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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 normal fault is a fault in which the upper block appears to have moved downward relative to the lower block.?

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Your search for crimean mountains (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Results and perspectives of paleontological studies in Crimean caves, 2008, Ridush B. T. , Vremir M.

Till recently information about bone accumulations in caves of the Crimean Mountains was comparatively modest. Now several dozens of caves are known on high plateaus, which hold a rich potential regarding Late Pleistocene and Holocene fauna of the Crimean Mountains. The Chatyrdag Plateau is the best studied area with its nine bone-bearing caves documented and two caves (Marble Cave and Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave) where detailed investigations have been conducted. Paleontological potential of the Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave is tremendous. Fauna complexes belonging to the LGM (the complex of cold steps, also confirmed by paleopalinological data) and interstadials and the postglacial (predominantly related to meadows and forested landscapes of warmer climate) are identified in this cave. Enormous amount of bones, their well preserved condition, tafocenosis and species diversity give a special importance to this cave. The ongoing study of the Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave site will contribute to resolution of many issues about paleobiogeography, paleoecology and paleoclimate of this region. In other caves of Crimea important information has been also obtained.


Time constraints for the evolution of a large slope collapse in karstified mountainous terrain of the southwestern Crimean Mountains, Ukraine, 2009, Pá, Nek Tomá, š, : Hradecký, Jan, Š, Ilhá, N Karel, Smolková, Veronika, Altová, Viola

Deep-seated gravitational deformations are significant denudational agents of rock slopes at the margins of karstified plateaus of the Crimean Mountains (Ukraine). The aim of this article is to study long-term evolution of a giant rock slope failure close to the Black Sea coast in the southwestern tip of the mountains near Foros Town. The failure evolved in highly anisotropic limestones overlying plastic flysch layers where the main headscarp follows a strike-slip fault. We tested a new chronological strategy based on 14C and U-/Th-series dating of speleothems from unroofed caves exposed in the headscarp area of the slope failure. This approach made it possible to state maximum age of the slope collapse in individual parts of the deformed slope. Obtained results indicate that extension of discontinuities together with their karstification can be traced to > 300 ka BP, whereas evolution of the main headscarp started ~ 110 ka BP and since then it has propagated in the eastward direction. The youngest slope failure in the easternmost part of the studied collapse is of Late Holocene age. Our study indicates that conditions for large rock slope failures in carbonate areas can be prepared by speleogenesis or combined effects of propagation of cracks and their solution-based expansion. Furthermore, large rock slope failures can be important factors for the genesis of unroofed caves.


HYPOGENE SPELEOGENESIS IN THE PIEDMONT CRIMEA RANGE, 2009, Klimchouk A. , Tymokhina E. , Amelichev G.

Intense development of the theory and criteria for identification of hypogenic speleogenesis during the past few years has stimulated re-interpretation of karst phenomena in many regions of the world. Recent research strongly suggests that solution features in the Piedmont Range of the Crimean Mountains, previously believed to be the result of hypergene (epigene) karstification, were in fact formed in a hypogenic environment due to ascending transverse flow in a stratified artesian system. Tectonically, the Piedmont Range of Crimea is an edge of the Scythian Plate, uplifted and partially eroded along the regional fault separating the plate from the folded region of the Crimea Mountains. The Cretaceous and Paleogene sequence dips 5 to 20o to north and north-west, where it plunges beneath a Neogene cover. It is exposed within the Piedmont Range as a series of distinct cuestas generally facing south-east. Karst features are represented by 26 caves and abundant, diverse solution forms at the cuesta escarps. Most of the karst develops in two distinct limestone units of Paleocene (Danian) and Eocene (Lutetian) but some are present in the underlying Maastrichtian unit of Cretaceous. There are strong and systematic evidences that the caves have a hypogenic origin and that most of the solution features along the scarps are remnants of morphologies of hypogenically karstified fractures, the walls of which are now exposed due to block-fall retreat of the scarp faces. The features in various beds demonstrate strong lithostratigraphic control in their distribution and are vertically stacked into transverse complexes. Caves are fracture-controlled, linear, or crude maze clusters, demonstrating the complete suite of morphologies indicative of hypogenic origin. Isolated cavities, expressed in the contemporary scarps as grottoes, niches and as zones of spongework porosity, developed where laterally conductive beds of higher initial porosity were crossed by vertical fractures that once conducted rising fluids from an underlying regional flow system. The Piedmont Range of Crimea was a part of the Crimea Plain artesian basin before the Middle Pliocene. Subsequent uplift and initial erosional entrenchment through the Late Pliocene established the pattern of tectonically and geomorphologically guided zones of upward cross-formational discharge and hypogenic speleogenesis. Further valley entrenchment in the region during late Pliocene and early-middle Pleistocene shaped up the modern cuesta relief and drained the Cretaceous- Paleogene sequence. Hypogenically karstified fractures and caves, which are sub-parallel to valleys, provide zones of structural weakness along which blocks fall at the cuesta escarps exposing relict hypogenic morphologies. The Piedmont Crimea Range, with its perfect and extensive exposures of the hypogene karst sequence, provides outstanding opportunities for studying patterns and morphologies of hypogenic speleogenesis, which is important for understanding its hydrogeological functioning and roles in reservoir formation, especially in the adjacent Crimea Plain artesian basin.


