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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 irrigation return flow is the part of artificially applied water that is not consumed by evapotranspiration and that migrates to an aquifer or surface water body [22].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 mvt (Keyword) returned 13 results for the whole karstbase:
DIAGENESIS AND MINERALIZATION PROCESSES IN DEVONIAN CARBONATE ROCKS OF THE SIDING-GUDAN LEAD-ZINC MINERAL SUBDISTRICT, GUANGXI, SOUTHWEST CHINA, 1991, Schneider W. , Geng A. Q. , Liu X. Z. ,
The lead-zinc ore deposits of the Siding-Gudan mineral subdistrict Guangxi are part of the large Nanling district of South China, and hosted in Devonian carbonate rocks. The ore bodies occur significantly along main faults and fault zones, and concentrate up to 300 meters above the Cambrian/Devonian unconformity. Connected with hydrothermal karst, size and volume of the ore bodies increase in proximity to this unconformity. Moving from the unaffected host rocks to the center of the ore bodies, four zones can be discriminated by the mineral assemblage (pyrite, sphalerite, galena) as well as by the degree of ordering, Ca/Mg, and Fe/Mn ratios of different dolomites. Homogenization temperatures range from 80-100-degrees-C (Presqu'ile dolomite) to 230-260-degrees-C (massive sphalerite). The sulfides reveal delta-S-34 = -20 to parts per thousand, and fluid inclusions display a salinity of 5-12 wt % equivalent NaCl. The diagenetic and hydrothermal history is similar to that of classic Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfide mineral deposits as, for example, Pine Point in Canada. Mineralization and remobilization of the sulfides took place during a wide time span from late Paleozoic through Mesozoic. Both processes are considered as an interaction of saline basinal brines ascended from the adjoining dewatering trough, and magmatic-hydrothermal fluids of several magmatic-tectonic events

Dissolution of deep carbonate rocks by fluid mixing: a discussion based on reactive transport modeling, 2003, Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E,
The geochemical processes proposed until now to explain the formation of cavities in deep carbonates are difficult to reconcile with observations. We propose a mixing model of hydrothermal solutions equilibrated with carbonate. Through numerical reactive transport simulations, we observe that chemical mixing of hydrothermal solutions can generate a zone of host:rock dissolution and another of minor calcite precipitation. Variations in relative fluid velocities, pH or S content may result in the growth of the precipitation zone with respect to the dissolution one. This explains the finding of dissolution cavities in carbonate rocks with subsequent filling by carbonate minerals. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Role of fluid mixing in deep dissolution of carbonates, 2003,

The presence of cavities filled with new minerals in carbonate rocks is a common feature in oil reservoirs and lead-zinc deposits. Since groundwater equilibrates rapidly with carbonates, the presence of dissolution cavities in deep carbonate host rocks is a paradox. Two alternative geochemical processes have been proposed to dissolve carbonates at depth: hydrogen sulfide oxidation to sulfuric acid, and metal sulfide precipitation. With the aid of geochemical modeling we show that mixing two warm solutions saturated with carbonate results in a new solution that dissolves limestone. Variations in the proportion of the end-member fluids can also form a supersaturated mixture and fill the cavity with a new generation of carbonate. Mixing is in general more effective in dissolving carbonates than the aforementioned processes. Moreover, mixing is consistent with the wide set of textures and mineral proportions observed in cavity infillings


