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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 multiaquifer formation is a formation with several aquifers overlying each other [16].?

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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 saline (Keyword) returned 98 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 98
Evaporites, brines and base metals: What is an evaporite? Defining the rock matrix, 1996, Warren J. K. ,
This paper, the first of three reviews on the evaporite-base-metal association, defines the characteristic features of evaporites in surface and subsurface settings. An evaporite is a rock that was originally precipitated from a saturated surface or near-surface brine in hydrological systems driven by solar evaporation. Evaporite minerals, especially the sulfates such as anhydrite and gypsum, are commonly found near base-metal deposits. Primary evaporites are defined as those salts formed directly via solar evaporation of hypersaline waters at the earth's surface. They include beds of evaporitic carbonates (laminites, pisolites, tepees, stromatolites and other organic rich sediment), bottom nucleated salts (e.g. chevron halite and swallow-tail gypsum crusts), and mechanically reworked salts (such as rafts, cumulates, cross-bedded gypsarenites, turbidites, gypsolites and halolites). Secondary evaporites encompass the diagenetically altered evaporite salts, such as sabkha anhydrites, syndepositional halite and gypsum karst, anhydritic gypsum ghosts, and more enigmatic burial associations such as mosaic halite and limpid dolomite, and nodular anhydrite formed during deep burial. The latter group, the burial salts, were precipitated under the higher temperatures of burial and form subsurface cements and replacements often in a non-evaporite matrix. Typically they formed from subsurface brines derived by dissolution of an adjacent evaporitic bed. Because of their proximity to 'true' evaporite beds, most authors consider them a form of 'true' evaporite. Under the classification of this paper they are a burial form of secondary evaporites. Tertiary evaporites form in the subsurface from saturated brines created by partial bed dissolution during re-entry into the zone of active phreatic circulation. The process is often driven by basin uplift and erosion. They include fibrous halite and gypsum often in shale hosts, as well as alabastrine gypsum and porphyroblastic gypsum crystals in an anhydritic host. In addition to these 'true' evaporites, there is another group of salts composed of CaSO4 or halite. These are the hydrothermal salts. Hydrothermal salts, especially hydrothermal anhydrite, form by the subsurface cooling or mixing of CaSO4- saturated hydrothermal waters or by the ejection of hot hydrothermal water into a standing body of seawater or brine. Hydrothermal salts are poorly studied but often intimately intermixed with sulfides in areas of base-metal accumulations such as the Kuroko ores in Japan or the exhalative brine deeps in the Red Sea. In ancient sediments and metasediments, especially in hydrothermally influenced active rifts and compressional belts, the distinction of this group of salts from 'true' evaporites is difficult and at times impossible. After a discussion of hydrologies and 'the evaporite that was' in the second review, modes and associations of the hydrothermal salts will be discussed more fully in the third review

Optimum well design to avoid salt water pollution of a coastal karst aquifer, 1997, Dermissis V,
The maximum freshwater well pumping flowrate, from an underground karst channel, is defined as function of the channel length, between the well and the submarine spring, in which the channel is terminated. The differential equations that describe the phenomenon of saltwater intrusion into the channel have been analytically solved. The derived dimensionless graphs are suitable for practical applications. Their use can lead to a freshwater exploitation up to 90% of the submarine spring discharge without brackishnesh of the well freshwater

