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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 experimental basin is a basin chosen for the thorough study of hydrological phenomena [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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 uk. (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Comment of Extremely Low Frequency Emissions in Bat Caves, 1996, Withrow, S.
Systematic speleological exploration has been taking place in Belize since about 1960. Such exploration tends to be characterized by long term involvement by a small number of individuals, principally from the USA, but with significant contributions from other countries, especially the UK. An estimated total of 250 km of passage have now been mapped, ranging from low dry grovels to large, active river passage, and two of the largest underground chambers in the world. The author assigns caves to eight geographical areas and describes the history of recent exploration in each. Future exploration problems and priorities are also discussed.

Palaeosecular variation observed in speleothems from western China and northern Spain, PhD thesis, 1996, Openshaw, S. J.

This study has produced records of the palaeosecular variation (PSV) of the earth's magnetic field from Speleothems from China and Spain. The ultimate aim of this project was to produce contemporaneous PSV records which would show that Speleothems accurately record ambient geomagnetic field behaviour. From Sichuan Province, China, five Speleothems were collected of which four were studied for their records of PSV. Eight Spanish Speleothems from the Cantabrian coast were collected but their weak magnetisation allowed only one record of PSV to be produced.
All speleothem sub-samples were weakly magnetised and had, on average, initial intensities of <100 x 10-8 Am2kg-1. Despite this, the majority of sub-samples were stable during stepwise alternating-field and thermal demagnetisation and each displayed a single component of magnetisation after removal of any secondary overprints. Rock magnetic experiments were hampered by low mineral concentrations but suggested that the remanences of each speleothem were carried by a mixture of multi and single-domain (titano-) magnetite and also by haematite present in significant quantities. The primary method of remanence acquisition appeared to be a depositional remanence sourced from flooding. This was corroborated by a linear relationship between sub-sample intensities and weight % acid insoluble detritus.
A selection of sub-samples from each speleothem were dated using uranium-thorium disequilibrium and alpha spectrometry. For the majority of sub-samples the low concentrations of uranium, high levels of detrital contamination and initially low chemical yields raised the associated dating inaccuracies above the quoted level for alpha spectrometry of 5-10%. Two Spanish Speleothems had high uranium concentrations and little, or no, detrital contamination. Percent age errors of these Speleothems ranged from 1 to 6%. Comprehensive experiments on the efficiencies of three electrodeposition methods were also undertaken. The most efficient method was found to be a modified version of the Hallstadius method (Hallstadius, 1984), which consistently achieved chemical yields between 40 and 90% for uranium and thorium.
In order to correct more analytically for the presence of detrital contamination, the leachate/leachate method of Schwarcz and Latham (1989) was tested. The maximum likelihood estimation data treatment technique (Ludwig and Titterington, 1994) was used to calculate dates from these analyses. Tests on Mexican speleothem SSJ2 gave excellent results allowing a revised dating scheme to be adopted. Tests on some sub-samples from Chinese Speleothems were generally unsuccessful due to analytical errors.
The isotope 210Pb was used to date the top surface of one speleothem. A constant growth rate was inferred which was significantly less than that calculated from the 230Th - 234U dating method. This was thought to be due to the former techniques inability to resolve growth rates of periods of less than 200 years.
Despite the dating errors associated with each speleothem the records of PSV compare well with each other and with contemporaneous records from China, Japan and also the UK (for the Spanish record). In addition. agreement with PSV data modelled from observatory records suggested that westward drift of the non-dipole geomagnetic field was predominant during the past 10ka.


Non-invasive investigation of polygonal karst features: Yorkshire Dales National Park. MSc thesis (Exploration Geophysics), 1999, Gullen T.

