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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 discontinuity is 1. a point where a mathematical function becomes nondefined [16]. 2. an unconformity in which the bedding planes above and below the break are basically parallel, indicating a significant hiatus in the orderly sequence of sedimentary rocks. 3. a surface at which seismic-wave velocities abruptly change.?

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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 south-africa (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 24
Modern stromatolites in a karst structure from the Malmani Subgroup, Transvaal Sequence, South Africa, 1985, De Ncg,

This paper argues that southern Africa was a remote part of the Old World in the late Pleistocene (125-10 ka ago). Because of this isolated position there was continuity without significant replacement in the resident population. Isolation and the relatively recent spread of agriculture to the region has allowed a section of this population to survive into the present. They are the Bushmen (San). Studies of geographic patterning in conventional genetic markers and mitochrondrial DNA indicate that the Bushman clade has a long evolutionary history in southern Africa. Estimates of more than 100 ka for the continued presence of this population in the region are supported in archaeological investigations of sites with long sequences such as Klasies River main site and Border Cave. Human remains dating to the earlier part of the late Pleistocene have been recovered from these sites and the samples form a morphological series with the Klasies River remains possibly 20 ka older than those from Border Cave. There is no fossil record for the later Pleistocene, however, at a period when selection for a gracile morphology may have been pronounced. The cultural associations in the earlier late Pleistocene are with the Middle Stone Age. Expressions of cultural 'style' and the occurrence of similar artefact design types in the Middle and Later Stone Ages can be interpreted with reference to the ethnographic present. Temporal continuity can be shown in the geographical distribution of stylistic markers and this suggests participation in a shared cognitive system. The inference is that the people in the earlier late Pleistocene had cognitive abilities that are comparable to those shown by their Holocene and modern descendants. The presence of the ancestors of a modern population in the earlier late Pleistocene in this region is perhaps expected if modern people had their origins in Africa

Pb-Zn-F deposits occur in the very late Archaean (2.55 Ga) shallow marine dolostone of the relatively undeformed Campbellrand and Malmani Sub-groups, which are overlain unconformably by the lower Proterozoic Postmasburg and Pretoria Group siliciclastics. They consist of stratiform deposits formed by replacement and porosity-filling, as well as pipes, ring-shaped and irregular bodies associated with collapse breccia. In the Transvaal basin the latter were generated during the karst denudation period between the deposition of the Chuniespoort Group (ending at similar to 2.4 Ga) and of the Pretoria Group (starting at 2.35 Ga). A part of these mineralisations were overprinted by the metamorphism of the Bushveld Complex intrusion at 2.06 Ga. In the Transvaal basin, the age of the mineralisation is constrained between the start of the Pretoria Group deposition and the Bushveld intrusion. It is concluded that, although most of the mineralisations are characteristic of the Mississippi Valley-type, some of the northernmost occurrences, rich in siderite, are less typical. A classic genetic model is proposed. In an environment characterised by tensional tectonics and basin development, brines of basinal origin were heated by circulation into pre-Chuniespoort rocks, leached metals from the rocks they permeated, and rose as hydrothermal plumes. At relatively shallow depth they deposited minerals after mixing with water of surficial origin

Geology and ore genesis of the manganese ore deposits of the Postmasburg manganese-field, South Africa, 1995, Plehweleisen E. , Klemm D. D. ,

The Postmasburg Mn/Fe-ores occur exclusively in dolomitic Precambrian sinkhole structures with siliceous breccias and shales as hostrocks. The main manganese minerals are braunite and bixbyite, apart from secondary alteration products of the psilomelane-manganomelane family. Various generations of ore minerals could be identified. The ore mineralization is subdivided into three different genetic types. They are classified either as pure karst deposits or as combined formations of karst origin and shallow marine sedimentation due to the transgression of the Banded Iron Formation (BIF) sea. Post-sedimentary metamorphism is identified as very low grade. The development of the different ore types is illustrated schematically

Karst-hosted fresh-water Paleoproterozoic manganese deposits, Postmasburg, South Africa, 1996, Gutzmer Jens, Beukes Nicolas J. ,