Groundwater circulation and geochemistry of a karstified bank-marginal fracture system, South Andros Island, Bahamas, 1997, Whitaker Fiona F. , Smart Peter L. ,
On the east coast of South Andros Island, Bahamas, a major bank-marginal fracture system characterised by vertically extensive cavern systems (blue holes) is developed sub-parallel to the steep-sided deep-water re-entrant of the Tongue of the Ocean. In addition to providing a discharge route for meteoric, mixed and geochemically evolved saline groundwaters, a strong local circulation occurs along the fracture system. This generates enhanced vertical mixing within voids of the fracture system, evidenced by the increasing mixing zone thickness, and the thinning and increasing salinity of brackish lens waters from north to south along the fracture system. Furthermore, tidally driven pumping of groundwaters occurs between the fracture and adjacent carbonate aquifer affecting a zone up to 200 m either side of the fracture.The resultant mixing of groundwaters of contrasting salinity and within and along the fracture system and with the surrounding aquifer waters, together with bacterial oxidation of organic matter, generates significant potential for locally enhanced diagenesis. Undersaturation with respect to calcite within the fresh (or brackish)-salt water mixing zone is observed in the fracture system and predicted in the adjacent aquifer, while mixing between the brackish fracture lens and surrounding high fresh waters causes dissolution of aragonite but not calcite. The latter gives rise to considerable secondary porosity development, because active tidal pumping ensures continued renewal of dissolutional potential. This is evidenced by calcium and strontium enrichment in the brackish lens which indicates porosity generation by aragonite dissolution at a maximum rate of 0.35% ka-1, up to twice the average estimated for the fresh water lens. In contrast saline groundwaters are depleted in calcium relative to open ocean waters suggesting the formation of calcite cements.The development of a major laterally continuous cavernous fracture zone along the margin of the carbonate platform permits enhanced groundwater flow and mixing which may result in generation of a diagenetic `halo' at a scale larger than that generally recognised around syn-sedimentary fractures in fossil carbonates. This may be characterised by increased secondary porosity where a relative fall in sea-level results in exposure and formation of a meteoric groundwater system, or cementation by `marine' calcite both below this meteoric system, and where the bank surface is flooded by seawater

Groundwater Geochemistry of Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico, 1998, Wicks C. M. , Troester Jo. W.
In this study, we explore the differences between the hydrogeochemical processes observed in a setting that is open to input from the land surface and in a setting that is closed with respect to input from the land surface. The closed setting was a water-filled passage in a cave. Samples of groundwater and of a solid that appeared to be suspended in the relatively fresh region of saline-freshwater mixing zone were collected. The solid was determined to be aragonite. Based on the analyses of the composition and saturation state of the groundwater, the mixing of fresh and saline water and precipitation of aragonite are the controlling geochemical processes in this mixing zone. We found no evidence of sulfate reduction. Thus, this mixing zone is similar to that observed in Caleta Xel Ha, Quintana Roo, also a system that is closed with respect to input from the land surface.The open setting was an unconfined aquifer underlying the coastal plain along which four hand-dug wells are located. Two wells are at the downgradient ends of inferred flowpaths and one is along a flowpath. The composition of the groundwater in the downgradient wells is sulfide-rich and brackish. In contrast, at the well located along a flow line, the groundwater is oxygenated and brackish. All groundwater is oversaturated with respect to calcite, aragonite, and dolomite. The composition is attributed to mixing of fresh and saline groundwater, CO2 outgassing, and sulfate reduction. This mixing zone is geochemically similar to that observed in blue holes and cenotes.

Hydrogeochemical vertical zonality in the Cid karst aquifer (Alicante, Spain), 1998, Pulidobosch A. , Andreu J. M. , Estevez A. , Ayanz J. ,
Study of hydrochemical data, conductivity and temperature logs and the samples taken at different depths reveals a marked hydrogeochemical vertical zonality in the Cid karst aquifer. Most saline waters lie in the deepest parts of the aquifer, while those of lowest mineralization occupy the areas of the saturated zone closest to the surface. The hydrodynamic system thus formed is considered to be influenced by two flows: a more superficial one, presenting a lower level of water mineralization; and a deep flow system in which the water, due to contact with Triassic evaporitic materials, experiences a considerable increase in mineralization. (C) Academie des sciences/Elsevier, Paris

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

Modelling density-dependent flow and solute transport at the Lake Tutchewop saline disposal complex, Victoria., 1998, Simmons Craig T.

