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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 injection zone is a geological 'formation,' group of formations, or part of a formation receiving fluids through a well.?

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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 maturity (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
Studies on the Biology of Oligochaetes from the phreatic water of an exposeds gravel bed., 1971, Ladle Michael.
More than twenty species of oligochaeta belonging to the families Enchytraeidae, Naididae, Tubificidae and Lumbriculidae were found in the phreatic water of the river bank gravels. Psammoryctes barbatus, Rhyacodrilus coccineus and Styludrilus heringianus were found throughout the year, attaining maturity in the spring. These three species may be univoltine under these conditions. The family Naididae and a few species of Tubificidae show well marked seasons of abundance, chiefly in the summer and autumn.

Studies on the Biology of Oligochaetes from the phreatic water of an exposeds gravel bed., 1971, Ladle Michael.
More than twenty species of oligochaeta belonging to the families Enchytraeidae, Naididae, Tubificidae and Lumbriculidae were found in the phreatic water of the river bank gravels. Psammoryctes barbatus, Rhyacodrilus coccineus and Styludrilus heringianus were found throughout the year, attaining maturity in the spring. These three species may be univoltine under these conditions. The family Naididae and a few species of Tubificidae show well marked seasons of abundance, chiefly in the summer and autumn.

The life cycle of a Kentuky cave beetle, Ptomaphagus hirtus, (Coleoptera; Leiodidae; Catopinae)., 1975, Peck Stewart B.
Ptomaphagus hirtus has been successfully kept in laboratory culture at 12.5C with food in surplus at all times. Eggs hatched in 18.5 days. Three larval instars were present, which had a total larval life span of 42 days. The pupal stage lasted 32 days. Adult males and adult females had average life spans of 2.2 years and 1.6 years respectively. Maximum adult longevity was 4.2 years. Females reached reproductive maturity a month after eclosion, young and old females produced one egg every 3.5 and 3.8 days respectively, and were reproductively active for as long as 2.5 years. Compared to European cave catopid beetles, this is a primitive or unmodified life cycle.

Variation among Populations of the Troglobitic Amphipod Crustacean Crangonyx antennatus Packard (Crangonyctidae) Living in Different Habitats, III: Population Dynamics and Stability., 1981, Dickson Gary W. , Holsinger John R.
Populations of the troglobitic amphipod Crangonyx antennatus from caves in Lee Co., Virginia (U.S.A.) were investigated on both a short and long term basis. The dynamics of populations living in two distinct aquatic cave habitats (mud-bottom pools and gravel-bottom streams) were compared seasonably for one year. Sex ratios indicated a larger number of females in both pool and stream habitats. The majority of males in both habitats were found to be sexually mature throughout the year investigated. Seasonal fluctuations in female maturity were observed in both habitats, with larger numbers collected in June and August. In addition, a larger number of ovigerous females were observed in the spring, indicating the possibility of a circannian reproductive cycle in both pools and streams. The structure of populations from the caves studied appears to reflect a controlled recruitment of females from immature to mature stages. In order to determine the stability of population structure, collection data from a pool and a stream habitat for a l0-year period were analyzed. Population structures were found to be relatively stable over long periods in both habitats, with immature females comprising the dominant population class.

The Origin of the Kelly Hill Caves, Kangaroo Island, S.A., 1984, Hill, A. L.

The Kelly Hill caves in soft, homogenous, extremely porous dune limestone differ markedly in morphology from those in the more usual, dense, bedded limestones. Solution occurs at depth with great lateral spread through swamps overflowing into the base of the hill. Development occurs by roof breakdown as areas of solution become so large that the roof cannot support the weight; a theory of the mechanics is presented. Domes and tunnels of collapse rise above the watertable; at maturity there are isolated infalls from the surface. Water percolating down from the surface only builds secondary calcite deposits.


