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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 dry valley is 1. valley that lacks a permanent surface stream. dry valleys are common on carbonate rocks with good primary permeability and occur on other permeable rocks such as sandstone. dry valleys on cavernous limestone were formed when streams flowed on the surface, either before secondary permeability and cave systems developed, or when caves were blocked by ground ice in periglacial climates. the valleys became dry when underground drains formed or were re-opened, capturing first part and then all of the surface drainage [9].2. a valley that lacks a surface water channel; common in the chalk of southern england [10]. 3. elongated recesses and valleys at the bottom of which are dolines, jamas and caves. 4. a valley form of fluvial or periglacial origin in which surface drainage is intermittent or totally absent. fossil, usually with steep scree slopes, it is variously identifiable as a product of nival processes or higher water tables subsequently lowered by allogenic valley [19]. synonyms: (french.) vallee seche; (german.) trockental; (greek.) xera kilas; (italian.) valle morta, valle asciutta; (russian.) suhaja dolina; (spanish.) valle seco; (turkish.) kuru vadi; (yugoslavian.) suha dolina.?

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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 terra-rossa (Keyword) returned 17 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 17
Dust, terra rossa, replacement, and karst: Serendipitous geodynamics in the critical zone, , Merino E. , Banerjee A. , Dworkin S. ,

Karst processes of the eastern upper Galilee, Northern Israel, 1974, Gerson R,
Karst processes dominate most of the geomorphic activity in the Upper Galilee, consisting mainly of dolomites and limestones. Study of the chemical evolution of water passing through the karst hydrologic cycle clearly shows that the major portion of its carbonate solute is gained subaerially and in the upper part of the vadose zone. Most cave and spring water is already saturated with respect to aragonite and calcite.The karst depressions typical to surface morphology are mostly associated with fault-line traces. Their evolution is possible mainly in areas sloping initially less that 5[deg].The absence of evolved caves, representing well-developed karst of an earlier period, is attributed mainly to the marginal climate throughout the past combined with tectonic, and hence hydrologic, instability of the region.The discharge of the karst prings shows clearly dependence on annual precipitation, with a lag of about 2 years of the response to drought or more humid periods. Long-term fluctuations are larger in the smaller T'eo Spring than in the affluent 'Enan Springs.Most of the denuded material is extracted from the region as dissolved load via underground conduits and only small amounts as clastics. Mean long-term denudation is approximately 20 mm/1000 years, averaged for the surface area contributing to the springs.In spite of the above, most topographic forms are shaped by runoff erosion, active during medium to high intensity rainstorms. Solution processes prevail during low to medium rainfall intensities, while different parts of the region are denuded at similar rates. Even in karst depressions, erosion becomes dominant after their bottoms are covered by almost impervious terra-rossa mantle

Palokarsts et palo-gomorphologie nognes des Alpes occidentales et rgions adjacentes, 1984, Julian M. , Nicod J.
NEOGENE PALEOKARSTS AND PALEO-GEOMORPHOLOGY IN THE WESTERN ALPS, JURA AND PROVENCE - This text is an attempt to confront our knowledge about the karsts and the problems of landscape evolution (tectonics, paleo-climates, sea level changes). Three periods had been studied: 1/ Early and Middle Miocene, with the development of chemical erosional surfaces and a prevailing sub-superficial karstic solution; 2/ the revolution of the Upper Miocene ("Rhodanian" tectonical phase and the salinity crisis of the Messinian), that caused the deepening of the karstic systems; 3/ the Plio-Villafranchian phase, favoured the production of terra-rossa and the evolution of the karstic caves, except during some dry periods during the Villafranchian.

