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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 intermittent stream, intermittent river is 1. a stream or river which flows only in direct response to precipitation or to intermittent discharge of a spring; not confined to karst areas, but not uncommon in them [20]. 2. a stream or river that flows at irregular intervals [16]. synonyms: (french.) cours d'eau intermittent; (german.) intermittierender flub, episodischer periodischer flub; (greek.) dialipon potamos; (italian.) torrente intermittente; (spanish.) corriente intermitente; (turkish.) kesintili akarsu; (yugoslavian.) susica, suvaja. contrast with interrupted river.?

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.
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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 fracture (Keyword) returned 530 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 530
POST JURASSIC BRITTLE TECTONICS OF THE HAMMAM ZRIBA MINE (NORTHEASTERN TUNISIA) AND RELATED KARST AND FLUORINE, BARYTINE AND CELESTITE OCCURRENCES IN CARBONATE ENVIRONMENTS, 1991,
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Melki F. , Zargouni F. ,
The Hammam Zriba mine is located in a lenticular horst structure, of varying width (0.3 to 1 km) and NNW-SSE strike over about 3 kms. The mineralization is strata-bound at the top of massive Portlandian limestones and is overlain by embedded Middle to Upper Campanian limestones with marl intercalations. This horst has formed during the late Jurassic as an emerged block bound by major faults that were remobilized later during various deformation stages. These facts are clearly documented by field observations and tectonic analysis essentially along the N160-N180 trending faults in the Portlandian lithofacies. These fractures have also controlled the palaeomorphological framework of the uppermost part of the Portlandian massive facies. The overlying Campanian unit exhibits onlap structures that rest on the irregular eroded karstified and mineralized surface which forms a screen surface for the upward channelized fluids and mineral formations in karst and graben. Fluids were apparently channelized by faults trending N070-N090 and N160-180, a few hundred metres long, that have facilitated karst, dissolution and mineral deposition during tectonic events

ORIGIN AND MORPHOLOGY OF LIMESTONE CAVES, 1991,
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Palmer A. N. ,
Limestone caves form along ground-water paths of greatest discharge and solutional aggressiveness. Flow routes that acquire increasing discharge accelerate in growth, while others languish with negligible growth. As discharge increases, a maximum rate of wall retreat is approached, typically about 0.01-0.1 cm/yr, determined by chemical kinetics but nearly unaffected by further increase in discharge. The time required to reach the maximum rate is nearly independent of kinetics and varies directly with flow distance and temperature and inversely with initial fracture width, discharge, gradient, and P(CO2). Most caves require 10(4) - 10(5) yr to reach traversable size. Their patterns depend on the mode of ground-water recharge. Sinkhole recharge forms branching caves with tributaries that join downstream as higher-order passages. Maze caves form where (1) steep gradients and great undersaturation allow many alternate paths to enlarge at similar rates or (2) discharge or renewal of undersaturation is uniform along many alternate routes. Flood water can form angular networks in fractured rock, anastomotic mazes along low-angle partings, or spongework where intergranular pores are dominant. Diffuse recharge also forms networks and spongework, often aided by mixing of chemically different waters. Ramiform caves, with sequential outward branches, are formed mainly by rising thermal or H2S-rich water. Dissolution rates in cooling water increase with discharge, CO2 content, temperature, and thermal gradient, but only at thermal gradients of more than 0.01-degrees-C/m can normal ground-water CO2 form caves without the aid of hypogenic acids or mixing. Artesian flow has no inherent tendency to form maze caves. Geologic structure and stratigraphy influence cave orientation and extent, but alone they do not determine branch-work versus maze character

