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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 neck is a volcanic pipe filled with lava [16].?

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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 sea-level changes (Keyword) returned 24
Showing 16 to 24 of 24
Contradicting barrier reef relationships for Darwin's evolution of reef types, 2006, Purdy E. G. , Winterer E. L. ,
The Darwinian progressive subsidence model for the evolution of fringing reefs, barrier reefs and atolls has been generally accepted following the indisputable proof of subsidence provided by drilling results in the Pacific. Nonetheless, there are data that do not fit the expectations of the model, such as the similar lagoon depths of barrier reefs and atolls as opposed to the subsidence theory's implicit prediction that atolls should have significantly greater depths. In contrast, a great deal of evidence supports the influence of meteoric solution on barrier reef morphology. For example, the maximum lagoon depth of 56 modern barrier reefs is statistically correlated with the lagoon catchment area for modern annual rainfall. These modern rainfall patterns would seem to be a reasonable proxy for relative geographic differences in glacial lowstand rainfall, even though the absolute amounts of such rainfall are unknown. The correlation therefore suggests the importance of Pleistocene subaerial solution in contributing to barrier reef morphology. Further support for antecedent influence occurs in the form of barrier reef passes in which the depth of the reef pass is correlated with onshore drainage volumes. On a larger scale, the Cook Island of Mangaia provides evidence that solution can produce barrier reef morphology independent of reef development. In contrast, there are no examples of the subsidence-predicted lagoon transition of fringing reefs to barrier reefs to atolls. Moreover, the common occurrence of fringing reefs within barrier reefs negates subsidence as a causal factor in their 'presumed progressive evolutionary development. Consequently, the evidence to date suggests that a solution morphology template has been accentuated by reef construction to produce the diagnostic barrier reef morphology we see today. The importance of subsidence would seem to be in accounting for the overall thickness of the resulting carbonate caps of oceanic examples and in contributing to lagoon depth variation among the larger continental entities

Relative Sea-Level Changes Recorded on an Isolated Carbonate Platform: Tithonian to Cenomanian Succession, Southern Croatia, 2006, Husinec Antun, Jelaska Vladimir,
Superb sections of Tithonian to Cenomanian carbonates of the Adriatic (Dinaric) platform are exposed on the islands of southern Croatia. A succession approximately 1,800 m thick consists exclusively of shallow-water marine carbonates (limestone, dolomitized limestone, dolomite, and intraformational breccia), formed in a protected and tectonically stable part of the platform interior. Several phases of exposure and incipient drowning are recorded in the platform interior. Four are crucial for understanding the Late Jurassic to mid-Cretaceous evolution of the wider peri-Adriatic area: (1) latest Jurassic-earliest Cretaceous sea-level fall, (2) Aptian drowning, followed by (3) Late Aptian platform exposure, and (4) Late Albian-Early Cenomanian sea-level fall. Deciphering these complex events from the vertical and lateral facies distribution has led to an evaluation of facies dynamics and construction of a relative sea-level curve for the study area. This curve shows that long-term transgression during the Early Tithonian, Hauterivian, Early Aptian, and Early Albian, resulted in generally thicker beds deposited in subtidal environments of lagoons or shoals. Regression was characterized by shallowing-upward peritidal parasequences, with well-developed tidal-flat laminites commonly capped by emersion breccia and/or residual clay sheets (Early Berriasian, Barremian, Late Aptian, Late Albian). The southern part of the Dinarides was tectonically quiet during the Tithonian through Aptian; sea-level oscillations appear to have been the primary control on facies stacking. Some correlation exists between local sea-level fluctuations and the published global eustasy charts for the Tithonian through Aptian. A significant departure is recognized at the Albian-Cenomanian transition, suggesting that it was influenced by tectonics associated with the disintegration of the Adriatic (Dinaric) platform

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave-pools and anchihaline environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis., 2007, Gins Angel, Gins Joaqun
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins Angel And Gins Joaquin
Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.

SUBMERGED SPELEOTHEMS EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED. EXAMPLES FROM THE EASTERN ADRIATIC COAST (CROATIA), 2007, Surić, M. , Jalž, Ić, B. , Petricioli D.

With the intention of reconstructing Late Pleistocene – Holocene sea-level changes along the Eastern Adriatic coast, a series of speleothems were collected from several submerged caves and pits, in order to constrain periods of their deposition and ceased growth related to sea-level fluctuations. For that purpose, stalagmites provide more reliable records than stalactites, due to their successive layers deposited perpendicularly to the growth direction. Therefore, stalagmites have been collected preferably. But, two of 17 speleothems displayed unexpected interior morphology – speleothem L-1 collected at the depth of 1.5 m in Medvjeđa spilja Cave on Lošinj Island, and speleothem M-25 from Pit near Iški Mrtovnjak Islet collected at the depth of 25 m. Both of the samples were taken from the cave floor, in the growth position of the stalagmite. But the insight into the perpendicular cut with evident central tube revealed their true (stalactitic) origin and additional confirmations were obtained by longitudinal cut and U-Th and 14C dating. Just as the causes of their breakdowns were probably different, so were their falls; speleothem M 25 (together with several other speleothems around it) stuck in the marine sediment in its primary position, while L-1 turned upside-down and even continued crystallizing during the lower sea level. These events are possible in the continental caves, as well. Evidently, it is much easier to recognize and avoid these problems in air-filled caves than in the submarine ones where the speleothems are almost always covered with marine overgrowth, which disguises their outer morphology. Additionally, the bases of the stalagmites are also sometimes covered with marine sediment, which makes correct estimation rather difficult.


Eogenetic karst, glacioeustatic cave pools and anchialine environments on Mallorca Island: a discussion of coastal speleogenesis, 2007, Gins A. , Gins J.

