IGCP 299 IN 1993

1995-07-10KDL 1702

IGCP 299 IN 1993

Yuan Daoxian

The activities of this Project in 1993 were based on three meetings. The major one took place from 23-31, August, 1993 in Hamilton, Canada, in conjunction with the 3rd International Geomorphology Conference, and its B5 excursion on glacial and coastal karst, Bruce Peninsula, Ontario, 61 persons from 21 countries participated the meeting and field trip. During the 11st Congress of International Union of Speleology, August 2- 8, 1993, Beijing, China, a short meeting of IGCP 299 Working Group was held, including 14 participants from 8 countries. Among them were the former president of UIS Prof. Trimmel Hubert, and the newly elected UIS president Prof. Paolo Forti. Another meeting was at Oct. 26, 1993, Shiraz, Iran parallel with the international symposium on water resources in karst of arid and semiarid zones, with field excursion in Zagros Mt., Southern Iran. 63 persons from 6 countries were at the event, among them 41 from outside Iran. Moreover, there are remarkable progress at subgroups and some national working groups of this Project. The cooperation with international karst organizations, such as UIS, and Karst Commissions of IAH and IGU, has been as closely as usual. Future works were discussed and decided during the meetings. The informations are summarized as following.


The major scientific achievements in the fourth year of the Project come from more field correlations in karst areas with geological, climatic and hydrological background different from its previous excursions. The trip in Canada took place in the area between Huron Lake and Niagara Fall, covered by ice sheet during the last glaciation. The trip in Iran concentrated in Kazeron City and Maharlu area of Zagros Mt. , was characterized by high mountain, intensive tectonism, Tertiary and Upper Cretaceous carbonate rocks, and semiarid to semihumid climate. Important results from some subgroups and National Working Groups were reflected in the symposiums before the trip in Canada and Iran, as well as reports sent to the Project's Secretariat. Moreover, at the invitation of Italian colleagues of the Project (Prof. Paolo Bono, Prof. Ugo Sauro, Prof.Paolo Forti), the Project leader Prof. Yuan Daoxian visited Italy early 1993. The visit was helpful in learning some important Italian ideas on geothermal karst, high mountain karst, and gypsum karst for this Project.

1.1 Glacial Karst

In comparison with the previous experiences of the Project, the trip in Canada was characterized by glacial karst, i.e. karst developed under a climatic, topographical and hydrological condition controlled by the ice sheet of last glaciation which took place between 15,000 and 12, 000 years B. P. ( the "Wisconsinan"). The modern climate of the area is a cold temperate humid one, with annual mean temperature 6.5?, annual mean precipitation 850-1000mm(about 30% falling as snow), and evapotranspiration losses about 50- 60%. Geologically, the area is underlain by massive dolomite of upper Silurian 50m thick, with intercalation of shaly or cherty beds, and red, green shale of lower Silurian and upper Ordovician more than 100m thick. The geological structure of the region is rather simple, with a general dip of strata southwestly at 5-6 m per km. The difference in resistence to weathering between upper Silurian dolomite and the underlying shale, along with the effect of basal ice scour during last glaciation with a dominant direction of 235°U V made an escarpment hundred meters high coming into being and extending 200 km north-westward from Niagara Fall (Photo 1) to Tobermary at the terminal of Bruce Peninsula. The dolomite which forms the caprock of the escarpment is the stage for all the karst features examined during the Excursion. The geological and topographic setting of the dolomite strata provides a favourable hydrological condition for karst formation. The hydraulic gradient could be even more steep 10,220 years ago when the lake suface was about 60 m lower than present.

Participants got a good idea of what karst process can do in ten thousand years under the environment as being described above, because most of the karst features developed before last glaciation were scoured away by the movement of ice sheet. The predominant karst feature on Bruce Peninsula is grike dissected on glaciated pavement or roches moutonnees with remarkable glacial striation (Photo 2). Grikes are 10-30 cm deep, and several centimeters wide in general,

Photo 2 glacial striation on dolomite pavement, near Cyprus Lake, 
BruceIsland, Canada. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

