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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 interstratal karst; interstratal karstification is 1. features formed by the dissolutional removal of all or part of a buried rock unit. interstratal-karst features are common within highly soluble evaporite rocks such as gypsum and halite, and may be equally common, but less readily recognized, within the preserved remnants of carbonate successions. interstratal karst should not be confused with buried karst. the finest interstratal karst in britain is the extensive cave development in the limestones beneath the namurian millstone grit plateaux of south wales, where the large collapse dolines in the millstone grit are interstratal-karst landforms [9]. 2. the process of karstification of highly soluble rocks (e.g., gypsum, anhydrate, and salt) that are overlain by less soluble rocks (e.g., shales), but are still selectively dissolved by circulating ground water [10].?

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.
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;
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Your search for highlands (Keyword) returned 26 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 26 of 26
Fallen arches: Dispelling myths concerning Cambrian and Ordovician paleogeography of the Rocky Mountain region, 2003,
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Myrow Paul M. , Taylor John F. , Miller James F. , Ethington Raymond L. , Ripperdan Robert L. , Allen Joseph,
High-resolution sedimentologic, biostratigraphic, and stable isotope data from numerous measured sections across Colorado reveal a complex architecture for lower Paleozoic strata in the central Cordilleran region. A lack of precise age control in previous studies had resulted in misidentification and miscorrelation of units between separate ranges. Corrections of these errors made possible by our improved data set indicate the following depositional history. The quartz-rich sandstone of the Sawatch Formation was deposited during onlap of the Precambrian erosion surface in the early Late Cambrian. The overlying Dotsero Formation, a regionally extensive carbonate- and shale-rich succession records blanket-like deposition with only minor facies changes across the state. An extremely widespread, meter-scale stromatolite bed, the Clinetop Bed, caps the Dotsero Formation in most areas. However, a latest Cambrian erosional episode removed 9-11 m of the upper Dotsero Formation, including the Clinetop Bed, from just east of the Homestake shear zone in the Sawatch Range eastward to the Mosquito Range. The overlying Manitou Formation differs in character, and thus in member stratigraphy, on the east vs. west sides of the state. These differences were previously interpreted as the result of deposition on either side of a basement high that existed within the Central Colorado Embayment or Colorado 'Sag,' a region of major breaching across the Transcontinental Arch. This paleogeographic reconstruction is shown herein to be an artifact of miscorrelation. Biostratigraphic data show that the northwestern members of the Manitou Formation are older than the members exposed in the southeastern part of the state and that there is little or no overlap in age between the two areas. This circumstance is the result of (1) removal of older Manitou Formation strata in the southeast by an unconformity developed during the Rossodus manitouensis conodont Zone, and (2) erosion of younger Manitou strata in central and western Colorado along Middle Ordovician and Devonian unconformities. Deciphering these complex stratal geometries has led to invalidation of long-held views on western Laurentian paleogeography during the Cambrian and earliest Ordovician, specifically the existence of the Colorado Sag and a northeast-trending high within the sag that controlled depositional patterns on either side. The mid- Rossodus uplift and resultant unconformity eliminated any and all Upper Cambrian and Lower Ordovician deposits in southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, and thus their absence should not be misconstrued as evidence for earlier nondeposition in this region. Lithofacies distribution patterns and isopach maps provide no evidence that highlands of the Transcontinental Arch existed in Colorado prior to the mid-Rossodus age uplift event. In fact, regional reconstructions of earliest Paleozoic paleogeography along the entire length of the purported Transcontinental Arch should be reevaluated with similarly precise biostratigraphic data to reconsider all potential causes for missing strata and to eliminate topographic elements not supported by multiple stratigraphic techniques. This study illustrates how seriously paleogeographic reconstructions can be biased by the presumption that missing strata represent periods of nondeposition rather than subsequent episodes of erosion, particularly in thin cratonic successions where stratigraphic gaps are common and often inconspicuous

Investigation of Morphology Hydrogeology Relations in Harmanköy Beyyayla (Bilecik, Turkey) Karst System, PhD thesis, 2005,
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Aydin, H.

