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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 desiccation is the removal of moisture by evaporation or drying [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 northern italy (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
CO2 exchange of the endolithic lichen Verrucaria baldensis from karst habitats in northern Italy, 1997, Tretiach M. , Geletti A. ,

Role of slumped beds in the genesis and evolution of huge hypogean rooms: an example in the Valle del Nose (Como, Northern Italy), 2000, Tognini Paola,
During a detailed structural analysis of the cave systems of the Valle del Nose (Como, Northern Italy), a systematic occurrence of thick (metric to decametric) slumped beds in several huge rooms and in other wide underground voids was observed. The systematic control, that these structures exert on the morphologies of the karst systems, suggests that slumped beds might play a major role in the genesis and evolution of large underground voids. In fact, thanks to their very high permeability, these beds seem to be able to act as the preferential way for water flowing in the very first phases of karst development, thus guiding cave development, while their mechanical properties, different from those of unslumped beds, make them prone to break down collapse, thus increasing the possibilities of the formation of huge rooms. On the basis of the observed field data, a genetic and evolutive model is therefore suggested to explain the origin of the largest voids in this area. This model has by now a strictly local effectiveness

Unraveling the Origin of Carbonate Platform Cyclothems in the Upper Triassic Durrenstein Formation (Dolomites, Italy), 2003, Preto Nereo, Hinnov Linda A. ,
Facies analysis of the Durrenstein Formation, central-eastern Dolomites, northern Italy, indicates that this unit was deposited on a carbonate ramp, as evidenced by the lack of a shelf break, slope facies, or a reef margin, together with the occurrence of a 'molechfor' biological association. Its deposition following the accumulation of rimmed carbonate platforms during the Ladinian and Early Carnian marks a major shift in growth mode of the Triassic shallow marine carbonates in the Dolomites. The Durrenstein Formation is characterized by a hierarchical cyclicity, with elements strongly suggestive of an allocyclic origin, including (a) subaerial exposure features directly above subtidal facies within meter-scale cyclothems, (b) purely subtidal carbonate cyclothems, (c) symmetric peritidal carbonate cyclothems, and (d) continuity of cyclothems of different orders through facies boundaries. The Durrenstein cyclothems are usually defined by transgressive and regressive successions, and so most of them probably originated from sea-level oscillations. Their allocyclic origin allows their use for high-resolution correlations over distances up to 30 km. A stratigraphic section in the Tre Cime di Lavaredo area, encompassing the upper part of the Durrenstein Formation and the lower part of the overlying Raibl Formation (Upper Carnian) was studied using time-frequency analysis. A strong Milankovitch signal appeared when interference arising from a variable sedimentation rate was estimated and removed by tuning the short precession line in a spectrogram. All of the principal periodicities related to the precession index and eccentricity, calculated for 220 Ma, are present: P1 (21.9 ky); P2 (17.8 ky); E1 (400 ky), E2 (95 ky), and E3 (125 ky), along with a peak at a frequency double that of the precession, which is a predicted feature of orbitally forced insolation at the equator. Components possibly related to Earth's obliquity at ca. 35 ky and ca. 46 ky are present as well. The recovery of Milankovitch periodicities allows reconstruction of a high-resolution timescale that is in good agreement with published durations of the Carnian based on radiometric ages. The recognition of a Milankovitch signal in the Durrenstein and lower Raibl formations, as well as in other Mesozoic carbonate platforms, strongly supports a deterministic and predictable--rather than stochastic--control on the formation of carbonate platforms. Carbonate platforms might thus be used in the future for the construction of an astronomical time scale for the Mesozoic