Resistivity, refraction and resistivity tomography methods were used to ascertain the dimensions of any sediment body present within solution dolines. Fieldwork was undertaken at two sites within the Yorkshire Dales National Park: High Mark [SD920 679] northeast of Malham Tarn, and on Ingleborough, northeast of Clapham Bottoms [SD765 722].
Results of previous studies of doline fill have been inconclusive. It has been hypothesised (Howard, unpublished) that if dolines do contain significant amounts of sediment, the fill could provide a complete palaeoenvironmental record of the Quaternary.
Resistivity studies undertaken at High Mark used an Offset Wenner array, and field data were inverted to produce a 1-D image of the subsurface. The profiles were located at the base of the doline, in the area believed to contain the greatest sediment thickness. Results suggest that the fill comprises two layers. An upper layer approximately 1 m thick is composed of poorly consolidated clayey sand with an apparent resistivity of 166m. The second layer reaches a depth of 5.6m and is more clay-rich, with an apparent resistivity of 60m. These interpretations are supported by evidence from augering. The upper 10m of limestone below the sediment has been altered during doline formation, weathering and fracturing, and has a resistivity of 220m compared to 440m for the unaltered bedrock.
Refraction profiles were undertaken at High Mark, using the hammer and plate method with a 2m geophone spacing. Profiles were located on the base, flanks and interfluves of the doline. Ground conditions prevented the acquisition of very long offset shots (>10m), and lack of these data hindered interpretation. Profiles undertaken at Ingleborough used an explosive shot placed in a 45cm-deep hole, and a 5m geophone spacing was used. Profiles were located at the base of the dolines.
Results at High Mark suggest that the limestone is overlain by 4m of sediment. The upper layer has a velocity of approximately 0.50m/ms, whereas that of the second layer is 1.19m/ms. Alteration of the upper 6m of the bedrock is indicated by a velocity of 2.00m/ms, compared to 2.99m/ms for the unaltered limestone. The bedrock surface is undulatory, possibly indicating the effects of preferential dissolution or glacial activity.
Results of the refraction surveys at Ingleborough indicate that the limestone is overlain by a single 4m-thick layer of sediment with a velocity of 0.52m/ms. Beneath this, the upper 13m of limestone is altered, with a velocity of 2.45m/ms, which increases to 3.75m/ms in the unaltered limestone below. Velocities obtained are lower than expected, but reliable imaging of the limestone was ensured by siting the profiles close to observed rock exposures. Refraction interpretations indicate that the centre of the doline is not coincident with the position predicted from observation of the surface morphology.
Resistivity tomography profiles were undertaken at the base of the dolines at both sites. A fully automated system employing a Wenner array with 25 electrodes at 5m spacings was used, and six levels were recorded. The field data were inverted and the results suggest that there are about 12.5m of sediment in the High Mark doline. The sediment is underlain by 2m of altered limestone and the bedrock base of the doline is relatively smooth.
In contrast, the thickness of sediment fill in the Ingleborough dolines is 7.5m, but the depressions are bounded by a greater thickness of altered limestone (10m). In places the limestone imaged appears to reach the surface, but is not observed in the field, indicating that minimal sediment cover is not imaged. The surface of the limestone is pitted by smaller sediment-filled depressions, possibly a feature of glacial scour.
Two profiles were forward modelled to test the reliability of the inversion model. The models were similar, but features were displaced to the right of the true section. Synthetic models were constructed to test geological hypotheses concerning the composition of the dolines. The models suggested that the dolines are relatively shallow (<12m) and are underlain by significant thicknesses of altered limestone (~10m).
The combination of results obtained suggests that dolines are not filled by significant quantities of sediment and, consequently, they cannot be used as palaeoenvironmental indicators of the Quaternary.
Jobling A. 2000. Resistivity tomography survey over a topographic depression, West Yorkshire.
BSc thesis (Geophysical Sciences), School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, Leeds, LS2 9JT, UK.
Three resistivity profiles were completed across a topographic depression near Garforth, West Yorkshire. The depression is roughly circular, with a radius of approximately 20m. Two profiles ran through the centre of the depression, with a third profile lying outside it. Data from these three profiles were processed, and graphs and pseudosections were compiled. The data were also inverted.
The pseudosections and inversions both showed a large, negative resistivity anomaly centred approximately beneath the surface depression. This anomaly had a resistivity difference of between 600m and 700m compared to that of the surrounding rock.
The most likely reason for this anomaly is dissolution of limestone causing development of a doline or sinkhole. The chance of the depression being an old coal mine or sand mine working has been dismissed due to the location of the site and the nature of the resistivity anomaly.


Water tracing experiments in the Peak District: A study of the drainage of the Bradwell-Eyam-Stoney Middleton area, Derbyshire, UK. MSc thesis, 2000, Whitehead, R.

This project describes the current knowledge of the drainage in an area in the northeast of the English Peak District ranging from Bradwell in the north to Stoney Middleton in the east. Previous work is summarised and the natural and artificial drainage of the area are considered. A series of water tracing experiments were conducted using fluorescent dyes with the aim of determining the direction, speed and nature of drainage from four previously untraced stream sinks. These sinks were thought to be situated close to the basin margins, which separate drainage to the Bradwell catchment in the north from easterly drainage to Stoney Middleton and southerly drainage towards the Wye Valley. The dye tracing experiments added to knowledge of the locations of these boundaries and highlighted the complexity of the drainage in the area. The results are interpreted with reference to previous work, and information on the geology, climate and hydrology of the area is used to put the results in context.


