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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. ...

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That bubble gage is a stage recorder based on the principle of equating a gas pressure to water level [16].?

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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 holocene speleothem (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Comparative fabrics of length-slow and length-fast calcite and calcitized aragonite in a Holocene speleothem, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico., 1976, Folk R. L. , Assereto R.

Comparative fabrics of length-slow and length-fast calcite and calcitized aragonite in a Holocene speleothem, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1976, Folk Rl, Assereto R,

Sea Caves of King Island, 1979, 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.


Environmental controls on the petrology of a late Holocene speleothem from Botswana with annual layers of aragonite and calcite, 1994, Railsback L. Bruce, Brook George A. , Chen Jian, Kalin Robert, Fleisher Christopher J. ,

High-resolution temporal record of Holocene ground-water chemistry; tracing links between climate and hydrology, 1996, Banner Jl, Musgrove M, Asmerom Y, Edwards Rl, Hoff Ja,
Strontium isotope analysis of precisely dated calcite growth layers in Holocene speleothems from Barbados, West Indies, reveals high-resolution temporal variations in ground-water composition and may provide a new approach to documenting the links between climate variability and fluctuations in the hydrologic cycle such as recharge rates and flow paths. The speleothems grew in a cave that developed in a fresh-water aquifer in uplifted Pleistocene reef limestones. Three periods of ground-water Sr isotope evolution are observed: 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values decreased from 6 to 4 ka, increased from 4 to 1 ka, and decreased again after 1 ka. The Sr isotope oscillations appear to record periodic variations in the relative Sr fluxes to ground water from exchangeable soil sites vs. carbonate mineral reactions, as reflected in 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values of modern Barbados ground waters. A hydrologic model that explains changes in ground-water flow routes in karst aquifers as a function of amount of rainfall recharge can account for the speleothem Sr isotope record. Independent Holocene climate records that indicate a major period of aridity at around 1.3-1.1 ka in the American tropics correspond with periodic variations in rainfall on Barbados that are predicted by this hydrologic model

Calibration of the speleothem delta function: an absolute temperature record for the Holocene in northern Norway, 1999, Lauritzen Stein Erik, Lundberg Joyce,
The speleothem delta function (SDF) provides a new transfer function between the d18O signal of speleothem calcite and surface ground temperature. The function is based on physical principles, relating d18O of the calcite to thermodynamic fractionation, and to the dripwater function, which in turn relates d18O of dripwaters to that of the local precipitation and thus to the modification of source water in relationship to the geographical position of the site. The SDF must be calibrated against at least two reliable and well-dated palaeotemperature points. The end product is a reconstruction of absolute cave and surface temperatures. The technique is tested using a Holocene speleothem from north Norway, SG93, dated by 12 TIMS U-Th dates. The reconstructed temperature curve is presented and compared with the GISP2 ice-core record and with the historic record. In both cases the correlation with SG93 is impressive, indicating the validity of the technique

Trace element variations in coeval Holocene speleothems from GB Cave, southwest England, 1999, Roberts Mark S. , Smart Peter L. , Hawkesworth Chris J. , Perkins William T. , Pearce Nicholas J. G. ,
We report trace element (Mg, Sr and Ba) records based on laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) from three coeval Holocene speleothems from Great Chamber in GB Cave, southwest England. The trace element records are placed on a common timescale on the basis of a suite of TIMS 230Th-234U ages. This permits assessment of the reproducibility of the trace element record in coeval speleothems. The trace element records are not coherent, raising dobuts over the reliability of individual trace element records as potential archives of palaeoenvironmental information. Mg/Sr in speleothem calcite has been proposed as a potential palaeothermometer as Mg partitioning into calcite from water is temperaturedependent, while Sr partitioning into calcite is temperature-independent. However, we present the results of calculations which demonstrate that the observed Mg/Sr values in the three stalagmites cannot have been produced by Holocene temperature changes alone and that other processes must play a dominant role. We present a model which suggests that the observed trace element variations in the three speleothems reflect hydrological mixing of waters in the epikarstic zone above the cave which have interacted with two geochemi cally distinct source rocks (calcite and dolomite)

