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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 withdraw, to is to draw water from an aquifer or reservoir [16].?

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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 subglacial (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 24 of 24
Les cavits glaciaires sous le regard splologique, 2003, Pulina Marian, Rehaksenior Joseph, Schroeder Jacques
ENGLACIAL CAVES OBSERVED BY SPELEOLOGISTS - The speleological investigation of moulins, intraglacial conduits and subglacial tunnels allows to collect informations, which help better to understand the behaviour of the glacier in movement. To find these field data it is necessary at first to conceive how appear and evolve intra- and subglacial cavities. They consist of four types: 1) those opened by meltwater; 2) properly so called crevasses; 3) cavities of volcanic origin; 4) cavities in the lee of bedrock bumps. Directly observable data by the cavers must be always propped up with the time. They concern: 1) the location of cavities and their zone of drainage; 2) the morphology of accessible entrances; 3) the state and the stress of the ice host of cavities; 4) an informed morphometry of investigated voids; 5) level variations and relative age of the trapped waters, and present solid load, the nature and its disposal if necessary. All these data should be represented on plans, profils and cross sections that usually draw up the cavers. Because these documents are easely conveyed and available for consultation by a widened scientific community.

Molecular studies on the Niphargus kochianus group (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae) in Great Britain and Ireland, 2008, Hanfling, Bernd, Isabel Douterelosoler, Lee Knight And Graham Proudlove.
he Niphargus kochianus group is one of the most westerly and northerly components of the genus Niphargus. All taxa within the group were delimited by morphological characters. However, recent research suggests that morphology alone is inadequate in determining species boundaries in troglobiotic organisms. We used two molecular markers to examine nucleotide diversity in two members of the N. kochianus group, and included other taxa from Genbank. The results indicate that N. kochianus kochianus and N. kochianus irlandicus are very divergent taxa, which have had no common ancestor since the Miocene. Since it is very difficult to reconcile this magnitude of divergence with a recent derivation of irlandicus from kochianus, and there has been a sea water barrier between Great Britain and Ireland for a long period we propose that irlandicus has been resident in Ireland throughout the Pleistocene glacial cycles. Survival in sub-glacial refugia is supported by the presence of species below ice in Iceland and Canada, by the favourable biotic and abiotic conditions under glaciers, and by the physiology of species in the genus. The taxon irlandicus should therefore be considered a separate species Niphargus irlandicus Schellenberg, 1932.

Alpine glaciers store large amounts of freshwater contributing to groundwater recharge during warmer periods, but the interactions between glaciers and aquifers have rarely been investigated in detail. The Tsanfleuron-Sanetsch area, Switzerland, is an ideal test site to study glacier-aquifer interactions. It consists of a rapidly retreating glacier (2.8 km2) overlying a karst aquifer drained by a spring (mean discharge 600700 L/s) used for drinking water supply and irrigation. The geometry and structure of the glacier were assessed by means of geophysical surveys, using radiomagnetotellurics (RMT). The estimated ice volume is 1.0 x 10^8 m3 (0.92 x 10^8 m3 water equivalent), but the glacier currently loses 1.5 m ice thickness per year. Field observations, flow measurements and tracer tests allowed characterisation of glacier drainage and aquifer recharge. Three recharge pathways have been identified: 1) The main glacial stream sinks into the aquifer via swallow holes 3 km downstream of the glacier mouth; 2) Numerous small meltwater streams sink underground shortly below the glacier front; 3) Subglacial meltwaters and supraglacial streams sink into the glacier via moulins and contribute to aquifer recharge through fractures and swallow holes underneath the glacier. Recharge and spring discharge display strong diurnal and seasonal variability, with a general highflow period during snow and glacier melt from spring to autumn. Preliminary predictions of the future availability of spring water after disappearance of the glacier suggest that the discharge may decrease by 2030%. Nearly all of this loss will occur in summer and autumn, presumably resulting in temporary water shortage.

The impact of glacier ice-contact and subglacial hydrochemistry on evolution of maze caves: A modelling approach, 2010, Skoglund Rannveig Ovrevik, Lauritzen Steinerik, Gabrovsek Franci

Labyrinth and maze cave networks are a conspicuous feature in formerly glaciated stripe karst in Scandinavia. Often found in topographically “impossible” situations, their genesis is attributed to glacial ice-contact conditions. This is further supported by observing that individual networks may either be influent, effluent or through-flow; depending on the attitude of the host rock and former glacier directions. The ice-contact hypothesis is tested by using a finite difference, fracture network model where chemical and hydrological conditions can be varied. Subglacial chemistry alone (low partial pressure of CO2, low temperature) is not sufficient to favour mazes over linear caves. However, when coupled with high input saturation ratio, high and varied hydraulic gradients and glacial hydrology, the model produced cave patterns comparable in scale and complexity to our field examples.

Caves and speleogenesis at Blomstrandsøya, Kongsfjord, W. Spitsbergen, 2011, Lauritzen, S. E.

