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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. ...

Did you know?

That cement is a microscopic textured nonskeletal void-filling material precipitated on an intragranular or intrasedimentary free surface that holds the material together [20]. synonyms: (french.) ciment; (german.) zement; (greek.) tsimento; (italian.) cemento; (spanish.) cemento; (turkish.) cimento; (yugoslavian.) vezivo cement.?

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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
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Your search for time (Keyword) returned 1869 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 1869
Conduit enlargement in an eogenetic karst aquifer, , Moore Paul J. , Martin Jonathan B. , Screaton Elizabeth J. , Neuhoff Philip S.

Most concepts of conduit development have focused on telogenetic karst aquifers, where low matrix permeability focuses flow and dissolution along joints, fractures, and bedding planes. However, conduits also exist in eogenetic karst aquifers, despite high matrix permeability which accounts for a significant component of flow. This study investigates dissolution within a 6-km long conduit system in the eogenetic Upper Floridan aquifer of north-central Florida that begins with a continuous source of allogenic recharge at the Santa Fe River Sink and discharges from a first-magnitude spring at the Santa Fe River Rise. Three sources of water to the conduit include the allogenic recharge, diffuse recharge through epikarst, and mineralized water upwelling from depth. Results of sampling and inverse modeling using PHREEQC suggest that dissolution within the conduit is episodic, occurring only during 30% of 16 sampling times between March 2003 and April 2007. During low flow conditions, carbonate saturated water flows from the matrix to the conduit, restricting contact between undersaturated allogenic water with the conduit wall. When gradients reverse during high flow conditions, undersaturated allogenic recharge enters the matrix. During these limited periods, estimates of dissolution within the conduit suggest wall retreat averages about 4 × 10−6 m/day, in agreement with upper estimates of maximum wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because dissolution is episodic, time-averaged dissolution rates in the sink-rise system results in a wall retreat rate of about 7 × 10−7 m/day, which is at the lower end of wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because of the high permeability matrix, conduits in eogenetic karst thus enlarge not just at the walls of fractures or pre-existing conduits such as those in telogenetic karst, but also may produce a friable halo surrounding the conduits that may be removed by additional mechanical processes. These observations stress the importance of matrix permeability in eogenetic karst and suggest new concepts may be necessary to describe how conduits develop within these porous rocks.


Origin of the sedimentary deposits of the Naracoorte Caves, South Australia, , Forbes Ms, Bestland Ea,
The origin of the sediments located in the Naracoorte Caves (South Australia) was investigated via the analysis of strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr), elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy. Sedimentary deposits located in Robertson, Wet, Blanche and several other chambers in Victoria Cave are all variable mixes of fine sand and coarse silts, which display similar and consistent strontium isotope ratios (0.717-0.725). This suggests that over the 400[no-break space]ka time frame that these deposits span there has been minimal variation in the source of the clastic sediments. Increased strontium concentrations for these cave sediments correspond with increasing silt content, yet there is no correlation between 87Sr/86Sr ratios and silt content. This implies that the silt-sized component of the sediments is the main contributor of strontium to the cave sediments. Comparisons of 87Sr/86Sr with regional surficial deposits show a significant correlation between the cave sediments (avg: 0.7228; n = 27), the fine silt lunettes of the Bool Lagoon area (avg: 0.7224; n = 4), the sandy A horizons of the Coonawarra Red Brown Earths (RBEs; avg: 0.726; n = 5), and Holocene age podsolic sand deposits (0.723). These data suggest that there has been substantial flux from this group of deposits to the caves, as would be expected considering prevailing winds. This relationship is further supported by a strong correlation between many trace elements, including Ti, Zr, Ce, and Y; however, variations in clay mineralogy suggest that the fine silt-dominated lunettes and Padthaway RBEs were not significant contributors to the cave deposits. Hence, the detritus entering the caves was more than likely from areas proximal to the cave entrance and was dominated by medium grain-sized materials. Major regional deposits, including the coarser-grained, calcite-rich Bridgewater Formation sands, basalts from the lower SE, Padthaway Horst granites, Gambier limestone, and metamorphics from the Adelaide geosyncline show minimal correlation in 87Sr/86Sr ratios, elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy with the cave sediments, and are discounted as significant sources. In comparison, 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the Coorong silty sands (0.717-0.724), Lower Murray sands (0.727-0.730), and the medium size silt component of the Murray-Darling River system (0.71-0.72), compare favourably with the cave sediments. This relationship is further supported by similarities in elemental chemistry and mineralogy. Thus, much of the strontium-rich silt that is now located in the Naracoorte Cave sediments likely originated from the Murray-Darling basin. Over time, this material has been transported to the SE of South Australia, where it mixed with the medium sand component of the regressive dune ridge sequence, locally derived organic matter, limestone fragments, and fossil material to produce the unique deposits that we see evident in many of the chambers of the Naracoorte Cave system today

