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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 onyx marble is translucent layers of calcium carbonate from cave deposits, often called mexican onyx or cave onyx; used as an ornamental stone [10].?

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

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Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
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Your search for balearic islands (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Resemblances Between the Extinct "Cave Goat" (Eutheria, Bovidae) of the Balearic Islands and Phalangeroid Marsupials, 1971, Merrilees, D.

Information on the extinct "cave goat" (Myotragus balearicus Bate 1909) of the Balearic Islands is reviewed. Abundant remains of Myotragus balearicus are known from various deposits of late Quaternary (including Regent) ages. It had only a single pair of lower incisors, in this respect resembling Australian herbivorous marsupials, especially the bare nosed wombats.


Upper Miocene karst collapse structures of the east coast, Mallorca, Spain, 2000, Ardila Pedro Robledo, Pomar Luis

In the sea cliffs on the Mallorca Island, Western Mediterranean there are extensive outcrops of Upper Miocene carbonate rocks. On the Eastern coast of Mallorca, the reefal complex is overlain by a Messinian shallow-water carbonate complex. There are abundant Paleokarst collapse structures. The Santanyí Limestone beds are affected by V-incasion structures produced by roof collapse of caverns developed in the underlying reefal complex. According to the model, the origin of some of these karst-collapse structures may be related to early diagenetic processes controlled by high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. During lowstands of sea level, fresh-water flow might have create a cave system near the water table by dissolution of aragonite in the reef front facies and coral patches existing in the lagoonal beds. This cave system developed near the subaerial erosion surface. During subsequent rise of sea level inner-shelf beds overlaid the previously karstified reef-core and outer-lagoonal beds. Increase of loading by subsequent accretion of the shallow-water carbonates might have produced V-incasion structures by gravitational collapse of cave roofs when these beds were still not completely consolidated.


Patterns of collapse chambers in the endokarsts of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain), 2000, Giné, S À, Ngel

A general overview on the patterns of collapse chambers in the karsts of Mallorca is presented. The great significance of single breakdown chambers and strings of large rooms as one of the major constituents of cave patterns is easy to recognize in the cave surveys of many Majorcan caves. Detailed mapping of several collapse features such as breakdown piles, sloped boulder floors, vault profiles, coalescence areas, boulder chokes and dome structures can yield useful information regarding description and better understanding of cave collapse patterns.


Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karst landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands)., 2002, Fornos J. J. , Gelabert B. , Gines A. Et Al.

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

CLASSIFICACI MORFOGENTICA DE LES CAVITATS CRSTIQUES DE LES ILLES BALEARS, 2011, Gins J. , Gins A.

A typological classification of the caves and shafts in the Balearic Islands is presented in this paper, with the aim of update the knowledge on the morphogenetics of endokarst in the archipelago and incorporating the explorations and discoveries carried out during the last decades. After a brief overview about the classificatory attempts of subterranean cavities in our islands, a systematization on the basis of hydrogeological and speleogenetic criteria is proposed, establishing four main categories as follows: 1) vertical shafts in the vadose zone, 2) caves of the vadose zone, 3) inland phreatic caves, and 4) caves of the littoral fringe. Within these categories, up to ten cavity types corresponding to well-differentiated genetic modalities are distinguished, together with five additional subtypes that designate specific morphological singularities branching from a given typology. The geographical distribution of the diverse cave types in the different karst regions of the archipelago is analyzed, being worth to mention the richness and variety of subterranean forms in the mountain karst of Serra de Tramuntana, in Mallorca island, as well as the abundant and variegated littoral caves occurring in the Upper Miocene postorogenic carbonates of Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera islands. The hypogene speleogenetic processes recently documented in the karst areas of southern Mallorca contribute to supply new insights on the high diversity of subterranean environments represented in the Balearic archipelago


El karren litoral a lEs illEs BalEars, 2011, Gmezpujol L. , Forns J. J. , Pomar F.

