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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 tracer-flow method is a method of determining flow velocities and directions by introducing tracers or indicators into ground water [16].?

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Your search for u-th dating (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Contribution to geomorphological and hydrogeological study of karst in Mediterranean environment: the Aït Abdi plateau (central limestone High Atlas, Maroc),PhD thesis, 1995, Perritaz, L.

The Ait Abdi karstic plateau is located in the heart of the calcareous High Atlas (32°N/6°W). With an area of 160 km2, it is situated between 2,200 and 3,000 meters above sea level, i.e. 800 meters above the nearest valleys and canyons. It consists of a large series of massive Bajocian limestones which form a large brachysyncline, the axial plane of which dips gently to the NE. These limestones overlie a thick series of Toarcian-Aalenian detritic sediments forming the regional aquiclude and the top of the half captive Middle Liasic aquifer. The plateau is limited both in the N and S by strong changes in dip to the vertical of the sedimentary layers (ejective thrusted anticlines), and in the W and E by deep canyons created by major rivers. Therefore the plateau is a totally isolated calcareous compartment, from both a morphologic and a hydrogeologic point of view.
The climate of this region is Mediterranean with an altitude modification: maximum rainfall occurs in winter and in spring, snow cover is not durable but sometimes important, storms are common for dry season in summer. The precipitations comprise only 500 to 700 mm/year (subhumide zone) and the effective evapotranspiration is approximately 400 mm/year, including the losses due to sublimation. The snow coefficient is 60 %. This means that the recharge of the aquifer, occurring almost entirely during snow melting, is limited, but the large bare surfaces of the plateau with typical well developed karst forms (dolines, poljes, dry valleys, holes) improve the infiltration rate (40%). The specific discharge is only 8.1 L/s/km2.
The morphologic peculiarity of this nival karst consist of a succession of small parallel and asymmetric dry valleys forming some "waves". For that reason, the French geomorphologist Couvreur termed these climate controlled features "karst en vagues". The role of wind and snow in the genesis of these forms is predominant. The most of time structure controlled plateau's poljes are quasi inactive today. All kinds of high mountain karren landforms are present on the plateau and prove the great role of snow role in the microforms genesis.
An ancient speleological network with vertical shafts occluded lower down suggest of ancient more humid climatic conditions. U-Th dating indicates ages between 3,200 and 220,000 years, or outside the range of the method (more than 400,000 years). The lateral flow is conducted by an interstrata network, inactive and dry in the upper part, or active and phreatic at the base, near the regional aquiclude, attesting three karstification phases.
The water discharges as typically karstic hillfoot springs, most of the time oversaturated and forming tufas. Large doleritic vertical dykes cut the plateau and form major drainpipes. The physical-chemical and chemical signature of these spring waters is quite different of the signature of other springs of this area, which discharge whether from small local Toarcian-Aalenian aquifers or from the huge semi confined karstic Middle Liasic aquifer. The plateau springs hydrodynamic response is characteristic for an elevated karstic aquifer with rapid flow. The aquifer geometry does not allow important reserves, but the mean discharge from all perennial springs (about 1 m3/s) is a precious resource for the population of this far area of the Atlas Mountains.


Le karst en vagues des At Abdi (Haut-Atlas central, Maroc), 1996, Perritaz, L.
The At Abdi plateau (2200-3000 m, 160 km2) is located in the calcareous High Atlas (32? N). It consists of massive Bajocian limestones, which form a large brachysyncline and overlie the clastic Toarcian-Aalenian forming the regional aquiclude and the top of the half captive Middle Liassic aquifer. The rainfall comprises only 500 to 700 mm/yr and the effective evapotranspiration is about 400 mm/yr with a snow coefficient of 60 % and an infiltration rate of 40 %. This means that the recharge of the aquifer mainly occurs during snow melting. The morphology of this nival karst consists in a succession of little parallel and asymmetric dry valleys forming some "waves" ("karst en vagues"). The role of wind and snow in the genesis of these forms is predominant. An old cave system with vertical shafts occluded lower down is proof of ancient more humid climatic conditions. U-Th dating methods on speleothems indicate ages between 3,200 and 220,000 yrs, or more than 400,000 yrs. The horizontal transfer is made by an interstrata network, ancient and dry in the upper part, or recent and phreatic at the base, near the regional aquiclude, attesting three karstification phases.