Harmanköy – Beyyayla Karst System (HBKS) forms the highlands in the Central Sakarya Basin. HBKS which is made of Jurassic Bilecik limestone is located within the province boundaries of Bilecik and Eskişehir and extends over a surface area of 49.5 km2. In this study, the HBKS whose boundary conditions are well defined was investigated in terms of morphology – hydrogeology relationships. Within this context, hydrogeological conceptual model of the study area was developed based on the physical parameters such as geology, tectonic, morphology and dynamic properties such as precipitation regime, infiltration, recharge, flow and storage.
Upon the evaluation of morphological, hydrologic, hydrogeological and hydrodynamic properties, it was concluded that HBKS consists of three distinct subsystems, namely the Beyyayla, Döşkaya and Nardın subsystems. It was further determined that Beyyayla and Döşkaya subsystems are similar by the properties mentioned above, while the Nardın subsystem differs from these two subsystems.
Recharge in HBSK occurs in two different forms; allogenic-point and autogenic-diffuse. Surface waters which are drained from Paleozoic age granites located in Beyyayla and Döşkaya subsystems’ recharge these systems as allogenic-point from Beyyayla and Tozman sinkholes. On the other hand, precipitation which falls on the limestone rock-mass supplies the autogenic diffuse recharge to the systems. Recharge to the Nardın subsystem on the other hand, is autogenic diffuse from direct precipitation on to the limestone area. The Qmax/Qmin ratio and the variation coefficient (CV) of chemical compositions of the springs which drain these subsystems, imply that concentrated flow is dominant in all these three systems. In addition, trace experiments carried out in Beyyayla and Döşkaya subsystems suggest that the flow is turbulent and rapid within the well-developed karstic channels. Advective-dispersive transport is controlling the solute transport in the system.
It was speculated that the energy gradient is more important than tectonic, lithologic characteristics and climatic changes in karst evolution Beyyayla and Döşkaya subsystems. Lowering of erosion base caused exposure of granites which consequently supplied the allogenic-point recharge to these subsystems. This was resulted in distinct morphologic, hydrologic and hydrodynamic properties of the subsystem.
Advisor: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Mehmet EKMEKÇİ, Hacettepe University, Department of Geological Engineering, Hydrogeological Engineering Division


Lithological control on water chemistry in karst aquifers of the Zagros Range, Iran, 2006,
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Ashjari, Javad And Ezzat Raeisi.
The Zagros Range of south-central Iran is characterized by long and regular anticlinal and synclinal folds. Most highlands are karstified limestone and dolomite aquifers, which are sandwiched between thick non-karstic marl, marlstone, manly limestone, gypsum and anhydrite formations. Hydrochemical data from 195 karst springs, emerging from five different karstic formations, were used to determine the factors controlling spring water quality. The size and boundaries of catchment area of each spring were determined using water balance and geological methods. The springs were classified based on water type and specific conductance; and discrimination analysis was performed on the major anions, cations, and the specific conductance of all the springs to confirm the proposed classification. The Piper diagram reveals bicarbonate, bicarbonate-dominant, sulphate-dominant, or chloride water type with specific conductances ranging from 190 to 13500S/cm. The lithology of the neighbouring formations and its extent of outcrop into the catchment area of the karst springs have a major effect on water quality. Large exposures of marl, marlstone, and manly limestone on the catchment area of the karst springs can change bicarbonate water to bicarbonate-sulphate, whereas gypsum and anhydrite produce sulphate-type waters. Salt domes, and saline water from adjacent lakes or alluvial aquifers are the main sources for chloride-type water.

Giant dolines of the Muller Plateau, Papua New Guinea, 2006,
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James Jm
The Muller Plateau lies within the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and is distinguished by its giant dolines. Many of these have exceptionally large dimensions and a morphology comparable to that of the megadolines of the Nakanai Mountains on New Britain and the tiankengs of the South China karst. They are all caprock dolines. The geology, physical geography and hydrology of the Muller Plateau are compared with those of the Nakanai Mountains and the South China karst. Proposed mechanisms for the formation of three groups (Rogorepo, Mamo and Atea) of giant dolines on the Muller Plateau are discussed. The Muller Plateau giant dolines, like the megadolines and the tiankengs, formed during the Pleistocene. The Muller Plateau dolines have formed in an environment that has many similarities to the other giant dolines. However, it is unlikely that they will ever evolve to the magnificence of the Nakanai megadolines or the aesthetics of the Chinese tiankengs, as a controlling factor in their development is a siltstone caprock and impure interbeds within the Darai Limestone.

Giant dolines of the Muller Plateau, Papua New Guinea, 2006,
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James, Julia

The Muller Plateau lies within the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and is distinguished by its giant dolines. Many of these have exceptionally large dimensions and a morphology comparable to that of the megadolines of the Nakanai Mountains on New Britain and the tiankengs of the South China karst. They are all caprock dolines. The geology, physical geography and hydrology of the Muller Plateau are compared with those of the Nakanai Mountains and the South China karst. Proposed mechanisms for the formation of three groups (Rogorepo, Mamo and Atea) of giant dolines on the Muller Plateau are discussed. The Muller Plateau giant dolines, like the megadolines and the tiankengs, formed during the Pleistocene. The Muller Plateau dolines have formed in an environment that has many similarities to the other giant dolines. However, it is unlikely that they will ever evolve to the magnificence of the Nakanai megadolines or the aesthetics of the Chinese tiankengs, as a controlling factor in their development is a siltstone caprock and impure interbeds within the Darai Limestone.


