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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 outwash gravel is glacial drift material deposited by streams from a glacier [16].?

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


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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 clastic (Keyword) returned 191 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 191
Origin of the sedimentary deposits of the Naracoorte Caves, South Australia, ,
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Forbes Ms, Bestland Ea,
The origin of the sediments located in the Naracoorte Caves (South Australia) was investigated via the analysis of strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr), elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy. Sedimentary deposits located in Robertson, Wet, Blanche and several other chambers in Victoria Cave are all variable mixes of fine sand and coarse silts, which display similar and consistent strontium isotope ratios (0.717-0.725). This suggests that over the 400[no-break space]ka time frame that these deposits span there has been minimal variation in the source of the clastic sediments. Increased strontium concentrations for these cave sediments correspond with increasing silt content, yet there is no correlation between 87Sr/86Sr ratios and silt content. This implies that the silt-sized component of the sediments is the main contributor of strontium to the cave sediments. Comparisons of 87Sr/86Sr with regional surficial deposits show a significant correlation between the cave sediments (avg: 0.7228; n = 27), the fine silt lunettes of the Bool Lagoon area (avg: 0.7224; n = 4), the sandy A horizons of the Coonawarra Red Brown Earths (RBEs; avg: 0.726; n = 5), and Holocene age podsolic sand deposits (0.723). These data suggest that there has been substantial flux from this group of deposits to the caves, as would be expected considering prevailing winds. This relationship is further supported by a strong correlation between many trace elements, including Ti, Zr, Ce, and Y; however, variations in clay mineralogy suggest that the fine silt-dominated lunettes and Padthaway RBEs were not significant contributors to the cave deposits. Hence, the detritus entering the caves was more than likely from areas proximal to the cave entrance and was dominated by medium grain-sized materials. Major regional deposits, including the coarser-grained, calcite-rich Bridgewater Formation sands, basalts from the lower SE, Padthaway Horst granites, Gambier limestone, and metamorphics from the Adelaide geosyncline show minimal correlation in 87Sr/86Sr ratios, elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy with the cave sediments, and are discounted as significant sources. In comparison, 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the Coorong silty sands (0.717-0.724), Lower Murray sands (0.727-0.730), and the medium size silt component of the Murray-Darling River system (0.71-0.72), compare favourably with the cave sediments. This relationship is further supported by similarities in elemental chemistry and mineralogy. Thus, much of the strontium-rich silt that is now located in the Naracoorte Cave sediments likely originated from the Murray-Darling basin. Over time, this material has been transported to the SE of South Australia, where it mixed with the medium sand component of the regressive dune ridge sequence, locally derived organic matter, limestone fragments, and fossil material to produce the unique deposits that we see evident in many of the chambers of the Naracoorte Cave system today

Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, ,
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Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.

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The Clastic Sediments of Douglas Cave, Stuart Town, New South Wales, 1969,
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Frank, R.

Douglas Cave is on the western slopes of central New South Wales about five miles south-west of Stuart Town. The cave was first discovered in 1896 by R. J. Wilson (Leigh, 1897). At the time of discovery, the accumulation of fossil bone in the Bone Room was noted and shortly afterwards some bone was collected by W. S. Leigh. Thylacinus spelaeus, Dasyurus sp. and Macropus sp. were included in the collection (Dun, 1897). The cave was not named when it was discovered, though Trickett does refer to it as "the Stuart Town Caves" in a later report (Trickett, 1898, p. 205). It will be referred to hereafter as the Douglas Cave in honour of the present owner.


The Clastic Sediments of the Wellington Caves, New South Wales, 1971,
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Frank, R.

The Wellington Caves are about 8 km south of the town of Wellington, New South Wales. They were discovered in the 1820s and their long and varied history as a vertebrate palaeontological site began about 1830. Most of the early fossil collections were made by the explorer and surveyor-general, Major T.L. Mitchell, from an upper stratigraphic unit exposed in Mitchell's Cave and Cathedral Cave. Such venerable palaeontologists as Cuvier, Pentland, Jameson and Owen examined the material. Phosphate mining operations in the early 1900s exposed additional sedimentary sequences and most of the later vertebrate collections have come from these mines. A history of the discovery and exploration of the caves, as well as of the more important palaeontological aspects, is given by Lane and Richards (1963). A number of theories on the origin of the caves and especially on the depositional environment of the bone-bearing sediments, has been offered and some of these are summarised by Lane and Richards (1963). Most of these were conceived before 1900, none of them are detailed and they are generally speculations presented as minor portions of other articles dealing with a broader subject.


Deposition of Calcite, Aragonite, and Clastic Sediments in a Missouri Cave During Four and One-Half Years, 1972,
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Reams, Max W.

