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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 spring, overflow is a spring that is part of a distributary but which drains only at the level above base flow.?

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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 exokarst (Keyword) returned 17 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 17
Le karst des Monts Padurea Craiulu (Roumanie), 1986, Badescu, D.
THE KARST OF PADUREA CRAIULUI MOUNTAINS AND THE SYSTEM OF TINOASA-CIUR-TOPLITZA DE ROSIA (ROMANIA) - Padurea Craiului mountains represent one of the most interesting karstic area of Romania. The existence of limestones affected by a lot of tectonics accidents had done these mountains to have distinct morphological aspects. The relative developed hydrographic network, together with the geological structure and the favourable tectonic, brought about a lot of endokarstic and exokarstic phenomena too. This is very clear in Runcuri plateau, which lodges the karstic systems Tinoasa-Ciur-Toplitza. The influence of the tectonic is demonstrated by the underground observations about the fissures. The development of these systems, as well as the morphology of the caves, are influenced by the structure and texture of the different jurassic limestones.

Les cavits de la Sierra d'Aralar (Pays Basque espagnol), 1986, Ugarte, F. M.
CAVES OF THE SIERRA OF ARALAR (NAVARRA-GUIPUZCOA, SPAIN). CORRELATION BETWEEN UNDERGROUND FORMATIONS AND GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURES - The study of numerous cavities of the Sierra of Aralar permits to give importance to: 1/ the relations between the subterranean morphology and the structural network; 2/ the relations with the actual morphoclimatic conditions of the middle-mountain exokarst; 3/ the part of the heritages of the Quaternary cold-periods. Following important speleological research carried out by the Aranzadi Society of Science (San Sebastian) in the central mountains of the sierra d'Aralar the majority of the PKH (Karst phenomenons) have been located and mapped (PKH = 2,78 km2). As a result of this work, we have attempted to correlate endokarstic landscape with geological structure

Dissolution spcifique la priphrie des Grands Causses franais, 1989, Maurin, Y.
Specific denudation on the periphery of the Great Causses (France) - This paper deals with the results of the specific denudation on the carbonate formations, on the western border of the Great Causses of France: Can de lHospitalet, Can de Tardonenche, le Lempezou, Causse des Bonbons, Valdonnez basin. The results are obtained form the hydrochemical measurements taken form the hydrological cycles of 1982-1983. These results are then compared with those of other local and regional karsts. They show that there is important erosion linked to a well-developed endokarst. This situation contrasts with a deficiency of exokarst phenomena.

Observations morphologiques sur le gosystme karstique du Rupt du Puits (Meuse, Lorraine), 1995, Jaillet S. , Gamez P.
The karst system of Rupt-du-Puits is situated east of the Paris basin (Barrois and Perthois), in the Portlandian limestones covered by sands and clays of Lower Cretaceous. It presents 21 km of surveyed passages in several networks (catchment = 13 km2). In this typical covered karst (cryptokarst), we observe two kinds of alimentation: rapid (swallow holes) and slow (wet soils). On the exokarst, the valleys move by retreat of swallow holes and karst stepping. In the endokarst, the variations of the base level determine several stages of stream piracy (elbows of capture). The karst morphology depends on climatic changes and the evolution of the drainage pattern during the Upper Pleistocene.

Les karsts portugais, problmes et perspectives, 1996, Cunha, L.
The Portuguese karsts owing to their geomorphological, speleological, hydrogeological and environmental problems, deserve to be better known and studied by the international scientific and speleological community. We present a brief synthesis of the Portuguese karsts in three parts: 1) the presentation of the main scientific works, mainly from the pionner thesis written by Alfredo Fernandes Martins in 1949 on the Estremadura limestone massif, which was the starting point of karst geomorphological studies in Portugal; 2) a brief description of the main characteristics of the karst areas in the western Mesozoic border (Sico and Estremadura), especially the pre--Cretaceous paleokarsts (recent and incomplete exhumation) and the importance of endokarst and exokarst (Estramadura); 3) some further research approaches are proposed, aiming at a deeper and more synthetical knowledge of the Portuguese karsts.