FLOW PARAMETERS IN A SHALLOW CONDUIT-FLOW CARBONATE AQUIFER, INNER BLUEGRASS KARST REGION, KENTUCKY, USA, 1991,
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Thrailkill J. , Sullivan S. B. , Gouzie D. R. ,
In the carbonate aquifers which underlie most karst terrains, groundwater flow is through a dendritic system of solution conduits. In such aquifers, termed shallow conduit-flow aquifers. the methods used to mode) granular and fracture aquifers are not generally applicable. Investigations were conducted in the Inner Bluegrass Karst Region of central Kentucky with the objective of developing methods of modeling shallow conduit-flow aquifers as well as obtaining quantitative information on a specific portion of the aquifer to assist in its management for water supply purposes. In the Inner Bluegrass Karst Region, groundwater basins are developed. in each of which there is an integrated system of solution conduits which conducts recharge to a major spring. One of the largest of these groundwater basins feeds Royal Spring, which serves as the principal water supply for the town of Georgetown. The basin extends over 15 km to the southeast and most of its flow is furnished by underground diversions of Cane Run, a surface stream with headwaters near the center of the City of Lexington. The principal objectives of the field investigation were to determine discharges at the spring and travel times to the spring from discrete recharge points within the basin, termed swallets. The spring is ungaged. and an attempt was made to obtain a continuous discharge record by the dilution of dye introduced at a swallet. Comparison of the dye-dilution discharge record with stage discharges at the spring revealed substantial discrepancies which are believed to be caused by as much as five-sixths of the low-flow discharge from the upper portion of the basin bypassing the spring. The dye-dilution method, therefore, provided significant insights into the geometry of the conduit system of the groundwater basin although it proved unsatisfactory as a method of determining discharges at the spring. Analysis of the travel times and stage discharges provided information on the conduit geometry by modeling the flow as open-channel flow in a rectangular channel. Flow in the system is rapid, ranging from 140 to 590 m h-1. Although the flow rate increases with discharge, the relationship is not simple owing to substantial increases in conduit cross-sectional area at higher discharges. Flow is turbulent and subcritical under all conditions. The most surprising result was the very low depth of flow calculated; less than 17 cm at even the highest discharge. Although this must be considered an 'equivalent' depth, it is believed to indicate that active flow in shallow conduit-flow aquifers is generally in a thin zone just beneath the water table

LATE-STAGE DOLOMITIZATION OF THE LOWER ORDOVICIAN ELLENBURGER GROUP, WEST TEXAS, 1991,
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Kupecz J. A. , Land L. S. ,
Petrography of the Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group, both in deeply-buried subsurface cores and in outcrops which have never been deeply buried, documents five generations of dolomite, three generations of microquartz chert, and one generation of megaquartz. Regional periods of karstification serve to subdivide the dolomite into 'early-stage', which predates pre-Middle Ordovician karstification, and 'late-stage', which postdates pre-Middle Ordovician karstification and predates pre-Permian karstification. Approximately 10% of the dolomite in the Ellenburger Group is 'late-stage'. The earliest generation of late-stage dolomite, Dolomite-L1, is interpreted as a precursor to regional Dolomite-L2. L1 has been replaced by L2 and has similar trace element, O, C, and Sr isotopic signatures, and similar cathodoluminescence and backscattered electron images. It is possible to differentiate L1 from L2 only where cross-cutting relationships with chert are observed. Replacement Dolomite-L2 is associated with the grainstone, subarkose, and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic facies, and with karst breccias. The distribution of L2 is related to porosity and permeability which focused the flow of reactive fluids within the Ellenburger. Fluid inclusion data from megaquartz, interpreted to be cogenetic with Dolomite-L2, yield a mean temperature of homogenization of 85 6-degrees-C. On the basis of temperature/delta-O-18-water plots, temperatures of dolomitization ranged from approximately 60 to 110-degrees-C. Given estimates of maximum burial of the Ellenburger Group, these temperatures cannot be due to burial alone and are interpreted to be the result of migration of hot fluids into the area. A contour map of delta-O-18 from replacement Dolomite-L2 suggests a regional trend consistent with derivation of fluids from the Ouachita Orogenic Belt. The timing and direction of fluid migration associated with the Ouachita Orogeny are consistent with the timing and distribution of late-stage dolomite. Post-dating Dolomite-L2 are two generations of dolomite cement (C1 and C2) that are most abundant in karst breccias and are also associated with fractures, subarkoses and grainstones. Sr-87/Sr-86 data from L2, C1, and C2 suggest rock-buffering relative to Sr within Dolomite-L2 (and a retention of a Lower Ordovician seawater signature), while cements C1 and C2 became increasingly radiogenic. It is hypothesized that reactive fluids were Pennsylvanian pore fluids derived from basinal siliciclastics. The precipitating fluid evolved relative to Sr-87/Sr-86 from an initial Pennsylvanian seawater signature to radiogenic values; this evolution is due to increasing temperature and a concomitant evolution in pore-water geochemistry in the dominantly siliciclastic Pennsylvanian section. A possible source of Mg for late-stage dolomite is interpreted to be from the dissolution of early-stage dolomite by reactive basinal fluids