Resistivity tomography survey over a topographic depression, West Yorkshire. BSc Thesis,, 2000, Jobling, A.

Three resistivity profiles were completed across a topographic depression near Garforth, West Yorkshire. The depression is roughly circular, with a radius of approximately 20m. Two profiles ran through the centre of the depression, with a third profile lying outside it. Data from these three profiles were processed, and graphs and pseudosections were compiled. The data were also inverted.
The pseudosections and inversions both showed a large, negative resistivity anomaly centred approximately beneath the surface depression. This anomaly had a resistivity difference of between 600m and 700m compared to that of the surrounding rock.
The most likely reason for this anomaly is dissolution of limestone causing development of a doline or sinkhole. The chance of the depression being an old coal mine or sand mine working has been dismissed due to the location of the site and the nature of the resistivity anomaly.


Engineering impacts of karst: A review of some engineering aspects of limestone weathering with case studies from Devon and Ireland, MSc Thesis, 2001, Pressdee, C.

The thesis aims to review the nature of karstic limestone terrains and the implications for engineering practices as a result of the uniquely difficult ground conditions they present. Case studies are included to highlight two very different, yet apparently common, engineering problems on karst. This abstract deals only with Linhay Hill Quarry in Ashburton, Devon where pinnacled rockhead and clay infilled dissolution pipes present problems in the extraction and processing of the limestone for use as aggregate.
The quarry has been in existence for over a hundred years and the current owners are drilling and blasting the Devonian limestone and processing it for a variety of purposes; namely aggregates for concrete, macadam and unbound applications. In the quarry, the rock is fairly evenly bedded and dipping towards the east. Near the ground surface it is extensively solution weathered to form a karst surface, which is now buried by more recent deposits. The extensive karst topography gives considerable problems, currently on the north side, where the intimate mixture of solution weathered limestone and later infilling clays and sandy sediments makes drilling and blasting difficult and contaminates the limestone material.
On the basis of the work carried out, the following summary of findings is presented:
Using published engineering classification schemes; the Chercombe Bridge Limestone in and around Linhay Hill Quarry has been classified as Class III to IV Karst ('Mature' to 'Complex' Karst, Waltham, 1999).
• The origin of the karst is proposed to be the result of a combination of subtropical climate and localised valley conditions in the early Tertiary. Weathering and erosion of the Dartmoor granite and adjacent Cretaceous rocks provided fluvial sediment to subsequently infill the solution channels and cavities in the limestone.
• The physical effects of weathering have been shown to reduce the strength and density of the limestone whilst increasing the water absorption. This has implications for the quality of aggregate produced in the quarry.
• The chemical effects of dolomitisation and solutional weathering have been shown to produce a highly variable material in the quarry.
• Residual insoluble minerals were found to be randomly distributed and exhibited typically high densities, high absorptions and high clay and iron oxide/hydroxide contents.
• The nature of the infilled karst together with the effects of weathering mentioned above has significantly affected the workings of the quarry with considerable cost implications. They are listed (in no particular order) as follows:
Overburden stripping extremely time consuming and costly.
Increased drilling times through clay infilled fissures/cavities.
Enforced blast hole surveying techniques due to variable ground.
Enforced blast charge restriction resulting in reduced primary fragmentation.
Induced dolines in the surrounding farmland.
Costs of washing/scrubbing of clay coated 'contaminated' rock.
Clay materials not always removed resulting in reduced efficiency of processing plant.
Quality of aggregates impaired by variable rock properties and presence of clay.
Implications for concrete and mortar include potentially reduced workability strength and durability


The situation and dynamics of the North Yorkshire windypits: A geophysical and geomorphological investigation, MSc Thesis [Engineering Geology], 2002, Devlin, R.

