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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 basin relief, maximum is the elevation difference between basin mouth and the highest point within a basin perimeter [16].?

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.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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
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Your search for rift (Keyword) returned 149 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 136 to 149 of 149
Paleokarst Breccia-Pipe Reservoir Analogue, Carboniferous, Svalbard, 2011, Wheeler Walter, Tveranger Jan, Lauritzen Steinerik, Heincke Björn, Rossi Guiliana, Allroggen Niklas, Buckley Simon

Upwards-propagating collapse pipes typically form sinkholes where they meet the land surface. Renewed dissolution of breccia in ancient pipes can have a similar effect. For these cases, probability-based models of sinkhole hazard are closely related to the expected mature architecture of the collapse-pipe field. We present a case study of the architecture of a square-kilometre field of collapse-pipes from the Carboniferous-Permian in which the pipes are documented in outcrop and using shallow geophysical methods.

The study site is located on the Wordiekammen plateau in the Carboniferous Billefjorden half-graben basin on Spitsbergen. Cliffs bounding the plateau expose breccia pipes cutting a gently-dipping 200-m-thick series of platform carbonates, in turn underlain by stratiform breccias and residual pods of gypsum. Many of the breccia pipes are tall (>250 m) and postdate several shallow karstification episodes. Most pipes are inferred not to have reached the surface based on a lack of terrigenous material and fluvial structure, although several pipes show indications of such surface communication. Although the pipes are generally attributed to gypsum dissolution, a deep carbonate karstification event is inferred based on high temperature calcite cement, and burial dehydration of gypsum, may also have contributed to void formation.

On the plateau top the collapse pipes are obscured by thick scree, thus km-scale size and spacing data for the pipes and faults was collected by mapping the bedrock with 2D ground-penetrating radar (GPR). GPR profiles were acquired on a grid with 25-meter line spacing, using 50 MHz antennas and achieving 30-40 m penetration. Breccia bodies were identified by steep-sided zones of complex diffraction patterns interrupting bedding-related continuous reflections. Two pipes were further studied in 3D using high-resolution GPR, tomographic seismic and geo-electric. These geophysical data were merged into a comprehensive 3D framework including helicopter-borne lidar and photo scans of the plateau rim geology, thus allowing an integrated visualization and interpretation of the different datasets. The GPR data show the breccia pipes to be slightly oblate with diameters ranging from 20 to over 100 m; 60 meters is a typical value. Approximately 10 pipes are identified in cliff-side outcrops bordering the GPR area, whereas 30 more are identified within the plateau by the GPR data. The GPR volume lies about 200 m above the pipe base, hence the pipe-length frequency-distribution data are incomplete. The strata are cut by small-offset (<5m) faults related to collapse processes and larger-offset faults related to regional basin extension. The breccia pipe field appears to be delimited by these more regional faults, in turn inferred to control the thickness of syn-rift gypsum and/or the hydrology of its dissolution. Collapse breccia pipes form strong vertical heterogeneities in rock properties such as porosity and permeability, matrix density, cement, mechanical strength and lithology, affecting fluid-flow characteristics on a meter to hundred-meter scale. It is rare that pipe fields are well exposed at the kilometre scale. Although some scaling data can be obtained from 3D oil-industry seismic reflection data but the resolution insufficient to visualize critical details. The outcrop combination of seismic, electric and geologic techniques facilitates the interpretation of 3D facies architectures and by proxy porosity-permeability relationships. Studies at the km scale are fundamental for understanding basic karst and collapse processes, and yield petrophysical models that can be applied predictively to natural hazards and groundwater or hydrocarbon exploitation in paleokarst settings.

