Community news

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 subsurface flow is see subsurface runoff.?

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

What is Karstbase?

Search KARSTBASE:

keyword
author

Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for pliocene (Keyword) returned 134 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 121 to 134 of 134
Höhlen der Schwäbischen Alb als Pegelschreiber für Flussgeschichte und Tektonik in Südwestdeutschland seit dem Miozän, 2011, Strasser Marcel

In south western Germany the karstified plateau of the Swabian Alb consisting of Upper Jurassic limestones hosts numerous caves, dolines, and dry valleys. Known strath terraces, conglomerates, volcanoes, and impact craters within the study area already provided important time stamps for former studies reconstructing landscape history. It is widely understood, that spatial distribution of most karst features is closely related to the palaeo-water-table and its discontinuous lowering over time, which in turn is the result of incision and/or uplift. The situation of the Swabian Alb at the northern rim of the Northern Alpine Foreland Basin and east of the Rhine Graben valley is the reason for this uplift. Many caves can be used as gauge for vertical displacement, considering horizontal cave passages as product of a stationary palaeowater-table and vertical sections as result of falling base level. In contrast recent studies deal with a different type of speleogenesis independent of base level. This hypogenic speleogenesis must be discussed for the caves of the Swabian Alb. The recently discovered cave named Laierhöhle near Geislingen/Steige is a typical 3d-maze providing several horizontal levels. Passage pattern and distinctive corrosion features match with morphologies (feeders, rising wall- and ceiling channels, outlets) characteristical for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, artesian situations, hydrothermal water or confined aquifers as critical conditions for hypogenic speleogenesis can not be verified. Other features like horizontal passages, water table markers, key-hole-features, and massive stratified sediment bodies are pointing to an epigenic, water-table related speleogenesis. In this study therefore a mixed model for speleogenesis of Laierhöhle is presented, assuming a strong initial deep-phreatic corrosion along fractures and fissures, followed by intensive widening at the palaeo water-table resulting in the formation of horizontal passages. Correlations between horizontal cave-levels, valley-bottoms, strath-terraces, local conglomerates and other caves lead to new and more precise data on the fluvial history, changing drainage pattern, and the uplift of parts of southwest Germany.

In the course of Examinations of cave sediments spherical metallic particles were detected. These magnetic spherules are ablation-products from meteorites during impact. After fallout and flushing into karstic voids and caves the spherules got archived till today. Spherules within Laierhöhle, Laichinger Tiefenhöhle and Mordloch are supposed to originate from the impact event producing the impact craters Steinheimer Becken and/or the Nördlinger Ries 14.59 Ma ago. Within most of the cave sediments spherules are accompanied by crystals of titano-magnetite, which built during volcanic activity of the Urach-Kirchheim volcanic field. Both spherules and titano-magnetites are proxies for re-deposited Mid Miocene Sediments. In this study I could correlate speleogenetic with dated geomorphic features and thus came to a chronology of events. The Laierhöhle records five episodes of long-term stability of the karst water table covering the time-span from late Middle Miocene until the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition. The first two stable episodes can be dated to the late Middle Miocene and Late Miocene (horizontal levels 1 and 2a). An episode responsible for the formation of level 2b falls within Early Pliocene time. Levels 3a and 3b are spatially well separated but must have formed within a relatively short timespan towards the end of the Pliocene. In the working area, total depth of penetrative karstification was in the order of 120 m. This penetration has been accomplished over a period of approximately 12 Ma resulting in an average uplift rate of 0.01 mm/a.


Mammoth Cave System, Kentucky, 2012, Brucker, Roger W.

Mammoth Cave System is located about 160 km (100 miles) south of Louisville, Kentucky and about 56 km (35 miles) northeast of Bowling Green, Kentucky. Most of the cave lies within Mammoth Cave National Park, a World Heritage Site and a part of the United Nations program of International Biosphere Reserves. It is the longest cave in the world by a factor of 3, with about 631 km (392 miles) of surveyed passage. Mammoth Cave consists of active and abandoned conduits carrying water from the recharge area to the south to discharge as springs along the deeply incised Green River. Development of the cave has spanned a time period from the Pliocene to the present. The exceptional length has been preserved by the protective sandstone caprock. Mammoth Cave contains a variety of carbonate and sulfate minerals, the latter preserved by the dry environment beneath the caprock. Mammoth Cave also supports an exceptional biological diversity.


