MWH Global

Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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 nested sinkholes is (american.) see uvala.?

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 artifacts (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Chronology of Guitarrero Cave, Peru, 1985, Lynch Thomas F. , Gillespie R. , Gowlett John A. J. , Hedges R. E. M. ,
Dating by accelerator mass spectrometry of wooden artifacts, cord, and charcoal samples from Guitarrero Cave, Peru, supports the antiquity of South America's earliest textiles and other perishable remains. The new dates are consistent with those obtained from disintegration counters and leave little doubt about the integrity of the lower Preceramic layers and their early cultivars. Reevaluation of the mode of deposition suggests that most of the remains resulted from short-term use of the cave in the eighth millennium B.C., with a possible brief human visit as early as 12,560 years ago

Management of some unusual features in the show caves of the United States., 1994, Gurnee Jeanne
Protection of the unusual features in some of the 200 show caves of the U.S. have required innovative management. The sea caves of both the east and west coasts present the need for special preservation methods. Throughout the nation sometimes glass enclosures, vehicles and boats are used to separate visitors from sensitive cave features. Lighting and cleaning techniques have been studied and altered to discourage growth of algae. Some show caves are protected by double glass entrance and exit doors. Many caves, particularly on public lands, are closed during the hibernation period of endangered bats. In a number of caves, Native Americans have left artifacts and other evidences of their early visits. which have either been preserved in situ or relocated at appropriate archival sites. The paper gives in more details specific caves and methods for the preservation of particular unique features.

Science Versus Grave Desecration: The Saga of Lake Hole Cave, 1997, Whyte, T. R. , Kimball, L. R.
In the spring of 1990, a prehistoric burial site in a small cave in Cherokee National Forest, Johnson County, Tennessee was almost completely destroyed by artifact collectors. Archaeological investigation of the disturbed deposits, conducted with the consent of the Eastern Band of Cherokee, yielded thousands of human skeletal remains, faunal remains, and artifacts. There may be hundreds of similar sites yet undiscovered within limestone and dolomite rocks of the southern Appalachian region. Efforts should be made by scientists and government agencies to discover prehistoric burial caves and to protect them, as American natives consider them sacred places.

A late Pleistocene ceiling collapse in Bogus Cave, Jones County, Iowa: A potential relationship to coeval accelerated mass wasting events across the central Midwest, 2002, Josephs, R. L.
A thick accumulation of boulder-size dolostone blocks, the result of one or more episodes of ceiling collapse, was encountered during geoarchaeological excavations in the front room of Bogus Cave, east-central Iowa. The rockfall layer was buried by a veneer of Holocene sediments that contained prehistoric artifacts dating to the Woodland Period (2500 - 1000 yr BP). An AMS 14C age of 17,260 120 yr BP, obtained from a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) mandible found wedged among the boulders, dates the collapse near the close of the last glacial maximum, a time when the projected mean annual temperature for this area was at least 14C lower than at present. Paleoenvironmental evidence based on ?13C values from select vertebrate remains and their encompassing sediment, together with a uranium series age of 16,900 4800 yr BP from a stalagmite formed atop one of the boulders, strongly support a late Wisconsinan age for the collapse. The episode (or episodes) of collapse appears to be the result of cryoclastic processes associated with late glacial conditions and the onset of accelerated mass wasting that has been previously documented across the central Midwest

The Use of GIS in the Spatial Analysis of an Archaeological Cave Site, 2002, Moyes, H.
Although archaeologists traditionally have viewed geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for the investigation of large regions, its flexibility allows it to be used in non-traditional settings such as caves. Using the example of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a Terminal Classic Maya ceremonial cave in western Belize, this study demonstrates the utility of GIS as a tool for data display, visualization, exploration, and generation. Clustering of artifacts was accomplished by combining GIS technology with a K-means clustering analysis, and basic GIS functions were used to evaluate distances of artifact clusters to morphological features of the cave. Results of these analyses provided new insights into ancient Maya ritual cave use that would have been difficult to achieve by standard methods of map preparation and examination.

Inversion strategy in crosshole radar tomography using information of data subsets, 2004, Becht A, Tronicke J, Appel E, Dietrich P,
Detecting discrete anomalies, such as cavities or tunnels, is an important application of crosshole radar tomography. However, crosshole tomographic inversion results are frequently ambiguous, showing smearing effects and inversion artifacts. These ambiguities lead to uncertainties in interpretation; hence, the size and position of anomalies can only be interpreted with limited accuracy and reliability. We present an inversion strategy for investigating discrete anomalies with crosshole radar tomography. In addition to the full traveltime data set, we use subsets of specified ray-angle intervals for tomographic inversion. By analyzing inversion results from different ray-angle intervals, a more accurate interpretation of anomalies is possible. The second step of our strategy is to develop a good inhomogeneous starting model from joint interpretation of the inversion results from different subsets. The third step is to invert the full data set using this new starting model and to evaluate the inversion results by analyzing the distributions of mean square traveltime residuals with respect to the ray angles. We use a synthetic model with two discrete anomalies located roughly at the same depth to demonstrate and evaluate our approach. This inversion strategy is also applied to a field data set collected to investigate karst cavities in limestone. From the inversion results of both examples, we show that horizontal smearing of anomalies can be reduced by eliminating near-horizontal rays. A good starting model can be obtained based on the joint interpretation of the inversion results of the different subsets; it leads to a high-resolution final image of the full data set

