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Klimchouk, Alexander B.
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Karst ( local )
Definition Of Karst ( local )
Speleogenesis ( local )
Karst Geosystem ( local )
Karst Evolution. ( local )
serial ( sobekcm )


The paper examines representative definitions of karst (21), and discusses some concepts that influenced the modern understanding of the phenomenon. Several trends are discussed that took karst science beyond the limits of the traditional paradigm of karst. Dramatic progress in studies of speleogenesis plays the most significant role in changes taking place in the general understanding of karst. Also important is an adoption of the broad perspective to karst evolution which goes beyond the contemporary geomorphologic epoch and encompasses the entire life of a geological formation. Speleogenesis is viewed as a dynamic hydrogeological process of self-organization of the permeability structure in soluble rocks, a mechanism of the specific evolution of the groundwater flow system. The result is that these systems acquire a new, "karstic", quality and more complex organization. Since almost all essential attributes of karst owe their origin to speleogenesis, the latter is considered as the primary mechanism of the formation of karst. Two fundamental types of speleogenesis, hypogene and epigene, differentiate mainly due to distinct hydrodynamic characteristics of the respective groundwater flow systems: (1) of layered aquifer systems and fracture-vein flow systems of varying depths and degrees of confinement, and (2) of hydrodynamically open, near-surface unconfined systems. Accordingly, two major genetic types of karst are distinguished: hypogene and epigene. They differ in many characteristics, notably in relationships with the surface, hydrogeological behaviour, groundwater quality, and the areas of practical importance and approaches to solving karst-related issues. Although views on essential attributes of karst have been clearly changing, this was not reflected in definitions of the notion which are in broad use in the earth-science literature. A refined approach is suggested to the notion of karst in which it is viewed as a groundwater (fluid) flow system of a specific kind, which has acquired its peculiar prope
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ACTA CARSOLOGICA, Vol. 44, no. 3 (2015-01-01).

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T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES KRA KA PARADIGMA: SPREMEMBE, TRENDI IN PERSPEKTIVE Alexander KLIMCHOUK 1 1 Institute of Geological Sciences of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology, e-mail: Received/Prejeto: 07.09.2015 COBISS: 1.01 ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3, 289, POSTOJNA 2015 Abstract UDC 551.435.8 Alexander Klimchouk: e karst paradigm: changes, trends and perspectives e paper examines representative denitions of karst (21), and discusses some concepts that inuenced the modern un derstanding of the phenomenon. Several trends are discussed that took karst science beyond the limits of the traditional par adigm of karst. Dramatic progress in studies of speleogenesis plays the most signicant role in changes taking place in the general understanding of karst. Also important is an adoption of the broad perspective to karst evolution which goes beyond the contemporary geomorphologic epoch and encompasses the entire life of a geological formation. Speleogenesis is viewed as a dynamic hydrogeological process of self-organization of the permeability structure in soluble rocks, a mechanism of the specic evolution of the groundwater ow system. e result is that these systems acquire a new, "karstic", quality and more complex organization. Since almost all essential attributes of karst owe their origin to speleogenesis, the latter is considered as the primary mechanism of the formation of karst. Two fun damental types of speleogenesis, hypogene and epigene, dier entiate mainly due to distinct hydrodynamic characteristics of the respective groundwater ow systems: (1) of layered aquifer systems and fracture-vein ow systems of varying depths and degrees of connement, and (2) of hydrodynamically open, near-surface unconned systems. Accordingly, two major ge netic types of karst are distinguished: hypogene and epigene. ey dier in many characteristics, notably in relationships with the surface, hydrogeological behaviour, groundwater quality, and the areas of practical importance and approaches to solving karst-related issues. Although views on essential at tributes of karst have been clearly changing, this was not re ected in denitions of the notion which are in broad use in the earth-science literature. A rened approach is suggested to the notion of karst in which it is viewed as a groundwater (uid) ow system of a specic kind, which has acquired its peculiar properties in the course of speleogenesis. Keywords : karst, denition of karst, speleogenesis, karst geo system, karst evolution. Izvleek UDK 551.435.8 Alexander Klimchouk: Kraka paradigma: spremembe, tre ndi in perspektive Dokument obravnava reprezentativne denicije krasa (21) in obravnava nekatere koncepte, ki so vplivali na sodobno ra zumevanje tega pojava. Razpravlja o ve trendih, ki so popeljali krasoslovje preko meja tradicionalne paradigme krasa. Dramatini napredek v speleogenetskih raziskavah je igral najpomembnejo vlogo pri spremembah, ki so se zgodile pri splonem razumevanju krasa. Prav tako je za razvoj krasoslovja pomembno sprejetje iroke perspektive, ki presega sodobno geomorfoloko epoho in zajema celoten geoloki razvoj. Spe leogeneza je predstavljena kot dinamini hidrogeoloki proces samoorganizacije stopnje prepustnosti posameznih struktur v topnih kamninah, to je kot mehanizem specinega razvoja sistema toka podzemne vode. Posledica tega je, da ti sistemi potrebujejo novo, "krako", kakovostno in bolj kompleksno or ganizacijo. Ker skoraj vse bistvene znailnosti krasa izvirajo iz speleogeneze, je slednja teta kot primarni mehanizem za nas tanek krasa. Dve temeljni vrsti speleogeneze, hipogena in epi gena, se razlikujeta predvsem zaradi razlinih hidrodinaminih znailnosti posameznih sistemov toka podzemne vode: (1) plastoviti vodonosni sistemi in tokovni sistemi po prelomih in ilah razlinih globin in stopenj zaprtosti, ter (2) hidrodinamino odprti in plitvi sistemi. Posledino razlikujemo dva velika genet ska tipa krasa: hipogeni in epigeni. Med seboj se razliku jeta v mnogih znailnostih, predvsem v odnosih s povrjem, po hidrogeolokem obnaanju, kakovosti podzemne vode, ter na podrojih praktinega pomena in pristopov k reevanju vpraanj, povezanih s krasom. eprav so se stalia o bistvenih lastnostih krasa spreminjala, se to ni odrazilo v opredelitvi poj ma, ki se na splono uporablja v vedah o Zemlji. Pri predstavah o krasu predlagamo dodelan pristop, v katerem je poudarek na sistemu podzemne vode (tekoine) s specinim nainom pretakanja, ki je pridobilo svoje znailne lastnosti prav tekom speleogeneze. Kljune besede: kras, denicija krasa, speleogeneza, kraki geosistem, evolucija krasa.


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 290 A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK I NTRODUCTION e development of theoretical knowledge in a scien tic discipline is uneven throughout its history. Ac quisition of empirical data in karstology throughout the most of the 20 th century outpaced their theoretical comprehension, and construction and integration of a conceptual superstructure. e development of the theoretical foundation of karstology occurred sponta neously, remaining largely within the scope of empiri cal generalizations. Certain conceptual models, some times successfully developed to the status of specic theories, remain poorly coordinated and harmonized within the overall theoretical body of karstology – its categorial structure and conceptual system. Since ter minology is the reection of conceptual constructions, dissonance and discrepancy in concepts promotes am biguous and confusing usage of terms. In a broad sense, the problem of terminology cannot be resolved through conventions and glossaries; true improvements come through harmonization and integration of notions and concepts that stay behind terms. e situation in karstology is further complicated by dierences in the development paths of national and regional scientic schools in the study of karst, – NorthAmerican, Western-European, Eastern-European, that of the ex-USSR, etc., – which relied on their own meth odological and scientic-philosophical traditions. Ex pressed particularities of karst in various regions also contributed to discrepancy between scientic schools and discordance in concepts and ideas. ese divisions, however, have been considerably smoothed during the last three decades in the process of integration of the global karst and cave science. More over, the diversity in notions and approaches brings some advantages, when it comes to synthesis and gener alization. e particular role in the integration has been played by publication of outstanding textbooks (e.g. White 1988; Ford & Williams 1989, 2007; Palmer 2007), international monographs and collections of papers (e.g. Bosak et al. 1989b; Klimchouk et al. 2000; Andreo et al. 2010; Frumkin & Shroder 2013), encyclopedia (e.g. Gunn 2004; Culver & White 2005; White & Culver 2012) and ISI-indexed international thematic journals (Acta Carsologica, Journal of Cave and Karst Studies, Interna tional Journal of Speleology), as well as by the activity of international karst-related scientic bodies (IAH Karst Commission, IGU Karst Commission, UIS scientic commissions, IGCP projects, etc.), which held numerous broad-scope scientic events (e.g. International Speleo logical Congresses) and thematic symposia. Nevertheless, signicant uncertainty and discor dance remains in the understanding of some basic no tions of karst science, such as the notion of karst which denotes the principal object (entity) of this scientic dis cipline. Unsolved problems in the understanding of the essence of karst are getting more obvious and acute due to several ongoing circumstances: Rapid development of karst research in various as pects and increase in scientic and practical importance of karst knowledge. is leads to the wide recognition of karstology as a self-standing discipline of the Earth Sciences (the establishment of the Karst Division in the GSA in 2014 is one of the recent indications), but also highlights existing methodological pitfalls; Dramatic geographical "expansion" and geologi cal "deepening" of data about karst, as well as method ological diversication of studies, have led to improved understanding of the variety of karst manifestations and characteristics, and of natural environments of karst de velopment; Intense development of hypogene karst research has changed ideas about distribution of karst in the Earth’s crust and the range of lithologies in which karstication is possible; e ongoing process of globalization and integra tion of karst science, as well as rapid development of specic conceptual models and theories in karstology, reveals and collides dierences in the views practiced by national, regional and discipline-specic schools. Some trends in karst studies show obvious signs of the ongoing shi in the scientic paradigm of karstology. Although the views on the essence (essential attributes) of karst are clearly changing, this is not reected appro priately in denitions of the notion which are in broad use in the earth-science literature. e purpose of this paper is to highlight important changes through discuss ing denitions of karst and some recent developments, and eventually to outline an approach to renement of the notion of karst from the modern perspective. "... from today's viewpoint it is unsatisfactory to regard the reference to the semantic origin of the term as correct conceptual denition of the karst in general" (Jakucs 1977, p.15)