Speleogenetic effects of interaction between deeply derived fracture-conduit and intrastratal matrix flow in hypogene karst settings, 2012, Klimchouk A. B. , Tymokhina E. I. , Amelichev G. N.

In carbonate rocks, especially in those with high primary porosity such as most Cenozoic carbonates, the interaction between deeply derived rising flow through sub-vertical fracture-controlled conduits and intrastratal matrix flow of shallower systems can invoke mixing corrosion and result in prominent speleogenetic effects. This paper outlines a conceptual model of such interaction and provides instructive field examples of relevant morphological effects from two different regions within the Prichernomorsky (north Black Sea) basin, where karst features are developed in lower Pliocene, Eocene and Paleocene limestones. In the Crimean fore-mountain region, extensive steep to vertical limestone scarps formed through recent exposure of hypogenic fracture-controlled conduits provide outstanding possibilities to directly examine details of the original karstic porosity. The morphological effects of the conduit/matrix interaction, documented in both caves and exposed scarps, include lateral widening of sub-vertical conduits within the interaction intervals (formation of lateral notches and niches) and the development of side bedding-parallel conduits, pockets and vuggy-spongework zones. Natural convection circulation, invoked by interaction of the two flow systems, spreads the morphological effects throughout the conduit space above the interaction interval. Where the interaction of the two flow systems is particularly strongly localized, such as along junctions of two vertical fracture sets, the resultant morphological effect can take the form of isolated chambers. The variety of speleogenetic features developed through the conduit/matrix interaction, can be broadly grouped into two categories: 1) variously shaped swells of the major fracture conduit itself (morphological features of its walls – niches and pockets), and 2) features of the vuggy-spongework halo surrounding the conduit. This halo includes clustered and stratiform cavities, spongework zones and lateral side conduits. The speleogenetic features due to conduit/matrix flow interaction, especially the halo forms, often demonstrate distinct asymmetry between opposite walls of the conduits. The prominent phenomenon of the vuggy-spongework halo around fracture-controlled conduits has important hydrogeological implications. A comparison of karst features in different regions and rock formations clearly shows that in spite of some distinctions imposed by local structural, sedimentological and paleo-hydrogeological peculiarities, hypogenic speleoforms in limestones of different age and of different degree of diagenetic maturity demonstrate remarkable similarities.


OBSERVATIONS OF PLIOCENE KARSTS FOSSILIZED BY QUATERNARY EOLIAN SILTS IN THE MATMATA MOUNTAINS (SOUTH-EAST TUNISIA), 2012, Sghari, Abdeljalil

The submeridional Dahar chain in southeastern Tunisia is over 200 km long. It is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the Jeffara plain with some tens of kilometers in width. This landscape continues to the South into Libya, but to the North, the chain ends with the Matmata mountains which form a plateau slightly inclined to the west and some 10 km wide. The eastern scarp shows a mainly calcareous geological stratigraphy from Upper Permian to the Senonian. The Dahar-Matmata structure belongs to the Sahara platform and shows a hiatus during the whole Tertiary, since it was emerged since Upper Cretaceous. The Tunisian Atlas nearby shows a completely different paleogeographic evolution, with a complete Tertiary series and a later Plio-Quaternary structuration. These two paleogeographic domains of Southern Tunisia, the Sahara Atlas and the NE border of the Sahara platform, were influenced by the Messinian crisis (5.9 Ma to 5.3 Ma). This was expressed by the collapse of the Mediterranean Sea level, profoundly modifying the fluvial dynamics with an inversion of the erosional system, from normal erosion to regressive erosion. It results a deepening of canyons in the downstream part and a deepening of the watercourses in the upstream part. The geological structures in the Messinian have been deeply affected by these large eustatic changes, with an incision of cluses in the Atlas and the deposition of a thick clayeysandy series that we could recently link to deltaic systems and Gilbert deltas. The re-establishment of seaways between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and the subsequent infill in the Lower Pliocene (Zanclean transgression), with an important inpact in Southern Tunisia, had multiple consequences in that region. The newly adjusted sealevel, together with a more humid climate that was confirmed by faunal and floral extension oof tropical plants in Northern Africa, stimulated an important karstification of the limestone areas. In the Dahar chain, caves, dolines, karstic depressions or karstic dry valleys emerged, the most spectacular ones being found in the Matmata Mountains. The karstic depressions are the forms that represent best this Pliocene karstification that surely was interrupted in an early stage, because localized endokarstic forms had not enough time to develop. So the karstification seems to have been active in Matmata from 5.4 to 4.0 million years, i.e. two times as long than the duration of the Messinian crisis. The interruption of karstification is due to an increase in temperature and dryness, which even gets more intense during the Pliocene, pulverizing the soils. Already at the beginning of the desertification, a calcareous crust forms by rapid cristallization of dirt. It is immediately transported from the karstic zones to the Jeffara plain. This transfer fo dissolved calcite was the origin of the resistant calcitic crust well known in the Jeffara plain. We now identified the same crust in a karstic depression in the Matmata Mountains, opening the way to new geomorphologic and tectonic interpretations, and a review of the eolian silts formerly attributed to the Upper Pleistocene. Later, during Upper Pliocene-Gelasian, we observe a general tectonic uplift of the Dahar chain and the Matmata Mountains as well as the subsidence of the Jeffara plain at the Medenine fault (NW-SE), prolonging the large Gafsa fault towards the East. The karstic paleoforms were thus uplifted more than 500 m, but nevertheless remain open on the Jeffara plain, as seen by large depressions. As a consequence, the karstic depressions of Matmata played the role of traps for eolian silts blown from the Jeffara plain during the extreme desertification in the Upper Pliocene-Gelasian. The morphological reconstruction since the Messinian shows a succession of important events during the Pliocene that profoundly influenced the Quaternary. All indications permit to reject the hypothesis that the Matmata silts came from the West (Eastern Erg).

