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Community news

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 underdrainage is the drainage from under a hydrologic feature such as a river, barrier, lake, etc.?

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


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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 reef (Keyword) returned 102 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 76 to 90 of 102
Palustrine Deposits on a Late Devonian Coastal Plain--Sedimentary Attributes and Implications for Concepts of Carbonate Sequence Stratigraphy, 2006,
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Macneil Alex J. , Jones Brian,
Palustrine deposits in coastal environments can cover thousands of square kilometers and are stratigraphically important. Palustrine deposits that originated in supratidal marshes can be used to track shifts in the shoreline position, whereas palustrine deposits that formed in marshes above the peritidal realm are indicative of subaerial unconformities. Despite the importance of these deposits, there are few documented examples of ancient coastal palustrine deposits, and their sedimentary attributes remain poorly understood. Misinterpretation of coastal palustrine deposits as marine deposits, or calcrete, may partly explain this situation. The Upper Devonian Alexandra Formation, exposed in the Northwest Territories of Canada, is formed of two reef complexes that are separated by a Type I sequence boundary. At the landward part of the platform, this boundary is marked by a succession of coastal-plain deposits that is ~ 50 cm thick. The most distinct aspect of this succession are palustrine deposits characterized by charophytes, skeletal (Rivularia) stromatolites, and various pedogenic features including complex crack networks, root traces, and authigenic kaolinite. Karst features and calcrete, generally regarded as typical indicators of subaerial exposure, are not found. This study highlights the sedimentary attributes that can be used to identify ancient palustrine deposits in marine coastal regions, distinguish these deposits from calcrete, and demonstrates their sequence stratigraphic significance, when found in marine limestone successions. It clearly demonstrates that palustrine deposits, like those found in the Alexandra Formation, should be considered indicative of subaerial unconformities and sequence boundaries, in the same manner as karst and calcrete

Capitan Reef, Backreef, and McKittrick Hill Caves - First-day road log, Trip 1, Washington Ranch to Dark Canyon, Mosley Canyon, and Queen Highway, through Indian Basin and Rocky Arroyo, to Azotca Mesa, 2006,
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Land L. , Love D. , Polyak V. ,

Thickness variations in the Lamar Limestone and Reef Trail Members of the Bell Canyon Formation, Northwestern Delaware Basin, New Mexico and west Texas, 2006,
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Tyrrell W. W. , Diemer J. A. , Bell G. L. , Bichsel R. J.

Pervasive dolomitization with subsequent hydrothermal alteration in the Clarke Lake gas field, Middle Devonian Slave Point Formation, British Columbia, Canada , 2006,
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Lonnee J. , Machel H. G.

The Clarke Lake gas field in British Columbia, Canada, is hosted in pervasively dolomitized Middle Devonian carbonates of the Slave Point Formation. The Clarke Lake field consists mostly of pervasive matrix dolomite and some saddle dolomite, the latter varying in volume from about zero in limestones to normally 20–40% (locally up to 80%) in dolostones over any given 10-m (33-ft) core interval. Some of the saddle dolomite is replacive, some is cement, and both varieties are associated with dissolution porosity and recrystallized matrix dolomite. The major objective of this study is to identify the causes and timing of matrix and saddle dolomite formation, specifically, whether these dolomites are hydrothermal. A comprehensive petrographic and geochemical examination indicates that pervasive matrix dolomitization was accomplished by long-distance migration of halite-saturated brines during the Late Devonian toMississippian. Fluid-inclusion homogenization temperatures suggest about 150 (uncorrected) to 190jC (corrected) at the time of matrix dolomitization. These temperatures differ markedly from most published work on the dolomitized Devonian reefs in the Alberta Basin south of the Peace River arch, where pervasive matrix dolomitization was accomplished by advection of slightly modified seawater at temperatures of about 60–80jC, and where no hydrothermal influence was ever present. The saddle dolomites at Clarke Lake are not cogenetic with matrix dolomite and are not the product of hydrothermal dolomitization (sensu stricto). Instead, they formed through the hydrothermal alteration of matrix dolomite by way of invasion of a gypsum-saturated brine during periods of extremely high heat flow and regional plate-margin tectonics in the Late Devonian to Mississippian. Fluidinclusion homogenization temperatures suggest that hydrothermal alteration occurred between 230 (uncorrected) and 267jC (corrected), which is significantly higher than the maximumtemperature of about 190jC attained by the Slave Point Formation during burial. The sources of the halite- and gypsum-saturated brines are Middle Devonian evaporite depositional environments roughly 200 km (124 mi) south and/or east of Clarke Lake, near the Peace River arch


Burial dolomitization and dissolution of Upper Jurassic Abenaki platform carbonates, Deep Panuke reservoir, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2006,
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Wierzbicki R. , Dravis J. J. , Alaasm I. , Harland N.

