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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 carbonate-hydroxylapatite is a cave mineral - ca5(po4,co3)3(oh) [11].?

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.
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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 in-situ (Keyword) returned 51 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 51
A microwave radiometric study of buried karst topography, 1968, Kennedy J. M. ,
To prove the potential of microwave surveys in locating and mapping subsurface voids, a mobile laboratory was used to obtain in situ data. This unit is equipped with passive microwave radiometers operating at 13.4 GHz (2.22 cm), 37 GHz (8.1 mm), and 94 GHz (3.2 mm). An area near Cool, El Dorado County, California, is known to have well-developed subsurface karst and has been surveyed by the California Highway Department and the California Rock and Gravel Company. The microwave survey showed significant radiometric 'cold' anomalies associated with void-space beneath several tens of feet of soil cover. Detection was positive in almost all cases. Microwave systems may be used to greatly reduce surveying costs in the areas where caves have developed beneath cover

Distribution of the rare earth elements (REE, including La-Lu, Y) along vertical profiles is presented for four well-studied karst-bauxite deposits from Yugoslavia and Greece. For one deposit from Jamaica, La and Y contents are given. All deposits display a downward enrichment of the REE culminating at the base, where authigenic REE minerals have been formed. This REE pattern is characteristic for karst-bauxites formed in situ through the bauxitization of argillaceous material collected in karstic depressions. In this way, the highest enrichment of the REE in the sedimentary cycle has been achieved. Both light REE (LREE) and heavy REE (HREE) were 'mobile' during the bauxitization process and were concentrated at the alkaline barrier of the carbonate footwall. In four out of five studied deposits, the ratios SIGMA-LREE/SIGMA-HREE and La/Y in bauxites decrease downwards, showing an enrichment of the HREE relative to LREE. A further fractionation of the REE took place in the formation of authigenic REE minerals, which exhibit a very high enrichment of LREE relative to HREE. In spite of this, these minerals and bauxites in four studied deposits have a general similarity of the REE distribution patterns, which indicate a close genetic relationship

Quaternary engineering geology, 1991, Fookes Pg,
The geological and geomorphological effects on the Earth's surface during the Quaternary have been both extensive and profound. An attempt has been made to simplify and summarize these effects by considering the principal agencies at work during the Quaternary: plate tectonics, rapidly rising sea levels, rapidly falling sea levels, rapidly cooling climates and rapidly warming climates. The resulting series of major glacial and interglacial episodes have had far-reaching consequences for the engineering characteristics of the Earth's surface. In attempting to summarize these major omissions will have been inevitable and errors will have occurred due to compression of the subject and its interpretation in a simplified manner. Table 2 summarizes the approach of the paper in itemising the principal Quaternary events, causes and effects, consequences to landscape and inferences to engineering. Each of the six events has been developed into larger tables and accompanied by some discussion and examples. The principal consequences of the events for engineering have been the production of glacial and periglacial soils,over large areas of the northern and southern hemispheres; changes in the sediment patterns on the coasts, the continental shelves and in river systems; and the development of weathering profiles of very variable type and distribution leading to development of in situ residual soils of many different engineering characteristics. The major shifts in climate associated with these events have led to migration of various surface forms which are now being exposed or covered by the present regime, leading to many active slope processes with potential instability for engineering projects and unexpected distribution of materials. The continuing events of plate tectonics which precedes the Quaternary by a long period of geological time explain the distribution of earthquake systems, growing coastlines and mountains, and the pattern of volcanic areas with their own suites of rock and soil of significance for the engineer. ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

In situ tracing experiments have proved to be reliable tools to get direct information on subsurface flow direction and flow parameters. Beside dyes, salts, radioisotopes and drift bodies, microbes can be used as tracers. In several comparative experiments carried out in porous and karst aquifers by the International Association of Tracer Hydrology (ATH) the microbial markers (bacteria and bacteriophages) have shown promising results. They are especially suitable to explain and model the subsurface transport of microorganisms

