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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 fluorometer, filter fluorometer is a highly sensitive instrument used for measuring the fluorescence of water. it is commonly used in water tracing and tracer gaging. selected filters are used to control the excitation and emission ranges for specific fluorescent dyes of interest. see also scanning spectrofluorophotometer.?

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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 succession (Keyword) returned 95 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 95
Development of the Scythian series in the Orlica anticline area (Sava folds), 2001, Anič, Ič, Bogoljub, Dozet Stevo, Ramovš, Anton

This paper deals with the development of the Scythian series in the Orlica anticline area. The Scythian beds of the Orlica anticline area lie discordantly upon various Carboniferous and Permian rocks. They are composed of five lithostratigraphic members: The older two members belong to the Lower Scythian, Seis beds respectively, and the younger three to the Upper Scythian, Campilian beds in the wider sense respectively. In the sandy beds of the Seis succession the pelecypods Eumorphotis venetiana and Anodontophora occur. On the other hand, in the Campilian beds the gastropods Natiria costata and Natica, as well as the pelecypod Myophoria costata and the foraminifera Meandrospira pusilla occur.


Coastal karst springs in the Mediterranean basin : study of the mechanisms of saline pollution at the Almyros spring (Crete), observations and modelling, 2002, Arfib B, De Marsily G, Ganoulis J,
Variations in salinity and flow rate in the aerial, naturally salty spring of Almyros of Heraklion on Crete were monitored during two hydrological cycles. We describe the functioning of the coastal karstic system of the Almyros and show the influence of the duality of the flow in the karst (conduits and fractured matrix) on the quality of the water resource in the coastal area. A mechanism of saltwater intrusion into this highly heterogeneous system is proposed and validated with a hydraulic mathematical model, which describes the observations remarkably well. Introduction. - Fresh groundwater is a precious resource in many coastal regions, for drinking water supply, either to complement surface water resources, or when such resources are polluted or unavailable in the dry season. But coastal groundwater is fragile, and its exploitation must be made with care to prevent saltwater intrusion as a result of withdrawal, for any aquifer type, porous, fractured or karstic. In karstic zones, the problem is very complex because of the heterogeneous nature of the karst, which makes it difficult to use the concept of representative elementary volume developed for porous or densely fractured systems. The karstic conduits focus the major part of the flow in preferential paths, where the water velocity is high. In coastal systems, these conduits have also an effect on the distribution of the saline intrusion. As was shown e.g. by Moore et al. [1992] and Howard and Mullings [1996], both freshwater and salt-water flow along the fractures and conduits to reach the mixing zone, or the zone where these fluids are superposed in a dynamic equilibrium because of their differences in density ; but the dynamics of such a saltwater intrusion are generally unknown and not represented in models. Such coastal karstic systems are intensely studied at this moment in the Mediterranean region [Gilli, 1999], both as above sea-level or underwater springs, for potential use in areas where this resource would be of great value for economic development. This article discusses the freshwater-saltwater exchange mechanisms in the karstic aquifer of the Almyros of Heraklion aquifer (Crete) and explains the salinity variations observed in the spring. First, the general hydrogeology of the study site is described, then the functioning of the spring : a main conduit drains the freshwater over several kilometres and passes at depth through a zone where seawater is naturally present. The matrix-conduit exchanges are the result of pressure differences between the two media. These processes are represented in a mathematical model that confirms their relevance. General hydrogeology of the studied site. - The karstic coastal system of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete) covers 300 km2 in the Ida massif whose borders are a main detachment fault, and the Sea of Crete in the north, the Psiloritis massif (highest summit at 2,456 m) in the south and west, and the collapsed basin of Heraklion filled in by mainly neo-geneous marl sediments in the east. The watershed basin consists of the two lower units of characteristic overthrust formations of Crete (fig. 1) : the Cretaceous Plattenkalk and the Cretaceous Tripolitza limestones. The two limestone formations are locally separated by interbedded flysch or phyllade units that form an impervious layer [Bonneau et al., 1977 ; Fassoulas, 1999] and may lead to different flow behaviour within the two karstic formations. Neo-tectonic activity has dissected these formations with large faults and fractures. The present-day climate in Crete is of Mediterranean mountain type, with heavy rain storms and snow on the summits in winter. Rainfall is unevenly distributed over the year, with 80 % of the annual total between October and March and a year-to-year average of 1,370 mm. The flow rate of the spring is high during the whole hydrologic cycle, with a minimum in summer on the order of 3 m3.s-1 and peak flow in winter reaching up to 40 m3.s -1. The water is brackish during low