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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. ...

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That field velocity of ground water is actual interstitial velocity of ground water [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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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Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers., 2000,
The aim of this book is to present advances made in recent decades in our understanding of the formation of dissolutional caves, and to illustrate the role of cave genetic ( speleogenetic ) processes in the development of karst aquifers. From the perspective of hydrogeology, karst ground water flow is a distinct kind of fluid circulation system, one that is capable of self-organization and self-development due to its capacity to dissolve significant amounts of the host rock and transport them out of the system. Fluid circulation in soluble rocks becomes more efficiently organized by creating, enlarging and modifying patterns of cave conduits, the process of speleogenesis. We can assert that karst ground water flow is a function of speleogenesis and vice versa . The advances in cave science are poorly appreciated in what may be termed ?mainstream hydrogeology?, which retains a child-like faith in flow models developed in the sand box. Many karst students also will not be aware of all emerging concepts of cave origin because discussions of them are scattered through journals and books in different disciplines and languages, including publications with small circulation. An understanding of principles of speleogenesis and its most important controls is indispensable for proper comprehension of the evolution of the karst system in general and of karst aquifers in particular. We hope this book will be useful for both karst and cave scientists, and for general hydrogeologists dealing with karst terranes. This book is a pioneer attempt by an international group of cave scientists to summarize modern knowledge about cave origin in various settings, and to examine the variety of approaches that have been adopted. Selected contributions from 44 authors in 15 nations are combined in an integrated volume, prepared between 1994 and 1998 as an initiative of the Commission of Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis, International Speleological Union. Despite a desire to produce an integrated book, rather than a mere collection of papers, the editors' policy has not been directed toward unifying all views. Along with some well-established theories and approaches, the book contains new concepts and ideas emerging in recent years. We hope that this approach will stimulate further development and exchange of ideas in cave studies and karst hydrogeology. Following this Introduction, (Part 1), the book is organized in seven different parts, each with sub-chapters. Part 2 gives a history of speleogenetic studies, tracing the development of the most important ideas from previous centuries (Shaw, Chapter 2.1) through the early modern period in the first half of this century (Lowe, Chapter 2.2) to the threshold of modern times (W.White, Chapter 2.3). The present state of the art is best illustrated by the entire content of this book. Part 3 overviews the principal geologic and hydrogeologic variables that either control or significantly influence the differing styles of cave development that are found. In Chapter 3.1 Klimchouk and Ford introduce an evolutionary approach to the typology of karst settings, which is a taken as a base line for the book. Extrinsic factors and intrinsic mechanisms of cave development change regularly and substantially during the general cycle of geological evolution of a soluble rock and , more specifically, within the hydrogeologic cycle. The evolutionary typology of karst presented in this chapter considers the entire life cycle of a soluble formation, from deposition (syngenetic karst) through deep burial, to exposure and denudation. It helps to differentiate between karst types which may concurrently represent different stages of karst development, and is also a means of adequately classifying speleogenetic settings. The different types of karst are marked by characteristic associations of the structural prerequisites for groundwater flow and speleogenesis, flow regime, recharge mode and recharge/discharge configurations, groundwater chemistry and degree of inheritance from earlier conditions. Consequently, these associations make a convenient basis to view both the factors that control cave genesis and the particular types of caves. Lithological and structural controls of speleogenesis are reviewed in general terms in Chapters 3.2 (Klimchouk and Ford). Lowe in Chapter 3.3 discusses the role of stratigraphic elements and the speleo-inception concept. Palmer in Chapter 3.4 overviews the hydrogeologic controls of cave patterns and demonstrates that hydrogeologic factors, the recharge mode and type of flow in particular, impose the most powerful controls on the formation of the gross geometry of cave systems. Hence, analysis of cave patterns is especially useful in the reconstruction of environments from paleokarst and in the prediction and interpretation of groundwater flow patterns and contaminant migration. Any opportunity to relate cave patterns to the nature of their host aquifers will assist in these applied studies as well. Osborne (Chapter 3.7) examines the significance of paleokarst in speleogenesis. More specific issues are treated by Klimchouk (The nature of epikarst and its role in vadose speleogenesis, Chapter 3.5) and by V.Dublyansky and Y.Dublyansky (The role of condensation processes, Chapter 3.6). Part 4 outlines the fundamental physics and chemistry of the speleogenetic processes (Chapter 4.1) and presents a variety of different approaches to modeling cave conduit development (Chapter 4.2). In Chapter 4.1, the chemical reactions during the dissolution of the common soluble minerals, calcite, gypsum, salt and quartz, are discussed with the basic physical and chemical mechanisms that determine their dissolution rates. As limestone is the most common karst rock and its dissolution is the most complex in many respects, it receives the greatest attention. Dreybrodt (Section 4.1.1) and Dreybrodt and Eisenlohr (Section 4.1.2) provide advanced discussion and report the most recent experimental data, which are used to obtain realistic dissolution rates for a variety of hydrogeologic conditions and as input for modeling the evolution of conduits. Although direct comparisons between theoretical or analytical dissolution rates and those derived from field measurements is difficult, a very useful comparison is provided by W.White (Section 4.1.3). The bulk removal of carbonate rock from karst drainage basins can be evaluated either by direct measurement of rock surface retreat or by mass balance within known drainage basins. All of these approaches make sense and give roughly accurate results that are consistent with theoretical expectations. It is well recognized today that the earliest, incipient, phases of speleogenesis are crucial in building up the pattern of conduits that evolve into explorable cave systems. It is difficult to establish the major controls on these initial stages by purely analytical or intuitive methods, so that modeling becomes particularly important. Various approaches are presented in Chapter 4.2. Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen present the results of systematic study of the propagation of conduits between input and output points in an anisotropic fissure, using a variety of hardware and software models, in series representing the "single input", "multiple inputs in one rank", and "multiple inputs in multiple ranks" cases (Section 4.2.1). The results indicate important details of the competitive development of proto-conduits and help to explain branching cave patterns. In the competition between inputs, some principal tubes in near ranks first link ("breakthrough") to an output boundary. This re-orients the flowfields of failed nearby competitors, which then extend to join the principal via their closest secondaries. The process extends outwards and to the rear, linking up all inputs in a "cascading system". The exploding growth of computer capability during the last two decades has greatly enhanced possibilities for digital modeling of early conduit development. Investigating the growth of a single conduit is a logical first step in understanding the evolution of caves, realized here by Dreybrodt and Gabrov?ek in the form of a simple mathematical model (Section 4.2.2) and by Palmer by numerical finite-difference modeling (Section 4.2.3). The models show that positive feedback loops operate; widening a fracture causes increasing flow through it, therefore dissolution rates increase along it and so on, until finally a dramatic increase of flow rates permits a dramatic enhancement of the widening. This breakthrough event terminates the initial stage of conduit evolution. From then on the water is able to pass through the entire conduit while maintaining sufficient undersaturation to preserve low-order kinetics, so the growth rate is very rapid, at least from a geological standpoint -- usually about 0.001-0.1 cm/yr. The initiation ("breakthrough") time depends critically on the length and the initial width of the fracture and, for the majority of realistic cases, it covers a time range from a few thousand years to ten million years in limestones. The modeling results give a clear explanation of the operation of selectivity in cave genesis. In a typical unconfined karst aquifer there is a great range of enlargement rates along the competing flow routes, and only a few conduits will grow to enterable size. The modeling also provides one starting point (others are discussed in Chapter 5.2) to explain uniform maze patterns, which will be favored by enlargement of all openings at comparable rates where the discharge/length ratio is great enough. Single-conduit modeling has the virtue of revealing how the cave-forming variables relate to each other in the simplest possible way. Although it is more difficult to extend this approach to two dimensions, many have done so (e.g. Groves & Howard, 1994; Howard & Groves, 1995; in this volume ? Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen, Section 4.2.1; Dreybrodt and Siemers, Section 4.2.4, and Sauter and Liedl, Section 4.2.5). The modeling performed by Dreybrodt and Siemers shows that the main principles of breakthrough derived from one-dimensional models remain valid. The evolution of karst aquifers has been modeled for a variety of different geological settings, including also variation in lithology with respect to the dissolution kinetics. Sauter and Liedl simulate the development of conduits at a catchment scale for fissured carbonate rocks with rather large initial openings (about 1 mm). The approach is based upon hydraulic coupling of a pipe network to matrix continuum in order to represent the well-known duality of karst aquifer flow systems. It is also shown how understanding of the genesis of karst aquifers and modeling of their development can assist in characterization of the conduit system, which dominates flow and transport in karst aquifers. An important point that has emerged from cave studies of the last three decades is that no single speleogenetic model applies to all geologic and hydrologic settings. Given that settings may also change systematically during the evolutionary geological cycles outlined above (Chapter 3.1), an evolutionary approach is called for. This is attempted in Part 5, which is organized to give extended accounts of speleogenesis in the three most important settings that we recognize: coastal and oceanic (Chapter 5.1), deep-seated and confined (Chapter 5.2) and unconfined (Chapter 5.3). Each Chapter begins with a review of modern ideas on cave development in the setting, followed by representative case studies. The latter include new accounts of some "classic" caves as well as descriptions of other, little-known cave systems and areas. Readers may determine for themselves how well the real field examples fit the general models presented in the introductory sections. Mylroie and Carew in Chapter 5.1 summarize specific features of cave and karst development in young rocks in coastal and island settings that result from the chemical interactions between fresh and salt waters, and the effects of fluctuating sea level during the Quaternary. The case studies include a review of syngenetic karst in coastal dune limestones, Australia (S.White, 5.1.1) and an example of speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands (Gunn and Lowe, 5.1.2). Klimchouk in Chapter 5.2 reviews conditions and mechanisms of speleogenesis in deep-seated and confined settings, one of the most controversial but exciting topics in modern cave research. Conventional karst/speleogenetic theories are concerned chiefly with shallow, unconfined geologic settings, supposing that the karstification found there is intimately related to surface conditions of input and output, with the dissolution being driven by downward meteoric water recharge. The possibility of hypogenic karstification in deeper environments has been neglected for a long time, and the quite numerous instances of karst features found at significant depths have usually been interpreted as buried paleokarst. However, the last decade has seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogene dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which often precedes unconfined development (Hill, 1987, 1995; Klimchouk, 1994, 1996, 1997; Lowe, 1992; Lowe & Gunn, 1995; Mazzullo & Harris, 1991, 1992; Palmer, 1991, 1995; Smart & Whitaker, 1991; Worthington, 1991, 1994; Worthington & Ford, 1995). Confined (artesian) settings were commonly ignored as sites for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves in the confined area. However, the recognition of non-classical features in artesian flow, namely the occurrence of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concepts of transverse speleogenesis and of the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows for a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and of views on the origin of many caves. It is proposed that artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception and also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the structural prerequisites exist. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. Hypogene speleogenesis occurs in rocks of varied lithology and can involve a variety of dissolution mechanisms that operate under different physical constraints but create similar cave features. Case studies include the great gypsum mazes of the Western Ukraine (Klimchouk, Section 5.2.1), great maze caves in limestones in Black Hills, South Dakota (Palmer, Section 5.2.2) and Siberia (Filippov, Section 5.2.3), karstification in the Redwall aquifer, Arizona (Huntoon, Section 5.2.4), hydrothermal caves in Hungary (Y.Dublyansky, Section 5.2.6), and sulfuric acid speleogenesis (Lowe, Bottrell and Gunn, Section 5.2.7, and Hill, Section 5.2.8). Y.Dublyansky summarizes the peculiar features of hydrothermal speleogenesis (Section 5.2.5), and V.Dublyansky describes an outstanding example of a hydrothermal cavity, in fact the largest ever recorded by volume, in the Rhodope Mountains (Section 5.2.9). Recognition of the scale and importance of deep-seated speleogenesis and of the hydraulic continuity and cross-formational communications between aquifers in artesian basins is indispensable for the correct interpretation of evolution of karst aquifers, speleogenetic processes and associated phenomena, regional karst water-resource evaluations, and the genesis of certain karst-related mineral deposits. These and other theoretical and practical implications still have to be developed and evaluated, which offers a wide field for further research efforts. Ford in Chapter 5.3 reviews theory of speleogenesis that occurs where normal meteoric waters sink underground through the epikarst or dolines and stream sinks, etc. and circulate in the limestone or other soluble rocks without any major artesian confinement. These are termed common caves (Ford & Williams, 1989) because they probably account for 90% or more of the explored and mapped dissolutional caves that are longer than a few hundred meters. This estimate reflects the bias in exploration; caves formed in unconfined settings and genetically related to surface recharge are the most readily accessible and hence form the bulk of documented caves. Common caves display chiefly the branchwork forms where the dissolutional conduits occupy only a tiny proportion of the total length or area of penetrable fissures that is available to the groundwaters. The rules that govern the selection of the successful linkages that will be enlarged into the branchwork pattern are supported in the models presented in Chapter 4.2. In the long section caves may be divided into deep phreatic, multi-loop, mixed loop and water table, and ideal water table types, with drawdown vadose caves or invasion vadose caves above them. Many large systems display a mixture of the types. The concepts of plan pattern construction, phreatic, water table or vadose state, and multi-phase development of common caves are illustrated in the case studies that follow the introduction. They are organized broadly to begin with examples of comparatively simple deep phreatic and multi-loop systems (El Abra, Mexico, Ford, Section 5.3.1 and Castleguard Cave, Canada, Ford, Lauritzen and Worthington, Section 5.3.2), proceeding to large and complex multi-phase systems such as the North of Thun System, Switzerland (Jeannin, Bitterly and Hauselmann, Section 5.3.3) and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (Palmer, Section 5.3.8), to representatives of mixed vadose and phreatic development in mountainous regions (the Alps, Audra, Section 5.3.4; the Pyrenees, Fernandez, Calaforra and Rossi, Section 5.3.5; Mexico, Hose, Section 5.3.6) and where there is strong lithologic or structural control (Folded Appalachians, W.White, Section 5.3.7; gypsum caves in the South of Spain, Calaforra and Pulido-Bosch, Section 5.3.10). Two special topics are considered by W.White in Section 5.3.9 (Speleogenesis of vertical shafts in the eastern US) and Palmer (Maze origin by diffuse recharge through overlying formation). The set concludes with two instances of nearly ideal water table cave development (in Belize and Hungary, Ford, Section 5.3.12), and a review of the latest models of speleogenesis from the region where modern karst studies in the West began, the Classical Karst of Slovenia and Trieste (?u?ter?ic, Section 5.3.13). In Parts 2-5 attention is directed primarily on how the gross geometry of a cave system is established. Part 6 switches focus to the forms at meso- and micro- scales, which can be created during enlargement of the cave. Lauritzen and Lundberg in Chapter 6.1 summarize the great variety of erosional forms ( speleogenetic facies ) that can be created by a wide range of speleogenetic agents operating in the phreatic or vadose zones. Some forms of cave passages have been subject to intensive research and may be interpreted by means of simple physical and chemical principles, but many others are polygenetic and hence difficult to decipher with