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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 lineation is the parallel orientation of structural features that are lines rather than planes. some examples are parallel orientation of the long dimensions of minerals, long axes of pebbles, striae on slickensides, and cleavage-bedding plane intersections.?

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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;
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Your search for expansion (Keyword) returned 46 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 46
Assessing the Vulnerability of a Municipal Well Field to Contamination in a Karst Aquifer, 2005, Renken R. A. , Cunningham K. J. , Zygnerski M. R. , Wacker M. A. , Shapiro A. M. , Harvey R. W. , Metge D. W. , Osborn C. L. , Ryan J. N. ,
Proposed expansion of extractive lime-rock mines near the Miami-Dade County Northwest well field and Everglades wetland areas has garnered intense scrutiny by government, public, environmental stakeholders, and the media because of concern that mining will increase the risk of pathogen contamination. Rock mines are excavated to the same depth as the well field's primary producing zone. The underlying karst Biscayne aquifer is a triple-porosity system characterized by (1) a matrix of interparticle porosity and separate vug porosity; (2) touching-vug porosity that forms preferred, stratiform passageways; and, less commonly, (3) conduit porosity formed by thin solution pipes, bedding-plane vugs, and cavernous vugs. Existing ground-water flow and particle tracking models do not provide adequate information regarding the ability of the aquifer to limit the advective movement of pathogens and other contaminants. Chemical transport and colloidal mobility properties have been delineated using conservative and microsphere-surrogate tracers for Cryptosporidium parvum. Forced-gradient tests were executed by introducing conservative tracers into injection wells located 100 m (328 ft) from a municipal-supply well. Apparent mean advective velocity between the wells is one to two orders of magnitude greater than previously measured. Touching-vug, stratiform flow zones are efficient pathways for tracer movement at the well field. The effective porosity for a continuum model between the point of injection and tracer recovery ranges from 2 to 4 percent and is an order of magnitude smaller than previously assumed. Existing well-field protection zones were established using porosity estimates based on specific yield. The effective, or kinematic, porosity of a Biscayne aquifer continuum model is lower than the total porosity, because high velocities occur along preferential flow paths that result in faster times of travel than can be represented with the ground-water flow equation. Tracer tests indicate that the relative ease of contaminant movement to municipal supply wells is much greater than previously considered

Sinkhole 'swarms' along the Dead Sea coast: Reflection of disturbance of lake and adjacent groundwater systems, 2006, Yechieli Yoseph, Abelson Meir, Bein Amos, Crouvi Onn, Shtivelman Vladimir,
More than a thousand sinkholes have developed along the western coast of the Dead Sea since the early 1980s, more than 75% of them since 1997, all occurring within a narrow strip 60 km long and <1 km wide. This highly dynamic sinkhole development has accelerated in recent years to a rate of [~]150-200 sinkholes per year. The sinkholes cluster mostly over specific sites up to 1000 m long and 200 m wide, which spread parallel to the general direction of the fault system associated with the Dead Sea Transform. Research employing borehole and geophysical tools reveals that the sinkhole formation results from the dissolution of an [~]10,000-yr-old salt layer buried at a depth of 20-70 m below the surface. The salt dissolution by groundwater is evidenced by direct observations in test boreholes; these observations include large cavities within the salt layer and groundwater within the confined subaquifer beneath the salt layer that is undersaturated with respect to halite. Moreover, the groundwater brine within the salt layer exhibits geochemical evidence for actual salt dissolution (Na/Cl = 0.5-0.6 compared to Na/Cl = 0.25 in the Dead Sea brine). The groundwater heads below the salt layer have the potential for upward cross-layer flow, and the water is actually invading the salt layer, apparently along cracks and active faults. The abrupt appearance of the sinkholes, and their accelerated expansion thereafter, reflects a change in the groundwater regime around the shrinking lake and the extreme solubility of halite in water. The eastward retreat of the shoreline and the declining sea level cause an eastward migration of the fresh-saline water interface. As a result the salt layer, which originally was saturated with Dead Sea water over its entire spread, is gradually being invaded by fresh groundwater at its western boundary, which mixes and displaces the original Dead Sea brine. Accordingly, the location of the western boundary of the salt layer, which dates back to the shrinkage of the former Lake Lisan and its transition to the current Dead Sea, constrains the sinkhole distribution to a narrow strip along the Dead Sea coast. The entire phenomenon can be described as a hydrological chain reaction; it starts by intensive extraction of fresh water upstream of the Dead Sea, continues with the eastward retreat of the lake shoreline, which in turn modifies the groundwater regime, finally triggering the formation of sinkholes

Hypogene Speleogenesis: Hydrogeological and Morphogenetic Perspective., 2007, Klimchouk A. B.

