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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 dry hole is a hole not obtaining any production. a non-producing well [16].?

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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 sandstones (Keyword) returned 56 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 56
Stacks and notches at Hopewell Rocks, New Brunswick, Canada, 1998, Trenhaile A. S. , Pepper D. A. , Trenhaile R. W. , Dalimonte M. ,
Spectacular rock formations have developed in coarse, poorly sorted conglomerates and arkosic sandstones at Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy, which has the largest tidal range in the world. The average gradient of the shore platform is 3.2 degrees, although it varies because of slight differences in rock hardness. Schmidt Rock Test Hammer measurements show that the rock is generally no more resistant in 16 stacks and in one stack-arch than in the adjacent platform and cliff. Most stacks, arch-tunnels and caves in this area result from dissection of the rock mass along prominent, well-spaced joint planes. Old photographs suggest that the stacks at Hopewell Rocks may have developed in the :Last 100 to 250 years. Notches are ubiquitous at the cliff foot, and they are responsible for the characteristic mushroom-shaped appearance of the stacks. Although there is no consistent relationship between the depth of notches on the seaward and landward sides of the stacks, the notches are at higher elevations on the seaward side. The deepest part of most notches is a little below the mean high tidal level, although several are up to 1 or 2 m below it, especially on the landward side of stacks. Stack morphology and notch depth change in a fairly predictable manner through time, as the stacks become increasingly isolated from the cliff. (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Basement lithology and its control on sedimentation, trap formation and hydrocarbon migration, Widuri-Intan oilfields, SE Sumatra, 1999, Tonkin P. C. , Himawan R. ,
The Widuri-lntan oilfields produce from late Oligocene sandstones of the Talang Akar Formation, which were deposited in a fluid-to-deltaic setting on the NW side of the Asri Basin, offshore SE Sumatra. The Asri Basin is of rift origin and formed during the early Oligocene, with its axis oriented in a NE-SW direction. Approximately 310 million brls of oil have been produced from the fields within the 12-by-12 mile (20-by-20 km) study area. The oil occurs in a series of structural and stratigraphic traps within slightly sinuous to meandering channel sandstone bodies. The reservoir sequence (sandstone interbedded with minor mudstone and coal) overlies basement rocks, which are predominantly Cretaceous in age. Forty-nine well penetrations have shown that the basement is composed of one of four lithologies: IB hornblende granodiorite; (2) metamorphic rocks, mainly mica schist; (3) plugs of metabasalt and related volcanic rocks; or (4) dolomitic limestone. A combination of drill cuttings, sidewall and conventional cores and FMS/FMI images has been used to identify and map the distribution of basement rock type. The basement was subjected to exposure and deep weathering prior to the formation of the Asri Basin, as evidenced by the zones of surface alteration encountered during drilling. The basement palaeotopography had a strong influence on the later distribution of major fluvial channels and sand pinch-outs. Several major faults appear to be controlled by basement lithology, especially at the boundaries of granodiorite and metabasalt intrusives. An important shear zone, oriented NW-SE, appears to have offset the basement between the main Widuri and Intan fields, and was subsequently the site of silicification of the mica schists in the basement. The Lidya field is situated where the reservoir pinches out onto eroded areas of basement silicification along this shear zone. Palaeocurrents in the upper 34-2 and 34-1 channel sandstones in the Widuri field were controlled by the orientation of this basement feature . Drape and compaction ofOligocene Talang Akar Formation sediments over eroded volcanic plugs have defined or enhanced a number of structural/stratigraphic plays, including the Widuri and Chesy fields. From seismic and well evidence, the reservoir sequence at the Indri field is underlain by dolomitic limestone and exhibits a series of unusual karst-related sinkhole and collapse structures. These are circular to slightly elliptical in shape, and extend from basement level to over 900 ft vertically into the overlying Talang Akar Formation

Phnomnes de karstification observs dans une cavit artificielle du Rincn Blanco (Argentine), 2000, Barredo, Silviap.
