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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 ladder is in caving, a flexible, lightweight ladder of galvanized or stainless steel wires and aluminium alloy rungs [25].?

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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 notch (Keyword) returned 32 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 32
Mangroves, Mountains and Munching Molluscs: The Evolution of a Tropical Coastline, 1988, Kiernan, Kevin

The highly scenic Andaman coast of peninsular Thailand is locally dominated by steep limestone hills and karst towers that rise from broad alluvial plains, from mangrove swamps or from the sea. The karst terrain stretches north and west across the Malay peninsula to the Gulf of Siam. Some of the variations in the style of this karst have resulted from lithological and structural factors. However, steepening of the slopes by marine erosion at times of formerly high sea levels has probably been important to the development of the most spectacular part of this landscape. Notches and caves cut in limestone towers up to 10-15m above present sea level may represent the maximum transgression of the Last Interglacial. Morphological evidence hints that former shorelines may now lie hundreds of metres above present sea level due to diastrophic movements during the late Cainozoic. However, this evidence is equivocal and it has been argued that similar landforms in neighboring parts of Malaysia may be the result of terrestrial planation processes that operated independent of sea level during the Pleistocene glacial stages.


La karstification de l'le haute carbonate de Makatea (Polynsie franaise) et les cycles eustatiques et climatiques quaternaires, 1991, Dessay J. , Pouchan Y. , Girou A. , Humbert L. , Malezieux J.
THE KARST 0F MAKATEA ISLAND (FRENCH POLYNESIA) AND THE CLIMATIC AND GLACIO-EUSTATISM SETTING - Located in the Central Pacific, in the northwestern part of the Tuamotu Archipelago, Makatea island (148 15 W - 15 50 S) is an uplifted, karstic, carbonate construction of Early Miocene age, which reaches 113m in height. From 1906 to 1966, phosphate deposits were exploited on Makatea Island. These phosphate deposits (apatite) overlaid the Miocene series and filled the karstic cavities in the higher regions of the island. Several traces of ancient shorelines can be observed on Makatea: 1/ three different reef formations, which reach about +27m, +7m, +1m above the present mean sea level and respectively dated 400,000 100,000 yr BP, 140,000 30,000 yr BP, between 4,470 150 yr BP and 3,720 13O yr BP; 2/ four distinct marine notch lines on the Early Miocene cliff at about +1m, +7m, +27m and +56m (or +47m on the west coast caused by tilt) above the present mean sea level; 3/ two exposed marine platforms respectively at +29m and +7m above the present mean sea level. The ages of the former makatean shores are inferred by using: (1) the Pacific glacio-eustatic sea-level curve for the last 140,000 yr BP, (2) the Pacific oxygen isotope curve for the last 900,000 yr BP, and (3) a constant uplift rate during the Pleistocene. In this way, according to their age and elevation, the sea-level indicators at about +1m, +7m and +27m (+29m) above the present mean sea level can be respectively related to the Holocene transgression (Flandrian) dated between 6,000 and 1,500 yr BP, to the last Pleistocene interglacial period (Sangamon) dated between about 130,000 and 110,000 yr BP, and to a Middle Pleistocene interglacial period (Yarmouth) dated between about 315,000 and 485,000 yr BP. If we assume that a sea level similar to the present occurred during the Yarmouth inter-glacial period, the uplift rate is valued at 0.085 mm/yr to 0.056 mm/yr. Thus the sea-level associated with the marine notch at about +56m (+47m) may be about 650,000 yr to 1 M.y. old and can be associated with another Pleistocene interglacial period (Aftonian). Consequently, as indicated by the former shores, the sea level fluctuations can be related to the major glacio-eustatic quaternary events. This climatic and eustatic setting is used to explain the karst observed on the Makatea island. Carbonate dissolution and essentially vertical karst genesis were the result of the superposition of several cycles. Each cycle was initially composed of a solution of the carbonates during an interglacial period, followed by a drainage of the saturated solutions during the marine regression associated with the consecutive glacial period. Nevertheless, this scheme is not enough to explain the specific morphology of the makatean karstic cavities and we suggest using insular phosphatisation to explain this karst genesis. It is generally accepted that phosphate rock deposits on coral reef islands are the result of chemical reaction between seabird guano and reef limestone. Furthermore, petrographic and stable isotope studies suggest several generations of phosphorite formation and reworking episodes in the history of these deposits. The primary deposition of phosphates must have begun during a glacial period. This deposition was followed by some redistribution of phosphorites during the interglacial period and by additional precipitation of apatite from meteoric waters. This assumed process of phosphogenesis is consistent with both the field observations and the geodynamic evolution of Makatea. Thus, the particular morphology of the makatean karst can be the result of the dissolution of the carbonates caused by phosphoric acid etching. This acid is derived from the evolution of the phosphorites during the pleistocene interglacial periods.

