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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 lodgement till is glacial till deposited from slowly melting ice at the base of a glacier [16].?

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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 age dating (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
Speleothem-based paleoclimate record from northern Oman, 1998, Burns Sj, Matter A, Frank N, Mangini A,
U-Th age dating and stable isotope measurements of speleothems from Hoti Cave in northern Oman yield paleoclimate information from the region extending to 125 ka. The results (1) provide further confirmation of an early Holocene wet period in southern Arabia extending from some time prior to 9.7 ka and ending at 6.2 ka; (2) demonstrate a second period of wetness closely coinciding with the last interglacial period, marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e; (3) indicate that during MIS 5e, southern Arabia was considerably wetter than during the early Holocene; and (4) demonstrate that periods of increased monsoon wind strength, based on data from marine sediments, do not always coincide with evidence of greatly increased precipitation even from nearby continental areas

Timescales for nitrate contamination of spring waters, northern Florida, USA, 2001, Katz B. G. , Bohlke J. K. , Hornsby H. D. ,
Residence times of groundwater, discharging from springs in the middle Suwannee River Basin, were estimated using chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), tritium ((3) H), and tritium/helium-3 (H-3/He-3) age-dating methods to assess the chronology of nitrate contamination of spring waters in northern Florida. During base-flow conditions for the Suwannee River in 1997-1999, 17 water samples were collected from 12 first, second, and third magnitude springs discharging groundwater from the Upper Floridan aquifer. Extending age-dating techniques, using transient tracers to spring waters in complex karst systems, required an assessment of several models [piston-flow (PFM), exponential mixing (EMM), and binary-mixing (BMM)] to account for different distributions of groundwater age. Multi-tracer analyses of four springs yielded generally concordant PFM ages of around 20 2 years from CFC- 12, CFC- 113, H-3, and He-3. with evidence of partial CFC- 11 degradation. The EMM gave a reasonable fit to CFC- 113, CFC- 12. and H-3 data, but did not reproduce the observed He-3 concentrations or H-3/He-3 ratios, nor did a combination PFM-EMM. The BMM could reproduce most of the multi-tracer data set only if both endmembers had H-3 concentrations not much different front modern values. CFC analyses of 14 additional springs yielded apparent PFM ages from about 10 to 20 years from CFC- 113, with evidence of partial CFC- 11 degradation and variable CFC-12 contamination. While it is not conclusive, with respect to the age distribution within each spring, the data indicate that the average residence times were in the order of 10-20 years and were roughly proportional to spring magnitude. Applying similar models to recharge and discharge of nitrate based on historical nitrogen loading data yielded contrasting trends for Suwanee County and Lafayette County. In Suwance County, spring nitrate trends and nitrogen isotope data were consistent with a peak in fertilizer input in the 1970s and a relatively high overall ratio of artificial fertilizer/manure whereas in Lafayette County, spring nitrate trends and nitrogen isotope data were consistent with a more monotonic increase in fertilizer input and relatively low overall ratio of artificial fertilizer/manure. The combined results of this study indicate that the nitrate concentrations of springs in the Suwannee River basin have responded to increased nitrogen loads from various sources in the watersheds over the last few decades, however, the responses have been subdued and delayed because the average residence time of groundwater discharging from springs are in the order of decades. (C) 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V

Characterization of ground water flow from spring discharge in a crystalline rock environment, 2004, Gentry Wm, Burbey Tj,
Recent investigations describing the hydrogeology of the Blue Ridge Province of Virginia suggest the occurrence of multiple aquifers and flow paths that may be responsible for the variable flow behavior of springs and seeps appearing throughout the region. Deep, confined aquifers associated with ubiquitous faults and shallow, variably confined saprolite aquifers may contribute water to spring outlets resulting in significantly different quantities of discharge and water quality. Multiple analyses are required to adequately identify the flow paths to springs. In this investigation, hydrograph analyses, surface electrical resistivity surveys, aquifer tests, and nitrate concentrations are used in conjunction with previously reported analyses from borehole logs and age dating of ground water to identify two distinct flow paths. Results indicate that base flow occurs from a deep fault zone aquifer and such discharge can be maintained even during prolonged periods of drought, while increased discharge identified on hydrograph peaks suggests the occurrence of rapid flow through the saprolite aquifer within a radius of about 25 meters of the spring orifice. Springflow hydrograph analysis is suitable for rapid characterization of flow paths leading to spring outlets. Rapid characterization is important for evaluation of potential water quality problems arising from contamination of shallow and deep aquifers and for evaluation of water resource susceptibility to drought. The techniques evaluated here are suitable for use in other locations in fractured crystalline rock environments

