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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 solute is the substance present in a solution in the smaller amount. for convenience, water is generally considered the solvent even in 'concentrated' solutions with water molecules in the minority [22].?

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.
See all featured articles
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 dolostone (Keyword) returned 66 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 60 of 66
Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in the Topla-Mezica Zinc-Lead Deposits, Northern Karavanke/Drau Range, Slovenia: Paleoenvironment at the Site of Ore Formation, 2006,
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Spangenberg Jorge E. , Herlec Ursos,
The Mississippi Valley-type zinc and lead deposits at Topla (250,150 metric tons (t) of ore grading 10 wt % Zn and 3.3 wt % Pb) and Me[z]ica (19 million metric tons (Mt) of ore grading 5.3 wt % Pb and 2.7 wt % Zn) occur within the Middle to Upper Triassic platform carbonate rocks of the northern Karavanke/Drau Range geotectonic units of the Eastern Alps, Slovenia. The ore and host rocks of these deposits have been investigated by a combination of inorganic and organic geochemical methods to determine major, trace, and rare earth element (REE) concentrations, hydrocarbon distribution, and stable isotope ratios of carbonates, kerogen, extractable organic matter, and individual hydrocarbons. These data combined with sedimentological evidence provide insight into the paleoenvironmental conditions at the site of ore formation. The carbonate isotope composition, the REE patterns, and the distribution of hydrocarbon biomarkers (normal alkanes and steranes) suggest a marine depositional environment. At Topla, a relatively high concentration of redox sensitive trace elements (V, Mo, U) in the host dolostones and REE patterns parallel to that of the North American shale composite suggest that sediments were deposited in a reducing environment. Anoxic conditions enhanced the preservation of organic matter and resulted in relatively higher total organic carbon contents (up to 0.4 wt %). The isotopic composition of the kerogen ({delta}13Ckerogen = -29.4 to -25.0{per thousand}, {delta}15Nkerogen = -13.6 to 6.8{per thousand}) suggests that marine algae and/or bacteria were the main source of organic carbon with a very minor contribution from detrital continental plants and a varying degree of alteration. Extractable organic matter from Topla ore is generally depleted in 13C compared to the associated kerogen, which is consistent with an indigenous source of the bitumens. The mineralization correlates with {delta}15Nkerogen values around 0 per mil, 13C depleted kerogen, 13C enriched n-heptadecane, and relatively high concentrations of bacterial hydrocarbon biomarkers, indicating a high cyanobacterial biomass at the site of ore formation. Abundant dissimilatory sulfate-reducing bacteria, feeding on the cyanobacterial remains, led to accumulation of biogenic H2S in the pore water of the sediments. This biogenic H2S was mainly incorporated into sedimentary organic matter and diagenetic pyrite. Higher bacterial activity at the ore site also is indicated by specific concentration ratios of hydrocarbons, which are roughly correlated with total Pb plus Zn contents. This correlation is consistent with mixing of hydrothermal metal-rich fluids and local bacteriogenic sulfide sulfur. The new geochemical data provide supporting evidence that Topla is a low-temperature Mississippi Valley-type deposit formed in an anoxic supratidal saline to hypersaline environment. A laminated cyanobacterial mat, with abundant sulfate-reducing bacteria was the main site of sulfate reduction

Dolomite formation in breccias at the Musandam Platform border, Northern Oman Mountains, United Arab Emirates, 2006,
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Breesch L, Swennen R, Vincent B,
The presence of dolomite breccia patches along Wadi Batha Mahani suggests large-scale fluid flow causing dolomite formation. The controls on dolomitization have been studied, using petrography and geochemistry. Dolomitization was mainly controlled by brecciation and the nearby Hagab thrust. Breccias formed as subaerial scree deposits, with clay infill from dissolved platform limestones, during Early Cretaceous emergence. Cathodoluminescence of the dolostones indicates dolomitization took place in two phases. First, fine-crystalline planar-s dolomite replaced the breccias. Later, these dolomites were recrystallized by larger nonplanar dolomites. The stable isotope trend towards depleted values (delta O-18: -2.7 parts per thousand to - 10.2 parts per thousand VPDB and delta C-13: -0.6 parts per thousand to -8.9 parts per thousand VPDB), caused by mixing dolomite types during sampling, indicates type 2 dolomites were formed by hot fluids. Microthermometry of quartz cements and karst veins, post-dating dolomites, also yielded high temperatures. Hot formation waters which ascended along the Hagab thrust are invoked to explain type 2 dolomitization, silicification and hydrothermal karstification. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V, All rights reserved