whereas in the coastal belt, under the erosion and dissolution process of wave, they may be half meter deep, and tens centimeter in width(Photo 3). There are different types of karren on the pavement, such as pit karren or runnel karren. However, karren here on dolomite are not as sharp and deep as on limestone in other humid karst area. Bare carbonate rock are very rare as most part of the Peninsula are covered by moraine. Even on glaciated pavement, there are humus layer 20-30 cm thick which modern forest rely on(Photo 4). Bare dolomite are available near the coast under the wave action. Moreover, the wave also breaks the bedrock, and piles up dolomite blocks few meters thick along the coast(Photo 5). Dolinen, sinkholes and blind valley are avail able on the moraine, as a result of the development of underground drainage system in the underlying Silurian dolomite, such as those being examined at Wodehouse near Beaver Valley(Photo 6). They are usually shallow, dish- shaped, few meters in depth. Caves are few though available. Some of them on the coastal zone are clearly formed by wave action(Photo 7), but there are also phreatic caves. A cave developes on Silurian bioherm dolomite on Flowerpot Island. It is about 50m long and 30 m higher than the lake level. Speleothem are very few in the cave. A dripping water with pH 8.12, carbonate hardness 11.2 (German degree) and temperature 17.6? was found bringing about small stalagmite on the cave floor. The cave is believed to be formed when the glacial lake was at its high water stage. It is reported that the Leopard Frog Cave, 3.5km southeast of Tobermory, has an underwater length of 1.2 km, as explored by cave diving.

Photo 3. Deep grikes on dolomite pavement along George Bay coast, Bear's Ramp Island, near Tobermory, Bruce Pen., Canada. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

The karst feature complex on Bruce Peninsula shows that under such cold temperate but humid climatic environment, karst process is still remarkable. It is also supported by the hydrochemical data. The lake water is generally aggressive, e.g. at the time of Excursion, the Huron

Photo 4.Root system of a tree covering a dolomite rock block, with lichen and moss act as soil, the picture taken from Flower Pot Island, near Tobermory, Bruce Pen. Canada. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 5. Dolomite rock pieces produced by wave action, piling up several meters high on the coast of Cove Island, near Tobermory, Bruce island, Canada. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 6. Sinkhole near Wodehouse, Bruce Pen., Canada. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 7. Coastal cave on the eastern side of Bruce Island Park, near Tobermory, Canada. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)



Lake water has a carbonate hardness of 4.8 (German degree), pH 8.34 and temperature 19.7°U V C. On the other hand, karst water are usually saturated, e.g. water in Cyprus Lake which is fed by a karst spring has carbonate hardness 11.2, pH 8.34, and temperature 20. 8 °U V C, and calcareous tufa were found precipitating on lake bottom (Photo 8). Perhaps the forest plays some role to intensify the carbon cycle and the karst process. For instance, the COcontent in the humus atmosphere under the forest on Flowerpot Island (Photo 9) is 12,000 ppm (at depth of 10 cm) at the time of Excursion. Thisfigure is much higher than that under the forest in some arid region, such as North China. However, it is not as intensive as tropical and subtropical karst, where the carbonate hardness of karst spring in summer time could be much higher and there are big speleothem formation in caves, and thick calcareous tufa on surface stream under the forest.

There were some ecological problems in last century, when most part of Bruce Peninsula was logged for its timber and to settle it for permanent cultivation in the period 1850-1900 A.D.. The first phase of soil losses might have happened, but is difficult to evaluate now. Since 1930s, the attempt of farming this area has been abandoned gradually, because of unsuitable karst. Consequently, 60- 70% of the Peninsula including those areas with bare dolomite pavement or rock blocks are now covered by secondary mixed forest with cedar, balsam fir, jack pine, white pine, birch and hemlock as its major species(Cover photo). The trees are 10-20 m high. People were told that all of them are 120 years( oldest) to 10- 20 years in age. Participants from tropical , subtropical or Mediterranean karst, who are facing problems of rock desertification were encouraged from the fact they saw on the Bruce Peninsula.

Photo 8. Tufa deposit on the bottom of Cyprus Lake, Bruce Pen. Canada. 
(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 9. Flower Pot Island, near Tobermory, Bruce Pen. Canada. 
(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

1.2 Zagros karst and other types of karst in Iran.

People got some ideas about karst in Zagros Mountain from the excursion around Kazeron City, 160 km to the West of Shiraz. The area is at the southern Part of Zagros Range, 3000 - 4000 m asl and about 30 °U V N latitude. It is mainly underlain by carbonate rocks of Oligo- Miocene to upper Cretaceous. The strata has a predominant strike of NW-SE, as a result of tectonic compression induced by the opening of Red Sea. The annual mean temperature is 12°U V C, with annual precipitation ranging between 142 and 1065mm, so it is considered to be a semiarid to semihumid climate. However, Zagros Mountain is covered by snow for many months each year. The snow melting water plays an important role for karstification. Consequently, Zagros karst is neither like humid subtropical karst as those of South China, nor like semiarid karst as those of North China. In addition to dry valleys and big karst springs (with discharge ranging between 1 to 15 m3/sec), which are very common in North China semiarid karst, there are also remarkable karren, dolines, sinkholes (e.g. near Sepidan, NW Shiraz), caves(e.g. Shapour Cave), even karst lake (e.g. Parishan Lake) . Karst water of Zagros Mountain Range is an important source for fresh water in SW Iran. Forinstance, the total groundwater resources of Kazeron karst hydrologic system which has a catchment area of about 2000 km2 is estimated to be 750m3/a, but the present pumping from 30 wells is only 20-25m3/a. Another area being explored is the Maharlu Karst Basin, SW Iran, with a catchment area of 4200km2. Boreholes and well loggings with a total length of 10, 000 m have been done in the Basin. Study on the core lithology and in particular the Ca/Mg ratio reveals that the deeper part of the Basin is underlain by a dolomite aquifer.