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998, Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Growth and demise of an Archean carbonate platform, Steep Rock Lake, Ontario, Canada, 1999, Kusky T. P. , Hudleston P. J. ,
The Steep Rock Group of northwest Ontario's Wabigoon subprovince is one of the world's thickest Archean carbonate platform successions. It was deposited unconformably over a 3001-2928 Ma gneissic terrane, and contains a remarkable group of biogenic and oolitic limestones, dolostones, micrites, and karat breccias capped by a thick paleosol developed between and over karst towers. The presence of aragonite fans, herringbone calcite, and rare gypsum molds suggests that the carbonate platform experienced at least local anaerobic and hypersaline depositional conditions. This sequence shows that a combination of chemical and biological processes was able to build a carbonate platform 500 m thick by 3 billion years ago. The carbonate platform is structurally overlain by a mixture of complexly deformed rocks of the Dismal Ashrock forming a melange with blocks of ultramafic volcaniclastic rocks, mafic volcanics, carbonate, tonalite, lenses of Fe-ore rock, and metasedimentary rocks, in a shaly, serpentinitic, and fragmental ultramafic volcaniclastic matrix. The melange shows evidence of polyphase deformation, with early high-strain fabrics formed at amphibolite facies, and later superimposed brittle fabrics related to the final emplacement of the melange over the carbonate platform. An amphibolite- through greenschist-grade shear zone marks the upper contact of the melange with overlying mafic volcanic and tuffaceous rocks of the ca. 2932 Ma Witch Bay allochthon, interpreted as a primitive island are sequence. We suggest an evolutionary model for the area that begins with rifting of an are sequence (Marmion Complex of the Wabigoon are) that initiated subsidence and sedimentation on the Steep Rock platform and its correlatives that extend for a restored strike length exceeding 1000 km. Shallow water carbonate sedimentation continued until the platform was uplifted on the flanks of a flexural bulge related to the approach of the Witch Bay allochthon, representing collision of the rifted are margin of the Wabigoon subprovince with the Witch Bay are. Melange of the Dismal Ashrock was formed as off-axis volcanic rocks were accreted to the base of the Witch Bay allochthon prior to its collision with the Steep Rock platform

Facies differentiation and sequence stratigraphy in ancient evaporite basins - An example from the basal Zechstein (Upper Permian of Germany), 1999, Steinhoff I. , Strohmenger C. ,
Due to excellent preservation, the Werra Anhydrite (Al), the upper member of the Upper Permian Zechstein cycle I (Ist cycle, Z1), is readily studied in terms of the distribution of sulfate facies and sequence stratigraphy that can be interpreted from these facies. In this study cores taken from seven wells in the Southern Zechstein Basin were examined for their sedimentary structures and various petrographic features. Facies interpretation and depositional sequences are based on detailed examination of core material. Four main facies environments have been identified: (I) supratidal (II) intertidal (III) shallow subtidal, and (IV) deeper (hypersaline) subtidal. These are further subdivided into 10 subfacies types: (1) karst and (2) sabkha within the supratidal environment (I), (3) algal tidal-flat, (4) tidal flat and (5) beach deposit within the intertidal environment (II), (6) salina, and (7) sulfate arenites within the shallow subtidal enviromnent (III). The (8) slope subfacies type commonly associated with (9) turbidites and the (10) basin subfacies type subdivide the deeper subtidal environment (IV). Vertical stacking patterns of these facies and subfacies types reveal the sequence stratigraphic development of the sulfate cycles in response to sea-level and salinity fluctuations. The lower Werra Anhydrite (belonging to Zechstein Sequence ZS2) is characterized by a transgressive systems tract (IST) overlying the transgressive surface of Zechstein Sequence ZS2 within the Al-underlying upper Zechstein Limestone (Cal). The TST of the AT is several tens of meters thick in platform areas, where it is built up by sulfate arenites and swallow-tail anhydrite-after-gypsum, and thins out to a few meters of thickness toward the condensed basinal section, where laminites ('Linien-Anhydrit') are predominant. Most of the Al succession consists of three relatively thick parasequences belonging to the highstand systems tract (HST) that shows typical prograding sets. Enhanced platform Buildup, including sulfate arenites, salina deposits, intertidal sediments, and sabkha precipitation as well as turbidite shedding off the platforms produced marginal ''sulfate walls' up to 400 m thick as platform to slope portions of the Werra Anhydrite. Seaward, the Al thins to a few tens of meters of laminated sulfate basin muds. Increasingly pronounced Al topography during highstand narrowed the slope subfacies belt parallel to the platform margin This contrasts with the broad but considerably thinner slope deposits of transgressive times with much shallower slopes. The ensuing sea-level lowstand is reflected by a sequence boundary on top of the karstified Al-platform and a lowstand wedge (Zechstein Sequence ZS3) overlying portions of the slope and basinal subfacies of the Al highstand systems tract Beyond the lateral limits of the lowstand wedge, the sequence boundary merges with the transgressive surface of ZS3, shown by the lithologic change from the Al anhydrites to the overlying carbonates of the Stassfurt Carbonates ('Haupt Dolomit' Main Dolomite, Ca2). The Basal Anhydrite (A2), which overlies and seals the carbonate reservoir of the Ca2, can also be subdivided into systems tracts by means of facies analysis. It is, however, much less complex than the Al and is comprised almost exclusively of a transgressive systems tract of Zechstein Sequence ZS4

