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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 effective precipitation is that part of precipitation that contributes entirely to direct runoff.?

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


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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;
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Your search for stabilization (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Stabilization of karst soils in the bases of structures, 1986,
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Ibragimov M. N. , Malyshev L. I. ,

Ground Stabilization for foundation and excavation construction in Florida karst topography, 1993,
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Almaleh Lj, Grob Jd, Gorny Rh,

BURIAL AND INFILLING OF A KARST IN PAPUA-NEW-GUINEA BY ROAD EROSION SEDIMENTS, 1993,
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James J. M. ,
The anthropogenic impact on karst in Papua New Guinea is briefly introduced and a specific case is presented detailing the effect of road erosion sediments on a small karst. The karst is in the perennially humid tropics and covered with primary rain forest. The road was placed high above the karst on steep friable rock and traverses several of its catchments. The changes to and the rate of burial of parts of the karst and the infilling of the caves are described. The karst drainage has altered, and there is increased water storage. The sediment build-up ceased in less than a year due to vegetation and stabilization of the road embankments. It is concluded that any construction within a catchment leading to a karst should be assessed as to its impact on the karst

Alpine karsts. Genesis of large subterranean networks. Examples : the Tennengebirge (Austria) - the Ile de Crémieu, the Chartreuse and the Vercors (France), PhD Thesis, 1993,
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Audra, Philippe

This work, based on the study of several underground alpine networks, aims to propose some milestone in the history of these karstic regions.

The first part of the work is made up of three regional studies.

The Tennengebirge mountains are a massif of the limestone High Alps in the region of Salzburg in Austria. A cone karst close to the base level developed in the Neogene. Streams from the Alps fed the karst, resulting in the huge horizontal networks of which the Eisriesenwelt provides evidence. During the successive phases of upthrust, the levels of karstification, whether on the surface or deeper down, settled into a tier pattern, thus descending in stages from the base level. From the Pliocene era onwards, thanks to an increase in potential, alpine shafts replace the horizontal networks. The formation of these shafts is more pronounced during glaciation. The study of the Cosa Nostra - Bergerhöhle system developing 30 km of conduits on a gradient reaching almost 1 500 m provides a fairly full view of the karstification of this massif. It includes the horizontal levels developed in the Miocene and the Plio-Pleistocene, joined together by vertical sections. The most noteworthy features of the Tennengebirge, as in the neighboring massifs, lie first and foremost in the extreme thickness of the limestone which has recorded and immunized the differents steps of karstification. Secondly, the size of the networks can be, for the most part, accounted for by the contribution of allogenous waters from the streams of the Neogene and the glaciers of the Pleistocene. Generally sudden and unexpected, these flows of water engendered heavy loads (up to 600 m), simultaneously flooding several levels. To a lesser extent, the situation is similar today.

The Ile de Cremieu is a low limestone plateau on the western edge of the Jura. Due to its location in the foothills, the lobes of the Rhône glacier have covered it up, obliterating the surface karst. However, widespread evidence of anteglacial morphologies remains : paleokarst, cone karst, polygenic surface. Because of glacial plugging, access to the underground karst is limited. The main cavity is the cave of La Balme. Its initial development dates back to an early period. The morphological study has permitted the identification of several phases which go back to the Pleistocene and which are related to the Rhône glacier. The latter brought about modifications in the base level by supplying its merging waters as well as moraine material. These variations in the base level shaped the drainage structure. The underground glacial polishes are one of the noteworthy aspects recorded.

The massives of the Moucherotte and dent de Crolles belong to the northern French Prealps. They conceal large networks, respectively the Vallier cave and the Dent de Crolles. They were formed in the early Pliocene after the final orogenic phase and are in the form of horizontal conduits. The upthrust, which brought about the embanking of the Isère valley, left them in a perched position by taking away the basin which fed them. They were later, however, able to take advantage of waters from the Isère glacier during a part of the Pleistocene. The Vallier cave contains particularly glacio-karstic sediments of the lower Pleistocene, representing unique evidence of glaciation during this period. The vertical networks were put in place at the end of the Pliocene with the increase in karstification potential ; they underwent changes in the Pleistocene due to the effect of autochton and allogenous glaciers.

