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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 haystack hill is (puerto rican.) in the tropics, rounded conical hill of limestone developed as a result of solution. term replaced by mogote [10]. synonyms: (french.) mogote; (german.) mogote; (italian.) mogote, rilievo carsico residuo; (spanish.) mogote; (turkish.) konik kirectasi tepesi; (yugoslavian.) hum. see also mogote.?

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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 precision (Keyword) returned 27 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 27
Un des premiers hydrogologues du karst : l'abb Paramelle, ''hydroscope'', 1987, Taisne J. , Choppy J.
FATHER PARAMELLE: ONE OF FIRST KARST HYDROGEOLOGIST - Father Paramelle was born in 1790, at Felzins, Lot, France. He was humble vicar of a small parish, but his ability to indicate with astonishing precision where and how to dig up the ground and find water made him quite famous at the time. He was summoned from all parts of France and in 25 years he indicated more than 10.000 " springs " in 40 departments, at least. He was not a water diviner; his success resulted from his geological knowledge, his experience and his sense of observation. To him limestone appeared to be " unfavourable to the discovery of springs " ; but in his study of limestone, he suggested three notions, new at the time : 1) lines of dolines are a frequent feature in dry valleys ; 2) usually surface valley lie over underground streams ; 3) the sinkhole-resurgence system is a general phenomenon. He gave an account of is principles and method, and presented a vindication of his results, in " Lart de dcouvrir les sources " (" the art of discovering springs "). He died and was buried in Saint-Cr, Lot, in 1875.

238U---234U---230Th---232Th systematics and the precise measurement of time over the past 500,000 years, 1987, Lawrence Edwards R. , Chen J. H. , Wasserburg G. J. ,
We have developed techniques to measure the 230Th abundance in corals by isotope dilution mass spectrometry. This, coupled with our previous development of mass spectrometric techniques for 234U and 232Th measurement, has allowed us to reduce significantly the analytical errors in 238U---234U---230Th dating and greatly reduce the sample size. We show that 6 x 108 atoms of 230Th can be measured to 30[per mille sign] (2[sigma]) and 2 x 1010 atoms of 230Th to 2[per mille sign]. The time over which useful age data on corals can be obtained ranges from a few years to ~ 500 ky. The uncertainty in age, based on analytical errors, is 5 y (2[sigma]) for a 180 year old coral (3 g), 44 y at 8294 years and 1.1 ky at 123.1 ky (250 mg of coral). We also report 232Th concentrations in corals (0.083-1.57 pmol/g) that are more than two orders of magnitude lower than previous values. Ages with high analytical precision were determined for several corals that grew during high sea level stands ~ 120 ky ago. These ages lie specifically within or slightly postdate the Milankovitch insolation high at 128 ky and support the idea that the dominant cause of Pleistocene climate change is Milankovitch forcing

High Precision Mass Spectrometric U-Series Dating of Speleothem, with an example from a submerged Bahamian cave, 1989, Li, W. X. , Lundberg, J. , Dickin, A. P. , Ford, D. C. , Schwarcz, H. P. , Mcnutt, R. & Williams, D.

A High-Resolution Record of Holocene Climate Change in Speleothem Calcite from Cold Water Cave, Northeast Iowa, 1992, Dorale Ja, Gonzalez La, Reagan Mk, Pickett Da, Murrell Mt, Baker Rg,
High-precision uranium-thorium mass spectrometric chronology and 18O-13C isotopic analysis of speleothem calcite from Cold Water Cave in northeast Iowa have been used to chart mid-Holocene climate change. Significant shifts in [dagger]18O and [dagger]13C isotopic values coincide with well-documented Holocene vegetation changes. Temperature estimates based on 18O/16O ratios suggest that the climate warmed rapidly by about 3{degrees}C at 5900 years before present and then cooled by 4{degrees}C at 3600 years before present. Initiation of a gradual increase in [dagger]13C at 5900 years before present suggests that turnover of the forest soil biomass was slow and that equilibrium with prairie vegetation was not attained by 3600 years before present

Geomagnetic palaeosecular variation recorded in North And Central American speleothems, PhD thesis, 1995, Lean, C. M. B.