Pedogenic and Karstic Features at the Boundaries of Bathonian Depositional Sequences in the Grands Causses Area (Southern France): Stratigraphic Implications, 2000, Charcosset P, Combes Pj, Peybernes B, Ciszak R, Lopez M,
Several exposure surfaces (D1 to D6) underlain by paleosols, paleokarstic surfaces, and subsurface paleokarsts were identified in the Middle to Upper Bathonian Calcaires a Stipites and Dolomies II Formations in southern France. Two kinds of paleosols with different degrees of maturity were recognized: simple ferruginous crusts, capping very irregular bed surfaces, and a rooted horizon. The paleokarstic surfaces are marked by nodular horizons and paleocaves. On the Cevennes shoal, the paleokarsts discontinuities are associated with synsedimentary tectonic processes, which did not extend into the overlying Dolomies II Formation. Subsurface paleokarsts were observed in the Cirque du Bout du Monde (on the Cevennes shoal) within the Calcaires a Stipites Formation, just beneath surface D5. They are characterized by stronger brecciation of the beds. Most of the paleokarstic discontinuities described in this study correspond to the boundaries of four third-order depositional sequences, Bt 1 to Bt 4 (D1 at the base of Bt 1; D2, D3, D4, and D5 capping Bt 1, Bt 2, Bt 3, and Bt 4, respectively; D6 at the top of the Dolomies II Formation). D1, D2, and D3 paleokarsts are geographically limited to the Grands Causses Graben, whereas D4, D5, and D6 are present only on the Cevennes shoal. Geographic trends of paleokarsts confirm the transgressive trend of sequences Bt 3 and Bt 4, and of the overlying Dolomies II Formation towards the shoal. D6 paleokarstic features were also observed within the uppermost part of the Dolomies II Formation in the Horst de Saint-Bresson. The latter transgressive process provides evidence for subaerial exposure of this paleostructure during the latest Bathonian-Callovian interval, induced by tectonic uplifts

Geochemical exploration for gold in Jamaica: a comparison of stream sediment and soil surveys, 2004, Garrett Rg, Lalor Gc, Vutchkov M,
The geology of Jamaica is reviewed with reference to gold. Two geochemical surveys, one employing stream sediments for mineral exploration in selected regions of Jamaica considered a priori to have greater mineral potential, and the other an island-wide low-density soil survey to meet agro-environmental objectives, were undertaken in 1986 and 1988, respectively. The paper presents an interpretation of the previously unpublished soil data for gold, and undertakes a comparison of the two surveys in terms of their effectiveness for gold exploration. The stream sediment survey (1 site per 1 km2) led to the discovery of three new gold occurrences, one of which became a producing mine in 2001, and the recognition of two previously known auriferous districts. The low-density soil survey (1 site per 64 km2) identified the host rocks of three of these auriferous districts as having gold potential, including those of the producing mine, demonstrating its value as a broad-scale regional mineral reconnaissance tool. Geochemical studies of gold in Jamaica are complicated by the presence of transported palaeo-anomalies, related to Miocene ash-falls, in terra rossa soils in karst terrain. The Fe/Na ratio is an index of soil maturity and increases over two-and-a-half orders of magnitude with increasing soil age and mature. The plotting of Au versus the Fe/Na ratio in soils offers a simple procedure for identifying samples most likely to be related to gold occurrences in bedrock, i.e. high Au and low Fe/Na ratio. It is concluded that in the specific instance of Jamaica's high relief terrain and the apparent limitation of gold occurrences to the Cretaceous Inliers and Eocene Wagwater Trough underlying those high relief areas, stream sediment sampling is the most effective mineral exploration tool

The Danube submarine canyon (Black Sea): morphology and sedimentary processes, 2004, Popescu Irina, Lericolais Gilles, Panin Nicolae, Normand Alain, Dinu Cornel, Le Drezen Eliane,
The Danube Canyon is a large shelf-indenting canyon that has developed seaward of the late Pleistocene paleo-Danube valley. Mechanisms of canyon evolution and factors that controlled it are revealed by analyzing the morphology and the sedimentary structure of the canyon, as well as the main features of the continental margin around the canyon. This is based on investigation by swath bathymetry in the canyon area combined with different types of seismic data.The canyon is a major erosional trough with a flat bottom cut by an entrenched axial thalweg. The thalweg path varies from highly meandering to fairly straight in relation to the local gradient. Segments of the canyon are characterized by specific morphology, orientation and gradient along the axial thalweg. We interpret these segments in terms of canyon maturity. The sedimentary structure of the canyon documents an older phase of erosion followed by partial infilling, and thus attests for repeated cycles of canyon development.Canyon morphology is interpreted as a result of erosive sediment flows along the entrenched axial thalweg that caused downcutting into the canyon bottom and instability of the canyon walls, and hence enlargement of the canyon and expansion by headward erosion. During the last lowstand level of the Black Sea the canyon was located in an area of high sediment supply close to the paleo-Danube River mouths. This is indicated by buried fluvial channels on the shelf and by a wave-cut terrace associated with a water level situated about -90 m below the present level. We infer that erosive flows in the canyon resulted from hyperpycnal currents at the river mouths, probably favored by the low salinity environment that characterized the Black Sea during lowstand times. Other mechanisms could have contributed to trigger sediment failure along the canyon, such as instability related to the presence of shallow gas, or the effect of a deep fault