The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

Significance and origin of very large regulating power of some karst aquifers in the Middle East. Implication on karst aquifer classification, , Elhakim M, Bakalowicz M,
SummaryKarst aquifers are the main groundwater resource in Lebanon as well as in most Mediterranean countries. Most of them are not exploited in a sustainable way, partly because their characteristics remain unknown. Karst aquifers are so complex that the assessment of their resource and their exploitable storage requires an analysis of their whole functioning, particularly by analysing the spring hydrograph. Among all various methods, the method proposed by Mangin aims to characterize at the same time the recharge conditions and the storage and recession of the saturated zone by analyzing the spring hydrograph. This method defines two parameters, the infiltration delay i, and the regulating power k which are the roots of a classification of karst systems. This classification makes the distinction between karst and porous aquifers considering the value of the regulating power. k is assumed to be lower than 0.5 in karst, and between 0.5 and 1 for all other aquifers, 1 being the upper limit.The study of karst aquifers in Lebanon shows values of k > 0.5, and even 1; former data from the literature show that other karst springs in Middle East have comparable characteristics. In fact, what is not considered by Mangin and others, k is equivalent to a mean residence time in years of water in the saturated zone. So long residence times are normally observed in poorly karstified aquifers, or containing abandoned, not functioning karstification. The geological framework in which the studied springs are located in fact shows that these aquifers have been subject to a long, complex evolution, as a consequence of the base level rising. This rising produced the flooding of the successive karst drainage network, which does not really function anymore and provides a large storage capacity to the aquifer. The very interesting properties of these aquifers make them prime targets for fulfilling the increasing needs of water

Predicting travel times and transport characterization in karst conduits by analyzing tracer-breakthrough curves, , Morales Tomas, De Valderrama Inigo, Uriarte Jesus A. , Antiguedad Inaki, Olazar Martin,
SummaryThis paper analyzes data obtained in 26 tracer tests carried out in 11 karstic connections following solutional conduits in karst aquifers in the Basque Country. These conduits are preferential drainage pathways in these aquifers and so they confer a marked anisotropy and high vulnerability to them. Consequently, their consideration in protection and management studies and projects is a priority.The connections studied cover a wide hydrogeological spectrum (a wide range of sizes, slopes, geomorphic and hydrologic types) and the tests have been carried out at different hydrodynamic states. It is noteworthy that they all follow a similar trend, which has allowed for the development of a statistical approximation for the treatment of the whole information.Relationships have been established involving velocity, solute time of arrival, attenuation of peak concentration and time of passage of tracer cloud. These relationships are a valuable tool for management and supporting decision-making and allow for making estimates in connections in which the information available was scarce. This information is especially useful, given that the complexity of transport in karst conduits gives way to important deviations between real data (empirical observations) and the data obtained by simple approaches based on the Fickian-type diffusion equation

