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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 massive structure is a homogenous structure without any oriented features [16].?

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Your search for fluctuations (Keyword) returned 119 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 119
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

Controversy over the great flood hypotheses in the Black Sea in light of geological, paleontological, and archaeological evidence, , Yankohombach Valentina, Gilbert Allan S. , Dolukhanov Pavel,
Legends describing a Great Flood are found in the narratives of several world religions, and the biblical account of Noah's Flood is the surviving heir to several versions of the ancient Mesopotamian Flood Myth. Recently, the story of the biblical deluge was connected to the Black Sea, together with the suggestion that the story's pre-Mesopotamian origins might be found in the Pontic basin [Ryan, W.B.F., Pitman, III, W.C., 1998. Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History. Simon and Schuster, New York]. Based on the significance of this flood epic in the Judeo-Christian tradition, popular interest surged following publication of the idea.Currently, two Great Flood scenarios have been proposed for the Black Sea: (1) an Early Holocene event caused by catastrophic Mediterranean inflow at 7.2 ky BP (initial hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 1997. An abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf. Marine Geology 138, 119-126]) or 8.4 ky BP (modified hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 2003. Catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science 31, 525-554.); and (2) a Late Pleistocene event brought on by Caspian influx between 16 and 13 ky BP [Chepalyga, A.L., 2003. Late glacial Great Flood in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2-5 November 2003, Seattle, USA, p. 460]. Both hypotheses claim that the massive inundations of the Black Sea basin and ensuing large-scale environmental changes had a profound impact on prehistoric human societies of the surrounding areas, and both propose that the event formed the basis for the biblical Great Flood legend.This paper attempts to determine whether the preponderance of existing evidence sustains support for these Great Floods in the evolution of the Black Sea. Based upon established geological and paleontological data, it finds that the Late Pleistocene inundation was intense and substantial whereas the Early Holocene sea-level rise was not. Between 16 and 13 ky BP, the Late Neoeuxinian lake (the Late Pleistocene water body in the Pontic basin pre-dating the Black Sea) increased rapidly from ~-14 to -50 m (below the present level of the Black Sea), then rose gradually to ~-20 m by about 11 ky BP. At 11-10 ky BP (the Younger Dryas), it dropped to ~-50 m. When the Black Sea re-connected with the Sea of Marmara at about 9.5 ky BP, inflowing Mediterranean water increased the Black Sea level very gradually up to ~-20 m, and in so doing, it raised the salinity of the basin and brought in the first wave of Mediterranean immigrants. These data indicate no major drawdown of the Black Sea after the Younger Dryas, and they do not provide evidence for any catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea in the Early Holocene.In addition, available archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidence from the Pontic region reveal no recognizable changes in population dynamics between 14 and 6 ky BP that could be linked to an inundation of large magnitude [Dolukhanov, P., Shilik, K., 2006. Environment, sea-level changes, and human migrations in the northern Pontic area during late Pleistocene and Holocene times. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 297-318; Stanko, V.N., 2006. Fluctuations in the level of the Black Sea and Mesolithic settlement of the northern Pontic area. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 371-385]. More specifically, Mesolithic and early Neolithic archaeological data in southeastern Europe and Ukraine give no indications of shifts in human subsistence or other behavior at the time of the proposed catastrophic flood in the Early Holocene [Anthony, D., 2006. Pontic-Caspian Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies at the time of the Black Sea Flood: A small audience and small effects. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 345-370; Dergachev and Dolukhanov, 2006. The Neolithization of the North Pontic area and the Balkans in the context of the Black Sea Floods. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 489-514]

Cave Microclimate: A Note on Moisture, 1969, Wigley, T. M.

The moisture budget of a cave atmosphere is examined quantitatively. The results indicate that caves can be divided into two distinct classes depending on whether the cave atmosphere is or is not saturated. A further consequence of the theory is that greater climate fluctuations are to be expected in caves in which unsaturated conditions prevail. This generalisation may have significance in studies of cavern breakdown and in ecological studies in caves.


Lake Level Fluctuations In Cocklebiddy Cave, Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia, 1971, Lowry, David C.

Changes in air pressure in Cocklebiddy Cave, Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia, cause the lake level to fluctuate by several centimetres. The relationship suggests that the explored part of Cocklebiddy Cave is part of a much larger system.