Prediction of a fracture-cavern system in a carbonate reservoir: A case study from Tahe oil field, China, 2006,
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Guan Luping, Wang Shixing, Zhu Hailong,
The carbonate reservoir in China's Tahe oil field is very heterogeneous with many caves and fractures that resulted from deposition, tectonic movements, diagenesis, and karstification. The reservoir spaces are mainly caves, pores, and fractures that resulted from karstification and structural deformation over several geologic periods. The Lower Ordovician carbonate rock, the main target, is at a depth of more than 5000 m. Karst topography dominates near the basal surface, fractures and caverns within the weathering zone. Laterally, the reservoirs are controlled by paleokarst highlands, slope, and faults that originated in different tectonic periods

Giant dolines of the Muller Plateau, Papua New Guinea, 2006,
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James Jm
The Muller Plateau lies within the Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, and is distinguished by its giant dolines. Many of these have exceptionally large dimensions and a morphology comparable to that of the megadolines of the Nakanai Mountains on New Britain and the tiankengs of the South China karst. They are all caprock dolines. The geology, physical geography and hydrology of the Muller Plateau are compared with those of the Nakanai Mountains and the South China karst. Proposed mechanisms for the formation of three groups (Rogorepo, Mamo and Atea) of giant dolines on the Muller Plateau are discussed. The Muller Plateau giant dolines, like the megadolines and the tiankengs, formed during the Pleistocene. The Muller Plateau dolines have formed in an environment that has many similarities to the other giant dolines. However, it is unlikely that they will ever evolve to the magnificence of the Nakanai megadolines or the aesthetics of the Chinese tiankengs, as a controlling factor in their development is a siltstone caprock and impure interbeds within the Darai Limestone.

The cave racer, Orthriophis taeniurus, 2007,
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Price, Liz And Yawei Li.
The cave racer snake is one of the least studied snakes in South East Asia. It inhabits tropical caves, forests and fields, and to date very little research has been undertaken to understand its ecology. Far more is known about captive species in the western world, which are sold as pets and/or exhibited in collections. This article presents some general observations, as well as similarities and differences between wild and captive cave racers. One particular captive snake has been studied in detail, a captive bred specimen whose grandparents came from the Cameron Highlands, Peninsular Malaysia.

CARVING UP THE PRE-ILLINOIAN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS: TRANSVERSE SPELEOGENESIS AND EMERGENT BEDROCK MEANDERS IN THE OZARKS, 2007,
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Elfrink, N.

New data fail to support the prevailing theory that meandering bedrock valleys inherit their sinuosity from ancient alluvial rivers. In the Ozarks, observations indicate that bedrock meanders emerge during incision as a result of erosion by emergent groundwater and surface flow. Crustal tilting pressurizes deep aquifers that feed a huge base flow to large springs. Because of their large size and persistence in time, these artesian conduits have the potential to create new base levels of erosion. Transverse speleogenesis causes groundwater flow lines and surface streams to converge toward the springs, thereby further increasing the rate of landscape lowering and creating bedrock meanders. Groundwater outflow accelerates stream piracy, creates asymmetric drainage patterns and cuts channels across structural upwarps. By contrast, the antecedent meander theory favors long-term drainage stability that cannot explain the incredible diversity of the freshwater fauna found in the Central Highlands. Widely disjunct species of highland fish that thrive only in clear, high-gradient streams indicate that the Ouachitas, the Ozarks and the Eastern Highlands were once a continuous upland connected by a “land bridge” in southern Illinois. This connection allowed ancestral species to become widespread enough to be affected by a vicariant event, usually attributed to onset of glaciation. However, a 400-km eastward shift in Gulf of Mexico sedimentation indicates this vicariant event may have occurred in the middle Pleistocene, when it is proposed that the Mississippi River dissected the Central Highlands, separating the Interior Highlands from the Eastern Highlands.


An extreme case of a trematode infection of a larval Ozark Blind Salamander, Eurycea spelaea (Caudata: Plethodontidae) from the Ozark Highlands of Missouri, USA, 2013,
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Fenolio Dante, Mcallister Chris T, Niemiller Matthew L, Soares D, Cooley Jim

Subterranean reproduction of the Ringed Crayfish, Orconectes neglectus Faxon 1885 (Astacoidea: Cambaridae) within an Ozark Highlands cave in Oklahoma, USA, 2013,
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Fenolio Dante, Niemiller Matthew L, Soares Daphne, Slay Michael E, Harris Andy, Harris Nate

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