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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That unterirdische karst is see interstratal karst.?

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

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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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 paleosols (Keyword) returned 13 results for the whole karstbase:
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Smith T. M. , Dorobek S. L. ,
The Lower Mississippian Mission Canyon Formation of central to southwestern Montana was deposited under dominantly semiarid to arid climatic conditions during Osagean to early Meramecian times. Following deposition, a pronounced climatic shift to more humid conditions occurred during middle Meramecian times. This climatic change is indicated by extensive, post-depositional karst fabrics and in the stable isotopic composition of early, meteoric calcite cements and diagenetically altered sediments. Early meteoric calcite cement in Mission Canyon limestones is generally nonluminescent and fills intergranular and fenestral porosity. Petrographic data indicate that this cement formed during intermittent subaerial exposure of the Mission Canyon platform during Osagean times. This initial generation of meteoric calcite cement has deltaO-18 values from -8.1 to -2.6 parts per thousand PDB. These data, and the oxygen isotopic values from nonluminescent skeletal grains and micrite in host limestone indicate that Osagean meteoric water may have had deltaO-18 values as low as -6.0 parts per thousand SMOW. A second generation of petrographically similar, but isotopically distinct, calcite cement fills biomolds and porosity within solution-collapse breccias in the Mission Canyon Formation. This cement generation postdates earlier nonluminescent Osagean calcite cement and is volumetrically most abundant near the top of the Mission Canyon Formation. DeltaO-18 values from these cements and from nonluminescent lime mudstone clasts and matrix in solution collapse breccias range from -13.8 to -8.2 parts per thousand PDB. These data indicate that Meramecian meteoric water may have had deltaO-18 values as low as - 12.0 parts per thousand. However, a higher-temperature burial overprint on the deltaO-18 values of the calcite cement cannot be ruled out. The more positive deltaO-18 values of the Osagean calcite components probably indicate warm and arid conditions during short-term [10(4)(?) yr) subaerial exposure along intraformational sequence and parasequence boundaries. The more negative deltaO-18 values from Meramecian calcite components and the extensive karst associated with the post-Mission Canyon unconformity may have developed because of cooler and more humid climatic conditions and possible rain-out effects during middle Meramecian times. A dramatic shift towards cooler and more humid climatic conditions may be coincident with the onset of major continental glaciation in the Early Carboniferous. The post-Mission Canyon unconformity has been attributed to a major fall in sea level that may have glacio-eustatic origins. Growth of continental glaciers during a time of global cooling would have caused migration of polar fronts further toward the paleoequator. These polar fronts in turn, would have pushed moist, mid-latitude weather systems toward the paleoequator, resulting in cooler, more humid conditions in low-latitude settings during ''icehouse'' times

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Mylroie J. E. , Carew J. L. ,
The exposed carbonates of the Bahamas consist of late Quaternary limestones that were deposited during glacio-eustatic highstands of sea level. Each highstand event produced transgressive-phase, stillstand-phase, and regressive-phase units. Because of slow platform subsidence, Pleistocene carbonates deposited on highstands prior to the last interglacial (oxygen isotope substage 5e, circa 125,000 years ago) are represented solely by eolianites. The Owl's Hole Formation comprises these eolianites, which are generally fossiliferous pelsparites. The deposits of the last interglacial form the Grotto Beach Formation, and contain a complete sequence of subtidal intertidal and eolian carbonates. These deposits are predominantly oolitic. Holocene deposits are represented by the Rice Bay Formation, which consists of intertidal and eolian pelsparites deposited during the transgressive-phase and stillstand-phase of the current sea-level highstand. The three formations are separated from one another by well-developed terra-rossa paleosols or other erosion surfaces that formed predominantly during intervening sea-level lowstands. The karst landforms of San Salvador consist of karren, depressions, caves, and blue holes. Karren are small-scale dissolutional etchings on exposed and soil-covered bedrock that grade downward into the epikarst, the system of tubes and holes that drain the bedrock surface. Depressions are constructional features, such as swales between eolian ridges, but they have been dissolutionally maintained. Pit caves are vertical voids in the vadose zone that link the epikarst to the water table. Flank margin caves are horizontal voids that formed in the distal margin of a past fresh-water lens; whereas banana holes are horizontal voids that developed at the top of a past fresh-water lens, landward of the lens margin. Lake drains are conduits that connect some flooded depressions to the sea. Blue holes are flooded vertical shafts, of polygenetic origin, that may lead into caves systems at depth. The paleokarst of San Salvador is represented by flank margin caves and banana holes formed in a past fresh-water lens elevated by the last interglacial sea-level highstand, and by epikarst buried under paleosols formed during sea-level lowstands. Both carbonate deposition and its subsequent karstification is controlled by glacio-eustatic sea-level position. On San Salvador, the geographic isolation of the island, its small size, and the rapidity of past sea level changes have placed major constraints on the production of the paleokarst

