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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 clusterite is see botryoid.?

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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 tims (Keyword) returned 22 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 22 of 22
Stable isotope investigations on speleothems from different cave systems in Germany, 2005, Nordhoff, P.

Seven speleothems from six independent cave systems in Germany were investigated on their suitability as paleoclimatic archives. The caves are located in the Jurassic Limestones of the Swabian/Franconian Alb (southern Germany) and in a small-scale Devonian (reef) complex of the Harz Mountains (northern Germany). Based on the chronological control using 234U/230Th (TIMS) ages, δ18O/δ13C timeseries of the speleothems were established and related to known paleoclimatic events.
Results of the present-day assessment of the cave systems demonstrated that the cave temperature responses; the stable isotopic abundances of the dripwater, and present-day cave calcites reflect mean annual surface air temperatures as well as established isotopic equilibrium conditions during cave calcite precipitation. However, existing biases have been monitored but most of them may be deduced to anthropogenic influences like mining operations (Zaininger-Cave, Swabian Alb) or showcave business (Hermann’s- and Baumann’s-Cave, Harz Mountains). Although the scenarios leave partially an imprint on present-day spelean calcites, like the indicated non-equilibrium conditions at the Zaininger-Cave, their temporal imprint is restricted very much to the last couple of decennial years and thus assumed not to influence the paleorecords at all. Since the δ18O compositions of present-day calcite precipitates are primarily controlled by temperature, the sites may thus be suitable for paleoclimatic investigations from a today perspective.
Since the paleorecords of the Hermann’s- and Baumann’s-Cave stalagmites (Harz Mountains) display ages, which are not in chronological order, a construction of timeseries was not possible.
Past stable isotopic equilibrium conditions of the remaining paleorecords were verified using the single layer “Hendy-Test” as well as δ18O/δ13C regression analyzes of the subsample profiles. Late Pleistocene growth periods were found in the Paleocave Hunas Stalagmite (79373 ± 8237 to 76872 ± 9686 a. B.P.; Franconian Alb) and the Cave Hintere Kohlhalde Stalagmite (44158 ± 3329 to 2709 ± 303 a B.P.; Swabian Alb). Unexpectedly, the latter displays no macroscopic visible growth hiatuses and was deposited continuously during the “cold” OIS 2 and the LGM. This has been interpreted owing to the special conditions and mode of vadose water circulation of a discontinuous permafrost zone which may have prevailed on the Swabian Alb during that time. Here, just like for the subsequent periods, principal changes in mean δ18O/δ13C and linear extension rates of the timeseries echoed the Boelling/Alleroed Interstadial and Younger Dryas cold phase. The comparison of coeval timeseries between the Cave Hintere Kohlhalde stalagmite, the Zaininger-Cave stalactite (both Swabian Alb) and the Mühlbach-Cave stalagmite (Franconian Alb) reveal some analogy such as the transitions from the Late Glacial to the Early Holocene between 10513 and 10587 cal. a B.P. for the Swabian Alb and 10227 cal. a B.P. for the Franconian Alb; the anomaly around 8.2 ka B.P. recorded in the Zaininger- and Mühlbach-Cave; and a climatic deterioration which leads to an almost simultaneous cessation of speleothem growth on the Swabian/Franconian Alb between 2.5 and 2.8 ka B.P.
Important changes of the stable isotopic composition occur together with changes in growth rate and in the macroscopic aspect of the investigated speleothems. This confirms that general climatic and environmental parameters control the recorded variations and that they are not owing to very local factors.


A minimum age for canyon incision and for the extinct Molossid bat, Tadarida constantinei, from Carlsbad Cavers National Park, New Mexico, 2006, Lundberg J. , Mcfarlane D. A.
Slaughter Canyon Cave (or New Cave), Carlsbad Caverns National Park, southeastern New Mexico, opens in the wall of Slaughter Canyon, 174 m above the present level of the canyon floor. It contains bone-bearing, water-laid sediments capped by a double layer of calcite. TIMS U-Th dates on the two layers are 66.0 0.3 ka and 209 9 ka. Deposition of these two laterallyextensive calcite layers suggests wet periods in this currently-arid region during MIS 4 and 7. The date on the lower layer suggests that the clastic deposit was emplaced no later than MIS 8. This yields a maximum estimate for downcutting rate of the canyon of ~0.87 mm yr-1during the Late Pleistocene. The clastic deposit contains bones of the molossid bat Tadarida constantinei Lawrence 1960: the date of 209 9 ka is thus a minimum age for this extinct bat.

Timing and dynamics of the last deglaciation from European and North African [delta]13C stalagmite profiles--comparison with Chinese and South Hemisphere stalagmites, 2006, Genty D, Blamart D, Ghaleb B, Plagnes V, Causse C, Bakalowicz M, Zouari K, Chkir N, Hellstrom J, Wainer K, Bourges F,
The last deglaciation and its climatic events, such as the Bolling-Allerod (BA) and the Younger-Dryas (YD), have been clearly recorded in the [delta]13C profiles of three stalagmites from caves from Southern France to Northern Tunisia. The three [delta]13C records, dated by thermal ionization mass spectrometric uranium-thorium method (TIMS), show great synchroneity and similarity in shape with the Chinese cave [delta]18O records and with the marine tropical records, leading to the hypothesis of an in-phase (between 15.5 and 16 ka ~0.5 ka) postglacial warming in the Northern Hemisphere, up to at least 45[deg]N. The BA transition appears more gradual in the speleothem records than in the Greenland records and the Allerod seems warmer than the Bolling, showing here close similarities with other marine and continental archives. A North-South gradient is observed in the BA trend: it cools in Greenland and warms in our speleothem records. Several climatic events are clearly recognizable: a cooler period at about 14 ka (Older Dryas (OD)); the Intra-Allerod Cold Period at about ~13.3 ka; the YD cooling onset between 12.7 and 12.90.3 ka. Similar to the BA, the YD displays a gradual climate amelioration just after its onset at 12.750.25 ka, up to the Preboreal, and is punctuated by a short climatic event at 12.15 ka. Even though the Southern Hemisphere stalagmite records seem to indicate that the postglacial warming started about ~3 ka1.8 ka earlier in New Zealand (~41 [deg]S), and about ~1 to ~2 ka earlier in South Africa (24.1 [deg]S), large age uncertainties, essentially due to slow growth rates, make the comparison still perilous. The overall [delta]13C speleothem record seems to follow a baseline temperature increase controlled by the increase in insolation and punctuated by cold events possibly due to the N-America freshwater lake discharges

