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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 water-bearing is containing water [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 alps. (Keyword) returned 28 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 28
Duration of the molts and intermolts of adults and the life span of Stenasellus virei Dollfus (troglobe Asellote Crustacean)., 1971, Magniez Guy
The author's observations of numerous cases of molting in the hypogean asellid Stenasellus virei Dollfus, 1897 appear to show that the phenomenon occurs in two steps. The loss of the anterior exuvium is separated from that of the posterior exuvium by a period of 8 to 16 days in adults from cavernicolous populations of Stenasellus virei in the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Alps. The intermolts last from 9 to 18 months for the same individuals. One must allow, for this species, a minimun life span of 10 years. Values of the same order of magnitude are anticipated for the two other Pyrenees species, Stenasellus breuili Racovitza, 1924 and Stenasellus buili Remy, 1949. These observations agree with those previously made on other cavernicolous peracarid crustaceans, such as Caecosphaeroma burgundum Dollfus and Niphargus virei Chevreux, by Daum (1954), Husson (1959) and Ginet (1960).

Duration of the molts and intermolts of adults and the life span of Stenasellus virei Dollfus (troglobe Asellote Crustacean)., 1971, Magniez Guy
The author's observations of numerous cases of molting in the hypogean asellid Stenasellus virei Dollfus, 1897 appear to show that the phenomenon occurs in two steps. The loss of the anterior exuvium is separated from that of the posterior exuvium by a period of 8 to 16 days in adults from cavernicolous populations of Stenasellus virei in the Pyrenees and Cantabrian Alps. The intermolts last from 9 to 18 months for the same individuals. One must allow, for this species, a minimun life span of 10 years. Values of the same order of magnitude are anticipated for the two other Pyrenees species, Stenasellus breuili Racovitza, 1924 and Stenasellus buili Remy, 1949. These observations agree with those previously made on other cavernicolous peracarid crustaceans, such as Caecosphaeroma burgundum Dollfus and Niphargus virei Chevreux, by Daum (1954), Husson (1959) and Ginet (1960).

Le Vercors : un massif de la moyenne montagne alpine, 1984, Delannoy, J. J.
THE VERCORS: A MASSIF OF MIDDLE ALPINE MOUNTAIN - The Vercors is a forested massif of middle mountain, in the French Northern Prealps. The characteristic of the Vercors massif is the thick and massif urgonian limestones, which underlines a folded structure. The Vercors quickly hold the attention of speleologists, who had put forward the density and diversity of karstic aspects since the beginning of the century. Landforms display glacial karstic landscapes more or less damaged in terms of bio-climatic levels of mounts and depressions landscapes and of deep water gaps, which main flows of the massif are flowing in. The notion of the morphoclimatic heritage applies to the underground karst for which glacial quaternary episodes have been determinant in the large systems genesis (gouffre Berger - Scialet de la Fromagre, Antre des Damns, Combe de Fer...). The study of underground deposits allows to bring up-to-date various period of karst development; a preglacial stage (e.g. upper levels of Cuves de Sassenage, Gournier, Coufin-Chevaline...). The study of the current dynamic shows that the Vercors as an important karstic ablation, between 120 to 170mm/ky. The karstic dynamic exerts mainly on the superficial slab of the massif (from 80 to 50% of the whole ablation). The Vercors can be considered as the best example of calcareous massif in temperate middle mountains, thanks to the combination of various favourable parameters: pure karst rocks, morpho-climatic episodes not constraining, and a high karstic dynamic.

Les grandes cavits alpines, 1984, Delannoy J. J. , Maire R.
THE LARGE ALPINE CAVES: DISTRIBUTION AND HYDROGEOLOGICAL CONTEXT - Western Alps possess about 40 caves deeper than 500m. The large karstic systems are situated principally in the external alpine zone (subalpine ranges) and secondly in the internals alpine zone (Marguareis). These caves develop in different structural patterns (perched syncline, anticline...). The vadose zone is characterised by a vadose circulation, the phreatic zone has a diverse importance, depending on geological structure.