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Joeckel R. M. ,
A Virgilian (Stephanian) weathering profile up to 4 m deep, containing a paleosol (basal Rakes Creek paleosol) in the basal mudstone of the Rakes Creek Member and karstified marine sediments in the Ost, Kenosha, and Avoca members below, is restricted to southeastern Nebraska (specifically the Weeping Water Valley) and the Missouri River Valley bluffs of adjacent easternmost Iowa. This weathering profile, informally referred to as the Weeping Water weathering profile, disappears farther eastward into the shallow Forest City Basin in southwestern Iowa. Weeping Water weathering profile features are prominent in comparison to other Midcontinent Pennsylvanian subaerial exposure surfaces, indicating prolonged subaerial exposure, relatively high elevation, and a marked drop in water table along the Nemaha Uplift in southeastern Nebraska. Eastward, on the margin of the Forest City Basin, the basal Rakes Creek paleosol and underlying karst are thinner and relatively poorly developed; paleosol characteristics indicate formation on lower landscape positions. Comparative pedology, the contrasting of paleosol variability, morphology, and micromorphology between different paleosols in the same regional succession, provides a basis for interpreting the larger significance of the basal Rakes Creek paleosol. The stratigraphically older upper Lawrence and Snyderville paleosols in the same area are significantly different in patterns of lateral variability and overall soil characteristics. Weaker eustatic control and stronger tectonic activity may explain the greater west-east variability (and eventual eastward disappearance) of the basal Rakes Creek paleosol. Differences in soil characteristics between the Vertisol-like upper Lawrence and Snyderville paleosols and the non-Vertisol-like basal Rakes Creek paleosol appear to be due to climate change, particularly a shift from more seasonal to more uniform rainfall. This climate change hypothesis is compatible with overall Virgilian stratigraphic trends in the northern Midcontinent outcrop area

Paleomagnetic evidence for three Pleistocene paleosols on San Salvador Island, 1999,
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Panuska B. C. , Mylroie J. E. , Carew J. L.

Pedogenic and Karstic Features at the Boundaries of Bathonian Depositional Sequences in the Grands Causses Area (Southern France): Stratigraphic Implications, 2000,
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Charcosset P, Combes Pj, Peybernes B, Ciszak R, Lopez M,
Several exposure surfaces (D1 to D6) underlain by paleosols, paleokarstic surfaces, and subsurface paleokarsts were identified in the Middle to Upper Bathonian Calcaires a Stipites and Dolomies II Formations in southern France. Two kinds of paleosols with different degrees of maturity were recognized: simple ferruginous crusts, capping very irregular bed surfaces, and a rooted horizon. The paleokarstic surfaces are marked by nodular horizons and paleocaves. On the Cevennes shoal, the paleokarsts discontinuities are associated with synsedimentary tectonic processes, which did not extend into the overlying Dolomies II Formation. Subsurface paleokarsts were observed in the Cirque du Bout du Monde (on the Cevennes shoal) within the Calcaires a Stipites Formation, just beneath surface D5. They are characterized by stronger brecciation of the beds. Most of the paleokarstic discontinuities described in this study correspond to the boundaries of four third-order depositional sequences, Bt 1 to Bt 4 (D1 at the base of Bt 1; D2, D3, D4, and D5 capping Bt 1, Bt 2, Bt 3, and Bt 4, respectively; D6 at the top of the Dolomies II Formation). D1, D2, and D3 paleokarsts are geographically limited to the Grands Causses Graben, whereas D4, D5, and D6 are present only on the Cevennes shoal. Geographic trends of paleokarsts confirm the transgressive trend of sequences Bt 3 and Bt 4, and of the overlying Dolomies II Formation towards the shoal. D6 paleokarstic features were also observed within the uppermost part of the Dolomies II Formation in the Horst de Saint-Bresson. The latter transgressive process provides evidence for subaerial exposure of this paleostructure during the latest Bathonian-Callovian interval, induced by tectonic uplifts

