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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

Speleology in Kazakhstan

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

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

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

The deepest terrestrial animal

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

Caves - landscapes without light

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

Did you know?

That rimstone barrage, rimstone barrier, rimstone dam is a wall-shaped deposit that impounds pools of water in caves, around springs, and in cascades of streams saturated with calcium bicarbonate [10]. synonym: (french.) gour. see also rimstone; rimstone pool.?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 near-surface (Keyword) returned 31 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 31
Silicification of riphean carbonate sediments (Yurubcha-Tokhomo zone, Siberian Craton), 2005,
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Kuznetsov V. G. , Skobeleva N. M. ,
Types and lateral and vertical distribution of silicification in Riphean (largely dolomitic) rocks of the Yurubcha-Tokhomo zone of the Siberian Craton are discussed. It is shown that quartz and pyroclastic material in sediments were subjected to intense dissolution in a highly alkaline Riphean basin with the release of silica. Rapid and abrupt decrease in alkalinity during hiatus and desiccation periods resulted in the precipitation of dissolved silica and silicification of near-surface sediments. Lateral distribution of silicification was controlled by the redistribution of silica during the pre-Vendian hiatus, when surface waters were filtered through a carbonate massif with the simultaneous karst formation and silica dissolution. In the water discharge area, secondary silica was precipitated owing to changes in pH values and other physicochemical conditions

Modeling the influence of epikarst evolution on karst aquifer genesis: A time-variant recharge boundary condition for joint karst-epikarst development, 2005,
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Bauer S, Liedl R, Sauter M,
The epikarst, a zone of increased weathering near the land surface, determines the distribution of recharge to a karst aquifer in both space and time. It links climatic and near-surface geological conditions with the karstification of a limestone aquifer, defining both the hydraulic and the chemical boundary conditions for the development of the karst system. Realistic modeling of the epikarst is therefore a prerequisite for the simulation of karst aquifer genesis. A conceptual model of the joint karst-epikarst evolution is presented in this paper. An epikarst module is developed and implemented in a numerical continuum-discrete conduit flow model for karst genesis, which accounts for the joint evolution of the epikarst and the main karstic conduit network under unconfined conditions. The influence of epikarst genesis on the evolution of the underlying karst aquifer is investigated in four scenarios. It is found that only the interaction of epikarst and initial heterogeneity in the underlying carbonate rock leads to the development of a dendritic cave system. If no heterogeneity in the initial conduit network or in the recharge distribution is included, maze-type caves develop

First 226Ra-210Pb dating of a young speleothem, 2006,
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Condomines M, Rihs S,
Whereas the method based on the decrease of excess 210Pb has already been used to date young (210Pb -- A new technique, Geophys. Res. Lett. 20 (1993) 603-606.]), this paper presents the first dating of a speleothem through the 226Ra-210Pb method. Dating of a young hydrothermal stalagmite from the Mt Cornadore cave (St Nectaire, French Massif Central) was made possible by the high 226Ra and negligible 210Pb contents of such carbonates, formed by precipitation from CO2-rich thermal waters. (210Pb/226Ra) ratios regularly increase with depth along the axis of the 33[no-break space]cm long stalagmite. The age-depth relationship can be interpreted by two main phases of growth, with high but variable axial growth rates of 5.3[no-break space]mm/yr from 1909 to 1967, and 2.6[no-break space]mm/yr from 1967 to 1989 (alternatively, the oldest phase can be subdivided in three episodes with growth rates varying from 2 to 7[no-break space]mm/yr). Thin-section examination reveals the presence of numerous laminae, indicating infra-annual variations. We suggest that this fine layered structure might reflect short-term fluctuations in drip waters, possibly induced by near-surface mixing between thermal and ground waters, and ultimately linked to the pluviometry. A detailed examination of this laminated structure combined with 226Ra-210Pb dating could thus provide a high-resolution record of local paleohydrological fluctuations