Controversy over the great flood hypotheses in the Black Sea in light of geological, paleontological, and archaeological evidence, , Yankohombach Valentina, Gilbert Allan S. , Dolukhanov Pavel,
Legends describing a Great Flood are found in the narratives of several world religions, and the biblical account of Noah's Flood is the surviving heir to several versions of the ancient Mesopotamian Flood Myth. Recently, the story of the biblical deluge was connected to the Black Sea, together with the suggestion that the story's pre-Mesopotamian origins might be found in the Pontic basin [Ryan, W.B.F., Pitman, III, W.C., 1998. Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries About the Event That Changed History. Simon and Schuster, New York]. Based on the significance of this flood epic in the Judeo-Christian tradition, popular interest surged following publication of the idea.Currently, two Great Flood scenarios have been proposed for the Black Sea: (1) an Early Holocene event caused by catastrophic Mediterranean inflow at 7.2 ky BP (initial hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 1997. An abrupt drowning of the Black Sea shelf. Marine Geology 138, 119-126]) or 8.4 ky BP (modified hypothesis of [Ryan et al., 2003. Catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea. Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Science 31, 525-554.); and (2) a Late Pleistocene event brought on by Caspian influx between 16 and 13 ky BP [Chepalyga, A.L., 2003. Late glacial Great Flood in the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. GSA Annual Meeting and Exposition, 2-5 November 2003, Seattle, USA, p. 460]. Both hypotheses claim that the massive inundations of the Black Sea basin and ensuing large-scale environmental changes had a profound impact on prehistoric human societies of the surrounding areas, and both propose that the event formed the basis for the biblical Great Flood legend.This paper attempts to determine whether the preponderance of existing evidence sustains support for these Great Floods in the evolution of the Black Sea. Based upon established geological and paleontological data, it finds that the Late Pleistocene inundation was intense and substantial whereas the Early Holocene sea-level rise was not. Between 16 and 13 ky BP, the Late Neoeuxinian lake (the Late Pleistocene water body in the Pontic basin pre-dating the Black Sea) increased rapidly from ~-14 to -50 m (below the present level of the Black Sea), then rose gradually to ~-20 m by about 11 ky BP. At 11-10 ky BP (the Younger Dryas), it dropped to ~-50 m. When the Black Sea re-connected with the Sea of Marmara at about 9.5 ky BP, inflowing Mediterranean water increased the Black Sea level very gradually up to ~-20 m, and in so doing, it raised the salinity of the basin and brought in the first wave of Mediterranean immigrants. These data indicate no major drawdown of the Black Sea after the Younger Dryas, and they do not provide evidence for any catastrophic flooding of the Black Sea in the Early Holocene.In addition, available archaeological and paleoenvironmental evidence from the Pontic region reveal no recognizable changes in population dynamics between 14 and 6 ky BP that could be linked to an inundation of large magnitude [Dolukhanov, P., Shilik, K., 2006. Environment, sea-level changes, and human migrations in the northern Pontic area during late Pleistocene and Holocene times. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 297-318; Stanko, V.N., 2006. Fluctuations in the level of the Black Sea and Mesolithic settlement of the northern Pontic area. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 371-385]. More specifically, Mesolithic and early Neolithic archaeological data in southeastern Europe and Ukraine give no indications of shifts in human subsistence or other behavior at the time of the proposed catastrophic flood in the Early Holocene [Anthony, D., 2006. Pontic-Caspian Mesolithic and Early Neolithic societies at the time of the Black Sea Flood: A small audience and small effects. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 345-370; Dergachev and Dolukhanov, 2006. The Neolithization of the North Pontic area and the Balkans in the context of the Black Sea Floods. In: Yanko-Hombach, V., Gilbert, A.S., Panin, N., Dolukhanov, P.M. (Eds.), The Black Sea Flood Question: Changes in Coastline, Climate, and Human Settlement. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 489-514]

