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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 water quality is the physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of water [16].?

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 exposure (Keyword) returned 139 results for the whole karstbase:
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Speleogenesis of the Black Hills Maze Caves, South Dakota, USA, 2000,
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Palmer A. N. , Palmer M. V.
Caves of the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA, are located in the Madison Limestone of Mississippian (early Carboniferous) age in a zone of diagenetic breccias and late-Mississippian paleokarst. Most of the caves are extremely complex networks with multiple stratigraphically controlled storeys. Today they are essentially hydrologic relics. Their history is as complex as the caves themselves: (1) The earliest cave openings were formed by diagenetic processes, mainly by the dissolution and reduction of sulfates. Oxidation of hydrogen sulfide produced many small and rather isolated voids lined by brecciated bedrock. (2) Late Mississippian exposure produced caves, dolines, and surface fissures, which were later filled with basal Pennsylvanian (late Carboniferous) sands and clays of the Minnelusa Formation. (3) Deposition of sedimentary strata buried these early karst features to depths of at least two kilometers. During this time, voids that had not been entirely filled by Pennsylvanian sediment were lined by a thin layer of scalenohedral calcite, and later by quartz. (4) Uplift of the Black Hills at the end of the Cretaceous Period exposed the Madison Limestone once again, allowing rapid groundwater flow through it. The earlier caves and solution pockets were enlarged at this time. (5) A thick layer of rhombohedral calcite precipitated on the cave walls, probably as the result of stagnation of groundwater caused by late Tertiary aggradation, which blocked spring openings. (6) Both before and after the calcite wall crust was deposited, deep subaerial weathering produced boxwork, with veins of calcite that had replaced earlier sulfates, as well as thick accumulations of carbonate sediment. The Tertiary cave enlargement probably involved mixing of at least two of the following water sources: artesian flow from recharge along the carbonate outcrop area, diffuse recharge through the overlying sandstone, and rising thermal water. There is evidence for all three sources, but the relative importance of each is still uncertain.

Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers., 2000,
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The aim of this book is to present advances made in recent decades in our understanding of the formation of dissolutional caves, and to illustrate the role of cave genetic ( speleogenetic ) processes in the development of karst aquifers. From the perspective of hydrogeology, karst ground water flow is a distinct kind of fluid circulation system, one that is capable of self-organization and self-development due to its capacity to dissolve significant amounts of the host rock and transport them out of the system. Fluid circulation in soluble rocks becomes more efficiently organized by creating, enlarging and modifying patterns of cave conduits, the process of speleogenesis. We can assert that karst ground water flow is a function of speleogenesis and vice versa . The advances in cave science are poorly appreciated in what may be termed ?mainstream hydrogeology?, which retains a child-like faith in flow models developed in the sand box. Many karst students also will not be aware of all emerging concepts of cave origin because discussions of them are scattered through journals and books in different disciplines and languages, including publications with small circulation. An understanding of principles of speleogenesis and its most important controls is indispensable for proper comprehension of the evolution of the karst system in general and of karst aquifers in particular. We hope this book will be useful for both karst and cave scientists, and for general hydrogeologists dealing with karst terranes. This book is a pioneer attempt by an international group of cave scientists to summarize modern knowledge about cave origin in various settings, and to examine the variety of approaches that have been adopted. Selected contributions from 44 authors in 15 nations are combined in an integrated volume, prepared between 1994 and 1998 as an initiative of the Commission of Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis, International Speleological Union. Despite a desire to produce an integrated book, rather than a mere collection of papers, the editors' policy has not been directed toward unifying all views. Along with some well-established theories and approaches, the book contains new concepts and ideas emerging in recent years. We hope that this approach will stimulate further development and exchange of ideas in cave studies and karst hydrogeology. Following this Introduction, (Part 1), the book is organized in seven different parts, each with sub-chapters. Part 2 gives a history of speleogenetic studies, tracing the development of the most important ideas from previous centuries (Shaw, Chapter 2.1) through the early modern period in the first half of this century (Lowe, Chapter 2.2) to the threshold of modern times (W.White, Chapter 2.3). The present state of the art is best illustrated by the entire content of this book. Part 3 overviews the principal geologic and hydrogeologic variables that either control or significantly influence the differing styles of cave development that are found. In Chapter 3.1 Klimchouk and Ford introduce an evolutionary approach to the typology of karst settings, which is a taken as a base line for the book. Extrinsic factors and intrinsic mechanisms of cave development change regularly and substantially during the general cycle of geological evolution of a soluble rock and , more specifically, within the hydrogeologic cycle. The evolutionary typology of karst presented in this chapter considers the entire life cycle of a soluble formation, from deposition (syngenetic karst) through deep burial, to exposure and denudation. It helps to differentiate between karst types which may concurrently represent different stages of karst development, and is also a means of adequately classifying speleogenetic settings. The different types of karst are marked by characteristic associations of the structural prerequisites for groundwater flow and speleogenesis, flow regime, recharge mode and recharge/discharge configurations, groundwater chemistry and degree of inheritance from earlier conditions. Consequently, these associations make a convenient basis to view both the factors that control cave genesis and the particular types of caves. Lithological and structural controls of speleogenesis are reviewed in general terms in Chapters 3.2 (Klimchouk and Ford). Lowe in Chapter 3.3 discusses the role of stratigraphic elements and the speleo-inception concept. Palmer in Chapter 3.4 overviews the hydrogeologic controls of cave patterns and demonstrates that hydrogeologic factors, the recharge mode and type of flow in particular, impose the most powerful controls on the formation of the gross geometry of cave systems. Hence, analysis of cave patterns is especially useful in the reconstruction of environments from paleokarst and in the prediction and interpretation of groundwater flow patterns and contaminant migration. Any opportunity to relate cave patterns to the nature of their host aquifers will assist in these applied studies as well. Osborne (Chapter 3.7) examines the significance of paleokarst in speleogenesis. More specific issues are treated by Klimchouk (The nature of epikarst and its role in vadose speleogenesis, Chapter 3.5) and by V.Dublyansky and Y.Dublyansky (The role of condensation processes, Chapter 3.6). Part 4 outlines the fundamental physics and chemistry of the speleogenetic processes (Chapter 4.1) and presents a variety of different approaches to modeling cave conduit development (Chapter 4.2). In Chapter 4.1, the chemical reactions during the dissolution of the common soluble minerals, calcite, gypsum, salt and quartz, are discussed with the basic physical and chemical mechanisms that determine their dissolution rates. As limestone is the most common karst rock and its dissolution is the most complex in many respects, it receives the greatest attention. Dreybrodt (Section 4.1.1) and Dreybrodt and Eisenlohr (Section 4.1.2) provide advanced discussion and report the most recent experimental data, which are used to obtain realistic dissolution rates for a variety of hydrogeologic conditions and as input for modeling the evolution of conduits. Although direct comparisons between theoretical or analytical dissolution rates and those derived from field measurements is difficult, a very useful comparison is provided by W.White (Section 4.1.3). The bulk removal of carbonate rock from karst drainage basins can be evaluated either by direct measurement of rock surface retreat or by mass balance within known drainage basins. All of these approaches make sense and give roughly accurate results that are consistent with theoretical expectations. It is well recognized today that the earliest, incipient, phases of speleogenesis are crucial in building up the pattern of conduits that evolve into explorable cave systems. It is difficult to establish the major controls on these initial stages by purely analytical or intuitive methods, so that modeling becomes particularly important. Various approaches are presented in Chapter 4.2. Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen present the results of systematic study of the propagation of conduits between input and output points in an anisotropic fissure, using a variety of hardware and software models, in series representing the "single input", "multiple inputs in one rank", and "multiple inputs in multiple ranks" cases (Section 4.2.1). The results indicate important details of the competitive development of proto-conduits and help to explain branching cave patterns. In the competition between inputs, some principal tubes in near ranks first link ("breakthrough") to an output boundary. This re-orients the flowfields of failed nearby competitors, which then extend to join the principal via their closest secondaries. The process extends outwards and to the rear, linking up all inputs in a "cascading system". The exploding growth of computer capability during the last two decades has greatly enhanced possibilities for digital modeling of early conduit development. Investigating the growth of a single conduit is a logical first step in understanding the evolution of caves, realized here by Dreybrodt and Gabrov?ek in the form of a simple mathematical model (Section 4.2.2) and by Palmer by numerical finite-difference modeling (Section 4.2.3). The models show that positive feedback loops operate; widening a fracture causes increasing flow through it, therefore dissolution rates increase along it and so on, until finally a dramatic increase of flow rates permits a dramatic enhancement of the widening. This breakthrough event terminates the initial stage of conduit evolution. From then on the water is able to pass through the entire conduit while maintaining sufficient undersaturation to preserve low-order kinetics, so the growth rate is very rapid, at least from a geological standpoint -- usually about 0.001-0.1 cm/yr. The initiation ("breakthrough") time depends critically on the length and the initial width of the fracture and, for the majority of realistic cases, it covers a time range from a few thousand years to ten million years in limestones. The modeling results give a clear explanation of the operation of selectivity in cave genesis. In a typical unconfined karst aquifer there is a great range of enlargement rates along the competing flow routes, and only a few conduits will grow to enterable size. The modeling also provides one starting point (others are discussed in Chapter 5.2) to explain uniform maze patterns, which will be favored by enlargement of all openings at comparable rates where the discharge/length ratio is great enough. Single-conduit modeling has the virtue of revealing how the cave-forming variables relate to each other in the simplest possible way. Although it is more difficult to extend this approach to two dimensions, many have done so (e.g. Groves & Howard, 1994; Howard & Groves, 1995; in this volume ? Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen, Section 4.2.1; Dreybrodt and Siemers, Section 4.2.4, and Sauter and Liedl, Section 4.2.5). The modeling performed by Dreybrodt and Siemers shows that the main principles of breakthrough derived from one-dimensional models remain valid. The evolution of karst aquifers has been modeled for a variety of different geological settings, including also variation in lithology with respect to the dissolution kinetics. Sauter and Liedl simulate the development of conduits at a catchment scale for fissured carbonate rocks with rather large initial openings (about 1 mm). The approach is based upon hydraulic coupling of a pipe network to matrix continuum in order to represent the well-known duality of karst aquifer flow systems. It is also shown how understanding of the genesis of karst aquifers and modeling of their development can assist in characterization of the conduit system, which dominates flow and transport in karst aquifers. An important point that has emerged from cave studies of the last three decades is that no single speleogenetic model applies to all geologic and hydrologic settings. Given that settings may also change systematically during the evolutionary geological cycles outlined above (Chapter 3.1), an evolutionary approach is called for. This is attempted in Part 5, which is organized to give extended accounts of speleogenesis in the three most important settings that we recognize: coastal and oceanic (Chapter 5.1), deep-seated and confined (Chapter 5.2) and unconfined (Chapter 5.3). Each Chapter begins with a review of modern ideas on cave development in the setting, followed by representative case studies. The latter include new accounts of some "classic" caves as well as descriptions of other, little-known cave systems and areas. Readers may determine for themselves how well the real field examples fit the general models presented in the introductory sections. Mylroie and Carew in Chapter 5.1 summarize specific features of cave and karst development in young rocks in coastal and island settings that result from the chemical interactions between fresh and salt waters, and the effects of fluctuating sea level during the Quaternary. The case studies include a review of syngenetic karst in coastal dune limestones, Australia (S.White, 5.1.1) and an example of speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands (Gunn and Lowe, 5.1.2). Klimchouk in Chapter 5.2 reviews conditions and mechanisms of speleogenesis in deep-seated and confined settings, one of the most controversial but exciting topics in modern cave research. Conventional karst/speleogenetic theories are concerned chiefly with shallow, unconfined geologic settings, supposing that the karstification found there is intimately related to surface conditions of input and output, with the dissolution being driven by downward meteoric water recharge. The possibility of hypogenic karstification in deeper environments has been neglected for a long time, and the quite numerous instances of karst features found at significant depths have usually been interpreted as buried paleokarst. However, the last decade has seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogene dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which often precedes unconfined development (Hill, 1987, 1995; Klimchouk, 1994, 1996, 1997; Lowe, 1992; Lowe & Gunn, 1995; Mazzullo & Harris, 1991, 1992; Palmer, 1991, 1995; Smart & Whitaker, 1991; Worthington, 1991, 1994; Worthington & Ford, 1995). Confined (artesian) settings were commonly ignored as sites for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves in the confined area. However, the recognition of non-classical features in artesian flow, namely the occurrence of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concepts of transverse speleogenesis and of the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows for a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and of views on the origin of many caves. It is proposed that artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception and also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the structural prerequisites exist. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. Hypogene speleogenesis occurs in rocks of varied lithology and can involve a variety of dissolution mechanisms that operate under different physical constraints but create similar cave features. Case studies include the great gypsum mazes of the Western Ukraine (Klimchouk, Section 5.2.1), great maze caves in limestones in Black Hills, South Dakota (Palmer, Section 5.2.2) and Siberia (Filippov, Section 5.2.3), karstification in the Redwall aquifer, Arizona (Huntoon, Section 5.2.4), hydrothermal caves in Hungary (Y.Dublyansky, Section 5.2.6), and sulfuric acid speleogenesis (Lowe, Bottrell and Gunn, Section 5.2.7, and Hill, Section 5.2.8). Y.Dublyansky summarizes the peculiar features of hydrothermal speleogenesis (Section 5.2.5), and V.Dublyansky describes an outstanding example of a hydrothermal cavity, in fact the largest ever recorded by volume, in the Rhodope Mountains (Section 5.2.9). Recognition of the scale and importance of deep-seated speleogenesis and of the hydraulic continuity and cross-formational communications between aquifers in artesian basins is indispensable for the correct interpretation of evolution of karst aquifers, speleogenetic processes and associated phenomena, regional karst water-resource evaluations, and the genesis of certain karst-related mineral deposits. These and other theoretical and practical implications still have to be developed and evaluated, which offers a wide field for further research efforts. Ford in Chapter 5.3 reviews theory of speleogenesis that occurs where normal meteoric waters sink underground through the epikarst or dolines and stream sinks, etc. and circulate in the limestone or other soluble rocks without any major artesian confinement. These are termed common caves (Ford & Williams, 1989) because they probably account for 90% or more of the explored and mapped dissolutional caves that are longer than a few hundred meters. This estimate reflects the bias in exploration; caves formed in unconfined settings and genetically related to surface recharge are the most readily accessible and hence form the bulk of documented caves. Common caves display chiefly the branchwork forms where the dissolutional conduits occupy only a tiny proportion of the total length or area of penetrable fissures that is available to the groundwaters. The rules that govern the selection of the successful linkages that will be enlarged into the branchwork pattern are supported in the models presented in Chapter 4.2. In the long section caves may be divided into deep phreatic, multi-loop, mixed loop and water table, and ideal water table types, with drawdown vadose caves or invasion vadose caves above them. Many large systems display a mixture of the types. The concepts of plan pattern construction, phreatic, water table or vadose state, and multi-phase development of common caves are illustrated in the case studies that follow the introduction. They are organized broadly to begin with examples of comparatively simple deep phreatic and multi-loop systems (El Abra, Mexico, Ford, Section 5.3.1 and Castleguard Cave, Canada, Ford, Lauritzen and Worthington, Section 5.3.2), proceeding to large and complex multi-phase systems such as the North of Thun System, Switzerland (Jeannin, Bitterly and Hauselmann, Section 5.3.3) and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (Palmer, Section 5.3.8), to representatives of mixed vadose and phreatic development in mountainous regions (the Alps, Audra, Section 5.3.4; the Pyrenees, Fernandez, Calaforra and Rossi, Section 5.3.5; Mexico, Hose, Section 5.3.6) and where there is strong lithologic or structural control (Folded Appalachians, W.White, Section 5.3.7; gypsum caves in the South of Spain, Calaforra and Pulido-Bosch, Section 5.3.10). Two special topics are considered by W.White in Section 5.3.9 (Speleogenesis of vertical shafts in the eastern US) and Palmer (Maze origin by diffuse recharge through overlying formation). The set concludes with two instances of nearly ideal water table cave development (in Belize and Hungary, Ford, Section 5.3.12), and a review of the latest models of speleogenesis from the region where modern karst studies in the West began, the Classical Karst of Slovenia and Trieste (?u?ter?ic, Section 5.3.13). In Parts 2-5 attention is directed primarily on how the gross geometry of a cave system is established. Part 6 switches focus to the forms at meso- and micro- scales, which can be created during enlargement of the cave. Lauritzen and Lundberg in Chapter 6.1 summarize the great variety of erosional forms ( speleogenetic facies ) that can be created by a wide range of speleogenetic agents operating in the phreatic or vadose zones. Some forms of cave passages have been subject to intensive research and may be interpreted by means of simple physical and chemical principles, but many others are polygenetic and hence difficult to decipher with certainty. However, in addition to the analysis of cave patterns (see Chapter 3.4), each morphological element is a potential tool that can aid our inferences on the origin of caves and on major characteristics of respective past hydrogeological settings. In Chapter 6.2 E.White and W.White review breakdown morphology in caves, generalizing that the processes are most active during the enlargement and decay phases of cave development. Early in the process breakdown occurs when the flow regime shifts from pipe-full conditions to open channel conditions (i.e. when the roof first loses buoyant support) and later in the process breakdown becomes part of the overall degradation of the karst system. The chapter addresses the mechanism of breakdown formation, the geological triggers that initiate breakdown, and the role that breakdown plays in the development of caves. As the great majority of both theoretical considerations and case studies in this book deal with speleogenesis in carbonate rocks, it is useful to provide a special forum to examine dissolution cave genesis in other rocks. This is the goal of Part 7. Klimchouk (7.1) provides a review of speleogenesis in gypsum. This appears to be a useful playground for testing the validity and limitations of certain general speleogenetic concepts. Differences in solution kinetics between gypsum and calcite impose some limitations and peculiar features on the early evolution of conduits in gypsum. These peculiarities appear to be an extreme and more obvious illustration of some rules of speleogenetic development devised from conceptual and digital modeling of early conduit growth in limestones. For instance, it is shown (e.g. Palmer, 1984, 1991; Dreybrodt, 1996; see also Chapter 3.4 and Section 4.2.2) that initiation of early, narrow and long pathways does not seem feasible under linear dissolution rate laws (n=1) due to exponential decrease of the dissolution rates. Although the dissolution kinetics of gypsum are not well known close to equilibrium it is generally assumed that they are controlled entirely by diffusion and therefore linear. If dissolution of gypsum is solely diffusion-controlled, with no change in the kinetic order, conduit initiation could not occur in phreatic settings or by lateral flow through gypsum from distant recharge areas in artesian settings. Hence, the fact that maze caves are common in gypsum in artesian conditions (see Section 5.2.1) gives strong support to a general model of "transverse" artesian speleogenesis where gypsum beds are underlain by, or sandwiched between, insoluble or low-solubility aquifers (Chapter 5.2), and suggests that it may be applicable to cave development in carbonates. In unconfined settings, speleogenesis in gypsum occurs along fissures wide enough to support undersaturated flow throughout their length. Linear or crudely branching caves overwhelmingly predominate, which rapidly adjust to the contemporary geomorphic setting and to the maximum available recharge. Also, if considerable conduit porosity has been created in deep-seated settings, it provides ready paths for more intense groundwater circulation and further cave development when uplift brings the gypsum into the shallow subsurface. Speleogenesis in salt, reviewed in general and exemplified by the Monte Sedom case in Israel (Frumkin, Chapter 7.2), has been documented only in open, unconfined settings, where it provides a model for simple vadose cave development. Chapter 7.3 deals with speleogenesis in quartzites, illustrated by case studies from southeastern Minas Gerais, Brasil (Correa Neto, 7.3.1) and South Africa (Martini, 7.3.2). The process involves initial chemical weathering of the quartzite to create zones of friable rocks (sanding, or arenisation) which then are removed by piping, with further conduit enlargement due to mechanical erosion by flowing water. Part 8 combines the theoretical with some applied aspects of speleogenetic studies. Worthington, Ford and Beddows (8.1) show the important implications of what might be termed "speleogenetic wisdom" when studying ground water behaviour in karst. They examine some standard hydrogeological concepts in the light of knowledge of caves and their patterns, considering a range of case studies to identify the characteristic enhancement of porosity and permeability due to speleogenesis that occurs in carbonate rocks. The chapter focuses on unconfined carbonate aquifers as these are the most studied from the speleological perspective and most important for water supplies. Four aquifers, differing in rock type, recharge type (allogenic and autogenic), and age (Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic), are described in detail to demonstrate the extent of dissolutional enhancement of porosity and permeability. It is shown that all four cases are similar in hydraulic function, despite the fact that some of them were previously characterized as different end members of a "karst ? non-karst" spectrum. Enhancement of porosity by dissolution is relatively minor: enhancement of permeability is considerable because dissolution has created dendritic networks of channels able to convey 94% or more of all flow in the aquifer, with fractures providing a small proportion and the matrix a negligible amount. These conclusions may be viewed as a warning to hydrogeologists working in carbonate terranes: probably the majority of unconfined aquifers function in a similar manner. Sampling is a major problem in their analysis because boreholes (the conventional exploration tool in hydrogeology) are unlikely to intersect the major channels that are conveying most of the flow and any contaminants in it. It is estimated, using examples of comprehensively mapped caves, that the probability of a borehole intersecting a conduit ranges from 1 in 50 to 1 in 1000 or more. Boreholes simply cannot be relied upon to detect the presence of caves or to ?characterise? the hydrologic functioning of cavernous aquifers. Wherever comprehensive evidence has been collected in unconfined carbonate aquifers (cave mapping plus boreholes plus lab analysis of core samples) it suggests that dissolution inexorably results in a similar structure, with channel networks providing most of the permeability of the aquifer, yet occupying a very minor fraction of its volume (Worthington, Ford and Beddows). Lowe (Chapter 8.2) focuses on developments in understanding the vital role played by karstic porosity, (broadly viewed as being the product of speleogenesis), in the migration of mineralizing fluids (or hydrocarbons) and in their deposition (or storage), and comments on the potential role of new speleogenetic concepts in developing greater understanding in the future. Although some early workers were clearly aware of actual evidence for some kind of relationship, and others noted its theoretical likelihood, it has been ignored by many until relatively recent times. This shortfall has gradually been redressed; new understanding of the extent and variety of karst processes is ensuring that new relationships are being recognized and new interpretations and models are being derived. The chapter does not pretend to give a comprehensive account of the topic but clearly demonstrates the wide applicability of speleogenetic knowledge to issues in economic geology. In Chapter 8.3 Aley provides an overview of the water and land-use problems that occur in areas with conduit aquifers. He stresses that sound land management must be premised on an understanding that karst is a three-dimensional landscape where the surface and subsurface are intimately and integrally connected. Failure to recognize that activity at the surface affects the subsurface, and the converse, has long been the root cause of many of the problems of water and land use in karst regions. Karst areas have unique natural resource problems, whose management can have major economic consequences. Although there is an extensive literature on the nature of particular problems, resource protection and hazard minimization strategies in karst, it rarely displays an advanced understanding of the processes of the conduit formation and their characteristics yet these will always be involved. This book does not pretend to be a definitive text on speleogenesis. However, it is hoped that readers will find it to be a valuable reference source, that it will stimulate new ideas and approaches to develop and resolve some of the remaining problems, and that it will promote an appreciation of the importance of speleogenetic studies in karst hydrogeology and applied environmental sciences. Acknowledgements: We sincerely thank all contributors for their willing cooperation in the long and difficult process of preparing this book, for their participation in developing its logic and methodology and their cheerful response to numerous requests. We thank all colleagues who discussed the work with us and encouraged it in many ways, even though not contributing to its content as authors. We are particularly grateful to Margaret Palmer for invaluable help in editing the English in many contributions, to Nataly Yablokova for her help in performing many technical tasks and to Elizabeth White who prepared comprehensive index. Our thanks are due to Dr. David Drew, Dr. Philip LaMoreaux, Dr. George Moore and Prof. Marian Pulina for reviewing the manuscript and producing constructive notes and comments on improvement of the final product. The organizational costs and correspondence related to the preparation of the book were partially sponsored by the National Speleological Society, the publisher. We thank David McClurg, the Chair of the NSS Special Publication Committee, for his extensive technical and organizational support in the preparation and publishing processes.