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 291 T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES T HE ORIGIN OF THE TERM “ KARST ” e notion of “karst” owes its origin to the geographic area in Slovenia (Kras), which Germanized name was adopted as a scientic term. e wider area of SW Slovenia, be twen Ljubljana, Trieste and Rijeka, characterized by ir regular barren rocky ground with karrens, dolines, deep gullies, sinking rivers, large springs, poljes, and caves is considered as the “Classical Karst”. In early studies of the Classical Karst and similar areas around Europe and else where, the emphasis was placed on most obvious, readily observable and impressive geomorphological and hydro logical aspects. Caves, although noted and recognized as a characteristic attribute of karst quite early, were long re garded as a curious phenomenon rather than objects of prime scientic importance and systematic studies. eir paramount role (more broadly, the role of the conduit permeability) in the development of karst has been ex plicitly appreciated only during last four decades. P HENOMENA IN CARBONATE ROCKS One of the corollaries of such origin of the term is an attribution of karst exclusively or mainly to carbonate rocks, a trend that started from the Martel’s denition of karst as phenomena in limestones (Martel, 1984) and deeply rooted in the literature. is is illustrated by de nitions given below. [1] Karst is a landscape formed upon and within car bonate rock sequences by the dissolutional eect of carbonic acid (Lowe 1992). [2] Karst is primarily a landscape, with specic land forms and solution features, which are mainly devel oped in carbonate rocks (Cost Action 65 1995). [3] Karst terrain usually characterized by barren, rocky ground, caves, sinkholes, underground rivers, and the absence of surface streams and lakes. It re sults from the excavating eects of underground wa ter on massive soluble limestone (Encyclop dia BriEncyclop dia Bri tannica 2015 ). [4] Karst is dened as a limestone landscape with un derground drainage (Luhr 2003). [5] Karst features mainly occur in carbonate rocks, limestone and dolomite, in which formations it is considered as true karst (Bakalowicz 2005). [6] Karst: Landforms that have been modied by dis solution of soluble rocks (limestone and dolostone) (Poucher & Copeland 2006). [7] Karst a type of topography formed in areas of widespread carbonate rocks through dissolution. Sink holes, caves and pock-marked surfaces are typical features of a karst topography (Slumberger Oileld Glossary 2015). Some researchers further argued that only chemical dissolution mechanisms comprising three components in phase equilibrium, such as carbonic acid dissolution of carbonates, can be regarded as producing a true karst (karst sensu strict ). Cigna (1978, 1985) suggested using the term parakarst 1 for karst developing in gypsum (two components in phase equilibrium). Lowe (1992), hav ing stated a similar viewpoint, referred to terms such as evaporite karst (including halite karst, gypsum karst and anhydrite karsts) as hybrid terminology. Karst in evaporite rocks, especially in gypsum, widely occurs in many regions, particularly in the North America, Eastern Europe, Eastern Siberia and the Middle East. Despite of dierences in dissolution mechanism, it results principally in the same set of phenomena that are attributable to carbonate karst, although distribution and appearance of evaporite karst has some specics. Due to high solubility and dissolution rates, gypsum and salt rarely survive when exposed at the surface, but these rocks (especially gypsum) widely occur and get readily karstied in interstratal deep-seated settings, although such karst is oen scarcely or not at all manifested at the surface. Much research had been done on evaporite karst in the ex-USSR, USA, Italy and some other countries, but its recognition in the mainstream karst science was somewhat slow until the mid 1980s. Since that, a series of thematic collections and monographs appeared (Au thors varia 1986; Klimchouk et al. 1996; Johnson & Neal 1997; Calaforra Chordi 1998; Y ounger 2005; Gutirrez et al. 2008 ), as well as hundreds of papers in international journals. is rmly established karst in evaporitic rocks as a part of the “true karst”, although acknowledging its expressed specics due to particular features of geologi cal occurrence and dissolution mechanisms. Karst in evaporites has been given due attention in major text books (Ford & Williams 1989, 2007) and international encyclopedia (Gunn 2004; Culver & White 2004, White & Culver 2012). e extension of the arena of karst to a variety of readily soluble rocks other than carbonates already rep resents a considerable dri from the traditional “Classi cal Karst”-based understanding of karst. Even more farreaching deviation is an extension of the karst concept to relevant phenomena in quartzites (Wray 1997), strongly supported by recent developments in hypogene karst studies (discussed below). 1 e prex para implies something that is similar to the parent, but is not a true phenomenon. V ARIANTS OF DEFINITIONS OF KARST


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 292 K ARST AS A SPECIFIC TOPOGRAPH Y, LANDSCAPE , OR A SET OF LANDFORMS PHY SIOGNOMIC APPROACH Another, and the most essential consequence of the ge ographic origin of the term and the early emphases in karst studies was the attribution of karst to a type of land scape. Statements that karst is a landscape (a specic type of landscape, or a set of landforms) form the core parts in most of the denitions given above [1, 2, 4, 6, 7] and in the following examples: [8] Karst is a special type of landscape that is formed by the dissolution of soluble rocks, including lime stone and dolomite (Karst Water Institute 2015). [9] Karst is a landscape formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks including limestone, dolomite and gypsum. It is characterized by sinkholes, caves, and underground drainage systems (University of Texas at Austin 2015). [ 10 ] Karst a terrain, generally underlain by lime stone or dolomite, in which the topography is chiey formed by the dissolving of rock, and which may be characterized by sinkholes, sinking streams, closed depressions, subterranean drainage, and caves (Mon roe 1972). Some denitions [3] denote karst as a terrain with distinctive hydrology and landforms. ese include the denition that is most widely accepted and cited in the modern literature: [ 11 ] Karst is terrain with distinctive hydrology and landforms arising from the combination of high rock solubility and well developed solutional channel (sec ondary) porosity underground (Ford & Williams 1989; Ford 2004). e denitions in this group present karst as a geomorphological (physiognomic) category, or a ter ritorial entity, a certain part of the Earth’s surface char acterized by specic features. Many denitions refer to distinctive features of landscape/terrain without speci fying them or their specic properties, implying or stating that the distinctiveness (specics) arises from the origin of landforms by dissolution. Some forms commonly seen as karstic are in fact created by het erogeneous processes with limited, hard-toassess, or spatially remote roles of dissolution, but they are con sidered to be karstic if “... solution plays an essential precursor or 'trigger role'” (Ford 1980, p. 345). Other denitions include lists of forms deemed to be char acteristic for karst, though these lists are inevitably incomplete, arbitrary and biased. Present knowledge of the diversity of natural conditions/environments of karst development and respective diversity of karst manifestations further supports the view of Huntoon (1995) that dwelling upon ambiguous morphological character of karst is not a promising approach to un ambiguously dene it. e denitions cited above are representative for the traditional karstological paradigm, clearly dominat ed by the geomorphological perspective in the under standing of karst. Within this paradigm, karstication is inalienably related to the surface and the meteoric recharge that comes from it, either diused authogenic or concentrated allogenic. e erosion base level ulti mately controls the development of karst. Karstication commences either immediately aer deposition and early exposure, or when combined action of upli and denudation brings a buried soluble formation back to a shallow subsurface and re-exposure. is is a concep tual model of epigene karst, which dominated the whole karst science until recently. e terms and concepts such as covered karst, buried karst, palaeokarst, exhumed karst, etc. reect the central role of the surface exposure in the traditional paradigm, which is further illustrated by a common but misleading belief among geologists that the presence of any karstied interval in a strati ed sequence ultimately indicates an unconformity and a period of subaerial exposure. However, in practice of karst studies, the depar ture from the above outlined traditional understand ing of karst is old and massive. ey originated early from the Cvijic’s merokarst (“imperfect” karst in im pure limestones, with marly interbeds), and contin ued through the Maksimovich’s (1963) “russian” type of karst (“zakryty” karst - “closed”, or “conned” 2 karst that develops beneath the pre-karst insoluble cover) and Q uinlan’s (1978) interstratal karst with largely the same meaning, to deep-seated karst in the evolutionary meaning of Klimchouk (1996) and Klimchouk & Ford (2000). See also the discussion of these and other terms in Bosak et al. (1989a) and Palmer & Palmer (1989). Furthermore, it is obvious that ideas of hydrothermal karst, sulfuric acid karst, artesian karst and hypogenic karst did not t into the traditional karst paradigm. ousands of recent publications deal with deep-seated karstication that was not formed, and is not manifest ed at the surface. Of importance here is that the notion of karst has clearly decoupled from the attribute of a distinctive suite of surface landforms, which in fact is not the required one. 2 Conned in the geological but not necessarily in the hydro geological sense. A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 293 K ARST AS A GEOLOGICAL ENVIRONMENT Huntoon (1995) viewed karst as a geologic environment with specic properties: [12] Karst is a geologic environment containing solu ble rocks with a permeability structure dominated by interconnected conduits dissolved from the host rock which are organized to facilitate the circulation of uid in the downgradient direction wherein the per meability structure evolved as a consequence of dis solution by the