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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. ...

Did you know?

That oolitic is of spherical or ovoidal shape [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 clones (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Microbiology and geochemistry in a hydrogen-sulphide-rich karst environment, 2000, Hose Louise D. , Palmer Arthur N. , Palmer Margaret V. , Northup Diana E. , Boston Penelope J. , Duchene Harvey R. ,
Cueva de Villa Luz, a hypogenic cave in Tabasco, Mexico, offers a remarkable opportunity to observe chemotrophic microbial interactions within a karst environment. The cave water and atmosphere are both rich in hydrogen sulphide. Measured H2S levels in the cave atmosphere reach 210 ppm, and SO2 commonly exceeds 35 ppm. These gases, plus oxygen from the cave air, are absorbed by freshwater that accumulates on cave walls from infiltration and condensation. Oxidation of sulphur and hydrogen sulphide forms concentrated sulphuric acid. Drip waters contain mean pH values of 1.4, with minimum values as low as 0.1.The cave is fed by at least 26 groundwater inlets with a combined flow of 200-300 l/s. Inlet waters fall into two categories: those with high H2S content (300-500 mg/l), mean PCO2=0.03-0.1 atm, and no measurable O2; and those with less than 0.1 mg/l H2S, mean PCO2=0.02 atm, and modest O2 content (up to 4.3 mg/l). Both water types have a similar source, as shown by their dissolved solid content. However, the oxygenated water has been exposed to aerated conditions upstream from the inlets so that original H2S has been largely lost due to outgassing and oxidation to sulphate, increasing the sulphate concentration by about 4%. Chemical modelling of the water shows that it can be produced by the dissolution of common sulphate, carbonate, and chloride minerals.Redox reactions in the cave appear to be microbially mediated. Sequence analysis of small subunit (16S) ribosomal RNA genes of 19 bacterial clones from microbial colonies associated with water drips revealed that 18 were most similar to three Thiobacilli spp., a genus that often obtains its energy from the oxidation of sulphur compounds. The other clone was most similar to Acidimicrobium ferrooxidans, a moderately thermophilic, mineral-sulphide-oxidizing bacterium. Oxidation of hydrogen sulphide to sulphuric acid, and hence the cave enlargement, is probably enhanced by these bacteria.Two cave-enlarging processes were identified. (1) Sulphuric acid derived from oxidation of the hydrogen sulphide converts subaerial limestone surfaces to gypsum. The gypsum falls into the cave stream and is dissolved. (2) Strongly acidic droplets form on the gypsum and on microbial filaments, dissolving limestone where they drip onto the cave floors.The source of the H2S in the spring waters has not been positively identified. The Villahermosa petroleum basin within 50 km to the northwest, or the El Chichon volcano [small tilde]50 km to the west, may serve as source areas for the rising water. Depletion of 34S values (-11.7[per mille sign] for sulphur stabilized from H2S in the cave atmosphere), along with the hydrochemistry of the spring waters, favour a basinal source

Filamentous 'Epsilonproteobacteria' dominate microbial mats from sulfidic cave springs, 2003, Engel As, Lee N, Porter Ml, Stern La, Bennett Pc, Wagner M,
Hydrogen sulfide-rich groundwater discharges from springs into Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, where microbial mats dominated by filamentous morphotypes are found. The full-cycle rRNA approach, including 16S rRNA gene retrieval and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), was used to identify these filaments. The majority of the obtained 16S rRNA gene clones from the mats were affiliated with the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' and formed two distinct clusters, designated LKC group I and LKC group II, within this class. Group I was closely related to uncultured environmental clones from petroleum-contaminated groundwater, sulfidic springs, and sulfidic caves (97 to 99% sequence similarity), while group II formed a novel clade moderately related to deep-sea hydrothermal vent symbionts (90 to 94% sequence similarity). FISH with newly designed probes for both groups specifically stained filamentous bacteria within the mats. FISH-based quantification of the two filament groups in six different microbial mat samples from Lower Kane Cave showed that LKC group II dominated five of the six mat communities. This study further expands our perceptions of the diversity and geographic distribution of 'Epsilonproteobacteria' in extreme environments and demonstrates their biogeochemical importance in subterranean ecosystems

