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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 fault gouge is a clay-like material occurring between the walls of a fault as a result of the movement along the fault surfaces.?

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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 neotectonic (Keyword) returned 50 results for the whole karstbase:
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Essai sur l'analyse des cavits kars-tiques du massif de Marseilleveyre et des archipels de Riou et du Frioul (Marseille), 1983, Blanc J. J. , Monteau R.
ESSAY ON THE ANALYSIS OF THE KARSTIC CAVES OF THE MASSIF DE MARSEILLEVEYRE AND OF THE RIOU-FRIOUL ARCHIPELAGOS, MARSEILLE, FRANCE - Statistical analysis and numeric treatment about the karstic caves of the Marseilleveyre Massif and Riou-Frioul archipelagos. We deal with the relationships between the lithology of consolidated speleothems, geologic framework, jointing intensity, morphology and mechanical phenomena (decompression and neotectonic actions).

Nouvelles recherches gomorphologiques sur les karsts mditerranens, 1983, Nicod, J.
NEW RESEARCHES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN KARSTS - More precise measurements are now being used to establish the rates of which limestone dissolves and the corrosion processes (regular hydrochemical measurements, Iv. GAMS limestone tablets method). In the study of the morphological evolution, the role of the quaternary paleoclimate is estimated by dating on the speleothems and the meaning of the outer carbonate formations has been revealed. Bauxite and terra rossa and various weatings make it possible to specify the pre-quaternary evolution and the origin of paleokarsts. Thanks to new methods, the influence of neotectonic is taken into account, especially the effects of the rise of numerous massifs to which we can add the variations in the sea level with coastal limestone formations. By way of conclusions we must stress the importance of studying karstical surroundings and the problems of applied karstology studies.

Karsts alpins et notectonique, 1984, Julian, M.
ALPINE KARSTS AND NEOTECTONIC: A BRIEF OVERVIEW - Several problems are studied at the light of new investigations: 1) the deepening of the karstic network related to orogenic uplifts and the corresponding levels of the caves; 2) the tectonic deformations (faults) described upon some karstic surfaces or into some caves; 3) the pseudo-tectonic deformations like toppling failures and other tension-cracks parallel to the vertical cliff faces.

Un karst subalpin mditerranen : la rgion Audibergue-Mons (Alpes-Maritimes et Var), 1984, Julian M. , Nicod J.
THE KARSTIC AREA AUDIBERGUE-MONS (Prealps of Grasse, Maritime Alps and Var departments) - This area, very important for the karstic superficial features and the caves, is formed by the proximity of plateaus belonging to the structural system of Provence and the higher main subalpine unit of Audibergue. Three fields of sinkholes are especially characteristic: 1/ central Audibergue, controlled by shear fractures and under the influence of nival phenomena; 2/ Fort d'Esclapon, with more various forms and perhaps an older karstic evolution that explains the large inheritance of terra rossa; 3/ Biron that shows deep furrows and sinkholes. The study of the poljes, fluvio-karstic (Caille) or half-opened (Canaux), introduces the problem of the underground karstic hydrology. The dynamics of neotectonics and morphoclimatic systems, specially the old periglacial processes, is considered with reference to the main forms and deposits shown on the map.

Notectonique dans les massifs karstiques, un exemple dans les Pralpes de Nice : la grotte des Deux Gourdes, 1986, Gilli, E.
NEOTECTONICS IN KARST REGION (EXAMPLE IN THE NICE PREALPS) - Speleothem observations may give interesting information about neotectonic phenomena in karstic areas. It is also possible with calcite dating to give an age to these phenomena. An example in Nice Prealps (France), the Deux Gourdes Cave, shows some data about this type of research.

Le karst pliocne de la rgion de Safi (Maroc atlantique), 1987, Weisrock A. , Lunski S.
POST-PLIOCENE KARST OF SAFI AREA (ATLANTIC MOROCCO) - The karst of Safi area is developed in bioclastic calcarenites of Plio-Moghrebian upon Mesozoic limestones, marls and gypsum. Dolines, uvalas and poljes are found along faults N170-N195, N040-N070, N080-N115, which are mainly " Mesetian " and " Atlasic " tectonic directions of Atlantic Morocco. Two points are developed upon this karst genesis: 1/ the relations between post-pliocene karstic landforms and paleokarst in limestones and gypsum; 2/ the recent karstic developments occur during the periods wetter than today (310 mm/y), for example Upper Pleistocene, as it is showed by dating of charcoal in dolines filling.

