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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 cienaga is (spanish.) wetland. see also wetland.?

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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 quaternary glaciations (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Ecological and Faunistic Data on the Stenasellidae (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota of Subterranean Waters)., 1974, Magniez Guy
Some important morphological features, which are discussed here, point out that the Stenasellids (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota) must be considered as a true family (Stenasellidae), independent from the Asellidae. A definition and a renewed diagnosis of the Stenasellidae Dudich, 1924, are given. Their relationships must be pursued, especially in the marine Parastenetroidea and in the psammic Microcerberidae. Until 1938, the group was known only from subterranean waters of southern Europe. Now, several genera and many thermophile species from north-tropical underground waters have been discovered in Africa (5 gen., 12 sp.), Asia (1 gen., 2 sp.) and Central America (1 gen., 4 sp.). The Stenasellids are very active burrowers. Such a behaviour explains how their phyletic lines had colonized the continental underground waters, by migrations from the littoral gravels to the underflow of rivers, phreatic alluvial waters and fnally, to the karstic waters. The typical medium for the life of the group is represented by the phreatic zones of African shields arenas. In European phyletic lines, the speciation seems to be linked with tertiary subsidences (within the Tyrrhenian area, for the line of Stenasellus virei). The European species which have survived quaternary glaciations may have diversified themselves (rising of subspecies), recolonizing newly vacant biotopes in postglacial ages.

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 exemple de karst haut-alpin : le Dsert de Plat (Haute-Savoie), 1984, Maire, R.
AN EXAMPLE OF HIGH ALPINE KARST: THE DSERT DE PLAT (HAUTE-SAVOIE) - Situated in the French Northern Alps between 1600m and 2800m elevation, the Dsert de Plat is characterised by a wet, cold and very snowy climate (P = 2400-2800 mm/year). We observe several morphoclimatic levels: the upper mountain karst (1500-1700m), the subalpine karst (1700-1950m), the alpine karst (1950 - 2600m) and the proglacial karst (well developed in the Haut-Giffre massif. Glacio-karstic landforms like cirque-dolines and pavements (Schichttreppenkarst) are inherited from the quaternary glaciations. The deep karst underlines the part of quaternary climatic sequence with complex drainage and fillings. Now, the karstic flow is a nival type (maximum during the spring and summer minimum) but the hydrochemical cycles are opposite (spring minimum). Nevertheless, because of a very abundant underground discharge during hot season (80%), the exported limestone reaches 75% of annual amount. The specific dissolution is strong (104 mm/ky), but it does not reach the optimum of forest mountain karst, like Vercors (120-170mm/ky).

Apports des datations U/Th dans la karstogense de la Grande Moucherolle-Rochers de la Balme (Vercors), 1986, Delannoy J. J. , Holliger Ph.
234 U - 230 Th DATING OF SPELEOTHEMS AND KARSTOGENESIS OF THE "GRANDE MOUCHEROLLE-ROCHERS DE LA BALME" (VERCORS) - In this article, is presented a first geomorphological and speleological synthesis of the subalpine karst of the Grande Moucherolle (2285 m) - Rochers de Ia Balme. This area of Vercors (Alps), which has 8 caves deeper than 300m (Antre des Damns -720m; Clos de La Fure -580m...) is surely the most promising sector from a speleological point of view. Through the study of the glacio-karstic landforms and the distri-bution of the great caves, it seems that there is a real relation between these two parameters. In order to evaluate the contribution of quaternary glaciations in the genesis of caves, isotopic dating (234U-230Th) have been performed on underground carbonated deposits. After a presentation of the chronometric method 234U-230Th, the results are analysed according to their speleological environment. A paleogeographic reconstitution through the middle and recent Quaternary is proposed for the geosystem of the Grande Moucherolle - Rochers de la Balme.

