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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 active glacier is glacier in the stage of actively enlarging and moving as a result of accumulation of precipitation that exceeds the rate of ablation.?

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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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 chronology (Keyword) returned 123 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 106 to 120 of 123
High-precision 238U234U230Th disequilibrium dating of the recent past: a review, 2009,
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Zhao Jianxin, Yu Kefu, Feng Yuexing

Although it was demonstrated 20 years ago that mass spectrometric U–Th methods are capable of highprecision dating of young corals, the use of this approach to decipher recent environmental, climatic and archaeological records is still restricted and its potential has not yet been widely recognised. U–Th methods are typically used to determine the ages of carbonate materials such as speleothem and coral. Dating young carbonates of this sort is challenging. Their extremely low 230Th content necessitates stricter instrumental and laboratory conditions than those required for dating older samples. Moreover, analyses must be corrected for the presence of non-radiogenic 230Th, which is proportionally far more significant than in older samples. Nevertheless, 2s precisions of around _1–10 years are readily achievable for pristine coral samples dating from the last 500 years. Although the range of analytical precisions for speleothems may vary more widely depending on U concentrations and levels of nonradiogenic 230Th correction, published studies reveal 2s precisions of around _10–80 years for typical speleothems. This paper demonstrates how the U–Th method may be applied to establish the causes of recent coral mortality, to determine the recurrence interval of extreme wave events, to investigate earthquake frequency and neotectonic uplift, to reconstruct recent climatic history, and to understand settlement patterns and sociopolitical changes in Polynesia prior to European contact.


A re-appraisal of the stratigraphy, palaeontology and dating of Cow Cave, Chudleigh, Devon, England., 2010,
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Simons J. W.
Cow Cave is an important Quaternary paleontological site in Chudleigh Gorge, Devon, UK., now known to have a sequence of cave-earths and stalagmite floors that range in age from Upper Middle Pleistocene (~MIS 7 interglacial) through to the Holocene (Flandrian) and the present day. Excavations in 1927-1934, and again in 1962-3, have provided a rich fauna, with some artefacts. Here, the stratigraphy of the deposits is now more fully described and the faunal remains are considered in their stratigraphical contexts. Data supporting the existence of former cave entrances are presented along with an analysis of the processes of sedimentation and taphonomy with their climatic interpretations. Based on recent U-Th dating of a critical Stalagmite horizon, a chronology of the mid-Pleistocene to Holocene sequence is discussed. Finally, further excavation in Cow Cave and nearby sites is recommended.

A re-appraisal of the stratigraphy, palaeontology and dating of Cow Cave, Chudleigh, Devon, England, 2010,
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Simons, J. W.

Cow Cave is an important Quaternary paleontological site in Chudleigh Gorge, Devon, UK., now known to have a sequence of cave-earths and stalagmite floors that range in age from Upper Middle Pleistocene (~MIS 7 interglacial) through to the Holocene (Flandrian) and the present day. Excavations in 1927-1934, and again in 1962-3, have provided a rich fauna, with some artefacts. Here, the stratigraphy of the deposits is now more fully described and the faunal remains are considered in their stratigraphical contexts. Data supporting the existence of former cave entrances are presented along with an analysis of the processes of sedimentation and taphonomy with their climatic interpretations. Based on recent U-Th dating of a critical Stalagmite horizon, a chronology of the mid-Pleistocene to Holocene sequence is discussed. Finally, further excavation in Cow Cave and nearby sites is recommended.


Das Schneeloch auf der Hinteralm (Schneealpe, Steiermark): Spelomorphologie, Eisvernderung, Palozoologie und Dendrochronologie, 2010,
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Herrmann E. , Pucher E. , Nicolussi K.
Recent researches carried out by Landesverein fr Hhlenkunde in Wien und Niedersterreich in the Schneeloch, a huge snow collecting shaft doline in the Schneealm Massif in Styria, resulted in the exploration of the biggest cave room and ice body of this area. The typical morphology of the shaft doline and its entire cave parts is discussed with respect to doline theories. A monitored rapid change of snow and ice fill in this cave, formerly used by the nearby mountain farm as a refrigerator, could be a consequence of climate warming, however a cyclic ice development caused by the cave morphology cannot be totally excluded. The retreating ice revealed several tree trunks and bones of wisent, elk and an ancient dwarfish cattle breed, that offer insights into the pasture history of the region. A wisent femur was radiocarbon dated to 2228 50 aBP, while one of the recovered spruce trunk samples dates back to the early 5th millennium BP.

