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Hydraulic processes in the origin of tiankengs

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Author(s): Palmer, A.N | Palmer, M.V.

Journal: Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers
ISSN 1814-294X

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 3298;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: karst | doline | collapse | hydraulic processes

ABSTRACT
Tiankengs are formed most commonly by the collapse of bedrock into underlying caves that contain active rivers. The collapse propagates itself by blocking and diverting the underground streams, so that hydraulic gradients become steeper and the solutional and erosional capacities are enhanced. Most of the volume of a tiankeng is produced by removal of mass by the cave streams. A large and fluctuating discharge is most favorable. As diversion passages form and enlarge, they foster further collapse and diversion. Stress release around the collapse encourages the opening of new fractures with trends that differ from regional fracture patterns. These processes account for the large scale of tiankengs in comparison to the original cave passages.
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