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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 havara is name given in cyprus to a soft porous carbonate formation, up to several meters thick, found capping many formations and containing fragments and minerals derived from older rocks; it is probably a type of hardpan or caliche [20]. see also caliche; kafkalla.?

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

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 karst geomorphology (Keyword) returned 89 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 76 to 89 of 89
New Developments of Karst Geomorphology Concepts, 2013, Frumkin, A.

Karst terrains develop where chemical dissolution dominates over mechanical processes, commonly with well-developed secondary porosity. The karst system is unique, being truly three-dimensional, as it extends deep under the Earth surface. Karst geomorphology concepts have developed considerably during the last decades, mainly due to cave exploration and new research tools. Understanding of karst geomorphology concepts is a challenge particularly because much of the karst system lies below the surface, where direct observation is hardly possible. The unique subsurface morphologies, together with surface karst landforms, are distinct from other landscapes


Salt Karst, 2013, Frumkin, A.

Halite is the most soluble common mineral. Salt karst is concerned with extremely soluble and erodible rock-salt geomorphology, which demonstrates a dynamic end member to karst processes. Salt outcrops are rare, due to the high solubility, and common total dissolution underground, but subsurface salt is common, and commonly associated with environmental problems. These are associated with salt hazards, generally due to anthropogenic modification of hydrological systems, causing aggressive water to attack salt rock. Most salt outcrops appear under desert conditions, where the salt mass escapes total dissolution. In such outcrops, runoff produces well-developed karst terrains, with features including karren, sinkholes, and vadose caves. Existing salt relief is probably not older than Pliocene, but the known well-developed


Karstification by Geothermal Waters, 2013, Dublyansky, Y. V.

Thermal waters moving through soluble rock may create voids ranging in sizes from enlarged porosity and cavernosity to extensive two- and three-dimensional cave systems. Hydrothermal caves develop in a number of settings including deep seated phreatic, shallow phreatic (near-water table), and subaerial (above the thermal water table). Speleogenesis in eachsetting involves specific mechanisms, resulting in diverse features of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphology. Mechanisms most characteristic of the hydrothermal speleogenesis are the free convection (in both subaqueous and subaerial conditions) and the condensation corrosion. This chapter describes the morphology of hydrothermal caves


Variations of karst geomorphology over geoclimatic gradients, 2013, Daoxian, Y.

The methodologies based on the ideas of a karst dynamic system, which links the climate, geology, biosphere and karst formation, and the karst feature complex (KFC) that facilitates overcoming the confusion of isomorphism in establishing a geoclimatic gradient of karst landforms, are first introduced in this chapter. The karst in mainland China is selected as a training area to establish the climatic gradient of KFC. The reason to make such a choice is its having prerequisites such as karst developed on hard, compact carbonate rocks to facilitate preservation of landforms; karst that enjoys a clear climatic gradient in the late geological history; and an area without the scouring process of a continental ice sheet during the last glaciation. Then, the geological impacts from factors such as lithology, structure, paleography, and tectonism on climatic gradient are discussed. Finally, a global perspective is given as an attempt at a summary. 


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

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


Poljes, Ponors and Their Catchments, 2013, Bonacci, O.

Poljes can be defined as depressions in limestone karst. They commonly occur as large-scale landforms in tectonically active karst areas. Their origin is generally polygenetic. A distinctive subtype of polje, the ‘turlough’, occurs in many formerly glaciated or glacial-margin terrains. Poljes exhibit complex hydrological and hydrogeological features and characteristics, such as permanent and temporary springs and rivers, losing and sinking rivers, and swallow holes and estavelles. From the hydrologic–hydrogeologic perspective, a polje is to be considered as part of a wider system. It cannot be treated as an independent system, but only as a subsystem in the process of surface and groundwater flow through the karst massif. Poljes are regularly flooded in the cold and wet periods of the year. Ponors or swallow holes represent fissures in the karst massif through which the water sinks underground. The determination of the catchment area for a karst polje is an unreliable procedure due to unknown morphology of underground karst features. Anthropogenic influences on the hydrological–hydrogeological regime of the poljes can be considered under the following four categories: (1) water storage; (2) increase in the capacity of outlet structures; (3) surface hydrotechnical aspects; and (4) other works. 


Epikarst Processes, 2013, Bakalowicz, M.

