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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 Kluft is see aisle.?

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.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for dimensions (Keyword) returned 120 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 106 to 120 of 120
Expedition Vuvu 2010 ins Nakanai-Gebirge auf Neubritannien , 2011,
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Meyer, U.
In the spring of 2010 an international expedition visited the Nakanai Mountains in New Britain (Papua New Guinea). In the vicinity of the Matali River the two caves Bikbik and Liklik Vuvu, that both were found and explored by a French expedition in 1980, have been linked by diving to form the Wowo- System, now the second largest cave of New Britain with a length of 14.5 km and a depth well above 500 m (second only to the Kasoar-System). The team had to turn back in the large tunnel due to lack of time, still several kilometers from the Matali Gorge and more then 200 m above the assumed resurgence. Additionally a number of new caves were found and explored, among which Maare is probably most interesting. From its position and large dimensions it can be assumed, that it may be the headwaters of the Luse River, joining the Kavakuna River in the cave Ka2 and emerging in the big Matali resurgence, which has not yet been fully explored.

Glacier Caves, 2012,
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Gulley Jason D. , Fountain Andrew G.

The processes of cave formation in glaciers are analogous to cave formation in limestone and form from the preferential enlargement of high permeability pathways that connect discrete recharge and discharge points. Cave enlargement in glaciers is driven by small amounts of heat produced by friction as water flows through these high permeability pathways. Because rates of ice melting are many orders of magnitude faster than rates of the dissolution of limestone, glacier caves can grow to humanly traversable diameters within time scales of days to weeks whereas limestone caves of equivalent dimensions require 105–106 years. Because glacier ice is deformable, ice caves are squeezed shut at rates that increase with ice thickness, with deep caves squeezing closed in a matter of days. Glacier cave formation is therefore a dynamic process reflecting competition between enlargement and creep closure. While some glacier caves are reused and continue to evolve from year to year, many glacier caves must form each melt season. The processes of cave formation in glaciers exert important control on subglacial water pressure and affect how fast glaciers flow from higher, colder elevations, to lower warmer elevations. Ice flow directly into the ocean and glacial melt generally are important contributions to sea-level rise. Glacier caves are common in all glaciers that experience significant surface melting.


An electrical resistivity imaging-based strategy to enable site-scale planning over covered palaeokarst features in the Tournaisis area (Belgium), 2012,
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Kaufmann O. , Deceuster J. , Quinif Y.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, more than 150 sinkhole occurrences, mainly dropout (or covercollapse)sinkholes, have been reported in the Tournaisis area (south-eastern Belgium). Land-use planning in such a context has to take into account hazards linked with sinkhole subsidence and collapse. Management maps, drawn at a regional scale, point out zones where karstic risks have to be taken into account when dealing with infrastructure or building projects. However, karst hazard is highly variable in three dimensions at the local scale. Therefore, for such purposes, an accurate methodology is needed to detect and delineate covered karst features, especially when located in urbanized areas. As geophysical investigations are sensitive to contrasts in physical properties of soils, these methods can be useful to detect such targets. The specific karstic context encountered in the Tournaisis area strongly guides the choice of investigation techniques. Electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) methods were tested on a wellknown site where dropout sinkholes occurred formerly. This site was also studied using static cone penetration tests (CPT) and boreholes. A 3D inverted resistivity model was computed based on the 2D ERI models obtained after inversion. Resistivity profiles were extracted at each CPT location and compared to geotechnical results to determine an empirical and site-specific resistivity law that allows discrimination between weathered zones and sound limestone. Performance tests were conducted to evaluate the potential of the proposed methodology for two typical engineering problems based on two current hypotheses. Borehole data were used as ground truth. Similar performance tests were also computed using the CPT depth to bedrock model. The results of these performance tests are compared and discussed. Finally, an ERI-based investigation strategy is proposed to assess karst hazard in palaeokarstic context, such as encountered in the Tournaisis area, at the scale needed for building and infrastructure purposes. 


