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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 thermokarst is 1. a pitted periglacial or former periglacial surface in superficial deposits, produced by settling or caving of the ground after melting of ground ice [10]. 2. a term applied to topographic depressions in karstic terranes resulting from the thawing of ice. see cryokarst.?

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 stress (Keyword) returned 119 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 119
STRESS ON TROPICAL KARST CULTIVATED WITH WET RICE - BOHOL, PHILIPPINES, 1993,
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Urich P. B. ,
Wet rice cultivation represents one of the most intensive uses of tropical karst. Under wet field conditions karstlands can be highly resilient, but nevertheless vulnerable to change. The karst environment in this study has been cultivated for at least five centuries. However, the post-World War II era has fostered a host of pressures that have altered the local ecology. Resulting stress in the irrigation systems and society threaten the maintenance of this viable karst-based agricultural economy

Tectonic Speleogenesis of Devils Hole, Nevada, and Implications for Hydrogeology and the Development of Long, Continuous Paleoenvironmental Records, 1994,
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Riggs Alan C. , Carr W. J. , Kolesar Peter T. , Hoffman Ray J. ,
Devils Hole, in southern Nevada, is a surface collapse into a deep, planar, steeply dipping fault-controlled fissure in Cambrian limestone and dolostone. The collapse intersects the water table about 15 m below land surface and the fissure extends at least 130 m deeper. Below water, most of the fissure is lined with a >30-cm-thick layer of dense maxillary calcite that precipitated continuously from groundwater for >500,000 yr. The thick mammillary calcite coat implies a long history of calcite-supersaturated groundwaters, which, combined with the absence of dissolutional morphologies, suggests that Devils Hole was not formed by karst processes. Devils Hole is located in a region of active extension; its tectonic origin is shown by evidence of spreading of its planar opening along a fault and by the orientation of its opening and others nearby, perpendicular to the northwest-southeast minimum principal stress direction of the region. Most Quaternary tectonic activity in the area, including seismicity and Quaternary faults and fractures, occurs on or parallel to northeast-striking structures. The hydrogeologic implications of this primarily structural origin are that fracture networks and caves opened by extensional tectonism can act as groundwater flowpaths functionally similar to those developed by karst processes and that, during active extension, transmissivity can be maintained despite infilling by mineral precipitation. Such extensional environments can provide conditions favorable for accumulation of deposits preserving long, continuous paleoenvironmental records. The precipitates in Devils Hole store chronologies of flow system water-level fluctuations, hydrochemistry, a half-million-yr proxy paleoclimate record, evidence of Devils Hole's tectonic origin, and probably atmospheric circulation

Karst Geomorphology and Hydrology of Gunung Tempurung, Perak, Malaysia, 1995,
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Gilleson David , Holland Ernst , Davies Gareth

Gunung Tempurung is a 600-metre high limestone tower in the Kinta Valley located to the south of the city of Ipoh, Malaysia. The tower contains at least one extensive cave system, Gua Tempurung, which has a length of approximately 4800 metres and a vertical range of about 200 metres. The tower is an erosional remnant of a thick sequence of Silurian - Permian Limestones initially formed as a shelf deposit near an ancient coastline. The carbonate rocks lie adjacent to, and are laterally bounded by, Late Mesozoic granite plutoniic rocks emplaced by activity related to the Late Triassic uplift from plate boundary stresses along the western edge of the Malay Peninsular. The limestones have been folded and compressed between the granites and have been altered by contact metamorphism to marbles and skarn. Hydrothermal mineralisation of the limestone host rock has yeilded deposits of tin, with some tungsten minerals and other minor ores. In the central part of the karst tower a river-cave system, Gua Tempurung, developed from local damming of the north and south outlets of a small catchment derived from the granite upland area to the east. In several locations inside the dry upper chambers of the cave, vein deposits of tin (cassiterite) are evident in walls and ceilings. Additionally alluvial tin deposits derived from the Old Alluvium are present in the cave.


