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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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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 16 to 24 of 24
Factors controlling exokarst morphology and sediment transport through caves: comparison of carbonate and salt karst, 2003, Bruthans Jirí, , Zeman Ondrej

In salt karst, very large amounts of sediment load could be permanently trapped underground, due to the high solubility of NaCl. Specific karst forms which have no equivalents in carbonate karst, occur there (huge underground alluvial fans, inlet caves). In a carbonate karst, on the other hand, only small portion of sediment carried by an allochthonous stream could be deposited permanently in the cave, otherwise the cave will become clogged (because of the very low solubility of CaCO3). Three carbonate karst areas with long-lasting development and fundamental differences in endokarst and exokarst forms were studied from many different aspects in the Czech Republic. The authors believe that there is only one primary difference between the Moravian Karst and diffuse recharge karst areas (Czech and Chynov karsts): the frequency and orientation of fissures penetrable by groundwater. All other differences in exokarst and endokarst forms and hydrology are the results of primary difference and its influence on speleogenesis, especially on sediment transport and gradational features. In areas where only bathyphreatic and deep phreatic caves occur, blind valleys and common exokarst morphology never develop, due to the very low velocity of flow in karst conduits, which precludes transport of sediment load.


Geochemical simulation of the formation of brine and salt minerals based on Pitzer model in Caka Salt Lake, 2004, Liu X. Q. , Cai K. Q. , Yu S. S. ,
The geochemical simulation of the formation of brine and salt minerals based on Pitzer model was made in Caka Salt Lake. The evolution of the mixed surface-water and the mineral sequences were calculated and compared with the hydrochemical compositions of the brine and the salt minerals of the deposit in Caka Salt Lake. The results show that the formation temperature of the lake is between 0degreesC and 5degreesC, which is well identical with other studies. The mixing of salt-karst water with the surface waters, neglected by the former researchers, is very important to the formation of the lake, indicating that the initial waters resulting in the formation of the lake are multi-source. It is the first time to use Pitzer model in China for making geochemical simulation of the formation and evolution of inland salt lake and satisfactory results have been achieved

Sedom Salt Karst, Israel, 2004, Frumkin A.

Karst and caves within the salt domes of Iran, 2007, Waltham, Tony.
The salt domes of southern Iran are mountains of pure salt kilometres across formed at the outcrop of deep seated salt diapirs. Namakdan and Hormoz are two domes that support some of the most spectacular landscapes of doline karst eroded into the salt. Beneath the surface, caves contain long passages and some large chambers, all decorated with beautiful displays of salt stalactites.

The Dead Sea sinkhole hazard: Geophysical assessment of salt dissolution and collapse, 2011, Frumkin Amos, Ezersky Michael, Alzoubi Abdallah, Akkawi Emad, Abueladas Abdelrahman

A geophysical approach is presented for analyzing processes of subsurface salt dissolution and associated sinkhole hazard along the Dead Sea. The implemented methods include Seismic Refraction (SRFR), Transient Electromagnetic Method (TEM), Electric Resistivity Tomography (ERT), and Ground Penetration Radar (GPR). The combination of these methods allows the delineation of the salt layer boundaries, estimating its porosity distribution, finding cavities within the salt layer, and identifying deformations in the overlying sediments. This approach is shown to be useful for anticipating the occurrence of specific sinkholes, as demonstrated on both shores of the Dead Sea. These sinkholes are observed mainly along the edge of a salt layer deposited during the latest Pleistocene, when Lake Lisan receded to later become the Dead Sea. This salt layer is dissolved by aggressive water flowing from adjacent and underlying aquifers which drain to the Dead Sea. Sinkhole formation is accelerating today due to the rapid fall of the Dead Sea levels during the last 30 years, caused by anthropogenic use of its water.


Secondary halite deposits in the Iranian salt karst: general description and origin, 2011, Filippi Michal, Bruthans Jiř, , Palatinus Luk, Zare Mohammad, Asadi Naser

This paper summaries 12 years of documentation of secondary halite deposits in the Iranian salt karst.
A variety of secondary halite deposits was distinguished and classified into several groups, on the basis of the site and mechanism of their origin. Deposits formed: i) via crystallization in/on streams and pools, ii) from dripping, splashing and aerosol water, iii) from evaporation of seepage and capillary water, and iv) other types of deposits. The following examples of halite forms were distinguished in each of the above mentioned group: i) euhedral crystals, floating rafts (raft cones), thin brine surface crusts and films; ii) straw stalactites, macrocrystalline skeletal and hyaline deposits, aerosol deposits; iii) microcrystalline forms (crusts, stalactites and stalagmites, helictites); iv) macrocrystalline helictites, halite bottom fibres and spiders, crystals in fluvial sediments, euhedral halite crystals in rock salt, combined or transient forms and biologically induced deposits. The occurrence of particular forms depends strongly on the environment, especially on the type of brine occurrence (pool, drip, splashing brine, microscopic capillary brine, etc.), flow rate and its variation, atmospheric humidity, evaporation rate and, in some cases, on the air flow direction. Combined or transitional secondary deposits can be observed if the conditions changed during the deposition. Euhedral halite crystals originate solely below the brine surface of supersaturated streams and lakes. Macrocrystalline skeletal deposits occur at places with rich irregular dripping and splashing (i.e., waterfalls, places with strong dripping from the cave ceilings, etc.). Microcrystalline (fine grained) deposits are generated by evaporation of capillary brine at places where brine is not present in a macroscopically visible form. Straw stalactites form at places where dripping is concentrated in small spots and is frequent sufficient to assure that the tip of the stalactite will not be overgrown by halite precipitates. If the tip is blocked by halite precipitates, the brine remaining in the straw will seep through the walls and helictites start to grow in some places.
Macrocrystalline skeletal deposits and straw stalactites usually grow after a major rain event when dripping is strong, while microcrystalline speleothems are formed continuously during much longer periods and ultimately (usually) overgrow the other types of speleothems during dry periods. The rate of secondary halite deposition is much faster compared to the carbonate karst. Some forms increase more than 0.5 m during the first year after a strong rain event; however, the age of speleothems is difficult to estimate, as they are often combinations of segments of various ages and growth periods alternate with long intervals of inactivity.
Described forms may be considered in many cases as the analogues of forms found in the carbonate karst. As they are created in a short time period the conditions of their origin are often still visible or can be reconstructed. The described halite forms can thus be used for verification of the origin of various carbonate forms. Some of the described forms bear clear evidence of the paleo-water surface level (transition of the skeletal form to halite crystals and vice versa). Other kinds of deposits are potential indicators of the microclimate under which they developed (humidity close to the deliquescence relative humidity).