THE UNDERGROUND KARST OF THE NEOPROTEROZOC SERIES OF NIARI-NYANGA (CONGO AND GABON). A KARSTOGENESIS CONTROLLED BY ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES, 2012,
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Peyrot, Bernard

The area of Niari-Nyanga, divided between Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon, corresponds to a Neoproterozoic synclinal whose schisto-limestones and dolomitic layers shelter many caves as well as vast underground karst systems that are hardly known. In a sub-equatorial climate characterized by sparse rainfall with very variable intensity, a dry season of five months and a savanna environment, the endokarst presents a vast array of forms with sometimes large, sometimes small dimensions. The caves are mostly horizontal and oriented along tectonic lines. Old fossil perched caves contrast with epiphreatic caves and drowned inaccessible systems. In current bioclimatic conditions, corrosion seems not very effective and not in equilibrium with some vast morphologies. The stacked levels, the presence of fossil speleothems and detritic material suggest a polyphase genesis in link with important paleoclimatic changes, where humid and dry periods alternate. Recent age dating with 14C on stalagmites show that the speleothemes are holocene and grew during the important rainfalls of this time, before drying up at the general chlimate change 3000 years before present. Thus, the endokarst of Niari-Nyanga as well as its neighbours is an archive of large importance.


Analysis of the capabilities of low frequency ground penetrating radar for cavities detection in rough terrain conditions: The case of Divača cave, Slovenia , 2012,
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Gosar, Andrej

High frequency ground penetrating radar (GPR) is usually applied for cavities detection in a shallow subsurface of karst areas to prevent geotechnical hazards. For specific projects, such as tunnel construction, it is important to detect also larger voids at medium depth range. However, dimensions of classical rigid low frequency antennas seriously limit their applicability in a rough terrain with dense vegetation commonly encountered in a karst. In this study recently developed 50 MHz antennas designed in a tube form were tested to detect cave gallery at the depth between 12 m and 60 m. The Divaca cave was selected because of a wide range of depths under the surface, possibility of unknown galleries in the vicinity and a rough terrain surface typical for Slovenian karst. Seven GPR profiles were measured across the main gallery of the cave and additional four profiles NE of the cave entrance where no galleries are known. Different acquisition and processing parameters were analysed together with the data resolution issues. The main gallery of the cave was clearly imaged in the part where the roof of the gallery is located at the depth from 10 m to 30 m. The width of the open space is mainly around 10 m. Applied system was not able to detect the gallery in the part where it is located deeper than 40 m, but several shallower cavities were discovered which were unknown before. The most important result is that the profiles acquired NE of the cave entrance revealed very clearly the existence of an unknown gallery which is located at the depth between 15 m and 22 m and represents the continuation of the Divaca cave. Access to this gallery is blocked by the sediment fill in the entrance shaft of the cave. The results of the study are important also for future infrastructure projects which will involve construction of tunnels through karstified limestone and for speleological investigations to direct the research efforts.


High Resolution Seismic Reflection Methods to Detect Near Surface Tuff-Cavities: A Case Study in the Neapolitan Area, Italy, 2013,
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Di Firoe V. , Angelino A. , Passaro S. , Bonanno A.

 

The Neapolitan region of Italy is plagued by the presence of shallow manmade cavities in lithoid tuffs that cause problems for communities because they produce building damages and loss of human lives. A high resolution P-wave seismic-reflection technique was successfully used to define a cavity 6 m by 10 m in horizontal dimensions and with a height of about 6 m located in a tuff layer 10 to 19 m below ground level. Such a cavity was located at Afragola (near Naples) where the local geology is typical of the Neapolitan area. The seismic dataset was acquired by using end-on spread geometry, with 0.25 m spacing for shots and 0.5 m for receivers. The application of band–pass filtering (30–150 Hz) allowed us to remove incoherent noise from the data, while an additional equivalent slope (Vs21) of 0.005 s m21 cut in the FK transform results in ground-roll noise removal. Both the acquisition and processing methods have been necessary to investigate and define the shape and dimensions of the targeted cavity


