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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 downwarping is a down bending of stratum to form a depression or syncline [16].?

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

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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.
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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:
Showing 121 to 135 of 139
Geochemical/isotopic evolution of Pb-Zn deposits in the Central and Eastern Taurides, Turkey, 2011, Hanilci N. , Ozturk H.

The Central and Eastern Taurides contain numerous carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits, mainly in Devonian and Permian dolomitized reefal-stramatolitic limestones, and in massive Jurassic limestones. We present and compare new fluid inclusion and isotopic data from these ore deposits, and propose for the first time a Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) mode of origin for them. Fluid inclusion studies reveal that the ore fluids were highly saline (13-26% NaCl equiv.), chloride-rich (CaCl2) brines, and have average homogenization temperatures of 112°C, 174.5°C, and 211°C for the Celal Dag, Delikkaya, and Ayrakl deposits, respectively. Furthermore, the ?34S values of carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits in the Central and Eastern Taurides vary between -5.4‰ and +13.70‰. This indicates a possible source of sulphur from both organic compounds and crustal materials. In contrast, stable sulphur isotope data (average ?34S -0.15‰) for the Cadrkaya deposit, which is related to a late Eocene-Oligocene (?) granodioritic intrusion, indicates a magmatic source. The lead isotope ratios of galena for all investigated deposits are heterogeneous. In particular, with the exception of the Sucat district, all deposits in the Eastern (Delikkaya, Ayrakl, Denizovas, Cadrkaya) and Central (Katranbasi, Kucuksu) Taurides have high radiogenic lead isotope values (206Pb/204Pb between 19.058 and 18.622; 207Pb/204Pb between 16.058 and 15.568; and 208Pb/204Pb between 39.869 and 38.748), typical of the upper continental crust and orogenic belts. Fluid inclusion, stable sulphur, and radiogenic lead isotope studies indicate that carbonate-hosted metal deposits in the Eastern (except for the Cadrkaya deposit) and the Central Taurides are similar to MVT Pb-Zn deposits described elsewhere. The primary MVT deposits are associated with the Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene closure of the Tethyan Ocean, and formed during the transition from an extensional to a compressional regime. Palaeogene nappes that typically limit the exposure of ore bodies indicate a pre-Palaeocene age of ore formation. Host rock lithology, ore mineralogy, fluid inclusion, and sulphur + lead isotope data indicate that the metals were most probably leached from a crustal source such as clastic rocks or a crystalline massif, and transported by chloride-rich hydrothermal solutions to the site of deposition. Localization of the ore deposits on autochthonous basement highs indicates long-term basinal fluid migration, characteristic of MVT depositional processes. The primary MVT ores were oxidized in the Miocene, resulting in deposition of Zn-carbonate and Pb-sulphate-carbonate during karstification. The ores underwent multiple cycles of oxidation and, in places, were re-deposited to form clastic deposits. Modified deposits resemble the 'wall-rock replacement' and the 'residual and karst fill' of non-sulphide zinc deposits and are predominantly composed of smithsonite

Quaternary glaciations of Turkey, 2011, Sarikaya M. A. , Ciner A. , Zreda M.

The cosmogenic exposure ages obtained from glacial landforms in several Turkish mountains provided a basis to reconstruct glacio-chronology and paleoclimate of Turkey. Glacier-related landforms occur in three major regions of Turkey; (1) the Taurus Mountains, along the Mediterranean coast and southeast Turkey, (2) mountain ranges along the Eastern Black Sea Region, and (3) volcanoes and independent mountain chains scattered across the Anatolian Plateau. 10Be 26Al and 36Cl ages show that the oldest and most extensive mountain glaciers were developed during the Last Glacial Maximum. Unusual Early Holocene glaciations, dated to 9 ka-10 ka, were also reported from Mount Erciyes and Aladaglar.

