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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 specific conductance is a measure of the ability of water to conduct an electrical current expressed in micromhos per centimeter at 25øc [22].?

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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 paleoenvironment (Keyword) returned 52 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 52
The reconstruction of fossil planation surface in China, 2002, Feng Jl, Cui Zj,
On the basis of results of relative subjects, the fossil planation surface has been discussed by the authors from the point of geomorphologic view. The discussion contents included the characteristic information, research methods, paleotopography (gradient and altitude) and other problems about fossil planation surface. The recognition and reconstruction of fossil planation surface mainly rely on the following characteristic information: ( i) the character of erosion unconformity surface; (ii) the paleo-weathering crust and residual deposits; (iii) the paleo-karst and filled deposit in the paleo-karst under the unconformity surface, and (iv) the character and environment of sediment above the unconformity surface. According to the above-mentioned characteristic information, the authors recognized and reconstructed two stages of fossil planation surface on Paleo-land of North China and Yangtze Paleo-land. These two fossil planation surfaces formed from Middle Ordovician to Lower Carboniferous and from Lower Permian to Upper Permian respectively. The paleo-gradient of fossil planation surface changed within 0.31parts per thousand-1.32parts per thousand, mostly less than 1.0parts per thousand. According to the developing depth of paleo-karst, the authors considered that in Suqiao buried-hill region of Paleo-land of North China, the paleo-altitude is 300 m or so above paleo-sea-level. The authors hope that the research is in favor of discussion about rising scale and process of the Tibetan Plateau. Besides, the research of fossil planation surface can provide a theoretical base for relative research, such as the reconstruction of paleoenvironment, the evolution and drift of paleo-continent, the formation and distribution of weathering ore deposits, the reservior and prospection of oil and gas, etc

Late Quaternary history of the Marmara Sea and Black Sea from high-resolution seismic and gravity-core studies, 2002, Hiscott R. N. , Aksu A. E. ,
Lithologic and multi-proxy paleoenvironmental data from 21 dated cores have been used to define three allostratigraphic units (allounits) within the late Quaternary successions of the Marmara Sea and Black Sea. Allounits are bounded by unconformities and their correlative conformities. In both regions, Allounit A extends from the seafloor downward to a ~12-11-ka sequence boundary, which is a major shelf-crossing unconformity in water depths less than ~100-110 m. In deep basins of the Marmara Sea, the lower part of Allounit A, designated Subunit A2, is a laminated sapropel, M1. On the shelf, Subunit A2 consists of backstepping delta lobes and early-transgressive barrier islands and sand sheets. Allounit B has only been recovered in Marmara Sea cores collected at water depths greater than ~90 m, and represents basinal or prodeltaic deposition during the 23-12-ka late Pleistocene lowstand. During the last glacial maximum, the shelves surrounding the Marmara Sea were subaerially exposed, and deltas of Allounit B accumulated along the present-day shelf edge. Following the post-glacial rise of global sea level to -75 m at ~12 ka, the Marmara Sea quickly became inundated and thereafter rose in synchroneity with the Mediterranean. By ~10 ka, the Black Sea rose to start spilling into the Marmara Sea, leading to establishment of a brackish-water lid that has persisted to the modern day. The strongest Black Sea outflow began at ~10 ka and persisted to ~6 ka, promoting the accumulation of sapropel M1 in the deep Marmara Sea, and progradation of an overflow delta just south of the exit from the Bosphorus Strait. Allounit C is a laminated sapropel (M2) in basinal cores, dated at ~30-23 ka. Like M1, it is believed that M2 accumulated during a period of increased brackish-water input into the Marmara Sea mainly from the Black Sea. In the Black Sea, wave erosion kept the shelf stripped of unconsolidated sediments during the falling sea level associated with the last glaciation and subsequent early stages of the post-glacial Holocene transgression. This erosion created a major unconformity, [alpha]. Shelf-edge deltas of Allounit B received their sediment during the last lowstand from small rivers that likely coalesced into a single system toward the shelf edge, at modern water depths of -100 to -110 m. These deltas were active until ~11-10.5 ka. Subsequently, sea level in the Black Sea rose to -40 m by ~10 ka, and a set of backstepping barrier islands developed on the shelf as part of the associated transgressive systems tract. Once water level reached -40 m, continued sea-level rise stalled until ~9 ka as the Black Sea began to spill across the Bosphorus Strait into the Marmara Sea

