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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 flow velocity is see specific discharge.?

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

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What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for cavity (Keyword) returned 177 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 177
Pile foundation problems in Kuala Lumpur Limestone, Malaysia, 1987,
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Bergado Dt, Selvanayagam An,
The geology and karstic nature of the Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) limestone are described in relation to pile foundation problems of heavily loaded structures. The presence of cavities, pinnacles, cantilever slabs, floating slabs and pockets of soft silty clay and loose sand in the underlying limestone bedrock presents formidable challenges to foundation engineers. Other problems include insufficient seating and damage to pile tips due to irregular and sloping bedrock surfaces. There is also the added difficulty of detecting the location and extent of cavities. Empirical design methods and local construction techniques have been successfully used such as: (i) bridging limestone cavities and slabs by filling with concrete, (ii) utilizing numerous small diameter high yield stress piles to distribute the loads and to withstand high driving stresses, (iii) filling cavities with concrete, and (iv) using micropiles to redistribute the loads. Two case histories are presented, consisting of an access ramp and a tall building. In each of these case histories, the soil investigation methods, the pile bearing capacity calculations, the selection of pile types, the pile load tests, the pile driving criteria, and construction problems are outlined and discussed. The pile foundation used consisted of H-section, high yield stress, 355 x 368 mm, driven steel piles with capacities of 750 kN to 1280 kN for the access ramp structures and the same H-section steel piles with pile capacities of 965 kN to 1070 kN for the tall building

Natural and artificial cavities as ground engineering hazards, 1987,
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Culshaw Mg, Waltham Ac,
The occurrences of natural and artificial cavities are reviewed and their causes are assessed. Natural cavities are found principally in carbonate rocks and the processes of sinkhole formation are described. Solution cavities in non-carbonate rocks and cavities in insoluble rocks are also considered. Extraction methods for coal, metalliferous minerals and salts are described in relation to the creation of underground cavities. An outline procedure for locating cavities emphasizes the importance of the desk study in this type of investigation and the difficulty of proving the absence of cavities beneath a site

The use of geophysical surveying methods in the detection of natural cavities and mineshafts, 1987,
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Mccann D. M. , Jackson P. D. , Culshaw M. G. ,
The use of geophysical methods for the location of cavities and mineshafts is reviewed in relation to engineering problems at the site investigation stage. Their success is limited by the resolution and penetration achieved by the particular method applied in a given situation. It is shown that no one single geophysical method will provide the answer to all the problems associated with cavity location but considerable improvement can be achieved by the application of several methods to a given problem. It is suggested that for most standard geophysical methods it is possible to detect a cavity whose depth of burial is less than twice its effective diameter. The concept of effective diameter is shown to be of considerable importance since the presence of the cavity or mineshaft does affect the physical properties of the surrounding rock mass and, hence, gives rise to a far larger anomalous zone than that produced by the cavity on its own

Land subsidence in the AI-Dahr residential area in Kuwait: a case history study, 1990,
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Airifaiy Ia,
Four cylindrical sinkholes occurred between April 1988 and June 1989 in a residential area located 27 km south of Kuwait City. The physiographic and geological conditions of their development and the methods of survey followed to detect potential subsurface cavities in the area are discussed. The major sinkhole is 15 m in diameter and 31 m deep; the others are a few metres in size. A mechanism of migrating sinkholes is suggested, where the upper elastic sediments have been moved down into cavities of the underlying Dammam Limestone. Such movement could have been triggered by garden irrigation and urbanization. A conceptual model is introduced to explain the mechanism of this subsidence. Microgravity techniques were applied using a La Coste Model-D gravimeter to detect areas of subsurface weakness. Negative anomalies in the order of 80 microgals were recorded and considered to indicate underground cavities or zones of contrasted mass-deficiencies representing high risk areas. Moderate anomalies were also recorded and attributed to poor compaction of the ground prior to construction

