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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. ...

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That claustrophobia is an irrational fear of being in a closed space [25].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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 fire (Keyword) returned 20 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 20
The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

The Land of the Burnt Out Fires: Lava Beds National Monument, California, 1959, Knox, Raymond G.

Les palokarsts des Alpes occidentales du Trias l'Eocne, 1984, Guendon, J. L.
WESTERN ALPS PALEOKARSTS FROM TRIASSIC TO EOCENE - In western Alps, before complete emersion during the Oligocene and Miocene, the marine sedimentation has been locally interrupted by three important continental phases: 1/ during Early Jurassic, in "brianonnais" domain; 2/during middle Cretaceous, in Provence area; 3/ during early Tertiary, in subalpine range and Jura. These locally and temporary regression are the consequence of tectonic activities in relation to the movements of eurasiatic and italo-african plates, which are at the edge of the alpine oceanic basin (Tethys). After an abstract on the tectonic and sedimentological history of western Alps, a description is given of continental formations (bauxites, fire-clay, clay with flints, siderolitic formations, white and ochrous sands, siliceous and ferruginous crusts) and karst phenomena elaborated during these regressions.

The Effects of Fire on Soluble Rock Landscapes, 1994, Holland, Ernst

The spalling of limestone as a result of fire is discussed. Numerous observations throughout Australian karsts show that the effects of fire on limestone vary with its type, the intensity of the fire and the nature of the limestone weathering. An associated laboratory study of the effects of heat on limestone is also discussed.


Hydrological response of small watersheds following the Southern California Painted Cave Fire of June 1990, 1997, Keller E. A. , Valentine D. W. , Gibbs D. R. ,
Following the Painted Cave Fire of 25 June 1990 in Santa Barbara, California which burned 1214 ha, an emergency watershed protection plan was implemented consisting of stream clearing, grade stabilizers and construction of debris basins. Research was initiated focusing on hydrological response and channel morphology changes on two branches of Maria Ygnacio Creek, the main drainage of the burned area. Research results support the hypothesis that the response of small drainage basins in chaparral ecosystems to wildfire is complex and flushing of sediment by fluvial processes is more likely than by high magnitude debris flows. During the winter of 1990-1991, 35-66 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 10 cm per hour for a five-minute period were recorded with a seasonal total of 100% of average (normal) rainfall (average = 63 cm/year). During the winter of 1991-1992, 48-74 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 8 cm per hour were recorded with a seasonal total of 115% of normal. Even though there was moderate rainfall on barren, saturated soils, no major debris flows occurred in burned areas. The winter of 1992-1993 recorded total precipitation of about 170% of normal, annual average intensities were relatively low and again no debris flows were observed. The response to winter storms in the first three years following the fire was a moderate but spectacular flushing of sediment, most of which was derived from the hillslopes upstream of the debris basins. The first significant storm and stream flow of the 1990-1991 winter was transport-limited resulting in large volumes of sediment being deposited in the channel of Maria Ygnacio Creek; the second storm and stream flow was sediment-limited and the channel scoured. Debris basins trapped about 23 000 m(3), the majority coming from the storm of 17-20 March 1991. Sediment transported downstream during the three winters following the fire and not trapped in the debris basins was eventually flushed to the estuarine reaches of the creeks below the burn area, where approximately 108 000 m(3) accumulated. Changes in stream morphology following the fire were dramatic as pools filled with sediment which greatly smoothed longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles. Major changes in channel morphology occur following a fire as sediment derived from the hillslope is temporarily stored in channels within the burned area. However, this sediment may quickly move downstream of the burned region, where it may accumulate reducing channel capacity and increasing the flood hazard. Ecological consequences of wildfire to the riparian zone of streams in the chaparral environment are virtually unknown, but must be significant as the majority of sediment (particularly gravel necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms) entering the system does so in response to fires. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Mapping Chicxulub crater structure with gravity and seismic reflection data, 1998, Hildebrand A. R. , Pilkington M. , Ortizaleman C. , Chavez R. E. , Urrutiafucugauchi J. , Connors M. , Granielcastro E. , Camarazi A. , Halpenny J. F. , Niehaus D. ,
Aside from its significance in establishing the impact-mass extinction paradigm, the Chicxulub crater will probably come to exemplify the structure of large complex craters. Much of Chicxulub's structure may be mapped' by tying its gravity expression to seismic-reflection profiles revealing an [~]180 km diameter for the now-buried crater. The distribution of karst topography aids in outlining the peripheral crater structure as also revealed by the horizontal gradient of the gravity anomaly. The fracturing inferred to control groundwater flow is apparently related to subsidence of the crater fill. Modelling the crater's gravity expression based on a schematic structural model reveals that the crater fill is also responsible for the majority of the negative anomaly. The crater's melt sheet and central structural uplift are the other significant contributors to its gravity expression. The Chicxulub impact released [~]1.2 x 1031 ergs based on the observed collapsed disruption cavity of [~]86 km diameter reconstructed to an apparent disruption cavity (Dad) of [~]94 km diameter (equivalent to the excavation cavity) and an apparent transient cavity (Dat) of [~]80 km diameter. This impact energy, together with the observed [~]2 x 1011 g global Ir fluence in the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) fireball layer indicates that the impactor was a comet estimated as massing [~]1.8 x 1018 g of [~]16.5 km diameter assuming a 0.6 gcm-3 density. Dust-induced darkness and cold, wind, giant waves, thermal pulses from the impact fireball and re-entering ejecta, acid rain, ozone-layer depletion, cooling from stratospheric aerosols, H2O greenhouse, CO2 greenhouse, poisons and mutagens, and oscillatory climate have been proposed as deleterious environmental effects of the Chicxulub impact with durations ranging from a few minutes to a million years. This succession of effects defines a temperature curve that is characteristic of large impacts. Although some patterns may be recognized in the K-T extinctions, and the survivorship rules changed across the boundary, relating specific environmental effects to species' extinctions is not yet possible. Geochemical records across the boundary support the occurrence a prompt thermal pulse, acid rain and a [~]5000 year-long greenhouse. The period of extinctions seems to extend into the earliest Tertiary

