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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 basin, closed is drainage basin with no surface flow outlet [16].?

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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 epiphreatic (Keyword) returned 46 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 46
The genesis of the Tennengebirge karst and caves (Salzburg, Austria), 2002, Audra, Ph. , Quinif, Y. , Rochette, P.
Research has been carried out in the Tennengebirge Massif (Salzburg, Austria) with specific attention to karst morphology, cave systems, and sediments. This study reveals the genesis of the karst and the underground systems of the Tennengebirge, since the Oligocene. Large horizontal systems, which date back to the Miocene, were studied through the example of the caves Hornhhle and Eisriesenwelt, which respectively represent Ruinenhhlen (cave ruins) and Riesenhhlen (giant caves). The Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhhle System is typical of a mostly vertical, large, high-relief, alpine cave. The main characteristic of this network is major development in the vadose zone. Shaft morphology is in stairs beneath a faulted roof. At greater depth, they connect to a perched epiphreatic zone, which is typical of a dammed karst. The main underground sediments are of paleoclimatic and hydrodynamic significance, corresponding to hot, stable, or unstable environments (flowstones, reworked weathered rocks) and cold environments (carbonate varves, glacial pebbles). A preliminary study of the Tennengebirge sediments reveals significant information about its evolution throughout Pliocene-Quaternary time. Hhlen- und Karstgenese im Tennengebirge (Salzburg, sterreich) Es handelt sich um Erforschungen des unterirdischen Hhlensystems im Tennengebirge mit Hilfe der Erforschung der Karstsedimente. Durch die Beobachtung der Morphologie und der Ausfllungen kann die Geschichte der verschiedenen Hhlenorganisationen nachgezeichnet werden. Wir haben die groen horizontalen Hhlensysteme des Miozns anhand der Hornhhle und der Eisriesenwelt studiert, die wiederum ein Beispiel fr Ruinen- und Riesenhhlen sind. Das Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhhle System ist ein Beispiel fr die groen vertikalen Alpenschchten, das an seiner ausgeprgten Entwicklung der vadosen Zone erkenntlichist. Die Schchte haben die Morphologie von Treppen unter einem Kluftdach. Sie sind tief unten mit einer gestuften phreatischen Zone verbunden, die einen abgedmmter Karst enthllen. Die wichtigsten unterirdischen Sedimente haben eine Bedeutung auf dem Gebiet der Paloklimatologie und der hydrodynamik. Sie entsprechen entweder warmen und bestndigen oder kalten Umgebungen oder einer Umbegung in der das natrliche Gleichgewicht unterbrochen wurde (Sinterformation, vernderte Sedimente aus Alteriten, Karbonatwarven, glazial Schotter). Die Erforschung der Sedimenten in der Bergerhhle bringt wichtige Informationen ber die Entwicklung der Hhlensysteme im Plio-Quartr. Durch die gesamte Erforschung kann die Entstehung der Hhlen- und Karstgenese im Tennengebirge seit dem Oligozn nachgezeichnet werden.

High-resolution magnetostratigraphy of speleothems from Snežna jama, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 2002, Bosá, K Pavel, Hercman Helena, Mihevc Andrej, Pruner Petr