Eis- und Lufttemperaturmessungen im Schnberg-Hhlensystem (1626/300) und Modellvorstellungen ber den Eiszyklus, 2008,
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Wimmer, M.
Currently 34 entrances to the Schnberg- Hhlensystem are known, giving rise to a complex air ventilation pattern. Ice is present in some near-surface parts of the cave and its volume and geometry varies significantly. A significant reduction of ice was observed between 1970 und 2002, and hitherto unknown entrances were released by the melting process. Measurements of ice profiles started in 1994 and the air temperature has been logged since 1995. These data showed that pits of the Raucherkarhhle extending to high altitude and connections to the Feuertal-Hhlensystem are responsible for the main supply with cold air. The presence of ice is subject to medium- to long-term variations depending on the changing circulation of air between the different cave levels which themselves are forced by the periodic opening and closing of pits by near-surface ice. In stark contrast to the current trend of atmospheric warming in the Alps the cave has been experiencing gradual cooling during the past years. Pits critical for cold air supply are currently open and cold winter air can reach the level of the Kleiner Rundgang, wherethe ice started to grow following an ice-free period. In the Eisstadion, the temperature is currently falling and the ice also began to grow after a long-lasting melting period due to positive year-around. A model is presented in which the apparently cyclic opening and closing of entrances control the complex ventilation pattern and hence the high extent of ice dynamics in this cave between 1965 to 2007.

Origin and evolution of a salty gypsum/anhydrite karst spring: the case of Poiano (Northern Apennines, Italy), 2010,
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Chiesi Mauro, De Waele Jo, Forti Paolo

Poiano is the largest karst spring of the Emilia Romagna region (northern Italy). It drains an aquifer of unique properties composed of anhydrite with halite lenses at depth and gypsum at the surface (both with high NaCl content). Hydrogeological research has been undertaken using automatically recorded hourly data on temperature, electrical conductivity, and water level. Water feeding the Poiano spring is restricted within the gypsum/anhydrite outcrop between the Lucola, Sologno and Secchia rivers.

Karstification in the Upper Secchia Valley only concerns the gypsum rocks mainly present along the border and in the shallower parts of the sulfate outcrop and does not appear to occur at depth. Data strongly support the hypothesis that the salt content in the spring water derives from active halokinetic movements. For the first time, the fundamental hydrogeological importance of the anhydrite part inside the sulfate rocks is demonstrated. If gypsum prevails over anhydrite the karst drainage network can extend deep into the rocks following a network of fractures and fissures. Instead, if in the deep parts of the aquifer anhydrite prevails over gypsum, the karst evolution cannot take place at depth and the structure of the underground drainage paths only follows near-surface paths in gypsum. 


Determining Geophysical Properties of a Near-Surface Cave through Integrated Microgravity Vertical Gradient and Electrical Resistivity Tomography, 2011,
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Gambetta M. , Armadillo E. , Carmisciano C. , Stefanelli P. , Cocchi L. , Caratori Tontini F.

Vertical-gradient microgravity and electrical-resistivity tomography geophysical surveys were performed over a shallow cave in the Italian Armetta Mountain karst area, close to the Liguria-Piedmont watershed. The aim of this study was to test the geophysical response of a known shallow cave. The shallowest portion of the cave exhibits narrow passages and, at about 30 meters below the entrance, a fossil meander linking two large chambers, the target of the geophysical survey. The integrated results of the two surveys show a clear geophysical response to the cave. The surveys exhibited high resistivity values and a negative gravity anomaly over the large cave passages. This work confirms the ability of these geophysical techniques to give the precise location of the voids, even in complex environments. The application of these techniques can be successful for site surveying where the presence of hollows may be expected.


Mapping permeability over the surface of the Earth, 2011,
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Gleeson T. , Smith L. , Moosdorf N. , Hartmann J. , Durr H. H. , Manning A. H. , Van Beek L. P. H. , Jellinek A. M.