Uncalculated impacts of unsustainable aquifer yield including evidence of subsurface interbasin flow, 2000, Bacchus St,
Unsustainable withdrawals from regional aquifers have resulted in adverse impacts considerable distances from the point locations of supply wells. In one area of the southeastern (SE) Coastal Plain, conservative estimates for repair/replacement of some residential wells damaged or destroyed by unsustainable yield from the Floridan aquifer system exceeded $4 million. However, a comprehensive assessment of damage/economic loss to private property and public resources due to unsustainable yield from that regional karat aquifer has not been made. Uncalculated direct costs to home-owners from damage attributed to those withdrawals are associated with destruction of homes from increased sinkhole formation, devalued waterfront property, and removal of diseased and dead trees. Examples of other uncalculated economic burdens resulting from unsustainable aquifer yield in the SE Coastal Plain include: (1) irreversible damage to the aquifer matrix and concomitant increased potential for groundwater contamination, (2) large-scale wildfires with subsequent degradation of air quality, debilitation of transportation corridors, and destruction of timber, wildlife habitat and property, and (3) destruction of 'protected' natural areas. This paper provides a general background of the regional Floridan aquifer system's karst characteristics, examples of known impacts resulting from ground water mining in the SE Coastal Plain, and examples of additional damage that may be related to unsustainable yield from the Upper Floridan aquifer. Costs of these impacts have not been calculated and are not reflected in the price users pay for ground water. Evidence suggests that the classic watershed management approach must be revised in areas with mined regional karst aquifers to include impacts of induced recharge from the surficial aquifer, and subsurface interbasin flow. Likewise, associated impacts to surface water and interrelated systems must be calculated The true cost of groundwater mining to this and future generations should be determined using a multidisciplinary approach

