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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 compaction, specific is the decrease in thickness of deposits, per unit of increase in applied stress, during a specific period of time [21]. see also compaction; compaction, residual.?

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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 transformations (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Forum : Delta Star Transformations in Cave Surveying, 1990, Warren P.

DISLOCATION OF THE EVAPORITIC FORMATIONS UNDER TECTONIC AND DISSOLUTION CONTROLS - THE MODEL OF THE DINANTIAN EVAPORITES FROM VARISCAN AREA (NORTHERN FRANCE AND BELGIUM), 1993, Rouchy J. M. , Groessens E. , Laumondais A. ,
Within the Franco-Belgian segment of the Hercynian orogen, two thick Dinantian anhydritic formations are known, respectively in the Saint-Ghislain (765 m) and Epinoy 1 (904 m) wells. Nevertheless, occurrences of widespread extended breccias and of numerous pseudomorphs of gypsum/anhydrite in stratigraphically equivalent carbonate deposits (boreholes and outcrops), suggest a larger extent of the evaporitic conditions (fig. 1, 2). The present distribution of evaporites is controlled by palaeogeographical differentiation and post-depositional parameters such as tectonics and dissolution. These latter have dissected the deposits formerly present in all the structural units. By using depositional, diagenetic and deformational characters of these formations, the article provides a model for the reconstruction of a dislocated evaporitic basin. This segment of the Hercynian chain is schematically composed of two main units (fig. 1, 3) : (1) the autochthonous or parautochthonous deposits of the Namur synclinorium, (2) the Dinant nappe thrusted northward over the synclinorium of Namur. The major thrust surface is underlined by a complex fault bundle (faille du Midi) seismically recognized over more than 100 km. A complex system of thrust slices occurs at the Hercynian front. Except for local Cretaceous deposits, most of the studied area has been submitted to a long period of denudation since the Permian. Sedimentary, faunistic and geochemical data argue for a marine origin of the brines which have generated the evaporites interbedded with marine limestones. Sedimentary structures. - The thick evaporitic formations are composed of calcium-sulfates without any clear evidence of the former presence of more soluble salts (with the exception of a possible carbonate-sulfate breccia in the upper part of the Saint-Ghislain formation). As in all the deeply buried evaporitic formations, the anhydrite is the main sulfate component which displays all the usual facies : pseudomorphs after gypsum (fig. 4A, B), nodular and mosaic (fig. 4C), laminated. The gypsum was probably an important component during the depositional phase despite the predominant nodular pattern of the anhydrite. Early diagenetic nodular anhydrite may have grown during temporary emersion of the carbonates (sabkha environments), but this mechanism cannot explain the formation of the whole anhydrite. So, most of the anhydrite structures result from burial-controlled gypsum --> anhydrite conversion and from mechanical deformations. Moreover, a complex set of diagenetic processes leads to various authigenic minerals (celestite, fluorite, albite, native sulfur, quartz and fibrous silica) and to multistaged carbonate <> sulfate replacements (calcite and dolomite after sulfate, replacive anhydrite as idiomorphic poeciloblasts, veinlets, domino-like or stairstep monocrystals...). These mineral transformations observed ill boreholes and in outcrops have diversely been controlled during the complex evolution of the series as : depositional and diagenetic pore-fluid composition, pressure and temperature changes with burial, bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction, deep circulations favored by mechanical brecciation, mechanical stresses, role of groundwater during exhumation of the series. Deformational structures. - A great variety of deformational structures as rotational elongation, stretching, lamination, isoclinal microfolding, augen-like and mylonitic structures are generated by compressive tectonic stresses (fig. 4D to J). The similarities between tectonic-generated structures and sedimentary (lamination) or diagenetic (pseudo-nodules) features could lead lo misinterpretations. The calcareous interbeds have undergone brittle deformation the style and the importance of which depend of their relative thickness. Stretching, boudins, microfolds and augen structures