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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 hydraulic fracturing is the formation of artificial fractures in rock systems around a well by high pressure fluid injections [16].?

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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 breccia pipes (Keyword) returned 30 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 30
Mineralization of breccia pipes in northern Arizona, 1985, Wenrich Karen J. ,

Subsidence and foundering of strata caused by the dissolution of Permian gypsum in the Ripon and Bedale areas, North Yorkshire, 1986, Cooper Ah,
Underground dissolution of thick gypsum beds in the Edlington Formation and Roxby Formation of the Zechstein sequence in North Yorkshire, England, has resulted in a 3 km-wide and 100 km-long belt of ground susceptible to foundering. Within this belt a large subsidence depression at Snape Mires, near Bedale, was largely filled with lacustrine deposits in the later part of the Late Devensian and during the Flandrian. South of Snape Mires the Nosterfield-Ripon-Bishop Monkton area has suffered about 40 episodes of subsidence in the past 150 years, and the presence of several hundred other subsidence hollows indicates considerable activity from the later part of the Devensian onwards. The linear and grid-like arrangement of these subsidence hollows indicates collapse at intersections in a joint-controlled cave system. Linear subsidence features at Snape Mires are also joint-controlled. The transition from anhydrite at depth to secondary gypsum near surface marks the down-dip limit of the subsidence-prone belt. Cavities are propagated upwards by roof collapse of caverns in the gypsum, leading to the formation of breccia pipes. Choking of the pipes can reduce the surface expression of the underground collapse, but the larger cavities are liable to produce pipes that reach the surface even at the eastern boundary of the 3 km-wide belt described. Further subsidence in the Ripon area is predicted and some suggestions for remedial measures are given

Reactivated interstratal karst--example from the Late Silurian rocks of western Lake Erie (U.S.A.), 1992, Carlson Eh,
Interstratal karst developed in the Late Silurian rocks of western Lake Erie that, after a long interruption, was exhumed and reactivated. The dissolution front of the G evaporite of the Salina Group receded in the downdip direction during these two well-documented periods of subaerial exposure. The karst features that developed in the overlying Bass Islands Dolomite (Pridolian) consist of a large tabular body of collapse breccia and a number of smaller features including breccia pipes, partially filled pipes, blister caves and collapse dolines.The tabular breccia body and the breccia pipes, which originated penecontemporaneously during post-Silurian and pre-Middle Devonian subaerial exposure, occur along the updip edge of the present outcrop belt of the dolostone. They are monolithologic, fragment-supported rubble breccias, with the pipes exhibiting a greater fragment displacement, rotation and rounding, and a smaller fragment size. The matrix sediment of the tabular body is a quartz sand, an equivalent of the basal sandstone that filtered down from the erosion surface. The presence in the matrix sediment of nodular celestite, a later replacement of evaporites that formed when the sediment was still soft, indicates that a sabkha environment existed at the time the breccia was infilled. The partially filled pipes, which form cylindrical caves that are lined with late diagenetic celestite, are believed to be cogenetic with the collapse breccias.The blister caves and dolines occur downdip from the breccias, postdating Pleistocene glaciation and predating isostatic rebound. These caves are isolated, crescent- or oval-shaped openings with domed roofs, averaging about 60 m in width and 4 m in height. The hydration and resulting expansion of lenticular bodies of anhydrite along the receding solution front of the G unit is believed to be the cause of doming. The numerous crescentic caves, originating from the dissolution of this gypsum and the subsequent collapse of the domed roofs, are expressed at the surface as shallow dolines

