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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 gooseneck is the part of a winding valley resembling in plan the curved neck of a goose. normally found as part of an entrenched meander [1].?

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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
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Your search for coastal caves (Keyword) returned 22 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 22
Caves Of Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea, 1979, Ollier C. D. , Pain C. F.

Woodlark Island consists of folded Tertiary rocks with a cover of Quaternary coral limestone that contains caves of two kinds:- river passage caves and shallow coastal caves mainly at old spring sites. Many caves contain remains of human burials and associated pottery.


Coastal Caves Indicating Preglacial Morphology in Norway, 1988, Sjoberg R.

Christmas Island cave studies, 1999, Grimes Ken G. , Humphreys William F.

Summary of karst features and karst biology of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean). Limestone caps a basalt volcanic seamont. Coastal caves entered from sea cliffs. Uplifted coastal caves reflect past sea levels. Also plateau caves, fissure caves and one cave in basalt. Subterranean fauna was sampled via caves, boreholes and springs. Fauna includes swiftlets and a diverse assemblage of invertebrates, both terrestrial and aquatic (including anchialine). At least 12 underground species endemic to island.


Coastal speleogenesis and collapsing by emptying of karst breccia-pipes on the marine cliffs of the Gargano peninsula (Apulia, Italy), 2000, Sauro, Ugo

In the coastal cliff of the Gargano peninsula the development of some coastal caves is controlled by the presence of breccia-pipes structures. The breccia-pipes, which may host aquifers, when intersected by the cliff are partially emptied by the waves. In this way dome-like caves may develop, which sometimes open to the surface above. A preliminary model of the geological and geomorphological history leading to the formation of the the breccia-pipes and of this type of cave is outlined.


Karst Features of Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), 2001, Grimes, Ken G.

Christmas Island (in the Indian Ocean) is an uplifted, composite, reef-carbonate island with a volcanic core. The coast is mostly cliffed and rises steeply via a series of terraces to a central phosphate-blanketed plateau. In spite of the high rainfall, there is little surface water as drainage is underground and karstic - it is initially stored in an epikarst aquifer, then follows the limestone/volcanic contact out to the island edge to emerge at major conduit springs. These springs are mostly at or below sea level, but some perched springs occur where the volcanic rocks appear at the surface. Caves occur at the present coast, as uplifted coastal caves, on the plateau, and there are a few pseudokarst caves. Cave development involves mixing zones between fresh and sea water in the coastal zone, and between vadose and phreatic waters perched on the volcanic rocks beneath the plateau. Cave locations and form are controlled by the rock structure (especially jointing) the location of the volcanic contact, and the combination of uplift with present and past sea levels - which controls the location of the mixing zone.


Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave-pools and anchihaline environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis., 2007, Gins Angel, Gins Joaqun
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins Angel And Gins Joaquin
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

TAFONI CAVES IN QUATERNARY CARBONATE EOLIANITES: EXAMPLES FROM THE BAHAMAS, Msc Thesis, 2007, Owen Athena, Marie

Tafoni have been confusingly defined in many ways: variations in size, rock type, and forming mechanisms. This study addresses tafoni in Quaternary eolian carbonates to help better define the term. Large tafoni were differentiated from other coastal caves in the Bahamas, specifically flank margin and sea caves, using morphometric analyses. The differentiation is important as all three cave types form in the same area, but flank margin and sea caves can be used as paleo-sea level indicators, while tafoni cannot. Small tafoni show a growth rate of 0.022 m3/yr; and may amalgmate to form larger tafoni, which grew at 0.65 m3/yr. Petrographic analysis helped identify tafoni-forming mechanisms; results revealed no evaporites present, removing crystal wedging as a mechanism, while indicating wind erosion as the primary mechanism. This analysis found significantly greater cements within the Holocene rocks compared to previous studies, and SEM analysis revealed organic cements preserved by oil-based cutting.


Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins A. , Gins J.

Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.


Flank Margin Cave Development in Telogenetic Limestones of New Zealand, 2008, Mylroie J. E. , Mylroie J. R. , Nelson C. S.

