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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 stress, applied is the downward stress imposed at an aquifer boundary. it differs from effective stress in that it defines only the external stress tending to compact a deposit rather than the grain-to-grain stress at any depth within a compacting deposit [21].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for deep caves (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
The Origin and Development of Mullamullang Cave N37, Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia, 1970, Hunt, G. S.

Mullamullang Cave N37 is the longest and most complex cave on the Nullarbor Plain, Southern Australia. Unlike the other caves, it possesses extensive levels of phreatic solution tube passages which permit stronger inferences to be made on the development of the collapse passages constituting the bulk of Mullamullang Cave and other deep Nullarbor caves. These passages have been formed by collapse through overlying belts of solution tube networks along an elongated zone of cavitation in the limestone. Massive breakdown was probably initiated at depth within the zone, at least 50 feet below the present watertable level. Upward stoping of the collapse would have been facilitated by the higher network levels in the zone, such as the Ezam and Easter Extension. Channelling of groundwater flow under the Plain is suggested by the belt-like nature of the networks. An epiphreatic origin is proposed for the network levels though convincing morphological evidence is wanting. Eustatic changes in sea level have been of fundamental importance in the development of the multiple levels. Wetter periods in the past were probably important as little development is taking place under present-day dry conditions. Correlation of wetter periods with Pleistocene glacials would help explain the development of huge collapse passages, but such correlatien cannot be assumed on present evidence. Massive collapse and doline formation were followed by subaerial weathering and vadose activity which modified the cave - especially near the entrance. Correlation of levels in Mullamullang with those in other Nullarbor deep caves is attempted. However, Mullamullang Cave is unique probably due to the lithology of the Abrakurrie Limestone in which it is developed.


Les progrs de l'exploration splologique, 1983, Chabert C. , Courbon P.
The progress of caving exploration - The authors give a brief account on caving development during the last decades. Paying attention to the deep caves throughout the world ranging over 500m, one can see they were 57 in 1972, 95 in 1976, 110 in 1978 and more than 160 at the end of 1981. Several reasons explain this exceptional increasing of discoveries: easier logistics, longer free time, technical progress, that allows caverns, unwillingly for some of them, to stand on the scientific side because passages they discover, obstacles they overcome, mean more data to be considered and questions to be solved by speleologists.

Atlas of the Great Caves of the World, 1989, Courbon P. , Chabert C. , Bosted P. , Lindsley K

Radon Hazards, Geology, and Exposure of Cave Users: A Case Study and Some Theoretical, 2000, Gillmore Gavin K. , Sperrin Malcom, Phillips Paul, Denman Antony
The concerns over the risks to human health from radon in underground caves are poorly documented, unlike in workplace or domestic environments where exposures are relatively well known. In U.K. caves, radon has been identified as occurring at elevated levels; but with the exception of major show caves, its impact and risk to the many groups who use the caves have thus far received inadequate attention. This paper presents a survey performed in a relatively ?low-risk? geographical area of the United Kingdom and quantifies the risk of exposure in this cave environment. Radon levels up to 12,552 Bq m−3 were measured: Such concentrations are very high but are likely to underestimate the levels in many other parts of the cave system, for reasons associated with cave architecture and meteorology. This study confirms previous workers' conclusions that long-term users of deep caves, as opposed to rock shelters, are at risk. Annual doses to certain groups of cave users have been calculated to be as high as 120 mSv, a very high value. The study also demonstrates that there is variation both within and between caves as a result of subtleties of the bedrock geology, fault patterns, and weathering. This paper sets out a theoretical model.

Un nouveau ''-1000'' dans un karst englace: le gouffre Feichtner (Kitzsteinhorn, Salzburg, Autriche). Genese de la plus profonde cavite karstique du monde en roche non calcaire., 2001, Audra Ph.
The Kitzsteinhorn (3208 m) in the Central Alps of Salzburg, Austria, is a partly glaciated karst area with two deep caves recently surveyed. Both the "Zeferethohle" (-560 m) as well as the "Feichtner-Schachthohle" (-1024 m) are developing in mica-bearing calcschists. Observations on the genesis, hydrology, sedimentology and the cave climate are discussed.

Feichtner cave (Kitzsteinhorn, Salzburg, Austria), A deep cave system developing into calcareous schists in a glacial environment, 2001, Audra, Philippe

The Kitzsteinhorn (3208 m) in the Central Alps of Salzburg, Austria, is a partly glaciated karst area with two deep caves recently surveyed. Both the "Zeferethöhle" (-560 m) as well as the "Feichtner-Schachthöhle" (-1024 m) are developing in micaceous calcareous schists. Observations on the genesis, hydrology, sedimentology and the cave climate are discussed.


