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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That keyhole passage; keyhole is 1. this very descriptive name derives from the crosssectional shape of a cave passage that consists of a phreatic tube with a vadose canyon cut in its floor. it is the classic example of a two-phase cave passage that originated and began its development in the phreas and was then modified by vadose entrenchment. as this sequence is the result of water table lowering by normal surface erosion, keyholes are common. some keyholes are so small that the lower slot is impassable and the caver has to squeeze along the upper tube; others are very large. spectacularly long is the 5km of keyhole forming the fissures in castleguard cave, canada. a tube 6m in diameter tops an irregular tapering canyon 15m deep that must be traversed on sloping ledges at mid-level [9]. 2. a small passage or opening in a cave; in cross section, rounded at the top, constricted in the middle, and rectangular or flared out below [10]. they appear as keyholes when viewed in cross section. they are formed when underground streams flowing in a tubular passage begin downcutting to form a canyon passage [15]. see also canyon passage; passage; tubular passage; vertical shaft.?

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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
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Your search for calcarenite (Keyword) returned 47 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 47
Thermoluminescence dating of dune ridges in western Victoria, 2000, White, Susan

Absolute dating of the Pleistocene dune ridges of southwestern Victoria establishes a time frame for speleogenesis of syngenetic karst in such dune calcarenites. The dunes were deposited during the late mid-Pleistocene.


New constraints on the origin of the Australian Great Barrier Reef: Results from an international project of deep coring, 2001, Drilling Icfgbr,
Two new boreholes provide the first direct evidence of the age of the Australian Great Barrier Reef. An inner shelf sequence (total depth, 86 m; basal age = 210 {} 40 ka) comprises a dominantly siliciclastic unit (thickness [~]52-86 m), overlain by four carbonate units (total thickness 0-34 m). A shelf-edge and slope sequence (total depth 210 m) reveals three major sections: (1) a lower section of resedimented flows deposited on a lower slope, (2) a mid-section including intervals of corals, rhodoliths, and calcarenites with low- angle graded laminae, and (3) an upper section of four shelf- margin coral-reef units separated by karst surfaces bearing paleosols. Sr isotope and magnetostratigraphic data indicate that the central Great Barrier Reef is relatively young (post Bruhnes-Matuyama boundary time), and our best estimate for the onset of reef growth on the outer barrier system is ca. 600 {} 280 ka. This date suggests that reef initiation may have been related to the onset of full eccentricity-dominated glacio-eustatic sea-level oscillation as inferred from large-amplitude 'saw-tooth' 100 k.y. {delta}18O cycles (after marine isotope stage 17), rather than to some regional environmental parameter. A major question raised by our study is whether reef margins globally display a similar growth history. The possibility of a global reef initiation event has important implications for basin to shelf partitioning of CaCO3, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and global temperature change during Quaternary time

Water-upwelling pipes and soft-sediment-deformation structures in lower Pleistocene calcarenites (Salento, southern Italy), 2001, Massari F. , Ghibaudo G. , D'alessandro A. , Davaud E. ,
A thin sedimentary blanket, consisting mostly of subtidal, unconformity-bounded calcarenite units, was deposited in the small Novoli graben (Apulian foreland, southern Italy) in Pliocene-Pleistocene time. In a limited part of the study area the lower Pleistocene 'Calcarenite di Gravina,' forming the thicker part of this blanket, is crossed by continuous to discontinuous cylindrical pipes as much as 12 m high, most commonly consisting of stacked concave- upward laminae, locally grading upward into soft-sediment-deformation features and large dishes. The evidence favors an origin linked to upwelling of overpressured groundwater from a large karstic reservoir hosted in the Mesozoic carbonate rocks; the reservoir periodically developed a relatively high hydrostatic head due to Tertiary to Pleistocene cover acting as an aquitard or aquiclude. As a result, submarine springs were generated, the activity of which was primarily controlled by relative sea-level fluctuations. It is suggested that the pipes were located in those points where the hydrostatic pressure was sufficient to fluidize the overlying sediment and could be released without notably affecting the surrounding sediments. Some pipes cross calcarenitic infills of karstic sinkholes developed in the underlying units, whereas others follow the course of vertical to high-angle extensional synsedimentary tectonic fractures generated when the calcarenites were still in an unconsolidated to semiconsolidated state. The former relationships suggest that vertical routes of water upwelling during highstand of base level commonly coincided with axes of vadose solution during base-level lowstand; the latter suggest that opening of fractures enhanced the connection of the deep aquifer with the surface, hence intensifying water upwelling. We think that fluidization along the fractures was not hindered by the partially coherent state, and that pipes with a cylindrical geometry could form in spite of the planarity of the fractures. The formation of the pipes and their internal structure of stacked concave-upward laminae is thought to be consistent with a process of fluidization due to through-flowing waters. We believe that essential in this process is the role of upward-migrating transient water-filled cavities, akin to the voidage waves (Hassett's [1961a, 1961b] parvoids) experimentally reproduced by several authors in liquid fluidized beds, and regarded as true instability phenomena of a fluidized suspension occurring above minimum fluidization velocity. It is suggested that the process is akin to the production of the dish structure. It consists of the filling of transient, upward-migrating, water-filled cavities through steady fallout of particles from the cavity roof, their redeposition in a more consolidated state, and subsidence of the roof due to water seepage upward from the cavity. The process was accompanied by segregation of grains according to their size and density, as well by elutriation of finest particles, and led to a new pattern of sediment texture, packing, and fabric with respect to the surrounding calcarenites

