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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 bone cave is a cave recognized particularly for its contained deposits of animal bones. the bones may be the remains of animals that fell into the cave, as in the joint mitnor cave, devon, or in many other pitfall or fissure sites. alternatively the bones may be of animals that originally lived in the cave - and these may include man, as at niah cave, sarawak, or at russell cave, usa. a third, and most important, type of bone cave is the ancient animal den, into which scavengers such as hyaenas dragged the remains of many other animals, as for example at kirkdale cave in north yorkshire [3].?

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 13c (Keyword) returned 117 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 117
Palaeoclimatic interpretation of stable isotope data from Holocene speleothems of the Waitomo district, North Island, New Zealand, 1999,
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Williams P. W. , Marshall A. , Ford D. C. , Jenkinson A. V. ,
One straw stalactite and three stalagmites from the Waitomo district of North Island, New Zealand, were examined for stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon with a view to interpreting their palaeoclimate signal. Dating was by uranium series and AMS 14C for the stalagmites and by gamma-ray spectrometry for the straw. Records were thus established for about 100 years for the straw and 3.9, 10.1 and 10.2 ka for the stalagmites. The range of variability in d18Oc and d13Cc this century is about two-thirds of that experienced over the entire Holocene, and is most simply explained in terms of the oceanic source area of rain. Stable isotope variations in three stalagmites show some general similarities, but have significant differences in detail, which underlines the necessity to base palaeoclimatic interpretations on more than one speleothem record. The d18Oc of each stalagmite varies positively with temperature, indicating the dominance of the ocean source of evaporation in determining the isotopic composition of precipitation and hence speleothem calcite in the Holocene. This conclusion is contrary to that of other authors working in New Zealand, who identified a negative relationship between d18Oc and temperature, while examining time periods extending across the Last Glacial Maximum. It is concluded here that, whereas the ice volume effect dominates the large climatic shifts of glacial-interglacial amplitude, the oceanic source effect becomes more important during the period of relatively stable sea level during the Holocene. Results also indicate a late-Holocene altitudinal effect of 0.2{per thousand} d18Oc per 100 m and an associated temperature relationship of about 0.26{per thousand} per{degrees}C. The average of two records identifies the postglacial climatic optimum to lie in the interval from prior to 10 ka BP to 7.5 ka BP, when d18Oc values were up to 0.6{per thousand} less negative than present, implying an average annual mean temperature that was up to 2.3{degrees}C warmer. The average of three speleothem records for the last 3900 years reveals the coldest period of the Holocene to have occurred about 3 to 2 ka BP, when d18Oc values were typically 0.4{per thousand} more negative than present and average temperatures may have been 1.5{degrees}C cooler. Mean annual temperature variability of about 2{degrees}C was sometimes experienced in little more than 100 years

Depositional Facies and Aqueous-Solid Geochemistry of Travertine-Depositing Hot Springs (Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, U.S.A.), 2000,
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Fouke Bw, Farmer Jd, Des Marais Dj, Pratt L, Sturchio Nc, Burns Pc, Discipulo Mk,
Petrographic and geochemical analyses of travertine-depositing hot springs at Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, have been used to define five depositional facies along the spring drainage system. Spring waters are expelled in the vent facies at 71 to 73{degrees}C and precipitate mounded travertine composed of aragonite needle botryoids. The apron and channel facies (43-72{degrees}C) is floored by hollow tubes composed of aragonite needle botryoids that encrust sulfide-oxidizing Aquificales bacteria. The travertine of the pond facies (30-62{degrees}C) varies in composition from aragonite needle shrubs formed at higher temperatures to ridged networks of calcite and aragonite at lower temperatures. Calcite 'ice sheets', calcified bubbles, and aggregates of aragonite needles ('fuzzy dumbbells') precipitate at the air-water interface and settle to pond floors. The proximal-slope facies (28-54{degrees}C), which forms the margins of terracette pools, is composed of arcuate aragonite needle shrubs that create small microterracettes on the steep slope face. Finally, the distal-slope facies (28-30{degrees}C) is composed of calcite spherules and calcite 'feather' crystals. Despite the presence of abundant microbial mat communities and their observed role in providing substrates for mineralization, the compositions of spring-water and travertine predominantly reflect abiotic physical and chemical processes. Vigorous CO2 degassing causes a unit increase in spring water pH, as well as Rayleigh-type covariations between the concentration of dissolved inorganic carbon and corresponding {delta}13C. Travertine {delta}13C and {delta}18O are nearly equivalent to aragonite and calcite equilibrium values calculated from spring water in the higher-temperature ([~]50-73{degrees}C) depositional facies. Conversely, travertine precipitating in the lower-temperature (<[~]50{degrees}C) depositional facies exhibits {delta}13C and {delta}18O values that are as much as 4{per thousand} less than predicted equilibrium values. This isotopic shift may record microbial respiration as well as downstream transport of travertine crystals. Despite the production of H2S and the abundance of sulfide-oxidizing microbes, preliminary {delta}34S data do not uniquely define the microbial metabolic pathways present in the spring system. This suggests that the high extent of CO2 degassing and large open-system solute reservoir in these thermal systems overwhelm biological controls on travertine crystal chemistry

