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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 scallop is 1. a spoon-shaped hollow carved in a cave wall, floor or ceiling due to erosion by eddies in flowing water. scallops are commonly closely packed, leaving sharp ridges at the intersects. they range from 10mm to 1m in length and as a general rule the smaller they are then the faster flowing was the water that carved them. the scallops are generally asymmetrical, with their upstream end steeper than the downstream end - a useful indicator of paleo-flow direction in abandoned passages [9]. 2. oval hollow having an asymmetric cross section along its main axis. scallops form patterns on the walls of caves and in streambeds and may be used to determine direction of flow of turbulent water, since they are steeper on the upstream side. commonly called flutes in america [10]. synonyms: (french.) cannelure, vague d'erosion; (german.) in fliebrichtung des wabers ausgezogener kolk; (greek.) kilon ooithes; (spanish.) huella de corriente; (turkish.) degirmi, tarak. see also flute.?

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Your search for incision rate (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
Determination of stream-incision rate in the Appalachian plateaus by using cave-sediment magnetostratigraphy, 1995, Sasowsky Ira D. , White William B. , Schmidt Victor A. ,
Paleomagnetic dating of clastic fluvial sediments contained in caves within the walls of a steeply incised gorge allowed calculation of a maximum incision rate for the East Fork Obey River. The maximum incision rate for this major stream on the western margin of the Cumberland Plateau, north-central Tennessee, was found to be 0.06 m/ka. This rate was determined on the basis of the paleohydraulic relation between the caves and the surface stream, the presence of a normal-to-reverse polarity transition in clastic fluvial sediments deposited within the caves, and the vertical distribution of polarity found in sediments throughout the gorge. The dating results indicate that this highly developed fluviokarst, containing several of the longest known caves in the United States, developed wholly within the Pleistocene and Holocene

Pliocene-Pleistocene incision of the Green River, Kentucky, determined from radioactive decay of cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in Mammoth Cave sediments, 2001, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek, Palmer Arthur N. ,
Cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be in sediments washed into Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, record the history of 3.5 m.y. of water-table position, governed by incision and aggradation of the Green River, a tributary of the Ohio River. Upper levels of the cave formed during a period of slow river incision and were later filled with sediment due to river aggradation at 2.3-2.4 Ma. A brief surge of river incision ca. 2 Ma was followed by river stability and cave-passage formation at a lower level. Rapid incision through 15 m of bedrock ca. 1.5 Ma was prompted by repositioning of the Ohio River to its present course along an ice-sheet margin. Renewed incision ca. 1.2 Ma and aggradation at 0.7-0.8 Ma correlate with major ice advances in the Ohio River basin. Measurements of 26Al and 10Be also indicate that sandstone-capped uplands have maintained slow erosion rates of 2-7 m/m.y. for the past 3.5 m.y., despite accelerated Pleistocene river incision rates of [~]30 m/m.y

Polyphased uplift and erosion of the Cevennes (southern France). An example of slow morphogenesis, 2002, Seranne Michel, Camus Hubert, Lucazeau Francis, Barbarand Jocelyn, Quinif Yves,
The Cevennes are bordering the French Massif Central and the Gulf of Lion margin. The morphogenesis of this area results from an interaction between deep-seated and superficial processes, whose origin and timing is still discussed. We attempt a reconstruction of the surrection and erosion history of the area through a multidisciplinary approach including geology, geomorphology, thermochronology and geochronology. Thermochronology shows that the Cevennes basement underwent some 2 km denudation in mid-Cretaceous time. Analyses of the sediments preserved on uplifted surfaces and in peripheral sedimentary basins indicate a differential surface uplift of the Cevennes, of the surrounding calcareous plateaus, and of the coastal plain, that occurred in several stages during the Tertiary. Early Miocene rifting of the Gulf of Lion margin and opening of the NW Mediterranean drastically modified the drainage network. Geomorphology analyses of the incised rivers and karst network suggest that most of the incision results from uplift that occurred sometime in the Serravalian-Tortonian interval. U/Th dating of calcite concretions in karsts allows to chronologically bracket the formation of some fluvial terraces, and to find very low incision rates during the Pleistocene. Most of the morphogenesis predates the Quaternary. This ongoing study shows an example of polyphased and very slow morphogenesis, with present-day landscape including elements as old as Cretaceous

Fluvial incision rates derived from magnetostratigraphy of cave sediments in the cratonic area of eastern Brazil, 2002, Auler A. S. , Smart P. L. , Tarling D. H. , Farrant A. R.

