Community news

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 irrigation return flow is the part of artificially applied water that is not consumed by evapotranspiration and that migrates to an aquifer or surface water body [22].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

What is Karstbase?

Search KARSTBASE:

keyword
author

Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for recognition (Keyword) returned 62 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 62
Speleogenesis under deep-seated and confined settings, 2000, Klimchouk A. B.
The terms deep-seated, hypogenic and artesian speleogenesis refer to closely related and overlapping (although not entirely equivalent) concepts. Concerning groundwater hydrodynamics, the vast majority of deep-seated and hypogenic karst develops under confined settings, or settings that are unconfined but paragenetic or subsequent to confinement. Certain diagnostic features of confined groundwater circulation and deep-seated environments distinguish these conditions from those formed in unconfined settings. The last few decades have seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogenic dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which commonly precedes unconfined development. Views of artesian speleogenesis are controversial. It was commonly ignored as a site for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves within the confined area. However, the recognition of aspects derived from non-classical views of artesian flow, namely the role of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concept of transverse speleogenesis, and the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and views on the origin of many cave types. Under artesian speleogenesis, discharge through a cave is always hydraulically controlled, being constrained either by the hydraulic capacity of the passages or by that of the major confining bed or other overlying formations. In contrast to normal phreatic conditions, the discharge and enlargement rate do not increase dramatically after the kinetic breakthrough in the early evolution of conduits. Dissolution rates depend mainly on the mass balance rather than on solution kinetics during the artesian stage. Artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception, but it also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world and of many smaller caves. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the proper structural prerequisites exist. The most common flow pattern favoring artesian speleogenesis is upward cross-formation flow in areas of topographic/potentiometric lows. The hydrodynamic influence of prominent valleys or depressions may extend more than a thousand meters below the surface. Artesian speleogenesis and flow through soluble beds are commonly transverse, with conduit development occurring across the beds rather than laterally. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing basins.

Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers., 2000,
The aim of this book is to present advances made in recent decades in our understanding of the formation of dissolutional caves, and to illustrate the role of cave genetic ( speleogenetic ) processes in the development of karst aquifers. From the perspective of hydrogeology, karst ground water flow is a distinct kind of fluid circulation system, one that is capable of self-organization and self-development due to its capacity to dissolve significant amounts of the host rock and transport them out of the system. Fluid circulation in soluble rocks becomes more efficiently organized by creating, enlarging and modifying patterns of cave conduits, the process of speleogenesis. We can assert that karst ground water flow is a function of speleogenesis and vice versa . The advances in cave science are poorly appreciated in what may be termed ?mainstream hydrogeology?, which retains a child-like faith in flow models developed in the sand box. Many karst students also will not be aware of all emerging concepts of cave origin because discussions of them are scattered through journals and books in different disciplines and languages, including publications with small circulation. An understanding of principles of speleogenesis and its most important controls is indispensable for proper comprehension of the evolution of the karst system in general and of karst aquifers in particular. We hope this book will be useful for both karst and cave scientists, and for general hydrogeologists dealing with karst terranes. This book is a pioneer attempt by an international group of cave scientists to summarize modern knowledge about cave origin in various settings, and to examine the variety of approaches that have been adopted. Selected contributions from 44 authors in 15 nations are combined in an integrated volume, prepared between 1994 and 1998 as an initiative of the Commission of Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis, International Speleological Union. Despite a desire to produce an integrated book, rather than a mere collection of papers, the editors' policy has not been directed toward unifying all views. Along with some well-established theories and approaches, the book contains new concepts and ideas emerging in recent years. We hope that this approach will stimulate further development and exchange of ideas in cave studies and karst hydrogeology. Following this Introduction, (Part 1), the book is organized in seven different parts, each with sub-chapters. Part 2 gives a history of speleogenetic studies, tracing the development of the most important ideas from previous centuries (Shaw, Chapter 2.1) through the early modern period in the first half of this century (Lowe, Chapter 2.2) to the threshold of modern times (W.White, Chapter 2.3). The present state of the art is best illustrated by the entire content of this book. Part 3 overviews the principal geologic and hydrogeologic variables that either control or significantly influence the differing styles of cave development that are found. In Chapter 3.1 Klimchouk and Ford introduce an evolutionary approach to the typology of karst settings, which is a taken as a base line for the book. Extrinsic factors and intrinsic mechanisms of cave development change regularly and substantially during the general cycle of geological evolution of a soluble rock and , more specifically, within the hydrogeologic cycle. The evolutionary typology of karst presented in this chapter considers the entire life cycle of a soluble formation, from deposition (syngenetic karst) through deep burial, to exposure and denudation. It helps to differentiate between karst types which may concurrently represent different stages of karst development, and is also a means of adequately classifying speleogenetic settings. The different types of karst are marked by characteristic associations of the structural prerequisites for groundwater flow and speleogenesis, flow regime, recharge mode and recharge/discharge configurations, groundwater chemistry and degree of inheritance from earlier conditions. Consequently, these associations make a convenient basis to view both the factors that control cave genesis and the particular types of caves. Lithological and structural controls of speleogenesis are reviewed in general terms in Chapters 3.2 (Klimchouk and Ford). Lowe in Chapter 3.3 discusses the role of stratigraphic elements and the speleo-inception concept. Palmer in Chapter 3.4 overviews the hydrogeologic controls of cave patterns and demonstrates that hydrogeologic factors, the recharge mode and type of flow in particular, impose the most powerful controls on the formation of the gross geometry of cave systems. Hence, analysis of cave patterns is especially useful in the reconstruction of environments from paleokarst and in the prediction and interpretation of groundwater flow patterns and contaminant migration. Any opportunity to relate cave patterns to the nature of their host aquifers will assist in these applied studies as well. Osborne (Chapter 3.7) examines the significance of paleokarst in speleogenesis. More specific issues are treated by Klimchouk (The nature of epikarst and its role in vadose speleogenesis, Chapter 3.5) and by V.Dublyansky and Y.Dublyansky (The role of condensation processes, Chapter 3.6). Part 4 outlines the fundamental physics and chemistry of the speleogenetic processes (Chapter 4.1) and presents a variety of different approaches to modeling cave conduit development (Chapter 4.2). In Chapter 4.1, the chemical reactions during the dissolution of the common soluble minerals, calcite, gypsum, salt and quartz, are discussed with the basic physical and chemical mechanisms that determine their dissolution rates. As limestone is the most common karst rock and its dissolution is the most complex in many respects, it receives the greatest attention. Dreybrodt (Section 4.1.1) and Dreybrodt and Eisenlohr (Section 4.1.2) provide advanced discussion and report the most recent experimental data, which are used to obtain realistic dissolution rates for a variety of hydrogeologic conditions and as input for modeling the evolution of conduits. Although direct comparisons between theoretical or analytical dissolution rates and those derived from field measurements is difficult, a very useful comparison is provided by W.White (Section 4.1.3). The bulk removal of carbonate rock from karst drainage basins can be evaluated either by direct measurement of rock surface retreat or by mass balance within known drainage basins. All of these approaches make sense and give roughly accurate results that are consistent with theoretical expectations. It is well recognized today that the earliest, incipient, phases of speleogenesis are crucial in building up the pattern of conduits that evolve into explorable cave systems. It is difficult to establish the major controls on these initial stages by purely analytical or intuitive methods, so that modeling becomes particularly important. Various approaches are presented in Chapter 4.2. Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen present the results of systematic study of the propagation of conduits between input and output points in an anisotropic fissure, using a variety of hardware and software models, in series representing the "single input", "multiple inputs in one rank", and "multiple inputs in multiple ranks" cases (Section 4.2.1). The results indicate important details of the competitive development of proto-conduits and help to explain branching cave patterns. In the competition between inputs, some principal tubes in near ranks first link ("breakthrough") to an output boundary. This re-orients the flowfields of failed nearby competitors, which then extend to join the principal via their closest secondaries. The process extends outwards and to the rear, linking up all inputs in a "cascading system". The exploding growth of computer capability during the last two decades has greatly enhanced possibilities for digital modeling of early conduit development. Investigating the growth of a single conduit is a logical first step in understanding the evolution of caves, realized here by Dreybrodt and Gabrov?ek in the form of a simple mathematical model (Section 4.2.2) and by Palmer by numerical finite-difference modeling (Section 4.2.3). The models show that positive feedback loops operate; widening a fracture causes increasing flow through it, therefore dissolution rates increase along it and so on, until finally a dramatic increase of flow rates permits a dramatic enhancement of the widening. This breakthrough event terminates the initial stage of conduit evolution. From then on the water is able to pass through the entire conduit while maintaining sufficient undersaturation to preserve low-order kinetics, so the growth rate is very rapid, at least from a geological standpoint -- usually about 0.001-0.1 cm/yr. The initiation ("breakthrough") time depends critically on the length and the initial width of the fracture and, for the majority of realistic cases, it covers a time range from a few thousand years to ten million years in limestones. The modeling results give a clear explanation of the operation of selectivity in cave genesis. In a typical unconfined karst aquifer there is a great range of enlargement rates along the competing flow routes, and only a few conduits will grow to enterable size. The modeling also provides one starting point (others are discussed in Chapter 5.2) to explain uniform maze patterns, which will be favored by enlargement of all openings at comparable rates where the discharge/length ratio is great enough. Single-conduit modeling has the virtue of revealing how the cave-forming variables relate to each other in the simplest possible way. Although it is more difficult to extend this approach to two dimensions, many have done so (e.g. Groves & Howard, 1994; Howard & Groves, 1995; in this volume ? Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen, Section 4.2.1; Dreybrodt and Siemers, Section 4.2.4, and Sauter and Liedl, Section 4.2.5). The modeling performed by Dreybrodt and Siemers shows that the main principles of breakthrough derived from one-dimensional models remain valid. The evolution of karst aquifers has been modeled for a variety of different geological settings, including also variation in lithology with respect to the dissolution kinetics. Sauter and Liedl simulate the development of conduits at a catchment scale for fissured carbonate rocks with rather large initial openings (about 1 mm). The approach is based upon hydraulic coupling of a pipe network to matrix continuum in order to represent the well-known duality of karst aquifer flow systems. It is also shown how understanding of the genesis of karst aquifers and modeling of their development can assist in characterization of the conduit system, which dominates flow and transport in karst aquifers. An important point that has emerged from cave studies of the last three decades is that no single speleogenetic model applies to all geologic and hydrologic settings. Given that settings may also change systematically during the evolutionary geological cycles outlined above (Chapter 3.1), an evolutionary approach is called for. This is attempted in Part 5, which is organized to give extended accounts of speleogenesis in the three most important settings that we recognize: coastal and oceanic (Chapter 5.1), deep-seated and confined (Chapter 5.2) and unconfined (Chapter 5.3). Each Chapter begins with a review of modern ideas on cave development in the setting, followed by representative case studies. The latter include new accounts of some "classic" caves as well as descriptions of other, little-known cave systems and areas. Readers may determine for themselves how well the real field examples fit the general models presented in the introductory sections. Mylroie and Carew in Chapter 5.1 summarize specific features of cave and karst development in young rocks in coastal and island settings that result from the chemical interactions between fresh and salt waters, and the effects of fluctuating sea level during the Quaternary. The case studies include a review of syngenetic karst in coastal dune limestones, Australia (S.White, 5.1.1) and an example of speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands (Gunn and Lowe, 5.1.2). Klimchouk in Chapter 5.2 reviews conditions and mechanisms of speleogenesis in deep-seated and confined settings, one of the most controversial but exciting topics in modern cave research. Conventional karst/speleogenetic theories are concerned chiefly with shallow, unconfined geologic settings, supposing that the karstification found there is intimately related to surface conditions of input and output, with the dissolution being driven by downward meteoric water recharge. The possibility of hypogenic karstification in deeper environments has been neglected for a long time, and the quite numerous instances of karst features found at significant depths have usually been interpreted as buried paleokarst. However, the last decade has seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogene dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which often precedes unconfined development (Hill, 1987, 1995; Klimchouk, 1994, 1996, 1997; Lowe, 1992; Lowe & Gunn, 1995; Mazzullo & Harris, 1991, 1992; Palmer, 1991, 1995; Smart & Whitaker, 1991; Worthington, 1991, 1994; Worthington & Ford, 1995). Confined (artesian) settings were commonly ignored as sites for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves in the confined area. However, the recognition of non-classical features in artesian flow, namely the occurrence of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concepts of transverse speleogenesis and of the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows for a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and of views on the origin of many caves. It is proposed that artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception and also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the structural prerequisites exist. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. Hypogene speleogenesis occurs in rocks of varied lithology and can involve a variety of dissolution mechanisms that operate under different physical constraints but create similar cave features. Case studies include the great gypsum mazes of the Western Ukraine (Klimchouk, Section 5.2.1), great maze caves in limestones in Black Hills, South Dakota (Palmer, Section 5.2.2) and Siberia (Filippov, Section 5.2.3), karstification in the Redwall aquifer, Arizona (Huntoon, Section 5.2.4), hydrothermal caves in Hungary (Y.Dublyansky, Section 5.2.6), and sulfuric acid speleogenesis (Lowe, Bottrell and Gunn, Section 5.2.7, and Hill, Section 5.2.8). Y.Dublyansky summarizes the peculiar features of hydrothermal speleogenesis (Section 5.2.5), and V.Dublyansky describes an outstanding example of a hydrothermal cavity, in fact the largest ever recorded by volume, in the Rhodope Mountains (Section 5.2.9). Recognition of the scale and importance of deep-seated speleogenesis and of the hydraulic continuity and cross-formational communications between aquifers in artesian basins is indispensable for the correct interpretation of evolution of karst aquifers, speleogenetic processes and associated phenomena, regional karst water-resource evaluations, and the genesis of certain karst-related mineral deposits. These and other theoretical and practical implications still have to be developed and evaluated, which offers a wide field for further research efforts. Ford in Chapter 5.3 reviews theory of speleogenesis that occurs where normal meteoric waters sink underground through the epikarst or dolines and stream sinks, etc. and circulate in the limestone or other soluble rocks without any major artesian confinement. These are termed common caves (Ford & Williams, 1989) because they probably account for 90% or more of the explored and mapped dissolutional caves that are longer than a few hundred meters. This estimate reflects the bias in exploration; caves formed in unconfined settings and genetically related to surface recharge are the most readily accessible and hence form the bulk of documented caves. Common caves display chiefly the branchwork forms where the dissolutional conduits occupy only a tiny proportion of the total length or area of penetrable fissures that is available to the groundwaters. The rules that govern the selection of the successful linkages that will be enlarged into the branchwork pattern are supported in the models presented in Chapter 4.2. In the long section caves may be divided into deep phreatic, multi-loop, mixed loop and water table, and ideal water table types, with drawdown vadose caves or invasion vadose caves above them. Many large systems display a mixture of the types. The concepts of plan pattern construction, phreatic, water table or vadose state, and multi-phase development of common caves are illustrated in the case studies that follow the introduction. They are organized broadly to begin with examples of comparatively simple deep phreatic and multi-loop systems (El Abra, Mexico, Ford, Section 5.3.1 and Castleguard Cave, Canada, Ford, Lauritzen and Worthington, Section 5.3.2), proceeding to large and complex multi-phase systems such as the North of Thun System, Switzerland (Jeannin, Bitterly and Hauselmann, Section 5.3.3) and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (Palmer, Section 5.3.8), to representatives of mixed vadose and phreatic development in mountainous regions (the Alps, Audra, Section 5.3.4; the Pyrenees, Fernandez, Calaforra and Rossi, Section 5.3.5; Mexico, Hose, Section 5.3.6) and where there is strong lithologic or structural control (Folded Appalachians, W.White, Section 5.3.7; gypsum caves in the South of Spain, Calaforra and Pulido-Bosch, Section 5.3.10). Two special topics are considered by W.White in Section 5.3.9 (Speleogenesis of vertical shafts in the eastern US) and Palmer (Maze origin by diffuse recharge through overlying formation). The set concludes with two instances of nearly ideal water table cave development (in Belize and Hungary, Ford, Section 5.3.12), and a review of the latest models of speleogenesis from the region where modern karst studies in the West began, the Classical Karst of Slovenia and Trieste (?u?ter?ic, Section 5.3.13). In Parts 2-5 attention is directed primarily on how the gross geometry of a cave system is established. Part 6 switches focus to the forms at meso- and micro- scales, which can be created during enlargement of the cave. Lauritzen and Lundberg in Chapter 6.1 summarize the great variety of erosional forms ( speleogenetic facies ) that can be created by a wide range of speleogenetic agents operating in the phreatic or vadose zones. Some forms of cave passages have been subject to intensive research and may be interpreted by means of simple physical and chemical principles, but many others are polygenetic and hence difficult to decipher with certainty. However, in addition to the analysis of cave patterns (see Chapter 3.4), each morphological element is a potential tool that can aid