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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 spring, subaqueous is a spring that discharges below the surface of a water body (e.g. ocean, lake, river, or stream) [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 natural bridge (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Karst-like features in badlands of the Arizona Petrified Forest, 1963, Mears Brainerd,
Sinks, disappearing streams, hanging valleys, and natural bridges add a karst-like element to the miniature mountain topography represented in badlands. The Chinle Formation [Triassic] of the Petrified Forest in Arizona largely consists of compact, montmorillonitic and illitic claystones. Sinks in it result from disaggregation of swelling clay minerals rather than solution which affects limestone in true karsts. Ravines whose bottoms are pierced by sinks may develop into hanging valleys because their channels, robbed of surface flow downstream from these swallow holes, cannot keep pace with downcutting in the master drainage to which they are tributary. Growth of the sinks soon creates a disappearing stream that continues to deepen the upstream segment of a ravine. Thus the abandoned downstream segment beyond the sinks, no longer eroded by the stream, develops into a transverse barrier. Where the abandoned channel was initially short, the barrier may be eventually narrowed by weathering and slope erosion to form a natural bridge. Other bridges consist of jumbled material. that has collapsed from steep valley walls, undercut by small stream meanders

Un pseudo-karst dans les argiles (Las Bardenas, Navarre, Espagne), 1986, Maire R. , Pernette J. F.
PSEUDO-KARST IN SANDY-CLAY (LAS BARDENAS NAVARRA-, SPAIN) - The spectacular badlands of Las Bardenas are situated south of the Navarra province (NE Spain); they develop in the sandy-clay (Oligo-Miocene) of the tertiary Ebra basin, with a semi-arid climatic context (<400 mm/year). Pseudo-karstic landforms have been observed near mini-canyons: sinkholes, pits, caves, natural bridges... This morphology of mechanical origin is possible because the running waters disappear underground into the decompression fissures generated on the edges of canyon cliffs. Yet, in a few caves, the gallery is made directly in the mass of sandy-clay, without the help of joints, cracks or fissures ("piping"). This recent pseudo-karst and badlands are the obvious consequence of the historical destruction of forest during the Middle Age.

Rakov Skocjan Karst Valley., 1989, Gospodaric Rado, Habic Peter
Geological, geomorphological and speleological description of the Rak Valley with several caves and natural bridges.

Les recoupements karstiques de mandres encaisss, 1997, Nicod, Jean
Three types of cut-off can be observed: 1) by natural bridge or short tunnel: Pont d'Arc type self-piracy (Ardeche, France) ; 2) by caves system or hydrogeological network, Lesse type (Ardenne, Belgium) ; 3) subaerial in karstic environment, the case of Vis in Navacelles (Herault, France). The main processes are debated: anteriority or/and coexistence of the underground drainage, impact of neotectonics, of the load and the screes and of the water chemistry changes.

