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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 oulopholite is see cave flower.?

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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 expression (Keyword) returned 46 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 46
A 3000-year high-resolution stalagmitebased record of palaeoclimate for northeastern South Africa, 1999, Holmgren K. , Karlen W. , Lauritzen S. E. , Leethorp J. A. , Partridge T. C. , Piketh S. , Repinski P. , Stevenson C. , Svanered O. , Tyson P. D. ,
High-resolution stable isotope variations and growth structure analyses of the last three millennia of a 6600-year stalagmite record at Cold Air Cave, Makapansgat Valley, South Africa, are presented. Growth layers, which are measurable over the last 250 years, are shown to be annual. The correlation between the width of growth layers and precipitation is strongly positive. Changes in{delta}18O and{delta}13C are positively correlated and inversely correlated to changes in the colour of the growth layers in the stalagmite. Variations in colour are directly correlated with mean annual temperature. Dark colouration is the product of increased temperature and mobilization of organic matter from the soil, and is associated with wetter summers and enhanced growth of C4 grasses. Darker colouring and enriched{delta}18O and{delta}13C reflect a warmer, wetter environment, whereas lighter colouring and depleted isotopic values are indicative of cooler, drier conditions. The dominant episode in the 3000-year record is the cool, dry 500-year manifestation of the Little Ice Age', from ad 1300 to about 1800, with the lowest temperatures at around ad 1700. The four centuries from ad 900 to 1300, experiencing above-average warming and high variability, may be the regional expression of the medieval warming. Other cool, dry spells prevailed from around ad 800 to 900 and from about ad 440 to 520. The most prolonged warm, wet period occurred from ad 40 to 400. Some extreme events are shown to correspond well with similar events determined from the Greenland GISP2 ice-core record and elsewhere. Distinct periodicities occur within the record at around 120, 200-300, 500-600 and at about 800 years BP

Patterns of dissolution porosity in carbonate rocks, 1999, Palmer A. N.
Unlike most geologic processes, the origin of dissolution porosity lends itself readily to analytical solutionsFour salient "laws" govern the process: two mass balances (water balance and chemical mass balance) and two kinetic equations (which describe the dissolution rate and the flow rate of water), and in combination they provide a theoretical basis for quantifying the solutional history of karst aquifersThe greatest difficulty is in applying these clean-cut analytical tools to the complex and rather disordered world of geologyIt is impossible to model a karst aquifer in all its details, because most of the details are unknownHowever, a great deal can be learned about the origin and distribution of dissolution porosity by using the analytical approach to obtain a battery of governing concepts that can be applied to all karst aquifersThis paper summarizes the evolution of a conceptual model whose details were first developed on the basis of field observation and hydraulics, and only later substantiated by chemical kineticsIt applies specifically to carbonate rocks, although the general approach can be modified to fit any geologic setting by substituting the appropriate expressions for kinetics and fluid flow

Determination of escarpment age using morphologic analysis: An example from the Galilee, northern Israel, 2000, Matmon A. , Zilberman E. , Enzel Y. ,
We used topographic and structural data and very limited age control to perform quantitative morphometric analyses and to determine relative ages of escarpments bounded by late Cenozoic normal faults in the Galilee, Israel. The Galilee is an extensional zone composed of a series of uplifted and tilted blocks forming large escarpments built mainly of carbonate rocks. Two parameters used to discriminate tectonic stages are the ratio between the height of the escarpment and the total stratigraphic displacement (L) and the degree of concavity of escarpment slopes relative to a reference slope. The only dated reference slope is Mount Tur'an, [~]300 m high and formed by the Tur'an fault system, which has a total stratigraphic displacement of 625 m. A basalt flow that delimits the age of the Tur'an escarpment is dated to 4.23 {} 0.23 Ma and displaced 300 m, which is identical to the present-day topographic expression of this escarpment. The L value for this escarpment is [~]0.5. The Tur'an fault system was active prior to 4.23 Ma at slow uplift rates that enabled erosion to maintain the gentle slope over which the basalt flowed. Increased offset rates following the basalt extrusion led to the formation of the escarpment. The preservation of the basalt at the top of the escarpment indicates that erosional lowering of the upper surface of the Tur'an block has been minor since its formation. The L values indicate two stages of uplift; an early stage during which offset rates were probably low enough that they did not form topography, and a later stage that formed topography, which is preserved. The timing of the change in displacement rates from a slow continuous stage to a fast, topography-forming stage was determined by comparing the shape of the dated slope of Tur'an to that of other slopes. We conclude the following: (1) generally, the topographic profiles of different parts of each individual escarpment have similar shapes indicating similar ages; (2) escarpments having slopes that are more concave or convex than the reference Tur'an escarpment are older or younger than 4 Ma, respectively; and (3) the Galilee escarpments did not form simultaneously. A few escarpments were already major morphologic features by the early to middle Pliocene, whereas the rest formed during the late Pliocene. Morphometric analysis is a useful method for studying the geologic history of a landscape controlled by normal fault uplift and characterized by the absence of sediment deposition and where carbonate dissolution is the main erosional process. This and similar approaches can be used to discriminate tectonic stages and understand the relationship between tectonic activity and surface processes in other extensional regions