Mid-Pleistocene cave fills, megafaunal remains and climate change at Naracoorte, South Australia: towards a predictive model using U-Th dating of speleothems, 2000, Moriarty Kevin C. , Mcculloch Malcolm T. , Wells Roderick T. , Mcdowell Matthew C. ,

Radiometric dating of the Siloam Tunnel, Jerusalem, 2003, Frumkin, A. , Shimron, A. , And Rosenbaum, J.

The historical credibility of Biblical texts is often debated when compared with Iron Age archaeological finds. Modern scientific methods may, in principle, be used to independently date structures that seem to be mentioned in the Biblical text, in order to evaluate its historical authenticity. In reality, however, this approach is extremely difficult because of poor archaeological preservation, identification uncertainty, scarcity of datable materials, and restricted scientific access into well-identified worship sites. Due to these problems, no well-identified Biblical structure has been radiometrically dated prior to the present study. Here we report radiocarbon and U-Th dating of the Siloam Tunnel (ST), proving its Iron Age II date (Fig. 1a); we conclude that the Biblical text presents an accurate historic record of ST construction. Being one of the longest ancient water tunnels lacking intermediate shafts, dating ST is a key in determining where and when this technological breakthrough took place. ST dating also refutes a claim that ST was constructed at the 2nd century BCE.


Speleothem rupture in karst: tectonic or climatic origin? U-Th dating of rupture events in Salamandre Cave (Gard, southeastern France), 2004, Ponsbranch, Hamelin B. , Brulhet J. , Bruxelles L. ,
Caves are relatively protected from the main external erosional factors. Therefore, they constitute potentially reliable places for long-term conservation of continental history. Moreover their secondary carbonated deposits, the speleothems, can be dated precisely on the 0-500 ka time-scale using U-series isotopes measured by thermo-ionisation mass spectrometry (TIMS). Tectonic events (tectonic displacements and earthquakes) may change cave morphology and induce speleothem breaking or displacement as has been shown by previous studies performed mainly in Italy [Forti et Postpischl, 1984; Postpischl et al., 1991 for example]. Nevertheless, collapses of speleothems observed today in caves are difficult to interpret as their origin may be linked to several other natural processes. We studied the Aven de la Salamandre cave located in southeastern France (Gard), an area between the Cevennes fault and the Nimes fault, where evidence of Quaternary vertical movements was previously described. However, this region is not considered to be a seismic active zone. The Aven de la Salamandre cave is characterized by numerous broken speleothems. Some of them are very large and a lot of them are covered by growth of new calcite or new speleothem generation. We report here 13 TIMS U/Th analysis performed on two broken speleothems recovered by second generation calcite growth. Dating results are discussed through time corrections due to detrital content of calcite. In the first sequence, a 7 0.35 ka fracture event is identified. In the second sequence, the age of the breakdown is between 1.1 0.1 and 6.3 2 ka. These events could thus be contemporary. Hypotheses for the origin of this fracture event are presented and discussed: (i) karstic catastrophic event due to intense climatic changes or to cavity collapse (break down of hanging wall, gravity, landslide...); (ii) co-seismic ruptures. The first conclusion of this study is that these collapse episodes in the Aven de la Salamandre cave cannot be due to the direct effect of an earthquake or climatic event. Only indirect effects of flooding (by mobilization of the argillaceous components of the floor and consecutive destabilization of the speleothems growing upon it) or earthquake effects (more likely by local effects than by wave front passage) are privileged. By comparing our dating with regional destructive known events (in other karsts, in cliffs and scarps), dated by relative chronology, we are lead to propose a regional generalized event precisely dated here at 7 ka. This second conclusion doesn't contradict the presence of unbroken speleothems older than 100 ka found in other caves in the neighborhood as local effects is one of the predominant factors relative to speleothem stability. As a final conclusion, this paper promotes the use of speleothems as reliable datable tools for assessing regional stability problems (sensitivity to seismic hazards, to destructive intense climatic events...) as is done for paleoclimatic reconstruction

Comparison of 14C and 230Th/234U dating of speleothems from submarine caves in the Adriatic Sea (Croatia), 2004, Surić, Maš, A, Jurač, Ić, Mladen, Horvatinč, Ić, Nada

Among the 16 speleothems that were collected from 7 submarine caves and pits for the purpose of 14C and U-Th dating and reconstructing sea-level changes, two speleothems were dated by both methods. Different environmental conditions during the speleothem deposition and after the submergence resulted with different appropriateness for speleothem dating by these techniques. Well preserved speleothems gave reliable results by both methods, while U-Th method showed disadvantage in the case of carbonates contaminated with detrital material, as well as in the case of carbonate from marine overgrowth that covers the speleothems. However, U-Th method using MC ICPMS technique which requires only 100-300 mg of sample per analysis (instead of ca. 30 g for 14C conventional method), offers better age resolution that is essential for speleothem dating.


