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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 grout curtain is the filling of void spaces in rocks to prevent the flow of water into and through the rock; most commonly associated with dams.?

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

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for clastic sediments (Keyword) returned 50 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 50
An overview of the geology of the Transvaal Supergroup dolomites (South Africa), 1998, Eriksson Pg, Altermann W,
In the Neoarchaean intracratonic basin of the Kaapvaal craton, between approximately 2640 Ma and 2516 Ma, two successive stromatolitic carbonate platforms developed. Deposition started with the Schmidtsdrif Subgroup, which is probably oldest in the southwestern part of the basin, and which contains stromatolitic carbonates, siliciclastic sediments and minor lava flows. Subsequently, the Nauga formation carbonates were deposited on peritidal flats located to the southwest and were drowned during a transgression of the Transvaal Supergroup epeiric sea, around 2550 Ma ago. This transgression led to the development of a carbonate platform in the areas of the preserved Transvaal and Griqualand West basins, which persisted for 30-50 Ma. During this time, shales were deposited over the Nauga Formation carbonates in the south-western portion of the epeiric sea. S subsequent period of basin subsidence led to drowning of the stromatolitic platform and to sedimentation of chemical, iron-rich silica precipitates of the banded iron formations (BIF) over the entire basin. Carbonate precipitation in the Archaean was largely due to chemical and lesser biogenic processes, with stromatolites and ocean water composition playing an important role. The stromatolitic carbonates in the preserved Griqualand West and Transvaal basins are subdivided into several formations, based on the depositional facies, reflected by stromatolite morphology, and on a intraformational unconformities; interbedded tuffs and available radiometric age data do not ye permit detailed correlation of units from the two basins. Thorough dolomitisation of most formations took place at different post-depositional stages, but mainly during early diagenesis. Partial silification was the result of diagenetic and weathering processes. Karstification of the carbonate rocks was related to periods of exposure to subaerial conditions and to percolation of groundwater. Such periods occurred locally at the time of carbonate and BIF deposition. Main karstification, however, probably took place during an erosional period between approximately 2430 Ma and 2320 Ma

Mineral composition of clastic sediments in some dolines along the new motorway Divača-Kozina , 1998, Zupan Hajna, Nadja

In some dolines along the motorway Divača-Kozina archaeological test trenches were excavated. Out of six dolines, a karstic pocket and a cave filled up by sediments at the surface, the X-ray analyses of unconsolidated clastic sediments were done. In the bottom of all these dolines yellow sediments, slightly reddish in places, and also red loam were found. Mineralogical analyses show that differently coloured sediments have the same origin from the flysch rocks. In caves and at the bottom of depressions the sediments are yellow but when they are in contact with the athmosphere they become red. Red coloured sediments and red soil on karst may have their origin not only in flysch rocks but also in weathered remains of limestone with cherts and even in eolian sediments.


Diagenetic concretions from the cave clastic sediment, Cave in Tounj quarry, Croatia, 1998, Lackovič, Damir

Diagenetic concretions from Cave in Tounj quarry (central Croatia) are studied. Concretions are found in non-cemented unsorted clastic cave deposit. They consist of particles of different size (clay to pebble) and from different provenance. One part of calcite and clay minerals are coming from speleothems and cave walls limestone. Detrital particles: chert, quartz, muscovite, chlorite, ilmenite, magnetite and most of clay, are probable transported into the cave from Triassic and Pleistocene clastic sediments from the surface. Autochthonous constituents of concretions are limonitic pizoids and some calcite cement. Composition of concretion is similar to the composition of surrounding non-cemented sediment.


New Pleistocene Vertebrate Assemblages in the Breitscheid-Erdbach Cave System (Iberg Limestone, Dill Basin, Germany), 1999, Kaiser, T. M.
A substantial cave system developed in Devonian reef carbonates at the eastern foothills of the Westerwald Mountains (Hessen, Germany) was first opened in 1993 by limestone quarrying. The system is split into 4 karst levels that appear to represent stages of cyclic karst formation. All accessible levels are presently in the vadose state. Clastic sediments filling fossil voids have preserved two rich Pleistocene vertebrate assemblages. Most specimens are identified as bats or the cave bear Ursus spelaeus. The assemblages are at least partly allochthonous. The significance of the accumulations lies in the preservation of an undisturbed surface assemblage, which most likely has not been disturbed since the late Pleistocene.

