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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 wedge storage is 1. water storage in the form of a wedge overlying a prism [16]. 2. storage in a flooded river segment [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 cliff (Keyword) returned 63 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 63
Karst Development and Speleogenesis, Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico, 1998, Frank, E. F. , Mylroie, J. , Troester, Jo. , Alexander, Jr. , E. C. , Carew, J.
Isla de Mona consists of a raised table-top Miocene-Pliocene reef platform bounded on three sides by vertical cliffs, up to 80 m high. Hundreds of caves ring the periphery of the island and are preferentially developed in, but not limited to, the Lirio Limestone/Isla de Mona Dolomite contact. These flank margin caves originally formed at sea level and are now exposed at various levels by tectonic uplift of the island (Frank 1983; Mylroie et al. 1995b). Wall cusps, a characteristic feature of flank margin caves, are ubiquitous features. Comparisons among similar caves formed in the Bahamas and Isla de Mona reveal the same overall morphology throughout the entire range of sizes and complexities. The coincidence of the primary cave development zone with the Lirio Limestone/Isla de Mona Dolomite contact may result from syngenetic speleogenesis and dolomitization rather than preferential dissolution along a lithologic boundary. Tectonic uplift and glacioeustatic sea level fluctuations produced caves at a variety of elevations. Speleothem dissolution took place in many caves under phreatic conditions, evidence these caves were flooded after an initial period of subaerial exposure and speleothem growth. Several features around the perimeter of the island are interpreted to be caves whose roofs were removed by surficial denudation processes. Several large closed depressions and dense pit cave fields are further evidence of surficial karst features. The cliff retreat around the island perimeter since the speleogenesis of the major cave systems is small based upon the distribution of the remnant cave sections.

Geology of Isla de Mona, Puerto Rico, 1998, Frank, E. F. , Wicks, C. , Mylroie, J. , Troester, J. , Alexander, Jr. , E. C. , Carew, J.
Isla de Mona is a carbonate island located in the Mona Passage 68 km west of Puerto Rico. The tectonically uplifted island is 12 km by 5 km, with an area of 55 km?, and forms a raised flat-topped platform or meseta. The meseta tilts gently to the south and is bounded by near vertical cliffs on all sides. These cliffs rise from 80 m above sea level on the north to 20 m above the sea on the southern coast. Along the southwestern and western side of the island a three- to six-meter-high Pleistocene fossil reef abuts the base of the cliff to form a narrow coastal plain. The meseta itself consists of two Mio-Pliocene carbonate units, the lower Isla de Mona Dolomite and the upper Lirio Limestone. Numerous karst features, including a series of flank margin caves primarily developed at the Lirio Limestone/Isla de Mona Dolomite contact, literally ring the periphery of the island.

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

Flared slopes revisited, 1998, Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
Flared slopes are smooth concavities caused by subsurface moisture-generated weathering in the scarp-foot zone of hillslopes or boulders. They are well represented in granitic terrains but also developed in other massive materials such as limestone, sandstone, dacite, rhyolite, and basalt, as well as other plutonic rocks. Notches, cliff-foot caves, and swamp slob are congeners of flared slopes. Though a few bedrock flares are conceivably caused by nivation or by a combination of coastal processes, most are two-stage or etch forms. Appreciation of the origin of these forms has permitted their use in the identification and measurement of recent soil erosion and an explanation of natural bridges. Their mode of development is also germane to the origin of the host inselberg or bornhardt and, indeed, to general theories of landscape evolution. But certain discrepancies have been noted concerning the distribution and detailed morphology of flared slopes. Such anomalies are a result of structural factors (sensu late), of variations in size of catchment and in degree of exposure, and of several protective factors. Notwithstanding, the original explanation of flared slopes stands, as do their wider implications