Permeability, the ease of fluid flow through porous rocks and soils, is a fundamental but often poorly quantified component in the analysis of regional-scale water fluxes. Permeability is difficult to quantify because it varies over more than 13 orders of magnitude and is heterogeneous and dependent on flow direction. Indeed, at the regional scale, maps of permeability only exist for soil to depths of 1–2 m. Here we use an extensive compilation of results from hydrogeologic models to show that regional-scale (>5 km) permeability of consolidated and unconsolidated geologic units below soil horizons (hydrolithologies) can be characterized in a statistically meaningful way. The representative permeabilities of these hydrolithologies are used to map the distribution of near-surface (on the order of 100 m depth) permeability globally and over North America. The distribution of each hydrolithology is generally scale independent. The near-surface mean permeability is of the order of 5 x 10-14 m2. The results provide the first global picture of near-surface permeability and will be of particular value for evaluating global water resources and modeling the influence of climate-surface-subsurface interactions on global climate change.

 

Stratigraphic and technological evidence from the middle palaeolithic-Chtelperronian-Aurignacian record at the Bordes-Fitte rockshelter (Roches dAbilly site, Central France) , 2012,
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Aubry Thierry, Dimuccio Luca A. , Almeida Miguel, Buylaert Janpieter, Fontana Laure, Higham Thomas, Liard Morgane, Murray Andrew S. , Neves Maria Joo, Peyrouse Jeanbaptiste, Walter Bertrand

This paper presents a geoarchaeological study of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic (Châtelperronian, Aurignacian and Solutrean) occupations preserved at the Bordes-Fitte rockshelter in Central France. The lithostratigraphic sequence is composed of near-surface sedimentary facies with vertical and lateral variations, in a context dominated by run-off and gravitational sedimentary processes. Field description and micromorphological analysis permit us to reconstruct several episodes of sediment slope-wash and endokarst dynamics, with hiatuses and erosional phases. The archaeostratigraphic succession includes Châtelperronian artefacts, inter-stratified between Middle Palaeolithic and Aurignacian occupations. Systematic refitting and spatial analysis reveal that the Châtelperronian point production and flake blanks retouched into denticulates, all recovered in the same stratigraphic unit, result from distinct and successive occupations and are not a ‘transitional’ Middle to Upper Palaeolithic assemblage. The ages obtained by 14C place the Châtelperronian occupation in the 41–48 ka cal BP (calibrated thousands of years before present) interval and are consistent with the quartz optically stimulated luminescence age of 39 ± 2 ka and feldspar infra-red stimulated luminescence age of 45 ± 2 ka of the sediments. The Bordes-Fitte rockshelter sequence represents an important contribution to the debate about the characterization and timing of the Châtelperronian, as well as its affinities to earlier and later industries.


Speleogenesis, Hypogenic, 2012,
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Klimchouk, Alexander

Recognition of the cave development at depths below the near-surface environment, largely during mesogenesis by processes not directly related to the surface, signifies a major paradigm shift in karst science, previously overwhelmingly dominated by the epigene concepts and models. Such caves form by upwelling waters of meteoric and deeper origins driven by hydrostatic pressure and other sources of energy. They occur widely through the upper part of the Earth’s crust, although become available for direct study only when shifted to the shallow subsurface during uplift and erosion, or through mines or boreholes. Hypogenic caves form in different rocks in a wide range of geological and tectonic settings and include some of the largest known caves in the world. Hypogene karst is one of the fundamental categories of karst, at least of equal importance with more familiar epigenic karst. The more comprehensive approach to karst that emerges implies that speleogenesis should be viewed in time scales of the host rock life, in the context of its diagenetic evolution and the evolution of basin-scale groundwater circulation regimes and systems in response to tectonic processes and geomorphic development. The rapidly evolving deeper understanding of hypogene speleogenesis has broad implications for many applied fields such as prospecting and characterization of hydrocarbon reservoirs and mineral resources, groundwater management, geological engineering, and related activities.