Evaporite Karst. Two other types of karst in Iran were reported in the Shiraz Symposium, i.e, the evaporite karst and geothermal karst. Evaporite karst are seen on many salt plugs in the south part of Zagros Mountain Range. The salt is from the Hormoz Salt Formation at the base of phanerozoic zone,but is moving upward under the joint action of latteral pressure induced by the opening of Red Sea and the weight of several thousands meters overlying sediment. It penetrates through the upper strata and merges like a mushroom. On the surface, it forms a hydrologic system of radial pattern, e.g. the Kangan salt plug (200 km south of Shiraz on the Persian Gulf Coast). Many interesting surface karst features, such as salt cirque, salt mudflow, salt fall appear around the salt dome, e.g. those being seen on Laristan Desert(Photo 10). The salt dome may deteriorate the karst water from Tertiary and Cretaceous carbonate rocks, e.g the Kuh-E Siah Spring near Firoozabad City, recharging by the Upper Cretaceous (Sarvak Formation) limestone, is quite contaminated by a saltdome nearby.

Photo 10. Salt cirgue, salt flow, and other karst features on a salt dome,
Laristan Desert, Iran,
(after J.N.JENNINGS, Karst Geomorphology P.197, 1985)

Geothermal Karst. The Central Alborz Mt. in Nothern Iran, is underlain by Upper Jurassic limestone (The Lar Formation). In addition to karst features of usually meteoric origin, numerous caves have been found at depth of 7400 m in the Polour area, 85km northeast of Tehran, close to the Damavand Volcano. There is a geothermal spring carrying a lot of CO2and H2S. Lithological, Mineralogical (calcite and pyrite) and isotopic study show that karstification, especially deep karst is intensified remarkably by the carbonic acid and sulfuric acid of geothermal origin.

1.3 Italian karst(Photo 11,12,13): Some karst features in Italy are important from a Geothermal karst. Being active in modern volcanism and Neotectonism, and widespread in Mesozoic carbonate rocks, Central Italy around Rome is an ideal site for studing karst process of geothermal origin. Under the influence of deep source CO2, some of the carbonate rock aquifer are natural COreservoirs, such as the Ferrarelle MineralWater Field(Photo 14). The COconcentration on the water surface of many karst spring may be more than 6%. The hydrochemistry of karst water are characterized by very low pH(6-7, even less than 4), high carbonate hardness (usually more than 20 in German degree, even more than 80). Moreover, there are widespread tufa deposits dating back to Pleistocene(Photo 15,16,17). All of these show an intensive carbon cycle, and karst process.

Photo 11. Sinkhole on Arcinazzo karst plateau, Central Italy, 850 m asl. 
(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 12.Stone forest with deep karren on the surface on Mesozoic carbonate rock pinnacles, the photo taken from Campo Soliano, 350 m asl., near Teracina, Central Italy. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 13. Plantation of Olive tree on bare limestone slope, near Latina, 
Central Italy. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 14.A COGeyser well at the Ferrarelle Mineral Water Field, Central Italy. 
(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 15. Tufa cascades near Terni, Central Italy, formed by the water with very high carbonate hardness from active fault near Terminillo. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 16. A tufa quarry near Cisternia, Central Italy. The thick tufa related to phreatomagmatic activities was formed in Middle Pleistocene. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 17. Dissolutional karst features on the tufa building stone of the wall around Venezia Palace, Rome. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Incongruent Dissolution. In the Spipola Cave, Bologna, many calcite speleothem are found under this gypsum cave. It tells that under some biogeochemical environment, sulfates can be replaced by carbonic acid, and the importance of synergetic effect of interaction between lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, while studying carbon cycle and its relation to karst process(Photo 18).

High mountain karst(Photo 19,20). On the pre-Alps mountains near Bossano, small limestone pinnacles of frost denudation origin, matching with limestone scree are found widespread on the slope(Photo 21). It is very similar to those being seen in the Huanglong Ravine, and western suburb of Beijing during the 1991 Excursion of this Project, and may support the idea of paleoenvironment reconstruction in Beijing.

