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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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Your search for drip rate (Keyword) returned 28 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 28
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

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints, 1998, Genty D, Deflandre G,
The study of drip rate and seepage water electrical conductivity (hereafter called conductivity) under one stalactite in the Pere Noel cave (Belgium), with data produced from an automatic station since 1991, demonstrates several previously unobserved features: (1) measurement of drop volume shows that, for 94% of the time series, drop volume is constant (= 0.14 ml), but when discharge exceeds 48.2 drips min(-1), drop volume decreases, probably because of secondary drop formation; (2) the interannual drip rate variation is correlated to the annual water excess and its correlant, rainfall (R-2 = 0.98; exponential model); this result introduces a new improvement in the understanding of the previously investigated relationships between stalagmite annual laminae thickness and mean annual rainfall; (3) the drip rate shows a well marked seasonality: it increases abruptly in late fall or early winter and decreases slowly during spring, summer and fall. Increased discharge is accompanied by an increase in conductivity, which suggests that the flushed water is more mineralized and was stored in the karst aquifer for several months; (4) superimposed on these seasonal variations, there are two kinds of flow regimes which are driven by the atmospheric pressure: (i) a 'wiggles regime', whose duration is 1-7 days in length and which is inversely proportional to the air pressure wiggles; it is explained by either a ''shut-off faucet'' process due to the rock formation stress, or to a change in the two-phases flow component proportions (air/water); (ii) an 'unstable regime' characterized by abrupt switches (<2 h) or oscillations with variable periodicities, from a few minutes to a few hours. These occur when the drip rate reaches a threshold (i.e. 240 drops 10 min(-1)); the chaotic behaviour of this phenomenon is discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Chemistry measurements of dripping water in Postojna Cave, 1999, Vokal Barbara, Obelić, Bogomil, Genty Dominique, Kobal Ivan

Environmental factors influencing speleothem formation such as air and water temperature as well as water properties at the surface and in the cave (pH, electrical conductivity, Ca2+, HCO3- and Mg2+ ion concentrations and drip rates) were measured during an entire year in order to follow seasonal variations. The influence of the thickness of cave roof on the water properties was also taken into consideration, and the difference between various cave water types (pool, stalactite drip waters and fast-drip waters) was followed. Monthly water samples were collected at three locations in the cave and also from the river Pivka and spring of MoËilnik. Rainwater samples were also collected and analyzed. From the results it was found that the temperature of cave waters is more or less constant during the year. Mean values of pH for all karst waters are 7.8 ± 0.2. There is a good correlation between the chemical parameters (Ca2+ and HCO3- ion concentrations and electric conductivity) and the different types of cave waters. The ratio Mg/Ca concentrations and the saturation index were determined, too.