certainty. However, in addition to the analysis of cave patterns (see Chapter 3.4), each morphological element is a potential tool that can aid our inferences on the origin of caves and on major characteristics of respective past hydrogeological settings. In Chapter 6.2 E.White and W.White review breakdown morphology in caves, generalizing that the processes are most active during the enlargement and decay phases of cave development. Early in the process breakdown occurs when the flow regime shifts from pipe-full conditions to open channel conditions (i.e. when the roof first loses buoyant support) and later in the process breakdown becomes part of the overall degradation of the karst system. The chapter addresses the mechanism of breakdown formation, the geological triggers that initiate breakdown, and the role that breakdown plays in the development of caves. As the great majority of both theoretical considerations and case studies in this book deal with speleogenesis in carbonate rocks, it is useful to provide a special forum to examine dissolution cave genesis in other rocks. This is the goal of Part 7. Klimchouk (7.1) provides a review of speleogenesis in gypsum. This appears to be a useful playground for testing the validity and limitations of certain general speleogenetic concepts. Differences in solution kinetics between gypsum and calcite impose some limitations and peculiar features on the early evolution of conduits in gypsum. These peculiarities appear to be an extreme and more obvious illustration of some rules of speleogenetic development devised from conceptual and digital modeling of early conduit growth in limestones. For instance, it is shown (e.g. Palmer, 1984, 1991; Dreybrodt, 1996; see also Chapter 3.4 and Section 4.2.2) that initiation of early, narrow and long pathways does not seem feasible under linear dissolution rate laws (n=1) due to exponential decrease of the dissolution rates. Although the dissolution kinetics of gypsum are not well known close to equilibrium it is generally assumed that they are controlled entirely by diffusion and therefore linear. If dissolution of gypsum is solely diffusion-controlled, with no change in the kinetic order, conduit initiation could not occur in phreatic settings or by lateral flow through gypsum from distant recharge areas in artesian settings. Hence, the fact that maze caves are common in gypsum in artesian conditions (see Section 5.2.1) gives strong support to a general model of "transverse" artesian speleogenesis where gypsum beds are underlain by, or sandwiched between, insoluble or low-solubility aquifers (Chapter 5.2), and suggests that it may be applicable to cave development in carbonates. In unconfined settings, speleogenesis in gypsum occurs along fissures wide enough to support undersaturated flow throughout their length. Linear or crudely branching caves overwhelmingly predominate, which rapidly adjust to the contemporary geomorphic setting and to the maximum available recharge. Also, if considerable conduit porosity has been created in deep-seated settings, it provides ready paths for more intense groundwater circulation and further cave development when uplift brings the gypsum into the shallow subsurface. Speleogenesis in salt, reviewed in general and exemplified by the Monte Sedom case in Israel (Frumkin, Chapter 7.2), has been documented only in open, unconfined settings, where it provides a model for simple vadose cave development. Chapter 7.3 deals with speleogenesis in quartzites, illustrated by case studies from southeastern Minas Gerais, Brasil (Correa Neto, 7.3.1) and South Africa (Martini, 7.3.2). The process involves initial chemical weathering of the quartzite to create zones of friable rocks (sanding, or arenisation) which then are removed by piping, with further conduit enlargement due to mechanical erosion by flowing water. Part 8 combines the theoretical with some applied aspects of speleogenetic studies. Worthington, Ford and Beddows (8.1) show the important implications of what might be termed "speleogenetic wisdom" when studying ground water behaviour in karst. They examine some standard hydrogeological concepts in the light of knowledge of caves and their patterns, considering a range of case studies to identify the characteristic enhancement of porosity and permeability due to speleogenesis that occurs in carbonate rocks. The chapter focuses on unconfined carbonate aquifers as these are the most studied from the speleological perspective and most important for water supplies. Four aquifers, differing in rock type, recharge type (allogenic and autogenic), and age (Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic), are described in detail to demonstrate the extent of dissolutional enhancement of porosity and permeability. It is shown that all four cases are similar in hydraulic function, despite the fact that some of them were previously characterized as different end members of a "karst ? non-karst" spectrum. Enhancement of porosity by dissolution is relatively minor: enhancement of permeability is considerable because dissolution has created dendritic networks of channels able to convey 94% or more of all flow in the aquifer, with fractures providing a small proportion and the matrix a negligible amount. These conclusions may be viewed as a warning to hydrogeologists working in carbonate terranes: probably the majority of unconfined aquifers function in a similar manner. Sampling is a major problem in their analysis because boreholes (the conventional exploration tool in hydrogeology) are unlikely to intersect the major channels that are conveying most of the flow and any contaminants in it. It is estimated, using examples of comprehensively mapped caves, that the probability of a borehole intersecting a conduit ranges from 1 in 50 to 1 in 1000 or more. Boreholes simply cannot be relied upon to detect the presence of caves or to ?characterise? the hydrologic functioning of cavernous aquifers. Wherever comprehensive evidence has been collected in unconfined carbonate aquifers (cave mapping plus boreholes plus lab analysis of core samples) it suggests that dissolution inexorably results in a similar structure, with channel networks providing most of the permeability of the aquifer, yet occupying a very minor fraction of its volume (Worthington, Ford and Beddows). Lowe (Chapter 8.2) focuses on developments in understanding the vital role played by karstic porosity, (broadly viewed as being the product of speleogenesis), in the migration of mineralizing fluids (or hydrocarbons) and in their deposition (or storage), and comments on the potential role of new speleogenetic concepts in developing greater understanding in the future. Although some early workers were clearly aware of actual evidence for some kind of relationship, and others noted its theoretical likelihood, it has been ignored by many until relatively recent times. This shortfall has gradually been redressed; new understanding of the extent and variety of karst processes is ensuring that new relationships are being recognized and new interpretations and models are being derived. The chapter does not pretend to give a comprehensive account of the topic but clearly demonstrates the wide applicability of speleogenetic knowledge to issues in economic geology. In Chapter 8.3 Aley provides an overview of the water and land-use problems that occur in areas with conduit aquifers. He stresses that sound land management must be premised on an understanding that karst is a three-dimensional landscape where the surface and subsurface are intimately and integrally connected. Failure to recognize that activity at the surface affects the subsurface, and the converse, has long been the root cause of many of the problems of water and land use in karst regions. Karst areas have unique natural resource problems, whose management can have major economic consequences. Although there is an extensive literature on the nature of particular problems, resource protection and hazard minimization strategies in karst, it rarely displays an advanced understanding of the processes of the conduit formation and their characteristics yet these will always be involved. This book does not pretend to be a definitive text on speleogenesis. However, it is hoped that readers will find it to be a valuable reference source, that it will stimulate new ideas and approaches to develop and resolve some of the remaining problems, and that it will promote an appreciation of the importance of speleogenetic studies in karst hydrogeology and applied environmental sciences. Acknowledgements: We sincerely thank all contributors for their willing cooperation in the long and difficult process of preparing this book, for their participation in developing its logic and methodology and their cheerful response to numerous requests. We thank all colleagues who discussed the work with us and encouraged it in many ways, even though not contributing to its content as authors. We are particularly grateful to Margaret Palmer for invaluable help in editing the English in many contributions, to Nataly Yablokova for her help in performing many technical tasks and to Elizabeth White who prepared comprehensive index. Our thanks are due to Dr. David Drew, Dr. Philip LaMoreaux, Dr. George Moore and Prof. Marian Pulina for reviewing the manuscript and producing constructive notes and comments on improvement of the final product. The organizational costs and correspondence related to the preparation of the book were partially sponsored by the National Speleological Society, the publisher. We thank David McClurg, the Chair of the NSS Special Publication Committee, for his extensive technical and organizational support in the preparation and publishing processes.