Element geochemistry of weathering profile of dolomitite and its implications for the average chemical composition of the upper-continental crust - Case studies from the Xinpu profile, northern Guizho, 2000, Ji H. B. , Ouyang Z. , Wang S. J. , Zhou D. Q. ,
Geochemical behavior of chemical elements is studied in a dolomitite weathering profile in upland of karst terrain in northern Guizhou. Two stages can be recognized during the process of in situ weathering of dolomitite: the stage of sedentary accumulation of leaching residue of dolomitite and the stage of chemical weathering evolution of sedentary soil. Ni, Cr, Mo, W and Ti are the least mobile elements with reference to Al. The geochemical behavior of REE is similar to that observed in weathering of other types of rocks. Fractionation of REE is noticed during weathering, and the two layers of REE enrichments are thought to result from downward movement of the weathering front in response to changes in the environment. It is considered that the chemistry of the upper part of the profile, which was more intensively weathered, is representative of the mobile components of the upper curst at the time the dolomitite was formed, while the less weathered lower profile is chemically representative of the immobile constitution. Like glacial till and loess, the 'insoluble' materials in carbonate rocks originating from chemical sedimentation may also provide valuable information about the average chemical composition of the upper continental crust

On the genetic conditions of black manganese deposits from two caves of Eastern Serbia., 2001, Ljubojevic V. , Pafevski A. , Calicljubojevic J.
Portions of cave passages often have a black colour due to manganese deposits that occur as coatings on cave walls and ceilings, on clastic sediments, as well as on speleothems. On samples from the cave Buronov Ponor chemical analysis, infrared spectroscopy. X-ray diffraction and DTA analysis confirmed the presence of birnessite. In cave Cerjanska Pecina, the presence of manganese compounds in the black coating has been confirmed by chemical tests. In both caves it has been noted that cave passages with black coating have a distinct morphology. They are highly weathered showing an abundance of sharp prolusions, potholes in the streambed and scallops. The paper studies these occurrences and the possible link between the manganese deposition, hydrology and morphology of the passages and petrologic composition. Although this link was not identified, some interesting questions regarding manganese deposition arose. It remains unclear why manganese deposition is limited only to a certain part of cave Cerjanska Pecina, and what caused the cyclicity in manganese deposition in the cave Buronov ponor. manganese deposits, chemical analysis, speleomorphology

Origin of fine-grained carbonate clasts in cave sediments, 2002, Zupan Hajna, Nadja

In many samples of cave clastic sediments the high amount of carbonate clasts is significant. It was found out that their origin is usually in soft white zones of weathered carbonate rock on cave walls. Weathered zones of limestone or dolomite form on the cave walls when the selective corrosive is going on. Incomplete dissolution prepares the carbonate rock for the mechanical erosion and transport of its particles. Where the weathered carbonate rock is in contact with water, both flowing and dripping, it may tear off the particles resulting from selective corrosion. Water carries them along cave passages and when its transporting power decreases, particles accumulate in the form of a fine-grained autochthonous carbonate deposit, in size of clay, silt or fine sand.


Osovniška jama, the cave in isolated karst in the east of Slovenia, 2002, Zupan Hajna, Nadja

Osovniška jama has been discovered in 2001 during the exploitation of the Middle Miocene limestone in Pijevci quarry in the E part of Slovenia. Isolated subpanonian karst is typical of this part of Slovenia. This karst developed on small isolated patches of shallow limestone. Subpanonian isolated karst is a special type of karst on Lithothamnian limestone, where the surface karst forms are very well developed but no long caves were known. Osovniška jama is about 290 m long and now is the longest cave in this part of Slovenia. In this area the general dip of limestone beds is towards SE at dip angle 20°. The main tectonic structures of the area are in NW-SE and E-W directions. In the quarry, reef limestone is massive and fissured in E-W, NW-SE and N-S directions. The cave generally follows the NW-SE direction. The shape of channels still shows its formation in phreatic conditions; but mostly the transformation and formation of its channels in the vadose zone is expressed. At some time in this cave development allochtonous clastic sediments filled up the upper parts of the cave; afterwards they were almost entirely washed away. There are a lot of flowstone formations in this cave.


