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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 salt tolerance is the resistance of crops to salt concentration [16].?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 austrian alps (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
Hydrogeological characteristics of folded alpine karst systems exemplified by the Gottesacker Plateau (German-Austrian Alps), 1999, Goldscheider Nico, Hö, Tzl Heinz

The hydrogeological properties of the Gottesacker Plateau, a folded alpine karst system with a relatively thin karstified carbonate sequence, have been studied applying methods from geology and hydrology, above all multi-tracing experiments. For the area of study a qualitative model of the underground drainage pattern has been developped. By means of this example the general characteristics of folded alpine karst systems are discussed.

Evidence for reproductive isolation between cave bear populations, 2004, Hofreiter M. , Rabeder G. , Jaenickedespres V. , Withalm G. , Nagel D. , Paunovic M. , Jambresic G. , Paabo S. ,
The European cave bear (Ursus spelaeus), which became extinct around 15,000 years ago, had several morphologically different forms. Most conspicuous of these were small Alpine cave bears found at elevations of 1,600 to 2,800 m [1-3]. Whereas some paleontologists have considered these bears a distinct form [4, 5], or even a distinct species [6], others have disputed this [7-9]. By a combination of morphological and genetic methods, we have analyzed a population of small cave bears from Ramesch Cave (2,000 m altitude) and one of larger cave bears from Gamssulzen Cave (1,300 m), situated approximately 10 km apart in the Austrian Alps (Figure 1A). We find no evidence of mitochondrial gene flow between these caves during the 15,000 years when they were both occupied by cave bears, although mitochondrial DNA sequences identical to those from Gamssulzen Cave could be recovered from a site located about 200 km to the south in Croatia. We also find no evidence that the morphology of the bears in the two caves changed to become more similar over time. We suggest that the two cave bear forms may have represented two reproductively isolated subspecies or species

Chronology and paleoenvironment of Marine Isotope Stage 3 from two high-elevation speleothems, Austrian Alps, 2006, Spotl Christoph, Mangini Augusto, Richards David A. ,
A new high-resolution stable isotope record from the alpine Kleegruben Cave (2165 m, Central Alps) is presented. This record largely duplicates a previously reported speleothem record from this site. High-precision U-series thermal ionization mass spectrometry dates constrain the growth history of this new sample (56-48 ka) to the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. Both stalagmites reveal highly similar variations in O isotopes that can be directly compared to O isotope variability associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials recorded in the Greenland ice cores (Greenland Interstadials, GIS). Based on the new record we refine our previous age assignments of the GIS during this time interval, i.e. GIS 15b at 55.7 ka, GIS 15a at 55.3 ka, onset (mid-point) of the prominent GIS 14 at 54.5 yr and onset of GIS 12 at ~48 ka. The overall uncertainties associated with these ages are 0.1-0.3 ka. The timing of these Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials is within 0.2 ka of the newly proposed GRIP.SFCP04 timescale.The age data for both Kleegruben stalagmites demonstrate that liquid water was at least seasonally present in the shallow sub-surface allowing calcite precipitation to continue even during stadials of MIS 3. Given the present-day low temperature (.4 [deg]C) we propose that these unusual speleothems formed in a karst system overlain by a warm-based glacier


Haloes of altered oxygen isotope values ranging in size from < 1 m to several km have been reported around hydrothermal ore deposits. We have found that similar alteration zones could be induced by lukewarm to thermal cave-forming waters. A paleo wall in Entrische Kirche cave (Gastein Valley, Austrian Alps) preserved a 5 cm-thick brownish zone behind a thick flowstone. Across this zone the O isotope values gradually increase by 11 ‰, until they reach values characteristic of the unaltered marble. The isotope composition in the alteration zone is very different from that of the ?owstone above but is similar to phreatic calcite spar from hypogene (thermal) karst cavities in surface outcrops in the area. We interpret this isotopic pro?le as re?ection of the water-rock interaction in a low-temperature hydrothermal karst system. Similar alteration pro?les were found around solutional cavities at Hllenstein (Tux Valley, Austrian Alps), lined with hydrothermal calcite. Sigmoid shapes of isotope profiles suggest that the most-altered bedrock was isotopically equilibrated with paleo waters. This allows use of isotope mass-balance calculations to assess the temperature of the paleo waters. Isotope profiles acquired from a number of other hypogene caves in Austria failed to show any isotopic signals of bedrock alteration.