Palaeoclimatic interpretation of stable isotope data from Holocene speleothems of the Waitomo district, North Island, New Zealand, 1999, Williams P. W. , Marshall A. , Ford D. C. , Jenkinson A. V. ,
One straw stalactite and three stalagmites from the Waitomo district of North Island, New Zealand, were examined for stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon with a view to interpreting their palaeoclimate signal. Dating was by uranium series and AMS 14C for the stalagmites and by gamma-ray spectrometry for the straw. Records were thus established for about 100 years for the straw and 3.9, 10.1 and 10.2 ka for the stalagmites. The range of variability in d18Oc and d13Cc this century is about two-thirds of that experienced over the entire Holocene, and is most simply explained in terms of the oceanic source area of rain. Stable isotope variations in three stalagmites show some general similarities, but have significant differences in detail, which underlines the necessity to base palaeoclimatic interpretations on more than one speleothem record. The d18Oc of each stalagmite varies positively with temperature, indicating the dominance of the ocean source of evaporation in determining the isotopic composition of precipitation and hence speleothem calcite in the Holocene. This conclusion is contrary to that of other authors working in New Zealand, who identified a negative relationship between d18Oc and temperature, while examining time periods extending across the Last Glacial Maximum. It is concluded here that, whereas the ice volume effect dominates the large climatic shifts of glacial-interglacial amplitude, the oceanic source effect becomes more important during the period of relatively stable sea level during the Holocene. Results also indicate a late-Holocene altitudinal effect of 0.2{per thousand} d18Oc per 100 m and an associated temperature relationship of about 0.26{per thousand} per{degrees}C. The average of two records identifies the postglacial climatic optimum to lie in the interval from prior to 10 ka BP to 7.5 ka BP, when d18Oc values were up to 0.6{per thousand} less negative than present, implying an average annual mean temperature that was up to 2.3{degrees}C warmer. The average of three speleothem records for the last 3900 years reveals the coldest period of the Holocene to have occurred about 3 to 2 ka BP, when d18Oc values were typically 0.4{per thousand} more negative than present and average temperatures may have been 1.5{degrees}C cooler. Mean annual temperature variability of about 2{degrees}C was sometimes experienced in little more than 100 years

Geochronology of late Pleistocene to Holocene speleothemsfrom central Texas: Implications for regional paleoclimate, 2001, Musgrove Marylynn, Banner Jay L. , Mack Larry E. , Combs Deanna M. , James Eric W. , Cheng Hai, Edwards R. Lawrence,
A detailed chronology for four stalagmites from three central Texas caves separated by as much as 130 km provides a 71 000-yr record of temporal changes in hydrology and climate. Mass spectrometric 238U-230Th and 235U-231Pa analyses have yielded 53 ages. The accuracy of the ages and the closed- system behavior of the speleothems are indicated by interlaboratory comparisons, concordance of 230Th and 231Pa ages, and the result that all ages are in correct stratigraphic order. Over the past 71 000 yr, the stalagmites have similar growth histories with alternating periods of relatively rapid and slow growth. The growth rates vary over more than two orders of magnitude, and there were three periods of rapid growth: 71-60 ka, 39-33 ka, and 24-12 ka. These growth-rate shifts correspond in part with global glacial-interglacial climatic shifts. Paleontological evidence indicates that around the Last Glacial Maximum (20 ka), climate in central Texas was cooler and wetter than at present. This wetter interval corresponds with the most recent period of increased growth rates in the speleothems, which is consistent with conditions necessary for speleothem growth. The temporal shift in wetness has been proposed to result from a southward deflection of the jet steam due to the presence of a continental ice sheet in central North America. This mechanism also may have governed the two earlier intervals of fast growth in the speleothems (and inferred wetter climate). Ice volumes were lower and temperatures in central North America were higher during these two earlier glacial intervals than during the Last Glacial Maximum, however. The potential effects of temporal variations in precession of Earth's orbit on regional effective moisture may provide an additional mechanism for increased effective moisture coincident with the observed intervals of increased speleothem growth. The stalagmites all exhibit a large drop in growth rate between 15 and 12 ka, and they show very slow growth up to the present, consistent with drier climate during the Holocene. These results illustrate that speleothem growth rates can reflect the regional response of a hydrologic system to regional and global climate variability

Stable isotope stratigraphy of Holocene speleothems: examples from a cave system in Rana, northern Norway, 2001, Linge H. , Lauritzen S. E. , Lundberg J. , Berstad I. M. ,
High-precision TIMS U-series dates and continuous stable oxygen and carbon isotope profiles of a 4000 year stalagmite record from Rana, northern Norway, are presented and compared with data from two other speleothems from the same cave. The dating results yield ages from 387534 to 2963 years before AD2000, with 2[sigma] errors from 0.5 to 1%. The overall growth rate is 35 mm/ka, corresponding to a temporal resolution of 29 years/mm. The stalagmite is tested for isotopic equilibrium conditions, where all `Hendy' tests, except one, indicate isotopic equilibrium or quasi equilibrium deposition. Both the stable oxygen and carbon isotope records reveal a strong and abrupt enrichment in the near-top measurements. This corresponds in time to the opening of a second cave entrance in the late 1960s, which caused changes in the cave air circulation. The stable oxygen isotope signal is enriched compared to the modern value over the last 300 years, indicating a negative response to temperature changes. Likewise, the stable carbon isotope record is enriched in this period. However, both of the stable isotope records are shown to be significantly enriched compared to the isotope ranges displayed by other stalagmites in the same cave, and this questions the reliability of the proxy records derived from the presented stalagmite. Still, a general good correspondence of large scale fluctuations is found between the three stable oxygen isotope records from this cave. The stable carbon isotope records show large variations within the cave and are believed to be governed by soil-zone conditions, percolation pathways and possibly driprates

