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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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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 river incision (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Louie Creek is a karst springfed stream situated in the seasonally humid tropics of northwest Queensland, Australia. It rises as a series of small exsurgences along the eastern edge of the Barkly Tableland. As it enters the lowlands of the Carpentaria plain, the creek deposits tufa which produces a series of cascades. This modern tufa extends discontinuously for about 1.5 km. A series of ancient tufas, in places lying adjacent to sites of modern deposition, extends discontinously for about 8 km downstream. At least two ancient tufa units are preserved at one location, Little Indarri site. The older unit comprises a sequence of well-preserved barrages with an orientation transverse to present-day stream flow. In places, erosion has reduced these barrages to their calcrete substrate. The older tufa is overlain in places by sediment which has become cemented to form a second calcrete unit. This sediment is in turn succeeded by the younger ancient tufa. Subsequent river incision has removed part of the sediment from the older unit and exposed several contact points between the ancient tufa and calcrete units. Radiocarbon dating of the Little Indarri site tufas, as well as other ancient Louie Creek units, yielded apparent ages ranging from approximately 30 to approximately 14 ka BP, suggesting that conditions were sufficiently wet during the period immediately preceding and throughout the Last Glacial Maximum for tufa deposition to occur. However, ancient tufa formation occurred during a phase of net river aggradation. There is geomorphic evidence that such aggradation was a result of an increased sediment supply to the fluvial system, most likely in response to conditions drier than present. Results from studies elsewhere in the region support such a Late Pleistocene trend. Incision of Louie Creek, which postdates the youngest of the dated ancient tufas, is most likely to have resulted from a shift to wetter conditions during the early Holocene

Evolution of river network at the 'Cevennes-Grands Causses' transition: Consequences for the evaluation of uplift, 2001, Camus H,
The Mediterranean catchment of the Cevennes (S. France) presents deep incision of the river network (fig. 1 and 2). Combined geomorphology and analyses of the residual sedimentary formations allows to reconstruct a complex history of river network evolution, including capture of tributaries of the Herault River (fig. 1, 2 and 3). The history of uplift of the upstream drainage area could be estimated from the provenance studies of the fluvial and karstic deposits, however river incision is also controlled sea-level changes and differential erosion, which makes reconstruction more complex. Allochthonous clasts types Analyses of allochtonous deposits on the Grands Causses surface reveals different origin for sediments from the hill top and the Airoles valley (fig. 4b), which was previously unrecognised. Facies 1 is found on the highest points of the Grands Causses surface (well sorted rounded quartz pebbles in red shale matrix) it corresponds to a weathered residual sediments (dismantling of an ancient cover). Facies 2 is found on the slope of the Airoles Valley (fig. 7). It consists of alluvial crystalline poorly sorted clasts with outsized clasts (up to 50cm) of quartz-vein, schists in a matrix of shales and sand (weathered granite). Between the hill tops and the Airoles Valley, karstic network presents a sediment fill with clasts reworked from facies I and facies 2 (fig. 6). Airoles valley model : an example of diachronic formation of drainage network The Airoles dry valley stretches on the Grands Causses from the north (700 m) to the south into the present thalweg line of the Vis canyon (500 m) (fig. 1b & 3). Crystalline deposits witness an ancient catchment in the Cevennes. Presently, the catchment in the crystalline basement is disconnected and captured by the Arre River flowing eastwards (fig. 3 & 4a). The profile of the Airoles abandoned valley connects with the present Vis Canyon, therefore, at the time of capture, incision of the Vis canyon had reached its present altitude (fig. 4a). The geomorphologic evolution of this area took place in three stages (fig. 8). 1) The Grands Causses acted as piedmont for the crystalline highlands of the Massif Central (fig. 8A). A latter karstic evolution (tropical climate) allowed the weathered residual sediments (facies 1) (fig. 8A). 2) Incision of the Vis karstic canyon implies that the Herault incision and terraces (facies 2) (fig, 8B) of the Airoles valley occurred during this stage. 3) The Arre valley head propagates westward by regressive erosion and finaly captured the Airoles river crystalline catchment (fig. 8C). Consequence for the Cevennes uplift and hydrographic network development Although the values of present vertical incision in the Vis canyon and in the Arre valley are similar, but they achieved at different time. In addition, the narrow and deep canyon of the Vis is due to vertical incision from the karstic surface of the Grands Causses, whereas the Arre wide valley results from (a younger) lateral slops retreat from a low Herault base-level. The Vis karstic canyon developed in a similar way to the major karstic canyons of both Mediterranean and Atlantic catchment (i.e. Tarn). This rules out a Messinian Mediterranean desiccation as incision driving mechanism and suggests tectonic uplift of the Cevennes and surrounding areas. The Tam being already incised by 13 My [Ambert, 1990], it implies a Miocene age for the incision. Conclusion The amplitude of the vertical incision cannot therefore be used in a simple way to interpret the uplift history of the basement. Consequently, geomorphologic analysis appears to be a prerequisite to distinguish the part played by each factor, and to select the site of uplift measurement

