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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 pyrite is iron sulfide mineral (fes2) also known as iron pyrites and fool's gold. pyrite occurs in trace amounts in many sedimentary rocks. it may be locally common in dark carbonaceous limestone and in thin non-carbonate beds such as shales, coals and wayboards. pyrite may break down spontaneously, with or without bacterial mediation, to form sulfates, particularly sulphuric acid, that may be involved in early speleogensis [9].?

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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 palaeoenvironment (Keyword) returned 44 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 44
Palaeoenvironment of lateritic bauxites with vertical and lateral differentiation, 1983, Valeton Ida,
Formation of lateritic bauxites of the type described in this paper occurs world-wide in Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plains. The bauxites form elongate belts, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, parallel to Lower Tertiary shorelines in India and South America and their distribution is not related to a particular mineralogical composition of the parent rock. The lateral movement of the major elements Al, Si, Fe, Ti is dependent on a high level and flow of groundwater. Varying efficiency of subsurface drainage produces lateral facies variations. Interfingering of marine and continental facies indicate a sea-land transition zone where the type of sediments also varies with minor tectonic movements or sea-level changes. A typical sediment association is found in India, Africa, South and North America. It consists of (i) red beds rich in detrital and dissolved material of reworked laterites, (ii) lacustrine sediments and hypersaline precipitates, (iii) lignites intercalated with marine clays, layers of siderite, pyrite, marcasite and jarosite, and (iv) marine chemical sediments rich in oolitic iron ores or glauconite. A model is developed to account for element distributions in lateritic bauxites in terms of groundwater levels and flow. Finally it is shown that many high-level bauxites are formed in coastal plains and that they are subsequently uplifted to their present altitude

The Palaeoenvironments of Coolarken Pollnagollum (Pollnagaollum of the Boats) Cave, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland - evidence from Phytolith Analysis, 1993, Thompson P. , Maloney B. K.

Pseudokarst in the Western Cape, South Africa: Its palaeoenvironmental significance, 1995, Marker M. E. , Swart P. G.

Pseudokarst in the Western Cape, South Africa: Its palaeoenvironmental significance, 1995, Marker M. E. , Swart P. G.

The geomorphology of solution cave sequences in the Kalk Bay Mountains, southern Cape Peninsula. BSc thesis, 1996, Shearer, H.

The Kalk Bay Mountains of the southern Cape Peninsula, South Africa, show marked development of pseudokarstic features such as caverns, dolines and grikes. These features have formed over at least 100 million years on supposed inert quartzitic sandstones of the Peninsula Formation of the Table Mountain Group. Pseudokarst on sandstone is relatively rare world-wide and various aspects of cave genesis are highlighted in the Cape Peninsula. Cape Peninsula pseudokarst is relict, occurs at high altitudes above the present water table and could provide clues to palaeoenvironmental conditions during the African erosion period.
The cave systems in the Kalk Bay Mountains occur in at least three levels in the thickly-bedded sandstone. These different levels are the result of differential uplift during the Miocene and Pliocene. The Cape Peninsula Mountains are tabular and blocky, as opposed to the fold mountains of the rest of the South Western Cape. Much more of the overlying sedimentary layers in the Cape Peninsula have also been removed by weathering and erosive processes. The caves can be compared to similar pseudokarst features on sandstone in areas such as Gran Sabana, Venezuela. The acidic water chemistry in Venezuela contributes to a very intensive weathering environment. Present day humid tropical conditions in Venezuela are likely to be similar to palaeoclimatic conditions in the Kalk Bay Mountains, contributing to sandstone cave genesis.


Variations in the discharge and organic matter content of stalagmite drip waters in Lower Cave, Bristol, 1997, Baker A, Barnes Wl, Smart Pl,
Six drip waters, which were actively depositing stalagmites in Lower Cave, Bristol, were analysed both for discharge and luminescence properties. Drip discharges were determined for two different years, and show a complex response to surface precipitation variations. Inter annual variability in drip discharge is demonstrated to be significantly higher than intra-annual variability, and discharge was demonstrated both to increase and decrease non-linearly with increased precipitation. Drip waters demonstrate a correlation between their luminescence intensity and drip discharge, with increased luminescence in winter as more organic matter is flushed through the aquifer. The strength of the relationship between luminescence intensity and discharge increases with increased discharge. The results presented here have implications for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of annual growth laminae and the growth rates of stalagmite samples.

Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction of an Oligocene-aged island remnant in Florida, USA, 1998, Reeder P. , Brinkmann R.

Active deposition of calcareous tufa in Wessex, UK, and its implications for the 'late-Holocene tufa decline', 1998, Baker A, Simms Mj,
Recent publications have suggested that deposition of calcareous tufa and travertine in the British Isles has declined since the mid-Holocene. Several causal mechanisms have been postulated which include changes in both palaeoenvironmental and palaeoecological conditions. Results presented here for actively depositing tufa in the Wessex region of southwest England suggest that there has been significant under reporting of contemporary tufa deposition. This factor must be taken into consideration in any investigation of a possible tufa decline in the late Holocene. Geochemical and environmental conditions at 26 tufa deposition sites are reported in order better to elucidate the climatic and environmental factors which constrain contempor ary tufa deposition, and to achieve a better understanding of the controls on Holocene deposition

Symposium Abstract: Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction through a study of spores and organic acids in speleothems, 1999, Mcgarry S.

