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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 steam hole is an opening from a cavity through which a current of air charged with vapor blows upwards and condenses at the orifice to appear as steam. such openings are an occasional feature in karst terranes [20]. synonyms: (french.) puits a vapeur, puits fumant; (german.) dampfschlot; (greek.) atmotrypa; (spanish.) cavidad fumante; (turkish.) buhar deligi.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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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 palaeoclimate (Keyword) returned 54 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 54
Non-linearities in drip water hydrology: an example from Stump Cross Caverns, Yorkshire, 2003, Baker A, Brunsdon C,
Drip rate data have been collected at 15 min intervals at six locations in Stump Cross Caverns, N England, since 1998. The different drip sites cover a wide range of drip rates from ~2 drips/s to 2 drips/h, and in general the variability of drip rate increases with mean drip rate. In our continuous data sampling we observe rapid discharge increases which appear to be synchronous between drips sites, and which can be explained by flow switching of the water overlying the cave during times of high infiltration rate, such as intense rain storms or rapid snowmelt. A test for non-linearity (White test) in the drip series provides very strong evidence that many of the drip sequences are non-linear. We conclude that at our drip sites there is a non-linear input (weather) and non-linearities within the karst system leading to non-linear dripping, which is independent of drip rate. Our results have implications for stalagmite palaeoclimatology, where such widespread non linearities have not been taken account of

Soil and karst aquifer hydrological controls on the geochemical evolution of speleothem-forming drip waters, Crag Cave, southwest Ireland, 2003, Tooth Anna F. , Fairchild Ian J. ,
In recent years there has been increased interest in cave speleothems as archives of palaeoclimate. Monitoring of rainfall and soil and karst water chemistries was performed at Crag Cave, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, southwest Ireland, in August 1997 and January 1998 in order to understand temporal and spatial variations in karst water hydrology and chemistry and their implications for interpreting the potential palaeohydrological signal preserved by speleothems at this site. Temporal variations in karst water drip rates and geochemistry allow drips to be classified by hydrological response to rainfall and the associated processes of dilution, piston flow, source change and prior calcite precipitation during aquifer throughflow. Evolution from soil matrix and preferential flow solutions has also been determined to exert an important control on karst water chemistries. As a result of these findings we present hydrogeochemical models and plumbing diagrams that delineate the controls on karst water evolution at a number of sampling locations within the cave at this site. We propose that a palaeohydrological signal may be recorded by Crag Cave speleothems that may be interpreted via the study of Mg/Ca ratios in speleothems linked to monitoring of modern drip water chemistry

Differences in the 14C age, [delta]13C and [delta]18O of Holocene tufa and speleothem in the Dinaric Karst, 2003, Horvatincic Nada, Krajcar Bronic Ines, Obelic Bogomil,
We studied Holocene speleothems and tufa samples collected in numerous caves and rivers in the Dinaric Karst of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia and Montenegro. Differences in the formation process of tufa and speleothems are discussed in the context of their isotopic composition (14C, 13C and 18O), as well as the chemistry of surface water (rivers, lakes) and drip water (in caves). The physical and chemical parameters monitored in the surface water (tufa precipitation) and drip water (speleothem precipitation) show that more stable conditions accompany speleothem rather than tufa formation. This is particularly obvious in the water temperature variations (2-22[deg]C in surface water and 7-12[deg]C in drip water) and in saturation index variation (3-11 in surface water and 1-6 in drip water). The range of 14C ages recorded by Holocene speleothems (~12 000 yr) is wider by several thousands years than that of Holocene tufa samples (~6000 yr). [delta]13C values for tufa samples range from -12[per mille sign] to -6[per mille sign] and for speleothem samples from -12[per mille sign] to [per mille sign] reflecting higher soil carbon and/or vegetation impact on the process of tufa than on speleothem formation. The differences in [delta]18O values of tufa and speleothem samples from different areas reflect different temperature conditions and differing isotopic composition in the water. The study shows that speleothems from the Dinaric Karst can be used as global palaeoclimatic records, whereas tufa records changes in the local palaeoenvironment

