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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That original dip is dip due to deposition of sediments [16].?

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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 eogenetic karst (Keyword) returned 28 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 28 of 28
Geochemical and statistical evidence of recharge, mixing, and controls on spring discharge in an eogenetic karst aquifer, 2009, Moore Paul J. , Martin Jonathan B. , Screaton Elizabeth J.

Information about sources of recharge, distributions of flow paths, and the extent of water–rock reactions in karst aquifers commonly result from monitoring spring chemistry and discharge. To investigate the relationship between spring characteristics and the complexities of karst aquifers, we couple variations in surface- and groundwater chemistry to physical conditions including river stage, precipitation, and  evapotranspiration (ET) within a sink-rise system through a 6-km portion of the Upper Floridan aquifer (UFA) in north-central Florida. Principal component analysis (PCA) of time series major-element compositions suggests that at least three sources of water affect spring discharge, including allogenic recharge into a swallet, diffuse recharge through a thin vadose zone, and water upwelling from deep within the aquifer. The deep-water source exerts the strongest influence on water chemistry by providing a majority of Na+, Mg2+, K+, Cl, and SO2 4 to the system. Anomalously high temperature at one of several monitoring wells reflects vertical flow of about 1 m/year. Mass-balance calculations suggest diffuse recharge and deep-water upwelling can provide up to 50% of the spring discharge; however, their contributions depend on head gradients between the conduit and surrounding aquifer matrix, which are influenced
by variations in precipitation, ET, and river stage. Our results indicate that upwelling from deep flow paths may provide significant contributions of water to spring discharge, and that monitoring only springs limits interpretations of karst systems by masking critical components of the aquifer, such as water sources and flow paths. These results also suggest the matrix in eogenetic aquifers is a major pathway for flow even in a system dominated by conduits.


Solutional features and cave deposits related to hypogene speleogenetic processes in a littoral cave of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean) , 2010, Fornó, S J. J. , Merino A. , Giné, S J. , Giné, S A. , Grà, Cia F.

The Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, located in the southern part of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean) and developed in Upper Miocene reefal carbonate limestones, is an exceptional coastal cave because of its particular morphological features and the presence of deposits with uncommon mineralogies. Littoral mixing dissolution processes represent the most important speleogenetic mechanism to be considered in the eogenetic karst platform, where it develops; nevertheless, part of the cave consists of an extensive network of galleries that show morpho-sedimentary features pointing up to a possible participation of hypogene speleogenesis. The morphological assemblage of the cave illustrates besides the typical coastal karstification, a noticeable meteoric water recharge along with a possible deep recharge of hypogenic character. Features consisting in upwards solutional channels are abundant, including a complete morphologic suite of rising flow supporting the involvement of hypogene speleogenetic processes. Furthermore, the presence of vents and some related speleothems, such as crusts and cave rims, together with Mn and Fe-rich deposits hosting several minerals not observed until present in other caves of the region must be highlighted. Given the monotonous surface geology around the cave, it is suspected that ascending Sr, Ba, Mn, and Al-rich hypogene solutions may have reacted with the host rock to form this unique mineral assemblage. These deep-seated speleogenetic and mineralogical phenomena could be associated with the feeble geothermal anomalies existing currently in the Llucmajor platform, related to SW–NE faults which delimitate the subsidence basin existing in the southern end of Mallorca Island.


River reversals into karst springs: A model for cave enlargement in eogenetic karst aquifers, 2011, Gulley J. , Martin J. B. , Screaton E. J. , Moore P. J.

Solutional features and cave deposits related to hypogene speleogenetic processes in a littoral cave of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean), 2011, Fornos J. J. , Merino . , Gines A. , Gracia F.

The Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, located in the southern part of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean) and developed in Upper Miocene reefal carbonate limestones, is an exceptional coastal cave because of its particular morphological features and the presence of
deposits with uncommon mineralogies. Littoral mixing dissolution processes represent the most important speleogenetic mechanism to be considered in the eogenetic karst platform, where it develops; nevertheless, part of the cave consists of an extensive network of galleries that show morpho-sedimentary features pointing up to a possible participation of hypogene speleogenesis. The morphological
assemblage of the cave illustrates besides the typical coastal karstification, a noticeable meteoric water recharge along with a possible deep recharge of hypogenic character. Features consisting in upwards solutional channels are abundant, including a complete morphologic suite of rising flow supporting the involvement of hypogene speleogenetic
processes. Furthermore, the presence of vents and some related speleothems, such as crusts and cave rims, together with Mn and Fe-rich deposits hosting several minerals not observed until present in other caves of the region must be highlighted. Given the monotonous surface
geology around the cave, it is suspected that ascending Sr, Ba, Mn, and Al-rich hypogene solutions may have reacted with the host rock to form this unique mineral assemblage.  These deep-seated speleogenetic and mineralogical phenomena could be associated with the feeble geothermal anomalies existing currently in the Llucmajor platform,
related to SW–NE faults which delimitate the subsidence basin existing in the southern end of Mallorca Island.


