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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. ...

Did you know?

That merokarst is 1. defined by cvijic to indicate imperfect karst topography as found on thin, impure, or chalky limestone where surface drainage and dry valleys are present in addition to some karstic features [ 10]. 2. karst developed in soluble rocks retaining considerable surface drainage. synonyms: (french.) merokarst; (turkish.) yari karst. contrast perfectly formed holokarst. compare causse.?

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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 west africa (Keyword) returned 4 results for the whole karstbase:
Magniezia gardei n.sp. (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota): a Stenasellid from the underground waters of Southeastern Morocco., 1978, Magniez Guy
This new species has been discovered in the waters of Kef Aziza Cave, on the Saharian slopes of the High Atlas Range, Southeastern Morocco. Magniezia gardei n.sp. belongs to the same Genus as four species previously described from the phreatic waters of the Guinean area. So, it is assumed that this Moroccan species should be a relict of the ancient aquatic hypogean fauna of the entire West Africa, nowadays protected by the development of an arid climate.

Le lapiaz de Souroukoudinga (Burkina Faso), un karst micro-tourelles d'ge suppos quaternaire, 1986, Hugot G. , Carbonnel J. P.
THE SOUROUKOUDINGA LAPIAZ (BURKINA-FASO): A MICRO-TURRETED KARST SUPPOSEDLY FROM THE QUATERNARY ERA. - The very few karsts noted and described from West Africa (Mauritania, Senegal, Mali) are not particularly spectacular. However, one from Burkina-Faso is quite different and is no doubt the most atypical of West African karsts. The Souroukoudinga karst is located in sediments of marine origin, attributed to the Upper Precambrian, and forms the southern limit of the Taoudeni basin. This karst develops in dolomites of the schistic-sandstone-dolomitic level and in particular in a very fine Stromatolite algal structure. It takes up the form of micro-turreted karren which, due to its apparent freshness and the surrounding ferruginous cuirasses, suggests that its formation began in a very recent Quaternary period.

