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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 cement grout is cement slurry of pumpable consistency [16].?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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 bone (Keyword) returned 105 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 91 to 105 of 105
Paleokarst investigation near Saint-Remèze, Ardèche, France: discovery of an underground river fossilised during the Messinian salinity crisis, 2011, Martini, J. E. J.

A number of paleokarst fillings have been investigated. The most important of them represents an ancient underground river. It appears as a sequence of filled passage segments, which have been de-roofed by karst denudation. These segments are developed at 360 to 380 m above sea level and have been followed for 5.2 km. Three distinct cave fillings were put into evidence: 1) beige micaceous silts and sands which represent exogenic immature alluvials and were dated with rodent bones as Uppermost Miocene; 2) mature red clay and sandstone of local origin, whose age might vary from Uppermost Miocene to Recent; 3) monogenic breccia generated by wall gelifraction during the Pleistocene. The petrographic composition of the immature alluvials is similar to the one of the Ardèche River which flows in the vicinity, but deeply entrenched in a canyon, at the altitude of 60-70 m ASL. Therefore, the paleo-underground river was fed by ponors located on the bank of the Ardèche River, when it was flowing more than 300 m higher than its present bed. The weak variations in elevation of the fossil channel suggest a development within the immediate vicinity of the water table. The biostratigraphic age of the immature alluvials as well as the paleokarstic context suggest that the cave was still active ~5.6 to 5.45 Ma ago. In this timespan falls the drastic dryout of the Mediterranean Sea and the beginning of the incision of the Messinian canyons in this area. In general, this fossil water-table cave is also informative on the morphological evolution of the Ardèche Karst and underline the usefulness of palaeontology in dating speleogenesis.

Cave excavation: some methodological and interpretive considerations, 2011, Stratford, D. J.

Caves potentially afford excellent levels of preservation for buried sediments, artefacts and faunal remains but, through depositional, post-depositional and diagenetic processes, material can be disassociated from its primary context. As well as the established archaeological or palaeontological research questions, the priorities of excavations in cave sediments include: identifying distinct stratigraphical units, clarifying the site formation processes responsible for the accumulation and distribution of the assemblages, and identifying any preserved primary contextual information. A wide variety of sediments that are "typically missing or masked" (Goldberg and Sherwood, 2006, p.20) in open-air sites can be encountered during cave excavation. This, combined with the stratigraphical complications inherent to cave sites makes every site different and warrants a site-specific, multi-disciplinary approach to its excavation. Stratigraphically sensitive and flexible methods of excavation and documentation are required when approaching cave excavation. A site-specific combination of techniques and practices helps ensure the stratigraphical integrity of the excavation material, successful adaptation to the cave environment and changing sedimentological conditions, and the restriction of information loss. This paper presents some important considerations needed when planning and conducting excavations of artefact and bone-bearing cave sediments as well as some of the interpretive issues surrounding the material once it is removed.

Fish remains in cave deposits; how did they get there, 2011, Russ H. , Jones A. K. G.

Fish bones are commonly found in cave deposits. How they got there is an interesting question, and one that has, until recently, been largely overlooked. Previous interpretations of fish remains in caves have centred around their exploitation by humans, but there might be a number of other factors involved. These include natural events (such as flooding) or non-human agents of accumulation such as birds, bears, wolves or otters. Whereas there has been considerable research on some of these animals in relation to the economic importance of the fish they consume (e.g. bears and salmon), it is of little value to archaeologists attempting to determine which animals might have eaten the fish, as they do not record the body parts eaten, or the condition of specimens that survive digestion and are deposited in faeces. Controlled feeding experiments can help with interpretation, but these can be difficult logistically. Two experiments involving the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and their potential taphonomic signatures are briefly described. Overall, fish remains are a valuable source of information about past human ecology, but there is still a considerable amount of research to be done before they can be interpreted fully.

The Cupcake: a preliminary report on bones found during the excavation of a shaft on Leck Fell, UK , 2011, Thorp, J. A.