Notectonique dans le karst du N-O du lac de Thoune (Suisse), 1990, Jeannin, P. Y.
Neotectonic in the karst north of Lake Thoune (Switzerland) - The karstic area north of Lake Thoune is part of the "Border Chain" of the Swiss Alps (Cretaceous, Helvetic). It comprises large caves coming from two catchments. The first one pours out at the Beatushhle; more than 15 km of galleries are known in this area. The second one contains the Sieben Hengste - Hohgant - Hohlaub - Schrattenfluh region, it pours out at the Btterich and Gelberbrunnen springs, by Lake Thoune. It includes the very large "Sieben Hengste - Hohgant cave System" (length: 115 km; depth: 1050 m); the Brenschacht (length: >10 km; depth: 950 m), as well as several other important caves more than 1 km length. Recent shifts along faults were mainly measured in the Sieben Hengste Cave System. Neotectonic indication were of the following types: gallery sections displaced by the fault shifts, displaced pillar structures or shifted, inclined or broken speleothems. The fault movements were placed on a time scale according to the genetic evolution of the region. It indicates that there were three phases of movement, which greatly affected the underground flows and karstification. The geometric and dynamic analysis of the measured shifts and slikken-slides also indicates three phases of movements. The strain direction, causing these movements, was determined. Thus, three plio-quaternary tectonic phases were found: an alpine compressive SSE-NNW phase, followed by an extensive SSE-NNW phase and then again by a compressive one.

Approche gomorphologique des karsts du gypse de la Vanoise (la zone alpine et glaciaire du vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz,Alpes), 1991, Chardon, M.
GYPSUM KARSTIC LANDFORMS IN VANOISE: the alpine and glacial valley of Vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz (Alps, France) - In the inner part of the northern french Alps, the higher regions of the Vanoise offer outcrops of Triassic gypsum of which the surface and thickness vary. In the vallon du Fruit, the Gbroulaz glacier partially covers a long strip of gypsum, which reaches its highest point at the Roc de la Soufrire (2940 m). Rivers and springs in the vallon du Fruit are fed both by sub-aerial glacial outflows and by karstic underground flows, which are pro-glacial and sub-glacial. A very low chemical dissolution exists under the glacier and along the fast pro-glacial underground and sub-aerial flows, whereas the rate of karstic denudation is high in the margin of the glacier where it reaches 1500 mm/ky at around 2500m (1 ky = 1000 years). The formation and evolution of the dolines is rapid and occurs through underground sucking and dissolution once the area is deglaciated, thanks to underground active flows fed by the glacier and snow melting. Gypsum domes are uplifted under the effects of neotectonic movements and postglacial decompression brings about considerable superficial fissuring because of the elasticity of the rock. Over 10,000 years, the morphogenesis of these domes in the humid and cold climatic conditions of these high alpine mountains has transformed them into perforated ladle and domes. Small outcrops are changed into monoliths or gypsum inselberg. A model of the geomorphologic post-glacial evolution of these domes, over some 20,000 years, is proposed.

Etude d'un chevauchement dans les gouffres du Calernam et des Baoudillouns (Cipires, Alpes-Maritimes), 1991, Gilli, E.
Study of a trust plane in the Baoudillouns and Calernam Caves (Alpes Maritimes, France) - The shafts of Calernam and Baoudillouns are to be found in the Prealps of Grasse (Alpes-Maritimes). They are formed in inclined and over-lap folds, issued from the southward sliding of the sedimentary cover during the alpine orogeny. The cave studied here is the only example to date of a cave that totally crosses a tectonic slice and permits the observation of the thrust plane. Through this study, it can be observed that the bottom of the limestone series has been entirely planed and that abnormal contact (mechanical unconformity) resembles in most cases a normal one. No obvious neotectonic sign has been observed for the moment.

Prsentation des rgions karstiques du Vietnam, 1991, Khang, Pham
Tropical karst of Vietnam - The main karstic region of Vietnam cover a total surface of 50,000 km2 and are to be found almost exclusively in North Vietnam, that is to say in 1/5 of the territory. They are situated in the distinct zone conditioned by the Tertiary and Quaternary phases. The largest zones are situated in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. The least karstified zone is the West and southwest of Hanoi. The flooded coastal region (Isle of Catba, Along Bay) belongs to the boarder of the subsidence zone of the Red River delta. Although the damp tropical monsoon climate has varied very little from the Neogene until today, the karstic landscapes and degrees of evolution differ in each area and can range from cone, pyramid, tower to pinnacle karsts.