Hazard mapping of karst along the coast of the Algarve, Portugal, 1999, Forth Ra, Butcher D, Senior R,
The engineering geology of the West Algarve coastline between Cape St Vincent in the west and Fare in the east varies considerably, from the high limestone cliffs between Salema and Burgau to the lower but more problematic karstic cliffs around Lagos and east of Portimao. Geotechnical problems vary from toppling failure and rockfalls in the higher, more heavily jointed limestone and sandstone cliffs between Salema and Burgau, to sinkhole collapse, subsidence and gullying within the Miocene calcarenites and Pleistocene sands east of Portimao. This latter area is the subject of this paper. Field mapping was completed on scales of 1:2000 and 1:5000 to encompass geomorphology, geology and vegetation cover. Both sinkhole and sea cliff formation controlling factors are discussed and subsequently nine factors affecting potential hazard location are identified. The relative importance of these ten factors is determined and then each cell, 100 m(2) in size, is assessed for its individual score relative to the presence of, or degree of influence of each of the hazard forming processes. The resulting composite hazard map is aimed at planners and developers as a multipurpose map for general use. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Volcanic gaps and subaerial records of palaeo-sea-levels on Flores Island (Azores): tectonic and morphological implications, 1999, Azevedo Jmm, Ferreira Mrp,
The morphological evolution of Flores Island, as commonly observed for volcanic islands, suggests (1) the balance between constructive processes (effusive and moderately explosive volcanic activities and tectonic uplifting movements) and destructive processes (marine abrasion, stream erosion, crater-forming volcanic explosions, caldera collapses and tectonic subsidence) and (2) the recurrent fluctuations of the sea-level. Records of (a) gaps in the volcanic activity and (b) erosional and depositional marine activity are shown as: - epiclastic deposits of marine origin - erosional morphologies, such as abrasion platforms, terraces, cliffs and caves - intensive palagonitization of the volcanic rocks - vertical changes of the structures in the hydroclastic submarine formations. Taking into account (1) the vertical crustal movements (uplift and subsidence) which may occur in volcanic domains and (2) the sequence of regressive-transgressive trends in the relative sea-level as expressed by indicators of pale-sea-levels, it is assumed that the morphological evolution of Flores Island comprehends three main stages, The existence of important differences between the present-day altitudes of correlated marine records noted in Flores, in Santa Marie Island (Azores Archipelago) and Porto Santo Island (Madeira Archipelago) is related with their crustal behaviour and different volcanic and tectonic evolution.

Christmas Island cave studies, 1999, Grimes Ken G. , Humphreys William F.

Summary of karst features and karst biology of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Limestone caps a basalt volcanic seamont. Coastal caves entered from sea cliffs. Uplifted coastal caves reflect past sea levels. Also plateau caves, fissure caves and one cave in basalt. Subterranean fauna was sampled via caves, boreholes and springs. Fauna includes swiftlets and a diverse assemblage of invertebrates, both terrestrial and aquatic (including anchialine). At least 12 underground species endemic to island.


The slope movements within the Mondores graben (Drome, France); the interaction between geology, hydrology and typology, 2000, Bogaard Ta, Antoine P, Desvarreux P, Giraud A, Van Asch Twj,
The Mondores graben in the south-eastern French Alps is an uncommon structural feature, which originates in a complex polyphasic tectonic evolution. In contrast with its immediate surroundings, with hardly any huge landslides, the Mondores graben is characterised by various types of landslides. A huge sagging caused part of the limestone cliff to subside some 50 m within 50 years. Two recent mud flows that occurred were considered a potential threat to some inhabited places downstream. The hydrologic aspects of the Boulc-Mondores landslide resemble the geology: infiltration (and karst input?) in the rock-sliding zone and exfiltration in the marls resulting in slumps and mud flows. The mass movement interactions could be explained by a structural geology analysis with geodetic monitoring using different techniques. It is also shown that hydrochemistry as well as geophysical surveys are of importance in unravelling the hydrologic systems and the geological subsurface structures. The present paper aims at explaining the geological control of the different slides in view of estimating their potential danger. Understanding the geological structure and its evolution therefore is a necessary prerequisite. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Simulation of daily and monthly stream discharge from small watersheds using the SWAT model, 2000, Spruill C. A. , Workman S. R. , Taraba J. L. ,
The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was evaluated and parameter sensitivities were determined while modeling daily streamflows in a small central Kentucky watershed over a two-year period. Streamflow data from 1996 were used to calibrate the model and streamflow data from 1995 were used for evaluation. The model adequately predicted the trends in daily streamflow during this period although Nash-Sutcliffe R-2 values were -0.04 and 0.19 for 1995 and 1996, respectively The model poorly predicted the timing of some peak flow values and recession rates during the last half of 1995. Excluding daily peak flow values from August to December improved the daily R-2 to 0.15, which was similar to the 1996 daily R2 value. The Nash-Sutcliffe R-2 for monthly total flows were 0.58 for 1995 and 0.89 for 1996 which were similar to values found in the literature. Since very little information was available on the sensitivity of the SWAT model to various inputs, a sensitivity analysis/calibration procedure was designed to evaluate parameters that were thought to influence stream discharge predictions. These parameters included, drainage area, slope length, channel length, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and available water capacity. Minimization of the average absolute deviation between observed and simulated streamflows identified optimum values/ranges for each parameter. Saturated hydraulic conductivity alpha baseflow factor; drainage area, channel length, and channel width were the most sensitive parameters in modeling the karst influenced watershed. The sensitivity analysis process confirmed die trace studies in the karst watershed that a much larger area contributes to streamflow than can be described by the topographic boundaries. Overall, the results indicate that the SWAT model can be an effective tool for describing monthly, runoff from small watersheds in central Kentucky that have developed on karat hydrology however calibration data are necessary to account for solution channels draining into or out of the topographic watershed

