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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

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That capacity, storage is 1. the ability of an aquifer to store water [16]. 2. the capacity of rivers to store water in their own channels [16].?

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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 speleothem record (Keyword) returned 27 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 27
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.


Climate and vegetation history of the mid-continent from 75 to 25 ka: a speleothem record from Crevice Cave, Missouri, USA, 1998, Dorale J. A. , Edwards R. L. , Ito E. , Gonzalez L. A.

Climate and Vegetation History of the Midcontinent from 75 to 25 ka: A Speleothem Record from Crevice Cave, Missouri, USA, 1998, Dorale Ja, Edwards Rl, Ito E, Lez La,

A Scottish speleothem record of the H-3 eruption or human impart? A reply to Dugmore, Coles and Buckland, 1999, Baker A,

A Scottish speleothem record of the H-3 eruption or human impact? A comment on Baker, Smart, Barnes, Edwards and Farrant, 1999, Dugmore Aj, Coles Gm, Buckland Pc,
Studies of a stalagmite sample from Sutherland, Scotland, have identified a period of enhanced growth that lasted for four years and has been dated to 1135 {} 130 BC (Baker et al., 1995). This episode is unique within this sample and has not been observed elsewhere. The authors correlate it with the Icelandic volcanic eruption at 1021 130/-100 Bc that produced the Hekla-3 (H-3) tephra. There is, however, no direct evidence for a causal relationship between volcanic activity in general, or the H-3 eruption in particular, and the growth patterns of the stalagmite. As an alternative to the volcanic explanation of enhanced growth, we suggest that the speleothem could reflect environmental changes associated with woodland decline and the spread of blanket peat

Palaeoclimatic interpretation of stable isotope data from Holocene speleothems of the Waitomo district, North Island, New Zealand, 1999, Williams P. W. , Marshall A. , Ford D. C. , Jenkinson A. V. ,
One straw stalactite and three stalagmites from the Waitomo district of North Island, New Zealand, were examined for stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon with a view to interpreting their palaeoclimate signal. Dating was by uranium series and AMS 14C for the stalagmites and by gamma-ray spectrometry for the straw. Records were thus established for about 100 years for the straw and 3.9, 10.1 and 10.2 ka for the stalagmites. The range of variability in d18Oc and d13Cc this century is about two-thirds of that experienced over the entire Holocene, and is most simply explained in terms of the oceanic source area of rain. Stable isotope variations in three stalagmites show some general similarities, but have significant differences in detail, which underlines the necessity to base palaeoclimatic interpretations on more than one speleothem record. The d18Oc of each stalagmite varies positively with temperature, indicating the dominance of the ocean source of evaporation in determining the isotopic composition of precipitation and hence speleothem calcite in the Holocene. This conclusion is contrary to that of other authors working in New Zealand, who identified a negative relationship between d18Oc and temperature, while examining time periods extending across the Last Glacial Maximum. It is concluded here that, whereas the ice volume effect dominates the large climatic shifts of glacial-interglacial amplitude, the oceanic source effect becomes more important during the period of relatively stable sea level during the Holocene. Results also indicate a late-Holocene altitudinal effect of 0.2{per thousand} d18Oc per 100 m and an associated temperature relationship of about 0.26{per thousand} per{degrees}C. The average of two records identifies the postglacial climatic optimum to lie in the interval from prior to 10 ka BP to 7.5 ka BP, when d18Oc values were up to 0.6{per thousand} less negative than present, implying an average annual mean temperature that was up to 2.3{degrees}C warmer. The average of three speleothem records for the last 3900 years reveals the coldest period of the Holocene to have occurred about 3 to 2 ka BP, when d18Oc values were typically 0.4{per thousand} more negative than present and average temperatures may have been 1.5{degrees}C cooler. Mean annual temperature variability of about 2{degrees}C was sometimes experienced in little more than 100 years

Paleoclimate and vegetation of the last glacial cycles in Jerusalem from a speleothem record, 2000, Frumkin, A. , Ford, D. C. And Schwarcz, H. P.

Controls on the geochemistry of speleothem-forming karstic drip waters, PhD thesis, 2000, Tooth, A.

Research was performed at Crag Cave, Castleisland, southwest Ireland, and P8 Cave, Castleton, Derbyshire, in order to determine the main factors responsible for modifying rainwater geochemistry during flow through soil and karstic aquifer zones. Monitoring was performed on a daily basis in summer and winter at Crag Cave, and on a monthly basis over one year at P8 Cave. At both sites, biannual peaks in karst system Ca2+ concentrations occurred due to: (i) promotion of microbial CO2 production by increased summer temperatures, and (ii) retardation of gaseous exchange by ponding of elevated winter rainfall input leading to an unseasonable build up in soil zone CO2. Therefore, speleothems at both sites may form biannual bands in hydrological years subject to elevated winter rainfall input.