MODELLING THE EVOLUTION OF KARST AQUIFERS IN THREE DIMENSIONS/Conceptual models and realistic scenarios Inaugural dissertation/ zur Erlangung des Doktorgrades Dr. rer. nat. am Fachbereich Geowissenschaften im Institut fur Geologische Wissenschaften der Fr, 2013,
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Hiller, Thomas

This work presents the development of three dimensional karst evolution models for various settings and conditions. As karst aquifers are very sensitive to changes of their hydraulic boundary conditions a comprehensive understanding of the governing processes inside a karst aquifer is indispensable. Especially if a karst aquifer is inuenced by anthropogenic utilization like e.g. the construction of a dam site, the resulting changes inside the aquifer need to be understood as good as possible to prevent any unpredictable incidents. The use of numerical models to simulate the development of a karst aquifer is therefore a suitable tool in the preliminary investigations. It will be shown that simple three dimensional damsite models can be used to evaluate the parameters that control the karst aquifer evolution. Based on these simple models an enhanced three dimensional model of a real damsite is developed. This model is used to simulate the evolution of the aquifer close to this damsite and to expose how the construction of the dam inuenced the nearby bedrock signicantly. It is shown that the karstied zone around the dam site is the reason for the subsidence of an adjacent highway. The presented numerical results can be veried by eld observations. Additionally to the damsite models a three dimensional model approach is presented that describes the formation of large collapse dolines. Collapse dolines are signicant surface features of karst landscapes and their evolution which is usually linked to a subsurface karst system is of high interest in the karst community. To simulate the evolution and interaction of such a doline system, a three dimensional model with several spatially distributed dolines is used. There, based on the concept of a mechanically weakened crushed zone, the evolution over time is presented. The applied collapsing mechanism used in this work also allows to estimate the bedrock removal and surface lowering over time. The determined rates are in good agreement with values reported in literature


Fractal dimensions of cave for exemplary gypsum cave-mazes of Western Ukraine, 2013,
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Andreychouk V. , Bł, Achowicz T. , Domino K.

THE LATE MIOCENE MINERALIZED HYPOGENE KARST AT BARE MOUNTAIN, SOUTHERN NEVADA, USA, 2013,
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Dublyansky Yuri, Sptl Christoph

Bare Mountain is an isolated complex of mountain peaks Southeast of the town of Beatty in southern Nevada. This small mountain range is located between the alluvial basins of Crater Flat to the East and the northern Amargosa Desert to the Southwest. The range is built of a folded and complexly faulted, generally northward-dipping sequence of weakly to moderately metamorphosed upper Proterozoic and Paleozoic marine rocks. Along the eastern and northern margins of Bare Mountain there are four clusters of Ag-Hg-fluorite deposits from which pipe-like breccia bodies have been reported in the literature. One of these deposits, the Diamond Queen Mine (aka Goldspar Mine; 36°50.4’ N, 116°38.3’ W) was prospected for gold and mined for fluorspar. The age of the mineralization is younger than 12.9±0.4 Ma (according to K/Ar dates of replacement adularia). During our visit in 2010 we observed solutional cavities in the open-pit works of the mine carved in the dolomite of the Cambrian Nopah Formation. The cavities have dimensions of a few meters to tens of meters. Their inner surfaces are smooth and barren. The morphology of the cavities strongly suggests dissolution under phreatic conditions. Cavities are filled with buff-colored clay material containing bands of black to dark-violet to yellow- green to colorless fluorite. Fluid inclusions in the Diamond Queen fluorite yielded homogenization temperatures of ca. 130°C. We measured the δD of the fluid inclusion water in this fluorite and compared them to δD values measured in scalenohedral calcite from the Sterling Mine (Au) located 1.5 km to the north. Isotopic values are remarkably similar: δD = -100±2 ‰ (n = 6). Despite the fact that the analyzed water was derived from hypogene, hydrothermal minerals these isotopic values bear a paleoclimatological significance. This is because according to the currently accepted model, the Au-Hg-fluorite deposits at Bare Mountain owe their existence to the circulation of meteoric water triggered by emplacement of the silicic magma chamber under the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera some 15 km to the north. The Late Miocene meteoric- hydrothermal water is isotopically similar to the modern-day precipitation (-106 to -92 ‰). Between ca. 1.5 and 2.5 Ma the δD values of meteoric water in the area were substantially less negative (-70 to -50 ‰) and then gradually decreased to modern values. Knowledge regarding hypogene karst associated with the epithermal ore deposits in Nevada is limited. In north-central Nevada, post-ore hypogene dissolution, brecciation and mineralization occurred at some of the Carlin Trend deposits at ca. 2 Ma. In contrast, hypogene karst was a preore process at Diamond Queen; it has played a role in creating the ore-bearing structure.


