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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 thalweg is a line of maximum depth of stream cross section [16].?

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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 high mountains (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
Approche gomorphologique des karsts du gypse de la Vanoise (la zone alpine et glaciaire du vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz,Alpes), 1991, Chardon, M.
GYPSUM KARSTIC LANDFORMS IN VANOISE: the alpine and glacial valley of Vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz (Alps, France) - In the inner part of the northern french Alps, the higher regions of the Vanoise offer outcrops of Triassic gypsum of which the surface and thickness vary. In the vallon du Fruit, the Gbroulaz glacier partially covers a long strip of gypsum, which reaches its highest point at the Roc de la Soufrire (2940 m). Rivers and springs in the vallon du Fruit are fed both by sub-aerial glacial outflows and by karstic underground flows, which are pro-glacial and sub-glacial. A very low chemical dissolution exists under the glacier and along the fast pro-glacial underground and sub-aerial flows, whereas the rate of karstic denudation is high in the margin of the glacier where it reaches 1500 mm/ky at around 2500m (1 ky = 1000 years). The formation and evolution of the dolines is rapid and occurs through underground sucking and dissolution once the area is deglaciated, thanks to underground active flows fed by the glacier and snow melting. Gypsum domes are uplifted under the effects of neotectonic movements and postglacial decompression brings about considerable superficial fissuring because of the elasticity of the rock. Over 10,000 years, the morphogenesis of these domes in the humid and cold climatic conditions of these high alpine mountains has transformed them into perforated ladle and domes. Small outcrops are changed into monoliths or gypsum inselberg. A model of the geomorphologic post-glacial evolution of these domes, over some 20,000 years, is proposed.

Les nomades lours du massif calcaire du Kuh-e-Garrin (Zagros central, Iran), 1997, Dumas, Dominique
Today many nomadic confederations live in the Zagros range. For a long time, these high mountains have offered these populations both shelter and a large territory which is not as arid as the piedmont plains due to orographic rainfall Whereas the Baxtyari and Qashqa are well described in the literature, little is known about the Lours nomads. In this paper, observations and investigations on nomadic families (Summers 1994, 1995, 1996) are presented together with the characteristics of their seasonal migrations. The socio-economic dimension of these populations is also studied to explain the reasons which account for the overgrazing clearly visible in all Zagros mountains. Today, these high mountain karsts are subject to a higher anthropogenic pressure than previously, which entails an irreversible disappearance of vegetation and soils.

Caves of High Mountains in Poland, 1999, Klarenbach, Tomasz

Mountains of alpine origin - Tatra Mts. cover only small part of Poland. Karstified rocks occur in Western Tatra Mts. and cover ca. 50 km2. Within this small area 600 caves are known, the longest and deepest in Poland among them. Three caves are over 10 km long and 15 over 1 km long. There are three caves with denivelation over 500 m and 14 over 100 m. Recent intensive exploration has resulted in the discovery of many new cave galleries. Most important cave in Tatra Mts. is Wielka Ânie›na - Litworowa Cave System (814 m of denivelation and over 20 km long), the deepest and longest cave in Poland. Caves are grouped mostly in the upper part of the Polish Western Tatra Mts., and are of different genetical type and age. Parts of them are of preglacial origin or were transformed by glacial water in Pleistocene.


The vegetation of the high mountains of Crete - a revision and multivariate analysis, 2002, Bergmeier E,
The vegetation at elevations above 1,400 m in the south Aegean island of Crete (Greece) is studied and revised. By means of phytosociological classification (assisted by TWINSPAN) and ordination (Detrended correspondence analysis, DCA), the plant communities and abiotic (environmental, geographical) factors governing the variance in vegetation are described and discussed. The analyses are based on 492 sample plots from the three major mountain ranges of Crete. All published data available, as well as own unpublished releves are included. Since the plots differ much with respect to species number and plot size, and to combine different subsets and different data properties, various data sets are used for DCA ordination. Data on environmental variables are used supplementarily. Ordination results suggest the following factors to be of major effect on the variance in vegetation: Rock type, soil type, altitude, geographical situation, degree of substrate fixation, and inclination. The representation of local and regional endemics in the vegetation increases with altitude and along the habitat type series: phrygana and woodland - fixed slopes - dolines - screes. A synoptic table of 26 columns (vegetation types and subtypes) is presented. The vegetation consists of the tragacanth formation of fixed slopes (8 columns), swards and scrub of doline grounds (9), scree vegetation (4), and rupicolous chasmophytic vegetation (2). Phrygana (2) and woodland vegetation (1) are marginal. A hierarchical conspectus of the syntaxa is provided which includes the following nomenclaturally relevant new or validated names of various ranks (in alphabetic order): Alysso sphaciotici-Valantion apricae, Arenario fragillimae-Silenetum antri-jovis, Arenarion creticae, Astragalion cretici, Berberido creticae-Astragaletum cretici, Cicero incisi-Silenetum variegatae, Colchico cretensis-Cirsion morinifolii, Fumano paphlagonicae-Helianthemetum hymettii, Gypsophilo nanae-Arenarietum creticae, Hyperico kelleri-Anchusetum cespitosae, Lomelosio sphacioticae-Centranthetum sieberi, Paronychio macrosepalae-Juniperetum oxycedri, Saturejo spinosae-Scutella-rietalia hirtae, Sideritido syriacae-Verbascetum spinosi, Verbascion spinosi

