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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 pycnometer is a bottle with an accurately determined volume for density determinations [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 altitudes (Keyword) returned 31 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 31
Observations on the Eastern Horse-Shoe Bat in North-Eastern New South Wales , 1966, Dwyer, P. D.

Between July, 1960, and December, 1963, observations were made on the natural history of Rhinolophus megaphyllus Gray in north-eastern New South Wales. Typically the species occurs as small colonies in a wide variety of cave and mine roosts. It appears to be absent from available roosting sites at higher altitudes in this area. Seasonal changes in the sizes of testes and epididymides suggest that mating occurs in May and June. The single young are born at maternity colonies through November, and nursing lasts about eight weeks. Field weights do not reflect seasonal variation other than that associated with pregnancy. However, seasonal differences in daytime level of activity are noted and these correlate with behavioural changes apparently related to temperature selection. Changes in colony size are described for several roosts and three movements made by marked individuals are recorded. Males appear to be more sedentary than females. Considerable aggregation of females and their young at maternity colonies (size, 15 to 1,5000 individuals) characterises the spring and summer population.


Hydrogologie de la rgion entre Araches et Flaine (Haute-Savoie), 1985, Sesiano, J.
NEW HYDROGEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIoNS IN THE Massif de Plat BETWEEN ARACHES AND Flaine (HAUTE-SAVOIE, FRANCE) - During 1983 and 1984 several dye-tracing experiments have been performed in the French Prealps (Haute-Savoie). The studied area covered about 30 km2, with altitudes ranging between 500m and 2500m. An underground drainage model has been set up, taking into account the fact that there is a common water outlet. The model is based upon the regional tectonic setting, the drainage pattern following thrust and fault planes

Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985, Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

STRUCTURAL AND HYDROGEOLOGICAL ORIGIN OF TOWER KARST IN SOUTHERN CHINA (LIJIANG PLAIN IN THE GUILIN REGION), 1992, Drogue C, Bidaux P,
Spectacular towers (average 130 m high) are to be seen in the Lijiang plain near Guilin in middle and upper Devonian limestone forming a downthrown structural panel surrounded by the high relief of a cockpit karst. The limestone was fractured by at least three Triassic and Tertiary tectonic episodes. Statistical analysis of the altitudes of tower summits shows that they are distributed according to a log-normal law with a well marked mode at 250-280 m. This mode is very similar to that of the depression altitudes of the cockpit karst. It was deduced that tower summits and cockpit bottoms show that there was an ancient, relatively flat surface which was the basic level for flow in the surrounding karstic relief (water table at ground level). Fall in this ground water caused preferential karstic breakdown in very fractured zones, leaving the stronger blocks. This subsidence must have taken place in stages, as is shown by Pliocene and lower Quaternary fossil cavities at various altitudes of the towers. Observation of fracturing in the field, in aerial photographs and satellite images show that the edges of the towers are mainly transverse faults with sub-vertical planes

The geomorphology of solution cave sequences in the Kalk Bay Mountains, southern Cape Peninsula. BSc thesis, 1996, Shearer, H.

The Kalk Bay Mountains of the southern Cape Peninsula, South Africa, show marked development of pseudokarstic features such as caverns, dolines and grikes. These features have formed over at least 100 million years on supposed inert quartzitic sandstones of the Peninsula Formation of the Table Mountain Group. Pseudokarst on sandstone is relatively rare world-wide and various aspects of cave genesis are highlighted in the Cape Peninsula. Cape Peninsula pseudokarst is relict, occurs at high altitudes above the present water table and could provide clues to palaeoenvironmental conditions during the African erosion period.
The cave systems in the Kalk Bay Mountains occur in at least three levels in the thickly-bedded sandstone. These different levels are the result of differential uplift during the Miocene and Pliocene. The Cape Peninsula Mountains are tabular and blocky, as opposed to the fold mountains of the rest of the South Western Cape. Much more of the overlying sedimentary layers in the Cape Peninsula have also been removed by weathering and erosive processes. The caves can be compared to similar pseudokarst features on sandstone in areas such as Gran Sabana, Venezuela. The acidic water chemistry in Venezuela contributes to a very intensive weathering environment. Present day humid tropical conditions in Venezuela are likely to be similar to palaeoclimatic conditions in the Kalk Bay Mountains, contributing to sandstone cave genesis.