Upper Miocene karst collapse structures of the east coast, Mallorca, Spain, 2000, Ardila Pedro Robledo, Pomar Luis

In the sea cliffs on the Mallorca Island, Western Mediterranean there are extensive outcrops of Upper Miocene carbonate rocks. On the Eastern coast of Mallorca, the reefal complex is overlain by a Messinian shallow-water carbonate complex. There are abundant Paleokarst collapse structures. The Santanyí Limestone beds are affected by V-incasion structures produced by roof collapse of caverns developed in the underlying reefal complex. According to the model, the origin of some of these karst-collapse structures may be related to early diagenetic processes controlled by high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. During lowstands of sea level, fresh-water flow might have create a cave system near the water table by dissolution of aragonite in the reef front facies and coral patches existing in the lagoonal beds. This cave system developed near the subaerial erosion surface. During subsequent rise of sea level inner-shelf beds overlaid the previously karstified reef-core and outer-lagoonal beds. Increase of loading by subsequent accretion of the shallow-water carbonates might have produced V-incasion structures by gravitational collapse of cave roofs when these beds were still not completely consolidated.


Coastal speleogenesis and collapsing by emptying of karst breccia-pipes on the marine cliffs of the Gargano peninsula (Apulia, Italy), 2000, Sauro, Ugo

In the coastal cliff of the Gargano peninsula the development of some coastal caves is controlled by the presence of breccia-pipes structures. The breccia-pipes, which may host aquifers, when intersected by the cliff are partially emptied by the waves. In this way dome-like caves may develop, which sometimes open to the surface above. A preliminary model of the geological and geomorphological history leading to the formation of the the breccia-pipes and of this type of cave is outlined.


Karst genetic model for the French Bay Breccia deposits, San Salvador, Bahamas., 2001, Florea L. , Mylroie J. , Carew J.
On the Island of San Salvador in the Bahama archipelago 30 breccia deposits can be found along the French Bay sea cliffs on the southeastern coast of the island. Breccia deposits of this type have not been observed on any other location on the island. These deposits have traditionally been interpreted as paleo-talus deposits from an eroding sea cliff formed on a transgressive eolianite deposited at the start of the oxygen isotope substage 5e sea-level highstand (ca. 125,000 years before present). New evidence supports a karst genesis. A survey of several deposits revealed a vertical restriction of +2 to +7 meters above sea level consistent with flank margin caves developed during the substage 5e still-stand. The morphologies of the features were found to be globular and contain distinct caliche boundaries, overhung lips, and smooth undulating bases. Petrographic results support a model in which voids are created and then infilled with a soil breccia. It can be concluded from these results that the deposits reflect qualities of a lithified soil breccia filling in breached flank margin caves. karst breccia, paleokarst, San Salvador

Karst Features of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), 2001, Grimes, Ken G.

