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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 natural tunnel is a nearly horizontal cave open at both ends, generally fairly straight in direction and fairly uniform in cross section [10].?

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 landscape (Keyword) returned 335 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 335
Themes in Prehistory of the Nullarbor Caves, Semi-Arid Southern Australia, 1986,
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Davey, Adrian

The 200,000 square kilometre Nullarbor Plain is a largely and relatively inhospitable tract of semi-arid land on the southern coast of Australia. It is also one of the world's largest and probably oldest karst landscapes. It contains a substantial number of caves, some of them very large. The sheer size of the plain together with its lack of surface water have made it a powerful ecological, physical and psychological barrier to the dispersal of evolving plants and animals and to human trade, settlement and communications. Because the plain is otherwise easily perceived as featureless, the more obvious of the caves have played an unusually prominent part in human exploration and occupation of the region. Aboriginal prehistory of cave exploration and use extends over many millenia. Two themes are especially interesting: quarrying underground as one of the earliest, and the role of water and shade in an inhospitable environment as the most persistent. The advent of European, Afghan and other cultures on this part of the southern coastline during the last four centuries has diversified the relevant historic themes. Victorian British discovery and exploration is the first stage in modern recognition of the caves, although long after the region was first discovered. The next and perhaps most remarkable phase brings together developments in Australian aviation and the adaptation of a grounded mariner to the land and air. Eventually the action moves on to the development of organised speleology. Other sub-themes in human interactions with the caves in this large waterless area include what may turn out to be either art or vandalism. They also include attempted grand solutions to the problem of water, by improbable engineering, as well as adventures of tourism, recreation and science.


Le karst de Bourgogne, 1988,
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Delance, J. H.
THE KARST OF BURGONDY (France) - Karst of Burgundy is located between karst of Paris Basin, to which it is connected by its western and northern margins and karst of Jura. The burgundian karst forms an original entity in close relationship with the geological structure of the area, which had defined its distribution and density and the system's amplitudes. Karst of Burgundy develops in calcareous marine formations of Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous (chalk). The karstic landscapes are remarkable by their abundant dry valleys. Caves are characterised by their shallow depths (less than 100m) and the important spreading of the active systems. They can be graded into three types: mesokarstic, holokarstic and cutaneous caves. Deepest and greatest caves (up to 22km) are of holokarstic type. In Burgundy, the majority of caving range from Miocene to Pleistocene; cutaneous caves were only developed during cold phases of Quaternary. Fillings of caves are important, the most interesting fillings are Quaternary bone breccias, rich in paleontological and prehistoric data.

Australian desert landscapes, 1988,
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Mabbutt J. A. ,

Civil engineering difficulties in the karst of China, 1988,
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Waltham A. C. , Smart P. L. ,
Karst landscapes, developed by solutional erosion of massive limestones, are characterized by underground drainage and the development of closed depressions. In tropical areas, with high solution rates, long uninterrupted periods of erosion and a lack of glacial planation, the expansion and deepening of these closed depressions creates a rugged relief dominated by either conical hills or steeper-sided towers. The form of the cones and towers is a function of both the carbonate lithology and the erosional history; the towers develop only in massive, mechanically strong, compact limestones where erosional planation and tectonic uplift have kept pace over a long period of time (Smart et al 1986). These karst landscapes are characteristic of huge areas of southern China, largely in the provinces of Guangxi and Guizhou (Fig. 1) and the spectacular scenery of the limestone has often been represented in classical Chinese painting. They are now also becoming a major tourist attraction, with Guilin, in Guangxi, frequently visited by Westerners. These terrains do, however, pose serious difficulties to the civil engineer. Where relief is not great, or where rates of uplift have been low, corridors of flatter ground have often been created by lateral planation at the water table. These corridors may be lithologically or structurally controlled, and form obvious routes through the karst. Where the relief is higher and the regional water table is not intersected, coalescence of the depressions to form flatter ground is rare, and road and rail development is more problematic. In order to avoid excessive and ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Mangroves, Mountains and Munching Molluscs: The Evolution of a Tropical Coastline, 1988,
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Kiernan, Kevin