our inferences on the origin of caves and on major characteristics of respective past hydrogeological settings. In Chapter 6.2 E.White and W.White review breakdown morphology in caves, generalizing that the processes are most active during the enlargement and decay phases of cave development. Early in the process breakdown occurs when the flow regime shifts from pipe-full conditions to open channel conditions (i.e. when the roof first loses buoyant support) and later in the process breakdown becomes part of the overall degradation of the karst system. The chapter addresses the mechanism of breakdown formation, the geological triggers that initiate breakdown, and the role that breakdown plays in the development of caves. As the great majority of both theoretical considerations and case studies in this book deal with speleogenesis in carbonate rocks, it is useful to provide a special forum to examine dissolution cave genesis in other rocks. This is the goal of Part 7. Klimchouk (7.1) provides a review of speleogenesis in gypsum. This appears to be a useful playground for testing the validity and limitations of certain general speleogenetic concepts. Differences in solution kinetics between gypsum and calcite impose some limitations and peculiar features on the early evolution of conduits in gypsum. These peculiarities appear to be an extreme and more obvious illustration of some rules of speleogenetic development devised from conceptual and digital modeling of early conduit growth in limestones. For instance, it is shown (e.g. Palmer, 1984, 1991; Dreybrodt, 1996; see also Chapter 3.4 and Section 4.2.2) that initiation of early, narrow and long pathways does not seem feasible under linear dissolution rate laws (n=1) due to exponential decrease of the dissolution rates. Although the dissolution kinetics of gypsum are not well known close to equilibrium it is generally assumed that they are controlled entirely by diffusion and therefore linear. If dissolution of gypsum is solely diffusion-controlled, with no change in the kinetic order, conduit initiation could not occur in phreatic settings or by lateral flow through gypsum from distant recharge areas in artesian settings. Hence, the fact that maze caves are common in gypsum in artesian conditions (see Section 5.2.1) gives strong support to a general model of "transverse" artesian speleogenesis where gypsum beds are underlain by, or sandwiched between, insoluble or low-solubility aquifers (Chapter 5.2), and suggests that it may be applicable to cave development in carbonates. In unconfined settings, speleogenesis in gypsum occurs along fissures wide enough to support undersaturated flow throughout their length. Linear or crudely branching caves overwhelmingly predominate, which rapidly adjust to the contemporary geomorphic setting and to the maximum available recharge. Also, if considerable conduit porosity has been created in deep-seated settings, it provides ready paths for more intense groundwater circulation and further cave development when uplift brings the gypsum into the shallow subsurface. Speleogenesis in salt, reviewed in general and exemplified by the Monte Sedom case in Israel (Frumkin, Chapter 7.2), has been documented only in open, unconfined settings, where it provides a model for simple vadose cave development. Chapter 7.3 deals with speleogenesis in quartzites, illustrated by case studies from southeastern Minas Gerais, Brasil (Correa Neto, 7.3.1) and South Africa (Martini, 7.3.2). The process involves initial chemical weathering of the quartzite to create zones of friable rocks (sanding, or arenisation) which then are removed by piping, with further conduit enlargement due to mechanical erosion by flowing water. Part 8 combines the theoretical with some applied aspects of speleogenetic studies. Worthington, Ford and Beddows (8.1) show the important implications of what might be termed "speleogenetic wisdom" when studying ground water behaviour in karst. They examine some standard hydrogeological concepts in the light of knowledge of caves and their patterns, considering a range of case studies to identify the characteristic enhancement of porosity and permeability due to speleogenesis that occurs in carbonate rocks. The chapter focuses on unconfined carbonate aquifers as these are the most studied from the speleological perspective and most important for water supplies. Four aquifers, differing in rock type, recharge type (allogenic and autogenic), and age (Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic), are described in detail to demonstrate the extent of dissolutional enhancement of porosity and permeability. It is shown that all four cases are similar in hydraulic function, despite the fact that some of them were previously characterized as different end members of a "karst ? non-karst" spectrum. Enhancement of porosity by dissolution is relatively minor: enhancement of permeability is considerable because dissolution has created dendritic networks of channels able to convey 94% or more of all flow in the aquifer, with fractures providing a small proportion and the matrix a negligible amount. These conclusions may be viewed as a warning to hydrogeologists working in carbonate terranes: probably the majority of unconfined aquifers function in a similar manner. Sampling is a major problem in their analysis because boreholes (the conventional exploration tool in hydrogeology) are unlikely to intersect the major channels that are conveying most of the flow and any contaminants in it. It is estimated, using examples of comprehensively mapped caves, that the probability of a borehole intersecting a conduit ranges from 1 in 50 to 1 in 1000 or more. Boreholes simply cannot be relied upon to detect the presence of caves or to ?characterise? the hydrologic functioning of cavernous aquifers. Wherever comprehensive evidence has been collected in unconfined carbonate aquifers (cave mapping plus boreholes plus lab analysis of core samples) it suggests that dissolution inexorably results in a similar structure, with channel networks providing most of the permeability of the aquifer, yet occupying a very minor fraction of its volume (Worthington, Ford and Beddows). Lowe (Chapter 8.2) focuses on developments in understanding the vital role played by karstic porosity, (broadly viewed as being the product of speleogenesis), in the migration of mineralizing fluids (or hydrocarbons) and in their deposition (or storage), and comments on the potential role of new speleogenetic concepts in developing greater understanding in the future. Although some early workers were clearly aware of actual evidence for some kind of relationship, and others noted its theoretical likelihood, it has been ignored by many until relatively recent times. This shortfall has gradually been redressed; new understanding of the extent and variety of karst processes is ensuring that new relationships are being recognized and new interpretations and models are being derived. The chapter does not pretend to give a comprehensive account of the topic but clearly demonstrates the wide applicability of speleogenetic knowledge to issues in economic geology. In Chapter 8.3 Aley provides an overview of the water and land-use problems that occur in areas with conduit aquifers. He stresses that sound land management must be premised on an understanding that karst is a three-dimensional landscape where the surface and subsurface are intimately and integrally connected. Failure to recognize that activity at the surface affects the subsurface, and the converse, has long been the root cause of many of the problems of water and land use in karst regions. Karst areas have unique natural resource problems, whose management can have major economic consequences. Although there is an extensive literature on the nature of particular problems, resource protection and hazard minimization strategies in karst, it rarely displays an advanced understanding of the processes of the conduit formation and their characteristics yet these will always be involved. This book does not pretend to be a definitive text on speleogenesis. However, it is hoped that readers will find it to be a valuable reference source, that it will stimulate new ideas and approaches to develop and resolve some of the remaining problems, and that it will promote an appreciation of the importance of speleogenetic studies in karst hydrogeology and applied environmental sciences. Acknowledgements: We sincerely thank all contributors for their willing cooperation in the long and difficult process of preparing this book, for their participation in developing its logic and methodology and their cheerful response to numerous requests. We thank all colleagues who discussed the work with us and encouraged it in many ways, even though not contributing to its content as authors. We are particularly grateful to Margaret Palmer for invaluable help in editing the English in many contributions, to Nataly Yablokova for her help in performing many technical tasks and to Elizabeth White who prepared comprehensive index. Our thanks are due to Dr. David Drew, Dr. Philip LaMoreaux, Dr. George Moore and Prof. Marian Pulina for reviewing the manuscript and producing constructive notes and comments on improvement of the final product. The organizational costs and correspondence related to the preparation of the book were partially sponsored by the National Speleological Society, the publisher. We thank David McClurg, the Chair of the NSS Special Publication Committee, for his extensive technical and organizational support in the preparation and publishing processes.

