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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 porthole is a nearly circular natural opening in a thin rock wall in a cave [10]. see also window.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for dolomiti (Keyword) returned 152 results for the whole karstbase:
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Evolution des karsts Ocaniens (Karsts, bauxite et phosphates), 1992, Bourrouilhlejan, Fr.
EVOLUTION OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN KARSTS - Karst phenomena constitute one of the main characteristics of the "high carbonate islands" of the Pacific Ocean. They are the key to the under-standing of the geological evolution, the stratigraphy, from Lower Miocene to Pleistocene and mid-Holocene, the diagenesis, mainly dolomitization and the current economic interest based on bauxite and phosphate. The eustatic variations have been numerous over the past 25 million years and can be added or substracted from the emersion and submersion movements of the plate supporting these carbonate platforms. Each island therefore has its own complex geological background with dolomitization, calcrete, bauxitic soils, fossil marine notches and karst surface either submerged or filled with phosphate, which can be mined for profit. Thanks to a thorough study of these platforms, it has been possible to establish an evolution of karst genesis in accordance with the evolution of the Pacific lithosphere and also to draw up a new model of phosphate genesis linked to phosphato-bauxitic soils and meromictic anoxic lakes.

MURUROA ATOLL (FRENCH-POLYNESIA) .1. STRUCTURE AND GEOLOGICAL EVOLUTION, 1992, Buigues D, Gachon A, Guille G,
From a geographical point of view, the atoll of Mururoa belongs to the Tuamotu archipelago. In its largest dimension Mururoa (28 x 10 km) is oriented N080-degrees-E, a direction which is different from that of the other atolls of the Tuamotu, generally oriented parallel to the Pacific plate motion, N130-degrees-E. The atoll of Mururoa is built on a submarine plateau of 130 km long and 30 km wide. The western side of this plateau is 90 km long and N080-degrees-E oriented, the eastern one 40 km long and N095-degrees-E oriented. Three deep main structures of the atoll are revealed by strong aeromagnetic anomalies elongated and oriented once more N080-degrees-E. They represent ancient riftzones, similar to the present time Hawaiian ones. The most important of them, situated at southern end of the atoll, is the prolongation of the eastern plateau. The principal petrographic facies have been defined from the numerous drill holes bored in the upper 1,100 m. From the base to the top are represented volcanic deposits, a volcano-sedimentary serie of both carbonate and volcanic origin and finally reefal carbonates (limestones and dolomites). The volcanic facies represent successively submarine, transitional and aerial volcanic activity. They are commonly affected by early stage of hydrothermalism, due to lava-sea-water chemical interaction, and are frequently supported by differentiated dykes, occasionally interrupted by reefal limestones. The main geometrical distribution of the facies through the atoll and the radiochronology lead to the following model of formation : during early stages of the atoll building two main separate edifices emerged before joining and forming a single volcano. This double structure was similar to the present time morphology of Tahiti. The volcanic activity ceased 10.6 Ma ago, an age which perfectly suits a hot spot origin, at present located to the south-east of Pitcairn island

