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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 clayey silt is 1. an unconsolidated sediment containing 40-75% silt, 12.5-50% clay, and 0-20% sand. 2. an unconsolidated sediment containing more particles of silt size than of clay size, more than 10% clay, and less than 10% of all other coarser sizes.?

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

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 collapse features (Keyword) returned 21 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 21 of 21
Size scales for closed depression landforms: the place of tiankengs, 2006, White Wb, White El
Development of large collapse structures in karstic terrain requires an interaction between mechanical instability and chemical removal of collapsed rock. Upward migration of pre-existing voids can choke out if there is no mechanism for the efficient removal of fallen blocks. Rates of dissolution, size of initial cavity, and overlying bedrock characteristics determine the size of the final surface landform. Collapse features range in scale from small sinkholes to hundreds of meters in such features as the Golondrinas collapse pit in Mexico. Tiankengs are interpreted as end members features on a continuous scale.

Seismic geomorphology of Palaeozoic collapse features in the Fort Worth Basin (USA), 2007, Sullivan E. C. , Marfurt K. J. , Blumentritt C. , Ammerman M. ,
Modern multi-trace geometric attributes produce three-dimensional volumes that can facilitate the recognition of karst geomorphology by avoiding the need to pre-interpret irregular horizons and by enhancing subseismic lateral variations in reflectivity. These geometric attributes include the well-established coherence technology, coupled with recent developments in spectrally limited estimates of volumetric curvature. Coherence measures lateral changes in waveform, and as such, is often sensitive to joints, small faults, sinkholes and collapse features. The many components of reflector curvature, including the most negative, most positive, Gaussian curvature and related shape indices (e.g. valleys, saddles, domes), are complimentary to coherence measures. Short wavelength estimates of curvature will illuminate small-scale lineaments while longer wavelength estimates of curvature illuminate more subtle flexures and compaction features. We show the results of applying a variety of multi-trace geometric attributes to a three-dimensional seismic volume from the Fort Worth Basin, where a collapse system extends vertically some 800m from the Ordovician Ellenburger carbonates through the dominantly siliciclastic Mississippian-- Pennsylvanian interval. The collapse features in our data set appear as rounded, sinkhole-like appearances on time and horizon slices in the Pennsylvanian Marble Falls Limestones and the Ellenburger horizon displays features that can be interpreted as cockpit karst, dolines and frying pan valleys. Although a variety of palaeocave breccia facies in core and image logs indicate that the Ellenburger surface has been karsted, these breccias are not confined to the mega collapse features visible in seismic. The large (up to 700 m diameter) collapse chimneys can be shown in multi-spectral curvature attributes to have elongate rhombohedral shapes associated with intersections of Pennsylvanian age, field-scale to basin-scale, basement lineaments and faults. Isochores indicate greatest tectonic growth on faults from Mississippian until early Pennsylvanian, coincident with thickest fill of collapse features. Thus we interpret the origin of the chimneys to be primarily tectonic. The multi-trace geometric attributes permit better imaging of the three-dimensional shapes of the collapse features, provide better constraints on timing of their formation, allow us to begin to separate karst processes from tectonic processes and provide a means of predicting most likely locations of fluid movement along faults

Horizontal Bedding-Plane Conduit Systems in the Floridan Aquifer System and Their Relation to Saltwater Intrusion in Northeastern Florida and Southeastern Georgia, 2011, Williams L. J. , Spechler R. M.

Acoustic televiewer (ATV) images, flowmeter, and borehole geophysical logs obtained from the open intervals of deep test wells were used to develop a revised conceptual model of groundwater flow for the Floridan aquifer system in northeastern Florida and southeastern Georgia. Borehole information was used to identify and map the types and distribution of highly-transmissive production zones in the Floridan aquifer system. The ATV images and flowmeter traverses indicate that water produced from most wells is largely derived from a system of highly-transmissive solution zones formed along bedding planes and major formational contacts. These “horizontal bedding-plane conduit systems” may locally influence the movement of brackish and saline water in the Floridan aquifer system. A modified conceptual model of regional flow in the Floridan aquifer system is proposed that incor-porates locally interconnected horizontal conduit systems within the largely porous matrix rock (fig. 1). Each of the conduit systems represents a highly-transmissive zone along which water can move preferentially through the aquifer system. These may or may not be laterally continuous across the area. Flow paths within the system are restricted vertically by local or regional confining units except where these are breached by collapse features or vertical fractures. Near major pumping centers, water probably moves preferentially along the horizontal conduits to reach the discharging well. The source of water moving into the transmissive open conduits is either derived from upward migration along vertical discontinuities in the rock or from diffuse leakage from adjacent porous rock units. Some trapped relict water in adjacent lower-permeability units may locally contribute to the higher chloride concentrations observed in some wells 

Candidate Cave Entrances on Mars, 2012, Cushing, G. E.


