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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 longitudinal section; long section is a section along the length of a cave passage or chamber or combination of these, or along a survey traverse in a cave [25].?

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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 subsurface (Keyword) returned 264 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 264
Rock salt is approximately 1000 times more soluble than limestone and thus displays high rates of geomorphic evolution. Cave stream channel profiles and downcutting rates were studied in the Mount Sedom salt diapir, Dead Sea rift valley, Israel. Although the area is very arid (mean annual rainfall approximate to 50 mm), the diapir contains extensive karst systems of Holocene age. In the standard cave profile a vertical shaft at the upstream end diverts water from a surface channel in anhydrite or elastic cap rocks into the subsurface route in the salt. Mass balance calculations in a sample cave passage yielded downcutting rates of 0.2 mm s(-1) during peak flood conditions, or about eight orders of magnitude higher than reported rates in any limestone cave streams. However, in the arid climate of Mount Sedom floods have a low recurrence interval with the consequence that long-term mean downcutting rates are lower: an average rate of 8.8 mm a(-1) was measured for the period 1986-1991 in the same sample passage. Quite independently, long-term mean rates of 6.2 mm a(-1) are deduced from C-14 ages of driftwood found in upper levels of 12 cave passages. These are at least three orders of magnitude higher than rates established for limestone caves. Salt cave passages develop in two main stages: (1) an early stage characterized by high downcutting rates into the rock salt bed, and steep passage gradients; (2) a mature stage characterized by lower downcutting rates, with establishment of a subhorizontal stream bed armoured with alluvial detritus. In this mature stage downcutting rates are controlled by the uplift rate of the Mount Sedom diapir and changes of the level of the Dead Sea. Passages may also aggrade. These fast-developing salt stream channels may serve as full-scale models for slower developing systems such as limestone canyons

In the coastal karstic area of the southeastern Murge (Apulia, Italy) changes in sea level, due to vertical tectonic movement and/or global climatic phenomena, generated morphological effects both at the surface (marine terraces) and underground (variations of karstic base level), so by integrating and comparing observations of surface and subsurface morphology, a more reliable picture of the structural and palaeogeographical evolution was obtained. The calculation of topographic gradients and spectral analysis of the topographic surface was applied in order to identify the morphological remnants left by coastal terraces corresponding to palaeo coastlines. Using these methods it is possible to recognize small morphological scarps which otherwise would be masked by major structures. The results obtained were compared with the altimetric distribution of karstic cave bottom surfaces which were examined in order to determine karstic base levels. Some discrepancies between the two kinds of observations can be explained in terms of rate of sea level variation (produced by the tectonic tilting of the Apulian foreland). In some periods this rate was probably compatible with the rate of the surface processes but not with that of underground processes

Karst Geomorphology and Hydrogeology of the Northeastern Mackenzie Mountains, District of Mackenzie, N.W.T., PhD Thesis, 1995, Hamilton, James P.

