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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 capillary action is the movement of water in the interstices of a porous medium due to capillary forces [22]. synonymous with capillarity, capillary flow, and capillary migration.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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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 varves (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
Laminations or varves? Processes of fine grained sediment deposition in caves, 1977, Bull P. A.

Alpine karsts. Genesis of large subterranean networks. Examples : the Tennengebirge (Austria) - the Ile de Crémieu, the Chartreuse and the Vercors (France), PhD Thesis, 1993, Audra, Philippe

This work, based on the study of several underground alpine networks, aims to propose some milestone in the history of these karstic regions.

The first part of the work is made up of three regional studies.

The Tennengebirge mountains are a massif of the limestone High Alps in the region of Salzburg in Austria. A cone karst close to the base level developed in the Neogene. Streams from the Alps fed the karst, resulting in the huge horizontal networks of which the Eisriesenwelt provides evidence. During the successive phases of upthrust, the levels of karstification, whether on the surface or deeper down, settled into a tier pattern, thus descending in stages from the base level. From the Pliocene era onwards, thanks to an increase in potential, alpine shafts replace the horizontal networks. The formation of these shafts is more pronounced during glaciation. The study of the Cosa Nostra - Bergerhöhle system developing 30 km of conduits on a gradient reaching almost 1 500 m provides a fairly full view of the karstification of this massif. It includes the horizontal levels developed in the Miocene and the Plio-Pleistocene, joined together by vertical sections. The most noteworthy features of the Tennengebirge, as in the neighboring massifs, lie first and foremost in the extreme thickness of the limestone which has recorded and immunized the differents steps of karstification. Secondly, the size of the networks can be, for the most part, accounted for by the contribution of allogenous waters from the streams of the Neogene and the glaciers of the Pleistocene. Generally sudden and unexpected, these flows of water engendered heavy loads (up to 600 m), simultaneously flooding several levels. To a lesser extent, the situation is similar today.

The Ile de Cremieu is a low limestone plateau on the western edge of the Jura. Due to its location in the foothills, the lobes of the Rhône glacier have covered it up, obliterating the surface karst. However, widespread evidence of anteglacial morphologies remains : paleokarst, cone karst, polygenic surface. Because of glacial plugging, access to the underground karst is limited. The main cavity is the cave of La Balme. Its initial development dates back to an early period. The morphological study has permitted the identification of several phases which go back to the Pleistocene and which are related to the Rhône glacier. The latter brought about modifications in the base level by supplying its merging waters as well as moraine material. These variations in the base level shaped the drainage structure. The underground glacial polishes are one of the noteworthy aspects recorded.

The massives of the Moucherotte and dent de Crolles belong to the northern French Prealps. They conceal large networks, respectively the Vallier cave and the Dent de Crolles. They were formed in the early Pliocene after the final orogenic phase and are in the form of horizontal conduits. The upthrust, which brought about the embanking of the Isère valley, left them in a perched position by taking away the basin which fed them. They were later, however, able to take advantage of waters from the Isère glacier during a part of the Pleistocene. The Vallier cave contains particularly glacio-karstic sediments of the lower Pleistocene, representing unique evidence of glaciation during this period. The vertical networks were put in place at the end of the Pliocene with the increase in karstification potential ; they underwent changes in the Pleistocene due to the effect of autochton and allogenous glaciers.

The second part of the work deals in general with the various forms and processes of karstification, sometimes going beyond the Alps. The study of cave deposits is a privileged tool in the understanding and reconstruction not only of the history of the networks but also the regional environment. The dating of speleothems by the U / Th method has very ofen given an age of over 350 000 years. The age of the networks is confirmed by the use of paleomagnetism which has yielded evidence of speleothems and glacio-karstic sediments anterior to 780 000 years. Anisotropic measurements of magnetic susceptibility have been used to distinguish the putting into place of glacio-karstic deposits by decantation.

Measurements of calcite rates lead to a typology of sediments based on their nature and carbonate content (rehandled weathered rocks, fluvial sands, carbonated varves, decantation clays). Granulometry confirms this differenciation by supplying precise details of transport and sedimentation modes : suspension and abrupt precipitation of clay, suspension and slow decantation of carbonated varves, suspension and rolling together with a variable sorting of sand and gravel. Mineralogical analyses oppose two types of detrital deposits. On the one hand, the rehandling of antequaternary weathered rocks extracted by the karst as a result of scouring during environmental destabilization and on the other hand, sediments characteristic of the ice age of the Pleistocene. The latter are not highly developed and their arrival in the karst is always later. Examination of heavy minerals, the morphoscopy of quartz grains and study of micromorphologies on thin blades provide precise details of conditions of evolution. The use of these methods of investigation allows for an accurate definition of the features of the evolution of the differents types of fillings, particularly speleothems, rehandled weathered rocks as well as carbonated varves. This wealth and complexity are emphasized by a detailed study of the sedimentary sequences of the Vallier cave and of the Bergerhöhle.
Speleogenesis is approached last of all in the light of above study. Emphasis is placed on the major part played by corrosion in the temporarily phreatic zone and on its many consequences (multi-level concept, simultaneous evolution of levels, origin of deep waterlogged karsts…).
Varia tions in the base level have induced karstification in contexts in which the potential was weak. These were followed by periods of increased potential to which were added the effects of glaciation. Perched horizontal levels belong to the first stages which ended in the early Pliocene, whereas alpine shafts developed in the second context. The role of structure and the parameters governing the shape of conduits (pits, meanders, canyons) are also dealt with. The different parts of the karst are borne in mind when dealing with the strength of karstic erosion during the ice age. It notably appears that it is weak on the crests and more or less non-existent in the deep parts of the karst which are liable to flooding. Finally, a preliminary analysis of an observation of neotectonic traces is presented.


