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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That cave postule is a white, hemispherical wall and roof deposit of calcite [25].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for ablation (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
Summit Firn Caves, Mount Rainier, Washington, 1971, Kiver Eugene P. , Mumma Martin D. ,
Heat and steam from the crater fumaroles have melted over 5700 feet (1737 meters) of cave passage in the ice-filled east crater of Mount Rainier. The caves are in approximate balance with the present geothermal heat release. Future changes in the thermal activity of the summit cone will cause corresponding changes in cave passage dimensions, location, and ceiling and wall ablation features

Le Vercors : un massif de la moyenne montagne alpine, 1984, Delannoy, J. J.
THE VERCORS: A MASSIF OF MIDDLE ALPINE MOUNTAIN - The Vercors is a forested massif of middle mountain, in the French Northern Prealps. The characteristic of the Vercors massif is the thick and massif urgonian limestones, which underlines a folded structure. The Vercors quickly hold the attention of speleologists, who had put forward the density and diversity of karstic aspects since the beginning of the century. Landforms display glacial karstic landscapes more or less damaged in terms of bio-climatic levels of mounts and depressions landscapes and of deep water gaps, which main flows of the massif are flowing in. The notion of the morphoclimatic heritage applies to the underground karst for which glacial quaternary episodes have been determinant in the large systems genesis (gouffre Berger - Scialet de la Fromagre, Antre des Damns, Combe de Fer...). The study of underground deposits allows to bring up-to-date various period of karst development; a preglacial stage (e.g. upper levels of Cuves de Sassenage, Gournier, Coufin-Chevaline...). The study of the current dynamic shows that the Vercors as an important karstic ablation, between 120 to 170mm/ky. The karstic dynamic exerts mainly on the superficial slab of the massif (from 80 to 50% of the whole ablation). The Vercors can be considered as the best example of calcareous massif in temperate middle mountains, thanks to the combination of various favourable parameters: pure karst rocks, morpho-climatic episodes not constraining, and a high karstic dynamic.

Statistical evaluation of glacier boreholes as indicators of basal drainage systems, 1996, Smart C. C. ,
Between 1988 and 1992 closely spaced arrays of boreholes were drilled at Small River Glacier, British Columbia. The borehole arrays have been used to investigate the interannual and spatial consistency of patterns of basal hydraulics beneath the glacier. A simple robust classification was devised identifying unconnected, high standing, low standing and dry base water levels in boreholes. Spatial and interannual comparisons were made using a simple nearest neighbour statistic, corrected for differences in frequency of different borehole types and evaluated using Monte Carlo confidence intervals to compensate for array form. Arrays in the lower ablation zone showed spatial and interannual coherence, with three distinct areas characterized by low water pressure, till-associated non-connection and high pressure. There was no indication of a dominant conduit. Slightly higher up-glacier borehole patterns were less coherent, and varied from year to year, probably a result of subglacial karst capturing basal waters at a number of low pressure points at the bed. Therefore both the upper and lower arrays at Small River Glacier appear to encompass unusual drainage conditions. The nearest neighbour analysis provides valuable constraints on more specific interpretation

Gypsum Trays in Torgac Cave, New Mexico, 1998, Doran, L. M. , Hill, C. A.
Mount St. Helens is an active dacitic volcano, which is currently in a semi-dormant state after a catastrophic explosive eruption in May 1980. A dacite dome occupies the crater and plugs the volcanic vent. The crater area has been progressively covered by a layer of snow, firn, and glacier ice since as early as 1986. Heat, steam, and volcanic gases from the crater fumaroles melted over 2415 meters of cave passage in the crater ice mass. The caves are in approximate balance with the present geothermal heat release. Future changes in the thermal activity will influence the dimensions, location, ceiling, wall, and wall ablation features of these caves. Cave passages are located above fumaroles and fractures in and adjacent to the crater lava dome. Cave passages gradually enlarge by ablation, caused by outside air circulation and by geothermal sources beneath the ice. The passages form a circumferential pattern around the dome, with entrance passages on the dome flanks. Passages grow laterally and vertically toward the surface, spawning ceiling collapse.

