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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 moisture volume percentage is the ratio of the volume of water in a soil to the total bulk volume of the soil [22].?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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 beneath (Keyword) returned 148 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 136 to 148 of 148
Further phreatic cave systems under the Swaledale-Wensleydale surface watershed in the Yorkshire Dales, UK, 2012,
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Harrison, Tony

Four widely separated groups of phreatic network caves below the moors separating Swaledale and Wensleydale in the Yorkshire Dales have previously been reported, including a group of five closely-related systems accessed through the levels of Devis Hole Mine. Further exploration has now uncovered four more phreatic systems, including another network maze in Devis Hole, the Horn's Workings Cave Series. While similar in geomorphological structure to the earlier discoveries, this Series is distinct in having, in addition to horizontal passages, a number of shafts reaching towards the base of the Main Limestone beds in which all of the six cave series reside. This may be due to the presence of a syncline affecting the strata in this area of the mine, which would have provided a natural drainage route and might also have allowed joints to open, thus enabling vertical shafts to develop. The Horn's Workings Cave Series has been worked intensively by 19th century lead miners, and comparison of a recent survey of Horn's Workings with one made by the miners in 1857 indicates the high degree of accuracy achieved by the earlier surveyors. Two of the other recently discovered systems, Smithy Level Caves and Summer Lodge East Level Cave, are also accessed through old lead mines. Both display classic phreatic features modified by later vadose activity. The final new discovery is Shivery Gill Pot, a small extension of the previously examined group of Sod Hole Gill Caves. The nature of the range of phreatic systems now known to exist beneath the Swaledale-Wensleydale surface watershed implies that numerous other network caves might exist in the upper part of the Main Limestone in this region. These beds extend over a distance of more than 20km from west to east, but they are at outcrop only locally, so if such network caves are present they will probably only be discovered and accessed from the old lead mine workings that are a major feature of this part of the Dales landscape.


Electrical resistivity surveys of anthropogenic karst phenomena, southeastern New Mexico, 2012,
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Land L. , Veni G.

A small but significant number of sinkholes and other karst phenomena in southeastern New Mexico are of human origin and are often associated with solution mining of salt beds in the shallow subsurface. In 2008 two brine wells in a sparsely populated area of northern Eddy County, New Mexico, abruptly collapsed as a result of solution mining operations. The well operators had been injecting fresh water into underlying salt beds and pumping out brine for use as oil field drilling fluid. A third brine well within the city limits of Carlsbad, New Mexico, has been shut down to forestall possible sinkhole development in this more densely populated area. Electrical resistivity surveys conducted over the site of the brine well confirm the presence of a large, brine-filled cavity beneath the we0llhead. Laterally extensive zones of low resistivity beneath the well site represent either open cavities and conduits caused by solution mining or highly fractured and/or brecciated, brine-saturated intervals that may have formed by sagging and collapse into underlying cavities. The data also indicate that significant upward stoping has occurred into overlying strata.


Electrical Tomography Applied to the Detection of Subsurface Cavities, 2013,
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Martineslpez J. , Rey J. , Dueas J. , Hidalgo C. , Benavente J.

We have analyzed the geoelectric response produced by three cavities cut into different geological substrata of granite, phyllite, and sandstone that had previously been characterized by direct methods. We also examined a mining void excavated in granite. In each case, we applied three different geoelectric arrays (Wenner-Schlumberger, Wenner and dipole-dipole) and several inter-electrode spacings. The survey results suggest that electrical resistivity tomography is a viable geophysical tool for the detection and monitoring of mining voids and other subsurface cavities. The results vary depending on a wide range of factors, such as the depth and diameter of the cavity, the multi-electrode array used, the inter-electrode spacing, the geological model, and the density of the data. The resolution capacity of the Wenner- Schlumberger array for the detection of these cavities was greater than that of the Wenner array and slightly better than the dipole-dipole. There is a direct relationship between inter-electrode spacing and diameter of the cavity. In general, we observed a loss of resolution as the distance between the electrodes increased. The most efficient detection was achieved when the inter-electrodes distance was less than or equal to the diameter of the cavity itself. In addition, cavity detection became increasingly less precise with its depth beneath the surface. Cavities with a radius of about 1.5 m were located by both the Wenner- Schlumberger method and the dipole-dipole at depths of more than 4.6 m, which means that prospecting can be carried out at depths 3 times the radius of the cavity.


Marine seismic-reflection data from the southeastern Florida Platform: a case for hypogenic karst, 2013,
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Cunningham, Kevin J.

