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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 flood crest is the peak of a flood wave [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 clay (Keyword) returned 224 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 224
Summaries of papers read at The Engineering Group Regional Meeting-Cardiff 1977: Engineering Geology of Soluble Rocks, 1978,
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Engineering Geology of the South Wales Coalfield and its margins--with particular reference to the Carboniferous Limestone. By J. G. C. Anderson. The stratigraphical succession of the Cardiff district ranges from Silurian to Lower Jurassic, while structurally the rocks have been affected by Caledonian, Hercynian and Alpine movements. Caledonian folding is relatively weak but powerful Hercynian (Asturian) folding and faulting took place about the end of the Westphalian; the elongate South Wales Coalfield Basin being formed at this time. Mesozoic strata, up to the Liassic, are also folded and faulted by movements which may have been as late as the Miocene. Silurian rocks which occur in the Usk and Rumney Inliers consist of sandstones, siltstones and shales (often calcareous) as well as some limestones. The argillaceous rocks often weather deeply and degenerate to clay with rock lithorelicts, consequently they pose problems in foundations and cuttings, e.g. on the east side of Cardiff. The Old Red Sandstone, both Lower and Upper divisions are present, is made up of marls, sandstones and conglomerates. Some of the sandstones are aquifers and provide water in commercial quantities. The marls, especially where steeply inclined are liable to slipping, as happened for example, in the Brynglas (M4) Tunnel at Newport. The Carboniferous Limestone surrounds the coalfield and consists mainly of limestone and dolomite (see also below). The Millstone Grit does not contain the gritty sandstones of the Pennines and is made up mainly of strong siliceous sandstones and shales. The Coal Measures show the usual lithology; a ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Structure, Sediments and Speleogenesis at Cliefden Caves, New South Wales, 1978,
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Osborne, R. Armstrong L.

The Cliefden Caves have developed in the Late Ordovician Cliefden Caves Limestone mainly by solution in the phreatic zone. Speleogenesis has been inhibited in steeply dipping thinly bedded limestone and shows a high degree of structural control. Collapse has been significant in late stage development of the caves. Much sediment has been deposited in the four caves studied in detail - Main Cliefden, Murder, Boonderoo and Transmission. Formed in the phreatic zone, layered clay fill is the earliest sediment deposited and occurs in all but Transmission Cave. The phosphate mineral heterosite is found in these sediments. Subaqueous precipitation deposits deposited in the phreas or vadose pools are distinguished from speleothems by their texture. Aragonite is inferred to have been deposited in these sediments and to have since inverted to calcite. Friable loam and porous cavity fill are the most common vadose deposits in the caves. Vadose cementation has converted friable loam to porous cavity fill. Speleothem deposits are prolific in Main Cliefden, Murder and Boonderoo Caves. Helictites are related to porous wall surfaces, spar crystals result from flooding of caves in the vadose zone and blue stalactites are composed of aragonite. Cliefden Caves belong to that class proposed by Frank (1972) in which deposition has been more important than downcutting late in their developmental history.


Mayan Urbanism: Impact on a Tropical Karst Environment, 1979,
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Deevey Es, Rice Ds, Rice Pm, Vaughan Hh, Brenner M, Flannery Ms,
From the first millennium B.C. through the 9th-century A.D. Classic Maya collapse, nonurban populations grew exponentially, doubling every 408 years, in the twin-lake (Yaxha-Sacnab) basin that contained the Classic urban center of Yaxha. Pollen data show that forests were essentially cleared by Early Classic time. Sharply accelerated slopewash and colluviation, amplified in the Yaxha subbasin by urban construction, transferred nutrients plus calcareous, silty clay to both lakes. Except for the urban silt, colluvium appearing as lake sediments has a mean total phosphorus concentration close to that of basin soils. From this fact, from abundance and distribution of soil phosphorus, and from continuing post-Maya influxes (80 to 86 milligrams of phosphorus per square meter each year), which have no other apparent source, we conclude that riparian soils are anthrosols and that the mechanism of long-term phosphorus loading in lakes is mass transport of soil. Per capita deliveries of phosphorus match physiological outputs, approximately 0.5 kilogram of phosphorus per capita per year. Smaller apparent deliveries reflect the nonphosphatic composition of urban silt; larger societal outputs, expressing excess phosphorus from deforestation and from food waste and mortuary disposal, are probable but cannot be evaluated from our data. Eutrophication is not demonstrable and was probably impeded, even in less-impacted lakes, by suspended Maya silt. Environmental strain, the product of accelerating agroengineering demand and sequestering of nutrients in colluvium, developed too slowly to act as a servomechanism, damping population growth, at least until Late Classic time

Cave and Landscape Evolution At Isaacs Creek, New South Wales, 1979,
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Connolly M. , Francis G.

