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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 spring is 1. point where underground water emerges on to the surface, not exclusive to limestone, but generally larger in cavernous rocks. the image of a trickle of water springing from a hillside hardly matches that of a vast cave pouring forth a river, but both are called springs. among the world's largest is the dumanli spring, turkey, with a mean flow of over 50 cubic meters per second. springs may be exsurgences or resurgences, depending upon the source of their water, and also may be vauclusian in character [9]. 2. a natural outflow of water (or other liquid or gas) at the surface of the land or into surface water. in some usages. `spring' is restricted to the water which outflows, in other usages the word can refer to the water, the outlet, or to the locality of the outflow [20]. 3. any natural discharge of water from rock or soil onto the surface of the land or into a body of surface water [10]. 4. a discrete place where ground water flows naturally from a rock or the soil onto the land surface or into a body of surface water [22]. synonyms: (french.) source; (german.) quelle; (greek.) pighi; (italian.) sorgente; (russian.) istocnik; (spanish.) fuente; (turkish.) kynak. see also seep.?

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.
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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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for sandstones (Keyword) returned 56 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 56 of 56
Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst?, 2011, Aubrecht R. , Lanczos T. , Gregor M. , Schlogl J. , Smida B. , Liscak P. , Brewercarias C. H. , Vlek L.

Venezuelan table mountains (tepuis) host the largest arenite caves in the world. The most frequently used explanation of their origin so far was the "arenization" theory, involving dissolution of quartz cement around the sand grains and subsequent removing of the released grains by water. New research in the two largest arenite cave systems - Churi-Tepui System in Chimanta Massif and Ojos de Cristal System in Roraima Tepui showed that quartz dissolution plays only a minor role in their speleogenesis. Arenites forming the tepuis are not only quartzites but they display a wide range of lithification and breakdown, including also loose sands and sandstones. Speleogenetic processes are mostly concentrated on the beds of unlithified sands which escaped from diagenesis by being sealed by the surrounding perfectly lithified quartzites. Only the so-called "finger-flow" pillars testify to confined diagenetic fluids which flowed in narrow channels, leaving the surrounding arenite uncemented. Another factor which influenced the cave-forming processes by about 30% was lateritization. It affects beds formed of arkosic sandstones and greywackes which show strong dissolution of micas, feldspars and clay minerals, turning then to laterite ("Barro Rojo"). The main prerequisite to rank caves among karst phenomena is dissolution. As the dissolution of silicate minerals other than quartz appears to play not only a volumetrically important role but even a trigger role, these arenitic caves may be ranked as karst.

Dokumentation von zwei Quarzithhlen am Roraima Tepui (Brasilien, Guyana) , 2011, Plan L. , Hlzel M. , Auler A.
The Gran Sabana extends over the area between the Amazonas and Orinoco River in the northern part of South America. There about hundred table mountains (locally named Tepuis) are rising above the wet savannah plain. One of these, the Roraima Tepui, is situated at the triple border junction of the states of Brazil, Guyana and Venezuela. The plateau is built up of sandstones and quartzites of palaeoproterozoic age (c. 1.9 Billion years). Several caves which have mainly developed due to mechanical erosion of not or just partly lithified sandstone layers have been explored. The aim of a Brazilian Austrian expedition in November 2010 was to visit caves in the southern part of the Roraima Tepui and search for new caves in the less accessible northern part. The Cueva Ojos de Cristal (or Sistema Roraima Sur) was visited. With a mapped length of 16.1 km it is the biggest quartzite cave known in the world. Two caves were mapped, the Hotel Coati and the Lake Gladys Cave, which are the highest lying documented caves of Guyana and Brazil respectively. The Hotel Coati is situated in the north of the Tepui and is a cave often used as a bivouac. It is a shaft, acting as ponor, which is accessible through galleries aligned at rectangularly arranged fissures. North of that cave, in the Guyanese part, the single lake on the plateau, the Lake Gladys is situated at 2665 m a.s.l. There, the Lake Gladys Cave with a total length of 68 m is draining the lake. The entrance lies behind a boulder fall and water disappears into a sump. At the Roraima Tepui there are other not docu - mented objects so far, as the shaft ponor El Fosso (The Pit). Even though no major systems were found during this short expe - dition, the potential of finding further caves in the northern part seems still good.