The second part of the work deals in general with the various forms and processes of karstification, sometimes going beyond the Alps. The study of cave deposits is a privileged tool in the understanding and reconstruction not only of the history of the networks but also the regional environment. The dating of speleothems by the U / Th method has very ofen given an age of over 350 000 years. The age of the networks is confirmed by the use of paleomagnetism which has yielded evidence of speleothems and glacio-karstic sediments anterior to 780 000 years. Anisotropic measurements of magnetic susceptibility have been used to distinguish the putting into place of glacio-karstic deposits by decantation.

Measurements of calcite rates lead to a typology of sediments based on their nature and carbonate content (rehandled weathered rocks, fluvial sands, carbonated varves, decantation clays). Granulometry confirms this differenciation by supplying precise details of transport and sedimentation modes : suspension and abrupt precipitation of clay, suspension and slow decantation of carbonated varves, suspension and rolling together with a variable sorting of sand and gravel. Mineralogical analyses oppose two types of detrital deposits. On the one hand, the rehandling of antequaternary weathered rocks extracted by the karst as a result of scouring during environmental destabilization and on the other hand, sediments characteristic of the ice age of the Pleistocene. The latter are not highly developed and their arrival in the karst is always later. Examination of heavy minerals, the morphoscopy of quartz grains and study of micromorphologies on thin blades provide precise details of conditions of evolution. The use of these methods of investigation allows for an accurate definition of the features of the evolution of the differents types of fillings, particularly speleothems, rehandled weathered rocks as well as carbonated varves. This wealth and complexity are emphasized by a detailed study of the sedimentary sequences of the Vallier cave and of the Bergerhöhle.
Speleogenesis is approached last of all in the light of above study. Emphasis is placed on the major part played by corrosion in the temporarily phreatic zone and on its many consequences (multi-level concept, simultaneous evolution of levels, origin of deep waterlogged karsts…).
Varia tions in the base level have induced karstification in contexts in which the potential was weak. These were followed by periods of increased potential to which were added the effects of glaciation. Perched horizontal levels belong to the first stages which ended in the early Pliocene, whereas alpine shafts developed in the second context. The role of structure and the parameters governing the shape of conduits (pits, meanders, canyons) are also dealt with. The different parts of the karst are borne in mind when dealing with the strength of karstic erosion during the ice age. It notably appears that it is weak on the crests and more or less non-existent in the deep parts of the karst which are liable to flooding. Finally, a preliminary analysis of an observation of neotectonic traces is presented.


Interprtation morphomtrique et splo_gense : exemple de rseaux karstiques de Basse-Provence (directions de galeries, modle et maillage structural), 1997,
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Blanc Jeanjoseph, Monteau Raymond
Successive tectonic phases on limestone massifs are at the origin of a fracturation grid with several pattern dimensions, and linear or organized drain directions. Mechanical reactivations are observed from Oligocene until Plio-Quaternary on a former "pyreneo-provenale" structure (Eocene). Statistical analysis of gallery and fracture directions, cave levels and descent stages (overdeepening) show several erosional stages occurring after the formation of the Antevindobonian erosional surface. The active speleogenesis during Oligocene and Miocene was controlled by tectonics in connection with European rifting and mediterranean opening. In Messinian a short and significant lowering of mediterranean base level (and water table) made drastic erosion and created vertical pits. The horizontal cave level dug during the stabilization phase of Pliocene, now perched over underground rivers, shows a new overdeepening because of glacio-eustatic Quaternary oscillations. Compressive or distensive mechanical reactivations (Upper Miocene, Pliocene, Quaternary) modified the drainage and consequently the cave organization: self-piracy, confluence and diffluence. In the endokarst, the drainage inversion can be detected in late Upper continental Miocene and early Messinian (6,5 Ma), in correlation with the tilting and extension of the continental margin. Five caves in Provence are studied: Sabre, Petit Saint-Cassien, Rampins, Planesselve river, and Tete du Cade networks.