Recent excavation work in a shaft known as The Cupcake on Leck Fell in northeast Lancashire, United Kingdom, has produced an interesting assemblage of ancient bones. All the animals represented are of wild species, aurochs (Bos primigenius), wild boar (Sus scrofa), wolf (Canis lupus), and badger (Meles meles). The bones were found at a depth of 8m, with the aurochs uppermost. Skeletal remains of several wild boars lay beneath, with a depth hiatus, suggesting a possible earlier depositional sequence. Differences in the state of preservation of the bones are notable. Bones in the centre of the shaft, in a damp environment, were the worst preserved, whereas the best preserved wild boar skull was recovered from a dry undercut on the southeast side. The lack of domestic species points to an early Holocene skeletal assemblage. Whole body representation suggests these animals died by falling down the shaft accidentally, while browsing on scrub concealing the entranc

Dogs, scouts and cavers: a history of archaeological excavation at Dog Hole Cave, Haverbrack, Cumbria, UK, 2011, Wilkinson D. M. , O'regan H. J. , Thorp J.

Dog Hole, at Haverbrack in southern Cumbria, was first examined by J Wilfrid Jackson in 1912 and has been explored and excavated on a number of occasions since then. Here we provide a history of these excavations, based on archival material and conversations with some of those involved. Jackson's excavation opened up the shaft and found numerous domestic animal bones, but it wasn't until the late 1950s that further work was undertaken. This work was due to the activities of the local Scout troop who were hoping to extend the site, but following the discovery of human remains, found themselves focussed on archaeology instead. Subsequent to this, there has been further caving activity that uncovered more bones, and in 2010 a new excavation led by O'Regan began. Our historical researches have highlighted several key points in relation to cave archaeology, not just at Dog Hole, but for all sites. Firstly, should cavers 'rubbish' such as drinks cans and bottles be disposed of or is it archaeology? In the case of Dog Hole a best-before date on one item has provided a latest date for the opening of a squeeze - but it is only 24 years old. Secondly, cave archaeology requires a suite of skills, specialists (note, not 'professionals') working together have the best chance of success and, finally, future historical research may well be crippled unless people begin to print and retain their e-mails.

Karst landforms in an interior layered deposit within the Coprates Chasma, Mars , 2011, Baioni Davide, Hajna Nadja Zupan, Wezzel Forese Carlo

The Coprates Chasma forms part of the backbone of the Valles Marineris canyon system. In the westernmost part of the chasma in an embayment on the northern wall a mound of layered material rises from the chasma floor and displays a characteristic dome-shaped morphology. The mineralogical characteristics of the dome and its surroundings have been de­termined by analysis of the CRISM (Compact Reconnaissance Imaging Spectrometer for Mars) data (image HRL00003752). The unit shows the clear signatures of kieserite, an evaporite mineral also found on Earth. Through analysis of the M.RO. HiRISE (Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imag­ing Science Experiment images) we have investigated the dome landforms and the possible processes involved in their forma­tion and shaping in great detail. The analysis shows that the landforms observed clearly indicate the presence of solutional processes that made those karst landforms. The results of our observation also suggest that liquid water must have existed on the dome in the past for long enough for the solution features to be formed, and that the karst landforms investigated exhib­it an older erosional age or shorter than the same landforms studied in a similar kieserite dome located within Tithonium Chasma, another graben of the Valles Marineris system.

Cosmogenic Isotope Dating of Cave Sediments, 2012, Granger Darryl E. , Fabel Derek

The decay of cosmic ray-induced 26Al and 10Be in quartz sediments allows the calculation of sediment emplacement ages back to about five million years. Two examples are given: Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) and Atapuerca Cave (Spain). The sediments in the Mammoth Cave System were an integral part of how the cave was formed. The sediments reveal the evolution of the cave system, and how cave development is tightly coupled to river incision and aggradation. In this case, Mammoth Cave was ideal because it was a water-table cave that carried quartz from local bedrock. In contrast, Atapuerca is a sedimentary infill where sediment (and animals) fell into a preexisting cavity. Such cave infills are the norm in archaeology and paleoanthropology because they collect bones and artifacts over long periods of time. In this case, the cosmogenic nuclides dated the sedimentary infill rather than the cave itself.

