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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 otkryty karst is (russian.) see naked karst.?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 palaeoenvironments (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
The Palaeoenvironments of Coolarken Pollnagollum (Pollnagaollum of the Boats) Cave, Fermanagh, Northern Ireland - evidence from Phytolith Analysis, 1993, Thompson P. , Maloney B. K.

Mid-Pleistocene cave fills, megafaunal remains and climate change at Naracoorte, South Australia: towards a predictive model using U-Th dating of speleothems, 2000, Moriarty Kevin C. , Mcculloch Malcolm T. , Wells Roderick T. , Mcdowell Matthew C. ,

Les travertins de Saint-Antonin : squence gobotanique et climato-anthropique holocne (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 2003, Guendon Jeanlouis, Ali Adam A. , Roiron Paul, Terral Jeanfrdric, Danna Andr, Diazdelolmo Fernando, Baenaescudero Rafael
Travertine deposit of St-Antonin (Bouches-du-Rhne, France): lithostratigraphy, palaeobotany and Holocene palaeoenvironments - Travertines are carbonate deposits formed generally during temperate climatic periods. The travertine of Saint-Antonin was formed during the Holocene in accordance with this model. They usually present a succession of travertinous units and detrital sedimentary levels containing, respectively, leaf impressions and charcoal; snail shells and archaeological material have also been preserved, essentially in detritial levels. Two kinds of plant remains (leaf imprints and charred wood) have been sampled and analysed, allowing the reconstruction of vegetation dynamics based on a well-defined sedimentary sequence. Our results were compared with those of previous malacalogical, archaeological studies and climatic changes. The Preboreal and Boreal sequence, characterised by travertine unites with detritial deposits, is dominated by a riverside vegetation (Populus alba, Salix sp., Phragmites communis) associated with some pubescent oak growing in the plateau. After this first period, detritial levels and hygrophilous species decrease. Correlatively travertinous facies and leaf impressions of mesophilous forest species increase (Quercus pubescent, Acer monspessulanum). They suggest the existence of homeostatic conditions, such as regular river flow, dense vegetation and few disturbances during deposition. The Middle Atlantic period shows optimal travertinisation and maintenance of forest environment. But this period is characterised by the beginning of the Quercus pubescens regression and the dominance of Acer monspessulanum. From the Atlantic to the first part of Subboreal, important detrital sedimentary levels disturb the deposition of carbonate. They contain reworked archaeological material dating to the Neolithic. Vegetation seems to have been profoundly affected by intensive human exploitation. This process has broken up the forested area into different plant communities and favoured the dominance of heliophilous and thermophilous species (Pinus halepensis, Rubus ulmifolius and Juniperus sp.).

Palaeoenvironments in semi-arid northeastern Brazil inferred from high precision mass spectrometric speleothem and travertine ages and the dynamics of South American rainforests, 2004, Auler A. S. , Wang X. , Edwards R. L. , Cheng H. , Cristalli P. S. , Smart P. L. , Richards D. A.

Understanding past environmental changes in tropical rainforests is extremely important in order to assess the response of such environments to present and future climatic changes and understand causes and the present patterns of biodiversity.
Earlier hypothesis on the origin of biodiversity have stressed the role of past climatic changes in promoting speciation. According to the “refuge hypothesis” (Haffer, 1982), dry periods could have led to forest fragmentation, isolating more humid forested zones (called refuges) within an environment largely dominated by savannas. The refuge hypothesis does not assign timescales for rainforest fragmentation, although recent studies have suggested that speciation could have occurred over timescales of millions of years (Knapp and Mallet, 2003). Although the focus of heavy criticism (Colinvaux, et a., 2000), the refuge hypothesis has generated a large amount of research. In general, pollen studies (Colinvaux, et a., 1996, Haberle and Maslin, 1999) tend to support a continuous forest cover throughout late Quaternary climatic shifts, although large variations in rainfall have also been demonstrated by other pollen and isotopic studies (van der Hammen and Absy, 1994; Maslin and Burns, 2000).
Amazon and Atlantic rainforests are the two major forested zones in South America. Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, comprise a total original area of 4.1 million km2 and is renowned for hosting the large biodiversity in the world (30% of all the world’s known plant and animal species). Atlantic rainforest, also a biodiversity hotspot, occurs along the coast and has been subjected to heavy deforestation since European arrival. Nowadays only c. 7% of its original forested area of 1.3 million km2 remains. These two rainforests are separated by drought-prone semi-arid northeastern (NE) Brazil. Our study does not address the refuge hypothesis directly although it sheds new light on the dynamics of forest expansion in the past as well as indicates alternative ways of promoting speciation. It has long been hypothesized, due to botanical (Mori, 1989; Andrade-Lima, 1982) and faunistic (Costa, 2003) similarities, that the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests were once linked in the past. Although numerous connecting routes have been postulated (Bigarella, et al, 1975; Por, 1992; De Oliveira, et al, 1999), the timing of forest expansion and their possible recurrence have remained elusive.
The study area lies in the driest portion of NE Brazil “dry corridor”, close to the village of Laje dos Negros, northern state of Bahia. Mean annual precipitation is around 480 mm and potential evapotranspiration is in excess of 1,400 mm/year (Fig.1). Present vegetation comprises a low arbustive scrubland known locally as caatinga. The area contains a well-developed underground karst (Auler and Smart, 2003) with abundant secondary calcite precipitates, both underground (speleothems) and on the surface (travertines).