The Rincon Blanco subbasin is located in San Juan Province, Argentina, between 69 15' west by 314' to 31 33' south and is characterised by a non marine continental infilling. During the Tertiary times it underwent compressional deformation folding it into a tight north-_south trending syncline. The whole sedimentary sequence is comprised of coarse-grained units interfingered with sandstones and shales. In particular, these latter were deposited in an alkaline lake and are composed of carbonate and organic rich strata. These characteristic lacustrine facies bear bituminous shales widely known as "Rincon Blanco oil slates". During the 1950' s and 1970' s, they were densely explored resulting in a number of galleries that presently are abandoned. They were cut in the bituminous rocks exposing west-east and southeast-northwest systems of minor faults and local fractures. These discontinuities permitted the inflow of meteoric waters through the overlying layers and into these artificial caves, thus resulting in carbonate cement dissolution, and, re-precipitation as tiny stalactites, stalagmites, thick travertine deposits in the floor with incipient microchannels accompanied by pools (gurs) with pearls and botroidal-like concretions. Several solutional speleothems are also found and correspond to ceiling and wall pockets and floor pits. This phenomena seemed to be related to acidic water coming from small discharges and flowing through the network of integrated tectonic openings to the innermost tunnel sections where humid air reaches saturation. Water trickling resulting from condensation produces erosional features and, together with dropping and occasional flows, the speleothems. Events of slight flow turbulence in some enlarged fractures are also inferred by the presence of ceiling and floor dissolutional features.

Vein and Karst Barite Deposits in the Western Jebilet of Morocco: Fluid Inclusion and Isotope (S, O, Sr) Evidence for Regional Fluid Mixing Related to Central Atlantic Rifting, 2000, Valenza Katia, Moritz Robert, Mouttaqi Abdellah, Fontignie Denis, Sharp Zachary,
Numerous vein and karst barite deposits are hosted by Hercynian basement and Triassic rocks of the western Jebilet in Morocco. Sulfur, oxygen, and strontium isotope analyses of barite, combined with fluid inclusion microthermometry on barite, quartz, and calcite were used to reveal the nature and source of the ore-forming fluids and constrain the age of mineralization. The{delta} 34S values of barite between 8.9 and 14.7 per mil are intermediate between the sulfur isotope signatures of Triassic evaporites and Triassic-Jurassic seawater and lighter [IMG]f1.gif' BORDER='0'>, probably derived from the oxidation of dissolved H2S and leaching of sulfides in the Hercynian basement. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of barite between 0.7093 and 0.7130 range between the radiogenic strontium isotope compositions of micaceous shale and sandstone and the nonradiogenic isotopic signature of Triassic to Jurassic seawater and Cambrian limestone. The{delta} 18O values of barite between 11 and 15 per mil (SMOW) support mixing between two or more fluids, including Late Triassic to Jurassic seawater or a water dissolving Triassic evaporites along its flow path, hot basinal, or metamorphic fluids with{delta} 18O values higher than 0 per mil and/or meteoric fluids with{delta} 18O values lower than 0 per mil. The general trend of decreasing homogenization temperatures and initial ice melting temperatures with increasing salinities of H2O-NaCl {} CaCl2 fluid inclusions trapped in barite, quartz, and calcite indicates that a deep and hot basinal fluid with salinities lower than 6 wt percent NaCl equiv might have mixed with a cooler surficial solution with a mean salinity of 20 wt percent NaCl equiv. Calcium was leached from the Cambrian limestone and the clastic and mafic volcanic rocks of the Hercynian basement. Alkali feldspars and micas contained in the Cambrain sandstones provided most of the Ba to the hydrothermal system. Vein and karst deposits are modeled as a two-component mixing process in which the temperature and the S and Sr isotope composition of the end members changed during the 220 to 155 Ma interval. The hot basinal fluid remained volumetrically dominant during the entire mineralization process. Differences in mean S, O, and Sr isotope compositions among the barite families are interpreted as reflecting differences in mineralization age. Most barite deposits formed before the Kimmeridgian, except for north-south-oriented vein barite, karst barite, and barite cement in the conglomeratic Upper Jurassic, which were deposited later, possibly around 155 Ma. Similar genetic processes have been described for late Paleozoic to Mesozoic F-Ba vein deposits in western Europe. The vein and karst barite in the western Jebilet of Morocco reveals a wide-scale regional mineralization event related to Central Atlantic rifting

Sedimentology and geochemistry of fluvio-lacustrine tufa deposits controlled by evaporite solution subsidence in the central Ebro Depression, NE Spain, 2000, Arenas C, Gutierrez F, Osacar C, Sancho C,
