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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 spring, karst is a spring emerging from karstified limestone [10]. see also emergence; exsurgence; resurgence; rise.?

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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 determination (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Rapports entre la karstification _primditerranenne et la crise de salinit messinienne, lexemple du karst lombard (Italie), 1994, Bini, A.
The Mediterraean dessiccation theory suggests that during the Messinian the Mediterranean sea lad almost completely dried up did a thick succession of evaporites was laid down Due to dessiccation the erosional base level through the whole Mediterranean area was lowered, with the consequent development of long and deep fluviatile canyons (e.g. Nile, Rhne, Var, etc). This lowering strongly affected karst evolution This paper concerns the karst in Lombardy, around the southalpine lakes. The old evolutionary models, predating dessiccation theory, assume that the lacustine valleys were scoured by the quaternary glaciers. ln this case the karst should have been characterized by some features, like for example the altitudinal cave distribution as a consequence of the valley lowering after each glaciation. Seismic experiments through the lakes and their tributaries have shown that these valleys are deep fluviatile canyons. The study of caves has demonstrated that the caves themselves predate the entrenchment of the valleys and the glaciations. During the latter the caves were filled up and emptied several times, without any modifications of their inner morphology, including stalactites. Moreover the U/Th age determinations indicate that a great number of concretions are older than 350 ky, and that a few are older than 1.5 Ma. As a conse-quence, a general model of karst evolution can be proposed. The former karstic drainage system developed after the Oligo-Miocene emersion. Paleogeography obviously diffe-red from the present day landscape but the main valley had already been scoured. During the Messinian the dramatic lowering of base level determined major changes in karstic evolution and a reorganisation of the karst drainage system that was consequently lowered considerably. The Pliocene transgression determined a new karst evolution, after which a great number of caves were located well below the sea level base. This evolution occurred during hot and wet climate period, with seasonal high flows and relevant discharges of the karstic rivers The great caves of the Lombardian karst developed within the climatic stage.

Paradox of groundwater age, 2002, Bethke Cm, Johnson Tm,
Groundwater in aquifers is generally older than expected on the basis of flow velocity, and this observation has important implications for interpreting radiometric age determinations. Hydrologists commonly account for the aging of water as it flows along streamtubes, but not for the effects of mixing old water from aquitards (or confining layers) into aquifers, because the rate of mass exchange between aquifers and aquitards can in many cases be assumed to be small. We show, however, that the effect on age of such mixing does not depend on the mixing rate; this is the paradox of groundwater age. Surprisingly, the contribution of aquitards to the age of groundwater in aquifers depends only on the ratio of fluid volume in aquitards to aquifers. This result has broad importance for understanding the relationship between groundwater flow and the distribution of radiometric age

Paradox of groundwater age: Correction, 2002, Bethke Cm, Johnson Tm,
Groundwater in aquifers is generally older than expected on the basis of flow velocity, and this observation has important implications for interpreting radiometric age determinations. Hydrologists commonly account for the aging of water as it flows along streamtubes, but not for the effects of mixing old water from aquitards (or confining layers) into aquifers, because the rate of mass exchange between aquifers and aquitards can in many cases be assumed to be small. We show, however, that the effect on age of such mixing does not depend on the mixing rate; this is the paradox of groundwater age. Surprisingly, the contribution of aquitards to the age of groundwater in aquifers depends only on the ratio of fluid volume in aquitards to aquifers. This result has broad importance for understanding the relationship between groundwater flow and the distribution of radiometric age