Karst and Paleokarst Features involving Sandstones of the Judbarra / Gregory National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, 2012, Grimes, Ken G.

In addition to carbonate karsts, the Judbarra / Gregory National Park of tropical northern Australia has karst and paleokarst features associated with Proterozoic sandstone units. On a sandstone plateau in the Newcastle Range, there are several large collapse dolines formed in the Proterozoic Jasper Gorge Sandstone. As there is a carbonate unit, the Proterozoic Campbell Springs Dolostone, lying about 110 m beneath the plateau surface, these sinkholes may be subjacent karst features resulting from the upward stoping of large cave chambers. In the Far Northern area of the Judbarra Karst Region, areas of chert breccia are shown on the geological maps, and linear bodies of brecciated sandstone are inset into the carbonate beds of the Skull Creek Formation. The sandstone is derived from the Jasper Gorge Sandstone, which overlies the Skull Creek Formation in adjoining areas. The breccia is interpreted as paleokarst of uncertain age resulting from subsidence of the sandstone into karst trenches or collapsed cavities developed in the underlying carbonate beds.

The geomorphological map of the Castel de Britti area (Northern Apennines, Italy): an example of how teaching geomorphological mapping in a traditional and practical way, 2012, De Waele Jo, Anfossi Giulia, Campo Bruno, Cavalieri Francesco, Chiarini Veronica, Emanuelli Valeria, Grechi Umberto, Nanni Paolo, Savorelli Flavio

Teaching how to map the geomorphology of an area cannot be done in a satisfying manner in a lecture room only, but requires practical exercises both in the laboratory and in the field. A preliminary study of the existing geological maps, of the geomorphological legends and symbols used in Italy and of the landslide inventory has preceded a detailed four days long field mapping campaign carried out by students in the framework of their Msc. Course on “Geomorphological Mapping” at Bologna University. The Geomorphological Map in scale 1:5,000 produced by some of these students is presented in this paper.

The study area is located in the northern Apennines, a few kilometres East of Bologna, along the Idice Valley (N-Italy). Lithologies are mainly composed of clayey and marly sequences ranging in age from Cretaceous to Plio-Pleistocene, sands and sandstones of Pleistocene age, and Messinian gypsum, these last being the most resistant rocks.

Besides the greater scale used in this map, allowing for a more detailed representation of the mapped features, this map also shows the recent evolution of the landslides in this actively mass wasting area.

Quartz sandstone peak forest landforms of Zhangjiajie Geopark, northwest Hunan Province, China: pattern, constraints and comparison, 2012, Yang Guifang, Tian Mingzhong, Zhang Xujiao, Chen Zhenghong, Wray Robert A. L. , Ge Zhiliang, Ping Yamin, Ni Zhiyun, Yang Zhen

The Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest Geopark in northwest Hunan Province, China, is a comprehensive geopark containing many spectacular quartz sandstone landforms, limestone karst landscapes and various other important geoheritage resources. It is listed as a UNESCO World Geopark and is also part of the World Heritage Wulingyuan Scenic and Historic Interest Area for its important landscape features. Many of the sandstone landforms, particularly the vast number of thin pillars or spires, are very unusual and serve as the core landscapes of the geopark. But Zhangjiajie displays a diverse range of landform types, exhibiting spectacular patterns and regular distributions. In this paper, the geomorphic traits, distribution pattern and constraints of the sandstone landforms of the Zhangjiajie Geopark are examined. Our study indicates that in the outcropping areas, the sandstones display four distinctive levels from 300 to 1,000 m above sea level, and these extend clearly from the highest sandstone plateau platform to the center of the valleys. The high sandstone platforms developed close to a flat high-level erosional surface, and subsequent erosion into this plateau has resulted in successively lower levels of landforms that transition gradually from peak walls, peak clusters, peak forests and peak pillars to remnant peaks in the lower valley bottoms. The form and distribution of the Zhangjiajie sandstone landforms are primarily dominated by the geological setting, particularly the presence of brittle structures (fractures and joint sets) trending NNW, ENE and NE. Triggered by the episodic tectonic movements, major streams and escarpments frequently occur along these structural directions, while some of the peak walls, peak clusters and peak forests have their longer elongated axes corresponding to NE or NNW directions, with an increased density of peak forms at the intersection of these fractures and joints. The geometry of the diverse sandstone landforms is also influenced to a certain degree by the climatic, water system distribution, lithologic properties, biological process, meteorological features and denudation processes. The suite of quartz sandstone landforms in Zhangjiajie can be compared with other sandstone landscapes regionally, and our interpretation of the sandstone peak forest formation processes offers a significant contribution to the study of topographic features and the geomorphic evolution of sandstone landscapes