Evolution des karsts Ocaniens (Karsts, bauxite et phosphates), 1992, Bourrouilhlejan, Fr.
EVOLUTION OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN KARSTS - Karst phenomena constitute one of the main characteristics of the "high carbonate islands" of the Pacific Ocean. They are the key to the under-standing of the geological evolution, the stratigraphy, from Lower Miocene to Pleistocene and mid-Holocene, the diagenesis, mainly dolomitization and the current economic interest based on bauxite and phosphate. The eustatic variations have been numerous over the past 25 million years and can be added or substracted from the emersion and submersion movements of the plate supporting these carbonate platforms. Each island therefore has its own complex geological background with dolomitization, calcrete, bauxitic soils, fossil marine notches and karst surface either submerged or filled with phosphate, which can be mined for profit. Thanks to a thorough study of these platforms, it has been possible to establish an evolution of karst genesis in accordance with the evolution of the Pacific lithosphere and also to draw up a new model of phosphate genesis linked to phosphato-bauxitic soils and meromictic anoxic lakes.

Stacks and notches at Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, Canada, 1998, Trenhaile A. S. , Pepper D. A. , Trenhaile R. W. , Dalimonte M. ,
Spectacular rock formations have developed in coarse, poorly sorted conglomerates and arkosic sandstones at Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, which has the largest tidal range in the world. The average gradient of the shore platform is 3.2 degrees, although it varies because of slight differences in rock hardness. Schmidt Rock Test Hammer measurements show that the rock is generally no more resistant in 16 stacks and in one stack-arch than in the adjacent platform and cliff. Most stacks, arch-tunnels and caves in this area result from dissection of the rock mass along prominent, well-spaced joint planes. Old photographs suggest that the stacks at Hopewell Rocks may have developed in the :Last 100 to 250 years. Notches are ubiquitous at the cliff foot, and they are responsible for the characteristic mushroom-shaped appearance of the stacks. Although there is no consistent relationship between the depth of notches on the seaward and landward sides of the stacks, the notches are at higher elevations on the seaward side. The deepest part of most notches is a little below the mean high tidal level, although several are up to 1 or 2 m below it, especially on the landward side of stacks. Stack morphology and notch depth change in a fairly predictable manner through time, as the stacks become increasingly isolated from the cliff. (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Flared slopes revisited, 1998, Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
Flared slopes are smooth concavities caused by subsurface moisture-generated weathering in the scarp-foot zone of hillslopes or boulders. They are well represented in granitic terrains but also developed in other massive materials such as limestone, sandstone, dacite, rhyolite, and basalt, as well as other plutonic rocks. Notches, cliff-foot caves, and swamp slob are congeners of flared slopes. Though a few bedrock flares are conceivably caused by nivation or by a combination of coastal processes, most are two-stage or etch forms. Appreciation of the origin of these forms has permitted their use in the identification and measurement of recent soil erosion and an explanation of natural bridges. Their mode of development is also germane to the origin of the host inselberg or bornhardt and, indeed, to general theories of landscape evolution. But certain discrepancies have been noted concerning the distribution and detailed morphology of flared slopes. Such anomalies are a result of structural factors (sensu late), of variations in size of catchment and in degree of exposure, and of several protective factors. Notwithstanding, the original explanation of flared slopes stands, as do their wider implications

Karst processes on Cayman Brac, a small oceanic carbonate island, PhD Thesis, 1999, Tarhulelips, Rozemarijn Frederike Antoinette