Sedimentary and Morphological Development of the Borenore Caves, New South Wales, Part I, 1973,
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Frank, R. M.

(of parts I and II) The Borenore Caves, west of Orange, occur in a partly metamorphosed Silurian limestone outcrop of about 5.5km2 which forms an impounded karst. Both of the main caves, the Arch Cave and the Tunnel Cave, contain large quantities of clastic sediments. Evidence from the position and kind of sediments and from the bedrock features show that both caves have undergone a predominantly fluvial development by a sequence of stream captures. The same type of evidence indicates a dry climatic phase for the Borenore area about 28,000 BP.


Karst processes of the eastern upper Galilee, Northern Israel, 1974,
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Gerson R,
Karst processes dominate most of the geomorphic activity in the Upper Galilee, consisting mainly of dolomites and limestones. Study of the chemical evolution of water passing through the karst hydrologic cycle clearly shows that the major portion of its carbonate solute is gained subaerially and in the upper part of the vadose zone. Most cave and spring water is already saturated with respect to aragonite and calcite.The karst depressions typical to surface morphology are mostly associated with fault-line traces. Their evolution is possible mainly in areas sloping initially less that 5[deg].The absence of evolved caves, representing well-developed karst of an earlier period, is attributed mainly to the marginal climate throughout the past combined with tectonic, and hence hydrologic, instability of the region.The discharge of the karst prings shows clearly dependence on annual precipitation, with a lag of about 2 years of the response to drought or more humid periods. Long-term fluctuations are larger in the smaller T'eo Spring than in the affluent 'Enan Springs.Most of the denuded material is extracted from the region as dissolved load via underground conduits and only small amounts as clastics. Mean long-term denudation is approximately 20 mm/1000 years, averaged for the surface area contributing to the springs.In spite of the above, most topographic forms are shaped by runoff erosion, active during medium to high intensity rainstorms. Solution processes prevail during low to medium rainfall intensities, while different parts of the region are denuded at similar rates. Even in karst depressions, erosion becomes dominant after their bottoms are covered by almost impervious terra-rossa mantle

Paleohydrology and Streamflow Simulation of three Karst Basins in Southeastern West Virginia, U.S.A., PhD Thesis, 1975,
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Coward, Julian Michael Henry

This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of karst hydrology. To do this, the present day hydrology and the paleohydrology were determined in three karst basins. The basins chosen were the Swago, Locust and Spring Creek basins in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties, West Virginia. A number of conventional field techniques were used successfully in this study, including the following: current meter and dye dilution gauging; dye and lycopodium stream tracing; geological and cave mapping; the setting up of stage recorders; geochemistry; and limestone erosion measurements. The climate of the region was investigated to obtain realistic precipitation, temperature and potential evaporation data over the study basins.
It was found that the mean precipitation over two of the basins was 30% higher than recorded data in the valleys. The karst development of the basins was found to take place in four major stages. These were: A) initial surficial flow, B) strike controlled drainage, C) major piracies from one sub-basin to another, and D) shortening of the flow routes. The major controls on the karst development were found to be: A) the Taggard shale, B) the strike direction, which controlled early basin development, and C) the hydraulic gradient from the sink to rising, which controlled later basin development.
To better assess the quantitative hydrology, and to assist in determining the type of unexplorable flow paths, a watershed model was developed. This modelled the streamflow from known climatic inputs using a number of measured or optimized parameters. The simulation model handled snowmelt, interception, infiltration, interflow, baseflow, overland flow, channel routing, and evaporation from the interception, soil water, ground water, snowpack and channel water. The modelled basin could be split up into 20 segments, each with different hydrological characteristics, but a maximum of 3 segments was used in this study.
A total of 29 parameters was used in the model although only 10 (other than those directly measurable) were found to be sensitive in the three basins. The simulated streamflow did not match the real flows very well due to errors in the data input and due to simplifications in the model. It was found, however, that as the proportion of the limestone in a segment increased the overland flow decreased, the interflow increased, the baseflow and interflow recessions were faster, the soil storages were smaller and the infiltration rate was higher, than in segments with a larger proportion of exposed clastics. The flow characteristics of the inaccessible conduits were inferred from the channel routing parameters and it was postulated that the majority of the underground flow in the karst basins was taking place under vadose conditions.