Numerical multisource and multiscale imagery in the study of the topographic surface. Hydrogeological application in a karstic environment: Verneuil-sur-Avre (Perche, France), 1996,
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Sykioti O. , Deffontaines B. , Chorowicz J. , Obert D. , Demarsily G. , Lauverjat J. , Carvalho J. ,
We propose a new method revealing geological structures and their possible relationships with water percolation. It is based on a combination of (1) numerical analysis of the topography (satellite imagery Landsat TM, HCMM, SAR-ERS1; digital elevation model and derived data: drainage network, slope map, summit level surfaces...); (2) classic geological approach (field work, geological mapping, gravimetry); and (3) hydrogeological approach (piezometric map, tracer experiments). The superimposition of these data into a geocoded data base leads to the identification and the location of morphostructures (synthetic structural map). Field data and tracer experiments confirm the validity of the results. We propose to take into consideration the present day stress regime in order to define main orientations of open fractures. In conclusion, this method provides structural information allowing a better understanding of geometry in karstic aquifers

Geomorphological evidence for anti-Apennine faults in the Umbro-Marchean Apennines and in the peri-Adriatic basin, Italy, 1996,
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Coltorti M, Farabollini P, Gentili B, Pambianchi G,
The Apennines are a relatively recent mountain chain which has been affected by uplift movements since the Upper Pliocene. In fact the remnants of an “erosional surface”, reduced close to base level, is preserved at the top of the relief. There is no general agreement on the geodynamic stress field and mechanisms which are creating the chain. However, it is largely accepted that uplift occurred together with the activation, on the western side of the chain, of extensive faults, oriented in the Apennine direction (NW-SE), which have been linked to the opening of the Tyrrhenian sea. A great debate is going on about the presence and significance of anti-Apennine faults (NE-SW) which have been observed by some authors but completely denied by others.The main evidence is represented by[ (1) block faulting of the remnants of the “erosional surface”. Along the Marchean Ridge, more elevated relief, delimiting relatively depressed areas, was created in correspondence with the Sibillini Mts. and Mt. S. Vicino. Similar evidence has been found in the Umbro-Marchean Ridge. Locally more than 1500 metres of displacement have been observed between more and less uplifted remnants. (2) Block faulting of fan deltas and related beaches, of Sicilian to Crotonian age, with more elevated sediments preserved between the Tronto and Tenna rivers and between the Musone and Esino rivers. Maximum displacement along a transect parallel to the coast is 200 metres. (3) fault-scarps affecting the Middle Pleistocene river terraces, as observed along the Esino, the Tronto, the Chienti and the Tenna river valleys. Maximum displacements are in the order of 50 metres. (4) Faulting of horizontal karst galleries and reorientation of the cave network, as in the Frasassi Gorge. Maximum displacements are about 100 metres. (5) Captures and alignments in the drainage network of the main river courses. (6) Large-scale gravitational movements, as in the Ancona landslide, and along the Chienti and Esino rivers.Their activation occurred in most cases after the Lower Pleistocene and although their displacements may be of relatively limited extent, dispite their recent activity, they played a major role in the modelling of the landscape. These faults display transtensive, extensional and trascurrent movements. Apart from the controversial geodynamic significance of these faults, from a geomorphological point of view they must be considered transverse elements of the stress field from blocks more or less uplifted along the Apennine chain.The importance and timing of activity of these faults in the Quaternary geomorphological evolution of the Umbria-Marchean Apennines is demonstrated using evidence usually underestimated by structural geologists, which can contribute to a debate based on a multidisciplinary approach

Osteological Comparison of Prehistoric Native Americans From Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee Mortuary Caves, 1997,
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Boyd Jr. , C. C. , Boyd, D. C.
The remains of at least 160 individuals from 15 burial caves in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee are compared in terms of their temporal and spatial context, age and sex profiles, incidence of pathologies, and degree and type of postmortem alteration of bone. Individuals appear to have been interred predominantly as primary inhumations. Dental pathologies are frequent for these Late Woodland/Mississippian period interments, but overall levels of nutritional stress and trauma appear low. This suggests a generally good level of health for these prehistoric Native Americans.

