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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 collapse breccia is a mass of rock composed of angular to rounded fragments of limestone or dolomite that has formed as the result of the collapse of the roof of a cave, of an underlying cave, or of an overhanging ledge [10]. see also solution breccia.?

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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 differentiation (Keyword) returned 31 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 31
Notulae Orthopterologicae XXI The Dolichopoda of France and Spain., 1966, Baccio Baccetti.
parallelism at great distance are but apparent exceptions: for instance Dolichopoda baccettii and Dolichopoda graeca. As when there are no conditions of insularity causing a particularly remarkable differentiation specific to many entities the geographic barriers among the elements of each group are often very scanty, we can consider possible that after the two great immigrations from the East, by which two suhgenera, one after the other, were imported during the Tertiary period (Baccetti, 1960), the phenomena of speciation were largely favoured, in the Quaternary, by the acquisition of troglophilia which has greatly hindered any possible migration.

Cavernicolous Pseudoscorpions from Macedonia., 1974, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
A cavernicolous pseudoscorpion of the genus Neobisium Chamberlin 1930 is living in Kalina Dupka cave in the Bistra Highland of western Macedonia. This pseudoscorpion clearly differs from the other members of the subgenus Blothrus Schiodte 1849, and belongs to the new species N. (B.) princeps, the principal features of which are described in this study. The nearest relatives of this species are N. (B.} spelaeum (Schiodte) 1849, and N. (B.) stygium Beier 1931, both from Slovenian and Croatian caves. From chelal dentition N. (B.) princeps may be considered as the most primitive element of the princeps-stygium-spelaeum series. This new species is in a subterranean mode of life of extreme specialization. Relating to biogeography, it belongs to the endemic pseudoscorpion fauna in Macedonia. After finding pseudoscorpions in Zmejovica cave (Porece mountainous area), we confirmed the presence of the species N. (E.) karamani (Hadli) 1929 in west Macedonia. Morphologic analysis of male specimens from that new locality enabled us to complete description of this species previously based on a single female specimen. The comparison of Hadzis species with N. (E.) remyi Beier 1939 from west Serbian caves, with N. (E.) brevipes (Frivaldsky) 1866 and N. (E.) leruthi Beier 1931 from Turda and Bihar caves in southern Carpathians, leads to the conclusion that these pseudoscorpions belong to a closely related species group. Judging by actual distribution of these species, the possibility exists that a wide area in the ancient Balkanic dry land had been populated by the initial form of that series. As for its preferences for habitat N. (E.) karamani is an exclusive inhabitant of subterranean environment. Relating to biogeography, it may be considered as a relic of Mediterranean Tertiary fauna and its endemic differentiation as developed under the conditions of the evolution of karst relief in southern countries of the Balkan Peninsula. In conclusion, from actual knowledge and the results of this study caves in Macedonia are inhabited by three endemic species of pseudoscorpions of genus Neobisium (Blothrus), namely: N.(B.) ohridanum Hadzi 1940,N. (B.) karamani (Hadzi) 1929, and N. (B.) princeps Curcic 1974. Judging by known blothroid pseudoscorpions, it is possible Macedonia represents one of the centres of origin and genesis for autochthonous and residual fauna of the Tertiary age.

On the Bathynella from Romania: B. (B.) boteai Serban, B. (B.) vaducrisensis n. sp., B. (B.) plesai Serban et B. (B.) motrensis Serban (Bathynellacea, Bathynellidae). Part II., 1976, Serban Eugne
In the second part of the note a discussion is given dealing with the importance of different characters in the systematics of the genus Bathynella Vejdovsky and with species individualisation in the sub-genus Bathynella (Bathynella) Vejdovsky. We emphasize the differentiation of some elements of the VIIIth male pereiopodes, these appendages never having the same morphology in different species. Taking into account the structure of the apical end of the pennian anterior plates, we suggest to group separately boteai with vaducrisensis and plesai with ruffoi. The main conclusions of the recent studies on the European Bathynella are also given.