GENERAL CENOZOIC EVOLUTION OF THE MALDIVES CARBONATE SYSTEM (EQUATORIAL INDIAN-OCEAN), 1992, Aubert O, Droxler Aw,
Analyses and interpretation of an industrial multi-channel seismic grid, a 2.3 km-deep industrial well (NMA-1) and two ODP (Sites 715 and 716), have generated new insights into the evolution of the Maldives carbonate system, Equatorial Indian Ocean. The present physiography of the Maldives Archipelago, a double chain of atolls delineating an internal basin, corresponds only to the latest phase of a long and dynamic evolution, far more complex than the simple vertical build-up of reef caps on top of thermally subsiding volcanic edifices. Through the Cenozoic evolution of the Maldives carbonate system, distinct phases of vertical growth (aggradation), exposure, regional or local drowning, and recovery of the shallow banks by lateral growth (progradation) have been recognized. The volcanic basement underlying the Maldives Archipelago is interpreted to be part of a volcanic ridge generated by the northern drift of the Indian plate on top of the hotspot of the island of Reunion. The volcanic basement recovered at well NMA-1 and ODP Site 715 has been radiometrically dated as 57.2 1.8 Ma (late Paleocene) by 40Ar-39Ar. Seismic and magnetic data indicate that this volcanic basement has been affected by a series of NNE-SSW trending subvertical faults, possibly associated with an early Eocene strike-slip motion along an old transform zone. The structural topography of the volcanic basement apprears to have dictated the initial geometry of the Eocene and early Oligocene Maldives carbonate system. Biostratigraphic analyses of samples, recovered by drilling in Site 715 and exploration well NMA-1, show that the Maldives shallow carbonate system was initiated during the early Eocene on top of what were originally subaerial volcanic edifices. The Eocene shallow carbonate sequence, directly overlying the volcanic basement at NMA-1, is dolomitized and remains neritic in nature, suggesting low subsidence rates until the early Oligocene. During this first phase of the Maldives carbonate system evolution, shallow carbonate facies aggraded on top of basement highs and thick deep-water periplatform sediments were deposited in some central seaways, precursors of the current wider internal basins. In the middle Oligocene, a plate reorganization of the equatorial Indian Ocean resulted in the segmentation of the hotspot trace and the spreading of the Maldives away from the transform zone. This plate reorganization resulted in increasing subsidence rates at NMA-1, interpreted to be associated with thermal cooling of the volcanic basement underlying the Maldives carbonate system. This middle Oligocene event also coincides with a regional irregular topographic surface, considered to represent a karst surface produced by a major low-stand. Deep-water carbonate facies, as seen in cuttings from NMA-1, overlie the shallow-water facies beneath the karst surface which can, therefore, be interpreted as a drowning unconformity. In the late Oligocene, following this regional deepening event, one single central basin developed, wider than its Eocene counterparts, and the current intraplatform basin was established. Since the early to middle Miocene, the shallow carbonate facies underwent a stage of local recovery by progradation of neritic environments towards the central basin. The simultaneous onset in the early middle Miocene of the monsoonal wind regime may explain the development of bidirectional slope progradations in the Maldives. During the late Miocene and the early Pliocene, several carbonate banks were locally drowned, whereas others (i.e. Male atoll) display well-developed lateral growth through margin progradations during the same interval. Differential carbonate productivity among the atolls could explain these diverse bank responses. High-frequency glacialeustatic sea-level fluctuations in the late Pliocene and Pleistocene resulted in periodic intervals of bank exposure and flooding, and developed the present-day physiography of atolls, with numerous faros along their rims and within their lagoons

Multistage dolomitization in the Society Cliffs Formation, northern Baffin Island, Northwest Territories, Canada., 1992, Ghazban E. , Schwarcz H. P. , Ford D. C.