A large gas reservoir was discovered in the previously unproductive Jurassic-aged Abenaki carbonate margin in 1998. Most of the reservoir porosity is developed in dolostones. These dolostones replaced preexisting wackestones, packstones, and grainstones(?) associated with reefal and adjacent depositional environments. Many dolomites were subsequently recrystallized or dissolved, accounting for much of the preserved secondary porosity. Subsequent fracturing helped enhance reservoir permeabilities. Enhanced petrographic techniques established that dissolution of previously dolomitized fabrics generated much of the secondary porosity in these dolostones. Diffused plane-polarized light revealed relict grains and textures invisible with standard microscopic observations. Petrographic and geochemical observations also confirmed that dissolution occurred under deep-burial conditions after incipient pressure solution. Dissolutionwas not confined to the centers of dolomitized grains, as is commonly seen when remnant calcitic grains dissolve out during the advanced stages of replacement dolomitization. Instead, dissolution was random within relict grains, as isolated dolomite crystals were also variably dissolved. The geochemistry of these dolomites and associated late-stage calcites implied precipitation from basinal hot fluids, as well as hydrothermal fluids. Later diagenetic fluids, either acidic or calcium rich, or perhaps both at different times (based on associated mineralization), seemingly promoted dolomite dissolution. The presence of tectonic fractures and stylolites, helium gas, and faults observed in seismic data implied that dolomitization and subsequent dissolution along the Abenaki platform margin were controlled by reactivated wrench faults tied to basement. On a finer scale, diagenetic fluids moved through fractures and pressuresolution seams. The data collected to date support our contention that the dolomitization and dissolution process, which has created most of the porosity in the Abenaki reservoir, was poststylotization and deeper burial in origin. Given the timing of tectonic activity in the area and its inferred connection to diagenesis, it is probable that at least a part of the diagenetic fluids were hydrothermal in nature 


Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave-pools and anchihaline environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis., 2007,
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Gins Angel, Gins Joaqun
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007,
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Gins Angel And Gins Joaquin
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007,
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Gins A. , Gins J.

Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.


Palaeohydrogeological control of palaeokarst macro-porosity genesis during a major sea-level lowstand: Danian of the UrbasaAndia plateau, Navarra, North Spain, 2007,
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Baceta Juan Ignacio, Wright V. Paul, Beavingtonpenney Simon J. , Pujalte Victoriano

An extensive palaeokarst porosity system, developed during a pronounced mid-Paleocene third-order lowstand of sea level, is hosted in Danian limestones of the Urbasa–Andia plateau in north Spain. These limestones were deposited on a 40–50 km wide rimmed shelf with a margin characterised by coralgal buildups and coarse-grained bioclastic accumulations. The sea-level fall that caused karstification was of approximately 80–90 m magnitude and 2.5 Ma in duration. During the exposure, a 450 m wide belt of sub-vertical margin-parallel fractures developed a few hundred metres inboard of the shelf edge. Most fractures are 90–100 m deep, average 1 m in width, and are associated with large erosional features created by collapse of the reefal margin. Inland from the fracture belt, three superimposed laterally extensive cave systems were formed over a distance of 3.5 km perpendicular to shelf edge, at depths ranging from 8–31 m below the exposure surface. The palaeocaves range from 0.3 to 2 m in height, average 1.5 m high. They show no evidence of meteoric processes and are filled with Thanetian grainstones rich in reworked Microcodium, a lithology that also occurs infilling the fractures. The caves are interpreted as due to active corrosion at the saline water–fresh-water mixing zone. Caves are missing from the shelf edge zone probably because the fractures beheaded the meteoroic lens preventing mixing-zone cave development beyond the fracture zone. Towards the platform interior, each cave system passes into a prominent horizon, averaging 1 m in thickness, of spongy porosity with crystal silt infills and red Fe-oxide coatings. The spongy horizons can be traced for 5.5 km inboard from the cave zone and occur at 10.5 m, 25 m and 32 m below the exposure surface. In the inland zone, two additional horizons with the same spongy dissolution have been recognised at depths of 50 m and 95 m. All are analogous to Swiss-cheese mixing-zone corrosion in modern carbonate aquifers and probably owe their origins to microbiallymediated dissolution effects associated with a zone of reduced circulation in marine phreatic water. In the most landward sections a number of collapse breccia zones are identified, but their origin is unclear. The palaeokarst system as a whole formed during the pulsed rise that followed the initial sea-level drop, with the three main cave-spongy zones representing three successive sea-level stillstands, recorded by stacked parasequences infilling large erosional scallops along the shelf margin. The geometry of the palaeo-mixing zones indicates a low discharge system, and together with the lack of meteoric karstic features favours a semi-arid to arid climatic regime, which is further supported by extensive calcrete-bearing palaeosols occurring in coeval continental deposits.