Photo 18. "A" tent developed on Miocene gypsum bed with giant crystal, on the surface of Spipola Cave, Bologna, Italy.(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

1.4 Reconstruct paleoenvironment with karst records

Holocene climate change. In Guilin, China, systematic research and dating on a 1.2 m high stalagmite taken from Panglongdong Cave, about 37km south of the city reveals that the growth rate of the stalagmite increased remarkablly during Holocene. It is about 3mm per 10 year in average in Holocene, but about 0.1 mm per 10 year in the time before 7,990 B.P.. The result shows a Holocene climatic trend to warm and humid in south China. Comprehensive study on this stalagmite, with AMS 14C, isotopic, and geochemical approach is still going on, and shows high resolution paleoenvironmental reconstruction promising. P.Williams reported a similar research using a New Zealand stalagmite 80,000 years old, but with mineral fluorescence, geochemical, and isotopic approach.

Photo 19. High mountain karst on Apennines Mt., East of Rome, 1800 m asl., showing limestone scree under Rendzina. (drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 20. Castellucio polje, Northeast of Terni, Central Italy, 1300 m asl., with snow cover on the surrounding mountain.(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Photo 21.Stone peaks on Traissic dolomitic limestone slope, Southern Alps. 
The photo taken at north of Bassano, near the border between Italy and Austria. 
(drawn by Zhao Junfen)

Paleoseismicity from records in stalagmites. D.Postpischl, P.Forti, Y.Quinif and others used stalagmites taken from "Grotta del Cervo", and "Grotta a Male", central Italy for tectonic and paleoseismic analyses. The December 1456 Earthquake of Central Italy was found recording as stalagmite collapse.

Tufa as indicator of environmental changes. In a joint research between Britain(Heather Viles and others) and Germany(Karl-Heinz Pfeffer), 9 sites of tufa deposit in the two countries were examined as an attempt to find out the origin of tufa deposition declining in N. Europe during Holocene. The result suggests that increased erosion within catchment, following land use change and climate fluctuations, has been recorded in tufa deposits and is one of the important factors causing their decline.


(1) World Karst Correlation. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Karst of Inner Plate Region with Monsoon Climate, July, 1991. Editor: Yuan Daoxian, published by the Institute of Karst Geology, Guilin, China as the No.16 English supplementary issue of CARSOLOGICA SINICA. 230 pages, the 28 papers include humid subtropical karst on old phase carbonate rocks in the southern part of mainland China; humid tropical karst on Cenozoic reef limestone of Ryukyus Island in Japan; Mediterranean karst of Yugoslavia; semiarid karst on lower Paleozoic carbonate rocks of Northern China; arid karst on Mesozoic carbonate rock with many evaporites in Iran; Alpine karst in western part of China; and thermal karst of Hungary.

(2) IGCP 299 Newsletter 1993. 79 pages. Ed. Xu Shengyou, supervised by Yuan Daoxian. The Institute of Karst Geology, Guilin, China.

(3) BIOKARST. 130 pages, 5 chapters. Written by Wang Fuxing, Cao Jianhua and others. In Chinese, with extended English summary. Published by the Geological Publishing House, Beijing, China. The karst dissolution and depositional effects of boring algae, fungus and lichens are discussed on the bases of field works and samples from Guangxi, Guizhou provinces in South China, Shandong Province in North China, and SW Turkey.


3.1 Soil formation in karst area ( Kazuko Urushibara- Yoshino, David Gillieson). A questionnaire was sent to all participants. It is the first attempt by the sub-group to survey karst soils globally. The data supplied will help to address the following questions: (1) what are the different kinds of soils on carbonate rocks and what is their global distribution? What is the correlation of those soil types with climate and lithology? (2) What erosional processes are active on those karst soils, and how do those processes relate to the karst environmental complex defined by landforms, lithology, climate, Vegetation and land use? (3) What are the limitations of these soils for vegetation growth and crop production? The forms of the questionnaire is included in this issue of the Project's Newsletter, and I hope everybody will cooperate with Dr.Kazuko and Dr.David.

3.2 Chemical Kinetic of karst formation ( W.Dreybrodt, Liu Zaihua). In a joint research between China and Germany at Huanglong Ravine, Sichuan, China, high concentration COwere found emiting along a modern active fault, with PCO2 up to 230,000 to 780,000 ppm. The origin of the COis identified as deep source from both geochemical and isotopic data. Accordingly, the ?origin? of the splendid tufa dam, which was previously considered to be basically biogenic and atmospheric, should have at least some additional explanations. Moreover, similar phenomena are also reported from karst areas near modern volcanism or plate collision belt, such as Rome, Italy; Pamukale, Turkey; Polour at Central Alborz Mt., Iran, and Yukon, Canada. The role of this kind of COin karst process,as well as the part it plays in the source-sink relation of COin atmosphere should be better assessed.