Gypsum karst features as evidence of diapiric processes in the Betic Cordillera, Southern Spain, 1999, Calaforra Jm, Pulidobosch A,
In the Triassic evaporite deposits of the Betic Cordillera, halokinesis has played a fundamental role in the morphodynamic evolution of gypsum karst, as evidenced by the morphology and distribution of dolines and poljes, by data obtained from caves, and from the types of water associated with evaporite domes. Distribution patterns of major exokarstic forms display a subcircular array with collapse sinkholes located in the centre of the domes and solution drawdown dolines on the outer limits of the diapiric forms. In addition, the least mineralized waters are situated in association with the caprock gypsum; hypersaline waters, which are also hotter, drain deeper flow systems that flow out at the edges of the halokinetic structures. The morphodynamic and hydrogeological information constitute a valuable tool for the correct interpretation of the tectonic structure of such complex areas. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Dedolomitization and other early diagenetic processes in Miocene lacustrine deposits, Ebro Basin (Spain), 1999, Arenas C, Zarza Ama, Pardo G,
A variety of meteoric diagenetic features reveal the development of a syngenetic karst on lacustrine deposits of the Ebro Basin. Diagenetic processes that operated on lacustrine laminated and stromatolitic carbonates include the following. (1) A first syndepositional stage with processes such as dolomitization, desiccation and related breccia formation and sulphate precipitation, either as lenticular gypsum crystals or nodules. This stage took place under progressive evaporation due to lake level fall, when the previous carbonate deposits became exposed as a supra-littoral fringe surrounding saline mud flats of adjacent sulphate depositional environments. (2) A second early diagenetic stage in which processes such as sulphate dissolution and collapse brecciation, dedolomitization, calcite spar cementation and silicification occurred as a result of meteoric water input that caused a progressive rise in lake level. Light isotopic compositions (delta(13)C and delta(18)O) of diagenetic calcites, versus heavier compositions in primary laminated and stromatolitic limestones, confirm a meteoric influence. The syngenetic karst is best developed at the boundary between two allostratigraphic units and coincided with one of the extensive stages of sulphate deposition at the end of the Early Miocene. The karst facies occurred in an area that was a low-relief barrier that separated two sites of sulphate deposition during low lake levels, This indicates that the karat development was controlled by topographic changes within the basin and record a shift from arid to wetter climatic conditions, as suggested by the overlying freshwater carbonate deposits. The presence of diagenetic features such as those described in the central Ebro Basin affecting saline lacustrine carbonates is relevant because they can be used as indicators of subaerial exposure periods in terrestrial environments and they also reveal important palaeogeographic and palaeoclimatic events of basinal extent.

The Salt That Wasn't There: Mudflat Facies Equivalents to Halite of the Permian Rustler Formation, Southeastern New Mexico, 2000, Powers Dennis W. , Holt Robert M. ,
Four halite beds of the Permian Rustler Formation in southeastern New Mexico thin dramatically over short lateral distances to correlative clastic (mudstone) beds. The mudstones have long been considered residues after post-burial dissolution (subrosion) of halite, assumed to have been deposited continuously across the area. Hydraulic properties of the Culebra Dolomite Member have often been related to Rustler subrosion. In cores and three shafts at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), however, these mudstones display flat bedding, graded bedding, cross-bedding, erosional contacts, and channels filled with intraformational conglomerates. Cutans indicate early stages of soil development during subaerial exposure. Smeared intraclasts developed locally as halite was removed syndepositionally during subaerial exposure. We interpret these beds as facies formed in salt-pan or hypersaline-lagoon, transitional, and mudflat environments. Halite is distributed approximately as it was deposited. Breccia in limited areas along one halite margin indicates post-burial dissolution, and these breccias are key to identifying areas of subrosion. A depositional model accounts for observed sedimentary features of Rustler mudstones. Marked facies and thickness changes are consistent with influence by subsidence boundaries, as found in some modern continental evaporites. A subrosion model accounts for limited brecciated zones along (depositional) halite margins, but bedding observed in the mudstones would not survive 90% reduction in rock volume. Depositional margins for these halite beds will be useful in reconstructing detailed subsidence history of the Late Permian in the northern Delaware Basin. It also no longer is tenable to attribute large variations in Culebra transmissivity to Rustler subrosion

