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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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 moraine is a mound, ridge, or other distinct accumulation of unsorted, unstratified glacial drift, predominantly till, deposited chiefly by direct action of glacier ice [6].?

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

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 reef (Keyword) returned 102 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 102
History and Status of the Moiliili Karst, Hawaii, 1998,
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Halliday, W. R.
The Moiliili Karst occurs in Pleistocene reef limestone located in a populous, low-elevation area of Honolulu, Hawaii. A 1934 construction excavation intersected a previously unknown karstic master conduit at a depth of -7 m msl. Temporary dewatering of over 3.7 x 109 L caused considerable economic loss due to collapses and subsidences in a wedge-shaped area about 1 km on each side. These outline a previously unrecognized dendritic karst drainage. Considerable retrograde flow of salt water also occurred. Subsequent urbanization again lowered the water table and dewatering phenomena are still occurring. A section of Moiliili Water Cave is the only clearly karstic feature that remains available for study. It serves as a floodwater conduit. Surprisingly, its water quality has improved since 1983. Its protection should be a prototype for other Hawaiian karsts and pseudokarsts. Other sections of Honolulu also are underlain by reef limestone and may be at risk.

Holocene development of three isolated carbonate platforms, Belize, central America, 1998,
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Gischler E. , Hudson J. H. ,
Locally operating factors such as topography of the reef basement and exposure to waves and currents rather than regionally effective factors such as the post-glacial sea level rise in the western Atlantic explain the different Holocene developments of the three isolated carbonate platforms Glovers Reef, Lighthouse Reef, and Turneffe Islands offshore Belize. A series of NNE-striking tilted fault-blocks at the passive continental margin forms the deep basement of the Belize reefs. Glovers and Lighthouse Reefs are located on the same fault-block, while Turneffe Islands is situated west of Lighthouse Reef on an adjacent fault-block. The three platforms are surrounded by deep water and have surface-breaking reef rims. Significant differences exist between platform interiors. Glovers Reef has only 0.2% of land and an 18 m deep, well-circulated lagoon with over 800 patch reefs. Lighthouse Reef has 3% of land and a well-circulated lagoon area. Patch reefs are aligned along a NNE-striking trend that separates a shallow western (3 m) and a deeper eastern (8 m) lagoon. Turneffe Islands has 22% of land that is mainly red mangrove. Interior lagoons are up to 8 m deep and most have restricted circulation and no patch reefs. Surface sediments are rich in organic matter. In contrast, the northernmost part of Turneffe Islands has no extensive mangrove development and the well-circulated lagoon area has abundant patch reefs. Holocene reef development was investigated by means of 9 rotary core holes that all reached Pleistocene reef limestones, and by radiometric dating of corals. Maximal Holocene reef thickness reaches 11.7 m on Glovers Reef, 7.9 m on Lighthouse Reef, and 3.8 m on Turneffe Islands. Factors that controlled Holocene reef development include the following. (1) Holocene sea level. The margin of Glovers Reef was flooded by the rising Holocene sea ca. 7500 YBP, that of Lighthouse Reef ca. 6500 YBP, and that of Turneffe Islands between 5400 and 4750 YBP. All investigated Holocene reefs belong to the keep-up type, even though the three platforms were flooded successively and, hence, the reefs had to keep pace with different rates of sea level rise. (2) Pre-Holocene topography. Pleistocene elevation and relief are different on the three platforms. This is the consequence of both tectonics and karst. Different elevations caused successive reef initiation and they also resulted in differences in lagoon depths. Variations in Pleistocene topography also explain the different facies distribution patterns on the windward platforms that are located on the same fault-block. On Lighthouse Reef tectonic structures are clearly visible such as the linear patch reef trend that is aligned along a Pleistocene fault. On Glovers Reef only short linear trends of patch reefs can be detected because the Pleistocene tectonic structures are presumably masked by the higher Holocene thickness. The lower Pleistocene elevation on Glovers Reef is probably a consequence of both a southward tectonic tilt, and stronger karstification towards the south related to higher rainfall. (3) Exposure to waves and currents. Glovers Reef, Lighthouse Reef, and the northernmost part of Turneffe Islands receive the maximum wave force as they are open to the Caribbean Sea. Adjacent lagoons are well-circulated and have luxuriant patch reef growth and no extensive mangrove development. By contrast, most of Turneffe Islands is protected from the open Caribbean Sea by Lighthouse Reef to the east and is only exposed to reduced wave forces, allowing extensive mangrove growth in these protected areas. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V

