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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. ...

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That hydraulic discharge is the discharge of ground water through springs or wells [16].?

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Your search for hypogenic cave (Keyword) returned 68 results for the whole karstbase:
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Cave Geology, 2007, Palmer A. N.
Cave Geology is the definitive book on the subject by an internationally recognized authority. It can be easily understood by non-scientists but also covers a wide range of topics in enough detail to be used by advanced researchers. Illustrated with more than 500 black-and-white photographs and 250 diagrams and maps, this book is dedicated to anyone with an interest in caves and their origin. Topics include: CONTENTS Preface 1 Speleology the science of caves Cave types Cave exploring Nationwide speleological organizations Searching for caves Cave mapping Preparation of a cave map Cave science Underground photography Show caves Cave preservation and stewardship 2 Cave country Geologic time Landscape development Surface karst features Paleoleokarst Pseudokarst The scale of karst features Distribution of karst and caves The longest and deepest known caves 3 Cavernous rocks Rock types Soils and sediments Stratigraphy Highly soluble rocks Rock structure Rock and mineral analysis A brief guide to rock identification 4 Underground water in karst Types of underground water Vadose flow patterns Phreatic flow patterns Aquifers Nature of the karst water table The freshwater-seawater interface Groundwater hydraulics Flow measurements Use of flow equations in cave interpretation Measuring the flow of springs and streams Groundwater tracing Interpreting groundwater character from tracer tests and flood pulses Quantitative dye tracing 5 Chemistry of karst water Simple dissolution Dissoltion of limestone and dolomite How much rock has dissolved? pH Undersaturation and supersaturation Epigenic and hypogenic acids Chemical interactions Dissolution rates Dissolution of poorly soluble rocks Microbial effects on chemistry Isotopes and their use Analysis of spring chemistry A chemical cave tour Chemical field studies 6 Characteristics of solution caves Cave entrances Passage types Passage terminations Cave rooms Cave levels Cave patterns Minor solution features in caves Interpreting flow from scallops Cave sediments Bedrock collapse Cave biology 7 Speleogenesis: the origin of caves Basic concepts Development of ideas about cave origin Comprehensive views of cave origin Rates of cave enlargement Insight from computer modeling Life cycle of a solution cave 8 Control of cave patterns by groundwater recharge Sinkhole recharge: branchwork caves The problem of maze caves Floodwater caves Caves formed by diffuse flow Hypogenic caves Polygenetic caves Influence of climate 9 Influence of geology on cave patterns Distribution of soluble rocks Influence of rock type Influence of geologic structure Relation of caves to landscape evolution A guide to cave patterns 10 Cave minerals Origin and growth of cave minerals Origin of common cave minerals Speleothem types Speleothem growth rates Speleothem decay 11 Caves in volcanic rocks Volcanic processes and landscapes Types of lava caves Origin and character of lava-tube caves Speleogens and speleothems in lava caves Time scale of lava caves 12 Cave meteorology and internal weathering Composition of cave air Cave temperatures Air movement Evaporation and condensation Weathering in the cave atmosphere Chemical zones in air-filled caves 13 Caves and time Relative and numerical ages Determining cave ages Studies of past climates Caves through the ages 14 Geologic studies of caves Field mapping Calibrating survey instruments Geologic interpretions Testing interpretations for validity Detailed analysis of a cave Further goals 15 Application of cave geology to other geosciences The problem of sampling bias Water supply Engineering applications Land management Interpretation of geologic processes Petroleum geology Mining Scientific frontiers The limits of discovery Glossary References Index Conversion between U.S. and metric units

The polygenetic caves of Cuatro Cinegas (Coahuila, Mexico): morphology and speleogenesis., 2007, Piccini Leonardo, Forti Paolo, Giulivo Italo, Mecchia Marco
The Cuatro Cinegas area is renown worldwide for its thermal springs, which feed a unique ecosystem consisting of many pools, lakes and marshes. The pools also represent a very important water resource in a region characterized by scarce rainfalls. Field investigation has emphasized the role of karst in the hydrogeology of the area. Only few and restricted forms of surface karst are represented; caves are mainly relics of old speleogenetic phases of thermal and bathyphreatic water flow.