Littoral dripstone and flowstone-non spelean carbonate secondary deposits., 2003, Stafford Kevin, Taborosi Danko
Speleothem-like dripstone and flowstone deposits can form in the non-spelean environments of marine notches on tropical carbonate coastlines. Hereby termed "littoral dripstone" and "littoral flowstone" to distinguish them from genuine cave deposits, they reflect the basic speleothem types: draperies, stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. Nevertheless, these formations lack the luster and crystallinity of cave analogues, and are not nearly as well-developed, dense, and massive. They are composed of layered microcrystalline aragonite and calcite, are generally highly porous, and invariably overlie dissolutional and bioerosional karren. Because true speleothems, often found in the remnants of solution voids breached by coastal erosion, are also commonly present in the modern littoral environments on tropical carbonate islands, they could be confused with littoral dripstone and flowstone deposits. The distinction between the two is crucial, because the true speleothems are indicators of karst cave paleoenvironments, while littoral dripstone and flowstone are contemporary parts of the modern coastal landscape.

Hydrochemical and isotope characteristics of spring water and travertine in the Baishuitai area (SW China) and their meaning for paleoenvironmental reconstruction, 2003, Liu Z. , Zhang M. , Li Q. , You S. ,

La grotte d’Alisadr, un témoin exceptionnel de l’évolution morphologique du Zagros (Iran), 2004, Dumas, Dominique
Cave of Alisadr: a geomorphologic site of outstanding interest in the Zagros Mountains of Iran - The tourist cave of Alisadr, located on the eastern boundaries of the Zagros Mountains, is biggest subsurface cave visited in Iran. Most part of the karstic underground galleries is permanently filled with water: on the sides of the galleries former water table levels are indicated by numerous calcareous sinters. The sub-surface karst has preserved numerous relics and paleoenvironmental residual deposits, which show the geomorphologic karstic development. Dating of the three conspicuous calcareous levels in the cave and that of the surface basaltic mesa, to be established a few kilometres from the cave enable a chronology the stages of karstic evolution. The place of pre-quaternary vestiges in the landscapes of this country is also determined. For example, no typical landform of glacial erosion has been identified. The current karstic denudation rate is about 3 mm/Ky. The geomorphologic evolution of surface and sub-surface landforms during the quaternary era is shown and deduced from the processes, which have led to breccia formations in calcareous rocks.

Characterization of tufa from the Dinaric Karst of Croatia: mineralogy, geochemistry and discussion of climate conditions, 2004, Franciskovicbilinski S, Barisic D, Vertacnik A, Bilinski H, Prohic E,
Tufa deposits from four separate occurrences in the Dinaric Karst of Croatia were characterized with respect to mineralogy, geochemistry and activity of radionuclides. Three of the specimens are of Holocene age, formed during Atlantic, Subboreal and present climate. Two locations (Plitvice Lakes and Krka River) have previously been studied. Two locations (Mreznica and Slunjcica rivers) have not attracted scientific research yet. The major mineral in tufa is calcite. Minor minerals are quartz and dolomite, depending on location. Geochemistry of selected stream sediments (f <63 mum) from the Dinaric Karst was presented for comparison with tufa. Provided statistically significant number of samples studied, the ratios U-238/Ra-226, U-238/Th-232 and Cs-137 may provide tighter constraints on the paleoenvironment. It is suggested to be used in comparison of different world tufas. In general terms it is discussed a hypothesis that relates the occurrence of tufas to atmospheric pCO(2) and climate conditions. In addition, the needs for future multidisciplinary research on tufa formation are discussed, because there are several other important parameters dependent on climate, which still have to be studied

Paleoenvironments: Clastic Cave Sediments, 2004, Farrant A.

Paleoenvironments: Speleothems, 2004, Ford D.