Morphological affinities of the proximal ulna from Klasies River main site: Archaic or modern?, 1996, Churchill Se, Pearson Om, Grine Fe, Trinkaus E, Holliday Tw,
The Middle Stone Age (MSA) asociated hominids from Klasies River Mouth (KRM) have taken on a key role in debate about the origins of modern humans, with their craniofacial remains seen as either representing the earliest well-dated modern humans in southern Africa or orthognathic late archaic humans. Diagnostic postcranial remains from Klasies are few, but one specimen-a proximal right ulna from the lower SAS member-is useful For assessing the morphological affinities of these hominids. Canonical variates analysis using 14 proximal ulnar dimensions and comparative data from European, west Asian and African archaic humans, and Levantine Mousterian, European Upper Paleolithic, African Epipaleolithic and diverse recent modern human samples (many of recent African descent) were employed to assess the morphological affinities of this specimen. Results suggest an archaic total morphological pattern for the Klasies ulna. Analysis of diaphyseal cross-sectional geometry reveals an ulnar shaft with relatively thick cortical bone, but the specimen cannot be readily distinguished from Neandertals or early anatomically modem humans on the basis of shaft cross-sectional properties. If the isolated ulna from Klasies is indicative of the general postcranial morphology of these hominids, then the MSA-associated humans from KRM may not be as modern as has been claimed from the craniofacial material. It ii: possible also that the skeletal material from KRM reflects mosaic evolution-retention of archaic postcranial characteristics. perhaps indicating retention of archaic habitual behavior patterns, in hominids that were becoming craniofacially modern. (C) 1996 Academic Press Limited

Morphology of the border cave hominid ulna and humerus, 1996, Pearson O. M. , Grine F. E. ,
Hominid bones from Border Cave (BC) have been the subject of controversy with regard to the question of modern human origins. New dating assays suggest that while some of the BC remains are of comparatively recent age (i.e. < 20 kyr), several postcranial fragments derive from the Middle Stone Age (MSA) layers. Among the latter, a proximal ulna in comparable to one from the MSA at Klasies River Mouth, in that both have an archaic pattern of morphology in the relative height of the coronoid and olecranon processes. This configuration appears to characterize Neandertals, and is displayed also by more ancient African ulnae. The BC humeral diaphysis has moderately thick cortical bone, but us otherwise unremarkable. The proximal ulnar morphology might suggest that the MSA inhabitants of South Africa engaged in activities similar to those of Neandertals and other postcranially archaic hominids. If the modern-looking BC-1 cranium in contemporaneous with the BC postcranial bones, this would bear testament to the mosaic nature of human evolution. Alternatively, if BC-1 proves to be of recent derivation, and the postcrania are as old as the base of the BC MSA sequence has been claimed to be (c. 195 kyr), they might have been associated with more archaic crania (perhaps similar to Florisbad). Final resolution of these questions awaits determination of the absolute ages of the BC-1 cranium and the BC postcranial bones

The effect of metal cations on the kinetics of limestone neutralisation of acid waters, 1997, Vantonder G. J. , Schutte C. F. ,
Limestone (CaCO3), is a lower cost alternative to lime (CaO) for the neutralisation of acid water, but the limestone neutralisation reaction is impaired by iron(II), iron(III) and aluminium in solution. This paper describes the kinetics of limestone neutralisation in the presence of these metals. The reaction rate is affected by the type of metal cation, by the concentration of the cation and by pH. At pH levels below 2.0 the limestone dissolution reaction rate decreases sharply with increasing pH. In the pH range 4.0 to 5.5 the reaction rate decreases linearly with increasing pH. The pH range 2.0 to 4.0 is a transition range, from the non-linear to linear dissolution rate characteristics. Metal concentrations below 80 mg l(-1): At pH levels less than 4, iron(II) had the strongest suppressing effect followed by aluminium, while the presence of iron(III) increased the reaction rate. In the pH range 4.0 to 5.5 aluminium had the strongest suppressing effect followed by iron(III) and iron(II). Metal concentrations above 80 mg l(-1): Iron(II) and aluminium suppress the reaction rate at all pH levels. At pH levels less than 4 iron(II) had the strongest suppressing effect, followed by aluminium. In the pH range 4.0 to 5.5 aluminium had the strongest suppressing effect followed by iron(II). With iron(III) the rate is suppressed at pH levels below 2, however the rate is speeded up in the pH range 25 to 3.5. At higher pH levels, the iron(III) concentration is limited to less than 80 mg l(-1) because of precipitation of iron(III) at pH levels higher than 2.5. The extent to which the overall neutralisation reaction proceeds was modelled to assist in reactor design. The overall reaction is impaired most by aluminium, followed by iron(II) and iron(III)