flow, up to a chloride content of 6 g.l-1, i.e. 23 % of seawater, but it is fresh during floods, when the flow rate exceeds 15 m3.s-1. During the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 hydrologic cycles, the water was fresh during 14 and 31 days, respectively. The water temperature is high and varies very little during the year (see table I). In the areas of Keri and Tilissos (fig. 1), immediately south of the spring, the city of Heraklion extracts water from the karstic system through a series of 15 wells with depth reaching 50 to 100 m below sea level. Initially, when the wells were drilled, the water was fresh, but nowadays the salinity rises progressively, but unequally from well to well (fig. 2). The relatively constant temperatures and salinities of the wells, during the hydrological cycle, contrast with the large salinity variations at the spring (fig. 2 and table I). They show that the karstic system is complex and comprises different compartments, where each aquifer unit reacts to its individual pressures (pumping, rainfall) according to its own hydrodynamic characteristics [Arfib et al., 2000]. The Almyros spring seems disconnected from the surrounding aquifer and behaves differently from that which feeds the wells (upper Tripolitza limestone). It is recharged by fresh water from the mountains, which descends to depths where it probably acquires its salinity. The spring would thus be the largest resource of the area, if it was possible to prevent its pollution by seawater. A general functioning sketch is proposed (fig. 3), which includes the different geological units of interest. Identification of the functioning of the Almyros spring through monitoring of physical and chemical parameters. - The functioning of the aquifer system of the Almyros spring was analysed by monitoring, over two hydrological cycles, the level of the spring, the discharge, the electric conductivity and the temperature recorded at a 30 min time interval. In the centre of the watershed basin, a meteorological station at an altitude of 800 m measures and records at a 30 min time interval the air temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, wind velocity and direction ; moreover, an automatic rain gauge is installed in the northern part of the basin at an altitude of 500 m. The winter floods follow the rhythm of the rainfall with strong flow-rate variations. In contrast, the summer and autumn are long periods of drought (fig. 7). The flow rate increases a few hours after each rainfall event ; the water salinity decreases in inverse proportion to the flow rate a few hours to a few days later. Observations showed that the water volume discharged at the Almyros spring between the beginning of the flow rate increase and the beginning of the salinity decrease is quite constant, around 770,000 m3 (fig. 4) for any value of the flow rate, of the salinity and also of the initial or final rainfall rates. To determine this constant volume was of the upmost importance when analyzing the functioning of the Almyros spring. The lag illustrates the differences between the pressure wave that moves almost instantaneously through the karst conduit and causes an immediate flow rate increase after rainfall and the movement of the water molecules (transfer of matter) that arrives with a time lag proportionate to the length of the travel distance. The variation of the salinity with the flow rate acts as a tracer and gives a direct indication of the distance between the outlet and the seawater entrance point into the conduit. In the case of the Almyros, the constant volume of expelled water indicates that sea-water intrusion occurs in a portion of the conduit situated several kilometres away from the spring (table II), probably inland, with no subsequent sideways exchange in the part of the gallery leading up to the spring. As the lag between the flow rate and the salinity recorded at the spring is constant, one can correct the salinity value by taking, at each time step, with a given flow rate, the salinity value measured after the expulsion of 770,000 m3 at the spring, which transforms the output of the system so as to put the pressure waves and the matter transfer in phase [Arfib, 2001]. After this correction, the saline flux at the spring, equal to the flow rate multiplied by the corrected salinity, indicates the amount of sea-water in the total flow. This flux varies in inverse proportion to the total flow rate in the high-flow period and the beginning of the low-flow period, thereby demonstrating that the salinity decrease in the spring is not simply a dilution effect (fig. 5). The relationship that exists between flow rate and corrected salinity provides the additional information needed to build the conceptual model of the functioning of the part of the Almyros of Heraklion aquifer that communicates with the spring. Freshwater from the Psiloritis mountains feeds the Almyros spring. It circulates through a main karst conduit that descends deep into the aquifer and crosses a zone naturally invaded by seawater several kilometers from the spring. The seawater enters the conduit and the resulting brackish water is then transported to the spring without any further change in salinity. The conduit-matrix and matrix-conduit exchanges are governed by the head differences in the two media. Mathematical modelling of seawater intrusion into a karst conduit Method. - The functioning pattern exposed above shows that such a system cannot be treated as an equivalent porous medium and highlights the influence of heterogeneous structures such as karst conduits on the quantity and quality of water resources. Our model is called SWIKAC (Salt Water