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998,
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Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Key Largo Limestone revisited: Pleistocene shelf-edge facies, Florida Keys, USA, 2002,
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Multer H. G. , Gischler E. , Lundberg J. , Simmons K. R. , Shinn E. A. ,
New dates and analysis of 12 deep and 57 shallow cores allow a more detailed interpretation of the Pleistocene shelf edge of the Florida Platform as found in various facies of the Key Largo Limestone beneath the Florida Keys. In this study a three-phase evolution of the Quaternary units (Q1-Q5) of the Key Largo is presented with new subdivision of the Q5. (1) In the first phase, the Q1 and Q2 (perhaps deposited during oxygen-isotope stage 11) deep-water quartz-rich environment evolved into a shallow carbonate phase. (2) Subsequently, a Q3 (presumably corresponding to oxygen-isotope stage 9) flourishing reef and productive high-platform sediment phase developed. (3) Finally, a Q4 and Q5 (corresponding to oxygen-isotope stages 7 and 5) stabilization phase occurred with reefs and leeward productive lagoons, followed by lower sea levels presenting a sequence of younger (isotope substages 5c, 5a) shelf-margin wedges, sediment veneers and outlier reefs. The Key Largo Limestone provides an accessible model of a carbonate shelf edge with fluctuating water depth, bordering a deep seaward basin for a period of at least 300 ka. During this time, at least four onlaps/offlaps, often separated by periods of karst development with associated diagenetic alterations, took place. The story presented by this limestone not only allows a better understanding of the history of south Florida but also aids in the interpretation of similar persistent shelf-edge sites bordering deep basins in other areas

The Barremian-Aptian Evolution of The Eastern Arabian Carbonate Platform Margin (Northern Oman), 2003,
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Hillgartner Heiko, Van Buchem Frans S. P. , Gaumet Fabrice, Razin Philippe, Pittet Bernard, Grotsch Jurgen, Droste Henk,
Carbonate platform margins are sensitive recorders of changes in sea level and climate and can reveal the relative importance of global and regional controls on platform evolution. This paper focuses on the Barremian to Aptian interval (mid Cretaceous), which is known for climatic and environmental changes towards more intensified greenhouse conditions. The study area in the northern Oman mountains offers one of the very few locations where the Cretaceous carbonate margin of the Arabian Plate can be studied along continuous outcrops. Our detailed sedimentological and sequence stratigraphic model of the platform margin demonstrates how major environmental and ecological changes controlled the stratigraphic architecture. The Early Cretaceous platform margin shows high rates of progradation in Berriasian to Hauterivian times followed by lower rates and some aggradation in the Late Hauterivian to Barremian. High-energy bioclastic and oolitic sands were the dominant deposits at the margin. Turbidites were deposited at the slope and in the basin. The Early Aptian platform margin shows a marked change to purely aggradational geometries and a welldeveloped platform barrier that was formed mainly by microbial buildups. The sudden dominance in microbial activity led to cementation and stabilization of the margin and slope and, therefore, a decrease of downslope sediment transport by turbidites. In the Late Aptian, large parts of the Arabian craton were subaerially exposed and a fringing carbonate platform formed. Seven Barremian to Early Albian large-scale depositional sequences reflecting relative sea-level changes are identified on the basis of time lines constrained by physical correlation and biostratigraphy. The reconstruction of the margin geometries suggests that tectonic activity played an important role in the Early Aptian. This was most likely related to global plate reorganization that was accompanied by increased volcanic activity in many parts of the world. Along the northeastern Arabian platform the associated global changes in atmospheric and oceanic circulation are recorded with a change in platform-margin ecology from an ooid-bioclast dominated to a microbial dominated margin. Time-equivalent argillaceous deposits suggest an increase in rainfall and elevated input of nutrients onto the platform. This process contributed to the strongly diminished carbonate production by other organisms and favored microbial activity. The platform margin may thus represent a shallow-marine response to the Early Aptian global changes, commonly associated with an oceanic anoxic event in basinal environments

