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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 limnology is the study of lakes [16].?

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.
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;
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Your search for heights (Keyword) returned 17 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 17
Results of Survey levelling at Bungonia Caves, New South Wales, 1973, Anderson, Edward G.

During 1971, members of the University of N.S.W. Speleological Society (UNSWSS) were working on a project to determine water table levels, as represented by sumps, in some of the Bungonia Caves. It was soon realised that the accuracy of heights determined from the available surface surveys, usually "forestry compass" traverses, was insufficient. The author was asked to provide more accurate surface levels and, consequently, two trips were organised on 24-25 July and 31 July 1971 with the aim of establishing a differential levelling net in the plateau area. Personnel on the first trip comprised E.G. Anderson and A.J. Watson (Senior Photogrammetrist, N.S.W. Lands Department), surveyors, and A.J. Pavey and M. Caplehorn, UNSWSS, assistants. On the second trip, M. Caplehorn was replaced by A. Culberg, UNSWSS.


Grottes de lave et volcano-karst de surface dans la rgion basaltique du Golan (lsral), 1984, Inbar, M.
Lava caves and surface volcano-karst features in the basaltic area of the Golan Heights (Isral) - Caves are formed endogenically as lava tubes and exogenically by erosion of the interlayer lava flows; calcitic speleothems are found in the basaltic caves. Surface depressions may have been formed by collapsed caves or by volcanic explosions. The drainage density is low and surface morphology locally resembles karst karren fields.

Morphological clines in reduced areas. The case of Henrotius jordai (Reitter), cave-dwelling beetle from Majorca Island., 1985, Bells Xavier
The present paper shows a statistically significant correlation between the geographical latitude and the morphological variation of the pronotum of Henrotius jordai (Reitter) (Col. Caraboidea), cave-dwelling beetle from Majorca island, after studying the linear and curvilinear regression between these two variables. The existence of specimens situated at different heights of the regression lines leads to the conclusion that morphological variation is clinal. The phenomenon of "semi-isolation" to which the studied populations are subjected, because of their cavernicolous character, allows to explain the existence of a cline in such a restricted area as that occupied by this beetle (ca. 500 Km2). It is worth pointing out the interest in the study of these reduced clines of cavernicolous populations, because they can provide a restricted "observation field"; easier to deal with; to investigate these genetic phenomena and their evolutive implications.

Barbuda--an emerging reef and lagoon complex on the edge of the Lesser Antilles island are, 1985, Brasier M, Donahue J,
The Pliocene to Holocene limestones of Barbuda have formed on a wide, shallow, outlying bank of the Lesser Antilles island arc, some 50 km east of the older axis of the Limestone Caribbees and 100 km east of the newer axis of the active Volcanic Caribbees. Contrasts with neighbouring islands of similar size include the lack of exposed igneous basement or mid-Tertiary sediments, the dominance of younger flat-lying carbonates, and the greater frequency of earthquake shocks. The history of emergence of the island has been studied through aerial reconnaissance, mapping, logging, hand coring, facies and microfacies analysis. These show a pattern of progressively falling high sea level stands (from more than 50 m down to the present level) on which are superimposed at least three major phases of subaerial exposure, when sea levels were close to, or below, their present level. This sequence can be summarized as follows: 1, bank edge facies (early Pliocene Highlands Formation) deposited at not more than c. 50-100 m above the present sea level; 2, emergence with moderate upwarping in the north, associated with the Bat Hole subaerial phase forming widespread karst; 3, older Pleistocene transgression with fringing reefs and protected bays formed at l0 to l5 m high sea level stands (Beazer Formation); 4, Marl Pits subaerial phase with widespread karst and soil formation; 5, late Pleistocene transgression up to m high stand with fringing and barrier reefs, protected backreefs and bays (Codrington Formation Phase I); 6, gradual regression resulting in emergence of reefs, enclosure of lagoons, and progradation of beach ridges at heights falling from c. 5 m to below present sea level (Codrington Phase II); 7, Castle Bay subaerial phase produced karst, caliche and coastal dunes that built eastwards to below present sea level; and 8, Holocene transgression producing the present mosaic, with reefs, lagoons and prograding beach ridge complexes, with the present sea level reached before c. 4085 years BP. The evidence suggests that slight uplift took place in the north of the island after early Pliocene times. Subsequent shoreline fluctuations are consistent with glacio-eustatic changes in sea level, indicating that the island has not experienced significant uplift during the Quaternary

