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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 closed depression, closed basin is 1. any karst hollow with internal drainage, including dolines, uvalas, poljes, cockpits and all varieties of blind karst valleys, of both small and large scales [9]. 2. a general term for any enclosed topographic basin having no external drainage, regardless of origin or size [10].?

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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 karst evolution (Keyword) returned 58 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 58
Post-Miocene subtropical karst evolution, lower Suwannee River basin, Florida , 2000,

A model of the early evolution of karst aquifers in limestone in the dimensions of length and depth, 2001, Gabrovsek F, Dreybrodt W,
A new model of the early evolution of limestone karst aquifers in the dimensions of length and depth is presented. In its initial state the aquifer consists of a rock massive with evenly spaced fractures of about 50 [mu]m aperture widths with an hydraulic conductivity of 10-7 ms-1. In addition to this a coarser network of prominent fractures with aperture widths of several 100 [mu]m is also present. Boundary conditions of constant recharge 450 mm/year, or constant head from the input of allogenic streams are imposed. First the position of the water table in the aquifer is calculated, then dissolutional widening during a time step in all the fractures below the water table is found by use of the well-known nonlinear dissolution kinetics of limestone. This is iterated and the position of the water table as well as the fracture widths are found as a function of time. In the case of constant recharge to a karst plateau, the water table in any case drops to base level and conduits there propagate from the spring headwards. If constant head conditions are valid the position of the water table remains almost stable and conduits propagate along the water table from the input towards the spring. There is competition between conduit evolution along prominent fractures and along tight fissures close to the water table. In any case under constant head conditions one of these pathways wins, and early karst evolution is terminated by a breakthrough event with an explosive increase of the flow through the aquifer until constant head conditions break down. Depending on the boundary conditions of constant head or constant recharge or a combination of both it is possible to describe models of cave genesis, which have been derived from field evidence, such as the water table models of Swinnerton and Rhoades as well as the four-state model by Ford and Ewers (Can. J. Earth Sci., 15 (1978) 1783)

Middle Pleistocene Karst Evolution in the State of Qatar, Arabian Gulf, 2002, Sadiq, A. M. , Nasir, S. J.
Karst is widespread on the peninsula of Qatar in the Arabian Gulf, including depressions, sinkholes, caves, and solution hollows. More than 9700 large and small depressions, and several exposed sinkholes and caves are known. Field and air-photo studies indicate that the depressions, sinkholes, and caves of Qatar are genetically related, sinkholes representing an early phase in the development of depressions. Karst is concentrated mainly within the limestone, dolomite, gypsum, and anhydrite horizons of the Eocene Rus and Dammam Formations. Most karst features in Qatar show NE-SW and NW-SE orientations, similar to the joint and fracture systems. This observation indicates that rock type and the presence of joints and fractures played a major role in the development of karst in Qatar. Cylindrical, bottle-shaped, compound, and bowl-shaped morphotype karst pits were identified. These forms represent a genetic sequence in which the bowl-shaped pits evolved through a series of cylindrical and bottle-shaped compound intermediate stages. Most karst of central Qatar was formed due to extensive subsurface dissolution of carbonate and sulfate deposits under Middle Pleistocene wet climatic conditions and consequent subsidence. Joint-flow drainage may account for differential dissolution resulting in the formation of a pitted karst terrain in the northern part of Qatar.

Interpretation of recent structures in an area of cryptokarst evolution - neotectonic versus subsidence genesis, 2002, Dias Rp, Cabral J,
The study area (Algarve) is located near the Eurasia-Africa plate boundary, experiencing significant tectonic and seismic activities. Regional geology is characterised by the presence of Mesozoic and Miocene carbonate rocks which are affected by karst phenomena. This karst is covered by terrigenous sediments of Upper Miocene and Pliocene-Pleistocene age. In the study area, the Pliocene-Quaternary cover deposits are affected by a large number of mesoscopic structures, including joints, faults, and a few folds, which indicate neotectonic activity. However, these sediments also present similar structures that result from underground karst evolution, raising the need to differentiate the neotectonic structures from those of non-tectonic origin. In fact, a variety of ductile, semi-brittle and brittle structures develop in the sediments that fill up the karst wells, controlled by different theological behaviour of the cover deposits, various strain rates associated with sudden collapse or progressive sinking, and the variable shape of the karst pits walls. The structure's geometry, geographical dispersion and directional scattering were used as criteria to infer a non-tectonic genesis. It is discussed whether some karst related structures may be controlled by the contemporary tectonic stress field and consequently are interpreted in the regional geodynamical framework. (C) 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved

Lower Miocene gypsum palaeokarst in the Madrid Basin (central Spain): dissolution diagenesis, morphological relics and karst end-products, 2002, Rodriguezaranda J. P. , Calvo J. P. , Sanzmontero M. E. ,
The Miocene sedimentary record of the Madrid Basin displays several examples of palaeokarstic surfaces sculpted within evaporite formations. One of these palaeokarstic surfaces represents the boundary between two main lithostratigraphic units, the Miocene Lower and Intermediate units of the Madrid Basin. The palaeokarst formed in lacustrine gypsum deposits of Aragonian age and corresponds to a surface palaeokarst (epikarst), further buried by terrigenous deposits of the overlying unit. Karst features are recognized up to 5.5 m beneath the gypsum surface. Exokarst and endokarst zones are distinguished by the spatial distribution of solution features, i.e. karren, dolines, pits, conduits and caves, and collapse breccias, sedimentary fills and alteration of the original gypsum across the karst profiles. The development of the gypsum palaeokarst began after drying out of a saline lake basin, as supported by recognition of root tubes, later converted to cylindrical and funnel-shaped pits, at the top of the karstic profiles. The existence of a shallow water table along with low hydraulic gradients was the main factor controlling the karst evolution, and explains the limited depth reached by both exokarst and endokarst features. Synsedimentary fill of the karst system by roughly laminated to massive clay mudstone with subordinate carbonate and clastic gypsum reflects a punctuated sedimentation regime probably related to episodic heavy rainfalls typical of arid to semi-arid climates. Duration of karstification is of the order of several thousands of years, which is consistent with previous statements that gypsum karstification can develop rapidly over geologically short time periods

Blow Hole Cave: An unroofed cave on San Salvador Island, the Bahamas, and its importance for detection of paleokarst caves on fossil carbonate platforms, 2002, Bosá, K Pavel, Mylroie John E. , Hladil Jindrich, Carew James L. , Slaví, K Ladislav

The comparative study of a Quaternary carbonate platform (San Salvador Island, the Bahamas) and a Devonian Carbonate Platform (Krásná Elevation, Moravia) indicates a great similarity in karst evolution. Caves on both sites are interpreted as flank margin caves associated with a freshwater lens and halocline stabilised during sea-level highstands. The sedimentary fill of both caves is genetically comparable - beach and aeolian sediments with bodies of breccias.


Karst processes from the beginning to the end: How can they be dated?, 2003, Bosk, B

Determining the beginning and the end of the life of a karst system is a substantial problem. In contrast to most of living systems development of a karst system can be „frozen“ and then rejuvenated several times (polycyclic and polygenetic nature). The principal problems may include precise definition of the beginning of karstification (e.g. inception in speleogenesis) and the manner of preservation of the products of karstification. Karst evolution is particularly dependent upon the time available for process evolution and on the geographical and geological conditions of the exposure of the rock. The longer the time, the higher the hydraulic gradient
and the larger the amount of solvent water entering the karst system, the more evolved is the karst. In general, stratigraphic discontinuities, i.e. intervals of nondeposition (disconformities and unconformities), directly influence the intensity and extent of karstification. The higher the order of discontinuity under study, the greater will be the problems of dating processes and events. The order of unconformities influences the stratigraphy of the karst through the amount of time available for subaerial processes to operate. The end of karstification can also be viewed from various perspectives. The final end occurs at the moment when the host
rock together with its karst phenomena is completely eroded/denuded. In such cases, nothing remains to be dated. Karst forms of individual evolution stages (cycles) can also be destroyed by erosion, denudation and abrasion without the necessity of the destruction of the whole sequence of karst rocks. Temporary and/or final interruption of the karstification process can be caused by the fossilisation of karst due to loss of its hydrological function. Such fossilisation can be caused by metamorphism, mineralisation,
marine transgressions, burial by continental deposits or volcanic products, tectonic movements, climatic change etc. Known karst records for the 1st and 2nd orders of stratigraphic discontinuity cover only from 5 to 60 % of geological time. The shorter the time available for karstification, the greater is the likelihood that karst phenomena will be preserved in the stratigraphic record. While products of short-lived karstification on shallow carbonate platforms can be preserved by deposition during the immediately succeeding sea-level rise, products of more pronounced karstification can be destroyed by a number of different geomorphic
processes. The longer the duration of subaerial exposure, the more complex are those geomorphic agents.
Owing to the fact that unmetamorphosed or only slightly metamorphosed karst rocks containing karst and caves have occurred since Archean, we can apply a wide range of geochronologic methods. Most established dating methods can be utilised for direct and/or indirect dating of karst and paleokarst. The karst/paleokarst fills are very varied in composition, including a wide range of clastic and chemogenic sediments, products of surface and subsurface volcanism (lava, volcaniclastic materials, tephra), and deepseated
processes (hydrothermal activity, etc). Stages of evolution can also be based on dating correlated sediments that do not fill karst voids directly. The application of individual dating methods depends on their time ranges: the older the subject of study, the more limited is the choice of method. Karst and cave fills are relatively special kinds of geologic materials. The karst environment favours both the preservation of paleontological remains and their destruction. On one hand, karst is well known for its richness of paleontological sites, on the other hand most cave fills are complete sterile, which is true especially for the inner-cave facies. Another
problematic feature of karst records is the reactivation of processes, which can degrade a record by mixing karst fills of different ages.


