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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 hemimorphite is a cave mineral - zn4si2o7(oh)2.h2o [11].?

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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 cave level (Keyword) returned 66 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 60 of 66
Multilevel Caves and Landscape Evolution, 2012, Anthony, Darlene M.

Multilevel caves are formed by periods of water table stability punctuated by changes in the position of the water table. These cave systems are hydrologically linked to regional rivers and can be used to date episodes of river stability and incision. The measurement of cosmogenic radioisotopes in cave sediments yields a burial age for the sediment, which in turn equates to the time of passage abandonment due to water-table lowering. Karst geomorphologists and others are using burial dates from multilevel caves to calculate Plio-Pleistocene rates of river incision, tectonic uplift, and erosion in various parts of the world.


Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications, 2012, Galdenzi, Sandro

The measurement of the weight loss in limestone tablets placed in the Grotta del Fiume (Frasassi, Italy) provided data on the rate of limestone dissolution due to the sulfidic water and on the influence of local environmental conditions.

A linear average corrosion rate of 24 mm ka-1 was measured in stagnant water, while the values were higher (68-119 mm ka-1) where the hydrologic conditions facilitate water movement and gas exchanges. In these zones the increase in water aggressivity is due to mixing with descending, O2-rich, seepage water and is also favored by easier gas exchange between ground-water and the cave atmosphere. Very intense corrosion was due to weakly turbulent flow, which caused evident changes in the tablets shape in few months.

A comparison between the measured corrosion rates and the cave features showed that the values measured in the pools with stagnant water are too low to account for the largest solutional cave development, while the average values measured in the zones with moving water are compatible with the dimension of the cave rooms in the main cave levels, that must have developed when the base level was stable and hydrologic conditions favored the increase of water aggressivity.


Epikarstic Maze Cave Development: Bullita Cave System, Judbarra / Gregory Karst, Tropical Australia, 2012, Martini Jacques E. J. , Grimes Ken G.

 In the monsoon tropics of northern Australia, Bullita Cave is the largest (120 km) of a group of extensive, horizontal, joint-controlled, dense network maze caves which are epikarst systems lying at shallow depth beneath a welldeveloped karrenfield. The Judbarra / Gregory Karst and its caves are restricted to the outcrop belt of a thin bed of sub-horizontal, thinly interbedded dolostone and calcitic limestone – the Supplejack Dolostone Member of the Proterozoic Skull Creek Formation. Karst is further restricted to those parts of the Supplejack that have escaped a secondary dolomitisation event. The karrenfield and underlying cave system are intimately related and have developed in step as the Supplejack surface was exposed by slope retreat. Both show a lateral zonation of development grading from youth to old age. Small cave passages originate under the recently exposed surface, and the older passages at the trailing edge become unroofed or destroyed by ceiling breakdown as the, by then deeply-incised, karrenfield breaks up into isolated ruiniform blocks and pinnacles and eventually a low structural pavement. Vertical development of the cave has been generally restricted to the epikarst zone by a 3 m bed of impermeable and incompetent shale beneath the Supplejack which first perched the watertable, forming incipient phreatic passages above it, and later was eroded by vadose flow to form an extensive horizontal system of passages 10-20 m below the karren surface. Some lower cave levels in underlying dolostone occur adjacent to recently incised surface gorges. Speleogenesis is also influenced by the rapid, diffuse, vertical inflow of storm water through the karrenfield, and by ponding of the still-aggressive water within the cave during the wet season – dammed up by "levees" of sediment and rubble that accumulate beneath the degraded trailing edge of the karrenfield. The soil, and much biological activity, is not at the bare karren surface, but down on the cave floors, which aids epikarstic solution at depth rather than on the surface. While earlier hypogenic, or at least confined, speleogenic activity is possible in the region, there is no evidence of this having contributed to the known maze cave systems. The age of the cave system appears to be no older than Pleistocene. Details of the speleogenetic process, its age, the distinctive nature of the cave systems and comparisons with other areas in the world are discussed.


SPELEOGENESIS ALONG DEEP REGIONAL FAULTS BY ASCENDING WATERS: CASE STUDIES FROM SLOVAKIA AND CZECH REPUBLIC, 2012, Bella Pavel, Bosak Pavel

The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (perascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systemswere selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past,the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreaticand vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of localwater courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocenegeomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates severalcommon characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or inclose vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regionalimportance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation ofmeteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4)speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework,rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicateascending speleogenesis in deep phreatic to phreatic environments;(5) they exhibit poor relation to the present landscape;in some of them fluvial sediments are completely missing inspite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strongepiphreatic re-modelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontalpassages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilingsand notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape;(7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitatesare poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on thepresent surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadlyprecipitate travertines; (8) caves can be, and some of them are,substantially older than the recent landscape (Pliocene, Miocene),and (9) caves were formed in conditions of slow water ascent, which differentiate the process from faster vauclusianascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves containsclear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There aremissing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took partduring speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhatincreased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesisat least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannotbe directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermalprocess (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978),therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.