Water circulation in karst and determination of catchment areas: example of the River Zrmanja, 1999, Bonacci O,
Karst hydrological investigation of the sinking stream problem of the River Zrmanja is presented. The aim of this analysis is to assess the feasibility of constructing three hydroelectric power plants (HEPP) along the River Zrmanja course. This paper presents a suitable and simple hydrological methodology that can be applied to scarce available data obtained on complex karat terranes. The paper presents a complex but common case of water circulation in a karst system. The primary objectives of the investigations were: (a) to analyse the underground karst connections, (b) to analyse discharge conditions along the River Zrmanja, and (c) to define variations in the catchment area along the River Zrmanja. The fact that the hydrological regime of the River Zrmanja is highly variable, due to the water losses along the open streamflow, strongly influenced the selection of the locations and heights of the HEPP dams. In spite of many hydrological, meteorological and hydrogeological measurements, the River Zrmanja catchment is insufficiently gauged. This dictates the use of a simple, empirically-based hydrological methodology. The Turc (1954) and Coutagne (1954) formulas were used in determination of annual total runoff. Using these simple hydrological methods, some important engineering answers were obtained. This is a first step towards application of sophisticated hydrological models, needing large amounts of reliable data

Subsidence hazard in Berkshire in areas underlain by chalk karst, 2001, Edmonds Cn,
Purpose of survey During the last ten years a number of ground subsidence events have occurred in the northwest part of Reading. Many of the subsidence events resulted in structural damage to existing properties (see Plates 1 and 2). On the basis of the properties inspected to date it appears that the local housing has been constructed mostly upon conventional strip footings bearing onto naturally occurring soils. The increasing number of recorded subsidence events is of concern to planners, developers and insurers. Consequently the aim of the survey was to identify the nature and extent of subsidence hazard in the local area. The site The northwest part of Reading, generally referred to as Caversham, is shown in Figure 1. It largely comprises a south to southeasterly dipping land surface, overlooking the River Thames. North of the Thames the land surface is dissected by a NNW-SSE trending valley feature known as Hemdean Bottom. This divides the westerly Caversham Heights area from the easterly Caversham Park and Emmer Green areas. The Thames lies at just below 40 m AOD and northwards the land rises to above 80 m AOD. The floor of Hemdean Bottom generally lies between 40 m and 50 m AOD. Geology The published geological map at 1:10 560 scale (British Geological Survey County Series Berkshire Sheet 29 SE) for this area shows the entire district to be underlain by Cretaceous Upper Chalk, overlain by a Tertiary Reading Beds outlier to the northeast side of Hemdean Bottom. ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

The lithology, shapes and rock relief of the pillars in the Pu Chao Chun stone forest (Lunan stone forests, SW China), 2001, Knez Martin, Slabe Tadej

The Lunan stone forests developed from subterranean limestone karren. The shape of the rock pillars and their rock relief result from a combination of the characteristics of varyingly thick rock strata, on which they developed at various heights, and the effects of underground factors and precipitation.


Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

New risk-consequence rockfall hazard rating system for Missouri highways using digital image analysis, 2005, Maerz N. H. , Youssef A. , Fennessey T. W. ,
The Missouri Rockfall Hazard Rating System (MORFH RS) is a new scheme for rating rockfall hazards along the roads of the Missouri State highway system. Existing rating systems used in other jurisdictions focus on the risk of failure and ignore the consequence of failure, or they lump the ratings for risk and consequence together. Missouri highway rock cuts tend to have low heights but are typically highly weathered, with special problems from karst and paleokarst. In MORFH RS, risk and consequence factors are given equal weight but isolated from each other. MORFH RS utilizes two phases: 1) identification of the most potentially problematic rock cuts using mobile digital video logging; 2) characterization and prioritization of remediation for the potentially problematic rock cuts identified in phase 1, using MORFH RS. In phase 2 four types of parameters are evaluated: 1) parameters that can be measured on computer scaled video images; 2) parameters which are descriptive, and need field evaluation; 3) parameters which are obtained from MODOT records; 4) conditional parameters which are evaluated under specific conditions. Only those parameters were selected that were deemed meaningful and/or relatively easy to measure or estimate. Parameters were assigned to either a risk or consequence category or both. MORFH RS has been tested on sections of Missouri highways. About 300 rock cuts were evaluated and used to prepare, modify, test, and verify the system. Sensitivity analysis of the system was done by quantifying potential errors in the video measurements and by a rating comparison of 12 MODOT and University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) personnel on 10 rock cuts along Highway 63

Pedestal formation and surface lowering in the Carboniferous Limestone of Norber and Scales Moor, Yorkshire, UK, 2007, Parry, Brian.
he formation of Carboniferous limestone pedestals with vertical sidewalls beneath Devensian erratics at Norber, has taken place primarily in a sub-regolith karstic environment; little or no formation occurred prior to c.10,000BP. In contrast, the formation of pedestals with sloping sidewalls on Scales Moor has taken place largely in a subaerial karstic environment; formation of subaerial pedestals commenced at c.14,500BP in England and Wales, and c.13,700BP in Ireland. Measured heights of pedestals indicate that the post-Devensian-deglaciation inter-pedestal Carboniferous limestone surface has been lowered by a mean of about 46cm in a sub-regolith environment and about 15cm in a subaerial environment.