Controls on trace element (Sr-Mg) compositions of carbonate cave waters: implications for speleothem climatic records, 2000, Fairchild Ij, Borsato A, Tooth Af, Frisia S, Hawkesworth Cj, Huang Ym, Mcdermott F, Spiro B,
At two caves (Clamouse, S France and Ernesto, NE Italy), cave drip and pool waters were collected and sampled at intervals over a 2-3 year period. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca concentration ratios, corrected for marine aerosols, are compared with those of bedrocks and, in some cases, aqueous leachates of soils and weathered bedrocks. Cave waters do not lie along mixing lines between calcite and dolomite of bedrock carbonate, but typically show enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. Four factors are considered as controlling processes. (1) The much faster dissolution rate of calcite than dolomite allows for the possibility of increase of Mg/Ca if water-rock contact times are increased during drier conditions. A theoretical model is shown to be comparable to experimental leachates. (2) Prior calcite precipitation along a flow path is a powerful mechanism for generating enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios. This mechanism requires the solution to lose CO, into pores or caverns. (3) Incongruent dolomite dissolution has only limited potential and is best regarded as two separate processes of dolomite dissolution and calcite precipitation. (4) selective leaching of Mg and Sr with respect to Ca is shown to be important in leachates from Ernesto where it appears to be a phenomenon of calcite dissolution. In general selective leaching can occur whenever Ca is sequestered into precipitates due to freezing or drying of soils, or if there is derivation of excess Sr and Mg from non-carbonate species. The Ernesto cave has abundant water supply which in the main chamber is derived from a reservoir with year-round constant P-CO2 of around 10(-2.4) and no evidence of calcite precipitation in the karst above the cave. Two distinct, bur overlying trends of enhanced and covarying Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca away from the locus of bedrock compositions are due to calcite precipitation within the cave and, at a variable drip site, due to enhanced selective leaching at slow drip rates. Mg-enhancement in the first chamber is due to a more dolomitic bedrock and longer residence times. The Clamouse site has a less abundant water supply and presents geochemical evidence of prior calcite precipitation. both in the cave and in overlying porous dolomite/dedolomitized limestone bedrock. Initial P-CO2 values as high as 10(-1) are inferred. Experimental incubations of Clamouse soils which generated enhanced P-CO2 and precipitated CaCO3 had compositions similar to the karst waters. Calcite precipitation is inferred to he enhanced in drier conditions. Hydrological controls on cave water chemistry imply that the trace element chemistry of speleothems may be interpretable in palaeohydrological terms. Drier conditions tends to promote not only longer mean residence times (enhancing dolomite dissolution and hence Mg/Ca), but also enhances degassing and calcite precipitation leading to increased Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Intra- and inter-annual growth rate of modern stalagmites, 2001, Genty D, Baker A, Vokal B,
We measure the factors that determine growth rate (temperature, drip rate, calcium ion concentration) for 31 waters that feed stalagmites within six cave systems throughout Europe. Water samples were collected at a frequency of at least month. to permit the modelling of both inter- and intra-annual growth rate variations, utilising the theory of Wolfgang Dreybrodt (Chem. Geol. 29 (1980) 89-105; Chem. Geol, 32 (1981) 237-245; Dreybrodt, W., 1988, Processes in Karst Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 288 pp.). Inter-annual growth rates were measured using the stalagmites that were associated with the analysed water samples; growth rate was determined from annual lamina counting, specific time markers within the stalagmites, and location of bomb C-14. When compared to theoretically predicted values, a good agreement between theoretical and measured stalagmite growth rates is observed (R-2 = 0.69). When compared to site climate and geochemical parameters, a good correlation is observed between measured growth fate and mean annual temperature for five sites (R-2 = 0.63) and dripwater calcium content (R-2 = 0.61), but not drip rate (R-2 = 0.09). The good correlation with both calcium and temperature is due to soil CO, production being primarily determined by surface temperature and soil moisture. However, when we compare our data to that in the Grotte de Clamouse, a site that has little soil cover, we observe that the growth rate-temperature relationship breaks down due to either the lack of soil CO, production or prior calcite: precipitation. Intra-annual data demonstrates that maximum growth rate occurs when calcium concentrations are high, and that this occurs under different seasons depending on the hydrology of each site. Our results demonstrate a stronger dependence of intra-annual stalagmite growth rate on dissolved calcium ion concentrations than drip rate for the range of drip rates investigated here (0.01 < t < 2drip s(-1)), but for lower drip rates, this factor becomes important in controlling growth rate. We suggest that for well-monitored acid -understood sites, stalagmite growth rate variations can provide useful information for palaeoclimate reconstruction. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Seasonal variations in Sr, Mg and P in modern speleothems (Grotta di Ernesto, Italy), 2001, Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. , Borsato Andrea, Frisia Silvia, Cassidy Nigel J. , Mcdermott Frank, Hawkesworth Chris J. ,
Sub-annual variations in trace element chemistry and luminescence have recently been demonstrated from speleothems and offer the potential of high-resolution palaeoclimatic proxies. However, no studies have yet examined microscopic trace element variations in relation to modern cave conditions. In this study, the spatial variations in trace element (Sr, Mg and P) concentrations in speleothems (a stalagmite and a soda straw stalactite) from the alpine Ernesto cave (temperature 6.60.1[deg]C) in a forested catchment in NE Italy have been studied using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and compared with environmental parameters and waters in the modern cave. An annual lamination exists in the stalagmite and soda straw stalactite in the form of clear calcite with narrow visible layers, which are UV-fluorescent and interpreted to contain soil-derived humic/fulvic acids washed into the cave during autumn rains. Microanalyses were undertaken of seven annual laminae, probably deposited during the 1960s in the stalagmite, and seven laminae in the 1990s for the stalactite.The analysis results show that Sr consistently has a trough and P, a peak centred on the inclusion-rich layer. Mg shows mainly a negative covariation with Sr in laminae formed in the 1990s, but a positive covariation in the stalagmite formed in 1960s. The spatial scale of the main geochemical variations is the same as that of annual laminae of inclusion-poor and inclusion-rich couplets. Mass balance arguments are used to show that the P is inorganic in form and presumably occurs as individual phosphate ions within the calcite.Most drip waters show limited chemical variations, but a summer peak in trace elements in 1995 and a decrease in Mg/Ca in the following winter are notable. More pronounced covariations in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are shown by a site with highly variable drip rates where ratios increase at slow drip rates. The strongest seasonal variations are found in pool waters, where ratios increase reflecting significant Ca removal from the water into the calcite during the winter in response to seasonal PCO2 variations in cave air. Thus, the cave waters' compositions tend to reflect climate conditions, such that Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are tentatively interpreted to be higher when climate conditions are dry.Combining results from the speleothems and cave water along with the behaviour of each trace species, Mg/Ca variations in the speleothems are considered to reflect their variation in the cave waters, whereas, Sr incorporation is also dependent on precipitation rate, in this case, mainly controlled by temporal variations in PCO2 in the cave (and conceivably, also by inhibitors such as phosphate). P adsorption (a fraction of which is subsequently incorporated within calcite) depends on aqueous phosphate concentration and water flux, both of which should increase during the autumn. Therefore, multiple trace element profiles in speleothems reflect multiple aspects of environment seasonality and conditions, and hence, a calibration against weather records is desirable to establish their palaeoclimatological meaning. The strong annual variation of trace elements, and particularly P, can provide chronological markers for high-resolution studies of other climate proxies, such as stable isotopes

