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Community news

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 neptunian deposits is younger sediment or sedimentary rock that infills pre-existing cavities, such as grikes, dolines or cave passages, in older rocks. the most common form is a fissure fill, known as a neptunian dike. neptunian deposits occupy voids in non-karstic as well as karstic rocks, and the combination of void and fill may subsequently be buried by still younger rocks. they may thus become part of a paleokarst [9].?

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.
See all featured articles
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 lithostratigraphy (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), ,
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Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

Le karst de Bourgogne, 1988,
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Delance, J. H.
THE KARST OF BURGONDY (France) - Karst of Burgundy is located between karst of Paris Basin, to which it is connected by its western and northern margins and karst of Jura. The burgundian karst forms an original entity in close relationship with the geological structure of the area, which had defined its distribution and density and the system's amplitudes. Karst of Burgundy develops in calcareous marine formations of Jurassic and Upper Cretaceous (chalk). The karstic landscapes are remarkable by their abundant dry valleys. Caves are characterised by their shallow depths (less than 100m) and the important spreading of the active systems. They can be graded into three types: mesokarstic, holokarstic and cutaneous caves. Deepest and greatest caves (up to 22km) are of holokarstic type. In Burgundy, the majority of caving range from Miocene to Pleistocene; cutaneous caves were only developed during cold phases of Quaternary. Fillings of caves are important, the most interesting fillings are Quaternary bone breccias, rich in paleontological and prehistoric data.

Geographic information systems analysis of geologic controls on the distribution on dolines in the Ozarks of south-central Missouri, USA, 2000,
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Orndorff Randall C. , Weary David J. , Lagueux Kerry M.

The geologic controls on the distribution and development of dolines in the Salem Plateau of the Ozark Plateaus Province, south-central Missouri, USA, was statistically analyzed by using a geographic information system. The controls include lithostratigraphy, geologic structure, slope, and depth to water table. Area and point data for 2,613 dolines in two 30'¥60' quadrangles were compiled on a 30-meter grid. The percent area of dolines was calculated for five lithostratigraphic units, and it was determined that the Jefferson City Dolomite and Roubidoux Formation have the highest density of dolines. A focal sum neighborhood analysis was performed to determine if the distribution of dolines had any clustering or linearity that may suggest structural control. A northwest alignment of doline clusters occurs along a projection of the Bolivar-Mansfield fault zone in south-central Missouri. Most dolines in the study area occur on the plateau areas and on gentle slopes rather than in the highly dissected areas. Intense fracturing near regional fault zones may enhance doline development on the plateau areas. An understanding of the karst system is important for better land-use management practices in the Ozarks, including conservation of natural resources, ground-water management, and environmental protection, especially because the study area includes potential economic lead and zinc mineralization.


Les travertins de Saint-Antonin : squence gobotanique et climato-anthropique holocne (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 2003,
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Guendon Jeanlouis, Ali Adam A. , Roiron Paul, Terral Jeanfrdric, Danna Andr, Diazdelolmo Fernando, Baenaescudero Rafael
Travertine deposit of St-Antonin (Bouches-du-Rhne, France): lithostratigraphy, palaeobotany and Holocene palaeoenvironments - Travertines are carbonate deposits formed generally during temperate climatic periods. The travertine of Saint-Antonin was formed during the Holocene in accordance with this model. They usually present a succession of travertinous units and detrital sedimentary levels containing, respectively, leaf impressions and charcoal; snail shells and archaeological material have also been preserved, essentially in detritial levels. Two kinds of plant remains (leaf imprints and charred wood) have been sampled and analysed, allowing the reconstruction of vegetation dynamics based on a well-defined sedimentary sequence. Our results were compared with those of previous malacalogical, archaeological studies and climatic changes. The Preboreal and Boreal sequence, characterised by travertine unites with detritial deposits, is dominated by a riverside vegetation (Populus alba, Salix sp., Phragmites communis) associated with some pubescent oak growing in the plateau. After this first period, detritial levels and hygrophilous species decrease. Correlatively travertinous facies and leaf impressions of mesophilous forest species increase (Quercus pubescent, Acer monspessulanum). They suggest the existence of homeostatic conditions, such as regular river flow, dense vegetation and few disturbances during deposition. The Middle Atlantic period shows optimal travertinisation and maintenance of forest environment. But this period is characterised by the beginning of the Quercus pubescens regression and the dominance of Acer monspessulanum. From the Atlantic to the first part of Subboreal, important detrital sedimentary levels disturb the deposition of carbonate. They contain reworked archaeological material dating to the Neolithic. Vegetation seems to have been profoundly affected by intensive human exploitation. This process has broken up the forested area into different plant communities and favoured the dominance of heliophilous and thermophilous species (Pinus halepensis, Rubus ulmifolius and Juniperus sp.).

