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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 coprolite is the fossilized excrement of vertebrates such as fishes, reptiles, an mammals, larger than a fecal pellet, measuring up to 20 cm in length, characterized by an ovoid to elongate form, a surface marked by annular convolutions, and a brown or black color, and often composed largely of calcium phosphate; petrified excrement [1].?

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

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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.
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;
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Your search for vercors (Keyword) returned 23 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 23
Le systme souterrain du Sornin (Berger-Fromagre, Vercors, Isre), 1983,
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Delannoy, J. J.
THE UNDERGROUND SYSTEM OF PLATEAU DU SORNIN (VERCORS, FRANCE): THE GOUFFRE BERGER AND THE SCIALET DE LA FROMAGERE - Gouffre Berger (-1198m) and Scialet de La Fromagre (-902m) are the two main drains of an important underground complex, which develops 26 km inside Sornin table-land, massif du Vercors, Isre. The glaciers have left deep prints in the surface morphology (Schichttreppenkarst) and have played an important role in the genesis of the underground complex of Sornin. Most of morphological elements and dated witnesses (speleothems) testify to the primacy of this morphoclimatic term. Under present bioclimatic conditions (discontinuous forest - Raw weather climate, T? = 4?C, P = 1700mm), the specific dissolution is estimated to 120mm/ky. This dissolution is important in winter (2,5 times more than in summer). Sornin plateau belongs to an intermediary case between forests mountainous karsts and high karsts regarding the spatial distribution of the dissolution.

Le Vercors : un massif de la moyenne montagne alpine, 1984,
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Delannoy, J. J.
THE VERCORS: A MASSIF OF MIDDLE ALPINE MOUNTAIN - The Vercors is a forested massif of middle mountain, in the French Northern Prealps. The characteristic of the Vercors massif is the thick and massif urgonian limestones, which underlines a folded structure. The Vercors quickly hold the attention of speleologists, who had put forward the density and diversity of karstic aspects since the beginning of the century. Landforms display glacial karstic landscapes more or less damaged in terms of bio-climatic levels of mounts and depressions landscapes and of deep water gaps, which main flows of the massif are flowing in. The notion of the morphoclimatic heritage applies to the underground karst for which glacial quaternary episodes have been determinant in the large systems genesis (gouffre Berger - Scialet de la Fromagre, Antre des Damns, Combe de Fer...). The study of underground deposits allows to bring up-to-date various period of karst development; a preglacial stage (e.g. upper levels of Cuves de Sassenage, Gournier, Coufin-Chevaline...). The study of the current dynamic shows that the Vercors as an important karstic ablation, between 120 to 170mm/ky. The karstic dynamic exerts mainly on the superficial slab of the massif (from 80 to 50% of the whole ablation). The Vercors can be considered as the best example of calcareous massif in temperate middle mountains, thanks to the combination of various favourable parameters: pure karst rocks, morpho-climatic episodes not constraining, and a high karstic dynamic.

Un exemple de karst haut-alpin : le Dsert de Plat (Haute-Savoie), 1984,
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Maire, R.
AN EXAMPLE OF HIGH ALPINE KARST: THE DSERT DE PLAT (HAUTE-SAVOIE) - Situated in the French Northern Alps between 1600m and 2800m elevation, the Dsert de Plat is characterised by a wet, cold and very snowy climate (P = 2400-2800 mm/year). We observe several morphoclimatic levels: the upper mountain karst (1500-1700m), the subalpine karst (1700-1950m), the alpine karst (1950 - 2600m) and the proglacial karst (well developed in the Haut-Giffre massif. Glacio-karstic landforms like cirque-dolines and pavements (Schichttreppenkarst) are inherited from the quaternary glaciations. The deep karst underlines the part of quaternary climatic sequence with complex drainage and fillings. Now, the karstic flow is a nival type (maximum during the spring and summer minimum) but the hydrochemical cycles are opposite (spring minimum). Nevertheless, because of a very abundant underground discharge during hot season (80%), the exported limestone reaches 75% of annual amount. The specific dissolution is strong (104 mm/ky), but it does not reach the optimum of forest mountain karst, like Vercors (120-170mm/ky).

