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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. ...

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That toadstone is local term in the peak district, england for lavas, tuffs and igneous intrusions within the local carboniferous carbonate sequence.?

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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 radiometric dating (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Apports des datations U/Th dans la karstogense de la Grande Moucherolle-Rochers de la Balme (Vercors), 1986, Delannoy J. J. , Holliger Ph.
234 U - 230 Th DATING OF SPELEOTHEMS AND KARSTOGENESIS OF THE "GRANDE MOUCHEROLLE-ROCHERS DE LA BALME" (VERCORS) - In this article, is presented a first geomorphological and speleological synthesis of the subalpine karst of the Grande Moucherolle (2285 m) - Rochers de Ia Balme. This area of Vercors (Alps), which has 8 caves deeper than 300m (Antre des Damns -720m; Clos de La Fure -580m...) is surely the most promising sector from a speleological point of view. Through the study of the glacio-karstic landforms and the distri-bution of the great caves, it seems that there is a real relation between these two parameters. In order to evaluate the contribution of quaternary glaciations in the genesis of caves, isotopic dating (234U-230Th) have been performed on underground carbonated deposits. After a presentation of the chronometric method 234U-230Th, the results are analysed according to their speleological environment. A paleogeographic reconstitution through the middle and recent Quaternary is proposed for the geosystem of the Grande Moucherolle - Rochers de la Balme.

Some Coastal Landforms in Aeolian Calcarenite, Flinders Island, Bass Strait, 1992, Kiernan, Kevin

The development of solutional landforms in Pleistocene calcarenite on Flinders Is. (Tasmania) is described - particularly at Cave Bay and Fotheringate Bay. Radiometric dating of speleothems indicate that the cavity in which it formed was in existence during the late Last Glacial Stage and was invaded by the sea during the Holocene.


The Speleothem medium of finger flutings and its isotopic geochemistry., 1995, Bednarik Robert G.
The isotopic geochemistry relating to the re-precipitation of calcite in caves is considered, in terms of its theory, natural manifestations, and relationship with questions of radiometric dating of carbonate speleothems. Specific forms of' such deposits are considered, together with the various modification processes they are subjected to. More specifically, particular forms of rock art found within, as well as on or under such deposits are examined, such as finger flutings commonly found in caves of Europe and Australia. Some of the variables relating to their occurrence are elucidated, their preservation and possible dating is reviewed in the light of these factors, and new radiometric data from South Australian caves are introduced and discussed.

Holocene development of three isolated carbonate platforms, Belize, central America, 1998, Gischler E. , Hudson J. H. ,
Locally operating factors such as topography of the reef basement and exposure to waves and currents rather than regionally effective factors such as the post-glacial sea level rise in the western Atlantic explain the different Holocene developments of the three isolated carbonate platforms Glovers Reef, Lighthouse Reef, and Turneffe Islands offshore Belize. A series of NNE-striking tilted fault-blocks at the passive continental margin forms the deep basement of the Belize reefs. Glovers and Lighthouse Reefs are located on the same fault-block, while Turneffe Islands is situated west of Lighthouse Reef on an adjacent fault-block. The three platforms are surrounded by deep water and have surface-breaking reef rims. Significant differences exist between platform interiors. Glovers Reef has only 0.2% of land and an 18 m deep, well-circulated lagoon with over 800 patch reefs. Lighthouse Reef has 3% of land and a well-circulated lagoon area. Patch reefs are aligned along a NNE-striking trend that separates a shallow western (3 m) and a deeper eastern (8 m) lagoon. Turneffe Islands has 22% of land that is mainly red mangrove. Interior lagoons are up to 8 m deep and most have restricted circulation and no patch reefs. Surface sediments are rich in organic matter. In contrast, the northernmost part of Turneffe Islands has no extensive mangrove development and the well-circulated lagoon area has abundant patch reefs. Holocene reef development was investigated by means of 9 rotary core holes that all reached Pleistocene reef limestones, and by radiometric dating of corals. Maximal Holocene reef thickness reaches 11.7 m on Glovers Reef, 7.9 m on Lighthouse Reef, and 3.8 m on Turneffe Islands. Factors that controlled Holocene reef development include the following. (1) Holocene sea level. The margin of Glovers Reef was flooded by the rising Holocene sea ca. 7500 YBP, that of Lighthouse Reef ca. 6500 YBP, and that of Turneffe Islands between 5400 and 4750 YBP. All investigated Holocene reefs belong to the keep-up type, even though the three platforms were flooded successively and, hence, the reefs had to keep pace with different rates of sea level rise. (2) Pre-Holocene topography. Pleistocene elevation and relief are different on the three platforms. This is the consequence of both tectonics and karst. Different elevations caused successive reef initiation and they also resulted in differences in lagoon depths. Variations in Pleistocene topography also explain the different facies distribution patterns on the windward platforms that are located on the same fault-block. On Lighthouse Reef tectonic structures are clearly visible such as the linear patch reef trend that is aligned along a Pleistocene fault. On Glovers Reef only short linear trends of patch reefs can be detected because the Pleistocene tectonic structures are presumably masked by the higher Holocene thickness. The lower Pleistocene elevation on Glovers Reef is probably a consequence of both a southward tectonic tilt, and stronger karstification towards the south related to higher rainfall. (3) Exposure to waves and currents. Glovers Reef, Lighthouse Reef, and the northernmost part of Turneffe Islands receive the maximum wave force as they are open to the Caribbean Sea. Adjacent lagoons are well-circulated and have luxuriant patch reef growth and no extensive mangrove development. By contrast, most of Turneffe Islands is protected from the open Caribbean Sea by Lighthouse Reef to the east and is only exposed to reduced wave forces, allowing extensive mangrove growth in these protected areas. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V

