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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 karst barre is (french.) 1. a karst terrane of limited area completely surrounded by rocks of low permeability [10]. 2. term for karst areas whose lower part is enclosed and bordered by more or less impervious rocks which impedes ground-water flow out of the karst area. synonyms: (french.) karst barre; (german.) riegelkarst; (greek.) phragmenon karst; (spanish.) karst cerrado; (turkish.) setli karst; (yugoslavian.) zagaceni krs (kras), zajezeni kras.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 paleosurface (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
GEODYNAMICS OF THE SARDINIAN BAUXITES - TYPOLOGY, GENESIS AND PALEOTECTONIC CONTROL, 1993,
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Combes Pj, Oggiano G, Temussi I,
During the middle Cretaceous the karst bauxites of NW Sardinia are controlled by a favourable climate, an aluminous mother rock (Berriasian marls) and a significant tectonic instability which allows a morphostructural paleosurface to be constituted on the intracontinental areas, away from the eustatic changes of sea level. In connection with the uplift rate, the aluminous material is distributed into three types of deposit. Their genetic depositional system and main features are incorporated in a geodynamic model applicable to prospecting

RELATION OF MINERALIZATION TO WALL-ROCK ALTERATION AND BRECCIATION, MASCOT JEFFERSON-CITY MISSISSIPPI-VALLEY-TYPE DISTRICT, TENNESSEE, 1994,
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Haynes F. M. , Keslr S. E. ,
This study was undertaken to assess the relation of Mississippi Valley-type mineralization to wall-rock alteration and brecciation in the Mascot-Jefferson City district, the largest part of the East Tennessee Mississippi Valley-type ore field. The main question of interest was whether the Mississippi Valley-type-forming brines created or greatly enlarged the breccia system that hosts the ore or whether the breccia system was a preexisting paleoaquifer that simply controlled movement of the mineralizing brines. A secondary, and closely related, question was whether brine-wall rock interaction deposited Mississippi Valley-type ore. The breccia system that hosts the East Tennessee ore field began as karst breccias which formed in the upper part of the Late Cambrian-Early Ordovician Knox Group during Middle Ordovician emergence. Brecciation, which was most common at the paleosurface and in a limestone-rich zone about 200 m below the surface, took place when limestone solution caused collapse of primary dolostone layers. Mississippi Valley-type mineralization, consisting of sphalerite and sparry dolomite, fills interstices in the breccias that formed in the limestone-rich part of the Knox Group. Ore is associated with ''recrystalline dolomite'' that replaced limestone and there is an inverse correlation between the original limestone and sphalerite abundance suggesting that the ore-forming fluids reacted strongly with limestone wall rock, possibly dissolving it where alteration was most intense. The assessment of a relation between alteration and Mississippi Valley-type mineralization was based on 3,533 surface drill holes covering the 110-km2 Mascot-Jefferson City district, each of which provided stratigraphic data and quantified estimates of mineralization intensity and alteration intensity. These data show clearly that as much as 50 percent of the limestone in the mineralized breccia section was lost over enormous areas that extend far beyond significant mineralization. The intensity of this effect clearly decreases downdip (toward the east), away from the probable source of meteoric karst-forming waters. These relations, combined with isotopic analyses and reaction path calculations, suggest that breccia formation and limestone dissolution took place during the original karst breccia formation. In contrast, later Mississippi Valley-type mineralization was associated with replacement of limestone by recrystalline dolomite. The main effect of dolomitization on the chemistry of the Mississippi Valley-type brines, an increase in their Ca/Mg ratio, would not cause sulfide precipitation. Thus, it appears unlikely that Mississippi Valley-type-forming brines created much of their ore-hosting breccias or that water-rock interaction was a major cause of Mississippi Valley-type ore deposition

Le karst des Arbailles (Pyrnes-Atlantiques, France), 2000,
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Vanara, Nathalie
The Arbailles massif (200 - 1200 m) is located in the french north face of Pyrnes, Atlantic side. It forms a folded 165 square-kilometres unit of jurassic and cretaceous limestones under an oceanic climate of altitude (2000 mm/year). Observations jointly made on the surface and in the numerous underground galleries allow an occurate correlation of alternate surrective and karstic periods. The dismantled cavities and deposits pockets of the upper surface show two series of minerals, those from weathered marly-albian limestones and others supplied from the conglomerates pudding-stones of Mendibelza. During the Miocene, the Arbailles massif is a low area of tropical erosion on the side of the main mounts. Its surrection caused the scouring of the alterites cover, the formation of fields of karstic butts and a definitive drying of the fluviatile paleosystem. The different levels of dried valleys and the karstic hydrographic systems are successive stations of the karstic levels of origine. Paleomagnetic datations in Etxanko Zola and U/Th datations in Nbl show that the surrection has been of about 500 m since lower Pleistocene. At the present time, water collection is made through drainage systems without any connection to the fossil topography. Three aquifers can be distinguished: in lower cretaceous, in jurassic and in north and south limits. They are water-repellent because of more or less impermeable screens. Waters are aggressive in summer and at equilibrium or lightly undersaturated the rest of the year. The modern human activities create a recent destabilisation of the environment with local erosions of grounds and an increasing turbidity of springs. An occurate study in the fail of Istaurdy allows a mesure of the effect of deforestation for the whole massif.