Fold and fault control on the drainage pattern of a double-karst-aquifer system, Winterstaude, Austrian Alps, 2010, Goldscheider N, Neukum C.

Lithostratigraphy and geologic structures are major controls on groundwater flow in alpine karst systems. Understanding these factors is important for the delimitation of drinking water protection zones. The Winterstaude mountain chain, western Austria, belongs to the Helvetic nappes and consists of Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, including two karstifiable formations: rfla and Schrattenkalk Limestone (lower and upper karst aquifer), separated by 60 m of marl. Strata are folded and cut by faults with displacements of 40–70 m. Folded carbonate rocks continue below the alluvial valley floor so that the karst system can be subdivided in shallow and deep phreatic zones. This area is suitable for studying the combined influence of folds and faults on groundwater flow in a double-aquifer system. A multi-tracer test with seven injections aimed at characterising hydraulic connections and linear flow velocities. Results show that (i) plunging synclines form the main drainage pathways in the upper karst aquifer, with maximum linear velocities of 91 m/h, while anticlines act as water divides; (ii) recharge into the lower aquifer, which forms the central ridge of the mountain chain, contributes to springs discharging from the upper aquifer near the foot of the mountain (local flow systems); (iii) the two aquifers are hydraulically connected, presumably via faults, because their displacements are in the same order of magnitude as the thickness of the intervening marl; (iv) flow in the upper aquifer continues below the valley floor toward the river, with maximum velocities of 22 m/h (intermediate flow system).

A new karren feature: hummocky karren, 2012, Plan Lukas, Renetzeder Christa, Pavuza Rudolf, Krner Wilfried

Karren are small-scale landforms on karst surfaces and many types have been described so far. Here we present an apparently new feature which was found on the Hochschwab karst massive in the Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria. So far only few outcrops each having less than 1 m² within a very restricted area have been found. Morphometric analysis reveals that the karren consist of a randomly distributed, dispersed assemblage of small hummocks and depressions in between. The mean distance between neighbouring hummocks is 4 to 5 cm and the mean height is 0.85 cm. Longitudinal sections are gently sinuous. The occurrences are delimited by thin soil cover with grassy vegetation. The karst features continue below that vegetation cover. Therefore, it is clear that the karren have formed subcutaneously. Corroded fissures where water could infiltrate into the epikarst are absent. The bedrock lithology is Middle Triassic limestone of the Wetterstein Formation in lagoonal facies. Geological structures do not govern the feature. The surface is not a bedding plane and small joints and fractures do not govern the arrangement of the hummocks. Thin section analysis regarding rock texture and dolomite components show that there is no compositional difference between hummocks and depressions. Geochemical analyses show that the limestone is very pure with a very low content of Magnesia. Slightly higher Magnesia contents at the hummock surfaces are significant. The data obtained so far only indicate that some dissolution mechanism but not any rock property governs the irregular array. As there exist no descriptions of comparable features in literature, the name “hummocky karren” is suggested for that type of karren landform.

Transferring the concept of minimum energy dissipation from river networks to subsurface flow patterns, 2014, Hergarte Stefan, Winkler Gerfried, Birk Steffen

Principles of optimality provide an interesting alternative to modeling hydrological processes in detail on small scales and have received growing interest in the last years. Inspired by the more than 20 years old concept of minimum energy dissipation in river networks, we present a corresponding theory for subsurface flow in order to obtain a better understanding of preferential flow patterns in the subsurface. The concept describes flow patterns which are optimal in the sense of minimizing the total energy dissipation at a given recharge under the constraint of a given total porosity. Results are illustrated using two examples: two-dimensional flow towards a spring with a radial symmetric distribution of the porosity and dendritic flow patterns. The latter are found to be similar to river networks in their structure and, as a main result, the model predicts a power-law distribution of the spring discharges. In combination with two data sets from the Austrian Alps, this result is used for validating the model. Both data sets reveal power-law-distributed spring discharges with similar scaling exponents. These are, however, slightly larger than the exponent predicted by the model. As a further result, the distributions of the residence times strongly differ between homogeneous porous media and optimized flow patterns, while the mean residence times are similar in both cases.

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