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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. ...

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That free water is see gravitational water.?

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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 carboniferous (Keyword) returned 87 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 76 to 87 of 87
Rethinking eastern Australian caves, 2010, Osborne, R. A. L.

There are some 300 bodies of cavernous limestone in eastern Australia, extending from Precipitous Bluff in southeastern Tasmania to the Mitchell Palmer region in north Queensland. These impounded karsts, developed in Palaeozoic limestones of the Tasman Fold Belt System, contain many caves. The caves have a suite of features in common that allows them to be thought of as a major group: the Tasmanic Caves. The Tasmanic Caves include multiphase hypogene caves such as Cathedral Cave at Wellington and multiphase, multiprocess caves such as Jenolan with Carboniferous hypogene and younger paragenetic and fluvial elements. Active hypogene caves occur at Wee Jasper and possibly at five other localities. The Tasmanic Caves are one of the most complex suites of caves in folded Palaeozoic limestones in the world. Field techniques developed to study these caves are now being applied to complex caves in central Europe: in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.


Derbyshire pipe veins - deep-seated speleogenesis, 2010, Ford, T. D.

In the Derbyshire lead-mining field pipe veins are those mineral deposits developed along the bedding or along other nearly horizontal discontinuities in the Carboniferous Limestone. The pipes commonly show evidence of pre-mineralization caverns developed by dissolution in slow-moving hydrothermal waters derived from adjacent basins under changing tectonic stress regimes, aided by seismic pumping from repeated fault movements. Other pipes were developed at the base of regionally dolomitized limestones, again preceding mineralization. In late Carboniferous times the caverns were filled or lined with the hydrothermal Pb-Zn-F-Ba-Ca mineral suite. In some pipes post-mineralization dissolution has led to partial collapse of the mineral linings. Evidence of vadose cave development is largely limited to the Blue John pipes of Treak Cliff at Castleton, but in the Winster and Matlock area there are pipes with fills of clastic sediment largely of glacial outwash character.


The hydrogeology of Ogof Draenen: new insights into a complex multi-catchment karst system from tracer testing, 2011, Maurice Lou, Guilford Tim

 A current understanding of the hydrology of Ogof Draenen, Wales, one of the longest and most complex cave systems in Europe, is presented. Previous tracer tests are reviewed and results of two new tracer tests presented. Numerous dolines occur on the Marros Group (formerly ‘Millstone Grit’) sandstones and the Pembroke Limestone Group (both of Carboniferous age) that crop out around the edges of the mountains overlying Ogof Draenen, with hydrologically active sinking streams common along the boundary of these strata. Surface pollution of a doline caused diesel pollution in the cave beneath demonstrating the vulnerability of groundwater. There are a few recently formed hydrologically active passages but groundwater flow is also influenced by many kilometres of relict passages formed during multiple phases of speleogenesis. This results in vertical and horizontal underfit streams that cross or flow through large relict passages. In the southeast of the cave, tracer testing revealed an underground watershed demonstrating the complexity of groundwater flowpaths. In the north a cave stream flows to springs which drain north to the Clydach Gorge. Small amounts of drainage in the cave may also reach springs in the Tumble Valley to the northeast, although these springs may be unconnected to the cave and fed entirely by stream sinks on the Blorenge mountainside. Multi-tracer injections within the cave revealed that the major underground streams flow south to feed large springs at Snatchwood and Pontnewynydd in the Afon Lwyd valley, in a different topographical catchment some 8km beyond the known cave, with rapid groundwater velocities of up to 4km/day. Nine other springs in the Afon Lwyd valley appear unconnected to the Ogof Draenen streams, being fed independently by sinking streams on the local mountainside. In addition, we show that Specific Electrical Conductance varies greatly both between and within springs, is negatively related to background fluorescence


CONDICIONANTS LITOLGICS I ESTRUCTURALS DEL CARST A LES ILLES BALEARS, 2011, Forns J. J. , Gelabert B.

The lithology and structural setting of the rocks which form the island of Mallorca are magnificent bases on which karstic phenomena develop. Almost every geological period is continually represented here, from the Carboniferous to the Pleistocene (only part of the Upper Cretaceous and Lower Paleogene being absent). The approximate thickness of the stratigraphic sequence is 3,000 m in which carbonate deposits (not only limestones but also dolomites) constitute the most important lithologies. The main structure consists of thrust sheets imbricated in a NW transport direction. Such deformation took place during the alpine orogeny. Furthermore, the existence of impervious materials from the Keuper at the base of the thrust sheets, added to the imbricate thrusts system structure, cause permeable zones to remain isolated by areas of impervious material. The development during the post-orogenic phase (Late Miocene) of a carbonate reef deposition, forms a large tabular slab where the phenomena related to coastal karst have its maximum expression. Menorca, can be divided into two very distinct parts. The northern half or Tramuntana, well structured, but dominated by the presence of siliceous material from the Devonian with a couple of large slabs of Mesozoic limestones and dolomites, quite different from Migjorn, in the south, where the Late Miocene calcarenites and calcisiltites clearly dominate. Eivissa can be assimilated to the same structure of the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, which are almost exclusively dominated by carbonate materials, particularly the dolomites, but the limestones from the middle Triassic and the marls (Cretaceous and lower Miocene) are very abundant. Formentera is dominated at both ends of the island by sea cliffs cut on Miocene reefal limestones joined by an isthmus where Pleistocene aeolian calcarenites outcrops.