An overview of the geology of the Transvaal Supergroup dolomites (South Africa), 1998, Eriksson Pg, Altermann W,
In the Neoarchaean intracratonic basin of the Kaapvaal craton, between approximately 2640 Ma and 2516 Ma, two successive stromatolitic carbonate platforms developed. Deposition started with the Schmidtsdrif Subgroup, which is probably oldest in the southwestern part of the basin, and which contains stromatolitic carbonates, siliciclastic sediments and minor lava flows. Subsequently, the Nauga formation carbonates were deposited on peritidal flats located to the southwest and were drowned during a transgression of the Transvaal Supergroup epeiric sea, around 2550 Ma ago. This transgression led to the development of a carbonate platform in the areas of the preserved Transvaal and Griqualand West basins, which persisted for 30-50 Ma. During this time, shales were deposited over the Nauga Formation carbonates in the south-western portion of the epeiric sea. S subsequent period of basin subsidence led to drowning of the stromatolitic platform and to sedimentation of chemical, iron-rich silica precipitates of the banded iron formations (BIF) over the entire basin. Carbonate precipitation in the Archaean was largely due to chemical and lesser biogenic processes, with stromatolites and ocean water composition playing an important role. The stromatolitic carbonates in the preserved Griqualand West and Transvaal basins are subdivided into several formations, based on the depositional facies, reflected by stromatolite morphology, and on a intraformational unconformities; interbedded tuffs and available radiometric age data do not ye permit detailed correlation of units from the two basins. Thorough dolomitisation of most formations took place at different post-depositional stages, but mainly during early diagenesis. Partial silification was the result of diagenetic and weathering processes. Karstification of the carbonate rocks was related to periods of exposure to subaerial conditions and to percolation of groundwater. Such periods occurred locally at the time of carbonate and BIF deposition. Main karstification, however, probably took place during an erosional period between approximately 2430 Ma and 2320 Ma

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

The Makapansgat Australopithecine site from a speleological perspective, 1999, Latham Alf G. , Herries Andrew, Quinney Patrick, Sinclair Anthony, Kuykendall Kevin,
Remains of Australopithecus africanus from the Limeworks Cave, Makapansgat, South Africa, are believed to belong mainly to a metre-thick, bone-rich, speleothem layer. The flowstone is one stratum among a sequence of speleothems, muds, silts, sands and fine and coarse breccias, the study of which has evoked some disagreement. The limeworkers' excavations revealed some stratigraphic relationships but they have obscured others. Partly because of this, controversy surrounds the supposition about whether there are separated depositional basins within the overall site and, if so, whether strata can be securely correlated. This is important because a reconstruction of an overall stratigraphic sequence was used as a basis for a magnetostratigraphic reversal record and by which the site has been tentatively dated. There is qualification and disagreement about the origin of the various flowstones and the actual depositional environment of the muds and silts. Evidence is presented which rules out some previous interpretations. From the point of view of the Australopithecine fossils themselves, it can be said that the calcite matrix in which they were provenanced was a low-energy environment and that the dense bone accumulation of this layer almost certainly did not arise by the action of floods, as previously supposed. The most likely main cause of the dense accumulation was hyena denning activity. It is clear that further work is needed to see how a reliable overall sequence can be established and that closer sampling is required for magnetostratigraphy

A 3000-year high-resolution stalagmitebased record of palaeoclimate for northeastern South Africa, 1999, Holmgren K. , Karlen W. , Lauritzen S. E. , Leethorp J. A. , Partridge T. C. , Piketh S. , Repinski P. , Stevenson C. , Svanered O. , Tyson P. D. ,
High-resolution stable isotope variations and growth structure analyses of the last three millennia of a 6600-year stalagmite record at Cold Air Cave, Makapansgat Valley, South Africa, are presented. Growth layers, which are measurable over the last 250 years, are shown to be annual. The correlation between the width of growth layers and precipitation is strongly positive. Changes in{delta}18O and{delta}13C are positively correlated and inversely correlated to changes in the colour of the growth layers in the stalagmite. Variations in colour are directly correlated with mean annual temperature. Dark colouration is the product of increased temperature and mobilization of organic matter from the soil, and is associated with wetter summers and enhanced growth of C4 grasses. Darker colouring and enriched{delta}18O and{delta}13C reflect a warmer, wetter environment, whereas lighter colouring and depleted isotopic values are indicative of cooler, drier conditions. The dominant episode in the 3000-year record is the cool, dry 500-year manifestation of the Little Ice Age', from ad 1300 to about 1800, with the lowest temperatures at around ad 1700. The four centuries from ad 900 to 1300, experiencing above-average warming and high variability, may be the regional expression of the medieval warming. Other cool, dry spells prevailed from around ad 800 to 900 and from about ad 440 to 520. The most prolonged warm, wet period occurred from ad 40 to 400. Some extreme events are shown to correspond well with similar events determined from the Greenland GISP2 ice-core record and elsewhere. Distinct periodicities occur within the record at around 120, 200-300, 500-600 and at about 800 years BP

