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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 subsidence doline is a closed karst depression formed due to local subsidence of the surface rocks and/or soil into cavities formed by widespread dissolution or local collapse of caves. the type of subsidence doline formed by downwashing of the soil cover is better described as a suffosion doline [9]. also known as sinkhole.?

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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 cave microclimate (Keyword) returned 21 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 21
Cave Microclimate: A Note on Moisture, 1969, Wigley, T. M.

The moisture budget of a cave atmosphere is examined quantitatively. The results indicate that caves can be divided into two distinct classes depending on whether the cave atmosphere is or is not saturated. A further consequence of the theory is that greater climate fluctuations are to be expected in caves in which unsaturated conditions prevail. This generalisation may have significance in studies of cavern breakdown and in ecological studies in caves.


Changes in microclimatic conditions in ,,Nied?wiedzia'' Cave in 1988-1978. [in Polish], 1980, Kwiatkowski, Jan

The Influence of Seasonal Changes of Cave Microclimate Upon the Genesis of Gypsum Formations in Caves, 1990, Maltsev, Vladimir A.

An Investigation of the Climate, Carbon Dioxide and Dust in Jenolan Caves, N.S.W., PhD Thesis, 1997, Michie, Neville

Pressure of use of Jenolan Caves as a tourist spectacle has raised concerns about the wellbeing of the caves, so three related physical subjects were reviewed and investigated; the cave microclimate, the carbon dioxide in the cave atmosphere and dustfall in the caves. The microclimate has been shown to be dominated by several physical processes: in the absence of air movement, conduction and radiation dominate; in association with air movement, convective coupled heat and mass transfer tends to dominate energy flows. A new approach using boundary conditions and qualitative characteristics of transient fronts enables accurate measurement and analysis of energy, heat and mass transfer. This technique avoids the dimensionless number and transfer coefficient methods and is not geometrically sensitive. Conditions in caves are also determined by the capillary processes of water in cave walls. Air movement in caves depends on surface weather conditions and special problems of surface weather observation arise. A series of experiments were undertaken to evaluate the cave and surface processes. The physical processes that collect, transport and release dust were measured and described. Dust in the caves was shown to be carried from the surface, mainly by visitors. The concept of the Personal Dust Ooud is developed and experimental measurements and analysis show that this process is a major threat to the caves. New techniques of measurement are described. An accurate physiological model has been developed which predicts most of the carbon dioxide measured in Jenolan Caves, derived mainly from visitors on the cave tours. This model, developed from previously published human physiological information also predicts the production of heat and water vapour by cave tourists. The effects of carbon dioxide on cave conditions has been investigated. Details of a two year program of measurements in the caves are given. The generalised approach and methods are applicable to other caves, mines and buildings.


The Problem of Condensation in Karst Studies, 1998, Dublyansky, V. N.
Condensation in karst occurs over a wide range of natural settings, at latitudes from 25 to 70 and altitudes from sea level to 2600 m. In summer (April through September), condensation introduces a significant amount of water into the karst massifs (from 0.1% to as much as 20% of the total dry-season runoff). Contrary to common belief, in winter evaporation does not withdraw appreciable amounts of water from the massifs. Evaporating at depth, the water condenses near the surface within the epikarstic zone or on the snow cover and flows back. Condensation can sustain springs during prolonged dry periods (such as summer and winter) when there is no recharge by liquid precipitation. Condensation can play a significant role in speleogenesis, and many forms of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphologies are attributable to condensation corrosion. It can be particularly efficient in the latter stages of hydrothermal cave development (during partial dewatering) when the temperature and the humidity gradients are highest. Coupled with evaporation, air convection, and aerosol mass transfer, condensation can play a crucial role in the formation of a number of speleothems, as well as create peculiar patterns of cave microclimate.

