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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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 wall karren is these are found on vertical walls as a result of water flowing down the walls without any area-wide moistening although area-wide sprinkling occasionally influences their development [3]. see also meandering karren; humus-water grooves.?

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

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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.
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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 geoarchaeology (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
Book Review: ''Geoarchaeology of Caves and Cave Sediments'' (Geoarchaeology; Vol 12, No 6) by E.J. Dixon (Editor), 1997, 1998,
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Chamberlain A.

Sediments and stratigraphy in rockshelters and caves: A personal perspective on principles and pragmatics, 2001,
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Farrand Wr,
Over the last half century the study of rockshelter and cave sediments has evolved from straightforward descriptive analysis to sophisticated examination on several scales-from field observations to bulk laboratory analyses to microscopic examination. Still an integrated theory to guide the interpretation of these analyses does not exist, in part because of the idiosyncratic nature of individual eaves and rockshelters. This paper reviews studies that couple field observations with laboratory analyses including particle size, pebble morphology, chemical, and mineralogical studies to provide, first, the necessary basic description of the sediments and, second, an interpretation of the environment of sedimentation. These studies can lead to an understanding of site-formation processes during human occupation, and eventually to a reconstruction of local and, in some cases, regional paleoclimates. Furthermore, sediment study is essential for intrasite correlation, independent of artifact, faunal, floral, and radiometric techniques. Finally, it is emphasized that close cooperation among sedimentologists, archaeologists, and biological specialists during planning, excavation, and interpretative stages is crucial to a successfully integrated study. (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc

The sedimentary records in Mediterranean rockshelters and caves: Archives of environmental change, 2001,
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Woodward J. C. , Goldberg P. ,
It is important to develop rigorous methods and robust conceptual models for the interpretation of rockshelter and cave sediment records so that the cultural sequences they contain can be considered in their proper environmental context. Much of what we know about the prehistory of the Mediterranean region and adjacent areas has largely been pieced together from materials excavated from sedimentary sequences in these environments. The rockshelters and caves of the region form important environmental and sedimentary archives. Recent work has begun to consider if the remarkable climatic variability evident in the high resolution lacustrine and ice core records is manifest in the rockshelter and cave sediment records of the area, In this context, the two main characteristics of a rockshelter or cave site which control its usefulness as an archive of environmental change are the temporal resolution of the sedimentary record and the environmental sensitivity of the site. Many rockshelters and caves can be described as either Active Karst Settings (AKS) or Passive Karst Settings (PKS) and site type is an important influence on climatic sensitivity with a direct influence upon the usefulness of the sedimentary sequence as a proxy record of climate change. It is now clear that some sites may preserve detailed paleoclimatic records and the climatic signal may be represented by distinctive suites of micromorphological features, by variations in the input of allogenic sediment, or by fluctuations in the mineral magnetic properties of the fine sediment fraction. It can be argued that data derived from the analysis of bulk coarse-grained samples often lacks the stratigraphic resolution and environmental sensitivity that can be obtained from other approaches. The most favorable sites for detailed paleoclimatic reconstruction appear to be in active karst settings such as Theopetra Cave (Greece) and Pigeon Cave (Morocco) where micromorphological analyses offer insights into the stratigraphic record that are not otherwise obtainable. The temporal resolution of a site can only be established through a rigorous stratigraphic analysis and a comprehensive dating program. These are fundamental considerations in the study of rockshelter sediment records, especially when attempting to correlate between sites and draw comparisons with other proxy records of environmental change derived from sedimentary environments with rather different characteristics. Rockshelters and caves are part of a wider sediment system, and their investigation must be accompanied by detailed geomorphological, sedimentological, paleoecological, and geochronological studies of the off-site Quaternary record.

