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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 spongework cave pattern is a complex maze cave pattern consisting of irregular interconnecting cavities with intricate perforation of the rock. the cavities may be large or small. all spongework patterns are non-branching in development and contain profuse travertine. in map view, these caves often appear as an irregular ink blot.?

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 grading (Keyword) returned 27 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 27 of 27
Solution-collapse breccias of the Minkinfjellet and Wordiekammen Formations, Central Spitsbergen, Svalbard; a large gypsum palaeokarst system. , 2005, Eliassen Arild, Talbot Michael R.

Large volumes of carbonate breccia occur in the late syn-rift and early post-rift deposits of the Billefjorden Trough, Central Spitsbergen. Breccias are developed throughout the Moscovian Minkinfjellet Formation and in basal parts of the Kazimovian Wordiekammen Formation. Breccias can be divided into two categories: (i) thick, cross-cutting breccia-bodies up to 200 m thick that are associated with breccia pipes and large V-structures, and (ii) horizontal stratabound breccia beds interbedded with undeformed carbonate and siliciclastic rocks. The thick breccias occur in the central part of the basin, whereas the stratabound breccia beds have a much wider areal extent towards the basin margins. The breccias were formed by gravitational collapse into cavities formed by dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite beds in the Minkinfjellet Formation. Several dissolution fronts have been discovered, demonstrating the genetic relationship between dissolution of gypsum and brecciation. Textures and structures typical of collapse breccias such as inverse grading, a sharp flat base, breccia pipes (collapse dolines) and V-structures (cave roof collapse) are also observed. The breccias are cemented by calcite cements of pre-compaction, shallow burial origin. Primary fluid inclusions in the calcite are dominantly single phase containing fresh water (final melting points are ca 0 degrees C), suggesting that breccia diagenesis occurred in meteoric waters. Cathodoluminescence (CL) zoning of the cements shows a consistent pattern of three cement stages, but the abundance of each stage varies stratigraphically and laterally. delta (super 18) O values of breccia cements are more negative relative to marine limestones and meteoric cements developed in unbrecciated Minkinfjellet limestones. There is a clear relationship between delta (super 18) O values and the abundance of the different cement generations detected by CL. Paragenetically, later cements have lower delta (super 18) O values recording increased temperatures during their precipitation. Carbon isotope values of the cements are primarily rock-buffered although a weak trend towards more negative values with increasing burial depth is observed. The timing of gypsum dissolution and brecciation was most likely related to major intervals of exposure of the carbonate platform during Gzhelian and/or Asselian/Sakmarian times. These intervals of exposure occurred shortly after deposition of the brecciated units and before deep burial of the sediments.
 


Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in the Topla-Mezica Zinc-Lead Deposits, Northern Karavanke/Drau Range, Slovenia: Paleoenvironment at the Site of Ore Formation, 2006, Spangenberg Jorge E. , Herlec Ursos,
The Mississippi Valley-type zinc and lead deposits at Topla (250,150 metric tons (t) of ore grading 10 wt % Zn and 3.3 wt % Pb) and Me[z]ica (19 million metric tons (Mt) of ore grading 5.3 wt % Pb and 2.7 wt % Zn) occur within the Middle to Upper Triassic platform carbonate rocks of the northern Karavanke/Drau Range geotectonic units of the Eastern Alps, Slovenia. The ore and host rocks of these deposits have been investigated by a combination of inorganic and organic geochemical methods to determine major, trace, and rare earth element (REE) concentrations, hydrocarbon distribution, and stable isotope ratios of carbonates, kerogen, extractable organic matter, and individual hydrocarbons. These data combined with sedimentological evidence provide insight into the paleoenvironmental conditions at the site of ore formation. The carbonate isotope composition, the REE patterns, and the distribution of hydrocarbon biomarkers (normal alkanes and steranes) suggest a marine depositional environment. At Topla, a relatively high concentration of redox sensitive trace elements (V, Mo, U) in the host dolostones and REE patterns parallel to that of the North American shale composite suggest that sediments were deposited in a reducing environment. Anoxic conditions enhanced the preservation of organic matter and resulted in relatively higher total organic carbon contents (up to 0.4 wt %). The isotopic composition of the kerogen ({delta}13Ckerogen = -29.4 to -25.0{per thousand}, {delta}15Nkerogen = -13.6 to 6.8{per thousand}) suggests that marine algae and/or bacteria were the main source of organic carbon with a very minor contribution from detrital continental plants and a varying degree of alteration. Extractable organic matter from Topla ore is generally depleted in 13C compared to the associated kerogen, which is consistent with an indigenous source of the bitumens. The mineralization correlates with {delta}15Nkerogen values around 0 per mil, 13C depleted kerogen, 13C enriched n-heptadecane, and relatively high concentrations of bacterial hydrocarbon biomarkers, indicating a high cyanobacterial biomass at the site of ore formation. Abundant dissimilatory sulfate-reducing bacteria, feeding on the cyanobacterial remains, led to accumulation of biogenic H2S in the pore water of the sediments. This biogenic H2S was mainly incorporated into sedimentary organic matter and diagenetic pyrite. Higher bacterial activity at the ore site also is indicated by specific concentration ratios of hydrocarbons, which are roughly correlated with total Pb plus Zn contents. This correlation is consistent with mixing of hydrothermal metal-rich fluids and local bacteriogenic sulfide sulfur. The new geochemical data provide supporting evidence that Topla is a low-temperature Mississippi Valley-type deposit formed in an anoxic supratidal saline to hypersaline environment. A laminated cyanobacterial mat, with abundant sulfate-reducing bacteria was the main site of sulfate reduction

