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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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Your search for zanclean (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
How much did climate force the Messinian salinity crisis? Quantified climatic conditions from pollen records in the Mediterranean region, 2006, Fauquette S, Suc Jp, Bertini A, Popescu Sm, Warny S, Bachiri Taoufiq N, Perez Villa Mj, Chikhi H, Feddi N, Subally D,
The latest Miocene (5.96 to 5.33[no-break space]Ma) is characterised by an outstanding event: the desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea (Messinian salinity crisis). It has been suggested that this was caused by a tectonic event, with no climatic change playing a role in desiccation. Quantifying the climate of the region during this period will help support or refute this hypothesis. An effective method for reconstructing the climate from Neogene pollen data is the 'Climatic Amplitude Method' based on the modern climatic requirements of plants to interpret fossil data. It has been conceived especially for periods devoid of modern vegetation analogue.Twenty Messinian to Lower Zanclean pollen sequences are now available in the peri-Mediterranean region. Most of them do not cover the whole Messinian interval, particularly those along the Mediterranean shorelines where sedimentation was interrupted during the sea's desiccation. In contrast, sedimentation was almost continuous in such areas as the Atlantic side of Morocco, along the Adriatic coast (including the Po Valley), and to a lesser extent the Black Sea. The Mediterranean sites nonetheless provide a reliable if not a discontinuous record of vegetation variability in time and space.A first examination of the pollen diagrams reveals a high regional variability controlled by local conditions, and throughout the interval a southward increase in herb pollen frequency in contrast to the tree pollen frequency. This indicates that open and probably dry environments existed in the southern Mediterranean region prior to, during and after the salinity crisis. Trees developed in areas close to mountains such as in the Po Valley, in Cerdanya and in the Black Sea region. Most variations observed in the pollen diagrams are constrained by fluctuations of Pinus pollen amounts, indicating eustatic variations. Climatic quantification from pollen data does not show obvious climatic changes due to the desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea, especially in the dry and warm southwestern Mediterranean area (Sicily, southern Spain and North Africa). At Maccarone, along the Adriatic Sea, a decrease in temperatures of the coldest month and, less importantly, a decrease in mean annual temperatures, corresponding to a drastic vegetation change, are reconstructed. These temperature variations are assumed to be controlled by regional environmental changes (massive arrival of waters in this basin) rather than to reflect cooling, because some authors link the second phase of evaporite deposition to a period of global warming. Some migrations of plants probably occurred as a response to Mediterranean desiccation. But the climatic contrast which has probably existed at that time between the central Mediterranean and the peripheral areas might be amplified.Climatic reconstruction from pollen data in the western Mediterranean area shows that climate is not the direct cause of the Mediterranean desiccation, as the Mediterranean region had experienced continuously high evaporation long before the crisis. Therefore the main factor leading to this event seems to be the successive closures of the Betic and Rifian corridors, isolating the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean

Late Miocene and early Pliocene environments in the southwestern Black Sea region from high-resolution palynology of DSDP Site 380A (Leg 42B), 2006, Popescu Speranta Maria,
A high-resolution palynological study has been performed on late Miocene (Messinian) and early Pliocene (Zanclean) sediments cored at DSDP Site 380A (Leg 42B). A late Miocene coastal vegetation has been identified in association with a delta environment. The Pliocene is characterised by competition between the two most important vegetation components, namely humid thermophilous forests and dry steppes, with changes driven by large amplitude climatic variations. These variations are linked to other European reference pollen records and to the global temperature evolution for the early Pliocene, and result in climatostratigraphic relationships at large geographic scale. An orbital tuning is proposed with respect to new data clarifying time control on the section. The Black Sea appears to have dried up in response to the Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean with which it might have been connected during periods of high sea level