The aim of this project was to collect samples of stalagmites from Northern and Central America in order to produce records of the palaeosecular variation of the earth's magnetic field. Two stalagmites were sampled from Western Canada and ten from Mexico and Guatemala which could be compared with contemporaneous stalagmite records from these areas (Latham, 1981; Latham et al, 1982; 1986; 1987; 1989).
The stalagmites were generally weakly magnetised but remanence directions were stable upon stepwise thermal and alternating-field demagnetisation. Consistency in directions recorded between central and corresponding lateral sub-samples within two stalagmites (MSC2 from Canada and CP1 from Guatemala) inferred that any depositional errors caused by surface effects were less than the measurement errors. Grain size analysis showed the presence of a fine-grained magnetic fraction (0.01 - 0.1?:m) sourced from the cave drip-waters (either by direct deposition or by chemical precipitation) and a coarser magnetic fraction (0.01 - >10?:m) sourced from the flood-borne detritus. The latter source was dominant in stalagmites which were regularly inundated with water. The type of magnetic mineral present was determined by the geology of the catchment area; magnetite dominated in the Vancouver Island stalagmites, titanomagnetite in the Mexican stalagmites and haematite in the Guatemalan stalagmite.
Uranium-series dating of samples was hindered by the young ages of many of the samples, by low uranium concentrations and by the presence of allogenic thorium. If significant amounts of allogenic thorium were present, a sample age could be calculated based on an estimate of the initial thorium ratio ([230Th/232Th]0). Analysis of samples from Sumidero Recuerdo in Mexico, however, suggested that this ratio is not constant with time and may vary by a factor of two over approximately 1700 years. Due to these imprecisions many dates were out of stratigraphic sequence and age estimates were made assuming constant growth rates, except where growth had ceased for a finite length of time.
Records of sequential change of palaeomagnetic direction were obtained from the Mexican stalagmite SSJ3 and the Canadian stalagmite MSC2. The reliability of the latter record was confirmed by comparison with another Canadian stalagmite record (Latham et al, 1987) and contemporaneous lacustrine records. Other records were disappointing due to poor temporal resolution; each sub-sample represented a period of approximately 1000 years in Mexican stalagmites SSJ2 and SSJ4. Such slow growth rates are insufficient for the resolution of secular variation features with periods of less than 2000 years and are only suitable to gain information about the nature of long-term secular variations, for example the far-sided virtual geomagnetic poles and low inclinations predominant throughout the Holocene in Southern Mexico.
The existence of matching contemporaneous stalagmite records of secular variation together with the demonstrated lack of depositional inclination errors is encouraging, despite the sometimes "hit or miss" aspects of sample selection. Nevertheless it has been proved that speleothem records have the potential to complement the existing archaeomagnetic, lava and lacustrine data.


'Hades''; A remarkable cave on Oldoinyo Lengai in the East African Rift Valley., 1998, Davies Gordon J.
Oldoinyo Lengai is the world's only active carbonatite volcano, situated in northern Tanzania within the Eastern Rift Valley, al 2.751 degrees S, 35.902 degrees E. It forms an isolated symmetrical cone at the southern end of Lake Natron, with a summit elevation of 2,890 m (9,480 ft). Periodic eruptions of ash and lava have been recorded since about 1880, and with increasing precision during this century since 1904. In 1990 a routine expedition to monitor activity levels at the summit led to the discovery of a remarkable cave located in the crater floor, filled with numerous long delicate pale yellow stalactites and stalagmites of unknown composition. Within 100 m there was considerable volcanic activity taking place, and black lava was spraying from a small cone at a height of some 10 m above the crater floor. Due to the regular emission of lava at the summit of Lengai it is unlikely that the cave could have survived intact for more than a few months at most. High internal temperatures and lack of safe access precluded any attempt at entry and sampling of the very unusual and attractive formations within the cave, but a good photographic record was obtained.

High-resolution records of soil humification and paleoclimate change from variations in speleothem luminescence excitation and emission wavelengths, 1998, Baker A, Genty D, Smart Pl,
Recent advances in the precision and accuracy of the optical techniques required to measure luminescence permit the nondestructive analysis of solid geologic samples such as speleothems (secondary carbonate deposits in caves). In this paper we show that measurement of speleothem luminescence demonstrates a strong relationship between the excitation and emission wavelengths and both the extent of soil humification and mean annual rainfall. Raw peat with blanket bog vegetation has the highest humification and highest luminescence excitation and emission matrix wavelengths, because of the higher proportion of high-molecular-weight organic acids in these soils. Brown ranker and rendzina soils with dry grassland and woodland cover have the lowest wavelengths. Detailed analysis of one site where an annually laminated stalagmite has been deposited over the past 70 yr during a period with instrumental climate records and no vegetation change suggests that more subtle variations in luminescence emission wavelength correlate best with mean annual rainfall, although there is a lag of approximately 10 yr. These results are used to interpret soil humification and climate change from a 130 ka speleothem at an upland site in Yorkshire, England. These data provide a new continuous terrestrial record of climate and environmental change for northwestern Europe and suggest the presence of significant variations in wetness and vegetation within interglacial and interstadial periods

