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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 cave system is 1. an underground network of passages, chambers, or other cavities. 2. the caves in a given area related to each other hydrologically, whether continuous or discontinuous from a single opening [10]. synonyms: (french.) reseau souterrain; (german.) hohlensystem; (greek.) speleothes systema, thiction; (italian.) sistema carsico sotterraneo; (russian.) sistema podzemnih pescher; (spanish.) sistema de cavidades; (turkish.) magara sistemi, serisi; (yugoslavian.) pecinski (spiljski) sistem, amski sistem. see also cave; cave group; cave series; cavern.?

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 flooding (Keyword) returned 110 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 110
Secondary sympatric occurrence of sibling species of subterranean shrimps in the Karst., 1990,
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Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Matthaeis Elvira De, La Rosa Giuseppe, Mattoccia Marco, Sbordoni Valerio
Allozyme variation at 32 gene loci was studied in cave dwelling shrimps of the genus Troglocaris (fam. Atyidae). Populations were collected from several caves and wells belonging to different drainage systems in the Karst areas of NE Italy. Results suggest the existence of two sympatric, genetically distinct, biological species (provisionally indicated as species A and B in the T. anophthalmus complex) in the samples collected at the Duino Well, Sagrado and Comarie caves (Nei's D = 0.209). Samples from Gradisca and Aurisina are represented by only one (A) or the other (B) of the two species, respectively. Two remaining eastern populations from the Rosandra Valley also proved to be monospecific. However, they posses fixed alternative alleles markedly different from both species A and B suggesting that these two populations may belong to a third sibling species, C (A vs. C, D=0.346; B vs. C, D=0.146). These data are discussed in relation to allopatric speciation of cave dwelling shrimp species, flooding periods of subterranean waters and the role of cave organisms as markers of this process.

GENERAL CENOZOIC EVOLUTION OF THE MALDIVES CARBONATE SYSTEM (EQUATORIAL INDIAN-OCEAN), 1992,
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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

Flooding of Sinking Creek, Garretts Spring karst drainage basin, Jessamine and Woodford counties, Kentucky, USA, 1993,
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Currens Jc, Graham Cdr,

HYDROLOGICAL EXPLANATION OF THE FLOW IN KARST - EXAMPLE OF THE CRNOJEVICA SPRING, 1993,
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Bonacci O, Zivaljevic R,
This paper deals with various methods of solving the complex problems of the hydrological transformation of rainfall into runoff in karst terrains. As an example of a typical karst catchment, the Crnojevica spring, located in deep Dinaric karst, is used to illustrate, explain and solve several hydrological problems in karst. The introduction deals with the geographical, geological and meteorological factors which conditioned a specific system of surface and underground flows, typical for karst terrains. The paper also explains some basic activities related to the identification of such a system. Special attention has been paid to the karst terrain of the Cetinje polje and its flooding, which occurred in February 1986. This flood initiated numerous intensive investigations which made it possible to define the catchment area of Crnojevica spring and the volume of the underground karst reservoir

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.


Emplacement and preservation of vertebrates in caves and fissures, 1994,
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Simms Michael J. ,
The sediments filling underground cavities and open fissures represent a major source of fossil vertebrate remains. The significance of such sites is disproportionate to the relatively small volume of sediment which they contain, and arises from the enhanced preservation, compared with surface sites, of both bones and sediments and the operation of one or more concentrative processes. Isolation of vertebrate material from temperature and humidity changes, scavenging and soil organisms greatly increases their preservation potential. Three main types of concentrative mechanism can be recognized: where the animals lived and died in that environment (biotic autochthonous); where the animal remains were transported into that environment by some biotic agency, such as a predator (biotic allochthonouns); and where the animal remains were introduced into that environment as a result of some abiotic process, such as flooding (abiotic allochthonous). The precise mechanism operating in a particular case may be deduced from a consideration of faunal composition, taphonomic criteria and geomorphological and sedimentological contexts, with each concentrative process being characterized by a distinctive combination of these

Signification des remplissages des karsts de montagne, quelques cls lusage des splologues, 1995,
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Audra, P.
This paper is intended to cavers in order to help them identify the most significant mountain karst infillings. Carbonated varves sedimentation occurs during floodings in glacial environment. The varves block the deep parts of the networks. Pebbles sealings show a powerful erosion in the vadose zone, near glacial sinkholes. Gelifract spreadings are indicators of frost and snow action in periglacial environment. Reworked weathered rocks are the most ancient deposits, inherited from tertiary warm phases when karstification occurred under regolith covers. Their clearing is partly simultaneous with cave systems elaboration, in relation to the alpine uplift, during Pliocene. Speleothems are also warm or temperate climate indicators. Crystalline morphology reflects environmental characteristics, while their surface sight could have been smoothed during discharge reactivations. Finally, some infillings could have recorded neotectonic movements: broken speleothems, deformed clastic sediments, etc.