Morphogenetical aspects of collapse dolines and open pits in the karst of the Venetian Fore-Alps, 2000, Sauro, Ugo

The author found 6 reasons related to formation of collapse dolines and openings of karst shafts in Venetian Fore-Alps: a) collapse of the roof, decapping of hypogean cavity, speleogenesis and dynamics of the epikarst, swallowing of filling materials inside hypogean voids, swallowing cover of loose materials, opening by seismic shocks. Types of karst structures are the superficial expression of the evolution of drainage structures in the epikarst.


Les dolines deffondrement et les dolines-lacs des Causses du sud-ouest du Moyen-Atlas (Maroc) : des dpressions lies un contexte hydro-morphologique particulier (p. 19-24), 2001, Elkhalki Yahia, Akdim Brahim
The karstic geosystems of the Causses in the Middle Atlas present a number of old and present karstic landforms. The interference between karstic geomorphology and the process of deep karstification find expression in an important development of sinkholes and collapse zones. Inventory and spatial distribution of these superficial karstic landforms show a very close relationship with the apparition of saline springs. Water chemistry and the exported rock tonnage are analysed and point out the importance of caverning, which takes place in gypsum and salt Triassic formations.

The stratigraphical record and activity of evaporite dissolution subsidence in Spain, 2001, Gutierrez F. , Orti F. , Gutierrez M. , Perezgonzalez A. , Benito G. , Prieto J. G. , Valsero J. J. D. ,
The evaporite formations tin outcrop and at shallow depth) cover an extensive area of the Spanish territory. These soluble sediments are found in diverse geological domains and record a wide time span from the Triassic up to the present day. Broadly, the Mesozoic and Paleogene formations (Alpine cycle) are affected by compressional structures, whereas the Neogene (post-orogenic) sediments remain undeformed. The subsidence caused by subsurface dissolution of the evaporites (subjacent karst) takes place in three main types of stratigraphical settings: a) Subsidence affecting evaporite-bearing Mesozoic and Tertiary successions (interstratal karst); b) Subsidence in Quaternary alluvial deposits related to the exorheic evolution of the present-day fluvial systems (alluvial or mantled karst); c) Subsidence in exposed evaporites (uncovered karst). These types may be represented by paleosubsidence phenomena (synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary) recognizable in the stratigraphical record, or by equivalent currently active or modem examples with surface expression. The interstratal karstification of the Mesozoic marine evaporites and the consequent subsidence of the topstrata is revealed by stratiform collapse breccias and wedge-outs in the evaporites grading into unsoluble residues. In several Tertiary basins, the sediments overlying evaporites locally show synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary subsidence structures. The dissolution-induced subsidence coeval to sedimentation gives place to local thickenings in basin-like structures with convergent dips and cumulative wedge out systems. This sinking process controls the generation of depositional environments and lithofacies distribution. The postsedimentary subsidence produces a great variety of gravitational deformations in the Tertiary supra-evaporitic units including both ductile and brittle structures (flexures, synforms, fractures, collapse and brecciation). The Quaternary fluvial terrace deposits on evaporite sediments show anomalous thickenings (> 150 m) caused by a dissolution-induced subsidence process in the alluvial plain which is balanced by alluvial aggradation. The complex space and time evolution pattern of the paleosubsidence gives place to intricate and anarchical structures in the alluvium which may be erroneously interpreted as pure tectonic deformations. The current subsidence and generation of sinkholes due to suballuvial karstification constitutes a geohazard which affects to large densely populated areas endangering human safety and posing limitations to the development. An outstanding example corresponds to Calatayud historical city, where subsidence severely damages highly valuable monuments. The subsidence resulting from the underground karstification of evaporites has determined or influenced the generation of some important modem lacustrine basins like Gallocanta, Fuente de Piedra and Banyoles lakes. The sudden formation of sinkholes due to the collapse of cave roofs is relatively frequent in some evaporite outcrops. Very harmful and spectacular subsidence activity is currently occurring in the Cardona salt diapir where subsidence has been dramatically exacerbated by mining practices

