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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 massive structure is a homogenous structure without any oriented features [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.
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 preservation (Keyword) returned 81 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 61 to 75 of 81
Palaeoenvironmental forcing during the MiddleUpper Palaeolithic transition in central-western Portugal, 2010,
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Aubry Thierry, Dimuccio Luca A. , Almeida Miguel, Neves Maria J. , Angelucci Diego E. , Cunha Lcio

Geoarchaeological analysis of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic record preserved in cave, rock-shelter and open-air sites in the northern sector of the Meso-Cenozoic of the Western Iberian Peninsula margin (Portugal) reveals several disconformities (erosive unconformities), hiatuses and surface stabilization phases. A recurrent disconformity, dated to ca. 29,500–32,000 cal yr BP, in the time range of Heinrich event 3, must correspond to a main erosive event related to the impacts of climate change on the landscape, including a reduction in vegetation cover and altered precipitation patterns, with the consequent accelerated down-cutting by stream systems, slope reactivation and endokarstic reorganisation, causing the erosion of sediments and soils accumulated in cave, rock-shelter and open-air sites. These processes create a preservation bias that may explain why Early Upper Palaeolithic finds in primary deposition context remains exceptional in the carbonate areas of central-western Portugal, and possibly elsewhere in the other places of Iberia. The impact of such site formation processes must therefore be duly considered in interpretations of the current patchy and scarce archaeological record of the Middle-Upper Palaeolithic transition in south-western Iberia.


Tanella cave (Monte Baldo Verona, Italy): a record of environmental data on the Last Glacial period, 2011,
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Zorzin Roberto, Agostini Laura, Montecchi Maria Chiara, Torri Paola, Accorsi Carla Alberta,

Since 2003, an extensive hydrogeological investigation has been carried out on Monte Baldo, in order to make a census of springs occurring along the west side of the mountain and to evaluate the quality of their water. The investigation included morphological and hydrogeological observations concerning the Tanella cave and interdisciplinary investigations performed on the deposits found in the cave. This paper shows the first data concerning the hydrogeology of the cave, as well as data on stratigraphy, pollen and micro-charcoals obtained from the analyses of a well preserved sequence located at ca. 80 m from the entrance (sequence A). The aim of the study was to reconstruct the environment of the area around the cave along the time span testified by the sequence. The sequence is 60 cm thick and was built up by fluvioglacial sediments followed by lacustrine sediments. Five samples taken along the sequence plus three recent control samples (mosses), collected in places assumed as origins of the pollen input, were studied for pollen and micro-charcoals. Pollen preservation was good and concentration varied from 101 to 103 p/g. Pollen spectra from the cave showed the evolution from a landscape of alpine grassland above the timberline, likely of glacial age, to a more forested Holocene landscape similar in flora to the current one testified by the control samples. Pollen probably arrived in the cave by air, water and animals and from plants growing near the cave. It appears to have been continuously underwater after its deposition due to its very good state of preservation. Micro-charcoals suggested that fires were sometimes lit near the cave.


Cave excavation: some methodological and interpretive considerations, 2011,
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Stratford, D. J.

Caves potentially afford excellent levels of preservation for buried sediments, artefacts and faunal remains but, through depositional, post-depositional and diagenetic processes, material can be disassociated from its primary context. As well as the established archaeological or palaeontological research questions, the priorities of excavations in cave sediments include: identifying distinct stratigraphical units, clarifying the site formation processes responsible for the accumulation and distribution of the assemblages, and identifying any preserved primary contextual information. A wide variety of sediments that are "typically missing or masked" (Goldberg and Sherwood, 2006, p.20) in open-air sites can be encountered during cave excavation. This, combined with the stratigraphical complications inherent to cave sites makes every site different and warrants a site-specific, multi-disciplinary approach to its excavation. Stratigraphically sensitive and flexible methods of excavation and documentation are required when approaching cave excavation. A site-specific combination of techniques and practices helps ensure the stratigraphical integrity of the excavation material, successful adaptation to the cave environment and changing sedimentological conditions, and the restriction of information loss. This paper presents some important considerations needed when planning and conducting excavations of artefact and bone-bearing cave sediments as well as some of the interpretive issues surrounding the material once it is removed.