uid (Huntoon 1995). is denition indicates further departure from the terrain/landscape-based understanding of karst. It points to several important properties, which have been missed in most other formulations, such as conduit-dominated permeability structure, its organisation, and circulation of uid. ese and other properties are further discussed below. K ARST AS A TOTALIT Y OF PHENOMENA FORMS Some denitions denote karst as a totality of phenomena or forms in soluble rocks. ese include the already men tioned Martel’s understanding of karst as phenomena in limestones and are further illustrated by the following examples: [13] Karst – phenomena (the totality of phenomena) originating in rocks that are soluble in water (Gvoz detsky 1972). [14] Karst – a totality of forms of selective destruction of hard and moderately hard rocks, entirely or partly composed of minerals that are soluble in natural wa ters (Tsykin 1985). ese denitions are obviously too inclusive ; with the absence of specic designators they allow inclusion of phenomena and forms of various natures that may be present in soluble rocks. K ARST AS A PROCESS A process-based approach to dening karst long domi nated in the ex-USSR, with the following denition being most widely accepted: [15] Karst is a process of chemical and partly me chanical action of underground and surface nonstream waters upon soluble permeable rocks (Mak simovich 1963) . [16] Karst is a process of destruction and oblitera tion of permeable soluble rocks mainly through their leaching by moving water (Sokolov 1962). [17] Karst is a heterogeneous process of interaction of rocks and underground waters, that is dissolution of the former and removal of dissolved rocks by the lat ter (Zverev 1999). [18] Karst – a “throughgoing” process of metasomatic alteration of rocks, which consists of the creation and subsequent lling of cavities and proceeds along a general scheme: dissolution-transport-precipitation of the matter (Ezhov et al. 1992). [19] Karst is a phenomenon of the self-developing concentration of ow in soluble rock (Devdariani 1962). Denitions [15] and [17] present karst as a process of water-rock interaction with the leading role of dis solution. Maksimovich reduced the process to chemi cal and mechanical action of water upon the rock, but the Sokolov’s denition [16] is an example of a broader view of karst as a geologic process. Ezhov et al. (1992) were rst to suggest an original and promising view of karst as a metasomatic (alteration) process [18]. Also very original was the view of karst by Devdariani [19], who emphasized properties such as the self-develop ment and ow concentration, which at the time were not acknowledged by other researchers as essential ones. K ARST AS A UNIT Y OF THE PROCESS AND FORMS Some workers understood karst as a unity of the process and the resulting forms: [20] Karst includes forms themselves and the process of their formation (Maksimovich 1963; Gvozdetsky 1972). Such amalgamation of dierent categories seems to be methodologically questionable; the denable realworld entity must have a distinct categorial essence. K ARST AS A S Y STEM e systems approach to karst (consideration of the ob ject as system of interconnected components / proper ties / relations that constitute the complete whole) was emphasized and realized in some studies (e.g. Ford & Williams 1989), although it was not implemented in the denition of the notion of karst. Using in some deni tions of wording such as " Karst is a system of " remained declarative because the lack of clear identication of the object-system and indications of system-forming and emergent properties, for example: [21] Karst is a system of processes and phenomena arising and developing underground and at the sur face as the result of interaction of natural waters with rocks soluble in a given environment (Andreychouk 1991). T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 294 is brief overview of denitions demonstrates substantial discordance in the understanding even of a categorial status of karst. It also shows substantial de viations from the original landscape/terrain based idea of karst (physiognomic, geomorphological) towards process-based, geosystemic, and geological (hydrogeo logical) notions. For further discussion, it is necessary to look at some important developments in karstology which inuence signicantly the current general under standing of karst. T HE SUPREMAC Y OF GROUNDWATER FLOW IN SPELEOGENESIS AND KARST DEVELOPMENT e notion of groundwater ow is used in this account in a sense of the “water exchange” term, commonly used in the Russian-language literature, which denotes a process characterizing recharge of the groundwater ow system, movement within it, and outow to adjacent systems (discharge) (Shestopalov 1989). e groundwater ow system is a system of underground waters that is charac terized by a common drive for movement and common conditions for circulation (Kartzev 1972). Speleogenesis (karstic) is essentially a coupled mass-transfer / mass-transport process, which depends on both, the aggressiveness of ground water and its ow. Flow (movement) is an inalienable attribute of ground water. Aggressiveness results from disequilibrium in the water-rock system, and is an attribute of the moving groundwater (but not the opposite). Hence, the ground water ow is the main controller of the equilibrium/dis equilibrium state of the water-rock system, the main rea son for the inaccessibility of equilibrium (achieved only locally and temporarily), which the system is seeking. It is a systematic transport and distribution mechanism that produces and maintains the disequilibrium condi tions (Toth 1995; Shvartzev 2005). To cause the speleogenetic development, dissolu tion eects of disequilibria have to accumulate over suciently long periods of time and/or to concentrate within relatively small rock volumes or areas. In a given rock media, the character of the water-rock interaction and the distribution of its eects are determined by the nature, intensity and pattern of the groundwater circula tion, i.e. by hydrodynamic characteristics of the ground water ow systems. e above paragraphs provide a fundamental rea soning why the essence and principal categories of spe leogenesis, and of karst in general, should be examined and established primarily based on the hydrogeologic perspective. S PELEOGENESIS AS A PRIMAR Y PROCESS IN THE FORMATION OF KARST Although caves were recognized as a characteristic at tribute of karst in early karst studies, and the origin of caves has been a subject of lively debates since the be ginning of the 20 th century (Lowe 2000; White 2000), karst studies in general were long decoupled from the knowledge of caves. e role of speleogenesis in gen eral understanding of karst, both in karstology and in the mainstream geosciences, was not properly acknowl edged until recently. One of the problems was the dom ination of the anthropocentric notion of caves as hu man-enterable cavities – many areas displaying karstic physiognomy lack such caves. Another reason was that cave explorations became massive and pervasive, allow ing to grasp a true scale of the phenomena, only aer the mid of the 20 th century, and comprehension by karst scientists of the enormous body of new data acquired by explorers is still in progress. And the third reason is that the theory of speleogenesis achieved its matu rity and the ability to seriously inuence other branches of geosciences only by the end of the last century. It is argued in this paper that it is the dramatic progress in studies of speleogenesis that plays the most signicant role in the changes taking place in the general understanding of karst. Although observations in human-enterable caves greatly contributed to the development of speleogenetic studies, the concept of speleogenesis is meaningless with respect to caves in the anthropocentric connotation of the term (Ford & Williams 1989). Such caves consti tute fragments of natural void-conduit systems, which A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 295 geometry and spatial position are articially, acciden tally and vaguely dened. In studying speleogenesis, we always mean not the origin of such very fragments but the origin of void-conduit systems in their functional and structural integrity. Moreover, the major problems in the origin of caves lie in their inception and early de velopment, which leaves no room for any anthropocen tric scales in dening the study object. e term “cave” (karstic) is used in most speleogenetic studies and in this account to denote conduits and voids that are substan tially enlarged, as compared to unmodied fractures and pores in the host rock, due to mainly dissolutional re moval of the matter by uid ow. It is commonly believed that apertures of conduits constituting cave systems start from a few mm but they can reach many meters in the course of speleogenesis. A chain of developments that led to the modern understanding of speleogenesis began with the empiri cal generalization by Ford (1971) on the relationship between the evolution of the cave and the water table or piezometric surface (the “Four-State model”, which provided the resolution of what was called “a central problem of cave origin” during preceding decades), in novative physical modeling by R.O.Ewers of the evo lution of epigene cave patterns (Ford & Ewers 1978; Ewers 1982), and recognition by White (1977) of impli cations for the early conduit development of an abrupt drop in the rates of calcite dissolution that occurs when the solution approaches chemical equilibrium (Berner & Morse 1974; Plummer & Wigley 1976). is kinetic change enables enlargement of initial ow pathways, although at slow rates, over long distances. When the initial pathway (a proto-conduit) is enlarged to the point where water is able to penetrate its entire length still retaining the substantial degree of undersatura tion, the conduit growth rates accelerate dramatically, reaching 0.01-0.1 cm/yr, due to the positive feedback between increasing ow and dissolution (Dreybrodt 1990, 1996; Palmer 1991). is moment is termed “breakthrough”, and it signies the birth of a cave (karst conduit). Importantly, it commonly coincides roughly with the thresholds marking the transition to turbulent ow regime and the onset of sediment transport (Ewers 1973; White 1977). e initial breakthrough, rapid en largement of one or a few conduits and a drop in head in them are followed by drastic changes in the gradient eld, re-organization of ow in the aquifer and cascad ing breakthroughs in tributary proto-conduits, the process leading to the creation and increasing integra tion of conduit networks. Much of the progress has been achieved through development and employment of numerical models that combine hydrodynamics with dissolution kinet ics. is route has been paved by Dreybrodt (1990) and Palmer (1991) and advanced by many other works published during last 25 years, reviewed and summa rized in Dreybrodt et al. (2005) . ese works conrmed some basic principles established by earlier empirical and physical modeling studies (Ford 1971; Ewers 1973, 1982; Ford & Ewers 1978; Ford & Williams 1989; Palm er 1991) and dramatically deepened our knowledge on how individual conduits and the patterns of conduits