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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 terra rossa is 1. reddish-brown soil mantling limestone bedrock; may be residual in some places [10]. 2. insoluble residuum of a reddish-brown color left behind when carbonate rocks weather under mediterranean or allied climatical conditions [20]. synonyms: (french.) terra rossa; (german.) kalksteinroterde; (greek.) erythroghi; (italian.) terra rossa; (russian.) terra-rossa; (spanish.) terra rossa; (turkish.) kizil toprak, terrarosa; (yugoslavian.) crvenica, jerina, jerovica.?

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 geomorphologie (Keyword) returned 50 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 50
Karst-like landforms and hydrology in quartzites of the Venezuelan Guyana shield: Pseudokarst or 'real' karst?, 1999,
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Doerr Sh,
The surfaces of table mountains (Tepuis) in southeastern Venezuela display well-developed karst topography including caves, sinkholes and karren-features. Although the rock (orthoquartzite of the Precambrian Roraima Formation) has a very low solubility, active cave systems are present with passages more than one kilometre in length, descending to more than 300 metres depth. These dimensions are greater than any so far reported in quartzitic rocks. There is strong evidence that corrosive rather than erosive processes are responsible for the karstification. Thin-sections of rock samples show dissolution not only of the amorphous silica cement, but also of the crystalline quartz grains themselves. Together with field observations in and near an active cave system on the Kukenan Tepui, this indicates a close similarity between the processes active on the Venezuelan table mountains and karstification processes in rocks of greater solubility. A combination of factors including high precipitation (4000-7000 mm/year), rock of very high purity (98 % silica) and the absence of other significant geomorphological processes prevailing for at least several million years are thought to have enabled a spectacular karst landscape to evolve in a rock that in the past has been regarded as almost immune to chemical weathering

Quantification of thermo-erosion in pro-glacial areas - examples from Svalbard, 2000,
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Etzelmuller B,
Surface changes in recently deglaciated terrain are calculated by comparing air-photo derived digital elevation models (DEMs) from four pro-glacial areas on Svalbard. The paper quantifies the amount of material mobilised due to thermo-karst processes and discusses the influence of the process on the sediment budget of terrestrial arctic glacier basins underlain by permafrost. The study shows that thermo-erosion in deglaciated terrain is an important process which falls within the concept of paraglacial activity. The average annual material mobilisation due to thermo-erosion can be in the same order of magnitude as field-measured total annual suspended sediment transfer out of the catchments. The study implies further that ice-cored moraines are important sediment magazines, which release more material during warmer periods than during colder periods

Comparative morphometry of limestone pavements in Switzerland, Britain and Ireland., 2000,
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Goldie H. S. , Cox N. J.

Dissolution tubules: A new karst structure from the English chalk, 2000,
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Lamontblack J. , Mortimore R. ,
The Chalk of England is not renowned for producing karst landforms. This paper introduces a previously undescribed karst phenomenon, termed here dissolution tubules, from the Chalk of Sussex. The internal structure of these features was investigated by developing a novel method of resin impregnation and acid digestion. This revealed tubules to be a truly dendritic landform. Their relationships with chalk macrotextures were investigated using the Bushinski oil technique (BROMLEY 1981) and revealed an association with trace fossil burrows. Detailed electron microscopic examination of chalk adjacent to the karst surface, employing the textural analysis methods of MORTIMORE & FIELDING (1990), revealed dissolutional textural modification of the chalk to a depth of approximately 15 mm beneath the dissolution surface and a possible spatial association of dissolution tubules with microfractures. Dissolution tubules in the field were found overlying major discontinuities such as subhorizontal sheet flints, marl seams, hardgrounds, major fractures and caves. Evidence gathered suggests mixing corrosion (BOGLI 1964) as the process responsible for their formation

Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001,
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Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

Dated speleothem evidence for uplift rates and terrace ages on the Tasmanian south coast., 2001,
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Kiernan K. , Lauritzen Se.

