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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. ...

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That dam is a structure across a watercourse that impounds water; may be natural or artificial [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 rhone (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
Structure et Fonctionnement des Ecosystmes du Haut-Rhone Franais; VIII: Hydrologie de deux stations phratiques dont l'eau alimente des bras morts., 1981, Gibert J. , Ginet Rene, Mathieu J. , Reygrobellet Jean Luc
We have been working since 1975 on phreatic stations providing two old meanders of the French river Rhone with interstitial water. The hydrological characteristics are quite different (see diagrams in the text):; The one (station 2) is a particular under-flow circulating laterally to the river ("paracoulement"), which is closely subordinate with the varying level of the Rhone.; The other (station 8) is the confluence of continental phreatic water proceeding from a Northeastern plateau (the "Dombes") with the hyporheic of the river Ain (eastern tributary of the Rhone). The Rhone has no influence on the characteristics of this second interstitial flow. The physico-chemical disparity of these stations clearly appeared during two extremely opposite climatic periods; the inferences on resident populations are considered.

Structure et Fonctionnement des Ecosystmes do Haut-Rhone Franais; IX: Analyse des peuplements de deux stations phratiques alimentant des bras morts., 1981, Gibert J. , Ginet Rene, Mathieu J. , Reygrobellet Jean Luc
Two phreatic stations providing old meanders of the French river Rhone ("Lones") with interstitial water have been studied for three years. The samples (100 liters of water) have been collected by the Bou-Rouch method at 60 cm deep in the sediment. The analyses of populations show that the biocenoses of the two stations are quite different: The one (Station 2) is rather specialized; most of the species are troglobitic (80% of the whole biomass; the only Amphipod, Niphargopsis casparyi, represents 67% of this biomass). The other (Station 8) is very diversified; the seven dominant groups are all epigean animals. Population numbers have changed during the three years of sampling. Fluctuations have been observed in station 2, but the total numbers were quite similar in 1975 and 1977. On the contrary, station 8 shows an "exponential" type of growth generated by epigean organisms, while troglobitic species remained unchanged.

Le karst de la Sainte-Baume (Bouches-du-Rhne et Var). Structure et volution : l'approche hydrogologique, 1986, Coulier, C.
THE SAINTE BAUME KARST (Bouches du Rhne and Var, France), STRUCTURE AND EVOLUTION: THE HYDROGEOLOGICAL APPROACH - The Sainte-Baume range constitutes the highest and southernmost mountain of Basse-Provence. Its complex structure is due to an Upper Eocene tectonic overthrust, however, the main karstified part has developed after the Upper Miocene. Some of the most important springs have been studied and the hydrodynamical and physico-chemical characteristics are given. These results reveal two main types of springs: 1/ springs resulting from important karstification where infiltration dominates and water transit is rapid; 2/ springs resulting from weak karstification, poorly drained, where a certain storage of water controls their action. This second type of springs appears to be related to a poorly organised deep drainage level, which partly feeds a coastal karstic system (Port-Miou).

Les karsts de l'avant-pays alpin au nord des Alpes occidentales, 1989, Chardon, M.
Karsts of the alpine foreland north to the French Western Alps: glacial origin of the underground systems - Karstic mountains are described between Rhne valley and the border of Northern Alps. The influence of quaternary glaciers is evident for surface landforms and the existence of inactive canyons can be explained only by glacial outflows. Large underground caves and systems such as La Balme, Les Echelles, contain numerous blocks and pebbles of alpine rocks. Except in some places of the alpine mountains, the pre-quaternary karstic evolution cannot be investigated. Now the rate of karstic corrosion is too low and waters are unable to produce large caves. Only the mechanical action of whirling glacial flows in some pre-determinated places can explain the presence of large caves in these low karstic mountains. The formation of these kind of caves can be correlated with the existence of the actual canyons and defils along this part of the Rhne river.

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.

Prhistoire et karst littoral : la grotte Cosquer et les calanques mar_seillaises (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 1996, Collinagirard, J.
The Cosquer Cave is a French palaeolithic painted and engraved cave (27000/ 18500 BP) which is located under the sea, in the urgonian limestones of Cap Morgiou ("Massif des Calanques"; Marseille). The en trance was submerged at the end of the last glacial stage and is presently 37 m under sea level. A synthesis about the Cosquer cave environmental studies is presented here. Structural studies show that cave planimetry is determined by Cap Morgiou fracturations (mainly NW/SE and N/S vertical faults). Through archaeological studies, a concretion breaking period can be dated between 27000 and 18000 BP. Geomorphological study of the continental shelf at the foot of the Cosquer cave area shows fossils shorelines at -36 m, -50/55 m, -90 m, -100 m depth. Radiocarbon datings from shells collected in 100m sediments yielded a date of 13 250 BP. Direct scuba diving observations and submarine clive profiles sketching show several eustatic stand-still levels between -36 m and the sea surface indicating a probable tectonic stability during the last 10000 years.