4.1 China (Yuan Daoxian). The 3rd meeting of Chinese Working Group of IGCP 299 was held in Guiyang, Guizhou, Oct.24, 1993,parallel with the 4th all China Karst Symposium. 17 colleagues participated the meeting. Yuan Daoxian reported the results of International Karst Correlation, and future plans. The progress of IGCP 299 in China was reviewed, and future works were discussed. The researches on paleoenvironmental reconstruction with giant stalagmite taken from Panglongdong Cave, Guilin, and the relationship between carbon cycle and karst formation on the bases of 7 monitoring stations with different geological, climatic, hydrological and vegetional background are going well. An Yuguo (Guizhou Academy of Sciences) and others sent an article entitled "stromatolites of Speleothems at Zhijin Cave, Guizhou" to the IGCP 299 Secretariat, which is included in this Newsletter.

4.2 Cuba (Javier E. Rodriguez Rubio). Two meetings of the Cuban Working Group for IGCP 299 were held. Cuban colleagues took active part in many activities of the Project in 1993. The first circular for the Round Table on the tropical karst of Cuba and the 2nd Meeting of the Working Group on Experimental Catchment Areas in karst, to be held April 18-28, 1994 in Cuba, and sponsored jointly by IGCP 299 and Cuban National Committee for IHP was sent out. Cuban colleagues are preparing another international symposium and excursion entitled "Tropical Karst Processes, Environmental Changes and Conservation", which will take place on July 31 to August 14, 1995. The manuscript of an article "Hydrological and Hydrochemical Characteristics of the Punta Alegre Gypsum Karst (Cuba)" by J.R.Fagundo and others has reached the Project's Secretariat.

4.3 Iran (E. Raeissi).Iranian colleagues had organized the International Correlation on Zagros Karst with success. A report on 18-months hydrochemical monitoring for Sheshpeer karst spring in Zagros Thrust Zone, 80 km West of Shiraz, has been sent to the Project's Secretariat. The effects of conduit or diffuse media of the karst aquifer is distinguished from the hydrochemical recession curve. The 1:2,500,000 karst map of Iran is available in this Newsletter.

4.4 Japan (Hajime Miura, Kazuhisa Yoshimura). A revised registration form for Akiyoshi-dai karst has reached the IGCP 299 Secretariat. It is a contribution from the authors and the Akiyoshi-do Cave Research Group. The form includes many new data, especially geochemical aspects of the area. Yoshimura sent 5 articles regarding karst geochemistry of the region to the Secretariat.

4.5 Romania (Iancu Oraseanu). A 212 pages book "Theoretical and Applied Karstology", published by The Institutal de Speologie "Emil Racovita" in 1991 was sent to the Project's Secretariat. The 19 papers summarize the results of recent karst researches in Romania, including new informations from some typical karst sites; paleokarst of Jurassic period; minerological and geochemical study on karst sediments, in particular red clay; new experiences on karst study with environmental isotopes, tracing test and resistivity method; as well as genesis of some karst thermomineral water.

4.6 Russia (K.A.Gorbunova, V.S.Kovalevsky). K.A.Gorbunova reported the new researches at Kungur Ice Cave. The 5.6 km long gypsum cave is located near Kungur City, Perm Region. Since 1992, under the Scientific Program "Universities of Russia", the Perm University and the Kungur Station of the Ural Branch, Russian Academy of Science have carried out multidisciplinary study in the cave. The aim of the program is to deepen the theoretical knowledge on the formation of gypsum ice cave, and for better conservation of the cave, which enjoys the highest annual visitors in Russia. New cave minerals, such as kaolinite, smectite, allophane, fluorite, celestine were identified, new hydrochemical and hydrodynamic ideas were developed from the cave. V.S.Kovalevsky made a comparison on the karst water regimes and resources for three hydrologic systems on the Russian Platform. Each has a particular geological, topographic and climatic background. The Crimea karst is a mountainous Mediterranean type, with upper Cretaceous limestone 70-80 m thick, and annual precipitation ranging between 400 mm at piedmont and 800- 1400 mm on mountainous part. The karst of Izhorskoe Plateau in the Baltic area is a platform type on Ordovician limestone 50 m thick, covered by Quaternary moraine, with a gentle relief 100-150 m asl, and humid coastal climate having annual precipitation 700 mm. The karst of Ufimskoe Plateau at west Ural region is also a platform type on Permian carbonate rocks and ?evaporates,? covered by Quaternary or Upper Jurassic terrigenic deposits, with a gentle relief of 200- 250 m asl. The climate is a moderate continental type, with annual precipitation 700 mm, but mostly occuring in the cold winter as the form of snow accumulation.