Le karst des plateaux jurassiques de la moyenne valee de l'Ardeche; datation par paleomagnetisme des phases d'evolution plio-quaternaires (aven de la Combe Rajeau), 2001, Audra P, Camus H, Rochette P,
Thanks to its immunity, karst is an excellent recorder of environmental change, which also offers the possibility for dating. Karst records position of old base levels, in particular to which were linked horizontal underground drains located near the piezometric surface. After a base level lowering, a new drain appears at a lower level, the old perched drain being abandoned. If base level lowering is slow, the initial drain is progressively entrenched, forming a canyon. The 'Combe Rajeau' cave system corresponds to this last type: a 100 m high underground canyon, continuously entrenched during the Ardeche valley downcutting. The underground river left several terraces during the entrenchment. Knowing that speleothem U/Th radiometric dating method covers only the most recent part of karst systems history, which spans over several million years, paleomagnetism has been applied to date the Combe Rajeau sediments. A more precise knowledge of the evolution phases of this system provides a better understanding of the middle Ardeche valley evolution upon which it depends

Radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel, Jerusalem, 2003, Frumkin, A. , Shimron, A. , And Rosenbaum, J.

The historical credibility of Biblical texts is often debated when compared with Iron Age archaeological finds. Modern scientific methods may, in principle, be used to independently date structures that seem to be mentioned in the Biblical text, in order to evaluate its historical authenticity. In reality, however, this approach is extremely difficult because of poor archaeological preservation, identification uncertainty, scarcity of datable materials, and restricted scientific access into well-identified worship sites. Due to these problems, no well-identified Biblical structure has been radiometrically dated prior to the present study. Here we report radiocarbon and U-Th dating of the Siloam Tunnel (ST), proving its Iron Age II date (Fig. 1a); we conclude that the Biblical text presents an accurate historic record of ST construction. Being one of the longest ancient water tunnels lacking intermediate shafts, dating ST is a key in determining where and when this technological breakthrough took place. ST dating also refutes a claim that ST was constructed at the 2nd century BCE.


14C Activity and Global Carbon Cycle Changes over the Past 50,000 Years, 2004, Hughen K. , Lehman S. , Southon J. , Overpeck J. , Marchal O. , Herring C. , Turnbull J. ,
A series of 14C measurements in Ocean Drilling Program cores from the tropical Cariaco Basin, which have been correlated to the annual-layer counted chronology for the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core, provides a high-resolution calibration of the radiocarbon time scale back to 50,000 years before the present. Independent radiometric dating of events correlated to GISP2 suggests that the calibration is accurate. Reconstructed 14C activities varied substantially during the last glacial period, including sharp peaks synchronous with the Laschamp and Mono Lake geomagnetic field intensity minimal and cosmogenic nuclide peaks in ice cores and marine sediments. Simulations with a geochemical box model suggest that much of the variability can be explained by geomagnetically modulated changes in 14C production rate together with plausible changes in deep-ocean ventilation and the global carbon cycle during glaciation

