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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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That measuring flume is an artificial channel used for discharge measurements.?

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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 coastal karst (Keyword) returned 54 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 54
Coastal karst springs in the Mediterranean basin: study of the mechanisms of saline pollution at the Almyros spring (Crete), observations and modelling, 2002, Arfib B, De Marsily G, Ganoulis J,
Variations in salinity and flow rate in the aerial, naturally salty spring of Almyros of Heraklion on Crete were monitored during two hydrological cycles. We describe the functioning of the coastal karstic system of the Almyros and show the influence of the duality of the flow in the karst (conduits and fractured matrix) on the quality of the water resource in the coastal area. A mechanism of saltwater intrusion into this highly heterogeneous system is proposed and validated with a hydraulic mathematical model, which describes the observations remarkably well

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

Prehistory and coastal karst area: Cosquer Cave and the Calanques of Marseille, 2004, Collinagirard, J.

The Cosquer Cave is a French Palaeolithic painted and engraved cave (27.000-18.500 BP), which is located under the sea, in the Urgonian limestones of Cap Morgiou (“Massif des Calanques”, Marseille). The entrance was submerged at the end of the Last Glacial Stage and is presently 37 m under sea level. A synthesis about the Cosquer Cave environmental studies is presented here. Structural studies show that caves planimetry is determined by Cap Morgiou jointing (mainly NW-SE and N-S vertical faults). Through archaeological studies, a speleothem breaking period can be dated between 27.000 and 18.000 BP. Geomorphologic study of the continental shelf at the foot of the Cosquer Cave area shows fossil shorelines at -36 m, -50/55 m, -90 m, -100 m depth. Radiocarbon dating from shells collected in -100m sediments yielded a date of 13.250 BP. Direct scuba diving observations and submarine cliff profiles sketching show several eustatic still stand¬ levels between -36m and the current sea surface indicating a probable tectonic stability during the last 10.000 years.


Physical modelling of the seawater intrusion within a karst aquifer: the case of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete), 2004, Arfib B, Ganoulis J,
Physical modelling of the seawater intrusion within a karst aquifer: the case of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete). Coastal aquifers are subjected to natural seawater intrusion. Laboratory experiments were made to model the hydraulic conditions of saltwater inflow into a porous karstic conduit through which the freshwater flows. The conceptual model is based on the functioning scheme of the coastal karst system Almyros of Heraklion, Crete. The experiments show that seawater intrusion in a karst conduit can be diffuse, does not always lead to density separation of freshwater and seawater, and is not necessarily related to a conduit-network directly connected to the sea.

Characterizing a coastal karst aquifer using an inverse modeling approach: The saline springs of Thau, southern France, 2004, Pinault J. L. , Doerfliger N. , Ladouche B. , Bakalowicz M. ,
[1] A methodological approach using inverse modeling was used to characterize the functioning of the deep and shallow reservoirs of the Thau karst aquifer system. Three springs were monitored at the convergence of rising saline water diluted with shallow groundwater in karst conduits and unmixed shallow groundwater that behaves as confined groundwater. In such a method, impulse responses of flow and fluxes are combined in order to separate hydrographs. The model explains the salinity and hydraulic head variations of the submarine and inland springs. It confirms and improves the conceptual model of this groundwater system in which mixing of saline and subsurface waters occurs. The different forces driving the upward flowing mixed water into the drainage axis and faults were studied in order to elucidate the springs' functioning. A comparative study of spring functioning is proposed, which clearly shows the very high sensitivity of the groundwater system to changes in recharge and discharge conditions

Coastal Karst, 2004, Lundberg J.

Small karst features (karren) of Dugi otok island and Kornati archipelago coastal karst (Croatia), 2004, Perica Draž, En, Marjanac Tihomir, Anič, Ić, Branka, Mrak Irena, Jurač, Ić, Mladen

Dugi otok Island and Kornati archipelago islands are characterized by karst morphology. Small karst features are particulary well developed along the coast in the swash zone, and significant differences can be observed due to different interaction of wave action, bedding attitude, bed thicknesses and lithology. Among other karren types, fissure- and network-type karren are particulary interesting, both of which start developing from initial root karren. The age of some of these small karst features can be estimated by their occurrence in ancient quarries, and we suggest their historic age. We can envisage the future development of these small coastal corrosion forms.


Geomorphologic evolution of a coastal karst: the Gulf of Orosei (central-east Sardinia, Italy), 2004, De Waele, Jo

In the past ten years cave surveying has allowed better understanding of speleogenesis in the Orosei Gulf (Central-East Sardinia, Italy), one of the most important coastal karst areas of Italy. Surface geomorphologic research has been accompanied by subterranean and submarine landform analysis in order to try and understand the evolution of this coastal karst since its emersion in Upper Eocene. The main factors influencing the geomorphic processes are lithology, tectonics, palaeo-climate and sea level changes. The study of several important cave systems demonstrates a complex geological history with karst processes that started in Early Tertiary and accelerated during Plio-Quaternary.