Post-Miocene stratigraphy and depositional environments of valley-fill sequences at the mouth of Tampa Bay, Florida, 2003, Ferguson Tw, Davis Ra,
Post-Miocene sea-level low stands allowed rivers and karst processes to incise the exposed carbonate platform along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Few Miocene to mid-Pleistocene deposits survived erosion along the present coast except within incised valleys. Since their formation, these valleys have been filled and incised multiple times in response to sea-level changes. The thick sedimentary sequences underlying the mouth of Tampa Bay have been recorded as a range of depositional environments and multiple sea-level incursions and excursions during pre-Holocene time and subsequent to the accumulation of the Miocene carbonate sequences. Sediment analysis of cores collected from a north-south transect across the mouth of Tampa Bay has enabled the identification of lithofacies, ranging from well-sorted, quartz sand to dense, fossiliferous, phosphatic grainstone. These facies were deposited in freshwater, estuarine, and shallow, open marine environments. As a result of channel development and migration within the paleovalley, and cut-and-fill associated with individual transgressions and regressions, correlation of the lithofacies does not extend across the entire transect. Fining-upward sequences truncated by tidal ravinement surfaces that extend throughout the paleovalley can, however, be identified. Age determinations based on 14-C analysis, amino-acid racemization, and strontium isotope analysis dating of numerous samples yield ages of Miocene, Pliocene, early Pleistocene, and late Pleistocene, as well as Holocene for sequences that accumulated and were preserved in this valley-fill complex. Numerous inconsistencies in the stratigraphic organization of the age determinations indicate that there are bad dates, considerable reworking of shells that were dated, or both. For this reason as well as the lack of detailed correlation among the three relatively complete cores, it is not possible to place these strata in a sequence stratigraphic framework. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Quaternary dedolomitization along fracture systems in a Late Triassic dolomitized platform (western Southern Alps, Italy), 2004, Ronchi P. , Jadoul F. , Savino R. ,
The studied area belongs to a south vergent thrust and fold belt of the Southern Alps of central Lombardy where the norian Dolomia Principale crops out. This up to 2 km thick carbonate platform succession has been massively dolomitized from early to shallow burial diagenesis. Dark grey bedded dolostones (basal Dolomia Principale), outcropping along the both lower slopes of Iseo Lake (lower Camonica Valley), show a complex network of dedolomitized white-grey areas. The calcareous lenses show an irregular, elongated (up to few ineters large) shape; they are usually located along fault-fracture systems and extending along the strata bedding. Two main fabrics have been recognized: the fabric A is formed by a reticulate of small fractures filled by calcite and surrounded by fine grained calcitized halos, the fabric B is associated to more intense fracturation process that locally gave rise to breccia fabric; moreover a ochre-reddish internal sediment is locally present in small cavities or as a breccia matrix, a huge speleothem-like cementation is associated to these dedolomitized fabric. This study was aimed to reconstruct the dedolomitization process and to propose a relevant genetic model. The petrographic analyses, integrated using cathodoluminescence and electron scanning microscope allowed to find out that dedolomitization process is composed of a first phase of dolomite dissolution along permeable path ways, both at the macro and at the micro scale, followed by calcite precipitation in the pore spaces. The negative delta(13)O and delta(13)C values of the calcite cements and the calcitic fraction of the dedolomitized fabrics suggest precipitation in presence of meteoric water derived fluids. Radiometric absolute age determination (U-230/Th-234) indicates that calcite cements precipitated in the last 100000 years: age during which the area was subject to several advances and retreats of glacial tongues. The field mapping, analytical data and the geomorphology of the areas where the dedolomitized patches are more frequent, in correspondence of a narrow passage of the lower Camonica valley, allowed us to infer that the dedolomitization developed during glacial-interglacial phases particularly active in the region during the Pleistocene. In particular we propose that the fracturation and the first phase of dedolomitization (fabric A) occurred during the glacial period, while extensive calcite precipitation and brecciation (fabric B) formed during the interglacial periods, dominated by a warm climate during which extensive soil cover and karst processes developed

Das Alter der Stalagmiten im Katerloch (2833/59): Erste Ergebnisse der Uran/Thorium Datierung, 2006, Boch R, Sptl C. , Kramers J.
For the first time precise ages are reported for stalagmites from Katerloch, one of Austrias most prominent dripstone caves. Age determinations using the mass-spectrometric Uranium/Thorium method were performed on drill cores taken near the base of dripstone formations. Seven stalagmites were sampled and yielded an age spectrum ranging from ca. 10,000 years before present to older than 450,000 yr. Two stalagmites formed during the Last Interglacial (basal ages of ca. 130,000 yr), while two other stalagmites, which are still active today, started growing at the onset of the current interglacial (the Holocene) ca. 11,000 - 10,000 yr ago. Based on these chronological data a mean growth rate of 0.3-0.5 mm/yr is calculated for these up to several meter long Holocene stalagmites, which is markedly faster than growth rates known from stalagmites in cooler, alpine caves.