The Urrea de Jalon tufa deposits constitute the 20- to 50-m-thick caprock (0.3 km(2)) of an isolated mesa. They disconformably overlie horizontal strata of the Tertiary Ebro Basin (NE Spain), which contains a thick succession of lacustrine gypsum and marls, followed by limestones, marls and, locally, fluvial sandstones and mudstones. The tufa deposits show a complex, large-scale framework of basin-like structures with centripetal dips that decrease progressively from the base to the top of the tufa succession, and beds that thicken towards the centre of the structure (cumulative wedge-out systems). These geometries reveal that the tufa deposits were affected by differential synsedimentary subsidence. Distinct onlapping depressions reflect time migration of the subsiding areas. The studied carbonates are composed mostly of low-Mg calcite, with minor quartz. Some samples have anomalously high contents of Fe, Mn and Ba that may exceed 1% (goethite, haematite and barite are present). Carbonate facies are: (a) macrophyte encrustation deposits; (b) bryophyte build-ups; (c) oncolite and coated grain rudstones; (d) non-concentric stromatolite-like structures; (e) massive or bioturbated biomicrites; and (f) green and grey marls. Facies a and c show a great variety of microbial-related forms. These facies can be arranged in dm- to 2-m-thick vertical associations representing: (i) fluvial-paludal sequences with bryophyte growths; (ii) pond-influenced fluvial sequences; and (iii) lacustrine-palustrine sequences. The Urrea de Jalon tufa deposits formed in a fluvio-lacustrine environment that received little alluvial sediment supply. Isotope compositions (delta(13)C and delta(18)O) reveal meteoric signatures and accord with such a hydrologically open system of fresh waters. The Fe, Mn and Ba contents suggest an additional supply of mineralized waters that could be related to springs. These would have been discharge points in the Ebro Depression of a regional aquifer of the Iberian Ranges. Rising groundwater caused the solution of the underlying evaporites and the synsedimentary subsidence of the tufa deposits

Speleogenesis of the Botovskaya Cave, Eastern Siberia, Russia, 2000, Filippov A. G.
Botovskaya Cave is located in the Angaro-Lensky artesian basin in the southern Siberian craton, Russia. It developed under confined conditions in the 6-12 m thick Ordovician limestone strata. The cave is a subhorizontal, two-dimensional maze 32 km long. The limestone beds are confined above and below by massive marine sandstones which contain thick silty and argilaceous layers. Cave passages are guided by an orthogonal fissure system. Embryonic passages are tube-shaped with oval and round cross sections. The mature passages are corridor-like with wide low notches at their bases between sandstone beds. The cave system probably originated due to mixing corrosion involving meteoric artesian waters flowing from a major recharge area, and ascending waters migrating toward surface valleys from underlying artesian aquifers.

The Dachstein paleosurface and the Augenstein Formation in the Northern Calcareous Alps - a mosaic stone in the geomorphological evolution of the Eastern Alps, 2001, Frisch W, Kuhlemann J, Dunkl I, Szekely B,
The central and eastern areas of the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) are characterized by remnants of the Dachstein paleosurface, which formed in Late Eocene (?) to Early Oligocene time and is preserved with limited modification on elevated karst plateaus. In Oligocene time, the Dachstein paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial succession of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus, some in an autochthonous position. Thermochronological data suggest a maximum thickness of the Augenstein Formation of >1.3 km, possibly >2 km. The age of the Augenstein Formation is constrained by the overall geological situation as Early Oligocene to earliest Miocene. Fission track age data support an Early Oligocene age of the basal parts of the formation. The source area of the Augenstein Formation consisted predominantly of weakly metamorphic Paleozoic terrains (Greywacke Zone and equivalents) as well as the Late Carboniferous to Scythian siliciclastic base of the NCA to the south of the depositional area. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary deposits of the Inntal. Sedimentation of the Augenstein Formation was terminated in Early Miocene time in the course of the orogenic collapse of the Eastern Alps. The Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland Molasse zone. From Pannonian times (similar to 10 Ma) on, the NCA and the denuded Dachstein surface experienced uplift in several pulses. The Dachstein paleosurface has been preserved in areas, in which thick limestone sequences allowed subsurface erosion by cave formation and thus prevented major surface erosion

Miocene phreatomagmatic volcanism at Tihany (Pannonian Basin, Hungary), 2001, Nemeth K. , Martin U. , Harangi S. ,