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

DOLOMITE-ROCK TEXTURES AND SECONDARY POROSITY DEVELOPMENT IN ELLENBURGER GROUP CARBONATES (LOWER ORDOVICIAN), WEST TEXAS AND SOUTHEASTERN NEW-MEXICO, 1991,
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Amthor Je, Friedman Gm,
Pervasive early- to late-stage dolomitization of Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group carbonates in the deep Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico is recorded in core samples having present-day burial depths of 1.5-7.0 km. Seven dolomite-rock textures are recognized and classified according to crystal-size distribution and crystal-boundary shape. Unimodal and polymodal planar-s (subhedral) mosaic dolomite is the most widespread type, and it replaced allochems and matrix or occurs as void-filling cement. Planar-e (euhedral) dolomite crystals line pore spaces and/or fractures, or form mosaics of medium to coarse euhedral crystals. This kind of occurrence relates to significant intercrystalline porosity. Non-planar-a (anhedral) dolomite replaced a precursor limestone/dolostone only in zones that are characterized by original high porosity and permeability. Non-planar dolomite cement (saddle dolomite) is the latest generation and is responsible for occlusion of fractures and pore space. Dolomitization is closely associated with the development of secondary porosity; dolomitization pre-and post-dates dissolution and corrosion and no secondary porosity generation is present in the associated limestones. The most common porosity types are non-fabric selective moldic and vuggy porosity and intercrystalline porosity. Up to 12% effective porosity is recorded in the deep (6477 m) Delaware basin. These porous zones are characterized by late-diagenetic coarse-crystalline dolomite, whereas the non-porous intervals are composed of dense mosaics of early-diagenetic dolomites. The distribution of dolomite rock textures indicates that porous zones were preserved as limestone until late in the diagenetic history, and were then subjected to late-stage dolomitization in a deep burial environment, resulting in coarse-crystalline porous dolomites. In addition to karst horizons at the top of the Ellenburger Group, exploration for Ellenburger Group reservoirs should consider the presence of such porous zones within other Ellenburger Group dolomites

Pertes du Gave d'Ossau et naissance du Neez (Pyr.-Atl., Fr.), 1992,
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Bauer J. , Oller G. , Sabrier R.
SINKS OF THE OSSAU GAVE AND SOURCE OF THE NEEZ RIVER (PYRENEES) - A Gave is a mountain torrent in the Pyrenees. The water supply of the city of Pau is depending almost entirely on a karstic spring called Oeil du Neez (the Neez Eye, which means spring of the Neez). LOeil du Neez is the main resurgence - among several others - of water sinks in the Gave bed across the urgonian limestone ridge of Arudy. Development of this karstic system through the complex structural setting of a frontal thrust has been favoured by the geomorphic evolution of the Arudy basin, dammed to the north by a morainic loop, but also by the presence of highly suitable hydrodynamic and tectonic conditions (water head and fractures network). Water quality of the Oeil du Neez is closely depending on Gave water quality. However, the catchment area proper, of this resurgence, exerts its own chemical influence.

Observations cristallographiques et gntiques sur les mgascalnodres de calcite de la grotte de Valea Firii (Mts. de Bilacar, Roumanie), 1992,
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Ghergari L. , Marza I. , Bodolea A. , Sehiau S.
CALCITE MEGASCALENOHEDRONS IN THE VALEA FIRII CAVE (BIHOR MOUNTAINS, ROMANIA) - Calcite megascalenohedrons in the Valea Firii cave (Bihor Mountains) (3-70 cm long, usually 25-30 cm, the larger weighting 50-55 kg) are of exogenous origin, deposited on fracture walls by Ca(HCO3)2 rich solutions. There are primary (autochtonous) crystals, crystallographic forms developed in the area [2201] and crystals with corroded faces (allochtonous, detached and buried in the clay on the cave floor), with characteristic features in the main [1102] and secondary [1104], [1108] areas.

