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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 dissolution zone is a laterally extensive zone where extensive dissolution of bedrock has occurred.?

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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 palaeohydrology (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
Geology, palaeohydrology and evolution of caves in Tibet, 1995, Zhang David Dian

Controls on trace element (Sr-Mg) compositions of carbonate cave waters: implications for speleothem climatic records, 2000, Fairchild Ij, Borsato A, Tooth Af, Frisia S, Hawkesworth Cj, Huang Ym, Mcdermott F, Spiro B,
At two caves (Clamouse, S France and Ernesto, NE Italy), cave drip and pool waters were collected and sampled at intervals over a 2-3 year period. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca concentration ratios, corrected for marine aerosols, are compared with those of bedrocks and, in some cases, aqueous leachates of soils and weathered bedrocks. Cave waters do not lie along mixing lines between calcite and dolomite of bedrock carbonate, but typically show enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. Four factors are considered as controlling processes. (1) The much faster dissolution rate of calcite than dolomite allows for the possibility of increase of Mg/Ca if water-rock contact times are increased during drier conditions. A theoretical model is shown to be comparable to experimental leachates. (2) Prior calcite precipitation along a flow path is a powerful mechanism for generating enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios. This mechanism requires the solution to lose CO, into pores or caverns. (3) Incongruent dolomite dissolution has only limited potential and is best regarded as two separate processes of dolomite dissolution and calcite precipitation. (4) selective leaching of Mg and Sr with respect to Ca is shown to be important in leachates from Ernesto where it appears to be a phenomenon of calcite dissolution. In general selective leaching can occur whenever Ca is sequestered into precipitates due to freezing or drying of soils, or if there is derivation of excess Sr and Mg from non-carbonate species. The Ernesto cave has abundant water supply which in the main chamber is derived from a reservoir with year-round constant P-CO2 of around 10(-2.4) and no evidence of calcite precipitation in the karst above the cave. Two distinct, bur overlying trends of enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca away from the locus of bedrock compositions are due to calcite precipitation within the cave and, at a variable drip site, due to enhanced selective leaching at slow drip rates. Mg-enhancement in the first chamber is due to a more dolomitic bedrock and longer residence times. The Clamouse site has a less abundant water supply and presents geochemical evidence of prior calcite precipitation. both in the cave and in overlying porous dolomite/dedolomitized limestone bedrock. Initial P-CO2 values as high as 10(-1) are inferred. Experimental incubations of Clamouse soils which generated enhanced P-CO2 and precipitated CaCO3 had compositions similar to the karst waters. Calcite precipitation is inferred to he enhanced in drier conditions. Hydrological controls on cave water chemistry imply that the trace element chemistry of speleothems may be interpretable in palaeohydrological terms. Drier conditions tends to promote not only longer mean residence times (enhancing dolomite dissolution and hence Mg/Ca), but also enhances degassing and calcite precipitation leading to increased Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Symposium Abstract: Palaeohydrology in the Eastern mediterranean from speleothem fluid inclusion D/H analyses, 2003, Mcgarry S. , Barmatthews M. , Matthews A. , Ayalon A.

