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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. ...

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That geologic log is a vertical cross section of the lithologic column indicating geologic and petrographic data [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 caledonides (Keyword) returned 6 results for the whole karstbase:
Palaeokarst systems in the Neoproterozoic of eastern North Greenland in relation to extensional tectonics on the Laurentian margin, 1999, Smith M. P. , Soper N. J. , Higgins A. K. , Rasmussen J. A. , Craig L. E. ,
Palaeokarst, in the form of large, uncollapsed cave systems, is described from the Proterozoic of Kronprins Christian Land, eastern North Greenland. The endokarst, of entirely meteoric origin, is developed in dolostones of the Fyns So Formation (Hagen Fjord Group, Riphean). At one locality, Hjornegletscher, shallow, sub-horizontal phreatic conduits are present below an unconformity surface and are infilled by the overlying Ediacaran Kap Holbaek Formation. In Saefaxi Elv, the unconformity is overlain by the Wandel Valley Formation, an Early Ordovician carbonate sequence that is widely transgressive over northeastern Greenland. Vertical vadose fissures extend down towards the phreas, but the cave systems are again filled by Kap Holbaek Formation sediments. At Hjornegletscher, channels up to 40 m wide incise the phreatic system, pointing to relative base-lever lowering before, or during, deposition of the Kap Holbaek Formation. Recognition of a depositional hiatus between the Fyns So and Kap Holbaek formations, in what was previously thought to be a continuous Vendian Hagen Fjord sequence, has implications for regional correlation and tectonics. The unconformity could represent most of Vendian time, accounting for the absence, in this area, of glaciogenic sedimentary rocks in the Hagen Fjord Group. This permits correlation of the Fyns So Formation with other end-Riphean transgressive carbonate sequences developed in East Greenland, Svalbard and perhaps Scotland, that represent the culmination of a major pre-Iapetan rift-sag cycle. Secondly, recognition of the scale of the sub-Wandel Valley unconformity points to regional uplift and tilting of northeastern Greenland in mid-Cambrian to earliest Ordovician time. This must represent a phase of renewed extension of the Iapetus passive margin that is unique to this corner of Laurentia, not terrane collision as previously suggested

Marble stripe karst of the Scandinavian Caledonides: An end-member in the contact karst spectrum, 2001, Lauritzen, Stein Erik

Stripe karst is an extreme case of contact karst, where the allogenic contact perimeter is very large relative to the area of the karst outcrop. This is the dominant karst found in metamorphic marble outcrops of the Scandinavian Caledonides, and is named the Norwegian karst type, as it was first described here by the Norwegian geologist Gunnar Horn. Analysis of the geometric properties of a stripe suggests that stripe karst can be defined as a narrow karst outcrop with length to width ratio (g) greater than 3 and is fully developed when g =30. Stripe karst contacts are either sub-vertical, or inclined with confined or perched contacts.

Cave inception and development in Caledonide metacarbonate rocks. PhD thesis, 2005, Faulkner, Trevor Laurence

This is the first comprehensive study of cave inception and development in metacarbonate rocks. The main study area is a 40000km2 region in central Scandinavia that contains over 1000 individual metacarbonate outcrops, and has nearly 1000 recorded karst caves (with passage lengths up to 5.6km). The area, which was repeatedly glaciated in the late Cenozoic, comprises a suite of nappes in the Cambro–Silurian Caledonides, a paleic range of mountains with terranes presently occurring on both sides of the northern Atlantic. Information about the stripe karst and non-stripe karst outcrops and their contained caves was assembled into computer-based databases, enabling relationships between the internal attributes of the caves and their external geological and geomorphological environments to be analysed. A rather consistent pattern emerged. For example, karst hydrological system distances are invariably shorter than 3.5km, and cave passages are positioned randomly in a vertical dimension, whilst commonly remaining within 50m of the overlying surface. This consistency is suggestive that the relevant cave inception, development and removal processes operated at a regional scale, and over long timescales. A consequence of the epigean association of caves with the landscape is that cave development can only be understood in the context of the geomorphological evolution of the host region. A review of the latest knowledge of the inception and development of caves in sedimentary limestones concluded that the speleogenesis of the central Scandinavian caves cannot be explained by these ideas. Five new inter-related conceptual models are constructed to explain cave development in metacarbonate rocks in the various Caledonide terranes. These are:
1. The tectonic inception model - this shows that it is only open fracture routes, primarily created by the seismic shocks that accompany deglaciation, which can provide the opportunity for dissolution of metalimestone rocks that have negligible primary porosity.
2. The external model of cave development - this black-box approach reveals how the formation, development and destruction of the karst caves are related to the evolution of their local landscape. During the Pleistocene, these processes were dominated by the cycle of glaciation, leading to cyclic speleogenesis, and the development of ever-longer and deeper systems, where the maximum distance to the surface commonly remains within one-eighth of the extent of change in local relief.
3. The hydrogeological model - this demonstrates that the caves developed to their mapped dimensions in timescales compatible with the first two models, within the constraints imposed by the physics and chemistry of calcite dissolution and erosion, primarily in almost pure water. Relict caves were predominantly formed in phreatic conditions beneath active deglacial ice-dammed lakes, with asymmetric distributions on east- and west-facing slopes. Mainly vadose caves developed during the present interglacial, primarily vadose, conditions, with maximum dimensions determined by catchment area. Combination caves developed during both deglacial and interglacial stages. The cross-sections of phreatic passages obey a non-fractal distribution, because they enlarged at maximum rates in similar timescales. Phreatic cave entrances could be enlarged at high altitudes by freeze / thaw processes at the surface of ice-dammed lakes, and at low altitudes by marine activity during isostatic uplift.
4. The internal static and dynamic model of cave development - this white-box approach demonstrates that many caves have ‘upside-down’ morphology, with relict phreatic passages overlying a single, primarily vadose, streamway. Both types of passage are guided along inception surfaces that follow the structural geology and fractures of the carbonate outcrops. Dynamically, the caves developed in a ‘Top-Down, Middle-Outwards’ (TDMO) sequence that may have extended over several glacial cycles, and passages in the older multi-cycle caves were removed downwards and inwards by glacial erosion.
5. The Caledonide model - this shows that the same processes (with some refinements) applied to cave development in most of the other (non-central Scandinavian) Caledonide areas. The prime influences on cave dimensions were the thicknesses of the successive northern Atlantic glacial icesheets and the positions of the caves relative to deglacial ice-dammed lakes and to local topography. Other influences included contact metamorphism, proximity to major thrusts, and marine incursions. With knowledge of these influences for each area, mean cave dimensions can be predicted.
The thesis provides the opportunity for the five models to be extended, so that cave development in other glaciated metamorphic and sedimentary limestones can be better understood, and to be inverted, so that landscape evolution can be derived from cave data.