Salt Karst, 2013, Frumkin, A.

Halite is the most soluble common mineral. Salt karst is concerned with extremely soluble and erodible rock-salt geomorphology, which demonstrates a dynamic end member to karst processes. Salt outcrops are rare, due to the high solubility, and common total dissolution underground, but subsurface salt is common, and commonly associated with environmental problems. These are associated with salt hazards, generally due to anthropogenic modification of hydrological systems, causing aggressive water to attack salt rock. Most salt outcrops appear under desert conditions, where the salt mass escapes total dissolution. In such outcrops, runoff produces well-developed karst terrains, with features including karren, sinkholes, and vadose caves. Existing salt relief is probably not older than Pliocene, but the known well-developed


SALT KARST AND COLLAPSE STRUCTURES IN THE ANADARKO BASIN OF OKLAHOMA AND TEXAS, 2013, Johnson, K. S.

Permian bedded salt is widespread in the Anadarko Basin of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, where partial or total dissolution of the shallowest salt in some areas has resulted in subsidence and/or collapse of overlying strata. Groundwater has locally dissolved these salts at depths of 10–250 m. The distribution (presence or absence) of salt-bearing units, typically 80–150 m thick, is confirmed by interpretation of geophysical logs of many petroleum tests and a few scattered cores. Salt dissolution by ground water is referred to as “salt karst.”Chaotic structures, collapse features, breccia pipes, and other evidence of disturbed bedding are present in Permian, Cretaceous, and Tertiary strata that overly areas of salt karst. The dip of Permian and post-Permian strata in the region normally is less than one degree, mainly towards the axis of the Anadarko Basin. Where strata locally dip in various directions at angles of 5–25 degrees or more, and underlying salt units show clear evidence of dissolution, these chaotic dips must result (mostly, if not totally) from subsidence and collapse into underlying salt-dissolution cavities.Gypsum karst and resultant collapse of overlying strata have been proposed in many parts of the Anadarko Basin. However, the gypsum beds typically are only 1–6 m thick and more than 100 m deep, and cannot contribute to disruption of outcropping strata—except where they are within 10–20 m of the surface.Typical areas of disturbed bedding comprise several hectares, or more, with outcrops of moderately dipping strata—as though large blocks of rock have foundered and subsided into large underground cavities. Other examples of disturbed bedding are small-diameter breccia pipes, or chimneys, that extend vertically up from salt-karst cavities, through several hundred meters of overlying strata. The best evidence of these chimneys are collapsed blocks of Cretaceous strata, chaotically dropped some 50 m, or more, that are now juxtaposed against various Permian formations on the north flank of the Anadarko Basin. Any study of surface or shallow-subsurface geology in the Anadarko Basin must consider the influence of subsurface salt karst on the structure and distribution of overlying rocks


Sinkholes, collapse structures and large landslides in an active salt dome submerged by a reservoir: The unique case of the Ambal ridge in the Karun River, Zagros Mountains, Iran, 2015,

Ambal ridge, covering 4 km2, is a salt pillowof Gachsaran Formationwith significant salt exposures in direct contact  with the Karun River, Zagros Mountains. The highly cavernous salt dome is currently being flooded by the  Gotvand Reservoir, second largest in Iran. Geomorphic evidence, including the sharp deflection of the Karun  River and defeated streams indicate that Ambal is an active halokinetic structure, probably driven by erosional  unloading. Around 30% of the salt dome is affected by large landslides up to ca. 50 × 106 m3 in volume. Slope  oversteepening related to fluvial erosion and halokinetic rise seems to be the main controlling factor. A total of  693 sinkholes have been inventoried (170 sinkholes/km2), for which a scaling relationship has been produced.  The depressions occur preferentially along a belt with a high degree of clustering. This spatial distribution is  controlled by the proximity to the river, slope gradient and halite content in the bedrock. A large compound  depression whose bottom lies below the normal maximum level of the reservoir will likely be flooded by  water table rise forming a lake. The impoundment of the reservoir has induced peculiar collapse structures  220–280 m across, expressed by systems of arcuate fissures and scarps. Rapid subsurface salt dissolution is  expected to generate and reactivate a large number of sinkholes and may reactivate landslideswith a significant  vertical component due to lack of basal support.


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