Le peuplement animal des karsts de France (lments de biogographie souterraine pour les invertbrs, premire partie : la faune aquatique), 1987, Ginet R. , Juberthie C.
THE BIOGEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF INVERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN FRENCH KARSTS (FIRST PART: THE AQUATIC FAUNA) - This text analyses the bibliographic data in order to draw up a schematic representation of the biogeographical distribution of Invertebrate animals found in French karsts up to 1985. The animal population of these karsts is very varied, especially in the South of France. For many groups, there are obvious links with geological history and paleo-ecology. This text first lists the aquatic groups (from Porifera to Crustacea; the latter is the most varied and numerous in karstic water). It puts forward possible solutions to the problems posed by the ways followed by the ancestors of present-day groups, either of superficial fresh-water origin, or of marine origin during the Tertiary, and whose areas were later modified by the impact of Quaternary glaciations. For the terrestrial groups (cf. Karstologia n 11), subterranean penetration followed different pathways, among which the Superficial Hypogean Compartment (MSS = Milieu Souterrain Superficiel) plays an obvious role; this shows that many troglobites are not limited, in the underground environment, to just caves and the karst. The Arthropods, and among them the Insects, are of course the most varied and the best known. Their biogeographical distribution reflects the problems of speciation, ecology and endemism, which are discussed in the text.

Le peuplement animal des karsts de France (deuxime partie : lments de biogographie pour les Invertbrs terrestres), 1988, Ginet R. , Juberthie C.
THE BIOGEOGRAPHICAL DISTRIBUTION OF INVERTEBRATE ANIMALS IN FRENCH KARSTS. SECOND PART THE TERRESTRIAL FAUNA - This text analyses the bibliographic data in order to draw up a schematic representation of the biogeographical distribution of Invertebrate animals found in french karsts up to 1985. The animal population of these karsts is very varied, especially in the south of France. For many groups, there are obvious links with geological history and paleo-ecology. This text first (cf. Karstologia n 10) lists the aquatic groups (from Porifera to Crustacea; the latter is the most varied and numerous in karstic water). It puts forward possible solutions to the problems posed by the ways followed by the ancestors of present-day groups, either of superficial freshwater origin, or of marine origin during the Tertiary, and whose areas were later modified by the impact of quaternary glaciations. This second part concerns the terrestrial groups, subterranean penetration followed different pathways, among which the Superficial Hypogean Compartment (MSS = Milieu Souterrain Superficiel) plays an obvious role; this shows that many troglobites are not limited in the underground environment, just to caves and karst. The Arthropods, and among them the Insects, are of course the most varied and the best known. Their bio-geographical distribution reflects the problems of speciation, ecology and endemism, which are discussed in the text.

Le massif de la Chartreuse, Alpes franaises du Nord : paysages karstiques et organisation des rseaux souterrains, 1990, Lismonde B. , Delannoy J. J.
The massif of Chartreuse: karsts features and underground systems (Alps, France) - The Chartreuse massif is the smallest of the subalpine massifs, but it contains the most important underground systems of French Alps. The massif of Chartreuse is characterised by parallel folds directed N020. The eastern plateau spreads out urgonian limestone (perched syncline); it contains the two largest cave systems: "Alpe-Alpette" (54 km) and "Dent de Crolles" (54 km). To the W, the limestone layers are uplifted by the orogenic strains and thereby, the caves are very deep: "rseau Ded" (- 780m), "puits Francis" (- 723m), "gouffre de Gnieux" (- 675m). Two transverse rivers make the hydrologic drainage: the "Guiers Vif" and the "Guiers Mort", which cut up the region into small hydrological basins. The greatest of them is "Guiers Vif" basin, with an area of 9.2 km2.