Palaeokarst in the Noondine Chert in Southwestern Australia: Implications for Water Supply and the Protection of Biodiversity, 2002, Appleyard, Steve
In southwestern Australia, karst features occur in geological formations other than the coastal calcarenites of the Tamala Limestone. The Noondine Chert was formed by the silicification of carbonate rocks and contains relict carbonate textures and palaeokarst features such as intense brecciation and the presence of subsurface voids. This geological formation is an important aquifer to the east of the Perth Basin where groundwater resources are otherwise limited, and the aquifer is highly vulnerable to contamination from agricultural land use. The Noondine Chert may also contain a rich stygofauna. This has not been taken into account in groundwater protection policies, and needs to be assessed as a matter of urgency

Palaeokarst in the Noondine Chert in Southwestern Australia: Implications for Water Supply and the Protection of Biodiversity, 2002, Appleyard, Steve

In southwestern Australia, karst features occur in geological formations other than the coastal calcarenites of the Tamala Limestone. The Noondine Chert was formed by the silicification of carbonate rocks and contains relict carbonate textures and palaeokarst features such as intense brecciation and the presence of subsurface voids. This geological formation is an important aquifer to the east of the Perth Basin where groundwater resources are otherwise limited, and the aquifer is highly vulnerable to contamination from agricultural land use. The Noondine Chert may also contain a rich stygofauna. This has not been taken into account in groundwater protection policies, and needs to be assessed as a matter of urgency.


Quaternary calcarenite stratigraphy on Lord Howe Island, southwestern Pacific Ocean and the record of coastal carbonate deposition, 2003, Brooke Bp, Woodroffe Cd, Murraywallace Cv, Heijnis H, Jones Bg,
Lord Howe Island is a small, mid-ocean volcanic and carbonate island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Skeletal carbonate eolianite and beach calcarenite on the island are divisible into two formations based on lithostratigraphy. The Searles Point Formation comprises eolianite units bounded by clay-rich paleosols. Pore-filling sparite and microsparite are the dominant cements in these eolianite units, and recrystallised grains are common. Outcrops exhibit karst features such as dolines, caves and subaerially exposed relict speleothems. The Neds Beach Formation overlies the Searles Point Formation and consists of dune and beach units bounded by weakly developed fossil soil horizons. These younger deposits are characterised by grain-contact and meniscus cements, with patchy pore-filling micrite and mirosparite. The calcarenite comprises several disparate successions that contain a record of up to 7 discrete phases of deposition. A chronology is constructed based on U/Th ages of speleothems and corals, TL ages of dune and paleosols, AMS 14C and amino acid racemization (AAR) dating of land snails and AAR whole-rock dating of eolianite. These data indicate dune units and paleosols of the Searles Point Formation were emplaced during oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 7 and earlier in the Middle Pleistocene. Beach units of the Neds Beach Formation were deposited during OIS 5e while dune units were deposited during two major phases, the first coeval with or shortly after the beach units, the second later during OIS 5 (e.g. OIS 5a) when the older dune and beach units were buried.Large-scale exposures and morphostratigraphical features indicate much of the carbonate was emplaced as transverse and climbing dunes, with the sediment source located seaward of and several metres below the present shoreline. The lateral extent and thickness of the eolianite deposits contrast markedly with the relatively small modern dunes. These features indicate that a slight fall (2-10 m) in sea level may be required to mobilise relatively large volumes of sediment onto the island. The stratigraphy of the calcarenite, combined with the shallow depth of the platform surrounding the island (30-50 m present water depth) and the geochronological data, suggest that cycles of carbonate deposition on the island are linked to interglacial and interstadial periods of high or falling sea level

