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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. ...

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That vaporization is the process by which liquid or solid water changes into the gaseous state [16].?

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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 morphogenesis (Keyword) returned 45 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 45
Observations on the biology of Stenasellus virei (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota of subterranean waters), 1975, Magniez Guy
St. virei has been bred in the laboratory for many years (1960-1974). Most of the St.v.hussoni were captured in karstic waters, near the Moulis subterranean laboratory. Some St.v.virei from the Padirac sink-hole; St.v.buchneri from Cantabrian caves; St.v.boui and St.v.virei from phreatic waters; and St.buili and St.breuili have also been bred. Since Stenasellids are unable to swim, very low aquariums are used, with a bed of cave clay, some calcareous stones, dead wood and dead elm tree leaves. Little depth of water is necessary. Stenasellus was originally carnivorous, being able to capture and devour living prey, such as Chironomid larvae, but the populations of cave waters have developed a different diet: silt, guano, plant remains..., because they have been often insulated from their original phreatic biocenosis. Nevertheless, the existence of cannibalism among them points out that the predatory behaviour has not completely disappeared. Adult St.virei can be fed with Cerophyl. Some observations on the burrowing activity and on the reactions to light, temperature and salt water have been made. All postmarsupial molts of Stenasellus occur in two steps (isopodian molts). The intramolt is extremely long (from 83 h 30 mi for the first molt of the free young), to 8-12 days, for the adult male and female, 14 days for female reproductive molts and 16-21 days for the molts of aged or senile individuals). The intermolts last from 2 1/2 months (first intermolt of the free young), to 9-12 months (non-reproductive ones of the adult) and 12-18 months (average: 15-16), for reproductive 9 intermolts. The normal lifespan of karstic subspecies of St.virei and related species must be estimated as 12 years (males) and 15 years (females). All these values are 10-20 times longer than these of an epigean Asellid of the same size (Asellus aquaticus). The reproductive cycle has been studied. The adult female is larger than the male. There is no precopulatory pairing ("nuptial ride"d 6-7 years or more, fur the female. In the juvenile male, the morphogenesis of I and Il pleopods takes place normally on intermolts 4-9 and lasts 3 years or more. On intermolt 10, it seems that the male is able to mate.

Un haut plateau jurassien : le plateau des Molunes (Jura), 1984, Neyroud, M.
LARGE KARSTIC DEPRESSIONS AND ANTICLINAL STRUCTURES ON A HIGH JURASSIC TABLE-LAND: THE SOUTH OF THE PAYS MOLUNOIS (JURA, FRANCE) - On a high Jurassic table-land, the Pays molunois, close to the Monts Jura (Crt de la Neige, 1717m), large karstic depressions are studied in connection with anticline structures. Along a single anticline crest, a great diversity of forms is explained by the character of strike-slip faults (direct tectonic control), the glacial heritage (regional ice-cap), the tardiglacial evolution (peat-bogs or molunes), the lithological context (minor morphology) and at last unequal anthropic action. The morphogenesis of an original type of small anticlinal valleys, the closed anticline valleys-poljes is considered dating from geomorphologic evolution of the area and particular tectonic context.

Une morphologie karstique typique en zone intertropicale : les karsts du Bas Zare, 1985, Quinif, Y.
A TYPICAL MORPHOLOGY OF TROPICAL KARSTS: THE KWILU BASIN IN THE LOWER-ZAIRE - The Kwilu basin, in the region of Bas-Zaire, shows typical landscapes of tropical karsts: cone and tower karsts shaped in precambrian limestones of the "Groupe schisto-calcaire". These precambrian series are little tectonised. They are covered with cenozoic formations which are important in the evolution of the karst. Different types of cavities are studied and replaced in the morphostructural context: old caves, originating in phreatic zone and now cut by the erosion, river streams in tunnel-caves, network under the water table. The superficial forms are interpreted as successive evolutive steps: dissection of a surface (morphological or structural) by a dendritic hydrographic network, birth of a cone-karst being transformed in tower-karst overlooking a new surface. We insist on the morphogenetic importance of the paleoclimatic changes and on the existence of an intertropical karstic morphology in stable craton.