HALLOYSITE FROM KARST SEDIMENTS OF THE KONEPRUSY AREA: EVIDENCE FOR ACID HYDROTHERMAL SPELEOGENESIS IN THE BOHEMIAN KARST, CZECH REPUBLIC, 2000, Melka K . , Suchy V. , Zeman A. , Bosak P . , Langrova A .

(Pre)-Cretaceous sediments that fill extensive hydrothermal dissolution cavities in Devonian limestones in the Certovy schody Quarry contain locally abundant halloysite clays. In most samples halloysite coexists with metahalloysite and kaolinite that form snowy-white and blue-green masses intimately intergrown with manganese oxides. The determination of members of kaolinite group minerals was the main purpose of this study. X-ray diffraction method and thermal analyses enabled to differentiate halloysite from metahalloysite and kaolinite. Tubular morphology of halloysite was observable in electron micrographs. A study of the stored material confirmed continuous transition from the halloysite form over interstratified states (mixed-layer halloysite-metahalloysite crystal structure) to metahalloysite. Field observations indicate that halloysite formed due to selective in situ hydrothermal alteration of clayey matrix of quartz sandstone and/or breccias of unclear original composition that occur within the sedimentary fill. The proposed model for halloysite formation involves alteration by warm (< 80°C) acid solutions that migrated through the system of tectonic fractures, dissolved limestone host and altered overlying sedimentary members that collapsed into the resulting hydrothermal depressions. Since halloysite partially replaced also Cenomanian sediments, the hydrothermal alteration must have occurred only during post-Cenomanian time.