Differences in the C-14 age, delta C-13 and delta O-18 of Holocene tufa and speleothem in the Dinaric Karst, 2003, Horvatincic N. , Bronic I. K. , Obelic B. ,
We studied Holocene speleothems and tufa samples collected in numerous caves and rivers in the Dinaric Karst of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia and Montenegro. Differences in the formation process of tufa and speleothems are discussed in the context of their isotopic composition (C-14, C-13 and O-18), as well as the chemistry of surface water (rivers, lakes) and drip water (in caves). The physical and chemical parameters monitored in the surface water (tufa precipitation) and drip water (speleothem precipitation) show that more stable conditions accompany speleothem rather than tufa formation. This is particularly obvious in the water temperature variations (2-22degreesC in surface water and 7-12degreesC in drip water) and in saturation index variation (3-11 in surface water and 1-6 in drip water). The range of C-14 ages recorded by Holocene speleothems (similar to 12 000 yr) is wider by several thousands years than that of Holocene tufa samples (similar to 6000 yr). delta(13)C values for tufa samples range from -12parts per thousand to -6parts per thousand and for speleothem samples from -12parts per thousand to ?? per thousand reflecting higher soil carbon and/or vegetation impact on the process of tufa than on speleothem formation. The differences in delta(18)O values of tufa and speleothem samples from different areas reflect different temperature conditions and differing isotopic composition in the water. The study shows that speleothems from the Dinaric Karst can be used as global palaeoclimatic records, whereas tufa records changes in the local palaeoenvironment. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Differences in the 14C age, [delta]13C and [delta]18O of Holocene tufa and speleothem in the Dinaric Karst, 2003, Horvatincic Nada, Krajcar Bronic Ines, Obelic Bogomil,
We studied Holocene speleothems and tufa samples collected in numerous caves and rivers in the Dinaric Karst of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia and Montenegro. Differences in the formation process of tufa and speleothems are discussed in the context of their isotopic composition (14C, 13C and 18O), as well as the chemistry of surface water (rivers, lakes) and drip water (in caves). The physical and chemical parameters monitored in the surface water (tufa precipitation) and drip water (speleothem precipitation) show that more stable conditions accompany speleothem rather than tufa formation. This is particularly obvious in the water temperature variations (2-22[deg]C in surface water and 7-12[deg]C in drip water) and in saturation index variation (3-11 in surface water and 1-6 in drip water). The range of 14C ages recorded by Holocene speleothems (~12 000 yr) is wider by several thousands years than that of Holocene tufa samples (~6000 yr). [delta]13C values for tufa samples range from -12[per mille sign] to -6[per mille sign] and for speleothem samples from -12[per mille sign] to [per mille sign] reflecting higher soil carbon and/or vegetation impact on the process of tufa than on speleothem formation. The differences in [delta]18O values of tufa and speleothem samples from different areas reflect different temperature conditions and differing isotopic composition in the water. The study shows that speleothems from the Dinaric Karst can be used as global palaeoclimatic records, whereas tufa records changes in the local palaeoenvironment

