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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 ground water, phreatic water is 1. the part of the subsurface water that is in the phreatic zone [10]. its lower limits are the zone of rock flowage or the lowest fully confining bed; its upper limits are the uppermost fully confining bed or the water table [16]. 2. used loosely and incorrectly by some to refer to any water beneath the surface. see also phreas; phreatic water; phreatic zone.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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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 landscape evolution (Keyword) returned 50 results for the whole karstbase:
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Evolution of the Wellington Caves Landscape, 1973, Francis, G.

Wellington Caves, New South Wales (figure 1), have attracted scientific attention for more than a century, largely through discoveries in the cave sediments of bones from extinct animals. These bone discoveries provided impetus for a number of early speculations about the geomorphology of the caves area and its relationship to the caves. Notable among these was the conjecture of Mitchell (1839) that the valley floor sediments of the Bell River and the cave fills had been deposited during a marine transgression about one million years ago. The first systematic geomorphological work was carried out by Colditz (1943), who argued for two distinct relict erosion levels in the Bell Valley; the older level was assigned to the Lower Pliocene and the younger to the Upper Pliocene. Colditz considered that these levels provided evidence for two phases of uplift in late Tertiary times. More recently Frank (1971) made detailed studies of the cave sediments, and devoted some attention to landscape evolution. He believed that the Bell River had been captured by Catombal Creek, during the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene.


Cave and Landscape Evolution At Isaacs Creek, New South Wales, 1979, Connolly M. , Francis G.

Isaacs Creek Caves are situated in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales and form a distinct unit within the Timor karst region. The larger caves such as Man, Helictite and Belfry all show evidence of early development under sluggish phreatic conditions. Nevertheless later phases of dynamic phreatic and vadose development occurred in Belfry and Helictite caves. In the case of Helictite Cave sluggish phreatic, dynamic phreatic and vadose action may have operated simultaneously in different parts of the same cave. After each cave was drained through further valley incision by Isaacs Creek, extensive clay fills derived from surface soil were deposited in it. There has been considerable re-excavation of the fills; in Main Cave younger clay loams have partially filled the resulting cavities and thus underlie the older clays. The earliest speleogenesis took place in Main Cave which pre-dates the valley of Isaacs Creek. This cave now lies in the summit of Caves Ridge about 100m above the modern valley floor. Helictite and Shaft Caves formed when the valley had been cut down to within 30m of its present level and some early phreatic development also took place in the Belfry Cave at this time. Later phases of dynamic phreatic and vadose development in Belfry Cave occurred when the valley floor lay about 12m above its present level and can be correlated with river terraces at this height. Evidence from cave morphology, isotopic basalt dates and surfaces geomorphology indicates that Main Cave formed in the Cretaceous and that Helictite Cave, Shaft Cave and the early development in Belfry Cave date from the Palaeogene. Although the dynamic phreatic and vadose action in Belfry Cave is more recent, it may still range back into the Miocene. This is a much more ancient and extended chronology than has hitherto been proposed for limestone caves and is in conflict with widely accepted ideas about cave longevity. Nevertheless evidence from Isaacs Creek and other parts of the Hunter Valley indicates that the caves and landforms are ancient features and thus notions of cave longevity developed in younger geological environments of the northern hemisphere do not apply in the present context.


Palokarsts et palo-gomorphologie nognes des Alpes occidentales et rgions adjacentes, 1984, Julian M. , Nicod J.
NEOGENE PALEOKARSTS AND PALEO-GEOMORPHOLOGY IN THE WESTERN ALPS, JURA AND PROVENCE - This text is an attempt to confront our knowledge about the karsts and the problems of landscape evolution (tectonics, paleo-climates, sea level changes). Three periods had been studied: 1/ Early and Middle Miocene, with the development of chemical erosional surfaces and a prevailing sub-superficial karstic solution; 2/ the revolution of the Upper Miocene ("Rhodanian" tectonical phase and the salinity crisis of the Messinian), that caused the deepening of the karstic systems; 3/ the Plio-Villafranchian phase, favoured the production of terra-rossa and the evolution of the karstic caves, except during some dry periods during the Villafranchian.