PCB Pollution of the Karstic Environment (Krupa River, Slovenia), 2000,
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Polič, S. , Leskovš, Ek H. , Horvat M.

The PCB (Polychlorinated biphenyls) pollution problems in Krupa River are related to sinking surficial streams that mix with the regional groundwater supply, thus endangering the quality of the groundwater reservoirs. The last state of contamination with PCBs and their fate and exposure in the polluted environment were studied in the period 1995 to 1998 within the Remedial Environmental Programme that began in 1984. The concentrations of PCBs in the environmental compartments (air, water, sediment, and soil) of the Krupa were determined. A simple two-compartment (air/water) fugacity mass balance model was applied to these figures, and yielded a reasonable simulation of long-term trends in concentration. The net flux of PCBs from water to air was determined (0.3 ng/m2s). Research into levels of pollution in the Krupa area showed the situation and trends regarding pollution after ten years of remedial measures, and produced a quantitative assessment of the emission of PCBs from the underground catchment area of the source of the river. Comparisons between PCB concentrations in the polluted water measured from 1986 to 1988 and the concentrations measured in 1995 to 1997 show a decreasing trend (i.e. from a mean of 380 ng/l to a mean of 100 ng/l in the Krupa's water). The emission flux of PCBs from water to air for the entire River Krupa (2.6 km long) was estimated at 200 to500 g/year, i.e. approximately one-tenth of the figure at the time the remedial measure was initiated.


