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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 branchwork cave pattern is 1. a cave system that has been formed by the intersection of tubular or canyon-like conduits as tributaries in the down-flow direction. 2. a dendritic cave system of subterranean watercourses having many incoming branches and no visible outgoing ones [10].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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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 palaeoclimate (Keyword) returned 54 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 54
Palaeoclimate determination from cave calcite deposits., 1992,
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Gascoyne M.

Palaeoclimate determination from cave calcite deposits, 1992,
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Gascoyne M,
Calcite deposits formed in limestone caves have been found to be an excellent repository of palaeoclimatic data for terrestrial environments. The very presence of a relict deposit indicates non-glacial conditions at the time of formation, and both 14C and uranium-series methods can be used to date the deposit and, hence, the age of these climatic conditions. Variations in 13C and 18O content of the calcite, in 2H and 18O content of fluid inclusions, in trace element concentrations and, more recently, in pollen assemblages trapped in the calcite, are all potentially available as synchronous palaeoclimatic indicators. Previous work has tended to concentrate mainly on abundance of deposits as a palaeoclimatic indicator for the last 300,000 years. This literature is briefly reviewed here, together with the theory and methods of analysis of the U-series and stable isotopic techniques. The combined use of U-series ages and 13C and 18O variations in cave calcites illustrates the potential for palaeoclimate determination. Previously unpublished results of stable isotopic variations in dated calcites from caves in northern England indicate the level of detail of stable isotopic variations and time resolution that can be obtained, and the complexity of interpretation that may arise. Tentative palaeoclimatic signals for the periods 90-125 ka and 170-300 ka are presented. More comprehensive studies are needed in future work, especially in view of the difficulty in obtaining suitable deposits and the ethics of cave deposits conservation

Variations in the discharge and organic matter content of stalagmite drip waters in Lower Cave, Bristol, 1997,
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Baker A, Barnes Wl, Smart Pl,
Six drip waters, which were actively depositing stalagmites in Lower Cave, Bristol, were analysed both for discharge and luminescence properties. Drip discharges were determined for two different years, and show a complex response to surface precipitation variations. Inter annual variability in drip discharge is demonstrated to be significantly higher than intra-annual variability, and discharge was demonstrated both to increase and decrease non-linearly with increased precipitation. Drip waters demonstrate a correlation between their luminescence intensity and drip discharge, with increased luminescence in winter as more organic matter is flushed through the aquifer. The strength of the relationship between luminescence intensity and discharge increases with increased discharge. The results presented here have implications for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of annual growth laminae and the growth rates of stalagmite samples.

Symposium Abstract: The reconstructon of the Palaeoclimate of the late Quaternary warm periods through Tims U/Th and Pollen analysis of British and Irish Speleothems, 1998,
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Mcgarry S.

Uranium-series ages of speleothems from South Andros, Bahamas: Implications for Quaternary sea-level history and palaeoclimate, 1998,
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Smart P. L, Richards D. A. , Edwards R. L.

Petrography, strontium, barium and uranium concentrations, and strontium and uranium isotope ratios in speleothems as palaeoclimatic proxies: Soreq Cave, Israel, 1999,
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Ayalon A, Barmatthews M, Kaufman A,
The reconstruction of the palaeoclimate of the eastern Mediterranean region for the last 60 ka BP is based on the delta(18)O and delta(13)C variations of speleothems from Soreq Cave, Israel. Climatic conditions during most of the rime interval between 60 and 17 ka BP (the period equivalent to the last glacial) were relatively cold and dry, while they were warmer and wetter from 17 ka BP to the present. At similar to 17 ka BP, there was a major climatic change with a sharp increase in annual rainfall and temperature and a very wet period occurring between 8.5 and 7.0 ka BP. During the colder and drier period, large, detritus-free, preferentially oriented calcite crystals were deposited from slow-moving water. As a result of a sharp change in the hydrological regime at similar to 17 ka BP, fast-moving water started entrainment of the soil and carrying detrital material into the cave, and the calcite crystals deposited became small and anhedral. Coinciding with the petrographic and isotopic changes, a sharp drop occurred in the concentrations of strontium, barium and uranium, and in the ratios Sr-87/Sr-86 and (U-234/U-238)(0), which reached mini mum values during the wettest period. This drop reflects enhanced weathering of the soil dolomite host rock. During colder and drier periods, higher trace-element concentrations and higher isotopic ratios reflect an increase in the contribution of salts derived from exogenic sources (sea spray and aeolian dust), and a reduced contribution of weathering from the host dolomites

