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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 phreatic rise is the upward movement of the water table [16].?

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

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Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

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 accumulation (Keyword) returned 131 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 106 to 120 of 131
Geomorphological Characteristics of the Italian Side of Canin Massif (Julian Alps) using Digital Terrain Analysis and Field Observations , 2011,
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Telbisz Tams, Mari Lszl, Szab Lnrd

In this paper, by the example of Canin Massif, it is demon­strated, how GIS-techniques can be used for the study of high mountain karst terrains. In case of Canin, elevation and slope histograms show characteristic differences in plateau levels and landforming processes between the northern, western and southern sectors of the mountains. Ridge and valley map (de­rived from the digital elevation model) and thalweg analysis are used to recognize drainage reorganizations north of the Italian Canin plateau. Potential snow accumulation locations and nu­nataks are determined based mainly on the slope map. Geo­morphological sketch maps and statistical analysis of closed depressions are also carried out in this study supporting the relatively young age of superficial karstification and the strong structural impact. Finally, it is concluded, that quantitative and visual capabilities of GIS are useful in discriminating the effects of glacial, fluvial, structural and karst processes.

Cave excavation: some methodological and interpretive considerations, 2011,
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Stratford, D. J.

Caves potentially afford excellent levels of preservation for buried sediments, artefacts and faunal remains but, through depositional, post-depositional and diagenetic processes, material can be disassociated from its primary context. As well as the established archaeological or palaeontological research questions, the priorities of excavations in cave sediments include: identifying distinct stratigraphical units, clarifying the site formation processes responsible for the accumulation and distribution of the assemblages, and identifying any preserved primary contextual information. A wide variety of sediments that are "typically missing or masked" (Goldberg and Sherwood, 2006, p.20) in open-air sites can be encountered during cave excavation. This, combined with the stratigraphical complications inherent to cave sites makes every site different and warrants a site-specific, multi-disciplinary approach to its excavation. Stratigraphically sensitive and flexible methods of excavation and documentation are required when approaching cave excavation. A site-specific combination of techniques and practices helps ensure the stratigraphical integrity of the excavation material, successful adaptation to the cave environment and changing sedimentological conditions, and the restriction of information loss. This paper presents some important considerations needed when planning and conducting excavations of artefact and bone-bearing cave sediments as well as some of the interpretive issues surrounding the material once it is removed.

Fish remains in cave deposits; how did they get there, 2011,
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Russ H. , Jones A. K. G.

Fish bones are commonly found in cave deposits. How they got there is an interesting question, and one that has, until recently, been largely overlooked. Previous interpretations of fish remains in caves have centred around their exploitation by humans, but there might be a number of other factors involved. These include natural events (such as flooding) or non-human agents of accumulation such as birds, bears, wolves or otters. Whereas there has been considerable research on some of these animals in relation to the economic importance of the fish they consume (e.g. bears and salmon), it is of little value to archaeologists attempting to determine which animals might have eaten the fish, as they do not record the body parts eaten, or the condition of specimens that survive digestion and are deposited in faeces. Controlled feeding experiments can help with interpretation, but these can be difficult logistically. Two experiments involving the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and their potential taphonomic signatures are briefly described. Overall, fish remains are a valuable source of information about past human ecology, but there is still a considerable amount of research to be done before they can be interpreted fully.

On the occurrence and distribution of bats in Ogof Draenen, 2011,
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Kendall Rhian, Guilford Tim

The modest aim of this paper is to present records and observations of bat activity in Ogof Draenen. The records are predominantly collated from those made by cavers since the discovery of the cave system in 1994. Most of these records are unsystematic in nature, and are likely to be biased towards the more visible Horseshoe bats (which make up the vast majority of sightings), perhaps under-representing the more cryptic Myotis species. Nonetheless they help to provide a coherent picture of the way that bats use what is now probably Britain’s longest cave. Bat activity is temporally concentrated to the winter months, and suggests that Lesser Horseshoes in particular exploit the deeper cave passages as solitary hibernation roosts in winter, probably moving dynamically in response to cold weather. There is little evidence of summer usage. Spatially, activity is concentrated in the relict passages close to the known hibernaculum at Siambre Ddu, with only occasional sightings elsewhere in the cave. The density of sightings is shown graphically and compared with the recorded distributions of guano accumulations and bat skeletons, and suggests a similar spatial usage now and historically, even though animal densities were formerly much higher and might once have involved summer usage of the cave. Dustings of faecal pellets throughout the cave suggest that bats may also use the entire system in a much more diffuse manner. Ogof Draenen therefore provides an important site for hibernation activity for several bat species, predominantly centred on the hibernaculum at Siambre Ddu.