Karst Sinkholes Stability Assessment in Cheria Area, NE Algeria, 2013,
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Yacine Azizi, Med. Ridha Menani, Med Laid Hemila, Abderahmane Boumezbeur

 

Karst; Rock Mass Rating (RMR);Sinkhole collapse; Tebessa This research work deals with the problem of karst sinkhole collapse occurring in the last few years in Cheria area (NE Algeria). This newly revealed phenomenon is of a major constrain in land use planning and urbanization, it has become necessary to locate and assess the stability of these underground features before any planning operation. Several exploration methods for the localization of underground cavities have been considered. Geological survey, discontinuity analysis, resistivity survey [ground penetrating radar has not been used as most of the Mio-Plio-Quaternary filling deposit covering Eocene limestone contains clay layers which limits the applicability of the method (Roth et al. in Eng Geol 65:225–232, 2002)] and borehole drilling were undertaken in order to locate underground cavities and assess their depth, geometry, dimensions, etc. Laboratory testing and field work were also undertaken in order to determine both intact rock and rock mass properties. All the rock mechanics testing and measurement were undertaken according to the ISRM recommendations. It has been found that under imposed loading, the stability of the karst cavities depends on the geo-mechanical parameters (RMR, Rock Mass Rating; GSI, Geological Strength Index; E, Young modulus) of the host rock as well as the depth and dimensions of the gallery. It increases with RMR, GSI, E and depth and decreases as the cavity becomes wider. Furthermore, the calculation results show that a ratio (roof thickness to gallery width) of 0.3 and more indicate, a stable conditions. The results obtained in this work allow identifying and assessing the stability of underground karst cavities. The methodology followed in this paper can be taken as a road map in the establishment of a hazard map related to the studied phenomenon. This map will be a useful tool for the future urban extension planning in Cheria area.


‘Looping caves’ versus ‘water table caves’: The role of base-level changes and recharge variations in cave development, 2014,
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Gabrovšek Franci, Häuselmann Philipp, Audra Philippe