Recharge of Phreatic Aquifers in (Semi-)Arid Areas, ,
Groundwater use is of fundamental importance to meet the rapidly expanding urban, industrial and agricultural water requirements in (semi) arid areas. Quantifying the current rate of groundwater recharge and define its variability in space and time are thus prerequesites for efficient groundwater resource managment in these regions, where such resources are often the key to economic development. Attention focuses on recharge of phreatic aquifers, often the most readily-available and affordable source of water in (semi) arid regions. These aquifers are also the most susceptible to contamination, with the recharge rate determining their level of vulnerability. (Semi) arid zone recharge can be highly variable, the greater the aridity, the smaller and potentially more variable the natural flux. Its determination is an iterative process, involving progressive data collection and resource evaluation; there is also a need to use more than one technique to verify results. Direct, localised and indirect recharge mechanisms from a spectrum of known sources are addressed in the framework of recharge from precipitation, intermittant flow and permanent water bodies. The approach taken for each of these reflects the nature and current understanding of the processes involved. The volume also reviews current recharge estimation challenges, outlines recent developments and offers guidance for potential solutions.

Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, , Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.

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A New Equation Solver for Modeling Turbulent Flow in Coupled Matrix‐Conduit Flow Models, ,

Karst aquifers represent dual flow systems consisting of a highly conductive conduit system embedded in a less permeable rock matrix. Hybrid models iteratively coupling both flow systems generally consume much time, especially because of the nonlinearity of turbulent conduit flow. To reduce calculation times compared to those of existing approaches, a new iterative equation solver for the conduit system is developed based on an approximated Newton–Raphson expression and a Gauß–Seidel or successive over-relaxation scheme with a single iteration step at the innermost level. It is implemented and tested in the research code CAVE but should be easily adaptable to similar models such as the Conduit Flow Process for MODFLOW-2005. It substantially reduces the computational effort as demonstrated by steady-state benchmark scenarios as well as by transient karst genesis simulations. Water balance errors are found to be acceptable in most of the test cases. However, the performance and accuracy may deteriorate under unfavorable conditions such as sudden, strong changes of the flow field at some stages of the karst genesis simulations.

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Bermuda--A partially drowned, late mature, Pleistocene karst, 1960, Bretz Jh,
During Pleistocene time, the Bermuda Islands repeatedly underwent partial inundation and re-emergence. The land areas were continuously attacked and reduced by rain and ground water but repeatedly renewed, during times of submergence, by deposition of marine limestone and by contemporaneous additions of shore-born and wind-transported carbonate sand, now eolianite. Soils formed under subaerial conditions are now buried beneath later deposits and constitute important stratigraphic markers. The igneous foundation rock appears to have been exposed during some low marine stands, and the former shorelines seem to be recorded by submerged terraces. The major karst features are largely below sea level, and they must date from times of continental glaciations. Previous writers have assigned eolian accumulation to times of Pleistocene low sea level and soil-making to times of interglacial high sea. Both conclusions are held to be erroneous

Breccia and Pennsylvanian cave filling in Mississippian Saint Louis Limestone, Putnam County, Indiana, 1961, Smith Ned Myron, Sunderman Jack Allen, Melhorn Wilton Newton,
A limestone breccia and several bodies of shale and sandstone in Mississippian St. Louis limestone were discovered in a quarry opened during the summer of 1959 in the SE1/4NW1/4 sec. 15, T.15N., R.4W., Putnam County. A small mass of sandy limestone conglomerate overlay part of the breccia. Nearly all these bodies have been removed in quarrying. The breccia and the shale-sandstone masses appear to have originated from 2 separate geologic processes which occurred at 2 different times. The origin of the breccia is in doubt because not enough critical evidence is available to prove conclusively and single origin. The authors believe, however, that the breccia probably is the product of a submarine rock slump during St. Louis time which was triggered by the tectonic activity that initiated early movements along the Mt. Carmel fault. Other possible origins, such as solution of evaporites accompanied by collapse of overlying rock or formation of caves in a karst terrain followed by roof collapse, are not supported by the evidence observed. The shale-sandstone bodies are believed to be rocks of Pennsylvanian age which were deposited in caverns developed during the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian erosion interval. The limestone conglomerate is probably of the same age as the shale-sandstone bodies

Observations on Caves, Particularly Those Of South Australia - 1862 , 1962, Lane, Edward A.