Unroofed caves are an important feature of karst surfaces: examples from the classical karst, 2002,
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Knez M. , Slabe T. ,
Unroofed caves are old caves that due to the lowering and dissection of the karst surface have been uncovered or split. Karstologists often explained various depressions in the karst surface as dolines or merely the consequence of lithological rock characteristics and their fracturing. During the construction of over a 50-kilometre long expressway, 300 caves were discovered, of which 80 are unroofed. Unroofed caves are becoming an ever more distinctly readable phenomenon on the surface. They reflect the development of the aquifer with its geological, geomorphological, hydrological and climatic characteristics

GIS-based generation of a karst landscape soil map (Blaubeuren Swabian Alb Germany), 2002,
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Koberle G. , Koberle P. M. ,
The karst landscape of the Swabian Alb in southwestern Germany is characterised by a year-round humid climate with an annual precipitation of up to 1200 mm and an average temperature of VC. Infiltration ranges are 50-55%, resulting in an annual water flow into the karst aquifer up to 660 millions litres per km(2). In view of the great expanse of the karst landscape of the Swabian Alb, measuring some 200 x 40 km, this is a water reservoir of immense significance. Due to the laws of karst water movement the infiltrating water is very vulnerable to contamination. The only geogenic protection is afforded by the periglacial, loess-containing layers and evolved constituent soils covering the karst landscape. This means that geomorphology and the distribution of soils in this region is of great significance to the protection of karst water. At present only 2 of the approx. 60 topographic map sheets with a scale of 1 :25,000 that cover the Swabian Alb are available as pedological maps. Another 8 pedological map sheets are under preparation. Since the compilation of pedological maps is extremely costly both in terms of time and money, it appears improbable that a complete pedological map of the entire Swabian Alb will be available in the near future. A digital pedological map was prepared from the 1:50,000 topographic map of Blaubeuren on the basis of geomorphological knowledge as well as a morphometric analysis. For this purpose the morphometric parameters slope, profile curvature, plan curvature and topographic wetness index were calculated from a specially generated DGM (Digital Elevation Model). A maximum likelihood analysis was performed on the morphometric parameters on the basis of approx. 700 soil profiles used as training areas. The pedological maps included in the Annex were verified both in the field and on the computer. They provide an inexpensive basis for further ecosystem analyses

Role of epiphreatic flow and soutirages in conduit morphogenesis: the Barenschacht example (BE, Switzerland)., 2003,
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Hauselmann P. , Jeannin Py. , Monbaron M.

Role of epiphreatic flow and soutirages in conduit morphogenesis: the Barenschacht example (BE, Switzerland), 2003,
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Hauselmann P. , Jeannin P. Y. , Monbaron M. ,
Role of epiphreatic flow and soutirages in speleogenesis: the Barenschacht example (BE, Switzerland).- Observations in the deep parts of Barenschacht allow the linkage of two existing theories about cave genesis (FORD & EWERS 1978, AUDRA 1994). The transition from vadose canyon to phreatic tube is not observed at the perennial karstwater table, but at the floodwater table. The galleries below all show phreatic morphology despite temporary vadose flow. Therefore, the boundaries of the distinct phases of cave genesis are inclined. In low-water situation, the looping galleries empty through the so-called soutirages. These form through corrosion along discontinuities and are generally found in the epiphreatic realm. The water flowing through the soutirages reaches the perennial watertable and then the spring. It seems possible that the model presented here is also valid for non-alpine caves

An example of sedimentary filling in the chalk karst of the Western Paris Basin: Characterization, origins and hydrosedimentary behaviour, 2004,
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Laignel B. , Dupuis E. , Rodet J. , Lacroix M. , Massei N. ,
The Petites Dales cave is a favourable site for studying the sedimentary fillings of the chalk karst of the Western Paris Basin. Our study is based on the lithological characterization of karstic sediments and mineralogical and chemical comparisons between these sediments and the likely sedimentary sources (insoluble residue of chalk, clay-with-flints, loess). Our results show that there are three main families of sediment in the Petites Dales karst: brown clayey silts, beige silts, pale beige silts. The karst sediments essentially originate in the mechanical erosion of loess. The insoluble residue of chalk, coming from the chalk weathering, is only located in the brown clayey silts, and constitutes a weak amount of this sediment type. According to these results, we propose three conceptual models of hydro sedimentary behaviour of the Petites Dales karstic system that could have resulted in such an intra-karstic deposition sequence

