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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 rock formation is a lithologically or structurally distinct part of the lithosphere [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 caucasus (Keyword) returned 25 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 25
Biospeologica Sovietica L.: a new cavernicolous species of Harpolithobius (Chilopoda, Lithobiidae) of the Caucasus, Harpolithobius birsteini n.sp., 1972, Zalesskaja N. T.
A new troglobite species belonging to the genus Harpolithobius has been discovered during a recent biological exploration of Caucasian caves; l male and 2 females were collected in Avidzba cave and are described here. Harpolithobius birsteini n.sp. is the second troglobiotic Lithobiid known from URSS caves. The other species collected must be considered as mere troglophilous.

Biospeologica Sovietica L.: a new cavernicolous species of Harpolithobius (Chilopoda, Lithobiidae) of the Caucasus, Harpolithobius birsteini n.sp., 1972, Zalesskaja N. T.
A new troglobite species belonging to the genus Harpolithobius has been discovered during a recent biological exploration of Caucasian caves; l male and 2 females were collected in Avidzba cave and are described here. Harpolithobius birsteini n.sp. is the second troglobiotic Lithobiid known from URSS caves. The other species collected must be considered as mere troglophilous.

Considerations on cavernicolous and endogen Carabids of the Anataloian peninsula (Coleoptera, Carabidae)., 1973, Taglianti Augusto Vigna
The cavernicolous and endogeous Coleoptera Carabidae, actually (1972) known from the Anatolian peninsula (here considered together with Armenia, the Caucasus and the mountains of Lebanon), are examined and discussed. They belong to the tribes of Anillini, Trechini (Neotrechus, Aphaenops and Duvalius lines), Pterostichini, Molopini, Sphodrini. The cavernicolous and endogeous Anillini, Pterostichini and Sphodrini from this region have clear relations with the balkanic groups and may be considered as East-Mediterranean faunistic elements. On the contrary, the Trechini of the Neotrechus line are more related to the Caucasian groups, those of the so-called Aphaenops line are endemic of the Caucasus and of the Crimea, and the Duvalius are partly related to the Caucasian species, partly isolated and with uncertain relationships (perhaps with some Greek species or with the Algerian Trechopsis, and perhaps with some species of the Apennines).

Considerations on cavernicolous and endogen Carabids of the Anataloian peninsula (Coleoptera, Carabidae)., 1973, Taglianti Augusto Vigna
The cavernicolous and endogeous Coleoptera Carabidae, actually (1972) known from the Anatolian peninsula (here considered together with Armenia, the Caucasus and the mountains of Lebanon), are examined and discussed. They belong to the tribes of Anillini, Trechini (Neotrechus, Aphaenops and Duvalius lines), Pterostichini, Molopini, Sphodrini. The cavernicolous and endogeous Anillini, Pterostichini and Sphodrini from this region have clear relations with the balkanic groups and may be considered as East-Mediterranean faunistic elements. On the contrary, the Trechini of the Neotrechus line are more related to the Caucasian groups, those of the so-called Aphaenops line are endemic of the Caucasus and of the Crimea, and the Duvalius are partly related to the Caucasian species, partly isolated and with uncertain relationships (perhaps with some Greek species or with the Algerian Trechopsis, and perhaps with some species of the Apennines).

Hydrathermal karst in Alpine folded belt of southern part of USSR, 1980, Dublyanskiy, Victornikalayevich

Chemical denudation in the karst areas of the Ukrainian Carpathians, Crimea and the Caucasus, 1984, Dublyanskiy, Victornikalayevich

Two new genera of cave-dwelling millipedes (Diplopoda), with remarks on the millipede fauna of West Caucasian caves, 1985, Golovatch Sergei I.
Two new genera and species of the Diplopoda from Caucasian caves are described: troglobitic Caucasodesmus inexpectatus n.g., n.sp. (family Macrosternodesmidae) from a cave in North Osetia, North Caucasus, and troglophilic Ratcheuma excorne n.g., n.sp. (family Antroleucosomatidae) from a cave in Racha, Georgia, Transcaucasia. Millipedes of the western Caucasian cavernicolous fauna are reviewed as regards their distribution, relationship with caves and zoogeographical connections.

Le point des recherches karstologiques en URSS, 1986, Kisselov V. , Klimchouk A. , Dubliansky V.
KARST RESEARCHES IN USSR - Karst researches in USSR have obtained a further development during these last years. Numerous regional investigations have been realised, especially in Crimea, Western Caucasus, Podolia, Ural, Central Asia and Southern Siberia. Some works on caves sedimentology have permitted to develop the knowledge on speleogenesis. Interesting studies are performed on speleoclimatology and ice caves (thermo-karst). Several contributions on the modern practical speleology are underlined: speleo-medicine, speleological techniques on steel cables, surveying, morphometry, applied speleology, show caves.

Sinogammarus troglodytes n. gen. n. sp. A new troglobiont Gammarid from China (Crustacea Amphipoda), 1994, Karaman Gordan, Ruffo Sandro
The authors describe Sinogammarus troglodytes n. gen. n. sp. found in two caves in Sichuan province in China, the first Chinese troglobite of the Gammaridae family (sensu Barnard & Barnard, 1983; 1990). The new genus is discussed and compared with the microphthalmous and anophthalmous genera of Gammaridae, heretofore known in the subterranean waters of the Balkan peninsula and the Caucasus region. The genus Sinogammarus is most closely allied to Gammarus Fabricius and Anopogammarus Derzhavin.

Krubera (Voronja): the deepest cave in the World, 2001, Klimchouk A. , Kasjan Y.