The role of the environmental archaeologist in the study and reconstruction of cave palaeoclimate, 2004, Gkioni Maria
Man and environment are engaged in a continuous battle to impose themselves on one another. The results are found in environmental modifications or climatic oscillations and, as far as man is concerned, in the different character of cultural remains. Man responds to environmental changes by migrating or evolving technological innovations, both of which leave important remains that the archaeologist is called on to recognise and interpret during and after an excavation. They both also reflect the sociocultural responses to climatic stress. This paper refers to a specific case study, caves, which housed man and his activities from the very early prehistoric period, and focuses on the importance of interdisciplinary research among all the sciences which are involved in palaeoclimatic reconstruction.

Palaeoclimatic implications of the growth history and stable isotope ([delta]18O and [delta]13C) geochemistry of a Middle to Late Pleistocene stalagmite from central-western Italy, 2004, Drysdale Rn, Zanchetta G, Hellstrom Jc, Fallick Ae, Zhao Jx, Isola I, Bruschi G,
The age structure and stable isotope composition of a stalagmite (CC1) from an upland cave in central-western Italy were studied to investigate regional response to global climatic changes. Four growth phases are constrained by 28 thermal ionization and multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry Th-U ages and reveal intermittent deposition through the period between Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 and 3 (~380 and ~43 kyr). Most of the growth took place between ~380 and ~280 kyr, a period punctuated briefly by a hiatus in deposition through the glacial maximum of MIS 10. Growth was terminated abruptly at 280 kyr just prior to the MIS 8 glacial maximum. With a present-day chamber temperature of 7.5 [deg]C, the timing of hiatuses close to these glacial maxima point to freezing conditions at the time. No deposition was recorded through the entirety of MIS 7 and most of MIS 6, whilst two minor growth phases occurred at ~141-125 and ~43 kyr. Growth at 141 kyr indicates temperatures >0 [deg]C at a time when MIS 6 ice volumes were close to their maximum. High stable carbon isotope ([delta]13C) values (-2.8[per mille sign] to .1[per mille sign]) throughout the stalagmite's growth reflect a persistently low input of biogenic CO2, indicating that the steep, barren and alpine-like recharge area of today has been in existence for at least the last ~380 kyr. During MIS 9, the lowest [delta]13C values occur well after maximum interglacial conditions, suggesting a lag in the development of post-glacial soils in this high-altitude karst. The stable oxygen isotope ([delta]18O) trends match the main structural features of the major climate proxy records (SPECMAP, Vostok and Devils Hole), suggesting that the [delta]18O of CC1 has responded to global-scale climate changes, whilst remarkable similarity exists between CC1 [delta]18O and regional sea-surface temperature reconstructions from North Atlantic core ODP980 and southwest Pacific marine core MD97-2120 through the most detailed part of the CC1 record, MIS 9-8. The results suggest that CC1 and other stalagmites from the cave have the potential to capture a long record of regional temperature trends, particularly in regards to the relative severity of Pleistocene glacial stages

Stalagmite growth and palaeo-climate: an inverse approach, 2004, Kaufmann G. , Dreybrodt W. ,
The growth of stalagmites is controlled by climatic conditions such as temperature, soil activity, and precipitation. Hence, a stalagmite stratigraphy reflects fluctuations of palaeo-climate conditions on various time scales, from annual variations to ice-age cycles. However, no attempt has been made to infer palaeo-climate fluctuations from the stratigraphy itself We describe the complicated growth of a stalagmite with a simple mathematical model, in which both the growth rate and the equilibrium diameter of stalagmites are functions of palaeo-climate variables. Hence, inverting a given stalagmite stratigraphy in terms of growth rate and equilibrium diameter can in principle recover the palaeo-climate signal. The strongly nonlinear dependence of these two geometrical parameters, however, limits the success of a formal inversion of stratigraphical data. In this paper, we explore the resolving power of both growth rate and equilibrium diameter data for the palaeo-climate signals temperature, carbon-dioxide concentration, and precipitation. We use numerically generated stalagmite stratigraphies as observational data, thus we know beforehand the palaeo-climate signal contained in the stratigraphic record. Our results indicate that both variations in carbon-dioxide concentrations (as a proxy of soil cover) and drip interval (as a proxy of precipitation) can be recovered from the stratigraphy. However, temperature variations are poorly resolved. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Palaeoclimate interpretation of high-resolution oxygen isotope profiles derived from annually laminated speleothems from Southern Oman., 2004, Fleitmann D. , Burns S. J. , Neff U. Et Al.