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

LATE TO POSTHERCYNIAN HYDROTHERMAL ACTIVITY AND MINERALIZATION IN SOUTHWEST SARDINIA (ITALY), 1992, Boni M, Iannace A, Koppel V, Fruhgreen G, Hansmann W,
Several kinds of base metal deposits occur in the lower Paleozoic of southwest Sardinia (Iglesiente-Sulcis mineral district). This paper deals with those deposits which are generally referred to as Permo-Triassic, because they accompany and postdate the Hercynian orogeny and are related to magmatic activity. A large number of previously published geochemical data, integrated with additional new data (Sr, Pb, O, C, and S isotopes), are reviewed and discussed in the frame of the late to post-Hercynian geologic evolution of southwest Sardinia. According to geological and mineralogical characteristics, three types of deposits can be distinguished: (1) skarn ores related to late Hercynian leucogranitic intrusions, (2) high-temperature veins, and (3) low-temperature veins and karst filling. Pervasive epigenetic dolomitization phenomena are geochemically related to the low-temperature deposits. Sr and Pb isotopes of the first and second types (0.7097-0.7140 Sr-87/Sr-86; 17.97-18.29 Pb-206/Pb-204; 38.11-38.45 Pb-208/Pb-204) are distinctly more radiogenic than those of the third type (0.7094-0.7115 Sr-87/Sr-86; 17.86-18.05 Pb-206/Pb-204; 37.95-38.19 Pb-208/Pb-204) which, in turn, are closer to Paleozoic ores and carbonates. Fluid inclusion data indicate that the fluids responsible for mineralization of the first and second types of deposits were hot and dilute (T(h)= 370-degrees-140-degrees-C; <5 wt % NaCl equiv). In contrast, relatively colder and very saline fluids (T(h)= 140-degrees-70-degrees-C; >20 wt % NaCl equiv) were responsible for the third type of mineralization, as well for epigenetic dolomitization of the Cambrian host rocks. O isotopes measured in minerals from the first two types (deltaO-18SMOW = 12.8-18.9 parts per thousand) are O-18 depleted with respect to the third type (deltaO-18SMOW = 15.9-22.1 parts per thousand). These data, coupled with fluid inclusion formation temperatures, indicate that the fluids responsible for the first two types of mineralization were O-18 enriched with respect to those of the third type and related hydrothermal phenomena. The deltaS-34CDT in sulfides of the first two types vary between 3.7 and 10.73 per mil, whereas the values of the third type range from 12.0 to 17.9 per mil. Late to post-Hercynian mineralization is thus explained as the result of three distinct, though partly superimposed, hydrothermal systems. System 1 developed closer to the late Hercynian leucogranitic intrusions and led to the formation of the first and subsequently the second type of mineralization. The relatively hot and diluted fluids had a heated meteoric, or even partly magmatic, origin. Metals were leached from an external, radiogenic source, represented either by Hercynian leucogranites or by Paleozoic metasediments. Sulfur had a partly magmatic signature. System 2 was characterized by very saline, colder fluids which promoted dolomitization, silicification, and vein and karst mineralization. These fluids share the typical characteristics of formation waters, even though their origins remain highly speculative. The hydrothermal system was mainly rock dominated, with only a minor participation of the external radiogenic source of metals. Sulfur was derived by recirculation of pre-Hercynian strata-bound ores. System 3 records the invasion of fresh and cold meteoric waters which precipitated only minor ore and calcite gangue. It may represent the further evolution of system 2, possibly spanning a time well after the Permo-Triassic. The timing of all these phenomena is still questionable, due to the poor geologic record of the Permo-Triassic in southwest Sardinia. Nevertheless, the hypothesized scenario bears many similarities with hydrothermal processes documented throughout the Hercynian in Europe and spanning the same time interval. A comparison with the latter mineralization and hydrothermal activities leads to the hypothesis that the first two types of mineralization are linked to late Hercynian magmatic activity, whereas the third type may be related to either strike-slip or tensional tectonics which, throughout Europe mark the transition from the Hercynian orogeny to the Alpine cycle

VOID-FILLING DEPOSITS IN KARST TERRAINS OF ISOLATED OCEANIC ISLANDS - A CASE-STUDY FROM TERTIARY CARBONATES OF THE CAYMAN-ISLANDS, 1992, Jones B. ,
Caves, fossil mouldic cavities, sinkholes and solution-widened joints are common in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members of the Bluff Formation (Oligocene Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac because they have been subjected to repeated periods of karst development over the last 30 million years. Many voids contain a diverse array of sediments and/or precipitates derived from marine or terrestrial environs, mineral aerosols, and groundwater. Exogenic sediment was transported to the cavities by oceanic storm waves, transgressive seas, runoff following tropical rain storms and/or in groundwater. At least three periods of deposition were responsible for the occlusion of voids in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Voids in the Cayman Member were initially filled or partly filled during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. This was terminated with the deposition of the Pedro Castle Member in the Middle Miocene. Subsequent exposure led to further karst development and void-filling sedimentation in both the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Speleothems are notably absent. The void-filling deposits formed during these two periods, which were predominantly marine in origin, were pervasively dolomitized along with the host rock 2 5 million years ago. The third period of void-filling deposition. after dolomitization of the Bluff Formation, produced limestone, various types of breccia, terra rossa, speleothemic calcite and terrestrial oncoids. Most of these deposits formed since the Sangamon highstand 125 000 years ago. Voids in the present day karst are commonly filled or partly filled with unconsolidated sediments. Study of the Bluff Formation of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac shows that karst terrains on isolated oceanic islands are characterized by complex successions of void-filling deposits that include speleothems and a variety of sediment types. The heterogenetic nature of these void-filling deposits is related to changes in sea level and climatic conditions through time