Coastal exokarstic landforms are quite common features at the Balearic Islands, owing to the presence of extensive coastal limestone outcrops as well as to the suitable hydrodynamic and bioclimatic environment that promotes the development of karst processes. Pinnacles, basin pools, pits and notches, among others, can be seen, especially in the south and southeastern coast of Mallorca, the southern coast of Menorca and all around Formentera. Otherwise the presence of coastal karren in northern Mallorca, Menorca and Eivissa is less prominent due to lithology. Coastal karren at Balearic Islands are quite remarkable because of their morphological variety and occurrence on different rock types, but also as a subject of study on the effect of hydrodynamic gradients and the precipitation and temperature settings or on the biological influence in karst processes. Coastal karren together with plunging cliffs and Quaternary aeolianites exploited as rock quarries are the foremost representative feature of Balearic Islands coastline


Dades sobre paleocarst i espeleocronologia de les illes Balears , 2011, Gines J. , Gines A. , Fornos J. J.

The litho-stratigraphic record of the Balearic Islands, basically composed by carbonate rocks, include noticeable paleokarstic phenomena particularly owing to the complex tectonic structuration experienced by the Western Mediterranean basin all along its geological history. The most outstanding paleokarst features and associated breccia deposits are observed in the Jurassic limestones and, especially, in the postorogenic Upper Miocene carbonate rocks, where abundant funnel-shaped collapse structures (Messinian in age) have tightly conditioned the geomorphological evolution of the eastern coast of Mallorca. Regarding the karstification occurred in Pliocene and Quaternary times, the islands arise as exceptional scenarios in order to obtain valuable speleochronological data from quite different sources. The base level variations –controlled in turn by oscillations of the sea level–, as well as the evolutionary trends of endemic vertebrates that lived in the Balearic Islands, provide a solid chronological frame to undertake the geomorphologic study of Balearic caves and its sediments. Particularly, the glacio-eustatic oscillations experienced by the Mediterranean Sea remain accurately recorded by means of horizontal paleolevels of phreatic speleothems, mostly corresponding to Upper Pleistocene and Holocene sea-stands. The isotopic investigations (U-Th, 14C) carried out on these carbonate precipitates, as well as on speleothems in general, have supplied abundant absolute dating which strongly contribute to the chronological assessment of the endokarst evolution undergone in our islands. All the evidences gathered till now seem to place in the Pliocene, and in some cases even before, the main speleogenetic phases occurred in the archipelago. During the Middle and Upper Pleistocene, the caves in the Balearic Islands had only experienced minor morpho-sedimentary modifications embracing –in a significant number of cave sites– the deposition of abundant speleothems together with the emplacement of paleontological deposits that include endemic vertebrate fauna.


CAVITATS LITORALS DE GNESI MARINA A LES ILLES BALEARS, 2011, Vicens D, Grcia F, Balaguer P. , Ginard A. , Cresp D. , Bover P.

Littoral caves can be found at the erosion coasts of the Balearic Islands. The genesis of most of these caves are produced by the marine erosion and they are known as marine abrasion caves. These caves generally have small dimensions (usually no longer than 50 m), display ascending profiles and can produce blowholes, tunnels and arches. Although they have initially nothing to do with karst, several karstic or karst-related processes can act on these caves, and speleothems, karstic fillings, dissolution phenomena, etc., can be observed inside them. Also cave fauna can be found.


The Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Llucmajor, Mallorca): a singular deposit bearing an exceptional well preserved Early Pleistocene vertebrate fauna, 2014, Bover P. , Valenzuela A. , Guerra C. , Rofes J. , Alcover J. A. Ginés J. , Fornós J. J. , Cuencabescós G. , Merino A.

