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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 leg is a part of a survey traverse between two successive stations [25].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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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 drainage (Keyword) returned 368 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 346 to 360 of 368
Classification of closed depressions in carbonate karst, 2013,
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Kranjc, A.

Closed depressions are the most characteristic features of karst having dolines among them. Some of the terms, such as doline, uvala, and polje, originate from the Dinaric karst, internationally introduced by J. Cvijic´ in 1893. Karst depressions belong to mezo- and macroforms (from decameter to kilometer scale). The basic feature is the doline, which can be further divided due to its genesis into more main types: solution (the real karst doline), collapse, dropout, buried, cap rock, and suffosion doline. The larger depressions, by dimension and form somewhere between a doline and a polje, are the uvala, but genetically they are closer to the doline. Polje (meaning a plain or field in Slavic languages) is the biggest closed epression, its bottom covering several hundreds of square kilometers. Closed depressions, solution dolines and poljes especially, are regarded as indicators of a fully developed karst (holokarst by Cvijic


Dealing with gypsum karst problems: hazards, environmental issues, and planning, 2013,
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Cooper A. H. , Gutierrez F.

Gypsum dissolves rapidly underground and at the surface, forming gypsum karst features that include caves, subsidence areas, and sinkholes. Mapping these landforms, understanding the gypsum karst and local hydrogeology, and producing sinkhole susceptibility and hazard maps are crucial for development and public safety. Situations that change the local hydrogeology, such as dams, water abstraction, or injection/drainage, can accelerate dissolution and subsidence processes, increasing the severity of the problems; dams and canals built on gypsum karst can leak or fail catastrophically. Gypsum karst problems can be mitigated by careful surveying and scientific investigation followed by phased preventive planning, ground investigation, and construction incorporating sinkhole-proof designs. Towns and cities, including parts of Paris (France), Dzerzhinksk (Russia), Madrid and Zaragoza (Spain), Birzai (Lithuania), and Ripon and Darlington (UK), are developed on such ground requiring local planning guidelines and special construction methods. Roads, railways, pipelines, and bridges are particularly vulnerable to such subsidence and require special consideration. 


Differentiated characterization of karst aquifers: some contributions, 2013,
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Geyer T. , Birk S. , Reimann T. , Dorfliger N. , Sauter M.

Because of the small radius of investigation of hydrogeological standard testing methods, the characterization of karst aquifers is still a challenge. The development of a karst conduit system introduces an element of large contrast in hydraulic conductivity in the hydraulic parameter field of a karst aquifer. It leads to complex flow patterns and transport phenomena that differ significantly from those observed in porous and fissured media. While on a local, i.e., borehole scale, the fissured matrix of karst aquifers can be regarded as a continuum, on a regional, i.e., catchment scale, the drainage of the aquifer system is controlled by the conduit system, which may have a highly anisotropic geometry. Therefore, characterization of karst aquifers requires a differentiated approach by the combination of various hydrogeological field methods or the application of large-scale tests, which cover the scale of dominant aquifer heterogeneities. Existing numerical modeling approaches can be applied for integral data interpretation on catchment scale.


Combining 3D geological boundaries and fundamental hydraulic principles (KARSYS) in a GIS procedure to depict flow-systems in a karst region, 2013,
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Jeannin Pierreyves, Malard Arnauld

Combining 3D geological boundaries and fundamental hydraulic principles (KARSYS) in a GIS procedure to depict flow-systems in a karst region, 2013,
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Jeannin Pierreyves, Malard Arnauld

INCIDENCES OF THE TECTONICS IN THE KARSTIFICATION OF CHALK LIMESTONES IN THE WESTERN PARIS BASIN: EXAMPLE FROM THE PETITES DALES CAVE (SAINT MARTIN AUX BUNEAUX, FRANCE), 2013,
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Rodet J. , Ma K. , Viard J. P.

 

The classical approach to study the karstification attributes a major role to the structure in the establishment of concentrated drainage of groundwater. This structure, essentially tectonics and stratigraphy, serves to guide the water, which gradually opens up these discontinuities to build a network, from the introduction to the resurgence. This too idealistic view does not reflect the complexity of the establishment of a karst system. Indeed, experience shows that some bedrocks contain karst drains in the absence of any cracking. What’s more, some conduits can go through the structural elements without undergoing any morphological changes. In the chalk of Western Paris Basin, the Petites Dales Cave proves an excellent observatory. We have conducted a study on the relationship between the main conduit, restitution collector of the underground system, and observable fissures in the roof and walls of the conduit. Along a drain of 421 m, we counted 374 fissures, the total length of which being a little more than 867 m. Examination of the orientation of the drain and fissures reveals four types of relationship: (1) parallel (2) oblique, (3) perpendicular and (4) no joints. No correlation could be established between the development of the collector and the presence of fissures, other than very occasionally or during episodes of overflow. In fact, the relationship between fissure and karstic conduit cannot be established, therefore it is necessary to introduce other factors in the speleogenesis, such as porosity of the chalky bedrocks, and the direct effect of the hydraulic gradient.