 


OBSERVATIONS OF PLIOCENE KARSTS FOSSILIZED BY QUATERNARY EOLIAN SILTS IN THE MATMATA MOUNTAINS (SOUTH-EAST TUNISIA), 2012, Sghari, Abdeljalil

The submeridional Dahar chain in southeastern Tunisia is over 200 km long. It is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the Jeffara plain with some tens of kilometers in width. This landscape continues to the South into Libya, but to the North, the chain ends with the Matmata mountains which form a plateau slightly inclined to the west and some 10 km wide. The eastern scarp shows a mainly calcareous geological stratigraphy from Upper Permian to the Senonian. The Dahar-Matmata structure belongs to the Sahara platform and shows a hiatus during the whole Tertiary, since it was emerged since Upper Cretaceous. The Tunisian Atlas nearby shows a completely different paleogeographic evolution, with a complete Tertiary series and a later Plio-Quaternary structuration. These two paleogeographic domains of Southern Tunisia, the Sahara Atlas and the NE border of the Sahara platform, were influenced by the Messinian crisis (5.9 Ma to 5.3 Ma). This was expressed by the collapse of the Mediterranean Sea level, profoundly modifying the fluvial dynamics with an inversion of the erosional system, from normal erosion to regressive erosion. It results a deepening of canyons in the downstream part and a deepening of the watercourses in the upstream part. The geological structures in the Messinian have been deeply affected by these large eustatic changes, with an incision of cluses in the Atlas and the deposition of a thick clayeysandy series that we could recently link to deltaic systems and Gilbert deltas. The re-establishment of seaways between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and the subsequent infill in the Lower Pliocene (Zanclean transgression), with an important inpact in Southern Tunisia, had multiple consequences in that region. The newly adjusted sealevel, together with a more humid climate that was confirmed by faunal and floral extension oof tropical plants in Northern Africa, stimulated an important karstification of the limestone areas. In the Dahar chain, caves, dolines, karstic depressions or karstic dry valleys emerged, the most spectacular ones being found in the Matmata Mountains. The karstic depressions are the forms that represent best this Pliocene karstification that surely was interrupted in an early stage, because localized endokarstic forms had not enough time to develop. So the karstification seems to have been active in Matmata from 5.4 to 4.0 million years, i.e. two times as long than the duration of the Messinian crisis. The interruption of karstification is due to an increase in temperature and dryness, which even gets more intense during the Pliocene, pulverizing the soils. Already at the beginning of the desertification, a calcareous crust forms by rapid cristallization of dirt. It is immediately transported from the karstic zones to the Jeffara plain. This transfer fo dissolved calcite was the origin of the resistant calcitic crust well known in the Jeffara plain. We now identified the same crust in a karstic depression in the Matmata Mountains, opening the way to new geomorphologic and tectonic interpretations, and a review of the eolian silts formerly attributed to the Upper Pleistocene. Later, during Upper Pliocene-Gelasian, we observe a general tectonic uplift of the Dahar chain and the Matmata Mountains as well as the subsidence of the Jeffara plain at the Medenine fault (NW-SE), prolonging the large Gafsa fault towards the East. The karstic paleoforms were thus uplifted more than 500 m, but nevertheless remain open on the Jeffara plain, as seen by large depressions. As a consequence, the karstic depressions of Matmata played the role of traps for eolian silts blown from the Jeffara plain during the extreme desertification in the Upper Pliocene-Gelasian. The morphological reconstruction since the Messinian shows a succession of important events during the Pliocene that profoundly influenced the Quaternary. All indications permit to reject the hypothesis that the Matmata silts came from the West (Eastern Erg).


