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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 phreatic water is that part of the underground water in a karst limestone which lies within the zone of permanently saturated rock - the phreatic zone. caves formed within this zone are known as phreatic caves [19].?

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

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 fluviokarst (Keyword) returned 27 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 27
Karst development in Ordovician carbonates: Western Platform of Newfoundland, Master of Science (MS) Thesis, 1978, Karolyi, Marika Sarolta

The Appalachian fold belt system in Newfoundland is divided into three tectonic divisions: Western Platform; Central Mobile Belt; Avalon Platform Rocks of the Western Platform range in age from Precambrian to Carboniferous. Major karst areas are found there is Ordovician and Carboniferous rocks. Karst features of the study area (Goose Arm to Bonne Bay Big Pond) are in the Ordovician carbonates of the undivided St. George and Table Head Formations, covering a few hundred square kilometers. Features include karren, sinkholes, sinking streams, and karst springs, caves and other solutional and collapse features.
In the study area multiple fold and faulting episodes complicate the geology. Extensive and probably repeated glaciations have produced rugged terrane with U-shaped valleys and as much as 300m relief on the carbonates. There is variable but thick till cover. A class or classes of ice-scoured closed depressions with internal drainage are recognized. Postglacial karst forms are limited to varieties of karren (mainly littoral), small sinkholes, and cave systems that are inaccessively small in most instances. Distribution of all karst features is highly irregular.
Hydrologic patterns follow fluvial, fluviokarstic and holokarstic drainage. Large number of sinking ponds have seasonal overflow channels. The ground water drainage routes are generally short and shallow, with varied hydraulic gradients. Few instances of ground water route integration to regional springs is found.
The water chemistry of the area displays a tight normal distribution of hardness. This is attributed to the ponding effect. Seasonal trends show an overall increase in total hardness and other parameters, with some ponds showing linear increases and others cyclic variations.
Karst type and distribution is complex and irregular, but both glaciokarstic and karstiglacial development is present. The majority of karst forms point to karstiglacial development where previous karst forms have been modified by ice. Karstification is controlled by geology, rock lithology, hydraulic gradients and glacial scour and infill. Karstic processes continue to operate today, modifying the scoured basins and creating new karst forms.


The paleodrainage of an Appalachian Fluviokarst: Friars Hole, West Virginia. McMaster Univ. MSc. thesis, 1984, Worthington S. R. H.

The Geomorphology of the Jenolan Caves Area, 1988, Kiernan, Kevin

The Jenolan Caves occur in a small impounded fluviokarst developed in limestone of late Silurian age. This paper reviews present knowledge of the geomorphology of Jenolan. The surface and underground geomorphology has been strongly influenced by the lithology and structure of the limestone and the non-carbonate rocks that surround the karst. There is evidence in the present geomorphology of the inheritance of influences from palaeo landscapes. Abundant surficial and cave sediments reflect slope gradients and climatic conditions that have existed in the past. Despite the very limited size of the limestone outcrop there is a great variety in the karst, including many kilometres of underground passage and a range of cave morphologies and clastic and chemical sediments underground.


Determination of stream-incision rate in the Appalachian plateaus by using cave-sediment magnetostratigraphy, 1995, Sasowsky Ira D. , White William B. , Schmidt Victor A. ,
Paleomagnetic dating of clastic fluvial sediments contained in caves within the walls of a steeply incised gorge allowed calculation of a maximum incision rate for the East Fork Obey River. The maximum incision rate for this major stream on the western margin of the Cumberland Plateau, north-central Tennessee, was found to be 0.06 m/ka. This rate was determined on the basis of the paleohydraulic relation between the caves and the surface stream, the presence of a normal-to-reverse polarity transition in clastic fluvial sediments deposited within the caves, and the vertical distribution of polarity found in sediments throughout the gorge. The dating results indicate that this highly developed fluviokarst, containing several of the longest known caves in the United States, developed wholly within the Pleistocene and Holocene

Origins of Groundwater in a Fluviokarst Basin: Bonne Femme Basin in Central Missouri, USA, 1997, Carol Mw,

Base-level Changes Inferred from Cave Paleoflow Analysis in the Lagoa Santa Karst, Brazil, 1998, Auler, A. S.
The interpretation of flow marks in relict cave passages in two drainage basins in the tropical karst of Lagoa Santa, East Central Brazil was used to characterize past flow routes. Comparison with present groundwater flow deduced from dye tracing was performed in order to assess the evolutionary history of the karst drainage basins. Samambaia Basin's dry caves show that paleoflow in this basin was directed towards other local base levels, suggesting that some fluviokarst features in the basin were generated in a later stage. Paleoflow analysis in the Palmeiras-Mocambo Basin shows that flow direction has not changed significantly since the genesis of today's dry caves. Relict caves can provide useful clues on the paleohydrology of karst areas.