Cayman Brac is a good example of a small oceanic carbonate island which has undergone several periods of submergence and emergence since the Tertiary, resulting in the geological formations being well karstified. This study investigated several karst phenomena on the island including the occurrence and morphology of caves, the water chemistry and microclimate inside the caves, periods of speleothem growth and dissolution, and bell holes. Caves occur throughout the island at various elevations above sea level. Using elevation as a criterion, the caves were divided into Notch caves, located at, or one-two metres above, the Sangamon Notch, and Upper caves, located at varying elevations above the Notch. Analysis of the morphology, age and the relative abundance of speleothem in the caves further supports this division. The close proximity of the Notch and the Notch caves is coincidental: speleothem dating by U-series methods shows that the caves predate the Notch. They are believed to have formed between 1400 and 400 ka, whereas a late Tertiary to Early Quaternary age is assigned to the Upper caves. Speleothem on the island has suffered minor, moderate and major dissolution. Minor dissolution is due to a change in the degree of saturation of the drip water feeding the speleothem, whereas the last two are caused by flooding or condensation corrosion. Many of the speleothems in fact experienced several episodes of dissolution followed by regrowth. The latest episode appears to be caused by condensation corrosion rather than flooding. Eleven speleothems containing growth hiatuses were dated by U-series methods. The results indicate that growth cessation did not occur synchronously. Furthermore, the timing of the hiatuses during the Quaternary is not restricted to glacial or interglacial periods. Oxygen and carbon stable isotope analyses of seven of the samples reveal an apparent shift towards a drier and warmer climate around 120 ka. However, more data and further collaborative evidence is desirable. Of six samples with hiatuses, five show a bi-modal distribution of stable isotope values: before and after the hiatus. Oxygen isotope analyses of modern drip water found inter-sample variations of over 2[per thousand]. This is due to cave environmental factors such as evaporation, infiltration velocity and roof thickness. Inside the caves δ 18 O of drip water decreases with increasing distance from the entrance and thus decreasing external climatic influence. This distance-climatic effect is also reflected in the δ18 O calculated for modern calcite: -5.3, -6.5 and -7.6[per thousand] VPDB at 3, 10 and 20 m respectively. The morphology of bell holes, found only in certain Notch caves, was studied in detail. It is proposed that the bell holes are formed by condensation corrosion, probably enhanced by microbiological activity. The study represents a comprehensive and thorough analyses of karst features on a small oceanic island, and provides information useful for climatic reconstruction during the Quaternary


Speleogenesis of the Botovskaya Cave, Eastern Siberia, Russia, 2000, Filippov A. G.
Botovskaya Cave is located in the Angaro-Lensky artesian basin in the southern Siberian craton, Russia. It developed under confined conditions in the 6-12 m thick Ordovician limestone strata. The cave is a subhorizontal, two-dimensional maze 32 km long. The limestone beds are confined above and below by massive marine sandstones which contain thick silty and argilaceous layers. Cave passages are guided by an orthogonal fissure system. Embryonic passages are tube-shaped with oval and round cross sections. The mature passages are corridor-like with wide low notches at their bases between sandstone beds. The cave system probably originated due to mixing corrosion involving meteoric artesian waters flowing from a major recharge area, and ascending waters migrating toward surface valleys from underlying artesian aquifers.

Littoral dripstone and flowstone-non spelean carbonate secondary deposits., 2003, Stafford Kevin, Taborosi Danko
Speleothem-like dripstone and flowstone deposits can form in the non-spelean environments of marine notches on tropical carbonate coastlines. Hereby termed "littoral dripstone" and "littoral flowstone" to distinguish them from genuine cave deposits, they reflect the basic speleothem types: draperies, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. Nevertheless, these formations lack the luster and crystallinity of cave analogues, and are not nearly as well-developed, dense, and massive. They are composed of layered microcrystalline aragonite and calcite, are generally highly porous, and invariably overlie dissolutional and bioerosional karren. Because true speleothems, often found in the remnants of solution voids breached by coastal erosion, are also commonly present in the modern littoral environments on tropical carbonate islands, they could be confused with littoral dripstone and flowstone deposits. The distinction between the two is crucial, because the true speleothems are indicators of karst cave paleoenvironments, while littoral dripstone and flowstone are contemporary parts of the modern coastal landscape.

