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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 crustaceans is the large class of animals that includes lobsters, crayfish, amphipods, isopods, and many similar forms. crustaceans typically live in water and have many jointed appendages, segmented bodies, and hard exoskeletons [23].?

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

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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.
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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 adjacent areas (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
The sedimentary records in Mediterranean rockshelters and caves: Archives of environmental change, 2001, Woodward J. C. , Goldberg P. ,
It is important to develop rigorous methods and robust conceptual models for the interpretation of rockshelter and cave sediment records so that the cultural sequences they contain can be considered in their proper environmental context. Much of what we know about the prehistory of the Mediterranean region and adjacent areas has largely been pieced together from materials excavated from sedimentary sequences in these environments. The rockshelters and caves of the region form important environmental and sedimentary archives. Recent work has begun to consider if the remarkable climatic variability evident in the high resolution lacustrine and ice core records is manifest in the rockshelter and cave sediment records of the area, In this context, the two main characteristics of a rockshelter or cave site which control its usefulness as an archive of environmental change are the temporal resolution of the sedimentary record and the environmental sensitivity of the site. Many rockshelters and caves can be described as either Active Karst Settings (AKS) or Passive Karst Settings (PKS) and site type is an important influence on climatic sensitivity with a direct influence upon the usefulness of the sedimentary sequence as a proxy record of climate change. It is now clear that some sites may preserve detailed paleoclimatic records and the climatic signal may be represented by distinctive suites of micromorphological features, by variations in the input of allogenic sediment, or by fluctuations in the mineral magnetic properties of the fine sediment fraction. It can be argued that data derived from the analysis of bulk coarse-grained samples often lacks the stratigraphic resolution and environmental sensitivity that can be obtained from other approaches. The most favorable sites for detailed paleoclimatic reconstruction appear to be in active karst settings such as Theopetra Cave (Greece) and Pigeon Cave (Morocco) where micromorphological analyses offer insights into the stratigraphic record that are not otherwise obtainable. The temporal resolution of a site can only be established through a rigorous stratigraphic analysis and a comprehensive dating program. These are fundamental considerations in the study of rockshelter sediment records, especially when attempting to correlate between sites and draw comparisons with other proxy records of environmental change derived from sedimentary environments with rather different characteristics. Rockshelters and caves are part of a wider sediment system, and their investigation must be accompanied by detailed geomorphological, sedimentological, paleoecological, and geochronological studies of the off-site Quaternary record.

Late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level rise and the pattern of coastal karst inundation: records from submerged speleothems along the Eastern Adriatic Coast (Croatia), 2005, Suric Masa, Juracic Mladen, Horvatincic Nada, Krajcar Bronic Ines,
In order to reconstruct the late Pleistocene-Holocene sea-level rise along the Eastern Adriatic Coast, eight speleothems were collected from three submerged caves along the Croatian coast from depths of -38.5 to -17 m. The marine biogenic overgrowth layer and the youngest and the oldest parts of the speleothems were dated by the 14C method. Their stable isotope (13C/12C and 18O/16O) contents were also measured. From the measured 14C activity of the marine overgrowth and using the model of Alessio et al. (1992, Risultati preliminari relativi alla datazione di speleotemi sommersi nelle fasce costiere del Tirreno centrale. Giornale di Geologia ser. 3 54/2, 165-193), the start of overgrowth (i.e., the time of flooding by seawater) was determined to be 10,185 cal BP at -36 m, 9160 cal BP at -34 m, and 7920 cal BP at -23 m.Our results partially match the sea-level curves reconstructed for adjacent areas (Tyrrhenian Coast and French Mediterranean Coast). However, the start of the marine overgrowth on speleothems in pit caves indicates strong dependence on the steepness of the terrain. On steep, extensively karstified coasts, marine overgrowths on speleothems coincided with the submersion of the speleothems due to the relatively short distance between the pit and the open sea and fast penetration of seawater into the pit. In contrast, marine overgrowths on speleothems in pits in the flat terrains occurred later because speleothem growth ceased due to flooding with fresh groundwater. Later, the fresh water was replaced by seawater due to the greater distance of the inland pits to the former coast

Development and Evolution of Epikarst in Mid-Continent US Carbonates, 2005, Cooley Tony L. , P. E.

