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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 sheet is a thin coating of calcium carbonate formed on walls, shelves, benches, and terraces by trickling water [10].?

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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 carbon and oxygen isotopes (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
Correlated strontium, carbon and oxygen isotopes in carbonate gangue at the Nanisivik zinc-lead deposits, northern Baffin Island, Canada., 1992, Ghazban F. , Schwarcz H. P. , Ford D. C.

Cryogenic cave calcite from several Central European caves: age, carbon and oxygen isotopes and a genetic model, 2004, Zak Karel, Urban Jan, Cilek Vaclav, Hercman Helena,
Cryogenic cave calcite (CCC), formed by segregation of solutes during water freezing, was found in three Central European caves. This calcite type forms accumulations of loose calcite grains on cave floor. The calcite grains are of highly variable crystal morphology, and of sizes ranging from less than 1 mm to over 1 cm. The most typical feature is their accumulation as loose (uncemented) crystals. U-series dating indicates the formation of CCC in the studied caves during several climatic oscillations of the Weichselian (between 61 and 36 ka BP in the Chelsiowa Jama-Jaskinia Jaworznicka cave system in Poland, between 34 and 26 ka BP in the BUML Cave in the Czech Republic, and between 26 and 21 ka BP in the Stratenska Jaskyna cave system, Slovakia). At the time of CCC formation, the studied caves were lying in a periglacial zone.Detailed C and O stable isotope study of CCC samples revealed that slow water freezing under isotope equilibrium was the dominant formational process in the studied Polish and Czech caves. Significantly higher [delta]13C values of CCC in the Stratenska Jaskyna Cave indicate either water freezing in a more opened system with continuous CO2 escape (Rayleigh fractional separation), or participation of another CO2 source. The model of slow water freezing under isotope equilibrium is supported by isolated character of the caves having limited ventilation.In contrast, modern cryogenic cave calcite powders sampled directly on the ice surface of two recently iced caves in Slovakia with high ventilation showed much higher [delta]18O and [delta]13C data, similar to cryogenic calcites obtained in experimental rapid water freezing

Palaeoclimatic implications of the growth history and stable isotope ([delta]18O and [delta]13C) geochemistry of a Middle to Late Pleistocene stalagmite from central-western Italy, 2004, Drysdale Rn, Zanchetta G, Hellstrom Jc, Fallick Ae, Zhao Jx, Isola I, Bruschi G,
The age structure and stable isotope composition of a stalagmite (CC1) from an upland cave in central-western Italy were studied to investigate regional response to global climatic changes. Four growth phases are constrained by 28 thermal ionization and multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry Th-U ages and reveal intermittent deposition through the period between Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 11 and 3 (~380 and ~43 kyr). Most of the growth took place between ~380 and ~280 kyr, a period punctuated briefly by a hiatus in deposition through the glacial maximum of MIS 10. Growth was terminated abruptly at 280 kyr just prior to the MIS 8 glacial maximum. With a present-day chamber temperature of 7.5 [deg]C, the timing of hiatuses close to these glacial maxima point to freezing conditions at the time. No deposition was recorded through the entirety of MIS 7 and most of MIS 6, whilst two minor growth phases occurred at ~141-125 and ~43 kyr. Growth at 141 kyr indicates temperatures >0 [deg]C at a time when MIS 6 ice volumes were close to their maximum. High stable carbon isotope ([delta]13C) values (-2.8[per mille sign] to .1[per mille sign]) throughout the stalagmite's growth reflect a persistently low input of biogenic CO2, indicating that the steep, barren and alpine-like recharge area of today has been in existence for at least the last ~380 kyr. During MIS 9, the lowest [delta]13C values occur well after maximum interglacial conditions, suggesting a lag in the development of post-glacial soils in this high-altitude karst. The stable oxygen isotope ([delta]18O) trends match the main structural features of the major climate proxy records (SPECMAP, Vostok and Devils Hole), suggesting that the [delta]18O of CC1 has responded to global-scale climate changes, whilst remarkable similarity exists between CC1 [delta]18O and regional sea-surface temperature reconstructions from North Atlantic core ODP980 and southwest Pacific marine core MD97-2120 through the most detailed part of the CC1 record, MIS 9-8. The results suggest that CC1 and other stalagmites from the cave have the potential to capture a long record of regional temperature trends, particularly in regards to the relative severity of Pleistocene glacial stages