Uranium Series Dating of Speleothems, 2012, Sptl Christoph, Boch Ronny

Radioactive decay of uranium and thorium isotopes at constant rates provides a tool to determine the age of speleothems with high precision and accuracy. As with any dating method, a fundamental prerequisite is the lack of post-depositional alteration, that is, no gain or loss of isotopes within the decay chain of interest. Using state-of-the-art instrumentation, this method allows dating speleothems between essentially zero and ca. 600,000 years before present. Multiple age determinations are typically performed along the extension axis of a stalagmite to decipher its detailed growth history. Uranium series chronology of speleothems not only provides useful constraints on speleogenetic processes, but forms the backbone of the increasingly important scientific field using stalagmites (and less commonly flowstone) as paleoenvironmental archives.

A large Cervidae Holocene accumulation in Eastern Brazil: an example of extreme taphonomical control in a cave environment, 2012, Hubbe Alex, Auler Augusto S.

A remarkable cervid bone accumulation occurs at a single passage (named Cervid Passage; CP) at Lapa Nova, a maze cave in eastern Brazil. CP lies away from cave entrances, is a typical pitfall passage and contains bone remains of at least 121 cervids, besides few bats, peccaries and rodents remains. There is no evidence of water (or sediment) flow at the site and in general bones lack post depositional alterations and display anatomical proximity, suggesting that the majority of the remains found inside CP (mainly cervids) are due to animals that after entering the cave got trapped in the site. Observations suggest that two entrances could have provided access to cervids (and the few other animals, besides bats), either by falling inside the cave or by entering by their own free will. Once inside the cave, the maze pattern would make route finding difficult, and of all passage intersections, only the one leading to CP would result in a non-return situation, starving the animal to death. Radiocarbon dates suggest that animal entrapment occurred during at least 5 thousand years, during the Holocene. The reasons why mainly cervids were found are unknown but they are probably related to the biology of this group coupled with the fact that caves provide several specific taphonomic processes that may account for a strong bias in bone accumulation. Indeed, the frequent occurrence of Cervidae in both the fossil and sub-fossil record in Brazilian caves may be related to an overall high faunal abundance or may suggest that these animals were especially prone to enter caves, perhaps in search of nutrients (as cave saltpetre) or water.

Fledermausfunde aus dem Gamslcher-Kolowrat-Salzburgerschacht-System (1339/1) des Untersbergs bei Salzburg, 2012, Sptl C. , Zagler G. , Bauer K. , Mangini A. , Bieniok A.
Bat bones preserved in sediment layers of the remote parts of the Gamslcher- Kolowrat-Salzburgerschacht system (Untersberg, south of the city of Salzburg) yielded an age in excess of 400,000 years based on four uranium-thorium dates obtained on intercalated flowstone. The bones belong to Myotis bechsteinii (Bechsteins bat). A second profile which lacks flowstone layers but shows a similar sediment stratigraphy contained remains of M. bechsteinii, M. nattereri (Natterers bat) und M. cf. brandti (Brandts bat). The latter bones show evidence of biting and chewing by marten. A well preserved mummy of M. mystacinus (Whiskered bat) found on top of sediments in a third locality of this extensive cave system was dated to 3632-3559 years BC using radiocarbon (calibrated age range). This date demonstrates that the aridity that characterises these remote cave passages and the ventilation regime have prevailed since a least the Middle Holocene.

Bericht ber die Probegrabung (2011) in der Pendling-Brenhhle bei Kufstein (Nordtirol; 1266/21), 2012, Frischauf C. , Mazelis E. , Rabeder G.
A recent excavation in the Pendling cave (Rauberloch) has yielded identifiable remains of brown bears and cave bears. A radiometric dating attempt of a fossilized cave bear bone (Astragalus) failed due to the lack of collagen.

Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave in the Crimea, a huge bone accumulation of Late Pleistocene fauna, 2013, Ridush . , Stefaniak K. , Socha P. , Proskurnyak Y. , Marciszak A. , Vremir M. , Nadachowski A.