Les massifs karstiques des Alpes occidentales, trame structurale et bioclimatique, 1984, Nicod, J.
THE KARSTIC MASSIFS OF WESTERN ALPS: structural and bioclimatic framework - The structural conditions determine several types of karst units: the northern Prealps (thrusts), the southern Jura (folded or tabular), the southern Prealps (faulted and folded plateaus), the complex land of Low Provence, and the high karsts of Inner Alps. The bioclimatic framework explains the altitudinal sequence of current processes. The value of the runoff, the part of the snow, and the biochemical parameters (vegetation, CO2), have particularly holded the attention. The specific dissolution reaches its maximum in the wooded mountain karsts. Heritages also determine the landforms (glacial, periglacial, terra-rossa).

Apports des datations U/Th dans la karstogense de la Grande Moucherolle-Rochers de la Balme (Vercors), 1986, Delannoy J. J. , Holliger Ph.
234 U - 230 Th DATING OF SPELEOTHEMS AND KARSTOGENESIS OF THE "GRANDE MOUCHEROLLE-ROCHERS DE LA BALME" (VERCORS) - In this article, is presented a first geomorphological and speleological synthesis of the subalpine karst of the Grande Moucherolle (2285 m) - Rochers de Ia Balme. This area of Vercors (Alps), which has 8 caves deeper than 300m (Antre des Damns -720m; Clos de La Fure -580m...) is surely the most promising sector from a speleological point of view. Through the study of the glacio-karstic landforms and the distri-bution of the great caves, it seems that there is a real relation between these two parameters. In order to evaluate the contribution of quaternary glaciations in the genesis of caves, isotopic dating (234U-230Th) have been performed on underground carbonated deposits. After a presentation of the chronometric method 234U-230Th, the results are analysed according to their speleological environment. A paleogeographic reconstitution through the middle and recent Quaternary is proposed for the geosystem of the Grande Moucherolle - Rochers de la Balme.

Les karsts de l'avant-pays alpin au nord des Alpes occidentales, 1989, Chardon, M.
Karsts of the alpine foreland north to the French Western Alps: glacial origin of the underground systems - Karstic mountains are described between Rhne valley and the border of Northern Alps. The influence of quaternary glaciers is evident for surface landforms and the existence of inactive canyons can be explained only by glacial outflows. Large underground caves and systems such as La Balme, Les Echelles, contain numerous blocks and pebbles of alpine rocks. Except in some places of the alpine mountains, the pre-quaternary karstic evolution cannot be investigated. Now the rate of karstic corrosion is too low and waters are unable to produce large caves. Only the mechanical action of whirling glacial flows in some pre-determinated places can explain the presence of large caves in these low karstic mountains. The formation of these kind of caves can be correlated with the existence of the actual canyons and defils along this part of the Rhne river.

Les importantes mergences de Magland, dans la valle de l'Arve (Haute-Savoie) : physico-chimie et origine des eaux, 1989, Sesiano, J.
Dye tracing and physico-chemical analysis of two important springs in the Arve valley (Haute-Savoie, France) - Several dye-tracing experiments and physico-chemical analysis of water samples taken during 18 months were performed at two important springs in the Arve valley (Haute-Savoie, France). The water origin and the type of flow, very different from one to the other, are thus explained. The first spring collects water from both a bare high-altitude karst and a forested karst at a lower elevation. It gathers also waters from the lakes Flaine and Vernant. The drainage is superficial, with strong but short water outbursts; water storage is nevertheless important, the spring being perennial. The physico-chemistry of its water is similar to that of springs located in the Northern Prealps. The second spring is very different. The physico-chemistry variations being much smoother. It comes from a basin filled with fluvio-glacial deposits and located under the Gers Lake. Its physico-chemical properties are rather similar to those of typical springs located in Provence and Southern Provence.