Hypogene and supergene alteration of the Late Palaeozoic Ratburi Limestone during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic (Thailand, Surat Thani Province). Implications for the concentration of mineral commodities, 2005, Dill H. G. , Botz R. , Luppold F. W. , Henjeskunst F.
An interdisciplinary study of the Upper Carboniferous to Middle Permian Ratburi Group, Peninsular Thailand, is presented. The investigation involved sedimentary petrography, inorganic geochemistry, Sr, C, O isotope analyses, micropalaeontology as well as radio-carbon age dating. Emphasis was placed on the post-depositional evolution of the Ratburi Limestone in the Surat Thani Province. The Holocene chemical residues and the various calcite and dolomite minerals which have formed since the Late Palaeozoic in the Ratburi Limestone are the product of a complex, multistage alteration which is called supergene and hypogene karstifications, respectively. Sedimentation took place in a shelf environment with some reefs evolving during the late Murgabian at the shelf margin. There was no pre-concentration of elements, except for Ca and F during sedimentation. Diagenetic neomorphism and cementation under marine and freshwater conditions caused the Ratburi Limestone to convert into a marble-like rock. Fabric-selective dolomitization is of local scale and has impacted only on part of the Ratburi Limestone during the Lower to Upper Permian. A significant enhancement of pore space and better conduits were generated during the Late Cretaceous epithermal alteration. The most favorable conditions for the accumulation of metals were provided during the high-temperature stage of epithermal alteration when a low-metal concentration with As, Zn, Sb, U, Co and Pb existed. Unlike the other elements, Sb was subject to a multiphase concentration, giving rise to a considerable Sb deposit in the region. The most recent stage of karstification produced numerous caves, dripstones, tufa terraces and encrustations around brine pools in the study area. This alteration originated from per descensum and per ascensum processes which may be traced back to 15,000 years before present. The alteration of the Ratburi Limestone may be subdivided into two parts. The prograde post-depositional alteration, beginning with diagenesis, reached its temperature climax during epithermal subsurface alteration I. The retrograde branch of alteration lasted until the most recent times. The initial stages deposition and diagenesis took place under more or less closed-system conditions relative to the succeeding stages of the prograde alteration which saw the strongest influx of metal-bearing brine during the epithermal stage I. The retrograde branch of alteration is element-conservative.

Economic gains of use have led to a global explosion of groundwater development in the last several decades. Consequently, groundwater reserves have been depleted extensively. Continuing use of groundwater, which is initially supplied from the storage, causes increasing derivation of additional water from groundwater dependent ecosystems such as, streams, lakes and wetlands. A systematic groundwater age dating in the vicinity of a surface water body may help to quantify the spatio-temporal dynamics of interaction between these resources. Though, numerical flow and transport models may be used to infer the age distribution of groundwater feeding a surface water body, their efficient use requires extensive data that properly characterize the flow domain. In cases, such data is not available or requires to be supplemented by an independent approach, spatio-temporal age dating of groundwater by various tracers can be helpful in understanding the dynamics of flow in the aquifer. This paper provides brief information on how the groundwater age data can be used in surface water ecological problems. Examples from several field sites in Turkey are also presented.

