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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That epiphreas, epiphreatic zone is the zone in a cave system, immediately above the phreatic zone, affected morphologically and hydrologically by floods too large for the cave to absorb at once [10].?

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

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What is Karstbase?



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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for unconformities (Keyword) returned 41 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 41
Lateral Facies changes, Unconformities and Stratigraphic Reversals; their significance for Cave Sediment stratigraphy, 1984,
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Osborne R. A. L.

Regional dolomitization of subtidal shelf carbonates: Burlington and Keokuk Formations (Mississippian), Iowa and Illinois, 1987,
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Harris David C. , Meyers William J. ,
Cathodoluminescent petrography of crinoidal limestones and dolomites from the Mississippian (Osagean) Burlington and Keokuk Formations in Iowa and Illinois has revealed a complex diagenetic history of calcite cementation, dolomitization, chertification and compaction. Dolomite occurs abundantly in subtidal, open-marine facies throughout the study area. Three luminescently and chemically distinct generations of dolomite can be recognized regionally. Dolomite I, the oldest generation, is luminescent, thinly zoned, and occurs mainly as a replacement of lime mud. Dolomite II has dull red unzoned luminescence, and occurs mainly as a replacement of dolomite I rhombs. Dolomite III is non-luminescent, and occurs as a syntaxial cement on, and replacement of, older dolomite I and II rhombs. Petrography of these dolomite generations, integrating calcite cement stratigraphy, chertification and compaction histories has established the diagenetic sequence. Dolomites I and II pre-date all calcite cements, most chert, intergranular compaction and styloites. Dolomite III precipitation occurred within the calcite cement sequence, after all chert, and after at least some stylolitization. The stratigraphic limit of these dolomites to rocks older than the St Louis Limestone (Meramecian) suggests that dolomitization took place before or during a regional mid-Meramecian subaerial unconformity. A single dolomitization model cannot reasonably explain all three generations of dolomite in the Burlington and Keokuk limestones. Petrographic and geochemical characteristics coupled with timing constraints suggest that dolomite I formed in a sea water-fresh water mixing zone associated with a meteoric groundwater system established beneath the pre-St Louis unconformity. Dolomite II and III may have formed from externally sourced warm brines that replaced precursor dolomite at shallow burial depths. These models therefore suggest that the required Mg for dolomite I was derived mainly from sea water, whereas that for dolomites II and III was derived mainly from precursor Burlington--Keokuk dolomites through replacement or pressure solution

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Schneider W. , Geng A. Q. , Liu X. Z. ,
The lead-zinc ore deposits of the Siding-Gudan mineral subdistrict Guangxi are part of the large Nanling district of South China, and hosted in Devonian carbonate rocks. The ore bodies occur significantly along main faults and fault zones, and concentrate up to 300 meters above the Cambrian/Devonian unconformity. Connected with hydrothermal karst, size and volume of the ore bodies increase in proximity to this unconformity. Moving from the unaffected host rocks to the center of the ore bodies, four zones can be discriminated by the mineral assemblage (pyrite, sphalerite, galena) as well as by the degree of ordering, Ca/Mg, and Fe/Mn ratios of different dolomites. Homogenization temperatures range from 80-100-degrees-C (Presqu'ile dolomite) to 230-260-degrees-C (massive sphalerite). The sulfides reveal delta-S-34 = -20 to parts per thousand, and fluid inclusions display a salinity of 5-12 wt % equivalent NaCl. The diagenetic and hydrothermal history is similar to that of classic Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfide mineral deposits as, for example, Pine Point in Canada. Mineralization and remobilization of the sulfides took place during a wide time span from late Paleozoic through Mesozoic. Both processes are considered as an interaction of saline basinal brines ascended from the adjoining dewatering trough, and magmatic-hydrothermal fluids of several magmatic-tectonic events

The Ordovician St. George unconformity, Northern Appalachians; the relationship of plate convergence at the St. Lawrence Promontory to the Sauk/Tippecanoe Sequence boundary, 1991,
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Knight I. , James N. P. , Lane T. E. ,