Intrusion in Karst Conduits), written in Matlab(R). It is a 1 D mixing-cell type model with an explicit finite-difference calculation. This numerical method has already been used to simulate flow and transport in porous [e.g. Bajracharya and Barry, 1994 ; Van Ommen, 1985] and karst media [e.g. Bauer et al., 1999 ; Liedl and Sauter, 1998 ; Tezcan, 1998]. It reduces the aquifer to a single circular conduit surrounded by a matrix equivalent to a homogeneous porous medium where pressure and salinity conditions are in relation with sea-water. The conduit is fed by freshwater at its upstream end and seawater penetrates through its walls over the length L (fig. 6) at a rate given by an equation based on the Dupuit-Forchheimer solution and the method of images. The model calculates, in each mesh of the conduit and at each time step, the head in conditions of turbulent flow with the Darcy-Weisbach equation. The head loss coefficient {lambda} is calculated by Louis' formula for turbulent flow of non-parallel liquid streams [Jeannin, 2001 ; Jeannin and Marechal, 1995]. The fitting of the model is intended to simulate the chloride concentration at the spring for a given matrix permeability (K), depth (P) and conduit diameter (D) while varying its length (L) and its relative roughness (kr). The spring flow rates are the measured ones ; at present, the model is not meant to predict the flow rate of the spring but only to explain its salinity variations. Results and discussion. - The simulations of chloride concentrations were made in the period from September 1999 to May 2001. The depth of the horizontal conduit where matrix-conduit exchanges occur was tested down to 800 m below sea level. The diameter of the conduit varied between 10 and 20 m, which is larger than that observed by divers close to the spring but plausible for the seawater intrusion zone. The average hydraulic conductivity of the equivalent continuous matrix was estimated at 10-4 m/s. A higher value (10-3 m/s) was tested and found to be possible since the fractured limestone in the intrusion zone may locally be more permeable but a smaller value (10-5 m/s) produces an unrealistic length (L) of the saline intrusion zone (over 15 km). For each combination of hydraulic conductivity, diameter and depth there is one set of L (length) and kr (relative roughness) calibration parameters. All combinations for a depth of 400 m or more produce practically equivalent results, close to the measured values. When the depth of the conduit is less than 400 m, the simulated salinity is always too high. Figure 7 shows results for a depth of 500 m, a diameter of 15 m and a hydraulic conductivity of 10-4 m/s. The length of the saltwater intrusion zone is then 1,320 m, 4,350 m away from the spring and the relative roughness coefficient is 1.1. All the simulations (table II) need a very high relative roughness coefficient which may be interpreted as an equivalent coefficient that takes into account the heavy head losses by friction and the variations of the conduit dimensions which, locally, cause great head losses. The model simulates very well the general shape of the salinity curve and the succession of high water levels in the Almyros spring but two periods are poorly described due to the simplicity of the model. They are (1) the period following strong freshwater floods, where the model does not account for the expulsion of freshwater outside the conduit and the return of this freshwater which dilutes the tail of the flood and (2) the end of the low-water period when the measured flux of chlorides falls unexpectedly (fig. 5), which might be explained by density stratification phenomena of freshwater-saltwater in the conduit (as observed in the karst gallery of Port-Miou near Cassis, France [Potie and Ricour, 1974]), an aspect that the model does not take into account. Conclusions. - The good results produced by the model confirm the proposed functioning pattern of the spring. The regulation of the saline intrusion occurs over a limited area at depth, through the action of the pressure differences between the fractured limestone continuous matrix with its natural saline intrusion and a karst conduit carrying water that is first fresh then brackish up to the Almyros spring. The depth of the horizontal conduit is more than 400 m. An attempt at raising the water level at the spring, with a concrete dam, made in 1987, which was also modelled, indicates that the real depth is around 500 m but the poor quality of these data requires new tests to be made before any firm conclusions on the exact depth of the conduit can be drawn. The Almyros spring is a particularly favorable for observing the exchanges in the conduit network for which it is the direct outlet but it is not representative of the surrounding area. To sustainably manage the water in this region, it is essential to change the present working of the wells in order to limit the irreversible saline intrusion into the terrain of the upper aquifers. It seems possible to exploit the spring directly if the level of its outlet is raised. This would reduce the salinity in the spring to almost zero in all seasons by increasing the head in the conduit. In its present state of calibration, the model calculates a height on the order of 15 m for obtaining freshwater at the spring throughout the year, but real tests with the existing dam are needed to quantify any flow-rate losses or functional changes when there is continual overpressure in the system. The cause of the development of this karstic conduit at such a great depth could be the lowering of the sea level during the Messinian [Clauzon et al., 1996], or recent tectonic movements