Development of a deep karst system within a transpressional structure of the Dolomites in north-east Italy, 2013, Sauro Francesco, Zampieri Dario, Filipponi Marco

The Piani Eterni karst system is one of the longest and deepest caves of Italy situated in the southern sector of the Dolomiti mountain range. The area where the cave was formed displays peculiar structural settings confined in a tectonic transpressive corridor between two regional thrusts (Belluno and Valsugana). During Miocene uplift of the range the inheritance of Mesozoic structures led to the formation of a deep and wide upward-branching flower (or palm tree) structure cutting the carbonate sequence and exposing the surrounding surface to karst processes after erosion. The relative lowering of the hydrologic base level, due both to the uplift of the area and then to the carving of deep glacial valleys in the Quaternary, allowed the formation of paleo-phreatic conduits at subsequently deeper levels, interconnected by vadose shafts and canyons.

This work gives a detailed tectonic interpretation of the transpressive structure and picks out the tectonic features most favorable to the karst development. A detailed statistical analysis of the distribution and orientation of the karst conduits was performed using 31 km of 3D surveys showing that the development of the cave was strictly guided by a few favorable surfaces of stratigraphic and tectonic origin. These features are known in the literature as inception horizons and tectonic inception features, respectively. Cave levels are usually related to lithologic favorable conditions associated with standings of the paleo-water table. Here we suggest that some tectonic surface geometries could have led to the opening of voids in the active tectonic phase leading to the formation of the original proto-conduit network. Different types of tectonic inception features identified in the cave were described in terms of geometry and kinematics. Tensional fractures, as well as fault plane undulations and flexural slip surfaces between beds, are described as the most favorable tectonic surfaces for the development of the conduits. Finally, we discuss why transpressional settings and related flower structures in soluble rocks can enhance the karst process allowing the formation of huge and deep karst systems.


The vertical dimension of karst: controls of vertical cave pattern, 2013, Audra P. , Palmer A. N.

The vertical development of karst is related to the geomorphic evolution of the surrounding landscape. Cave profiles and levels reflect the local fluvial base level and its changes through time. These cave features tend to be preserved far longer than correlative surface features, which are more susceptible to weathering and erosion. As a result, cave morphology offers abundant clues that are helpful in reconstructing the regional geomorphic history. In the vadose zone, water is drawn downward by gravity along vertical fractures. In the phreatic zone, water follows the hydraulic gradient along the most efficient paths to available outlets in nearby valleys. Phreatic passages tend to have gentler gradients close to the water table, generally with some vertical sinuosity. Responding to irregular recharge rates, fluctuations in the water table define a transition zone, the epiphreatic zone, in which passages develop by floodwater flow. Free-surface flow in the vadose zone and full pipe flow in the phreatic zone produce distinctive passage morphologies. Identification of former vadose–phreatic transition zones makes it possible to reconstruct the position of former water tables that represent past static fluvial base levels. Early conceptual models considered cave origin mainly in relation to its position relative to the water table. Later, analytical and digital models showed that dramatic enlargement occurs when dissolutional enlargement of initial fissures is sufficient to allow rapid dissolution and turbulent flow to take place throughout the entire conduit length. Cave development is favored by the widest initial openings, and less importantly by the steepest hydraulic gradients and shortest flow distances. Consequently, most phreatic cave development takes place at or near the water table, but the presence of relatively wide fractures can lead to phreatic loops. Cave levels record successive base-level positions as valleys deepen. The oldest levels in Mammoth Cave (USA) and Clearwater Cave (Malaysia) have been dated beyond 3.5 Ma. However, when base level rises, the deepest parts of the karst are flooded and the flow follows phreatic lifts. In the epiphreatic zone, floodwater produces looping tubes above the low-flow water table. In these last two situations, high-level passages with large vertical loops are not necessarily the oldest. The juvenile pattern, composed of steep vadose passages, is common when soluble rock is first exposed. In perched aquifers, vadose erosion can produce very large cross sections. In dammed aquifers, the main drain is established at the water table. Irregular recharge causes backflooding, and passages develop throughout the epiphreatic zone, with looping profiles; however, when recharge is fairly regular, the passages develop along the stable water table. Interconnected cave levels correspond to some of the largest cave systems in the world. When base level rises, the karst is flooded; water rises through phreatic lifts and discharges at vauclusian springs. A per ascensum speleogenesis can produce higher-elevation passages that are younger than passages at lower elevations. Base-level rises occur after tectonic subsidence, filling of valleys, or sea-level rise, especially around the Mediterranean in response to the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Deep-phreatic karst, if not hypogenic, can generally be attributed to flooding by a base-level rise. 