Field assessment of the microclimatology of tropical flank margin caves, 2000, Gamble Dw, Dogwiler Jt, Mylroie J,
Temperature observations were collected inside 2 caves in the Bahamas and 1 cave in Puerto Rico to characterize the microclimatology of tropical flank margin cave systems. Three aspects of these tropical cave temperatures agree with temperate cave microclimate theory. Specifically, external atmospheric disturbances can affect temperatures inside tropical flank margin cave systems, tropical flank margin caves are warmer than the exterior temperatures during winter, and water can impact temperatures deep into a tropical flank margin cave system. The temperature observations collected also indicate potential differences between the microclimatology of tropical and temperate cave systems. In particular, the temperate 3-zone cave microclimate model may not be applicable to tropical flank margin caves, diurnal fluctuations were not apparent in tropical flank margin cave systems, and the existence of a temperature inversion in a down-sloping cave may not be applicable to all tropical flank margin caves. The potential differences in temperate and these tropical cave systems can be linked to the physical dimensions of the tropical flank margin cave systems and the unique hydrology of small carbonate islands. Specifically, tropical flank margin caves have a width greater than length while temperate fluvio-karst caves have a length greater than width and tidal water can exist in the pits and depressions of tropical flank margin caves as opposed to flowing streams in temperate cave systems

The role of condensation in karst hydrogeology and speleogenesis, 2000, Dublyansky V. N. , Dublyansky Y. V.
Condensation in karst occurs over a wide range of natural settings, at latitudes from 25 to 70o and altitudes from sea level to 2600 m. In summer (April through September), condensation introduces a significant amount of water into the karst massifs (from 0.1 % to as much as 20 % of the total dry-season runoff). Contrary to common belief, in winter evaporation does not withdraw appreciable amounts of water from the massifs. Evaporating at depth, the water condenses near the surface within the epikarstic zone or on the snow cover and flows back. Condensation can sustain springs during prolonged dry periods (such as summer and winter) when there is no recharge by liquid precipitation. Condensation can play a significant role in speleogenesis, and many forms of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphologies are attributable to condensation corrosion. It can be particularly efficient in the latter stages of hydrothermal cave development (during partial dewatering) when the temperature and the humidity gradients are highest. Coupled with evaporation, air convection, and aerosol mass transfer, condensation can play a crucial role in the formation of a number of speleothems, as well as create peculiar patterns of cave microclimate.

Ochtina Aragonite Cave (Western Carpathians, Slovakia): Morphology, mineralogy of the fill and genesis, 2002, Bosak P, Bella P, Cilek V, Ford Dc, Hercman H, Kadlec J, Osborne A, Pruner P,
Ochtina Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The metalimestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as isolated lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained. Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and bimessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. Thermal ionisation mass spectrometry and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka - Allerod) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the, younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave

E?aniay iaua?a: Iiuo eiiieaeniue ea?noieiae?aneeo enneaaiaaiee, 2002, Dublyansky V. N. , Vakhrushev B. A. , Amelichev G. N. , Shutov Yu. I.
The book summarizes results of more than 40 years of studies of Krasnaya (Red) Cave, the longest cave in Crimea with underground river. In Russian

MEDICAL SURVEY OF THE STAFF WORKING IN THE ŠKOCJAN CAVES, SLOVENIA , 2002, Debevec Gerjevič, Vanja

The cave microclimate is distinguished by many parameters that could underlie some physiological changes in human body when exposed for an extended period of time. Beside temperature, air-flow, the absence of sunlight and humidity, which vary according to the location and structure of the underground space, radon radiation is present as well. Park Škocjanske jame, Slovenia, has been performing a regular and continuous monitoring of radon and its daughter products for about five years now. All measurements are done by the Institute for Occupational Safety, Ljubljana. The accurate evidence of time spent in the cave is kept for every member of the staff. This enables us to combine the data with radon concentration and determine the maximum dose of radiation that one has received during one year working period. According to national regulation and law, stated by National Health Inspector and Ministry of Health, a regular medical survey has been established. Detailed medical exams are performed each year or less frequently in order to prevent health problems. Blood tests enable us to observe radiation impact. In the following work a short overview of microclimates impacts will be presented as health and risk factors.


Ochtin Aragonite Cave (Slovakia): morphology, mineralogy and genesis, 2005, Bosk P. , Bella P. , Cilek V. , Ford D. C. , Hercman H. , Kadlec J. , Osborne A. , Pruner P. ,

Ochtiná Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The limestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained.
Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and birnessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. TIMS and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka – Alleröd) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave.