Christmas Island (in the Indian Ocean) is an uplifted, composite, reef-carbonate island with a volcanic core. The coast is mostly cliffed and rises steeply via a series of terraces to a central phosphate-blanketed plateau. In spite of the high rainfall, there is little surface water as drainage is underground and karstic - it is initially stored in an epikarst aquifer, then follows the limestone/volcanic contact out to the island edge to emerge at major conduit springs. These springs are mostly at or below sea level, but some perched springs occur where the volcanic rocks appear at the surface. Caves occur at the present coast, as uplifted coastal caves, on the plateau, and there are a few pseudokarst caves. Cave development involves mixing zones between fresh and sea water in the coastal zone, and between vadose and phreatic waters perched on the volcanic rocks beneath the plateau. Cave locations and form are controlled by the rock structure (especially jointing) the location of the volcanic contact, and the combination of uplift with present and past sea levels - which controls the location of the mixing zone.


The sponge community in a semi-submerged temperate sea cave: Density, diversity and richness, 2002, Bell Jj,
The sponge communities inhabiting a temperate semi-submerged sea cave were investigated at Lough Hyne Marine Nature Reserve, Co. Cork, Ireland. Thirty-one species of sponge were reported, the majority of which exhibited either an encrusting or massive morphology. Sponge density (averaged over depth) increased with horizontal distance (5 m intervals) into the cave until approximately 30 m, corresponding to the maximum algal intrusion (algal information from Norton et al., 1971). Species diversity and richness (averaged over depth) were highest at 10 m horizontal distance from the cave entrance. Variability in sponge density, diversity and richness was observed with increasing vertical depth (0.5 m intervals) at most horizontal intervals sampled (5 m apart). These three variables increased initially with depth, but then decreased towards the seabed. Bray-Curtis Similarity Analysis and Multi-Dimensional Scaling (MDS) showed cave sponge community composition to have greater similarity (50%) with local loose rock habitats than the nearby cliffs. Similar processes structuring cave and loose rock sponge communities may account for this situation. Information collected from this and previous studies on the biotic (algal communities, other fauna and competition) and abiotic factors (water flow rate, depth, aerial exposure, light, cave morphology, nutrient depletion and humidity) affecting this and other caves is discussed with respect to its influence on the sponges inhabiting different parts of the cave. Although horizontal zonation patterns have been considered analogous to vertical distribution patterns for algal communities (due to similar decreases in light), this was not the case for the studied sponge communities

The situation and dynamics of the North Yorkshire windypits: A geophysical and geomorphological investigation, MSc Thesis [Engineering Geology], 2002, Devlin, R.

ub-surface slip-rift fissures and shafts, known locally as 'windypits', are numerous in the Upper Jurassic strata of the Hambleton Hills and Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Windypits are predominantly open gull-formations, formed as a result of cambering between competent Corallian Group sandstone and limestone beds above weak clay beds of the Oxford Clay Formation. They relate to the natural pattern of steeply-dipping, widened joint-plane discontinuities, with individual blocks of caprock moving relative to one another along these surfaces. The most extensive fissure systems are up to 40m deep and over 300m long, and typically run sub-parallel to slope contours and linear topographic features, rupturing the surface above the line of maximum gradient. More complex and unpredictable structures occur where there is more than one direction of movement, resulting in a radial fissure network. Windypits have been associated with other forms of scarp recession and landslide activity, most notably the formation of unstable block detachments along vertical cliff-exposures. Aerial photographic interpretation and terrain analysis based on field observations and mapping have been used here in a detailed geomorphological investigation of windypit structures and their related landforms. They appear to play a significant role within a far more complex model of superficial slope evolution, with important consequences for rock-slope stability. The potential hazards from landslides and natural cavities are also assessed in the light of engineering geological evaluation. Shallow geophysical surveying techniques have been used to profile the electrical contrasts between void space and host rock, at a number of selected sites. It has been found that non-contacting electromagnetic conductivity methods are unsuitable for producing a discrete windypit anomaly, due to their limited depth of penetration. Tomographic resistivity techniques appear to be the most promising for accurately locating sub-surface fissures, and helping to map their true depth and full extent Comprehensive ground investigation would allow better interpretation of the geophysical data collected.


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