Flow capture and reversal in the Agen Allwedd Entrance Series, south Wales: evidence for glacial flooding and impoundment, 2007, Simms, Michael J And John B Hunt.
Detailed observations of passage morphology, scallop orientations, and cross-cutting relationships of vadose notches and roof heights within a small area of the Agen Allwedd cave system, south Wales, reveal a complex history of flow re-routing linked to several successive phreatic-vadose cycles. At least three discrete phases of phreatic development can be recognized, each succeeded by a period of vadose entrenchment. Two distinct episodes of flow diversion are evident and were initiated during separate phreatic phases. The repeated establishment of phreatic conditions at such a high level within the cave system can be attributed either to glacial impoundment of meltwater recharge and/or the creation of a localized perched phreas as a result of temporary blockages. We conclude that glacial meltwater from the Usk valley glacier entered the cave along its northern edge and was impounded as a result of valley glaciers blocking lower outlets, causing flooding of the entire cave system during glaciations. Vadose entrenchment then occurred as much of the cave was drained during ensuing interglacial(s). Drainage rerouting occurred in response to temporary, but prolonged, blockages that allowed meltwater recharge to generate high hydrostatic pressures. Newly opened or exposed fractures in the limestone were thereby exploited, creating bypass routes. This model, which is consistent with what is known of ice depths across the region during the Pleistocene, has significant implications for the evolution of the entire cave system and indeed for other caves in broadly analogous situations in south Wales and beyond.

Hydrologie du Dvoluy: La Souloise, les Gillardes et le puits des Bans, 2008, Lismonde B. , Morel L. , Bertochio P.
Hydrology of Dvoluy (French PreAlps): Souloise river, Gillardes springs and puits des Bans: Dvoluy is a karstic system in the French Alps with a size of 165 km2. The basin is drained by a surface river, the Souloise, and an underground collector, reappearing at the springs of Gillardes. A cave, the puits (shaft) des Bans, situated 200 m higher, is an overflow spring of the underground system. We studied the discharge of the surface river and the spring as well as the flooding heights in the Puits des Bans during a year. The linear correlation between the spring discharge at Gillardes and the water elevation in the puits des Bans is surprising for a karstic flow. We propose a hydrologic model of two basins with a narrow link and laminar flow, of which the commmon spring is Gillardes. The obstacle is localised near the important geologic structure named Digne thrust. Some hydrologic properties are developed: hydrologic connections, hydraulic transmissivity, and storage volumes during floods.

New peculiar cave ceiling forms from Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico, USA): The zenithal ceiling tube-holes, 2011, Calaforra Josemaria, De Waele Jo

During a trip to the Hall of the White Giant, Carlsbad Caverns (NM, USA) cigar-shaped vertically upward developing holes were observed on the ceiling at different heights of the passages. They have a circular cross-section with diameters of 1 to some centimetres and taper out towards their upper end. Their walls are smooth and their bottom edges are sharp, while their length can reach several decimetres. Sometimes gypsum can be found inside. They often occur randomly distributed in groups and their development is not necessarily controlled by fractures or other bedrock structures.

We name these peculiar karren-like cave microforms “zenithal ceiling tube-holes” because of their origin by H2S environment corrosion processes and their vertical (zenithal) upward growth in ceilings. A comparison is made between zenithal ceiling tube-holes and other karstic or non karstic similar forms such as bell holes, oxidation vents, snailholes, Korrosionskolke (mixture-solution hollows) or pockets, röhrenkarren, light-oriented photokarren, borings of (often marine) organisms and negative stalactites.

Zenithal ceiling tube-holes are created by the corrosive effect of sulphuric acid. H2S(g) dissolves in water giving rise to widespread sulphuric acid corrosion. When H2S bubbles are trapped underneath overhanging surfaces or ceilings and water level rises steadily the corrosive effect is concentrated vertically upwards, drilling vertical holes that can also completely pass overhanging rock ledges.


Influence of Karst Landscape on Planetary Boundary Layer Atmosphere: A Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) ModelBased Investigation, 2011, Leeper R. Mahmood R, Quintanar A. I.