Apports des datations U/Th dans la karstogense de la Grande Moucherolle-Rochers de la Balme (Vercors), 1986,
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Delannoy J. J. , Holliger Ph.
234 U - 230 Th DATING OF SPELEOTHEMS AND KARSTOGENESIS OF THE "GRANDE MOUCHEROLLE-ROCHERS DE LA BALME" (VERCORS) - In this article, is presented a first geomorphological and speleological synthesis of the subalpine karst of the Grande Moucherolle (2285 m) - Rochers de Ia Balme. This area of Vercors (Alps), which has 8 caves deeper than 300m (Antre des Damns -720m; Clos de La Fure -580m...) is surely the most promising sector from a speleological point of view. Through the study of the glacio-karstic landforms and the distri-bution of the great caves, it seems that there is a real relation between these two parameters. In order to evaluate the contribution of quaternary glaciations in the genesis of caves, isotopic dating (234U-230Th) have been performed on underground carbonated deposits. After a presentation of the chronometric method 234U-230Th, the results are analysed according to their speleological environment. A paleogeographic reconstitution through the middle and recent Quaternary is proposed for the geosystem of the Grande Moucherolle - Rochers de la Balme.

Une marmite remarquable du trou qui Souffle (Vercors, France), 1987,
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Lismonde, B.
A REMARKABLE GIANT POT IN "TROU QUI SOUFFLE " (VERCORS, FRANCE) - In the cave of " Trou qui Souffle " (Maudre, Vercors), the SGCAF team of Grenoble has discovered a remarkable giant pot (5.4 m deep and 1.2 m diameter). His wall is covered with scallops, and thus, it is possible to determine the velocity field in the giant pot by means of the Curls law.

Le karst du massif Moucherotte / Pic Saint-Michel (Isre, Vercors), 1991,
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Audra, Ph.
The karst of Moucherotte/Pic Saint-Michel (Vercors, Isre, France) - The massif of Moucherotte-Pic Saint Michel is located in the northeastern corner of the Vercors, in the area of Lans-en-Vercors and Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte. As anywhere in Vercors, this area is strongly marked by a dense karst relief. It harbours underground systems. Recent dye tracings (respectively from Sierre shaft, Choucas shaft, and Ira's Hole) allowed to determinate precisely the boundary of the catchment of the source called Bruyant. This basin spreads out from the Moucherotte to the Pic Saint-Michel, thus including a surface of 12km2. This is confirmed through the water balance. Of the 1600mm of yearly rainfall, 70% is infiltrated toward the source of the Bruyant. The water is conveyed through a main drain, probably mostly vadose, at the base of the recumbent fold. The landscape is due to the Quaternary processes. The two great landslides of "col de l'Arc" and of "Peuil" date back to this time. The glaciers have sculptured huge "combes" where many caves open, ancient places where sub-glacial waters were swallowing. These sub-vertical caves (which can measure up to 300m deep) with shafts and meanders, flow through large horizontal galleries older than the Quaternary (Combe Oursire shaft, Vallier cave). These galleries, hidden away in this huge limestone mass, are the witnesses of an earlier and very elaborate subterranean drainage. This system is entirely different from our present drainage system.

Mise en valeur et exploitation traditionnelle des ressources du monde souterrain : l'exemple du SE de la France, 1991,
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Gauchon, C.
TRADITIONAL EXPLOITATION 0F CAVES IN SOUTH-EASTERN France - In south-eastern France (Jura, Prealps and Provence), the karstic caves have long been used as dwellings and exploited for ice or as mines. The ice caves (or glacires) of the Jura and Prealps (Bauges, Chartreuse and Vercors) were used by local inhabitants from the Middle Ages onwards even though the actual trade of ice towards the big cities (Grenoble, Lyon and Paris) was only to begin in the 19 century. Phosphate deposits are used as fertilizer in local farming. Since the 17th century speleothems have been extracted for use as ornaments and some caves, of which the Aven du Plan, Alpes-Maritimes, is a typical example, have become stalactite mines. The Gouffre Maule in the Chartreuse area is a noteworthy example of a mining cave in which the exploitation of iron was begun before the 12 century by local monks. The complex tasks carried out in these caves (such as the setting up of scaffolding and the digging of galleries) provide clear evidence of the importance once given to local resources before the industrial age.