Origin of atoll lagoons, 2001, Purdy Edward G. , Winterer Edward L. ,
A database of 301 atolls from the Pacific, Indian, and Atlantic Oceans has been analyzed with respect to factors governing maximum atoll lagoon depth. Statistically significant correlations between maximum atoll lagoon depth and both atoll area and present-day rainfall are viewed as the combined effect of paleorainfall precipitation and catchment area in contributing to overall atoll morphology. This interpretation is supported by the gross saucer-shaped morphology of several of the Lau group of the Fiji Islands, and the subsurface Cretaceous Golden Lane atoll of Mexico, where evidence of reef rim construction is lacking but evidence for significant solution relief is compelling. The contribution of reefs to atoll rim construction appears to be limited generally to [~]10 m, leaving more than 20 m of relief to be explained at most atolls. At a number of these, the last interglacial highstand surface is [~]15-20 m beneath Holocene rim sediments. Subsidence rates of even 5 cm/ k.y. do not suffice to explain the subsea depth of this unconformity, suggesting the dominating influence of solution on relief expression. Calculations of solution rates relative to the residence time of sea level below given depths during the past 700 k.y. suggest that the observed atoll relief is in part inherited from more than one Pleistocene, or perhaps earlier, glacial stage. Whatever the precise time of origin, the data available strongly suggest that atoll morphology is solution determined rather than growth predicated

Lunan "Shilin" (Stone Forest), human impact and protection of (eventual) World Heritage Site (Yunnan, China), 2001, Kranjc Andrej, Liu Hong

The Chinese expression "shilin" (stone forest) is becoming an international term meaning megakarren, that is a Čforest« of intensively corroded limestone pinnacles. The best known is Shilin near the town of Lunan. The first known description of Shilin is from 1382. Shilin is very important tourist site. Modern tourism began to develop in 1980, in 1999 the number of visitors reached over 2 million. In 1981 the whole area (350 sq. km) was protected. Under the auspices of the National Ministry of Construction material is being collected for an application to inscribe Shilin into the list of World's Natural Heritage at UNESCO. Related to human impact the most important threats are: exploitation (destruction) of limestone pinnacles as a source of rock material; the pressure of population towards the protection zone due to their increase (need for new building plots); agriculture (farming and stockbreeding) connected to soil erosion and underground water pollution (use of fertilisers); fast growth of visitor numbers. The Shilin administration introduced different protection measures: ban on rock (limestone pinnacles) exploitation in the protection zone (orientation towards afforestation); construction of new tourist facilities out of the core zone (and demolition of some of them in that zone); establishment of a special protection department within Shilin management (18 person); education of "special voluntary rangers" - recruited among highly respected persons of villages and towns in the region.


Physical controls on karst features in the Ozark Plateaus of Missouri, U.S.A., As determined by Multivariate analyses in a Geographic Information System (GIS), 2001, Weary David J. , Orndorff Randall C.

Physical controls on the genesis and aerial distribution of karst features can be identified through analyses of detailed geological mapping and karst data such as cave spring and doline locations. Our study tests the effects of geologic structures and stratigraphic position on the distribution of caves, springs, and dolines in a 625 km2 area in the Ozark Plateaus Province of south-central Missouri. The bedrock in the region is relatively flat-lying Cambrian and Ordovician dolomite, sandstone, and chert. Joint attitude measurements at 1121 locations were interpolated to produce grids representing local structural grain. Structure contours derived from detailed field mapping were used to interpolate a grid representing the attitude of bedding surfaces across the study area. Aspect and slope grids were generated from the structure surface and correlated with known locations of karst features. The density of karst features per lithostratigraphic map unit was calculated and found to be a misleading statistic because it reflects only the map surface expression of karst and not its true distribution in the stratigraphy, which is 3-dimensional. These methodologies may be useful in other areas of relatively flat lying carbonate rocks to delineate zones of enhanced karst development.


