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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 opal is a cave mineral - sio2.nh2o [11].?

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 burial age (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
Landscape Evolution and Cave Development in Response to Episodic Incision of the Cumberland River, Tennessee and Kentucky, USA., 2003, Anthony, Darlene M. Ph. D.

Episodic incision punctuated by periods of base level stability during the Plio-Pleistocene left the Upper Cumberland River in Tennessee and Kentucky deeply entrenched into the unglaciated Appalachian Plateaus. The relative chronology of episodic river incision and base level stability is well documented thanks to over a century of careful mapping of upland surfaces, inset straths, and terrace gravels. Constraining the timing of these incision events has been difficult, however, primarily due to a lack of suitable dating methods for terrace materials ranging from several hundred thousand to several million years of age, and reworking of upland gravels onto lower terraces. These problems are solved by dating the burial age of undisturbed cave sediments in place of terrace deposits, using the differential decay of cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in quartz exposed to cosmic radiation at the surface. This study offers a new chronology of river incision beginning with initial incision into the Highland Rim after ~3.5 Ma; development of the Parker strath between ~3.5 and ~2 Ma; incision of the Parker strath at ~2 Ma; development of a major terrace beneath the Parker strath between ~2 and ~1.5 Ma; incision into this terrace at ~1.3 Ma; and the development of several discontinuous terraces above the modern flood plain between ~1.3 Ma and the present.
Large caves on tributaries of the Upper Cumberland River record a headward wave of incision in the Pliocene and Early Pleistocene. The passage of a knickpoint in the system is modeled as a perturbation to steady-state incision according to the stream power law, which is tested against the abandonment dates in seven caves. Model results for m/n = 0.68 are within previously published theoretical and empirical values of 0.5 to 1.0, but suggest that values for the drainage-area exponent m are several times higher
than previous studies. This may be caused by a stronger variance of discharge to drainage area in fluviokarst reaches compared with non-karst watersheds. Knickpoint migration rates in limestone bedrock channels of fluviokarst tributaries to the Cumberland River are calculated between 10-18 cm/year during the Plio-Pleistocene, with m = 1.91 and m/n = 0.79.


Rates of erosion and topographic evolution of the Sierra Nevada, California, inferred from cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 concentrations, 2005, Stock G. M. , Anderson R. S. , Finkel R. C. ,
Concentrations of cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 in cave sediments and bedrock surfaces, combined with studies of landscape morphology, elucidate the topographic history of the southern Sierra Nevada over the past 5 Ma. Caves dated by Al-26/Be-10 in buried sediments reveal that river incision rates were moderate to slow between c. 5 and 3 Ma (<= 0.07 mm a(-1)), accelerated between 3 and 1.5 Ma (c. 0.3 ram a(-1)), and then have subsequently become much slower (c. 0.02 mm a(-1)). Although the onset of accelerated incision coincides in time with both,postulated Pliocene tectonism and pronounced global climate change, we argue that it primarily represents the response to a discrete tectonic event between 3 and 5 Ma. Dated cave positions reveal that, prior to 3 Ma, river canyons displayed up to 1.6 km of local relief, suggesting that Pliocene rock uplift elevated pre-existing topography. Renewed incision beginning c. 3 Ma deepened canyons by up to 400 m, creating narrow inner gorges. Tributary streams exhibit strong convexities, indicating that the transient erosional response to Pliocene uplift has not yet propagated into upland surfaces. Concentrations of Al-26 and Be-10 in bare bedrock show that upland surfaces are eroding at slow rates of c. 0.01 mm a(-1). Over the past c. 3 Ma, upland surfaces eroded slowly while adjacent rivers incised rapidly, increasing local relief. Although relief production probably drove at least modest crestal uplift, considerable pre-Pliocene relief and low spatially averaged erosion rates suggest that climatically driven rock uplift is not sufficient to explain ail uplift implied by tilted markers at the western edge of the range. Despite the recent pulse of erosion, spatially averaged erosion rates are low, and have probably acted to preserve the broad topographic form of the Sierra Nevada throughout much of the late Cenozoic. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Age constraints on cave development and landscape evolution in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, USA., 2006, Stock, G. M. , Riihimaki C. A. , Anderson R. S.
Cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial dating and tephrochronology of cave deposits provide minimum estimates for the timing of cave development in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Spence Cave is a linear phreatic passage formed along the fold axis of the Sheep Mountain anticline and subsequently truncated by 119 m of Bighorn River incision. A fine-grained eolian (windblown) sand deposit just inside the entrance yields a 26Al/10Be burial age of 0.31 0.19 million years (Ma). This represents a minimum age for the development of Spence Cave, and provides a maximum incision rate for the Bighorn River of 0.38 0.19 mm/yr. Horsethief Cave is a complex phreatic cave system located 43 km north of Spence Cave on a plateau surface ~340 m above the Bighorn River. Electron microprobe analyses of white, fine-grained sediment in the Powder Mountain section of Horsethief Cave confirm that this deposit is Lava Creek B fallout ash, erupted from the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field ca. 0.64 Ma. Assuming this as a minimum age for the development of Horsethief Cave, extrapolation of the cave profile gradient westward to the Bighorn River gorge suggests a maximum incision rate of 0.35 0.19 mm/yr. Incision rates from both caves match well, and are broadly similar to other estimates of regional incision, suggesting that they record lowering of the Bighorn Basin during the late Pleistocene. However, we caution that deposition of both the Spence Cave sand and the Horsethief Cave volcanic ash may postdate the actual timing of cave development. Thus, these ages place upper limits on landscape evolution rates in the Bighorn Basin

