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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 artesian well is a well deriving its water from a confined aquifer in which the water level stands above the ground surface [6]. synonym: flowing artesian well.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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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 cave bears (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
Assessing Humidity in an Upper Pleistocene Karst Environment: Palaeoclimates and Palaeomicroenvironments at the cave Divje babe I, Slovenia, 2002, Turk Ivan, Skaberne Dragomir, Blackwell Bonnie A. B. , Dirjec Janez

The article presents a new sedimentary-climatic model for explaining autochthonous clastic sediment in the Upper Pleistocene site, Divje babe I, Slovenia. The sediment analysed here was deposited during Oxygen Isotope Stages 1, 3 and 5 (OIS, OIS 3, OIS 5). The stress is on precipitation, which we explained on the basis of the quantity of authigenic structural aggregates in the sediment. We supported the results with quantitative analysis of clasts with etched surface, which represent corrosion of the cave ceiling, and etched bones, which represent corrosion on the cave ground. We also analysed the relation between climate and cave bears, and Neanderthals and climate, on the basis of mass fossil remains and finds of artefacts. All analyses were made on the basis of three-dimensional sampling, i.e., in horizontal and vertical directions. We sampled 65 profiles over an area of 65 m2. Each profile had 35 arbitrary stratigraphic units (splits) with data on aggregates, etched bones, fossil remains and artefacts. In explaining the sediment characteristics that point to climatic parameters, we consistently took into account the Holocene standards for the site. We found that the climate in OIS 3 was colder and damper than in OIS 1 and OIS 5. People and animals responded to the climatic changes in OIS 3 with more visits to the cave, but not at the same time. The climatic change was presumably reflected in the microlocation of the cave mainly by the longer duration of snow cover.


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

Der neue Stammbaum der alpinen Hhlenbren, 2004, Rabeder G. , Hofreiter M.
In the Upper Pleistocene the Alps were inhabited by at least three taxa of cave bear (group) which differ in their mitochondrial DNA as well as in metrical and morphological criteria. The possibilities of distinguishing these evolutionary lineages in the fossil record are described and discussed. Two high Alpine dwarf forms are described as possible subspecies of U. spelaeus (U. s.? ladinicus and U. s.? eremus), the third taxon is separated as an independent species (U. ingressus). By means of numerous diagrams an attempt is made to find metrical and morphological differences in the teeth and limb bones in order to distinguish the three Alpine taxa. A new phylogenetic tree is drawn.

Pleistocene depositional history in a periglacial terrane: A 500ka record from Kents Cavern, Devon, United Kingdom., 2007, Lundberg, J. And Mcfarlane, D. A.
The signifi cance of the stratigraphic record in Kents Cavern, Devon, United Kingdom, to the interpretation of the British Quaternary is confi rmed on the basis of a thorough reexamination of the deposits in concert with 2 new Al-Be cosmogenic and 34 new thermal ionization mass spectrometry U-Th dates. The deposits show evidence of complex reworking in response to periglaciation, and the main fl owstone deposit is a multilayered complex spanning marine isotope stage (MIS) 11?3. The lowermost unit of fl uvial sands is Cromerian or older. The second deposit, a muddy breccia of surfi cial periglacial solifl uction material containing Acheulian artifacts, entered the cave during MIS 12 from highlevel openings to the west. Cave bears denned in the cave during MIS 11, the Hoxnian interglacial; their bones are capped by an MIS 11 calcite fl owstone layer. From MIS 11 onward, each interglacial period and the warmer interstadial periods (MIS 11, 10b, 9, 7, 6b, 5, and 3) produced calcite fl owstone deposition in the cave; MIS 9 was particularly active. Each glacial or stadial period (MIS 10c, 10a, 8, 6c, 6a, 4, and 2) caused periglacial activity in the cave, during which the thinner layers of calcite were fractured by frost heave and redistributed by solifl uction. This sequence was interrupted during MIS 3?2 with the introduction of sandy and stony clastic sediments from entrances to the east, and fi nally cemented by the uppermost layer of MIS 1 fl owstone. This is the fi rst publication of welldated and clearly documented evidence of frost heaving in interior cave passages. The Kents Cavern record of continuous, repeated sedimentation events followed by frost shattering and remobilization events over the past 500 k.y. is probably unique in the karst literature and establishes Kents Cavern as a site of international scientifi c interest.

Fossil population structure and mortality of the cave bear from the Mokrica cave (North Slovenia), 2007, Debeljak, I.

The fossil population structure of the cave bear from the Mokrica cave was evaluated to provide new data concerning the behaviour and mortality of this extinct species. Age at death was estimated for 128 different individuals by analysing cementum increments, root formation and crown wear of left M1 teeth. After the frequency distribution of specimens through one- year intervals, the mortality trends can be estimated for various lifetime periods, and interpreted in accordance with data for present-day bears. The original death assemblage was presumably juvenile-dominated. Extremely fragile molars of less than 6 month old cubs did not get preserved. Yearlings are the most numerous age class in the fossil population from the Mokrica cave. Mortality drastically dropped after cave bears survived their first hibernation in the second winter. The lowest mortality rate was observed in the 9-15 years age group, when cave bears would be expected to be in their prime. The oldest age recorded by cementum analysis is approximately 30 years, which indicates that the maximum life span was similar to present-day bears. Study of dental tissues shows that the mortality in the cave was seasonally restricted – the majority of deaths in the cave occured during winter and in early spring. Sex structure of the fossil population has been studied on the sample of 750 canines. The significantly higher proportion of males in the group of older juveniles and subadults could be explained by the fact that the weaning period is more critical for males also in present- day bears. In young adults and prime adults the mortality was presumably higher in females. The sex structure of adult bears, especially in the sample of older individuals, indicates that the Mokrica cave was used as winter den mostly by solitary males.


