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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 windypit is open fissure, widened by landslip, common in valley side situations where limestone overlies weaker rocks such as clays or shales. the term is commonly used to describe gulls and tectonic caves in the jurassic limestones of north-east yorkshire, england [9].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for limestone caves (Keyword) returned 60 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 60 of 60
Cryomineral formations of caves: introduction into problem, 2008, Andrejchuk V. N. , Galuskin E.

The caves with underground glaciations (multi-year or seasonal) represent by themselves one of the most interesting and distinct environments of cryominaragenesis. The main prerequisite of its broad occurence in caves is the elevated content of dissolved solids in cave water especially in the case of karst caves. Speleomineragenesis is a crystallization of the matter (formation of minerals) due to frosting of water solutions circulated in caves. The quantity and character of cryomineral components in cave ice depends first of all on lithological environment. In limestone caves different phases of calcite dominate, while in gypsum caves – gypsum, celestine, calcite and barite are typical. The admixtures are represented by allochthonic (mainly aerosols) and autochthonic particles. Cryomineral formations have a special (typical for them) micro-morphology allowing their identification. Cryomineral investigations are a new and interesting direction of cave mineralogy studies. There are also important for different reconstructions of cave environment, studying of chemical denudation etc.

The initial stages of cave formation: Beyond the one-dimensional paradigm, 2011, Szymczak Piotr, Ladd Anthony J. C.

The solutional origin of limestone caves was recognized over a century ago, but the short penetration length of an undersaturated solution made it seem impossible for long conduits to develop. This is contradicted by field observations, where extended conduits, sometimes several kilometers long, are found in karst environments. However, a sharp drop in the dissolution rate of CaCO3 near saturation provides a mechanism for much deeper penetration of reactant. The notion of a “kinetic trigger” – a sudden change in rate constant over a narrow concentration range – has become a widely accepted paradigm in speleogenesis modeling. However, it is based on one-dimensional models for the fluid and solute transport inside the fracture, assuming that the dissolution front is planar in the direction perpendicular to the flow. Here we show that this assumption is incorrect; a planar dissolution front in an entirely uniform fracture is unstable to infinitesimal perturbations and inevitably breaks up into highly localized regions of dissolution. This provides an alternative mechanism for cave formation, even in the absence of a kinetic trigger. Our results suggest that there is an inherent wavelength to the erosion pattern in dissolving fractures, which depends on the reaction rate and flow rate, but is independent of the initial roughness. In contrast to one-dimensional models, two-dimensional simulations indicate that there is only a weak dependence of the breakthrough time on kinetic order; localization of the flow tends to keep the undersaturation in the dissolution front above the threshold for non-linear kinetics.

Research Highlights
- A kinetic trigger is not a prerequisite for limestone cave formation. - The added spatial dimension has a larger impact on breakthrough times than a kinetic trigger. - Planar dissolution front in a fracture is unstable to infinitesimal perturbations. - The most unstable wavelength depends on reaction kinetics and flow rate. - The instability leads to the formation of rapidly advancing, wormhole-like channels.

Tin mining in the limestone caves of Perlis, Malaysia, 2011, Price, Liz

Perlis is a small state in northern Malaysia, and it has both iso­lated tower karst hills as well as a long range of limestone hills. Many of the natural caves within this hill range contain alluvial tin deposits that were extensively mined during the 20th cen­tury on a scale that is unique for tin ores from caves.

Glacier Caves, 2012, 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.

Speleothem Deposition, 2012, Dreybrodt, Wolfgang

Speleothems in limestone caves may form spectacular underground landscapes. Stalagmites show a wide variety of forms, from slim candle stalagmites to massive cascading columns. How fast they grow and which principles determine their shapes can be explained by the physical chemistry of the system H2Osingle bondCO2single bondCaCO3. Precipitation rates of calcite from solutions supersaturated with respect to calcite, which flow as thin films of water on the surface of speleothems, are discussed. They are the fundamental tool to understand the shapes of ideal stalagmites and stalactites. Stalagmites are also important climate archives and conserve climate information from the last 400,000 years. To read this archive, a good understanding of their physics is important.

