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Community news

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 roof drainage is precipitation runoff from roofs.?

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 smectite (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
L'halloysite karstique; comparaison des gisements types de Wallonie (Belgique) et du Perigord (France), 1997,
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Perruchot A. , Dupuis C. , Brouard E. , Nicaise D. , Ertus R. ,
Two cryptokarstic (covered karsts) halloysitic deposits were compared: the Entre Sambre et Meuse in Belgium and the Perigord in France. Both belong to a continental margin subject to marine transgression and regression cycles which enhance the karstic activity. This geodynamic context appears to be very favourable to the formation of halloysite. The similarity of the geodynamic context of both sites leads to a genetic convergence linked to specific properties of the cryptokarstic system, especially, the ability to collect the percolating waters and to juxtapose the conditions of precipitation, accumulation and maturation of the halloysite silico-aluminous gel precursors. However, each site also displays pronounced specificities relevant to: the nature of the host rock of the halloysite (a partly silicified limestone in the first, a smectite-kaolinite argilite in the second); the aluminium source (allochthonous in the first, relatively autochthonous in the second); and the halloysite content of the deposits (of approximately 100% in the first, and 40% maximum in the second)

Cave fill in the Črnotiče Quarry, SW Slovenia: palaeomagnetic, mineralogical and geochemical study, 1999,
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Bosá, K Pavel, Mihevc Andrej, Pruner Petr, Melka Karel, Venhodová, Daniela, Langrová, Anna

A fossil cave, filled with cave sediments was open in the Črnotiče Quarry. An about 1.75 m high section was analysed. Profile consists of banded carbonate rocks intercalated by red clays which was deposited on corroded/eroded surface of older speleothems. Banded and laminated carbonate rocks are composed of recrystallized calcilutite resemble freshwater limestones. Characteristics of lamination could indicate its origin from organic-rich films. Red clays are composed of quartz, smectite, vermiculite, gibbsite, pM kaolinite, goethite, anatase, rutile, haematite, calcite, micas and feldspar. They contain pellets with Mn hydroxyoxides. That red clays are weathering products redeposited in water-saturated environment. Samples are characterised by intermediate up to high magnetic values of Jn which is caused by the presence of high amount of Fe-minerals. Mean palaeomagnetic directions are for the group of normal palaeomagnetic polarity equal to D = 10.6°; I = 55.0°, and for the group of reverse polarity than D = 173.0°; I = -31.3°. The top part of the profile shows reverse palaeomagnetic direction interrupted by two normal magnetised zones. According to the arrangement of individual magnetozones we assume, that the top of the highest normal polarised magnetozone could be correlated with the Olduvai event (1.76/1.79 Ma) as the youngest possibility, and therefore the rest of profile must be older.


Clays in Caves of the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, 2000,
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Polyak, V. J. , Gven, N.
The origins of clay minerals in the caves of the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico are categorized as (1) detrital, (2) inherited from the weathering of dolostone and siltstone, and (3) authigenic. Clay minerals found in these caves include hydrated halloysite, kaolinite, dickite, illite, montmorillonite, illite-smectite mixed-layers, palygorskite, and trioctahedral smectite. The detrital clay minerals are montmorillonite, illite, dickite and kaolinite. The clay minerals inherited from the bedrock by condensation-induced weathering (in wall residues) are illite and dickite. Cave-authigenic clay minerals include hydrated halloysite (endellilte), trioctahedral smectite, montmorillonite, and probably palygorskite. Hydrated halloysite formed by the alteration of illite, montmorillonite, illite-smectite mixed-layers, kaolinite, or dickite during sulfuric acid-related speleogenesis. Trioctahedral smectite precipitated with Mg-carbonate minerals in dolomite crusts and huntite moonmilk. Montmorillonite formed in saturated ledge deposits of redistributed wall residues. Less clear is the origin of palygorskite in laminated silt and clay deposits in Carlsbad Cavern.