This thesis describes the geomorphology and hydrogeology of karst systems in portions of the northeastern Canyon Ranges of the Mackenzie Mountains and the Norman Range of the Franklin Mountains. N.W.T. In the region, mean annual temperatures are -6 to -8°C, total annual precipitation is 325 to 500 mm, and permafrost has a widespread to continuous distribution. The area was glaciated in the Late Wisconsinan by the Laurentide Ice Sheet.
The Canyon Ranges and Norman Range are composed of a sequence of faulted and folded miogeoclinal sedimentary rocks that span the Proterozoic to Eocene. The geology is reviewed with an emphasis on strata that display karst. Included are several dolomite and limestone formations, two of which are interbedded with evaporites in the subsurface. The principal groundwater aquifer is the Lower Devonian Bear Rock Formation. In subcrop, the Bear Rock Formation is dolomite and anhydrite, outcrops are massive calcareous solution breccias. This is the primary karst rock.
The regional distribution and range of karst landforms and drainage systems are described. Detailed mapping is presented from four field sites. These data were collected from aerial photography and ground surveys. The karst has examples of pavement, single and compound dolines, subsidence troughs, polje, sinking streams and lakes. and spring deposits. The main types of depressions are subsidence and collapse dolines. Doline density is highest on the Bear Rock Formation. Surficial karst is absent of less frequent in the zone of continuous permafrost or outside the glacial limit.
At the field sites, water samples were collected at recharge and discharge locations. Samples were analyzed for a full range of ionic constituents and many for natural isotopes. In addition, several springs were monitored continuously for discharge, temperature, and conductivity. Dye tracing established linkages between recharge and discharge at some sites. These data are summarized for each site, as is the role of permafrost in site hydrology.
The relationships between geological structure, topography, ,and groundwater systems are described. Conduit aquifers are present in both dolomite and limestone. These systems are characterized by discharge waters of low hardness and dissolved ion content. Aquifers in the Bear Rock Formation have a fixed flow regime and often have highly mineralized discharge. At the principal field site. there was a time lag of 40 to 60 days between infiltration and discharge in this unit. At a second site, flow through times were on the order of years. Variability in these systems is attributed to bedrock properties and boundary conditions.
Preliminary rates of denudation are calculated from the available hydrochemical data. Total solutional denudation at the primary field site is approximately 45 m³ kmˉ² aˉ¹ (mm kaˉ¹). The majority is attributed to the subsurface dissolution of halite and anhydrite. The predominance of subsurface dissolution is linked to the high frequency of collapse and subsidence dolines and depressions.
The karst features and drainage systems of the northern Mackenzie Mountains date to the Tertiary. Glaciation has had a stimulative effect on karst development through the subglacial degradation of permafrost and the altering of boundary conditions by canyon incision.

Gypsum karst of France., 1996, Chardon Michel, Nicod Jean
Many small and scattered areas of gypsum karst are present in France. They occur in the plains and plateaux (Paris, Lorraine, Provence) as well as in the mountains, especially the Alps. Typical gypsum karst landforms are well developed and widespread, but underground cavities are scarce, despite much exploration and the apparent existence of subsurface waterflow. The Alps and Provence contain the largest karstic areas.

Gypsum karst of the Baltic republics., 1996, Narbutas Vytautas, Paukstys Bernardas
The Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have karst areas developed in both carbonate and gypsiferous rocks. In the north, within the Republic of Estonia, Ordovician and Silurian limestones and dolomites crop out, or are covered by glacial Quaternary sediments. To the south, in Latvia and Lithuania, gypsum karst is actively developing in evaporites of Late Devonian (Frasnian) age. Although gypsum and mixed sulphate-carbonate karst only occupy small areas in the Baltic countries, they have important engineering and geo-ecological consequences. Due to the rapid dissolution of gypsum, the evolution of gypsum karst causes not only geological hazards such as subsidence, but it also has a highly adverse effect on groundwater quality. The karst territory of the Baltic states lies along the western side of the area, called the Great Devonian Field that form part of the Russian Plain. Within southern Latvia and northern Lithuania there is an area, exceeding 1000 sq. km, where mature gypsum karst occurs at the land surface and in the subsurface. This karst area is referred to here as the Gypsum Karst Region of the Baltic States. Here the surface karst forms include sinkholes, karst shafts, land subsidence, lakes and dolines. In Lithuania the maximum density of sinkholes is 200 per sq. km; in Latvia they reach 138 units per sq. km. Caves, enlarged dissolution voids and cavities are uncommon in both areas.

