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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 salt dome is a dome-like intrusion of a mobile salt core into sedimentary rock [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 limestone. (Keyword) returned 117 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 117
A comparative integrated geophysical study of Horseshoe Chimney Cave, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas, ,
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Brown Wesley A. , Stafford Kevin W. , Shawfaulkner Mindy , Grubbs Andy

An integrated geophysical study was performed over a known cave in Colorado Bend State Park (CBSP), Texas, where shallow karst features are common within the Ellenberger Limestone. Geophysical survey such as microgravity, ground penetrating radar (GPR), direct current (DC) resistivity, capacitively coupled (CC) resistivity, induced polarization (IP) and ground conductivity (GC) measurements were performed in an effort to distinguish which geophysical method worked most effectively and efficiently in detecting the presence of subsurface voids, caves and collapsed features. Horseshoe Chimney Cave (HCC), which is part of a larger network of cave systems, provides a good control environment for this research. A 50 x 50 meter grid, with 5 m spaced traverses was positioned around the entrance to HCC. Geophysical techniques listed above were used to collect geophysical data which were processed with the aid of commercial software packages. A traditional cave survey was conducted after geophysical data collection, to avoid any bias in initial data collection. The survey of the cave also provided ground truthing. Results indicate the microgravity followed by CC resistivity techniques worked most efficiently and were most cost effective, while the other methods showed varying levels of effectiveness.


Notes on some observed rates of weathering of limestone., 0000,
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Goodchild J. G.

Nullarbor Expedition 1963-4, 1964,
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Anderson, Edward G.

The Nullarbor Plain, Australia's most extensive limestone region, consists of about 65,000 square miles of almost horizontal beds of Tertiary limestone. The Plain extends from near Fowlers Bay, South Australia, approximately 600 miles west across the head of the Great Australian Bight into Western Australia. However, for its size, the Nullarbor appears to be deficient in caves compared with other Australian cavernous limestones. The vastness of the area, isolation, and complete lack of surface water, makes speleological investigation difficult. Some of the most important caves are more than 100 miles apart. The 1963-4 Nullarbor Expedition was organised by members of the Sydney University Speleological Society (SUSS). Two major caves, as well as a number of smaller features were discovered in the western part of the Plain. One cave contains what is believed to be the longest single cave passage in Australia.


Underground solution canyons in the Central Kentucky karst, U.S.A., 1967,
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Watson Richard A.
Solution canyons are underground voids 1 to 15 + meters wide, 3 to 45 + meters high, and 30 to 300 + meters long. Floors are stepped, ceilings level. Size increases downstream. Their course is sinuous, with some angularity. They occur parallel to and directly under or slightly offset from the thalwegs of re-entrant valleys tributary to major karst valleys. A section across a re-entrant and underlying solution canyon shows a rough hour-glass shape. Solution canyons are related genetically to solutional vertical shafts, forming where removal of the impermeable sandstone caprock permits the vertical descent of water through jointed limestone. Surface runoff concentrates along re-entrant thalwegs where a largo quantity of water goes underground. This water, plus subsurface water flowing over the caprock breached by the valleys, follows the easiest route to baselevel down major vertical joints oriented parallel to the thalwegs. Solution by water seeping down these joint planes forms solution canyons.

The Origin and Development of Mullamullang Cave N37, Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia, 1970,
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Hunt, G. S.

Mullamullang Cave N37 is the longest and most complex cave on the Nullarbor Plain, Southern Australia. Unlike the other caves, it possesses extensive levels of phreatic solution tube passages which permit stronger inferences to be made on the development of the collapse passages constituting the bulk of Mullamullang Cave and other deep Nullarbor caves. These passages have been formed by collapse through overlying belts of solution tube networks along an elongated zone of cavitation in the limestone. Massive breakdown was probably initiated at depth within the zone, at least 50 feet below the present watertable level. Upward stoping of the collapse would have been facilitated by the higher network levels in the zone, such as the Ezam and Easter Extension. Channelling of groundwater flow under the Plain is suggested by the belt-like nature of the networks. An epiphreatic origin is proposed for the network levels though convincing morphological evidence is wanting. Eustatic changes in sea level have been of fundamental importance in the development of the multiple levels. Wetter periods in the past were probably important as little development is taking place under present-day dry conditions. Correlation of wetter periods with Pleistocene glacials would help explain the development of huge collapse passages, but such correlatien cannot be assumed on present evidence. Massive collapse and doline formation were followed by subaerial weathering and vadose activity which modified the cave - especially near the entrance. Correlation of levels in Mullamullang with those in other Nullarbor deep caves is attempted. However, Mullamullang Cave is unique probably due to the lithology of the Abrakurrie Limestone in which it is developed.


Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology of the Sierra de El Abra and the Valles-San Luis Potosí Region, México, PhD Thesis, 1977,
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Fish, Johnnie Edward

The general objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of the karst hydrology, the nature and origin of the caves, the water chemistry, the surface geomorphology, and relationships among these aspects for a high relief tropical karst region having a thick section of limestone. The Valles-San Luis Potosí region of northeastern México, and in particular, the Sierra de El Abra, was selected for the study. A Cretaceous Platform approximately 200 km wide and 300 km long (N-S) delimits the region of interest. A thick Lower Cretaceous deposit of gypsum and anydrite, and probably surrounded by Lower Cretaceous limestone facies, is overlain by more than 1000 m of the thick-bedded middle Cretaceous El Abra limestone, which has a thick platform-margin reef. The Sierra de El Abra is a greatly elongated range along the eastern margin of the Platform. During the late Cretaceous, the region was covered by thick deposits of impermeable rocks. During the early Tertiary, the area was folded, uplifted, and subjected to erosion. A high relief karst having a wide variety of geomorphic forms controlled by climate and structure has developed. Rainfall in the region varies from 250-2500 mm and is strongly concentrated in the months June-October, when very large rainfalls often occur.
A number of specific investigations were made to meet the general objective given above, with special emphasis on those that provide information concerning the nature of ground-water flow systems in the region. Most of the runoff from the region passes through the karstic subsurface. Large portions of the region have no surface runoff whatsoever. The El Abra Formation is continuous over nearly the whole Platform, and it defines a region of very active ground-water circulation. Discharge from the aquifer occurs at a number of large and many small springs. Two of them, the Coy and the Frío springs group, are among the largest springs in the world with average discharges of approximately 24 m³/sec and 28 m³/sec respectively. Most of the dry season regional discharge is from a few large springs at low elevations along the eastern margin of the Platform. The flow systems give extremely dynamic responses to large precipitation events; floods at springs usually crest roughly one day after the causal rainfall and most springs have discharge variations (0max/0min) of 25-100 times. These facts indicate well-developed conduit flow systems.
The hydrochemical and hydrologic evidence in combination with the hydrogeologic setting demonstrate the existence of regional ground-water flow to several of the large eastern springs. Hydrochemical mixing-model calculations show that the amount of regional flow is at least 12 m³/sec, that it has an approximately constant flux, and that the local flow systems provide the extremely variable component of spring discharge. The chemical and physical properties of the springs are explained in terms of local and regional flow systems.
Local studies carried out in the Sierra de El Abra show that large conduits have developed, and that large fluctuations of the water table occur. The large fossil caves in the range were part of great deep phreatic flow systems which circulated at least 300 m below ancient water tables and which discharged onto ancient coastal plains much higher than the present one. The western margin swallet caves are of the floodwater type. The cave are structurally controlled.
Knowledge gained in this study should provide a basis for planning future research, and in particular for water resource development. The aquifer has great potential for water supply, but little of that potential is presently used.


A Chemical Investigation of some Groundwater of the Northern Limestone at Jenolan Caves, 1977,
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James Julia M. , Handel M. L.

A brief description of the geology and drainage of the Northern limestone at Jenolan Caves is introduced. Approaches to karst geochemistry are given. The reasons are given for the choice of complete chemical analyses followed by calculations of the thermochemical parameters (saturation indices with respect to calcite and dolomite, SIc and SId, and the partial pressure of carbon dioxide PCO2) for the Jenolan groundwaters. The methods of chemical analysis and thermochemical calculations are reported. The results of the groundwater survey are presented both as the raw chemical data and the derived thermochemical data. The raw data give more useful information than the calculated parameters. The results obtained by this survey are consistent with observations and the previous knowledge of the underground drainage of the Northern limestone. The water chemistry reflected the rock type and the residence time of the water in bedrock and gravels. It is concluded that the Jenolan underground River and Central River have different types of source and that Central River is not a braid of the Jenolan Underground River.