Les massifs karstiques des Alpes occidentales, trame structurale et bioclimatique, 1984, Nicod, J.
THE KARSTIC MASSIFS OF WESTERN ALPS: structural and bioclimatic framework - The structural conditions determine several types of karst units: the northern Prealps (thrusts), the southern Jura (folded or tabular), the southern Prealps (faulted and folded plateaus), the complex land of Low Provence, and the high karsts of Inner Alps. The bioclimatic framework explains the altitudinal sequence of current processes. The value of the runoff, the part of the snow, and the biochemical parameters (vegetation, CO2), have particularly holded the attention. The specific dissolution reaches its maximum in the wooded mountain karsts. Heritages also determine the landforms (glacial, periglacial, terra-rossa).

A major palaeokarst erosion surface is developed within the middle Proterozoic Elu Basin, northwestern Canada. This palaeokarst is named the sub-Kanuyak unconformity and truncates the Parry Bay Formation, a sequence of shallow-marine dolostones that were deposited within a north-facing carbonate platform under a semi-arid climate. The sub-Kanuyak unconformity exhibits up to 90 m of local relief, and also formed under semi-arid conditions when Parry Bay dolostones were subaerially exposed during a relative sea-level drop of about 180 m. Caves and various karren developed within the meteoric vadose and phreatic zones. Their geometry, size and orientation were largely controlled by northwest- and northeast-trending antecedent joints, bedding, and lithology. Near-surface caves later collapsed forming valleys, and intervening towers or walls, and plains. Minor terra rossa formed on top of highs. Karstification was most pronounced in southern parts of Bathurst Inlet but decreased northward, probably reflecting varying lengths of exposure time along a north-dipping slope. The Kanuyak Formation is up to 65 m thick, and partially covers the underlying palaeokarst. It consists of six lithofacies: (i) breccia formed during collapse of caves, as reworked collapse breccia and regolith; (ii) conglomerate representing gravel-dominated braided-fluvial deposits; (iii) sandstone deposited as braided-fluvial and storm-dominated lacustrine deposits; (iv) interbedded sandstone, siltstone and mudstone of sheet flood origin; (v) dolostones formed from dolocretes and quiet-water lacustrine deposits; and (vi) red-beds representing intertidal-marine mudflat deposits. Rivers flowed toward the northwest and northeast within karst valleys and caves; lakes were also situated within valleys; marine mudflat sediments completely cover the palaeokarst to the north. A regional correlation of the sub-Kanuyak unconformity with the intra-Greenhorn Lakes disconformity within the Coppermine homocline suggests that similar styles of karstification occurred over an extensive region. The Elu Basin palaeokarst, however, was developed more landward, and was exposed for a longer period of time than the Coppermine homocline palaeokarst

Caymanite is a laminated, multicoloured (white, red, black) dolostone that fills or partly fills cavities in the Bluff Formation of the Cayman Islands. The first phase of caymanite formation occurred after deposition, lithification, and karsting of the Oligocene Cayman Member. The second phase of caymanite formation occurred after joints had developed in the Middle Miocene Pedro Castle Member. Caymanite deposition predated dolomitization of the Bluff Formation 2-5 Ma ago. Caymanite is formed of mudstones, wackestone, packstones, and grainstones. Allochems include foraminifera, red algae, gastropods, bivalves, and grains of microcrystalline dolostone. Sedimentary structures include planar laminations, graded bedding, mound-shaped laminations, desiccation cracks, and geopetal fabrics. Original depositional dips ranged from 0 to 60-degrees. Although caymanite originated as a limestone, dolomitization did not destroy the original sedimentary fabrics or structures. The sediments that formed caymanite were derived from shallow offshore lagoons, swamps, and possibly brackish-water ponds. Pigmentation of the red and black laminae can be related to precipitates formed of Mn, Fe, Al, Ni, Ti, P, K, Si, and Ca, which occur in the intercrystalline pores. These elements may have been derived from terra rossa, which occurs on the weathered surface of the Bluff Formation. Caymanite colours were inherited from the original limestone. Stratigraphic and sedimentologic evidence shows that sedimentation was episodic and that the sediment source changed with time. Available evidence suggests that caymanite originated from sediments transported by storms onto a highly permeable karst terrain. The water with its sediment load then drained into the subsurface through joints and fissures. The depth to which these waters penetrated was controlled by the length of the interconnected cavity system. Upon entering cavities, sedimentation was controlled by a complex set of variables

