Karst and Cave RSS news feed Like us on Facebook! follow us on Twitter!
Community news

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 thrust; thrust fault is a generally gently dipping or subhorizontal fault plane where the relative movement has been essentially horizontal, with one rock sequence being pushed across and above another. some cave development in the traligill area of north-west scotland has been guided by thrust planes [9].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for quaternary (Keyword) returned 341 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 331 to 341 of 341
Karst Sinkholes Stability Assessment in Cheria Area, NE Algeria, 2013, Yacine Azizi, Med. Ridha Menani, Med Laid Hemila, Abderahmane Boumezbeur


Karst; Rock Mass Rating (RMR);Sinkhole collapse; Tebessa This research work deals with the problem of karst sinkhole collapse occurring in the last few years in Cheria area (NE Algeria). This newly revealed phenomenon is of a major constrain in land use planning and urbanization, it has become necessary to locate and assess the stability of these underground features before any planning operation. Several exploration methods for the localization of underground cavities have been considered. Geological survey, discontinuity analysis, resistivity survey [ground penetrating radar has not been used as most of the Mio-Plio-Quaternary filling deposit covering Eocene limestone contains clay layers which limits the applicability of the method (Roth et al. in Eng Geol 65:225–232, 2002)] and borehole drilling were undertaken in order to locate underground cavities and assess their depth, geometry, dimensions, etc. Laboratory testing and field work were also undertaken in order to determine both intact rock and rock mass properties. All the rock mechanics testing and measurement were undertaken according to the ISRM recommendations. It has been found that under imposed loading, the stability of the karst cavities depends on the geo-mechanical parameters (RMR, Rock Mass Rating; GSI, Geological Strength Index; E, Young modulus) of the host rock as well as the depth and dimensions of the gallery. It increases with RMR, GSI, E and depth and decreases as the cavity becomes wider. Furthermore, the calculation results show that a ratio (roof thickness to gallery width) of 0.3 and more indicate, a stable conditions. The results obtained in this work allow identifying and assessing the stability of underground karst cavities. The methodology followed in this paper can be taken as a road map in the establishment of a hazard map related to the studied phenomenon. This map will be a useful tool for the future urban extension planning in Cheria area.

Quaternary glacial cycles: Karst processes and the global CO2 budget, 2013, Larson Erik B. , Mylroie John E.

Extensive research has been conducted investigating the relationship between karst processes, carbonate deposition and the global carbon cycle. However, little work has been done looking into the relationship between glaciations, subsequent sea level changes, and aerially exposed land masses in relation to karstic processes and the global carbon budget. During glaciations sea-level exposed the world’s carbonate platforms. with the sub-aerial exposure of the platforms, karst processes can occur, and the dissolution of carbonate material can commence, resulting in the drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere as HCO3−. Furthermore, the material on the platform surfaces is primarily aragonite which is more readily soluble than calcite allowing karst processes to occur more quickly. During glaciations arctic carbonates and some of the temperate carbonates are blanketed in ice, effectively removing those areas from karst processes. Given the higher solubility of aragonite, and the extent of carbonate platforms exposed during glaciations, this dissolution balances the CO2 no longer taken up by karst processes at higher latitudes that were covered during the last glacial maximum The balance is within 0.001 GtC / yr, using soil pCO2 (0.005 GtC / yr assuming atmospheric pCO2) which is a difference of <1% of the total amount of atmospheric CO2 removed in a year by karst processes. Denudation was calculated using the maximum potential dissolution formulas of Gombert (2002). On a year to year basis the net amount of atmospheric carbon removed through karstic processes is equivalent between the last glacial maximum and the present day, however, the earth has spent more time in a glacial configuration during the quaternary, which suggests that there is a net drawdown of atmospheric carbon during glaciations from karst processes, which may serve as a feedback to prolong glacial episodes. This research has significance for understanding the global carbon budget during the quaternary.