Multiple technologies applied to characterization of the porosity and permeability of the Biscayne aquifer, Florida, 2011, Cunningham K. J. , Sukop M. C.

Research is needed to determine how seepage-control actions planned by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) will affect recharge, groundwater flow, and discharge within the dual-porosity karstic Biscayne aquifer where it extends eastward from the Everglades to Biscayne Bay. A key issue is whether the plan can be accomplished without causing urban flooding in adjacent populated areas and diminishing coastal freshwater flow needed in the restoration of the ecologic systems. Predictive simulation of groundwater flow is a prudent approach to understanding hydrologic change and potential ecologic impacts. A fundamental problem to simulation of karst groundwater flow is how best to represent aquifer heterogeneity. Currently, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers and academic partners are applying multiple innovative technologies to characterize the spatial distribution of porosity and permeability within the Biscayne aquifer.


CAVITATS SUBAQUTIQUES DE LA FRANJA LITORAL DE MALLORCA, 2011, Grcia F. , Clamor B. , Gamund P. , Forns J. J. , Watkinson P.

The explorations in the caves with underwater extensions, existing along the littoral fringe of Mallorca Island, are firstly documented in 1972 due to the activities of Catalan cavers. During the end of 1980 decade and the early 1990 different campaigns were conducted by British cave divers. The year 1994 is formed the embryo of what would be, years later, the Diving Section of Grup Nord de Mallorca, a team of young Mallorcan cavers dedicated to the investigation of underwater cavities. The fruits of these researches have involved the exploration of the most extensive cave systems of the island, placing the underwater cavities of Mallorca at a remarkable position regarding coastal caves in Spain and in Europe. The cavities of littoral areas can be divided into: caves of the coastal mixing zone, littoral phreatic networks with hypogenic influences, and marine-karstic captures. Most of the caves are located in the littoral eogenetic karst developed within the post-orogenic platform of southern and eastern Mallorca, the so-called Migjorn karst region. The lithological conditionings have a decisive influence on the morphological features of the investigated caves. So, while in the front-reef facies of the Upper Miocene the collapse morphologies are dominant, related to the extensive dissolution of coral buildings, in the facies corresponding to lagoon environments the permeability associated to fractures becomes more important, due to the significantly lower rock porosity of these back-reef facies. The 12 most important caves have been selected, which are mainly located in the eastern coast of Mallorca (10). Regarding their distribution in the municipalities, Manacor (6) is the best represented, followed by Felanitx (3). The data corresponding to each cave, always subject to the availability of information, is structured in different sections: toponymy, geographical and geological location, history of explorations, cave description, hydrology, sediments, speleogenesis and evolutionary stage, paleontology, aquatic fauna and archeology.


Karst landforms: scope and processes in the early twenty-first century, 2013, White W. B. , White E. L.

The study of karst landscapes over the past half-century has greatly expanded both the scope of the landform descriptions and the processes that form them. Near-surface karst (telogenetic and eogenetic) is formed by circulating meteoric waters within local watersheds. Near-surface karst is modified by other geomorphic processes, including fluvial action and glaciation. In addition, there are several varieties of deep-seated (hypogenetic) karst that have taken on increased importance


A hypothesis for carbonate island karst aquifer evolution from analysis of field observations in northern Guam, Mariana Islands, 2013, Jenson John W. , Taborosi Danko, Rotzoll Kolja, Mylroie John E. , Gingerich Stephen B.

A hypothesis for carbonate island karst aquifer evolution from analysis of field observations in northern Guam, Mariana Islands, 2013, Jenson J. W. , Taboroi D. , Rotzoll K. , Mylroie J. E. , Gingerich S. B.

Vadose CO2 gas drives dissolution at water tables in eogenetic karst aquifers more than mixing dissolution, 2014, Gulley J. , Martin J. , Moore P.