Caves, fossil mouldic cavities, sinkholes and solution-widened joints are common in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members of the Bluff Formation (Oligocene Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac because they have been subjected to repeated periods of karst development over the last 30 million years. Many voids contain a diverse array of sediments and/or precipitates derived from marine or terrestrial environs, mineral aerosols, and groundwater. Exogenic sediment was transported to the cavities by oceanic storm waves, transgressive seas, runoff following tropical rain storms and/or in groundwater. At least three periods of deposition were responsible for the occlusion of voids in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Voids in the Cayman Member were initially filled or partly filled during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. This was terminated with the deposition of the Pedro Castle Member in the Middle Miocene. Subsequent exposure led to further karst development and void-filling sedimentation in both the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Speleothems are notably absent. The void-filling deposits formed during these two periods, which were predominantly marine in origin, were pervasively dolomitized along with the host rock 2 5 million years ago. The third period of void-filling deposition. after dolomitization of the Bluff Formation, produced limestone, various types of breccia, terra rossa, speleothemic calcite and terrestrial oncoids. Most of these deposits formed since the Sangamon highstand 125 000 years ago. Voids in the present day karst are commonly filled or partly filled with unconsolidated sediments. Study of the Bluff Formation of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac shows that karst terrains on isolated oceanic islands are characterized by complex successions of void-filling deposits that include speleothems and a variety of sediment types. The heterogenetic nature of these void-filling deposits is related to changes in sea level and climatic conditions through time

The Rospo Mare oil field is located in the Adriatic Sea, 20 km off the Italian coast. The reservoir lies at a depth of 1300 m and consists of a paleokarst oi Oligocene to Miocene age which developed within Cretaceous limestones, now covered by 1200 m of Mio-Pliocene sequences. The oil column is about 140 m 8 high. The karstic nature of the reservoir was identified through vertical, cored drill holes which allowed us to analyse the various solution features and the sedimentary infilling (speleothems, terra rossa, marine clays), as well as their vertical distribution. Erosion morphology at the top of the karst is highly irregular, including in particular paleovalleys as well as many pit-shaped sink holes. Detailed geophysical knowledge of that morphology helped to optimize the development of the field through horizontal drilling. Observations concerning the upper part of the reservoir were compared to a palaeokarst of the same age, outcropping widely onshore, in quarries located nearby. The Rospo Mare paleokarst is an integral part of the ante Miocene paleokarst assemblages of the periphery of the Mediterranean which were formed in tropical conditions. Only the fractures enhanced by meteoric water during the formation of the karat are important for reservoir connectivity. During the formation of the karst there were several phases of dissolution and infilling which modified the geometry of the open fissures and only these fractures play an important role in the reservoir drainage. Vertically we can distinguish three very different zones from top to bottom: at the top the epikarst (0-35 m) in a zone of extension. All the fractures have been enlarged by dissolution but the amount of infilling by clay is substantial. The clays are derived either from alteration of the karat fabric or by deposition during the Miocene transgression; the percolation zone (15-45 m) is characterized by its network of large fractures vertically enlarged by dissolution which corresponds to the relict absorption zones in the paleokarst. These fractures, which usually have a pluridecametric spacing, connect the epi-karst with the former sub-horizontal river system. This zone has been intersected by the horizontal wells during the field development. In this zone there are local, horizontal barriers oi impermeable clay which can block vertical transmissibility. In these low permeability zones the vertical fractures have not been enlarged due to dissolution hence the horizontal barrier; the zone of underground rivers (35-70 m) is characterized by numerous horizontal galleries which housed the subterranean ground water circulation. When these fissures are plurimetric in extent this can lead to gallery collapse with the associated fill by rock fall breccia. This can partly block the river system but always leaves a higher zone of free circulation with high permeabilities of several hundreds of Darcys. These galleries form along the natural fracture system relative to the paleohydraulic gradient which in some cases has been preserved. The zone below permanent ground water level with no circulation of fluids is characterized by dissolution limited to non-connected vugs. Very locally these fissures can be enlarged by tectonic fractures which are non-connected and unimportant for reservoir drainage. Laterally, only the uppermost zone can be resolved by seismic imaging linked with horizontal well data (the wells are located at the top of the percolation zone). The Rospo Mare reservoir shows three distinct horizontal zones: a relict paleokarst plateau with a high index of open connected fractures, (area around the A and B platforms); a zone bordering the plateau (to the north-east of the plateau zone) very karstified but intensely infilled by cap rock shales (Miocene - Oligocene age); a zone of intensely disturbed and irregular karst paleotopography which has been totally infilled by shales. The performance of the production wells is dependent on their position with respect to the three zones noted above and their distance from local irregularities in the karst paleotopography (dolines, paleovalleys)