evolve depending on various boundary conditions and variables. ese studies revealed important general regu larities in the evolution of conduit networks and high lighted the role of speleogenesis in the formation of karst aquifers, and more generally – of karst. Speleogenesis is driven by the positive feedback between discharge and dissolutional removal along initial ow pathways, and commonly includes three phases: (1) early speleogenesis ( proto-speleogenesis ) – slow widening of initial ow path ways, the development of proto-conduits; (2) speleoge netic initiation – the cascading process of breakthrough of the proto-conduits, which is characterized by their strong hydrodynamic competition for ow and increase in the growth rates, destabilization and re-organization of the ow eld, transformation of boundary conditions, the emergence of integrated conduit systems and the formation of the contrasting level of conduit permeabil ity; (3) speleogenetic development – stabilization of the system in a state of dynamic equilibrium by increasing the energy exchange with the environment, and further growth of conduits. It should be noted here that the mechanism of formation of karst conduits that includes the ow-dis solution feedback, the achievement by proto-conduits of the regime of rapid dissolution kinetics (now called ‘breakthrough’) and further hydrodynamic competition and concentration of ow, was conceptually described by Lukin (1966) well before the discovery of the kinetic threshold and later modeling works. ese ideas, howev er, did not receive due attention and further elaboration at the time, but they were perfectly conrmed by later studies. Numerical modeling studies show that, regardless of the initial permeability structure of soluble rocks, speleogenetic evolution leads to the formation of a new, and the most contrasting level of porosity and perme ability – an integrated system of conduits with aper tures above the millimetric scale. is underscores the signicance of a concept of multi-level porosity/perme ability, originally introduced by Barenblatt et al. (1960) and rst applied to karstied aquifers by Borevsky et al. (1973, 1976), now widely employed in characterization of karst aquifers. Importantly, patterns of void-conduit T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 296 S ELF ORGANIZATION OF PERMEABILIT Y AND FLOW S Y STEMS Basic principles of self-organization in natural systems have been derived from non-equilibrium thermodynam ics (Prigogine & Nicolis 1977; Prigogine 1980; Prigogine & Stengers 1984) and further developed by synergetics (Haken 1984, 2004), an interdisciplinary science explain ing the formation and self-organization of patterns and structures in open systems far from thermodynamic equilibrium (dissipative systems). Besides physics and bi ology, these ideas and concepts received intense applica tion in geology and geomorphology (Huggett 1988, 2007; Pozdnyakov & Chervanev 1990; Letnikov 1992; Phillips 1992; Gregory & Goudie 2011), geochemistry (Ortoleva 1994) and hydrogeology (Y akovlev & Borevsky 1994; Sh vartzev 2005, 2008). Self-organization is the spontaneous oen seeming ly purposeful formation of spatial, temporal, spatiotem systems created by speleogenesis are clearly organized to facilitate the most ecient groundwater ow in the downgradient direction, and physical and numerical models have revealed details of the self-organization process. As the result of the speleogenetic evolution, the ow systems acquire important new properties that make them distinct, including (1) high heterogene ity and anisotropy of porosity and permeability, and (2) concentration of ow, both being the direct conse quences and indications of self-organization (Huntoon 1995; Worthingthon & Ford 2009). Porosity comprised by integrated void-conduit systems is commonly low (within 0.053%), comprising only a small portion of total porosity of the rock media, but it provides for high hydraulic conductivity of aquifers (up to 1 m/s and higher) and transmit almost all (up to 99.9%) ow (Worthington et al. 2000). Additionally, the high de gree of ow concentration is illustrated by a high pro portion of large springs in regions underlain by soluble rocks, as compared to non-karstic regions, and the high eciency of karstic ow systems is illustrated by very high ow velocities, commonly within 10 3 4 m/day (Worthington & Ford 2009), i.e. 5— orders of mag nitude higher than typical velocities of groundwater movement in non-karstic ow systems in the zone of intense circulation. Several theoretizations, based on this brief review, can be made about the essence and the roles of speleo genesis. Worthington & Ford (2009) have emphasized and reinforced the idea, previously expressed by Devdariani (1962, [19]) and Huntoon (1995, [12]) that speleogenesis is a specic process of self-organization of permeability and groundwater ow in soluble rocks. e speleoge netic initiation phase, i.e. the cascading process of the breakthroughs to the conditions of rapid growth (Ford 1980; Ford & Williams 1989), includes a radical re-or ganization of permeability structure of the ow system that eventually transforms boundary conditions and the functioning of the system. Speleogenesis is a function of groundwater ow. Flow through soluble rocks inevitably leads to the formation of organized void-conduit systems (e.g. to speleogenesis), but speleogenesis, in turn, radically changes the structure and dynamics of ow systems. As noted by Ford & Williams (2007, p. 116), “ the karst circulation system undergoes more feed-back giving rise to continuous self-adjustment than occurs in any other type of groundwater system .” erefore, speleogenesis can be viewed as a dynamic hydrogeological process of transformation of porosity and permeability structure of soluble rocks, as a mechanism of the specic evolu tion of groundwater ow systems, which results in that these systems acquire a new, "karstic", quality and the more complex and contrasting organization. is un derstanding emerged in a number of works through the 20 th Century, but it was explicitly shaped by the 1990s (Ford & Williams 1989). It has been codied in the ti tle and in the contributions of the major international monograph on the subject (Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers; Klimchouk et al. 2000) and strongly reinforced during the subsequent decade (Worthington & Ford 2009). Since most of other (than hydrogeological) spe cic properties attributed to karst, including geomor phological ones, owe their origin to the development of organized dissolution porosity/permeability structures in soluble rocks (Palmer 1991), speleogenesis should be considered as the primary mechanism of the formation of karst. e onset of the speleogenetic initiation phase signies the birth of karst. erefore, in contrast to the view, tacitly implied within the traditional karst para digm, that speleogenesis is the result of karst develop ment, one can assert that the opposite is true, karst is a function of speleogenesis . A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 297 poral structures or functions in systems composed of few or many components (Haken 2004). In dissipative sys tems, nonequilibrium is the source of order, with spon taneous uctuations, that are amplied by positive feed back, growing into macroscopic patterns (Huggett 1988; Phillips 1992). e uctuations trigger an instability that the system accommodates by reorganizing itself. Self-or ganization means an enormous reduction of degrees of freedom (entropy) of the system which macroscopically reveals an increase of “order” (pattern-formation). is far-reaching macroscopic order is independent of the details of the microscopic interactions of the subsystems (Haken 1984). Groundwater systems are typical dissipative sys tems ( Shvartzev 2008 ), and speleogenesis is an excellent example of self-organization of groundwater ow sys tems (Worthington & Ford 2009; Klimchouk & Andrey chouk 2010). During the early speleogenesis phase, uc tuations in initial structural and chemical conditions of the water-rock interaction and the positive ow-growth feedback result in non-uniform development of protoconduits. e emergence of rst conduits (i.e. those in which breakthrough has occurred) destabilizes the sys tem. e speleogenetic initiation phase is manifested in a series of cascading breakthroughs of proto-conduits to the outow boundary and adjacent successful conduits, which causes further instability and continued transfor mation of elds of hydrodynamic and chemical param eters. In terms of synergetics, this phase is a giant uc tuation (bifurcation, or threshold) in the evolution of the open system, during which a new pattern emerges. Selforganization of the permeability structure (formation of an integrated conduit pattern) leads to transformation of boundary conditions and subsequent stabilization of the groundwater ow system at a new higher level of energy exchange with an external environment. e following speleogenetic development phase is a “stationary” stage, characterized by dynamic equilibrium. As a result of speleogenetic self-organization, the groundwater ow system acquires a new, more complex structure and changes the functioning, i.e. it receives a new quality and can be attributed to a higher level of geosystemic organization. HY POGENE KARST Since hypogene karst during its formation is almost ex clusively represented by voids and conduits, which ori gin is by denition unrelated to the surface agencies, the terms “hypogene karstication” and “hypogene speleo genesis” are virtually interchangeable. Ideas that karst can develop at depth without direct genetic relationship to the surface (i.e. without exposure of the host rocks and recharge from the immediately overlying surface) have a long history, but remained on the periphery of karstolog ical thinking, not inuencing the traditional paradigm of karst until the last 25 years. Early scientic comments that solution cavities can form at depth due to the action of rising hydrothermal waters were made in the mid of 19 th century by geologists who studied ore deposits in Europe. ey went unnoticed by scholars of the rst half of 20 th century who shaped the body of the emerging science of karst. Since the mid of 20 th century, ideas of hydrothermal karst, sulphuric acid karst and ore karst received further development mainly in Czech Republic, Hungary and the ex-USSR. In these countries, the concepts of deep-seated karstication driv en by hydrothermal and sulphuric acid dissolution were easily t into the process-based general notion of karst which was common there (see denitions [15] and [16]). Notable publications of this period include, among oth ers, Jakucz (1948, 1977), Kunsky (1957), Sokolov (1962), Maksimovich (1969), Dublyansky (1980), Mller (1974), Sass-Gustkiewicz & Dzulynski (1982). In the United States, several important publications appeared, focused on speleogenesis by thermal waters (Egemeier 1973; Bakalowicz et al. 1987) , sulphuric acid (Morehouse 1968; Hill 1987 ) and artesian waters ( Brod 1964; Howard 1964). ese speleogenetic works were clearly inconsistent with the landscape-based (epigenic) karst notion which domi nated in the Western literature (see denitions [1–4 and 6]). Although these alternative mechanisms for cave development have been given due attention in the major contemporary text on karst (Ford & Williams 1989), this acknowledgement did not gain reection in the approach to the general notion of karst ([11]). e beginning of 1990s has been marked by several publications that signied the turning point in studies of hypogene speleogenesis. e book by Y .Dublyansky (1990) was the rst comprehensive account on hydro thermal karst, including theoretical aspects. In his clas sical paper on the origin of limestone caves, Palmer (1991) has provided an excellent summary on hypogene T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES TY PES OF KARST BE Y OND THE TRADITIONAL PARADIGM , AND APPROACHES TO KARST T Y POLOG Y