Speleothem rupture in karst: tectonic or climatic origin? U-Th dating of rupture events in Salamandre Cave (Gard, southeastern France), 2004,
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Ponsbranch, Hamelin B. , Brulhet J. , Bruxelles L. ,
Caves are relatively protected from the main external erosional factors. Therefore, they constitute potentially reliable places for long-term conservation of continental history. Moreover their secondary carbonated deposits, the speleothems, can be dated precisely on the 0-500 ka time-scale using U-series isotopes measured by thermo-ionisation mass spectrometry (TIMS). Tectonic events (tectonic displacements and earthquakes) may change cave morphology and induce speleothem breaking or displacement as has been shown by previous studies performed mainly in Italy [Forti et Postpischl, 1984; Postpischl et al., 1991 for example]. Nevertheless, collapses of speleothems observed today in caves are difficult to interpret as their origin may be linked to several other natural processes. We studied the Aven de la Salamandre cave located in southeastern France (Gard), an area between the Cevennes fault and the Nimes fault, where evidence of Quaternary vertical movements was previously described. However, this region is not considered to be a seismic active zone. The Aven de la Salamandre cave is characterized by numerous broken speleothems. Some of them are very large and a lot of them are covered by growth of new calcite or new speleothem generation. We report here 13 TIMS U/Th analysis performed on two broken speleothems recovered by second generation calcite growth. Dating results are discussed through time corrections due to detrital content of calcite. In the first sequence, a 7 0.35 ka fracture event is identified. In the second sequence, the age of the breakdown is between 1.1 0.1 and 6.3 2 ka. These events could thus be contemporary. Hypotheses for the origin of this fracture event are presented and discussed: (i) karstic catastrophic event due to intense climatic changes or to cavity collapse (break down of hanging wall, gravity, landslide...); (ii) co-seismic ruptures. The first conclusion of this study is that these collapse episodes in the Aven de la Salamandre cave cannot be due to the direct effect of an earthquake or climatic event. Only indirect effects of flooding (by mobilization of the argillaceous components of the floor and consecutive destabilization of the speleothems growing upon it) or earthquake effects (more likely by local effects than by wave front passage) are privileged. By comparing our dating with regional destructive known events (in other karsts, in cliffs and scarps), dated by relative chronology, we are lead to propose a regional generalized event precisely dated here at 7 ka. This second conclusion doesn't contradict the presence of unbroken speleothems older than 100 ka found in other caves in the neighborhood as local effects is one of the predominant factors relative to speleothem stability. As a final conclusion, this paper promotes the use of speleothems as reliable datable tools for assessing regional stability problems (sensitivity to seismic hazards, to destructive intense climatic events...) as is done for paleoclimatic reconstruction

Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, 2005,
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Beck B. F.

Conference Proceedings

Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst Contains over 70 papers addressing karst topography which impacts water resources, waste disposal, foundation stability, and a multitude of other geotechnical and environmental issues. These papers were presented at the 10th Multidisciplinary Conference held September 24-28, 2005 in San Antonio, Texas and Sponsored by the Geo-Institute of ASCE, P. E. LaMoreaux & Associates, Inc. and Edwards Aquifer Authority. The goal of this conference was to share knowledge and experience among disciplines by emphasizing practical applications and case studies. This proceedings will benefit environmental and geotechnical engineers, and others involved in water resources, water disposal, and foundation stability issues.

Contents:

Application of Geophysical Logging Techniques for Multi-Channel Well Design and Installation in a Karst Aquifer (by Frank Bogle, ...)

Case Studies of Massive Flow Conduits in Karst Limestone (by Jim L. Lolcama)

A Case Study of the Samanalawewa Reservoir on the Walawe River in an Area of Karst in Sri Lanka (by K. Laksiri, ...)

Characterization and Water Balance of Internal Drainage Sinkholes (by Nico M. Hauwert, ...)

Characterization of Desert Karst Terrain in Kuwait and the Eastern Coastline of the Arabian Penninsula (by Waleed Abdullah, ...)

Characterization of a Sinkhole Prone Retention Pond Using Multiple Geophysical Surveys and Closely Spaced Borings (by Nick Hudyma, ...)

Combining Surface and Downhole Geophysical Methods to Identify Karst Conditions in North-Central Iowa (by J. E. Wedekind, ...)

Complexities of Flood Mapping in a Sinkhole Area (by C. Warren Campbell, P.E.)

Conceptualization and Simulation of the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio Region, Texas (by R. J. Lindgren, ...)