Epikarst forms the interface zone between the infiltration zone and soil and plant cover. It is the superficial part of karst landscapes characterized by a fracturing more developed than in the underlying infiltration zone, because of the action of rock constraints, climate, and plants. The processes at the origin of epikarst are described, as well as those contributing to its destruction. The part played by epikarst in the functioning of karst aquifers is analyzed. 


The vertical dimension of karst: controls of vertical cave pattern, 2013, Audra P. , Palmer A. N.

The vertical development of karst is related to the geomorphic evolution of the surrounding landscape. Cave profiles and levels reflect the local fluvial base level and its changes through time. These cave features tend to be preserved far longer than correlative surface features, which are more susceptible to weathering and erosion. As a result, cave morphology offers abundant clues that are helpful in reconstructing the regional geomorphic history. In the vadose zone, water is drawn downward by gravity along vertical fractures. In the phreatic zone, water follows the hydraulic gradient along the most efficient paths to available outlets in nearby valleys. Phreatic passages tend to have gentler gradients close to the water table, generally with some vertical sinuosity. Responding to irregular recharge rates, fluctuations in the water table define a transition zone, the epiphreatic zone, in which passages develop by floodwater flow. Free-surface flow in the vadose zone and full pipe flow in the phreatic zone produce distinctive passage morphologies. Identification of former vadose–phreatic transition zones makes it possible to reconstruct the position of former water tables that represent past static fluvial base levels. Early conceptual models considered cave origin mainly in relation to its position relative to the water table. Later, analytical and digital models showed that dramatic enlargement occurs when dissolutional enlargement of initial fissures is sufficient to allow rapid dissolution and turbulent flow to take place throughout the entire conduit length. Cave development is favored by the widest initial openings, and less importantly by the steepest hydraulic gradients and shortest flow distances. Consequently, most phreatic cave development takes place at or near the water table, but the presence of relatively wide fractures can lead to phreatic loops. Cave levels record successive base-level positions as valleys deepen. The oldest levels in Mammoth Cave (USA) and Clearwater Cave (Malaysia) have been dated beyond 3.5 Ma. However, when base level rises, the deepest parts of the karst are flooded and the flow follows phreatic lifts. In the epiphreatic zone, floodwater produces looping tubes above the low-flow water table. In these last two situations, high-level passages with large vertical loops are not necessarily the oldest. The juvenile pattern, composed of steep vadose passages, is common when soluble rock is first exposed. In perched aquifers, vadose erosion can produce very large cross sections. In dammed aquifers, the main drain is established at the water table. Irregular recharge causes backflooding, and passages develop throughout the epiphreatic zone, with looping profiles; however, when recharge is fairly regular, the passages develop along the stable water table. Interconnected cave levels correspond to some of the largest cave systems in the world. When base level rises, the karst is flooded; water rises through phreatic lifts and discharges at vauclusian springs. A per ascensum speleogenesis can produce higher-elevation passages that are younger than passages at lower elevations. Base-level rises occur after tectonic subsidence, filling of valleys, or sea-level rise, especially around the Mediterranean in response to the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Deep-phreatic karst, if not hypogenic, can generally be attributed to flooding by a base-level rise. 


International Scientific Symposium "Man and Karst", 17-20.10.2013, Čitluk, Abstracts , 2013, Av

