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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 thermokarst is 1. a pitted periglacial or former periglacial surface in superficial deposits, produced by settling or caving of the ground after melting of ground ice [10]. 2. a term applied to topographic depressions in karstic terranes resulting from the thawing of ice. see cryokarst.?

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 air flow (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
The Use of Titanium Tetrachloride In The Visualisation Of Air Movement In Caves, 1971, Halbert E. J. , Michie N. A.

The problems concerned with the visualisation of low-velocity air flow in caves are discussed. The behaviour of several chemical tracers in the Mammoth Cave, Jenolan, New South Wales, is described, in particular that of the compound titanium tetrachloride. A suitable method for the transport and use of this compound has been developed.


Etude des circulations d'air dans la grotte de Niaux, 1983, Andrieux, C.
THE AIR MOVEMENTS IN THE grotte DE NIAUX. CONSEQUENCES - The present paper deals with air movements in the grotte de Niaux (Arige, France) during ten years (1971-1980). The data (observations, measurements) have been obtained, upon an average, each week; they relate to the direction of underground air movements, to the speed and to average air flow, which have been measured at some places, at cave entrances. The results show two types of air movements. In the first one, the gas exchanges between the cave and outside happen through the galleries and the known entrances and also through all the fractures of the carbonate rocks. When it occurs, the cave can be divided in three main parts, each one having their own characteristics. The second one is observed only during very rainy times; the whole cave is then subjected to air movement according to the "wind tube model". The air exchanges through the fractures are fixed by the percolation. The percolation zone is consequently submitted to diphasic water flow. Therefore, different models of air movements in caves must be considered. These data also show it is needful that the airflow should be measured to understand the climatic phenomena of the caves.

Etudes rcentes sur le karst de Niaux-Lombrive-Sabart (Arige), 1983, Renault, Ph.
RECENT INVESTIGATIONS ABOUT THE NIAUx-LOMBRiVE-SABART KARST (Arige, France) - Several recent investigations concerne this important system (14km). The P. Sorriaux sedimentologi-cal thesis (1982) establishes that the ancient troughflows have inverted their direction during an evolution of at least 400,000 years (isotopic dating from calcite) under glacial conditions. The C. Andrieux, J. Brunet and Ph. Renault speleometeorological studies (1974-1983) concerning the thermic equilibrium pattern and the carbon dioxide distribution suggest an atmospheric model. The closing or opening of some the locks (sumps, doors) induces the changing of a barometric causality into a thermic one with the production of a general air flow.

Determination of the Causes of Air Flow in Coppermine Cave, Yarrangobilly, 1984, Michie, N. A.

Observations of air flow through Coppermine Cave, Yarrangobilly, are reported. A model is presented of the cave as a two entrance system with air flow dominated by air density differentials with little sensitivity to surface wind. The measurement technique and data analysis are described.


The speleogenetic role of air flow caused by convection. First contribution., 1986, Cigna Arrigo A. , Forti Paolo
In the past some authors described the speleogenetic role of convection in phreatic conditions. Similar effects exist also in the air-fiLled part of vadose passages of caves as a consequence of an air circulation due to a relevant temperature gradient; the effects can be enhanced by the presence of some acids as, e.g., H2S, H2SO4, etc. In this paper the conditions matching convection and condensation which produce typical forms, very similar to those found under phreatic conditions, are discussed both for limestone and gypsum caves.

Lne de Buridan, le principe de Curie et leffet chemine : courants dair dans les cavits en forme de U, 2001, Lismonde, Baudouin
In a U-shaped cave there is airflow in winter. This phenomenon is a beautiful example of physical broken symmetry. In summer, it is possible to observe a pendulum oscillation of cold air in a U-shaped cavity.

Cave Temperatures at Naracoorte Caves, 2002, Sanderson Ken , Bourne Steven
Temperatures in four different caves at Naracoorte were logged for periods of up to two years, during 1998-2001. In Bat Cave temperatures near ground level were 19.0-21.1C in the maternity chamber, and 10.3-15.6C near the entrance. In Victoria Fossil Cave temperatures near the fossil chamber were 16.9-18.3C. In Blanche Cave and the outer chamber of Robertson Cave temperatures were 9.4-15.0C, with temperatures in the inner chamber of Robertson Cave 14.2-15.0C. Cave chambers with little air flow had seasonally stable temperatures, and those with high air flow showed seasonal temperature variations of 5-6C.

Cave Temperatures at Naracoorte Caves, 2002, Sanderson Ken , Bourne Steven

Temperatures in four different caves at Naracoorte were logged for periods of up to two years, during 1998-2001. In Bat Cave temperatures near ground level were 19.0-21.1°C in the maternity chamber, and 10.3-15.6°C near the entrance. In Victoria Fossil Cave temperatures near the fossil chamber were 16.9-18.3°C. In Blanche Cave and the outer chamber of Robertson Cave temperatures were 9.4-15.0°C, with temperatures in the inner chamber of Robertson Cave 14.2-15.0°C. Cave chambers with little air flow had seasonally stable temperatures, and those with high air flow showed seasonal temperature variations of 5-6°C.