Interpretation of ancient epikarst features in carbonate successions A note of caution, 2011, Immenhauser Adrian, Rameil Niels

In shallowmarine carbonate successions of the Phanerozoic, evidence for shorter-lived subaerial exposure stages of ancient carbonate seafloors is commonly found in the presence of small-scale epi-karst solution pits in discontinuity surfaces. Under favorable conditions, these solution features are accompanied by soil features including calcretes or root traces, alveolar septal structures, petrographic evidence such as pendant cements, circumgranular cracks or pisoliths, bleaching and staining of carbonate rocks or circumstantial geochemical evidence. Perhaps more often, however, ancient carbonate successions lack undisputable evidence for meteoric karsting. Using a well exposed case example from the Aptian of Oman, we here document that the superficial visual field inspection of solution pits in discontinuity surfaces may lead to erroneous interpretations. Outcrops at
JabalMadar, a diapiric structure, allowfor an in-depth analysis of dissolution features in the regionally extensive top Shu'aiba discontinuity. The solution pits discussed here were investigated for their stratigraphic position, their orientation relative to bedding planes, diagenetic and petrographic features and their potential relation to extensional fractures related to the updoming of Jabal Madar. The mainmessage brought forward, is that under burial conditions, spatially localized, hypogenic carbonate leachingmay formfeatures that are easily mistaken for ancient meteoric epikarst. These features preferentially form in interstratal positions where fractured, massive carbonate rocks are capped by a major discontinuity surface overlain by non-fractured argillaceous sediments. Thus,while dissolution–reprecipitation processes in the burial phreatic realmare omni-directional in permeable carbonates, low-permeability, argillaceous fines are not, or to amuch lesser extent, prone to chemical corrosion.
As a consequence carbonate-aggressive burial fluids leach out pits at the carbonate–shale interface. These appear to protrude perpendicular as bowl-shaped depressions into the underlying limestones and are – in the case examples documented here – preferentially aligned along factures. These findings have significance for the interpretation of ancient epikarst features in shallow marine carbonate successions

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.

Origin of the limestone pedestals at Norber Brow, North Yorkshire, UK: a re-assessment and discussion, 2012, Wilson Peter, Lord Tom C. , Vincent Peter. J.

Contrasting rates of limestone dissolution to account for the development of limestone pedestals beneath erratic boulders at Norber, North Yorkshire, have been proposed. Most of these estimates were made prior to reliable dates being available for erratic emplacement and prior to detailed knowledge of the pattern of regional 'post-glacial' climate change. The erratics were deposited c. 18 ka BP, and for a substantial part of the ensuing c. 4 ka a climate of Arctic severity prevailed until the abrupt warming at 14.7 ka BP, marking the onset of the Lateglacial Interstadial. We propose that nivation (snow-related) processes operated for much of that time, and again during the Younger Dryas Stadial (12.9 - 11.7 ka BP), and made a contribution to the lowering of the limestone surface by both mechanical and chemical action. Similar processes are likely to have operated for short periods on several occasions during the Holocene when, according to proxy records, climate deteriorated. We question previous views that dissolution occurred in an entirely temperate sub-regolith environment and/or was achieved solely by rainfall.

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.

Evolution of Intrastratal Karst and Caves in Gypsum, 2013, Klimchouk, A. B.

The term ‘intrastratal karst’ denotes a series of evolutionary karst types corresponding to successive stages of karst developmentin a soluble rock while it moves back to exposure after being buried by younger strata. The major boundaryconditions, the overall circulation pattern, and extrinsic factors and intrinsic mechanisms of karst development appear tochange considerably between the stages, resulting in characteristic styles of cave development and surface karst morphology,particularly distinct in case of gypsum karst.As gypsum is much more soluble than carbonates, it does not survive long in outcrops beyond arid areas. Wheregypsum is exposed to the surface with no substantial karstification formed during various stages of reburial, the developmentof epigene solution porosity in this rock is hindered due to the fast dissolution, being limited to flow paths in whichthe breakthrough conditions can be attained quickly. However, karst processes in gypsum develop extensively in intrastratalkarst settings, with inheritance from the deep-seated stage through the denuded one. Karstification may commence in anystage of intrastratal development, and during the next successive stage, the process, although in changed conditions, will beaffected significantly by the preformed solution porosity. Speleogenesis in deep-seated gypsum karst is exclusively hypogene.In subjacent karst, both hypogene and epigene speleogenesis may operate depending on the locally prevailing flowregime, but hypogene speleogenesis still dominates. In entrenched and denuded karst types, speleogenesis is overwhelminglyepigenic, but it is greatly facilitated by the presence of solution porosity inherited from the previous stages.Diverse and expressive karst landforms related to subsurface conduits evolve through different stages of the intrastratal karstdevelopment.The subsidence hazard in regions underlain by gypsum differs substantially between the karst types, so that one canobtain a kind of integrated general hazard assessment by classifying a given individual karst according to its evolution state.In general, various types of intrastratal karst, subjacent karst in particular, are the most potent in generating subsidence problems, whereas exposed karst types, particularly open karst, are the least prone to subsidence

Deglaciation of the eastern Cumbria glaciokarst, northwest England, as determined by cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) surface exposure dating, and the pattern and significance of subsequent environmental changes, 2013, Wilson P. , Lord T. , Rods .