Alpine Hhlenforschung im Nationalpark Gesuse, Steiermark., 2004, Herrmann, E.
Since 2002, members of the Landesverein fr Hhlenkunde in Wien und Niedersterreich pushed ahead systematic cave exploration in the former speleologically neglected chain of Hochtor (2370 m), a very rugged part of the Ennstaler Alpen, Styria. Until now 2200 m of cave galleries in up to 451 m long and 193 m deep caves were surveyed, and altogether 74 caves were registered in the Austrian Cave Inventory. Open ends, bedded limestone of the Dachstein formation and relief energy of more than 1700 m give hope on further success. The documented cave morphology and speleothems offer starting points for scientific research such as (paleo)climatology and morphogenetic interpretation. The extremely difficult terrain on the surface demands alpinistic competence and adapted technology in equipment and exploration. [Tellersackcanyon (1712/56), Seekarschacht III (1712/33), Wildschtzenhhle (1712/71), Nordverschneidungshhle I (1712/60a-e), Kleiner-dstein-Canyon (1712/19), Grazerwegschacht (1712/74), Weie Grotte (1712/18a-c), Schneeschacht (1712/4), Prusikhhle (1712/20)]

Temperature distribution in karst systems: the role of air and water fluxes, 2004, Luetscher M. , Jeannin P. Y.

A better understanding of heat fluxes and temperature distribution in continental rocks is of great importance for many engineering aspects (tunnelling, mining, geothermal research,…). This paper aims at providing a conceptual model of temperature distribution in karst environments which display thermal “anomalies” when compared to other rocks.
In temperate regions, water circulations are usually high enough to completely “drain out” the geothermal heat flux at the bottom of karst systems (phreatic zone). A theoretical approach based on temperature measurements carried out in deep caves and boreholes demonstrates however that air circulations can largely dominate water infiltrations in the karst vadose zone, which can be as thick as 2000 m. Consequently, temperature gradients within this zone are similar to the lapse rate of humid air (~0.5°C/100 m). Yet, this value depends on the regional climatic context and might present some significant variations.


Alpine Hhlenforschung im Nationalpark Gesuse, Steiermark, 2004, Herrmann, E.
Since 2002, members of the Landesverein fr Hhlenkunde in Wien und Niedersterreich pushed ahead systematic cave exploration in the former speleologically neglected chain of Hochtor (2370 m), a very rugged part of the Ennstaler Alpen, Styria. Until now 2200 m of cave galleries in up to 451 m long and 193 m deep caves were surveyed, and altogether 74 caves were registered in the Austrian Cave Inventory. Open ends, bedded limestone of the Dachstein formation and relief energy of more than 1700 m give hope on further success. The documented cave morphology and speleothems offer starting points for scientific research such as (paleo)climatology and morphogenetic interpretation. The extremely difficult terrain on the surface demands alpinistic competence and adapted technology in equipment and exploration.

Climate influence on geochemistry parameters of waters from Santana?Pérolas cave system, Brazil, 2007, Karmann Ivo, Cruz Francisco W. Jr. , Viana Oduvaldo Jr. , Burnsb Stephen J.
A four-year study of water geochemistry and hydrology was performed in a relatively deep cave system (overlying bedrock thickness varies from 100 to 300 m) as part of two monitoring programs, from June 1990 to February 1992 and from March 2000 to March 2002. The pH, saturation index for calcite, Ca and SO4 concentrations, and elemental ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca were measured in surface, well and drip waters throughout the system. Despite local hydrological and geological differences among sampling sites, the monitoring revealed significant synchronous intersite variations in these parameters that are related to seasonal changes in rainfall recharge, suggesting that element ratios of speleothems formed in deep caves are capable of recording short-term climate variations. Groundwater residence time appears to be the main factor affecting the water composition in the epikarst. Epikarstic waters are always undersaturated with respect to calcite but both saturation index (S.I.) and dissolved solids content increase substantially during drier periods because of longer residence times and longer interaction between meteoric water and limestone. By contrast, results from cave drips and rimstone pools indicate constant supersaturation for calcite and demonstrate that a major control on trace element ratios of waters in the deep vadose zone is the degree of prior calcite precipitation. This mechanism is more effective during drier periods when higher Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca values are observed in all drip and pool sites. However, variations do occur independently of the general trend of drip discharge, which suggest non-linear features in cave seepage water geochemistry. In addition, synchronous variations in SO4 and Cl concentration indicate high connectivity between different water flow pathways characterized by similar response to interseasonal changes in vadose water level. Fluctuations in trace element ratios of cave streams appear to reflect increased contribution of waters flushed from the vadose fissure aquifer during very wet periods by a piston flow mechanism. Flushing episodes are also responsible for maintaining more positive saturation indices in streams even during periods of high river discharge. Our results suggest that trace elements are a potential proxy for past rainfall changes but they also reveal different scenarios for interpreting trace elements ratios of speleothems and freshwater tufa deposited in a deep cave systems located in tropical humid areas.