Prediction of condensation in caves, 2005, Defreitas C. R. , Schmekal A.

Condensation is an important process in karst environments, especially in caves where carbon dioxide enriched air can lead to high rates of condensation corrosion. The problem is there has been very little research reported in the literature dealing with condensation as a microclimate process. This study addresses the problem and reports on a method for measuring and predicting condensation rates in a limestone cave. Electronic sensors for measuring condensation and evaporation of the condensate as part of a single continuous process of water vapour flux are tested and used to collect 12 months of data. The study site is the Glowworm tourist cave in New Zealand. Condensation is a function of the vapour gradient between rock surfaces in the cave and cave air. The size of the gradient is largely determined by air exchange with the outside. The results show that the numerical model to predict condensation works well. Given that rock-surface temperature in the cave does not vary much, condensation is essentially a function of cave air temperature and the processes that affect it, mainly, air exchange with outside. The results show that condensation can be controlled by controlling ventilation of the cave.


Microclimatic characterization of caves and analysis of the antropic impact for touristic use. PhD thesis , 2005, Ferná, Ndezcorté, S A.

The conservation and protection of caves requires suitable management tools that are based on a detailed knowledge of the environmental parameters of karst areas. The main tool for karst management is the definition and delimitation of protected areas and, in the case of tourist caves, an estimation of the visitor carrying capacity. This doctoral thesis deals with the most important methodologies related to the monitoring of cave microclimates, and focuses on show caves. The use of a great quantity of environmental data derived from different caves in southern Spain has required the use of several statistical techniques to meet the objective of simplifying and revaluating this environmental information. It is expected that the main focus of interest of this research thesis to managers of these geo-heritage sites lies in the possibility of incorporating the results of cave environmental monitoring into an integrated model of management, which also contemplates socio-economic aspects. The analysis of microclimates in each of the caves under study is dealt with in different ways depending on the type of data recorded within each one of them. Caves such as the 'Cueva del Agua' and 'Cueva de las Ventanas' are typified by the spatiotemporal behavior of the main microclimatic variables, such as the temperature and carbon dioxide content of the air. This information about the 'zero state' of the cave is complemented by an analysis of the infiltration processes and a study of the air-mass exchange phenomena. In the Sorbas karst, the design and installation of an intelligent environmental control system inside one of the potential tourist caves (System Covadura) allowed an extensive time series database to be assembled, which together with information about the spatial microclimate, comprises the base knowledge of the initial state of the cave before any tourist activities are authorized. The Giant Geode of Pulpí (Almería, Spain) represents an exceptional case with characteristics that are distinct from show caves as defined in the strictest sense of the term. The uniqueness of this site in terms of its fragility and dimension, together with the imminent need to adopt measures for its protection, resulted in the execution of an exhaustive microclimatic study in order to evaluate the possibility of opening the geode to tourists.


Microclimatic characterization of caves and analysis of the antropic impact for touristic use, PhD Thesis , 2005, Ferná, Ndezcorté, S A

The conservation and protection of caves requires suitable management tools that are based on a detailed knowledge of the environmental parameters of karst areas. The main tool for karst management is the definition and delimitation of protected areas and, in the case of tourist caves, an estimation of the visitor carrying capacity. This doctoral thesis deals with the most important methodologies related to the monitoring of cave microclimates, and focuses on show caves. The use of a great quantity of environmental data derived from different caves in southern Spain has required the use of several statistical techniques to meet the objective of simplifying and revaluating this environmental information. It is expected that the main focus of interest of this research thesis to managers of these geo-heritage sites lies in the possibility of incorporating the results of cave environmental monitoring into an integrated model of management, which also contemplates socio-economic aspects. The analysis of microclimates in each of the caves under study is dealt with in different ways depending on the type of data recorded within each one of them. Caves such as the 'Cueva del Agua' and 'Cueva de las Ventanas' are typified by the spatiotemporal behavior of the main microclimatic variables, such as the temperature and carbon dioxide content of the air. This information about the 'zero state' of the cave is complemented by an analysis of the infiltration processes and a study of the air-mass exchange phenomena. In the Sorbas karst, the design and installation of an intelligent environmental control system inside one of the potential tourist caves (System Covadura) allowed an extensive time series database to be assembled, which together with information about the spatial microclimate, comprises the base knowledge of the initial state of the cave before any tourist activities are authorized. The Giant Geode of Pulpí (Almería, Spain) represents an exceptional case with characteristics that are distinct from show caves as defined in the strictest sense of the term. The uniqueness of this site in terms of its fragility and dimension, together with the imminent need to adopt measures for its protection, resulted in the execution of an exhaustive microclimatic study in order to evaluate the possibility of opening the geode to tourists.