MORPHOMETRY AND EVOLUTION OF FENGLIN KARST IN THE SHUICHENG AREA, WESTERN GUIZHOU, CHINA, 1992, Xiong K. N. ,
Four areas with different styles of fenglin (tower and cone karst) are investigated using morphometric techniques in the Shuicheng area of Guizhou Province. The karsts were formed in the Neogene and were uplifted during the Quaternary, to present elevations of about 1800 m. Measurements were made of the characteristics of 745 cones using maps and aerial photographs supplemented by field investigations. The karst cones are found to be of almost constant slope angle (45-degrees to 47-degrees) regardless of structure, but with a tendency for slightly lower slopes to occur where the carbonates have impure interbeds. Although generally symmetrical in plan, elongation of both cones and intervening depressions appears controlled by major elements of the structure and the general slope of the topography. Spatial analysis shows the cones to be relatively uniformly distributed in three of the four cases studied. Morphometric evidence points strongly to parallel slope evolution of cones. A model is offered of landscape evolution in which sequential development occurs through stages of karst-tableland with dolines to fencong-depression to fenglin-depression and finally to fenglin-plain. Geological control becomes less influential as this development proceeds, with the smaller and more widely spaced cones of the later stages becoming increasingly symmetrical in form

Applications of dating to denudation chronology and landscape evolution, 1992, Atkinson T. C. , Rowe P. J.

Holocene stratigraphy of Cobweb Swamp, a Maya wetland in northern Belize, 1996, Jacob J. S. , Hallmark C. T. ,
We investigated the soils and sediments of Cobweb Swamp, adjacent to the archaeological site of Colha in northern Belize, to adumbrate landscape evolution and the impact of the ancient Maya on a tropical palustrine wetland. The Cobweb section exposes a complex and dynamically evolving landscape, with a rich interplay between natural and human forces. The Cobweb depression probably formed as a karstic doline or polje in interbedded limestone and marl of late Tertiary or Pleistocene age. During the latest Pleistocene, a terrestrial marsh covered most of the depression. Slope wash and colluviation from adjacent slopes impacted the depression during the early Holocene, possibly in response to a drier and cooler climate reported to have occurred in the region during this time. After ca. 5600 B.P., the Cobweb depression was affected by relatively rapidly rising sea levels in the area, and a brackish lagoon filled the basin. By 4800 B.P., a peat filled in the lagoon, probably because precipitation of a marl in the lagoon coupled with decreasing rates of sea-level rise enabled emergent vegetation to encroach the shallowing waters. Humans first began to affect the landscape when this peat was at the surface. Massive deforestation, resulting in increased runoff and rising water levels, is the most likely explanation for a fresh-water lagoon that again inundated the Cobweb depression between 3400 and 500 B.P. The Maya Clay was deposited on the edge of this lagoon as the result of upland erosion, almost as soon as deforestation began, but the bulk of the deposit was coincident with the sudden collapse of the Classic Maya civilization ca. 1000 B.P., suggesting that significant environmental degradation was associated with the demise of the Classic Maya. Peat began to fill the Cobweb lagoon sometime before 500 B.P., probably the result of shallower water levels from decreasing runoff resulting from reforestation after abandonment by the Maya. ------------------------------------------------------

Mineralogy of speleothems from caves in the Padurea Craiului Mountains and their palaeoclimatic significance, PhD thesis, 1996, Onac, B. P.