Trace element variations in coeval Holocene speleothems from GB Cave, southwest England, 1999, Roberts Mark S. , Smart Peter L. , Hawkesworth Chris J. , Perkins William T. , Pearce Nicholas J. G. ,
We report trace element (Mg, Sr and Ba) records based on laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) from three coeval Holocene speleothems from Great Chamber in GB Cave, southwest England. The trace element records are placed on a common timescale on the basis of a suite of TIMS 230Th-234U ages. This permits assessment of the reproducibility of the trace element record in coeval speleothems. The trace element records are not coherent, raising dobuts over the reliability of individual trace element records as potential archives of palaeoenvironmental information. Mg/Sr in speleothem calcite has been proposed as a potential palaeothermometer as Mg partitioning into calcite from water is temperaturedependent, while Sr partitioning into calcite is temperature-independent. However, we present the results of calculations which demonstrate that the observed Mg/Sr values in the three stalagmites cannot have been produced by Holocene temperature changes alone and that other processes must play a dominant role. We present a model which suggests that the observed trace element variations in the three speleothems reflect hydrological mixing of waters in the epikarstic zone above the cave which have interacted with two geochemi cally distinct source rocks (calcite and dolomite)

Partitioning of Sr2 and Mg2 into calcite under karst-analogue experimental conditions, 2001, Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. ,
There is a paucity of experimental data on calcite precipitation from waters at low ionic strength and low ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca, using controlled and constant precipitation rates. Such data are particularly needed for studies of speleothem geochemistry in relation to palaeoclimates.We carried out a series of experiments using a karst-analogue set-up in a chamber of constant temperature and 100% humidity. A steady flow of NaHCO3 and CaCl2 solutions at PCO2 around 10-3.2 were mixed just before passage through a tube (analogous to a soda-straw stalactite) and allowed to drip onto a surface, analogous to a stalagmite. Growth rates were comparable with linear extension rates of natural speleothems.Analytical spots gave reproducible analyses in later analytical cycles after ablation of surface calcite with Na and Mg contamination. Different crystals from the same experiment tended to show positive covariation of Na and Mg with negative covariation with Sr. This may be due to the presence of growth hillocks with vicinal faces with differential partitioning behaviour.The result for the partition coefficient for Mg (DMg) at 25[deg]C is 0.031 0.004, which is quantitatively in good agreement with the trends of previous workers. At 15[deg]C, the result is 0.019 0.003. The temperature dependency is higher than experimental data on seawater-analogue solutions, but lower than a previous estimate based on a comparison of speleothem chemistry with single water analyses.Data for DSr are mainly in the range of 0.057 to 0.078, with a possible weak dependency on growth rate, consistent with previous experimental work. Absolute values are higher than studies in Mg-free saline solutions, which is attributed mainly to salinity effects. Values of DSr are nevertheless somewhat lower than in natural caves, which may relate to crystal growth factors.Mg partition coefficient values should allow robust determination of solution Mg/Ca compositions in enclosed caves, which are at constant temperature on the decadal timescale. The inferred sensitivity of DSr to growth rate factors implies that Sr values should be interpreted more cautiously. Muted changes could relate entirely to growth rate variations, whereas changes of large magnitude imply a control by solution composition. The absence of local (tens of micron scale) antipathetic variations in Sr and Mg in studied natural speleothems, implies that intracrystalline zoning phenomena, if present, are on a finer scale in those natural materials compared with experimental products

Etude glaciologique et climatologique des cavits glaces du Moncodeno (Grigna septentrionale, province de Lecco, Lombardie, 2003, Turri S. , Citterio M. , Bini A. , Maggi V. , Udistj R. , Stenni B.
GLACIOLOGICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL STUDIES IN ICE-CAVES OF MONCODENO (NORTH GRIGNA, PROVINCEOFLECCO, LOMBARDY) - The existence of perennial ice and snow deposits in the karst shafts of the Moncodeno area, at altitudes of about 1800 to 2100 m a.s.l, has long been known. Even so, no detailed study has been formerly carried out. Three ice and snow cores have been drilled in the glaciated cave environment and chemical, isotopic, crystallographic and textural analyses were carried out on them. By linking these observations with the morphology, stratigraphy and internal structures of the deposits, and with the hypogean and epigean climate records, we were able to identify the accumulation processes and to give one upper and some lower limits to the age of these deposits. The most notable deposit shows a more than 15 m thick succession of clear-ice layers, found at a depth of about 80 m and suspended between two shafts in the cave "Abisso sul margine dell'Alto Bregaia Because of the relative position to the cave entrance, no snow can reach this deposit. The crystallographic and textural features, confirmed by the chemical and isotopic trends, show that this is lake-ice. At present no accumulation can be observed and the top surface is now at least 3 m lower than it was three decades ago. The underlying shaft, deglaciated at some time in the past by the air circulation drains the water so that hypogean lakes can no more develop. We have found sound stratigraphic and glaciotectonic evidences of at least three accumulation and three ablation phases. When compared to local present precipitations and to the values available from literature, the ice chemical composition and 6110 values show that this ice must be younger than the end of the last ice age, while preceding the beginning of industrial activity related contributions.