Paratethyan-Mediterranean connectivity in the Sea of Marmara region (NW Turkey) during the Messinian, 2006, Cagatay Mn, Gorur N, Flecker R, Sakinc M, Tunoglu C, Ellam R, Krijgsman W, Vincent S, Dikbas A,
The Sea of Marmara region is thought to have been a gateway between Paratethys and the Mediterranean since the Middle Miocene, and is therefore an important control on water mass exchange between the two realms. The Miocene successions in the northeastern Aegean and northwestern Marmara regions indicate that the first Mediterranean marine transgression to affect these areas occurred during the late Serravallian.In the northeastern Aegean region, frequent marine incursions occurred during the Tortonian and Messinian stages. The Messinian stage in this area is represented by a package of brackish- to fresh-water carbonates with some marine sandstone-siltstone interbeds (Alcitepe Formation), which conformably overlies the Tortonian Kirazli Formation. The Messinian sequence is overlain with an erosional contact by a shallow marine siliciclastic sequence (Goztepe Formation) of Zanclean age. With its brackish- to fresh-water carbonates and broadly constrained age, the Messinian sequence is interpreted as being coeval with the Upper Evaporite-Lago Mare sequence observed in western Mediterranean basins.In the western Marmara region, the Pontian (Messinian) Alcitepe Formation consists of bioclastic and oolitic limestones with basal clastic rocks. It conformably overlies the fluvio-lacustrine siliciclastic sediments of the Middle to Upper Miocene Kirazli Formation and is overlain by fluvio-lacustrine sediments of the Kimmerian (5.5-3.2[no-break space]Ma) Truva and Tevfikiye formations with an erosional contact.The bioclastic limestones of the Alcitepe Formation in the western Marmara region contain a molluscan and ostracod fauna that are endemic to Paratethys. These fauna indicate deposition in a shallow, brackish- to fresh-water environment. Faunal and paleomagnetic analyses of a section of the Alcitepe Formation at Yenimahalle (Canakkale) confirm that the formation is of Pontian age and represents chron C3r (6.04-5.24[no-break space]Ma). The ostracod analysis indicates that during deposition of the Alcitepe Formation, salinity increased from brackish in the lower part to more saline conditions in the upper part. Ostracod valves have low 87Sr / 86Sr values relative to coeval Late Miocene ocean water. This indicates that exchange between the Sea of Marmara region and the global ocean was restricted throughout this period. Fossil and Sr-isotope evidence suggests, however, that there was a Paratethyan-Marmara connection during the deposition of the lower part of the Alcitepe Formation, with Paratethyan influence reaching the north Aegean. Connection via Marmara between Paratethys and the Mediterranean was not re-established until the late Aktchagylian (Late Pliocene). The re-connection was caused by both increased activity on the North Anatolian Fault and global sea level rise

Changing perspectives in the concept of 'Lago-Mare' in Mediterranean Late Miocene evolution, 2006, Orszagsperber Fabienne,
The Cenozoic Alpine orogeny caused the partition of Tethys into several basins. During the Late Neogene, the Mediterranean attained its final configuration, whereas, eastwards, the Paratethys, isolated from the World Ocean, disintegrated progressively into a series of smaller basins. As a result, an endemic fauna developed in these basins, mainly composed of brackish to freshwater faunas, indicating an environment affected by changes in water salinity. These small basins of the Paratethys were named 'Sea-Lakes' by Andrusov [Andrusov, D., 1890. Les Dreissenidae fossiles et actuelles d'Eurasie. Geol. min. 25, 1-683 (in Russian)]. Subsequently this name was translated into 'Lac-Mer' [Gignoux, M., 1936. Geologie stratigraphique, 2[deg]edition, Masson, Paris].In the Mediterranean isolated from the Atlantic at the end of the Miocene (Messinian), thick evaporites deposited, consisting of a marine Lower Evaporite unit and an Upper Evaporite unit, mainly of continental origin. Ruggieri [Ruggieri, G., 1962. La serie marine pliocenica e quaternaria della Val Marecchia. Atti Acad. Sci. Lett. Arti. Palermo, 19, 1-169.] used the term 'Lago-Mare', to characterize the brackish to fresh water environment which occurred within the Mediterranean at the end of the Messinian.During recent decades, numerous scientific investigations concerning the history of the Messinian within the Mediterranean were devoted to the understanding of conditions prevailing after the deposition of the marine evaporites. Brackish to freshwater faunas are found in several outcrops and boreholes in the Mediterranean, both in the uppermost beds of gypsum and inter-bedded within the clastic sediments of the Upper Evaporite Unit, immediately preceeding the flooding by the marine Pliocene waters. These faunas, because of their similarities with the fauna described in the Paratethys, were named 'Paratethyan', or 'Caspi-brackish' fauna, this leading some authors to imply a migration of these fauna from Paratethys to the Mediterranean. However, others refute this hypothesis.New data induced some researchers to consider that exchanges existed between the Mediterranean and the Eastern Paratethys and also between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean at the Miocene-Pliocene transition. These investigations now take advantage of the accurate time scales established by authors (biostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy), allowing good stratigraphic correlations between the Mediterranean and the Paratethys, and precisions on the geodynamic evolution of this area.Furthermore, sediments at the base of the Zanclean (MPl1), locally containing brackish to fresh water faunas conducted authors to attribute this formation to an infra- or pre-Pliocene and also to a Lago-Mare 'event'.Thus, the 'Lago-Mare' concept drifted from its original meaning, and is evolving because of progresses in the understanding of the Mediterranean geodynamics and the adjacent areas during the Miocene-Pliocene transition

