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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 potentiometric surface is an imaginary surface representing the total static head of ground water and defined by the level to which water will rise in a piezometer [22]. replaces the term piezometric surface.?

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 sequences (Keyword) returned 190 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 190
Gypsum karst of the Baltic republics., 1996,
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Narbutas Vytautas, Paukstys Bernardas
The Baltic Republics of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania have karst areas developed in both carbonate and gypsiferous rocks. In the north, within the Republic of Estonia, Ordovician and Silurian limestones and dolomites crop out, or are covered by glacial Quaternary sediments. To the south, in Latvia and Lithuania, gypsum karst is actively developing in evaporites of Late Devonian (Frasnian) age. Although gypsum and mixed sulphate-carbonate karst only occupy small areas in the Baltic countries, they have important engineering and geo-ecological consequences. Due to the rapid dissolution of gypsum, the evolution of gypsum karst causes not only geological hazards such as subsidence, but it also has a highly adverse effect on groundwater quality. The karst territory of the Baltic states lies along the western side of the area, called the Great Devonian Field that form part of the Russian Plain. Within southern Latvia and northern Lithuania there is an area, exceeding 1000 sq. km, where mature gypsum karst occurs at the land surface and in the subsurface. This karst area is referred to here as the Gypsum Karst Region of the Baltic States. Here the surface karst forms include sinkholes, karst shafts, land subsidence, lakes and dolines. In Lithuania the maximum density of sinkholes is 200 per sq. km; in Latvia they reach 138 units per sq. km. Caves, enlarged dissolution voids and cavities are uncommon in both areas.

Morphological affinities of the proximal ulna from Klasies River main site: Archaic or modern?, 1996,
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Churchill Se, Pearson Om, Grine Fe, Trinkaus E, Holliday Tw,
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) asociated hominids from Klasies River Mouth (KRM) have taken on a key role in debate about the origins of modern humans, with their craniofacial remains seen as either representing the earliest well-dated modern humans in southern Africa or orthognathic late archaic humans. Diagnostic postcranial remains from Klasies are few, but one specimen-a proximal right ulna from the lower SAS member-is useful For assessing the morphological affinities of these hominids. Canonical variates analysis using 14 proximal ulnar dimensions and comparative data from European, west Asian and African archaic humans, and Levantine Mousterian, European Upper Paleolithic, African Epipaleolithic and diverse recent modern human samples (many of recent African descent) were employed to assess the morphological affinities of this specimen. Results suggest an archaic total morphological pattern for the Klasies ulna. Analysis of diaphyseal cross-sectional geometry reveals an ulnar shaft with relatively thick cortical bone, but the specimen cannot be readily distinguished from Neandertals or early anatomically modem humans on the basis of shaft cross-sectional properties. If the isolated ulna from Klasies is indicative of the general postcranial morphology of these hominids, then the MSA-associated humans from KRM may not be as modern as has been claimed from the craniofacial material. It ii: possible also that the skeletal material from KRM reflects mosaic evolution-retention of archaic postcranial characteristics. perhaps indicating retention of archaic habitual behavior patterns, in hominids that were becoming craniofacially modern. (C) 1996 Academic Press Limited

Annually laminated sequences in the internal structure of some Belgian stalagmites - importance for paleoclimatology., 1996,
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Genty D. , Quinif Y.

Annually laminated sequences in the internal structure of some Belgian stalagmites; importance for paleoclimatology, 1996,
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Genty D, Quinif Y,

The geomorphology of solution cave sequences in the Kalk Bay Mountains, southern Cape Peninsula. BSc thesis, 1996,
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Shearer, H.

The Kalk Bay Mountains of the southern Cape Peninsula, South Africa, show marked development of pseudokarstic features such as caverns, dolines and grikes. These features have formed over at least 100 million years on supposed inert quartzitic sandstones of the Peninsula Formation of the Table Mountain Group. Pseudokarst on sandstone is relatively rare world-wide and various aspects of cave genesis are highlighted in the Cape Peninsula. Cape Peninsula pseudokarst is relict, occurs at high altitudes above the present water table and could provide clues to palaeoenvironmental conditions during the African erosion period.
The cave systems in the Kalk Bay Mountains occur in at least three levels in the thickly-bedded sandstone. These different levels are the result of differential uplift during the Miocene and Pliocene. The Cape Peninsula Mountains are tabular and blocky, as opposed to the fold mountains of the rest of the South Western Cape. Much more of the overlying sedimentary layers in the Cape Peninsula have also been removed by weathering and erosive processes. The caves can be compared to similar pseudokarst features on sandstone in areas such as Gran Sabana, Venezuela. The acidic water chemistry in Venezuela contributes to a very intensive weathering environment. Present day humid tropical conditions in Venezuela are likely to be similar to palaeoclimatic conditions in the Kalk Bay Mountains, contributing to sandstone cave genesis.