Paleokarst Breccia-Pipe Reservoir Analogue, Carboniferous, Svalbard, 2011, Wheeler Walter, Tveranger Jan, Lauritzen Steinerik, Heincke Björn, Rossi Guiliana, Allroggen Niklas, Buckley Simon

Upwards-propagating collapse pipes typically form sinkholes where they meet the land surface. Renewed dissolution of breccia in ancient pipes can have a similar effect. For these cases, probability-based models of sinkhole hazard are closely related to the expected mature architecture of the collapse-pipe field. We present a case study of the architecture of a square-kilometre field of collapse-pipes from the Carboniferous-Permian in which the pipes are documented in outcrop and using shallow geophysical methods.

The study site is located on the Wordiekammen plateau in the Carboniferous Billefjorden half-graben basin on Spitsbergen. Cliffs bounding the plateau expose breccia pipes cutting a gently-dipping 200-m-thick series of platform carbonates, in turn underlain by stratiform breccias and residual pods of gypsum. Many of the breccia pipes are tall (>250 m) and postdate several shallow karstification episodes. Most pipes are inferred not to have reached the surface based on a lack of terrigenous material and fluvial structure, although several pipes show indications of such surface communication. Although the pipes are generally attributed to gypsum dissolution, a deep carbonate karstification event is inferred based on high temperature calcite cement, and burial dehydration of gypsum, may also have contributed to void formation.

On the plateau top the collapse pipes are obscured by thick scree, thus km-scale size and spacing data for the pipes and faults was collected by mapping the bedrock with 2D ground-penetrating radar (GPR). GPR profiles were acquired on a grid with 25-meter line spacing, using 50 MHz antennas and achieving 30-40 m penetration. Breccia bodies were identified by steep-sided zones of complex diffraction patterns interrupting bedding-related continuous reflections. Two pipes were further studied in 3D using high-resolution GPR, tomographic seismic and geo-electric. These geophysical data were merged into a comprehensive 3D framework including helicopter-borne lidar and photo scans of the plateau rim geology, thus allowing an integrated visualization and interpretation of the different datasets. The GPR data show the breccia pipes to be slightly oblate with diameters ranging from 20 to over 100 m; 60 meters is a typical value. Approximately 10 pipes are identified in cliff-side outcrops bordering the GPR area, whereas 30 more are identified within the plateau by the GPR data. The GPR volume lies about 200 m above the pipe base, hence the pipe-length frequency-distribution data are incomplete. The strata are cut by small-offset (<5m) faults related to collapse processes and larger-offset faults related to regional basin extension. The breccia pipe field appears to be delimited by these more regional faults, in turn inferred to control the thickness of syn-rift gypsum and/or the hydrology of its dissolution. Collapse breccia pipes form strong vertical heterogeneities in rock properties such as porosity and permeability, matrix density, cement, mechanical strength and lithology, affecting fluid-flow characteristics on a meter to hundred-meter scale. It is rare that pipe fields are well exposed at the kilometre scale. Although some scaling data can be obtained from 3D oil-industry seismic reflection data but the resolution insufficient to visualize critical details. The outcrop combination of seismic, electric and geologic techniques facilitates the interpretation of 3D facies architectures and by proxy porosity-permeability relationships. Studies at the km scale are fundamental for understanding basic karst and collapse processes, and yield petrophysical models that can be applied predictively to natural hazards and groundwater or hydrocarbon exploitation in paleokarst settings.