In addition to variations in carbonate weathering due to fluctuations in CO2 levels, cation yields in Crag Cave matrix soil water were controlled by dolomite dissolution (Mg2+), plant uptake (K+), and evapotranspiration balanced by enhanced winter marine aerosol input (Na+). Strontium isotope analysis indicates that Sr2+ was derived from a 50:50 silicate/carbonate mixture, whereas the relatively light ?13C signal was related to direct evolution of CO2 into the aqueous phase in water-logged pores.

Within the Crag Cave aquifer variations in karst water geochemistry were controlled by dilution, flow switching, prior precipitation of calcite, and dolomite dissolution along the flow path. Strontium isotope analysis indicates that dissolution in the aquifer dominated, with Sr2+ being sourced from a 25:75 silicate/carbonate mixture. Light karst water 13C values were constrained by the supply of light soil gas to the aquifer.

Elevation in the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in the Crag Cave speleothem record compared to present day analogues indicates that the former Holocene climate was drier, whereas heavier 87Sr/86Sr ratios and 13C values suggest variation in soil hydrology over time.


A high-resolution speleothem record of climatic variability at the Allerod-Younger Dryas transition in Missouri, central United States., 2001, Denniston R. F. , Gonzalez L. A. , Asmerom Y. , Polyak V. , Reagan M. K. , Saltzman M. R.

The Sahara-East Mediterranean dust and climate connection revealed by strontium and uranium isotopes in a Jerusalem speleothem, 2004, Frumkin A, Stein M,
This paper explores the potential of Sr and U isotope systems in speleothems as tracers of eolian dust transport and hydrological conditions. The study focuses on a speleothem from Jerusalem spanning the past 220 kyr. This speleothem provides a precisely dated record of dust flux from the Sahara to the East Mediterranean. Enhanced dust flux and Terra Rossa soil development are reflected by elevated 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the speleothem (0.7082-0.7086), while lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios (~0.7078) indicate higher contribution of the local bedrock due to low dust flux and low soil accumulation. The strontium isotope system in the speleothem is a robust monitor of the Sahara monsoon-modulated climate, since dust uptake is related to development or reduction in vegetation cover of Sahara soil. The [234U/238U] activity ratios in the speleothem range between 1.12 and 1.0. The high activity values may indicate selective removal of 234U from the soil while the low values converge to the bedrock. The migration of 234U to the cave reflects mainly the regional hydrological conditions that are modulated by the North Atlantic-Mediterranean climate system. Thus, the speleothem provides a combined record of the monsoon-North Atlantic climatic systems. Long-term stability in glacial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70830.0001 over the past 220 kyr) suggests an overall similarity in eolian dust sources, and uniformity in the synoptic conditions that dominate the dust storm tracks during glacial periods

The Sahara - East Mediterranean dust and climate connection revealed by strontium and uranium isotopes in a Jerusalem speleothem, 2004, Frumkin, A. , And Stein, M.
This paper explores the potential of Sr and U isotope systems in speleothems as tracers of eolian dust transport and hydrological conditions. The study focuses on a speleothem from Jerusalem spanning the past 220 kyr. This speleothem provides a precisely dated record of dust flux from the Sahara to the East Mediterranean. Enhanced dust flux and Terra Rossa soil development is reflected by elevated 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the speleothem (0.7082-6), while lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios (~0.7078) indicate higher contribution of the local bedrock due to low dust flux and low soil accumulation. The strontium isotope system in the speleothem is a robust monitor of the Sahara monsoon-modulated climate, since dust uptake is related to development or reduction in vegetation cover of Sahara soil. The [234U/238U] activity ratios in the speleothem range between 1.12 and 1.0. The high activity values may indicate selective removal of 234U from the soil while the low values converge to the bedrock. The migration of 234U to the cave reflects mainly the regional hydrological conditions that are modulated by the North Atlantic-Mediterranean climate system. Thus, the speleothem provides a combined record of the Monsoon - North Atlantic climatic systems. Long-term stability in glacial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70831 over the past 220 kyr) suggests an overall similarity in eolian dust-sources, and uniformity in the synoptic conditions that dominate the dust storm tracks during glacial periods.