Database Development and GIS Modeling to Develop a Karst Vulnerability Rating for I-66, Somerset to London, KY (by Michael A. Krokonko, ...)

Design and Construction of the Foundations for the Watauga Raw Water Intake Facility in Karstic Limestone near the City of Johnson City, TN (by Tony D. Canale, P.E., ...)

Detection of Three-Dimensional Voids in Karstic Ground (by Derek V. Morris, P.E., ...)

Development and Evolution of Epikarst in Mid-Continent US Carbonates (by Tony L. Cooley, P.E.)

Dye Tracing Sewage Lagoon Discharge in a Sandstone Karst, Askov, Minnesota (by Emmit Calvin Alexander, Jr., ...)

The Effectiveness of GPR in Sinkhole Investigations (by E. D. Zisman, P.E., ...)

Effects of Anthropogenic Modification of Karst Soil Texture on the Water Balance of ?Alta Murgia? (Apulia, Italy) (by F. Canora, ...)

Environmental Isotope Study on Recharge and Groundwater Residence Time in a covered Ordovician Carbonate Rock (by Zhiyuan Ma, ...)

Error and Technique in Fluorescent dye Tracing (by Chris Smart)

Essential Elements of Estimating Engineering Properties of Karst for Foundation Design (by Ramanuja Chari Kannan, P.E., Fellow, ASCE)

Estimating Grout Quantities for Residential Repairs in Central Florida Karst (by Larry D. Madrid, P.E., ...)

Evaluation of Groundwater Residence Time in a Karstic Aquifer Using Environmental Tracers: Roswell Artesian Basin, New Mexico (by Lewis Land)

Experience of Regional Karst Hazard and Risk Assessment in Russia (by A. L. Ragozin, ...)

Experimental Study of Physical Models for Sinkhole Collapses in Wuhan, China (by Mingtang Lei, ...)

Fractal Scaling of Secondary Porosity in Karstic Exposures of the Edwards Aquifer (by Robert E. Mace, ...)

The Geological Characteristics of Buried Karst and Its Impact on Foundations in Hong Kong, China (by Steve H. M. Chan, ...)

Geophysical Identification of Evaporite Dissolution Structures Beneath a Highway Alignment (by M. L. Rucker, ...)

Geotechnical Analysis in Karst: The Interaction between Engineers and Hydrogeologists (by R. C. Bachus, P.E.)

The Gray Fossil Site: A Spectacular Example in Tennessee of Ancient Regolith Occurrences in Carbonate Terranes, Valley and Ridge Subpovince, South Appalachians U.S.A. (by G. Michael Clark, ...)

Ground-Water Basin Catchment Delineation by Bye Tracing, Water Table Mapping, Cave Mapping, and Geophysical Techniques: Bowling Green Kentucky (by Nicholas C. Crawford)

Groundwater Flow in the Edwards Aquifer: Comparison of Groundwater Modeling and Dye Trace Results (by Brian A. Smith, ...)

Grouting Program to Stop Water Flow through Karstic Limestone: A Major Case History (by D. M. Maciolek)

Highway Widening in Karst (by M. Zia Islam, P.E., ...)

How Karst Features Affect Recharge? Implication for Estimating Recharge to the Edwards Aquifer (by Yun Huang, ...)

Hydrogeologic Investigation of Leakage through Sinkholes in the Bed of Lake Seminole to Springs Located Downstream from Jim Woodruff Dam (by Nicholas C. Crawford, ...)

The Hydrologic Function of the soil and Bedrock System at Upland Sinkholes in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone of South-Central Texas (by A. L. Lindley)

An Integrated Geophysical Approach for a Karst Characterization of the Marshall Space Flight Center (by Lynn Yuhr, ...)

Integrated Geophysical Surveys Applied to Karstic Studies Over Transmission Lines in San Antonio, Texas (by Mustafa Saribudak, ...)

Judge Dillon and Karst: Limitations on Local Regulation of Karst Hazards (by Jesse J. Richardson, Jr.)

Karst Groundwater Resource and Advantages of its Utilization in the Shaanbei Energy Base in Shaanxi Province, China (by Yaoguo Wu, ...)