Basin fluid flow, base-metal sulphide mineralization and the development of dolomite petroleum reservoirs, 2004, Gregg Jay M. ,
Saline basinal fluids, at temperatures from 60 to 250 {degrees}C, have affected almost every sedimentary basin in the world including rocks from Palaeoproterozoic to Cenozoic age. These fluids commonly precipitate base-metal sulphides (pyrite, sphalerite, galena, etc.) and associated minerals (barite, fluorite, calcite, dolomite, etc.) ranging in volume from trace amounts to large economic ore deposits. Such deposits are commonly referred to as Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) after the large Palaeozoic deposits of this kind found in the Mississippi Valley of North America. They are primarily hosted by platform carbonates, typically dolomite, and are usually associated with hydrocarbons. Dolomites not affected by mineralizing fluids commonly display micron- to decimicron-size planar textures, and have well-developed micro- and mesoporosity networks dominated by intercrystal and vug porosity. However, these and other carbonate rocks affected by basinal fluids may undergo massive geochemical and textural alteration. This occurs even when the affected rocks are distal from the main loci of sulphide mineralization. Alteration includes: dolomitization of limestone; neomorphic recrystallization of existing dolomite; and precipitation at intervals of large volumes of open-space-filling dolomite, calcite and quartz cements alternating with dissolution. Dolomitization of limestone and/or neomorphic recrystallization of dolomite, at elevated temperatures, commonly results in centimicron and larger size crystals, and development of nonplanar textures that increase pore-throat tortuosity. Open-space-filling dolomite, calcite and quartz cementation causes a dramatic reduction of porosity and blockage of pore throats. Periods of carbonate dissolution, proximal to intense sulphide mineralization, result in the development of large-scale macroporosity such as breccias that are commonly superimposed on karst and tectonic fractures. Exposure to mineralizing basinal fluids substantially alters porosity and permeability distribution, and thus the potential reservoir properties of the dolomite. The resulting reservoir may have little resemblance to its precursor. Understanding the epigenetic history of a dolomite is critical, therefore, as this will ultimately affect its development strategy and production history

Hydrothermal mixing, carbonate dissolution and sulfide precipitation in Mississippi Valley-type deposits, 2004, Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E,
A large number of Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) deposits are located within dissolution zones in carbonate host rocks. Some genetic models propose the existence of cavities generated by an earlier event such as a shallow karstification, that were subsequently filled with hydrothermal minerals. Alternative models propose carbonate dissolution caused by the simultaneous precipitation of sulfides. These models fail to explain either the deep geological setting of the cavities, or the observational features which suggest that the dissolution of carbonates and the precipitation of minerals filling the cavities are not strictly coeval. We present a genetic model inspired by the textural characteristics of MVT deposits that accounts for both the dissolution of carbonate and precipitation of sulfides and later carbonates in variable volumes. The model is based on the mixing of two hydrothermal fluids with a different chemistry. Depending on the proportion of the end members, the mixture dissolves and precipitates carbonates even though the two mixing solutions are both independently saturated in carbonates. We perform reactive transport simulations of mixing of a regional groundwater and brine ascending through a fracture, both saturated in calcite, but with different overall chemistries (Ca and carbonate concentrations, pH, etc). As a result of the intrinsic effects of chemical mixing, a carbonate dissolution zone, which is enhanced by acid brines, appears above the fracture, and another zone of calcite precipitation builds up between the cavity and the surrounding rock. Sulfide forms near the fracture and occupies a volume smaller than the cavity. A decline of the fluid flux in the fracture would cause the precipitation of calcite within the previously formed cavities. Therefore, dissolution of carbonate host rock, sulfide precipitation within the forming cavity, and later filling by carbonates may be part of the same overall process of mixing of fluids in the carbonate host rock

Evidence against the Dorag (mixing-zone) model for dolomitization along the Wisconsin arch - A case for hydrothermal diagenesis , 2006, Luczaj, J. A.

Ordovician carbonates near the Wisconsin arch represent the type locality in ancient rocks for the Dorag, or mixing-zone, model for dolomitization. Field, petrographic, and geochemical evidence suggests a genetic link between the pervasive dolomite, trace Mississippi Valley–type (MVT) minerals, and potassium (K)-silicate minerals in these rocks, which preserve a regional hydrothermal signature. Constraints were placed on the conditions of water-rock interaction using fluid-inclusion methods, cathodoluminescence and plane-light petrography, stable isotopic analyses, and organic maturity data. Homogenization temperatures of two-phase aqueous fluid inclusions in dolomite, sphalerite, and quartz range between 65 and 120°C. Freezing data suggest a Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-H2O fluid with salinities between 13 and 28 wt.% NaCl equivalent. The pervasive dolomitization of Paleozoic rocks on and adjacent to the Wisconsin arch was the result of water-rock interaction with dense brines at elevated temperatures, and it was coeval with regional trace MVT mineralization and K-silicate diagenesis. A reevaluation of the Dorag (mixing-zone) model for dolomitization, in conjunction with convincing new petrographic and geochemical evidence, has ruled out the Dorag model as the process responsible for pervasive dolomitization along the Wisconsin arch and adds to the abundant body of literature that casts serious doubt about the viability of the Dorag model in general.