Formation and accumulation of oil and gas in marine carbonate sequences in Chinese sedimentary basins, 2011,
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Jin, Z.

Advances in studies of formation and accumulation mechanisms of oil and gas in marine carbonate sequences have led to continuing breakthroughs of petroleum exploration in marine carbonate sequences in Chinese sedimentary basins in recent years. The recently discovered giant Tahe Oil Field and Puguang Gas Field have provided geological entities for further studies of the formation and accumulation of oil and gas in marine carbonate sequences. Marine carbonate sequences in China are characterized by old age, multiple structural deformation, differential thermal evolution of source rocks, various reservoir types (i.e. reef-bank complex and paleo-weathered crust karst reservoir), uneven development of caprocks, especially gypsum seal, and multi-episodes of hydrocarbon accumulation and readjustment. As a result, the formation of hydrocarbon accumulations in the Chinese marine carbonate sequences has the following features: (i) the high-quality marine source rocks of shale and calcareous mudstone are often associated with siliceous rocks or calcareous rocks and were deposited in slope environments. They are rich in organic matter, have a higher hydrocarbon generation potential, but experienced variable thermal evolutions in different basins or different areas of the same basin. (ii) High quality reservoirs are controlled by both primary depositional environments and later modifications including diagenetic modifications, structural deformations, and fluid effects. (iii) Development of high-quality caprocks, especially gypsum seals, is the key to the formation of large- and medium-sized oil and gas fields in marine carbonate sequences. Gypsum often constitutes the caprock for most of large sized gas fields. Given that Chinese marine carbonate sequences are of old age and subject to multiple episodes of structural deformation and superposition, oil and gas tend to accumulate in the slopes and structural hinge zones, since the slopes favor the development of effective assemblage of source-reservoir-caprock, high quality source rocks, good reservoirs such as reef-bank complex, and various caprocks. As the structural hinge zones lay in the focus area of petroleum migration and experienced little structural deformation, they are also favorable places for hydrocarbon accumulation and preservation.

Assessing copepod (Crustacea: Copepoda) species richness at different spatial scales in northwestern Romanian caves, 2011,
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Ioana N. Meleg, Frank Fiers, Oana Moldovan

The aim of the present study was to assess copepod species richness in groundwater habitats from the Pădurea Craiului Mountains, Transylvania (northwestern Romania). Five species richness estimators (one asymptotic, based on species accumulation curves, and four non-parametric) were compared by testing their performances in estimating copepod species richness at three hierarchical spatial scales: cave, hydrographic basin, and karstic massif. Both epigean and hypogean species were taken in account. Two data sets were used in computing copepod species richness: 1. samples collected continuously during one year (dripping water) and seven months (pools) from five caves, and 2. samples collected from pools in twelve additional caves (data gathered from literature). Differences in copepod species richness among caves and hydrographic basins suggest that local environmental features are important in determining local species richness trends.

Hypogene Processes of the Gypsum Beds in Sangaw Sinkholes, Kurdistan Region, NE-Iraq, 2011,
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Ameen, B. M.