Element geochemistry of weathering profile of dolomitite and its implications for the average chemical composition of the upper-continental crust - Case studies from the Xinpu profile, northern Guizho, 2000,
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Ji H. B. , Ouyang Z. , Wang S. J. , Zhou D. Q. ,
Geochemical behavior of chemical elements is studied in a dolomitite weathering profile in upland of karst terrain in northern Guizhou. Two stages can be recognized during the process of in situ weathering of dolomitite: the stage of sedentary accumulation of leaching residue of dolomitite and the stage of chemical weathering evolution of sedentary soil. Ni, Cr, Mo, W and Ti are the least mobile elements with reference to Al. The geochemical behavior of REE is similar to that observed in weathering of other types of rocks. Fractionation of REE is noticed during weathering, and the two layers of REE enrichments are thought to result from downward movement of the weathering front in response to changes in the environment. It is considered that the chemistry of the upper part of the profile, which was more intensively weathered, is representative of the mobile components of the upper curst at the time the dolomitite was formed, while the less weathered lower profile is chemically representative of the immobile constitution. Like glacial till and loess, the 'insoluble' materials in carbonate rocks originating from chemical sedimentation may also provide valuable information about the average chemical composition of the upper continental crust

Geological hazards in loess terrain, with particular reference to the loess regions of China, 2001,
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Derbyshire E,
The considerable morphodynamic energy provided by the continuing tectonic evolution of Asia is expressed in high erosional potentials and very high rates of sediment production that make this continent unequalled as a terrestrial source of primary silt. Many of these environments are hazardous, threatening human occupation., health and livelihood, especially in regions of dense population such as the loess lands of north China. Dry loess can sustain nearly vertical slopes, being perennially under-saturated. However, when locally saturated, it disaggregates instantaneously. Such hydrocompaction is a key process in many slope failures, made worse by an underlying mountainous terrain of low-porosity rocks. Gully erosion of loess may yield very high sediment concentrations ( > 60% by weight). Characteristic vertical jointing in loess influences the hydrology. Enlarged joints develop into natural sub-surface piping systems, which on collapse, produce a 'loess karst' terrain. Collapsible loess up to 20 m thick is common on the western Loess Plateau. Foundation collapse and cracked walls are common, many rapid events following periods of unusually heavy monsoonal rain. Slope failure is a major engineering problem in thick loess terrain, flow-slide and spread types being common. The results are often devastating in both urban and rural areas. An associated hazard is the damming of streams by landslides. The human population increases the landslide risk in China, notably through imprudent land-use practices including careless water management. A number of environmentally related endemic diseases arise from the geochemistry of loess and its groundwaters. including fluorosis, cretinism, Kaschin-Beck Disease, Keshan Disease and goitre. The Chinese desert margins also have a major atmospheric dust problem. The effect of such dust upon human health in these extensive regions, including many large cities, has yet to be evaluated, but pneumoconiosis is thought to affect several million people in north and west China. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

New constraints on the origin of the Australian Great Barrier Reef: Results from an international project of deep coring, 2001,
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Drilling Icfgbr,
Two new boreholes provide the first direct evidence of the age of the Australian Great Barrier Reef. An inner shelf sequence (total depth, 86 m; basal age = 210 {} 40 ka) comprises a dominantly siliciclastic unit (thickness [~]52-86 m), overlain by four carbonate units (total thickness 0-34 m). A shelf-edge and slope sequence (total depth 210 m) reveals three major sections: (1) a lower section of resedimented flows deposited on a lower slope, (2) a mid-section including intervals of corals, rhodoliths, and calcarenites with low- angle graded laminae, and (3) an upper section of four shelf- margin coral-reef units separated by karst surfaces bearing paleosols. Sr isotope and magnetostratigraphic data indicate that the central Great Barrier Reef is relatively young (post Bruhnes-Matuyama boundary time), and our best estimate for the onset of reef growth on the outer barrier system is ca. 600 {} 280 ka. This date suggests that reef initiation may have been related to the onset of full eccentricity-dominated glacio-eustatic sea-level oscillation as inferred from large-amplitude 'saw-tooth' 100 k.y. {delta}18O cycles (after marine isotope stage 17), rather than to some regional environmental parameter. A major question raised by our study is whether reef margins globally display a similar growth history. The possibility of a global reef initiation event has important implications for basin to shelf partitioning of CaCO3, atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, and global temperature change during Quaternary time

Karst development on carbonate islands, 2003,
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Mylroie J. E. , Carew J. L.