The role of condensation-corrosion in thermal speleogenesis: Study of a hypogenic sulfidic cave in Aix-les-Bains, France, 2007, Audra P. , Hoblea F. , Bigot J. Y. , Nobecourt J. C.

Condensation-corrosion is an active speleogenetical process in thermal caves where high thermal gradient drives air convection. Wall retreat rates are greater than in meteoric caves. Conversely, evaporation produces depositional processes by replacement of limestone by gypsum and by aerosol decantation leading to the formation of popcorns. The Chevalley Aven belongs to Aix-les-Bains thermal-sulfidic cave system. Condensation occurs at the contact of cool walls of large spheres; conversely, evaporation occurs at the output of the narrow passages where the air sinks down from the upper sphere. A weathered layer and biofilms are present where slow condensation occurs. Corrosion distribution varies according to thermal rock conductivity and causes the sphere to develop upwards, laterally, and divergent. This mor­phodynamic pattern favors the development of stacked spheres, isolated by narrow necks, and arranged in a bush-like pattern. This development is clearly active in the vadose zone above the thermal water table. We propose that some avens above wa­ter table hypogenic caves, like Villa Luz (Mexico), may be of condensation-corrosion origin instead of phreatic. Future de­velopment will collect physical and chemical data to calculate the condensation-corrosion budget and assess its role in cave development.


Epigene and Hypogene Gypsum Karst Manifestations of the Castile Formation: Eddy County, New Mexico and Culberson County, Texas, USA., 2008, Stafford K. , Nance R. , Rosaleslagarde L. And Boston P. J.
Permian evaporites of the Castile Formation crop out over ~1,800 km2 in the western Delaware Basin (Eddy County, New Mexico and Culberson County, Texas, USA) with abundant and diverse karst manifestations. Epigene karst occurs as well-developed karren on exposed bedrock, while sinkholes dominate the erosional landscape, including both solutional and collapse forms. Sinkhole analyses suggest that more than half of all sinks are the result of upward stoping of subsurface voids, while many solutional sinks are commonly the result of overprinting of collapsed forms. Epigene caves are laterally limited with rapid aperture decreases away from insurgence, with passages developed along fractures and anticline fold axes. Hypogene karst occurs as diverse manifestations, forming the deepest and longest caves within the region as well as abundant zones of brecciation. Hypogene caves exhibit a wide range of morphologies from complex maze and anastomotic patterns to simple, steeply dipping patterns, but all hypogene caves exhibit morphologic features (i.e. risers, outlet cupolas and half-tubes) that provide a definitive suite of evidence of dissolution within a mixed convection (forced and free convection) hydrologic system. Extensive blanket breccias, abundant breccia pipes and numerous occurrences of calcitized evaporites indicate widespread hypogene speleogenesis throughout the entire Castile Formation. Although most cave and karst development within the Castile outcrop region appears to have hypogene origins, epigene processes are actively overprinting features, creating a complex speleogenetic evolution within the Castile Formation.

HYPOGENE KARST AND SULFATE DIAGENESIS OF THE DELAWARE BASIN: SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO AND FAR WEST TEXAS, PhD Thesis , 2008, Stafford, Kevin Wayne