Altersbestimmungen an zwei groen Stalagmiten der Grasslhhle (2833/60), 2006, Boch R, Sptl C. , Kramers J.
The occurrence of a generation of speleologically young speleothems in Grassl Cave (Styria, Austria) is documented by conventional radiocarbon analyses of predominantly small stalagmites (Trimmel, 2002). The present article reports the first age determinations on tall stalagmites typical of this cave using the Uranium/Thorium method. Two samples each of two stalagmites were obtained and analyzed. These four measurements yielded reliable results and demonstrate that the age of both stalagmites is beyond the dating limit of the U/Th method, i.e. it is older than ca. 450,000 years. The results can be regarded as a first piece of evidence that tall dripstone formations in Grassl Cave have rather old ages.

Siphone tief im Dschungel: Bericht von einer Hhlenexpedition in den Urwald Neubritanniens, 2008, Meyer, U.
For more than 30 years, international expeditions have been exploring the limestone ranges of Newbritain. The enormous pits of Nare, Minye, Ora and Kavakuna are well known among cavers all over the world. They give entrance to the roaring underground rivers of the Nakanai Mountains. In 1995, French speleologists reached 1000 m for the first time in the southern hemisphere in the Casoar Cave System. But the known cave forms only part of the big collecteur that feeds the Berenice Spring deep inside the Galowe-Gorge. The Arcturus Cave also feeds this spring, as proven by dye trace. To realize the junction by diving was the goal of an international expedition early in 2007. This goal could not be reached, but by linking several nearby caves to Arcturus, a new cave system with 10416 m length and 518 m depth was established and named Wallaby. All in all, 9465 m of new passages in 14 different caves were explored during the expedition. 16 sumps were dived, 12 of these could be passed and 2866 m of dry galleries were surveyed behind sumps. The projected sampling and age determination of cave sediments was cancelled in the last minute due to missing sponsors.

Eiszeitliche Klimadynamik im Spiegel eines Stalagmiten aus dem Hlloch (Bayern/Vorarlberg) , 2011, Sptl C. , Boch R. , Wolf A.
A speleothem recovered from Hlloch Cave located at the border between Germany and Austria that was deposited during the Last Glacial shows prominent layers of silt and clay documenting episodes of extensive cave flooding. Such intermittent flooding events are not known from the modern cave system, although some galleries are situated in the epiphreatic zone. According to Uranium-Thorium age determinations of 13 calcite subsamples, stalagmite growth started around 62 kyr (= 62,000 years) before present and ended 40 kyr ago, i.e. the only 41 cm-tall stalagmite comprises a time interval of ca. 20 kyr during the Last Glacial. Fin-like extensions in the lower part of the stalagmite document calcite deposition competing with the aggradation of coarsegrained sand. U-Th dates in combination with the internal structure of the stalagmite constrain the age of this period of clastic sedimentation by the cave stream to between 62 and 46 kyr. In addition, the stalagmite also reveals several layers of silty clay documenting growth interruptions as a result of prolonged flood events. Highresolution oxygen isotope measurements along the stalagmite growth axis highlight abrupt alternations of warmer and colder climate conditions during the Last Glacial period. The flooding events occurred preferentially at the end of the relatively short warm phases (interstadials) and at the onset of the subsequent cooling episodes (stadials).