Existence of karsts into silicated non-carbonated crystalline rocks in Sahelian and Equatorial Africa, hydrogeological implications, 2002, Willems Luc, Pouclet Andre, Vicat Jean Paul,
Various cavities studied in western Niger and South Cameroon show the existence of important karstic phenomena into metagabbros and gneisses. These large-sized caves resulted from generalized dissolution of silicate formations in spite of their low solubility. Karstification is produced by deep hydrous transfer along lithological discontinuities and fracture net works. The existence of such caves has major implications in geomorphology, under either Sahelian and Equatorial climate, and in hydrogeology and water supply, particularly in the Sahel area. Introduction. - Since a few decades, several karst-like morphologies are described in non-carbonated rocks (sandstones, quartzites, schistes, gneisses...) [Wray, 1997 ; Vicat and Willems, 1998 ; Willems, 2000]. The cave of Guessedoundou in West Niger seems to be due to a large dissolution of metagabbros. The cave of Mfoula, South Cameroon, attests for the same process in gneisses. This forms proof that big holes may exist deeper in the substratum even of non-carbonated silicate rocks. Their size and number could mainly influence the landscape and the hydrogeology, especially in the Sahelian areas. Guessedoundou, a cave into metagabbros in West Niger. - The site of Guessedoundou is located 70 km south-west of Niamey (fig. 1). The cave is opened at the top of a small hill, inside in NNE-SSW elongated pit (fig. 2 ; pl. I A). The hole, 3 to 4 m deep and 20 m large, has vertical walls and contains numerous sub-metric angular blocks. A cave, a few meters deep, comes out the south wall. Bedrocks consist of metagabbros of the Makalondi greenstone belt, a belt of the Palaeoproterozoic Birimian Formations of the West Africa craton [Pouclet et al., 1990]. The rock has a common granular texture with plagioclases, partly converted in albite and clinozoisite, and pyroxenes pseudomorphosed in actinote and chlorite. It is rather fairly altered. Chemical composition is mafic and poorly alkaline (tabl. I). A weak E-W schistosity generated with the epizonal thermometamorphism. The site depression was created along a N010o shear zone where rocks suffered important fracturation and fluid transfers, as shown by its silification and ferruginisation. The absence of human activity traces and the disposition of the angular blocks attest that the pit is natural and was due to the collapse of the roof of a vast cavity whose current cave is only the residual prolongation. To the vertical walls of the depression and at the cave entry, pluridecimetric hemispheric hollows are observed (pl. I B). Smooth morphology and position of these hollows sheltered within the depression dismiss the assumptions of formation by mechanical erosion. In return, these features are typical shape of dissolution processes observed into limestone karstic caves. That kind of process must be invoked to explain the opening of the Guessedoundou cave, in the total lack of desagregation materials. Dissolution of metagabbro occurred during hydrous transfer, which was probably guided by numerous fractures of the shear zone. Additional observations have been done in the Sirba Valley, where similar metabasite rocks constitute the substratum, with sudden sinking of doline-like depressions and evidence of deep cavities by core logging [Willems et al., 1993, 1996]. It is concluded that karstic phenomena may exist even in silica-aluminous rocks of crystalline terrains, such as the greenstones of a Precambrian craton. Mfoula a cave into gneisses in South Cameroon. - The cave of Mfoula is located 80 km north-east of Yaounde (fig. 3). It is the second largest cave of Cameroon, more than 5,000 m3, with a large opening in the lower flank of a deep valley (pl. I C). The cavity is about 60 m long, 30 m large and 5 to 12 m high (fig. 4; pl. I D). It is hollowed in orthogneisses belonging to the Pan-African Yaounde nappe. Rocks exhibit subhorizontal foliation in two superposed lithological facies: the lower part is made of amphibole- and garnet-bearing layered gneisses, and the upper part, of more massive granulitic gneisses. Average composition is silico-aluminous and moderately alkaline (tabl. I). The cave is made of different chambers separated by sub-cylindrical pillars. The ceiling of the main chamber, 6 m in diameter, is dome-shaped with a smooth surface (D, fig. 4). The walls have also a smooth aspect decorated with many hemispherical hollows. The floor is flat according to the rock foliation. They are very few rock debris and detrital fragments and no traces of mechanical erosion and transport. The general inner morphology is amazingly similar to that of a limestone cave. The only way to generate such a cavity is to dissolve the rock by water transfer. To test the effect of the dissolution process, we analysed a clayey residual sampled in an horizontal fracture of the floor (tabl. I). Alteration begins by plagioclases in producing clay minerals and in disagregating the rock. However, there is no more clay and sand material. That means all the silicate minerals must have been eliminated. Dissolution of silicates is a known process in sandstone and quartzite caves. It may work as well in gneisses. To fasten the chemical action, we may consider an additional microbial chemolitotrophe activity. The activity of bacteria colonies is known in various rocks and depths, mainly in the aquifer [Sinclair and Ghiorse, 1989 ; Stevens and McKinley, 1995]. The formation of the Mfoula cave is summarized as follow (fig. 5). Meteoric water is drained down along sub-vertical fractures and then along horizontal discontinuities of the foliation, particularly in case of lithological variations. Chemical and biological dissolution is working. Lateral transfers linked to the aquifer oscillations caused widening of the caves. Dissolved products are transported by the vertical drains. Regressive erosion of the valley, linked to the epeirogenic upwelling due to the volcano-tectonic activity of the Cameroon Line, makes the cavities come into sight at the valley flanks. Discussion and conclusion. - The two examples of the Guessedoundou and Mfoula caves evidence the reality of the karsts in non-carbonated silicated rocks. The karst term is used to design >> any features of the classical karst morphology (caves, dolines, lapies...) where dissolution plays the main genetical action >> [Willems, 2000]. Our observations indicate that (i) the karst genesis may have occurred into any kind of rocks, and (ii) the cave formation is not directly dependent of the present climate. These facts have major consequences to hydrogeological investigations, especially for water supply in Sahelian and sub-desertic countries. Some measurements of water transfer speed across either sedimentary pelitic strata of the Continental terminal or igneous rocks of the substratum in West Niger [Esteves and Lenoir, 1996 ; Ousmane et al., 1984] proved that supplying of aquifers in these silico-aluminous rocks may be as fast as in a karstic limestone. That means the West Niger substratum is highly invaded by a karstic net and may hidden a lot of discontinuous aquifers. The existence of this karst system can be easily shown by morphological observations, the same that are done in karstic limestone regions (abnormally suspended dry valleys, collapses, dolines...). Clearly, this must be the guide for any search of water, even in desertic areas where limestones are absent

