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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 haystack hill is (puerto rican.) in the tropics, rounded conical hill of limestone developed as a result of solution. term replaced by mogote [10]. synonyms: (french.) mogote; (german.) mogote; (italian.) mogote, rilievo carsico residuo; (spanish.) mogote; (turkish.) konik kirectasi tepesi; (yugoslavian.) hum. see also mogote.?

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.
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 permafrost (Keyword) returned 26 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 26 of 26
Natural Speleothem Damage in Postojnska Jama, Slovenia, Caused by Glacial Cave Ice? A First Assessment, 2004, Kempe, Stephan

Natural speleothem damage has been known from Postojnska jama for a long time. Schaffenrath was the first to depict broken and leaning stalagmites on his pictures from the interior of the cave. Hohenwart analysed some of these damages, clearly excluding rock fall or earthquakes as a cause. Here the author discusses the possibilities, which could cause natural speleothem breakage in general. The most promising cause is cave ice. It must have formed in caves during glacial maxima when permafrost spread throughout northern, eastern and central Europe. Consequently cave ice could be the most prominent factor in explaining non-recent speleothem damage. Next some of the historically known flowstone breakages from Postojnska jama are presented. These are discussed in view of cave ice and an ad hoc model for the genesis is given. In the side passages Pisani rov and Brezimenski rov there are masses of broken stalagmites and stalactites and speleothem fragments in precarious positions. Cave ice offers an overall process to explain these observations. Thus it is suggested that all or parts of the Postojnska jama were filled with ice during the Last and earlier Glacials. If accepting speleothem damage as a consequence of glacial cave ice, then it should be possible to use it as a marker facies for the extent of the zero temperature line during the various glacials.


Stable isotope investigations on speleothems from different cave systems in Germany, 2005, Nordhoff, P.

Seven speleothems from six independent cave systems in Germany were investigated on their suitability as paleoclimatic archives. The caves are located in the Jurassic Limestones of the Swabian/Franconian Alb (southern Germany) and in a small-scale Devonian (reef) complex of the Harz Mountains (northern Germany). Based on the chronological control using 234U/230Th (TIMS) ages, δ18O/δ13C timeseries of the speleothems were established and related to known paleoclimatic events.
Results of the present-day assessment of the cave systems demonstrated that the cave temperature responses; the stable isotopic abundances of the dripwater, and present-day cave calcites reflect mean annual surface air temperatures as well as established isotopic equilibrium conditions during cave calcite precipitation. However, existing biases have been monitored but most of them may be deduced to anthropogenic influences like mining operations (Zaininger-Cave, Swabian Alb) or showcave business (Hermann’s- and Baumann’s-Cave, Harz Mountains). Although the scenarios leave partially an imprint on present-day spelean calcites, like the indicated non-equilibrium conditions at the Zaininger-Cave, their temporal imprint is restricted very much to the last couple of decennial years and thus assumed not to influence the paleorecords at all. Since the δ18O compositions of present-day calcite precipitates are primarily controlled by temperature, the sites may thus be suitable for paleoclimatic investigations from a today perspective.
Since the paleorecords of the Hermann’s- and Baumann’s-Cave stalagmites (Harz Mountains) display ages, which are not in chronological order, a construction of timeseries was not possible.
Past stable isotopic equilibrium conditions of the remaining paleorecords were verified using the single layer “Hendy-Test” as well as δ18O/δ13C regression analyzes of the subsample profiles. Late Pleistocene growth periods were found in the Paleocave Hunas Stalagmite (79373 ± 8237 to 76872 ± 9686 a. B.P.; Franconian Alb) and the Cave Hintere Kohlhalde Stalagmite (44158 ± 3329 to 2709 ± 303 a B.P.; Swabian Alb). Unexpectedly, the latter displays no macroscopic visible growth hiatuses and was deposited continuously during the “cold” OIS 2 and the LGM. This has been interpreted owing to the special conditions and mode of vadose water circulation of a discontinuous permafrost zone which may have prevailed on the Swabian Alb during that time. Here, just like for the subsequent periods, principal changes in mean δ18O/δ13C and linear extension rates of the timeseries echoed the Boelling/Alleroed Interstadial and Younger Dryas cold phase. The comparison of coeval timeseries between the Cave Hintere Kohlhalde stalagmite, the Zaininger-Cave stalactite (both Swabian Alb) and the Mühlbach-Cave stalagmite (Franconian Alb) reveal some analogy such as the transitions from the Late Glacial to the Early Holocene between 10513 and 10587 cal. a B.P. for the Swabian Alb and 10227 cal. a B.P. for the Franconian Alb; the anomaly around 8.2 ka B.P. recorded in the Zaininger- and Mühlbach-Cave; and a climatic deterioration which leads to an almost simultaneous cessation of speleothem growth on the Swabian/Franconian Alb between 2.5 and 2.8 ka B.P.
Important changes of the stable isotopic composition occur together with changes in growth rate and in the macroscopic aspect of the investigated speleothems. This confirms that general climatic and environmental parameters control the recorded variations and that they are not owing to very local factors.