John Luczaj is an assistant professor of earth science in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. He earned his B. S. degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. This was followed by an M.S. degree in geology from the University of Kansas. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. His recent interests include the investigation of water-rock interaction in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Michigan Basin and eastern Wisconsin. Previous research activities involve mapping subsurface uranium distributions, reflux dolomitization, and U-Pb dating of Permian Chase Group carbonates in southwestern Kansas.


Hypogenic caves in France. Speleogenesis and morphology of the cave systems, 2010, Audra Ph. , D'antoninebecourt J. C. , Bigot J. Y.

Hypogenic caves develop by recharge from below, not directly influenced by seepage from the overlying land surface. Several processes of speleogenesis are combined, involving CO2 or H2S produced at depth. If the recharge from depth remains uniform, the growth of selected fissures is prevented, giving rise to maze cave systems with an upward development trend, which is defined as “transverse speleogenesis” [Klimchouk, 2003]. Hypogenic caves are much fewer than epigenic caves (i.e. developed downwards by meteoric water with aggressivity derived from soil). In France, as in the rest of the world, hypogenic caves were poorly recognized until recently because of their lower frequency, subsequent epigenic imprint often hiding the true origin, and the absence of a global conceptual model. However, about a hundred of hypogenic caves have been identified recently in France. The extreme diversity of hypogenic cave patterns and features is due to the variety of geological and topographic settings and types of flow. Thermal caves are a sub-set of hypogenic caves. Active thermal caves are few and small (Mas d’En Caraman, Vallon du Salut). Often, thermal in fluences only occur as point thermal in feeders into epigenic caves (Mescla, Estramar). In addition to the higher temperature, they may be characterized by CO2 (Madeleine) or H2S degassing, by warm water flowing in ceiling channels, or by manganese deposits. The Giant Phreatic Shafts locate along regional active fault lines. They combine all characteristics (thermal, CO2, H2S), due to the fast rising of deep water. The Salins Spring has been explored by scuba diving down to –70 m. Such a hyperkarstification is responsible for the development of the deepest phreatic shafts of the world: pozzo del Merro, Italy (-392 m). Inactive hypogenic caves may be recognized by their specific mineralization or by the presence of large calcite spar. Metallic deposits are due to the rising of deep waters that are warm, aggressive, and low in oxidation potential. Mixing with meteoric water generates Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfidic ores. Iron deposits as massive bodies (Lagnes) or onto microbial media (Iboussires, Malacoste) making specific facies, such as “black tubes”, iron flakes, and iron pool fingers. Other frequent minerals are Mn oxides and Pb sulfur. In such low thermal conditions, calcite deposits occur as large spar in geodes or as passage linings. Other inactive hypogenic caves may also be recognized by characteristic patterns, such as mazes. The relatively constant recharge into confined karst aquifers suppresses fissure competition, so they enlarge at similar rates, producing a maze pattern. In horizontal beds, mazes extend centrifugally around the upwelling feeder. The juxtaposition of multiple discrete vertical feeders produces extended horizontal mazes. In gently tilted structures, 2D mazes extend below aquitards, or along bedding or more porous beds (Saint-Sbastien). In thick folded limestone the rising hypogenic flow alternatively follows joints and bedding planes, producing a 3D maze cave in a stair case pattern (Pigette). Isolated chambers are large cupola-like chambers fed by thermal slots. Thermal convection of air in a CO2-rich atmosphere causes condensation-corrosion that quickly produces voids above the water table (Champignons Cave). Sulfuric acid caves with replacement gypsum are produced by H2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. H2S oxidizes to H2SO4, which corrodes the carbonate rock and replaces it with gypsum. The strongest corrosion occurs above the water table, where sulfide degassing and thermal convection produce strong condensation-corrosion. Caves develop head ward from springs and from thermo-sulfuric slots upward (Chevalley-Serpents System). The low-gradient main drains record base level positions and even the slightest stages of water-table lowering (Chat Cave). Hypogenic speleogenesis provides better understanding of the distribution of karst voids responsible for subsidence hazards and the emplacement of minerals and hydrocarbons.