The influence of the geological setting on the morphogenetic evolution of the Tremiti Archipelago (Apulia, Southeastern Italy), 2005, Andriani Gk, Walsh N, Pagliarulo R,
The Tremiti Archipelago (Southern Adriatic Sea), also called Insulae Diomedae from the name of the Greek hero who first landed there, is an area of high landscape and historical value. It is severely affected by significant geomorphologic processes dominated by mass movements along the coast that constitute the most important and unpredictable natural hazard for the population and cultural heritage. Coastal erosion is favoured by the peculiar geological and structural setting, seismic activity, weathering, development of karst processes, and wave action. The present paper reports on descriptive and qualitative evaluation of the factors controlling landslides and coastline changes based on medium-term in situ observation, detailed surface surveys at selected locations since 1995, and historic and bibliographic data. The Tremiti Archipelago is part of an active seismic area characterised by a shear zone separating two segments of the Adriatic microplate that have shown different behaviour and roll back rates in the subduction underneath the Apennines since middle Pleistocene. Although coastal morphology can be basically considered to be the result of wave action, the continual action of subaerial processes contributes effectively to the mechanism of shoreline degradation. Weathering mainly affects the marly calcisiltites and calcilutites of the Cretaccio Fm. and the friable and low cemented calcarenites and biomicrites of the San Nicola Fm. The cliffs are characterised by different types of failure such as lateral spreads, secondary topples, rock falls and slides. At the Isle of San Nicola, landslides are controlled by the contrast in competence, shear strength and stiffness between the Pliocene re-crystallised dolomitic calcarenites and calcisiltites and the Miocene marly calcilutites and calcisiltites. At the Isles of San Domino and Caprara rock falls are attributed to the undercutting of waves at the base of the cliffs

Rock coast morphology in relation to lithology and wave exposure, Lord Howe Island, southwest Pacific, 2005, Dickson Me, Woodroffe Cd,
The morphology of rock coastlines appears primarily to be a function of the eroding force of waves and the resistance of rocks, but a number of local factors complicate determination of the relative significance of these as opposed to other factors. Lord Howe Island, a small, basaltic mid-oceanic island in the northern Tasman Sea, presents a unique opportunity to differentiate the roles of rock resistance and wave exposure. The island occurs at the southern limit of coral growth and there is a fringing coral reef and lagoon on a portion of the western coastline. The reef markedly attenuates wave energy and there is an impressive contrast between the sheltered lagoonal coastline, which consists largely of depositional sandy beaches and vegetated hillslopes, and the exposed coastline which is bold and rugged having been eroded by waves into precipitous plunging cliffs, cliffs with talus slopes, and cliffs with basal shore platforms. There is a clear contrast between the development of basalt shore platforms along the sheltered and exposed coastlines: exposed platforms are wider, backed by a higher and steeper cliff, and are without talus deposits, as opposed to sheltered platforms that are veneered by talus. Calcarenites, deposited in the Late Pleistocene, hence precluding significant rock coast inheritance, have been eroded into platforms that are approximately twice as wide on the exposed coastline than the sheltered coastline. Further evidence as to the efficacy of wave erosion around Lord Howe Island is provided by a suite of landforms that appear to have developed as a result of localised wave-quarrying of highly jointed dykes (sea caves, arches, blowholes, and gulches)

Syngenetic Karst in Australia: a review, 2006, Grimes Ken G.
In syngenetic karst speleogenesis and lithogenesis are concurrent: caves and karst features are forming at the same time as the loose sediment is being cemented into a soft, porous rock. Eogenetic karst and soft-rock karst are closely related terms for features developed in soft, poorly-consolidated limestones. The distinctive features of syngenetic karst are: shallow horizontal cave systems; a general lack of directed conduits (low irregular chambers occur instead); clustering of caves at the margins of topographic highs or along the coast; paleosoil horizons; vertical solution pipes which locally form dense fields; extensive breakdown and subsidence to form collapse-dominated cave systems; a variety of surface and subsurface breccias and locally large collapse dolines and cenotes; and limited surface sculpturing (karren). These features are best developed in host sediments that have well developed primary matrix permeability and limited secondary cementation (and hence limited mechanical strength), for example dune calcarenites. Certain hydrological environments also assist: invading swamp waters or mixing at a well-developed watertable; or, near the coast, mixing at the top and bottom of a freshwater lens floating on salt water. Where these factors are absent the karst forms tend to be more akin to those of classical hard-rock or telogenetic karst.

Syngenetic Karst in Australia: a review, 2006, Grimes, Ken G.

In syngenetic karst speleogenesis and lithogenesis are concurrent: caves and karst features are forming at the same time as the loose sediment is being cemented into a soft, porous rock. "Eogenetic karst" and "soft-rock karst" are closely related terms for features developed in soft, poorly-consolidated limestones. The distinctive features of syngenetic karst are: shallow horizontal cave systems; a general lack of directed conduits (low irregular chambers occur instead); clustering of caves at the margins of topographic highs or along the coast; paleosoil horizons; vertical solution pipes which locally form dense fields; extensive breakdown and subsidence to form collapse-dominated cave systems; a variety of surface and subsurface breccias and locally large collapse dolines and cenotes; and limited surface sculpturing (karren). These features are best developed in host sediments that have well developed primary matrix permeability and limited secondary cementation (and hence limited mechanical strength), for example dune calcarenites. Certain hydrological environments also assist: invading swamp waters or mixing at a well-developed watertable; or, near the coast, mixing at the top and bottom of a freshwater lens floating on salt water. Where these factors are absent the karst forms tend to be more akin to those of classical hard-rock or telogenetic karst.


