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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 shield; cave shield is 1. a thin circular disc of calcite projecting from a cave wall at any upward inclination, commonly a meter or more in diameter and with the underside draped with stalactites and curtains. the shield is actually a double disc with a thin central crack that acts as the continuation of a wallrock fracture. it grows by water moving up the crack under pressure and depositing calcite on both sides of its outer rim. shields are rare, but lehman cave, nevada, has more than a hundred of them [9]. 2. a disk-shaped speleothem standing edgewise at a high angle [10]. 3. a geologically stable and undisturbed continental block [16].?

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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 stalactite (Keyword) returned 103 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 103
Trace-element partition coefficients in the calcite-water system and their paleoclimatic significance in cave studies, 1983, Gascoyne M,
Speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites) formed in limestone caves have been found to contain much information on the timing and intensity of past climates, from analysis of their U, Th, 13C and 18O contents. Because the incorporation of certain trace elements (e.g., Mg, Mn and Zn) in calcite is known to be temperature-dependent, it may be possible to use variations in trace-metal content of fossil speleothems as an alternative paleotem-perature indicator. Using specially developed ion-exchange sampling techniques, analysis of trace-metal content of seepage water and associated fresh calcite deposits in caves in Vancouver Island and Jamaica shows that Mg is distributed between phases in a consistent manner within the temperature regimes of the caves (7[deg] and 23[deg]C, respectively). Average values of the distribution coefficient for Mg are respectively 0.017 and 0.045 at these temperatures. These results indicate that the Mg content of calcite varies directly with temperature and in a sufficiently pronounced manner that a 1[deg]C rise in depositional temperature of a speleothem containing 500 ppm Mg, at ~10[deg]C, would be seen as an increase of ~35ppm Mg -- a readily determinable shift. Other factors affecting Mg content of a speleothem are considered

Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985, Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

The Deflected Stalactites of Dan-Yr-Ogof: A Hypothesis, 1985, Sevenair, John P.

Discussion: The Deflect Stalactites of Dan-Yr-Ogof, 1986, Davis, Donald G.

Relationships between the internal and external evolution of the Monte Cucco Karst Complex. Umbria, Central Italy., 1987, Guzzetti Fausto
The relationships between the internal and external evolution of the Mt. Cucco karst complex are studied. A classic set of equations, involving the oxidation of hydrogen sulphide, originated at depth in an evaporitic formation, is used to explain the presence of massive gypsum deposits in the Mt. Cucco and the Faggeto Tondo caves. The distribution and the morphology of more than 30 caves in the system, the presence of gypsum, always located along faults, and the presence of broken stalactites and columns, suggest that the evolution of the karst system has been controlled by tectonic movements. Relationships between the development of the caves and the geomorphic evolution of the area are proposed.

Mise en valeur et exploitation traditionnelle des ressources du monde souterrain : l'exemple du SE de la France, 1991, Gauchon, C.
TRADITIONAL EXPLOITATION 0F CAVES IN SOUTH-EASTERN France - In south-eastern France (Jura, Prealps and Provence), the karstic caves have long been used as dwellings and exploited for ice or as mines. The ice caves (or glacires) of the Jura and Prealps (Bauges, Chartreuse and Vercors) were used by local inhabitants from the Middle Ages onwards even though the actual trade of ice towards the big cities (Grenoble, Lyon and Paris) was only to begin in the 19 century. Phosphate deposits are used as fertilizer in local farming. Since the 17th century speleothems have been extracted for use as ornaments and some caves, of which the Aven du Plan, Alpes-Maritimes, is a typical example, have become stalactite mines. The Gouffre Maule in the Chartreuse area is a noteworthy example of a mining cave in which the exploitation of iron was begun before the 12 century by local monks. The complex tasks carried out in these caves (such as the setting up of scaffolding and the digging of galleries) provide clear evidence of the importance once given to local resources before the industrial age.

Le palokarst littoral de Provence (Estaque, Calanques et zone de Bandol), 1993, Blanc, J. J.
The general features of coastal paleokarst in Provence are describes: suspended gallery sections and drain-pipes cut across by fracturations or fault reactivation. The types of deformations and breaking observed are tilting, stalactite fall, extension fault sealing, reactivation and speleothem shearing, coastal wall and karstic cleft collapse as well as network deformation. The influence of structural environment is represented by overlapping strata, coastal faults and crossed-fault systems. Emphasis has been laid on the tectonic inheritance as well as the geodynamic context. To conclude, the importance of provenal-ligurian rifting mechanisms and the transition to faulted and distorted margin is underlined.