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 298 speleogenesis and brought the term “hypogene caves” into a broad international usage. Klimchouk (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997a) revitalized the concept of artesian speleogenesis by employing concepts of cross-formational communication in leaky conned aquifer systems. He demonstrated that giant gypsum maze caves in the Western Ukraine were formed by upward ow across the gypsum bed, sand wiched between two aquifers, in zones of topographic/ piezometric lows. e small book by Ezhov et al. (1992) oered a thought-provoking and far-reaching discussion of “non-traditional” types of karst (hydrothermal karst, sulfuric acid karst, ore karst, silicate karst, endokarst, etc.) in the context of thermobaric conditions in the Earth’s crust. Being published in Russian by an obscure publisher, this important work was not properly appreciated even in Russia and remained unnoticed internationally 3 . Palmer (1995) has overviewed geochemical mod els for the origin of macroscopic solution porosity in carbonate rocks, and demonstrated a multiplicity of dissolution mechanisms operating in deep-seated me sogenetic environments. Klimchouk (2000) provided a lengthy review of speleogenesis in deep-seated and con ned settings and relevant karst concepts, introduced the concept of transverse speleogenesis, highlighted the distinctiveness of deep-seated speleogenesis with respect to speleogenesis in unconned settings and called for a revision and expansion of the traditional paradigm of karst in order to embrace the deep-seated phenomena. e multi-author international book on speleogenesis (Klimchouk et al. 2000) has codied the division of ba sic genetic settings for caves into (1) coastal and oceanic (eogenetic), (2) conned deep-seated (hypogenic), and (3) unconned (hypergenic/epigenic). By the end of the 20 th century, the notion of the hy pogene origin remained largely limited to caves formed by hydrothermal and sulfuric acid dissolution (Ford & Williams 1989; Palmer 1991; Hill 2000), and the term and concept of hypogene speleogenesis were linked to the origin (relative to the surface) of the aggressive ness of water (Palmer 1991). Klimchouk (2000) em phasized an importance for deep-seated speleogenesis of upwelling cross-communication between aquifers in leaky conned systems, and Ford (2006) suggested a denition of hypogene speleogenesis based on re charge from below. is approach, which can actually be traced from the recognition by Ford (1987) of a class of basal injection caves, has been further elaborated by Klimchouk (2007), who suggested that in hypogene speleogenesis the specic hydrogeological settings, in cluding leaky connement and upwelling ow pattern, transcend the particularities of the physico-chemicial mechanisms which create the aggressiveness of wa ter toward rocks. erefore, hydrogeological criteria are decisive in distinguishing hypogene speleogenesis; this also follows from the general postulate of the su premacy of groundwater ow in speleogenesis (Section e supremacy of groundwater ow in speleogenesis and karst development). e author denes hypogene speleogenesis as the formation of solution-enlarged perof solution-enlarged per meability structures (voidconduit systems) by uids that recharge the cavernous zone from hydrostratigraphically lower units, being originated from distant, estranged (by low-permeability beds or strata), or internal sources, in dependent of direct recharge from the overlying or im mediately adjacent surface (modied from Klimchouk 2007). e hydrogeological approach highlights the com mon hydrogeological genetic background and explains the multifaceted similarity of caves formed by upwelling ow, previously seen as unrelated because of their attri bution to dierent chemical processes involved. Impor tantly, it provides a theoretically and methodologically sound ba sis not only for dening and identifying hypo gene speleogenesis, but also for its spatial and temporal prognosis in the context of regional hydrogeology and geodynamics (Klimchouk 2013b, 2013c, 2014). In 1990s, independently from karst and cave science, sedimentologists and petroleum geologists studying car bonate reservoirs began to realize limitations of the model of subaerial meteoric diagenesis, heavily used to explain the formation of deep-seated dissolutional porosity in car bonates. is model implied that such porosity is related to past exposures and dissolution in paleo-vadose and pa leo-phreatic freshwater zones (i.e., is paleokarst; Esteban & Wilson 1993). Some workers proposed that deep-burial dissolution in the mesogenetic environment can contrib ute signicantly to secondary porosity and permeability evolution in many carbonate reservoirs (e.g., Mazzullo & Harris 1991, 1992; Al-Shaieb & Lynch 1993; Machel 1999). It was shown that mesodiagenetic dissolution in carbon ate reservoirs occurs at burial depths ranging from 200 m to 9150 m (Mazzullo & Harris 1991). e modern litera ture on deep-seated carbonate reservoirs provides ample evidence for macroscopic dissolutional porosity formed in situ (e.g., Heward et al. 2000; Korobov & Korobova 2006; Smith 2006, among many others). However, some authors still deny the very possibility of signicant dissolution po rosity creation in the mesogenetic realm (Ehrenberg et al. 2012). In fact, carbonate reservoir geologists are still large ly ignorant of the developments in hypogene karst studies, and stick to the paleokarst concept in interpreting deepseated solution porosity. 3 A somewhat modied version of this book has been published recently in English (Andreychouk et al. 2009). A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 299 e period since 1990 has witnessed an exponen tial growth in the number of empirical studies of dier ent kinds of hypogene speleogenesis in various regions around the world. An overview of these works is beyond the scope of this paper. Rich bibliography on hypogene caves can be found in major recent general texts on karst and caves (Ford & Williams 2007; Palmer 2007) and theme-focused monographs and collections of papers (Klimchouk 2007; Klimchouk & Ford 2009; Staord et al. 2009; Klimchouk at al. 2014). A search in Karst Base (2015) returns over 360 publications for the “hypo gen” keyword, mostly of the last decade. Several generalizations can be made here about dis tribution and patterns of hypogene karst porosity (for detailed discussions see Klimchouk 2007, 2012, 2013a, 2013b; Audra 2009). Hypogene speleogenesis occurs in various tectonic and geological/hydrogeological condi tions and in rocks of dierent compositions (all kinds of carbonate rocks, gypsum, conglomerates, sandstones, and quartzites) and ages (from Neoproterozoic to Pleis tocene). Its distribution is not limited to continents. With the advent of new sensing technologies, evidence grow rapidly that hypogene karstication occurs in the seaoor (e.g., Betzler et al. 2011; Chen et al. 2015), al though its proper interpretation is oen hindered due to limitations of the traditional paradigm of karst (Michaud et al. 2005). e depth limit for hypogene speleogenesis is dicult to establish, but available evidence suggest that it occurs at least within several kilometers. It local izes where ascending ow and disequilibrium conditions causing dissolu tion were supported, continuously or in termittedly, during a suciently long time, mainly in zones of discharge and/or interaction of uid ow sys tems and regimes of dierent nature, depth and scales. e localization is controlled by the particularities of regional hydrogeological structure and geodynamic and geomorphic evolution. Hypogene speleogenesis results in a variety of patterns of void-conduit systems, which broadly group into three categories: (1) stratiform, (2) cross-formational, and (3) combined. Patterns and the morphology of hypogene void-conduit system exhibit functional organization that evolved to progressively facilitate ascending ow and discharge. e hydrogeo logical role of hypogene speleogenesis lies in localized increase of the vertical permeability of separating aqui tards, concentration of ascending ow, enhancement of the hydraulic connection of aquifers in layered conned systems and segments in cross-formational fracture-vein systems, and eventually – in improving conditions for ascending discharge. One of the main reasons for the distinctions in pat terns between epigene and hypogene void-conduit sys tems is the specics of hypogene speleogenetic mecha nism caused by particularities of hydrodynamic behavior of conned ow systems. In conned (semi-conned) settings, in zones where ow is directed transversely upward across layers and formations, both recharge to fractures in soluble rocks and discharge out of them occur through adjacent insoluble beds with a relatively conservative permeability. In cross-formational fracturevein systems (e.g. fault-controlled), ow crosses soluble and insoluble rocks. Discharge in the whole groundwa ter ow system is controlled by the least permeable ele ments in the geological cross-section. Before the onset of speleogenesis, less permeable beds in layered systems are commonly represented by soluble rocks, and discharge through fractures is controlled by their hydraulic capac ity. When transverse proto-conduits reach the break through condition, their further growth does not ac celerate dramatically, because at some point the control over discharge switches to the permeability of adjacent or more distant insoluble beds, or to unaltered insoluble segments in fracture-vein systems. is switch to the ex ternal conservative control over discharge in hypogene speleogenesis subdues the positive feedback loop and the speleogenetic competitiveness and allows adjacent ow pathways to continue their growth, favoring formation of pervasive, maze-like patterns (Klimchouk 2000). is eect has been conrmed by numerical modeling of hy pogene speleogenesis in a stratied aquifer system with dispersed basal recharge to the soluble bed (Birk 2002; Birk et al. 2003; Rehrl et al. 2008, 2010). Modeling of conduit development by hydrothermal dissolution along localized cross-formational fractures (Andre & Raja ram 2005; Rajaram et al. 2009 ) revealed that the thermal coupling between the uid and rock also causes the sup pression of the ow-growth feedback and speleogenetic competition soon aer breakthrough. Another specic feature of hypogene speleogenesis is the great role of buoyancy circulation (Klimchouk 1997b, 2007), which has been conrmed and thoroughly studied by thermo hydrochemical modeling (Chaudhuri et