Variations in stalagmite luminescence laminae structure at Poole's Cavern, England, AD 1910{}1996: calibration of a palaeoprecipitation proxy, 1999,
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Baker A, Proctor Cj, Barnes Wl,
Duplicate records of variations in the structure of stalagmite annual luminescence laminae are investi gated for the period ad 1910 to 1996 for Poole's Cavern, Buxton, central England. For the two stalagmites, 88% of the years have luminescence laminae that exhibit a near sinusoidal shape with no structural variations. However 10 laminae (12% of total) exhibit a double band structure; these are demonstrated to occur in years with high monthly or daily mean precipitation. It is suggested that high intensity (.60 mm d- 1) and high quantity (.250 mm per month) of precipitation may flush luminescent organic material onto the stalagmites from either the soil or groundwater zones and generate a double lamina. However, not all precipitation events generated double laminae. High-intensity events in summer were ineffective due to a soil moisture deficit and/or interception by the woodland canopy. High-rainfall months (.250 mm) failed to generate double laminae when preceded by two or more months of greater than 150 mm, suggesting exhaustion of the organic acid supply can occur. When compared to monthly precipitation data for Buxton, laminae shape and the percentage of double laminae of the Poole's Cavern stalagmites are best explained by a centre-weighted running mean of the preceding six to seven months' precipitation. The palaeoclimate potential of structural variations in stalagmite luminescence laminae is discussed

A 3000-year high-resolution stalagmitebased record of palaeoclimate for northeastern South Africa, 1999,
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Holmgren K. , Karlen W. , Lauritzen S. E. , Leethorp J. A. , Partridge T. C. , Piketh S. , Repinski P. , Stevenson C. , Svanered O. , Tyson P. D. ,
High-resolution stable isotope variations and growth structure analyses of the last three millennia of a 6600-year stalagmite record at Cold Air Cave, Makapansgat Valley, South Africa, are presented. Growth layers, which are measurable over the last 250 years, are shown to be annual. The correlation between the width of growth layers and precipitation is strongly positive. Changes in{delta}18O and{delta}13C are positively correlated and inversely correlated to changes in the colour of the growth layers in the stalagmite. Variations in colour are directly correlated with mean annual temperature. Dark colouration is the product of increased temperature and mobilization of organic matter from the soil, and is associated with wetter summers and enhanced growth of C4 grasses. Darker colouring and enriched{delta}18O and{delta}13C reflect a warmer, wetter environment, whereas lighter colouring and depleted isotopic values are indicative of cooler, drier conditions. The dominant episode in the 3000-year record is the cool, dry 500-year manifestation of the Little Ice Age', from ad 1300 to about 1800, with the lowest temperatures at around ad 1700. The four centuries from ad 900 to 1300, experiencing above-average warming and high variability, may be the regional expression of the medieval warming. Other cool, dry spells prevailed from around ad 800 to 900 and from about ad 440 to 520. The most prolonged warm, wet period occurred from ad 40 to 400. Some extreme events are shown to correspond well with similar events determined from the Greenland GISP2 ice-core record and elsewhere. Distinct periodicities occur within the record at around 120, 200-300, 500-600 and at about 800 years BP

Palaeoclimatic interpretation of stable isotope data from Holocene speleothems of the Waitomo district, North Island, New Zealand, 1999,
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Williams P. W. , Marshall A. , Ford D. C. , Jenkinson A. V. ,
One straw stalactite and three stalagmites from the Waitomo district of North Island, New Zealand, were examined for stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon with a view to interpreting their palaeoclimate signal. Dating was by uranium series and AMS 14C for the stalagmites and by gamma-ray spectrometry for the straw. Records were thus established for about 100 years for the straw and 3.9, 10.1 and 10.2 ka for the stalagmites. The range of variability in d18Oc and d13Cc this century is about two-thirds of that experienced over the entire Holocene, and is most simply explained in terms of the oceanic source area of rain. Stable isotope variations in three stalagmites show some general similarities, but have significant differences in detail, which underlines the necessity to base palaeoclimatic interpretations on more than one speleothem record. The d18Oc of each stalagmite varies positively with temperature, indicating the dominance of the ocean source of evaporation in determining the isotopic composition of precipitation and hence speleothem calcite in the Holocene. This conclusion is contrary to that of other authors working in New Zealand, who identified a negative relationship between d18Oc and temperature, while examining time periods extending across the Last Glacial Maximum. It is concluded here that, whereas the ice volume effect dominates the large climatic shifts of glacial-interglacial amplitude, the oceanic source effect becomes more important during the period of relatively stable sea level during the Holocene. Results also indicate a late-Holocene altitudinal effect of 0.2{per thousand} d18Oc per 100 m and an associated temperature relationship of about 0.26{per thousand} per{degrees}C. The average of two records identifies the postglacial climatic optimum to lie in the interval from prior to 10 ka BP to 7.5 ka BP, when d18Oc values were up to 0.6{per thousand} less negative than present, implying an average annual mean temperature that was up to 2.3{degrees}C warmer. The average of three speleothem records for the last 3900 years reveals the coldest period of the Holocene to have occurred about 3 to 2 ka BP, when d18Oc values were typically 0.4{per thousand} more negative than present and average temperatures may have been 1.5{degrees}C cooler. Mean annual temperature variability of about 2{degrees}C was sometimes experienced in little more than 100 years