MINE CAVES ON THE SOUTH-EASTERN FLANK OF THE HARZ MOUNTAINS (SAXONY-ANHALT, GERMANY) LE GROTTE DI MINIERA DEL VERSANTE SUD-ORIENTALE DELLE MONTAGNE DELLHARZ (SASSONIA-ANHALT, GERMANIA), 2013,
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Brust Michael K. , Nash Graham

The historical copper shale mine excavations on the south-eastern flank of Harz Mountains have cut into numerous large caves in gypsum and anhydrite. These caves are known as “Schlotten” (pl., sg. Schlotte). The word is derived from the Early New High German meaning internal hollow formations allowing the drainage of water and already finds mention in XVIth century literature. However, these quite spectacular gypsum caves have never aroused the interest of the wider public. Discovered through mining, they have always been only accessible via pit shafts and galleries and invariably considered to be part of the mine. But in a scientific sense they are deep phreatic and hypogene caves in a parent rock of anhydrite or gypsum, in their natural state filled with water and without an entrance. They are unique geological outcrops in Zechstein (upper Permian), large karst caves of rare character and particular beauty as well as cultural witnesses to historical mining. The miners used the “Schlotten” for a long period of time to drain water from the mines (until the XVIIIth century) and for economical reasons also to store unwanted spoil (until the XIXth century). As the mine workings reached deeper levels, sub- sidence and flooding became more common and the intensity of the karst dissolution process increased. Problems of catastrophic proportions due to mine flooding were encountered in 1892 near Eisleben and in 1988 near Sangerhausen. The hydrological problems that confronted the copper shale mine excavations in the south-eastern Harz region are of geogenic origin. The exploitable seams, which on average slope between 3º and 8º, are covered with a between 4 and 7 metre thick layer of limestone (Zechstein) with the characteristics of a karst aquifer. Above this a 60 m thick layer of anhydrite or gypsum is found, in which the “Schlotten” are formed, notably on geological faults. The relevance of the “Schlotten” as a natural phenomenon was first appreciated in depth by Johann Carl Freiesleben (1774-1846). He described them scientifically in 1809 and campaigned emphatically for their preservation. With regard to this, the “Wimmelburger Schlotten” near Eisleben were surveyed and geologically mapped by Anton Erdmann (1782-1848). The plan and side elevation of the cave survey were reproduced in copperplate and are considered to be the oldest published depiction of a gypsum cave in Germany. From the mid 70s the “Schlotten” became subject of speleological research for a short period of time. The abandoned projects have only recently been re-established. Two of the “Schlotten” are accessible via the Mining Museum Wettelrode: the “Segen-Gottes-Schlotte” and the “Elisabethschaechter Schlotte” near Sangerhausen. The “Wimmelburger Schlotten” near Eisleben are the largest gypsum caves in Germany and to a certain extent accessible for research.


Rana iberica (Boulenger, 1879) goes underground: subterranean habitat usage and new insights on natural history, 2013,
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Gonalo M. Rosa, Andreia Penado

Reports of amphibians exploiting subterranean habitats are common, with salamanders being the most frequent and studied inhabitants. Anurans can occasionally be observed in caves and other subterranean habitats, but in contrast to salamanders, breeding had never been reported in a cave or similar subterranean habitat in Western Europe. Based on observations during visits to a drainage gallery in Serra da Estrela, Portugal, from May 2010 to December 2012, here we document: (i) first report of Rana iberica reproduction in cave-like habitat, representing the fourth report of an anuran for the Palearctic ecozone; (ii) oophagic habits of the tadpoles of Ranaiberica; and (iii) Salamandra salamandra predation on Rana iberica larvae. These observations, particularly of Rana iberica, highlight our lack of knowledge of subterranean ecosystems in the Iberian Peninsula.