4.7 Slovenia (Andrej Kranjc).The multidisciplinary research at Skocjanske Jame has been going on. New geodetic survey using "A. MT Profiler 2000" with laser distance meter completed for Hanke's Channel and Tiha Jame. The correlation between lithostratigraphy and karst formation was made in detail around Velika Doline. The structural control on karst formation and old roads around Skocjanske area was interpretated with 1:5000 airphotos. The water quality along Reka River is investigated. The micrometric measurements on the erosion, corrosion and flowstone deposition rate is going on, and the following figures are reported:

Skocjanske Jama:erosion rate: 0.11-0.9 mm/a

corrosion rate: 0.005-0.01 mm/a

flowstone growth rate: 0.82 mm/a.

Old inscription in Ponor in Odolina:

corrosion rate: 0.105-0.183 mm/a.

The Trnovski Gozd area was chosen by the Association of Tracer Hydrology as a typical site for 7th Symposium on Water Tracing (7th SWT). Six new caves were explored. All are vadose potholes. Three of them have permanent ice. In October, 1993 the first water tracing with two dyes in the Hubelj karst spring area was accomplished. 8 papers were published.

4.8 Turkey (Gultekin Gunay).At the International Research and Application Center for Karst Water Resources, the karst hydrogeology research and teaching are going successfully. The Center is preparing the "International Symposium and Field Seminar on Karst Waters and Environmental Impacts" in September, 1995.

4.9 Ukraine (A.B.Klimchouk, V.Andrejchuk). A.B. Klimchouk discussed the speleogenesis of the gypsum maze caves in western Ukraine. Previous speleogenetic ideas for such caves under platform settings and artisian condition are reviewed. New evidences and models for the multi- level maze caves are quoted. It is concluded that dispersed upward recharge from an underlying aquifer is responsible for development of maze caves in Western Ukraine. An article on this issue was published on the NSS Bulletin, Dec, 1991. THE LIGHT, the Newsletter of the Kiev Karst and Speleological Center, No.4, 1992, and No.1, No.2, No.3, 1993 have reached the IGCP 299 Secretariat. On the No.3, 1993 issue, Klimchouk and K.I.Cunningham (USA) discussed the aerosol origin of secondary cave formation, with evidences from some Ukraine, Turkmenistan and American caves. V.Andrejchuk wrote a paper on the karst around Perm City, Western Ural, Russia, as a contribution to IGCP 299. It is a formal report on the Project's 1992 summer excursion in this region, and includes two parts, i.e, the salt karst at the North of Perm City, and Gypsum karst at its South.

4.10 UK (M.M.Sweeting, J.Gunn).The British Group was busy in 1993 to prepare the Project's 1994 September meeting and field correlation in UK. The second circular has already been sent out. Dr. M.M.Sweeting (Oxford, UK) wrote a paper on the July, 1993 issue of Z. Geomorph N. E. to compare two important karst areas of the world, i.e, the karst in SE Europe and South China. The differences in the scientific thinkings of karstologists from the two regions were analysed on the bases of differences in climatic, geological, as well as hydrological background. A cave radon research cooperation between The Limestone Research Group, Huddersfield University and the Institute of Karst Geology, Guilin, China has been initiated. Radon detectors from LRG have already been installed in some typical caves of South China with different geological background.

4.11 Yugoslavia ( P. Milanovic) .On the bases of the large scale investigations for the Trebisnjica Hydrosystem Project during the past 20 years, P.Milanovic wrote a paper "Some experiences from water intake in karstified conglomerates of Nevesinje Area" as a contribution to IGCP 299. The 700 m thick Promina Series of Paleogene is a molasse type sediments, with conglomerate as it predominant lithologic member. It is cemented by carbonate matrix, so easily to be karstified. A lot of karst features developed on this kind of conglomerate, including swallow holes ( ponors) , and some caves more than 200 m long. The hydrologic features of Promina conglomerate are discussed on the results of many experiences from caving, cave diving, dye tracings, pumping tests, as well as karst conduit plugging. The paper is in this Newsletter.


Cooperation with karst-related international scientific organizations, such as IAH, IGU, UIS, has been as closely as usual. They worked together for the 3 meetings of the Project in 1993, and in the Project's publications.

5.1 IAH Karst Commission (Chairman: Heinz Hotzl, co-chairman: David Drew). ?The revised outline of a new book "Karst Hydrogeology and Human Activities: Impacts, Consequences and Implications" had already been sent out on January, 1994. The next meeting of the Commission will be Sept.19-23, 1994 in Huddersfield, UK, parallel with IGCP 299 meeting. A post symposium workshop, Sept.26-28, 1994 will take place around Montpellier karst, southern France, organized by J.Avias.

5.2 IGU Karst Commision. A new book of the Karst Commission of IGU "Karst Terrains, Environmental Changes and Human Impact" had already been published by Catena Verlag in 1993. It appears as the 25 supplement volume of CATENA, and includes contributions from many participants of this Project. Karst problems of Mediterranean, South China, Caribbean and Central America, Australia, Ukraine, Britain, Japan are covered in the new volume.