Variable calcite deposition rates as proxy for paleo-precipitation determination as derived from speleothems in Central Florida, U.S.A., 2008, Van Beynen P. E. , Soto L. , And Polk J.
Deposition rates derived from speleothems have been shown to be a useful paleoclimatic proxy. Past studies have shown that the most common climatic parameter measured by variable deposition rates is precipitation, where increased precipitation leads to increased calcite deposition. This was the premise of our study, where three Floridian stalagmites deposition rates were measured and compared to paleohydrologic indicators taken from the sample or from other regional records. Deposition rates were measured by determining the volume of calcite precipitated between TIMS U-series dates (mm3 yr21), thereby accounting for morphological changes on the stalagmite over its depositional history. Most prior research relied on a simple linear interpolation between known ages to calculate rate (mm yr21). Results show three distinct periods of increased deposition for our stalagmites centered on 2.0, 1.25 and 0.5 ka BP. A comparison with Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios and calcite deposition tentatively shows elevated elemental ratios during the three aforementioned periods. Elevated trace element ratios have been shown to be correlated with increased residence time of percolation waters in the overlying bedrock above caves and consequently decreased rainfall. To corroborate this finding, paleo-precipitation records from Little Salt Spring, Florida and Lake Miragoane, Haiti, were examined for coeval arid periods with our stalagmites. Both records do possess similar dry periods and provide added support that the region experienced periods of abrupt aridity over the last two millennia. The combined effect of a change in the mean position of the Intertropical Convergence Zone and the easterly winds associated with the North Atlantic High appear to be the major causes for these times of aridity.

Dating of speleothems from deep parts of the worlds deepest cave Krubera (Arabika Massif, Western Caucasus), 2008, Klimchouk A. B. , Samokhin G. V. , Cheng H. & Edwards R. L.

Results of 230Th (TIMS) dating of speleothems from the caves Krubera (the deepest cave in the world; -2191 m) and Kujbushevskaja in the Arabika Massif, Western Caucasus, are given in the paper. Most of dates are from samples taken from the deep part of Krubera Cave, between depths of 1630-2010 m (elevations of 629-246 m a.s.l.), which is important for elucidating evolution of karst systems in the area and its relation to changes of the base level (the Black Sea level). Obtained dates scatter through each of 1 to 7 zones of the marine isotopic scale and hit the know from the Eastern Alps periods of intense speleothems deposition (Holocene, 50-60 Ky, 67-80 Ky, 190-240 Ky, 250-280 Ky), as well as the periods of absence of dates (160-165 Ka; marine stage 6). The dates correspond to both, interglacial and glacial periods. The presence of two dates older than 200 Ky (max 276 Ky) from deep sites points to the fact that these deep parts of Krubera Cave already existed within the vadose zone before (and likely – much before) Middle Pleistocene.  Also, two samples from fossil passages located at elevations of 2016-1906 m a.s.l. are dated beyond the dating limits (>500,000 Ky). The results are consistent with a hypothesis that the early development of the karst system, which Krubera Cave is part of, is linked with the Late Miocene (Messinian) periods of an extremely low position of the sea level. The expressively vertical development of Krubera Cave is determined by intense uplift of the Arabika Massif in Pliocene-Pleistocene time, differentiated by blocks of the sub-Caucasian strike.


Uranium-series dating of gypsum speleothems: methodology and examples, 2010, Sanna L. , Saez F. , Simonsen S. , Constantin S. , Calaforra J. M. , Forti P. , Lauritzen S. E.
The analytical problems of dating gypsum speleothems with the U-series technique are reviewed. Gypsum speleothems are, in general, very low in U content, challenging the limits of detection methods. Various approaches to dissolving gypsum and isolation of actinides from the matrix include ion-pairing dissolution with magnesium salts and using nitric acid. The most precise dating technique is Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS), combined with Fe(OH)3 scavenging and anionic exchange chromatography. Less satisfactory, but much quicker, is direct retention of actinides from HNO3 by means of TRU resin and MC-ICP-MS detection. We have tested these methods on gypsum speleothems from the Sorbas karst in Spain and from the Naica caves in Mexico.

Uranium-series dating of gypsum speleothems: methodology and examples, 2010, Sanna L. , Saez F. , Simonsen S. , Constantin S. , Calaforra J. M. , Forti P. , Lauritzen S. E.

The analytical problems of dating gypsum speleothems with the U-series technique are reviewed. Gypsum speleothems are, in general, very low in U content, challenging the limits of detection methods. Various approaches to dissolving gypsum and isolation of actinides from the matrix include ion-pairing dissolution with magnesium salts and using nitric acid. The most precise dating technique is Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometry (TIMS), combined with Fe(OH)3 scavenging and anionic exchange chromatography. Less satisfactory, but much quicker, is direct retention of actinides from HNO3 by means of TRU resin and MC-ICP-MS detection. We have tested these methods on gypsum speleothems from the Sorbas karst in Spain and from the Naica caves in Mexico.


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