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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 adsorption isotherm is a graphical representation of the relationship between the bulk activity of adsorbate and the amount adsorbed at constant temperature [22].?

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 volcanoes (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
The Lava Caves of Victoria, 1963,
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Ollier, C. D.

Many lava tunnels are found in the Western District of Victoria, associated with volcanic eruptions of Pleistocene to Recent age, and some are probably only a few thousand years old. All Australian volcanoes are now extinct, but the most recently active were probably erupting up to 5,000 years ago, that is after the arrival of the Australian aboriginal. The newness of the Victorian caves results in original features being preserved in fine detail. All known lava caves have now been surveyed, mainly by members of the Victorian Cave Exploration Society.


Exploration and Geology of some Lava Tube caves on the Hawaiian Volcanoes, 1981,
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Wood C.

Formes de relief pseudokarstiques sur Mars, 1985,
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Battistini, R.
PSEUDOKARST LANDFORMS ON MARS - There are many morphologic features on Mars looking like karstic features, principally in aeolian, glacio-eolian and volcanic formations: etch-pitted terrain, sinkholes aligned along fractures, sinuous alignments of large cavities similar to megadolines, etc. Some of these features are probably collapse features, and some others probably thermokarstic features but it is difficult to understand exactly the process of their genesis, in some cases very different from the process of terrestrial morphologic features. We may evoke the possibility of an underground karst on Mars.

The Hawaiian cave planthoppers (Homoptera: Fulgoroidea: Cixiidae); A model for rapid subterranean speciation?, 1997,
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Hoch Hannelore
After the successful colonization of a single ancestral species in the Hawaiian Islands, planthoppers of the cixiid genus Oliarus underwent intensive adaptive radiation resulting in 80 described endemic species. Oliarus habitats range from montaneous rain forests to dry coastal biotopes and subterranean environments. At least 7 independant evolutionary lines represented by different species have adapted to lava tubes on Molokai (1), Maui (3), and Hawaii Island (3). Behavioral and morphological studies on one of these evolutionary lines on Hawaii Island, the blind, flight- and pigmentless Oliarus polyphentus have provided evidence for reproductive isolation between allopatric populations which may in fact be separate species. Significant differences in song parameters were observed even between populations from neighbouring lava tubes, although the planthoppers are capable of underground migration through the voids and cracks of the mesocavernous rock system which is extant in young basalt: after a little more than 20 years, lava tubes within the Mauna Ulu 1974 flow had been colonized by O. 'polyphenius" individuals, most probably originating from a near-by forestkipuka. Amazingly, this species complex is found on the youngest of the Hawaiian Islands, with probably less than 0.5 m.y., which suggests rapid speciation processes. Field observations have led to the development of a hypothesis to match underground speciation with the dynamics of vegetational succession on the surface of active volcanoes. Planthopper range partitioning and geographic separation of populations by young lava flows, founder events and small population size may be important factors involved in rapid divergence.

Blue Lagon, Afrique du Sud, une grotte remplissage palokarstique permien et concrtions daragonite, 1998,
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Martini J. E. J. , Moen H. F. G.
The authors de scribe a 7 km long phreatic maze they discovered and explored during the last decade of the 2Oth century in South Africa, developed in the late Archean dolostone in the Malmani Subgroup. This cave is of interest mainly for two aspects. Firstly the cave intersects paleokarst channels filled with bleached kaolinic residuals of Permian age. This paleokarst is most likely to have developed relatively shortly after the Gondwana glaciation in a cool, humid climate. Secondly the cave is remarkable by the abundance of aragonite speleothems. Particularly interesting are subaquatic aragonite formations: rafts, cones, volcanoes, sea urchins and pool floor crust. Aragonite rafts are always associated with more or less calcite, which seems to have formed first and was apparently essential in the initial formation of this speleothem. In the pool floor crust, a cyclical calcite-aragonite deposition seems to correspond to alternation of humid and dry periods, calcite representing wet years. The amplitude of this cycle is possibly in the order of a few decades. Phosphate minerals which developed on cave soil, rock and carbonate speleothems in contact with bat guano, have been identified, in particular the rare mineral collinsite