Aquatic biota of different karst habitats in epigean and subterranean systems of Central Brazil visibility versus relevance of taxa, 2013,
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Luiza Bertelli Simes, Tnia Cristina Dos Santos Ferreira, Maria Elina Bichuette

The karstic area of São Domingos, central Brazil, holds extensive drainage systems. In order to understand its biodiversity, various volumes of water were filtered with planktonic nets in stretches of subterranean and superficial rivers on five different occasions. We sampled four drips (152L), three calcite pools (368L), two subterranean rivers fed mainly by percolation water (6, 395L), two subterranean rivers fed mainly by water coming from a sinkhole (4, 175L) along different caves, one resurgence (158L), and four epigean rivers (101, 690L). Physical and chemical variables were measured at some sites. Canonical Correlation Analysis was used to verify relationships between taxa and environment. The degree of similarity of the biota was assessed by cluster analysis (Sorensen, single linkage). There were records of exclusive taxa in epigean and subterranean samples, mainly in drips, which harbour the most unique fauna. The high richness of taxa presently recorded reveals the potential of the vadose zone biota in the tropical region, which was neglected in studies on Brazilian subterranean biodiversity. According to our results, the unsaturated zone tropical fauna may have different composition compared to that from temperate habitats. The studied communities were dominated by rotifers, while crustacean are predominant in the latter. The hypothesis can be clarified with the increase of long term studies and taxa identification at species level, besides the use of complementary sampling methods.


KARST HAZARDS, 2013,
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Andreychouk Viacheslav, Tyc Andrzej

Karst hazards are an important example of natural hazards. They occur in areas with soluble rocks (carbonates, mostly limestone, dolomite, and chalk; sulfates, mostly gypsum and anhydrite; chlorides, mostly rock salt and potassium salt; and some silicates, quartzite and amorphous siliceous sediments) and efficient underground drainage. Karst is one of the environments in the world most vulnerable to natural and human-induced hazards. Karst hazards involve fast-acting processes, both on the surface and underground (e.g., collapse, subsidence, slope movements, and floods) and their effects (e.g., sinkholes, degraded aquifers, and land surface). They frequently cause serious damage in karst areas around the world, particularly in areas of intense human activity. Karst threat is the potential hazard to the life, health, or welfare of people and infrastructure, arising from the particular geological structure and function of karst terrains. The presence of underground cavities in the karst massif masks the threat from the hazards of collapse. This means that in some instances, the potential threats from karst, which are inherent features of the karst environment, become hazards. They range in category from potential to real. The term (karst hazards) is related to two other terms, used mostly in applied geosciences, particularly engineering geology – risk assessment and mitigation. Risk is the probability of an occurrence, and the consequential damages are defined as hazards. Risk assessment is the determination of quantitative or qualitative value of risk related to a concrete situation and a recognized hazard. Quantitative risk assessment requires calculations of two components: the magnitude of the potential loss and the probability that the loss will occur. Risk assessment is a step in a risk management. Mitigation may be defined as the reduction of risk to life and the environment by reducing the severity of collapse or subsidence, building subsidence-resistant constructions, restricting land use, etc.


VARIATIONS IN EVAPORITE KARST IN THE HOLBROOK BASIN, ARIZONA, 2013,
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Neal J. T. , Johnson K. S. , Lindberg P.

At least six distinct forms of evaporite karst occur in the Holbrook Basin•depending considerably on overburden and/or bedrock type. Early Permian evaporites in the 300-m-thick Corduroy Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation include halite, sylvite, and anhydrite at depths of 215-250 m. Karst features result from collapse of overlying Permian and Triassic strata into underlying salt-dissolution cavities. Evaporite karst occurs primarily along the 100+ km-long dissolution front on the southwestern edge of the basin, and is characterized by numerous sinkholes and depressions generally coincident with the axis of the Holbrook Anticline•in reality a dissolution-collapse monocline. “The Sinks” comprise ~ 300 individual sinks up to 200 m across and 50 m deep, the main karst features along the dissolution front. Westerly along the dissolution front, fewer discrete sinkholes occur, and several breccia pipes are believed to be forming. Numerous pull-apart fissures, graben-sinks, sinkholes, and broad collapse depressions also occur.A newly recognized subsidence/collapse area of some 16 km2 occurs in the western part of the basin, northward from the extension of the Holbrook “anticline.” The Chimney Canyon area is some 12 km east of McCauley Sinks, a postulated breccia pipe exemplified in, and possibly manifested in at least four other closed depressions. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data of one depression shows active subsidence of ~4 cm/yr.Karst formation is ongoing, as shown by repeated drainage of Dry and Twin Lakes into newly opened fissures and sinkholes. These two playa lakes were enlarged and modified in recent years into evaporation 2impoundments for effluent discharge from a nearby pulp mill. Four major drainage events occurred within these playa reservoirs during the past 45 years, collectively losing more than 1.23 x107 m3 (10,000 acre-feet) of water and playa sediment. Drainage occurs through piping into bedrock joints in Triassic Moenkopi Formation (sandstone) in the bottom and along the margins of these playas. Effluent discharge has been discontinued into these playas, although recurring precipitation can fill the basins.