Les caractristiques socio-dmographiques des splologues franais, 1997,
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Jovignot, Franois
The data come from three main sources: public data, an extract from the computer file of the members of the French Federation of Speleology (FFS) and a survey carried out among 285 FFS members. The importance of independent practice out of the FFS must be stressed as well as the difficulty to keep new members loyal to the federation because of a high "turn-over". France ranks high among nations as regards the numbers of practising people. Like many other federations of natural outdoors activities, FFS cavers are mostly men. The average age is over 30. Like most sportsmen, speleologists are generally well-to-do or belong to the middle class, with a fairly high academic background. The geographical breakdown of speleologists shows contradictory results: today cavers tend to be more numerous in the vicinity of caves ("countryside caving"), but statistics show that cavers are also mostly town-dwellers, like the great majority of sportsmen. It should be noted that, contrary to sportsmen, the increase in the number of FFS members is due to the expansion of rural speleology rather than to urban recruitment. Present day speleology is going through a period of transition. The large urban teams who have promoted speleology so far, are progressively being replaced by small size teams, living close to caves: such a change has been made possible thanks to new technology.

Geology, geochemistry, and origin of the continental karst-hosted supergene manganese deposits in the western Rhodope massif, Macedonia, northern Greece, 1997,
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Nimfopoulos M. K. , Pattrick R. A. D. , Michailidis K. M. , Polya D. A. , Esson J. ,
Economic Mn-oxide ore deposits of commercial grade occur in the Rhodope massif near Kato Nevrokopi in the Drama region, Northern Greece. The Mn-oxide mineralization has developed by weathering of continental hypogene rhodochrosite-sulphide veins. The vein mineralization is confined by tectonic shear zones between marble and metapelites, extending laterally into the marble as tabular, pod or lenticular oreshoots (up to 50 m x 20 m x 5-10 m). Supergene oxidation of the hypogene mineralization led to the formation of in-situ residual Mn-oxide ore deposits, and secondary infills of Mn-oxide ore in embryonic and well developed karst cavities. Whole rock geochemical profiles across mineralized zones confirm the role of thrusts and faults as solution passageways and stress the importance of these structures in the development of hydrothermal and supergene mineralization at Kato Nevrokopi. Three zones an recognized in the insitu supergene veins: (A) a stable zone of oxidation, where immobile elements form (or substitute in) stable oxide mineral phases, and mobile elements are leached; (B) a transitional (active) zone in which element behavior is strongly influenced by seasonal fluctuations of the groundwater table and variations in pH-Eh conditions; and (C) a zone of permanent flooding, where variations in pH-Eh conditions are minimal. Zone (B) is considered as the source zone for the karst cavity mineralization. During weathering, meteoric waters, which were CO2-rich (P-CO2 similar to 10(-3.8) to 10(-1.4)) and oxygenated (fO(2) -10(-17) for malachite), percolated downward within the veins, causing breakdown and dissolution of sulfides and marble, and oxidation of rhodochrosite to Mn-oxides. Karat cavity formation was favored by the high permeability along thrust zones. Dissolved Mn2 was transported into karst cavities in reduced meteoric waters at the beginning of weathering (pH similar to 4-5), and as Mn(HCO3)(2) in slightly alkaline groundwaters during advanced weathering (pH similar to 6-8). Mn4? precipitation took place by fO(2) increase in ground waters, or pH increase by continuous hydrolysis and carbonate dissolution. In the well developed karst setting, some mobility of elements occurred during and after karst ore formation in the order Na>K>Mg>Sr>Mn>As>Zn>Ba>Al>Fe>Cu>Cd>Pb. (C) 1998 Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petrolem. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

The 1981 eruptive fissure on Mt. Etna: considerations on its exploration and genesis., 1998,
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Leotta Angelo, Liuzzo Marco
This paper is targeted to an analysis of features common to various fissure caves on Mt. Etna, Sicily. The Authors report the preliminary results of the exploration carried out in the 1981 eruptive fissure, the technical problems met during the exploration, the flow trends and the different courses of the molten material inside the fissure, the particular morphologies. A genetic model is proposed, different from those characterising the lava tube cave genesis, and links are suggested between the various fissures and the main tectonic stress systems operating on Mt. Etna, as well as the morpho-structural conditions of the volcanic edifice of Mt. Etna.