Flora of a small lava cave near Laki, Iceland, 2012, Pentecost, Allan

Twenty nine phototrophic taxa are reported from a small volcanic cave. These included five cyanobacteria, two of which are heterocystous nitrogen-fixers, and nine diatoms, several of which have previously been reported from caves. Of the five lichen taxa, two are foliose nitrogen-fixers, suggesting that combined nitrogen was in short supply. The aerophytic flora show similarities with communities from limestone caves suggesting that low light and high humidity are of overriding importance for some taxa.

Hypogene Point Karstification along Wadi Sirhan Graben (Jordan): A Sign of Oilfield Degassing? , 2012, Almalabeh Ahmad, Kempe Stephan

Jordan is a country with a large area of limestone. Nevertheless, only a few limestone caves are known. Here we report about two caves along Wwadi Sirhan Graben of Jordan that appear to have formed by stoping upward of collapsed deep-seated hypogene cavities along breccia pipes. The first one, Uwaiyed Cave, is a small breakdown-dominated chamber in basalt of the Naslet Al-Dhirwa volcano; the second, Beer Al-Malabeh, is a large, bell-shaped sinkhole that has geologically recently opened up to the surface. Wwe discuss the possible processes that led to their formation. The review of the existing stratigraphy as obtained by oil well drilling suggests that no salt layers occur below the caves. Gypsum layers seem to be limited to 4  m in thickness, probably not enough to form the observed features. The remaining process is dissolution caused by ascending gas (H2S or CH4) -rich waters from the underlying oil and oil-shale fields. Wwhen such solutions reach the water table, bacterial oxidation may create enough dissolutional power to form localized and large cavities. Their collapse could lead to the observed collapse structures and would explain the paucity of other cave structures throughout southeastern Jordan.

Morphology of Speleothems in Primary (Lava-) and Secondary Caves, 2013, Kempe, S.


Caves are defined as natural underground cavities (potentially) accessible by humans. They are decorated by various forms of speleothems that have always fascinated the human explorer. Caves are divided into primary and secondary caves, that is, formed with, or long after the deposition of the rocks containing them. The largest group of primary caves is that formed by flowing lava, whereas the largest group of secondary caves is that formed in limestone. Both display specific forms of speleothems. Although primary caves can contain primary speleothems composed of the rock that formed the cave as well as secondary speleothems formed by later deposition of minerals, secondary caves in contrast contain only secondary mineral speleothems. Rock- and mineral-composed speleothems commonly have similar morphology, determined by gravity, that is, stalactites and stalagmites. However, both primary and secondary speleothems also display forms that are specific to them. Rock speleothems are composed of basalt, whereas secondary speleothems can be composed of over 250 different minerals.

In this chapter, we explore differences and similarities of primary rock- and secondary mineral-speleothems and discuss processes of their formation.

UTh dating of speleothems to investigate the evolution of limestone caves in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2013, Moseley G. E. , Richards D. A. , Smith Ch. , Smart P. L. , Hoffmann D. L. , Farrant A. R.

The Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia has been a focus of scientific research and exploration for several decades. Previous work investigated the relationship between fluvial incision into the limestone massif and the chronological evolution of the 500m-deep network of cave passages. This study involved analyses of newly available speleothem material using state-of-the-art U-Th dating methods and assessment of the potential for extension of the chronological record using U-Pb dating techniques.

MALAYSIAN CAVE BIBLIOGRAPHY (up tp 2012), 2013, Price, Liz


(up to 2012)

by   LIZ   PRICE

A4 , 246 pp, soft cover.

