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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 carbonate rock is a rock that consists of one or more carbonate minerals. carbonate rock successions (or sequences) are those in which carbonate rock is dominant, but which also contain rocks of other lithology [9].?

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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 isotopes (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
Special speleothems in cement-grouting tunnels and their implications of the atmospheric CO2 sink, 1998, Liu Z. H. , He D. B. ,
Based on the analyses and comparisons of water chemistry, stable carbon isotopes and deposition rates of speleothems, the authors found that there are two kinds of speleothems in the tunnels at the Wujiangdu Dam site, Guizhou, China, namely the CO2-outgassing type and the CO2-absorbing type. The former is natural, as observed in general karst caves, and the product of karst processes under natural conditions. The latter, however, is special, resulting from the carbonation of a cement-grouting curtain and concrete. Due to the quick absorption of CO2 from the surrounding atmosphere, evidenced by the low CO2 content in the air and the high deposition rate of speleothems (as high as 10 cm/a) in the tunnels, the contribution of the carbonation process to the sink of CO2 in the atmosphere is important tin the order of magnitude of 10(8) tons c/a) and should be taken into consideration in the study of the global carbon cycle because of the use of cement on a worldwide scale

El Nino Events Recorded by Stalagmite Carbon Isotopes, 2002, Frappier A, Sahagian D, Gonzalez La, Carpenter Sj,

Bacterial diversity and ecosystem function of filamentous microbial mats from aphotic (cave) sulfidic springs dominated by chemolithoautotrophic 'Epsilonproteobacteria', 2004, Engel As, Porter Ml, Stern La, Quinlan S, Bennett Pc,
Filamentous microbial mats from three aphotic sulfidic springs in Lower Kane Cave. Wyoming. were assessed with regard to bacterial diversity, community structure, and ecosystem function using a 16S rDNA-based phylogenetic approach combined with elemental content and stable carbon isotope ratio analyses. The most prevalent mat morphotype consisted of while filament bundles, with low C:N ratios (3.5-5.4) and high sulfur content (16.1-51.2%). White filament bundles and two other mat morphotypes organic carbon isotope values (mean delta(13)C = -34.7parts per thousand: 1sigma = 3.6) consistent with chemolithoautotrophic carbon fixation from a dissolved inorganic carbon reservoir (cave water, mean delta(13)C = -7.47parts per thousand for two springs, n = 8). Bacterial diversity was as low overall in the clone libraries, and the most abundant taxonomic group was affiliated with the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' (68%) with other bacterial sequences affiliated with Gammaproteobacteria (12.2%), Betaproteobacteria (11.7%), Deltaproteobacteria (0.8%), and the Acidobacterium (5.6%) and Bacteriodetes/Chlorobi (1.7%) divisions. Six distinct epsilonproteobacterial taxonomic groups were identified from the microbial mats. Epsilonproteobacterial and bacterial group abundances and community structure shifted front the spring orifices downstream. corresponding to changes in dissolved sulfide and oxygen concentrations and metabolic requirements of certain bacterial groups. Most of the clone sequences for epsilonproteobacterial groups were retrieved from areas with high sulfide and low oxygen concentrations, whereas Thiothrix spp. and Thiobacillus spp. had higher retrieved clone abundances where conditions of low sulfide and high oxygen concentrations were measured. Genetic and metabolic diversity among the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' maximizes overall cave ecosystem function, and these organisms play a significant role in providing chemolithoautotrophic energy to the otherwise nutrient-poor cave habitat. Our results demonstrate that sulfur cycling supports subsurface ecosystem through chemolithoautotrophy and expand the evolutionary and ecological views of 'Epsilonproteobacteria' in terrestrial habitats. (C) 2004 Federation of European Microbiological Societies. Published by Elsevier BY. All rights reserved

ISOTOPES IN SPELEOTHEMS, 2005, Mcdermott F. , Schwarcz H. , Rowe P. J.

Stable isotope analysis of the Cenomaniane Turonian (Late Cretaceous) oceanic anoxic event in the Crimea, 2005, Fisher J. K. , Price G. D. , Hart M. B. , Leng M. J.