CORA - a dedicated device for carbon dioxide monitoring in cave environments, 2012, Luetscher Marc, Ziegler Felix

High resolution time-series of cave CO2 fluctuations are increasingly demanded to quantify calcite precipitation processes. CORA, an energy-efficient NDIR-device, has been specifically developed for the long-term monitoring of carbon dioxide in remote cave environments. To allow comparison between different cave sites, changes in air pressure and temperature are compensated for using dedicated probes. Laboratory experiments demonstrate that CORAs precision is adapted to the analysis of spatially and temporally variable CO2 regimes and therefore suitable for a large number of applications. Data obtained with 12 independently calibrated instruments are reproducible within 3% (1s). The two-point calibration function is validated using certified reference gases for an overall accuracy determined at 50ppmv, resp.≤3%. Although no significant drift was observed during the test phase a periodic recalibration is recommended. Initial results from field studies show that continuous monitoring over a full annual cycle is possible at 4 hour intervals without specific maintenance.

Hypogene karst of the eastern part of the Crimean fore-mountains, 2012, Klimchouk A. B. , Amelichev G. M. , Tymokhina . . , Tokarev S. V.

Carbonate rocks of upper Cretaceous, Paleocene and Eocene crop out in cuesta escarpments in different sectors of the eastern part of the Inner Range of the Crimean fore-mountains. Scarps and adjacent strips of the plateaus demonstrate a set of features, characteristic and unique for the Crimean fore-mountain region, represented by various conduit and cavernous forms (karstified fractures, grottoes, niches, caves, vugs and zones of vuggy porosity), sculptured surfaces and honeycomb, boxwork and spongework surfaces of scarps, and also by couloirs and blind valleys in the near-scarp strips of structural slopes. The paper demonstrates that all these forms are relics of the morphology of sub-vertical hypogenic rift-like conduits, their meso-elements and forms of the vuggy fringe, exposed due to the scarp retreat by block toppling. Previous ideas of the formation of grottoes and niches in scarps by processes of external weathering and gravitational destruction are shown to be inadequate, and the hypogenic karst origin of these forms is firmly established. The analysis of distribution and morphology of relict hypogenic karst features has allowed reconstructing the structure and functioning of hypogenic karst systems, which had been formed by dissolution and metasomatic alteration of host rocks under confined conditions, along cross-formational tectonic fractures organized in linear corridors and clusters. Interaction of rising fracture-vein waters of the deep circulation system with intra- and interstratal waters of shallower systems played a particular role in hypogenic speleogenesis. It is shown that hypogenic karst was one of the primary factors of regional geomorphic development as it determined locations and morphology of the cuesta escarpments, as well as further landform development in the adjacent areas of the structural surfaces.

Geomorphogenesis of astructural slopes of the Inner Range of the Mountainous Crimea: the role of hypogenic karst in the formation and retreat of cliffs, 2012, Tymokhina . . , Klimchouk A. B. , Amelichev G. M.

In geomorphogenesis of the fore-mountain region, a leading role is played by the processes of dismemberment of «shielding» limestone layers of the monoclinal stratified structure, and slope processes in the intervals of rocky limestone utcrops. Their main pre-condition for the latter is hypogene karst development which preceded the modern relief and controlled its formation. Karstified fracture-karst zones, 100 to 400 m wide, in the Cretaceous-Paleogene strata controlled the entrenchment of valleys in the limestone layers. The basic elements of hypogenic karst structures, which forms their spatial framework, are subvertical
fracture-karst conduits (karst «rifts»). Dissection of limestone layers along vertical fracture-karst rift conduits initially set the cliff-like shape of valleys slopes, and presence of such rift conduits in the rear of cliffs of already incised valleys determines the mechanisms of cliff retreat, with the maintenance of verticality, and controls position and configuration of segments of cliffs. A dominant slope process in the intervals of limestones is block toppling, whereas blocks become separated mainly along remaining
fracture-karst conduits in rearward parts of cliffs. Hypogenic sculptural morphology is displayed in the exposed walls of the fracture-karst conduits, which determines the originality and nomenclature of morphology of limestone cliffs of the Inner Range. In those areas of slopes where position of cliffs has stabilized for considerable time due to absence of new lines of block detachment in the rear, weathering becomes a significant process in the morphogenesis of surfaces. Slopes lose their verticality and acquire
the smoothed rims. Specific hypogenic sculptural morphology of cliffs is being destroyed on such slopes. The finding about control of slope processes in limestones by hypogenic fracture-karst structures gives new important criteria for the slope condition assessment and prognosis of hazardous collapses and rockfalls in the limits of the Internal Range 

Differences in aquatic microcrustacean assemblages between temporary and perennial springs of an alpine karstic aquifer, 2013, Mori N. , Brancelj A.