ub-surface slip-rift fissures and shafts, known locally as 'windypits', are numerous in the Upper Jurassic strata of the Hambleton Hills and Ryedale district of North Yorkshire. Windypits are predominantly open gull-formations, formed as a result of cambering between competent Corallian Group sandstone and limestone beds above weak clay beds of the Oxford Clay Formation. They relate to the natural pattern of steeply-dipping, widened joint-plane discontinuities, with individual blocks of caprock moving relative to one another along these surfaces. The most extensive fissure systems are up to 40m deep and over 300m long, and typically run sub-parallel to slope contours and linear topographic features, rupturing the surface above the line of maximum gradient. More complex and unpredictable structures occur where there is more than one direction of movement, resulting in a radial fissure network. Windypits have been associated with other forms of scarp recession and landslide activity, most notably the formation of unstable block detachments along vertical cliff-exposures. Aerial photographic interpretation and terrain analysis based on field observations and mapping have been used here in a detailed geomorphological investigation of windypit structures and their related landforms. They appear to play a significant role within a far more complex model of superficial slope evolution, with important consequences for rock-slope stability. The potential hazards from landslides and natural cavities are also assessed in the light of engineering geological evaluation. Shallow geophysical surveying techniques have been used to profile the electrical contrasts between void space and host rock, at a number of selected sites. It has been found that non-contacting electromagnetic conductivity methods are unsuitable for producing a discrete windypit anomaly, due to their limited depth of penetration. Tomographic resistivity techniques appear to be the most promising for accurately locating sub-surface fissures, and helping to map their true depth and full extent Comprehensive ground investigation would allow better interpretation of the geophysical data collected.


An approach to the multi-element and multi-scale classification of the Limestone Pavement environment of Hutton Roof and Farleton Fell, Cumbria, UK, 2004, Huxter, Eric Andrew

 Limestone Pavements are highly significant components of the physiographic and ecological landscapes of the UK. As relict glacial features they are subject to destruction by natural processes but also by human intervention. This thesis identifies the most effective methods to monitor such change at a variety of temporal and spatial scales, based on the Morecambe Bay pavements at Hutton Roof and Farleton Fell. The starting point for such a study is a methodology to define the baseline on which to base change detection and the key to this is the development of a suitably detailed scene model. This must reflect the environment at the macro-, meso- and micro- scales and also incorporate considerations of the dynamics involved in the landscape evolution. The scene model (the Land Surface Classification Hierarchy (LSCH)) was developed by field measurement of the reflectance spectra of the main elements, biotic and abiotic, with measurements of the pavement surface in terms of the scale of karren development and the texture of the limestone itself. Study of the DEM allowed a fractal dimension to be established and also the nature of ice-flow and its contribution to pavement development, with extending flow, entraining fractured limestone blocks above a plastic, impermeable shale band, being the main mechanism. At the meso scale pavements were classified according to clint form derived from intra-pavement trends in grike direction calculated by Preferred Direction Analysis. Measurements of the key karren forms, runnels, solution pits and pipes and grikes allow assessment of their contribution to the variability of the pavement surface as an element of the scene model through the identification of solution domains. Identification of different lithologies allowed an investigation of spatial variation across the study area, although lithological control on karren form and magnitude is weaker than variability from age of exposure as shown by statistical analysis of karren morphometry using univariate comparative methods and Link diagrams, bivariate and multivariate regression, discriminant analysis, cluster analysis, multi-dimensional scaling and star diagrams with the derived Star Index. Pavements were classified according to karren morphometry. The traditional view of pedestals as an indicator of solution rates, and hence the concentration of solution at the surface, is challenged through the investigation of water flow over the pavement surface and the consideration of the role of lichen as a protective agent as well as the size of solution pits and grike width. It is suggested that only 10% of solution potential is achieved at the surface with 43% in the immediate epikarst. From this solution rate diagrams were developed, allowing the dating of exposure of pavements. These were shown to be within the period when human impact in the area was becoming significant and confirms an early anthropogenic impact on this element of the landscape. Further to this the development of grikes as emergent features was confirmed and this linked to the concept of breakthrough, allowing a model of grike development to be proposed, an important consideration in the dynamics of pavement change. At the micro scale texture analysis allowed the calculation of fractal measures which are related to variations in reflectance. The radiometric response of biotic and abiotic elements of the scene model was analysed confirming the facility of the baseline scene reflectance model of the pavement. Remotely sensed images from the Airborne Digital Camera were linked to ATM, CASI and TM images assessing the effect of scale on change detection and the evaluation of the pavement environment.


Rapid karstic bypass flow in the unsaturated zone of the Yorkshire chalk aquifer and implications for contaminant transport, 2007, Allshorn Sjl, Bottrell Sh, West Lj, Odling Ne,
Tracer tests have been performed on the unsaturated zone of the East Yorkshire chalk aquifer, UK. Rapid tracer travel times through significant thicknesses of unsaturated chalk (15-38 m) indicate that bypass flow must occur through fractures. Transport processes in the unsaturated zone of the chalk aquifer thus have similarities to those in the vadose zone of more typically karstic limestone aquifers. Modelling of tracer breakthrough curves indicates that bypass flow is sufficiently rapid to significantly inhibit diffusional loss of tracer into the porous matrix of the chalk. The presence of rapid karstic bypass flow in the unsaturated zone of the chalk will limit the potential for attenuation of groundwater contaminants in this zone

The Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) for Niphargus glenniei (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Niphargidae): the first British troglobite to be listed, 2008, Knight, Lee R F D.
The cave shrimp Niphargus glenniei (Spooner, 1952) has recently been placed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) list of priority species. This represents the first aquatic hypogean taxon to be given conservation status/recognition in the UK. This paper outlines the selection procedure and the conservation actions required for the species in the future.