Carbon and oxygen isotope data from Cenomaniane Turonian sediments from the southwest of the Crimea are presented. The sediments consist of limestones, marls and organic-rich claystones, the latter with total organic carbon values up to 2.6 wt. %, representing Oceanic Anoxic Event 2. A shift to more negatived 18 O values through the uppermost Cenomanian into the lowermost Turonian may be the result of warming; however, petrographic analysis shows that the samples have undergone a degree of diagenetic alteration. The carbon isotope data reveal a positive excursion fromw2.7&to a peak of 4.3&at the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary; values then decrease in the early Turonian. This excursion is comparable to those of other Cenomaniane Turonian sections, such as those seen in the Anglo-Paris Basin, and is thought to be due to global changes in the oceanic carbon reservoir. On this curve are a number of negatived 13 C excursions, just below the Cenomanian/Turonian boundary. It is suggested that these negative excursions are associated with the uptake of light carbon derived from the oxidation and deterioration of or-ganic material during localised exposure of the sediments to oxic or meteoric diagenetic conditions, possibly during sea-level fluctuations. 


The Upper Valanginian (Early Cretaceous) positive carbonisotope event recorded in terrestrial plants, 2005, Grocke D. R. , Price G. D. , Robinson S. A. , Baraboshkin E. Y. , Mutterlose J. , Ruffell A. H.

Our understanding of the ancient ocean-atmosphere system has focused on oceanic proxies. However, the study of terrestrial proxies is equally necessary to constrain our understanding of ancient climates and linkages between the terrestrial and oceanic carbon reservoirs. We have analyzed carbon–isotope ratios from fossil plant material through the Valanginian and Lower Hauterivian from a shallow-marine, ammonite-constrained succession in the Crimean Peninsula of the southern Ukraine in order to determine if the Upper Valanginian positive carbon–isotope excursion is expressed in the atmosphere.d 13 Cplantvalues fluctuate around 23xto 22xfor the Valanginian–Hauterivian, except during the Upper Valanginian where d 13 C plantvalues record a positive excursion to ~ 18x. based upon ammonite biostratigraphy from Crimea, and in conjunction with a composite Tethyan marined 13 Ccarb curve, several conclusions can be drawn: (1) thed 13 Cplantrecord indicates that the atmospheric carbon reservoir was affected; (2) the defined ammonite correlations between Europe and Crimea are synchronous; and (3) a change in photosynthetic carbon–isotope fractionation, caused by a decrease in atmosphericpCO2, occurred during the Upper Valanginian positived 13 C excursion. Our new data, combined with other paleoenvironmental and paleoclimatic information, indicate that the Upper Valanginian was a cool period (icehouse) and highlights that the Cretaceous period was interrupted by periods of cooling and was not an equable climate as previously thought.


Isotopic indications of water-rock interaction in the hypogene Tavrskaya cave, Crimea, Ukraine, 2011, Dublyansky Yuri, Klimchouk Alexander, Timokhina Elisaveta, Spö, Tl Christoph