High resolution characterization of the Asian Monsoon between 146,000 and 99,000[no-break space]years B.P. from Dongge Cave, China and global correlation of events surrounding Termination II, 2006, Kelly Megan J. , Edwards R. Lawrence, Cheng Hai, Yuan Daoxian, Cai Yanjun, Zhang Meiliang, Lin Yushi, An Zhisheng,
Speleothem samples from Hulu (eastern China, 32[deg]30'N, 119[deg]10'E) and Dongge (southern China, 25[deg]17'N, 108[deg]5'E) Caves provide a nearly continuous record of the Asian monsoon over the last 160[no-break space]ka [Wang, Y.J., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., An, Z.S., Wu, J.Y., Shen, C.-C., Dorale, J.A., 2001. A high-resolution absolute-dated Late Pleistocene monsoon record from Hulu Cave, China. Science 294, 2345-2348; Yuan, D., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., Dykoski, C.A., Kelly, M.J., Zhang, M., Qing, J., Lin, Y., Wang, Y., Wu, J., Dorale, J.A., An, Z., Cai, Y., 2004. Timing, duration, and transitions of the last interglacial Asian Monsoon. Science 304, 575-578]. We have obtained higher resolution data in the interval between ~ 99 and 146[no-break space]ka B.P., providing a detailed account of [delta]18O variations over most of MIS 5 and the latter portion of MIS 6. Precise 230Th dating has replicated the chronology of the samples within error. The higher resolution data set confirms the timing of Asian Monsoon Termination II (the midpoint of the negative shift in [delta]18O marking the onset of the Last Interglacial Asian Monsoon), placing it at 129.0 0.9[no-break space]ka B.P. The bulk of this transition (~ 1.7[per mille sign]) took place within approximately 70[no-break space]years, with the total range of the transition being ~ 3[per mille sign]. The most abrupt portion of the shift in [delta]18O values (~ 1.1[per mille sign]) marking the end of the Last Interglacial Asian Monsoon occurred in ~ 120[no-break space]years, the midpoint of which is 120.7 1.0[no-break space]ka B.P. The Dongge Cave monsoon [delta]18O record over late MIS 6 exhibits a series of sub-orbital millennial-scale climate shifts that average 1.3[per mille sign] in magnitude and occur on average every 1.8[no-break space]ky. Abrupt shifts in [delta]18O of up to 1[per mille sign] also occurred throughout the Last Interglacial Asian Monsoon, with periods at multi-decadal to centennial timescales. Similar to the amplitude and periodicities of events found by Dykoski et al. [Dykoski, C.A., Edwards, R.L., Cheng, H., Yuan, D., Cai, Y., Zhang, M., Lin, Y., An, Z., Revenaugh, J., 2005. A high resolution, absolute-dated Holocene and deglacial Asian monsoon record from Dongge Cave, China. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 233, 71-86.] during the Holocene in the Dongge record, these shifts cover more than 1/2 of the amplitude of millennial-scale and multi-centennial-scale interstadial events during the Last Glacial Period [Wang, Y.J., Cheng, H., Edwards, R.L., An, Z.S., Wu, J.Y., Shen, C.-C., Dorale, J.A., 2001. A high-resolution absolute-dated Late Pleistocene monsoon record from Hulu Cave, China. Science 294, 2345-2348], and millennial-scale and multi-centennial-scale interstadial events during the Penultimate Glacial Period in China (this study). Abrupt decadal to millennial-scale climate events therefore appear to be a general feature of both glacial and interglacial climate. We demonstrate that monsoon intensity correlates well with atmospheric CH4 concentrations over the transition into the Bolling-Allerod, the Bolling-Allerod, and the Younger Dryas. In addition, we correlate an abrupt jump in CH4 concentration with Asian Monsoon Termination II. On the basis of this correlation, we conclude that the rise in atmospheric CO2, Antarctic warming, and the gradual portion of the rise in CH4 around Termination II occur within our 'Weak Monsoon Interval' (WMI), an extended interval of heavy [delta]18O between 135.5 1.0 and 129.0 1.0[no-break space]ka B.P., prior to Asian Monsoon Termination II and Northern Hemisphere warming. Antarctic warming over the millennia immediately preceding abrupt northern warming may result from the 'bipolar seesaw' mechanism. As such warming (albeit to a smaller extent) also preceded Asian Monsoon Termination I, the 'bipolar seesaw' mechanism may play a critical role in glacial terminations