Recent acquisition of twenty marine seismic-reflection profiles suggests a hypogenic karst origin for the Key Biscayne sinkhole located on the seafloor of Miami Terrace at the southeastern part of Florida Platform. Analysis of the seismic-reflection data strongly suggest the submarine sinkhole was produced by dissolution and collapse of Plio(?)-Pleistocene age carbonate strata. A complex fault system that includes compres-sional reverse faults underlies the sinkhole, providing a physical system for the possible exchange of groundwater with the sinkhole. One seismic profile is suggestive of a mas-ter feeder pipe beneath the sinkhole. The feeder pipe is characterized by seismic-reflection configurations that resemble megabreccia and stratal collapse. The sinkhole is located at a depth of about 365 m below sea level. The record of sea-level change dur-ing the Plio(?)-Pleistocene and amount of subsidence of the Florida Platform during this span of time indicates that the sinkhole has always been submerged at a water depth of about 235 m or more. Thus, the near-surface epigenic karst paradigm can be ruled out. Possible hypogenic models for sinkhole formation include ascending fluids along the fault system, such as, dissolution related to the freshwater/saltwater mixing at a regional groundwater discharge site, or processes related to gases derived from gener-ation of hydrocarbons within deep Mesozoic strata. Hydrocarbon-related karstification provides several possible scenarios: (1) oxidation of deep oil-field derived hydrogen sulfide at or near the seafloor to form sulfuric acid, (2) reduction of Cretaceous or Paleocene anhydrite or both by oil-field methane to form hydrogen sulfide and later oxidation to form sulfuric acid, and (3) carbon-dioxide charged groundwater reacting to form carbonic acid. Further, anerobic microbes could form methane outside of a hy-drocarbon reservoir that ascends through anhydrite to form hydrogen sulfide and later oxidized to sulfuric acid.


Karst Memores Aboye and Beneath the See: Marseilles and Its Continental Shelf During the Cosquer Cave Occupation, 2013,
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Collinagirard, Jacques

In the south of France, the Cosquer Cave with its famous prehistoric paintings is located in  a karstic area located between Marseilles and Cassis. This emerged and submerged karst is  typical ofkarstic coasts submerged after the Late-Glacial Maximum. Ail the forms observed  in the hinterland can be observed directly by scuba divers and indirectly on bathymetrie  charts: lapiaz, karstic archs, sinkholes, uvala and polje. The emerged and submerged landscapes  are mainly the heritage of specifie lithological conditions (Urgonian limestones) and  tectonic conditions (vertical faulting network leading to coastal eollapse in theMediterranean  Sea). üther elements of this submerged Iandscape are given by the traces of the last sea  level rise (palaeo-shorelines and erosion platforms and notehes). AIl the area between  Marseilles and La Ciotat is now established as the Calanques National Park, inc1uding the  Cosquer Cave with its upper Palaeolithic rock art paintings, which adds an international  archaeological interest to this exceptional natural area


COVER-COLLAPSE SINKHOLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE CRETACEOUS EDWARDS LIMESTONE, CENTRAL TEXAS, 2013,
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Hunt B. B. , Smith B. A. , Adams M. T. , Hiers S. E. , Brown N.

Sudden cover-collapse sinkhole (doline) development is uncommon in the karstic Cretaceous-age Edwards limestone of central Texas. This paper presents a case-study of a sinkhole that formed within a stormwater retention pond (SWRP) in southwest Austin. Results presented include hydrogeologic characterizations, fate of stormwater, and mitigation of the sinkhole. On January 24, 2012, a 11 cm (4.5 in) rainfall filled the SWRP with about 3 m (10 ft) of stormwater. Subsequently, a sinkhole formed within the floor of a SWRP measuring about 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and 4 m (12 ft) deep. About 26.5 million liters (7 million gallons) of stormwater drained into the aquifer through this opening. To determine the path, velocity, and destination of stormwater entering the sinkhole a dye trace was conducted. Phloxine B was injected into the sinkhole on February 3, 2012. The dye was detected at one well and arrived at Barton Springs in less than 4 days for a minimum velocity of 2 km/day (1.3 mi/day).Review of pre-development 2-foot topographic contour and geologic maps reveals that the SWRP was built within a broad (5,200 m2; 6 acre), shallow depression bounded by two inferred NE-trending fault zones. Photographs taken during SWRP construction showed steep west-dipping bedrock in the northern SWRP wall. Following collapse of the sinkhole, additional hydrogeologic characterization included excavation to a depth of 6.4 m (21 ft), surface geophysics (resistivity), and rock coring. Geologic materials consisted mostly 89of friable, highly altered, clayey limestone consistent with epikarst in-filled with terra rosa providing a cover of the feature. Dipping beds, and fractured bedrock support proximity to the mapped fault zone. Geophysics and surface observations suggested a lateral pathway for stormwater flow at the junction between the wet pond’s impermeable geomembrane and compacted clay liner for the retention pond. The collapse appears to have been caused by stormwater down-washing poorly consolidated sediments from beneath the SWRP and into a pre-existing karst conduit system.

