Community news

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 leakage is 1. the flow of water from one hydrogeologic unit to another. the leakage may be natural, as through semi-impervious confining layer, or manmade, as through an uncased well [22]. 2. the natural loss of water from artificial structures as a result of hydrostatic pressure [22].?

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

What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for alternation (Keyword) returned 21 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 21
Les msaventures des sources de l'Estavelle et de l'Inversac en Languedoc Mditerranen, 1987, Gze Bernard
The Estavelle and the Inversac are two celebrated springs in the Mediterranean Languedoc (South of France). Unfortunately, the first one has been chosen as a type for the karstic cavities alternatively absorbing or discharging the waters, according to the season, which has never been the case. On the opposite, the second one can be taken as model for this alternation as swallow hole or emergence.

The Oletta cave seems to be one of the largest underground caves in Corsica. The relationship between the organisation of the deforming strata and the karstic network shows that it is a karst of structural origin which has developed above the basic level. The karstification seems old and the speleothemes have to be connected with the phenomena of the climatic break of the Quaternary. Four types of fossiliferous infillings are known. The largest one is the oldest. They express the alternation of phases of sedimentation with different sedimentary dynamics. The most often found fauna is composed of mammals and gasteropoda. At least three faunal groups emerge: an old fauna with Cynotherium sardous, Nesoleipoceros cazioti and Enhydrictis sp. that can be attributed to the Early Wurm or to the limit of the Middle and Upper Pleistocene; a middle fauna to the terminal Wurm and which is characterised here by the absence of the three above mentioned mammals and lastly, a third group where the present fauna appears with, first, it seems, Rattus and Apodemus whereas Prolagus sardus persists for a long time

Decouverte d'importants remplissages fossiliferes d'age pleistocene superieur et holocene dans le karst de la region d'oletta (Haute corse), 1995, Ferrandini J, Salotti M, Bailon Ds, Bonifay Mf, Mourerchauvire C, Realtestud Am,
The Oletta cave seems to be one of the largest underground caves in Corsica. The relationship between the organisation of the deforming strata and the karstic network shows that it is a karst of structural origin which has developed above the basic level. The karstification seems old and the speleothemes have to be connected with the phenomena of the climatic break of the Quaternary. Four types of fossiliferous infillings are known. The largest one is the oldest. They express the alternation of phases of sedimentation with different sedimentary dynamics. The most often found fauna is composed of mammals and gasteropoda. At least three faunal groups emerge: an old fauna with Cynotherium sardous, Nesoleipoceros cazioti and Enhydrictis sp. that can be attributed to the Early Wurm or to the limit of the Middle and Upper Pleistocene; a middle fauna to the terminal Wurm and which is characterised here by the absence of the three above mentioned mammals and lastly, a third group where the present fauna appears with, first, it seems, Rattus and Apodemus whereas Prolagus sardus persists for a long time