Intra- and inter-annual growth rate of modern stalagmites, 2001,
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Genty D, Baker A, Vokal B,
We measure the factors that determine growth rate (temperature, drip rate, calcium ion concentration) for 31 waters that feed stalagmites within six cave systems throughout Europe. Water samples were collected at a frequency of at least month. to permit the modelling of both inter- and intra-annual growth rate variations, utilising the theory of Wolfgang Dreybrodt (Chem. Geol. 29 (1980) 89-105; Chem. Geol, 32 (1981) 237-245; Dreybrodt, W., 1988, Processes in Karst Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 288 pp.). Inter-annual growth rates were measured using the stalagmites that were associated with the analysed water samples; growth rate was determined from annual lamina counting, specific time markers within the stalagmites, and location of bomb C-14. When compared to theoretically predicted values, a good agreement between theoretical and measured stalagmite growth rates is observed (R-2 = 0.69). When compared to site climate and geochemical parameters, a good correlation is observed between measured growth fate and mean annual temperature for five sites (R-2 = 0.63) and dripwater calcium content (R-2 = 0.61), but not drip rate (R-2 = 0.09). The good correlation with both calcium and temperature is due to soil CO, production being primarily determined by surface temperature and soil moisture. However, when we compare our data to that in the Grotte de Clamouse, a site that has little soil cover, we observe that the growth rate-temperature relationship breaks down due to either the lack of soil CO, production or prior calcite: precipitation. Intra-annual data demonstrates that maximum growth rate occurs when calcium concentrations are high, and that this occurs under different seasons depending on the hydrology of each site. Our results demonstrate a stronger dependence of intra-annual stalagmite growth rate on dissolved calcium ion concentrations than drip rate for the range of drip rates investigated here (0.01 < t < 2drip s(-1)), but for lower drip rates, this factor becomes important in controlling growth rate. We suggest that for well-monitored acid -understood sites, stalagmite growth rate variations can provide useful information for palaeoclimate reconstruction. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Seasonal variations in Sr, Mg and P in modern speleothems (Grotta di Ernesto, Italy), 2001,
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Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. , Borsato Andrea, Frisia Silvia, Cassidy Nigel J. , Mcdermott Frank, Hawkesworth Chris J. ,
Sub-annual variations in trace element chemistry and luminescence have recently been demonstrated from speleothems and offer the potential of high-resolution palaeoclimatic proxies. However, no studies have yet examined microscopic trace element variations in relation to modern cave conditions. In this study, the spatial variations in trace element (Sr, Mg and P) concentrations in speleothems (a stalagmite and a soda straw stalactite) from the alpine Ernesto cave (temperature 6.60.1[deg]C) in a forested catchment in NE Italy have been studied using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and compared with environmental parameters and waters in the modern cave. An annual lamination exists in the stalagmite and soda straw stalactite in the form of clear calcite with narrow visible layers, which are UV-fluorescent and interpreted to contain soil-derived humic/fulvic acids washed into the cave during autumn rains. Microanalyses were undertaken of seven annual laminae, probably deposited during the 1960s in the stalagmite, and seven laminae in the 1990s for the stalactite.The analysis results show that Sr consistently has a trough and P, a peak centred on the inclusion-rich layer. Mg shows mainly a negative covariation with Sr in laminae formed in the 1990s, but a positive covariation in the stalagmite formed in 1960s. The spatial scale of the main geochemical variations is the same as that of annual laminae of inclusion-poor and inclusion-rich couplets. Mass balance arguments are used to show that the P is inorganic in form and presumably occurs as individual phosphate ions within the calcite.Most drip waters show limited chemical variations, but a summer peak in trace elements in 1995 and a decrease in Mg/Ca in the following winter are notable. More pronounced covariations in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are shown by a site with highly variable drip rates where ratios increase at slow drip rates. The strongest seasonal variations are found in pool waters, where ratios increase reflecting significant Ca removal from the water into the calcite during the winter in response to seasonal PCO2 variations in cave air. Thus, the cave waters' compositions tend to reflect climate conditions, such that Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are tentatively interpreted to be higher when climate conditions are dry.Combining results from the speleothems and cave water along with the behaviour of each trace species, Mg/Ca variations in the speleothems are considered to reflect their variation in the cave waters, whereas, Sr incorporation is also dependent on precipitation rate, in this case, mainly controlled by temporal variations in PCO2 in the cave (and conceivably, also by inhibitors such as phosphate). P adsorption (a fraction of which is subsequently incorporated within calcite) depends on aqueous phosphate concentration and water flux, both of which should increase during the autumn. Therefore, multiple trace element profiles in speleothems reflect multiple aspects of environment seasonality and conditions, and hence, a calibration against weather records is desirable to establish their palaeoclimatological meaning. The strong annual variation of trace elements, and particularly P, can provide chronological markers for high-resolution studies of other climate proxies, such as stable isotopes