The role of high-energy events (hurricanes and/or tsunamis) in the sedimentation, diagenesis and karst initiation of tropical shallow water carbonate platforms and atolls, 1998,
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Jan F. G. B. L. ,
Karst morphology appears early, even during carbonate sediment deposition. Examples from modern to 125-ka-old sub-, inter- and supratidal sediments are given from the Bahamas (Atlantic Ocean) and from Tuamotuan atolls (southeastern Pacific Ocean), with mineralogical and hydrological analyses. Karstification is favoured by the aragonitic composition of bioclasts coming from the shallow marine bio-factory. Lithification by aragonite cements appears as a rim around carbonate deposits and dissolution and non-cementation start at the same time on modern supratidal deposits (Andros micrite or atoll coral rudite) and provoke the formation of a central depression on small or large carbonate platforms. In fact, this early solution of the centre of platforms is closely related to the location of each of the studied examples on hurricane tracks. High-energy events, such as hurricanes and tsunamis, affect sediment transport but hurricanes also affect diagenesis as a result of the enormous volume of freshwater carried and discharged along their paths. This couple, lithification- solution, is localised at sea level and accompanies sea-level fluctuations along the eustatic curve. Because of the precise location of hurricane action all around the Earth, early karstification by aragonite solution, cementation and supratidal carbonate sediment accumulations thigh-energy trails) act together on all the platforms and atolls located inside the Tropics (23 degrees 27') between roughly 5 degrees-10 degrees and 25 degrees on both hemispheres. However, early karstification acts alone on shallow carbonate platforms including atolls along the equatorial belt between 5 degrees-10 degrees N and 5 degrees-10 degrees S. These early steps of karstification are linked to the ocean-atmosphere interface due to the bathymetrical position of shallow carbonate platforms, including atolls. They lead to complex karstified emerged platforms, called high carbonate islands, where carbonate diagenesis, together with the development of bauxite- and/or a phosphate-rich cover and phreatic lens, will occur. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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

Les glaciers de marbre de Patagonie, Chili : un karst subpolaire ocanique de la zone australe, 1999,
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Maire Richard, Ultima_esperanza_team
The karst areas of Chilean Patagonia have remained virtually unknown until now because of their remoteness and very inhospitable climate. They are mainly located in two islands, Diego de Almagro and Madre de Dios, between latitude 52 and 50 South, with a subpolar and stormy climate "tempered" by heavy oceanic precipitations (7 m/ year). In Diego de Almagro the Permian and Carboniferous limestones and dolomites have been transformed into marbles with lamprophyre dikes through contact metamorphism. Situated in the outer part of the archipelagoes, these long and narrow outcrops (0.5-2km wide) are located between volcano-sedimentary formations of Upper Paleozoic (West) and the Mesozoic Patagonian batholit (East). The corallian paleoreefs are part of an accretionary prism of the Gondwana paleo-continent. The surficial and underground karstification is one of the most spectacular ones in the world. The Karren (lapies) caused by the heavy rains can be 1-4 meter(s) wide and several hundred meters long for the solution runnels. Moreover, we can often observe solution karrens both due to rain and wind direction: flat karren (horizontal laminar flow), cascading ripples (sloping laminar flow) and profiled solution forms. The surficial solution velocity is about 3 mm/50 years (from old painting traces near the quarry of Guarello, Madre de Dios); and the lamprophyres dikes (Diego de Almagro) put in relief through corrosion indicate a 40-60 cm surficial solution since the melting of pleistocene glaciers.