A late Miocene (7.56 Ma) maar volcanic complex (Tihany Maar Volcanic Complex - TMVC) is preserved in the Pannonian Basin and is part of the Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field. Base surge and fallout deposits were formed around maars by phreatomagmatic explosions, caused by interactions between water-saturated sediments and alkali basalt magma carrying peridotite Iherzolite xenoliths as well as pyroxene and olivine megacrysts. Subsequently, nested maars functioned as a sediment trap where deposition built up Gilbert-type delta sequences. At the onset of eruption, magma began to interact with a moderate amount of groundwater in the water-saturated sand. As eruption continued phreatomagmatic blasts excavated downward into limestones, providing access to abundant karst water and deeper to sandstones and schist both providing large amount of fracture-filling water, At the surface, this 'wet' eruption led to the emplacement of massive tuff breccias by fall, surge, mudflow and gravity flow deposition. The nature of the TMVC maar eruptions and their deposits appears to depend on the hydrological condition of the karst and/or fracture-filling aquifer, which varies seasonally with rainfall and spring runoff. The West and East Maar volcanoes of TMVC are interpreted to represent low water input from the karst and/or fracture-filling aquifer ('summer vent'), whereas the East Maar is interpreted to have formed when abundant karst and/or fracture-filling water was available ('spring vent'). (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Dachstein-Altflche, Augenstein-Formation und Hhlenentwicklung - die Geschichte der letzten 35 Millionen Jahre in den zentralen Nrdlichen Kalkalpen., 2002, Frisch W. , Kuhlemann J. , Dunkl I. , Szekely B. , Vennemann T. , Rettenbacher A.
The landscape of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) is largely determined by the celebrate elevated karst plateaus, which represent relics of the Dachstein paleosurface and can be followed as far as the eastern margin of the NCA. The Dachstein paleosurface formed in late Eocene to early Oligocene times as a karstic hilly landscape. It was modified by later erosional processes to a limited extent only and is preserved as such in the karst plateaus. In the Oligocene, the paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus. The poorly and contradictingly defined terms Rax landscape" and Augenstein landscape" are not used any more. From the overall geological situation, the age of the Augenstein Formation can be inferred as Lower Oligocene to early Lower Miocene. Fission track dating on zircon support the Lower Oligocene age of the basal Augenstein sediments (only these are preserved). Their source area was situated in the south and mainly occupied by weakly metamorphosed Paleozoic sequences (Graywacke Zone and its equivalents) and the latest Carboniferous to Lower Triassic siliciclastic base of the NCA. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary sediments of the Lower Inn Valley. Thermal modeling of fission track data from apatite, which is contained in pebbles as an accessory phase, suggest that the Augenstein Formation attained thicknesses of locally 1.3 km, possibly even more than 2 km. Augenstein sedimentation probably ended in Early Miocene times with the onset of lateral tectonic extrusion in the Eastern Alps, which caused lowering of the relief in the source area and created a new, fault-bounded river network. In the following period, the Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland molasse basin. From Pannonian times (ca. 10 Ma) on, the central and eastern NCA, and therefore also the Dachstein paleosurface, experienced uplift in pulses. The paleosurface remained preserved in those areas, where thick limestone sequences enabled subsurface erosion in cave systems and considerably reduced surface erosion. Augenstein sediments became washed into the widespread cave systems of the plateau-topped limestone massifs. The arrangement of the caves in three horizons shows that uplift of the NCA occurred in pulses separated from periods of tectonic quiescence. In our model of the evolution of the NCA since the late Eocene, the highest cave system, the surface-near ruin cave system, was probably formed during formation of the Dachstein paleosurface. The largest system, the giant cave system, formed in Upper Miocene times, i.e., in the early stage of the final uplift period of the NCA. The youngest and lowest system, the source cave system, formed in Pliocene to Quaternary times. We aimed to date material from the giant cave system by radiometric methods. U/Pb dating on speleothems from the Mammut cave (Dachstein) and the Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge) gave no formation age because of the low U contents; however, the isotope ratios allow to infer that the speleothems formed in pre-Pleistocene time. Quartz pebbles from the Augenstein Formation, washed into the caves before the formation of the speleothems, were analyzer for cosmogenic beryllium and aluminum isotopes in order to date the time of redeposition. The isotope contents, however, did no yield a sufficiently strong signal. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios were determined on the Eisriesenwelt speleothem in order to receive information on climatic changes during speleothem growth. A 260 mm long core from the outer zone of the speleothem shower limited variation for the temperatures of the seeping rainwater, which caused the speleothems to form. This indicates moderate climate and thus, again, pre-Pleistocene formation of the speleothems. All these results are in accord with the supposed Upper Miocene formation age of the giant cave system. Displacement of a speleothem along a shear plane and normal faults visible on the plateaus by the offset of the actual surface testify young, partly Quaternary tectonics, which affected the NCA.[ausfhrliche Darstellung, geol. Krtchen, Farbbilder, ganzes Heft.]