Dolomitization and Dolomite Neomorphism: Trenton and Black River Limestones (Middle Ordovician) Northern Indiana, U.S.A, 2000, Yoo Chan Min, Gregg Jay M. , Shelton Kevin L. ,
The Trenton and Black River Limestones are dolomitized extensively along the axis of the Kankakee Arch in Indiana, with the proportion of dolomite decreasing to the south and southeast of the arch. Planar and nonplanar dolomite replacement textures and rhombic (type 1) and saddle (type 2) void-filling dolomite cements are present. Three stages of dolomitization, involving different fluids, are inferred on the basis of petrographic and geochemical characteristics of the dolomites. Nonferroan planar dolomite has relatively high {delta}18O values (-1.8 to -6.1{per thousand} PDB) and has 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70833 to 0.70856) that overlap those of Middle Ordovician seawater. Petrography, geochemistry, and the geometry of the dolomitized body suggest that the planar dolomite was formed in Middle and Late Ordovician seawater during the deposition of the overlying Maquoketa Shale. Ferroan planar and nonplanar dolomite occurs in the upper few meters of the Trenton Limestone, confined to areas underlain by planar dolomite. This dolomite contains patches of nonferroan dolomite with cathodoluminescence (CL) characteristics similar to underlying planar dolomite. Ferroan dolomite has relatively low {delta}18O values (-5.1 to -7.3{per thousand} PDB) and has slightly radiogenic 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70915 to 0.70969) similar to those obtained for the overlying Maquoketa Shale. These data indicate that ferroan dolomite formed by neomorphism of nonferroan planar dolomite as fluids were expelled from the overlying Maquoketa Shale during burial. The absence of ferroan dolomite at the Trenton-Maquoketa contact, in areas where the earlier-formed nonferroan planar dolomite also is absent, indicates that the fluid expelled from the overlying shale did not contain enough Mg2 to dolomitize limestone. Type 1 dolomite cement has isotopic compositions similar to those of the ferroan dolomite, suggesting that it also formed from shale-derived burial fluids. CL growth zoning patterns in these cements suggest that diagenetic fluids moved stratigraphically downward and toward the southeast along the axis of the Kankakee Arch. Type 2 saddle dolomite cements precipitated late; their low {delta}18O values (-6.0 to -7.0{per thousand} PDB) are similar to those of the type 1 dolomite cement. However, fluid-inclusion data indicate that the saddle dolomite was precipitated from more saline, basinal fluids and at higher temperatures (94{degrees} to 143{degrees}C) than the type 1 cements (80{degrees} to 104{degrees}C). A trend of decreasing fluid-inclusion homogenization temperatures and salinities from the Michigan Basin to the axis of Kankakee Arch suggests that these fluids emerged from the Michigan Basin after precipitation of type 1 cement

Speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands, 2000, Gunn J. , Lowe D. J.
Studies of the geologically young, relatively porous limestones on Tongatapu Island in the Tongan archipelago suggest that the effect of dissolution at the interface between fresh and saline groundwater has been, and continues to be, crucial to the inception and development of underground conduits within young carbonate rock sequences. So far as it is possible to reconstruct the earliest speleogenetic events in the older preserved sequences on the nearby 'Eua Island, it appears that the processes that acted upon young reefal and back-reef carbonates during the Eocene were effectively the same as the processes that have acted on subsequent deposits and are still active today. It is commonly assumed that tectonism promotes the erosional removal of any early speleogenetic activity on carbonate islands and coasts. However, there is evidence on 'Eua to suggest that littoral cave systems and higher level conduits that target upon them, may survive gentle uplift, or even more extreme tectonism. This raises the possibility that some of the caves that can be explored today in both tropical and extra-tropical areas owe their origins to development of cavernous porosity in the littoral zone that was penecontemporaneous with rock formation.

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