Hypogene speleogenesis is widespread throughout the Delaware Basin region as evidenced by intrastratal dissolution, hypogenic caves and suites of diagenetic minerals. The world famous carbonate caves of the Capitan reef facies of the Guadalupe Mountains have long been associated with sulfuric acid processes and recently have been associated with semi-confined, hypogene dissolution. However, evaporite karst within Permian backreef and basin-filling facies has been traditionally associated with surficial, epigene processes. On the eastern edge of the Delaware Basin cavernous porosity associated with oil reservoirs in Permian carbonates have been attributed to eogenetic karst processes.
Interbedded (evaporite / carbonate), backreef facies within the mid-Permian Seven Rivers Formation exhibit characteristics of hypogene karst associated with semi-confined dissolution controlled by the eastward migration and entrenchment of the Pecos River. Coffee Cave is a good example of hypogene dissolution, forming a multi-storey, rectilinear maze with abundant distinctive morphologic feature suites (i.e. risers, channels and cupolas) indicative of hypogene speleogenesis. Other caves within the Seven Rivers and Rustler Formations show similar patterns, although often less well developed.
Within the Delaware Basin, Castile Formation evaporites have been extensively modified by hypogene processes. Field mapping coupled with GIS analyses clearly shows that karst development and evaporite calcitization are highly clustered throughout the outcrop area. Individual caves commonly exhibit complex morphologies, including complete suites of morphologic features indicative of intrastratal dissolution. Clusters of hypogene caves are commonly associated with clusters of evaporite calcitization and often occurrences of secondary selenite bodies, suggesting all three are genetically related. Brecciated cores and associated native sulfur deposits indicate that calcitized evaporites are the result of semi-confined sulfate reduction in the presence of ascending hydrocarbons. Hypogene caves are currently being overprinted by epigene processes as surface denudation results in breaching of previously confined solutional conduits. However, calcitized evaporites stand as resistant masses attesting to the widespread importance of hypogene processes within the Castile Formation.
On the southern end of the Central Basin Platform, the spatial distribution of cavernous porosity, secondary mineralization and abundant karst fabrics within the Yates Field carbonate strata provide convincing evidence that karst porosity, at least locally, within the San Andres and overlying Permian strata is the result of hypogene speleogenesis. Porosity development appears to have been enhanced by high geothermal gradients and the addition of sulfuric acid-rich fluids, reminiscent of the same processes that have been proposed for the extensive carbonate caves of the Guadalupe Mountains.
Recognition of the widespread occurrence of hypogene speleogenesis throughout the Delaware Basin region indicates that the regional diagenetic evolution has been significantly affected by confined fluid migration, including not only the development of porosity but also the emplacement of many secondary mineral deposits. Therefore, future natural resource management plans must consider the nature of hypogene karst in site evaluations throughout the region in order to better predict geohazards, potential groundwater contamination and characterize mineral resources.


Epigene and Hypogene Gypsum Karst Manifestations of the Castile Formation: Eddy County, New Mexico and Culberson County, Texas, USA., 2008, Stafford K. , Nance R. , Rosaleslagarde L. , Boston P. J.

Permian evaporites of the Castile Formation crop out over ~1,800 km2 in the western Delaware Basin (Eddy County, New Mexico and Culberson County, Texas, USA) with abundant and diverse karst manifestations. Epigene karst occurs as well-developed karren on exposed bedrock, while sinkholes dominate the erosional landscape, including both solutional and collapse forms. Sinkhole analyses suggest that more than half of all sinks are the result of upward stoping of subsurface voids, while many solutional sinks are commonly the result of overprinting of collapsed forms. Epigene caves are laterally limited with rapid aperture decreases away from insurgence, with passages developed along fractures and anticline fold axes. Hypogene karst occurs as diverse manifestations, forming the deepest and longest caves within the region as well as abundant zones of brecciation. Hypogene caves exhibit a wide range of morphologies from complex maze and anastomotic patterns to simple, steeply dipping patterns, but all hypogene caves exhibit morphologic features (i.e. risers, outlet cupolas and half-tubes) that provide a definitive suite of evidence of dissolution within a mixed convection (forced and free convection) hydrologic system. Extensive blanket breccias, abundant breccia pipes and numerous occurrences of calcitized evaporites indicate widespread hypogene speleogenesis throughout the entire Castile Formation. Although most cave and karst development within the Castile outcrop region appears to have hypogene origins, epigene processes are actively overprinting features, creating a complex speleogenetic evolution within the Castile Formation.