This paper presents the basic elements of a conceptual model for the development of epikarst in US mid-continent, horizontally-bedded carbonates in which flow is largely confined to secondary and tertiary porosity. The model considers the development of epikarst regimes in carbonate sequences beginning shortly after non-carbonate rocks are eroded away to expose the underlying carbonates and follows this through capture of the shallow flow by deeper dissolution conduits with reorientation of the epikarst to a more vertical form. The model does not require an underlying zone of vadose flow and in many cases considers development of such a zone to depend on the water supply provided by prior development of the epikarst. It is not claimed that all epikarsts form in the accordance with this model; rather this paper presents a viable additional model for epikarst formation under appropriate starting conditions. Factors influencing the development of epikarst are a combination of: 1) the pre-karst topography and modifications to this as the system evolves, 2) the original distribution and aperture of fractures as well as the distance and orientation of physically favorable fractures relative to potential discharge points, such as existing dissolutionally-enhanced channels with low head or nearby valleys, 3) character of soil cover as this affects percolation of water to the rock, erodability of the soil, sediment filling of conduits, and transport of sediment 4) variations in availability of dissolutionally aggressive water with time and location, and 5) low solubility layers, such as shale or chert, that promote lateral flow until a penetration point can be found. These interact to form an epikarst and deeper karst system that progressively increases its capacity both by internal improvement of its flow routes and extension into adjacent areas. The availability of water needed to promote dissolution also often has a positive feedback relationship to epikarst, in which locations of most active dissolution modify their vicinity to progressively increase capture of water, which promotes further dissolution. In early stages, lateral flow through the overlying soils and along top-of-rock must dominate the groundwater flow because the relatively intact carbonates have insufficient transmissivity to convey the available recharge through the body of the rock. Top-of-rock runnels developed by a combination of dissolution of their floors and piping erosion of their roofs would carry a significant portion of the flow. Horizontally-oriented epikarst develops with discharge to local drainage. Cutters and pinnacles, collapse-related macropores, and areas of concentrated recharge would begin to form at this stage. Initial downward propagation of this system would occur mostly due to lateral flow. Mixing corrosion could occur in sumps in these lateral flow routes when fresh, percolating rainwater mixes with older water with a higher dissolved load. Should conditions be suitable, leakage from this system promotes the migration of deeper karst conduits into the area by Ewers multi-tiered headward linking. Other sources of water may also bring in such deeper conduits. Once such deeper conduits are present, the epikarst can evolve into a more vertically oriented system, at least in the vicinity of master drains into this deeper system. Former shallow epikarst routes may then plug with sediment. In some areas, deeper systems may never develop due to unfavorable conditions. The epikarst may be the only significant system in these cases. This includes the case of poor karst formers such as interbedded shales and carbonates that may have very shallow horizontal epikarst flow paths that channel shallow subsurface flows.

The Messinian salinity crisis: Looking for a new paradigm?, 2006, Roveri M. , Manzi V. ,
The importance of the sedimentary record of Messinian events in the Apennines foredeep is due to its geological and structural settings, which allow the reconstruction of the relationships between marginal and basinal settings and provide fundamental insights into some important issues. A geologic-stratigraphic model of the Messinian Apennine foredeep indicating a possible solution for closing the last `Messinian gap' is here presented. Moreover, the establishment of a preliminary high-resolution stratigraphy for the terminal Lago Mare stage allows us to attempt Mediterranean-scale correlations across different structural settings.The Messinian evolution of the Apennine foredeep and some considerations of adjacent areas suggest the great importance of tectonic deformation in controlling Messinian events. The intra-Messinian unconformity is a common feature of the marginal basins of the Mediterranean, and it is associated in many cases to the collapse and resedimentation of primary evaporites. The genesis of such unconformity seems to be strictly related to a general tectonic reorganization of the Mediterranean area. Preliminary observation on the stratigraphy of the Lago Mare stage suggest that the high-frequency lithological cyclicity observed in the non-marine deposits of this stage, as well as the superimposed transgressive trend, are common to many Mediterranean basins. These characteristic features might reflect the interplay between a longer-term tectonic trend and higher-frequency, precession-related, climatic changes; this could represent a fundamental tool for establishing a high-resolution stratigraphic framework of the latest Messinian allowing long-distance correlations between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and hence more accurate palaeoenvironmental studies