SEDIMENT-HOSTED GOLD MINERALIZATION IN THE RATATOTOK DISTRICT, NORTH SULAWESI, INDONESIA, 1994, Turner S. J. , Flindell P. A. , Hendri D. , Hardjana I. , Lauricella P. F. , Lindsay R. P. , Marpaung B. , White G. P. ,
The Ratatotok district in the Minahasa Regency of North Sulawesi, Indonesia is an area of significant gold mineralisation. Gold has been mined in the district since at least the 1850s, and intensively by the Dutch between 1900 and 1921 with a recorded production of 5,060 kg of gold. Newmont began exploring the district in 1986, and has delineated a major sediment-hosted replacement-style deposit at Mesel, and other smaller deposits in an 8 X 5 km area. A total drill-indicated resource of over 60 metric tonnes of gold ( 2 Moz) is reported for Mesel, and three of the smaller deposits. Approximately 80% of this resource is refractory. Silver grades are usually low (< 10 g/t). The Mesel deposit is similar to many Carlin-type deposits in carbonate hostrocks, alteration, geochemical signature and ore mineralogy, but is distinct in tectonic setting. The discovery of replacement-style mineralisation at Mesel, in an impure limestone within a Tertiary island arc environment, demonstrates that deposits with outward characteristics similar to Carlin-type mineralisation are not restricted to a continental setting. Carbonate sediments in the Ratatotok district were deposited in a Late Miocene restricted basin. Later compressional tectonics caused uplift that resulted in karst development in the limestone and erosion of the adjacent volcanic arc with deposition of a thick epiclastic unit. This was followed by intrusion of shallow level pre-mineral andesite into the sequence. Mineralisation at Mesel, and probably elsewhere in the district, is synchronous with the late-stage reactivation of strike-slip faults. Mineralising fluids at Mesel were focussed along steep structures sympathetic to these faults, and trapped below a relatively impermeable andesite cap rock. Hydrothermal fluids caused decalcification of the silty, more permeable carbonate units with the formation of secondary dolomite, deposition of fine arsenian pyrite, silica veinlets and gold. Volume loss due to decalcification and dolomite formation caused collapse brecciation which enhanced fluid flow and further mineralisation. This locally culminated in total decarbonation and deposition of massive silica. Late-stage stibnite occurs in structural zones within the ore deposit, whereas arsenic (as realgar and orpiment) and mercury (as cinnabar) are concentrated on the periphery. Elsewhere in the Ratatotok district, gold mineralisation is restricted to replacement-style mineralisation in permeable zones along limestone-andesite contacts, open-space-filling quartz-calcite veins and stockworks, and residual quartz-clay breccias. The residual breccias are developed in-situ, and are interpreted to form by dissolution of the wallrock limestone from around pre-existing mineralisation. This has resulted in widespread eluvial gold occurrences

Hydrochemical and hydrodynamical investigations are presented to explain tufa deposition rates along the flow path of the Huanglong Ravine, located in northwestern Sichuan province, China, on an altitude of about 3400 m asl. Due to outgassing of CO2 the mainly spring-fed stream exhibits, along a valley of 3.5 km, calcite precipitation rates up to a few mm/year. We have carried out in situ experiments to measure calcite deposition rates at rimstone dams, inside of pools and in the stream-bed. Simultaneously, the downstream evolution of water chemistry was investigated at nine locations with respect to Ca2 Mg2, Na, Cl-, SO42-, and alkalinity. Temperature, pH, and conductivity were measured in situ, while total hardness, Ca-T, and alkalinity have been determined immediately after sampling, performing standard titration methods. The water turned out to be of an almost pure Ca-Mg-HCO3 type. The degassing of CO2 causes high supersaturation with respect to calcite and due to calcite precipitation the Ca2 concentration decreases from 6 . 10(-3) mole/l upstream down to 2.5 . 10(-3) mole/l at the lower course. Small rectangular shaped tablets of pure marble were mounted under different flow regimes, i.e., at the dam sites with fast water flow as well as inside pools with still water. After the substrate samples had stayed in the water for a period of a few days, the deposition rates were measured by weight increase, up to several tens of milligrams. Although there were no differences in hydrochemistry, deposition rates in fast flowing water were higher by as much as a factor of four compared to still water, indicating a strong influence of hydrodynamics. While upstream rates amounted up to 5 mm/year, lower rates of about 1 mm/year were observed downstream. Inspection of the marble substrate surfaces by EDAX and SEM (scanning electron microscope) revealed authigeneously grown calcite crystals of about 10 mu m. Their shape and habit are indicative of a chemically controlled inorganic origin. By applying a mass transfer model for calcite precipitation taking into account the reaction rates at the surface given by Plummer et al. (1978), slow conversion of CO2 into H and HCO3-, and diffusional mass transport across a diffusion boundary layer, we have calculated the deposition rates from the hydrochemistry of the corresponding locations. The calculated rates agree within a factor of two with the experimental results. Our findings confirm former conclusions with respect to fast flow conditions: reasonable rates of calcite precipitation can be estimated in reducing the PWP-rate calculated from the chemical composition of the water by a factor of about ten, thus correcting for the influence of the diffusion boundary layer

