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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 electric lamp is as used in caving, generally a helmet-mounted headpiece (bulb, reflector, and lens) with a wire running to a battery carried elsewhere on the person [13].?

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 karst distribution (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
HIGH-RESOLUTION SEISMIC EXPRESSION OF KARST EVOLUTION WITHIN THE UPPER FLORIDIAN AQUIFER SYSTEM - CROOKED LAKE, POLK COUNTY, FLORIDA, 1994, Evans Mw, Snyder Sw, Hine Ac,
We collected 43 km of high resolution seismic reflection profiles from a 14.5-hectare lake in the central Florida sinkhole district and data from three adjacent boreholes to determine the relationship between falling lake levels and the underlying karst stratigraphy. The lake is separated from karstified Paleogene to early Neogene carbonates by 65-80 m of siliciclastic sands and clays. The carbonate and clastic strata include three aquifer systems separated by clay-confining units: a surficial aquifer system (fine to medium quartz sand in the upper 20-30 m), the 25-35 m thick intermediate aquifer system (in Neogene siliciclastics), and the highly permeable upper Floridan aquifer system in Paleogene to early Neogene limestones. Hydraulic connection between these aquifer systems is indicated by superjacent karst structures throughout the section. Collapse zones of up to 1000 m in diameter and > 50 m depth extend downward from a prominent Middle Miocene unconformity into Oligocene and Upper Eocene limestones. Smaller sinkholes (30-100 m diameter, 10-25 m depth) are present in Middle to Late Neogene clays, sands, and carbonates and extend downward to or below the Middle Miocene unconformity. Filled and open shafts (30-40 m diameter; 10-25 m depth) ring the lake margin and overlie subsurface karst features. The large collapse zones are localized along a northeast-southwest line in the northern ponds and disrupt or deform Neogene to Quaternary strata and at least 50 m of the underlying Paleogene carbonate rocks. The timing and vertical distribution of karst structures are used to formulate a four-stage model that emphasizes stratigraphic and hydrogeologic co-evolution. (1) Fracture-selective shallow karst features formed on Paleogene/early Neogene carbonates. (2) Widespread karstification was limited by deposition of Middle Miocene clays, but vertical karst propagation continued and was focused because of the topographic effects of antecedent karst. (3) Groundwater heads, increase with the deposition of thick sequences of clastics over the semipermeable clays during Middle and Late Neogene time. The higher water table and groundwater heads allowed the accumulation of acidic, organic-rich soils and chemically aggressive waters that percolated down to Paleogene carbonates via localized karst features. (4) After sufficient subsurface dissolution, the Paleogene carbonates collapsed, causing disruption and deformation of overlying strata. The seismic profiles document an episodic, vertically progressive karst that allows localized vertical leakage through the clay-confining units. The spatial and temporal karst distribution is a result of deposition of sediments with different permeabilities during high sea levels and enhanced karst dissolution during low sea levels. Recent decreases in the potentiometric elevation of the Floridan Aquifer System simulates a sea-level lowstand, suggesting that karst dissolution will increase in frequency and magnitude

Gypsum karstification in the Middle Miocene Fatha Formation, Mosul area, northern Iraq, 1997, Jassim Saad Z. , Jibril Antwanet S. , Numan Nazar M. S. ,
Karstified Middle Miocene sediments are widely exposed in northern Iraq particularly in the area surrounding the city of Mosul. The unit is dominated by gypsum and exposed in thirteen anticlinal structures within the investigated area of about 1600 square kilometers. Synclines, though containing the same sequence, are not karstified due to a Quaternary cover. Karst features were located from air photos: Over 4000 were recorded, the smallest detectable being two meters in diameter. The majority are sinkholes (dolines), developed in gypsum and manifested in the overlying collapsing limestone. They are singular, in lines or clusters. Shafts and karren are fewer in number and are usually developed in uncovered gypsum. Sinkholes are visibly located along fractures and at fracture intersections over gently inclined limestone beds overlying the gypsum. Two karst systems were identified, an active and recent system characteristic of all the anticlinal structures and an older (Pleistocene) fossil karst system characteristic of Alan, Ishkaft, Albu Saif and Hammam structures. The fossil karst system is preserved on remnant elevated old land surfaces and produces characteristic tight undulations in the limestone due to collapse inwards in sinkholes and elongated tunnels formed along a series of sinkholes. The fracture study of anticlinal structures reveals that the mean fracture density per area ranges between 4 and 8 (km/km2) and shows a unimodal character for most of the structures. However the distribution of karst in relation to fractures is bimodal for at least half of the structures with mean values ranging from 4.5 to 11 (km/km2). The fractures in the anticlines are thought to have formed due to folding but some are associated with major lineaments cross cutting the structures, which is reflected in the bimodality and the crude unimodal fracture/karst distribution. Karst features are related to the general fracture pattern but are more localized in densely fractured areas. Karst areas were also found to correlate with lower slope gradient and lower drainage density