Dolomitization of Holocene Shallow-Marine Deposits Mediated by Sulfate Reduction and Methanogenesis in Normal-Salinity Seawater, Northern Belize, 2000,
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Teal Chellie S. , Mazzullo S. J. , Bischoff William D. ,
Dolomite constitutes an average of 12% of the Holocene organic-rich sediments over a 15 km2 area of the Cangrejo Shoals mudbank in northern Belize. Although it defines a laterally persistent stratiform body that averages 3 m thick, it is present throughout the 7.6-m-thick sediment section. These transgressive sediments are less than [~]6400 years old and were deposited in shallow-marine environments of normal salinity. The dolomite is dominantly cement, and average crystal size is 7 m. There are no significant correlations among amount of dolomite vs. sediment texture, mineralogy, porosity, or mole % MgCO3 in associated particulate high-Mg calcite, depth, or location on the shoals. The dolomites are poorly ordered and calcic (39.5-44.5 mole % MgCO3), with low mean Mn (210 ppm) and relatively high mean Sr (1034 ppm) concentrations. There is no evidence of recrystallization or geochemical alteration of the dolomite. {delta}18O values of the dolomites range from 0.5 to 2.8{per thousand}PDB, and the mean value (2.1{per thousand}) suggests that the dolomite precipitated from normal-salinity pore water. Dolomite {delta}13C values range from -5.2{per thousand} to .6{per thousand}PDB (mean seawater {delta}13C = 0.5{per thousand}), which suggests dolomitization promoted by both bacterial sulfate reduction and methanogenesis in environments with anoxic pore water. Dolomitization attending these organodiagenetic reactions apparently was reversible over time, and episodic rather than continual precipitation is indicated. Requisite Mg and Ca were provided by seawater and by some dissolution of host sediments. The most rapid period of dolomitization may have been during early transgression, when relatively high sedimentation rates sustained high levels of organodiagenesis and pore-water alkalinities

Interglacial Growth of Tufa in Croatia, 2000,
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Horvatincic Nada, Calic Romana, Geyh Mebus A. ,
Tufa samples from the Krka River area in Croatia were dated by 14C and 230Th/234U methods. The study area is situated in the karst region of the southern Dinarides. 14C ages of 40 tufa samples collected at the waterfalls coincide with the early Holocene interglaciation, up to 6000 14C yr B.P. Comparison of conventional 14C dates of Holocene tufa and those of speleothems in the Dinaric Karst shows that speleothem formation started several thousand years earlier than tufa growth. Samples of old tufa deposits from the Krka River (17) and Plitvice Lakes (12) area and speleothem samples from caves in Dinaric Karst (5) yield 34 230Th/234U dates, most of which cluster around interglacial marine [delta]18O stage 5 (21). Eight of 13 older dates belong to interglacial stages 7 and 9; only 5 dates fall within stage 6 and 8 glaciations. 230Th/234U dates of speleothems and tufa samples from central Europe have indicated that these were formed preferentially during warm and humid interglacial and interstadial periods, and it appears that this is true of southern Croatia as well. Stable isotope ([delta]13C, [delta]18O) analyses of 40 tufa samples from the Krka River area were compared with stable isotope analyses of tufa from the Plitvice Lakes area. The [delta]13C values for both locations are similar and range from -10 to -6[per mille sign], indicating similar conditions of tufa formation. A systematic difference between the [delta]18O values of tufa in these two areas reflects the regional distribution of the oxygen composition of precipitation

Controls on the geochemistry of speleothem-forming karstic drip waters, PhD thesis, 2000,
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Tooth, A.

