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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 region of dispersed water is the diffuse interface between freshwater and sea water caused by mixing in a coastal aquifer [16]. see also transition zone.?

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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 prehistory (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
Phases d'effondrements aux grottes prhistoriques, du Wrm l'Holocne dans le Midi de la France, 1985, Blanc, J. J.
SEQUENCES OF COLLAPSES FROM WRM TO HOLOCENE IN PREHISTORIC CAVES (SOUTH-EAST OF FRANCE) - Multivariates methods (factorial and discriminant analysis) applied to many accurate stratigraphy and sedimentary sequences files deal just-dated cave-collapses observed into cavity and rock-shelters in the SE of France, show some detailed interpretations about the mechanism inducing the blocks-falls. This work places in a prominent position the various influences relative to cold climates and wet environments, degree of rock jointing of cave-walls and the sismo-tectonic impacts.

The History of Cave Studies, 1986, Shaw, Trevor R.

The purpose of this paper is to set the overall scene for those that follow. Its aim is to provide a context for the ones dealing specifically with cave work in Australia. It examines the ways in which cave studies have developed elsewhere in the world, in different circumstances and under different constraints. There is not space here to consider the growth of ideas on speleogenesis, karst hydrology, the formation of speleothems, and the more 'scientific' aspects of the subject (Shaw, 1979). Discussion is therefore limited to progress in cave exploration and recording. Also, because of its impact on the serious study of caves, the growth of the general public's awareness of caves is touched upon. Interest in caves and the amount known about them has increased like so many things at an increasing rate, largely because after a certain stage existing knowledge aided subsequent work. For many centuries though, indeed for most of recorded history, this use of previous knowledge did not occur and explorations if they took place at all, were sporadic. It is convenient to divide cave history into four periods: a) the prehistory of cave exploration : to c.1000 B.C. b) isolated expeditions : c.1000 B.C. - c.1650 A.D. c) explorations making use of published information : c.1650 - 1878 d) explorations by cave societies : 1879 - date

Themes in Prehistory of the Nullarbor Caves, Semi-Arid Southern Australia, 1986, Davey, Adrian

The 200,000 square kilometre Nullarbor Plain is a largely and relatively inhospitable tract of semi-arid land on the southern coast of Australia. It is also one of the world's largest and probably oldest karst landscapes. It contains a substantial number of caves, some of them very large. The sheer size of the plain together with its lack of surface water have made it a powerful ecological, physical and psychological barrier to the dispersal of evolving plants and animals and to human trade, settlement and communications. Because the plain is otherwise easily perceived as featureless, the more obvious of the caves have played an unusually prominent part in human exploration and occupation of the region. Aboriginal prehistory of cave exploration and use extends over many millenia. Two themes are especially interesting: quarrying underground as one of the earliest, and the role of water and shade in an inhospitable environment as the most persistent. The advent of European, Afghan and other cultures on this part of the southern coastline during the last four centuries has diversified the relevant historic themes. Victorian British discovery and exploration is the first stage in modern recognition of the caves, although long after the region was first discovered. The next and perhaps most remarkable phase brings together developments in Australian aviation and the adaptation of a grounded mariner to the land and air. Eventually the action moves on to the development of organised speleology. Other sub-themes in human interactions with the caves in this large waterless area include what may turn out to be either art or vandalism. They also include attempted grand solutions to the problem of water, by improbable engineering, as well as adventures of tourism, recreation and science.

Les rgions karstiques du Costa Rica, 1987, Mora, S.
KARST LOCALITIES IN COSTA RICA AND THEIR GEOLOGICAL BACKGROUND - Several karst localities in Costa Rica and some of their geological background have been already known by means of regional stratigraphic preview. However, a detailed exploration has not been accomplished yet, with only a few partial exceptions. Information on geological conditions, geomorphology, speleology, ecology and hydrogeology is only available from Barra Honda karst. General development of karst systems in Costa Rica has reached young to moderately mature maximum stage with the occurrence of classic features. Further studies are necessary to obtain a better idea of this kind of phenomena which shows a good potential as a water source and for tourism, ecology and industry. A brief description of the geology of Costa Rica, with relation to the development of karst, is also offered in this text.