THE USE OF DROUGHT-INDUCED “CROP LINES” AS A TOOL FOR CHARACTERIZATION OF KARST TERRAIN, 2013,
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Panno S. V. , Luman D. E. , Kelly W. R. , Alschuler M. B.

The persistent drought of the 2012 summer in the Midwestern United States significantly impacted the health and vigor of Illinois’ crops. An unforeseen outcome of the extreme drought was that it provided a rare opportunity to examine and characterize the bedrock surface and underlying karst aquifer within the Driftless Area of northwestern Illinois. Complex networks of vegetated lines and polygonal patterns, herein referred to as crop lines, crisscrossed the dry summer landscape of Jo Daviess County. Initially, the crop lines were examined and photographed using a handheld digital camera on the ground and from a small aircraft at 300 meters altitude above ground level (AGL). The orientations, widths and horizontal separations of the lines were measured. Crop lines and their patterns and orientations were compared with those of crevices in outcrops, road cuts and quarries, and with lineaments seen in LiDAR elevation data of Jo Daviess County.
Primarily confined to alfalfa fields and, to a lesser extent, soybeans and corn, the crop lines are the result of a combination of extremely dry conditions, and a thin soil zone overlying fractured and creviced Galena Dolomite bedrock. The plants forming the lines tend to grow denser, taller (0.5 m vs 0.15 m) and darker/greener than those in adjacent areas. Alfalfa taproots are the deepest of the aforementioned crops extending up to 7 m below the surface. Groundwater and associated soil moisture within the vadose zone present within bedrock fractures and crevices provide the necessary moisture to sustain the overlying healthy plants, while the remaining area of the field exhibits stunted and sparse plant growth. Overall, the crop lines are a reflection of the creviced pattern of the underlying karst bedrock and associated karst aquifer, and reveal the degree and extent of karstification in eastern Jo Daviess County. The crop lines were consistent with the angular lines of adjacent streams that show a rectangular drainage pattern. Stream patterns like these are well known and are due to drainage controlled by crevice/fracture patterns in the top of bedrock. The lines appear to have been formed by two sets of fractures trending roughly north-south and east-west with occasional cross-cutting fractures/crevices. The east-west trending lines are consistent with tension joints, and the north-south lines are consistent with the shear joints identified by earlier researchers. The trends of the crop lines, tension and shear joints are similar to those of lineaments identified from LiDAR elevation data in the same area (N 20° W, and N 70° W and N 70° E) and coincide with the occurrence of karst features throughout eastern Jo Daviess County.The pattern observed in the crop lines closely mimics the fracture/crevice patterns of the bedrock surface. The widths and extent of the lines may be used as a surrogate for the karst features present on the bedrock surfaces. Crop lines, coupled with solution-enlarged crevices seen in bedrock exposures, yield a three dimensional view of the bedrock crevice-fracture system, and ultimately could provide a more complete and accurate model of the karst aquifer in the study area and similar karst areas in the Midwestern United States and perhaps in other karst regions of the world.


AN EVALUATION OF AUTOMATED GIS TOOLS FOR DELINEATING KARST SINKHOLES AND CLOSED DEPRESSIONS FROM 1-METER LIDAR-DERIVED DIGITAL ELEVATION DATA, 2013,
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Doctor D. H. , Young J. A.