Diagenesis and porosity evolution of the Upper Silurian-lowermost Devonian West Point reef limestone, eastern Gaspe Belt, Quebec Appalachians, 2001,
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Bourque Pa, Savard Mm, Chi G, Dansereau P,
Diagenetic analysis based on cathodoluminescence petrography, cement stratigraphy, carbon and oxygen stable isotope geochemistry, and fluid inclusion microthermometry was used to reconstruct the porosity history and evaluate the reservoir potential of the Upper Silurian-Lower Devonian West Point limestone in the eastern part of the Gaspe Belt. The West Point limestone was investigated in two areas: 1) In the Chaleurs Bay Synclinorium, the limestone diagenesis of the lower and middle complexes of the Silurian West Point Formation was affected by repeated subaerial exposure related to late Ludlovian third-order eustatic low-stands, which coincided with the Salinic block tilting that produced the Salinic unconformity. The Anse McInnis Member (middle bank complex) underwent freshwater dissolution, and mixed marine and freshwater cementation during deposition. Concurrently, the underlying Anse a la Barbe and Gros Morbe members (lower mound and reef complex) experienced dissolution by fresh water percolating throughout the limestone succession. Despite this early development of karst porosity, subsequent meteoric-influenced cementation rapidly occluded all remaining pore space in the Gros Morbe, Anse a la Barbe, and Anse McInnis limestones. In contrast, the overlying Colline Daniel Member limestone (upper reef complex) does not show the influence of any freshwater diagenesis. Occlusion of its primary porosity occurred during progressive burial and was completed under a maximum burial depth of 1.2 kin. 2) In the Northern Outcrop Belt, the diagenesis of the Devonian pinnacle reefs of the West Point Formation followed a progressive burial trend. The primary pores of the reef limestone were not completely occluded before the reefs were buried at a significant depth (in some cases, to 6 km). Therefore, hydrocarbon migration in subsurface buildups before primary porosity occlusion might have created reservoirs. Moreover, the presence of gaseous hydrocarbons in Acadian-related veins attests to a hydrocarbon source in the area

Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001,
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Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

Eogenetic karst from the perspective of an equivalent porous medium, 2002,
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Vacher H. L. , Mylroie J. E. ,
The porosity of young limestones experiencing meteoric diagenesis in the vicinity of their deposition (eogenetic karst) is mainly a double porosity consisting of touching-vug channels and preferred passageways lacing through a matrix of interparticle porosity. In contrast, the porosity of limestones experiencing subaerial erosion following burial diagenesis and uplift (telogenetic karst) is mainly a double porosity consisting of conduits within a network of fractures. The stark contrast between these two kinds of karst is illustrated by their position on a graph showing the hydraulic characteristics of an equivalent porous medium consisting of straight, cylindrical tubes (n-D space, where n is porosity, D is the diameter of the tubes, and log n is plotted against log D). Studies of the hydrology of small carbonate islands show that large-scale, horizontal hydraulic conductivity (K) increases by orders of magnitude during the evolution of eogenetic karst. Earlier petrologic studies have shown there is little if any change in the total porosity of the limestone during eogenetic diagenesis. The limestone of eogenetic karst, therefore, tracks horizontally in n-D space. In contrast, the path from initial sedimentary material to telogenetic karst comprises a descent on the graph with reduction of n during burial diagenesis, then a sideways shift with increasing D due to opening of fractures during uplift and exposure, and finally an increase in D and n during development of the conduits along the fractures. Eogenetic caves are mainly limited to boundaries between geologic units and hydrologic zones: stream caves at the contact between carbonates and underlying impermeable rocks (and collapse-origin caves derived therefrom); vertical caves along platform-margin fractures; epikarst; phreatic pockets (banana holes) along the water table; and flank margin caves that form as mixing chambers at the coastal freshwater-saltwater 'interface'. In contrast, the caverns of telogenetic karst are part of a system of interconnected conduits that drain an entire region. The eogenetic caves of small carbonate islands are, for the most part, not significantly involved in the drainage of the island