The occurrence of sinkholes and subsidence depressions in the far west Rand and Gauteng Province, South Africa, and their engineering implications, 2001, De Bruyn Ia, Bell Fg,
Dewatering associated with mining in the gold-bearing reefs of the Far West Rand, which underlie dolomite and unconsolidated deposits, led to the formation of sinkholes and subsidence depressions. Hence, certain areas became unsafe for occupation and were evacuated. Although sinkholes were initially noticed in the 1950s, the seriousness of the situation was highlighted in December 1962 when a sinkhole engulfed a three-story crusher plant at West Driefontein Mine. Consequently, it became a matter of urgency that the areas at risk of subsidence and the occurrence of sinkholes were delineated. Sink-holes formed concurrently with the lowering of the water table in areas which formerly had been relatively free of sinkholes. In addition, subsidence occurred as a consequence of consolidation taking place in the unconsolidated deposits as the water table was lowered. In the latter case, the degree of subsidence which occurred reflected the thickness and original density of the unconsolidated deposits which were consolidated. These deposits vary laterally in thickness and thereby gave rise to differential subsidence. Subsidence also occurred due to the closure of dewatered voids at the rock-soil interface. The risk of sinkhole and subsidence occurrence is increased by urban development, since interrupted natural surface drainage, increased runoff, and leakage from water-bearing utilities can result in the concentrated ingress of water into the ground. Where the surficial deposits are less permeable, the risk of instability is reduced. In the area underlain by dolomite, which extends around Johannesburg and Pretoria, these problem have been more notable in recent years because of housing development, both low-cost and up-market, and the growth of informal settlements. Residential densities may be very high, especially for low-cost housing, the development of which frequently has proceeded without recognition of the risk posed by karst-related ground instability. The appearance of significant numbers of small sinkholes has been associated with dolomite at shallow depth, that is, occurring at less than 15 m beneath the ground surface. The vulnerability of an area overlying dolomite bedrock at shallow depth is largely dependent on the spacing, width and continuity of grikes. When dolomite is located at depths greater than 15 m, the sinkholes which appear at the surface usually are larger in diameter. The risk of sinkhole occurrence in areas of shallow dolomite in general, may be greater, although the hazard itself is less severe. A classification system for the evaluation of dolomitic land based on the risk of formation of certain sized sinkholes has enabled such land to be zoned for appropriate development. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of water bearing services, and the implementation of precautionary measures relating to drainage and infiltration of surface water are regarded as essential in developed areas underlain by dolomite. Special types of foundation construction for structures are frequently necessary