Karst and hydrogeology of Lebanon, 1997, Edgell Hs,
Karst is very well-developed in Lebanon in thick, exposed, fractured and folded Jurassic, Cretaceous, and Eocene carbonates, as well as in localized, coastal Miocene limestones. This karstification not only results from the predominant calcareous lithology, but is also caused by the high, northerly trending ranges of he country, which cause abundant precipitation, as heavy rain and thick snow, to fall on Mt. Lebanon, Jabal Barouk, Jabal Niha, and Mt. Hermon. Lesser amounts fall on the Anti-Lebanon, Beqa'a Valley and the coastal hills of the country. Some 80% of precipitation occurs from November through February. The karst water emerges from five first-magnitude springs (Ain ez Zarqa (11 m(3)/sec), Ain Anjar (max. 10m(3)/sec), Nabaa Ouazzani (max. 6m(3)/sec), Nabaa Arbaain (mau. 3 m(3)/sec) and Nabaa Barouk (max. 3m(3)/sec), plus hundreds of second-and third-magnitude springs, and thousands of smaller springs. The large springs are all karstic and contribute to 13 perennial springs in the main Lebanese ranges, and 2 in the Anti-Lebanon. These include major rivers, such as the Nahr el Litani, Nahr el Assi (Orontes) and Nabr el Hasbani (upper Jordan River). More than two-thirds of the area of Lebanon (i.e. 6900 km(2)) is karstified and includes surface karst features, such as poljes, uvalas, dolines, blind valleys, natural bridges, and ponors, as well as smaller features, like karren and hoodoos. Subsurface karst features include many types of solutional shafts and galleries, grottoes, subsurface lakes and rivers and most types of speleothems. There are at least 15 aquifers in Lebanon, of which 14 are in karstified carbonate strata. The 1700m thick limestone/dolomite core of the ranges and over 2000m thickness of flanking, or overlying, Cretaceous limestones provide the majority of these aquifers, while significant aquifers are also found in thick Eocene limestones. High transmissivity values (T = or > 1.83 x 10(-1) m(2)) occur in these karstic aquifers, as is shown by the rapid decline in spring flow over the dry summer and autumn months, and their very quick recharge by winter and spring rains and heavy snow on the Lebanese ranges

Flared slopes revisited, 1998, Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
Flared slopes are smooth concavities caused by subsurface moisture-generated weathering in the scarp-foot zone of hillslopes or boulders. They are well represented in granitic terrains but also developed in other massive materials such as limestone, sandstone, dacite, rhyolite, and basalt, as well as other plutonic rocks. Notches, cliff-foot caves, and swamp slob are congeners of flared slopes. Though a few bedrock flares are conceivably caused by nivation or by a combination of coastal processes, most are two-stage or etch forms. Appreciation of the origin of these forms has permitted their use in the identification and measurement of recent soil erosion and an explanation of natural bridges. Their mode of development is also germane to the origin of the host inselberg or bornhardt and, indeed, to general theories of landscape evolution. But certain discrepancies have been noted concerning the distribution and detailed morphology of flared slopes. Such anomalies are a result of structural factors (sensu late), of variations in size of catchment and in degree of exposure, and of several protective factors. Notwithstanding, the original explanation of flared slopes stands, as do their wider implications

Effect of Trail Users at a Maternity Roost of Rafinesque's Big-Eared Bats, 2000, Lacki, M. J.
While bat-roosting sites continue to be targets of vandalism, Hood Branch Rock Shelter in Natural Bridge State Park, Kentucky, provides habitat for Corynorhinus rafinesquii (Rafinesques big-eared bat). The shelter lies immediately adjacent to a hiking trail (Upper Loop Trail); therefore, the bats are potentially subject to disturbance by park visitors. This study monitored the behavior patterns of park visitors using the trail for potential disturbance effects at the shelter, and compared these data to population size and activity patterns of C. rafinesquii inhabiting the shelter from March to September 1998. Data indicate that a bypass trail directed many visitors away from the entrance to the shelter, but some visitors used the trail adjacent to the shelter and exhibited behavior potentially disruptive to the bats. The shelter was occupied by a maternity colony of Corynorhinus rafinesquii from late April to mid-July, a period in which access to the shelter was restricted due to debris and washouts along the trail from a severe storm in winter 1998. However, the shelter was abandoned by the bats within two weeks after the trail was cleared of debris. Although cause and effect cannot be directly inferred from collected data, the likelihood that the bats abandoned the shelter because of human intrusion is strong. The suitability of this shelter as a maternity roost of C. rafinesquii may be jeopardized by park visitors hiking the adjacent trail, suggesting closure of the Upper Loop Trail as the most viable option for protecting C. rafinesquii in Hood Branch Rock Shelter

Natural bridges on the Vratna River (Eastern Serbia) as the last remnants of a former cave, 2000, Ć, Alić, Ljubojević, Jelena

The Vratna River is a right-side tributary of the Danube and its drainage area is situated at the western rim of the Dacian Basin. Along its 22 km long course, the Vratna flows through a 3,5 km long gorge cut in Tithonian limestones. Across the gorge there are three natural bridges, which shelter, in total 94 metres of the river course. There is a strong assumption that two of the natural bridges are the only remaining parts of roof of a former cave. Due to the process of surface denudation and to the disruption of stability, the cave roof almost completely collapsed, with the exception of these two sections. Several short caves and rock shelters exist in the gorge, and the longest cave (305 m) is situated next to the biggest of the three natural bridges.


