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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 pitted plain is plain having numerous small closely spaced closed depressions [10].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for tropical karst (Keyword) returned 59 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 59 of 59
Cave un-roofing as a large-scale geomorphic process, 2006, Klimchouk, Alexander

A morphogenetic approach appears to be the most sensible in defining the tiankeng as a typological category. Tiankengs are giant collapse dolines formed over large river caves, with continuous precipitous perimeter and a diameter-to-depth ratio between 0.5 and 2. The term bears an evolutionary meaning, referring to the youthful stage of open collapse doline development, and the relationship of tiankengs to large underground rivers. The latter criterion separates tiankengs from other types of giant collapse features, such as caprock collapses over evaporates or large collapses over hydrothermal cavities. The South China karst offers evidence that un-roofing of caves is a large-scale geomorphic process playing an important role in the formation of cone and tower karst. It is probably the major process in the origin of large depressions, gorges and valleys in tropical karst, although other geomorphic processes contribute to shaping and maturation of a landscape and eventually obscure the origin in unroofed caves. Many saddles between hills and towers in fengcong and fenglin karst may owe their origin to cave un-roofing.


Reversibility of forest conversion impacts on water budgets in tropical karst terrain, 2006, Chandler Dg,
A conceptual model of the control of tropical land use and vegetative cover on bedrock recharge is developed for highly permeable geologic substrates. A case study of water budgets is then developed from field data and simple modeling for upland sites with three different vegetative covers (cropland, intensively grazed pasture and forest regrowth) in Leyte, Philippines. Water budget model results show that annual precipitation is divided primarily between evapotranspiration and overland flow for the pasture, but apportioned more to evapotranspiration and inputs to bedrock storage for the crop and forest sites. Modeled evapotranspiration from the forest (1906 mm) was not sufficiently greater than that for either the crop (1661 mm) or pasture (1476 mm) sites to offset the greater overland flow from those sites. The differences in overland flow are related to depth profiles of soil bulk density, which decreased between crop and forest and increased between crop and pasture, and drainable porosity, which increased between crop and forest and decreased between crop and pasture. Dry season streamflow is assumed to be primarily base flow and dependent on wet season bedrock recharge, which was dramatically lower for the pasture (106 mm) than for the crop (1134 mm) or forest covers (1320 mm), for 2946 mm of rainfall. The results support the premise that for landscapes with adequate storage in bedrock fractures, forest regrowth can increase recharge to perched aquifers, and hence dry season baseflow, relative to cropping and that dramatic reductions in overland flow and increases in dry season baseflow may be achieved by reforestation of compacted pastures. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

A simplified methodology for mapping groundwater vulnerability and contamination risk, and its first application in a tropical karst area, Vietnam, 2006, Vu Thi Minh Nguyet, Nico Goldscheider,

Cave un-roofing as a large-scale geomorphic process, 2006, Klimchouk Alexander
A morphogenetic approach appears to be the most sensible in defining the tiankeng as a typological category. Tiankengs are giant collapse dolines formed over large river caves, with continuous precipitous perimeter and a diameter-to-depth ratio between 0.5 and 2. The term bears an evolutionary meaning, referring to the youthful stage of open collapse doline development, and the relationship of tiankengs to large underground rivers. The latter criterion separates tiankengs from other types of giant collapse features, such as caprock collapses over evaporates or large collapses over hydrothermal cavities. The South China karst offers evidence that un-roofing of caves is a large-scale geomorphic process playing an important role in the formation of cone and tower karst. It is probably the major process in the origin of large depressions, gorges and valleys in tropical karst, although other geomorphic processes contribute to shaping and maturation of a landscape and eventually obscure the origin in unroofed caves. Many saddles between hills and towers in fengcong and fenglin karst may owe their origin to cave un-roofing.

