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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 sieve opening is the opening between the mesh wires of a sieve [16].?

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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 cosmogenic nuclide (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Dating sediment burial with in situ produced cosmogenic nuclides: theory, techniques, limitations., 2001, Granger D. E. , Muzikar P. E.

14C Activity and Global Carbon Cycle Changes over the Past 50,000 Years, 2004, Hughen K. , Lehman S. , Southon J. , Overpeck J. , Marchal O. , Herring C. , Turnbull J. ,
A series of 14C measurements in Ocean Drilling Program cores from the tropical Cariaco Basin, which have been correlated to the annual-layer counted chronology for the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 (GISP2) ice core, provides a high-resolution calibration of the radiocarbon time scale back to 50,000 years before the present. Independent radiometric dating of events correlated to GISP2 suggests that the calibration is accurate. Reconstructed 14C activities varied substantially during the last glacial period, including sharp peaks synchronous with the Laschamp and Mono Lake geomagnetic field intensity minimal and cosmogenic nuclide peaks in ice cores and marine sediments. Simulations with a geochemical box model suggest that much of the variability can be explained by geomagnetically modulated changes in 14C production rate together with plausible changes in deep-ocean ventilation and the global carbon cycle during glaciation

Dating caves with cosmogenic nuclides: methods, possibilities and the Sieben-hengste example, 2004, Hauselmann P. , Granger D. E.

Rates of erosion and topographic evolution of the Sierra Nevada, California, inferred from cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 concentrations, 2005, Stock G. M. , Anderson R. S. , Finkel R. C. ,
Concentrations of cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 in cave sediments and bedrock surfaces, combined with studies of landscape morphology, elucidate the topographic history of the southern Sierra Nevada over the past 5 Ma. Caves dated by Al-26/Be-10 in buried sediments reveal that river incision rates were moderate to slow between c. 5 and 3 Ma (<= 0.07 mm a(-1)), accelerated between 3 and 1.5 Ma (c. 0.3 ram a(-1)), and then have subsequently become much slower (c. 0.02 mm a(-1)). Although the onset of accelerated incision coincides in time with both,postulated Pliocene tectonism and pronounced global climate change, we argue that it primarily represents the response to a discrete tectonic event between 3 and 5 Ma. Dated cave positions reveal that, prior to 3 Ma, river canyons displayed up to 1.6 km of local relief, suggesting that Pliocene rock uplift elevated pre-existing topography. Renewed incision beginning c. 3 Ma deepened canyons by up to 400 m, creating narrow inner gorges. Tributary streams exhibit strong convexities, indicating that the transient erosional response to Pliocene uplift has not yet propagated into upland surfaces. Concentrations of Al-26 and Be-10 in bare bedrock show that upland surfaces are eroding at slow rates of c. 0.01 mm a(-1). Over the past c. 3 Ma, upland surfaces eroded slowly while adjacent rivers incised rapidly, increasing local relief. Although relief production probably drove at least modest crestal uplift, considerable pre-Pliocene relief and low spatially averaged erosion rates suggest that climatically driven rock uplift is not sufficient to explain ail uplift implied by tilted markers at the western edge of the range. Despite the recent pulse of erosion, spatially averaged erosion rates are low, and have probably acted to preserve the broad topographic form of the Sierra Nevada throughout much of the late Cenozoic. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Dating of caves by cosmogenic nuclides: method, possibilities, and the Siebenhengste example, 2005, Hä, Uselmann Philipp, Granger Darryl E.

Cosmic rays produce nuclides at and near the Earth's surface. 10Be and 26Al in quartz are of particular interest for dating cave sediments. These two nuclides are produced at the surface at a fixed ratio. If the quartz is carried from the surface into a cave, the sediment is shielded from additional cosmogenic nuclide production, and the inherited 10Be and 26Al decay radioactively. Because 26Al decays more rapidly than 10Be, the ratio of these two nuclides indicates the time since the sediment was washed underground. The burial dating method can be applied to sediments in the age range of approximately 0.1 to 5 Ma. In ideal cases, we get information about valley lowering rates. If the provenance of the sediment is known, averaged erosion rates of the source area can be estimated. The oldest cave phases of the Siebenhengste system, Switzerland, were dated using cosmogenic nuclides. The oldest sediment is 4.4 ± 0.6 Ma and thus indicates Pliocene karstification of the Siebenhengste.