In situ U-series dating by laser-ablation multi-collector ICPMS: new prospects for Quaternary geochronology, 2005, Eggins S. M. , Griin R. , Mcculloch M. T. , Et Al.

Rapid trace element analysis of speleothems by ELA-ICP-MS, 2006, Desmarchelier Jm, Hellstrom Jc, Mcculloch Mt,
Excimer laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ELA-ICP-MS) has been used to analyse the concentration of Mg, Sr, Ba, and U along the outer wall of a soda-straw stalactite from southeastern Australia. The results of this study reveal high frequency oscillations superimposed upon longer-term trends in the data, in particular those of Sr/Ca and Ba/Ca. The high frequency oscillations in the trace elements are assumed to be annual and have been used to compile a chronology which agrees to better than 1% of an independent chronology based on dendrochronological counting of distinctive banding on the surface of the speleothem. The autocorrelation and dendrochronological methods produce a 230-year record of trace element fluctuations spanning the period from 1766 to 1996. Comparisons between the speleothem trace element record and ring width measurements to regional precipitation and temperature fluctuations reveal that a complex relationship exists between them. This study demonstrates that analysis of the trace element composition of soda-straw stalactites is possible at sub-annual resolution, and that some trace elements in these speleothems can vary significantly on an annual basis in an apparent response to changing environmental conditions. The study also reveals the significant advantages that ELA-ICP-MS has over other microbeam techniques in regard to the relative speed and ease of acquiring data with minimal sample preparation

Modification and preservation of environmental signals in speleothems, 2006, Fairchild Ij, Smith Cl, Baker A, Fuller L, Spotl C, Mattey D, Mcdermott F, Eimp,
Speleothems are primarily studied in order to generate archives of climatic change and results have led to significant advances in identifying and dating major shifts in the climate system. However, the climatological meaning of many speleothem records cannot be interpreted unequivocally, this is particularly so for more subtle shifts and shorter time periods, but the use of multiple proxies and improving understanding of formation mechanisms offers a clear way forward. An explicit description of speleothem records as time series draws attention to the nature and importance of the signal filtering processes by which the weather, the seasons, and longer-term climatic and other environmental fluctuations become encoded in speleothems. We distinguish five sources of variation that influence speleothem geochemistry, i.e. atmospheric, vegetation/soil, karstic aquifer, primary speleothem crystal growth and secondary alteration, and give specific examples of their influence. The direct role of climate diminishes progressively through these five factors. We identify and review a number of processes identified in recent and current work that bear significantly on the conventional interpretation of speleothem records, for example: (1) speleothem geochemistry can vary seasonally and hence a research need is to establish the proportion of growth attributable to different seasons and whether this varies over time; (2) whereas there has traditionally been a focus on monthly mean delta O-18 data of atmospheric moisture, current work emphasizes the importance of understanding the synoptic processes that lead to characteristic isotope signals, since changing relative abundance of different weather types might control their variation on the longer-term; (3) the ecosystem and soil zone overlying the cave fundamentally imprint the carbon and trace element signals and can show characteristic variations with time; (4) new modelling on aquifer plumbing allows quantification of the effects of aquifer mixing; (5) recent work has emphasized the importance and seasonal variability Of CO2-degassing leading to calcite precipitation upflow of a depositional site on carbon isotope and trace element composition of speleothems; (6) although much is known about the chemical partitioning between water and stalagmites, variability in relation to crystal growth mechanisms and kinetics is a research frontier; (7) aragonite is susceptible to conversion to calcite with major loss of chemical information, but the controls on the rate of this process are obscure. Analytical factors are critical in generating high-resolution speleothem records. A variety of methods of trace element analysis is available, but standardization is a common problem with the most rapid methods. New stable isotope data on Irish stalagmite CC3 compares rapid laser-ablation techniques with the conventional analysis of micromilled powders and ion microprobe methods. A high degree of comparability between techniques for delta O-18 is found on the millimeter to centimeter scale, but a previously described high-amplitude oxygen isotope excursion around 8.3 ka is identified as an analytical artefact related to fractionation of the laser-analysis associated with sample cracking. High-frequency variability of not less than 0.5 parts per thousand may be an inherent feature of speleothem delta O-18 records. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Aroca (domaine marin ctier, Pays basque, France) : un karst continental ennoy par les transgressions maritimes quaternaires, 2007, Vanara Nathalie , Perre Alain, Pernet Marc, Latapie Serge, Jaillet Stphane, Martine Olivier
AROCA (LITTORAL, BASQUE COUNTRY, FRANCE): A CONTINENTAL KARST DROWNED BY QUATERNARY MARITIME TRANSGRESSIONS. The rocky formations in shallow areas of the Atlantic coast are hardly known. Studies are rare because of the difficulties of direct observation (diving in always agitated, troubled water, depth between 20 and 40 m). Our first step was to make a detailed topography of a submarine plateau named Aroca, 4 km off Socoa harbour (bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz). This plateau was already known for having a large variety of forms within a small surface (150 x 100 m). We gave names to most remarquable formations and defined five main characteristic zones: - in the exokarstic domain 1/ a top surface with channels, 2/ a dismantled surface with pinnacles; - in the endokarstic domain 3/ caves, galleries, arches; - at the limits 4/ three inclined plans, west, north and east, 5/ a cliff to the south. A typology of forms shows a predominance of ablation reliefs: aplanation, over-deepened channels, covered rooms and galleries, arches, residual pinnacles. Deposit accumulations regroup chaotic breakdown blocks, pebble accumulations and sand covers. Statement of explanations requires recognition of the nature and age of the outcrops and succession of erosional agents during the Pleistocene. Rocks are dated from Ypresien (limestones) to Bartonian (marls). Continental erosion during sea regressions is responsible of caracteristic landforms and deposits; for example wall banks, allochthonous pebbles The currently active marine erosion during sea transgressions is due to storms, tide, dissolution, biochemical action (lithophages) and gravity. We propose a paleogeographic reconstitution. After an essentially calcareous sedimentation in Eocene and an essentially marly sedimentation in Oligocene, the sea recedes during Miocene. From then, the platform, henceforward above the water, is subject to meteoric erosion. In Pliocene, evolution of the massif is isovolumic (under a marly cover and with a low hydraulic gradient). During the lower and middle Pleistocene, the erosion of the marly cover goes on. During the upper Pleistocene, the wurmian (18000 BP) marine regression allows entrenchment of the hydrographic system thanks to an increase of hydraulic gradients (classic functional karst). From 15000 years onwards, a general transgression of sea level happens by successive steps. During the Boreal, a break in transgression allows the formation of a paleo-shore at 20 to 30 m, inducing a peneplanation phase in the tidal or infratidal zone. From 7500 BP onwards, a a rapid transgression from 23 to 8, then a slower one from 8 to the present level stops karstification on the massif. At present, only marine abrasion is active and tends to obliterate the previously built landforms.