The caves of Mulu, Sarawak: their exploration and geomorphology, 2007, Farrant, Andy, Matt Kirby And Pete Smart.
Thirty years of underground exploration in Mulu has been led by successive teams of predominantly British and American cavers with the very active involvement of many local cavers. More than 325km of cave passages have now been mapped, and this figure continues to rise with major discoveries on every new expedition. With most passages being of large dimensions, Mulu is one of the most cavernous karsts in the world. Cave development was primarily in a succession of strike-orientated conduits whose passage walls are scored by deep notches that relate to aggrading gravel fans of the Melinau and Melinau Paku Rivers. Dating of the caves has allowed estimation of tectonic uplift rates, while isotope studies have revealed valuable palaeoclimate data.

Early late Pliocene paleokarstic fillings predating the major Plio-Pleistocene erosion of the Quercy table, SW-France, 2007, Aguilar J. P. , Michaux J. , Pé, Lissié, T. , Sigé, B.

This evolution consists, first in the elaboration of the underground net systems, then in a long polyphased process of filling – emptying the karstic voids, according to the up and down base level changes that occurred almost continuously during the first half of the Tertiary era. The filling sediments are mostly vadose clay deposits, the various ages of which being established from the study of their fossil vertebrate contents (for latest accounts see Pélissié & Sigé 2006). Then, since latest Oligocene times, the Quercy platform was covered with prograding lacustrine sediments of the Aquitaine Basin. Finally, the whole structure was strongly worn down by the so- called Plio-Pleistocene erosional phase: the previously deep underground system became closer to the surface, and was exposed both to erosion and widening, but also Plio-Pleistocene fillings occurred as shown by the fossils they include (Crochet et al. 2006). Among the latter are rare Late Pliocene and Plio-Pleistocene tooth specimens.


Climate driven changes in river channel morphology and base level during the Holocene and Late Pleistocene of southeasternWest Virginia, 2009, Springer G. S. , Rowe H. D. , Hardt B. , Cocina F. G. , Edwards R. L. , And Cheng H.
Rivers commonly respond to climate change by aggrading or incising. This is well documented for North American rivers in arid and proglacial regions, but is also true of rivers in unglaciated, humid-temperate regions. Here, we present a record of Holocene hydroclimatology for a humid, temperate watershed in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America. We use stable isotope geochemistries of a stalagmite and clastic cave sediments to reconstruct Holocene climate and ecology in the Greenbrier River catchment (3,600 km2 ) of southeastern West Virginia. Independently, we use river-deposited cave sediments to construct a history of incision, aggradation, and morphological change in the surface channel. The clastic cave deposits display enriched (less negative) values of sedimentary d13 Corg during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO), which regional pollen records indicate was warm compared to later climes. The river channel had aggraded by .4 m during or prior to the HCO and adopted an alluvial morphology, probably due to the mobilization of hillslope sediments accumulated during the colder, drier full-glacial conditions of the Late Pleistocene. As climate moistened during the Holocene, the Greenbrier River incised through channel-filling sediments and back onto bedrock, but not until ,3,500 cal. years B.P. Therefore, the bedrock morphology of many streams in the Appalachian Mountains may not have existed for much of the Holocene, which highlights the effect of climate variability on channel processes. The base-level rise is more evidence that bedrock incision by rivers is often episodic and that slow, long-term incision rates reported for Appalachian Rivers are probably not representative of short-term incision rates.

UIS Mapping Grades, 2011, Hauselmann, Ph.