Existence of karsts into silicated non-carbonated crystalline rocks in Sahelian and Equatorial Africa, hydrogeological implications, 2002, Willems Luc, Pouclet Andre, Vicat Jean Paul,
Various cavities studied in western Niger and South Cameroon show the existence of important karstic phenomena into metagabbros and gneisses. These large-sized caves resulted from generalized dissolution of silicate formations in spite of their low solubility. Karstification is produced by deep hydrous transfer along lithological discontinuities and fracture net works. The existence of such caves has major implications in geomorphology, under either Sahelian and Equatorial climate, and in hydrogeology and water supply, particularly in the Sahel area. Introduction. - Since a few decades, several karst-like morphologies are described in non-carbonated rocks (sandstones, quartzites, schistes, gneisses...) [Wray, 1997 ; Vicat and Willems, 1998 ; Willems, 2000]. The cave of Guessedoundou in West Niger seems to be due to a large dissolution of metagabbros. The cave of Mfoula, South Cameroon, attests for the same process in gneisses. This forms proof that big holes may exist deeper in the substratum even of non-carbonated silicate rocks. Their size and number could mainly influence the landscape and the hydrogeology, especially in the Sahelian areas. Guessedoundou, a cave into metagabbros in West Niger. - The site of Guessedoundou is located 70 km south-west of Niamey (fig. 1). The cave is opened at the top of a small hill, inside in NNE-SSW elongated pit (fig. 2 ; pl. I A). The hole, 3 to 4 m deep and 20 m large, has vertical walls and contains numerous sub-metric angular blocks. A cave, a few meters deep, comes out the south wall. Bedrocks consist of metagabbros of the Makalondi greenstone belt, a belt of the Palaeoproterozoic Birimian Formations of the West Africa craton [Pouclet et al., 1990]. The rock has a common granular texture with plagioclases, partly converted in albite and clinozoisite, and pyroxenes pseudomorphosed in actinote and chlorite. It is rather fairly altered. Chemical composition is mafic and poorly alkaline (tabl. I). A weak E-W schistosity generated with the epizonal thermometamorphism. The site depression was created along a N010o shear zone where rocks suffered important fracturation and fluid transfers, as shown by its silification and ferruginisation. The absence of human activity traces and the disposition of the angular blocks attest that the pit is natural and was due to the collapse of the roof of a vast cavity whose current cave is only the residual prolongation. To the vertical walls of the depression and at the cave entry, pluridecimetric hemispheric hollows are observed (pl. I B). Smooth morphology and position of these hollows sheltered within the depression dismiss the assumptions of formation by mechanical erosion. In return, these features are typical shape of dissolution processes observed into limestone karstic caves. That kind of process must be invoked to explain the opening of the Guessedoundou cave, in the total lack of desagregation materials. Dissolution of metagabbro occurred during hydrous transfer, which was probably guided by numerous fractures of the shear zone. Additional observations have been done in the Sirba Valley, where similar metabasite rocks constitute the substratum, with sudden sinking of doline-like depressions and evidence of deep cavities by core logging [Willems et al., 1993, 1996]. It is concluded that karstic phenomena may exist even in silica-aluminous rocks of crystalline terrains, such as the greenstones of a Precambrian craton. Mfoula a cave into gneisses in South Cameroon. - The cave of Mfoula is located 80 km north-east of Yaounde (fig. 3). It is the second largest cave of Cameroon, more than 5,000 m3, with a large opening in the lower flank of a deep valley (pl. I C). The cavity is about 60 m long, 30 m large and 5 to 12 m high (fig. 4; pl. I D). It is hollowed in orthogneisses belonging to the Pan-African Yaounde nappe. Rocks exhibit subhorizontal foliation in two superposed lithological facies: the lower part is made of amphibole- and garnet-bearing layered gneisses, and the upper part, of more massive granulitic gneisses. Average composition is silico-aluminous and moderately alkaline (tabl. I). The cave is made of different chambers separated by sub-cylindrical pillars. The ceiling of the main chamber, 6 m in diameter, is dome-shaped with a smooth surface (D, fig. 4). The walls have also a smooth aspect decorated with many hemispherical hollows. The floor is flat according to the rock foliation. They are very few rock debris and detrital fragments and no traces of mechanical erosion and transport. The general inner morphology is amazingly similar to that of a limestone cave. The only way to generate such a cavity is to dissolve the rock by water transfer. To test the effect of the dissolution process, we analysed a clayey residual sampled in an