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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 diatomaceous earth is a light-colored, soft, siliceous earth composed of the shells of diatoms, a form of algae. some deposits are of lake origin but the largest are marine [6].?

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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 mediterranean area (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Jamaica type bauxites developed on limestones, 1963, Hose H. R. ,
'When the various types of bauxite found on limestones are studied in detail in the field it becomes apparent that the older diasporic and boehmitic bauxites of the northern Mediterranean area developed initially in the same manner as the recently formed Jamaican gibbsitic bauxites.'

Impact des proprits hydrodynamiques du substrat karstique sur la nature du sol en milieu mditerranen, 1989, Verheye, W. H.
The impact of the hydrodynamic properties of the karst substratum over the soil characteristic in mediterranean areas - The weathering and pedogenetic evolution on limestones in mediterranean areas leads to the formation of a more or less decarbonated red soil. This evolution passes through successive stages of decarbonatation, rubification and decalcification and can be associated with a colour change, which includes lithochromic, brown and red phases. It is obviously influenced by the hydrodynamic properties of the soils and by the underground drainage characteristics of the substratum: hence soils developed over almost impermeable marly limestones remain at the lithochromic and/or brown levels, and decarbonatation remains weak; on hard and fractured limestones, pedogenesis is much more active and, even if the weathering volume on this rather pure rocks is small, the soil profile becomes almost completely devoid of free lime; under certain conditions a slight decalcification of the soil sorption complex may even be observed.

Rapports entre la karstification _primditerranenne et la crise de salinit messinienne, lexemple du karst lombard (Italie), 1994, Bini, A.
The Mediterraean dessiccation theory suggests that during the Messinian the Mediterranean sea lad almost completely dried up did a thick succession of evaporites was laid down Due to dessiccation the erosional base level through the whole Mediterranean area was lowered, with the consequent development of long and deep fluviatile canyons (e.g. Nile, Rhne, Var, etc). This lowering strongly affected karst evolution This paper concerns the karst in Lombardy, around the southalpine lakes. The old evolutionary models, predating dessiccation theory, assume that the lacustine valleys were scoured by the quaternary glaciers. ln this case the karst should have been characterized by some features, like for example the altitudinal cave distribution as a consequence of the valley lowering after each glaciation. Seismic experiments through the lakes and their tributaries have shown that these valleys are deep fluviatile canyons. The study of caves has demonstrated that the caves themselves predate the entrenchment of the valleys and the glaciations. During the latter the caves were filled up and emptied several times, without any modifications of their inner morphology, including stalactites. Moreover the U/Th age determinations indicate that a great number of concretions are older than 350 ky, and that a few are older than 1.5 Ma. As a conse-quence, a general model of karst evolution can be proposed. The former karstic drainage system developed after the Oligo-Miocene emersion. Paleogeography obviously diffe-red from the present day landscape but the main valley had already been scoured. During the Messinian the dramatic lowering of base level determined major changes in karstic evolution and a reorganisation of the karst drainage system that was consequently lowered considerably. The Pliocene transgression determined a new karst evolution, after which a great number of caves were located well below the sea level base. This evolution occurred during hot and wet climate period, with seasonal high flows and relevant discharges of the karstic rivers The great caves of the Lombardian karst developed within the climatic stage.

Surface and subsurface environmental degradation in the karst of Apulia (southern Italy), 2003, Parise M. , Pascali V. ,
Karst environments are highly vulnerable to a variety of degradation and pollution problems. Geology (fractured carbonate rocks), morphology (presence of a network of cavities produced by karst processes), and hydrogeology (rapid concentrated flow through fractures and conduits) of karst carbonates strongly favour the movement of contaminants towards the water table. In particular, poor quality of subsurface water can derive from polluting substances flowing at the surface, and/or by direct immission of liquid and solid waste into the water table through the systems of conduits and joints in the rock mass. As a consequence, water quality can deteriorate severely, which implies very high economic and social costs in order to clean the polluted sites and restore the original situation. In some cases, such as when the original karst morphology is changed because of anthropogenic interventions, the variations created in the landscape are not recoverable, and a loss of sites of naturalistic interest has to be registered. High vulnerability of a typical karst region of the Mediterranean area is illustrated in this paper by describing some case studies from Apulia, southern Italy. The Apulia region, where karst processes have had a prominent role in the development of the present landscape, is mostly underlain by intensely karstified limestone. Two cases of pollution due to solid waste into karst cavities (Grave di S. Leonardo in the Gargano Promontory and Grave Pelosello in the Murge plateau), landscape transformation in the Minervino Murge area, and degradation of Gravina Monsignore, a typical karst valley in southeastern Murge, are described in the paper. In two out of four cases, degradation of the sites was discovered thanks to activity from local speleologists, who also acted as promoters for cleaning and safeguarding the polluted sites. These examples underline well the mismanagement of karst territories (in particular, the common practice to dump refuse into sinkholes and caves), the pollution of limestone aquifers, and the effects that such pollution in karst areas might have in terms of the risk to public health

