MWH Global

Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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 melting point is the temperature at which a solid substance is transformed into its liquid state [16].?

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

What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for petrography (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 24 of 24
Intrt de lanalyse ptrographique des splothmes pour les reconstitutions paloenvironnementales, 2007, Couchoud I.
The significance of speleothem petrography in paleoenvironmental reconstruction - Speleothem petrography, like oxygen and carbon isotopic ratios, is influenced by various hydrological, chemical, biological and physical factors at the time of growth. While speleothem-based paleoenvironmental studies using stable isotope records are increasingly numerous, interpretations remain problematic. This paper aims to highlight the significance of a petrographical approach to the study of speleothems as a complement to isotopic studies. First, a synthesis of the main calcite crystalline fabrics encountered in speleothems is presented and a terminology suggested. A summary of the current state of knowledge about the relationships between fabrics and (i) the conditions of speleothem precipitation and (ii) speleothem carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios is then provided. It appears that some fabrics are essentially controlled by two main parameters: i) the chemical efficiency of the solution; and 2) the drip rate and variability. As a function of the respective importance of these two parameters, fabrics evolve within a continuum from elongated columnar fabric (typically, high intensity and low variability - low chemical efficiency) to dendritic fabric (low intensity and high variability - high chemical efficiency) via two intermediate forms, compact and open columnar fabrics.Other fabrics are associated with specific conditions of precipitation. For example, a high concentration of impurities in the source water can produce a microcrystalline fabric; precipitation in a tunnel environment can give rise to squat columnar fabric; and recrystallisation can produce a mosaic fabric. Combined with known conditions of precipitation, fabrics can be used to evaluate the quality of the stable isotope signals recorded by speleothems and can help in the interpretation of paleoenvironmental records.

Ptrographie dune altrite rsiduelle de type fantme de roche , 2007, Havron Ccile, Baele Jeanmarc, Quinif Yves
PETROGRAPHY OF A RESIDUAL ALTERITE GHOST-ROCK . Classically, the karstogenesis begins with a phase of dissolution along fissures. Progressively, the fissure broadens and more water flows. Some fissures transform in more important void, sometimes galleries. The fondamental fact is that the removal of bed-rock is total, the greatest part by solution (carbonates, calcium and magnesium, sodium and potassium...), the rest one like solid phase (clay minerals, quartz...). We call this process total removal. But another karstification process exists: the ghost-rock formation. The first phase of the ghost-rock formation begins with an isovolumic alteration of the bed-rock. The insoluble parts remain while the soluble parts are evacuated with underground water. This insoluble part is constituted by clays minerals, silica phase, sparite like fossils, or big cristals and forms a residual alterite. That is the ghost-rock formation. This is the case for the present example which is a residual alterite in a very pure wackestone. This object presents like a volume of alterite confined in the intact bed-rock. We study this ghost-rock by a petrographic analysis. The macroscopic approach emphasizes the great porosity of the ghost-rock which is very crumbly. The border between the ghost-rock and the bed-rock is very irregular, emphazising the petrophysic differences. The microscopic approach shows in the ghost-rock a general collapse of the structure where subsist only the best cristallized grains. The alteration increases to the detriment of the little cristals, saving the bioclasts, or to the detriment of the fissures. One detects also another phase which is constituted by gypsum. The examination using the electron microscope shows that the bed-rock is formed by well soldered grains, crystals, primary pyrite. On the other hand, the ghost-rock is characterised by a great porosity, secondary pyrite, corrosion gulfs on crystals. This is the indication that the acid function comes from sulfuric acid by oxydation of the sulfide. This is the reason of the presence of gypsum. After the alteration, the organic matter present in the bed-rock (black limestone) can reduce the gypsum in secondary sulfide. The conclusion is that the formation of the ghost-rock can develop in a pure limestone, and non only in a limestone with silico-clay skeleton. This ghost-rock represents the first stage of the genesis: an isovolumic alteration, without macroscopic void, before a collapse of the weathering rock.

