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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 demand is the rate of draft from an aquifer or reservoir to meet a certain demand [16].?

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 profiles (Keyword) returned 130 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 130
Biology of the Caves at Sinkhole Flat, Eddy County, New Mexico, 1996,
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Cokendolpher, J. C. , Polyak, V. J.
Quantification of limestone petrology and structure in a 25 km section of the northern Vaca Plateau, Belize, facilitated development of a model of speleogenesis and evolution of area caves and the karst landscape. The limestones in the study area are mostly depositional breccias developed between the mid-Cretaceous and mid-Tertiary adjacent to the emergent Maya Mountain Fault Block. Micritic and some fossiliferous-pelletic lithoclasts of the Cretaceous Campur Formation are cemented by sparite which formed in a shallow-sea high energy environment adjacent to the emergent area. Planes of structural weakness developed in the Campur Limestone have similar orientations to contemporary karst landform features including solution valleys, the long-axis of depressions, and cave passages. This correspondence suggests an important structural control on the formation and evolution of area caves and the karst landscape. Base level modification by way of valley incision and the development of secondary permeability enhanced interfluve development, causing caves to be truncated along valley sides and abandoned as active flow routes. The dry valleys and stair-step cave profiles indicate that the lowering of base level through time was interspersed with stable periods when horizontal cave passages were excavated.

Prhistoire et karst littoral : la grotte Cosquer et les calanques mar_seillaises (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 1996,
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Collinagirard, J.
The Cosquer Cave is a French palaeolithic painted and engraved cave (27000/ 18500 BP) which is located under the sea, in the urgonian limestones of Cap Morgiou ("Massif des Calanques"; Marseille). The en trance was submerged at the end of the last glacial stage and is presently 37 m under sea level. A synthesis about the Cosquer cave environmental studies is presented here. Structural studies show that cave planimetry is determined by Cap Morgiou fracturations (mainly NW/SE and N/S vertical faults). Through archaeological studies, a concretion breaking period can be dated between 27000 and 18000 BP. Geomorphological study of the continental shelf at the foot of the Cosquer cave area shows fossils shorelines at -36 m, -50/55 m, -90 m, -100 m depth. Radiocarbon datings from shells collected in 100m sediments yielded a date of 13 250 BP. Direct scuba diving observations and submarine clive profiles sketching show several eustatic stand-still levels between -36 m and the sea surface indicating a probable tectonic stability during the last 10000 years.

Modeling of soil cover genesis and evolution, 1996,
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Goryachkin S. V. ,
In order to develop agenetic approach to soil cover studies, the algorithm of qualitative modeling of soil cover genesis and evolution is suggested. During a modeling process of this kind, a system of models is created, including sequentially: (1) a spatial model-soil cover structure, presented on a detailed map; (2) an ecological-genetic model-factor-ecological matrix, demonstrating the relations between the soil and the factors of soil formation; (3) a process-genetic model, reflecting processes and mechanisms that form soil cover, in the same way as the concept of elementary soil-forming processes describes the origin of soil profiles; (4) a spatial-genetic model-a soil map with differentiated demonstration of soil boundaries connected to soil genesis and stability; (5) evolutionary and/or prognostic models of the soil cover, describing its change in time. The algorithm was applied to soil cover of the karst denudation plain of the European North

Digital shaded relief image of a carbonate platform (northern Great Bahama Bank); scenery seen and unseen, 1996,
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Boss Sk,
A mosaic image of the northern Great Bahama Bank was created from separate gray-scale Landsat images using photo-editing and image analysis software that is commercially available for desktop computers. Measurements of pixel gray levels (relative scale from 0 to 255 referred to as digital number, DN) on the mosaic image were compared to bank-top bathymetry (determined from a network of single-channel, high-resolution seismic profiles), bottom type (coarse sand, sandy mud, barren rock, or reef determined from seismic profiles and diver observations), and vegetative cover (presence and/or absence and relative density of the marine angiosperm Thalassia testudinum determined from diver observations). Results of these analyses indicate that bank-top bathymetry is a primary control on observed pixel DN, bottom type is a secondary control on pixel DN, and vegetative cover is a tertiary influence on pixel DN. Consequently, processing of the gray-scale Landsat mosaic with a directional gradient edge-detection filter generated a physiographic shaded relief image resembling bank-top bathymetric patterns related to submerged physiographic features across the platform. The visibility of submerged karst landforms, Pleistocene eolianite ridges, islands, and possible paleo-drainage patterns created during sea-level lowstands is significantly enhanced on processed images relative to the original mosaic. Bank-margin ooid shoals, platform interior sand bodies, reef edifices, and bidirectional sand waves are features resulting from Holocene carbonate deposition that are also more clearly visible on the new physiographic images. Combined with observational data (single-channel, high-resolution seismic profiles, bottom observations by SCUBA divers, sediment and rock cores) across the northern Great Bahama Bank, these physiographic images facilitate comprehension of areal relations among antecedent platform topography, physical processes, and ensuing depositional patterns during sea-level rise