THE CHARACTERIZATION OF THE CORDISBURGO KARST REGION, MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL, MSc Thesis (Geography) Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais PUC Minas, 2007, Travassos, Luiz Eduardo Panisset

This work aims at presenting the geographical characterization of the Cordisburgo karst region, in the State of Minas Gerais by applying the consolidated concepts of the “classical karst” adapted to the reality of the intertropical karst. The characterization of the karst from the Onça´s Creek basin, Velhas River basin led to an exploratory mapping of the main karst features, which was made possible by confronting data collected through LANDSAT 7 imaging, GoogleEarth images, topographic maps interpretation (1:100.000), aerial photography (1:60.000) and field control. The final product, which is presented as a map, used the methodology proposed by the Commission of Karst Phenomena of the National Geography Committee (Paris, 1965) and adapted by Kohler (1989). The choice to use this methodology was made on the grounds that the existence of many Dinaric and Intertropical Karst maps is a facilitator to a comparative analysis. As a result of this study, and for the first time in this region, a map summarized the distribution of the karst features, providing relevant information for the geoenvironmental compartmentation of the Cordisburgo area and important subsides for the sustainable management of this region. Due to its geological, geomorphologic, hydrological and biogeographical characteristics, the karst of this region is an expressive example of the Brazilian intertropical one, whose superficial and subterraneous evolution must be understood as a complex phenomenon. There is little research on the Lagoa do Jacare Formation especially regarding the amount of CaCO3 in comparison to the phyllites, quartz veins, etc. So, it is premature to state that the karst in Cordisburgo shows a low karstification rate in its entire carbonatic pack as a whole. It is possible that pure limestone sites associated to non-carbonatic layers can be found. Studies about the magnitude and the direction of underground water are still insufficient, however. All evidences leads to the fact that the endokarstic flow in the region studied is commanded towards the base level of the Velhas River basin by the Onça’s Creek. In the north of this region, the subterraneous flow seems to be also associated to the Velhas River basin, even though at lower levels, where most of the identified forms is that of an evolved karst (plains and lakes).


The origin of the Bemaraha tsingy (Madagascar), 2008, Veress M. , Lczy D. , Zentai Z. , Tth G. , Schlffer R.
On Madagascar the most representative occurrences of tsingy are at Ankarana and Bemaraha. The tsingy are built up of giant grikes developed along cracks as well as karren features of much smaller size which cover the surfaces between grikes. We investigated the Bemaraha tsingy of Madagascar (surveyed profiles, measured grike directions, etc.) in order to reconstruct their development. The observations indicate that the majority of grikes of the tsingy are created from caves formed under the karst water table and subsequently opened up to the surface. The predominant processes may have been downward progressing dissolution or the collapse of cave roofs.

The origin of the Bemaraha tsingy (Madagascar), 2008, Veress M. , Lczy D. , Zentai Z. , Tth G. , Schlffer R.

On Madagascar the most representative occurrences of tsingy are at Ankarana and Bemaraha. The tsingy are built up of giant grikes developed along cracks as well as karren features of much smaller size which cover the surfaces between grikes. We investigated the Bemaraha tsingy of Madagascar (surveyed profiles, measured grike directions, etc.) in order to reconstruct their development. The observations indicate that the majority of grikes of the tsingy are created from caves formed under the karst water table and subsequently opened up to the surface. The predominant processes may have been downward progressing dissolution or the collapse of cave roofs.


HISTORICAL AND GEOMORPHOLOGICAL CHARACTERIZATION OF A BRAZILIAN KARST REGION, 2009, Travassos Luiz Eduardo Panisset & Kohler Heinz Charles
This work aims at presenting the geographical characterization of the Cordisburgo karst region, in the State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, by applying the consolidated concepts of the classical karst adapted to the reality of the intertropical karst. The characterization of the karst in the region, led to an explor-atory mapping of the main karst features using the methodol-ogy proposed by the Commission of Karst Phenomena of the French National Geography Committee, adapted by Kohler. The choice of this methodology was made on grounds that the existence of many Dinaric and Intertropical Karst maps fa-cilitates comparative analysis. As a result of this study, a map summarized the distribution of the karst features for the first time in this region, providing relevant information for the geoenvironmental compartmentation of the Cordisburgo area and important subsides for the sustainable management of that region. Due to its geological, geomorphological, hydrological and biogeographical characteristics, karst in this region is an expressive example of the Brazilian intertropical karst whose superficial and subterraneous evolution must be understood as a complex phenomenon. There is little research on the Lagoa do Jacare Formation. Thus, it is premature to state that the karst in Cordisburgo presents a low karstification rate in its entire carbonatic pack. Studies on the magnitude and the direction of underground water are still insufficient, however.