Les rseaux souterrains de la rgion de Lbamba (Gabori), 1987, Peyrot B. , Massala J.
CONTRIBUTION TO THE STUDY OF KARSTIC SYSTEMS OF THE LEBAMBA REGION (GABON) - The Lebamba region is situated in the extreme southern part of Gabon close to the Republic of Congo. Geologically, it can be included within the Niari-Nyanga synclinorium, where the Precambrian schists and limestones show many karstic features and particularly a remarkable subterranean network, as to yet only partially surveyed. The dolomitic limestone of Lebamba, although of little importance, contains many cave systems: Lebamba, Bongolo, Mbenaltembe. A severe tectonic mesh together with fine micro-stratifications have opened the way to biochemical corrosion which, after observations and analysis, appears to result from a climate wetter than at present. The dimensions of the underground passages appear disproportionate, relatively to the low aggressivity of the present environment, thus illustrating the importance of paleoclimatic factors on the morphogenesis of central african karsts.

Morphologie et volution des cavernes et formes superficielles dans les quartzites du Roraima, 1988, Galan C. , Lagarde J.
MORPHOGENESIS OF CAVES AND LANDFORMS IN THE PRECAMBRIAN QUARTZITE OF RORAIMA GROUP (VENEZUELA) - This paper describes caves and landforms developed in the Precambrian quartzite of the Roraima Group (1600-1800 My) in the Gran Sabana of Venezuela (cf. Pouyllau and Seurin, in Karstologia, 1985, n 5). High plateaus (Tepuys) are remnants of old erosional surfaces of Secondary-Tertiary age. The weathering of quartzite is produced in fissures by means of the dissolution of the intergranular siliceous cement. Depressions, fields of blocks and small towers, deep fissures characterise the edges of tepuys. Underground passages could be formed by dissolution, arenisation and piping from the fractures which dissect the tepuys. The part of hydrothermalism in speleogenesis is not proved.

Approche gomorphologique des karsts du gypse de la Vanoise (la zone alpine et glaciaire du vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz,Alpes), 1991, Chardon, M.
GYPSUM KARSTIC LANDFORMS IN VANOISE: the alpine and glacial valley of Vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz (Alps, France) - In the inner part of the northern french Alps, the higher regions of the Vanoise offer outcrops of Triassic gypsum of which the surface and thickness vary. In the vallon du Fruit, the Gbroulaz glacier partially covers a long strip of gypsum, which reaches its highest point at the Roc de la Soufrire (2940 m). Rivers and springs in the vallon du Fruit are fed both by sub-aerial glacial outflows and by karstic underground flows, which are pro-glacial and sub-glacial. A very low chemical dissolution exists under the glacier and along the fast pro-glacial underground and sub-aerial flows, whereas the rate of karstic denudation is high in the margin of the glacier where it reaches 1500 mm/ky at around 2500m (1 ky = 1000 years). The formation and evolution of the dolines is rapid and occurs through underground sucking and dissolution once the area is deglaciated, thanks to underground active flows fed by the glacier and snow melting. Gypsum domes are uplifted under the effects of neotectonic movements and postglacial decompression brings about considerable superficial fissuring because of the elasticity of the rock. Over 10,000 years, the morphogenesis of these domes in the humid and cold climatic conditions of these high alpine mountains has transformed them into perforated ladle and domes. Small outcrops are changed into monoliths or gypsum inselberg. A model of the geomorphologic post-glacial evolution of these domes, over some 20,000 years, is proposed.

Karst Morphogenesis in the epikarstic zone, 1995, Klimchouk A. B.

A morphological analysis of Tibetan limestone pinnacles: Are they remnants of tropical karst towers and cones?, 1996, Zhang D. A. ,
Limestone pinnacles on mountain slopes in Tibet were measured for morphological analysis and the results were compared with those from tropical towers and cones on karst mountain slopes of Shuicheng, southwest China. In the form analyses, the symmetric products (P) of Tibetan pinnacles present large differences between individual pinnacles. The plan forms, represented by long/short axes ratios (R(L/S)), are mostly irregular and scattered and the diameter/height ratios (R(dfh)) reveal that the Tibetan I features could belong to any three cone or tower karat types, according to Balaze's classification of karst towers. The direction of pinnacle development seems to be primarily related to slope aspect and to geological structure. The morphological structure and orientation analyses show that pinnacle development is largely controlled by lithological and stratigraphic conditions. The closed water catchment structure, which is a basic feature in karat areas, has not been found in the limestone pinnacle areas of Tibet. The results of the form and structure analyses for the Tibetan pinnacles differ from those for tropical and subtropical karst areas. Further analysis indicates that Tibetan limestone pinnacles were formed by strong physical weathering under periglacial conditions. Four kinds of morphogenesis of the pinnacles are suggested

