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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. ...

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That lead is a passage noticed but as yet unexplored [25].?

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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;
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Your search for trends (Keyword) returned 117 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 91 to 105 of 117
Analysis of drivers governing temporal salinity and temperature variations in groundwater discharge from Altug Submarine Karst Cave (Kas-Turkey), 2007, Ozyurt N. Nur
Salinity and temperature variations in groundwater discharge from the Altug submarine karst cave have been observed at 28 m below sea level for every 10 min between November 2004 and August 2005 to determine the drivers that govern the salinization. Comparisons between temporal trends of salinity and temperature with those of precipitation, air pressure, sea level and wind velocity revealed an apparent dominance of precipitation regime on the salinity and temperature variations. Spectral analyses applied to observations showed that the air pressure and sea level oscillations are affected by sun and moon tides which do not have an appreciable impact on the salinity and temperature variations. Annual rate of salinization in Altug cave seems inversely related to the inland groundwater head so that the maximum and minimum fresh water contributions occur at mid-spring and late-summer, respectively.

Upper Cretaceous to Paleogene forbulge unconformity associated with foreland basin evolution (Kras, Matarsko Podolje and Istria; SW Slovenia and NW Croatia), 2007, Otonič, Ar B.

A regional unconformity separates the Cretaceous passive margin shallow-marine carbonate sequence of Adriatic Carbonate Platform from the Upper Cretaceous and/or Paleogene shallow-marine sequences of synorogenic carbonate platform in southwestern Slovenia and Istria (a part of southwestern Slovenia and northwestern Croatia). The unconformity is expressed by irregular paleokarstic surface, locally marked by bauxite deposits. Distinctive subsurface paleokarstic features occur below the surface (e.g. filled phreatic caves, spongework horizons…). The age of the limestones that immediately underlie the unconformity and the extent of the chronostratigraphic gap in southwestern Slovenia and Istria systematically increase from northeast towards southwest, while the age of the overlying limestones decreases in this direction. Similarly, the deposits of synorogenic carbonate platform, pelagic marls and flysch (i.e. underfilled trinity), deposits typical of underfilled peripheral foreland basin, are also diachronous over the area and had been advancing from northeast towards southwest from Campanian to Eocene. Systematic trends of isochrones of the carbonate rocks that immediately under- and overlie the paleokarstic surface, and consequently, of the extent of the chronostratigraphic gap can be explained mainly by the evolution and topography of peripheral foreland bulge (the forebulge). The advancing flexural foreland profile was the result of vertical loading of the foreland lithospheric plate (Adria microplate) by the evolving orogenic wedge. Because of syn- and post-orogenic tectonic processes, and time discrepancy between adjacent foreland basin deposits and tectonic (“orogenic”) phases it is difficult to define the exact tectonic phase responsible for the evolution of the foreland complex. According to position and migration of the subaerially exposed forebulge, distribution of the foreland related macrofacies and orientation of tectonic structures, especially of Dinaric nappes, and Dinaric mountain chain I suggest that the foreland basin complex in western Slovenia and Istria was formed during mesoalpine (“Dinaric”) tectonic phase due to oblique collision between Austroalpine terrane/Tisia microplate and Adria microplate when probably also a segmentation of the foreland plate (Adria microplate) occurred.

Pattern and process: Evolution of troglomorphy in the cave-planthoppers of Australia and Hawaii ‒ Preliminary observations (Insecta: Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Cixiidae), 2007, Wessel A. , Erbe P. , Hoch H.

The evolution of troglobites comprises three distinct problems: cave colonization by an epigean ancestor, the evolution of tro­glomorphies, and intra-cave speciation. The study of cave-dwell­ing planthoppers has contributed much to our understanding of troglobite evolution and provides useful model systems to test various aspects of the theoretic framework developed in re­cent years. Most promising in this respect are taxa with several closely related but independently evolved troglobiontic lineag­es, such as on the Canary Islands, in Queensland/Australia and on the Hawaiian Archipelago. Closely related species often oc­cur in caves with comparable ecological parameters yet differ in their age. Here we use comparative age estimates for Australian and Hawaiian cave cixiids to assess the dynamics of reductive evolutionary trends (evolution of troglomorphy) in these taxa and cave planthoppers in general. We show that the degree of troglomorphy is not correlated with the age of cave lineages. Morphological alteration may not be used to draw conclusions about the phylogenetic age of cave organisms, and hypotheses based on such assumptions should be tested in light of these findings.