Cave and Karst evolution in the Alps and their relation to paleoclimate and paleotopography, 2007, Audra P. , Bini A. , Gabrovš, Ek F. , Hä, Uselmann P. , Hoblé, A F. , Jeannin P. Y. , Kunaver J. , Monbaron M. , Š, Uš, Terš, Ič, F. , Tognini P. , Trimmel H. , Wildberger A.

Progress in the understanding of cave genesis processes, as well as the intensive research carried out in the Alps during the last decades, permit to summarize the latest knowledge about Alpine caves. The phreatic parts of cave systems develop close to the karst water table, which depends on the spring position, which in turn is generally related to the valley bottom. Thus, caves are directly linked with the geomorphic evolution of the surface and reflect valley deepening. The sediments deposited in the caves help to reconstruct the morphologic succession and the paleoclimatic evolution. Moreover, they are the only means to date the caves and thus the landscape evolution. Caves appear as soon as there is an emersion of limestone from the sea and a water table gradient. Mesozoic and early tertiary paleokarsts within the alpine range prove of these ancient emersions. Hydrothermal karst seems to be more widespread than previously presumed. This is mostly due to the fact that usually, hydrothermal caves are later reused (and reshaped) by meteoric waters. Rock-ghost weathering is described as a new cave genesis agent. On the contrary, glaciers hinder cave genesis processes and fill caves. They mainly influence cave genesis indirectly by valley deepening and abrasion of the caprock. All present datings suggest that many alpine caves (excluding paleokarst) are of Pliocene or even Miocene age. Progress in dating methods (mainly the recent evolution with cosmogenic nuclides) should permit, in the near future, to date not only Pleistocene, but also Pliocene cave sediments absolutely.


How to date nothing with cosmogenic nuclides, 2007, Hä, Uselmann P.

A cave is a natural void in the rock. Therefore, a cave in itself cannot be dated, and one has to resort to datable sediments to get ideas about the age of the void itself. The problem then is that it is never very certain that the obtained age really is coincident with the true age of the cave. Here, we present the use of a method which couples sedimentary and morphologic information to get a relative chronology of events. Datings within this relative chronology can be used for assessing ages of forms, processes, and sediments, and the obtained dates also fix some milestones within the chronology, which then can be used to retrace, among other things, paleoclimatic variations. For many cave systems, the dating limits of the most widely used U/Th method on speleothems are too low (350 to max. 700 ka) to get ages that inform us about the age of the cave. The recent use of cosmogenic nuclides on quartz-containing sediment permits to push the datable range back to 5 Ma. Wwhile the theoretical background is explained elsewhere (Granger, this volume), we concentrate on the Siebenhengste example (Switzerland).


Dramatic increase in late Cenozoic alpine erosion rates recorded by cave sediment in the southern Rocky Mountains, 2010, Refsnider, Kurt A.

Apparent increases in sedimentation rates during the past 5 Ma have been inferred at sites around the globe to document increased terrestrial erosion rates, but direct erosion rate records spanning this period are sparse. Modern and paleo-erosion rates for a small alpine catchment (3108 m above sea level) in the Southern Rocky Mountains are measured using the cosmogenic radionuclides (CRNs) 10Be and 26Al in cave sediment, bedrock on the overlying landscape surface, and coarse bedload in a modern fluvial drainage. The unique setting of the Marble Mountain cave system allows the inherited erosion rates to be interpreted as basin-averaged erosion rates, resulting in the first CRN-based erosion rate record from the Rocky Mountains spanning 5 Myr. Pliocene erosion rates, derived from the oldest cave sample (4.9 ± 0.4 Ma), for the landscape above the cave are 4.9 ± 1.1 m Myr− 1. Mid Pleistocene erosion rates are nearly an order of magnitude higher (33.1 ± 2.7 to 41.3 ± 3.9 m Myr− 1), and modern erosion rates are similar; due to the effects of snow shielding, these erosion rate estimates are likely higher than actual rates by 10–15%. The most likely explanation for this dramatic increase in erosion rates, which likely occurred shortly before 1.2 Ma, is an increase in the effectiveness of periglacial weathering processes at high elevations related to a cooler and wetter climate during the Pleistocene, providing support for the hypothesis that changes in late Cenozoic climate are responsible for increased continental erosion.


Young uplift in the non-glaciated parts of the Eastern Alps, 2010, Wagner T. , Fabel D. , Fiebig M. , Hä, Uselmann Ph. , Sahy D. , Xu S. , Stü, We K.