The Cova des Pas de Vallgornera is the longest cave of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean) and one of the 30 longest caves in the world. The exploration of one of the galleries allowed the discovery of a fossiliferous deposit of vertebrate remains in a remarkable preservation state. The fossil faunal complex found in this gallery is composed of up to 5 mammalian species (Myotragus aff. kopperi, Hypnomys onicensis, Nesiotites aff. ponsi, Rhinolophus aff. mehelyi and Pipistrellus sp.), at least 14 bird species (among them two Mallorcan endemic taxa: Pica mourerae and Athene vallgornerensis), one reptile (Podarcis aff. lilfordi) and one amphibian (Discoglossus sp.). This faunal composition is similar to the one recorded in the Pedrera de s’Ònix, a well known deposit from the Early Pleistocene of Mallorca, and shared morphological characteristics between taxa of both deposits suggest that the chronology of the Cova des Pas de Vallgornera should be considered Early Pleistocene as well. Both taxonomical analysis and chronology of this fauna furnished information on some speleological aspects of the cave.


Groundwater geochemistry observations in littoral caves of Mallorca (western Mediterranean): implications for deposition of phreatic overgrowths on speleothems., 2014, Boop L. M. , Onac B. P. , Wynn J. G. , Fornós J. J. , Rodríguezhomar M. , Merino A.

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems (POS) precipitate at the air-water interface in the littoral caves of Mallorca, Spain. Mainly composed of calcite, aragonite POS are also observed in specific locations. To characterize the geochemical environment of the brackish upper water column, water samples and salinity values were collected from water profiles (0-2.9 m) in April 2012 and March 2013 near aragonite POS in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera and calcite POS in Coves del Drac (hereafter, Vallgornera and Drac). Degassing of CO2 from the water was evidenced by the existence of lower dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and enriched δ13CDIC values in a thin surface layer (the uppermost 0.4 m), which was observed in both profiles from Drac. This process is facilitated by the efficient exchange of cave air with the atmosphere, creating a CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) disparity between the cave water and air, resulting in the precipitation of calcite POS as CO2 degasses from the water. The degassed upper layer was not observed in either profile from Vallgornera, suggesting that less efficient cave ventilation restricts outgassing of CO2, which also results in accumulation of CO2 in the cave atmosphere. The presence of an existing uncorroded POS horizon, as well as higher concentrations and large amplitude fluctuations of cave air pCO2, may indicate that aragonite POS deposition is currently episodic in Vallgornera. Ion concentration data from monthly water samples collected in each cave between October 2012 and March 2013 indicate higher Mg:Ca, Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca and Sr:Mg ratios in Vallgornera. Salinity alone does not appear to be a viable proxy for ions that may promote aragonite precipitation or inhibit calcite precipitation. Instead, these ions may be contributed by more intense bedrock weathering or deep groundwater flow.


Fossil Vertebrate Database from Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Llucmajor, Mallorca), 2014, Díaz A. Bover P. , Alcover J. A.

The data set presented in this paper includes the fossil fauna collected in the cave named Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (CPV), located on the southern coast of Mallorca (Balearic Islands, Spain). It holds 1481 catalogued items, 97.5% identified at species level. Mammalia, Aves, Reptilia, and Amphibia are represented in the Database. The fauna collected in the cave includes the three endemic mammals present on Mallorca during the Early Pleistocene (Myotragus aff. kopperi, Hypnomys onicensis, and Nesiotites aff. ponsi). There are also represented two taxa of Chiroptera (Rhinolophus aff. mehelyi and Pipistrellus sp.), 16 taxa of birds (6 of them identified at species level), one Reptilian taxon (Podarcis sp.) and one Amphibian taxon (Discoglossus sp.). Most of fossils were collected during a single excavation campaign of 3 days (28-30th May, 2010). A few remains were obtained in two previous visits to the cave, in 2006 and 2009. All the specimens are curated and documented at the Vertebrate Collection of the IMEDEA [Institut Mediterrani d'Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB)]. The assemblage of CPV fossils is a part of the paleontological collection IMEDEA-PALEOVERT, included at the GBIF portal.


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