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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

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That natural load is sediment carried by a stable stream [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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Showing 16 to 30 of 50
New Pleistocene Vertebrate Assemblages in the Breitscheid-Erdbach Cave System (Iberg Limestone, Dill Basin, Germany), 1999, Kaiser, T. M.
A substantial cave system developed in Devonian reef carbonates at the eastern foothills of the Westerwald Mountains (Hessen, Germany) was first opened in 1993 by limestone quarrying. The system is split into 4 karst levels that appear to represent stages of cyclic karst formation. All accessible levels are presently in the vadose state. Clastic sediments filling fossil voids have preserved two rich Pleistocene vertebrate assemblages. Most specimens are identified as bats or the cave bear Ursus spelaeus. The assemblages are at least partly allochthonous. The significance of the accumulations lies in the preservation of an undisturbed surface assemblage, which most likely has not been disturbed since the late Pleistocene.

A Preliminary U-Pb Date on Cave Spar, Big Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA, 2000, Lundberg, J. , Ford, D. C. , Hill, C. A.
U-Pb dating of a football-sized, dogtooth spar, calcite crystal collected from a cave in Big Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, USA, gave an age estimate of 87 - 98 Ma for calcite deposition. This Upper Cretaceous (Laramide) date is important because: (1) it implies that there may have been a major karsting episode in the Guadalupe Mountains in the Laramide; (2) it implies that the Laramide was a time of heating and deeply circulating hydrothermal water; (3) it relates to the possible time of regional uplift above sea level of the Guadalupe Mountains along with the rest of the western United States; and (4) it relates to a time of possible hydrocarbon maturation and migration in the Delaware Basin

Karstification and tectonic evolution of the Jabal Madar (Adam Foothills, Arabian platform) during the Upper Cretaceous, 2000, Montenat C. , Soudet H. J. , Barrier P. , Chereau A. ,
A palaeokarst system of Turonian age, located on the Arabian platform, at the front of the ophiolitic nappes of Oman (Jabal Madar, Adam foothills), is described and placed in its geodynamic context. The development of the karst network in a vadose context was favoured by an episode of fracturing (N-S to NW-SE fractures) that affected the Cenomanian platform carbonates of the Natih Formation. The karstic filling comprises two main types of speleothems: - laminated bioclastic calcarenites with graded bedding essentially deposited by gravity currents in a vadose regime; - crystallisation of large masses of white calcite in a saturated regime. The calcite was deposited during several episodes, and often constitutes most of the filling. The episode of uplift and emergence, accompanied by fracturing which favoured the development of the Madar karstic system, was probably induced by the swelling of the Arabian platform, in response to the initiation of the ophiolitic nappe obduction. Karstic filling probably occurred during the rise of marine level, what is suggested by mixing of vadose and marine influences (production of bioclastic calcarenites and later dolomitisation of these ones; crystallisation of white calcite of various origins as evidenced by cathodoluminescence data and carbonate isotopes). At the beginning of the Senonian, the Jabal Madar area was again submerged and incorporated in a relatively deep foreland basin where pelagic marls and turbidites were deposited (Muti Formation). The Jabal Madar (and its karstic system) and the whole of the Adam foothills were affected by folding towards the end of the Cretaceous, during the final phase of thrusting of the Omani nappes. The folding was strongly reactivated by post-obduction compressional movement which occurred during Miocene times

Geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of Fe-Ni- and bauxitic-laterite deposits of Greece, 2000, Eliopoulos Dg, Economoueliopoulos M,
Contiguous vertical sample profiles from Ni-laterite deposits with in situ features (Kastoria, Profitis Ilias, and Tsouka) and allochthonous Ni- and bauxitic-laterite deposits in contact with basement limestone (Nissi) and bauxitic-laterites lying on peridorite (Parhari) were analyzed for major, trace (including Tn and U), rare earth and platinum-group elements (REE and PGE, respectively). In addition, minerals with emphasis to chromite grains found as residual components in these laterites, inherited from the ophiolitic parent rocks, were analyzed by microprobe. Low Al2O3, TiO2, REE, Th and U contents are common features of the Kastoria, Bitincka and Tsouka deposits. Tn contrast, elevated REE contents are present in the karst-type bauxitic- and Ni-laterite ores of Nissi and bauxitic-laterites of Parhari. The bauxitic-laterite deposit of Nissi attains REE contents of thousands parts per million in samples from the contact between the lowest part of the bauxitic-laterite and the footwall limestone. Highest contents of Th and U are found in the bauxitic-laterites, with Th ranging from 4 to 28 ppm and U from 4 to 66 ppm. In general, increasing Al contents are accompanied by elevated Ti, REE, Tn and U contents at the Parhari and Nissi laterite deposits. Goethite, is the dominant mineral in all Ni-laterite profiles studied, while boehmite co-existing with goethite is common in the bauxitic-laterites at Nissi and Parhari. Goethite exhibits variable Al contents, while the Al/Fe ratio increases towards the top of the profiles. The PGE concentrations are generally low, ranging from less than 100 ppb to a few hundred parts per billion. The lowest values - lower than in the bedrock - were recorded in the saprolite zone. A certain enrichment in Pt (up to 48 ppb), Pd (7 ppb), and Au (16 ppb) is recorded in the reddish altered peridotite overlying the saprolite zone at Profitis Ilias. The Fe-Ni ore overlying the reddish altered peridotite has the highest Os values (14 ppb), Ir (32 ppb), Ru (66 ppb), Rh (20 ppb), Pt (86 ppb), and Pd (186 ppb). Gold contents are below 36 ppb. An increasing Pt/Pd ratio from 3.0 in Fe-Ni-laterites to 6.0 in bauxitic-laterites is apparent. Both whole rock compositions and mineral chemistry of laterites indicate that major controlling factors of the composition of the bauxitic-laterites are the conditions during transportation/deposition of the weathered material and during diagenesis/metadiagenesis stage rather than parent mafic ophiolitic rocks. The comparison between the primary composition of chromite in the saprolite zone and the overlying Fe-Ni ore may provide evidence for the discrimination between Fe-Ni ore linked to in situ weathering and ore derived by transportation to some extent of elastic and chemical material. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Speleogenesis of sistema Cheve, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2000, Hose L. D.
The Cheve hydrologic complex in southern Mxico is the deepest known karst conduit system in the world, with a proven relief of 2540 m. The explored upper portion of the system, Sistema Cheve, extends to a depth of -1386 m. The water re-emerges from a cave in the Santo Domingo canyon, about 18 km north of the main sink. The entire cave system developed in various carbonates along (and under) the footwall of Laramide-age thrust fault. Speleogenesis of Sistema Cheve began in the Neogene or Pleistocene with exposure of a carbonate block isolated by faults. Aggressive allogenic waters entered the ground near the contact and formed mostly vertical passages until they arrived at the local base level, which was ~100 m higher than its present level. The stream removed ceilings and wall in the extensively fractured carbonates, resulting in local passage enlargement. Phreatic tubes formed in the middle and lower portions of the hydrologic system. Most of the conduits drained as downcutting continued in the Santo Domingo canyon, leaving mostly air-filled cave passages with a trunk stream and phreatic loops.