Ice and Alpine Caves in Slovenia in older literature (17th to 19th century), 2004, Kranjc, Andrej

The first printed literature mentioning caves in a nowadays Slovenia dates to the 16th century already (description of Cerkniško lake, research of underground water connections) but description of alpine and ice caves does not appear before the 17th century. The most important and the best known is Valvasor's work "Die Ehre des Herzogthums Crain" (1689). In the Alps he describes 3 caves, but none of them is a real cave. Exception is a spring of Savica which proved 250 years later to be really a spring cave. He described also some ice caves and ice formations in them. B. Hacquet visited some of the same caves a century later and in his work "Oryctographia carniolica …" (1778 - 1789) explained the formation of ice more realistically. In the middle of the 19th century appears a real speleological literature, as Schmidl's work "Die Grotten und Höhlen von Adelsberg …" (1854) is regarded as the first "modern speleological work". At the end of the 19th century the Gratzy's list of caves in Carniola (great part of the today's Slovenia) includes 7 caves from the Alps and 30 ice caves. The last are practically all out of the high mountains, where the ice caves are a normal feature. The 19th century literature including alpine and ice caves is very diversified, there are "classical" speleological works on ice caves as Fugger's "Eishöhlen und Windröhren" or Schwalbe's "Über Eishöhlen", and local literature or reports talking about extracting of ice for example.


Glacier Caves and Glacial Karst in High Mountains and Polar Regions, 2005,

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.


Palaeomagnetism and Magnetostratigraphy of Karst Sediments in Slovenia, 2008, Zupan Hajna Nadja, Mihevc Andrej, Pruner Petr, Bosk Pavel

Results of more than 10 years intensive study of palaeomagnetic properties and magnetostratigraphy of karst sediments in Slovenia are summarized. The research covered the most important karst regions, from lowlands to high mountains. It included both well-known and documented sites, and relatively unknown or newly found locations in caves and surface karst sediments. The territory of Slovenia, with its numerous karst regions, long history of karst evolution and relatively good knowledge of the karst sediments represents an ideal testing ground for comprehensive research on individual infilling processes, their stages and periods. The questions concentrated to the time span of karst evolution in Slovenia, age of karst surfaces, speleogenesis and rates of processes. The majority of karst sediment dating has been carried out in south-western Slovenia (in the north-western part of the Dinaric Karst, which is known as the Kras) where Eocene flysch is the last marine deposit preserved in the geologic record. The Oligocene to Quaternary period represented mostly terrestrial phase with prevailing surface denudation and erosion processes. Therefore only karst sediments preserved on karst surface and in subsurface can yield some facts and ideas of karst evolution and its age. In the book 21 locations are described, 19 from Slovenia and two Italian Karst. Each location is placed in space describing geological, karstological and speleological properties. A precise description of studied sediment profile with lithological and mineralogical composition follows obtained by various research methods. Every profile contains also the palaeomagnetic results with magnetostratigraphic and palaeomagnetic properties.

Dating of cave sediments by the application of the palaeomagnetic method is a difficult and sometimes risky task, as the method is comparative in its principles and does not provide numerical ages. Repeated sampling in some profiles have shown that only dense sampling (high-resolution approach with sampling distance of 2?4 cm), can ensure reliable results. Correlation of the magnetostratigraphic results we obtained, and the interpretations tentatively placed upon them has shown that in the majority of cases, application of an additional dating method is needed to either reinforce the palaeomagnetic data or to help to match them with the geomagnetic polarity timescale.

The most important result is the discovery that cave fills have substantially older ages than generally expected earlier (max. about 350 ka). Palaeomagnetic data in combination with other dating methods, especially biostratigraphy, have shifted the possible beginning not only of the speleogenesis but also of the cave filling processes in Slovenia far below the Tertiary/Quaternary boundary. Results suggest that there were probably some distinct phases of massive deposition in caves. The oldest one took place from about 1.8 to more than 5.4 Ma (with two phases at 1.8 ? 3.6 and about 4.1 ? 5.4 Ma). The data support and better define the estimated ages of the surface and cave sediments that were based on geomorphic evidences, especially from unroofed caves.

The evolution of the caves took part within one karstification period, which began with the regression of Eocene sea and exposing of limestones at the surface within complicated overthrusted structure, which formed principally during Oligocene to early Miocene.


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