Rapports entre la karstification _primditerranenne et la crise de salinit messinienne, lexemple du karst lombard (Italie), 1994, Bini, A.
The Mediterraean dessiccation theory suggests that during the Messinian the Mediterranean sea lad almost completely dried up did a thick succession of evaporites was laid down Due to dessiccation the erosional base level through the whole Mediterranean area was lowered, with the consequent development of long and deep fluviatile canyons (e.g. Nile, Rhne, Var, etc). This lowering strongly affected karst evolution This paper concerns the karst in Lombardy, around the southalpine lakes. The old evolutionary models, predating dessiccation theory, assume that the lacustine valleys were scoured by the quaternary glaciers. ln this case the karst should have been characterized by some features, like for example the altitudinal cave distribution as a consequence of the valley lowering after each glaciation. Seismic experiments through the lakes and their tributaries have shown that these valleys are deep fluviatile canyons. The study of caves has demonstrated that the caves themselves predate the entrenchment of the valleys and the glaciations. During the latter the caves were filled up and emptied several times, without any modifications of their inner morphology, including stalactites. Moreover the U/Th age determinations indicate that a great number of concretions are older than 350 ky, and that a few are older than 1.5 Ma. As a conse-quence, a general model of karst evolution can be proposed. The former karstic drainage system developed after the Oligo-Miocene emersion. Paleogeography obviously diffe-red from the present day landscape but the main valley had already been scoured. During the Messinian the dramatic lowering of base level determined major changes in karstic evolution and a reorganisation of the karst drainage system that was consequently lowered considerably. The Pliocene transgression determined a new karst evolution, after which a great number of caves were located well below the sea level base. This evolution occurred during hot and wet climate period, with seasonal high flows and relevant discharges of the karstic rivers The great caves of the Lombardian karst developed within the climatic stage.

The Treasure Cave, Rincn de la Victoria (Malaga, Spain), 1994, Gutirrez Jos Lus, Guzmn Antonio, Mendoza Fernando
La Cueva del Tesoro (The Treasure Cave) is located on the East, 10 kilometres from the city of Malaga, in a coastal promontory called El Cantal (a small steep), which is situated in the municipality of Rincn de la Victoria. The composition of land in this zone El Cantal is made up of limestone and there are many caves which are located within a radius of 2 kilometres, although some of them have already disappeared: la Cueva dei Tesoro, la cueva del Hoyo de la Mina, Cuevas de Navarro, Cuevas de la Cantera, Cueva de los Molinos, Cueva de la Raja del Humo, etc. The best known of these caves and the only one who can be visited is the Cueva del Tesoro. It has been also known by some other names, such as the Cueva del Higuern or the Cueva del Suizo. The Cueva del Tesoro has its origin in the sea coast depths; that is why its morphology is made up of halls, gorges and columns. Then, and because of the upheaval of El Cantal the cave emerged out of the sea. Finally, fresh water percolation resulted in the formation of some stalactites and stalagmites, although they are of less importance within the whole cave This cave. which was already used as shelter for 8 months by Marcus Crassus (according to a legend) in 86 B.C. when he was prosecuted, it was also used, according to another tradition, to hide the Almoravid treasure in the l2th century. This treasure has been searched for by some people in the last two hundred years. One of them was the Swiss, Antonio de la Nari, who died because of an explosion inside the cave in 1847. Professor Manuel Laza Palacios from Malaga, owner of the cave, has been the best specialist and treasure searcher. He was an exceptional person, has knew how to keep alive hopefully the old legend throughout his whole life. Besides, the cave has provided some important archaeological discoveries: Father Breuil found out some cave paintings in 1918 and excavations have been recently carried out by Mr. Manuel Laza. A rather interesting material appeared, such as Neolithic pottery, lithic industry (the most important object is an Upper Paleolithic arrow-head), human and animal remains. According to these discoveries, the presence of human beings in this cave is proved since the Paleolithic. There are also a series of legends and traditions related to the Cueva del Tesoro. So, in this frame, it has been given for sure and for a very long time that the ghost of the Swiss still appears in El Cantal to look for the treasure. Another tradition, studied by Mr. Laza, places the sanctuary of the old goddess Noctiluce inside a hall of the cave.