Lateglacial and Holocene sea level changes in semi-enclosed seas of North Eurasia: examples from the contrasting Black and White Seas, 2004, Kaplin Pavel A. , Selivanov Andrei O. ,
A comparison of the Black and White Seas, which differ in their tectonic, glacial and climatic history but which share a strong dependence upon limited water exchange with the world ocean, represents an opportunity for the identification of major factors controlling sea level changes during the Lateglacial and Holocene and for the correlation of these changes. Existing data were critically analyzed and compared with the results of geological, geomorphological and palaeohydrological studies obtained by the present authors during the past two decades.We conclude that glacioeustatic processes played a major role in relative sea level changes on most coasts of both areas. However, along several coastlines, other factors overwhelm glacioeustasy during some time intervals. In the Black Sea, water level rose from its minimum position, -100-120 m, at 18-17 ka BP, to -20-30 m at nearly 9 ka BP. In the White Sea, the decreasing trend in relative sea level is well illustrated on the Kola Peninsula and in Karelia, subject to glacioisostatic emergence. A drastic sea level fall from to -25 m occurred with the drainage of glacial lakes in the eastern White Sea (12.5-9.5 ka BP).The Black and White Sea histories changed drastically in the early Holocene or in the beginning of the middle Holocene (9.5-7.5 ka BP) due to the intrusion of water from the Mediterranean and the Barents seas, respectively. During this period, the White Sea developed under the strong influence of the formation of 'ice shelves' and 'dead ice' blocks, retreating glaciers, as well as of glacioisostatic and related processes. The Black Sea history, however, was determined by water exchange with the Mediterranean via the shallow Dardanelles and Bosporus straits (outflow from the Black Sea 10-9.5 ka BP and inflow from 9-7.5 ka BP according to various data), and, partially, by river discharge variations caused by climatic changes on the Russian Plain. The hypothesis of a catastrophic sea level rise from -120-150 to -15-20 m nearly 7550 calendar years BP is not supported by our data. Water intrusion from the Mediterranean was fast but not catastrophic.In the Black Sea, periods of high sea levels after the intrusion of Mediterranean waters are dated from four sedimentary complexes, Vityazevian, Kalamitian, Dzhemetian and Nymphaean, from nearly 7.5, 7-6, 5.5-4.5 and 2.2-1.7 ka BP, respectively. A fluctuating pattern of sea level change was established in the White Sea after the drainage of proglacial lakes and intrusion of ocean waters at the end of the early Holocene (nearly 8.5-8.2 ka BP). Major periods of sea level rise in the White Sea are dated from the late Boreal-early Atlantic (8.5-7.5 ka BP), late Atlantic (6.5-5.2 ka BP), middle Subboreal (4.5-4 ka BP) and middle Subatlantic (1.8-1.5 ka BP). Fluctuations of relative sea level during the middle and late Holocene were possibly on the order of several meters (from 3 to -2-3 m in the Black Sea and from 5 to -2-3 m in the White Sea). Lower estimates of regressive stages are principally derived from archaeological data on ancient settlements in tectonically submerging deltaic areas and cannot be regarded as reliable.Palaeohydrological analysis does not indicate that intensive (15-25 m or greater) sea level fluctuations were present in the Black Sea or in the White Sea during the middle and late Holocene. Instead, such analysis provides independent evidence to support the argument that significant differences in water level between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean could not be maintained for an extended period of time

The hydrochemical response of cave drip waters to sub-annual and inter-annual climate variability, Wombeyan Caves, SE Australia, 2007, Mcdonald Janece , Drysdale Russell, Hill David, Chisari Robert, Won Henri
A thorough understanding of cave seepage waters is necessary to interpret geochemical variations in speleothem calcite in terms of changing surface climatic conditions at a particular site. Here we present the hydrochemistry of ten cave drip waters from a karst system in SE Australia based on up to 5.5 years of monitoring. Discharge was continuously measured at six sites and manually at the other sites. Dripwater samples were analysed for pH, electrical conductivity, cations and anions at all sites at monthly or more frequent intervals. Each drip possesses a unique chemistry, and not all drip waters responded to antecedent short-term hydrological variations. For example, the hydrochemical behaviour of three adjacent drips at a bedrock depth of 45 m was completely different to that of shallower sites, and was apparently un-related to surface hydrology throughout the investigation. Based on modelled calcite precipitation vectors, prior calcite precipitation was demonstrated at several sites but can only be linked directly to changes in surface recharge at the shallowest sites. At extremely low flow, shallow drip waters accessed a high Mg, Sr and Ba source, thought to be the overlying soil. High-frequency sample collection allows for the calculation of predicted Mg/Cacalcite and Sr/Cacalcite values, highlighting that the sites with the greatest potential to record high-resolution palaeohydrological records are those situated at shallow depth. Longer temporal-resolution palaeohydrological records may be recorded at deeper sites but longer-term monitoring is required to identify probable time scales. Inherent system non-linearities, dissolution of secondary calcite in pore spaces of the aquifer, changes in the source of trace elements, and the presence of multiple reservoirs confirm the need for the use of multiple speleothems and a multi-proxy approach to gain accurate palaeohydrological records from this site.