The Dachstein paleosurface and the Augenstein Formation in the Northern Calcareous Alps - a mosaic stone in the geomorphological evolution of the Eastern Alps, 2001,
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Frisch W, Kuhlemann J, Dunkl I, Szekely B,
The central and eastern areas of the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) are characterized by remnants of the Dachstein paleosurface, which formed in Late Eocene (?) to Early Oligocene time and is preserved with limited modification on elevated karst plateaus. In Oligocene time, the Dachstein paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial succession of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus, some in an autochthonous position. Thermochronological data suggest a maximum thickness of the Augenstein Formation of >1.3 km, possibly >2 km. The age of the Augenstein Formation is constrained by the overall geological situation as Early Oligocene to earliest Miocene. Fission track age data support an Early Oligocene age of the basal parts of the formation. The source area of the Augenstein Formation consisted predominantly of weakly metamorphic Paleozoic terrains (Greywacke Zone and equivalents) as well as the Late Carboniferous to Scythian siliciclastic base of the NCA to the south of the depositional area. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary deposits of the Inntal. Sedimentation of the Augenstein Formation was terminated in Early Miocene time in the course of the orogenic collapse of the Eastern Alps. The Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland Molasse zone. From Pannonian times (similar to 10 Ma) on, the NCA and the denuded Dachstein surface experienced uplift in several pulses. The Dachstein paleosurface has been preserved in areas, in which thick limestone sequences allowed subsurface erosion by cave formation and thus prevented major surface erosion

Dachstein-Altflche, Augenstein-Formation und Hhlenentwicklung - die Geschichte der letzten 35 Millionen Jahre in den zentralen Nrdlichen Kalkalpen., 2002,
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Frisch W. , Kuhlemann J. , Dunkl I. , Szekely B. , Vennemann T. , Rettenbacher A.
The landscape of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) is largely determined by the celebrate elevated karst plateaus, which represent relics of the Dachstein paleosurface and can be followed as far as the eastern margin of the NCA. The Dachstein paleosurface formed in late Eocene to early Oligocene times as a karstic hilly landscape. It was modified by later erosional processes to a limited extent only and is preserved as such in the karst plateaus. In the Oligocene, the paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus. The poorly and contradictingly defined terms Rax landscape" and Augenstein landscape" are not used any more. From the overall geological situation, the age of the Augenstein Formation can be inferred as Lower Oligocene to early Lower Miocene. Fission track dating on zircon support the Lower Oligocene age of the basal Augenstein sediments (only these are preserved). Their source area was situated in the south and mainly occupied by weakly metamorphosed Paleozoic sequences (Graywacke Zone and its equivalents) and the latest Carboniferous to Lower Triassic siliciclastic base of the NCA. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary sediments of the Lower Inn Valley. Thermal modeling of fission track data from apatite, which is contained in pebbles as an accessory phase, suggest that the Augenstein Formation attained thicknesses of locally 1.3 km, possibly even more than 2 km. Augenstein sedimentation probably ended in Early Miocene times with the onset of lateral tectonic extrusion in the Eastern Alps, which caused lowering of the relief in the source area and created a new, fault-bounded river network. In the following period, the Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland molasse basin. From Pannonian times (ca. 10 Ma) on, the central and eastern NCA, and therefore also the Dachstein paleosurface, experienced uplift in pulses. The paleosurface remained preserved in those areas, where thick limestone sequences enabled subsurface erosion in cave systems and considerably reduced surface erosion. Augenstein sediments became washed into the widespread cave systems of the plateau-topped limestone massifs. The arrangement of the caves in three horizons shows that uplift of the NCA occurred in pulses separated from periods of tectonic quiescence. In our model of the evolution of the NCA since the late Eocene, the highest cave system, the surface-near ruin cave system, was probably formed during formation of the Dachstein paleosurface. The largest system, the giant cave system, formed in Upper Miocene times, i.e., in the early stage of the final uplift period of the NCA. The youngest and lowest system, the source cave system, formed in Pliocene to Quaternary times. We aimed to date material from the giant cave system by radiometric methods. U/Pb dating on speleothems from the Mammut cave (Dachstein) and the Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge) gave no formation age because of the low U contents; however, the isotope ratios allow to infer that the speleothems formed in pre-Pleistocene time. Quartz pebbles from the Augenstein Formation, washed into the caves before the formation of the speleothems, were analyzer for cosmogenic beryllium and aluminum isotopes in order to date the time of redeposition. The isotope contents, however, did no yield a sufficiently strong signal. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios were determined on the Eisriesenwelt speleothem in order to receive information on climatic changes during speleothem growth. A 260 mm long core from the outer zone of the speleothem shower limited variation for the temperatures of the seeping rainwater, which caused the speleothems to form. This indicates moderate climate and thus, again, pre-Pleistocene formation of the speleothems. All these results are in accord with the supposed Upper Miocene formation age of the giant cave system. Displacement of a speleothem along a shear plane and normal faults visible on the plateaus by the offset of the actual surface testify young, partly Quaternary tectonics, which affected the NCA.[ausfhrliche Darstellung, geol. Krtchen, Farbbilder, ganzes Heft.]