The thesis comprises an introductory section, which provides the reader with the basic geologic, tectonic and speleologic setting of the study area in the karst of Padurea Craiului Mountains and is then divided into a mineralogical/crystallographical study and a geochronological study. The mineralogical and crystallographical investigations were based on traditional and modern methods of laboratory techniques (X-ray, thermal, infra-red, scanning electron microscope and thermal ionisation mass-spectrometric analysis) and have given several new aspects concerning the morphology and origin of cave speleothems (for example, anthodites, oulopholites, fungites). Following detailed investigations on some moonmilk speleothems, a new classification system has been proposed. The results of this first part of the thesis lead into a discussion of the conditions of formations of the studied cave minerals and their morphology.
The second part (geochronology) is dedicated to speleothem dating and contains details of the 230Th/234U chronometer and its application. The various sampling sites (caves) are presented, as well as a list of uranium-series dates. Although there are relatively few data (65), a discussion of the distribution of the ages in time and with respect to Pleistocene climate has been undertaken. It is reported that the speleothems from the Padurea Craiului Mountains display less pronounced growth intervals than those from north-western Europe.
The thesis also examines the use of caves (via speleothem dating) to obtain rates of landscape evolution. The maximum average erosion rates for the Crisul Repede basin are in the range, 0.43-046 m/1000 years. These rates represent both glacial and interglacial conditions, and compare well with rates determined from other countries. A list of minerals which form cave speleolhems is given in an Appendix. The list was compiled from the literature and updated with the author's investigations. It includes the mineral name, composition, crystal system and class, and frequency.


Specificity of the tropical karst. [in French], 1998, Salomon, Jeannol

Flared slopes revisited, 1998, Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
Flared slopes are smooth concavities caused by subsurface moisture-generated weathering in the scarp-foot zone of hillslopes or boulders. They are well represented in granitic terrains but also developed in other massive materials such as limestone, sandstone, dacite, rhyolite, and basalt, as well as other plutonic rocks. Notches, cliff-foot caves, and swamp slob are congeners of flared slopes. Though a few bedrock flares are conceivably caused by nivation or by a combination of coastal processes, most are two-stage or etch forms. Appreciation of the origin of these forms has permitted their use in the identification and measurement of recent soil erosion and an explanation of natural bridges. Their mode of development is also germane to the origin of the host inselberg or bornhardt and, indeed, to general theories of landscape evolution. But certain discrepancies have been noted concerning the distribution and detailed morphology of flared slopes. Such anomalies are a result of structural factors (sensu late), of variations in size of catchment and in degree of exposure, and of several protective factors. Notwithstanding, the original explanation of flared slopes stands, as do their wider implications

Some notes about landscape evolution in the Trieste Karst. Reading of the topographic maps time series (map 1:25000 "Poggioreale del Carso", foglio 40a iiso) , 1998, Castiglioni, Benedetta

Three editions (1915, 1926, 1962) of the same topographic map - 1:25,000 scale - were analysed in order to obtain some information about karst landscape evolution during the present century. Both natural and human landscape were observed, expecially landforms, vegetation and soil use. The analysis gives prominence in particular to progressive forest growing. Two main difficulties were met in this analysis. First, the scale 1:25,000 is not very suitable for looking at the extremely fragmented karst plateau landscape. Second, the comparison between the three maps is not always possible because they are drafted with different mapping techniques.


Laterisation on limestones of the Tertiary Wankoe Formation and its relationship to the African Surface, southern Cape, South Africa, 1999, Marker M. E. , Holmes P. J. ,
The existence of erosion surfaces has long been recognised as a macroscale feature of the southern African landscape. Evidence is presented here to demonstrate that laterisation as a soil process affected the calcareous Tertiary Wankoe Formation of the southern Cape. Remnants of the Tertiary African Surface along the southern Cape Coastal Plateau are characterised by deep weathering mantles capped by duricrusts of laterite and silcrete. The limestones have been assumed to be the coastal equivalent of the inland African Surface. Through field mapping of the study locality discussed below, and through sedimentological and geochemical analysis (X-ray fluorescence spectrometry) of selected samples, it was possible to demonstrate that the laterisation process also affected these older Tertiary Limestones. However, the evidence is rarely preserved, and nowhere have complete, intact laterised profiles survived. More often, strong weathering resulted in case-hardening of the topography and the formation of dense calcrete. The implication from this coastal locality is that laterisation as a soil forming process extended from the Mid Tertiary Period until the early Pleistocene Period within this particular sub-region of southern Africa. The significance of this locality within the broader context of the African Surface remnants which occur from the Cape Peninsula in the west to the Knysna area in the east, as well as the palaeoenvironmental significance of laterisation on a substrate which is not conducive to this type of weathering, are also examined. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Landscape evolution and the preservation of tectonic landforms along the northern Yammouneh Fault, Lebanon, 1999, Butler Rwh, Spencer S,
The Yammouneh Fault is commonly considered to be the principal active strand of the Dead Sea Transform in Lebanon -- an inference reached primarily from interpretations of the geomorphological expression of the fault on satellite images. However, new geological field observations show the Yammouneh Fault to be sealed stratigraphically by the Homs Basalt, dated using new K-Ar ages at 5.2-6.5 Ma. Drainage systems which link to the pre-Homs Basalt palaeosurface show evidence of fault disruption. Those valleys incised into the basalt show no evidence for transcurrent offsets. The inferred left-lateral displacement of c. 45 km on the Dead Sea Transform that post-dates the Homs Basalt is presumed to have bypassed to the west of Mount Lebanon. These linked geological and geomorphological studies indicate that landscape evolution can be exceptionally slow in northern Lebanon. Faceted spurs, poljes and offset drainage along the Yammouneh Fault across Mount Lebanon, evident on satellite images, are interpreted as being of Miocene age and are not indicative of Plio-Quaternary displacements on the fault. Much of the Lebanese tectonic landscape has thus remained stable for many millions of years, although locally incised during large-scale uplift of the Mount Lebanon range. Presumably landscape insensitivity reflects the arid climatic conditions together with inhibited run-off due to the regional karst system