Le remplissage karstique de la grotte de l'Adaouste et sa genese (Jouques, Bouches-du-Rhone), 1997, Conrad G. , Onoratini G.

Rupture de speleothemes par fluage d'un remplissage endokarstique. L'exemple de la grotte de Ribiere (Bouches-du-Rhone), 1999, Gilli{ Eric,
Natural caves could be good recorders for paleoearthquakes if it was possible to know precisely the underground damage caused by a seismic event. The researched effects are breakings of speleothems. Therefore, several non-coseismic mechanisms may be involved. A recent study of the Ribiere cave shows that the creeping of a karstic filling explains most of the cave breakings that are attributed to earthquakes.ResumeLes cavites karstiques pourraient etre des enregistreurs de paleoseismes, sous reserve de connaitre de facon precise l'impact d'une secousse sismique sur les grottes. Les effets recherches sont essentiellement des cassures de stalactites et stalagmites, plusieurs mecanismes autres que cosismiques pouvant cependant etre invoques pour expliquer ces ruptures. Or, de recentes observations sur la grotte de Ribiere montrent qu'un fluage de sediment endokarstique peut expliquer la plupart des ruptures de concretions attribuees a des seismes

Les travertins de Saint-Antonin : squence gobotanique et climato-anthropique holocne (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 2003, Guendon Jeanlouis, Ali Adam A. , Roiron Paul, Terral Jeanfrdric, Danna Andr, Diazdelolmo Fernando, Baenaescudero Rafael
Travertine deposit of St-Antonin (Bouches-du-Rhne, France): lithostratigraphy, palaeobotany and Holocene palaeoenvironments - Travertines are carbonate deposits formed generally during temperate climatic periods. The travertine of Saint-Antonin was formed during the Holocene in accordance with this model. They usually present a succession of travertinous units and detrital sedimentary levels containing, respectively, leaf impressions and charcoal; snail shells and archaeological material have also been preserved, essentially in detritial levels. Two kinds of plant remains (leaf imprints and charred wood) have been sampled and analysed, allowing the reconstruction of vegetation dynamics based on a well-defined sedimentary sequence. Our results were compared with those of previous malacalogical, archaeological studies and climatic changes. The Preboreal and Boreal sequence, characterised by travertine unites with detritial deposits, is dominated by a riverside vegetation (Populus alba, Salix sp., Phragmites communis) associated with some pubescent oak growing in the plateau. After this first period, detritial levels and hygrophilous species decrease. Correlatively travertinous facies and leaf impressions of mesophilous forest species increase (Quercus pubescent, Acer monspessulanum). They suggest the existence of homeostatic conditions, such as regular river flow, dense vegetation and few disturbances during deposition. The Middle Atlantic period shows optimal travertinisation and maintenance of forest environment. But this period is characterised by the beginning of the Quercus pubescens regression and the dominance of Acer monspessulanum. From the Atlantic to the first part of Subboreal, important detrital sedimentary levels disturb the deposition of carbonate. They contain reworked archaeological material dating to the Neolithic. Vegetation seems to have been profoundly affected by intensive human exploitation. This process has broken up the forested area into different plant communities and favoured the dominance of heliophilous and thermophilous species (Pinus halepensis, Rubus ulmifolius and Juniperus sp.).

The effect of the Messinian Deep Stage on karst development around the Mediterranean Sea. Examples from Southern France, 2004, Audra P, Mocochain L, Camus H, Gilli E, Clauzon G, Bigot Jy,
It is difficult to explain the position and behaviour of the main karst springs of southern France without calling on a drop in the water table below those encountered at the lowest levels of Pleistocene glacio-eustatic fluctuations. The principal karst features around the Mediterranean are probably inherited from the Messinian period ('Salinity crisis') when sea level dropped dramatically due to the closing of the Straight of Gibraltar and desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea. Important deep karst systems were formed because the regional ground water dropped and the main valleys were entrenched as canyons. Sea level rise during the Pliocene caused sedimentation in the Messinian canyons and water, under a low hydraulic head, entered the upper cave levels. The powerful submarine spring of Port-Miou is located south of Marseille in a drowned canyon of the Calanques massif. The main water flow comes from a vertical shaft that extends to a depth of more than 147 in bsl. The close shelf margin comprises a submarine karst plateau cut by a deep canyon whose bottom reaches 1,000 in bsl. The canyon ends upstream in a pocket valley without relation to any important continental valley. This canyon was probably excavated by the underground paleoriver of Port-Miou during the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Currently, seawater mixes with karst water at depth. The crisis also affected inland karst aquifers. The famous spring of Fontaine de Vaucluse was explored by a ROV (remote observation vehicle) to a depth of 308 in, 224 m below current sea level. Flutes observed on the wall of the shaft indicate the spring was formerly an air-filled shaft connected to a deep underground river flowing towards a deep valley. Outcroppings and seismic data confirm the presence of deep paleo-valleys filled with Pliocene sediments in the current Rhone and Durance valleys. In the Ardeche, several vauclusian springs may also be related to the Messinian Rhone canyon, located at about 200 in below present sea level. A Pliocene base level rise resulted in horizontal dry cave levels. In the hinterland of Gulf of Lion, the Cevennes karst margin was drained toward the hydrologic window opened by the Messinian erosional surface on the continental shelf