Landscape evolution in the Tacchi area (Central-East Sardinia, Italy) based on karst and fluvial morphology and age of cave sediments, 2012, De Waele, J. , Ferrarese F. , Granger, D. Sauro, F.

 

The east-central part of Sardinia (Italy) is characterised by Jurassic
dolomitic mesas (Tacchi, or «table mountains») that overlie a Palaeozoic
basement mainly composed of metavolcanics and phyllites. These mountains
are the remnants of a continuous carbonate cover, dissected by
faults and river erosion, and are now completely isolated hydrological
systems. Most of these rivers have cut valleys more than 200 metres deep
into the Palaeozoic basement rocks, whose slopes are often characterised
by landslides, suggesting their recent oversteepening. Some valleys, on
the contrary, have not reached the base of the carbonate sequence and
appear to be suspended above the deeper incisions, apparently disconnected
by them. Several subhorizontal surfaces can be distinguished on
the table mountains, related to local base level stillstands. Also water
table caves, scattered along the flanks of the mountains over an altitudinal
range of about 200 m, show several stillstands in base level lowering.
 
26Al and 10Be burial dating of sediments in four caves located at different
elevations on the flanks of the suspended Taquisara Valley show
an Upper Pliocene or Lower Pleistocene age. Thus, this valley appears to
be of Late Tertiary age. The deeper valleys, such as Riu Pardu, that dissect
the Tacchi mountains completely, cutting deeply into the basement
rocks, are much younger, as their unstable slopes suggest. Knickpoint retreat
in Riu Pardu and estimated valley erosion rates suggest the capture
of Riu Pardu by Rio Pelau to have occurred in the last 100 ky.

SPELEOGENESIS ALONG DEEP REGIONAL FAULTS BY ASCENDING WATERS: CASE STUDIES FROM SLOVAKIA AND CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012, Bella Pavel, Bosak Pavel

The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (perascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systemswere selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past,the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreaticand vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of localwater courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocenegeomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates severalcommon characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or inclose vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regionalimportance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation ofmeteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4)speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework,rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicateascending speleogenesis in deep phreatic to phreatic environments;(5) they exhibit poor relation to the present landscape;in some of them fluvial sediments are completely missing inspite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strongepiphreatic re-modelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontalpassages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilingsand notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape;(7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitatesare poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on thepresent surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadlyprecipitate travertines; (8) caves can be, and some of them are,substantially older than the recent landscape (Pliocene, Miocene),and (9) caves were formed in conditions of slow water ascent, which differentiate the process from faster vauclusianascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves containsclear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There aremissing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took partduring speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhatincreased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesisat least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannotbe directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermalprocess (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978),therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.


