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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 rain gage network is an areal distribution of rain gages [16].?

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 centuries (Keyword) returned 51 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 51
Ice caves as an indicator of winter climate evolution: a case study from the Jura Mountains, 2005,
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Luetscher Marc, Jeannin Pierre Yves, Haeberli Wilfried,
Subsurface ice fillings were first described in the Jura Mountains at the end of the sixteenth century. In order to assess the impact of climate change on low-altitude cave ice a detailed inventory has been drawn up and more than 50 objects have been identified. Comparisons between older cave maps, photographic documents and present-day observations outline a negative trend in ice mass balances, a trend that increased at the end of the 1980s. As most of these ice caves act as cold air traps, this negative mass balance is mainly attributed to higher winter temperatures and to reduced snow precipitation at low altitudes. The equilibrium line altitude of ice caves is believed to have increased several hundred metres between AD 1978 and 2004. Photographic comparisons and proxy records in some of the caves studied provide evidence of a rapid mass turnover. Ice ages range between less than a few decades and a millennium. Climatic records in these ice fillings will therefore present only short time series compared with other cave sediments. However, indications of former ice fillings have been found in different caves of the Jura Mountains and outline their potential role as palaeoclimatic markers

Tabor above Zagorje ilentabor, archaeological rescue sample trenching in the area of the castle complex, 2005,
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Bratina, P.

The valleys of the Pivka and Reka rivers make a natural passage from the upper Posavje to the Trieste and Quarnero Bays. The strategic significance of this area in prehistoric times is shown in the numerous hillforts/settlements on the secured peaks of the hills in Late Antiquity with Roman defence blockades, and in the times of Turkish invasions with forts against the Turks. Rescue sample trenching in 1996 in the area of the Tabor archaeological monument above Zagorje - Šilentabor, archaeological site reference EŠD: 764, revealed part of the remains of a Middle Age defence architectural structure and numerous archaeological artifacts, which confirm construction and life within the castle complex from the 15th to 17th centuries, as mentioned in historical sources.


Living with the lake, living without the lake An introduction into the research of the way of life by the intermittent karstic lakes Petelinjsko jezero and Pal¹ko jezero, 2005,
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Erjavec M. , Perš, Ič, M.

People of Petelinje and Palčje have adapted to the ever-changing nature of the intermittent karstic lakes through the centuries. Both lakes are filled with water only a part of the year, so that the grassy areas usually provide a yearly arvest of hay. Palško jezero and the shores of Petelinjsko jezero are suitable for pasturing. Economically the lakes were and still are connected with raising livestock. Agriculture is now no longer profitable, so the only way to preserve the land is by the state devoting enough money for agriculture. The lake was connected to another economic activity until the middle of the 20th century, ice making. Additional supplementary activities dependent on the lake are hunting and gathering. Petelinje and Palčje villagers had to share their lakes with the Austro-Hungarian, Italian and Yugoslav armies in the past; they left traces that can still be seen today. The lakes, with their unusual and highly picturesque nature, represent a place of peace and relaxation to the locals.


The History of Postojnska Jama: The 1748 Joseph Anton Nagel inscriptions in Jama near Predjama and Postojnska Jama, 2006,
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Kempe Stephan, Hubrich Hanspeter Suckstorff Klaus
Jama near Predjama and Postojnska Jama, Slovenia, are known for their rich body of historic inscriptions spanning over several centuries. Early explorers and visitors left names, dates and symbols. Here we present the inscriptions by the mathematician Josef Anton Nagel (1717-1794). Nagel and the painter and engineer Alois Schaffenrath (1794-1836) are the only ones that we can trace in both of the caves. Nagel visited the caves in July 1748 on order of Emperor Franz I. The inscription in Jama near Predjama is (for cave inscriptions) rather long and written in Latin, giving name, profession, cause and date of the visit, while the inscription in Postojnska Jama is rather short, giving only name and date of visit. Unfortunately the inscription in Jama near Predjama is already partly obliterated by an incautious visitor.

White Scar Cave, Chapel-le-Dale, North Yorkshire, England, 2006,
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Craven, Stephen A.
The paper records the history, over two centuries, of the discovery, exploration, geological significance, politics and development of White Scar Cave.