Chalk engineering geology - Channel Tunnel Rail Link and North Downs Tunnel, 2003,
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Warren C. D. , Mortimore R. N. ,
Agreat part of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) is constructed through the Chalk and the ground investigation for the CTRL has yielded a mass of new information on allaspects of the Chalk. A precise bed by bed lithostratigraphy obtained from cored boreholes has aided engineering description, classification, decision making on design of machines and construction methods/specifications. Correlation of Chalk marker beds between boreholes drilled for the tunnels beneath London illustrated the influence of sub-Tertiary erosion and of faulting onpreservation of different stratigraphic levels in the Chalk. These different stratigraphic levels affect materials through which the tunnels will be constructed andconsequently tunnel vertical alignment or choice of construction method. The marker bed stratigraphy in the Thames Tunnel boreholes has enabled the same stratigraphic levels to be identified in local quarries and detailed analyses to be carried out for the design of Tunnel Boring Machines. Using individual marker beds, a detailed ground profile was constructed for the North Downs Tunnel which allowed fault zones to be predicted accurately and the different rock mass character of the Chalk formations to be delimited for numerical modelling, design zones and construction monitoring. The project also provided the opportunity to evaluate the CIRIA Chalk Grading scheme

Quaternary calcarenite stratigraphy on Lord Howe Island, southwestern Pacific Ocean and the record of coastal carbonate deposition, 2003,
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Brooke Bp, Woodroffe Cd, Murraywallace Cv, Heijnis H, Jones Bg,
Lord Howe Island is a small, mid-ocean volcanic and carbonate island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Skeletal carbonate eolianite and beach calcarenite on the island are divisible into two formations based on lithostratigraphy. The Searles Point Formation comprises eolianite units bounded by clay-rich paleosols. Pore-filling sparite and microsparite are the dominant cements in these eolianite units, and recrystallised grains are common. Outcrops exhibit karst features such as dolines, caves and subaerially exposed relict speleothems. The Neds Beach Formation overlies the Searles Point Formation and consists of dune and beach units bounded by weakly developed fossil soil horizons. These younger deposits are characterised by grain-contact and meniscus cements, with patchy pore-filling micrite and mirosparite. The calcarenite comprises several disparate successions that contain a record of up to 7 discrete phases of deposition. A chronology is constructed based on U/Th ages of speleothems and corals, TL ages of dune and paleosols, AMS 14C and amino acid racemization (AAR) dating of land snails and AAR whole-rock dating of eolianite. These data indicate dune units and paleosols of the Searles Point Formation were emplaced during oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 7 and earlier in the Middle Pleistocene. Beach units of the Neds Beach Formation were deposited during OIS 5e while dune units were deposited during two major phases, the first coeval with or shortly after the beach units, the second later during OIS 5 (e.g. OIS 5a) when the older dune and beach units were buried.Large-scale exposures and morphostratigraphical features indicate much of the carbonate was emplaced as transverse and climbing dunes, with the sediment source located seaward of and several metres below the present shoreline. The lateral extent and thickness of the eolianite deposits contrast markedly with the relatively small modern dunes. These features indicate that a slight fall (2-10 m) in sea level may be required to mobilise relatively large volumes of sediment onto the island. The stratigraphy of the calcarenite, combined with the shallow depth of the platform surrounding the island (30-50 m present water depth) and the geochronological data, suggest that cycles of carbonate deposition on the island are linked to interglacial and interstadial periods of high or falling sea level

Review of Turkish karst with emphasis on tectonic and paleogeographic controls, 2003,
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Ekmekci, Mehmet

This paper re-evaluates the karst phenomenon in Turkey basing on the controlling factors such as, the source of energy gradient, lithostratigraphy, type of erosion base and climate. Two major karst types described are a) evolutionary karst which implies continuous karstification but at different stage of maturation and b)rejuvenated karst which is formed by reactivating a formerly developed and subsequently ceased karst structure either by an uplift and/or a drastic decline of erosion base. Description of karst types considering both morphology and hydrogeology revealed that distribution of specific karst types is compatible with the neotectonic evolution of Turkey. Karst in all provinces except the Black Sea and Western Anatolian regions, is developed under the effect of the energy gradient provided by uplift. Different rates of uplift created different sub-types of karst. The climate effect was evaluated as a secondary factor for it has a role of shaping/re-shaping the karst forms rather than controlling the physical and chemical processes.