Karst features of the south-west part of the Piedmont Crimea from the standpoint of the theory of hypogene speleogenesis, 2009, Klimchouk A. B. , Amelichev G. N. , Tymkhina E. I.

The intense development of the theory and criteria of identification of hypogenic speleogenesis during last few years has stimulated re-interpretation of karst phenomena in many regions of the world. Recent research strongly suggest that solution features in the Piedmont Range of the Crimean Mountains, previously believed as being the result of epigenic karstification, were in fact formed in hypogenic environment due to ascending transverse flow in a stratified artesian system. Tectonically, the Piedmont Range of Crimea is an edge of the Scythian Plate, uplifted and partially eroded along the regional fault separating the plate from the folded region of the Mountain Crimea. The Cretaceous and Paleogene sequence is dipping 5 to 20o to north and north-west, where it plunges beneath the Neogene cover. It is exposed within the Piedmont Range as a series of distinct cuestas generally faced to south-east. Karst features are represented by 26 caves and abundant and diverse solution forms at the cuesta escarps. Most of karst features develop in two distinct limestone units of Paleocene (Danian) and Eocene but some are present in the underlying Maastrichtian unit of Cretaceous. There are strong and systematic evidences that the caves have hypogenic origin and that most of solution features at the escarps are remnants of morphologies of hypogenically karstified fractures, which walls are now exposed due to the block-fall retreat of the escarps. The features in various beds demonstrate strong lithostratigraphic control in their distribution and are vertically stacked into transverse complexes. Caves are fracturecontrolled, linear, or crude maze clusters, demonstrating the complete suit of morphologies indicative of hypogenic origin. Isolated cavities, expressed in the contemporary escarps as grottos and niches, as well as zones of spongework porosity, developed where laterally conductive beds of higher initial porosity were crossed by vertical fractures that once conducted rising fluids from a regional flow system.

The Piedmont Range of Crimea was a part of the Plain Crimea artesian basin during the post-Eocene time till the late Pliocene. Uplift and initial erosional entrenchment in the middle through late Pliocene caused the pattern of tectonically and geomorphologically guided zones of upward cross-formational discharge and hypogenic speleogenesis to establish. Further valley entrenchment in the region during Pleistocene shaped up the modern cuesta-like relief and drained the Cretaceous-Paleogene sequence. Hypogenically karstified fractures and caves, which are sub-parallel to valleys, provide zones of structural weakness along which blocks fall at the cuesta escarps exposing relict hypogenic morphologies.

The Piedmont Crimea Range, with its perfect and extensive exposures of the hypogenically karstified sequence, provides outstanding possibilities for studying patterns and morphologies of hypogenic speleogenesis, which is important for understanding its hydrogeological functioning and roles in the reservoir formation, especially in implication to the adjacent Plain Crimea artesian basin.


Isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation and karstic springs of the north-west slope of the Crimean Mountains, 2011, Dublyansky Y. V. , Klimchouk . B. , Amelichev G. N. , Tokarev S. V. , Sptl C.