DETRITAL ORIGIN OF A SEDIMENTARY FILL, LECHUGUILLA CAVE, GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS, NEW MEXICO, 2000,
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Foos Am, Sasowsky Id, Larock Ej, Kambesis Pn,
Lechuguilla Cave is a hypogene cave formed by oxidation of ascending hydrogen sulfide from the Delaware Basin. A unique sediment deposit with characteristics suggesting derivation from the land surface, some 285 m above, was investigated. At this location, the observed stratigraphy (oldest to youngest) was: bedrock floor (limestone), cave clouds (secondary calcite), calcite-cemented silstone, finely laminated clay, and calcite rafts. Grain-size analysis indicates that the laminated clay deposits are composed of 59-82% clay-size minerals. The major minerals of the clay were determined by X-ray diffraction analysis and consist of interstratified illite-smectite, kaolinite, illite, goethite, and quartz. Scanning electron microscopy observations show that most of the clay deposit is composed of densely packed irregular-shaped clay-size flakes. One sample from the top of the deposit was detrital, containing well-rounded, silt-size particles. Surface soils are probably the source of the clay minerals. The small amount of sand- and silt-size particles suggests that detrital particles were transported in suspension. The lack of endellite and alunite is evidence that the clays were emplaced after the sulfuric-acid dissolution stage of cave formation. Fossil evidence also suggests a previously existing link to the surface

AUTHIGENESIS OF TRIOCTAHEDRAL SMECTITE IN MAGNESIUM-RICH CARBONATE SPELEOTHEMS IN CARLSBAD CAVERN AND OTHER CAVES OF THE GUADALUPE MOUNTAINS, NEW MEXICO, 2000,
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Polyak Victor James, Guven Necip,
Trioctahedral smectite is a constituent of Mg-rich carbonate crusts and moonmilks (pasty deposits) in caves of the Guadalupe Mountains of southeastern New Mexico. Energy dispersive X-ray microanalysis of individual crystallites and their aggregates along with the X-ray diffraction analysis indicates that the smectite is probably stevensite. Saponite is likely present in some samples also. The smectite is intimately associated with dolomite crusts and huntite moonmilks in Carlsbad Cavern, Lechuguilla Cave, and other dolostone caves. Clay particles appear as fibers and films, with aggregates comprising decimicron-sized filamentous masses that envelop crystals of dolomite, huntite, and magnesite. The occurrence of smectite is related to the genesis of the Mg-rich carbonate minerals. In water films, progressive evaporation and carbon dioxide loss results in the sequential precipitation of Mg-rich calcite, aragonite, dolomite, huntite, and magnesite. This sequence of carbonate precipitation removes Ca and greatly increases the Mg/Ca ratio in the solutions. Silica is commonly available probably because of high pH conditions, and consequently, smectite forms in the Mg-rich alkaline environment. Along with the Mg-rich carbonate minerals, opal, quartz, and uranyl vanadates may precipitate with the smectite