Paleosubsidence and active subsidence due to evaporite dissolution in Spain, 2002, Gutierrez F. , Orti F. , Gutierrez M. , Perezgonzalez A. , Benito G. , Gracia F. J. , Duran J. J. ,
Evaporite formations crop out or are at shallow depth present in an extensive area of Spain. These soluble sediments occur in diverse geological domains and were deposited over a long time span, from the Triassic up to the present day. Broadly, the Mesozoic and Paleogene formations (Alpine cycle) are affected by compressional structures, whereas the Neogene (post-orogenic) sediments remain undeformed. Subsidence caused by subsurface dissolution of evaporites (subjacent karst) takes place in three main types of stratigraphic settings: a) subsidence affecting evaporite-bearing Mesozoic and Tertiary successions (interstratal karst); b) subsidence in Quaternary alluvial deposits related to the exorheic evolution of present-day fluvial systems (alluvial or mantled karst); and c) subsidence in exposed evaporites (uncovered karst). These types may be represented by paleosubsidence phenomena (synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary) recognizable in the stratigraphic record, or by equivalent, currently active or modem examples which have a surface expression. Interstratal karstification of Mesozoic marine evaporites, and the consequent subsidence of overlying strata, is revealed by stratiform collapse breccias and wedge outs of the evaporites grading into unsoluble residues. In several Tertiary basins, the sediments overlying evaporites locally show synsedimentary and/or postsedimentary subsidence structures. Dissolution-induced subsidence coeval with sedimentation is accompanied by local thickening of strata in basin-like structures with convergent dips and cumulative wedge-out systems. This sinking process controls the generation of depositional environments and lithofacies distribution. Postsedimentary subsidence produces a great variety of gravitational deformations in Tertiary supra-evaporitic units, including both ductile and brittle structures (flexures, synforms, fractures, collapse, and brecciation). Quaternary fluvial terrace deposits overlying evaporites show anomalous thickenings (>150 m) caused by a dissolution-induced subsidence process in the alluvial plain, which is balanced by alluvial aggradation. The complex evolution (in time and space) of paleosubsidence leads to intricate and chaotic structures in the alluvium, which may be erroneously interpreted as pure tectonic deformations. The current subsidence and generation of sinkholes due to suballuvial karstification constitutes a geohazard which affects large, densely populated areas, and thus endangers human safety and poses limitations on development. An outstanding example can be seen in Calatayud, an important historical city where subsidence has severely damaged highly valuable monuments. Subsidence resulting from the underground karstification of evaporites has caused or influenced the generation of some important modem lacustrine basins, such as Gallocanta, Fuente de Piedra, and Banyoles Lakes. The sudden formation of sinkholes due to collapse of cave roofs is fairly frequent in some evaporite outcrops. Very harmful and spectacular subsidence activity is currently occurring in the Cardona salt diapir, where subsidence has been dramatically exacerbated by mining practices

Detection of sinkholes developed on shaly Ordovician limestones, Hamilton County, Ohio, using digital topographic data: Dependence of topographic expression of sinkholes on scale, contour interval, and slope, 2003, Applegate, P.
The Ohio Geological Survey has recently published a map showing the locations of known and probable karst in Ohio. The map shows some areas of karst developed on the extremely shaly Ordovician limestone of Hamilton County, in the southwestern corner of the state. Detailed mapping of these sinkholes in Mt. Airy Forest, a municipal park near Cincinnati, shows that they occur only where the lower 10 m of the Corryville Member of the Grant Lake Formation is the surface bedrock. Of the many sinkholes in the study area, only one is evident on the 1:24,000 USGS topographic map. The expression of sinkholes on contour maps is dependent on the size of the sinkhole, as well as the scale of the map, the contour interval at which the topography is sampled, and the slope of the ground surface around the sinkhole. It is possible to determine the minimum size of sinkhole which will consistently be expressed on a given part of a contour map. Conversely, it is also possible to determine the scale and contour interval which will be necessary to consistently indicate the presence of sinkholes of a given minimum size.

Patterns of dissolutional porosity in carbonate rocks, 2003, Palmer, A. N.