Subsidence hazard in Berkshire in areas underlain by chalk karst, 2001, Edmonds Cn,
Purpose of survey During the last ten years a number of ground subsidence events have occurred in the northwest part of Reading. Many of the subsidence events resulted in structural damage to existing properties (see Plates 1 and 2). On the basis of the properties inspected to date it appears that the local housing has been constructed mostly upon conventional strip footings bearing onto naturally occurring soils. The increasing number of recorded subsidence events is of concern to planners, developers and insurers. Consequently the aim of the survey was to identify the nature and extent of subsidence hazard in the local area. The site The northwest part of Reading, generally referred to as Caversham, is shown in Figure 1. It largely comprises a south to southeasterly dipping land surface, overlooking the River Thames. North of the Thames the land surface is dissected by a NNW-SSE trending valley feature known as Hemdean Bottom. This divides the westerly Caversham Heights area from the easterly Caversham Park and Emmer Green areas. The Thames lies at just below 40 m AOD and northwards the land rises to above 80 m AOD. The floor of Hemdean Bottom generally lies between 40 m and 50 m AOD. Geology The published geological map at 1:10 560 scale (British Geological Survey County Series Berkshire Sheet 29 SE) for this area shows the entire district to be underlain by Cretaceous Upper Chalk, overlain by a Tertiary Reading Beds outlier to the northeast side of Hemdean Bottom. ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Genesis of the Dogankuzu and Mortas Bauxite Deposits, Taurides, Turkey: Separation of Al, Fe, and Mn and Implications for Passive Margin Metallogeny, 2002, Ozturk Huseyin, Hein James R. , Hanilci Nurullah,
The Taurides region of Turkey is host to a number of important bauxite, Al-rich laterite, and Mn deposits. The most important bauxite deposits, Do[g]ankuzu and Morta[s], are karst-related, unconformity-type deposits in Upper Cretaceous limestone. The bottom contact of the bauxite ore is undulatory, and bauxite fills depressions and sinkholes in the footwall limestone, whereas its top surface is concordant with the hanging-wall limestone. The thickness of the bauxite varies from 1 to 40 m and consists of bohmite, hematite, pyrite, marcasite, anatase, diaspore, gypsum, kaolinite, and smectite. The strata-bound, sulfide- and sulfate-bearing, low-grade lower part of the bauxite ore bed contains pyrite pseudomorphs after hematite and is deep red in outcrop owing to supergene oxidation. The lower part of the bauxite body contains local intercalations of calcareous conglomerate that formed in fault-controlled depressions and sinkholes. Bauxite ore is overlain by fine-grained Fe sulfide-bearing and calcareous claystone and argillaceous limestone, which are in turn overlain by massive, compact limestone of Santonian age. That 50-m-thick limestone is in turn overlain by well-bedded bioclastic limestone of Campanian or Maastrichtian age, rich with rudist fossils. Fracture fillings in the bauxite orebody are up to 1 m thick and consist of bluish-gray-green pyrite and marcasite (20%) with bohmite, diaspore, and anatase. These sulfide veins crosscut and offset the strata-bound sulfide zones. Sulfur for the sulfides was derived from the bacterial reduction of seawater sulfate, and Fe was derived from alteration of oxides in the bauxite. Iron sulfides do not occur within either the immediately underlying or overlying limestone. The platform limestone and shale that host the bauxite deposits formed at a passive margin of the Tethys Ocean. Extensive vegetation developed on land as the result of a humid climate, thereby creating thick and acidic soils and enhancing the transport of large amounts of organic matter to the ocean. Alteration of the organic matter provided CO2 that contributed to formation of a relatively 12C-rich marine footwall limestone. Relative sea-level fall resulted from strike-slip faulting associated with closure of the ocean and local uplift of the passive margin. That uplift resulted in karstification and bauxite formation in topographic lows, as represented by the Do[g]ankuzu and Morta[s] deposits. During stage 1 of bauxite formation, Al, Fe, Mn, and Ti were mobilized from deeply weathered aluminosilicate parent rock under acidic conditions and accumulated as hydroxides at the limestone surface owing to an increase in pH. During stage 2, Al, Fe, and Ti oxides and clays from the incipient bauxite (bauxitic soil) were transported as detrital phases and accumulated in the fault-controlled depressions and sinkholes. During stage 3, the bauxitic material was concentrated by repeated desilicification, which resulted in the transport of Si and Mn to the ocean through a well-developed karst drainage system. The transported Mn was deposited in offshore muds as Mn carbonates. The sulfides also formed in stage 3 during early diagenesis. Transgression into the foreland basin resulted from shortening of the ocean basin and nappe emplacement during the latest Cretaceous. During that time bioclastic limestone was deposited on the nappe ramp, which overlapped bauxite accumulation