The Lower Triassic Montney Formation, west-central Alberta, 1997,
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Davies Gr, Moslow Tf, Sherwin Md,
The Lower Triassic Montney Formation was deposited in a west-facing, arcuate extensional basin, designated the Peace River Basin, on the northwestern margin of the Supercontinent Pangea, centred at about 30 degrees N paleolatitude. At least seasonally arid climatic conditions, dominance of northeast trade winds, minimum fluvial influx, offshore coastal upwelling, and north to south longshore sediment transport affected Montney sedimentation. Paleostructure, particularly highs over underlying Upper Devonian Leduc reefs and lows associated with graben trends in the Peace River area, strongly influenced Montney depositional and downslope mass-wasting processes. A wide range of depositional environments in the Montney is recorded by facies ranging from mid to upper shoreface sandstones, to middle and lower shoreface HCS sandstones and coarse siltstones, to finely laminated lower shoreface sand and offshore siltstones. and to turbidites. Dolomitized coquinal facies occur at seven stratigraphic horizons in the Montney. Some coquinas are capped by karst breccias and coarse-grained aeolian deflation lag sand residues indicating subaerial exposure. The Montney has been divided into three informal members that have been dated by palynology and compared with global Early Triassic sequences. The subdivisions are: the Lower member, of Griesbachian to Dienerian age, correlated with a third-order cycle; the Coquinal Dolomite Middle member, of mixed Dienerian and Smithian ages; and the Upper member, of Smithian to Spathian age, correlative with two, shorter-duration third-order cycles. A forced regressive wedge systems tract model is adopted for deposition of the Coquinal Dolomite Middle member and for turbidites in the Valhalla-La Glace area of west-central Alberta. With this model, coquinas and turbidites accumulated during falling base level to lowstand, with a basal surface of forced regression at the base of the coquina and a sequence boundary at the top of the coquinal member. This is supported by the evidence for subaerial exposure and maximum lowstand at the top of the coquina. Very limited grain size distribution in the Montney, dominantly siltstone to very fine-grained sandstone, but often very well sorted, is interpreted to reflect an aeolian influence on sediment source and transport, High detrital feldspar and detrital dolomite in the Montney are consistent with (but not proof of) aeolian source from an arid interior, as is high detrital mica content in finer size grades. Extensive and often pervasive dolomitization, and early anhydrite cementation within the Montney, are also consistent with an arid climatic imprint. As new exploratory drilling continues to reveal the wide range of facies in the Montney, it adds to both the complexity and potential of this relatively unique formation in western Canada

Dedolomitization as a driving mechanism for karst generation in Permian Blaine formation, southwestern Oklahoma, USA, 1997,
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Raines M. A. , Dewers T. A. ,
Cyclic deposits of Permian shales, dolomites, and halite and gypsum-bearing strata in the Blaine Formation of Southwestern Oklahoma contain abundant karst features. The present study shows that an important mechanism of karst development in these sequences is dedolomitization, wherein gypsum and dolomite in close spatial proximity dissolve and supersaturate groundwaters with respect to calcite. The net loss of mass accompanying this process (dolomite and gypsum dissolution minus calcite precipitation) can be manifest in secondary porosity development while the coupled nature of this set of reactions results in the retention of undersaturated conditions of groundwater with respect to gypsum. The continued disequilibrium generates karst voids in gypsum-bearing aquifers, a mineral-water system that would otherwise rapidly equilibrate. Geochemical modeling (using the code PHRQPITZ, Plummer et al 1988) of groundwater chemical data from Southwestern Oklahoma from the 1950's up to the present suggests that dedolomitization has occurred throughout this time period in evaporite sequences in Southwestern Oklahoma. Reports from groundwater well logs in the region of vein calcite suggest secondary precipitation, an observation in accord with dedolomite formation In terms of the amounts of void space produced by dissolution, dedolomitization can dominate gypsum dissolution alone, especially in periods of quiescent aquifer recharge when gypsum-water systems would have otherwise equilibrated and karst development ceased. Mass balance modeling plus molar volume considerations show that for every cubic cm of original rock (dolomite plus gypsum), there is 0.54 cm(3) of calcite and 0.47 cm(3) of void space produced Only slightly more pore space results if the dedolomitization reaction proceeds by psuedomorphic replacement of dolomite by calcite than in a reaction mechanism based on conservation of bicarbonate