Young uplift in the non-glaciated parts of the Eastern Alps, 2010, Wagner T. , Fabel D. , Fiebig M. , Hä, Uselmann Ph. , Sahy D. , Xu S. , Stü, We K.

We report the first incision rates derived from burial ages of cave sediments from the Mur river catchment at the eastern margin of the Eastern Alps. At the transition zone between the Alpine orogen and the Pannonian basin, this river passes through the Paleozoic of Graz — a region of karstifiable rocks called the Central Styrian Karst. This river dissects the study area in a north–south direction and has left behind an abundance of caves. These caves can be grouped into several distinct levels according to their elevation above the present fluvial base level. Age estimates of abandoned cave levels are constrained by dating fluvial sediments washed into caves during the waning stages of speleogenesis with the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide method. These ages and the elevations of the cave levels relative to the current valley floor are used to infer a very complex history of 4 million years of water table position, influenced by the entrenchment and aggradation of the Mur river. We observe rather low rates of bedrock incision over the last 4 Ma (in the order of 0.1 mm/y) with an e-folding decrease in this trend to lower rates at younger times. We relate this incision history to a tectonic setting where an increase of drainage area of the Mur river due to stream piracy in Late Miocene to Pliocene times is linked to surface uplift. The later decrease in valley lowering rates is attributed to the rise of the base level related to aggradation of sediments within the valley. Sediment transport through the valley from the upstream section of the Mur river limited the erosional potential of the river to a transport limited state at the later stages of the incision history.


Correlations of cave levels, stream terraces and planation surfaces along the River MurTiming of landscape evolution along the eastern margin of the Alps, 2011, Wagner Thomas, Fritz Harald, Stü, We Kurt, Nestroy Othmar, Rodnight Helena, Hellstrom John, Benischke Ralf