The Sangaw region is located at the western part of Zagros orogenic belt at the boundary between Low and High Folded Zones, Sulaimani governorate in Kurdistan region. The area characterized by low amplitude folds that are trending northwest southeast and arranged in en echelon pattern. The exposed formations are Eocene Pila Spi (limestone), middle Miocene Fat`ha(lagoon) and Upper Fars (clastics) formations. Many large and small sinkholes are found around Ashdagh anticline; some of them about 50 m in diameter and about 30 m deep. Some are developed into complicated cave systems with collaps blocks and breccias in addition to narrow passages and fissures. The largest of them is located directly to the west of Darzilla village at the southeastern plunge of Ashdagh anticline. The sinkholes occur in Fat`ha and in the Pila Spi Formations. The walls of the sinkholes are covered by secondary gypsum, sulfur, bitumen and secondary calcite. Inside the cave collapse, breccias and blocks with lensoidal stratified clayey sediments as weathering product could be seen. The water is acidic (pH=4) inside the caves and discharges as large spring (200L/S) with white milky color; it is called in the local Kurdish language, “Awa Spi “which means white stream. The weathering of the carbonate rocks is intense inside the cave and appears as honeycombs and rills mark which have very rough surface with dull color. The sinkholes were produced from the dissolution of thick gypsum and limestone beds. The origin of these caves has been proposed to be hypogenic speleogenesis due to the presence of gypsum and bitumen. These materials with the aid of bacteria enrich the water with H2S which aciditfies the water and precipitates the sulfur and secondary gypsum on the cave wall. The formation of H2SO4 by oxidaton of H2S is the main reason that aid the sinkhole hypogene generation in Sangaw area. A realistic model is drawn to interpret and connect the following: 1- The stratigraphy and structure of the area encourage the generation of underground stagnant pond suitable for reacting with the emanating H2S necessary for the hypogene generation of the sinkholes and precipitation of secondary native sulfur and gypsum.2- dissolution of gypsum and its reduction by bacteria. 3- upward migration of bitumen from nearby oil traps(hydrocarbon accumulation).

Speleothem deposition at the glaciation threshold An attempt to constrain the age and paleoenvironmental significance of a detrital-rich flowstone sequence from Entrische Kirche Cave (Austria), 2012,
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Meyer M. C. , Sptl Ch. , Mangini A. , Tessadri R.

Proxy records from high-altitude locations predating the Last Glacial Maximum are rare but could provide invaluable insights into the response of alpine catchments to the rapid climate fluctuations which characterized the last glacial period. Herewe present a detrital-rich flowstone record from Entrische Kirche Cave, an inneralpine cave situated close to the accumulation area of the Pleistocene ice-stream network of the European Alps that expanded repeatedly into the lowlands during glacial maxima. U–Th dating of this calcite is challenging due to high detrital Th. However, petrographic and stable isotope analyses in conjunction with associated clastic cave sediments provide useful insights into the climatic boundary conditions during speleothem formation and into the paleoenvironmental processes which operated in the ~2000 m-high catchment above the cave. Our data show that millennial-scale temperature fluctuations had a first-order control on the periglacial activity and vegetation in the catchmentwhich strongly influenced the formation and infiltration of detritus into the karst aquifer. The brown laminated and brown dendritic fabrics that compose much of the detrital-rich flowstone succession reflect these environmental processes. The temperature-dependence of periglacial and permafrost processes allows to constrain the amount of cooling relative to the present-day mean annual air temperature that is required to initiate detrital-rich calcite formation in Entrische Kirche Cave, i.e. −2.5 °C (minimum) to −6 °C (maximum), respectively. White inclusion-poor calcite that is intercalated with the detrital-rich calcite indicates warm (interstadial) conditions and geomorphological stability in the catchment area. One such phase has been U–Th dated to 88.3±6.9 ka (i.e. Greenland Interstadial 21 or 22). 

A large Cervidae Holocene accumulation in Eastern Brazil: an example of extreme taphonomical control in a cave environment, 2012,
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Hubbe Alex, Auler Augusto S.

A remarkable cervid bone accumulation occurs at a single passage (named Cervid Passage; CP) at Lapa Nova, a maze cave in eastern Brazil. CP lies away from cave entrances, is a typical pitfall passage and contains bone remains of at least 121 cervids, besides few bats, peccaries and rodents remains. There is no evidence of water (or sediment) flow at the site and in general bones lack post depositional alterations and display anatomical proximity, suggesting that the majority of the remains found inside CP (mainly cervids) are due to animals that after entering the cave got trapped in the site. Observations suggest that two entrances could have provided access to cervids (and the few other animals, besides bats), either by falling inside the cave or by entering by their own free will. Once inside the cave, the maze pattern would make route finding difficult, and of all passage intersections, only the one leading to CP would result in a non-return situation, starving the animal to death. Radiocarbon dates suggest that animal entrapment occurred during at least 5 thousand years, during the Holocene. The reasons why mainly cervids were found are unknown but they are probably related to the biology of this group coupled with the fact that caves provide several specific taphonomic processes that may account for a strong bias in bone accumulation. Indeed, the frequent occurrence of Cervidae in both the fossil and sub-fossil record in Brazilian caves may be related to an overall high faunal abundance or may suggest that these animals were especially prone to enter caves, perhaps in search of nutrients (as cave saltpetre) or water.