Geomicrobiology of cave ferromanganese deposits: A field and laboratory investigation, 2005, Spilde M. N. , Northup D. E. , Boston P. J. , Schelble R. T. , Dano K. E. , Crossey L. J. , Dahm C. N. ,
Unusual ferromanganese deposits are found in several caves in New Mexico. The deposits are enriched in iron and manganese by as much as three orders of magnitude over the bedrock, differing significantly in mineralogy and chemistry from bedrock-derived insoluble residue. The deposits contain metabolically active microbial communities. Enrichment cultures inoculated from the ferromanganese deposits produced manganese oxides that were initially amorphous but developed into crystalline minerals over an 8-month period and beyond; no such progression occurred in killed controls. Phylogenetic analyses of sequences from clone libraries constructed from culture DNA identified two genera known to oxidize manganese, but most clones represent previously unknown manganese oxidizers. We suggest that this community is breaking down the bedrock and accumulating iron and manganese oxides in an oligotrophic environment

Dominant Microbial Populations in Limestone-Corroding Stream Biofilms, Frasassi Cave System, Italy, 2006, Macalady Jennifer L. , Lyon Ezra H. , Koffman Bess, Albertson Lindsey K. , Meyer Katja, Galdenzi Sandro, Mariani Sandro,
Waters from an extensive sulfide-rich aquifer emerge in the Frasassi cave system, where they mix with oxygen-rich percolating water and cave air over a large surface area. The actively forming cave complex hosts a microbial community, including conspicuous white biofilms coating surfaces in cave streams, that is isolated from surface sources of C and N. Two distinct biofilm morphologies were observed in the streams over a 4-year period. Bacterial 16S rDNA libraries were constructed from samples of each biofilm type collected from Grotta Sulfurea in 2002. {beta}-, {gamma}-, {delta}-, and {varepsilon}-proteobacteria in sulfur-cycling clades accounted for [≥]75% of clones in both biofilms. Sulfate-reducing and sulfur-disproportionating {delta}-proteobacterial sequences in the clone libraries were abundant and diverse (34% of phylotypes). Biofilm samples of both types were later collected at the same location and at an additional sample site in Ramo Sulfureo and examined, using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The biomass of all six stream biofilms was dominated by filamentous {gamma}-proteobacteria with Beggiatoa-like and/or Thiothrix-like cells containing abundant sulfur inclusions. The biomass of {varepsilon}-proteobacteria detected using FISH was consistently small, ranging from 0 to less than 15% of the total biomass. Our results suggest that S cycling within the stream biofilms is an important feature of the cave biogeochemistry. Such cycling represents positive biological feedback to sulfuric acid speleogenesis and related processes that create subsurface porosity in carbonate rocks

Stalagmite stable isotope record of recent tropical cyclone events, 2007, Frappier Ab, Sahagian D, Carpenter Sj, Gonzalez La, Frappier Br,
We present a 23 yr stalagmite record (1977-2000) of oxygen isotope variation, associated with 11 tropical cyclones (TCs), from Actun Tunichil Muknal cave in central Belize. High-resolution microsampling yielded a record of monthly to weekly temporal resolution that contains abrupt decreases (negative excursions) in calcite {delta}18O values that correspond with recent TC rain events nearby. A logistic discriminant model reliably identified TC proxy signals using the measurable parameters {delta}18O and {delta}13C values, and single point changes in {delta}18O value. The logistic model correctly identified 80% of excursions as TC events and incorrectly classified only 1 of nearly 1200 nonstorm sampling points. In addition to enabling high-resolution TC frequency reconstruction, this geologic proxy also provides information about the intensity of individual TCs. A multiple regression predicted TC intensity (R2 = 0.465, p = 0.034) using sampling frequency and excursion amplitude. Consistent with previous low-resolution studies, we found that the decadal average {delta}18O value was lower during the 1990s when several TCs produced rainfall in the area, but higher during the 1980s when only one TC struck. Longer, accurately dated, high-resolution speleothem stable isotope records may be a useful new tool for paleotempestology, to clarify associations between highly variable TC activity and the dynamic range of Quaternary climate

, 2008, Jones O. S. , Lyon E. H. , And Macalady J. L.
Su lfid ic cave walls host abundant, rapid ly-growing micro bia l communities that display a variety o f mo rphologies previously described for verrn iculations. Here we present molecular, microscopic, isotopic, and geochemical data describing the geomicrobiology o f these biovennic ulations from the Frasassi cave system, Italy. The biove rm iculations are compo sed of densely packed prokaryo tic and funga l cells in a mineral-organ ic matrix co ntaining 5 to 25% o rganic carbon. The carbon and nitrogen isoto pe compositions o f the biovermiculations (ti 13e = - 35 to - 43%0, and til 5N = 4 to - 270/00. respectively) indicate that with in sulfidic zo nes, the o rga nic matter o rigina tes from chemolithotrophic bacterial primary productivity. Based on 165 rRNA gene cloning (n=67). the bioverrn ... iculation communitv is extrernelv diverse, incl uding 48 . ~ . ... representative phylotypes (>98% identity) from at least 15 major bacterial lineages. Important lineages include the Betaproteobacteria (1 9.5% of clones). Gammaproteobacteria (1 8%). Acidobacteria (1 0.5%). Nitrospirae (7.5%). and Planctomyces (7.5%). The most abundant phylotype, comprising over 100/0 of the 16S rRNA gene sequences. groups in an unnamed clade within the Gammaproteobacteria. Based on phylogenetic analysis, we have identified potential sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacte ria. as well as both auto- and heterotrophic members of the biovermiculation community. Additionally. many of the clones a re representatives of deeply branching bacterial lineages with no cultivated representatives. The geochemistry and microbial composition of the biovermicula tions suggest that they play a role in acid production and carbonate disso lution. thereby contributing to cave formation.

