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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 ground-water table is the surface between the zone of saturation and the zone of aeration. also, the surface of an unconfined aquifer [6]. synonym: water table.?

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

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Original article

Die Hoehle, 2002, Vol 53, Issue 1, p. 1-37
Dachstein-Altfläche, Augenstein-Formation und Höhlenentwicklung - die Geschichte der letzten 35 Millionen Jahre in den zentralen Nördlichen Kalkalpen
Abstract:
The landscape of the central Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA) is largely determined by the celebrate elevated karst plateaus, which represent relics of the Dachstein paleosurface and can be followed as far as the eastern margin of the NCA. The Dachstein paleosurface formed in late Eocene to early Oligocene times as a karstic hilly landscape. It was modified by later erosional processes to a limited extent only and is preserved as such in the karst plateaus. In the Oligocene, the paleosurface subsided and was sealed by the Augenstein Formation, a terrestrial sequence of conglomerates and sandstones, which are only preserved in small remnants on the plateaus. The poorly and contradictingly defined terms „Rax landscape" and „Augenstein landscape" are not used any more. From the overall geological situation, the age of the Augenstein Formation can be inferred as Lower Oligocene to early Lower Miocene. Fission track dating on zircon support the Lower Oligocene age of the basal Augenstein sediments (only these are preserved). Their source area was situated in the south and mainly occupied by weakly metamorphosed Paleozoic sequences (Graywacke Zone and its equivalents) and the latest Carboniferous to Lower Triassic siliciclastic base of the NCA. To the west, the Augenstein Formation interfingered with the Tertiary sediments of the Lower Inn Valley. Thermal modeling of fission track data from apatite, which is contained in pebbles as an accessory phase, suggest that the Augenstein Formation attained thicknesses of locally 1.3 km, possibly even more than 2 km. Augenstein sedimentation probably ended in Early Miocene times with the onset of lateral tectonic extrusion in the Eastern Alps, which caused lowering of the relief in the source area and created a new, fault-bounded river network. In the following period, the Augenstein sediments were eroded and redeposited in the foreland molasse basin. From Pannonian times (ca. 10 Ma) on, the central and eastern NCA, and therefore also the Dachstein paleosurface, experienced uplift in pulses. The paleosurface remained preserved in those areas, where thick limestone sequences enabled subsurface erosion in cave systems and considerably reduced surface erosion. Augenstein sediments became washed into the widespread cave systems of the plateau-topped limestone massifs. The arrangement of the caves in three horizons shows that uplift of the NCA occurred in pulses separated from periods of tectonic quiescence. In our model of the evolution of the NCA since the late Eocene, the highest cave system, the surface-near ruin cave system, was probably formed during formation of the Dachstein paleosurface. The largest system, the giant cave system, formed in Upper Miocene times, i.e., in the early stage of the final uplift period of the NCA. The youngest and lowest system, the source cave system, formed in Pliocene to Quaternary times. We aimed to date material from the giant cave system by radiometric methods. U/Pb dating on speleothems from the Mammut cave (Dachstein) and the Eisriesenwelt (Tennengebirge) gave no formation age because of the low U contents; however, the isotope ratios allow to infer that the speleothems formed in pre-Pleistocene time. Quartz pebbles from the Augenstein Formation, washed into the caves before the formation of the speleothems, were analyzer for cosmogenic beryllium and aluminum isotopes in order to date the time of redeposition. The isotope contents, however, did no yield a sufficiently strong signal. Oxygen and carbon isotope ratios were determined on the Eisriesenwelt speleothem in order to receive information on climatic changes during speleothem growth. A 260 mm long core from the outer zone of the speleothem shower limited variation for the temperatures of the seeping rainwater, which caused the speleothems to form. This indicates moderate climate and thus, again, pre-Pleistocene formation of the speleothems. All these results are in accord with the supposed Upper Miocene formation age of the giant cave system. Displacement of a speleothem along a shear plane and normal faults visible on the plateaus by the offset of the actual surface testify young, partly Quaternary tectonics, which affected the NCA.