Genesis of the Dogankuzu and Mortas Bauxite Deposits, Taurides, Turkey: Separation of Al, Fe, and Mn and Implications for Passive Margin Metallogeny, 2002,
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Ozturk Huseyin, Hein James R. , Hanilci Nurullah,
The Taurides region of Turkey is host to a number of important bauxite, Al-rich laterite, and Mn deposits. The most important bauxite deposits, Do[g]ankuzu and Morta[s], are karst-related, unconformity-type deposits in Upper Cretaceous limestone. The bottom contact of the bauxite ore is undulatory, and bauxite fills depressions and sinkholes in the footwall limestone, whereas its top surface is concordant with the hanging-wall limestone. The thickness of the bauxite varies from 1 to 40 m and consists of bohmite, hematite, pyrite, marcasite, anatase, diaspore, gypsum, kaolinite, and smectite. The strata-bound, sulfide- and sulfate-bearing, low-grade lower part of the bauxite ore bed contains pyrite pseudomorphs after hematite and is deep red in outcrop owing to supergene oxidation. The lower part of the bauxite body contains local intercalations of calcareous conglomerate that formed in fault-controlled depressions and sinkholes. Bauxite ore is overlain by fine-grained Fe sulfide-bearing and calcareous claystone and argillaceous limestone, which are in turn overlain by massive, compact limestone of Santonian age. That 50-m-thick limestone is in turn overlain by well-bedded bioclastic limestone of Campanian or Maastrichtian age, rich with rudist fossils. Fracture fillings in the bauxite orebody are up to 1 m thick and consist of bluish-gray-green pyrite and marcasite (20%) with bohmite, diaspore, and anatase. These sulfide veins crosscut and offset the strata-bound sulfide zones. Sulfur for the sulfides was derived from the bacterial reduction of seawater sulfate, and Fe was derived from alteration of oxides in the bauxite. Iron sulfides do not occur within either the immediately underlying or overlying limestone. The platform limestone and shale that host the bauxite deposits formed at a passive margin of the Tethys Ocean. Extensive vegetation developed on land as the result of a humid climate, thereby creating thick and acidic soils and enhancing the transport of large amounts of organic matter to the ocean. Alteration of the organic matter provided CO2 that contributed to formation of a relatively 12C-rich marine footwall limestone. Relative sea-level fall resulted from strike-slip faulting associated with closure of the ocean and local uplift of the passive margin. That uplift resulted in karstification and bauxite formation in topographic lows, as represented by the Do[g]ankuzu and Morta[s] deposits. During stage 1 of bauxite formation, Al, Fe, Mn, and Ti were mobilized from deeply weathered aluminosilicate parent rock under acidic conditions and accumulated as hydroxides at the limestone surface owing to an increase in pH. During stage 2, Al, Fe, and Ti oxides and clays from the incipient bauxite (bauxitic soil) were transported as detrital phases and accumulated in the fault-controlled depressions and sinkholes. During stage 3, the bauxitic material was concentrated by repeated desilicification, which resulted in the transport of Si and Mn to the ocean through a well-developed karst drainage system. The transported Mn was deposited in offshore muds as Mn carbonates. The sulfides also formed in stage 3 during early diagenesis. Transgression into the foreland basin resulted from shortening of the ocean basin and nappe emplacement during the latest Cretaceous. During that time bioclastic limestone was deposited on the nappe ramp, which overlapped bauxite accumulation

Sedimentologic, diagenetic and tectonic evolution of the Saint-Flavien gas reservoir at the structural front of the Quebec Appalachians, 2003,
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Bertrand R, Chagnon A, Malo M, Duchaine Y, Lavoie D, Savard Mm,
The Beekmantown Group (Lower Ordovician) of the Saint-Flavien reservoir has produced 162x106 m3 (5.7 bcf) of natural gas between 1980 and 1994. The conversion of the field into gas storage was initiated in 1992 and the pool became operational in 1998. Integration of structural and sedimentologic features, carbonate and organic matter petrography and geochemistry for 13 drill holes is used to define a tectonic-sedimentologic-diagenetic model for porosity evolution in these reservoir dolostones. The Beekmantown Group consists of numerous fifth-order shallowing-upward cycles 1.0 to 7.0 m thick (average of 2.4 m). Each cycle consists of a basal shale deposited during the initial flooding of the platform which was subsequently covered by a shoaling succession of subtidal and intertidal limestones to intertidal dolostones. Early dolomitization has produced intercrystalline porosity and preserved some moldic pores in the intertidal facies. Near surface, post-dolomite karstification has created vugs that were subsequently filled by early marine calcite fibrous cement based on the {delta}18O and {delta}13C ratios of calcite. Early burial elements consist of horizontal stylolites, pyrite and sphalerite. Late migrated bitumen was thermally altered or vaporized as native coke under deep burial conditions exceeding 240{degrees}C, partly due to overthrusting of Appalachian nappes. Under these conditions, breccias and fractures were generated and subsequently filled with K-feldspar, quartz, illite, and xenomorphic and poikilotopic calcite. The {delta}18O of the poikilotopic calcite and homogenization temperature of coeval fluid inclusions indicate formation under high temperatures (Th about 260{degrees}C). Horizontal shear zones and marcasite-rich vertical stylolites were produced during folding and thrusting. Dissolution has preferentially affected late fracture-filling calcite and generated most of the actual porosity during or soon after the Taconian Orogeny. The relationship between the occurrence of smectite and this type of porosity indicates the low temperature condition of this dissolution (T <100{degrees}C). Porosity in the Saint-Flavien reservoir has been mostly produced by fracture-controlled, late to post-Taconian dissolution of early to late calcite in the intertidal dolomitic slightly porous facies at the top of rhythmic cycles that compose the Beekmantown Group