Les rseaux de drainage glaciaires et les milieux karstiques: analogies morphologiques et modlisation hydrologique, 2008, Jobard S. , Dzikowski M.
Glacial drainage network and karst environments: morphological comparisons and hydrological modelling. Comparisons between glacial and karst environments are used to propose a methodological transfer in the treatment of hydrological data. The technique employed is based on an analysis of recession curves, where a parameter characterizing the degree of development of the drainage system network is varied. This method has been applied to data from continuous hydro-meteorological monitoring of Baounet glacier (Savoie, France) since 2002. The results show an important increase of the glacial drainage network structure during the ablation season, thereby transferring more and more quickly melt water from the surface of the glacier to the proglacial river. Interannual evolution indicates modulations which correspond to an impact of climate forcing on the glacier.

The interplay between air temperature and ice mass balance changes in Scărişoara Ice Cave, Romania , 2011, Perş, Oiu Aurel , Onac Bogdan P. , Perş, Oiu Ioana

This paper examines the short-term relations established be­tween external and cave air temperature in Scărişoara Ice Cave (Romania) and the role they play upon ice genesis and mass balance changes. Geothermal heat and external climate are the main drivers of the cave’s air temperature, but the ice forming and ablation processes modulate its spatial and temporal char­acteristics. In the winter half-year, cold air inflow leads to the overcooling of the cave atmosphere and walls and ice forma­tion; while in summer, melting of ice acts as strong thermal sink, keeping the air temperature at 0 °C. In autumn and win­ter, dynamic cooling of the cave atmosphere leads to ice build-up, whereas in summer, the causality is overturned, the cave air temperature being controlled by the melting ice. The existence of a net heat sink in the cave (melting ice in summer in this case), leads to the overcooling of the non-glaciated parts of the cave as well, a phenomenon that can hamper paleoclimatic re­constructions based on stable isotope studies in speleothems.