Signification des remplissages des karsts de montagne, quelques cls lusage des splologues, 1995, Audra, P.
This paper is intended to cavers in order to help them identify the most significant mountain karst infillings. Carbonated varves sedimentation occurs during floodings in glacial environment. The varves block the deep parts of the networks. Pebbles sealings show a powerful erosion in the vadose zone, near glacial sinkholes. Gelifract spreadings are indicators of frost and snow action in periglacial environment. Reworked weathered rocks are the most ancient deposits, inherited from tertiary warm phases when karstification occurred under regolith covers. Their clearing is partly simultaneous with cave systems elaboration, in relation to the alpine uplift, during Pliocene. Speleothems are also warm or temperate climate indicators. Crystalline morphology reflects environmental characteristics, while their surface sight could have been smoothed during discharge reactivations. Finally, some infillings could have recorded neotectonic movements: broken speleothems, deformed clastic sediments, etc.

Plio-Quaternary karst development in the French Prealps: Speleogenesis and significance of cave fills, 2000, Audra P.
Three French cave systems in the Prealps in the Vercors and Devoluy mountain areas are described. It is possible to reconstruct their evolution by analyzing their morphology and by dating the karst fill using paleomagnetism and U/Th. Cave development began at the end of the Miocene during uplift when inclined tubes formed in the epiphreatic zone. Later the tubes were partially blocked by weathered detritus from the surface. Uplift diverted former recharge away from the caves and extensive calcite deposition occurred. The cave systems were reactivated during glaciations, with flooding to considerable depths. The epiphreatic zone was blocked with calcareous varves from meltwater. During interglacial periods, either calcite deposition or dissolution occurred, depending on the altitude and density of the soil cover.

The genesis of the Tennengebirge karst and caves (Salzburg, Austria), 2002, Audra, Ph. , Quinif, Y. , Rochette, P.
Research has been carried out in the Tennengebirge Massif (Salzburg, Austria) with specific attention to karst morphology, cave systems, and sediments. This study reveals the genesis of the karst and the underground systems of the Tennengebirge, since the Oligocene. Large horizontal systems, which date back to the Miocene, were studied through the example of the caves Hornhhle and Eisriesenwelt, which respectively represent Ruinenhhlen (cave ruins) and Riesenhhlen (giant caves). The Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhhle System is typical of a mostly vertical, large, high-relief, alpine cave. The main characteristic of this network is major development in the vadose zone. Shaft morphology is in stairs beneath a faulted roof. At greater depth, they connect to a perched epiphreatic zone, which is typical of a dammed karst. The main underground sediments are of paleoclimatic and hydrodynamic significance, corresponding to hot, stable, or unstable environments (flowstones, reworked weathered rocks) and cold environments (carbonate varves, glacial pebbles). A preliminary study of the Tennengebirge sediments reveals significant information about its evolution throughout Pliocene-Quaternary time. Hhlen- und Karstgenese im Tennengebirge (Salzburg, sterreich) Es handelt sich um Erforschungen des unterirdischen Hhlensystems im Tennengebirge mit Hilfe der Erforschung der Karstsedimente. Durch die Beobachtung der Morphologie und der Ausfllungen kann die Geschichte der verschiedenen Hhlenorganisationen nachgezeichnet werden. Wir haben die groen horizontalen Hhlensysteme des Miozns anhand der Hornhhle und der Eisriesenwelt studiert, die wiederum ein Beispiel fr Ruinen- und Riesenhhlen sind. Das Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhhle System ist ein Beispiel fr die groen vertikalen Alpenschchten, das an seiner ausgeprgten Entwicklung der vadosen Zone erkenntlichist. Die Schchte haben die Morphologie von Treppen unter einem Kluftdach. Sie sind tief unten mit einer gestuften phreatischen Zone verbunden, die einen abgedmmter Karst enthllen. Die wichtigsten unterirdischen Sedimente haben eine Bedeutung auf dem Gebiet der Paloklimatologie und der hydrodynamik. Sie entsprechen entweder warmen und bestndigen oder kalten Umgebungen oder einer Umbegung in der das natrliche Gleichgewicht unterbrochen wurde (Sinterformation, vernderte Sedimente aus Alteriten, Karbonatwarven, glazial Schotter). Die Erforschung der Sedimenten in der Bergerhhle bringt wichtige Informationen ber die Entwicklung der Hhlensysteme im Plio-Quartr. Durch die gesamte Erforschung kann die Entstehung der Hhlen- und Karstgenese im Tennengebirge seit dem Oligozn nachgezeichnet werden.