A 6000-year high-resolution climatic record from a stalagmite in Xiangshui Cave, Guilin, China, 2004, Zhang Meiliang, Yuan Daoxian, Lin Yushi, Qin Jiaming, Bin Li, Cheng Hai, Edwards R. Lawrence,
Middle-to late-Holocene palaeoclimate change has been reconstructed at high resolution by the analysis of the carbon and oxygen isotopes from a thermal ionization mass spectrometric (TIMS) U/Th dated stalagmite from Xiangshui Cave, near Guilin, Guangxi Province, China. The carbon and oxygen isotopic records from the stalagmite suggest that changes in the Asian monsoon since the middle Holocene (6000 BP) can be divided into two periods: (1) an interval from 6000 to 3800 BP when a strong East Asian summer monsoon gradually weakened and climate was relatively warm and humid; (2) a cool period from 3800 to 373 BP when the East Asian summer monsoon was relatively weak and the winter monsoon was probably relatively strong. This cooler interval was interspersed with a number of short warm periods. A This interpretation is largely based upon the general increase in 6180 values of the stalagmite between 6000 and 3800 BP and shifts in 6180 about a relatively heavy mean value between 3800 and 373 BP. The 6000 to 3800 BP trend is probably associated with decrease in precipitation and temperature subsequent to the mid-Holocene climatic optimum

Limitations of hendy test criteria in judging the paleoclimatic suitability of speleothems and the need for replication, 2009, Dorale J. A. And Liu Z.
Carbon and oxygen isotopes in calcite speleothems are powerful proxies for understanding past climate change. For calcite deposited under isotopic equilibrium conditions, variations in d18 O values directly reflect changes in cave temperature and the isotopic composition of meteoric water. Speleothem d13 C values have bedrock, atmospheric, and soil gas sources. Soil gases can be traced to the overlying vegetation, which is related to climate. Both d13 C and d18 O values are therefore potentially powerful tracers of climate change. Processes that could alter speleothem d13 C and/or d18 O values, and thereby mask primary environmental signals, fall in the categories of 1) kinetic processes, including deposition of calcite out of isotopic equilibrium, and 2) vadose processes, including evaporation of water at or near the land surface. In truth, there is no absolute test for the absence of these kinetic/vadose-zone processes. However, the Hendy Test is widely used for assessing whether isotopic equilibrium existed during the time of calcite deposition. Criterion (1) of the Hendy Test (i.e., that d18 O values remain constant along a single growth layer) may not be a valid control of equilibrium conditions because isotopic equilibrium could theoretically occur in the center of the speleothem at the same time that kinetic fractionation occurs at the flanks. Moreover, the concept of sampling along a single growth layer is flawed in both theory and practice. Criterion (2) of the Hendy Test (i.e., that there is no relationship between d13 C and d18 O) is based on the assumption that speleothem d13 C values are not linked to climate. However, speleothem d13 C values may well be linked to climate because climate provides a first-order control on soil productivity and the type of vegetation. Therefore, Hendy Test criterion (2) is not a prerequisite to isotopic equilibrium in all cases. We propose instead the Replication Test (i.e., the demonstration of similar isotopic profiles among two or more speleothems) for evaluating the likelihood of calcite deposition under isotopic equilibrium conditions. Replication of isotopic profiles among two or more speleothems is possible only if kinetic/vadose-zone processes are either: 1) absent or 2) have affected spatially separated speleothems in exactly the same way. Because the second scenario is highly unlikely, we propose that the Replication Test is effectively sufficient in ruling out kinetic/vadose- zone overprinting processes. We further suggest that the Replication Test is far more robust in testing for the absence of the wide range of processes described above than is the traditional Hendy Test.