Central Aldan gold deposits, 2002, Vetluzhskikh V. G. , Kazansky V. I. , Kochetkov A. Y. , Yanovsky V. M. ,
The Central Aldan ore district stands out in many features against the other gold districts within the Aldan Shield. The gold, uranium, and other mineral deposits are located at a junction of regional structures, they originated within a relatively short time interval of about 100 Ma, the ore mineralization is closely spatially and genetically related to alkaline magmatism, the igneous rocks and related ore deposits are located within a concentric-radial structure, and the host rocks consist of basement and sedimentary cover contrasting in physicochemical properties. All these features allow us to consider the Central Aldan district as an endogenous ore-magmatic system. The Aldan complex of primarily ore-bearing alkaline basaltic crustal-mantle volcanic and plutonic rocks originated during four to five stages and numerous intrusive phases and extensive magma differentiation in mature continental crust including thin horizontally heterogeneous platform cover. Some facts considered in this paper allowed us, however, to comprise the whole series of Central Aldan gold deposits as an endogenous-exogenous ore-forming system characteristic of the tectonically activated regions of ancient platforms. The evolution of the Central Aldan district in the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Cenozoic developed during the tectonic activation of Precembrian structures, oxidation of primary ores and weathering crust formation, and exposure of the Lebedinsk-, Kuranakh-, Ryabinovsk-, and Samolazovsk-type gold deposits to the erosion level. The formation of underground and surficial karst systems was initiated during the Jurassic weathering of carbonate rocks of the platform cover in subaerial environments. The endogenous stage of ore concentration was here directly followed by an exogenous stage with the formation of weathered rocks and gold placers in various morphostructural local environments, e.g., horsts, grabens, and graben valleys. Specific features of the placer structures and gold, quality in various placer types are related with hypogene ore bodies and elements of ore-controlling structures and zones of primary disseminated mineralization. The ore bodies of the Kuranakh and Samolazovskoe deposits actually belong to new types of endogenous-exogenous deposits. The gold dispersion and concentration related to karst formation are also significant in this ore district. Thus, Central Aldan is also an ore-placer district with specific features

Formation of Willemite in Hydrothermal Environments, 2003, Brugger J, Mcphail Dc, Wallace M, Waters J,
Willemite (zinc silicate) is the main zinc mineral in some carbonate-hosted ore deposits (e.g., Franklin, New Jersey; Vazante, Brazil; Beltana, South Australia; Kabwe, Zambia). Recent interest in these unconventional zinc deposits has increased because of high zinc grades that exceed 40 wt percent, relatively low environmental impact of ore processing owing to the lack of acid-generating sulfides in the waste, and advances in ore processing technologies. In the past, most metallogenic studies proposed formation of willemite deposits by supergene or hypogene alteration of preexisting sulfide deposits. However, recent data on the Vazante, Beltana, and Kabwe deposits indicate willemite crystallization at temperatures in excess of 150{degrees}C, raising the possibility of primary precipitation from hydrothermal fluids. We use numerical geochemical modeling to examine the formation of willemite under hydrothermal conditions. Activity-activity diagrams reveal that, in the presence of dissolved sulfur and quartz, willemite instead of sphalerite will precipitate under oxidizing (e.g., hematite-stable, sulfate-predominant) and alkaline (pH higher than K feldspar-muscovite-quartz) conditions. Willemite also becomes more stable, relative to sphalerite, at high temperature, and willemite can coexist with magnetite at 300{degrees}C. The stabilities and solubilities of sphalerite, willemite, smithsonite, hydrozincite, and zincite were calculated for wide ranges of temperature (25{degrees}-300{degrees}C), chloride concentration, dissolved sulfur and carbon concentrations, pH, quartz saturation, and oxidation potential. Plots of the solubility of the different minerals as a function of two variables (e.g., temperature and redox state; pH and redox state) allow us to predict the effects of changing chemical conditions, which in turn permits an estimate of the efficiency of particular precipitation processes. Cooling is an effective process for precipitating sphalerite but not willemite, whereas pH increase (e.g., by acidic fluids reacting with carbonates) is effective for precipitating willemite but not sphalerite. Dynamic geochemical models that simulate physicochemical processes are used to understand the formation of the Beltana willemite deposit in the Adelaide geosyncline of South Australia. This small, high grade deposit (850,000 t at 36% Zn) is hosted in dolomite of the Cambrian Ajax Limestone, next to a tectonic contact with the diapiric, halite-bearing clastic sediments of the Callanna Group. The orebody is associated with hematite alteration and is characterized by the total absence of sulfides; willemite is the only zinc ore mineral, and the arsenate hedyphane (Ca2Pb3[AsO4]3Cl) is the main lead mineral. The model results show that willemite will precipitate in response to water-rock interaction and fluid mixing processes at temperatures above 120{degrees}C. The presence of arsenate in the hydrothermal fluid is likely to have been important at Beltana; in arsenate-absent models sulfate is reduced to sulfide by the precipitation of ferrous iron as hematite, resulting in the precipitation of sphalerite and galena. In contrast, in models including arsenate the reduction of sulfate to sulfide is inhibited and willemite is predicted to precipitate

Geology of the Beltana Willemite Deposit, Flinders Ranges, South Australia, 2003, Groves Iain M. , Carman Cris E. , Dunlap W. James,
Beltana is a high-grade hypogene willemite deposit hosted in Lower Cambrian carbonate rocks in the Arrowie basin, northern Flinders Ranges, South Australia. It is situated adjacent to a major growth fault on the basin margin. Ooid grainstone units of the Woodendinna Dolomite and units of Archaeocyathid-rich Wilkawillina Limestone are the main host lithologies. Lead minerals in subeconomic quantities are also present in karstic collapse breccias surrounding the willemite orebodies. Mineralization is structurally controlled and associated with brecciation and extensive hematite-rich hydrothermal zincian dolomitization. Ore minerals include willemite and coronadite with lesser mimetite, hedyphane, and smithsonite. Late-stage gangue minerals include manganocalcite, dolomite, and minor quartz. The texture of willemite is heterogeneous, resulting from various depositional mechanisms such as partial to massive replacement of the carbonate host rock, internal sedimentation, fracture fill, brecciation, and vein fill. On the periphery of the deposit, smithsonite formed by weathering of willemite. Beltana is centered on a karstic collapse breccia that extends at least 100 m vertically, formed in part through corrosion by acidic ore solutions. The geochemical signature of the orebody includes high levels of Zn, Pb, Cd, As, and Mn. Notably, silver is absent from the deposit and sulfur concentrations are low (<20 ppm). Fluid inclusion studies yield a low minimum temperature range of ore deposition between 50{degrees} and 170{degrees}C. K-Ar dating of coronadite associated with the willemite orebody indicates an age of formation of ~ 435 {} 5 Ma. Premining resources of willemite ore were 850,000 t at 36 percent Zn, and an associated body of subeconomic lead contained more than 800,000 t at 8.9 percent Pb, 3.9 percent Zn and 1 percent As. The deposit has some similarities with Mississippi Valley-type deposits but differs in ore and alteration mineral assemblages