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998, Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Influence of tectonics and neotectonics on the morphogenesis of the peak karst of Halong Bay, Vietnam, 1999, Fenart P, Cat Nn, Drogue C, Van Canh D, Pistre S,
In northeast Vietnam, the karst of Halong Bay is characterized by very active neotectonics. The directional distribution of fracturing of the calcareous rocks is characterized by the influence of two major fault zones: the Red River fault zone (N140) and the Tan-Lu fault zone (N050). Karst development was favoured by intense fracturing, according to these two major directions, and reactived during recent tectonics by a compressional regime with sigma 1 N070, followed by an extensional regimes with ol near to EW that led to significant vertical movement. These tectonics, coupled with intense erasion, led to genesis and evolution of the spectacular morphology of this peak karst. (C) Elsevier, Paris

Deep Hypogean karst phenomena of Mt. Canin (Western Julian Alps): a synthesis of the state of present research, 1999, Casagrande G. , Cucchi . , Manca P. , Zini L.

The present work aims at providing a contribution to the present research on Mt. Canin massif (both Italian and Slovenian sides) and a synthesis of existing data as a starting point for future study. The area has been divided in four zones distinguished by the hypogean morphological features briefly described. Morphogenetic aspects and evolution of cavities have been considered along with a synthetic hydrological outline following recent tracing experiments of hypogean waters. A geological map of the mount is also included.


Quelle est la dimension du massif karstique de la Sainte-Baume ? Elments pour une thorie spatiale et fractale du karst, 2000, Martin, Philippe
The dimension of the surface of Sainte Baume and its neighbourhood is close to 2,2. This value has been obtained the study of 5 contour lines (from 400 to 800 m) and 5 topographic profiles (3 N - S and 2 E - W). 3 methods were used for contour lines: box counting (DB); the information dimension (Di) and surface - perimeter relation (D(P)). Three methods have been used for topo_graphic profiles: the power spectrum (DSPEC); statistics R/S (DR/S) and vario_gramme (DVAR). Average results are: (DB) = 1.20; Di = 1.23; (D(P)) = 1.32; DSPEC = 1.17; DR/S = 1.24; DVAR = 1.23. Thus, the surface of Sainte Baume and its neighbourhood is fractal. It means, theoretically, that Sainte Baume can be characterised by an infi_nite surface in a bounded volume. This first approach focuses on karst surface approach, cave systems approach will be presented in a following paper (in this review). This result raises numerous geomorpho_logic questions. How to calculate a specific erosion? How to think forms in a theoretical frame, which could develo_ped out of the Euclidean geometry conventions? How to think an essential_ly irregular morphology? Elements of answer are brought on a theoretical plan. They constitute the first elements of a karst geometrical theory. Calculation of the specific erosion points out the problem of the size of the surface used. Due to fractal theories, this size is relative to the observation scale used. To be significant, specific erosion calcula_tion needs the use of an efficient scale, in regard of the erosion processes studied. Furthermore, specific erosion expresses only a balance of mass, not a morphoge_nesis. It corresponds to a chronological approach of the karst. Two dynamics can be distinguished in surface morphogenesis. In one hand, increase of the mean slopes is named spatial differentiation, in another hand, decrease of this value is classically called: aplanation or levelling. These 2 dynamics imply the wearing away of spatially various materials. It takes place essentially around thalwegs during the differentiation stage, around the crest during levelling. Thus morphology, space are important factors of the dynamics in the work. Space is not only a support, but an actor in morphogenesis.