REACTIVATED INTERSTRIATAL KARST EXAMPLE FROM THE LATE SILURIAN ROCKS OF WESTERN LAKE ERIE (USA), 1992, Carlson Eh,
Interstratal karst developed in the Late Silurian rocks of western Lake Erie that, after a long interruption, was exhumed and reactivated. The dissolution front of the G evaporite of the Salina Group receded in the downdip direction during these two well-documented periods of subaerial exposure. The karst features that developed in the overlying Bass Islands Dolomite (Pridolian) consist of a large tabular body of collapse breccia and a number of smaller features including breccia pipes, partially filled pipes, blister caves and collapse dolines. The tabular breccia body and the breccia pipes, which originated penecontemporaneously during post-Silurian and pre-Middle Devonian subaerial exposure, occur along the updip edge of the present outcrop belt of the dolostone. They are monolithologic, fragment-supported rubble breccias, with the pipes exhibiting a greater fragment displacement, rotation and rounding, and a smaller fragment size. The matrix sediment of the tabular body is a quartz sand, an equivalent of the basal sandstone that filtered down from the erosion surface. The presence in the matrix sediment of nodular celestite, a later replacement of evaporites that formed when the sediment was still soft, indicates that a sabkha environment existed at the time the breccia was infilled. The partially filled pipes, which form cylindrical caves that are lined with late diagenetic celestite, are believed to be cogenetic with the collapse breccias. The blister caves and dolines occur downdip from the breccias, postdating Pleistocene glaciation and predating isostatic rebound. These caves are isolated, crescent- or oval-shaped openings with domed roofs, averaging about 60 m in width and 4 m in height. The hydration and resulting expansion of lenticular bodies of anhydrite along the receding solution front of the G unit is believed to be the cause of doming. The numerous crescentic caves, originating from the dissolution of this gypsum and the subsequent collapse of the domed roofs, are expressed at the surface as shallow dolines

Gypsum karst of Great Britain., 1996, Cooper Anthony
In Great Britain the most spectacular gypsum karst development is in the Zechstein gypsum (late Permian) mainly in north-eastern England. The Midlands of England also has some karst developed in the Triassic gypsum in the vicinity of Nottingham. Along the north-east coast, south of Sunderland, well-developed palaeokarst, with magnificent breccia pipes, was produced by dissolution of Permian gypsum. In north-west England a small gypsum cave system of phreatic origin has been surveyed and recorded. A large actively evolving phreatic gypsum cave system has been postulated beneath the Ripon area on the basis of studies of subsidence and boreholes. The rate of gypsum dissolution here, and the associated collapse lead to difficult civil engineering and construction conditions, which can also be aggravated by water abstraction.

Large-basin groundwater circulation and paleo-reconstruction of circulation leading to uranium mineralization in Grand Canyon breccia pipes, Arisona., 1996, Huntoon P. W.

Principal features of evaporite karst in Canada, 1997, Ford Dc,
Outcrops of sulfate arid mixed sulfate-carbonate rocks are common everywhere in Canada outside of the Shield province. Interstratal salt deposits are abundant in the interior lowlands. Types of karst that occur are determined chiefly by relations between (i) formation thickness and purity, (ii) regional topography and hydraulic gradient (iii) effects of receding Wisconsinan and earlier glaciers, and (iv) extent of modern permafrost. Exposures of bare karst on thick, pure sulfate formations are comparatively rare. Two principal landform types found on them are: (1) high-density polygonal karst (micro-sinkhole densities of thousands per km(2)); where hydraulic gradients are high and tills are thin; (2) hills and ridges of blocks uplifted and fractured by hydration (anhydrite) tectonics at paleo-icefront positions where hydraulic gradients are low. Deeply till-mantled karst dominated by collapse and suffosion sinkholes in the mantling detritus is well developed in southwestern Newfoundland and in central and northern Nova Scotia. Covered karst is abundant on sulfates conformably overlain by carbonate br elastic strata; collapse sinkholes ale the principal landform. Very large breccia pipes (up to 25 x 15 km) ale associated with deep subrosion of salt during glacier recessions. Syngenetic breccia karst is a fourth, distinct category created in some formations of thin, interbedded dolostones and sulfates. Where these are exposed td high hydraulic gradients, deep calcite-cemented breccias were formed in a first generation, upon which sinkhole and pinnacle karsts and dissolution drape topographies were able to develop rapidly in late-glacial and post-glacial conditions