Stable isotope data as constraints on models for the origin of coralloid and massive speleothems: The interplay of substrate, water supply, degassing, and evaporation, 2015, Caddeo Guglielmo A. , Railsback L. Bruce, Dewaele Jo, Frau Franco

Many speleothems can be assigned to one of two morphological groups: massive speleothems, which consist of compact bulks of material, and coralloids, which are domal to digitate in form. Faster growth on protrusions of the substrate occurs in the typical growth layers of coralloids (where those layers are termed “coralloid accretions”), but it is not observed in the typical layers of massive speleothems, which in contrast tend to smoothen the speleothem surface (and can therefore be defined as "smoothing accretions"). The different growth rates on different areas of the substrate are explainable by various mechanisms of CaCO3 deposition (e.g., differential aerosol deposition, differential CO2 and/or H2O loss from a capillary film of solution, deposition in subaqueous environments). To identify the causes of formation of coralloids rather than massive speleothems, this article provides data about d13C and d18O at coeval points of both smoothing and coralloid accretions, examining the relationship between isotopic composition and the substrate morphology. In subaerial speleothems, data show an enrichment in heavy isotopes both along the direction of water flow and toward the protrusions. The first effect is due to H2O evaporation and CO2 degassing during a gravity-driven flow of water (gravity stage) and is observed in smoothing accretions; the second effect is due to evaporation and degassing during water movement by capillary action from recesses to prominences (capillary stage) and is observed in subaerial coralloids. Both effects coexist in smoothing accretions interspersed among coralloid ones (intermediate stage). Thus this study supports the origin of subaerial coralloids from dominantly capillary water and disproves their origin by deposition of aerosol from the cave air. On the other hand, subaqueous coralloids seem to form by a differential mass-transfer from a still bulk of water towards different zones of the substrate along diffusion flux vectors of nutrients perpendicular to the isodepleted surfaces. Finally, this isotopic method has proved useful to investigate the controls on speleothem morphology and to obtain additional insights on the evolution of aqueous solutions inside caves.


Stable isotope data as constraints on models for the origin of coralloid and massive speleothems: The interplay of substrate, water supply, degassing, and evaporation, 2015,

Many speleothems can be assigned to one of two morphological groups: massive speleothems, which consist of compact bulks of material, and coralloids, which are domal to digitate in form. Faster growth on protrusions of the substrate occurs in the typical growth layers of coralloids (where those layers are termed “coralloid accretions”), but it is not observed in the typical layers of massive speleothems, which in contrast tend to smoothen the speleothem surface (and can therefore be defined as "smoothing accretions"). The different growth rates on different areas of the substrate are explainable by various mechanisms of CaCO3 deposition (e.g., differential aerosol deposition, differential CO2 and/or H2O loss from a capillary film of solution, deposition in subaqueous environments). To identify the causes of formation of coralloids rather than massive speleothems, this article provides data about d13C and d18O at coeval points of both smoothing and coralloid accretions, examining the relationship between isotopic composition and the substrate morphology. In subaerial speleothems, data show an enrichment in heavy isotopes both along the direction of water flow and toward the protrusions. The first effect is due to H2O evaporation and CO2 degassing during a gravity-driven flow of water (gravity stage) and is observed in smoothing accretions; the second effect is due to evaporation and degassing during water movement by capillary action from recesses to prominences (capillary stage) and is observed in subaerial coralloids. Both effects coexist in smoothing accretions interspersed among coralloid ones (intermediate stage). Thus this study supports the origin of subaerial coralloids from dominantly capillary water and disproves their origin by deposition of aerosol from the cave air. On the other hand, subaqueous coralloids seem to form by a differential mass-transfer from a still bulk of water towards different zones of the substrate along diffusion flux vectors of nutrients perpendicular to the isodepleted surfaces. Finally, this isotopic method has proved useful to investigate the controls on speleothem morphology and to obtain additional insights on the evolution of aqueous solutions inside caves.


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