This book provides an overview of the principal environments, main processes and manifestations of hypogenic speleogenesis, and refines the relevant conceptual framework. It consolidates the notion of hypogenic karst as one of the two major types of karst systems (the other being epigenetic karst). Karst is viewed in the context of regional groundwater flow systems, which provide the systematic transport and distribution mechanisms needed to produce and maintain the disequilibrium conditions necessary for speleogenesis. Hypogenic and epigenic karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems are predominantly local systems, and/or parts of recharge segments of intermediate and regional systems. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems.

Various styles of hypogenic caves that were previously considered unrelated, specific either to certain lithologies or chemical mechanisms are shown to share common hydrogeologic genetic backgrounds. In contrast to the currently predominant view of hypogenic speleogenesis as a specific geochemical phenomenon, the broad hydrogeological approach is adopted in this book. Hypogenic speleogenesis is defined with reference to the source of fluid recharge to the cave-forming zone, and type of flow system. It is shown that confined settings are the principal hydrogeologic environment for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, there is a general evolutionary trend for hypogenic karst systems to lose their confinement due to uplift and denudation and due to their own expansion. Confined hypogenic caves may experience substantial modification or be partially or largely overprinted under subsequent unconfined (vadose) stages, either by epigenic processes or continuing unconfined hypogenic processes, especially when H2S dissolution mechanisms are involved.

Hypogenic confined systems evolve to facilitate cross-formational hydraulic communication between common aquifers, or between laterally transmissive beds in heterogeneous soluble formations, across cave-forming zones. The latter originally represented low-permeability, separating units supporting vertical rather than lateral flow. Layered heterogeneity in permeability and breaches in connectivity between different fracture porosity structures across soluble formations are important controls over the spatial organization of evolving ascending hypogenic cave systems. Transverse hydraulic communication across lithological and porosity system boundaries, which commonly coincide with major contrasts in water chemistry, gas composition and temperature, is potent enough to drive various disequilibrium and reaction dissolution mechanisms. Hypogenic speleogenesis may operate in both carbonates and evaporites, but also in some clastic rocks with soluble cement. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. It may not be manifest at the surface at all, receiving some expression only during later stages of uplift and denudation. In many instances, hypogenic speleogenesis is largely climate- independent.

There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition in an initial flowpath network. This accounts for the development of more pervasive channeling and maze patterns in confined settings where appropriate structural prerequisites exist. As forced-flow regimes in confined settings are commonly sluggish, buoyancy dissolution driven by either solute or thermal density differences is important in hypogenic speleogenesis.

In identifying hypogenic caves, the primary criteria are morphological (patterns and meso-morphology) and hydrogeological (hydrostratigraphic position and recharge/flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system). Elementary patterns typical for hypogenic caves are network mazes, spongework mazes, irregular chambers and isolated passages or crude passage clusters. They often combine to form composite patterns and complex 3- D structures. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, and in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in cave patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Presence of the characteristic morphologic suites of rising flow with buoyancy components is one of the most decisive criteria for identifying hypogenic speleogenesis, which is much more widespread than was previously presumed. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world.

The refined conceptual framework of hypogenic speleogenesis has broad implications in applied fields and promises to create a greater demand for karst and cave expertise by practicing hydrogeology, geological engineering, economic geology, and mineral resource industries. Any generalization of the hydrogeology of karst aquifers, as well as approaches to practical issues and resource prospecting in karst regions, should take into account the different nature and characteristics of hypogenic and epigenic karst systems. Hydraulic properties of karst aquifers, evolved in response to hypogenic speleogenesis, are characteristically different from epigenic karst aquifers. In hypogenic systems, cave porosity is roughly an order of magnitude greater, and areal coverage of caves is five times greater than in epigenic karst systems. Hypogenic speleogenesis commonly results in more isotropic conduit permeability pervasively distributed within highly karstified areas measuring up to several square kilometers. Although being vertically and laterally integrated throughout conduit clusters, hypogenic systems, however, do not transmit flow laterally for considerable distances. Hypogenic speleogenesis can affect regional subsurface fluid flow by greatly enhancing initially available cross- formational permeability structures, providing higher local vertical hydraulic connections between lateral stratiform pathways for groundwater flow, and creating discharge segments of flow systems, the areas of low- fluid potential recognizable at the regional scale. Discharge of artesian karst springs, which are modern outlets of hypogenic karst systems, is often very large and steady, being moderated by the high karstic storage developed in the karstified zones and by the hydraulic capacity of an entire artesian system. Hypogenic speleogenesis plays an important role in conditioning related processes such as hydrothermal mineralization, diagenesis, and hydrocarbon transport and entrapment.