Rates of erosion and topographic evolution of the Sierra Nevada, California, inferred from cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 concentrations, 2005, Stock G. M. , Anderson R. S. , Finkel R. C. ,
Concentrations of cosmogenic Al-26 and Be-10 in cave sediments and bedrock surfaces, combined with studies of landscape morphology, elucidate the topographic history of the southern Sierra Nevada over the past 5 Ma. Caves dated by Al-26/Be-10 in buried sediments reveal that river incision rates were moderate to slow between c. 5 and 3 Ma (<= 0.07 mm a(-1)), accelerated between 3 and 1.5 Ma (c. 0.3 ram a(-1)), and then have subsequently become much slower (c. 0.02 mm a(-1)). Although the onset of accelerated incision coincides in time with both,postulated Pliocene tectonism and pronounced global climate change, we argue that it primarily represents the response to a discrete tectonic event between 3 and 5 Ma. Dated cave positions reveal that, prior to 3 Ma, river canyons displayed up to 1.6 km of local relief, suggesting that Pliocene rock uplift elevated pre-existing topography. Renewed incision beginning c. 3 Ma deepened canyons by up to 400 m, creating narrow inner gorges. Tributary streams exhibit strong convexities, indicating that the transient erosional response to Pliocene uplift has not yet propagated into upland surfaces. Concentrations of Al-26 and Be-10 in bare bedrock show that upland surfaces are eroding at slow rates of c. 0.01 mm a(-1). Over the past c. 3 Ma, upland surfaces eroded slowly while adjacent rivers incised rapidly, increasing local relief. Although relief production probably drove at least modest crestal uplift, considerable pre-Pliocene relief and low spatially averaged erosion rates suggest that climatically driven rock uplift is not sufficient to explain ail uplift implied by tilted markers at the western edge of the range. Despite the recent pulse of erosion, spatially averaged erosion rates are low, and have probably acted to preserve the broad topographic form of the Sierra Nevada throughout much of the late Cenozoic. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Age constraints on cave development and landscape evolution in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming, USA., 2006, Stock, G. M. , Riihimaki C. A. , Anderson R. S.
Cosmogenic 26Al/10Be burial dating and tephrochronology of cave deposits provide minimum estimates for the timing of cave development in the Bighorn Basin of Wyoming. Spence Cave is a linear phreatic passage formed along the fold axis of the Sheep Mountain anticline and subsequently truncated by 119 m of Bighorn River incision. A fine-grained eolian (windblown) sand deposit just inside the entrance yields a 26Al/10Be burial age of 0.31 0.19 million years (Ma). This represents a minimum age for the development of Spence Cave, and provides a maximum incision rate for the Bighorn River of 0.38 0.19 mm/yr. Horsethief Cave is a complex phreatic cave system located 43 km north of Spence Cave on a plateau surface ~340 m above the Bighorn River. Electron microprobe analyses of white, fine-grained sediment in the Powder Mountain section of Horsethief Cave confirm that this deposit is Lava Creek B fallout ash, erupted from the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field ca. 0.64 Ma. Assuming this as a minimum age for the development of Horsethief Cave, extrapolation of the cave profile gradient westward to the Bighorn River gorge suggests a maximum incision rate of 0.35 0.19 mm/yr. Incision rates from both caves match well, and are broadly similar to other estimates of regional incision, suggesting that they record lowering of the Bighorn Basin during the late Pleistocene. However, we caution that deposition of both the Spence Cave sand and the Horsethief Cave volcanic ash may postdate the actual timing of cave development. Thus, these ages place upper limits on landscape evolution rates in the Bighorn Basin

Abrupt glacial valley incision at 0.8 Ma dated from cave deposits in Switzerland, 2007, Haeuselmann Philipp, Granger Darryl E. , Jeannin Pierre Yves, Lauritzen Stein Erik,
Glacial erosion dramatically alters mountain landscapes, but the pace at which glaciers carve a previously fluvial landscape remains poorly defined because long-term valley incision rates are difficult to measure. Here we reconstruct the lowering history of the Aare Valley, Switzerland, over the past 4 m.y. by dating cave sediments with cosmogenic 26Al and 10Be. Incision accelerated from [~]120 m/m.y. to [~]1200 m/m.y. at 0.8-1.0 Ma, at least 1 m.y. after the onset of local glaciation. Rapid incision may have been triggered by lowering of the equilibrium line altitude at the mid-Pleistocene climate transition