Monsoon reconstruction from radiocarbon dated tropical Indian speleothems, 2005, Yadava M. G. , Ramesh R. ,
The potential of tropical speleothems as a climate proxy has been investigated. Amplitudes of 180 and 813C variations are found to be large and are likely to be primarily controlled by past rainfall. Contribution from past temperature variations seems to be relatively small. The amount effect in rainfall has been observed and quantified by analysing rainwater samples collected during a monsoon season. A tentative chronology to these speleothems is asssigned by the 14C radiometric dating method. Assuming that the variations in the 180 of cave carbonates are solely due to the past variations in rainfall, a history of the latter has been reconstructed. A high-resolution rainfall reconstruction up to the last [~]3400 years is now available from Gupteswar cave, Orissa, subject to validation of dates by the U-Th method. It is observed that in a tropical speleothem 513C is dominantly controlled by rainfall. The study has shown that tropical Indian speleothems faithfully record the annual ([~]monsoon) rainfall in the cave site

Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, PhD Thesis, 2005, Eberhard, S. M.

Groundwater is a significant component of the world’s water balance and accounts for >90 % of usable freshwater. Around the world groundwater is an important source of water for major cities, towns, industries, agriculture and forestry. Groundwater plays a role in the ecological processes and ‘health’ of many surface ecosystems, and is the critical habitat for subterranean aquatic animals (stygofauna). Over-abstraction or contamination of groundwater resources may imperil the survival of stygofauna and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs). In two karst areas in Western Australia (Yanchep and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge), rich stygofauna communities occur in cave waters containing submerged tree roots. These aquatic root mat communities were listed as critically endangered because of declining groundwater levels, presumably caused by lower rainfall, groundwater abstraction, and/or forest plantations. Investigation of the hydrology and ecology of the cave systems was considered essential for the conservation and recovery of these threatened ecological communities (TECs). This thesis investigated the hydrology and ecology of one of the TECs, located in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. A multi-disciplinary approach was used to explore aspects pertinent to the hydrology and ecology of the groundwater system.
Thermoluminescence dating of the limestone suggested that development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and that caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Field mapping and leveling were used to determine hydrologic relationships between caves and the boundaries of the karst aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels was undertaken to characterise the conditions of recharge, storage, flow and discharge. A hydrogeologic model of the karst system was developed.
The groundwater hydrograph for the last 50 years was reconstructed from old photographs and records whilst radiometric dating and leveling of stratigraphic horizons enabled reconstruction of a history of watertable fluctuations spanning the Holocene to Late Pleistocene. The watertable fluctuations over the previous 50 years did not exceed the range of fluctuations experienced in the Quaternary history, including a period 11,000 to 13,000 years ago when the watertable was lower than the present level.
The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not reflected in the annual rainfall trend, which was above average during the period (1976 to 1988) when the major drop in water levels occurred. Groundwater abstraction and tree plantations in nearby catchments have not contributed to the groundwater decline as previously suggested. The period of major watertable decline coincided with a substantial reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have contributed to a reduction in groundwater recharge, through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. To better understand the relationships between rainfall, vegetation and fire and their effects on groundwater recharge, an experiment is proposed that involves a prescribed burn of the cave catchment with before-after monitoring of rainfall, leaf-area, ground litter, soil moisture, vadose infiltration and groundwater levels.
Molecular genetic techniques (allozyme electrophoresis and mitochondrial DNA) were used to assess the species and population boundaries of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda. Populations of both species were largely panmictic which was consistent with the hydrogeologic model. The molecular data supported the conclusion that both species of amphipod have survived lower watertable levels experienced in the caves during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed.
Multi Dimensional Scaling was used to investigate patterns in groundwater biodiversity including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography. Faunal patterns were related to abiotic environmental parameters. Investigation of hydrochemistry and water quality characterized the ecological water requirements (EWR) of the TEC and established a baseline against which to evaluate potential impacts such as groundwater pollution.
The conservation status of the listed TEC was significantly improved by increasing the number of known occurrences and distribution range of the community (from 10 m2 to > 2 x 106 m2), and by showing that earlier perceived threatening processes (rainfall decline, groundwater pumping, tree plantations) were either ameliorated or inoperative within this catchment. The GDE in the Jewel Cave karst system may not have been endangered by the major phase of watertable decline experienced 1975-1987, or by the relatively stable level experienced up until 2000. However, if the present trend of declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia continues, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the GDE may become more vulnerable to extinction.
The occurrence and distribution of aquatic root mat communities and related groundwater fauna in other karst catchments in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is substantially greater than previously thought, however some of these are predicted to be threatened by groundwater pumping and pollution associated with increasing urban and rural developments. The taxonomy of most stygofauna taxa and the distribution of root mat communities is too poorly known to enable proper assessment of their conservation requirements. A regional-scale survey of stygofauna in southwest Western Australia is required to address this problem. In the interim, conservation actions for the listed TECs need to be focused at the most appropriate spatial scale, which is the karst drainage system and catchment area. Conservation of GDEs in Western Australia will benefit from understanding and integration with abiotic groundwater system processes, especially hydrogeologic and geomorphic processes.