An appreciation of the wide occurrence of hypogenic karst systems, marked specifics in their origin, development and characteristics, and their scientific and practical importance, calls for revisiting and expanding the current predominantly epigenic paradigm of karst and cave science.


A Review of the biospeleology of Meghalaya, India, 2008, Harries D. B. , Ware F. J. , Fischer C. W. , Biswas J. , And Kharprandaly B. D.
This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of the biospeleology of the northeast Indian hill state Meghalaya. Since the early 1990s the Meghalayan Adven- turers Association (based in Shillong), in partnership with European speleologists, has conducted a series of projects with the objective of mapping and documenting caves. To date over 320 km of cave passage have been mapped and much more remains to be discovered. The quantity and length of caves in Meghalaya exceeds that of any other known karst region of India. An exhaustive search of historical records yielded one highly detailed biological survey of a single cave in the west of the state and a few records of opportunistic specimen collection from caves at other locations. This data is supplemented by a review of numerous biological observations made during the Meghalayan Adventurers Association cave mapping program. Taxa with pronounced troglomorphic characteristics appear to be relatively common in the Jaintia Hills region of eastern Meghalaya and rare elsewhere in the state. In contrast, taxa with partial troglomorphy are widespread throughout Meghalaya. There is a range of taxa which occur regularly within caves and should be considered as significant components of the cave ecosystem regardless of troglomorphy. In some cases there is evidenceof reproductive activity and opportunity for feeding which indicates that a proportion of the population complete their lifecycle within the caves and can be regarded as troglophiles. Sources of nutrition are primarily composed of flood borne debris, although dense colonies of bats (or cave-nesting swiftlets at some sites) can also contribute. The composition of cavernicole communities is not constant throughout the region and varies due to environmental and geographic factors. A major expansion of the limestone extraction industry is underway in the Jaintia Hills and elsewhere in Meghalaya. This will inevitably cause significant destruction and perturbation of cavernicole habitat. It would be prudent to implement formal studies to document the biospeleology of the region before significant loss or damage occurs.

A REVIEW OF THE BIOSPELEOLOGY OF MEGHALAYA, INDIA, 2008, D. B. Harries, F. J. Ware, C. W. Fischer, J. Biswas, And B. D. Kharprandaly

This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of the biospeleology of the northeast Indian hill state Meghalaya. Since the early 1990s the Meghalayan Adventurers Association (based in Shillong), in partnership with European speleologists, has conducted a series of projects with the objective of mapping and documenting caves. To date over 320 km of cave passage have been mapped and much more remains to be discovered. The quantity and length of caves in Meghalaya exceeds that of any other known karst region of India. An exhaustive search of historical records yielded one highly detailed biological survey of a single cave in the west of the state and a few records of opportunistic specimen collection from caves at other locations. This data is supplemented by a review of numerous biological observations made during the Meghalayan Adventurers Association cave mapping program. Taxa with pronounced troglomorphic characteristics appear to be relatively common in the Jaintia Hills region of eastern Meghalaya and rare elsewhere in the state. In contrast, taxa with partial troglomorphy are widespread throughout Meghalaya. There is a range of taxa which occur regularly within caves and should be considered as significant components of the cave ecosystem regardless of troglomorphy. In some cases there is evidence of reproductive activity and opportunity for feeding which indicates that a proportion of the population complete their lifecycle within the caves and can be regarded as troglophiles. Sources of nutrition are primarily composed of flood borne debris, although dense colonies of bats (or cave-nesting swiftlets at some sites) can also contribute. The composition of cavernicole communities is not constant throughout the region and varies due to environmental and geographic factors. A major expansion of the limestone extraction industry is underway in the Jaintia Hills and elsewhere in Meghalaya. This will inevitably cause significant destruction and perturbation of cavernicole habitat. It would be prudent to implement formal studies to document the biospeleology of the region before significant loss or damage occurs.