An unusual paleokarst sedimentary rock in the Bohemian Karst (Czech Republic), and its regional tectonic and geomorphologic relationships, 2007, Zak K. , Pruner P. , Bosak P. , Svobodova M. , Slechta S.
An unusual type of paleokarst carbonate sedimentary rock has been found in the Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic. This well-layered coarse-crystalline limestone is reddish in color and occurs as horizontal or slightly inclined layers filling deep paleokarst cavities within karstified faults in Early Devonian marine-limestone host rocks. The paleokarst carbonate rock was studied with a set of methods including paleomagnetic study, C and O stable isotopes, petrography, and plant microfossils.

The structural prerequisites of speleogenesis in gypsum in the Western Ukraine. The 2-nd edition, revised., 2009, Klimchouk A. A. , Andreychouk V. N. , And Turchinov I. I.

In this book geological the conditions of speleogenesis in the Miocene gypsum in the Western Ukraine are characterized, particularly the role of lithological and structural prerequisites in speleogenesis. The special attention is given to structural and textural unhomogeneities in the gypsum stratum and to their role in the formation of fractures. Fracture systems in the gypsum and the structure of the unique maze cave systems are examined in details. It is shown that speleo-initiating fractures in the gypsum strata belong to the lithogenetic type and form largely independent multi-storey networks, with each storey being confined within a certain vertical structural/textural zone (unit) of the stratum. This determines the multi-storey structure of the caves in the region.

Two problems related to structural and textural characteristics of the gypsum stratum are discussed in details: the formation of giant dome structures by way of gypsum recrystallization during the synsedimentary and early diagenesis stages, and the genesis of fractures. Speleogenetic realization of the existing structural prerequisites occurred under conditions of a confined multi-storey artesian aquifer system due to an upward flow across the gypsum from the under-gypsum aquifer.
The book may be of interest for karstologists, speleologists, engineering geologists, hydrogeologist, as well as for those who study lithology and petrography of evaporates. 
Tables 2, ill. 29, bibl. 67.

Fluid flow reconstruction in karstified Panormide platform limestones (north-central Sicily): Implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Sicilian fold and thrust belt, 2010, Dewever B. , Berwouts I. , Swennen R. , Breesch L. , Ellam R. M.

Diagenetic analysis based on field and petrographic observations, isotope and microthermometric data was used to reconstruct the fluid flow history of the Cretaceous shallow water limestones from the Panormide platform exposed in north-central Sicily. Analysis focused on diagenetic products in cavities and dissolution enlarged fractures of the karstified limestones that occur just below a regional unconformity. The fluid flow history could be broken down into five stages that were linked to the kinematic and burial history of the region. (1) Petrography (zoned cathodoluminescence and speleothem textures) and stable isotopes (6.5 PDB &/Tm_2 to _5 _C), but at increasingly higher temperatures (Th 60–120 _C). This has been interpreted as precipitation during Oligocene foredeep burial. (4) Hot (Th 130–180 _C), low saline (Tm he low salinity and relatively high d18OSMOW signatures of the fluids are interpreted to be the result of clay dewatering reactions. The presence of bitumen and associated fluorite with hydrocarbon inclusions at this stage in the paragenesis constrains the timing of oil migration in the region. (5) Finally, high saline fluids with elevated 87Sr/86Sr (0.7095–0.7105) signatures invaded the karst system. This last fluid flow event was possibly coeval with localized dolomitization and calcite cementation along high-angle faults of Pliocene age, as suggested by identical radiogenic signatures of these diagenetic products.

Petrographic and isotopic evidence for late-stage processes in sulfuric acid caves of the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA, 2012, Palmer Margaret, Palmer Arthur N.