Mesure de la propagation dune perturbation de pression au Trou qui Souffle (Maudre, Isre), 1993,
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Lismonde, B.
The Trou qui Souffle (Breathing Pot) is a cave in Vercors. There are three entrances, two of which are known and are situated 2 km apart. With one entrance rapidly obstructed, the effect upon the velocity of wind was measured at the other. The findings were a speed of about 100 m/s

Alpine karsts. Genesis of large subterranean networks. Examples : the Tennengebirge (Austria) - the Ile de Crémieu, the Chartreuse and the Vercors (France), PhD Thesis, 1993,
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Audra, Philippe

This work, based on the study of several underground alpine networks, aims to propose some milestone in the history of these karstic regions.

The first part of the work is made up of three regional studies.

The Tennengebirge mountains are a massif of the limestone High Alps in the region of Salzburg in Austria. A cone karst close to the base level developed in the Neogene. Streams from the Alps fed the karst, resulting in the huge horizontal networks of which the Eisriesenwelt provides evidence. During the successive phases of upthrust, the levels of karstification, whether on the surface or deeper down, settled into a tier pattern, thus descending in stages from the base level. From the Pliocene era onwards, thanks to an increase in potential, alpine shafts replace the horizontal networks. The formation of these shafts is more pronounced during glaciation. The study of the Cosa Nostra - Bergerhöhle system developing 30 km of conduits on a gradient reaching almost 1 500 m provides a fairly full view of the karstification of this massif. It includes the horizontal levels developed in the Miocene and the Plio-Pleistocene, joined together by vertical sections. The most noteworthy features of the Tennengebirge, as in the neighboring massifs, lie first and foremost in the extreme thickness of the limestone which has recorded and immunized the differents steps of karstification. Secondly, the size of the networks can be, for the most part, accounted for by the contribution of allogenous waters from the streams of the Neogene and the glaciers of the Pleistocene. Generally sudden and unexpected, these flows of water engendered heavy loads (up to 600 m), simultaneously flooding several levels. To a lesser extent, the situation is similar today.

The Ile de Cremieu is a low limestone plateau on the western edge of the Jura. Due to its location in the foothills, the lobes of the Rhône glacier have covered it up, obliterating the surface karst. However, widespread evidence of anteglacial morphologies remains : paleokarst, cone karst, polygenic surface. Because of glacial plugging, access to the underground karst is limited. The main cavity is the cave of La Balme. Its initial development dates back to an early period. The morphological study has permitted the identification of several phases which go back to the Pleistocene and which are related to the Rhône glacier. The latter brought about modifications in the base level by supplying its merging waters as well as moraine material. These variations in the base level shaped the drainage structure. The underground glacial polishes are one of the noteworthy aspects recorded.

The massives of the Moucherotte and dent de Crolles belong to the northern French Prealps. They conceal large networks, respectively the Vallier cave and the Dent de Crolles. They were formed in the early Pliocene after the final orogenic phase and are in the form of horizontal conduits. The upthrust, which brought about the embanking of the Isère valley, left them in a perched position by taking away the basin which fed them. They were later, however, able to take advantage of waters from the Isère glacier during a part of the Pleistocene. The Vallier cave contains particularly glacio-karstic sediments of the lower Pleistocene, representing unique evidence of glaciation during this period. The vertical networks were put in place at the end of the Pliocene with the increase in karstification potential ; they underwent changes in the Pleistocene due to the effect of autochton and allogenous glaciers.

The second part of the work deals in general with the various forms and processes of karstification, sometimes going beyond the Alps. The study of cave deposits is a privileged tool in the understanding and reconstruction not only of the history of the networks but also the regional environment. The dating of speleothems by the U / Th method has very ofen given an age of over 350 000 years. The age of the networks is confirmed by the use of paleomagnetism which has yielded evidence of speleothems and glacio-karstic sediments anterior to 780 000 years. Anisotropic measurements of magnetic susceptibility have been used to distinguish the putting into place of glacio-karstic deposits by decantation.