The highly scenic Andaman coast of peninsular Thailand is locally dominated by steep limestone hills and karst towers that rise from broad alluvial plains, from mangrove swamps or from the sea. The karst terrain stretches north and west across the Malay peninsula to the Gulf of Siam. Some of the variations in the style of this karst have resulted from lithological and structural factors. However, steepening of the slopes by marine erosion at times of formerly high sea levels has probably been important to the development of the most spectacular part of this landscape. Notches and caves cut in limestone towers up to 10-15m above present sea level may represent the maximum transgression of the Last Interglacial. Morphological evidence hints that former shorelines may now lie hundreds of metres above present sea level due to diastrophic movements during the late Cainozoic. However, this evidence is equivocal and it has been argued that similar landforms in neighboring parts of Malaysia may be the result of terrestrial planation processes that operated independent of sea level during the Pleistocene glacial stages.


The Geomorphology of the Jenolan Caves Area, 1988,
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Kiernan, Kevin

The Jenolan Caves occur in a small impounded fluviokarst developed in limestone of late Silurian age. This paper reviews present knowledge of the geomorphology of Jenolan. The surface and underground geomorphology has been strongly influenced by the lithology and structure of the limestone and the non-carbonate rocks that surround the karst. There is evidence in the present geomorphology of the inheritance of influences from palaeo landscapes. Abundant surficial and cave sediments reflect slope gradients and climatic conditions that have existed in the past. Despite the very limited size of the limestone outcrop there is a great variety in the karst, including many kilometres of underground passage and a range of cave morphologies and clastic and chemical sediments underground.


Le karst du massif Moucherotte / Pic Saint-Michel (Isre, Vercors), 1991,
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Audra, Ph.
The karst of Moucherotte/Pic Saint-Michel (Vercors, Isre, France) - The massif of Moucherotte-Pic Saint Michel is located in the northeastern corner of the Vercors, in the area of Lans-en-Vercors and Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte. As anywhere in Vercors, this area is strongly marked by a dense karst relief. It harbours underground systems. Recent dye tracings (respectively from Sierre shaft, Choucas shaft, and Ira's Hole) allowed to determinate precisely the boundary of the catchment of the source called Bruyant. This basin spreads out from the Moucherotte to the Pic Saint-Michel, thus including a surface of 12km2. This is confirmed through the water balance. Of the 1600mm of yearly rainfall, 70% is infiltrated toward the source of the Bruyant. The water is conveyed through a main drain, probably mostly vadose, at the base of the recumbent fold. The landscape is due to the Quaternary processes. The two great landslides of "col de l'Arc" and of "Peuil" date back to this time. The glaciers have sculptured huge "combes" where many caves open, ancient places where sub-glacial waters were swallowing. These sub-vertical caves (which can measure up to 300m deep) with shafts and meanders, flow through large horizontal galleries older than the Quaternary (Combe Oursire shaft, Vallier cave). These galleries, hidden away in this huge limestone mass, are the witnesses of an earlier and very elaborate subterranean drainage. This system is entirely different from our present drainage system.

Prsentation des rgions karstiques du Vietnam, 1991,
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Khang, Pham
Tropical karst of Vietnam - The main karstic region of Vietnam cover a total surface of 50,000 km2 and are to be found almost exclusively in North Vietnam, that is to say in 1/5 of the territory. They are situated in the distinct zone conditioned by the Tertiary and Quaternary phases. The largest zones are situated in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. The least karstified zone is the West and southwest of Hanoi. The flooded coastal region (Isle of Catba, Along Bay) belongs to the boarder of the subsidence zone of the Red River delta. Although the damp tropical monsoon climate has varied very little from the Neogene until today, the karstic landscapes and degrees of evolution differ in each area and can range from cone, pyramid, tower to pinnacle karsts.