The Inner Range of the Crimea Mountains has recently been identified as an area of previously unrecognized hypogene speleogenesis (Klimchouk et al. 2009). The entrance of the Tavrskaya cave is located in the middle of the 25 m-high scarp of the cuesta built up of Paleocene limestone. The cave comprises two parallel major passages (ca. 180 m long, up to 7-8 m high and up to 5-6 m wide) connected by a smaller passage. The major passages are slightly inclined toward the north-west following the dip of bedding. The morphology of the cave bears strong indications of dissolution at conditions of ascending flow in a confined aquifer setting.
A massive calcite crust, studied in this paper, was first found in a small cave located ca. 200 m from Tavrskaya cave along the cuesta scarp. According to its position and morphology, the cave corresponds to the rift-like “feeder” zone of Tavrskaya cave. Recently, similar calcite crust was found in Tavrskaya cave, in a rift-like passage of the  near-scarp zone. The crust is built up of a brownish translucent calcite whose columnar crystals (bounded by competitive growth surfaces) are arranged in a characteristic radiating pattern. Calcite contains only all-liquid inclusions indicating deposition at less than ca. 50ºC. It also contains filamentous biological material (possibly fungi or cyanobacteria), which sometimes facilitated entrapment of fluid inclusions. This calcite body is tentatively
interpreted as a paleo-spring deposit (ascending flow). In order to characterize the isotopic properties of this calcite and the bedrock limestone we drilled small-diameter cores through the calcite formation, as well as through the wall of a cavity devoid of calcite. Stable isotope analyses were performed along these cores. To provide a basis for comparison several samples from the same lithostratigraphic units were collected far from the cave. Along a 15 cm-long profile, both oxygen and carbon isotopes of the limestone remain stable at 18O = -4.3 0.2
h and 13C = -1.7 0.3 h (1). Only within the 1.5 cm-thick zone immediately underlying the calcite 18O and 13C values plunge to ca. -8 h and -9 h respectively,. It appears from this data that water rock-interaction associated with the deposition of this calcite produced only a thin alteration halo in the limestone. However, when data from the cave-wall cores are compared with those collected far from the cave, it appears that the “constant” values from cave walls are shifted relative to the presumably unaltered limestone values toward lower values by
ca. 1.5-3.0 h (oxygen) and 3-4 h (carbon). On the 18O-13C cross-plot the data for unaltered limestone, cave wall limestone, alteration halo, and secondary calcite plot along a well-defined line (R2=0.99).
We propose that the Paleocene limestone in the vicinity of the Tavrskaya cave has experienced a two-stage alteration. During the first stage, presumably associated with the process of cave excavation, the bedrock has been altered (18O depleted by 1.5 to 3.0 h and 13C by 3 to 4 %). The thickness of this zone of early alteration is unknown but must be larger than 15 cm (length of our cores). The second stage of alteration was associated with the deposition of calcite; during this stage the isotopic composition was further depleted (by 4-5 h in 18O and 8-10 h in 13C). The extent of alteration was much smaller, though, and restricted to zones where calcite was deposited (ca. 15 mm beneath the calcite).


Paleoclimate Records from Speleothems, 2012, Polyak Victor J. , Denniston Rhawn F.

Speleothems, mainly stalagmites, are yielding continuous, high-resolution records of past climate. Because calcite in these speleothems can be dated with exceptional accuracy, these records are matching and in some cases exceeding records from lakes, trees, glaciers, and oceans in their importance, and are providing remarkable detail about regional and global climate change history. Multiple records are offered and discussed in this article and show the significance of caves to the field of paleoclimatology.


The 8.2 ka event: is it registered in Belgian speleothems?, 2012, Verheyden, S. , Keppens, E. , Van Strydonck, M. , Quinif, Y.

The petrographic, isotopic and chemical changes occurring around 8.2 ka in two stalagmites, one from the Père Noël cave (Han-sur-lesse, Belgium) and one from the Hotton cave (nearby Marche-en-Famenne, Belgium) are presented. The Père Noël stalagmite presents a particularly dense grey compact calcite around 8.2 ka, while the Hotton stalagmite presents a deposition hiatus of ca 1100 years.
Besides the macroscopic aspect of the stalagmites, changes in their isotopic (δ18O and δ13) composition and in their chemical (Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca) composition are observed. Regarding the early start and the duration of the climate deterioration, it is impossible to link the onset of the observed wet phase in the studied speleothems as directly related to the so-called 8.2 ka event. The question arises if the climate deterioration around 8.2 ka observed in both stalagmites is one among other deteriorations occurring during the early Holocene.


Alteration of isotopic composition of wallrock of hypogene karst conduits in the Crimean Piedmont, 2013, Dublyansky Y. V. , Klimchouk A. B. , Tymokhina E. I. , Amelichev G. N. , Sptl C.

The paper presents the results of a systematic study of the oxygen and carbon isotopes in the walls of the hypogene karst conduits in the Crimean Piedmont, including conduits that are entirely open and represent the cuesta cliffs. Most of the studied cores reveal wide zones of weak isotopic alteration (tens of cm to several m; 1 to 3 ‰) and narrow zones of strong alteration (4 to 15 mm; up to 4-7 ‰) for both C and O. Interaction between carbonate bedrock and fluids is expected in relatively closed hydrogeological conditions characteristic of the hypogene speleogenesis. The most-altered rock has isotopic composition identical to that of the phreatic speleothems, found in some of the studied conduits. This suggests that the altering waters and mineral forming solutions are genetically related. Several alteration trends are apparent in the C-O isotope space, suggesting that the bedrock has experienced more than one stage of alteration, characterized by different physico-chemical parameters of fluids (including different sources and isotopic composition of carbon and, possibly, different temperatures).


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