Isaacs Creek Caves are situated in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and form a distinct unit within the Timor karst region. The larger caves such as Man, Helictite and Belfry all show evidence of early development under sluggish phreatic conditions. Nevertheless later phases of dynamic phreatic and vadose development occurred in Belfry and Helictite caves. In the case of Helictite Cave sluggish phreatic, dynamic phreatic and vadose action may have operated simultaneously in different parts of the same cave. After each cave was drained through further valley incision by Isaacs Creek, extensive clay fills derived from surface soil were deposited in it. There has been considerable re-excavation of the fills; in Main Cave younger clay loams have partially filled the resulting cavities and thus underlie the older clays. The earliest speleogenesis took place in Main Cave which pre-dates the valley of Isaacs Creek. This cave now lies in the summit of Caves Ridge about 100m above the modern valley floor. Helictite and Shaft Caves formed when the valley had been cut down to within 30m of its present level and some early phreatic development also took place in the Belfry Cave at this time. Later phases of dynamic phreatic and vadose development in Belfry Cave occurred when the valley floor lay about 12m above its present level and can be correlated with river terraces at this height. Evidence from cave morphology, isotopic basalt dates and surfaces geomorphology indicates that Main Cave formed in the Cretaceous and that Helictite Cave, Shaft Cave and the early development in Belfry Cave date from the Palaeogene. Although the dynamic phreatic and vadose action in Belfry Cave is more recent, it may still range back into the Miocene. This is a much more ancient and extended chronology than has hitherto been proposed for limestone caves and is in conflict with widely accepted ideas about cave longevity. Nevertheless evidence from Isaacs Creek and other parts of the Hunter Valley indicates that the caves and landforms are ancient features and thus notions of cave longevity developed in younger geological environments of the northern hemisphere do not apply in the present context.


Damawewe Cave, Alotau, Papua New Guinea, 1981,
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Pain C. F. , Ollier C. D.

Damawewe Cave is a cave formed in Quaternary limestone near Alotau, Papua New Guinea. It consists of three sets of passages: the uppermost (and oldest) are the largest and the lowermost (active) are the smallest. Although the cave is mainly vadose, there is evidence of enlargement by corrosion and by collapse (in the uppermost level), and the sequence of cave formation has been interrupted by at least one phase of cave fill by clay and gravels.


Lithification of peritidal carbonates by continental brines at Fisherman Bay, South Australia, to form a megapolygon/spelean limestone association, 1982,
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Ferguson J, Burne Rv, Chambers La,
Lithification, which commenced less than 3000 yrs BP is still active, and has formed a cavernous limestone containing megapolygons, tepees, and speleothems including pisoliths, floe aragonite, and aragonite pool deposits. The emerging waters evolved from low alkalinity waters of Pleistocene sand and clay coastal plain aquifers which passed through an underlying Tertiare marine carbonate aquifer, have high P CO2 , total carbonate, Ca, and sulfate concentrations. They are close to saturation with respect to aragonite, and their mMg (super 2) /mCa (super 2) ratios approach or exceed the critical aragonite precipitation value. Features which diagnose ancient examples of this process: primary aragonitic cements with high mSr (super 2) /mCa (super 2) values; nonmarine delta 34 S values in gypsum; two superimposed networks of surface polygons, one delineated by extensional boundaries, the other by tepees; high-water vadose-zone isopachous grain cements; interconnected, speleothem-lined cavities; and the presence of evaporites only in surface sediments. Possible ancient examples are recognized in West Texas, Lombardy, and the Atlas Mountains. The areal extent of each of these deposits suggests that the process may be a geologically important feature, and its products may be diagnostic of semi-arid or arid-zone paralic sedimentation.--Modified journal abstract

Colour In Some Nullarbor Plain Speleothems, 1982,
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Caldwell J. R. , Davey A. G. , Jennings J. N. , Spate A. P.

Chemical and mineralogical analyses of 18 speleothem samples from Nullarbor Plain caves are related to their colours ranging from white to black through browns and reds. Iron, manganese and organic compounds are the pigments responsible but their effect is variable according to their manner of incorporation in the speleothems and possibly also to the intervention of clay minerals. Closer studies are necessary to unravel these aspects and to investigate sequences of colour in speleothem growth.


Carte hydrogomorphologique, hydrogologie et hydrochimie du karst de Dorvan (Ain), 1983,
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Gibert J. , Laurent R. , Maire R.
PRESENTATION OF THE HYDROGEOMORPHOLOGICAL MAP AT 1/100,000 ON KARST OF DORVAN (SOUTHERN JURA, AIN, FRANCE. Main researches about hydrology and hydrochemistry on this karst - The Dorvan massif is a low mountain Jurassian karst with a wet temperate climate and a little nival influence. The surface relief is covered with important decalcification clay. The drainage of the karst is assumed by superimposed systems, according to the excavation of the Torcieu watergap. The flow of the main outlet (Pissoir) is a pluvial type, which presents an annual cycle with a maximum in winter and a minimum in summer. The specific discharge is 31.4 l/s/km2. The dissolution rate is high: 81 mm/ky. 50% of the corrosion interests the epikarst, 50% interests the endokarst. During the Pleistocene, the glaciations played a direct or indirect role on the evolution of the Dorvan karst: nivo-karst during the Wrm; fluvio-glacial up-building of the Torcieu watergap and correlated water logging of the lower karst during Wrm and Tardiglacial periods; probable direct action of glaciers during the Riss.

