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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 open traverse is a traverse which does not close onto a survey point of known coordinates and orientation or onto itself [25].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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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 dead-sea (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
Rock salt is approximately 1000 times more soluble than limestone and thus displays high rates of geomorphic evolution. Cave stream channel profiles and downcutting rates were studied in the Mount Sedom salt diapir, Dead Sea rift valley, Israel. Although the area is very arid (mean annual rainfall approximate to 50 mm), the diapir contains extensive karst systems of Holocene age. In the standard cave profile a vertical shaft at the upstream end diverts water from a surface channel in anhydrite or elastic cap rocks into the subsurface route in the salt. Mass balance calculations in a sample cave passage yielded downcutting rates of 0.2 mm s(-1) during peak flood conditions, or about eight orders of magnitude higher than reported rates in any limestone cave streams. However, in the arid climate of Mount Sedom floods have a low recurrence interval with the consequence that long-term mean downcutting rates are lower: an average rate of 8.8 mm a(-1) was measured for the period 1986-1991 in the same sample passage. Quite independently, long-term mean rates of 6.2 mm a(-1) are deduced from C-14 ages of driftwood found in upper levels of 12 cave passages. These are at least three orders of magnitude higher than rates established for limestone caves. Salt cave passages develop in two main stages: (1) an early stage characterized by high downcutting rates into the rock salt bed, and steep passage gradients; (2) a mature stage characterized by lower downcutting rates, with establishment of a subhorizontal stream bed armoured with alluvial detritus. In this mature stage downcutting rates are controlled by the uplift rate of the Mount Sedom diapir and changes of the level of the Dead Sea. Passages may also aggrade. These fast-developing salt stream channels may serve as full-scale models for slower developing systems such as limestone canyons

Evaporites, brines and base metals: What is an evaporite? Defining the rock matrix, 1996, Warren J. K. ,
This paper, the first of three reviews on the evaporite-base-metal association, defines the characteristic features of evaporites in surface and subsurface settings. An evaporite is a rock that was originally precipitated from a saturated surface or near-surface brine in hydrological systems driven by solar evaporation. Evaporite minerals, especially the sulfates such as anhydrite and gypsum, are commonly found near base-metal deposits. Primary evaporites are defined as those salts formed directly via solar evaporation of hypersaline waters at the earth's surface. They include beds of evaporitic carbonates (laminites, pisolites, tepees, stromatolites and other organic rich sediment), bottom nucleated salts (e.g. chevron halite and swallow-tail gypsum crusts), and mechanically reworked salts (such as rafts, cumulates, cross-bedded gypsarenites, turbidites, gypsolites and halolites). Secondary evaporites encompass the diagenetically altered evaporite salts, such as sabkha anhydrites, syndepositional halite and gypsum karst, anhydritic gypsum ghosts, and more enigmatic burial associations such as mosaic halite and limpid dolomite, and nodular anhydrite formed during deep burial. The latter group, the burial salts, were precipitated under the higher temperatures of burial and form subsurface cements and replacements often in a non-evaporite matrix. Typically they formed from subsurface brines derived by dissolution of an adjacent evaporitic bed. Because of their proximity to 'true' evaporite beds, most authors consider them a form of 'true' evaporite. Under the classification of this paper they are a burial form of secondary evaporites. Tertiary evaporites form in the subsurface from saturated brines created by partial bed dissolution during re-entry into the zone of active phreatic circulation. The process is often driven by basin uplift and erosion. They include fibrous halite and gypsum often in shale hosts, as well as alabastrine gypsum and porphyroblastic gypsum crystals in an anhydritic host. In addition to these 'true' evaporites, there is another group of salts composed of CaSO4 or halite. These are the hydrothermal salts. Hydrothermal salts, especially hydrothermal anhydrite, form by the subsurface cooling or mixing of CaSO4- saturated hydrothermal waters or by the ejection of hot hydrothermal water into a standing body of seawater or brine. Hydrothermal salts are poorly studied but often intimately intermixed with sulfides in areas of base-metal accumulations such as the Kuroko ores in Japan or the exhalative brine deeps in the Red Sea. In ancient sediments and metasediments, especially in hydrothermally influenced active rifts and compressional belts, the distinction of this group of salts from 'true' evaporites is difficult and at times impossible. After a discussion of hydrologies and 'the evaporite that was' in the second review, modes and associations of the hydrothermal salts will be discussed more fully in the third review

Uplift rate relative to base-levels of a salt diapir (Dead Sea Basin, Israel) as indicated by cave levels, 1996, Frumkin A,
Rapid downcutting rates in the extremely soluble salt of the Sedom diapir, Dead Sea basin, Israel, allow cave channels to become rapidly graded with respect to base level. Diapir uplift leaves the older passages high and dry above present base level. Dating these passages by 14C allows us to estimate diapir uplift rates, taking into account previous Dead Sea levels. Maximum mean Holocene uplift rates are 6-7 mm a-1 along the eastern fault of Mount Sedom

Geomorphology of the eastern coast of the Dead Sea, Jordan, 1997, Salameh Hassan Ramadan,

