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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 capillary conductivity is 1. the property of an unsaturated porous medium to transmit liquid [22]. 2. coefficient which expresses the extent to which an unsaturated permeable medium allows flow of water through its interstices, under a unit gradient of capillary potential [22].?

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Your search for littoral caves (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

Rates of condensation corrosion in speleothems of semi-arid northeastern Brazil, 2004, Auler A. S. , Smart P. L.

Condensation corrosion is a little studied, but important dissolutional process that occurs within caves in many karst settings around the world (for a review see Dublyansky and Dublyansky, 2000). Condensation corrosion occurs when air equilibrates with the cave atmosphere, becomes acidic and dissolves the bedrock and speleothems. It is a later vadose process that apparently depends on air circulation patterns, number of entrances and general configuration (vertical range, presence of ponded water, passage shape, etc) of the cave. Both bedrock and speleothems can be affected by the process, resulting in weathered outer surfaces. Condensation corrosion in speleogenesis has been regarded as responsible for dissolutional modification during later stages of cave development of coastal (Tarhule-Lips and Ford, 1998) and hypogenic caves (Hill, 1987; Palmer and Palmer, 2000).
Condensation corrosion is a little studied, but important dissolutional process that occurs within caves in many karst settings around the world (for a review see Dublyansky and Dublyansky, 2000). Condensation corrosion occurs when air equilibrates with the cave atmosphere, becomes acidic and dissolves the bedrock and speleothems. It is a later vadose process that apparently depends on air circulation patterns, number of entrances and general configuration (vertical range, presence of ponded water, passage shape, etc) of the cave. Both bedrock and speleothems can be affected by the process, resulting in weathered outer surfaces. Condensation corrosion in speleogenesis has been regarded as responsible for dissolutional modification during later stages of cave development of coastal (Tarhule-Lips and Ford, 1998) and hypogenic caves (Hill, 1987; Palmer and Palmer, 2000).
The Campo Formoso Karst area of northeastern Brazil holds very extensive cave systems, such as Southern Hemisphere’s longest cave, the 97 km long Toca da Boa Vista. These caves show remarkable features of condensation corrosion such as cupolas, weathered cave walls yielding dolomitic sand, “air scallops” and corroded speleothems. Weathering rinds up to 5 cm thick occur in both dolomite bedrock and speleothem surfaces. Unlike the dolomite, speleothems usually do not disintegrate but change to a milky white opaque porous calcite that is in marked contrast with the fresh crystalline calcite. The area is presently under semi-arid climate and the cave atmosphere is characterised by high internal temperatures (2729 °C) and low relative humidity (mean of 73% for sites away from entrances).
Despite being such a widespread process, rates of condensation corrosion have so far been reported only from caves in the coastal area of the Caribbean (Tarhule-Lips and Ford, 1998). In this study, rates of condensation corrosion in speleothems were derived by determining thickness of weathering rind and age of last unaltered calcite. These rates represent minimum rates because speleothem growth ceased later than age obtained, and also condensation corrosion may not be continuous in time. Due to variable thickness of weathering layer (usually thicker at the top and thinner at sides of stalagmites), maximum and minimum thickness were obtained for each sample. Dating was performed through the alpha spectrometric U-series method in the first unaltered calcite layer beyond the weathering rim. 
The rates obtained vary over two orders of magnitude. They appear to be highly site specific, and are probably heavily dependent on the local atmospheric conditions, although more sampling is needed to confirm this relationship. The data shows that rates are dependent primarily on thickness measured, as range of ages is quite small. Tarhule-Lips and Ford (1998), in the very different littoral caves of the Caribbean, have estimated condensation corrosion rates based on experiments using gypsum tablets. Their reported mean value of 24 mm/ka, much higher than observed in the Campo Formoso caves, suggest that the process may be episodic in the area, not occurring during speleothem growth phases associated with wetter periods.
Although the rates reported by Tarhule-Lips and Ford (1998) indicate that condensation corrosion may actually enlarge cave passages in the normal (10 4 – 10 6 ka) time range of speleogenesis, in the Campo Formoso caves the process appears to play a minor speleogenetic role, being responsible for later modification of cave walls and speleothems.