MORPHOLOGICAL INDICATORS OF SPELEOGENESIS: HYPOGENIC SPELEOGENS, 2009, Audra P. , Mocochain L. , Bigot J. Y. , Nobecourt J. C.

Hypogenic speleogenesis can be identi?ed at different scales (basinal ?ow patterns at the regional scale, cave patterns at cave system scale, meso- and micromorphology in cave passages). We focus here on small scale features produced by both corrosion and deposition. In the phreatic zone, the corrosion features (speleogens) are a morphologic suite of rising ?ow forms, phreatic chimneys, bubble trails. At the water table are thermo-sulfuric discharge slots, notches with ?at roofs. Above a thermal water table the forms re?ect different types of condensation runoff: wall convection niches, wall niches, ceiling cupolas, ceiling spheres, channels, megascallops, domes, vents, wall partitions, weathered walls, boxwork, hieroglyphs, replacement pockets, corrosion tables, and features made by acid dripping, such as drip tubes, sulfuric karren and cups. Each type of feature is described and linked to its genetic process. Altogether, these features are used to identify the dominant processes of speleogenesis in hypogenic cave systems. Hypogenic caves were recognized early, especially where thermal or sulfuric processes were active (MARTEL, 1935; PRINCIPI, 1931). However SOCQUET (1801) was one of the earliest modern contributors to speleogenetic knowledge, and probably the ?rst to identify the role of sulfuric speleogenesis by condensation-corrosion due to thermal convection. More recent major contributions evidenced the role of sulfuric speleogenesis and hydrothermalism (e.g. DUBLYANSKY, 2000; EGEMEIER, 1981; FORTI, 1996; GALDENZI AND MENICHETTI, 1995; HILL, 1987; PALMER AND PALMER, 1989). However, most of these case-studies were often considered as “exotic”, regarding the “normal” (i.e. epigenic) speleogenesis. Only recently, KLIMCHOUK (2007) provided a global model, allowing the understanding of “hypogenic” speleogenesis and gathering the characteristics of hypogenic caves. Consequently, the number of caves where a hypogenic origin is recognized dramatically increased during the last years. The hypogenic origin can be recognized at the regional scale (deep-seated karst in basins), at the scale of an individual cave system because of distinctive features in its pattern, by studying the morphology of the cave conduits, or at the local scale of wall features made by corrosion processes (i.e. speleogens). Such type of features depict the characteristics of local cave development, and by extension the characteristics of speleogenesis. The description and interpretation of hypogenic speleogens is generally scattered in the literature. The aim of this paper is to gather the most important hypogenic speleogens, considered here as indicators, and used for the identi?cation and characterization of the hypogenic speleogenesis. Our knowledge is based on the compilation of about 350 caves from the literature, and the study of some of the most signi?cant caves (AUDRA, 2007; AUDRA et al., 2002, 2006). In this paper, we focus on the speleogens (i.e. wall- scale corrosion features) as indicators of hypogenic speleogenesis; we exclude here solution feature at larger scale such as conduits and cave systems and depositional features (sediments). Some of the features observed in the sulfuric caves are speci?cally caused by this strong acid. Some features are closely associated with hydrothermalism. Other features that are widespread in hypogene caves are created without sulfuric in?uence. The following typology mainly takes into account the type of runoff. In con?ned settings with slow phreatic ?ow, cave features are common to all types of hypogene processes, whether they are sulfuric or not (i.e. carbonic, hydrothermal…). In uncon?ned settings, condensation-corrosion processes take place above the water table. These aerial processes, enhanced by the oxidation of sul?des by the thermal convections, and by the microbial processes, result in a large variety of cave features. Some features are closely related to speci?c processes. Consequently, they are considered as valuable indicators of the sulfuric speleogenesis.


HYPOGENE CAVE PATTERNS, 2009, Audra P. , Mocochain L. , Bigot J. Y. , Nobecourt J. C.

