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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 bedding grike is term used to describe the occurrence of the dissolution and widening (similar to that which occurs in joints) of nearly vertical bedding in karst terranes [8]. synonym: (german.) schichtfugenkarren.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 frost (Keyword) returned 49 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 49
Murray Cave, Cooleman Plain, New South Wales, 1966,
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Jennings, J. N.

Murray Cave is an almost horizontal former outflow cave, which is now on the brink of inactivity. A heavily decorated upper branch functioned during the first outflow phase and the present inactive entrance succeeded it as the outlet point. Both are at the level of a low aggradational terrace of the North Branch of Cave Creek outside the cave; this probably belongs to a Pleistocene cold period. An undecorated lower branch provided the third phase outlet, which still functions occasionally when water rises up a water trap at the inner end of the main passage and flows along that passage into it. The entrance chamber has angular gravel fill due to frost shattering, which post-dates the development of the lower branch passage and belongs to a late Pleistocene cold period. Evidence of free surface stream action predominates in the cave but shallow phreatic conditions must have contributed to its development.


Geomorphology of the North Karst, South Nahanni River Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, PhD Thesis, 1976,
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Brook, George Albert,

First investigated on the ground in June 1972, the Nahanni karst of northern Canada is the most complex karst terrain yet reported from high latitudes. It is centered at 61°28' N, longitude 124°05' W and lies within the zone of discontinuous permafrost. Mean annual temperature is 24°F and mean total precipitation 22.3 inches. Principal karst forms are fracture-located karst streets and irregularly-shaped closed depression called karst platea which may be up to 600 feet in depth. Platea often contain karst towers which are residuals of wall recession. Vertical-walled pond dolines up to 120 feet deep are common in bare karst areas while subjacent karst collapse, subsidence and suffosion depressions occur on marginal shale- and drift-mantled surfaces. Three small poljes have been identified, two produced entirely by solution, the other a structural form. These are periodically inundated. There are several peripheral fluvial canyons up to 3,000 feet deep that are blocked by glacial drift and which presently drain underground. Similarity in the hydrogeological properties of Nahanni Formation limestones at a variety of scales has led to the development of morphologically-identical karst forms which range in size from inches up to hundreds of feet. Furthermore, many of these landforms are part of a developmental sequence that at one scale links vertical-walled dolines, karst streets, platea and poljes; and at another links solution pits, grikes and joint hollows on limestone pavements. The evidence suggests that poljes form by the coalescence of dolines and uvalas just as Cvijic suggested in 1918. In attempting to explain the almost "tropical" nature of the sub-arctic Nahanni karst landform assemblage, a number of facts are of importance.
(a) The Nahanni Formation limestones have been highly warped and intensively fractures during the past one million years. Open fractures have encouraged karstification by allowing easy movement of water underground. Warping has provided the relief necessary for the development of solutional forms with a distinct vertical component.
(b) The karst can not be considered relict because it was glaciated during the Pleistocene. In addition the hydrological activity in it today is comparable with that in many humid tropical karst areas.
(c) Solutional denudation rates governed by aspects of surficial and bedrock geology may in some localized areas be equivalent to rates in humid tropical carbonate regions.
(d) At present rates, the most highly developed forms could have been produced within the last 200,000 years and because there is evidence to indicate that the karst may not have been glaciated for up to 250,000 years, such a period has been available for solutional development.
Because the Nahanni region has not been glaciated for an extremely long period, it may be one of only a few high-latitude carbonate terrains that have had time to develop fully. Its very existence questions the validity of the concept that the intensity and direction of karst development is climate-controlled. In the Nahanni at least, the structural and lithological properties of the host limestone appear to have been of greater importance. The labyrinth karst type present in regions of humid-tropical to sub-arctic climate, is an outstanding example of a structurally-controlled karst landscape. It may well be that the same controls also influence the distributions of other karst types.