Desert speleothems reveal climatic window for African exodus of early modern humans, 2007, Vaks, A. , Barmatthews, M. , Ayalon, A. , Matthews, A. , Halicz, L. And Frumkin, A.
One of the first movements of early modern humans out of Africa occurred 130?100 thousand years ago (ka), when they migrated northward to the Levant region. The climatic conditions that accompanied this migration are still under debate. Using high-precision multicollector?inductively coupled plasma?mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) U-Th methods, we dated carbonate cave deposits (speleothems) from the central and southern Negev Desert of Israel, located at the northeastern margin of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. Speleothems grow only when rainwater enters the unsaturated zone, and this study reveals that a major cluster of wet episodes (the last recorded in the area) occurred between 140 and 110 ka. This episodic wet period coincided with increased monsoonal precipitation in the southern parts of the Saharan- Arabian Desert. The disappearance at this time of the desert barrier between central Africa and the Levant, and particularly in the Sinai-Negev land bridge between Africa and Asia, would have created a climatic ?window? for early modern human dispersion to the Levant.

A re-appraisal of the stratigraphy, palaeontology and dating of Cow Cave, Chudleigh, Devon, England., 2010, Simons J. W.
Cow Cave is an important Quaternary paleontological site in Chudleigh Gorge, Devon, UK., now known to have a sequence of cave-earths and stalagmite floors that range in age from Upper Middle Pleistocene (~MIS 7 interglacial) through to the Holocene (Flandrian) and the present day. Excavations in 1927-1934, and again in 1962-3, have provided a rich fauna, with some artefacts. Here, the stratigraphy of the deposits is now more fully described and the faunal remains are considered in their stratigraphical contexts. Data supporting the existence of former cave entrances are presented along with an analysis of the processes of sedimentation and taphonomy with their climatic interpretations. Based on recent U-Th dating of a critical Stalagmite horizon, a chronology of the mid-Pleistocene to Holocene sequence is discussed. Finally, further excavation in Cow Cave and nearby sites is recommended.

A re-appraisal of the stratigraphy, palaeontology and dating of Cow Cave, Chudleigh, Devon, England, 2010, Simons, J. W.

Cow Cave is an important Quaternary paleontological site in Chudleigh Gorge, Devon, UK., now known to have a sequence of cave-earths and stalagmite floors that range in age from Upper Middle Pleistocene (~MIS 7 interglacial) through to the Holocene (Flandrian) and the present day. Excavations in 1927-1934, and again in 1962-3, have provided a rich fauna, with some artefacts. Here, the stratigraphy of the deposits is now more fully described and the faunal remains are considered in their stratigraphical contexts. Data supporting the existence of former cave entrances are presented along with an analysis of the processes of sedimentation and taphonomy with their climatic interpretations. Based on recent U-Th dating of a critical Stalagmite horizon, a chronology of the mid-Pleistocene to Holocene sequence is discussed. Finally, further excavation in Cow Cave and nearby sites is recommended.


Preliminary U/Th dating and the evolution of gypsum crystals in Naica caves (Mexico), 2011, Sanna Laura, Forti Paolo, Lauritzen Steinerik

The origin and the evolution of giant selenite crystals in Naica caves, together with the understanding of their growth mechanisms, is one of the aims of the international multidisciplinary research, called the “Naica Project”. In this context, the exact timing of when the gypsum nucleation started and whether its growth has been constant over time, have been investigated. The preliminary data obtained with the U–Th disequilibrium method show significant differences in ages for gypsum (between 191 ± 13 kyr for one of the Ojo de la Reina cave crystals and 57 ± 1.7 kyr for the base of Espadas cave’s spar) and have produced a coarse chronological interval of growth. The crystal depositional rates vary from 0.56 to 1.22 mm/kyr, in excellent agreement with the laboratory tests for gypsum deposition under present conditions performed in the deepest part of the mine. These results are also consistent with a multistage precipitation started at different times in the Naica caves (first in caves at the upper level, where gypsum was subsequently dissolved, and only later in the deeper part of the aquifer under stable conditions) and allow us to improve the knowledge on the speleogenetic evolution of these caves.