Artesian origin of a cave developed in an isolated horst: a case pf Smocza Jama (Kraków Upland, Poland), 2009,
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Gradziñ, Ski Michal, Motyka Jacek, Gó, Rny Andrzej

The cave of Smocza Jama located in the centre of Kraków is developed in the Wawel Horst built of Upper Jurassic limestone and surrounded by grabens with Miocene clays. The cave is composed of two series: the old one has been known for ages and the new one was discovered when an artificial shaft was mined in 1974. The new series comprises small chambers separated by intervening thin walls while the old series consists of three connected together spatial chambers. The cave abounds in extensively developed solution cavities – cupolas and ceiling pockets. The internal fine-grained deposits, predominantly representing clay fraction are built of illite, mixed layer illite- smectite, kaolinite and iron oxides. They are probably the residuum after dissolution of Jurassic limestone. The cave originated in phreatic condition due to water input from below. The new series represents juvenile stage of cave evolution. The water rose through fissure-rifts located in chamber bottoms, circulated convectionally within particular chambers, finally led to bleaching of intervening walls, and hence to connection of the neighbouring chambers. The evolution of the old series is far more advanced. The rounded solution cavities imply that the cave was formed by water of elevated temperature. The lack of coarse-grained fluvial deposits, Pleistocene mammal remains and Palaeolithic artefacts prove that the cave was isolated since its inception till Holocene time. The cave originated due to artesian circulation, when the Wawel Horst was covered by impermeable Miocene clays. A foreland basin with carbonate basement, filled with fine-grained molasse-type deposits seems to be particularly favourable for the development of artesian caves.


Alunite formation within silica stalactites from the Sydney Region, South-eastern Australia, 2011,
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Wray, R. A. L. .

This paper presents X-ray diffraction and SEM evidence for the formation of alunite, and possibly small quantities of natroalunite, within opal-A stalactites formed on quartz sandstone near Sydney in south-eastern, Australia. Alunite has been reported as a speleogenetic mineral from sediments within a number of caves around the world, but this is believed to be the first report of speleothemic alunite in opaline silica speleothems. Individual alunite crystals have not been visually identified, but SEM X-ray element mapping suggests the alunite has formed amongst kaolinite clay. Sedimentary alunite and natroalunite formation is usually associated with the reaction of sulphuric acid on illite, smectite and kaolinite clay materials. In this location groundwater sulphate levels are not high, but evaporative concentration of stalactite drip-water containing small amounts of sulphuric acid generated by oxidization of pyrite might lower the pH to a level sufficiently acidic for conversion of kaolinite or illite to alunite. The ferrolysis of hydrous Fe2+-oxides, or the biochemical activities of bacteria or other micro-organisms, also provide conceivable pathways for the generation of pH sufficiently low to contribute to alunite formation. The occurrence of alunite in these silica stalactites, whilst unusual, is consistent with the normal silica stalactite-forming process in this region, and in accord with observations of the authigenic formation of alunite and groundwater opal in weathering profiles elsewhere.


KRASOVA JASKYNA PRYA V STIAVNICKYCH VRCHOCH - HYDROTERMALNA SPELEOGENEZA V KARBONATOVOM PODLOZI MIOCENNEHO STRATOVULKANU, 2011,
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Bella P. , Sucha V. , Gaal E. , Kodera P.

A cave of hydrothermal origin in crystalline limestone has been investigated near Sklene Teplice Spa in the Stiavnicke vrchy Mts. located in Central Slovakia. Metamorphozed Middle Triassic carbonate rocks occur as a horizon in pre-volcanic basement of Middle Miocene volcanic formations. The hydrothermal origin of studied cave is documented by spherical and irregural oval phreatic morphology sculptured by ascending thermal water, metamorphic type of the host rocks and their hydrothermal alteration, occurrence of large calcite and quartz crystals, and hydrothermal clays with three mineral smectite-kaolinite, illite and goethite associations. The primary phases of speleogenesis in the crystalline limestones was caused by hydrothermal processes linked either to the emplacement of granodiorite subvolcanic intrusions during the Late Badenian time or to epithermal system of the Late Sarmatian time in the central zone of the Stiavnica stratovolcano. The described cave presents the remarkable' example of hydrothermal limestone cave associated with Miocene volcanism and magmatic intrusions in Central Slovakia.
 


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