Les mouvements tectoniques rcents dans les grottes du Monte Campo dei Fiori (Lombardie, Italie), 1992, Bini A. , Quinif Y. , Sules O. , Uggeri A.
Recent tectonic movements have been studied in the caves of Monte Campo dei Fiori in Lombardy (Italy). These develop in limestones and dolomites ranging from the Lower Trias to the Lower Lias. In the Frassino cave, movements can be observed along the layers (shifts in galleries) as well as speleothems that have been broken and displaced. U/Th datings of speleothems indicate ages of more 350.000 years. Karstification therefore preceded neotectonic movements. On the whole, observations point out an increasing folding of the syncline of the Varese Lake, together with an uplift of the neighbouring anticlines.

Signification godynamique des rseaux karstiques tags du canyon de Baudinard (moyennes gorges du Verdon, 1992, Blanc, J. J.
GEODYNAMIC SIGNIFICATION OF LEVELLED KARSTIC NETWORKS IN THE BAUDINARD CANYON (VERDON CANYON, FRANCE) - An intense speleogenic activity can be observed in the Baudinard canyon: some levelled systems in relation to the lowering karstic water-table linked to the formation of the canyon, during Messinian, Pliocene and Quaternary periods. An active tectonic framework shows many deformations of the ante-vindobonian surface during the plio-quaternary burrowing canyon phases. Azimuth gallery direction analysis reveals several sorts of drainage network: linear, smoothed with loops, labyrinths and drainage-confluences. Networks are induced by local and successive tectonic actions. The gallery wall deformations are strongly marked by the shrinking stresses and interstrata shearing.

Les karsts dans le Jurassique ardchois, 1992, Marchand, Th.
ARDECHE KARSTS IN THE JURASSIC LIMESTONES - The southern part of the department of the Ardeche consists of numerous karstic zones. In these places, there are several caves, some of which are well-known: The Sauvas-Cocalieres cave, St Marcels cave... But speleological and scientific studies have mainly focused on the Cretaceous karst. The Ardche gorges cut through this area. The Jurassic karsts although lesser known deserve to be studied in depth for their hydrogeological and geomorphologic interest. The surface landforms show evidence of the intense karstification, but it is deep down underground that these phenomena are most impressive. Four elements characterise the originality of these plateaus: the very strong amplitude of outflows in relation to the structure, the active grinding and the neotectonic affect most of the caves, the importance of the fillings which are sometimes allochtonous and the probable age of the caves. In most cases, investigating them means using subterranean diving techniques.

Alpine karsts. Genesis of large subterranean networks. Examples : the Tennengebirge (Austria) - the Ile de Crémieu, the Chartreuse and the Vercors (France), PhD Thesis, 1993, Audra, Philippe

This work, based on the study of several underground alpine networks, aims to propose some milestone in the history of these karstic regions.

The first part of the work is made up of three regional studies.

The Tennengebirge mountains are a massif of the limestone High Alps in the region of Salzburg in Austria. A cone karst close to the base level developed in the Neogene. Streams from the Alps fed the karst, resulting in the huge horizontal networks of which the Eisriesenwelt provides evidence. During the successive phases of upthrust, the levels of karstification, whether on the surface or deeper down, settled into a tier pattern, thus descending in stages from the base level. From the Pliocene era onwards, thanks to an increase in potential, alpine shafts replace the horizontal networks. The formation of these shafts is more pronounced during glaciation. The study of the Cosa Nostra - Bergerhöhle system developing 30 km of conduits on a gradient reaching almost 1 500 m provides a fairly full view of the karstification of this massif. It includes the horizontal levels developed in the Miocene and the Plio-Pleistocene, joined together by vertical sections. The most noteworthy features of the Tennengebirge, as in the neighboring massifs, lie first and foremost in the extreme thickness of the limestone which has recorded and immunized the differents steps of karstification. Secondly, the size of the networks can be, for the most part, accounted for by the contribution of allogenous waters from the streams of the Neogene and the glaciers of the Pleistocene. Generally sudden and unexpected, these flows of water engendered heavy loads (up to 600 m), simultaneously flooding several levels. To a lesser extent, the situation is similar today.