The processes dominating Ca dissolution of limestone when exposed to ambient atmospheric conditions as determined by comparing dissolution models, 2002,
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Cardellfernandez C, Vleugels G, Torfs K, Van Grieken R,
In order to gain a clearer understanding of the decay mechanisms operating in limestones, and to determine the main damage factors at different exposure environments, calcite-dissolution models from the literature were compared. The models recognise three major stone decay mechanisms: attack by air pollutants (dry deposition), dissolution in clean rain (karst effect) and dissolution caused by neutralisation of rain acidity (acidity effect), These models were fitted to experimental data obtained from the run-off water analysis running over the so-called Massangis limestone, exposed under ambient conditions in five sites in Belgium. The models demonstrate that different processes dominate the limestone dissolution at the different sites, with dry deposition of air pollutants (especially SO2) being the principal process involved

Central Aldan gold deposits, 2002,
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Vetluzhskikh V. G. , Kazansky V. I. , Kochetkov A. Y. , Yanovsky V. M. ,
The Central Aldan ore district stands out in many features against the other gold districts within the Aldan Shield. The gold, uranium, and other mineral deposits are located at a junction of regional structures, they originated within a relatively short time interval of about 100 Ma, the ore mineralization is closely spatially and genetically related to alkaline magmatism, the igneous rocks and related ore deposits are located within a concentric-radial structure, and the host rocks consist of basement and sedimentary cover contrasting in physicochemical properties. All these features allow us to consider the Central Aldan district as an endogenous ore-magmatic system. The Aldan complex of primarily ore-bearing alkaline basaltic crustal-mantle volcanic and plutonic rocks originated during four to five stages and numerous intrusive phases and extensive magma differentiation in mature continental crust including thin horizontally heterogeneous platform cover. Some facts considered in this paper allowed us, however, to comprise the whole series of Central Aldan gold deposits as an endogenous-exogenous ore-forming system characteristic of the tectonically activated regions of ancient platforms. The evolution of the Central Aldan district in the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Cenozoic developed during the tectonic activation of Precembrian structures, oxidation of primary ores and weathering crust formation, and exposure of the Lebedinsk-, Kuranakh-, Ryabinovsk-, and Samolazovsk-type gold deposits to the erosion level. The formation of underground and surficial karst systems was initiated during the Jurassic weathering of carbonate rocks of the platform cover in subaerial environments. The endogenous stage of ore concentration was here directly followed by an exogenous stage with the formation of weathered rocks and gold placers in various morphostructural local environments, e.g., horsts, grabens, and graben valleys. Specific features of the placer structures and gold, quality in various placer types are related with hypogene ore bodies and elements of ore-controlling structures and zones of primary disseminated mineralization. The ore bodies of the Kuranakh and Samolazovskoe deposits actually belong to new types of endogenous-exogenous deposits. The gold dispersion and concentration related to karst formation are also significant in this ore district. Thus, Central Aldan is also an ore-placer district with specific features

Quantification of Macroscopic Subaerial Exposure Features in Carbonate Rocks, 2002,
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Budd Da, Gaswirth Sb, Oliver Wl,
The macroscopic features that characterize subaerial exposure surfaces in carbonates are well known, but their significance has not been quantitatively evaluated. This study presents such an analysis in the lower Oligocene Suwannee Limestone of west-central Florida. Eleven cores were point counted on a foot-by-foot basis for the abundance of caliche, rhizoliths, karst breccia, open vugs, infiltrated sediment, fractures, and pedogenic alteration. These features occur at and below intraformational exposure surfaces, which represent hiatuses estimated at 104 to 105 years, and an uppermost sequence-bounding unconformity representing 0.5 Myr, as revealed by Sr-isotope data. Statistical analyses of the point-count data reveal only a few significant relationships. (1) The hierarchy of exposure surfaces, and by inference duration of exposure, is differentiated only at a marginally significant level by sediment-filled vugs preferentially associated with the sequence boundary. Duration of exposure did not have a significant impact on the relative abundance of all other features. (2) Proximity (< 5 ft; 1.5 m) to any exposure surface is indicated only by rhizoliths, caliche, and pedogenic alteration, whereas karst breccia is preferentially found distal (> 5 ft) to both types of surfaces. Fractures, open vugs, and infiltrated sediment show no proximal or distal preference for either type of surface. (3) Depositional texture has no statistically significant affect on the presence or abundance of the exposure features, with the exception that rhizoliths and open vugs are preferentially more abundant in packstones relative to grainstones. This is interpreted to be the result of a soil-moisture effect. Factor analysis defines four factors that explain 46% to 52% of the total variance in the abundance data relative to the sequence boundary and the intraformational surfaces, respectively. The loading of each exposure feature on each factor is the same with respect to both types of surfaces, which is further evidence that the abundance of exposure features is independent of duration of exposure. Factor 1 is interpreted to be the amplitude of base-level changes and controls the abundance of karst breccia. Factor 2 is interpreted to be abundance of vegetation and relates to the abundance of rhizoliths and fractures. Factor 3 is interpreted to be a combination of soil-zone PCO2 and the availability of water and affects the abundance of pedogenic overprinting, caliche, and open vugs. Factor 4 is stratigraphic proximity to the sequence boundary, which controls the presence of sediment-filled voids. The amount of uncorrelated unique variance associated with infiltrated sediments, pedogenic overprinting, caliche, and open vugs is large (> 60%), meaning that feature abundance is also influenced by other unidentified site-specific factors. These results demonstrate that quantifying the abundance of macroscopic subaerial exposure features in limestones has the potential to yield more insight into the significance of those features than a mere qualitative assessment. This is particularly true when assessing the potential role of the many variables that can affect the development of these features

