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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 capillary fringe is the lower subdivision of the unsaturated zone immediately above the water table in which the interstices are filled with water under pressure less than that of the atmosphere, being continuous with the water below the water table but held above it by capillary forces [22].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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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 salt karst (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 24
Local submarine salt-karst formation on the Hellenic outer ridge, eastern Mediterranean, 1978, Belderson Rh, Kenyon Nh, Stride Ah,

Relation dbit / niveau de la mer de l'mergence littorale d'Almyros Agios Nikolaos (Crte, Grce), 1983, Bezes C. , Joseph C.
RELATION FLOW-SEA LEVEL OF SALT KARSTIC RESURGENCE BY MULTIPLE REGRESSION WITH THE WATER TABLE - The Amlyros Agios Nikolaos spring is a brackish karstic resurgence on the eastern coast of Crete. Its flow varies in the reverse order versus the sea level. The circulation of the out effect recession curve of the spring was done with the building of a multiple regression between the sea level, the spring flow and the water table. An adjustment about the mean sea level ensures the preservation of outflow.

VERTICAL ZONALITY OF SALT KARST TYPES AND MAIN HYDROGEOLOGICAL REGULARITIES OF ITS FORMATION, 1990, Korotkevich G. V. ,

Hydrology and denudation rates of halite karst, 1994, Frumkin A,
Salt karst terrains exist mainly in arid climates where rock salt outcrops may escape complete destruction by dissolution. Such is the case with Mount Sedom, on the SW shore of the Dead Sea, one of the most arid parts of Israel. Many small catchments developed over the relatively insoluble cap rock which overlies the highly soluble rock salt. The catchments were surveyed and classified. Some 57% of the surface area is drained by an underground karst system. Water samples from various points in the system were analysed, and water development was inferred. Waters in cave conduits do not reach saturation during flood flow, unless the water is ponded for at least several hours. Based on the available evidence, regional karst denudation is tentatively estimated to be about 0.5-0.75 mm year-1, occurring mainly within the rock salt

Sulphate rocks as an arena for karst development., 1996, Andrejchuk Vjacheslav, Klimchouk Alexander
The rocks in which karst systems develop are most commonly composed of carbonate sulphate and chloride minerals. The sulphate minerals are quite numerous, but only gypsum and anhydrite form extensive masses in sedimentary sequences. Other minerals, which represent sulphates of K, Mg and Na, normally occur as minor beds (0.1-5.0 m), or as inclusions associated with chloride rocks. However some minerals precipitated in salt-generating basins, such as mirabilite and glauberite (typically formed in the Kara-Bogaz-Gol Gulf, salt lakes of Siberia and in China), form sequences up to 5-10 m thick where karst may develop. Due to the very high solubility of Na -sulphates, karst processes and features occurring in these rocks resemble salt karst. Thus, the term sulphate karst, although not strictly correct, is used mainly to indicate karst developed in gypsum and anhydrite.

Determining the Exposure Age of a Karst Landscape, 1996, Frumkin A,
An extensive salt karst system has developed in Mount Sedom salt diapir, Israel, during the Holocene. Multilevel vadose caves were14C dated using wood fragments embedded in alluvial deposits. The oldest date of each cave is used to constrain the age of the salt exposure. The upper portion of the southeastern escarpment was the first to rise above base level ~7100 yr B.P. Caves in the surrounding area indicate gradual landscape exposure around this initial karstified area between 7000 and 4000 yr B.P. The northern part of the mountain experienced a similar exposure history, lagging some 3000 yr after the southern part. This lag may be attributed to the narrow width of the diapir in the north, which increases viscous drag at the borders of the rising diapir

Evaporite karst in the United States, 1997, Johnson K. S. ,
Evaporites, including gypsum (or anhydrite) and salt, are the most soluble of common rocks; they are dissolved readily to form caves, sinkholes, disappearing streams, and other karst features that typically are found in limestones and dolomites. The four basic requirements for evaporite karst to develop are: (1) a deposit of gypsum or salt; (2) water, unsaturated with CaSO4 or NaCl; (3) an outlet for escape of dissolving water; and(4) energy to cause water to now through the system Evaporites are present in 32 of the 48 contiguous states, and they underlie about 35-40% of the land area; they are reported in rocks of every geologic system from the Precambrian through the Quatemary. Evaporite karst is known at least locally (and sometimes quite extensively) in almost all areas underlain by evaporites. The most widespread and pronounced examples of both gypsum and salt karst are in the Permian basin of the southwestern United States, but many other areas are also significant. Human activities have caused some evaporite-karst development, primarily in salt deposits. Boreholes may enable (either intentionally or inadvertently) unsaturated water to now through or against salt deposits, thus allowing development of small to large dissolution cavities. If the dissolution cavity is large enough and shallow enough, successive roof failures above the cavity can cause land subsidence or catastrophic collapse