The Ile de Cremieu is a low limestone plateau on the western edge of the Jura. Due to its location in the foothills, the lobes of the Rhône glacier have covered it up, obliterating the surface karst. However, widespread evidence of anteglacial morphologies remains : paleokarst, cone karst, polygenic surface. Because of glacial plugging, access to the underground karst is limited. The main cavity is the cave of La Balme. Its initial development dates back to an early period. The morphological study has permitted the identification of several phases which go back to the Pleistocene and which are related to the Rhône glacier. The latter brought about modifications in the base level by supplying its merging waters as well as moraine material. These variations in the base level shaped the drainage structure. The underground glacial polishes are one of the noteworthy aspects recorded.

The massives of the Moucherotte and dent de Crolles belong to the northern French Prealps. They conceal large networks, respectively the Vallier cave and the Dent de Crolles. They were formed in the early Pliocene after the final orogenic phase and are in the form of horizontal conduits. The upthrust, which brought about the embanking of the Isère valley, left them in a perched position by taking away the basin which fed them. They were later, however, able to take advantage of waters from the Isère glacier during a part of the Pleistocene. The Vallier cave contains particularly glacio-karstic sediments of the lower Pleistocene, representing unique evidence of glaciation during this period. The vertical networks were put in place at the end of the Pliocene with the increase in karstification potential ; they underwent changes in the Pleistocene due to the effect of autochton and allogenous glaciers.

The second part of the work deals in general with the various forms and processes of karstification, sometimes going beyond the Alps. The study of cave deposits is a privileged tool in the understanding and reconstruction not only of the history of the networks but also the regional environment. The dating of speleothems by the U / Th method has very ofen given an age of over 350 000 years. The age of the networks is confirmed by the use of paleomagnetism which has yielded evidence of speleothems and glacio-karstic sediments anterior to 780 000 years. Anisotropic measurements of magnetic susceptibility have been used to distinguish the putting into place of glacio-karstic deposits by decantation.

Measurements of calcite rates lead to a typology of sediments based on their nature and carbonate content (rehandled weathered rocks, fluvial sands, carbonated varves, decantation clays). Granulometry confirms this differenciation by supplying precise details of transport and sedimentation modes : suspension and abrupt precipitation of clay, suspension and slow decantation of carbonated varves, suspension and rolling together with a variable sorting of sand and gravel. Mineralogical analyses oppose two types of detrital deposits. On the one hand, the rehandling of antequaternary weathered rocks extracted by the karst as a result of scouring during environmental destabilization and on the other hand, sediments characteristic of the ice age of the Pleistocene. The latter are not highly developed and their arrival in the karst is always later. Examination of heavy minerals, the morphoscopy of quartz grains and study of micromorphologies on thin blades provide precise details of conditions of evolution. The use of these methods of investigation allows for an accurate definition of the features of the evolution of the differents types of fillings, particularly speleothems, rehandled weathered rocks as well as carbonated varves. This wealth and complexity are emphasized by a detailed study of the sedimentary sequences of the Vallier cave and of the Bergerhöhle.
Speleogenesis is approached last of all in the light of above study. Emphasis is placed on the major part played by corrosion in the temporarily phreatic zone and on its many consequences (multi-level concept, simultaneous evolution of levels, origin of deep waterlogged karsts…).
Varia tions in the base level have induced karstification in contexts in which the potential was weak. These were followed by periods of increased potential to which were added the effects of glaciation. Perched horizontal levels belong to the first stages which ended in the early Pliocene, whereas alpine shafts developed in the second context. The role of structure and the parameters governing the shape of conduits (pits, meanders, canyons) are also dealt with. The different parts of the karst are borne in mind when dealing with the strength of karstic erosion during the ice age. It notably appears that it is weak on the crests and more or less non-existent in the deep parts of the karst which are liable to flooding. Finally, a preliminary analysis of an observation of neotectonic traces is presented.


Signification des remplissages des karsts de montagne, quelques cls lusage des splologues, 1995, Audra, P.
This paper is intended to cavers in order to help them identify the most significant mountain karst infillings. Carbonated varves sedimentation occurs during floodings in glacial environment. The varves block the deep parts of the networks. Pebbles sealings show a powerful erosion in the vadose zone, near glacial sinkholes. Gelifract spreadings are indicators of frost and snow action in periglacial environment. Reworked weathered rocks are the most ancient deposits, inherited from tertiary warm phases when karstification occurred under regolith covers. Their clearing is partly simultaneous with cave systems elaboration, in relation to the alpine uplift, during Pliocene. Speleothems are also warm or temperate climate indicators. Crystalline morphology reflects environmental characteristics, while their surface sight could have been smoothed during discharge reactivations. Finally, some infillings could have recorded neotectonic movements: broken speleothems, deformed clastic sediments, etc.

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