Karst Hydrogeology and the Nature of Reality Revisited: Philosophical Musings of a Less Frustrated Curmudgeon (by Emmit Calvin Alexander, Jr.)

Karst in Appalachia ? A Tangled Zone: Projects with Cave-Sized Voids and Sinkholes (by Clay Griffin, ...)

Karstic Features of Gachsaran Evaporites in the Region of Ramhormoz, Khuzestan Province, in Southwest Iran (by Arash Barjasteh)

Large Perennial Springs of Kentucky: Their Identification, Base Flow, Catchment, and Classification (by Joseph A. Ray, ...)

Large Plot Tracing of Subsurface Flow in the Edwards Aquifer Epikarst (by P. I. Taucer, ...)
Lithology as a Predictive Tool of Conduit Morphology and Hydrology in Environmental Impact Assessments (by George Veni)

Metadata Development for a Multi-State Karst Feature Database (by Yongli Gao, ...)

Micropiling in Karstic Rock: New CMFF Foundation Solution Applied at the Sanita Factory (by Marc Ballouz)

Modeling Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer Using MODFLOW-DCM (by Alexander Y. Sun, ...)

Multi-Level Monitoring Well Completion Technologies and Their Applicability in Karst Dolomite (by Todd Kafka, ...)

National-Scale Risk Assessment of sinkhole Hazard in China (by Xiaozhen Jiang, ...)

New Applications of Differential Electrical Resistivity Tomography and Time Domain Reflectometry to Modeling Infiltration and Soil Moisture in Agricultural Sinkholes (by B. F. Schwartz, ...)

Non-Regulatory Approaches to Development on Karst (by Jesse J. Richardson, Jr., ...)

PA State Route 33 Over Bushkill Creek: Structure Failure and Replacement in an Active Sinkhole Environment (by Kerry W. Petrasic, P.E.)

Quantifying Recharge via Fractures in an Ashe Juniper Dominated Karst Landscape (by Lucas Gregory, ...)

Quantitative Groundwater Tracing and Effective Numerical Modeling in Karst: An Example from the Woodville Karst Plain of North Florida (by Todd R. Kincaid, ...)

Radial Groundwater Flow at Landfills in Karst (by J. E. Smith)

Residual Potential Mapping of Contaminant Transport Pathways in Karst Formations of Southern Texas (by D. Glaser, ...)

Resolving Sinkhole Issues: A State Government Perspective (by Sharon A. Hill)

Shallow Groundwater and DNAPL Movement within Slightly Dipping Limestone, Southwestern Kentucky (by Ralph O. Ewers, ...)

Sinkhole Case Study ? Is it or Isn?t it a Sinkhole? (by E. D. Zisman, P.E.)

Sinkhole Occurrence and Changes in Stream Morphology: An Example from the Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania (by William E. Kochanov)

Site Characterization and Geotechnical Roadway Design over Karst: Interstate 70, Frederick County, Maryland (by Walter G. Kutschke, P.E., ...)

Soil Stabilization of the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer Relief Tunnel (by Jeffrey J. Bean, P.E., ...)

Some New Approaches to Assessment of Collapse Risks in Covered Karsts (by Vladimir Tolmachev, ...)

Spectral Deconvolution and Quantification of Natural Organic Material and Fluorescent Tracer Dyes (by Scott C. Alexander)

Springshed Mapping in Support of Watershed Management (by Jeffrey A. Green, ...)

Sustainable Utilization of Karst Groundwater in Feicheng Basin, Shandong Province, China (by Yunfeng Li, ...)

Transport of Colloidal and Solute Tracers in Three Different Types of Alpine Karst Aquifers ? Examples from Southern Germany and Slovenia (by N. Göppert, ...)

Use of the Cone Penetration Test for Geotechnical Site Characterization in Clay-Mantled Karst (by T. C. Siegel, ...)

The Utility of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry in Monitoring Sinkhole Subsidence: Subsidence of the Devil?s Throat Sinkhole Area (Nevada, USA) (by Rana A. Al-Fares)

Void Evolution in Soluble Rocks Beneath Dams Under Limited Flow Condition (by Emmanuel S. Pepprah, ...)