Ground-water silicifications in the calcareous facies of the Tertiary piedmont deposits of the Atlas Mountain (Hamada du Guir, Morocco), 1997, Thiry M. , Benbrahim M. ,
The Tertiary piedmont deposits (Hamada Formations), on the southern edge of the Haut-Atlas mountains, form extensive tablelands in the Boudenib area. They consist of two main sedimentary sequences, the Hamada de Boudenib and the Hamada du Guir, of Eocene and Miocene age. Both sequences show elastic facies at their base (conglomerates, calcareous sandstones, silty clays) and end with thick lacustrine limestones and pedogenic calcretes are characterised by rather confined facies, palygorskite-rich, with some gypsum in the second sequence. The recent evolution of the region is marked by the dissection of the tableland that is lined with high cliffs. The water flaw is mainly through wide karst features as there is no major river on the tableland. Silicifications which affect the different facies, form pods of various shape and size, and show an erratic spatial distribution. In the calcareous sandstones, there are irregularly shaped tubules of about 5 cm in diameter, more planar bodies from 5 to 50 cm thick, which frequently display voids lined with translucent silica concretions. The conglomerates display relatively few silicifications, the more characteristic ones consist of a silica cortex on some Limestone pebble and silica plates fitting closely the base of the pebbles. The lacustrine limestones and the calcretes from the upper part of the formation show frequently well developed silicifications. These show very variable shapes; horizontally stretching layers, interconnected or isolated amoeba-like bodies, thin slabs, karst micro-breccia, with frequent concretionnary structures, and quartz crystallisations. Limestone nodules remain often included in these silicifications. The more argillaceous facies display either small tubules or thin plates formed of translucent concretionnary silica. As a rule, the importance of the voids and related structures (concretions, drusy crystals) has to be noticed in all these silicifications, sometimes they are also linked with fractures or karst pipes. Petrography of the silica minerals, their relation with the primary structures. their distribution and their succession, give invaluable information on the silicification processes. Microcrystalline and fibrous quartz are the most common silica minerals, including minor amounts of opal and euhedral quartz. But micrographic arrangements show clearly that primary opal deposits have been more extensive and have recrystallized into chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, or even ''flame-like'' quartz. Silica deposits in voids make up an important part of the silica pods. The tubules and thin plates of translucent silica of the argillaceous facies are formed of laminar chalcedony deposited around voids. Silica deposits in voids are also particularly obvious in the sandstones. The pores between the quartz grains are then cemented by fibrous quartz and little opal. Some samples show very large cemented voids that cannot be related to the primary porosity of the sandstone. These large voids correspond to the dissolution of the primary calcareous cement, which even led to the collapse of the sandstone fabric. In the limestones, there are silicified micro-karst breccia with a very high primary porosity cemented by quartz crystals, and even in the large microcrystalline quartz zones there are numerous void fillings, the primary porosity often exceeding 50%. There is obviously the alternation of silica deposits and calcite dissolution. Beside the void filling, silicifications comprise also matrix epigenesis, that is replacement of the carbonate by silica with preservation of most of the limestone structures, without development of voids. Nevertheless, the epigenesis of the limestone matrix is restricted to the vicinity of the voids. The silicifications relate to diagenetic processes. The main part of the silica is formed of void deposits and matrix replacement (epigenesis) on the edge of the voids. These void deposits give evidence of the feeding solutions. The regularity of the deposits all around the voids point out to a hydrologic regime characterised by a ground-water our now. Silica originates most probably from alteration of the magnesian clay minerals along the ground-water path. Regarding the low solubility of silica in surficial waters, high flows are needed in order to renew continuously the silica precipitated from solution. This points to a relatively humid climate at time of silicification, and to relief and incised landscapes to bring about these high flows

Blue Lagon, Afrique du Sud, une grotte remplissage palokarstique permien et concrtions daragonite, 1998, Martini J. E. J. , Moen H. F. G.
The authors de scribe a 7 km long phreatic maze they discovered and explored during the last decade of the 2Oth century in South Africa, developed in the late Archean dolostone in the Malmani Subgroup. This cave is of interest mainly for two aspects. Firstly the cave intersects paleokarst channels filled with bleached kaolinic residuals of Permian age. This paleokarst is most likely to have developed relatively shortly after the Gondwana glaciation in a cool, humid climate. Secondly the cave is remarkable by the abundance of aragonite speleothems. Particularly interesting are subaquatic aragonite formations: rafts, cones, volcanoes, sea urchins and pool floor crust. Aragonite rafts are always associated with more or less calcite, which seems to have formed first and was apparently essential in the initial formation of this speleothem. In the pool floor crust, a cyclical calcite-aragonite deposition seems to correspond to alternation of humid and dry periods, calcite representing wet years. The amplitude of this cycle is possibly in the order of a few decades. Phosphate minerals which developed on cave soil, rock and carbonate speleothems in contact with bat guano, have been identified, in particular the rare mineral collinsite