A Pleistocene chronology for the fauna and artefacts of Cow Cave, Devon, UK, 2007, Lundberg, Joyce, Jim Simons And Donald Mcfarlane.
Cow Cave is a well-known archaeological and palaeontological site in the wall of Chudleigh Gorge, Devon, England. The cave is choked after a short distance with allochthonous sediments and speleothem accumulations. Palaeontological excavations at the cave in 1927 to 1935, and again in 1962 to 1963, yielded a rich Pleistocene fauna and several stone tools. However, in the absence of radiometric dating, the faunal composition was ambiguous with respect to age. Here, we report the first radiometric dates on the site. Two Thermal Ionization Mass spectrometric uranium series disequilibrium dates place a critical speleothem layer from within the Cow Cave sediments in the warmer intervals of the MIS 6 glacial period, and suggest that the basal sediments entrained a fauna and human artefacts from the preceding MIS 7 interglacial period, the Aveley.

Stalagmite evidence for the precise timing of North Atlantic cold events during the early last glacial, 2007, Drysdale Rn, Zanchetta G, Hellstrom Jc, Fallick Ae, Mcdonald J, Cartwright I,
Evidence of millennial-scale cold events following the last interglacial are well preserved in North Atlantic marine cores, Greenland ice, and pollen records from Europe. However, their timing was previously undetermined by radiometric dating. We report the first precise radiometric ages for two such events, C23 (105.1 {} 0.9 ka to 102.6 {} 0.8 ka) and C24 (112.0 {} 0.8 ka and 108.8 {} 1.0 ka), based on stable carbon and oxygen isotope measurements on a stalagmite from Italy (CC28). In addition to providing new information on the duration of these events in southern Europe, the age data provide invaluable tuning points for the Melisey I (C24) and Montaigu (C23) pollen zones identified in western Europe. The former event is of particular significance because it represents the end of the Eemian interglacial forest phase in western Europe. The new age data will also allow fine tuning of the timing and duration of Greenland stadial 24 (equivalent to C23) in the North Greenland Ice Core Project ice core and, via a common gasage chronology, tuning of the Vostok and EPICA (European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica) ice cores

The environmental features of the Monte Corchia cave system (Apuan Alps, Central Italy) and their effects on speleothem growth, 2008, Piccini L. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Isola I. , Fallick A. E. , Leone G. , Doveri M. , Mussi M. , Mantelli F. , Molli G. , Lotti L. , Roncioni A. , Regattieri E. , Meccheri M. , Vaselli L.
The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the Galleria delle Stalattiti, the zone under paleoclimate studies, a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.

The environmental features of the Monte Corchia cave system (Apuan Alps, central Italy) and their effects on speleothems growth, 2008, Piccini L. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Isola I. , Fallick A. E. , Leone G. , Doveri M. , Mussi M. , Mantelli F. , Molli G. , Lotti L. , Roncioni A. , Regattieri E. , Meccheri M. , Vaselli L.

The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the “Galleria delle Stalattiti”, the zone under paleoclimate studies, a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.


Bericht ber die Probegrabung (2011) in der Pendling-Brenhhle bei Kufstein (Nordtirol; 1266/21), 2012, Frischauf C. , Mazelis E. , Rabeder G.
A recent excavation in the Pendling cave (Rauberloch) has yielded identifiable remains of brown bears and cave bears. A radiometric dating attempt of a fossilized cave bear bone (Astragalus) failed due to the lack of collagen.

Reconstructing landscape evolution by dating speleogenetic processes, 2013, Polyak V. J. , Hill C. A.

Speleology and karst geomorphology are making important contributions to evolution of landscapes, thanks to more refined dating techniques, more specialized and advanced instruments, and intensive studies of caves and karst terrains. This chapter provides eight cases where cave and karst studies have made, or are making, new strides in the reconstruction of landscape evolution by dating cave deposits. Some of these study areas include world renowned caves such as Carlsbad Cavern and Lechuguilla Cave in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico, Jewel and Wind caves in the Black Hills of South Dakota, and Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. The authors offer added detail on the caves of the Guadalupe Mountains and Grand Canyon


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