Intrinsic vulnerability assessment of Sette Comuni Plateau aquifer (Veneto Region, Italy), 2007, Cucchi Franco, Franceschini Giuliana, Zini Luca, Aurighi Marina
Maps illustrating the different degrees of vulnerability within a given area are integral to environmental protection and management policies. The assessment of the intrinsic vulnerability of karst areas is difficult since the type and stage of karst development and the related underground discharge behavior are difficult to determine and quantify. Geographic Information Systems techniques are applied to the evaluation of the vulnerability of an aquifer in the alpine karst area of the Sette Comuni Plateau, in the Veneto Region of northern Italy. The water resources of the studied aquifer are of particular importance to the local communities. This aquifer must therefore be protected from both inappropriate use as well as possible pollution. The SINTACS and SINTACS PRO KARST vulnerability assessment methods have been utilized here to create the vulnerability map. SINTACS PRO KARST is an adaptation of the parametric managerial model (SINTACS) to karst hydrostructures. The vulnerability map reveals vast zones (81% of the analyzed areas) with a high degree of vulnerability. The presence of well-developed karst structures in these highly vulnerable areas facilitate water percolation, thereby enhancing the groundwater vulnerability risk. Only 1.5 of the studied aquifer have extremely high-vulnerability levels, however these areas include all of the major springs utilized for human consumption. This vulnerability map of the Sette Comuni Plateau aquifer is an indispensable tool for both the effective management of water resources and as support to environmental planning in the Sette Comuni Plateau area.

Hypogene gypsum karst and sinkhole formation at Moncalvo (Asti, Italy), 2010, Vigna B. , Fiorucci A. , Banzato C. , Forti P. , De Waele J.

In the morning of February 15th 2005, during excavation works in an underground gypsum quarry at Moncalvo (Monferrato area, Asti, Northern Italy), a water-bearing fracture was intercepted at level 134 m a.s.l. During the night a large amount of water (approximately 60,000 m3) and mud invaded the quarry tunnels reaching a height of 139 m a.s.l. the morning of the day after. Meanwhile a large sinkhole (20 m wide and 10 m deep) formed on the surface. Hydrogeological surveys were immediately carried out to follow the quickly evolving situation, while speleological and geomorphological fieldwork was made possible only seven months later. Two important caves were discovered both showing clear evidence of a hypogenic origin with sculpted morphologies due to slowly flowing water under pressure. The sinkhole formed by the collapse of one of the main chambers of the biggest of these caves, when buoyant support provided by the water started to decrease due to lowering of the virtual water table. The recharge of this karst system is from below and only very minor quantities of infiltration water come from the above lying surface, as has also been confirmed by hydrochemical analysis. This hypogene karst is completely invisible at the surface and develops entirely underground showing no relation whatsoever with the surface. Its presence is therefore extremely difficult to reveal and such types of karst can thus make up extremely dangerous situations. This is the first example of hypogene gypsum cave related to ascending waters in Italy.

Origin and evolution of a salty gypsum/anhydrite karst spring: the case of Poiano (Northern Apennines, Italy), 2010, Chiesi Mauro, De Waele Jo, Forti Paolo

Poiano is the largest karst spring of the Emilia Romagna region (northern Italy). It drains an aquifer of unique properties composed of anhydrite with halite lenses at depth and gypsum at the surface (both with high NaCl content). Hydrogeological research has been undertaken using automatically recorded hourly data on temperature, electrical conductivity, and water level. Water feeding the Poiano spring is restricted within the gypsum/anhydrite outcrop between the Lucola, Sologno and Secchia rivers.

Karstification in the Upper Secchia Valley only concerns the gypsum rocks mainly present along the border and in the shallower parts of the sulfate outcrop and does not appear to occur at depth. Data strongly support the hypothesis that the salt content in the spring water derives from active halokinetic movements. For the first time, the fundamental hydrogeological importance of the anhydrite part inside the sulfate rocks is demonstrated. If gypsum prevails over anhydrite the karst drainage network can extend deep into the rocks following a network of fractures and fissures. Instead, if in the deep parts of the aquifer anhydrite prevails over gypsum, the karst evolution cannot take place at depth and the structure of the underground drainage paths only follows near-surface paths in gypsum. 

Evolution of karst in Messinian gypsum (Monferrato, Northern Italy), 2010, Vigna Bartolomeo, Fioraso Gianfranco, Banzato Cinzia, De Waele Jo

In the Tertiary Basin of Piedmont (Northern Italy) a 100-150 m thick Messinian sedimentary succession crops out, composed of pre-evaporitic clays, gypsum beds and post-evaporitic lacustrine-marine fine-grained sediments. In the Monferrato area the thickness of the evaporite sequence is highly variable (0-140 m) due to an important erosion surface formed at the end of the evaporite cycle and carved in the gypsum beds. Epigenic caves probably formed during this short intra-Messinian phase of emersion. Cave sediments contain benthonic and planctonic foraminiferal associations ranging in age from Burdigalian to Upper Pliocene. These sediments have probably been deposited in recent times, although it cannot be completely ruled out that they accumulated in caves developed in Upper Messinian times. The formation of the most important caves of this area probably started at the end of the Messinian under epigenic conditions. Possibly, those inherited caves enlarged slowly during the Quaternary in an intrastratal and confined hypogene karst system. 