Coastal chalk cliff instability in NW France: role of lithology, fracture pattern and rainfall, 2004, Duperret A, Genter A, Martinez A, Mortimore Rn,
Coastal retreat has been studied along 120km of French Channel chalk coast from Upper Normandy to Picardy. During the investigation period, 1998-2001, 55 significant collapses were recorded. Of these 5.5% were very large-scale, 34.5% large-scale, 34.5% medium-scale and 25.5% small-scale collapses. Observations indicate that the larger the collapse size the greater the coastal cliff retreat. Four types of cliff failure were observed: (1) vertical failures in homogeneous chalk units; (2) sliding failures where two superimposed chalk units were present; (3) wedge and plane failures mainly recognized in the UK in formations with stratabound fractures; (4) complex failures in cliffs with more than one style of fracturing. Rainfall in relation to the timing of cliff collapse indicates two periods that trigger a collapse. The first occurs about one month after heavy rainfall within poorly fractured chalk and the second occurs when a dry period is interrupted by sharp rainfall in cliffs with major karst features (pipes etc). Medium to small-scale cliff collapses were, in some cases, caused by marine erosion at the base of the cliff creating a notch. A key factor controlling the type of collapse is the lithostratigraphic unit, while the extent of the collapse scar may be controlled by fracture type

The caves of Mulu, Sarawak: their exploration and geomorphology, 2007, Farrant, Andy, Matt Kirby And Pete Smart.
Thirty years of underground exploration in Mulu has been led by successive teams of predominantly British and American cavers with the very active involvement of many local cavers. More than 325km of cave passages have now been mapped, and this figure continues to rise with major discoveries on every new expedition. With most passages being of large dimensions, Mulu is one of the most cavernous karsts in the world. Cave development was primarily in a succession of strike-orientated conduits whose passage walls are scored by deep notches that relate to aggrading gravel fans of the Melinau and Melinau Paku Rivers. Dating of the caves has allowed estimation of tectonic uplift rates, while isotope studies have revealed valuable palaeoclimate data.

Flow capture and reversal in the Agen Allwedd Entrance Series, south Wales: evidence for glacial flooding and impoundment, 2007, Simms, Michael J And John B Hunt.
Detailed observations of passage morphology, scallop orientations, and cross-cutting relationships of vadose notches and roof heights within a small area of the Agen Allwedd cave system, south Wales, reveal a complex history of flow re-routing linked to several successive phreatic-vadose cycles. At least three discrete phases of phreatic development can be recognized, each succeeded by a period of vadose entrenchment. Two distinct episodes of flow diversion are evident and were initiated during separate phreatic phases. The repeated establishment of phreatic conditions at such a high level within the cave system can be attributed either to glacial impoundment of meltwater recharge and/or the creation of a localized perched phreas as a result of temporary blockages. We conclude that glacial meltwater from the Usk valley glacier entered the cave along its northern edge and was impounded as a result of valley glaciers blocking lower outlets, causing flooding of the entire cave system during glaciations. Vadose entrenchment then occurred as much of the cave was drained during ensuing interglacial(s). Drainage rerouting occurred in response to temporary, but prolonged, blockages that allowed meltwater recharge to generate high hydrostatic pressures. Newly opened or exposed fractures in the limestone were thereby exploited, creating bypass routes. This model, which is consistent with what is known of ice depths across the region during the Pleistocene, has significant implications for the evolution of the entire cave system and indeed for other caves in broadly analogous situations in south Wales and beyond.

Cathedral Cave, Wellington Cave, New South Wales, Australia. A multiphase, non-fluvial cave., 2007, Osborne R. A. L.
Cathedral Cave is an outstanding example of a class of multiphase caves with largely non-fluvial origins. It contains large cavities such as cathedrals and cupolas, characteristic of excavation by convection currents in rising waters. Smaller-scale features such as rising half-tubes, pseudonotches, curved juts, projecting corners, blades and bridges indicate intersection and exhumation of older cavities during the formation of younger ones. It is possible to recognize at least ten significant phases of speleogenesis by morphostratigraphy, in addition to the four generations of cave-filling palaeokarst deposits intersected by the cave. The cave we see today results from the progressive integration of a number of previously disconnected or poorly connected solution cavities.