Hhlenheuschrecken - Zum Jubilum einer Wortschpfung, 2008, Christian, E.
The compound Hhlenheuschrecke was created by the Austrian entomologist Vincenz Kollar 175 years ago. To mark this anniversary, the present review highlights several aspects of the research history and the biology of cave crickets. Emphasis is laid on Troglophilus cavicola (Kollar, 1833), originally described from the small cave Schelmenloch south of Vienna, because this species was the first to be named after the cave environment. Cave and camel crickets (Rhaphidophoridae) and the central European representatives of this subcosmopolitan familiy are characterized here, followed by a biogeographic outline of European cave crickets. The Austrian ranges of T. cavicola and its close relative T. neglectus Krauss, 1879 were shaped by post-glacial expansion, whereas records of T. neglectus north of the Alps probably reflect anthropogenic transport. The two species are not restricted to carbonate rock or to the presence of natural caves; crucial, however, is the availability of frost-protected subterranean overwintering shelters. From spring to fall, our Troglophilus species feed on plant debris and small arthropods out in the open, where oviposition takes place as well. In a full lifespan, the individual changes twice between a chiefly aboveground summer phase and a subterranean winter phase. Caves can simultaneously house juvenile and adult Troglophilus all the year round.

PINNACLE SYNGENETIC KARST IN NAMBUNG NATIONAL PARK, WESTERN AUSTRALIA, 2009, Lipar Matej
Simultaneous karstifcation and lithifcation of aeolian calcarenite in the southwest coastal part of Western Australia produced syngenetic karstic geomorphological features, such as solution pipes, maze caves, collapsed dolines and pinnacles. $e formation of these geomorphological features was greatly inluenced by the poor cementation and matrix porosity of the calcarenite. Pinnacles, calcarenite pillars up to 5 metres tall with one or more peaks and various types of sediment layers, are most numerous and densest in an area called the Pinnacles in Nambung National Park, Western Australia. Their detailed characteristics and origin are still partially unknown and controversial. Theories suggest that the pinnacles are the final product of one or more of corrosive expansion and coalescence of solution pipes, cemented sediment surrounding the roots, cemented fill of solution pipes, products of focused cementation or remainders of tree-trunks. This article presents descriptions of pinnacles in Nambung National Park based on my feldwork and suggests a polygenetic origin for the pinnacles, with roots playing a major role. The genesis of pinnacles is far more complex than the theories presented so far.

Time constraints for the evolution of a large slope collapse in karstified mountainous terrain of the southwestern Crimean Mountains, Ukraine, 2009, Pá, Nek Tomá, š, : Hradecký, Jan, Š, Ilhá, N Karel, Smolková, Veronika, Altová, Viola

Deep-seated gravitational deformations are significant denudational agents of rock slopes at the margins of karstified plateaus of the Crimean Mountains (Ukraine). The aim of this article is to study long-term evolution of a giant rock slope failure close to the Black Sea coast in the southwestern tip of the mountains near Foros Town. The failure evolved in highly anisotropic limestones overlying plastic flysch layers where the main headscarp follows a strike-slip fault. We tested a new chronological strategy based on 14C and U-/Th-series dating of speleothems from unroofed caves exposed in the headscarp area of the slope failure. This approach made it possible to state maximum age of the slope collapse in individual parts of the deformed slope. Obtained results indicate that extension of discontinuities together with their karstification can be traced to > 300 ka BP, whereas evolution of the main headscarp started ~ 110 ka BP and since then it has propagated in the eastward direction. The youngest slope failure in the easternmost part of the studied collapse is of Late Holocene age. Our study indicates that conditions for large rock slope failures in carbonate areas can be prepared by speleogenesis or combined effects of propagation of cracks and their solution-based expansion. Furthermore, large rock slope failures can be important factors for the genesis of unroofed caves.


A preliminary analysis of failure mechanisms in karst and man-made underground caves in Southern Italy, 2011, Parise M. , Lollino P.

Natural and anthropogenic caves may represent a potential hazard for the built environment, due to the occurrence of instability within caves, that may propagate upward and eventually reach the ground surface, inducing the occurrence of sinkholes. In particular, when caves are at shallow depth, the effects at the ground surface may be extremely severe. Apulia region (southern Italy) hosts many sites where hazard associated with sinkholes is very serious due to presence of both natural karst caves and anthropogenic cavities, the latter being mostly represented by underground quarries. The Pliocene–Pleistocene calcarenite (a typical soft rock) was extensively quarried underground, by digging long and complex networks of tunnels. With time, these underground activities have progressively been abandoned and their memory lost, so that many Apulian towns are nowadays located just above the caves, due to urban expansion in the last decades. Therefore, a remarkable risk exists for society, which should not be left uninvestigated.