Forme et rugosit des surfaces karstiques. Consquences pour une thorie spatiale et fractale de linterface terrestre, 2000, Martin, Philippe
This text proposes a theoretical, hypothetical and speculative approach of the transformation of earth's surfaces. This reflection is based on the notion of otherness. Our approach uses two oppositions: levelled/ roughness and karstic/ non karstic. The dimension of the roughness surfaces is understood between 2 and 3. The dimension of the surfaces of levelling is close to 2. Quantifications showed that massifs are limited by surfaces more or less irregular. In certain cases, the erosion transforms so a surface of levelling into rough surface. In that case initial shape is not preserved. The levellings on the karstic massifs (outliers often) seem better preserved (karstic immunity) than on the other rocks. This conservation would explain a weak value of the fractal dimension of air surfaces of karsts tested always with the same protocol (relation S PD). They were compared with the surfaces of reliefs of basal complex. Three ideas summarise obtained results: [1] The average of fractal dimensions of karsts are smaller than those of the relief of basal complex. [2] The dispersal of the mean values of surface of karst is lower to the dispersal of the mean values of basal complex. [3] Distance between minimal and maximal values for karsts is much bigger than distance between minimal and maximal values for basal complex. To explain the weak roughness of karsts we made three hypotheses: [a] These fragments would correspond to zones still not affected by the erosion (time problem) [b] In such a system some changes on a plan would prevent changes on the another plan (spatial problem) [c] Initial shape is replaced by a similar shape (Platon's Parmnide). The endokarst is described empirically and by analogy with the fractal model of Sierpinski's sponge as a unique surface infinitely folded up in a limited volume. So the growth of the karstic spaces in the endokarst, increases almost until the infinity, the size of the internal surface of the karst. To find a theoretical base at the roughness and at the extreme size of these surfaces, we studied the report between the growth of a volume and the growth of the surface, which limits this volume. Three theoretical models show that if surfaces do not change, volume to be affected by unity of surface grows strongly. Eroded volume depends on the size of the exposed surface. If the eroded volume depends on the size of the exposed surface, then time to erase a mountain could be, in theory, infinite. This is not acceptable because a massif can be erased in about 200 Ma. According to analogies with different morphogenesis (physical, biologic), we make the hypothesis that fractal character, of surfaces of the massifs corresponds to the necessity of increasing, as much as possible, the size of the surface subjected to the erosion so as to decrease the time of destruction of the relief. This is coherent with the idea of a system far from the balance, which tends to join the state of balance as quickly as possible by developing specific morphologies. Distance between the relief and the lower limit of the potential of erosion is then introduced as a factor being able to explain the small roughness of high continental surfaces. The reduction of the volume by erosion is cause (and not consequence) of the decrease of the roughness. The surface can become less rough because volume decreases. The surface of levelling constitutes the final morphology, which is transformed only very slowly. In this perspective the dynamics allows only the fulfillment of spatial rules. In the case of the karst, because of the existence of the subterranean part of the karstic surface and its roughness, it is not useful that air part becomes very rough. Levellings would be preserved by geometrical uselessness to destroy them. They would not correspond to forms in respite as implies him the temporal analysis (hypothesis [a]), but to forms corresponding to a particular balance (hypothesis [b]) who would even be locally transformed (karstic levelling) into the same shape (hypothesis [c]). This theoretical plan supplies with more an explanation on the visible contradiction between the speed of the karstic erosion and the durability of levellings.

The formation of epikarst and its role in vadose speleogenesis, 2000, Klimchouk A.
The epikarstic zone differs structurally from the underlying bulk rocks mass, reflecting the higher degree of fissuring and diffuse karstification due to unloading, weathering and dissolution processes that encompass this uppermost layer of exposed rocks. An initial distinction in the permeability between the epikarstic zone and the bulk rock mass below is caused largely by non-dissolutional processes. Contrasts in hydraulic conductivity allows some groundwater storage in the epikarstic zone and flow concentration in its base. Effective vertical leakage paths from the epikarstic zone (major tectonic fissures) commonly need no speleogenic initiation, as they are wide enough to support undersaturated flow through them. Shafts fed by epikarstic recharge represent headwaters of conduit drainage system developed in the deeper parts of a massif. It appears that a large majority of single shafts, several tens of meters deep (the most common feature among explored vertical caves), belong to this type of epikarst-fed shafts. Opening of these shafts to the surface through collapse and subsidence, with subsequent edge smoothing, is probably the main mechanism of doline formation in exposed karsts, rather than gradual preferential lowering of the surface. Therefore, focused karst landforms reflect, through specific mechanisms of epikarst morphogenesis, the permeability pattern of the upper part of the vadose zone.

Thickness of cap rock and other important factors affecting the morphogenesis of salt karst, 2000, Bruthans Jirí, , Š, Mí, D Jakub, Filippi Michal, Zeman Ondrej

Four classes of different thickness of cap rock can be distinguished, each with its special superficial and underground karst forms: 1. salt outcrops, 2. thin cap rock (0,5-2 m), 3. cap rock of moderate thickness (5-30 m), 4. cap rock of great thickness (more than 30 m). The most important factors affected by cap rock thickness are as follows: the density of recharge points, the amounts of concentrated recharge which occur at each recharge point, the rate of lowering the ground surface of salt karst, the dissolution capacity of water and the size and amount of load transported by underground flood-streams into cave systems. The thickness of cap rock above the cave does not influence the cave itself; more important seems to be the thickness of cap rock in the recharge area of the cave and the type of recharge into the salt environment. Another important factor is the thickness of overburden above the cave, which negatively correlates with intensity of breakdown. Wide passages in some caves are developed as result of intensive deposition of bedload, which expel the stream into the side of the passage and are due to enhanced corrosion in the few decimetres high zone above the bottom of passage.


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