Karstification and Groundwater Flow, 2003, Kiraly, L.

One of the principal aims of hydrogeology is to propose a reasonably adequate reconstruction of the groundwater flow field, in space and in time, for a given aquifer. For example, interpretation of the chemical and isotopic composition of groundwater, understanding of the geothermal conditions (anomalies) or forecasting the possible effects of industrial waste disposals and of intensive exploitation nearly always would require the knowledge of the regional and/or local groundwater flow systems such as defined by Toth (1963). The problem of estimating the groundwater flow field in fractured and karstified aquifers is approached within the framework of a conceptual diagram showing the relationship between groundwater flow, hydraulic parameters (aquifer properties and boundary conditions), distribution of voids and geological factors.
Autoregulation between groundwater flow and karst aquifer properties, duality of karst, nested model of geological discontinuities, scale effect on hydraulic parameters and use of numerical finite element models to check the interpretation of the global response of karst springs are some of the subjects addressed by the author. Inferences on groundwater flow regime with respect to the stage of karst evolution can be made only if the hydraulic parameter fields and the boundary conditions are known by direct observations, or estimated by indirect methods for the different types of karst. Practical considerations on the monitoring strategies applied for karst aquifers, and on the interpretation of the global response obtained at karst springs will complete the paper, which throughout reflects the point of view of a hydrogeologist.


Simulation of the development of karst aquifers using a coupled continuum pipe flow model - art. no. 1057, 2003, Liedl R. , Sauter M. , Huckinghaus D. , Clemens T. , Teutsch G. ,
[1] This paper is intended to provide insight into the controlling mechanisms of karst genesis based on an advanced modeling approach covering the characteristic hydraulics in karst systems, the dissolution kinetics, and the associated temporal decrease in flow resistance. Karst water hydraulics is strongly governed by the interaction between a highly conductive low storage conduit network and a low-conductive high-storage rock matrix under variable boundary conditions. Only if this coupling of flow mechanisms is considered can an appropriate representation of other relevant processes be achieved, e.g., carbonate dissolution, transport of dissolved solids, and limited groundwater recharge. Here a parameter study performed with the numerical model Carbonate Aquifer Void Evolution (CAVE) is presented, which allows the simulation of the genesis of karst aquifers during geologic time periods. CAVE integrates several important features relevant for different scenarios of karst evolution: (1) the complex hydraulic interplay between flow in the karst conduits and in the small fissures of the rock matrix, (2) laminar as well as turbulent flow conditions, (3) time-dependent and nonuniform recharge to both flow systems, (4) the widening of the conduits accounting for appropriate physicochemical relationships governing calcite dissolution kinetics. This is achieved by predefining an initial network of karst conduits ('protoconduits'') which are allowed to grow according to the amount of aggressive water available due to hydraulic boundary conditions. The increase in conduit transmissivity is associated with an increase in conduit diameters while the conductivity of the fissured system is assumed to be constant in time. The importance of various parameters controlling karst genesis is demonstrated in a parameter study covering the recharge distribution, the upgradient boundary conditions for the conduit system, and the hydraulic coupling between the conduit network and the rock matrix. In particular, it is shown that conduit diameters increase in downgradient or upgradient direction depending on the spatial distribution (local versus uniform) of the recharge component which directly enters the conduit system

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.


Towards defining, delimiting and classifying epikarst: Its origin, processes and variants of geomorphic evolution, 2004, Klimchouk, A. B.