Translating CFC-based piston ages into probability density functions of ground-water age in karst, 2006, Long Andrew J. , Putnam Larry D. ,
SummaryTemporal age distributions are equivalent to probability density functions (PDFs) of transit time. The type and shape of a PDF provides important information related to ground-water mixing at the well or spring and the complex nature of flow networks in karst aquifers. Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) concentrations measured for samples from 12 locations in the karstic Madison aquifer were used to evaluate the suitability of various PDF types for this aquifer. Parameters of PDFs could not be estimated within acceptable confidence intervals for any of the individual sites. Therefore, metrics derived from CFC-based apparent ages were used to evaluate results of PDF modeling in a more general approach. The ranges of these metrics were established as criteria against which families of PDFs could be evaluated for their applicability to different parts of the aquifer. Seven PDF types, including five unimodal and two bimodal models, were evaluated. Model results indicate that unimodal models may be applicable to areas close to conduits that have younger piston (i.e., apparent) ages and that bimodal models probably are applicable to areas farther from conduits that have older piston ages. The two components of a bimodal PDF are interpreted as representing conduit and diffuse flow, and transit times of as much as two decades may separate these PDF components. Areas near conduits may be dominated by conduit flow, whereas areas farther from conduits having bimodal distributions probably have good hydraulic connection to both diffuse and conduit flow

U-series dating and isotope geochemical study of the Gellrt Hill (Budapest) travertine, 2009, Kele S. , Scheuer G. , Demny A. , Shen Ch. C. , Chiang H. W.

Travertine is quite a common formation in the area of Budapest (Hungary) indicating strong hydrothermal activity during the Pliocene and Quaternary. It covers former terraces of the Danube River and older geomorphologic horizons; thus, it is an important archive to date fluvial terraces and tectonic movements. Despite numerous investigations performed on these deposits, only few radiometric data are available so far and the absence of the exact timing information hindered paleoclimatic interpretation. The area of Gellért Hill consists mainly of Upper Triassic dolomite, but Quaternary travertine can also be found. In this study a detailed petrographic and stable isotope geochemical study of four travertine sites (1. Ifjúsági Park; 2. Számadó u. (Street); 3. Kelenhegyi u. (Street); 4. Somlói u. (Street)) of the Gellért Hill area is presented, along with analyses on the recent carbonate deposits of Gellért Hill and Sárosfürdõ. The travertine of Ifjúsági Park and Számadó u. are spring cone deposits, while the travertine of the Kelenhegyi u. represents a shallow-water depositional environment. based on the paleontological studies of Jánossy (in Scheuer and Schweitzer, 1988) the Gellért Hill travertine was thought to have been formed during the Lower Pleistocene; however, no radiometric age dating had been performed on these deposits prior our study. Our U/Th analyses yielded ages of 250±44 ky for the Ifjúsági Park travertine (220 m asl) and 180±49 ky for the Számadó u. travertine (195 m asl). These new U/Th ages are in contradiction with the previously assumed Lower Pleistocene age, implying gradual relative decrease in the paleokarst water-level and proving that the elevation of the individual travertine deposits not necessarily show their relative age. The uplift rates of Gellért Hill calculated from the U/Th age data and elevation of travertine occurrences range between 0.47 and 0.52 mm/yr, which is significantly higher than the uplift rates calculated for the Rózsadomb area (0.20 0.25 mm/yr; Kele et al., submitted). The difference in the incision rates between the individual sub-areas suggests that selective uplift was characteristic for the Buda Hills during the Middle Pleistocene; thus, up-scaling reconstruction of paleokarst waterlevel for the whole area from a given locality is not possible. Oxygen isotope analyses of recent carbonate deposits of Gellért Hill, Sárosfürdõ and Rudas Spa revealed that these calcites precipitated under non-equilibrium conditions, and the measured calcitewater oxygen isotope fractionation show the same positive shift relative to "equilibrium values" as was observed in the case of the recently-forming Egerszalók travertine (Kele et al. 2008). Assuming that the water of the paleo-springs of Gellért Hill derived from precipitation infiltrated during interstadial periods of the Pleistocene and considering non-equilibrium deposition (i.e. using the empirical calcite-water oxygen isotope fractionation of Kele et al. 2008), their calculated paleotemperature could range between 22 (±4) °C and 49 (±6) °C. based on the 18Otravertine differences the Ifjúsági Park and the Számadó u. spring cone type travertine was deposited from the highest temperature water, while from the lowest temperature water the travertine of Kelenhegyi u. was formed.