A mineralogical and phytolith study of the middle stone age hearths in Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2004, Schiegl S. , Stockhammer P. , Scott C. , Wadley L. ,
Sediments from Middle Stone Age hearths and burnt deposits in Sibudu Cave (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) were analysed for their mineral and phytolith contents. The mineral compositions were determined by FT-IR spectroscopy. The phytoliths were classified and counted by transmitted polarized light microscopy. Burning experiments using wood and grasses from species native to the cave's environment yielded the reference ashes. The visible hearths and ash dumps contain phytolith assemblages characteristic of wood fuel. A significant portion of the phytoliths of hearths and ash layers display morphologies related to intense heating. This finding is suggestive of long-burning wood fires and/or reuse of the same fireplace. The heat-altered phytoliths are useful in tracing fires, especially if hearth structures are not preserved and ash deposits have been diagenetically and heavily altered. The phytolith contents and mineralogical composition of the ash deposits and the surrounding sedimentary matrix are very similar. This feature suggests that the sedimentary matrix originally contained fireplaces and ash deposits, whose structures were destroyed shortly after deposition, presumably by trampling.(21) The intact circular hearths are most likely the product of intense fires. Similar results from hearths and their surrounding matrix have been reported from Middle Palaeolithic cave sites in Israel

Ghar Al Hibashi lava tube: the richest site in Saudi Arabia for cave minerals, 2004, Forti Paolo, Galli Ermanno, Rossi Antonio, Pint John, Pint Susana

Several large lava tubes have been explored and mapped in different lava fields around the Saudi Arabia. One of the largest is Ghar Al Hibashi, located in the Harrat Buqum-Nawasif lava field. It mainly consists of a huge rectilinear gallery (over 400 m long and 15 m wide) the access to which is through a small vertical pit reaching a side corridor. The cave was long used as a shelter for bats, hyenas, wolves and foxes. Therefore the entire cave floor, consisting of locally thick uncemented sand, is scattered with a great amount of bones and coprolites, while some rather large guano deposits are also found. Some of these guano deposits caught fire, which partially burnt the bones overlaying them as well. The only true speleothems consist of a few small yellow translucent stalactites. During three expeditions in 2003, a few samples of secondary chemical deposits were collected inside this lava tube to be analysed from the mineralogical point of view. Despite the scarcity of these samples, at least 19 different minerals have already been detected, most of which are related to the biogenic mineralization of bones and guano deposits. Three of them, pyrocoproite, pyrophosphite and arnhemite are extremely rare organic compounds strictly related to the guano combustion, which have been observed until now only in a few caves in Africa. Thanks to these findings Hibashi lava tube is not only the most important volcanic cave of Saudi Arabia but also by far the richest mineralogical shelter of the country. Therefore this research, which is far from coming to an end, confirms the recently advanced opinion that amongst the different cave environments, volcanic cavities are very favourable for the development of different minerogenetic mechanisms.


Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, PhD Thesis, 2005, Eberhard, S. M.

