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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 cation exchange is ion exchange process in which cations in solution are exchanged for other cations from an ion exchanger [6].?

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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 middle triassic (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
The Upper Permian-Triassic strata of the SE Iberian Ranges, eastern Spain, display the classic Germanic-type facies of Buntsandstein, Muschelkalk and Keuper. The Muschelkalk is represented by two carbonate units with a siliciclastic-evaporitic unit in between. Their ages range from Anisian to basal Carnian (Middle Triassic to base of the Upper Triassic). The carbonate units represent ramps that evolved during the early thermal subsidence period which succeeded the first rift phase. Seven facies have been distinguished, representing shoals, tidal flats, organic buildups and lagoons, as well as a karst horizon in the lower carbonatic unit. Most of the carbonates were dolomitised. Three processes of dolomitization are invoked: mixing waters, penecontemporaneous seepage refluxion, and deep burial. The top of the Buntsandstein and the Muschelkalk facies are subdivided into two depositional sequences, including lowstand, transgressive and highstand systems tracts, with superimposed tectonic and eustatic controls

Formation of dolomite mottling in Middle Triassic ramp carbonates (Southern Hungary), 2000, Torok A. ,
The Middle Triassic carbonates of the Villany Mountains were deposited on a homoclinal carbonate ramp. Many of the carbonates from the 700 m-thick sequence show partial or complete dolomitization. The present paper describes dolomites that occur in a limestone unit as irregular mottles and as pore- and fracture-filling cements. Replacement-type scattered dolomite rhombs in the mottles having inclusion-rich, very dull luminescent cores and limpid non-luminescent outer zones represent the initial phase of dolomitization. The isotopic composition of these dolomites (delta(13)C = .30 parts per thousand VPDB, delta(18)O = -3.60 parts per thousand VPDB) is similar to that of the calcitic micrite (delta(13)C = .6 parts per thousand VPDB, delta(18)O = -4.00 parts per thousand VPDB) indicating that no external fluids were introduced during dolomite formation. The elevated Sr content of the micrites implies that sediment was originally aragonite or high-Mg calcite. Dolomitization took place in the burial realm from a 'marine' pore-fluid in a partly closed system. Later fracture-related saddle dolomite reflects elevated formation temperatures and increasing burial. Five calcites were identified. Multiple generations of calcite-filled fractures were formed during burial diagenesis generally having dull or no luminescence (delta(13)C = .80 parts per thousand VPDB, delta(18)O = -6.40 parts per thousand VPDB). The latest phase calcites are related to karst formation, having a very negative isotopic composition (delta(13)C = -5.0 to -7.2 parts per thousand VPDB and delta(18)O approximate to -7.44 parts per thousand VPDB). The karst-related processes include dissolution, calcite precipitation and partial replacement of dolomites by complex zoned bright yellow calcite. The timing of dolomitization is uncertain, but the first phase took place in a partly closed system prior to stylolite formation. Late-stage saddle dolomites were precipitated during maximum burial in the Cretaceous. The dissolution of dolomites and karst-related calcite replacement was not earlier than Late Cretaceous. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

The speleological diving explorations of the river Slunjcica spring., 2001, Kuhta M.
The spring of the river Sluncica is an upward karst spring formed along the tectonical contact of permeable Lower Cretaceous limestones and impermeable Middle Triassic dolomites. During the speleological diving study the spring was investigated and topographically mapped. The bottom of the spring depression is located at the depth of 26.3 m and the largest depth of the object was determine in a lateral channel at 28.2 m. After detailed investigation, it can be concluded that the spring has no significant submerged cave channel. The intermittent occurrences of high quantities of water at the spring of the Slunjcica River are supplied through several short fissure channels and through collapsed rock blocks and the two depressions on the floor. The investigations resulted in the determination of seven locations were concentrated flow is likely to occur. We estimate that the cave channel located on the southwestern wall of the spring contributes most in this sense. The spelological diving studies were performed by the team of the Speleological department of HPD "Zeljeznicar", during September 1997 with favourable hydrological conditions and the low yield of 1 m3/s.