Speleomorphology of dry passage in Provala cave (Croatia), 1998, Boč, Ič, Neven, Buzjak Nenad

Provala cave is located in the fluviokarst area of Žumberačka gora mountain (NW Croatia). This two-level cave is 1687 m long and 55 m deep. In the lower level there is a permanent water stream. The upper level, according to its hydrological characteristics, can be divided into three parts: 1. the southern part with permanent water stream, 2. the part with periodical water stream, and 3. dry part. The last two parts called "Dry passage" were speleomorphologically observed.


Field assessment of the microclimatology of tropical flank margin caves, 2000, Gamble Dw, Dogwiler Jt, Mylroie J,
Temperature observations were collected inside 2 caves in the Bahamas and 1 cave in Puerto Rico to characterize the microclimatology of tropical flank margin cave systems. Three aspects of these tropical cave temperatures agree with temperate cave microclimate theory. Specifically, external atmospheric disturbances can affect temperatures inside tropical flank margin cave systems, tropical flank margin caves are warmer than the exterior temperatures during winter, and water can impact temperatures deep into a tropical flank margin cave system. The temperature observations collected also indicate potential differences between the microclimatology of tropical and temperate cave systems. In particular, the temperate 3-zone cave microclimate model may not be applicable to tropical flank margin caves, diurnal fluctuations were not apparent in tropical flank margin cave systems, and the existence of a temperature inversion in a down-sloping cave may not be applicable to all tropical flank margin caves. The potential differences in temperate and these tropical cave systems can be linked to the physical dimensions of the tropical flank margin cave systems and the unique hydrology of small carbonate islands. Specifically, tropical flank margin caves have a width greater than length while temperate fluvio-karst caves have a length greater than width and tidal water can exist in the pits and depressions of tropical flank margin caves as opposed to flowing streams in temperate cave systems

Karst and caves of Israel, 2001, Frumkin, A.
Israel displays a gradient of karst features from the intensive karstification of Lebanon in the north to practically no karst in Elat region at the southern Negev desert (Gerson, 1976). This is attributed mainly to the climatological gradient from alpine-Mediterranean climate in the Lebanon - Hermon mountains in the north, with precipitation >1000 mm/year, to the extremely arid southern Negev, with <50 mm/year. Another factor is the southward decrease in carbonates/clastics ratio of the phanerozoic stratigraphic section, due to the increasing distance from the Tethys Sea which deposited the significant carbonates. Carbonate rocks outcrop in some 75% of the hilly regions of Israel. They are predominantly of Jurassic to Eocene age. However, much of the carbonates contain marls which inhibit extensive karst development, promoting the dominance of fluviokarst features. Another inhibiting factor is the abundance of faults in the Hermon, Galil and Shomeron regions. The faults are thought to constrain the temporal and spatial continuous underground flow, limiting the development of large caves in these regions. Most limestone caves are relict phreatic conduits and voids, which do not show any genetic relation to subaerial topography. Today these caves are either dry or experience vadose dripwater. These caves have possibly developed under moister conditions than predominate today. Some of them have been sealed from the surface until opened by recent construction activity. They may contain valuable paleoclimatic records (Frumkin, et al., 1994). Vadose caves are also common, and typically experience some water flow and active dissolution during the rainy season. These are mostly composed of vertical shafts with rare horizontal sections. The unique rock salt karst of Mount Sedom exhibits the largest salt caves known in the world. Some sea caves, attributed mainly to wave action with limited dissolution appear in the 'Kurkar' sandstone ridge along the Mediterranean coast. Paleokarst is common in the stratigraphic section, and is probably related to humid paleoclimates. Israel is especially rich in man made caves sustaining abundant fauna, but are beyond the scope of this review.

Karst features of narrow limestone belts - case study of the ridge Dževrinska Greda, Eastern Serbia, 2001, Ć, Alić, Ljubojević, Jelena

The paper presents several most interesting features of the ridge Dževrinska Greda (Carpatho-Balkanides, Eastern Serbia). Being 20 km long and, on average, 100-300 m wide, this narrow limestone belt is a typical polygon for contact karst and fluviokarst research. Beside examples of features such as through cave, through gorge, dry and blind valleys, there is also a discussion on types of contact (tectonic and sedimentary), impact of fluvial factors, directions of groundwater flow, etc.


Contact karst of Southern Velebit (Croatia), 2001, Perica Draž, En, Buzjak Nenad

Due to the predominance of soluble and broken carbonate beds on Velebit Mt., karst is main relief type there. But there also contact karst or fluviokarst occurs. It is developed in the parts where the alternation of permeable carbonate and less permeable or impermeable Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic beds occurs. Most significant contact karst forms in the area of Southern Velebit are Oštarijsko polje, Crno vrilo creek blind valley and Bunovac valley.


Landscape Evolution and Cave Development in Response to Episodic Incision of the Cumberland River, Tennessee and Kentucky, USA., 2003, Anthony, Darlene M. Ph. D.