Discussion on the article Coastal and inland karst morphologies driven by sea level stands: a GIS based method for their evaluation by Canora F, Fidelibus D and Spilotro G, 2013, De Waele Jo, Parise Mario

Comments are presented on the article by Canora et al. (2012) dealing with karst morphologies driven by sea level stands in the Murge plateau of Apulia, southern Italy. Our comments start from cave levels, that are considered in the cited article as a proof of sea level stands. We argue that the presence of sub-horizontal passages in cave systems is not a sufficient condition for correlating them with hypothetical past sea level stands. Such a correlation must be based upon identification of speleogenetic features within the karst systems, and/or geological field data. The problems encountered when using cave surveys for scientific research, and their low reliability (especially in the case of old surveys) are then treated, since they represent a crucial point in the paper object of this discussion. Eventually, we present some final consideration on cave levels and terraces, and on the specific case study, pointing out once again to the need in including geological field data to correctly find a correspondance between flat landforms and sea level fluctuations. Our main conclusion is that field data and information on speleogenesis of the underground karst landforms cannot be disregarded in a study that claims to deal with the influence of sea-level changes on caves.


VALLEY INCISION IN THE NÍZKE TATRY MTS. (SLOVAKIA) ESTIMATED BASED ON PALEOMAGNETIC AND RADIOMETRIC CAVE SEDIMENT DATINGS, 2013, Kadlec J. Bella P. Č, í, ž, Ková, K. Granger D. E. Hercman H. Holú, Bek P. Chadima M. Orvoš, Ová, M. Pruner P. Schnabl P. Š, Lechta S.

 

Up to eleven horizontal cave levels occur at different altitudes in Jánska, Demänovská and Mošnická karst valleys in the Nízke Tatry Mts. Most of the caves are filled with allochthonous sediments transported from the area formed mostly by granite. The cave levels were filled with fluvial sediments in dependence on the valleys incision caused by Neogene and Pleistocene uplift of the mountain range. The fluvial sediments are intercalated with, or capped, by flowstone layers in the caves. The paleomagnetic polarities measured both in clastic and chemogenic sediments indicate the age of deposition. Based on obtained polarity data we are able to distinguish cave sediments deposited during the Brunhes, Matuyama and Gauss chrons. The paleomagnetic interpretation was partly verified by U-series datings of flowstones preserved in the sedimentary sections. Except for the horizontal cave levels located in the karst valleys, additional large cave systems were found at extremely high altitudes in the Nízke Tatry Mts. 600–700 m above the lowest horizontal cave level.


Discussion on the article ‘Coastal and inland karst morphologies driven by sea level stands: a GIS based method for their evaluation’ by Canora F, Fidelibus D and Spilotro G, 2013, Waele J. D. , Parise M.

Comments are presented on the article by Canora et al. (2012) dealing with karst morphologies driven by sea level stands in the Murge plateau of Apulia, southern Italy. Our comments start from cave levels, that are considered in the cited article as a proof of sea level stands. We argue that the presence of sub-horizontal passages in cave systems is not a sufficient condition for correlating them with hypothetical past sea level stands. Such a correlation must be based upon identification of speleogenetic features within the karst systems, and/or geological field data. The problems encountered when using cave surveys for scientific research, and their low reliability (especially in the case of old surveys) are then treated, since they represent a crucial point in the paper object of this discussion. Eventually, we present some final consideration on cave levels and terraces, and on the specific case study, pointing out once again to the need in including geological field data to correctly find a correspondance between flat landforms and sea level fluctuations. Our main conclusion is that field data and information on speleogenesis of the underground karst landforms cannot be disregarded in a study that claims to deal with the influence of sea-level changes on caves.


The role of condensation in the evolution of dissolutional forms in gypsum caves: Study case in the karst of Sorbas (SE Spain), 2014, Gazquez F. , Calaforra J. M. , Forti P. , Waele J. D. , Sanna L.