Sinkhole Stabilization Design by Engineered Graded Filters, 2006,
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Prochaska Adam B. ,
With increasing urban sprawl, developments are often forced to be located in areas that are geologically unfavorable. In karstic regions, these unfavorable areas would include locations that are susceptible to sinkholes. This paper provides a simple design procedure for one of the available sinkhole stabilization methods: a granular filter, a concrete slab with a filtered drain, and a rock drain to bridge across bedrock fissures. A hypothetical yet realistic example problem is worked through to illustrate the design process. Although a general sinkhole stabilization process has been outlined in this paper, each sinkhole is geologically unique and must be analyzed on an individual basis

Karst and Early Fracture Networks in Carbonates, Turks and Caicos Islands, British West Indies, 2007,
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Guidry Sean A. , Grasmueck Mark, Carpenter Daniel G. , Gombos Andrew M. Jr. , Bachtel Steven L. , Viggiano David A. ,
Historically, studies of Quaternary carbonates have not adequately addressed the influence of early fracture networks on diagenesis. Because of this lack of detail, understanding and predicting fracture-related diagenetic heterogeneities and preferential fluid flow pathways in ancient carbonate successions is particularly challenging. The Pleistocene oolitic grainstones of the Caicos platform provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate the relative importance of fractures on early diagenetic alteration styles, and are a suitable analog for subsurface carbonate reservoirs. Detailed analyses of fractures (e.g., orientation, aperture, spacing, fill material) from Caicos outcrops combined with high-resolution, three-dimensional ground-penetrating radar (3D GPR), assisted in exploring the causality and distribution of fractures and relationship to karst. Four models were evaluated to explain the observed distribution of dolines: (1) gravitational, fractured-margin controlled, (2) tectonic-fracture controlled, (3) antecedent-topography controlled, and (4) a hybrid model. Based on observations of numerous fractures (n = 306) on the western Caicos platform, early fractures are abundant and dominantly margin-parallel. These fracture networks are well established in limestones prior to mineralogical stabilization, thereby indicating that diagenetic heterogeneities evolve very early in carbonate diagenesis. The spatial distribution of dolines on Providenciales is likely the result of a complex interplay between the antecedent topography, margin-parallel fracture systems, and meteoric fluids. Resultant diagenetic alteration is far more complicated than simple, unconfined, meteoric lenses associated with topographic highs. Any attempts to model early diagenesis in carbonates should not dismiss the role of fractures as diagenetic facilitators and diagenetic anisotropy templates

CAVE SEDIMENTS FROM THE POSTOJNSKAPLANINSKA CAVE SYSTEM (SLOVENIA): EVIDENCE OF MULTI-PHASE EVOLUTION IN EPIPHREATIC ZONE, 2008,
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Zupan Hajna N. , Pruner P. , Mihevc A. , Schnabl P. , BosÁ, K P.

The Postojnska jama–Planinska jama cave system and number of smaller adjacent caves are developed in the Postojnski kras. These caves are located between two dextral strike-slip fault zones oriented in the Dinaric direction. The caves contain lithologically diversified cave fill, ranging from speleothems to allogenic fluvial sediments. The allogenic clastic material is derived from a single source, Eocene siliciclastics of the Pivka Basin. Small differences in mineral/petrologic composition between the sediments can be attributed to different degrees of weathering in the catchment area and homogenization of source sediments. Thick sequences of fine-grained laminated sediments, deposited from suspension are common. The depositional environment was mostly calm, but not completely stagnant. Such a sedimentary environment can be described as cave lacustrine, with deposition from pulsed flow. The homogeneity of the palaeomagnetic data suggests rapid deposition by a number of short-lived single-flood events over a few thousand years. This depositional style was favourable for recording of short-lived excursions in the palaeomagnetic field. The sediments were originally not expected to be older than Middle Quaternary in age (i.e. about 0.4 Ma). Later numerical dating (Th/U and ESR) indicated ages older than 0.53 ka. New palaeomagnetic data from selected sedimentary profiles within the cave system detected normal polarization in much of the profiles studied. Reverse polarized magnetozones, interpreted mostly as short- lived excursions of magnetic field, were detected in only a few places. Therefore, we interpreted most of the sediments as being younger than 0.78 Ma, belonging to different depositional phases within the Brunhes chron. Palaeomagnetic properties of two profiles in caves intersected by the artificial tunnel between Postojnska jama and Črna jama had reverse polarized magnetozones and of sediments in Zguba jama, may indicate an age much greater than 0.78 Ma. The cave system has evolved over a long period of time, governed by the functioning of Planinsko polje in the relation to the evolution of the resurgence area in Ljubljana Moor further to the east. General stabilization of the hydrological system with low hydraulic head led to the evolution of caves in epiphreatic and paragenetic conditions over a long time-span. Individual cave segments or passages were completely filled and exhumed several times during the evolution of the cave. Alternation of depositional and erosional phases may be connected with changing conditions within the cave system, the functioning of the resurgence area, collapse, climatic change, tectonic movement and the intrinsic mechanisms of contact karst.