Classification, Genesis, and Exploration Guides for Nonsulfide Zinc Deposits, 2003, Hitzman Murray W. , Reynolds Neal A. , Sangster D. F. , Allen Cameron R. , Carman Cris E. ,
Nonsulfide zinc deposits, popularly but incorrectly termed 'zinc oxide' deposits, are becoming attractive exploration targets owing to new developments in hydrometallurgy. They are divided into two major geologic types--supergene and hypogene deposits. Supergene deposits are the most common type of nonsulfide zinc deposit and are distributed worldwide. The vast majority occur in carbonate host rocks owing to the high reactivity of carbonate minerals with the acidic, oxidized, zinc-rich fluids derived from the oxidative destruction of sphalerite-bearing sulfide bodies. Formation of these deposits depends upon the size and mineralogy of the preexisting zinc occurrence, vertical displacement of the water table, rate of water table descent through tectonic uplift and/or arid climatic conditions, wall-rock fracture density, and a suitable neutralizing trap site. Weathering of Mississippi Valley-type and high-temperature carbonate replacement-type zinc deposits may generate significant supergene nonsulfide zinc deposits, but the weathering of pyrite-rich, sedimentary exhalative, and volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits is much less likely to form economic supergene zinc deposits. Three subtypes of supergene nonsulfide zinc deposits are recognized--direct replacement, wall-rock replacement, and residual and karst-fill deposits. Hypogene nonsulfide zinc deposits are more poorly known owing to the paucity of examples; however, two major subtypes are recognized: structurally controlled, replacement bodies and manganese-rich, exhalative(?) stratiform bodies. The structurally controlled bodies contain willemite and variable amounts of sphalerite, are hematitic, and are generally associated with hydrothermal dolomitization. Stratiform, manganese-rich, nonsulfide zinc deposits appear to be end members of a spectrum of deposits that include base metal-poor stratiform manganese deposits and sulfide-dominant Broken Hill-type deposits. Hypogene nonsulfide zinc deposits appear to have formed owing to the mixing of a reduced, low- to moderate-temperature (80{degrees}-200{degrees}C), zinc-rich, sulfur-poor fluid with an oxidized, sulfur-poor fluid

Discrimination of effective from ineffective porosity in heterogeneous Cretaceous carbonates, Al Ghubar field, Oman , 2003, Smith L. B. , Eberli G. P. , Masaferro J. L. , Aldhahab S.

The Natih E heavy-oil reservoir (21j API) atAl Ghubar field, Oman has produced less than 5% of the calculated oil in place. Porosity logs used to calculate reserves show high porosity throughout the reservoir, but further analysis of the only continuous core taken from the field indicates that much of the porosity is ineffective. There are four heavily oil-stained, high-permeability skeletalpelletal grainstone units with interparticle porosity in the core that probably contributed most of the production. The four permeable grainstone units occur at the top of small-scale accommodation cycles that have wackestone and packstone bases. These grainstones make up about 20% of the total thickness of the porous Natih E reservoir. The other 80% is composed of packstone and wackestone with ineffective microporosity, interparticle porosity in burrows, and isolated moldic and intraskeletal porosity. The small-scale reservoirbearing cycles can be correlated across the field using the separation between the medium and deep induction curves as a guide. Resistivity logs are the most reliable tool to distinguish effective from ineffective porosity. Most high-permeability grainstone units have deep induction values more than 100 ohmmand separation of more than 10 ohm m between the medium and deep induction curves. The ineffective intervals with microporosity, burrow porosity, and moldic porosity have lower resistivity and little separation between the medium and deep induction curves 


Geophysical evidence for karst formation associated with offshore groundwater transport: An example from North Carolina, 2003, Evans Rob L. , Lizarralde Dan

Marine geophysical data from Long Bay, North Carolina, involving a novel combination of electromagnetic and high-resolution Chirp seismics, show evidence of submarine karst formation associated with what has been inferred to be a site of high-flux submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) a substantial distance offshore. Recently observed temperature and chemical signals from wells in this area provide the basis for the interpretation of the high-flux SGD here, and they also suggest a terrestrial source for the groundwater and thus a potentially important route for nutrient transport to the oceans. Our data indicate that karstification is localized to the high-flux zone, and we suggest that mixing of the chemically distinct (but saline) groundwater with seawater has resulted in the karstification. As karstification increases permeability and flux, a positive feedback would tend to progressively enhance submarine groundwater discharge. Our data reveal a significant local anomaly in apparent porosity: a dense block that may have initiated the local focusing of groundwater flow. Conditions favorable to the formation of similar locally punctuated sites of high-flux SGD are likely to exist along the mid to inner shelf of the southeastern United States, where carbonate aquifers are prevalent


Speleogenesis: Deep-Seated and Confined Settings, 2004, Klimchouk A.

Reservoir characterization of the Mississippian Madison Formation, Wind River basin, Wyoming, 2004, Westphal H. , Eberli G. P. , Smith L. B. , Grammer G. M. , Kislak J.