Climate driven changes in river channel morphology and base level during the Holocene and Late Pleistocene of southeasternWest Virginia, 2009, Springer G. S. , Rowe H. D. , Hardt B. , Cocina F. G. , Edwards R. L. , And Cheng H.
Rivers commonly respond to climate change by aggrading or incising. This is well documented for North American rivers in arid and proglacial regions, but is also true of rivers in unglaciated, humid-temperate regions. Here, we present a record of Holocene hydroclimatology for a humid, temperate watershed in the Appalachian Mountains of eastern North America. We use stable isotope geochemistries of a stalagmite and clastic cave sediments to reconstruct Holocene climate and ecology in the Greenbrier River catchment (3,600 km2 ) of southeastern West Virginia. Independently, we use river-deposited cave sediments to construct a history of incision, aggradation, and morphological change in the surface channel. The clastic cave deposits display enriched (less negative) values of sedimentary d13 Corg during the Holocene Climatic Optimum (HCO), which regional pollen records indicate was warm compared to later climes. The river channel had aggraded by .4 m during or prior to the HCO and adopted an alluvial morphology, probably due to the mobilization of hillslope sediments accumulated during the colder, drier full-glacial conditions of the Late Pleistocene. As climate moistened during the Holocene, the Greenbrier River incised through channel-filling sediments and back onto bedrock, but not until ,3,500 cal. years B.P. Therefore, the bedrock morphology of many streams in the Appalachian Mountains may not have existed for much of the Holocene, which highlights the effect of climate variability on channel processes. The base-level rise is more evidence that bedrock incision by rivers is often episodic and that slow, long-term incision rates reported for Appalachian Rivers are probably not representative of short-term incision rates.

U-series dating and isotope geochemical study of the Gellrt Hill (Budapest) travertine, 2009, Kele S. , Scheuer G. , Demny A. , Shen Ch. C. , Chiang H. W.

Travertine is quite a common formation in the area of Budapest (Hungary) indicating strong hydrothermal activity during the Pliocene and Quaternary. It covers former terraces of the Danube River and older geomorphologic horizons; thus, it is an important archive to date fluvial terraces and tectonic movements. Despite numerous investigations performed on these deposits, only few radiometric data are available so far and the absence of the exact timing information hindered paleoclimatic interpretation. The area of Gellért Hill consists mainly of Upper Triassic dolomite, but Quaternary travertine can also be found. In this study a detailed petrographic and stable isotope geochemical study of four travertine sites (1. Ifjúsági Park; 2. Számadó u. (Street); 3. Kelenhegyi u. (Street); 4. Somlói u. (Street)) of the Gellért Hill area is presented, along with analyses on the recent carbonate deposits of Gellért Hill and Sárosfürdõ. The travertine of Ifjúsági Park and Számadó u. are spring cone deposits, while the travertine of the Kelenhegyi u. represents a shallow-water depositional environment. based on the paleontological studies of Jánossy (in Scheuer and Schweitzer, 1988) the Gellért Hill travertine was thought to have been formed during the Lower Pleistocene; however, no radiometric age dating had been performed on these deposits prior our study. Our U/Th analyses yielded ages of 250±44 ky for the Ifjúsági Park travertine (220 m asl) and 180±49 ky for the Számadó u. travertine (195 m asl). These new U/Th ages are in contradiction with the previously assumed Lower Pleistocene age, implying gradual relative decrease in the paleokarst water-level and proving that the elevation of the individual travertine deposits not necessarily show their relative age. The uplift rates of Gellért Hill calculated from the U/Th age data and elevation of travertine occurrences range between 0.47 and 0.52 mm/yr, which is significantly higher than the uplift rates calculated for the Rózsadomb area (0.20 0.25 mm/yr; Kele et al., submitted). The difference in the incision rates between the individual sub-areas suggests that selective uplift was characteristic for the Buda Hills during the Middle Pleistocene; thus, up-scaling reconstruction of paleokarst waterlevel for the whole area from a given locality is not possible. Oxygen isotope analyses of recent carbonate deposits of Gellért Hill, Sárosfürdõ and Rudas Spa revealed that these calcites precipitated under non-equilibrium conditions, and the measured calcitewater oxygen isotope fractionation show the same positive shift relative to "equilibrium values" as was observed in the case of the recently-forming Egerszalók travertine (Kele et al. 2008). Assuming that the water of the paleo-springs of Gellért Hill derived from precipitation infiltrated during interstadial periods of the Pleistocene and considering non-equilibrium deposition (i.e. using the empirical calcite-water oxygen isotope fractionation of Kele et al. 2008), their calculated paleotemperature could range between 22 (±4) °C and 49 (±6) °C. based on the 18Otravertine differences the Ifjúsági Park and the Számadó u. spring cone type travertine was deposited from the highest temperature water, while from the lowest temperature water the travertine of Kelenhegyi u. was formed.