The Snežna jama Cave is located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, NE Slovenia, in a Raduha Ridge. The cave is a huge, more or less horizontal fossil phreatic/epiphreatic conduit. It is penetrated by vertical shafts - invasion vadose (proglacial) caves. Close to the cave entrance, there is about 3 m high wall composed of speleothems - a complex sequence of flowstone with numerous breaks in deposition, six of them are principal. The lower part of the profile (about 85 cm) contains abundant terrigenous component (terra rossa-derived clay). Stalagmites developed in several periods are completely buried by nearly horizontal younger sequences of flowstone. Continuous speleothem log was recovered from the profile in a total length of about 2.4 m. The rock column was cut to cubes in the laboratory (2x2x2 cm) and studied both by thermal demagnetisation (23 samples, 12 steps - 20 to 620 °C) and alternating field method (98 samples, 14 steps - 1 to 100 mT). Magnetic properties identified the lithological boundary. In contrast to the upper part, the lower one shows both higher magnetic susceptibility and higher remanent magnetisation. The turn point can indicate important palaeogeographical change. Magnetostratigraphic log is composed of 7 normal and 6 reverse polarised magnetozones. The age of speleothems detected by the U-series alpha-counting spectrometry falls outside the method range, i.e. over 350 ka. Uranium isotopic equilibria indicate the age over 1.2 Ma. The age of the fill is pre-Quaternary, clearly older than 1.77 Ma. The most probable age from correlation with geomagnetic polarity timescales is about 3.0 to 5.0 or 1.8 to 3.6 Ma. Both possibilities can indicate the growth rate of speleothems of about 1.1 to 1.3 m per 1 Ma. The age of speleogenesis can be compared to some of unroofed caves in the area of the Classical Karst (SW Slovenia) connected with the Messinian period. Snežna jama was uplifted to high altitudes by younger (Plio-Pleistocene) uplift of the Alpine chain.


The genesis of the Tennengebirge karst and caves (Salzburg, Austria), 2003, Audra Ph, Quinif Y. , Rochette P.

Research has been carried out in the Tennengebirge Massif (Salzburg, Austria) with specific attention to karst morphology, cave systems, and sediments. This study reveals the genesis of the karst and the underground systems of the Tennengebirge, since the Oligocene. Large horizontal systems, which date back to the Miocene, were studied through the example of the caves Hornhohle and Eisriesenwelt, which respectively represent Ruinenhohlen (“cave ruins”) and Riesenhohlen (“giant caves”). The Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhohle System is typical of a mostly vertical large high-relief, alpine cave. The main characteristic of this network is major development in the vadose zone. The shafts' morphology is in “stairs beneath a faulted roof.” At greater depth, they connect to a perched epiphreatic zone, which is typical of a dammed karst. The main underground sediments are of paleoclimatic and hydrodynamic significance, corresponding to hot, stable, or unstable environments (flowstones, reworked weathered rocks) and cold environments (carbonate varves, glacial pebbles). A preliminary study of the Tennengebirge sediments reveals significant information about its evolution throughout Pliocene-Quaternary time.


The 'Calamine' of Southwest Sardinia: Geology, Mineralogy, and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Supergene Zn Mineralization, 2003, Boni M, Gilg Ha, Aversa G, Balassone G,
The mining district of southwest Sardinia, Italy, is one of the classic areas where primary carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb sulfide ores are associated with a relatively thick secondary oxidation zone containing Zn (hydroxy-)carbonates and silicates, the so-called 'calamine,' exploited until the 1970s. The extent of the capping oxidized ore zones, reaching deep below the surface, is generally independent of the present-day water table. The base of the oxidation profile containing nonsulfide Zn minerals in various uplifted blocks in the Iglesiente area can be both elevated above or submerged below the recent water table. The genesis of the ores is therefore considered to be related to fossil, locally reactivated, oxidation phenomena. The mineralogy of the nonsulfide mineralization is generally complex and consists of smithsonite, hydrozincite, and hemimorphite as the main economic minerals, accompanied by iron and manganese oxy-hydroxides and residual clays. This study places the secondary ores in the context of the tectonostratigraphic and climatic evolution of Sardinia and includes a petrographic and mineralogic study of the most abundant minerals, relating the mineralogy of secondary Zn and Pb carbonates to their stable C and O isotope geochemistry and constraining the origin of the oxidizing fluids and the temperature of mineralization. The{delta} 18OVSMOW values of smithsonite are homogeneous, regardless of crystal morphology, position, and mine location (avg. 27.4 {} 0.9{per thousand}). This homogeneity points to a relatively uniform isotopic composition of the oxidation fluid and corresponding formation temperatures of 20{degrees} to 35{degrees}C. Considering the karstic environment of smithsonite formation in southwest Sardinia, this high temperature could be due to heat release during sulfide oxidation. The carbon isotope compositions of secondary Zn carbonates display considerable variations of more than 9 per mil ({delta}13CVPDB from -0.6 to -10.4{per thousand}). This large range indicates participation of variable amounts of reduced organic and marine carbonate carbon during sulfide oxidation. The isotopic variation can be related to a variation in crystal morphologies of smithsonite, reflecting different environments of formation with respect to water table oscillations in karstic environments (upper to lower vadose to epiphreatic). The same range in{delta} 13C isotope values is displayed by the calcite associated with Zn carbonates and by recent speleothems. The most reliable time span for the deposition of bulk calamine ore in southwest Sardinia ranges from middle Eocene to Plio-Pleistocene, although further multiple reactivation of the weathering profiles, peaking within the warm interglacial periods of the Quaternary, cannot be excluded