The age differentiation of caves and their sediments of the S?spowska Valley. [in Polish], 1977, Madeyska, Teresa

Genetic Differentiation in Populations of the Freshwater Amphipod Gammarus minus Say in a Karst Area., 1981, Gooch James L. , Hetrick Steven W.
The genetic makeup of populations in a particular geographic area should conform, in part, to environmental structure. Three polymorphic enzyme loci in the amphipod Gammarus minus are geographically differentiated in gene frequencies in the mid-Appalachian Mountains of the eastern United States, and genetic breaks usually coincide with topographical features and stream divides. Areas with well integrated drainage systems have a high degree of genetic uniformity.

Palaeoenvironment of lateritic bauxites with vertical and lateral differentiation, 1983, Valeton Ida,
Formation of lateritic bauxites of the type described in this paper occurs world-wide in Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plains. The bauxites form elongate belts, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, parallel to Lower Tertiary shorelines in India and South America and their distribution is not related to a particular mineralogical composition of the parent rock. The lateral movement of the major elements Al, Si, Fe, Ti is dependent on a high level and flow of groundwater. Varying efficiency of subsurface drainage produces lateral facies variations. Interfingering of marine and continental facies indicate a sea-land transition zone where the type of sediments also varies with minor tectonic movements or sea-level changes. A typical sediment association is found in India, Africa, South and North America. It consists of (i) red beds rich in detrital and dissolved material of reworked laterites, (ii) lacustrine sediments and hypersaline precipitates, (iii) lignites intercalated with marine clays, layers of siderite, pyrite, marcasite and jarosite, and (iv) marine chemical sediments rich in oolitic iron ores or glauconite. A model is developed to account for element distributions in lateritic bauxites in terms of groundwater levels and flow. Finally it is shown that many high-level bauxites are formed in coastal plains and that they are subsequently uplifted to their present altitude

IMPACT OF PAST SEDIMENT ECOLOGY ON ROCK FRACTURATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CURRENT ECOSYSTEMS (JURA, FRANCE), 1991, 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)

DISLOCATION OF THE EVAPORITIC FORMATIONS UNDER TECTONIC AND DISSOLUTION CONTROLS - THE MODEL OF THE DINANTIAN EVAPORITES FROM VARISCAN AREA (NORTHERN FRANCE AND BELGIUM), 1993, 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

Combined use of environmental isotopic and hydrochemical data in differentiation of groundwater flow patterns through the Aladağ karstic aquifer-Turkey, Application of Tracers in Arid zone Hydro, 1995, Bayari C. S. , Gunay G.
Distinction between the different groundwater flow systems in karstic areas constitutes one of the major objetives of the basin-wide hydrogeologic research. Use of environmental isotopic and hydrochemical investigation techniques provide a great deal of information for the identification of regional groundwater flow systems. The Lower Zamantı Basin, located in the eastern Taurids, presents an accountable water resource potential that can be used for hydroelectric power production. The basin, with the elevation range between 400 m and 350 m, occupies a catchment area of 2000 km2. Humid and semi-arid climatic regimes prevail in the southern and northern parts of the basin. The carbonate rocks and the overlaying impervious ophiolite nappe constitute the major geologic units in the area. Systematic hydrochemical and environmental isotopic surveys have been carried out to discriminate between the different groundwater flow systems existing in the basin. Hydrochemical studies have been conducted by insitu measurements, sampling and analyses of water samples from about 80 points. Based on the results of hydrochemical evaluations, 23 sampling points, including streams and karstic springs, have been selected for environmental isotopic survey. The integrated evaluation of the available data indicates clearly that two different groundwater flow patterns exist in the basin; namely a shallow flow and a deep regional flow. The characteristic values of temperature, electrical conductivity, carbonate alkalinity and log PCO2 of the shallow-flow in the karstic effluents fed by shallow groundwater circulation springs are 8C, 80 S/cm, 1.5 meq/l and 10-2 atm, respectively. On the other hand, higher values, such as 15C, 455 S/cm, 5.0 meq/l and 10-1 atm are observed in the springs fed by deep-regional groundwater flow. The tritium data indicate that the springs fed by the deep-regional groundwater have longer residence times. Moreover, the recharge area elevations, as envisaged from the oxygen-18 data, also provide supporting evidence for the distinction of different groundwater flow patterns. Additionally, comparison of groundwater temperature with oxygen-18 content presents reliable information to understand the possible interaction among the different karstic effluents.