A 6000-year high-resolution climatic record from a stalagmite in Xiangshui Cave, Guilin, China, 2004, Zhang Meiliang, Yuan Daoxian, Lin Yushi, Qin Jiaming, Bin Li, Cheng Hai, Edwards R. Lawrence,
Middle-to late-Holocene palaeoclimate change has been reconstructed at high resolution by the analysis of the carbon and oxygen isotopes from a thermal ionization mass spectrometric (TIMS) U/Th dated stalagmite from Xiangshui Cave, near Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. The carbon and oxygen isotopic records from the stalagmite suggest that changes in the Asian monsoon since the middle Holocene (6000 BP) can be divided into two periods: (1) an interval from 6000 to 3800 BP when a strong East Asian summer monsoon gradually weakened and climate was relatively warm and humid; (2) a cool period from 3800 to 373 BP when the East Asian summer monsoon was relatively weak and the winter monsoon was probably relatively strong. This cooler interval was interspersed with a number of short warm periods. A This interpretation is largely based upon the general increase in 6180 values of the stalagmite between 6000 and 3800 BP and shifts in 6180 about a relatively heavy mean value between 3800 and 373 BP. The 6000 to 3800 BP trend is probably associated with decrease in precipitation and temperature subsequent to the mid-Holocene climatic optimum

ISOTOPES IN SPELEOTHEMS, 2005, Mcdermott F. , Schwarcz H. , Rowe P. J.