For the last decades, a grading system originally installed by the British Cave Research Association (BCRA) helped to assess the precision of cave maps and related data. Although the BCRA grades were spread
over the globe and often used internationally, they were never officially recognized by the International Union of Speleology (UIS). The fact that BCRA revised the grades several times, but that these upgrades
did not necessarily make it to the international users, did not help to avoid confusion. Therefore, several national federations such as the Australian Speleological Federation (ASF) made up their own grading
system, largely based on the BCRA input, but with notable changes. In order to clarify the situation, the UISIC’s working group «Survey and mapping» reviewed the present grading systems in order to get an
official UIS grading system under way. The paper presents these UIS mapping grades. At the 15th International Congress of Speleology in Kerrville (USA), the working group discussed the BCRA and ASF mapping grades, their use, limitations, and possible upgrades for international use within the UIS. The vast majority of the people present agreed that the use of a grading system in speleological mapping was needed in order to inform the map user of the expected accuracy of the map. After a lively discussion, it was seen that the current ASF standards quite closely match the expectations of the group and that they could be upgraded for UIS use. The following tables present the grades, the accuracy of details, additional information, and an explanation which helps to understand the meaning of the tables. The present version was voted by the UIS national delegates in summer 2010 and is therefore officially in use now. The present note uses some brand names for easier understanding of the type of device. In no means,
this is meant to be a support for these devices; it merely uses that name to describe the functioning principle.Technical Note. 


Engineering Issues on Karst, 2011, Zhou Wanfang, Beck Barry F.

The design and construction of engineering structures in karst regions must deal with such challenges as difficulty in excavating and grading the ground over pinnacled rockheads, instability of ground surface, and unpredictable groundwater flow conditions. Detailed subsurface investigation using boring exploration, geophysical techniques, tracer testing, and groundwater monitoring helps optimize foundation designs and minimize uncertainties inherent in their construction. Based on the maturity of karst landscapes, depth and dimension of karst features, and vulnerability of groundwater contamination, methods that have been established to control surface water and groundwater and minimize sinkhole development include relocating structures to a safer site, filling voids/fractures with concrete, soil reinforcement, constructing deep foundations, and remediating sinkholes.


Bacterial community survey of sediments at Naracoorte Caves, Australia, 2012, Adetutu E. M. , Thorpe K. , Shahsavari E. , Bourne S. , Cao X. , Fard R. M. N, Kirby G. , Ball A. S.

Bacterial diversity in sediments at UNESCO World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves was surveyed as part of an investigation carried out in a larger study on assessing microbial communities in caves. Cave selection was based on tourist accessibility; Stick Tomato and Alexandra Cave (> 15000 annual visits) and Strawhaven Cave was used as control (no tourist access). Microbial analysis showed that Bacillus was the most commonly detected microbial genus by culture dependent and independent survey of tourist accessible and inaccessible areas of show (tourist accessible) and control caves. Other detected sediment bacterial groups were assigned to the Firmicutes, Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. The survey also showed differences in bacterial diversity in caves with human access compared to the control cave with the control cave having unique microbial sequences (Acinetobacter, Agromyces, Micrococcus and Streptomyces). The show caves had higher bacterial counts, different 16S rDNA based DGGE cluster patterns and principal component groupings compared to Strawhaven. Different factors such as human access, cave use and configurations could have been responsible for the differences observed in the bacterial community cluster patterns (tourist accessible and inaccessible areas) of these caves. Cave sediments can therefore act as reservoirs of microorganisms. This might have some implications on cave conservation activities especially if these sediments harbor rock art degrading microorganisms in caves with rock art.


Epikarstic Maze Cave Development: Bullita Cave System, Judbarra / Gregory Karst, Tropical Australia, 2012, Martini Jacques E. J. , Grimes Ken G.

 In the monsoon tropics of northern Australia, Bullita Cave is the largest (120 km) of a group of extensive, horizontal, joint-controlled, dense network maze caves which are epikarst systems lying at shallow depth beneath a welldeveloped karrenfield. The Judbarra / Gregory Karst and its caves are restricted to the outcrop belt of a thin bed of sub-horizontal, thinly interbedded dolostone and calcitic limestone – the Supplejack Dolostone Member of the Proterozoic Skull Creek Formation. Karst is further restricted to those parts of the Supplejack that have escaped a secondary dolomitisation event. The karrenfield and underlying cave system are intimately related and have developed in step as the Supplejack surface was exposed by slope retreat. Both show a lateral zonation of development grading from youth to old age. Small cave passages originate under the recently exposed surface, and the older passages at the trailing edge become unroofed or destroyed by ceiling breakdown as the, by then deeply-incised, karrenfield breaks up into isolated ruiniform blocks and pinnacles and eventually a low structural pavement. Vertical development of the cave has been generally restricted to the epikarst zone by a 3 m bed of impermeable and incompetent shale beneath the Supplejack which first perched the watertable, forming incipient phreatic passages above it, and later was eroded by vadose flow to form an extensive horizontal system of passages 10-20 m below the karren surface. Some lower cave levels in underlying dolostone occur adjacent to recently incised surface gorges. Speleogenesis is also influenced by the rapid, diffuse, vertical inflow of storm water through the karrenfield, and by ponding of the still-aggressive water within the cave during the wet season – dammed up by "levees" of sediment and rubble that accumulate beneath the degraded trailing edge of the karrenfield. The soil, and much biological activity, is not at the bare karren surface, but down on the cave floors, which aids epikarstic solution at depth rather than on the surface. While earlier hypogenic, or at least confined, speleogenic activity is possible in the region, there is no evidence of this having contributed to the known maze cave systems. The age of the cave system appears to be no older than Pleistocene. Details of the speleogenetic process, its age, the distinctive nature of the cave systems and comparisons with other areas in the world are discussed.