3-D seismic evidence of the effects of carbonate karst collapse on overlying clastic stratigraphy and reservoir compartmentalization, 1996,
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Hardage B. A. , Carr D. L. , Lancaster D. E. , Simmons J. L. , Elphick R. Y. , Pendleton V. M. , Johns R. A. ,
A multidisciplinary team, composed of stratigraphers, petrophysicists, reservoir engineers, and geophysicists, studied a portion of Boonsville gas field in the Fort Worth Basin of north-central Texas to determine how modern geophysical, geological, and engineering techniques can be combined to understand the mechanisms by which fluvio-deltaic depositional processes create reservoir compartmentalization in a low- to moderate-accommodation basin. An extensive database involving well logs: cores, production, and pressure data from more than 200 wells, 26 mi(2) (67 km(2)) of 3-D seismic data, vertical seismic profiles (VSPs), and checkshots was assembled to support this investigation. We found the mast Important geologic influence on stratigraphy and reservoir compartmentalization in this basin to be the existence of numerous karst collapse chimneys over the 26-mi(2) (67 km(2)) area covered by the 3-D seismic grid, These near-vertical karst collapses originated in, or near, the deep Ordovician-age Ellenburger carbonate section and created vertical chimneys extending as high as 2500 fl (610 m) above their point of origin causing significant disruptions in the overlying elastic strata. These karst disruptions lend to be circular in map view, having diameters ranging from approximately 500 ft (150 m) to as much as 3000 ft (915 m) in some cases. Within our study area, these karat features were spaced 2000 ft (610 m) to 6000 ft (1830 m) apart, on average. The tallest karst collapse zones reached into the Middle Pennsylvanian Strawn section, which is some 2500 ft (760 m) above the Ellenburger carbonate where the karst generation began. We used 3-D seismic imaging to show how these karst features affected the strata above the Ellenburger and how they have created a well-documented reservoir compartment in the Upper Caddo, an upper Atoka valley-fill sandstone that typically occurs 2000 ft (610 m) above the Ellenburger. By correlating these 3-D seismic images with outcrops of Ellenburger karat collapses, we document that the physical dimensions (height, diameter, cross-sectional area) of the seismic disruptions observed in the 3-D data equate to the karst dimensions seen in outcrops. We also document that this Ellenburger carbonate dissolution phenomenon extends over at least 500 mi (800 km), and by inference we suggest karst models like we describe here may occur in any basin that has a deep, relatively thick section of Paleozoic carbonates that underlie major unconformities

Hydrogeological investigations in northwestern Yucatan, Mexico, using resistivity surveys, 1996,
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Steinich B. , Marin L. E. ,
Eight Schlumberger soundings and four Wenner anisotropy measurements were conducted in the northwestern section of the Yucatan Peninsula for hydrogeological investigations of a karst aquifer. This system is influenced by a circular high permeability zone (Ring of Cenotes) probably related to the Chicxulub Impact Crater. Schlumberger soundings and Wenner anisotropy measurements show that the karst aquifer can be modeled as an electrically anisotropic medium. Anisotropy is related to preferential permeability directions channeling ground-water flow within the aquifer. Directions of maximum permeability were determined using Wenner anisotropy measurements. Electrical soundings were conducted at different sites near the Ring of Cenotes. Resistivity values decrease toward the Ring of Cenotes supporting the hypothesis that selected segments of the Ring have high permeability. Several soundings were conducted in order to study lateral permeability variations along the Ring. A high permeability section can be identified by low resistivity models and is related to a zone of high cenote density. A low permeability section of the Ring was found showing high resistivity models. This zone overlaps with an area of low cenote density. Electrical soundings were used to determine the depth of the fresh-water lens; the interface was detected along two profiles perpendicular and parallel to the Ring of Cenotes resulting in a depth that ranged from 18 m near the coast up to 110 m in the southeastern part of the study area. The predicted depths of the interface using electrical methods showed a good correlation with Ghyben-Herzberg and measured interface depths at some sites. Discrepancies between calculated and interpreted interface depths at two sites may be explained by horizontal-to-vertical permeability anisotropy

Be-7 distribution in surface soil of central Guizhou karst region and its erosion trace, 1996,
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Bai Zg, Wan Gj, Wang Cs, Wan X, Huang Rg, Santschi Ph, Baskaran M,
Soil erosion in karst region of south China is one of the major environmental problems. Beryllium-7, produced by energetic cosmic rags, has been used to trace the geochemical process of the soil erosion. The study has shown that Be-7 activity profiles present a decreasing logarithmic pattern with soil depth. The maximum permeable depth of Be-7 is 2-5mm in different seasons and locations, which is deeper in autumn than in spring, On the contrary, its apparent activity on boundary soil is higher in spring than in autumn. The Be-7 inventories in soil cores are higher in accumulative locations than in eroded one. Upper hills in the karst region are seriously eroded. Erosive intensity is higher in rainy periods than in dry ones. Influenced by the micromorphology and precipitation, the eroded particles accumulated in shallow basin after a short-distance transportation in winter and spring. However, in summer and autumn, they might be transported into drainage systems

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.

