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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 formation stabilizer is a sand or gravel placed in the annulus of the well between the borehole wall and the well screen to provide temporary or long-term support for the borehole [6].?

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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 tufa (Keyword) returned 59 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 59
Development conditions of calcareous tufas from the karst area of the Che?m Hills (Lublin Upland), 1998, Dobrowolski, Rados?aw

A mineralogical analysis of karst sediments and its implications to the middle-late Pleistocene climatic changes on the Tibetan Plateau, 1998, Zhang D. D. ,
The minerals in various categories of Tibetan karst sediments were divided into three groups: carbonate, iron and silicate. The carbonate minerals, including calcite, aragonite and dolomite, consist mainly of speleothem, tufa and sinter. Most of the speleothems indicates wetter and warmer periods in early and middle Pleistocene, the youngest being 194,000 years old. The second formation of carbonate mineral, tufa, implies an arid period starting 91,000 years BP. The iron minerals, goethite and hematite, are often mixed up with cave alluvial sediments that are interbedded with flowstones, and the depression sediments. They indicate strong oxidizing environments during their deposition, which is absent at present. The clay minerals, specially kaolinite, were contained in cave alluvial, flowstone and the depression sediments as well. Combined with stratigraphic study and U-series dating, the mineral analysis shows that warmer and wetter climates, which were suitable for speleothem development, probably disappeared 200 ka ago, and drier and colder climates dominated this plateau since then

Active deposition of calcareous tufa in Wessex, UK, and its implications for the 'late-Holocene tufa decline', 1998, Baker A, Simms Mj,
Recent publications have suggested that deposition of calcareous tufa and travertine in the British Isles has declined since the mid-Holocene. Several causal mechanisms have been postulated which include changes in both palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological conditions. Results presented here for actively depositing tufa in the Wessex region of southwest England suggest that there has been significant under reporting of contemporary tufa deposition. This factor must be taken into consideration in any investigation of a possible tufa decline in the late Holocene. Geochemical and environmental conditions at 26 tufa deposition sites are reported in order better to elucidate the climatic and environmental factors which constrain contempor ary tufa deposition, and to achieve a better understanding of the controls on Holocene deposition

Geomorphological controls on tufa deposition at Nash Brook, South Wales, 1999, Viles Heather, Pentecost Allan

Calcite Fabrics, Growth Mechanisms, and Environments of Formation in Speleothems from the Italian Alps and Southwestern Ireland, 2000, Frisia S, Borsato A, Fairchild Ij, Mcdermott F,
Five fabrics were identified in Alpine and Irish caves on the basis of morphological and microstructural characteristics, and related to growth mechanisms and growth environment. Columnar and fibrous fabrics grow when speleothems are continuously wet, and from fluids at near-equilibrium conditions (low supersaturation; SIcc < 0.35), through the screw dislocation mechanism. The highly defective microcrystalline fabrics form at the same supersaturation range as columnar fabric but under variable discharge and the presence of growth inhibitors. Dendritic fabrics, which have the highest density of crystal defects, develop in disequilibrium conditions (high supersaturation) under periodic very low-flow-regime periods that result in prolonged outgassing. Cave calcareous tufa forms in disequilibrium conditions. Only the calcite crystals of fabrics formed at low supersaturation seem to precipitate near-isotopic-equilibrium conditions

