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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 critical depth flume is venturi or parshall flume for discharge measurements [16].?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Exploration Spotlight. This page presents the latest discoveries and achievements in the areas of Karst and Cave Research as well as Sport Caving. The underground world is last black spot on the map of the Earth and these are the latest news from there:

Close Kuzgun Cave and its Context: the first super-deep cave in the Aladaglar Massif, Turkey

Expedition of July 2004: Kuzgun Cave

Kuzgun Cave was a main target of the project expedition in July 2004. During 20 days of operations in the cave it has been pushed from -400m to -1400m, possibly the greatest depth advance ever made during a single expedition. The cave became the second (after Evren Gunay Mehmed Ali Dudeni in the western part of Taurus, pushed in August 2004 by Turkish and Bulgarian cavers from 1377m 1429m) deepest cave in Turkey and in Asia.

Kuzgun Cave morphometry:
- Depth: 1400m (of them 1000m surveyed in the 2004 expedition)
- Length: 3187m (of them 2075m surveyed in the 2004 expedition)
- Total vertical length of the survey network: 2080m (of them 1350m surveyed in the 2004 expedition)

Kuzgun Cave has been explored and surveyed to the depth of 1400m in the main branch, and to the depth of 600m in the Veterok branch (see Kuzgun profile) that deviates from the main one at 480m. In both branches several open leads remained unexplored. The exploration in 2004 has been stopped due to the lack of time and equipment.

Kuzgun is a truly remarkable and important cave that integrates at least three generations of cavities:

1. Pre-glacial vadose invasion cave consisting of vertical pits and shafts (cascades of pitches) alternating with inclined meanders, - a typical alpine cave system (Photo 21). Pitch-ramp morphological assemblages, characteristic for many alpine caves in rapidly uplifting mountains, are clearly identifiable and common in the cave. At the depths below 120-140m the pre-glacial shafts bear clear signs of active contemporary dissolution. The entrance is a vertical pit of this generation, decapitated by glacial scouring at the top of a rocky hill (Photo 18). In the plan and profile this genera of cavities is shown by a yellow-pale (above 400m) and white (below 400m) backgrounds. The cave split into several branches in the meandering interval of -480 -550m. The general progression of the main branch is very steep, with several intervals of gentle gradient at -180, -480-500-550m, -670-700m, -1060m and -1100-1110m. The nature of these "tiers" is structural rather than evolutionary.

2) Ancient (Late Miocene?) cavities represented by large steeply inclined chambers with massive flowstone formations of various ages (Photo 22 and Photo 23). A large series of cavities of this genus was truncated by the vadose shaft system at depth of 130m. This series, called French Kiss (shown by a light-brown background on the cave plan and profile), has a vertical extend of 140m. It is likely that a chamber that lies between -300 and -330m, also belongs to this type.

3) Presumably hydrothermal cavities (shown by a pink background on the plan and profile) represented by a series of chambers of considerable sizes encountered by the invasion system at the depth interval of 150170m, and by several seemingly isolated pockets of few decimetres to few meters in cross-section, truncated by the vadose shafts at various depth. A smooth ceiling morphology with domes and cupolas, dark red-brown thin (up to 0.5cm) ferriferous crust on dissolution surfaces and a characteristic crust of palisade-like calcite crystals, that almost completely lines such chambers and pockets, are indicative of cavities of this type. The crystal crust is 10-20cm thick and brown-reddish in colour. There are also boxwork-like formations in some places. Hydrothermal cavities are probably truncated by the vadose system in many places, in the upper parts of passages and shafts, as suggested by the presence of fragments of the crystal crust on the floor in many localities.

In the plan view (see Kuzgun plan) the cave displays a complex structure up to depth of about 500m. Starting from -480m, the main branch stretches generally to east, along the glacial valley axis, zigzagging between NEE and SEE directions. However, the Veterok branch displays a separate trend to south-east.

The upper part of the cave (above -400m) contains an enormous variety of secondary formations, such as various types of diversely coloured stalactites, stalagmites and flowstones of several generations, helictites and crystals (Photo 24, Photo 25, Photo 26, Photo 27, Photo 28 and Photo 29). Among crystals, there are remarkable large frost-like assemblages of presumably aerosol origin (Photo 30, Photo 31, Photo 32, Photo 33 and Photo 34). There are boxwork-type formations and formations of still unidentified types (for instance, Photo 35, Photo 36, Photo 37, Photo 38 and Photo 39), as well as some unusual sediments. Ongoing special investigations of mineral formations and sediments of Kuzgun Cave will give much information about speleogenesis and evolution of karst in the region.