The present contribution deals with the analysis of the most representative failure mechanisms observed in the field for such underground instability processes and the factors that seem to influence the processes, as for example those causing weathering of the rock and the consequent degradation of its physical and mechanical properties. Aimed at exploring the progression of instability of the cavities, numerical analyses have been developed by using both the finite element method for geological settings represented by continuous soft rock mass, and the distinct element method for jointed rock mass conditions. Both the effects of local instability processes occurring underground and the effects of the progressive enlargement of the caves on the overall stability of the rock mass have been investigated, along with the consequent failure mechanisms. In particular, degradation processes of the rock mass, as a consequence of wetting and weathering phenomena in the areas surrounding the caves, have been simulated. The results obtained from the numerical simulations have then been compared with what has been observed during field surveys and a satisfactory agreement between the numerical simulations and the instability processes, as detected in situ, has been noticed.


EARTH TIDE, A POTENTIAL DRIVER FOR HYPOGENIC FLUID FLOW: OBSERVATIONS FROM A SUBMARINE CAVE IN SW TURKEY, 2014, Bayari C. S. , Ozyurt N. N.

Initiation and development of karstification requires a con­tinuous flushing of pore water in equilibrium with carbon­ate minerals. Under confined flow conditions, the energy required for pore water transport is supplied by external pressure sources in addition to the by earth’s gravity. Earth tides and water loads over the confined flow system are the main sources of ex­ternal pressure that drives the pore water. Earth tides, created by the sum of the horizontal components of tide generation forces of moon and sun, causes expansion and contraction of the crust in horizontal direction. Water load on top of the confined flow system causes vertical loading/unloading and may be in the form of recharge load or ocean loading in the inland and sub-oceanic settings, respectively. Increasing and decreasing tide generating force results in pore water transport in the confined system by means of contraction and expansion, respectively. Since these forces operate in perpendicular directions, pore water flushing by earth tides becomes less effective when water load on top of the confined flow system increases. Temporal variation of fresh­water content in a submarine cave is presented as an example of groundwater discharge driven by earth tides and recharge load.


Karst piracy: A mechanism for integrating the Colorado River across the Kaibab uplift, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2014, Hill C. A. , Polyak V. J.

Age, isotopic, and detrital zircon data on the Hualapai Limestone Member and Muddy Creek Formation (western United States) constrain the time of the first arrival of the Colorado River on the west side of the Grand Canyon to ca. 6–5 Ma. We propose a karst piracy mechanism, along with a 17–6 Ma western paleo–Grand Canyon, as an alternative explanation for how the Colorado River became integrated across the Kaibab uplift and for the progressive upsection decrease in δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr values of the Hualapai Limestone Member. An earlier Laramide paleocanyon, along which this western paleocanyon followed, can also perhaps explain why no clastic delta exists in the Grand Wash trough.

Karst piracy is a type of stream piracy where a subterranean drainage connection is made under a topographic divide. The process of karst piracy proceeds through five main stages: (1) establishment of a gradient across a topographic divide due to headward erosion into the low side of the divide, (2) leakage in soluble rock along the steepest gradient, (3) expansion of the leakage route into a cave passage that is able to carry a significant volume of water under the divide, (4) stoping and collapse of rock above the underground river, eventually forming a narrow gorge, and (5) widening of the gorge into a canyon. A karst piracy model is proposed here for the Kaibab uplift area that takes into account the structure and hydrology of that area. Other examples of karst piracy operating around the world support our proposition for integrating the Colorado River across the Kaibab uplift in the Grand Canyon.


Sinkholes, pit craters, and small calderas: Analog models of depletion-induced collapse analyzed by computed X-ray microtomography, 2014,