Microcrustacean (Copepoda, Ostracoda) assemblages were investigated at the interface of the vadose and phreatic zones in the alpine karstic aquifer from the Julian Alps in Slovenia (SE Europe). Two temporary and one perennial karstic outlets were sampled by filtering the water several times over 2 years. Concurrently, benthos from the mouth of a perennial spring and from an adjacent spring brook were collected. Altogether 24 microcrustacean species were recorded. The spatial and temporal variation in drift densities and species composition was high indicating complex groundwater hydrological pathways being dependent on precipitation regime. Non-metric Multidimensional Scaling (NMDS) clearly separated drift samples from temporary springs and other sample groups (drift in perennial spring, spring mouth and spring brook benthos). ANOSIM revealed statistically significant differences between all sample groups (Diacyclops zschokkei, Elaphoidella phreatica and Mixtacandona sp. B contributed over 50 % to the observed differences among sample groups. Three species (Nitocrella sp., Speocyclops infernus, Lessinocamptus pivai), known to be typical epikarst species, were collected only in the drift from one temporary spring (T2). Mao Tau species accumulation curves did not reach asymptote for the drift from temporary springs, but did for the drift from perennial spring, and for the spring mouth and the spring brook benthos. The results on drift composition indicated the variation in the origin of the water discharging at the interface of vadoze and phreatic zones depending greatly on water level conditions, while the drift densities were higher in the water presumably discharging from phreatic zone (perennial spring and temporary springs during low water levels).



The leading role in the geomorphic development of the Crimean fore-mountain region is played by the processes of dismemberment of “shielding” limestone layers of the monoclinal stratified structure through valley entrenchment, and by further retreat of vertical rocky outcrops via block-toppling mechanism. These processes are guided by the presense of hypogene karst structures, whose formation preceded the modern relief. Karstified fracture-karst zones, 100 to 400 m wide, in the Cretaceous-Paleogene strata controlled the entrenchment of valleys in the limestone layers. The basic elements of hypogenic karst structures, which form their spatial framework, are sub-vertical fracture-karst conduits (karst “rifts”). Denudational opening of vertical fracture-karst rift conduits in limestone layers set the cliff-like shape of valleys slopes, and presence of such rift conduits in the rear of cliffs of already incised valleys determines the block-toppling mechanisms of slope retreat. This maintains the verticality of cliff segments in the cuesta ridge and controls their position. Hypogenic sculptural morphology is extensively displayed in the exposed walls of cliffs (former conduit walls), which determines the originality and nomenclature of morphology of limestone cliffs of the Inner Ridge. In those areas of slopes where position of cliffs has stabilized for considerable time due to absence of new lines of block detachment in the rear, weathering becomes a significant process in the morphogenesis of surfaces. The abundance, outstanding expression, preservation and accessibility of relict hypogene karst features in the extensive cuesta cliffs of the Inner Ridge makes the region the foremost one for studying regularities of hypogene solution porosity development, the process currently ongoing in the adjacent artesian basin of the Plain Crimea.

Die Erdflle von Layla und Al-Kharj Einblicke in die Karst-Hydrogeologie des oberen Jura von Saudi-Arabien, 2013, Schleusener Florian, Kempe Stephan, Dirks Heiko, Rausch Randolf, Gbel Patricia

Until the end of the 20th century, the sinkhole lakes of Layla and Al-Kharj formed oases in central Saudi Arabia. They were fed by ascending groundwater from the karstified Upper Jurassic anhydrites of the Arab and Hith formations. Morphologic features of a cave near Al-Kharj and hydraulic heads in wells of the Layla region show that the karstification of the anhydrites was hypogene. The karstification led to zones of collapse in the overlying Cretaceous sediments. Because of the exploitation of the underlying aquifer, the sinkhole-lakes dried up, exposing worldwide singular sublacustrine gypsum tufas on their walls. The gypsum tufas and widespread gypsum crusts in the vicinity of the sinkholes reflect the former ascent of the sulphate enriched groundwater.


