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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 single outlet is a stream cutting through a divide (tributary basin) or outflow to the sea (major basin) [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 czech republic (Keyword) returned 41 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 41 of 41
Rethinking eastern Australian caves, 2010, Osborne, R. A. L.

There are some 300 bodies of cavernous limestone in eastern Australia, extending from Precipitous Bluff in southeastern Tasmania to the Mitchell Palmer region in north Queensland. These impounded karsts, developed in Palaeozoic limestones of the Tasman Fold Belt System, contain many caves. The caves have a suite of features in common that allows them to be thought of as a major group: the Tasmanic Caves. The Tasmanic Caves include multiphase hypogene caves such as Cathedral Cave at Wellington and multiphase, multiprocess caves such as Jenolan with Carboniferous hypogene and younger paragenetic and fluvial elements. Active hypogene caves occur at Wee Jasper and possibly at five other localities. The Tasmanic Caves are one of the most complex suites of caves in folded Palaeozoic limestones in the world. Field techniques developed to study these caves are now being applied to complex caves in central Europe: in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

Relationship between carbon dioxide in Balcarka Cave and adjacent soils in the Moravian Karst region of the Czech Republic, 2012, Faimon J. , Lič, Binsk M. , Zajč, Ek P.

Carbon dioxide concentration, air temperature, and humidity were monitored at (1) two cave sites and (2) three adjacent karst soils. The data over a one-year period are supported by dripwater chemistry and cave visiting frequency. The results indicate that the sources of cave CO2 are anthropogenic and epikarstic ones in addition to ordinary soils. Epikarstic CO2 produced under almost stationary conditions probably control dripwater chemistry and cave’s CO2 maxima. Based on breathing and door opening, anthropogenic activity affects instantaneous cave CO2 levels, depending on site volume/position and visitor number. A conceptual model of the CO2 dynamics of the soil-cave system is proposed. The study indicates that karst processes such as limestone dissolution and speleothem growth need not be entirely/directly controlled by external climatic conditions.

Response of the Karst Phreatic Zone to Flood Events in a Major River (Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic) and its Implications for Cave Genesis, 2012, Vysok H. , Bruthans J. , k K. , Mls J.

Hydraulic and hydrochemical relationships between a medium gradient river and a karst aquifer were studied by water level and temperature logging combined with water geochemistry and d13C. The cave lakes are separated from the river by a floodplain up to 150 m wide formed by a gravel and sand layer up to 13 m thick covered with finegrained floodplain sediments. During minor discharge peaks (water level in the river , 1.5 m above the normal river stage), a water level oscillation in the cave lakes situated 40 to 190 m away from river is induced by the river level oscillation, but the river water does not enter any of the lakes. The groundwater chemistry in the cave lakes differs from that of the river water. Low bicarbonate content and high d13C values indicate that some of cave lakes’ waters have undergone CO2 degassing and calcite precipitation. During a major flood (recurrence interval . 100 years, level rising 7 m above the normal stage), the river water rapidly flooded the caves through openings in the river canyon (floodflow injection), while those connected to the river via alluvium only were flooded by an elevated groundwater stage, and the resulting water level rise was only about 50 percent of the river level increase. A simple hydraulic model was successfully used to simulate and explain the water table oscillations in the cave lakes. Flood-flow injection has recently been substantially reduced by low-permeability, fine-grained late Holocene fluvial sediments that cap coarse gravels in the river floodplain. Fast speleogenesis by flood injection would be expected in periods when the river canyon was bare or filled by gravel alone (glacial periods, transition to Holocene). Ice jams causing local increases in the river level are recognized as one of factors that can be important in speleogenesis.

Partial pressures of CO2 in epikarstic zone deduced from hydrogeochemistry of permanent drips, the Moravian Karst, Czech Republic, 2012, Faimon Jiř, , Lič, Binsk Monika, Zajč, Ek Petr, Sracek Ondra

Permanent drips from straw stalactites of selected caves of the Moravian Karst were studied during one-year period. A hypothetical partial pressure of CO2 that has participated in limestone dissolution, PCO2(H)=10-1.53±0.04, was calculated from the dripwater chemistry. The value significantly exceeds the partial pressures generally measured in relevant shallow karst soils, PCO2(soil)=10-2.72±0.02. This finding may have important implications for karst/cave conservation and paleoenvironmental reconstructions.


