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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 phytometer is a device used to measure the transpiration of plants embedded in soil [16].?

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

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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.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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
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Your search for paleomagnetism (Keyword) returned 17 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 17
Paleomagnetism of Speleothems in Gardner Cave, Washington, 1990, Martin, Kyle

Paleomagnetism of the Cambrian Royer Dolomite and Pennsylvanian Collings Ranch Conglomerate, southern Oklahoma; an early Paleozoic magnetization and nonpervasive remagnetization by weathering, 1990, Nick Kevin E. , Elmore R. Douglas,

The Silica nappe (s.l.) of the Inner West Carpathians consists of an essentially non-metamorphic, platform-type sedimentary complex of Mesozoic (chiefly Triassic) age. Palaeomagnetic samples were collected from 16 sites throughout the southern and northern Gemeric parts of this unit and from one site of the Mesozoic Meliata series which underlies the Silica nappe (s.s.) in south Gemer. The samples from each site were treated using thermal demagnetization and well-grouped magnetic directions of individual components were found for 13 (14) sites. Detailed analysis of the directional data showed (a) post-folding magnetization for four late Triassic-Jurassic sites in the eastern Slovak Karst, (b) synfolding magnetization for five sites in the western Slovak Karst with a direction corresponding to local palaeomagnetic data of African affinity for the late Cretaceous and (c) primary magnetizations in the northern Gemeric area for only two rock units with a declination difference which implies a relative rotation between these units. As all secondary remanences are of normal polarity it is very likely that their acquisition is related to the emplacement of the Silica nappe during the early late Cretaceous. The dominant remagnetization mechanism probably is CRM but occasional contributions of TVRM are also conceivable

The paleomagnetism and rock magnetism of cave and karst deposits, 1993, Latham A. G. , Ford D. C.

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.

Sedimentology and Paleomagnetism of Sediments, Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, 1999, Hill, C. A.
Clastic deposits in Kartchner Caverns consist of coarse deposits (breakdown, pebble gravel and micaceous sand) and fine-grained deposits (fault gouge and blocky clay). The coarse deposits are all related to the vadose history of the cave, while the fine-grained deposits are related to the phreatic history of the cave and, probably, to the beginning of vadose conditions. The illite clay in fault zones was possibly derived from the underlying Pinal Schist. The clay mineral rectorite is most likely a hydrothermal alteration of illite within the faults prior to the dissolution of the cave. The blocky clay unit is autochthonous sediment that was at least partially derived from residual fault gouge clay at the time of cave dissolution. The pebble gravels were deposited during different flood events in different parts of the cave, with a lateral fining of micaceous sand in back-wash areas. The blocky clay, pebble gravel, and micaceous sand are all paleomagnetically normal and date from the Brunhes/Matuyama normal (<~780 Ka). The clay mineral nontronite probably reconstituted from residual illite/rectorite under high pH, low Eh flood-water conditions within the cave environment

Datation de sediments (U/Th et paleomagnetisme) d'un hyperkarst de Papouasie-Nouvelle-Guinee (Montagnes Nakanai, Nouvelle-Bretagne). Implications dans la connaissance speleologique d'un reseau juvenil, 1999, Audra Ph. , Lauritzen S. E. , Rochette P.

Le karst haut-alpin du Kanin (Alpes Juliennes, Slovnie-Italie), 2000, Audra, Philippe
Kanin is a high-alpine karst located in the Italo-slovenian Julian Alps. Its surface was elaborated by the quaternary glaciers and includes some inherited discreet tertiary morphological features. Recent dye tracing has shown that the structural setting permits water infiltrated in Italian catchments to contribute to Slovene springs. Hydrodynamic and physico-chemical water analyses show extremely quick transfers of water during snow melt or heavy storms; these create spectacular overflows, such as the Boka spring which emerges as a 100 m high waterfall. The phreatic zone, linked to the impermeable dam of the So_a valley, does not significantly slow these transfers. Nevertheless, it contributes to the occurrence of low water levels during recession periods, giving highly mineralised water after long resident periods. The presence of very deep and developed karst systems is explained by the combination of advantageous factors: thick and jointed limestone, important height gradient, and considerable precipitation. Paleomagnetic dating in one of the largest systems (_rnelsko brezno) attributes some glacial sediments to the Lower Pleistocene period. Their configuration seems to show that this karst system is pre-quaternary.

Plio-Quaternary karst development in the French Prealps: Speleogenesis and significance of cave fills, 2000, Audra P.
Three French cave systems in the Prealps in the Vercors and Devoluy mountain areas are described. It is possible to reconstruct their evolution by analyzing their morphology and by dating the karst fill using paleomagnetism and U/Th. Cave development began at the end of the Miocene during uplift when inclined tubes formed in the epiphreatic zone. Later the tubes were partially blocked by weathered detritus from the surface. Uplift diverted former recharge away from the caves and extensive calcite deposition occurred. The cave systems were reactivated during glaciations, with flooding to considerable depths. The epiphreatic zone was blocked with calcareous varves from meltwater. During interglacial periods, either calcite deposition or dissolution occurred, depending on the altitude and density of the soil cover.