Speleology of gypsum caves in Oklahoma, 2002, Bozeman J, Bozeman S,
The gypsum caves of western Oklahoma are situated in three separate areas of evaporite karst: (1) the Cimarron Gypsum Hills, in the northwest, along the Cimarron River; (2) the Weatherford Gypsum Hills, in west-central Oklahoma, to the north of the Wichita Mountains; and (3) the Mangum Gypsum Hills, in the southwest, west of the Wichita Mountains. Caves of the Cimarron Gypsum Hills and the Mangum Gypsum Hills are developed in the alternating dolomite, gypsum/anhydrite, and shale beds of the Permian Blaine Formation. Ranging from natural bridges to extensive cave systems, the largest is the 10 km of passages in Jester Cave in the Mangum Gypsum Hills. Cave passages formed in the normally paired gypsum and dolomite beds exhibit narrow (1.5-5 in wide), sinuous, canyon-like profiles. The development of broader passages, with widths from 5 in to more than 3 5 in, involve the shale beds. Some are bedding-plane passages with extremely low ceilings, whereas others are comfortable, walking-height passages with ceilings from 3-15 in high. The Blaine Formation, in the area of humanly mappable cave development, is from 12 in to approximately 50 in thick. The caves drain the bluffs/escarpments and normally end in karst spring resurgences. Roof collapse often modifies these resurgences into breakdown mazes. The Weatherford Gypsum Hills caves are formed in the Permian Cloud Chief Formation. The Cloud Chief gypsum is chalkier than the Blaine gypsums and the resultant cave development is more segmented, ranging from natural bridges (1.5-15 in in length) to cave segments (locally referred to as 'tunnels') that are tens of meters to more than one kilometer in length. These caves exhibit very little vertical development, and none of the bedding-plane development found in the Blaine Formation

Gypsum karst and its evolution east of Hafik (Sivas, Turkey), 2005, Dogan U, Ozel S,
Sivas and its surroundings is the most important gypsum karst terrain in Turkey with a massive Lower Miocene gypsum formation 750 m thick. The region east of Hafik has a wide variety of well developed karstic features such as karrens, dissolution dolines, collapse dolines, blind valleys, karstic springs, swallow holes, caves, unroofed caves, natural bridges, gorges and poljes. The karstification started in the Early Pliocene. The piezometric level to the east of Hafik has lowered at least 200 m since the Early Pliocene and 90-100 m since the Early Pleistocene. There is a youthful karst (doline karst) on the Higher Plateau (1520-1600 m) and a mature karst on Lower Plateau (1315-1420 m). The mature karst evolved in two stages, first stage where excessively karstic paleovalleys, uvalas and collapse dolines appear and the second stage where poljes, collapse dolines and degraded collapse dolines dominated

New insights into the carbon isotope composition of speleothem calcite: An assessment from surface to subsurface, 2012, Meyer, Kyle William