We report the first incision rates derived from burial ages of cave sediments from the Mur river catchment at the eastern margin of the Eastern Alps. At the transition zone between the Alpine orogen and the Pannonian basin, this river passes through the Paleozoic of Graz — a region of karstifiable rocks called the Central Styrian Karst. This river dissects the study area in a north–south direction and has left behind an abundance of caves. These caves can be grouped into several distinct levels according to their elevation above the present fluvial base level. Age estimates of abandoned cave levels are constrained by dating fluvial sediments washed into caves during the waning stages of speleogenesis with the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide method. These ages and the elevations of the cave levels relative to the current valley floor are used to infer a very complex history of 4 million years of water table position, influenced by the entrenchment and aggradation of the Mur river. We observe rather low rates of bedrock incision over the last 4 Ma (in the order of 0.1 mm/y) with an e-folding decrease in this trend to lower rates at younger times. We relate this incision history to a tectonic setting where an increase of drainage area of the Mur river due to stream piracy in Late Miocene to Pliocene times is linked to surface uplift. The later decrease in valley lowering rates is attributed to the rise of the base level related to aggradation of sediments within the valley. Sediment transport through the valley from the upstream section of the Mur river limited the erosional potential of the river to a transport limited state at the later stages of the incision history.


Correlations of cave levels, stream terraces and planation surfaces along the River MurTiming of landscape evolution along the eastern margin of the Alps, 2011, Wagner Thomas, Fritz Harald, Stü, We Kurt, Nestroy Othmar, Rodnight Helena, Hellstrom John, Benischke Ralf

The transition zone of the Eastern Alps to the Pannonian Basin provides one of the best sources of information on landscape evolution of the Eastern Alpine mountain range. The region was non-glaciated during the entire Pleistocene. Thus, direct influence of glacial carving as a landscape forming process can be excluded and relics of landforms are preserved that date back to at least the Late Neogene. In this study, we provide a correlation between various planation surfaces across the orogen-basin transition. In particular, we use stream terraces, planation surfaces and cave levels that cover a vertical spread of some 700 m. Our correlation is used to show that both sides of the transition zone uplifted together starting at least about 5 Ma ago. For our correlation we use recently published terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide (TCN) burial ages from cave sediments, new optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) ages of a stream terrace and U–Th ages from speleothems. Minimum age constraints of cave levels from burial ages of cave sediments covering the last ~ 4 Ma are used to place age constraints on surface features by parallelizing cave levels with planation surfaces. The OSL results for the top section of the type locality of the Helfbrunn terrace suggest an Early Würm development (80.5 ± 3.7 to 68.7 ± 4.0 ka). The terrace origin as a penultimate gravel deposit (in classical Alpine terminology Riss) is therefore questioned. U-series speleothem ages from caves nearby indicate formation during Marine Isotope Stages (MIS) 5c and 5a which are both interstadial warm periods. As OSL ages from the terrace also show a time of deposition during MIS 5a ending at the MIS 5/4 transition, this supports the idea of temperate climatic conditions at the time of deposition. In general, tectonic activity is interpreted to be the main driving force for the formation and evolution of these landforms, whilst climate change is suggested to be of minor importance. Obvious hiatuses in Miocene to Pleistocene sediments are related to ongoing erosion and re-excavation of an uplifting and rejuvenating landscape


Datierung fluviatiler Hhlensedimente mittels kosmogener Nuklide am Beispiel des Grazer Berglandes, 2011, Wagner, T.
The Central Styrian Karst north of Graz comprises a great number of caves of which many are of phreatic origin. Due to a clustering of caves at certain elevations above the current base level, the Mur River, these caves can be assigned to distinct levels. Caves cannot be older than the rock in which they formed, i.e. in the case of the region studied here not older than about 400 Ma (million years ago). Cave deposits on the other hand allow to infer a minimum age of cave formation, because they are deposited in the cave during or (mostly) after its development. Besides numerous autochthonous (i.e. in situ) sediments and speleothems, also a number of allochthonous (transported into the cave from the surface) sediments are encountered. Burial ages of several quartz-rich allochthonous cave sediments were determined using the radioactive cosmogenic nuclides 26Al and 10Be. The present article provides an insight into this rela tively new dating method (burial age dating) to constrain the age of cave deposits. The current state of knowledge about the timing of cave formation in the Grazer Bergland (Highland of Graz) will be discussed by summarizing the results of two recent papers (Wagner et al., 2010, 2011). Based on these results, conclusions are drawn about the age of the cave levels, relative incision rates of the River Mur and the landscape evolution of the eastern rim of the Alps in general. Sedimentation ages of 0 to about 5 Ma ago are in good agreement with increasingly higher cave levels above the present base level. This in turn reflects the stepwise relative incision of the River Mur. Based on the oldest samples, the onset of karstification and thus the exhumation of the Central Styrian Karst occurred at least 4-5 Ma ago. The oldest level, assigned to an age of at least 4 Ma, is situated some 500 m above the current valley bottom. Therefore, a relative incision rate of the River Mur in the order of only about 100 meters per million year (m/Myr) for the last 4-5 Ma is inferred. A more detailed examination of the levels reveals on average a decrease in the incision rate. Burial ages of ~2.5 Ma are determined only 100 m above the current base level. Moreover, the formation of planation surfaces and terraces in the Grazer Bergland is constrained by the correlation with cave levels and as such an important contribution to the understanding of landscape evolution of this region is made.