Rapid Fluctuations in Sea Level Recorded at Huon Peninsula During the Penultimate Deglaciation, 1999,
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Esat Tm, Mcculloch Mt, Chappell J, Pillans B, Omura A,
About 140,000 years ago, the breakup of large continental ice sheets initiated the Last Interglacial period. Sea level rose and peaked around 135,000 years ago about 14 meters below present levels. A record of Last Interglacial sea levels between 116,000 years to 136,000 years ago is preserved at reef VII of the uplifted coral terraces of Huon Peninsula in Papua New Guinea. However, corals from a cave situated about 90 meters below the crest of reef VII are 130,000 2000 years old and appear to have grown in conditions that were 6 degrees C cooler than those at present. These observations imply a drop in sea level of 60 to 80 meters. After 130,000 years, sea level began rising again in response to the major insolation maximum at 126,000 to 128,000 years ago. The early (about 140,000 years ago) start of the penultimate deglaciation, well before the peak in insolation, is consistent with the Devils Hole chronology

Coral Record of Equatorial Sea-Surface Temperatures During the Penultimate Deglaciation at Huon Peninsula, 1999,
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Mcculloch Malcolm T. , Tudhope Alexander W. , Esat Tezer M. , Mortimer Graham E. , Chappell John, Pillans Bradley, Chivas Allan R. , Omura Akio,
Uplifted coral terraces at Huon Peninsula, Papua New Guinea, preserve a record of sea level, sea-surface temperature, and salinity from the penultimate deglaciation. Remnants have been found of a shallow-water reef that formed during a pause, similar to the Younger Dryas, in the penultimate deglaciation at 130,000 2000 years ago, when sea level was 60 to 80 meters lower than it is today. Porites coral, which grew during this period, has oxygen isotopic values and strontium/calcium ratios that indicate that sea-surface temperatures were much cooler (22 degrees 2 degrees C) than either Last Interglacial or present-day tropical temperatures (29 degrees 1 degrees C). These observations provide further evidence for a major cooling of the equatorial western Pacific followed by an extremely rapid rise in sea level during the latter stages of Termination II

Reef margin collapse, gully formation and filling within the Permian Capitan Reef: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, USA, 1999,
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Harwood G. M. , Kendall A. C. ,
An area of reef margin collapse, gully formation and gully fill sedimentation has been identified and mapped within Left Hand Tunnel, Carlsbad Caverns. It demonstrates that the Capitan Reef did not, at all times, form an unbroken border to the Delaware Basin. Geopetally arranged sediments within cavities from sponge-algal framestones of the reef show that the in situ reef today has a 10 degrees basinwards structural dip. Similar dips in adjacent back-reef sediments, previously considered depositional, probably also have a structural origin. Reoriented geopetal structures have also allowed the identification of a 200-m-wide, 25-m-deep gully within the reef, which has been filled by large (some >15 m), randomly orientated and, in places, overturned blocks and boulders, surrounded by finer reef rubble, breccias and grainstones. Block supply continued throughout gully filling, implying that spalling of reef blocks was a longer term process and was not a by-product of the formation of the gully. Gully initiation was probably the result of a reef front collapse, with a continued instability of the gully bordering reef facies demonstrated by their incipient brecciation and by faults containing synsedimentary fills. Gully filling probably occurred during reef growth, and younger reef has prograded over the gully fill. Blocks contain truncated former aragonite botryoidal cements, indicating early aragonite growth within the in situ reef. In contrast, former high-magnesian calcite rind cements post-date sedimentation within the gully. The morphology of cavern passages is controlled by reef facies variation, with narrower passages cut into the in situ reef and wider passages within the gully fill. Gully fills may also constitute more permeable zones in the subsurface

Paleokarst features and other climatic relics in Hungarian caves, 1999,
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Bolnertaká, Cs Katalin

Relics of climatic changes during the modern phase of karstic development have been preserved in the morphology, sediments and speleothems of several caves in Hungary; and there are examples of real paleokarst features exposed by modern caves as well. The unique sandstone morphology of Cserszegtomaj Well Cave (Keszthely Mts., Transdanubian Mountain Range), developed along the contact of Triassic dolomite and Pannonian sandstone, displays the relief of a karst surface formed probably under the subtropical conditions of the Early Miocene. The uppermost parts of Beremend Crystal Cave (Villány Mts., South Transdanubia) exposes also from below the clastic fill of an ancient karst shaft that, according to its rich vertebrate remains, dates back at least to the Lower Pleistocene. With their Late Eocene marine sediment fill, the small paleokarst cavities exposed in the Eocene bedrock of Mátyás-hegy and Pál-völgy Caves (Buda Hills) are interpreted as salt-fresh water mixing zone cavities formed during a short immersion of a tropical reef.