Caves of the Guadalupe Mountains have experienced many modifications since their final phase of sulfuric acid speleogenesis several million years ago. Petrographic and geochemical data reveal details of the change from H2SO4 to CO2-dominated reactions. The H2SO4 dissolution front acquired a coating of replacement gypsum with local pockets of anhydrite and by-products of altered clay, including Fe-Mn oxides. Alteration of bedrock beneath the gypsum produced a white micritized rind with small negative shifts in δ13C and δ18O. Solution basins contain records of the earliest post-speleogenetic processes: corroded bedrock, residual anhydrite, Fe-Mn oxides from fluctuating pH and Eh, mammillary calcite, and dolomitization. Later meteoric water removed or recrystallized much of the gypsum and early micrite, and replaced some gypsum with calcite. Mammillary crusts demonstrate fluctuating groundwater, with calcite layers interrupted by films of Fe-Mn oxides precipitated during periodic inflow of anoxic water. Condensation moisture (from local evaporation) absorbs CO2 from cave air, corroding earlier features and lowering their δ13C and δ18O. Drips of condensation water deposit minerals mainly by evaporation, which increases δ18O in the speleothems while δ13C remains nearly constant. By forcing calcite precipitation, evaporation raises the Mg content of remaining water and subsequent precipitates. Dolomite (both primary and replacive) is abundant. In areas of low air circulation, water on and within carbonate speleothems equilibrates with cave-air CO2, causing minerals to recrystallize with glassy textures. Fluorite on young evaporative speleothems suggests a recent release of deep-source HF gas and absorption by droplets of condensation water. 

Stratigraphy, petrography and chronology of speleothem deposition at Tana che Urla (Lucca, Italy): paleoclimatic implications, 2012, Regattieri E. , Isola I. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Baneschi I.

In this work we present the results of a stratigraphic and lithologic study of a flowstone from Tana che Urla Cave, Apuan Alps (central Italy) which grew intermittently between ca. 160 and 8 ka. The studied succession consists of an alternation of two different lithofacies (Lf-A, Lf-B): a brown, detrital-rich (Lf-A) and a white, inclusion-poor calcite (Lf-B). Using available growth rate data, the difference between the two lithofacies is thought to be the result of different amounts of meteoric precipitation, with Lf-A related to low growth rates at times of low precipitation during phases of climatic deterioration (stadial or glacial) and a higher flux of clastic material, and Lf-B related to high growth rates due to high infiltration under conditions of higher precipitation during wetter (interstadial/interglacial) periods, with lower clastic flux. Following this interpretation and the available chronology, the flowstone investigated shows a basal portion of Lf-A that was deposited during MIS6. The flowstone then passed from Lf-A to Lf B at the MIS6-5 transition, with Lf-B lasting for the full interglacial of MIS5e.
A long growth interruption (hiatus H1) can be correlated with the MIS5d stadial, with resumption of lithofacies Lf-B occurring during the climatic amelioration of interstadial MIS5c. The age profile of the upper part of the flowstone is poorly constrained, and is characterised by several growth interruptions, suggesting that the last glacial was more severe compared to MIS6

Layer-bounding surfaces in stalagmites as keys to better paleoclimatological histories and chronologies, 2013, Railsback L. B. , Akers P. D. , Wang L. , Holdridge G. A. , Riavo Voarintsoa N.

Petrographic recognition of layer-bounding surfaces in stalagmites offers an important tool in constructing paleoclimate records. Previous petrographic efforts have examined thickness of layers (a possible proxy for annual rainfall) and alternation of layers in couplets (a possible indicator of seasonality). Layer-bounding surfaces, in contrast, delimit series of layers and represent periods of non-deposition, either because of exceptionally wet or exceptionally dry conditions.

Two types of layer-bounding surfaces can be recognized according to explicitly defined petrographic criteria. Type E layer-bounding surfaces are surfaces at which layers have been truncated or eroded at the crest of a stalagmite. Keys to their recognition include irregular termination of layers otherwise present on the stalagmite’s flank, dissolutional cavities, and coatings of non-carbonate detrital materials. Type E surfaces are interpreted to represent wet periods during which drip water became so undersaturated as to dissolve pre-existing stalagmite layers, and thus they necessarily represent hiatuses in the stalagmite record. Type L layer-bounding surfaces are surfaces below which layers become thinner upward and/or layers have lesser lateral extent upward, so that the stalagmite’s layer-specific width decreases. They are thus surfaces of lessened deposition and are interpreted to represent drier conditions in which drip rate slowed so much that little deposition occurred. A Type L surface may, but does not necessarily, represent a hiatus in deposition. However, radiometric age data show that Type L surfaces commonly represent significant hiatuses.