Pliocene-Pleistocene incision of the Green River, Kentucky, determined from radioactive decay of cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in Mammoth Cave sediments, 2001, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek, Palmer Arthur N. ,
Cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in sediments washed into Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, record the history of 3.5 m.y. of water-table position, governed by incision and aggradation of the Green River, a tributary of the Ohio River. Upper levels of the cave formed during a period of slow river incision and were later filled with sediment due to river aggradation at 2.3-2.4 Ma. A brief surge of river incision ca. 2 Ma was followed by river stability and cave-passage formation at a lower level. Rapid incision through 15 m of bedrock ca. 1.5 Ma was prompted by repositioning of the Ohio River to its present course along an ice-sheet margin. Renewed incision ca. 1.2 Ma and aggradation at 0.7-0.8 Ma correlate with major ice advances in the Ohio River basin. Measurements of 26Al and 10Be also indicate that sandstone-capped uplands have maintained slow erosion rates of 2-7 m/m.y. for the past 3.5 m.y., despite accelerated Pleistocene river incision rates of [~]30 m/m.y

Empirical and theoretical investigations of sculpted forms in Buckeye Creek Cave, West Virginia, 2002, Springer G. S. , Wohl E. E. ,
Sculpted forms play important roles in channel erosion, but the controls on their growth or appearance are uncertain. Empirical evidence from sculpted forms eroded into limestones within Buckeye Creek Cave, West Virginia, shows that types of sculpture morphology are determined by the types of flow or vortex structures present within sculptures during floods. Small hemispherical sculptures maintain constant form as they enlarge and occupy fixed locations on channel walls because of their association with joints, styolites, and bedding planes. Taking advantage of the systematic growth and stability of the sculptures, a geometrical model of sculpture growth is presented that relates the effects of sculpture size, form, and wall retreat to the relative erosion efficiencies and excesses required for sculpture growth. Numerical results obtained from the theoretical model reveal that small sculptures must erode more efficiently than large sculptures or they will be removed by wall retreat and that erosion rates must increase exponentially with increasing concavity. Relative to channel erosion, small sculptures must possess very high interior erosion rates where nearby surfaces are rapidly eroding. Therefore, small sculptures are unlikely to form or persist on rapidly eroding surfaces, and the rate of incision is an important control on the evolution of sculpted forms

Landscape Evolution and Cave Development in Response to Episodic Incision of the Cumberland River, Tennessee and Kentucky, USA., 2003, Anthony, Darlene M. Ph. D.

Episodic incision punctuated by periods of base level stability during the Plio-Pleistocene left the Upper Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky deeply entrenched into the unglaciated Appalachian Plateaus. The relative chronology of episodic river incision and base level stability is well documented thanks to over a century of careful mapping of upland surfaces, inset straths, and terrace gravels. Constraining the timing of these incision events has been difficult, however, primarily due to a lack of suitable dating methods for terrace materials ranging from several hundred thousand to several million years of age, and reworking of upland gravels onto lower terraces. These problems are solved by dating the burial age of undisturbed cave sediments in place of terrace deposits, using the differential decay of cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in quartz exposed to cosmic radiation at the surface. This study offers a new chronology of river incision beginning with initial incision into the Highland Rim after ~3.5 Ma; development of the Parker strath between ~3.5 and ~2 Ma; incision of the Parker strath at ~2 Ma; development of a major terrace beneath the Parker strath between ~2 and ~1.5 Ma; incision into this terrace at ~1.3 Ma; and the development of several discontinuous terraces above the modern flood plain between ~1.3 Ma and the present.
Large caves on tributaries of the Upper Cumberland River record a headward wave of incision in the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The passage of a knickpoint in the system is modeled as a perturbation to steady-state incision according to the stream power law, which is tested against the abandonment dates in seven caves. Model results for m/n = 0.68 are within previously published theoretical and empirical values of 0.5 to 1.0, but suggest that values for the drainage-area exponent m are several times higher
than previous studies. This may be caused by a stronger variance of discharge to drainage area in fluviokarst reaches compared with non-karst watersheds. Knickpoint migration rates in limestone bedrock channels of fluviokarst tributaries to the Cumberland River are calculated between 10-18 cm/year during the Plio-Pleistocene, with m = 1.91 and m/n = 0.79.