Landscape evolution and the preservation of tectonic landforms along the northern Yammouneh Fault, Lebanon, 1999, Butler Rwh, Spencer S,
The Yammouneh Fault is commonly considered to be the principal active strand of the Dead Sea Transform in Lebanon -- an inference reached primarily from interpretations of the geomorphological expression of the fault on satellite images. However, new geological field observations show the Yammouneh Fault to be sealed stratigraphically by the Homs Basalt, dated using new K-Ar ages at 5.2-6.5 Ma. Drainage systems which link to the pre-Homs Basalt palaeosurface show evidence of fault disruption. Those valleys incised into the basalt show no evidence for transcurrent offsets. The inferred left-lateral displacement of c. 45 km on the Dead Sea Transform that post-dates the Homs Basalt is presumed to have bypassed to the west of Mount Lebanon. These linked geological and geomorphological studies indicate that landscape evolution can be exceptionally slow in northern Lebanon. Faceted spurs, poljes and offset drainage along the Yammouneh Fault across Mount Lebanon, evident on satellite images, are interpreted as being of Miocene age and are not indicative of Plio-Quaternary displacements on the fault. Much of the Lebanese tectonic landscape has thus remained stable for many millions of years, although locally incised during large-scale uplift of the Mount Lebanon range. Presumably landscape insensitivity reflects the arid climatic conditions together with inhibited run-off due to the regional karst system

A Holocene millennial-scale climatic cycle from a speleothem in Nahal Qanah Cave, Israel, 1999, Frumkin A, Carmi I, Gopher A, Ford Dc, Schwarcz Hp, Tsuk T,
Nahal Qanah Cave, located in the east Mediterranean region, has been inhabited by humans during several periods of the Holocene. These well-dated cultures are used here to establish the age of a speleothem growing over archaeological remains. d18O and d13C from a stalagmite through the last 6000 years display a 1000-2000-year cycle. Depleted d18O and d13C value correlate well with high Dead Sea levels and increased arboreal pollen, suggesting common climatic control affecting the entire region

Collapse and subsidence associated with salt karstification along the dead sea, 2001, Frumkin A, Raz E,
Two types of sinkholes are observed along the Dead Seashore, Israel. The first is associated with vadose dissolution in Mount Sedom salt diapir. The second is associated with dissolution under the watertable along the retreating Dead Sea shore. The Dead Sea level is falling dramatically, mainly because of human activity. Simultaneously, the take shores suffer tremendous impact since the late 1980s: The ground is collapsing and subsiding in hundreds of points along the take, with people, roads and property being swallowed in the more catastrophic events. The collapse is believed to result from dissolution of salt by aggressive groundwater, following the retreat of Dead Sea level and the groundwater halocline. Geological evidence suggests that a previous major lake level fall occurred naturallysimilar to2000 BCE. This may provide a new explanation for a curious historical-geological phrase in the book of Genesis, suggested to record formation of collapse sinkholes which occurred in response to the historic falling take level, associated with climatic desiccation

Cave detection and 4-D monitoring: A microgravity case history near the Dead Sea, 2001, Rybakov M. , Goldshmidt V. , Fleischer L. , Rotstein Y. ,

Dating large infrequent earthquakes by damaged cave deposits, 2005, Kagan Elisa J. , Agnon Amotz, Barmatthews Miryam, Ayalon Avner,
The long-term recurrence patterns of past earthquakes are of considerable consequence for hazard assessments, and have implications for earthquake physics. We introduce a rigorously dated record of earthquakes from an extensive number of well-preserved preseismic and postseismic precipitates from caves located off the Dead Sea transform. We dated events directly at the paleoseismic contact by means of a novel correlation method with the oxygen isotope record of the speleothems recovered in one of the caves. Within the 185 k.y. covered, we dated 38 seismite samples. These stem from 13-18 earthquakes with a mean recurrence interval of [~]10-14 k.y. We show that the deformational events dated in the study caves complement independent near-fault paleoseismic records by temporal correlation with the earthquakes recorded therein. This opens up a significant new avenue of earthquake research that will provide precise dating and observational constraints on large infrequent earthquakes

Sinkhole 'swarms' along the Dead Sea coast: Reflection of disturbance of lake and adjacent groundwater systems, 2006, Yechieli Yoseph, Abelson Meir, Bein Amos, Crouvi Onn, Shtivelman Vladimir,
More than a thousand sinkholes have developed along the western coast of the Dead Sea since the early 1980s, more than 75% of them since 1997, all occurring within a narrow strip 60 km long and <1 km wide. This highly dynamic sinkhole development has accelerated in recent years to a rate of [~]150-200 sinkholes per year. The sinkholes cluster mostly over specific sites up to 1000 m long and 200 m wide, which spread parallel to the general direction of the fault system associated with the Dead Sea Transform. Research employing borehole and geophysical tools reveals that the sinkhole formation results from the dissolution of an [~]10,000-yr-old salt layer buried at a depth of 20-70 m below the surface. The salt dissolution by groundwater is evidenced by direct observations in test boreholes; these observations include large cavities within the salt layer and groundwater within the confined subaquifer beneath the salt layer that is undersaturated with respect to halite. Moreover, the groundwater brine within the salt layer exhibits geochemical evidence for actual salt dissolution (Na/Cl = 0.5-0.6 compared to Na/Cl = 0.25 in the Dead Sea brine). The groundwater heads below the salt layer have the potential for upward cross-layer flow, and the water is actually invading the salt layer, apparently along cracks and active faults. The abrupt appearance of the sinkholes, and their accelerated expansion thereafter, reflects a change in the groundwater regime around the shrinking lake and the extreme solubility of halite in water. The eastward retreat of the shoreline and the declining sea level cause an eastward migration of the fresh-saline water interface. As a result the salt layer, which originally was saturated with Dead Sea water over its entire spread, is gradually being invaded by fresh groundwater at its western boundary, which mixes and displaces the original Dead Sea brine. Accordingly, the location of the western boundary of the salt layer, which dates back to the shrinkage of the former Lake Lisan and its transition to the current Dead Sea, constrains the sinkhole distribution to a narrow strip along the Dead Sea coast. The entire phenomenon can be described as a hydrological chain reaction; it starts by intensive extraction of fresh water upstream of the Dead Sea, continues with the eastward retreat of the lake shoreline, which in turn modifies the groundwater regime, finally triggering the formation of sinkholes

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