Palaeohydrogeological control of palaeokarst macro-porosity genesis during a major sea-level lowstand: Danian of the UrbasaAndia plateau, Navarra, North Spain, 2007,
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Baceta J. I. , Wright V. P. , Beavingtonpenney S. J. , Pujalte V.

An extensive palaeokarst porosity system, developed during a pronounced mid-Paleocene third-order lowstand of sea level, is hosted in Danian limestones of the Urbasa–Andia plateau in north Spain. These limestones were deposited on a 40–50 km wide rimmed shelf with a margin characterised by coralgal buildups and coarse-grained bioclastic accumulations. The sea-level fall that caused karstification was of approximately 80–90 m magnitude and 2.5 Ma in duration. During the exposure, a 450 m wide belt of sub-vertical margin-parallel fractures developed a few hundred metres inboard of the shelf edge. Most fractures are 90–100 m deep, average 1 m in width, and are associated with large erosional features created by collapse of the reefal margin. Inland from the fracture belt, three superimposed laterally extensive cave systems were formed over a distance of 3.5 km perpendicular to shelf edge, at depths ranging from 8–31 m below the exposure surface. The palaeocaves range from 0.3 to 2 m in height, average 1.5 m high. They show no evidence of meteoric processes and are filled with Thanetian grainstones rich in reworked Microcodium, a lithology that also occurs infilling the fractures. The caves are interpreted as due to active corrosion at the saline water–fresh-water mixing zone. Caves are missing from the shelf edge zone probably because the fractures beheaded the meteoroic lens preventing mixing-zone cave development beyond the fracture zone. Towards the platform interior, each cave system passes into a prominent horizon, averaging 1 m in thickness, of spongy porosity with crystal silt infills and red Fe-oxide coatings. The spongy horizons can be traced for 5.5 km inboard from the cave zone and occur at 10.5 m, 25 m and 32 m below the exposure surface. In the inland zone, two additional horizons with the same spongy dissolution have been recognised at depths of 50 m and 95 m. All are analogous to Swiss-cheese mixing-zone corrosion in modern carbonate aquifers and probably owe their origins to microbially mediated dissolution effects associated with a zone of reduced circulation in marine phreatic water. In the most landward sections a number of collapse breccia zones are identified, but their origin is unclear. The palaeokarst system as a whole formed during the pulsed rise that followed the initial sea-level drop, with the three main cave-spongy zones representing three successive sea-level stillstands, recorded by stacked parasequences infilling large erosional scallops along the shelf margin. The geometry of the palaeo mixing zones indicates a low discharge system, and together with the lack of meteoric karstic features favours a semi-arid to arid climatic regime, which is further supported by extensive calcrete-bearing palaeosols occurring in coeval continental deposits.