Interglacial Growth of Tufa in Croatia, 2000, Horvatincic Nada, Calic Romana, Geyh Mebus A. ,
Tufa samples from the Krka River area in Croatia were dated by 14C and 230Th/234U methods. The study area is situated in the karst region of the southern Dinarides. 14C ages of 40 tufa samples collected at the waterfalls coincide with the early Holocene interglaciation, up to 6000 14C yr B.P. Comparison of conventional 14C dates of Holocene tufa and those of speleothems in the Dinaric Karst shows that speleothem formation started several thousand years earlier than tufa growth. Samples of old tufa deposits from the Krka River (17) and Plitvice Lakes (12) area and speleothem samples from caves in Dinaric Karst (5) yield 34 230Th/234U dates, most of which cluster around interglacial marine [delta]18O stage 5 (21). Eight of 13 older dates belong to interglacial stages 7 and 9; only 5 dates fall within stage 6 and 8 glaciations. 230Th/234U dates of speleothems and tufa samples from central Europe have indicated that these were formed preferentially during warm and humid interglacial and interstadial periods, and it appears that this is true of southern Croatia as well. Stable isotope ([delta]13C, [delta]18O) analyses of 40 tufa samples from the Krka River area were compared with stable isotope analyses of tufa from the Plitvice Lakes area. The [delta]13C values for both locations are similar and range from -10 to -6[per mille sign], indicating similar conditions of tufa formation. A systematic difference between the [delta]18O values of tufa in these two areas reflects the regional distribution of the oxygen composition of precipitation

Sedimentology and geochemistry of fluvio-lacustrine tufa deposits controlled by evaporite solution subsidence in the central Ebro Depression, NE Spain, 2000, Arenas C, Gutierrez F, Osacar C, Sancho C,
The Urrea de Jalon tufa deposits constitute the 20- to 50-m-thick caprock (0.3 km(2)) of an isolated mesa. They disconformably overlie horizontal strata of the Tertiary Ebro Basin (NE Spain), which contains a thick succession of lacustrine gypsum and marls, followed by limestones, marls and, locally, fluvial sandstones and mudstones. The tufa deposits show a complex, large-scale framework of basin-like structures with centripetal dips that decrease progressively from the base to the top of the tufa succession, and beds that thicken towards the centre of the structure (cumulative wedge-out systems). These geometries reveal that the tufa deposits were affected by differential synsedimentary subsidence. Distinct onlapping depressions reflect time migration of the subsiding areas. The studied carbonates are composed mostly of low-Mg calcite, with minor quartz. Some samples have anomalously high contents of Fe, Mn and Ba that may exceed 1% (goethite, haematite and barite are present). Carbonate facies are: (a) macrophyte encrustation deposits; (b) bryophyte build-ups; (c) oncolite and coated grain rudstones; (d) non-concentric stromatolite-like structures; (e) massive or bioturbated biomicrites; and (f) green and grey marls. Facies a and c show a great variety of microbial-related forms. These facies can be arranged in dm- to 2-m-thick vertical associations representing: (i) fluvial-paludal sequences with bryophyte growths; (ii) pond-influenced fluvial sequences; and (iii) lacustrine-palustrine sequences. The Urrea de Jalon tufa deposits formed in a fluvio-lacustrine environment that received little alluvial sediment supply. Isotope compositions (delta(13)C and delta(18)O) reveal meteoric signatures and accord with such a hydrologically open system of fresh waters. The Fe, Mn and Ba contents suggest an additional supply of mineralized waters that could be related to springs. These would have been discharge points in the Ebro Depression of a regional aquifer of the Iberian Ranges. Rising groundwater caused the solution of the underlying evaporites and the synsedimentary subsidence of the tufa deposits

Physical Mechanisms of River Waterfall Tufa (Travertine) Formation, 2001, Zhang David Dian, Zhang Yingjun, Zhu An, Cheng Xing,
Waterfall tufa is widely distributed around the world, especially in tropical and subtropical karst areas. In these areas river water is generally supersaturated with respect to calcite, and the precipitation occurs mainly at waterfall and cascade sites. Development of waterfall tufa has been described as simply being the result of water turbulence. We believe, however, that three physical effects can lead to tufa deposition at waterfall sites: aeration, jet-flow, and low-pressure effects. The three physical effects are induced by two basic changes in the water: an accelerated flow velocity, and enlargement of the air-water interface area. These two changes increase the rate of CO2 outgassing and the SIc, so that a high degree of supersaturation is achieved, which then induces calcite precipitation. These 'waterfall effects' have been simulated in laboratory and field experiments, and each of them can accelerate, or trigger, calcite precipitation. Field measurements of river water chemistry also show that tufa deposition occurred only at waterfall sites. In these experiments and observations, waterfall effects play the most important role in triggering and accelerating CO2 outgassing rates. Field and laboratory observations indicate that plants and evaporation also play important roles in tufa formation. Growth of algae and mosses on tufa surfaces can provide substrates for calcite nucleation and can trap detrital calcite, accelerating tufa deposition. However, the prerequisite for such deposition at waterfall sites is a high degree of supersaturation in river water, which is mainly caused by waterfall effects. Evaporation can lead to supersaturation in sprays and thin water films at a waterfall site and cause the precipitation of dissolved CaCO3, but the amount of such deposition is relatively small