Comments on the planation surface once more, 2002, Cui Zj, Li Dw, Feng Jl, Liu Gn,
The authors reviewed the research of planation surface in recent years and commented on the development of method and theory about the planation surface. Some aspects of research, such as the restrictive planation surface, the karst planation surface, the fossil planation surface, the dating of weathering crust, the research of weathering crust and environmental evolution, extremely enriched the method and theory of the planation surface. Besides, the authors pointed out that we must take further steps to study the following issues: the deformation of planation surface, the original height of planation surface, the recognition and contrast of the planation surface. The weathering crust and planation surface should be regarded as a whole, and it will still be a principal aspect in the future

The reconstruction of fossil planation surface in China, 2002, Feng Jl, Cui Zj,
On the basis of results of relative subjects, the fossil planation surface has been discussed by the authors from the point of geomorphologic view. The discussion contents included the characteristic information, research methods, paleotopography (gradient and altitude) and other problems about fossil planation surface. The recognition and reconstruction of fossil planation surface mainly rely on the following characteristic information: ( i) the character of erosion unconformity surface; (ii) the paleo-weathering crust and residual deposits; (iii) the paleo-karst and filled deposit in the paleo-karst under the unconformity surface, and (iv) the character and environment of sediment above the unconformity surface. According to the above-mentioned characteristic information, the authors recognized and reconstructed two stages of fossil planation surface on Paleo-land of North China and Yangtze Paleo-land. These two fossil planation surfaces formed from Middle Ordovician to Lower Carboniferous and from Lower Permian to Upper Permian respectively. The paleo-gradient of fossil planation surface changed within 0.31parts per thousand-1.32parts per thousand, mostly less than 1.0parts per thousand. According to the developing depth of paleo-karst, the authors considered that in Suqiao buried-hill region of Paleo-land of North China, the paleo-altitude is 300 m or so above paleo-sea-level. The authors hope that the research is in favor of discussion about rising scale and process of the Tibetan Plateau. Besides, the research of fossil planation surface can provide a theoretical base for relative research, such as the reconstruction of paleoenvironment, the evolution and drift of paleo-continent, the formation and distribution of weathering ore deposits, the reservior and prospection of oil and gas, etc