horizontal fracture of the floor (tabl. I). Alteration begins by plagioclases in producing clay minerals and in disagregating the rock. However, there is no more clay and sand material. That means all the silicate minerals must have been eliminated. Dissolution of silicates is a known process in sandstone and quartzite caves. It may work as well in gneisses. To fasten the chemical action, we may consider an additional microbial chemolitotrophe activity. The activity of bacteria colonies is known in various rocks and depths, mainly in the aquifer [Sinclair and Ghiorse, 1989 ; Stevens and McKinley, 1995]. The formation of the Mfoula cave is summarized as follow (fig. 5). Meteoric water is drained down along sub-vertical fractures and then along horizontal discontinuities of the foliation, particularly in case of lithological variations. Chemical and biological dissolution is working. Lateral transfers linked to the aquifer oscillations caused widening of the caves. Dissolved products are transported by the vertical drains. Regressive erosion of the valley, linked to the epeirogenic upwelling due to the volcano-tectonic activity of the Cameroon Line, makes the cavities come into sight at the valley flanks. Discussion and conclusion. - The two examples of the Guessedoundou and Mfoula caves evidence the reality of the karsts in non-carbonated silicated rocks. The karst term is used to design >> any features of the classical karst morphology (caves, dolines, lapies...) where dissolution plays the main genetical action >> [Willems, 2000]. Our observations indicate that (i) the karst genesis may have occurred into any kind of rocks, and (ii) the cave formation is not directly dependent of the present climate. These facts have major consequences to hydrogeological investigations, especially for water supply in Sahelian and sub-desertic countries. Some measurements of water transfer speed across either sedimentary pelitic strata of the Continental terminal or igneous rocks of the substratum in West Niger [Esteves and Lenoir, 1996 ; Ousmane et al., 1984] proved that supplying of aquifers in these silico-aluminous rocks may be as fast as in a karstic limestone. That means the West Niger substratum is highly invaded by a karstic net and may hidden a lot of discontinuous aquifers. The existence of this karst system can be easily shown by morphological observations, the same that are done in karstic limestone regions (abnormally suspended dry valleys, collapses, dolines...). Clearly, this must be the guide for any search of water, even in desertic areas where limestones are absent

Dachstein-Altflche, Augenstein-Formation und Hhlenentwicklung - die Geschichte der letzten 35 Millionen Jahre in den zentralen Nrdlichen Kalkalpen, 2002, Frisch W. , Kuhlemann J. , Dunkl I. , Szekely B. , Vennemann T. , Rettenbacher A.
The landscape of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) is largely determined by the celebrate elevated karst plateaus, which represent relics of the Dachstein paleosurface and can be followed as far as the eastern margin of the NCA. The Dachstein paleosurface formed in late Eocene to early Oligocene times as a karstic hilly landscape. It was modified by later erosional processes to a limited extent only and is preserved as such in the karst plateaus. In the Oligocene, the paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus. The poorly and contradictingly defined terms Rax landscape" and Augenstein landscape" are not used any more. From the overall geological situation, the age of the Augenstein Formation can be inferred as Lower Oligocene to early Lower Miocene. Fission track dating on zircon support the Lower Oligocene age of the basal Augenstein sediments (only these are preserved). Their source area was situated in the south and mainly occupied by weakly metamorphosed Paleozoic sequences (Graywacke Zone and its equivalents) and the latest Carboniferous to Lower Triassic siliciclastic base of the NCA. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary sediments of the Lower Inn Valley. Thermal modeling of fission track data from apatite, which is contained in pebbles as an accessory phase, suggest that the Augenstein Formation attained thicknesses of locally 1.3 km, possibly even more than 2 km. Augenstein sedimentation probably ended in Early Miocene times with the onset of lateral tectonic extrusion in the Eastern Alps, which caused lowering of the relief in the source area and created a new, fault-bounded river network. In the following period, the Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland molasse basin. From Pannonian times (ca. 10 Ma) on, the central and eastern NCA, and therefore also the Dachstein paleosurface, experienced uplift in pulses. The paleosurface remained preserved in those areas, where thick limestone sequences enabled subsurface erosion in cave systems and considerably reduced surface erosion. Augenstein sediments became washed into the widespread