Gypsum karst in the Betic Cordillera (South Spain), 2002, Calaforra Jm, Pulidobosch A, Lopezchicano M,
Among the numerous karstified gypsum outcrops of the Betic Cordillera, in this article we present three extreme examples, with markedly different origins and development: (1) the Antequera gypsum karst, where diapiric phenomena have had a decisive influence on the geomorphological and hydrogeological evolution of the area; (2) the karst in gypsum of Vallada, with its processes of hyperkarstification of gypsum caused by the presence of significant quantities of halite; and (3) the Sorbas gypsum karst, where a complex speleogenetic development is demonstrated by a succession of vadose and phreatic passages within a multilayer aquifer. In these three cases, we have considered the geomorphological evolution of gypsum karst based on hydrogeological information gathered in each of the outcrop areas in a way which integrates both aspects into a more generalized speleogenetic model

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

Sequence Stratigraphy of the Neoproterozoic Infra Krol Formation and Krol Group, Lesser Himalaya, India, 2002, Jiang Ganqing, Christieblick Nicholas, Kaufman Alan J. , Banerjee Dhiraj M. , Rai Vibhuti,
A sequence stratigraphic study of terrigenous and carbonate rocks of the Infra Krol Formation and Krol Group in the Lesser Himalaya fold and thrust belt of northern India was undertaken as part of a broader investigation of the significance of carbon isotope data in Neoproterozoic successions. Eight regional stratigraphic discontinuities were traced over a distance of nearly 300 km, and interpretations were anchored in a series of local studies involving the mapping of key beds and the measurement of closely spaced sections. Three of the regional surfaces are interpreted as sequence boundaries on the basis of (1) locally developed incised valleys < 60 m deep; (2) paleokarstic depressions with < 50 m of mappable relief; (3) subaerial dissolution and weathering products (breccias and calcrete) filling vertical fissures, dikes, cavities, and shallow depressions in underlying carbonate rocks; and (4) small-scale evidence for subaerial exposure at an erosion surface. The remaining five discontinuities are regional flooding surfaces identified on the basis of either facies changes with an abrupt upward deepening across the surface or transitions in facies stacking patterns, typically from forestepping to backstepping. A glacio-eustatic origin is permitted, although not required, for the three sequence boundaries, but no evidence has been found for marked lowering of sea level at other horizons. A mismatch between the stratigraphic location of sequence boundaries and carbon isotope minima suggests that local diagenetic alteration or oceanographic phenomena unrelated to glaciation may be in part responsible for observed isotopic variation, and that small ice sheets may have existed during apparently nonglacial times without producing either cap carbonates or negative carbon isotope excursions

Late Quaternary history of the Marmara Sea and Black Sea from high-resolution seismic and gravity-core studies, 2002, Hiscott R. N. , Aksu A. E. ,
Lithologic and multi-proxy paleoenvironmental data from 21 dated cores have been used to define three allostratigraphic units (allounits) within the late Quaternary successions of the Marmara Sea and Black Sea. Allounits are bounded by unconformities and their correlative conformities. In both regions, Allounit A extends from the seafloor downward to a ~12-11-ka sequence boundary, which is a major shelf-crossing unconformity in water depths less than ~100-110 m. In deep basins of the Marmara Sea, the lower part of Allounit A, designated Subunit A2, is a laminated sapropel, M1. On the shelf, Subunit A2 consists of backstepping delta lobes and early-transgressive barrier islands and sand sheets. Allounit B has only been recovered in Marmara Sea cores collected at water depths greater than ~90 m, and represents basinal or prodeltaic deposition during the 23-12-ka late Pleistocene lowstand. During the last glacial maximum, the shelves surrounding the Marmara Sea were subaerially exposed, and deltas of Allounit B accumulated along the present-day shelf edge. Following the post-glacial rise of global sea level to -75 m at ~12 ka, the Marmara Sea quickly became inundated and thereafter rose in synchroneity with the Mediterranean. By ~10 ka, the Black Sea rose to start spilling into the Marmara Sea, leading to establishment of a brackish-water lid that has persisted to the modern day. The strongest Black Sea outflow began at ~10 ka and persisted to ~6 ka, promoting the accumulation of sapropel M1 in the deep Marmara Sea, and progradation of an overflow delta just south of the exit from the Bosphorus Strait. Allounit C is a laminated sapropel (M2) in basinal cores, dated at ~30-23 ka. Like M1, it is believed that M2 accumulated during a period of increased brackish-water input into the Marmara Sea mainly from the Black Sea. In the Black Sea, wave erosion kept the shelf stripped of unconsolidated sediments during the falling sea level associated with the last glaciation and subsequent early stages of the post-glacial Holocene transgression. This erosion created a major unconformity, [alpha]. Shelf-edge deltas of Allounit B received their sediment during the last lowstand from small rivers that likely coalesced into a single system toward the shelf edge, at modern water depths of -100 to -110 m. These deltas were active until ~11-10.5 ka. Subsequently, sea level in the Black Sea rose to -40 m by ~10 ka, and a set of backstepping barrier islands developed on the shelf as part of the associated transgressive systems tract. Once water level reached -40 m, continued sea-level rise stalled until ~9 ka as the Black Sea began to spill across the Bosphorus Strait into the Marmara Sea

