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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 anomaly is the deviation from normally expected findings, especially in exploration geophysics indicating a change in subsurface environmental conditions [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 oligocene (Keyword) returned 59 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 59
Paleoalpine karstification - The longest paleokarst period in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia), 1995, Cincura J, Kohler E,
The considerable areal extent and great thicknesses of Middle/Upper Triassic carbonate complexes influenced favourably the formation of karst during subaerial periods. The lower boundary of the Paleoalpine karst period is age-determined by the gradual emergence of the basement - during the Upper Cretaceous in the Central Western Carpathians and even earlier in the Inner Carpathians. The upper boundary can be dated by marine transgression The start of the transgression is not synchronous and it varies in a broad range from Upper Cretaceous to Upper Eocene and maybe even up to Oligocene/Miocene. The typical products of the period include typical karst bauxites filling karst cavities, ferri crusts, red clays, collapse and crackle breccias with speleothems, freshwater limestones or polymict conglomerates

HYDROGEOCHEMISTRY OF GRAND-CAYMAN, BRITISH-WEST-INDIES - IMPLICATIONS FOR CARBONATE DIAGENETIC STUDIES, 1995, Ng K. C. , Jones B. ,
Groundwater in the dolostone aquifers of the Bluff Group (Oligocene-Miocene) on Grand Cayman is divided into fresh, lightly and highly brackish, and saline (Type I and II) zones according to chemical characteristics that were determined during a 3 year (1985-1988) monitoring program. Brackish and Type I saline waters display the greatest variation in chemical properties whereas the Type II saline water has the most stable chemical characteristics. Most groundwaters from these dolostone aquifers are thermodynamically capable of precipitating calcite and/or dolomite. The saturation indices for these minerals, however, vary through time and space even in the context of small water lens. Simple mixing of fresh and sea water cannot explain the chemistry of the water found in the joint and karst controlled dolostone aquifers of Grand Cayman. Deviation from a simple mixing model is due to variations caused by tidal fluctuation, the rate of rain water recharge, influx of Ca-rich groundwater from the surrounding limestone aquifers, influx of CO2-rich surface water from sinkholes and swamps, and water-rock interactions (dissolution and precipitation of calcite and dolomite). Sustained groundwater abstraction from a lens can significantly alter the hydrochemistry of the water lens. This suggests that hydrochemical characterization of small fresh water lenses, like those on Grand Cayman, cannot be based on spot or short-term sampling. Interpretation of such fluids in terms of calcite-dolomite precipitation and/or dissolution must be treated with caution if the data base has not been derived from long-term monitoring

Interprtation morphomtrique et splo_gense : exemple de rseaux karstiques de Basse-Provence (directions de galeries, modle et maillage structural), 1997, Blanc Jeanjoseph, Monteau Raymond
Successive tectonic phases on limestone massifs are at the origin of a fracturation grid with several pattern dimensions, and linear or organized drain directions. Mechanical reactivations are observed from Oligocene until Plio-Quaternary on a former "pyreneo-provenale" structure (Eocene). Statistical analysis of gallery and fracture directions, cave levels and descent stages (overdeepening) show several erosional stages occurring after the formation of the Antevindobonian erosional surface. The active speleogenesis during Oligocene and Miocene was controlled by tectonics in connection with European rifting and mediterranean opening. In Messinian a short and significant lowering of mediterranean base level (and water table) made drastic erosion and created vertical pits. The horizontal cave level dug during the stabilization phase of Pliocene, now perched over underground rivers, shows a new overdeepening because of glacio-eustatic Quaternary oscillations. Compressive or distensive mechanical reactivations (Upper Miocene, Pliocene, Quaternary) modified the drainage and consequently the cave organization: self-piracy, confluence and diffluence. In the endokarst, the drainage inversion can be detected in late Upper continental Miocene and early Messinian (6,5 Ma), in correlation with the tilting and extension of the continental margin. Five caves in Provence are studied: Sabre, Petit Saint-Cassien, Rampins, Planesselve river, and Tete du Cade networks.