The purpose of this study was to provide new insights into the interpretation of speleothem (cave calcite deposit) δ13C values. We studied two caves in central Texas, which have been actively monitored for over 12 years. We compared δ13C values of soil CO2 (δ13Cs), cave drip water (δ13CDIC), and modern cave calcite (δ13Ccc). Measured average δ13C values of soil CO2 were -13.9 ± 1.4‰ under mixed, shallowly-rooted C3-C4 grasses and were -18.3 ± 0.7‰ under deeply-rooted ashe juniper trees (C3). The δ13CDIC value of minimally-degassed drip water in Natural Bridge Caverns was -10.7 ± 0.3‰. The carbon isotope composition of CO2 in equilibrium with this measured drip water is -18.1 ± 0.3‰. The agreement between juniper soil CO2 and drip water (within ~0.2‰) suggests that the δ13C value of drip water (δ13CDIC) that initially enters the cave is controlled by deeply-rooted plants and may be minimally influenced by host-rock dissolution and/or prior calcite precipitation (PCP). At Inner Space Caverns, δ13CDIC values varied with vegetation above the drip site, distance from the cave entrance, and distance along in-cave flow paths. Whereas CO2 derived from deeply-rooted plants defines the baseline for drip water δ13CDIC entering the caves, kinetic effects associated with the degassing of CO2 and simultaneous precipitation of calcite account for seasonal variability in δ13CDIC and δ13Ccc. We documented increases in δ13CDIC at a rate of up to 0.47‰/hour during the season of peak degassing (winter), suggesting that δ13CDIC variations may be controlled by total elapsed time of CO2 degassing from drip water (Ttotal). We also observed seasonal shifts in the δ13C values of modern calcite grown on glass substrates that are correlated with shifts in drip water δ13CDIC values and drip-rate. Therefore, we suggest that increased aridity at the surface above a given cave results in, slower drip-rates, higher Ttotal, and therefore higher δ13CDIC values. We propose that large variability (>2‰) in speleothem δ13Ccc values dominantly reflect major vegetation changes, and/or increasing Ttotal by slowing drip-rates. Based on these findings, variability in speleothem carbon isotope records may serve as a proxy for paleoaridity and/or paleovegetation change.


New insights into the carbon isotope composition of speleothem calcite : an assessment from surface to subsurface, 2012, Meyer, Kyle William

The purpose of this study was to provide new insights into the interpretation of speleothem (cave calcite deposit) δ13C values. We studied two caves in central Texas, which have been actively monitored for over 12 years. We compared δ13C values of soil CO2 (δ13Cs), cave drip water (δ13CDIC), and modern cave calcite (δ13Ccc). Measured average δ13C values of soil CO2 were -13.9 ± 1.4‰ under mixed, shallowly-rooted C3-C4 grasses and were -18.3 ± 0.7‰ under deeply-rooted ashe juniper trees (C3). The δ13CDIC value of minimally-degassed drip water in Natural Bridge Caverns was -10.7 ± 0.3‰. The carbon isotope composition of CO2 in equilibrium with this measured drip water is -18.1 ± 0.3‰. The agreement between juniper soil CO2 and drip water (within ~0.2‰) suggests that the δ13C value of drip water (δ13CDIC) that initially enters the cave is controlled by deeply-rooted plants and may be minimally influenced by host-rock dissolution and/or prior calcite precipitation (PCP). At Inner Space Caverns, δ13CDIC values varied with vegetation above the drip site, distance from the cave entrance, and distance along in-cave flow paths. Whereas CO2 derived from deeply-rooted plants defines the baseline for drip water δ13CDIC entering the caves, kinetic effects associated with the degassing of CO2 and simultaneous precipitation of calcite account for seasonal variability in δ13CDIC and δ13Ccc. We documented increases in δ13CDIC at a rate of up to 0.47‰/hour during the season of peak degassing (winter), suggesting that δ13CDIC variations may be controlled by total elapsed time of CO2 degassing from drip water (Ttotal). We also observed seasonal shifts in the δ13C values of modern calcite grown on glass substrates that are correlated with shifts in drip water δ13CDIC values and drip-rate. Therefore, we suggest that increased aridity at the surface above a given cave results in, slower drip-rates, higher Ttotal, and therefore higher δ13CDIC values. We propose that large variability (>2‰) in speleothem δ13Ccc values dominantly reflect major vegetation changes, and/or increasing Ttotal by slowing drip-rates. Based on these findings, variability in speleothem carbon isotope records may serve as a proxy for paleoaridity and/or paleovegetation change.


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