Significance and dynamics of drip water responding to rainfall in four caves of Guizhou, China, 2005, Zhou Y. C. , Wang S. J. , Xie X. N. , Luo W. J. , Li T. Y. ,
In rainy season, NaCl is adopted to trace sources of cave drip water, time scales of drip water responding to precipitation, and processes of water dynamics in four caves of Pearl watershed in Guizhou, China (Liang-feng cave in Libo, Qixing cave in Duyun, Jiangjun cave in Anshun and Xiniu cave in Zhenning). Because of the variety of karst cave surroundings, interconnections of water transporting ways, water dynamics processes etc., time scales of drip-water in four caves responding to rainfall is 0-40 d. According to the characteristics of water transport in cave roof, pathways of water movement, types of water head etc., drip water of four caves can be divided into five hydrodynamics types. The differences of time scales, and ways of water-soil and water-rock interaction during water transporting in cave roof make it difficult to correctly measure speleothem record and trace material sources. In addition, there exist great differences in water dynamic conditions among the four caves. So the interpretation of the paleoenvironment records of speleothem must be supported by the understanding of hydrodynamics conditions of different drip sites. Based on the data got from drip sites in four caves, drip conductivity accords with precipitation, which indicates that element contents in speleothem formed by drip water record the change of karst paleoenvironment. But results of multi-points study are needed to guarantee the correctness of interpretation

Modification and preservation of environmental signals in speleothems, 2006, Fairchild Ij, Smith Cl, Baker A, Fuller L, Spotl C, Mattey D, Mcdermott F, Eimp,
Speleothems are primarily studied in order to generate archives of climatic change and results have led to significant advances in identifying and dating major shifts in the climate system. However, the climatological meaning of many speleothem records cannot be interpreted unequivocally, this is particularly so for more subtle shifts and shorter time periods, but the use of multiple proxies and improving understanding of formation mechanisms offers a clear way forward. An explicit description of speleothem records as time series draws attention to the nature and importance of the signal filtering processes by which the weather, the seasons, and longer-term climatic and other environmental fluctuations become encoded in speleothems. We distinguish five sources of variation that influence speleothem geochemistry, i.e. atmospheric, vegetation/soil, karstic aquifer, primary speleothem crystal growth and secondary alteration, and give specific examples of their influence. The direct role of climate diminishes progressively through these five factors. We identify and review a number of processes identified in recent and current work that bear significantly on the conventional interpretation of speleothem records, for example: (1) speleothem geochemistry can vary seasonally and hence a research need is to establish the proportion of growth attributable to different seasons and whether this varies over time; (2) whereas there has traditionally been a focus on monthly mean delta O-18 data of atmospheric moisture, current work emphasizes the importance of understanding the synoptic processes that lead to characteristic isotope signals, since changing relative abundance of different weather types might control their variation on the longer-term; (3) the ecosystem and soil zone overlying the cave fundamentally imprint the carbon and trace element signals and can show characteristic variations with time; (4) new modelling on aquifer plumbing allows quantification of the effects of aquifer mixing; (5) recent work has emphasized the importance and seasonal variability Of CO2-degassing leading to calcite precipitation upflow of a depositional site on carbon isotope and trace element composition of speleothems; (6) although much is known about the chemical partitioning between water and stalagmites, variability in relation to crystal growth mechanisms and kinetics is a research frontier; (7) aragonite is susceptible to conversion to calcite with major loss of chemical information, but the controls on the rate of this process are obscure. Analytical factors are critical in generating high-resolution speleothem records. A variety of methods of trace element analysis is available, but standardization is a common problem with the most rapid methods. New stable isotope data on Irish stalagmite CC3 compares rapid laser-ablation techniques with the conventional analysis of micromilled powders and ion microprobe methods. A high degree of comparability between techniques for delta O-18 is found on the millimeter to centimeter scale, but a previously described high-amplitude oxygen isotope excursion around 8.3 ka is identified as an analytical artefact related to fractionation of the laser-analysis associated with sample cracking. High-frequency variability of not less than 0.5 parts per thousand may be an inherent feature of speleothem delta O-18 records. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Large kinetic isotope effects in modern speleothems, 2006, Mickler Patrick J. , Stern Libby A. , Banner Jay L. ,
The application of stable isotopes in speleothem records requires an understanding of the extent to which speleothem calcite isotopic compositions reflect the compositions of the cave waters from which they precipitate. To test for equilibrium precipitation, modern speleothem calcite was grown on glass plates, so that the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of the calcite and the water from which it precipitated could be directly compared. The plates were placed on the tops of three actively growing stalagmites that occupy a 1 m2 area in Harrison's Cave, Barbados, West Indies. Only some of the plate {delta}13C values and none of the plate {delta}18O values correspond to equilibrium values, indicating significant kinetic isotope effects during speleothem calcite growth. We investigate herein mechanisms that may account for the kinetic isotope effects. On each plate, speleothem calcite was deposited with distinct {delta}18O and {delta}13C compositions that increase progressively away from the growth axis, with up to 6.6{per thousand} 13C and 1.7{per thousand} 18O enrichments. The positive {delta}13C versus {delta}18O trends are likely a result of 18O and 13C Rayleigh-distillation enrichment in the HCO3- reservoir owing to progressive CO2 degassing and CaCO3 precipitation. The magnitude of the {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope is likely controlled by the extent to which CO2 hydration-hydroxylation reactions buffer the oxygen isotope composition of the HCO3- reservoir during calcite precipitation. Complete oxygen isotopic buffering of the HCO3- reservoir by CO2 hydration-hydroxylation reactions will produce a vertical {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope in calcite sampled along a growth layer. As oxygen isotope buffering of the HCO3- reservoir decreases to no buffering, the {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope in calcite sampled along a growth layer will decrease from vertical to 0.52 at the cave temperature. In this study, modern speleothem calcite sampled along the growth layer produced a {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slope of 3.9, indicating incomplete oxygen isotope buffering of the HCO3- reservoir during calcite precipitation. Both modern and Holocene speleothem calcite from Barbados, sampled temporally along the growth axis, shows similar positive {delta}13C versus {delta}18O slopes. These results, along with the spatial variations in glass plate calcite carbon and oxygen isotope compositions, suggest that the isotopic composition of the Holocene speleothems is in part controlled by non-equilibrium isotope effects. In addition, there is a correlation between stalactite length and oxygen and carbon isotope ratios of calcite precipitated on the corresponding stalagmite and glass plate, which may be due to 13C and 18 O enrichment of the HCO3- reservoir during CO2 degassing-calcite precipitation along the overhanging stalactite. We compiled 165 published speleothem stable isotope records with a global distribution and found that most of these records show a positive covariation between {delta}13C and {delta}18O values. Speleothem stable isotope records may be influenced by kinetic isotope effects such that temperature-controlled equilibrium fractionation models alone cannot directly explain the significance of the variations in these records. Advancing the interpretation of these records requires the calibration of cave environmental conditions with the non-equilibrium isotope effects that cause {delta}13C and {delta}18O covariations in speleothems