Integrating geomorphological mapping, trenching, InSAR and GPR for the identification and characterization of sinkholes: A review and application in the mantled evaporite karst of the Ebro Valley (NE Spain), 2011,
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Gutié, Rrez Francisco, Galve Jorge Pedro, Lucha Pedro, Castañ, Eda Carmen, Bonachea Jaime, Guerrero Jesú, S

This contribution illustrates the advantages of integrating conventional geomorphological methods with InSAR, ground penetrating radar and trenching for sinkhole mapping and characterization in a mantled evaporite karst area, where a significant proportion of the karstic depressions have been obliterated by artificial fills. The main practical aim of the investigation was to elucidate whether buried sinkholes overlap the areas planned for the construction of buildings and services, in order to apply a preventive planning strategy. Old aerial photographs and detailed topographic maps were the most useful sources of information for the identification of sinkholes and helped to obtain information on their chronology, either a minimum age or bracketing dates. The InSAR technique provided subsidence rate values ranging from 4.4 to 17.3 mm/yr consistent with the spatial distribution of the mapped sinkholes. This quantitative deformation data helped corroborating independently the existence of active buried sinkholes and improving the delineation of their limits. The GPR profiles contributed to the precise location of sinkhole edges, provided information on the geometry of buried sinkholes and deformation structures and helped to site trenches and to rule out the existence of sinkholes in particular areas. The main input derived from the trenches includes: (1) Confirming or ruling out anomalies of the GPR profiles attributable to subsidence. (2) Precise location of the edge of some filled sinkholes. (3) Information on subsidence mechanisms recorded by various deformation structures and cumulative subsidence magnitude. (4) Calculating minimum long-term subsidence rates using radiocarbon dates obtained from deformed sinkhole deposits. (5) Unequivocal evidence of active subsidence in areas assigned for the construction of buildings


Landscape evolution in southeast Wales: evidence from aquifer geometry and surface topography associated with the Ogof Draenen cave system, 2011,
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Simms Michael J, Farrant Andrew R

The evolution of the Ogof Draenen cave system, in south-east Wales, has been profoundly influenced by the geometry of the karst aquifer and its relationship with changes in the surface topography. Using data from within the cave combined with a model of the aquifer geometry based on outcrop data, we have estimated the location and elevation of putative sinks and risings for the system by extrapolating from surveyed conduits in the cave. These data have enabled us to assess the scale and pattern of scarp retreat and valley incision in the valleys of the Usk, Clydach and Lwyd, that together have influenced the development of the cave. From this we can construct a relative chronology for cave development and landscape evolution in the region. Our data show that scarp retreat rates along the west flank of the Usk valley have varied by more than an order of magnitude, which we interpret as the result of locally enhanced erosion in glacial cirques repeatedly occupied and enlarged during successive glacial cycles. This process would have played a key role in breaching the aquiclude, created by the eastward overstep of the Marros Group clastics onto the Cwmyniscoy Mudstone, and thereby allowed the development of major conduits draining further south. In the tributary valleys incision rates were substantially greater in the Clydach valley than in the Lwyd valley, which we attribute to glacial erosion predominating in the north-east-facing Clydach valley and fluvial erosion being dominant in the south-facing Lwyd valley. There is evidence from within Ogof Draenen for a series of southward-draining conduits graded to a succession of palaeoresurgences, each with a vertical separation of 4-5 m, in the upper reaches of the Lwyd valley. We interpret these conduits as an underground proxy for a fluvial terrace staircase and suggest a direct link with glacial-interglacial cycles of surface aggradation and incision in the Lwyd valley. Fluvial incision rates for broadly analogous.


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.


NALPS: a precisely dated European climate record 12060 ka, 2011,
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Boch R. Cheng H. , Spotl C. , Edwards R. L. , Wang X. , Hauselmann Ph.