Richard Lake, an evaporite-karst depression in the Holbrook basin, Arizona, 1997, Neal J. T. , Colpitts R. M. ,
Richard Lake is a circular depression 35 km SE of Winslow, Arizona, about 1.6 km wide and with topographic closure of 15-23 m. The depression is 5 km south of McCauley Sinks, another depressed area about 2 km wide which contains some 40 large sinkholes. Richard Lake formerly contained water after heavy rains prior to headwater drainage modification but is now dry most of the time. It is situated within the Moenkopi / Kaibab outcrop belt with Coconino Sandstone at shallow depth near the southwestern margin of the subsurface Permian evaporite deposit in the Holbrook Basin. Outcropping strata are predominantly limestone, but the salt-karst features result from collapse of these units into salt-dissolution cavities developed in the Corduroy Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation of the Sedona Group (formerly called the Supai Salt) that underlies the Coconino. Richard Lake is interpreted as a collapse depression containing concentric faults, pressure ridges, and a 200m wide sinkhole in the center. A second set of pressure ridges parallels the axis of the nearby western end of the Holbrook Anticline, trending generally N 30 degrees W. In the alluvium at the bottom of the central sinkhole, two secondary piping drain holes were observed in early 1996. Northwest-trending fissures also were observed on the depression flanks, essentially parallel to the regional structure. The presence of Richard Lake amidst the preponderance of salt-karst features along the Holbrook Anticline suggests a similar origin by salt dissolution, but with distinct manifestation resulting from variation in overburden thick?less and consolidation. Similarities of origin between Richard Lake and McCauley Sinks seem likely, because of their similar geological setting, size, appearance, and proximity. Two lesser developed depressions of smaller dimensions occur in tandem immediately west along a N 62 degrees W azimuth. Secondary sinkholes occur within each of these depressions, as at Richard Lake. Breccia pipes are apt to be found beneath all of these structures

GYPSUM KARST GEOHAZARDS IN CHINA, 1997, Yaoru Lu, Cooper A. H.

China has the worlds largest proven gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) resources in the world. The gypsum ranges from pre-Cambrian to Quaternary in age and occurs in varied geological environments. The rapid dissolution rate of gypsum means that gypsum karst development can be very fast, resulting in progressively worsening geohazards. This paper reviews the characteristics of the gypsum deposits and their associated geohazards in China.Three kinds of gypsum karst are discussed. These include karst in massive thick beds of gypsum, karst in thin-bedded gypsum and compound karst in gypsum and carbonate rocks. Some site-specific problems are also examined. In the Shanxi coalfield, breccia pipes, or collapse columns, caused by the dissolution of Ordovician gypsum, penetrate the overlying Carboniferous and Permian coal-bearing sequences resulting in difficult coal mining conditions. In Guizhou Province re-activated gypsum karst is associated with leakage of water through the gypsum from a reservoir. Remedial engineering works have been carried out, but leakage still occurs. Groundwater abstraction from gypsiferous sequences is also problematical. It can yield sulphate-polluted water and cause subsidence problems both through gypsum dissolution and groundwater drawdown.


Subsidence hazards caused by the dissolution of Permian gypsum in England: geology, investigation and remediation, 1998, Cooper Ah,
About every three years natural catastrophic subsidence, caused by gypsum dissolution, occurs in the vicinity of Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. Holes up to 35 m across and 20 m deep have appeared without warning. In the past 150 years, 30 major collapses have occurred, and in the last ten years the resulting damage to property is estimated at about {pound}1000000. Subsidence, associated with the collapse of caves resulting from gypsum dissolution in the Permian rocks of eastern England, occurs in a belt about 3 km wide and over 100 km long. Gypsum (CaS04.2H20) dissolves rapidly in flowing water and the cave systems responsible for the subsidence are constantly enlarging, causing a continuing subsidence problem. Difficult ground conditions are associated with caves, subsidence breccia pipes (collapsed areas of brecciated and foundered material), crown holes and post-subsidence fill deposits. Site investigation methods that have been used to define and examine the subsidence features include microgravity and resistivity geophysical techniques, plus more conventional investigation by drilling and probing. Remedial measures are difficult, and both grouting and deep piling are not generally practical. In more recent times careful attention has been paid to the location for development and the construction of low-weight structures with spread foundations designed to span any subsidence features that may potentially develop