Partitioning of Sr2 and Mg2 into calcite under karst-analogue experimental conditions, 2001,
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Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. ,
There is a paucity of experimental data on calcite precipitation from waters at low ionic strength and low ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca, using controlled and constant precipitation rates. Such data are particularly needed for studies of speleothem geochemistry in relation to palaeoclimates.We carried out a series of experiments using a karst-analogue set-up in a chamber of constant temperature and 100% humidity. A steady flow of NaHCO3 and CaCl2 solutions at PCO2 around 10-3.2 were mixed just before passage through a tube (analogous to a soda-straw stalactite) and allowed to drip onto a surface, analogous to a stalagmite. Growth rates were comparable with linear extension rates of natural speleothems.Analytical spots gave reproducible analyses in later analytical cycles after ablation of surface calcite with Na and Mg contamination. Different crystals from the same experiment tended to show positive covariation of Na and Mg with negative covariation with Sr. This may be due to the presence of growth hillocks with vicinal faces with differential partitioning behaviour.The result for the partition coefficient for Mg (DMg) at 25[deg]C is 0.031 0.004, which is quantitatively in good agreement with the trends of previous workers. At 15[deg]C, the result is 0.019 0.003. The temperature dependency is higher than experimental data on seawater-analogue solutions, but lower than a previous estimate based on a comparison of speleothem chemistry with single water analyses.Data for DSr are mainly in the range of 0.057 to 0.078, with a possible weak dependency on growth rate, consistent with previous experimental work. Absolute values are higher than studies in Mg-free saline solutions, which is attributed mainly to salinity effects. Values of DSr are nevertheless somewhat lower than in natural caves, which may relate to crystal growth factors.Mg partition coefficient values should allow robust determination of solution Mg/Ca compositions in enclosed caves, which are at constant temperature on the decadal timescale. The inferred sensitivity of DSr to growth rate factors implies that Sr values should be interpreted more cautiously. Muted changes could relate entirely to growth rate variations, whereas changes of large magnitude imply a control by solution composition. The absence of local (tens of micron scale) antipathetic variations in Sr and Mg in studied natural speleothems, implies that intracrystalline zoning phenomena, if present, are on a finer scale in those natural materials compared with experimental products