An account of the 2001 record-breaking expedition to the Krubera Cave, Atabika Massif, Western Caucasus


Eustatic sea-level and climate changes over the last 600 ka as derived from mollusc-based ESR-chronostratigraphy and pollen evidence in Northern Eurasia, 2002, Molodkov Anatoly N. , Bolikhovskaya Nataliya S. ,
We reconstruct and correlate palaeoclimatic events and deposits from shelf, glacial, periglacial, and extraglacial zones of northern Eurasia over the last 600,000 years. The chronostratigraphical correlation of identified palaeoenvironmental and sea-level events and corresponding horizons is based on electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis of subfossil mollusc skeletal remains from marine, freshwater and Acheulian-bearing cave-site deposits. Over 230 shell samples from more than 40 sites along the continental margin of Eurasian north, in the Black and Caspian sea basins and terrestrial shells from a Lower Palaeolithic cave-site in the Northern Caucasus were dated via ESR to produce a late Quaternary geochronology. The Pleistocene composite section of the loess-palaeosoil formation includes two reference sections--Likhvin and Arapovichi--from the centre of the East-European plain. The palyno-chronostratigraphic record is interpreted as the product of six warm-climate/high sea-level events including the current interglacial, and six glacial events. They are presented either as complete climatic rhythms of glacial and interglacial rank, or by considerable portions of climatic-phytocoenotic phases constituents of the rhythm. The full-interglacial conditions are centred at about 580, 400, 310, 220 and between 145-70 calendar ka. A broad correspondence between long palynological sequence, directly ESR-dated warm-climate-related events and other palaeoenvironmental records described in the literature has been noted for 11 upper oxygen isotope stages (11 to 1). The results obtained in this study exemplify the potential of integrated chrono-climatostratigraphic sequences in linking marine and terrestrial palaeoclimate records that may eventually span the whole Brunhes chron

Caucasus, Georgia, 2004, Klimchouk A.

The deepest cave in the world in the Arabika Massif (Western Caucasus), 2008, Klimchouk A. B. , Samokhin G. V. & Kasjan Yu. M.

Arabika is an outstanding high-mountain karst massif in the Western Caucasus composed of Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic limestones continuously dipping southwest to the Black Sea shore and plunging below the sea level. The central sector (elevations within 2000-2700 m) is characterized by pronounced glacio-karstic landscape and hosts several deep caves including the deepest cave in the world (Krubera-Voronja Cave) recently explored to the depth of -2191 m.  Dye tracing experiments conducted in 1984-1985 revealed that the Krubera Cave area is hydraulically connected with major springs at the Black Sea shore and the submarine discharge, with the flow directed across major fold structures. Krubera Cave has an extremely steep profile and reveals a huge thickness of the vadose zone. Its lower boundary is at elevation of about 110 m, which suggests a very low overall hydraulic gradient of 0.007-0.008. Reported low salinity groundwater tapped by boreholes in the shore area at depths 40-280, 500, 1750 and 2250 m, which suggests the existence of deep flow system with vigorous flow. Submarine discharge in the Arabika coast is reported at depths up to ca. 400 m bsl. Huge closed submarine depression is revealed at the sea-floor in front of Arabika with the deepest point of ca. 400 m bsl. These facts point to a possibility that the main karst system in Arabika could have originated in response to the Messinian salinity crisis (5.96 – 5.33 Myr) when the Black Sea could have almost dried up, similarly to the adjacent Mediterranean where the sea level drop up to 1600 m is well established. Further development of the huge vadose zone and a super-deep cave have been caused by subsequent uplifts during Pliocene-Pleistocene, highly differential between the shore sector (0.1-0.2 km of total uplift) and the central sector (2-2.5 km) of Arabika.


Dating of speleothems from deep parts of the worlds deepest cave Krubera (Arabika Massif, Western Caucasus), 2008, Klimchouk A. B. , Samokhin G. V. , Cheng H. & Edwards R. L.

Results of 230Th (TIMS) dating of speleothems from the caves Krubera (the deepest cave in the world; -2191 m) and Kujbushevskaja in the Arabika Massif, Western Caucasus, are given in the paper. Most of dates are from samples taken from the deep part of Krubera Cave, between depths of 1630-2010 m (elevations of 629-246 m a.s.l.), which is important for elucidating evolution of karst systems in the area and its relation to changes of the base level (the Black Sea level). Obtained dates scatter through each of 1 to 7 zones of the marine isotopic scale and hit the know from the Eastern Alps periods of intense speleothems deposition (Holocene, 50-60 Ky, 67-80 Ky, 190-240 Ky, 250-280 Ky), as well as the periods of absence of dates (160-165 Ka; marine stage 6). The dates correspond to both, interglacial and glacial periods. The presence of two dates older than 200 Ky (max 276 Ky) from deep sites points to the fact that these deep parts of Krubera Cave already existed within the vadose zone before (and likely – much before) Middle Pleistocene.  Also, two samples from fossil passages located at elevations of 2016-1906 m a.s.l. are dated beyond the dating limits (>500,000 Ky). The results are consistent with a hypothesis that the early development of the karst system, which Krubera Cave is part of, is linked with the Late Miocene (Messinian) periods of an extremely low position of the sea level. The expressively vertical development of Krubera Cave is determined by intense uplift of the Arabika Massif in Pliocene-Pleistocene time, differentiated by blocks of the sub-Caucasian strike.


Karst of the Bolshoy Tkhach massif , 2008, Kritskaya O. J. , Ostapenko A. A.

The Tkhach Massif is a part of the Peredovoy Ridge of the north-western Caucasus, comprised by Triassic limestones of the total thickness of 600-700 m. The contemporary karst denudation rate is estimated at 81 – 198 mm/Ky. Surface and underground karst features are characterized in the paper. The deepest shaft Khod in Preispodnyuyu is -192 m deep, and the longest cave Ambitsukova is 560 m long.


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