THE OCCURRENCE AND EFFECT OF SULFATE REDUCTION AND SULFIDE OXIDATION ON COASTAL LIMESTONE DISSOLUTION IN YUCATAN CENOTES, 1993, Stoessell R. K. , Moore Y. H. , Coke J. G. ,
Dissolution of carbonate minerals in the coastal halocline is taking place in the karst terrain along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The dissolution is being accelerated in cenotes (sinkholes) where sulfate reduction and oxidation of the produced sulfide is occurring. Hydrogen-sulfide concentrations ranged from 0.06 to 4 mmolal within the halocline in two sinkholes. Relative to concentrations expected by conservative mixing, fluids with high hydrogen-sulfide concentrations were correlated with low sulfate concentrations, high alkalinities, low pH values, and heavy sulfur isotope values for sulfate. Hydrogen-sulfide concentrations were less than those predicted from sulfate reduction, calculated from deficiencies in measured sulfate concentrations, indicating mobility and loss of aqueous sulfide. Fluids with low hydrogen-sulfide concentrations were correlated with very high calcium concentrations, high strontium and sulfate concentrations, slightly elevated alkalinities, low pH values, and sea-water sulfur isotope values for sulfate. Gypsum dissolution is supported by the sulfur isotopes as the major process producing high sulfate concentrations. However, oxidation of aqueous sulfide to sulfuric acid, resulting in carbonate-mineral dissolution is needed to explain the calcium concentrations, low pH values, and only slightly elevated alkalinities. The halocline may trap hydrogen sulfide that has been stripped from the underlying anoxic salt water. The halocline can act as a stable, physical boundary, holding some of the hydrogen sulfide until it is oxidized back to sulfuric acid through interaction with the overlying, oxygenated fresh water or through the activity of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria

THE EVOLUTION OF THE MIDDLE TRIASSIC (MUSCHELKALK) CARBONATE RAMP IN THE SE IBERIAN RANGES, EASTERN SPAIN - SEQUENCE STRATIGRAPHY, DOLOMITIZATION PROCESSES AND DYNAMIC CONTROLS, 1993, Lopezgomez J. , Mas R. , Arche A. ,
The Upper Permian-Triassic strata of the SE Iberian Ranges, eastern Spain, display the classic Germanic-type facies of Buntsandstein, Muschelkalk and Keuper. The Muschelkalk is represented by two carbonate units with a siliciclastic-evaporitic unit in between. Their ages range from Anisian to basal Carnian (Middle Triassic to base of the Upper Triassic). The carbonate units represent ramps that evolved during the early thermal subsidence period which succeeded the first rift phase. Seven facies have been distinguished, representing shoals, tidal flats, organic buildups and lagoons, as well as a karst horizon in the lower carbonatic unit. Most of the carbonates were dolomitised. Three processes of dolomitization are invoked: mixing waters, penecontemporaneous seepage refluxion, and deep burial. The top of the Buntsandstein and the Muschelkalk facies are subdivided into two depositional sequences, including lowstand, transgressive and highstand systems tracts, with superimposed tectonic and eustatic controls

RELATION OF MINERALIZATION TO WALL-ROCK ALTERATION AND BRECCIATION, MASCOT JEFFERSON-CITY MISSISSIPPI-VALLEY-TYPE DISTRICT, TENNESSEE, 1994, Haynes F. M. , Keslr S. E. ,
This study was undertaken to assess the relation of Mississippi Valley-type mineralization to wall-rock alteration and brecciation in the Mascot-Jefferson City district, the largest part of the East Tennessee Mississippi Valley-type ore field. The main question of interest was whether the Mississippi Valley-type-forming brines created or greatly enlarged the breccia system that hosts the ore or whether the breccia system was a preexisting paleoaquifer that simply controlled movement of the mineralizing brines. A secondary, and closely related, question was whether brine-wall rock interaction deposited Mississippi Valley-type ore. The breccia system that hosts the East Tennessee ore field began as karst breccias which formed in the upper part of the Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician Knox Group during Middle Ordovician emergence. Brecciation, which was most common at the paleosurface and in a limestone-rich zone about 200 m below the surface, took place when limestone solution caused collapse of primary dolostone layers. Mississippi Valley-type mineralization, consisting of sphalerite and sparry dolomite, fills interstices in the breccias that formed in the limestone-rich part of the Knox Group. Ore is associated with ''recrystalline dolomite'' that replaced limestone and there is an inverse correlation between the original limestone and sphalerite abundance suggesting that the ore-forming fluids reacted strongly with limestone wall rock, possibly dissolving it where alteration was most intense. The assessment of a relation between alteration and Mississippi Valley-type mineralization was based on 3,533 surface drill holes covering the 110-km2 Mascot-Jefferson City district, each of which provided stratigraphic data and quantified estimates of mineralization intensity and alteration intensity. These data show clearly that as much as 50 percent of the limestone in the mineralized breccia section was lost over enormous areas that extend far beyond significant mineralization. The intensity of this effect clearly decreases downdip (toward the east), away from the probable source of meteoric karst-forming waters. These relations, combined with isotopic analyses and reaction path calculations, suggest that breccia formation and limestone dissolution took place during the original karst breccia formation. In contrast, later Mississippi Valley-type mineralization was associated with replacement of limestone by recrystalline dolomite. The main effect of dolomitization on the chemistry of the Mississippi Valley-type brines, an increase in their Ca/Mg ratio, would not cause sulfide precipitation. Thus, it appears unlikely that Mississippi Valley-type-forming brines created much of their ore-hosting breccias or that water-rock interaction was a major cause of Mississippi Valley-type ore deposition