Bedrock Features of Lechuguilla Cave, Guadalup Mountains, New Mexico, 2000,
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Duchene, H. R.
Lechuguilla is a hypogenic cave dissolved in limestones and dolostones of the Capitan Reef Complex by sulfuric acid derived from oil and gas accumulations in the Delaware Basin of southeast New Mexico and west Texas. Most of the cave developed within the Seven Rivers and Capitan Formations, but a few high level passages penetrate the lower Yates Formation. The Queen and possibly Goat Seep formations are exposed only in the northernmost part of the cave below -215 m. Depositional and speleogenetic breccias are common in Lechuguilla. The cave also has many spectacular fossils that are indicators of depositional environments. Primary porosity in the Capitan and Seven Rivers Formations was a reservoir for water containing hydrogen sulfide, and a pathway for oxygenated meteoric water prior to and during sulfuric acid speleogenesis. Many passages at depths >250 m in Lechuguilla are in steeply dipping breccias that have a west-southwest orientation parallel to the strike of the shelf margin. The correlation between passage orientation and depositional strike suggests that stratigraphy controls these passages.

Overview of the Geological History of Cave Development in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, 2000,
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Hill, C. A.
The sequence of events relating to the geologic history of cave development in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, traces from the Permian to the present. In the Late Permian, the reef, forereef, and backreef units of the Capitan Reef Complex were deposited, and the arrangement, differential dolomitization, jointing, and folding of these stratigraphic units have influenced cave development since that time. Four episodes of karsification occurred in the Guadalupe Mountains: Stage 1 fissure caves (Late Permian) developed primarily along zones of weakness at the reef/backreef contact; Stage 2 spongework caves (Mesozoic) developed as small interconnected dissolution cavities during limestone mesogenesis; Stage 3 thermal caves (Miocene?) formed by dissolution of hydrothermal water; Stage 4 sulfuric acid caves (Miocene-Pleistocene) formed by H2S-sulfuric acid dissolution derived hypogenically from hydrocarbons. This last episode is reponsible for the large caves in the Guadalupe Mountains containing gypsum blocks/rinds, native sulfur, endellite, alunite, and other deposits related to a sulfuric acid speleogenetic mechanism.

Carbonate platform systems: components and interactions -- an introduction, 2000,
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Insalaco Enzo, Skelton Peter, Palmer Tim J. ,
Carbonate platforms are open systems with natural boundaries in space and time. Across their spatial boundaries there are fluxes of energy (e.g. light, chemical energy in compounds, and kinetic energy in currents and mass flows) and matter (e.g. nutrients, dissolved gases such as CO2, and sediment -- especially, of course, carbonates). Internally, these fluxes are regulated by myriads of interactions and feedbacks (Masse 1995), and the residue is consigned to the geological record. The most distinctive aspect of carbonate platforms is the predominant role of organisms in producing, processing and/or trapping carbonate sediment, even in Precambrian examples. Because of evolutionary changes in this strong biotic input, it is harder to generalize about carbonate platforms than about most other sedimentary systems. Evolution has altered both the constructive and destructive effects of platform-dwelling organisms on carbonate fabrics, with profound consequences for facies development. Moreover, changing patterns in the provision of accommodation space (e.g. between greenhouse and icehouse climatic regimes) have also left their stamp on facies geometries, in turn feeding back to the evolution of the platform biotas. Hence simplistic analogies between modern and ancient platforms may give rise to misleading interpretations of what the latter were like and how they formed. Although a number of carbonate platform and reef specialists have warned of the dangers of such misplaced uniformitarianism (e.g. Braithwaite 1973; Gili et al. 1995; Wood 1999), it remains depressingly commonplace in the literature on ancient carbonate platforms. The endless quest in the literature for an allpurpose definition of reefs' ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Last interglacial reef growth beneath Belize barrier and isolated platform reefs, 2000,
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Gischler Eberhard, Lomando Anthony J. , Hudson J. Harold, Holmes Charles W. ,
We report the first radiometric dates (thermal-ionization mass spectrometry) from late Pleistocene reef deposits from offshore Belize, the location of the largest modern reef complex in the Atlantic Ocean. The results presented here can be used to explain significant differences in bathymetry, sedimentary facies, and reef development of this major reef area, and the results are significant because they contribute to the knowledge of the regional geology of the eastern Yucatan. The previously held concept of a neotectonically stable eastern Yucatan is challenged. The dates indicate that Pleistocene reefs and shallow-water limestones, which form the basement of modern reefs in the area, accumulated ca. 125-130 ka. Significant differences in elevation of the samples relative to present sea level (>10 m) have several possible causes. Differential subsidence along a series of continental margin fault blocks in combination with variation in karstification are probably the prime causes. Differential subsidence is presumably related to initial extension and later left-lateral movements along the adjacent active boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. Increasing dissolution toward the south during Pleistocene sea-level lowstands is probably a consequence of higher precipitation rates in mountainous southern Belize