An overview of the current research carried out in the French Western Alps karsts, 2004, Audra, Philippe

Current research encloses karst systems geomorphologic approach, recent advances in study of karst structures which date back from the Upper Miocene. Karst genesis in Western Alps is brought up by systemic analysis, according to a geomorphologic approach. It uses the "karst immunity" that conserves old drainage structures and their associated sediments. Karst landscapes can be sorted into horizontal and vertical forms. Speleothems are clearly connected to the presence of vegetation but they also record geomorphic crisis. Clastic sediments reveal mechanical erosion. This approach concludes with karst genesis and speleogenesis reconstruction, which blend together evolution stages, environment characterization and processes. Researchers reconsider the preponderant part previously attributed to glaciers. Karst appears immediately when a gradient exists and when the aquifer is stripped of its impervious cover. Such conditions occurred from the Upper Miocene and sometimes before. Karsts of the Pleistocene age are only met in the Inner Alps where cover stripping occurred later. Vertical systems composed of shaft series are old and become more complex. Field evidence refutes Ford's classification, which assigns a deep phreatic origin. A brief account of the present state of knowledge, according to region and researcher's scientific themes, allows establishing the last decade's advances. It also shows a disparity between the North and the South Western Alps, where Vercors appears to be one of the best studied massifs in the Alps.


Significance and dynamics of drip water responding to rainfall in four caves of Guizhou, China, 2005, Zhou Y. C. , Wang S. J. , Xie X. N. , Luo W. J. , Li T. Y. ,
In rainy season, NaCl is adopted to trace sources of cave drip water, time scales of drip water responding to precipitation, and processes of water dynamics in four caves of Pearl watershed in Guizhou, China (Liang-feng cave in Libo, Qixing cave in Duyun, Jiangjun cave in Anshun and Xiniu cave in Zhenning). Because of the variety of karst cave surroundings, interconnections of water transporting ways, water dynamics processes etc., time scales of drip-water in four caves responding to rainfall is 0-40 d. According to the characteristics of water transport in cave roof, pathways of water movement, types of water head etc., drip water of four caves can be divided into five hydrodynamics types. The differences of time scales, and ways of water-soil and water-rock interaction during water transporting in cave roof make it difficult to correctly measure speleothem record and trace material sources. In addition, there exist great differences in water dynamic conditions among the four caves. So the interpretation of the paleoenvironment records of speleothem must be supported by the understanding of hydrodynamics conditions of different drip sites. Based on the data got from drip sites in four caves, drip conductivity accords with precipitation, which indicates that element contents in speleothem formed by drip water record the change of karst paleoenvironment. But results of multi-points study are needed to guarantee the correctness of interpretation

Influence of hydrological and climatic parameters on spatial-temporal variability of fluorescence intensity and DOC of karst percolation waters in the Santana Cave System, Southeastern Brazil, 2005, Cruz J, Karmann I, Magdaleno Gb, Coichev N, Viana J,
Fluorescence intensity (FI) and organic carbon concentration of groundwater percolating through soil and rock into the Santana Cave were monitored at eight different cave sites between 2000 and 2002 to investigate their relationships to climatic parameters, stalactite discharge and thickness of rock overlying the cave. FI values, compared among sampling sites, are inversely proportional to depth and directly proportional to discharge; in contrast, dissolved organic matter (DOC) shows no significant spatial variability. Time-series analysis demonstrated similarities in DOC trends of different waters, but no correlation was observed with FI trends. Combined evaluation of DOC of infiltration waters, rainfall data and chemical parameters of Fe, O2, pH, Eh in soil solution indicate that peaks in DOC content coincide with more reduced conditions in the soil and have a lag time of 2-3 months after heavy showers. Variation of FI throughout the year occurs at all sampling sites but only higher drip discharge and rimstone pool waters were correlatable to rainfall events. FI of lower discharge sampling sites shows similar trends, but no relationship between drip discharge and rainfall variation was observed. Ranges and means of FI for all drip waters were significantly higher in the 2001-2002 period than in the preceding 2000-2001 period, which correlates with a 5.5 [deg]C increase in mean austral winter temperatures in 2001. Hence, FI variations of karst waters that form carbonate speleothems under a humid subtropical climate may provide a useful proxy in paleoenvironmental reconstruction

Late glacial to Holocene climate and sedimentation history in the NW Black Sea, 2005, Bahr A, Lamy F, Arz H, Kuhlmann H, Wefer G,
Gravity cores from the continental slope in the northwestern Black Sea were studied using high-resolution stable isotope, grain size and XRF-scanning data. The measurements provide a 30 000 years AMS 14C-dated record of variations in the hydrological regime of the Black Sea and give insight into changing paleoenvironments in the surrounding areas. Stable climatic conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum were followed by a series of meltwater pulses most likely originating from the Scandinavian ice sheet between 18 000 and 15 500 yr BP.1 This meltwater input rose the level of the Caspian Sea to a point that Caspian water could spill into the Black Sea via the Manych-depression north of the Caucasian mountains. High-frequency oscillations in the XRF-data during this period suggest a probable link to the arctic climate regime. Later, during the Bolling/Allerod and the early Holocene, prevailing high temperatures led to authigenic calcite precipitation through increased phytoplankton activity, interrupted by the Younger Dryas and the '8200 yr BP cold event' with dominant clastic sedimentation

The Upper Valanginian (Early Cretaceous) positive carbon–isotope event recorded in terrestrial plants, 2005, Grocke D. R. , Price G. D. , Robinson S. A. , Baraboshkin E. Y. , Mutterlose J. , Ruffell A. H.