Zoloushka Cave, 2007, Andreychouk V.

In March 2007 there was a 30th anniversary of a discovery of the Zoloushka (Cinderella) Cave, which is one of the largest gypsum caves in the world. Until now over 90 km of passages of a total volume of 0.65 million m3 have been mapped. The cave was accidentally encountered by the face of a gypsum quarry in 1946, but it was not penetrated by speleologists until 30 years later. From the very beginning of exploration, the cave attracted the attention of many speleologists and later - geographers and geologists. It became a notable supplement to the family of the largest gypsum caves, which were investigated in the area of the neighboring Podolsky (Podolia) region. It appeared however not entirely similar to them: as compared to the cave systems in Podolia the Zoloushka Cave shows more voluminous passages and it is more filled with clayey sediments. The cave passages developed mainly in the upper part of the gypsum layer, which resulted in collapses in many sections. The main feature of the Zoloushka Cave is that it was artificially uncovered (in the quarry face) and it was not accessible until the gypsum layer was drained by pumping out karst water. The quarry exposed rich groundwater reservoir ? a large karst aquifer. Gradual deepening and extension of the quarry caused the increase of outflow rate and the increase of water withdrawal. In the late 1960s, when the most (18-20m) of the gypsum layer (total thickness 24-26 m) was entrenched, the karst system had been already drained. Groundwater, marking the surface of a depression cone, was preserved only in the lowest parts of the cave. The karst system became accessible to investigations. Opening of the Zoloushka maze had interrupted the natural evolution of the hydrogeological settings ? it had occurred in the moment when it was almost totally filled with water. The caves in the Podolia region underwent this stage tens of thousand years earlier. Modern draining and younger age of the Zoloushka Cave determined a specific character of its internal relief (increased moisture of deposits, lack of secondary gypsum formations which are so typical for the Pololian?s caves), and caused different processes to operate (roof subsidence, sediment drying/draining, water flows between different areas, etc.), which accompanied a sudden conversion from water-filled chambers to empty ones. It became clear from the very beginning that the cave is an extremely interesting object from a scientific point of view. The cave provided a unique opportunity to carry out multi-aspect investigations. Many phenomena and features were observed by speleologists for the first time. Morphological features of the cave, such as large cylindrical pits created by rising underground water, evidence undoubtedly a confined origin of the cave system. The morphogenetic studies in the cave have played an important role in understanding problems of karst development in this region and establishing a new (artesian) regional concept of speleogenesis. The abundance of iron-manganese deposits in the cave attracted the attention of geochemists, who determined the presence of numerous geochemical processes which occurred when the cave became drained. The cave made it possible for speleologists to study the mechanisms of sinkhole development, which is extremely important for an adequate understanding and assessment of karst hazards. The cave sediments contain numerous carbonate insertions (lithified fills of relict fissures in gypsum), which make it possible to reconstruct important palaeogeographic, palaeotectonic and palaeokarstic events. During all these years the cave has been well studied. This work represents a kind of summary of all the hitherto achievements and has a general and complex character. Many problems however remained unresolved. Therefore the aim of this work is not only to present general results of the investigations which have been carried out in the Zoloushka Cave, but also to attract the interest of specialists of different fields in order to enlarge and intensify the investigations in the cave itself and its surrounding. The book's twelve chapters deal with history of the cave discovery and study, natural conditions and karst of the region, geological environment of the cave, speleomorphogenesis, morphological structure of the cave network, hydrology, breakdown processes and sinkhole development, cave sediments, cave microclimate, life in the cave, cave genesis and age, scientific and practical importance of the cave.

In Russian, with extended abstract and captions in English and Polish.


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