MORPHOLOGICAL INDICATORS OF SPELEOGENESIS: HYPOGENIC SPELEOGENS, 2009, Audra P. , Mocochain L. , Bigot J. Y. , Nobecourt J. C.

Hypogenic speleogenesis can be identi?ed at different scales (basinal ?ow patterns at the regional scale, cave patterns at cave system scale, meso- and micromorphology in cave passages). We focus here on small scale features produced by both corrosion and deposition. In the phreatic zone, the corrosion features (speleogens) are a morphologic suite of rising ?ow forms, phreatic chimneys, bubble trails. At the water table are thermo-sulfuric discharge slots, notches with ?at roofs. Above a thermal water table the forms re?ect different types of condensation runoff: wall convection niches, wall niches, ceiling cupolas, ceiling spheres, channels, megascallops, domes, vents, wall partitions, weathered walls, boxwork, hieroglyphs, replacement pockets, corrosion tables, and features made by acid dripping, such as drip tubes, sulfuric karren and cups. Each type of feature is described and linked to its genetic process. Altogether, these features are used to identify the dominant processes of speleogenesis in hypogenic cave systems. Hypogenic caves were recognized early, especially where thermal or sulfuric processes were active (MARTEL, 1935; PRINCIPI, 1931). However SOCQUET (1801) was one of the earliest modern contributors to speleogenetic knowledge, and probably the ?rst to identify the role of sulfuric speleogenesis by condensation-corrosion due to thermal convection. More recent major contributions evidenced the role of sulfuric speleogenesis and hydrothermalism (e.g. DUBLYANSKY, 2000; EGEMEIER, 1981; FORTI, 1996; GALDENZI AND MENICHETTI, 1995; HILL, 1987; PALMER AND PALMER, 1989). However, most of these case-studies were often considered as “exotic”, regarding the “normal” (i.e. epigenic) speleogenesis. Only recently, KLIMCHOUK (2007) provided a global model, allowing the understanding of “hypogenic” speleogenesis and gathering the characteristics of hypogenic caves. Consequently, the number of caves where a hypogenic origin is recognized dramatically increased during the last years. The hypogenic origin can be recognized at the regional scale (deep-seated karst in basins), at the scale of an individual cave system because of distinctive features in its pattern, by studying the morphology of the cave conduits, or at the local scale of wall features made by corrosion processes (i.e. speleogens). Such type of features depict the characteristics of local cave development, and by extension the characteristics of speleogenesis. The description and interpretation of hypogenic speleogens is generally scattered in the literature. The aim of this paper is to gather the most important hypogenic speleogens, considered here as indicators, and used for the identi?cation and characterization of the hypogenic speleogenesis. Our knowledge is based on the compilation of about 350 caves from the literature, and the study of some of the most signi?cant caves (AUDRA, 2007; AUDRA et al., 2002, 2006). In this paper, we focus on the speleogens (i.e. wall- scale corrosion features) as indicators of hypogenic speleogenesis; we exclude here solution feature at larger scale such as conduits and cave systems and depositional features (sediments). Some of the features observed in the sulfuric caves are speci?cally caused by this strong acid. Some features are closely associated with hydrothermalism. Other features that are widespread in hypogene caves are created without sulfuric in?uence. The following typology mainly takes into account the type of runoff. In con?ned settings with slow phreatic ?ow, cave features are common to all types of hypogene processes, whether they are sulfuric or not (i.e. carbonic, hydrothermal…). In uncon?ned settings, condensation-corrosion processes take place above the water table. These aerial processes, enhanced by the oxidation of sul?des by the thermal convections, and by the microbial processes, result in a large variety of cave features. Some features are closely related to speci?c processes. Consequently, they are considered as valuable indicators of the sulfuric speleogenesis.


Caves as sea level and uplift indicators, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 2009, Mylroie J. E. And Mylroie J. R.