Geomorphic constraints on surface uplift, exhumation, and plateau growth in the Red River region, Yunnan Province, China, 2004, Schoenbohm L. M. , Whipple K. X. , Burchfiel B. C. , Chen L. ,
Field observations, digital elevation model (DEM) data, and longitudinal profile analysis reveal a perched low-relief upland landscape in the Red River region, Yunnan Province, China, which correlates to an uplifted, regional low-relief landscape preserved over the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau. As with other major rivers of the plateau margin, the Red River has deeply incised the low-relief upland landscape, which we interpret to be the remnants of a pre-uplift or relict landscape. We examine longitudinal river profiles for 97 tributaries of the Red River. Most profiles consist of three segments separated by sharp knickpoints: an upper, low-gradient channel segment, a steeper middle channel segment, and a very steep lower channel segment. Upper channel segments correspond to the relict landscape and have not yet experienced river incision. Steeper middle and lower segments indicate onset of rapid, two-phase river incision, on the basis of which changes in external forcings, such as climate or uplift, can be inferred. In terms of two end-member scenarios, two-phase incision could be the result of pulsed plateau growth, in which relatively slow uplift during the first phase is followed by rapid uplift during the second phase, or it could reflect adjustments of the main channel to changing climate conditions against the backdrop of steady plateau growth. Reconstruction of the paleo-Red River indicates [~]1400 m river incision, 1400-1500 m surface uplift, and a maximum of 750 m vertical displacement across the northern Red River fault, elevating the northern Ailao Shan range above the surrounding relict landscape. On the basis of stratigraphic constraints, incision along the Red River likely began in Pliocene time

Karstification as geomorphological evidence of river incision: the karst of Cousance and the Marne valley (eastern Paris Basin), 2004, Jaillet S. , Ponsbranch, Brulhet J. , Hamelin B. ,
The Cousance karst (located between the valleys of the Saulx and Marne) has been studied to determine the temporal records of river incision in the eastern Paris Basin, around the ANDRA experimental nuclear waste repository. Two generations of karst are recognized. The first is a palaeophreatic karst indicative of an old base level, now uplifted m above the underground streams. it is underlain and drained by a second generation of karst with active sinks, which records the vertical evolution following the entrenchment of the River Marne. Ten U/Th dates of speleothems from shafts in the karst show that there were discontinuous growth episodes, mainly during isotopic stages 3 and 5 (between 102.4 1.2 and 49.4 0.4 ka BP) but also during isotopic stage 2 at 16.3 0.1 and 20.9 0.3 ka BP. These dates provide an absolute age limit for the start of vertical development of the karst, at the latest during isotope stage 5c