The Cupcake: a preliminary report on bones found during the excavation of a shaft on Leck Fell, UK , 2011,
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Thorp, J. A.

Recent excavation work in a shaft known as The Cupcake on Leck Fell in northeast Lancashire, United Kingdom, has produced an interesting assemblage of ancient bones. All the animals represented are of wild species, aurochs (Bos primigenius), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wolf (Canis lupus), and badger (Meles meles). The bones were found at a depth of 8m, with the aurochs uppermost. Skeletal remains of several wild boars lay beneath, with a depth hiatus, suggesting a possible earlier depositional sequence. Differences in the state of preservation of the bones are notable. Bones in the centre of the shaft, in a damp environment, were the worst preserved, whereas the best preserved wild boar skull was recovered from a dry undercut on the southeast side. The lack of domestic species points to an early Holocene skeletal assemblage. Whole body representation suggests these animals died by falling down the shaft accidentally, while browsing on scrub concealing the entranc


Formation and accumulation of oil and gas in marine carbonate sequences in Chinese sedimentary basins, 2011,
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Jin, Z.

Advances in studies of formation and accumulation mechanisms of oil and gas in marine carbonate sequences have led to continuing breakthroughs of petroleum exploration in marine carbonate sequences in Chinese sedimentary basins in recent years. The recently discovered giant Tahe Oil Field and Puguang Gas Field have provided geological entities for further studies of the formation and accumulation of oil and gas in marine carbonate sequences. Marine carbonate sequences in China are characterized by old age, multiple structural deformation, differential thermal evolution of source rocks, various reservoir types (i.e. reef-bank complex and paleo-weathered crust karst reservoir), uneven development of caprocks, especially gypsum seal, and multi-episodes of hydrocarbon accumulation and readjustment. As a result, the formation of hydrocarbon accumulations in the Chinese marine carbonate sequences has the following features: (i) the high-quality marine source rocks of shale and calcareous mudstone are often associated with siliceous rocks or calcareous rocks and were deposited in slope environments. They are rich in organic matter, have a higher hydrocarbon generation potential, but experienced variable thermal evolutions in different basins or different areas of the same basin. (ii) High quality reservoirs are controlled by both primary depositional environments and later modifications including diagenetic modifications, structural deformations, and fluid effects. (iii) Development of high-quality caprocks, especially gypsum seals, is the key to the formation of large- and medium-sized oil and gas fields in marine carbonate sequences. Gypsum often constitutes the caprock for most of large sized gas fields. Given that Chinese marine carbonate sequences are of old age and subject to multiple episodes of structural deformation and superposition, oil and gas tend to accumulate in the slopes and structural hinge zones, since the slopes favor the development of effective assemblage of source-reservoir-caprock, high quality source rocks, good reservoirs such as reef-bank complex, and various caprocks. As the structural hinge zones lay in the focus area of petroleum migration and experienced little structural deformation, they are also favorable places for hydrocarbon accumulation and preservation.


Controls on paleokarst heterogeneity. Integrated study of the Upper Permian syngenetic karst in Rattlesnake Canyon, Guadalupe Mountains, USA, 2011,
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Labraa De Miguel, Gemma