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Arakel Av,
Quaternary calcrete, silcrete and gypcrete duricrusts in Karinga Creek drainage system, central Australia, contain abundant late-stage diagnetic features. These indicate repeated episodes of dissolution, precipitation and mobilization of duricrust components in the landscape, following the initial development of the duricrust mantle. 'Mature' duricrust profiles incorporate assemblages of diagnostic textural features and fabrics that clearly indicate the extent of karstification during the past 27 000 years. Diagenetic features in the duricrusts permit recognition of the stages involved in vadose modifications of compositional, textural and morphological features and, hence, assessment of the impact of karst dissolution, precipitation and mobilization of duricrust components under prevailing environmental conditions. At landscape level, the continued development of secondary porosity-permeability zones in topographically elevated areas, and maintenance of effective topographic gradients for soil creep are considered essential for redistribution of duricrust components and lateral and vertical extension of karst features within the Quaternary duricrust mantle. Although developing over a comparatively short span of time, late-stage modification of the Quaternary duricrusts has important implications for evolution of Quaternary landscapes and distribution of groundwater discharge-recharge patterns. Accordingly, differential dissolution and reprecipitation within the duricrust profiles have progressively given way to development of karst solution pipes and cavities, with the latter now acting as effective conduits for recharge of local aquifers in the region

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Gammage Rb, Dudney Cs, Wilson Dl, Saultz Rj, Bauer Bc,
Subterranean networks of cavities and fissures can present circulatory systems facilitating convective and advective transport of radon-bearing air. Evidence points to aerostatic pressure differentials being the principal driving force for subterranean transport of radon in some hilly limestone terrains of the southern Appalachians; differences between the underground and outside air temperatures, and the concomitant differences in air density, appear to be the dominant factor in producing the differences in aerostatic pressure. Examples are presented of houses experiencing elevated indoor levels as a consequence of being built on top of and apparently communicating with such subterranean systems. The location of a house near the upper or lower end of a subterranean circulatory system can result in amplification of indoor radon levels in winter or summer, respectively. These phenomena have been studied in and around houses located in the hilly karst areas of Huntsville, AL, and Oak Ridge, TN

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Jones B. ,
Caymanite is a laminated, multicoloured (white, red, black) dolostone that fills or partly fills cavities in the Bluff Formation of the Cayman Islands. The first phase of caymanite formation occurred after deposition, lithification, and karsting of the Oligocene Cayman Member. The second phase of caymanite formation occurred after joints had developed in the Middle Miocene Pedro Castle Member. Caymanite deposition predated dolomitization of the Bluff Formation 2-5 Ma ago. Caymanite is formed of mudstones, wackestone, packstones, and grainstones. Allochems include foraminifera, red algae, gastropods, bivalves, and grains of microcrystalline dolostone. Sedimentary structures include planar laminations, graded bedding, mound-shaped laminations, desiccation cracks, and geopetal fabrics. Original depositional dips ranged from 0 to 60-degrees. Although caymanite originated as a limestone, dolomitization did not destroy the original sedimentary fabrics or structures. The sediments that formed caymanite were derived from shallow offshore lagoons, swamps, and possibly brackish-water ponds. Pigmentation of the red and black laminae can be related to precipitates formed of Mn, Fe, Al, Ni, Ti, P, K, Si, and Ca, which occur in the intercrystalline pores. These elements may have been derived from terra rossa, which occurs on the weathered surface of the Bluff Formation. Caymanite colours were inherited from the original limestone. Stratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence shows that sedimentation was episodic and that the sediment source changed with time. Available evidence suggests that caymanite originated from sediments transported by storms onto a highly permeable karst terrain. The water with its sediment load then drained into the subsurface through joints and fissures. The depth to which these waters penetrated was controlled by the length of the interconnected cavity system. Upon entering cavities, sedimentation was controlled by a complex set of variables