Summaries of papers read at The Engineering Group Regional Meeting-Cardiff 1977: Engineering Geology of Soluble Rocks, 1978,
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Engineering Geology of the South Wales Coalfield and its margins--with particular reference to the Carboniferous Limestone. By J. G. C. Anderson. The stratigraphical succession of the Cardiff district ranges from Silurian to Lower Jurassic, while structurally the rocks have been affected by Caledonian, Hercynian and Alpine movements. Caledonian folding is relatively weak but powerful Hercynian (Asturian) folding and faulting took place about the end of the Westphalian; the elongate South Wales Coalfield Basin being formed at this time. Mesozoic strata, up to the Liassic, are also folded and faulted by movements which may have been as late as the Miocene. Silurian rocks which occur in the Usk and Rumney Inliers consist of sandstones, siltstones and shales (often calcareous) as well as some limestones. The argillaceous rocks often weather deeply and degenerate to clay with rock lithorelicts, consequently they pose problems in foundations and cuttings, e.g. on the east side of Cardiff. The Old Red Sandstone, both Lower and Upper divisions are present, is made up of marls, sandstones and conglomerates. Some of the sandstones are aquifers and provide water in commercial quantities. The marls, especially where steeply inclined are liable to slipping, as happened for example, in the Brynglas (M4) Tunnel at Newport. The Carboniferous Limestone surrounds the coalfield and consists mainly of limestone and dolomite (see also below). The Millstone Grit does not contain the gritty sandstones of the Pennines and is made up mainly of strong siliceous sandstones and shales. The Coal Measures show the usual lithology; a ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Caves and Karst On Misima Island, Papua New Guinea, 1978,
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Ollier C. D. , Pain C. F.

27 caves were examined on Misima Island. Most are sea caves, but some have clear phreatic origins and some result from vadose solution along joints. One cave is formed by washing out of fragments in fault-shattered gneiss. Karst development in the raised coral appears to have been limited by the absence of streams flowing through the limestone. This results from the geomorphic development of the area, which has isolated the coral into discontinuous patches. Many caves have human burials, with associated pottery and one cave contains at least 100 skulls.


Determination of Karst Water Aggressiveness By Artificial Saturation: A Comparison of Results Obtained Using Limestone and Reagent Grade Calcium Carbonate, 1981,
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Dunkerley, D. L.

Trials of the method of estimating the aggressiveness of karst water by artificial saturation (Stenner, 1969) were made on stream and spring waters in limestone country at Buchan, Victoria. Saturation was brought about with both laboratory reagent grade calcium carbonate and also with powdered local limestone. Resulting estimates of the initial degree of saturation varied considerably. The differences amounted to an average 5.6% (maximum 8.0%) in aggressiveness estimated from change in total hardness, 8.8% (maximum 14.0%) using calcium hardness, and 9.4% (maximum 31.0%) using magnesium hardness. Whilst the average difference between the two sets of results are not great, and certainly do not prohibit the use of the original Stenner method, they do serve to indicate that in particular individual cases misleading results can be obtained if local limestone is not used. Possible reasons for the differing behaviour of the two materials is suggested.


Karst development and the distribution of karst drainage systems in Dejiang, Guizhou Province, China, 1983,
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Song Linhua, Zhang Yaoguang, Fang Jinfu, Gu Zhongxong,
The nature of karstification of two contrasting areas on the north Guizhou Plateau (south China) is shown to be controlled by structure, lithology, geomorphic history and tectonics, and causes significant differences to arise in the subsurface drainage systems of the areas.The Shaqi area lies in a syncline of Permo-Triassic limestones underlain by an insoluble sandy shale which forms the local base level. Karst landforms are strongly influenced by the presence of four erosion levels corresponding to four periods of rejuvenation of the drainage systems. Drainage is concentrated along the syncline axis, and one system (Naoshuiyan) has been pirating another (Lengshuiyan) by headward retreat. Cave passages are typically phreatic.The Dejiang Town area lies in an anticline of Cambrian dolomite and Ordovician limestone. Three large subsurface drainage systems have developed along parallel faults, and have typically vadose cross-sections