On the origin of the hydrographic net and on some karst phenomena in the Idrija region, 2002,
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Mlakar, Ivan

Geological structure on the Pliocene paleosurface level in the nowadays 1000 m altitude were reconstructed. The lithological and tectonical circumstances in that time played a decisive role in hydrographic net origin and also on Kanomljica, Nikova, Idrijca and Belca rivers piracy. Landscape south and NW from Idrija fulfil all conditions to become classical region for initial karstification stadium examination, for that reason to this problems great attention have been paid. Particularly system of cross alpine faults and fissures played significant role on karst phenomena origin. With potholes theory the origin of Wild Lake have been explained and pointed out, that some dolinas at least have been projected already in period when Cretaceous limestones were covered by worse waterpermeable rocks. Anticline structures proved as the best indicator for karst rooms presence. On article end the results of 60 complete silicate analyses of nearly all Idrija' s rocks in table shape are presented.


Dachstein-Altflche, Augenstein-Formation und Hhlenentwicklung - die Geschichte der letzten 35 Millionen Jahre in den zentralen Nrdlichen Kalkalpen, 2002,
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Frisch W. , Kuhlemann J. , Dunkl I. , Szekely B. , Vennemann T. , Rettenbacher A.
The landscape of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) is largely determined by the celebrate elevated karst plateaus, which represent relics of the Dachstein paleosurface and can be followed as far as the eastern margin of the NCA. The Dachstein paleosurface formed in late Eocene to early Oligocene times as a karstic hilly landscape. It was modified by later erosional processes to a limited extent only and is preserved as such in the karst plateaus. In the Oligocene, the paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus. The poorly and contradictingly defined terms Rax landscape" and Augenstein landscape" are not used any more. From the overall geological situation, the age of the Augenstein Formation can be inferred as Lower Oligocene to early Lower Miocene. Fission track dating on zircon support the Lower Oligocene age of the basal Augenstein sediments (only these are preserved). Their source area was situated in the south and mainly occupied by weakly metamorphosed Paleozoic sequences (Graywacke Zone and its equivalents) and the latest Carboniferous to Lower Triassic siliciclastic base of the NCA. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary sediments of the Lower Inn Valley. Thermal modeling of fission track data from apatite, which is contained in pebbles as an accessory phase, suggest that the Augenstein Formation attained thicknesses of locally 1.3 km, possibly even more than 2 km. Augenstein sedimentation probably ended in Early Miocene times with the onset of lateral tectonic extrusion in the Eastern Alps, which caused lowering of the relief in the source area and created a new, fault-bounded river network. In the following period, the Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland molasse basin. From Pannonian times (ca. 10 Ma) on, the central and eastern NCA, and therefore also the Dachstein paleosurface, experienced uplift in pulses. The paleosurface remained preserved in those areas, where thick limestone sequences enabled subsurface erosion in cave systems and considerably reduced surface erosion. Augenstein sediments became washed into the widespread cave systems of the plateau-topped limestone massifs. The arrangement of the caves in three horizons shows that uplift of the NCA occurred in pulses separated from periods of tectonic quiescence. In our model of the evolution of the NCA since the late Eocene, the highest cave system, the surface-near ruin cave system, was probably formed during formation of the Dachstein paleosurface. The largest system, the giant cave system, formed in Upper Miocene times, i.e., in the early stage of the final uplift period of the NCA. The youngest and lowest system, the source cave system, formed in Pliocene to Quaternary times. We aimed to date material from the giant cave system by radiometric methods. U/Pb dating on speleothems from the Mammut cave (Dachstein) and the Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge) gave no formation age because of the low U contents; however, the isotope ratios allow to infer that the speleothems formed in pre-Pleistocene time. Quartz pebbles from the Augenstein Formation, washed into the caves before the formation of the speleothems, were analyzer for cosmogenic beryllium and aluminum isotopes in order to date the time of redeposition. The isotope contents, however, did no yield a sufficiently strong signal. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios were determined on the Eisriesenwelt speleothem in order to receive information on climatic changes during speleothem growth. A 260 mm long core from the outer zone of the speleothem shower limited variation for the temperatures of the seeping rainwater, which caused the speleothems to form. This indicates moderate climate and thus, again, pre-Pleistocene formation of the speleothems. All these results are in accord with the supposed Upper Miocene formation age of the giant cave system. Displacement of a speleothem along a shear plane and normal faults visible on the plateaus by the offset of the actual surface testify young, partly Quaternary tectonics, which affected the NCA.