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.

ESR and 230h/234U dating of speleothems from Aladaglar Mountain Range (AMR) in Turkey , 2014, Ulusoya Ülkü, Anbara Gül, Bayarıb Serdar, Uysalc Tonguç

Electron spin resonance (ESR) and 230Th/234U ages of speleothem samples collected from karstic caves located around 3000 m elevation in the Aladağlar Mountain Range (AMR), south-central Turkey, were determined in order to provide new insight and information regarding late Pleistocene climate. ESR ages were validated with the 230Th/234U ages of test samples. The ESR ages of 21 different layers of six speleothem samples were found to range mostly between about 59 and 4 ka, which cover the Marine Oxygen Isotope Stages (MIS) MIS 3 to MIS 1. Among all, only six layers appear to have deposited during MIS 8 and 5. Most of the samples dated were deposited during the late glacial stage (MIS 2). It appears that a cooler climate with a perennial and steady recharge was more conducive to speleothem development rather than a warmer climate with seasonal recharge in the AMR during the late Quaternary. This argument supports previous findings that suggest a two -fold increase in last glacial maximum mean precipitation in Turkey with respect to the present value.

Rockmagnetic and palaeomagnetic studies of unconsolidated sediments of Bukovynka Cave ( Chernivtsi region, Ukraine), 2014, Bondar K. , Ridush B.

Rockmagnetic, palaeomagnetic, and paleontological studies of loamy non-consolidated sediments of the Bukovynka Cave (Chernivtsi region, Ukraine) have been carried out. The sections include three main types of deposits: 1 – fluvial deposits containing travertine grus derived from the karst massif, 2 – fluvial deposits derived from temporary waterflows from outside the cave, 3 – aeolian deposits. Deposits of type 2 and 3 were examined in Sections 1 and 2 in the Trapeznyi Chamber. Their low field magnetic susceptibility (χ) reflects climatic conditions in the Late Pleistocene. The layer with cave hyena bones has higher magnetic susceptibility and appeared to indicate warmer climate. Deposits of type 1 and 2 were investigated in the Section 3 in the Dry Chamber of the cave. Low-field magnetic susceptibility of fluvial deposits, derived from inside of the karst massif, is much higher than for deposits derived from outside the cave. Deposits in Section 3 sharply differ in χ, NRM intensity and Keonigsberger ratio. The fluvial strata of type 1 in Section 3, dated using paleontological remains as Holocene, contains the record of palaeosecular variations of the geomagnetic field. The Etrussia excursion dated 2.8 ka BP was found at 1 m depth in Section 3. The lowest layer has anomalous polarity.

Geologic constraints and speleogenesis of Cova des Pas de Vallgornera, a complex coastal cave from Mallorca Island (Western Mediterranean), 2014, Ginés J. , Fornós J. J. , Ginés A. , Merino A. , Gràcia F.

The flat areas of eastern and southern Mallorca host a remarkable coastal karst, where Cova des Pas de Vallgornera stands out due to its length (more than 74 km) and its special morphological suite. The pattern of the cave is quite heterogeneous showing sharp differences produced by the architecture of the Upper Miocene reef: spongework mazes and collapse chambers dominate in the reef front facies, whereas joint-guided conduits are the rule in the back reef carbonates. Regarding the speleogenesis of the system, a complex situation is envisaged involving three main agents: coastal mixing dissolution, drainage of meteoric diffuse recharge, and hypogene basal recharge related to local geothermal phenomena. The cave system is disposed in two main tiers of passages, of which geomorphologic interpretations are derived from their elevation data. The evolutionary trends as well as the chronology of the different cave sections are difficult to establish owing to the frequent shifting of the coastal base level during the Plio-Quaternary. In this respect, the genesis and evolution of the cave were fully controlled by sea-level fluctuations in the Western Mediterranean basin, with the main phases of cave formation, based on vertebrate paleontological data, going back to mid-Pliocene times.

