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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 ground water, confined is ground water under pressure significantly greater than atmospheric and whose upper limit is the bottom of a confining unit [22]. see also confined; confining unit; confined aquifer.?

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.
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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 melting (Keyword) returned 46 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 46
Eisdickenmessungen in alpinen Höhlen mit Georadar, 2007,
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Behm M. , Hausmann H.
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) has been used to determine the ice thickness at several locations in three alpine ice caves Eisriesenwelt, 1511/24, Salzburg; Dachstein-Mammuthöhle, 1547/9, Upper Austria; Dachstein-Rieseneishöhle, 1547/17, Upper Austria). It could be shown that shielded antennas with relatively high frequencies (500 MHz) are sufficient to penetrate the ice up to 15 m depth. 3D layouts (crossing profiles) were necessary to delineate the subsurface in detail and to verify that certain reflections in the radargramm sections originate from the subsurface. In almost all radargramm sections, the lower boundary of the ice body is identified by the onset of strong and sharp reflections. We attribute this to either increased humidity at the ice – rock contact (due to melting) or to a sedimentary layer between ice and rock. Pronounced layering of the ice body itself is clearly seen at some locations, which may results from alternating air content. The maximum thickness is 7.5 m in Eisriesenwelt (location Eispalast), 6 m in the Dachstein-Mammuthöhle (location Saarhalle) and 15 m in the Dachstein-Rieseneishöhle (location Tristandom).

Die Schneekogelhöhle als Teil des Almberg-Höhlensystems (1624/18), 2007,
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Bayn T. , Schneider T. M.
The Schneekegelhöhle (1624/110 a-b) is located in the western part of the Totes Gebirge mountain range near Bad Aussee, Styria, Austria. Its entrance lies on the plateau of the Almberg north of the Grundlsee. In particular, two caves are well known in this area: The Großes Almbergloch (1624/16) and the Almberg-Eisund-Tropfsteinhöhle (1624/18 a-b). The Schneekegelhöhle was discovered by chance in 1978 while members of the german caving-clubs VHM (Munich) and FHKF (Nuremberg) were searching for the upper entrance of the Almberg-Eis-und-Tropfsteinhöhle. In those days, the cave ended up after 810 m of length with no rospect on new discoveries. Years after, new galleries could be explored due to melting ice. Since 2004, the exploration of the Schneekegelhöhle and the caves of the Almberg is the aim of “Projekt Almberg”, by members of the FHKF, supported by the Verein für Höhlenkunde in Obersteier (VHO). Its cavers decided to proceed in former explorations and to create a new survey, including all new parts. The aim was to establish a new cave-map of the Almberg in form of an atlas-system, based on fixed surface-coordi-nates. These works were carried out in 2005/06, leading so far to a total length of 1986 m of subterranean galleries with a depth of 258 m. Additional measurements at the surface were necessary and have been conducted with professional support, using a modern realtime kinematik-GPS unit. Due to the exploration of exciting new parts in the cave, we were able to discover two connections to the Almberg-Eis-und-Tropfsteinhöhle. Therefore a new cave-system, the Almberg-Höhlensystem (1624/18 a-d), with a total length of 8279 m has been established. Current aims of research are surveying, cave-climate-monitoring (including radonmeasurements) and cave-fauna-samples.

Late Pleistocene cryogenic calcite spherolites from the Malachitdom Cave (NE Rhenish Slate Mountains, Germany): origin, unusual internal structure and stable C-O isotope composition, 2008,
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Richter D. K. , Riechelmann D. F. Ch.
Cryogenic calcites yielded U-series ages in the range from 15.61±0.20 ka to 14.48±0.12 ka, which is the youngest age obtained so far for this type of cryogenic cave carbonates in Europe. Most of these particles of the Malachitdom Cave (NE Brilon, Sauerland, North Rhine-Westphalia) are complex spherolites usually smaller than 1 cm. They show ?13C-values between –1 and –5 ‰ VPDB and ?18O-values ranging from –7 to –16 ‰ VPDB, the ?13C-values increase and the ?18O-values decrease from centre to border. The complex spherolites are interpreted to be formed in slowly freezing pools of residual water on ice, a situation that repeatedly occurred during the change of glacial to interglacial periods in the periglacial areas of Central Europe. After the melting of the caveice, the complex pherolites make up one type of cryogenic calcite particles in the arenitic to ruditic sediment.

Late Pleistocene cryogenic calcite spherolites from the Malachitdom Cave (NE Rhenish Slate Mountains, Germany): origin, unusual internal structure and stable C-O isotope composition, 2008,
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Richter D. K. , Riechelmann D. F. Ch.