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Platt N. H. , Wright V. P. ,
Palustrine carbonates are shallow fresh-water deposits showing evidence of subaqueous deposition and subaerial exposure. These facies are common in the geological record. The intensity of modification is highly variable depending on the climate and the length of emergence. Palustrine limestones have previously been interpreted as marginal lacustrine deposits from fluctuating, low-salinity carbonate lakes, but several problems remain with existing facies models: 1) palustrine carbonates possess a lacustrine biota but commonly display fabrics similar to those of calcretes and peritidal carbonates; 2) the co-occurrence of calcrete horizons and karst-like cavities is somewhat unusual and appears to indicate contemporaneous carbonate precipitation and dissolution in the vadose zone; 3) the dominance of gray colors indicates water-saturation, apparently inconsistent with the evidence for strong desiccation overprint; 4) profundal lake deposits are generally absent from palustrine sequences, and sublittoral facies commonly make up only a small proportion of total thicknesses; 5) no good modem analogue has been identified for the palustrine environment. Analogy with the Florida Everglades suggests a re-interpretation of palustrine limestones, not as pedogenically modified lake margin facies but as the deposits of extensive, very shallow carbonate marshes. The distribution of environments in the Everglades is determined by the local hydrology, reflecting the control of seasonal water-level fluctuations and topography. Climate and topography were the main controls on deposition of ancient palustrine carbonates. As in peritidal sequences, aggradational cycles are capped by a range of lithologies (evaporites, desiccation and microkarst breccias, calcretes, lignite or coal horizons etc.), permitting interpretation of the climate. Careful analysis of lateral facies variations may permit reconstruction of subtle topography. Consideration of the Florida Everglades as a modem analogue for the palustrine environment has suggested the development of an exposure index for fresh-water carbonates

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Jones B. ,
Caves, fossil mouldic cavities, sinkholes and solution-widened joints are common in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members of the Bluff Formation (Oligocene Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac because they have been subjected to repeated periods of karst development over the last 30 million years. Many voids contain a diverse array of sediments and/or precipitates derived from marine or terrestrial environs, mineral aerosols, and groundwater. Exogenic sediment was transported to the cavities by oceanic storm waves, transgressive seas, runoff following tropical rain storms and/or in groundwater. At least three periods of deposition were responsible for the occlusion of voids in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Voids in the Cayman Member were initially filled or partly filled during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. This was terminated with the deposition of the Pedro Castle Member in the Middle Miocene. Subsequent exposure led to further karst development and void-filling sedimentation in both the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Speleothems are notably absent. The void-filling deposits formed during these two periods, which were predominantly marine in origin, were pervasively dolomitized along with the host rock 2 5 million years ago. The third period of void-filling deposition. after dolomitization of the Bluff Formation, produced limestone, various types of breccia, terra rossa, speleothemic calcite and terrestrial oncoids. Most of these deposits formed since the Sangamon highstand 125 000 years ago. Voids in the present day karst are commonly filled or partly filled with unconsolidated sediments. Study of the Bluff Formation of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac shows that karst terrains on isolated oceanic islands are characterized by complex successions of void-filling deposits that include speleothems and a variety of sediment types. The heterogenetic nature of these void-filling deposits is related to changes in sea level and climatic conditions through time

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Drogue C, Bidaux P,
Spectacular towers (average 130 m high) are to be seen in the Lijiang plain near Guilin in middle and upper Devonian limestone forming a downthrown structural panel surrounded by the high relief of a cockpit karst. The limestone was fractured by at least three Triassic and Tertiary tectonic episodes. Statistical analysis of the altitudes of tower summits shows that they are distributed according to a log-normal law with a well marked mode at 250-280 m. This mode is very similar to that of the depression altitudes of the cockpit karst. It was deduced that tower summits and cockpit bottoms show that there was an ancient, relatively flat surface which was the basic level for flow in the surrounding karstic relief (water table at ground level). Fall in this ground water caused preferential karstic breakdown in very fractured zones, leaving the stronger blocks. This subsidence must have taken place in stages, as is shown by Pliocene and lower Quaternary fossil cavities at various altitudes of the towers. Observation of fracturing in the field, in aerial photographs and satellite images show that the edges of the towers are mainly transverse faults with sub-vertical planes

Some Coastal Landforms in Aeolian Calcarenite, Flinders Island, Bass Strait, 1992,
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Kiernan, Kevin

The development of solutional landforms in Pleistocene calcarenite on Flinders Is. (Tasmania) is described - particularly at Cave Bay and Fotheringate Bay. Radiometric dating of speleothems indicate that the cavity in which it formed was in existence during the late Last Glacial Stage and was invaded by the sea during the Holocene.