Sediment storage and yield in an urbanized karst watershed, 2005, Hart Evan A. , Schurger Stephen G. ,
In karst watersheds, sinkholes and other drainage features control the temporal and spatial pattern of sediment storage across the landscape. However, studies dealing with sedimentation in karst watersheds are scarce and the sediment storage function of sinkholes and caves has not been investigated using a sediment budget approach. In this study, we use estimates of channel erosion, sinkhole sedimentation, and suspended sediment yield to examine changes in sediment storage in the 9 km2 Upper Pigeon Roost Creek fluviokarst watershed near Cookeville, TN. The study watershed has undergone urbanization over the last ~ 50 years, and sinkholes and caves in the area show signs of recent sedimentation (buried tree roots, buried cultural artifacts, etc.). While sinkholes are generally considered to be sediment sinks, sinkholes examined in this study are shown to cycle between periods of net sediment storage and net sediment loss. Using copyright dates on trash items buried in sinkhole deposits, we estimated the residence time of sinkhole-stored sediment to range from 6 to 10 years. However, other evidence indicates that some sinkholes may store sediment for several centuries. We propose that sediment storage within sinkholes is controlled by several factors including sinkhole drainage area, sinkhole morphology, and basin sediment yield. In addition, changes in sediment storage in karst watersheds are contingent upon random events such as sinkhole collapses. Annual sediment yield was estimated to be 111 Mg km- 2 year- 1 for the entire study watershed and ranged from 11 to 128 Mg km- 2 year- 1 for 3 sub-watersheds. Sediment eroded from the watershed, perhaps during historic settlement of the area, is stored within a large cave system underlying the city. However, the results of a partial sediment budget indicate that the cave is presently a net sediment source. Overall, the findings indicate that the sediment storage function of caves and sinkholes varies spatially and temporally, and that these changes need to be incorporated into sediment budgets for karst watersheds

Tabor above Zagorje ilentabor, archaeological rescue sample trenching in the area of the castle complex, 2005, Bratina, P.

The valleys of the Pivka and Reka rivers make a natural passage from the upper Posavje to the Trieste and Quarnero Bays. The strategic significance of this area in prehistoric times is shown in the numerous hillforts/settlements on the secured peaks of the hills in Late Antiquity with Roman defence blockades, and in the times of Turkish invasions with forts against the Turks. Rescue sample trenching in 1996 in the area of the Tabor archaeological monument above Zagorje - Šilentabor, archaeological site reference EŠD: 764, revealed part of the remains of a Middle Age defence architectural structure and numerous archaeological artifacts, which confirm construction and life within the castle complex from the 15th to 17th centuries, as mentioned in historical sources.

Pleistocene depositional history in a periglacial terrane: A 500ka record from Kents Cavern, Devon, United Kingdom., 2007, Lundberg, J. And Mcfarlane, D. A.
The signifi cance of the stratigraphic record in Kents Cavern, Devon, United Kingdom, to the interpretation of the British Quaternary is confi rmed on the basis of a thorough reexamination of the deposits in concert with 2 new Al-Be cosmogenic and 34 new thermal ionization mass spectrometry U-Th dates. The deposits show evidence of complex reworking in response to periglaciation, and the main fl owstone deposit is a multilayered complex spanning marine isotope stage (MIS) 11?3. The lowermost unit of fl uvial sands is Cromerian or older. The second deposit, a muddy breccia of surfi cial periglacial solifl uction material containing Acheulian artifacts, entered the cave during MIS 12 from highlevel openings to the west. Cave bears denned in the cave during MIS 11, the Hoxnian interglacial; their bones are capped by an MIS 11 calcite fl owstone layer. From MIS 11 onward, each interglacial period and the warmer interstadial periods (MIS 11, 10b, 9, 7, 6b, 5, and 3) produced calcite fl owstone deposition in the cave; MIS 9 was particularly active. Each glacial or stadial period (MIS 10c, 10a, 8, 6c, 6a, 4, and 2) caused periglacial activity in the cave, during which the thinner layers of calcite were fractured by frost heave and redistributed by solifl uction. This sequence was interrupted during MIS 3?2 with the introduction of sandy and stony clastic sediments from entrances to the east, and fi nally cemented by the uppermost layer of MIS 1 fl owstone. This is the fi rst publication of welldated and clearly documented evidence of frost heaving in interior cave passages. The Kents Cavern record of continuous, repeated sedimentation events followed by frost shattering and remobilization events over the past 500 k.y. is probably unique in the karst literature and establishes Kents Cavern as a site of international scientifi c interest.

