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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 hum is 1. karst inselberg. residual hill of limestone on a fairly level floor, such as the isolated hills of limestone in poljes. in some tropical areas, used loosely as synonym for mogote [10]. 2. yugoslavian term for an isolated residual hill on the bottom of a polje [20]. synonyms: (french.) butte temoin; (german.) (karstinselberg), hum; (greek.) karstiki martyree lophi; (italian.) testimoni carsici; (russian.) karstoyj ostanec; (spanish.) hum; (turkish.) karst adatepesi; (yugoslavian.) hum. see also karst inselberg; mogote.?

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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 prealps (Keyword) returned 24 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 24
Hydrologie du lac de Lessy (Haute--Savoie), 1983, Sesiano J. , Muller A.
SOME HYDROGEOLOGICAL OBSERVA-TIONS IN LAC DE LESSY (Haute-Savoie, France) - Located in the French Prealps near Annecy, lake Lessy is a 70,000m3 body of water, at an altitude of 1800m. a.s.l., in a karstic area. It has no visible outlet. A dye tracing was made during september, 1981, in order to identify which spring in the valley is fed by the lake. The experiment was successful: a strait distance of 3.5 km was covered underground in about 15 hours. It also appeared that the major part of the water flowing from this spring does not come from the lake, but from the surrounding plateaus

Le Vercors : un massif de la moyenne montagne alpine, 1984, Delannoy, J. J.
THE VERCORS: A MASSIF OF MIDDLE ALPINE MOUNTAIN - The Vercors is a forested massif of middle mountain, in the French Northern Prealps. The characteristic of the Vercors massif is the thick and massif urgonian limestones, which underlines a folded structure. The Vercors quickly hold the attention of speleologists, who had put forward the density and diversity of karstic aspects since the beginning of the century. Landforms display glacial karstic landscapes more or less damaged in terms of bio-climatic levels of mounts and depressions landscapes and of deep water gaps, which main flows of the massif are flowing in. The notion of the morphoclimatic heritage applies to the underground karst for which glacial quaternary episodes have been determinant in the large systems genesis (gouffre Berger - Scialet de la Fromagre, Antre des Damns, Combe de Fer...). The study of underground deposits allows to bring up-to-date various period of karst development; a preglacial stage (e.g. upper levels of Cuves de Sassenage, Gournier, Coufin-Chevaline...). The study of the current dynamic shows that the Vercors as an important karstic ablation, between 120 to 170mm/ky. The karstic dynamic exerts mainly on the superficial slab of the massif (from 80 to 50% of the whole ablation). The Vercors can be considered as the best example of calcareous massif in temperate middle mountains, thanks to the combination of various favourable parameters: pure karst rocks, morpho-climatic episodes not constraining, and a high karstic dynamic.

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.

Les massifs karstiques des Alpes occidentales, trame structurale et bioclimatique, 1984, Nicod, J.
THE KARSTIC MASSIFS OF WESTERN ALPS: structural and bioclimatic framework - The structural conditions determine several types of karst units: the northern Prealps (thrusts), the southern Jura (folded or tabular), the southern Prealps (faulted and folded plateaus), the complex land of Low Provence, and the high karsts of Inner Alps. The bioclimatic framework explains the altitudinal sequence of current processes. The value of the runoff, the part of the snow, and the biochemical parameters (vegetation, CO2), have particularly holded the attention. The specific dissolution reaches its maximum in the wooded mountain karsts. Heritages also determine the landforms (glacial, periglacial, terra-rossa).

Hydrogologie de la rgion entre Araches et Flaine (Haute-Savoie), 1985, Sesiano, J.
NEW HYDROGEOLOGICAL INVESTIGATIoNS IN THE Massif de Plat BETWEEN ARACHES AND Flaine (HAUTE-SAVOIE, FRANCE) - During 1983 and 1984 several dye-tracing experiments have been performed in the French Prealps (Haute-Savoie). The studied area covered about 30 km2, with altitudes ranging between 500m and 2500m. An underground drainage model has been set up, taking into account the fact that there is a common water outlet. The model is based upon the regional tectonic setting, the drainage pattern following thrust and fault planes

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 jurassique du rebord subalpin dans les Alpes-Maritimes, 1989, Mangan, C.
Jurassic karst of the subalpine area in Maritime Alps Department (France) - The jurassic carbonated sediments represent the principal karst aquifer in front of the alpine range. This area is subdivided in three different sectors by the tectonic and paleogeographic evolution: subalpine arc of Castellane (Grasse Prealps), subalpine arc of Nice, Provence foreland. Through the comparative study of these areas, it appears a real diversity about the karst evolution, the geometry about the karst evolution, the geometry of waters reservoirs, the distribution of the underground flows, and therefore about the water supply and exploitation.

Les importantes mergences de Magland, dans la valle de l'Arve (Haute-Savoie) : physico-chimie et origine des eaux, 1989, Sesiano, J.
Dye tracing and physico-chemical analysis of two important springs in the Arve valley (Haute-Savoie, France) - Several dye-tracing experiments and physico-chemical analysis of water samples taken during 18 months were performed at two important springs in the Arve valley (Haute-Savoie, France). The water origin and the type of flow, very different from one to the other, are thus explained. The first spring collects water from both a bare high-altitude karst and a forested karst at a lower elevation. It gathers also waters from the lakes Flaine and Vernant. The drainage is superficial, with strong but short water outbursts; water storage is nevertheless important, the spring being perennial. The physico-chemistry of its water is similar to that of springs located in the Northern Prealps. The second spring is very different. The physico-chemistry variations being much smoother. It comes from a basin filled with fluvio-glacial deposits and located under the Gers Lake. Its physico-chemical properties are rather similar to those of typical springs located in Provence and Southern Provence.