Cave air control on dripwater geochemistry, Obir Caves (Austria): Implications for speleothem deposition in dynamically ventilated caves, 2005, Spotl C. , Fairchild I. J. , Tooth A. F. ,
There are very few process studies that demonstrate the annual variation in cave environments depositing speleothems. Accordingly, we initiated a monitoring program at the Obir Caves, an Austrian dripstone cave system characterized by a seasonally changing air flow that results in a predictable pattern of high pCO(2), during summer and low pCO(2), in winter. Although similar seasonal changes in Soil pCO(2) occur, they are not directly connected with the changes in the subsurface since the dripwaters are fed from a well-mixed source showing little seasonal variation. Cold season flushing by relatively CO2-poor air enhances degassing of CO2 in the cave and leads to a high degree of supersaturation of dripwater with regard to calcite. Forced calcite deposition during the cold season also gives rise to a pronounced pattern of synchronous seasonal variations in electrical conductivity, alkalinity, pH, Ca and delta(13)C(DIC) which parallel variations recorded in delta(13)C(cave air). Chemical components unaffected by calcite precipitation (e.g., delta D,delta(18)O,SiO2,SO4) lack a seasonal signal attesting to a long residence in the karst aquifer. Modeling shows that degassing of CO2 from seepage waters results in kinetically-enhanced C isotopic fractionation, which contrasts with the equilibrium degassing shown from the Soreq cave in Israel. The Obir Caves may serve as a case example of a dripstone cave whose seepage waters (and speleothems) show intra-annual geochemical variability that is primarily due to chemical modification of the groundwater by a dynamic, bidirectional subsurface air circulation. Copyright (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd

tude des transferts de masse et de chaleur dans la grotte de Lascaux: le suivi climatique et le simulateur., 2007, Lacanette D. , Malaurent Ph. , Caltagirone J. P. , Brunet J.
Study of heat and mass flows in Lascaux cave: the climatic monitoring and the simulation tool. The cave of Lascaux, discovered in 1940 and located in the Dordogne area in France, is inscribed on the Unesco World Heritage List. It is considered as one of the major prehistoric caves in the world. Since its discovery, several problems have occurred, due to the huge amount of visitors, and their release of vapour and carbon dioxide by their breath, causing the formation of calcite and the apparition of green algae and mosses. The Ministry of Cultural Affairs had the cave closed in 1963. Since then, prehistorians, archaeologists, geologists, hydrogeologists, have tried hard to maintain the cavity in the most stable state as possible, using remote metering to record the variations in temperature, hygrometry, and carbon dioxide gas pressure. The biological equilibrium remained fragile and, in 2001, colonies of micro-organisms, mushrooms and bacteria developed on the rock edges and on the floor. This attack made the authorities and the Minister of Culture and Communication create the scientific international comity of the Lascaux cave, a multidisciplinary comity (composed of archaeologists, physicists, geologists, hydrogeologists, conservators working altogether) to understand the mechanisms of apparition of the micro-organisms in order to stop their propagation. Among the measures taken by the comity, a better understanding of the flows in the cave has appeared very important, and has induced the creation of a simulation tool, the "Lascaux Simulator". The non intrusive character of simulation is one of the major assets of this method. Thus, the numerical simulation in fluid mechanics is here dedicated to the conservation of the cave of Lascaux. The simulator is based on a computational fluid dynamics code named Aquilon. A three dimensional survey has been leaded in the cave using laser scanning and an accurate topology of the environment is incorporated in the simulator. Starting from this point, governing equations of the fluid mechanics are solved and parameters such as temperature, velocity or moisture content are known in every point of the cavity. Thermal conditions are chosen, basing on the analysis of the calculated and measured temperature data for more than 50 years. In this article, two configurations are chosen, the first one in September 1981, period during which the cave remained in a stable state regarding condensation, and the other one in December 1999; at this time, temperature were reversed, the ground of the cavity was colder than the vaults. This phenomenon implied an inversion of the air flow in the cave. Finally, the removal of the dividing wall of the Bauer airlock has been simulated, and it has been showed that the impact on the cavity would be negligible.