A New foodweb based on microbes in calcitic caves: The Cansiliella (Beetles) case in Northern Italy, 2011, Paoletti Maurizio G. , Beggio Mattia, Dreon Angelo Leandro, Pamio Alberto, Gomiero Tiziano, Brilli Mauro, Dorigo Luca, Concheri Giuseppe, Squartini Andrea, Engel Annette Summers

The troglobitic beetle, Cansiliella servadeii percolating water on moonmilk, a speleothem formation in Grotta della Foos, Italy. Results from analyses of stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen suggest that acquires and assimilates dissolved allochthonous organic carbon, inorganic nitrogen, and possibly phosphorus and other nutrients from the microbial fauna associated with moonmilk.

Geochemistry and isotope geochemistry of the Monfalcone thermal waters (northern Italy): inference on the deep geothermal reservoir, 2013, Petrini R. , Italiano F. , Ponton M. , Slejko F. F. , Aviani U. , Zini L.

Geochemical investigations were carried out to define the origin of the low- to moderate-temperature thermal waters feeding the Monfalcone springs in northern Italy. Chemical data indicate that waters approach the composition of seawater. Mixing processes with cold low-salinity waters are highlighted. The δ18O and δD values are in the range −5.0 to −6.4 ‰, and −33 to −40 ‰, respectively, suggesting the dilution of the saline reservoir by karst-type freshwaters. A surplus of Ca2+ and Sr2+ ions with respect to a conservative mixing is ascribed to diagenetic reactions of the thermal waters with Cretaceous carbonates at depth. The measured Sr isotopic composition (87Sr/86Sr ratio) ranges between 0.70803 and 0.70814; after correction for the surplus Sr, a 87Sr/86Sr ratio indicating Miocene paleo-seawater is obtained. The dissolved gases indicate long-lasting gas–water interactions with a deep-originated gas phase of crustal origin, dominated by CO2 and marked by a water TDIC isotopic composition in the range −5.9 to−8.8 and helium signature with 0.08 < R/Ra < 0.27, which is a typical range for the crust. A possible scenario for the Monfalcone thermal reservoir consists of Miocene marine paleowaters which infiltrated through the karstic voids formed within the prevalently Cretaceous carbonates during the upper Eocene emersion of the platform, and which were entrapped by the progressive burial by terrigenous sediments.


In the Triassic of successions of the Italian Dolomites (Northern Italy), there are several examples of different types of hypogene paleokarst, sometimes associated with sulfur or hematite ore deposits.The paleokarst features are related to a regional volcanic event occurred during the Ladinian (Middle Triassic) that affected several carbonate platforms of Anisian-Ladinian age.This study is focusing mainly on the Latemar paleokarst, in the Western Dolomites, and on the Salafossa area in the Easternmost Dolomites.
The karst at Latemar developed as the result of a magmatic intrusion located just below the isolated carbonate platform, developing a system of phreatic conduits and some underground chambers, not justified by the entity of the submarine exposure occurring at the top of the carbonate platform. Most of these features are located about 500 m below the subaerial unconformity and are filled with middle Triassic lavas. Only in one case, the filling is represented by banded crusts now totally dolomitized, with abundant hematite. In this case, the only way to explain the presence of the karst at this depth is to invoke a deep CO2 source allowing the dissolution of the carbonate at such depths: the fact that some phreatic conduits and a possible underground chamber are filled only with lavas is pointing toward an important role of volcanism in karst development.
Salafossa is a well-known mine located in the easternmost Dolomites and has been exploited until 1986, when all the activity ceased. The main metals, in this case, are Zn-Pb-Ba-Fe, exploited within a quite complex paleokarst system developed in several levels, filled by a complex mineralized sequence. The strong dissolution led to the development of voids aligned with the main fault controlling the mineralization, with a proper karst system with phreatic morphologies.

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