HYPOGENE KARST AND SULFATE DIAGENESIS OF THE DELAWARE BASIN: SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO AND FAR WEST TEXAS, PhD Thesis , 2008,
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Stafford, Kevin Wayne

Hypogene speleogenesis is widespread throughout the Delaware Basin region as evidenced by intrastratal dissolution, hypogenic caves and suites of diagenetic minerals. The world famous carbonate caves of the Capitan reef facies of the Guadalupe Mountains have long been associated with sulfuric acid processes and recently have been associated with semi-confined, hypogene dissolution. However, evaporite karst within Permian backreef and basin-filling facies has been traditionally associated with surficial, epigene processes. On the eastern edge of the Delaware Basin cavernous porosity associated with oil reservoirs in Permian carbonates have been attributed to eogenetic karst processes.
Interbedded (evaporite / carbonate), backreef facies within the mid-Permian Seven Rivers Formation exhibit characteristics of hypogene karst associated with semi-confined dissolution controlled by the eastward migration and entrenchment of the Pecos River. Coffee Cave is a good example of hypogene dissolution, forming a multi-storey, rectilinear maze with abundant distinctive morphologic feature suites (i.e. risers, channels and cupolas) indicative of hypogene speleogenesis. Other caves within the Seven Rivers and Rustler Formations show similar patterns, although often less well developed.
Within the Delaware Basin, Castile Formation evaporites have been extensively modified by hypogene processes. Field mapping coupled with GIS analyses clearly shows that karst development and evaporite calcitization are highly clustered throughout the outcrop area. Individual caves commonly exhibit complex morphologies, including complete suites of morphologic features indicative of intrastratal dissolution. Clusters of hypogene caves are commonly associated with clusters of evaporite calcitization and often occurrences of secondary selenite bodies, suggesting all three are genetically related. Brecciated cores and associated native sulfur deposits indicate that calcitized evaporites are the result of semi-confined sulfate reduction in the presence of ascending hydrocarbons. Hypogene caves are currently being overprinted by epigene processes as surface denudation results in breaching of previously confined solutional conduits. However, calcitized evaporites stand as resistant masses attesting to the widespread importance of hypogene processes within the Castile Formation.
On the southern end of the Central Basin Platform, the spatial distribution of cavernous porosity, secondary mineralization and abundant karst fabrics within the Yates Field carbonate strata provide convincing evidence that karst porosity, at least locally, within the San Andres and overlying Permian strata is the result of hypogene speleogenesis. Porosity development appears to have been enhanced by high geothermal gradients and the addition of sulfuric acid-rich fluids, reminiscent of the same processes that have been proposed for the extensive carbonate caves of the Guadalupe Mountains.
Recognition of the widespread occurrence of hypogene speleogenesis throughout the Delaware Basin region indicates that the regional diagenetic evolution has been significantly affected by confined fluid migration, including not only the development of porosity but also the emplacement of many secondary mineral deposits. Therefore, future natural resource management plans must consider the nature of hypogene karst in site evaluations throughout the region in order to better predict geohazards, potential groundwater contamination and characterize mineral resources.


230Th/U-dating of fossil corals and speleothems, 2008,
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Scholz D. , Hoffmann D.

Both marine and terrestrial carbonates can be precisely dated by U-series disequilibrium methods in the age range <600 ka (thousands of years). Here we focus on 230Th/U-dating of reef corals and speleothems. The requirements, potential but also the problems of 230Th/U-dating of both archives are presented and discussed. Fossil reef corals are used as indicators for past sea level fluctuations and as high-resolution palaeoclimate archives. These applications require precise and accurate dating, which can be achieved using 230Th/U-dating. However, many fossil corals show evidence for post-depositional open-system behaviour. This limits the accuracy of 230Th/U-ages of fossil corals rather than the analytical precision. We present and discuss the currently available methods to identify altered corals and also review three recently developed open-system dating approaches. Speleothems are very important climate archives because they are found in most continental areas and can be used to investigate and directly compare spatially variable climate conditions. They usually show no evidence for open-system behaviour but may contain significant amounts of initial detrital 230Th. We discuss the currently available correction techniques and methods to derive the most reliable ages. Furthermore, we give an overview of the state of the art techniques for U-series isotopes measurements. 


ON THE ROLE OF HYPOGENE SPELEOGENESIS IN SHAPING THE COASTAL ENDOKARST OF SOUTHERN MALLORCA (WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN), 2009,
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Gines J. , Gines A. , Fornos J. , Merino A. , Gracia F.