Evaluating the impact of quarrying on karst aquifers of Salento (southern Italy), 2007, Le Rose M. , Parise M. , Andriani G. F. ,
This paper describes a case study in the Salento karst (Apulia, southern Italy) in a site that has been intensively used to quarry limestones in the last 30 years. After quarrying activity had stopped, the site was transformed into legal and illegal landfills where solid and liquid wastes have been repeatedly dumped, with serious consequences for the groundwater resources. In this paper, through a geological, petrographical and hydrogeological approach, we attempt to assess the consequences of the anthropogenic activities on the local hydrogeology, with particular regard to the surficial aquifer that is contained in the Plio-Quaternary calcarenites cropping out in the area. Application of some well-known methods to assess the vulnerability of aquifer systems to contamination by human activities (DRASTIC, SINTACS, LeGrand and GOD) highlights the limits of such an approach in karst environment, and the necessity to include in the methods data strictly related to the peculiarity of karst. This is further evidenced by application of the EPIK method, specifically designed for karst areas. The final part of the paper focuses on the need of a thorough understanding of the hydrogeological setting for a better management and policy action of karst environments

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave-pools and anchihaline environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis., 2007, Gins Angel, Gins Joaqun
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins Angel And Gins Joaquin
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Polyphase karst system in Cretaceous chalk and calcarenite of the Belgian-Dutch border, 2007, Willems Luc, Rodet Joë, L, Fournier Matthieu, Laignel Benoî, T, Dusar Michiel, Lagrou David, Pouclet André, , Massei Nicolas, Dussartbaptista Ludivine, Compè, Re Philippe, Ek C
Along the Belgian-Dutch border, underground and surface quarries dug in Cretaceous calcarenite and chalk intersect many karst features as well as deep large nodes of weathered rock. Their observation allows the reconstruction of the genesis of an original karst system resulting from the merging of initially independent endokarsts and exokarsts. Deep weathering has developed within the Cretaceous formations, creating nodes of weathered chalk and closed cavities. These phenomena are expanded over time and can form interconnected voids. Near the surface, solution pipes are generated under the coarsest deposits of a fluvial terrace capping the Cretaceous formations. These pipes develop vertically and may be related to the progressive lowering of the water table in connection with the incision of the Meuse valley. Some of these phenomena cut up the older endokarsts and organize complex systems of out-flow within the chalk.

Karsts des craies et calcarénites de la Montagne Saint-Pierre (BasseMeuse liégeoise), 2007, Luc Willems Joë, L Rodet Camille Ek Michiel Dusar David Lagrou Matthieu Fournier Benoî, T Laignel And André, Pouclet
The ?Montagne Saint-Pierre? (Sint Pietersberg) is a separate part of the Hesbaye plateau, isolated between the lower valleys of the Geer and the Meuse rivers. It is exploited by a big open-air quarry and by numerous underground quarries developing galleries on hundreds of kilometers long. Excavated in Cretaceous chalk and calcarenite, these artificial networks allow an exceptional 3-D observation of karsts inside a very porous and permeable rock, less favourable to a concentrated solution. The most numerous of them are ?organ pipes? or ?earth pipes?. They are vertical tubular solution pipes that may exceed 60 m in depth. Sponge networks and subhorizontal caves occur, without any visible connection with fracturation. Finally, downwards to at least 20 m below the alluvial plain of the Meuse river, pluridecametric nodes of weathered chalk are found. By their size and rounded morphology, the nodes resemble to the natural caves occurring in the calcarenite and intersected by the underground quarries. All the studied karsts allow us to propose a scenario for the genesis of a polyphase karst system. Independently of surface conditions, caves are generated deeply in the phreatic zone (endokarsts). During the downcutting of theMeuse valley, and related to the fluvial terraces, solution pipes (input karsts) are generated. Due to the valley incision and to the lowering of the aquifer,theses solution pipes progress downward and cut the endokarsts. A concentrated water circulation takes place. In the dewatered upper part of the system, caves cut by solution pipes are rapidly filled by superficial deposits. The high porosity of the calcarenite makes it comparable to a sponge. The rock absorbs quickly the out-flows coming from the surface and causes a rapid deposit of the fine particles transported inside horizontal passages. The sealing of these conduits allows their conservation inside a very crumbly rock.

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