Atmospheric precipitation was sampled for isotopic analyses according to GNIP protocol at two stations in Crimea,  Ukraine: Simferopol (24 months) and Chatyrdag (15 months). In addition, several karstic springs and one well tapping deep karstic  aquifer were sampled. The δD vs. δ 18 O relationship is only slightly differs from global Meteoric Water Line. Variable degrees of  correlation with the air temperature and the precipitation amount suggest that the isotopic composition of precipitation is affected  by several processes (e.g., air temperature and supply of moisture from different sources). Interestingly, drastically different make-ups of precipitation were observed simultaneously at two stations located only 23 km apart.  Waters in seven karstic springs discharging at Dolgorukovsky massif (2), Chatirdag (1), Baidarsky basin (3), and Mangup-kale  (1) have isotopic compositions that follow local meteoric water line but are lighter than weighted annual mean values for their  respective catchment areas. Isotopic composition of the underground stream in Krasnaya (Red) cave is nearly constant and thus,  decoupled from changes in both the isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation in the recharge area and the flow regime  (flood or base flow). This suggests a strong buffering and homogenizing role of the soil cover and the epikarst zone, as well as  the predominant role of winter recharge on these karst massifs. Still lighter isotopic composition of deep karstic water tapped by  a borehole is tentatively explained by old, pre-Holocene age of this water.


Isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation and karstic springs of the north-west slope of the Crimean Mountains, 2012, Dublyansky Y. V. , Klimchouk . B. , Amelichev G. N. , Tokarev S. V. , Sptl C

 

Atmospheric precipitation was sampled for isotopic analyses according to GNIP protocol at two stations in Crimea,
Ukraine: Simferopol (24 months) and Chatyrdag (15 months). In addition, several karstic springs and one well tapping deep karstic aquifer were sampled. The δD vs. δ18O relationship is only slightly differs from global Meteoric Water Line. Variable degrees of correlation with the air temperature and the precipitation amount suggest that the isotopic composition of precipitation is affected by several processes (e.g., air temperature and supply of moisture from different sources). Interestingly, drastically different makeups of precipitation were observed simultaneously at two stations located only 23 km apart. Waters in seven karstic springs discharging at Dolgorukovsky massif (2), Chatirdag (1), Baidarsky basin (3), and Mangup-kale (1) have isotopic compositions that follow local meteoric water line but are lighter than weighted annual mean values for their respective catchment areas. Isotopic composition of the underground stream in Krasnaya (Red) cave is nearly constant and thus, decoupled from changes in both the isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation in the recharge area and the flow regime (flood or base flow). This suggests a strong buffering and homogenizing role of the soil cover and the epikarst zone, as well as the predominant role of winter recharge on these karst massifs. Still lighter isotopic composition of deep karstic water tapped by a borehole is tentatively explained by old, pre-Holocene age of this water.

Isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation and karstic springs of the north-west slope of the Crimean Mountains, 2012, Dublyansky Y. V. , Klimchouk . B. , Amelichev G. N. , Tokarev S. V. , Spotl, C.

Atmospheric precipitation was sampled for isotopic analyses according to GNIP protocol at two stations in Crimea, Ukraine: Simferopol (24 months) and Chatyrdag (15 months). In addition, several karstic springs and one well tapping deep karstic aquifer were sampled. The δD vs. δ18O relationship is only slightly differs from global Meteoric Water Line. Variable degrees of correlation with the air temperature and the precipitation amount suggest that the isotopic composition of precipitation is affected by several processes (e.g., air temperature and supply of moisture from different sources). Interestingly, drastically different makeups of precipitation were observed simultaneously at two stations located only 23 km apart. Waters in seven karstic springs discharging at Dolgorukovsky massif (2), Chatirdag (1), Baidarsky basin (3), and Mangup-kale (1) have isotopic compositions that follow local meteoric water line but are lighter than weighted annual mean values for their respective catchment areas. Isotopic composition of the underground stream in Krasnaya (Red) cave is nearly constant and thus, decoupled from changes in both the isotopic composition of atmospheric precipitation in the recharge area and the flow regime (flood or base flow). This suggests a strong buffering and homogenizing role of the soil cover and the epikarst zone, as well as the predominant role of winter recharge on these karst massifs. Still lighter isotopic composition of deep karstic water tapped by a borehole is tentatively explained by old, pre-Holocene age of this water


Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave in the Crimea, a huge bone accumulation of Late Pleistocene fauna, 2013, Ridush . , Stefaniak K. , Socha P. , Proskurnyak Y. , Marciszak A. , Vremir M. , Nadachowski A.