Modification and preservation of environmental signals in speleothems, 2006, Fairchild Ij, Smith Cl, Baker A, Fuller L, Spotl C, Mattey D, Mcdermott F, Eimp,
Speleothems are primarily studied in order to generate archives of climatic change and results have led to significant advances in identifying and dating major shifts in the climate system. However, the climatological meaning of many speleothem records cannot be interpreted unequivocally, this is particularly so for more subtle shifts and shorter time periods, but the use of multiple proxies and improving understanding of formation mechanisms offers a clear way forward. An explicit description of speleothem records as time series draws attention to the nature and importance of the signal filtering processes by which the weather, the seasons, and longer-term climatic and other environmental fluctuations become encoded in speleothems. We distinguish five sources of variation that influence speleothem geochemistry, i.e. atmospheric, vegetation/soil, karstic aquifer, primary speleothem crystal growth and secondary alteration, and give specific examples of their influence. The direct role of climate diminishes progressively through these five factors. We identify and review a number of processes identified in recent and current work that bear significantly on the conventional interpretation of speleothem records, for example: (1) speleothem geochemistry can vary seasonally and hence a research need is to establish the proportion of growth attributable to different seasons and whether this varies over time; (2) whereas there has traditionally been a focus on monthly mean delta O-18 data of atmospheric moisture, current work emphasizes the importance of understanding the synoptic processes that lead to characteristic isotope signals, since changing relative abundance of different weather types might control their variation on the longer-term; (3) the ecosystem and soil zone overlying the cave fundamentally imprint the carbon and trace element signals and can show characteristic variations with time; (4) new modelling on aquifer plumbing allows quantification of the effects of aquifer mixing; (5) recent work has emphasized the importance and seasonal variability Of CO2-degassing leading to calcite precipitation upflow of a depositional site on carbon isotope and trace element composition of speleothems; (6) although much is known about the chemical partitioning between water and stalagmites, variability in relation to crystal growth mechanisms and kinetics is a research frontier; (7) aragonite is susceptible to conversion to calcite with major loss of chemical information, but the controls on the rate of this process are obscure. Analytical factors are critical in generating high-resolution speleothem records. A variety of methods of trace element analysis is available, but standardization is a common problem with the most rapid methods. New stable isotope data on Irish stalagmite CC3 compares rapid laser-ablation techniques with the conventional analysis of micromilled powders and ion microprobe methods. A high degree of comparability between techniques for delta O-18 is found on the millimeter to centimeter scale, but a previously described high-amplitude oxygen isotope excursion around 8.3 ka is identified as an analytical artefact related to fractionation of the laser-analysis associated with sample cracking. High-frequency variability of not less than 0.5 parts per thousand may be an inherent feature of speleothem delta O-18 records. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Modelling of dripwater hydrology and hydrogeochemistry in a weakly karstified aquifer (Bath, UK): Implications for climate change studies, 2006, Fairchild Ij, Tuckwell Gw, Baker A, Tooth Af,
A better knowledge of dripwater hydrology in karst systems is needed to understand the palaeoclimate implications of temporal variations in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca of calcareous cave deposits. Quantitative modelling of drip hydrology and hydrochemistry was undertaken at a disused limestone mine (Brown's Folly Mine) in SW England overlain by 15 m of poorly karstified Jurassic limestones, with sub-vertical fracturing enhanced by proximity to an escarpment. Discharge was monitored at 15 sites intermittently from the beginning of 1996, and every 10-20 days from later 1996 to early 1998. Samples for hydrochemical parameters (pH, alkalinity, cations, anions, fluorescence) were taken corresponding to a sub-set of these data and supplernented by bedrock and soil sampling, limited continuously logged discharge, and soil water observations. Three sites, covering the range of discharge (approximately 1 mu L s(-1) to 1 ml s(-1) maximum discharge) and hydrochemical behaviours, were studied in more detail. A quantitative flow model was constructed, based on two parallel unit hydrographs: responsive and relatively unresponsive to discharge events, respectively. The linear response and conservative mixing assumptions of the model were tested with hydrogeochemical data. Dripwaters at many of sites are characterized by evidence of prior calcite precipitation in the flowpath above the mine, which in the higher discharging sites diminishes at high flow. Also at low flow rates, dripwaters may access seepage reservoirs enriched in Mg and/or Sr, dependent on the site. The discharge at all three sites can be approximated by the flow model, but in each case, hydrochemical data show violations of the model assumptions. All sites show evidence of non-conservative mixing, and there are temporal discontinuities in behaviour, which may be stimulated by airlocks generated at low flow. Enhanced Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca often do relate to low-flow conditions, but the relationships between climate and hydrogeochemical response are non-linear. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Pleistocene speleothems of Mallorca: implications for palaeoclimate and carbonate diagenesis in mixing zones, 2006, Csoma Ae, Goldstein Rh, Pomar L,
The Pleistocene speleothems of Sa Bassa Blanca cave, Mallorca, are excellent indicators of palaeoclimate variations, and are samples that allow evaluation of the products and processes of mixing-zone diagenesis in an open-water cave system. Integrated stratigraphic, petrographic and geochemical data from a horizontal core of speleothem identified two main origins for speleothem precipitates: meteoric-marine mixing zone and meteoric-vadose zone. Mixing-zone precipitates formed at and just below the water-air interface of cave pools during interglacial times, when the cave was flooded as a result of highstand sea-level. Mixing-zone precipitates include bladed and dendritic high-Mg calcite, microporous-bladed calcite with variable Mg content, and acicular aragonite; their presence suggests that calcium-carbonate cementation is significant in the studied mixing-zone system. Fluid inclusion salinities, delta(13)C and delta(18)O compositions of the mixing-zone precipitates suggest that mixing ratio was not the primary control on whether precipitation or dissolution occurred, rather, the proximity to the water table and degassing of CO2 at the interface, were the major controls on precipitation. Thus, simple two-end-member mixing models may apply only in mixing zones well below the water table. Meteoric-vadose speleothems include calcite and high-Mg calcite with columnar and bladed morphologies. Vadose speleothems precipitated during glacial stages when sea level was lower than present. Progressive increase in delta(13)C and delta(18)O of the vadose speleothems resulted from cooling temperatures and more positive seawater delta(18)O associated with glacial buildup. Such covariation could be considered as a valid alternative to models predicting invariant delta(18)O and highly variable delta(13)C in meteoric calcite. Glacio-eustatic oscillations of sea-level are recorded as alternating vadose and mixing-zone speleothems. Short-term climatic variations are recorded as alternating aragonite and calcite speleothems precipitated in the mixing zone. Fluid-inclusion and stable-isotope data suggest that aragonite, as opposed to calcite, precipitated during times of reduced meteoric recharge