Geological conditions - factor of origin of two different cave systems in two adjacent valleys (the Demänovská Valley and the Jánska Valley, the Low Tatras, Slovakia), 2003, Maruš, In Milan

The Demänovská Valley is the most famous karst valley in the northern slopes of the Low Tatras. There the Demänovská Cave system is developed more than 30 km long. The similar karst valley, the Jánska Valley with dozens of underground karst phenomena is situated ten kilometers to the east. The total length of these caves exceeds 30 km. The geomorphological, hydrological, and karst conditions of these two valleys are similar; nevertheless there are several outstanding differencies between two cave systems developed in them. The whole of the Demänovská Cave system is developed within the eastern slope of the Demänovská Valley. On the contrary in the Jánska Valley significant caves are situated on both sides of the valley. Besides this difference the Demänovská Cave system is penetrable through the whole of its length whereas cave system of the Jánska Valley is not penetrable although connection of the underground spaces was proved by various methods. The described state is caused by different geological conditions in these valleys. Both cave systems are developed mostly in the Middle Triassic Gutenstein Limestones. But the Demänovská Valley is situated in the area which is built by monocline of the Krížnansky nappe. In the territory of the Jánska Valley there is the Chočsky nappe which is tectonically very complicatedly framed.

Mesozoic plate tectonic reconstruction of the Carpathian region, 2004, Csontos L, Voros A,
Palaeomagnetic, palaeobiogeographic and structural comparisons of different parts of the Alpine-Carpathian region suggest that four terranes comprise this area: the Alcapa, Tisza, Dacia and Adria terranes. These terranes are composed of different Mesozoic continental and oceanic fragments that were each assembled during a complex Late Jurassic-Cretaceous-Palaeogene history. Palaeomagnetic and tectonic data suggest that the Carpathians are built up by two major oroclinal bends. The Alcapa bend has the Meliata oceanic unit, correlated with the Dinaric Vardar ophiolite, in its core. It is composed of the Western Carpathians, Eastern Alps and Southern Alcapa units (Transdanubian Range, Bukk). This terrane finds its continuation in the High Karst margin of the Dinarides. Further elements of the Alcapa terrane are thought to be derived from collided microcontinents: Czorsztyn in the N and a carbonate unit (Tisza?) in the SE. The Tisza-Dacia bend has the Vardar oceanic unit in its core. It is composed of the Bihor and Getic microcontinents. This terrane finds its continuation in the Serbo-Macedonian Massif of the Balkans.The Bihor-Getic microcontinent originally laid east of the Western Carpathians and filled the present Carpathian embayment in the Late Palaeozoic-Early Mesozoic. The Vardar ocean occupied an intermediate position between the Western Carpathian-Austroalpine-Transdanubian-High Karst margin and the Bihor-Getic-Serbo-Macedonian microcontinent. The Vardar and Pindos oceans were opened in the heart of the Mediterranean-Adriatic microcontinent in the Late Permian-Middle Triassic. Vardar subducted by the end of Jurassic, causing the Bihor-Getic-Serbo-Macedonian microcontinent to collide with the internal Dinaric-Western Carpathian margin.An external Penninic-Vahic ocean tract began opening in the Early Jurassic, separating the Austroalpine-Western Carpathian microcontinent (and its fauna) from the European shelf. Further east, the Severin-Ceahlau-Magura also began opening in the Early Jurassic, but final separation of the Bihor-Getic ribbon (and its fauna) from the European shelf did not take place until the late Middle Jurassic.The Alcapa and the Tisza-Dacia were bending during the Albian-Maastrichtian. The two oroclinal bends were finally opposed and pushed into the gates of the Carpathian embayment during the Palaeogene and Neogene. At that time, the main N-S shortening in distant Alpine and Hellenic sectors was linked by a broader right-lateral shear zone along the former Vardar suture