Geographic variation and genetic relationships in populations of the Androniscus dentiger complex from Central Italy (Isopoda, Oniscidea, Trichoniscidae), 1997, Allegrucci Giuliana, Gentile Gabriele
Androniscus dentiger is a terrestrial isopod distributed from Great Britain to North Africa, inhabiting humid edafic environments, superficial underground compartments and both natural and artificial caves. In this study allozyme data have been used to investigate the geographic variation and the genetic relationships of several populations of A. dentiger from Central Italy, using as outgroups populations from four congeneric species, A. calcivagus, A. cfr. subterraneus, A. spelaeorum, and A. degener. Multivariate analysis of A. dentiger allele frequencies indicates the existence of a group of populations (group A) distributed in a wide geographic area which are genetically slightly differentiated, and several populations (arbitrarily defined as group B) which show differentiation levels comparable to those observed between the morphologically well differentiated species. The low valley of the river Tiber seems to act as an effective geographic barrier between the populations from group A and the remaining ones. The genetic divergence between populations within the group A seems to have a recent origin. This is suggested by the low genetic distances and heterozygosity values within the group A, and by the very low number of private alleles occurring in this group. The high degree of intraspecific and interspecific genetic differentiation is not consistent with the levels of morphological differentiation traditionally used to distinguish different species within this genus. On the whole, these data suggest that A. dentiger might be considered as a complex of cryptic/sibling species.

Differentiation of flow components in a karst aquifer using the ?I80 signature, 1997, Sauter M.

Symposium Abstract: The differentiation of Coarse- and Fine-grained sediments by depositional mechanism; Crag Cave, Co.Kerry, Ireland, 1998, Stevenson M.

Spatial differentiation of the chloride ion concentration in seepage water from the Zakrzwek quarry (Cracow region, S Poland). [in French], 1998, Motyka Jacek, Postawa Adam