Depositional history of the late Pleistocene limestones of the Kenya coast, 1984,
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Braithwaite Cjr,
The coastal limestones of Kenya extend approximately 180 km N-S from Malindi to the Tanzanian border. They are at least 20 m thick and may be subdivided into sedimentary units representing major periods of marine deposition punctuated by sub-aerial erosion. Their foundations are formed by thick fluvial and aeolian quartz sands but there is local evidence of marine deposition following these. In the main limestone unit, deposited about 240,000 years ago, initial high energy shallow-shelf deposition was replaced by quiet water sediments with scattered corals. Sea level stood about 8 m higher than at present. Quartzose sands were confined to western areas. A return to shallow water heralded a new phase of emergence and erosion, producing karst surfaces and sub-aerial sediments. These are overlain by herring-bone cross-bedded quartz-rich calcarenites which were the products of a tidally dominated shelf and, at Watamu and Wasini, pass upwards into aeolian dune deposits. However, these were also emersed and subject to karst erosion before deposition of a further widespread marine limestone. Within this, coral knolls are well developed. Much of the sediment accumulated in shallow water, but the ecological succession indicates that knolls were at times in deeper waters. These deposits formed about 125,000 years ago when sea level ultimately stood 15-20 m above its present position. More recently in the area sea level has again fallen. However, the descent was not continuous and pauses were marked by marine terrace formation and subsequent karst erosion with sub-aerial deposition. Brief reversals caused both terraces and sediments to be overlain by thin marine deposits. Sea level paused at its present position about 30,000 years ago when the present reef platform was probably defined. It continued to fall to a maximum of about-120 m before rising to its existing level 7000 years ago and beginning the current cycle of sediment accumulation

Karst and Caves of the Nam Lang - Nam Khong Region, North Thailand, 1985,
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Dunkley, John

The Nam Lang - Nam Khong Karst Region, located in a thinly populated, remote part of Mae Hong Son Province, north-west Thailand, comprises about 1,000km2 of massive Permian limestone. Over much of the area is developed a characteristic polygonal karst dominated by over 3,000 depressions, with an assemblage of forms including dolines, uvalas, poljes, streamsinks, through caves, springs and blind valleys. Speleological exploration commenced only in 1983 and the major discovery is the Tham Nam Lang, the longest cave reported on the mainland of south-east Asia with nearly 7km of passages. Cave development is strongly influenced by regional strike and fault orientation and by base level incision into impermeable sediments underlying the limestone. The largest caves are formed where aggressive water collects on impervious rocks before entering the limestone. Elsewhere cave development is limited. Several caves are important archaeological sites, and a number have tourist potential.


Morphologie et hydrologie d'un karst couvert : le rseau de Ziaka (Bas-Zare), 1989,
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Quinif Y. , Dupuis C.
Morphology and hydrology of a covered karst: the Ziaka cave-system (Lower Zare) - In the middle of the Lower Zare karst, Ziaka cave constitutes the emergence of a great flooded karst. Divers have explored several flooded galleries. The cave shows very characteristic morphology of flooded karst: coupolas, bedding-plane anastomosis. The river deposits of the Kwilu cover the limestone. The karst is capped and artesian, its water table is higher than the base level of the Kwilu.

Land subsidence in the AI-Dahr residential area in Kuwait: a case history study, 1990,
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Airifaiy Ia,
Four cylindrical sinkholes occurred between April 1988 and June 1989 in a residential area located 27 km south of Kuwait City. The physiographic and geological conditions of their development and the methods of survey followed to detect potential subsurface cavities in the area are discussed. The major sinkhole is 15 m in diameter and 31 m deep; the others are a few metres in size. A mechanism of migrating sinkholes is suggested, where the upper elastic sediments have been moved down into cavities of the underlying Dammam Limestone. Such movement could have been triggered by garden irrigation and urbanization. A conceptual model is introduced to explain the mechanism of this subsidence. Microgravity techniques were applied using a La Coste Model-D gravimeter to detect areas of subsurface weakness. Negative anomalies in the order of 80 microgals were recorded and considered to indicate underground cavities or zones of contrasted mass-deficiencies representing high risk areas. Moderate anomalies were also recorded and attributed to poor compaction of the ground prior to construction

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