Role of epiphreatic flow and soutirages in conduit morphogenesis: the Barenschacht example (BE, Switzerland)., 2003, Hauselmann P. , Jeannin Py. , Monbaron M.

Role of epiphreatic flow and soutirages in conduit morphogenesis: the Barenschacht example (BE, Switzerland), 2003, Hauselmann P. , Jeannin P. Y. , Monbaron M. ,
Role of epiphreatic flow and soutirages in speleogenesis: the Barenschacht example (BE, Switzerland).- Observations in the deep parts of Barenschacht allow the linkage of two existing theories about cave genesis (FORD & EWERS 1978, AUDRA 1994). The transition from vadose canyon to phreatic tube is not observed at the perennial karstwater table, but at the floodwater table. The galleries below all show phreatic morphology despite temporary vadose flow. Therefore, the boundaries of the distinct phases of cave genesis are inclined. In low-water situation, the looping galleries empty through the so-called soutirages. These form through corrosion along discontinuities and are generally found in the epiphreatic realm. The water flowing through the soutirages reaches the perennial watertable and then the spring. It seems possible that the model presented here is also valid for non-alpine caves

Cave forms and origin of the cave Pečina v Zjatih (Matarsko podolje, Slovenia), 2003, Verbovš, Ek Timotej

Cave lies in Matarsko podolje, in southwestern part of Slovenia. Surrounding beds are composed of limestones and limestone breccias of Cretaceous age. In the vicinity there are many dolines and collapse dolines. The entrance and final part of the cave are situated directly under the big dolines. Because of the small doline, which can be found above the middle part of the cave, there are many flowstone features. Obvious damages due to the freezing and thawing are found along the most part of the cave, at the entrance there is a lot of cryoclastic gravel. Cave began to form in phreatic and later in epiphreatic conditions. Palaeoflow discharge indicates great amount of water.


Kitzsteinhorn high alpine karst (Salzburg, Austria): Evidence of non-glacial speleogenesis., 2004, Audra, Ph.
Cave and karst development in a recently deglaciated alpine area (Kitzsteinhorn, Salzburg, Austria) is examined and compared to presently and previously glaciated karst regions elsewhere. Field evidence suggests that cave genesis occurs mainly during warm, interglacial periods when vegetation and soil formation provide chemically aggressive runoff during the melting season. During periods of extensive glacier coverage, the glacial contribution to karst development is restricted to surface abrasion, shaft development in pre-existing vadose caves and infill of fine-grained sediment in the epiphreatic zone. [Feichtner-Schachthhle (2573/3)]

Kitzsteinhorn high alpine karst (Salzburg, Austria): Evidence of non-glacial speleogenesis, 2004, Audra, Ph.
Cave and karst development in a recently deglaciated alpine area (Kitzsteinhorn, Salzburg, Austria) is examined and compared to presently and previously glaciated karst regions elsewhere. Field evidence suggests that cave genesis occurs mainly during warm, interglacial periods when vegetation and soil formation provide chemically aggressive runoff during the melting season. During periods of extensive glacier coverage, the glacial contribution to karst development is restricted to surface abrasion, shaft development in pre-existing vadose caves and infill of fine-grained sediment in the epiphreatic zone.