The present study contributes to a better understanding of early dissolution mechanisms for syngenetic karst development and provides constraints on the timing of formation of the Rattlesnake Canyon paleokarst system in the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, U.S.A. Paleozoic paleokarsts commonly undergo burial and collapse, which reduces significantly the preservation of early fracture networks and geometries of dissolution. Rattlesnake Canyon constitutes a magnificent scenario for the study of global controls on Upper Permian karsting since early fracture networks and dissolution geometries are extremely well preserved and lack major tectonic deformation. This thesis sheds light on the scientific knowledge of paleokarsts and can be of interest to the oil industry since paleokarsts are common targets of exploration. As the evolution of the reservoir properties is often diagenetically controlled, the diagenetic study was particularly useful in determining the degree of sealing following hydrocarbon charge. 1) Aims This thesis seeks to improve our understanding of the relationship between early syndepositional fracture networks that are typically found in platform margins and syngenetic karst development. The thesis includes multidisciplinary carbonate studies aimed at understanding the multiscale paleokarst heterogeneity by means of (i) the development of a conceptual model for the karst evolution, (ii) the construction of a 3D paleokarst model, (iii) the determination of the diagenetic history of the paleokarst system and (iv) the paleokarst reservoir characterization. 2) Thesis Structure The thesis consists of 9 chapters and 2 appendices. Chapter 1 sets out the rationale for this thesis. Chapter 2 provides an introduction to the most basic aspects of karst science and to the hydrogeological model of Carbonate Island as well as an overview of the state-of-the-art paleokarst studies. The geological setting and the study area is detailed in Chapter 3. The results of the thesis are contained in Chapters 4 to 7. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of this thesis, each of these chapters is dedicated to one discipline. Chapter 4 focuses on the analysis of field data to obtain a conceptual model for the evolution of the paleokarst system. Chapter 5 discusses the methodology to implement the 3D paleokarst model and provides data to assess the dimensions of the system in subsurface. Chapter 6 focuses on the diagenetic stages that affected and controlled the karst development. Finally, Chapter 6 offers a paleokarst reservoir characterization. A comprehensive approach and discussion of the results obtained in each of these chapters are included in Chapter 8. General and specific conclusions are presented in Chapter 9. Appendix One contains a representative image compendium of the petrographic features observed in the paleokarst filling sequence of Fault N. Appendix Two sets out the raw data from the geochemical analysis. The paleokarst analysis using different disciplines provides a complete characterization of paleokarst heterogeneity and enables us to elucidate the controls of the system.


Carbonate porosity creation by mesogenetic dissolution: Reality or illusion?, 2012,
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Ehrenberg Stephen N. , Walderhaug Olav, Bjorlykke Knut

Many authors have proposed that significant volumes of porosity are created by deep-burial dissolution in carbonate reservoirs. We argue, however, that this model is unsupported by empirical data and violates important chemical constraints on mass transport. Because of the ubiquitous presence and rapid kinetics of dissolution of carbonate minerals, the mesogenetic pore waters in sedimentary basins can be expected to be always saturated and buffered by carbonates, providing little opportunity for the preservation of significantly undersaturated water chemistry during upward flow, even if the initial generation of such undersaturated pore water could occur. A review of the literature where this model has been advanced reveals a consistent lack of quantitative treatment. In consequence, the presumption of mesogenetic dissolution producing a net increase in secondary porosity should not be used in the prediction of carbonate reservoir quality. 


Show Caves, 2012,
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Cigna, Arrigo A.

Show caves are caves that have been developed for visitation by the general public, usually with payment of a fee. Show cave development requires the construction of stairs and trails and the installation of lighting. Properly done, show caves can also serve a conservation role. Care must be taken to avoid excessive heat load on the cave due to both lighting and visitors. Lighting should be constructed to avoid moss, algal, and other plant growth (lampenflora). Trails, stairs, and handrails should be constructed from materials that are compatible with the cave environment. Managers and guides must be trained to recognize their roles in both education of the public and preservation of the cave.


Glacial processes in caves, 2012,
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Luetscher, M.

Glacial processes are known to impinge on many karst systems, of which the active formation of cave ice represents a salient feature. In temperate environments, the preservation of massive, perennial cave ice deposits, comprising sometimes tens of thousands cubic meters, represents probably the most severe test for models of sporadic permafrost distribution. Additionally, stratified cave ice deposits foster detailed glaciochemical investigations to decipher this environmental archive. Recent investigations have shown that the accessible time window for paleoclimate reconstructions sometimes covers several thousands of years, but understanding the relation between external climate change and the cave ice mass balance still remains challenging. Process-oriented studies suggest that interannual cave ice mass balances respond primarily to modifications in the winter thermal and precipitation regimes. By contrast, cave ice ablation is largely driven by heat exchange with the surrounding rock, which is a function of the external mean annual air temperature. Many mid-latitude, low-altitude ice caves are thus likely to disappear under a warming climate scenario. Yet, traces of former glacial processes can be observed in several temperate cave environments. Cryoclasts, solifluction lobes, sorted sediment patterns, cryogenic calcite, and broken speleothems provide clues for the reconstruction of paleo-permafrost. Because they can be accurately dated with U-series methods, cryogenic cave calcites offer a promising field of investigation for past glacial processes 


A geomorphological and speleological approach in the study of hydrogeology of gypsum karst of Sorbas (SE Spain), 2012,
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Sanna L, Gazquez F. , Calaforra J. M.

