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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. ...

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That adsorption is adherence of gas molecules, ions, or molecules in solution to the surface of solids [22].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for wales (Keyword) returned 131 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 121 to 131 of 131
From sink to resurgence: the buffering capacity of a cave system in the Tongass national forest, USA , 2011, Hendrickson Melissa R. , Groves Chris

The Tongass National Forest of Southeast Alaska, USA, pro­vides a unique environment for monitoring the impact of the cave system on water quality and biological productivity. The accretionary terrane setting of the area has developed into a complex and heterogeneous geologic landscape which includes numerous blocks of limestone with intense karstification. Dur­ing the Wisconsian glaciation, there were areas of compacted glacial sediments and silts deposited over the bedrock. Muskeg peatlands developed over these poorly drained areas. The dom­inant plants of the muskeg ecosystem are Sphagnum mosses, whose decomposition leads to highly acidic waters with pH as low as 2.4. These waters drain off the muskegs into the cave sys­tems, eventually running to the ocean. In accordance with the Tongass Land Management Plan, one of the research priorities of the National Forest is to determine the contributions of karst groundwater systems to productivity of aquatic communities. On Northern Prince of Wales Island, the Conk Canyon Cave insurgence and the Mop Spring resurgence were continuously monitored to understand the buffering capacity of the cave sys­tem. Over the length of the system, the pH increases from an average 3.89 to 7.22. The insurgence water temperature, during the summer months, ranged from between 10oC to 17oC. Af­ter residence in the cave system, the resurgence water had been buffered to 6oC to 9oC. Over the continuum from insurgence to resurgence, the specific conductance had increased by an order of magnitude with the resurgence waters having a higher ionic strength. The cave environment acts as a buffer on the incom­ing acidic muskeg water to yield resurgence water chemistry of a buffered karst system. These buffered waters contribute to the productivity in aquatic environments downstream. The waters from this system drain into Whale Pass, an important location for the salmon industry. The cool, even temperatures, as well as buffered flow rates delivered by the karst systems are associated with higher productivity of juvenile coho salmon.


The aquatic macro-invertebrate fauna of Swildon's Hole, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK, 2011, Knight, Lee

Swildon's Hole is the longest cave on the Mendip Hills of Somerset (UK) and carries a sinking surface stream that can be followed throughout the cave to the terminal sump (XII). Within the cave, the main stream is joined by several tributaries, some of which are fed by autogenic percolating water. Sampling of the aquatic invertebrate communities of Swildon's Hole was undertaken at thirteen sites: nine sites on the main stream, of which eight were within the cave and the other was on the surface stream prior to the cave entrance; and four autogenic tributaries. The fauna of the main stream primarily comprised surface (epigean) dwelling benthic species that had been transported into the cave. The fauna of the tributaries was dominated by stygobitic species, including the Crustacea Proasellus cavaticus (Leydig, 1971 sensu Henry, 1970), Niphargus fontanus (Bate, 1859) andMicroniphargus leruthi (Schellenberg, 1934).
Records of the latter species are the first confirmed records from the UK. The results of the survey are discussed, along with a summary of the historical records of aquatic invertebrate species from the cave system. The survey represents only the second systematic, documented study of aquatic invertebrate fauna in a British cave system and the first to be conducted south of the Devensian glacial maxima limit, where stygobitic species are more likely to be encountered. The fauna of the cave, especially the presence of three species of stygobitic Crustacea and several other species that could be considered to be stygophilic, was found to be of significant importance and highlighted the need for additional studies of a similar nature in other cave systems on the Mendip Hills and in South Wales.


Ogof Draenen: an overview of its discovery and exploration, 2011, Lovett, Ben

The discovery of Ogof Draenen is one of the most significant events in British caving history. In October 1994, following almost 4 years of weekly digging activity, cavers from the Cardiff based Morgannwg Caving Club broke through into a major cave system near Abergavenny, southeast Wales. In less than 2 months 20km of passage was explored, and by the end of 1996 Ogof Draenen was more than 60km long. Exploration over that first 26 months proceeded at an average of around 2.5km per month. At over 70km, the cave is currently the longest in Britain. In this article the most significant events during the exploration of the cave are documented.