Volumetric depletion of a subsurface body commonly results in the collapse of overburden and the formation of enclosed topographic depressions. Such depressions are termed sinkholes in karst terrains and pit craters or collapse calderas in volcanic terrains. This paper reports the first use of computed X-ray microtomography (?CT) to image analog models of small-scale (~< 2 km diameter), high-cohesion, overburden collapse induced by depletion of a near-cylindrical (“stock-like”) body. Time-lapse radiography enabled quantitative monitoring of the evolution of collapse structure, velocity, and volume. Moreover, ?CT scanning enabled non-destructive visualization of the final collapse volumes and fault geometries in three dimensions. The results illustrate two end-member scenarios: (1) near-continuous collapse into the depleting body; and (2) near-instantaneous collapse into a subsurface cavity formed above the depleting body. Even within near-continuously collapsing columns, subsidence rates vary spatially and temporally, with incremental accelerations. The highest subsidence rates occur before and immediately after a surface depression is formed. In both scenarios, the collapsing overburden column undergoes a marked volumetric expansion, such that the volume of subsurface depletion substantially exceeds that of the resulting topographic depression. In the karst context, this effect is termed “bulking”, and our results indicate that it may occur not only at the onset of collapse but also during progressive subsidence. In the volcanic context, bulking of magma reservoir overburden rock may at least partially explain why the volume of magma erupted commonly exceeds that of the surface depression.


Research frontiers in speleogenesis. Dominant processes, hydrogeological conditions and resulting cave patterns, 2015,

Speleogenesis is the development of well-organized cave systems by fluids moving through fissures of a soluble rock. Epigenic caves induced by biogenic CO2 soil production are dominant, whereas hypogenic caves resulting from uprising deep flow not directly connected to adjacent recharge areas appear to be more frequent than previously considered. The conceptual models of epigenic cave development moved from early models, through the “four-states model” involving fracture influence to explain deep loops, to the digital models demonstrating the adjustment of the main flow to the water table. The relationships with base level are complex and cave levels must be determined from the elevation of the vadose-phreatic transitions. Since flooding in the epiphreatic zone may be important, the top of the loops in the epiphreatic zone can be found significantly high above the base level. The term Paragenesis is used to describe the upward development of conduits as their lower parts fill with sediments. This process often records a general baselevel rise. Sediment influx is responsible for the regulation of long profiles by paragenesis and contributes to the evolution of profiles from looping to water table caves. Dating methods allow identification of the timing of cave level evolution. The term Ghost-rock karstification is used to describe a 2-phase process of speleogenesis, with a first phase of partial solution of rock along fractures in low gradient conditions leaving a porous matrix, the ghost-rock, then a second phase of mechanical removing of the ghost-rock mainly by turbulent flow in high gradient conditions opening the passages and forming maze caves. The first weathering phase can be related either to epigenic infiltration or to hypogenic upflow, especially in marginal areas of sedimentary basins. The vertical pattern of epigenic caves is mainly controlled by timing, geological structure, types of flow and base-level changes. We define several cave types as (1) juvenile, where they are perched above underlying aquicludes; (2) looping, where recharge varies greatly with time, to produce epiphreatic loops; (3) water-table caves where flow is regulated by a semi-pervious cover; and (4) caves in the equilibrium stage where flow is transmitted without significant flooding. Successive base-level drops caused by valley entrenchment make cave levels, whereas baselevel rise is defined in the frame of the Per ascensum Model of Speleogenesis (PAMS), where deep passages are flooded and drain through vauclusian springs. The PAMS can be active after any type of baselevel rise (transgression, fluvial aggradation, tectonic subsidence) and explains most of the deep phreatic cave systems except for hypogenic.

The term Hypogenic speleogenesis is used to describe cave development by deep upflow independent of adjacent recharge areas. Due to its deep origin, water frequently has a high CO2-H2S concentration and a thermal anomaly, but not systemati­cally. Numerous dissolution processes can be involved in hypogenic speleogenesis, which often include deep-seated acidic sources of CO2 and H2S, “hydrothermal” cooling, mixing corrosion, Sulfuric Acid Speleogenesis (SAS), etc. SAS particularly involves the condensation-corrosion processes, resulting in the fast expansion of caves above the water table, i.e. in an atmo­spheric environment. The hydrogeological setting of hypogenic speleogenesis is based on the Regional Gravity Flow concept, which shows at the basin scales the sites of convergences and upflows where dissolution focuses. Each part of a basin (mar­ginal, internal, deep zone) has specific conditions. The coastal basin is a sub-type. In deformed strata, flow is more complex according to the geological structure. However, upflow and hypogenic speleogenesis concentrate in structural highs (buried anticlines) and zones of major disruption (faults, overthrusts). In disrupted basins, the geothermal gradient “pumps” the me­teoric water at depth, making loops of different depths and characteristics. Volcanism and magmatism also produce deep hypogenic loops with “hyperkarst” characteristics due to a combination of deep-seated CO2, H2S, thermalism, and microbial activity. In phreatic conditions, the resulting cave patterns

can include geodes, 2–3D caves, and giant ascending shafts. Along the water table, SAS with thermal air convection induces powerful condensation-corrosion and the development of upwardly dendritic caves, isolated chambers, water table sulfuricacid caves. In the vadose zone, “smoking” shafts evolve under the influence of geothermal gradients producing air convectionand condensation-corrosion.