Approximately 50 karst sites are now inscribed on the World Heritage Register, but many of these are inscribed on the basis of their non-karst values. Karst systems, of course, have a very wide range of values in themselves, including their remarkable biodi­versity and their cultural significance, sometimes spanning many thousands of years. Today, the World Heritage Committee and UNESCO have asked that consideration be given to determining both a strategy for the nomination of new sites and a basis for pri­ority setting in the selection of potential sites. This paper reviews current trends and emerging new patterns in World Heritage se­lection, assessment and management, then summarises the val­ues of current karst WHAs in the European region.

Fossil population structure and mortality of the cave bear from the Mokrica cave (North Slovenia), 2007, Debeljak, I.

The fossil population structure of the cave bear from the Mokrica cave was evaluated to provide new data concerning the behaviour and mortality of this extinct species. Age at death was estimated for 128 different individuals by analysing cementum increments, root formation and crown wear of left M1 teeth. After the frequency distribution of specimens through one- year intervals, the mortality trends can be estimated for various lifetime periods, and interpreted in accordance with data for present-day bears. The original death assemblage was presumably juvenile-dominated. Extremely fragile molars of less than 6 month old cubs did not get preserved. Yearlings are the most numerous age class in the fossil population from the Mokrica cave. Mortality drastically dropped after cave bears survived their first hibernation in the second winter. The lowest mortality rate was observed in the 9-15 years age group, when cave bears would be expected to be in their prime. The oldest age recorded by cementum analysis is approximately 30 years, which indicates that the maximum life span was similar to present-day bears. Study of dental tissues shows that the mortality in the cave was seasonally restricted – the majority of deaths in the cave occured during winter and in early spring. Sex structure of the fossil population has been studied on the sample of 750 canines. The significantly higher proportion of males in the group of older juveniles and subadults could be explained by the fact that the weaning period is more critical for males also in present- day bears. In young adults and prime adults the mortality was presumably higher in females. The sex structure of adult bears, especially in the sample of older individuals, indicates that the Mokrica cave was used as winter den mostly by solitary males.

Alteration of fractures by precipitation and dissolution in gradient reaction environments: Computational results and stochastic analysis, 2008, Chaudhuri A. , Rajaram H. , Viswanathan H.

Precipitation and dissolution reactions within fractures alter apertures, which in turn affects their flow and transport properties. Different aperture alteration patterns occur in different flow and reaction regimes, and they are also influenced by preferential flow resulting from spatial variations in the aperture. We consider the alteration of variable-aperture fractures in gradient reaction regimes, where fluids are in chemical equilibrium with a mineral everywhere but precipitation and dissolution are driven by solubility gradients associated with temperature variations. The temperature field is defined by a geothermal gradient corresponding to a conduction-dominated heat transfer regime. Monte Carlo simulations on computer-generated aperture fields vividly illustrate pattern formation resulting from two-way feedback between fluid flow and reactive alteration. In dissolution-controlled systems, distinct dissolution channels develop along the dominant flow direction, while elongated precipitate bodies form perpendicular to the mean flow direction in precipitation-controlled systems. Aperture variability accelerates the increase and decrease of effective transmissivity by dissolution and precipitation, respectively. The dominance of precipitation versus dissolution is determined by the angle between the mean hydraulic gradient and solubility/temperature gradient. Development of pronounced anisotropy with oriented elongate features is the key feature of aperture alteration in gradient reaction regimes. A stochastic analysis is developed, which consistently predicts general trends in the aperture field during reactive alteration, including the mean, variance, and spatial covariance structure. Our results are relevant to understanding the long-term diagenetic evolution of fractures in conduction-dominated heat transfer regimes and related problems such as emplacement of ocean bed methane hydrates.

Important directions of karst and speleological researches and tasks of their development in Ukraine, 2008, Klimchouk A. B.

The end of the XX Century has seen a remarkable growth of significance of speleology among modern Earth sciences. The paper provides a brief overview of recent advances and trends in geospeleology and karstology. It is shown that knowledge on cave origin has attained a status of a full-fledged theory, and that the speleogenetic theory took a central place in karst hydrogeology and dramatically improved understanding of karst aquifers evolution and functioning. Other areas of considerable advances and great significance for adjacent disciplines are paleo-reconstructions from karst/cave records and speleogenetic implications for assessment of karst subsidence hazard. The modern speleology has an obvious interdisciplinary character. The establishment in 2006 of the Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology is grounded on considerable achievements of Ukrainian scientists in this field and opens new perspectives for further development of speleology and karstology in Ukraine.