F, H. I) affect the thin layers while thicker beds may be broken as large fractured blocks dragged within flown anhydrite leading to a mylonitic-like structure (fig, 4G). In such an inhomogeneous formation made of interlayered ductile (anhydrite) and brittle (carbonate) beds, the style and the intensity of the deformation vary with respect to the relative thickness of each of these components. Such deformational features of anhydrite may have an ubiquitous significance and can result either from compressive constraints or geostatic movements (halokinesis). Nevertheless, some data evidence a relation with regional tangential stresses: (1) increase of the deformation toward the bottom of the Saint-Ghislain Formation which is marked by a deep karst suggesting the presence of a mechanical discontinuity used as a drain for dissolving solutions (fig. 3, 4); (2) structural setting (reversed series, internal slidings) of the Epinoy 1 formation under the Midi thrust. However, tectonic stresses also induce flowing deformations which have contributed to cause their present discontinuity. It can be assumed that the evaporites played an active role for the buckling of the regional structure as detachment or gliding layers and more specifically for the genesis of duplex structures. Breccia genesis. - Great breccia horizons are widely distributed in outcrops as well as in the subsurface throughout the greater part of the Dinant and Namur units (fig. 2). The wide distribution of pseudomorphosed sulfates in outcrops and the stratigraphical correlation between breccia and Saint-Ghislain evaporitic masses (fig. 2) suggest that some breccia (although not all) have been originated from collapse after evaporites solution. Although some breccia may result from synsedimentary dissolution, studied occurrences show that most of dissolution processes started after the Hercynian deformation and, in some cases, were active until recently : elements made of lithified and fractured limestones (Llandelies quarries) (fig. 5A), preservation of pseudomorphs of late replacive anhydrite (Yves-Gomezee) (fig. 5B, C), deep karst associated with breccia (Douvrain, Saint Ghislain, Ghlin boreholes) (fig. 3, 4, 5D)). Locally, the final brecciation may have been favored by a mechanical fragmentation which controlled water circulations (fig. 5E). As postulated by De Magnee et al. [19861, the dissolution started mostly after the Permian denudation and continued until now in relation with deep circulations and surface weathering (fig. 6). So, the above-mentioned occurrences of the breccia are logically explained by collapse after dissolution of calcium-sulfates interbeds of significant thickness (the presence of salt is not yet demonstrated), but other Visean breccia may have a different origin (fig. 5F). So, these data prove the extension of thick evaporitic beds in all the structural units including the Dinant nappe, before dissolution and deformation. Implications. - Distribution of Visean evaporites in northern France and Belgium is inherited from a complicated paleogeographic, tectonic and post-tectonic history which has strongly modified their former facies, thicknesses and limits (fig. IA, 6). Diversified environments of deposition controlled by both a palaeogeographical differentiation and water level fluctuations led to the deposition of subaqueous (gypsum) or interstitial (gypsum, anhydrite) crystallization. Nevertheless, most of the anhydrite structures can be interpreted as resulting from burial conversion of gypsum to anhydrite rather than a generalized early diagenesis in sabkha-like conditions. Deformation of anhydrite caused by Hercynian tangential stresses and subsequent flow mechanisms, have completed the destruction of depositional and diagenetic features. The tectonic deformations allow us to consider the role of the evaporites in the Hercynian deformations. The evaporites supplied detachment and gliding planes as suggested for the base of the Saint-Ghislain Formation and demonstrated by the structural setting of Epinoy 1 evaporites in reverse position and in a multi-system of thrust-slices below the Midi overthrust (fig. 7). So, although the area in which evaporation and precipitation took place cannot be exactly delineated in geographic extent, all the data evidence that the isolated thick anhydritic deposits represent relics of more widespread evaporites extending more or less throughout the different structural units of this Hercynian segment (fig. 1B). Their present discontinuity results from the combination of a depositional differentiation, mechanical deformations and/or dissolution