Cryogenic calcites yielded U-series ages in the range from 15.61±0.20 ka to 14.48±0.12 ka, which is the youngest age obtained so far for this type of cryogenic cave carbonates in Europe. Most of these particles of the Malachitdom Cave (NE Brilon, Sauerland, North Rhine-Westphalia) are complex spherolites usually smaller than 1 cm. They show δ13C-values between –1 and –5 ‰ VPDB and δ18O-values ranging from –7 to –16 ‰ VPDB, the δ13C-values increase and the δ18O-values decrease from centre to border. The complex spherolites are interpreted to be formed in slowly freezing pools of residual water on ice, a situation that repeatedly occurred during the change of glacial to interglacial periods in the periglacial areas of Central Europe. After the melting of the caveice, the complex spherolites make up one type of cryogenic calcite particles in the arenitic to ruditic sediment.


Eis- und Lufttemperaturmessungen im Schönberg-Höhlensystem (1626/300) und Modellvorstellungen über den Eiszyklus, 2008,
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Wimmer, M.
Currently 34 entrances to the Schönberg- Höhlensystem are known, giving rise to a complex air ventilation pattern. Ice is present in some near-surface parts of the cave and its volume and geometry varies significantly. A significant reduction of ice was observed between 1970 und 2002, and hitherto unknown entrances were released by the melting process. Measurements of ice profiles started in 1994 and the air temperature has been logged since 1995. These data showed that pits of the Raucherkarhöhle extending to high altitude and connections to the Feuertal-Höhlensystem are responsible for the main supply with cold air. The presence of ice is subject to medium- to long-term variations depending on the changing circulation of air between the different cave levels which themselves are forced by the periodic opening and closing of pits by near-surface ice. In stark contrast to the current trend of atmospheric warming in the Alps the cave has been experiencing gradual cooling during the past years. Pits critical for cold air supply are currently open and cold winter air can reach the level of the Kleiner Rundgang, wherethe ice started to grow following an ice-free period. In the Eisstadion, the temperature is currently falling and the ice also began to grow after a long-lasting melting period due to positive year-around. A model is presented in which the apparently cyclic opening and closing of entrances control the complex ventilation pattern and hence the high extent of ice dynamics in this cave between 1965 to 2007.

Kryogene Karbonate im Höhleneis der Eisriesenwelt, 2008,
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Spötl, C.
Progressive freezing of calcium- and bicarbonate- bearing cave waters can give rise to high supersaturation and the subsequent precipitation of microscopic calcite crystals and aggregates thereof. These particles are disseminated in the ice of ice caves and may later be concentrated by sublimation or melting of ice to form thin carbonate beds in layered ice (cryogenic carbonates). Such white to light brown, silty to fine sandy layers occur in the rear of the ice-bearing part of the Eisriesenwelt cave (Werfen, Salzburg) and were previously regarded as finely disintegrated limestone powder derived from the cave ceiling. Studies using scanning electron microscopy show that this material consists of 30-200 ?m aggregates of euhedral crystals, which, according to powder Xray diffraction analyses, are near-stoichiometric low-Mg calcite. The crystal aggregates commonly show a conspicuous flat top and resemble larger floating calcite rafts known from calcite-precipitating pools in ice-free caves. There are gradual transitions between these aggregates and skeletal crystal aggregates and (hemi)spherulitic forms, respectively. The small particle size and the skeletal crystal habit strongly argue in favour of rapid crystal growth during freezing of shallow puddles of icy water. This interpretation is corroborated by the highly positive C isotope values, which, in conjunction with the O isotope data, prove the cryogenic origin of these carbonates. The proportion of detrital contamination is very low. This study is the first report of fine-grained cryogenic speleothems in an eastalpine cave. It is supposed that such sediments are more wide spread and thicker layers may represent important paleoenvironmental marker horizons.

Kryogene Calcite unterschiedlicher Kristallform und Kathodolumineszenz aus der Glaseishöhle am Schneiber (Steinernes Meer/Nationalpark Berchtesgaden, Deutschland, 2009,
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Richter D. K. , Voigt S. , Neuser R. D.
For the first time calcite that apparently precipitated from slowly freezing water is described from a cave in the Eastern Alps. These cryogenic carbonates show anomalously low ?18O-values (-18.5 to -23.0‰ VPDB) but high ?13C-values (+4.7 to +6.6‰ VPDB) when compared to „normal“ speleothems from the Alps. Two types of rhombohedral crystals (normal and steep rhombohedra) of different C/O-isotopic composition occur together on the cave floor suggesting a later mixing of calcite particles which initially formed in different environments. This is in accordance with the highly variable cathodoluminescence patterns of these crystals. It is suggested that these cryogenic calcite particles formed in separate pools on the cave ice surface during the transition from the last glacial to the current interglacial. After melting of the ice the different calcite particles accumulated on the cave floor.