Ancient helictites and the formation of vadose crystal silt in upper Jurassic carbonates (Southern Germany), 1998, Reinhold C. ,
Speleothems and vadose crystal silt are effective indications for karstification processes in the fossil record. Upper Jurassic limestones in Southern Germany that have undergone vadose diagenesis contain on crystal margins and tips of coarse bladed calcites numerous fibrous calcite crystals, formed by abnormal growth conditions, and internal sediment within fractures and vugs, Fibrous calcite crystals grew as crusts, in fence and mesh-like arrangements. Fibrous crystals, which have a length:width ratio of greater than 1:10, are made up of stacked subcrystals composed of an alternation of hexagonal prisms and rhombohedra, They exhibit a central to somewhat eccentric capillary. Electron probe microanalysis shows low-Mg calcite mineralogy with negligible amounts of Fe, Mn, and Sr as well as dis seminated clay and metal hydroxide impurities. Stable-isotope data show relatively C-13-enriched and O-18-depleted values (delta(13)C similar to parts per thousand PDB, delta(18)O similar to -6 parts per thousand PDB), suggesting a meteoric environment and CO2 degassing as the main process of formation, Fibrous calcite crystals form from capillary fluids that are highly supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, contaminated with alien mineral impurities. The abnormal growth pattern is suggested to be substrate-controlled and attributed to mineral impurities that produce numerous crystallization nuclei. Fibrous calcite crystals are comparable to helictites of the filiform type that are reported only from Quaternary caves. Nevertheless, the diagenetic sequence and oxygen isotope data suggest a Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age for their formation. The internal sediment consists exclusively of silt-size fragments of fibrous crystals and therefore is comparable to vadose crystal silt. Crystal silt is generated by the erosion of fibrous crystals both by va dose seepage and air currents. This study is the first observation of ancient helictites and related vadose crystal silt, documenting the close relationship between pore ceiling vadose cements and the generation of crystal silt

Calcrete morphology and karst development in the Upper Old Red Sandstone at Milton Ness, Scotland, 2000, Balin Df,
The Upper Old Red Sandstone at Milton Ness, Scotland, is notable for its excellent preservation of calcrete textures, which are comparable with some of the best Quaternary examples. It is also significant for the implications that can be drawn from the association between karst and calcrete, with this example interpreted to have formed entirely within a semi-arid environment. Karst cavities were developed in a mature hardpan calcrete, generated in sandy fluvial sediments with associated aeolian deposits. Subsequent to karst cavity generation, clasts derived from the subaerially exposed hardpan were locally transported and deposited as a laterally traceable bed connecting the tops of all the cavities. Both this bed and the karst infills were subsequently recalcretized in the final phase of the profile's evolution. Although calcrete-karst associations often are interpreted as the alternation between semi-arid and humid climates, respectively, this example is interpreted to be a result of water accumulating on the nearly impervious hardpan surface under fairly constant semiarid conditions, evidenced by the recalcretization of both the karst infill and the calcrete-derived breccia ( boulder calcrete'). Additional substrate modification also has taken place by plant roots; the remarkable development of rhizoliths in these Old Red Sandstone sediments should emphasize the need to consider plant influence on other non-marine rocks of post-Silurian age

Spatial and temporal patterns of bacterial density and metabolic activity in a karst aquifer, 2001, Simon K. S. , Gibert J. , Petitot P. , Laurent R. ,
Karst aquifers are heterotrophic ecosystems fueled by organic matter imported from the surface. The temporal pattern of floods influences organic matter import and the spatial distribution of organic matter and biofilms in aquifer structural zones. We investigated spatial and temporal patterns of bacterial density and activity as indicators of energy availability and microbial dynamics in a karst aquifer. During baseflow, bacterial density and microbial hydrolytic activity were similar in the upper and lower zones of the aquifer. Floods apparently scoured aquifer biofilms and trans ported soil bacteria into the aquifer, increasing inactive bacterial density in the water column. Respiring bacterial density did not respond to floods and changed little over time. The overall proportion of total bacteria that were respiring was very high on some dates, resulting from a reduction of inactive cell density during flood recession. Floods appear to be key events in scouring senescent microbial assemblages in karst aquifers and stimulating microbial recolonization of the aquifer matrix. We conclude that a conceptual model of karst aquifer structure and function should incorporate changes caused by alternation between flooding and drying in the aquifer

Contact karst of Southern Velebit (Croatia), 2001, Perica Draž, En, Buzjak Nenad

Due to the predominance of soluble and broken carbonate beds on Velebit Mt., karst is main relief type there. But there also contact karst or fluviokarst occurs. It is developed in the parts where the alternation of permeable carbonate and less permeable or impermeable Carboniferous, Permian and Triassic beds occurs. Most significant contact karst forms in the area of Southern Velebit are Oštarijsko polje, Crno vrilo creek blind valley and Bunovac valley.