Are troglobitic taxa troglobiomorphic? A test using phylogenetic inference, 1997, Desuttergrandcolas Laure
Obligate cave dwelling organisms are frequently characterised by a peculiar morphological syndrome, named troglomorphosis or troglobiomorphosis. This hypothesis, which deals with the evolutionary influence of the subterranean environment on cave organisms is far from being universally accepted. Yet it has been adopted by many authors and is often included in the definitions of the current classification of cave taxa. In this paper I present a test of the troglobiomorphosis hypothesis, using the case study of the cricket clade Amphiacustae (Orthoptera, Grylloidea, Phalangopsidae). Such a test preliminarily requires that observations of the habitat of the taxa (achieved on present-day populations) are clearly separated from hypotheses on the evolutionary transformations of cave taxa (troglobiomorphosis hypothesis s. str.). The evolutionary hypotheses on troglobite morphology are tested using phylogenetic inference, that is by parsimoniously mapping the states of several morphological characters (eye size, body colour, relative hindleg size) onto the cladogram of the Amphiacustae. According to these phylogenetic analyses, the troglobiomorphosis hypothesis is corroborated by the patterns reconstructed for eye size and body coloration characters, but is refuted by the patterns built for hindleg size.

Transformations and hydraulic captures of petrochemical contaminants in a karst-fractured aquifer, 2000, Chen Y, Zhu X, Zhu X, Jiang Y, Xie Q,

Structural Features of Cultural Landscape in the Karst Area (landscape in transition), 2003, Anič, Ić, Branka, Perica Draž, En

During a long historical continuity in the karst area a specific landscape type has evolved due to varied climatic, geomorphological, topographic as well as socio-economic conditions. This is characterized by great typological diversity based on authentic features both of natural and cultural origin. These have occurred as a consequence of balanced economic land-uses from early periods on. The main quality of these landscapes is derived from unique agricultural land-use patterns, which constitute one of the most valuable spatial heritages in the entire Mediterranean. However, the recent evolution, mainly in the socio-economic sphere, generated far-reaching impacts in the rural areas which largely affect the integrity and traditional harmony the karst countryside in general and the landscape in particular. The basic intention of the paper is to outline these transformations as a serious threat and immense loss of the national cultural heritage and to emphasize the great responsibility of this generation in these processes.


Land use change and soil nutrient transformations in the Los Haitises region of the Dominican Republic, 2005, Templer P. H. , Groffman P. M. , Flecker A. S. , Power A. G. ,
We characterized soil cation, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) transformations within a variety of land use types in the karst region of the northeastern Dominican Republic. We examined a range of soil pools and fluxes during the wet and dry seasons in undisturbed forest, regenerating forest and active agricultural sites within and directly adjacent to Los Haitises National Park. Soil moisture, soil organic matter (SOM), soil cations, leaf litter C and pH were significantly greater in regenerating forest sites than agricultural sites, while bulk density was greater in active agricultural sites. Potential denitrification, microbial biomass C and N, and microbial respiration g(-1) dry soil were significantly greater in the regenerating forest sites than in the active agricultural sites. However, net mineralization, net nitrification, microbial biomass C, and microbial respiration were all significantly greater in the agricultural sites on g(-1) SOM basis. These results suggest that land use is indirectly affecting microbial activity and C storage through its effect on SOM quality and quantity. While agriculture can significantly decrease soil fertility, it appears that the trend can begin to rapidly reverse with the abandonment of agriculture and the subsequent regeneration of forest. The regenerating forest soils were taken out of agricultural use only 5-7 years before our study and already have soil properties and processes similar to an undisturbed old forest site. Compared to undisturbed mogote forest sites, regenerating sites had smaller amounts of SOM and microbial biomass N, as well as lower rates of microbial respiration, mineralization and nitrification g(-1) SOM. Initial recovery of soil pools and processes appeared to be rapid, but additional research must be done to address the long-term rate of recovery in these forest stands. (C) 2004, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Gypsum karst in the Crotone province (Calabria, Southern Italy), 2005, Parise Mario, Trocino Antonio

The Calabria region of southern Italy presents remarkable examples of gypsum karst, involving evaporite rocks ranging in age from Trias to Miocene. Triassic evaporites are limited to a sequence of about one hundred meters of thickness in the Coastal Chain, on the western Calabrian coast. Messinian evaporites, on the other hand, extensively crop out to the east, in the Crotone Basin. The present contribution intends to describe the main features of gypsum karst in the latter area, from the surface karst morphology to the development of caves. The Crotone Basin is among the most interesting areas as regards evaporite karst in Italy: a variety of surface karst landforms is there present, including dolines, blind valleys, closed depressions, and deep and narrow canyons intensely affected by slope movements. Many caves are located at the bottom of the dolines, as Grave Grubbo which, with a length over 2,500 meters, is one of the longest Italian caves in evaporites. The study area has experienced several transformations, mostly due to agricultural activity and to scarce attention paid by local administrators toward this unique naturalistic landscape. The high value of Calabrian gypsum karst is thus not fully exploited, and several cases of degradation of the caves have been registered, even with consequences for the quality of water flowing in the karst systems.


Unique iron-manganese colonies of microorganisms in Zoloushka Cave (Ukraine-Moldova), 2009, Andreychouk V. N. , Klimchouk A. , Boston P. , Galuskin E.

During open-pit quarrying and related lowering of groundwater level in the gypsum karst aquifer (since 1950), large cave Zoloushka became accessible for direct exploration, in which considerable geochemical transformations of environment occurred, accompanied by the formation of specific deposits, as well as by burst of microbial activity. Among microorganisms, some of the most active were various iron bacteria. Microbial activity has resulted in precipitation of black and red biochemical formations – microbialites (coatings, crusts, films, stalactites, stalagmites, etc.), which cover walls and floors of cave passages. Most interesting among the microbialites are iron-rich colonial formations of various shapes (stalagmite-like, tube-like, coral-like, etc.) formed by yet unidentified fungi-like microorganisms which likely are new to science. In this paper, we characterize occurrence and morphology of the colonial aggregates, morphology and chemical composition of microorganisms  and develop working hypotheses of their identification.