Weichselian palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment in Europe: background for palaeogroundwater formation, 2001,
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Vaikmae R. , Edmunds W. M. , Manzano M. ,
A review is given of palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental evidence across Europe for the Weichselian period relevant to interpreting the emplacement and circulation of groundwaters. In addition, this provides the background against which the evidence of past climates and environments contained in groundwaters in coastal areas of Europe, from the Baltic to the Atlantic Ocean may be compared. For much of the Weichselian, although significantly colder than at present, conditions were favourable for the recharge of groundwater, as shown, for example, by periods of speleothem growth. During the last glacial maximum (LGM) recharge is likely to have ceased over much of permafrost-covered Europe, although shallow groundwater recharge from meltwater (generated by the geothermal gradients) could have taken place beneath the ice where pressure relief through tunnel valleys may have occurred. Modern recharge could have started as early as 13 14C ka BP, but probably interrupted by the Younger Dryas between 11 and 10 14C ka BP. In the Baltic areas, ice-dammed lakes inhibited the start of the modern hydrogeological regimes until c. 10.3 14C ka BP. Tundra conditions prevailed over most of ice-free southern Europe at the time of the LGM. At this time the area south of the Portuguese-Spanish border retained a generally warm and relatively humid climate due to the maintenance of warmer sea-surface temperatures derived from Atlantic Ocean circulation. For most of coastal Europe, however, the most significant impact on groundwater circulation is likely to have been the lowering of sea levels that drained large areas of the shelf, such as the North Sea and the English Channel, and also had a significant impact on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula where the maximum lowering of up to 130 m would have been experienced. This, together with the general changes in climate, would also have reorganized the atmospheric chemistry over sites in Europe that is likely to be recorded in the groundwater's chemical and isotopic signatures

Eustatic sea-level and climate changes over the last 600 ka as derived from mollusc-based ESR-chronostratigraphy and pollen evidence in Northern Eurasia, 2002,
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Molodkov Anatoly N. , Bolikhovskaya Nataliya S. ,
We reconstruct and correlate palaeoclimatic events and deposits from shelf, glacial, periglacial, and extraglacial zones of northern Eurasia over the last 600,000 years. The chronostratigraphical correlation of identified palaeoenvironmental and sea-level events and corresponding horizons is based on electron spin resonance (ESR) analysis of subfossil mollusc skeletal remains from marine, freshwater and Acheulian-bearing cave-site deposits. Over 230 shell samples from more than 40 sites along the continental margin of Eurasian north, in the Black and Caspian sea basins and terrestrial shells from a Lower Palaeolithic cave-site in the Northern Caucasus were dated via ESR to produce a late Quaternary geochronology. The Pleistocene composite section of the loess-palaeosoil formation includes two reference sections--Likhvin and Arapovichi--from the centre of the East-European plain. The palyno-chronostratigraphic record is interpreted as the product of six warm-climate/high sea-level events including the current interglacial, and six glacial events. They are presented either as complete climatic rhythms of glacial and interglacial rank, or by considerable portions of climatic-phytocoenotic phases constituents of the rhythm. The full-interglacial conditions are centred at about 580, 400, 310, 220 and between 145-70 calendar ka. A broad correspondence between long palynological sequence, directly ESR-dated warm-climate-related events and other palaeoenvironmental records described in the literature has been noted for 11 upper oxygen isotope stages (11 to 1). The results obtained in this study exemplify the potential of integrated chrono-climatostratigraphic sequences in linking marine and terrestrial palaeoclimate records that may eventually span the whole Brunhes chron

Assessing Humidity in an Upper Pleistocene Karst Environment: Palaeoclimates and Palaeomicroenvironments at the cave Divje babe I, Slovenia, 2002,
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Turk Ivan, Skaberne Dragomir, Blackwell Bonnie A. B. , Dirjec Janez

The article presents a new sedimentary-climatic model for explaining autochthonous clastic sediment in the Upper Pleistocene site, Divje babe I, Slovenia. The sediment analysed here was deposited during Oxygen Isotope Stages 1, 3 and 5 (OIS, OIS 3, OIS 5). The stress is on precipitation, which we explained on the basis of the quantity of authigenic structural aggregates in the sediment. We supported the results with quantitative analysis of clasts with etched surface, which represent corrosion of the cave ceiling, and etched bones, which represent corrosion on the cave ground. We also analysed the relation between climate and cave bears, and Neanderthals and climate, on the basis of mass fossil remains and finds of artefacts. All analyses were made on the basis of three-dimensional sampling, i.e., in horizontal and vertical directions. We sampled 65 profiles over an area of 65 m2. Each profile had 35 arbitrary stratigraphic units (splits) with data on aggregates, etched bones, fossil remains and artefacts. In explaining the sediment characteristics that point to climatic parameters, we consistently took into account the Holocene standards for the site. We found that the climate in OIS 3 was colder and damper than in OIS 1 and OIS 5. People and animals responded to the climatic changes in OIS 3 with more visits to the cave, but not at the same time. The climatic change was presumably reflected in the microlocation of the cave mainly by the longer duration of snow cover.

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