The karst of Sorbas (SE Spain) is one of the most important gypsum areas worldwide. Its underground karst network comprises over 100 km of cave passages. Rounded smooth forms, condensation cupola and pendant-like features appear on the ceiling of the shallower passages as a result of gypsum dissolution by condensation water. Meanwhile, gypsum speleothems formed by capillarity, evaporation and aerosol deposition such as coralloids, gypsum crusts and rims are frequently observed closer to the passages floors. The role of condensation-dissolution mechanisms in the evolution of geomorphological features observed in the upper cave levels has been studied by means of long-term Micro-Erosion Meter (MEM) measurements, direct collection and analysis of condensation waters, and micrometeorological monitoring. Monitoring of erosion at different heights on gypsum walls of the Cueva del Agua reveals that the gypsum surface retreated up to 0.033 mm yr- 1 in MEM stations located in the higher parts of the cave walls. The surface retreat was negligible at the lowest sites, suggesting higher dissolution rates close to the cave ceiling, where warmer and moister air flows. Monitoring of microclimatic parameters and direct measurements of condensation water were performed in the Covadura Cave system in order to estimate seasonal patterns of condensation. Direct measurements of condensation water dripping from a metal plate placed in the central part of the El Bosque Gallery of Covadura Cave indicate that condensation takes place mainly between July and November in coincidence with rainless periods. The estimated gypsum surface lowering due to this condensation water is 0.0026 mm yr- 1. Microclimatic monitoring in the same area shows differences in air temperature and humidity of the lower parts of the galleries (colder and drier) with respect to the cave ceiling (warmer and wetter). This thermal sedimentation controls the intensity of the condensation-evaporation mechanisms at different heights in the cave.


A multi-method approach for speleogenetic research on alpine karst caves. Torca La Texa shaft, Picos de Europa (Spain), 2014,

Speleogenetic research on alpine caves has advanced significantly during the last decades. These investigations require techniques from different geoscience disciplines that must be adapted to the methodological constraints of working in deep caves. The Picos de Europa mountains are one of the most important alpine karsts, including 14% of the World’s Deepest Caves (caves with more than 1 km depth). A speleogenetic research is currently being developed in selected caves in these mountains; one of them, named Torca La Texa shaft, is the main goal of this article. For this purpose, we have proposed both an optimized multi-method approach for speleogenetic research in alpine caves, and a speleogenetic model of the Torca La Texa shaft. The methodology includes: cave surveying, dye-tracing, cave geometry analyses, cave geomorphological mapping, Uranium series dating (234U/230Th) and geomorphological, structural and stratigraphical studies of the cave surroundings. The SpeleoDisc method was employed to establish the structural control of the cavity. Torca La Texa (2,653 m length, 215 m depth) is an alpine cave formed by two cave levels, vadose canyons and shafts, soutirage conduits, and gravity-modified passages. The cave was formed prior to the Middle Pleistocene and its development was controlled by the drop of the base level, producing the development of the two cave levels. Coevally to the cave levels formation, soutirage conduits originated connecting phreatic and epiphreatic conduits and vadose canyons and shafts were formed. Most of the shafts were created before the local glacial maximum, (43-45 ka) and only two cave passages are related to dolines developed in recent times. The cave development is strongly related to the structure, locating the cave in the core of a gentle fold with the conduits’ geometry and orientation controlled by the bedding and five families of joints.


TECTONIC CONTROL OF CAVE DEVELOPMENT: A CASE STUDY OF THE BYSTRA VALLEY IN THE TATRA MTS., POLAND, 2015,

Tectonic research and morphologi calobservations were carried out in six caves (Kalacka, Goryczkowa, Kasprowa Ni¿na, Kasprowa OErednia, Kasprowa Wy¿nia and Magurska) in the Bystra Val ley, in the Tatra Moun -tains. There are three cave lev els, with the youn gest ac tive and the other two in ac tive, re flect ing de vel op ment partly un der epiphreatic and partly un der phreatic con di tions. These stud ies dem on strate strong con trol of the cave pat tern by tec tonic fea tures, in clud ing faults and re lated frac tures that orig i nated or were re ju ve nated dur ing up lift,last ing from the Late Mio cene. In a few lo cal cases, the cave pas sages are guided by the com bined in flu ence of bed ding, joints and frac tures in the hinge zone of a chev ron anticline. That these cave pas sages are guided by tec tonic struc tures, ir re spec tive of lithological dif fer ences, in di cates that these proto-con duits were formed by “tec tonic in cep tion”. Dif fer ences in the cave pat tern be tween the phreatic and epiphreatic zones at a given cave level may be a re sult of mas sif re lax ation. Be low the bot tom of the val ley, the ef fect of stress on the rock mass is re lated to the re gional stress field and only in di vid ual faults ex tend be low the bot tom of the val ley. Thus in the phreatic zone, the flow is fo cused and a sin gle con duit be comes en larged. The lo cal ex ten sion is more in tense in the epiphreatic zone above the val ley floor and more frac tures have been suf fi ciently ex tended to al low wa ter to flow. The wa ter mi grates along a net work of fis sures and a maze could be form ing. Neotectonic dis place ments (of up to 15 cm), which are more re cent than the pas sages, were also iden ti fied in the caves. Neotectonic ac tiv ity is no lon ger be lieved to have as great an im pact on cave mor phol ogy as pre vi ously was thought. Those faults with dis place ments of sev eral metres, de scribed as youn ger than the cave by other au thors, should be re clas si fied as older faults, the sur faces of which have been ex posed by speleogenesis. The pos si ble pres ence of neotectonic faults with greater dis place ments is not ex cluded, but they would have had a much greater mor pho log i cal im pact than the ob served fea tures sug gest.