Pseudokarst in the 21st century, 2007, Halliday W. R.
Karst is a specific type of terrain (or landscapes) with characteristic suites of well-known surface and subsurface dissolutional features. The latter result from integrated subsurface drainage. A variety of nondissolutional processes forms terrains analogous to certain types of karst; these are termed pseudokarst. Before 1906, these generally were believed to be karst somehow formed in poorly soluble rocks. They share a considerable range of features, resources and values with karst, commonly (but not invariably) including caves, and the two are linked across a wide spectrum of processes and features (e.g., between dissolutional and piping caves). Unlike karst, integrated subsurface drainage may not be present. Isolated caves define neither karst nor pseudokarst. Multiprocess terrains and landscapes are not uncommon. Based largely on conclusions of a working session of the 1997 International Congress of Speleology, eight types of pseudokarst are identified, with notably different implications for extraterrestrial habitats: rheogenic pseudokarst, glacier pseudokarst, badlands and piping pseudokarst, permafrost pseudokarst, talus pseudokarst, crevice pseudokarst, compaction pseudokarst and consequent pseudokarst. Some appear to exist on Mars. Speleologists expert in their differentiation should serve as consultants to planetary geologists.

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.


Zerbrochene Hhlensinter und Kryocalcite als Indikatoren fr eiszeitlichen Permafrost im Herbstlabyrinth-Adventhhle-System bei Breitscheid-Erdbach (N-Hessen) , 2011, Richter D. K. , Mischel S. , Dorsten I. , Mangini A. , Neuser R. D. , Immenhauser A.
Speleothem fragments and calcite crystal sands are indicative of the spectacular fragmentation pattern of the central stalagmite of the Weihnachtsbaum-Halle in the Herbstlabyrinth-Advent cave system near Breitscheid-Erdbach (northern Hesse). The fractures are oriented perpendicular and parallel to subparallel to the speleothem layering and were caused by freeze-thaw weathering. According to the trace-element and stable isotope composition the calcite crystal sands formed under cold conditions. The youngest generation of cryogenic calcites, dated to 2324 ka by U/Th, is indicative of slow freezing of cave waters after the Weichselian Interstadial no. 3 and shows ?13C values from 1.0 to 3.1 and ?18O values from 13.7 to 17.3 . Based on the dominant occurrence of the rhombohedral crystal type in the crystal sands we introduce a genetic model of a deepening permafrost soil. The multiphase speleothem fracturing and occurrence of cryogenic calcite suggest an extended period of formation during the Weichselian of the studied stalagmite (the age of the top of stalagmite below the oldest cryogenic calcites is 75.8 ka). The repeated combination of freeze-thawweathering of speleothems and the for - mation of cryogenic calcites represents a new indicator for the decoding of the interstadial/stadial transitions during the Weichselian ice age in the periglacial area of central Europe.

Speleothem deposition at the glaciation threshold An attempt to constrain the age and paleoenvironmental significance of a detrital-rich flowstone sequence from Entrische Kirche Cave (Austria), 2012, Meyer M. C. , Sptl Ch. , Mangini A. , Tessadri R.