Residence time distribution in the Kirkgoz karst springs (Antalya-Turkey) as a tool for contamination vulnerability assessment, 2007,
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Ozyurt N. Nur
Lumped parameter modeling of environmental tracer (tritium, CFCs and tritiogenic helium-3) transport in the Kirkgoz karst springs (Antalya-Turkey) appears to be a useful tool for assessing the vulnerability to contamination. Based on tritium observations between 1963 and 2000, the springs revealed a mean residence time (MRT) of 120 years. This suggests an active transport volume of 71 billion cubic meters for the aquifer, a value that is coherent with the estimated void volume of karst aquifer based on the mass of associated travertine deposits. The CFC-11 and CFC-12 MRTs are in agreement with tritium-based MRT, after correcting for excess air effect. Excess crustal and mantle helium flux hindered the use of tritiogenic helium-3 as a potential tracer. The residence time distribution (RTD) indicates a groundwater transport system that is fed by recharges extending back to past several hundred years. This wide RTD suggests that any recent contamination that may have entered the system could progress slowly within the entire aquifer but would be unnoticed in the early period because of the dilution effect of uncontaminated past recharge waters. Once the contamination is recognized, it may last for many centuries ahead even if the contamination practice is stopped. Thus, control of contaminant release to aquifer and monitoring of contaminant level in Kirkgoz springs is an immediate task for the associated public health authorities.

The contribution of the 'Sibilla Appenninica' legend to karst knowledge in the Sibillini Mountains (Central Apennines, Italy), 2007,
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Aringoli D, Gentili B, Pambianchi G, Piscitelli Am,
Geological studies of the Sibillini Mountains carried out mainly during the last century, provided evidence of a hypogeal karst characterized by a small number of caves of limited extent. The only one mentioned by numerous ancient authors is the Grotta della Sibilla', on account of its legendary references. This cave is the keeper of one of the most fascinating secrets of the Apennines, having been both a place of mountain cult as far back as pre-historical times and the home of the fortune-telling prophetess Sibilla'. Historical sources tell of the presence of someone mysterious at the site from the time of the Romans but amongst the historical descriptions, the testimony of Antoine de la Sale is most notable: he visited the cave in 1420 and described it as a good-sized cavity within the bowels of the mountain. Nothing about this setting is mentioned in the geological literature or in topographic descriptions, made for the first time at the beginning of the 1940s, when a regular but small cave was revealed. Today rockfall deposits completely obstruct the entrance. On the basis of the above-mentioned legendary references, geomorphological and geophysical studies started helping to define the real extent of the cave. The planimetric trend of the electromagnetic anomalies surveyed allow us to make hypotheses about the presence of a vast hypogeal system

A REVIEW OF THE FOREST MANAGEMENT HISTORY AND PRESENT STATE OF THE HARAGISTYA KARST PLATEAU (AGGTELEK KARST, HUNGARY), 2007,
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Taná, Cs E. , Szmorad F. , Bá, Rá, Nykevei I.

The potential vegetation of Hungarian karsts is mainly mixed deciduous forest; consequently forest management is a key issue in the sustainable management of our karsts. In this study we attempt to describe on the example of the Haragistya karst plateau how the forests of the Aggtelek karst region were used in the last few centuries and to what extent they were affected by anthropogenic activity. Investigating change patterns in the context of land use history provides useful information for future management. For the analysis we used an integrated GIS of historical data (18th-19th century military maps, old forest management plans, aerial imagery etc.). Our study area, the Haragistya, is situated in the northern part of Aggtelek Mountains at 400-600 m above sea level. The forests of this karst plateau have been subject to significant human impact over the centuries. Anthropogenic influence gradually decreased over the 20th century and with the area being taken into state management the irregular and often exaggerated use has stopped.


Hydrodynamic aspect of caves, 2008,
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Prelovek M. , Turk J. And Gabrovek F.
From a hydrological point of view, active caves are a series of connected conduits which drain water through an aquifer. Water tends to choose the easiest way through the system but different geological and morphological barriers act as flow restrictions. The number and characteristics of restrictions depends on the particular speleogenetic environment, which is a function of geological, geomorphological, climatological and hydrological settings. Such a variety and heterogeneity of underground systems has presented a challenge for human understanding for many centuries. Access to many underground passages, theoretical knowledge and recent methods (modeling, water pressure-resistant dataloggers, precise sensors etc.) give us the opportunity to get better insight into the hydrodynamic aspect of caves. In our work we tried to approach underground hydrodynamics from both theoretical and practical points of view. We present some theoretical background of open surface and pressurized flow in underground rivers and present results of some possible scenarios. Moreover, two case studies from the Ljubljanica river basin are presented in more detail: the cave system between Planinsko polje and Ljubljansko barje, and the cave system between Bloko polje and Cerkniko polje. The approach and methodology in each case is somewhat different, as the aims were different at the beginning of exploration. However, they both deal with temporal and spatial hydrodynamics of underground waters. In the case of Bloko polje-Cerkniko polje system we also explain the feedback loop between hydrodynamics and Holocene speleogenesis.

Hydrodynamic aspect of caves, 2008,
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Prelovek M. , Turk J. , Gabrovek F.