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

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


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

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


Glacier Caves, 2012, Gulley Jason D. , Fountain Andrew G.

The processes of cave formation in glaciers are analogous to cave formation in limestone and form from the preferential enlargement of high permeability pathways that connect discrete recharge and discharge points. Cave enlargement in glaciers is driven by small amounts of heat produced by friction as water flows through these high permeability pathways. Because rates of ice melting are many orders of magnitude faster than rates of the dissolution of limestone, glacier caves can grow to humanly traversable diameters within time scales of days to weeks whereas limestone caves of equivalent dimensions require 105–106 years. Because glacier ice is deformable, ice caves are squeezed shut at rates that increase with ice thickness, with deep caves squeezing closed in a matter of days. Glacier cave formation is therefore a dynamic process reflecting competition between enlargement and creep closure. While some glacier caves are reused and continue to evolve from year to year, many glacier caves must form each melt season. The processes of cave formation in glaciers exert important control on subglacial water pressure and affect how fast glaciers flow from higher, colder elevations, to lower warmer elevations. Ice flow directly into the ocean and glacial melt generally are important contributions to sea-level rise. Glacier caves are common in all glaciers that experience significant surface melting.


Dinaric Karst: Geography and Geology, 2012, Zupan Hajna, Nadja

The Dinaric karst is geographically and geologically the carbonate part of the Dinaric Mountains on the Balkan Peninsula between the Adriatic Sea and the Pannonian Basin. The Dinaric karst is a “classical” karst for many reasons: the term karst (kras) was derived from its northwest part (Kras plateau); from the region originate such international terms as polje, uvala, doline, kamenitza, and ponor; and it is also the landscape where karstology and speleology as sciences were born. The most characteristic relief forms are high karst plateaus and numerous poljes elongated in a northwest–southeast direction (“Dinaric” direction), leveled surfaces, dolines, large and deep caves, sinking rivers, and abundant springs. According to different geological, hydrological, climate, and geomorphic characteristics, the Dinaric karst can be divided into three belts parallel to the Adriatic Sea: low coastal Adriatic karst, high mountain karst, and low continental inland karst. The Dinaric karst is known also as a limestone desert, a bare rocky landscape that results from climate conditions and especially because of intense land use in past centuries.


Development of a deep karst system within a transpressional structure of the Dolomites in north-east Italy, 2013, Sauro Francesco, Zampieri Dario, Filipponi Marco

The Piani Eterni karst system is one of the longest and deepest caves of Italy situated in the southern sector of the Dolomiti mountain range. The area where the cave was formed displays peculiar structural settings confined in a tectonic transpressive corridor between two regional thrusts (Belluno and Valsugana). During Miocene uplift of the range the inheritance of Mesozoic structures led to the formation of a deep and wide upward-branching flower (or palm tree) structure cutting the carbonate sequence and exposing the surrounding surface to karst processes after erosion. The relative lowering of the hydrologic base level, due both to the uplift of the area and then to the carving of deep glacial valleys in the Quaternary, allowed the formation of paleo-phreatic conduits at subsequently deeper levels, interconnected by vadose shafts and canyons.

This work gives a detailed tectonic interpretation of the transpressive structure and picks out the tectonic features most favorable to the karst development. A detailed statistical analysis of the distribution and orientation of the karst conduits was performed using 31 km of 3D surveys showing that the development of the cave was strictly guided by a few favorable surfaces of stratigraphic and tectonic origin. These features are known in the literature as inception horizons and tectonic inception features, respectively. Cave levels are usually related to lithologic favorable conditions associated with standings of the paleo-water table. Here we suggest that some tectonic surface geometries could have led to the opening of voids in the active tectonic phase leading to the formation of the original proto-conduit network. Different types of tectonic inception features identified in the cave were described in terms of geometry and kinematics. Tensional fractures, as well as fault plane undulations and flexural slip surfaces between beds, are described as the most favorable tectonic surfaces for the development of the conduits. Finally, we discuss why transpressional settings and related flower structures in soluble rocks can enhance the karst process allowing the formation of huge and deep karst systems.


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