Les travertins de Saint-Antonin : squence gobotanique et climato-anthropique holocne (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 2003, Guendon Jeanlouis, Ali Adam A. , Roiron Paul, Terral Jeanfrdric, Danna Andr, Diazdelolmo Fernando, Baenaescudero Rafael
Travertine deposit of St-Antonin (Bouches-du-Rhne, France): lithostratigraphy, palaeobotany and Holocene palaeoenvironments - Travertines are carbonate deposits formed generally during temperate climatic periods. The travertine of Saint-Antonin was formed during the Holocene in accordance with this model. They usually present a succession of travertinous units and detrital sedimentary levels containing, respectively, leaf impressions and charcoal; snail shells and archaeological material have also been preserved, essentially in detritial levels. Two kinds of plant remains (leaf imprints and charred wood) have been sampled and analysed, allowing the reconstruction of vegetation dynamics based on a well-defined sedimentary sequence. Our results were compared with those of previous malacalogical, archaeological studies and climatic changes. The Preboreal and Boreal sequence, characterised by travertine unites with detritial deposits, is dominated by a riverside vegetation (Populus alba, Salix sp., Phragmites communis) associated with some pubescent oak growing in the plateau. After this first period, detritial levels and hygrophilous species decrease. Correlatively travertinous facies and leaf impressions of mesophilous forest species increase (Quercus pubescent, Acer monspessulanum). They suggest the existence of homeostatic conditions, such as regular river flow, dense vegetation and few disturbances during deposition. The Middle Atlantic period shows optimal travertinisation and maintenance of forest environment. But this period is characterised by the beginning of the Quercus pubescens regression and the dominance of Acer monspessulanum. From the Atlantic to the first part of Subboreal, important detrital sedimentary levels disturb the deposition of carbonate. They contain reworked archaeological material dating to the Neolithic. Vegetation seems to have been profoundly affected by intensive human exploitation. This process has broken up the forested area into different plant communities and favoured the dominance of heliophilous and thermophilous species (Pinus halepensis, Rubus ulmifolius and Juniperus sp.).

Etude glaciologique et climatologique des cavits glaces du Moncodeno (Grigna septentrionale, province de Lecco, Lombardie, 2003, Turri S. , Citterio M. , Bini A. , Maggi V. , Udistj R. , Stenni B.
GLACIOLOGICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL STUDIES IN ICE-CAVES OF MONCODENO (NORTH GRIGNA, PROVINCEOFLECCO, LOMBARDY) - The existence of perennial ice and snow deposits in the karst shafts of the Moncodeno area, at altitudes of about 1800 to 2100 m a.s.l, has long been known. Even so, no detailed study has been formerly carried out. Three ice and snow cores have been drilled in the glaciated cave environment and chemical, isotopic, crystallographic and textural analyses were carried out on them. By linking these observations with the morphology, stratigraphy and internal structures of the deposits, and with the hypogean and epigean climate records, we were able to identify the accumulation processes and to give one upper and some lower limits to the age of these deposits. The most notable deposit shows a more than 15 m thick succession of clear-ice layers, found at a depth of about 80 m and suspended between two shafts in the cave "Abisso sul margine dell'Alto Bregaia Because of the relative position to the cave entrance, no snow can reach this deposit. The crystallographic and textural features, confirmed by the chemical and isotopic trends, show that this is lake-ice. At present no accumulation can be observed and the top surface is now at least 3 m lower than it was three decades ago. The underlying shaft, deglaciated at some time in the past by the air circulation drains the water so that hypogean lakes can no more develop. We have found sound stratigraphic and glaciotectonic evidences of at least three accumulation and three ablation phases. When compared to local present precipitations and to the values available from literature, the ice chemical composition and 6110 values show that this ice must be younger than the end of the last ice age, while preceding the beginning of industrial activity related contributions.