Geochemistry of submarine warm springs in the limestone cavern of Grotta Azzurra, Capo Palinuro, Italy: evidence for mixing-zone dolomitisation, 1996, Stuben Doris, Sedwick Peter, Colantoni Paolo,
Subtidal springs in and around the submarine limestone cavern of Grotta Azzurra, at Capo Palinuro, Italy, discharge fluids which are warm (-, Na and Mg2, and enriched in Si, alkalinity, Ca2, Sr2, Mn, NH4, PO43- and H2S, relative to surrounding seawater. The compositions of the warm fluid samples collected in and around the cave define mixing lines which suggest dilution of a single thermal fluid (T >= 23[deg]C) by cool overlying seawater (T= 17-17.6[deg]C). The chemical data suggest that the proposed thermal fluid contains two components, one derived from seawater ( 10%). Excess Si, alkalinity, Ca2, Sr2 and Mn relative to seawater are likely derived from the groundwater component or dissolution/hydrothermal alteration of the host rocks. Magnesium has been removed from the seawater component in exchange for Ca2, due to dolomitisation of the limestone and/or hydrothermal alteration reactions. Saturation-state calculations suggest that the vented fluids are near saturation with respect to calcite and supersaturated with respect to dolomite. This and the presence of dolomite in the host rocks and cave-floor sediments suggest that 'mixing-zone' dolomitisation of the limestones is occurring, perhaps kinetically assisted by elevated temperature and/or bacterial mediation in the reducing subseafloor zone. One possible 'end-member' condition is considered for the thermal fluid -- zero-Mg -- which suggests an end-member temperature of 50.5[deg]C and a fluid composition derived from ~ 38% seawater and ~ 62% groundwater. The heat source for the circulating fluids is uncertain, but may involve warm underlying igneous rocks or heating via the geothermal gradient. A continuous in-situ record of vent-fluid temperature, salinity, pH and O2 concentration collected within the cavern is consistent with our interpretation of the fluid origin, and suggests that tidal forcing affects circulation and venting of the warm fluids

Ce-anomalies in the textural components of upper Cretaceous karst bauxites from the Apulian carbonate platform (southern Italy), 1997, Mongelli G. ,
The chemical and mineralogical composition of Upper Cretaceous Apulian karat bauxites (southern Italy) and their textural components, i.e. ooids and matrix, has been studied. The bulk samples are composed of boehmite, hematite, anatase and kaolinite. The samples collected along a vertical profile show a downward enrichment for the elements Rb, Sr, Ba, Ni and Cr. A similar distribution is observed in deposits bauxitized in situ at the expense of matrix-like material collected in the karst zone. The ooids consist mainly of hematite with minor boehmite and anatase, whereas in the matrix boehmite prevails on hematite, kaolinite and anatase. In the void fillings in the matrix there is a Ca-fluorocarbonate having a Ce/Ce* of 5.8. The ooids, with the exception of Ce, are enriched in REE and show a higher (La/Yb)(ch) ratio relative to the matrix. The matrix exhibits a large positive Ce-anomaly whereas the ooids have negative Ce-anomaly. The Ce fractionation between the textural components can be explained assuming: (1) Ce oxidation and cerianite precipitation in the uppermost part of the deposits; (2) scavenging of REE from Ce-depleted percolating solutions by the iron oxide, inducing both REE-enrichment and Ce-negative anomalies in ooids; (3) remobilization of cerium as fluoride complex, as a consequence of more acidic conditions in the uppermost part of the deposit, and precipitation of Ce3 as fluorocarbonate mineral toward the carbonate bedrock barrier, at alkaline pH. Alternatively, the cerium remobilization, possibly as a carbonate-fluoride complex, could be due to an Eh decrease, favoured by a rise of the groundwater level. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

