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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 time-drawdown curve is a plot of drawdown variation with time [16].?

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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
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Your search for glacial erosion (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
General characteristics of the landforms in the Alps and Julian Prealps and in Trieste Karst., 1989, Vaia Franco
The morphology of the Julian Alps and Prealps and of the Triestian Karst are here shortly described; the structures, which defined its origin and development, are also considered. We can notice some cliffs which follow one another from the State boundary to the Adriatic sea; they are made up by lithologic successions, which repeat themselves according to the latitude. Anyway we recognize a general outcropping of rock masses which are decreasing little by little southward as regards the altitude, the age and than the erodibility. There are some differences between the western (Carnian) and the eastern (Julian) bend of the regional mounts according not only to the latitude but to the longitude, because of the lithology. In fact, the Julian mountains often look like the Dolomities in the northern zone. The southern ones, particularly near the high alluvial plain, are rounded and gently dipping. The drainage networks are quite different too. In the upper zone it is a trellis net, in the lower one is locally a trellis net and than it becomes a dendritic system. The glacial erosion follows the same principle too, coming southward along the main and the subordined valley cuts. At last, the Karst morphology shows itself strongly conditioned by the structural scheme as well as by the lateral lithologic changes. It comes out an anisotropic whole of surface forms and of subsurface ones, clearly referred to those reasons. The whole area here described shows moreover a high evolutive dynamics, connected with the recent tectonic phases.

Drainage Evolution in a Tasmanian Glaciokarst, 1989, Kiernan, Kevin

The intensively glaciated mountains of the Picton Range - Mt. Bobs area in southwestern Tasmania contain prominent karst features that have been developed in carbonate formations of Devonian, Ordovician and possibly Precambrian age. This paper reviews the extent of the karst and glacial features and records the tracing of the underground drainage from the alpine Lake Sydney. Glacial erosion has exposed areas of limestone to karstification and glacial diversion of drainage has played a critical role in the evolution of the present underground drainage patterns. Prior to the late Last Glacial Stage the deflection of marginal meltwaters from the former Farmhouse Creek Glacier against the Burgess - Bobs Saddle led to the development of an underground breach of a major surface drainage divide. Subglacial or submarginal meltwaters associated with a much smaller glacier that developed in the same valley during the late Last Glacial Stage probably played a significant role in the breaching of a minor divide within the Farmhouse Creek catchment. This led to the development of an underground anabranch of Farmhouse Creek that by-passes the glacial Pine Lake. However, it is possible that the latter diversion is entirely Holocene in age and is related to postglacial dilation of the limestone rather than meltwater flows.


Alpine Karst in Romania, 1999, Dana Tulucan Alina, Niculita Tulucan Tiberio, Beke Laszlo

The article expresses the view, that one may speak about the Alpine karst even in the areas outside the Alps, when special requirements are met, such as presence of carbonate rocks, affected by cryo-nival processes, glacial and periglacial erosion above the tree limit and the presence of superficial and underground karst phenomena.


Reconstruction of Alpine Cenozoic paleorelief through the analysis of caves at Siebenhengste (BE, Switzerland), 2002, Hauselmann P. , Jeannin P. Y. , Monbaron M. , Lauritzen S. E. ,
The cave region of Siebenhengste, situated north of Lake Thun (Switzerland), contains one of the most important cave systems in the world, which extends from 500 to 2000 m a.s.l. It has a complex multiphase history. The recognized speleogenetic phases are related to spring level and to old valley floors. The six most recent phases were investigated in St. Beatus cave and Barenschacht. They suggest a progressive Quarternary Aare valley incision to 890, 805, 760, 700, 660, and 558 in a.s.l. that is confirmed by statistical analysis of small caves. U/Th-datings of flowstone allowed a timing of the valley deepening phases: the valley bottom was at 760 in already before 350 ka, the one at 700 in was active between 235 and 160 ka. The cave morphology in the upper part of the cave system was coupled with sedimentological observations. This combination leads to the hypothesis that the uppermost (oldest) cave parts were already created in the Miocene, during and after the last deposition of the Molasse. Ideas about the evolution of the paleorelief suggest that today's Aare valley is a product of glacial erosion, and that the old Aare valley shifted its position several times between the Miocene and today. (C) 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved

The Monti Berici: A peculiar type of karst in the Southern Alps, 2002, Sauro, Ugo

The Monti Berici constitute the most southerly karst morpho-unit of the Southern Alps and a peculiar type of karst. The analysis of their topography, the identification of a "morpho-stratigraphy" of the relicts of surface planation and of the different types of fluvial forms, and the recognition of the few elements of chronological significance present in this context, allow the delineation of a preliminary model of the geomorphological evolution of this mountain group. The main morphogenetical elements are of fluvial origin and have been determined, not only by the climatic changes, but also by the tectonic uplifting and/or by changes of the base level. The karst landforms have mostly evolved on the relict fluvial forms or in the context of relatively inactive fluvial forms. The age of the main forms extends over a very long time span, probably in the order of 15 millionyears. The preservation of very old forms can be explained by the peculiar geomorphological environment which was not affected by glacial erosion during the Pleistocene. The comparison of the evolution models of several karst morpho-units in the Southern Alps helps to understand the differences in their geomorphological styles.