Karst processes of the eastern upper Galilee, Northern Israel, 1974, Gerson R,
Karst processes dominate most of the geomorphic activity in the Upper Galilee, consisting mainly of dolomites and limestones. Study of the chemical evolution of water passing through the karst hydrologic cycle clearly shows that the major portion of its carbonate solute is gained subaerially and in the upper part of the vadose zone. Most cave and spring water is already saturated with respect to aragonite and calcite.The karst depressions typical to surface morphology are mostly associated with fault-line traces. Their evolution is possible mainly in areas sloping initially less that 5[deg].The absence of evolved caves, representing well-developed karst of an earlier period, is attributed mainly to the marginal climate throughout the past combined with tectonic, and hence hydrologic, instability of the region.The discharge of the karst prings shows clearly dependence on annual precipitation, with a lag of about 2 years of the response to drought or more humid periods. Long-term fluctuations are larger in the smaller T'eo Spring than in the affluent 'Enan Springs.Most of the denuded material is extracted from the region as dissolved load via underground conduits and only small amounts as clastics. Mean long-term denudation is approximately 20 mm/1000 years, averaged for the surface area contributing to the springs.In spite of the above, most topographic forms are shaped by runoff erosion, active during medium to high intensity rainstorms. Solution processes prevail during low to medium rainfall intensities, while different parts of the region are denuded at similar rates. Even in karst depressions, erosion becomes dominant after their bottoms are covered by almost impervious terra-rossa mantle

Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology of the Sierra de El Abra and the Valles-San Luis Potosí Region, México, PhD Thesis, 1977, Fish, Johnnie Edward

The general objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of the karst hydrology, the nature and origin of the caves, the water chemistry, the surface geomorphology, and relationships among these aspects for a high relief tropical karst region having a thick section of limestone. The Valles-San Luis Potosí region of northeastern México, and in particular, the Sierra de El Abra, was selected for the study. A Cretaceous Platform approximately 200 km wide and 300 km long (N-S) delimits the region of interest. A thick Lower Cretaceous deposit of gypsum and anydrite, and probably surrounded by Lower Cretaceous limestone facies, is overlain by more than 1000 m of the thick-bedded middle Cretaceous El Abra limestone, which has a thick platform-margin reef. The Sierra de El Abra is a greatly elongated range along the eastern margin of the Platform. During the late Cretaceous, the region was covered by thick deposits of impermeable rocks. During the early Tertiary, the area was folded, uplifted, and subjected to erosion. A high relief karst having a wide variety of geomorphic forms controlled by climate and structure has developed. Rainfall in the region varies from 250-2500 mm and is strongly concentrated in the months June-October, when very large rainfalls often occur.
A number of specific investigations were made to meet the general objective given above, with special emphasis on those that provide information concerning the nature of ground-water flow systems in the region. Most of the runoff from the region passes through the karstic subsurface. Large portions of the region have no surface runoff whatsoever. The El Abra Formation is continuous over nearly the whole Platform, and it defines a region of very active ground-water circulation. Discharge from the aquifer occurs at a number of large and many small springs. Two of them, the Coy and the Frío springs group, are among the largest springs in the world with average discharges of approximately 24 m³/sec and 28 m³/sec respectively. Most of the dry season regional discharge is from a few large springs at low elevations along the eastern margin of the Platform. The flow systems give extremely dynamic responses to large precipitation events; floods at springs usually crest roughly one day after the causal rainfall and most springs have discharge variations (0max/0min) of 25-100 times. These facts indicate well-developed conduit flow systems.
The hydrochemical and hydrologic evidence in combination with the hydrogeologic setting demonstrate the existence of regional ground-water flow to several of the large eastern springs. Hydrochemical mixing-model calculations show that the amount of regional flow is at least 12 m³/sec, that it has an approximately constant flux, and that the local flow systems provide the extremely variable component of spring discharge. The chemical and physical properties of the springs are explained in terms of local and regional flow systems.
Local studies carried out in the Sierra de El Abra show that large conduits have developed, and that large fluctuations of the water table occur. The large fossil caves in the range were part of great deep phreatic flow systems which circulated at least 300 m below ancient water tables and which discharged onto ancient coastal plains much higher than the present one. The western margin swallet caves are of the floodwater type. The cave are structurally controlled.
Knowledge gained in this study should provide a basis for planning future research, and in particular for water resource development. The aquifer has great potential for water supply, but little of that potential is presently used.


Hardness Controls of Cave Drips, Murray Cave, Cooleman Plain, Kosciusko National Park, 1979, Jennings, J. N.