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

Hydrological response of small watersheds following the Southern California Painted Cave Fire of June 1990, 1997,
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Keller E. A. , Valentine D. W. , Gibbs D. R. ,
Following the Painted Cave Fire of 25 June 1990 in Santa Barbara, California which burned 1214 ha, an emergency watershed protection plan was implemented consisting of stream clearing, grade stabilizers and construction of debris basins. Research was initiated focusing on hydrological response and channel morphology changes on two branches of Maria Ygnacio Creek, the main drainage of the burned area. Research results support the hypothesis that the response of small drainage basins in chaparral ecosystems to wildfire is complex and flushing of sediment by fluvial processes is more likely than by high magnitude debris flows. During the winter of 1990-1991, 35-66 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 10 cm per hour for a five-minute period were recorded with a seasonal total of 100% of average (normal) rainfall (average = 63 cm/year). During the winter of 1991-1992, 48-74 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 8 cm per hour were recorded with a seasonal total of 115% of normal. Even though there was moderate rainfall on barren, saturated soils, no major debris flows occurred in burned areas. The winter of 1992-1993 recorded total precipitation of about 170% of normal, annual average intensities were relatively low and again no debris flows were observed. The response to winter storms in the first three years following the fire was a moderate but spectacular flushing of sediment, most of which was derived from the hillslopes upstream of the debris basins. The first significant storm and stream flow of the 1990-1991 winter was transport-limited resulting in large volumes of sediment being deposited in the channel of Maria Ygnacio Creek; the second storm and stream flow was sediment-limited and the channel scoured. Debris basins trapped about 23 000 m(3), the majority coming from the storm of 17-20 March 1991. Sediment transported downstream during the three winters following the fire and not trapped in the debris basins was eventually flushed to the estuarine reaches of the creeks below the burn area, where approximately 108 000 m(3) accumulated. Changes in stream morphology following the fire were dramatic as pools filled with sediment which greatly smoothed longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles. Major changes in channel morphology occur following a fire as sediment derived from the hillslope is temporarily stored in channels within the burned area. However, this sediment may quickly move downstream of the burned region, where it may accumulate reducing channel capacity and increasing the flood hazard. Ecological consequences of wildfire to the riparian zone of streams in the chaparral environment are virtually unknown, but must be significant as the majority of sediment (particularly gravel necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms) entering the system does so in response to fires. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Volumetric changes in weathered profiles: iso-element mass balance method questioned by magnetic fabric., 1998,
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Mathe Pierreetienne.

Mapping Chicxulub crater structure with gravity and seismic reflection data, 1998,
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Hildebrand A. R. , Pilkington M. , Ortizaleman C. , Chavez R. E. , Urrutiafucugauchi J. , Connors M. , Granielcastro E. , Camarazi A. , Halpenny J. F. , Niehaus D. ,
Aside from its significance in establishing the impact-mass extinction paradigm, the Chicxulub crater will probably come to exemplify the structure of large complex craters. Much of Chicxulub's structure may be mapped' by tying its gravity expression to seismic-reflection profiles revealing an [~]180 km diameter for the now-buried crater. The distribution of karst topography aids in outlining the peripheral crater structure as also revealed by the horizontal gradient of the gravity anomaly. The fracturing inferred to control groundwater flow is apparently related to subsidence of the crater fill. Modelling the crater's gravity expression based on a schematic structural model reveals that the crater fill is also responsible for the majority of the negative anomaly. The crater's melt sheet and central structural uplift are the other significant contributors to its gravity expression. The Chicxulub impact released [~]1.2 x 1031 ergs based on the observed collapsed disruption cavity of [~]86 km diameter reconstructed to an apparent disruption cavity (Dad) of [~]94 km diameter (equivalent to the excavation cavity) and an apparent transient cavity (Dat) of [~]80 km diameter. This impact energy, together with the observed [~]2 x 1011 g global Ir fluence in the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) fireball layer indicates that the impactor was a comet estimated as massing [~]1.8 x 1018 g of [~]16.5 km diameter assuming a 0.6 gcm-3 density. Dust-induced darkness and cold, wind, giant waves, thermal pulses from the impact fireball and re-entering ejecta, acid rain, ozone-layer depletion, cooling from stratospheric aerosols, H2O greenhouse, CO2 greenhouse, poisons and mutagens, and oscillatory climate have been proposed as deleterious environmental effects of the Chicxulub impact with durations ranging from a few minutes to a million years. This succession of effects defines a temperature curve that is characteristic of large impacts. Although some patterns may be recognized in the K-T extinctions, and the survivorship rules changed across the boundary, relating specific environmental effects to species' extinctions is not yet possible. Geochemical records across the boundary support the occurrence a prompt thermal pulse, acid rain and a [~]5000 year-long greenhouse. The period of extinctions seems to extend into the earliest Tertiary