EXPLORATION AND DEVELOPMENT OF GROUND-WATER FROM THE STONE FOREST KARST AQUIFERS OF SOUTH CHINA, 1992,
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Huntoon P. W. ,
Stone forest aquifers are the most widely exploited sources for ground water in the vast south China karst belt. These aquifers occupy a thin epikarst zone that has been infilled with clastic sediments. The aquifers are characterized by large lateral permeabilities and small reservoir capacities owing to their thinness. The carbonate rocks which comprise the framework for the aquifers are usually buried under the karst plains and large karst depressions where development is desired. The stone forest aquifer exploration procedure must first locate saturated zones. Second, those parts of the saturated zone having the greatest dissolution porosity must be identified because the infilled dissolution voids contain the water. The best indicators of saturation include the combination of low topography and the presence of active karst features such as springs, karst windows (natural openings exposing the water table), and live surface streams. These elements are readily observed on intermediate scale (1:20,000) aerial photography. The depth and degree of carbonate dissolution porosity is a function of several geologic and hydrologic factors including carbonate rock type, carbonate purity, fracture density, specific discharge, age of the circulation system, etc. These variables cannot be measured directly because the carbonate rocks are usually buried under a thin mantle of clastic sediments. However, if it is recognized that the ground-water system has already exploited the most favorable geology and that dissolution is an ongoing process, a simple indirect method can be used to identify the areas having the greatest porosity. The presence of karst depressions and recent sinkholes are indicative of the most intensely karstified and hydraulically active parts of the epikarst zone. Mapping of these surface features from stereo aerial photography is a simple geomorphology exercise that can be used to directly identify the most favorable well sites. Current well construction practices in the south China karst belt involve both dug and drilled wells. Dug wells are preferred in many locations owing to both cost-effectiveness associated with cheap labor and lack of available drilling equipment. The dug wells look and function identically to karst windows and thus conform to timeless water use traditions in the region

ISOTOPE HYDROLOGICAL STUDY OF MEAN TRANSIT TIMES IN AN ALPINE BASIN (WIMBACHTAL, GERMANY), 1992,
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Maloszewski P. , Rauert W. , Trimborn P. , Herrmann A. , Rau R. ,
Measurements of tritium and O-18 concentrations in precipitation and runoff were used to provide further insight into the groundwater storage properties of the Wimbachtal Valley, a catchment area of 33.4 km2, extending between 636 and 2713 m a.s.l. in the Berchtesgaden Alps. The catchment includes three aquifer types: a dominant porous aquifer; a fractured dolomite; a karstic limestone aquifer. Employing a simple hydrological model, information about mean transit times of environmental tracers is derived for the groundwater runoff component and several karst springs from the application of the exponential and dispersion flow models to the isotopic input and output data. The mean transit times calculated from a dispersion model with transit times of 4.1 years for O-18 and 4.2 years for tritium, which agree well, allow calculation of total (mobile stagnant) groundwater storage volume, which is equivalent to 6.6 m of water depth. Direct runoff appears negligible as in many other cases

HYDROGEOLOGY OF GRAND CAYMAN, BRITISH-WEST-INDIES - A KARSTIC DOLOSTONE AQUIFER, 1992,
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Ng K. C. , Jones B. , Beswick R. ,
On Grand Cayman, freshwater bodies present in the Bluff Formation are typically small and occur as thin lenses floating on top of dense saline water. Evaluation of the water resource potential of these freshwater lenses is difficult because of their variable hydrological conditions, complex paleohydrogeology and aquifer heterogeneity. Secondary porosity created by preferential dissolution of aragonitic fossil components is common. Open fissures and joints developed under tectonic stress and karst development associated with sea-level fluctuations are, however, the two most important causes of porosity and permeability in the aquifers on Grand Cayman. Fracture and karst porosity control the lens occurrence by: (1) acting as avenues for the intrusion of seawater or upward migration of saline water; (2) acting as recharge focal points; (3) enhancing hydrodynamic dispersion; (4) defining lens geometry; (5) facilitating carbonate dissolution along joints and fissures. A clear understanding of the hydrological and geological conditions is important in developing small lenses in a setting similar to that on Grand Cayman. This pragmatic approach can help identify the optimum location of the well field and avoid areas particularly susceptible to saline water intrusion

STRUCTURAL AND HYDROGEOLOGICAL ORIGIN OF TOWER KARST IN SOUTHERN CHINA (LIJIANG PLAIN IN THE GUILIN REGION), 1992,
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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