ISBN 978-967-11839-0-8

This bibliography covers the whole of Malaysia, i.e. Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak, and contains about 4800 references to Malaysian caves and karst, dating from the 1700s to 2012. In addition there is an extensive newspaper biblio covering 1953 – 2012. Other pages provide an introduction to Malaysian caves and history, and there is a map and glossary. It is an invaluable reference work for anyone interested in limestone caves and karst, archaeology, conservation, flora and fauna, geomorphology, geology, hydrology, history etc, as well as for the sporting caver who wants to learn more about Malaysian caves.

To order, contact

Hypogene speleogenesis in Italy, 2013, Menichetti, M.

Through more than one century of speleological research in Italy, many hypogenic limestone caves have been explored, mapped and studied. These caves are characterized by a variety of patterns and morphological sizes including three-dimensional maze sys-tems and deep shafts, with both active endogenic CO2 and H2S vents.
An integrate approach taking in account geological, hydrological and geochemical set-tings permit to recognize the main hypogenic speleogenetic process. The H2S oxidation to sulfuric acid, by oxygen-rich groundwaters as well as in the atmosphere is actually the main active hypogenic cave-forming processes. Both phreatic and vadose corrosion reactions involve chemotropic microbial activity, with sulfur-redox bacterial communi-ties that generate sulfuric acid as metabolic product. The bedrock corrosion produce sulfate ions in the phreatic zone and gypsum replacement in the limestone walls of the vadose sectors of the caves. The caves are characterized by both fossil and active pas-sages in which water rich in H2S as well as endogenic CO2 plays a determinant role in speleogenesis. Although sulfuric acid-related speleogenesis typically produces gypsum deposits, in caves where the karstification processes are driven by subterranean CO2 sources, voids and speleothems are the only final products.
In Italy all the end-members of the karst processes can be found, from solution caves to outcrop of carbonate travertine. The hypogenic caves are concentrated for largest and both fossils and active systems in the Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Latium regions (Menichetti, 2009). These consist of few tens of kilometers of solutional passages with galleries and shafts, which are characterized by large rooms, cupola and blind pits, anas-tomotic passages, bubble trails roof pendants, knife edges, and phreatic passages. Ac-tive smaller karst systems are known in Southern Italy in Apulia, Campania and Sicily, related to the geothermal anomaly associated with CO2 and H2S vents.



The Diana Cave in SW Romania develops along a fault line at the contact between Late Jurassic limestones and Early Cretaceous marls. It formed through corrosion of bedrock (limestone and marls) by sulphuric acid-rich steam condensate resulted after oxidation/hydrolysis of H2S escaping from the thermo-mineral water emerging from depth in the cave. The sulfuric acid causes a strong acid sulfate weathering of the bedrock generating a sulfate-dominated secondary cave-mineral assemblage that includes gypsum, anhydrite, bassanite, epsomite, alunite, and halotrichite group minerals. Closely associated with these minerals are two rare sulfate species, namely rapidcreekite and tamarugite that represent new occurrences in limestone caves. Traditional X-ray diffraction and single crystal analyses were used along with scanning electron microscope (SEM), stable isotope, and electron microprobe investigations to fully characterize the primary and secondary speleogenetic by-products of Diana Cave.

Detritus processing in lentic cave habitats in the neotropics, 2013, Marconi Souza Silva, Rafaelly Karina Sales Rezende, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira

Lentic cave habitatsare almost always heterotrophic habitats where there are food and oxygen input from the surface. This hydrological exchange seems to be the key factor shaping most groundwater communities. Litter processing in cave water environments has not been experimentally studied as much as it has in lotic subterranean systems, although detritus is likely a critical resource for organisms inhabiting shallow groundwater habitats. The present study sought to evaluate the processing rates and the nitrogen and phosphorous dynamics in plant debris deposited in lentic habitats of two Neotropical limestone caves during 99 days. 84–10×10 cm2 litterbags with mesh sizes of 0.04 mm2 and 9 mm2 were used. In each weighed litter bag, 50 green, intact plant leaf disks (± 2.0 gr/bag) were conditioned. At the end of the experiment, the average weight loss was only 17.4%. No macroinvertebrates were found associated to the debris, but significant differences in the processing rate in relation to the cave and mesh size were observed. The weight loss rate of the plant debris was considered slow (average 0.003 K-day). The amount of nitrogen and remaining phosphorous in the plant debris in the two caves showed variations over time with a tendency to increase probably due to the development of microorganisms which assimilate nitrogen and phosphorus. The slow processing rate of the plant debris can be due mainly to the fact that these lentic cave habitats are restrictive to colonization by shredder invertebrates. Furthermore, the abrasive force of the water, which plays an important role in the processing and availability of fragmented debris for colonization by microorganisms, is absent.


Germany exhibits a very diverse geological history. Thus, a large number of stratigraphically, petrographically and tectonically different carbonate and sulfate rocks exist that have been subject to karstification. Here, I discuss first the possible “agents” (sensu Klimchouk) of hypogene karstification. Three principally different processes are identified: water rising because of buoyancy (either thermally or concentration induced), in-situ oxidation of siderite, or rising gases (CO2, CH4 or H2S). Next, a rough overview of German caves and karst is presented. If applying the most pertinent epigene versus hypogene morphological characteristics, it becomes evident that hypogene caves occur in many different areas, often side-by-side with clearly epigene caves. For many areas, the agents of hypogene speleogenesis must remain unclear. This applies for most caves in the Paleozoic limestones of the Rhenish Schist Massif. Only the Iberg/Harz caves seem to be a clear case, with the world-wide highest concentrations of siderite weathering-induced caves occur. The large cavities discovered recently in the Blauhöhlen System and some of the deep pit caves in the Swabian Alb may have their explanation in volcanic CO2, having emanated from some of the 355 pipes of the Swabian volcanic field. Most striking is the high concentration of hypogene caves in the Franconian Alb. Many of them occur in a small area while other areas are devoid of larger caves. Here the tectonic situation suggests that fractures could have taped reservoirs of either sulfide or methane from below. The finding of goethitic crusts in the Bismarckgrotte may indicate that rising anaerobic gases could have been involved

Hypogene speleogenesis in dolomite host rock by CO2-rich fluids, Kozak Cave (southern Austria), 2015,

A growing number of studies suggest that cave formation by deep-seated groundwater  (hypogene) is a more common process of subsurface water-rock interaction than previously  thought. Fossil hypogene caves are identified by a characteristic suite of morphological  features on different spatial scales. In addition, mineral deposits (speleothems) may provide  clues about the chemical composition of the paleowater, which range from CO2-rich to  sulfuric acid-bearing waters. This is one of the first studies to examine hypogene cave  formation in dolomite. Kozak Cave is a fossil cave near the Periadriatic Lineament, an area  known for its abundance of CO2-rich springs. The cave displays a number of macro-, mesoand  micromorphological elements found also in other hypogene caves hosted in limestone,  marble or gypsum, including cupolas, cusps, Laughöhle-type chambers and notches. The  existance of cupolas and cusps suggests a thermal gradient capable of sustaining free  convection during a first phase of speleogenesis, while triangular cross sections (Laughöhle  morphology) indicate subsequent density-driven convection close to the paleowater table Notches mark the final emergence of the cave due to continued rock uplift and valley  incision. Very narrow shafts near the end of the cave may be part of the initial feeder system,  but an epigene (vadose) overprint cannot be ruled out. Vadose speleothems indicate that the  phreatic phase ended at least about half a million years ago. Drill cores show no evidence of  carbon or oxygen isotope alteration of the wall rock. This is in contrast to similar studies in  limestone caves, and highlights the need for further wall-rock studies of caves hosted in  limestone and dolomite

Results 46 to 60 of 60
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