Sea Caves of King Island, 1979,
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Goede Albert, Harmon Russell, Kiernan Kevin

Investigation of two King Island sea caves developed in quartzitic rocks shows them to contain a wealth of clastic and chemical sediments. Clastic sediments consist of wave-rounded cobbles, debris cones, and angular rock fragments produced by frost weathering and crystal wedging. Chemical deposits include a variety of calcium carbonate speleothems and also gypsum occurring as wall crusts and blisters. The latter appear to be a speleothem type of rare occurrence. Growth of gypsum is responsible for some crystal wedging of the bedrock. Three basal stalagmite samples have been dated by the Th/U method indicating Late Pleistocene as well as Holocene speleothem growth. The caves are believed to have formed by preferential wave erosion during the Last Interglacial in altered and fractured quartzites. The evidence for pre-Holocene evolution of sea caves and geos in the Tasman region is summarised. Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands provide a particularly favourable environment for the preservation of relict landforms on rocky coasts because of Late Quaternary uplift. The potential of further studies of sea caves to test two recently advanced archaeological hypotheses is discussed.


Gulemwawaya: A Cave in Welded Tuff At Budoya, Fergusson Island, Papua New Guinea, 1981,
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Ollier, C. D.

A 30m cave in pyroclastic deposits on the flank of a volcano is thought to be made by eluviation and fluvial erosion, and possibly supported mechanically by welded tuffs above. This note is to record a small but significant cave that deserves further attention. I visited the cave for about half an hour in July 1980 and had no facilities for survey or photography.


Magnetostratigraphy of Sediments in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, 1982,
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Schmidt Victor A. ,
Clastic sediment deposits found within the caves of Mammoth Cave National Park have yielded a magnetostratigraphic pattern of magnetic polarity reversals which indicates that they were deposited over a range of at least 1 million and most likely 2 million years

Glaciation and Karst in Tasmania: Review and Speculations, 1982,
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Goede Albert , Harmon Russell, Kiernan Kevin

The evolution of Tasmanian karsts is fundamentally interwoven with the history of Quaternary climatic change. Specifically karstic processes were periodically overwhelmed by the influence of cold climate which exerted strong controls over thermal, hydrological and clastic regimes. While these episodes of cold climatic conditions have temporally dominated the Quaternary, their legacy may be under represented in present karst landforms. There is no general case with respect to the consequences for karst of the superimposition or close proximity of glacial ice. The pattern of events in each area will be dependant upon the interaction between local and zonal factors. A number of Tasmanian karst which may have been influenced by glaciation are briefly discussed.


Clastic Sediments in Mystery Cave, Southeastern Minnesota, 1983,
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Milske Jodi, Alexander Jr. E. Calvin, Lively Richard S.

Karstic residual fluorite-baryte deposits at two localities in Derbyshire, 1983,
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Shaw R. P. ,
Various karst processes may rework primary mineralization producing secondary ore deposits in a variety of karstic cavities both on the surface and underground. Two surface localities, on Bonsall Moor, near Matlock, and near Castleton are filled with sediments containing locally derived fluorite and baryte clasts, in sufficient quantity to be worked as ore deposits. The associated clastic sediments are of Pleistocene fluvioglacial origin

The Hydrology of a Glacierised Alpine Karst Castlegaurd Mountain, Alberta, PhD Thesis, 1983,
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Smart, Charles Christopher

Alpine karst throughout the world has been affected by past glaciation, and yet little is known of the interactions between glacier ice and karst. This dissertation attempts to gain some understanding of the problem through the study of the Castleguard Area, Alberta, where a karst aquifer is presently overlain by temperate glacier ice.
Quantitative fluorometric tracing and hydrometric measurements generated a broad data base on aquifer behaviour. Tracer breakthrough curves were interpreted using a new systematic approach which considers an explicit set of processes likely to affect the particular tracer under the given experimental conditions. Non-linearity in aquifer behaviour and rapid groundwater velocities demonstrated the aquifer to be an extreme conduit type Conduit springs are elements in a vertical hierarchy in which the topmost springs are "overflows" and exhibit greater flow variability than their associated "underflows". A numerical model was developed to simulate a conduit aquifer. It demonstrated that pulse train and recession analysis widely accepted methods of karst aquifer investigation, could be rather misleading when applied to conduit aquifers.
Interactions between ice and groundwater were observed at two scales: regulation water appeared to feed a diffuse percolation system and supraglacial melt passed into subglacial conduits which entered open vadose shafts. Karst is unlikely to be entirely subglacial in origin because of the limited aggressiveness of subglacial waters.
The Castlegaurd karst appeared to have originated preglacially in response to the breaching of impermeable caprock. Glaciation re-ordered the landscape and produced abundant clastic debris which subsequently blocked or obstructed karst conduits. Much of the resulting karst is paragenetic and comparatively immature due to glacial disruption and slow growth rates. Geomorphic and hydrologic interactions between ice and karst depend intimately upon the relationship between the geographic zones of the glacier and the aquifer.


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