The historical study of Australian caves and caving areas is fascinating although involving the expenditure of vast amounts of time. Australia's early days are unusually well-documented, but in the case of caves the early history is usually wrapped up in rumour, hearsay and clouded by lack of written record. Most research work means long hours poring over old newspaper files, mine reports, land department records and so on, little of which is catalogued. A small number of exploration journals and scientific studies have extensive material on special cave areas, and of these, the volume by Rev. Julian Edmund Woods, F.G.S., F.R.S.V., F.P.S., etc., and is one of the most interesting. This book gives the ideas and beliefs of 100 years ago concerning the origin, development and bone contents of caves and makes interesting reading in the light of more recent studies of cave origins. Wood's study "Geological Observations in South Australia : Principally in the District South-East of Adelaide" was published in 1862 by Longman, Green, Roberts and Green, London. In a preface dated November 15, 1861, Rev. Woods points out that the book was written while he was serving as a missionary in a 22,000 square mile district, and "without the benefit of reference, museum, library, or scientific men closer than England". Up to the time of writing, almost no scientific or geological work had been done in South Australia and much of the area was completely unexplored. The book, also, contained the first detailed description of caves in the south-east of the state. Father Woods writes about many different types of caves in South Australia, for instance, the "native wells" in the Mt. Gambier/Mt. Shanck area. These are caves, rounded like pipes, and generally leading to water level. Woods points out their likeness to artificial wells. He also writes of sea cliff caves, particularly in the Guichen Bay area, and blow holes caused by the action of the waves on the limestone cliffs. Woods discusses many other types of caves found further inland, particularly bone caves. Father Woods discusses cave origins under two sub-heads: 1. Trap rock caves generally resulting from violent igneous action, and 2. Limestone caves resulting from infiltration of some kind. He is mainly concerned with limestone caves which he sub-divides into (a) crevice caves - caves which have arisen from fissures in the rock and are therefore wedge-shaped crevices, widest at the opening, (b) sea-beach caves, caves which face the seashore and are merely holes that have been worn by the dashing of the sea on the face of the cliff, (c) egress caves, or passages to give egress to subterranean streams, (d) ingress caves, or passages caused by water flowing into the holes of rocks and disappearing underground. These caves would have entrance holes in the ground, opening very wide underneath, and having the appearance of water having entered from above, (e) finally a group of caves which he lists by use as "dens of animals".


The Discovery, Exploration and Scientific Investigation of the Wellington Caves, New South Wales, 1963, Lane Edward A. , Richards Aola M.