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

Nickpoint recession in karst terrains: An example from the Buchan karst, southeastern Australia, 1996, Fabel D, Henricksen D, Finlayson Bl, Webb Ja,
Nickpoint recession in the Buchan karst, southeastern Australia, has resulted in the formation of an underground meander cut-off system in the Murrindal River valley. Three nickpoints have been stranded in the surface channel abandoned by the subterranean piracy, and these can be correlated with river terraces and epiphreatic cave passages in the nearby Buchan River valley. The presence of palaeomagnetically reversed sediments in the youngest cave passage in the Buchan valley implies that the topographically lowest nickpoint in the Murrindal valley is more than 730 ka old, and the other nickpoints are probably several million years old. The nickpoints are occasionally active during floods, but the diversion of most surface flow underground has slowed down their retreat to the extent that they have been effectively stationary for several million years Underground nickpoint migration has been by both incision within major phreatic conduits and their abandonment for lower-level passages. The nickpoints are all present in the upstream part of the cave system, but have not migrated past the sink in the river channel, despite the long period of time available for this to happen. The sink is characterized by collapsed limestone blocks; these filter out the coarse bedload from the river channel. As a result, erosion within the cave passages is dominantly solutional and therefore slower than in the surface channel, where it is mostly mechanical. In addition, to transmit a drop in base level the cave system requires the removal of a larger volume of rock than for the surface migration of a nickpoint, because any roof collapse material in the subsurface system must be removed. These factors have slowed the migration of the base-level changes through the subsurface system, and may be a general feature in caves that have diffuse sinks as their main inputs

The applicability of numerical models to adequately characterize ground-water flow in karstic and other triple-porosity aquifers, 1996, Quinlan J. F. , Davies G. J. , Jones S. W. , Huntoon P. W.

Karst and hydrogeology of Lebanon, 1997, Edgell Hs,
Karst is very well-developed in Lebanon in thick, exposed, fractured and folded Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene carbonates, as well as in localized, coastal Miocene limestones. This karstification not only results from the predominant calcareous lithology, but is also caused by the high, northerly trending ranges of he country, which cause abundant precipitation, as heavy rain and thick snow, to fall on Mt. Lebanon, Jabal Barouk, Jabal Niha, and Mt. Hermon. Lesser amounts fall on the Anti-Lebanon, Beqa'a Valley and the coastal hills of the country. Some 80% of precipitation occurs from November through February. The karst water emerges from five first-magnitude springs (Ain ez Zarqa (11 m(3)/sec), Ain Anjar (max. 10m(3)/sec), Nabaa Ouazzani (max. 6m(3)/sec), Nabaa Arbaain (mau. 3 m(3)/sec) and Nabaa Barouk (max. 3m(3)/sec), plus hundreds of second-and third-magnitude springs, and thousands of smaller springs. The large springs are all karstic and contribute to 13 perennial springs in the main Lebanese ranges, and 2 in the Anti-Lebanon. These include major rivers, such as the Nahr el Litani, Nahr el Assi (Orontes) and Nabr el Hasbani (upper Jordan River). More than two-thirds of the area of Lebanon (i.e. 6900 km(2)) is karstified and includes surface karst features, such as poljes, uvalas, dolines, blind valleys, natural bridges, and ponors, as well as smaller features, like karren and hoodoos. Subsurface karst features include many types of solutional shafts and galleries, grottoes, subsurface lakes and rivers and most types of speleothems. There are at least 15 aquifers in Lebanon, of which 14 are in karstified carbonate strata. The 1700m thick limestone/dolomite core of the ranges and over 2000m thickness of flanking, or overlying, Cretaceous limestones provide the majority of these aquifers, while significant aquifers are also found in thick Eocene limestones. High transmissivity values (T = or > 1.83 x 10(-1) m(2)) occur in these karstic aquifers, as is shown by the rapid decline in spring flow over the dry summer and autumn months, and their very quick recharge by winter and spring rains and heavy snow on the Lebanese ranges

