Community news

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 curve, drawdown is a plot of drawdown with radial distance from a well [16].?

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

What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for palaeoclimate (Keyword) returned 54 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 54 of 54

Lodowa Cave in Ciemniak, which belongs to the dynamic ice cave type, contains the biggest perennial block of cave-ice in the Tatra Mountains. The ice represents congelation type, since it originates from freezing of water which infiltrates the cave. Two generations of ice have been recognized in this cave. They are divided by the distinct unconformity. The ice building both generations is layered. Two moths which were found in the younger generations were sampled and dated by 14C method yielding 195 ± 30 and 125 ± 30 years. Bearing in mind the position in the section and the fact that the cave ice has waned since the 20s of the last century, the age is 1720-1820 AD and 1660-1790 AD respectively. It proves that the ice was formed during the Little Ice Age. Hence, the erosion boundary which underlies this generation records the degradation of ice before the Little Ice Age most probably during the Medieval Warm Period. The ice volume in the cave was substantially smaller before the Little Ice Age than it is today, despite the clear tendency to melting, which has been recognized since 20s of the last century. The older generation of ice is supposed to have its origins in a cold stage between the Atlantic period and the Medieval Warm Period.

Age frequency distribution and revised stable isotope curves for New Zealand speleothems: palaeoclimatic implication, 2010, Williams P. W. , Neil H. , Zhao Jx.

The occurrence of speleothems in New Zealand with reversed magnetism indicates that secondary calcite deposition in caves has occurred for more than 780 thousand years (ka). 394 uranium-series dates on 148 speleothems show that such deposition has taken place somewhere in the country with little interruption for more than 500 ka. A relative probability distribution of speleothem ages indicates that most growth occurred in mild, moist interglacial and interstadial intervals, a conclusion reinforced by comparing peaks and troughs in the distribution with time series curves of speleothem δ18O and δ13C values. The stable isotope time series were constructed using data from 15 speleothems from two different regions of the country. The greater the number of overlapping speleothem series (i.e. the greater the sample depth) for any one region, the more confidence is justified in considering the stacked record to be representative of the region. Revising and extending earlier work, composite records are produced for central-west North Island (CWNI) and north-west South Island (NWSI). Both demonstrate that over the last 15 ka the regions responded similarly to global climatic events, but that the North Island site was also influenced by the waxing and waning of regional subtropical marine influences that penetrated from the north but did not reach the higher latitudes of the South Island. Cooling marking the commencement of the last glacial maximum (LGM) was evident from about 28 ka. There was a mid-LGM interstadial at 23-21.7 ka and Termination 1 occurred around 18.1 ka. The glacial-interglacial transition was marked by a series of negative excursions in δ18O that coincide with dated recessional moraines in South Island glaciers. A late glacial cooling event, the NZ Late Glacial Reversal, occurred from 13.4-11.2 ka and this was followed by an early Holocene optimum at 10.8 ka. Comparison of δ18O records from NWSI and EPICA DML ice-core shows climatic events in New Zealand to lag those in Antarctica by several centuries to a thousand years. Waxing and waning of subantarctic and subtropical oceanic influences in the Tasman Sea are considered the immediate drivers of palaeoclimatic change.

Pleistocene water intrusions from the Mediterranean and Caspian seas into the Black Sea, 2011, Badertscher S. , Fleitmann D. , Cheng H. , Edwards R. L. , Gö, Ktü, Rk O. M. , Zumbü, Hl A. , Leuenberger M. , Tü, Ysü, Z O.

The hydrological balance of the Black Sea is governed by riverine input and by the exchange with the Mediterranean Sea through the shallow Bosporus Strait. These sources have distinctly different oxygen isotope (δ18O) signatures. Therefore, the δ18O of Black Sea water directly reflects the presence or absence of a connection with the Mediterranean Sea, as well as hydrological changes in the vast watersheds of the Black and Caspian seas1, 2, 3. However, the timing of late to middle Pleistocene water intrusions to the Black Sea is poorly constrained in sedimentary sequences4, 5. Here we present a stacked speleothem δ18O record from Sofular Cave in northern Turkey that tracks the isotopic signature of Black Sea surface water, and thus allows a reconstruction of the precise timing of hydrological shifts of the Black Sea. Our record, which extends discontinuously over the last 670,000 years, suggests that the connection between the Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea has been open for a significant period at least twelve times since 670,000 yr ago, more often than previously suggested4, 5. Distinct minima in the Sofular δ18O record indicate at least seven intervals when isotopically depleted freshwater from the Caspian Sea entered the Black Sea. Our data provide precisely dated evidence for a highly dynamic hydrological history of the Black Sea.