Growth, Demise, and Dolomitization of Miocene Carbonate Platforms on the Marion Plateau, Offshore NE Australia, 2006,
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Ehrenberg Sn, Mcarthur Jm, Thirlwall Mf,
Strontium-isotope stratigraphy has been used to examine the timing of depositional events and dolomitization in two Miocene carbonate platforms cored by Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) Leg 194, just seaward of the Great Barrier Reef. The results provide firm constraints for correlating surfaces and depositional stages between the two platforms and thereby relating seismic sequences previously defined in the off-platform sediments to the lithostratigraphic units described from cores in the seismically transparent platform-top sites. Oyster-bearing beds at the base of both platform successions yield early Oligocene ages (29-31 Ma), thus dating initial transgression of the Marion Plateau's volcanic basement. There followed a period of slow accumulation of shallow-water grainstones rich in quartz and phosphate grains in late Oligocene time (29-23 Ma; seismic Megasequence A). The main growth of the carbonate platforms took place in early to late Miocene time (23-7 Ma), comprising five depositional sequences. The first four of these (seismic Megasequence B) are common to both platforms and terminated with a possible karst surface at 10.7 Ma. Different sedimentologic expression of this megasequence in the two platforms reflects contrasting progradational versus aggradational geometries in the locations studied. The final growth stage (seismic Megasequence C) occurred only in the southern platform and terminated at 6.9 Ma. Both platform-demise events (10.7 and 6.9 Ma) approximately coincide with falls in global sea level combined with longer-term trends of decreasing water temperature. Sr-isotope ages of dolostones increase with depositional age, and older dolostones in the southern platform have more coarsely crystalline and fabric-destructive textures than overlying younger dolostones. These relationships are consistent with dolomitization by normal seawater shortly after deposition and overprinting of multiple times of dolomite recrystallization and cementation in the deeper strata

Evidence for hydraulic heterogeneity and anisotropy in the mostly carbonate Prairie du Chien Group, southeastern Minnesota, USA, 2006,
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Tipping Robert G. , Runkel Anthony C. , Alexander Jr. E. Calvin, Alexander Scott C. , Green Jeffery A. ,
In southeastern Minnesota, Paleozoic bedrock aquifers have typically been represented in groundwater flow simulations as isotropic, porous media. To obtain a more accurate hydrogeologic characterization of the Ordovician Prairie du Chien Group, a new approach was tested, combining detailed geologic observations, particularly of secondary porosity, with hydraulic data. Lithologic observations of the depositional and erosional history of the carbonate-dominated bedrock unit constrained characterization of both primary (matrix) and secondary porosity from outcrops and core. Hydrostratigraphic data include outcrop and core observations along with core plug permeability tests. Hydrogeologic data include discrete interval aquifer tests, borehole geophysics, water chemistry and isotope data, and dye trace studies. Results indicate that the Prairie du Chien Group can be subdivided into the Shakopee aquifer at the top, consisting of interbedded dolostone, sandstone and shale, and the underlying Oneota confining unit consisting of thickly bedded dolostone. The boundary between these two hydrogeologic units does not correspond to lithostratigraphic boundaries, as commonly presumed. Groundwater flow in the Shakopee aquifer is primarily through secondary porosity features, most commonly solution-enlarged bedding planes and sub-horizontal and vertical fractures. Regional scale preferential development of cavernous porosity and permeability along specific stratigraphic intervals that correspond to paleokarst were also identified, along with a general depiction of the distribution of vertical and horizontal fractures. The combination of outcrop and core investigations, along with borehole geophysics, discrete interval aquifer tests, water chemistry and isotope data and dye trace studies show that the Prairie du Chien Group is best represented hydrogeologically as heterogeneous and anisotropic. Furthermore, heterogeneity and anisotropy within the Prairie du Chien Group is mappable at a regional scale (> 15,000 km2)

Pervasive dolomitization with subsequent hydrothermal alteration in the Clarke Lake gas field, Middle Devonian Slave Point Formation, British Columbia, Canada , 2006,
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Lonnee J. , Machel H. G.