al. 2013). Dramatic advances in studies of hypogene speleo genesis during last 25 years resulted in that the notion of hypogene karst has changed from an aberrant curious phenomenon to one of the fundamental categories of karst of comparable importance with epigene karst. Rec ognition of hypogene karst in this capacity clearly signi es an ongoing major shi in karst paradigm, previously overwhelmingly dominated by the epigene concepts and models. Hypogene speleogenesis has broad and impor tant implications for many applied elds such as char acterization and modeling of reservoirs in soluble rocks, oil eld prospecting and exploitation, geological engi neering, mineral resources industries and groundwater management. T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 300 E NDOKARST e term “endokarst” (endogenous karst) is widely but misleadingly used in the literature to denote under ground karst features, and the term “exokarst” (exog enous karst) is used for surcial features. is practice is not consistent with the meaning universally accepted in geosciences, where the term “endogenous” refers to phenomena caused by forces originating from within the Earth, and the term “exogenous” refers to the processes that derive their energy from external sources. To be compatible with this usage, the term “exokarst” should be used largely in a sense of the notion of epigene karst, but also include artesian speleogenesis in the upper hydro dynamic storey of basins, driven by meteoric topogra phy-controlled circulation with no involvement of deep endogenous ow systems. Karstication, produced by uid ow systems driven by internal sources of energy, even those containing waters of the meteoric origin, can be regarded as a realm of “endogenous karst”. us, this meaning of endogenous karst is close to the notion of hy pogene karst, but it is not entirely equivalent to it as the latter also includes speleogenesis driven by topographycontrolled artesian circulation. An original concept of endokarst has been suggest ed by Ezhov & Lysenin (1990) and further developed in Ezhov et al. (1992). According to these views, the realm of endokarst encompasses the parts of the crust below so called “buer” zone – a dense interval of maximum compaction of the rock and complete closure of all types of porosity at depth of about 7-15 km, which forms a planetary-scale regulator of deuidization of the deeper parts of the Earth’s crust. Endokarst processes involve liquid-vapor uids, released from thermal breakdown of hydrous minerals and arriving from the lower crust and the upper mantle, acting at temperatures above 100 o C and pressures approaching the lithostatic ones (Fig. 1). In such conditions the uids are highly aggressive with respect to many sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. Fluid-lled porosity may exist in the endokarst story because uids are under lithostatic pressures so that pressure gradients are negligible. However, cavities can be preserved while passing through the above buer zone only if lled with some secondary mineral such as calcite or anhydrite. Although dissolution processes certainly operate in the zone of lithostatic pressures, little is known about conditions at such depths (geological inhomogeneities, dynamics of uid and their physico-chemical param eters) which may control concentration of uid ow and dissolution eects, i.e. formation of void-conduit sys tems. It is obvious that the mechanisms of speleogenesis known to operate in the upper parts of the Earth’s crust (hydrostatic zone), are not applicable for the lithostatic zone. As speleogenesis is the most essential attribute of karst, it is questionable whether the phenomena hypoth esized by Ezhov et al. (1992) can be classied as karst. It is much more certain that pulse breakthroughs of deep uids into the hydrostatic zone, that propagate up ward along deep-rooted faults and other heterogeneities, transecting this zone to various heights and up to the surface, play the important role in generating hypogene speleogenesis. Such pulses interact with various ground Fig. 1: V ertical hydrodynamic zoning (A) and karst stories (D) of the Earth’s crust. (B) and (C) show, respectively, dominating ow re gimes and the origins of groundwater in dierent zones and stories. (A) also shows changes of some important parameters with depth: solid line – parameters before the impulse breakthrough of uids through buer subzone II-A; dotted line – parameters aer the break through. (A) is from Ezhov & Lysenin (1990), as reproduced in Andreychouk et al. (2009). A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 301 water ow systems and are believed to be responsible for pressure anomalies and associated thermal, hydrochemi cal, and gas anomalies. For more details and discussions of the endokarst concept of Ezhov and Lysenin see An dreychouk et al. (2009) and Klimchouk (2012). G ENETIC T Y PES OF KARST e postulates about the primary importance of ground water ow in speleogenesis, and of speleogenesis in the formation of karst, substantiate a proposition that genet ic types of karst are to be distinguished based on types of speleogenesis. Two fundamental types of speleogenesis , hypogene and epigene, are determined mainly by distinct hydro dynamic characteristics of the respective groundwater ow systems: (1) stratiform conned aquifer systems, or cross-formational fracture-vein systems, of varying depths and degrees of connement, and (2) hydraulically open, near-surface unconned systems. Accordingly, two major genetic types of karst are distinguished within the upper part of the Earth’s crust: hypogene karst and epigene karst. ey dierentiate due to fundamental dif ferences in boundary conditions, lithological, structural and geochemical conditions and hydrodynamic regimes of groundwater (uid) ow and speleogenesis (Fig. 2), as well as due to dierences in the evolutionary trajectories of corresponding karst systems. Epigene and hypogene types of karst dier in many characteristics, notably in relationships with the surface, hydrogeological behaviour, groundwater quality, and economic resources they may contain. is determines substantial dierences in their environmental impacts, the areas of practical importance and approaches to solv ing karst-related issues. Flank-margin speleogenesis (Mylroie & Carew 1995) is oen distinguished as a particular type, based on singu larities of cave development caused by high matrix porosity of young carbonates and localization of dissolution in the freshwater/seawater mixing zone, particularly in the margins of coastal freshwater aquifers / lenses in is lands. is can be taken as a ground for distinguishing a particular genetic type of coastal / eogenetic karst. e standard ank-margin speleogenetic model (Mylroie & Carew 1995) was based on an assumption that the rock sequence is homogenous, and the freshwater lens was considered as an unconned aquifer. However, taking into account that considerable layered heterogeneity and the leaky connement can be present even in young carbonates, speleogenesis in the margins of freshwater lenses can be caused by ow rising across less-permeable beds, i.e. it can be truly hypogene in the hydrogeological sense (Fig. 3 B; Klimchouk 2014). Fig. 2: Karst and speleogenesis in the context of diagenetic zones and groundwater ow regimes. e diagram is out of scale and the vertical dimension is greatly exaggerated. 1 meteoric, topography-driven regime: a local systems (unconned), b regional and sub regional systems (conned); 2 expulsion (exltration, basinal) regime, commonly overpressured, driven by compaction and tectonic compression: a in newly-deposited sediments, b in older rocks; 3 interfaces between groundwater regimes and systems: a meteoric/ expulsion regimes, b local/regional-subregional meteoric systems; 4 poorly permeable beds (only a few are shown on the diagram); 5 meteoric ow paths; 6 basinal ow paths; 7 enhanced cross-formational communication; 8 intense gas inputs; 9 temperature and gradient anomaly: positive, negative; 10 redox conditions: oxidizing, reducing; 11 epigene speleogenesis; 12 hypogene speleogenesis. From Klimchouk (2012). T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 302 E VOLUTIONAR Y T Y PES OF KARST It was implied for a long time that karst development commences only with the exposure of a soluble forma tion to the surface. Within the traditional paradigm of karst, its evolution has been viewed mainly from the per spective of the geomorphological evolution. With the es tablishment of the concepts of interstratal karst (Q uinlan 1978), deep-seated karst and hypogene karst, it became obvious that evolution of karst should be viewed from the perspective, and in timescales, of the entire life of a geological formation, in which the geomorphogenesis is commonly the latest stage in a sequence of others. In sedimentology, environments of alteration of sedimen tary formations are treated in terms of eogenesis, me sogenesis and telogenesis (Choquette & Pray 1970), the successive stages in the normal cycle. Since the hydroge ological context is the most important for karst, its evo lution should be viewed as a part of the evolution of the water-rock system in response to diagenetic and tectonic processes in the course of burial, upli, denudation, and geomorphic development. A useful framework to characterize the changes in major characteristics of karst is provided by the classi cation of karst settings in the context of the geological evolution of a soluble formation (Fig. 4). is classica tion was developed by Klimchouk (1996) and Klimchouk & Ford (2000) in the form of an evolutionary scheme, using earlier ideas and terminology by Ivanov (1956) and Q uinlan (1978). Dierent types of karst (settings) represent the potentially successive stages (states) of its evolution, between which the major boundary condi tions (e.g. recharge/discharge), the overall ow patterns and regimes, and extrinsic factors and intrinsic mecha nisms of speleogenesis change considerably. ese types are (in the order they potentially evolve) syngenetic/eogenetic karst in freshly deposited rocks; deep-seated karst , which develops during mesogenesis, particularly during its ascending limb (when the rocks are being shied toward the surface); subjacent karst , where the cover is locally breached by erosion and direct hydraulic interaction with the surface is established; en trenched karst , in which valleys incise below the bottom of the karst aquifer and drain it, but where the soluble rocks are still covered by insoluble formations for the most part; and denuded karst , where the insoluble cover materials have been completely removed. If the soluble rock bypassed burial, or karstication commenced solely aer the rock was exposed aer burial, such karst rep resents the open karst type. Deep-seated karst, subjacent karst, and entrenched karst represent the group of intras tratal karst types, whereas denuded and open karst form the group of exposed karst types. Later on, karst may be come mantled by a cover that develops contemporane ously with the karst ( mantled karst ), or reburied under younger rocks to form paleokarst, and be re-exposed ( exhumed karst ). Although this classication does not directly specify the origin of caves, it characterizes dominant speleogenetic modes in