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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 upconing is process by which saline water underlying freshwater in an aquifer rises upward into the freshwater zone as a result of pumping water from the freshwater zone [22].?

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.
See all featured articles
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 alpine karst (Keyword) returned 62 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 62
La traversee du Gebroulaz en Vanoise. Morphologie d'une cavite gypseuse de haute montagne, 1996, Audra Ph. , Hoblea F.

Main features of the pre-Gosau paleokarst in the Brezovske Karpaty Mts. (Western Carpathians, Slovakia), 1998, Cincura J,
The considerable areal extent and great thickness of Middle/Upper Triassic carbonate sequences favourably influenced the development of paleokarst during the Paleoalpine karst period in the Brezovske Karpaty Mts. Carbonate formations provide data concerning the first-pre-Gosau-phase of the Paleoalpine karst period. Freshwater limestones, bauxites, reddish ferrugineous silty clays, Valchov Conglomerate, shallow doline-like depressions and deeper canyon-like forms represent the most important pre-Gosau karst sediments and forms

Karst landforms on the eastern slopes of Davras Dagi (western Taurus): karren, sinkholes and uvalas, 1999, Dayan E, Bilgin A, Hancer M,
A characteristic of the study area is the low frequency of gully and rill karren. By length, width and depth they are not comparable with the same type of karren in the alpine karst, as they have attained only insignificant dimensions. This difference in size cannot primarily be attributed to differences of annual precipitation, but rather to the fact that they are only 2-3000 years old. Their formation started with anthropogenic forest destruction and concomitant soil stripping. As gully and rill karren depend on bare rock surfaces for their formation, they cannot have formed before that time. Joint-oriented and cavernous karren, in conrast, are widely spread in the study area. As the formation of these two types of karren is related to the existence of joints, their frequency is explained by severe fracturing of the limestone during recent tectonic movements. Although cavernous karren may also form on bare rock surfaces, Lest conditions for their development exist underneath a soil cover. As this no longer exists, the formation of cavernous karren has become much reduced in the historical era. Sinkholes are frequent in the planation surfaces of Mid- to Upper Miocene age and are of Pliocene and Pleistocene age. The uvalas are also not very old, as many of them contain terra rossa

Alpine Karst in Romania, 1999, Dana Tulucan Alina, Niculita Tulucan Tiberio, Beke Laszlo

The article expresses the view, that one may speak about the Alpine karst even in the areas outside the Alps, when special requirements are met, such as presence of carbonate rocks, affected by cryo-nival processes, glacial and periglacial erosion above the tree limit and the presence of superficial and underground karst phenomena.


Hydrogeological characteristics of folded alpine karst systems exemplified by the Gottesacker Plateau (German-Austrian Alps), 1999, Goldscheider Nico, Hö, Tzl Heinz

The hydrogeological properties of the Gottesacker Plateau, a folded alpine karst system with a relatively thin karstified carbonate sequence, have been studied applying methods from geology and hydrology, above all multi-tracing experiments. For the area of study a qualitative model of the underground drainage pattern has been developped. By means of this example the general characteristics of folded alpine karst systems are discussed.


Le karst haut-alpin du Kanin (Alpes Juliennes, Slovnie-Italie), 2000, Audra, Philippe
Kanin is a high-alpine karst located in the Italo-slovenian Julian Alps. Its surface was elaborated by the quaternary glaciers and includes some inherited discreet tertiary morphological features. Recent dye tracing has shown that the structural setting permits water infiltrated in Italian catchments to contribute to Slovene springs. Hydrodynamic and physico-chemical water analyses show extremely quick transfers of water during snow melt or heavy storms; these create spectacular overflows, such as the Boka spring which emerges as a 100 m high waterfall. The phreatic zone, linked to the impermeable dam of the So_a valley, does not significantly slow these transfers. Nevertheless, it contributes to the occurrence of low water levels during recession periods, giving highly mineralised water after long resident periods. The presence of very deep and developed karst systems is explained by the combination of advantageous factors: thick and jointed limestone, important height gradient, and considerable precipitation. Paleomagnetic dating in one of the largest systems (_rnelsko brezno) attributes some glacial sediments to the Lower Pleistocene period. Their configuration seems to show that this karst system is pre-quaternary.

Calcite Moonmilk: Crystal Morphology and Environment of Formation in Caves in the Italian Alps, 2000, Borsato A, Frisia S, Jones B, Van Der Borg K,
Calcite moonmilk, which is a cave deposit formed of calcite crystals and water, is found in many caves in the Italian Alps. These modern and ancient deposits are formed of fiber calcite crystals, 50-500 nm wide and 1 to > 10 {micro}m long, and polycrystalline chains that have few crystal defects. Radiocarbon dating indicates that most moonmilk deposits in these caves are fossil and that for most precipitation ceased [~] 6400 cal years BP, at the end of the mid-Holocene Hypsithermal. In the caves of the Italian Alps, the optimal conditions for formation of calcite moonmilk are: (1) a temperature range of 3.5-5.5{degrees}C, (2) low discharge volumes of seepage waters that are slightly supersaturated (SICAL = 0.0 to [~] 0.2), and (3) relative humidity that is at or close to 100%. Microbial activity apparently did not play an active role in the formation of the calcite moonmilk. Conditions for moonmilk formation are typically found in caves that are located beneath land surfaces, which are soil covered and support a conifer forest. Precipitation of the fiber calcite crystals apparently involved very slow flow of slightly supersaturated fluids. The fact that moonmilk appears to form under a narrow range of environmental conditions means that this cave deposit has potential as a paleoclimatic indicator in high alpine karst areas