Geomicrobiology of biovermiculations from the Frasassi Cave System, Italy, 2008, D. S. Jones, E. H. Lyon, And J. L. Macalady

Sulfidic cave walls host abundant, rapidly-growing microbial communities that display a variety of morphologies previously described for vermiculations. Here we present molecular, microscopic, isotopic, and geochemical data describing the geomicrobiology of these biovermiculations from the Frasassi cave system, Italy. The biovermiculations are composed of densely packed prokaryotic and fungal cells in a mineral-organic matrix containing 5 to 25% organic carbon. The carbon and nitrogen isotope compositions of the biovermiculations (d13C 5 235 to 243%, and d15N 5 4 to 227%, respectively) indicate that within sulfidic zones, the organic matter originates from chemolithotrophic bacterial primary productivity. Based on 16S rRNA gene cloning (n567), the biovermiculation community is extremely diverse, including 48 representative phylotypes (.98% identity) from at least 15 major bacterial lineages. Important lineages include the Betaproteobacteria (19.5% of clones), Gammaproteobacteria (18%), Acidobacteria (10.5%), Nitrospirae (7.5%), and Planctomyces (7.5%). The most abundant phylotype, comprising over 10% of the 16S rRNA gene sequences, groups in an unnamed clade within the Gammaproteobacteria. Based on phylogenetic analysis, we have identified potential sulfur- and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria, as well as both auto- and heterotrophic members of the biovermiculation community. Additionally, many of the clones are representatives of deeply branching bacterial lineages with no cultivated representatives. The geochemistry and microbial composition of the biovermiculations suggest that they play a role in acid production and carbonate dissolution, thereby contributing to cave formation.


Middle-Late Quaternary paleoclimate of northern margins of the Saharan-Arabian Desert: reconstruction from speleothems of Negev Desert, Israel, 2010, Vaks Anton, Barmatthews Miryam, Matthews Alan, Ayalon Avner, Frumkin Amos

Speleothems in arid and hyper-arid areas of Negev Desert, Israel, are used in paleoclimate reconstruction of northern margins of Saharan-Arabian Desert, focused on the following objectives: 1) precise U–Th dating of the timing of speleothem growth as an indicator of periods of humid climate, i.e. positive effective precipitation; 2) the origin of rainfall using the speleothem δ18O and changes in spatial pattern of speleothem deposition and speleothem thickness along a north–south transect; 3) changes of vegetation cover based on speleothem δ13C variations.

During the last 350 ka major humid periods, referred to herein as Negev Humid Periods (NHP), occurred in the central and southern Negev Desert at 350–310 ka (NHP-4), 310–290 ka (NHP-3), 220–190 ka (NHP-2), and 142–109 ka (NHP-1). NHP-4, NHP-2 and NHP-1 are interglacial events, whereas NHP-3 is associated with a glacial period. During NHP-1, 2 and 3 the thickness and volume of the speleothems decrease from the north to the south, and in the most southern part of the region only a very thin flowstone layer formed during NHP-1, with no speleothem deposition occurring during NHP-2 and 3. These data imply that the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was the major source of the rainfall in northern and central Negev. More negative speleothem δ18O values, relative to central parts of Israel (Soreq Cave) are attributed to Rayleigh distillation because of the increasing distance from the Mediterranean Sea. Speleothem deposition during the NHP-4 in the southern Negev was more intensive than in most of the central Negev, suggesting the prominence of the tropical rain source.

Decrease in speleothem δ13C during NHP events indicates growth of the vegetation cover. Nevertheless, the ranges of δ13C values show that the vegetation remained semi-desert C4 type throughout the NHPs, with an additional significant carbon fraction coming from the host rock and the atmosphere. These observations, together with small thickness of the speleothem layers, favor that NHP events consisted of clusters of very short humid episodes interspersed with long droughts.