Facies differentiation and sequence stratigraphy in ancient evaporite basins - An example from the basal Zechstein (Upper Permian of Germany), 1999, Steinhoff I. , Strohmenger C. ,
Due to excellent preservation, the Werra Anhydrite (Al), the upper member of the Upper Permian Zechstein cycle I (Ist cycle, Z1), is readily studied in terms of the distribution of sulfate facies and sequence stratigraphy that can be interpreted from these facies. In this study cores taken from seven wells in the Southern Zechstein Basin were examined for their sedimentary structures and various petrographic features. Facies interpretation and depositional sequences are based on detailed examination of core material. Four main facies environments have been identified: (I) supratidal (II) intertidal (III) shallow subtidal, and (IV) deeper (hypersaline) subtidal. These are further subdivided into 10 subfacies types: (1) karst and (2) sabkha within the supratidal environment (I), (3) algal tidal-flat, (4) tidal flat and (5) beach deposit within the intertidal environment (II), (6) salina, and (7) sulfate arenites within the shallow subtidal enviromnent (III). The (8) slope subfacies type commonly associated with (9) turbidites and the (10) basin subfacies type subdivide the deeper subtidal environment (IV). Vertical stacking patterns of these facies and subfacies types reveal the sequence stratigraphic development of the sulfate cycles in response to sea-level and salinity fluctuations. The lower Werra Anhydrite (belonging to Zechstein Sequence ZS2) is characterized by a transgressive systems tract (IST) overlying the transgressive surface of Zechstein Sequence ZS2 within the Al-underlying upper Zechstein Limestone (Cal). The TST of the AT is several tens of meters thick in platform areas, where it is built up by sulfate arenites and swallow-tail anhydrite-after-gypsum, and thins out to a few meters of thickness toward the condensed basinal section, where laminites ('Linien-Anhydrit') are predominant. Most of the Al succession consists of three relatively thick parasequences belonging to the highstand systems tract (HST) that shows typical prograding sets. Enhanced platform Buildup, including sulfate arenites, salina deposits, intertidal sediments, and sabkha precipitation as well as turbidite shedding off the platforms produced marginal ''sulfate walls' up to 400 m thick as platform to slope portions of the Werra Anhydrite. Seaward, the Al thins to a few tens of meters of laminated sulfate basin muds. Increasingly pronounced Al topography during highstand narrowed the slope subfacies belt parallel to the platform margin This contrasts with the broad but considerably thinner slope deposits of transgressive times with much shallower slopes. The ensuing sea-level lowstand is reflected by a sequence boundary on top of the karstified Al-platform and a lowstand wedge (Zechstein Sequence ZS3) overlying portions of the slope and basinal subfacies of the Al highstand systems tract Beyond the lateral limits of the lowstand wedge, the sequence boundary merges with the transgressive surface of ZS3, shown by the lithologic change from the Al anhydrites to the overlying carbonates of the Stassfurt Carbonates ('Haupt Dolomit' Main Dolomite, Ca2). The Basal Anhydrite (A2), which overlies and seals the carbonate reservoir of the Ca2, can also be subdivided into systems tracts by means of facies analysis. It is, however, much less complex than the Al and is comprised almost exclusively of a transgressive systems tract of Zechstein Sequence ZS4

Quelle est la dimension du massif karstique de la Sainte-Baume ? Elments pour une thorie spatiale et fractale du karst, 2000, Martin, Philippe
The dimension of the surface of Sainte Baume and its neighbourhood is close to 2,2. This value has been obtained the study of 5 contour lines (from 400 to 800 m) and 5 topographic profiles (3 N - S and 2 E - W). 3 methods were used for contour lines: box counting (DB); the information dimension (Di) and surface - perimeter relation (D(P)). Three methods have been used for topo_graphic profiles: the power spectrum (DSPEC); statistics R/S (DR/S) and vario_gramme (DVAR). Average results are: (DB) = 1.20; Di = 1.23; (D(P)) = 1.32; DSPEC = 1.17; DR/S = 1.24; DVAR = 1.23. Thus, the surface of Sainte Baume and its neighbourhood is fractal. It means, theoretically, that Sainte Baume can be characterised by an infi_nite surface in a bounded volume. This first approach focuses on karst surface approach, cave systems approach will be presented in a following paper (in this review). This result raises numerous geomorpho_logic questions. How to calculate a specific erosion? How to think forms in a theoretical frame, which could develo_ped out of the Euclidean geometry conventions? How to think an essential_ly irregular morphology? Elements of answer are brought on a theoretical plan. They constitute the first elements of a karst geometrical theory. Calculation of the specific erosion points out the problem of the size of the surface used. Due to fractal theories, this size is relative to the observation scale used. To be significant, specific erosion calcula_tion needs the use of an efficient scale, in regard of the erosion processes studied. Furthermore, specific erosion expresses only a balance of mass, not a morphoge_nesis. It corresponds to a chronological approach of the karst. Two dynamics can be distinguished in surface morphogenesis. In one hand, increase of the mean slopes is named spatial differentiation, in another hand, decrease of this value is classically called: aplanation or levelling. These 2 dynamics imply the wearing away of spatially various materials. It takes place essentially around thalwegs during the differentiation stage, around the crest during levelling. Thus morphology, space are important factors of the dynamics in the work. Space is not only a support, but an actor in morphogenesis.

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