Candidate Cave Entrances on Mars, 2012,
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Cushing, G. E.

 

This paper presents newly discovered candidate cave entrances into Martian near-surface lava tubes, volcano-tectonic fracture systems, and pit craters and describes their characteristics and exploration possibilities. These candidates are all collapse features that occur either intermittently along laterally continuous trench-like depressions or in the floors of sheer-walled atypical pit craters. As viewed from orbit, locations of most candidates are visibly consistent with known terrestrial features such as tube-fed lava flows, volcano-tectonic fractures, and pit craters, each of which forms by mechanisms that can produce caves. Although we cannot determine subsurface extents of the Martian features discussed here, some may continue unimpeded for many kilometers if terrestrial examples are indeed analogous. The features presented here were identified in images acquired by the Mars Odyssey’s Thermal Emission Imaging System visiblewavelength camera, and by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Context Camera. Select candidates have since been targeted by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. Martian caves are promising potential sites for future human habitation and astrobiology investigations; understanding their characteristics is critical for long-term mission planning and for developing the necessary exploration technologies


Possible relation between the sudden sinking of river Ika and the sequence of weak earthquakes in September-October 2010 near Ika vas (central Slovenia), 2012,
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Gosar A. , Brenč, Ič, M.

During heavy rainfalls between September 17 and 19, 2010 large part of Slovenia has suffered extensive floods that last for nearly two weeks. For the river Iška record discharge of 59.3 m3/s was measured on September 19 on the gauging station in Iška vas located at the southern rim of Ljubljansko barje. In the first hour of September 21, 2010 two weak earthquakes (ML=0.6 and ML=0.2) occurred within one minute near Iška vas. They were felt by some inhabitants who reported also a rumbling noise (brontides). During the flood recession period, the water of river Iška started to sink into the gravely stream bed or rocky left banks and the gauging profile completely dried on September 23, day and a half after the first earthquake. Water reappeared again on September 25. In the period September 21 − October 4 additional seven weak earthquakes occurred in the same area. All earthquakes from this series occurred at or near the surface and deviate in hypocentral depth from the seismicity pattern characteristic for the southern rim of Ljubljansko barje, which was analysed for comparison. The epicentres of the first two earthquakes are in good agreement with the location of the dried river bed. It is therefore probable that both phenomena are related. Analyses of seismograms have shown that it is not likely that the observed events are collapse earthquakes, but they are tectonic events. Although earthquakes were relatively weak, it seems that they could be accompanied by small near-surface tectonic movements, because they occurred at the position of a known fault. These movements are probably connected to the opening of pre-existing fissures in the karstified valley bottom, although the primary reason for sinking of the river is that high waters removed the clogged river bed that enables intensive sinking into the river bottom during the flood.


Possible relation between the sudden sinking of river Ika and the sequence of weak earthquakes in September-October 2010 near Ika vas (central Slovenia), 2012,
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Gosar Andrej, Brenč, Ič, Mihael

During heavy rainfalls between September 17 and 19, 2010 large part of Slovenia has suffered extensive floods that last for nearly two weeks. For the river Iška record discharge of 59.3 m3/s was measured on September 19 on the gauging station in Iška vas located at the southern rim of Ljubljansko barje. In the first hour of September 21, 2010 two weak earthquakes (ML=0.6 and ML=0.2) occurred within one minute near Iška vas. They were felt by some inhabitants who reported also a rumbling noise (brontides). During the flood recession period, the water of river Iška started to sink into the gravely stream bed or rocky left banks and the gauging profile completely dried on September 23, day and a half after the first earthquake. Water reappeared again on September 25. In the period September 21 − October 4 additional seven weak earthquakes occurred in the same area. All earthquakes from this series occurred at or near the surface and deviate in hypocentral depth from the seismicity pattern characteristic for the southern rim of Ljubljansko barje, which was analysed for comparison. The epicentres of the first two earthquakes are in good agreement with the location of the dried river bed. It is therefore probable that both phenomena are related. Analyses of seismograms have shown that it is not likely that the observed events are collapse earthquakes, but they are tectonic events. Although earthquakes were relatively weak, it seems that they could be accompanied by small near-surface tectonic movements, because they occurred at the position of a known fault. These movements are probably connected to the opening of pre-existing fissures in the karstified valley bottom, although the primary reason for sinking of the river is that high waters removed the clogged river bed that enables intensive sinking into the river bottom during the flood.