Karst development on carbonate platforms occurs continuously on emergent portions of the platform. Surficial karst processes produce an irregular pitted and etched surface, or epikarst. The karst surface becomes mantled with soil, which may eventually result in the production of a resistant micritic paleosol. The epikarst transmits surface water into vadose pit caves, which in turn deliver their water to a diffuse-flow aquifer. These pit caves form within a 100,000 yr time frame. On islands with a relatively thin carbonate cover over insoluble rock, vadose flow perched at the contact of carbonate rock with insoluble rock results in the lateral growth of vadose voids along the contact, creating large collapse chambers that may later stope to the surface.
Carbonate islands record successive sequences of paleosols (platform emergence) and carbonate sedimentation (platform submergence). The appropriate interpretation of paleosols as past exposure surfaces is difficult, because carbonate deposition is not distributed uniformly, paleosol material is commonly transported into vadose and phreatic voids at depth, and micritized horizons similar in appearance to paleosols can develop within existing carbonates.
On carbonate islands, large dissolution voids called flank margin caves form preferentially in the discharging margin of the freshwater lens from the effects that result from fresh-water/salt-water mixing. Similarly, smaller dissolution voids also develop at the top of the lens where vadose and phreatic fresh-waters mix. Independent of fluid mixing, oxidation of organic carbon and oxidation/reduction reactions involving sulfur can produce acids that play an important role in phreatic dissolution. This enhanced dissolution can produce caves in fresh-water lenses of very small size in less than 15,000 yr. Because dissolution voids develop at discrete horizons, they provide evidence of past sea-level positions. The glacio-eustatic sea-level changes of the Quaternary have overprinted the dissolutional record of many carbonate islands with multiple episodes of vadose, fresh-water phreatic, mixing zone, and marine phreatic conditions. This record is further complicated by collapse of caves, which produces upwardly prograding voids whose current position does not correlate with past sea level positions.
The location and type of porosity development on emergent carbonate platforms depends on the degree of platform exposure, climate, carbonate lithology, and rate of sea-level change. Slow, steady, partial transgression or regression will result in migration of the site of phreatic void production as the fresh-water lens changes elevation and moves laterally in response to sea-level change. The result can be a continuum of voids that may later lead to development solution-collapse breccias over an extended area.

Quaternary calcarenite stratigraphy on Lord Howe Island, southwestern Pacific Ocean and the record of coastal carbonate deposition, 2003,
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Brooke Bp, Woodroffe Cd, Murraywallace Cv, Heijnis H, Jones Bg,
Lord Howe Island is a small, mid-ocean volcanic and carbonate island in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. Skeletal carbonate eolianite and beach calcarenite on the island are divisible into two formations based on lithostratigraphy. The Searles Point Formation comprises eolianite units bounded by clay-rich paleosols. Pore-filling sparite and microsparite are the dominant cements in these eolianite units, and recrystallised grains are common. Outcrops exhibit karst features such as dolines, caves and subaerially exposed relict speleothems. The Neds Beach Formation overlies the Searles Point Formation and consists of dune and beach units bounded by weakly developed fossil soil horizons. These younger deposits are characterised by grain-contact and meniscus cements, with patchy pore-filling micrite and mirosparite. The calcarenite comprises several disparate successions that contain a record of up to 7 discrete phases of deposition. A chronology is constructed based on U/Th ages of speleothems and corals, TL ages of dune and paleosols, AMS 14C and amino acid racemization (AAR) dating of land snails and AAR whole-rock dating of eolianite. These data indicate dune units and paleosols of the Searles Point Formation were emplaced during oxygen isotope stage (OIS) 7 and earlier in the Middle Pleistocene. Beach units of the Neds Beach Formation were deposited during OIS 5e while dune units were deposited during two major phases, the first coeval with or shortly after the beach units, the second later during OIS 5 (e.g. OIS 5a) when the older dune and beach units were buried.Large-scale exposures and morphostratigraphical features indicate much of the carbonate was emplaced as transverse and climbing dunes, with the sediment source located seaward of and several metres below the present shoreline. The lateral extent and thickness of the eolianite deposits contrast markedly with the relatively small modern dunes. These features indicate that a slight fall (2-10 m) in sea level may be required to mobilise relatively large volumes of sediment onto the island. The stratigraphy of the calcarenite, combined with the shallow depth of the platform surrounding the island (30-50 m present water depth) and the geochronological data, suggest that cycles of carbonate deposition on the island are linked to interglacial and interstadial periods of high or falling sea level