UPb geochronology of speleothems by MC-ICPMS, 2006, Woodheada Jon, Hellstroma John, Maasa Roland, Drysdaleb Russell, Zanchettac Giovanni, Devined Paul, Taylor Eve

Building upon the work of Richards et al. [1998. U–Pb dating of a speleothem of Quaternary age. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta 62, 3683–3688], we have developed a method for precise dating of speleothems beyond the range of the U–Th technique using the U–Pb decay scheme. By coupling low-blank sample preparation procedures and multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) analytical methodologies developed for low-level Pb-isotope analysis, we find that, under ideal circumstances (radiogenic speleothems with very low common Pb), U–Pb dating of speleothems is not only possible, but also produces excellent age resolution— often comparable to or better than U–Th studies. Corrections for initial isotopic disequilibrium are necessary and exert a strong control on the achievable age uncertainty. The technique will be of immediate benefit in extending speleothem-based climate proxy records beyond _500 ka and will also find other uses, such as the dating of associated sub-fossil remains, and providing constraints on rates of landscape evolution and neo-tectonic processes. Here we present initial results for speleothems from the Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia, and the Alpi Apuane, Italy. The Nullarbor samples provide important new constraints on the development of aridity in Australia during the late Tertiary/early Quaternary, while the Apuane samples offer insights into the landscape history and uplift of that region.


The caves of Mulu, Sarawak: their exploration and geomorphology, 2007, Farrant, Andy, Matt Kirby And Pete Smart.
Thirty years of underground exploration in Mulu has been led by successive teams of predominantly British and American cavers with the very active involvement of many local cavers. More than 325km of cave passages have now been mapped, and this figure continues to rise with major discoveries on every new expedition. With most passages being of large dimensions, Mulu is one of the most cavernous karsts in the world. Cave development was primarily in a succession of strike-orientated conduits whose passage walls are scored by deep notches that relate to aggrading gravel fans of the Melinau and Melinau Paku Rivers. Dating of the caves has allowed estimation of tectonic uplift rates, while isotope studies have revealed valuable palaeoclimate data.

Speleothems as indicators of wet and dry periods, 2007, Fairchild Ian John And Mcmillan Emily Anne
Calcareous speleothems provide a record of dripwater composition which in turn is a function of climatic conditions. The historical focus of speleothem palaeoclimate studies has been on the derivation of palaeotemperatures through oxygen isotope studies. However, it is now realized that water availability is a more generally important control on their characteristics. Growth rate and growth morphology in principle should give rise to recognizable changes at low flow. However, accidental plumbing effects during aquifer evolution, can also lead to variations in water supply and it is not easy to distinguish these effects. In areas where there is a strong amount effect on the ?18O composition of atmospheric precipitation, the speleothem ?18O composition can be a direct (and inverse) function of rainfall. High-resolution methods are now available to distinguish the composition and relative abundance of winter and summer precipitation in speleothems which formed from drips of seasonally-varying composition. Two seasonally varying processes can be responsible for significant geochemical effects during the year. Seasonal (normally summer) dryness enhances CO2-degassing which leads to elevated ?13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca in dripwaters, characteristics which are transferred to speleothems. The same effects can arise by enhanced degassing at low PCO2. High-resolution analysis can distinguish the seasonal processes and, where conducted at several time intervals, allows a more confident interpretation of longer-term records.

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