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

The Monti Berici: A peculiar type of karst in the Southern Alps, 2002, Sauro, Ugo

The Monti Berici constitute the most southerly karst morpho-unit of the Southern Alps and a peculiar type of karst. The analysis of their topography, the identification of a "morpho-stratigraphy" of the relicts of surface planation and of the different types of fluvial forms, and the recognition of the few elements of chronological significance present in this context, allow the delineation of a preliminary model of the geomorphological evolution of this mountain group. The main morphogenetical elements are of fluvial origin and have been determined, not only by the climatic changes, but also by the tectonic uplifting and/or by changes of the base level. The karst landforms have mostly evolved on the relict fluvial forms or in the context of relatively inactive fluvial forms. The age of the main forms extends over a very long time span, probably in the order of 15 millionyears. The preservation of very old forms can be explained by the peculiar geomorphological environment which was not affected by glacial erosion during the Pleistocene. The comparison of the evolution models of several karst morpho-units in the Southern Alps helps to understand the differences in their geomorphological styles.


Quartzite dissolution: karst or pseudokarst?, 2003, Wray, R. A. L.

A wide range of landforms of great similarity to limestone karst is found on many of the world's quartz sandstones and quartzites. These landforms have often been dismissed as pseudokarst, but recent investigation shows that the dissolutional removal of silica, even quartz, under earth-surface conditions is a critical process in their formation. They must therefore be regarded as true karst features. Recognition of these genetically similar forms on quartzose rocks now demands the worldwide adoption of a less restrictive, process-based, karst definition. Direct evidence for this near-surface dissolutional weathering is not common. Examples of this process are reviewed here, along with further evidence for the dissolution of silica from within the quartz sandstones of the Sydney Basin in temperate south-eastern Australia. Some of the complex processes by which dissolution attacks the rock remain unclear. However the solubility, thermodynamics, fluid throughput and physical removal of detritus are all critical factors in the formation of what can only be termed karst on quartzites and quartz sandstone.


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

Petrography of Finely Crystalline Cenozoic Dolostones as Revealed by Backscatter Electron Imaging: Case Study of the Cayman Formation (Miocene), Grand Cayman, British West Indies, 2003, Jones Brian, Luth Robert W. ,
Finely crystalline Cenozoic island dolostones, like those found in the Cayman Formation on Grand Cayman, are commonly assumed to be petrographically and compositionally homogeneous. Backscatter electron images (BSEI), however, show that the constituent dolomite crystals (< 100 {micro}m long and commonly < 20 {micro}m long) are commonly zoned with respect to their mol % CaCO3 content. Moreover, such images allow (1) depiction of growth patterns in the constituent crystals, irrespective of their origin, (2) recognition of replacive dolomite as opposed to dolomite cement, and (3) delineation of 'stratigraphic packages' in the dolomite cements that reflect different episodes of cementation. Integration of this information forms the basis for paragenetic interpretations of the dolostones. On Grand Cayman, the Miocene Cayman Formation can be divided into friable, high-porosity dolostones and hard, low-porosity dolostones. Backscatter electron images show that the hard dolostones are characterized by complex arrays of zoned dolomite cements that have occluded most of the pores. Caymanite, an internal sediment, has occluded many of the larger cavities. In contrast, the high-porosity dolostones contain little cement and no internal sediments. Precipitation of the cements and the deposition of internal sediments were related to the passage of large volumes of water through some of the dolostones. Thus, the hard, low-porosity dolostones are found in the 'cap rock' of the formation, in coastal locations, and in areas close to solution-widened fractures. Conversely, the friable, high-porosity dolostones form the lower 'porous unit' of the formation in the interior of the island, where the passage of water was more restricted

Unraveling the Origin of Carbonate Platform Cyclothems in the Upper Triassic Durrenstein Formation (Dolomites, Italy), 2003, Preto Nereo, Hinnov Linda A. ,
Facies analysis of the Durrenstein Formation, central-eastern Dolomites, northern Italy, indicates that this unit was deposited on a carbonate ramp, as evidenced by the lack of a shelf break, slope facies, or a reef margin, together with the occurrence of a 'molechfor' biological association. Its deposition following the accumulation of rimmed carbonate platforms during the Ladinian and Early Carnian marks a major shift in growth mode of the Triassic shallow marine carbonates in the Dolomites. The Durrenstein Formation is characterized by a hierarchical cyclicity, with elements strongly suggestive of an allocyclic origin, including (a) subaerial exposure features directly above subtidal facies within meter-scale cyclothems, (b) purely subtidal carbonate cyclothems, (c) symmetric peritidal carbonate cyclothems, and (d) continuity of cyclothems of different orders through facies boundaries. The Durrenstein cyclothems are usually defined by transgressive and regressive successions, and so most of them probably originated from sea-level oscillations. Their allocyclic origin allows their use for high-resolution correlations over distances up to 30 km. A stratigraphic section in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo area, encompassing the upper part of the Durrenstein Formation and the lower part of the overlying Raibl Formation (Upper Carnian) was studied using time-frequency analysis. A strong Milankovitch signal appeared when interference arising from a variable sedimentation rate was estimated and removed by tuning the short precession line in a spectrogram. All of the principal periodicities related to the precession index and eccentricity, calculated for 220 Ma, are present: P1 (21.9 ky); P2 (17.8 ky); E1 (400 ky), E2 (95 ky), and E3 (125 ky), along with a peak at a frequency double that of the precession, which is a predicted feature of orbitally forced insolation at the equator. Components possibly related to Earth's obliquity at ca. 35 ky and ca. 46 ky are present as well. The recovery of Milankovitch periodicities allows reconstruction of a high-resolution timescale that is in good agreement with published durations of the Carnian based on radiometric ages. The recognition of a Milankovitch signal in the Durrenstein and lower Raibl formations, as well as in other Mesozoic carbonate platforms, strongly supports a deterministic and predictable--rather than stochastic--control on the formation of carbonate platforms. Carbonate platforms might thus be used in the future for the construction of an astronomical time scale for the Mesozoic