The transition of a freshwater karst aquifer to an anoxic marine system, 2005, Garman Km, Garey Jr,
Jewfish Sink is located in the shallow seagrass flats of the Gulf of Mexico in west central Florida. Jewfish Sink was a submarine spring until the drought of 1961-1962 when it ceased flowing. Today, the sink is an anaerobic marine basin and provides the opportunity to study the implications of saltwater intrusion in coastal karstic areas. The biogeochemistry of Jewfish Sink was studied from summer 2001 through spring 2004. A distinct feature of the sink is the uniform cold temperature (16-17 degrees C) of the deeper anoxic water that does not match groundwater found nearshore or onshore (22-24 degrees C). There are four zones within the sink: oxic zone, transition zone, upper anoxic zone, and anoxic bottom water. The anoxic bottom water does not mix with water from above but may be linked to deep Gulf shelf water through ancient aquifer conduits. The other three zones vary seasonally in oxygen, salinity, and temperature because of limited mixing in the winter due to cooling and sinking of surface water. The walls of the anoxic zones have characteristic microbial mats that are found in other sulfidic karstic features in the area. Bacterial activity appears to be carbon limited in the anoxic zones where sulfate reduction appears to be the major metabolic process. The reduction of sulfate to sulfide appears to be driven by irregular influxes of organic matter including macroalgae, horseshoe crabs, and stingrays that become entrapped within the sink. Bacterial activity in the oxic zones appears to be phosphate limited. Although the system is partially isolated from the overlying marine ecosystem, organic input from above drives the bacterial anaerobic ecosystem, resulting in a sulfide pump. In this model, sulfide percolates up through the karst and removes oxygen from the overlying sediment, which has likely caused changes in the shallow benthic ecosystem. Jewfish Sink appears to be part of an extensive anoxic subterranean estuary that extends under parts of at least three coastal counties in Florida and can serve as a model for the effects of rising sea levels or aquifer mining

Late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level rise and the pattern of coastal karst inundation: records from submerged speleothems along the Eastern Adriatic Coast (Croatia), 2005, Suric Masa, Juracic Mladen, Horvatincic Nada, Krajcar Bronic Ines,
In order to reconstruct the late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level rise along the Eastern Adriatic Coast, eight speleothems were collected from three submerged caves along the Croatian coast from depths of -38.5 to -17 m. The marine biogenic overgrowth layer and the youngest and the oldest parts of the speleothems were dated by the 14C method. Their stable isotope (13C/12C and 18O/16O) contents were also measured. From the measured 14C activity of the marine overgrowth and using the model of Alessio et al. (1992, Risultati preliminari relativi alla datazione di speleotemi sommersi nelle fasce costiere del Tirreno centrale. Giornale di Geologia ser. 3 54/2, 165-193), the start of overgrowth (i.e., the time of flooding by seawater) was determined to be 10,185 cal BP at -36 m, 9160 cal BP at -34 m, and 7920 cal BP at -23 m.Our results partially match the sea-level curves reconstructed for adjacent areas (Tyrrhenian Coast and French Mediterranean Coast). However, the start of the marine overgrowth on speleothems in pit caves indicates strong dependence on the steepness of the terrain. On steep, extensively karstified coasts, marine overgrowths on speleothems coincided with the submersion of the speleothems due to the relatively short distance between the pit and the open sea and fast penetration of seawater into the pit. In contrast, marine overgrowths on speleothems in pits in the flat terrains occurred later because speleothem growth ceased due to flooding with fresh groundwater. Later, the fresh water was replaced by seawater due to the greater distance of the inland pits to the former coast

Coastal karst geomorphosites at risk? A case study: the floods of 6-11 December 2004 in central-east Sardinia, 2007, Cossu A, De Waele J, Di Gregorio F,
Extreme rainfall causing floods and great damage occurred in many areas of central-east Sardinia in the period 6-11 December 2004. A total of approximately 700 mm of rain was measured during this extreme event, with a maximum reaching 510 mm of rainfall in 1 day at the rain gauge of Villagrande (Ogliastra). During and immediately after the event all fluviokarstic canyons were activated for at least 1 week, reaching the highest water levels in at least 50 years and reversing great quantities of sediment-loaded water onto the coast and with important geomorphical modifications. There was public fear that serious damage to the natural resources would occur, such as the famous Cala Luna beach that was almost completely destroyed by the flooding of the Codula Ilune River and by the coinciding sea storm. The river, in fact, eroded the longshore bar (beach) and destroyed the small backshore lagoon. A monitoring study has been initiated in order to analyse the natural evolution of this littoral system and to define the resilience of this interesting geomorphosite. The observations have shown that the flood, albeit impacting negatively in the moments immediately after the disaster, almost completely restored the natural equilibrium of this coastal karst geo-ecosystem within a season

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave-pools and anchihaline environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis., 2007, Gins Angel, Gins Joaqun
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins Angel And Gins Joaquin
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins A. , Gins J.

Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.


HYDROMECHANISM AND DESALINATION OF COASTAL KARST AQUIFERS: THEORY AND CASES, 2008, Breznik Marko & Steinman Franci
Brackish water of coastal karst aquifers is useless. Desalination methods are: interception method to capture fresh water in karst massif, isolation and rise-spring-level methods to prevent sea water inflow and reduced pumping of fresh water in dry periods. Four typical cases explain these methods.

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