Two Ordovician unconformities in North China: Their origins and relationships to regional carbonate-reservoir characteristics, 1997, Liu B. , Wang Y. H. , Qian X. L. ,
The two unconformities developed on the tops of the Lower Ordovician Liangjiashan Formation (UF1) and the Middle Ordovician Majiagou- or Fengfeng Formation (UF2) are essential boundaries that controlled the formation and distribution of the Lower Paleozoic karst-related reservoirs. UF1 and UF2 have been interpreted as representing short-and long-terms of tectonic uplift, respectively, but new evidence led us to conclude that they were created by different original mechanisms and therefore the related reservoirs should be predicted in different ways. UF1 was commonly interpreted as the result of southern upwarping of the basement, but sequence-stratigraphic analysis supports its origin by eustatic sea-level changes. Spatially, the most favorable regional reservoirs controlled by UF1 should be located in the central area of North China, where the carbonate sediments experienced intensive shallow-subsurface dolomitization with following meteoric water leaching. UF2 was created by tectonic event which resulted in an intra-plate downward flexure and subsequent peripheral bulge. In the depression belt of central North China the younger strata (Fengfeng Fm) were protected, but along the bulge meteoric water eroded them. As a result, the potential regional reservoirs related to UF2 are likely to be distributed along the peripheral-uplift belts, especially around the remnant of the Fengfeng Formation. Based on the analysis of these two unconformities, the Early Paleozoic tectono-sedimentary evolution of North China Plate can be largely divided into four stages: (1) the Cambrian Period, characterized by eustatic sea-level rise and tectonic subsidence; (2) early stage of the Early Ordovician, characterized by eustatic-sea-level fall exceeding tectonic subsidence and development of UF1; (3) from the late stage of the Early Ordovician to the Middle Ordovician, featured by eustatic-sea-level rise and slow tectonic subsidence;(4) from the late stage of the Middle Ordovician to the Early Carboniferous, distinguished by vigorous tectonic uplift and development of UF2

Richard Lake, an evaporite-karst depression in the Holbrook basin, Arizona, 1997, Neal J. T. , Colpitts R. M. ,
Richard Lake is a circular depression 35 km SE of Winslow, Arizona, about 1.6 km wide and with topographic closure of 15-23 m. The depression is 5 km south of McCauley Sinks, another depressed area about 2 km wide which contains some 40 large sinkholes. Richard Lake formerly contained water after heavy rains prior to headwater drainage modification but is now dry most of the time. It is situated within the Moenkopi / Kaibab outcrop belt with Coconino Sandstone at shallow depth near the southwestern margin of the subsurface Permian evaporite deposit in the Holbrook Basin. Outcropping strata are predominantly limestone, but the salt-karst features result from collapse of these units into salt-dissolution cavities developed in the Corduroy Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation of the Sedona Group (formerly called the Supai Salt) that underlies the Coconino. Richard Lake is interpreted as a collapse depression containing concentric faults, pressure ridges, and a 200m wide sinkhole in the center. A second set of pressure ridges parallels the axis of the nearby western end of the Holbrook Anticline, trending generally N 30 degrees W. In the alluvium at the bottom of the central sinkhole, two secondary piping drain holes were observed in early 1996. Northwest-trending fissures also were observed on the depression flanks, essentially parallel to the regional structure. The presence of Richard Lake amidst the preponderance of salt-karst features along the Holbrook Anticline suggests a similar origin by salt dissolution, but with distinct manifestation resulting from variation in overburden thick?less and consolidation. Similarities of origin between Richard Lake and McCauley Sinks seem likely, because of their similar geological setting, size, appearance, and proximity. Two lesser developed depressions of smaller dimensions occur in tandem immediately west along a N 62 degrees W azimuth. Secondary sinkholes occur within each of these depressions, as at Richard Lake. Breccia pipes are apt to be found beneath all of these structures

Sinkholes, soils, fractures, and drainage: Interstate 70 near Frederick, Maryland, 1997, Boyer Bw,
Numerous sinkholes have recently formed on both sides of Interstate 70 south of Frederick, Maryland, All the sinkholes are cover-collapse types, which form when soil cavities grow upward from the bedrock surface until their roofs become unstable, Areas at greatest risk for sinkhole development lie within a network of dry swales, The roughly dendritic map pattern and presence of allochthonous siliciclastic alluvium suggest that these swales are the vestiges of a vanished surface drainage system. Sinkholes occur mainly along bedrock escarpments underlying the swales, which are located along an easterly-trending transverse fracture and a series of strike-parallel fractures which intersect with it. Although the surface drainage appears to have Bowed east and north in the past, surface runoff in large quantities is infiltrating the ground or directly entering some of the sinkholes, then following subsurface conduits which convey it southward under the highway. Compaction grouting has been employed to prevent collapse or further subsidence of the most threatened portions of the highway. Soil Survey maps can be useful in locating cryptic intermittent or relict drainage pathways which may be at high risk for sinkhole formation when subjected to anthropogenic concentrations of perched storm water