The nature and origin of the ghost-rocks at Bullslaughter Bay, South Wales, 2012, Rowberry Matt D. , Battiauqueney Yvonne, Blazejowski Blazej, Walsh Peter

The ‘ghost-rocks’ of the British Isles have attracted very little research interest over the years despite being widely distributed. In South Wales, the ghost-rocks of the Pembroke Peninsula are usually associated with the mudrock formations immediately above and below the Carboniferous Limestone. This study focuses on their nature and origin through a detailed investigation of the cliff sections at Bullslaughter Bay. The investigated ghost-rocks are associated with a suite of breccias, collectively termed the Gash Breccias. These are an enigmatic suite of around twenty-five large breccia masses located exclusively in the eastern part of the peninsula. They comprise huge masses of coarse, chaotic, clast-supported, monomictic breccia and represent highly disturbed features in the otherwise unbroken sequences of Carboniferous Limestone. Their origin may be karstic, tectonic, or a combination of the two. They could, theoretically, have formed at any point between the end of the Carboniferous and the Pliocene. If their origin is karstic, it cannot yet be determined if the processes were attributable to per descensum or per ascensum groundwater systems. If tectonic, it is not known whether they formed during periods of compression or extension. From our own geological and geophysical fieldwork, we believe that the breccias originated as a result of subterranean karstic processes whilst retaining an open mind with regard to the role played by tectonics. The breccia and ghost-rocks are both displayed in fine cliff exposures around Bullslaughter Bay. These sections, although not extensive, are extremely instructive. The processes that generate ghost-rock result in isovolumetric weathering of the host rock and an associated loss of density and strength. They may or may not involve the removal of certain chemical constituents in the regolith through solution and hydrolysis followed by the formation of secondary minerals, frequently clay. In reality, the precise weathering process differs according to the type of rock. The process is controlled by the permeability of each rock type in banded rocks such as mudstones or shale with banded chert whereas it is controlled by fissures and faults in homogenous rocks. This control is clearly seen in the Carboniferous Limestone around Bullslaughter Bay, where ghost-rocks are present, more commonly in case of impure or dolomitic limestone. At present, it is not clear whether the groundwater movements were caused by hydrothermal or meteoric processes and this forms the basis of ongoing research. Finally, the study considers the relationship that exists between the ghost-rock and the Gash Breccia. We examine whether there is a logical correlation between the processes that came to generate the ghost-rock and the processes responsible for the generation of the breccia. It may then be possible to accurately state whether the ghost-rock formed before, during, or after, the breccia. The reasons that the ghost-rocks of the British Isles have attracted very little research interest may stem from the fact that they have no current commercial value, have seldom presented engineering problems, and are normally difficult to date. It is clear that numerous karst related sag-subsidences in the British Isles result from the large-scale decalcification of the Carboniferous Limestone (e.g. the Tortonian Brassington Formation of the southern Pennines). There is, however, an increasingly large body of evidence to suggest that these subsidences result from the same processes that generate ghost-rock rather than those that create endokarstic voids. The subsidences may preserve stratigraphical sequences several decametres thick and reach depths and widths of many hectometres. Unfortunately, the masses of decalcified limestone below the Tortonian sediments are of no commercial interest and have hardly ever been penetrated by boreholes. Therefore, we do not know exactly what underlies the karstic fills. The possibility that most of these structures are best explained as the result of per ascensum groundwater flow is discussed.


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


PALEOKARST SHAFTS IN THE WESTERN DESERT OF EGYPT: A UNIQUE LANDSCAPE, 2013, Mostafa, Ashraf

The Eocene limestone plateau of the western Desert of Egypt has various karst features, including shafts created during ancient wet periods. These Paleokarst shafts have been investigated on the plateau to the west of the Nile valley, specifically northwest of Assiut. Most of these shafts are infilled by conglomerate (cemented flint, red soil and limestone chips) and appear as pockets in limestone hills. The morphology of the shafts and the characteristics of their infillings suggest that they developed in vadose zone at the base of epikarst limits. This stage probably took place from the end of Early Eocene to the Middle Miocene. A later, different stage of water erosion occurred, most probably during Pliocene/Pleistocene period. This stage led to remove the epikarst zone, and reshaped the area to create a hilly landscape penetrated by infilled shafts.


Hydrodynamic modeling of a complex karst-alluvial aquifer: case study of Prijedor Groundwater Source, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013, Polomčić Dušan, Dragišić Veselin, Živanović Vladimir

Middle Triassic fractured and karstified limestone and dolomite form a karst aquifer in the Sana River Valley near the town of Prijedor. As a result of intensive tectonic movements, carbonate rocks are mostly below the Sana River level, covered by younger Pliocene and alluvial deposits. The main source of groundwater recharge is infiltration from the Sana River through its alluvium over most of the aquifer. The main objective of the research reported in this paper was to evaluate the hydraulic relationships of the alluvial, Pliocene and karst aquifers in order to better understand the water supply potential of the karst aquifer. Although the use of hydrodynamic modeling is not very common with karst aquifers, the developed model provided significant and useful information on the groundwater budget and recharge type. The influence of fault zones and spatial anisotropy of the karst aquifer were simulated on the hydrodynamic model by varying permeability on the xand y­axes of the Cartesian coordinate system with respect to the fault, the main pathway of groundwater circulation. Representative hydraulic conductivities were Kx