cave systems of the plateau-topped limestone massifs. The arrangement of the caves in three horizons shows that uplift of the NCA occurred in pulses separated from periods of tectonic quiescence. In our model of the evolution of the NCA since the late Eocene, the highest cave system, the surface-near ruin cave system, was probably formed during formation of the Dachstein paleosurface. The largest system, the giant cave system, formed in Upper Miocene times, i.e., in the early stage of the final uplift period of the NCA. The youngest and lowest system, the source cave system, formed in Pliocene to Quaternary times. We aimed to date material from the giant cave system by radiometric methods. U/Pb dating on speleothems from the Mammut cave (Dachstein) and the Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge) gave no formation age because of the low U contents; however, the isotope ratios allow to infer that the speleothems formed in pre-Pleistocene time. Quartz pebbles from the Augenstein Formation, washed into the caves before the formation of the speleothems, were analyzer for cosmogenic beryllium and aluminum isotopes in order to date the time of redeposition. The isotope contents, however, did no yield a sufficiently strong signal. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios were determined on the Eisriesenwelt speleothem in order to receive information on climatic changes during speleothem growth. A 260 mm long core from the outer zone of the speleothem shower limited variation for the temperatures of the seeping rainwater, which caused the speleothems to form. This indicates moderate climate and thus, again, pre-Pleistocene formation of the speleothems. All these results are in accord with the supposed Upper Miocene formation age of the giant cave system. Displacement of a speleothem along a shear plane and normal faults visible on the plateaus by the offset of the actual surface testify young, partly Quaternary tectonics, which affected the NCA.

Quartzite dissolution: karst or pseudokarst?, 2003, Wray, R. A. L.

A wide range of landforms of great similarity to limestone karst is found on many of the world's quartz sandstones and quartzites. These landforms have often been dismissed as pseudokarst, but recent investigation shows that the dissolutional removal of silica, even quartz, under earth-surface conditions is a critical process in their formation. They must therefore be regarded as true karst features. Recognition of these genetically similar forms on quartzose rocks now demands the worldwide adoption of a less restrictive, process-based, karst definition. Direct evidence for this near-surface dissolutional weathering is not common. Examples of this process are reviewed here, along with further evidence for the dissolution of silica from within the quartz sandstones of the Sydney Basin in temperate south-eastern Australia. Some of the complex processes by which dissolution attacks the rock remain unclear. However the solubility, thermodynamics, fluid throughput and physical removal of detritus are all critical factors in the formation of what can only be termed karst on quartzites and quartz sandstone.


The Padaeng Supergene Nonsulfide Zinc Deposit, Mae Sod, Thailand, 2003, Reynolds Neal A. , Chisnall Tony W. , Kaewsang Kriangsak, Keesaneyabutr Chanan, Taksavasu Taksorn,
The Padaeng deposit near Mae Sod in western Thailand was the first supergene nonsulfide zinc deposit in the world to be developed as a large modern mining operation. The mine and associated zinc smelter, operated by Padaeng Industry Public Company Ltd. since 1984, went into production with reserves of 4.59 Mt at a grade of 28.9 percent zinc with a 10 percent zinc cutoff. Current resources are 5.14 Mt at a grade of 12.0 percent zinc with a 3 percent zinc cutoff. The Padaeng deposit is hosted by a mixed carbonate-clastic sequence of Middle Jurassic age. The deposit occurs in the hanging wall of the Padaeng fault, a major northwest-trending structure that was active through Cretaceous and Tertiary tectonism and uplift. Nonsulfide zinc ore comprises dominant hemimorphite with minor smithsonite and hydrozincite. Strata-bound ore zones occur within a northwest-dipping, deeply weathered, dolomitic sandstone; steeply dipping and irregular karstic zones in underlying massive, silty dolomite are controlled by north-trending fracture zones. Sulfide zinc-lead mineralization of Mississippi Valley type occured extensively in the vicinity of the Padaeng mine, most notably the small resources at Pha De and Hua Lon. Mineral deposits are typically sphalerite rich with minor galena and pyrite, forming small-scale open-space fillings, veins, and replacements within hydrothermal dolomite. Mineralization is dominantly strata bound within a horizon of intense hydrothermal dolomitization that forms the stratigraphic hanging wall to the nonsulfide ore zones at Padaeng. The only significant sulfide at the Padaeng mine is within