THE FIRST DATING OF CAVE ICE FROM THE TATRA MOUNTAINS, POLAND AND ITS IMPLICATION TO PALAEOCLIMATE RECONSTRUCTIONS, 2010,
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Hercman H. , Gą, Siorowski M. , Gradziń, Ski M. Kiciń, Ska D.

Lodowa Cave in Ciemniak, which belongs to the dynamic ice cave type, contains the biggest perennial block of cave-ice in the Tatra Mountains. The ice represents congelation type, since it originates from freezing of water which infiltrates the cave. Two generations of ice have been recognized in this cave. They are divided by the distinct unconformity. The ice building both generations is layered. Two moths which were found in the younger generations were sampled and dated by 14C method yielding 195 ± 30 and 125 ± 30 years. Bearing in mind the position in the section and the fact that the cave ice has waned since the 20s of the last century, the age is 1720-1820 AD and 1660-1790 AD respectively. It proves that the ice was formed during the Little Ice Age. Hence, the erosion boundary which underlies this generation records the degradation of ice before the Little Ice Age most probably during the Medieval Warm Period. The ice volume in the cave was substantially smaller before the Little Ice Age than it is today, despite the clear tendency to melting, which has been recognized since 20s of the last century. The older generation of ice is supposed to have its origins in a cold stage between the Atlantic period and the Medieval Warm Period.


The interplay between air temperature and ice mass balance changes in Scărişoara Ice Cave, Romania , 2011,
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Perş, Oiu Aurel , Onac Bogdan P. , Perş, Oiu Ioana

This paper examines the short-term relations established be­tween external and cave air temperature in Scărişoara Ice Cave (Romania) and the role they play upon ice genesis and mass balance changes. Geothermal heat and external climate are the main drivers of the cave’s air temperature, but the ice forming and ablation processes modulate its spatial and temporal char­acteristics. In the winter half-year, cold air inflow leads to the overcooling of the cave atmosphere and walls and ice forma­tion; while in summer, melting of ice acts as strong thermal sink, keeping the air temperature at 0 °C. In autumn and win­ter, dynamic cooling of the cave atmosphere leads to ice build-up, whereas in summer, the causality is overturned, the cave air temperature being controlled by the melting ice. The existence of a net heat sink in the cave (melting ice in summer in this case), leads to the overcooling of the non-glaciated parts of the cave as well, a phenomenon that can hamper paleoclimatic re­constructions based on stable isotope studies in speleothems.


Glacier Caves, 2012,
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Gulley Jason D. , Fountain Andrew G.

The processes of cave formation in glaciers are analogous to cave formation in limestone and form from the preferential enlargement of high permeability pathways that connect discrete recharge and discharge points. Cave enlargement in glaciers is driven by small amounts of heat produced by friction as water flows through these high permeability pathways. Because rates of ice melting are many orders of magnitude faster than rates of the dissolution of limestone, glacier caves can grow to humanly traversable diameters within time scales of days to weeks whereas limestone caves of equivalent dimensions require 105–106 years. Because glacier ice is deformable, ice caves are squeezed shut at rates that increase with ice thickness, with deep caves squeezing closed in a matter of days. Glacier cave formation is therefore a dynamic process reflecting competition between enlargement and creep closure. While some glacier caves are reused and continue to evolve from year to year, many glacier caves must form each melt season. The processes of cave formation in glaciers exert important control on subglacial water pressure and affect how fast glaciers flow from higher, colder elevations, to lower warmer elevations. Ice flow directly into the ocean and glacial melt generally are important contributions to sea-level rise. Glacier caves are common in all glaciers that experience significant surface melting.


Cave, Definition of, 2012,
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White William B. , Culver David C.

Caves have a variety of definitions. From the explorer’s point of view, they are openings in the Earth large enough for human exploration. From the biologist’s point of view, they are openings that will accommodate cave-adapted organisms. From a hydrologist’s point of view, caves are fragments of the conduits that transmit water through karst aquifers. Caves form by a variety of independent processes including tectonic movements of the bedrock, differential erosion, and bedrock dissolution by several different processes. Caves also form by the draining of flowing lava and by the melting and draining of glacial ice.


Microbiological Activities in Moonmilk Monitored Using Isothermal Microcalorimetry (Cave of Vers Chez Le Brandt, Neuchatel, Switzerland), 2012,
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Braissant O. , Binderschedler S. , Daniels A. U. , Verrecchia E. P. , Cailleau G.