General characteristics of the landforms in the Alps and Julian Prealps and in Trieste Karst., 1989, Vaia Franco
The morphology of the Julian Alps and Prealps and of the Triestian Karst are here shortly described; the structures, which defined its origin and development, are also considered. We can notice some cliffs which follow one another from the State boundary to the Adriatic sea; they are made up by lithologic successions, which repeat themselves according to the latitude. Anyway we recognize a general outcropping of rock masses which are decreasing little by little southward as regards the altitude, the age and than the erodibility. There are some differences between the western (Carnian) and the eastern (Julian) bend of the regional mounts according not only to the latitude but to the longitude, because of the lithology. In fact, the Julian mountains often look like the Dolomities in the northern zone. The southern ones, particularly near the high alluvial plain, are rounded and gently dipping. The drainage networks are quite different too. In the upper zone it is a trellis net, in the lower one is locally a trellis net and than it becomes a dendritic system. The glacial erosion follows the same principle too, coming southward along the main and the subordined valley cuts. At last, the Karst morphology shows itself strongly conditioned by the structural scheme as well as by the lateral lithologic changes. It comes out an anisotropic whole of surface forms and of subsurface ones, clearly referred to those reasons. The whole area here described shows moreover a high evolutive dynamics, connected with the recent tectonic phases.

Qualit physico chimique et bactriologique des sources du domaine de Plat (Haute-Savoie), 1990, Buissonvodinh, J.
PHYSICO CHEMISTRY AND BACTERIOLOGY OF THE DOMAIN OF PLATE SPRINGS (HAUTE SAVOIE, FRANCE) - On the high alpine karst of Plat (Haute-Savoie), eight springs on four catchments have been submitted to physico-chemical and bacteriological analysis. The skiing resort of Flaine is situated on one of the catchments, the others are not very frequented (mountain pasture, cattle). These springs have a good physico-chemical quality but only one is drinkable. Pathological germs contained in human and animal excrements contaminate the others. This phenomenon is amplified by the ground and earth leaching due to rainstorms. On the other hand, the skiing resort of Flaine could be responsible of a chronic pollution of the Salles spring. All traditional frequentation of this area makes the water unusable and undrinkable, and all additional development on the karst could only aggravate this situation and compromise the use of water.

Mise en valeur et exploitation traditionnelle des ressources du monde souterrain : l'exemple du SE de la France, 1991, Gauchon, C.
TRADITIONAL EXPLOITATION 0F CAVES IN SOUTH-EASTERN France - In south-eastern France (Jura, Prealps and Provence), the karstic caves have long been used as dwellings and exploited for ice or as mines. The ice caves (or glacires) of the Jura and Prealps (Bauges, Chartreuse and Vercors) were used by local inhabitants from the Middle Ages onwards even though the actual trade of ice towards the big cities (Grenoble, Lyon and Paris) was only to begin in the 19 century. Phosphate deposits are used as fertilizer in local farming. Since the 17th century speleothems have been extracted for use as ornaments and some caves, of which the Aven du Plan, Alpes-Maritimes, is a typical example, have become stalactite mines. The Gouffre Maule in the Chartreuse area is a noteworthy example of a mining cave in which the exploitation of iron was begun before the 12 century by local monks. The complex tasks carried out in these caves (such as the setting up of scaffolding and the digging of galleries) provide clear evidence of the importance once given to local resources before the industrial age.

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.

Les grottes sanctuaires dans le SE de la France, 1992, Gauchon, C.
THE UNDERGROUND SANCTUARIES IN SOUTHEAST France - This article is devoted to the study of around twenty underground sanctuaries in Savoy, Dauphine and Provence. Several historical factors can account for the sanctification of these caves. Many likenesses can be noted: accessibility, horizontality, the relative shortness of the galleries and the fact that they have often been adapted for this purpose. Even if most of these sanctuaries are currently abandoned, there is no denying the part they played in the discovery of subterranean world.

Morphometric analysis of dolines, 1992, Bondesan Aldino, Meneghel Mirco, Sauro Ugo
The doline is the most specific surface form of karst landscapes, which enables one to distinguish them from "normal" erosion landscapes shaped by surface water. From a morphodynamic point of view the doline constitutes an elementary hydrographic unit, comparable to a simple basin, which, with its system of slopes, conveys water to the absorbing points at the bottom into an underground network. The morphometric study of these karst landforms enables a quantitative analysis of karst environment. Comparisons of the various parameters may give unexpected results and lead to new hypotheses about the evolution and the dynamism of the karst "geo-ecosystem". All the main morphometric parameters of the dolines are listed and explained and a preliminary discussion about some methods of spatial analysis is developed. It is intended to give methodological suggestions about data sources, systems of measurement, and to stimulate some reflection on the choices of possible processing of morphometric variables and on the significance of statistical analysis applied to different parameters. After a brief review of some morphometric and spatial analyses made in the past by different authors, three different examples are presented, relative to karst areas of the Venetian Prealps (Cansiglio-Cavallo, Montello) and of the Carso di Trieste. From these few examples one can understand how to confront this complex subject and what kind of results the analysis of morphometric parameters may give. In interpreting the results it is evident that one must not forget the geological, geomorphological, pedological, vegetational and climatic context of the karst area.

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.

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