This paper reviews the hydrochemical processes that determine the patterns of caves and other solutional features within carbonate rocks. The model presented relies on the functional relationships expressed by chemical mass balances, flow equations, and kinetic expressions for dissolution rate. Although it shares many aspects of purely conceptual models and is backed by field evidence, its quantitative basis places it into the realm of analytical models.
The conclusions merely summarize earlier work (mainly Palmer, 1981, 1991). Solutional enlargement of caves and other karst features is highly selective in water that is close to equilibrium with dissolved carbonate minerals, enlarging only the most favorable openings – i.e. those that transmit the greatest discharge. This is characteristic of long flow paths within a typical karst aquifer. In contrast, solutional enlargement will be rather uniform along many competing flow paths where there is (1) high discharge, (2) sustained steep hydraulic gradients, (3) short flow paths, or (4) local renewal of aggressiveness by mixing, oxidation of sulfides, etc. These conditions produce maze caves and epikarstic networks. In general, this condition prevails if Q/rL > 0.001 cm/sec (tubes), or /bL > 0.001 cm/sec (fissures), where Q = discharge, r = tube radius, b = long dimension of fissure cross section, and L = distance of flow from where the initial aggressive solution comes in contact with the carbonate rock.


Sinkhole genesis and evolution in Apulia, and their interrelations with the anthropogenic environment, 2004, Le Rose M. , Federico A. , Parise M. ,
Sinkhole development occurs in many areas of the world where soluble rocks crop out. Sinkholes are generally the surface expression of the presence of caves and other groundwater flow conduits in carbonate rocks, which are solutionally enlarged secondary permeability features. Their formation may be either natural or caused by man's activities. In both cases, heavy consequences have to be registered on the anthropogenic environment and related infrastructures. Knowledge of the mechanism of formation of this subtle geohazard is therefore necessary to planners and decision makers for performing the most appropriate and suitable programs of land use and development. The Apulia region of southern Italy is characterized for most of its extension by carbonate rocks, which makes it one of the most remarkable example of karst in the Mediterranean Basin. Based on analysis of literature and in situ surveys, including caving explorations, we have identified in Apulia three main types of possible mechanisms for sinkhole formation: 1) collapse of a chamber in a natural cave or in man-made cavities; 2) slow and gradual enlargement of doline through dissolution; 3) settlement and internal erosion of filling deposits of pre-existing dolines. Since sinkhole formation very often affects directly the human settlements in Apulia, and have recently produced severe damage, some considerations are eventually presented as regards the interrelationships between sinkholes and the anthropogenic environment

An integrated linear/non-linear flow model for the conduit-fissure-pore media in the karst triple void aquifer system, 2005, Cheng Jm, Chen Cx,
Most karstic aquifer media may be characterized as the triple-void media with highly-varied hydraulic properties, including matrix pore, fissure and conduit, in which liner flow may co-exist with non-linear flow. In this paper, an attempt is made to couple linear flow with non-linear flow in a single unified flow governing equations by introducing the concept of equivalent hydraulic conductivity (EHC) and deriving a general Darcy's law for various flow. The expression of EHC in the karst conduit and fissure are also derived. The procedures of numerical implementation are demonstrated via an ideal model and a case study of karst aquifer system in the Beishan Ore Formation area, Guangxi Autonomous Region, China

Resolving the Richat enigma: Doming and hydrothermal karstification above an alkaline complex, 2005, Matton Guillaume, Jebrak Michel, Lee James K. W. ,
The Richat structure (Sahara, Mauritania) appears as a large dome at least 40 km in diameter within a Late Proterozoic to Ordovician sequence. Erosion has created circular cuestas represented by three nested rings dipping outward from the structure. The center of the structure consists of a limestone-dolomite shelf that encloses a kilometer-scale siliceous breccia and is intruded by basaltic ring dikes, kimberlitic intrusions, and alkaline volcanic rocks. Several hypotheses have been presented to explain the spectacular Richat structure and breccia, but their origin remains enigmatic. The breccia body is lenticular in shape and irregularly thins at its extremities to only a few meters. The breccia was created during karst dissolution and collapse. Internal sediments fill the centimeter- to meter-scale cavities. Alkaline enrichment and the presence of Cretaceous automorphous neoformed K-feldspar demonstrate the hydrothermal origin of these internal sediments and their contemporaneity with magmatism. A model is proposed in which doming and the production of hydrothermal fluids were instrumental in creating a favorable setting for dissolution. The circular Richat structure and its breccia core thus represent the superficial expression of a Cretaceous alkaline complex with an exceptionally well preserved hydrothermal karst infilling at its summit

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