Messung der Wetterfhrung im Loferer Schacht und im Kristallcanyon, Loferer Steinberge (sterreich), 2008, Hartig, J.
In the period from September 2006 to September 2007, a continuous measurement of wind and temperature was conducted in the Loferer Schacht (1323/42) and the Kristallcanyon cave (1323/127). After taking into account the snow conditions, the comparison of these data with the air temperature recorded by a nearby weather station demonstrates seasonal wind cycles. Two anemometers developed by the author were installed and used to take hourly readings of the cave winds during the twelvemonth period. The anemometer installed in the Loferer Schacht provided excellent data, which are analyzed in this article. The second anemometer, installed in the Kristallcanyon, lost a memory card during transport and no data were recorded. However, this loss was balanced by the successful recording of very meaningful temperature data.

Secondary halite deposits in the Iranian salt karst: general description and origin, 2011, Filippi Michal, Bruthans Jiř, , Palatinus Luk, Zare Mohammad, Asadi Naser

This paper summaries 12 years of documentation of secondary halite deposits in the Iranian salt karst.
A variety of secondary halite deposits was distinguished and classified into several groups, on the basis of the site and mechanism of their origin. Deposits formed: i) via crystallization in/on streams and pools, ii) from dripping, splashing and aerosol water, iii) from evaporation of seepage and capillary water, and iv) other types of deposits. The following examples of halite forms were distinguished in each of the above mentioned group: i) euhedral crystals, floating rafts (raft cones), thin brine surface crusts and films; ii) straw stalactites, macrocrystalline skeletal and hyaline deposits, aerosol deposits; iii) microcrystalline forms (crusts, stalactites and stalagmites, helictites); iv) macrocrystalline helictites, halite bottom fibres and spiders, crystals in fluvial sediments, euhedral halite crystals in rock salt, combined or transient forms and biologically induced deposits. The occurrence of particular forms depends strongly on the environment, especially on the type of brine occurrence (pool, drip, splashing brine, microscopic capillary brine, etc.), flow rate and its variation, atmospheric humidity, evaporation rate and, in some cases, on the air flow direction. Combined or transitional secondary deposits can be observed if the conditions changed during the deposition. Euhedral halite crystals originate solely below the brine surface of supersaturated streams and lakes. Macrocrystalline skeletal deposits occur at places with rich irregular dripping and splashing (i.e., waterfalls, places with strong dripping from the cave ceilings, etc.). Microcrystalline (fine grained) deposits are generated by evaporation of capillary brine at places where brine is not present in a macroscopically visible form. Straw stalactites form at places where dripping is concentrated in small spots and is frequent sufficient to assure that the tip of the stalactite will not be overgrown by halite precipitates. If the tip is blocked by halite precipitates, the brine remaining in the straw will seep through the walls and helictites start to grow in some places.
Macrocrystalline skeletal deposits and straw stalactites usually grow after a major rain event when dripping is strong, while microcrystalline speleothems are formed continuously during much longer periods and ultimately (usually) overgrow the other types of speleothems during dry periods. The rate of secondary halite deposition is much faster compared to the carbonate karst. Some forms increase more than 0.5 m during the first year after a strong rain event; however, the age of speleothems is difficult to estimate, as they are often combinations of segments of various ages and growth periods alternate with long intervals of inactivity.
Described forms may be considered in many cases as the analogues of forms found in the carbonate karst. As they are created in a short time period the conditions of their origin are often still visible or can be reconstructed. The described halite forms can thus be used for verification of the origin of various carbonate forms. Some of the described forms bear clear evidence of the paleo-water surface level (transition of the skeletal form to halite crystals and vice versa). Other kinds of deposits are potential indicators of the microclimate under which they developed (humidity close to the deliquescence relative humidity).


Cryogenic fracturing of calcite flowstone in caves: theoretical considerations and field observations in Kents Cavern, Devon, UK, 2012, Lundberg Joyce, Mcfarlane Donald A.

Several caves in Devon, England, have been noted for extensive cracking of substantial flowstone floors. Conjectural explanations have included earthquake damage, local shock damage from collapsing cave passages, hydraulic pressure, and cryogenic processes. Here we present a theoretical model to demonstrate that frost-heaving and fracture of flowstone floors that overlie wet sediments is both a feasible and likely consequence of unidirectional air flow or cold-air ponding in caves, and argue that this is the most likely mechanism for flowstone cracking in caves located in Pleistocene periglacial environments outside of tectonically active regions. Modeled parameters for a main passage in Kents Cavern, Devon, demonstrate that 1 to 6 months of -10 to -15° C air flow at very modest velocities will result in freezing of 1 to 3 m of saturated sediment fill. The resultant frost heave increases with passage width and depth of frozen sediments. In the most conservative estimate, freezing over one winter season of 2 m of sediment in a 6-m wide passage could fracture flowstone floors up to ~13 cm thick, rising to ~23 cm in a 12-m wide passage. Natural flaws in the flowstone increase the thickness that could be shattered. These numbers are quite consistent with the field evidence.