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints, 1998,
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Genty D, Deflandre G,
The study of drip rate and seepage water electrical conductivity (hereafter called conductivity) under one stalactite in the Pere Noel cave (Belgium), with data produced from an automatic station since 1991, demonstrates several previously unobserved features: (1) measurement of drop volume shows that, for 94% of the time series, drop volume is constant (= 0.14 ml), but when discharge exceeds 48.2 drips min(-1), drop volume decreases, probably because of secondary drop formation; (2) the interannual drip rate variation is correlated to the annual water excess and its correlant, rainfall (R-2 = 0.98; exponential model); this result introduces a new improvement in the understanding of the previously investigated relationships between stalagmite annual laminae thickness and mean annual rainfall; (3) the drip rate shows a well marked seasonality: it increases abruptly in late fall or early winter and decreases slowly during spring, summer and fall. Increased discharge is accompanied by an increase in conductivity, which suggests that the flushed water is more mineralized and was stored in the karst aquifer for several months; (4) superimposed on these seasonal variations, there are two kinds of flow regimes which are driven by the atmospheric pressure: (i) a 'wiggles regime', whose duration is 1-7 days in length and which is inversely proportional to the air pressure wiggles; it is explained by either a ''shut-off faucet'' process due to the rock formation stress, or to a change in the two-phases flow component proportions (air/water); (ii) an 'unstable regime' characterized by abrupt switches (<2 h) or oscillations with variable periodicities, from a few minutes to a few hours. These occur when the drip rate reaches a threshold (i.e. 240 drops 10 min(-1)); the chaotic behaviour of this phenomenon is discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Remplissages karstiques tectoniss de la rgion de Marseille, 1999,
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Monteau, Raymond
The paleokarst fillings in the Riou and Frioul archipelagoes, the coastal ranges of MarseiIleveyre (Calanques) Notre Dame de la Garde (the Bay of Marseille) show several examples of various tectonic mechanisms due to compressive stresses. A chronology of the various phases is described: compartment process, overlapping, tilting. These deformations and the several after-episodes observed can be dated between the Lower Eocene and the Upper Pleistocene, but it is still difficult to give a more precise date. The tertiary fillings show the action of local decompression and tilting in some cases. In the detailed study of the karstic lithified deposits two kinds of tectonised sequences are shown in connection with the local tectonics.

Relation entre ecoulements et fractures ouvertes dans un systeme aquifere compartimente par des failles et mise en evidence d'une double porosite de fractures, 1999,
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Bruel T, Petit Jp, Massonnat G, Guerin R, Nolf Jl,
Hydrodynamic characterisation of real fracture systems is necessary to improve modelling of fracture reservoirs as well as nuclear waste disposal sites. This characterisation is usually considered globally and theoretically but very few studies have aimed to identify the real physical environment of flow (matrix, faults, joints etc.) before establishing hydrodynamical models. We present a case study in a fractured reservoir aiming to give an example of how and why fluids actually flow within a given fracture at the various scales of fracturation of a fracture network. This study demonstrates that the determination of type and orientation of fractures actually supporting flow is necessary for accurate interpretation of the pumping tests within a fractured reservoir. It also shows that there is no simple relationship between the fault offset and the importance of flow, probably due to the influence of in situ stress. It is shown that the combination of various methods can be used to determine the fracture-flow relationship and behaviour at subseismic scale in subsurface conditions