The Pleistocene Ma U’Oi cave, northern Vietnam: palaeontology, sedimentology and palaeoenvironments, 2004, Bacon Am, Demeter F, Schuster M, Long Vt, Thuy Nk, Antoine Po, Sen S, Nga Hh, Huong Nm,
In November 2001, a Vietnamese-French team undertook the excavation of the Ma U’Oi cave in northern Vietnam. This limestone karst cave is located in the province of Hoa Binh, 70 km ESE from Hanoi and is typical of the northern Vietnam landscape. The site yielded an in situ mammalian fauna of a relatively modern composition. We also found a mixed fauna with a lower molar attributed to an archaic Homo (Demeter et al., in press). We estimate the age of Ma U’Oi fauna between 169 kyr, the age of Thum Wiman Nakin (Esposito et al., 1998) estimated by U/Th method and 80-60 kyr, the biochronological age of Lang Trang (Long et al., 1996), or even Holocene. The Ma U’Oi site is important because of the scarcity of Vietnamese sites of those particular levels. For that reason, it fills a gap in the biostratigraphy of Vietnam and permits new correlations with other sites of the mainland, especially those well documented from Thailand

Karsts, palaeo-geomorphology, palaeo-environments - panorama of ten years (1991-2001) of karst research in France. [in French], 2005, Nicod, Jean

New palaeontological assemblage, sedimentological and chronological data from the Pleistocene Ma U'Oi cave (northern Vietnam), 2006, Bacon Am, Demeter F, Rousse S, Long Vt, Duringer P, Antoine Po, Thuy Nk, Mai Bt, Huong Ntm, Dodo Y,
This paper describes recent material gathered during the second fieldwork at Ma U'Oi in November 2002 by a Vietnamese-French-Japanese team. The Ma U'Oi cave, located in the province of Hoa Binh (60 km SW from Hanoi), northern Vietnam, belongs to a karstic network developed in Triassic dark-grey limestones.The cave is filled with coarse-grained breccias containing numerous fossil remains, partially preserved at several loci inside the cave (wall, vault and ground). We describe new teeth which confirm the occurrence of mammal taxa already mentioned at Ma U'Oi (Bacon et al., 2004)[Bacon, A-M., Demeter, F., Schuster, M., Long, V.T., Thuy, N.K., Antoine, P-O., Sen, S., Nga, H.H., Huong, N.T.M., 2004. The Pleistocene Ma U'Oi cave, northern Vietnam: palaeontology, sedimentology and palaeoenvironments. Geobios 37, 305-314], while others, mainly microvertebrates, emphasize the occurrence of new species for the Pleistocene of Vietnam. We report here, for the first time, the occurrence of these microvertebrates of different groups (primates, rodents, insectivores, small reptiles and amphibians) in the faunal assemblage. Among mammal taxa, the presence of one more hominid affiliated to archaic Homo is also attested by our findings. U/Th dating carried out on 2 samples extracted from breccia speleothems confirms the biochronological estimate, with fossiliferous fillings ranging from late Middle Pleistocene to Late Pleistocene

Karst of the Czestochowa Upland and of the Eastern Sudetes : palaeoenvironments and protection, 2009,


Karst phenomena consist mainly in dissolving of rock by water, with subsequent formation of underground voids. Studies on karst and caves are of extremely nterdisciplinary character; they are within the scope of interest of all the disciplines of earth sciences. Since caves provide permanent habitats or temporary shelter to many organisms including Palaeolithic man, they are of interest to biologists and archaeologists.

Because of its glacial history and geological structure, southern Poland offers a good opportunity to study all the karst-related phenomena. It holds two main, geographically remote karst areas of much different landscape: the Kraków- Częstochowa Upland and the Eastern Sudetes. Their caves are filled with sediments which document various phases of karst development in Poland, including Pleistocene glaciations, as well as changes in palaeoenvironments and faunal evolution. Many contain traces of occupancy by Palaeolithic man; the archaeological record found in some of them extends to modern times. The special significance of caves and karst areas – often the only places where traces of fossil environments and human occupancy are preserved – in Poland was recognised more than 150 years ago. Modern speleological studies in karst areas of Poland started in the 1940s with the wide ranging research of Kazimierz Kowalski - the inventory of caves and review of earlier studies (Kowalski K. 1951 & 1954 – Jaskinie Polski, Vol. 1-3). They triggered comprehensive and interdisciplinary cave studies by representatives of various disciplines. Much progress was made during the last twenty years. Numerous new caves were explored and studied with modern methods; cave sediments containing numerous faunal remains and artifacts were discovered, and earlier information on environmental changes and history of human occupancy could be verified. Despite the long-term and extensive research and exploration, either the studies in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland nor those in the Eastern Sudetes were ever summarised. The data, though abundant, are scattered among many sources, mostly associated with particular scientific disciplines. This volume is an attempt at a comprehensive summary of the information on karst and karst-related phenomena in these two regions.

Since the 1950s many scientists have contributed enormously to the knowledge of various aspects of karst-related phenomena in Poland. Some of these pioneers of interdisciplinary karst studies have departed recently: Waldemar Chmielewski (archaeologist), Jerzy Głazek (geologist, speleologist), Kazimierz Kowalski (pa-laeontologist, speleologist), Stefan Kozłowski (geologist), Marian Pulina (geomorphologist, speleologist) and Teresa Wiszniowska (palaeontologist, speleologist). Thanks to their great passion and commitment, the interest in caves and karst of the Kraków-Częstochowa-Upland and Eastern Sudetes in the last fifty years has considerably increased.

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