The Clarke Lake gas field in British Columbia, Canada, is hosted in pervasively dolomitized Middle Devonian carbonates of the Slave Point Formation. The Clarke Lake field consists mostly of pervasive matrix dolomite and some saddle dolomite, the latter varying in volume from about zero in limestones to normally 20–40% (locally up to 80%) in dolostones over any given 10-m (33-ft) core interval. Some of the saddle dolomite is replacive, some is cement, and both varieties are associated with dissolution porosity and recrystallized matrix dolomite. The major objective of this study is to identify the causes and timing of matrix and saddle dolomite formation, specifically, whether these dolomites are hydrothermal. A comprehensive petrographic and geochemical examination indicates that pervasive matrix dolomitization was accomplished by long-distance migration of halite-saturated brines during the Late Devonian toMississippian. Fluid-inclusion homogenization temperatures suggest about 150 (uncorrected) to 190jC (corrected) at the time of matrix dolomitization. These temperatures differ markedly from most published work on the dolomitized Devonian reefs in the Alberta Basin south of the Peace River arch, where pervasive matrix dolomitization was accomplished by advection of slightly modified seawater at temperatures of about 60–80jC, and where no hydrothermal influence was ever present. The saddle dolomites at Clarke Lake are not cogenetic with matrix dolomite and are not the product of hydrothermal dolomitization (sensu stricto). Instead, they formed through the hydrothermal alteration of matrix dolomite by way of invasion of a gypsum-saturated brine during periods of extremely high heat flow and regional plate-margin tectonics in the Late Devonian to Mississippian. Fluidinclusion homogenization temperatures suggest that hydrothermal alteration occurred between 230 (uncorrected) and 267jC (corrected), which is significantly higher than the maximumtemperature of about 190jC attained by the Slave Point Formation during burial. The sources of the halite- and gypsum-saturated brines are Middle Devonian evaporite depositional environments roughly 200 km (124 mi) south and/or east of Clarke Lake, near the Peace River arch


Burial dolomitization and dissolution of Upper Jurassic Abenaki platform carbonates, Deep Panuke reservoir, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2006,
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Wierzbicki R. , Dravis J. J. , Alaasm I. , Harland N.

A large gas reservoir was discovered in the previously unproductive Jurassic-aged Abenaki carbonate margin in 1998. Most of the reservoir porosity is developed in dolostones. These dolostones replaced preexisting wackestones, packstones, and grainstones(?) associated with reefal and adjacent depositional environments. Many dolomites were subsequently recrystallized or dissolved, accounting for much of the preserved secondary porosity. Subsequent fracturing helped enhance reservoir permeabilities. Enhanced petrographic techniques established that dissolution of previously dolomitized fabrics generated much of the secondary porosity in these dolostones. Diffused plane-polarized light revealed relict grains and textures invisible with standard microscopic observations. Petrographic and geochemical observations also confirmed that dissolution occurred under deep-burial conditions after incipient pressure solution. Dissolutionwas not confined to the centers of dolomitized grains, as is commonly seen when remnant calcitic grains dissolve out during the advanced stages of replacement dolomitization. Instead, dissolution was random within relict grains, as isolated dolomite crystals were also variably dissolved. The geochemistry of these dolomites and associated late-stage calcites implied precipitation from basinal hot fluids, as well as hydrothermal fluids. Later diagenetic fluids, either acidic or calcium rich, or perhaps both at different times (based on associated mineralization), seemingly promoted dolomite dissolution. The presence of tectonic fractures and stylolites, helium gas, and faults observed in seismic data implied that dolomitization and subsequent dissolution along the Abenaki platform margin were controlled by reactivated wrench faults tied to basement. On a finer scale, diagenetic fluids moved through fractures and pressuresolution seams. The data collected to date support our contention that the dolomitization and dissolution process, which has created most of the porosity in the Abenaki reservoir, was poststylotization and deeper burial in origin. Given the timing of tectonic activity in the area and its inferred connection to diagenesis, it is probable that at least a part of the diagenetic fluids were hydrothermal in nature 


