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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 rock formation is a lithologically or structurally distinct part of the lithosphere [16].?

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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 grand canyon (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Climatic Change and the Evolution of Cave Invertebrates in the Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1980, Peck, Stewart B.

Large-basin groundwater circulation and paleo-reconstruction of circulation leading to uranium mineralization in Grand Canyon breccia pipes, Arisona., 1996, Huntoon P. W.

Symposium Abstract: Tufa and Travertine deposits of the Grand Canyon, U.S.A., 1997, Ford T. D. , Pedley H. M.

Tufa and Travertine deposits of the Grand Canyon [Arizona, U.S.A.], 1997, Ford T. D. , Pedley H. M.

Variation of karstic permeability between unconfined and confined aquifers, Grand Canyon region, Arizona, 1999, Huntoon Pw. .
Most of the ground water in the Grand Canyon region circulates to springs in the canyon through the thick, deeply buried, karstified Cambrian through Mississippian carbonate sectionThese rocks are collectively called the lower Paleozoic carbonates and comprise the Redwall-Muav aquifer where saturatedThe morphologies of the caves are primarily a function of whether the carbonates are unconfined or confined, a distinction that has broad significance for groundwater exploration and which appears to be generally transferable to other carbonate regionsCaves in unconfined high-gradient environments tend to be highly localized, partially saturated, simple tubes, whereas those in confined low-gradient settings are saturated 2- or even 3-dimensional mazesThe highly heterogeneous distribution of the unconfined conduits makes for difficult drilling targets, whereas the more ubiquitously distributed confined mazes are far easier to targetThe distinctions between the storage characteristics within the two classes is probably even more importantThere is minimal groundwater storage in the unconfined systems because they are well drainedIn contrast, the saturated mazes exhibit maximal storageConsequently, system responses to major storm recharge events in the unconfined systems is often dominated by flow-through rather than the pulse-through hydraulics as found in the confined systemsSpring discharges from the unconfined systems tends to be both flashy and highly variable from season to season, but total dissolved solids are smallIn contrast, the pulse-through hydraulics in the artesian systems causes spring discharge responses to be highly moderated and, in the larger basins, remarkably steadyBoth total dissolved solids and temperatures in the waters from the confined aquifers tend to be elevated because most of the water is derived from storageKarst permeability is created by the flow system, consequently predicting where the permeability is best developed in a carbonate section involves determining how circulation should be ideally organized through an examination of the geometry of the flow systemThe areas where flow concentrates are the areas where karstification will maximize, provided enough time has elapsed to allow dissolution to adjust to the imposed boundary conditionsThe rate of adjustment in the Grand Canyon region appears to be related to the degree of saturationThe artesian systems are far better adjusted to hydraulic gradients than the unconfined systems, a finding that probably implies that there is greater contact between the solvent and rock in the saturated confined systems

Variability of karstic permeability between unconfined and confined aquifers, Grand Canyon region, Arizona, 2000, Huntoon P. W. ,
Most of the ground water in the Grand Canyon region circulates to springs in the canyon through the thick, deeply buried, karstified Cambrian-Mississippian carbonate section. These rocks are collectively called the lower Paleozoic carbonates and comprise the Redwall-Muav aquifer where saturated. The morphologies of the caves in the Grand Canyon are primarily a function of whether the carbonates are unconfined or confined, a distinction that has broad significance for ground-water exploration and which appears to be generally transferable to other carbonate regions. Caves in unconfined high-gradient environments tend to be highly localized, partially saturated, simple tubes, whereas those in confined low-gradient settings are saturated 2- or even 3-dimensional mazes. The highly heterogeneous, widely spaced conduits in the unconfined settings make for difficult drilling targets, whereas the more ubiquitously distributed mazes in confined settings are far easier to target. The distinctions between the storage characteristics within the two classes are more important. There is minimal ground-water storage in the unconfined systems because cave passages tend to be more widely spaced and are partially drained. In contrast, there is maximum storage in the saturated mazes in the confined systems. Consequently, system responses to major storm recharge events in the unconfined systems are characterized by flow-through hydraulics. Spring discharge from the unconfined systems tends to be both flashy and highly variable from season to season, but total dissolved solids are small. In contrast, the pulse-through hydraulics in the artesian systems cause fluctuations in spring discharge to be highly moderated and, in the larger basins, remarkably steady. Both total dissolved solids and temperatures in the waters from the confined aquifers tend to be elevated because most of the water is derived from storage. The large artesian systems that drain to the Grand Canyon derive water from areally extensive, deep basins where the water has been geothermally heated somewhat above mean ambient air temperatures. Karst permeability is created by the flow system, so dissolution permeability develops most rapidly in those volumes of carbonate aquifers where flow concentrates. Predicting where the permeability should be best developed in a carbonate section involves determining where flow has been concentrated in the geologic past by examining the geometry and hydraulic boundary conditions of the flow field. Karstification can be expected to maximize in those locations provided enough geologic time has elapsed to allow dissolution to adjust to the imposed boundary conditions. The rate of adjustment in the Grand Canyon region appears to be related to the degree of saturation. The artesian systems are far better adjusted to hydraulic gradients than the unconfined systems, a finding that probably implies that there is greater contact between the solvent and rock in the saturated systems. These findings are not arcane distinctions. Rather, successful exploration for ground water and management of the resource is materially improved by recognition of the differences between the types of karst present. For example, the unsaturated conduit karsts in the uplifts make for highly localized, high risk drilling targets and involve aquifers with very limited storage. The conduits have highly variable flow rates, but they carry good quality water largely derived from seasonal flow-through from the surface areas drained. In contrast, the saturated basin karsts, with more ubiquitous dissolutional permeability enhancement, provide areally extensive low risk drilling targets with large ground-water storage. The ground water in these settings is generally of lesser quality because it is derived mostly from long term storage