Hypogene calcitization: Evaporite diagenesis in the western Delaware Basin, 2008, Stafford Kevin W. , Ulmerscholle Dana, Rosaleslagarde Laura

Evaporite calcitization within the Castile Formation of the Delaware Basin is more widespread and diverse than originally recognized. Coupled field and GIS studies have identified more than 1000 individual occurrences of calcitization within the Castile Formation outcrop area, which includes both calcitized masses (limestone buttes) and laterally extensive calcitized horizons (limestone sheets). Both limestone buttes and sheets commonly contain a central brecciated zone that we attribute to hypogene dissolution. Lithologic fabric of calcitized zones ranges from little alteration of original varved laminae to fabries showing extensive laminae distortion as well as extensive vuggy and open cavernous porosity. Calcitization is most abundant in the western portion of the Castile outcrop region where surface denudation has been greatest. Calcitization often forms linear trends, indicating fluid migration along fractures, but also occurs as dense clusters indicating focused, ascending, hydrocarbon-rich fluids. Native sulfur, secondary tabular gypsum (i.e. selenite) and hypogene caves are commonly associated with clusters of calcitization. This assemblage suggests that calcium sulfate diagenesis within the Castile Formation is dominated by hypogene speleogenesis.

The tectonic setting of W Slovenia is characterised by NW-SE trending dextral strike-slip fault systems and moderate seis-micity. Monitoring of tectonic movements along five presum-ably active faults or in their vicinity using TM 71 extensom-eters was set up in 2004. In five years of monitoring some clear trends of displacement were established. The morphologically most prominent fault in W Slovenia is Idrija Fault having a to-tal length of more than 120 km. The average lateral displace-ment measured along a crack in its inner fault zone in U?ja valley was 0.26 mm/year. Short-term rates were even greater and reached 0.54 mm/year. Raa Fault monitoring site at the foot of Vrem?ica Mt. established first an average uplift of SW block for 0.16 mm/year and left-lateral displacement of 0.16 mm/ year. It was followed by down-slip of the same block at the rate of 0.37 mm/year. In Postojnska Jama two instruments, 260 m apart, were installed at the fault zone, which extends about 1 km northeast from Predjama Fault. We detect small tectonic deformations, dextral horizontal movement of 0.05 mm in 5 years for Postojna 1 and extension of 0.03 mm in 5 years for Postojna 2. Both devices recorded similar reactions to some earthquakes with magnitude range 3.1-5.2 and epicentral distance of 12-95 km. The amplitude of individual peaks is in the order of 0.08 mm. The monitoring at Knea Fault started at the end of 2006. In two years clear oblique displacement was established with left-lateral rate of 0.06 mm/year and uplift of SW block for 0.06 mm/year. Monitoring in Poloka Jama situated in vicinity of the Ravne Fault started in 2008. Preliminary results show 0.08 mm of horizontal displacement between two limestone beds. Established displacements proved the active tectonic movement of all monitored faults. Observed deforma-tion rates can be compared with the regional deformation rate in W Slovenia established from GPS measurement, which is in the order of 2 mm/year. Keywords: micro-tectonic displacements, 3D monitoring, TM 71 extensometer, Idrija Fault, Raa Fault, Knea Fault, Predjama Fault, Ravne Fault, Slovenia.