Karstification of Dolomitic Hills at south of Coimbra (western-central Portugal) - Depositional facies and stratigraphic controls of the (palaeo)karst affecting the Coimbra Group (Lower Jurassic), 2014, Dimuccio, Luca Antonio

An evolutionary model is proposed to explain the spatio-temporal distribution of karstification affecting the Lower Jurassic shallow-marine carbonate succession (Coimbra Group) of the Lusitanian Basin, cropping out in the Coimbra-Penela region (western-central Portugal), in a specific morphostructural setting (Dolomitic Hills). Indeed, in the Coimbra Group, despite the local lateral and vertical distributions of dolomitic character and the presence of few thick sandy-argillaceous/shale and marly interbeds, some (meso)karstification was identified, including several microkarstification features. All types of karst forms are commonly filled by autochthonous and/or allochthonous post-Jurassic siliciclastics, implying a palaeokarstic nature.

The main aim of this work is to infer the interplay between depositional facies, diagenesis, syn- and postdepositional discontinuities and the spatio-temporal distribution of palaeokarst. Here, the palaeokarst concept is not limited to the definition of a landform and/or possibly to an associated deposit (both resulting from one or more processes/mechanisms), but is considered as part of the local and regional geological record.

Detailed field information from 21 stratigraphic sections (among several dozens of other observations) and from structural-geology and geomorphological surveys, was mapped and recorded on graphic logs showing the lithological succession, including sedimentological, palaeontological and structural data. Facies determination was based on field observations of textures and sedimentary structures and laboratory petrographic analysis of thin-sections. The karst and palaeokarst forms (both superficial and underground) were classified and judged on the basis of present-day geographic location, morphology, associated discontinuities, stratigraphic position and degree of burial by post-Jurassic siliciclastics that allowed to distinguish a exposed karst (denuded or completely exhumed) than a palaeokarst (covered or partially buried).

A formal lithostratigrafic framework was proposed for the local ca. 110-m-thick combined successions of Coimbra Group, ranging in age from the early Sinemurian to the early Pliensbachian and recorded in two distinct subunits: the Coimbra formation, essentially dolomitic; and the overlying S. Miguel formation, essentially dolomitic-limestone and marly-limestone.

The 15 identified facies were subsequently grouped into 4 genetically related facies associations indicative of sedimentation within supra/intertidal, shallow partially restricted subtidal-lagoonal, shoal and more open-marine (sub)environments - in the context of depositional systems of a tidal flat and a very shallow, inner part of a low-gradient, carbonate ramp. In some cases, thick bedded breccia bodies (tempestites/sismites) are associated to synsedimentary deformation structures (slumps, sliding to the W to NW), showing the important activity of N–S and NNE–SSW faults, during the Sinemurian. All these deposits are arranged into metre-scale, mostly shallowing-upward cycles, in some cases truncated by subaerial exposure events. However, no evidence of mature pedogenetic alteration, or the development of distinct soil horizons, was observed. These facts reflect very short-term subaerial exposure intervals (intermittent/ephemeral), in a semiarid palaeoclimatic setting but with an increase in the humidity conditions during the eogenetic stage of the Coimbra Group, which may have promoted the development of micropalaeokarstic dissolution (eogenetic karst).

Two types of dolomitization are recognized: one (a) syndepositional (or early diagenetic), massive-stratiform, of “penesaline type”, possibly resulting from refluxing brines (shallow-subtidal), with a primary dolomite related to the evaporation of seawater, under semiarid conditions (supra/intertidal) and the concurrent action of microbial activity; another (b) later, localized, common during diagenesis (sometimes with dedolomitization), particularly where fluids followed discontinuities such as joints, faults, bedding planes and, in some cases, pre-existing palaeokarstic features.