this unit. Only trace sulfide occurs peripheral to, or down dip of, strata-bound or steeply dipping, nonsulfide orebodies. Sulfide mineralization is believed to have accompanied Cretaceous uplift and deformation, related to the onset of oblique subduction beneath the western margin of the Shan-Thai terrane. The nonsulfide deposit is believed to have formed when a substantial body of sulfide ore was uplifted on the margin of the Mae Sod Tertiary intermontane basin, commencing in the middle to late Miocene. Zinc-bearing acidic supergene fluids, generated by oxidation of the precursor sulfide body, reacted with carbonate in the underlying stratigraphic section to precipitate hemimorphite and smithsonite. Fluids were channeled by permeable dolomitic sandstones and by steep fracture and fault zones. Acidic fluids promoted deep weathering and karst formation, allowing mineralization to extend down dip in sandstone units for at least 150 m and vertically for a similar distance in steep structural zones. Transport of zinc out of the precursor sulfide body was facilitated by a falling water table, owing to uplift of the Padaeng fault block and a change from wet tropical to monsoonal or semiarid climatic conditions. There is no evidence for significant in situ replacement of sulfide deposits, and the leached remnants of the precursor sulfide body have been removed by erosion. The supergene process of dissolution and reprecipitation of zinc in the host rocks increased zinc grades and separation of zinc from lead, producing an economically attractive deposit. Successful exploration for this type of deposit requires a good understanding of the controls on primary sulfide mineralization and a good knowledge of local neotectonism, uplift history, hydrogeology, climatic evolution, and weathering history

Testing for reach-scale adjustments of hydraulic variables to soluble and insoluble strata: Buckeye Creek and Greenbrier River, West Virginia, 2003, Springer G. S. , Wohl E. E. , Foster J. A. , Boyer D. G. ,
An open question exists as to whether channel geometries and hydraulics are adjusted in bedrock streams with stable, concave profiles in a manner analogous to alluvial rivers. As a test of this problem, a comparison was undertaken of channel geometries and hydraulics among reaches with substrates that are of high mechanical resistance, but of variable chemical resistance. Reaches were selected from Buckeye Creek and Greenbrier River, West Virginia, USA because these streams flow over sandstones, limestones, and shales. The limestones have Selby rock resistance scores similar to those of the sandstones. A total of 13 reaches consisting of between 6 and 26 cross sections were surveyed in the streams. HEC-RAS was used to estimate unit stream power (omega) and shear stress (tau) for each reach. The reaches were selected to evaluate the null hypothesis that that omega and tau are equal atop soluble versus insoluble bedrock. Hypothesis tests consisted of paired t-tests and simultaneous, multiple comparisons. Geomorphic setting was included for Greenbrier River because previous studies have suggested that bedrock streams are intimately coupled with hillslopes. Holding geomorphic setting constant, three separate comparisons of omega and tau reveal that these variables are lowest atop soluble substrates in Greenbrier River (significance less than or equal to 0.05) and that changes in and tau are mediated by changes in channel geometry. Similarly, headwater reaches of Buckeye Creek developed atop shale and sandstone boulders are statistically distinguishable from downstream reaches wherein corrosion of limestone is the primary means of incision. However, comparisons in each stream reveal that channel geometries, omega and tau, are not strictly controlled by bed solubility. For constant substrate solubility along the Greenbrier River, omega and tau are consistently higher where a bedrock cutbank is present or coarse, insoluble sediment enters the channel. The latter is also associated with locally high values of omega and tau in Buckeye Creek. Assuming that incision by corrosion requires lower values of omega and tau because the channel need not be adjusted for block detachment and tool acceleration, we posit that the statistically lower values of omega and tau are tentative evidence in favor of differential geometric and hydraulic adjustments to substrate resistance. We observe that these adjustments are not made independent of geomorphic setting. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Caves of Chernivtsi region, 2003, Ridush B. , Kuprich P.
Plans, cuts and short descriptions of 80 natural caves located in Chernivtsi region (Ukraine) are published. Most of them are developed in gypsum strata of Miocene age. Less of them are developed in limestones and sandstones. The longest one is Zolushka Cave ? 80,2 km long. The three other caves are longer than 1 km.

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