'Pit Craters'', lava tubes, and open vertical volcanic conduits in Hawaii: a problem in terminology., 1998,
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Halliday William R.
Almost from the 1849 publication of the term pit crater, volcanologists have disagreed about the parameters differentiating these features from other vertical volcanic structures. Kaluaiki is a jameo giving entry to Thurston Lava Tube in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Long-standing misidentification of it as a pit crater is an example of misunderstandings arising from the lack of a clear definition of pit crater. In general, pit craters are unrelated to lava tube caves genetically, but two special cases are discussed. One probably is genetically related to a rift tube deep below the surface; the other is a complex of a small pit crater with a partial rim of accreted plates plus an ordinary-seeming lava tube cave. The term pit crater should be redefined in such a way that it excludes collapses or subsidences related to ordinary superficial lava tubes and open vertical volcanic conduits. Otherwise, a non-definition like that currently listed for agglomerate may be appropriate.

Volcanic caves of East Africa; an overview., 1998,
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Simons Jim W.
Numerous Tertiary to recent volcanoes are located in East Africa. Thus, much of the region is made up volcanic rock, which hosts the largest and greatest variety of East Africas caves. Exploration of volcanic caves has preoccupied members of Cave Exploration Group of East Africa (CEGEA) for the past 30 years. The various publications edited by CEGEA are in this respect a treasure troves of speleological information. In the present paper an overview on the most important volcanic caves and areas are shortly reported.

Miocene phreatomagmatic volcanism at Tihany (Pannonian Basin, Hungary), 2001,
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Nemeth K. , Martin U. , Harangi S. ,
A late Miocene (7.56 Ma) maar volcanic complex (Tihany Maar Volcanic Complex - TMVC) is preserved in the Pannonian Basin and is part of the Bakony-Balaton Highland Volcanic Field. Base surge and fallout deposits were formed around maars by phreatomagmatic explosions, caused by interactions between water-saturated sediments and alkali basalt magma carrying peridotite Iherzolite xenoliths as well as pyroxene and olivine megacrysts. Subsequently, nested maars functioned as a sediment trap where deposition built up Gilbert-type delta sequences. At the onset of eruption, magma began to interact with a moderate amount of groundwater in the water-saturated sand. As eruption continued phreatomagmatic blasts excavated downward into limestones, providing access to abundant karst water and deeper to sandstones and schist both providing large amount of fracture-filling water, At the surface, this 'wet' eruption led to the emplacement of massive tuff breccias by fall, surge, mudflow and gravity flow deposition. The nature of the TMVC maar eruptions and their deposits appears to depend on the hydrological condition of the karst and/or fracture-filling aquifer, which varies seasonally with rainfall and spring runoff. The West and East Maar volcanoes of TMVC are interpreted to represent low water input from the karst and/or fracture-filling aquifer ('summer vent'), whereas the East Maar is interpreted to have formed when abundant karst and/or fracture-filling water was available ('spring vent'). (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Methane discharge into the Black Sea and the global ocean via fluid flow through submarine mud volcanoes, 2006,
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Wallmann Klaus, Drews Manuela, Aloisi Giovanni, Bohrmann Gerhard,
During the MARGASCH cruise M52/1 in 2001 with RV Meteor we sampled surface sediments from three stations in the crater of the Dvurechenskii mud volcano (DMV, located in the Sorokin Trough of the Black Sea) and one reference station situated 15[no-break space]km to the northeast of the DMV. We analysed the pore water for sulphide, methane, alkalinity, sulphate, and chloride concentrations and determined the concentrations of particulate organic carbon, carbonate and sulphur in surface sediments. Rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) were determined using a radiotracer (14CH4) incubation method. Numerical transport-reaction models were applied to derive the velocity of upward fluid flow through the quiescently dewatering DMV, to calculate rates of AOM in surface sediments, and to determine methane fluxes into the overlying water column. According to the model, AOM consumes 79% of the average methane flux from depth (8.9 [middle dot] 10 6[no-break space]mol a- 1), such that the resulting dissolved methane emission from the volcano into the overlying bottom water can be determined as 1.9 [middle dot] 10 6[no-break space]mol a- 1. If it is assumed that all submarine mud volcanoes (SMVs) in the Black Sea are at an activity level like the DMV, the resulting seepage represents less than 0.1% of the total methane flux into this anoxic marginal sea. The new data from the DMV and previously published studies indicate that an average SMV emits about 2.0 [middle dot] 10 6[no-break space]mol a- 1 into the ocean via quiescent dewatering. The global flux of dissolved methane from SMVs into the ocean is estimated to fall into the order of 10 10[no-break space]mol a- 1. Additional methane fluxes arise during periods of active mud expulsion and gas bubbling occurring episodically at the DMV and other SMVs