Research was performed at Crag Cave, Castleisland, southwest Ireland, and P8 Cave, Castleton, Derbyshire, in order to determine the main factors responsible for modifying rainwater geochemistry during flow through soil and karstic aquifer zones. Monitoring was performed on a daily basis in summer and winter at Crag Cave, and on a monthly basis over one year at P8 Cave. At both sites, biannual peaks in karst system Ca2+ concentrations occurred due to: (i) promotion of microbial CO2 production by increased summer temperatures, and (ii) retardation of gaseous exchange by ponding of elevated winter rainfall input leading to an unseasonable build up in soil zone CO2. Therefore, speleothems at both sites may form biannual bands in hydrological years subject to elevated winter rainfall input.

In addition to variations in carbonate weathering due to fluctuations in CO2 levels, cation yields in Crag Cave matrix soil water were controlled by dolomite dissolution (Mg2+), plant uptake (K+), and evapotranspiration balanced by enhanced winter marine aerosol input (Na+). Strontium isotope analysis indicates that Sr2+ was derived from a 50:50 silicate/carbonate mixture, whereas the relatively light ?13C signal was related to direct evolution of CO2 into the aqueous phase in water-logged pores.

Within the Crag Cave aquifer variations in karst water geochemistry were controlled by dilution, flow switching, prior precipitation of calcite, and dolomite dissolution along the flow path. Strontium isotope analysis indicates that dissolution in the aquifer dominated, with Sr2+ being sourced from a 25:75 silicate/carbonate mixture. Light karst water 13C values were constrained by the supply of light soil gas to the aquifer.

Elevation in the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in the Crag Cave speleothem record compared to present day analogues indicates that the former Holocene climate was drier, whereas heavier 87Sr/86Sr ratios and 13C values suggest variation in soil hydrology over time.


Dead carbon in stalagmites : limestone paleodissolution versus ageing of Soil Organic Matter - Implications for 13c variations in stalagmites, 2001,
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Genty D. , Baker A. , Massault M. , Procror Ch. , Gilmour M. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hamelin B

Dead carbon in stalagmites: Carbon bedrock paleodissolution vs. ageing of soil organic matter. Implications for 13C variations in speleothems., 2001,
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Genty D. , Baker A. R. , Massault M. , Proctor C. , Gilmour M. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hamelin B.

Stable isotope variations in the Neoproterozoic Beck Spring Dolomite and Mesoproterozoic Mescal Limestone paleokarst: Implications for life on land in the Precambrian, 2001,
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Kenny Ray, Knauth L. Paul,
Proterozoic karst events lowered {delta}13C values by as much as 11{per thousand} for the 800 Ma Beck Spring Dolomite, California, and as much as 8.5{per thousand} for the 1.1 Ga Mescal Limestone, central Arizona, relative to the originally deposited carbonate. The 13C changes are attributed to input of 13C-depleted organic CO2 derived from photosynthetic organisms that colonized the ancient land surface. The large isotopic shift and its presence at two separate localities suggest that Proterozoic karst surfaces were colonized by significant photosynthetic communities with phytomasses possibly approaching those of today

A late Pleistocene ceiling collapse in Bogus Cave, Jones County, Iowa: A potential relationship to coeval accelerated mass wasting events across the central Midwest, 2002,
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Josephs, R. L.
A thick accumulation of boulder-size dolostone blocks, the result of one or more episodes of ceiling collapse, was encountered during geoarchaeological excavations in the front room of Bogus Cave, east-central Iowa. The rockfall layer was buried by a veneer of Holocene sediments that contained prehistoric artifacts dating to the Woodland Period (2500 - 1000 yr BP). An AMS 14C age of 17,260 120 yr BP, obtained from a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) mandible found wedged among the boulders, dates the collapse near the close of the last glacial maximum, a time when the projected mean annual temperature for this area was at least 14C lower than at present. Paleoenvironmental evidence based on ?13C values from select vertebrate remains and their encompassing sediment, together with a uranium series age of 16,900 4800 yr BP from a stalagmite formed atop one of the boulders, strongly support a late Wisconsinan age for the collapse. The episode (or episodes) of collapse appears to be the result of cryoclastic processes associated with late glacial conditions and the onset of accelerated mass wasting that has been previously documented across the central Midwest