Significant heterogeneity in petrophysical properties, including variations in porosity and permeability, are well documented from carbonate systems. These variations in physical properties are typically influenced by original facies heterogeneity, the early diagenetic environment, and later stage diagenetic overprint. The heterogeneities in the Mississippian Madison Formation in the Wind River basin of Wyoming are a complex interplay between these three factors whereby differences from the facies arrangement are first reduced by pervasive dolomitization, but late-stage hydrothermal diagenesis introduces additional heterogeneity. The dolomitized portions of theMadison Formation formhighly productive gas reservoirs at Madden Deep field with typical initial production rates in excess of 50 MMCFGD. In the study area, the Madison Formation is composed of four third-order depositional sequences that contain several small-scale, higher frequency cycles. The cycles and sequences display a facies partitioning with mudstone to wackestone units in the transgressive portion and skeletal and oolitic packstone and grainstone in the regressive portions. The grainstone packages are amalgamated tidally influenced skeletal and oolitic shoals that cover the entire study area. The basal three sequences are completely dolomitized, whereas the fourth sequence is limestone. The distribution of petrophysical properties in the system is influenced only in a limited manner by the smaller scale stratigraphic architecture. Porosity and permeability are controlled by the sequence-scale stratigraphic units, where uniform facies belts and pervasive dolomitization result in flow units that are basically tied to third-order depositional sequences with a thickness of 65– 100 ft (20–30 m). The best reservoir rocks are found in regressive, coarse-grained dolomites of the lower two sequences. Although the amalgamated shoal facies is heterogeneous, dolomitization decompartmentalized these cycles. Fine-grained sediments in the basal transgressive parts of these sequences, along with caliche and chert layers on top of the underlying sequences, are responsible for a decrease of porosity toward the sequence boundaries and potential flow separation. Good reservoir quality is also found in the third sequence, which is composed of dolomitized carbonate mud. However, reservoir-quality predictions in these dolomudstones are complicated by several phases of brecciation. The most influential of these brecciations is hydrothermal in origin and partly shattered the entire unit. The breccia is healed by calcite that isolates individual dolomite clasts. As a result, the permeability decreases in zones of brecciation. The late-stage calcite cementation related to the hydrothermal activity is the most important factor to create reservoir heterogeneity in the uniform third sequence, but it is also influential in the grainstone units of the first two sequences. In these sequences, the calcifying fluids invade the dolomite and partly occlude the interparticle porosity and decrease permeability to create heterogeneity in a rock in which the pervasive dolomitization previously reduced much of the influence of facies heterogeneity 


The role of karst in the genesis of sulfur deposits, Fore-Carpathian region, Ukraine, 2005, Klimchouk, A.

Most of exogenous epigenetic sulphur deposits are clearly associated with intensely karstified carbonate and sulphate rocks. This paper demonstrates, using the Pre-Carpathian region as an example, that karstification is one of the most important processes guiding the formation of sulphur deposits. This is determined by a coincidence of some major prerequisites of these two processes.
In the Podol’sky and Bukovinsky regions the Miocene aquifer system is well drained by erosion valleys; the giant network caves known here in gypsum formed under past artesian conditions. In the region of sulphur deposits, associated with the same karstified gypsum strata, true artesian conditions still prevail. Hydrogeologic data show that abundant cavities detected in the vicinity of sulphur deposits can be interpreted as having the same origin as the relict caves of the Podol’sky and Bukovinsky regions. The widespread belief that the gypsum/anhydrite bed in the region is an aquifuge separating the Miocene aquifers is inadequate. This belief caused much controversy with regard to the genetic interpretations of sulphur deposits in the region. Cave systems formed by the upward water flow through the gypsum/anhydrite bed govern the water exchange between the aquifers within the aquifer system.
A new karst model for the formation of sulphur deposits is suggested. It agrees well with the hydrogeological features of the Miocene sequence and with biogeochemical mechanisms of sulphur origin in low-temperature diagenetic environments.


Magmatic and Hydrothermal Chronology of the Giant Rio Blanco Porphyry Copper Deposit, Central Chile: Implications of an Integrated U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar Database, 2005, Deckart K, Clark Ah, Celso Aa, Ricardo Vr, Bertens An, Mortensen Jk, Fanning M,
The history of hypabyssal intrusion and hydrothermal activity in the northeastern and central parts of the be-hemothian (sensu Clark, 1993) Rio Blanco-Los Bronces porphyry copper-molybdenum deposit is clarified on the basis of integrated U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar geochronology. Isotope dilution thermal ion mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) U-Pb dates for zircon separates and ID-TIMS and sensitive high resolution ion microprobe (SHRIMP) dates for single zircon grains in pre-, syn- and late-mineralization volcanic and intrusive host rocks in the Rio Blanco, Don Luis, and Sur-Sur mining sectors provide a temporal framework for interpretation of incremental-heating and spot-fusion 40Ar/39Ar dates for, respectively, magmatic biotite and hydrothermal biotite, muscovite, and orthoclase. The ore deposit is hosted in part by 16.77 {} 0.25 to 17.20 {} 0.05 (2{sigma}) Ma andesitic volcanic strata of the Farellones Formation, but the major host rocks are units of the San Francisco batholith, including the 11.96 {} 0.40 Ma Rio Blanco granodiorite (mine terminology), the 8.40 {} 0.23 Ma Cascada granodiorite, and the 8.16 {} 0.45 Ma diorite. Hypabyssal dacitic intrusions (late porphyries) emplaced into the batholith yield 206Pb/238U ID-TIMS dates ranging from 6.32 {} 0.09 Ma (quartz monzonite porphyry), through 5.84 {} 0.03 Ma (feldspar porphyry) to 5.23 {} 0.07 Ma (Don Luis porphyry). The late-mineralization Rio Blanco dacite plug yields a SHRIMP zircon age of 4.92 {} 0.09 Ma. The 40Ar/39Ar plateau ages for phenocrystic biotites in quartz monzonite porphyry, feldspar porphyry, and Don Luis porphyry, as well as the preore diorite, range only from 5.12 {} 0.07 to 4.57 {} 0.06 Ma. All are significantly younger than the corresponding zircons and exhibit no correlation with intrusive sequence. The 40Ar/39Ar ages for hydrothermal biotite and orthoclase veins within the San Francisco batholith units fall in a narrow interval from 5.32 {} 0.27 to 4.59 {} 0.11 Ma. Hydrothermal sericites (muscovite), one associated with chalcopyrite, yielded spot-fusion ages of 4.40 {} 0.15 Ma (Rio Blanco granodiorite hosted) and 4.37 {} 0.06 Ma (Don Luis porphyry hosted). Comparison with the ID-TIMS and SHRIMP zircon ages indicates that most of the 40Ar/39Ar ages, even 95 percent plateaus, do not record initial magmatic cooling or hydrothermal alteration-mineralization events, evidence for quasipervasive reheating to at least 300{degrees}C by successive intrusions. Published Re-Os ages for two molybdenite samples range from 5.4 to 6.3 Ma and overlap extensively with the zircon U-Pb ages for the late porphyries. They imply that Cu-Mo mineralization overlapped temporally with the emplacement of, at least, quartz monzonite porphyry and feldspar porphyry units of the late porphyry suite and was, therefore, contemporaneous with the rise of dacitic melts to subvolcanic levels. Hydrothermal activity is inferred to have continued until 4.37 {} 0.06 Ma, following intrusion of the Don Luis porphyry and the early stages of emplacement of the Rio Blanco dacite plug complex. Hypogene Cu-Mo mineralization therefore probably persisted for 2 m.y. The geochronologic data do not resolve whether ore formation was continuous or episodic, but the observed crosscutting relationships between intensely altered and mineralized country rocks and less altered and mineralized late porphyry bodies support a model in which the ascent of metal-rich brines from an unexposed zone of the parental magma chamber was periodically stimulated by magma perturbation and hypabyssal intrusion