Soil types and eolian dust in high-mountainous karst of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Zugspitzplatt, Wetterstein Mountains, Germany), 2003,
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Kufmann C. ,
This, study deals with the soil formation on pure limestone in the high-mountainous karst of Wetterstein Mountains (Northern Calcareous Alps). The study area in detail covers the alpine (2000 to 2350 in) and the subnivale zone (2350 to 2600 in) of Zugspitzplatt, a tertiary paleosurface situated next to the highest summit of Germany (Zugspitze 2963 in). The formation of autochthonous soils is determined by the following parameters: uniform geology and geochemistry of Triassic limestone (CaCO3 MgCO3 greater than or equal to 98%), variable substrata (solid rock, debris, local moraine), hypsometric pattern of vegetation modified by microclimate and aspect, variety of micro-environments in karst relief. In the subnivale zone, only leptosols (lithic, skeletic) and regosols (calcaric, humic) occur, whereas in the alpine zone different stages of folic histosols and rendzic leptosols prevail due to the diversity of vegetation. The purity of limestone prevents a distinct contribution of residues to soil formation. Instead of expected A-B-C profiles, the residues are mixed with organic matter of folic horizons (O-OB-C). Only in karst depressions or on local moraines small Bt horizons (2 to 5 cm) occur. They mark a developed stage of folic histosol (O-OB-Bt-C) representing the climax of autochthonous mineral soil genesis in the study area. Special features are brown deposits (mean thickness 30 cm) covering large parts of the alpine zone. On the basis of mineralogical (X-ray diffraction, heavy minerals) and pedological data (grain size, soil chemistry), eolian origin is indicated. The resulting soils are classified as loess loam-like cambisols (Ah-Bw-2(Bt)-2C) and are related to late glacial loess deposition (Egesen-Stade of Younger Dryas). The abundance of mica and silt in the surface layers and the grain size distribution of snow dust samples prove that dust influx by southerly winds is still continuing. The major sources for both late glacial and present-day dust are magmatic and metamorphic rock formations of the Central Alps. Additionally, local dust transport from adjacent outcrops of Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sediments is evident. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Les karsts latritiques de Nouvelle-Caldonie, 2005,
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Genna Antonin, Bailly Laurent, Lafoy Yves, Aug Thierry
The lateritic karsts of New Caledonia - The metallogenetic role of karst phenomena is known for a long time. The main ore bodies formed in this way contain aluminium, lead-zinc, nickel, or copper. In New Caledonia, the humid tropical climate was the reason for the development of various karst types within carbonate formations and ultramafic rocks of the caledonian ophiolite. Nickel concentrated in altered pockets is mined since the 19th century. The genesis of the ore was debated controversially, and different geological models had been proposed. Initially, the ores were interpreted as being hydrothermal deposits. Then, they were considered supergene, with meteoric fluids using pre-existing fractures. They also were considered as being contemporaneous to radially expanding neotectonic activity. The lateritic alteration of the peridotites began on a Miocene paleosurface. By means of a structural analysis, we show that the listric faults containing the mineralisation are due to karstic collapses. A detailed analysis of the complete karst buildup is made, where hydrauic fracturing plays a dominant role in the dynamics and structurisation of the karst.