Measurements of calcite rates lead to a typology of sediments based on their nature and carbonate content (rehandled weathered rocks, fluvial sands, carbonated varves, decantation clays). Granulometry confirms this differenciation by supplying precise details of transport and sedimentation modes : suspension and abrupt precipitation of clay, suspension and slow decantation of carbonated varves, suspension and rolling together with a variable sorting of sand and gravel. Mineralogical analyses oppose two types of detrital deposits. On the one hand, the rehandling of antequaternary weathered rocks extracted by the karst as a result of scouring during environmental destabilization and on the other hand, sediments characteristic of the ice age of the Pleistocene. The latter are not highly developed and their arrival in the karst is always later. Examination of heavy minerals, the morphoscopy of quartz grains and study of micromorphologies on thin blades provide precise details of conditions of evolution. The use of these methods of investigation allows for an accurate definition of the features of the evolution of the differents types of fillings, particularly speleothems, rehandled weathered rocks as well as carbonated varves. This wealth and complexity are emphasized by a detailed study of the sedimentary sequences of the Vallier cave and of the Bergerhöhle.
Speleogenesis is approached last of all in the light of above study. Emphasis is placed on the major part played by corrosion in the temporarily phreatic zone and on its many consequences (multi-level concept, simultaneous evolution of levels, origin of deep waterlogged karsts…).
Varia tions in the base level have induced karstification in contexts in which the potential was weak. These were followed by periods of increased potential to which were added the effects of glaciation. Perched horizontal levels belong to the first stages which ended in the early Pliocene, whereas alpine shafts developed in the second context. The role of structure and the parameters governing the shape of conduits (pits, meanders, canyons) are also dealt with. The different parts of the karst are borne in mind when dealing with the strength of karstic erosion during the ice age. It notably appears that it is weak on the crests and more or less non-existent in the deep parts of the karst which are liable to flooding. Finally, a preliminary analysis of an observation of neotectonic traces is presented.

Alpine karst speleogenesis: Case studies from France (Vercors, Chartreuse, Ile de Crmieu) and Austria (Tennengebirge), 1995,
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Audra Philippe

La crue du 18 mai 1994 au Trou qui Souffle (Vercors, France), 1995,
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Lismonde B. , Les_splos_grenoblois_du_c. A. F.
The syncline of Autrans--Maudre is located in Vercors, an alpine region of France. This karstic basin is drained by the resurgence of Goule Noire, located in the gorge of the Bourne River. The surface of this region is 80 km2 and the flow of Goule Noire in low water is 500 1/s. The stage of limestone is urgonian and senonian. The most important cave is the Trou qui Souffle (blowing cave). This cave is 40km long and 450m deep. Down, sumps stop the explorations. The water volume stocked in the phreatic passages between the cave and the spring is about 1,000,000 m3. The Trou qui Souffle has two great fossil galleries, the Franois gallery and the gallery of Easter. The water way of phreatic gallery is actually unknown. In may 1994, a very high rain of 155 mm in a day caused a great flooding. In the cave, the piezometric level went up 100 m over the normal level; 14km of passages are drowned. All the Franois fossil gallery are fill with water. On the contrary, the Gallery of Easter is dry remained. The analysis of this exceptio-nal phenomenon (of 50 years recurren-ce) shows that a very little passage exists between Trou qui Souffle and Goule Noire. The equivalent duct diameter is about 1,5 m. The Trou qui Souffle stocked a water volume of about 300 000 m3. So the karstic system atte-nuates the crest of floods and regula-rizes the flow of resurgence.

Le Luirographe : tude de la crue du 22 avril 1995 (rseau de la Luire, Vercors), 1996,
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Morel, L.
The Luirographe can record automatically parameters such as the water height in a karstic network. Placed at the beginning of April 1995, at -200 m, it recorded for the first time the Luire swelling, which lasted two days. The cave of the Luire is situated in the massif of Vercors, with an hydrogeological basin of 230 km2. The Vercors is a forest of middle mountain within the French Pre-Alps of the North. The Luire swelling only exits when there are very big nival spate accentued by important rainfalls and by a southern wind. Such event arrives only every other year on average. The difference between the high and low level of karst flood can reach the impressive height of 475 m, the most important known in the world. It is the difference between altitude of saturated zone where there is the continuous spring of Arbois and the temporary emergence of the Luire, known up to -451 m and are 20 km apart.

Les apports de lendokarst dans la reconstitution morphognique dun karst ; exemple de lAntre de Vnus (Vercors, France), 1998,
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Delannoy Jeanjacques, Caillault Serge
The whole of the informations which can be found in the endokarst gives a better knowledge of the hydrogeologic, geomorphologic, tectonic and climatic evolution of a calcareous mountain mass. However, the study of the cavities is not yet developed or integrated in the karst studies. The objective of the present work is to show the interest of such a proceeding by the study of a cavity in the northern Vercors : "Antre de Vnus". From the simple observation of the shapes, the deposits and their relation, a speleogenic reconstitution of this cavity and, mainly, of the environment, is proposed.