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998, Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Spatialized morphological analysis: A method of detecting faults, a necessity for hydrodynamic and karstologic studies of cracked aquifers. Examples of the chalky aquifers of Northern France, 1999, Bonnet T, Colbeaux Jp,
Spatialized Morphological Analysis is a new method of detecting faults which uses the morphometric relief data (slope, aspect, elevation) taken from a precise Digital Elevation Model by a computer program. This program, taking the principles of the evolution of relief into account (rock type, climate, chronology), allows the statistical identification of morphometric standards for each type of morphology and the extraction of anomalies to these standards. Some of these anomalies, after a processing of spatial classification, are considered as tectonic tracks. The actual existence of faults, corresponding with anomalies, is verified by classical methods of structural geology. By a better localisation and geometrical definition of faults, this method can allow the optimization of hydrodynamical studies of cracked aquifers, and in case of calcareous ones, a spatial approach to karstification. This method is applied to the north of France chalky aquifer, where, associated with detailed hydrogeological records, it allowed the identification of rapid transfers of groundwater at the level of faults. Even so, exokarstic phenomena are uncommon in this area. Some chemical and textural particularities of Quaternary chalk cover may be the cause of rainwater inhibition, and it is possible that the karstic responses observed are due to considerable mechanical dissolution in the saturated area where tectonic activity (neotectonic faults have been observed) creates environments of preferential flow. (C) Elsevier, Paris

Gypsum karst features as evidence of diapiric processes in the Betic Cordillera, Southern Spain, 1999, Calaforra Jm, Pulidobosch A,
In the Triassic evaporite deposits of the Betic Cordillera, halokinesis has played a fundamental role in the morphodynamic evolution of gypsum karst, as evidenced by the morphology and distribution of dolines and poljes, by data obtained from caves, and from the types of water associated with evaporite domes. Distribution patterns of major exokarstic forms display a subcircular array with collapse sinkholes located in the centre of the domes and solution drawdown dolines on the outer limits of the diapiric forms. In addition, the least mineralized waters are situated in association with the caprock gypsum; hypersaline waters, which are also hotter, drain deeper flow systems that flow out at the edges of the halokinetic structures. The morphodynamic and hydrogeological information constitute a valuable tool for the correct interpretation of the tectonic structure of such complex areas. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Speleological Features in the Mountainous Karst of Risnjak Mountain (Croatia), 1999, Buzjak Nenad, Fiedler Suzana

Risnjak mountain is located in western Croatia. Its central area is, together with the nearby Snjećnik mountain and the upper part of the Kupa river valley, a part of Risnjak National Park. Since it is mostly built of heavy broken Jurassic carbonate rocks (limestones predominate), all kinds of karst features are well developed. Among exokarst forms dolines predominate. Among speleological features shafts are the most frequent forms. There are several morphological types of these in the altitude range between 680 and 1520 m. Although the deepest shaft explored to date is 180 m deep, the rest of the shafts are mostly up to 50 m deep. Consistent with high altitude and a severe climate thick beds of snow and ice were found in a few shafts. Near the southeastern border of the National Park area there are a few streams which flow over the less permeable Triassic dolomite beds and impermeable Triassic and Permian clastic beds. They sink at the contact with permeable carbonate beds. Among their ponors the largest is Vele Vode ponor cave which is 1495 m long.


Les archives sdimentaires quaternaires de la grotte sous les Sangles (Bas-Bugey, Jura mridional, France). Indices palo-climatiques et sismo-tectoniques, 2002, Lignier Vincent, Desmet Marc
Quaternary sedimentary archives of the Sous les Sangles Cave (Lower Bugey, Southern Jura, France); paleo-climatic and sismo-tectonic evidences - The Sous les Sangles Cave is located in southern part of Jura mountain at the front part of the northwestern alpine tectonically active massifs. This region was covered by alpine and jurassian glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum. An old gallery contains stratified fluvial and moraine injection, covered by a 3.5 meters thick deposit of finely laminated silty carbonate and clays. Sedimentological investigation reveals several periods of different water flow depending on glacial and inters glacial periods. The upper finely laminated sediments correspond to the end of the last glacial maximum according to the exokarstic equivalent of the Cerin lake and the U/Th ages obtained with speleothems. Spectral analysis (using Fourier methods and pass-band mapping techniques) on grey-level raw data have been used on the Sous les Sangles sediment. The main result shows evidence of a cyclic deposition according to the three main periodicities recognised through the 1.5-m top sequence. The laminated material is affected by plastic and brittle deformations. The entire deposit is characterised by (1) a vertical faulting without apparent dominant relative movement which can be interpreted as tension faults; (2) an associated soft and brittle deformation similar to thin skin tectonic at centimetre scale affecting the base of the deposit and testified to gravity reworking which could correspond to discrete sismotectonic activity; (3) brittle deformations associated with fluid escape patterns occurring at two specific levels along the vertical faults, emphasising the earth tremor existence according to several broken speleothems. These observations are highly supported by the geodynamic and tectonic frame of this part of Jura massif which reveal an actual uplift of several millimetre/year, especially in this part of the Cluse des Hpitaux cross valley. Numerous historical earthquakes have been documented in this area. The microtectonic study of the cave shows dominant inverse and strike-slip structures correlated to the general tectonic frame.