Australian Zn-Pb-Ag Ore-Forming Systems: A Review and Analysis, 2006, Huston David L. , Stevens Barney, Southgate Peter N. , Muhling Peter, Wyborn Lesley,
Zn-Pb-Ag mineral deposits are the products of hydrothermal ore-forming systems, which are restricted in time and space. In Australia, these deposits formed during three main periods at ~2.95, 1.69 to 1.58, and 0.50 to 0.35 Ga. The 1.69 to 1.58 Ga event, which accounts for over 65 percent of Australia's Zn, was triggered by accretion and rifting along the southern margin of Rodinia. Over 93 percent of Australia's Zn-Pb-Ag resources were produced by four ore-forming system types: Mount Isa (56% of Zn), Broken Hill (19%), volcanic-hosted massive sulfide (VHMS; 12%), and Mississippi Valley (8%). Moreover, just 4 percent of Australia's land mass produced over 80 percent of its Zn. The four main types of ore-forming systems can be divided into two 'clans,' based on fluid composition, temperature, and redox state. The Broken Hill- and VHMS-type deposits formed from high-temperature (>200{degrees}C) reduced fluids, whereas the Mount Isa- and Mississippi Valley-type deposits formed from low-temperature (<200{degrees}C), H2S-poor, and/or oxidized fluids. The tectonic setting and composition of the basins that host the ore-forming systems determine these fluid compositions and, therefore, the mineralization style. Basins that produce higher temperature fluids form in active tectonic environments, generally rifts, where high heat flow produced by magmatism drives convective fluid circulation. These basins are dominated by immature siliciclastic and volcanic rocks with a high overall abundance of Fe2. The high temperature of the convective fluids combined with the abundance of Fe2 in the basin allow inorganic sulfate reduction and leaching of sulfide from the country rock, producing reduced, H2S-rich fluids. Basins that produce low-temperature fluids are tectonically less active, generally intracratonic, extensional basins dominated by carbonate and variably mature siliciclastic facies with a relatively low Fe2 abundance. In these basins, sediment maturity depends on the paleogeography and stratigraphic position in an accommodation cycle. Volcanic units, if present, occur in the basal parts of the basins. Because these basins have relatively low heat flow, convective fluid flow is less important, and fluid migration is dominated by expulsion of basinal brines in response to local and/or regional tectonic events. Low temperatures and the lack of Fe2 prevent in-organic sulfate reduction during regional fluid flow, producing H2S-poor fluids that are commonly oxidized (i.e., {sum}SO4 > {sum}H2S). Fluid flow in the two basin types produces contrasting regional alteration systems. High-temperature fluid-rock reactions in siliciclastic-volcanic-dominated basins produce semiconformable albite-hematite-epidote assemblages, but low-temperature reactions in carbonate-siliciclastic-dominated basins produce regional K-feldspar-hematite assemblages. The difference in feldspar mineralogy is mostly a function of temperature. In both basin types, regional alteration zones have lost, and probably were the source of, Zn and Pb. The contrasting fluid types require different depositional mechanisms and traps to accumulate metals. The higher temperature, reduced VHMS- and Broken Hill-type fluids deposit metals as a consequence of mixing with cold seawater. Mineralization occurs at or near the sea floor, with trapping efficiencies enhanced by sub-surface replacement or deposition in a brine pool. In contrast, the low-temperature, oxidized Mount Isa- and Mississippi Valley-type fluids precipitate metals through thermochemical sulfate reduction facilitated by hydrocarbons or organic matter. This process can occur at depth in the rock pile, for instance in failed petroleum traps, or just below the sea floor in pyritic, organic-rich muds

Evidence against the Dorag (mixing-zone) model for dolomitization along the Wisconsin arch - A case for hydrothermal diagenesis , 2006, Luczaj, J. A.