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Pelechaty S. M. , James N. P. , Kerans C. , Grotzinger J. P. ,
A major palaeokarst erosion surface is developed within the middle Proterozoic Elu Basin, northwestern Canada. This palaeokarst is named the sub-Kanuyak unconformity and truncates the Parry Bay Formation, a sequence of shallow-marine dolostones that were deposited within a north-facing carbonate platform under a semi-arid climate. The sub-Kanuyak unconformity exhibits up to 90 m of local relief, and also formed under semi-arid conditions when Parry Bay dolostones were subaerially exposed during a relative sea-level drop of about 180 m. Caves and various karren developed within the meteoric vadose and phreatic zones. Their geometry, size and orientation were largely controlled by northwest- and northeast-trending antecedent joints, bedding, and lithology. Near-surface caves later collapsed forming valleys, and intervening towers or walls, and plains. Minor terra rossa formed on top of highs. Karstification was most pronounced in southern parts of Bathurst Inlet but decreased northward, probably reflecting varying lengths of exposure time along a north-dipping slope. The Kanuyak Formation is up to 65 m thick, and partially covers the underlying palaeokarst. It consists of six lithofacies: (i) breccia formed during collapse of caves, as reworked collapse breccia and regolith; (ii) conglomerate representing gravel-dominated braided-fluvial deposits; (iii) sandstone deposited as braided-fluvial and storm-dominated lacustrine deposits; (iv) interbedded sandstone, siltstone and mudstone of sheet flood origin; (v) dolostones formed from dolocretes and quiet-water lacustrine deposits; and (vi) red-beds representing intertidal-marine mudflat deposits. Rivers flowed toward the northwest and northeast within karst valleys and caves; lakes were also situated within valleys; marine mudflat sediments completely cover the palaeokarst to the north. A regional correlation of the sub-Kanuyak unconformity with the intra-Greenhorn Lakes disconformity within the Coppermine homocline suggests that similar styles of karstification occurred over an extensive region. The Elu Basin palaeokarst, however, was developed more landward, and was exposed for a longer period of time than the Coppermine homocline palaeokarst

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Aubert O, Droxler Aw,
Analyses and interpretation of an industrial multi-channel seismic grid, a 2.3 km-deep industrial well (NMA-1) and two ODP (Sites 715 and 716), have generated new insights into the evolution of the Maldives carbonate system, Equatorial Indian Ocean. The present physiography of the Maldives Archipelago, a double chain of atolls delineating an internal basin, corresponds only to the latest phase of a long and dynamic evolution, far more complex than the simple vertical build-up of reef caps on top of thermally subsiding volcanic edifices. Through the Cenozoic evolution of the Maldives carbonate system, distinct phases of vertical growth (aggradation), exposure, regional or local drowning, and recovery of the shallow banks by lateral growth (progradation) have been recognized. The volcanic basement underlying the Maldives Archipelago is interpreted to be part of a volcanic ridge generated by the northern drift of the Indian plate on top of the hotspot of the island of Reunion. The volcanic basement recovered at well NMA-1 and ODP Site 715 has been radiometrically dated as 57.2 1.8 Ma (late Paleocene) by 40Ar-39Ar. Seismic and magnetic data indicate that this volcanic basement has been affected by a series of NNE-SSW trending subvertical faults, possibly associated with an early Eocene strike-slip motion along an old transform zone. The structural topography of the volcanic basement apprears to have dictated the initial geometry of the Eocene and early Oligocene Maldives carbonate system. Biostratigraphic analyses of samples, recovered by drilling in Site 715 and exploration well NMA-1, show that the Maldives shallow carbonate system was initiated during the early Eocene on top of what were originally subaerial volcanic edifices. The Eocene shallow carbonate sequence, directly overlying the volcanic basement at NMA-1, is dolomitized and remains neritic in nature, suggesting low subsidence rates until the early Oligocene. During this first phase of the Maldives carbonate system evolution, shallow carbonate facies aggraded on top of basement highs and thick deep-water periplatform sediments were deposited in some central seaways, precursors of the current wider internal basins. In the middle Oligocene, a plate reorganization of the equatorial Indian Ocean resulted in the segmentation of the hotspot trace and the spreading of the Maldives away from the transform zone. This plate reorganization resulted in increasing subsidence rates at NMA-1, interpreted to be associated with thermal cooling of the volcanic basement underlying the Maldives carbonate system. This middle Oligocene event also coincides with a regional irregular topographic surface, considered to represent a karst surface produced by a major low-stand. Deep-water carbonate facies, as seen in cuttings from NMA-1, overlie the shallow-water facies beneath the karst surface which can, therefore, be interpreted as a drowning unconformity. In the late Oligocene, following this regional deepening event, one single central basin developed, wider than its Eocene counterparts, and the current intraplatform basin was established. Since the early to middle Miocene, the shallow carbonate facies underwent a stage of local recovery by progradation of neritic environments towards the central basin. The simultaneous onset in the early middle Miocene of the monsoonal wind regime may explain the development of bidirectional slope progradations in the Maldives. During the late Miocene and the early Pliocene, several carbonate banks were locally drowned, whereas others (i.e. Male atoll) display well-developed lateral growth through margin progradations during the same interval. Differential carbonate productivity among the atolls could explain these diverse bank responses. High-frequency glacialeustatic sea-level fluctuations in the late Pliocene and Pleistocene resulted in periodic intervals of bank exposure and flooding, and developed the present-day physiography of atolls, with numerous faros along their rims and within their lagoons