Our understanding of the ancient ocean-atmosphere system has focused on oceanic proxies. However, the study of terrestrial proxies is equally necessary to constrain our understanding of ancient climates and linkages between the terrestrial and oceanic carbon reservoirs. We have analyzed carbon–isotope ratios from fossil plant material through the Valanginian and Lower Hauterivian from a shallow-marine, ammonite-constrained succession in the Crimean Peninsula of the southern Ukraine in order to determine if the Upper Valanginian positive carbon–isotope excursion is expressed in the atmosphere.d 13 Cplantvalues fluctuate around 23xto 22xfor the Valanginian–Hauterivian, except during the Upper Valanginian where d 13 C plantvalues record a positive excursion to ~ 18x. based upon ammonite biostratigraphy from Crimea, and in conjunction with a composite Tethyan marined 13 Ccarb curve, several conclusions can be drawn: (1) thed 13 Cplantrecord indicates that the atmospheric carbon reservoir was affected; (2) the defined ammonite correlations between Europe and Crimea are synchronous; and (3) a change in photosynthetic carbon–isotope fractionation, caused by a decrease in atmosphericpCO2, occurred during the Upper Valanginian positived 13 C excursion. Our new data, combined with other paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic information, indicate that the Upper Valanginian was a cool period (icehouse) and highlights that the Cretaceous period was interrupted by periods of cooling and was not an equable climate as previously thought.


Intérêt des sédiments détritiques endokarstiques en tant qu’archive naturelle ? Discussion autour des dépôts lacustres souterrains (Grottes de Choranche - Vercors), 2006, Perroux Annesophie
Interest of endokarstic detritic sediments as a natural archive? Discussion on underground lacustrine deposits (Choranche Caves – Vercors) - Among the various natural environmental archives, the underground detritic deposits remained hitherto forgotten, in particular for high resolution analyses and treatments. Through the study of the sedimentary accumulation of the Cathedral Lake (Choranche Caves, Vercors), this paper shows the potential of information which these deposits contain. Sedimentary cores were sampled in the lake, various data are measured (granulometry, spectrocolorimetry, magnetic susceptibility and gray level imagery), then submitted to statistical processing (PCA, Passega images...) and signal treatment (wavelet decomposition). The stratigraphy of charcoal fragments trapped in the sediment and dated by the 14C method, does not appear sufficiently coherent to propose a satisfying age-depth model. Only some dates make it possible to suppose that the sedimentary filling of the lake covers at least the 4000 last years, with an average rate of sedimentation estimated at 1.87 mm/yr. The other results of this work make it possible to understand transport and deposition dynamics of the sedimentary particles in an endokarstic lake, in particular with regard to flooding episodes. The Cathedral lake has a binary functioning, with mainly a fine sedimentation (decantation), punctually stopped by flooding episodes, which on their turn have two different dynamics (brutal or progressive phenomena in sedimentation). Lastly, the study of various signals highlights a great number of sedimentation control factors; these factors seem to act mainly on “small” time scales (more than 80 % of the granulometric signal variation are linked to phenomena with a period inferior to 40 years, according to the chronological framework supposed in the first assumption). This work carried in Choranche shows that endokarstic detritic sediments contain high resolution archives of the environmental evolutions. Subject to a chronological positioning more precise than the one we have today, paleoenvironmental interpretations and reconstitutions will make it possible to go further in their reading.