Initial Geologic Observations in Caves Bordering the Sibari Plain (Southern Italy), 1997, Galdenzi, S.
Geologic investigation of caves in the northern Calabria region of Italy has clarified their origin and irregular distribution. Caves and surface karst landforms are not widespread, despite the fact that the local limestones are widely exposed and surface drainage is poorly developed. The caves are located in small limestone hills and mountains around the Sibari Plain and are surrounded by low-permeability rocks. Among them is a significant shaft cave fed by a sinking stream that drains a non-karst recharge area. However, most of the caves are predominantly horizontal and have entrances at low altitudes at several levels. Their origin is due to the rising of thermal waters, which are mineralized after passing through the Neogene formations of the Sibari Plain. The caves can be considered relict hypogenic outflow caves. The main cave-forming process was probably the oxidation of H2S, favored by the mixing of thermal water and infiltrating fresh water. Oxidation of H2S has resulted in gypsum deposits within the caves.

Endokarst processes in the Alburni massif (Campania, southern Italy): evolution of ponors and hydrogeological implications, 1997, Santangelo N. , Santo A. ,
The Alburni carbonatic massif located within the southern Apennines chain, represents one of the most important Italian karstic areas. Within an area of about 280 square kilometres more than 200 caves are known and many important basal springs are present. This paper concerns ponor systems which are among the best developed endokarst morphologies in the area. In particular it deals with their morphological evolution and with their role in the underground hydrological circulation of the massif. The ponors can be defined as ''contact ponors'' since their entrances are always located at the contact between permeable carbonatic rocks and impermeable flysch formations. Two categories of ponors are present, active and inactive ones, latter due to erosion and lowering of the boundary between impermeable and permeable deposits. The ponors are located on the Alburni highland at a mean altitude of 1100 metres and they transfer water collected by catchment basin laying on flysch deposits down to the main basal springs, the altitudes of which range from 250 to 70 metres a.s.l. The structural setting of the massif strongly influences both the main directions along which the caves develop and the underground hydric circulation flows. Surface and underground morphostructural data have been compared, showing a general agreement, with frequency peaks at the N50 degrees and N140 degrees directions, though the underground data also outline the existence of a more ancient N90 degrees trend. As shown by speleological survey and tracing tests, the underground drainage is strongly influenced by the presence of karstic channels, and its preferential flow direction points towards the southern sector of the massif, according to the general dipping of the strata

The Problem of Condensation in Karst Studies, 1998, Dublyansky, V. N.
Condensation in karst occurs over a wide range of natural settings, at latitudes from 25 to 70 and altitudes from sea level to 2600 m. In summer (April through September), condensation introduces a significant amount of water into the karst massifs (from 0.1% to as much as 20% of the total dry-season runoff). Contrary to common belief, in winter evaporation does not withdraw appreciable amounts of water from the massifs. Evaporating at depth, the water condenses near the surface within the epikarstic zone or on the snow cover and flows back. Condensation can sustain springs during prolonged dry periods (such as summer and winter) when there is no recharge by liquid precipitation. Condensation can play a significant role in speleogenesis, and many forms of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphologies are attributable to condensation corrosion. It can be particularly efficient in the latter stages of hydrothermal cave development (during partial dewatering) when the temperature and the humidity gradients are highest. Coupled with evaporation, air convection, and aerosol mass transfer, condensation can play a crucial role in the formation of a number of speleothems, as well as create peculiar patterns of cave microclimate.

Volcanic gaps and subaerial records of palaeo-sea-levels on Flores Island (Azores): tectonic and morphological implications, 1999, Azevedo Jmm, Ferreira Mrp,
The morphological evolution of Flores Island, as commonly observed for volcanic islands, suggests (1) the balance between constructive processes (effusive and moderately explosive volcanic activities and tectonic uplifting movements) and destructive processes (marine abrasion, stream erosion, crater-forming volcanic explosions, caldera collapses and tectonic subsidence) and (2) the recurrent fluctuations of the sea-level. Records of (a) gaps in the volcanic activity and (b) erosional and depositional marine activity are shown as: - epiclastic deposits of marine origin - erosional morphologies, such as abrasion platforms, terraces, cliffs and caves - intensive palagonitization of the volcanic rocks - vertical changes of the structures in the hydroclastic submarine formations. Taking into account (1) the vertical crustal movements (uplift and subsidence) which may occur in volcanic domains and (2) the sequence of regressive-transgressive trends in the relative sea-level as expressed by indicators of pale-sea-levels, it is assumed that the morphological evolution of Flores Island comprehends three main stages, The existence of important differences between the present-day altitudes of correlated marine records noted in Flores, in Santa Marie Island (Azores Archipelago) and Porto Santo Island (Madeira Archipelago) is related with their crustal behaviour and different volcanic and tectonic evolution.