Ordovician carbonates near the Wisconsin arch represent the type locality in ancient rocks for the Dorag, or mixing-zone, model for dolomitization. Field, petrographic, and geochemical evidence suggests a genetic link between the pervasive dolomite, trace Mississippi Valley–type (MVT) minerals, and potassium (K)-silicate minerals in these rocks, which preserve a regional hydrothermal signature. Constraints were placed on the conditions of water-rock interaction using fluid-inclusion methods, cathodoluminescence and plane-light petrography, stable isotopic analyses, and organic maturity data. Homogenization temperatures of two-phase aqueous fluid inclusions in dolomite, sphalerite, and quartz range between 65 and 120°C. Freezing data suggest a Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-H2O fluid with salinities between 13 and 28 wt.% NaCl equivalent. The pervasive dolomitization of Paleozoic rocks on and adjacent to the Wisconsin arch was the result of water-rock interaction with dense brines at elevated temperatures, and it was coeval with regional trace MVT mineralization and K-silicate diagenesis. A reevaluation of the Dorag (mixing-zone) model for dolomitization, in conjunction with convincing new petrographic and geochemical evidence, has ruled out the Dorag model as the process responsible for pervasive dolomitization along the Wisconsin arch and adds to the abundant body of literature that casts serious doubt about the viability of the Dorag model in general.

John Luczaj is an assistant professor of earth science in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. He earned his B. S. degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. This was followed by an M.S. degree in geology from the University of Kansas. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. His recent interests include the investigation of water-rock interaction in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Michigan Basin and eastern Wisconsin. Previous research activities involve mapping subsurface uranium distributions, reflux dolomitization, and U-Pb dating of Permian Chase Group carbonates in southwestern Kansas.


Fractured hydrothermal dolomite reservoirs in the Devonian Dundee Formation of the central Michigan Basin, 2006, Luczaj J. A. , Harrison Iii. W. B. , Williams N. S.

The Middle Devonian Dundee Formation is the most prolific oilproducing unit in the Michigan Basin, with more than 375 million bbl of oil produced to date. Reservoir types in the Dundee Formation can be fracture controlled or facies controlled, and each type may have been diagenetically modified. Although fracture-controlled reservoirs produce more oil than facies-controlled reservoirs, little is known about the process by which they were formed and diagenetically modified. In parts of the Dundee, preexisting sedimentary fabrics have been strongly overprinted by medium- to coarse-grained dolomite. Dolomitized intervals contain planar and saddle dolomite, with minor calcite, anhydrite, pyrite, and uncommon fluorite. Fluid inclusion analyses of two-phase aqueous inclusions in dolomite and calcite suggest that some water-rock interaction in these rocks occurred at temperatures as high as 120–150jC in the presence of dense Na-Ca-Mg-Cl brines. These data, in conjunction with published organic maturity data and burial reconstructions, are not easily explained by a long-term burial model and have important implications for the thermal history of the Michigan Basin. The data are best explained by a model involving short-duration transport of fluids and heat from deeper parts of the basin along major fault and fracture zones connected to structures in the Precambrian basement. These data give new insight into the hydrothermal processes responsible for the formation of these reservoirs. 


Variation in rates of Karst processes, 2007, Palmer, A. N. ,

The development of karst is not a linear process but instead takes place at irregular rates that typically include episodes of stagnation and even retrograde processes in which the evolution toward maturity is reversed. The magnitude and nature of these irregularities differs with the length of time considered. Contemporary measurements in caves show fluctuations in dissolution rate with changes in season, discharge, and soil conditions. Dissolution is sometimes interrupted by intervals of mineral deposition. Observed dissolution rates can be extrapolated to obtain estimates of long-term growth of a solution feature. But this approach is flawed, because as the time scale increases, the rates are disrupted by climate changes, and by variations that are inherent within the evolutionary history of the karst feature (e.g., increased CO2 loss from caves as entrances develop). At time scales of 105-106 years, karst evolution can be interrupted or accelerated by widespread fluctuations in base level and surface river patterns. An example is the relation between karst and the development of the Ohio River valley in east-central U.S.A. At a scale of 106-108 years, tectonic and stratigraphic events cause long-term changes in the mechanism and style of karst development. For example, much of the karst in the Rocky Mountains of North America has experienced two phases of pre-burial Carboniferous karst, mineral accretion during deep burial from Permian to Cretaceous, extensive cave development during Paleocene-Eocene uplift, and stagnation and partial mineral deposition caused by late Tertiary aggradation. At such large time scales, it is difficult to determine rates of karst development precisely, if at all. Instead it is appropriate to divide the evolutionary history into discrete episodes that correlate with regional tectonic and stratigraphic events.