Reconstruction of the paleoenvironmental changes around the Miocene-Pliocene boundary along a West-East transect across the Mediterranean, 2006, Pierre Catherine, Caruso Antonio, Blancvalleron Marie Madeleine, Rouchy Jean Marie, Orzsagsperber Fabienne,
In order to reconstruct the environmental changes at the end of the Messinian salinity crisis, a multidisciplinary study has been carried out with a high sampling resolution of the late Messinian-early Zanclean (Zone MPl 1) sediments along a West-East Mediterranean transect. The studied examples comprise sections from southern Spain (Vera/Almanzora), Balearic Basin (ODP Site 975), Tyrrhenian Basin (ODP Site 974), Sicily (Eraclea Minoa), Zakynthos (Kalamaki), Corfu (Aghios Stefanos), Crete (Aghios Vlasis). Previously analyzed sections from the Levantine Basin (Cyprus and ODP Sites 968 and 969) are used for comparison. The sections have been correlated using planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, sedimentological and stable isotope variations, and compared to the astronomical cyclicity defined in the Miocene-Pliocene boundary stratotype of Eraclea Minoa, Sicily. Variations of CaCO3 content, stable isotopes of carbonates ([delta]18O, [delta]13C), and foraminiferal assemblages indicate similar environmental transition at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary in all of the investigated sections.The latest Messinian deposits are barren of fossils or characterized by only reworked planktonic foraminifers, except for the sporadic presence of Ammonia tepida, brackish or lacustrine ostracods and brackish mollusks typical of the 'Lago-Mare' facies. The oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions of carbonates usually exhibit large variations with dominantly low [delta] values indicating freshwater dilution. The earliest Pliocene (MPl 1, cycle 1) shows a rapid and progressive increase of the [delta]18O values, which indicates the restoration of marine conditions after the Lago-Mare event. Normal marine environments were definitely established and stabilized at the top of cycle 1.These data confirm that the inflow of marine waters occurred contemporaneously within the whole Mediterranean at the base of Pliocene, although stable marine conditions occurred only about 20[no-break space]kyrs later

The Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean basin: A reassessment of the data and an integrated scenario, 2006, Rouchy Jean Marie, Caruso Antonio,
After a long period of controversial debate about the interpretation of the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), a near consensus existed since the ODP Leg 42A for a model keeping the major lines of the deep basin-shallow water model initially proposed by Hsu et al. (1973). The knowledge of the crisis was improved since the 1995s by the availability of a very accurate astronomically calibrated timescale. The debate about its interpretation was then reactivated by several new scenarios that questioned most the major aspects of the previous classical models. The updated re-examination of the most salient features along with consideration of the hydrological requirements for evaporite deposition allow us to assess the viability of the new models. We propose an integrated scenario that revives the key points of the previous model with new statements about the chronology, depositional settings, hydrological mechanisms, consequences and correlations with the global changes. A model implying two main stages of evaporite deposition that affected successively the whole basin with a slight diachronism matches better the whole dataset. The distribution of the evaporites and their depositional timing were constrained by the high degree of paleogeographical differentiation and by the threshold effects that governed the water exchanges. It is assumed that the central Sicilian basin was a deep basin located in a marginal position with regard to the deepest central basins. The restriction of the Mediterranean was predominantly under a tectonic control, but the complex development of the evaporitic crisis implied the interplay of both glacio-eustatic changes and fluctuations of the circum-Mediterranean climate.The first evaporitic stage (lower evaporites) that includes the deposition of the thick homogeneous halite unit with K-Mg salt interbeds in the deepest basins is correlated with the major evaporative drawdown and higher aridity, and occurred during the glacial period recorded in the ocean sediments between 6.3 and 5.6 Ma. The deposition of the potash in Sicily is tentatively linked to the two major glacial peaks TG 20 and TG 22, while the end of this first stage is linked to the peak TG 12. The second stage (upper evaporites) correlates with the interval of warming and global sea level rise recorded in the ocean since 5.6-5.5 Ma onwards. During this second stage, freshwater contribution increased and culminated by the latest Messinian dilution, i.e. the Lago-Mare event, as the result of the worsened tectonically driven closure of the Atlantic gateways combined to an evolution towards wetter climate conditions at least on the mountainous peripheral areas. In fact, reduced inputs of seawater continued to enter at least episodically the basin through the MSC explaining the sporadic presence of marine organisms. These inputs reached their lowest value and practically ceased during the latest Messinian dilution, just before the abrupt restoration of stable open marine conditions at the beginning of the Zanclean.A polyphased erosional surface affected the Mediterranean margins during the MSC with several critical episodes. The major episode related to the greatest water level fall, more than 1000 m, occurred during the deposition of the lower evaporites, from the onset of the evaporite deposition till the end of the first stage. Erosional processes remained active during the second evaporitic stage especially whenever the basin dried-up and a last important event marked by the karstification of the evaporites developed during the latest Messinian dilution just before the Early Zanclean reflooding that filled the erosional morphology