Hypogene and supergene alteration of the Late Palaeozoic Ratburi Limestone during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic (Thailand, Surat Thani Province). Implications for the concentration of mineral commodities, 2005, Dill H. G. , Botz R. , Luppold F. W. , Henjeskunst F.
An interdisciplinary study of the Upper Carboniferous to Middle Permian Ratburi Group, Peninsular Thailand, is presented. The investigation involved sedimentary petrography, inorganic geochemistry, Sr, C, O isotope analyses, micropalaeontology as well as radio-carbon age dating. Emphasis was placed on the post-depositional evolution of the Ratburi Limestone in the Surat Thani Province. The Holocene chemical residues and the various calcite and dolomite minerals which have formed since the Late Palaeozoic in the Ratburi Limestone are the product of a complex, multistage alteration which is called supergene and hypogene karstifications, respectively. Sedimentation took place in a shelf environment with some reefs evolving during the late Murgabian at the shelf margin. There was no pre-concentration of elements, except for Ca and F during sedimentation. Diagenetic neomorphism and cementation under marine and freshwater conditions caused the Ratburi Limestone to convert into a marble-like rock. Fabric-selective dolomitization is of local scale and has impacted only on part of the Ratburi Limestone during the Lower to Upper Permian. A significant enhancement of pore space and better conduits were generated during the Late Cretaceous epithermal alteration. The most favorable conditions for the accumulation of metals were provided during the high-temperature stage of epithermal alteration when a low-metal concentration with As, Zn, Sb, U, Co and Pb existed. Unlike the other elements, Sb was subject to a multiphase concentration, giving rise to a considerable Sb deposit in the region. The most recent stage of karstification produced numerous caves, dripstones, tufa terraces and encrustations around brine pools in the study area. This alteration originated from per descensum and per ascensum processes which may be traced back to 15,000 years before present. The alteration of the Ratburi Limestone may be subdivided into two parts. The prograde post-depositional alteration, beginning with diagenesis, reached its temperature climax during epithermal subsurface alteration I. The retrograde branch of alteration lasted until the most recent times. The initial stages deposition and diagenesis took place under more or less closed-system conditions relative to the succeeding stages of the prograde alteration which saw the strongest influx of metal-bearing brine during the epithermal stage I. The retrograde branch of alteration is element-conservative.

Dissolution of limestone fractures by cooling waters: Early development of hypogene karst systems, 2005, Andre Bj, Rajaram H,

[1] Fracture dissolution in the early stages of karstification under hypogene conditions is investigated using a coupled numerical model of fluid flow, heat transfer, and reactive transport. Dissolution of calcite in the H2O-CO2-CaCO3 system along a cooling flow path is investigated using both equilibrium and kinetic models. During the very early stages of fracture growth, there is a positive feedback between flow, heat transfer, and dissolution. In this stage the dissolution rate is largely controlled by the retrograde solubility of calcite, and aperture growth is relatively uniform along the fracture length. There is a period of slow continuous increase in the mass flow rate through the fracture, which is followed by an abrupt rapid increase. We refer to the time when this rapid increase occurs as the maturation time. As the flow rate continues to increase after maturation, forced convective effects lead to higher fluid temperatures in the fracture, resulting in a negative feedback that slows the rate of fracture growth. The behavior of aperture growth before the maturation time can be described by a simple ordinary differential equation. The solution of this differential equation provides an estimate of the maturation time, in terms of the initial aperture, hydraulic and thermal gradients, and the change in solubility with temperature. The behavior before maturation in two-dimensional variable aperture fractures is investigated using a simplified model. The maturation time is shown to decrease with the degree of aperture variability due to highly selective growth along preferential flow paths


Solution-collapse breccias of the Minkinfjellet and Wordiekammen Formations, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard; a large gypsum palaeokarst system. , 2005, Eliassen Arild, Talbot Michael R.

Large volumes of carbonate breccia occur in the late syn-rift and early post-rift deposits of the Billefjorden Trough, Central Spitsbergen. Breccias are developed throughout the Moscovian Minkinfjellet Formation and in basal parts of the Kazimovian Wordiekammen Formation. Breccias can be divided into two categories: (i) thick, cross-cutting breccia-bodies up to 200 m thick that are associated with breccia pipes and large V-structures, and (ii) horizontal stratabound breccia beds interbedded with undeformed carbonate and siliciclastic rocks. The thick breccias occur in the central part of the basin, whereas the stratabound breccia beds have a much wider areal extent towards the basin margins. The breccias were formed by gravitational collapse into cavities formed by dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite beds in the Minkinfjellet Formation. Several dissolution fronts have been discovered, demonstrating the genetic relationship between dissolution of gypsum and brecciation. Textures and structures typical of collapse breccias such as inverse grading, a sharp flat base, breccia pipes (collapse dolines) and V-structures (cave roof collapse) are also observed. The breccias are cemented by calcite cements of pre-compaction, shallow burial origin. Primary fluid inclusions in the calcite are dominantly single phase containing fresh water (final melting points are ca 0 degrees C), suggesting that breccia diagenesis occurred in meteoric waters. Cathodoluminescence (CL) zoning of the cements shows a consistent pattern of three cement stages, but the abundance of each stage varies stratigraphically and laterally. delta (super 18) O values of breccia cements are more negative relative to marine limestones and meteoric cements developed in unbrecciated Minkinfjellet limestones. There is a clear relationship between delta (super 18) O values and the abundance of the different cement generations detected by CL. Paragenetically, later cements have lower delta (super 18) O values recording increased temperatures during their precipitation. Carbon isotope values of the cements are primarily rock-buffered although a weak trend towards more negative values with increasing burial depth is observed. The timing of gypsum dissolution and brecciation was most likely related to major intervals of exposure of the carbonate platform during Gzhelian and/or Asselian/Sakmarian times. These intervals of exposure occurred shortly after deposition of the brecciated units and before deep burial of the sediments.
 


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