Drips in the forward part of the Murray Cave between 5 and 50m below the surface were sampled about once a month for 2 years, carbon dioxide in the soil above and in the cave air being measured also. Mean soil CO2 content was fifteen times atmospheric, summer yeilding higher values than winter though the dry 1972-3 summer had low values. Greater depths in the soil had more CO2 than shallower ones. Cave air had on the average little more CO2 than the atmosphere but river flooding of the cave was followed by large CO2 fluctuations. There was a slight tendency for drips to be warmer and to vary less in temperature inwards. Drip pH was greater in summer than winter because of high CO2 production. The (Ca+Mg)/(Na+K) ratio of the drips was nearly ten times that of the Blue Waterholes, showing that igneous rock weathering around the Plain supplies more of the Na and K in the spring output than was envisaged before. The drip Mg/Ca ratio lies close to that of the Blue Waterholes, underlining the dominance of the limestone in the output hydrochemistry. The mean total hardness of 141 mg.L-1, not significantly different from earlier Murray cave drip measurements, sustains the previous estimate that the superficial zone provides about 2/3 of the limestone solution. The summer value (149 mg.L-1) is significantly greater than the winter mean (132 mg.L-1), including high values in the dry 1972-3 summer when CO2 values were low. Lagged correlation on a weekly and three weekly basis of individual drip hardness on air temperature and precipitation yielded few significant results. Only a weak case for dominance of hardness by temperature through rhizosphere CO2 was evident but neither was the conflicting hypothesis of hardness in such contradictory ways that more detailed observations over equally long time periods are necessary to elucidate their influence.


Fluctuations in a Population of the Cave Salamander Eurycea lucifuga, 1980, Williams, Albert A.

Some Implications of Competition for Cave Stream Communities., 1981, Culver David C.
Based on recent theoretical work by Robert May and Richard Levins, two hypotheses about time fluctuations in abundance of competing species were generated. Data for isopods and amphipods from four cave stream communities in Virginia and West Virginia were used to test the predictions. First, variance of total abundance should be less than the sum of the variances of individual species' abundances. In three of four communities studied, the prediction was confirmed, but none were statistically significant. Positive correlations among carrying capacities of competing species may explain the poor agreement with predictions. Second, the signs of 19 correlations and partial correlations of species abundances were predicted on the basis of relative magnitudes of direct and indirect effects of competition, and of these predictions, 16 were confirmed by the data, including 5 statistically significant ones. Most interesting was the finding that competitors can be positively correlated.

Variation among Populations of the Troglobitic Amphipod Crustacean Crangonyx antennatus Packard (Crangonyctidae) Living in Different Habitats, III: Population Dynamics and Stability., 1981, Dickson Gary W. , Holsinger John R.
Populations of the troglobitic amphipod Crangonyx antennatus from caves in Lee Co., Virginia (U.S.A.) were investigated on both a short and long term basis. The dynamics of populations living in two distinct aquatic cave habitats (mud-bottom pools and gravel-bottom streams) were compared seasonably for one year. Sex ratios indicated a larger number of females in both pool and stream habitats. The majority of males in both habitats were found to be sexually mature throughout the year investigated. Seasonal fluctuations in female maturity were observed in both habitats, with larger numbers collected in June and August. In addition, a larger number of ovigerous females were observed in the spring, indicating the possibility of a circannian reproductive cycle in both pools and streams. The structure of populations from the caves studied appears to reflect a controlled recruitment of females from immature to mature stages. In order to determine the stability of population structure, collection data from a pool and a stream habitat for a l0-year period were analyzed. Population structures were found to be relatively stable over long periods in both habitats, with immature females comprising the dominant population class.

Structure et Fonctionnement des Ecosystmes do Haut-Rhone Franais; IX: Analyse des peuplements de deux stations phratiques alimentant des bras morts., 1981, Gibert J. , Ginet Rene, Mathieu J. , Reygrobellet Jean Luc
Two phreatic stations providing old meanders of the French river Rhone ("Lones") with interstitial water have been studied for three years. The samples (100 liters of water) have been collected by the Bou-Rouch method at 60 cm deep in the sediment. The analyses of populations show that the biocenoses of the two stations are quite different: The one (Station 2) is rather specialized; most of the species are troglobitic (80% of the whole biomass; the only Amphipod, Niphargopsis casparyi, represents 67% of this biomass). The other (Station 8) is very diversified; the seven dominant groups are all epigean animals. Population numbers have changed during the three years of sampling. Fluctuations have been observed in station 2, but the total numbers were quite similar in 1975 and 1977. On the contrary, station 8 shows an "exponential" type of growth generated by epigean organisms, while troglobitic species remained unchanged.