Speleogenesis in the Picos de Europa massif, Northern Spain, 2000, Fernandezgibert E. , Calaforra J. M. , Rossi C.
The Picos de Europa mountain range in Northern Spain represents one of the most important alpine karsts in the world, containing a great concentration of deep limestone caves. It comprises Carboniferous limestones with thicknesses up to 2000 m and severely deformed by tectonic action. The structure and geological evolution, fracturing and Quaternary glaciation are among the main factors influenced the development of the caves. This paper proposes a speleogenetic model of the evolution, with an initial stage during which a Permo-Triassic cover provided semiconfinement for the entire carbonate series. Under these circumstances, the earliest known phreatic conduits were formed. Occasional relict sediments in them are related to the erosion of the cover. During the second stage, with the uplift of the massif, the cover was eroded and vadose conditions established; they were linked to glacial processes that intensified karstification, creating an unsaturated zone almost 2000 m thick. The karstification and vadose entrenchment in this zone are especially marked along preferential flow paths coinciding with pre-existing dolomitized and sulfide-mineralized fractures in the massif. These fractures may also have played a precursor role in the karstic evolution of the massif, as the source for more aggressive waters with a higher content of weak acids due to the oxidation of sulfides.

Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001, Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

Soil types and eolian dust in high-mountainous karst of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Zugspitzplatt, Wetterstein Mountains, Germany), 2003, Kufmann C. ,
This, study deals with the soil formation on pure limestone in the high-mountainous karst of Wetterstein Mountains (Northern Calcareous Alps). The study area in detail covers the alpine (2000 to 2350 in) and the subnivale zone (2350 to 2600 in) of Zugspitzplatt, a tertiary paleosurface situated next to the highest summit of Germany (Zugspitze 2963 in). The formation of autochthonous soils is determined by the following parameters: uniform geology and geochemistry of Triassic limestone (CaCO3 MgCO3 greater than or equal to 98%), variable substrata (solid rock, debris, local moraine), hypsometric pattern of vegetation modified by microclimate and aspect, variety of micro-environments in karst relief. In the subnivale zone, only leptosols (lithic, skeletic) and regosols (calcaric, humic) occur, whereas in the alpine zone different stages of folic histosols and rendzic leptosols prevail due to the diversity of vegetation. The purity of limestone prevents a distinct contribution of residues to soil formation. Instead of expected A-B-C profiles, the residues are mixed with organic matter of folic horizons (O-OB-C). Only in karst depressions or on local moraines small Bt horizons (2 to 5 cm) occur. They mark a developed stage of folic histosol (O-OB-Bt-C) representing the climax of autochthonous mineral soil genesis in the study area. Special features are brown deposits (mean thickness 30 cm) covering large parts of the alpine zone. On the basis of mineralogical (X-ray diffraction, heavy minerals) and pedological data (grain size, soil chemistry), eolian origin is indicated. The resulting soils are classified as loess loam-like cambisols (Ah-Bw-2(Bt)-2C) and are related to late glacial loess deposition (Egesen-Stade of Younger Dryas). The abundance of mica and silt in the surface layers and the grain size distribution of snow dust samples prove that dust influx by southerly winds is still continuing. The major sources for both late glacial and present-day dust are magmatic and metamorphic rock formations of the Central Alps. Additionally, local dust transport from adjacent outcrops of Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sediments is evident. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

A little contribution to the karst terminology : special or aberrant cases of poljes?, 2003, Nicod, Jean

A usual definition of polje states that it is "great closed karst basin with flat bottom, karstic drainage and steep peripheral slopes". But the Dinaric karst shows a wide range of poljes. The article discusses the main criteria of polje definition and the different degrees of evolution of the polje are emphasised. The essentials are gathered in the table with new tentatives on classification of poljes and comparing the Dinaric karst with other Mediterranean and Alpine countries.


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

Palynology and sediment data from the high alpine karst cave on Jungfraujoch, Switzerland, 2004, Groner Urs,

Alpine Karst, 2004, Smart C.

Alpine karst waters in Slovenia, 2004, Petrič, Metka

Some basic characteristics of the alpine karst waters in Slovenia are presented. By the method of hydrological balance it was estimated that their groundwater reserves can supply a spring with an average discharge 115 m3/s. According to the comparison between the extent of the alpine karst and the EIONET-SI data base on springs it was stated, that for approximately 1200 alpine karst springs the total capacity (not the average discharge, but the amount of water that can be captured at low waters) is around 15 m3/s. At present only some 25% of these reserves is exploited for the water supply of around 240.000 inhabitants. Due to high vulnerability and different human impacts the quality of these water resources is endangered. Therefore it is necessary to protect them with adequate measures planned on the basis of accurate hydrogeological data. Present level of protection is unsatisfactory, as the water protection decree was accepted only for one quarter of captured springs. Additionally, the expert basis for such decree was prepared for a little less than one fifth of captured springs.


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