NHP events were contemporaneous with climate periods with monsoon index of ≥51 (cal/cm2 × day) and with the formation of sapropel layers in the Mediterranean Sea. Such simultaneous intensification of the monsoon and Atlantic-Mediterranean cyclones is probably related to the weakening of the high pressure cell above sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean, which enabled more rainfall to penetrate into the Saharan-Arabian Desert from the north and south. The contemporaneous occurrence of the NHP events and the increased monsoon rainfall could have opened migration corridors, creating climatic “windows of opportunity” for dispersals of hominids and animals out of the African continent.


White-rumped Swiftlet Breeding Colony Size and Colony Locations in Samoa, 2011, Tarburton, M. K.

This paper describes the breeding and roosting caves used by the White-rumped Swiftlet (Aerodramus spodiopygius) on Upolu and Savai’i, Samoa. Because these sites tend to be permanent and often difficult to locate, their locations and other information to help find them are provided as a guide for future workers. This study lasted four years and followed close after two devastating cyclones (Val & Ofa) so the data can form the basis for further study once the populations have fully recovered and equilibria for the populations is reached.


Comparative microbial community composition from secondary carbonate (moonmilk) deposits: implications for the Cansiliella servadeii cave hygropetric food web, 2013, Summers Engel A. , Paoletti M. G. , Beggio M. , Dorigo L. , Pamio A. , Gomiero T. , Furlan C. , Brilli M. , Leandro Dreon A. , Bertoni R. , Squartini A.

The microbial diversity of moonmilk, a hydrated calcium carbonate speleothem, was evaluated from two Italian caves to provide context for the food web of highly-specialized troglobitic beetles, Cansiliella spp. (Leptodirinae), with distinctive carbon and nitrogen isotope values indicative of a novel food source. The moonmilk and associated percolating waters had low to no extractable chlorophyll, with an average organic C:N ratio of 9, indicating limited allochthonous input and a significant contribution from microbial biomass. The biomass from moonmilk was estimated to be ~104 micro- and meiofaunal individuals per m2 and ~107 microbial cells/ml. Proteobacteria dominated the 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from the moonmilk from both caves. The distribution of other proteobacterial classes and phyla in the moonmilk were statistically similar to each other, even though the two caves are geographically separated from each other. Comparing the moonmilk gene sequences to sequences from previously described environmental clones or cultured strains revealed the uniqueness of the moonmilk habitat, as ~15% of all of the moonmilk sequences were more closely related to each other than to sequences retrieved from any other habitat. However, comparative analyses confirmed that as much as ~34% of the clones sequences were also closely related to environmental clones and cultured strains derived from soil and freshwater habitats, which is likely due to the fact that the putative inoculation source for the moonmilk bacterial communities is from overlying soil and percolating fluids from the surface. Prior to our studies of Cansiliella spp., moonmilk has not been considered a food source for cave animals. Our findings provide unique insight into moonmilk microbial diversity that could reveal the underpinnings of the moonmilk carbon and nitrogen cycle that influences the isotopic composition and the morphological adaptations of the troglobitic beetles associated with the moonmilk.


Influence of meteorological variables to water quality in five lakes over the Aggtelek (Hungary) and Slovak karst regions – a case study, 2013, Samu Andrea, Csépe Zoltán, Báránykevei Ilona

The main objective of this study is to analyse the effect of tendencies in the meteorological variables on the water quality on the example of five lakes in the Aggtelek and Slovak karst. The data set used eleven water quality parameters (oxygen saturation, chemical oxygen demand, nitrate, nitrite, orthophosphate, total phosphorus, ammonium, pH, conductivity, iron, manganese), as well as daily data of six climatic parameters from the period 2008­2010. A cluster analysis is performed in order to determine the climate impact on the water quality parameters. Furthermore, factor analysis with special transformation, as a novelty in the study, is implemented to find out the weight of the climate parameters as explanatory variables and hence their rank of importance in forming the given water quality parameter as an influencing variable. The study introduces a methodology for analysing the climate impact on the water quality parameters. In order to reduce the number of the water quality parameters, a so called two­stage factor analysis was performed, which is a novel procedure. Application of the two­stage factor analysis involves both benefits and disadvantages. Its benefit is that it substantially reduces the number of resultant variables. In this way, information loss of the retained factors is around 20%. As a result, we received that both positive and negative extreme values of water quality parameters can be associated with weak or breaking­up warm fronts passing through over the region. On the contrary, the role of anticyclones or anticyclone ridge weather situations is supposed to be irrelevant. Unstable and extreme weather conditions act in the direction of breaking up the balance that would support the good water quality. This process does not benefit the water use nor the sensitive karst hydrogeological system


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