An improved method for determination of holocene coastline changes around two ancient settlements in southern Anatolia: A geoarchaeological approach to historical land degradation studies, 2003,
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Bal Y, Kelling G, Kapur S, Akca E, Cetin H, Erol O,
Two well-known ancient sites in southern Anatolia were selected to investigate and quantify the impact of historical land degradation on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. These sites are the Luwian settlements of Kelenderis (modern Aydincik) and nearby Nagidos (Bozyazi), both in Mersin Province and both occupied since around 4000 BP. Changes in local climatic conditions over this period have produced variations in the rates of fluvial transport of sediment/soil from the hinterland into the relevant deltaic regions, thus influencing rates of coastal progradation and aggradation. In addition, both eustatic and neotectonic movements have contributed to deltaic subsidence and/or hinterland uplift, with consequential impact on coastal evolution (positive or negative). The novel gcoarchaeological methodology adopted in this study involves the creation of a graphical archive from detailed and standardised measurements taken from rectified mono- and stereoscopic aerial photographs. These archival data were then integrated with data from several types of historical map and field measurements in order to develop a geographical information system (GIS) database that could be interrogated, enabling graphical models of past coastal change to be constructed and calculations then made of the coastal configurations at successive historical periods. These calculations reveal that over the past 6000 years there has been only limited erosion/degradation in the karstic hinterland supplying the sediment to these two study sites (contrary to some previous statements concerning the high degradation risk of Mediterranean karst terrains). Furthermore, rates of progradation in each delta appear to have become diminished or even reversed in the past several decades as a result of both natural and anthropogenic factors. The precise contribution of neotectonic movements in this seismically active zone remains unquantified and is a topic requiring further interdisciplinary study.

Tunnel engineering in the Iron Age: geoarchaeology of the Siloam Tunnel, 2006,
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Frumkin, A. , And Shimron, A.

The Siloam Tunnel (ST) is the best-identified biblical structure that can be entered today. We use geological, structural, and chemical features of ST and its internal deposits to show that it is an authentic engineering project, without any pre-existing natural conduit that could have guided its excavators. Radiometrically and historically dated to w700 BCE, ST pinpoints the technological advance in leveling techniques that was essential for the construction of such a long tunnel without intermediate shafts. A combination of geological and archaeological evidence demonstrates that the circuitous route of ST and the final meeting of the two excavating teams are associated with continuous modifications of the plan to allow acoustic communication between hewers and the surface teams. Hydraulic plaster was applied throughout the tunnel in order to seal voids of dissolution and tectonic origin. Organic material accidentally entrapped in the plaster was carbon 14 dated, and speleothems were dated by U-Th, both corroborating the historic and epigraphic evidence ascribing the engineering advance in tunneling techniques to the Judahite King Hezekiah.

Evidence for habitual use of fire at the end of the Lower Paleolithic: Site formation processes at Qesem Cave, Israel, 2007,
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Karkanas, P. , Shahackgross, R. , Ayalon, A. , Barmatthews, M. , Barkai, R. , Frumkin, A. , Gopher, A. , And Stiner, M. C.
The Amudian (late Lower Paleolithic) site of Qesem Cave in Israel represents one of the earliest examples of habitual use of fire by middle Pleistocene hominids. The Paleolithic layers in this cave were studied using a suite of mineralogical and chemical techniques and a contextual sedimentological analysis (i.e., micromorphology). We show that the lower ca. 3 m of the stratigraphic sequence are dominated by clastic sediments deposited within a closed karstic environment. The deposits were formed by small scale, concentrated mud slurries (infiltrated terra rosa soil) and debris flows. A few intervening lenses of mostly in situ burnt remains were also identified. The main part of the upper ca. 4.5 m consists of anthropogenic sediment with only moderate amounts of clastic geogenic inputs. The deposits are strongly cemented with calcite that precipitated from dripping water. The anthropogenic component is characterized by completely combusted, mostly reworked wood ash with only rare remnants of charred material. Micromorphological and isotopic evidence indicates recrystallization of the wood ash. Large quantities of burnt bone, defined by a combination of microscopic and macroscopic criteria, and moderately heated soil lumps are closely associated with the woodash remains. The frequent presence of microscopic calcified rootlets indicates that the upper sequence formed in the vicinity of the former cave entrance. Burnt remains in the sediments are associated with systematic blade production and faunas that are dominated by the remains of fallow deer. Use-wear damage on blades and blade tools in conjunction with numerous cut marks on bones indicate an emphasis on butchering and prey-defleshing activities in the vicinity of fireplaces.