Four erratic boulders of Shap granite on the limestone terrain of eastern Cumbria have yielded cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) surface exposure ages that indicate the area was deglaciated c.17 ka ago. This timing is in accord with other ages pertaining to the loss of glacial ice cover in the Yorkshire Dales and north Lancashire, to the south, and the Lake District, to the west, and constrains the resumption of landscape (re)colonization and surface and sub-surface karstic processes. Marked shifts in climate are known to have occurred since deglaciation and combined with human impacts on the landscape the glaciokarst has experienced a complex pattern of environmental changes. Understanding these changes and their effects is crucial if the 'post-glacial' evolution of the glaciokarst is to be deciphered.

The effects of UV light on the antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycetes, 2013, Rule Devon, Cheeptham Naowarat

The goal of this study was to determine whether actinomycetes isolated from a volcanic cave in western Canada could produce novel antimicrobial compounds against six multidrug- resistant pathogens when exposed to UV light. One hundred and seventy-six actinomycete strains isolated from Helmcken Falls Cave, Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC, were screened against six pathogens using the “plug assay” in UV light and no light conditions. Of the 176 strains tested, 100 or 57% of the cave actinomycete strains had antimicrobial activities against the pathogens in 124 different instances: 35 instances when exposed to UV and no light, 30 when exposed to UV light, and 59 instances when exposed to no light. The metabolites of six actinomycete strains also lost their antimicrobial activities when exposed to UV light. While the metabolites produced by these strains have yet to be determined, exposure to lighted environments may either deactivate or enhance the antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycete strains. This study represents a confirmation that cave actinomycetes are potential sources of novel antimicrobial compounds and also is the first report of the enhancement of antimicrobial activities of some cave bacteria by exposure to UV light. Further investigation of the role of UV light with respect to activation/deactivation of antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycetes is required.

Isotopically altered wallrock of the hypogene conduits in the Crimean Piedmont, Ukraine, 2013, Klimchouk A. , Dublyansky Y. , Tymokhina E. , Sptl Ch.

The Crimean Piedmont stretches along the tectonic suture separating the fold-and-thrust structure of the Crimean Mountains from the Scythian Plate. It comprises two cuesta-like ridges whose structural slopes are built up of homoclinal limestone beds of the Paleocene- Eocene (the Inner Range), and the Neogene (the Outer Range) ages. Abundant relicts of the hypogene karst have been identified recently in steep cuesta cliffs of the Piedmont. The hypogene cavities formed in confined to semi-confined hydrological conditions due to interaction of the deep-seated waters, ascending along cross-formational fracture conduits, with the strata-bound lateral filtration flow. The ongoing geomorphological dissection of the stratified structure of the Piedmont com-monly follows the pre-formed hypogene conduits, resulting in the development of the pronounced cuesta relief with steep cliffs featuring massive exposure of the hypogene karst conduit paleo-walls with specific morphologies.
Movement of deep-seated fluids through carbonate wallrock may cause isotopic altera-tion of the later. We have studied isotopic composition of C and O along nine cores drilled into the walls of the cliffs decorated with hypogene solutional features, as well as in two hypogene caves. Data from all cores show the presence of a wide isotopic altera-tion halo, whose thickness exceeds the core length (max. 40 cm). In this zone, the rock is slightly depleted in δ18 (ca. 1 -2 ‰) relative to the “pristine”, unchanged values of a given rock unit. In most cores the rock is also depleted in 13 but two cores show high-er 13C values. In addition to this low-gradient alteration, most of the cores also show a narrow (4-50 mm) zone of the high-gradient alteration, across which δ18 and δ13 drop by respectively, 2.0–4.9 ‰ and 0.7–4.5 ‰. At three localities, the walls of the hypogene cavities were coated with phreatic calcite. Isotopic composition of this calcite corresponds to the lowermost values of the altered rock. In one core, the rock in the high-gradient alteration zone is depleted in 18 but enriched in 13. In yet another core the rock is enriched in both 18 and 13. The results corroborate the hypogenic origin of conduits and suggest that the wallrock was exposed to, and interacted with, geo-chemically different waters after the main volume of cavities had been created by disso-lution.