The role of condensation in karst hydrogeology and speleogenesis, 2000, Dublyansky V. N. , Dublyansky Y. V.
Condensation in karst occurs over a wide range of natural settings, at latitudes from 25 to 70o and altitudes from sea level to 2600 m. In summer (April through September), condensation introduces a significant amount of water into the karst massifs (from 0.1 % to as much as 20 % of the total dry-season runoff). Contrary to common belief, in winter evaporation does not withdraw appreciable amounts of water from the massifs. Evaporating at depth, the water condenses near the surface within the epikarstic zone or on the snow cover and flows back. Condensation can sustain springs during prolonged dry periods (such as summer and winter) when there is no recharge by liquid precipitation. Condensation can play a significant role in speleogenesis, and many forms of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphologies are attributable to condensation corrosion. It can be particularly efficient in the latter stages of hydrothermal cave development (during partial dewatering) when the temperature and the humidity gradients are highest. Coupled with evaporation, air convection, and aerosol mass transfer, condensation can play a crucial role in the formation of a number of speleothems, as well as create peculiar patterns of cave microclimate.

Geohazard map of cover-collapse sinkholes in the 'Tournaisis' area, southern Belgium, 2002, Kaufmann O. , Quinif Y. ,
This paper reports the methodology developed to draw up a geohazard map of cover-collapse sinkhole occurrences in the 'Toumaisis' area. In this area, Carboniferous limestones are overlain by a Mesocenozoic cover, mainly consisting of marls, sand and clay. The thickness of this cover ranges from a few meters to more than 100 m. The surficial morphology of the area does not show any karstic evidence except for the occurrence of these collapses. From a paleogeographical point of view, a developed quaternary karst is not conceivable in the area. Recent works suggested that the collapses are set off from reactivated paleokarsts. The paleokarsts studied in the area proved to be the result of a particular weathering of the limestone. The organization of these paleokarsts seems very low and mainly guided by the limestone fracturing. As for most induced sinkholes, the reactivation of these paleokarsts is linked to the lowering of piezometric heads. In most of the area, a thick cover and intensive land use mask potential surface hints of the buried paleokarsts and of the fracturing of the bedrock. Aerial photographs and remote sensing techniques have therefore shown little results in delineating collapse hazard zones up to now. The study of the surficial morphology is also of little help. In order to draw up the geohazard map in such a difficult context, hydrogeological data and geological mapping information could only be used. These informations are based on a limited number of boreholes and piezometers and are thus, only valid on a regional scale. Records of former collapses were also available. These records were of great interest since sinkhole distribution is obviously clustered in the area. Bedrock roof and cover formation floor altitudes were digitized and adapted to produce digital thematic maps. Piezometric heads were imported from a calibrated groundwater model of the aquifer. These data and a digital elevation model of the area were integrated into a geographical information system (GIs) to produce a coherent 3-D description of the area on a regional scale. Parameters such as the dewatering of the limestone and the thickness of the cover formation where sinkholes occurred were then estimated. Density of former collapses was also computed. This showed that zones of high sinkhole occurrence coincide with zones of heavy lowering of piezometric heads. Combining the density of former collapses with the dewatering of the limestone enabled us to delineate zones of low, moderate and high collapse hazard. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

High-resolution magnetostratigraphy of speleothems from Snežna jama, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, Slovenia, 2002, Bosá, K Pavel, Hercman Helena, Mihevc Andrej, Pruner Petr