Climatic Fluctuations Influence the Genesis and Diagenesis of Carbonate Speleothems in Southwestern France, 1982, Cabrol Patrick, Coudray Jean

Shallow-marine carbonate facies and facies models, 1985, Tucker M. E. ,
Shallow-marine carbonate sediments occur in three settings: platforms, shelves and ramps. The facies patterns and sequences in these settings are distinctive. However, one type of setting can develop into another through sedimentational or tectonic processes and, in the geologic record, intermediate cases are common. Five major depositional mechanisms affect carbonate sediments, giving predictable facies sequences: (1) tidal flat progradation, (2) shelf-marginal reef progradation, (3) vertical accretion of subtidal carbonates, (4) migration of carbonate sand bodies and (5) resedimentation processes, especially shoreface sands to deeper subtidal environments by storms and off-shelf transport by slumps, debris flows and turbidity currents. Carbonate platforms are regionally extensive environments of shallow subtidal and intertidal sedimentation. Storms are the most important source of energy, moving sediment on to shoreline tidal flats, reworking shoreface sands and transporting them into areas of deeper water. Progradation of tidal flats, producing shallowing upward sequences is the dominant depositional process on platforms. Two basic types of tidal flat are distinguished: an active type, typical of shorelines of low sediment production rates and high meteorologic tidal range, characterized by tidal channels which rework the flats producing grainstone lenses and beds and shell lags, and prominent storm layers; and a passive type in areas of lower meteorologic tidal range and higher sediment production rates, characterized by an absence of channel deposits, much fenestral and cryptalgal peloidal micrite, few storm layers and possibly extensive mixing-zone dolomite. Fluctuations in sea-level strongly affect platform sedimentation. Shelves are relatively narrow depositional environments, characterized by a distinct break of slope at the shelf margin. Reefs and carbonate sand bodies typify the turbulent shelf margin and give way to a shelf lagoon, bordered by tidal flats and/or a beach-barrier system along the shoreline. Marginal reef complexes show a fore-reef--reef core--back reef facies arrangement, where there were organisms capable of producing a solid framework. There have been seven such phases through the Phanerozoic. Reef mounds, equivalent to modern patch reefs, are very variable in faunal composition, size and shape. They occur at shelf margins, but also within shelf lagoons and on platforms and ramps. Four stages of development can be distinguished, from little-solid reef with much skeletal debris through to an evolved reef-lagoon-debris halo system. Shelf-marginal carbonate sand bodies consist of skeletal and oolite grainstones. Windward, leeward and tide-dominated shelf margins have different types of carbonate sand body, giving distinctive facies models. Ramps slope gently from intertidal to basinal depths, with no major change in gradient. Nearshore, inner ramp carbonate sands of beach-barrier-tidal delta complexes and subtidal shoals give way to muddy sands and sandy muds of the outer ramp. The major depositional processes are seaward progradation of the inner sand belt and storm transport of shoreface sand out to the deep ramp. Most shallow-marine carbonate facies are represented throughout the geologic record. However, variations do occur and these are most clearly seen in shelf-margin facies, through the evolutionary pattern of frame-building organisms causing the erratic development of barrier reef complexes. There have been significant variations in the mineralogy of carbonate skeletons, ooids and syn-sedimentary cements through time, reflecting fluctuations in seawater chemistry, but the effect of these is largely in terms of diagenesis rather than facies

Barbuda--an emerging reef and lagoon complex on the edge of the Lesser Antilles island are, 1985, Brasier M, Donahue J,
The Pliocene to Holocene limestones of Barbuda have formed on a wide, shallow, outlying bank of the Lesser Antilles island arc, some 50 km east of the older axis of the Limestone Caribbees and 100 km east of the newer axis of the active Volcanic Caribbees. Contrasts with neighbouring islands of similar size include the lack of exposed igneous basement or mid-Tertiary sediments, the dominance of younger flat-lying carbonates, and the greater frequency of earthquake shocks. The history of emergence of the island has been studied through aerial reconnaissance, mapping, logging, hand coring, facies and microfacies analysis. These show a pattern of progressively falling high sea level stands (from more than 50 m down to the present level) on which are superimposed at least three major phases of subaerial exposure, when sea levels were close to, or below, their present level. This sequence can be summarized as follows: 1, bank edge facies (early Pliocene Highlands Formation) deposited at not more than c. 50-100 m above the present sea level; 2, emergence with moderate upwarping in the north, associated with the Bat Hole subaerial phase forming widespread karst; 3, older Pleistocene transgression with fringing reefs and protected bays formed at l0 to l5 m high sea level stands (Beazer Formation); 4, Marl Pits subaerial phase with widespread karst and soil formation; 5, late Pleistocene transgression up to m high stand with fringing and barrier reefs, protected backreefs and bays (Codrington Formation Phase I); 6, gradual regression resulting in emergence of reefs, enclosure of lagoons, and progradation of beach ridges at heights falling from c. 5 m to below present sea level (Codrington Phase II); 7, Castle Bay subaerial phase produced karst, caliche and coastal dunes that built eastwards to below present sea level; and 8, Holocene transgression producing the present mosaic, with reefs, lagoons and prograding beach ridge complexes, with the present sea level reached before c. 4085 years BP. The evidence suggests that slight uplift took place in the north of the island after early Pliocene times. Subsequent shoreline fluctuations are consistent with glacio-eustatic changes in sea level, indicating that the island has not experienced significant uplift during the Quaternary