Cosmogenic Isotope Dating of Cave Sediments, 2012, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek

The decay of cosmic ray-induced 26Al and 10Be in quartz sediments allows the calculation of sediment emplacement ages back to about five million years. Two examples are given: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Atapuerca Cave (Spain). The sediments in the Mammoth Cave System were an integral part of how the cave was formed. The sediments reveal the evolution of the cave system, and how cave development is tightly coupled to river incision and aggradation. In this case, Mammoth Cave was ideal because it was a water-table cave that carried quartz from local bedrock. In contrast, Atapuerca is a sedimentary infill where sediment (and animals) fell into a preexisting cavity. Such cave infills are the norm in archaeology and paleoanthropology because they collect bones and artifacts over long periods of time. In this case, the cosmogenic nuclides dated the sedimentary infill rather than the cave itself.


Multilevel Caves and Landscape Evolution, 2012, Anthony, Darlene M.

Multilevel caves are formed by periods of water table stability punctuated by changes in the position of the water table. These cave systems are hydrologically linked to regional rivers and can be used to date episodes of river stability and incision. The measurement of cosmogenic radioisotopes in cave sediments yields a burial age for the sediment, which in turn equates to the time of passage abandonment due to water-table lowering. Karst geomorphologists and others are using burial dates from multilevel caves to calculate Plio-Pleistocene rates of river incision, tectonic uplift, and erosion in various parts of the world.


Denudation and Erosion Rates in Karst, 2013, Gunn, J.

In many lithologies erosion (removal of material) and denudation (lowering of the land surface) are directly related butthis is not the case in karst where the majority of erosion is subsurface and only contributes to denudation over geological time. Dissolution is the dominant agent of both denudation and erosion although mechanical weathering of karst rock by clasts brought in by allogenic streams may contribute to the enlargement of cave passages. Most published ‘denudation’rates are actually corrosion rates and many were based on at most a few years of spot measurements at a spring or at a catchment outlet. Hence, considerable caution is necessary in interpreting the results. Cosmogenic nuclides could provide loner-term denudation estimates but have only rarely been applied to karst. Theoretical equations allow prediction of maximum erosion rates from runoff (water surplus), temperature, and carbon dioxide concentrations but field measurements indicate that erosion rarely operates at the maximal rate. Erosion rates vary spatially, with dolines a clear focus, and vertically, with most dissolution contributing to development of the epikarst rather than direct lowering of the land surface. Human activities, and particularly limestone quarrying, are potent erosive forces and in some areas more limestone was removed by quarrying in the twentieth century than by corrosion over the Holocene. Quarrying is also a direct agent of denudation, locally lowering land surface by tens or hundreds of meters


Deglaciation of the eastern Cumbria glaciokarst, northwest England, as determined by cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) surface exposure dating, and the pattern and significance of subsequent environmental changes, 2013, Wilson P. , Lord T. , Rods .

Four erratic boulders of Shap granite on the limestone terrain of eastern Cumbria have yielded cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) surface exposure ages that indicate the area was deglaciated c.17 ka ago. This timing is in accord with other ages pertaining to the loss of glacial ice cover in the Yorkshire Dales and north Lancashire, to the south, and the Lake District, to the west, and constrains the resumption of landscape (re)colonization and surface and sub-surface karstic processes. Marked shifts in climate are known to have occurred since deglaciation and combined with human impacts on the landscape the glaciokarst has experienced a complex pattern of environmental changes. Understanding these changes and their effects is crucial if the 'post-glacial' evolution of the glaciokarst is to be deciphered.


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