Paleomagnetic dating of sediments in caves opened during highway construction near Kozina, Slovenia, 2000, Š, Ebela Stanka, Sasowsky Ira D.

We report on the paleomagnetism of cave sediments from SW Slovenia. Samples were taken from 2 denuded caves that were opened during highway construction in 1999 near Kozina. All samples showed normal magnetic polarity, had good sample strength, and had only 1 paleomagnetic component. Samples SLO033-SLO036 showed good directional clustering slightly West of the present day field, and are younger than 0,73 Ma. Samples SLO037-SLO042 clustered slightly East of the present day field, and either reveal paleosecular variation or belong to an older normal magnetic chron.

Le karst des plateaux jurassique de la moyenne vallee de l'Ardeche: datation par paleomagnetisme des phases devolution plio-quaternaires (aven de la Combe Rajeau), 2001, Audra P. , Camus H. , Rochette P.

Le karst des plateaux jurassiques de la moyenne valee de l'Ardeche; datation par paleomagnetisme des phases d'evolution plio-quaternaires (aven de la Combe Rajeau), 2001, Audra P, Camus H, Rochette P,
Thanks to its immunity, karst is an excellent recorder of environmental change, which also offers the possibility for dating. Karst records position of old base levels, in particular to which were linked horizontal underground drains located near the piezometric surface. After a base level lowering, a new drain appears at a lower level, the old perched drain being abandoned. If base level lowering is slow, the initial drain is progressively entrenched, forming a canyon. The 'Combe Rajeau' cave system corresponds to this last type: a 100 m high underground canyon, continuously entrenched during the Ardeche valley downcutting. The underground river left several terraces during the entrenchment. Knowing that speleothem U/Th radiometric dating method covers only the most recent part of karst systems history, which spans over several million years, paleomagnetism has been applied to date the Combe Rajeau sediments. A more precise knowledge of the evolution phases of this system provides a better understanding of the middle Ardeche valley evolution upon which it depends

Speleology and magnetobiostratigraphic chronology of the Buffalo Cave fossil site, Makapansgat, South Africa, 2004, Herries Andy I. R. , Reed Kaye E. , Kuykendall Kevin L. , Latham Alf G. ,
Speleological, stratigraphic, paleomagnetic and faunal data is presented for the Buffalo Cave fossil site in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Speleothems and clastic deposits were sampled for paleomagnetic and mineral magnetic analysis from the northern part of the site, where stratigraphic relationships could be more easily defined and a magnetostratigraphy could therefore be developed for the site. This is also where excavations recovered the fossil material described. A comparison of the east and South African first and last appearance data with the Buffalo Cave fauna was then used to constrain the magnetostratigraphy to produce a more secure age for the site. The magnetostratigraphy showed a change from normal to reversed polarity in the basal speleothems followed by a short normal polarity period in the base of the clastic deposits and a slow change to reversed directions for the remainder of the sequence. The biochronology suggested an optimal age range of between 1.0[no-break space]Ma and 600,000[no-break space]yr based on faunal correlation with eastern and southern Africa. A comparison of the magnetobiostratigraphy with the GPTS suggests that the sequence covers the time period from the Olduvai event between 1.95 and 1.78[no-break space]Ma, through the Jaramillo event at 1.07[no-break space]Ma to 990,000[no-break space]yr, until the Bruhnes-Matuyama boundary at 780,000[no-break space]yr. The faunal-bearing clastic deposits are thus dated between 1.07[no-break space]Ma and 780,000[no-break space]yr with the main faunal remains occurring in sediments dated to just after the end of the Jaramillo Event at 990,000[no-break space]yr