Mitigation of the sinkhole included backfill ranging from boulders to gravel, a geomembrane cover, and reinforced concrete cap. Additional improvements to the SWRP included a new compacted clay liner overlain by a geomembrane liner on the side slopes of the retention pond.


GYPSUM KARST CAUSES RELOCATION OF PROPOSED CEDAR RIDGE DAM, THROCKMORTON COUNTY, TEXAS, 2013,
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Johnson K. S. , Wilkerson J. M.

Cedar Ridge Dam and Reservoir will be built to supply water for the city of Abilene, Texas. The original damsite (CR) was to be located on Clear Fork of Brazos River in Throckmorton County, but initial coring of the damsite encountered unsuspected gypsum beds in the Permian-age Jagger Bend/Valera Formation. Gypsum is a highly soluble rock that typically contains karst features, and its presence in a dam foundation or impoundment area could allow water to escape from the reservoir. A decision was made to look at potential sites farther upstream (to the southwest), where west-dipping gypsum beds would be deeper underground and karst problems would be minimized or eliminated.The first phase of the relocation was a comprehensive field study of Clear Fork Valley, upstream of the original damsite, to identify gypsum outcrops; gypsum was exposed at only one location, just above damsite CR. The second phase of the study was examination of nearly 100 petroleum-test geophysical logs to identify, correlate, and map the subsurface gypsum and associated rock layers upstream of the original damsite. The gypsiferous sequence is 30–45 m thick, and consists of 8 gypsum beds, mostly 1–3 m thick, interbedded with red-brown and gray shale units 1–10 m thick. Gypsum beds comprise 25–30% of the gypsiferous sequence. Gypsum beds dip uniformly to the west at about 7 m/km (about 0.4 degrees), and thus the uppermost gypsum is at least 23 m beneath the newly proposed damsite (A), about 8 km to the southwest.Subsequent coring and other studies of the new damsite A confirm that gypsum beds are 23 m beneath the newly proposed dam. There is no evidence of solution channels or other karst features beneath this site, and thus there is little likelihood of water loss from the reservoir at the new site due to gypsum karst.


EVAPORITE KARST IN THE PERMIAN BASIN REGION OF WEST TEXAS AND SOUTHEASTERN NEW MEXICO: THE HUMAN IMPACT , 2013,
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Land, Lewis

A significant minority of sinkholes in the greater Permian Basin region of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico are of human origin. These anthropogenic sinkholes are often associated with historic oil field activity, or with solution mining of Permian salt beds in the shallow subsurface. The well-known Wink Sinks in Winkler Co., Texas formed in 1980 and 2002 within the giant Hendrick oil field. The Wink Sinks were probably the result of subsurface dissolution of salt caused by fresh water leakage in improperly cased abandoned oil wells. In 2008 two catastrophic sinkhole events occurred a few months apart in northern Eddy Co., New Mexico, and a third formed a few months later in 2009 near Denver City, Texas. All three sinkholes were the result of solution mining operations for brine production from Upper Permian salt beds. The Eddy Co. sinkholes formed within the giant Empire oil and gas field, several kilometers from populated areas. In the aftermath of these events, another brine well operation was identified within the city limits of Carlsbad, New Mexico as having a similar geologic setting and pumping history. That well has been abandoned and geotechnical monitoring of the site has been continuous since 2008. Although there is no indication of imminent collapse, geophysical surveys have identified a substantial void in Permian salt beds beneath the brine well extending north and south beneath residential areas, a major highway intersection, a railroad, and an irrigation canal


Karst Memories Above and Beneath the See: Marseilles and Continental Shelf During the Cosquer Cave Occupation, 2014,
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Collinagirard, Jacques

In the south of France, the Cosquer Cave with its famous prehistoric paintings is located in a karstic area located between Marseilles and Cassis. This emerged and submerged karst is typical of karstic coasts submerged after the Late-Glacial Maximum. Ail the forms observed in the hinterland can be observed directly by scuba divers and indirectly on bathymetrie charts: lapiaz, karstic archs, sinkholes, uvala and polje. The emerged and submerged landscapes are mainly the heritage of specifie lithological conditions (Urgonian limestones) and tectonic conditions (vertical faulting network leading to coastal eollapse in theMediterranean Sea). üther elements of this submerged Iandscape are given by the traces of the last sea level rise (palaeo-shorelines and erosion platforms and notehes). AIl the area between Marseilles and La Ciotat is now established as the Calanques National Park, inc1uding the Cosquer Cave with its upper Palaeolithic rock art paintings, which adds an international archaeological interest to this exceptional natural area.