Littoral Caves, 2004, Bunnell D.

Present-day sedimentary facies in the coastal karst caves of Mallorca island (western Mediterranean), 2009, Forns J. J. , Gins J. , And Grcia F.
In spite of the increasing number of papers on cave sediments published during the last few decades, no one has focused from a sedimentological point of view on the processes that take place specifically within the coastal karst areas of carbonate islands. The objective of the present investigations is to deal with the sedimentary processes that take place inside two littoral caves of Mallorca (western Mediterranean), characterizing the different facies existing in the particular geological, geochemical, and hydrological setting that represents this very specific cave sedimentary environment. The recent exploration of extensive underwater galleries and chambers into some outstanding coastal caves of the island, has permitted the recognition of important accumulations of present-day sedimentary infillings in their drowned passages. Both the Pirata-Pont- Piqueta cave system and the Cova de sa Gleda have floors covered by muddy and/or sandy sediments which, in a wide sense, fit into two well-differentiated categories. On one hand we have allochthonous reddish mud sediments (mainly siliciclastic) and on the other hand autochthonous yellowish carbonate mud or sands. The mixing of both materials is also frequent as well as the accumulation of large blocks and debris due to the breakdown of roof and cave walls. A series of 21 manual cores was obtainedby scuba-divers in both caves, in order to collect the full thickness of sedimentary fill. Soil samples at the entrance of the two caves, as well as rock samples of the walls of both sites, were also obtained for a later comparison. Several sedimentary facies can be distinguished, which include coarse-grained deposits (entrance facies and breakdown blocks), fine-grained siliceous sediments (silts and muddy deposits with very variable organic matter content), carbonate deposits composed of calcite raft accumulations and/ or weathering-released limestone grains, and mixed facies including diverse proportions of the other sediment types. There are also some relict deposits composed of siliceous red silts, which are affected by polygonal desiccation cracks. In all the cases, the siliciclastic elements (quartz and feldspars, mainly) are related to rain events supplying dust of Saharan origin. The deposits and facies described herein correspond to different sedimentary environments that can be individualized inside the caves (collapse entrances, breakdown chambers, fully drowned passages and chambers, pools with free water surface), and reflect very specific hydrological, geochemical, and mechanical processes related to the coastal nature of the studied karst caves.

CLASSIFICACI MORFOGENTICA DE LES CAVITATS CRSTIQUES DE LES ILLES BALEARS, 2011, Gins J. , Gins A.

A typological classification of the caves and shafts in the Balearic Islands is presented in this paper, with the aim of update the knowledge on the morphogenetics of endokarst in the archipelago and incorporating the explorations and discoveries carried out during the last decades. After a brief overview about the classificatory attempts of subterranean cavities in our islands, a systematization on the basis of hydrogeological and speleogenetic criteria is proposed, establishing four main categories as follows: 1) vertical shafts in the vadose zone, 2) caves of the vadose zone, 3) inland phreatic caves, and 4) caves of the littoral fringe. Within these categories, up to ten cavity types corresponding to well-differentiated genetic modalities are distinguished, together with five additional subtypes that designate specific morphological singularities branching from a given typology. The geographical distribution of the diverse cave types in the different karst regions of the archipelago is analyzed, being worth to mention the richness and variety of subterranean forms in the mountain karst of Serra de Tramuntana, in Mallorca island, as well as the abundant and variegated littoral caves occurring in the Upper Miocene postorogenic carbonates of Mallorca, Menorca and Formentera islands. The hypogene speleogenetic processes recently documented in the karst areas of southern Mallorca contribute to supply new insights on the high diversity of subterranean environments represented in the Balearic archipelago


CAVITATS LITORALS DE GNESI MARINA A LES ILLES BALEARS, 2011, Vicens D, Grcia F, Balaguer P. , Ginard A. , Cresp D. , Bover P.