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveys of karst terrains provide high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) that are particularly useful for mapping sinkholes. In this study, we used automated processing tools within ArcGIS (v. 10.0) operating on a 1.0 m resolution LiDAR DEM in order to delineate sinkholes and closed depressions in the Boyce 7.5 minute quadrangle located in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The results derived from the use of the automated tools were then compared with depressions manually delineated by a geologist. Manual delineation of closed depressions was conducted using a combination of 1.0 m DEM hillshade, slopeshade, aerial imagery, and Topographic Position Index (TPI) rasters. The most effective means of visualizing depressions in the GIS was using an overlay of the partially transparent TPI raster atop the slopeshade raster at 1.0 m resolution. Manually identified depressions were subsequently checked using aerial imagery to screen for false positives, and targeted ground-truthing was undertaken in the field. The automated tools that were utilized include the routines in ArcHydro Tools (v. 2.0) for prescreening, evaluating, and selecting sinks and depressions as well as thresholding, grouping, and assessing depressions from the TPI raster. Results showed that the automated delineation of sinks and depressions within the ArcHydro tools was highly dependent upon pre-conditioning of the DEM to produce “hydrologically correct” surface flow routes. Using stream vectors obtained from the National Hydrologic Dataset alone to condition the flow routing was not sufficient to produce a suitable drainage network, and numerous artificial depressions were generated where roads, railways, or other manmade structures acted as flow barriers in the elevation model. Additional conditioning of the DEM with drainage paths across these barriers was required prior to automated 2delineation of sinks and depressions. In regions where the DEM had been properly conditioned, the tools for automated delineation performed reasonably well as compared to the manually delineated depressions, but generally overestimated the number of depressions thus necessitating manual filtering of the final results. Results from the TPI thresholding analysis were not dependent on DEM pre-conditioning, but the ability to extract meaningful depressions depended on careful assessment of analysis scale and TPI thresholding.


Carbon fluxes in Karst aquifers: Sources, sinks, and the effect of storm flow, 2013,
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White William B.

An effective carbon loading can be calculated from measured alkalinity and pH of karst waters. The carbon loading is independent of the degree of saturation of the water and does not depend on the water being in equilibrium with the carbonate wall rock. A substantial data base of spring water analyses accumulated by students over the past 40 years has been used to probe the CO2 generation, transport, and storage in a variety of drainage basins that feed karst springs. Carbon loading in the water exiting karst drainage basins depends on the rate of CO2 generation in the soils of the catchment areas and on the partitioning between CO2 dissolved in infiltration water and CO2 lost by diffusion upward to the atmosphere. For any given drainage basin there are also influences due to vegetative cover, soil type, and the fraction of the water provided by sinking stream recharge. Losses of CO2 back to the atmosphere occur by speleothem deposition in air-filled caves, by degassing of CO2 in spring runs, and by tufa deposition in spring runs. There are seasonal cycles of CO2 generation that relate growing season and contrasts in winter/summer rates of CO2 generation. Overall, it appears that karst aquifers are a net, but leaky, sink for atmospheric CO2


HYPOGENE VS EPIGENE CAVES: THE SULFUR AND OXYGEN ISOTOPE FINGERPRINT, 2014,
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Onac, B. P.

The classical epigene speleogenetic model in which CO2 is considered the main source of acidity has been challenged over the last three decades by observations that revealed cave passages unrelated to groundwater drainage routes and surface topography. Most of these passages show unusual morphologies, such are cupolas, floor feeders (i.e., inlets for deep-seated fluids), and huge irregular-shaped rooms that terminate abruptly, and often a rich and diverse mineral association. A hypogenetic speleogenetic pathway was proposed for this group of caves.
The presence of abundant gypsum deposits in caves with one or more of the passage morphologies listed above, have prompted scientists to suggest a new theory (i.e., sulfuric acid speleogenesis, SAS) of cave development. In the hypogenic SAS model, the source of acidity is the sulfuric acid produced by oxidation of H2S (originating from sulfate reduction or petroleum reservoirs) near or at the water table, where it dissolves the limestone bedrock and precipitates extensive gypsum deposits. SAS is now thoroughly documented from numerous caves around the world, with the best examples coming from the Guadalupe Mountains (NM), Frasassi caves (Italy), selected caves in France, Cueva de Villa Luz (Mexico), and Cerna Valley (SW Romania).
To date, discrimination between epigene and hypogene speleogenetic pathways is made using cave morphology criteria, exotic mineral assemblages, and the predominantly negative δ34S values for the cave sulfates. This presentation highlights the role sulfur and oxygen stable isotope analyses have in discriminating between epigene and hypogene caves.
Based on a number of case studies in caves of the Cerna Valley (Romania), we found that relatively S-depleted isotopic composition of cave minerals alone does not provide enough information to clearly distinguish SAS from other complex speleogenetic pathways. In fact, δ34S values of SAS by-products depend not only on the source of the S, but also on the completeness of S redox reactions. Therefore, similar studies to this are needed to precisely diagnose SAS and to provide information on the S cycle in a given karst system.
Integrating cave mineralogy, passage morphology, and geochemical studies may shed light on the interpretation of polygenetic caves, offering clues to processes, mechanisms, and parameters involved in their genesis (sulfate-dominated).


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