Dynamique sedimentaire et paleoenvironnements durant la transition Weichselien-Holocene a partir des depots endokarstiques de la Grotte de Han-sur-Lesse (Belgique), 1999, Blockmans S, Quinif Y, Bini A, Zuccoli L,
The cave sediments in the galleries near the entrance of the Han-sur-Lesse cave constitute a sedimentary record of the palaeoenvironmental evolution during the end of the Pleistocene, tardi-glacial transition and the Holocene. Lithostratigraphic study and granulometric analysis of three sections (the section of the 'Galeries des Potirons', the section of the 'Cave a Vin', the section of the 'Galerie des Petites Fontaines') enable to reconstruct the hydrological evolution of those galleries at the end of the last glacial period. This reconstruction is dated by uranium-series disequilibrium datings on speleothems and 14 C datings on charcoals

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

Fluorescence wavelength and intensity variations of cave waters, 1999, Baker A, Genty D,
The fluorescence properties of groundwaters percolating into four cave systems have been monitored over the period 1997-1998. Fluorescence was excited between 220 and 400 nm and the emission measured from 300 to 500 nm using a fluorescence spectrophotometer. Three fluorescence centres were observed; one at the excitation-emission pair of 290-340:395-430 nm, (humic-like, probably fulvic acid), one at 265-280:300-370 nm (protein like) and a less defined region of high fluorescence at 230-280:310-420 nm (humic and/or protein like). The most consistent fluorescence intensity was observed in the excitation-emission pair of 290-340:395-430 nm, attributed to a fulvic acid source. Subtle differences (5%) in the fluorescence excitation and emission wavelength of this fluorescence peak in the groundwater were observed between the four sites, and the fluorescence intensity varied considerably ( x 60) between the four sites. Both the wavelength and the intensity variations in fluorescence are caused by the differences in the vegetation cover, soil type and humification. Data from the most intensely monitored site (Brown’s Folly Mine, England; 9 sample stations, 10-20 days frequency sampling) revealed no spatial variability in the 290-340:395-430 nm (fulvic acid) fluorescence; in contrast time-series analysis suggests that the seasonal variations do occur, with a decrease in the emission wavelength correlating with the first (autumn) peak in fluorescence intensity, and a decrease in the excitation wavelength correlating with a second (winter) fluorescence intensity peak. Results demonstrate the potential of utilising fluorescence wavelength variations in sourcing karst groundwaters, and as a possible palaeoenvironmental proxy of the overlying soil conditions if trapped within the cave speleothems

A succession of Miocene rodent assemblages from fissure fillings in southern France: palaeoenvironmental interpretation and comparison with Spain, 1999, Aguilar Jp, Escarguel G, Michaux J,
An Early to Late Miocene sequence of rodent assemblages from southern France has been quantitatively studied. The resulting pattern seems very similar to a contemporary sequence from central Spain (Calatayud-Teruel Basin). The fossil mammal-bearing localities are of different types: mainly karst infills in France and localities situated in sedimentary basins in Spain. In order to interpret the fossil record, a comparison has been made between southern France faunas of similar age but collected in karst infills and in basin deposits. There seems to be no difference between the two kinds of faunas and thus there is no indication that karst infills systematically give a picture of drier and more open environments. Both types of localities may give a similar relative abundance of taxa and when differences exist they can be attributed to local conditions. The comparison between southern France and the Calatayud-Teruel Basin (central Spain) shows that: (1) similar trends occurred in the two areas; (2) differences between spectra were more important during the late Early Miocene than during the Middle Miocene; (3) the shift between the late Early Miocene and the Middle Miocene environments in southern France does not seem to be correlated with. a general drop in temperatures as inferred from the analysis of central Spain faunas. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Trace element variations in coeval Holocene speleothems from GB Cave, southwest England, 1999, Roberts Mark S. , Smart Peter L. , Hawkesworth Chris J. , Perkins William T. , Pearce Nicholas J. G. ,
We report trace element (Mg, Sr and Ba) records based on laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) from three coeval Holocene speleothems from Great Chamber in GB Cave, southwest England. The trace element records are placed on a common timescale on the basis of a suite of TIMS 230Th-234U ages. This permits assessment of the reproducibility of the trace element record in coeval speleothems. The trace element records are not coherent, raising dobuts over the reliability of individual trace element records as potential archives of palaeoenvironmental information. Mg/Sr in speleothem calcite has been proposed as a potential palaeothermometer as Mg partitioning into calcite from water is temperaturedependent, while Sr partitioning into calcite is temperature-independent. However, we present the results of calculations which demonstrate that the observed Mg/Sr values in the three stalagmites cannot have been produced by Holocene temperature changes alone and that other processes must play a dominant role. We present a model which suggests that the observed trace element variations in the three speleothems reflect hydrological mixing of waters in the epikarstic zone above the cave which have interacted with two geochemi cally distinct source rocks (calcite and dolomite)

Non-invasive investigation of polygonal karst features: Yorkshire Dales National Park. MSc thesis (Exploration Geophysics), 1999, Gullen T.