Rapports entre la karstification _primditerranenne et la crise de salinit messinienne, lexemple du karst lombard (Italie), 1994, Bini, A.
The Mediterraean dessiccation theory suggests that during the Messinian the Mediterranean sea lad almost completely dried up did a thick succession of evaporites was laid down Due to dessiccation the erosional base level through the whole Mediterranean area was lowered, with the consequent development of long and deep fluviatile canyons (e.g. Nile, Rhne, Var, etc). This lowering strongly affected karst evolution This paper concerns the karst in Lombardy, around the southalpine lakes. The old evolutionary models, predating dessiccation theory, assume that the lacustine valleys were scoured by the quaternary glaciers. ln this case the karst should have been characterized by some features, like for example the altitudinal cave distribution as a consequence of the valley lowering after each glaciation. Seismic experiments through the lakes and their tributaries have shown that these valleys are deep fluviatile canyons. The study of caves has demonstrated that the caves themselves predate the entrenchment of the valleys and the glaciations. During the latter the caves were filled up and emptied several times, without any modifications of their inner morphology, including stalactites. Moreover the U/Th age determinations indicate that a great number of concretions are older than 350 ky, and that a few are older than 1.5 Ma. As a conse-quence, a general model of karst evolution can be proposed. The former karstic drainage system developed after the Oligo-Miocene emersion. Paleogeography obviously diffe-red from the present day landscape but the main valley had already been scoured. During the Messinian the dramatic lowering of base level determined major changes in karstic evolution and a reorganisation of the karst drainage system that was consequently lowered considerably. The Pliocene transgression determined a new karst evolution, after which a great number of caves were located well below the sea level base. This evolution occurred during hot and wet climate period, with seasonal high flows and relevant discharges of the karstic rivers The great caves of the Lombardian karst developed within the climatic stage.

Rapport entre karst et glaciers durant les glaciations dans les valles pralpines du sud des Alpes, 1998, Bini Alfredo, Tognini Paola, Zuccoli Luisa
At least 13 glaciations occurred during the last 2.6Ma in the Southern pre_alpine valleys. The glaciers scouring alpine and pre-alpine valleys had all the same feature, being valley temperated glaciers. Their tracks and feeding areas were always the same, just like the petrological contents of their deposits. Contrary to previous assumptions until a few years ago, the origin of these valleys and of the lakes occupying the floor of some of them (Orta, Maggiore, Como, Iseo, Garda Lakes) is due to fluvial erosion related to Messinian marine regression. The valley slopes modelling is Messinian in age, too, while most caves are older. As a general rule, glaciers worked on valley slopes just as a re_modelling agent, while their effects were greater on valley floors. The karstic evolution began as soon as the area was lifted above sea level (upper Oligocene - lower Miocene), in a palaeogeographical environment quite different from the present one, although the main valley floors were already working as a base level. During Messinian age, the excavation of deep canyons along pre-existing valleys caused a dramatic lowering of the base level, followed by a complete re-arrangement of the karstic networks, which got deeper and deeper. The Pliocene marine transgression caused a new re-arrangement, the karst network getting mostly drowned under sea level. During these periods, the climate was hot-wet tropical, characterised by a great amount of water circulating during the wet season. At the same time tectonic upliftings were at work, causing breaking up of the karst networks and a continuous rearrangement of the underground drainage system. In any case, karstic networks were already well developed long before the beginning of Plio-Quaternary glaciations. During glaciations, karst systems in pre-alpine valleys could have been submitted to different drainage conditions, being: a) isolated, without any glacial water flowing; b) flooded, connected to the glacier water-filled zone; c) active, scoured by a stream sinking at glacier sides or in a sub glacial position. The stream could flow to the flooded zone (b), or scour all the unflooded system long down to the resurgence zone, the latter being generally located in a sub glacier position. The glacier/karst system is a very dynamic one: it could get active, flooded or isolated depending on endo- and sub-glacial drainage variations. Furthermore, glaciers show different influences on karstic networks, thus working with a different effect during their advance, fluctuations, covering and recession phases. Many authors believe, or believed, the development of most surface and underground karst in the Alps is due to glaciations, with the last one held to be mostly responsible for this. Whatever the role of glaciers on karstic systems, in pre-alpine valleys caves, we do not have evidence either of development of new caves or of remarkable changes in their features during glaciations. It is of course possible some pits or galleries could have developed during Plio-Quaternary glaciations, but as a general rule glaciers do not seem to have affected karstic systems in the Southern pre-alpine valleys with any remarkable speleogenetic effects: the glaciers effects on them is generally restricted to the transport of great amounts of debris and sediments into caves. The spotting of boulders and pebbles trapped between roof stalactites shows that several phases of in- and out-filling of galleries occurred with no remarkable changing in pre-dating features, including cave decorations. The presence of suspended karst systems does not prove a glacial origin of the valleys, since most of them pre-date any Plio-Quaternary glaciation, as shown by calcite cave deposits older than 1,5Ma. The sediments driven into caves might have caused a partial or total occlusion of most galleries, with a remarkable re-arrangement of the underground drainage system. In caves submitted to periglacial conditions all glaciations long, we can find deposits coming from weathered surface sediments, sharp-edged gelifraction debris and, more rarely, alluvial deposits whose origin is not related to the circulation of the glacial meltwater. In caves lower than or close to the glaciers limit we generally find large amounts of glacier-related deposits, often partly or totally occluding cave galleries. These sediments may be directly related to glaciers, i.e. carried into caves by glacial meltwaters, resulting from surface glacial deposit erosion. They generally show 3 dominant facies: A) lacustrine deposits; B) alluvial deposits and C) debris flow deposits facies. The only way of testing the soundness of the forementioned hypothesis is to study the main characters and spreading of cave sediments, since they are the only real data on connection of glaciers to endokarst networks.