Likely future directions for research will probably involve analytical and modeling methods, especially using isotopes, dating, chemical simulations, and field investigations focused on the relationships between processes and resulting morphologies.


Research frontiers in speleogenesis. Dominant processes, hydrogeological conditions and resulting cave patterns, 2015,

Speleogenesis is the development of well-organized cave systems by fluids moving through fissures of a soluble rock. Epigenic caves induced by biogenic CO2 soil production are dominant, whereas hypogenic caves resulting from uprising deep flow not directly connected to adjacent recharge areas appear to be more frequent than previously considered. The conceptual models of epigenic cave development moved from early models, through the “four-states model” involving fracture influence to explain deep loops, to the digital models demonstrating the adjustment of the main flow to the water table. The relationships with base level are complex and cave levels must be determined from the elevation of the vadose-phreatic transitions. Since flooding in the epiphreatic zone may be important, the top of the loops in the epiphreatic zone can be found significantly high above the base level. The term Paragenesis is used to describe the upward development of conduits as their lower parts fill with sediments. This process often records a general baselevel rise. Sediment influx is responsible for the regulation of long profiles by paragenesis and contributes to the evolution of profiles from looping to water table caves. Dating methods allow identification of the timing of cave level evolution. The term Ghost-rock karstification is used to describe a 2-phase process of speleogenesis, with a first phase of partial solution of rock along fractures in low gradient conditions leaving a porous matrix, the ghost-rock, then a second phase of mechanical removing of the ghost-rock mainly by turbulent flow in high gradient conditions opening the passages and forming maze caves. The first weathering phase can be related either to epigenic infiltration or to hypogenic upflow, especially in marginal areas of sedimentary basins. The vertical pattern of epigenic caves is mainly controlled by timing, geological structure, types of flow and base-level changes. We define several cave types as (1) juvenile, where they are perched above underlying aquicludes; (2) looping, where recharge varies greatly with time, to produce epiphreatic loops; (3) water-table caves where flow is regulated by a semi-pervious cover; and (4) caves in the equilibrium stage where flow is transmitted without significant flooding. Successive base-level drops caused by valley entrenchment make cave levels, whereas baselevel rise is defined in the frame of the Per ascensum Model of Speleogenesis (PAMS), where deep passages are flooded and drain through vauclusian springs. The PAMS can be active after any type of baselevel rise (transgression, fluvial aggradation, tectonic subsidence) and explains most of the deep phreatic cave systems except for hypogenic.

The term Hypogenic speleogenesis is used to describe cave development by deep upflow independent of adjacent recharge areas. Due to its deep origin, water frequently has a high CO2-H2S concentration and a thermal anomaly, but not systemati­cally. Numerous dissolution processes can be involved in hypogenic speleogenesis, which often include deep-seated acidic sources of CO2 and H2S, “hydrothermal” cooling, mixing corrosion, Sulfuric Acid Speleogenesis (SAS), etc. SAS particularly involves the condensation-corrosion processes, resulting in the fast expansion of caves above the water table, i.e. in an atmo­spheric environment. The hydrogeological setting of hypogenic speleogenesis is based on the Regional Gravity Flow concept, which shows at the basin scales the sites of convergences and upflows where dissolution focuses. Each part of a basin (mar­ginal, internal, deep zone) has specific conditions. The coastal basin is a sub-type. In deformed strata, flow is more complex according to the geological structure. However, upflow and hypogenic speleogenesis concentrate in structural highs (buried anticlines) and zones of major disruption (faults, overthrusts). In disrupted basins, the geothermal gradient “pumps” the me­teoric water at depth, making loops of different depths and characteristics. Volcanism and magmatism also produce deep hypogenic loops with “hyperkarst” characteristics due to a combination of deep-seated CO2, H2S, thermalism, and microbial activity. In phreatic conditions, the resulting cave patterns

can include geodes, 2–3D caves, and giant ascending shafts. Along the water table, SAS with thermal air convection induces powerful condensation-corrosion and the development of upwardly dendritic caves, isolated chambers, water table sulfuricacid caves. In the vadose zone, “smoking” shafts evolve under the influence of geothermal gradients producing air convectionand condensation-corrosion.