Proxy records from high-altitude locations predating the Last Glacial Maximum are rare but could provide invaluable insights into the response of alpine catchments to the rapid climate fluctuations which characterized the last glacial period. Herewe present a detrital-rich flowstone record from Entrische Kirche Cave, an inneralpine cave situated close to the accumulation area of the Pleistocene ice-stream network of the European Alps that expanded repeatedly into the lowlands during glacial maxima. U–Th dating of this calcite is challenging due to high detrital Th. However, petrographic and stable isotope analyses in conjunction with associated clastic cave sediments provide useful insights into the climatic boundary conditions during speleothem formation and into the paleoenvironmental processes which operated in the ~2000 m-high catchment above the cave. Our data show that millennial-scale temperature fluctuations had a first-order control on the periglacial activity and vegetation in the catchmentwhich strongly influenced the formation and infiltration of detritus into the karst aquifer. The brown laminated and brown dendritic fabrics that compose much of the detrital-rich flowstone succession reflect these environmental processes. The temperature-dependence of periglacial and permafrost processes allows to constrain the amount of cooling relative to the present-day mean annual air temperature that is required to initiate detrital-rich calcite formation in Entrische Kirche Cave, i.e. −2.5 °C (minimum) to −6 °C (maximum), respectively. White inclusion-poor calcite that is intercalated with the detrital-rich calcite indicates warm (interstadial) conditions and geomorphological stability in the catchment area. One such phase has been U–Th dated to 88.3±6.9 ka (i.e. Greenland Interstadial 21 or 22). 


Glacial processes in caves, 2012, Luetscher, M.

Glacial processes are known to impinge on many karst systems, of which the active formation of cave ice represents a salient feature. In temperate environments, the preservation of massive, perennial cave ice deposits, comprising sometimes tens of thousands cubic meters, represents probably the most severe test for models of sporadic permafrost distribution. Additionally, stratified cave ice deposits foster detailed glaciochemical investigations to decipher this environmental archive. Recent investigations have shown that the accessible time window for paleoclimate reconstructions sometimes covers several thousands of years, but understanding the relation between external climate change and the cave ice mass balance still remains challenging. Process-oriented studies suggest that interannual cave ice mass balances respond primarily to modifications in the winter thermal and precipitation regimes. By contrast, cave ice ablation is largely driven by heat exchange with the surrounding rock, which is a function of the external mean annual air temperature. Many mid-latitude, low-altitude ice caves are thus likely to disappear under a warming climate scenario. Yet, traces of former glacial processes can be observed in several temperate cave environments. Cryoclasts, solifluction lobes, sorted sediment patterns, cryogenic calcite, and broken speleothems provide clues for the reconstruction of paleo-permafrost. Because they can be accurately dated with U-series methods, cryogenic cave calcites offer a promising field of investigation for past glacial processes 


Glacial Processes in Caves, 2013, Luetscher, M.

Glacial processes are known to impinge on many karst systems, of which the active formation of cave ice represents a salient feature. In temperate environments, the preservation of massive, perennial cave ice deposits, comprising sometimes tens of thousands cubic meters, represents probably the most severe test for models of sporadic permafrost distribution. Additionally, stratified cave ice deposits foster detailed glaciochemical investigations to decipher this environmental archive. Recent investigations have shown that the accessible time window for paleoclimate reconstructions sometimes covers several thousands of years, but understanding the relation between external climate change and the cave ice mass balance still remains challenging. Process-oriented studies suggest that interannual cave ice mass balances respond primarily to modifications in the winter thermal and precipitation regimes. By contrast, cave ice ablation is largely driven by heat exchange with the surrounding rock, which is a function of the external mean annual air temperature. Many mid-latitude, low-altitude ice caves are thus likely to disappear under a warming climate scenario. Yet, traces of former glacial processes can be observed in several temperate cave environments. Cryoclasts, solifluction lobes, sorted sediment patterns, cryogenic calcite, and broken speleothems provide clues for the reconstruction of paleo-permafrost. Because they can be accurately dated with U-series methods, cryogenic cave calcites offer a promising field of investigation for past glacial processes in caves.