Karstification associated with groundwater circulation through the Redwall artesian aquifer, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2000, Huntoon P. W.
The karstified Redwall artesian aquifer discharges significant quantities of water to a small number of large springs in the Marble and Grand canyons of Arizona, U.S.A. The locations of the springs are topographically controlled, being situated on the flanks of regional structural depressions at locations where the depressions have been dissected by the canyons. The springs serve as the lowest potentiometric spill points for the aquifer. Modern caves behind the springs appear to be adjusted to the hydraulic boundary conditions governing circulation through the aquifer. These caves appear to be organized parallel to modern hydraulic gradients and are thus fairly independent of preexisting dissolution-enhanced fracture permeability. This indicates that sufficient time has elapsed since the modern circulation system boundaries became established for the flow regime to have created optimally oriented karstic permeability pathways. Dry remnant caves occur in dewatered sections of the Redwall aquifer which obviously predate dissection of the aquifer by the Colorado River. In contrast to the active caves, the dry caves are characterized by keyhole and slot passageways that are predominantly localized along joints and normal faults. The fractures date largely from late Tertiary extensional tectonism. These older caves are interpreted to be remnants of dissolution conduits in what was a more widespread regional Redwall artesian aquifer prior to incision of the Grand Canyon. Recharge to the Redwall aquifer takes place primarily as vertical circulation in normal fault zones where the faults have propagated upward through the overlying Supai confining layer. The water enters the faults directly from the land surface or as leakage from shallower aquifers that drain to the faults.

Grand Canyon, United States, 2004, Davis D. G. , Huntoon P. W.

Stable isotopes of subfossil bat guano as a long-term environmental archive: Insights from a Grand Canyon cave deposit, 2010, Wurster, Christopher M. , Mcfarlane, Donald A. , Bird, Michael I. , Ascough, Philippa, Athfield Nancy Beavan

Karst hydrology of Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2010, Hill C. A. , Polyak V. J.

Caves in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA fall into two main categories: those formed under unconfined conditions and those formed under confined conditions. This study focuses on the hydrology and paleohydrology of the confined caves in the Redwall–Muav aquifer, where the aquifer is overlain by rocks of the Supai Group and underlain by the Bright Angel Shale. Unconfined caves are discussed only in their relation to confined caves. Discharge for confined groundwater was, as it is today, primarily from the Redwall Limestone where it has been incised by the main canyon or its tributaries and where it has converged along a structural low or fault. Descent of the potentiometric surface (or water table) over time is recorded by one ore episode and six cave episodes: (1) emplacement of Cu–U ore, (2) precipitation of iron oxide in cavities, (3) dissolution of cave passages, (4) precipitation of calcite-spar linings over cave passage walls, (5) precipitation of cave mammillary coatings, (6) minor replacement of cave wall and ceiling limestone by gypsum, and (7) deposition of subaerial speleothems. The mammillary episode records the approximate position of the water table when the incision of the canyon was at that level. Discharge toward spring points has reorganized and adjusted with respect to ongoing canyon and side-canyon incision. The dissolution of Grand Canyon confined caves was the result of the mixing of epigene waters with hypogene waters so that undersaturation with respect to calcite was achieved. The karst hydrology of Grand Canyon may be unique compared to other hypogene cave areas of the world.


Sulfuric Acid Caves, 2012, Palmer A, Hill C.

Most caves owe their origin to carbonic acid generated in the soil. In contrast, sulfuric acid caves are produced by the oxidation of sulfides beneath the surface. Although sulfuric acid caves are relatively few, they include some large and well-known examples, such as Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico. They also provide evidence for a variety of deep-seated processes that are important to petroleum geology, ore geology, tectonic history, and the nascent field of karst geomicrobiology.


Reconstructing landscape evolution by dating speleogenetic processes, 2013, Polyak V. J. , Hill C. A.

Speleology and karst geomorphology are making important contributions to evolution of landscapes, thanks to more refined dating techniques, more specialized and advanced instruments, and intensive studies of caves and karst terrains. This chapter provides eight cases where cave and karst studies have made, or are making, new strides in the reconstruction of landscape evolution by dating cave deposits. Some of these study areas include world renowned caves such as Carlsbad Cavern and Lechuguilla Cave in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico, Jewel and Wind caves in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The authors offer added detail on the caves of the Guadalupe Mountains and Grand Canyon


ISOTOPIC STUDIES OF BYPRODUCTS OF HYPOGENE SPELEOGENESIS AND THEIR CONTRIBUTION TO THE GEOLOGIC EVOLUTION OF THE WESTERN UNITED STATES, 2014, Polyak V. J. , Asmerom Y. , Hill C. A. , Palmer A. N. , Provencio P. P. , Palmer M. V. , Mcintosh W. C. , Decker D. D. , Onac B. P.