OBSERVATIONS OF PLIOCENE KARSTS FOSSILIZED BY QUATERNARY EOLIAN SILTS IN THE MATMATA MOUNTAINS (SOUTH-EAST TUNISIA), 2012, Sghari, Abdeljalil

The submeridional Dahar chain in southeastern Tunisia is over 200 km long. It is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the Jeffara plain with some tens of kilometers in width. This landscape continues to the South into Libya, but to the North, the chain ends with the Matmata mountains which form a plateau slightly inclined to the west and some 10 km wide. The eastern scarp shows a mainly calcareous geological stratigraphy from Upper Permian to the Senonian. The Dahar-Matmata structure belongs to the Sahara platform and shows a hiatus during the whole Tertiary, since it was emerged since Upper Cretaceous. The Tunisian Atlas nearby shows a completely different paleogeographic evolution, with a complete Tertiary series and a later Plio-Quaternary structuration. These two paleogeographic domains of Southern Tunisia, the Sahara Atlas and the NE border of the Sahara platform, were influenced by the Messinian crisis (5.9 Ma to 5.3 Ma). This was expressed by the collapse of the Mediterranean Sea level, profoundly modifying the fluvial dynamics with an inversion of the erosional system, from normal erosion to regressive erosion. It results a deepening of canyons in the downstream part and a deepening of the watercourses in the upstream part. The geological structures in the Messinian have been deeply affected by these large eustatic changes, with an incision of cluses in the Atlas and the deposition of a thick clayeysandy series that we could recently link to deltaic systems and Gilbert deltas. The re-establishment of seaways between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and the subsequent infill in the Lower Pliocene (Zanclean transgression), with an important inpact in Southern Tunisia, had multiple consequences in that region. The newly adjusted sealevel, together with a more humid climate that was confirmed by faunal and floral extension oof tropical plants in Northern Africa, stimulated an important karstification of the limestone areas. In the Dahar chain, caves, dolines, karstic depressions or karstic dry valleys emerged, the most spectacular ones being found in the Matmata Mountains. The karstic depressions are the forms that represent best this Pliocene karstification that surely was interrupted in an early stage, because localized endokarstic forms had not enough time to develop. So the karstification seems to have been active in Matmata from 5.4 to 4.0 million years, i.e. two times as long than the duration of the Messinian crisis. The interruption of karstification is due to an increase in temperature and dryness, which even gets more intense during the Pliocene, pulverizing the soils. Already at the beginning of the desertification, a calcareous crust forms by rapid cristallization of dirt. It is immediately transported from the karstic zones to the Jeffara plain. This transfer fo dissolved calcite was the origin of the resistant calcitic crust well known in the Jeffara plain. We now identified the same crust in a karstic depression in the Matmata Mountains, opening the way to new geomorphologic and tectonic interpretations, and a review of the eolian silts formerly attributed to the Upper Pleistocene. Later, during Upper Pliocene-Gelasian, we observe a general tectonic uplift of the Dahar chain and the Matmata Mountains as well as the subsidence of the Jeffara plain at the Medenine fault (NW-SE), prolonging the large Gafsa fault towards the East. The karstic paleoforms were thus uplifted more than 500 m, but nevertheless remain open on the Jeffara plain, as seen by large depressions. As a consequence, the karstic depressions of Matmata played the role of traps for eolian silts blown from the Jeffara plain during the extreme desertification in the Upper Pliocene-Gelasian. The morphological reconstruction since the Messinian shows a succession of important events during the Pliocene that profoundly influenced the Quaternary. All indications permit to reject the hypothesis that the Matmata silts came from the West (Eastern Erg).