The hypogenic cave pattern re?ects the speleogenetic processes incvolved. Processes vary according to the depth in the aquifer, involving mixing corrosion by convergent ?ux and with meteoric water, cooling, sulfur oxidation, carbon dioxide degassing, and condensation-corrosion. Cave patterns are: isolated geodes, 2D and 3D multistory systems following joints and bedding planes, Giant phreatic shaft, Water table mazes, Isolated chambers, Upwardly dendritic spheres, Water table cave, ‘Smoking’ shafts. The development of caves by hypogene processes (i.e. “hypogenic speleogenesis”) corresponds to the formation of caves by water that recharges the soluble formation from below, driven by hydrostatic pressure or other sources of energy, independent of recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface” (FORD, 2006). Hypogenic caves - often referred to as “thermal caves” - were often considered as an “exotic” side of the “normal” (i.e. meteoric) caves. Palmer (1991) estimated that about 10% caves have hypogenic origin. Recent studies (overview in KLIMCHOUK, 2007) have emphasized the speci?c hydrogeological background and shown that hypogenic caves are much more common than previously thought. The extreme diversity of settings (carbonic, sulfuric, thermal, cold, deep phreatic, shallow phreatic, vadose...) in different geological or geomorphological contexts produces a puzzling impression: each hypogenic cave seems to be unique, with few characteristics in common with the other hypogenic caves in terms of their patterns.


Morphogenesis of hypogenic caves, 2009, Klimchouk A. B.

Hypogenic speleogenesis is the formation of solution-enlarged permeability structures by waters ascending to a cave-forming zone from below in leaky confined conditions, where deeper groundwaters in regional or intermediate flow systems interact with shallower and more local groundwater flow systems. This is in contrast to more familiar epigenic speleogenesis which is dominated by shallow groundwater systems receiving recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, formed by different dissolutional mechanisms operating in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Hypogenic caves commonly demonstrate a characteristic morphologic suite of cave morphs resulting from rising flow across the cave-forming zone with distinct buoyancy-dissolution components. In addition to hydrogeological criteria (hydrostratigraphic position, recharge-discharge configuration and flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system), morphogenetic analysis is the primary tool in identifying hypogenic caves. Cave patterns resulting from ascending transverse speleogenesis are strongly guided by the permeability structure in a cave formation. They are also influenced by the discordance of permeability structure in the adjacent beds and by the overall hydrostratigraphic arrangement. Three-dimensional mazes with multiple storeys, or complex 3-D cave systems are most common, although single isolated chambers, passages or crude clusters of a few intersecting passages may occur where fracturing is scarce and laterally discontinuous. Large rising shafts and collapse sinkholes over large voids, associated with deep hydrothermal systems, are also known. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world. More importantly, hypogenic speleogenesis is much more widespread than it was previously presumed. Growing recognition of hypogenic speleogenesis and improved understanding of its peculiar characteristics has an immense importance to both karst science and applied fields as it promises to answer many questions about karst porosity (especially as deep-seated settings are concerned) which remained poorly addressed within the traditional epigenetic karst paradigm.


ACTIVE HYPOGENE SPELEOGENESIS AND THE GROUNDWATER SYSTEMSAROUND THE EDGES OF ANTICLINAL RIDGES, 2009, Frumkin A.