Volcanism-induced karst landforms and speleogenesis, in the Ankarana Plateau (Madagascar). Hypothesis and preliminary research., 2014,
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The Ankarana is a limestone plateau in the northern part of Madagascar, where a cave system, more than 120 km long, has been explored. The plateau is bordered by volcanoes and is cut across by several canyons. An analysis of surface landforms and caves suggests that the karst genesis was probably initiated by volcanism beneath an impervious cover. Volcanic bulging and magma intrusions may have favored a basalt-limestone assimilation process and metamorphism. The ascent of deep volcanic fluids (CO2 and SO2) from magma degassing and from limestone metamorphism, may explain the speleogenesis. Once denuded, the karst evolved classically, but the selective erosion of metamorphosed rocks (more likely to be weathered than pure limestone), resulted in the creation of unusual landforms such as canyons and large circular basins.


Basinscale conceptual groundwater flow model for an unconfined and confined thick carbonate region, 2015,
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Application of the gravitydriven regional groundwater flow (GDRGF) concept to the hydrogeologically complex thick carbonate system of the Transdanubian Range (TR), Hungary, is justified based on the principle of hydraulic continuity. The GDRGF concept informs about basin hydraulics and groundwater as a geologic agent. It became obvious that the effect of heterogeneity and anisotropy on the flow pattern could be derived from hydraulic reactions of the aquifer system. The topography and heat as driving forces were examined by numerical simulations of flow and heat transport. Evaluation of groups of springs, in terms of related discharge phenomena and regional chloride distribution, reveals the dominance of topographydriven flow when considering flow and related chemical and temperature patterns. Moreover, heat accumulation beneath the confined part of the system also influences these patterns. The presence of cold, lukewarm and thermal springs and related wetlands, creeks, mineral precipitates, and epigenic and hypogenic caves validates the existence of GDRGF in the system. Vice versa, groups of springs reflect rock–water interaction and advective heat transport and inform about basin hydraulics. Based on these findings, a generalized conceptual GDRGF model is proposed for an unconfined and confined carbonate region. An interface was revealed close to the margin of the unconfined and confined carbonates, determined by the GDRGF and freshwater and basinal fluids involved. The application of this model provides a background to interpret manifestations of flowing groundwater in thick carbonates generally, including porosity enlargement and hydrocarbon and heat accumulation.


Basin-scale conceptual groundwater flow model for an unconfined and confined thick carbonate region, 2015,
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Application of the gravity-driven regional  groundwater flow (GDRGF) concept to the  hydrogeologically complex thick carbonate system of the  Transdanubian Range (TR), Hungary, is justified based on  the principle of hydraulic continuity. The GDRGF concept  informs about basin hydraulics and groundwater as a  geologic agent. It became obvious that the effect of  heterogeneity and anisotropy on the flow pattern could be  derived from hydraulic reactions of the aquifer system.  The topography and heat as driving forces were examined  by numerical simulations of flow and heat transport.  Evaluation of groups of springs, in terms of related  discharge phenomena and regional chloride distribution,  reveals the dominance of topography-driven flow when  considering flow and related chemical and temperature  patterns. Moreover, heat accumulation beneath the confined  part of the system also influences these patterns. The  presence of cold, lukewarm and thermal springs and  related wetlands, creeks, mineral precipitates, and epigenic  and hypogenic caves validates the existence of GDRGF in  the system. Vice versa, groups of springs reflect rock–  water interaction and advective heat transport and inform  about basin hydraulics. Based on these findings, a  generalized conceptual GDRGF model is proposed for  an unconfined and confined carbonate region. An interface  was revealed close to the margin of the unconfined and  confined carbonates, determined by the GDRGF and  freshwater and basinal fluids involved. The application  of this model provides a background to interpret manifestations  of flowing groundwater in thick carbonates  generally, including porosity enlargement and hydrocarbon  and heat accumulation.


Bullita cave system, Judbarra / Gregory Karst, tropical Australia, 2016,
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In the monsoon tropics of northern Australia, Bullita Cave is the largest (123 km) of a group of extensive, horizontal, joint-controlled, dense network maze caves which are epikarst systems lying at shallow depth beneath a well-developed karrenfield. The Judbarra / Gregory Karst and its caves are restricted to the outcrop belt of the thin, sub-horizontal, Proterozoic Supplejack Dolostone. 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 as the, by then deeply-incised, karrenfield breaks up into isolated ruiniform blocks and pinnacles. Vertical development of the cave has been generally restricted to the epikarst zone by a 3m bed of impermeable and incompetent shale beneath the Supplejack which first perched the water-table, forming incipient phreatic passages above it, and later was eroded by vadose flow to form an extensive horizontal system of passages 10-20m 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 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.


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