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Fischer Ja, Fischer Jj, Greene Rw,
To minimize costs in conventional roadway design, as much low or valley areas as possible are utilized. In many areas of the eastern United States, these valleys are filled with carbonate rocks. Excavation is used to minimize grades-this removes protective overburden or rock cover over cavities; fill also is used to minimize grades-this can increase loads on marginally stable soil arches or rock cavity roofs. Surface water runoff is directed toward low areas-the low areas are likely zones of weakness or solutioning, thereby increasing the potential for sinkhole development and providing an opportunity for groundwater contamination, and remediation usually consists of blindly filling rock cavities, thus either channeling the still-contaminated surface flows someplace else or perhaps eliminating useful ground water recharge conduits. The authors suggest that the key to proper design, construction, and remediation for roadways planned in karst is to understand the geologic and hydrogeologic setting of the route(s) or locale, perform true geotechnical engineering design, and remediate with an understanding of the overall engineering geologic, hydrogeologic, and environmental picture

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.

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Kendall C. G. S. , Sadd J. L. , Alsharhan A. ,
Marine carbonate cements, which are superficially like travertines from meteoric caves, are coating and binding some intertidal sedimentary rock surfaces occurring in coastal Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, (UAE). Near Jebel Dhana these surficial cements can be up to 3 cm thick and envelope beach rock surfaces and fossils. They are also present both as thin coats and a fracture-fill cement in the intertidal hard grounds associated with the Khor Al Bazam algal flats. The thickness, microscopic characteristics, and morphology of the marine cement coatings from Jebel Dhana indicates incremental deposition of aragonite in conjunction with traces of sulfate minerals. Most of these cement coatings are micritic, but the layers which encrust the hard grounds from the algae flat of the Khor al Bazam have a more radial and fibrous micro-structure and are composed solely of aragonite. The stable isotopic composition of coatings from Jebel Dhana (delta(18)O = .35, delta(13)C = .00) falls within the compositional range for modem marine non skeletal aragonite and suggests that the marine travertine-like cements precipitate from the agitated slightly hypersaline Arabian Gulf sea water during repeated cycles of exposure, evaporation and immersion. Similar cement coatings and microfabrics are present in the tepee structured and brecciated sediments of the Guadalupe Mountains (Permian) and the Italian Alps (Triassic), in Holocene algal head cements from the Great Salt Lace, and in similar Tertiary algal heads in the Green River Formation of the western US. The petrographic similarity of these ancient ''flow stone'' like cements with Recent hypersaline marine cement coatings suggests that high rates of carbonate cementation and hypersaline conditions contribute to tepee formation and cavity fill

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Panno S. V. , Wiebel C. P. , Heigold P. C. , Reed P. C. ,
Three regolith-collapse sinkholes formed near the Dongola Unit School and the Pentecostal Church in the southern Illinois village of Dongola (Union County) during the spring of 1993. The sinkholes appeared over a three-month period that coincided with development of a new municipal well. The new well was drilled through clay-rich, valley-fill sediment into karstified limestone bedrock. The piezometric surface of the limestone aquifer is above land surface, indicating the presence of an upward hydraulic gradient in the valley and that the valley fill is acting as a confining unit. Pumping during development of the well lowered the piezometric surface of the limestone aquifer to an elevation below the base of the valley fill. It is hypothesized that drainage of water from the sediments, the resulting loss of hydrostatic pressure and buoyant force in overlying sediments, increased intergranular pressure, and the initiation of groundwater flow toward the well resulted in rapid sediment transport, subsurface erosion, and collapse of the valley-fill sediment. The sinkholes follow an approximately east west alignment, which is consistent with one of the two dominant alignments of passages of nearby joint-controlled caves. A constant electrode-separation resistivity survey of the school playground was conducted to locate areas that might contain incipient sinkholes. The survey revealed a positive resistivity anomaly trending N75E in the southern part of the study area. The anomaly is linear, between 5 and 10 m wide. and its trend either intersects or is immediately adjacent to the three sinkholes. The anomaly is interpreted to be a series of pumping-induced cavities in the valley-fill sediments that formed over a preexisting crevice in the karstified bedrock limestone

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