Rates of erosion and topographic evolution of the Sierra Nevada, California, inferred from cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 concentrations, 2005, Stock G. M. , Anderson R. S. , Finkel R. C. ,
Concentrations of cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 in cave sediments and bedrock surfaces, combined with studies of landscape morphology, elucidate the topographic history of the southern Sierra Nevada over the past 5 Ma. Caves dated by Al-26/Be-10 in buried sediments reveal that river incision rates were moderate to slow between c. 5 and 3 Ma (<= 0.07 mm a(-1)), accelerated between 3 and 1.5 Ma (c. 0.3 ram a(-1)), and then have subsequently become much slower (c. 0.02 mm a(-1)). Although the onset of accelerated incision coincides in time with both,postulated Pliocene tectonism and pronounced global climate change, we argue that it primarily represents the response to a discrete tectonic event between 3 and 5 Ma. Dated cave positions reveal that, prior to 3 Ma, river canyons displayed up to 1.6 km of local relief, suggesting that Pliocene rock uplift elevated pre-existing topography. Renewed incision beginning c. 3 Ma deepened canyons by up to 400 m, creating narrow inner gorges. Tributary streams exhibit strong convexities, indicating that the transient erosional response to Pliocene uplift has not yet propagated into upland surfaces. Concentrations of Al-26 and Be-10 in bare bedrock show that upland surfaces are eroding at slow rates of c. 0.01 mm a(-1). Over the past c. 3 Ma, upland surfaces eroded slowly while adjacent rivers incised rapidly, increasing local relief. Although relief production probably drove at least modest crestal uplift, considerable pre-Pliocene relief and low spatially averaged erosion rates suggest that climatically driven rock uplift is not sufficient to explain ail uplift implied by tilted markers at the western edge of the range. Despite the recent pulse of erosion, spatially averaged erosion rates are low, and have probably acted to preserve the broad topographic form of the Sierra Nevada throughout much of the late Cenozoic. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Age constraints on cave development and landscape evolution in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, USA., 2006, Stock, G. M. , Riihimaki C. A. , Anderson R. S.
Cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial dating and tephrochronology of cave deposits provide minimum estimates for the timing of cave development in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Spence Cave is a linear phreatic passage formed along the fold axis of the Sheep Mountain anticline and subsequently truncated by 119 m of Bighorn River incision. A fine-grained eolian (windblown) sand deposit just inside the entrance yields a 26Al/10Be burial age of 0.31 0.19 million years (Ma). This represents a minimum age for the development of Spence Cave, and provides a maximum incision rate for the Bighorn River of 0.38 0.19 mm/yr. Horsethief Cave is a complex phreatic cave system located 43 km north of Spence Cave on a plateau surface ~340 m above the Bighorn River. Electron microprobe analyses of white, fine-grained sediment in the Powder Mountain section of Horsethief Cave confirm that this deposit is Lava Creek B fallout ash, erupted from the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field ca. 0.64 Ma. Assuming this as a minimum age for the development of Horsethief Cave, extrapolation of the cave profile gradient westward to the Bighorn River gorge suggests a maximum incision rate of 0.35 0.19 mm/yr. Incision rates from both caves match well, and are broadly similar to other estimates of regional incision, suggesting that they record lowering of the Bighorn Basin during the late Pleistocene. However, we caution that deposition of both the Spence Cave sand and the Horsethief Cave volcanic ash may postdate the actual timing of cave development. Thus, these ages place upper limits on landscape evolution rates in the Bighorn Basin

Young uplift in the non-glaciated parts of the Eastern Alps, 2010, Wagner T. , Fabel D. , Fiebig M. , Hä, Uselmann Ph. , Sahy D. , Xu S. , Stü, We K.

We report the first incision rates derived from burial ages of cave sediments from the Mur river catchment at the eastern margin of the Eastern Alps. At the transition zone between the Alpine orogen and the Pannonian basin, this river passes through the Paleozoic of Graz — a region of karstifiable rocks called the Central Styrian Karst. This river dissects the study area in a north–south direction and has left behind an abundance of caves. These caves can be grouped into several distinct levels according to their elevation above the present fluvial base level. Age estimates of abandoned cave levels are constrained by dating fluvial sediments washed into caves during the waning stages of speleogenesis with the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide method. These ages and the elevations of the cave levels relative to the current valley floor are used to infer a very complex history of 4 million years of water table position, influenced by the entrenchment and aggradation of the Mur river. We observe rather low rates of bedrock incision over the last 4 Ma (in the order of 0.1 mm/y) with an e-folding decrease in this trend to lower rates at younger times. We relate this incision history to a tectonic setting where an increase of drainage area of the Mur river due to stream piracy in Late Miocene to Pliocene times is linked to surface uplift. The later decrease in valley lowering rates is attributed to the rise of the base level related to aggradation of sediments within the valley. Sediment transport through the valley from the upstream section of the Mur river limited the erosional potential of the river to a transport limited state at the later stages of the incision history.

Cosmogenic Isotope Dating of Cave Sediments, 2012, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek

The decay of cosmic ray-induced 26Al and 10Be in quartz sediments allows the calculation of sediment emplacement ages back to about five million years. Two examples are given: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Atapuerca Cave (Spain). The sediments in the Mammoth Cave System were an integral part of how the cave was formed. The sediments reveal the evolution of the cave system, and how cave development is tightly coupled to river incision and aggradation. In this case, Mammoth Cave was ideal because it was a water-table cave that carried quartz from local bedrock. In contrast, Atapuerca is a sedimentary infill where sediment (and animals) fell into a preexisting cavity. Such cave infills are the norm in archaeology and paleoanthropology because they collect bones and artifacts over long periods of time. In this case, the cosmogenic nuclides dated the sedimentary infill rather than the cave itself.

