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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. ...

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That gibbs is an ascender with its cam operated by the weight of the caver [25].?

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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 u-th (Keyword) returned 33 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 33
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.

Speleothem-based paleoclimate record from northern Oman, 1998, Burns Sj, Matter A, Frank N, Mangini A,
U-Th age dating and stable isotope measurements of speleothems from Hoti Cave in northern Oman yield paleoclimate information from the region extending to 125 ka. The results (1) provide further confirmation of an early Holocene wet period in southern Arabia extending from some time prior to 9.7 ka and ending at 6.2 ka; (2) demonstrate a second period of wetness closely coinciding with the last interglacial period, marine isotope stage (MIS) 5e; (3) indicate that during MIS 5e, southern Arabia was considerably wetter than during the early Holocene; and (4) demonstrate that periods of increased monsoon wind strength, based on data from marine sediments, do not always coincide with evidence of greatly increased precipitation even from nearby continental areas

Scuba observations of standstill levels in Elba Island (ltaly) and in Marie-Galante (West Indies). A worldwide sequence?, 1999, Collinagirard J,
Scuba observations (0 to -60 m) in Provence and Corsica and new data from Elba Island (Italy) indicate the bathymetric location of eustatic erosion levels in the Mediterranean Sea. A general sketch is given (standstill levels at-ii m, -17 m, -25 m, -35 m, -45 m, -50 m/55 m, -100 m). Isotopic data suggest contemporaneity of -100 m and -55 m levels with the two slow-down phases of Holocene transgression documented in Barbados and Tahiti coring (MWP-1A and 1B). Transgression acceleration after 14 000 BP explains the conservation of these littoral morphologies. Tectonics or isostasic movements (never more than 5 m) are prooved by differences observed in different areas of the world

Calibration of the speleothem delta function: an absolute temperature record for the Holocene in northern Norway, 1999, Lauritzen Stein Erik, Lundberg Joyce,
The speleothem delta function (SDF) provides a new transfer function between the d18O signal of speleothem calcite and surface ground temperature. The function is based on physical principles, relating d18O of the calcite to thermodynamic fractionation, and to the dripwater function, which in turn relates d18O of dripwaters to that of the local precipitation and thus to the modification of source water in relationship to the geographical position of the site. The SDF must be calibrated against at least two reliable and well-dated palaeotemperature points. The end product is a reconstruction of absolute cave and surface temperatures. The technique is tested using a Holocene speleothem from north Norway, SG93, dated by 12 TIMS U-Th dates. The reconstructed temperature curve is presented and compared with the GISP2 ice-core record and with the historic record. In both cases the correlation with SG93 is impressive, indicating the validity of the technique

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. ,

Origin and Significance of Postore Dissolution Collapse Breccias Cemented with Calcite and Barite at the Meikle Gold Deposit, Northern Carlin Trend, Nevada, 2003, Emsbo P, Hofstra Ah,
The final event in a complicated hydrothermal history at the Meikle gold deposit was gold deficient but caused extensive postore dissolution of carbonate, collapse brecciation, and precipitation of calcite and barite crystals in the resulting cavities. Although previously interpreted to be part of the Carlin-type hydrothermal system, crosscutting relationships and U-Th-Pb geochronology constrain this hydrothermal event to late Pliocene time (ca. 2 Ma), nearly 36 Ma after ore formation. Mineralogic, fluid inclusion, and stable isotope data indicate that postore hydrothermal fluids were reduced, H2S-rich, unevolved meteoric waters ({delta}18O = -17{per thousand}) of low temperature (ca. 65{degrees}C). The{delta} 18O values of barite and calcite indicate that these minerals were in isotopic equilibrium, requiring that barite SO4 was derived from the oxidation of reduced sulfur; however, preexisting sulfides in breccia cavities were not oxidized. The{delta} 34S (15{per thousand}) values of barite are higher than those of local bulk sulfide and supergene alunite indicating that SO4 was not derived from supergene oxidation of local sulfide minerals. The 15 per mil {delta}34S value suggests that the H2S in the fluids may have been leached from sulfur-rich organic matter in the local carbonaceous sedimentary rocks. A reduced H2S-rich fluid is also supported by the bright cathodoluminescence of calcite which indicates that it is Mn rich and Fe poor. Calcite has a narrow range of {delta}13C values (0.3-1.8{per thousand}) that are indistinguishable from those of the host Bootstrap limestone, indicating that CO2 in the fluid was from dissolution of the local limestone. These data suggest that dissolution and brecciation of the Bootstrap limestone occurred where H2S-rich fluids encountered more oxidizing fluids and formed sulfuric acid (H2SO4). Intense fracturing in the mine area by previous structural and hydrothermal events probably provided conduits for the descent of oxidized surface water which mixed with the underlying H2S-rich waters to form the dissolving acid. The surface-derived fluid apparently contained sufficient oxygen to produce H2SO4 from H2S but not enough to alter pyrite to Fe oxide. Although H2S is an important gold-transporting ligand, the temperature was too low to transport a significant amount of gold. The presence of analogous calcite- and barite-lined cavities in other Carlin-type deposits suggests that the generation (and oxidation) of H2S-rich meteoric waters was a common phenomenon in north-central Nevada. Previous sulfur isotope studies have also shown that the Paleozoic sedimentary rocks were the principal source of H2S in Devonian sedimentary exhalative-type, Jurassic intrusion-related, Eocene Carlin-type, and Miocene low-sulfidation gold deposits in the region. The similar sulfur source in all of these systems suggests that basin brines, magmatic fluids, and meteoric waters all evolved to be H2S-rich ore fluids by circulation through Paleozoic sedimentary rocks. Thus, although not directly related to gold mineralization, the recent hydrologic history of the deposit provides important clues to earlier ore-forming processes that were responsible for gold mineralization