The hypogene karst of the Crimean Piedmont and its geomorphological role (in Russian), 2013, Klimchouk A. B. Tymokhina E. I. Amelichev G. N. Dublyansky Y. V. Spö, Tl C.
The book offers a fundamental new interpretation of the origin of karst in the Crimean Piedmont and explains the role karstification played in the geomorphogenesis of the region. The hypogene origin of karst cavities, their leading role in dismembering the Crimean Piedmont’s homocline and the formation of the characteristic cuesta and rock-remnant relief of the area is demonstrated on the basis of a systematic and comprehensive study, which included modern isotopic and geochemical methods.
The hypogene karst in the area developed in conditions of the confined to semi-confined groundwater flow systems, via interaction between the ascending flow of the deep-seated fracture-karst (conduit) water and the strata-bound, predominantly porous aquifers of the layered formations in the homoclinal northern mega-slope of the Crimean Mountains. The major pre-requisites for hypogene karst development is a position of the area at the flank of the Prichernomorsky artesian basin, and in a geodynamically active suture zone, which separates the fold-thrust structure of the Crimea Mountains and the Scythian plate. Opening of the stratified structure of the Piedmont follows the near-vertical cross-formational fracture-karst channels, resulting in the development of the pronounced cuesta relief with steep cliffs, which feature massive exposure of channels with karst-affected morphology.
Hypogene karstification results in characteristic morphologies, including caves, cliff niches and open chambers, variously sculptured and honeycomb-cellular surfaces of limestone cliffs, wide and shallow couloirs near the rims of cuestas, and rock remnants-“sphinxes”. The carbonate bedrock in the walls of the hypogene cavities revealed isotopic alteration (both O and C) caused by the action of hypogene fluids. The time of formation of cuestas in the Inner Range of the Crimean Mountains, determined on the basis of the U-Th disequilibrium dating of speleothems, turned out to be younger than thought previously. The active development of hypogene karst in the geologically recent past was the main factor responsible for today’s geomorphologic peculiarity of the Crimean Piedmont.
The book will be of interest for karstologists, hydrogeologists, geomorphologists, geologists, and environmental scientists studying karst regions, ore geology and carbonate reservoirs of hydrocarbons. It will also be useful for students of the respective disciplines, and for all those interested in the nature of the Crimean Piedmont.

Hypogene Speleogenesis, its hydrogeological significance and role in karst evolution (in Russian), 2013, Klimchouk A. B.

The book examines empirical and theoretical regularities of hypogene speleogenesis and reveals its hydrogeological significance and the role in karst evolution. It is demonstrated that hypogene karst, along with epigenic karst, is the fundamental and wide spread genetic variety of karst, which nature and peculiar features call for revision and refinement of some basic notions of the general karst paradigm. A new approach is advocated to a definition of the notion of karst, where the latter is viewed as a specific groundwater circulation system with key properties determined by speleogenesis.

It is shown that major distinctions in mechanisms of the development of karstic void-conduit structures (types of speleogenesis) are determined by hydrodynamic peculiarities of confined and unconfined groundwater systems, and by the circulation vector. An evolutionary classification of karst is elaborated, which main categories cumulatively reflect its origin and characterize its most essential properties. Hypogene karst is a natural stage in the evolution of karst groundwater circulation geosystems in the course of regressive lithogenesis and hydrogeological cycles.

The book reveals principal regional regularities and type settings of hypogene speleogenesis, and describes its functional, structural and morphological peculiar features. It demonstrates the significance of hypogene speleogenesis in the formation of hydrogenic deposits of mineral resources and hydrocarbons in soluble strata and adjacent formations, and its role in karst hazards. The genetic and evolutionary approach is outlined and advocated in dealing with karst-related applied issues of hydrogeology, geological engineering, petroleum and ore geology.


Biospeleogenesis, 2013,

Microorganisms have shaped the world around us, yet their role in karst processes and speleogenesis remains poorly understood. Biospeleogenesis is the formation of subsurface cavities and caves through the activities of microorganisms, by either respiratory (redox) or metabolic chemistries. In carrying out energy acquisition and the metabolic processes of growth, microorganisms change the local geochemistry of the environment. Such activities can dramatically accelerate speleogenesis and even lead to cave formation in geochemical environments that would otherwise not be conducive to dissolution. The aim of this chapter is to help the reader understand the importance of microbial activity in geochemistry and how such activity can lead to the formation and morphology of caves. The chapter then describes the role that microorganisms are known to have in speleogenesis (carbonic and sulfuric acid biospeleogenesis), hints that such activity may be occurring in newly described cave systems (iron biospeleogenesis), and a potential role in other cave systems (quartzite biospeleogenesis). It is hoped that the reader will gain an understanding of what motivates microorganisms to dramatically change their environment, understand the potential geochemical conditions where such activity could occur, and allow the informed geologist to make predictive statements as to the potential of, and for, biospeleogenesis