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


The Fort Hood Military Installation is a karst landscape characterized by Cretaceous-age limestone plateaus and canyons in Bell and Coryell Counties, Texas. The area is located in the Lampasas Cut Plain region of the Edwards Plateau and is stratigraphically defined by exposures of the Fredericksburg Group. Spatial interpolation of 105 km2 of the Fort Hood Military Installation provided depression data that were delineated and classified using geoanalytical methods. Most of the karst features within the study area are predominantly surficial expressions of collapse features, creating windows into karst conduits with surficial exposures of epikarst spatially limited.The increasing capabilities of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and accuracy of geographically referenced data has provided the basis for more detailed terrain analysis and modeling. Research on terrain-related surface features is highly dependent on terrain data collection and the generation of digital models. Traditional methods such as field surveying can yield accurate results; however, they are limited by time and physical constraints. Within the study area, dense vegetation and military land use preclude extensive traditional karst survey inventories. Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) provides an alternative for high-density and high-accuracy three-dimensional terrain point data collection. The availability of high density data makes it possible to represent terrain in great detail; however, high density data significantly increases data volume, which can impose challenges with respect to data storage, processing, and manipulation. Although LiDAR analysis can be a powerful tool, filter mechanisms must be employed to remove major natural and anthropogenic terrain modifications resulting from military use, road building and maintenance, and the natural influence of water bodies throughout the study area.

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.

Quaternary glacial cycles: Karst processes and the global CO2 budget, 2013, Larson Erik B. , Mylroie John E.

Extensive research has been conducted investigating the relationship between karst processes, carbonate deposition and the global carbon cycle. However, little work has been done looking into the relationship between glaciations, subsequent sea level changes, and aerially exposed land masses in relation to karstic processes and the global carbon budget. During glaciations sea-level exposed the world’s carbonate platforms. with the sub-aerial exposure of the platforms, karst processes can occur, and the dissolution of carbonate material can commence, resulting in the drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere as HCO3−. Furthermore, the material on the platform surfaces is primarily aragonite which is more readily soluble than calcite allowing karst processes to occur more quickly. During glaciations arctic carbonates and some of the temperate carbonates are blanketed in ice, effectively removing those areas from karst processes. Given the higher solubility of aragonite, and the extent of carbonate platforms exposed during glaciations, this dissolution balances the CO2 no longer taken up by karst processes at higher latitudes that were covered during the last glacial maximum The balance is within 0.001 GtC / yr, using soil pCO2 (0.005 GtC / yr assuming atmospheric pCO2) which is a difference of <1% of the total amount of atmospheric CO2 removed in a year by karst processes. Denudation was calculated using the maximum potential dissolution formulas of Gombert (2002). On a year to year basis the net amount of atmospheric carbon removed through karstic processes is equivalent between the last glacial maximum and the present day, however, the earth has spent more time in a glacial configuration during the quaternary, which suggests that there is a net drawdown of atmospheric carbon during glaciations from karst processes, which may serve as a feedback to prolong glacial episodes. This research has significance for understanding the global carbon budget during the quaternary.


In the Triassic of successions of the Italian Dolomites (Northern Italy), there are several examples of different types of hypogene paleokarst, sometimes associated with sulfur or hematite ore deposits.The paleokarst features are related to a regional volcanic event occurred during the Ladinian (Middle Triassic) that affected several carbonate platforms of Anisian-Ladinian age.This study is focusing mainly on the Latemar paleokarst, in the Western Dolomites, and on the Salafossa area in the Easternmost Dolomites.
The karst at Latemar developed as the result of a magmatic intrusion located just below the isolated carbonate platform, developing a system of phreatic conduits and some underground chambers, not justified by the entity of the submarine exposure occurring at the top of the carbonate platform. Most of these features are located about 500 m below the subaerial unconformity and are filled with middle Triassic lavas. Only in one case, the filling is represented by banded crusts now totally dolomitized, with abundant hematite. In this case, the only way to explain the presence of the karst at this depth is to invoke a deep CO2 source allowing the dissolution of the carbonate at such depths: the fact that some phreatic conduits and a possible underground chamber are filled only with lavas is pointing toward an important role of volcanism in karst development.
Salafossa is a well-known mine located in the easternmost Dolomites and has been exploited until 1986, when all the activity ceased. The main metals, in this case, are Zn-Pb-Ba-Fe, exploited within a quite complex paleokarst system developed in several levels, filled by a complex mineralized sequence. The strong dissolution led to the development of voids aligned with the main fault controlling the mineralization, with a proper karst system with phreatic morphologies.

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