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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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. ...

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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
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Your search for cave (Keyword) returned 5844 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 5844
Spatial variability in cave drip water hydrochemistry: Implications for stalagmite paleoclimate records, , Baldini Jul, Mcdermott F, Fairchild Ij,
The identification of vadose zone hydrological pathways that most accurately transmit climate signals through karst aquifers to stalagmites is critical for accurately interpreting climate proxies contained within individual stalagmites. A three-year cave drip hydrochemical study across a spectrum of drip types in Crag Cave, SW Ireland, reveals substantial variability in drip hydrochemical behaviour. Stalagmites fed by very slow drips ( 2[no-break space]ml/min) sites, apparently unconnected with local meteorological events. Water from these drips was typically undersaturated with respect to calcite, and thus did not result in calcite deposition. Data presented here suggest that drips in this flow regime also experience flow re-routing and blocking, and that any stalagmites developed under such drips are unsuitable as mid- to high-resolution paleoclimate proxies. Most drip sites demonstrated seasonal [Ca2] and [Mg2] variability that was probably linked to water excess. Prior calcite precipitation along the flowpath affected the chemistry of slowly dripping sites, while dilution predominantly controlled the water chemistry of the more rapidly dripping sites. This research underscores the importance of understanding drip hydrology prior to selecting stalagmites for paleoclimate analysis and before interpreting any subsequent proxy data

Speleothems and paleoglaciers, , Spotl Christoph, Mangini Augusto,
Ice and speleothems are widely regarded as mutually exclusive as the presence of liquid water is a fundamental prerequisite for speleothem deposition. Here we show that speleothems may form in caves overlain by a glacier, as long as the temperature in the cave is above freezing and the conduits are not completely flooded by melt water. Carbonate dissolution is accomplished via sulfide oxidation and the resultant speleothems show high [delta]13C values approaching and locally exceeding those of the parent host rock (lack of soil-derived biogenic C). The [delta]18O values reflect the isotopic composition of the melt water percolating into the karst fissure network and carry an atmospheric (temperature) signal, which is distinctly lower than those of speleothems formed during periods when soil and vegetation were present above the cave. These `subglacial' speleothems provide a means of identifying and dating the former presence of warm-based paleoglaciers and allow us to place some constraints on paleotemperature changes

Paleoclimate and location of the border between Mediterranean climate region and the Saharo-Arabian Desert as revealed by speleothems from the northern Negev Desert, Israel, , Vaks A. , Barmatthews M. , Ayalon A. , Matthews A. , Frumkin A. , Dayan U. , Halicz L. , Mogilabin A. , Schilman B. ,
Speleothem bearing karstic caves of the northern Negev Desert, southern Israel, provides an ideal site for reconstructing the paleoclimate and paleo-location of the border between Mediterranean climate region and the Saharo-Arabian Desert. Major periods of speleothem deposition (representing humid periods) were determined by high resolution 230Th-U dating and corresponding studies of stable isotope composition were used to identify the source of rainfall during humid periods and the vegetation type. Major humid intervals occurred during glacials at 190-150[no-break space]ka, 76-25[no-break space]ka, 23-13[no-break space]ka and interglacials at 200-190[no-break space]ka, 137-123[no-break space]ka and 84-77[no-break space]ka. The dominant rainfall source was the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, with a possible small contribution from southern tropical sources during the interglacial periods. When the interglacial interval rainfall was of Eastern Mediterranean origin, the minimum annual rainfall was ~ 300-350[no-break space]mm; approximately twice than of the present-day. Lower minimum amounts of precipitation could have occurred during glacial periods, due to the cooler temperatures and reduced evaporation. Although during most of the humid periods the vegetation remained steppe with mixed C3 C4 vegetation, Mediterranean C3 type steppe-forest vegetation invaded southward for short periods, and the climate in the northern Negev became closer to Mediterranean type than at present. The climate was similar to present, or even more arid, during intervals when speleothem deposition did not occur: 150-144[no-break space]ka, 141-140[no-break space]ka, 117-96[no-break space]ka, 92-85[no-break space]ka, 25-23[no-break space]ka, and 13[no-break space]ka-present-day.Precipitation increase occurred in the northern Negev during the interglacial monsoonal intensity maxima at 198[no-break space]ka, 127[no-break space]ka, 83[no-break space]ka and glacial monsoonal maxima at 176[no-break space]ka, 151[no-break space]ka, 61[no-break space]ka and 33[no-break space]ka. However, during interglacial monsoonal maxima at 105[no-break space]ka and 11[no-break space]ka, the northern Negev was arid whereas during glacial monsoonal minima it was usually humid. This implies that there is not always synchroneity between monsoonal activity and humidity in the region.Oxygen isotopic values of the northern Negev speleothems are systematically lower than contemporaneous speleothems of central and northern Israel. This part is attributed to the increased rainout of the heavy isotopes by Rayleigh fractionation processes, possibly due to the farther distance from the Mediterranean coast