The Ladinian Calcare Rosso of the Southern Alps provides a rare opportunity to examine the temporal relationships between tepees and palaeokarst. This unit comprises peritidal strata pervasively deformed into tepees, repeatedly capped by palaeokarst surfaces mantled by terra rossa. Palaeokarsts, characterized by a regional distribution across the Southern Alps, occur at the base and at the top of the unit. Local palaeokarsts, confined to this part of the platform, occur within the Calcare Rosso and strongly affected depositional facies. Tepee deformation ranges from simple antiformal structures (peritidal tepecs) to composite breccias floating in synsedimentary cements and internal sediments (senile tepees). Peritidal tepees commonly occur at the top of one peritidal cycle, in association with subaerial exposure at the cycle top, while senile tepees affect several peritidal cycles, and are always capped by a palaeokarst surface. Cements and internal sediments form up to 80% of the total rock volume of senile tepees. The paragenesis of senile tepees is extremely complex and records several, superimposed episodes of dissolution, cement precipitation (fibrous cements, laminated crusts, mega-rays) and deposition of internal sediments (marine sediment and terra rossa). Petrographical observations and stable isotope geochemistry indicate that cements associated with senile tepees precipitated in a coastal karstic environment under frequently changing conditions, ranging from marine to meteoric, and were altered soon after precipitation in the presence of either meteoric or mixed marine/meteoric waters. Stable isotope data for the cements and the host rock show the influence of meteoric water (average deltaO-18 = - 5.8 parts per thousand), while strontium isotopes (average Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.707891) indicate that cements were precipitated and altered in the presence of marine Triassic waters. Field relationships, sedimentological associations and paragenetic sequences document that formation of senile tepees was coeval with karsting. Senile tepees formed in a karst-dominated environment in the presence of extensive meteoric water circulation, in contrast to previous interpretations that tepees formed in arid environments, under the influence of vadose diagenesis. Tepees initiated in a peritidal setting when subaerial exposure led to the formation of sheet cracks and up-buckling of strata. This porosity acted as a later conduit for either meteoric or mixed marine/meteoric fluids, when a karst system developed in association with prolonged subaerial exposure. Relative sea level variations, inducing changes in the water table, played a key role in exposing the peritidal cycles to marine, mixed marine/meteoric and meteoric diagenetic environments leading to the formation of senile tepees. The formation and preservation in the stratigraphic record of vertically stacked senile tepees implies that they formed during an overall period of transgression, punctuated by different orders of sea level variations, which allowed formation and later freezing of the cave infills