CAVE SEDIMENTS FROM THE POSTOJNSKAPLANINSKA CAVE SYSTEM (SLOVENIA): EVIDENCE OF MULTI-PHASE EVOLUTION IN EPIPHREATIC ZONE, 2008, Zupan Hajna N. , Pruner P. , Mihevc A. , Schnabl P. , BosÁ, K P.

The Postojnska jama–Planinska jama cave system and number of smaller adjacent caves are developed in the Postojnski kras. These caves are located between two dextral strike-slip fault zones oriented in the Dinaric direction. The caves contain lithologically diversified cave fill, ranging from speleothems to allogenic fluvial sediments. The allogenic clastic material is derived from a single source, Eocene siliciclastics of the Pivka Basin. Small differences in mineral/petrologic composition between the sediments can be attributed to different degrees of weathering in the catchment area and homogenization of source sediments. Thick sequences of fine-grained laminated sediments, deposited from suspension are common. The depositional environment was mostly calm, but not completely stagnant. Such a sedimentary environment can be described as cave lacustrine, with deposition from pulsed flow. The homogeneity of the palaeomagnetic data suggests rapid deposition by a number of short-lived single-flood events over a few thousand years. This depositional style was favourable for recording of short-lived excursions in the palaeomagnetic field. The sediments were originally not expected to be older than Middle Quaternary in age (i.e. about 0.4 Ma). Later numerical dating (Th/U and ESR) indicated ages older than 0.53 ka. New palaeomagnetic data from selected sedimentary profiles within the cave system detected normal polarization in much of the profiles studied. Reverse polarized magnetozones, interpreted mostly as short- lived excursions of magnetic field, were detected in only a few places. Therefore, we interpreted most of the sediments as being younger than 0.78 Ma, belonging to different depositional phases within the Brunhes chron. Palaeomagnetic properties of two profiles in caves intersected by the artificial tunnel between Postojnska jama and Črna jama had reverse polarized magnetozones and of sediments in Zguba jama, may indicate an age much greater than 0.78 Ma. The cave system has evolved over a long period of time, governed by the functioning of Planinsko polje in the relation to the evolution of the resurgence area in Ljubljana Moor further to the east. General stabilization of the hydrological system with low hydraulic head led to the evolution of caves in epiphreatic and paragenetic conditions over a long time-span. Individual cave segments or passages were completely filled and exhumed several times during the evolution of the cave. Alternation of depositional and erosional phases may be connected with changing conditions within the cave system, the functioning of the resurgence area, collapse, climatic change, tectonic movement and the intrinsic mechanisms of contact karst.


HYDROLOGIC CONNECTIONS AND DYNAMICS OF WATER MOVEMENT IN THE CLASSICAL KARST (KRAS) AQUIFER: EVIDENCE FROM FREQUENT CHEMICAL AND STABLE ISOTOPE SAMPLING, 2008, Doctor, D. H.