Palaeomagnetic research of cave sediments in SW Slovenia, 1998,
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Bosá, K Pavel, Pruner Petr, Zupan Hajna Nadja

Three profiles of caves sediments (Divača fossil cave, Divaška Jama and Trhlovca Cave) were studied in the Kras near Divača village. Mineralogical study proved relatively uniform mineral composition of the light fraction indicating the main source from weathered sediments of Eocene flysch. Some minerals are derived from weathering profiles and crusts (e.g. gibbsite). Detailed magnetostratigraphic investigations of three profiles defined normal and reverse polarity magnetozones and shows the correlation between the profiles in the Divaška Jama and Trhlovca Cave. The narrow normal magnetozones probably correlate with the Jaramillo polarity event (0.90 to 0.97 Ma) of the Matuyama epoch. Those data indicate the substantial age of cave in which the last phase of filling started before 0.97 Ma and finished before the Brunhes/Matuyama boundary, i.e. around 0.73 Ma. Magnetostratigraphic data of the Divača profile detected two narrow normal magnetozones in the long reverse polarity zone which probably correlate with Olduvai and Reunion polarity events (about 1.67 to 1.87 Ma) of reverse Matuyama epoch or with some of normal magnetozones (about 3.8 to 5.0 Ma) within reverse Gilbert epoch. Data indicate the possibility that the cave was originated during the Messinian period characteristic by sea-level fall and evolution of deep karst in the Mediterranean Basin.


Geophysical Studies at Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona, 1999,
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Lange, A. L.
Geophysical studies over Kartchner Caverns State Park mapped structure and groundwater patterns beneath valley alluvium and determined the geophysical expression of the caverns at the surface. Three techniques were employed: electromagnetics (EM), gravity, and natural potential (NP). Electromagnetic traverses in the area failed to detect the voids, owing to the very low conductivity of the carbonate rock. On the other hand, the EM method succeeded in defining the boundary between carbonate rock and alluvium, and in detecting the high-conductivity underflow beneath the drainage system. Resolution of the gravity survey over outcrop was limited to ~0.1 mgal, due to severe terrain effects. Nevertheless, two of the three major cavern passages were expressed as gravity lows at the surface, and fifteen additional small gravity anomalies could be the effect of fracture zones or unexposed caves. East of the carbonate block, the gravity profiles delineated the range-front fault and afforded interpretations of bedrock structure beneath valley fill. Natural-potential profiles, coincident with those of the gravity survey, produced a prominent compound anomaly over the mapped caverns. The 55 mV NP high was flanked by broad lows measuring ~15 mV over two of the main cavern galleries. The high was incised by a third low over a middle passage of the caverns. The lows are tentatively attributed to filtration downward toward the cave ceilings; the highs, to evapotranspiration from a deeper groundwater reservoir. Elsewhere over the outcrop, continuous NP trends are the likely expressions of faulting and fracturing, possibly accompanied by solution activity

Laterisation on limestones of the Tertiary Wankoe Formation and its relationship to the African Surface, southern Cape, South Africa, 1999,
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Marker M. E. , Holmes P. J. ,
The existence of erosion surfaces has long been recognised as a macroscale feature of the southern African landscape. Evidence is presented here to demonstrate that laterisation as a soil process affected the calcareous Tertiary Wankoe Formation of the southern Cape. Remnants of the Tertiary African Surface along the southern Cape Coastal Plateau are characterised by deep weathering mantles capped by duricrusts of laterite and silcrete. The limestones have been assumed to be the coastal equivalent of the inland African Surface. Through field mapping of the study locality discussed below, and through sedimentological and geochemical analysis (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry) of selected samples, it was possible to demonstrate that the laterisation process also affected these older Tertiary Limestones. However, the evidence is rarely preserved, and nowhere have complete, intact laterised profiles survived. More often, strong weathering resulted in case-hardening of the topography and the formation of dense calcrete. The implication from this coastal locality is that laterisation as a soil forming process extended from the Mid Tertiary Period until the early Pleistocene Period within this particular sub-region of southern Africa. The significance of this locality within the broader context of the African Surface remnants which occur from the Cape Peninsula in the west to the Knysna area in the east, as well as the palaeoenvironmental significance of laterisation on a substrate which is not conducive to this type of weathering, are also examined. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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