UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis
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Karstbase Bibliography Database

Hradecký, J.; Pánek, T.; Šilhán, K.; Smolková, V.
Ugai, K.; et.al.
Karstification as a predisposing factor of seismically triggered landslides: case study from the crimean mountains (ukraine): introduction to the problem
Earthquake-Induced Landslides

Deep-seated gravitational deformations are significant denudational agents of rock slopes at the margins of karstified plateaus of the Crimean Mountains (CM). The CM evolved during Mesozoic–Cenozoic times as a response to the deformation between the Black Sea domain and East-European platform. The southwestern part of the area is characterized by steep, up to 1000-m-high coastal escarpments consisting of Late Jurassic limestones overlying tuff layers and weak Late Triassic flysch with sporadic small intrusions of Middle Jurassic diorites, gabbros and granites. Steep rock slopes contrast with elevated, highly karstified plateaus situated approximately 500–1300 m a.s.l. The aim of this article is to show long-term evolution of a giant rock slope failure close to the Black Sea coast in the southwestern tip of the CM near Foros Town. The failure evolved in highly anisotropic limestones overlying plastic flysch layers where the main head scarp follows a strike-slip fault. The Foros slope failure is an excellent demonstration of the significance of a preparatory stage in the evolution of large deep-seated slope deformations. Inherited and undisturbed horizontal slickensides on the sub-vertical, inactive fault surface serve as good evidence of significant extensional movement of the surface blocks away from the main headscarp. The studied deformation shows that in a relatively small area tensional (cutting) surfaces can be formed by a great variety of rock discontinuities such as the strike-slip fault, joints and steeply inclined bedding planes. The presence of well-developed, nowadays weathered, speleothems furthermore points to significant karstification that provided additional widening of spaces within rock mass. Gravitational movement destroyed and unroofed several cave systems originally presented at the former edge of a karst plateau. Our findings reveal that large rock slope failures can be added to the factors contributing to the evolution of unroofed caves. Although triggering factors of the activation of individual parts of slope deformations can be determined only hypothetically, lessons learned from widespread landslide activity during and after the 1927 Yalta earthquake and rainfall-driven landslides in the vicinity of Feodosia Town make us consider both seismic loading of slopes and high pore-pressures during heavy winter rainfalls or rapid spring snowmelt to be significant factors. Beside seismic activity, intensive Late Holocene slope processes can be attributed to intensive human activity.


Slope deformations; karstification; dating; earthquake; Crimean mountains
Hradecký, J.; Pánek, T.; Šilhán, K.; Smolková, V. , 2013, Karstification as a predisposing factor of seismically triggered landslides: case study from the crimean mountains (ukraine): introduction to the problem , 235 - 242 http://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-642-32238-9_24, PDF