Flank Margin Cave Development in Telogenetic Limestones of New Zealand, 2008, Mylroie J. E. , Mylroie J. R. , Nelson C. S.

Coastal limestone outcrops, typically with advanced levels of diagenetic maturity (i.e., are telogenetic carbonates), were examined on North Island (Raglan Harbour, Kawhia Harbour, Napier, and Waipu Cove) and South Island (Pohara, Paturau River, Punakaiki, Kakanui, and Kaikoura), New Zealand, to determine if flank margin caves, produced by mixing dissolution, were present. In coastal settings, caves in carbonate rock can be the outcome of pseudokarst process, primarily wave erosion, as well as karst processes not associated with fresh and sea-water mixing such as epikarst features and conduit-flow stream caves. Flank margin caves were successfully differentiated from other cave types by the following criteria: phreatic dissolutional morphologies at the wall rock and chamber scales; absence of high- velocity, turbulent-flow wall sculpture and sediment deposits; and lack of integration of adjacent caves into a continuous flow path. The active tectonics of New Zealand creates a variable sea- level situation. The relatively short time of sea-level stability limits the size of the New Zealand flank margin caves compared to tectonically-stable environments, such as the Bahamas, where glacioeustasy alone controls sea-level stability. Uplift events can be identified as slow and steady when the flank margin caves are uniformly elongated in the vertical direction, and episodic when the flank margin caves show widening and tube development at discrete horizons that cut across rock structure. New Zealand flank margin caves contain information on uplift duration and rates independent of other commonly used measures, and therefore can provide a calibration to other methods.


Hypogene speleogenesis in the Cenozoic carbonates of the Prichernomorsky artesian basin (north Black Sea region), 2011, Klimchouk A. B. , Timokhina E. I. , Amelichev G. N.

This paper demonstrates the dominant hypogenic origin of caves and other karst features in the Prichernomorsky artesian basin, a major hydrogeological structure of the north Black Sea region. The basin occupies the south of the continental part of Ukraine and the north-central plain part of the Crimea Peninsula and is dominated by the Neogene (lower through middle Miocene) and Paleogene (Eocene through Paleocene) carbonate rocks, intercalated with sands, sandstones, clays and marls. The key study areas, in which some limestone members are exposed and partially drained, lie in the opposed sides of the basin: the north Black Sea region in the continental part (caves in Early Pliocene and Miocene limestones) and the Inner Range of the fore-mountain Crimea in the south, where the basin borders with the fold-trust Alpine mountain region (caves in Eocene and Paleocene limestones). The hypogenic origin of caves is strongly suggested by the analysis of cave morphology and occurrence relative to lithostratigraphy and structural features, cave sediments, isotopic and mineralogical data, and paleohydrogeological analysis. Despite of differences in age and diagenetic maturity of the host rocks, the caves demonstrate remarkable common features imposed by their common origin. The hypogenic speleogenetic model well explains observed specific hydrogeological and geochemical features of the regional multi-storey aquifer system in the central confined part of the basin. Hypogene speleogenesis is likely to play a role in the formation of carbonate-hosted reservoirs, as well as in the migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons in the Prichernomorsky basin.


Engineering Issues on Karst, 2011, Zhou Wanfang, Beck Barry F.

The design and construction of engineering structures in karst regions must deal with such challenges as difficulty in excavating and grading the ground over pinnacled rockheads, instability of ground surface, and unpredictable groundwater flow conditions. Detailed subsurface investigation using boring exploration, geophysical techniques, tracer testing, and groundwater monitoring helps optimize foundation designs and minimize uncertainties inherent in their construction. Based on the maturity of karst landscapes, depth and dimension of karst features, and vulnerability of groundwater contamination, methods that have been established to control surface water and groundwater and minimize sinkhole development include relocating structures to a safer site, filling voids/fractures with concrete, soil reinforcement, constructing deep foundations, and remediating sinkholes.


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