Risk assessment methodology for karst aquifers .2. Solute-transport modeling, 1997, Field Ms,
Ground-water flow and solute-transport simulation modeling are major components of most exposure and risk assessments of contaminated aquifers. Model simulations provide information on the spatial and temporal distributions of contaminants in subsurface media but are difficult to apply to karst aquifers in which conduit flow is important. Ground-water flow and solute transport in karst conduits typically display rapid-flow velocities, turbulent-flow regimes, concentrated pollutant-mass discharge, and exhibit open-channel or closed-conduit how Conventional groundwater models, dependent on the applicability of Darcy's law, are inappropriate when applied to karst aquifers because of the (1) nonapplicability of Darcian-flow parameters, (2) typically nonlaminar flow regime, and (3) inability to locate the karst conduits through which most flow and contaminant transport occurs. Surface-water flow and solute-transport models conditioned on a set of parameters determined empirically from quantitative ground-water tracing studies may be effectively used to render fate-and-transport values of contaminants in karst conduits. Hydraulic-flow and geometric parameters developed in a companion paper were used in the surface-water model, TOXI5, to simulate hypothetical slug and continuous-source releases of ethylbenzene in a karst conduit. TOXI5 simulation results showed considerable improvement for predicted ethylbenzene-transport rates and concentrations over qualitative tracing and analytical ground-water model results. Ethylbenzene concentrations predicted by TOXI5 simulations were evaluated in exposure and risk assessment models

Microorganisms as tracers in groundwater injection and recovery experiments: a review, 1997, Harvey R. W. ,
Modern day injection and recovery techniques designed to examine the transport behavior of microorganisms in groundwater have evolved from experiments conducted in the late 1800s, in which bacteria that form red or yellow pigments were used to trace flow paths through karst and fractured-rock aquifers. A number of subsequent groundwater hydrology studies employed bacteriophage that can be injected into aquifers at very high concentrations (e.g., 10(13) phage ml(-1)) and monitored through many log units of dilution to follow groundwater flow paths for great distances, particularly in karst terrain. Starting in the 1930s, microbial indicators of fecal contamination (particularly coliform bacteria and their coliphages) were employed as tracers to determine potential migration of pathogens in groundwater. Several injection and recovery experiments performed in the 1990s employed indigenous groundwater microorganisms (both cultured and uncultured) that are better able to survive under in situ conditions. Better methods for labeling native bacteria (e.g. by stable isotope labeling or inserting genetic markers, such as the ability to cause ice nucleation) are being developed that will not compromise the organisms' viability during the experimental time course

The detection of cavities using the microgravity technique: case histories from mining and karstic environments, 1997, Bishop I, Styles P, Emsley Sj, Ferguson Ns,
The presence of mining-related cavities (workings, shafts and tunnels) or karstic (solution cavities and sinkholes in limestone) within the top 100 m in the rock mass restricts land utilisation, and their migration to the surface may damage property or services or cause loss of life. Confirmation of features marked on existing plans prior to design and construction may be sufficient but it is often necessary to determine the detailed sub-surface structure. The standard method of siteinvestigation is to drill a pattern of boreholes to locate the spatial extent of any cavities. However, unless the spacing is less than the cavity dimensions it is possible to miss it completely. A cavity may be filled with air, water, or collapse material resulting in a contrast in physical properties which may be detected using appropriate geophysical methods. One powerful technique is microgravity which locates areas of contrasting sub-surface density from surface measurements of the earth's gravity. Although the method is fundamentally simple, measurement of the minute variations in gravity (1 in 108) requires sensitive instruments, careful data acquisition, and data reduction and digital data analysis. Final interpretation must be performed in conjunction with independent information about the site's history and geology. This paper presents three examples in both mining and karstic environments demonstrating that microgravity is a very effective technique for detectingand delineating cavities in the sub-surface

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