A Late Quaternary Paleoecological Record from Caves of Southern Jamaica, West Indies, 2002,
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Mcfarlane, D. A. , Lundberg, J. , Fincham, A. G.
Studies of an unusual and diverse system of caves in coastal southern Jamaica have yielded a paleoclimatic record associated with a fossil vertebrate record that provides useful insights into the poorly documented paleoecology of latest Wisconsinan and Holocene Jamaica. Episodes of significantly increased precipitation during the Holocene have left characteristic deposits of speleothems, and have supported both faunal and archaeological communities that were dependent on these mesic conditions. Deposits of fossil bat guano preserved in the caves provide a d13C record of alternating mesic and xeric climatic episodes that supports the interpretation of the faunal and archaeological record.

Climatic conditions during marine oxygen isotope stage 6 in the eastern Mediterranean region from the isotopic composition of speleothems of Soreq Cave, Israel, 2002,
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Ayalon A, Barmatthews M, Kaufman A,
At several times during marine oxygen isotope stage 6, the eastern Mediterranean region was influenced by two extreme climatic systems: the large ice sheet over northern Europe and the wet tropics associated with African monsoons. During this interval, two major climatic events occurred in the region; the sapropel S6 layer formed ca. 176 ka in the eastern Mediterranean basin owing to the increase in the African monsoon, and another event, although not large enough to form sapropel, occurred ca. 151 ka. The isotopic composition of Soreq Cave speleothems seems to record these events as very low {delta}18O-{delta}13C values dated as ca. 178 and 152 ka. The very low {delta}18O-{delta}13C values of -6{per thousand} and -11{per thousand} to -12{per thousand}, respectively, are typical of interglacial intervals, but here they were recorded during a glacial interval. Such low peaks indicate that in this part of the eastern Mediterranean region, i.e., Israel, the rainfall amount increased dramatically. Moreover, the isotopic record of the speleothems also shows that during the entire stage 6, although the climate was as cold as much of the last glacial, the conditions were never as dry

Aragonite-Calcite Relationships in Speleothems (Grotte De Clamouse, France): Environment, Fabrics, and Carbonate Geochemistry, 2002,
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Frisia S, Borsato A, Fairchild Ij, Mcdermott F, Selmo Em,
In Grotte de Clamouse (France), aragonite forms in a variety of crystal habits whose properties reflect the conditions of formation. Prolonged degassing and evaporation yield needle aragonite, which is more enriched in 18O and 13C than aragonite ray crystals, which form near isotopic equilibrium. At present, aragonite ray crystals form at the tops of stalagmites at very low discharge (0.00035 ml/ min), and when fluid Mg/Ca ratio is > 1.1. Temperature and evaporation do not seem to have a significant role in their formation. The presence of aragonite in stalagmites should be indicative of a decrease in drip rate related to either dry climate conditions or local hydrology. Fossil aragonite was in part replaced by calcite in a time frame < 1.0 ka, possibly through the combined effects of dissolution of aragonite, and precipitation of calcite, which preferentially nucleated on calcite cements that had previously formed between aragonite rays. Commonly, the replacement phase inherited the textural and chemical characteristics of the precursor aragonite prisms and needles (and in particular the {delta}13C signal and U content), and preserved aragonite relicts (up to 16 weight %). The isotope signal of different aragonite habits may reflect conditions of formation rather than climate parameters. The real extent of aragonite-to-calcite transformation may be underestimated when replacement calcite inherits both textural and chemical properties of the precursor

Origin, evolution and residence time of saline thermal fluids (Balaruc springs, southern France): implications for fluid transfer across the continental shelf, 2002,
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Aquilina L. Ladouche B. Doerfliger N. , Seidel J. L. , Bakalowicz M. , Dupuy C. , Le Strat P.