Sea Caves of King Island, 1979,
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Goede Albert, Harmon Russell, Kiernan Kevin

Investigation of two King Island sea caves developed in quartzitic rocks shows them to contain a wealth of clastic and chemical sediments. Clastic sediments consist of wave-rounded cobbles, debris cones, and angular rock fragments produced by frost weathering and crystal wedging. Chemical deposits include a variety of calcium carbonate speleothems and also gypsum occurring as wall crusts and blisters. The latter appear to be a speleothem type of rare occurrence. Growth of gypsum is responsible for some crystal wedging of the bedrock. Three basal stalagmite samples have been dated by the Th/U method indicating Late Pleistocene as well as Holocene speleothem growth. The caves are believed to have formed by preferential wave erosion during the Last Interglacial in altered and fractured quartzites. The evidence for pre-Holocene evolution of sea caves and geos in the Tasman region is summarised. Tasmania and the Bass Strait Islands provide a particularly favourable environment for the preservation of relict landforms on rocky coasts because of Late Quaternary uplift. The potential of further studies of sea caves to test two recently advanced archaeological hypotheses is discussed.


Karst groundwater activity and landform genesis in modern permafrost regions of Canada, 1984,
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Ford D. C.

Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985,
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Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

Observations prliminaires sur les cavits de la rgion du lac Centrum (NE Groenland), 1987,
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Loubiere, J. F.
CAVES OF CENTRUM LAKE AREA (NE GREELAND) - In 1983, M.Chiron, G.Favre, J-F. Loubire and J-P. Ttard identified a network of caves located in the extreme nord-east of Greenland. A cambro-silurian limestone zone stretches out to the south-west of Kronprins Christians land, the northern extremity of the great range of folded mountains of eastern Greenland. During an era characterised by the absence of permafrost and by a warmer climate favouring underground water circulation, these limestone formations were hollowed out by karstic river system. Such climatic conditions have long ceased to exist. During the major glaciations of the Quaternary period, the cavities were greatly modified. Glacier movements, cutting into the plateau, broke up the networks. The original underground deposits were then altered by allochtonous material of aeolian and morainic composition. Severe and ongoing frost shattering has added to this destructive process. It is hoped that this article will help to draw attention to these caves and to the more general subject of paleo-climates, especially their effects in the polar region during the Plio-Pleistocene transition (Electron Spin Resonance method on stalagmite and discovery of a mycelian hypha into calcite structure).

Ein Permafrostboden in den Kalkvoralpen bei Puchenstuben (Niedersterreich)., 1989,
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Fink, M. H.

Ein Permafrostboden in den Kalkvoralpen bei Puchenstuben (Niedersterreich), 1989,
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Fink, M. H.

KINETIC ENRICHMENT OF STABLE ISOTOPES IN CRYOGENIC CALCITES, 1992,
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Clark Id, Lauriol B,
The C-13 and O-18 contents of cryogenic calcites formed by expulsion during the freezing of bicarbonate groundwaters are examined. Samples from karst caves within the permafrost region of northern Yukon, Canada, have deltaC-13-values as high as 17.0 parts per thousand, representing the most isotopically enriched freshwater carbonates yet reported. To account for such enrichments, calcium bicarbonate solutions were frozen and sublimated under controlled laboratory conditions. The rapid rate of reaction is shown to effectively preclude isotopic equilibration during bicarbonate dehydration, resulting in a kinetic partitioning of C-13 between CO2 and CaCO3. We find a value of 31.2 1.5 parts per thousand for 1000ln13alpha(KIE)(13alpha(KIE) = 1.032), which is considerably greater than the equilibrium fractionation factor (13epsilon(CaCO3-CO2)) of 10.3 parts per thousand at 0-degrees-C. This kinetic isotope effect (KIE) represents the ratio of the absolute reaction rate constants (13k(d)/12k(d)) for the two isotopic species during the dehydration of dissolved bicarbonate. Similar results for deltaO-18-values confirm that the reaction proceeds without isotope exchange. The KIE of O-18 is determined to be 1.006 for this reaction at 0-degrees-C. These data are compared with the KIE which occurs during the reverse reaction: CO2 hydroxylation by reaction with OH- in hyperalkaline waters