Aragonite-Calcite Relationships in Speleothems (Grotte De Clamouse, France): Environment, Fabrics, and Carbonate Geochemistry, 2002, Frisia S, Borsato A, Fairchild Ij, Mcdermott F, Selmo Em,
In Grotte de Clamouse (France), aragonite forms in a variety of crystal habits whose properties reflect the conditions of formation. Prolonged degassing and evaporation yield needle aragonite, which is more enriched in 18O and 13C than aragonite ray crystals, which form near isotopic equilibrium. At present, aragonite ray crystals form at the tops of stalagmites at very low discharge (0.00035 ml/ min), and when fluid Mg/Ca ratio is > 1.1. Temperature and evaporation do not seem to have a significant role in their formation. The presence of aragonite in stalagmites should be indicative of a decrease in drip rate related to either dry climate conditions or local hydrology. Fossil aragonite was in part replaced by calcite in a time frame < 1.0 ka, possibly through the combined effects of dissolution of aragonite, and precipitation of calcite, which preferentially nucleated on calcite cements that had previously formed between aragonite rays. Commonly, the replacement phase inherited the textural and chemical characteristics of the precursor aragonite prisms and needles (and in particular the {delta}13C signal and U content), and preserved aragonite relicts (up to 16 weight %). The isotope signal of different aragonite habits may reflect conditions of formation rather than climate parameters. The real extent of aragonite-to-calcite transformation may be underestimated when replacement calcite inherits both textural and chemical properties of the precursor

Non-linearities in drip water hydrology: an example from Stump Cross Caverns, Yorkshire, 2003, Baker A, Brunsdon C,
Drip rate data have been collected at 15 min intervals at six locations in Stump Cross Caverns, N England, since 1998. The different drip sites cover a wide range of drip rates from ~2 drips/s to 2 drips/h, and in general the variability of drip rate increases with mean drip rate. In our continuous data sampling we observe rapid discharge increases which appear to be synchronous between drips sites, and which can be explained by flow switching of the water overlying the cave during times of high infiltration rate, such as intense rain storms or rapid snowmelt. A test for non-linearity (White test) in the drip series provides very strong evidence that many of the drip sequences are non-linear. We conclude that at our drip sites there is a non-linear input (weather) and non-linearities within the karst system leading to non-linear dripping, which is independent of drip rate. Our results have implications for stalagmite palaeoclimatology, where such widespread non linearities have not been taken account of

Soil and karst aquifer hydrological controls on the geochemical evolution of speleothem-forming drip waters, Crag Cave, southwest Ireland, 2003, Tooth Anna F. , Fairchild Ian J. ,
In recent years there has been increased interest in cave speleothems as archives of palaeoclimate. Monitoring of rainfall and soil and karst water chemistries was performed at Crag Cave, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, southwest Ireland, in August 1997 and January 1998 in order to understand temporal and spatial variations in karst water hydrology and chemistry and their implications for interpreting the potential palaeohydrological signal preserved by speleothems at this site. Temporal variations in karst water drip rates and geochemistry allow drips to be classified by hydrological response to rainfall and the associated processes of dilution, piston flow, source change and prior calcite precipitation during aquifer throughflow. Evolution from soil matrix and preferential flow solutions has also been determined to exert an important control on karst water chemistries. As a result of these findings we present hydrogeochemical models and plumbing diagrams that delineate the controls on karst water evolution at a number of sampling locations within the cave at this site. We propose that a palaeohydrological signal may be recorded by Crag Cave speleothems that may be interpreted via the study of Mg/Ca ratios in speleothems linked to monitoring of modern drip water chemistry