Fold and fault control on the drainage pattern of a double-karst-aquifer system, Winterstaude, Austrian Alps, 2010,
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Goldscheider N, Neukum C.

Lithostratigraphy and geologic structures are major controls on groundwater flow in alpine karst systems. Understanding these factors is important for the delimitation of drinking water protection zones. The Winterstaude mountain chain, western Austria, belongs to the Helvetic nappes and consists of Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, including two karstifiable formations: rfla and Schrattenkalk Limestone (lower and upper karst aquifer), separated by 60 m of marl. Strata are folded and cut by faults with displacements of 40–70 m. Folded carbonate rocks continue below the alluvial valley floor so that the karst system can be subdivided in shallow and deep phreatic zones. This area is suitable for studying the combined influence of folds and faults on groundwater flow in a double-aquifer system. A multi-tracer test with seven injections aimed at characterising hydraulic connections and linear flow velocities. Results show that (i) plunging synclines form the main drainage pathways in the upper karst aquifer, with maximum linear velocities of 91 m/h, while anticlines act as water divides; (ii) recharge into the lower aquifer, which forms the central ridge of the mountain chain, contributes to springs discharging from the upper aquifer near the foot of the mountain (local flow systems); (iii) the two aquifers are hydraulically connected, presumably via faults, because their displacements are in the same order of magnitude as the thickness of the intervening marl; (iv) flow in the upper aquifer continues below the valley floor toward the river, with maximum velocities of 22 m/h (intermediate flow system).


Hypogene speleogenesis in the Cenozoic carbonates of the Prichernomorsky artesian basin (north Black Sea region), 2011,
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Klimchouk A. B. , Timokhina E. I. , Amelichev G. N.

This paper demonstrates the dominant hypogenic origin of caves and other karst features in the Prichernomorsky artesian basin, a major hydrogeological structure of the north Black Sea region. The basin occupies the south of the continental part of Ukraine and the north-central plain part of the Crimea Peninsula and is dominated by the Neogene (lower through middle Miocene) and Paleogene (Eocene through Paleocene) carbonate rocks, intercalated with sands, sandstones, clays and marls. The key study areas, in which some limestone members are exposed and partially drained, lie in the opposed sides of the basin: the north Black Sea region in the continental part (caves in Early Pliocene and Miocene limestones) and the Inner Range of the fore-mountain Crimea in the south, where the basin borders with the fold-trust Alpine mountain region (caves in Eocene and Paleocene limestones). The hypogenic origin of caves is strongly suggested by the analysis of cave morphology and occurrence relative to lithostratigraphy and structural features, cave sediments, isotopic and mineralogical data, and paleohydrogeological analysis. Despite of differences in age and diagenetic maturity of the host rocks, the caves demonstrate remarkable common features imposed by their common origin. The hypogenic speleogenetic model well explains observed specific hydrogeological and geochemical features of the regional multi-storey aquifer system in the central confined part of the basin. Hypogene speleogenesis is likely to play a role in the formation of carbonate-hosted reservoirs, as well as in the migration and accumulation of hydrocarbons in the Prichernomorsky basin.


Characterization and conceptualization of a relict karst aquifer (Bilecik, Turkey), 2013,
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Aydin H. , Ekmekci M. , Soylu M. E.

The carbonate rocks in Turkey have different hydrogeological properties as a result of controlling karstification factors, such as lithostratigraphy, source of energy gradient, tectonic activity, type of erosion base, fluctuation in sea level, and climate change in their extended areas. This study was undertaken for the characterization and conceptualization of the hydrogeological behavior of a unique example of the dissected relict karst aquifer, which is known as the Harmanköy-Beyyayla Karst System (HBKS) in Central Turkey. In order to obtain the conceptualization of the HBKS, properties of recharge, flow, storage, and discharge was analyzed. The contribution of allogenic-point recharge to the Beyyayla and Döşkaya aquifers occurs from the Beyyayla and Tozman sinkhole with approximately 85% of total recharge. The rest of the recharge takes place as autogenic-diffuse/point type from the limestone rock-mass. The recharge on the Nardın aquifer originates from direct precipitation onto the limestone area mainly as autogenic-diffuse and, to lesser extent, as autogenic-point. Groundwater flow occurs as conduit flow at the Beyyayla and Döşkaya aquifers and as dispersed flow at the Nardın aquifer. The evaluation of all parameters shows that the HBKS can be divided into three distinct sub-catchments, namely, the Beyyayla, Döşkaya, and Nardın, while it has two different hydrogeological system so Beyyayla and Döşkaya have similar characteristics.


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