Un karst sous la glace de l'Antarctide?, 2003, Bini A. , Forieri A. , Remy F. , Tabacco I. E. , Zirizzotti A. , Zuccoli L.
ARE THERE KARSTIC LANDFORMSUNDER ANTARCTICICECAP? - A new bedrock map of the Dome C area based on all radar data collected during Italian Antarctic Expeditions in 1995, 1997, 1999 and 2001 is presented. The map can clearly distinguish the Dome C plateau, along with some valleys and ridges develop. The plateau develops at three different altimetric levels and its morphology is characterised by hills and closed depressions. There are no visible features, which can be ascribed to glacial erosion or deposition. The major valley is 15 km wide and 500 m deep; its axis is parallel to that of other valleys and ridges in the plateau. The valley bottom is not flat, but contains a saddle in its centre. The morphology of the major valley could be considered as a relict one, which was not modified by the overlying ice cap. Two big ridges, characterised by hills, saddles and depressions, he near the boundaries of the area. The hill and depression landscape may be the result of two different processes the weathering of granitic rocks, with the development of a Demi-oranges and inselberg landscape, or the karstification of limestones, and development of a cone karst. The karstic hypothesis should be the more suitable, but it is impossible to exclude the granitic rock weathering. Both proposed genetic hypotheses calling for a warm- humid climate and a long period of stability in a continental environment. Consequently, the ice cap did not largely modify the landscape.

La grotte dAlisadr, un tmoin exceptionnel de lvolution morphologique du Zagros (Iran), 2004, Dumas, Dominique
Cave of Alisadr: a geomorphologic site of outstanding interest in the Zagros Mountains of Iran - The tourist cave of Alisadr, located on the eastern boundaries of the Zagros Mountains, is biggest subsurface cave visited in Iran. Most part of the karstic underground galleries is permanently filled with water: on the sides of the galleries former water table levels are indicated by numerous calcareous sinters. The sub-surface karst has preserved numerous relics and paleoenvironmental residual deposits, which show the geomorphologic karstic development. Dating of the three conspicuous calcareous levels in the cave and that of the surface basaltic mesa, to be established a few kilometres from the cave enable a chronology the stages of karstic evolution. The place of pre-quaternary vestiges in the landscapes of this country is also determined. For example, no typical landform of glacial erosion has been identified. The current karstic denudation rate is about 3 mm/Ky. The geomorphologic evolution of surface and sub-surface landforms during the quaternary era is shown and deduced from the processes, which have led to breccia formations in calcareous rocks.

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.


Glacial destruction of cave systems in high mountains, with a special reference to the Aladaglar massif, Central Taurus, Turkey, 2006, Klimchouk A. Bayari S. Nazik L. TÖ, Rk K.

Erasure of karst features and dissection of karst are among the main destructive effects of glacial action upon karst (Ford, 1983). They lead to destruction of functional relationship between the relief and a karst system, and to glacial dissection of pre-glacial cave systems. Stripping of the epikarstic zone and upper parts of cave systems on sub-horizontal surfaces results in prevalence of decapitated shafts in high mountains affected by glaciations. Vertical dissection of a karst massif by glacial erosion creates cave openings in sub-vertical surfaces (cliffs), a well known feature. Observations of vertical shafts exposed by cliffs are less common. Such shafts, unwalled by surface geomorphic processes, are in a certain way an analogous to the “unroofed” caves, exposed by denudational lowering of sub-horizontal surfaces. The Aladaglar Massif (Central Taurus, Turkey) is an outstanding example of high mountain karst. The high-altitude part of the massif has been severely glaciated during quaternary. Glacial erosion was the dominant factor in the overall surface morphology development, resulting in the formation of numerous glacial valleys, cirques, ridges and pyramidal (horn) peaks. The overall relief between the highest peaks and the lowest karst springs in Aladaglar is 3350 m. The local vertical magnitude of relief between bottoms of glacial valleys and surrounding ridges is up to 1700 m. Recent studies suggest that the most recent major glaciation occurred in the Aladaglar massif during the Holocene Cooling and terminated between 9,300 and 8,300 years BP. This paper describes unwalled shafts at subvertical surfaces, a feature which is common in Aladaglar but is not so common, or overlooked, in other high mountain areas. Exposure of such shafts is mainly due to intense gravitational processes induced by the combined effect of the removal of the ice support to cliffs and the glacial rebound.


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.