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Smith T. M. , Dorobek S. L. ,
The Lower Mississippian Mission Canyon Formation of central to southwestern Montana was deposited under dominantly semiarid to arid climatic conditions during Osagean to early Meramecian times. Following deposition, a pronounced climatic shift to more humid conditions occurred during middle Meramecian times. This climatic change is indicated by extensive, post-depositional karst fabrics and in the stable isotopic composition of early, meteoric calcite cements and diagenetically altered sediments. Early meteoric calcite cement in Mission Canyon limestones is generally nonluminescent and fills intergranular and fenestral porosity. Petrographic data indicate that this cement formed during intermittent subaerial exposure of the Mission Canyon platform during Osagean times. This initial generation of meteoric calcite cement has deltaO-18 values from -8.1 to -2.6 parts per thousand PDB. These data, and the oxygen isotopic values from nonluminescent skeletal grains and micrite in host limestone indicate that Osagean meteoric water may have had deltaO-18 values as low as -6.0 parts per thousand SMOW. A second generation of petrographically similar, but isotopically distinct, calcite cement fills biomolds and porosity within solution-collapse breccias in the Mission Canyon Formation. This cement generation postdates earlier nonluminescent Osagean calcite cement and is volumetrically most abundant near the top of the Mission Canyon Formation. DeltaO-18 values from these cements and from nonluminescent lime mudstone clasts and matrix in solution collapse breccias range from -13.8 to -8.2 parts per thousand PDB. These data indicate that Meramecian meteoric water may have had deltaO-18 values as low as - 12.0 parts per thousand. However, a higher-temperature burial overprint on the deltaO-18 values of the calcite cement cannot be ruled out. The more positive deltaO-18 values of the Osagean calcite components probably indicate warm and arid conditions during short-term [10(4)(?) yr) subaerial exposure along intraformational sequence and parasequence boundaries. The more negative deltaO-18 values from Meramecian calcite components and the extensive karst associated with the post-Mission Canyon unconformity may have developed because of cooler and more humid climatic conditions and possible rain-out effects during middle Meramecian times. A dramatic shift towards cooler and more humid climatic conditions may be coincident with the onset of major continental glaciation in the Early Carboniferous. The post-Mission Canyon unconformity has been attributed to a major fall in sea level that may have glacio-eustatic origins. Growth of continental glaciers during a time of global cooling would have caused migration of polar fronts further toward the paleoequator. These polar fronts in turn, would have pushed moist, mid-latitude weather systems toward the paleoequator, resulting in cooler, more humid conditions in low-latitude settings during ''icehouse'' times

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Evans Mw, Snyder Sw, Hine Ac,
We collected 43 km of high resolution seismic reflection profiles from a 14.5-hectare lake in the central Florida sinkhole district and data from three adjacent boreholes to determine the relationship between falling lake levels and the underlying karst stratigraphy. The lake is separated from karstified Paleogene to early Neogene carbonates by 65-80 m of siliciclastic sands and clays. The carbonate and clastic strata include three aquifer systems separated by clay-confining units: a surficial aquifer system (fine to medium quartz sand in the upper 20-30 m), the 25-35 m thick intermediate aquifer system (in Neogene siliciclastics), and the highly permeable upper Floridan aquifer system in Paleogene to early Neogene limestones. Hydraulic connection between these aquifer systems is indicated by superjacent karst structures throughout the section. Collapse zones of up to 1000 m in diameter and > 50 m depth extend downward from a prominent Middle Miocene unconformity into Oligocene and Upper Eocene limestones. Smaller sinkholes (30-100 m diameter, 10-25 m depth) are present in Middle to Late Neogene clays, sands, and carbonates and extend downward to or below the Middle Miocene unconformity. Filled and open shafts (30-40 m diameter; 10-25 m depth) ring the lake margin and overlie subsurface karst features. The large collapse zones are localized along a northeast-southwest line in the northern ponds and disrupt or deform Neogene to Quaternary strata and at least 50 m of the underlying Paleogene carbonate rocks. The timing and vertical distribution of karst structures are used to formulate a four-stage model that emphasizes stratigraphic and hydrogeologic co-evolution. (1) Fracture-selective shallow karst features formed on Paleogene/early Neogene carbonates. (2) Widespread karstification was limited by deposition of Middle Miocene clays, but vertical karst propagation continued and was focused because of the topographic effects of antecedent karst. (3) Groundwater heads, increase with the deposition of thick sequences of clastics over the semipermeable clays during Middle and Late Neogene time. The higher water table and groundwater heads allowed the accumulation of acidic, organic-rich soils and chemically aggressive waters that percolated down to Paleogene carbonates via localized karst features. (4) After sufficient subsurface dissolution, the Paleogene carbonates collapsed, causing disruption and deformation of overlying strata. The seismic profiles document an episodic, vertically progressive karst that allows localized vertical leakage through the clay-confining units. The spatial and temporal karst distribution is a result of deposition of sediments with different permeabilities during high sea levels and enhanced karst dissolution during low sea levels. Recent decreases in the potentiometric elevation of the Floridan Aquifer System simulates a sea-level lowstand, suggesting that karst dissolution will increase in frequency and magnitude