Les stalagmites du rseau du trou Noir (Gironde) : rle de leffet de site dans lenregistrement du signal climatique et environnemental, 2006, Lans Benjamin , Maire Richard , Ortega Richard , Deves Guillaume , Bacquart Thomas , Plaisir Cyril , Quinif Yves Et Perrette Y.
The speleothems of trou Noir cave (Gironde, France): the role of their situation in registering climatic signals - The trou Noir is an active cave system (sinkhole-resurgence) situated in the Oligocene porous limestone of the plateau of Entre-deux-Mers near Bordeaux (Gironde). Six stalagmites have been sampled for analyzing the environmental evolution controlled by local parameters inside the cave. The studied indicators are calcitic microfabrics, lamination, discontinuities, porosity, organic matter, and radioactivity. Because of a narrow passage located in the middle of the cave, three speleothems upstream have recorded the fluctuations of the underground river during floods, especially detritic sedimentation (clay/calcite alternations), erosion (internal corrosion surface), mechanical shocks (fissures). Downstream, the three other stalagmites have not been flooded; in the small dry passage near the resurgence, two speleothems show, in thin section, many biologic filaments (bacteria or mycelian filaments) because of organic matter (guano from bats). The site is protected (Natura 2000). The trou Noir is an example of a young cave which has recorded the Holocene evolution, particularly the Little Ice Age (detrital/calcitic stalagmite) and the present period.


The Postojnska jama–Planinska jama cave system and number of smaller adjacent caves are developed in the Postojnski kras. These caves are located between two dextral strike-slip fault zones oriented in the Dinaric direction. The caves contain lithologically diversified cave fill, ranging from speleothems to allogenic fluvial sediments. The allogenic clastic material is derived from a single source, Eocene siliciclastics of the Pivka Basin. Small differences in mineral/petrologic composition between the sediments can be attributed to different degrees of weathering in the catchment area and homogenization of source sediments. Thick sequences of fine-grained laminated sediments, deposited from suspension are common. The depositional environment was mostly calm, but not completely stagnant. Such a sedimentary environment can be described as cave lacustrine, with deposition from pulsed flow. The homogeneity of the palaeomagnetic data suggests rapid deposition by a number of short-lived single-flood events over a few thousand years. This depositional style was favourable for recording of short-lived excursions in the palaeomagnetic field. The sediments were originally not expected to be older than Middle Quaternary in age (i.e. about 0.4 Ma). Later numerical dating (Th/U and ESR) indicated ages older than 0.53 ka. New palaeomagnetic data from selected sedimentary profiles within the cave system detected normal polarization in much of the profiles studied. Reverse polarized magnetozones, interpreted mostly as short- lived excursions of magnetic field, were detected in only a few places. Therefore, we interpreted most of the sediments as being younger than 0.78 Ma, belonging to different depositional phases within the Brunhes chron. Palaeomagnetic properties of two profiles in caves intersected by the artificial tunnel between Postojnska jama and Črna jama had reverse polarized magnetozones and of sediments in Zguba jama, may indicate an age much greater than 0.78 Ma. The cave system has evolved over a long period of time, governed by the functioning of Planinsko polje in the relation to the evolution of the resurgence area in Ljubljana Moor further to the east. General stabilization of the hydrological system with low hydraulic head led to the evolution of caves in epiphreatic and paragenetic conditions over a long time-span. Individual cave segments or passages were completely filled and exhumed several times during the evolution of the cave. Alternation of depositional and erosional phases may be connected with changing conditions within the cave system, the functioning of the resurgence area, collapse, climatic change, tectonic movement and the intrinsic mechanisms of contact karst.