Karstification without carbonic acid; bedrock dissolution by gypsum-driven dedolomitization, 1994, Bischoff Jl, Julia R, Shanks Wc, Rosenbauer Rj,
Aggressive karstification can take place where dolomite and gypsum are in contact with the same aquifer. Gypsum dissolution drives the precipitation of calcite, thus consuming carbonate ions released by dolomite. Lake Banyoles, in northeastern Spain, is a karst lake supplied by sublacustrine springs, and karstic collapse is occurring in the immediate vicinity of the lake. Lake water is dominated by Mg-Ca and SO 4 -HCO 3 , and is supersaturated with calcite that is actively accumulating in lake sediments. Water chemistry, sulfur isotope composition, local stratigraphy, and mass-balance modeling suggest that the primary karst-forming process at Lake Banyoles is dedolomitization of basement rocks driven by gypsum dissolution. Karstification takes place along the subsurface contact between the gypsiferous Beuda Formation and the dolomitic Perafita Formation. This process is here recognized for the first time to cause karstification on a large scale; this is significant because it proceeds without the addition of soil-generated carbonic acid. Gypsum-driven dedolomitization may be responsible for other karstic systems heretofore attributed to soil-generated carbonic acid

KARSTIFICATION WITHOUT CARBONIC-ACID - BEDROCK DISSOLUTION BY GYPSUM-DRIVEN DEDOLOMITIZATION, 1994, Bischoff Jl, Julia R, Shanks Wc, Rosenbauer Rj,
Aggressive karstification can take place where dolomite and gypsum are in contact with the same aquifer. Gypsum dissolution drives the precipitation of calcite, thus consuming carbonate ions released by dolomite. Lake Banyoles, in northeastern Spain, is a karst lake supplied by sublacustrine springs, and karstic collapse is occurring in the immediate vicinity of the lake. Lake water is dominated by Mg-Ca and SO4-HCO3, and is supersaturated with calcite that is actively accumulating in lake sediments. Water chemistry, sulfur isotope composition, local stratigrapy, and mass-balance modeling suggest that the primary karst-forming process at Lake Banyoles is dedolomitization of basement rocks driven by gypsum dissolution. Karstification takes place along the subsurface contact between the gypsiferous Beuda Formation and the dolomitic Perafita Formation. This process is here recognized for the first time to cause karstification on a large scale; this is significant because it proceeds without the addition of soil-generated carbonic acid. Gypsum-driven dedolomitization may be responsible for other karstic systems heretofore attributed to soil-generated carbonic acid

THE ORIGIN OF RAUHWACKES (CORNIEULES) BY THE KARSTIFICATION OF GYPSUM, 1995, Schaad W. ,
Rauhwackes (cornieules or cargneules) are breccias with a caicareous matrix and mainly dolomitic components that weather to form cavernous rocks. They are very often associated with tectonic contacts, e.g. detachment horizons. The origin of rauhwackes is still controversial, but has been attributed to the weathering and alteration of dolomite-bearing evaporites, the tectonisation of dolomites or other processes. New data based on field investigations show that the karstification of evaporites leads to the formation of rauhwackes. Two end member evaporitic protoliths can be distinguished: dolomite-bearing gypsum and gypsum-bearing dolomite. The karstification of the different protoliths leads to the formation of structurally distinct rauhwackes. Dolomite-bearing gypsum is associated with unstructured, often polymictic rauhwackes which reflect the shape of the karst cavities and which are interpreted as karst sediments. Gypsum-bearing dolomite occurs with stratiformal rauhwackes with fitting dolomite fragments that are arranged in layers. These rauhwackes can be regarded as collapse breccias. All investigated rauhwackes seem to have been formed after the alpine deformations and are probably of Quaternary age. In certain cases, the karstification of the evaporites and the formation of rauhwackes may have been favoured by fluvial or fluvioglacial processes at the surface. Therefore, these rauhwackes have nothing to do with alpine tectonics. Rather, it was the evaporitic protoliths of the rauhwackes that acted as detachment horizons and incompetent layers during folding