The vertical organisation of karst conduit networks has been the focus of speleogenetic studies for more than a century. The four state model of Ford and Ewers (1978), which still is considered as the most general, relates the geometry of caves to the frequency of permeable fissures. The model suggests that the ‘water table caves’ are common in areas with high fissure frequency, which is often the case in natural settings. However, in Alpine karst systems, water table caves aremore the exception than the rule. Alpine speleogenesis is influenced by high uplift, valley incision rates and irregular recharge. To study the potential role of these processes for speleogenesis in the dimensions of length and depth, we apply a simple mathematical model based on coupling of flow, dissolution and transport.We assume a master conduit draining thewater to the spring at a base level. Incision of the valley triggers evolution of deeper flow pathways,which are initially in a proto-conduit state. Themaster conduit evolves into a canyon following the valley incision,while the deep pathways evolve towards maturity and tend to capture the water fromthe master conduits. Two outcomes are possible: a) deep pathways evolve fast enough to capture all the recharge, leaving the master conduit dry; or b) the canyon reaches the level of deep pathways before these evolve to maturity. We introduce the Loop-to-Canyon Ratio (LCR), which predicts which of the two outcomes is more likely to occur in certain settings. Our model is extended to account for transient flow conditions. In the case of an undulating master conduit, floodwater is stored in troughs after the flood retreat. This water seeps through sub-vertical fractures (‘soutirages’) connecting the master conduitwith the deep pathways. Therefore, the loops evolve also during the dry season, and the LCR is considerably increased. Although themodel is based on several approximations, it leads to some important conclusions for vertical organisation of karst conduit networks and stresses the importance of base-level changes and transient recharge conditions. It therefore gives an explanation of speleogenesis that relies much more on the dynamic nature of water flow than on the static fracture density


Sinkholes, pit craters, and small calderas: Analog models of depletion-induced collapse analyzed by computed X-ray microtomography, 2014,
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Volumetric depletion of a subsurface body commonly results in the collapse of overburden and the formation of enclosed topographic depressions. Such depressions are termed sinkholes in karst terrains and pit craters or collapse calderas in volcanic terrains. This paper reports the first use of computed X-ray microtomography (?CT) to image analog models of small-scale (~< 2 km diameter), high-cohesion, overburden collapse induced by depletion of a near-cylindrical (“stock-like”) body. Time-lapse radiography enabled quantitative monitoring of the evolution of collapse structure, velocity, and volume. Moreover, ?CT scanning enabled non-destructive visualization of the final collapse volumes and fault geometries in three dimensions. The results illustrate two end-member scenarios: (1) near-continuous collapse into the depleting body; and (2) near-instantaneous collapse into a subsurface cavity formed above the depleting body. Even within near-continuously collapsing columns, subsidence rates vary spatially and temporally, with incremental accelerations. The highest subsidence rates occur before and immediately after a surface depression is formed. In both scenarios, the collapsing overburden column undergoes a marked volumetric expansion, such that the volume of subsurface depletion substantially exceeds that of the resulting topographic depression. In the karst context, this effect is termed “bulking”, and our results indicate that it may occur not only at the onset of collapse but also during progressive subsidence. In the volcanic context, bulking of magma reservoir overburden rock may at least partially explain why the volume of magma erupted commonly exceeds that of the surface depression.


SpeleoDisc: A 3-D quantitative approach to define the structural control of endokarst. An application to deep cave systems from the Picos de Europa. Spain, 2014,
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Ballesteros D, Jiménezsánchez M. Garcíasansegundo J, Borreguero M.

The influence of geological structure on endokarst can be studied by establishing the relationships between discontinuities (faults, joints and bedding) with a cave survey. The cave survey elaborated by speleologists represents the directions and inclinations of the cave conduits and can be compared to the strike and dip of the discontinuities of a karst massif. This paper proposes a methodology, the SpeleoDisc method, which is effective in defining the structural control of the endokarst. The method has been designed and applied in a pilot area from the alpine karst massif of the Picos de Europa, where long and deep cave systems are well developed, including more than 360 km of conduits in its entirety. The method is based on the projection of cave surveys on geological maps and cross-sections and the comparison between the direction and inclination of the cave survey data and the geometry of the massif discontinuities in three spatial dimensions (3-D). The SpeleoDisc method includes: 1) collection and management of topographic information; 2) collection and management of cave data; 3) definition of the groups of conduits; 4) elaboration of geological maps and cross-sections; 5) collection of discontinuity data (bedding, faults and joints); 6) definition of groups of discontinuities; and 7) comparison between the cave conduit groups and the families of discontinuities. The SpeleoDisc method allows us define the influence of the major and minor structures on the caves geometry, estimating percentage of caves forced by each group of massif discontinuities and their intersections in 3-D. Nevertheless, the SpeleoDisc approach is mainly controlled by 1) the amount and quality of the cave survey data and 2) the abundance of cave deposits covering the conduit, which can mask the original geometry.