Modelling of the erosion in the Rhone valley during the Messinian crisis (France)., 2004, Gargani J.

La grotte de Saint-Marcel (Ardche) : un rfrentiel pour lvolution des endokarsts mditerranens depuis 6 Ma, 2006, Mocochain Ludovic, Bigot Jeanyves, Clauzon Georges, Faverjon Marc Et Brunet Philippe
Saint Marcel Cave: an important site for the evolution of the mediterranean endokarst in the last 6 million years - The plateau of Saint-Remze is a mesozoic carbonate platform located close to the Rhne valley. This carbonate platform is intensely karstified, as proven by Saint-Marcel Cave, which is 53 km long. It displays several horizontal levels. The upper and middle levels are dry most of the time. They are composed of large horizontal conduits extending over several kilometers. The lowermost third level is active and partly drowned. Scuba divers have reached a depth of 65 m below the Ardche. The horizontal levels are not controlled by geological structure. Consequently, the distribution of the horizontal levels depends only on the base level which constrains the whole organisation of the Ardche karst. Around the Ardche Canyon and the Rhne Valley, the identification of the marks made by the messinian salinity crisis allows to reconstruct the evolution of the local base level. This reconstruction allowed us to study the Saint-Marcel Cave in a geodynamical and chronological frame over the last six million years. The morphological investigations in the cave, combined with the study of the base level change, have shown three main stages of speleogenesis and two main types of water flow. Following entrenchment of the deep messinian canyons during the salinity crisis, cave levels developed according to the very deep base level of that time. At the end of the crisis, at 5.35 Ma, the Pliocene transgression caused a sudden rise of the base level. The messinian valleys as well as the karst outflows were flooded. This hydraulic change produced a per ascensum genesis of some shafts that are called chimney-shafts. This per ascensum genesis of chimney-shafts repeated itself at each stage of the Pliocene base level rise. During the Pliocene (5.32 to 2 Ma), the infilling of the messinian canyons by fluvial sediments shows that the Ardche river had several long stages of base level stability, allowing the development of new cave levels. The karst system was fed by both local recharge from the Saint-Remze Plateau and large underground shortcuts through the Ardche river meanders. The detailed study of the main levels in Saint-Marcel Cave reveals the existence of intermediate stages in the evolution of the base level, allowing us to refine its knowledge.