Evolution of the Adriatic carbonate platform: Palaeogeography, main events and depositional dynamics, 2005, Vlahovic I. , Tisljar J. , Velic I. , Maticec D. ,
The Adriatic Carbonate Platform (AdCP) is one of the largest Mesozoic carbonate platforms of the Perimediterranean region. Its deposits comprise a major part of the entire carbonate succession of the Croatian Karst (External or Outer) Dinarides, which is very thick (in places more than 8000 m), and ranges in age from the Middle Permian (or even Upper Carboniferous) to the Eocene. However, only deposits ranging from the top of the Lower Jurassic (Toarcian) to the top of the Cretaceous can be attributed to the AdCP (defined as an isolated palaeogeographical entity). Although the entire carbonate succession of the Karst Dinarides was deposited within carbonate platform environments, there were different types of carbonate platforms located in different palaeogeographical settings. Carboniferous to Middle Triassic mixed siliciclastic-carbonate deposits were accumulated along the Gondwanian margin, on a spacious epeiric carbonate platform. After tectonic activity, culminating by regional Middle Triassic volcanism recorded throughout Adria (the African promontory), a huge isolated carbonate Southern Tethyan Megaplatform (abbreviated as STM) was formed, with the area of the future AdCP located in its inner part. Tectonic disintegration of the Megaplatform during the middle to late Early Jurassic resulted in the establishment of several carbonate platforms (including the Adriatic, Apenninic and Apulian) separated by newly drowned deeper marine areas (including the Adriatic Basin as a connection between the Ionian and Belluno basins, Lagonero, Basin, and the area of the Slovenian and Bosnian troughs). The AdCP was characterised by predominantly shallow-marine deposition, although short or long periods of emergence were numerous, as a consequence of the interaction of synsedimentary tectonics and eustatic changes. Also, several events of temporary platform drowning were recorded, especially in the Late Cretaceous, when synsedimentary tectonics became stronger, leading up to the final disintegration of the AdCP. The thickness of deposits formed during the 125 My of the AdCP's existence is variable (between 3500 and 5000 m). The end of AdCP deposition was marked by regional emergence between the Cretaceous and the Palaeogene. Deposition during the Palaeogene was mainly controlled by intense synsedimentary tectonic deformation of the former platform area-some carbonates (mostly Eocene in age) were deposited on irregular ramp type carbonate platforms surrounding newly formed flysch basins, and the final uplift of the Dinarides reached its maximum in the Oligocene/Miocene. The Adriatic Carbonate Platform represents a part (although a relatively large and well-preserved one) of the broader shallow-water carbonate platform that extended from NE Italy to Turkey (although its continuity is somewhat debatable in the area near Albanian/Greece boundary). This large carbonate body, which was deformed mostly in the Cenozoic (including a significant reduction of its width), needs a specific name, and the Central Mediterranean Carbonate Platform is proposed (abbreviated to CMCP), although the local names (such as AdCP for its NW part) should be kept to enable easier communication, and to facilitate description of local differences in platform evolution,


A cave of hydrothermal origin in crystalline limestone has been investigated near Sklene Teplice Spa in the Stiavnicke vrchy Mts. located in Central Slovakia. Metamorphozed Middle Triassic carbonate rocks occur as a horizon in pre-volcanic basement of Middle Miocene volcanic formations. The hydrothermal origin of studied cave is documented by spherical and irregural oval phreatic morphology sculptured by ascending thermal water, metamorphic type of the host rocks and their hydrothermal alteration, occurrence of large calcite and quartz crystals, and hydrothermal clays with three mineral smectite-kaolinite, illite and goethite associations. The primary phases of speleogenesis in the crystalline limestones was caused by hydrothermal processes linked either to the emplacement of granodiorite subvolcanic intrusions during the Late Badenian time or to epithermal system of the Late Sarmatian time in the central zone of the Stiavnica stratovolcano. The described cave presents the remarkable' example of hydrothermal limestone cave associated with Miocene volcanism and magmatic intrusions in Central Slovakia.


The lithology and structural setting of the rocks which form the island of Mallorca are magnificent bases on which karstic phenomena develop. Almost every geological period is continually represented here, from the Carboniferous to the Pleistocene (only part of the Upper Cretaceous and Lower Paleogene being absent). The approximate thickness of the stratigraphic sequence is 3,000 m in which carbonate deposits (not only limestones but also dolomites) constitute the most important lithologies. The main structure consists of thrust sheets imbricated in a NW transport direction. Such deformation took place during the alpine orogeny. Furthermore, the existence of impervious materials from the Keuper at the base of the thrust sheets, added to the imbricate thrusts system structure, cause permeable zones to remain isolated by areas of impervious material. The development during the post-orogenic phase (Late Miocene) of a carbonate reef deposition, forms a large tabular slab where the phenomena related to coastal karst have its maximum expression. Menorca, can be divided into two very distinct parts. The northern half or Tramuntana, well structured, but dominated by the presence of siliceous material from the Devonian with a couple of large slabs of Mesozoic limestones and dolomites, quite different from Migjorn, in the south, where the Late Miocene calcarenites and calcisiltites clearly dominate. Eivissa can be assimilated to the same structure of the Tramuntana mountains of Mallorca, which are almost exclusively dominated by carbonate materials, particularly the dolomites, but the limestones from the middle Triassic and the marls (Cretaceous and lower Miocene) are very abundant. Formentera is dominated at both ends of the island by sea cliffs cut on Miocene reefal limestones joined by an isthmus where Pleistocene aeolian calcarenites outcrops.