The nature and origin of the ghost-rocks at Bullslaughter Bay, South Wales, 2012, Rowberry Matt D. , Battiauqueney Yvonne, Blazejowski Blazej, Walsh Peter

The ‘ghost-rocks’ of the British Isles have attracted very little research interest over the years despite being widely distributed. In South Wales, the ghost-rocks of the Pembroke Peninsula are usually associated with the mudrock formations immediately above and below the Carboniferous Limestone. This study focuses on their nature and origin through a detailed investigation of the cliff sections at Bullslaughter Bay. The investigated ghost-rocks are associated with a suite of breccias, collectively termed the Gash Breccias. These are an enigmatic suite of around twenty-five large breccia masses located exclusively in the eastern part of the peninsula. They comprise huge masses of coarse, chaotic, clast-supported, monomictic breccia and represent highly disturbed features in the otherwise unbroken sequences of Carboniferous Limestone. Their origin may be karstic, tectonic, or a combination of the two. They could, theoretically, have formed at any point between the end of the Carboniferous and the Pliocene. If their origin is karstic, it cannot yet be determined if the processes were attributable to per descensum or per ascensum groundwater systems. If tectonic, it is not known whether they formed during periods of compression or extension. From our own geological and geophysical fieldwork, we believe that the breccias originated as a result of subterranean karstic processes whilst retaining an open mind with regard to the role played by tectonics. The breccia and ghost-rocks are both displayed in fine cliff exposures around Bullslaughter Bay. These sections, although not extensive, are extremely instructive. The processes that generate ghost-rock result in isovolumetric weathering of the host rock and an associated loss of density and strength. They may or may not involve the removal of certain chemical constituents in the regolith through solution and hydrolysis followed by the formation of secondary minerals, frequently clay. In reality, the precise weathering process differs according to the type of rock. The process is controlled by the permeability of each rock type in banded rocks such as mudstones or shale with banded chert whereas it is controlled by fissures and faults in homogenous rocks. This control is clearly seen in the Carboniferous Limestone around Bullslaughter Bay, where ghost-rocks are present, more commonly in case of impure or dolomitic limestone. At present, it is not clear whether the groundwater movements were caused by hydrothermal or meteoric processes and this forms the basis of ongoing research. Finally, the study considers the relationship that exists between the ghost-rock and the Gash Breccia. We examine whether there is a logical correlation between the processes that came to generate the ghost-rock and the processes responsible for the generation of the breccia. It may then be possible to accurately state whether the ghost-rock formed before, during, or after, the breccia. The reasons that the ghost-rocks of the British Isles have attracted very little research interest may stem from the fact that they have no current commercial value, have seldom presented engineering problems, and are normally difficult to date. It is clear that numerous karst related sag-subsidences in the British Isles result from the large-scale decalcification of the Carboniferous Limestone (e.g. the Tortonian Brassington Formation of the southern Pennines). There is, however, an increasingly large body of evidence to suggest that these subsidences result from the same processes that generate ghost-rock rather than those that create endokarstic voids. The subsidences may preserve stratigraphical sequences several decametres thick and reach depths and widths of many hectometres. Unfortunately, the masses of decalcified limestone below the Tortonian sediments are of no commercial interest and have hardly ever been penetrated by boreholes. Therefore, we do not know exactly what underlies the karstic fills. The possibility that most of these structures are best explained as the result of per ascensum groundwater flow is discussed.


The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the thermal waters at Taffs Well, South Wales, UK, 2013, Farr G. , Bottrell S. H

Taffs Well is the only thermal spring in Wales, with an average temperature of 21.6°C ± 0.5°C. The River Taff is adjacent to the spring and removal of a weir and work on flood defences has reduced mixing with flood water from the river. This has enabled data to be gathered that more closely represent the thermal water end-member than previously possible. Limited interaction with modern waters is confirmed by tritium, nitrate, CFC and SF6concentrations below or close to lower detection limits, showing at most 6% mixing with modern waters. 14C dating suggests a conservative age estimate of at least 5000 years.
Values for dissolved noble gases suggest that the waters originate as rainfall at an altitude several hundred metres higher than the spring. The northern Carboniferous Limestone outcrop is proposed, which would then require recharged waters to flow to a depth of 400m and distance of 25km, following the synclinal structure of the South Wales Coalfield, to discharge at the spring. Sr isotope data suggest interaction with the Marros Group (formerly known as the Millstone Grit), the waters flowing within or close to the contact between the Carboniferous Limestone and Marros Group before rising via the Tongwynlais Fault.


Vein cavities at Ashover and Crich, Derbyshire, UK., 2013, Ford, T. D.

Lead mining archives note the presence of caverns that pre-date mineralization in the two isolated anticlinal inliers of Carboniferous Limestone east of the main Peak District orefield. They are regarded as features of deep-seated speleogenesis in late Carboniferous times.