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

Tropical response to the 8200 yr B.P. cold event? Speleothem isotopes indicate a weakened early Holocene monsoon in Costa Rica, 2004, Lachniet Matthew S. , Asmerom Yemane, Burns Stephen J. , Patterson William P. , Polyak Victor J. , Seltzer Geoffrey O. ,
A {delta}18O monsoon rainfall proxy record from a U-Th-dated Costa Rican stalagmite (8840-4920 yr B.P.) documents an early Holocene dry period correlative with the high-latitude 8200 yr B.P. cold event. High {delta}18O values between ca. 8300 and 8000 yr B.P. demonstrate reduced rainfall and a weaker monsoon in Central America. A relatively wetter and more stable monsoon was established ca. 7600 yr B.P. The early Holocene dry event suggests a tropical-extratropical teleconnection to the 8200 yr B.P. cold event and a possible association of isthmian rainfall anomalies with high-latitude climate changes. The likely source of such a tropical anomaly is a decrease in Atlantic thermohaline circulation and atmospheric perturbations associated with drainage of proglacial lakes and freshwater discharge into the North Atlantic. A weaker monsoon at 8200 yr B.P. may be linked to wetland contraction and a decrease in methane observed in Greenland ice cores

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.


U-Th ages constraining the Neanderthal footprint at Vartop Cave, Romania., 2005, Onac B. P Viehmann I. Lundberg J. Lauritzen Se. Stringer C. And Popiţ, ă, V.

Monsoon reconstruction from radiocarbon dated tropical Indian speleothems, 2005, Yadava M. G. , Ramesh R. ,
The potential of tropical speleothems as a climate proxy has been investigated. Amplitudes of 180 and 813C variations are found to be large and are likely to be primarily controlled by past rainfall. Contribution from past temperature variations seems to be relatively small. The amount effect in rainfall has been observed and quantified by analysing rainwater samples collected during a monsoon season. A tentative chronology to these speleothems is asssigned by the 14C radiometric dating method. Assuming that the variations in the 180 of cave carbonates are solely due to the past variations in rainfall, a history of the latter has been reconstructed. A high-resolution rainfall reconstruction up to the last [~]3400 years is now available from Gupteswar cave, Orissa, subject to validation of dates by the U-Th method. It is observed that in a tropical speleothem 513C is dominantly controlled by rainfall. The study has shown that tropical Indian speleothems faithfully record the annual ([~]monsoon) rainfall in the cave site

The antiquity of Aillwee Cave calcite deposits, Burren District, Ireland, 2006, Lundberg J. , Drew D. P.
A layered calcite coating over ancient cave fill in Aillwee Cave, Co. Clare, Ireland, yielded a suite of four U-Th dates ranging in stratigraphical order from 441 (-44+79) ka to infinity. These mid-Pleistocene dates are the oldest finite dates from a cave in Ireland, and are clearly distinct from the (few) previously published dates, which are generally Holocene. They suggest that this cave had already been formed and partly re-filled by the mid-Pleistocene. Passage morphology and orientation indicate that topographical and hydrological conditions during cave formation were markedly different from those operating today.

A minimum age for canyon incision and for the extinct Molossid bat, Tadarida constantinei, from Carlsbad Cavers National Park, New Mexico, 2006, Lundberg J. , Mcfarlane D. A.
Slaughter Canyon Cave (or New Cave), Carlsbad Caverns National Park, southeastern New Mexico, opens in the wall of Slaughter Canyon, 174 m above the present level of the canyon floor. It contains bone-bearing, water-laid sediments capped by a double layer of calcite. TIMS U-Th dates on the two layers are 66.0 0.3 ka and 209 9 ka. Deposition of these two laterallyextensive calcite layers suggests wet periods in this currently-arid region during MIS 4 and 7. The date on the lower layer suggests that the clastic deposit was emplaced no later than MIS 8. This yields a maximum estimate for downcutting rate of the canyon of ~0.87 mm yr-1during the Late Pleistocene. The clastic deposit contains bones of the molossid bat Tadarida constantinei Lawrence 1960: the date of 209 9 ka is thus a minimum age for this extinct bat.

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