Mineralogical and Stable Isotope Studies of Kaolin Deposits: Shallow Epithermal Systems of Western Sardinia, Italy, 2005,
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Simeone R. , Dilles J. H. , Padalino G. , Palomba M. ,
Large kaolin deposits hosted by Miocene silicic pyroclastic rocks in northwestern Sardinia represent hydrothermal alteration formed within 200 m of the Miocene paleosurface. Boiling hydrothermal fluids ascended steeply dipping faults that are enveloped by altered rock. The broadly stratiform kaolin deposits constitute advanced argillic alteration that was produced in a steam-heated zone near the paleosurface overlying the deeper hydrothermal systems. The deeper zones represent two distinct types of epithermal systems: weakly acidic (inferred low-sulfidation) systems at Tresnuraghes and acidic (high-sulfidation) systems at Romana. Tresnuraghes is characterized at depth by chalcedony {} quartz {} barite veins within a 50-m-wide zone of K-feldspar-quartz-illite alteration and overlying local occurrences of chalcedony sinter, which define the paleosurface. Kaolin deposits near the paleosurface are characterized by zonation outward and downward from an inner shallow zone of kaolinite 1T-opal {} dickite {} alunite (<20-{micro}m-diam grains) to an outer deeper kaolinite 1M-montmorillonite-cristobalite. This zonation indicates formation by descending acidic fluids. The system evolved from ascending weakly acidic or neutral fluids that boiled to produce H2S-rich vapor, which condensed and oxidized within the near-surface vadose zone to form steam-heated acid-sulfate waters and kaolin alteration. At Romana, veins at depth contain chalcedony or quartz and minor pyrite and are enclosed in up to 20-m-wide zones of kaolinite 1T-quartz alteration. Near hydrothermal vents along the paleosurface, chalcedonic silica is enclosed within a zone of kaolinite 1T-alunite (<50-{micro}m-diam grains)-quartz-opal {} dickite {} cristobalite. Kaolin quarries near the paleosurface display outward and downward zoning to kaolinite 1T-opal {} cristobalite and then to montmorillonite-kaolinite 1T {} opal, consistent with formation by descending low pH fluid. The siliceous and advanced argillic alteration along steep conduits formed from acidic ascending magmatic-hydrothermal fluids, whereas the near-surface kaolin formed from steam-heated meteoric waters. Alteration mineral assemblages and stable isotope data provide evidence of the temperature and source of hydrothermal fluids. Barite from Tresnuraghes (average{delta} 18O = 17.1{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 18.8{per thousand}), one alunite sample from Romana ({delta}18O = 12.0{per thousand},{delta} D = -3{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 16.7{per thousand}), and quartz from both localities ({delta}18O = 15.9-22.0{per thousand}) formed in hydrothermal feeders. Source fluids were likely mixtures of meteoric water and minor magmatic fluid, similar to other epithermal systems. Kaolinite-dickite minerals from the kaolin deposits ({delta}18O = 16.6-21.4{per thousand},{delta} D = -43 to -53{per thousand}) formed from steam-heated meteoric water having{delta} D = - 20 per mil, consistent with the presence of anomalous Hg and fine-grained Na- and Fe-poor alunite. The laterally extensive kaolin deposits in Sardinia, and possibly similar deposits elsewhere in the world, appear to represent the uppermost parts of large hydrothermal systems that may be prospects for gold at depth

Reactive transport modeling and hydrothermal karst genesis: The example of the Rocabruna barite deposit (Eastern Pyrenees), 2006,
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Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E, Soler A,
In western Europe and North Africa, many sulfide and barite deposits appear to be related to the pre-Triassic paleosurface. Some of these mineralizations have traditionally been interpreted as the result of mineral fillings of previously formed karstic cavities. However, reactive transport modeling suggests that those minerals may have originated at depth and simultaneous with the cavity in the carbonate rocks. Numerical simulations using the Rocabruna deposit as an example recreate the genesis of such cavities and their filling by new minerals in a hydrothermal environment. Two warm (T = 150 [deg]C) fluids with different compositions but both saturated with dolomite were allowed to mix at a fracture intersection; the resulting solution strongly corroded the dolomite host rock and was able to create large voids in a hundred thousand year time scale. Our results show that equidimensional cavities originate from mixtures with equal fluxes of the contributing fluids, but elongated dissolution zones appear when the flux ratios were different from unity and the slowest flow direction coincided with the longest dimension of the void. Moreover, when the fluid mixture was dominated by a diluted and slightly alkaline groundwater instead of a 50-50 mixture with an acidic brine, dolomite dissolution or corrosion was more effective. Sulfide minerals precipitate around cavity walls replacing the host dolostone as the dolomite dissolution reaction couples with that of sulfide precipitation. This coupling produces some porosity, which is negligible compared to that caused by the mixing itself. Barite may also precipitate inside the forming cavity, but as the sulfate mineral precipitation reaction is not coupled with that of dolomite dissolution, barite grows in open space

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