Multilevel Caves and Landscape Evolution, 2012, Anthony, Darlene M.

Multilevel caves are formed by periods of water table stability punctuated by changes in the position of the water table. These cave systems are hydrologically linked to regional rivers and can be used to date episodes of river stability and incision. The measurement of cosmogenic radioisotopes in cave sediments yields a burial age for the sediment, which in turn equates to the time of passage abandonment due to water-table lowering. Karst geomorphologists and others are using burial dates from multilevel caves to calculate Plio-Pleistocene rates of river incision, tectonic uplift, and erosion in various parts of the world.

Sulphuric acid speleogenesis and landscape evolution: Montecchio cave, Albegna river valley (Southern Tuscany, Italy), 2014, Piccini L. : Dewaele J. , Galli E. , Polyak V. J. , Bernasconi S. M. , Asmerom Y.

Montecchio cave (Grosseto province, Tuscany, Italy) opens at 320 m asl, in a small outcrop of Jurassic limestone (Calcare Massiccio Fm.), close to the Albegna river. This area is characterised by the presence of several thermal springs and the outcropping of travertine deposits at different altitudes. The Montecchio cave, with passage length development of over 1700 m, is characterised by the presence of several sub-horizontal passages and many medium- and small-scale morphologies indicative of sulphuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). The thermal aquifer is intercepted at a depth of about 100 m below the entrance: the water temperature exceeds 30 °C and sulphate content is over 1300mg l−1. The cave hosts large gypsumdeposits from40 to 100mbelowthe entrance that are by-products of the reaction between sulphuric acid and the carbonate host rock. The lower part of the cave hosts over 1 m thick calcite cave raft deposits, which are evidence of long-standing, probably thermal, water in an evaporative environment related to significant air currents. Sulphur isotopes of gypsumhave negative δ34S values (from−28.3 to−24.2‰), typical of SAS. Calcite cave rafts and speleogenetic gypsumboth yield young U/Th ages varying from68.5 ka to 2 ka BP, indicating a rapid phase of dewatering followed by gypsumprecipitation in aerate environment. This fastwater table lowering is related to a rapid incision of the nearby Albegna river, andwas followed by a 20–30mfluctuation of the thermalwater table, as recorded in the calcite raft deposits and gypsum crusts.

Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region, 2015, Columbu A. De Waele J. , Forti P, Montagna P. , Picotti V. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hellstrom J. , Bajo P. , Drysdale R.

Detailed geomorphological analysis has revealed that subhorizontal gypsum caves in the Northern Apennines (Italy) cut across bedding planes. These cave levels formed during cold periods with stable river beds, and are coeval with fluvial terraces of rivers that flow perpendicular to the strike of bedding in gypsum monoclines. When rivers entrench, renewed cave formation occurs very rapidly, resulting in the formation of a lower level. River aggradation causes cave alluviation and upward dissolution (paragenesis) in passages nearest to the river beds. The U-Th dating of calcite speleothems provides a minimum age for the formation of the cave passage in which they grew, which in turn provides age control on cave levels. The ages of all speleothems coincide with warmer and wetter periods when CO2 availability in the soils covering these gypsum areas was greater. This climate-driven speleogenetic model of epigenic gypsum caves in moderately to rapidly uplifting areas in temperate regions might be generally applicable to karst systems in different geological and climatic conditions.

Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region, 2015,

Detailed geomorphological analysis has revealed that subhorizontal gypsum caves in the Northern Apennines (Italy) cut across bedding planes. These cave levels formed during cold periods with stable river beds, and are coeval with fluvial terraces of rivers that flow perpendicular to the strike of bedding in gypsum monoclines. When rivers entrench, renewed cave formation occurs very rapidly, resulting in the formation of a lower level. River aggradation causes cave alluviation and upward dissolution (paragenesis) in passages nearest to the river beds. The U-Th dating of calcite speleothems provides a minimum age for the formation of the cave passage in which they grew, which in turn provides age control on cave levels. The ages of all speleothems coincide with warmer and wetter periods when CO2 availability in the soils covering these gypsum areas was greater. This climate-driven speleogenetic model of epigenic gypsum caves in moderately to rapidly uplifting areas in temperate regions might be generally applicable to karst systems in different geological and climatic conditions.

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