Landscape evolution in southeast Wales: evidence from aquifer geometry and surface topography associated with the Ogof Draenen cave system, 2011, Simms Michael J, Farrant Andrew R

The evolution of the Ogof Draenen cave system, in south-east Wales, has been profoundly influenced by the geometry of the karst aquifer and its relationship with changes in the surface topography. Using data from within the cave combined with a model of the aquifer geometry based on outcrop data, we have estimated the location and elevation of putative sinks and risings for the system by extrapolating from surveyed conduits in the cave. These data have enabled us to assess the scale and pattern of scarp retreat and valley incision in the valleys of the Usk, Clydach and Lwyd, that together have influenced the development of the cave. From this we can construct a relative chronology for cave development and landscape evolution in the region. Our data show that scarp retreat rates along the west flank of the Usk valley have varied by more than an order of magnitude, which we interpret as the result of locally enhanced erosion in glacial cirques repeatedly occupied and enlarged during successive glacial cycles. This process would have played a key role in breaching the aquiclude, created by the eastward overstep of the Marros Group clastics onto the Cwmyniscoy Mudstone, and thereby allowed the development of major conduits draining further south. In the tributary valleys incision rates were substantially greater in the Clydach valley than in the Lwyd valley, which we attribute to glacial erosion predominating in the north-east-facing Clydach valley and fluvial erosion being dominant in the south-facing Lwyd valley. There is evidence from within Ogof Draenen for a series of southward-draining conduits graded to a succession of palaeoresurgences, each with a vertical separation of 4-5 m, in the upper reaches of the Lwyd valley. We interpret these conduits as an underground proxy for a fluvial terrace staircase and suggest a direct link with glacial-interglacial cycles of surface aggradation and incision in the Lwyd valley. Fluvial incision rates for broadly analogous.


The hydrogeology of Ogof Draenen: new insights into a complex multi-catchment karst system from tracer testing, 2011, Maurice Lou, Guilford Tim

 A current understanding of the hydrology of Ogof Draenen, Wales, one of the longest and most complex cave systems in Europe, is presented. Previous tracer tests are reviewed and results of two new tracer tests presented. Numerous dolines occur on the Marros Group (formerly ‘Millstone Grit’) sandstones and the Pembroke Limestone Group (both of Carboniferous age) that crop out around the edges of the mountains overlying Ogof Draenen, with hydrologically active sinking streams common along the boundary of these strata. Surface pollution of a doline caused diesel pollution in the cave beneath demonstrating the vulnerability of groundwater. There are a few recently formed hydrologically active passages but groundwater flow is also influenced by many kilometres of relict passages formed during multiple phases of speleogenesis. This results in vertical and horizontal underfit streams that cross or flow through large relict passages. In the southeast of the cave, tracer testing revealed an underground watershed demonstrating the complexity of groundwater flowpaths. In the north a cave stream flows to springs which drain north to the Clydach Gorge. Small amounts of drainage in the cave may also reach springs in the Tumble Valley to the northeast, although these springs may be unconnected to the cave and fed entirely by stream sinks on the Blorenge mountainside. Multi-tracer injections within the cave revealed that the major underground streams flow south to feed large springs at Snatchwood and Pontnewynydd in the Afon Lwyd valley, in a different topographical catchment some 8km beyond the known cave, with rapid groundwater velocities of up to 4km/day. Nine other springs in the Afon Lwyd valley appear unconnected to the Ogof Draenen streams, being fed independently by sinking streams on the local mountainside. In addition, we show that Specific Electrical Conductance varies greatly both between and within springs, is negatively related to background fluorescence


Ogof Draenen: speleogenesis of a hydrological see-saw from the karst of South Wales, 2011, Farrant Andrew R. , Simms Michael J.

 Discovered in 1994, Ogof Draenen is currently the longest cave in Britain and among the thirty longest caves in the World, with a surveyed length in excess of 70km. Like other great caves, Ogof Draenen has had a complex multiphase history. This interpretation of the genesis of the cave is based on speleo-morphological observations throughout the system. Evidence of at least four phases of cave development can be identified, associated with major shifts in resurgence location and changes in flow direction of up to 180°. Joints have had a dominant influence on passage genesis. In particular joints have facilitated the development of maze networks and remarkably shallow horizontal phreatic conduits. The amplitude of these conduits is much shallower than predicted by models based on flow path length and stratal dip. Here, we suggest that presence of laterally extensive open joints, orientated perpendicular to the regional neo-tectonic principal stress field, determines the depth of flow in the aquifer, rather than fissure frequency per se as suggested in Ford’s Four State Model. We argue that the rate of base-level lowering, coupled with the depth of karstification determines whether a cave responds by phreatic capture or vadose incision. Maze cave networks within Ogof Draenen were probably initiated by bedrock-hosted sulphide oxidation and sulphuric acid speleogenesis.