Structural vocabulary of cultural landscape on the island of Krk, 2004, Anič, Ić, Branka, Rechner Iva, Perica Draž, En

Within the large-scale research project in Croatian cultural landscapes, a special place is occupied by the Mediterranean area, with its highly valuable cultural landscape structures. This area is characterised by authentic structures, which represent a valuable cultural heritage and an important element of the national identity. The island of Krk is particularly inspiring in this respect, due to an intricate cultural landscape typology that has developed there under the influence of natural features on the one hand, and the centuries-long agricultural activity on the other. This paper is the result of research in its structural vocabulary in order better to understand and value these unique landscapes. The complex typological articulation was generated mainly by natural karst phenomena (karst valleys and fields, small dolinas, dry valleys), as well as various stone walls, terraces, and similar features, formed through the process of land cultivation. A considerable diversity of landscape units and patterns has been identified through particular structures which often turned out to be assets themselves, and which at the same time help to understand and interpret the outstanding value of the island's landscape.


Stable isotope (H-2, O-18 and Sr-87/Sr-86) and hydrochemistry monitoring for groundwater hydrodynamics analysis in a karst aquifer (Gran Sasso, Central Italy), 2005, Barbieri M, Boschetti T, Petitta M, Tallini M,
This paper deals with chemical and isotope analyses of 21 springs, which were monitored 3 times in the course of 2001; the monitoring program was focused on the groundwater of the Gran Sasso carbonate karst aquifer (Central Italy), typical of the mountainous Mediterranean area. Based on the hydrogeological setting of the study area, 6 groups of springs with different groundwater circulation patterns were distinguished. The hydrogeochemistry of their main components provided additional information about groundwater flowpaths, confirming the proposed classification. The spatial distribution of their ion concentrations validated the assumptions underlying the hydrogeological conceptual model, showing diverging groundwater flowpaths from the core to the boundaries of the aquifer. Geochemical modelling and saturation index computation elucidated water-carbonate rock interaction, contribution by alluvial aquifers at the karst aquifer boundaries, as well as impacts of human activities. The analysis of O-18/O-16 and H-2/H values and their spatial distribution in the aquifer substantiated the hydrogeology-based classification of 6 groups of springs, making it possible to trace back groundwater recharge areas based on mean isotope elevations; the latter were calculated by using two rain monitoring stations. Sr-87/Sr-86 analyses showed seasonal changes in many springs: in winter-spring, the changes are due to inflow of new recharge water, infiltrating into younger rocks and thus increasing (87)sr/Sr-86 values; in summer-autumn, when there is no recharge and spring discharge declines, changes are due to base flow groundwater circulating in more ancient rocks, with a subsequent drop in Sr-87/Sr-86 values. The results of this study stress the contribution that spatio-temporal isotope monitoring can give to the definition of groundwater flowpaths and hydrodynamics in fissured and karst aquifers, taking into account their hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical setting. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