5.3 UIS ( Union of International Speleology). The UIS Commission on physical chemistry and hydrogeology of karst has proposed a new project for International Geosphere-Biosphere Program( IGBP) entitled "continental records of environmental changes in the solar system" (by the chairman of the Commission Prof.Y.Y.Shopov). The IGCP 299 leader wrote to the executive director IGBP with a supporting statement for the UIS proposal.

5.4 IGCP 296 and IGCP 324 (GLOPALS)

According to a suggestion from IGCP Board in the 1993 assessment on our project, we have contacted Dr.J.L.Rau, leader of IGCP 296: Quaternary in the Asia/Pacific region, and Dr. L Cabrera, leader of IGCP 324: Global Paleoenvironmental Archives in Lacustrine System ( GLOPALS) , to start a cooperation. The meeting plans for IGCP 324 are as follows: (1) June, 1994 in Poland, focus on "Tectonic control on lacustrine basin development, sedimentary record"; ( 2) August 20- 27, 1994, Brazil, symposium on "lacustrine facies and system: regional to global paleoclimatic and paleotectonic significance" in conjunction with the 14th International Sedimentological Congress; (3) September, 1994, Bordeaux, France, Symposium on lacustrine basins in late orogenic foreland settings; (4) Late August, 1995, Copenhagen, Denmark, First International Limnogeological Congress, (5) Field Excursion in Antofagasta, Northern Chile, 1995, "lacustrine sedimentation in convergent and collisional margin".

5.5 GEO-INDICATORS.A Working Group of Commission on Geoscience for Environmental Planning, IUGS. The aim of the WG is to establish an international checklist of geological indicators needed to assess the health and integrity of natural environment. IGCP 299 is involved in this WG. A workshop will be held at Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Canada, July 11-18, 1994, The second circular had already been sent out on January 30, 1994. Chairman: Dr.A.R.Berger, 528 Paradise Street, Victoria, BC V9A 5E2, Canada.

5.6 National Speleological Society of USA, and ACCA. A 16-member cave exploration delegation led by Ronal C Kerbo visited China from July 19 to August 1, 1993 under the auspices of the Citizen Ambassador Program of People to People International. They visited some wild caves around Guilin, and had extensive discussions on issues of cave formation, cave environment and conservation with scientists from the Institute of Karst Geology. Future cooperations were also discussed. Regular exchanges with American Cave Conservation Association (ACCA) are continued.

5.7 GLOCOPH (Commission on Continental Paleohydrology, the International Union for Quaternary Research). Regular exchange has established between this Project and GLOCOPH. It will have a major meeting at Chilworth Manor Conference Center, Southampton from 10-12, September, 1994, the 4 day post conference excursion will include one day at the Royal Society, and 3 days to the key paleohydrological sites in the Midlands and North-East England.

5.8 Karst Waters Institute (KWI, USA). The latest Newsletter of the Institute (The KWI CONDUIT, Vol.2, No.1) includes the details of the KWI 1994 conference" Karst Geomicrobiology and Redox Geochemistry". It will take place at Colorado Spring Hilton Inn Feb.16-19, 1994, and will have 7 sessions: i.e, Redox environment in karst; Role of microorganisms in karst processes; Energy, chemoautotrophy, and thermodynamics in microbial systems; sulfate/sulfide/ carbonate speleogenesis; Microbial mediation of carbonate precipitation; Comparison of microbial systems in karst to those elsewhere and in the fossil records;Into the Lion's Den: informal presentation of late-breaking ideas yet to be tested.


The aims for the Project in its final year are: (1) to correlate karst in western Europe. This area has not been seriously tackled with yet in the Project's previous years. Some particular karst types will be examined, such as the chalk karst ,which is an important aquifer in some part of western Europe; the Alpine karst in the Alps region; and glacial karst in Northern England, to be compared with the similar type in North America. (2) to prepare a book entitled "Global Karst", as the Project's final products. The discussion on the format and content of the book will be continued during the meetings in 1994. Manuscripts for some chapters are expected to be reviewed. (3) We will also continue the discussion on the proposal for a successor project.

6.1 MEETINGS IN 1994

(1) Meeting in England, Sept., 10-23,1994. It was agreed that the final symposium and excursion will be in England. The symposium is entitled as "Changing Karst Environment: Hydrogeology, Geomorphology and Conservation". Excursions include chalk karst, karst on Jurassic and Carboniferous limestone, and glacial karst. Various karst environmental problems will be discussed during the trip. It will be a joint meeting with karst commissions of IAH,IGU,and UIS. The second circular had already been sent out on January 20, 1994. For more detail, please contact Dr.John Gunn, or Conference officer: Ruth Horsfall, Conference office (karst), the University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, Tel. 0484 472130, Fax. 0484 451547.