MICROBIOLOGICAL ACTIVITY IN THERMOGLACIAL KARST SPRINGS, SOUTH SPITSBERGEN, 1994,
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Lauritzen S. E. , Bottrell S. ,
Along the Hornsund fault zone, South Spitsbergen (76-degrees-60'N), thermokarstic springs smell of H2S and display either growth of, or eject fragments of, organic slime. The temperature in individual springs varies between 4 and 15-degrees-C. Their rate of discharge is approximately 1 L s-1 to 18 m3 s-1, corresponding to a minimum temperature of 30-degrees-C within the base of the aquifer. The water, which contains a few ppm SO4(2-), 0.5 ppm S2-, and several thousand ppm NaCl, appears to be a mixture of turbid glacial meltwater and hot brine. Water chemistry and stable isotopes indicate that the salinity is not the result of simple dilution of modern seawater from the brackish zone beneath the coastal karst aquifer, but rather originates from a deep thermal brine component where concentrations and isotopic composition of various species are controlled by water-rock interaction in the source area of the brine. A value of DELTAdeltaS-34 of up to about 30 parts per thousand indicates that sulfide is a bioreduction product of sulfate. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies revealed bacteria and fungal hypha in the organic slime, and larger spherical particles (approximately 3.8 mum diameter) that display high concentrations of Fe and S. These findings demonstrate the presence of sulfate-reducing bacteria within the subpermafrost aquifer

Signification des remplissages des karsts de montagne, quelques cls lusage des splologues, 1995,
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Audra, P.
This paper is intended to cavers in order to help them identify the most significant mountain karst infillings. Carbonated varves sedimentation occurs during floodings in glacial environment. The varves block the deep parts of the networks. Pebbles sealings show a powerful erosion in the vadose zone, near glacial sinkholes. Gelifract spreadings are indicators of frost and snow action in periglacial environment. Reworked weathered rocks are the most ancient deposits, inherited from tertiary warm phases when karstification occurred under regolith covers. Their clearing is partly simultaneous with cave systems elaboration, in relation to the alpine uplift, during Pliocene. Speleothems are also warm or temperate climate indicators. Crystalline morphology reflects environmental characteristics, while their surface sight could have been smoothed during discharge reactivations. Finally, some infillings could have recorded neotectonic movements: broken speleothems, deformed clastic sediments, etc.

Karst Geomorphology and Hydrogeology of the Northeastern Mackenzie Mountains, District of Mackenzie, N.W.T., PhD Thesis, 1995,
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Hamilton, James P.

This thesis describes the geomorphology and hydrogeology of karst systems in portions of the northeastern Canyon Ranges of the Mackenzie Mountains and the Norman Range of the Franklin Mountains. N.W.T. In the region, mean annual temperatures are -6 to -8°C, total annual precipitation is 325 to 500 mm, and permafrost has a widespread to continuous distribution. The area was glaciated in the Late Wisconsinan by the Laurentide Ice Sheet.
The Canyon Ranges and Norman Range are composed of a sequence of faulted and folded miogeoclinal sedimentary rocks that span the Proterozoic to Eocene. The geology is reviewed with an emphasis on strata that display karst. Included are several dolomite and limestone formations, two of which are interbedded with evaporites in the subsurface. The principal groundwater aquifer is the Lower Devonian Bear Rock Formation. In subcrop, the Bear Rock Formation is dolomite and anhydrite, outcrops are massive calcareous solution breccias. This is the primary karst rock.
The regional distribution and range of karst landforms and drainage systems are described. Detailed mapping is presented from four field sites. These data were collected from aerial photography and ground surveys. The karst has examples of pavement, single and compound dolines, subsidence troughs, polje, sinking streams and lakes. and spring deposits. The main types of depressions are subsidence and collapse dolines. Doline density is highest on the Bear Rock Formation. Surficial karst is absent of less frequent in the zone of continuous permafrost or outside the glacial limit.
At the field sites, water samples were collected at recharge and discharge locations. Samples were analyzed for a full range of ionic constituents and many for natural isotopes. In addition, several springs were monitored continuously for discharge, temperature, and conductivity. Dye tracing established linkages between recharge and discharge at some sites. These data are summarized for each site, as is the role of permafrost in site hydrology.
The relationships between geological structure, topography, ,and groundwater systems are described. Conduit aquifers are present in both dolomite and limestone. These systems are characterized by discharge waters of low hardness and dissolved ion content. Aquifers in the Bear Rock Formation have a fixed flow regime and often have highly mineralized discharge. At the principal field site. there was a time lag of 40 to 60 days between infiltration and discharge in this unit. At a second site, flow through times were on the order of years. Variability in these systems is attributed to bedrock properties and boundary conditions.
Preliminary rates of denudation are calculated from the available hydrochemical data. Total solutional denudation at the primary field site is approximately 45 m³ kmˉ² aˉ¹ (mm kaˉ¹). The majority is attributed to the subsurface dissolution of halite and anhydrite. The predominance of subsurface dissolution is linked to the high frequency of collapse and subsidence dolines and depressions.
The karst features and drainage systems of the northern Mackenzie Mountains date to the Tertiary. Glaciation has had a stimulative effect on karst development through the subglacial degradation of permafrost and the altering of boundary conditions by canyon incision.