The Earth Has a Future, 2006,
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Dutch Si,
An alternative to visualizing geologic time by looking into the past is to look into the future. Even geologically short future time scales completely outstrip our ability to forecast changes in human society, whereas most geologic changes in the same time will be modest. Many events that are infrequent on a human time scale, such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, become commonplace on longer time scales, and events that have not occurred in recorded history, such as major ice ages, large meteor impacts, giant pyroclastic eruptions, or collapses of Hawaiian shield volcanoes, become almost inevitable in a million years

Quaternary glaciations of Turkey, 2011,
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Sarikaya M. A. , Ciner A. , Zreda M.

The cosmogenic exposure ages obtained from glacial landforms in several Turkish mountains provided a basis to reconstruct glacio-chronology and paleoclimate of Turkey. Glacier-related landforms occur in three major regions of Turkey; (1) the Taurus Mountains, along the Mediterranean coast and southeast Turkey, (2) mountain ranges along the Eastern Black Sea Region, and (3) volcanoes and independent mountain chains scattered across the Anatolian Plateau. 10Be 26Al and 36Cl ages show that the oldest and most extensive mountain glaciers were developed during the Last Glacial Maximum. Unusual Early Holocene glaciations, dated to 9 ka-10 ka, were also reported from Mount Erciyes and Aladaglar.


Giant pockmarks in a carbonate platform (Maldives, Indian Ocean), 2011,
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Betzler C. , Lindhorst S. , Hubscher C. , Ludmann T. , Furstenau J. , Reijmer J.

Circular structures and depressions in carbonate platforms are known to represent karst chimneys or sinkholes which form as a response to rock solution. This formation mechanism is plausible for shallow-water carbonates which lie in the reach of meteoric diagenesis or fresh-water lenses. Circular structures which occur in deeper waters, however, need an alternative interpretation. Such an example of sea-floor depressions in more than 300. m deep waters occurs in the Inner Sea of the Maldives carbonate platform in the Indian Ocean. The structures were mapped with multibeam and Parasound, multi-channel seismics were used to link the depressions with structures at depth. The circular depressions have diameters of up to 3000. m and depths of up to 180. m. The craters are interpreted as pockmarks formed through the venting of gas and fluids. Gas and fluid lenses below the pockmarks are reflected by bright spots in the seismic sections as well as a reduction of the instantaneous frequency. These areas at depth are linked to chimneys connected to faults and drowned Oligocene carbonate banks. A model is presented that relates the different forms and sizes of the structures to distinct development stages of sea floor deformation to one process. Early stages of gas and fluid migration into the shallow part of the sedimentary succession induce formation of dome-shaped bodies. Initial gas and fluid escape to the sea floor is reflected by the formation of sand volcanoes and aligned small pockmarks. Active pockmarks are the deepest, and have the shape of truncated cones in cross section. Mature pockmarks are characterized by erosion of the flanks of the structure by bottom currents. Late stage pockmarks are bowl-shaped in cross section, and are to different degrees filled by drift sediments. Packages of strata revealing high reflection amplitudes and high interval velocities interpreted as microbially-mediated carbonate precipitates underlie some of the pockmarks. The pockmarks in the Maldives show that circular structures other than solution-related features can be abundant in carbonate platform deposits and that such structures may be more abundant in the geological record of carbonate platforms as previously thought. Pockmarks in the Maldives indicate that the archipelago is an example of a hydrocarbon system which consists of an isolated oceanic carbonate platform overlying a volcanic basement and lacustrine source rocks.