The Sorbas massif (Almeria, SE Spain) is one of most karstified gypsiferous areas of the world, with hundreds of dolines and different karst features. In this massif more than 1000 caves have been discovered in an area of about 12 km2. Its Messinian gypsum, deposited in a Neogene intramontane basin, is composed of continuous strata of very pure selenite. The purpose of this research is to identify the main karst geomorphological features and to integrate these data with hydrogeological records for better understanding the role of the karst aquifer in the groundwater recharge of the Aguas River. This study took place in the southern part of the Sorbas gypsum plateau with several steps and multiple field campaigns for geomorphological and geostructural data compilation and to record the different karst forms. Also water samples from the main springs have been collected for geochemical analysis. All field items have been inventoried with corresponding spatial position and compared with the previously existing information. Subsequently, an exhaustive data elaboration was performed leading to the definition of the karst features of the area, rendered by maps. To assess the extent of karstification, the spatial analysis of the cave entrance’s distribution together with structural alignments have been studied.
The cave entrances, a means of access to deep karst, are an expression of discontinuous surface karst phenomenon closely connected with underground drainage that allow to reconstruct the main direction of groundwater flow. This kind of approach can be apply in those areas where rock is exploited, to discern a possible indicator of the effects of the mining and to find the best management conditions that allow the conservation of most of the cavities, the preservation of the recharge basin of the karst system and springs, the minimum affectation to the vadose groundwater flow, the protection of nearby springs and minimizing the visual impact.


Monitoring of microbial indicator groups in caves through the use of RIDACOUNT kits, 2012,
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Mulec J. , Kristů, Fek V. , Chroň, Akova A.

RIDA®COUNT kitsMeasurements of microbiological parameters are not currently widely used for protection, monitoring and preservation of caves although they indicate very well the recent human impact. Here we present a commercially available microbiological kit for cave ecologists, the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany), as a supplementary tool for research and show examples. Simultaneously, lists of microbial indicator groups and cave microhabitats, where this methodology may be applied, are presented. Indicators include certain clinically important human-associated microbes such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus that are easy to quantify with basic cultivation methodology. Relatively higher bacterial counts compared to yeast and moulds on RIDA®COUNT test plates indicate recent and pronounced human impact. Swab samples allow detection of gradients of surface microbial colonization and determination of the microbial load on footprints and fingerprints in caves. In our tests, RIDA®COUNT plates for enumeration of yeast and moulds revealed a similar microbial load between unwashed caving boots and human fingerprints on a metal fence. Similarly, total bacterial counts were comparable between these two surfaces, 5,890 CFU/100 cm2 for unwashed boots and 4,340 CFU/100 cm2 for fingerprints on metal fence. Bacterial counts on walking surfaces in show caves can exceed 10,000 CFU/100 cm2 (Postojna Cave). These examples show that quantification of microbial indicator groups revealed increased microbial load and possible biohazard in the underground. This procedure may be widely adopted as a part of a regular monitoring programme in caves.


Monitoring of microbial indicator groups in caves through the use of RIDACOUNT kits, 2012,
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Mulec Janez Kritů, Fek Vclav, Chroň, kov Alica

 

RIDA®COUNT kitsMeasurements of microbiological parameters are not currently widely used for protection, monitoring and preservation of caves although they indicate very well the recent human impact. Here we present a commercially available microbiological kit for cave ecologists, the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany), as a supplementary tool for research and show examples. Simultaneously, lists of microbial indicator groups and cave microhabitats, where this methodology may be applied, are presented. Indicators include certain clinically important human-associated microbes such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus that are easy to quantify with basic cultivation methodology. Relatively higher bacterial counts compared to yeast and moulds on RIDA®COUNT test plates indicate recent and pronounced human impact. Swab samples allow detection of gradients of surface microbial colonization and determination of the microbial load on footprints and fingerprints in caves. In our tests, RIDA®COUNT plates for enumeration of yeast and moulds revealed a similar microbial load between unwashed caving boots and human fingerprints on a metal fence. Similarly, total bacterial counts were comparable between these two surfaces, 5,890 CFU/100 cm2 for unwashed boots and 4,340 CFU/100 cm2 for fingerprints on metal fence. Bacterial counts on walking surfaces in show caves can exceed 10,000 CFU/100 cm2 (Postojna Cave). These examples show that quantification of microbial indicator groups revealed increased microbial load and possible biohazard in the underground. This procedure may be widely adopted as a part of a regular monitoring programme in caves.
 