dierent environments. e evolutionary types of karst correlate with types of spe leogenesis (genetic types of karst) in the following way. Syngenetic/eogenetic karst domain has some particu Fig. 3: Speleogenesis in coastal areas: A the standard ank-margin model for homogenous rocks (redrawn aer Mylroye and Carew 1995); B an expanded model with elements of layered heterogeneity (the hydrogeological setting is borrowed from B arlow 2003). Legend: 1 groundwaters: a fresh, b brackish, c saline (marine); 2 ow directions; 3 ascending leakage across the aquitard; 4 epikarst; 5 fractures or other conductive discontinuities across the aquitard; 6 speleogenesis by mixing of vadose and phreatic freshwaters along the water table; 7 speleogenesis by mixing of freshwater and marine water. Note that the speleogenesis by mixing of freshwater and marine water in cartoon B can be as hypogenic speleogenesis according to the hydrogeological denition (Klimchouk 2014). A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 303 R ELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN KARST AND GEOMORPHOGENESIS Karst systems receive the expression in the landscape and directly interact with external landscape-forming factors, and themselves become a factor of geomorpho genesis, only at certain stages of the development, when the soluble formation is originally exposed to the surface (syngenetic karst type), or is transferred into the shallow subsurface aer burial in the course of upli and denu dation (entrenched and denuded types of karst). At the stage of deep-seated karst, hypogene karst systems com monly have no geomorphic expression. Hypogene and epigene types of karst are charac terized by fundamentally dierent relationships with geomorphogenesis and landforms. Epigene karstica tion occurs in the near-surface conditions and is directly linked with recharge from the immediately overlying or adjacent surface. Accordingly, it is directly linked with the landscape. It is subordinated to the gross landform development that creates the particular conguration of exposure, recharge and drainage for the soluble forma tion, i.e. the initial pattern of hydraulic gradients and Fig. 4: Evolutionary types of karst and speleogenetic environments (modied from Klimchouk & Ford 2000). B ackground colors indicate the domains of hypogene and epi gene speleogenesis. larities of speleogenesis, as noted in Section Genetic types of karst. Depending on the degree of layered het erogeneity and the geometry of a meteoric ow system, speleogenesis may occur either through epigene or hypogene (leaky artesian) mechanisms (Fig. 3; Klim chouk 2014). In islands located along convergent plate boundaries or at hotspots, pronounced hypogene spe leogenesis can be caused by localized inputs of faultcontrolled deep uids from below. e latter may occur also below the seaoor, where localized hydrothermal systems cross carbonate sediments. Deep-seated karst is represented exclusively by hy pogene speleogenesis. In subjacent karst settings both hypogene and epigene speleogenesis may operate, de pending on a dominant groundwater regime and in teraction between dierent ow systems, but hypogene speleogenesis oen dominates. Entrenched and denuded karst types are overwhelmingly epigenic, with inherited hypogenic features that can be reworked by epigenic processes or get fossilized. In both karst types, however, ceasing hypogene systems may still operate. Open karst is marked by exclusively epigene speleogenesis. T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 304 groundwater ow. Landscape is one of the determining factors in the early epigene karstication. Epigene karst features are roughly coeval or younger with respect to major landforms. In mature stages, epigene karstication itself becomes the important factor of geomorphogen esis at the meso-scale, as in towerand cone karst land scapes. Hypogene karstication is not connected with the local surface recharge, being driven by the ascending ows between aquifers in conned aquifer systems and along cross-formational fault/fracture zones. Landscape features at megaand macroscales indirectly aect hy pogene speleogenesis within the rst, and sometimes, the second hydrogeological storeys in large cratonic basins, as they determine the pattern and intensity of transverse ows between stratal aquifers. Hypogenic speleogenesis localized along cross-formational disruptions may not be related to the landscape at all. In the context of the long-term geologic and geomorphologic development, geomorphogenesis indirectly aects hypogenic karsti cation through changes in the boundary conditions of conned aquifer systems on their upper contours, i.e. through erosional dissection and denudation of the up per conning unit. Recognition of the possibility that hypogene voidconduit systems can develop at depth, largely indepen dent of the surface, leads to revisiting general ideas about the relationship of karst and geomorphogenesis. Hypo genic karst systems can be signicantly older than the modern landscape. When a hypogenically karstied for mation is brought to the shallow subsurface by upli and denudation, the karst system interacts with geomorpho genesis through a dierent scheme than in the case of the epigene karst. Its interaction with the landscape in cludes: focusing ascending groundwater discharge (with respective contribution to localization and development of uvial erosion features), collapsing of large cavities, in tercepting surface runo and focusing it along unroofed conduits, vertically enhanced disintegration of rock mas sifs along ri-like conduits and formation of clis and outliers, exposing unusual relict karst morphology in clis, etc. us, karstication is not subordinated to the overall relief development as in the case of epigene karst, but geomorphogenesis at a certain stage can be largely controlled by intercepted hypogene karst structures, as shown recently for the Crimean Piedmont (Klimchouk et al. 2013a, 2013b). I strongly suspect that many unusu al cli-, canyon-, butteand pillar-dominated landscapes in carbonates and sandstones (such as, for instance, Me teora in Greece, Petra in Jordan, and Poseidon system in the Bohemian massif, Czech Republic, among others) could owe their origin to the disintegration of hypogene ri-dominated conduit systems, although special studies are needed to demonstrate this. C LARIF Y ING THE NOTION OF KARST Several trends are apparent in modern karstology that take the notion of karst well beyond the limits of the tra ditional, largely geomorphological, paradigm of karst: Acknowledgment of the central role of speleogen esis in the formation of karst; Recognition of the primacy of the uid ow in the development of karst (i.e. of the hydrogeological essence of karst); Recognition of the wide occurrence and peculiar characteristics of hypogene karst; Adoption of the broad perspective to karst evolu tion which goes beyond the contemporary geomorpho logical epoch and encompasses the entire life of a geo logical formation. ese developments are changing views on which properties of karst are essential. WHICH ATTRIBUTES OF KARST ARE ESSENTIAL? Based on the overview provided in Section Variants of denitions of karst and subsequent discussions, it is briey examined below if the attributes of karst used in the denitions are really essential. It is accepted here that essential properties are those that the object must have (i.e. necessary properties). It is also important to identify properties, or a combination of properties, that make the object unique (i.e. exclusive properties). Dissolution. It is universally accepted that dissolu tion is an essential process in karstication, and refer ences to dissolution are included to most of the deni tions of karst. Moreover, many denitions literally state that karst is the result of dissolution of rocks [1, 6, 8, 9, 15]. ere are two problems here. One is that dissolu tion is ubiquitous in the Earth’s crust, and it is not ex clusively attributed to karst. Referring to this property alone is not sucient to dene karst. Another problem is that karst (karstication) is commonly identied with dissolution, – a source of a widespread misunderstand ing in the geological literature. For instance, in the lit erature on carbonate reservoirs the term “karst” is rarely A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 305 used even with regard to macro-scale solution porosity and permeability features; the notion of karst is eective ly substituted by the notion of dissolution. e practice of equating karst to dissolution is also traceable through the karst literature. is is an obvious case of misleading reductionism. Karstication is not equal to dissolution. Dissolution is a chemical process, whereas karstication (including speleogenesis) is a hydrogeological mass transfer / mass transport process, in which uid ow and chemical dis solution are coupled, and the process is governed by the evolution of the geological environment. Adding to the complexity is that, whereas dissolutional removal is cer tainly one of the essential attributes of karst, other de structive processes also take part in karstication, and their “weight” in the overall process increases with the maturation of the karst systems. Carbonate rocks, soluble rocks. It was shown in Sec tion Phenomena in carbonate rocks that the restriction of the notion of karst by relevance to only carbonate rocks is too specic, misleading, and outdated. Dening karst as phenomena in soluble rocks is, contrarily, too vague; – the nature of the phenomenon that makes it distinct from other phenomena is still to be additionally speci ed. e qualication of rocks as (readily) soluble ones was originally set in parameters of the near-surface con ditions. e solubility of a rock depends on the physical and chemical properties of the solute and solvent, as well as on temperature, pressure and the pH of the solution, and extension of the karst domain to hypogene environ ments makes these properties varying in a much wider range than it was thought earlier. Accordingly, the list of rocks that can be deemed as easily soluble and potentially karstiable, is being expanded. For instance, solubility of quartz at temperatures of 300 o C and pressures of 200–250 MPa becomes comparable to that of gypsum or anhydrite in near-surface conditions (Ezhov et al. 1992). Some large caves in quartzites have been recently shown to be of deep-seated hypogenic origin (Sauro et al. 2014). Landscape characteristics, specic landforms . As shown in Section Karst as a specic topography, land scape, or a set of landforms (physiognomic approach)and elsewhere in this account, the attribute of specic charac teristics of landscape, or even of the very presence of land scape, are not essential for karst. Wide usage of references to landscape/landform characteristics in denitions of karst is the result of inertia from the previous paradigm. During the last 25-30 years the notion of karst has clearly decoupled from the surface-related attributes that is one of indications of the paradigm shi in karstology. Water ( uid ) – rock interaction . e notion of a u id-rock interaction, used in some process-based deni tions [17, 21], does potentially encompass the coupling of uid ow and chemical dissolution, and is therefore an adequate and