Sequence Stratigraphy of the Neoproterozoic Infra Krol Formation and Krol Group, Lesser Himalaya, India, 2002,
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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

The sponge community in a semi-submerged temperate sea cave: Density, diversity and richness, 2002,
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Bell Jj,
The sponge communities inhabiting a temperate semi-submerged sea cave were investigated at Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve, Co. Cork, Ireland. Thirty-one species of sponge were reported, the majority of which exhibited either an encrusting or massive morphology. Sponge density (averaged over depth) increased with horizontal distance (5 m intervals) into the cave until approximately 30 m, corresponding to the maximum algal intrusion (algal information from Norton et al., 1971). Species diversity and richness (averaged over depth) were highest at 10 m horizontal distance from the cave entrance. Variability in sponge density, diversity and richness was observed with increasing vertical depth (0.5 m intervals) at most horizontal intervals sampled (5 m apart). These three variables increased initially with depth, but then decreased towards the seabed. Bray-Curtis Similarity Analysis and Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) showed cave sponge community composition to have greater similarity (50%) with local loose rock habitats than the nearby cliffs. Similar processes structuring cave and loose rock sponge communities may account for this situation. Information collected from this and previous studies on the biotic (algal communities, other fauna and competition) and abiotic factors (water flow rate, depth, aerial exposure, light, cave morphology, nutrient depletion and humidity) affecting this and other caves is discussed with respect to its influence on the sponges inhabiting different parts of the cave. Although horizontal zonation patterns have been considered analogous to vertical distribution patterns for algal communities (due to similar decreases in light), this was not the case for the studied sponge communities

The situation and dynamics of the North Yorkshire windypits: A geophysical and geomorphological investigation, MSc Thesis [Engineering Geology], 2002,
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Devlin, R.

ub-surface slip-rift fissures and shafts, known locally as 'windypits', are numerous in the Upper Jurassic strata of the Hambleton Hills and Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Windypits are predominantly open gull-formations, formed as a result of cambering between competent Corallian Group sandstone and limestone beds above weak clay beds of the Oxford Clay Formation. They relate to the natural pattern of steeply-dipping, widened joint-plane discontinuities, with individual blocks of caprock moving relative to one another along these surfaces. The most extensive fissure systems are up to 40m deep and over 300m long, and typically run sub-parallel to slope contours and linear topographic features, rupturing the surface above the line of maximum gradient. More complex and unpredictable structures occur where there is more than one direction of movement, resulting in a radial fissure network. Windypits have been associated with other forms of scarp recession and landslide activity, most notably the formation of unstable block detachments along vertical cliff-exposures. Aerial photographic interpretation and terrain analysis based on field observations and mapping have been used here in a detailed geomorphological investigation of windypit structures and their related landforms. They appear to play a significant role within a far more complex model of superficial slope evolution, with important consequences for rock-slope stability. The potential hazards from landslides and natural cavities are also assessed in the light of engineering geological evaluation. Shallow geophysical surveying techniques have been used to profile the electrical contrasts between void space and host rock, at a number of selected sites. It has been found that non-contacting electromagnetic conductivity methods are unsuitable for producing a discrete windypit anomaly, due to their limited depth of penetration. Tomographic resistivity techniques appear to be the most promising for accurately locating sub-surface fissures, and helping to map their true depth and full extent Comprehensive ground investigation would allow better interpretation of the geophysical data collected.


Karst processes from the beginning to the end: How can they be dated?, 2003,
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Bosk, B

Determining the beginning and the end of the life of a karst system is a substantial problem. In contrast to most of living systems development of a karst system can be „frozen“ and then rejuvenated several times (polycyclic and polygenetic nature). The principal problems may include precise definition of the beginning of karstification (e.g. inception in speleogenesis) and the manner of preservation of the products of karstification. Karst evolution is particularly dependent upon the time available for process evolution and on the geographical and geological conditions of the exposure of the rock. The longer the time, the higher the hydraulic gradient
and the larger the amount of solvent water entering the karst system, the more evolved is the karst. In general, stratigraphic discontinuities, i.e. intervals of nondeposition (disconformities and unconformities), directly influence the intensity and extent of karstification. The higher the order of discontinuity under study, the greater will be the problems of dating processes and events. The order of unconformities influences the stratigraphy of the karst through the amount of time available for subaerial processes to operate. The end of karstification can also be viewed from various perspectives. The final end occurs at the moment when the host
rock together with its karst phenomena is completely eroded/denuded. In such cases, nothing remains to be dated. Karst forms of individual evolution stages (cycles) can also be destroyed by erosion, denudation and abrasion without the necessity of the destruction of the whole sequence of karst rocks. Temporary and/or final interruption of the karstification process can be caused by the fossilisation of karst due to loss of its hydrological function. Such fossilisation can be caused by metamorphism, mineralisation,
marine transgressions, burial by continental deposits or volcanic products, tectonic movements, climatic change etc. Known karst records for the 1st and 2nd orders of stratigraphic discontinuity cover only from 5 to 60 % of geological time. The shorter the time available for karstification, the greater is the likelihood that karst phenomena will be preserved in the stratigraphic record. While products of short-lived karstification on shallow carbonate platforms can be preserved by deposition during the immediately succeeding sea-level rise, products of more pronounced karstification can be destroyed by a number of different geomorphic
processes. The longer the duration of subaerial exposure, the more complex are those geomorphic agents.
Owing to the fact that unmetamorphosed or only slightly metamorphosed karst rocks containing karst and caves have occurred since Archean, we can apply a wide range of geochronologic methods. Most established dating methods can be utilised for direct and/or indirect dating of karst and paleokarst. The karst/paleokarst fills are very varied in composition, including a wide range of clastic and chemogenic sediments, products of surface and subsurface volcanism (lava, volcaniclastic materials, tephra), and deepseated
processes (hydrothermal activity, etc). Stages of evolution can also be based on dating correlated sediments that do not fill karst voids directly. The application of individual dating methods depends on their time ranges: the older the subject of study, the more limited is the choice of method. Karst and cave fills are relatively special kinds of geologic materials. The karst environment favours both the preservation of paleontological remains and their destruction. On one hand, karst is well known for its richness of paleontological sites, on the other hand most cave fills are complete sterile, which is true especially for the inner-cave facies. Another
problematic feature of karst records is the reactivation of processes, which can degrade a record by mixing karst fills of different ages.