Les montagnes refuges calcaires de Mditerrane orientale et du Moyen-Orient (Grce, Crte, Turquie, Iran), 1990, Maire, R.
The mountain shelters in the karst regions of Greece, Crete, Turkey and Iran - The concept of mountain shelters in karst region exists from the Prehistory, especially with rock-shelters and karstic caves. In the high karsts of Greece, Crete, Taurus (Turkey) and Zagros (Iran), the highlanders have survived during the invasions and wars because of their natural bastions. At the junction of civilisations and religions (Christians and Moslems), the karst biotope, one of the natural environment the most used by human people to guard against enemy and to breed (sheep-farming). Because of grazing and destruction of forests (particularly by Byzantine people and Venitians), the mediterranean karst mountain grew poorer.

Etapes et facteurs de la splogense dans le sud-est de la France, 1995, Blanc, J. J.
The examination of karstic erosion surfaces and of some caves presents three stages of unequal duration in the speleogenesis processes : 1) Oldest paleokarsts linked to a tropical and oxydizing climate (Cretaceous, Eocene, Oligocene and Miocene) are affected by the tectonic effects in relation with the western European and liguro-provencal riftings, the mediterranean opening phases and the main karstic levelling. 2) The Messinian crisis, characterized by a significant lowering of the water-table level, is responsible for a major vertical network development and the first canyon sinking phase; hence the erosion of the high surfaces and the drying up of networks. The formation of new over-sized karst is the result of this evolution. 3) From Pliocene (5.3 My) to Quaternary and present time (passive mediterranean margins), the karstic evolution tends towards new drainages and volumes adjusted to the next climatic and eustatic control, with several oscillations and discontinuities. After a compression period, there is a slowing down of the tectogenesis. We can observe orientation flow changes and speleogenesis induced by cold and wet climatic phases. From Tardiglacial times, speleogenesis mechanisms have slowed down.

Prhistoire et karst littoral : la grotte Cosquer et les calanques mar_seillaises (Bouches-du-Rhne, France), 1996, Collinagirard, J.
The Cosquer Cave is a French palaeolithic painted and engraved cave (27000/ 18500 BP) which is located under the sea, in the urgonian limestones of Cap Morgiou ("Massif des Calanques"; Marseille). The en trance was submerged at the end of the last glacial stage and is presently 37 m under sea level. A synthesis about the Cosquer cave environmental studies is presented here. Structural studies show that cave planimetry is determined by Cap Morgiou fracturations (mainly NW/SE and N/S vertical faults). Through archaeological studies, a concretion breaking period can be dated between 27000 and 18000 BP. Geomorphological study of the continental shelf at the foot of the Cosquer cave area shows fossils shorelines at -36 m, -50/55 m, -90 m, -100 m depth. Radiocarbon datings from shells collected in 100m sediments yielded a date of 13 250 BP. Direct scuba diving observations and submarine clive profiles sketching show several eustatic stand-still levels between -36 m and the sea surface indicating a probable tectonic stability during the last 10000 years.

La ligne de Wallace a-t-elle t franchie par les artistes des temps prhistoriques ? Deux nouvelles grottes ornes Borno (Kalimantan), 1998, Chazine Jeanmichel, Fage Luchenri
Before 1992, the Indonesian part of Borneo (Kalimantan) had not been the subject of archeological research. Five speleological and archeological research missions discovered numerous sites, first in the center island (Mller Range, in some isolated parts) and secondly in the huge karst region of Mangkalihat peninsula (NE of Kalimantan) where the first painted caves in Borneo were found in 1994. During the last expedition in september 98, we discovered two other painted caves: the most beautiful and richest ever found in Borneo, with numerous negative hand stencils and painted figures in a good state of preservation. These discoveries have been made in a very difficult area (pinacle and cone karst in the rainforest) by a small team - one caver and one archeologist. The systematic exploration of Borneo caves is essential to answer the question of the role played by the Island in the prehistoric migrations between Asia and Australia