Blomstrandsøya, at Kongsfjord (780 57’N), Spitsbergen, is within the high arctic, a completely permafrozen zone. The bedrock consists of Paleozoic marbles and has yielded a surprising amount of karst features. Early phases of hydrothermal, possibly Caledonian, speleogenesis and subsequent Devonian karstification with redbed deposits is well documented. 62 active seacaves, and more than 30 relict karst caves were found in the coastal cliffs and in escarpment faces around the island. All caves have very limited extent; they are either quite short, like most of the active sea caves, or they are soon choked by frozen sediments and ground ice after a few meters. The deepest penetration was some 34 m into the surface cliff. Many of the relict caves are scalloped and display well-defined paragenetic wall and ceiling half-tubes, implying that they are indeed conduits, leading further into the rock mass, beyond their present permafrozen terminations. Most of the speleogenetic volume of the relict caves is ascribed to sub-glacial conditions during stadials, when the site was covered beneath thick ice sheets. In many cases, the present caves were formed by reactivation of pre-existing paleokarst voids.  Due to the present intense gelifraction and erosion in the littoral zone, and the relatively constant sea level during the past 9.5 kyr, most of the volume of the sea caves can be explained by processes acting during the Holocene.

Subglacial Maze Origin in Low-Dip Marble Stripe Karst: Examples from Norway, 2011, Skoglund R. O. , Lauritzen S. E.

Maze caves or network caves are enigmatic in their evolution, as they form flow nets rather than more efficient, direct point-to-point flow routes. Network caves are often characterized by uniform passage dimensions in several directions, which indicates simultaneous dissolution of most available fractures. Nonshauggrotta in Gildeska° l, northern Norway, is formed in low-dip marble strata and situated as a relict in a topographical and hydrological hanging position, thus lacking a modern drainage area. The cave displays a reticulate network geometry dictated by two orthogonal fracture sets. Passage morphology and paleocurrent marks in the cave walls (scallops) demonstrate that the cave evolved under water-filled conditions (phreatic) and that the relatively slow flow was directed uphill towards the confining aquiclude and the cliff face. In that sense, it has some resemblance to hypogene caves. However, we propose that the cave is a result of ice-contact speleogenesis, as it developed in the lee side of the Nonshaugen ridge under topographically directed glacier flow and seems independent of the otherwise variable flow regimes characteristic of the glacial environment.

Glacier Caves, 2012, Gulley Jason D. , Fountain Andrew G.

The processes of cave formation in glaciers are analogous to cave formation in limestone and form from the preferential enlargement of high permeability pathways that connect discrete recharge and discharge points. Cave enlargement in glaciers is driven by small amounts of heat produced by friction as water flows through these high permeability pathways. Because rates of ice melting are many orders of magnitude faster than rates of the dissolution of limestone, glacier caves can grow to humanly traversable diameters within time scales of days to weeks whereas limestone caves of equivalent dimensions require 105–106 years. Because glacier ice is deformable, ice caves are squeezed shut at rates that increase with ice thickness, with deep caves squeezing closed in a matter of days. Glacier cave formation is therefore a dynamic process reflecting competition between enlargement and creep closure. While some glacier caves are reused and continue to evolve from year to year, many glacier caves must form each melt season. The processes of cave formation in glaciers exert important control on subglacial water pressure and affect how fast glaciers flow from higher, colder elevations, to lower warmer elevations. Ice flow directly into the ocean and glacial melt generally are important contributions to sea-level rise. Glacier caves are common in all glaciers that experience significant surface melting.



Paragenesis results in characteristic speleogens that are found in caves developed under most climatic regimes. However, being a result of sediment excess in the karst conveyor system, it is also a characteristic of the glacier ice-contact (i.e. subglacial) regime. In this case, paragenetic galleries and passage half-tubes may be regarded as a continuation of subglacial esker systems. A unique feature of subglacial speleogenesis – and subglacial paragenesis – is topographically reversed flow from englacial hydraulic gradients superimposed onto adjacent karst.

GLACIER ICE-CONTACT SPELEOGENESIS, 2013, Lauritzen S. E. Skoglund R. Ø, .


The classic hypothesis of G. Horn’s (1935) subglacial speleogenesis as an explanation of the relatively small diameter cave conduits in the Scandinavian marble stripe karst is reviewed. Recent work, including accurate cave mapping and morphological analysis, radiometric dating of cave deposits, chemical kinetics experiments and computer simulations have challenged the old theory. Scandinavia has relatively small caves that often have surprisingly high ages, going beyond the limit of Th/U dating. The high ages are apparently compensated by correspondingly slow wall retreat rates in the icecontact regime, and longer periods when the caves were inactive. Ice-contact speleogenesis varied in time and space, in pace with waxing and waning of wet-based ice. Maze or labyrinth morphology appears as a characteristic feature of caves ascribed to these processes.

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