The carbonated palaeosurface of the ''Arbailles'' massif (Pyrennes-Atlantiques): An example of Neogene hydrographic network dried up by uplift and karstification, 1997, Vanara N. , Maire R. , Lacroix J. ,
The ''Arbailles'' massif constitutes a folded area of Jurassic and lower Cretaceous limestones, which belongs to the north-Pyrenean zone. The top karst surface was dug by a palaeofluviatile system from the Albian marlous limestone cover and dried up by uplift (infiltration). This hydrographic network recorded the main events of uplift by staged valley levels (950, 850, 730 and 380 m). Some old endokarstic infillings can be seen on the residual cone karst showing the erosion of a thick limestone layer. The alterite pockets contain elements of former cuirasses which originated in former hydromorphic depressions. These polygenic deposits contain two kinds of mineral families coming from alterations of both Albian marlous limestones and Triassic Mendibelza conglomerates. During the Upper Oligocene and Miocene (after the Middle Lutetian orogenesis), the ''Arbailles'' massif was a chemical weathering surface in a wet and tropical climate in relation upstream with Mendibelza conglomerates and downstream with Cenomanian flyschs. The Plio-Quaternary uplift, of 1000 m, caused the alterite and cuirasse erosion, the drying up of the fluviatile system (Lower Pleistocene), the genesis of a cone karst and the formation of underground systems

Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of an Oligocene-aged island remnant in Florida, USA, 1998, Reeder P. , Brinkmann R.

Rapport entre karst et glaciers durant les glaciations dans les valles pralpines du sud des Alpes, 1998, Bini Alfredo, Tognini Paola, Zuccoli Luisa
At least 13 glaciations occurred during the last 2.6Ma in the Southern pre_alpine valleys. The glaciers scouring alpine and pre-alpine valleys had all the same feature, being valley temperated glaciers. Their tracks and feeding areas were always the same, just like the petrological contents of their deposits. Contrary to previous assumptions until a few years ago, the origin of these valleys and of the lakes occupying the floor of some of them (Orta, Maggiore, Como, Iseo, Garda Lakes) is due to fluvial erosion related to Messinian marine regression. The valley slopes modelling is Messinian in age, too, while most caves are older. As a general rule, glaciers worked on valley slopes just as a re_modelling agent, while their effects were greater on valley floors. The karstic evolution began as soon as the area was lifted above sea level (upper Oligocene - lower Miocene), in a palaeogeographical environment quite different from the present one, although the main valley floors were already working as a base level. During Messinian age, the excavation of deep canyons along pre-existing valleys caused a dramatic lowering of the base level, followed by a complete re-arrangement of the karstic networks, which got deeper and deeper. The Pliocene marine transgression caused a new re-arrangement, the karst network getting mostly drowned under sea level. During these periods, the climate was hot-wet tropical, characterised by a great amount of water circulating during the wet season. At the same time tectonic upliftings were at work, causing breaking up of the karst networks and a continuous rearrangement of the underground drainage system. In any case, karstic networks were already well developed long before the beginning of Plio-Quaternary glaciations. During glaciations, karst systems in pre-alpine valleys could have been submitted to different drainage conditions, being: a) isolated, without any glacial water flowing; b) flooded, connected to the glacier water-filled zone; c) active, scoured by a stream sinking at glacier sides or in a sub glacial position. The stream could flow to the flooded zone (b), or scour all the unflooded system long down to the resurgence zone, the latter being generally located in a sub glacier position. The glacier/karst system is a very dynamic one: it could get active, flooded or isolated depending on endo- and sub-glacial drainage variations. Furthermore, glaciers show different influences on karstic networks, thus working with a different effect during their advance, fluctuations, covering and recession phases. Many authors believe, or believed, the development of most surface and underground karst in the Alps is due to glaciations, with the last one held to be mostly responsible for this. Whatever the role of glaciers on karstic systems, in pre-alpine valleys caves, we do not have evidence either of development of new caves or of remarkable changes in their features during glaciations. It is of course possible some pits or galleries could have developed during Plio-Quaternary glaciations, but as a general rule glaciers do not seem to have affected karstic systems in the Southern pre-alpine valleys with any remarkable speleogenetic effects: the glaciers effects on them is generally restricted to the transport of great amounts of debris and sediments into caves. The spotting of boulders and pebbles trapped between roof stalactites shows that several phases of in- and out-filling of galleries occurred with no remarkable changing in pre-dating features, including cave decorations. The presence of suspended karst systems does not prove a glacial origin of the valleys, since most of them pre-date any Plio-Quaternary glaciation, as shown by calcite cave deposits older than 1,5Ma. The sediments driven into caves might have caused a partial or total occlusion of most galleries, with a remarkable re-arrangement of the underground drainage system. In caves submitted to periglacial conditions all glaciations long, we can find deposits coming from weathered surface sediments, sharp-edged gelifraction debris and, more rarely, alluvial deposits whose origin is not related to the circulation of the glacial meltwater. In caves lower than or close to the glaciers limit we generally find large amounts of glacier-related deposits, often partly or totally occluding cave galleries. These sediments may be directly related to glaciers, i.e. carried into caves by glacial meltwaters, resulting from surface glacial deposit erosion. They generally show 3 dominant facies: A) lacustrine deposits; B) alluvial deposits and C) debris flow deposits facies. The only way of testing the soundness of the forementioned hypothesis is to study the main characters and spreading of cave sediments, since they are the only real data on connection of glaciers to endokarst networks.