The most conspicuous six examples illustrating ascending (perascensum) speleogenesis linked with deep faults/fault systemswere selected from Slovakia and Czech Republic. In the past,the caves have been described as product of phreatic, epiphreaticand vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of localwater courses and valley incision, and linked mostly with Pleistocenegeomorphic evolution. Our analysis illustrates severalcommon characteristics of caves: (1) they developed along or inclose vicinity of deep faults/fault zones, commonly of regionalimportance; (2) the groundwater ascended due to deep faults/fault systems mostly as results of deep regional circulation ofmeteoric waters from adjacent karst or nonkarst areas; (3) the3D mazes and labyrinths dominate in cave morphology; (4)speleogens (e.g., cupolas, slots, ceiling channels, spongework,rugged phreatic morphology especially along slots) indicateascending speleogenesis in deep phreatic to phreatic environments;(5) they exhibit poor relation to the present landscape;in some of them fluvial sediments are completely missing inspite of surface rivers/streams in the direct vicinity; (6) strongepiphreatic re-modelling is common in general (e.g., subhorizontalpassages arranged in cave levels, water-table flat ceilingsand notches) and related to the evolution of the recent landscape;(7) recharge structures and correlate surface precipitatesare poorly preserved or completely missing (denuded) on thepresent surface in spite of fact that recent recharges broadlyprecipitate travertines; (8) caves can be, and some of them are,substantially older than the recent landscape (Pliocene, Miocene),and (9) caves were formed in conditions of slow water ascent, which differentiate the process from faster vauclusianascending speleogenetical models. Any of described caves containsclear diagnostic features of real hypogene caves. There aremissing evidences that at least heated groundwaters took partduring speleogenesis of studied caves, nevertheless, somewhatincreased water temperature can be expected during speleogenesisat least in some of caves. Any of described caves cannotbe directly characterized as product of thermal waters or hydrothermalprocess (i.e. as real hyperkarst sensu Cigna 1978),therefore they do not represent hypogenic caves.

Variances in airflows during different ventilation modes in a dynamic U-shaped cave, 2013, Faimon J. , Lang M.

Airflow dynamics were studied in Císařská Cave (Moravian Karst, Czech Republic) under different seasonal conditions. The dependence of airflows on the difference between external and cave temperatures is nonlinear and roughly obeys the Darcy-Weisbach equation. The upward airflows were found to be systematically higher than the downward airflows under comparable driving forces. The principle reason is nonlinearity between air temperature and air density. U-shaped cave geometry magnifies this effect by feedback between external temperature and airflow driving forces. Whereas this feedback is positive during the upward airflow ventilation mode, it is negative during the downward airflow mode. To discuss the behavior in detail, a simplified model based on balancing the masses of two equivalent air columns of different temperatures and densities is proposed. The results contribute to a better understanding of cave microclimate evolution, cave CO2 dynamics, and speleothem growth.

Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe, 2013, Rů, ič, Ka V. , milauer P. , Mlejnek R.

Using data from the Czech Republic, we studied the distribution of spiders in soils, crevice systems, scree and caves, i.e. subterranean habitats at depths spanning from 10 cm to 100 m. In total, we found 161 species. The number of species declines with increasing habitat depth, with a major drop in species richness at the depth of 10 meters. Thirteen species exhibit morphological adaptations to life in subterranean habitats. At depths greater than 10 meters, spider assemblages are almost exclusively composed of troglomorphic species. We propose a hypothesis of evolution of troglomorphisms at spiders during Quaternary climatic cycles.



The Na Javorce Cave is located in the Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic, near the Karlštejn castle, about 25 km SW of Prague. The cave was discovered as a result of extensive exploration including cave digging and widely employed capping of narrow sections. Exploration in the cave has already lasted 20 years. The cave is fitted with several hundred meters of fixed and rope ladders and several small fixed bridges across intra-cave chasms. Access to the remote parts of the cave is difficult because of long narrow crawl passages and deep and narrow vertical sections. The Na Javorce Cave became the deepest cave discovered to date in Bohemia with the discovery of its deepest part containing a lake in 2010. The cave was formed in vertically dipping layers of Lower Devonian limestone; it is 1,723 m long and 129 m deep, of which 9 m is permanently flooded (data as of December 2012). The cave is polygenetic, with several clearly separable evolutionary stages. Cavities discovered to date were mostly formed along the tectonic structures of two main systems. One of these systems is represented by vertical faults of generally N-S strike, which are frequently accompanied by vein hydrothermal calcite with crystal cavities. The second fault system is represented by moderately inclined faults (dip 27 to 45°, dip direction to the W). Smaller tube-like passages of phreatic morphology connect the larger cavities developed along the two above-mentioned systems. The fluid inclusion data obtained for calcite developed along both fault systems in combination with C and O stable isotope studies indicate that the hydrothermal calcite was deposited from moderately saline fluids (0.5 to 8.7 wt. % NaCl equiv.) in the temperature range from 58 to 98 °C. The fluids were NaCl-type basinal fluids, probably derived from the deeper clastic horizons of the Barrandian sedimentary sequence. The age of the hydrothermal processes is unknown; geologically it is delimited by the Permian and Paleogene. The hydrothermal cavities are small compared to cavities formed during the later stages of karstification. The majority of the known cavities were probably formed by corrosion by floodwater derived from an adjacent river. This process was initiated during the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene, as was confirmed by typical assemblage of heavy minerals identical in the surface river sediments and in clastic cave sediments. The morphology of most cavities is phreatic or epiphreatic, with only local development of leveled roof sections (“Laugdecken”). The phreatic evolution of the cave is probably continuing into the present in its deepest permanently flooded part, which exhibits a water level close to that of the adjacent Berounka River. Nevertheless, the chemistry of the cave lake differs from that of the river water. The cave hosts all the usual types of cave decoration (including locally abundant erratics). The most interesting speleothem type is cryogenic cave carbonate, which was formed during freezing of water in relation to the presence of permafrost during the Glacial period. The occurrence of cryogenic cave carbonate here indicates that the permafrost of the Last Glacial period penetrated to a depth of at least 65 m below the surface.