DOLINE FILLS - CASE STUDY OF THE FAVERGHERA PLATEAU (VENETIAN PRE-ALPS, ITALY), 2009, Sauro Ugo, Ferrarese Francesco, Francese Roberto, Miola Antonella, Mozzi Paolo, Rondo Gualtiero Quario, Trombino Luca & Valentini Gianna
The sedimentary fills of two dolines in the Faverghera plateau in the Venetian Pre-Alps, south of Belluno, have been investigated. This small plateau is a sub-horizontal surface about 0.5 km2 wide, located on the northeastern slope of Mt. Faverghera (1640 m a.s.l.) hosting nearly 40 karst dolines partially filled by periglacial slope deposits. Topographic survey, electric resistivity tomography (ERT), soil and pollen analyses have been carried on. The structure of the dolines and the characters of the filling deposits indicate that the evolution of these forms has been controlled by the alternation of di*erent climatic and environmental conditions during the Pleistocene. The results indicate that the dolines are filters for the sediments, more than good traps, archiving only some of the climatic and environmental changes.

The high mountain karren rock relief reveals the manner of the formation of the mountain karst surface in the northwestern part of Yunnan at altitudes between 4,000 and 4,600 m. Two dominant factors, snow and rain, decisively influence the formation of the majority of rock forms; in places, particularly on the Shika Snow Mountain, two additional factors are subsoil corrosion and water trickling from overgrown surfaces. Biocorrosion is important for the fine dissection of the rock. Sub-snow rock forms dominate in places where the rock has been covered by snow for a longer period. These are primarily the gently sloping sunless parts of the karren, the lower parts or lower walls of karren, and fissures. Gently sloping sunless parts of the karren are often dissected in various ways so there are sub-snow forms on their lower parts and rock forms carved by rainwater on the higher parts, peaks, and ridges. Rain rock forms dominate on sunny surfaces and parts of the rock that are steep, located higher above the floor, and covered by only a thin layer of snow. The relief and individual rock forms are also influenced by the fissuring and the recrystallization of rock characteristic of the Shika Snow Mountain. The rock masses on the Yulong Snow Mountain are larger and its rock forms have more regular shapes. On the Shika Snow Mountain, rock recrystallization has an important influence on the rock forms, causing fine diversities and often jagged edges of rock forms. By this feature of rock forms and the frequent and originally subsoil rock formation on the Shika Snow Mountain we can distinguish the two described areas of mountain karren. In both mountain areas, the basic characteristics are the same and unique. The rock relief of the mountain karren described in this paper is predominantly dictated by the wider climate and microclimate conditions, the form of precipitation, the alternation of snow and rain, the distribution of precipitation, and the solar exposure of the karren.

Surface and subsurface drainage evolution of the Corfino and Soraggio Karst areas (Tuscany, Italy), 2011, Mariannelli Giampaolo, Piccini Leonardo

The Pania di Corfino and Ripa di Soraggio are two minor karst areas in Tuscany, having a surface of only 11 km2, but contain more than 100 known caves. Some caves are old epi-phreatic passages testifying to a discontinuous lowering of base level in the two major valleys that cross the carbonate outcrops: the Serchio di Soraggio and the Fiume rivers, respectively located along the NW and SE borders of the massif. The spatial-altimetric distribution of major caves, which are found on a vertical range of a few hundreds of meters, and their relationships with the position of surface alluvial deposits have allowed to infer a first evolutionary framework of karst during the late Quaternary. If we refer to a simple model, where fluvial deposition occurs mainly during cold stages and incision during warm stages, the discrete distribution of cave passages suggests that the different epi-phreatic phases are the responses to the alternation of cold and warm periods. In any case, the re-organization of the river network induced by the tectonic uplift had a relevant effect on cave systems. First, the underground diversion of surface drainage enhanced the downcutting of NW and SE peripheral streams, which received a larger quantity of water through karst springs due to the favored morpho-structural setting. Successively, the backward piracy of the allogenic catchments of the karst systems by surface tributaries led to the dewatering of caves and to the present situation.

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).

Results 1 to 15 of 21
You probably didn't submit anything to search for