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 and Geochemistry of the Reocin Zinc-Lead Deposit, Basque-Cantabrian Basin, Northern Spain, 2003, Velasco Francisco, Herrero Jose Miguel, Yusta Inaki, Alonso Jose Antonio, Seebold Ignacio, Leach David,
The Reocin Zn-Pb deposit, 30 km southwest of Santander, Spain, occurs within Lower Cretaceous dolomitized Urgonian limestones on the southern flank of the Santillana syncline. The Reocin deposit is one of the largest known strata-bound, carbonate-hosted, zinc-lead deposits in Europe. The total metal endowment of the deposit, including past production and remaining reserves, is 62 Mt of ore grading 8.7 percent Zn and 1.0 percent Pb. The epigenetic mineralization consists of sphalerite and galena, with lesser marcasite and trace pyrite with dolomite as gangue. Microprobe analyses of different generations of dolomite revealed nonstoichiometric compositions with various amounts of iron (up to 14 mol % of FeCO3). Replacement of host dolomite, open-space filling of fractures, and cementation of breccias derived from dissolution collapse are the principal types of ore occurrence. Detailed cross-section mapping indicates a stratigraphic and structural control on the deposit. A stratiform morphology is present in the western part of the orebody (Capa Sur), whereas mineralization in the eastern part is highly discordant but strata bound (Barrendera). Stratigraphic studies demonstrate that synsedimentary tectonic activity, related to the rifting of the North Atlantic (Bay of Biscay), was responsible for variation in sedimentation, presence of unconformities (including paleokarsts), local platform emergence and dolomitization along the N60 fault trend. In the Reocin area, two stages of dolomitization are recognized. The first stage is a pervasive dolomitization of the limestone country rocks that was controlled by faulting and locally affected the upper part of the Aptian and the complete Albian sequence. The second dolomitization event occurred after erosion and was controlled by karstic cavities. This later dolomitization was accompanied by ore deposition and, locally, filling of dolomite sands and clastic sediments in karstic cavities. The circulation of hydrothermal fluids responsible for sulfide deposition and the infilling of karst cavities were broadly contemporaneous, indicating a post-Albian age. Vitrinite reflectance data are consistent with previously measured fluid inclusion temperatures and indicate temperatures of ore deposition that were less than 100{degrees}C. Carbon and oxygen isotopic data from samples of regional limestone, host-rock dolostone and ore-stage dolomite suggest an early hydrothermal alteration of limestone to dolostone. This initial dolomitization was followed by a second period of dolomite formation produced by the mixing of basinal metal-rich fluids with local modified seawater. Both dolomitization events occurred under similar conditions from fluids exhibiting characteristics of basinal brines. The{delta} 34S values of sulfides are between -1.8 and .5 per mil, which is consistent with thermochemical sulfate reduction involving organic matter as the main source of reduced sulfur. Galena lead isotope compositions are among the most radiogenic values reported for Zn-Pb occurrences in Europe, and they are distinct from values reported for galena from other Basque-Cantabrian deposits. This suggests that a significant part of the lead was scavenged from the local underlying Asturian sediments. The stratigraphic and structural setting, timing of epigenetic mineralization, mineralogy, and isotopic geochemistry of sulfide and gangue minerals of the Reocin deposit are consistent with the features of most of Mississippi Valley-type ore deposits

Concurrent tectonism and aquifer evolution > 100,000 years recorded in cave sediments, Dinaric karst, Slovenia, 2003, Sasowsky I. D. , Sebela S. , Harbert W. ,
A natural conduit that had formed along a fault was exposed in Upper Cretaceous limestones during construction of a tunnel near Postojna,. Slovenia. The conduit is filled with poorly indurated clastic sediments. Slickensides found on the margin of the sediment deposit show sinistral fault motion that is consistent with regional tectonism. Analysis of the sediments revealed reversed magnetic polarity. The minimum age for latest movement on the fault, origin of the cave, and deposition of these sediments is 780 ka. Present-day tectonic stresses are concordant with the fault movement, and it is likely that the fault has been continuously active throughout growth, infilling, and hydrologic abandonment of the conduit. Based upon known and modeled growth rates for conduits, this system is recording a period of growth and abandonment that exceeds 100,000 years. The role that rock discontinuities play in groundwater flow may vary over these timescales, and it may be important to account for tectonism when evaluating the long-term evolution of aquifers