Karst hierarchical flow systems in the Western Cordillera of North America, 2013, Ford, Derek

By definition, karstic flow systems are networks of solutional conduits. Their spatial patterns and hierarchical organisation are strongly affected by differing lithology and geologic structure, and by the location and modes of recharge – unconfined, confined, interformational. For purposes of discussion, this paper will review six examples rang-ing across platform and reefal limestones and dolostones, dolostone breccias, gypsum and salt, in widely differing structural, geomorphic and hydrologic settings: (1) The Carcajou River karst at Lat. 65° N in the Mackenzie Mountains, where leaky permafrost superimposes a frozen ground hierarchy on those due to lithology, structure and topog-raphy: (2) The S Nahanni River karst at Lat. 62° N, with an intrusive-derived local thermal system and lengthy, strike-oriented meteoric flow systems that contribute to an outlet H2S thermal system at the basin topographic low: (3) Castleguard Mountain Karst (Lat. 52° N) in massive Main Ranges structures of the Rocky Mountains, with a complex alpine hierarchy of base-flow and overflow springs: (4) Crowsnest Pass, in steep thrust structures in the Rocky Mountain Front Ranges, where regional strike-oriented flow systems extending between Lats. 49° and 50° N and paired above and below a major aquitard have been disaggregated by glacial cirque incision: (5) The Black Hills geologic dome at Lat. 44° N in South Dakota, USA, with a sequence of hot springs at low points around the perimeter, discharging through sandstones but with some of the world’s most extensive hypogene maze caves formed in a limestone karst barré setting behind them: (6) The Sierra de El Abra, at Lat. 23° N in Mexico, a deep and lengthy (100 km) reef-backreef limestone range being progressively exposed and karstified by stripping of a cover of clastic rocks; the springs are few but amongst the largest known in karst anywhere, located at the northern and southern low extremities along the strike of the reef, plus breaches (windows) in the cover further south.


NA JAVORCE CAVE A NEW DISCOVERY IN THE BOHEMIAN KARST (CZECH REPUBLIC): UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HYDROTHERMAL AND COMMON KARSTIFICATION, 2013, Dragoun J. Ž, á, K K. Vejlupek J. Filippi M. Novotný, J. Dobeš, P.

 

The Na Javorce Cave is located in the Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic, near the Karlštejn castle, about 25 km SW of Prague. The cave was discovered as a result of extensive exploration including cave digging and widely employed capping of narrow sections. Exploration in the cave has already lasted 20 years. The cave is fitted with several hundred meters of fixed and rope ladders and several small fixed bridges across intra-cave chasms. Access to the remote parts of the cave is difficult because of long narrow crawl passages and deep and narrow vertical sections. The Na Javorce Cave became the deepest cave discovered to date in Bohemia with the discovery of its deepest part containing a lake in 2010. The cave was formed in vertically dipping layers of Lower Devonian limestone; it is 1,723 m long and 129 m deep, of which 9 m is permanently flooded (data as of December 2012). The cave is polygenetic, with several clearly separable evolutionary stages. Cavities discovered to date were mostly formed along the tectonic structures of two main systems. One of these systems is represented by vertical faults of generally N-S strike, which are frequently accompanied by vein hydrothermal calcite with crystal cavities. The second fault system is represented by moderately inclined faults (dip 27 to 45°, dip direction to the W). Smaller tube-like passages of phreatic morphology connect the larger cavities developed along the two above-mentioned systems. The fluid inclusion data obtained for calcite developed along both fault systems in combination with C and O stable isotope studies indicate that the hydrothermal calcite was deposited from moderately saline fluids (0.5 to 8.7 wt. % NaCl equiv.) in the temperature range from 58 to 98 °C. The fluids were NaCl-type basinal fluids, probably derived from the deeper clastic horizons of the Barrandian sedimentary sequence. The age of the hydrothermal processes is unknown; geologically it is delimited by the Permian and Paleogene. The hydrothermal cavities are small compared to cavities formed during the later stages of karstification. The majority of the known cavities were probably formed by corrosion by floodwater derived from an adjacent river. This process was initiated during the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene, as was confirmed by typical assemblage of heavy minerals identical in the surface river sediments and in clastic cave sediments. The morphology of most cavities is phreatic or epiphreatic, with only local development of leveled roof sections (“Laugdecken”). The phreatic evolution of the cave is probably continuing into the present in its deepest permanently flooded part, which exhibits a water level close to that of the adjacent Berounka River. Nevertheless, the chemistry of the cave lake differs from that of the river water. The cave hosts all the usual types of cave decoration (including locally abundant erratics). The most interesting speleothem type is cryogenic cave carbonate, which was formed during freezing of water in relation to the presence of permafrost during the Glacial period. The occurrence of cryogenic cave carbonate here indicates that the permafrost of the Last Glacial period penetrated to a depth of at least 65 m below the surface.