The role of evaporites in the genesis of base metal sulphide mineralisation in the Northern Platform of the Pan-African Damara Belt, Namibia: geochemical and fluid inclusion evidence from carbonate wa, 2000, Chetty D, Frimmel He,
The Otavi Mountain Land is a base metal sulphide ore province in northern Namibia where deposits are hosted by platform carbonates of the Otavi Group in a foreland fold-and-thrust belt on the northern edge of the Pan-African Damara Belt. Deposits have been classified as the Berg Aukas- or Tsumeb-types, based on differences in ore association? stratigraphic position and geochemistry of ores and gangue carbonates. Mineralisation at these deposits is accompanied by carbonate alteration in the form of dolomite and calcite veins, carbonate recrystallisation, calcitisation and carbonate silicification. Based on cathodoluminescence imaging, trace and rare earth element (REE), O and C isotope, and fluid inclusion data, a series of carbonate generations, constituting wall rock alteration around the Tsumeb and Kombat (Tsumeb-type) and Berg Aukas (Berg Aukas-type) deposits, was established. Similar data obtained on the recently discovered Khusib Springs deposit indicate a strong affinity to Tsumeb-type deposits. Tsumeb-type deposits are distinguished from Berg Aukas-type deposits by having trace element and REE concentrations that are significantly higher in the alteration products compared to the carbonate host rocks. Only around Tsumeb-type deposits a relative enrichment in light REE is noted for the hydrothermal carbonate generations that are cogenetic with the main stage of mineralisation. Microthermometric results from fluid inclusions in carbonate alteration phases and associated quartz indicate relatively high salinity (17-33 wt% NaCl equivalent) for the main mineralising and subsequent sulphide remobilisation stages at the deposits investigated. Estimated mineralisation temperatures are significantly higher for Tsumeb-type deposits (370-405 degrees C) with early sulphide remobilisation in Tsumeb at 275 degrees C, whereas they are lower at Berg Aukas (up to 255 degrees C). Fluid inclusion leachate analysis suggests that most of the observed salinity can be ascribed to dissolved, predominantly Ca- and Mg-carbonates and chlorides with subordinate NaCl. Na-Cl-Br leachate systematics indicate a derivation of the fluid salinity from the interaction with evaporitic rocks en route. Tsumeb-type mineralisation is interpreted to be derived from fluids expelled during Pan-African orogeny in the more intensely deformed internal zones of the Damara Belt further south. When the high salinity fluids reached the carbonate platform after having scavenged high concentrations of base metals, base metal sulphide precipitation occurred in zones of high porosity, provided by karst features in the carbonate sequence. Results obtained for the Berg Aukas-type deposits emphasise their derivation from basinal brines, similar to Mississippi Valley-type deposits, and confirm that mineralisation of the Berg Aukas- and Tsumeb-types are both spatially and temporally distinct

The occurrence of sinkholes and subsidence depressions in the far west Rand and Gauteng Province, South Africa, and their engineering implications, 2001, De Bruyn Ia, Bell Fg,
Dewatering associated with mining in the gold-bearing reefs of the Far West Rand, which underlie dolomite and unconsolidated deposits, led to the formation of sinkholes and subsidence depressions. Hence, certain areas became unsafe for occupation and were evacuated. Although sinkholes were initially noticed in the 1950s, the seriousness of the situation was highlighted in December 1962 when a sinkhole engulfed a three-story crusher plant at West Driefontein Mine. Consequently, it became a matter of urgency that the areas at risk of subsidence and the occurrence of sinkholes were delineated. Sink-holes formed concurrently with the lowering of the water table in areas which formerly had been relatively free of sinkholes. In addition, subsidence occurred as a consequence of consolidation taking place in the unconsolidated deposits as the water table was lowered. In the latter case, the degree of subsidence which occurred reflected the thickness and original density of the unconsolidated deposits which were consolidated. These deposits vary laterally in thickness and thereby gave rise to differential subsidence. Subsidence also occurred due to the closure of dewatered voids at the rock-soil interface. The risk of sinkhole and subsidence occurrence is increased by urban development, since interrupted natural surface drainage, increased runoff, and leakage from water-bearing utilities can result in the concentrated ingress of water into the ground. Where the surficial deposits are less permeable, the risk of instability is reduced. In the area underlain by dolomite, which extends around Johannesburg and Pretoria, these problem have been more notable in recent years because of housing development, both low-cost and up-market, and the growth of informal settlements. Residential densities may be very high, especially for low-cost housing, the development of which frequently has proceeded without recognition of the risk posed by karst-related ground instability. The appearance of significant numbers of small sinkholes has been associated with dolomite at shallow depth, that is, occurring at less than 15 m beneath the ground surface. The vulnerability of an area overlying dolomite bedrock at shallow depth is largely dependent on the spacing, width and continuity of grikes. When dolomite is located at depths greater than 15 m, the sinkholes which appear at the surface usually are larger in diameter. The risk of sinkhole occurrence in areas of shallow dolomite in general, may be greater, although the hazard itself is less severe. A classification system for the evaluation of dolomitic land based on the risk of formation of certain sized sinkholes has enabled such land to be zoned for appropriate development. Ongoing monitoring and maintenance of water bearing services, and the implementation of precautionary measures relating to drainage and infiltration of surface water are regarded as essential in developed areas underlain by dolomite. Special types of foundation construction for structures are frequently necessary

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