The impact of geology and geomorphology on cave and rockshelter archaeological site formation, preservation, and distribution in the Zagros mountains of Iran, 2007,
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Heydari, Saman

This paper is a first attempt to explore the impact of geological and geomorphological settings on formation processes of shelter sites in the karstic Zagros Mountains of Iran. In general, the Zagros Mountains can be divided geologically and geomorphologically into two main zones, highland and folded, which are located parallel to each other and run from the northeast to the southwest in western Iran. Both the geological and geomorphological zones have implications for the formation processes of archaeological deposits at shelter sites. These environmental differences also influence the preservation of archaeological deposits at these types of sites. It is suggested that apart from site formation and post-depositional processes, the local geological and geomorphological structure might also have had some influence on the distribution of prehistoric sites in the region.

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Eko Haryono, Jarwo Susetyo Edy Yuwono , Lies Rahayu Wijayanti Faida
Gunung Sewu Karst is situated in the block faulted of Southern Java Zone, Indonesia. The area has been uplifted since the Late Pliocene. Three major uplift phases were reported have been taking place resulting in the exposure of Miocene carbonate rocks. Prevailing tropical monsoon climate has made possible the carbonate formations have evolved through karstification process. Three phases of the uplifting thereafter have resulted in three karst landform evolution. Karst landform evolution in Gunungsewu Karst inevitably determined pre-historic human habitation. During the first stage when surface river was active, human settlement occupy open space along river courses. When the caves were exposed in the second stage, human settlement moved to the caves and distributed along dry valleys or near doline ponds. Cave habitations ended when major depression dried out providing extensive agricultural land. In the modern era, the situation was inverted in which the human habitation determind geomorphologic processes. Soil erosion was accelerated due to deforestation and agricultural land extensification. Native species were replaced by exotic species commodities Big mammals mentioned above were extinct.

Stratigraphic and technological evidence from the middle palaeolithic-Chtelperronian-Aurignacian record at the Bordes-Fitte rockshelter (Roches dAbilly site, Central France) , 2012,
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Aubry Thierry, Dimuccio Luca A. , Almeida Miguel, Buylaert Janpieter, Fontana Laure, Higham Thomas, Liard Morgane, Murray Andrew S. , Neves Maria Joo, Peyrouse Jeanbaptiste, Walter Bertrand

This paper presents a geoarchaeological study of Middle and Upper Palaeolithic (Châtelperronian, Aurignacian and Solutrean) occupations preserved at the Bordes-Fitte rockshelter in Central France. The lithostratigraphic sequence is composed of near-surface sedimentary facies with vertical and lateral variations, in a context dominated by run-off and gravitational sedimentary processes. Field description and micromorphological analysis permit us to reconstruct several episodes of sediment slope-wash and endokarst dynamics, with hiatuses and erosional phases. The archaeostratigraphic succession includes Châtelperronian artefacts, inter-stratified between Middle Palaeolithic and Aurignacian occupations. Systematic refitting and spatial analysis reveal that the Châtelperronian point production and flake blanks retouched into denticulates, all recovered in the same stratigraphic unit, result from distinct and successive occupations and are not a ‘transitional’ Middle to Upper Palaeolithic assemblage. The ages obtained by 14C place the Châtelperronian occupation in the 41–48 ka cal BP (calibrated thousands of years before present) interval and are consistent with the quartz optically stimulated luminescence age of 39 ± 2 ka and feldspar infra-red stimulated luminescence age of 45 ± 2 ka of the sediments. The Bordes-Fitte rockshelter sequence represents an important contribution to the debate about the characterization and timing of the Châtelperronian, as well as its affinities to earlier and later industries.

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