TIME SERIES ANALYSIS, MODELLING AND ASSESSMENT OF OPTIMAL EXPLOITATION OF THE NEMANJA KARST SPRINGS, SERBIA, 2010, Jemcov I. , Petri? M.
The time series analysis was applied in the case-study of a karst aquifer in Serbia in order to study its functioning, hydrodynamic behavior and hydraulic properties. Focusing on the definition of groundwater budget, due to very complex functioning of karst systems the correlation and spectral analyses were used to emphasize the importance of transforming the input data precipitation to effective infiltration. Thee characterization of karst aquifer was further improved by separating the output component discharge to base flow and flatfoot components. Additionally, the importance of these transformations was proved in application of the regression model for the simulation of discharges based on the effective infiltration functions. A recharge-discharge model was applied in accordance with the active groundwater management, defining optimal exploitable regimes, which included the analyses of storage changes in karst water reservoirs under natural conditions, and calculation of the potential exploitation conditions.

The role of geochemical transformations in karst geomorphogenesis, 2010, Vakhrushev B. A.

Geochemical transformations in the system «water - rock» constitute the genetic basis of karst morphogesis. The article demonstrates that corrosion and chemical sedimentation are largely responsible for the morphological look of cavities. The basic method used is thermodynamic calculations of geochemical equilibria, which determine an aggressiveness of natural solutions.

The change of isobar-isothermal potential (free energy of Gibbs) was used as a measure of chemical affinity of matters, i.e. their capabilities to enter into a reaction between them with formation of other matters.

Variety of hydrochemical situations taking place in carbonate , summarized in five typical conditions, which include considerable part of possible karst morphogenetic settings, while others can be obtained by combination of the examined ones. Every situation is described by hydrochemical calculations.

The second part of the paper is dedicated to practical application of the described methodology, i.e. to the calculations of thermodynamic equilibria observed in the underground streams of the Krasnaya (Red) Cave in Crimea. Close connection of morphological look of the cave with geochemical transformations is shown, which control corrosion and chemical accumulation along the whole length of the karst system.


Tracing the sources of cave sulfates: a unique case from Cerna Valley, Romania, 2011, Onac Bogdan P. , Wynn Jonathan G. , Sumrall Jonathan B.

In order to reliably distinguish between different genetic processes of cave sulfate formation and to quantify the role of thermo-mineral waters on mineral deposition and cave morphology, it is critical to understand sulfur (S) sources and S transformations during hydrological and speleogenetic processes. Previous work has shown that sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) often produces sulfate deposits with 34S-depleted isotopic signatures compared to those of the original source of S in sulfate rocks. However, 34S-depleted isotopic composition of S-bearing minerals alone does not provide enough information to clearly distinguish SAS from other speleogenetic processes driven by carbonic acid, geothermal heat, or other processes. The isotopic composition (δ18O and δ34S) of sulfate minerals (mainly gypsum) from seven caves of the Cerna Valley (Romania) defines three distinct populations, and demonstrates that the δ34S values of SAS-precipitated cave sulfates depend not only on the source of the S, but also on the H2S:SO4 2− ratio during aqueous S species reactions and mineral precipitation. Population 1 includes sulfates that are characterized by relatively low δ34S values (−19.4 to −27.9‰) with δ18O values between 0.2 and 4.3‰ that are consistent with oxidation of dissolved sulfide produced during methane-limited thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) that presently characterizes the chemistry of springs in the upper Cerna Valley. Population 2 of cave sulfates has 34S enriched δ34S values (14.3 to 19.4‰) and more 18O-depleted δ18O values (from −1.8 to −10.0‰). These values argue for oxidation of dissolved sulfide produced during sulfate-limited TSR that presently characterizes the chemistry of springs further downstream in the Cerna Valley. The δ18O values of cave sulfates from Population 1 are consistent with oxidation under more oxic aqueous conditions than those of Population 2. δ34S values of cave sulfates within Population 3 (δ34S: 5.8 to 6.5‰) may be consistent with several scenarios (i.e., pyrite oxidation, oxidation of dissolved sulfide produced during methane-limited TSR coupled with O2-limited oxidation during SAS). However, comparatively 18O-enriched δ18OSO4 values (11.9 to 13.9‰) suggest the majority of this sulfate O was derived from atmospheric O2 in gas-phase oxidation prior to hydration. Thus, the combined use of oxygen- and sulfur-isotope systematics of sulfate minerals precipitated in a variety of cave settings along Cerna Valley may serve as an example of how more complex cave systems can be deconvoluted to allow for more complete recognition of the range of processes and parameters that may be involved in SAS.


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