Likely future directions for research will probably involve analytical and modeling methods, especially using isotopes, dating, chemical simulations, and field investigations focused on the relationships between processes and resulting morphologies.


Research frontiers in speleogenesis. Dominant processes, hydrogeological conditions and resulting cave patterns, 2015,

Speleogenesis is the development of well-organized cave systems by fluids moving through fissures of a soluble rock. Epigenic caves induced by biogenic CO2 soil production are dominant, whereas hypogenic caves resulting from uprising deep flow not directly connected to adjacent recharge areas appear to be more frequent than previously considered. The conceptual models of epigenic cave development moved from early models, through the “four-states model” involving fracture influence to explain deep loops, to the digital models demonstrating the adjustment of the main flow to the water table. The relationships with base level are complex and cave levels must be determined from the elevation of the vadose-phreatic transitions. Since flooding in the epiphreatic zone may be important, the top of the loops in the epiphreatic zone can be found significantly high above the base level. The term Paragenesis is used to describe the upward development of conduits as their lower parts fill with sediments. This process often records a general baselevel rise. Sediment influx is responsible for the regulation of long profiles by paragenesis and contributes to the evolution of profiles from looping to water table caves. Dating methods allow identification of the timing of cave level evolution. The term Ghost-rock karstification is used to describe a 2-phase process of speleogenesis, with a first phase of partial solution of rock along fractures in low gradient conditions leaving a porous matrix, the ghost-rock, then a second phase of mechanical removing of the ghost-rock mainly by turbulent flow in high gradient conditions opening the passages and forming maze caves. The first weathering phase can be related either to epigenic infiltration or to hypogenic upflow, especially in marginal areas of sedimentary basins. The vertical pattern of epigenic caves is mainly controlled by timing, geological structure, types of flow and base-level changes. We define several cave types as (1) juvenile, where they are perched above underlying aquicludes; (2) looping, where recharge varies greatly with time, to produce epiphreatic loops; (3) water-table caves where flow is regulated by a semi-pervious cover; and (4) caves in the equilibrium stage where flow is transmitted without significant flooding. Successive base-level drops caused by valley entrenchment make cave levels, whereas baselevel rise is defined in the frame of the Per ascensum Model of Speleogenesis (PAMS), where deep passages are flooded and drain through vauclusian springs. The PAMS can be active after any type of baselevel rise (transgression, fluvial aggradation, tectonic subsidence) and explains most of the deep phreatic cave systems except for hypogenic.

The term Hypogenic speleogenesis is used to describe cave development by deep upflow independent of adjacent recharge areas. Due to its deep origin, water frequently has a high CO2-H2S concentration and a thermal anomaly, but not systemati­cally. Numerous dissolution processes can be involved in hypogenic speleogenesis, which often include deep-seated acidic sources of CO2 and H2S, “hydrothermal” cooling, mixing corrosion, Sulfuric Acid Speleogenesis (SAS), etc. SAS particularly involves the condensation-corrosion processes, resulting in the fast expansion of caves above the water table, i.e. in an atmo­spheric environment. The hydrogeological setting of hypogenic speleogenesis is based on the Regional Gravity Flow concept, which shows at the basin scales the sites of convergences and upflows where dissolution focuses. Each part of a basin (mar­ginal, internal, deep zone) has specific conditions. The coastal basin is a sub-type. In deformed strata, flow is more complex according to the geological structure. However, upflow and hypogenic speleogenesis concentrate in structural highs (buried anticlines) and zones of major disruption (faults, overthrusts). In disrupted basins, the geothermal gradient “pumps” the me­teoric water at depth, making loops of different depths and characteristics. Volcanism and magmatism also produce deep hypogenic loops with “hyperkarst” characteristics due to a combination of deep-seated CO2, H2S, thermalism, and microbial activity. In phreatic conditions, the resulting cave patterns

can include geodes, 2–3D caves, and giant ascending shafts. Along the water table, SAS with thermal air convection induces powerful condensation-corrosion and the development of upwardly dendritic caves, isolated chambers, water table sulfuricacid caves. In the vadose zone, “smoking” shafts evolve under the influence of geothermal gradients producing air convectionand condensation-corrosion.

Likely future directions for research will probably involve analytical and modeling methods, especially using isotopes, dating, chemical simulations, and field investigations focused on the relationships between processes and resulting morphologies.


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