Flank margin caves have been observed in Quaternary Bridgewater Formation eolianites on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Horizons of flank margin cave development at 25 m, 30 m, and 35 m elevation demonstrate tectonic uplift of tens of meters during the Quaternary, as the cave elevations are higher than any reported Quaternary glacioeustatic sea-level highstand. Distinct cave horizons indicate that episodic uplift was possible. Wave-cut notches at Hanson Bay, at 30 to 35 m elevation, also support the interpretation from caves that relative sea level was once at the ,30-m- elevation range. Admirals Arch, previously presented as forming solely by wave erosion, is a flank margin cave breached and modified by wave erosion. Point Ellen contains a Late Pliocene subtidal carbonate unit that formed within the reach of wave base, was uplifted and cliffed by wave processes, and then was karstified before being buried by Quaternary Bridgewater Formation eolianites. A possible flank margin cave developed at Point Ellen at 3 m above modern sea level is consistent with earlier interpretations of notching of the nearby coast at a similar elevation during the last interglacial sea-level highstand (MIS 5e); and therefore, no tectonic uplift in the last 120 ka. In contrast, the tafoni of Remarkable Rocks present a cautionary note on evidence of cave wall morphological characteristics as proof of dissolutional origin.


MORPHOLOGY AND GENESIS OF THE MAIN ORE BODY AT NANISIVIKZINC/LEAD MINE, BAFFIN ISLAND, CANADA: AN OUTSTANDING EXAMPLEOF PARAGENETIC DISSOLUTION OF CARBONATE BEDROCKS WITHPENE-CONTEMPORANEOUS PRECIPITATION OF SULFIDES AND GANGUEMINERALS, 2009, Ford D.

Nanisivik (Inuit – “the place where they find things’) zinc/lead mine is located at Lat. 73o N in northwestern Baf?n Island. The host rock is a Proterozoic platform carbonate 260-800 m thick, medium to massively bedded and pervasively dolomitized. It rests on mixed shales and shaly dolomites, and is overlain by 150+ m of further shales functioning as an aquitard. These formations were buried by later Proterozoic strata, uplifted, eroded and buried again in a Cambrian sedimentary basin. The ore-grade deposits are contained within a horst block of the dolomites dipping NW at 15o across it. Graben to the north and south are roofed in the overlying shales. The principal deposit, the Main Ore, is of zinc, lead and iron sul?de precipitates plus gangue minerals, chie?y secondary dolomite. It extends for three km E-W along the horst. It is horizontal, at ~300 m above sea level and terminated at both ends by modern valley entrenchments. The Main Ore body is consistently ~100 m in width and ?ve-seven m in depth. This wide ceiling is a nearly planar, horizontal corrosion bevel. The sulfdes scarcely extend above it anywhere. Within the Main Ore two or more generations of tapered ?ns of dolomite in situ extend from both south (updip) and north (downdip) walls into the cavity. Fin surfaces truncate the bedding. Edges of ?ns are sinuous, some meandering with a wavelength of ~50 m. Very sharp, horizontal corrosion notches 20-30 cm high extend into the dolomite walls for at least 20 m (the limit of deep crosscuts in the mine). They are ?lled with layered pyrites which continue out into the ore body as regular sheets truncating earlier, dipping mineral layers until they themselves are truncated by later fillings. One exceptional notch, one meter deep, is at least 350 m in breadth. The ore displays four sedimentary modes: (i) regular layers settled or precipitated onto the cavity floor; (ii) chaotic polymict breccias suggestive of channel cut-and-?ll episodes; (iii) the horizontal pyrite sheets in corrosion notches; (iv) minor metasomatic replacements of dolomite. The ore cavity was created by paragenesis in a channel ?ow mode, with ore and gangue deposition on the floor taking place in tandem with dissolutional cavity creation upwards,. Principal deposition took place when a fluid interface could be rigorously maintained. Fluid inclusions indicate derivation of the metals from exchange reactions with metalliferous sediments (the underlying shales), indicating low water/rock ratios and moderate temperatures. The ore fluids were similar to oil field brines. Sulfur isotope fractionations indicate temperatures of 90-150 +/-40o C, suggesting that the Main Ore formed along a gas/brine interface at a depth of at least 1600 m as a consequence of ?uid expulsion in the subsiding Cambrian sedimentary basin.


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