Development of the carbonate island karstmodel, 2007, Mylroie J. R. And Mylroie J. E.
The development of a comprehensive conceptual model for carbonate island karst began in the Bahamas in the 1970s. The use, initially, of cave and karst models created for the interior of continents, on rocks hundreds of millions of years old, was not successful. Models developed in the 1980s for the Bahamas, that recognized the youthfulness of the carbonate rock, the importance of fresh-water mixing with sea water, and the complications introduced by glacioeustatic sea-level change produced the first viable model, the flank margin cave model. This model explains the largest caves in carbonate islands as being the result of mixing zone dissolution in the distal margin of the fresh-water lens, under the flank of the enclosing land mass. The flank margin model, taken from the Bahamas to Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico, in the early 1990s, provided the first viable explanation for the very large caves there. Field work in the geologicallycomplex Mariana Islands in the late 1990s resulted in the development of the Carbonate Island Karst Model, or CIKM, which integrated the various components controlling cave and karst development on carbonate islands. These components are: 1) Mixing of fresh and salt water to create dissolutional aggressivity; 2) Movement of the fresh-water lens, and hence the mixing environments, by 100+ m as a result of Quaternary glacioeustasy; 3) The overprinting of glacioeustatic changes by local tectonic movements, where present; 4) The unique behavior of eogenetic (diagenetically immature) carbonate rocks; and 5) The classification of carbonate islands into simple, carbonate cover, composite, and complex categories. Current research involves the use of flank margin caves as predictors of past and present fresh-water lens configuration, the analysis of flank margin cave morphology as a measure of the processes that create them, and the CIKM as an indicator of paleokarst distribution.

Deep confined karst detection, analysis and paleohydrology reconstruction at a basin-wide scale using new geophysical interpretation of borehole logs, 2011, Laskow M. , Gendler M. , Goldberg I. , Gvirtzman H. , Frumkin A.

Deep karst voids can be identified by a new geophysical interpretation method of commonly used borehole logs at deeply confined carbonate aquifers. We show that deep, buried karst voids can be characterized by combining this geophysical interpretation together with geological and hydrological data, and known speleological constraints. We demonstrate how this characterization can reveal past hydrological regimes and allow mapping of karst distribution on a basin-wide scale.

A combined analysis of geophysical, geological, hydrological and speleological data in the confined Yarkon-Taninim aquifer, Israel, led us to reconstruct past groundwater levels at different sea levels and reliefs, with the karst voids as a marker for long-term flow close to the water table. Paleo-canyons along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline strongly affected the region’s paleohydrology, by serving as major outlets of the aquifer during most of the Cenozoic. We conclude that intensive karstification was promoted by flow periods of longer duration and/or higher flux and flow velocities close to the aquifer’s past and present outlets. In addition, we suggest that karst voids found under shallow confinement was developed by renewed aggressivity achieved by hypogene water rising in cross-formational flow, mixed with fresh lateral water flow from the east.


Deep confined karst detection, analysis and paleo-hydrology reconstruction at a basin-wide scale using new geophysical interpretation of borehole logs, 2011, Laskow M. , Gendler M. , Goldberg I. , Gvirtzman H. , Frumkin A.

Deep karst voids can be identified by a new method of geophysical interpretation of commonly used borehole logs in deeply confined carbonate aquifers. We show that deep, buried karst voids can be characterized by combining this geophysical interpretation together with geological and hydrological data, and with known speleological constraints. We demonstrate how this characterization can reveal past hydrological regimes and allow mapping of karst distribution on a basin-wide scale.

A combined analysis of geophysical, geological, hydrological, and speleological data in the confined Yarkon–Taninim aquifer, Israel, led us to reconstruct past groundwater levels at different relief and sea levels, with the karst voids as a marker for long-term flow close to the water table. Paleo-canyons along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline strongly affected the region’s paleo-hydrology, by serving as major outlets of the aquifer during most of the Cenozoic. We conclude that intensive karstification was promoted by flow periods of longer duration and/or higher flux and flow velocities close to the aquifer’s past and present outlets. In addition, we suggest that karst voids found under shallow confinement were developed by renewed aggressivity due to hypogene water rising in cross-formational flow becoming mixed with fresh lateral water flow from the east.

Deep confined karst detection, analysis and paleo-hydrology reconstruction at a basin-wide scale using new geophysical interpretation of borehole logs, 2011, Laskow M. , Gendler M. , Goldberg I. , Gvirtzman H. , Frumkin A.

Deep karst voids can be identified by a new method of geophysical interpretation of commonly used borehole logs in deeply confined carbonate aquifers. We show that deep, buried karst voids can be characterized by combining this geophysical interpretation together with geological and hydrological data, and with known speleological constraints. We demonstrate how this characterization can reveal past hydrological regimes and allow mapping of karst distribution on a basin-wide scale. A combined analysis of geophysical, geological, hydrological, and speleological data in the confined Yarkon–Taninim aquifer, Israel, led us to reconstruct past groundwater levels at different relief and sea levels, with the karst voids as a marker for long-term flow close to the water table. Paleo-canyons along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline strongly affected the region’s paleo-hydrology, by serving as major outlets of the aquifer during most of the Cenozoic. We conclude that intensive karstification was promoted by flow periods of longer duration and/or higher flux and flow velocities close to the aquifer’s past and present outlets. In addition, we suggest that karst voids found under shallow confinement were developed by renewed aggressivity due to hypogene water rising in cross-formational flow becoming mixed with fresh lateral water flow from the east.


Karst, 2012, Jones William K. , White William B.

The word karst is a Germanized form of the name of a carbonate plateau that is situated above the Adriatic Sea immediately to the east of Trieste, Italy. The term has been generalized as a label for any similar region. The distribution of karst landscapes over the Earth’s surface to a large extent follows the distribution of carbonate (limestone and dolomite) and gypsum rocks, and together these make up about 15% of the Earth’s land area. Karst regions are characterized by a unique set of landforms including closed depressions, deranged drainage, sculptured bedrock surface, and residual hills. Karst regions also differ from other geomorphic regions by the presence of cave systems in the subsurface. In general, surface karst features are more pronounced in regions where the caves have direct hydrologic connections to the land immediately overlying the caves and the surface and subsurface features develop more or less simultaneously.


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