Datierung fluviatiler Hhlensedimente mittels kosmogener Nuklide am Beispiel des Grazer Berglandes, 2011, Wagner, T.
The Central Styrian Karst north of Graz comprises a great number of caves of which many are of phreatic origin. Due to a clustering of caves at certain elevations above the current base level, the Mur River, these caves can be assigned to distinct levels. Caves cannot be older than the rock in which they formed, i.e. in the case of the region studied here not older than about 400 Ma (million years ago). Cave deposits on the other hand allow to infer a minimum age of cave formation, because they are deposited in the cave during or (mostly) after its development. Besides numerous autochthonous (i.e. in situ) sediments and speleothems, also a number of allochthonous (transported into the cave from the surface) sediments are encountered. Burial ages of several quartz-rich allochthonous cave sediments were determined using the radioactive cosmogenic nuclides 26Al and 10Be. The present article provides an insight into this rela tively new dating method (burial age dating) to constrain the age of cave deposits. The current state of knowledge about the timing of cave formation in the Grazer Bergland (Highland of Graz) will be discussed by summarizing the results of two recent papers (Wagner et al., 2010, 2011). Based on these results, conclusions are drawn about the age of the cave levels, relative incision rates of the River Mur and the landscape evolution of the eastern rim of the Alps in general. Sedimentation ages of 0 to about 5 Ma ago are in good agreement with increasingly higher cave levels above the present base level. This in turn reflects the stepwise relative incision of the River Mur. Based on the oldest samples, the onset of karstification and thus the exhumation of the Central Styrian Karst occurred at least 4-5 Ma ago. The oldest level, assigned to an age of at least 4 Ma, is situated some 500 m above the current valley bottom. Therefore, a relative incision rate of the River Mur in the order of only about 100 meters per million year (m/Myr) for the last 4-5 Ma is inferred. A more detailed examination of the levels reveals on average a decrease in the incision rate. Burial ages of ~2.5 Ma are determined only 100 m above the current base level. Moreover, the formation of planation surfaces and terraces in the Grazer Bergland is constrained by the correlation with cave levels and as such an important contribution to the understanding of landscape evolution of this region is made.

Cosmogenic Isotope Dating of Cave Sediments, 2012, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek

The decay of cosmic ray-induced 26Al and 10Be in quartz sediments allows the calculation of sediment emplacement ages back to about five million years. Two examples are given: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Atapuerca Cave (Spain). The sediments in the Mammoth Cave System were an integral part of how the cave was formed. The sediments reveal the evolution of the cave system, and how cave development is tightly coupled to river incision and aggradation. In this case, Mammoth Cave was ideal because it was a water-table cave that carried quartz from local bedrock. In contrast, Atapuerca is a sedimentary infill where sediment (and animals) fell into a preexisting cavity. Such cave infills are the norm in archaeology and paleoanthropology because they collect bones and artifacts over long periods of time. In this case, the cosmogenic nuclides dated the sedimentary infill rather than the cave itself.


The area of Niari-Nyanga, divided between Congo-Brazzaville and Gabon, corresponds to a Neoproterozoic synclinal whose schisto-limestones and dolomitic layers shelter many caves as well as vast underground karst systems that are hardly known. In a sub-equatorial climate characterized by sparse rainfall with very variable intensity, a dry season of five months and a savanna environment, the endokarst presents a vast array of forms with sometimes large, sometimes small dimensions. The caves are mostly horizontal and oriented along tectonic lines. Old fossil perched caves contrast with epiphreatic caves and drowned inaccessible systems. In current bioclimatic conditions, corrosion seems not very effective and not in equilibrium with some vast morphologies. The stacked levels, the presence of fossil speleothems and detritic material suggest a polyphase genesis in link with important paleoclimatic changes, where humid and dry periods alternate. Recent age dating with 14C on stalagmites show that the speleothemes are holocene and grew during the important rainfalls of this time, before drying up at the general chlimate change 3000 years before present. Thus, the endokarst of Niari-Nyanga as well as its neighbours is an archive of large importance.

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