Speleogenesis of an exhumed hydrothermal sulphuric acid karst in Cambrian carbonates (Mount San Giovanni, Sardinia), 2013, Dewaele Jo, Forti Paolo, Naseddu Angelo

In the past few years the systematic study of caves intercepted by mine workings in southwest Sardinia has permitted us to observe morphologies due to rare speleogenetic and minerogenetic processes related to ancient hydrothermal activity. These relic morphologies are slowly being overprinted by recent speleogenetic processes that tend to obscure the hypogene origin of these caves. A combined geomorphological and mineralogical investigation has permitted a fairly detailed reconstruction of the various phases of evolution of these caves. Cave formation had already started in Cambrian times, but culminated in the Carboniferous, when most of the large voids still accessible today were formed. A key role in carbonate dissolution was played by sulphuric acid formed by the oxidation of the polymetallic ores present in the rocks since the Cambrian. During the Quaternary a variety of minerals formed inside the caves: calcite and aragonite, that yielded sequences of palaeo-environmental interest, and also barite, phosgenite, hydrozincite, hemimorphite and many others. These minerals are in part due to a phreatic thermal hypogenic cave forming phase, and in part to later epigene overprinting in an oxidizing environment rich in polymetallic ores. Massive gypsum deposits, elsewhere typical of this kind of caves, are entirely absent due to dissolution during both the phreatic cave formation and the later epigenic stage


Speleogenesis of an exhumed hydrothermal sulphuric acid karst in Cambrian carbonates (Mount San Giovanni, Sardinia), 2013, De Waele Jo, Forti P. , Naseddu A.

n the past few years the systematic study of caves intercepted by mine workings in southwest Sardinia has permitted us to observe morphologies due to rare speleogenetic and minerogenetic processes related to ancient hydrothermal activity. These relic morphologies are slowly being overprinted by recent speleogenetic processes that tend to obscure the hypogene origin of these caves. A combined geomorphological and mineralogical investigation has permitted a fairly detailed reconstruction of the various phases of evolution of these caves. Cave formation had already started in Cambrian times, but culminated in the Carboniferous, when most of the large voids still accessible today were formed. A key role in carbonate dissolution was played by sulphuric acid formed by the oxidation of the polymetallic ores present in the rocks since the Cambrian. During the Quaternary a variety of minerals formed inside the caves: calcite and aragonite, that yielded sequences of palaeo-environmental interest, and also barite, phosgenite, hydrozincite, hemimorphite and many others. These minerals are in part due to a phreatic thermal hypogenic cave forming phase, and in part to later epigene overprinting in an oxidizing environment rich in polymetallic ores. Massive gypsum deposits, elsewhere typical of this kind of caves, are entirely absent due to dissolution during both the phreatic cave formation and the later epigenic stage.


PALEOKARST CRUST OF ORDOVICIAN LIMESTONE AND ITS CAPABILITY IN RESISTING WATER INRUSHES IN COAL MINES OF NORTH CHINA, 2013, Mou L. , Li G.

With increase in mining depth of the Carboniferous-Permian coal seams in North China, it is particularly important to study the heterogeneity of karst development in the underlying Middle Ordovician limestone and determine any impermeable strata that may prevent the pressurized karst water from bursting into coal mines. Detailed analysis of the exploratory borehole data suggests presence of a paleokarst crust at the top of Middle Ordovician Fengfeng Formation. Because of its mechanical strength and low permeability to water, the paleokarst crust can function as an additional water-resisting layer. This paper takes Sihe Mine of Shanxi Province as an example to study the geotechnical and hydrogeological characteristics of the paleokarst crust. Incorporation of this additional hydrological barrier led to more minable coal seams in the coalmine.


The weathered Carboniferous limestone at Bullslaughter Bay, South Wales: the first example of ghost-rock recorded in the British Isles, 2014, Rowberry Matt D. , Battiauqueney Yvonne, Walsh Peter, Blazejowski Blazej, Boutroumazeilles Viviane, Trentesaux Alain, Krizova Lenka, Griffiths Hywel

The Carboniferous Limestone at Bullslaughter Bay hosts some of the most notable examples of deep weathering in  the British Isles as well as two members of an enigmatic suite of breccias known as the Gash Breccias. The weathered limestone has  been investigated thoroughly in order to identify the process responsible for the weathering. In this paper it is demonstrated that the  weathering is isovolumetric but the weathering profile is not characterised by a vertical gradient and its depth suggests that meteoric  waters did not contribute significantly to the weathering process. The weathered limestone has lost significant amounts of calcium and  parts are virtually decalcified. It is seen that the dominant primary minerals of illite and quartz have been preserved while secondary  clay minerals are generally absent. The weathered limestone cannot be a saprolite sensu stricto as it has been subjected to only restricted  chemical processes. It is, therefore, interpreted as a “ghost-rock”. This type of weathering results from chemical dissolution by slow  moving waters in the saturated zone. It is suggested that the weathering may have taken place during periods of emergence in the  Carboniferous, at the same time as the cyclothem tops were exposed to subaerial modification, as evidenced by omission surfaces and  palaeokarstic solution features. This is the first time that ghost-rock weathering has been reported from the British Isles.


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