BACTERIA, FUNGI AND BIOKARST IN LECHUGUILLA CAVE, CARLSBAD-CAVERNS-NATIONAL-PARK, NEW-MEXICO, 1995, Cunningham Ki, Northup De, Pollastro Rm, Wright Wg, Larock Ej,
Lechuguilla Cave is a deep, extensive, gypsum- and sulfur-bearing hypogenic cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, most of which (> 90%) lies more than 300 m beneath the entrance. Located in the arid Guadalupe Mountains, Lechuguilla's remarkable state of preservation is partially due to the locally continuous Yates Formation siltstone that has effectively diverted most vadose water away from the cave. Allocthonous organic input to the cave is therefore very limited, but bacterial and fungal colonization is relatively extensive: (1) Aspergillus sp. fungi and unidentified bacteria are associated with iron-, manganese-, and sulfur-rich encrustations on calcitic folia near the suspected water table 466 m below the entrance; (2) 92 species of fungi in 19 genera have been identified throughout the cave in oligotrophic (nutrient-poor) ''soils'' and pools; (3) cave-air condensate contains unidentified microbes; (4) indigenous chemoheterotrophic Seliberius and Caulobacter bacteria are known from remote pool sites; and (5) at least four genera of heterotrophic bacteria with population densities near 5 x 10(5) colony-forming units (CFU) per gram are present in ceiling-bound deposits of supposedly abiogenic condensation-corrosion residues. Various lines of evidence suggest that autotrophic bacteria are present in the ceiling-bound residues and could act as primary producers in a unique subterranean microbial food chain. The suspected autotrophic bacteria are probably chemolithoautotrophic (CLA), utilizing trace iron, manganese, or sulfur in the limestone and dolomitic bedrock to mechanically (and possibly biochemically) erode the substrate to produce residual floor deposits. Because other major sources of organic matter have not been detected, we suggest that these CLA bacteria are providing requisite organic matter to the known heterotrophic bacteria and fungi in the residues. The cavewide bacterial and fungal distribution, the large volumes of corrosion residues, and the presence of ancient bacterial filaments in unusual calcite speleothems (biothems) attest to the apparent longevity of microbial occupation in this cave

HYDROGEOCHEMISTRY OF GRAND-CAYMAN, BRITISH-WEST-INDIES - IMPLICATIONS FOR CARBONATE DIAGENETIC STUDIES, 1995, Ng K. C. , Jones B. ,
Groundwater in the dolostone aquifers of the Bluff Group (Oligocene-Miocene) on Grand Cayman is divided into fresh, lightly and highly brackish, and saline (Type I and II) zones according to chemical characteristics that were determined during a 3 year (1985-1988) monitoring program. Brackish and Type I saline waters display the greatest variation in chemical properties whereas the Type II saline water has the most stable chemical characteristics. Most groundwaters from these dolostone aquifers are thermodynamically capable of precipitating calcite and/or dolomite. The saturation indices for these minerals, however, vary through time and space even in the context of small water lens. Simple mixing of fresh and sea water cannot explain the chemistry of the water found in the joint and karst controlled dolostone aquifers of Grand Cayman. Deviation from a simple mixing model is due to variations caused by tidal fluctuation, the rate of rain water recharge, influx of Ca-rich groundwater from the surrounding limestone aquifers, influx of CO2-rich surface water from sinkholes and swamps, and water-rock interactions (dissolution and precipitation of calcite and dolomite). Sustained groundwater abstraction from a lens can significantly alter the hydrochemistry of the water lens. This suggests that hydrochemical characterization of small fresh water lenses, like those on Grand Cayman, cannot be based on spot or short-term sampling. Interpretation of such fluids in terms of calcite-dolomite precipitation and/or dissolution must be treated with caution if the data base has not been derived from long-term monitoring

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