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Jones B. , Hunter I. G. ,
The Cayman Unconformity, which separates the Pedro Castle Formation (Pliocene) from the underlying Cayman Formation (Miocene), is a sequence boundary that developed during the Messinian, when sea level was at a lowstand due to glaciation in the Southern Hemisphere. By the end of the Messinian, Grand Cayman was an atoll-like island that had an elevated peripheral rim that was up to 41 m above the central depression. The Cayman Formation contains paleocaves and paleosinkholes that were linked to the Cayman Unconformity. The topography on the Cayman Unconformity is attributed to erosional processes, because (1) there is no evidence of carbonates that formed by constructional processes (i.e., reefs, dunes) in the elevated peripheral rim, and (2) there is ample evidence of dissolutional features in the Cayman Formation. The topography developed on the interior of Grand Cayman during the Messinian was uneven. A deep, basin-like depression, with its base as much as 50 m below the peripheral rim, formed on the western part of the island. By comparison, the floor of the depression on the eastern part of the island was 20-30 m higher. The difference in the topography, which is a reflection of the amount of bedrock dissolution, suggests that the effective rainfall was highest over the western part of the island. The relief on the Cayman Unconformity and associated structures shows that base level during the Messinian karst development was at least 41 m below present-day sea level. This is also provides an estimate of the Messinian lowstand position because the base level in oceanic karst settings is usually controlled by sea level

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Palmer A. N. , Palmer M. V. ,
The Kaskaskia paleokarst, part of the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian unconformity in North America, is typified by sinkholes, fissures, and dissolution caves at and near the top of the Kaskaskia Sequence (Madison Limestone and equivalents) and is covered by basal Absaroka siliciclastics (Chesterian to Morrowan). In the Rocky Mountains and Black Hills of the northwestern U. S. A. it postdates earlier features produced by sulfate-carbonate interactions, including breccias, dissolution voids, bedrock alteration, and mineralization. Both the paleokarst and earlier features have been intersected by post-Laramide caves. Ore deposits, aquifers, and petroleum reservoirs in the region are also concentrated along both the paleokarst horizons and earlier sulfate-related features. Each phase of karst modified and preferentially followed the zones of porosity and structural weakness left by earlier phases, producing an interrelated complex of now-relict features. All should be considered together to explain the present aspect of the paleokarst

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Juhasz E. , Korpas L. , Balog A. ,
Platform carbonates of the Upper Triassic Dachstein Limestone in Naszaly Hill have been karstified extensively over the past 200 million years. They provide an excellent example of polyphase karstic diagenesis that is probably typical of many subaerially exposed carbonate sequences. Seven karstic phases are recognized in the area, each of which include polyphase karstic events. The first karst phase was associated with the Lofer cycles. Meteoric waters caused dissolution; enlarged fractures and cavities were filled by marine and/or vadose silts and cement. The second karst phase was caused by local tectonic movements. Bedding-plane-controlled phreatic caves were formed, and filled by silts. The third karst phase lasted from the end of the Triassic to the Eocene. This was a regional, multiphase karstic event related to younger composite unconformities. Bauxitic fill is the most characteristic product of this phase. The karst terrain reached its mature or senile stage with very little porosity. Narrow veins and floating rafts of white calcite marks karst phase 4, which resulted from hydrothermal activity associated with Palaeogene magmatism. The early Rupelian phase of Alpine uplift caused large-scale rejuvenation of the former karst terrain (karst phase 5). Subsequently Naszaly Hill was buried as an area of juvenile karst with significant porosity. A second period of hydrothermal activity in the area (karst phase 6) was induced by Miocene volcanism, which resulted in wide, pale green calcite veins. Finally karst phase 7 was of tectonic origin. Following the most recent, Miocene uplift of the Naszaly Hill, the carbonates have again become the site of vadose karst development