Gypsum-karst collapse in the Black Hills, South Dakota-Wyoming, USA, 2000, Epstein, Jack B.

Intrastratal dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite in four stratigraphic units of Pennsylvanian to Jurassic age in the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming has resulted in many collapse features that have developed primarily in the non-soluble overlying rocks. Subsidence has affected several areas that are undergoing urban development. Subsurface intrastratal dissolution of anhydrite in the Minnelusa Formation has produced a regional collapse breccia, extensive disruption of bedding, many dolines, and breccia pipes and pinnacles, some of which extend upwards more than 300 m into overlying strata. Recent collapse is evidenced by steep-walled dolines more than 20 m deep, collapse in water wells and natural springs resulting in sediment disruption and contamination, and fresh circular scarps surrounding shallow depressions. Many beds of gypsum are contorted because of expansion due to its hydration from anhydrite, and many gypsum veinlets extend downward along random fractures from parent gypsum beds. Several dolines are sites of resurgent springs. As the anhydrite dissolution front in the subsurface Minnelusa moves downdip and radially away from the center of the Black Hills uplift, these resurgent springs will dry up and new ones will form as the geomorphology of the Black Hills evolves. Old dolines and breccia pipes, preserved in cross section on canyon walls, attest to the former position of the dissolution front. Mirror Lake, which is expanding northwestward in a downdip direction, is a local analog of a migrating dissolution front.


Environmental problems caused by gypsum karst and salt karst in Great Britain., 2001, Cooper A. H.
In Great Britain, gypsum karst is widespread in the Late Permian (Zechstein) gypsum of north-eastern England. Here and offshore, a well-developed palaeokarst with large breccia pipes was formed by dissolution of the underlying Permian gypsum. Farther south, around Ripon, the same rocks are still being dissolved, forming an actively evolving phreatic gypsum-maze cave system. This is indicated by the presence of numerous active subsidence hollows and sulphate-rich springs. In the English Midlands, gypsum karst is locally developed in the Triassic deposits south of Derby and Nottingham. Where gypsum is present, its fast rate of dissolution and the collapse of overlying strata lead to difficult civil-engineering and construction conditions; these can be further aggravated by water abstraction. Salt (halite) occurs within British Permian and Triassic strata, and has a long history of exploitation. The main salt fields are in central England and the coastal areas of northwest and northeast England. In central England, saline springs indicate that rapid, active dissolution occurs that can cause subsidence problems. In the past, subsidence was aggravated by shallow mining and the uncontrolled extraction of vast amounts of brine. This has now almost stopped, but there is a legacy of unstable buried salt karst, formed by both natural and induced dissolution. The buried salt karst occurs at depths ranging from about 40 m to 130 m; above these depths, the overlying strata are foundered and brecciated. In the salt areas, construction and development are hampered by both abandoned mines and by natural or induced brine runs, with their associated unstable ground.