POLYGENETIC ORIGIN OF HRAD-VALLIS REGION OF MARS, 1992,
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Dehon Ra,
Hrad Vallis is located in the transition zone between Elysium Mons and Utopia Planitia. Near its origin, at the northern edge of Elysium lavas, Hrad Vallis is characterized by a low-sinuousity channel within a north-northwest-trending, broad, flat-floored valley. A nearby flat-floored valley is parallel to the Hrad trend and parallel to elongate depressions, fissures, and faults in the region. An apparent hierarchy of landforms provides insight into the origin of the features associated with Hrad Vallis. The sequence leading to the development of Hrad Vallis consists of the following (1) formation of isolated depressions as either karst depressions or thermokarst valleys along faults and fissures in response to circulating ground water; (2) expansion of depressions along structural trends to coalesce as composite valleys, and (3) incision of a channel on the floor of Hrad valley by continued discharge of water from the subsurface after its initial formation by nonfluvial processes. Mud flows, polygonally fractured terrain, and chaotic terrain near the head of the major valleys suggest thixotropic behavior of saturated, clay-rich materials. An extended period of time is indicated during which freely circulating water existed on id beneath the surface of Mars. Karst and thermokarst processes imply very different climatic regimes and different host materials. The presence of karst topography implies extensive deposition of carbonates or other soluble rocks, whereas the presence of thermokarst basins implies the existence of porous, water/ice-saturated clastic or volcaniclastic materials