Seasonal changes of fulvic acid, Ca and Mg concentrations of water samples collected above and in the Beke Cave of the Aggtelek karst system (Hungary), 2004, Tatar Eniko, Mihucz Victor G. , Zambo Laszlo, Gasparics Tibor, Zaray Gyula,
Magnesium and Ca concentration ratios, fulvic acid content, total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and pH were determined in seepage water and drip water samples collected during one seasonal cycle between June 2000 and May 2001 above and in the Beke Cave of Aggtelek (Hungary). Seepage water samples were collected at 0.5 and 7 m below ground level from an observation point situated above the cave. Drip water was collected 40 m underground from a group of stalactites. The fulvic acid concentrations were determined by fluorescence spectrometry after pre-concentration on a XAD-8 chromatographic column. Calcium and Mg concentrations were measured by inductively coupled plasma atomic-emission spectrometry. DIC was determined with a CO2 - selective electrode. DIC values increased and the fulvic acid concentrations and Mg and Ca concentration ratios, generally, decreased with depth. The highest flux of fulvic acid was observed in spring. The fulvic acid flux increased by a factor of 2.6-3.6 and 1.4 for groundwater and drip water, respectively, compared with those registered in the winter samples. The variations in the Ca, Mg and fulvic acid concentrations of the seepage and drip water samples relate to the variable drip rate. The results revealed that there is a strong correlation between the daily average surface temperature, daily amount of precipitation and drip water rate registered in the cave

Intrt de lanalyse ptrographique des splothmes pour les reconstitutions paloenvironnementales, 2007, Couchoud I.
The significance of speleothem petrography in paleoenvironmental reconstruction - Speleothem petrography, like oxygen and carbon isotopic ratios, is influenced by various hydrological, chemical, biological and physical factors at the time of growth. While speleothem-based paleoenvironmental studies using stable isotope records are increasingly numerous, interpretations remain problematic. This paper aims to highlight the significance of a petrographical approach to the study of speleothems as a complement to isotopic studies. First, a synthesis of the main calcite crystalline fabrics encountered in speleothems is presented and a terminology suggested. A summary of the current state of knowledge about the relationships between fabrics and (i) the conditions of speleothem precipitation and (ii) speleothem carbon and oxygen isotopic ratios is then provided. It appears that some fabrics are essentially controlled by two main parameters: i) the chemical efficiency of the solution; and 2) the drip rate and variability. As a function of the respective importance of these two parameters, fabrics evolve within a continuum from elongated columnar fabric (typically, high intensity and low variability - low chemical efficiency) to dendritic fabric (low intensity and high variability - high chemical efficiency) via two intermediate forms, compact and open columnar fabrics.Other fabrics are associated with specific conditions of precipitation. For example, a high concentration of impurities in the source water can produce a microcrystalline fabric; precipitation in a tunnel environment can give rise to squat columnar fabric; and recrystallisation can produce a mosaic fabric. Combined with known conditions of precipitation, fabrics can be used to evaluate the quality of the stable isotope signals recorded by speleothems and can help in the interpretation of paleoenvironmental records.

Seasonal Variations in Modern Speleothem Calcite Growth in Central Texas, U.S.A, 2007, Banner Jl, Guilfoyle A, James Ew, Stern La, Musgrove M,
Variations in growth rates of speleothem calcite have been hypothesized to reflect changes in a range of paleoenvironmental variables, including atmospheric temperature and precipitation, drip-water composition, and the rate of soil CO2 delivery to the subsurface. To test these hypotheses, we quantified growth rates of modern speleothem calcite on artificial substrates and monitored concurrent environmental conditions in three caves across the Edwards Plateau in central Texas. Within each of two caves, different drip sites exhibit similar annual cycles in calcite growth rates, even though there are large differences between the mean growth rates at the sites. The growth-rate cycles inversely correlate to seasonal changes in regional air temperature outside the caves, with near-zero growth rates during the warmest summer months, and peak growth rates in fall through spring. Drip sites from caves 130 km apart exhibit similar temporal patterns in calcite growth rate, indicating a controlling mechanism on at least this distance. The seasonal variations in calcite growth rate can be accounted for by a primary control by regional temperature effects on ventilation of cave-air CO2 concentrations and/or drip-water CO2 contents. In contrast, site-to-site differences in the magnitude of calcite growth rates within an individual cave appear to be controlled principally by differences in drip rate. A secondary control by drip rate on the growth rate temporal variations is suggested by interannual variations. No calcite growth was observed in the third cave, which has relatively high values of and small seasonal changes in cave-air CO2. These results indicate that growth-rate variations in ancient speleothems may serve as a paleoenvironmental proxy with seasonal resolution. By applying this approach of monitoring the modern system, speleothem growth rate and geochemical proxies for paleoenvironmental change may be evaluated and calibrated

