UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Glossary

Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

anastomosis
1. The development of a network of branching, intersecting, and rejoining channels in a two dimensional system. Anastomosing tubes, or cave anastomoses, which are generally formed due to dissolution by slow, poorly directed, phreatic flow along a beddingplane parting or fracture in limestone, represent an important element in the early stages of cave development. Individual anastomoses most commonly have a diameter of approximately 100 mm and networks may contain hundreds of tubes. Most anastomoses are abandoned when one channel offers preferential flow conditions so that it increases in size at the expense of others. Such abandoned or relict anastomoses are commonly only exposed by subsequent wall or roof collapse [32]. 2. A network of tubular passages or holes in a cave or in a cave or solution-sculptured rock. A complex of many irregular and repeatedly connected passages [9, 21]. Synonym: labyrinth; (French.) anastomose; (German.) Labyrinth; (Greek.) anastomosis; (Italian.) anastomosi; (Russian.) labirint; (Spanish.) anastomosis; (Turkish.) gecit sebekesi; (Yugoslavian.) splet kanala.