Limestone karst morphology in the Himalayas of Nepal and Tibet, 1996,
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Waltham A. C. ,
Karst and caves are minor parts of the Himalayan landscapes of Nepal and Tibet. Solution decreases at high altitude on the Nilgiri Limestone of the high Himalaya, and karst features are immature. Limestone outcrops north of the Himalaya, in the rain shadow are characterised by microkarren, indicating minimal solution rates. Most caves in Tibet are modified by frost shattering. Across the region, karst is restricted by both climatic factors and the extreme youthfulness of the landscapes. There is no positive evidence for the survival from the Tertiary of fossil karst features in Tibet. The large cave and the associated collapse gorge at Pokhara, Nepal, are essentially piping failures in limestones only about 500 years old

Aufeis of the Firth River basin, Northern Yukon Canada: Insights into permafrost hydrogeology and Karst, 1997,
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Clark Id, Lauriol B,
The 31-km(2) aufeis ice sheet of the upper Firth River holds a wealth of information on groundwater hydrology in periglacial environments. Baseflow recession calculations, corrected for aufeis storage (12% of basin discharge), indicate specific groundwater recharge rates of up to 100 mm yr(-1) (up to 50% of runoff), suggesting a significant proportion of drainage from karst. The upper Firth River aufeis is a composite aufeis, with discrete baseflow contributions from different watersheds. Since the late Pleistocene, annual growth of the aufeis has exerted a strong control on lateral erosion and the local river channel geomorphology. Two groundwater recharge processes are distinguished on the basis of carbonate geochemistry and 8(13)C: (1) Methanogenic groundwaters, with C-13(DIC) up to -3.3 parts per thousand, are recharged through saturated soils underlain by permafrost; conditions which support anaerobic consumption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and produce up to 700 mu g-CH4 L-1 (calculated), and (2) Karst groundwaters, with C-13-depleted DIC, recharged through unsaturated soils and circulate through fissured talik in the carbonate bedrock. Most drainage from the region shows varying contributions of these two groundwaters, although a greater contribution from the methanogenic groundwaters occurs in north-facing watersheds. The 8(13)C values far cryogenic calcite precipitates in the ice indicate that the karst groundwaters are the major contribution to aufeis growth. The combined use of 8(13)C(DIC) and geochemistry may be a useful tool to quantify methanogenesis in northern watersheds

Principal features of evaporite karst in Canada, 1997,
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Ford Dc,
Outcrops of sulfate arid mixed sulfate-carbonate rocks are common everywhere in Canada outside of the Shield province. Interstratal salt deposits are abundant in the interior lowlands. Types of karst that occur are determined chiefly by relations between (i) formation thickness and purity, (ii) regional topography and hydraulic gradient (iii) effects of receding Wisconsinan and earlier glaciers, and (iv) extent of modern permafrost. Exposures of bare karst on thick, pure sulfate formations are comparatively rare. Two principal landform types found on them are: (1) high-density polygonal karst (micro-sinkhole densities of thousands per km(2)); where hydraulic gradients are high and tills are thin; (2) hills and ridges of blocks uplifted and fractured by hydration (anhydrite) tectonics at paleo-icefront positions where hydraulic gradients are low. Deeply till-mantled karst dominated by collapse and suffosion sinkholes in the mantling detritus is well developed in southwestern Newfoundland and in central and northern Nova Scotia. Covered karst is abundant on sulfates conformably overlain by carbonate br elastic strata; collapse sinkholes ale the principal landform. Very large breccia pipes (up to 25 x 15 km) ale associated with deep subrosion of salt during glacier recessions. Syngenetic breccia karst is a fourth, distinct category created in some formations of thin, interbedded dolostones and sulfates. Where these are exposed td high hydraulic gradients, deep calcite-cemented breccias were formed in a first generation, upon which sinkhole and pinnacle karsts and dissolution drape topographies were able to develop rapidly in late-glacial and post-glacial conditions

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