It has been recently acknowledged that hypogenic caves are common in limestone terranes (e.g. KLIMCHOUK, 2000; AUDRA et al., 2002, 2007; AULER AND SMART, 2003; FORD AND WILLIAMS, 2007), with an extensive review by KLIMCHOUK (2007). Anticlinal ridges provide large recharge areas through which meteoric water may flow into confined zones around the peripheries during their history of uplift and associated denudation. The spatially varying stratal dips may create preferred flow routes within the confined zone and consequently promote hypogene speleogenesis at the most suitable sites for the water to rise again and discharge. Active speleogenetic sites thus may be found around the edges of anticlinal ridges where the potentiometric levels in the con?ned zone are high enough to promote the rising, transverse ?ow. Further away towards the adjoining synclinal basin, impermeable cover may be too thick to allow rising flow. The preferred sites for speleogenesis may migrate away from the anticlinal axis during the uplift process and associated lowering of groundwater levels. The common occurence of relict isolated hypogene caves in the Judean anticlinorium (FRUMKIN AND FISCHHENDLER, 2005) have led to the discovery of similar caves actively forming today. The Yarkon-Taninim regional aquifer is divided into lower and upper sub-aquifers, of which the lower one becomes (partly) con?ned near the anticlinal axis, while the upper sub- aquifer becomes con?ned at the western foothills. Upward flow is evident at the Ayalon Salinity Anomaly (ASA) where the upper sub-aquifer is still uncon?ned, so that rising water has much larger free space to ?ll in comparison with the nearby confined zone (FRUMKIN AND GVIRTZMAN, 2006). Approaching the watertable, the emerging rising flow can easily travel laterally along the highly permeable karstified zone. The rising ASA water is comparable to artesian springs, which discharge in the zone of lowest head of the upper aquifer. In the case of the ASA, however, the upward ?ow does not reach the open land surface but instead disperses laterally near the watertable. It may thus be considered an “underground delta”. The conceptual model consists of four-segment flow route: (1) rainwater recharge through outcrops on the anticlinal ridge; (2) lateral confined flow down to a depth of ~-700 m; (3) pressurized upward flow through discrete sub-vertical conduits; and (4) multidirectional pervasive flow close to the water table, with restricted output in which the rising water mingles with the ‘normal’ water of the upper aquifer. Maze caves fed by vertical conduits are typical for such an “underground delta”, as they disperse the flow laterally in many similar routes. Dense cave formation is observed to be associated with the upward flow of aggressive water. Within the “underground delta” the aggressiveness is consumed over short distances laterally away from the sub-vertical feeders. Such formation of large voids by dissolution far from the recharge zone implies renewed hydrochemical aggressiveness. The spatial location of the ASA is determined by three conditions that allow upward leakage from the deep sub-aquifer: (1) the location of the westernmost unconfined zone of the upper sub-aquifer, and its association with nearby confined regions; (2) the large upward head gradient; (3) spatial heterogeneities in the vertical permeability that are associated with tectonically disturbed zones.


PRINCIPAL FEATURES OF HYPOGENE SPELEOGENESIS, 2009, Klimchouk A. B.

Hypogenic and hypergenic (epigenic) karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, which are characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems, which had long been the focus of most karst/speleogenetic research, are predominantly local systems receiving recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems dominated by upward flow, although mixing with local systems is commonly involved. Hypogenic speleogenesis tends to operate over long time spans, continuously or intermittently. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic karst may not be expressed at the surface and is largely climate-independent. Hypogenic speleogenesis is the formation of solution-enlarged permeability structures by waters ascending through a cave-forming zone from below. It develops in leaky confined conditions although it may continue through unconfined ones. Vertical hydraulic communication across lithological boundaries and different porosity systems allows deeper groundwaters in regional or intermediate flow systems to interact with shallower and more local systems, permitting a variety of dissolution mechanisms. There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition seen in the development of initial flowpath networks in hypergene cave genesis, accounting for the more uniform and pervasive conduit development found in the hypogene. Hypogenic caves are found in a wide range of geological and tectonic settings, basinal through folded, being formed by different dissolutional mechanisms operating in various lithologies. Despite these variations, the resulting caves tend to display remarkable similarity in their patterns and meso-morphology, strongly suggesting that the type of ?ow system is the primary control. Hypogenic caves commonly demonstrate a characteristic suite of cave morphologies resulting from rising ?ow across the cave-forming zone, with distinct buoyancy dissolution components. Cave patterns in hypogenic speleogenesis are guided by the initial permeability structure, its vertical heterogeneities (discordance in the permeability structure between adjacent beds) and the mode of water input to, and output from, the cave-forming zone. The latter again depends on relationships between permeability structures in the cave-forming zone and formations that lie below and above. Because of its “transverse flow” nature hypogenic speleogenesis has a clustered distribution in plan view, although initial clusters may merge during further development and extend over considerable areas. Recognition of the wide occurrence, significance and specific characteristics of hypogenic speleogenesis represents a major paradigm shift in karst science that answers many questions not satisfactorily addressed previously.