essential designation of the main drive for karstication. It is, however, too broad and needs in additional indications to the nature (mechanism) of the interaction. Ezhov et al. (1992; [18]) specied it as a metasomatic (alteration) process, based on the concept of Pospelov (1973) about “extended” metasomatism as a “throughgoing” (overarching) process in which opera tion of the zones of dissolution, transport, and deposi tion is “stretched” in time or space or both. Fluid circulation aspects . e paramount importance of groundwater circulation in karst was recognized by many scholars. For instance, Sweeting (1972, p. 5) noted that "... the sinking of water and its circulation under ground is the essence of the karst process ..." . e attribute of the groundwater circulation (movement) is mentioned in some form in six denitions of the selection used in this paper [4, 11, 12, 16, 17, 19], but it is clearly empha sized only in two of them, – in those by Devdariani (1962, [19]) and Huntoon (1995, [12]). As underscored in Sec tion e supremacy of groundwater ow in speleogenesis and karst development , the character of the water-rock interaction in a given rock medium and the distribution of the eects are determined by the nature, intensity and pattern of the groundwater circulation, i.e. by hydrody namic characteristics of groundwater ow systems. e attribute of the groundwater circulation is therefore the most essential for dening karst. Self organization. Only two denitions include this attribute, again by Devdariani [19]) and Huntoon [12]. Since self-organization of permeability and groundwater ow in soluble rocks is the essence and the main result of speleogenesis (see sections Speleogenesis as a primary process in the formation of karst and Self-organization of permeability and ow systems), and since karst is a func tion of speleogenesis (see Section Speleogenesis as a pri mary process in the formation of karst), the attribute of self-organization should be regarded as one of the most essential for karst. Huntoon (1995) and Worthington & Ford (2009) emphasized the role of self-organization of conduit permeability in formation of karst aquifers, and Klimchouk (2011) considered it to be a system-form ing property of the karst geosystem. One of the results of self-organization of the ow system is the dynamic and dramatic increase in the aquifer heterogeneity and permeability (i.e. the eciency of ow), which can be deemed as the unique characteristic of karst. Concentration of ow. e denition of Devdariani [19] is the only one which includes the attribute of ow concentration in the denition of karst. It is a direct con sequence of self-organization of permeability and ow in soluble rocks (i.e. of speleogenesis), and one of the ma jor characteristics of mature karst systems (Worthington T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3– 2015 306 et al. 2000; Worthington & Ford 2009). It is therefore an essential attribute of karst. L ocalized occurence. is is a typical feature of distribution of karstic voids and conduits, the result of concentration of ow and increased heterogeneity of the karstied media. Tsykin (1985) considered the local ized occurrence as an invariant property of karst. is attribute is tacitly implied by the notion of conduit po rosity. Presence of cavities. Cavities as an attribute of karst are mentioned in several denitions, together with land scape features. Unlike surface landforms, the presence of solutionally enlarged cavities (void-conduit networks) is the inherent, and hence essential, attribute of karst sys tems. Transformation and destruction of rocks. Since dis solution is a form of destruction of rocks, most de nitions imply destruction as they mention dissolution. Sokolov (1962; [16]) dened karst as a process of de struction and obliteration of rocks, which means de struction in the geological sense. Tsykin (1985; [14]) dened karst as a totality of forms of selective destruc tion of rocks. Ezhov et al. (1992; [18]) presented karst as a process of metasomatic alteration of rocks. Trans formation and destruction of rocks are indeed the es sential attributes of karst. In summary: e attribute of peculiar landscape/set of landforms, which is most widely used in denitions of karst, is in fact not essential in the light of the mod ern understanding of the phenomenon. Other properties considered above are essential, but only one of them is an exclusive one for karst, namely the dynamic and dramat ic increase in the heterogeneity and permeability of the media, the result of self-organization of the ow system and speleogenesis. It is possible to determine a combina tion of the essential attributes which in aggregate would uniquely dene karst and state its essence. R EFINING THE DEFINITION OF KARST In existing denitions of karst dierent categories have been used for the object itself: a landscape (a set of land forms), a terrain (a territory), a geological environment, a totality of forms, a process, and a system. It is suggested here that the system-based approach to the notion of karst holds the best promise to grasp and adequately represent the specic nature of the karst phenomenon. It is also suggested that this notion should rely on the concept of a groundwater (uid) ow system. e karst system can be uniquely dened only in terms of groundwater ow. e presence of soluble rocks in the geological en vironment causes the phenomenon of self-organization of the permeability and ow pattern (i.e. speleogenesis) which determines the specic evolution of the ground water ow system and transforms it into a new quality (state), – karstic. erefore, karst can be viewed as a spe cic groundwater (uid) ow system, peculiar properties of which have developed as the result of speleogenesis . A similar approach has been already applied with regard to karst aquifers (Worthington & Ford 2009). It should be expanded to karst as a whole, since almost all attributes deemed to be essential for karst are the results of the spe cic (i.e. speleogenetic) evolution of the groundwater ow system in soluble rocks. Of the denitions considered in this paper, the one by Huntoon (1995; [12]) encompasses, explicitly or tacitly, the most of essential properties attributed to the phenomenon. e pattern of the Huntoon formulation is used here to rene a denition of the notion of karst in the light of the above discussion, with some minor mod ications that follow from the above discussions. Karst is a uid ow system (geohydrodynamic sys tem) with a permeability structure evolved as a conse quence of dissolutional enlargement of initial preferential ow pathways, dominated by interconnected voids and conduits, and organized to facilitate the circulation of uid in the downgradient direction due to the positive feedback between ow and conduit growth. is approach implies the use of a subordinated system of key concepts and terms, which revisited de nitions are suggested below. Speleogenesis (karstic) – the formation of voids and conduits in rocks through mainly dissolutional enlarge ment of initial preferential ow pathways involving selforganization due the positive feedback between ow and conduit growth. Karst (karstic) process (syn. karstication, karsto genesis) – a geological process (an interconnected set of processes) of transformation of soluble rocks under the dominant action of coupled ow-dissolution processes and respective self-organization of the groundwater ow system. Karstication is manifested in the emer gence, development and degradation of speleogenetic (macroscopic) porosity, in increasing permeability, en hancing heterogeneity and anisotropy of hydraulic, res ervoir and mechanical properties of rocks, as well as in the respective evolution of the karst geohydrodynamic system . e progressive evolution of the karst system is dominated by processes of solutional removal of mat ter from the host rock (speleogenesis), with increasing intensity and concentration of uid circulation, and heterogeneity. e regressive evolution is characterregressive evolution is characterevolution is character ized by predominance of various paragenetic processes of precipitation/sediment accumulation, fossilization and disintegration of void-conduit porosity structures. A LE X ANDER KLIMCHOUK


ACTA CARSOLOGICA 44/3 – 2015 307 REFERENCES Al-Shaieb, Z. & M. Lynch, 1993: Paleokarst features and thermal overprints observed in some of the Ar buckle cores in Oklahoma .In: Fritza, R.D. et al. (eds.) Paleokarst Related Hydrocarbon Reservoirs . SEMP Core workshop no. 18, pp. 11. Andre, B.J. & H. Rajaram, 2005: Dissolution of limestone fractures by cooling waters: Early development of hypogene karst systems.Water Resour. Res., 41. doi:10.1029/2004WR003331. e karst process at some stage may include the forma tion of specic karst topography and landscapes as a re sult of interaction of the karst geohydrodynamic system and underground karstic features with the surface and external agencies. Karst (karstic) features (phenomena and forms) – underground and, at certain stages of the evolution, su percial, – are the reection of the functioning of the karst geohydrodynamic system in the present (active karst features) or in the past (relict karst and paleokarst features). C ONCLUSIONS e notion of karst within the traditional paradigm is largely geomorphologic (physiognomic), build around external appearance of a karst system developed in ex posed and shallow-lying soluble rocks under the direct action of surface recharge. is notion corresponds to what is now termed epigenic karst. General understanding of karst has changed during last 30-40 years. Dramatic advances in studies of karst hydrogeology and speleogenesis have revealed that the essence of karst lies not in its morphological character istics but in the evolution of a groundwater ow system in soluble rocks, and that speleogenesis is the principal intrinsic mechanism of this evolution. e progress in understanding of hypogenic karst, stimulated by spe leogenetic researches and massive new data arising from hydrocarbon prospecting and exploration, have led to its recognition as another fundamental type of karst. Besides gravity-driven ow systems, hypogenic karst can be related to systems driven by endogenous energy sources, and its evolution may go far beyond the current geomorphologic epoch. With these developments, views on essential at tributes of karst have been clearly changing, indicating the ongoing shi from the largely geomorphologic para digm of karstology to the geological (hydrogeological) one. is shi, however, is not adequately reected in denitions of the notion which are in a broad use in the earth-science literature. A rened approach is suggested where karst is viewed as a specic uid ow system (geo hydrodynamic system), which has acquired its peculiar properties in the course of speleogenesis. Underground and supercial karstic features are the reection of the functioning of the karst geohydrodynamic system in the present (active karst) or in the past (relict karst and pa leokarst). A CKNOWLEDGEMENTS e author thanks to the reviewers, one of which was Prof. Derek Ford, for constructive comments and sug gestions, which considerably improved this paper. T HE KARST PARADIGM : CHANGES , TRENDS AND PERSPECTIVES


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