A review of past research on the hydrogeology of the Classical Karst (Kras) region and new information obtained from a two- year study using environmental tracers are presented in this paper. The main problems addressed are 1) the sources of water to the Kras aquifer resurgence zone—including the famous Timavo springs—under changing flow regimes; 2) a quantification of the storage volumes of the karst massif corresponding to flow regimes defined by hydrograph recessions of the Timavo springs; and 3) changing dynamics between deep phreatic conduit flow and shallow phreatic and epiphreatic storage within the aquifer resurgence zone as determined through changes in chemical and isotopic composition at springs and wells. Particular focus was placed on addressing the long-standing question of the influence of the Soča River on the ground waters of the aquifer resurgence zone. The results indicate that the alluvial aquifer supplied by the sinking of the Soča River on the northwestern edge of the massif contributes approximately 75% of the mean annual outflow to the smaller springs of the aquifer resurgence zone, and as much as 53% to the mean annual outflow of the Timavo springs. As a whole, the Soča River is estimated to contribute 56% of the average outflow of the Kras aquifer resurgence. The proportions of Soča River water increase under drier conditions, and decrease under wetter conditions. Time series analysis of oxygen stable isotope records indicate that the transit time of Soča River water to the Timavo springs, Sardos spring, and well B-4 is on the order of 1-2 months, depending on hydrological conditions. The total baseflow storage of the Timavo springs is estimated to be 518 million m3, and represents 88.5% of the storage capacity estimated for all flow regimes of the springs. The ratio of baseflow storage volume to the average annual volume discharged at the Timavo springs is 0.54. The Reka River sinking in Slovenia supplies substantial allogenic recharge to the aquifer; however, its influence on the northwest resurgence zone is limited to the Timavo springs, and is only a significant component of the spring discharge under flood conditions for relatively brief periods (several days to weeks). Sustainability of the trans-boundary aquifer of the Kras will benefit from maintaining high water quality in the Soča River, as well as focused water tracing experiments within the epiphreatic zone of the aquifer to better delineate the recharge zone and to identify sources of potential contamination to the Brestovica water supply well.


Phreatic drainage conduits within quartz sandstone: Evidence from the Jurassic Precipice Sandstone, Carnarvon Range, Queensland, Australia, 2009, Wray R.

Discrete underground drainage conduits in quartz sandstones are far less common than in limestones. This paper provides field evidence from the quartzose Precipice Sandstone in the Carnarvon Range of south-central Queensland, Australia, for tubular underground drainage networks similar in many ways to limestone conduits. Diameters range from less than 1 or 2 cm to over 1.5 m, most display a near-circular to oval cross-section that seems to suggest phreatic or epiphreatic development, and the internal surfaces of many are case-hardened by secondary silica deposits. A number of the region's perennial springs appear to be fed by such tubes. The dominant vertical jointing of the quartz sandstone and relatively high permeability of the sandstone are important controls on tube formation. Solutional weathering of the sandstone is widespread, and is followed by the removal of loosened sand grains by flowing underground water, the process of ‘arenisation’. Tube development would appear to have been happening for a very long time, and may still be occurring. A model for tube network formation is proposed. These findings highlight our potentially poor understanding of groundwater flow within some quartz sandstones, and may have important groundwater management implications.


Constraints on alpine speleogenesis from cave morphology - A case study from the eastern Totes Gebirge (Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria), 2009, Plan Lukas, Filipponi Marco, Behm Michael, Seebacherd Robert, Jeutter Peter

The Totes Gebirge is the largest karst massif in the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA). This paper focuses on the eastern part, where two major multiphase alpine cave systems (Burgunderschacht Cave System and DÖF–Sonnenleiter Cave System) are described with respect to morphology, hydrology, and sediments. The caves consist of Upper Miocene galleries of (epi)phreatic genesis and younger vadose canyon-shaft systems. Morphometrical analyses were used to determine the relevance of (1) cave levels (horizontal accumulations of galleries), (2) slightly inclined palaeo water tables of speleogenetic phases, (3) initial fissures, and (4) inception horizons on the development of the cave systems. (Epi)phreatic cave conduits developed preferentially along vertical faults and along only a restricted number of bedding planes, which conforms to the inception horizon hypothesis. For at least one of the systems, a development under epiphreatic conditions is certain and a hydrological behaviour in the “filling overflow manner” is likely.