Geomorphology and genesis of the remarkable Araras Ridge tufa deposit, Western Brazil, 2011, Corrê, A Daniel, Auler Augusto S. , Wang Xianfeng, Edwards R. Lawrence, Cheng Hai

The Araras Ridge tufa extends for over 30 km along a c. 100 m high fault scarp, probably representing one of the most extensive tufa deposits in South America. The deposit comprises massive crystalline calcite occurring both as in situ tufa deposited along the vertical face of the scarp or as extensive debris deposits resulting from erosional disaggregation of the scarp. Although minor active tufa precipitation can be observed in streams, the deposit is not active at present, except for volumetrically limited reprecipitation of calcite as subaerial stalactites or surface flowstone. 230Th dating confirms that the bulk of the deposit is considerably old, basal ages being beyond the dating limit of the method (> 600 ka B.P.) and most ages being older than 250 ka B.P. Field and remote sensing observations demonstrate that the upper limit of the deposit parallels the fault scarp, being associated with the contact between the upper dolomitic and the lower limestone members of the Araras Formation. Carbonate beds are arranged in a regional scale synclinal structure that allows water infiltration and storage at the top of the more impure limestone, favouring discharge at the ascending limb of the syncline, close to the scarp. Genesis of the deposit thus probably involved a series of palaeo perched springs aligned along the top of the scarp. Current climatic and geomorphic conditions are not conductive to major tufa development, suggesting a distinct palaeoenvironment during former depositional phases.

Origin and karst geomorphological significance of the enigmatic Australian Nullarbor Plain blowholes, 2011, Doerr Stefan H. , Davies Rob R. , Lewis Alexander, Pilkington Graham , Webb John A. , Ackroyd Peter J. , Bodger Owen

The Australian Nullarbor Plain, one of the world's largest limestone platforms (~200 000?km2), has few distinctive surface karst features for its size, but is known for its enigmatic ‘blowholes’, which can display strong barometric draughts. Thousands of these vertical tubes with decimetre–metre (dm–m) scale diameter puncture the largely featureless terrain. The cause and distribution of these has remained unclear, but they have been thought to originate from downward dissolution and/or salt weathering.
To elucidate blowhole distribution and mode of formation we (i) correlated existing location data with Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) data, which distinguishes the subtle undulations (< 10?m per?km) of the landscape, (ii) surveyed blowhole morphology and (iii) determined their rock surface hardness.
Over a sampled area of 4200?km2, the distribution of 615 known blowholes is not correlated with present topography. Blowholes are often connected to small or, in some cases extensive, but typically shallow cavities, which exhibit numerous ‘cupolas’ (dome-shaped pockets) in their ceilings. Statistical arguments suggest that cavities with cupolas are common, but in only a few cases do these puncture the surface. Hardness measurements indicate that salt weathering is not their main cause. Our observations suggest that blowholes do not develop downwards, but occur where a cupola breaks through the surface. Lowering of the land surface is suggested to be the main cause for this breakthrough. Although cupolas may undergo some modification under the current climate, they, as well as the shallow caves they are formed in, are likely to be palaeokarst features formed under a shallower water table and wetter conditions in the past. The findings presented have implications for theories of dissolutional forms development in caves worldwide. The environmental history of the Nullarbor platform allows testing of such theories, because many other factors, which complicate karst evolution elsewhere, have not interfered with landform evolution here. Copyright

Oxygen isotopes in calcite grown under cave-analogue conditions, 2011, Day C. C. , Henderson G. M.