Young uplift in the non-glaciated parts of the Eastern Alps, 2010, Wagner T. , Fabel D. , Fiebig M. , Hä, Uselmann Ph. , Sahy D. , Xu S. , Stü, We K.

We report the first incision rates derived from burial ages of cave sediments from the Mur river catchment at the eastern margin of the Eastern Alps. At the transition zone between the Alpine orogen and the Pannonian basin, this river passes through the Paleozoic of Graz — a region of karstifiable rocks called the Central Styrian Karst. This river dissects the study area in a north–south direction and has left behind an abundance of caves. These caves can be grouped into several distinct levels according to their elevation above the present fluvial base level. Age estimates of abandoned cave levels are constrained by dating fluvial sediments washed into caves during the waning stages of speleogenesis with the terrestrial cosmogenic nuclide method. These ages and the elevations of the cave levels relative to the current valley floor are used to infer a very complex history of 4 million years of water table position, influenced by the entrenchment and aggradation of the Mur river. We observe rather low rates of bedrock incision over the last 4 Ma (in the order of 0.1 mm/y) with an e-folding decrease in this trend to lower rates at younger times. We relate this incision history to a tectonic setting where an increase of drainage area of the Mur river due to stream piracy in Late Miocene to Pliocene times is linked to surface uplift. The later decrease in valley lowering rates is attributed to the rise of the base level related to aggradation of sediments within the valley. Sediment transport through the valley from the upstream section of the Mur river limited the erosional potential of the river to a transport limited state at the later stages of the incision history.


Landscape evolution in southeast Wales: evidence from aquifer geometry and surface topography associated with the Ogof Draenen cave system, 2011, Simms Michael J, Farrant Andrew R

The evolution of the Ogof Draenen cave system, in south-east Wales, has been profoundly influenced by the geometry of the karst aquifer and its relationship with changes in the surface topography. Using data from within the cave combined with a model of the aquifer geometry based on outcrop data, we have estimated the location and elevation of putative sinks and risings for the system by extrapolating from surveyed conduits in the cave. These data have enabled us to assess the scale and pattern of scarp retreat and valley incision in the valleys of the Usk, Clydach and Lwyd, that together have influenced the development of the cave. From this we can construct a relative chronology for cave development and landscape evolution in the region. Our data show that scarp retreat rates along the west flank of the Usk valley have varied by more than an order of magnitude, which we interpret as the result of locally enhanced erosion in glacial cirques repeatedly occupied and enlarged during successive glacial cycles. This process would have played a key role in breaching the aquiclude, created by the eastward overstep of the Marros Group clastics onto the Cwmyniscoy Mudstone, and thereby allowed the development of major conduits draining further south. In the tributary valleys incision rates were substantially greater in the Clydach valley than in the Lwyd valley, which we attribute to glacial erosion predominating in the north-east-facing Clydach valley and fluvial erosion being dominant in the south-facing Lwyd valley. There is evidence from within Ogof Draenen for a series of southward-draining conduits graded to a succession of palaeoresurgences, each with a vertical separation of 4-5 m, in the upper reaches of the Lwyd valley. We interpret these conduits as an underground proxy for a fluvial terrace staircase and suggest a direct link with glacial-interglacial cycles of surface aggradation and incision in the Lwyd valley. Fluvial incision rates for broadly analogous.


Datierung fluviatiler Hhlensedimente mittels kosmogener Nuklide am Beispiel des Grazer Berglandes, 2011, Wagner, T.
The Central Styrian Karst north of Graz comprises a great number of caves of which many are of phreatic origin. Due to a clustering of caves at certain elevations above the current base level, the Mur River, these caves can be assigned to distinct levels. Caves cannot be older than the rock in which they formed, i.e. in the case of the region studied here not older than about 400 Ma (million years ago). Cave deposits on the other hand allow to infer a minimum age of cave formation, because they are deposited in the cave during or (mostly) after its development. Besides numerous autochthonous (i.e. in situ) sediments and speleothems, also a number of allochthonous (transported into the cave from the surface) sediments are encountered. Burial ages of several quartz-rich allochthonous cave sediments were determined using the radioactive cosmogenic nuclides 26Al and 10Be. The present article provides an insight into this rela tively new dating method (burial age dating) to constrain the age of cave deposits. The current state of knowledge about the timing of cave formation in the Grazer Bergland (Highland of Graz) will be discussed by summarizing the results of two recent papers (Wagner et al., 2010, 2011). Based on these results, conclusions are drawn about the age of the cave levels, relative incision rates of the River Mur and the landscape evolution of the eastern rim of the Alps in general. Sedimentation ages of 0 to about 5 Ma ago are in good agreement with increasingly higher cave levels above the present base level. This in turn reflects the stepwise relative incision of the River Mur. Based on the oldest samples, the onset of karstification and thus the exhumation of the Central Styrian Karst occurred at least 4-5 Ma ago. The oldest level, assigned to an age of at least 4 Ma, is situated some 500 m above the current valley bottom. Therefore, a relative incision rate of the River Mur in the order of only about 100 meters per million year (m/Myr) for the last 4-5 Ma is inferred. A more detailed examination of the levels reveals on average a decrease in the incision rate. Burial ages of ~2.5 Ma are determined only 100 m above the current base level. Moreover, the formation of planation surfaces and terraces in the Grazer Bergland is constrained by the correlation with cave levels and as such an important contribution to the understanding of landscape evolution of this region is made.