The Migjorn region is one of the main karst areas in the island of Mallorca (Balearic Archipelago, Western Mediterranean) and has abundant coastal caves developed in Upper Miocene reefal carbonate rocks. In general terms it is an eogenetic karst platform in which littoral mixing dissolution processes usually represent the most important speleogenetic mechanism to be considered. Nevertheless, recent explorations in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Llucmajor Municipality), that nowadays has development exceeding 59 km of passages, raise interesting questions about the genesis of this outstanding littoral cave. An artificial entrance located at about 500 m from the coast line gives access to a complex assemblage of chambers and galleries, partially drowned by brackish waters, whose spatial disposition and morphological characteristics are strongly conditioned by the internal architecture of the Upper Miocene reef. The inner part of the cave consists of an extensive network of galleries that contain morpho-sedimentary features pointing to the possible participation of hypogene speleogenesis in the excavation of the system. Solutional features related to rising flow are abundant, together with Mn- and Fe-rich deposits and some minerals not known up to the l present in other caves of the region. The hypogene speleogenesis mechanisms that may have acted in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera could be associated with the feeble geothermal anomalies existing currently in the Llucmajor platform, related to important SW-NE faults which delimit the Campos subsidence basin in the southern end of Mallorca Island. The genesis of the cave system seems to be a complex matter including, besides coastal mixing processes and epigenic meteoric recharge, the participation of hypogene speleogenesis in an eogenetic unconfined setting.


Solutional features and cave deposits related to hypogene speleogenetic processes in a littoral cave of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean) , 2010,
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Fornó, S J. J. , Merino A. , Giné, S J. , Giné, S A. , Grà, Cia F.

The Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, located in the southern part of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean) and developed in Upper Miocene reefal carbonate limestones, is an exceptional coastal cave because of its particular morphological features and the presence of deposits with uncommon mineralogies. Littoral mixing dissolution processes represent the most important speleogenetic mechanism to be considered in the eogenetic karst platform, where it develops; nevertheless, part of the cave consists of an extensive network of galleries that show morpho-sedimentary features pointing up to a possible participation of hypogene speleogenesis. The morphological assemblage of the cave illustrates besides the typical coastal karstification, a noticeable meteoric water recharge along with a possible deep recharge of hypogenic character. Features consisting in upwards solutional channels are abundant, including a complete morphologic suite of rising flow supporting the involvement of hypogene speleogenetic processes. Furthermore, the presence of vents and some related speleothems, such as crusts and cave rims, together with Mn and Fe-rich deposits hosting several minerals not observed until present in other caves of the region must be highlighted. Given the monotonous surface geology around the cave, it is suspected that ascending Sr, Ba, Mn, and Al-rich hypogene solutions may have reacted with the host rock to form this unique mineral assemblage. These deep-seated speleogenetic and mineralogical phenomena could be associated with the feeble geothermal anomalies existing currently in the Llucmajor platform, related to SW–NE faults which delimitate the subsidence basin existing in the southern end of Mallorca Island.


Fresh-water lens anisotropy and flank margin cave development, Fais Island, FSM, 2011,
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Mylroie John E. , Mylroie Joan R. , Jenson John W. , Maccracken Rob

Fais Island, which lies about 200 km east of Yap, Federated States of Micronesia, in the Caroline Islands of the Western Pacific Ocean, is a small uplifted carbonate platform. Modern fresh water lens discharge is concentrated where high-relief cliffs extend seaward beyond the beach and reef flats. Fresh water flow from the beaches and reef flats is small to insignificant. Flank margin caves are also concentrated in these headlands and are conspicuously absent in the vertical cliffs inland of beach and reef flat areas. The original porosity in the pre-Holocene carbonate rocks of Fais has been rearranged into high-permeability flow
systems by repeated exposure to the fresh water lens. The older headlands that extend past the lower permeability beaches and reef flats, conduct water from the lens to the sea. At the same time, flank margin cave development between headlands was diminished by the lack of fresh water lens discharge in those areas. A large closed-contour depression containing a fresh water pool looks at first sight like a sinkhole, but is in fact, an ancient well dug into terraced Holocene sands that infill a reentrant in a paleo-sea cliff. The low relative permeability of these sands creates a more substantial fresh water lens than is available elsewhere on the island.


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