Solutional Weathering and Karstic Landscapes on Quartz Sandstones and Quartzite, 2013, Wray, R. A. L.

Landscapes on highly quartzose bedrock that exhibit almost identical scale and morphology to those on karstified limestones occur under a range of climates and on most continents. These include ruiniform towers, grikes, stone cities, caves, dolines, smaller surface karren, and silica speleothems.

However, these rocks are much less soluble than most carbonates, and the weathering processes are quite different. However, because chemical solution is demonstratively a critical component in the genesis of these landforms, they may be regarded as karst. This chapter summarizes the processes of karstification in quartz sandstones and then reviews the incidence of these landforms around the world.

Comment on Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst? by R. Aubrecht, T. Lnczos, M. Gregor, J. Schlgl, B. Smda, P. Lisck, Ch. Brewer-Caras, L. Vlcek, Geomorphology 132 (2011), 351365, 2013, Sauro F. , Piccini L. , Mecchia M. , De Waele J.

In the recent work of Aubrecht et al. (2011) the presence of “unlithified or poorly-lithified beds” of sands in the quartz-sandstone stratigraphic succession is proposed as a key factor for speleogenesis in the Venezuelan tepuis.In this comment we observe that in the cited work the geologic history of the region, in terms of sedimentation environment, diagenesis and low grade burial metamorphism, has not been considered. Furthermore, the peculiar “pillar flow” columns that Aubrecht et al. describe as a proof of the unlithification are lacking in many other different cave systems in the same area.

Four critical points are discussed: the burial metamorphism of the Mataui Formation, the significance of the Schmidt Hammer measurements, the cave morphologies and the role of SiO2 dissolution. Finally we suggest that weathering, in its wider significance, is probably the triggering process in speleogenesis, and there is no need to invoke a differential diagenesis of the sandstone beds. ©

Karst hierarchical flow systems in the Western Cordillera of North America, 2013, Ford, Derek

By definition, karstic flow systems are networks of solutional conduits. Their spatial patterns and hierarchical organisation are strongly affected by differing lithology and geologic structure, and by the location and modes of recharge – unconfined, confined, interformational. For purposes of discussion, this paper will review six examples rang-ing across platform and reefal limestones and dolostones, dolostone breccias, gypsum and salt, in widely differing structural, geomorphic and hydrologic settings: (1) The Carcajou River karst at Lat. 65° N in the Mackenzie Mountains, where leaky permafrost superimposes a frozen ground hierarchy on those due to lithology, structure and topog-raphy: (2) The S Nahanni River karst at Lat. 62° N, with an intrusive-derived local thermal system and lengthy, strike-oriented meteoric flow systems that contribute to an outlet H2S thermal system at the basin topographic low: (3) Castleguard Mountain Karst (Lat. 52° N) in massive Main Ranges structures of the Rocky Mountains, with a complex alpine hierarchy of base-flow and overflow springs: (4) Crowsnest Pass, in steep thrust structures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, where regional strike-oriented flow systems extending between Lats. 49° and 50° N and paired above and below a major aquitard have been disaggregated by glacial cirque incision: (5) The Black Hills geologic dome at Lat. 44° N in South Dakota, USA, with a sequence of hot springs at low points around the perimeter, discharging through sandstones but with some of the world’s most extensive hypogene maze caves formed in a limestone karst barré setting behind them: (6) The Sierra de El Abra, at Lat. 23° N in Mexico, a deep and lengthy (100 km) reef-backreef limestone range being progressively exposed and karstified by stripping of a cover of clastic rocks; the springs are few but amongst the largest known in karst anywhere, located at the northern and southern low extremities along the strike of the reef, plus breaches (windows) in the cover further south.