IMPACT OF PAST SEDIMENT ECOLOGY ON ROCK FRACTURATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CURRENT ECOSYSTEMS (JURA, FRANCE), 1991,
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Gaiffe M, Bruckert S,
Differences in the fracture type of limestone rocks have resulted in the formation of several main plant soil ecosystems in the montane and subalpine zones of the Jura (800-1 700 m). The sites were on stable landscape with slope < 5%. Locations were chosen to reflect the variation in physical properties of the bedrock and lithic contact. The rock fractures (densities and size), the shape and size of the fragments and the hydraulic conductivities were described and analyzed to characterize the 3 main bedrocks in the area studied (table 1): 1), lapiaz, ie, large rock fragments separated from each other by wide fractures (figs 1-2), 'broken' rocks traversed by numerous fine fractures (fig 2-3), paving-stones crossed by infrequent narrow fractures (fig 3). The effects of rock fracturing on vegetation (table II) and soil formation were significant in reference to porosity and permeability relationships (figs 6-7). Under similar precipitation, meteoric waters flow through the soil and porosity is relative to fracture systems (figs 4, 5). The weathering of cobbles in the soil profiles and along the lithic contacts maintains different soil solution Ca levels and is an important variable in soil and ecosystem formation (table III). Regarding the regional orogenic phases and the tectonic origin of the fractures, we postulate that the different types of fracturation originated from the different chemical and mineralogic composition of the rocks. Significant differences exist in both the calcite and dolomite content, in the insoluble residue content (table IV) and in the percentage of organic matter of the carbonate-free residues (table V, fig 8). The results indicate that the differences in rock composition arose early at about the period of sedimentation. The origin of the differentiation might be due to the sedimentation conditions and environment (fig 9). It is concluded that the present-day plant soil ecosystems may be related to the marine sediment environments of the Jurassic period (fig 10)

EVOLUTION OF QUATERNARY DURICRUSTS IN KARINGA CREEK DRAINAGE SYSTEM, CENTRAL AUSTRALIAN GROUNDWATER DISCHARGE ZONE, 1991,
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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

Quaternary engineering geology, 1991,
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Fookes Pg,
The geological and geomorphological effects on the Earth's surface during the Quaternary have been both extensive and profound. An attempt has been made to simplify and summarize these effects by considering the principal agencies at work during the Quaternary: plate tectonics, rapidly rising sea levels, rapidly falling sea levels, rapidly cooling climates and rapidly warming climates. The resulting series of major glacial and interglacial episodes have had far-reaching consequences for the engineering characteristics of the Earth's surface. In attempting to summarize these major omissions will have been inevitable and errors will have occurred due to compression of the subject and its interpretation in a simplified manner. Table 2 summarizes the approach of the paper in itemising the principal Quaternary events, causes and effects, consequences to landscape and inferences to engineering. Each of the six events has been developed into larger tables and accompanied by some discussion and examples. The principal consequences of the events for engineering have been the production of glacial and periglacial soils,over large areas of the northern and southern hemispheres; changes in the sediment patterns on the coasts, the continental shelves and in river systems; and the development of weathering profiles of very variable type and distribution leading to development of in situ residual soils of many different engineering characteristics. The major shifts in climate associated with these events have led to migration of various surface forms which are now being exposed or covered by the present regime, leading to many active slope processes with potential instability for engineering projects and unexpected distribution of materials. The continuing events of plate tectonics which precedes the Quaternary by a long period of geological time explain the distribution of earthquake systems, growing coastlines and mountains, and the pattern of volcanic areas with their own suites of rock and soil of significance for the engineer. ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