 


OBSERVATIONS OF PLIOCENE KARSTS FOSSILIZED BY QUATERNARY EOLIAN SILTS IN THE MATMATA MOUNTAINS (SOUTH-EAST TUNISIA), 2012, Sghari, Abdeljalil

The submeridional Dahar chain in southeastern Tunisia is over 200 km long. It is separated from the Mediterranean Sea by the Jeffara plain with some tens of kilometers in width. This landscape continues to the South into Libya, but to the North, the chain ends with the Matmata mountains which form a plateau slightly inclined to the west and some 10 km wide. The eastern scarp shows a mainly calcareous geological stratigraphy from Upper Permian to the Senonian. The Dahar-Matmata structure belongs to the Sahara platform and shows a hiatus during the whole Tertiary, since it was emerged since Upper Cretaceous. The Tunisian Atlas nearby shows a completely different paleogeographic evolution, with a complete Tertiary series and a later Plio-Quaternary structuration. These two paleogeographic domains of Southern Tunisia, the Sahara Atlas and the NE border of the Sahara platform, were influenced by the Messinian crisis (5.9 Ma to 5.3 Ma). This was expressed by the collapse of the Mediterranean Sea level, profoundly modifying the fluvial dynamics with an inversion of the erosional system, from normal erosion to regressive erosion. It results a deepening of canyons in the downstream part and a deepening of the watercourses in the upstream part. The geological structures in the Messinian have been deeply affected by these large eustatic changes, with an incision of cluses in the Atlas and the deposition of a thick clayeysandy series that we could recently link to deltaic systems and Gilbert deltas. The re-establishment of seaways between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, and the subsequent infill in the Lower Pliocene (Zanclean transgression), with an important inpact in Southern Tunisia, had multiple consequences in that region. The newly adjusted sealevel, together with a more humid climate that was confirmed by faunal and floral extension oof tropical plants in Northern Africa, stimulated an important karstification of the limestone areas. In the Dahar chain, caves, dolines, karstic depressions or karstic dry valleys emerged, the most spectacular ones being found in the Matmata Mountains. The karstic depressions are the forms that represent best this Pliocene karstification that surely was interrupted in an early stage, because localized endokarstic forms had not enough time to develop. So the karstification seems to have been active in Matmata from 5.4 to 4.0 million years, i.e. two times as long than the duration of the Messinian crisis. The interruption of karstification is due to an increase in temperature and dryness, which even gets more intense during the Pliocene, pulverizing the soils. Already at the beginning of the desertification, a calcareous crust forms by rapid cristallization of dirt. It is immediately transported from the karstic zones to the Jeffara plain. This transfer fo dissolved calcite was the origin of the resistant calcitic crust well known in the Jeffara plain. We now identified the same crust in a karstic depression in the Matmata Mountains, opening the way to new geomorphologic and tectonic interpretations, and a review of the eolian silts formerly attributed to the Upper Pleistocene. Later, during Upper Pliocene-Gelasian, we observe a general tectonic uplift of the Dahar chain and the Matmata Mountains as well as the subsidence of the Jeffara plain at the Medenine fault (NW-SE), prolonging the large Gafsa fault towards the East. The karstic paleoforms were thus uplifted more than 500 m, but nevertheless remain open on the Jeffara plain, as seen by large depressions. As a consequence, the karstic depressions of Matmata played the role of traps for eolian silts blown from the Jeffara plain during the extreme desertification in the Upper Pliocene-Gelasian. The morphological reconstruction since the Messinian shows a succession of important events during the Pliocene that profoundly influenced the Quaternary. All indications permit to reject the hypothesis that the Matmata silts came from the West (Eastern Erg).


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