On Ra-226 and Rn-222 concentrations in the brackish waters of coastal aquifers: lab-investigations and confirmation in the carbonate aquifer of Brindisi (Italy), 2005,
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Spizzico M. , Sciannamblo D. ,
The ground waters circulating in the Apulian mesozoic carbonate aquifer, of coastal type, show high concentrations of Rn-222 everywhere. Considering their variation during the different phases of a hydrological year, such high concentration values can reach activity of 20 Bq/L, in the more internal zones of the aquifer. Moreover, it is often observed that, in correspondence of wells and springs nearest the coast, the concentrations of radioactive gas reach values greater than 400 Bq/L and vary considerably during the course of a day and with withdrawals. The research carried out over the last few years, has confirmed that Ra-226 and Rn-222 concentrations in the karst groundwater of Apulia, are mainly related to the occurrence of 'Terra Rossa' inside the aquifer and the capacity of these paleosols to fix the salts of Ra-226 coming from the dissolution of the calcareous and calcareous-dolomitic rocks. This paper shows the results of the analysis performed to define Rn-222 increase in the brackish waters that come in contact with carbonate rocks and 'terra rossa'. It also indicates the results of surveys performed in a coastal zone with well-known hydrogeological features. The controls performed during one hydrological year, have confirmed the relationships between the salt content of the ground waters and the enrichment of Rn-222 and have highlighted that the manner of increase of this radioisotope is related to cases of ionic exchange and adsorption regulated by the dynamics of marine intrusion

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Sauro Ugo, Ferrarese Francesco, Francese Roberto, Miola Antonella, Mozzi Paolo, Rondo Gualtiero Quario, Trombino Luca & Valentini Gianna
The sedimentary fills of two dolines in the Faverghera plateau in the Venetian Pre-Alps, south of Belluno, have been investigated. This small plateau is a sub-horizontal surface about 0.5 km2 wide, located on the northeastern slope of Mt. Faverghera (1640 m a.s.l.) hosting nearly 40 karst dolines partially filled by periglacial slope deposits. Topographic survey, electric resistivity tomography (ERT), soil and pollen analyses have been carried on. The structure of the dolines and the characters of the filling deposits indicate that the evolution of these forms has been controlled by the alternation of di*erent climatic and environmental conditions during the Pleistocene. The results indicate that the dolines are filters for the sediments, more than good traps, archiving only some of the climatic and environmental changes.

Eolianites and Karst Development in the Mayan Riviera, Mexico, 2011,
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Kelley Kristin N. , Mylroie John E. , Mylroie Joan R. , Moore Christopher M. , Collins Laura R. , Ersek Lica, Lascu Ioan, Roth Monica J. , Moore Paul J. , Passion Rex, Shaw Charles

Coastal Quintana Roo, Mexico, including islands such as Cozumel and Isla Mujeres, contains numerous ridges of Quaternary eolian calcarenite in two packages, one Pleistocene and one Holocene. The Pleistocene eolianites are recognizable in the field by well-developed terra rossa paleosol and micritic crust on the surface, containing a fossil epikarst. The foreset beds of these eolianites commonly dip below modern sea level, and fossilized plant root structures are abundant. The Holocene
eolianites lack a well-developed epikarst, and have a calcernite protosol on their surfaces. The degree of cementation, and the grain composition, are not reliable indicators of the age of Quaternary eolianites.

The Pleistocene eolianites have been previously described (e.g. Ward, 1997) as exclusively regressive-phase eolianites, formed by the regression during the oxygen isotope substages (OIS) 5a and 5c. However, certain eolianites, such as those at Playa Copal, contain flank margin caves, dissolution chambers that form by sea water/fresh water mixing in the fresh-water lens. For such mixing dissolution to occur, the eolianite must already be present. As the flank margin caves are found at elevations of 2-6 m above current sea level, the caves must have developed during the last interglacial sea-level highstand, and the eolianites could not have formed on the regression from that or younger highstands. Therefore the eolianites must be transgressive-phase
eolianites developed at the beginning of the last interglacial sea-level highstand, or either transgressive- or regressive-phase eolianites from a previous sea-level highstand that occurred earlier in the Pleistocene. There is no field evidence of oxygen isotope substage 5c or 5a eolianites as suggested by Ward (1997).

Most coastal outcrops show classic regressive–phase Pleistocene eolianites as illustrated by complex and well-developed terra rossa paleosols and epikarst, and dense arrays of fossilized plant roots. However, in addition to flank margin caves, other evidence of transgressive-phase eolianites includes notches in eolianites on the west side of Cozumel, with subtidal marine facies onlapping the notches. The absence of a paleosol between those two units indicates that the eolianite is a transgressive-phase deposit from the last interglacial. All Holocene eolianites are, by definition, transgressive-phase units.

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