The Botovskaya Cave is a typical example of a two-dimensional maze with a total length of explored passages exceeding 60 km, which represents the longest limestone cave system in the Russian Federation. The clastic cave sediments filling the cave passages differ in both mineral and mineral magnetic properties and were deposited under different hydrological conditions. The older portion of the clastic cave fills was derived from overlying sandstones, whereas the properties of younger cave sediments show closer affinity to the soils and weathering products originating on the sandstone plateau above the cave. The cave sediments underwent repeated periods of deposition and erosion during the Tertiary and Pleistocene.

Comment on Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst? by R. Aubrecht, T. Lnczos, M. Gregor, J. Schlgl, B. Smda, P. Lisck, Ch. Brewer-Caras, L. Vlcek, Geomorphology 132 (2011), 351365, 2013, Sauro Francesco, Piccini Leonardo, Mecchia Marco, De Waele Jo

In the recent work of Aubrecht et al. (2011) the presence of “unlithified or poorly-lithified beds” of sands in the   quartz-sandstone stratigraphic succession is proposed as a key factor for speleogenesis in the Venezuelan tepuis.   In this comment we observe that in the cited work the geologic history of the region, in terms of sedimentation   environment, diagenesis and low grade burial metamorphism, has not been considered. Furthermore, the   peculiar “pillar flow” columns that Aubrecht et al. describe as a proof of the unlithification are lacking in   many other different cave systems in the same area.   Four critical points are discussed: the burial metamorphism of the Mataui Formation, the significance of the   Schmidt Hammer measurements, the cave morphologies and the role of SiO2 dissolution. Finally we suggest   that weathering, in its wider significance, is probably the triggering process in speleogenesis, and there is no   need to invoke a differential diagenesis of the sandstone beds

Structural and lithological guidance on speleogenesis in quartz–sandstone: Evidence of the arenisation process, 2014,

A detailed petrographic, structural and morphometric investigation of different types of caves carved in the quartz–sandstones of the “tepui” table mountains in Venezuela has allowed identification of the main speleogenetic factors guiding cave pattern development and the formation of particular features commonly found in these caves, such as funnel-shaped pillars, pendants and floor bumps. Samples of fresh and weathered quartz–sandstone of the Mataui Formation (Roraima Supergroup) were characterised through WDS dispersive X-ray chemical analyses, picnometer measurements, EDAX analyses, SEM and thin-section microscopy. In all the caves two compositionally different strata were identified: almost pure quartz–sandstones, with content of silica over 95% and high primary porosity (around 4%), and phyllosilicate-rich quartz–sandstone, with contents of aluminium over 10% and low primary porosity (lower than 0.5%). Phyllosilicates are mainly pyrophyllite and kaolinite. SEMimages on weathered samples showed clear evidence of dissolution on quartz grains to different degrees of development, depending on the alteration state of the samples. Grain boundary dissolution increases the rock porosity and gradually releases the quartz grains, suggesting that arenisation is a widespread and effective weathering process in these caves. The primary porosity and the degree of fracturing of the quartz–sandstone beds are the main factors controlling the intensity and distribution of the arenisation process. Weathering along iron hydroxide or silt layers, which represent inception horizons, or a strata-bounded fracture network, predisposes the formation of horizontal caves in specific stratigraphic positions. The loose sands produced by arenisation are removed by piping processes, gradually creating anastomosing open-fracture systems and forming braided mazes, geometric networks or main conduit patterns, depending on the local lithological and structural guidance on the weathering process. This study demonstrates that all the typical morphologies documented in these quartz–sandstone caves can be explained as a result of arenisation, which is guided by layers with particular petrographic characteristics (primary porosity, content of phyllosilicates and iron hydroxides), and different degrees of fracturing (strata-bounded fractures or continuous dilational joints).


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