(2) Round Table on Tropical Karst of Cuba and the 2nd Meeting of the Working Group on Experimental Catchment Areas in Karst, Cuba, April 18-28, 1994. The first circular has already been sent out. For detail, contact:

Javier E.Rodriguez, Instituto de Geografia, Academia de Ciencias de Cuba, Calle 11 No. 514 e/DyE, Vedado, C.P.10400, La Habana, Cuba, Tel. 537 329786, Fax. 537 33 8212.

(3) Symposium on high mountain karst with a particular regard to Alps, July 18-24, 1994, Vienna, Austria. The program will include an excursion to the high alpine karst and caves of the Dachstein massif (upper Austria).

(4) Internationl Symposium on Applied Tropical Karst, April 10-11, 1994, Hanoi, Vietnam. For detail, contact: Prof. Nguyen Ouang My, Dept. of Geography and Geology, Hanoi University, 90 Nguyen Trai Street, Hanoi, Vietnam. Tel. 583061, Fax. 84 4583061


(1) IGCP 299 NEWSLETTER 1994. A summary of the results from the two field correlation trips in Canada and Iran will be given. New development at some National WG, and personal reports will be included. Prepared by IGCP 299 Secretariat, published by the Institute of Karst Geology, Guilin, China.

(2) "GLOBAL KARST": Proposed as the final product of IGCP 299. Under the general guideline of the Project, it will compare and contrast the areas visited on the 8 field excursions. David Gillieson, George Huppert, V. Andreytchouk and other colleagues kindly accepted as the authors of the relevant chapters. The contents and format were discussed during the meetings. It is agreed that each chapter of the final volume should not be as diversified as those on a proceedings. It should be prepared in accordance to the general aim of IGCP 299. The contents for each chapter are suggested as follows: The geological, climatic, hydrological, and vegetational background of the correlation site; hydrochemical features of the karst system, quoting basic data to give a general ideas about the characteristics of carbon cycle at the site; karst feature complex, a description on the macro and micro karst form, surface and subsurface karst form, as well as dissolutional and depositional karst form, and a discussion on the relationship between some particular karst features and local carbon cycle and water cycle; paleoenvironmental reconstruction with karst records if available; environmental and resources problems of the karst system; geothermal karst if available. The registration form of typical karst correlation site which was delivered at the first year of the Project is suggested as a general line of data inclusion for each chapter. Major results from some National Working Groups and Subgroups will also be included in the final volume.

(3) Slide set of the world karst. About 100 slides will be included in the set to illustrate major types of karst feature complex of the world, their background of formation, and relevant environmental and resources problems.


The proposal for a successor project was discussed in the Project's Working Group Meetings.Yuan Daoxian raised some ideas in his talk at the symposium in Hamilton, Canada. It was suggested that a project orientated to global change, such as "world correlation on carbon cycle and its relevant karst process " could be considered. More discussion will be made in the Project's 1994 meetings.

The Project is coming into a cropping stage at its fourth year. World karst correlation has been expanded in terms of type and area. On the other hand, it has raised some new ideas for karst study from its new findings.

Expanding correlation in karst type and area. In additional to previous excursions, which have already covered many types of karst under various geological, climatic and hydrological background, this year we have got karst developed on the bases of last glaciation ice sheet, and arid, semiarid karst on Tertiary and Mesozoic carbonate rocks with evaporites. Moreover, thanks to the involvement of Indian and Brazilian scientists, we have got knowledges of karst in Cherrapunjee, Meghalaya, India, where the world's highest record of annual mean precipitation (10000 mm) is kept, and some ideas about karst feature complex in Bonito karst, Western Brazil.

The role of karst process in the source-sink relation of atmosphere CO2. The findings of great amount of CO2 emission along active faults and its relation with splendid tufa deposition in Huanglong, China, and the reports of similar phenomena from Central Italy, Pamukale, Turkey, Polour at Central Alborz, Iran, and Yukon, Canada, have called on people's attention on the role of karst process in the source-sink problem of CO2 in atmosphere, which is a hot point in global warming research. To make a quantitative assessment on this issue should be an important new direction for karst study in the years to come.

Past global change. Participants of the Project have successfully made use of the sensitivity of karst process system (i.e, the CaCO3----H2O--CO2 system) to environment change, and found many important records which are kept on various forms of carbonates (i.e, tufa, breccia, speleothem, and etc.) for studying past global change and human impact. The resolution of such study has been improved by using new techniques. As past global change, especially those of the Holocene and Late Pleistocene is one of the key problems in Global Change Programme, the potentiality of karst study in this direction will certainly be explored.

International Correlation will be very necessary and helpful to improve karst research in the new directions as mentioned above, we may need a successor IGCP Project.