Late Ordovician environmental changes in Carnic Alps and central Nevada : a comparative study, 2003, Berry Wbn,
Correlation of the late Ordovician stratigraphic and faunal successions in the Carnic Alps, which lay in a mid-latitude site at the time, with those in Nevada, which was in the tropics at the time, reveal certain similarities. During much of the late Ordovician glacial interval, deep shelves in both areas were sites of carbonate debris flow accumulations. The debris was derived from inner or shallow shelf environments. Karst topographies developed in inner or shallow shelves in both areas during the later phase of glaciation and sea level drawdown. A quartz sand spread widely at the end of the glacial interval on deep shelf-slope environments in both areas. Perhaps coincidently, shelves in both areas were uplifted and exposed by tectonism after the late Ordovician glacial episode

Sedimentologic, diagenetic and tectonic evolution of the Saint-Flavien gas reservoir at the structural front of the Quebec Appalachians, 2003, Bertrand R, Chagnon A, Malo M, Duchaine Y, Lavoie D, Savard Mm,
The Beekmantown Group (Lower Ordovician) of the Saint-Flavien reservoir has produced 162x106 m3 (5.7 bcf) of natural gas between 1980 and 1994. The conversion of the field into gas storage was initiated in 1992 and the pool became operational in 1998. Integration of structural and sedimentologic features, carbonate and organic matter petrography and geochemistry for 13 drill holes is used to define a tectonic-sedimentologic-diagenetic model for porosity evolution in these reservoir dolostones. The Beekmantown Group consists of numerous fifth-order shallowing-upward cycles 1.0 to 7.0 m thick (average of 2.4 m). Each cycle consists of a basal shale deposited during the initial flooding of the platform which was subsequently covered by a shoaling succession of subtidal and intertidal limestones to intertidal dolostones. Early dolomitization has produced intercrystalline porosity and preserved some moldic pores in the intertidal facies. Near surface, post-dolomite karstification has created vugs that were subsequently filled by early marine calcite fibrous cement based on the {delta}18O and {delta}13C ratios of calcite. Early burial elements consist of horizontal stylolites, pyrite and sphalerite. Late migrated bitumen was thermally altered or vaporized as native coke under deep burial conditions exceeding 240{degrees}C, partly due to overthrusting of Appalachian nappes. Under these conditions, breccias and fractures were generated and subsequently filled with K-feldspar, quartz, illite, and xenomorphic and poikilotopic calcite. The {delta}18O of the poikilotopic calcite and homogenization temperature of coeval fluid inclusions indicate formation under high temperatures (Th about 260{degrees}C). Horizontal shear zones and marcasite-rich vertical stylolites were produced during folding and thrusting. Dissolution has preferentially affected late fracture-filling calcite and generated most of the actual porosity during or soon after the Taconian Orogeny. The relationship between the occurrence of smectite and this type of porosity indicates the low temperature condition of this dissolution (T <100{degrees}C). Porosity in the Saint-Flavien reservoir has been mostly produced by fracture-controlled, late to post-Taconian dissolution of early to late calcite in the intertidal dolomitic slightly porous facies at the top of rhythmic cycles that compose the Beekmantown Group