These surfaces are significant to paleoclimate research both for their implications regarding climate change (exceptionally wet or dry conditions) and in construction of chronologies in which other data, such as stable isotope ratios, are placed. With regard to climate change, recognition of these surfaces provides paleoclimatological information that can complement or even substitute for geochemical proxies. With regard to chronologies, recognition of layer- bounding surfaces allows correct placement of hiatuses in chronologies and thus correct placement of geochemical data in time series. Attention to changing thickness of annual layers and thus to accumulation rate can also refine a chronology. A chronology constructed with attention to layer-bounding surfaces and to changing layer thickness is much more accurate than a chronology in which hiatuses are not recognized at such surfaces.


Conspicuous brackish sulfidic springs have been described at the northern Sierra the Chiapas, Mexico. These springs are produced by a mixture between regional and local groundwater flow paths. The regional groundwater has an average Total Dissolved Ions of 3081 mg/L so it has a brackish composition. This brackish water is saturated with respect to calcite and dolomite but undersaturated with respect to gypsum, anhydrite and halite. The mass balance and the discharge rate are used to quantify the mass and volume of minerals that are dissolved by the brackish spring water following Appelo and Postma (1993). This quantification will allow comparing the various speleogenetic mechanisms in the area. This is considering the composition of the spring water is relatively constant over time, as it is suggested by periodic measurements at the Cueva de Villa Luz springs during the last 10 years.
Sulfur isotopes in the water are consistent with anhydrite dissolution as the main source of the sulfate to the brackish spring water. Thus, the average 6 mol/L of sulfate in the brackish springs are produced by dissolution of 6 mol of anhydrite after subtracting the sulfate that could result from evapotranspiration of rainwater. Each liter of brackish water dissolved an average of 882 mg of anhydrite, which are equivalent to dissolving 0.36 cm3 of this mineral considering a density of 2.981 g/cm3. Additionally, using the average brackish water discharge rate of 144 L/s, an average of 57 g of anhydrite are being dissolved each second per every liter of brackish water. This is a minimal value because some of the sulfate in the water is used by sulfate-reducing bacteria in the subsurface to produce the hydrogen sulfide in the spring water. The anhydrite subject to dissolution is found interbedded in the Cretaceous carbonates, either from the subsurface at 4,000 m below sea level to the carbonate outcrops.
Similarly, we can calculate the volume of halite that is being dissolved by the brackish springs, considering chloride is a conservative element and subtracting the chloride concentration from the rainwater from that of the spring water following Appelo & Postma (1993). The 22 mol/L of chloride in the brackish water can result from dissolution in the subsurface of 22 moles or 1.3 g of halite per liter of brackish water. This mass of halite dissolved is equal to 0.59 cm3 considering a density of 2.168 g/cm3. Alternatively, 118 g of halite are dissolved per second per each liter of brackish water if we use the average discharge rate of 144 L/s.
Even when the brackish springs are oversaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite, their dissolution is still possible due to the common ion-effect of calcium after anhydrite dissolution and by mixing of waters with different compositions. A range of 10 to 80 % of brackish water from the regional aquifers mixes with fresh water from the local aquifer based on their water chemistry. Additionally, sulfuric acid speleogenesis occurs due to the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide to sulfuric acid.
Finally, the increase in the chloride concentration of the fresh water springs with respect to the concentration in rainwater was used to estimate that from the 4000 mm/y of annual precipitation, only 4%, 158 to 182 mm/y, recharge the aquifers. This low percentage is slightly higher than the 3.3% recharge in marls, marly limestone, silts and clays (Sanz et al., 2011), probably because of the relatively small area of carbonate outcrops over the entire region and the lack of recharge in altitudes higher than 1500 m above sea level.
Sulfuric acid is the most obvious speleogenetic mechanism occurring in the caves of the northern Sierra de Chiapas, Mexico due to the high hydrogen sulfide concentration in the spring water. In addition, the location of the springs at a zone of regional and local discharge where waters from different composition converge and mix, and the amount of mixing calculated suggests mixing is also an important speleogenetic mechanism. However, the depth and the time constrains at which these two hypogenic mechanisms occur is still unknown. The relatively low rainwater recharge rate suggests epigenesis is limited. Most likely, the porosity created by dissolution of anhydrite and halite in the subsurface is occluded by the precipitation of calcite. Chemical modeling and petrography will help to elucidate the order of the reactions occurring in the subsurface.

Results 16 to 24 of 24
You probably didn't submit anything to search for