Uplifted flank margin caves in telogenetic limestones in the Gulf of Orosei (Central-East Sardinia—Italy) and their palaeogeographic significance, 2015,
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D'angeli Ilenia Maria, Sanna Laura, Clazoni Claudio, De Waele Jo

Thiswork reports the results of geomorphological observations carried out in the coastal Fico Cave and surrounding areas (Baunei, Central East Sardinia) in the Gulf of Orosei. A tidal notch, generally believed to be of Eemian (MIS 5e) age, is barely visible at 8.5 above present sea level (asl), some metres below the main entrance of the cave. Old cave passages, now partially opened by cliff retreat and parallel to the coastline, are clearly visible at around 14 m asl and correspond to the main level of Fico Cave. Two more notches are located higher, at 22 and 50 m asl. Fico Cave itself is composed of at least 6 clearly distinguished more or less horizontal levels (−10 m below present sea level (bsl), and +14, +22, +40, +50, and +63 m asl), independent of the stratal dip, arguing for a sea-level, and hence, fresh-water lens control. Cave passages develop along main fractures more or less parallel to the coastline and never extend landward for more than 150 m, mostly ending blindly, or diminishing in their dimensions progressively landward. Most passages only contain clay deposits, lacking fluvial or marine sediments or typical fluvial erosion morphologies (i.e. scallops).

It is suggested from this body of evidence that Fico Cave was formed in the coastal mixing zone along major discontinuities during several Quaternary interglacial periods, when sea level was high and relatively stable for enough time to develop large dissolutional voids. The geomorphological observations indicate the main +14 m asl level of the cave to have formed during MIS 9, and was heavily reworked during MIS 5, while the higher levels are relative to older interglacial highstands that occurred between 1 Ma and 325 ka. The small active branch developed below present sea level has formed during MIS 7 (225 ka). These observations shed new light on the position of the MIS 5e highstand markers in this area of the coast, much higher than previously thought.


International Conference on Groundwater in Karst, Programme and Abstracts, 2015, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, 2015,
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Carbonate rocks present a particular challenge to hydrogeologists as the major groundwater flux is through an integrated network of dissolutionally enlarged channels that discharge via discrete springs. The channels span a very wide aperture range: the smallest are little more than micro-fractures or pathways through the rock matrix but at the other end of the spectrum (and commonly in the same rock mass) channels may grow to dimensions where they can be explored by humans and are called caves. Groundwater transmission through the smaller channels that are commonly intersected by boreholes is very slow and has often been analysed using equivalent porous media models although the limitations of such models are increasingly recognised. At the other end of the spectrum (and commonly in the same rock mass) flow through the larger conduits is analogous to ‘a surface stream with a roof’ and may be amenable to analysis by models devised for urban pipe networks. Regrettably, hydrogeologists have too often focussed on the extreme ends of the spectrum, with those carbonates possessing large and spectacular landforms regarded as “karst” whereas carbonates with little surface expression commonly, but incorrectly labelled as “non-karstic”. This can lead to failures in resource management. Britain is remarkable for the variety of carbonate rocks that crop out in a small geographical area. They range in age and type from Quaternary freshwater carbonates, through Cenozoic, Mesozoic and Paleozoic limestones and dolostones, to Proterozoic metacarbonates. All near surface British carbonates are soluble and groundwater is commonly discharged from them at springs fed by dissolutionally enlarged conduits, thereby meeting one internationally accepted definition of karst. Hence, it is very appropriate that Britain, and Birmingham as Britain's second largest city, hosts this International Conference on Groundwater in Karst. The meeting will consider the full range of carbonate groundwater systems and will also have an interdisciplinary approach to understanding karst in its fullest sense.


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