Karren features in Island Karst: Guam, Mariana Islands, 2004,
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Taborosi D. , Jenson J. W. , Mylroie J. E. ,
Dissolutional sculpturing (karren) in island karst terrain is distinct from karren in inland continental settings, whether temperate or tropical. Reef, lagoonal and eolian limestones that form most young carbonate islands are eogenetic, meaning they have not undergone significant diagenesis and exhibit high primary porosity and extreme heterogeneity. These lithologic qualities, combined with other characteristics of island karst, including the effects of autogenic recharge, tropical climate, and the proximity of the ocean, result in the development of unique karren forms. Highly irregular, composite karren forms are dominant, while linear forms, especially hydrodynamically shaped features, are rare or absent. The most common karren type on Guam is an assemblage of densely packed solution pits, separated by jagged ridges and sharp tips. It dominates the surfaces of all young reef limestones and ranges in texture from extremely jagged coastal forms, to somewhat more subdued inland features. It covers large areas, forming karrenfelds of jagged pit and pinnacle topography. Lacking a unique and accurate geomorphic term, this karren assemblage exists in a variety of similar forms, and its development is poorly understood. We propose the term 'eogenetic karren,' as it emphasizes the eogenetic nature of host limestone as the common factor controlling the development of variants of this karren type, while avoiding references to geographic settings or any of the poorly understood and variable genetic mechanisms. In addition to eogenetic karren, other forms of karren occur on carbonate islands but are limited to specific lithologic and environmental settings. Hydrodynamically-controlled features, dominant in interior continental settings of both classical temperate and tropical karsts, are nearly absent on Guam and similar islands, and form only locally in outcrops of dense, diagenetically mature, and recrystallized, limestones

Rock coast morphology in relation to lithology and wave exposure, Lord Howe Island, southwest Pacific, 2005,
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Dickson Me, Woodroffe Cd,
The morphology of rock coastlines appears primarily to be a function of the eroding force of waves and the resistance of rocks, but a number of local factors complicate determination of the relative significance of these as opposed to other factors. Lord Howe Island, a small, basaltic mid-oceanic island in the northern Tasman Sea, presents a unique opportunity to differentiate the roles of rock resistance and wave exposure. The island occurs at the southern limit of coral growth and there is a fringing coral reef and lagoon on a portion of the western coastline. The reef markedly attenuates wave energy and there is an impressive contrast between the sheltered lagoonal coastline, which consists largely of depositional sandy beaches and vegetated hillslopes, and the exposed coastline which is bold and rugged having been eroded by waves into precipitous plunging cliffs, cliffs with talus slopes, and cliffs with basal shore platforms. There is a clear contrast between the development of basalt shore platforms along the sheltered and exposed coastlines: exposed platforms are wider, backed by a higher and steeper cliff, and are without talus deposits, as opposed to sheltered platforms that are veneered by talus. Calcarenites, deposited in the Late Pleistocene, hence precluding significant rock coast inheritance, have been eroded into platforms that are approximately twice as wide on the exposed coastline than the sheltered coastline. Further evidence as to the efficacy of wave erosion around Lord Howe Island is provided by a suite of landforms that appear to have developed as a result of localised wave-quarrying of highly jointed dykes (sea caves, arches, blowholes, and gulches)

Two experimental modelings of karst rock relief in plaster: subcutaneous 'rock teeth' and 'rock peaks' exposed to rain, 2005,
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Slabe T. ,
The experimental modeling of rock features in plaster - in this case those that comprise a rock relief of subcutaneous teeth and peaks exposed to rain - helps reveal the manner of their formation, the development of individual rock features in nature, and their connections in rock relief. It also helps us distinguish the proportion and significance of the legacy of various factors that participated in the formation of rock relief and indirectly therefore the various periods of its development

Influence of initial aperture variability on conduit development in hypogene settings, 2010,
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Rehrl C. , Birk S. , Klimchouk A. B.

The development of gypsum maze caves in hypogene settings is examined by process-based numerical modelling using a coupled continuum-pipe flow model. The model scenarios are largely based on field observations compiled from the gypsum karst terrain of the Western Ukraine. This area hosts the world\'s largest maze caves in gypsum and provides a well documented example of hypogene speleogenesis under artesian conditions. Building on previous studies that revealed the basic speleogenetic mechanisms in this type of setting, this work aims to examine the influence of the variability of the initial apertures on dissolutional growth of fissures and the evolving cave systems. To this end, the initial apertures were spatially uncorrelated and lognormally distributed and the influence of the coefficient of variation of the aperture data (?/?) was investigated in several scenarios on the basis of a set of four realisations. It is found that a small degree of heterogeneity leads to cave patterns similar to those obtained with uniform initial apertures. However, with increasing heterogeneity the karstification process decelerates and a significant amount of variability between the different realisations follows. In an ensemble average sense, the aperture variability is determining the temporal development of the cave patterns and generally decelerates the karstification process, but appears to be of minor relevance regarding the general structure and geometric properties of the evolving cave patterns.


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