Richard Lake, an evaporite-karst depression in the Holbrook basin, Arizona, 1997, Neal J. T. , Colpitts R. M. ,
Richard Lake is a circular depression 35 km SE of Winslow, Arizona, about 1.6 km wide and with topographic closure of 15-23 m. The depression is 5 km south of McCauley Sinks, another depressed area about 2 km wide which contains some 40 large sinkholes. Richard Lake formerly contained water after heavy rains prior to headwater drainage modification but is now dry most of the time. It is situated within the Moenkopi / Kaibab outcrop belt with Coconino Sandstone at shallow depth near the southwestern margin of the subsurface Permian evaporite deposit in the Holbrook Basin. Outcropping strata are predominantly limestone, but the salt-karst features result from collapse of these units into salt-dissolution cavities developed in the Corduroy Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation of the Sedona Group (formerly called the Supai Salt) that underlies the Coconino. Richard Lake is interpreted as a collapse depression containing concentric faults, pressure ridges, and a 200m wide sinkhole in the center. A second set of pressure ridges parallels the axis of the nearby western end of the Holbrook Anticline, trending generally N 30 degrees W. In the alluvium at the bottom of the central sinkhole, two secondary piping drain holes were observed in early 1996. Northwest-trending fissures also were observed on the depression flanks, essentially parallel to the regional structure. The presence of Richard Lake amidst the preponderance of salt-karst features along the Holbrook Anticline suggests a similar origin by salt dissolution, but with distinct manifestation resulting from variation in overburden thick?less and consolidation. Similarities of origin between Richard Lake and McCauley Sinks seem likely, because of their similar geological setting, size, appearance, and proximity. Two lesser developed depressions of smaller dimensions occur in tandem immediately west along a N 62 degrees W azimuth. Secondary sinkholes occur within each of these depressions, as at Richard Lake. Breccia pipes are apt to be found beneath all of these structures

Speleogenesis in salts, with particular reference to the Mount Sedom area, Israel, 2000, Frumkin A.
Salt dissolution often occurs in deeply buried beds, where caves are hardly known. Caves are normally formed by selective dissolution along flow routes, rather than complete dissolution of the bulk salt mass. Most salt caves are found in diapirs, where open fissures drain meteoric water, rapidly enlarging to form vadose caves. Salt caves develop faster than other cave types, allowing their use as a natural laboratory for speleogenesis. Salt karst terrains exist mainly in arid climates where rock salt outcrops may escape complete destruction by dissolution. Known salt caves are mostly of Holocene age, while older ones are gradually destroyed by dissolution and collapse. The Mount Sedom salt diapir, with some 20 km of salt caves, is the most studied area of salt karst. Its vadose caves are formed by captured ephemeral streams. Cave profiles are adjusted to base level, allowing reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the region. Some 57% of Mount Sedom surface area is drained by the underground karst system. Waters in cave conduits do not reach saturation during flood flow, unless the water is ponded for at least several hours. Common cave features are vertical shafts, close to the cave inlet, and sub-horizontal passages, leading to outlets at base level. Where there is no fissure connection to the edge of the mountain, an inlet cave is formed, capable of absorbing the flood discharge in a terminal pond. Water and solutes escape from the pond by slow seepage through narrow fissures to a regional aquifer.

Thickness of cap rock and other important factors affecting the morphogenesis of salt karst, 2000, Bruthans Jirí, , Š, Mí, D Jakub, Filippi Michal, Zeman Ondrej

Four classes of different thickness of cap rock can be distinguished, each with its special superficial and underground karst forms: 1. salt outcrops, 2. thin cap rock (0,5-2 m), 3. cap rock of moderate thickness (5-30 m), 4. cap rock of great thickness (more than 30 m). The most important factors affected by cap rock thickness are as follows: the density of recharge points, the amounts of concentrated recharge which occur at each recharge point, the rate of lowering the ground surface of salt karst, the dissolution capacity of water and the size and amount of load transported by underground flood-streams into cave systems. The thickness of cap rock above the cave does not influence the cave itself; more important seems to be the thickness of cap rock in the recharge area of the cave and the type of recharge into the salt environment. Another important factor is the thickness of overburden above the cave, which negatively correlates with intensity of breakdown. Wide passages in some caves are developed as result of intensive deposition of bedload, which expel the stream into the side of the passage and are due to enhanced corrosion in the few decimetres high zone above the bottom of passage.


Collapse and subsidence associated with salt karstification along the dead sea, 2001, Frumkin A, Raz E,
Two types of sinkholes are observed along the Dead Seashore, Israel. The first is associated with vadose dissolution in Mount Sedom salt diapir. The second is associated with dissolution under the watertable along the retreating Dead Sea shore. The Dead Sea level is falling dramatically, mainly because of human activity. Simultaneously, the take shores suffer tremendous impact since the late 1980s: The ground is collapsing and subsiding in hundreds of points along the take, with people, roads and property being swallowed in the more catastrophic events. The collapse is believed to result from dissolution of salt by aggressive groundwater, following the retreat of Dead Sea level and the groundwater halocline. Geological evidence suggests that a previous major lake level fall occurred naturallysimilar to2000 BCE. This may provide a new explanation for a curious historical-geological phrase in the book of Genesis, suggested to record formation of collapse sinkholes which occurred in response to the historic falling take level, associated with climatic desiccation