Les archives sdimentaires quaternaires de la grotte sous les Sangles (Bas-Bugey, Jura mridional, France). Indices palo-climatiques et sismo-tectoniques, 2002, Lignier Vincent, Desmet Marc
Quaternary sedimentary archives of the Sous les Sangles Cave (Lower Bugey, Southern Jura, France); paleo-climatic and sismo-tectonic evidences - The Sous les Sangles Cave is located in southern part of Jura mountain at the front part of the northwestern alpine tectonically active massifs. This region was covered by alpine and jurassian glaciers during the Last Glacial Maximum. An old gallery contains stratified fluvial and moraine injection, covered by a 3.5 meters thick deposit of finely laminated silty carbonate and clays. Sedimentological investigation reveals several periods of different water flow depending on glacial and inters glacial periods. The upper finely laminated sediments correspond to the end of the last glacial maximum according to the exokarstic equivalent of the Cerin lake and the U/Th ages obtained with speleothems. Spectral analysis (using Fourier methods and pass-band mapping techniques) on grey-level raw data have been used on the Sous les Sangles sediment. The main result shows evidence of a cyclic deposition according to the three main periodicities recognised through the 1.5-m top sequence. The laminated material is affected by plastic and brittle deformations. The entire deposit is characterised by (1) a vertical faulting without apparent dominant relative movement which can be interpreted as tension faults; (2) an associated soft and brittle deformation similar to thin skin tectonic at centimetre scale affecting the base of the deposit and testified to gravity reworking which could correspond to discrete sismotectonic activity; (3) brittle deformations associated with fluid escape patterns occurring at two specific levels along the vertical faults, emphasising the earth tremor existence according to several broken speleothems. These observations are highly supported by the geodynamic and tectonic frame of this part of Jura massif which reveal an actual uplift of several millimetre/year, especially in this part of the Cluse des Hpitaux cross valley. Numerous historical earthquakes have been documented in this area. The microtectonic study of the cave shows dominant inverse and strike-slip structures correlated to the general tectonic frame.

The genesis of the Tennengebirge karst and caves (Salzburg, Austria), 2003, Audra Ph, Quinif Y. , Rochette P.

Research has been carried out in the Tennengebirge Massif (Salzburg, Austria) with specific attention to karst morphology, cave systems, and sediments. This study reveals the genesis of the karst and the underground systems of the Tennengebirge, since the Oligocene. Large horizontal systems, which date back to the Miocene, were studied through the example of the caves Hornhohle and Eisriesenwelt, which respectively represent Ruinenhohlen (“cave ruins”) and Riesenhohlen (“giant caves”). The Cosa-Nostra - Bergerhohle System is typical of a mostly vertical large high-relief, alpine cave. The main characteristic of this network is major development in the vadose zone. The shafts' morphology is in “stairs beneath a faulted roof.” At greater depth, they connect to a perched epiphreatic zone, which is typical of a dammed karst. The main underground sediments are of paleoclimatic and hydrodynamic significance, corresponding to hot, stable, or unstable environments (flowstones, reworked weathered rocks) and cold environments (carbonate varves, glacial pebbles). A preliminary study of the Tennengebirge sediments reveals significant information about its evolution throughout Pliocene-Quaternary time.


Preglacial development of caves at structural duplexes on the Lewis Thrust, Glacier National Park, Montana, 2007, Bodenhamer H. G.
Two significant caves in Glacier National Park are developed in Middle Proterozoic carbonate rocks. One lies within two large-scale duplex structures resting on the Lewis Thrust. The other is in the hinterland region of one of the duplexes. Both of the caves are aligned along bedding planes, joints, and faults. Poia Lake Cave has large segments that, in part, are aligned along low-angle thrust faults. Both Poia Lake Cave and Zoo Cave have uptrending, dead-end passages developed above the main passage along near-vertical normal faults. In Poia Lake Cave, three small maze sections also lie above the main passage. My previous speleogenic model involving a semi-confined aquifer, with mixing zones along faults and fracture zones now seems unlikely because the strata would be unable to simultaneously confine the aquifer and allow descending water to mix along fracture zones and faults. A second model involving a deep-looping system, while more feasible, also seems unlikely due to the short flow length of postulated cave passages. Recent studies suggest cave development occurred under confined aquifer conditions whereby long-traveled deep water ascends from an artesian aquifer near the Lewis Thrust. The aquifer developed after the hinterland region of the Lewis Thrust was uplifted during the Laramide Orogeny. It remained active until the system was disrupted by late Pleistocene glacial erosion. Since the original phreatic development of the caves, they have been subjected to some collapse, vadose entrenchment, and deposition of clastic sediment including rounded cobbles and glacial varves.

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