Karst development on carbonate islands, 2003,
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Mylroie J. E. , Carew J. L.

Karst development on carbonate platforms occurs continuously on emergent portions of the platform. Surficial karst processes produce an irregular pitted and etched surface, or epikarst. The karst surface becomes mantled with soil, which may eventually result in the production of a resistant micritic paleosol. The epikarst transmits surface water into vadose pit caves, which in turn deliver their water to a diffuse-flow aquifer. These pit caves form within a 100,000 yr time frame. On islands with a relatively thin carbonate cover over insoluble rock, vadose flow perched at the contact of carbonate rock with insoluble rock results in the lateral growth of vadose voids along the contact, creating large collapse chambers that may later stope to the surface.
Carbonate islands record successive sequences of paleosols (platform emergence) and carbonate sedimentation (platform submergence). The appropriate interpretation of paleosols as past exposure surfaces is difficult, because carbonate deposition is not distributed uniformly, paleosol material is commonly transported into vadose and phreatic voids at depth, and micritized horizons similar in appearance to paleosols can develop within existing carbonates.
On carbonate islands, large dissolution voids called flank margin caves form preferentially in the discharging margin of the freshwater lens from the effects that result from fresh-water/salt-water mixing. Similarly, smaller dissolution voids also develop at the top of the lens where vadose and phreatic fresh-waters mix. Independent of fluid mixing, oxidation of organic carbon and oxidation/reduction reactions involving sulfur can produce acids that play an important role in phreatic dissolution. This enhanced dissolution can produce caves in fresh-water lenses of very small size in less than 15,000 yr. Because dissolution voids develop at discrete horizons, they provide evidence of past sea-level positions. The glacio-eustatic sea-level changes of the Quaternary have overprinted the dissolutional record of many carbonate islands with multiple episodes of vadose, fresh-water phreatic, mixing zone, and marine phreatic conditions. This record is further complicated by collapse of caves, which produces upwardly prograding voids whose current position does not correlate with past sea level positions.
The location and type of porosity development on emergent carbonate platforms depends on the degree of platform exposure, climate, carbonate lithology, and rate of sea-level change. Slow, steady, partial transgression or regression will result in migration of the site of phreatic void production as the fresh-water lens changes elevation and moves laterally in response to sea-level change. The result can be a continuum of voids that may later lead to development solution-collapse breccias over an extended area.


Unraveling the Origin of Carbonate Platform Cyclothems in the Upper Triassic Durrenstein Formation (Dolomites, Italy), 2003,
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Preto Nereo, Hinnov Linda A. ,
Facies analysis of the Durrenstein Formation, central-eastern Dolomites, northern Italy, indicates that this unit was deposited on a carbonate ramp, as evidenced by the lack of a shelf break, slope facies, or a reef margin, together with the occurrence of a 'molechfor' biological association. Its deposition following the accumulation of rimmed carbonate platforms during the Ladinian and Early Carnian marks a major shift in growth mode of the Triassic shallow marine carbonates in the Dolomites. The Durrenstein Formation is characterized by a hierarchical cyclicity, with elements strongly suggestive of an allocyclic origin, including (a) subaerial exposure features directly above subtidal facies within meter-scale cyclothems, (b) purely subtidal carbonate cyclothems, (c) symmetric peritidal carbonate cyclothems, and (d) continuity of cyclothems of different orders through facies boundaries. The Durrenstein cyclothems are usually defined by transgressive and regressive successions, and so most of them probably originated from sea-level oscillations. Their allocyclic origin allows their use for high-resolution correlations over distances up to 30 km. A stratigraphic section in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo area, encompassing the upper part of the Durrenstein Formation and the lower part of the overlying Raibl Formation (Upper Carnian) was studied using time-frequency analysis. A strong Milankovitch signal appeared when interference arising from a variable sedimentation rate was estimated and removed by tuning the short precession line in a spectrogram. All of the principal periodicities related to the precession index and eccentricity, calculated for 220 Ma, are present: P1 (21.9 ky); P2 (17.8 ky); E1 (400 ky), E2 (95 ky), and E3 (125 ky), along with a peak at a frequency double that of the precession, which is a predicted feature of orbitally forced insolation at the equator. Components possibly related to Earth's obliquity at ca. 35 ky and ca. 46 ky are present as well. The recovery of Milankovitch periodicities allows reconstruction of a high-resolution timescale that is in good agreement with published durations of the Carnian based on radiometric ages. The recognition of a Milankovitch signal in the Durrenstein and lower Raibl formations, as well as in other Mesozoic carbonate platforms, strongly supports a deterministic and predictable--rather than stochastic--control on the formation of carbonate platforms. Carbonate platforms might thus be used in the future for the construction of an astronomical time scale for the Mesozoic

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