Changing perspectives in the concept of 'Lago-Mare' in Mediterranean Late Miocene evolution, 2006, Orszagsperber Fabienne,
The Cenozoic Alpine orogeny caused the partition of Tethys into several basins. During the Late Neogene, the Mediterranean attained its final configuration, whereas, eastwards, the Paratethys, isolated from the World Ocean, disintegrated progressively into a series of smaller basins. As a result, an endemic fauna developed in these basins, mainly composed of brackish to freshwater faunas, indicating an environment affected by changes in water salinity. These small basins of the Paratethys were named 'Sea-Lakes' by Andrusov [Andrusov, D., 1890. Les Dreissenidae fossiles et actuelles d'Eurasie. Geol. min. 25, 1-683 (in Russian)]. Subsequently this name was translated into 'Lac-Mer' [Gignoux, M., 1936. Geologie stratigraphique, 2[deg]edition, Masson, Paris].In the Mediterranean isolated from the Atlantic at the end of the Miocene (Messinian), thick evaporites deposited, consisting of a marine Lower Evaporite unit and an Upper Evaporite unit, mainly of continental origin. Ruggieri [Ruggieri, G., 1962. La serie marine pliocenica e quaternaria della Val Marecchia. Atti Acad. Sci. Lett. Arti. Palermo, 19, 1-169.] used the term 'Lago-Mare', to characterize the brackish to fresh water environment which occurred within the Mediterranean at the end of the Messinian.During recent decades, numerous scientific investigations concerning the history of the Messinian within the Mediterranean were devoted to the understanding of conditions prevailing after the deposition of the marine evaporites. Brackish to freshwater faunas are found in several outcrops and boreholes in the Mediterranean, both in the uppermost beds of gypsum and inter-bedded within the clastic sediments of the Upper Evaporite Unit, immediately preceeding the flooding by the marine Pliocene waters. These faunas, because of their similarities with the fauna described in the Paratethys, were named 'Paratethyan', or 'Caspi-brackish' fauna, this leading some authors to imply a migration of these fauna from Paratethys to the Mediterranean. However, others refute this hypothesis.New data induced some researchers to consider that exchanges existed between the Mediterranean and the Eastern Paratethys and also between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean at the Miocene-Pliocene transition. These investigations now take advantage of the accurate time scales established by authors (biostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy), allowing good stratigraphic correlations between the Mediterranean and the Paratethys, and precisions on the geodynamic evolution of this area.Furthermore, sediments at the base of the Zanclean (MPl1), locally containing brackish to fresh water faunas conducted authors to attribute this formation to an infra- or pre-Pliocene and also to a Lago-Mare 'event'.Thus, the 'Lago-Mare' concept drifted from its original meaning, and is evolving because of progresses in the understanding of the Mediterranean geodynamics and the adjacent areas during the Miocene-Pliocene transition

The climatic cyclicity in semiarid-arid central Asia over the past 500,000 years, 2012, Cheng H. , Zhang P. Z. , Sptl C. , Edwards R. L. , Cai Y. J. , Zhang D. Z. , Sang W. C. , Tan M. , An Z. S.

Central Asia is currently a semiarid-arid region, dominated by the Westerlies. It is important to understand mechanisms of climate and precipitation changes here, as water availability in the region is crucial today and in the future. High-resolution, absolutely-dated oxygen isotope (d18O) records of stalagmites from Kesang Cave characterize a dynamic precipitation history over most of the past 500,000 years. This record demonstrates, for the first time, that climate change in the region exhibits a processional rhythm with abrupt inceptions of low d18O speleothem growth at times of high Northern Hemisphere summer insolation followed by gradual d18O increases that track decreases of insolation. These observations and interpretations contrast with the interpretation of nearby, but higher elevation ice core records. The absolutely-dated cave d18O shifts can be used to correlate the regional climate variability by providing chronological marks. Combined with other paleoclimate records, the Kesang observations suggest that possible incursions of Asian summer monsoon rainfall or related moisture into the Kesang site and/or adjacent areas during the high insolation times may play an important role in changing orbital-scale hydrology of the region. based on our record, arid climate will prevail in this region for the next several millennia, providing that anthropogenic effects do not supersede natural processes.

Hypogene karst of the eastern part of the Crimean fore-mountains, 2012, Klimchouk A. B. , Amelichev G. M. , Tymokhina . . , Tokarev S. V.