An external model of speleogenesis during Quaternary glacial cycles in the marbles of central Scandinavia, 2010, Faulkner, T.

The marble caves of the Central Scandinavian Caledonides were formed from open fractures that were created primarily by deglacial seismicity at the culmination of each of the many complex Quaternary glaciations that the region has experienced. Subsequent inundation by deglacial ice-dammed lakes enabled phreatic enlargement by dissolution, with passages either becoming relict during the following interglacial or else being entrenched by (mainly) vadose processes if recharged by allogenic streams. Because the distance of the contemporary fractures and therefore the cave passages from the nearest land surface is commonly constrained to be less than one-eighth of the depth of the local glaciated valley, the caves are rather epigean in nature. This subsurface cave distance is of the same order of magnitude as the thickness of rock removed from valley walls and floors at each major glaciation, suggesting that, when viewed over several glacial cycles, caves are involved in a race to develop deeper during deglaciation and the following interglacial before their upper levels are removed by erosion at the next glaciation. Indeed, relatively few cave passages in the study area can have survived from the previous, Eemian, interglacial.
This paper examines evidence for the interglacial and erosional processes and utilises a 'black box' approach to provide an external model for cave development and removal. It proposes that Caledonide marble caves in stripe karst outcrops should especially be considered as four-dimensional objects throughout their commonly intermittent existence. Mainly vadose caves are regarded as 'half-cycle' caves that developed primarily in the Holocene. Relict caves (primarily phreatic) and combination caves (with both phreatic and vadose elements) are commonly 'single-cycle' caves that developed their relict phreatic passages during Weichselian deglaciation, and only a few are 'multi-cycle' caves that have experienced several Pleistocene glacial cycles. The existing caves are more numerous and commonly larger than those that were present during previous interglacials.


Quaternary glaciations of Turkey, 2011, Sarikaya M. A. , Ciner A. , Zreda M.

The cosmogenic exposure ages obtained from glacial landforms in several Turkish mountains provided a basis to reconstruct glacio-chronology and paleoclimate of Turkey. Glacier-related landforms occur in three major regions of Turkey; (1) the Taurus Mountains, along the Mediterranean coast and southeast Turkey, (2) mountain ranges along the Eastern Black Sea Region, and (3) volcanoes and independent mountain chains scattered across the Anatolian Plateau. 10Be 26Al and 36Cl ages show that the oldest and most extensive mountain glaciers were developed during the Last Glacial Maximum. Unusual Early Holocene glaciations, dated to 9 ka-10 ka, were also reported from Mount Erciyes and Aladaglar.


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