Lower Miocene gypsum palaeokarst in the Madrid Basin (central Spain): dissolution diagenesis, morphological relics and karst end-products, 2002, Rodriguezaranda J. P. , Calvo J. P. , Sanzmontero M. E. ,
The Miocene sedimentary record of the Madrid Basin displays several examples of palaeokarstic surfaces sculpted within evaporite formations. One of these palaeokarstic surfaces represents the boundary between two main lithostratigraphic units, the Miocene Lower and Intermediate units of the Madrid Basin. The palaeokarst formed in lacustrine gypsum deposits of Aragonian age and corresponds to a surface palaeokarst (epikarst), further buried by terrigenous deposits of the overlying unit. Karst features are recognized up to 5.5 m beneath the gypsum surface. Exokarst and endokarst zones are distinguished by the spatial distribution of solution features, i.e. karren, dolines, pits, conduits and caves, and collapse breccias, sedimentary fills and alteration of the original gypsum across the karst profiles. The development of the gypsum palaeokarst began after drying out of a saline lake basin, as supported by recognition of root tubes, later converted to cylindrical and funnel-shaped pits, at the top of the karstic profiles. The existence of a shallow water table along with low hydraulic gradients was the main factor controlling the karst evolution, and explains the limited depth reached by both exokarst and endokarst features. Synsedimentary fill of the karst system by roughly laminated to massive clay mudstone with subordinate carbonate and clastic gypsum reflects a punctuated sedimentation regime probably related to episodic heavy rainfalls typical of arid to semi-arid climates. Duration of karstification is of the order of several thousands of years, which is consistent with previous statements that gypsum karstification can develop rapidly over geologically short time periods

Factors controlling exokarst morphology and sediment transport through caves: comparison of carbonate and salt karst, 2003, Bruthans Jirí, , Zeman Ondrej

In salt karst, very large amounts of sediment load could be permanently trapped underground, due to the high solubility of NaCl. Specific karst forms which have no equivalents in carbonate karst, occur there (huge underground alluvial fans, inlet caves). In a carbonate karst, on the other hand, only small portion of sediment carried by an allochthonous stream could be deposited permanently in the cave, otherwise the cave will become clogged (because of the very low solubility of CaCO3). Three carbonate karst areas with long-lasting development and fundamental differences in endokarst and exokarst forms were studied from many different aspects in the Czech Republic. The authors believe that there is only one primary difference between the Moravian Karst and diffuse recharge karst areas (Czech and Chynov karsts): the frequency and orientation of fissures penetrable by groundwater. All other differences in exokarst and endokarst forms and hydrology are the results of primary difference and its influence on speleogenesis, especially on sediment transport and gradational features. In areas where only bathyphreatic and deep phreatic caves occur, blind valleys and common exokarst morphology never develop, due to the very low velocity of flow in karst conduits, which precludes transport of sediment load.