DISLOCATION OF THE EVAPORITIC FORMATIONS UNDER TECTONIC AND DISSOLUTION CONTROLS - THE MODEL OF THE DINANTIAN EVAPORITES FROM VARISCAN AREA (NORTHERN FRANCE AND BELGIUM), 1993,
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Rouchy J. M. , Groessens E. , Laumondais A. ,
Within the Franco-Belgian segment of the Hercynian orogen, two thick Dinantian anhydritic formations are known, respectively in the Saint-Ghislain (765 m) and Epinoy 1 (904 m) wells. Nevertheless, occurrences of widespread extended breccias and of numerous pseudomorphs of gypsum/anhydrite in stratigraphically equivalent carbonate deposits (boreholes and outcrops), suggest a larger extent of the evaporitic conditions (fig. 1, 2). The present distribution of evaporites is controlled by palaeogeographical differentiation and post-depositional parameters such as tectonics and dissolution. These latter have dissected the deposits formerly present in all the structural units. By using depositional, diagenetic and deformational characters of these formations, the article provides a model for the reconstruction of a dislocated evaporitic basin. This segment of the Hercynian chain is schematically composed of two main units (fig. 1, 3) : (1) the autochthonous or parautochthonous deposits of the Namur synclinorium, (2) the Dinant nappe thrusted northward over the synclinorium of Namur. The major thrust surface is underlined by a complex fault bundle (faille du Midi) seismically recognized over more than 100 km. A complex system of thrust slices occurs at the Hercynian front. Except for local Cretaceous deposits, most of the studied area has been submitted to a long period of denudation since the Permian. Sedimentary, faunistic and geochemical data argue for a marine origin of the brines which have generated the evaporites interbedded with marine limestones. Sedimentary structures. - The thick evaporitic formations are composed of calcium-sulfates without any clear evidence of the former presence of more soluble salts (with the exception of a possible carbonate-sulfate breccia in the upper part of the Saint-Ghislain formation). As in all the deeply buried evaporitic formations, the anhydrite is the main sulfate component which displays all the usual facies : pseudomorphs after gypsum (fig. 4A, B), nodular and mosaic (fig. 4C), laminated. The gypsum was probably an important component during the depositional phase despite the predominant nodular pattern of the anhydrite. Early diagenetic nodular anhydrite may have grown during temporary emersion of the carbonates (sabkha environments), but this mechanism cannot explain the formation of the whole anhydrite. So, most of the anhydrite structures result from burial-controlled gypsum --> anhydrite conversion and from mechanical deformations. Moreover, a complex set of diagenetic processes leads to various authigenic minerals (celestite, fluorite, albite, native sulfur, quartz and fibrous silica) and to multistaged carbonate <> sulfate replacements (calcite and dolomite after sulfate, replacive anhydrite as idiomorphic poeciloblasts, veinlets, domino-like or stairstep monocrystals...). These mineral transformations observed ill boreholes and in outcrops have diversely been controlled during the complex evolution of the series as : depositional and diagenetic pore-fluid composition, pressure and temperature changes with burial, bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction, deep circulations favored by mechanical brecciation, mechanical stresses, role of groundwater during exhumation of the series. Deformational structures. - A great variety of deformational structures as rotational elongation, stretching, lamination, isoclinal microfolding, augen-like and mylonitic structures are generated by compressive tectonic stresses (fig. 4D to J). The similarities between tectonic-generated structures and sedimentary (lamination) or diagenetic (pseudo-nodules) features could lead lo misinterpretations. The calcareous interbeds have undergone brittle deformation the style and the importance of which depend of their relative thickness. Stretching, boudins, microfolds and augen structures F, H. I) affect the thin layers while thicker beds may be broken as large fractured blocks dragged within flown anhydrite leading to a mylonitic-like structure (fig, 4G). In such an inhomogeneous formation made of interlayered ductile (anhydrite) and brittle (carbonate) beds, the style and the intensity of the deformation vary with respect to the relative thickness of each of these components. Such deformational features of anhydrite may have an ubiquitous significance and can result either from compressive constraints or geostatic movements (halokinesis). Nevertheless, some data evidence a relation with regional tangential stresses: (1) increase of the deformation toward the bottom of the Saint-Ghislain Formation which is marked by a deep karst suggesting the presence of a mechanical discontinuity used as a drain for dissolving solutions (fig. 3, 4); (2) structural setting (reversed series, internal slidings) of the Epinoy 1 formation under the Midi thrust. However, tectonic stresses also induce flowing deformations which have contributed to cause their present discontinuity. It can be assumed that the evaporites played an active role for the buckling of the regional structure as detachment or gliding layers and more specifically for the genesis of duplex structures. Breccia genesis. - Great breccia horizons are widely distributed in outcrops as well as in the subsurface throughout the greater part of the Dinant and Namur units (fig. 2). The wide distribution of pseudomorphosed sulfates in outcrops and the stratigraphical correlation between breccia and Saint-Ghislain evaporitic masses (fig. 2) suggest that some breccia (although not all) have been originated from collapse after evaporites solution. Although some breccia may result from synsedimentary dissolution, studied occurrences show that most of dissolution processes started after the Hercynian deformation and, in some cases, were active until recently : elements made of lithified and fractured limestones (Llandelies quarries) (fig. 5A), preservation of pseudomorphs of late replacive anhydrite (Yves-Gomezee) (fig. 5B, C), deep karst associated with breccia (Douvrain, Saint Ghislain, Ghlin boreholes) (fig. 3, 4, 5D)). Locally, the final brecciation may have been favored by a mechanical fragmentation which controlled water circulations (fig. 5E). As postulated by De Magnee et al. [19861, the dissolution started mostly after the Permian denudation and continued until now in relation with deep circulations and surface weathering (fig. 6). So, the above-mentioned occurrences of the breccia are logically explained by collapse after dissolution of calcium-sulfates interbeds of significant thickness (the presence of salt is not yet demonstrated), but other Visean breccia may have a different origin (fig. 5F). So, these data prove the extension of thick evaporitic beds in all the structural units including the Dinant nappe, before dissolution and deformation. Implications. - Distribution of Visean evaporites in northern France and Belgium is inherited from a complicated paleogeographic, tectonic and post-tectonic history which has strongly modified their former facies, thicknesses and limits (fig. IA, 6). Diversified environments of deposition controlled by both a palaeogeographical differentiation and water level fluctuations led to the deposition of subaqueous (gypsum) or interstitial (gypsum, anhydrite) crystallization. Nevertheless, most of the anhydrite structures can be interpreted as resulting from burial conversion of gypsum to anhydrite rather than a generalized early diagenesis in sabkha-like conditions. Deformation of anhydrite caused by Hercynian tangential stresses and subsequent flow mechanisms, have completed the destruction of depositional and diagenetic features. The tectonic deformations allow us to consider the role of the evaporites in the Hercynian deformations. The evaporites supplied detachment and gliding planes as suggested for the base of the Saint-Ghislain Formation and demonstrated by the structural setting of Epinoy 1 evaporites in reverse position and in a multi-system of thrust-slices below the Midi overthrust (fig. 7). So, although the area in which evaporation and precipitation took place cannot be exactly delineated in geographic extent, all the data evidence that the isolated thick anhydritic deposits represent relics of more widespread evaporites extending more or less throughout the different structural units of this Hercynian segment (fig. 1B). Their present discontinuity results from the combination of a depositional differentiation, mechanical deformations and/or dissolution

Spatial sampling considerations and their applications to characterizing fractured rock and karst systems, 1993,
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Benson Rc, Yuhr L,

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