Most models of cave formation in limestone that remains near its depositional environment and has not been deeply buried (i.e. eogenetic limestone) invoke dissolution from mixing of waters that have different ionic strengths or have equilibrated with calcite at different pCO2 values. In eogenetic karst aquifers lacking saline water, mixing of vadose and phreatic waters is thought to form caves. We show here calcite dissolution in a cave in eogenetic limestone occurred due to increases in vadose CO2 gas concentrations and subsequent dissolution of CO2 into groundwater, not by mixing dissolution. We collected high-resolution time series measurements (1 year) of specific conductivity (SpC), temperature, meteorological data, and synoptic water chemical composition from a water table cave in central Florida (Briar Cave).We found SpC, pCO2 and calcite undersaturation increased through late summer, when Briar Cave experienced little ventilation by outside air, and decreased through winter, when increased ventilation lowered cave CO2(g) concentrations.We hypothesize dissolution occurred when water flowed from aquifer regions with low pCO2 into the cave, which had elevated pCO2. Elevated pCO2 would be promoted by fractures connecting the soil to the water table. Simple geochemical models demonstrate that changes in pCO2 of less than 1% along flow paths are an order of magnitude more efficient at dissolving limestone thanmixing of vadose and phreatic water.We conclude that spatially or temporally variable vadose CO2(g) concentrations are responsible for cave formation becausemixing is too slow to generate observed cave sizes in the time available for formation. While this study emphasized dissolution, gas exchange between the atmosphere and karst aquifer vadose zones that is facilitated by conduits likely exerts important controls on other geochemical processes in limestone critical zones by transporting oxygen deep into vadose zones, creating redox boundaries that would not exist in the absence of caves.


Speleothems in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera: their distribution and characteristics within an extensive coastal cave from the eogenetic karst of southern Mallorca (Western Mediterranean)., 2014, Merino A. , Ginés J. , Tuccimei P. , Soligo M. , Fornós J. J.

The abundance and variety of speleothems are undoubtedly among the remarkable features of Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, the longest cave system in Mallorca Island developed in the eogenetic karst of its southern coast. Due to the monotonous carbonate lithology of the area, most of the speleothems are composed of calcite and in a few cases aragonite, although other minerals are also represented (e.g., gypsum, celestine, barite.). However, in spite of the rather common mineralogy of the speleothems, its distribution results strongly mediated by the lithologic and textural variability linked to the architecture of the Upper Miocene reefal rocks. Apart from a vast majority of speleothem typologies that are ubiquitous all along the cave system, some particular types are restricted to specific sections of the cave. In its landward inner passages, formed in the low permeability back reef facies, a great variety of speleothems associated to perched freshwater accumulations stands out, as well as some non frequent crystallizations like for example cave rims. On the other hand, the seaward part of the cave (developed in the very porous reef front facies) hosts conspicuous phreatic overgrowths on speleothems (POS), which are discussed to show their applications to constrain sea level changes. The factors controlling the distribution of speleothems found in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera are discussed along the paper, focusing the attention on the lithologic, hydrogeologic and speleogenetic conditionings; at the same time some uncommon speleothems, not found in any other cave in Mallorca, are also documented from this locality. Finally, a cognizant endeavour has been undertaken to illustrate with photographs the most remarkable speleothem types represented in the cave.


Karstification of Dolomitic Hills at south of Coimbra (western-central Portugal) - Depositional facies and stratigraphic controls of the (palaeo)karst affecting the Coimbra Group (Lower Jurassic), 2014, Dimuccio, Luca Antonio

An evolutionary model is proposed to explain the spatio-temporal distribution of karstification affecting the Lower Jurassic shallow-marine carbonate succession (Coimbra Group) of the Lusitanian Basin, cropping out in the Coimbra-Penela region (western-central Portugal), in a specific morphostructural setting (Dolomitic Hills). Indeed, in the Coimbra Group, despite the local lateral and vertical distributions of dolomitic character and the presence of few thick sandy-argillaceous/shale and marly interbeds, some (meso)karstification was identified, including several microkarstification features. All types of karst forms are commonly filled by autochthonous and/or allochthonous post-Jurassic siliciclastics, implying a palaeokarstic nature.

The main aim of this work is to infer the interplay between depositional facies, diagenesis, syn- and postdepositional discontinuities and the spatio-temporal distribution of palaeokarst. Here, the palaeokarst concept is not limited to the definition of a landform and/or possibly to an associated deposit (both resulting from one or more processes/mechanisms), but is considered as part of the local and regional geological record.

Detailed field information from 21 stratigraphic sections (among several dozens of other observations) and from structural-geology and geomorphological surveys, was mapped and recorded on graphic logs showing the lithological succession, including sedimentological, palaeontological and structural data. Facies determination was based on field observations of textures and sedimentary structures and laboratory petrographic analysis of thin-sections. The karst and palaeokarst forms (both superficial and underground) were classified and judged on the basis of present-day geographic location, morphology, associated discontinuities, stratigraphic position and degree of burial by post-Jurassic siliciclastics that allowed to distinguish a exposed karst (denuded or completely exhumed) than a palaeokarst (covered or partially buried).