Active tectonics and earthquake destructions in caves of northern and central Switzerland, 2012, Becker Arnfried, Huselmann Philipp, Eikenberg Jost, Gilli Eric

The present publication focuses on the study of caves in northern and central Switzerland in order to detect and date historical earthquakes and active tectonic displacements by investigations of broken and resealed or displaced speleothems datable by U/Th and 14C. While it can be shown that these methods are potentially suitable, the ages obtained are often beyond the range of historically recorded earthquakes, and it cannot be proved that the observed and dated events are related to a seismic event. Particularly this is true for the caves in central Switzerland, where most ages in the Melchsee-Frutt region were beyond the limits of the U/Th method, or of late Pleistocene age in the Siebenhengste-Hohgant region. A direct comparison with known historical (or prehistoric) earthquakes was not possible. In contrast to central Switzerland, the results in the Basle region of northern Switzerland indicates cave and speleothem damages in one cave within the epicentral area of the 1356 Basle earthquake. 14C datings allowed to directly relate the speleothem damages to this M 6.5 earthquake. Further dating results from caves in northern Switzerland on speleothems and organic material in cave deposits supplied ages which indicate older events not related to the historical Basle earthquake. The detection of active fault displacements and prehistoric strong earthquakes can only be achieved by a very careful deciphering of the palaeo-environmental records and many more age determinations which allow to separate active tectonic displacements and seismic events from other events not related to tectonics, i.e. glaciations, creep of sediments, catastrophic floods etc.

Uranium Series Dating of Speleothems, 2012, Sptl Christoph, Boch Ronny

Radioactive decay of uranium and thorium isotopes at constant rates provides a tool to determine the age of speleothems with high precision and accuracy. As with any dating method, a fundamental prerequisite is the lack of post-depositional alteration, that is, no gain or loss of isotopes within the decay chain of interest. Using state-of-the-art instrumentation, this method allows dating speleothems between essentially zero and ca. 600,000 years before present. Multiple age determinations are typically performed along the extension axis of a stalagmite to decipher its detailed growth history. Uranium series chronology of speleothems not only provides useful constraints on speleogenetic processes, but forms the backbone of the increasingly important scientific field using stalagmites (and less commonly flowstone) as paleoenvironmental archives.

The Prehistoric Cave Art and Archaeology of Dunbar Cave, Montgomery County, Tennessee, 2012, Simek J. F. , Blankenship S. A. , Cressler A. , Douglas J. C. , Wallace A. , Weinand D. , Welborn H.


Dunbar Cave in Montgomery County, Tennessee has been used by people in a great variety of ways. This paper reports on prehistoric uses of the cave, which were quite varied. The vestibule of the cave, which is today protected by a concrete slab installed during the cave’s days as an historic tourist showplace, saw extensive and very long term occupation. Diagnostic artifacts span the period from Late Paleo-Indian (ca.10,000-years ago) to the Mississippian, and include Archaic (10,000 to 3,000-years ago) and Woodland (3,000–1,000-years ago) cultural materials. These include a paleoindian Beaver Lake Point, Kirk cluster points, Little River types, Ledbetter types, numerous straight-stemmed point types, Hamilton and Madison projectile points. Woodland period ceramics comprise various limestone tempered forms, all in low quantities, and cord-marked limestone tempered wares in the uppermost Woodland layers. Shell-tempered ceramics bear witness to a rich Mississippian presence at the top of the deposit. Given this chronological span, the Dunbar Cave sequence is as complete as any in eastern North America. However, problems with previous excavation strategies make much of the existing archaeological record difficult to interpret. We present a new series of radiocarbon age determinations that show both the great time depth of the vestibule deposits and the problems with their integrity. There was also extensive prehistoric use of Dunbar Cave’s dark zone, including mineral extraction, and ritual interment of the dead. Most importantly, thirty-five petroglyphs and pictographs were made on the cave walls, most probably during the Mississippian period. These include geometric shapes, abstract compositions, and human figures including a mythological hero warrior known from other examples of Mississippian iconography. Dunbar may also have seen ritual visitation very early, i.e., during the Archaic period (ca. 5,000-years ago), entailing the placement of offerings in the cave’s interior waters.

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