Le problme de louverture des vides initiaux pr-karstiques: cas de la dolomie siliceuse du Sous-Groupe de Malmani, Afrique du Sud., 2007,
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Martini J.
THE PROBLEM RELATED TO THE INITIAL SIZE OF THE PRE-KARSTIC VOIDS: THE CASE OF THE SILICEOUS DOLOSTONE OF THE MALMANI SUBGROUP, SOUTH AFRICA. The paper describes pre-karstic jointing in phreatic mazes developed in a Precambrian siliceous dolostone. The initial joint opening controling the speleogenesis can be measured in chert seams interstratified within the dolostone, since they are practically unaffected by karst dissolution. The measured openings generally vary from 0.3 to 5.0 mm, although values up to 30 mm have been recorded. The origin of the jointing has been linked to a Liassic tentional event which affected the entire African Austral sub-continent. This event is also associated with a major basaltic volcanism of the fissural type. Due to the exceptional nature of this tentionnal event, it appears difficult to compare the figures given here with the openings given by the authors from karst domains elsewhere in the world, who quote figures 1 to 2 magnitudes smaller.

Assessment of cover-collapse sinkholes in SW Sardinia (Italy), 2007,
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Ardau F, Balia R, Bianco M, De Waele J,
The SW part of Sardinia has been afflicted, in recent years, by several cover-collapse sinkholes mostly occurring in low-density population areas. The study area, that lies in the Iglesiente-Sulcis region, is characterized by the cropping out of the Palaeozoic basement related to the South European Hercynian chain, covered with Tertiary-Quaternary sediments. The main rock types that crop out are Palaeozoic metasandstones, metadolostones, metalimestones, shales and metaconglomerates, and Tertiary-Quaternary fluvial-lacustrine continental sediments. The combined application of several geophysical techniques, integrated with boreholes and geotechnical as well as hydrogeological measurements, proved to be very useful and promising in defining in detail the geological context in which each sinkhole has formed. Moreover, the gravity method, even when used alone, proved to be very effective in detecting the regional geological structures to which sinkholes are related. Eventually, the historical analysis of phenomena, the geological knowledge of the Iglesiente-Sulcis area and the results of properly designed geophysical surveys allows the most probable areas for cover-collapse sinkholes to occur in the future to be determined. In fact, this research pointed out that the depth of the sediment-covered Palaeozoic bedrock is one of the major constraints in delimiting hazardous areas, leading to the construction of a preliminary hazard map. This map shows a belt of high risk, and also suggests the areas in which further geophysical and geotechnical investigations should be carried out to estimate the depth of the bedrock

Karst and Paleokarst Features involving Sandstones of the Judbarra / Gregory National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, 2012,
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Grimes, Ken G.

In addition to carbonate karsts, the Judbarra / Gregory National Park of tropical northern Australia has karst and paleokarst features associated with Proterozoic sandstone units. On a sandstone plateau in the Newcastle Range, there are several large collapse dolines formed in the Proterozoic Jasper Gorge Sandstone. As there is a carbonate unit, the Proterozoic Campbell Springs Dolostone, lying about 110 m beneath the plateau surface, these sinkholes may be subjacent karst features resulting from the upward stoping of large cave chambers. In the Far Northern area of the Judbarra Karst Region, areas of chert breccia are shown on the geological maps, and linear bodies of brecciated sandstone are inset into the carbonate beds of the Skull Creek Formation. The sandstone is derived from the Jasper Gorge Sandstone, which overlies the Skull Creek Formation in adjoining areas. The breccia is interpreted as paleokarst of uncertain age resulting from subsidence of the sandstone into karst trenches or collapsed cavities developed in the underlying carbonate beds.


Epikarstic Maze Cave Development: Bullita Cave System, Judbarra / Gregory Karst, Tropical Australia, 2012,
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Martini Jacques E. J. , Grimes Ken G.