Speleothem oxygen isotopes and growth rates are valuable proxies for reconstructing climate history. There is debate, however, about the conditions that allow speleothems to grow in oxygen isotope equilibrium, and about the correct equilibrium fractionation factors. We report results from a series of carbonate growth experiments in karst-analogue conditions in the laboratory. The setup closely mimics natural processes (e.g. precipitation driven by CO2-degassing, low ionic strength solution, thin solution film) but with a tight control on growth conditions (temperature, pCO2, drip rate, calcite saturation index and the composition of the initial solution). Calcite is dissolved in water in a 20,000 ppmV pCO2 environment. This solution is dripped onto glass plates (coated with seed-carbonate) in a lower pCO2 environment (and rapid depletion of the dissolved inorganic carbon reservoir (rapid DIC-depletion). The impact of evaporation can be large so caves with high relative humidity are also preferable for palaeoclimate reconstruction. Even allowing for the maximum offsets that may have been induced by evaporation and rapid DIC-depletion, d18O measured in some of our experiments remain higher than those predicted by Kim and O’Neil (1997). Our new results are well explained by equilibrium at a significantly higher acalcite–water, with a kinetic-isotope effect that favours 16O incorporation as growth rate increases. This scenario agrees with recent studies by Coplen (2007) and Dietzel et al. (2009). Overall, our results suggest that three separate processes cause d18O to deviate from true isotope equilibrium in the cave environment. Two of these drive d18O to higher values (evaporation and rapid DIC-depletion) while one drives d18O to lower values (preferential incorporation of 16O in the solid carbonate at faster growth rates). While evaporation and DIC-depletion can be avoided in some settings, the third may be inescapable in the cave environment and means that any temperature to d18O relationship is an approximation. The controlled conditions of the present experiments also display limitations in the use of the Hendy test to identifying equilibrium growth.


Understanding the diagenesis of speleothems is important on account of the fact that such deposits are often used for determining palaeoclimate parameters and for estimating the ages of speleothem growth. Impressive speleothem deposition of Vallesian age occurred in an immense palaeokarst network in the Western Desert, Egypt, the age of formation being determined on the basis of mammalian biochronology (fossils found in spelean clastic deposits intercalated between speleothems). Many of the Egyptian speleothems have been pervasively recrystallised internally, but their outer surfaces are usually well preserved except in the formations which were buried in clastic deposits, in which case the entire speleothem can be recrystallised. The recrystallisation results in large crystals (up to 20 cm diameter) growing radially outwards from the centre of stalagmites and stalactites, or at right angles to the outer surface of flowstone deposits. It is clear that crystal growth occurred without change of volume. Although the recrystallisation of speleothems in the Western Desert of Egypt resulted in the development of unusually large calcite crystals, it does indicate that diagenesis may be an important process that needs to be taken into account before speleothems in other karst systems can be used as raw material for unravelling palaeoclimatic and geochronological parameters. The gross morphology of the Egyptian speleothems is described in order to put on record the effects of diagenesis on them. The geochemistry of the speleothems remains to be studied.

A model for the formation of layered soda-straw stalactites, 2013, Paul Bence, Drysdale R. , Green Helen, Woodhead Jon, Hellstrom John, Eberhard Rolan

Climate records based upon instrumental data such as rainfall measurements are usually only available for approximately the last 150 years at most. To fully investigate decadal-scale climate variation, however, these records must be extended by the use of climate proxies. Soda-straw stalactites (straws) are a previously under-utilised potential source of such data. In this contribution we investigate the structure and formation of straws and look at some issues that may affect the reliability of straw-based palaeoclimate records. We use laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) trace element analysis to document surface contamination features that have the potential to obscure annual trace element variations, and develop a method to reveal the underlying layering. We also use LA- ICP-MS to map the two-dimensional trace element distribution in straws. These maps reveal straw-layer geometry, in which layers are widest at the outside edge of the straw, narrowing and becoming almost parallel on the interior of the straw.

Based upon these observations, we present a model for the formation of straws of this type, where rapid degassing of CO2 from the drip extending below the straw forms the wider outer layers. Summers are defined by increased layer widths and higher trace element contents relative to winter layers. In palaeoclimate studies, where such annual variations can be used to construct time-lines, we suggest that, ideally, the outside surface of the straw be analysed where the trace element content difference is greatest and layering is widest.

The terminal phase of one straw (FC-02) shows decreasing layer widths and increased trace element contents. These features may also be representative of soda-straw responses to drought-induced decreases in percolation water.

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

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

Results 46 to 54 of 54
You probably didn't submit anything to search for