 = 2.3·10­3

 m/s and Ky

 = 5.0·10­3

 m/s in the faults of Nw to SE direction, and Kx

 = 2.5·10­3

 m/s and Ky

 1.2·10­3

 m/s in the faults of Sw to NE trend. Model research showed that the karst aquifer can be used in the long term at maximal tested capacities and that current groundwater exploitation is not compromised in dry periods when the water budget depends entirely on recharge from the Sana River.


Geologic constraints and speleogenesis of Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, a complex coastal cave from Mallorca Island (Western Mediterranean), 2014, Ginés J. , Fornós J. J. , Ginés A. , Merino A. , Gràcia F.

The flat areas of eastern and southern Mallorca host a remarkable coastal karst, where Cova des Pas de Vallgornera stands out due to its length (more than 74 km) and its special morphological suite. The pattern of the cave is quite heterogeneous showing sharp differences produced by the architecture of the Upper Miocene reef: spongework mazes and collapse chambers dominate in the reef front facies, whereas joint-guided conduits are the rule in the back reef carbonates. Regarding the speleogenesis of the system, a complex situation is envisaged involving three main agents: coastal mixing dissolution, drainage of meteoric diffuse recharge, and hypogene basal recharge related to local geothermal phenomena. The cave system is disposed in two main tiers of passages, of which geomorphologic interpretations are derived from their elevation data. The evolutionary trends as well as the chronology of the different cave sections are difficult to establish owing to the frequent shifting of the coastal base level during the Plio-Quaternary. In this respect, the genesis and evolution of the cave were fully controlled by sea-level fluctuations in the Western Mediterranean basin, with the main phases of cave formation, based on vertebrate paleontological data, going back to mid-Pliocene times.


Karstification of Dolomitic Hills at south of Coimbra (western-central Portugal) - Depositional facies and stratigraphic controls of the (palaeo)karst affecting the Coimbra Group (Lower Jurassic), 2014, Dimuccio, Luca Antonio

An evolutionary model is proposed to explain the spatio-temporal distribution of karstification affecting the Lower Jurassic shallow-marine carbonate succession (Coimbra Group) of the Lusitanian Basin, cropping out in the Coimbra-Penela region (western-central Portugal), in a specific morphostructural setting (Dolomitic Hills). Indeed, in the Coimbra Group, despite the local lateral and vertical distributions of dolomitic character and the presence of few thick sandy-argillaceous/shale and marly interbeds, some (meso)karstification was identified, including several microkarstification features. All types of karst forms are commonly filled by autochthonous and/or allochthonous post-Jurassic siliciclastics, implying a palaeokarstic nature.

The main aim of this work is to infer the interplay between depositional facies, diagenesis, syn- and postdepositional discontinuities and the spatio-temporal distribution of palaeokarst. Here, the palaeokarst concept is not limited to the definition of a landform and/or possibly to an associated deposit (both resulting from one or more processes/mechanisms), but is considered as part of the local and regional geological record.

Detailed field information from 21 stratigraphic sections (among several dozens of other observations) and from structural-geology and geomorphological surveys, was mapped and recorded on graphic logs showing the lithological succession, including sedimentological, palaeontological and structural data. Facies determination was based on field observations of textures and sedimentary structures and laboratory petrographic analysis of thin-sections. The karst and palaeokarst forms (both superficial and underground) were classified and judged on the basis of present-day geographic location, morphology, associated discontinuities, stratigraphic position and degree of burial by post-Jurassic siliciclastics that allowed to distinguish a exposed karst (denuded or completely exhumed) than a palaeokarst (covered or partially buried).

A formal lithostratigrafic framework was proposed for the local ca. 110-m-thick combined successions of Coimbra Group, ranging in age from the early Sinemurian to the early Pliensbachian and recorded in two distinct subunits: the Coimbra formation, essentially dolomitic; and the overlying S. Miguel formation, essentially dolomitic-limestone and marly-limestone.