New Findings at Andrahomana Cave, Southeastern Madagascar, 2008, Burney D. A. , Vasey N. , Ramilisonina L. R. Godfrey, Jungers W. L. , Ramarolahy M. , And Raharivony L.
A remote eolianite cave and sinkhole complex on the southeast coast of Madagascar has played a major role in the history of paleontology in Madagascar. Andrahomana Cave has yielded a rich fossil record of the extinct megafauna. Expeditions in 2000 and 2003 produced a wealth of new material and provided the first systematic information concerning the genesis, stratigraphy, and taphonomy of the site. Recovered bones of one of the most poorly understood extinct large lemurs, Hadropithecus stenognathus, include many skeletal elements previously unknown. Radiocarbon dates show that the site has sampled this disappeared fauna in the midto- late Holocene, but that bone-bearing layers are stratigraphically mixed, probably owing to the effects of reworking of the sediments by extreme marine events. The diverse biota recovered contains elements of both eastern rain forest and southwestern arid bushland, reflecting the caves position in the zone of transition between wet and dry biomes. Bones of two unusual small mammals add to the previously long faunal list for the site: 1) the first fossil evidence for Macrotarsomys petteri, a large-bodied endemic nesomyid rodent previously known only from a single modern specimen; and 2) the type specimen and additional material of a newly described extinct shrew-tenrec (Microgale macpheei). Evidence for prehistoric and colonial-era humans includes artifacts, hearth deposits, and remains of human domesticates and other introduced species. Although previously protected by its extreme isolation, the unique site is vulnerable to exploitation. An incipient tourist industry is likely to bring more people to the cave, and there is currently no form of protection afforded to the site.

A GRUTA DE SÃO COSME E DAMIÃO E A UMBANDA, CORDISBURGO, MINAS GERAIS, 2008, Travassos L. E. P. , GÓ, Is A. J. , GuimarÃ, Es R. L. , Varela I. D.

This paper presents and documents the material and religious artifacts found in a cave in the area of Cordisburgo, Minas Gerais. The artifacts found prove that these spaces were used for the realization of some sort of religious ritual, and this ritual has been linked to African cults, especially Umbanda. Although evidence is presented here, the researchers realize that this initial investigation must be extended to greater depth in later, more inclusive, studies.

Karst of the Czestochowa Upland and of the Eastern Sudetes : palaeoenvironments and protection, 2009,


Karst phenomena consist mainly in dissolving of rock by water, with subsequent formation of underground voids. Studies on karst and caves are of extremely nterdisciplinary character; they are within the scope of interest of all the disciplines of earth sciences. Since caves provide permanent habitats or temporary shelter to many organisms including Palaeolithic man, they are of interest to biologists and archaeologists.

Because of its glacial history and geological structure, southern Poland offers a good opportunity to study all the karst-related phenomena. It holds two main, geographically remote karst areas of much different landscape: the Kraków- Częstochowa Upland and the Eastern Sudetes. Their caves are filled with sediments which document various phases of karst development in Poland, including Pleistocene glaciations, as well as changes in palaeoenvironments and faunal evolution. Many contain traces of occupancy by Palaeolithic man; the archaeological record found in some of them extends to modern times. The special significance of caves and karst areas – often the only places where traces of fossil environments and human occupancy are preserved – in Poland was recognised more than 150 years ago. Modern speleological studies in karst areas of Poland started in the 1940s with the wide ranging research of Kazimierz Kowalski - the inventory of caves and review of earlier studies (Kowalski K. 1951 & 1954 – Jaskinie Polski, Vol. 1-3). They triggered comprehensive and interdisciplinary cave studies by representatives of various disciplines. Much progress was made during the last twenty years. Numerous new caves were explored and studied with modern methods; cave sediments containing numerous faunal remains and artifacts were discovered, and earlier information on environmental changes and history of human occupancy could be verified. Despite the long-term and extensive research and exploration, either the studies in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland nor those in the Eastern Sudetes were ever summarised. The data, though abundant, are scattered among many sources, mostly associated with particular scientific disciplines. This volume is an attempt at a comprehensive summary of the information on karst and karst-related phenomena in these two regions.