A rare landform: Yerkopru travertine bridges in the Taurids Karst Range, Turkey, 2002, Bayari Cs,
Two examples of travertine bridges are observed at 8 to 15 in above stream level in the Lower Zamanti Basin, Eastern Taurids, Turkey. Yerkopu-1 and Yerkopru-2 bridges are currently being deposited front cool karstic groundwaters with log P-CO2 > 10(-2) atm. The surface area and the total volume of travertine in Yerkopru-1 bridge are 4350 m(2) and 40 000 m(3), whereas the values for Yerkopru-2 are 2250 m(2) and 20000 m(3), respectively. The interplay of hydrogeological Structure, local topography, calcite-saturated hanging springs, algal activity and rapid downcutting in the streambed appear to have led to the formation of travertine bridges. Aeration through cascades and algal uptake causes efficient carbon dioxide evasion that enhances travertine formation. Algal curtains aid lateral development of travertine rims across the stream. Model calculations based on a hypothetical deposit in the form of a half-pyramid implied that lateral development should have occurred from both banks of the stream in the Yerkopru-1 bridge, whereas one-sided growth has been sufficient for Yerkopru-2. The height difference between travertine springs and the main strearn appears to be a result of Pleistocene glaciation during which karstic base-level lowering was either stopped or slowed down while downcutting in the main strearn continued. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Factors controlling the chemical evolution of travertine-depositing rivers of the Barkly karst, northern Australia, 2002, Drysdale Rn, Taylor Mp, Ihlenfeld C,
Groundwaters feeding travertine-depositing rivers of the northeastern segment of the Barkly karst (NW Queensland, Australia) are of comparable chemical composition, allowing a detailed investigation of how the rate of downstream chemical evolution varies from river to river. The discharge, pH, temperature, conductivity and major-ion concentrations of five rivers were determined by standard field and laboratory techniques. The results show that each river experiences similar patterns of downstream chemical evolution, with CO2 outgassing driving the waters to high levels of calcite supersaturation, which in turn leads to widespread calcium carbonate deposition. However, the rate at which the waters evolve, measured as the loss of CaCO3 per kilometre, varies from river to river, and depends primarily upon discharge at the time of sampling and stream gradient. For example, Louie Creek (Q = 0.11 m(3) s(-1)) and Carl Creek (Q = 0.50 m(3) s(-1)) have identical stream gradients, but the loss of CaCO3 per kilometre for Louie Creek is twice that of Carl Creek. The Gregory River (Q = 3.07 m(3) s(-1)), O'Shanassy River (Q = 0.57 m(3) s(-1)) and Lawn Hill Creek (Q = 0.72 m(3) s(-1)) have very similar gradients, but the rate of hydrochemical evolution of the Gregory River is significantly less than either of the other two systems. The results have major implications for travertine deposition: the stream reach required for waters to evolve to critical levels of calcite supersaturation will, all others things being equal, increase with increasing discharge, and the length of reach over which travertine is deposited will also increase with increasing discharge. This implies that fossil travertine deposits preserved well downstream of modern deposition limits are likely to have been formed under higher discharge regimes. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Carbonate Speleothems in the Dry, Inneralpine Vinschgau Valley, Northernmost Italy: Witnesses of Changes in Climate and Hydrology Since the Last Glacial Maximum, 2002, Spotl C. , Unterwurzacher M. , Mangini A. , Longstaffe F. J. ,
An interesting association of slope breccia, inactive and active tufa deposits, and speleothems is present in the central Vinschgau Valley, Italy. The occurrence of abundant carbonate cements in fractures and voids of crystalline basement rocks is unexpected considering the fact that this valley is among the driest spots in the entire Alps. Low annual precipitation of 440-530 mm coupled with frequent wind give rise to a semiarid climate and steppe vegetation along the south-facing slopes of the valley. Springs in this area are mostly supersaturated with respect to calcite, and carbonate precipitation occurs locally as tufas and, less well known because of lack of accessibility, as speleothems in the shallow subsurface. The majority of the tufa deposits and speleothems, however, are fossil. Speleothems are composed of low-Mg calcite and calcite-aragonite, respectively. Delicate growth textures including presumable annual lamination caused by pronounced changes in fluorescence intensity are preserved in both calcite and aragonite. Most calcite is a primary precipitate, but small amounts of secondary calcite replacing aragonite are common in most aragonite-bearing samples. The highly radiogenic Sr isotope composition, as well as high concentrations of U, Fe, Sr, and Mg, indicate that the groundwater from which these carbonates precipitated experienced intensive interaction with the host crystalline rocks. The very low tritium concentrations and the lack of a seasonal O isotope variation in modern spring waters, as well as their rather constant hydrochemical composition, also support this suggestion. S isotope data for dissolved sulfate and Ca and Mg sulfate precipitates indicate a sulfide source, i.e., oxidation of sulfide ore minerals in the aquifer, resulting in elevated sulfate and Fe concentrations. Th/U dating of speleothem samples using thermal ionization mass spectrometry yielded ages between 13,710 and 378 yr BP, with most ages falling in the early to middle Holocene. Although no isotopic dates are available for the tufa deposits, field evidence strongly suggests that speleothems, tufa deposits, and carbonate cements in the slope breccia were closely related. We therefore interpret the existence of these terrestrial carbonates as evidence of changes in climate since the middle Holocene. Their presence suggests a higher annual rainfall during the first half of the Holocene, possibly because of enhanced moisture transport from the Mediterranean