Groundwater is a significant component of the world’s water balance and accounts for >90 % of usable freshwater. Around the world groundwater is an important source of water for major cities, towns, industries, agriculture and forestry. Groundwater plays a role in the ecological processes and ‘health’ of many surface ecosystems, and is the critical habitat for subterranean aquatic animals (stygofauna). Over-abstraction or contamination of groundwater resources may imperil the survival of stygofauna and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs). In two karst areas in Western Australia (Yanchep and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge), rich stygofauna communities occur in cave waters containing submerged tree roots. These aquatic root mat communities were listed as critically endangered because of declining groundwater levels, presumably caused by lower rainfall, groundwater abstraction, and/or forest plantations. Investigation of the hydrology and ecology of the cave systems was considered essential for the conservation and recovery of these threatened ecological communities (TECs). This thesis investigated the hydrology and ecology of one of the TECs, located in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. A multi-disciplinary approach was used to explore aspects pertinent to the hydrology and ecology of the groundwater system.
Thermoluminescence dating of the limestone suggested that development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and that caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Field mapping and leveling were used to determine hydrologic relationships between caves and the boundaries of the karst aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels was undertaken to characterise the conditions of recharge, storage, flow and discharge. A hydrogeologic model of the karst system was developed.
The groundwater hydrograph for the last 50 years was reconstructed from old photographs and records whilst radiometric dating and leveling of stratigraphic horizons enabled reconstruction of a history of watertable fluctuations spanning the Holocene to Late Pleistocene. The watertable fluctuations over the previous 50 years did not exceed the range of fluctuations experienced in the Quaternary history, including a period 11,000 to 13,000 years ago when the watertable was lower than the present level.
The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not reflected in the annual rainfall trend, which was above average during the period (1976 to 1988) when the major drop in water levels occurred. Groundwater abstraction and tree plantations in nearby catchments have not contributed to the groundwater decline as previously suggested. The period of major watertable decline coincided with a substantial reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have contributed to a reduction in groundwater recharge, through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. To better understand the relationships between rainfall, vegetation and fire and their effects on groundwater recharge, an experiment is proposed that involves a prescribed burn of the cave catchment with before-after monitoring of rainfall, leaf-area, ground litter, soil moisture, vadose infiltration and groundwater levels.
Molecular genetic techniques (allozyme electrophoresis and mitochondrial DNA) were used to assess the species and population boundaries of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda. Populations of both species were largely panmictic which was consistent with the hydrogeologic model. The molecular data supported the conclusion that both species of amphipod have survived lower watertable levels experienced in the caves during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed.
Multi Dimensional Scaling was used to investigate patterns in groundwater biodiversity including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography. Faunal patterns were related to abiotic environmental parameters. Investigation of hydrochemistry and water quality characterized the ecological water requirements (EWR) of the TEC and established a baseline against which to evaluate potential impacts such as groundwater pollution.
The conservation status of the listed TEC was significantly improved by increasing the number of known occurrences and distribution range of the community (from 10 m2 to > 2 x 106 m2), and by showing that earlier perceived threatening processes (rainfall decline, groundwater pumping, tree plantations) were either ameliorated or inoperative within this catchment. The GDE in the Jewel Cave karst system may not have been endangered by the major phase of watertable decline experienced 1975-1987, or by the relatively stable level experienced up until 2000. However, if the present trend of declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia continues, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the GDE may become more vulnerable to extinction.
The occurrence and distribution of aquatic root mat communities and related groundwater fauna in other karst catchments in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is substantially greater than previously thought, however some of these are predicted to be threatened by groundwater pumping and pollution associated with increasing urban and rural developments. The taxonomy of most stygofauna taxa and the distribution of root mat communities is too poorly known to enable proper assessment of their conservation requirements. A regional-scale survey of stygofauna in southwest Western Australia is required to address this problem. In the interim, conservation actions for the listed TECs need to be focused at the most appropriate spatial scale, which is the karst drainage system and catchment area. Conservation of GDEs in Western Australia will benefit from understanding and integration with abiotic groundwater system processes, especially hydrogeologic and geomorphic processes.


Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia [abstract], 2006, Eberhard S. M.
This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.

Extended Abstract: Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, 2006, Eberhard, Stefan M.

This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.