 

Karst landforms: scope and processes in the early twenty-first century, 2013,
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White W. B. , White E. L.

The study of karst landscapes over the past half-century has greatly expanded both the scope of the landform descriptions and the processes that form them. Near-surface karst (telogenetic and eogenetic) is formed by circulating meteoric waters within local watersheds. Near-surface karst is modified by other geomorphic processes, including fluvial action and glaciation. In addition, there are several varieties of deep-seated (hypogenetic) karst that have taken on increased importance


Marine seismic-reflection data from the southeastern Florida Platform: a case for hypogenic karst, 2013,
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Cunningham, Kevin J.

Recent acquisition of twenty marine seismic-reflection profiles suggests a hypogenic karst origin for the Key Biscayne sinkhole located on the seafloor of Miami Terrace at the southeastern part of Florida Platform. Analysis of the seismic-reflection data strongly suggest the submarine sinkhole was produced by dissolution and collapse of Plio(?)-Pleistocene age carbonate strata. A complex fault system that includes compres-sional reverse faults underlies the sinkhole, providing a physical system for the possible exchange of groundwater with the sinkhole. One seismic profile is suggestive of a mas-ter feeder pipe beneath the sinkhole. The feeder pipe is characterized by seismic-reflection configurations that resemble megabreccia and stratal collapse. The sinkhole is located at a depth of about 365 m below sea level. The record of sea-level change dur-ing the Plio(?)-Pleistocene and amount of subsidence of the Florida Platform during this span of time indicates that the sinkhole has always been submerged at a water depth of about 235 m or more. Thus, the near-surface epigenic karst paradigm can be ruled out. Possible hypogenic models for sinkhole formation include ascending fluids along the fault system, such as, dissolution related to the freshwater/saltwater mixing at a regional groundwater discharge site, or processes related to gases derived from gener-ation of hydrocarbons within deep Mesozoic strata. Hydrocarbon-related karstification provides several possible scenarios: (1) oxidation of deep oil-field derived hydrogen sulfide at or near the seafloor to form sulfuric acid, (2) reduction of Cretaceous or Paleocene anhydrite or both by oil-field methane to form hydrogen sulfide and later oxidation to form sulfuric acid, and (3) carbon-dioxide charged groundwater reacting to form carbonic acid. Further, anerobic microbes could form methane outside of a hy-drocarbon reservoir that ascends through anhydrite to form hydrogen sulfide and later oxidized to sulfuric acid.


HELIUM ISOTOPES AS INDICATOR OF CURRENT HYPOGENIC KARST DEVELOPMENT IN TAURIDS KARST REGION, TURKEY, 2014,
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Ozyurt N. N. , Bayari C. S.

Hypogenic karst development by means of the aggressiveness of hydrothermal fluids driven and fed by mantle heat and mass flux is a known phenomenon. However, in cases when hydrothermal fluid cools down upon thermal conduction in the near-surface environment and is diluted by near-surface cool groundwater, evidences of this phenomenon may be erased completely. Recent data on the isotopes of helium dissolved in cool karst groundwater samples collected from three different karst aquifers in Turkey suggest an apparent mass flux from mantle, as well as from the crust. In the cases considered, helium content from the mantle increases with the increasing age of groundwater. All cases are located nearby the suture zones which may be easing the upward heat and mass flux. Despite sampling difficulties and high analysis costs, helium isotopes dissolved in cool karst groundwater seem to be useful tool to detect the current hypogenesis at the depths of karst aquifers


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