Stable isotope stratigraphy of Holocene speleothems: examples from a cave system in Rana, northern Norway, 2001, Linge H. , Lauritzen S. E. , Lundberg J. , Berstad I. M. ,
High-precision TIMS U-series dates and continuous stable oxygen and carbon isotope profiles of a 4000 year stalagmite record from Rana, northern Norway, are presented and compared with data from two other speleothems from the same cave. The dating results yield ages from 387534 to 2963 years before AD2000, with 2[sigma] errors from 0.5 to 1%. The overall growth rate is 35 mm/ka, corresponding to a temporal resolution of 29 years/mm. The stalagmite is tested for isotopic equilibrium conditions, where all `Hendy' tests, except one, indicate isotopic equilibrium or quasi equilibrium deposition. Both the stable oxygen and carbon isotope records reveal a strong and abrupt enrichment in the near-top measurements. This corresponds in time to the opening of a second cave entrance in the late 1960s, which caused changes in the cave air circulation. The stable oxygen isotope signal is enriched compared to the modern value over the last 300 years, indicating a negative response to temperature changes. Likewise, the stable carbon isotope record is enriched in this period. However, both of the stable isotope records are shown to be significantly enriched compared to the isotope ranges displayed by other stalagmites in the same cave, and this questions the reliability of the proxy records derived from the presented stalagmite. Still, a general good correspondence of large scale fluctuations is found between the three stable oxygen isotope records from this cave. The stable carbon isotope records show large variations within the cave and are believed to be governed by soil-zone conditions, percolation pathways and possibly driprates

Modeling flow in phreatic and epiphreatic karst conduits in the Holloch cave (Muotatal, Switzerland), 2001, Jeannin P. Y. ,
The Holloch cave is a site where the hydrodynamic behavior of a karst conduit network can be observed with a high degree of precision. Observed heads. discharge rates, conduit sizes, and conduit lengths have been compiled into a simple hydrodynamic model in order to check their consistency. It was possible to calibrate and satisfactorily fit the observed data. Model results show the following: (1) Flow models which are able to simulate turbulent flow in variably saturated conduit networks can adequately model conduit flow-dominated karst systems. (2) Karst systems may be strongly nonlinear, especially because of the presence of epiphreatic conduits. (3) Under certain circumstances, storage in the epiphreatic conduits and in the fissured limestone matrix can be neglected. (4) The typical effective hydraulic conductivity of karst conduits ranges between 1 and 10 m s(-1), and the Louis Formula is adequate to calculate head losses in those conduits. (5) Indirect measurements of flow velocity using scallop size indicate values of similar to 30-40% of the maximal annual discharge, and velocity derived from pebble size indicates values of similar to 150% of the maximal annual discharge

Revising the Karst Map of the United States, 2002, Veni, G.
The production of the recently published Living with karst: Afragile foundation required a map showing the distribution of karst in the United States. William Davies et al. (1984) produced the last such map. I used their work as the basis in developing a revised US karst map, but delineated karst primarily on lithology rather than cave lengths. The categories are: exposed and buried carbonate and evaporite karst, and volcanic and unconsolidated pseudokarst. The new US karst map updates the previous map with data from more detailed regional karst maps. Scale and information availability limited the accuracy of the new map. Buried evaporites and unconsolidated pseudokarst are underrepresented due to insufficient delineation. I had to interpolate from available information to adjust for discrepancies due to different map projections and differences between maps. The new US karst map improves on earlier versions but is still incomplete and of low precision in some areas. Production of detailed karst maps with drainage basins and other land management factors is best left to state agencies. The US Geological Survey is developing a new US karst map and the NSS Section of Cave Geology and Geography is assisting with that effort. Uniform standards need to be established for definitions, scale, and map projections. Section members include the countrys most knowledgeable karst geoscientists and they play key roles in developing an accurate and definitive US karst map.

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

Ochtina Aragonite Cave (Western Carpathians, Slovakia): Morphology, mineralogy of the fill and genesis, 2002, Bosak P, Bella P, Cilek V, Ford Dc, Hercman H, Kadlec J, Osborne A, Pruner P,
Ochtina Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The metalimestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as isolated lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained. Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and bimessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. Thermal ionisation mass spectrometry and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka - Allerod) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the, younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave

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).