Thermal fluids in the Balaruc-les-Bains peninsula, on the northeastern edge of the Thau lagoon (southern France), supply the third largest spa in France. These thermal fluids interact with karst water in the Upper Jurassic aquifer composed of limestone and dolomite, forming two massifs to the east and north of the lagoon. These calcareous formations extend under the western end of the Thau lagoon. Geochemical and isotope analyses were carried out in 1996 and 1998 on the thermal wells of the Balaruc-les-Bains peninsula to determine the origin of the thermal fluids and their interaction with subsurface karst water. The thermal fluids are a mixture of karst water and water of marine origin. 3H and NO3 concentrations show that the proportion of present-day karst water in certain thermal wells is small ( < 5%), thus enabling us to define a ‘‘pure’’ thermal end-member. The thermal end-member is itself a mixture of seawater and meteoric paleowater. Ca and Sr concentrations indicate a lengthy interaction with the carbonate substratum of the deep reservoir. Sr isotope signatures are very homogeneous and associated mainly with the dissolution of Jurassic carbonate, but also to evaporitic minerals. y13C contents indicate that this dissolution is linked to deep inflow of CO2. 87Sr, trace element and rare earth element (REE) concentrations indicate that there is also a component, with a systematically minor participation, whose origin is deeper than the Jurassic carbonate and attributed to the Triassic and/or to the crystalline basement. 36Cl concentrations are extremely low, indicating a residence time of around a hundred thousand years. The outflow temperature of the thermal fluids reaches 50 jC, and geothermometers indicate a reservoir temperature of around 80–100 jC, locating this aquifer at a depth of between 2000 and 2500 m. The geometry of the geological formations indicates a thrust plane associated with major basement faulting that separates the two calcareous massifs and seems to control the rise of deep thermal fluids from the Jurassic carbonate reservoirs and the participation of a deeper component from the basement and/or the Triassic. The present study shows that seawater can infiltrate at great depths and reside for long periods of time compared to the subsurface groundwater cycle. Compared to other highly saline fluids encountered in basement zones, these waters have a relatively well-preserved marine signature, probably due to the carbonate nature of the aquifer in which the fluids resided and their short residence time.


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

The 'Calamine' of Southwest Sardinia: Geology, Mineralogy, and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Supergene Zn Mineralization, 2003,
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Boni M, Gilg Ha, Aversa G, Balassone G,
The mining district of southwest Sardinia, Italy, is one of the classic areas where primary carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb sulfide ores are associated with a relatively thick secondary oxidation zone containing Zn (hydroxy-)carbonates and silicates, the so-called 'calamine,' exploited until the 1970s. The extent of the capping oxidized ore zones, reaching deep below the surface, is generally independent of the present-day water table. The base of the oxidation profile containing nonsulfide Zn minerals in various uplifted blocks in the Iglesiente area can be both elevated above or submerged below the recent water table. The genesis of the ores is therefore considered to be related to fossil, locally reactivated, oxidation phenomena. The mineralogy of the nonsulfide mineralization is generally complex and consists of smithsonite, hydrozincite, and hemimorphite as the main economic minerals, accompanied by iron and manganese oxy-hydroxides and residual clays. This study places the secondary ores in the context of the tectonostratigraphic and climatic evolution of Sardinia and includes a petrographic and mineralogic study of the most abundant minerals, relating the mineralogy of secondary Zn and Pb carbonates to their stable C and O isotope geochemistry and constraining the origin of the oxidizing fluids and the temperature of mineralization. The{delta} 18OVSMOW values of smithsonite are homogeneous, regardless of crystal morphology, position, and mine location (avg. 27.4 {} 0.9{per thousand}). This homogeneity points to a relatively uniform isotopic composition of the oxidation fluid and corresponding formation temperatures of 20{degrees} to 35{degrees}C. Considering the karstic environment of smithsonite formation in southwest Sardinia, this high temperature could be due to heat release during sulfide oxidation. The carbon isotope compositions of secondary Zn carbonates display considerable variations of more than 9 per mil ({delta}13CVPDB from -0.6 to -10.4{per thousand}). This large range indicates participation of variable amounts of reduced organic and marine carbonate carbon during sulfide oxidation. The isotopic variation can be related to a variation in crystal morphologies of smithsonite, reflecting different environments of formation with respect to water table oscillations in karstic environments (upper to lower vadose to epiphreatic). The same range in{delta} 13C isotope values is displayed by the calcite associated with Zn carbonates and by recent speleothems. The most reliable time span for the deposition of bulk calamine ore in southwest Sardinia ranges from middle Eocene to Plio-Pleistocene, although further multiple reactivation of the weathering profiles, peaking within the warm interglacial periods of the Quaternary, cannot be excluded

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