Etudes rcentes sur le karst de Niaux-Lombrive-Sabart (Arige), 1983,
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Renault, Ph.
RECENT INVESTIGATIONS ABOUT THE NIAUx-LOMBRiVE-SABART KARST (Arige, France) - Several recent investigations concerne this important system (14km). The P. Sorriaux sedimentologi-cal thesis (1982) establishes that the ancient troughflows have inverted their direction during an evolution of at least 400,000 years (isotopic dating from calcite) under glacial conditions. The C. Andrieux, J. Brunet and Ph. Renault speleometeorological studies (1974-1983) concerning the thermic equilibrium pattern and the carbon dioxide distribution suggest an atmospheric model. The closing or opening of some the locks (sumps, doors) induces the changing of a barometric causality into a thermic one with the production of a general air flow.

Physical arrangement of high-alumina clay types in a Missouri clay deposit and implications for their genesis, 1983,
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Keller W. D. , Stevens R. P. ,

Palaeoenvironment of lateritic bauxites with vertical and lateral differentiation, 1983,
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Valeton Ida,
Formation of lateritic bauxites of the type described in this paper occurs world-wide in Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plains. The bauxites form elongate belts, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, parallel to Lower Tertiary shorelines in India and South America and their distribution is not related to a particular mineralogical composition of the parent rock. The lateral movement of the major elements Al, Si, Fe, Ti is dependent on a high level and flow of groundwater. Varying efficiency of subsurface drainage produces lateral facies variations. Interfingering of marine and continental facies indicate a sea-land transition zone where the type of sediments also varies with minor tectonic movements or sea-level changes. A typical sediment association is found in India, Africa, South and North America. It consists of (i) red beds rich in detrital and dissolved material of reworked laterites, (ii) lacustrine sediments and hypersaline precipitates, (iii) lignites intercalated with marine clays, layers of siderite, pyrite, marcasite and jarosite, and (iv) marine chemical sediments rich in oolitic iron ores or glauconite. A model is developed to account for element distributions in lateritic bauxites in terms of groundwater levels and flow. Finally it is shown that many high-level bauxites are formed in coastal plains and that they are subsequently uplifted to their present altitude

Les palokarsts des Alpes occidentales du Trias l'Eocne, 1984,
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Guendon, J. L.
WESTERN ALPS PALEOKARSTS FROM TRIASSIC TO EOCENE - In western Alps, before complete emersion during the Oligocene and Miocene, the marine sedimentation has been locally interrupted by three important continental phases: 1/ during Early Jurassic, in "brianonnais" domain; 2/during middle Cretaceous, in Provence area; 3/ during early Tertiary, in subalpine range and Jura. These locally and temporary regression are the consequence of tectonic activities in relation to the movements of eurasiatic and italo-african plates, which are at the edge of the alpine oceanic basin (Tethys). After an abstract on the tectonic and sedimentological history of western Alps, a description is given of continental formations (bauxites, fire-clay, clay with flints, siderolitic formations, white and ochrous sands, siliceous and ferruginous crusts) and karst phenomena elaborated during these regressions.

Karst du Rawyl (Hautes Alpes calcaires de Suisse occidentale), matires dissoutes et en suspension emportes par les sources, 1984,
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Wildberger, A.
HIGH ALPINE KARST OF RAWYL (SOUTHWESTERN SWITZERLAND): DISSOLVED AND SUSPENDED MATERIALS IN THE WATER OF KARSTIC SPRINGS - The karst of the Rawyl area is located between 1200 and 3250m elevation, at an average height of 2500m. The mean annual rainfall is about 2m. The output of dissolved and suspended material was measured at various important springs, subjected to a glacial to nivo-glacial discharge pattern. The dissolution rate is around 0,06 to 0,075 mm/year of which 1 to 25% are suspended materials, the rest being transported under dissolved form. The flushed material does not correspond exactly with the lithology of the aquifer: for the dissolved material, Mg is in excess compared to the Mg in the carbonates (exchange of cations Ca-Mg); for the suspended material, the clay minerals clearly out-weight the quartz (selection by different sizes and forms).

Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985,
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Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

Un pseudo-karst dans les argiles (Las Bardenas, Navarre, Espagne), 1986,
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Maire R. , Pernette J. F.
PSEUDO-KARST IN SANDY-CLAY (LAS BARDENAS NAVARRA-, SPAIN) - The spectacular badlands of Las Bardenas are situated south of the Navarra province (NE Spain); they develop in the sandy-clay (Oligo-Miocene) of the tertiary Ebra basin, with a semi-arid climatic context (<400 mm/year). Pseudo-karstic landforms have been observed near mini-canyons: sinkholes, pits, caves, natural bridges... This morphology of mechanical origin is possible because the running waters disappear underground into the decompression fissures generated on the edges of canyon cliffs. Yet, in a few caves, the gallery is made directly in the mass of sandy-clay, without the help of joints, cracks or fissures ("piping"). This recent pseudo-karst and badlands are the obvious consequence of the historical destruction of forest during the Middle Age.

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