The sedimentary records in Mediterranean rockshelters and caves: Archives of environmental change, 2001, Woodward J. C. , Goldberg P. ,
It is important to develop rigorous methods and robust conceptual models for the interpretation of rockshelter and cave sediment records so that the cultural sequences they contain can be considered in their proper environmental context. Much of what we know about the prehistory of the Mediterranean region and adjacent areas has largely been pieced together from materials excavated from sedimentary sequences in these environments. The rockshelters and caves of the region form important environmental and sedimentary archives. Recent work has begun to consider if the remarkable climatic variability evident in the high resolution lacustrine and ice core records is manifest in the rockshelter and cave sediment records of the area, In this context, the two main characteristics of a rockshelter or cave site which control its usefulness as an archive of environmental change are the temporal resolution of the sedimentary record and the environmental sensitivity of the site. Many rockshelters and caves can be described as either Active Karst Settings (AKS) or Passive Karst Settings (PKS) and site type is an important influence on climatic sensitivity with a direct influence upon the usefulness of the sedimentary sequence as a proxy record of climate change. It is now clear that some sites may preserve detailed paleoclimatic records and the climatic signal may be represented by distinctive suites of micromorphological features, by variations in the input of allogenic sediment, or by fluctuations in the mineral magnetic properties of the fine sediment fraction. It can be argued that data derived from the analysis of bulk coarse-grained samples often lacks the stratigraphic resolution and environmental sensitivity that can be obtained from other approaches. The most favorable sites for detailed paleoclimatic reconstruction appear to be in active karst settings such as Theopetra Cave (Greece) and Pigeon Cave (Morocco) where micromorphological analyses offer insights into the stratigraphic record that are not otherwise obtainable. The temporal resolution of a site can only be established through a rigorous stratigraphic analysis and a comprehensive dating program. These are fundamental considerations in the study of rockshelter sediment records, especially when attempting to correlate between sites and draw comparisons with other proxy records of environmental change derived from sedimentary environments with rather different characteristics. Rockshelters and caves are part of a wider sediment system, and their investigation must be accompanied by detailed geomorphological, sedimentological, paleoecological, and geochronological studies of the off-site Quaternary record.

Intrt de lapproche morphognique pour la comprhension globale dune grotte haute valeur patrimoniale, la grotte Chauvet (Ardche - France), 2004, Delannoy Jeanjacques, Perrette Yves, Debard Evelyne, Ferrier Catherine, Kervazo Bertrand, Perroux Annesophie, Jaillet Stphane, Quinif Yves
Interest of the morphogenesis approach to improve the knowledge of a high-value heritage: Chauvet cave (Ardche, France) - This paper describes the shapes and cave deposits of the Chauvet cave. Especially, the geomorphologic approach improves the global understanding of the Chauvet cave characteristics while Man and animal prehistoric occupancies. Access to the cave, painting location in the cave, and finally cave closing, are discussed on geomorphologic basis to answer the questions asked by prehistorians and archaeologists. The ultimate goal of this paper is to enhance the contribution of the geomorphologic high resolution mapping to the prehistoric investigations. To answer the three questions above, we used shapes and deposits to relate the past cave environments. Soil detailed map allows to describe deposits and shapes in a stratigraphic approach. Some U/Th dating complete the chronology especially during Man and animal occupancy; thus, the closing of the prehistoric entrance has been dated older than 15000 years. Also, this paper shows the interest of crossing the disciplinary approaches in the understanding of such a complex scientific object: the Chauvet cave, a high value Man heritage

Ages et modalits des incursions humaines et animales prhistoriques dans ltage Cathala de la grotte dAldne (Hrault, France). Apport des analyses sdimentologiques et gochronologiques, 2004, Guendon Jeanlouis, Ambert Paul, Quinif Yves, Baumes Bernard, Colomer Albert, Dainat Denis, Galant Philippe, Gruneisen Alain, Gruneisen Nathalie
Chronologies and means of prehistoric human and animal frequentations into Aldne cave, Cathala level (Hrault, France). Sedimentology and geochronology studies - The Aldne cave forms a long network of galleries on four levels. Only the first two of these contain prehistoric vestiges. Superior level (Bousquet storey) presents a Lower Palaeolithic stratigraphy in the porch. It contained also, in the deep areas, a thick filling of clays and speleothems with bear bones, intensively quarried during the 19th and 20th centuries for phosphate ore. These workings allowed to discover the second level (Cathala storey) and, in these news galleries, human footprints trail with sooty marks on the walls, numerous animal paw prints, hyena coprolites, scratches and nests made by bears. After study establishing mesolithic age of human footprints (8 200 130 BP, 7 790 60 BP) and anteriority of animal passages, researches were directed on sedimentological and geochronological study (U/Th dating of speleothem). First, the age of the last animal presence in the second level of Aldne was precised, between 41 500 BP to 25 000 BP. Second, means and chronologies of closing of the prehistoric entrance of Cathala storey were revealed. The actual access in these galleries is only an artificial entrance opened up for phosphate mining. It begins by a cat-flap and shafts about twenty meters high. The access used by prehistoric humans and animals is completely obstructed by a very important boulder choke with speleothems interstratified, situated in North part of Cathala gallery. The studies of this boulder choke showed three principal phases of closing of this primitive access: a first collapse of the roof during Middle Pleistocene; an important bedded rock-fragments produced by frost shattering of primitive entrance porch, which filled principal gallery during periglacial stages of the Upper Pleistocene; and a second roof collapse, during Holocene. The burnt pieces of brand left on the ground allowed to recognise the last narrow passage taken by the Mesolithic humans before this last collapse finally obstructing this entrance.