Water circulation in Niedźwiedzia Cave system is complicated. The system is fed by direct infiltration of precipitation, infiltration from the surface stream and, possibly, by rising flow from deep sources. The cave is drained by system of karst springs in the Kleśnica stream valley, but some part of water flows across border ridge and occurs in Morava stream valley, Czech Republic (Ciężkowski et al. 2009). We tried to use tritium and stable isotopes to describe hydrology of the cave system and analyzed 155 water samples for stable isotopes and 38 water samples for tritium content. The Niedźwiedzia Cave system is composed of three levels of halls and galleries. In the upper level, stable isotope composition in drip water plots close to the local meteoritic water line (LMWL) on the δ18O vs δD diagram. It varies during the year similar to stable isotope composition of precipitation (i.e. low δ18O values during winters and higher δ18O during summers). The delay between isotopic signal in precipitation and drip water is ~10–14 days and this can be interpreted as a time of infiltration from the surface to the cave upper level. The correlation between isotopic composition of precipitation and drip water is not observed in the lower level of the cave system. There isotopic composition of drip water is more stable during the year. We use tritium dating method to estimate the age of this water. It has shown that infiltration time to the lower level is 1.4±0.3 year. The “oldest” water was found in karst spring draining the cave system. The estimated transit time is 3–4 years and suggest admixture of some “old” water that was not sampled in the cave.

Ascending speleogenesis in the Czech Republic and Slovakia , 2013, Bosák P. , Bella P.

Several examples of per ascensum (ascending) speleogenesis along deep faults (cf. also were recently described by Bella & Bosák (2012). The concept of ascending speleogenesis in confined or partly confined conditions connected with deep regional fault was proposed, for the first time on the territory of the past Czechoslovakia, by Bosák (1996, 1997) for the origin of the Koněpruské Caves and some other caves in the Koněprusy Devonian (central Bohemia, Czech Republic). Since that time, number of caves with similar speleogenesis has been studied in more of lesser detail. Most of them were originally described as products of phreatic, epiphreatic and vadose speleogenesis related to the evolution of local water courses, valley incision and river terrace systems usually during Middle to Late Pleistocene climatic changes; eventually with Plio-Quaternary climatic oscillations.

The use of damaged speleothems and in situ fault displacement monitoring to characterise active tectonic structures: an example from Zapadni Cave, Czech Republic , 2014, Briestensky Milos, Stemberk Josef, Rowberry Matt D. ,

The EU-TecNet fault displacement monitoring network records three-dimensional displacements across specifically selected tectonic structures within the crystalline basement of central Europe. This paper presents a study of recent and active tectonics at Západní Cave in northern Bohemia (Czech Republic). It extends previous geological research by measuring speleothem damage in the cave and monitoring displacements across two fault structures situated within the Lusatian Thrust Zone. The speleothem damage reflects strike-slip displacement trends: the WSW-ENE striking fault is associated with dextral strike-slip displacement while the NNW-SSE striking fault is associated with sinistral strike-slip displacement. These measurements demonstrate that the compressive stress σ1 is located in the NW or SE quadrant while the tensile stress σ3 is oriented perpendicular to σ1, i.e. in the NE or SW quadrant. The in situ fault displacement monitoring has confirmed that movements along the WSW-ENE striking fault reflect dextral strike-slip while movements along the NNW-SSE striking fault reflect sinistral strike-slip. In addition, however, monitoring across the NNW-SSE striking fault has demonstrated relative vertical uplift of the eastern block and, therefore, this fault is characterised by oblique movement trends. The fault displacement monitoring has also shown notable periods of increased geodynamic activity, referred to as pressure pulses, in 2008, 2010-2011, and 2012. The fact that the measured speleothem damage and the results of fault displacement monitoring correspond closely confirms the notion that, at this site, the compressive stress σ1 persists in the NW or SE quadrant. The presented results offer an insight into the periodicity of pressure pulses, demonstrate the need for protracted monitoring periods in order to better understanding geodynamic processes, and show that it is possible to characterise the displacements that occur across individual faults in a way that cannot be accomplished from geodetic measurements obtained by Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

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