The 15 identified facies were subsequently grouped into 4 genetically related facies associations indicative of sedimentation within supra/intertidal, shallow partially restricted subtidal-lagoonal, shoal and more open-marine (sub)environments - in the context of depositional systems of a tidal flat and a very shallow, inner part of a low-gradient, carbonate ramp. In some cases, thick bedded breccia bodies (tempestites/sismites) are associated to synsedimentary deformation structures (slumps, sliding to the W to NW), showing the important activity of N–S and NNE–SSW faults, during the Sinemurian. All these deposits are arranged into metre-scale, mostly shallowing-upward cycles, in some cases truncated by subaerial exposure events. However, no evidence of mature pedogenetic alteration, or the development of distinct soil horizons, was observed. These facts reflect very short-term subaerial exposure intervals (intermittent/ephemeral), in a semiarid palaeoclimatic setting but with an increase in the humidity conditions during the eogenetic stage of the Coimbra Group, which may have promoted the development of micropalaeokarstic dissolution (eogenetic karst).

Two types of dolomitization are recognized: one (a) syndepositional (or early diagenetic), massive-stratiform, of “penesaline type”, possibly resulting from refluxing brines (shallow-subtidal), with a primary dolomite related to the evaporation of seawater, under semiarid conditions (supra/intertidal) and the concurrent action of microbial activity; another (b) later, localized, common during diagenesis (sometimes with dedolomitization), particularly where fluids followed discontinuities such as joints, faults, bedding planes and, in some cases, pre-existing palaeokarstic features.

The very specific stratigraphic position of the (palaeo)karst features is understood as a consequence of high facies/microfacies heterogeneities and contrasts in porosity (both depositional and its early diagenetic modifications), providing efficient hydraulic circulation through the development of meso- and macropermeability contributed by syn- and postdepositional discontinuities such as bedding planes, joints and faults. These hydraulic connections significantly influenced and controlled the earliest karst-forming processes (inception), as well as the degree of subsequent karstification during the mesogenetic/telogenetic stages of the Coimbra Group. Multiple and complex karstification (polyphase and polygenic) were recognized, including 8 main phases, to local scale, integrated in 4 periods, to regional scale: Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, pre-Pliocene and Pliocene-Quaternary. Each phase of karstification comprise a specific type of (palaeo)karst (eogenetic, subjacent, denuded, mantled-buried and exhumed).

Finally, geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological characteristics allowed to describe the local aquifer. The elaborated map of intrinsic vulnerability shows a karst/fissured and partially buried aquifer (palaeokarst) with high to very high susceptibility to the contamination.


Karst pocket valleys and their implications on Pliocene–Quaternary hydrology and climate: Examples from the Nullarbor Plain, southern Australia, 2015,

Karst on the Nullarbor Plain has been studied and described in detail in the past, but it lacked the determination of the karst discharge and palaeo-watertable levels that would explain the palaeohydrological regime in this area. This study explores the existence of previously unrecognised features in this area – karst pocket valleys – and gives a review on pocket valleys worldwide. Initial GIS analyses were followed up by detailed field work, sampling, mapping and measuring of morphological, geological, and hydrological characteristics of representative
valleys on the Wylie and Hampton scarps of the Nullarbor Plain. Rock and sand samples were examined for mineralogy, texture and grain size, and a U–Pb dating of a speleothem froma cave within a pocket valley enabled the establishment of a time frame of the pocket valleys formation and its palaeoenvironmental implications. The pocket valleys document the hydrological evolution of the Nullarbor karst system and the Neogene–Pleistocene palaeoclimatic evolution of the southern hemisphere. A review of pocket valleys in different climatic and geological settings suggests that their basic characteristics remain the same, and their often overlooked utility as environmental indicators can be used for further palaeoenvironmental studies. The main period of intensive karstification and widening of hydrologically active underground conduits is placed into the wetter climates of the Pliocene epoch. Subsequent drier climates and lowering of the watertable that followed sea-level retreat in the Quaternary resulted in formation of the pocket valleys (gravitational undermining, slumping, exudation and collapse), which, combined with periodic heavy rainfall events and discharge due to impeded drainage, caused the retreat of the pocket valleys from the edge of escarpments.


Results 121 to 134 of 134
You probably didn't submit anything to search for