From a hydrological point of view, active caves are a series of connected conduits which drain water through an aquifer. Water tends to choose the easiest way through the system but different geological and morphological barriers act as flow restrictions. The number and characteristics of restrictions depends on the particular speleogenetic environment, which is a function of geological, geomorphological, climatological and hydrological settings. Such a variety and heterogeneity of underground systems has presented a challenge for human understanding for many centuries. Access to many underground passages, theoretical knowledge and recent methods (modeling, water pressure-resistant dataloggers, precise sensors etc.) give us the opportunity to get better insight into the hydrodynamic aspect of caves. In our work we tried to approach underground hydrodynamics from both theoretical and practical points of view. We present some theoretical background of open surface and pressurized flow in underground rivers and present results of some possible scenarios. Moreover, two case studies from the Ljubljanica river basin are presented in more detail: the cave system between Planinsko polje and Ljubljansko barje, and the cave system between Bloško polje and Cerkniško polje. The approach and methodology in each case is somewhat different, as the aims were different at the beginning of exploration. However, they both deal with temporal and spatial hydrodynamics of underground waters. In the case of Bloško polje-Cerkniško polje system we also explain the feedback loop between hydrodynamics and Holocene speleogenesis.


NINETEENTH CENTURY CAPE TOWN VISITORS TO THE POSTOJNA CAVE, SLOVENIA, 2009,
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Craven Stephen A.
For three centuries the spectacular Postojna Cave in Slovenia has attracted tourists (Habe 1986). Fortunately for the historian the early visitors were required to sign the visitors books which have survived the twentieth century turbulence in the Balkans, and which are kept at the Karst Research Institute in Postojna. Those visitors who wrote about the Cave have been discussed by Trevor Shaw (2008). Most of the visitors came from Europe, but also from the Americas and from Asia. There were very few visitors from Africa for the very good reason that the mailships serving Cape Town did not call at Trieste the major port for the Austro-Hungarian empire (Harris & Ingpen 1994). Also there were very few people with the necessary financial and temporal resources. This paper records seven known, and three or four unknown, visitors from Cape Town in the nineteenth century.

PERIODICAL CERKNICA LAKE IN FRISCHLINS (1547-1590) WORK, 2009,
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Juni? Stanislav
Ljubljana rector Frischlins work about Cerknica Lake (1582- 1584) is described. Frischlins connections with other protestant and catholic researchers are put in the limelight. Frischlin wrote his most important astronomical work De astronomicae artis at Ljubljana. It was the first world-wide recognised scientific work produced at the area of modern Slovenia. Valvasor published comparatively long description of Frischlin work at Ljubljana with the special concern put on Frischilins poetry devoted to the secrets of periodical Cerknica Lake. $e speleologist Urbas partially translated Frischlin ode nearly two centuries after Valvasors publication. This pioneering discussion is devoted to Frischlins important contribution to 16th century subterranean karst research.

Urban speleology applied to groundwater and geo-engineering studies: underground topographic surveying of the ancient Arca Dgua galleries catchworks (Porto, NW Portugal), 2010,
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Chamin H. I. , Afonso M. J. , Robalo P. M. , Rodrigues P. , Cortez C. , Monteiro Santos F. A. , Plancha J. P. , Fonseca P. E. , Gomes A. , Devyvareta N. F. , Marques J. M. , Lopes M. E. , Fontes G. , Pires A. , Rocha F.
The Porto settlement (Northwest Portugal, Iberian Peninsula) was originally built in the twelfth century and has been developed on granitic hill slopes of the Douro riverside, being one of the oldest cities in Europe. In the urban area of Porto, the second most important city of the Portuguese mainland, there is a population of about 216,000 inhabitants. This study highlights the importance of urban speleological mapping applied to groundwater and geo-engineering studies. All the water that flows from the so-called Paranhos or Arca Dgua springs is captured by catchwork galleries and their utilization date back around 1120 AD. Paranhos spring galleries catchworks (c. 3,3 km extension and a -21m below ground level) was one of the main water supplies to Porto City for more than six centuries and, nowadays, these waters are still appropriate for irrigation uses. Topographical, geological, geophysical and hydrogeological data were collected and interpreted, allowing the definition of a hydrogeotechnical zoning. All these features were mapped and overlaid using GIS mapping techniques. This multidisciplinary approach offers a good potential for reliable urban speleological and geo-engineering studies of Arca Dgua site.