Observations in further major cave systems in the Totes Gebirge identify palaeo water tables of speleogenetic phases that show inclinations of 1.5° ± 1°. Analyses of cave levels reveal distinct peaks for each cave but it is hardly possible to correlate these elevation levels between caves of different parts of the karst massif. Therefore, we conclude that cave levels (strictly horizontal) indicate speleogenetic phases or palaeo water tables respectively, but they cannot be correlated with palaeo base levels or on regional scale. An exact correlation between cave development and palaeo base levels at the surface is only possible with inclined palaeo water tables of speleogenetic phases.

For the Totes Gebirge, the inclination directions of the speleogenetic phases imply that palaeo drainage was radial and recharge was autogenic, which is in contrast to observations from other plateaus in the NCA. Differences in fracture properties seem to be the reason for the development of divergent types, according to the Four State Model. A simplified model for cave genesis and surface development in this area since the Upper Miocene is presented.


RECENT RESULTS OF TRACER TESTS IN THE CATCHMENT OF THE UNICA RIVER (SW SLOVENIA), 2010, Gabrovek Franci, Kogovek Janja, Kova?i? Gregor, Petri? Metka, Ravbar Nataa & Turk Janez
In the catchment area of the Unica River two combined tracer tests with fluorescent dyes have been performed aiming to characterize the properties of groundwater flow and transport of contaminants through the vadose zone and well developed system of karst channels in the epiphreatic and phreatic zone in different hydrologic conditions. Tracers were injected directly into the ponors and to the oil collector outlet on the karst surface. Prior to tracing monitoring network has been set up, including precipitation, physical and chemical parameters of the springs and cave streams. Field fluorimeters were used to detect tracers in the underground river and conventional sampling techniques and laboratory analyses were used at the springs. Some of the results were quantitatively evaluated by QTRACER2 Program. During the first tracer test, when injection was followed by rain event, flow through the well conductive cave system was characterized by apparent dominant flow velocities of 88640 m/h. Breakthrough curves were continuous, uniform and single peaked, and almost complete recoveries were observed. During the second tracer test, when water level was in constant recession, the transport velocities through the well developed karst conduits were significantly slower (apparent maximal flow velocities being 24 times lower). Results also show lower dispersivity during the second tracer test, which corresponds to lower flow velocities. The tracer injected at the karst surface arrived with the expected delay (vdom around 9 m/h) and showed irregular and elongated breakthrough curves with secondary peaks. In this paper only tracer test results are presented, which are a part of a comprehensive study of groundwater flow through the complex karst aquifers aiming at improving karst water resources understanding, protection and management. The presented assessment will beyond be utilized for further detailed analysis, studies and modelling.

Geomorphologische Untersuchung und genetische Interpretation der Dachstein- Mammuthhle (sterreich), 2010, Plan L. , Xaver A.
The speleogenesis of Dachstein-Mammuthhle, the third-longest cave system in the Northern Calcareous Alps, has been discussed controversially in the past. Using morphologic mapping and morphometric data of the central parts of the cave in combination with modern speleogenetic models a re-evaluation of its development is attempted. The geometry of the cave and several small-scale features (e.g., scallops, karren, ceiling meanders), which date back to the early history of the cave formation, lead to the following interpretion: old phreatic parts (galleries, mazes, and some pits) developed under epiphreatic conditions during flood events, followed by younger, vadose canyon-shaft-systems. Scallops and sedimentary structures indicate a general westward flow direction. Sediments played an important role during the formation of the profiles, i.e. the profiles expanded upward (paragenesis) because the floor of the galleries was sealed by sediments, and only part of the cross section, as it can be seen today after removal of these sediments, was occupied by water. This is relevant for calculations of the palaeodischarge from mean scallop lengths and cross-section areas. Paragenesis can only be ruled out for the origin of the keyhole profile of the so-called Canyon (near the Westeingang) and the palaeodischarge was estimated to 16 m/s. This, however, was probably only a fraction of the total discharge of this system as several additional large galleries occur at the same cave level. The former catchment area was probably located south of todays Northern Calcareous Alps

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