Accurate and precise chronologies are essential in understanding the rapid and recurrent climate variations of the Last Glacial – known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events – found in the Greenland ice cores and other climate archives. The existing chronological uncertainties during the Last Glacial, however, are still large. Radiometric age data and stable isotopic signals from speleothems are promising to improve the absolute chronology. We present a record of several precisely dated stalagmites from caves located at the northern rim of the Alps (NALPS), a region that favours comparison with the climate in Greenland. The record covers most of the interval from 120 to 60 ka at an average temporal resolution of 2 to 22 yr and 2_-age uncertainties of ca. 200 to 500 yr. The rapid and large oxygen isotope shifts of 1 to 4.5‰ occurred within decades to centuries and strongly mimic the Greenland D-O pattern. Compared to the updated Greenland ice-core timescale (GICC05modelext) the NALPS record confirms the timing of rapid warming and cooling transitions between 118 and 106 ka, but suggests younger ages for D-O events between 106 and 60 ka. As an exception, the timing of the rapid transitions into and out of the stadial following GI 22 is earlier in NALPS than in the Greenland ice-core timescale. In addition, there is a discrepancy in the duration of this stadial between the icecore and the stalagmite chronology (ca. 2900 vs. 3650 yr). The short-lived D-O events 18 and 18.1 are not recorded in NALPS, provoking questions with regard to the nature and the regional expression of these events. NALPS resolves recurrent short-lived climate changes within the cold Greenland stadial and warm interstadial successions, i.e. abrupt warming events preceding GI 21 and 23 (precursor-type events) and at the end of GI 21 and 25 (rebound-type events), as well as intermittent cooling events during GI 22 and 24. Such superimposed events have not yet been documented outside Greenland. 


NALPS: a precisely dated European climate record 12060 ka, 2011,
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Boch R. , Cheng H. , Spotl C. , Edwards R. L. , Wang X. , Hauselmann Ph.

Accurate and precise chronologies are essential in understanding the rapid and recurrent climate variations of the Last Glacial – known as Dansgaard-Oeschger (D-O) events – found in the Greenland ice cores and other climate archives. The existing chronological uncertainties during the Last Glacial, however, are still large. Radiometric age data and stable isotopic signals from speleothems are promising to improve the absolute chronology. We present a record of several precisely dated stalagmites from caves located at the northern rim of the Alps (NALPS), a region that favours comparison with the climate in Greenland. The record covers most of the interval from 120 to 60 ka at an average temporal resolution of 2 to 22 yr and 2_-age uncertainties of ca. 200 to 500 yr. The rapid and large oxygen isotope shifts of 1 to 4.5‰ occurred within decades to centuries and strongly mimic the Greenland D-O pattern. Compared to the updated Greenland ice-core timescale (GICC05modelext) the NALPS record confirms the timing of rapid warming and cooling transitions between 118 and 106 ka, but suggests younger ages for D-O events between 106 and 60 ka. As an exception, the timing of the rapid transitions into and out of the stadial following GI 22 is earlier in NALPS than in the Greenland ice-core timescale. In addition, there is a discrepancy in the duration of this stadial between the icecore and the stalagmite chronology (ca. 2900 vs. 3650 yr). The short-lived D-O events 18 and 18.1 are not recorded in NALPS, provoking questions with regard to the nature and the regional expression of these events. NALPS resolves recurrent short-lived climate changes within the cold Greenland stadial and warm interstadial successions, i.e. abrupt warming events preceding GI 21 and 23 (precursor-type events) and at the end of GI 21 and 25 (rebound-type events), as well as intermittent cooling events during GI 22 and 24. Such superimposed events have not yet been documented outside Greenland.

 


Geomorphological and sedimentological comparison of fluvial terraces and karst caves in Zhangjiajie, northwest Hunan, China: an archive of sandstone landform development, 2011,
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Yang Guifang, Zhang Xujiao, Tian Mingzhong, Ping Yamin, Chen Anze, Ge Zhiliang, Ni Zhiyun, Yang Zhen,

The Zhangjiajie Sandstone Peak Forest Geopark (Zhangjiajie World Geopark) of northwest Hunan, China hosts a well-preserved sequence of fluvial terraces and karst caves. In this contribution, a comparative study of fluvial terraces with karst caves along the middle-lower Suoxi River in Zhangjiajie World Geopark is presented to improve the understanding of the development of striking sandstone landscape in the upper Suoxi River. By integrating geomorphological, sedimentological, and geochronological techniques, the possible correlation between fluvial terraces and karst caves, as well as their climatic and tectonic implications is investigated. The available electron spin resonance and thermo-luminescence numerical ages coupled with morphostratigraphic analysis indicate that aggradation of fluvial terrace levels occurred at ca. 347 ± 34 ka (T4), 104.45 ± 8.88 to 117.62 ± 9.99 ka (T3), 60.95 ± 5.18 ka (T2), and Holocene (T1), followed by the stream incision. Fluvial terrace levels (T4 to T1) correlate morphologically with the karst cave levels (L1 to L4), yet the proposed chronology for the fluvial terrace levels is a bit later than the chronological data obtained from karst caves. In northwest Hunan, where a unique sandstone peak forest landscape was extensively developed, the fluvial terrace sequences as well as the cave systems are the important archives for studying the evolution of the sandstone landscape. The beginning of the sandstone landscape development must be earlier than the aggradation of the fluvial terrace T4, allowing this unique landscape to occur in the Middle Pleistocene.