Origin of the sedimentary deposits of the Naracoorte Caves, South Australia, , Forbes Ms, Bestland Ea,
The origin of the sediments located in the Naracoorte Caves (South Australia) was investigated via the analysis of strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr), elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy. Sedimentary deposits located in Robertson, Wet, Blanche and several other chambers in Victoria Cave are all variable mixes of fine sand and coarse silts, which display similar and consistent strontium isotope ratios (0.717-0.725). This suggests that over the 400[no-break space]ka time frame that these deposits span there has been minimal variation in the source of the clastic sediments. Increased strontium concentrations for these cave sediments correspond with increasing silt content, yet there is no correlation between 87Sr/86Sr ratios and silt content. This implies that the silt-sized component of the sediments is the main contributor of strontium to the cave sediments. Comparisons of 87Sr/86Sr with regional surficial deposits show a significant correlation between the cave sediments (avg: 0.7228; n = 27), the fine silt lunettes of the Bool Lagoon area (avg: 0.7224; n = 4), the sandy A horizons of the Coonawarra Red Brown Earths (RBEs; avg: 0.726; n = 5), and Holocene age podsolic sand deposits (0.723). These data suggest that there has been substantial flux from this group of deposits to the caves, as would be expected considering prevailing winds. This relationship is further supported by a strong correlation between many trace elements, including Ti, Zr, Ce, and Y; however, variations in clay mineralogy suggest that the fine silt-dominated lunettes and Padthaway RBEs were not significant contributors to the cave deposits. Hence, the detritus entering the caves was more than likely from areas proximal to the cave entrance and was dominated by medium grain-sized materials. Major regional deposits, including the coarser-grained, calcite-rich Bridgewater Formation sands, basalts from the lower SE, Padthaway Horst granites, Gambier limestone, and metamorphics from the Adelaide geosyncline show minimal correlation in 87Sr/86Sr ratios, elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy with the cave sediments, and are discounted as significant sources. In comparison, 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the Coorong silty sands (0.717-0.724), Lower Murray sands (0.727-0.730), and the medium size silt component of the Murray-Darling River system (0.71-0.72), compare favourably with the cave sediments. This relationship is further supported by similarities in elemental chemistry and mineralogy. Thus, much of the strontium-rich silt that is now located in the Naracoorte Cave sediments likely originated from the Murray-Darling basin. Over time, this material has been transported to the SE of South Australia, where it mixed with the medium sand component of the regressive dune ridge sequence, locally derived organic matter, limestone fragments, and fossil material to produce the unique deposits that we see evident in many of the chambers of the Naracoorte Cave system today

Analysis of the main factors affecting the evaluation of the radon dose in workplaces: The case of tourist caves, , Quindos Luis Santiago, Sainz Carlos, Fuente Ismael, Nicolas Jorge, Quindos Luis,

The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

The Aggitis karst system, Eastern Macedonia, Greece: Hydrologic functioning and development of the karst structure, , Novel Jean Paul, Dimadi Agoro, Zervopoulou Anna, Bakalowicz Michel,
SummaryThe Aggitis karst system developed in the marbles of the Rhodope massif. The conditions of the development of its karst drainage network are determined from the geological and geomorphologic settings by means of a microstructural analysis, following Eraso's method. This analysis shows that the karst conduit network intensely developed in the western part of the mountain Falakro where the majority of the open fractures oriented in the same direction as the hydraulic gradient, while the two directions are perpendicular in its eastern part drained by the spring of Drama.The behaviour of the system was analysed by means of hydrodynamic and water geochemical techniques. Despite the extension of the cave system and of the favourable development conditions of conduits, the functioning appears complex, with a significant storage, and a slow infiltration as well as an easy drainage. On the contrary the Drama karst system, characterised by a low variability in its hydrological and geochemical characteristics does not show any karst functioning.In the Aggitis karst system the initial groundwater flow conditions in combination with the aperture planes of which the directions are in agreement with the hydraulic gradient, favoured the rapid development of a drainage network system. The recharge from a large surface catchment area on non-karstic rocks, through swallow holes in a wide polje contributed to increase the groundwater flow through the karst part of the system, facilitating the development of the conduits