A high-resolution spatial survey of cave air carbon dioxide concentrations in Scoska Cave (North Yorkshire, UK): implications for calcite deposition and re-dissolution, 2010, Whitaker, Tom, Daniel Jones, James U L Baldini And Alex J Baker
Carbon dioxide concentration variability in caves has implications for palaeoclimatic research involving stalagmites, the conservation of cave art, condensation corrosion, and safety during cave exploration. Here we present a high-resolution spatial survey of cave air carbon dioxide partial pressure (PCO2) in the 1.5km Scoska Cave system in North Yorkshire, UK, constructed using measurements taken during the interval of July 1 to July 5, 2008. According to the spatial P-CO2 survey, 76% of the cave air P-CO2 increase occurred within the first ~50 metres; consequently the P-CO2 gradient throughout the rest of the cave was slight. As is the case in other caves, this suggests that a 'front' exists at this site between high P-CO2 cave air and low P-CO2 outside air, where the P-CO2 increases dramatically over a short distance. Temperature data support this interpretation. This CO2 'front' is thought to represent the farthest point reached by large-scale advection of air out of the cave, and its position is hypothesized to fluctuate depending on atmospheric conditions. Thus, distinct P-CO2 trends characterize sections of the Scoska Cave system, which result in spatial variability in calcite deposition and redissolution. Modelled stalagmite growth rates vary between negligible and 0.21 mm yr-1, depending on unconstrained drip water [Ca2+] values and cave atmosphere P-CO2. Assuming constant drip water [Ca2+], optimum calcite deposition occurs near to the cave entrance, where ventilation and advection reduce P-CO2 levels most effectively. However, calcite precipitation on the roof of the cave may partially control the [Ca2+] of drip water that reaches the floor, so although the link between overall calcite deposition (i.e., on the roof and the floor) and P-CO2 appears robust, the effect of variable cave air P-CO2 on stalagmite growth rates requires more research. These calculations suggest that calcite precipitation rates in different areas of Scoska Cave may differ due to local P-CO2 and temperature variability, highlighting the benefits of thoroughly understanding site-specific cave environmental factors prior to the interpretation of stalagmite-based palaeoclimate records.

Fluids in geological processes The present state and future outlook, 2010, Mumm Andreas Schmidt, Brugger Joel, Zhao Chongbin, Schacht Ulrike

The research of fluids in the earth's crust is greatly benefiting from methodological (analytical) and experimental advances and the rapid development of increasingly powerful numerical modelling systems. New experimental data continuously refine the accuracy of numerical models aiming to quantitatively reconstruct geological processes. Geological modelling programs have moved on from linear or 2-dimensional approaches to integrating 3 or 4D geology with geothermal aspects, fluids flow and reactive transport processes into complex, quantitative scenarios. These combinations of refinement of the data base and advances in computational capacities are the stepping stones for the development of the predictive quality of mineralising models and hydrocarbon migration and accumulation, access to geothermal energy and the sequestration of CO2.

This special issue presents a selection of contributions on “Fluids in Geological Processes” following the VIth GEOFLUIDS meeting in Adelaide in 2009, emphasizing on recent developments in the different research trends in this field.

Volcanogenic origin of cenotes near Mt Gambier, southeastern Australia, 2010, Webb John A. , Grimes Ken G. , Lewis Ian D.

The cenotes near Mt Gambier are circular, cliffed, collapse dolines containing water-table lakes up to 125 m deep, floored by large rubble cones. They lie in a flat, coastal plain composed of mid-Tertiary limestone. Most of the deepest cenotes are concentrated in two small areas located along trends sub-parallel to the main joint direction in the limestone. The cenotes do not connect to underwater phreatic passages, and water chemistry data confirm that they are not part of an interconnected karst network. They formed by collapse into large chambers (up to > 1 million m3) that extended 125 m or more below the land surface. Several cenotes have actively growing stromatolites on the sub-vertical walls that started growing at 8000 years BP.

The caves that collapsed to form the deep Mt Gambier cenotes are much larger than shallow and deep phreatic caves in the area, and do not connect into deep phreatic systems. They were not formed by freshwater/seawater mixing, responsible for many of the well-known Yucatan cenotes, because they are not associated with locations of the mixing zone during previous high sea levels, and are much larger than caves presently forming along the mixing zone near Mt Gambier. Instead dissolution was most likely due to a process whereby acidified groundwater containing large amounts of volcanogenic CO2 ascended up fractures from the magma chambers that fed the Pleistocene–Holocene volcanic eruptions in the area; deep reservoirs of volcanogenic CO2 occur nearby.

Cave dissolution could have been due to release of CO2 during the Mt Gambier eruption 28,000 years ago, followed by collapse to form cenotes during the low sea levels of the Last Glacial Maximum 20,000 years ago. The cenotes then flooded 8000 years ago as sea level rose, and stromatolites began to grow on the walls.