Surface and subsurface karst geomorphology in the Murge (Apulia, southern Italy), 2011, Parise, Mario

The Murge (Apulia, southern Italy) is the main karst area in the central part of the region, extending from the inland plateau to the Adriatic coastline. Along this transect, a relief energy of a few hundred meters is reached. Even though such relief may seem small when compared to mountain karst areas, actually it is not for Apulia, a very flat carbonate region that acted as the foreland during the building up of the Apenninic Chain in Miocene time. Murge can be subdivided into two sectors: High Murge, the inland plateau, where remnants of an ancient tropical karst are still recognizable; and Low Murge, closer to the sea, with smoother karst morphologies and landforms. Here, some of the most remarkable underground karst systems of Apulia are located: the Castellana caves, a show cave that has been opened since 1939 to tourists (only a few months after the discovery), and the Pozzo Cucù karst system. Overall, the two systems (that are located few hundreds of meters apart) are more than 5,5 km long. In addition, many other karst caves are widespread in the territory, showing different typologies, from percolation shafts, to intrastratal caves, to tectonically-controlled caves, down to marine caves along the coastline. At the surface, other interesting morphological features related to karst may be observed, the main one being the Canale di Pirro polje, which cuts the SE Murge with an E-W strike, until its easternmost reach against the Murge fault line scarp. This latter is the main morphological feature intervening between the Murge plateau and the Adriatic plain. In this article the karst morphological features of Murge are depicted, putting together surface and underground data, in the effort to contribute to the recognition of the main phases of development of karst processes in the region


A Mysterious Karst: the Chocolate Hills of Bohol (Philippines) , 2011, Salomon, Jeannol

A public showcase by the Philippine tourism authorities, and rightly so, are the “Chocolate Hills” of Bohol (Philippines), the strangest karst landform known. These numerous residual re­lief forms are so perfectly symmetrical that, in order to explain their existence, natural explanations are systematically sidelined by legends, myths and many so-called “scientific” explanations. The object of many television broadcasts related to travel, these karst hills are a particularly original example of mogotes tropi­cal karst; their almost “perfect” aspect had intrigued those who have studied their formation and have given birth to many hypotheses. The genesis of the “Chocolate Hills” is due to the emergence of the Pliocene limestone coralline platform, then to its karstification in a particularly homogeneous tropical cli­mate conditions: rainfall, temperature, wind, pedologic and vegetable covers. In other aspects, their good overall porosity explains their mass impregnation by the runoffs as well as the appearance of important aquifers, exploited for the develop­ment of irrigated rice fields. Karst models are present, notably the caves and underground networks of which very few have been explored. Finally this original context (insularity, virgin tropical forest undisturbed for a long time) permitted the sus­tainability of a particularly original endemic fauna including the famous Bohol tarsier. In June 1998 the “Chocolate Hills” were declared the National Geologic Monument and this na­tional park definitely merits a visit.