Diagenetic History of Pipe Creek Jr. Reef, Silurian, North-Central Indiana, U.S.A, 2000,
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Simo J. A. , Lehmann Patrick J. ,
Calcite cements in the Silurian (Ludlovian) Pipe Creek Jr. Reef, north-central Indiana, are compositionally zoned with characteristic minor-element concentrations and stable-isotope signatures, and were precipitated in different diagenetic environments. Superposition and crosscutting relationships allow us to group cement zones and to relate them to the sequence stratigraphic evolution of the reef. Pipe Creek Jr. Reef grew in normal marine waters, with the reef top high (greater than 50 m) above the platform floor. Flank facies are volumetrically important and are preserved largely as limestone, in contrast to most dolomitized Silurian reefs in the midcontinent. Syndepositional marine cements fill primary porosity and synsedimentary fractures and are interlayered with marine internal sediment. Now low-magnesium calcite, their isotopic compositions are similar to those of depositional grains and cements estimated to have precipitated from Ludlovian sea waters. Depositional porosity was reduced by 75% by the precipitation of these syndepositional cements, which stabilized the steeply dipping flank slope. Postdepositional, clear calcite cements are interpreted as shallow-phreatic and burial cements on the basis of their relationship to periods of karstification and fracturing. Shallow-phreatic cements, with concentric cathodoluminescent (CL) zonation, precipitated in primary pores and are postdated by fractures and caves filled with Middle Devonian sandstone. CL zonal boundaries are sharp, and some, near a major stratigraphic unconformity, show evidence of dissolution. The volumetric abundance of the individual CL zones varies in the reef, indicating a complex superposition of waters of varying chemistry and rock-water interaction that are probably related to relative sea-level changes. This important aspect of the reef stratigraphy is recorded only by the diagenetic succession, because evidence of earlier sea-level changes is removed by a major later regional unconformity. Burial cements are the youngest diagenetic feature recognized, and they rest conformably or unconformably over older cements. They exhibit both concentric CL zonation and sectoral zoning, they are ferroan to nonferroan, and they contain thin sulfide zones along growth-band boundaries. Their isotopic compositions do not overlap with shallow-phreatic or marine cement values. Degraded oil postdates burial cements, and is composed of the same sterane class as the Devonian-age Antrim Shale, the probable source rock. This source contrasts with that of reef reservoirs in the Michigan Basin, where Silurian strata are commonly the hydrocarbon source

Speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands, 2000,
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Gunn J. , Lowe D. J.
Studies of the geologically young, relatively porous limestones on Tongatapu Island in the Tongan archipelago suggest that the effect of dissolution at the interface between fresh and saline groundwater has been, and continues to be, crucial to the inception and development of underground conduits within young carbonate rock sequences. So far as it is possible to reconstruct the earliest speleogenetic events in the older preserved sequences on the nearby 'Eua Island, it appears that the processes that acted upon young reefal and back-reef carbonates during the Eocene were effectively the same as the processes that have acted on subsequent deposits and are still active today. It is commonly assumed that tectonism promotes the erosional removal of any early speleogenetic activity on carbonate islands and coasts. However, there is evidence on 'Eua to suggest that littoral cave systems and higher level conduits that target upon them, may survive gentle uplift, or even more extreme tectonism. This raises the possibility that some of the caves that can be explored today in both tropical and extra-tropical areas owe their origins to development of cavernous porosity in the littoral zone that was penecontemporaneous with rock formation.

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