Paleomagnetic study of Triassic sediments from the Silica Nappe in the Slovak Karst, a new approach, 1998, Kruczyk J. , Kadzialkohofmokl M. , Tunyi I. , Pagac P. , Mello J. ,
Intensive paleomagnetic and rock magnetic study were performed for Triassic limestones from the Silica Nappe in the Slovak Karst. Five exposures situated on the eastern and western side of the Stitnik-Plesivec fault were sampled for this study. In all exposures a secondary component of remanence of normal polarity (N), carried by secondary PSD magnetite was found. In the Silicka Brezova exposure (SE) apart from the N component, another secondary component of reversed polarity (R), carried by hematite; was isolated. Both components were acquired after folding. The R component was acquired during the Odra reversal event in the Oligocene (Birkenmajer et al. 1977). Comparison of its direction with the reference data let us conclude that the area belonged during this time to the African affinity. The declination of the R component suggests that after this magnetization period the studied region rotated anticlockwise by about 90 degrees around an intraplate vertical axis together with the whole Pelso megaunit. According to Marton et al. (1995) and Marton & Fodor (1995) the rotation took place in two phases, the first one by about 50 degrees took place in the Early Miocene, the second one, by about 30 degrees - in the Late Miocene. The N component, isolated by us, seems to have been acquired during the Middle Miocene after the first and before the second rotational phases: its declination agrees with a counterclockwise rotation of the Silica Nappe by about 30-40 degrees during the Late Miocene, as postulated by the cited authors. The inclination of the N component is lower, than the expected for Miocene, but agrees with the Miocene results for the Bukk region also belonging to the Pelso block, confirming the idea about the Miocene 'southern escape' of the Pelso block (Marton 1993). The final tectonic activity in the study area was connected with formation of the Stitnik-Plesivec fault (Late Tertiary-Quaternary). Our results suggest, that the fault is of rotational type and resulted in different tilting of beds situated on its eastern and western sides

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998, Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Brittle tectonics and major dextral strike-slip zone in the Buda karst (Budapest, Hungary), 1999, Benkovics L, Obert D, Bergerat F, Mansy Jl, Dubois M,
Three large (kilometric-scale) caves were studied in the Buda hills and the main directions of cave corridors, fault planes and mineralized veins were measured. Different stages of mineralizations are recognised: calcite scaleno-hedrons, baryte, silica, gypsum. New investigations of fluid inclusions in the baryte suggest a crystallization temperature of 50 degrees C and a freshwater fluid source. Microtectonic analysis allows the reconstruction of the successive tectonic events: (1) a NE-SW extensional phase at the Late Eocene-Early Oligocene limit (phase I), (2) a strike-slip phase with NW-SE compression and NE-SW extension during the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene (phase II), (3) a NW-SE transtensional phase (phase III) and finally (4) a NE-SW extensional phase of Quaternary age (phase IV). The major phase is the strike-slip one, characterized by an important dextral strike-slip zone: the Ferenc-hegy zone. (C) Elsevier, Paris

