The St. Paul karst (Palawan, Philippines) is a tropical coastal karst, consisting of towers, cones, huge depressions and large caves. This area hosts the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (PPSR, 24?km long), whose main entrance is a large spring along the coast and which is one of the largest cave complexes in eastern Asia. A geomorphological study performed by several field surveys and a morphometric analysis of the digital terrain model (DTM) and 3D cave models, allowed formulation of a first evolutionary framework of the karst system. The DTM was extracted from maps and aerial photographs in order to find different generations of ‘relict’ landforms, through the morphometric analysis of topographic surface and karst landforms. Several features suggest a long and multi-stage evolution of the karst, whose age ranges from Pliocene to present. The southern and northern sectors of the area differ in their altimetric distribution of caves. In the southern sector, some large caves lie between 300 and 400?m?asl and were part of an ancient system that developed at the base level of a past river network. In the northern sector, some mainly vadose caves occur, with a phreatic level at 120–130?m?asl. An important phase of base-level cave development is well documented in the inactive passages of PPSR at 50–80?m?asl. Morphological features, such as horizontal solution passages and terraced deposits, suggest a phase of stillstand of the base level, which is recorded in the topography as low-relief surfaces at 40–50?m?asl. The age of this phase is probably Early Pleistocene, on the basis of assumed uplift rates. The more recent caves are still active, being located at the current sea level, but they show more than one cycle of flooding and dewatering (with calcite deposition). In the PPSR, several morphologic features, such as two main water level notches at +12·4 and +7·7?m?asl and terraced alluvial deposits, suggest that the lower and active level passed through more than two high-stands of sea level and so it could have formed throughout most of the Middle-Late Pleistocene.INGLESE

Tectonic uplift, sea level changes and Plio-Pleistocene evolution of a coastal karst system: the Mount Saint Paul (Palawan, Philippines)

IANDELLI, NICCOLO'
2011

Abstract

The St. Paul karst (Palawan, Philippines) is a tropical coastal karst, consisting of towers, cones, huge depressions and large caves. This area hosts the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River (PPSR, 24?km long), whose main entrance is a large spring along the coast and which is one of the largest cave complexes in eastern Asia. A geomorphological study performed by several field surveys and a morphometric analysis of the digital terrain model (DTM) and 3D cave models, allowed formulation of a first evolutionary framework of the karst system. The DTM was extracted from maps and aerial photographs in order to find different generations of ‘relict’ landforms, through the morphometric analysis of topographic surface and karst landforms. Several features suggest a long and multi-stage evolution of the karst, whose age ranges from Pliocene to present. The southern and northern sectors of the area differ in their altimetric distribution of caves. In the southern sector, some large caves lie between 300 and 400?m?asl and were part of an ancient system that developed at the base level of a past river network. In the northern sector, some mainly vadose caves occur, with a phreatic level at 120–130?m?asl. An important phase of base-level cave development is well documented in the inactive passages of PPSR at 50–80?m?asl. Morphological features, such as horizontal solution passages and terraced deposits, suggest a phase of stillstand of the base level, which is recorded in the topography as low-relief surfaces at 40–50?m?asl. The age of this phase is probably Early Pleistocene, on the basis of assumed uplift rates. The more recent caves are still active, being located at the current sea level, but they show more than one cycle of flooding and dewatering (with calcite deposition). In the PPSR, several morphologic features, such as two main water level notches at +12·4 and +7·7?m?asl and terraced alluvial deposits, suggest that the lower and active level passed through more than two high-stands of sea level and so it could have formed throughout most of the Middle-Late Pleistocene.INGLESE
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11578/236715
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