Resistivity, refraction and resistivity tomography methods were used to ascertain the dimensions of any sediment body present within solution dolines. Fieldwork was undertaken at two sites within the Yorkshire Dales National Park: High Mark [SD920 679] northeast of Malham Tarn, and on Ingleborough, northeast of Clapham Bottoms [SD765 722].
Results of previous studies of doline fill have been inconclusive. It has been hypothesised (Howard, unpublished) that if dolines do contain significant amounts of sediment, the fill could provide a complete palaeoenvironmental record of the Quaternary.
Resistivity studies undertaken at High Mark used an Offset Wenner array, and field data were inverted to produce a 1-D image of the subsurface. The profiles were located at the base of the doline, in the area believed to contain the greatest sediment thickness. Results suggest that the fill comprises two layers. An upper layer approximately 1 m thick is composed of poorly consolidated clayey sand with an apparent resistivity of 166m. The second layer reaches a depth of 5.6m and is more clay-rich, with an apparent resistivity of 60m. These interpretations are supported by evidence from augering. The upper 10m of limestone below the sediment has been altered during doline formation, weathering and fracturing, and has a resistivity of 220m compared to 440m for the unaltered bedrock.
Refraction profiles were undertaken at High Mark, using the hammer and plate method with a 2m geophone spacing. Profiles were located on the base, flanks and interfluves of the doline. Ground conditions prevented the acquisition of very long offset shots (>10m), and lack of these data hindered interpretation. Profiles undertaken at Ingleborough used an explosive shot placed in a 45cm-deep hole, and a 5m geophone spacing was used. Profiles were located at the base of the dolines.
Results at High Mark suggest that the limestone is overlain by 4m of sediment. The upper layer has a velocity of approximately 0.50m/ms, whereas that of the second layer is 1.19m/ms. Alteration of the upper 6m of the bedrock is indicated by a velocity of 2.00m/ms, compared to 2.99m/ms for the unaltered limestone. The bedrock surface is undulatory, possibly indicating the effects of preferential dissolution or glacial activity.
Results of the refraction surveys at Ingleborough indicate that the limestone is overlain by a single 4m-thick layer of sediment with a velocity of 0.52m/ms. Beneath this, the upper 13m of limestone is altered, with a velocity of 2.45m/ms, which increases to 3.75m/ms in the unaltered limestone below. Velocities obtained are lower than expected, but reliable imaging of the limestone was ensured by siting the profiles close to observed rock exposures. Refraction interpretations indicate that the centre of the doline is not coincident with the position predicted from observation of the surface morphology.
Resistivity tomography profiles were undertaken at the base of the dolines at both sites. A fully automated system employing a Wenner array with 25 electrodes at 5m spacings was used, and six levels were recorded. The field data were inverted and the results suggest that there are about 12.5m of sediment in the High Mark doline. The sediment is underlain by 2m of altered limestone and the bedrock base of the doline is relatively smooth.
In contrast, the thickness of sediment fill in the Ingleborough dolines is 7.5m, but the depressions are bounded by a greater thickness of altered limestone (10m). In places the limestone imaged appears to reach the surface, but is not observed in the field, indicating that minimal sediment cover is not imaged. The surface of the limestone is pitted by smaller sediment-filled depressions, possibly a feature of glacial scour.
Two profiles were forward modelled to test the reliability of the inversion model. The models were similar, but features were displaced to the right of the true section. Synthetic models were constructed to test geological hypotheses concerning the composition of the dolines. The models suggested that the dolines are relatively shallow (<12m) and are underlain by significant thicknesses of altered limestone (~10m).
The combination of results obtained suggests that dolines are not filled by significant quantities of sediment and, consequently, they cannot be used as palaeoenvironmental indicators of the Quaternary.
Jobling A. 2000. Resistivity tomography survey over a topographic depression, West Yorkshire.
BSc thesis (Geophysical Sciences), School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.
Three resistivity profiles were completed across a topographic depression near Garforth, West Yorkshire. The depression is roughly circular, with a radius of approximately 20m. Two profiles ran through the centre of the depression, with a third profile lying outside it. Data from these three profiles were processed, and graphs and pseudosections were compiled. The data were also inverted.
The pseudosections and inversions both showed a large, negative resistivity anomaly centred approximately beneath the surface depression. This anomaly had a resistivity difference of between 600m and 700m compared to that of the surrounding rock.
The most likely reason for this anomaly is dissolution of limestone causing development of a doline or sinkhole. The chance of the depression being an old coal mine or sand mine working has been dismissed due to the location of the site and the nature of the resistivity anomaly.


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