 In the monsoon tropics of northern Australia, Bullita Cave is the largest (120 km) of a group of extensive, horizontal, joint-controlled, dense network maze caves which are epikarst systems lying at shallow depth beneath a welldeveloped karrenfield. The Judbarra / Gregory Karst and its caves are restricted to the outcrop belt of a thin bed of sub-horizontal, thinly interbedded dolostone and calcitic limestone – the Supplejack Dolostone Member of the Proterozoic Skull Creek Formation. Karst is further restricted to those parts of the Supplejack that have escaped a secondary dolomitisation event. The karrenfield and underlying cave system are intimately related and have developed in step as the Supplejack surface was exposed by slope retreat. Both show a lateral zonation of development grading from youth to old age. Small cave passages originate under the recently exposed surface, and the older passages at the trailing edge become unroofed or destroyed by ceiling breakdown as the, by then deeply-incised, karrenfield breaks up into isolated ruiniform blocks and pinnacles and eventually a low structural pavement. Vertical development of the cave has been generally restricted to the epikarst zone by a 3 m bed of impermeable and incompetent shale beneath the Supplejack which first perched the watertable, forming incipient phreatic passages above it, and later was eroded by vadose flow to form an extensive horizontal system of passages 10-20 m below the karren surface. Some lower cave levels in underlying dolostone occur adjacent to recently incised surface gorges. Speleogenesis is also influenced by the rapid, diffuse, vertical inflow of storm water through the karrenfield, and by ponding of the still-aggressive water within the cave during the wet season – dammed up by "levees" of sediment and rubble that accumulate beneath the degraded trailing edge of the karrenfield. The soil, and much biological activity, is not at the bare karren surface, but down on the cave floors, which aids epikarstic solution at depth rather than on the surface. While earlier hypogenic, or at least confined, speleogenic activity is possible in the region, there is no evidence of this having contributed to the known maze cave systems. The age of the cave system appears to be no older than Pleistocene. Details of the speleogenetic process, its age, the distinctive nature of the cave systems and comparisons with other areas in the world are discussed.


Karst hierarchical flow systems in the Western Cordillera of North America, 2013,
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Ford, Derek

By definition, karstic flow systems are networks of solutional conduits. Their spatial patterns and hierarchical organisation are strongly affected by differing lithology and geologic structure, and by the location and modes of recharge – unconfined, confined, interformational. For purposes of discussion, this paper will review six examples rang-ing across platform and reefal limestones and dolostones, dolostone breccias, gypsum and salt, in widely differing structural, geomorphic and hydrologic settings: (1) The Carcajou River karst at Lat. 65° N in the Mackenzie Mountains, where leaky permafrost superimposes a frozen ground hierarchy on those due to lithology, structure and topog-raphy: (2) The S Nahanni River karst at Lat. 62° N, with an intrusive-derived local thermal system and lengthy, strike-oriented meteoric flow systems that contribute to an outlet H2S thermal system at the basin topographic low: (3) Castleguard Mountain Karst (Lat. 52° N) in massive Main Ranges structures of the Rocky Mountains, with a complex alpine hierarchy of base-flow and overflow springs: (4) Crowsnest Pass, in steep thrust structures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, where regional strike-oriented flow systems extending between Lats. 49° and 50° N and paired above and below a major aquitard have been disaggregated by glacial cirque incision: (5) The Black Hills geologic dome at Lat. 44° N in South Dakota, USA, with a sequence of hot springs at low points around the perimeter, discharging through sandstones but with some of the world’s most extensive hypogene maze caves formed in a limestone karst barré setting behind them: (6) The Sierra de El Abra, at Lat. 23° N in Mexico, a deep and lengthy (100 km) reef-backreef limestone range being progressively exposed and karstified by stripping of a cover of clastic rocks; the springs are few but amongst the largest known in karst anywhere, located at the northern and southern low extremities along the strike of the reef, plus breaches (windows) in the cover further south.