Hypogenic caves in France. Speleogenesis and morphology of the cave systems, 2010, Audra Philippe, D’antoninobecourt Jeanclaude, Bigot Jeanyves

Hypogenic caves develop by recharge from below, not directly influenced by seepage from the over lying land surface. Several processes of speleogenesis are combined, involving CO2 or H2S produced at depth. If the recharge from depth remains uniform, the growth of selected fissures is prevented, giving rise to maze cave systems with an upward development trend, which is defined as “transverse speleogenesis” [Klimchouk, 2003]. Hypogenic caves are much fewer than epigenic caves (i.e. developed downwards by meteoric water with aggressivity derived from soil). In France, as in the rest of the world, hypogenic caves were poorly recognized until recently because of their lower frequency, subsequent epigenic imprint of tenhiding the true origin, and the absence of a global conceptual model. However, about a hundred of hypogenic caves have been identified recently in France. The extreme diversity of hypogenic cave patterns and features is due to the variety of geological and topographic settings and types of flow. Thermal caves are a sub-set of hypogenic caves. Active thermal caves are few and small (Mas d’En Cara man, Vallondu Salut). Often, thermal in fluences only occur as point thermal infeeders into epigenic caves (Mescla, Estra mar). In addition to the higher temperature, they may be characterized by CO2 (Madeleine) or H2S degassing, by warm water flowing in ceiling channels, or by manganese de posits. The Giant Phreatic Shafts locate along regional active faul tlines. They combine all characteristics (thermal, CO2, H2S), due to the fast rising of deep water. The Salins Spring has been explored by scuba diving down to –70 m. Such a hyperkars tification is responsible for the development of the deepest phreatic shafts of the world: pozzo del Merro, Italy (-392 m). Inactive hypogenic caves may be recognized by their specific mineralization or by the presence of large calcite spar. Metallic deposits are due to the rising of deep waters that are warm, aggressive, and low in oxidation potential. Mixing with meteoric water generates Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) sulfidicores. Iron deposits as massive bodies (Lagnes) or ontomicrobial media (Ibous sières, Malacoste) making specific facies, such as “black tubes”, iron flakes, and iron pool fingers. Other frequent minerals are Mn oxides and Pb sulfur. In such low thermal conditions, calcite deposits occur as large spar in geodes or as passage linings. Other inactive hypogenic caves may also be recognized by characteristic patterns, such as mazes. The relatively constant recharge into confined karst aquifers suppres ses fissure competition, so they enlarge at similar rates, producing a maze pattern. In horizontal beds, mazes extend centrifugally around the upwelling feeder. The juxtaposition of multiple discrete vertical feeders produces extended horizontal mazes. In gently tilted structures, 2D mazes extend below aquitards, or along bedding or more porous beds (Saint-Sé bastien). In thick folded limestone the rising hypogenic flow alternatively follows joints and bedding planes, pro ducing a 3D maze cave in a stair case pattern (Pigette). Isolated chambers are large cupola-like chambers fed by thermal slots. Thermal convection of air in a CO2-rich atmosphere causes condensation-corrosion that quickly produces voids above the water table (Champignons Cave). Sulfuric acid caves with replacement gypsum are produced by H2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. H2S oxidizes to H2SO4, which corrodes the carbonate rock and replaces it with gypsum. The strongest corrosion occurs above the water table, where sulfide degassing and thermal convection produce strong condensation-corrosion. Caves develop headward from springs and from thermo-sulfuric slots upward (Chevalley-Serpents System). The low-gradient main drains record base-level positions and even the slightest stages of water-table lowering (Chat Cave). Hypogenic speleogenesis provides better understanding of the distribution of karst voids responsible for subsidence hazards and the emplace ment of minerals and hydrocarbons.


Geochemical/isotopic evolution of Pb-Zn deposits in the Central and Eastern Taurides, Turkey, 2011, Hanilci N. , Ozturk H.