Preglacial development of caves at structural duplexes on the Lewis Thrust, Glacier National Park, Montana, 2007, Bodenhamer H. G.
Two significant caves in Glacier National Park are developed in Middle Proterozoic carbonate rocks. One lies within two large-scale duplex structures resting on the Lewis Thrust. The other is in the hinterland region of one of the duplexes. Both of the caves are aligned along bedding planes, joints, and faults. Poia Lake Cave has large segments that, in part, are aligned along low-angle thrust faults. Both Poia Lake Cave and Zoo Cave have uptrending, dead-end passages developed above the main passage along near-vertical normal faults. In Poia Lake Cave, three small maze sections also lie above the main passage. My previous speleogenic model involving a semi-confined aquifer, with mixing zones along faults and fracture zones now seems unlikely because the strata would be unable to simultaneously confine the aquifer and allow descending water to mix along fracture zones and faults. A second model involving a deep-looping system, while more feasible, also seems unlikely due to the short flow length of postulated cave passages. Recent studies suggest cave development occurred under confined aquifer conditions whereby long-traveled deep water ascends from an artesian aquifer near the Lewis Thrust. The aquifer developed after the hinterland region of the Lewis Thrust was uplifted during the Laramide Orogeny. It remained active until the system was disrupted by late Pleistocene glacial erosion. Since the original phreatic development of the caves, they have been subjected to some collapse, vadose entrenchment, and deposition of clastic sediment including rounded cobbles and glacial varves.

Abrupt glacial valley incision at 0.8 Ma dated from cave deposits in Switzerland, 2007, Haeuselmann Philipp, Granger Darryl E. , Jeannin Pierre Yves, Lauritzen Stein Erik,
Glacial erosion dramatically alters mountain landscapes, but the pace at which glaciers carve a previously fluvial landscape remains poorly defined because long-term valley incision rates are difficult to measure. Here we reconstruct the lowering history of the Aare Valley, Switzerland, over the past 4 m.y. by dating cave sediments with cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be. Incision accelerated from [~]120 m/m.y. to [~]1200 m/m.y. at 0.8-1.0 Ma, at least 1 m.y. after the onset of local glaciation. Rapid incision may have been triggered by lowering of the equilibrium line altitude at the mid-Pleistocene climate transition

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.


Speleothems and mountain uplift, 2011, Meyer Michael C. , Cliff Robert A. , Spö, Tl Christoph

Ancient speleothems were recovered from caves that today are situated in a high-alpine cirque landscape at 2500 m altitude at the northern rim of the European Alps. U-Pb ages date speleothem deposition to the early Quaternary (between 2.16 and 2.12 Ma and ca. 2.00 Ma), i.e., well before the onset of major alpine and Northern Hemisphere glaciations. Using a stable isotope–based modeling approach, we quantitatively estimate the paleoelevation of both the caves and their former catchment area, which in turn allows us to calculate rates of rock and surface uplift (and hence erosion) since 2 Ma. We show that for the frontal part of the Alps, rates of rock uplift and erosion were ∼0.75 and ∼0.5 mm/yr, respectively, and further suggest that isostatic uplift of mountain peaks of as much as ∼500 m in response to enhanced glacial erosion occurred during the Quaternary. This study highlights the potential of U-Pb-dated speleothems for reconstructing paleoaltimetry, particularly in calcareous mountain ranges, where a standard thermochronologic assessment of exhumation and erosion is generally not feasible.


Landscape evolution in southeast Wales: evidence from aquifer geometry and surface topography associated with the Ogof Draenen cave system, 2011, Simms Michael J, Farrant Andrew R

The evolution of the Ogof Draenen cave system, in south-east Wales, has been profoundly influenced by the geometry of the karst aquifer and its relationship with changes in the surface topography. Using data from within the cave combined with a model of the aquifer geometry based on outcrop data, we have estimated the location and elevation of putative sinks and risings for the system by extrapolating from surveyed conduits in the cave. These data have enabled us to assess the scale and pattern of scarp retreat and valley incision in the valleys of the Usk, Clydach and Lwyd, that together have influenced the development of the cave. From this we can construct a relative chronology for cave development and landscape evolution in the region. Our data show that scarp retreat rates along the west flank of the Usk valley have varied by more than an order of magnitude, which we interpret as the result of locally enhanced erosion in glacial cirques repeatedly occupied and enlarged during successive glacial cycles. This process would have played a key role in breaching the aquiclude, created by the eastward overstep of the Marros Group clastics onto the Cwmyniscoy Mudstone, and thereby allowed the development of major conduits draining further south. In the tributary valleys incision rates were substantially greater in the Clydach valley than in the Lwyd valley, which we attribute to glacial erosion predominating in the north-east-facing Clydach valley and fluvial erosion being dominant in the south-facing Lwyd valley. There is evidence from within Ogof Draenen for a series of southward-draining conduits graded to a succession of palaeoresurgences, each with a vertical separation of 4-5 m, in the upper reaches of the Lwyd valley. We interpret these conduits as an underground proxy for a fluvial terrace staircase and suggest a direct link with glacial-interglacial cycles of surface aggradation and incision in the Lwyd valley. Fluvial incision rates for broadly analogous.


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