KARST DEVELOPMENT IN THE GLACIATED AND PERMAFROSTREGIONS OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA, 2013,
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Ford Derek

 

The Northwest Territories of Canada are ~1.2 million km2 in area and appear to contain a greater extent and diversity of karst landforms than has been described in any other region of the Arctic or sub-Arctic. The Mackenzie River drains most of the area. West of the River, the Mackenzie Mountains contain spectacular highland karsts such as Nahanni (Lat. 62° N) and Canol Road (Lat. 65° N) that the author has described at previous International Speleological Congresses. This paper summarizes samples of the mountain and lowland karst between Lats. 64–67° N that are located east of the River. The Franklin Mountains there are east-facing cuestas created by over-thrusting from the west. Maximum elevations are ~1,000 m a.s.l., diminishing eastwards where the cuestas are replaced by undeformed plateaus of dolomite at 300–400 m asl that overlook Great Bear Lake. In contrast to the Mackenzie Mountains (which are generally higher) all of this terrain was covered repeatedly by Laurentide Continental glacier ice flowing from the east and southeast. The thickness of the last ice sheet was >1,200 m. It receded c.10,000 years ago. Today permafrost is mapped as “widespread but discontinuous” below 350 m a.s.l. throughout the region, and “continuous” above that elevation. The vegetation is mixed taiga and wetlands at lower elevations, becoming tundra higher up. Access is via Norman Wells (population 1,200), a river port at 65° 37’N, 126° 48’W, 67 m a.s.l.: its mean annual temperature is -6.4 °C (January mean -20 °C, July +14 °C) and average precipitation is ~330 mm.y-1, 40 % falling as snow. In the eastern extremities a glacial spillway divides the largest dolomite plateau into “Mahony Dome” and “Tunago Dome”. The former (~800 km2) has a central alvar draining peripherally into lakes with overflow sinkholes, turloughs, dessicated turloughs, and stream sinks, all developed post-glacially in regular karst hydrologic sequences. Tunago Dome is similar in extent but was reduced to scablands by a sub-glacial mega-flood from the Great Bear basin; it is a mixture of remnant mesas with epikarst, and wetlands with turloughs in flood scours. Both domes are largely holokarstic, draining chiefly to springs at 160–180 m a.s.l. in the spillway. The eastern limit of overthrusting is marked by narrow ridges created by late-glacial hydration of anhydrite at shallow depth in interbedded dolostones and sulphate rocks. Individual ridges are up to 60 km long, 500–1,000 m wide, 50–250 m in height. They impound Lac Belot (300 km2), Tunago Lake (120 km2) and many lesser lakes, all of which are drained underground through them. In the main overthrust structures, the Norman Range (Franklin Mountains) is oriented parallel with the direction of Laurentide ice flow. It displays strongly scoured morphology with elongate sinkholes on its carbonate benches. In contrast, the Bear Rock Range is oriented across the ice flow, has multiple cuestas, is deeply furrowed and holokarstic but preserves pinnacle karst on higher ground due to karst-induced polar thermal (frozen-down) conditions at the glacier base there.


LEAD MINE CAVES IN SOUTHWESTERN WISCONSIN, USA, 2013,
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Day Mick, Reeder Phil

Lead ores were mined extensively in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin during the middle of the XIXth century, when the Upper Mississippi Valley Lead District was one of the major lead-producing regions in the world. Much of the ore was removed from caves that were initially entered directly from the surface or later intersected by vertical shafts or near-horizontal adits. Lead ore mining began around 1815, and was most prevalent between 1825 and 1870, with peak production in the 1840s and an almost uninterrupted decline in production after 1850. Ores were extracted from at least ten prominent mine caves in dolostones in the Platteville and Galena Formations South of the Wisconsin River, and the mine caves in total represent perhaps 50% of the local cave population. Among the more significant lead mine caves are the St. John Mine (Snake Cave), Dudley Cave, the Arthur and Company Mine Cave, the Brown and Turley Mine and the Atkinson Mine Cave. Caves North of the Wisconsin River in the Prairie du Chien Formation dolostones apparently yielded insignificant volumes of ore. Mining has altered the original caves considerably, and there remains considerable evidence of the mining, including excavated and modified passages up to 15 meters wide with rooms and pillars, drill holes and mining tools. Outside the caves there are extensive spoil piles, together with the remains of ore smelters and abandoned settlements. Although none of the lead mine caves remain active industrially, they remain import- ant in several contexts: they provide information about regional speleogenesis; they played a pivotal role in early European and African American settlement of Wisconsin; they were economically of great significance during the XIXth century; and they are important now as bat hibernacula, as caving sites and in regional tourism.