(Note: Welsh terms used in this paper: Ogof = Cave; Afon = River; Cwm = Valley; Mynydd = Mountain).


The nature and origin of the ghost-rocks at Bullslaughter Bay, South Wales, 2012, Rowberry Matt D. , Battiauqueney Yvonne, Blazejowski Blazej, Walsh Peter

The ‘ghost-rocks’ of the British Isles have attracted very little research interest over the years despite being widely distributed. In South Wales, the ghost-rocks of the Pembroke Peninsula are usually associated with the mudrock formations immediately above and below the Carboniferous Limestone. This study focuses on their nature and origin through a detailed investigation of the cliff sections at Bullslaughter Bay. The investigated ghost-rocks are associated with a suite of breccias, collectively termed the Gash Breccias. These are an enigmatic suite of around twenty-five large breccia masses located exclusively in the eastern part of the peninsula. They comprise huge masses of coarse, chaotic, clast-supported, monomictic breccia and represent highly disturbed features in the otherwise unbroken sequences of Carboniferous Limestone. Their origin may be karstic, tectonic, or a combination of the two. They could, theoretically, have formed at any point between the end of the Carboniferous and the Pliocene. If their origin is karstic, it cannot yet be determined if the processes were attributable to per descensum or per ascensum groundwater systems. If tectonic, it is not known whether they formed during periods of compression or extension. From our own geological and geophysical fieldwork, we believe that the breccias originated as a result of subterranean karstic processes whilst retaining an open mind with regard to the role played by tectonics. The breccia and ghost-rocks are both displayed in fine cliff exposures around Bullslaughter Bay. These sections, although not extensive, are extremely instructive. The processes that generate ghost-rock result in isovolumetric weathering of the host rock and an associated loss of density and strength. They may or may not involve the removal of certain chemical constituents in the regolith through solution and hydrolysis followed by the formation of secondary minerals, frequently clay. In reality, the precise weathering process differs according to the type of rock. The process is controlled by the permeability of each rock type in banded rocks such as mudstones or shale with banded chert whereas it is controlled by fissures and faults in homogenous rocks. This control is clearly seen in the Carboniferous Limestone around Bullslaughter Bay, where ghost-rocks are present, more commonly in case of impure or dolomitic limestone. At present, it is not clear whether the groundwater movements were caused by hydrothermal or meteoric processes and this forms the basis of ongoing research. Finally, the study considers the relationship that exists between the ghost-rock and the Gash Breccia. We examine whether there is a logical correlation between the processes that came to generate the ghost-rock and the processes responsible for the generation of the breccia. It may then be possible to accurately state whether the ghost-rock formed before, during, or after, the breccia. The reasons that the ghost-rocks of the British Isles have attracted very little research interest may stem from the fact that they have no current commercial value, have seldom presented engineering problems, and are normally difficult to date. It is clear that numerous karst related sag-subsidences in the British Isles result from the large-scale decalcification of the Carboniferous Limestone (e.g. the Tortonian Brassington Formation of the southern Pennines). There is, however, an increasingly large body of evidence to suggest that these subsidences result from the same processes that generate ghost-rock rather than those that create endokarstic voids. The subsidences may preserve stratigraphical sequences several decametres thick and reach depths and widths of many hectometres. Unfortunately, the masses of decalcified limestone below the Tortonian sediments are of no commercial interest and have hardly ever been penetrated by boreholes. Therefore, we do not know exactly what underlies the karstic fills. The possibility that most of these structures are best explained as the result of per ascensum groundwater flow is discussed.