The exposed carbonates of the Bahamas consist of late Quaternary limestones that were deposited during glacio-eustatic highstands of sea level. Each highstand event produced transgressive-phase, stillstand-phase, and regressive-phase units. Because of slow platform subsidence, Pleistocene carbonates deposited on highstands prior to the last interglacial (oxygen isotope substage 5e, circa 125,000 years ago) are represented solely by eolianites. The Owl's Hole Formation comprises these eolianites, which are generally fossiliferous pelsparites. The deposits of the last interglacial form the Grotto Beach Formation, and contain a complete sequence of subtidal intertidal and eolian carbonates. These deposits are predominantly oolitic. Holocene deposits are represented by the Rice Bay Formation, which consists of intertidal and eolian pelsparites deposited during the transgressive-phase and stillstand-phase of the current sea-level highstand. The three formations are separated from one another by well-developed terra-rossa paleosols or other erosion surfaces that formed predominantly during intervening sea-level lowstands. The karst landforms of San Salvador consist of karren, depressions, caves, and blue holes. Karren are small-scale dissolutional etchings on exposed and soil-covered bedrock that grade downward into the epikarst, the system of tubes and holes that drain the bedrock surface. Depressions are constructional features, such as swales between eolian ridges, but they have been dissolutionally maintained. Pit caves are vertical voids in the vadose zone that link the epikarst to the water table. Flank margin caves are horizontal voids that formed in the distal margin of a past fresh-water lens; whereas banana holes are horizontal voids that developed at the top of a past fresh-water lens, landward of the lens margin. Lake drains are conduits that connect some flooded depressions to the sea. Blue holes are flooded vertical shafts, of polygenetic origin, that may lead into caves systems at depth. The paleokarst of San Salvador is represented by flank margin caves and banana holes formed in a past fresh-water lens elevated by the last interglacial sea-level highstand, and by epikarst buried under paleosols formed during sea-level lowstands. Both carbonate deposition and its subsequent karstification is controlled by glacio-eustatic sea-level position. On San Salvador, the geographic isolation of the island, its small size, and the rapidity of past sea level changes have placed major constraints on the production of the paleokarst

Evaluation of terra rossa geochemical baselines from Croatian karst regions, 1999, Miko S. , Durn G. , Prohic E. ,
In karst regions of Croatia, regolith is the only favourable medium for geochemical mapping. Mediterranean climate and good drainage due to hard, fissured, permeable limestones and dolomites result in a spacious distribution of terra rossa (FAO-luvisols and cambisols) - a polygenetic type of soil. Samples of terra rossa from coastal and inland Croatian Dinaric karst terrains were collected during the initial studies for the Geochemical Map of Croatia at a density of 1 site/25 km(2). A total of 87 terra rossa soil samples taken from a depth of 5-25 cm together with 27 samples from deeper profiles (down to 850 cm) were analysed for total Al, Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ga, La, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Na, Sr, Ti, V and Zn concentrations. A stoichiometric approach was applied by modeling of terra rossa baselines on the basis of Linear regressions of metals on Al and the calculation of enrichment factors (EF and CEFs) on the basis of soil standards. A noticeable enrichment of Pb was found in surface samples compared to the terra rossa deeper in the soil profile. Using these baseline relationships, an attempt is made to partition terra rossa metal concentrations into natural and anthropogenic fractions. Also, the models from both polluted and less polluted (uninhabited) karstic terrains improve the comparability of element contents through correction of variable background concentrations. A comparison of elemental concentrations revealed that due to contributions of bauxite debris, a number of studied samples is enriched in Cr and Ni (also with variable amounts of boehmite). The corrections will serve to reduce data variability and to increase the detection of spatial and temporal differences presented on the geochemical maps. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Karst landforms on the eastern slopes of Davras Dagi (western Taurus): karren, sinkholes and uvalas, 1999, Dayan E, Bilgin A, Hancer M,
A characteristic of the study area is the low frequency of gully and rill karren. By length, width and depth they are not comparable with the same type of karren in the alpine karst, as they have attained only insignificant dimensions. This difference in size cannot primarily be attributed to differences of annual precipitation, but rather to the fact that they are only 2-3000 years old. Their formation started with anthropogenic forest destruction and concomitant soil stripping. As gully and rill karren depend on bare rock surfaces for their formation, they cannot have formed before that time. Joint-oriented and cavernous karren, in conrast, are widely spread in the study area. As the formation of these two types of karren is related to the existence of joints, their frequency is explained by severe fracturing of the limestone during recent tectonic movements. Although cavernous karren may also form on bare rock surfaces, Lest conditions for their development exist underneath a soil cover. As this no longer exists, the formation of cavernous karren has become much reduced in the historical era. Sinkholes are frequent in the planation surfaces of Mid- to Upper Miocene age and are of Pliocene and Pleistocene age. The uvalas are also not very old, as many of them contain terra rossa