Ground-water silicifications in the calcareous facies of the Tertiary piedmont deposits of the Atlas Mountain (Hamada du Guir, Morocco), 1997,
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Thiry M. , Benbrahim M. ,
The Tertiary piedmont deposits (Hamada Formations), on the southern edge of the Haut-Atlas mountains, form extensive tablelands in the Boudenib area. They consist of two main sedimentary sequences, the Hamada de Boudenib and the Hamada du Guir, of Eocene and Miocene age. Both sequences show elastic facies at their base (conglomerates, calcareous sandstones, silty clays) and end with thick lacustrine limestones and pedogenic calcretes are characterised by rather confined facies, palygorskite-rich, with some gypsum in the second sequence. The recent evolution of the region is marked by the dissection of the tableland that is lined with high cliffs. The water flaw is mainly through wide karst features as there is no major river on the tableland. Silicifications which affect the different facies, form pods of various shape and size, and show an erratic spatial distribution. In the calcareous sandstones, there are irregularly shaped tubules of about 5 cm in diameter, more planar bodies from 5 to 50 cm thick, which frequently display voids lined with translucent silica concretions. The conglomerates display relatively few silicifications, the more characteristic ones consist of a silica cortex on some Limestone pebble and silica plates fitting closely the base of the pebbles. The lacustrine limestones and the calcretes from the upper part of the formation show frequently well developed silicifications. These show very variable shapes; horizontally stretching layers, interconnected or isolated amoeba-like bodies, thin slabs, karst micro-breccia, with frequent concretionnary structures, and quartz crystallisations. Limestone nodules remain often included in these silicifications. The more argillaceous facies display either small tubules or thin plates formed of translucent concretionnary silica. As a rule, the importance of the voids and related structures (concretions, drusy crystals) has to be noticed in all these silicifications, sometimes they are also linked with fractures or karst pipes. Petrography of the silica minerals, their relation with the primary structures. their distribution and their succession, give invaluable information on the silicification processes. Microcrystalline and fibrous quartz are the most common silica minerals, including minor amounts of opal and euhedral quartz. But micrographic arrangements show clearly that primary opal deposits have been more extensive and have recrystallized into chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, or even ''flame-like'' quartz. Silica deposits in voids make up an important part of the silica pods. The tubules and thin plates of translucent silica of the argillaceous facies are formed of laminar chalcedony deposited around voids. Silica deposits in voids are also particularly obvious in the sandstones. The pores between the quartz grains are then cemented by fibrous quartz and little opal. Some samples show very large cemented voids that cannot be related to the primary porosity of the sandstone. These large voids correspond to the dissolution of the primary calcareous cement, which even led to the collapse of the sandstone fabric. In the limestones, there are silicified micro-karst breccia with a very high primary porosity cemented by quartz crystals, and even in the large microcrystalline quartz zones there are numerous void fillings, the primary porosity often exceeding 50%. There is obviously the alternation of silica deposits and calcite dissolution. Beside the void filling, silicifications comprise also matrix epigenesis, that is replacement of the carbonate by silica with preservation of most of the limestone structures, without development of voids. Nevertheless, the epigenesis of the limestone matrix is restricted to the vicinity of the voids. The silicifications relate to diagenetic processes. The main part of the silica is formed of void deposits and matrix replacement (epigenesis) on the edge of the voids. These void deposits give evidence of the feeding solutions. The regularity of the deposits all around the voids point out to a hydrologic regime characterised by a ground-water our now. Silica originates most probably from alteration of the magnesian clay minerals along the ground-water path. Regarding the low solubility of silica in surficial waters, high flows are needed in order to renew continuously the silica precipitated from solution. This points to a relatively humid climate at time of silicification, and to relief and incised landscapes to bring about these high flows