Since the 1950s many scientists have contributed enormously to the knowledge of various aspects of karst-related phenomena in Poland. Some of these pioneers of interdisciplinary karst studies have departed recently: Waldemar Chmielewski (archaeologist), Jerzy Głazek (geologist, speleologist), Kazimierz Kowalski (pa-laeontologist, speleologist), Stefan Kozłowski (geologist), Marian Pulina (geomorphologist, speleologist) and Teresa Wiszniowska (palaeontologist, speleologist). Thanks to their great passion and commitment, the interest in caves and karst of the Kraków-Częstochowa-Upland and Eastern Sudetes in the last fifty years has considerably increased.

Detection and morphologic analysis of potential below-canopy cave openings in the karst landscape around the Maya polity of Caracol using airborne LiDAR, 2011, Weishampel J. F. , Hightower J. N. , Chase A. F. , Chase D. Z. , Patrick R. A.

Locating caves can be difficult, as their entranceways are often obscured elow vegetation. Recently, active remote-sensing technologies, in particular laser-based sensor systems (LiDARs), have demonstrated the ability to penetrate dense forest canopies to reveal the underlying ground topography. An airborne LiDAR system was used to generate a 1 m resolution, bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) from an archaeologically- and speleologically-rich area of western Belize near the ancient Maya site of Caracol. Using a simple index to detect elevation gradients in the DEM, we identified depressions with at least a 10 m change within a circular area of no more than 25 m radius. Across 200 km2 of the karst landscape, we located 61 depressions. Sixty of these had not been previously documented; the other was a cave opening known from a previous expedition. The morphologies of the depressions were characterized based on the LiDAR-derived DEM parameters, e.g., depth, opening area, and perimeter. We also investigated how the measurements change as a function of spatial resolution. Though there was a range of morphologies, most depressions were clustered around an average maximum depth of 21 m and average opening diameter of 15 m. Five depression sites in the general vicinity of the Caracol epicenter were visited; two of these were massive, with opening diameters of ,50 m, two could not be explored for lack of climbing gear, and one site was a cave opening into several chambers with speleothems and Maya artifacts. Though further investigation is warranted to determine the archaeological and geological significance of the remaining depressions, the general methodology represents an important advancement in cave detection.

Cosmogenic Isotope Dating of Cave Sediments, 2012, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek

The decay of cosmic ray-induced 26Al and 10Be in quartz sediments allows the calculation of sediment emplacement ages back to about five million years. Two examples are given: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Atapuerca Cave (Spain). The sediments in the Mammoth Cave System were an integral part of how the cave was formed. The sediments reveal the evolution of the cave system, and how cave development is tightly coupled to river incision and aggradation. In this case, Mammoth Cave was ideal because it was a water-table cave that carried quartz from local bedrock. In contrast, Atapuerca is a sedimentary infill where sediment (and animals) fell into a preexisting cavity. Such cave infills are the norm in archaeology and paleoanthropology because they collect bones and artifacts over long periods of time. In this case, the cosmogenic nuclides dated the sedimentary infill rather than the cave itself.

The Prehistoric Cave Art and Archaeology of Dunbar Cave, Montgomery County, Tennessee, 2012, Simek J. F. , Blankenship S. A. , Cressler A. , Douglas J. C. , Wallace A. , Weinand D. , Welborn H.


Dunbar Cave in Montgomery County, Tennessee has been used by people in a great variety of ways. This paper reports on prehistoric uses of the cave, which were quite varied. The vestibule of the cave, which is today protected by a concrete slab installed during the cave’s days as an historic tourist showplace, saw extensive and very long term occupation. Diagnostic artifacts span the period from Late Paleo-Indian (ca.10,000-years ago) to the Mississippian, and include Archaic (10,000 to 3,000-years ago) and Woodland (3,000–1,000-years ago) cultural materials. These include a paleoindian Beaver Lake Point, Kirk cluster points, Little River types, Ledbetter types, numerous straight-stemmed point types, Hamilton and Madison projectile points. Woodland period ceramics comprise various limestone tempered forms, all in low quantities, and cord-marked limestone tempered wares in the uppermost Woodland layers. Shell-tempered ceramics bear witness to a rich Mississippian presence at the top of the deposit. Given this chronological span, the Dunbar Cave sequence is as complete as any in eastern North America. However, problems with previous excavation strategies make much of the existing archaeological record difficult to interpret. We present a new series of radiocarbon age determinations that show both the great time depth of the vestibule deposits and the problems with their integrity. There was also extensive prehistoric use of Dunbar Cave’s dark zone, including mineral extraction, and ritual interment of the dead. Most importantly, thirty-five petroglyphs and pictographs were made on the cave walls, most probably during the Mississippian period. These include geometric shapes, abstract compositions, and human figures including a mythological hero warrior known from other examples of Mississippian iconography. Dunbar may also have seen ritual visitation very early, i.e., during the Archaic period (ca. 5,000-years ago), entailing the placement of offerings in the cave’s interior waters.

Results 1 to 15 of 16
You probably didn't submit anything to search for