Timing and dynamics of the last deglaciation from European and North African [delta]13C stalagmite profiles--comparison with Chinese and South Hemisphere stalagmites, 2006, Genty D, Blamart D, Ghaleb B, Plagnes V, Causse C, Bakalowicz M, Zouari K, Chkir N, Hellstrom J, Wainer K, Bourges F,
The last deglaciation and its climatic events, such as the Bolling-Allerod (BA) and the Younger-Dryas (YD), have been clearly recorded in the [delta]13C profiles of three stalagmites from caves from Southern France to Northern Tunisia. The three [delta]13C records, dated by thermal ionization mass spectrometric uranium-thorium method (TIMS), show great synchroneity and similarity in shape with the Chinese cave [delta]18O records and with the marine tropical records, leading to the hypothesis of an in-phase (between 15.5 and 16 ka ~0.5 ka) postglacial warming in the Northern Hemisphere, up to at least 45[deg]N. The BA transition appears more gradual in the speleothem records than in the Greenland records and the Allerod seems warmer than the Bolling, showing here close similarities with other marine and continental archives. A North-South gradient is observed in the BA trend: it cools in Greenland and warms in our speleothem records. Several climatic events are clearly recognizable: a cooler period at about 14 ka (Older Dryas (OD)); the Intra-Allerod Cold Period at about ~13.3 ka; the YD cooling onset between 12.7 and 12.90.3 ka. Similar to the BA, the YD displays a gradual climate amelioration just after its onset at 12.750.25 ka, up to the Preboreal, and is punctuated by a short climatic event at 12.15 ka. Even though the Southern Hemisphere stalagmite records seem to indicate that the postglacial warming started about ~3 ka1.8 ka earlier in New Zealand (~41 [deg]S), and about ~1 to ~2 ka earlier in South Africa (24.1 [deg]S), large age uncertainties, essentially due to slow growth rates, make the comparison still perilous. The overall [delta]13C speleothem record seems to follow a baseline temperature increase controlled by the increase in insolation and punctuated by cold events possibly due to the N-America freshwater lake discharges

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