Peculiarities of development and distribution of karst features in evaporite successions of the Western Caucasus, 2009, Ostapenko, A. A. , Kritskaya, O. Yu.

Karst landforms are well represented in the upper Jurassic evaporite rocks of the Western Caucasus. Upper part of evaporite successions is represented by gypsum, and lower parts are composed with anhydrite. Gypsum rocks extend by a narrow band to the north from the Skalisty (Rocky) Ridge. Maximum thickness of gypsum successions is observed at the area between rivers Belaya and Bolshoy Zelenchouk. Most of karst landforms occur here.

Climate conditions are favorable for karst process. The amount of precipitation is about 600-900 mm per year. Dissolution rates are about 500-800 m3 year/km2.

Karst features at the surface are presented by dolines, blind valleys and depressions. Dolines with diameters of 60-70 m are most common. Karrens are developed under the soil. Positive karst landforms are presented by cone-like hills, arches and bridges. Some residual hills are composed by calcite dripstones of ancient caves, buried under the soil. Shelter caves are related to active or old destructed caves.

Underground karst  features are mainly presented by through caves, accessible from sink point to resurgence. There is known 9 caves longer than 500 m. All caves longer than 1 km are situated in the area between Khodz and Urup rivers. Passage shapes are stretched vertically, with some terraces.  Cave deposits are presented mostly by gravel, breakdown clasts and dripstones (mostly calcite).

Cave regions were distinguished by areas between rivers that drain karst massives. We analyzed distribution of caves and their parameters at selected areas. Some of cave regions are well-explored.

Cave exploration and protection are important because some caves are situated at the areas where gypsum mining is planned, so that caves can be destroyed.


The dripwaters and speleothems of Poole's Cavern: a review of recent and ongoing research, 2010, Hartland, Adam, Ian J Fairchild, Jamie R Lead, David Dominguezvillar, Andy Baker, John Gunn, Mohammed Baalousha And Yon Junam
This paper describes aspects of the geochemical conditions prevalent in the dripwaters of Poole's Cavern, Buxton, UK. We examine what makes Poole's Cavern both highly unusual, and also, extremely useful for understanding geochemical processes, both in hyperalkaline, and natural karstic systems. We review the findings of ongoing research into the colloidal and dissolved organic species and associated trace elements in hyperalkaline dripwaters and show that the composition and appearance of poached-egg stalagmites can largely be explained by the high pH conditions prevalent in their parent waters and the carbon dioxide sources in cave air.

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.


The aquatic macro-invertebrate fauna of Swildon's Hole, Mendip Hills, Somerset, UK, 2011, Knight, Lee

Swildon's Hole is the longest cave on the Mendip Hills of Somerset (UK) and carries a sinking surface stream that can be followed throughout the cave to the terminal sump (XII). Within the cave, the main stream is joined by several tributaries, some of which are fed by autogenic percolating water. Sampling of the aquatic invertebrate communities of Swildon's Hole was undertaken at thirteen sites: nine sites on the main stream, of which eight were within the cave and the other was on the surface stream prior to the cave entrance; and four autogenic tributaries. The fauna of the main stream primarily comprised surface (epigean) dwelling benthic species that had been transported into the cave. The fauna of the tributaries was dominated by stygobitic species, including the Crustacea Proasellus cavaticus (Leydig, 1971 sensu Henry, 1970), Niphargus fontanus (Bate, 1859) andMicroniphargus leruthi (Schellenberg, 1934).
Records of the latter species are the first confirmed records from the UK. The results of the survey are discussed, along with a summary of the historical records of aquatic invertebrate species from the cave system. The survey represents only the second systematic, documented study of aquatic invertebrate fauna in a British cave system and the first to be conducted south of the Devensian glacial maxima limit, where stygobitic species are more likely to be encountered. The fauna of the cave, especially the presence of three species of stygobitic Crustacea and several other species that could be considered to be stygophilic, was found to be of significant importance and highlighted the need for additional studies of a similar nature in other cave systems on the Mendip Hills and in South Wales.


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