Tectonic control of cave development: a case study of the Bystra Valley in the Tatra Mts., 2015, Szczygieł Jacek, Gaidzik Krzysztof, Kicińska Ditta

Tectonic research and morphological observations were carried out in six caves (Kalacka, Goryczkowa, Kasprowa Niżna, Kasprowa Średnia, Kasprowa Wyżnia and Magurska) in the Bystra Valley, in the Tatra Mountains. There are three cave levels, with the youngest active and the other two inactive, reflecting development partly under epiphreatic and partly under phreatic conditions. These studies demonstrate strong control of the cave pattern by tectonic features, including faults and related fractures that originated or were rejuvenated during uplift, lasting from the Late Miocene. In a few local cases, the cave passages are guided by the combined influence of bedding, joints and fractures in the hinge zone of a chevron anticline. That these cave passages are guided by tectonic structures, irrespective of lithological differences, indicates that these proto-conduits were formed by "tectonic inception”. Differences in the cave pattern between the phreatic and epiphreatic zones at a given cave level may be a result of massif relaxation. Below the bottom of the valley, the effect of stress on the rock mass is related to the regional stress field and only individual faults extend below the bottom of the valley. Thus in the phreatic zone, the flow is focused and a single conduit becomes enlarged. The local extension is more intense in the epiphreatic zone above the valley floor and more fractures have been sufficiently extended to allow water to flow. The water migrates along a network of fissures and a maze could be forming. Neotectonic displacements (of up to 15 cm), which are more recent than the passages, were also identified in the caves. Neotectonic activity is no longer believed to have as great an impact on cave morphology as previously was thought. Those faults with displacements of several metres, described as younger than the cave by other authors, should be reclassified as older faults, the surfaces of which have been exposed by speleogenesis. The possible presence of neotectonic faults with greater displacements is not excluded, but they would have had a much greater morphological impact than the observed features suggest.


Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region, 2015, Columbu A. De Waele J. , Forti P, Montagna P. , Picotti V. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hellstrom J. , Bajo P. , Drysdale R.

Detailed geomorphological analysis has revealed that subhorizontal gypsum caves in the Northern Apennines (Italy) cut across bedding planes. These cave levels formed during cold periods with stable river beds, and are coeval with fluvial terraces of rivers that flow perpendicular to the strike of bedding in gypsum monoclines. When rivers entrench, renewed cave formation occurs very rapidly, resulting in the formation of a lower level. River aggradation causes cave alluviation and upward dissolution (paragenesis) in passages nearest to the river beds. The U-Th dating of calcite speleothems provides a minimum age for the formation of the cave passage in which they grew, which in turn provides age control on cave levels. The ages of all speleothems coincide with warmer and wetter periods when CO2 availability in the soils covering these gypsum areas was greater. This climate-driven speleogenetic model of epigenic gypsum caves in moderately to rapidly uplifting areas in temperate regions might be generally applicable to karst systems in different geological and climatic conditions.


Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region, 2015,

Detailed geomorphological analysis has revealed that subhorizontal gypsum caves in the Northern Apennines (Italy) cut across bedding planes. These cave levels formed during cold periods with stable river beds, and are coeval with fluvial terraces of rivers that flow perpendicular to the strike of bedding in gypsum monoclines. When rivers entrench, renewed cave formation occurs very rapidly, resulting in the formation of a lower level. River aggradation causes cave alluviation and upward dissolution (paragenesis) in passages nearest to the river beds. The U-Th dating of calcite speleothems provides a minimum age for the formation of the cave passage in which they grew, which in turn provides age control on cave levels. The ages of all speleothems coincide with warmer and wetter periods when CO2 availability in the soils covering these gypsum areas was greater. This climate-driven speleogenetic model of epigenic gypsum caves in moderately to rapidly uplifting areas in temperate regions might be generally applicable to karst systems in different geological and climatic conditions.


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