Hypogene speleogenesis in the western United States is associated with a deep source of water and gases that rise and mix with shallow aquifer water. Caves are formed below the surface without surface expressions (ie, sinkholes, sinking streams), and byproducts of speleogenesis are precipitated during the late phase of hypogene speleogenesis. These byproducts provide geochemical and geochronological evidence of a region’s geologic history and include gypsum rinds and blocks, elemental sulfur, halloysite-10Å, alunite, natroalunite, and other sulfur-related minerals. The following speleogenetic and speleothemic features are common: alteration rinds, crusts, mammillaries, folia, rafts, and cave spar. The types of hypogene speleogenesis vary and many can be expressed in space and time in relation to paleo-water tables. We identify two general types: (1) H2S-H2SO4-dominated speleogenesis that takes place predominantly near a paleo-water table (a few meters above and below), and (2) CO2-dominated speleogenesis that mostly takes place 10s to 100s of meters below a paleo-water table, with latest-stage imprints within meters of the water table.
The Kane caves in Wyoming, and the Guadalupe Mountains caves in New Mexico and West Texas, are examples of H2S-H2SO4-dominated speleogenesis (also known as sulfuric acid speleogenesis, SAS), where deposits of H2S- and H2SO4-origin are the obvious fingerprints. The Grand Canyon caves in Arizona and Glenwood Caverns in Colorado are examples of CO2-dominated systems, where H2SO4 likely played a smaller role (Onac et al., 2007). Deeper-seated geode-like caves, like the spar caves in the Delaware Basin area, are probably CO2-dominated, and have formed at greater depths (~0.5 ± 0.3 km) below paleo-water tables. Caves in the Black Hills, South Dakota are composite and complex and show evidence for multiple phases of hypogene speleogenesis. In areas such as the Grand Canyon region, these paleo-water tables, when they existed in thick carbonate rock stratigraphy and especially at the top of the thick carbonate rock strata, were likely regionally relatively flat in the larger intact tectonic blocks.
Geochemical studies of these deposits are providing information about the timing of speleogenesis through U-Th, U-Pb, and Ar-dating. In addition, tracer data from isotopes of C, O, S, Sr, and U are indicators of the sources of water and gases involved in speleogenesis. From these studies, novel canyon incision and landscape evolution interpretations are appearing in the literature. Beyond this, the study of these byproduct materials seems to show evidence that the deeply sourced water and gases involved in hypogene speleogenesis in the western United States are generated during tectonic and volcanic activity, and may be related to mantle processes associated with formation of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Basin and Range province, and Rio Grande Rift.


Biology and ecology of Bat Cave, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 2014, Pape, R. B.

A study of the biology and ecology of Bat Cave, Grand Canyon National Park, was conducted during a series of four expeditions to the cave between 1994 and 2001. A total of 27 taxa, including 5 vertebrate and 22 macro-invertebrate species, were identified as elements of the ecology of the cave. Bat Cave is the type locality for Eschatomoxys pholeter Thomas and Pape (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and an undescribed genus of tineid moth, both of which were discovered during this study. Bat Cave has the most species-rich macro-invertebrate ecology currently known in a cave in the park


Karst piracy: A mechanism for integrating the Colorado River across the Kaibab uplift, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2014, Hill C. A. , Polyak V. J.

Age, isotopic, and detrital zircon data on the Hualapai Limestone Member and Muddy Creek Formation (western United States) constrain the time of the first arrival of the Colorado River on the west side of the Grand Canyon to ca. 6–5 Ma. We propose a karst piracy mechanism, along with a 17–6 Ma western paleo–Grand Canyon, as an alternative explanation for how the Colorado River became integrated across the Kaibab uplift and for the progressive upsection decrease in δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr values of the Hualapai Limestone Member. An earlier Laramide paleocanyon, along which this western paleocanyon followed, can also perhaps explain why no clastic delta exists in the Grand Wash trough.

Karst piracy is a type of stream piracy where a subterranean drainage connection is made under a topographic divide. The process of karst piracy proceeds through five main stages: (1) establishment of a gradient across a topographic divide due to headward erosion into the low side of the divide, (2) leakage in soluble rock along the steepest gradient, (3) expansion of the leakage route into a cave passage that is able to carry a significant volume of water under the divide, (4) stoping and collapse of rock above the underground river, eventually forming a narrow gorge, and (5) widening of the gorge into a canyon. A karst piracy model is proposed here for the Kaibab uplift area that takes into account the structure and hydrology of that area. Other examples of karst piracy operating around the world support our proposition for integrating the Colorado River across the Kaibab uplift in the Grand Canyon.


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