Surface sediment characteristics and tower karst dissolution, Guilin, southern China, 2003, Tang Tao,
Dissolution of extensive outcrops of limestone and dolostone in humid tropical and subtropical southern China produced numerous caves and residual hills that are referred as tower karst. This study identifies and relates the physical and chemical characteristics of the surface sediment with the limestone bedrock in Guilin to assess the influence of the limestone dissolution process on sediment composition.The results of this study indicated that (i) both limestone and dolostone of the region are very pure (99.5% and 98.5% of CaCO3 and MgCO3, respectively); (ii) the material composition of limestone and dolostone is different from that of soil and sediment of the region: constituents of surface sediments are highly related with the clastic sedimentary rocks, such as the mudstone, but show negative correlation with limestone and dolostone; (iii) the limestone formations are highly resistant to physical weathering and disintegration; their durability versus physical weathering and their high susceptibility to chemical dissolution account for why residual towers can form and persist; (iv) a dual-zone environmental structure exists vertically downward from the surface in Guilin: the zone of unconsolidated clastic sediments that is predominantly acidic, and the zone of karstified limestone that is predominantly basic. The evidence suggests that the environment and processes differ in these two zones. The chemical dissolution of limestone that formed tower karst of the region is not mainly responsible for the accumulation of clastic sediment on the surface

Relation between Karst and Fluviokarst Relief on the Slunj Plateau (Croatia), 2003, Boč, Ić, Neven

The Slunj plateau is part of the shallow Kordun karst. It extends from the westernmost part of river Una towards the northwest to the confluence of the Slunjčica and Korana, at an average height of 300 - 350 m of above sea level. It is 40 km long, and averages about 10 km wide. A larger part of the plateau of Jurassic and Cretaceous carbonate rocks has characteristics of e karst relief with numerous dolines. On the smaller part of the Paleozoic and Tertiary clastic sediments and Triassic dolomites, a surface fluvial network has been developed. The water streams emerging on that basis regularly disappear underground on contact with permeable rocks. During geomorphological evolution of this terrain the area which is being drained on the surface was reduced, and the traces were left in the form of blind and dry (fossil) valleys. The water streams moved from the surface to underground where they formed the underground channels, i. e. speleological objects. This work analyses the correlation between the formation processes of (today fossil) valleys and cave channels on three examples: 1) Cave system Matešićeva - Popovačka cave, 2) Ponor pod Kremenom cave and Barićeve cave, 3) Cave system Varićakova - Panjkova cave.


Symposium Abstract: Evidence for site specific factors affecting Late pleistocene cave deposits in the Yorkshire Dales: Evidence from vertebrate remains, clastic sediments and speleothem formations, 2004, Lord Thomas

Heterogeneity of parent rocks and its constraints on geochemical criteria in weathering crusts of carbonate rocks, 2004, Wang S. J. , Feng Z. G. ,
Owing to the low contents of their acid-insoluble components, carbonate rocks tend to decrease sharply in volume in association with the formation of weathering crust. The formation of a 1 m-thick weathering crust would usually consume more than ten meters to several tens of meters of thickness of parent rocks. The knowledge of how to identify the homogeneity of parent rocks is essential to understand the formation mechanism of weathering crust in karst regions. especially that of thick-layered red weathering crust. In this work the grain-size analyses have demonstrated that the three profiles studied are the residual weathering crust of carbonate rocks and further showed that there objectively exists the, heterogeneity of parent rocks in the three studied weathering crusts. The heterogeneity of parent rocks can also be. reflected in geochemical parameters of major elements, just as the characteristics of frequency plot of pain-size distribution. Conservative trace element ratios Zr/Hf and Nb/Ta are proven to be unsuitable for tracing the heterogeneity of parent rocks of weathering crust, but its geochemical mechanism is unclear. The authors strongly suggest in this paper that the identification of the homogeneity of parent rocks of weathering crust in karst regions is of prime necessity

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