Morphological responses of cave bears (Ursus spelaeus group) to high-alpine habitats, 2008, Rabeder G. , Debeljak I. , Hofreiter M. , Withalm G.
A comparison of metrical and morphological data from more than 30 bear populations belonging to the cave bear group (U. spelaeus and its relatives U. eremus, U. ladinicus, U. ingressus as well as their predecessor U. deningeri) shows that the different species developed very different adaptations to the altitude of their habitats. Whereas there is a reduction of body size in Ursus eremus and U. ladinicus correlated with the altitude of the habitat (alpine nanism) no such correlation can be observed in U. ingressus. In U. ingressus there is a positive correlation of the tooth indices and the altitude of the habitat, i.e. in the higher sites the teeth are more evolved.

Isotopic indications of water-rock interaction in the hypogene Tavrskaya cave, Crimea, Ukraine, 2011, Dublyansky Yuri, Klimchouk Alexander, Timokhina Elisaveta, Spö, Tl Christoph

The Inner Range of the Crimea Mountains has recently been identified as an area of previously unrecognized hypogene speleogenesis (Klimchouk et al. 2009). The entrance of the Tavrskaya cave is located in the middle of the 25 m-high scarp of the cuesta built up of Paleocene limestone. The cave comprises two parallel major passages (ca. 180 m long, up to 7-8 m high and up to 5-6 m wide) connected by a smaller passage. The major passages are slightly inclined toward the north-west following the dip of bedding. The morphology of the cave bears strong indications of dissolution at conditions of ascending flow in a confined aquifer setting.
A massive calcite crust, studied in this paper, was first found in a small cave located ca. 200 m from Tavrskaya cave along the cuesta scarp. According to its position and morphology, the cave corresponds to the rift-like “feeder” zone of Tavrskaya cave. Recently, similar calcite crust was found in Tavrskaya cave, in a rift-like passage of the  near-scarp zone. The crust is built up of a brownish translucent calcite whose columnar crystals (bounded by competitive growth surfaces) are arranged in a characteristic radiating pattern. Calcite contains only all-liquid inclusions indicating deposition at less than ca. 50ºC. It also contains filamentous biological material (possibly fungi or cyanobacteria), which sometimes facilitated entrapment of fluid inclusions. This calcite body is tentatively
interpreted as a paleo-spring deposit (ascending flow). In order to characterize the isotopic properties of this calcite and the bedrock limestone we drilled small-diameter cores through the calcite formation, as well as through the wall of a cavity devoid of calcite. Stable isotope analyses were performed along these cores. To provide a basis for comparison several samples from the same lithostratigraphic units were collected far from the cave. Along a 15 cm-long profile, both oxygen and carbon isotopes of the limestone remain stable at 18O = -4.3 0.2
h and 13C = -1.7 0.3 h (1). Only within the 1.5 cm-thick zone immediately underlying the calcite 18O and 13C values plunge to ca. -8 h and -9 h respectively,. It appears from this data that water rock-interaction associated with the deposition of this calcite produced only a thin alteration halo in the limestone. However, when data from the cave-wall cores are compared with those collected far from the cave, it appears that the “constant” values from cave walls are shifted relative to the presumably unaltered limestone values toward lower values by
ca. 1.5-3.0 h (oxygen) and 3-4 h (carbon). On the 18O-13C cross-plot the data for unaltered limestone, cave wall limestone, alteration halo, and secondary calcite plot along a well-defined line (R2=0.99).
We propose that the Paleocene limestone in the vicinity of the Tavrskaya cave has experienced a two-stage alteration. During the first stage, presumably associated with the process of cave excavation, the bedrock has been altered (18O depleted by 1.5 to 3.0 h and 13C by 3 to 4 %). The thickness of this zone of early alteration is unknown but must be larger than 15 cm (length of our cores). The second stage of alteration was associated with the deposition of calcite; during this stage the isotopic composition was further depleted (by 4-5 h in 18O and 8-10 h in 13C). The extent of alteration was much smaller, though, and restricted to zones where calcite was deposited (ca. 15 mm beneath the calcite).


Bericht ber die Probegrabung (2011) in der Pendling-Brenhhle bei Kufstein (Nordtirol; 1266/21), 2012, Frischauf C. , Mazelis E. , Rabeder G.
A recent excavation in the Pendling cave (Rauberloch) has yielded identifiable remains of brown bears and cave bears. A radiometric dating attempt of a fossilized cave bear bone (Astragalus) failed due to the lack of collagen.

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