HYPOGENIC ASCENDING SPELEOGENESIS IN THE KRAKW-CZESTOCHOWA UPLAND (POLAND) EVIDENCE IN CAVE MORPHOLOGY AND SURFACE RELIEF, 2009, Tyc A.

Polygenetic and multiphase karst within Upper Jurassic limestone of the Krakw-Czestochowa Upland (South Poland) is characterized by a distinct stage of speleogenesis taking place in conditions of phreatic ascending circulation. This stage (or stages) is evidenced by both cave morphology and surface relief. Morphostratigraphic studies show that the hypogenic ascending features were early forms in the caves and later became integrated into cave systems. Conditions favorable for hypogenic caves development existed during a late Cretaceous-Paleogene phase of speleogenesis when the carbonate massif was covered by low permeability Cretaceous sediments and was subject to intense tectonic Laramian movements. In spite of the significant transformation of caves and their morphology by later vadose, epigenetic speleogenesis and denudation - especially under Pleistocene glacial and periglacial conditions - features of hypogenic ascending circulation are widely observed in the region. Relics of hypogene caves are common in the walls of rock monadnocks in the highest part of the Krakw-Czestochowa Upland.


EPIGENE AND HYPOGENE CAVES IN THE NEOGENE GYPSUM OF THE PONIDZIE AREA (NIECKA NIDZIA?SKA REGION), POLAND, 2009, Urban J. , Andreychouk V. , Kasza A.

The Neogene gypsum of the Ponidzie area (SE part of the Niecka Nidzialska region) is in the same evaporite series as the giant hypogenic caves of the Western Ukraine. In spite of this, most of the Ponidzie gypsum caves were formed in later stages of speleogenesis and are epigenic. They differ from the Ukrainian caves in many features, e.g.: size, patterns and karst microforms. The epigenic caves of the Ponidzie are relatively short, horizontal and poorly branched conduits or flat, low chambers, situated close to the water table and related to the surface karst landforms. But a few caves characterized by the occurrence of karst features suggesting deep, hypogenic karsti?cation have been also recognized in this region. The most specific features of these caves are dome-like chambers with oval and lenticular concavities in the ceiling. Thus, although the dominance of epigene karst in Ponidzie is determined by factors such as hydrological properties of rock overlying and underlying the gypsum strata, structural patterns and joint systems in the gypsum itself (which differ from those of the Ukrainian karst region), local specific tectonic-hydrological conditions could also have generated karst during the deep circulation of artesian water in the early phases of the hydrological evolution. The hypogenic caves of Ponidzie occur in the axial part of a narrow syncline and on the downthrow side of a fault, so that the hypogenic karst is most likely connected with water circulation in marls underlying the gypsum and is limited to the deepest tectonic structures, with tectonic discontinuities being the routes for ground water circulation. This hypothesis should be verified by evaluation of larger numbers of hypogenic karst forms, if they can be found.


Hypogene gypsum karst and sinkhole formation at Moncalvo (Asti, Italy), 2010, Vigna B. , Fiorucci A. , Banzato C. , Forti P. , De Waele J.