Submarine karst of Croatia - evidence of former lower sea levels, 2002, Surić, Maš, A

During the last, Late Pleistocene-Holocene transgression, rising sea flooded a vast part of the Dinaric karst. Due to prevalence of carbonate rocks in the drainage area of most of the rivers on Eastern Adriatic coast, those rivers carry only approximately 20% of particulates as suspended matter and the rest is dissolved. Consequently, many typical karst features such as karrens, dolines, poljes, caves, pits and river valleys and canyons as well, presently under the sea, can still be recognized. Beside these simply drowned features, some new ones were formed by the sea level rise. Those are submarine springs, so called vruljas, brackish coastal springs and marine lakes. The most significant evidences of former subaerial conditions are speleothems in submerged caves and calc tufa deposits of drowned paleo rivers. Both of them could be used for determination of the former low sea level stands.


Analysis of karst tufa from Guangxi, China, 2003, Franciskovicbilinski S, Bilinski H, Barisic D, Horvatincic N, Yuan Dx,
The paper presents an analysis of characteristic karst tufa from Guangxi, China, which has not been studied before. A comparison with tufa from Dinaric Karst of Croatia is discussed in view of the C-type climate. The major mineral is calcite. Minor minerals are quartz and dolomite, depending on location. The content of calcium carbonate varies from 65% to 92%, and that of magnesium carbonate from 0.03% to 1.77%. Among other elements, the most abundant are Fe, from 0.02% to 1.50%, and Ti, from 0.15% to 0.27%. Many other trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Hg and Pb) are also present. Specific activity of radionuclides K-40, Th-232, Cs-137, Ra-226 and U-238 varies from sample to sample. Concentration of U in tufa is close to that reported for sedimentary carbonate. Low concentration Of Cs-137 indicates that this part of the world was not exposed to nuclear explosions. The concentration of Ra-226 is the highest in Mashan County. The ratio U-238/Ra-226 (0.21-0.71) in tufa from Mashan County is significantly lower than the theoretical value of 1. In 5 of the 11 studied samples, stable isotopes delta(13)C and delta(18)O were analyzed. They were dated by means of the C-14 method. One tufa sample originated in the Pleistocene and the others in the Holocene. Because all of the tufa samples contain traces of Na and K, and K < Na, the tufa from Guangxi belong to the CO2-outgassing 'N' type according to the classification of Liu and He (1994)

The recognition of barrage and paludal tufa systems by GPR: case studies in the geometry and correlation of Quaternary freshwater carbonates, 2003, Pedley Martyn, Hill Ian,