Brittle tectonics and major dextral strike-slip zone in the Buda karst (Budapest, Hungary), 1999,
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Benkovics L, Obert D, Bergerat F, Mansy Jl, Dubois M,
Three large (kilometric-scale) caves were studied in the Buda hills and the main directions of cave corridors, fault planes and mineralized veins were measured. Different stages of mineralizations are recognised: calcite scaleno-hedrons, baryte, silica, gypsum. New investigations of fluid inclusions in the baryte suggest a crystallization temperature of 50 degrees C and a freshwater fluid source. Microtectonic analysis allows the reconstruction of the successive tectonic events: (1) a NE-SW extensional phase at the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene limit (phase I), (2) a strike-slip phase with NW-SE compression and NE-SW extension during the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene (phase II), (3) a NW-SE transtensional phase (phase III) and finally (4) a NE-SW extensional phase of Quaternary age (phase IV). The major phase is the strike-slip one, characterized by an important dextral strike-slip zone: the Ferenc-hegy zone. (C) Elsevier, Paris

Relationships between karst and tectonics: case-study of the cave system north of Lake Thun (Bern, Switzerland): Relations entre karst et tectonique : l'exemple du reseau speleologique du nord du lac, 1999,
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Hauselmann Philipp, Jeannin Pierre Yves, Bitterli Thomas,
The cave system is situated north of Lake Thun, in the Helvetic border chain. The overall geology is simple: the slightly dipping (15-25[deg] towards the southeast) strata are interrupted by a NE-SW trending normal fault with a throw of 150 m in the NE and about 500 m in the SW. Since a part of the region is covered by flysch, the caves are the only way to observe the geological setting of the underlying Cretaceous and Eocene series. We show that observations in caves may yield valuable information about the onset of the tectonic movements: in particular, observations in the Barenkluft region clearly demonstrate that the beginning of prealpine extension had already begun in the Upper Cretaceous, and that this normal fault has been inverted later during Alpine compression. We also illustrate the influence of tectonic stress and strain upon karstification. The Alpine tectonic phases, with alternating compression and extension, contributed to the development of different karstogenetic levels. Tectonic strains opened and possibly closed some fractures, allowing (or preventing) water to flow through parts of the karst massive. The structural setting, defining the overall geometry of the limestone bed, played an important role in the development of the various phases of the system. Most of the conduits appear to belong to old, deep phreatic systems. Tectonics is only one of a number of factors controlling karstification. Together with lithology, it represents the geological control. Geomorphological factors (mainly spring and catchment positions, but also erosion of the flysch cover), as well as bioclimatical factors (quantity and physico-chemical characteristics of water), and hydrodynamics and transport processes can play a significant role on the genesis of karst systems

The role of western Mediterranea tectonic evolution in the geometry of a karstic domain in the Betic Cordilleras (Sierra Gorda, Spain): importance of a tardy extensional regime, 1999,
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Pistre S. , Lopezchicano M. , Pulidobosch A. , Drogue C. ,
Located in the central part of the Betic Cordilleras, the large carbonate Sierra Gorda Massif provides an example of a west-Mediterranean karstic aquifer. In spite of a complex polyphased tectonic history, the fracturing presents, from aerial views and at outcrop scale a quite organised geometry. Four fracture directions are found over the massif: N000-010, N050-070, N090-100 and N140-170. The statistical and geostatistical approach allows the characteristics (lengths, orientations) and the spatial structure for each fracture set to be determined. The N000-010 and N140-170 sets are grouped in packers whereas the two other sets are grouped in bands. The microtectonic study describes the evolution of the massif in the geodynamic context of this part of Mediterranea, distinguishing three recent stages of brittle tectonic activity in the gu massif: a WNW-ESE Middle Miocene compression, then a NNW-SSE to NW-SE compression with a poorly wrenching regime, and finally a probably pre-Quaternary N-S radial distension. This last stage is essential for the karstification of the massif and groundwater circulation. From the combined analysis of fracture network geometry and palaeostresses a multiple porosity model in agreement with hydrological observations made inside the massif can be proposed: in particular, the hectometric N090-100 land N050-070) fractures which are essential for the network connectivity, and have a major drainage role at aquifer scale, while the N000-010 and N140-170 ones have a more local drainage role. This extensive tardy regime, which is for the first time described separately from the internal zones of the Cordilleras, must be considered as a significant phenomenon on a regional scale, and henceforth integrated in future geodynamic schemes of this part of Mediterranea. (C) Elsevier, Paris

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