Permeability evolution due to dissolution and precipitation of carbonates using reactive transport modeling in pore networks, 2013,
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A reactive transport model was developed to simulate reaction of carbonates within a pore network for the high-pressure CO2-acidified conditions relevant to geological carbon sequestration. The pore network was based on a synthetic oolithic dolostone. Simulation results produced insights that can inform continuum-scale models regarding reactioninduced changes in permeability and porosity. As expected, permeability increased extensively with dissolution caused by high concentrations of carbonic acid, but neither pH nor calcite saturation state alone was a good predictor of the effects, as may sometimes be the case. Complex temporal evolutions of interstitial brine chemistry and network structure led to the counterintuitive finding that a far-from-equilibrium solution produced less permeability change than a nearer-to-equilibrium solution at the same pH. This was explained by the pH buffering that increased carbonate ion concentration and inhibited further reaction. Simulations of different flow conditions produced a nonunique set of permeability-porosity relationships. Diffusive-dominated systems caused dissolution to be localized near the inlet, leading to substantial porosity change but relatively small permeability change. For the same extent of porosity change caused from advective transport, the domain changed uniformly, leading to a large permeability change. Regarding precipitation, permeability changes happen much slower compared to dissolution-induced changes and small amounts of precipitation, even if located only near the inlet, can lead to large changes in permeability. Exponent values for a power law that relates changes in permeability and porosity ranged from 2 to 10, but a value of 6 held constant when conditions led to uniform changes throughout the domain


Fingerprinting water-rock interaction in hypogene speleogenesis: potential and limitations of isotopic depth-profiling, 2014,
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Spötl Ch, Dublyansky Y.

Dissolution processes in karst regions commonly involve (meteoric) water whose stable isotopic (O, H, C) composition is distinctly different from that of the paleowaters from which the host rock (limestone, dolostone) formed. This, in theory, should lead to isotopic alteration of the host rock beyond the active solution surface as the modern karst water is out of isotopic equilibrium with the carbonate rock. No such alteration has been reported, however, in epigenetic karst systems. In contrast, isotopic alteration, commonly referred to as isotopic halos or fronts, are known from various hypogene systems (ore deposits, active hydro­thermal systems, etc.). These empirical observations suggest that stable isotope data may be a diagnostic tool to identify hypogene water-rock interactions particularly in cave systems whose origin is ambiguous.

We have been testing the applicability of this assumption to karst settings by studying the isotopic composition of carbonate host rocks in a variety of caves showing clear-cut hypogene morphologies. Cores drilled into the walls of cave chambers and galleries were stud­ied petrographically and the C and O isotope composition was analyzed along these cores, which typically reached a depth of 0.5 to 1.2 m. We identified three scenarios: (a) no isotopic alteration, (b) a sigmoidal isotope front within a few centimeters of the cave wall, and (c) pervasive isotope alteration throughout the entire core length. Type (a) was found in caves where the rate of cave wall retreat apparently outpaced the rate of isotopic alteration of the wall rock (which is typical, for example, for sulfuric acid speleogenesis). Type (c) was observed in geologically young, porous limestone showing evidence of alteration zones up to 5 m wide. The intermediate type (b) was identified in hypogene karst cavities developed in tight limestone, dolostone and marble.

Our data in conjunction with evidence from speleothems and their geochemical and fluid-inclusion composition suggest that the spa­tial extent of the isotopic alteration front depends on the porosity and permeability, as well as on the saturation state of the water. Wider alteration zones primarily reflect a higher permeability. Shifts are most distinct for oxygen isotopes and less so for carbon, whereby the amplitude depends on a number of variables, including the isotopic composition of unaltered host rock, the isotopic composition of the paleofluid, the temperature, the water/rock ratio, the surface of water-rock contact, the permeability of the rock, and the time available for isotope exchange. If the other parameters can be reasonably constrained, then semi-quantitative temperature estimates of the paleowater can be obtained assuming isotopic equilibrium conditions.

If preserved (scenarios b and c), alteration fronts are a strong evidence of hypogene speleogenesis, and, in conjunction with hypogene precipitates, allow to fingerprint the isotopic and physical parameters of the altering paleofluid. The reverse conclusion is not valid, however; i.e. the lack of evidence of isotopic alteration of the cave wall rock cannot be used to rule out hypogene paleo-water-rock interaction.


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