La karstification de l'le haute carbonate de Makatea (Polynsie franaise) et les cycles eustatiques et climatiques quaternaires, 1991, Dessay J. , Pouchan Y. , Girou A. , Humbert L. , Malezieux J.
THE KARST 0F MAKATEA ISLAND (FRENCH POLYNESIA) AND THE CLIMATIC AND GLACIO-EUSTATISM SETTING - Located in the Central Pacific, in the northwestern part of the Tuamotu Archipelago, Makatea island (148 15 W - 15 50 S) is an uplifted, karstic, carbonate construction of Early Miocene age, which reaches 113m in height. From 1906 to 1966, phosphate deposits were exploited on Makatea Island. These phosphate deposits (apatite) overlaid the Miocene series and filled the karstic cavities in the higher regions of the island. Several traces of ancient shorelines can be observed on Makatea: 1/ three different reef formations, which reach about +27m, +7m, +1m above the present mean sea level and respectively dated 400,000 100,000 yr BP, 140,000 30,000 yr BP, between 4,470 150 yr BP and 3,720 13O yr BP; 2/ four distinct marine notch lines on the Early Miocene cliff at about +1m, +7m, +27m and +56m (or +47m on the west coast caused by tilt) above the present mean sea level; 3/ two exposed marine platforms respectively at +29m and +7m above the present mean sea level. The ages of the former makatean shores are inferred by using: (1) the Pacific glacio-eustatic sea-level curve for the last 140,000 yr BP, (2) the Pacific oxygen isotope curve for the last 900,000 yr BP, and (3) a constant uplift rate during the Pleistocene. In this way, according to their age and elevation, the sea-level indicators at about +1m, +7m and +27m (+29m) above the present mean sea level can be respectively related to the Holocene transgression (Flandrian) dated between 6,000 and 1,500 yr BP, to the last Pleistocene interglacial period (Sangamon) dated between about 130,000 and 110,000 yr BP, and to a Middle Pleistocene interglacial period (Yarmouth) dated between about 315,000 and 485,000 yr BP. If we assume that a sea level similar to the present occurred during the Yarmouth inter-glacial period, the uplift rate is valued at 0.085 mm/yr to 0.056 mm/yr. Thus the sea-level associated with the marine notch at about +56m (+47m) may be about 650,000 yr to 1 M.y. old and can be associated with another Pleistocene interglacial period (Aftonian). Consequently, as indicated by the former shores, the sea level fluctuations can be related to the major glacio-eustatic quaternary events. This climatic and eustatic setting is used to explain the karst observed on the Makatea island. Carbonate dissolution and essentially vertical karst genesis were the result of the superposition of several cycles. Each cycle was initially composed of a solution of the carbonates during an interglacial period, followed by a drainage of the saturated solutions during the marine regression associated with the consecutive glacial period. Nevertheless, this scheme is not enough to explain the specific morphology of the makatean karstic cavities and we suggest using insular phosphatisation to explain this karst genesis. It is generally accepted that phosphate rock deposits on coral reef islands are the result of chemical reaction between seabird guano and reef limestone. Furthermore, petrographic and stable isotope studies suggest several generations of phosphorite formation and reworking episodes in the history of these deposits. The primary deposition of phosphates must have begun during a glacial period. This deposition was followed by some redistribution of phosphorites during the interglacial period and by additional precipitation of apatite from meteoric waters. This assumed process of phosphogenesis is consistent with both the field observations and the geodynamic evolution of Makatea. Thus, the particular morphology of the makatean karst can be the result of the dissolution of the carbonates caused by phosphoric acid etching. This acid is derived from the evolution of the phosphorites during the pleistocene interglacial periods.

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