Le massif de la Chartreuse, Alpes franaises du Nord : paysages karstiques et organisation des rseaux souterrains, 1990, Lismonde B. , Delannoy J. J.
The massif of Chartreuse: karsts features and underground systems (Alps, France) - The Chartreuse massif is the smallest of the subalpine massifs, but it contains the most important underground systems of French Alps. The massif of Chartreuse is characterised by parallel folds directed N020. The eastern plateau spreads out urgonian limestone (perched syncline); it contains the two largest cave systems: "Alpe-Alpette" (54 km) and "Dent de Crolles" (54 km). To the W, the limestone layers are uplifted by the orogenic strains and thereby, the caves are very deep: "rseau Ded" (- 780m), "puits Francis" (- 723m), "gouffre de Gnieux" (- 675m). Two transverse rivers make the hydrologic drainage: the "Guiers Vif" and the "Guiers Mort", which cut up the region into small hydrological basins. The greatest of them is "Guiers Vif" basin, with an area of 9.2 km2.

Le karst du massif Moucherotte / Pic Saint-Michel (Isre, Vercors), 1991, Audra, Ph.
The karst of Moucherotte/Pic Saint-Michel (Vercors, Isre, France) - The massif of Moucherotte-Pic Saint Michel is located in the northeastern corner of the Vercors, in the area of Lans-en-Vercors and Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte. As anywhere in Vercors, this area is strongly marked by a dense karst relief. It harbours underground systems. Recent dye tracings (respectively from Sierre shaft, Choucas shaft, and Ira's Hole) allowed to determinate precisely the boundary of the catchment of the source called Bruyant. This basin spreads out from the Moucherotte to the Pic Saint-Michel, thus including a surface of 12km2. This is confirmed through the water balance. Of the 1600mm of yearly rainfall, 70% is infiltrated toward the source of the Bruyant. The water is conveyed through a main drain, probably mostly vadose, at the base of the recumbent fold. The landscape is due to the Quaternary processes. The two great landslides of "col de l'Arc" and of "Peuil" date back to this time. The glaciers have sculptured huge "combes" where many caves open, ancient places where sub-glacial waters were swallowing. These sub-vertical caves (which can measure up to 300m deep) with shafts and meanders, flow through large horizontal galleries older than the Quaternary (Combe Oursire shaft, Vallier cave). These galleries, hidden away in this huge limestone mass, are the witnesses of an earlier and very elaborate subterranean drainage. This system is entirely different from our present drainage system.

ISOTOPE HYDROLOGICAL STUDY OF MEAN TRANSIT TIMES IN AN ALPINE BASIN (WIMBACHTAL, GERMANY), 1992, Maloszewski P. , Rauert W. , Trimborn P. , Herrmann A. , Rau R. ,
Measurements of tritium and O-18 concentrations in precipitation and runoff were used to provide further insight into the groundwater storage properties of the Wimbachtal Valley, a catchment area of 33.4 km2, extending between 636 and 2713 m a.s.l. in the Berchtesgaden Alps. The catchment includes three aquifer types: a dominant porous aquifer; a fractured dolomite; a karstic limestone aquifer. Employing a simple hydrological model, information about mean transit times of environmental tracers is derived for the groundwater runoff component and several karst springs from the application of the exponential and dispersion flow models to the isotopic input and output data. The mean transit times calculated from a dispersion model with transit times of 4.1 years for O-18 and 4.2 years for tritium, which agree well, allow calculation of total (mobile stagnant) groundwater storage volume, which is equivalent to 6.6 m of water depth. Direct runoff appears negligible as in many other cases

Alpine karsts. Genesis of large subterranean networks. Examples : the Tennengebirge (Austria) - the Ile de Crémieu, the Chartreuse and the Vercors (France), PhD Thesis, 1993, Audra, Philippe

This work, based on the study of several underground alpine networks, aims to propose some milestone in the history of these karstic regions.

The first part of the work is made up of three regional studies.