Les stalagmites : archives environnementales et climatiques haute rsolution, prsentation des protocoles dtudes et premiers rsultats sur des splothmes du Vercors, 1999,
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Perrette, Yves
Since the late 80's, the detailed study of speleothem has deve_loped from the crossing of two main approachs; one comes from the ques_tions of speleologists confronted with magnificent cave scenery, the other comes from citizen questions about climatic and environmental changes. The aim of this paper is to show the diversity and the relevance of the data collected by such studies on stalagmitic samples from the Vercors -France. The knowledge of the chemical processes of the H20 - CaCO3 - C02 system in the perspective of the karst infiltration leads to ques_tions about the role of the "supstrat". This word has been used to describe the "roofrock" rather than the bedrock. So, to better unders_tand the different modes of drainage in karst, a global hydrologic study of the Choranche cave vadose zone has been realised, e.g. seepage water rates have been monitoring. These recent studies allow us to model the structural and functional hydrologic network of such a well developed karst system. Actually we demonstrated the hierar_chisation of the drainage and the relation between a transmissive system and a capacitive one. They have been used to propose a graphical typology leading to a better appreciation of the various environmental interests of speleothems. Understanding the processes of speleothem environmental and climatic archiving, needs to know the processes of calcite crystal growth. They are briefly presented through some usual fabrics like columnar, palissadic or dendritic ones and through the optical relation between macroscopic colours and crys_talline porosity. It is the evolution of these crystalline features, which creates the laminae. To explain what are laminae, the diffe_rent type of emission by a solid after a laser irradiation are shown. It justifies the choice of two kinds of laminae measurement i.e. reflectance and fluorescence. Then, results of spectroscopic studies which show a covariation between Mn2+ concentration, the maximum intensity wave length of fluorescence spectra and the reflec_tance trend, allow us to consider reflectance measurement as a water excess proxy. This experimental approach is confirmed by the infra annual laminae. The hydrological interest of "visible" laminae (i.e. reflectance one) is increased by the fluorescence "invisible" lami_nae. In fact, the presence of a wide diversity of organic molecule in the calcite lead us to consider the fluorescence lamina as a temporal proxy controlled by the annual leaf fall and biopedological degradation. To measure these two proxies, an original experimental set has been developed in collaboration with the PhLAM laboratory (Lille, France). Particularly, this experimental set up permits to realise simultaneously a reflectance and a fluorescence image. The data collected are processed and are analysed in the frequency domain. All these data allow us to extract different proxies from speleothems. These proxies have been studied for some Vercors samples. We present the global environmental and climatic data archiving of the post_wurmian (isotopic stage 1) warming. At a higher resolution, the Vercors climate forcing is shown through the spectral analysis of the reflectance of a well laminated sample. The solar (T=22y) and atmospheric (NAO, T=17y) forcings are clearly distinguished. The climate analysis of this sample is limited by an anthropic mask. We show the similarity of the crystal facies evolution of two samples located around the Alps but far from more than 100 km. We would like to interpret this changes as an archiving of the post Little Ice Age warming but here too, Man interfere with climate to induce environmental changes. We show an example of the possibility for distinguishing climate from anthropic changes in environmental evolutions. The wealth of data of the speleothem allows us to appreciate the environ_ment stability of the Vercors which is confirmed in the spectral analysis of the growth rates of a Gouffre Berger sample. The diversity of the data collected in speleothems is directly linked to the diversity of the way of archiving in a karst system. It is why only a global approach seems to be relevant for answering environmental hydrological or morphological karst questions.

Plio-Quaternary karst development in the French Prealps: Speleogenesis and significance of cave fills, 2000,
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Audra P.
Three French cave systems in the Prealps in the Vercors and Devoluy mountain areas are described. It is possible to reconstruct their evolution by analyzing their morphology and by dating the karst fill using paleomagnetism and U/Th. Cave development began at the end of the Miocene during uplift when inclined tubes formed in the epiphreatic zone. Later the tubes were partially blocked by weathered detritus from the surface. Uplift diverted former recharge away from the caves and extensive calcite deposition occurred. The cave systems were reactivated during glaciations, with flooding to considerable depths. The epiphreatic zone was blocked with calcareous varves from meltwater. During interglacial periods, either calcite deposition or dissolution occurred, depending on the altitude and density of the soil cover.

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