 8 cm per hour were recorded with a seasonal total of 115% of normal. Even though there was moderate rainfall on barren, saturated soils, no major debris flows occurred in burned areas. The winter of 1992-1993 recorded total precipitation of about 170% of normal, annual average intensities were relatively low and again no debris flows were observed. The response to winter storms in the first three years following the fire was a moderate but spectacular flushing of sediment, most of which was derived from the hillslopes upstream of the debris basins. The first significant storm and stream flow of the 1990-1991 winter was transport-limited resulting in large volumes of sediment being deposited in the channel of Maria Ygnacio Creek; the second storm and stream flow was sediment-limited and the channel scoured. Debris basins trapped about 23 000 m(3), the majority coming from the storm of 17-20 March 1991. Sediment transported downstream during the three winters following the fire and not trapped in the debris basins was eventually flushed to the estuarine reaches of the creeks below the burn area, where approximately 108 000 m(3) accumulated. Changes in stream morphology following the fire were dramatic as pools filled with sediment which greatly smoothed longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles. Major changes in channel morphology occur following a fire as sediment derived from the hillslope is temporarily stored in channels within the burned area. However, this sediment may quickly move downstream of the burned region, where it may accumulate reducing channel capacity and increasing the flood hazard. Ecological consequences of wildfire to the riparian zone of streams in the chaparral environment are virtually unknown, but must be significant as the majority of sediment (particularly gravel necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms) entering the system does so in response to fires. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Rapport entre karst et glaciers durant les glaciations dans les valles pralpines du sud des Alpes, 1998,
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Bini Alfredo, Tognini Paola, Zuccoli Luisa
At least 13 glaciations occurred during the last 2.6Ma in the Southern pre_alpine valleys. The glaciers scouring alpine and pre-alpine valleys had all the same feature, being valley temperated glaciers. Their tracks and feeding areas were always the same, just like the petrological contents of their deposits. Contrary to previous assumptions until a few years ago, the origin of these valleys and of the lakes occupying the floor of some of them (Orta, Maggiore, Como, Iseo, Garda Lakes) is due to fluvial erosion related to Messinian marine regression. The valley slopes modelling is Messinian in age, too, while most caves are older. As a general rule, glaciers worked on valley slopes just as a re_modelling agent, while their effects were greater on valley floors. The karstic evolution began as soon as the area was lifted above sea level (upper Oligocene - lower Miocene), in a palaeogeographical environment quite different from the present one, although the main valley floors were already working as a base level. During Messinian age, the excavation of deep canyons along pre-existing valleys caused a dramatic lowering of the base level, followed by a complete re-arrangement of the karstic networks, which got deeper and deeper. The Pliocene marine transgression caused a new re-arrangement, the karst network getting mostly drowned under sea level. During these periods, the climate was hot-wet tropical, characterised by a great amount of water circulating during the wet season. At the same time tectonic upliftings were at work, causing breaking up of the karst networks and a continuous rearrangement of the underground drainage system. In any case, karstic networks were already well developed long before the beginning of Plio-Quaternary glaciations. During glaciations, karst systems in pre-alpine valleys could have been submitted to different drainage conditions, being: a) isolated, without any glacial water flowing; b) flooded, connected to the glacier water-filled zone; c) active, scoured by a stream sinking at glacier sides or in a sub glacial position. The stream could flow to the flooded zone (b), or scour all the unflooded system long down to the resurgence zone, the latter being generally located in a sub glacier position. The glacier/karst system is a very dynamic one: it could get active, flooded or isolated depending on endo- and sub-glacial drainage variations. Furthermore, glaciers show different influences on karstic networks, thus working with a different effect during their advance, fluctuations, covering and recession phases. Many authors believe, or believed, the development of most surface and underground karst in the Alps is due to glaciations, with the last one held to be mostly responsible for this. Whatever the role of glaciers on karstic systems, in pre-alpine valleys caves, we do not have evidence either of development of new caves or of remarkable changes in their features during glaciations. It is of course possible some pits or galleries could have developed during Plio-Quaternary glaciations, but as a general rule glaciers do not seem to have affected karstic systems in the Southern pre-alpine valleys with any remarkable speleogenetic effects: the glaciers effects on them is generally restricted to the transport of great amounts of debris and sediments into caves. The spotting of boulders and pebbles trapped between roof stalactites shows that several phases of in- and out-filling of galleries occurred with no remarkable changing in pre-dating features, including cave decorations. The presence of suspended karst systems does not prove a glacial origin of the valleys, since most of them pre-date any Plio-Quaternary glaciation, as shown by calcite cave deposits older than 1,5Ma. The sediments driven into caves might have caused a partial or total occlusion of most galleries, with a remarkable re-arrangement of the underground drainage system. In caves submitted to periglacial conditions all glaciations long, we can find deposits coming from weathered surface sediments, sharp-edged gelifraction debris and, more rarely, alluvial deposits whose origin is not related to the circulation of the glacial meltwater. In caves lower than or close to the glaciers limit we generally find large amounts of glacier-related deposits, often partly or totally occluding cave galleries. These sediments may be directly related to glaciers, i.e. carried into caves by glacial meltwaters, resulting from surface glacial deposit erosion. They generally show 3 dominant facies: A) lacustrine deposits; B) alluvial deposits and C) debris flow deposits facies. The only way of testing the soundness of the forementioned hypothesis is to study the main characters and spreading of cave sediments, since they are the only real data on connection of glaciers to endokarst networks.

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998,
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Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Flared slopes revisited, 1998,
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Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
Flared slopes are smooth concavities caused by subsurface moisture-generated weathering in the scarp-foot zone of hillslopes or boulders. They are well represented in granitic terrains but also developed in other massive materials such as limestone, sandstone, dacite, rhyolite, and basalt, as well as other plutonic rocks. Notches, cliff-foot caves, and swamp slob are congeners of flared slopes. Though a few bedrock flares are conceivably caused by nivation or by a combination of coastal processes, most are two-stage or etch forms. Appreciation of the origin of these forms has permitted their use in the identification and measurement of recent soil erosion and an explanation of natural bridges. Their mode of development is also germane to the origin of the host inselberg or bornhardt and, indeed, to general theories of landscape evolution. But certain discrepancies have been noted concerning the distribution and detailed morphology of flared slopes. Such anomalies are a result of structural factors (sensu late), of variations in size of catchment and in degree of exposure, and of several protective factors. Notwithstanding, the original explanation of flared slopes stands, as do their wider implications

Karst morphology across a steep climatic gradient, southern Mount Hermon, Israel, 1998,
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Frumkin, A. , Shimron, A. E. And Miron, Y.

The southern slopes of Mount Hermon display a multiphase karst system developed over a climatic and topographic gradient. The important factors are certain geologic features, altitude defining the climatic belts, the local slope gradient and the paleohydrological evolutionary history of the mountain. Doline density and cave depth tend to increase with altitude. Active vadose caves draining dolines are more common at the upper, alpine zone, while ancient phreatic caves appear in the lower altitude slopes. Intense fissuring of the authigenic karst surface favors diffuse seepage over concentrated flow, restricting conduit size.


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