The very specific stratigraphic position of the (palaeo)karst features is understood as a consequence of high facies/microfacies heterogeneities and contrasts in porosity (both depositional and its early diagenetic modifications), providing efficient hydraulic circulation through the development of meso- and macropermeability contributed by syn- and postdepositional discontinuities such as bedding planes, joints and faults. These hydraulic connections significantly influenced and controlled the earliest karst-forming processes (inception), as well as the degree of subsequent karstification during the mesogenetic/telogenetic stages of the Coimbra Group. Multiple and complex karstification (polyphase and polygenic) were recognized, including 8 main phases, to local scale, integrated in 4 periods, to regional scale: Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, pre-Pliocene and Pliocene-Quaternary. Each phase of karstification comprise a specific type of (palaeo)karst (eogenetic, subjacent, denuded, mantled-buried and exhumed).

Finally, geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological characteristics allowed to describe the local aquifer. The elaborated map of intrinsic vulnerability shows a karst/fissured and partially buried aquifer (palaeokarst) with high to very high susceptibility to the contamination.

Uplifted flank margin caves in telogenetic limestones in the Gulf of Orosei (Central-East Sardinia—Italy) and their palaeogeographic significance, 2015, D'angeli Ilenia Maria, Sanna Laura, Clazoni Claudio, De Waele Jo

Thiswork reports the results of geomorphological observations carried out in the coastal Fico Cave and surrounding areas (Baunei, Central East Sardinia) in the Gulf of Orosei. A tidal notch, generally believed to be of Eemian (MIS 5e) age, is barely visible at 8.5 above present sea level (asl), some metres below the main entrance of the cave. Old cave passages, now partially opened by cliff retreat and parallel to the coastline, are clearly visible at around 14 m asl and correspond to the main level of Fico Cave. Two more notches are located higher, at 22 and 50 m asl. Fico Cave itself is composed of at least 6 clearly distinguished more or less horizontal levels (−10 m below present sea level (bsl), and +14, +22, +40, +50, and +63 m asl), independent of the stratal dip, arguing for a sea-level, and hence, fresh-water lens control. Cave passages develop along main fractures more or less parallel to the coastline and never extend landward for more than 150 m, mostly ending blindly, or diminishing in their dimensions progressively landward. Most passages only contain clay deposits, lacking fluvial or marine sediments or typical fluvial erosion morphologies (i.e. scallops).

It is suggested from this body of evidence that Fico Cave was formed in the coastal mixing zone along major discontinuities during several Quaternary interglacial periods, when sea level was high and relatively stable for enough time to develop large dissolutional voids. The geomorphological observations indicate the main +14 m asl level of the cave to have formed during MIS 9, and was heavily reworked during MIS 5, while the higher levels are relative to older interglacial highstands that occurred between 1 Ma and 325 ka. The small active branch developed below present sea level has formed during MIS 7 (225 ka). These observations shed new light on the position of the MIS 5e highstand markers in this area of the coast, much higher than previously thought.

Quaternary faulting in the Tatra Mountains, evidence from cave morphology and fault-slip analysis, 2015, Szczygieł Jacek

Tectonically deformed cave passages in the Tatra Mts (Central Western Carpathians) indicate some fault activity during the Quaternary. Displacements occur in the youngest passages of the caves indicating (based on previous U-series dating of speleothems) an Eemian or younger age for those faults, and so one tectonic stage. On the basis of stress analysis and geomorphological observations, two different mechanisms are proposed as responsible for the development of these displacements. The first mechanism concerns faults that are located above the valley bottom and at a short distance from the surface, with fault planes oriented sub-parallel to the slopes. The radial, horizontal extension and vertical σ1 which is identical with gravity, indicate that these faults are the result of gravity sliding probably caused by relaxation after incision of valleys, and not directly from tectonic activity. The second mechanism is tilting of the Tatra Mts. The faults operated under WNW-ESE oriented extension with σ1 plunging steeply toward the west. Such a stress field led to normal dip-slip or oblique-slip displacements. The faults are located under the valley bottom and/or opposite or oblique to the slopes. The process involved the pre-existing weakest planes in the rock complex: (i) in massive limestone mostly faults and fractures, (ii) in thin-bedded limestone mostly inter-bedding planes. Thin-bedded limestones dipping steeply to the south are of particular interest. Tilting toward the N caused the hanging walls to move under the massif and not toward the valley, proving that the cause of these movements was tectonic activity and not gravity.