Hypogean microclimatology and hydrogology of the 800-900 m asl level in the Monte Corchia cave (Tuscany, Italy): Preliminary considerations and implications for paleoclimatological studies, 2011, Ilaria Baneschi, Leonardo Piccini, Eleonora Regattieri, Ilaria Isola, Massimo Guidi, Licia Lotti, Francesco Mantelli, Marco Menichetti, Russell N. Drysdale & Giovanni Zanchetta:

The Monte Corchia Cave is one of the most promising sites for studying the paleoclimate of the Mediterranean basin, but its hydrology and hydrogeochemistry are still poorly known. In this paper, we report some meteoclimatic and hydrochemical data for different parts of the cave. Conductivity and water level data from La Gronda channel show that this system reacts rapidly to external meteoric events, indicating the presence of a conductive epikarst. Data on two different drips indicate that the physicochemical parameters, such as conductivity, pH, δ13CDIC and drip rate depend on the local structural setting and water path length. The data presented show that Galleria delle Stalattiti (the focus of the paleoclimate research) has the most stable conditions in terms of temperature, and the dripwaters show constant pH, electrical conductivity, alkalinity, calcium and magnesium content and δ18O. Drip rate is not affected by rain events and displays long-term trends that require a longer period of monitoring for elucidating their nature. The preliminary data presented here corroborate the hypotheses suggesting Galleria delle Stalattiti as a good example of a “deep” hypogean system of Fairchild et al. (2007).

Application of sequential trend analysis for discharge characterisation of Vipava karstic springs, Slovenia, 2011, Pavlič, Urka, Brenč, Ič, Mihael

The discharge of Vipava springs and precipitation data of their recharge area have been statistically analyzed and presented in this paper to provide some additional insight into the hydrological
regime of the aquifer. Monotone and sequential trends have been evaluated and interpreted based on a 45-year data measurement period between 1960 and 2004. The springs have a typical karstic regime with short-term periods of high discharge and long-term periods of mean and low discharge values. The ratio of low, mean and high discharges is about 1:10:100. The majority of the springs’ groundwater comes from precipitation in the recharge area. Supplementation of two different statistical analyses for sequential trend detection was applied
to annual decile discharge values (1960–2004) due to the subjectivity of results interpretation. The first method involved the use of rescaled adjusted partial sums (RAPS) and the second non-parametric sequential Mann-Kendall trend detection. The purpose of the investigation was to determine if and to what extent the length and trend line direction of sub-periods differ between different annual decile values of Vipava springs and to what extent decile values are related to annual precipitation. Sequential trend analysis confirmed similarity in hydrological conditions between some neighbouring discharge decile values but not in others. This analysis also showed that the length of sub-periods and their linear trend direction differed with respect
to low, mean and high annual decile discharge values.

Dades sobre paleocarst i espeleocronologia de les illes Balears , 2011, Gines J. , Gines A. , Fornos J. J.

The litho-stratigraphic record of the Balearic Islands, basically composed by carbonate rocks, include noticeable paleokarstic phenomena particularly owing to the complex tectonic structuration experienced by the Western Mediterranean basin all along its geological history. The most outstanding paleokarst features and associated breccia deposits are observed in the Jurassic limestones and, especially, in the postorogenic Upper Miocene carbonate rocks, where abundant funnel-shaped collapse structures (Messinian in age) have tightly conditioned the geomorphological evolution of the eastern coast of Mallorca. Regarding the karstification occurred in Pliocene and Quaternary times, the islands arise as exceptional scenarios in order to obtain valuable speleochronological data from quite different sources. The base level variations –controlled in turn by oscillations of the sea level–, as well as the evolutionary trends of endemic vertebrates that lived in the Balearic Islands, provide a solid chronological frame to undertake the geomorphologic study of Balearic caves and its sediments. Particularly, the glacio-eustatic oscillations experienced by the Mediterranean Sea remain accurately recorded by means of horizontal paleolevels of phreatic speleothems, mostly corresponding to Upper Pleistocene and Holocene sea-stands. The isotopic investigations (U-Th, 14C) carried out on these carbonate precipitates, as well as on speleothems in general, have supplied abundant absolute dating which strongly contribute to the chronological assessment of the endokarst evolution undergone in our islands. All the evidences gathered till now seem to place in the Pliocene, and in some cases even before, the main speleogenetic phases occurred in the archipelago. During the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, the caves in the Balearic Islands had only experienced minor morpho-sedimentary modifications embracing –in a significant number of cave sites– the deposition of abundant speleothems together with the emplacement of paleontological deposits that include endemic vertebrate fauna.

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