Coastal limestone outcrops, typically with advanced levels of diagenetic maturity (i.e., are telogenetic carbonates), were examined on North Island (Raglan Harbour, Kawhia Harbour, Napier, and Waipu Cove) and South Island (Pohara, Paturau River, Punakaiki, Kakanui, and Kaikoura), New Zealand, to determine if flank margin caves, produced by mixing dissolution, were present. In coastal settings, caves in carbonate rock can be the outcome of pseudokarst process, primarily wave erosion, as well as karst processes not associated with fresh and sea-water mixing such as epikarst features and conduit-flow stream caves. Flank margin caves were successfully differentiated from other cave types by the following criteria: phreatic dissolutional morphologies at the wall rock and chamber scales; absence of high- velocity, turbulent-flow wall sculpture and sediment deposits; and lack of integration of adjacent caves into a continuous flow path. The active tectonics of New Zealand creates a variable sea- level situation. The relatively short time of sea-level stability limits the size of the New Zealand flank margin caves compared to tectonically-stable environments, such as the Bahamas, where glacioeustasy alone controls sea-level stability. Uplift events can be identified as slow and steady when the flank margin caves are uniformly elongated in the vertical direction, and episodic when the flank margin caves show widening and tube development at discrete horizons that cut across rock structure. New Zealand flank margin caves contain information on uplift duration and rates independent of other commonly used measures, and therefore can provide a calibration to other methods.


Present-day sedimentary facies in the coastal karst caves of Mallorca island (western Mediterranean), 2009, Forns J. J. , Gins J. , And Grcia F.
In spite of the increasing number of papers on cave sediments published during the last few decades, no one has focused from a sedimentological point of view on the processes that take place specifically within the coastal karst areas of carbonate islands. The objective of the present investigations is to deal with the sedimentary processes that take place inside two littoral caves of Mallorca (western Mediterranean), characterizing the different facies existing in the particular geological, geochemical, and hydrological setting that represents this very specific cave sedimentary environment. The recent exploration of extensive underwater galleries and chambers into some outstanding coastal caves of the island, has permitted the recognition of important accumulations of present-day sedimentary infillings in their drowned passages. Both the Pirata-Pont- Piqueta cave system and the Cova de sa Gleda have floors covered by muddy and/or sandy sediments which, in a wide sense, fit into two well-differentiated categories. On one hand we have allochthonous reddish mud sediments (mainly siliciclastic) and on the other hand autochthonous yellowish carbonate mud or sands. The mixing of both materials is also frequent as well as the accumulation of large blocks and debris due to the breakdown of roof and cave walls. A series of 21 manual cores was obtainedby scuba-divers in both caves, in order to collect the full thickness of sedimentary fill. Soil samples at the entrance of the two caves, as well as rock samples of the walls of both sites, were also obtained for a later comparison. Several sedimentary facies can be distinguished, which include coarse-grained deposits (entrance facies and breakdown blocks), fine-grained siliceous sediments (silts and muddy deposits with very variable organic matter content), carbonate deposits composed of calcite raft accumulations and/ or weathering-released limestone grains, and mixed facies including diverse proportions of the other sediment types. There are also some relict deposits composed of siliceous red silts, which are affected by polygonal desiccation cracks. In all the cases, the siliciclastic elements (quartz and feldspars, mainly) are related to rain events supplying dust of Saharan origin. The deposits and facies described herein correspond to different sedimentary environments that can be individualized inside the caves (collapse entrances, breakdown chambers, fully drowned passages and chambers, pools with free water surface), and reflect very specific hydrological, geochemical, and mechanical processes related to the coastal nature of the studied karst caves.

ON THE ROLE OF HYPOGENE SPELEOGENESIS IN SHAPING THE COASTAL ENDOKARST OF SOUTHERN MALLORCA (WESTERN MEDITERRANEAN), 2009, Gines J. , Gines A. , Fornos J. , Merino A. , Gracia F.

The Migjorn region is one of the main karst areas in the island of Mallorca (Balearic Archipelago, Western Mediterranean) and has abundant coastal caves developed in Upper Miocene reefal carbonate rocks. In general terms it is an eogenetic karst platform in which littoral mixing dissolution processes usually represent the most important speleogenetic mechanism to be considered. Nevertheless, recent explorations in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Llucmajor Municipality), that nowadays has development exceeding 59 km of passages, raise interesting questions about the genesis of this outstanding littoral cave. An artificial entrance located at about 500 m from the coast line gives access to a complex assemblage of chambers and galleries, partially drowned by brackish waters, whose spatial disposition and morphological characteristics are strongly conditioned by the internal architecture of the Upper Miocene reef. The inner part of the cave consists of an extensive network of galleries that contain morpho-sedimentary features pointing to the possible participation of hypogene speleogenesis in the excavation of the system. Solutional features related to rising flow are abundant, together with Mn- and Fe-rich deposits and some minerals not known up to the l present in other caves of the region. The hypogene speleogenesis mechanisms that may have acted in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera could be associated with the feeble geothermal anomalies existing currently in the Llucmajor platform, related to important SW-NE faults which delimit the Campos subsidence basin in the southern end of Mallorca Island. The genesis of the cave system seems to be a complex matter including, besides coastal mixing processes and epigenic meteoric recharge, the participation of hypogene speleogenesis in an eogenetic unconfined setting.