The Tennengebirge mountains are a massif of the limestone High Alps in the region of Salzburg in Austria. A cone karst close to the base level developed in the Neogene. Streams from the Alps fed the karst, resulting in the huge horizontal networks of which the Eisriesenwelt provides evidence. During the successive phases of upthrust, the levels of karstification, whether on the surface or deeper down, settled into a tier pattern, thus descending in stages from the base level. From the Pliocene era onwards, thanks to an increase in potential, alpine shafts replace the horizontal networks. The formation of these shafts is more pronounced during glaciation. The study of the Cosa Nostra - Bergerhöhle system developing 30 km of conduits on a gradient reaching almost 1 500 m provides a fairly full view of the karstification of this massif. It includes the horizontal levels developed in the Miocene and the Plio-Pleistocene, joined together by vertical sections. The most noteworthy features of the Tennengebirge, as in the neighboring massifs, lie first and foremost in the extreme thickness of the limestone which has recorded and immunized the differents steps of karstification. Secondly, the size of the networks can be, for the most part, accounted for by the contribution of allogenous waters from the streams of the Neogene and the glaciers of the Pleistocene. Generally sudden and unexpected, these flows of water engendered heavy loads (up to 600 m), simultaneously flooding several levels. To a lesser extent, the situation is similar today.

The Ile de Cremieu is a low limestone plateau on the western edge of the Jura. Due to its location in the foothills, the lobes of the Rhône glacier have covered it up, obliterating the surface karst. However, widespread evidence of anteglacial morphologies remains : paleokarst, cone karst, polygenic surface. Because of glacial plugging, access to the underground karst is limited. The main cavity is the cave of La Balme. Its initial development dates back to an early period. The morphological study has permitted the identification of several phases which go back to the Pleistocene and which are related to the Rhône glacier. The latter brought about modifications in the base level by supplying its merging waters as well as moraine material. These variations in the base level shaped the drainage structure. The underground glacial polishes are one of the noteworthy aspects recorded.

The massives of the Moucherotte and dent de Crolles belong to the northern French Prealps. They conceal large networks, respectively the Vallier cave and the Dent de Crolles. They were formed in the early Pliocene after the final orogenic phase and are in the form of horizontal conduits. The upthrust, which brought about the embanking of the Isère valley, left them in a perched position by taking away the basin which fed them. They were later, however, able to take advantage of waters from the Isère glacier during a part of the Pleistocene. The Vallier cave contains particularly glacio-karstic sediments of the lower Pleistocene, representing unique evidence of glaciation during this period. The vertical networks were put in place at the end of the Pliocene with the increase in karstification potential ; they underwent changes in the Pleistocene due to the effect of autochton and allogenous glaciers.

The second part of the work deals in general with the various forms and processes of karstification, sometimes going beyond the Alps. The study of cave deposits is a privileged tool in the understanding and reconstruction not only of the history of the networks but also the regional environment. The dating of speleothems by the U / Th method has very ofen given an age of over 350 000 years. The age of the networks is confirmed by the use of paleomagnetism which has yielded evidence of speleothems and glacio-karstic sediments anterior to 780 000 years. Anisotropic measurements of magnetic susceptibility have been used to distinguish the putting into place of glacio-karstic deposits by decantation.