Sedimentary manganese metallogenesis in response to the evolution of the Earth system, 2006, Roy Supriya,
The concentration of manganese in solution and its precipitation in inorganic systems are primarily redox-controlled, guided by several Earth processes most of which were tectonically induced. The Early Archean atmosphere-hydrosphere system was extremely O2-deficient. Thus, the very high mantle heat flux producing superplumes, severe outgassing and high-temperature hydrothermal activity introduced substantial Mn2 in anoxic oceans but prevented its precipitation. During the Late Archean, centered at ca. 2.75[no-break space]Ga, the introduction of Photosystem II and decrease of the oxygen sinks led to a limited buildup of surface O2-content locally, initiating modest deposition of manganese in shallow basin-margin oxygenated niches (e.g., deposits in India and Brazil). Rapid burial of organic matter, decline of reduced gases from a progressively oxygenated mantle and a net increase in photosynthetic oxygen marked the Archean-Proterozoic transition. Concurrently, a massive drawdown of atmospheric CO2 owing to increased weathering rates on the tectonically expanded freeboard of the assembled supercontinents caused Paleoproterozoic glaciations (2.45-2.22[no-break space]Ga). The spectacular sedimentary manganese deposits (at ca. 2.4[no-break space]Ga) of Transvaal Supergroup, South Africa, were formed by oxidation of hydrothermally derived Mn2 transferred from a stratified ocean to the continental shelf by transgression. Episodes of increased burial rate of organic matter during ca. 2.4 and 2.06[no-break space]Ga are correlatable to ocean stratification and further rise of oxygen in the atmosphere. Black shale-hosted Mn carbonate deposits in the Birimian sequence (ca. 2.3-2.0[no-break space]Ga), West Africa, its equivalents in South America and those in the Francevillian sequence (ca. 2.2-2.1[no-break space]Ga), Gabon are correlatable to this period. Tectonically forced doming-up, attenuation and substantial increase in freeboard areas prompted increased silicate weathering and atmospheric CO2 drawdown causing glaciation on the Neoproterozoic Rodinia supercontinent. Tectonic rifting and mantle outgassing led to deglaciation. Dissolved Mn2 and Fe2 concentrated earlier in highly saline stagnant seawater below the ice cover were exported to shallow shelves by transgression during deglaciation. During the Sturtian glacial-interglacial event (ca. 750-700[no-break space]Ma), interstratified Mn oxide and BIF deposits of Damara sequence, Namibia, was formed. The Varangian ([identical to] Marinoan; ca. 600[no-break space]Ma) cryogenic event produced Mn oxide and BIF deposits at Urucum, Jacadigo Group, Brazil. The Datangpo interglacial sequence, South China (Liantuo-Nantuo [identical to] Varangian event) contains black shale-hosted Mn carbonate deposits. The Early Paleozoic witnessed several glacioeustatic sea level changes producing small Mn carbonate deposits of Tiantaishan (Early Cambrian) and Taojiang (Mid-Ordovician) in black shale sequences, China, and the major Mn oxide-carbonate deposits of Karadzhal-type, Central Kazakhstan (Late Devonian). The Mesozoic period of intense plate movements and volcanism produced greenhouse climate and stratified oceans. During the Early Jurassic OAE, organic-rich sediments host many Mn carbonate deposits in Europe (e.g., Urkut, Hungary) in black shale sequences. The Late Jurassic giant Mn Carbonate deposit at Molango, Mexico, was also genetically related to sea level change. Mn carbonates were always derived from Mn oxyhydroxides during early diagenesis. Large Mn oxide deposits of Cretaceous age at Groote Eylandt, Australia and Imini-Tasdremt, Morocco, were also formed during transgression-regression in greenhouse climate. The Early Oligocene giant Mn oxide-carbonate deposit of Chiatura (Georgia) and Nikopol (Ukraine) were developed in a similar situation. Thereafter, manganese sedimentation was entirely shifted to the deep seafloor and since ca. 15[no-break space]Ma B.P. was climatically controlled (glaciation-deglaciation) assisted by oxygenated polar bottom currents (AABW, NADW). The changes in climate and the sea level were mainly tectonically forced

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