FLANK MARGIN CAVE DEVELOPMENT IN CARBONATE TALUS BRECCIA FACIES: AN EXAMPLE FROM CRES ISLAND, CROATIA, 2010, Otoni?ar Bojan, Buzjak Nenad, Mylroie John & Mylroie Joan
Plava Grota, Cres Island, Croatia, is a flank margin cave developed in a coastal setting in talus breccia facies. The internal cave geometry of small entrances, intersecting adjacent chambers, remnant dissolutional bedrock pillars, and low arches matches diagnostic features used to separate flank margin caves from epigenic stream caves on one hand, and sea caves on the other. Plava Grota is found, along with adjacent smaller caves, solely in a breccia facies that is most probably of Pleistocene age. This breccia is comprised of clasts derived from diagenetically mature, or telogenetic, Cretaceous carbonate rocks. The clasts are loosely cemented by vadose calcite cements. The breccia facies provide a three-dimensional porosity and permeability structure that behaves hydraulically in a manner similar to the high primary porosity and permeability of young eogenetic carbonate rocks in settings such as the Bahamas or Puerto Rico, and the many flow paths found in highly-tectonized telogenetic carbonate rocks in New Zealand. Plava Grota is the first described flank margin cave from the coastal carbonate rocks of the Adriatic Sea. According to present sea-level position in relation to the cave, fresh-water springs in and adjacent to the cave, general tectonic subsidence of the area and Quaternary eustatic sea-level fluctuations, we propose the hypotheses that the cave was primarily formed during the MIS 5e sea-level highstand.

Coastal cave in Bahamain eolian calcarenites: Differentiating between sea caves and flank margin caves using quantitative morphology, 2010, Waterstrat, Willapa J. , Mylroie, John E. , Owen, Athena M. And Mylroie, Joan R.

Coastal areas on carbonate islands commonly contain two types of caves: sea caves developed by wave erosion processes, and flank margin caves developed by dissolution at the edge of the fresh-water lens. Differentiating sea caves and flank margin caves in coastal settings is important, but can it be done reliably and quantitatively? Current methods use the degree of intricate wall-rock dissolution and the presence or absence of dense calcite speleothems to separate the two cave types. This study reports how analysis of cave maps creates three separate tools to differentiate coastal caves: area to perimeter ratio, entrance width to maximum width ratio, and rectangle short axis to long axis ratio. The study also presents some of the first sea cave data from eogenetic carbonate islands, specifically eolian calcarenites. The morphological and geometrical comparisons between Bahamian flank margin cave and sea cave maps using the three tools allows the two cave types to be statistically differentiated. The Bahamian sea cave data were also compared to sea cave data from California and Maine to demonstrate that Bahamian sea caves have a unique quantitative signature based on the youth and homogeneity of the host eolian calcarenite rock. The Bahamian sea cave data also indicate that sea cave formation may not be solely determined by differential rock weaknesses, as reported in the literature, but may also be a result of wave dynamics such as constructive interference.


Comparison of 14C and U-Th ages of two Holocene phreatic overgrowths on speleothems from Mallorca (Western Mediterranean): Environmental implications, 2011, Tuccimei P. , Strydonck M. V. , Giné, S A, Giné, S J. , Soligo M. , Villa I. M. , Fornó, S J. J.

This investigation reports on the comparison between ICP-MS U-Th and AMS 14C ages of Phreatic Overgrowths on Speleothems (POS) from two different caves on the island of Mallorca (Spain). These speleothem encrustations form at the water table of coastal caves in a low-amplitude tide-controlled microenvironment and are used to reconstruct past sea level changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate if this particular type of speleothem is datable using 14C method and to investigate possible problems connected with the incorporation of dead carbon inherited from the dissolution of 14C-free limestone. The results show that 14C ages are strongly site dependent and appear related to local residence time of water infiltration through the soil and epikarst. When short transit time and limited interaction with soil and bedrock, as in Cova de Cala Varques A, the so-called “reservoir” effect is negligible and 14C and U-Th ages corresponds within the error range. When the residence time is longer, as in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, 14C ages are steadily 2,300-2,400 years older than the U-Th data, as shown by the mean value (25%) of estimated percent dead carbon proportions and by higher and better correlated contents of major and trace elements in the vadose support of this speleothem encrustation. The potential use of this multi-method approach to paleoenvironmental studies is also suggested.


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