Annual resolution analysis of a SW-France stalagmite by X-ray synchrotron microprobe analysis, 2003, Kuczumow A. , Genty D. , Chevallier P. , Nowak J. , Ro C. U. ,
A sample of stalagmite from Grotte de Villars, Dordogne, France was analyzed by the use of X-ray synchrotron microprobe in LURE, Orsay, France. Together with the signal of Ca, the main element, much weaker but clear signals of Sr, Fe, Zn and Pb were registered. The X-ray scattered radiation was applied for recognition of the annual zones in the stalagmite structure in parallel with the gray scale morphology from the optical microscope. The elemental scans were superimposed on the optical image of the sample. It was established that places corresponding to dark locations on the annual rings were narrower, composed of less porous matter and had much greater contents of iron and zinc and elevated ratio of Sr/Ca. In the supplementary electron microprobe measurements, the elevated amounts of lighter elements, Si and Mg were found in the same locations. These results will allow a very accurate study of stalagmite elemental composition which is of first importance for paleoclimatic studies from speleothems. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Large kinetic isotope effects in modern speleothems, 2006, Mickler Patrick J. , Stern Libby A. , Banner Jay L. ,
The application of stable isotopes in speleothem records requires an understanding of the extent to which speleothem calcite isotopic compositions reflect the compositions of the cave waters from which they precipitate. To test for equilibrium precipitation, modern speleothem calcite was grown on glass plates, so that the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of the calcite and the water from which it precipitated could be directly compared. The plates were placed on the tops of three actively growing stalagmites that occupy a 1 m2 area in Harrison's Cave, Barbados, West Indies. Only some of the plate {delta}13C values and none of the plate {delta}18O values correspond to equilibrium values, indicating significant kinetic isotope effects during speleothem calcite growth. We investigate herein mechanisms that may account for the kinetic isotope effects. On each plate, speleothem calcite was deposited with distinct {delta}18O and {delta}13C compositions that increase progressively away from the growth axis, with up to 6.6{per thousand} 13C and 1.7{per thousand} 18O enrichments. The positive {delta}13C versus {delta}18O trends are likely a result of 18O and 13C Rayleigh-distillation enrichment in the HCO3- reservoir owing to progressive CO2 degassing and CaCO3 precipitation. The magnitude of the {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope is likely controlled by the extent to which CO2 hydration-hydroxylation reactions buffer the oxygen isotope composition of the HCO3- reservoir during calcite precipitation. Complete oxygen isotopic buffering of the HCO3- reservoir by CO2 hydration-hydroxylation reactions will produce a vertical {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope in calcite sampled along a growth layer. As oxygen isotope buffering of the HCO3- reservoir decreases to no buffering, the {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope in calcite sampled along a growth layer will decrease from vertical to 0.52 at the cave temperature. In this study, modern speleothem calcite sampled along the growth layer produced a {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope of 3.9, indicating incomplete oxygen isotope buffering of the HCO3- reservoir during calcite precipitation. Both modern and Holocene speleothem calcite from Barbados, sampled temporally along the growth axis, shows similar positive {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slopes. These results, along with the spatial variations in glass plate calcite carbon and oxygen isotope compositions, suggest that the isotopic composition of the Holocene speleothems is in part controlled by non-equilibrium isotope effects. In addition, there is a correlation between stalactite length and oxygen and carbon isotope ratios of calcite precipitated on the corresponding stalagmite and glass plate, which may be due to 13C and 18 O enrichment of the HCO3- reservoir during CO2 degassing-calcite precipitation along the overhanging stalactite. We compiled 165 published speleothem stable isotope records with a global distribution and found that most of these records show a positive covariation between {delta}13C and {delta}18O values. Speleothem stable isotope records may be influenced by kinetic isotope effects such that temperature-controlled equilibrium fractionation models alone cannot directly explain the significance of the variations in these records. Advancing the interpretation of these records requires the calibration of cave environmental conditions with the non-equilibrium isotope effects that cause {delta}13C and {delta}18O covariations in speleothems

Holocene glacier history from alpine speleothems, Milchbach cave, Switzerland, 2011, Luetscher M. , Hoffmann D. L. , Frisia S. , Spö, Tl C.

Mountain glaciers and their sediments are prominent witnesses of climate change, responding sensitively to even small modifications in meteorological parameters. Even in such a classical and thoroughly studied area as the European Alps the record of Holocene glacier mass-balance is only incompletely known. Here we explore a novel and continuous archive of glacier fluctuations in a cave system adjacent to the Upper Grindelwald Glacier in the Swiss Alps. Milchbach cave became partly ice-free only recently and hosts Holocene speleothems. Four coeval stalagmites show consistent petrographic and stable isotopic changes between 9.2 and 2.0ka which can be tied to abrupt modifications in the cave environment as a result of the closing and opening of multiple cave entrances by the waxing and waning of the nearby glacier. During periods of Holocene glacier advances, columnar calcite fabric is characterized by 18O values of about 8.0 indicative of speleothem growth under quasi-equilibrium conditions, i.e. little affected by kinetic effect related to forced degassing or biological processes. In contrast, fabrics formed during periods of glacier minima are typical of bacterially mediated calcite precipitation within caves overlain by an alpine soil cover. Moreover, 18O values of the bacterially mediated calcite fabrics are consistent with a ventilated cave system fostering kinetic fractionation. These data suggest that glacier retreats occurred repeatedly before 5.8ka, and that the amplitudes of glacier retreats became substantially smaller afterwards. Our reconstruction of the Upper Grindelwald Glacier fluctuations agrees well with paleoglaciological studies from other sites in the Alps and provides a higher temporal resolution compared to traditional analyses of peat and wood remains found in glacier forefields.


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