Hydraulic considerations in the development of tiankengs
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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.
Karst, Doline, Collapse, Hydraulic Processes
Speleogenesis and Evolution of Karst Aquifers, Vol. 4, no. 9 (2006-01-01).
Palmer, Arthur N. and Margaret, V. Palmer, "Hydraulic considerations in the development of tiankengs" (2006). KIP Articles. 2580.