DOUBLE FOURIER-SERIES ANALYSIS OF COCKPIT AND DOLINE KARST NEAR BROWNS TOWN, JAMAICA, 1991,
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Brook Ga, Hanson M,
Double Fourier series models of two doline and two cockpit landscapes in northern Jamaica, each 2 x 2 km in area, explained 92% and 90%, and 73% and 58% of the variance in the topographic data. The ten most significant waves accounted for 74% and 76%, and 61% and 58% of the variance in each model. The greater importance of frequency pairs of longer wavelength in the doline karst models suggests that there are fewer horizontally and vertically persistent bedrock fractures controlling topographic development in the doline areas than in the cockpit terrains-a fact confirmed by fracture-trace mapping. Frequency pair orientations and powers indicate that northwest- and northeast-trending fractures exert a major influence on topographic development in the cockpit terrains and that east-trending fractures are relatively more important in the doline areas. Further studies are needed to determine if Fourier models of the doline, cockpit, and tower karst styles differ in a consistent fashion and to find out to what extent these differences are related to the bedding, fracture, and relief characteristics of the karst bedrock

Morphometric analysis of dolines, 1992,
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Bondesan Aldino, Meneghel Mirco, Sauro Ugo
The doline is the most specific surface form of karst landscapes, which enables one to distinguish them from "normal" erosion landscapes shaped by surface water. From a morphodynamic point of view the doline constitutes an elementary hydrographic unit, comparable to a simple basin, which, with its system of slopes, conveys water to the absorbing points at the bottom into an underground network. The morphometric study of these karst landforms enables a quantitative analysis of karst environment. Comparisons of the various parameters may give unexpected results and lead to new hypotheses about the evolution and the dynamism of the karst "geo-ecosystem". All the main morphometric parameters of the dolines are listed and explained and a preliminary discussion about some methods of spatial analysis is developed. It is intended to give methodological suggestions about data sources, systems of measurement, and to stimulate some reflection on the choices of possible processing of morphometric variables and on the significance of statistical analysis applied to different parameters. After a brief review of some morphometric and spatial analyses made in the past by different authors, three different examples are presented, relative to karst areas of the Venetian Prealps (Cansiglio-Cavallo, Montello) and of the Carso di Trieste. From these few examples one can understand how to confront this complex subject and what kind of results the analysis of morphometric parameters may give. In interpreting the results it is evident that one must not forget the geological, geomorphological, pedological, vegetational and climatic context of the karst area.

DENUDATION CHRONOLOGY FROM CAVE AND RIVER TERRACE LEVELS - THE CASE OF THE BUCHAN KARST, SOUTHEASTERN AUSTRALIA, 1992,
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Webb J. A. , Fabel D. , Finlayson B. L. , Ellaway M. , Li S. , Spiertz H. P. ,
Detailed mapping of surface and underground karst features at Buchan, in eastern Victoria, has shown that the three river terraces along the Buchan River can be correlated with three levels of epiphreatic development in the nearby caves. Each level represents a stillstand in the denudational history of the area. Uranium series dating of speleothems and palaeomagnetic studies of cave sediments indicate that all three stillstands are more than 730 ka old. The periods of incision separating the stillstands were probably the result of active tectonic uplift. This contrasts with some northern parts of the Southeastern Highlands, which have been stable since the Eocene. The overall amount of incision and uplift at Buchan is small, indicating that the majority of scarp retreat in this section of the highlands must have occurred earlier. The denudation history of the Buchan area over the last 730 ka has seen only 2-3 m of incision, despite the major climatic and sea-level changes that have occurred in that time. Whereas most karst landscapes in the Northern Hemisphere have been extensively modified during the late Pleistocene, the Buchan karst was little affected, and its geomorphology has an older origin

MATHEMATICAL-MODELING OF CATCHMENT MORPHOLOGY IN THE KARST OF GUIZHOU, CHINA, 1992,
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Ming T. ,
This paper establishes statistical relationships describing the morphology of three contrasting drainage areas in the karst plateau of Guizhou. A landscape model proposed takes as its basis a two-tiered morphology: an upper tier of peaks and cols which maintains a dynamic equilibrium; and a lower tier defined by depression or valley bases which can evolve differentially in time and space. Thus equilibrium and evolutionary processes coexist in this type of karst landscape within the same timespan. The evlution of subcatchments is shown to be not necessarily the same as that of the total catchment because of tectonic factors

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