Hydrogeological overview of the Bure plateau, Ajoie, Switzerland, 2003, Kovacs A. , Jeannin P. Y. ,
This study presents a hydrogeological synthesis of the most recent data from the Bure plateau in Ajoie, canton Jura, NW Switzerland. Included is a complete reappraisal of aquifer geometry and aquifer boundaries, the delineation of catchment areas based on tracing experiments, and the evaluation of the hydraulic role of different hydrostratigraphic units. Furthermore, it presents GIS-based calculations on the mean piezometric surface, the thickness of the unsaturated zone and on the thickness of the minimum and mean saturated zones. The spatial extension of the shallow karst zone is also evaluated. A coherent conceptual model and the two-dimensional steady-state combined discrete channel and continuum type numerical model of the aquifer has been constructed. The research site is 83 km(2) in area and is underlain by slightly folded layers of Mesozoic limestones and marls. The Bure plateau is dissected by normal faults, which form a succession of elongated horst and graben structures. The main aquifer consists of Maim limestones, with thicknesses varying between zero (eastern border) and 320 m (south-eastern regions). The aquifer is bounded from below by the Oxfordian Marls. The underlying sediments of Middle Jurassic age are considered to be hydraulically independent. The surface topography of the Oxfordian Marls reveals the periclinal termination of a wide anticline over the plateau and a syncline in the southern parts. The aquifer contains three marly intercalations. Tracing experiments prove that marl layers do not act as regional aquicludes. These experiments also allow for the division of the aquifer surface into several water catchments. Based on tracing tests and piezometric data a NW-SE oriented groundwater divide seems to extend in the regions of Porrentruy-Bure-Croix. Calculations of the average (matrix flow) and minimum (conduit flow) water tables indicate an extended shallow karst zone in the region of Boncourt-Buix-St-Dizier. The thickness of the saturated zone increases towards the extremities of the research site, being thickest in the South. The thickness of the unsaturated zone shows a large variation, reaching its maximum in the central areas. Numerical model calculations roughly reproduce the observed hydraulic heads and mean spring discharges, they confirm current ideas about hydraulic parameters and suggest the existence of extended karst subsystems throughout the model domain

The future of the dolomitic springs after mine closure on the Far West Rand, Gauteng, RSA, 2003, Swart C. J. U. , James A. R. , Kleywegt R. J. , Stoch E. J. ,
Approximately 1.2 km of dolomitic limestone overlies the Far West Rand gold reefs southwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. This karst aquifer is partitioned into several groundwater compartments by predominantly north-south trending syenite dykes. Prior to mining, the primary water flow was westwards, decanting over dyke boundaries as a succession of springs along the Lower Wonderfontein Spruit. Dewatering of the overlying dolomitic aquifer for safety and economic reasons by deep gold mining operations, caused the water levels of four compartments to drop and their respective springs to dry up. By perforating dykes, formerly separated aquifers were hydraulically interconnected by mining. Using historical and recent data of water flow-surface and groundwater-and pumping rates, a geohydrological model is presented. The results suggest that the water tables will rise to their pre-mining levels within 30 years after mining ceases and that the dry springs will flow again, despite the compartments being connected by the extensive mining operations

Stratigraphic investigations of carbon isotope anomalies and Neoproterozoic ice ages in Death Valley, California, 2003, Corsetti Fa, Kaufman Aj,
An unusual richness of biogeochemical events is recorded in Neoproterozoic-Cambrian strata of the Death Valley region, California, United States. Eight negative carbon isotope ({delta}13C) excursions are found in carbonate units between 1.08 Ga and the Precambrian/Cambrian boundary; four of these excursions occur in carbonates that contain textural features similar to those found globally in postglacial 'cap carbonates' (including one or more of the following: laminite with rollup structures, apparent 'tube rocks,' seafloor precipitates, and sheet-crack cements). However, only two of these units, the Sourdough limestone member of the Kingston Peak Formation and the Noonday Dolomite, rest directly upon glacial strata. The basal Beck Spring Dolomite and the Rainstorm Member of the Johnnie Formation each contain negative excursions and cap-carbonate-like lithofacies, but do not rest on known glacial deposits. If the negative {delta}13C excursions are assumed to record depositional processes, two equally interesting hypotheses are possible: (1) The Death Valley succession records four glacial pulses in Neoproterozoic time, but glacial units are not preserved at two stratigraphic levels. (2) Alternatively, other global oceanographic processes can cause negative excursions and cap-carbonate-like facies in addition to, or independent of, glaciation