Mixed transport reaction control of gypsum dissolution kinetics in aqueous solutions and initiation of gypsum karst, 1997, Raines M. A. , Dewers T. A. ,
Experiments with gypsum in aqueous solutions at 25 degrees C, low ionic strengths, and a range of saturation states indicate a mixed surface reaction and diffusional transport control of gypsum dissolution kinetics. Dissolution rates were determined in a mixed flow/rotating disc reactor operating under steady-state conditions, in which polished gypsum discs were rotated at constant speed and reactant solutions were continuously fed into the reactor. Rates increase with velocity of spin under laminar conditions (low rates of spin), but increase asymptotically to a constant rate as turbulent conditions develop with increasing spin velocity, experiencing a small jump in magnitude across the laminar-turbulent transition. A Linear dependence of rates on the square root of spin velocity in the laminar regime is consistent with rates being limited by transport through a hydrodynamic boundary layer. The increase in rate with onset of turbulence accompanies a near discontinuous drop in hydrodynamic boundary layer thickness across the transition. A relative independence of rates on spinning velocity in the turbulent regime plus a nonlinear dependence of rates on saturation state are factors consistent with surface reaction control. Together these behaviors implicate a 'mixed' transport and reaction control of gypsum dissolution kinetics. A rate law which combines both kinetic mechanisms and can reproduce experimental results under laminar flow conditions is proposed as follows: R = k(t) {1 - Omega(b)() zeta [1 - (1 2(1 - Omega(b)())(1/2)]} where k(t) is the rate coefficient for transport control, and Omega(b)() is the mean ionic saturation state of the bulk fluid. The dimensionless parameter zeta(=Dm(eq)()/2 delta k() where m(eq)() = mean ionic molal equilibrium concentration, D is the diffusion coefficient through the hydrodynamic boundary layer, delta equals the boundary layer thickness and k() is the rate constant for surface reaction control) indicates which process, transport or surface reaction, dominates, and is sensitive to the hydrodynamic conditions in the reactor. For the range of conditions used in our experiments, zeta varies from about 1.4 to 4.5. Rates of gypsum dissolution were also determined in situ in a cavern system in the Permian Blaine Formation, southwestern Oklahoma. Although the flow conditions in the caverns were not determinable, there is good agreement between lab- and field-determined rates in that field rate magnitudes lie within a range of rates determined experimentally under zero to low spin velocities A numerical model coupling fluid flow and gypsum reaction in an idealized circular conduit is used to estimate the distance which undersaturated solutions will travel into small incipient conduits before saturation is achieved. Simulations of conduit wall dissolution showed-member behaviors of conduit formation and surface denudation that depend on flow boundary conditions (constant discharge or constant hydraulic gradient and initial conduit radius. Surface-control of dissolution rates. which becomes more influential with higher fluid flow velocity, has the effect that rate decrease more slowly as saturation is approached than otherwise would occur if rates were controlled by transport alone. This has the effect that reactive solutions can penetrate much farther into gypsum-bearing karst conduits than heretofore thought possible, influencing timing and mechanism of karst development as well as stability of engineered structures above karst terrain

Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the continental karst-hosted supergene manganese deposits in the western Rhodope massif, Macedonia, northern Greece, 1997, Nimfopoulos M. K. , Pattrick R. A. D. , Michailidis K. M. , Polya D. A. , Esson J. ,
Economic Mn-oxide ore deposits of commercial grade occur in the Rhodope massif near Kato Nevrokopi in the Drama region, Northern Greece. The Mn-oxide mineralization has developed by weathering of continental hypogene rhodochrosite-sulphide veins. The vein mineralization is confined by tectonic shear zones between marble and metapelites, extending laterally into the marble as tabular, pod or lenticular oreshoots (up to 50 m x 20 m x 5-10 m). Supergene oxidation of the hypogene mineralization led to the formation of in-situ residual Mn-oxide ore deposits, and secondary infills of Mn-oxide ore in embryonic and well developed karst cavities. Whole rock geochemical profiles across mineralized zones confirm the role of thrusts and faults as solution passageways and stress the importance of these structures in the development of hydrothermal and supergene mineralization at Kato Nevrokopi. Three zones an recognized in the insitu supergene veins: (A) a stable zone of oxidation, where immobile elements form (or substitute in) stable oxide mineral phases, and mobile elements are leached; (B) a transitional (active) zone in which element behavior is strongly influenced by seasonal fluctuations of the groundwater table and variations in pH-Eh conditions; and (C) a zone of permanent flooding, where variations in pH-Eh conditions are minimal. Zone (B) is considered as the source zone for the karst cavity mineralization. During weathering, meteoric waters, which were CO2-rich (P-CO2 similar to 10(-3.8) to 10(-1.4)) and oxygenated (fO(2) -10(-17) for malachite), percolated downward within the veins, causing breakdown and dissolution of sulfides and marble, and oxidation of rhodochrosite to Mn-oxides. Karat cavity formation was favored by the high permeability along thrust zones. Dissolved Mn2 was transported into karst cavities in reduced meteoric waters at the beginning of weathering (pH similar to 4-5), and as Mn(HCO3)(2) in slightly alkaline groundwaters during advanced weathering (pH similar to 6-8). Mn4? precipitation took place by fO(2) increase in ground waters, or pH increase by continuous hydrolysis and carbonate dissolution. In the well developed karst setting, some mobility of elements occurred during and after karst ore formation in the order Na>K>Mg>Sr>Mn>As>Zn>Ba>Al>Fe>Cu>Cd>Pb. (C) 1998 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petrolem. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Microorganisms as tracers in groundwater injection and recovery experiments: a review, 1997, Harvey R. W. ,
Modern day injection and recovery techniques designed to examine the transport behavior of microorganisms in groundwater have evolved from experiments conducted in the late 1800s, in which bacteria that form red or yellow pigments were used to trace flow paths through karst and fractured-rock aquifers. A number of subsequent groundwater hydrology studies employed bacteriophage that can be injected into aquifers at very high concentrations (e.g., 10(13) phage ml(-1)) and monitored through many log units of dilution to follow groundwater flow paths for great distances, particularly in karst terrain. Starting in the 1930s, microbial indicators of fecal contamination (particularly coliform bacteria and their coliphages) were employed as tracers to determine potential migration of pathogens in groundwater. Several injection and recovery experiments performed in the 1990s employed indigenous groundwater microorganisms (both cultured and uncultured) that are better able to survive under in situ conditions. Better methods for labeling native bacteria (e.g. by stable isotope labeling or inserting genetic markers, such as the ability to cause ice nucleation) are being developed that will not compromise the organisms' viability during the experimental time course

Nouveau regard sur la splogense : le pseudo-karst du Tournaisis (Hainaut, Belgique), 1998, Vergari, Anne
In the paleokarstic features of the carboniferous limestones (Synclinorium of Namur Hainaut, Belgium) new endokarstic forms have been discovered and named "pseudo-endokarsts". From a morphological point of view, the pseudo-endokarst looks like a gallery. But, in fact, it results from an in-situ alteration: the "ghost rocks". The study of the sedimentary cross-section in the "pic--glace cave" described in this article offers new understanding of endokarst genesis. Dynamic flows are not any more the only way to initiate karstification.