The Crimean Mountains are well known from the abundance of Middle and Late Palaeolithic sites and palaeontological remains recovered from cultural layers in caves and rockshelters. The fossil-bearing deposits of Emine-Bair-Khosar Cave, located at the elevation of 1000 m on the Chatyrdag Plateau, yielded a very diverse and numerous vertebrate remains that widen the knowledge of Late Pleistocene faunal diversity in the Crimea. The assemblage comprised in total almost 50 species of vertebrates. Studies included geomorphological, geological and stratigraphic analyses as well AMS 14C dating. Faunal remains were present in ten palaeontological sites. The main bone accumulation (section Ba2) was deposited during Middle Valdai or Vytachiv (MIS 3) interstadial, and including a long time gap, to the end of the Pleistocene and the Holocene. Comparison of the Emine-Bair-Khosar fauna with vertebrate faunas of other Crimean sites showed a remarkable stability in the faunal composition and frequency during the whole MIS 3 interstadial. Steppe and other open-country species dominated in the compared assemblages, while boreal-tundra species were far less numerous. Inhabitants of forests, including red deer and some rodents, were stable members of fossil assemblages.

The view of Maya cave ritual from the Overlook Rockshelter, Caves Branch River Valley, Central Belize, 2013, Wrobel G. D. , Shelton R. , Morton S. , Lynch J. , Andres C.

Archaeological investigations of the Overlook Rockshelter in the Caves Branch River Valley of central Belize offer a unique view of ancient Maya cave ritual through the complete recovery and analysis of all artifacts within the site’s two small activity areas. In general, the assemblage contains many of the same types of objects documented from other nearby caves and rockshelters. However, the nearly 1700 ceramics sherds showed almost no refits, demonstrating that sherds were deposited at the site individually, rather than as complete vessels. The human bone assemblage represents three or four individuals, with the majority of the bones comprising a single individual, and all of these were deposited as incomplete secondary interments. Analogies for this depositional behavior based on archaeological and ethnographic studies suggest that this rockshelter may represent a waypoint within a ritual circuit composed of multiple locations over which fragments of complete items such as ceramic vessels and secondary burials were spread.  



In The Bahamas, caves and blue holes provide clues to the geologic and climatic history of archipelago but are now emerging as windows into the ecological and cultural past of islands. Cave environments in The Bahamas alternate cyclically between vadose and phreatic conditions with sea-level change, thereby providing unique but ephemeral fossil capture and preservation conditions.

A diverse assemblage of fossil plants and animals from Sawmill Sink, an inland blue hole on Abaco Island in the northern Bahamas, has revealed a prehistoric terrestrial ecosystem with exquisitely preserved fossil assemblages that result from an unusual depositional setting. The entrance is situated in the pine forest and opens into a flooded collapse chamber that intersects horizontal conduits at depths to 54 meters. The deepest passages are filled with sea water up to an anoxic mixing zone at depths of 14 to 9 meters and into the upper surface fresh-water layer. The collapse chamber is partially filled with a large talus pile that coincides with an anoxic halocline and direct sunlight for much of the day.

During glacioeustatic sea-level lowstands in the late Pleistocene, Sawmill Sink was a dry cave, providing roosting sites for bats and owls. Accumulations of bones deposited in depths of 25 to 30 meters were subsequently preserved by sea-level rise in the Holocene. The owl roost deposits are dominated by birds but also include numerous small vertebrate species that were actively transported by owls to the roost sites.

As sea levels rose in the Holocene, Sawmill Sink became a traditional passive pitfall trap. Significant quantities of surface derived organic material collected on the upper regions of the talus at the halocline where decaying plant material produced a dense layer of peat within an anoxic mixing zone enriched with hydrogen sulfide. Vertebrate species that drowned were entombed in the peat, where conditions inhibited large scavengers, microbial decomposition, and mechanical disarticulation, contributing to the superb preserva­tion of the fossil assemblage in the upper regions of the talus.

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.

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