Assessing the importance of conduit geometry and physical parameters in karst systems using the storm water management model (SWMM), , Peterson Eric W. , Wicks Carol M. ,
SummaryQuestions about the importance of conduit geometry and about the values of hydraulic parameters in controlling ground-water flow and solute transport through karstic aquifers have remained largely speculative. One goal of this project was to assess the role that the conduit geometry and the hydraulic parameters have on controlling transport dynamics within karstic aquifers. The storm water management model (SWMM) was applied to the Devil's Icebox-Connor's Cave System in central Missouri, USA. Simulations with incremental changes to conduit geometry or hydraulic parameters were performed with the output compared to a calibrated baseline model. Ten percent changes in the length or width of a conduit produced statistically significant different fluid flow responses. The model exhibited minimal sensitivity to slope and infiltration rates; however, slight changes in Manning's roughness coefficient can highly alter the simulated output.Traditionally, the difference in flow dynamics between karstified aquifers and porous media aquifers has led to the idea that modeling of karst aquifers is more difficult and less precise than modeling of porous media aquifers. When evaluated against models for porous media aquifers, SWMM produced results that were as accurate (10% error compared to basecase). In addition, SWMM has the advantage of providing data about local flow. While SWMM may be an appropriate modeling technique for some karstic aquifers, SWMM should not be viewed as a universal solution to modeling karst systems

Caves as archives of ecological and climatic changes in the pleistocene - the case of Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar, , Finlayson G, Finlayson C, Giles Pacheco F, Rodriguez Vidal J, Carrion Js, Recio Espejo Jm,

A comparative integrated geophysical study of Horseshoe Chimney Cave, Colorado Bend State Park, Texas, , Brown Wesley A. , Stafford Kevin W. , Shawfaulkner Mindy , Grubbs Andy

An integrated geophysical study was performed over a known cave in Colorado Bend State Park (CBSP), Texas, where shallow karst features are common within the Ellenberger Limestone. Geophysical survey such as microgravity, ground penetrating radar (GPR), direct current (DC) resistivity, capacitively coupled (CC) resistivity, induced polarization (IP) and ground conductivity (GC) measurements were performed in an effort to distinguish which geophysical method worked most effectively and efficiently in detecting the presence of subsurface voids, caves and collapsed features. Horseshoe Chimney Cave (HCC), which is part of a larger network of cave systems, provides a good control environment for this research. A 50 x 50 meter grid, with 5 m spaced traverses was positioned around the entrance to HCC. Geophysical techniques listed above were used to collect geophysical data which were processed with the aid of commercial software packages. A traditional cave survey was conducted after geophysical data collection, to avoid any bias in initial data collection. The survey of the cave also provided ground truthing. Results indicate the microgravity followed by CC resistivity techniques worked most efficiently and were most cost effective, while the other methods showed varying levels of effectiveness.


A note on the occurrence of a crayback stalagmite at Niah Caves, Borneo, , Lundberg Joyce, Mcfarlane Donald A.

Crayback stalagmites have mainly been reported from New South Wales, Australia. Here we document a small crayback in the entrance of Painted Cave (Kain Hitam), part of the Niah Caves complex in Sarawak, Borneo. Measuring some 65 cm in length and 18 cm in height, this deposit is elongate in the direction of the dominant wind and thus oriented towards the natural tunnel entrance. It shows the classic humpbacked long profile, made up of small transverse segments or plates, in this case the tail extending towards the entrance. The dark blue-green colour down the centre suggests that cyanobacterial growth follows the track of the wind-deflected roof drip. The dry silty cave sediment provides material for accretion onto the biological mat. This is the only example known from Borneo and one of the very few known from outside of Australia


Fungal communities on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, USA, , Vaughan Michael J. , Maier Raina M. , Pryor Barry M.