In the morning of February 15th 2005, during excavation works in an underground gypsum quarry at Moncalvo (Monferrato area, Asti, Northern Italy), a water-bearing fracture was intercepted at level 134 m a.s.l. During the night a large amount of water (approximately 60,000 m3) and mud invaded the quarry tunnels reaching a height of 139 m a.s.l. the morning of the day after. Meanwhile a large sinkhole (20 m wide and 10 m deep) formed on the surface. Hydrogeological surveys were immediately carried out to follow the quickly evolving situation, while speleological and geomorphological fieldwork was made possible only seven months later. Two important caves were discovered both showing clear evidence of a hypogenic origin with sculpted morphologies due to slowly flowing water under pressure. The sinkhole formed by the collapse of one of the main chambers of the biggest of these caves, when buoyant support provided by the water started to decrease due to lowering of the virtual water table. The recharge of this karst system is from below and only very minor quantities of infiltration water come from the above lying surface, as has also been confirmed by hydrochemical analysis. This hypogene karst is completely invisible at the surface and develops entirely underground showing no relation whatsoever with the surface. Its presence is therefore extremely difficult to reveal and such types of karst can thus make up extremely dangerous situations. This is the first example of hypogene gypsum cave related to ascending waters in Italy.


Genesis and functioning of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst (Savoie, France): past research and recent advances, 2010, Hoblea F. , Gallinojosnin S. , Audra Ph.

Aix-les-Bains (Savoie, France) owes its name and reputation to the thermal springs that occur along the eastern shore of Lake Bourget, France largest natural lake. Although the city waters have been exploited since Antiquity, scientific investigations into the nature and characteristics of the hydrothermal karst from which they emerge did not begin until the early 19th century. The present article traces the history of these investigations and summarizes the results of more than two centuries of scientific research. Today, the only visible signs of karstification related to hydrothermal flows are to be found in the discharge zone in the Urgonian limestone anticline that rises above the city centre. These features are: – the Grotte des Serpents, which houses the Alun Spring, the system main natural discharge, – the Chevalley Aven, a blind chimney that was accidentally uncovered in 1996, – other hydrothermal springs that are too small to enter, including the Soufre Spring. Although scientific investigation of the thermal springs at Aix-les-Bains began in the early 19th century, it was not until the 1920s that scientists started examining the relationship between karstification and the state of the aquifer. E.A.Martel was the first researcher to describe the Aix-les-Bains site as an active hydrothermal karst, in a pioneering study published in 1935. Sixty years later, the discovery of the Chevalley Aven during building work on a new hydrotherapy center gave fresh impetus to research into the karstification of the Aix-les-Bains thermo-mineral aquifer. Recent studies have also investigated the deep aquifer below the karst, using data provided by boreholes. The Urgonian limestone karst at Aix-les-Bains is the site of mixing between thermal waters rising through the anticline and meteoric waters percolating from the surface. Meteoric infiltration is sufficiently high for the hydrological behavior of the thermal springs to be identical to that of exsurgences in gravity-fed, cold-water transmissive karsts. The Chevalley Aven is a shaft that descends 30 meters below the surface, thereby providing access to the ground-water at depth. Monitoring of the water quality in the aven has shown that the Legionella contamination of the springs was due to high concentrations of the bacteria in upstream passages in the karst. In 2006, dye-tracing tests confirmed the existence of a hydraulic connection between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun and Soufre Springs, the fact there is a single ascending hydrothermal conduit, which lies between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun Spring. In addition to providing a valuable source of information about the functioning of the thermo-mineral aquifer, the cavities at Aix-les-Bains are of great karstological interest, especially for the study of hypogene speleogenetic processes. The circulation of warm (40oC), sulfur-rich waters and vapours through the system has led to the development of conduits with specific morphologies and the precipitation of characteristic deposits. These features include: – “beaded” chimneys and galleries formed by the linking of spheres produced by condensation-corrosion. Diffuse karstification along bedding planes around the main conduit; – deposition of non-carbonate minerals (gypsum, native sulfur); – formation of biothems and biofilms on walls subject to condensation. The Grotte des Serpents is a horizontal cavity that formed at the upper limit of the water table. The Chevalley Aven is a hypogene chimney that was sculpted under vadose conditions by the release of sulfuric acid-rich vapours above the thermal water table. As well as a surface coating of microbial mats and the presence of bacterial flakes in the thermal water, the vadose parts of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst contain a characteristic microfauna and flora. These microorganisms are thought to play an active role in hypogene karstification processes.


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