Artesian origin of a cave developed in an isolated horst: a case pf Smocza Jama (Kraków Upland, Poland), 2009, Gradziñ, Ski Michal, Motyka Jacek, Gó, Rny Andrzej

The cave of Smocza Jama located in the centre of Kraków is developed in the Wawel Horst built of Upper Jurassic limestone and surrounded by grabens with Miocene clays. The cave is composed of two series: the old one has been known for ages and the new one was discovered when an artificial shaft was mined in 1974. The new series comprises small chambers separated by intervening thin walls while the old series consists of three connected together spatial chambers. The cave abounds in extensively developed solution cavities – cupolas and ceiling pockets. The internal fine-grained deposits, predominantly representing clay fraction are built of illite, mixed layer illite- smectite, kaolinite and iron oxides. They are probably the residuum after dissolution of Jurassic limestone. The cave originated in phreatic condition due to water input from below. The new series represents juvenile stage of cave evolution. The water rose through fissure-rifts located in chamber bottoms, circulated convectionally within particular chambers, finally led to bleaching of intervening walls, and hence to connection of the neighbouring chambers. The evolution of the old series is far more advanced. The rounded solution cavities imply that the cave was formed by water of elevated temperature. The lack of coarse-grained fluvial deposits, Pleistocene mammal remains and Palaeolithic artefacts prove that the cave was isolated since its inception till Holocene time. The cave originated due to artesian circulation, when the Wawel Horst was covered by impermeable Miocene clays. A foreland basin with carbonate basement, filled with fine-grained molasse-type deposits seems to be particularly favourable for the development of artesian caves.


Ascending speleogenesis of Sokola Hill: a step towards a speleogenetic model of the Polish Jura, 2011, Gradziń, Ski M. , Hercman H. , Kiciń, Ska D. , Pura D. , Urban J.

The paper deals with the origin of caves in Sokola Hill (Polish Jura). the caves abound in solution cavities in the walls and ceilings, many of them arranged hierarchically, some others arranged in rising sets. blind chimneys and ceiling half-tubes are also present. these features collectively indicate that the caves originated under phreatic conditions by an ascending flow of water, probably of elevated temperature. Phreatic calcite spar, crystallized from water of elevated temperature, lines the cave walls. during the formation of the caves the Jurassic limestone aquifer was confined by impermeable cover. three possible scenarios for the origin of the caves are suggested. the first scenario points to formation of the caves during the Palaeogene prior to the removal of the confining cretaceous marls. the second connects the origin of the caves with regional palaeoflow driven by tectonic loading by carpathian nappes to the south, while the third refers to local topographically driven palaeoflow. both the second and third scenarios assume that the Polish Jura had a cover of Miocene impermeable clastics. All the scenarios account for the origin of the caves in Sokola Hill and explain the common occurrence of ascending caves throughout the Polish Jura.

In the subsequent stages of evolution the caves were partly filled with various deposits. conglomerates composed of Jurassic limestone clasts, quartz sands and sandstones are preserved as erosional remnants, locally covered by or interfingered with calcite flowstones. the clastic deposits were laid down by surface streams that invaded the caves earlier than 1.2 Ma. the caves were not invaded by water from Pleistocene glaciers, which is proved by the assemblage of heavy minerals in the cave clastics.


Karst pocket valleys and their implications on Pliocene–Quaternary hydrology and climate: Examples from the Nullarbor Plain, southern Australia, 2015,

Karst on the Nullarbor Plain has been studied and described in detail in the past, but it lacked the determination of the karst discharge and palaeo-watertable levels that would explain the palaeohydrological regime in this area. This study explores the existence of previously unrecognised features in this area – karst pocket valleys – and gives a review on pocket valleys worldwide. Initial GIS analyses were followed up by detailed field work, sampling, mapping and measuring of morphological, geological, and hydrological characteristics of representative
valleys on the Wylie and Hampton scarps of the Nullarbor Plain. Rock and sand samples were examined for mineralogy, texture and grain size, and a U–Pb dating of a speleothem froma cave within a pocket valley enabled the establishment of a time frame of the pocket valleys formation and its palaeoenvironmental implications. The pocket valleys document the hydrological evolution of the Nullarbor karst system and the Neogene–Pleistocene palaeoclimatic evolution of the southern hemisphere. A review of pocket valleys in different climatic and geological settings suggests that their basic characteristics remain the same, and their often overlooked utility as environmental indicators can be used for further palaeoenvironmental studies. The main period of intensive karstification and widening of hydrologically active underground conduits is placed into the wetter climates of the Pliocene epoch. Subsequent drier climates and lowering of the watertable that followed sea-level retreat in the Quaternary resulted in formation of the pocket valleys (gravitational undermining, slumping, exudation and collapse), which, combined with periodic heavy rainfall events and discharge due to impeded drainage, caused the retreat of the pocket valleys from the edge of escarpments.


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