Aroca (domaine marin ctier, Pays basque, France) : un karst continental ennoy par les transgressions maritimes quaternaires, 2007, Vanara Nathalie , Perre Alain, Pernet Marc, Latapie Serge, Jaillet Stphane, Martine Olivier
AROCA (LITTORAL, BASQUE COUNTRY, FRANCE): A CONTINENTAL KARST DROWNED BY QUATERNARY MARITIME TRANSGRESSIONS. The rocky formations in shallow areas of the Atlantic coast are hardly known. Studies are rare because of the difficulties of direct observation (diving in always agitated, troubled water, depth between 20 and 40 m). Our first step was to make a detailed topography of a submarine plateau named Aroca, 4 km off Socoa harbour (bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz). This plateau was already known for having a large variety of forms within a small surface (150 x 100 m). We gave names to most remarquable formations and defined five main characteristic zones: - in the exokarstic domain 1/ a top surface with channels, 2/ a dismantled surface with pinnacles; - in the endokarstic domain 3/ caves, galleries, arches; - at the limits 4/ three inclined plans, west, north and east, 5/ a cliff to the south. A typology of forms shows a predominance of ablation reliefs: aplanation, over-deepened channels, covered rooms and galleries, arches, residual pinnacles. Deposit accumulations regroup chaotic breakdown blocks, pebble accumulations and sand covers. Statement of explanations requires recognition of the nature and age of the outcrops and succession of erosional agents during the Pleistocene. Rocks are dated from Ypresien (limestones) to Bartonian (marls). Continental erosion during sea regressions is responsible of caracteristic landforms and deposits; for example wall banks, allochthonous pebbles The currently active marine erosion during sea transgressions is due to storms, tide, dissolution, biochemical action (lithophages) and gravity. We propose a paleogeographic reconstitution. After an essentially calcareous sedimentation in Eocene and an essentially marly sedimentation in Oligocene, the sea recedes during Miocene. From then, the platform, henceforward above the water, is subject to meteoric erosion. In Pliocene, evolution of the massif is isovolumic (under a marly cover and with a low hydraulic gradient). During the lower and middle Pleistocene, the erosion of the marly cover goes on. During the upper Pleistocene, the wurmian (18000 BP) marine regression allows entrenchment of the hydrographic system thanks to an increase of hydraulic gradients (classic functional karst). From 15000 years onwards, a general transgression of sea level happens by successive steps. During the Boreal, a break in transgression allows the formation of a paleo-shore at 20 to 30 m, inducing a peneplanation phase in the tidal or infratidal zone. From 7500 BP onwards, a a rapid transgression from 23 to 8, then a slower one from 8 to the present level stops karstification on the massif. At present, only marine abrasion is active and tends to obliterate the previously built landforms.

Polyphase karst system in Cretaceous chalk and calcarenite of the Belgian-Dutch border, 2007, Willems Luc, Rodet Joë, L, Fournier Matthieu, Laignel Benoî, T, Dusar Michiel, Lagrou David, Pouclet André, , Massei Nicolas, Dussartbaptista Ludivine, Compè, Re Philippe, Ek C
Along the Belgian-Dutch border, underground and surface quarries dug in Cretaceous calcarenite and chalk intersect many karst features as well as deep large nodes of weathered rock. Their observation allows the reconstruction of the genesis of an original karst system resulting from the merging of initially independent endokarsts and exokarsts. Deep weathering has developed within the Cretaceous formations, creating nodes of weathered chalk and closed cavities. These phenomena are expanded over time and can form interconnected voids. Near the surface, solution pipes are generated under the coarsest deposits of a fluvial terrace capping the Cretaceous formations. These pipes develop vertically and may be related to the progressive lowering of the water table in connection with the incision of the Meuse valley. Some of these phenomena cut up the older endokarsts and organize complex systems of out-flow within the chalk.

NON-SPECIALISTS PERCEPTION ABOUT ENDOKARST AND EXOKARST SCENARIOS: VISIONS FROM HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS, 2007, Travasos L. E. P. , Travassos E. G. , Travassos L. P. , Travassos L. C. P.

The aim of this work is to recover some methodological aspects of the study about the mind representations of caves in Brazil. The basis of this research consisted of one essay, approaching the social representations of a particular group of high school students on the exokarst and the endokarst. The results showed that the meanings vary only slightly, however, the most inter­esting result was due to the fact that students, who had already visited caves in some period of their lives, still held “negative” concepts regarding this environment even before visual stimu­lations. About 640 words associated with the exokarst and the endokarst were mentioned, emphasizing: fear, dark, shadowy, skull, hidden places, fantastic and beauty, which helped iden­tifying relations between the cultural and psychological as­pects of the group, mainly general views about the obscure and mysterious aspects of this landscape and its prominence over natural beauties. Analyzed data showed that the development of new research on mind representations of caves is very impor­tant, mainly for environmental education programs promoting adequate concepts about caves and extending activities of edu­cational ecotourism in Brazilian caves.


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