Continental France and Belgium during the early Cretaceous: paleoweatherings and paleolandforms, 2006, Thiry Medard, Quesnel Florence, Yans Johan, Wyns Robert, Vergari Anne, Theveniaut Herve, Simoncoincon Regine, Ricordel Caroline, Moreau Marie Gabrielle, Giot Denis, Dupuis Christian, Bruxelles Laurent, Barbarand
During the early Cretaceous, successive tectonic phases and several sea level falls resulted in the emersion of the main part of western Europe and the development of thick 'lateritic' weathering. This long period of continental evolution ended with the Upper Cretaceous transgressions. During this period, the exposed lands displayed a mosaic of diverse morphologies and weathered landscapes. Bauxites are the most spectacular paleoweathering features, known for long in southern France. Recently, new residual outcrops have been identified, trapped in the karstic depressions of the Grands Causses. Other bauxitic formations, containing gibbsite, have also been recognised, occurring with the Clay-with-Jurassic-cherts in the southeastern border of the Paris Basin. These bauxitic formations overlay Jurassic limestone and are buried beneath Upper Cretaceous marine deposits. The recognition of bauxites up north into the southern Paris Basin significantly widens the extension of the Lower Cretaceous bauxitic paleolandscapes. On the Hercynian basements thick kaolinitic weathering mantles occur. They have been classically ascribed to the Tertiary. The first datings of these in situ paleosoils, by means of paleomagnetism and/or radiogenic isotopes, record especially early Cretaceous ages. This is the case for the 'Siderolithic' formations on the edges of the French Massif Central, but also for the kaolinitic profiles in the Belgian Ardennes. In the Flanders, the Brabant basement is deeply kaolinised beneath the Upper Cretaceous cover. These paleosoils show polygenetic evolutions. The relief of these basement paleolandscapes may have been significant. There where probably high scarps (often of tectonic origin) reaching 200 m in elevation or beyond, as well as wide surfaces with inselbergs, as in the present day landscapes of tropical Africa and South America. On the Jurassic limestone platforms occur diverse kaolinitic and ferruginous weathering products. Around the Paris Basin they show various facies, ranging from kaolinitic saprolites to ferricretes. Due to the lack of sedimentary cover, the age of these ferruginous and kaolinitic weathering products has been debated for long, most often allocated to the Siderolithic sensu lato (Eocene-Oligocene). Recent datings by paleomagnetism have enabled to date them (Borne de Fer in eastern Paris Basin) back also to the early Cretaceous (130 {} 10 Ma). These wide limestone plateaus show karstified paleolandforms, such as vast closed and flat depressions broken by conical buttes, but also deep sinkholes in the higher areas of the plateaus and piedmonts. The depth of the karst hollows may be indicative of the range of relative paleoelevations. Dissolution holes display seldom contemporaneous karst fillings, thus implying that the karstland had not a thick weathering cover or that this cover had been stripped off before or by the late Cretaceous transgression. Nevertheless, some areas, especially above chert-bearing Jurassic limestone or marl, show weathering products trapped in the karst features or as a thick weathering mantle. In the Paris Basin, the Wealden gutter looked like a wide floodplain in which fluvio-deltaic sands and clays were deposited and on which paleosoils developed during times of non-deposition. The edges of the gutter were shaped as piedmonts linked up with the upstream basement areas. The rivers flowing down to the plain deposited lobes of coarse fluvial sands and conglomerates. The intensity of the weathering, the thickness of the profiles and their maturation are directly dependent on the duration of the emersion and the topographic location relative to the gutter. Near the axis of the gutter, where emersion was of limited duration, the paleoweathering features are restricted to rubefaction and argillization of the Lower Cretaceous marine formations. On the other hand, on the borders of the basin and on the Hercynian basement, where emersion was of longer duration, the weathering profiles are thicker and more intensively developed. The inventory of the Lower Cretaceous paleoweathering features shows the complexity of the continental history of this period. Moreover, the preserved weathering products are only a part of this long lasting period, all the aspects relative to erosion phases are still more difficult to prove and to quantify. In this domain, apatite fission tracks thermochronology (AFTT) can be helpful to estimate the order of magnitude of denudation. Residual testimonies and subsequent transgressions may enable to estimate relative elevations, but in return, we presently have no reliable tool to estimate absolute paleoelevations. In the work presented here, the inventory enabled to draw a continental paleogeographic map showing the nature of the weathering mantles and the paleolandscape features, just as paleoenvironments and paleobathymetry presently appear on marine paleogeographic maps. For the future, the challenge is to make progress in dating the paleoweathering profiles and especially in the resolution of these datings, in order to correlate precisely the continental records with the different events which trigger them (eustatism, climate, regional and global geodynamics). The final goal will be to build up a stratigraphic scale of the 'continental geodynamic and climatic events' in parallel with 'sequential stratigraphy' in the marine realm


For the first time in the Classical Karst, paleontological data enabled to match the magnetostratigraphic record precisely with the geomagnetic polarity timescale in two studied sites: (i) a series of speleothems alternating with red clays in Račiška pečina Cave (Matarsko podolje), and (ii) an unroofed paleocave of the Črnotiče II site (Podgorski kras Plateau) completely filled by fluvial clastic sediments covered by speleothems. The later sites are also characterized by a rich appearance of fossil tubes of autochthonous stygobiont serpulid Marifugia cavatica. The vertebrate record is composed mostly of enamel fragments of rodents and soricomorphs. Absence of rootless arvicolids as well as taxonomic composition of the mammalian fauna suggests the Pliocene age of both sites. For (i) Račiška pečina (with Apodemus, cf. Borsodia) it was estimated to middle to late MN17 (ca 1.8–2.4 Ma), while (ii) the assemblage from Črnotiče II (with Deinsdorfia sp., Beremedia fissidens, Apodemus cf. atavus, Rhagapodemus cf. frequens, Glirulus sp., Cseria sp.) is obviously quite older: MN15–MN16 (ca 3.0–4.1 Ma). In respect to congruence of biostratigraphic and paleomagnetic data and a reliable sedimentary setting of the samples we propose to apply the respective datum also as the time of one ancient speleogenetic phase in the Classical Karst.

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