How much did climate force the Messinian salinity crisis? Quantified climatic conditions from pollen records in the Mediterranean region, 2006, Fauquette S, Suc Jp, Bertini A, Popescu Sm, Warny S, Bachiri Taoufiq N, Perez Villa Mj, Chikhi H, Feddi N, Subally D,
The latest Miocene (5.96 to 5.33[no-break space]Ma) is characterised by an outstanding event: the desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea (Messinian salinity crisis). It has been suggested that this was caused by a tectonic event, with no climatic change playing a role in desiccation. Quantifying the climate of the region during this period will help support or refute this hypothesis. An effective method for reconstructing the climate from Neogene pollen data is the 'Climatic Amplitude Method' based on the modern climatic requirements of plants to interpret fossil data. It has been conceived especially for periods devoid of modern vegetation analogue.Twenty Messinian to Lower Zanclean pollen sequences are now available in the peri-Mediterranean region. Most of them do not cover the whole Messinian interval, particularly those along the Mediterranean shorelines where sedimentation was interrupted during the sea's desiccation. In contrast, sedimentation was almost continuous in such areas as the Atlantic side of Morocco, along the Adriatic coast (including the Po Valley), and to a lesser extent the Black Sea. The Mediterranean sites nonetheless provide a reliable if not a discontinuous record of vegetation variability in time and space.A first examination of the pollen diagrams reveals a high regional variability controlled by local conditions, and throughout the interval a southward increase in herb pollen frequency in contrast to the tree pollen frequency. This indicates that open and probably dry environments existed in the southern Mediterranean region prior to, during and after the salinity crisis. Trees developed in areas close to mountains such as in the Po Valley, in Cerdanya and in the Black Sea region. Most variations observed in the pollen diagrams are constrained by fluctuations of Pinus pollen amounts, indicating eustatic variations. Climatic quantification from pollen data does not show obvious climatic changes due to the desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the dry and warm southwestern Mediterranean area (Sicily, southern Spain and North Africa). At Maccarone, along the Adriatic Sea, a decrease in temperatures of the coldest month and, less importantly, a decrease in mean annual temperatures, corresponding to a drastic vegetation change, are reconstructed. These temperature variations are assumed to be controlled by regional environmental changes (massive arrival of waters in this basin) rather than to reflect cooling, because some authors link the second phase of evaporite deposition to a period of global warming. Some migrations of plants probably occurred as a response to Mediterranean desiccation. But the climatic contrast which has probably existed at that time between the central Mediterranean and the peripheral areas might be amplified.Climatic reconstruction from pollen data in the western Mediterranean area shows that climate is not the direct cause of the Mediterranean desiccation, as the Mediterranean region had experienced continuously high evaporation long before the crisis. Therefore the main factor leading to this event seems to be the successive closures of the Betic and Rifian corridors, isolating the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean

The Messinian salinity crisis: Looking for a new paradigm?, 2006, Roveri M. , Manzi V. ,
The importance of the sedimentary record of Messinian events in the Apennines foredeep is due to its geological and structural settings, which allow the reconstruction of the relationships between marginal and basinal settings and provide fundamental insights into some important issues. A geologic-stratigraphic model of the Messinian Apennine foredeep indicating a possible solution for closing the last `Messinian gap' is here presented. Moreover, the establishment of a preliminary high-resolution stratigraphy for the terminal Lago Mare stage allows us to attempt Mediterranean-scale correlations across different structural settings.The Messinian evolution of the Apennine foredeep and some considerations of adjacent areas suggest the great importance of tectonic deformation in controlling Messinian events. The intra-Messinian unconformity is a common feature of the marginal basins of the Mediterranean, and it is associated in many cases to the collapse and resedimentation of primary evaporites. The genesis of such unconformity seems to be strictly related to a general tectonic reorganization of the Mediterranean area. Preliminary observation on the stratigraphy of the Lago Mare stage suggest that the high-frequency lithological cyclicity observed in the non-marine deposits of this stage, as well as the superimposed transgressive trend, are common to many Mediterranean basins. These characteristic features might reflect the interplay between a longer-term tectonic trend and higher-frequency, precession-related, climatic changes; this could represent a fundamental tool for establishing a high-resolution stratigraphic framework of the latest Messinian allowing long-distance correlations between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and hence more accurate palaeoenvironmental studies