The Crimean Mountains are well known from the abundance of Middle and Late Palaeolithic sites and palaeontological remains recovered from cultural layers in caves and rockshelters. The fossil-bearing deposits of Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave, located at the elevation of 1000 m on the Chatyrdag Plateau, yielded a very diverse and numerous vertebrate remains that widen the knowledge of Late Pleistocene faunal diversity in the Crimea. The assemblage comprised in total almost 50 species of vertebrates. Studies included geomorphological, geological and stratigraphic analyses as well AMS 14C dating. Faunal remains were present in ten palaeontological sites. The main bone accumulation (section Ba2) was deposited during Middle Valdai or Vytachiv (MIS 3) interstadial, and including a long time gap, to the end of the Pleistocene and the Holocene. Comparison of the Emine-Bair-Khosar fauna with vertebrate faunas of other Crimean sites showed a remarkable stability in the faunal composition and frequency during the whole MIS 3 interstadial. Steppe and other open-country species dominated in the compared assemblages, while boreal-tundra species were far less numerous. Inhabitants of forests, including red deer and some rodents, were stable members of fossil assemblages.


Isotopically altered wallrock of the hypogene conduits in the Crimean Piedmont, Ukraine, 2013, Klimchouk A. , Dublyansky Y. , Tymokhina E. , Sptl Ch.

The Crimean Piedmont stretches along the tectonic suture separating the fold-and-thrust structure of the Crimean Mountains from the Scythian Plate. It comprises two cuesta-like ridges whose structural slopes are built up of homoclinal limestone beds of the Paleocene- Eocene (the Inner Range), and the Neogene (the Outer Range) ages. Abundant relicts of the hypogene karst have been identified recently in steep cuesta cliffs of the Piedmont. The hypogene cavities formed in confined to semi-confined hydrological conditions due to interaction of the deep-seated waters, ascending along cross-formational fracture conduits, with the strata-bound lateral filtration flow. The ongoing geomorphological dissection of the stratified structure of the Piedmont com-monly follows the pre-formed hypogene conduits, resulting in the development of the pronounced cuesta relief with steep cliffs featuring massive exposure of the hypogene karst conduit paleo-walls with specific morphologies.
Movement of deep-seated fluids through carbonate wallrock may cause isotopic altera-tion of the later. We have studied isotopic composition of C and O along nine cores drilled into the walls of the cliffs decorated with hypogene solutional features, as well as in two hypogene caves. Data from all cores show the presence of a wide isotopic altera-tion halo, whose thickness exceeds the core length (max. 40 cm). In this zone, the rock is slightly depleted in δ18 (ca. 1 -2 ‰) relative to the “pristine”, unchanged values of a given rock unit. In most cores the rock is also depleted in 13 but two cores show high-er 13C values. In addition to this low-gradient alteration, most of the cores also show a narrow (4-50 mm) zone of the high-gradient alteration, across which δ18 and δ13 drop by respectively, 2.0–4.9 ‰ and 0.7–4.5 ‰. At three localities, the walls of the hypogene cavities were coated with phreatic calcite. Isotopic composition of this calcite corresponds to the lowermost values of the altered rock. In one core, the rock in the high-gradient alteration zone is depleted in 18 but enriched in 13. In yet another core the rock is enriched in both 18 and 13. The results corroborate the hypogenic origin of conduits and suggest that the wallrock was exposed to, and interacted with, geo-chemically different waters after the main volume of cavities had been created by disso-lution.


Karstification as a Predisposing Factor of Seismically Triggered Landslides: Case Study from the Crimean Mountains (Ukraine): Introduction to the Problem, 2013, Hradeck J. , Pnek T. , ilhn K. , Smolkov V.