KARST DEVELOPMENT IN THE GLACIATED AND PERMAFROSTREGIONS OF THE NORTHWEST TERRITORIES, CANADA, 2013, Ford Derek

 

The Northwest Territories of Canada are ~1.2 million km2 in area and appear to contain a greater extent and diversity of karst landforms than has been described in any other region of the Arctic or sub-Arctic. The Mackenzie River drains most of the area. West of the River, the Mackenzie Mountains contain spectacular highland karsts such as Nahanni (Lat. 62° N) and Canol Road (Lat. 65° N) that the author has described at previous International Speleological Congresses. This paper summarizes samples of the mountain and lowland karst between Lats. 64–67° N that are located east of the River. The Franklin Mountains there are east-facing cuestas created by over-thrusting from the west. Maximum elevations are ~1,000 m a.s.l., diminishing eastwards where the cuestas are replaced by undeformed plateaus of dolomite at 300–400 m asl that overlook Great Bear Lake. In contrast to the Mackenzie Mountains (which are generally higher) all of this terrain was covered repeatedly by Laurentide Continental glacier ice flowing from the east and southeast. The thickness of the last ice sheet was >1,200 m. It receded c.10,000 years ago. Today permafrost is mapped as “widespread but discontinuous” below 350 m a.s.l. throughout the region, and “continuous” above that elevation. The vegetation is mixed taiga and wetlands at lower elevations, becoming tundra higher up. Access is via Norman Wells (population 1,200), a river port at 65° 37’N, 126° 48’W, 67 m a.s.l.: its mean annual temperature is -6.4 °C (January mean -20 °C, July +14 °C) and average precipitation is ~330 mm.y-1, 40 % falling as snow. In the eastern extremities a glacial spillway divides the largest dolomite plateau into “Mahony Dome” and “Tunago Dome”. The former (~800 km2) has a central alvar draining peripherally into lakes with overflow sinkholes, turloughs, dessicated turloughs, and stream sinks, all developed post-glacially in regular karst hydrologic sequences. Tunago Dome is similar in extent but was reduced to scablands by a sub-glacial mega-flood from the Great Bear basin; it is a mixture of remnant mesas with epikarst, and wetlands with turloughs in flood scours. Both domes are largely holokarstic, draining chiefly to springs at 160–180 m a.s.l. in the spillway. The eastern limit of overthrusting is marked by narrow ridges created by late-glacial hydration of anhydrite at shallow depth in interbedded dolostones and sulphate rocks. Individual ridges are up to 60 km long, 500–1,000 m wide, 50–250 m in height. They impound Lac Belot (300 km2), Tunago Lake (120 km2) and many lesser lakes, all of which are drained underground through them. In the main overthrust structures, the Norman Range (Franklin Mountains) is oriented parallel with the direction of Laurentide ice flow. It displays strongly scoured morphology with elongate sinkholes on its carbonate benches. In contrast, the Bear Rock Range is oriented across the ice flow, has multiple cuestas, is deeply furrowed and holokarstic but preserves pinnacle karst on higher ground due to karst-induced polar thermal (frozen-down) conditions at the glacier base there.


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