Reconstruction of the paleoenvironmental changes around the Miocene-Pliocene boundary along a West-East transect across the Mediterranean, 2006, Pierre Catherine, Caruso Antonio, Blancvalleron Marie Madeleine, Rouchy Jean Marie, Orzsagsperber Fabienne,
In order to reconstruct the environmental changes at the end of the Messinian salinity crisis, a multidisciplinary study has been carried out with a high sampling resolution of the late Messinian-early Zanclean (Zone MPl 1) sediments along a West-East Mediterranean transect. The studied examples comprise sections from southern Spain (Vera/Almanzora), Balearic Basin (ODP Site 975), Tyrrhenian Basin (ODP Site 974), Sicily (Eraclea Minoa), Zakynthos (Kalamaki), Corfu (Aghios Stefanos), Crete (Aghios Vlasis). Previously analyzed sections from the Levantine Basin (Cyprus and ODP Sites 968 and 969) are used for comparison. The sections have been correlated using planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, sedimentological and stable isotope variations, and compared to the astronomical cyclicity defined in the Miocene-Pliocene boundary stratotype of Eraclea Minoa, Sicily. Variations of CaCO3 content, stable isotopes of carbonates ([delta]18O, [delta]13C), and foraminiferal assemblages indicate similar environmental transition at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary in all of the investigated sections.The latest Messinian deposits are barren of fossils or characterized by only reworked planktonic foraminifers, except for the sporadic presence of Ammonia tepida, brackish or lacustrine ostracods and brackish mollusks typical of the 'Lago-Mare' facies. The oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions of carbonates usually exhibit large variations with dominantly low [delta] values indicating freshwater dilution. The earliest Pliocene (MPl 1, cycle 1) shows a rapid and progressive increase of the [delta]18O values, which indicates the restoration of marine conditions after the Lago-Mare event. Normal marine environments were definitely established and stabilized at the top of cycle 1.These data confirm that the inflow of marine waters occurred contemporaneously within the whole Mediterranean at the base of Pliocene, although stable marine conditions occurred only about 20[no-break space]kyrs later

Chemical and isotopic (d18O%, d2H%, d13C%, 222Rn%) multi-tracing for groundwater conceptual model of carbonate aquifer (Gran Sasso INFN underground laboratory central Italy), 2008, Adinolfi Falcone R. , Falgiani A. , Parisse B. , Petitta M. , Spizzico M. , Tallini M.

A hydrochemical and isotope study was conducted on the drainage waters of an underground laboratory, located inside the Gran Sasso massif (central Italy). The study was expected to improve the conceptual model of groundwater circulation at the base of an over 1000-thick unsaturated zone in the Gran Sasso partitioned karst aquifer. This lithostratigraphically and tectonically complex aquifer is typical of Africa–Europe thrust-andfold collision belt in the Mediterranean area. In this case, investigations on water–rock interactions during recharge in complex aquifers, overlaid by a thick unsaturated zone, have been made thanks to the strategic location of the Gran Sasso underground laboratories, located in the core of a huge carbonate aquifer. Knowledge of the local basic hydrogeological setting was the starting point for a detailed hydrogeochemical and isotopic study, which was carried out at the aquifer scale and at the fine scale in the underground laboratories. The water–rock interaction processes were investigated both spatially and in temporal sequences, analysing recharge waters and groundwater in the underground laboratories by multitracing techniques, including major ions and d18O&, d2H& and d13C& stable isotopes. Use of 222Rn provides information on transit time in the aquifer. Processes proved to be typical of carbonate rocks, with clear influence of vertical movement of water on chemical–physical parameters through the unsaturated zone. Conversely, in the saturated zone, these processes proved to be dominantly affected by local geological–structural conditions. A conceptual model with dual flow velocity is proposed, directly related to the local geological-structural setting. 222Rn decay enables to calculate an effective velocity of around 10 m/day for the fracture network, through the sequence of less permeable dolomites and underlying limestone. Lag time between recharge and chemical changes in the saturated zone testifies to an effective velocity of about 35 m/day for fast flow through recent and active extensional faults


Tafoni and Alveole Formation. An Example from Naxos and Tinos Islands, 2010, Evelpidou Niki, Leonidopoulou Dimitra, Vassilopoulos Andreas

Weathering formations resembling small caves, known by the name of Tafoni, are a characteristic, but not exclusive, feature of the Mediterranean area. Examples of such geomorphological formations have been recorded in Sardinia and Corsica (Klaer, 1956; Frenzel, 1965), in Tuscany (Martini, 1978), in S. Spain (Mellor et al., 1997) and in the Aegean Sea area (Greece) (Riedl, 1991; Hejl, 2005).


Book Review: Karst Evolution in the South Mediterranean Area EnvironmentalImpact on Human Life and Civil Planning, 2012, Piccini, Leonardo


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