Hydrological response of small watersheds following the Southern California Painted Cave Fire of June 1990, 1997,
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Keller E. A. , Valentine D. W. , Gibbs D. R. ,
Following the Painted Cave Fire of 25 June 1990 in Santa Barbara, California which burned 1214 ha, an emergency watershed protection plan was implemented consisting of stream clearing, grade stabilizers and construction of debris basins. Research was initiated focusing on hydrological response and channel morphology changes on two branches of Maria Ygnacio Creek, the main drainage of the burned area. Research results support the hypothesis that the response of small drainage basins in chaparral ecosystems to wildfire is complex and flushing of sediment by fluvial processes is more likely than by high magnitude debris flows. During the winter of 1990-1991, 35-66 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 10 cm per hour for a five-minute period were recorded with a seasonal total of 100% of average (normal) rainfall (average = 63 cm/year). During the winter of 1991-1992, 48-74 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 8 cm per hour were recorded with a seasonal total of 115% of normal. Even though there was moderate rainfall on barren, saturated soils, no major debris flows occurred in burned areas. The winter of 1992-1993 recorded total precipitation of about 170% of normal, annual average intensities were relatively low and again no debris flows were observed. The response to winter storms in the first three years following the fire was a moderate but spectacular flushing of sediment, most of which was derived from the hillslopes upstream of the debris basins. The first significant storm and stream flow of the 1990-1991 winter was transport-limited resulting in large volumes of sediment being deposited in the channel of Maria Ygnacio Creek; the second storm and stream flow was sediment-limited and the channel scoured. Debris basins trapped about 23 000 m(3), the majority coming from the storm of 17-20 March 1991. Sediment transported downstream during the three winters following the fire and not trapped in the debris basins was eventually flushed to the estuarine reaches of the creeks below the burn area, where approximately 108 000 m(3) accumulated. Changes in stream morphology following the fire were dramatic as pools filled with sediment which greatly smoothed longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles. Major changes in channel morphology occur following a fire as sediment derived from the hillslope is temporarily stored in channels within the burned area. However, this sediment may quickly move downstream of the burned region, where it may accumulate reducing channel capacity and increasing the flood hazard. Ecological consequences of wildfire to the riparian zone of streams in the chaparral environment are virtually unknown, but must be significant as the majority of sediment (particularly gravel necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms) entering the system does so in response to fires. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Microbiological processes at the cave development and karstification, 1997,
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Benjamin Menne B.
The process of karstification can be regarded as part of the carbon-cycle of the earth. The assumption that microorganisms could play a role at the Speleogenesis was repeated in the past. To a guest extent, these considerations have been intensively contradicted. Microbiological sediment researches in European caves led however to new cognitions. The possible role of microorganisms at the karstification is represented with the models of the "Carbonatolyse" and "Bioconservation". Basis of these models is the "Festbettreaktor" (trickling filter), a common type of sewage water treatment. The formation of biofilms is described both as model and as experimental examinations. Data from some cavesystems are introduced. The consequences of the results for the karstwater and its use are briefly explained.

Temporal variations of spring water temperatures in relation to the extents of the heat transport modes occuring in the karstified lower Gypsum-Keuper aquifer (Karnian, southern Germany)., 1997,
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Buiidscliiih J.
The importance of different heat transport modes was studied by analysis of the temporal sequences of spring water temperatures in a karstic aquifer. For the aquifer with a horizontal groundwater flow and flow velocities of more than 100 m year"SUP-1", model calculations indicate that horizontal heat transport in the aquifer occurs predominantly by convection. For vertical heat transport from the earth's surface, conduction and convection are implicated in varying degrees; in order to indicate these, the temporal series of the spring water temperatures were separated into their conductively and convectively components. Generally this can yield valuable information about the properties of thin surface-near aquifers. Thus, the quantification of a heat component transported vertically by convection into the aquifer can provide evidence of hydraulic conductivities as potential infiltration routes for contaminants.

GYPSUM KARST GEOHAZARDS IN CHINA, 1997,
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Yaoru Lu, Cooper A. H.

China has the worlds largest proven gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) resources in the world. The gypsum ranges from pre-Cambrian to Quaternary in age and occurs in varied geological environments. The rapid dissolution rate of gypsum means that gypsum karst development can be very fast, resulting in progressively worsening geohazards. This paper reviews the characteristics of the gypsum deposits and their associated geohazards in China.Three kinds of gypsum karst are discussed. These include karst in massive thick beds of gypsum, karst in thin-bedded gypsum and compound karst in gypsum and carbonate rocks. Some site-specific problems are also examined. In the Shanxi coalfield, breccia pipes, or collapse columns, caused by the dissolution of Ordovician gypsum, penetrate the overlying Carboniferous and Permian coal-bearing sequences resulting in difficult coal mining conditions. In Guizhou Province re-activated gypsum karst is associated with leakage of water through the gypsum from a reservoir. Remedial engineering works have been carried out, but leakage still occurs. Groundwater abstraction from gypsiferous sequences is also problematical. It can yield sulphate-polluted water and cause subsidence problems both through gypsum dissolution and groundwater drawdown.


Thesis Abstract: The geomorphology of solution cave sequences in the Kalk Bay mountains, southern Cape Peninsular [South Africa], 1998,
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Shearer H.

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998,
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Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Main features of the pre-Gosau paleokarst in the Brezovske Karpaty Mts. (Western Carpathians, Slovakia), 1998,
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Cincura J,
The considerable areal extent and great thickness of Middle/Upper Triassic carbonate sequences favourably influenced the development of paleokarst during the Paleoalpine karst period in the Brezovske Karpaty Mts. Carbonate formations provide data concerning the first-pre-Gosau-phase of the Paleoalpine karst period. Freshwater limestones, bauxites, reddish ferrugineous silty clays, Valchov Conglomerate, shallow doline-like depressions and deeper canyon-like forms represent the most important pre-Gosau karst sediments and forms

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