Hydrogeological and Environmental Investigations in Karst Systems, 2014,

Karst is the result of climatic and geohydrological processes, mainly in carbonate and evaporite rocks, during geological periods of Earth history. Dissolution of these rock formations over time has generated karst aquifers and environments of significant water and mineral resources. In addition, beautiful landscapes have been created which constitute natural parks, geosites, and caves. Due to their origin and nature, karstified areas require investigation with special techniques and methodology. International collaboration and discussions on advances in karst research are necessary to promote Karst Science. The International Symposium on Karst Aquifers is one of the worldwide events held periodically to specifically address karst environments. The symposium constitutes an ongoing international forum for scientific discussion on the progress made in research in karst environments. The first and second symposiums were organized in Nerja (near Malaga, Spain), in 1999 and 2002; the third and fourth symposiums were held in Malaga city in 2006 and 2010. The 5th International Symposium on Karst Aquifers (ISKA5) occurred in Malaga on during October 14–16, 2014. It was organized by the Centre of Hydrogeology University of Málaga (CEHIUMA) and the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), in cooperation with UNESCO and the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Karst Commission. More than 100 contributions were received from 30 countries on five continents. Presentations made during the symposium and published in this book are a compendium of 70 of these manuscripts. Papers submitted by April 2014, were peer-reviewed and subsequently accepted by the Scientific Committee. Contributions are grouped into five sections:

• Methods Utilized to Study Karst Aquifers.

• Karst Hydrogeology.

• Mining and Engineering in Karst media.

• Karst Cavities.

• Karst Geomorphology and Landscape.

A large part of the contributions, 30 %, is related to Methods Utilized to Study Karst Aquifers. Several issues are addressed: methods for groundwater recharge assessment, dye tracer and stable isotope applications, analysis of hydrodynamic data and hydrochemistry, among others. Most contributions, 40 %, however, are on Karst Hydrogeology. These are primarily in connection with various topics such as numerical modeling in karst, floods, karst groundwater flow, protection of karst aquifers or pollution, and vulnerability in karst. Five percent of the published papers deal with Mining and Engineering in Karst Media. These papers are about tunnels, hydrogeological risks, and karst risk assessment in mining and civil engineering. Another section concerning Karst Cavities encompasses 15 % of the contributions. These chapters deal with corrosion and speleogenetic processes, speleothems, CO2 sources, the global carbon cycle in endokarst, and the study of past climate. Karst Geomorphology and Landscape constitutes the remaining 10 % of the contributions. These papers are related to karst features, wetlands, hypogene speleogenesis, geodiversity, and karstic geosites. The results of project work performed by karst specialists worldwide are described in the book. Included in it are experiences from pilot sites, methodologies, monitoring, and data analyses in various climatic, geological, and hydrogeological contexts. Material presented may be utilized for activities such as teaching and technical-professional applications particularly as they apply to the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of karst studies. Information provided may also be useful to decisions makers in making critical decisions regarding development in karst regions. Scientists and engineers and many of the lay public interested in karst environments will benefit from the contents


Uplifted flank margin caves in telogenetic limestones in the Gulf of Orosei (Central-East Sardinia—Italy) and their palaeogeographic significance, 2015, D'angeli Ilenia Maria, Sanna Laura, Clazoni Claudio, De Waele Jo

Thiswork reports the results of geomorphological observations carried out in the coastal Fico Cave and surrounding areas (Baunei, Central East Sardinia) in the Gulf of Orosei. A tidal notch, generally believed to be of Eemian (MIS 5e) age, is barely visible at 8.5 above present sea level (asl), some metres below the main entrance of the cave. Old cave passages, now partially opened by cliff retreat and parallel to the coastline, are clearly visible at around 14 m asl and correspond to the main level of Fico Cave. Two more notches are located higher, at 22 and 50 m asl. Fico Cave itself is composed of at least 6 clearly distinguished more or less horizontal levels (−10 m below present sea level (bsl), and +14, +22, +40, +50, and +63 m asl), independent of the stratal dip, arguing for a sea-level, and hence, fresh-water lens control. Cave passages develop along main fractures more or less parallel to the coastline and never extend landward for more than 150 m, mostly ending blindly, or diminishing in their dimensions progressively landward. Most passages only contain clay deposits, lacking fluvial or marine sediments or typical fluvial erosion morphologies (i.e. scallops).

It is suggested from this body of evidence that Fico Cave was formed in the coastal mixing zone along major discontinuities during several Quaternary interglacial periods, when sea level was high and relatively stable for enough time to develop large dissolutional voids. The geomorphological observations indicate the main +14 m asl level of the cave to have formed during MIS 9, and was heavily reworked during MIS 5, while the higher levels are relative to older interglacial highstands that occurred between 1 Ma and 325 ka. The small active branch developed below present sea level has formed during MIS 7 (225 ka). These observations shed new light on the position of the MIS 5e highstand markers in this area of the coast, much higher than previously thought.


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