Acqua Fitusa Cave: an example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave in Central Sicily, 2012, Vattano M. , Audra Ph. , Bigot J. Y. , Waele J. D. , Madonia G. , Nobcourt J. C.

Hypogenic caves are generated by water recharging from below independently of seepage from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. These waters are often thermal and enriched in dissolved gases, the most common of which are CO2 and H2S. Hypogenic caves can be thermal caves, sulphuric acid caves, basal injection caves. They differ from epigenic caves in many ways, such as: speleogenetic mechanisms, morphological features, chemical deposits, and lack of alluvial sediments (KLIMCHOUK, 2007; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; PALMER, 2011). Several studies were conducted to evaluate the hypogenic origin of a large number of caves (AUDRA et alii, 2010; KLIMCHOUK & FORD, 2009; STAFFORD et alii, 2009). A significant contribution was given by the work of Klimchouk (2007) that systematically provided instruments and models to better understand and well define the hypogenic karst processes and landforms. Detailed studies on hypogenic caves were carried out in Italy since the 90s in different karst systems, especially in the Central and Southern Appenines. These studies mainly concerned chemical deposits related to ascending water and micro-biological action (GALDENZI & MENICHETTI, 1995; GALDENZI, 1997; PICCINI, 2000; GALDENZI & MARUOKA, 2003, FORTI & MOCCHIUTTI, 2004; GALDENZI, 2012). In this paper, we present the first results of researches conducted in Acqua Fitusa cave that was believed to be an epigenic cave until today. Acqua Fitusa cave is located in Central Sicily, along the north-eastern scarp of a N-S anticline, westward vergent, forming the Mt. La Montagnola. The cave formed in the Upper Cretaceous Rudist breccias member of the Crisanti Fm., composed of conglomerates and reworked calcarenites with rudist fragments and benthic foraminifers ( CATALANO et alii, 2011). The cave consists at least of three stories of subhorizontal conduits, displaying a total length of 700 m, and a vertical range of 25 m. It represents a clear example of inactive water-table sulphuric acid cave, produced mainly by H 2S degassing in the cave atmosphere. Despite the small size, Acqua Fitusa cave is very interesting for the abundance and variety of forms and deposits related to rising waters and air flow. A ~ 7 m deep inactive thermo-sulphuric discharge slot intersects the floor of some passages for several meters (Fig. 1). Different morphologies of small and large sizes, generated by condensation-corrosion processes, can be observed along the ceiling and walls: ceiling cupolas and large wall convection niches occur in the largest rooms of the cave; deep wall convection niches, in places forming notches, incise cave walls at different heights; condensation-corrosion channels similar to ceiling-half tubes carve the roof of some passages; replacements pockets due to corrosion-substitution processes are widespread; boxwork due to differential condensation-corrosion were observed in the upper parts of the conduits. Sulphuric notches with flat roof, linked to lateral corrosion of the thermal water table, carve the cave walls at different heights recording past stages of base-level lowering. 


The role of condensation in the evolution of dissolutional forms in gypsum caves: Study case in the karst of Sorbas (SE Spain), 2014, Gazquez F. , Calaforra J. M. , Forti P. , Waele J. D. , Sanna L.

The karst of Sorbas (SE Spain) is one of the most important gypsum areas worldwide. Its underground karst network comprises over 100 km of cave passages. Rounded smooth forms, condensation cupola and pendant-like features appear on the ceiling of the shallower passages as a result of gypsum dissolution by condensation water. Meanwhile, gypsum speleothems formed by capillarity, evaporation and aerosol deposition such as coralloids, gypsum crusts and rims are frequently observed closer to the passages floors. The role of condensation-dissolution mechanisms in the evolution of geomorphological features observed in the upper cave levels has been studied by means of long-term Micro-Erosion Meter (MEM) measurements, direct collection and analysis of condensation waters, and micrometeorological monitoring. Monitoring of erosion at different heights on gypsum walls of the Cueva del Agua reveals that the gypsum surface retreated up to 0.033 mm yr- 1 in MEM stations located in the higher parts of the cave walls. The surface retreat was negligible at the lowest sites, suggesting higher dissolution rates close to the cave ceiling, where warmer and moister air flows. Monitoring of microclimatic parameters and direct measurements of condensation water were performed in the Covadura Cave system in order to estimate seasonal patterns of condensation. Direct measurements of condensation water dripping from a metal plate placed in the central part of the El Bosque Gallery of Covadura Cave indicate that condensation takes place mainly between July and November in coincidence with rainless periods. The estimated gypsum surface lowering due to this condensation water is 0.0026 mm yr- 1. Microclimatic monitoring in the same area shows differences in air temperature and humidity of the lower parts of the galleries (colder and drier) with respect to the cave ceiling (warmer and wetter). This thermal sedimentation controls the intensity of the condensation-evaporation mechanisms at different heights in the cave.


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