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


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.

Insights into Cave Architecture and the Role of Bacterial Biofilm, 2013,

Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside conditions. They lend living proof of the presence of minute life forms that delve deep within the earth’s crust where the possibility of life seems impossible. Devoid of all light sources and lacking the most common source of energy supplied through photosynthesis, the mysterious microbial kingdom in caves are consequently dependent upon alternative sources of energy derived from the surrounding atmosphere, minerals and rocks. There are a number of features that can be observed within a cave that may serve as evidence of microbial activity, for example, formation of biofilms comprised of multiple layers of microbial communities held together by protective gel-like polymers which form complex structures. Different bacterial biofilms can develop on the walls of the cave which can be visually distinguished by their colorations. Moreover, the pH generated by the metabolism of bacterial biofilm on the cave environment can lead to precipitation or dissolution of minerals in caves. Caves also offer an excellent scenario for studying biomineralization processes. The findings on the association of bacteria with secondary minerals as mentioned in this review will help to expand the existing knowledge in geomicrobiology and specifically on the influence of microorganisms in the formation of cave deposits. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of biospeleology of caves and the associated bacterial biofilms. Recommendations for future research are mentioned to encourage a drift from qualitative studies to more experimental studies.


Hypogene speleogenesis in the western United States is associated with a deep source of water and gases that rise and mix with shallow aquifer water. Caves are formed below the surface without surface expressions (ie, sinkholes, sinking streams), and byproducts of speleogenesis are precipitated during the late phase of hypogene speleogenesis. These byproducts provide geochemical and geochronological evidence of a region’s geologic history and include gypsum rinds and blocks, elemental sulfur, halloysite-10Å, alunite, natroalunite, and other sulfur-related minerals. The following speleogenetic and speleothemic features are common: alteration rinds, crusts, mammillaries, folia, rafts, and cave spar. The types of hypogene speleogenesis vary and many can be expressed in space and time in relation to paleo-water tables. We identify two general types: (1) H2S-H2SO4-dominated speleogenesis that takes place predominantly near a paleo-water table (a few meters above and below), and (2) CO2-dominated speleogenesis that mostly takes place 10s to 100s of meters below a paleo-water table, with latest-stage imprints within meters of the water table.
The Kane caves in Wyoming, and the Guadalupe Mountains caves in New Mexico and West Texas, are examples of H2S-H2SO4-dominated speleogenesis (also known as sulfuric acid speleogenesis, SAS), where deposits of H2S- and H2SO4-origin are the obvious fingerprints. The Grand Canyon caves in Arizona and Glenwood Caverns in Colorado are examples of CO2-dominated systems, where H2SO4 likely played a smaller role (Onac et al., 2007). Deeper-seated geode-like caves, like the spar caves in the Delaware Basin area, are probably CO2-dominated, and have formed at greater depths (~0.5 ± 0.3 km) below paleo-water tables. Caves in the Black Hills, South Dakota are composite and complex and show evidence for multiple phases of hypogene speleogenesis. In areas such as the Grand Canyon region, these paleo-water tables, when they existed in thick carbonate rock stratigraphy and especially at the top of the thick carbonate rock strata, were likely regionally relatively flat in the larger intact tectonic blocks.
Geochemical studies of these deposits are providing information about the timing of speleogenesis through U-Th, U-Pb, and Ar-dating. In addition, tracer data from isotopes of C, O, S, Sr, and U are indicators of the sources of water and gases involved in speleogenesis. From these studies, novel canyon incision and landscape evolution interpretations are appearing in the literature. Beyond this, the study of these byproduct materials seems to show evidence that the deeply sourced water and gases involved in hypogene speleogenesis in the western United States are generated during tectonic and volcanic activity, and may be related to mantle processes associated with formation of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Basin and Range province, and Rio Grande Rift.

Niphargus: a silicon band-gap sensor temperature logger for high-precision environmental monitoring. , 2015, Burlet Ch. , Vanbrabant Y. , Piessens K. , Welkenhuysen K. , Verheyden S.