Fallen arches: Dispelling myths concerning Cambrian and Ordovician paleogeography of the Rocky Mountain region, 2003, Myrow Paul M. , Taylor John F. , Miller James F. , Ethington Raymond L. , Ripperdan Robert L. , Allen Joseph,
High-resolution sedimentologic, biostratigraphic, and stable isotope data from numerous measured sections across Colorado reveal a complex architecture for lower Paleozoic strata in the central Cordilleran region. A lack of precise age control in previous studies had resulted in misidentification and miscorrelation of units between separate ranges. Corrections of these errors made possible by our improved data set indicate the following depositional history. The quartz-rich sandstone of the Sawatch Formation was deposited during onlap of the Precambrian erosion surface in the early Late Cambrian. The overlying Dotsero Formation, a regionally extensive carbonate- and shale-rich succession records blanket-like deposition with only minor facies changes across the state. An extremely widespread, meter-scale stromatolite bed, the Clinetop Bed, caps the Dotsero Formation in most areas. However, a latest Cambrian erosional episode removed 9-11 m of the upper Dotsero Formation, including the Clinetop Bed, from just east of the Homestake shear zone in the Sawatch Range eastward to the Mosquito Range. The overlying Manitou Formation differs in character, and thus in member stratigraphy, on the east vs. west sides of the state. These differences were previously interpreted as the result of deposition on either side of a basement high that existed within the Central Colorado Embayment or Colorado 'Sag,' a region of major breaching across the Transcontinental Arch. This paleogeographic reconstruction is shown herein to be an artifact of miscorrelation. Biostratigraphic data show that the northwestern members of the Manitou Formation are older than the members exposed in the southeastern part of the state and that there is little or no overlap in age between the two areas. This circumstance is the result of (1) removal of older Manitou Formation strata in the southeast by an unconformity developed during the Rossodus manitouensis conodont Zone, and (2) erosion of younger Manitou strata in central and western Colorado along Middle Ordovician and Devonian unconformities. Deciphering these complex stratal geometries has led to invalidation of long-held views on western Laurentian paleogeography during the Cambrian and earliest Ordovician, specifically the existence of the Colorado Sag and a northeast-trending high within the sag that controlled depositional patterns on either side. The mid- Rossodus uplift and resultant unconformity eliminated any and all Upper Cambrian and Lower Ordovician deposits in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, and thus their absence should not be misconstrued as evidence for earlier nondeposition in this region. Lithofacies distribution patterns and isopach maps provide no evidence that highlands of the Transcontinental Arch existed in Colorado prior to the mid-Rossodus age uplift event. In fact, regional reconstructions of earliest Paleozoic paleogeography along the entire length of the purported Transcontinental Arch should be reevaluated with similarly precise biostratigraphic data to reconsider all potential causes for missing strata and to eliminate topographic elements not supported by multiple stratigraphic techniques. This study illustrates how seriously paleogeographic reconstructions can be biased by the presumption that missing strata represent periods of nondeposition rather than subsequent episodes of erosion, particularly in thin cratonic successions where stratigraphic gaps are common and often inconspicuous

Temporal evolution of tertiary dolostones on Grand Cayman as determined by Sr-87/Sr-86, 2003, Jones B. , Luth R. W. ,
On the Cayman Islands, the Tertiary Bluff Group (Brac Formation, Cayman Formation, Pedro Castle Formation) is onlapped and overlain by the Pleistocene Ironshore Formation. On Grand Cayman, the Brac Formation and Cayman Formation are formed of finely crystalline dolostones; whereas the Pedro Castle Formation is formed of finely crystalline dolostones, dolomitized limestones, and limestones. No dolomite has been found in the Ironshore Formation. Dolostones in the Bluff Group, which retained their original depositional textures and lack evidence of any recrystallization, are formed of small (typically 5-15 mum long) interlocking, euhedral dolomite crystals. Dolomite cement is present in the Brac Formation and Cayman Formation but is very rare in the Pedro Castle Formation. Most of the dolomite crystals are characterized by oscillatory zoning with alternating zones of low-Ca calcian dolomite and high-Ca calcian dolomite. Grand Cayman is ideal for assessing the temporal evolution of Tertiary dolostones because the dolostones are young, have not been recrystallized, and are geographically isolated by the deep oceanic waters around the island. Interpretation of 158 new Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios from the dolostones in the Bluff Group indicate that the succession underwent three time-transgressive phases of dolomitization during the Late Miocene, the Late Pliocene, and Pleistocene. Petrographically similar dolomite was produced during each phase of dolomitization that was mediated by the same type of fluid and the same general conditions. Dolomitization was part of a dynamic cycle of processes that followed major lowstands. Karst development during the lowstands preconditioned the limestones for dolomitization by increasing their porosity and permeability. Thus, vast quantities of the dolomitizing fluids could freely circulate through the strata during the subsequent transgression. Dolomitization ceased once a stable highstand had been attained

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