Quantification of Macroscopic Subaerial Exposure Features in Carbonate Rocks, 2002, Budd Da, Gaswirth Sb, Oliver Wl,
The macroscopic features that characterize subaerial exposure surfaces in carbonates are well known, but their significance has not been quantitatively evaluated. This study presents such an analysis in the lower Oligocene Suwannee Limestone of west-central Florida. Eleven cores were point counted on a foot-by-foot basis for the abundance of caliche, rhizoliths, karst breccia, open vugs, infiltrated sediment, fractures, and pedogenic alteration. These features occur at and below intraformational exposure surfaces, which represent hiatuses estimated at 104 to 105 years, and an uppermost sequence-bounding unconformity representing 0.5 Myr, as revealed by Sr-isotope data. Statistical analyses of the point-count data reveal only a few significant relationships. (1) The hierarchy of exposure surfaces, and by inference duration of exposure, is differentiated only at a marginally significant level by sediment-filled vugs preferentially associated with the sequence boundary. Duration of exposure did not have a significant impact on the relative abundance of all other features. (2) Proximity (< 5 ft; 1.5 m) to any exposure surface is indicated only by rhizoliths, caliche, and pedogenic alteration, whereas karst breccia is preferentially found distal (> 5 ft) to both types of surfaces. Fractures, open vugs, and infiltrated sediment show no proximal or distal preference for either type of surface. (3) Depositional texture has no statistically significant affect on the presence or abundance of the exposure features, with the exception that rhizoliths and open vugs are preferentially more abundant in packstones relative to grainstones. This is interpreted to be the result of a soil-moisture effect. Factor analysis defines four factors that explain 46% to 52% of the total variance in the abundance data relative to the sequence boundary and the intraformational surfaces, respectively. The loading of each exposure feature on each factor is the same with respect to both types of surfaces, which is further evidence that the abundance of exposure features is independent of duration of exposure. Factor 1 is interpreted to be the amplitude of base-level changes and controls the abundance of karst breccia. Factor 2 is interpreted to be abundance of vegetation and relates to the abundance of rhizoliths and fractures. Factor 3 is interpreted to be a combination of soil-zone PCO2 and the availability of water and affects the abundance of pedogenic overprinting, caliche, and open vugs. Factor 4 is stratigraphic proximity to the sequence boundary, which controls the presence of sediment-filled voids. The amount of uncorrelated unique variance associated with infiltrated sediments, pedogenic overprinting, caliche, and open vugs is large (> 60%), meaning that feature abundance is also influenced by other unidentified site-specific factors. These results demonstrate that quantifying the abundance of macroscopic subaerial exposure features in limestones has the potential to yield more insight into the significance of those features than a mere qualitative assessment. This is particularly true when assessing the potential role of the many variables that can affect the development of these features

Limestone pavements in Great Britain and the role of soil cover in their evolution, 2003, Zseni Aniko, Goldie Helen, Bá, Rá, Nykevei Ilona

The goal of the research was to verify the connection between the solutional power of soil and the shape of rocky features in limestone. Soil samples from runnels, grikes, foot of pavements, top of limestone, grass patches and dolines were collected on limestone pavement areas of North England and examined for the pH and carbonate content. The results of the measurements proved that the soils with lower pH are related to deeper solution features and that proximity to limestone causes a higher soil-pH.

Propagation of a floodwave in karst during artificially generated recession - case study of Banjica spring (Bela Palanka, Eastern Serbia), 2003, Zlokolicamandić, Milena, Jalić, Ljubojević, Jelena

During hydrogeological research in the area of the north-eastern foothills of Mt. Suva Planina in Eastern Serbia, a borehole of 100 m of depth was drilled in the vicinity of a lukewarm spring, Banjica. The borehole had an artesian discharge, which caused artificially generated recession in the adjoining spring Banjica. During this hydrodynamical test, great quantities of precipitation occured in the hinterland of the spring, having the effect of a floodwave. The presence of two types of karst is obvious in the field - confined karst and covered karst. The hydrogeological response to the floodwave during artificially generated recession proved the presence of deep-seated karst also. This can be detected by comparative analysis of the hydrograph of the Banjica spring and the graph of pressures in the borehole. In this way, not only the presence, but also the characteristics of the karst can be proved (e.g. dimensions and types of karst conduits, relative age of karst, size and extension of the aquifer, etc.).

Ages et modalits des incursions humaines et animales prhistoriques dans ltage Cathala de la grotte dAldne (Hrault, France). Apport des analyses sdimentologiques et gochronologiques, 2004, Guendon Jeanlouis, Ambert Paul, Quinif Yves, Baumes Bernard, Colomer Albert, Dainat Denis, Galant Philippe, Gruneisen Alain, Gruneisen Nathalie
Chronologies and means of prehistoric human and animal frequentations into Aldne cave, Cathala level (Hrault, France). Sedimentology and geochronology studies - The Aldne cave forms a long network of galleries on four levels. Only the first two of these contain prehistoric vestiges. Superior level (Bousquet storey) presents a Lower Palaeolithic stratigraphy in the porch. It contained also, in the deep areas, a thick filling of clays and speleothems with bear bones, intensively quarried during the 19th and 20th centuries for phosphate ore. These workings allowed to discover the second level (Cathala storey) and, in these news galleries, human footprints trail with sooty marks on the walls, numerous animal paw prints, hyena coprolites, scratches and nests made by bears. After study establishing mesolithic age of human footprints (8 200 130 BP, 7 790 60 BP) and anteriority of animal passages, researches were directed on sedimentological and geochronological study (U/Th dating of speleothem). First, the age of the last animal presence in the second level of Aldne was precised, between 41 500 BP to 25 000 BP. Second, means and chronologies of closing of the prehistoric entrance of Cathala storey were revealed. The actual access in these galleries is only an artificial entrance opened up for phosphate mining. It begins by a cat-flap and shafts about twenty meters high. The access used by prehistoric humans and animals is completely obstructed by a very important boulder choke with speleothems interstratified, situated in North part of Cathala gallery. The studies of this boulder choke showed three principal phases of closing of this primitive access: a first collapse of the roof during Middle Pleistocene; an important bedded rock-fragments produced by frost shattering of primitive entrance porch, which filled principal gallery during periglacial stages of the Upper Pleistocene; and a second roof collapse, during Holocene. The burnt pieces of brand left on the ground allowed to recognise the last narrow passage taken by the Mesolithic humans before this last collapse finally obstructing this entrance.