Lanthanide-labeled clay: A new method for tracing sediment transport in karst, 1998, Mahler B. J. , Bennett P. C. , Zimmerman M. ,
Mobile sediment is a fundamental yet poorly characterized aspect of mass transport through karst aquifers. Here the development and field testing of an extremely sensitive particle tracer that may be used to characterize sediment transport in karst aquifers is described. The tracer consists of micron-size montmorillonite particles homoionized to the lanthanide form; after injection and retrieval from a ground water system, the lanthanide ions are chemically stripped from the clay and quantified by high performance liquid chromatography, The tracer meets the following desired criteria: low detection limit; a number of differentiable signatures; inexpensive production and quantification using standard methods; no environmental risks; and hydrodynamic properties similar to the in situ sediment it is designed to trace. The tracer was tested in laboratory batch experiments and field tested in both surface water and ground water systems. In surface water, arrival times of the tracer were similar to those of a conservative water tracer, although a significant amount of material was lost due to settling. Two tracer tests were undertaken in a karst aquifer under different flow conditions. Under normal flow conditions, the time of arrival and peak concentration of the tracer were similar to or preceded that of a conservative water tracer. Under low flow conditions, the particle tracer was not detected, suggesting that in low flow the sediment settles out of suspension and goes into storage

Relation entre ecoulements et fractures ouvertes dans un systeme aquifere compartimente par des failles et mise en evidence d'une double porosite de fractures, 1999, Bruel T, Petit Jp, Massonnat G, Guerin R, Nolf Jl,
Hydrodynamic characterisation of real fracture systems is necessary to improve modelling of fracture reservoirs as well as nuclear waste disposal sites. This characterisation is usually considered globally and theoretically but very few studies have aimed to identify the real physical environment of flow (matrix, faults, joints etc.) before establishing hydrodynamical models. We present a case study in a fractured reservoir aiming to give an example of how and why fluids actually flow within a given fracture at the various scales of fracturation of a fracture network. This study demonstrates that the determination of type and orientation of fractures actually supporting flow is necessary for accurate interpretation of the pumping tests within a fractured reservoir. It also shows that there is no simple relationship between the fault offset and the importance of flow, probably due to the influence of in situ stress. It is shown that the combination of various methods can be used to determine the fracture-flow relationship and behaviour at subseismic scale in subsurface conditions

Tectonic network as the initial factor of karstification of the chalk limestones in the Perche hills (Orne, Normandy, France), 1999, Rodet J. ,
Tectonics has been known to be the initial factor of karstification for a long time, but this has never been demonstrated because of the progressive nature of karstification, which destroys evidence of the preliminary phases. Because of its dual hydrological quality, chalk limestone has conserved a great variety of specific forms illustrating various steps in evolution, from the initial primokarst to the classic well-developed drain. In the Perche hills, very recent research has shown specific endokarstic galleries, filled up by sands and clays. Physical, chemical and X-ray analyses have shown that such infillings result not from a classical fluviatile deposit process, but on the contrary, from an alteration process, underlining the progress of a weathering front into the limestone mass down to the watertable. The infillings are not sedimentary deposits, but represent a kind of 'shadow rock', a chemical in situ transformation of limestone, without any transport of the solid fraction, The genesis results from the progression of weathering fronts located on the tectonic pattern into the input karst. When the weathering front crosses the watertable, the resulting water mixing produces a chemical reaction capable of opening the original joint. This results in infilled galleries, similar to classical karst drains, which have never known fluviatile drainage. This illustrates the first step in normal karstic evolution, just before a water flux drains the gallery, resulting in a new karstification step: the drained passage. The specificity of the region of the Perche hills is this karat evolution stopped in the first step, illustrating the 'primorkarst' modelling by the researcher, which has never been described before. The conditions for this genesis are a well-developed tectonic pattern, an absence of thick superficial layers, a high soil permeability, and an absence of superficial drainage (lack of sinkholes). (C) Elsevier, Paris

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