Annual resolution analysis of a SW-France stalagmite by X-ray synchrotron microprobe analysis, 2003, Kuczumow A. , Genty D. , Chevallier P. , Nowak J. , Ro C. U. ,
A sample of stalagmite from Grotte de Villars, Dordogne, France was analyzed by the use of X-ray synchrotron microprobe in LURE, Orsay, France. Together with the signal of Ca, the main element, much weaker but clear signals of Sr, Fe, Zn and Pb were registered. The X-ray scattered radiation was applied for recognition of the annual zones in the stalagmite structure in parallel with the gray scale morphology from the optical microscope. The elemental scans were superimposed on the optical image of the sample. It was established that places corresponding to dark locations on the annual rings were narrower, composed of less porous matter and had much greater contents of iron and zinc and elevated ratio of Sr/Ca. In the supplementary electron microprobe measurements, the elevated amounts of lighter elements, Si and Mg were found in the same locations. These results will allow a very accurate study of stalagmite elemental composition which is of first importance for paleoclimatic studies from speleothems. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Geochemical exploration for gold in Jamaica: a comparison of stream sediment and soil surveys, 2004, Garrett Rg, Lalor Gc, Vutchkov M,
The geology of Jamaica is reviewed with reference to gold. Two geochemical surveys, one employing stream sediments for mineral exploration in selected regions of Jamaica considered a priori to have greater mineral potential, and the other an island-wide low-density soil survey to meet agro-environmental objectives, were undertaken in 1986 and 1988, respectively. The paper presents an interpretation of the previously unpublished soil data for gold, and undertakes a comparison of the two surveys in terms of their effectiveness for gold exploration. The stream sediment survey (1 site per 1 km2) led to the discovery of three new gold occurrences, one of which became a producing mine in 2001, and the recognition of two previously known auriferous districts. The low-density soil survey (1 site per 64 km2) identified the host rocks of three of these auriferous districts as having gold potential, including those of the producing mine, demonstrating its value as a broad-scale regional mineral reconnaissance tool. Geochemical studies of gold in Jamaica are complicated by the presence of transported palaeo-anomalies, related to Miocene ash-falls, in terra rossa soils in karst terrain. The Fe/Na ratio is an index of soil maturity and increases over two-and-a-half orders of magnitude with increasing soil age and mature. The plotting of Au versus the Fe/Na ratio in soils offers a simple procedure for identifying samples most likely to be related to gold occurrences in bedrock, i.e. high Au and low Fe/Na ratio. It is concluded that in the specific instance of Jamaica's high relief terrain and the apparent limitation of gold occurrences to the Cretaceous Inliers and Eocene Wagwater Trough underlying those high relief areas, stream sediment sampling is the most effective mineral exploration tool

Conceptualisation of speleogenesis in multi-storey artesian systems: a model of transverse speleogenesis., 2005, Klimchouk A.
Conceptual and respective quantitative models of speleogenesis/karstification developed for unconfined aquifers do not adequately represent speleogenesis in confined settings. A conceptual model for speleogenesis in confined settings is suggested, based on views about hydraulic continuity in artesian basins and close cross-formation communication between aquifers in multi-storey artesian systems. Soluble units sandwiched between insoluble porous/fissured formations (common aquifers) initially serve as low permeability beds separating aquifers in a confined system. Conduits evolve as result of vertical hydraulic communication between aquifers across the soluble bed ("transverse speleogenesis"). Recharge from the adjacent aquifer is dispersed and uniform, and flow paths across the soluble bed are rather short. There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in artesian transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and hence speleogenetic competition in fissure networks, and accounts for the development of more pervasive channelling in confined settings, of maze patterns where appropriate structural prerequisites exist. This is the fundamental cause for the distinctions between cave morphologies evolving in unconfined and confined aquifers and for eventual distinctions of karstic permeability, storage characteristics and flow system behaviour between the two types of aquifers. Passage network density (the ratio of the cave length to the area of the cave field, km/km2) and cave porosity (a fraction of the volume of a cave block, occupied by mapped cavities) are roughly one order of magnitude greater in confined settings than in unconfined. Average areal coverage (a fraction of the area of the cave field occupied by passages in a plan view) is about 5 times greater in confined settings. Conduit permeability in unconfined settings tends to be highly heterogeneous, whereas it is more homogeneous in confined settings. The storage characteristics of confined karstified aquifers are much greater. Recognition of the differences between origin, organisation and behaviour of karst systems evolved in unconfined and confined settings can improve efficiency of exploration and management of various resources in karst regions and adequacy of assessment of karst-related hazards.

The Aubonne karst aquifer (Swiss Jura), 2005, Leutscher M. , Perrin J. ,
A synthesis of the hydrogeological investigations carried out in an important karst region of the Jura Mountains led to the recognition of a major hydrological system: the Aubonne-Toleure-Malagne system. The continuous monitoring of hydraulic parameters at the main outlets established a mean discharge of the system of more than 6 m(3)/s. A delimitation of the Aubonne catchment area is proposed in accordance with the water balance and the geology. Tracer tests outline the presence of a complex karst network which is closely related to the structural context. A schematic organisation of this network is proposed and a major divergence towards the nearby Montant system is set in evidence. Geological observations provide also evidences for a precise delineation of the catchment area: six major functional elements for the recharge of the aquifer are distinguished and transversal drainages towards the Aubonne spring system are outlined along major strike-slip faults. Combining hydrological information available on the Aubonne karst aquifer provides the indispensable background data for the management and the protection of this water resource

Results 16 to 30 of 62
You probably didn't submit anything to search for