Continental France and Belgium during the early Cretaceous: paleoweatherings and paleolandforms, 2006, Thiry Medard, Quesnel Florence, Yans Johan, Wyns Robert, Vergari Anne, Theveniaut Herve, Simoncoincon Regine, Ricordel Caroline, Moreau Marie Gabrielle, Giot Denis, Dupuis Christian, Bruxelles Laurent, Barbarand
During the early Cretaceous, successive tectonic phases and several sea level falls resulted in the emersion of the main part of western Europe and the development of thick 'lateritic' weathering. This long period of continental evolution ended with the Upper Cretaceous transgressions. During this period, the exposed lands displayed a mosaic of diverse morphologies and weathered landscapes. Bauxites are the most spectacular paleoweathering features, known for long in southern France. Recently, new residual outcrops have been identified, trapped in the karstic depressions of the Grands Causses. Other bauxitic formations, containing gibbsite, have also been recognised, occurring with the Clay-with-Jurassic-cherts in the southeastern border of the Paris Basin. These bauxitic formations overlay Jurassic limestone and are buried beneath Upper Cretaceous marine deposits. The recognition of bauxites up north into the southern Paris Basin significantly widens the extension of the Lower Cretaceous bauxitic paleolandscapes. On the Hercynian basements thick kaolinitic weathering mantles occur. They have been classically ascribed to the Tertiary. The first datings of these in situ paleosoils, by means of paleomagnetism and/or radiogenic isotopes, record especially early Cretaceous ages. This is the case for the 'Siderolithic' formations on the edges of the French Massif Central, but also for the kaolinitic profiles in the Belgian Ardennes. In the Flanders, the Brabant basement is deeply kaolinised beneath the Upper Cretaceous cover. These paleosoils show polygenetic evolutions. The relief of these basement paleolandscapes may have been significant. There where probably high scarps (often of tectonic origin) reaching 200 m in elevation or beyond, as well as wide surfaces with inselbergs, as in the present day landscapes of tropical Africa and South America. On the Jurassic limestone platforms occur diverse kaolinitic and ferruginous weathering products. Around the Paris Basin they show various facies, ranging from kaolinitic saprolites to ferricretes. Due to the lack of sedimentary cover, the age of these ferruginous and kaolinitic weathering products has been debated for long, most often allocated to the Siderolithic sensu lato (Eocene-Oligocene). Recent datings by paleomagnetism have enabled to date them (Borne de Fer in eastern Paris Basin) back also to the early Cretaceous (130 {} 10 Ma). These wide limestone plateaus show karstified paleolandforms, such as vast closed and flat depressions broken by conical buttes, but also deep sinkholes in the higher areas of the plateaus and piedmonts. The depth of the karst hollows may be indicative of the range of relative paleoelevations. Dissolution holes display seldom contemporaneous karst fillings, thus implying that the karstland had not a thick weathering cover or that this cover had been stripped off before or by the late Cretaceous transgression. Nevertheless, some areas, especially above chert-bearing Jurassic limestone or marl, show weathering products trapped in the karst features or as a thick weathering mantle. In the Paris Basin, the Wealden gutter looked like a wide floodplain in which fluvio-deltaic sands and clays were deposited and on which paleosoils developed during times of non-deposition. The edges of the gutter were shaped as piedmonts linked up with the upstream basement areas. The rivers flowing down to the plain deposited lobes of coarse fluvial sands and conglomerates. The intensity of the weathering, the thickness of the profiles and their maturation are directly dependent on the duration of the emersion and the topographic location relative to the gutter. Near the axis of the gutter, where emersion was of limited duration, the paleoweathering features are restricted to rubefaction and argillization of the Lower Cretaceous marine formations. On the other hand, on the borders of the basin and on the Hercynian basement, where emersion was of longer duration, the weathering profiles are thicker and more intensively developed. The inventory of the Lower Cretaceous paleoweathering features shows the complexity of the continental history of this period. Moreover, the preserved weathering products are only a part of this long lasting period, all the aspects relative to erosion phases are still more difficult to prove and to quantify. In this domain, apatite fission tracks thermochronology (AFTT) can be helpful to estimate the order of magnitude of denudation. Residual testimonies and subsequent transgressions may enable to estimate relative elevations, but in return, we presently have no reliable tool to estimate absolute paleoelevations. In the work presented here, the inventory enabled to draw a continental paleogeographic map showing the nature of the weathering mantles and the paleolandscape features, just as paleoenvironments and paleobathymetry presently appear on marine paleogeographic maps. For the future, the challenge is to make progress in dating the paleoweathering profiles and especially in the resolution of these datings, in order to correlate precisely the continental records with the different events which trigger them (eustatism, climate, regional and global geodynamics). The final goal will be to build up a stratigraphic scale of the 'continental geodynamic and climatic events' in parallel with 'sequential stratigraphy' in the marine realm

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