Enregistrement des mouvements dun versant par les splothmes de la grotte du chemin du Castelleras (Le Tignet, Alpes-Maritimes, France), 1995, Gilli E. , Mangan C. , Delange P. , Larre P. , Evin J.
The study of speleothems in a subcutaneous cave developed between a scree and its bedrock, shows the slope movements. All the speleothem couples (stalactite facing a stalagmite) are displaced. Among the speleothems, a 50cm long thin stalac-tite (soda-straw type) has recorded the movements that have affected the slope. Every slope movement is shown in a speleothem axis variation. Radiocarbon datings help define growth speed and make clear the movement history over a 30,000 years period. This analysis confirms the possibility of using speleothem as verticality gauges to define an area stability.

Occurrence and significance of stalactites within the epithermal deposits at Creede, Colorado, 1996, Campbell Wr, Barton Pb,
In addition to the common and abundant features in karst terranes, stalactites involving a wide variety of minerals have also been found in other settings, including epigenetic mineral deposits, bur these are almost always associated with supergene stages. Here we describe a different mode of occurrence from the Creede epithermal ore deposits, in Colorado, wherein stalactites of silica, sphalerite, galena, or pyrite formed in a vapor-dominated setting, below the paleo-water table, and except possibly for pyrite, as part of the hypogene mineralization. Axial cavities may, or may not, be present. No stalagmites have been recognized. The stalactites are small, from a few millimeters to a few centimeters long and a few millimeters in outer diameter. They represent only a small fraction of one percent of the total mineralization, and are covered by later crystals. Their growth orientation usually is unobservable; however, the parallel arrangement of all stalactites in a given specimen, consistency with indicators of gravitational settling, and the common presence of axial structures make the stalactitic interpretation almost unavoidable. In contrast with common carbonate stalactites, the growth mechanism for th sulfide and silica stalactites requires extensive evaporation. Stalactitic forms have also been reported from other deposits, mostly epithermal or Mississippi Valley-type occurrences, but we caution that stalactite-like features can form by alternative processes

Elevated and variable values of 13C in speleothems in a British cave system, 1997, Baker A, Ito E, Smart Pl, Mcewan Rf,
[delta] 13C isotope variations in speleothems have been investigated for samples from the British Isles, where plants which use the Hatch-Slack or C4 photosynthetic pathway are not present. The range of [delta] 13C expected in speleothem carbonate formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO2 derived from the overlying C3 vegetation should thus fall in the range -12 to -6[per mille sign]. Forty-one actively growing speleothem samples from low-discharge sites were analysed from Stump Cross Caverns, Yorkshire, England. Ten percent have [delta] 13C greater than -6%. In addition, a large range of [delta] 13C was observed (-8.06 1.38[per mille sign], a 1 [sigma] variability of 17%), with adjacent samples having [delta] 13C differing by a maximum of 4.74[per mille sign]. Similar findings were obtained from a review of analyses of late Quaternary speleothem samples from the British Isles, with 75% of flowstone samples and 57% of high-flow stalagmite samples exhibiting elevated [delta] 13C. Three possible processes are proposed as possible causes of elevated [delta] 13C in speleothems. Firstly, fractionation may occur between the stalactite and stalagmite due to evaporation or degassing. Secondly, degassing of the groundwaters may have occurred within the aquifer before reaching the cave void, allowing release of some CO2 from the water whilst remaining saturated in calcium. Finally, the elevated [delta] 13C may be due to short water residence times in the soil, such that equilibrium between soil water and soil CO2 is not reached. Evidence presented here demonstrates that any one of these mechanisms may be important in the karst areas of the British Isles. Caution is needed before interpreting the [delta] 13C signal within speleothems in terms of palaeovegetation

Tubular Lava Stalactites and Other Related Segregations, 1998, Allred, K. , Allred, C.
Tubular lava stalactites are found in many lava tubes. Field observations, sample analysis, and comparative studies indicate that these are segregations extruded during cooling from partially crystallized lava at about 1,070 to 1,000C. Retrograde boiling within the lava creates a vuggy fabric and provides a mechanism to expel the interstitial liquid. In addition to tubular lava stalactites, a variety of other lava formations can also result.