THE UNDERGROUND KARST OF THE NEOPROTEROZOC SERIES OF NIARI-NYANGA (CONGO AND GABON). A KARSTOGENESIS CONTROLLED BY ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGES, 2012, Peyrot, Bernard

The area of Niari-Nyanga, divided between Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon, corresponds to a Neoproterozoic synclinal whose schisto-limestones and dolomitic layers shelter many caves as well as vast underground karst systems that are hardly known. In a sub-equatorial climate characterized by sparse rainfall with very variable intensity, a dry season of five months and a savanna environment, the endokarst presents a vast array of forms with sometimes large, sometimes small dimensions. The caves are mostly horizontal and oriented along tectonic lines. Old fossil perched caves contrast with epiphreatic caves and drowned inaccessible systems. In current bioclimatic conditions, corrosion seems not very effective and not in equilibrium with some vast morphologies. The stacked levels, the presence of fossil speleothems and detritic material suggest a polyphase genesis in link with important paleoclimatic changes, where humid and dry periods alternate. Recent age dating with 14C on stalagmites show that the speleothemes are holocene and grew during the important rainfalls of this time, before drying up at the general chlimate change 3000 years before present. Thus, the endokarst of Niari-Nyanga as well as its neighbours is an archive of large importance.


Tower karst and cone karst, 2013, Zhu X. , Zhu D. , Zhang Y. , Lynch E. M.

Cone karst and tower karst are spectacular types of tropical/subtropical karst formed under conditions of intense karstification, and occurring primarily in China, Vietnam, Cuba, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and Java. The cone-tower karst system is classified into two basic types: fengcong-fenglin karst developed in hard, fissure-porosity rocks, and cockpit-mogotes karst in soft, high primary porosity carbonates. Key factors in the development of cone-tower karst include tropical or subtropical climate with abundant precipitation, tectonic uplift and base-level lowering, relatively pure and thick carbonate lithology, gentle anticline/syncline structures, allogenic input and through rivers. Differentiation into the cone (fengcong/cockpit) or tower (fenglin/mogotes) subtypes is strongly influenced by surface flow and the thickness of the vadose zone. Basic features of cone-tower karst, formation, and global distribution are discussed, with special emphasis on fengcongfenglin karst and the role of point infiltration, linear infiltration, and surface flow. The simultaneous (as opposed to sequential) evolution of fengcong karst and fenglin karst is explained by systematically analyzing the karst development, as well as the formation rate and age of fengcong-fenglin karst


Surface Roughness of Karst Landscapes, 2013, Day M. , Chenoweth S.

Surface roughness, also termed landscape, terrain, or topographic roughness in geomorphology, is directly connected to theunevenness of surface elevation values. There are many methods to measure surface roughness mathematically: the ratio ofsurface area and its projection onto a horizontal plane, frequency distributions, fractal analysis, and surface curvature.Recent innovations in remote sensing and geographic information systems have resulted in a renaissance of surfaceroughness in geomorphology as a component of digital terrain modeling. Specific morphometric characterizations of karstterrain roughness have been dogged by issues of data availability and accuracy. The Shuttle Radar Topography Missionsolved many of these problems, providing reliable and accurate elevation data for most of the inhabited world. However,tropical karst landscapes in particular are often heavily forested, obscuring the true surface roughness


Hydrogeology of northern Sierra de Chiapas, Mexico: A conceptual model based on a geochemical characterization of sulfide-rich karst brackish springs, 2014,

Conspicuous sulfide-rich karst springs flow from Cretaceous carbonates in northern Sierra de Chiapas, Mexico. This is a geologically complex, tropical karst area. The physical, geologic, hydrologic and chemical attributes of these springs were determined and integrated into a conceptual hydrogeologic model. A meteoric source and a recharge elevation below 1500 m are estimated from the spring water isotopic signature regardless of their chemical composition. Brackish spring water flows at a maximum depth of 2000 m, as inferred from similar chemical attributes to the produced water from a nearby oil well. Oil reservoirs may be found at depths below 2000 m. Three subsurface environments or aquifers are identified based on the B, Li+, K+ and SiO2 concentrations, spring water temperatures, and CO2 pressures. There is mixing between these aquifers. The aquifer designated Local is shallow and contains potable water vulnerable to pollution. The aquifer named Northern receives some brackish produced water. The composition of the Southern aquifer is influenced by halite dissolution enhanced at fault detachment surfaces. Epigenic speleogenesis is associated with the Local springs. In contrast, hypogenic speleogenesis is associated with the brackish sulfidic springs from the Northern and the Southern environments.


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