The Snežna jama Cave is located in the Kamnik-Savinja Alps, NE Slovenia, in a Raduha Ridge. The cave is a huge, more or less horizontal fossil phreatic/epiphreatic conduit. It is penetrated by vertical shafts - invasion vadose (proglacial) caves. Close to the cave entrance, there is about 3 m high wall composed of speleothems - a complex sequence of flowstone with numerous breaks in deposition, six of them are principal. The lower part of the profile (about 85 cm) contains abundant terrigenous component (terra rossa-derived clay). Stalagmites developed in several periods are completely buried by nearly horizontal younger sequences of flowstone. Continuous speleothem log was recovered from the profile in a total length of about 2.4 m. The rock column was cut to cubes in the laboratory (2x2x2 cm) and studied both by thermal demagnetisation (23 samples, 12 steps - 20 to 620 °C) and alternating field method (98 samples, 14 steps - 1 to 100 mT). Magnetic properties identified the lithological boundary. In contrast to the upper part, the lower one shows both higher magnetic susceptibility and higher remanent magnetisation. The turn point can indicate important palaeogeographical change. Magnetostratigraphic log is composed of 7 normal and 6 reverse polarised magnetozones. The age of speleothems detected by the U-series alpha-counting spectrometry falls outside the method range, i.e. over 350 ka. Uranium isotopic equilibria indicate the age over 1.2 Ma. The age of the fill is pre-Quaternary, clearly older than 1.77 Ma. The most probable age from correlation with geomagnetic polarity timescales is about 3.0 to 5.0 or 1.8 to 3.6 Ma. Both possibilities can indicate the growth rate of speleothems of about 1.1 to 1.3 m per 1 Ma. The age of speleogenesis can be compared to some of unroofed caves in the area of the Classical Karst (SW Slovenia) connected with the Messinian period. Snežna jama was uplifted to high altitudes by younger (Plio-Pleistocene) uplift of the Alpine chain.


Etude glaciologique et climatologique des cavits glaces du Moncodeno (Grigna septentrionale, province de Lecco, Lombardie, 2003, Turri S. , Citterio M. , Bini A. , Maggi V. , Udistj R. , Stenni B.
GLACIOLOGICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL STUDIES IN ICE-CAVES OF MONCODENO (NORTH GRIGNA, PROVINCEOFLECCO, LOMBARDY) - The existence of perennial ice and snow deposits in the karst shafts of the Moncodeno area, at altitudes of about 1800 to 2100 m a.s.l, has long been known. Even so, no detailed study has been formerly carried out. Three ice and snow cores have been drilled in the glaciated cave environment and chemical, isotopic, crystallographic and textural analyses were carried out on them. By linking these observations with the morphology, stratigraphy and internal structures of the deposits, and with the hypogean and epigean climate records, we were able to identify the accumulation processes and to give one upper and some lower limits to the age of these deposits. The most notable deposit shows a more than 15 m thick succession of clear-ice layers, found at a depth of about 80 m and suspended between two shafts in the cave "Abisso sul margine dell'Alto Bregaia Because of the relative position to the cave entrance, no snow can reach this deposit. The crystallographic and textural features, confirmed by the chemical and isotopic trends, show that this is lake-ice. At present no accumulation can be observed and the top surface is now at least 3 m lower than it was three decades ago. The underlying shaft, deglaciated at some time in the past by the air circulation drains the water so that hypogean lakes can no more develop. We have found sound stratigraphic and glaciotectonic evidences of at least three accumulation and three ablation phases. When compared to local present precipitations and to the values available from literature, the ice chemical composition and 6110 values show that this ice must be younger than the end of the last ice age, while preceding the beginning of industrial activity related contributions.

Ice caves as an indicator of winter climate evolution: a case study from the Jura Mountains, 2005, Luetscher Marc, Jeannin Pierre Yves, Haeberli Wilfried,
Subsurface ice fillings were first described in the Jura Mountains at the end of the sixteenth century. In order to assess the impact of climate change on low-altitude cave ice a detailed inventory has been drawn up and more than 50 objects have been identified. Comparisons between older cave maps, photographic documents and present-day observations outline a negative trend in ice mass balances, a trend that increased at the end of the 1980s. As most of these ice caves act as cold air traps, this negative mass balance is mainly attributed to higher winter temperatures and to reduced snow precipitation at low altitudes. The equilibrium line altitude of ice caves is believed to have increased several hundred metres between AD 1978 and 2004. Photographic comparisons and proxy records in some of the caves studied provide evidence of a rapid mass turnover. Ice ages range between less than a few decades and a millennium. Climatic records in these ice fillings will therefore present only short time series compared with other cave sediments. However, indications of former ice fillings have been found in different caves of the Jura Mountains and outline their potential role as palaeoclimatic markers

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