On the essence of karst, 2010,
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Klimchouk, O. B. , Andreychouk, V. N.

The long-lasting uncertainty with the central for karstology notion of karst hinders synthesis of knowledge and the development of a theoretical basis of this scientific discipline. This paper analyses the essence of karst, based on generalization of the modern ideas about regularities of the origin and evolution of conduit permeability in soluble rocks, viewed in the light of ideas of synergetics and non-equilibrium thermodynamics of I.P.Prigogine regarding self-organization in open systems and formation of ordered dissipative structures.

The presence of soluble rocks in the sedimentary environment determines a phenomena of self-organization of the flow structure, which brings the water-rock system into a new capacity-state, namely karstic. The property of self-organization of this geosystem realizes via specific (speleogenetic) mechanism of permeability development, which action radically changes (organizes in a special manner) the structure and functioning of the flow system.

The mechanism of self-organization of flow and of the formation of the karst geosystem (speleogenesis) includes: 1) early speleogenesis, positive feedback between flow and the rate of enlargement of initial flow paths (revealing of proto-conduits), 2) speleogenetic initiation: a cascade breakthroughs of proto-conduits to the condition of rapid dissolution kinetics, with accelerated growth of initiated conduits, hydrodynamic competition, respective destabilization and reorganization of the flow pattern and change in boundary conditions, and, 3) speleogenetic development: stabilization of the system at dynamic equilibrium at the expense of increased energy exchange with the environment, and further growth of conduits. As a result of this specific evolution the geosystem acquires new, karstic, capacity and more complex of organization, with the establishment of one more level of permeability, the most contrast one.

The notion of karst is derived from the essence of progressive evolution of the geosystem containing permeable soluble rocks, driven by water exchange and speleogenetic mechanism of self-organization of the permeability structure. Regressive evolution of the karst geosystem includes processes of gravitational destruction and various accumulations, which lead to fragmentation and demolition of relict structures of karst permeability. Based on this new approach to definition of the notion of karst, criteria of distinction between proper karst and similar but not identical phenomena (merokarst, pseudokarst) are discussed.


Palaeoenvironmental forcing during the MiddleUpper Palaeolithic transition in central-western Portugal, 2010,
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Aubry Thierry, Dimuccio Luca A. , Almeida Miguel, Neves Maria J. , Angelucci Diego E. , Cunha Lcio

Geoarchaeological analysis of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic record preserved in cave, rock-shelter and open-air sites in the northern sector of the Meso-Cenozoic of the Western Iberian Peninsula margin (Portugal) reveals several disconformities (erosive unconformities), hiatuses and surface stabilization phases. A recurrent disconformity, dated to ca. 29,500–32,000 cal yr BP, in the time range of Heinrich event 3, must correspond to a main erosive event related to the impacts of climate change on the landscape, including a reduction in vegetation cover and altered precipitation patterns, with the consequent accelerated down-cutting by stream systems, slope reactivation and endokarstic reorganisation, causing the erosion of sediments and soils accumulated in cave, rock-shelter and open-air sites. These processes create a preservation bias that may explain why Early Upper Palaeolithic finds in primary deposition context remains exceptional in the carbonate areas of central-western Portugal, and possibly elsewhere in the other places of Iberia. The impact of such site formation processes must therefore be duly considered in interpretations of the current patchy and scarce archaeological record of the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in south-western Iberia.


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