A formal lithostratigrafic framework was proposed for the local ca. 110-m-thick combined successions of Coimbra Group, ranging in age from the early Sinemurian to the early Pliensbachian and recorded in two distinct subunits: the Coimbra formation, essentially dolomitic; and the overlying S. Miguel formation, essentially dolomitic-limestone and marly-limestone.

The 15 identified facies were subsequently grouped into 4 genetically related facies associations indicative of sedimentation within supra/intertidal, shallow partially restricted subtidal-lagoonal, shoal and more open-marine (sub)environments - in the context of depositional systems of a tidal flat and a very shallow, inner part of a low-gradient, carbonate ramp. In some cases, thick bedded breccia bodies (tempestites/sismites) are associated to synsedimentary deformation structures (slumps, sliding to the W to NW), showing the important activity of N–S and NNE–SSW faults, during the Sinemurian. All these deposits are arranged into metre-scale, mostly shallowing-upward cycles, in some cases truncated by subaerial exposure events. However, no evidence of mature pedogenetic alteration, or the development of distinct soil horizons, was observed. These facts reflect very short-term subaerial exposure intervals (intermittent/ephemeral), in a semiarid palaeoclimatic setting but with an increase in the humidity conditions during the eogenetic stage of the Coimbra Group, which may have promoted the development of micropalaeokarstic dissolution (eogenetic karst).

Two types of dolomitization are recognized: one (a) syndepositional (or early diagenetic), massive-stratiform, of “penesaline type”, possibly resulting from refluxing brines (shallow-subtidal), with a primary dolomite related to the evaporation of seawater, under semiarid conditions (supra/intertidal) and the concurrent action of microbial activity; another (b) later, localized, common during diagenesis (sometimes with dedolomitization), particularly where fluids followed discontinuities such as joints, faults, bedding planes and, in some cases, pre-existing palaeokarstic features.

The very specific stratigraphic position of the (palaeo)karst features is understood as a consequence of high facies/microfacies heterogeneities and contrasts in porosity (both depositional and its early diagenetic modifications), providing efficient hydraulic circulation through the development of meso- and macropermeability contributed by syn- and postdepositional discontinuities such as bedding planes, joints and faults. These hydraulic connections significantly influenced and controlled the earliest karst-forming processes (inception), as well as the degree of subsequent karstification during the mesogenetic/telogenetic stages of the Coimbra Group. Multiple and complex karstification (polyphase and polygenic) were recognized, including 8 main phases, to local scale, integrated in 4 periods, to regional scale: Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, pre-Pliocene and Pliocene-Quaternary. Each phase of karstification comprise a specific type of (palaeo)karst (eogenetic, subjacent, denuded, mantled-buried and exhumed).

Finally, geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological characteristics allowed to describe the local aquifer. The elaborated map of intrinsic vulnerability shows a karst/fissured and partially buried aquifer (palaeokarst) with high to very high susceptibility to the contamination.


Quantitative hermeneutics: Counting forestructures on a path from W. M. Davis to the concept of multiple-permeability karst aquifers., 2015,

Hermeneutics is the theory of interpretation. One of its major components is recognizing prejudgments, or forestructures, that we bring to our objects of study. In this paper, we construct a historical narrative of the evolution of thinking about the role of caves in relation to groundwater flow in limestone, and we tabulate forestructures as they appear in the story. This account consists of three overlapping time periods: the before and after of an incident that repelled hydrogeologists and students of karst from each other in the middle of the 20th century; a period, up to around the turn of this century, when karst science and mainstream hydrogeology were on different tracks; and a period of convergence, now intertwining, beginning roughly in the last quarter of the 20th century. Two influential players in our story are M.K. Hubbert, whose introduction of the Eulerian perspective of flow was a force for divergence, and R.M. Garrels, whose founding of the field of sedimentary geochemistry was a force for convergence. Other key players include F.T. Mackenzie, J.E. Mylroie, V.T. Stringfield, the U.S. Geological Survey, the Bermuda Biological Station, and the Gerace Research Center in the Bahamas, along with the historical accounts of W.B. White. Our narrative ends with the broader acceptance of the concept of multiple-permeability karst aquifers. We flag in our construction a total of 43 forestructures distributed amongst the categories of hermeneutic theory: 14 in the category of preconceptions; 9 in goals; 14 in tools such as skills; and 6 in tools such as institutions. These counts are an example of the concept of social construction of statistics, and we discuss the implications in terms of the huge number of potential combinations of forestructures that could shape alternative historical narratives of this subject over this time frame.


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