Karst hydrology provides a unique set of surface and subsurface hydrological components that affect soilmoisture variability. Over karst topography, surface moisture moves rapidly below ground via sink holes,vertical shafts, and sinking streams, reducing surface runoff and moisture infiltration into the soil. In addition,subsurface cave blockage or rapid snowmelt over karst can lead to surface flooding. Moreover, regionsdominated by karst may exhibit either drier or wetter soils when compared to nonkarst landscape. However,because of the lack of both observational soil moisture datasets to initialize simulations and regional landsurface models (LSMs) that include explicit karst hydrological processes, the impact of karst on atmosphericprocesses is not fully understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the importance ofkarst hydrology on planetary boundary layer (PBL) atmosphere using the Weather Research and ForecastingModel (WRF). This research is a first attempt to identify the impacts of karst on PBL. To model the influenceof karst hydrology on atmospheric processes, soil moisture was modified systematically over the WesternKentucky Pennyroyal Karst (WKYPK) region to produce an ensemble of dry and wet anomaly experiments.Simulations were conducted for both frontal- and nonfrontal-based convection. For the dry ensemble, cloudcover was both diminished downwind of karst because of reduced atmospheric moisture and enhanced slightlyupwind as moist air moved into a region of increased convection compared to control simulations (CTRL).Moreover, sensible (latent) heat flux and PBL heights were increased (decreased) compared to CTRL. Inaddition, the wet ensemble experiments reduced PBL heights and sensible heat flux and increased cloud coverover karst compared to CTRL. Other changes were noted in equivalent potential temperature (ue) andvertical motions and development of new mesoscale circulation cells with alterations in soil moisture overWKYPK. Finally, the location of simulated rainfall patterns were altered by both dry and wet ensembles withthe greatest sensitivity to simulated rainfall occurring during weakly forced or nonfrontal cases. Simulatedrainfall for the dry ensemble was more similar to the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) thanCTRL for the nonfrontal case. Furthermore, the initial state of the atmosphere and convective triggers werefound to either enhance or diminish simulated atmospheric responses


Acqua Fitusa Cave: an example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave in Central Sicily, 2012, Vattano M. , Audra Ph. , Bigot J. Y. , Waele J. D. , Madonia G. , Nobcourt J. C.

Hypogenic caves are generated by water recharging from below independently of seepage from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. These waters are often thermal and enriched in dissolved gases, the most common of which are CO2 and H2S. Hypogenic caves can be thermal caves, sulphuric acid caves, basal injection caves. They differ from epigenic caves in many ways, such as: speleogenetic mechanisms, morphological features, chemical deposits, and lack of alluvial sediments (KLIMCHOUK, 2007; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; PALMER, 2011). Several studies were conducted to evaluate the hypogenic origin of a large number of caves (AUDRA et alii, 2010; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; STAFFORD et alii, 2009). A significant contribution was given by the work of Klimchouk (2007) that systematically provided instruments and models to better understand and well define the hypogenic karst processes and landforms. Detailed studies on hypogenic caves were carried out in Italy since the 90s in different karst systems, especially in the Central and Southern Appenines. These studies mainly concerned chemical deposits related to ascending water and micro-biological action (GALDENZI & MENICHETTI, 1995; GALDENZI, 1997; PICCINI, 2000; GALDENZI & MARUOKA, 2003, FORTI & MOCCHIUTTI, 2004; GALDENZI, 2012). In this paper, we present the first results of researches conducted in Acqua Fitusa cave that was believed to be an epigenic cave until today. Acqua Fitusa cave is located in Central Sicily, along the north-eastern scarp of a N-S anticline, westward vergent, forming the Mt. La Montagnola. The cave formed in the Upper Cretaceous Rudist breccias member of the Crisanti Fm., composed of conglomerates and reworked calcarenites with rudist fragments and benthic foraminifers ( CATALANO et alii, 2011). The cave consists at least of three stories of subhorizontal conduits, displaying a total length of 700 m, and a vertical range of 25 m. It represents a clear example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave, produced mainly by H 2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. Despite the small size, Acqua Fitusa cave is very interesting for the abundance and variety of forms and deposits related to rising waters and air flow. A ~ 7 m deep inactive thermo-sulphuric discharge slot intersects the floor of some passages for several meters (Fig. 1). Different morphologies of small and large sizes, generated by condensation-corrosion processes, can be observed along the ceiling and walls: ceiling cupolas and large wall convection niches occur in the largest rooms of the cave; deep wall convection niches, in places forming notches, incise cave walls at different heights; condensation-corrosion channels similar to ceiling-half tubes carve the roof of some passages; replacements pockets due to corrosion-substitution processes are widespread; boxwork due to differential condensation-corrosion were observed in the upper parts of the conduits. Sulphuric notches with flat roof, linked to lateral corrosion of the thermal water table, carve the cave walls at different heights recording past stages of base-level lowering. 


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