The Ardeche endokarstic responses to the eustatic variations resulting from the Messinian salinity crisis, 2006, Mocochain L. , Clauzon G. , Bigot J. Y. ,
The Messinian salinity crisis is typically recorded by evaporites in the abyssal plains of the Mediterranean Sea and by canyons incised into the Mediterranean margins and their hinterlands. However, the impacts of crisis on geomorphology and surface dynamics lasted, until. canyons were filled by sediments in the Pliocene (fig. 2). In the mid-Rhone valley, the Ardeche Cretaceous carbonate platform is incised over 600 m by the Rhone Messinian canyon. The canyon thalweg is located - 236 m Lis) (below sea level) in the borehole of Pierrelatte [Demarcq, 1960; fig. 1]. During the Pliocene, this canyon was flooded as a ria and infilled by a Gilbert type fan delta [Clauzon and Rubino, 1992; Clauzon et al., 1995]. The whole Messinian-Pliocene third order cycle [Haq et al., 1987] generated four benchmark levels. The first two are [Clauzon, 1996]: (i) The pre-evaporitic abandonment Surface which is mapped around the belvedere of Saint-Restitut (fig. 1). This Surface is synchronous [Clauzon, 1996] of the crisis onset (5.95 Ma) [Gautier et al., 1994; Krigjsman et al., 1999] and, consequently, is an isochrounous benchmark. (ii) The Messinian erosional surface is also an isochronous benchmark due to the fast flooding [Blanc, 2002] of the Rhone canyon, becoming a ria at 5.32 Ma [Hilgen and Langereis, 1988]. These surfaces are the result of endoreic Mediterranean sea level fall more than a thousand meters below the Atlantic Ocean. A huge accommodation Space (up to more than 1000 in) was created as sea-level rose up to 80 in above its present-day level (asl) during (lie Pliocene highstand of cycle TB 3.4 (from 5.32 to 3.8 Ma). During the Lower Pliocene this accommodation space was filled by a Gilbert fan delta. This history yields two other benchmark levels: (i) the marine/non marine Pliocene transition which is an heterochronous surface produced by the Gilbert delta progradation. This surface recorded the Pliocene highstand sea level; (ii) the Pliocene abandonment Surface at the top of the Gilbert delta continental wedge. Close to the Rhone-Ardeche confluence, the present clay elevations Of file four reference levels are (evolution of base-level synthesized in fig. 4): (1) 3 12 in asl, (2) 236 in bsl, (3) 130 m asl, (4) 190 In A. The Ardeche carbonate platform underwent karstification both surficial and at depth. The endokarst is characterized by numerous cavities organised in networks. Saint-Marcel Cave is one of those networks providing the most coillplete record (fig. 5). It opens out on the northern side of the Ardeche canyon at an altitude of 100 m. It is made up by three superposed levels extending over 45 km in length. The lower level (1) is flooded and functionnal. It extends beneath the Ardeche thalweg down to the depth of 10 m bsl reached by divers. The observations collected in the galleries lead us to the conclusion that the karst originated in the vadose area [Brunet, 2000]. The coeval base-level was necessarily below those galleries. The two other levels (middle (2) and upper (3)) are today abandoned and perched. The middle level is about 115 m asl and the upper one is about 185 m A. They are horizontal and have morphologies specific to the phreatic and temporary phreatic zone of the karst (fig. 6). In literature, the terracing of the Saint-Marcel Cave had been systematically interpreted as the result of the lowering by steps of the Ardeche base-level [Guerin, 1973; Blanc, 1995; Gombert, 1988; Debard, 1997]. In this interpretation, each deepening phase of the base level induces the genesis of the gravitary shaft and the abandonment of the previous horizontal level. The next stillstand of base level leads to the elaboration of a new horizontal level (fig. 7). This explanation is valid for most of Quaternary karsts, that are related to glacio-eustatic falls of sea-level. However Our study on the Saint-Marcel Cave contests this interpretation because all the shafts show an upward digging dynamism and no hint of vadose sections. The same 'per ascensum' hydrodynamism was prevailing during the development of the whole network (figs. 8 and 9). We interpret the development of the Ardeche endokarst as related to the eustatic Messinian-Pliocene cycle TB 3.4/3.5 recorded by the Rhone river. The diving investigations in the flooded part of the Saint-Marcel Cave and also in the vaLlClusian springs of Bourg.-Saint-Andeol reached - 154 in bsl. Those depths are compatible only with the incision of the Messinian Rhone canyon at the same altitude (- 236 m bsl). The Saint-Marcel lower level would have develop at that time. The ascending shaping of levels 2 and 3 is thus likely to have formed during the ensuing sea-level rise and highstand during the Pliocene, in mainly two steps: (i) the ria stage controlled by the Mediterranean sea level rise and stillstand; (ii) the rhodanian Gilbert delta progradation, that controlled the genesis of the upper level (fig. 10)

Geodynamic evolution of the peri-Mediterranean karst during the Messinian and the Pliocene: evidence from the Ardeche and Rhone Valley systems canyons, Southern France, 2006, Mocochain Ludovic, Clauzon Georges, Bigot Jean Yves, Brunet Philippe,
During the Messinian-Pliocene eustatic cycle, the Mediterranean Sea was characterized by a short lived (5.95-5.32[no-break space]Ma) sea-level fall, which attained - 1500[no-break space]m in some areas. The study of benchmark levels permits the chronology and dynamics of this event to be established. In the Rhone's middle valley, our investigations allow a new interpretation for the genesis of the Ardeche endokarst. A fall in base-level was responsible for both the incision of the so-called Messinian canyons as well as a deep karst development. Karst systems were formed in association with the Messinian canyons of the Ardeche and Rhone Rivers. During the flooding of the Mediterranean Basin (5.32[no-break space]Ma), these karst systems were filled by water and plugged by sedimentary infilling of the rias. This mechanism pushed groundwater backward through the karst system, which in turn formed diagnostic 'chimney-shafts'. These pathways were geometrically connected to the position of the Pliocene benchmark levels. Consequently, the Messinian Salinity Crisis was responsible for two karst responses.The first was concomitant with the crisis itself and corresponds to the formation of a karst system. The second followed the Messinian Salinity Crisis and corresponds to the adaptation of this karst system in Vauclusian karsts by the formation of 'chimney-shafts'

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