The Central and Eastern Taurides contain numerous carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits, mainly in Devonian and Permian dolomitized reefal-stramatolitic limestones, and in massive Jurassic limestones. We present and compare new fluid inclusion and isotopic data from these ore deposits, and propose for the first time a Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) mode of origin for them. Fluid inclusion studies reveal that the ore fluids were highly saline (13-26% NaCl equiv.), chloride-rich (CaCl2) brines, and have average homogenization temperatures of 112°C, 174.5°C, and 211°C for the Celal Dag, Delikkaya, and Ayrakl deposits, respectively. Furthermore, the ?34S values of carbonate-hosted Pb-Zn deposits in the Central and Eastern Taurides vary between -5.4‰ and +13.70‰. This indicates a possible source of sulphur from both organic compounds and crustal materials. In contrast, stable sulphur isotope data (average ?34S -0.15‰) for the Cadrkaya deposit, which is related to a late Eocene-Oligocene (?) granodioritic intrusion, indicates a magmatic source. The lead isotope ratios of galena for all investigated deposits are heterogeneous. In particular, with the exception of the Sucat district, all deposits in the Eastern (Delikkaya, Ayrakl, Denizovas, Cadrkaya) and Central (Katranbasi, Kucuksu) Taurides have high radiogenic lead isotope values (206Pb/204Pb between 19.058 and 18.622; 207Pb/204Pb between 16.058 and 15.568; and 208Pb/204Pb between 39.869 and 38.748), typical of the upper continental crust and orogenic belts. Fluid inclusion, stable sulphur, and radiogenic lead isotope studies indicate that carbonate-hosted metal deposits in the Eastern (except for the Cadrkaya deposit) and the Central Taurides are similar to MVT Pb-Zn deposits described elsewhere. The primary MVT deposits are associated with the Late Cretaceous-Palaeocene closure of the Tethyan Ocean, and formed during the transition from an extensional to a compressional regime. Palaeogene nappes that typically limit the exposure of ore bodies indicate a pre-Palaeocene age of ore formation. Host rock lithology, ore mineralogy, fluid inclusion, and sulphur + lead isotope data indicate that the metals were most probably leached from a crustal source such as clastic rocks or a crystalline massif, and transported by chloride-rich hydrothermal solutions to the site of deposition. Localization of the ore deposits on autochthonous basement highs indicates long-term basinal fluid migration, characteristic of MVT depositional processes. The primary MVT ores were oxidized in the Miocene, resulting in deposition of Zn-carbonate and Pb-sulphate-carbonate during karstification. The ores underwent multiple cycles of oxidation and, in places, were re-deposited to form clastic deposits. Modified deposits resemble the 'wall-rock replacement' and the 'residual and karst fill' of non-sulphide zinc deposits and are predominantly composed of smithsonite


Karst Geomorphology: Sulfur Karst Processes, 2013, Hose, L. D.

Recognition and understanding of the important role of sulfur redox processes in developing karst has grown over the last25 years with the discovery of remarkable sulfur-rich caves worldwide and advances in geomicrobiology. Recent work hasshown that microbes interact with hydrocarbons, calcium sulfate bedrock, magmatic fluids, and sulfide ore minerals toreduce gypsum/anhydrite to calcite, produce hydrogen sulfide and sulfuric acid, convert limestone to gypsum, in crease porosity in carbonate bedrocks, precipitate massive sulfur, and deposit Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) ores. These processesare most active in the shallow phreatic and vadose-phreatic subsurface, where transitions between aerobic and anaerobicconditions exist.


Confluence of regional ground water flow systems in karst at Pine Point Mines lead zinc ore deposits, 2013, Weyer, Udo K.

Thermal springs and hypogenic karstification processes in flow system context, 2013, Mdlsző, Nyi Judit, Erő, Ss Anita

Uplifted unconfined and adjoining confined continental carbonate aquifers contain thermal water with marginal thermal springs as decisive discharge features connected to tectonic contact between the unconfined and confined part of the system. These areas are characterised by positive thermal anomaly, particular mineral precipitates and phre-atophyte vegetation. These systems are important not only as sources of thermal water but the confined parts of the system can serve as hydrocarbon reservoirs, moreover Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) ore deposits can also be connected to such environ-ments. Hypogenic speleogenesis can be active at such marginal discharge zones of groundwater due to the direct corrosive effect of deep originated fluids. These different processes are known from the literature however their relationships have not been revealed comprehensively. The application of regional groundwater flow system theory and evaluation can give a chance to understand the common origin of these different processes, which is moving groundwater. The Buda Thermal Karst offers an exception-al natural laboratory where groundwater flow systems and their effect on rock matrix and the environment can be examined and proved directly. Moreover as new discharge phenomenon a karst corrosive biofilm was recognized here. The presentation displays the most important conclusions which can be generalized for areas with similar hydro-geological settings. The research is supported by the NK 101356 OTKA research grant


Confluence of regional ground water flow systems in karst at Pine Point Mines lead zinc ore deposits, 2013, Weyer, Udo K.

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