Environmental problems caused by gypsum karst and salt karst in Great Britain., 2001, Cooper A. H.
In Great Britain, gypsum karst is widespread in the Late Permian (Zechstein) gypsum of north-eastern England. Here and offshore, a well-developed palaeokarst with large breccia pipes was formed by dissolution of the underlying Permian gypsum. Farther south, around Ripon, the same rocks are still being dissolved, forming an actively evolving phreatic gypsum-maze cave system. This is indicated by the presence of numerous active subsidence hollows and sulphate-rich springs. In the English Midlands, gypsum karst is locally developed in the Triassic deposits south of Derby and Nottingham. Where gypsum is present, its fast rate of dissolution and the collapse of overlying strata lead to difficult civil-engineering and construction conditions; these can be further aggravated by water abstraction. Salt (halite) occurs within British Permian and Triassic strata, and has a long history of exploitation. The main salt fields are in central England and the coastal areas of northwest and northeast England. In central England, saline springs indicate that rapid, active dissolution occurs that can cause subsidence problems. In the past, subsidence was aggravated by shallow mining and the uncontrolled extraction of vast amounts of brine. This has now almost stopped, but there is a legacy of unstable buried salt karst, formed by both natural and induced dissolution. The buried salt karst occurs at depths ranging from about 40 m to 130 m; above these depths, the overlying strata are foundered and brecciated. In the salt areas, construction and development are hampered by both abandoned mines and by natural or induced brine runs, with their associated unstable ground.

Karst and caves of Israel, 2001, Frumkin, A.
Israel displays a gradient of karst features from the intensive karstification of Lebanon in the north to practically no karst in Elat region at the southern Negev desert (Gerson, 1976). This is attributed mainly to the climatological gradient from alpine-Mediterranean climate in the Lebanon - Hermon mountains in the north, with precipitation >1000 mm/year, to the extremely arid southern Negev, with <50 mm/year. Another factor is the southward decrease in carbonates/clastics ratio of the phanerozoic stratigraphic section, due to the increasing distance from the Tethys Sea which deposited the significant carbonates. Carbonate rocks outcrop in some 75% of the hilly regions of Israel. They are predominantly of Jurassic to Eocene age. However, much of the carbonates contain marls which inhibit extensive karst development, promoting the dominance of fluviokarst features. Another inhibiting factor is the abundance of faults in the Hermon, Galil and Shomeron regions. The faults are thought to constrain the temporal and spatial continuous underground flow, limiting the development of large caves in these regions. Most limestone caves are relict phreatic conduits and voids, which do not show any genetic relation to subaerial topography. Today these caves are either dry or experience vadose dripwater. These caves have possibly developed under moister conditions than predominate today. Some of them have been sealed from the surface until opened by recent construction activity. They may contain valuable paleoclimatic records (Frumkin, et al., 1994). Vadose caves are also common, and typically experience some water flow and active dissolution during the rainy season. These are mostly composed of vertical shafts with rare horizontal sections. The unique rock salt karst of Mount Sedom exhibits the largest salt caves known in the world. Some sea caves, attributed mainly to wave action with limited dissolution appear in the 'Kurkar' sandstone ridge along the Mediterranean coast. Paleokarst is common in the stratigraphic section, and is probably related to humid paleoclimates. Israel is especially rich in man made caves sustaining abundant fauna, but are beyond the scope of this review.

Collapse and subsidence associated with salt karstification along the Dead Sea, 2001, Frumkin Amos, Raz Eli


Environmental problems caused by gypsum karst and salt karst in Great Britain, 2002, Cooper Ah,
In Great Britain, gypsum karst is widespread in the Late Permian (Zechstein) gypsum of north-eastern England. Here and offshore, a well-developed palaeokarst with large breccia pipes was formed by dissolution of the underlying Permian gypsum. Farther south, around Ripon, the same rocks are still being dissolved, forming an actively evolving phreatic gypsum-maze cave system. This is indicated by the presence of numerous active subsidence hollows and sulphate-rich springs. In the English Midlands, gypsum karst is locally developed in the Triassic deposits south of Derby and Nottingham. Where gypsum is present, its fast rate of dissolution and the collapse of overlying strata lead to difficult civil-engineering and construction conditions; these can be further aggravated by water abstraction. Salt (halite) occurs within British Permian and Triassic strata, and has a long history of exploitation. The main salt fields are in central England and the coastal areas of northwest and northeast England. In central England, saline springs indicate that rapid, active dissolution occurs that can cause subsidence problems. In the past, subsidence was aggravated by shallow mining and the uncontrolled extraction of vast amounts of brine. This has now almost stopped, but there is a legacy of unstable buried salt karst, formed by both natural and induced dissolution. The buried salt karst occurs at depths ranging from about 40 m to 130 in; above these depths, the overlying strata are foundered and brecciated. In the salt areas, construction and development are hampered by both abandoned mines and by natural or induced brine runs, with their associated unstable ground

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