A temperature logger, named “Niphargus”, was developed at the Geological Survey of Belgium to monitor temperature of local natural processes. It has a sensitivity of the order of a few hundredths of degrees on temperature variability in open air, caves, soils and river environment. The newly developed instrument uses a state-of-the-art band-gap silicon temperature sensor with integrated digital output. This sensor reduces the risk of drift associated with thermistor-based sensing devices, especially in humid environments. The Niphargus is designed to be highly reliable, low-cost and powered by a single lithium cell with up to several years autonomy, depending on the sampling rate and environmental conditions. A batch of Niphargus loggers was also compared to a precision thermistor to assess absolute temperature accuracy. Further characterization came from two field case studies in Belgium: monitoring of a mineralized water stream near the town of Spa and air temperature monitoring inside Han-sur-Lesse cave.

Hypogenic origin, geologic controls and functional organization of a giant cave system in Precambrian carbonates, Brazil, 2015,

This study is focused on speleogenesis of the Toca da Boa Vista (TBV) and Toca da Barriguda (TBR), the longest caves in South America occurring in the Neoproterozoic Salitre Formation in the São Francisco Craton, NE Brazil. We employ a multidisciplinary approach integrating detailed speleomorphogenetic, lithostratigraphic and geological structure studies in order to reveal the origin of the caves, their functional organization and geologic controls on their development. The caves developed in deep-seated confined conditions by rising flow. The overall fields of passages of TBV and TBR caves represent a speleogenetically exploited large NE–SW-trending fracture corridor associated with a major thrust. This corridor vertically extends across the Salitre Formation allowing the rise of deep fluids. In the overall ascending flow system, the formation of the cave pattern was controlled by a system of sub-parallel anticlines and troughs with NNE–SSWdominant orientation, and by vertical and lateral heterogeneities in fracture distribution. Three cave-stratigraphic stories reflect the actual hydrostratigraphy during the main phase of speleogenesis. Cavities at different stories are distinct inmorphology and functioning. The gross tree-dimensional pattern of the system is effectively organized to conduct rising flow in deep-seated confined conditions. Cavities in the lower story developed as recharge components to the system. A laterally extensive conduit network in the middle story formed because the vertical flow from numerous recharge points has been redirected laterally along the highly conductive unit, occurring below the major seal - a scarcely fractured unit. Rift-like and shaft-like conduits in the upper story developed along fracturecontrolled outflow paths, breaching the integrity of the major seal, and served as outlets for the cave system. The cave system represents a series of vertically organized, functionally largely independent clusters of cavities developed within individual ascending flow cells. Lateral integration of clusters occurred due to hydrodynamic interaction between the flow cells in course of speleogenetic evolution and change of boundary conditions. The main speleogenetic phase, during which the gross cave pattern has been established and the caves acquired most of their volume, was likely related to rise of deep fluids at about 520 Ma or associated with rifting and the Pangea break-up in Triassic–Cretaceous. This study highlights the importance of speleogenetic studies for interpreting porosity and permeability features in carbonate reservoirs.

Karst environment, 2016, Culver D. C.

Karst environments can be grouped into three broad categories, based on their vertical position in the landscape. There are surface habitats, ones exposed to light; there are shallow subterranean (aphotic) habitats oft en with small to intermediate sized spaces; there are deep subterranean habitats (caves) with large sized spaces. Faunal records are most complete for caves, and on a global basis, more than 10,000 species are limited to this habitat. Hundreds of other species, especially bats, depend on caves for some part of their life cycle. A large, but most unknown number of species are limited to shallow subterranean habitats in karst, such as epikarst and the milieu souterrain superficiel. Species in both these categories of habitats typically show a number of morphological adaptations for life in darkness, including loss of eyes and pigment, and elaboration of extra-optic sensory structures. Surface habitats, such as sinkholes, karst springs, thin soils, and rock faces, are habitats, but not always recognized as karst habitats. Both aphotic karst habitats and twilight habitats (such as open air pits) may serve as important temporary refuges for organisms avoiding temperature extremes on the surface.

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