Age frequency distribution and revised stable isotope curves for New Zealand speleothems: palaeoclimatic implications., 2010,
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Williams P. W. , Neil H. And Zhao Jx.
The occurrence of speleothems in New Zealand with reversed magnetism indicates that secondary calcite deposition in caves has occurred for more than 780 thousand years (ka). 394 uranium-series dates on 148 speleothems show that such deposition has taken place somewhere in the country with little interruption for more than 500 ka. A relative probability distribution of speleothem ages indicates that most growth occurred in mild, moist interglacial and interstadial intervals, a conclusion reinforced by comparing peaks and troughs in the distribution with time series curves of speleothem ?18O and ?13C values. The stable isotope time series were constructed using data from 15 speleothems from two different regions of the country. The greater the number of overlapping speleothem series (i.e. the greater the sample depth) for any one region, the more confidence is justified in considering the stacked record to be representative of the region. Revising and extending earlier work, composite records are produced for central-west North Island (CWNI) and north-west South Island (NWSI). Both demonstrate that over the last 15 ka the regions responded similarly to global climatic events, but that the North Island site was also influenced by the waxing and waning of regional subtropical marine influences that penetrated from the north but did not reach the higher latitudes of the South Island. Cooling marking the commencement of the last glacial maximum (LGM) was evident from about 28 ka. There was a mid-LGM interstadial at 23-21.7 ka and Termination 1 occurred around 18.1 ka. The glacial-interglacial transition was marked by a series of negative excursions in ?18O that coincide with dated recessional moraines in South Island glaciers. A late glacial cooling event, the NZ Late Glacial Reversal, occurred from 13.4-11.2 ka and this was followed by an early Holocene optimum at 10.8 ka. Comparison of ?18O records from NWSI and EPICA DML ice-core shows climatic events in New Zealand to lag those in Antarctica by several centuries to a thousand years. Waxing and waning of subantarctic and subtropical oceanic influences in the Tasman Sea are considered the immediate drivers of palaeoclimatic change.

Genesis and functioning of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst (Savoie, France): past research and recent advances, 2010,
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Hoblea F. , Gallinojosnin S. , Audra Ph.

Aix-les-Bains (Savoie, France) owes its name and reputation to the thermal springs that occur along the eastern shore of Lake Bourget, France largest natural lake. Although the city waters have been exploited since Antiquity, scientific investigations into the nature and characteristics of the hydrothermal karst from which they emerge did not begin until the early 19th century. The present article traces the history of these investigations and summarizes the results of more than two centuries of scientific research. Today, the only visible signs of karstification related to hydrothermal flows are to be found in the discharge zone in the Urgonian limestone anticline that rises above the city centre. These features are: – the Grotte des Serpents, which houses the Alun Spring, the system main natural discharge, – the Chevalley Aven, a blind chimney that was accidentally uncovered in 1996, – other hydrothermal springs that are too small to enter, including the Soufre Spring. Although scientific investigation of the thermal springs at Aix-les-Bains began in the early 19th century, it was not until the 1920s that scientists started examining the relationship between karstification and the state of the aquifer. E.A.Martel was the first researcher to describe the Aix-les-Bains site as an active hydrothermal karst, in a pioneering study published in 1935. Sixty years later, the discovery of the Chevalley Aven during building work on a new hydrotherapy center gave fresh impetus to research into the karstification of the Aix-les-Bains thermo-mineral aquifer. Recent studies have also investigated the deep aquifer below the karst, using data provided by boreholes. The Urgonian limestone karst at Aix-les-Bains is the site of mixing between thermal waters rising through the anticline and meteoric waters percolating from the surface. Meteoric infiltration is sufficiently high for the hydrological behavior of the thermal springs to be identical to that of exsurgences in gravity-fed, cold-water transmissive karsts. The Chevalley Aven is a shaft that descends 30 meters below the surface, thereby providing access to the ground-water at depth. Monitoring of the water quality in the aven has shown that the Legionella contamination of the springs was due to high concentrations of the bacteria in upstream passages in the karst. In 2006, dye-tracing tests confirmed the existence of a hydraulic connection between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun and Soufre Springs, the fact there is a single ascending hydrothermal conduit, which lies between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun Spring. In addition to providing a valuable source of information about the functioning of the thermo-mineral aquifer, the cavities at Aix-les-Bains are of great karstological interest, especially for the study of hypogene speleogenetic processes. The circulation of warm (40oC), sulfur-rich waters and vapours through the system has led to the development of conduits with specific morphologies and the precipitation of characteristic deposits. These features include: – “beaded” chimneys and galleries formed by the linking of spheres produced by condensation-corrosion. Diffuse karstification along bedding planes around the main conduit; – deposition of non-carbonate minerals (gypsum, native sulfur); – formation of biothems and biofilms on walls subject to condensation. The Grotte des Serpents is a horizontal cavity that formed at the upper limit of the water table. The Chevalley Aven is a hypogene chimney that was sculpted under vadose conditions by the release of sulfuric acid-rich vapours above the thermal water table. As well as a surface coating of microbial mats and the presence of bacterial flakes in the thermal water, the vadose parts of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst contain a characteristic microfauna and flora. These microorganisms are thought to play an active role in hypogene karstification processes.


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