The transition zone of the Eastern Alps to the Pannonian Basin provides one of the best sources of information on landscape evolution of the Eastern Alpine mountain range. The region was non-glaciated during the entire Pleistocene. Thus, direct influence of glacial carving as a landscape forming process can be excluded and relics of landforms are preserved that date back to at least the Late Neogene. In this study, we provide a correlation between various planation surfaces across the orogen-basin transition. In particular, we use stream terraces, planation surfaces and cave levels that cover a vertical spread of some 700 m. Our correlation is used to show that both sides of the transition zone uplifted together starting at least about 5 Ma ago. For our correlation we use recently published terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide (TCN) burial ages from cave sediments, new optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages of a stream terrace and U–Th ages from speleothems. Minimum age constraints of cave levels from burial ages of cave sediments covering the last ~ 4 Ma are used to place age constraints on surface features by parallelizing cave levels with planation surfaces. The OSL results for the top section of the type locality of the Helfbrunn terrace suggest an Early Würm development (80.5 ± 3.7 to 68.7 ± 4.0 ka). The terrace origin as a penultimate gravel deposit (in classical Alpine terminology Riss) is therefore questioned. U-series speleothem ages from caves nearby indicate formation during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5c and 5a which are both interstadial warm periods. As OSL ages from the terrace also show a time of deposition during MIS 5a ending at the MIS 5/4 transition, this supports the idea of temperate climatic conditions at the time of deposition. In general, tectonic activity is interpreted to be the main driving force for the formation and evolution of these landforms, whilst climate change is suggested to be of minor importance. Obvious hiatuses in Miocene to Pleistocene sediments are related to ongoing erosion and re-excavation of an uplifting and rejuvenating landscape


Datierung fluviatiler Hhlensedimente mittels kosmogener Nuklide am Beispiel des Grazer Berglandes, 2011, Wagner, T.
The Central Styrian Karst north of Graz comprises a great number of caves of which many are of phreatic origin. Due to a clustering of caves at certain elevations above the current base level, the Mur River, these caves can be assigned to distinct levels. Caves cannot be older than the rock in which they formed, i.e. in the case of the region studied here not older than about 400 Ma (million years ago). Cave deposits on the other hand allow to infer a minimum age of cave formation, because they are deposited in the cave during or (mostly) after its development. Besides numerous autochthonous (i.e. in situ) sediments and speleothems, also a number of allochthonous (transported into the cave from the surface) sediments are encountered. Burial ages of several quartz-rich allochthonous cave sediments were determined using the radioactive cosmogenic nuclides 26Al and 10Be. The present article provides an insight into this rela tively new dating method (burial age dating) to constrain the age of cave deposits. The current state of knowledge about the timing of cave formation in the Grazer Bergland (Highland of Graz) will be discussed by summarizing the results of two recent papers (Wagner et al., 2010, 2011). Based on these results, conclusions are drawn about the age of the cave levels, relative incision rates of the River Mur and the landscape evolution of the eastern rim of the Alps in general. Sedimentation ages of 0 to about 5 Ma ago are in good agreement with increasingly higher cave levels above the present base level. This in turn reflects the stepwise relative incision of the River Mur. Based on the oldest samples, the onset of karstification and thus the exhumation of the Central Styrian Karst occurred at least 4-5 Ma ago. The oldest level, assigned to an age of at least 4 Ma, is situated some 500 m above the current valley bottom. Therefore, a relative incision rate of the River Mur in the order of only about 100 meters per million year (m/Myr) for the last 4-5 Ma is inferred. A more detailed examination of the levels reveals on average a decrease in the incision rate. Burial ages of ~2.5 Ma are determined only 100 m above the current base level. Moreover, the formation of planation surfaces and terraces in the Grazer Bergland is constrained by the correlation with cave levels and as such an important contribution to the understanding of landscape evolution of this region is made.

Multilevel Caves and Landscape Evolution, 2012, Anthony, Darlene M.

Multilevel caves are formed by periods of water table stability punctuated by changes in the position of the water table. These cave systems are hydrologically linked to regional rivers and can be used to date episodes of river stability and incision. The measurement of cosmogenic radioisotopes in cave sediments yields a burial age for the sediment, which in turn equates to the time of passage abandonment due to water-table lowering. Karst geomorphologists and others are using burial dates from multilevel caves to calculate Plio-Pleistocene rates of river incision, tectonic uplift, and erosion in various parts of the world.


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