Incision history of Glenwood Canyon, Colorado, USA, from the uranium-series analyses of water-table speleothems, 2013, Polyak V. J. , Duchene H. , Davis D. G. , Palmer A. N. Palmer M. V. Asmerom Y.

Uranium-series analyses of water-table-type speleothems from Glenwood Cavern and “cavelets” near the town of Glenwood Springs, Colorado, USA, yield incision rates of the Colorado River in Glenwood Canyon for the last ~1.4 My. The incision rates, calculated from dating cave mammillary and cave folia calcite situated 65 and 90 m above the Colorado River, are 174 ± 30 m/My for the last 0.46 My and 144 ± 30 m/My for the last 0.62 My, respectively. These are consistent with incision rates determined from nearby volcanic deposits. In contrast, δ 234U model ages (1.39 ± 0.25 My; 1.36 ± 0.25 My; and 1.72 ± 0.25 My) from three different samples of mammillary-like subaqueous crust collected from Glenwood Cavern, 375 m above the Colorado River, yield incision rates of 271 +58/-41 m/My, 277 +61/-42 m/ My, and 218 +36/-27 m/My. These data suggest a relatively fast incision rate between roughly 3 and 1 Ma. The onset of Pleistocene glaciation may have influenced this rate by increasing precipitation on the Colorado Plateau starting at 2.5 Ma. Slowing of incision just before 0.6 Ma could be related to the change in frequency of glacial cycles from 40 to 100 kyr in the middle Pleistocene. This interpretation would suggest that the cutting power of the Colorado River prior to 3 Ma was smaller. An alternative interpretation involving tectonic activity would invoke an episode of fast uplift in the Glenwood Canyon region from 3 to 1 Ma.


‘Looping caves’ versus ‘water table caves’: The role of base-level changes and recharge variations in cave development, 2014, Gabrovšek Franci, Häuselmann Philipp, Audra Philippe

The vertical organisation of karst conduit networks has been the focus of speleogenetic studies for more than a century. The four state model of Ford and Ewers (1978), which still is considered as the most general, relates the geometry of caves to the frequency of permeable fissures. The model suggests that the ‘water table caves’ are common in areas with high fissure frequency, which is often the case in natural settings. However, in Alpine karst systems, water table caves aremore the exception than the rule. Alpine speleogenesis is influenced by high uplift, valley incision rates and irregular recharge. To study the potential role of these processes for speleogenesis in the dimensions of length and depth, we apply a simple mathematical model based on coupling of flow, dissolution and transport.We assume a master conduit draining thewater to the spring at a base level. Incision of the valley triggers evolution of deeper flow pathways,which are initially in a proto-conduit state. Themaster conduit evolves into a canyon following the valley incision,while the deep pathways evolve towards maturity and tend to capture the water fromthe master conduits. Two outcomes are possible: a) deep pathways evolve fast enough to capture all the recharge, leaving the master conduit dry; or b) the canyon reaches the level of deep pathways before these evolve to maturity. We introduce the Loop-to-Canyon Ratio (LCR), which predicts which of the two outcomes is more likely to occur in certain settings. Our model is extended to account for transient flow conditions. In the case of an undulating master conduit, floodwater is stored in troughs after the flood retreat. This water seeps through sub-vertical fractures (‘soutirages’) connecting the master conduitwith the deep pathways. Therefore, the loops evolve also during the dry season, and the LCR is considerably increased. Although themodel is based on several approximations, it leads to some important conclusions for vertical organisation of karst conduit networks and stresses the importance of base-level changes and transient recharge conditions. It therefore gives an explanation of speleogenesis that relies much more on the dynamic nature of water flow than on the static fracture density


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