The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the thermal waters at Taffs Well, South Wales, UK, 2013, Farr G. , Bottrell S. H

Taffs Well is the only thermal spring in Wales, with an average temperature of 21.6°C ± 0.5°C. The River Taff is adjacent to the spring and removal of a weir and work on flood defences has reduced mixing with flood water from the river. This has enabled data to be gathered that more closely represent the thermal water end-member than previously possible. Limited interaction with modern waters is confirmed by tritium, nitrate, CFC and SF6concentrations below or close to lower detection limits, showing at most 6% mixing with modern waters. 14C dating suggests a conservative age estimate of at least 5000 years.
Values for dissolved noble gases suggest that the waters originate as rainfall at an altitude several hundred metres higher than the spring. The northern Carboniferous Limestone outcrop is proposed, which would then require recharged waters to flow to a depth of 400m and distance of 25km, following the synclinal structure of the South Wales Coalfield, to discharge at the spring. Sr isotope data suggest interaction with the Marros Group (formerly known as the Millstone Grit), the waters flowing within or close to the contact between the Carboniferous Limestone and Marros Group before rising via the Tongwynlais Fault.


Archaeological test excavations at two caves in Bishopston Valley, Gower, South Wales, UK, 2013, Dinnis R. , Davies J. S. , Boulton J. M. , Reynolds N. , Schouten R. , Smith G. M. , Souter E. M. , Chamberlain A. T.

A survey of the caves of Bishopston Valley, Gower, published previously in Cave and Karst Science (2010: Vol.37, No.2), identified cave sites with the potential to contain archaeological material within their sedimentary deposits, and assessed the conservation status of these sites. Two caves - Ogof Ci Coch and Valley Side Cave 1 - showed clear signs of recent anthropogenic and/or biogenic disturbance of their fill. Archaeological test excavation at both sites was undertaken in summer 2011, and the results are reported here. Ogof Ci Coch is demonstrated to be an archaeological cave containing Mesolithic and later prehistoric artefacts. However, archaeological material was only found within spoil deposits from a caving dig, now overlying intact but archaeologically sterile deposits near to the mouth of the cave. Archaeological interpretation of this material is therefore limited in scope. Valley Side Cave 1 was found to contain only disturbed deposits which are clearly the result of recent unauthorised excavation at the site. These findings have implications for the conservation and management of cave sites in Bishopston Valley.


Cave deposits of North Wales: some comments on their archaeological importance and an inventory of sites of potential interest, 2013, Dinni R. , Ebbs C.

Several caves in North Wales have yielded archaeological and palaeontological material of undoubted interest. Most notably, two caves in Denbighshire are the only archaeological sites in Western Europe to lie north of the Last Glacial Maximum limits and yet still contain archaeological material pre-dating it, offering a rare glimpse of what has been lost elsewhere. Although many North Welsh caves are documented in the scientific and caving literature the record of sites is dispersed and incomplete. Comments are offered here on the archaeological contents of these caves, and more generally about the current record of caves in the region. A selected inventory of sites that may be of potential interest to archaeologists is presented.


The weathered Carboniferous limestone at Bullslaughter Bay, South Wales: the first example of ghost-rock recorded in the British Isles, 2014, Rowberry Matt D. , Battiauqueney Yvonne, Walsh Peter, Blazejowski Blazej, Boutroumazeilles Viviane, Trentesaux Alain, Krizova Lenka, Griffiths Hywel

The Carboniferous Limestone at Bullslaughter Bay hosts some of the most notable examples of deep weathering in  the British Isles as well as two members of an enigmatic suite of breccias known as the Gash Breccias. The weathered limestone has  been investigated thoroughly in order to identify the process responsible for the weathering. In this paper it is demonstrated that the  weathering is isovolumetric but the weathering profile is not characterised by a vertical gradient and its depth suggests that meteoric  waters did not contribute significantly to the weathering process. The weathered limestone has lost significant amounts of calcium and  parts are virtually decalcified. It is seen that the dominant primary minerals of illite and quartz have been preserved while secondary  clay minerals are generally absent. The weathered limestone cannot be a saprolite sensu stricto as it has been subjected to only restricted  chemical processes. It is, therefore, interpreted as a “ghost-rock”. This type of weathering results from chemical dissolution by slow  moving waters in the saturated zone. It is suggested that the weathering may have taken place during periods of emergence in the  Carboniferous, at the same time as the cyclothem tops were exposed to subaerial modification, as evidenced by omission surfaces and  palaeokarstic solution features. This is the first time that ghost-rock weathering has been reported from the British Isles.


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