Provenance and geological significance of red mud and other clastic sediments of the Mugnano cave (Montagnola Senese, Italy), 2012,
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Lacoviello Francesco, Martini Ivan


The Mugnano cave is characterized by a thick clastic sedimentary fill showing a great variability of sedimentary facies, ranging from clay to coarse-grained sand deposits. This paper deals with combined sedimentological and mineralogical (XRD and SEM) studies of these sediments and bedrock insoluble residues in order to understand the origin and geological significance of cave deposits, with particular attention to red mud sediments, often considered as the residue of host rock dissolution. Three different sedimentary facies were recognized: i) YS, yellow sand with occasionally shell fragments, testifying the arrival of sediments from the surrounding landscape; ii) RS, red laminated mud; iii) GS, grey and red-grey mud and sand, dolomite-rich sediments. Furthermore, the results obtained in the present study allowed the identification of two fingerprint minerals: i) quartz, present only as traces in the limestone host-rock, and ii) dolomite, certainly related to the incomplete bedrock dissolution. Results obtained by this multidisciplinary approach testify that no one of the investigated sediments is representative of a completely autochthonous sedimentation (i.e. accumulation of insoluble residue of limestone in a cave environment). In fact, all the three sedimentary facies show a bulk composition rich in quartz, a mineral indicating an external origin for these sediments. Also the grey sediments, despite of their high content of bedrock- related dolomite, are quite rich in quartz and they testify the mixing of autochthonous and allocthonous sediments. The clay fraction of cave sediments shows strong compositional similarities with bedrock insoluble residue and consequently its analysis cannot be considered as a clear proxy for distinguishing between different parent materials. Therefore, the origin of these cave deposits is dominantly related to external sediments inputs, with terra rossa surface soils as the most probable parent material for red mud sediments.

Carbon cycle in the epikarst systems and its ecological effects in South China, 2012,
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Jiang Z. , Lian Y. , Qin X.

The carbon cycle in a global sense is the biogeochemical process by which carbon is exchanged among the biosphere, pedosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the earth. For epikarst systems, it is the exchange of carbon among the atmosphere, water, and carbonate rocks. Southern China is located in the subtropical zone; its warm and humid weather creates favorable conditions for the dynamic physical, chemical, and ecological processes of the carbon cycle. This paper presents the mechanisms and characteristics of the carbon cycle in the epikarst systems in south China. The CO2 concentration in soils has clear seasonal variations, and its peak correlates well with the warm and rainy months. Stable carbon isotope analysis shows that a majority of the carbon in this cycle is from soils. The flow rate and flow velocity in an epikarst system and the composition of carbonate rocks control the carbon fluxes. It was estimated that the karst areas in south China contribute to about half of the total carbon sink by the carbonate system in China. By enhancing the movement of elements and dissolution of more chemical components, the active carbon cycle in the epikarst system helps to expand plant species. It also creates favorable environments for the calciphilic plants and biomass accumulation in the region. The findings from this study should help in better understanding of the carbon cycle in karst systems in south China, an essential component for the best management practices in combating rock desertification and in the ongoing study of the total carbon sink by the karst flow systems in China

The cave environment inf luencing the lipid prof ile and hepatic lipogenesis of the f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus Reis, 1987 (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), 2013,
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Bastos V. A. A. , Lopes Ferreira R. , Carvalho D. C. , Pugedo M. L. , De Matos Alves Pinto L.

The metabolism of hypogean organisms is frequently molded by the cave environment traits, especially food scarcity. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the inf luence of such environment on lipid composition and hepatic lipogenesis in the f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus. For this, the species was compared to an epigean population of the species. A greater accumulation of total lipids was observed in the cave-dwelling f ish (18.36 g/100 g tissue) compared to the surface f ish (14.09 g/100 g tissue). The muscle fatty acid prof ile also varied between the populations. Arachidonic acid was only detected in the epigean f ish, while docosahexaenoic acid was present in the cave f ish. In the lipid prof ile of Ancistrus cryptophthalmus there was a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids, followed by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; Ancistrus sp. showed a predominance of monounsaturated fatty acids. Signif icant differences were also observed in the activities of the hepatic enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme. The activities of these two enzymes were greater in the epigean animals. The differences could be related to different food availability observed in the two environments. An ecotone zone was observed, located next to the entrance of the Lapa do Angélica cave (Goiás State, Brazil), where the f ishes showed characteristics that were intermediate between those of hypogean f ishes from deeper within the cave, and the epigean population. It could be concluded that the characteristics of the cave environment signif icantly inf luenced the composition of muscle fatty acids and lipogenesis in the hypogean f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus.

Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave in the Crimea, a huge bone accumulation of Late Pleistocene fauna, 2013,
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Ridush . , Stefaniak K. , Socha P. , Proskurnyak Y. , Marciszak A. , Vremir M. , Nadachowski A.

The Crimean Mountains are well known from the abundance of Middle and Late Palaeolithic sites and palaeontological remains recovered from cultural layers in caves and rockshelters. The fossil-bearing deposits of Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave, located at the elevation of 1000 m on the Chatyrdag Plateau, yielded a very diverse and numerous vertebrate remains that widen the knowledge of Late Pleistocene faunal diversity in the Crimea. The assemblage comprised in total almost 50 species of vertebrates. Studies included geomorphological, geological and stratigraphic analyses as well AMS 14C dating. Faunal remains were present in ten palaeontological sites. The main bone accumulation (section Ba2) was deposited during Middle Valdai or Vytachiv (MIS 3) interstadial, and including a long time gap, to the end of the Pleistocene and the Holocene. Comparison of the Emine-Bair-Khosar fauna with vertebrate faunas of other Crimean sites showed a remarkable stability in the faunal composition and frequency during the whole MIS 3 interstadial. Steppe and other open-country species dominated in the compared assemblages, while boreal-tundra species were far less numerous. Inhabitants of forests, including red deer and some rodents, were stable members of fossil assemblages.

Cave aerosols: distribution and contribution to speleothem geochemistry, 2013,
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Dredge J. , Fairchild I. J. , Harrison R. M. , Fernandezcortes A. , Sanchezmoral S. , Jurado V. , Gunn J. , Smith A. , Spö, Tl Ch. , Mattey D. , Wynn P. M. , Grassineau N.

There is developing interest in cave aerosols due to the increasing awareness of their impacts on the cave environment and speleothem; this paper provides the first attempt to synthesize the issues. Processes of cave aerosol introduction, transport, deposition, distribution and incorporation are explored, and reviewed from existing literature. Key issues of specific aerosol processes of distribution and production as well as cave location and morphology effects are highlighted through the presentation of preliminary monitoring data. This study identifies the strong relationship between cave ventilation, cave aerosols and their consequent spatial distribution. The contribution of cave aerosol deposition to speleothem geochemistry is modelled and evaluated using a mass balance framework. As an example, speleothem trace element data from Obir Cave (Austria) are compared with aerosol inputs to evaluate their significance. The mass balance study demonstrates that generally, under normal continuous growth and environmental conditions aerosol deposition will be of only minor importance. However, it highlights specific scenarios in which aerosol contributions will be significant: speleothem hiatuses (or slow growth), high aerosol deposition, and secondary microbiological feedback.

The use of passive seismological imaging in speleogenetic studies: an example from Kanaan Cave, Lebanon., 2013,
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Nehm C. , Voisin C. , Mariscal A. , Grard P. C. , Cornou C. , Jabbourgdon B. , Amhaz S. , Salloum N. , Badarosaliba N. , Adjiziangerard J. And Delannoy J. J.

Among many parameters that control the evolution of caves stands the volume of unconsolidated clay sediments generally produced by the alteration of the calcareous rocks. Here we introduce the use of a passive seismological imaging technique to investigate the clay deposits and estimate its total volume in a cave. Applied for the first time for speleogenesis studies, the HVSR (Horizontal / Vertical Spectral Ration) is a geophysical technique that can help better interpret cave geomorphology. We apply seismological spectral techniques (H/V ratio) on ambient noise vibrations to derive the clay volume, as well as its shape. This technique applied on the clay volume reveals some internal details, such as fallen blocks prior to the deposit accumulation and helps to understand deposit evacuation dynamics. The study focuses on the Kanaan Cave, located in Metn District, Lebanon, and reveals new stages related to the cave speleogenesis. This technique could be applied on ‘paragenetic’ caves where clay volume is frequently present in order to constrain the clay volume and reconstruct the buried floor shape of the cave, underneath the clay deposit.

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