Prehistory and coastal karst area: Cosquer Cave and the Calanques of Marseille, 2004, Collinagirard, J.

The Cosquer Cave is a French Palaeolithic painted and engraved cave (27.000-18.500 BP), which is located under the sea, in the Urgonian limestones of Cap Morgiou (“Massif des Calanques”, Marseille). The entrance was submerged at the end of the Last Glacial Stage and is presently 37 m under sea level. A synthesis about the Cosquer Cave environmental studies is presented here. Structural studies show that caves planimetry is determined by Cap Morgiou jointing (mainly NW-SE and N-S vertical faults). Through archaeological studies, a speleothem breaking period can be dated between 27.000 and 18.000 BP. Geomorphologic study of the continental shelf at the foot of the Cosquer Cave area shows fossil shorelines at -36 m, -50/55 m, -90 m, -100 m depth. Radiocarbon dating from shells collected in -100m sediments yielded a date of 13.250 BP. Direct scuba diving observations and submarine cliff profiles sketching show several eustatic still stand¬ levels between -36m and the current sea surface indicating a probable tectonic stability during the last 10.000 years.

Neue Erkenntnisse zur Vorgeschichte der Zoolithenhhle bei Burggaillenreuth, Nrdliche Frankenalb, Sddeutschland, 2005, Rosendahl, W.
The usage of the Zoolithen Cave during the Iron Age was well known due to pottery fragments recovered from the scree in front of the cave. A radiocarbon date of ash material attached to a pot shard confirms human use during the Iron Age (Hallstatt- Period). A prominent ash-layer occurring in the uppermost speleothem layer of the entrance section of the cave was also dated. The result shows that this layer does not correspond with the Iron Age habitation, but it suggests an older, as yet undocumented late Mesolithic usage of the Zoolithen Cave.


The objective is to discuss the human impacts to the changing of the landscape surface. The study surface is mainly karstic part of Slovenia. The primary data sources are digital elevation mod­els (DEMs) as continuous surface data, supported with aerial photographs, satellite images and older topographic maps. This study is supplemented with textual information about of histor­ical surfaces. Geomorphologically high quality DEM of Slove­nia with 12.5 m resolution uncovered many human impacts to the terrain surface, which could not be perceived before using any classical surveying techniques. Particularly on the karstic areas, changes of the surface as a consequence of highway con­structions and developing of the stone quarries are well seen. Additionally is involved a database of natural (ridges, valleys, peaks, sinkholes) and antropogenic features (stone and gravel quarries, standing waters, different types of roads and railways) on the current terrain surface. Even more surface changes were found on the LIDAR-based DEM of 1 m resolution. Some hu­man impacts to the surface changes from prehistory until today were analysed with many visual techniques and confirmed with objective numerical methods. The results show that is the hu­man impact on the Earth’s surface important factor that grows exponentially with time.

The Seulo Caves Project, Sardinia: a report on archaeological work undertaken in 2009 and 2010, 2011, Skeates, R.

This report introduces a new archaeological research project investigating the human uses of caves in the territory of Seulo, central Sardinia, and presents the preliminary results of archaeological field-survey, cave-survey, and excavation work undertaken in 2009 and 2010. At least nine caves were occupied in this area during prehistory, between the Middle Neolithic and the Bronze Age (c.4700-850 cal BC). All appear to have been used for the performance of rituals, and can be compared to the ritual use of caves identified elsewhere in the Central Mediterranean region. Nevertheless, significant differences can also be identified at each cave, adding detail and diversity to our understanding of the human uses of caves.

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