Höhlen der Schwäbischen Alb als Pegelschreiber für Flussgeschichte und Tektonik in Südwestdeutschland seit dem Miozän, 2011,
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Strasser Marcel

In south western Germany the karstified plateau of the Swabian Alb consisting of Upper Jurassic limestones hosts numerous caves, dolines, and dry valleys. Known strath terraces, conglomerates, volcanoes, and impact craters within the study area already provided important time stamps for former studies reconstructing landscape history. It is widely understood, that spatial distribution of most karst features is closely related to the palaeo-water-table and its discontinuous lowering over time, which in turn is the result of incision and/or uplift. The situation of the Swabian Alb at the northern rim of the Northern Alpine Foreland Basin and east of the Rhine Graben valley is the reason for this uplift. Many caves can be used as gauge for vertical displacement, considering horizontal cave passages as product of a stationary palaeowater-table and vertical sections as result of falling base level. In contrast recent studies deal with a different type of speleogenesis independent of base level. This hypogenic speleogenesis must be discussed for the caves of the Swabian Alb. The recently discovered cave named Laierhöhle near Geislingen/Steige is a typical 3d-maze providing several horizontal levels. Passage pattern and distinctive corrosion features match with morphologies (feeders, rising wall- and ceiling channels, outlets) characteristical for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, artesian situations, hydrothermal water or confined aquifers as critical conditions for hypogenic speleogenesis can not be verified. Other features like horizontal passages, water table markers, key-hole-features, and massive stratified sediment bodies are pointing to an epigenic, water-table related speleogenesis. In this study therefore a mixed model for speleogenesis of Laierhöhle is presented, assuming a strong initial deep-phreatic corrosion along fractures and fissures, followed by intensive widening at the palaeo water-table resulting in the formation of horizontal passages. Correlations between horizontal cave-levels, valley-bottoms, strath-terraces, local conglomerates and other caves lead to new and more precise data on the fluvial history, changing drainage pattern, and the uplift of parts of southwest Germany.

In the course of Examinations of cave sediments spherical metallic particles were detected. These magnetic spherules are ablation-products from meteorites during impact. After fallout and flushing into karstic voids and caves the spherules got archived till today. Spherules within Laierhöhle, Laichinger Tiefenhöhle and Mordloch are supposed to originate from the impact event producing the impact craters Steinheimer Becken and/or the Nördlinger Ries 14.59 Ma ago. Within most of the cave sediments spherules are accompanied by crystals of titano-magnetite, which built during volcanic activity of the Urach-Kirchheim volcanic field. Both spherules and titano-magnetites are proxies for re-deposited Mid Miocene Sediments. In this study I could correlate speleogenetic with dated geomorphic features and thus came to a chronology of events. The Laierhöhle records five episodes of long-term stability of the karst water table covering the time-span from late Middle Miocene until the Pliocene/Pleistocene transition. The first two stable episodes can be dated to the late Middle Miocene and Late Miocene (horizontal levels 1 and 2a). An episode responsible for the formation of level 2b falls within Early Pliocene time. Levels 3a and 3b are spatially well separated but must have formed within a relatively short timespan towards the end of the Pliocene. In the working area, total depth of penetrative karstification was in the order of 120 m. This penetration has been accomplished over a period of approximately 12 Ma resulting in an average uplift rate of 0.01 mm/a.


Volcanism-induced karst landforms and speleogenesis, in the Ankarana Plateau (Madagascar). Hypothesis and preliminary research., 2014,
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The Ankarana is a limestone plateau in the northern part of Madagascar, where a cave system, more than 120 km long, has been explored. The plateau is bordered by volcanoes and is cut across by several canyons. An analysis of surface landforms and caves suggests that the karst genesis was probably initiated by volcanism beneath an impervious cover. Volcanic bulging and magma intrusions may have favored a basalt-limestone assimilation process and metamorphism. The ascent of deep volcanic fluids (CO2 and SO2) from magma degassing and from limestone metamorphism, may explain the speleogenesis. Once denuded, the karst evolved classically, but the selective erosion of metamorphosed rocks (more likely to be weathered than pure limestone), resulted in the creation of unusual landforms such as canyons and large circular basins.


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