Epikarst is the uppermost weathered zone of carbonate rocks with substantially enhanced and more homogeneously distributed porosity and permeability, as compared to the bulk rock mass below; a regulative subsystem that functions to store, split into several components and temporally distribute authogenic infiltration recharge to the vadose zone. Permeability organization in the epikarst dynamically develops to facilitate convergence of infiltrating water towards deeply penetrating collector structures such as prominent fissures that drain the epikarstic zone. This is manifested by epikarstic morphogenesis that tends to transform dispersed appearance of surface karst landforms into focused appearance adapted to the permeability structure at the base of epikarst.
Epikarst is the result of combined action of several agencies including stress release, weathering and dissolution. It is a dynamic system which main characteristics are time-variant, changing in a regular way during the epikarst evolution. This paper examines the main characteristics of epikarst in the light of its origin and evolution.


Modeling the evolution of karst aquifers and speleogenesis. The step from 1-dimensional to 2-dimensional modeling domains, 2004, Romanov D. , Gabrovsek F. , Dreybrodt W.

First models of karst evolution considered a single isolated fracture with no loss of flow along its entire length. Under conditions of constant head dissolution of limestone creates a positive feedback-loop of increase of aperture widths and flow until at breakthrough the flow and aperture width are enhanced dramatically. If a second dimension is added to this model domain, in the simplest case by an exit-tube connected to the isolated channel, water loss from the isolated channel occurs. We have investigated the influence of the water loss on the breakthrough time of the single channel. In all cases, when water loss is present, more aggressive solution enters at the input. The aggressive solutional activity penetrates deeper along the conduit. Therefore dissolutional widening at the exit is enhanced and breakthrough times are reduced. This is discussed in detail by investigating the profiles of hydraulic head, flow rates, aperture widths, and calcium concentrations along the conduit as they evolve in time and comparing them to those of the isolated 1-D conduit.
In a further step the 1-D conduit is embedded into a net of fractures with smaller aperture widths. The conduit is located in the center of the rectangular domain and connected to the 2-D net at equally spaced nodes. By this way exchange flow from the conduit into the net can arise. But also flow from the net to the conduit is possible. We have studied the evolution of this aquifer considering dissolution also in the network of the narrow fissures. Flow from the main central fracture into the net again reduces breakthrough times. After breakthrough, however, a complex exit fan evolves in the net, which later on is overprinted by a net of entrance fans propagating down flow. These fans are related to flow from the net into the central fracture. The evolution of these fans resulting finally in a maze-like structure is significant for high hydraulic gradients (i0.1) as they exist at artificial dam sites. For such situations realistic modeling has to include dissolutional widening in the net. For low hydraulic gradients, i<0.03, the evolution in the net is slow compared to that of the central conduit and therefore the aquifer is dominated by the evolution of the central fracture.


Karst Evolution, 2004, Williams P. W.

Relation between karst forms of Smole?-Niegowonice Range and tectonic activity of Cracow-Wielu? Upland base. [in Polish], 2005, Pulina Marian, ?aba Jerzy, Polonius Adam

Karst in Turkish Thrace: Compatibility between geological history and karst type, 2005, Ekmekci M,
Geographically, Thrace is a region located in southeastern Europe within the territories of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. In Turkish Thrace, karst occurs extensively in Eocene limestones, although some limited karst occurs in marble of the metamorphic series of Palaeozoic age. The karstification base is shallow to very shallow and most of the dolines and poljes have been captured by surface streams. Subsurface drainage has been changed to surface drainage in most parts of the region. Caves and cave relicts are concentrated mainly at three different altitudes, and almost all caves are horizontal or sub-horizontal. With these characteristics, Turkish Thrace hosts a distinct type of karst compared to that of other regions of Turkey, and particularly to the well-developed active Taurus karst. In this paper, the author discusses the major controls on karst evolution and consequently the occurrence of the present karst type with special emphasis on the geological history of the region. Tectonically, the area is weakly active, implying that a relatively steady continental uplift together with sea-level changes provided the source of the energy gradient required for karstification. The erosion base is controlled mainly by impermeable units. From the geological history of the region, it is concluded that no abrupt change in the energy gradient occurred due to continental uplift. However, fluctuation in sea level due to climate change has caused more sudden changes, particularly in erosion-base levels. This suggests that, in contrast to other karst provinces of Turkey, the impact of climate change has been more pronounced in this region. Reconstruction of karst evolution on the basis of the geological history of the region suggests that karstification processes have evolved without major interruption during the neotectonic period. Thus, the evolutionary character of the Thracian karst has produced relict karst with relatively local karst aquifers compared to those existing in the Taurus karst region. Morphological and hydrological aspects of the area indicate that karstification is in a cessation phase

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