Coastal karst is characterized by special geomorphologic and hydrodynamic conditions as well as by peculiar sedimentary, geochemical, and biospeleological environments. Generally, the more distinctive karstic features produced near the coastline are strongly influenced by sea-level changes, which generate a broad set of interactions between littoral processes and karst development. The glacioeustatic rises and falls of sea level affected the littoral karst in different ways, namely: vertical and horizontal shifts in the shoreline position, changes in elevation of the local water table, and vertical displacements of the halocline. Most eogenetic karsts have been subjected over long time spans to repeated changes of a variety of vertically-zoned geochemical environments: vadose, phreatic meteoric-water, brackish mixing-waters and even marine water. Many coastal caves appear to be passively drowned by Holocene sea-level rise, and to contain glacioeustatic pools of varied size where the current water table intersects formerly air-filled chambers or passages. These coastal phreatic waters are controlled by sea level and fluctuate with tides. Significantly, features such as phreatic speleothems that are able to record ancient sea levels occur closely associated to the surface of the pools. The cave pools are brackish or even marine anchialine environments that contain remarkable communities of troglobitic stygofauna. All of these aspects can be studied in detail along the southern and eastern coast of Mallorca Island owing to the widespread outcrop of Upper Miocene calcarenites, in which the development of eogenetic karst features started approximately 6 Ma ago, at the end of Messinian times. Some outstanding coastal caves result and include the celebrated Coves del Drac (explored by E.A. Martel in 1896), the labyrinthine Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (more than 30 km in length) and the recently explored Cova de sa Gleda (whose submerged passages exceed 10 km, as shown by scuba-diving surveys). Careful observations and detailed mapping of caves in the Upper Miocene reef rocks of Mallorca permit a better understanding of the coastal speleogenetic processes involved in a typical eogenetic karst over time ranges greater than 1 Ma. The role played by recurrent glacioeustatic oscillations of sea level and the subsequent rises and falls of the water table are emphasized in our model. There are two associated mechanisms: the triggering of breakdown by the loss of buoyant support that follows each lowering of sea level (i.e., during glaciations or smaller cold events) and the later underwater solution of boulders and collapse debris (during high sea levels that correspond to interglacial events). Additionally, tidal fluctuations affecting groundwaters would enhance solutional enlargement of caves and vug-porosity connected to the sea, rather than conventional karstic flow through conduits that probably is not as important an agent in eogenetic speleogenesis.


Formation and development of a karstic system below and above sea level in Messinian Mani Peninsula (S. Greece), 2012, Papadopoulou Vrynioti Kyriaki, Kampolis Isidoros

At the western shores of Messinian Mani Peninsula in South Greece, the composite, integrated karstic system of ‘‘Selinitsa’’ cave and ‘‘Drakos’’ underground river is developed above and below sea-level respectively, in the medium-bedded limestones of the Mani geotectonic unit. The formation and the development of these caves started, most likely, during Middle Pleistocene. Initially, these caves were terrestrial and developed separately. They were connected probably during Holocene through a fi ssure. The development of this united karstic system is controlled by tectonics. ‘‘Selinitsa’’ cave is older than ‘‘Drakos’’. The sequential base levels of karstifi cation demonstrate the continuous sea-level changes during Pleistocene and Holocene, induced by the relative tectonic activity. This united karstic system is characterized by ‘incomplete linkage’ to the sea.


Discussion on the article Coastal and inland karst morphologies driven by sea level stands: a GIS based method for their evaluation by Canora F, Fidelibus D and Spilotro G, 2013, De Waele Jo, Parise Mario

Comments are presented on the article by Canora et al. (2012) dealing with karst morphologies driven by sea level stands in the Murge plateau of Apulia, southern Italy. Our comments start from cave levels, that are considered in the cited article as a proof of sea level stands. We argue that the presence of sub-horizontal passages in cave systems is not a sufficient condition for correlating them with hypothetical past sea level stands. Such a correlation must be based upon identification of speleogenetic features within the karst systems, and/or geological field data. The problems encountered when using cave surveys for scientific research, and their low reliability (especially in the case of old surveys) are then treated, since they represent a crucial point in the paper object of this discussion. Eventually, we present some final consideration on cave levels and terraces, and on the specific case study, pointing out once again to the need in including geological field data to correctly find a correspondance between flat landforms and sea level fluctuations. Our main conclusion is that field data and information on speleogenesis of the underground karst landforms cannot be disregarded in a study that claims to deal with the influence of sea-level changes on caves.


Discussion on the article ‘Coastal and inland karst morphologies driven by sea level stands: a GIS based method for their evaluation’ by Canora F, Fidelibus D and Spilotro G, 2013, Waele J. D. , Parise M.

Comments are presented on the article by Canora et al. (2012) dealing with karst morphologies driven by sea level stands in the Murge plateau of Apulia, southern Italy. Our comments start from cave levels, that are considered in the cited article as a proof of sea level stands. We argue that the presence of sub-horizontal passages in cave systems is not a sufficient condition for correlating them with hypothetical past sea level stands. Such a correlation must be based upon identification of speleogenetic features within the karst systems, and/or geological field data. The problems encountered when using cave surveys for scientific research, and their low reliability (especially in the case of old surveys) are then treated, since they represent a crucial point in the paper object of this discussion. Eventually, we present some final consideration on cave levels and terraces, and on the specific case study, pointing out once again to the need in including geological field data to correctly find a correspondance between flat landforms and sea level fluctuations. Our main conclusion is that field data and information on speleogenesis of the underground karst landforms cannot be disregarded in a study that claims to deal with the influence of sea-level changes on caves.


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