La crue du 18 mai 1994 au Trou qui Souffle (Vercors, France), 1995,
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Lismonde B. , Les_splos_grenoblois_du_c. A. F.
The syncline of Autrans--Maudre is located in Vercors, an alpine region of France. This karstic basin is drained by the resurgence of Goule Noire, located in the gorge of the Bourne River. The surface of this region is 80 km2 and the flow of Goule Noire in low water is 500 1/s. The stage of limestone is urgonian and senonian. The most important cave is the Trou qui Souffle (blowing cave). This cave is 40km long and 450m deep. Down, sumps stop the explorations. The water volume stocked in the phreatic passages between the cave and the spring is about 1,000,000 m3. The Trou qui Souffle has two great fossil galleries, the Franois gallery and the gallery of Easter. The water way of phreatic gallery is actually unknown. In may 1994, a very high rain of 155 mm in a day caused a great flooding. In the cave, the piezometric level went up 100 m over the normal level; 14km of passages are drowned. All the Franois fossil gallery are fill with water. On the contrary, the Gallery of Easter is dry remained. The analysis of this exceptio-nal phenomenon (of 50 years recurren-ce) shows that a very little passage exists between Trou qui Souffle and Goule Noire. The equivalent duct diameter is about 1,5 m. The Trou qui Souffle stocked a water volume of about 300 000 m3. So the karstic system atte-nuates the crest of floods and regula-rizes the flow of resurgence.

EARLY DEVELOPMENT OF KARST SYSTEMS .2. TURBULENT-FLOW, 1995,
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Howard A. D. , Groves C. G. ,
A simulation model developed to explore patterns of fracture enlargement within incipient limestone karst aquifers has been extended to turbulent flow. In contrast to the highly selective passage enlargement that occurs early in cave network development under laminar flow, the transition to turbulent flow results in more general passage enlargement, leading to maze networks when initial fractures are large and hydraulic gradients are high. These results support previously published hypotheses for the development of maze patterns, including formation within structural settings that have created initially large fractures or within flow systems periodically inundated by flooding. Maze development is also favored under turbulent flow when passages are entirely water filled, and where the groundwater flow system is long-lived. By contrast, branched patterns are most common when passages become free-surface subterranean streams, because depression of the piezometric surface along main passages, downcutting along main passages, and possible infilling with sediment of side passages limit the sharing of discharge among interconnected fractures or bedding planes that promote maze development

Distribution and morphology of sinkholes triggered by flooding following Tropical Storm Alberto at Albany, Georgia, USA., 1996,
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Hyatt J. A. , Jacobs P. M.

Palaeosecular variation observed in speleothems from western China and northern Spain, PhD thesis, 1996,
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Openshaw, S. J.

This study has produced records of the palaeosecular variation (PSV) of the earth's magnetic field from Speleothems from China and Spain. The ultimate aim of this project was to produce contemporaneous PSV records which would show that Speleothems accurately record ambient geomagnetic field behaviour. From Sichuan Province, China, five Speleothems were collected of which four were studied for their records of PSV. Eight Spanish Speleothems from the Cantabrian coast were collected but their weak magnetisation allowed only one record of PSV to be produced.
All speleothem sub-samples were weakly magnetised and had, on average, initial intensities of <100 x 10-8 Am2kg-1. Despite this, the majority of sub-samples were stable during stepwise alternating-field and thermal demagnetisation and each displayed a single component of magnetisation after removal of any secondary overprints. Rock magnetic experiments were hampered by low mineral concentrations but suggested that the remanences of each speleothem were carried by a mixture of multi and single-domain (titano-) magnetite and also by haematite present in significant quantities. The primary method of remanence acquisition appeared to be a depositional remanence sourced from flooding. This was corroborated by a linear relationship between sub-sample intensities and weight % acid insoluble detritus.
A selection of sub-samples from each speleothem were dated using uranium-thorium disequilibrium and alpha spectrometry. For the majority of sub-samples the low concentrations of uranium, high levels of detrital contamination and initially low chemical yields raised the associated dating inaccuracies above the quoted level for alpha spectrometry of 5-10%. Two Spanish Speleothems had high uranium concentrations and little, or no, detrital contamination. Percent age errors of these Speleothems ranged from 1 to 6%. Comprehensive experiments on the efficiencies of three electrodeposition methods were also undertaken. The most efficient method was found to be a modified version of the Hallstadius method (Hallstadius, 1984), which consistently achieved chemical yields between 40 and 90% for uranium and thorium.
In order to correct more analytically for the presence of detrital contamination, the leachate/leachate method of Schwarcz and Latham (1989) was tested. The maximum likelihood estimation data treatment technique (Ludwig and Titterington, 1994) was used to calculate dates from these analyses. Tests on Mexican speleothem SSJ2 gave excellent results allowing a revised dating scheme to be adopted. Tests on some sub-samples from Chinese Speleothems were generally unsuccessful due to analytical errors.
The isotope 210Pb was used to date the top surface of one speleothem. A constant growth rate was inferred which was significantly less than that calculated from the 230Th - 234U dating method. This was thought to be due to the former techniques inability to resolve growth rates of periods of less than 200 years.
Despite the dating errors associated with each speleothem the records of PSV compare well with each other and with contemporaneous records from China, Japan and also the UK (for the Spanish record). In addition. agreement with PSV data modelled from observatory records suggested that westward drift of the non-dipole geomagnetic field was predominant during the past 10ka.


Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the continental karst-hosted supergene manganese deposits in the western Rhodope massif, Macedonia, northern Greece, 1997,
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Nimfopoulos M. K. , Pattrick R. A. D. , Michailidis K. M. , Polya D. A. , Esson J. ,
Economic Mn-oxide ore deposits of commercial grade occur in the Rhodope massif near Kato Nevrokopi in the Drama region, Northern Greece. The Mn-oxide mineralization has developed by weathering of continental hypogene rhodochrosite-sulphide veins. The vein mineralization is confined by tectonic shear zones between marble and metapelites, extending laterally into the marble as tabular, pod or lenticular oreshoots (up to 50 m x 20 m x 5-10 m). Supergene oxidation of the hypogene mineralization led to the formation of in-situ residual Mn-oxide ore deposits, and secondary infills of Mn-oxide ore in embryonic and well developed karst cavities. Whole rock geochemical profiles across mineralized zones confirm the role of thrusts and faults as solution passageways and stress the importance of these structures in the development of hydrothermal and supergene mineralization at Kato Nevrokopi. Three zones an recognized in the insitu supergene veins: (A) a stable zone of oxidation, where immobile elements form (or substitute in) stable oxide mineral phases, and mobile elements are leached; (B) a transitional (active) zone in which element behavior is strongly influenced by seasonal fluctuations of the groundwater table and variations in pH-Eh conditions; and (C) a zone of permanent flooding, where variations in pH-Eh conditions are minimal. Zone (B) is considered as the source zone for the karst cavity mineralization. During weathering, meteoric waters, which were CO2-rich (P-CO2 similar to 10(-3.8) to 10(-1.4)) and oxygenated (fO(2) -10(-17) for malachite), percolated downward within the veins, causing breakdown and dissolution of sulfides and marble, and oxidation of rhodochrosite to Mn-oxides. Karat cavity formation was favored by the high permeability along thrust zones. Dissolved Mn2 was transported into karst cavities in reduced meteoric waters at the beginning of weathering (pH similar to 4-5), and as Mn(HCO3)(2) in slightly alkaline groundwaters during advanced weathering (pH similar to 6-8). Mn4? precipitation took place by fO(2) increase in ground waters, or pH increase by continuous hydrolysis and carbonate dissolution. In the well developed karst setting, some mobility of elements occurred during and after karst ore formation in the order Na>K>Mg>Sr>Mn>As>Zn>Ba>Al>Fe>Cu>Cd>Pb. (C) 1998 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petrolem. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Condensation Corrosion in Caves on Cayman Brac and Isla de Mona, 1998,
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Tarhulelips, R. F. A. , Ford, D. C.
Many speleothems in caves on Cayman Brac and Isla de Mona have suffered considerable dissolution. It is suggested that this is a consequence of condensation corrosion rather than of aqueous flooding of the entire cave. A program of temperature and relative humidity measurements during the rainy seasons showed that the entrance zones are areas of comparatively large diurnal variation where condensation from warm air onto cooler walls may occur. Artificial condensation was induced using ice bottles: chemical analysis of the condensation waters determined that they were generally undersaturated with respect to calcite and/or dolomite but that this changes over space and time. Gypsum tablets were suspended inside three sample caves on Cayman Brac and one on Isla de Mona for 16 and 13 months, respectively. At the end of this period, tablets close to the entrances and to the floor were found to have undergone considerable dissolution; this could only have been the result of condensation corrosion

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998,
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Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Unusual flooding in the Calernakm shaft (Alpes-maritimes, France) Origin and consequences of the phenomen on the deep drainage organisation, 1998,
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Audra Ph.
The Calernakm shaft is located in the Southern french Alps, near Nice It contains large galleries reaching -478 m deep During unusual high waters, the lower part floods over 100 m height The flooding is linked to a semi-dammed karst structure The galleries organisation proves that the karstification privileges subhorizontal conduits in the epiphreatic zone, without favouring any deep phreatic passages The origin of deep phreatic karsts is discussed

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