Littoral caves can be found at the erosion coasts of the Balearic Islands. The genesis of most of these caves are produced by the marine erosion and they are known as marine abrasion caves. These caves generally have small dimensions (usually no longer than 50 m), display ascending profiles and can produce blowholes, tunnels and arches. Although they have initially nothing to do with karst, several karstic or karst-related processes can act on these caves, and speleothems, karstic fillings, dissolution phenomena, etc., can be observed inside them. Also cave fauna can be found.


Linking mineral deposits to speleogenetic processes in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Mallorca, Spain)., 2014, Onac B. P. , Fornós J. J. , Merino A. , Ginés J. , Diehl J.

Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (CPV) is the premier cave of the Balearic Archipelago. Over 74 km of passages develop within two carbonate lithofacies (reef front and back reef), which ultimately control the patterns of the cave and to some degree its mineral infilling. The diversity of speleothem-forming minerals is four times greater around or within hypogene-related features (vents, rims, cupolas), compared to any other vadose passages in the cave. The mineralogy of speleothems (crusts, nodules, crystals, earthy masses) associated with hypogene features in the seaward upper maze of Sector F is characterized by the presence of aragonite, ankerite, huntite, clay minerals, and quartz. In the Tragus and Nord sectors, however, the dominant mineral is dolomite, along with aragonite, celestine, huntite, clay minerals, and quartz. Calcite is by far the most ubiquitous mineral throughout the cave. Detailed macroscopic and scanning electron microanalysis and imaging have permitted the investigation of textural relationships between the minerals associated with vents, rims, and vent’s roof and walls. These studies along with morphological and stable isotope analyses confirm that not all minerals are connected with a hypogene stage in the cave evolution, and furthermore, none of them appears to be sulfuric acid by-products. Instead, the mineral assemblages documented in speleothems from CPV clearly support at least three speleogenetic pathways, namely seacoast mixing, ascending of warm groundwaters, and meteoric recharge (vadose). Thus, cave minerals in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera hold the keys to reconstruction and understanding of processes and conditions under which they precipitated, allowing to establish their relationship with various speleogenetic pathways


Groundwater geochemistry observations in littoral caves of Mallorca (western Mediterranean): implications for deposition of phreatic overgrowths on speleothems., 2014, Boop L. M. , Onac B. P. , Wynn J. G. , Fornós J. J. , Rodríguezhomar M. , Merino A.

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems (POS) precipitate at the air-water interface in the littoral caves of Mallorca, Spain. Mainly composed of calcite, aragonite POS are also observed in specific locations. To characterize the geochemical environment of the brackish upper water column, water samples and salinity values were collected from water profiles (0-2.9 m) in April 2012 and March 2013 near aragonite POS in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera and calcite POS in Coves del Drac (hereafter, Vallgornera and Drac). Degassing of CO2 from the water was evidenced by the existence of lower dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and enriched δ13CDIC values in a thin surface layer (the uppermost 0.4 m), which was observed in both profiles from Drac. This process is facilitated by the efficient exchange of cave air with the atmosphere, creating a CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) disparity between the cave water and air, resulting in the precipitation of calcite POS as CO2 degasses from the water. The degassed upper layer was not observed in either profile from Vallgornera, suggesting that less efficient cave ventilation restricts outgassing of CO2, which also results in accumulation of CO2 in the cave atmosphere. The presence of an existing uncorroded POS horizon, as well as higher concentrations and large amplitude fluctuations of cave air pCO2, may indicate that aragonite POS deposition is currently episodic in Vallgornera. Ion concentration data from monthly water samples collected in each cave between October 2012 and March 2013 indicate higher Mg:Ca, Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca and Sr:Mg ratios in Vallgornera. Salinity alone does not appear to be a viable proxy for ions that may promote aragonite precipitation or inhibit calcite precipitation. Instead, these ions may be contributed by more intense bedrock weathering or deep groundwater flow.


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