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.


Solution Caves in Regions of High Relief, 2012,
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Huselmann, Philipp

Although the two conditions given in the article title already narrow down considerably the caves that fall within these categories, it quickly becomes clear that the geomorphology of such caves is not clear from the beginning. A closer look into the literature actually reveals that diverse speleogenetic agents may influence the genesis of such caves. Vertical vadose passages, as well as (epi)phreatic base level control, very commonly occur in large caves in high-relief areas. The key to understanding the speleogenesis is first the notion of time (commonly such caves are old and may even present different distinct phases of evolution) and second, the evolution of the surface around these caves. Often, caves in mountaineous areas deliver hints to reconstruct the (spatial and temporal) evolution of the surface morphology. In that fashion, caves in mountains and in lowlands are no different, but surface information within the mountains is usually much rarer because of the intensive erosional processes in such steeply sloping areas.


Uranium Series Dating of Speleothems, 2012,
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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.


MACROSCOPIC DIAGENETIC CHANGES IN LATE MIOCENE SPELEOTHEMS, WESTERN DESERT, EGYPT, 2012,
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Pickford, Martin

Understanding the diagenesis of speleothems is important on account of the fact that such deposits are often used for determining palaeoclimate parameters and for estimating the ages of speleothem growth. Impressive speleothem deposition of Vallesian age occurred in an immense palaeokarst network in the Western Desert, Egypt, the age of formation being determined on the basis of mammalian biochronology (fossils found in spelean clastic deposits intercalated between speleothems). Many of the Egyptian speleothems have been pervasively recrystallised internally, but their outer surfaces are usually well preserved except in the formations which were buried in clastic deposits, in which case the entire speleothem can be recrystallised. The recrystallisation results in large crystals (up to 20 cm diameter) growing radially outwards from the centre of stalagmites and stalactites, or at right angles to the outer surface of flowstone deposits. It is clear that crystal growth occurred without change of volume. Although the recrystallisation of speleothems in the Western Desert of Egypt resulted in the development of unusually large calcite crystals, it does indicate that diagenesis may be an important process that needs to be taken into account before speleothems in other karst systems can be used as raw material for unravelling palaeoclimatic and geochronological parameters. The gross morphology of the Egyptian speleothems is described in order to put on record the effects of diagenesis on them. The geochemistry of the speleothems remains to be studied.


Stratigraphy, petrography and chronology of speleothem deposition at Tana che Urla (Lucca, Italy): paleoclimatic implications, 2012,
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Regattieri E. , Isola I. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Baneschi I.

In this work we present the results of a stratigraphic and lithologic study of a flowstone from Tana che Urla Cave, Apuan Alps (central Italy) which grew intermittently between ca. 160 and 8 ka. The studied succession consists of an alternation of two different lithofacies (Lf-A, Lf-B): a brown, detrital-rich (Lf-A) and a white, inclusion-poor calcite (Lf-B). Using available growth rate data, the difference between the two lithofacies is thought to be the result of different amounts of meteoric precipitation, with Lf-A related to low growth rates at times of low precipitation during phases of climatic deterioration (stadial or glacial) and a higher flux of clastic material, and Lf-B related to high growth rates due to high infiltration under conditions of higher precipitation during wetter (interstadial/interglacial) periods, with lower clastic flux. Following this interpretation and the available chronology, the flowstone investigated shows a basal portion of Lf-A that was deposited during MIS6. The flowstone then passed from Lf-A to Lf B at the MIS6-5 transition, with Lf-B lasting for the full interglacial of MIS5e.
A long growth interruption (hiatus H1) can be correlated with the MIS5d stadial, with resumption of lithofacies Lf-B occurring during the climatic amelioration of interstadial MIS5c. The age profile of the upper part of the flowstone is poorly constrained, and is characterised by several growth interruptions, suggesting that the last glacial was more severe compared to MIS6


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