Comparison of 14C and U-Th ages of two Holocene phreatic overgrowths on speleothems from Mallorca (Western Mediterranean): Environmental implications, 2011, Tuccimei Paola, Strydonck Mark Van, Gins Angel , Gins Joaqun , Soligo Michele, Villa Igor M. , Forns Joan J.

This investigation reports on the comparison between ICP-MS U-Th and AMS 14C ages of Phreatic Overgrowths on Speleothems (POS) from two different caves on the island of Mallorca (Spain). These speleothem encrustations form at the water table of coastal caves in a low-amplitude tide-controlled microenvironment and are used to reconstruct past sea level changes. The aim of this study is to evaluate if this particular type of speleothem is datable using 14C method and to investigate possible problems connected with the incorporation of dead carbon inherited from the dissolution of 14C-free limestone. The results show that 14C ages are strongly site dependent and appear related to local residence time of water infiltration through the soil and epikarst. When short transit time and limited interaction with soil and bedrock, as in Cova de Cala Varques A, the so-called “reservoir” effect is negligible and 14C and U-Th ages corresponds within the error range. When the residence time is longer, as in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, 14C ages are steadily 2,300-2,400 years older than the U-Th data, as shown by the mean value (25%) of estimated percent dead carbon proportions and by higher and better correlated contents of major and trace elements in the vadose support of this speleothem encrustation. The potential use of this multi-method approach to paleoenvironmental studies is also suggested.


UTh dating of speleothems to investigate the evolution of limestone caves in the Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia, 2013, Moseley G. E. , Richards D. A. , Smith Ch. , Smart P. L. , Hoffmann D. L. , Farrant A. R.

The Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia has been a focus of scientific research and exploration for several decades. Previous work investigated the relationship between fluvial incision into the limestone massif and the chronological evolution of the 500m-deep network of cave passages. This study involved analyses of newly available speleothem material using state-of-the-art U-Th dating methods and assessment of the potential for extension of the chronological record using U-Pb dating techniques.


Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region, 2015, Columbu A. De Waele J. , Forti P, Montagna P. , Picotti V. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hellstrom J. , Bajo P. , Drysdale R.

Detailed geomorphological analysis has revealed that subhorizontal gypsum caves in the Northern Apennines (Italy) cut across bedding planes. These cave levels formed during cold periods with stable river beds, and are coeval with fluvial terraces of rivers that flow perpendicular to the strike of bedding in gypsum monoclines. When rivers entrench, renewed cave formation occurs very rapidly, resulting in the formation of a lower level. River aggradation causes cave alluviation and upward dissolution (paragenesis) in passages nearest to the river beds. The U-Th dating of calcite speleothems provides a minimum age for the formation of the cave passage in which they grew, which in turn provides age control on cave levels. The ages of all speleothems coincide with warmer and wetter periods when CO2 availability in the soils covering these gypsum areas was greater. This climate-driven speleogenetic model of epigenic gypsum caves in moderately to rapidly uplifting areas in temperate regions might be generally applicable to karst systems in different geological and climatic conditions.


Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region, 2015,

Detailed geomorphological analysis has revealed that subhorizontal gypsum caves in the Northern Apennines (Italy) cut across bedding planes. These cave levels formed during cold periods with stable river beds, and are coeval with fluvial terraces of rivers that flow perpendicular to the strike of bedding in gypsum monoclines. When rivers entrench, renewed cave formation occurs very rapidly, resulting in the formation of a lower level. River aggradation causes cave alluviation and upward dissolution (paragenesis) in passages nearest to the river beds. The U-Th dating of calcite speleothems provides a minimum age for the formation of the cave passage in which they grew, which in turn provides age control on cave levels. The ages of all speleothems coincide with warmer and wetter periods when CO2 availability in the soils covering these gypsum areas was greater. This climate-driven speleogenetic model of epigenic gypsum caves in moderately to rapidly uplifting areas in temperate regions might be generally applicable to karst systems in different geological and climatic conditions.


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