Chronology and paleoenvironment of Marine Isotope Stage 3 from two high-elevation speleothems, Austrian Alps, 2006, Spotl Christoph, Mangini Augusto, Richards David A. ,
A new high-resolution stable isotope record from the alpine Kleegruben Cave (2165 m, Central Alps) is presented. This record largely duplicates a previously reported speleothem record from this site. High-precision U-series thermal ionization mass spectrometry dates constrain the growth history of this new sample (56-48 ka) to the Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3. Both stalagmites reveal highly similar variations in O isotopes that can be directly compared to O isotope variability associated with Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials recorded in the Greenland ice cores (Greenland Interstadials, GIS). Based on the new record we refine our previous age assignments of the GIS during this time interval, i.e. GIS 15b at 55.7 ka, GIS 15a at 55.3 ka, onset (mid-point) of the prominent GIS 14 at 54.5 yr and onset of GIS 12 at ~48 ka. The overall uncertainties associated with these ages are 0.1-0.3 ka. The timing of these Dansgaard-Oeschger interstadials is within 0.2 ka of the newly proposed GRIP.SFCP04 timescale.The age data for both Kleegruben stalagmites demonstrate that liquid water was at least seasonally present in the shallow sub-surface allowing calcite precipitation to continue even during stadials of MIS 3. Given the present-day low temperature (.4 [deg]C) we propose that these unusual speleothems formed in a karst system overlain by a warm-based glacier

Changing perspectives in the concept of 'Lago-Mare' in Mediterranean Late Miocene evolution, 2006, Orszagsperber Fabienne,
The Cenozoic Alpine orogeny caused the partition of Tethys into several basins. During the Late Neogene, the Mediterranean attained its final configuration, whereas, eastwards, the Paratethys, isolated from the World Ocean, disintegrated progressively into a series of smaller basins. As a result, an endemic fauna developed in these basins, mainly composed of brackish to freshwater faunas, indicating an environment affected by changes in water salinity. These small basins of the Paratethys were named 'Sea-Lakes' by Andrusov [Andrusov, D., 1890. Les Dreissenidae fossiles et actuelles d'Eurasie. Geol. min. 25, 1-683 (in Russian)]. Subsequently this name was translated into 'Lac-Mer' [Gignoux, M., 1936. Geologie stratigraphique, 2[deg]edition, Masson, Paris].In the Mediterranean isolated from the Atlantic at the end of the Miocene (Messinian), thick evaporites deposited, consisting of a marine Lower Evaporite unit and an Upper Evaporite unit, mainly of continental origin. Ruggieri [Ruggieri, G., 1962. La serie marine pliocenica e quaternaria della Val Marecchia. Atti Acad. Sci. Lett. Arti. Palermo, 19, 1-169.] used the term 'Lago-Mare', to characterize the brackish to fresh water environment which occurred within the Mediterranean at the end of the Messinian.During recent decades, numerous scientific investigations concerning the history of the Messinian within the Mediterranean were devoted to the understanding of conditions prevailing after the deposition of the marine evaporites. Brackish to freshwater faunas are found in several outcrops and boreholes in the Mediterranean, both in the uppermost beds of gypsum and inter-bedded within the clastic sediments of the Upper Evaporite Unit, immediately preceeding the flooding by the marine Pliocene waters. These faunas, because of their similarities with the fauna described in the Paratethys, were named 'Paratethyan', or 'Caspi-brackish' fauna, this leading some authors to imply a migration of these fauna from Paratethys to the Mediterranean. However, others refute this hypothesis.New data induced some researchers to consider that exchanges existed between the Mediterranean and the Eastern Paratethys and also between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean at the Miocene-Pliocene transition. These investigations now take advantage of the accurate time scales established by authors (biostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy), allowing good stratigraphic correlations between the Mediterranean and the Paratethys, and precisions on the geodynamic evolution of this area.Furthermore, sediments at the base of the Zanclean (MPl1), locally containing brackish to fresh water faunas conducted authors to attribute this formation to an infra- or pre-Pliocene and also to a Lago-Mare 'event'.Thus, the 'Lago-Mare' concept drifted from its original meaning, and is evolving because of progresses in the understanding of the Mediterranean geodynamics and the adjacent areas during the Miocene-Pliocene transition

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