International Conference on Groundwater in Karst, Programme and Abstracts, 2015, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, 2015,

Carbonate rocks present a particular challenge to hydrogeologists as the major groundwater flux is through an integrated network of dissolutionally enlarged channels that discharge via discrete springs. The channels span a very wide aperture range: the smallest are little more than micro-fractures or pathways through the rock matrix but at the other end of the spectrum (and commonly in the same rock mass) channels may grow to dimensions where they can be explored by humans and are called caves. Groundwater transmission through the smaller channels that are commonly intersected by boreholes is very slow and has often been analysed using equivalent porous media models although the limitations of such models are increasingly recognised. At the other end of the spectrum (and commonly in the same rock mass) flow through the larger conduits is analogous to ‘a surface stream with a roof’ and may be amenable to analysis by models devised for urban pipe networks. Regrettably, hydrogeologists have too often focussed on the extreme ends of the spectrum, with those carbonates possessing large and spectacular landforms regarded as “karst” whereas carbonates with little surface expression commonly, but incorrectly labelled as “non-karstic”. This can lead to failures in resource management. Britain is remarkable for the variety of carbonate rocks that crop out in a small geographical area. They range in age and type from Quaternary freshwater carbonates, through Cenozoic, Mesozoic and Paleozoic limestones and dolostones, to Proterozoic metacarbonates. All near surface British carbonates are soluble and groundwater is commonly discharged from them at springs fed by dissolutionally enlarged conduits, thereby meeting one internationally accepted definition of karst. Hence, it is very appropriate that Britain, and Birmingham as Britain's second largest city, hosts this International Conference on Groundwater in Karst. The meeting will consider the full range of carbonate groundwater systems and will also have an interdisciplinary approach to understanding karst in its fullest sense.

Karst pocket valleys and their implications on Pliocene–Quaternary hydrology and climate: Examples from the Nullarbor Plain, southern Australia, 2015,

Karst on the Nullarbor Plain has been studied and described in detail in the past, but it lacked the determination of the karst discharge and palaeo-watertable levels that would explain the palaeohydrological regime in this area. This study explores the existence of previously unrecognised features in this area – karst pocket valleys – and gives a review on pocket valleys worldwide. Initial GIS analyses were followed up by detailed field work, sampling, mapping and measuring of morphological, geological, and hydrological characteristics of representative
valleys on the Wylie and Hampton scarps of the Nullarbor Plain. Rock and sand samples were examined for mineralogy, texture and grain size, and a U–Pb dating of a speleothem froma cave within a pocket valley enabled the establishment of a time frame of the pocket valleys formation and its palaeoenvironmental implications. The pocket valleys document the hydrological evolution of the Nullarbor karst system and the Neogene–Pleistocene palaeoclimatic evolution of the southern hemisphere. A review of pocket valleys in different climatic and geological settings suggests that their basic characteristics remain the same, and their often overlooked utility as environmental indicators can be used for further palaeoenvironmental studies. The main period of intensive karstification and widening of hydrologically active underground conduits is placed into the wetter climates of the Pliocene epoch. Subsequent drier climates and lowering of the watertable that followed sea-level retreat in the Quaternary resulted in formation of the pocket valleys (gravitational undermining, slumping, exudation and collapse), which, combined with periodic heavy rainfall events and discharge due to impeded drainage, caused the retreat of the pocket valleys from the edge of escarpments.

Results 331 to 341 of 341
You probably didn't submit anything to search for