Karst in evaporite rocks of the United States., 2001, Johnson K. S.
Evaporites are the most soluble of common rocks; they are dissolved readily to form the same range of karst features that typically are found in limestones and dolomites. Evaporites, including gypsum (or anhydrite) and salt, are present in 32 of the 48 contiguous United States, and they underlie about 35-40% of the land area. Evaporite outcrops typically contain sinkholes, caves, disappearing streams, and springs. Other evidence of active karst in evaporites includes surface-collapse features and saline springs or saline plumes that result from dissolution of salt. Many evaporites, including some in the deeper subsurface, also contain evidence of paleokarst that is no longer active; this evidence includes dissolution breccias, breccia pipes, slumped beds, and collapse structures. Evaporites occur in 24 separate structural basins or geographic districts in the United States, and either local or extensive evaporite karst is known in almost all of these basins or districts. Human activities also have caused development of evaporite karst, primarily in salt deposits. Boreholes or underground mines may enable (either intentionally or inadvertently) unsaturated water to flow through or against salt deposits, thus allowing development of small to large dissolution cavities. If the dissolution cavity is large enough and shallow enough, successive roof failures can cause land subsidence or catastrophic, collapse. Evaporite karst, both natural and human-induced, is far more prevalent than commonly believed.

Hydrology, Hazards, and Geomorphic Development of Gypsum Karst in the Northern Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, 2001, Epstein, J. B.

Dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite in four stratigraphic units in the Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, has resulted in development of sinkholes and has affected formational hydrologic characteristics. Subsidence has caused damage to houses and water and sewage retention sites. Substratal anhydrite dissolution in the Minnelusa Formation (Pennsylvanian and Permian) has produced breccia pipes and pinnacles, a regional collapse breccia, sinkholes, and extensive disruption of bedding. Anhydrite removal in the Minnelusa probably dates back to the early Tertiary when the Black Hills was uplifted and continues today. Evidence of recent collapse includes fresh scarps surrounding shallow depressions, sinkholes more than 60 feet deep, and sediment disruption and contamination in water wells and springs. Proof of sinkhole development to 26,000 years ago includes the Vore Buffalo Jump, near Sundance, WY, and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. Several sinkholes in the Spearfish Formation west of Spearfish, SD, which support fish hatcheries and are used for local agricultural water supply, probably originated 500 feet below in the Minnelusa Formation. As the anhydrite dissolution front in the subsurface Minnelusa moves down dip and radially away from the center of the Black Hills uplift, these resurgent springs will dry up and new ones will form as the geomorphology of the Black Hills evolves. Abandoned sinkholes and breccia pipes, preserved in cross section on canyon walls, attest to the former position of the dissolution front. The Spearfish Formation, mostly comprising red shale and siltstone, is generally considered to be a confining layer. However, secondary fracture porosity has developed in the lower Spearfish due to considerable expansion during the hydration of anhydrite to gypsum. Thus, the lower Spearfish yields water to wells and springs making it a respectable aquifer. Processes involved in the formation of gypsum ka 


Environmental problems caused by gypsum karst and salt karst in Great Britain, 2002, Cooper Ah,
In Great Britain, gypsum karst is widespread in the Late Permian (Zechstein) gypsum of north-eastern England. Here and offshore, a well-developed palaeokarst with large breccia pipes was formed by dissolution of the underlying Permian gypsum. Farther south, around Ripon, the same rocks are still being dissolved, forming an actively evolving phreatic gypsum-maze cave system. This is indicated by the presence of numerous active subsidence hollows and sulphate-rich springs. In the English Midlands, gypsum karst is locally developed in the Triassic deposits south of Derby and Nottingham. Where gypsum is present, its fast rate of dissolution and the collapse of overlying strata lead to difficult civil-engineering and construction conditions; these can be further aggravated by water abstraction. Salt (halite) occurs within British Permian and Triassic strata, and has a long history of exploitation. The main salt fields are in central England and the coastal areas of northwest and northeast England. In central England, saline springs indicate that rapid, active dissolution occurs that can cause subsidence problems. In the past, subsidence was aggravated by shallow mining and the uncontrolled extraction of vast amounts of brine. This has now almost stopped, but there is a legacy of unstable buried salt karst, formed by both natural and induced dissolution. The buried salt karst occurs at depths ranging from about 40 m to 130 in; above these depths, the overlying strata are foundered and brecciated. In the salt areas, construction and development are hampered by both abandoned mines and by natural or induced brine runs, with their associated unstable ground

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