Limestone dissolution in phreatic conditions at maximum rates and in pure, cold, water., 2006, Faulkner T.
This paper reviews contemporary knowledge about the physical and chemical factors that govern the inception and enlargement phases of phreatic karst passages. A model is then presented to determine the conditions that allow dissolution at maximum rates. This builds on the known finding that wall retreat rates are dependent on the degree of saturation of the water, which in turn depends on the temperature and on the concentration of CO2 in the input stream. However, it also follows from the theoretical equations that conduits can enlarge at high rates if the flow through them is sufficiently great that the solution remains well-below saturation, even if the input contains no carbon dioxide at all, and especially at low temperature. Examples of fractures that achieved breakthrough and then enlarged at high rates to explorable dimensions in almost pure water at near-freezing temperatures are found in the metamorphic Caledonides, where many short caves formed phreatically during deglacial high-flow conditions at the start of the Holocene.

The top-down, middle-outwards model of cave development in central Scandinavian marbles, 2007, Faulkner, Trevor.
The epigean marble caves in the glaciated metamorphic Caledonides of central Scandinavia provide a rare environment in which endokarstic morphologies and other internal cave attributes have been studied against variations in foliation dip and topographical characteristics, to produce a common static internal model of cave existence. This paper proposes a dynamic model to explain the sequential developments of cave passage elements from inception fractures that are created seismically during isostatic uplift. The speleogenesis is driven by Cenozoic glacial cycles consisting of periods of glaciation, deglaciation and interglaciation. The more complex caves have evolved top-downwards in deglacial phreatic conditions under ice-dammed lakes and subsequently along their lowest levels in interglacial vadose conditions, with later extensions upstream and downstream. Glacial erosion also removes passages in a topdown order, but with passage extremities being eroded away inwards.

An external model of speleogenesis during Quaternary glacial cycles in the marbles of central Scandinavia, 2010, Faulkner, T.

The marble caves of the Central Scandinavian Caledonides were formed from open fractures that were created primarily by deglacial seismicity at the culmination of each of the many complex Quaternary glaciations that the region has experienced. Subsequent inundation by deglacial ice-dammed lakes enabled phreatic enlargement by dissolution, with passages either becoming relict during the following interglacial or else being entrenched by (mainly) vadose processes if recharged by allogenic streams. Because the distance of the contemporary fractures and therefore the cave passages from the nearest land surface is commonly constrained to be less than one-eighth of the depth of the local glaciated valley, the caves are rather epigean in nature. This subsurface cave distance is of the same order of magnitude as the thickness of rock removed from valley walls and floors at each major glaciation, suggesting that, when viewed over several glacial cycles, caves are involved in a race to develop deeper during deglaciation and the following interglacial before their upper levels are removed by erosion at the next glaciation. Indeed, relatively few cave passages in the study area can have survived from the previous, Eemian, interglacial.
This paper examines evidence for the interglacial and erosional processes and utilises a 'black box' approach to provide an external model for cave development and removal. It proposes that Caledonide marble caves in stripe karst outcrops should especially be considered as four-dimensional objects throughout their commonly intermittent existence. Mainly vadose caves are regarded as 'half-cycle' caves that developed primarily in the Holocene. Relict caves (primarily phreatic) and combination caves (with both phreatic and vadose elements) are commonly 'single-cycle' caves that developed their relict phreatic passages during Weichselian deglaciation, and only a few are 'multi-cycle' caves that have experienced several Pleistocene glacial cycles. The existing caves are more numerous and commonly larger than those that were present during previous interglacials.

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