Palaeo-mixing zone karst features from Palaeocene carbonates of north Spain: criteria for recognizing a potentially widespread but rarely documented diagenetic system, 2001, Bacetaa J. I. , Wrightb V. P. , Pujalte V.

Marine-meteoric mixing zone dissolution effects are a major feature of present day karst systems in carbonate platforms,yet are rarely reported in the geological record. An example is described from the upper Danian platform limestones of the Alava province,in  the western Pyrenees,north Spain. This consists of several narrow zones with sponge-like porosity analogous to the "Swiss-cheese" features found in present day mixing  zones. These zones are stained by Fe-oxides and overlie limestones which are irregularly  dolomitized  and contain disseminated pyrite. These high-porosity  zones are interpreted as having developed in marine mixing zones where mixing corrosion and microbially  mediated processes increased dissolution. If collapsed,ancient mixing zones could be misinterpreted as "terra-rossa" palaeosols. The main criteria to identify them as mixing zone products are their occurrence below a palaeo-meteoric phreatic zone,their association with stratified oxic and anoxic redox zones and petrographic evidence for highly variable calcite saturation states.

Palaeo-mixing zone karst features from Palaeocene carbonates of north Spain: criteria for recognizing a potentially widespread but rarely documented diagenetic system , 2001, Baceta J. I. , Wrightb V. P. , Pujaltec V.

Marine-meteoric mixing zone dissolution effects are a major feature of present day karst systems in carbonate platforms,yet are rarely reported in the geological record. An example is described from the upper Danian platform limestones of the Alava province,in the western Pyrenees,north Spain. This consists of several narrow zones with sponge-like porosity analogous to the "Swiss-cheese" features found in present day mixing zones. These zones are stained by Fe-oxides and overlie limestones which are irregularly dolomitized and contain disseminated pyrite. These high-porosity zones are interpreted as having developed in marine mixing zones where mixing corrosion and microbially mediated processes increased dissolution. If collapsed,ancient mixing zones could be misinterpreted as "terra-rossa" palaeosols. The main criteria to identify them as mixing zone products are their occurrence below a palaeo-meteoric phreatic zone,their association with stratified oxic and anoxic redox zones and petrographic evidence for highly variable calcite saturation states

Heterogeneity of parent rocks and its constraints on geochemical criteria in weathering crusts of carbonate rocks, 2004, Wang S. J. , Feng Z. G. ,
Owing to the low contents of their acid-insoluble components, carbonate rocks tend to decrease sharply in volume in association with the formation of weathering crust. The formation of a 1 m-thick weathering crust would usually consume more than ten meters to several tens of meters of thickness of parent rocks. The knowledge of how to identify the homogeneity of parent rocks is essential to understand the formation mechanism of weathering crust in karst regions. especially that of thick-layered red weathering crust. In this work the grain-size analyses have demonstrated that the three profiles studied are the residual weathering crust of carbonate rocks and further showed that there objectively exists the, heterogeneity of parent rocks in the three studied weathering crusts. The heterogeneity of parent rocks can also be. reflected in geochemical parameters of major elements, just as the characteristics of frequency plot of pain-size distribution. Conservative trace element ratios Zr/Hf and Nb/Ta are proven to be unsuitable for tracing the heterogeneity of parent rocks of weathering crust, but its geochemical mechanism is unclear. The authors strongly suggest in this paper that the identification of the homogeneity of parent rocks of weathering crust in karst regions is of prime necessity

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