Stepped landscapes and their significance for general theories of landscape development, 2000, Bourne Ja, Twidale Cr,
The reasons for attributing stepped inselbergs to episodic exposure are critically reviewed and problems discussed. The evolution ofsome residuals can be dated by correlation with palaeosurface remnants preserved in adjacent terrains. The age and evolution of landscapes implied by stepped landform assemblages are incompatible with most conventional models of landscape evolution. Most examples are taken from Australian sites but reference is made to comparable forms in southern African with the implication that the principles derived from Australian landscapes are also applicable elsewhere

Solutional and erosional morphology, 2000, Lauritzen Se. , Lundberg J.
Caves are produced through the action of speleogenetic agents acting under various constraints to produce speleogenetic facies. These facies, expressed at the meso- and micro-scale, reflect the major and minor speleogenetic agents that operated on that cave; they also reflect the history of the cave, both during speleogenesis proper and during the post-speleogenetic phase, in particular the most recent history. Geological control is evident through the association of caves with guiding voids (the singularities that govern permeability) and passage shape with rock chemistry (solubility). Hydrological control guides the locus and direction of dissolution; phreatic conditions support omnidirectional dissolution and thus hydraulically controlled tubular forms, while vadose conditions allow only unidirectional dissolution and thus gravity-controlled canyon forms and karren-like features. Of the micro-forms, scallops are specific flow indicators that yield both directional and quantitative information like flow rates and various hydraulic parameters specific to the cave passages. The presence of a sediment fill may further direct corrosion; in the phreatic zone this causes paragenesis; in the vadose zone, sediments cause lateral undercutting and eventually collapse. Vadose streams display many of the forms of surface streams, such as migrating meanders, entrenchment, rock-mill pot-holes, and waterfalls. Vadose shafts, dome-pits and condensation-corrosional forms are perhaps specific to the cave enviroment. The various vadose, phreatic and certain water-table-specific forms are, in combination, powerful methods for reconstructing phases of speleogenesis as well as external base levels. Combined with speleothem dating techniques, they become important methods for determining erosion rates and landscape evolution.

Modelling karst denudation on a synthetic landscape, 2001, Kaufmann G. , Braun J. ,
This contribution presents the results of a numerical study of karst denudation on limestone plateaux. The landscape evolution model used incorporates not only long-range fluvial and short-range hill-slope processes, but also large-scale chemical dissolution of limestone surfaces. The relative efficiencies of fluvial and chemical processes are of equal importance to the landscape evolution of a plateau dropping to sea level along an escarpment. While fluvial processes have an impact confined mostly to river channels, the karst denudation process is more uniform, removing material also from the plateau surface. The combined effect of both processes results in a landscape evolution almost twice as effective as the purely erosional evolution of an insoluble landscape

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