Evidence for habitual use of fire at the end of the Lower Paleolithic: Site formation processes at Qesem Cave, Israel, 2007, Karkanas, P. , Shahackgross, R. , Ayalon, A. , Barmatthews, M. , Barkai, R. , Frumkin, A. , Gopher, A. , And Stiner, M. C.
The Amudian (late Lower Paleolithic) site of Qesem Cave in Israel represents one of the earliest examples of habitual use of fire by middle Pleistocene hominids. The Paleolithic layers in this cave were studied using a suite of mineralogical and chemical techniques and a contextual sedimentological analysis (i.e., micromorphology). We show that the lower ca. 3 m of the stratigraphic sequence are dominated by clastic sediments deposited within a closed karstic environment. The deposits were formed by small scale, concentrated mud slurries (infiltrated terra rosa soil) and debris flows. A few intervening lenses of mostly in situ burnt remains were also identified. The main part of the upper ca. 4.5 m consists of anthropogenic sediment with only moderate amounts of clastic geogenic inputs. The deposits are strongly cemented with calcite that precipitated from dripping water. The anthropogenic component is characterized by completely combusted, mostly reworked wood ash with only rare remnants of charred material. Micromorphological and isotopic evidence indicates recrystallization of the wood ash. Large quantities of burnt bone, defined by a combination of microscopic and macroscopic criteria, and moderately heated soil lumps are closely associated with the woodash remains. The frequent presence of microscopic calcified rootlets indicates that the upper sequence formed in the vicinity of the former cave entrance. Burnt remains in the sediments are associated with systematic blade production and faunas that are dominated by the remains of fallow deer. Use-wear damage on blades and blade tools in conjunction with numerous cut marks on bones indicate an emphasis on butchering and prey-defleshing activities in the vicinity of fireplaces.

Pennsylvanian paleokarst and cave fills from northern Illinois, USA: a window into Late Carboniferous environments and landscapes, 2009, Plotnick R. E. , Kenig F. , Scott A. C, . Glasspool I. J, . Eble C. F. , Lang W. J.

A new fault-associated paleokarst and cave fill has been discovered in north-central Illinois, emplaced in Ordovician limestones. The palcokarst preserves many original solution features, such as oriented grooves, pendants, and half tubes. Many of the ancient cave passages have rounded bottoms and flat roofs. Together these suggest that the original elliptical, phreatic cave passages grew upward by paragenesis, in which the floor of the cave is protected from dissolution by the presence of sediment, while the ceiling of the cave grows upward by dissolution. The fill is dated as Moscovian (Middle Pennsylvanian) based on palynological data and can be correlated with the Tradewater Formation. The fills are composed of a fining-upward sequence of relatively unindurated elastic sediments that contain well-preserved plant fossils, most notably voltzialean conifer and cordaite remains, representative of vegetation living in well-drained areas. Many of the macrofossils are fragmentary but charcoalified and, along with the megaspores, are uncompressed and preserve exceptional morphological and anatomical data. The presence of abundant charcoal in the fills, as well as diagnostic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, indicates significant wildfire activity in this area during this interval.


Tanella cave (Monte Baldo Verona, Italy): a record of environmental data on the Last Glacial period, 2011, Zorzin Roberto, Agostini Laura, Montecchi Maria Chiara, Torri Paola, Accorsi Carla Alberta,

Since 2003, an extensive hydrogeological investigation has been carried out on Monte Baldo, in order to make a census of springs occurring along the west side of the mountain and to evaluate the quality of their water. The investigation included morphological and hydrogeological observations concerning the Tanella cave and interdisciplinary investigations performed on the deposits found in the cave. This paper shows the first data concerning the hydrogeology of the cave, as well as data on stratigraphy, pollen and micro-charcoals obtained from the analyses of a well preserved sequence located at ca. 80 m from the entrance (sequence A). The aim of the study was to reconstruct the environment of the area around the cave along the time span testified by the sequence. The sequence is 60 cm thick and was built up by fluvioglacial sediments followed by lacustrine sediments. Five samples taken along the sequence plus three recent control samples (mosses), collected in places assumed as origins of the pollen input, were studied for pollen and micro-charcoals. Pollen preservation was good and concentration varied from 101 to 103 p/g. Pollen spectra from the cave showed the evolution from a landscape of alpine grassland above the timberline, likely of glacial age, to a more forested Holocene landscape similar in flora to the current one testified by the control samples. Pollen probably arrived in the cave by air, water and animals and from plants growing near the cave. It appears to have been continuously underwater after its deposition due to its very good state of preservation. Micro-charcoals suggested that fires were sometimes lit near the cave.


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