A new karren feature: hummocky karren, 2012, Plan Lukas, Renetzeder Christa, Pavuza Rudolf, Krner Wilfried

Karren are small-scale landforms on karst surfaces and many types have been described so far. Here we present an apparently new feature which was found on the Hochschwab karst massive in the Northern Calcareous Alps of Austria. So far only few outcrops each having less than 1 m² within a very restricted area have been found. Morphometric analysis reveals that the karren consist of a randomly distributed, dispersed assemblage of small hummocks and depressions in between. The mean distance between neighbouring hummocks is 4 to 5 cm and the mean height is 0.85 cm. Longitudinal sections are gently sinuous. The occurrences are delimited by thin soil cover with grassy vegetation. The karst features continue below that vegetation cover. Therefore, it is clear that the karren have formed subcutaneously. Corroded fissures where water could infiltrate into the epikarst are absent. The bedrock lithology is Middle Triassic limestone of the Wetterstein Formation in lagoonal facies. Geological structures do not govern the feature. The surface is not a bedding plane and small joints and fractures do not govern the arrangement of the hummocks. Thin section analysis regarding rock texture and dolomite components show that there is no compositional difference between hummocks and depressions. Geochemical analyses show that the limestone is very pure with a very low content of Magnesia. Slightly higher Magnesia contents at the hummock surfaces are significant. The data obtained so far only indicate that some dissolution mechanism but not any rock property governs the irregular array. As there exist no descriptions of comparable features in literature, the name “hummocky karren” is suggested for that type of karren landform.

Hydrodynamic modeling of a complex karst-alluvial aquifer: case study of Prijedor Groundwater Source, Republic of Srpska, Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2013, Polomčić Dušan, Dragišić Veselin, Živanović Vladimir

Middle Triassic fractured and karstified limestone and dolomite form a karst aquifer in the Sana River Valley near the town of Prijedor. As a result of intensive tectonic movements, carbonate rocks are mostly below the Sana River level, covered by younger Pliocene and alluvial deposits. The main source of groundwater recharge is infiltration from the Sana River through its alluvium over most of the aquifer. The main objective of the research reported in this paper was to evaluate the hydraulic relationships of the alluvial, Pliocene and karst aquifers in order to better understand the water supply potential of the karst aquifer. Although the use of hydrodynamic modeling is not very common with karst aquifers, the developed model provided significant and useful information on the groundwater budget and recharge type. The influence of fault zones and spatial anisotropy of the karst aquifer were simulated on the hydrodynamic model by varying permeability on the xand y­axes of the Cartesian coordinate system with respect to the fault, the main pathway of groundwater circulation. Representative hydraulic conductivities were Kx

 = 2.3·10­3

 m/s and Ky

 = 5.0·10­3

 m/s in the faults of Nw to SE direction, and Kx

 = 2.5·10­3

 m/s and Ky


 m/s in the faults of Sw to NE trend. Model research showed that the karst aquifer can be used in the long term at maximal tested capacities and that current groundwater exploitation is not compromised in dry periods when the water budget depends entirely on recharge from the Sana River.


In the Triassic of successions of the Italian Dolomites (Northern Italy), there are several examples of different types of hypogene paleokarst, sometimes associated with sulfur or hematite ore deposits.The paleokarst features are related to a regional volcanic event occurred during the Ladinian (Middle Triassic) that affected several carbonate platforms of Anisian-Ladinian age.This study is focusing mainly on the Latemar paleokarst, in the Western Dolomites, and on the Salafossa area in the Easternmost Dolomites.
The karst at Latemar developed as the result of a magmatic intrusion located just below the isolated carbonate platform, developing a system of phreatic conduits and some underground chambers, not justified by the entity of the submarine exposure occurring at the top of the carbonate platform. Most of these features are located about 500 m below the subaerial unconformity and are filled with middle Triassic lavas. Only in one case, the filling is represented by banded crusts now totally dolomitized, with abundant hematite. In this case, the only way to explain the presence of the karst at this depth is to invoke a deep CO2 source allowing the dissolution of the carbonate at such depths: the fact that some phreatic conduits and a possible underground chamber are filled only with lavas is pointing toward an important role of volcanism in karst development.
Salafossa is a well-known mine located in the easternmost Dolomites and has been exploited until 1986, when all the activity ceased. The main metals, in this case, are Zn-Pb-Ba-Fe, exploited within a quite complex paleokarst system developed in several levels, filled by a complex mineralized sequence. The strong dissolution led to the development of voids aligned with the main fault controlling the mineralization, with a proper karst system with phreatic morphologies.

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