Tufas provide virtually the only sedimentary and proxy-environmental records within karstic terrains. However, they are difficult to access. Shallow geophysical prospecting techniques, such as resistivity and shallow seismic reflection, fail to define the often complex internal bedform details in tufa deposits and many deposits appear too well lithified to auger-sample. Nevertheless, the application of ground penetrating radar (GPR) permits the recognition of up to five distinct types of radar reflectors that can be directly related to distinct lithologies commonly seen in tufa cores: (1) well-lithified phytoherms produce sharp, sinuous and often complexly truncated bright signals; (2) soft lime muds produce subhorizontal, laterally continuous lower contrast (dull) laminar bedform signals; (3) organic-rich deposits (sapropels and peats) produce poorly focused dull responses, often with internal noise'; (4) the tops of bladed and coarse-grained deposits, such as flint gravel, give a strong bright signal; and (5) the associated presence of clay-grade lime silts and muds within the top of gravel beds produces the same top-bed signal as 4, but internal details of the deposit are masked and a remarkably homogeneous dull signal response is typical throughout the lower parts of the deposit. From these GPR responses it is possible to make meaningful three-dimensional comparisons of the internal geometries of Holocene tufa deposits. Problematic tufa deposits in the valleys of the Derbyshire Wye and the Hampshire Test, UK, are presented to illustrate the universal value of GPR surveying for fresh-water carbonate recognition and for providing key information on valley-bottom resurgence locations

Differences in the C-14 age, delta C-13 and delta O-18 of Holocene tufa and speleothem in the Dinaric Karst, 2003, Horvatincic N. , Bronic I. K. , Obelic B. ,
We studied Holocene speleothems and tufa samples collected in numerous caves and rivers in the Dinaric Karst of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia and Montenegro. Differences in the formation process of tufa and speleothems are discussed in the context of their isotopic composition (C-14, C-13 and O-18), as well as the chemistry of surface water (rivers, lakes) and drip water (in caves). The physical and chemical parameters monitored in the surface water (tufa precipitation) and drip water (speleothem precipitation) show that more stable conditions accompany speleothem rather than tufa formation. This is particularly obvious in the water temperature variations (2-22degreesC in surface water and 7-12degreesC in drip water) and in saturation index variation (3-11 in surface water and 1-6 in drip water). The range of C-14 ages recorded by Holocene speleothems (similar to 12 000 yr) is wider by several thousands years than that of Holocene tufa samples (similar to 6000 yr). delta(13)C values for tufa samples range from -12parts per thousand to -6parts per thousand and for speleothem samples from -12parts per thousand to ?? per thousand reflecting higher soil carbon and/or vegetation impact on the process of tufa than on speleothem formation. The differences in delta(18)O values of tufa and speleothem samples from different areas reflect different temperature conditions and differing isotopic composition in the water. The study shows that speleothems from the Dinaric Karst can be used as global palaeoclimatic records, whereas tufa records changes in the local palaeoenvironment. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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