Geochemical models for the origin of macroscopic solution porosity in carbonate rocks, 1995,
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Palmer A. N.

Foreword, 1995,
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Budd A. D. , Saller A. H, Harris P. M.

3-D seismic evidence of the effects of carbonate karst collapse on overlying clastic stratigraphy and reservoir compartmentalization, 1996,
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Hardage B. A. , Carr D. L. , Lancaster D. E. , Simmons J. L. , Elphick R. Y. , Pendleton V. M. , Johns R. A. ,
A multidisciplinary team, composed of stratigraphers, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, and geophysicists, studied a portion of Boonsville gas field in the Fort Worth Basin of north-central Texas to determine how modern geophysical, geological, and engineering techniques can be combined to understand the mechanisms by which fluvio-deltaic depositional processes create reservoir compartmentalization in a low- to moderate-accommodation basin. An extensive database involving well logs: cores, production, and pressure data from more than 200 wells, 26 mi(2) (67 km(2)) of 3-D seismic data, vertical seismic profiles (VSPs), and checkshots was assembled to support this investigation. We found the mast Important geologic influence on stratigraphy and reservoir compartmentalization in this basin to be the existence of numerous karst collapse chimneys over the 26-mi(2) (67 km(2)) area covered by the 3-D seismic grid, These near-vertical karst collapses originated in, or near, the deep Ordovician-age Ellenburger carbonate section and created vertical chimneys extending as high as 2500 fl (610 m) above their point of origin causing significant disruptions in the overlying elastic strata. These karst disruptions lend to be circular in map view, having diameters ranging from approximately 500 ft (150 m) to as much as 3000 ft (915 m) in some cases. Within our study area, these karat features were spaced 2000 ft (610 m) to 6000 ft (1830 m) apart, on average. The tallest karst collapse zones reached into the Middle Pennsylvanian Strawn section, which is some 2500 ft (760 m) above the Ellenburger carbonate where the karst generation began. We used 3-D seismic imaging to show how these karst features affected the strata above the Ellenburger and how they have created a well-documented reservoir compartment in the Upper Caddo, an upper Atoka valley-fill sandstone that typically occurs 2000 ft (610 m) above the Ellenburger. By correlating these 3-D seismic images with outcrops of Ellenburger karat collapses, we document that the physical dimensions (height, diameter, cross-sectional area) of the seismic disruptions observed in the 3-D data equate to the karst dimensions seen in outcrops. We also document that this Ellenburger carbonate dissolution phenomenon extends over at least 500 mi (800 km), and by inference we suggest karst models like we describe here may occur in any basin that has a deep, relatively thick section of Paleozoic carbonates that underlie major unconformities

A stepped karst unconformity as an Early Silurian rocky shoreline in Guizhou Province (South China), 1996,
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Jiayu R. , Johnson M. E. ,
There succeeded by marine strata, karst unconformities signify a former rocky coastline. Such relationships may help sort out relative sea-level changes and aspects of local geography controlling facies distribution. An exceptional example of an early Silurian karst shore is well exposed near the village of Wudang in central Guizhou Province, near the capital city of Guiyang in South China. Here the Lower Silurian Kaochaitien Formation oversteps 63 m of paleotopographic relief in limestones belonging to the Llanvirn Guniutan Formation and Caradoc to early Ashgill Huanghuachong Formation (Ordovician). The corresponding rise in sea level took place coeval with tectonic uplift, as confirmed by a regionally diachronous relationship in the Ordovician-Silurian boundary across a 250 km track from central to northern Guizhou Province. The change in sea level also fits with a global rise of sea level in late Aeronian (later Llandovery, early Silurian) time. Borings of the ichnofossil, Trypanites, are reported from the karst surface of the Huanghuachong Formation and Silurian strata hh sink holes in this unit over 5 m deep. The Silurian karst shoreline near Wudang is integrated with other regional data to construct a paleogeographic map covering the northern half of Guizhou Province

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