Preservation and burial of ancient karst., 2013,
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Osborne, R. A. L.

Ancient karst features can be preserved by burial, filling, or by occurring in areas with extremely slow denudation. Although the terms ‘paleokarst’, ‘relict karst’,‘buried karst’, and ‘fossil karst’ have caused much confusion, paleokarst, buried karst, and relict karst can be defined in terms useful to karst geomorphologists and cave scientists. The term ‘fossil karst’ is best abandoned. Burial and paleokarstification are not necessarily the end of karst. Ancient features may be exhumed and reactivated. Karst ends with denudation at the Earth’s surface. Unroofed caves are a particular feature of karst denudation. Most ancient karst features may be preserved by filling, burial, and exhumation. In unusual conditions, karst features have survived at the surface since the Mesozoic. Burial, exhumation, and slow denudation may not be sufficient for extreme survival; relative vertical movement may be required. As caves and many other karst landforms are negative features, they are prone to filling by a range of materials, making cave sediments and paleokarst deposits quite diverse. Whole karst landscapes can be buried and evidence of burial can be recorded in the diagenesis of sediments. Although filled and unfilled caves can survive shallow burial, deep burial can crush caves, forming crackle breccia. Exhumation can occur from the surface following uplift or from below following hypogene speleogenesis. Preservation, burial, and exhumation of ancient karst have two unexpected consequences. Caves can be older than the landscapes in which they occur and stalagmites can be the longest surviving karst features


Variations of karst geomorphology over geoclimatic gradients, 2013,
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Daoxian, Y.

The methodologies based on the ideas of a karst dynamic system, which links the climate, geology, biosphere and karst formation, and the karst feature complex (KFC) that facilitates overcoming the confusion of isomorphism in establishing a geoclimatic gradient of karst landforms, are first introduced in this chapter. The karst in mainland China is selected as a training area to establish the climatic gradient of KFC. The reason to make such a choice is its having prerequisites such as karst developed on hard, compact carbonate rocks to facilitate preservation of landforms; karst that enjoys a clear climatic gradient in the late geological history; and an area without the scouring process of a continental ice sheet during the last glaciation. Then, the geological impacts from factors such as lithology, structure, paleography, and tectonism on climatic gradient are discussed. Finally, a global perspective is given as an attempt at a summary. 


Glacial Processes in Caves, 2013,
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Luetscher, M.

Glacial processes are known to impinge on many karst systems, of which the active formation of cave ice represents a salient feature. In temperate environments, the preservation of massive, perennial cave ice deposits, comprising sometimes tens of thousands cubic meters, represents probably the most severe test for models of sporadic permafrost distribution. Additionally, stratified cave ice deposits foster detailed glaciochemical investigations to decipher this environmental archive. Recent investigations have shown that the accessible time window for paleoclimate reconstructions sometimes covers several thousands of years, but understanding the relation between external climate change and the cave ice mass balance still remains challenging. Process-oriented studies suggest that interannual cave ice mass balances respond primarily to modifications in the winter thermal and precipitation regimes. By contrast, cave ice ablation is largely driven by heat exchange with the surrounding rock, which is a function of the external mean annual air temperature. Many mid-latitude, low-altitude ice caves are thus likely to disappear under a warming climate scenario. Yet, traces of former glacial processes can be observed in several temperate cave environments. Cryoclasts, solifluction lobes, sorted sediment patterns, cryogenic calcite, and broken speleothems provide clues for the reconstruction of paleo-permafrost. Because they can be accurately dated with U-series methods, cryogenic cave calcites offer a promising field of investigation for past glacial processes in caves.


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