Rapport entre karst et glaciers durant les glaciations dans les valles pralpines du sud des Alpes, 1998, Bini Alfredo, Tognini Paola, Zuccoli Luisa
At least 13 glaciations occurred during the last 2.6Ma in the Southern pre_alpine valleys. The glaciers scouring alpine and pre-alpine valleys had all the same feature, being valley temperated glaciers. Their tracks and feeding areas were always the same, just like the petrological contents of their deposits. Contrary to previous assumptions until a few years ago, the origin of these valleys and of the lakes occupying the floor of some of them (Orta, Maggiore, Como, Iseo, Garda Lakes) is due to fluvial erosion related to Messinian marine regression. The valley slopes modelling is Messinian in age, too, while most caves are older. As a general rule, glaciers worked on valley slopes just as a re_modelling agent, while their effects were greater on valley floors. The karstic evolution began as soon as the area was lifted above sea level (upper Oligocene - lower Miocene), in a palaeogeographical environment quite different from the present one, although the main valley floors were already working as a base level. During Messinian age, the excavation of deep canyons along pre-existing valleys caused a dramatic lowering of the base level, followed by a complete re-arrangement of the karstic networks, which got deeper and deeper. The Pliocene marine transgression caused a new re-arrangement, the karst network getting mostly drowned under sea level. During these periods, the climate was hot-wet tropical, characterised by a great amount of water circulating during the wet season. At the same time tectonic upliftings were at work, causing breaking up of the karst networks and a continuous rearrangement of the underground drainage system. In any case, karstic networks were already well developed long before the beginning of Plio-Quaternary glaciations. During glaciations, karst systems in pre-alpine valleys could have been submitted to different drainage conditions, being: a) isolated, without any glacial water flowing; b) flooded, connected to the glacier water-filled zone; c) active, scoured by a stream sinking at glacier sides or in a sub glacial position. The stream could flow to the flooded zone (b), or scour all the unflooded system long down to the resurgence zone, the latter being generally located in a sub glacier position. The glacier/karst system is a very dynamic one: it could get active, flooded or isolated depending on endo- and sub-glacial drainage variations. Furthermore, glaciers show different influences on karstic networks, thus working with a different effect during their advance, fluctuations, covering and recession phases. Many authors believe, or believed, the development of most surface and underground karst in the Alps is due to glaciations, with the last one held to be mostly responsible for this. Whatever the role of glaciers on karstic systems, in pre-alpine valleys caves, we do not have evidence either of development of new caves or of remarkable changes in their features during glaciations. It is of course possible some pits or galleries could have developed during Plio-Quaternary glaciations, but as a general rule glaciers do not seem to have affected karstic systems in the Southern pre-alpine valleys with any remarkable speleogenetic effects: the glaciers effects on them is generally restricted to the transport of great amounts of debris and sediments into caves. The spotting of boulders and pebbles trapped between roof stalactites shows that several phases of in- and out-filling of galleries occurred with no remarkable changing in pre-dating features, including cave decorations. The presence of suspended karst systems does not prove a glacial origin of the valleys, since most of them pre-date any Plio-Quaternary glaciation, as shown by calcite cave deposits older than 1,5Ma. The sediments driven into caves might have caused a partial or total occlusion of most galleries, with a remarkable re-arrangement of the underground drainage system. In caves submitted to periglacial conditions all glaciations long, we can find deposits coming from weathered surface sediments, sharp-edged gelifraction debris and, more rarely, alluvial deposits whose origin is not related to the circulation of the glacial meltwater. In caves lower than or close to the glaciers limit we generally find large amounts of glacier-related deposits, often partly or totally occluding cave galleries. These sediments may be directly related to glaciers, i.e. carried into caves by glacial meltwaters, resulting from surface glacial deposit erosion. They generally show 3 dominant facies: A) lacustrine deposits; B) alluvial deposits and C) debris flow deposits facies. The only way of testing the soundness of the forementioned hypothesis is to study the main characters and spreading of cave sediments, since they are the only real data on connection of glaciers to endokarst networks.

La cristallogense des splothmes de la grotte Lithophagus (Monts Padurea Craiului, Roumanie), 1998, Ghergari Lucrecia, Onac Bogdan Petroniu, Vremir Matei, Strusievicz Robert
The Lithophagus cave system hosts interesting mono- and polycrystalline calcite speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites, crystals, helictites, fongites). Our studies allowed us to identify the crystallographic forms that build up these speleothems, the presence of twins and several generations of crystals. The main growth directions were identified for the helictites. The interpretation of the statistic data enables us to highlight the relationships between crystallographic forms that appear on some speleothems, their frequency, and the different cave environments.

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