Micromorphology of cave sediments, 2013, Karkanas P. , Goldberg P.

Cave sediments are commonly fine grained and lack macroscopic sedimentary structures. Only a detailed analysis of the micromorphological characteristics permits an accurate determination of the sedimentary dynamics of such cave deposits. Microscopic sorting, grading, clast orientation, lamination, intercalation, deformation structures, and porosity are some of the features used to identify microfacies such as lacustrine, slack water, debris flow, slumping, sheet wash, hyperconcentrated flows, and solifluction. In combination with micromorphological data derived from post-depositional diagenetic trend sand anthropogenic evidence, it is possible to reconstruct the evolution of a cave, and the climatic history and landscape volution of the area.


Incipient vertical traction carpets within collapsed sinkhole fills, 2014,

Small vertically oriented traction carpets are reported from the collapsed sandy fills of 100 m deep Devonian limestone sinkholes underlying the Lower Cretaceous Athabasca oil sands deposit in north-eastern Alberta, Western Canada. Dissolution of 100 m of underlying halite salt beds caused cataclysmic collapse of the sinkhole floors and water saturated sinkhole sand fills to descend very rapidly. Turbulent currents flushed upper sinkhole fills of friable sandstone blocks and disaggregated sand and quartz pebble for tens of metres. Laminar deposits with inverse grading accumulated as many as six to eight curvilinear entrained pebble streaks, 10 to 30 cm long, vertically impinged against the sides of descending collapse blocks. These deposits were initiated as vertically oriented early stage traction carpets that interlocked fine sand grains and inversely graded overlying pebbles entrained below the dilute overlying turbulent flows. Vortexes that flushed these sinkhole fills and induced these depositional processes may have lasted only seconds before the very rapid descents abruptly halted. Some of the fabrics were suspended vertically in-place and preserved from unlocking and obliteration. These small fabrics provide insight into the instability and ephemeral character of the transition from strong gravity-driven grain falls to very early stages of traction carpet formation. These short-lived deposits of very thin sand layers resulted from sufficient incipient frictional freezing that grain interlocking overcame, however briefly, the strong gravity drives of the vertical falls that would have otherwise dispersed grains and obliterated any organized fabric patterns. Tenuous frictionally locked grains were also suspended at the centres of hyperbolic grain fall flows that briefly developed between turbulent flow eddies, some of which were fortuitously preserved. Some of these suspended grain locking zones passed downward onto the relatively more stable surfaces of the rapidly descending block surfaces. The morphogenesis of these early stage traction carpets differ from more fully developed deposits elsewhere because of their short-lived transport, dynamic instability and vertical orientation.


Bullita cave system, Judbarra / Gregory Karst, tropical Australia, 2016,

In the monsoon tropics of northern Australia, Bullita Cave is the largest (123 km) of a group of extensive, horizontal, joint-controlled, dense network maze caves which are epikarst systems lying at shallow depth beneath a well-developed karrenfield. The Judbarra / Gregory Karst and its caves are restricted to the outcrop belt of the thin, sub-horizontal, Proterozoic Supplejack Dolostone. Karst is further restricted to those parts of the Supplejack that have escaped a secondary dolomitisation event. The karrenfield and underlying cave system are intimately related and have developed in step as the Supplejack surface was exposed by slope retreat. Both show a lateral zonation of development grading from youth to old age. Small cave passages originate under the recently exposed surface, and the older passages at the trailing edge become unroofed or destroyed as the, by then deeply-incised, karrenfield breaks up into isolated ruiniform blocks and pinnacles. Vertical development of the cave has been generally restricted to the epikarst zone by a 3m bed of impermeable and incompetent shale beneath the Supplejack which first perched the water-table, forming incipient phreatic passages above it, and later was eroded by vadose flow to form an extensive horizontal system of passages 10-20m below the karren surface. Some lower cave levels in underlying dolostone occur adjacent to recently incised surface gorges. Speleogenesis is also influenced by the rapid, diffuse, vertical inflow of storm water through the karrenfield, and by ponding of the still-aggressive water within the cave during the wet season – dammed up by “levees” of sediment that accumulate beneath the degraded trailing edge of the karrenfield. The soil, and much biological activity, is not at the bare karren surface, but down on the cave floors, which aids epikarstic solution at depth rather than on the surface.


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