 

Studies of the influence of microbial communities on calcium carbonate deposits mostly rely on classical or molecular microbiology, isotopic analyses, and microscopy. Using these techniques, it is difficult to infer microbial activities in such deposits. In this context, we used isothermal microcalorimetry, a sensitive and nondestructive tool, to measure microbial activities associated with moonmilk ex-situ. Upon the addition of diluted LB medium and other carbon sources to fresh moonmilk samples, we estimated the number of colony forming units per gram of moonmilk to be 4.8 3 105 6 0.2 3 105. This number was close to the classical plate counts, but one cannot assume that all active cells producing metabolic heat were culturable. Using a similar approach, we estimated the overall growth rate and generation time of the microbial community associated with the moonmilk upon addition of various carbon sources. The range of apparent growth rates of the chemoheterotrophic microbial community observed was between 0.025 and 0.067 h21 and generation times were between 10 and 27 hours. The highest growth rates were observed for citrate and diluted LB medium, while the highest carbon-source consumption rates were observed for low molecular weight organic acids (oxalate and acetate) and glycerol. Considering the rapid degradation of organic acids, glucose, and other carbon sources observed in the moonmilk, it is obvious that upon addition of nutrients during snow melting or rainfall these communities can have high overall activities comparable to those observed in some soils. Such communities can influence the physico-chemical conditions and participate directly or indirectly to the formation of moonmilk.


LAG AND TRANSFER TIME INFERRED FROM MELTING CYCLES RECORD IN THE COULOMP KARST SPRING (ALPES DE HAUTE-PROVENCE, FRANCE), 2013,
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Audra Philippe, Nobecourt Jeanclaude

 

A 11-days long period of snowmelt cycles was selected from the discharge and temperature data collected at Coulomp spring (Alpes de Haute-Provence, France), which is the largest of French Southern Alps with a discharge of 1 m3/s. Its catchment is 30–50 km2-large and mainly composed of marly limestones and poorly permeable covers, responsible of a combined diffuse and concentrated recharge. From Q data we extracted snowmelt discharge (Snowmelt Q = oscillating part of the discharge) and Basal Q. The contribution of Snowmelt Q is 30–50 % of Q. Amplitude of spring temperature (Tspring) is about 2 °C due to alternation of cold snowmelt water with low residence time and “warm” phreatic water with longer residence time. The lag between the peak of air temperature (Tair) corresponding to the maximum of snow melting and the peaks of Q, corresponding to the transfer time between surface and spring, is less than 10 h. This 10 h transfer time combines about 7 h of vertical transfer through the vadose zone and 3 h of horizontal transfer through the drain.


Morphology and geology of an interior layered deposit in the western Tithonium Chasma, Mars, 2013,
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Baioni, Davide

This paper describes a morphologic and morphometric survey of a 3.1 km-high, domeshaped upland in western Tithonium Chasma (TC) which coincides with areas containing abundant surface signatures of the sulphate mineral kiersite, as identified by the OMEGA image spectrometer. The morphologic features of the dome were investigated through an integrated analysis of the available Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Mars Orbiter Camera, and Context Camera data, while the morphometric characteristics of the structure were measured using a topographic map (25-m contour interval) built from high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data.
The dome displays surface features that were apparently formed by liquid water probably released from melting ice. These features include karst landforms as well as erosive and depositional landforms. The surface of the dome has few impact craters, which suggests a relatively young age for the dome. Layers in the dome appear laterally continuous and are visibly dipping toward the slopes in some places.
The mineralogical and structural characteristics of the dome suggest that it was emplaced as a diapir, similar to the dome structure located in the eastern part of TC, and to many salt diapirs on Earth.


Morphology and geology of an interior layered deposit in the western Tithonium Chasma, Mars, 2013,
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Baioni, Davide

This paper describes a morphologic and morphometric survey of a 3.1 km-high, domeshaped upland in western Tithonium Chasma (TC) which coincides with areas containing abundant surface signatures of the sulphate mineral kiersite, as identified by the OMEGA image spectrometer. The morphologic features of the dome were investigated through an integrated analysis of the available Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Mars Orbiter Camera, and Context Camera data, while the morphometric characteristics of the structure were measured using a topographic map (25-m contour interval) built from high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data.

The dome displays surface features that were apparently formed by liquid water probably released from melting ice. These features include karst landforms as well as erosive and depositional landforms. The surface of the dome has few impact craters, which suggests a relatively young age for the dome. Layers in the dome appear laterally continuous and are visibly dipping toward the slopes in some places.

The mineralogical and structural characteristics of the dome suggest that it was emplaced as a diapir, similar to the dome structure located in the eastern part of TC, and to many salt diapirs on Earth.


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