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

The last sea level changes in the Black Sea: evidence from the seismic data, 1999, Demirbag E, Gokasan E, Oktay Fy, Simsek M, Yuce H,
High resolution shallow seismic data collected from the southwestern shelf of the Black Sea indicate five different seismic stratigraphical units. The lower three of them belong to the Upper Cretaceous-Eocene, Oligocene-Miocene and Early Quaternary (prior to Holocene) sediments, respectively. These units are considered as a basement for the recent sediments deposited related to the latest connection of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The surface of these units are truncated to form an etchplain developed before the Flandrian transgression. The fourth unit covers the older units by an onlap. Its contact with the older units seen at -105 m is the shoreline of the Black Sea prior to the last major sea-level change. The fifth unit has been deposited since drowning of the Black Sea shelf. The principal cause of drowning of the Black Sea shelf is not only the last sea level rise as it is at the shelves of the Sea of Marmara but also the opening of the Strait of Istanbul. It is also realised by the comparison of the shelf area and the Catalca-Kocaeli etchplain that, the present continental part of this etchplain has been considerably uplifted with respect to the shelf area along the present shoreline. This uplifting must have also reactivated the faults around the Strait of Istanbul foundering the strait valley and, thus, permitting the Mediterranean waters to pass into the Black Sea, and initiating the sudden drowning of the Black Sea shelf

Karst terraines in Iran - Examples from Lorestan, 1999, Ahmadipour, Mohammad Reza

In Iran karst terrain covers about 13% of the total area. The carbonate rocks belong to the Eocene, Oligocene-Miocene, Miocene, Jurassic and Cretaceous. Most of the carbonate rocks are developed in the basins of Mazindaran and Zagros. The carbonate rocks in the Zone of Zagros, due to the prevailing tectonic activities, have undergone more processes of karstification. About 56 % of all the springs originated from this zone. In Lorestan the Zagros zone consists of a series of parallel anticlines in which, due to the tectonic movements, the rocks have undergone folding and fracturing. The folding and fracturing have created rich ground water reservoirs. The carbonate rocks of Lorestan show all types of karst features such as karren, dolines and caves. The most developed karstic features are seen in the Bangeston group. Most of the springs are discharged either along the lineaments or at the intersection of the lineaments. The chemical analyses of the samples show that they are of bicarbonate type. The drinking water of the city of Khorramabad (capital of Lorestan) is supplied from the karstic springs. In this paper, the karst hydrology of two important regions of Lorestan are considered.


Quaternary tectonics: Influence on the structure of two karstic aquifers of Languedoc (France), 2001, Josnin J. Y. ,
Our research focuses on the effect of Quaternary tectonics on the organization of the conduit network of karst ground water flow. In the Languedoc region, the major karstic systems are developed in Malm and Lower Cretaceous platform limestones. Most of these systems are polygenetic, their genesis and evolution having been controlled by fracturing that occurred during major tectonic phases (ante-Senonian, Eocene, Oligocene, Aquitanian, Pliocene). These complex karst systems were reactivated following Messinian eustatic events, under tectonic conditions which are not well-known, particularly those that occurred during the Quaternary. Small scale deformations and a lack of seismic activity make characterization of current tectonics in Mediterranean Languedoc difficult. The presence of vertical offsets, however, demonstrates that there are active faults in the interior of or in proximity to karst systems. In two karst aquifers within the Garden basin, we have observed a correlation between the orientations of active faults and the principal karst conduits. In the Mialet basin, we demonstrate that erosion resulting from post-Miocene uplift (and so changes of boundary conditions) divides the aquifer into smaller, independent units. In the St Chaptes basin, we reconstruct the history of the karst, proposing that tectonic and eustatic events were predominant in the karstification process and that the climatic conditions were only of secondary importance. We also show how the reactivation of faults can lead to the unblocking of abandoned karst conduits, allowing their reintroduction into the active flow system, a phenomenon that can be explained by the combined influence of the present stress field and hydraulic gradients. This work, which represents a preliminary study, leads to hypotheses that we will subsequently validate through different successive modelings

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

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.]

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