Measurements of calcite rates lead to a typology of sediments based on their nature and carbonate content (rehandled weathered rocks, fluvial sands, carbonated varves, decantation clays). Granulometry confirms this differenciation by supplying precise details of transport and sedimentation modes : suspension and abrupt precipitation of clay, suspension and slow decantation of carbonated varves, suspension and rolling together with a variable sorting of sand and gravel. Mineralogical analyses oppose two types of detrital deposits. On the one hand, the rehandling of antequaternary weathered rocks extracted by the karst as a result of scouring during environmental destabilization and on the other hand, sediments characteristic of the ice age of the Pleistocene. The latter are not highly developed and their arrival in the karst is always later. Examination of heavy minerals, the morphoscopy of quartz grains and study of micromorphologies on thin blades provide precise details of conditions of evolution. The use of these methods of investigation allows for an accurate definition of the features of the evolution of the differents types of fillings, particularly speleothems, rehandled weathered rocks as well as carbonated varves. This wealth and complexity are emphasized by a detailed study of the sedimentary sequences of the Vallier cave and of the Bergerhöhle.
Speleogenesis is approached last of all in the light of above study. Emphasis is placed on the major part played by corrosion in the temporarily phreatic zone and on its many consequences (multi-level concept, simultaneous evolution of levels, origin of deep waterlogged karsts…).
Varia tions in the base level have induced karstification in contexts in which the potential was weak. These were followed by periods of increased potential to which were added the effects of glaciation. Perched horizontal levels belong to the first stages which ended in the early Pliocene, whereas alpine shafts developed in the second context. The role of structure and the parameters governing the shape of conduits (pits, meanders, canyons) are also dealt with. The different parts of the karst are borne in mind when dealing with the strength of karstic erosion during the ice age. It notably appears that it is weak on the crests and more or less non-existent in the deep parts of the karst which are liable to flooding. Finally, a preliminary analysis of an observation of neotectonic traces is presented.


Gypsum karst of France., 1996, Chardon Michel, Nicod Jean
Many small and scattered areas of gypsum karst are present in France. They occur in the plains and plateaux (Paris, Lorraine, Provence) as well as in the mountains, especially the Alps. Typical gypsum karst landforms are well developed and widespread, but underground cavities are scarce, despite much exploration and the apparent existence of subsurface waterflow. The Alps and Provence contain the largest karstic areas.

Quelques aspects des conditions de circulation des eaux souterraines dans les karsts du gypse des Alpes internes, 1999, Couturier Bernard, Fourneaux Jeanclaude, Sommeria Laure
The Triassic gypsum outcrops are widespread, in the French Inner Alps. They are often found in large heaps between two structural units. Karstic landforms with sinkholes and collapse zones are visible even when they are covered with glacial deposits or fallen rocks. There is also much evidence of underground flows, but the springs do not have any karstic characteristics. The water tracings (two examples) show that the local tectonics have a great influence in the subterranean circulation conditions. At "La Norma" in the Arc valley (Maurienne) the water infiltrated in a large sinkhole supplies several small springs after transit in a fissured aquifer. The spring flow is well regulated. At "Le Clou" in the upper Isre valley (Tarentaise) several sinkholes with loss of ephemeral streams during melting snow supply a large fissured aquifer. There is no spring with karstic features either. The water infiltrated in a sinkhole has been found in several springs during a very long period of time. Whereas the upper part of these aquifers are really like a karstic aquifer, with large stream channels, on the contrary the deeper part is like a fissured aquifer with large water dispersion and low velocity. The fissured and porous aquifer has a throttling action and explains the absence of true resurgence. The underground water flow is unbroken between the different aquifers but permeability decreases according to the depth. These phenomenon are in connection with tectonic activity and the interpenetration of the different geological formations at the bottom of the gypsum layer.

Le karst haut-alpin du Kanin (Alpes Juliennes, Slovnie-Italie), 2000, Audra, Philippe
Kanin is a high-alpine karst located in the Italo-slovenian Julian Alps. Its surface was elaborated by the quaternary glaciers and includes some inherited discreet tertiary morphological features. Recent dye tracing has shown that the structural setting permits water infiltrated in Italian catchments to contribute to Slovene springs. Hydrodynamic and physico-chemical water analyses show extremely quick transfers of water during snow melt or heavy storms; these create spectacular overflows, such as the Boka spring which emerges as a 100 m high waterfall. The phreatic zone, linked to the impermeable dam of the So_a valley, does not significantly slow these transfers. Nevertheless, it contributes to the occurrence of low water levels during recession periods, giving highly mineralised water after long resident periods. The presence of very deep and developed karst systems is explained by the combination of advantageous factors: thick and jointed limestone, important height gradient, and considerable precipitation. Paleomagnetic dating in one of the largest systems (_rnelsko brezno) attributes some glacial sediments to the Lower Pleistocene period. Their configuration seems to show that this karst system is pre-quaternary.

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