Kartchner Caverns, located near Benson, Arizona, USA, is an active carbonate cave that serves as the major attraction for Kartchner Caverns State Park. Low-impact development and maintenance have preserved prediscovery macroscopic cavern features and minimized disturbances to biological communities within the cave.. The goal of this study was to examine fungal diversity in Kartchner Caverns on actively-forming speleothem surfaces. Fifteen formations were sampled from five sites across the cave. Richness was assessed using standard culture-based fungal isolation techniques. A culture-independent analysis using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to assay evidence of community homogeneity across the cave through the separation of 18S rDNA amplicons from speleothem community DNA. The culturing effort recovered 53 distinct morphological taxonomic units (MTUs), corresponding to 43 genetic taxonomic units (GTUs) that represented 21 genera. From the observed MTU accumulation curve and the projected total MTU richness curve, it is estimated that 51 percent of the actual MTU richness was recovered. The most commonly isolated fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Phialophora, and Aspergillus. This culturebased analysis did not reveal significant differences in fungal richness or number of fungi recovered across sites. Cluster analysis using DGGE band profiles did not reveal distinctive groupings of speleothems by sample site. However, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) analysis of culture-independent DGGE profiles showed a significant effect of sampling site and formation type on fungal community structure. Taken together, these results reveal that diverse fungal communities exist on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, and that these communities are not uniformly distributed spatially. Analysis of sample saturation indicated that more sampling depth is required to uncover the full scale of mycological richness across spelothem surfaces.


GHOST-ROCK KARSTIFICATION IN ENTRE-DEUX-MERS (GIRONDE, FRANCE), IMPLICATIONS FOR KARSTOGENESIS AND KARSTIC MORPHOLOGY, , Dubois Caroline, Lans Benjamin, Kaufmann Olivier, Maire Richard, Quinif Yves

The formation of the Oligocene « calcaires à Astéries » in the region of « Entre-deux-Mers » is affected by a karstification with subhorizontal caves that drained rivers from swallow-holes to resurgences. Observations in quarries show that ghost-rock alterites are present. This paper describes the ghost-rocks in the quarry of Piquepoche exploiting the Frontenac stone. We have studied horizontally developed ghost-rocks with vertical extensions still containing the residual alterite. They can be badly consolidated calcarenites up to soft material which has been sampled. Speleogenesis is reviewed in the frame of the mechanical erosion of the alterite of a horizontal ghost-rock followed by an incision by free-flowing waters which form a passage with promontories and potholes. Finally, we show that ceiling anastomoses can form by ghost-rock karstification.


On hypogean Roncocreagris (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones: Neobisiidae) from Portugal, with descriptions of three new species, , Reboleira Ana Sofia P. S. , Zaragoza Juan A. , Gonalves F. , Orom P.

Three new hypogean species of the Iberian genus Roncocreagris Mahnert, 1974 are described from mainland Portugal: R. borgesi sp. nov. and R. gepesi sp. nov. from caves in the Sicó massif, and R. occidentalis sp. nov. from caves in the Montejunto and Cesaredas karst plateau. This brings to nine the number of known hypogean species of the mostly Iberian genus Roncocreagris: five from Portugal and four from Spain. Ecological comments and new localities for some of the previously known species are also included.


Diversity and dynamics of microarthropods from different biotopes of Las Sardinas cave (Mexico) , , Jos Palaciosvargas, Gabriela Castaomeneses, Daniel A. Estrada

An ecological study of the microarthropod communities from Las Sardinas cave was undertaken. Four different biotopes were studied over the course of a year: bat guano, litter, soil under the chemoautotrophic bacteria colonies and as a control, plain soil without litter or guano. A total of 27,913 specimens of a total of 169 species were collected. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) showed that there is a significant effect of biotope on the recorded density, and the post hoc Tukey’s test showed that guano is the most different biotope with the highest value of density recorded. The interaction between season and biotope variables was not significant. In the most extreme case, 99 percent of the microarthropods in soil under chemoautotrophic bacteria were mites, mainly in the family Histiostomidae.


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