Höhlen der Schwäbischen Alb als Pegelschreiber für Flussgeschichte und Tektonik in Südwestdeutschland seit dem Miozän, 2011, Strasser Marcel

In south western Germany the karstified plateau of the Swabian Alb consisting of Upper Jurassic limestones hosts numerous caves, dolines, and dry valleys. Known strath terraces, conglomerates, volcanoes, and impact craters within the study area already provided important time stamps for former studies reconstructing landscape history. It is widely understood, that spatial distribution of most karst features is closely related to the palaeo-water-table and its discontinuous lowering over time, which in turn is the result of incision and/or uplift. The situation of the Swabian Alb at the northern rim of the Northern Alpine Foreland Basin and east of the Rhine Graben valley is the reason for this uplift. Many caves can be used as gauge for vertical displacement, considering horizontal cave passages as product of a stationary palaeowater-table and vertical sections as result of falling base level. In contrast recent studies deal with a different type of speleogenesis independent of base level. This hypogenic speleogenesis must be discussed for the caves of the Swabian Alb. The recently discovered cave named Laierhöhle near Geislingen/Steige is a typical 3d-maze providing several horizontal levels. Passage pattern and distinctive corrosion features match with morphologies (feeders, rising wall- and ceiling channels, outlets) characteristical for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, artesian situations, hydrothermal water or confined aquifers as critical conditions for hypogenic speleogenesis can not be verified. Other features like horizontal passages, water table markers, key-hole-features, and massive stratified sediment bodies are pointing to an epigenic, water-table related speleogenesis. In this study therefore a mixed model for speleogenesis of Laierhöhle is presented, assuming a strong initial deep-phreatic corrosion along fractures and fissures, followed by intensive widening at the palaeo water-table resulting in the formation of horizontal passages. Correlations between horizontal cave-levels, valley-bottoms, strath-terraces, local conglomerates and other caves lead to new and more precise data on the fluvial history, changing drainage pattern, and the uplift of parts of southwest Germany.

In the course of Examinations of cave sediments spherical metallic particles were detected. These magnetic spherules are ablation-products from meteorites during impact. After fallout and flushing into karstic voids and caves the spherules got archived till today. Spherules within Laierhöhle, Laichinger Tiefenhöhle and Mordloch are supposed to originate from the impact event producing the impact craters Steinheimer Becken and/or the Nördlinger Ries 14.59 Ma ago. Within most of the cave sediments spherules are accompanied by crystals of titano-magnetite, which built during volcanic activity of the Urach-Kirchheim volcanic field. Both spherules and titano-magnetites are proxies for re-deposited Mid Miocene Sediments. In this study I could correlate speleogenetic with dated geomorphic features and thus came to a chronology of events. The Laierhöhle records five episodes of long-term stability of the karst water table covering the time-span from late Middle Miocene until the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition. The first two stable episodes can be dated to the late Middle Miocene and Late Miocene (horizontal levels 1 and 2a). An episode responsible for the formation of level 2b falls within Early Pliocene time. Levels 3a and 3b are spatially well separated but must have formed within a relatively short timespan towards the end of the Pliocene. In the working area, total depth of penetrative karstification was in the order of 120 m. This penetration has been accomplished over a period of approximately 12 Ma resulting in an average uplift rate of 0.01 mm/a.

Glacial processes in caves, 2012, Luetscher, M.

Glacial processes are known to impinge on many karst systems, of which the active formation of cave ice represents a salient feature. In temperate environments, the preservation of massive, perennial cave ice deposits, comprising sometimes tens of thousands cubic meters, represents probably the most severe test for models of sporadic permafrost distribution. Additionally, stratified cave ice deposits foster detailed glaciochemical investigations to decipher this environmental archive. Recent investigations have shown that the accessible time window for paleoclimate reconstructions sometimes covers several thousands of years, but understanding the relation between external climate change and the cave ice mass balance still remains challenging. Process-oriented studies suggest that interannual cave ice mass balances respond primarily to modifications in the winter thermal and precipitation regimes. By contrast, cave ice ablation is largely driven by heat exchange with the surrounding rock, which is a function of the external mean annual air temperature. Many mid-latitude, low-altitude ice caves are thus likely to disappear under a warming climate scenario. Yet, traces of former glacial processes can be observed in several temperate cave environments. Cryoclasts, solifluction lobes, sorted sediment patterns, cryogenic calcite, and broken speleothems provide clues for the reconstruction of paleo-permafrost. Because they can be accurately dated with U-series methods, cryogenic cave calcites offer a promising field of investigation for past glacial processes 

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