Deep-seated gravitational deformations are significant denudational agents of rock slopes at the margins of karstified plateaus of the Crimean Mountains (CM). The CM evolved during Mesozoic–Cenozoic times as a response to the deformation between the Black Sea domain and East-European platform. The southwestern part of the area is characterized by steep, up to 1000-m-high coastal escarpments consisting of Late Jurassic limestones overlying tuff layers and weak Late Triassic flysch with sporadic small intrusions of Middle Jurassic diorites, gabbros and granites. Steep rock slopes contrast with elevated, highly karstified plateaus situated approximately 500–1300 m a.s.l. The aim of this article is to show long-term evolution of a giant rock slope failure close to the Black Sea coast in the southwestern tip of the CM near Foros Town. The failure evolved in highly anisotropic limestones overlying plastic flysch layers where the main head scarp follows a strike-slip fault. The Foros slope failure is an excellent demonstration of the significance of a preparatory stage in the evolution of large deep-seated slope deformations. Inherited and undisturbed horizontal slickensides on the sub-vertical, inactive fault surface serve as good evidence of significant extensional movement of the surface blocks away from the main headscarp. The studied deformation shows that in a relatively small area tensional (cutting) surfaces can be formed by a great variety of rock discontinuities such as the strike-slip fault, joints and steeply inclined bedding planes. The presence of well-developed, nowadays weathered, speleothems furthermore points to significant karstification that provided additional widening of spaces within rock mass. Gravitational movement destroyed and unroofed several cave systems originally presented at the former edge of a karst plateau. Our findings reveal that large rock slope failures can be added to the factors contributing to the evolution of unroofed caves. Although triggering factors of the activation of individual parts of slope deformations can be determined only hypothetically, lessons learned from widespread landslide activity during and after the 1927 Yalta earthquake and rainfall-driven landslides in the vicinity of Feodosia Town make us consider both seismic loading of slopes and high pore-pressures during heavy winter rainfalls or rapid spring snowmelt to be significant factors. Beside seismic activity, intensive Late Holocene slope processes can be attributed to intensive human activity.

 


The hypogene karst of the Crimean Piedmont and its geomorphological role (in Russian), 2013, Klimchouk A. B. Tymokhina E. I. Amelichev G. N. Dublyansky Y. V. Spö, Tl C.
The book offers a fundamental new interpretation of the origin of karst in the Crimean Piedmont and explains the role karstification played in the geomorphogenesis of the region. The hypogene origin of karst cavities, their leading role in dismembering the Crimean Piedmont’s homocline and the formation of the characteristic cuesta and rock-remnant relief of the area is demonstrated on the basis of a systematic and comprehensive study, which included modern isotopic and geochemical methods.
The hypogene karst in the area developed in conditions of the confined to semi-confined groundwater flow systems, via interaction between the ascending flow of the deep-seated fracture-karst (conduit) water and the strata-bound, predominantly porous aquifers of the layered formations in the homoclinal northern mega-slope of the Crimean Mountains. The major pre-requisites for hypogene karst development is a position of the area at the flank of the Prichernomorsky artesian basin, and in a geodynamically active suture zone, which separates the fold-thrust structure of the Crimea Mountains and the Scythian plate. Opening of the stratified structure of the Piedmont follows the near-vertical cross-formational fracture-karst channels, resulting in the development of the pronounced cuesta relief with steep cliffs, which feature massive exposure of channels with karst-affected morphology.
Hypogene karstification results in characteristic morphologies, including caves, cliff niches and open chambers, variously sculptured and honeycomb-cellular surfaces of limestone cliffs, wide and shallow couloirs near the rims of cuestas, and rock remnants-“sphinxes”. The carbonate bedrock in the walls of the hypogene cavities revealed isotopic alteration (both O and C) caused by the action of hypogene fluids. The time of formation of cuestas in the Inner Range of the Crimean Mountains, determined on the basis of the U-Th disequilibrium dating of speleothems, turned out to be younger than thought previously. The active development of hypogene karst in the geologically recent past was the main factor responsible for today’s geomorphologic peculiarity of the Crimean Piedmont.
The book will be of interest for karstologists, hydrogeologists, geomorphologists, geologists, and environmental scientists studying karst regions, ore geology and carbonate reservoirs of hydrocarbons. It will also be useful for students of the respective disciplines, and for all those interested in the nature of the Crimean Piedmont.

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