This paper presents newly discovered candidate cave entrances into Martian near-surface lava tubes, volcano-tectonic fracture systems, and pit craters and describes their characteristics and exploration possibilities. These candidates are all collapse features that occur either intermittently along laterally continuous trench-like depressions or in the floors of sheer-walled atypical pit craters. As viewed from orbit, locations of most candidates are visibly consistent with known terrestrial features such as tube-fed lava flows, volcano-tectonic fractures, and pit craters, each of which forms by mechanisms that can produce caves. Although we cannot determine subsurface extents of the Martian features discussed here, some may continue unimpeded for many kilometers if terrestrial examples are indeed analogous. The features presented here were identified in images acquired by the Mars Odyssey’s Thermal Emission Imaging System visiblewavelength camera, and by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Context Camera. Select candidates have since been targeted by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. Martian caves are promising potential sites for future human habitation and astrobiology investigations; understanding their characteristics is critical for long-term mission planning and for developing the necessary exploration technologies


Permian bedded salt is widespread in the Anadarko Basin of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, where partial or total dissolution of the shallowest salt in some areas has resulted in subsidence and/or collapse of overlying strata. Groundwater has locally dissolved these salts at depths of 10–250 m. The distribution (presence or absence) of salt-bearing units, typically 80–150 m thick, is confirmed by interpretation of geophysical logs of many petroleum tests and a few scattered cores. Salt dissolution by ground water is referred to as “salt karst.”Chaotic structures, collapse features, breccia pipes, and other evidence of disturbed bedding are present in Permian, Cretaceous, and Tertiary strata that overly areas of salt karst. The dip of Permian and post-Permian strata in the region normally is less than one degree, mainly towards the axis of the Anadarko Basin. Where strata locally dip in various directions at angles of 5–25 degrees or more, and underlying salt units show clear evidence of dissolution, these chaotic dips must result (mostly, if not totally) from subsidence and collapse into underlying salt-dissolution cavities.Gypsum karst and resultant collapse of overlying strata have been proposed in many parts of the Anadarko Basin. However, the gypsum beds typically are only 1–6 m thick and more than 100 m deep, and cannot contribute to disruption of outcropping strata—except where they are within 10–20 m of the surface.Typical areas of disturbed bedding comprise several hectares, or more, with outcrops of moderately dipping strata—as though large blocks of rock have foundered and subsided into large underground cavities. Other examples of disturbed bedding are small-diameter breccia pipes, or chimneys, that extend vertically up from salt-karst cavities, through several hundred meters of overlying strata. The best evidence of these chimneys are collapsed blocks of Cretaceous strata, chaotically dropped some 50 m, or more, that are now juxtaposed against various Permian formations on the north flank of the Anadarko Basin. Any study of surface or shallow-subsurface geology in the Anadarko Basin must consider the influence of subsurface salt karst on the structure and distribution of overlying rocks


The Fort Hood Military Installation is a karst landscape characterized by Cretaceous-age limestone plateaus and canyons in Bell and Coryell Counties, Texas. The area is located in the Lampasas Cut Plain region of the Edwards Plateau and is stratigraphically defined by exposures of the Fredericksburg Group. Spatial interpolation of 105 km2 of the Fort Hood Military Installation provided depression data that were delineated and classified using geoanalytical methods. Most of the karst features within the study area are predominantly surficial expressions of collapse features, creating windows into karst conduits with surficial exposures of epikarst spatially limited.The increasing capabilities of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and accuracy of geographically referenced data has provided the basis for more detailed terrain analysis and modeling. Research on terrain-related surface features is highly dependent on terrain data collection and the generation of digital models. Traditional methods such as field surveying can yield accurate results; however, they are limited by time and physical constraints. Within the study area, dense vegetation and military land use preclude extensive traditional karst survey inventories. Airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) provides an alternative for high-density and high-accuracy three-dimensional terrain point data collection. The availability of high density data makes it possible to represent terrain in great detail; however, high density data significantly increases data volume, which can impose challenges with respect to data storage, processing, and manipulation. Although LiDAR analysis can be a powerful tool, filter mechanisms must be employed to remove major natural and anthropogenic terrain modifications resulting from military use, road building and maintenance, and the natural influence of water bodies throughout the study area.

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