Although research has been unable to establish a definite date of discovery for the limestone caves at Wellington, New South Wales, documentary evidence has placed it as 1828. The actual discovery could have been made earlier by soldiers or convicts from the Wellington Settlement, which dated from 1823. Whether the aborigines knew of the cave's existence before 1828 is uncertain, but likely, as in 1830 they referred to them as "Mulwang". A number of very small limestone caves were also discovered about the same time in the nearby Molong area. The Bungonia Caves, in the Marulan district near Goulburn, were first written about a short time later. On all the evidence available at present, the Wellington Caves can be considered to be the first of any size discovered on the mainland of Australia. The Wellington Caves are situated in a low, limestone outcrop about six miles south by road from the present town of Wellington, and approximately 190 miles west-north-west of Sydney. They are at an altitude of 1000 feet, about half a mile from the present bed of the Bell River, a tributary of the Macquarie River. One large cave and several small caves exist in the outcrop, and range in size from simple shafts to passages 200 to 300 feet long. Mining for phosphate has been carried out, resulting in extensive galleries, often unstable, at several levels. Two caves have been lit by electricity for the tourist trades; the Cathedral Cave, 400 feet long, maximum width 100 feet, and up to 50 feet high; and the smaller Gaden Cave. The Cathedral Cave contains what is believed to be the largest stalagmite in the world, "The Altar", which stands on a flat floor, is 100 feet round the base and almost touches the roof about 40 feet above. It appears that the name Cathedral was not applied to the cave until this century. The original names were "The Great Cave", "The Large Cave" or "The Main Cave". The Altar was named by Thomas Mitchell in 1830. See map of cave and Plate. Extensive Pleistocene bone deposits - a veritable mine of bone fragments - were found in 1830, and have been studied by palaeontologists almost continually ever since. These bone deposits introduced to the world the extinct marsupials of Australia, and have a special importance in view of the peculiar features of the living fauna of the continent. The names of many famous explorers and scientists are associated with this history, among the most prominent being Sir Thomas Mitchell and Sir Richard Owen. Anderson (1933) gives a brief outline of why the Wellington Caves fossil bone beds so rapidly attracted world-wide interest. During the 18th and early 19th Century, the great palaeontologist, Baron Georges Cuvier, and others, supposed that the earth had suffered a series of catastrophic changes in prehistoric times. As a result of each of these, the animals living in a certain area were destroyed, the area being repopulated from isolated portions of the earth that had escaped the catastrophe. The Bilical Deluge was believed to have been the most recent. Darwin, during the voyage of the Beagle around the world (1832-37), was struck by the abundance of Pleistocene mammalian fossils in South America, and also by the fact that, while these differed from living forms, and were in part of gigantic dimensions, they were closely related to present-day forms in that continent. Darwin's theory of descent with modification did not reconcile with the ideas of Cuvier and others. As the living mammalian fauna of Australia was even more distinctive than that of South America, it was a matter of importance and excitement to discover the nature of the mammals which had lived in Australia in the late Tertiary and Pleistocene.


The meaning of Pleistocene birdfauna of Hungarian Middle Mountain caves., 1964, Farkas Tibor
In the present study, the fossil bird fauna of the caves of the Hungarian Middle Mountains is examined for evidence in support of the hypothesis that the Carpathian Basin may have served as a faunal refugee during the last Quaternary glacial period. As an introduction, the reasons for the refugee hypothesis, including paleobotanical and glacial theoretical aspects, are discussed. Since the first bird fossils of the cave fauna considered in this paper belong to the Wrm I-II, the faunistic conditions of the Riss glacial period are not discussed in detail, The known faunas up to the Wrm II are interstadial, which seems to serve only as indirect support for the refugee hypothesis. Paleobotanical evidence, both for and against the hypothesis, is also considered. In conclusion, the abundant cave faunas of all phases of the Wrm III are cited as being; at least at the present time; the most convincing argument for the refugee hypothesis. The heterogeneous composition of these faunas permits certain tentative conclusions regarding the faunas of Wurm I and II.

Processes of limestone cave development., 1964, Howard Alan D.
Three processes successively predominate in enlarging original fractures within limestone into cavern passages: (I) early dissolving by acid produced by oxidizing reactions within the groundwater as it flows through the limestone; (2) dissolving caused by the initial undersaturation with respect to calcite of the groundwater when it enters the limestone; and (3) increased dissolving which occurs at the transition from laminar to turbulent groundwater flow. Only those original fractures in limestone which are widest and which have a high hydraulic gradient acting across them will be enlarged into cavern passages. Until all available surface drainage has been diverted underground, cavern development takes place under a constant hydraulic head, and the rate of limestone solution increases with time. After all available surface drainage has been diverted underground, the discharge through the cave, rather than the hydraulic head, remains constant, and the rate of limestone solution decreases toward a constant value. These principles apply to caverns formed both by water-table flow and by artesian flow.

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