Prehistory and coastal karst area: Cosquer Cave and the Calanques of Marseille, 2004, Collinagirard, J.

The Cosquer Cave is a French Palaeolithic painted and engraved cave (27.000-18.500 BP), which is located under the sea, in the Urgonian limestones of Cap Morgiou (“Massif des Calanques”, Marseille). The entrance was submerged at the end of the Last Glacial Stage and is presently 37 m under sea level. A synthesis about the Cosquer Cave environmental studies is presented here. Structural studies show that caves planimetry is determined by Cap Morgiou jointing (mainly NW-SE and N-S vertical faults). Through archaeological studies, a speleothem breaking period can be dated between 27.000 and 18.000 BP. Geomorphologic study of the continental shelf at the foot of the Cosquer Cave area shows fossil shorelines at -36 m, -50/55 m, -90 m, -100 m depth. Radiocarbon dating from shells collected in -100m sediments yielded a date of 13.250 BP. Direct scuba diving observations and submarine cliff profiles sketching show several eustatic still stand¬ levels between -36m and the current sea surface indicating a probable tectonic stability during the last 10.000 years.

Divergent evolution in fluviokarst landscapes of Central Kentucky, 2004, Phillips J. D. , Martin L. L. , Nordberg V. G. , Andrews W. A. ,
Central Kentucky is characterized by a mixture of karst and fluvial features, typically manifested as mosaic of karst-rich/channel-poor (KRCP) and channel-rich/karst-poor (CRKP) environments. At the regional scale the location and distribution of KRCP and CRKP areas are not always systematically related to structural, lithological, topographic, or other controls. This study examines the relationship of KRCP and CRKP zones along the Kentucky River gorge area, where rapid incision in the last 1.5 million years has lowered local base levels and modified slopes on the edge of the inner bluegrass plateau. At the scale of detailed field mapping on foot within a 4 km(2) area, the development of karst and fluvial features is controlled by highly localized structural and topographic constraints, and can be related to slope changes associated with retreat of the Kentucky River gorge escarpment. A conceptual model of karst/fluvial transitions is presented, which suggests that minor, localized variations are sufficient to trigger a karst-fluvial or fluvial-karst switch when critical slope thresholds are crossed. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Karsthydrogeologisch-spelologische Untersuchungen in der Hallsttter Zone von Ischl - Aussee (Obersterreich, Steiermark)., 2005, Laimer, H. J.
The paper deals with the karst of the Hallstatt unit, stretching from Bad Ischl to Bad Aussee and northern and western boundaries, respectively. As such, it is meant as both a survey of karstgeomorphology and an analysis of karsthydrology. Data were collected during the field work for a PhD thesis about karst water vulnerability mapping on the basis of a specific method developed in Austria. Triassic and Malm formations of limestone blocks in the Hallstatt unit are underpinned by layers of marl and evaporites. The hydrogeological situation leads to conditions of shallow karst with poor storage capacity in the aquifers. The karst morphology is governed by a type of karst that is predominant in alpine foothills and, as it is subject to constant lithological change, leads to the formation of contact karst. In shallow karst, ponor dolines and active water caves, which are linear oriented, assume major karsthydrological importance. In the Hallstatt unit most water caves drain small autochthonous recharge systems. The cave-systems show multi phase genesis without large cave levels.[Junihhle (1615/4), Htterschacht (1514/6), Wasserloch (1614/6), Groes Knerzenloch (1615/7), Hherstein Wasserhhle (1615/1)]

U-Th ages constraining the Neanderthal footprint at Vartop Cave, Romania., 2005, Onac B. P Viehmann I. Lundberg J. Lauritzen Se. Stringer C. And Popiţ, ă, V.

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