Episodic incision punctuated by periods of base level stability during the Plio-Pleistocene left the Upper Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky deeply entrenched into the unglaciated Appalachian Plateaus. The relative chronology of episodic river incision and base level stability is well documented thanks to over a century of careful mapping of upland surfaces, inset straths, and terrace gravels. Constraining the timing of these incision events has been difficult, however, primarily due to a lack of suitable dating methods for terrace materials ranging from several hundred thousand to several million years of age, and reworking of upland gravels onto lower terraces. These problems are solved by dating the burial age of undisturbed cave sediments in place of terrace deposits, using the differential decay of cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in quartz exposed to cosmic radiation at the surface. This study offers a new chronology of river incision beginning with initial incision into the Highland Rim after ~3.5 Ma; development of the Parker strath between ~3.5 and ~2 Ma; incision of the Parker strath at ~2 Ma; development of a major terrace beneath the Parker strath between ~2 and ~1.5 Ma; incision into this terrace at ~1.3 Ma; and the development of several discontinuous terraces above the modern flood plain between ~1.3 Ma and the present.
Large caves on tributaries of the Upper Cumberland River record a headward wave of incision in the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The passage of a knickpoint in the system is modeled as a perturbation to steady-state incision according to the stream power law, which is tested against the abandonment dates in seven caves. Model results for m/n = 0.68 are within previously published theoretical and empirical values of 0.5 to 1.0, but suggest that values for the drainage-area exponent m are several times higher
than previous studies. This may be caused by a stronger variance of discharge to drainage area in fluviokarst reaches compared with non-karst watersheds. Knickpoint migration rates in limestone bedrock channels of fluviokarst tributaries to the Cumberland River are calculated between 10-18 cm/year during the Plio-Pleistocene, with m = 1.91 and m/n = 0.79.


Relation between Karst and Fluviokarst Relief on the Slunj Plateau (Croatia), 2003, Boč, Ić, Neven

The Slunj plateau is part of the shallow Kordun karst. It extends from the westernmost part of river Una towards the northwest to the confluence of the Slunjčica and Korana, at an average height of 300 - 350 m of above sea level. It is 40 km long, and averages about 10 km wide. A larger part of the plateau of Jurassic and Cretaceous carbonate rocks has characteristics of e karst relief with numerous dolines. On the smaller part of the Paleozoic and Tertiary clastic sediments and Triassic dolomites, a surface fluvial network has been developed. The water streams emerging on that basis regularly disappear underground on contact with permeable rocks. During geomorphological evolution of this terrain the area which is being drained on the surface was reduced, and the traces were left in the form of blind and dry (fossil) valleys. The water streams moved from the surface to underground where they formed the underground channels, i. e. speleological objects. This work analyses the correlation between the formation processes of (today fossil) valleys and cave channels on three examples: 1) Cave system Matešićeva - Popovačka cave, 2) Ponor pod Kremenom cave and Barićeve cave, 3) Cave system Varićakova - Panjkova cave.


Divergent evolution in fluviokarst landscapes of Central Kentucky, 2004, Phillips J. D. , Martin L. L. , Nordberg V. G. , Andrews W. A. ,
Central Kentucky is characterized by a mixture of karst and fluvial features, typically manifested as mosaic of karst-rich/channel-poor (KRCP) and channel-rich/karst-poor (CRKP) environments. At the regional scale the location and distribution of KRCP and CRKP areas are not always systematically related to structural, lithological, topographic, or other controls. This study examines the relationship of KRCP and CRKP zones along the Kentucky River gorge area, where rapid incision in the last 1.5 million years has lowered local base levels and modified slopes on the edge of the inner bluegrass plateau. At the scale of detailed field mapping on foot within a 4 km(2) area, the development of karst and fluvial features is controlled by highly localized structural and topographic constraints, and can be related to slope changes associated with retreat of the Kentucky River gorge escarpment. A conceptual model of karst/fluvial transitions is presented, which suggests that minor, localized variations are sufficient to trigger a karst-fluvial or fluvial-karst switch when critical slope thresholds are crossed. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Sediment entrainment and transport in fluviokarst systems, 2004, Dogwiler T, Wicks Cm,
The primary geomorphic process active in the development of karst stream systems is generally regarded as bedrock dissolution. However, physical erosional processes may also be an important geomorphic agent in karst development. The objectives of this study were to determine the sediment transport threshold in two fluviokarst streams. The source of the sediment was internal to the karst basins. The approach used was to calculate basal and critical shear stresses from streams in two karst systems to determine if, and how frequently, storm-induced flows are capable of mobilizing stream sediment. The fluviokarst systems investigated as a part of this research are capable of transporting 50-85% of their stream substrates during bankfull discharge conditions. Based on the discharge and precipitation frequency, stream flows capable of entraining d(50) and d(85) particles occur at intervals of 2.4 and 11.7 months (0.98 yr), respectively. Thus, the sediment transport threshold in fluviokarst streams is exceeded by relatively common discharge events. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

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