Carbonate rocks of upper Cretaceous, Paleocene and Eocene crop out in cuesta escarpments in different sectors of the eastern part of the Inner Range of the Crimean fore-mountains. Scarps and adjacent strips of the plateaus demonstrate a set of features, characteristic and unique for the Crimean fore-mountain region, represented by various conduit and cavernous forms (karstified fractures, grottoes, niches, caves, vugs and zones of vuggy porosity), sculptured surfaces and honeycomb, boxwork and spongework surfaces of scarps, and also by couloirs and blind valleys in the near-scarp strips of structural slopes. The paper demonstrates that all these forms are relics of the morphology of sub-vertical hypogenic rift-like conduits, their meso-elements and forms of the vuggy fringe, exposed due to the scarp retreat by block toppling. Previous ideas of the formation of grottoes and niches in scarps by processes of external weathering and gravitational destruction are shown to be inadequate, and the hypogenic karst origin of these forms is firmly established. The analysis of distribution and morphology of relict hypogenic karst features has allowed reconstructing the structure and functioning of hypogenic karst systems, which had been formed by dissolution and metasomatic alteration of host rocks under confined conditions, along cross-formational tectonic fractures organized in linear corridors and clusters. Interaction of rising fracture-vein waters of the deep circulation system with intra- and interstratal waters of shallower systems played a particular role in hypogenic speleogenesis. It is shown that hypogenic karst was one of the primary factors of regional geomorphic development as it determined locations and morphology of the cuesta escarpments, as well as further landform development in the adjacent areas of the structural surfaces.


The persistent drought of the 2012 summer in the Midwestern United States significantly impacted the health and vigor of Illinois’ crops. An unforeseen outcome of the extreme drought was that it provided a rare opportunity to examine and characterize the bedrock surface and underlying karst aquifer within the Driftless Area of northwestern Illinois. Complex networks of vegetated lines and polygonal patterns, herein referred to as crop lines, crisscrossed the dry summer landscape of Jo Daviess County. Initially, the crop lines were examined and photographed using a handheld digital camera on the ground and from a small aircraft at 300 meters altitude above ground level (AGL). The orientations, widths and horizontal separations of the lines were measured. Crop lines and their patterns and orientations were compared with those of crevices in outcrops, road cuts and quarries, and with lineaments seen in LiDAR elevation data of Jo Daviess County.
Primarily confined to alfalfa fields and, to a lesser extent, soybeans and corn, the crop lines are the result of a combination of extremely dry conditions, and a thin soil zone overlying fractured and creviced Galena Dolomite bedrock. The plants forming the lines tend to grow denser, taller (0.5 m vs 0.15 m) and darker/greener than those in adjacent areas. Alfalfa taproots are the deepest of the aforementioned crops extending up to 7 m below the surface. Groundwater and associated soil moisture within the vadose zone present within bedrock fractures and crevices provide the necessary moisture to sustain the overlying healthy plants, while the remaining area of the field exhibits stunted and sparse plant growth. Overall, the crop lines are a reflection of the creviced pattern of the underlying karst bedrock and associated karst aquifer, and reveal the degree and extent of karstification in eastern Jo Daviess County. The crop lines were consistent with the angular lines of adjacent streams that show a rectangular drainage pattern. Stream patterns like these are well known and are due to drainage controlled by crevice/fracture patterns in the top of bedrock. The lines appear to have been formed by two sets of fractures trending roughly north-south and east-west with occasional cross-cutting fractures/crevices. The east-west trending lines are consistent with tension joints, and the north-south lines are consistent with the shear joints identified by earlier researchers. The trends of the crop lines, tension and shear joints are similar to those of lineaments identified from LiDAR elevation data in the same area (N 20° W, and N 70° W and N 70° E) and coincide with the occurrence of karst features throughout eastern Jo Daviess County.The pattern observed in the crop lines closely mimics the fracture/crevice patterns of the bedrock surface. The widths and extent of the lines may be used as a surrogate for the karst features present on the bedrock surfaces. Crop lines, coupled with solution-enlarged crevices seen in bedrock exposures, yield a three dimensional view of the bedrock crevice-fracture system, and ultimately could provide a more complete and accurate model of the karst aquifer in the study area and similar karst areas in the Midwestern United States and perhaps in other karst regions of the world.

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