Isotopic Investigations of Cave Drip Waters and Precipitation in Central and Northern Florida, USA, Msc.Thesis, 2007, Pacegraczyk, Kali J

A temperature, drip rate, and stable isotopic study (δ18O and δD) was undertaken in three caves in central and northern Florida. Both surface and cave temperatures were collected, as were precipitation, cave drip water and drip rates. All data were collected on a weekly basis to investigate the isotopic relationships between precipitation and cave drip waters. The objective of this study was to provide a calibration of the oxygen and hydrogen isotopic values in precipitation and cave drip water for future paleoclimate work in the Florida peninsula.Based on the steady annual cave temperature and high relative humidity (95% or above), all three caves are suitable locations for paleoclimate work. A spike in the cave drip rate is seen following precipitation events at both Legend and Jennings Caves. A lag time of 52 days between the date of the storm event and the increase in drip rate was found at Legend Cave.


Legend and Jennings Caves in central Florida show a relationship between the amount of precipitation and the δ18O values. The isotopic values in precipitation were more depleted after a large precipitation event, suggesting the amount effect is influential in this location. At Florida Caverns State Park tourist cave in northern Florida, the association between 18O and precipitation was weak while a relationship between 18O and temperature may be present; here the seasonal effect or latitude effect may be significant.
The monthly mean isotopic values of the drip waters were found to approximate those of the precipitation. The steady isotopic values of the drip water are due to a homogenization of water infiltrating into the epikarst and mixing with water already present in the karst storage. This finding is important for future paleoclimate research in the Florida peninsula. An important assumption in paleoclimate work is that the value of δ18O in calcite at the time of precipitation represents the mean annual δ18O of precipitation at the time of deposition. The ultimate objectives of this research were to assess the isotopic relationship between precipitation and cave drip waters in order to interpret paleoclimate data sets. Although the data were limited to a single year, it appears that a sufficient isotopic signal exists in central-north Florida precipitation and drip water to apply for paleoclimate studies.


Palaeoclimate Research in Villars Cave (Dordogne, SW-France)., 2008, Genty D.
Villars Cave is a typical shallow cave from South-West France (45.44N; 0.78E; 175 m asl) that has provided several speleothem palaeoclimatic records such as the millennial scale variability of the Last Glacial period and the Last Deglaciation. Monitoring the Villars cave environment over a 13-year period has helped in the understanding of the stable isotopic speleothem content and in the hydrology. For example, it was demonstrated that most of the calcite CaCO3 carbon comes from the soil CO2, which explains the sensitivity of the ?13C to any vegetation and climatic changes. Drip rate monitoring, carried out under four stalactites from the lower and upper galleries, has shown a well marked seasonality of the seepage water with high flow rates during winter and spring. A time delay of about two months is observed between the water excess (estimated from outside meteorological stations) and the drip rate in the cave. A great heterogeneity in the flow rate amplitude variations and in the annual quantity of water between two nearby stalactites is observed, confirming the complexity of the micro-fissure network system in the unsaturated zone. At a daily scale, the air pressure and drip rates are anti-correlated probably because of pressure stress on the fissure network. Cave air CO2 concentration follows soil CO2 production and is correlated with its ?13C content. Since the beginning of the monitoring, the cave air temperature, in both lower and upper galleries, displays a warming trend of ~+0.4C0.1/10yrs. This might be the consequence of the outside temperature increase that reaches the Villars Cave galleries through thermal wave conduction. Chemistry monitoring over a few years has shown that the seepage water of the lower gallery stations is significantly more concentrated in trace and minor elements (i.e. Sr, Mg, Ba, U) than the upper stations, probably due to the 10-20 m depth difference between these galleries, which implies a different seepage pathway and different water/rock interaction durations. There is also, in the elemental concentration (i.e. [Ca]), a seasonal signal which causes variation in the speleothem growth rates. Modern calcite deposit experiments conducted for several years have permitted the calculation of vertical growth rates, which are extremely high in Villars (i.e. 1.0 to 1.75 mm/ yr). Pollen filter experiments in the cave have demonstrated that most of the pollen grain found in the cave comes from the air and not from the water. The specificity of the Villars Cave records is that the climatic variations were well recorded in the calcite ?13C whereas the ?18O is usually used in such studies. Overall, these results are helpful for the interpretation of speleothem records for palaeoclimatic reconstructions, but more work is needed, especially numerical modelling of the temperature, chemistry and hydrology.

Report of a three-year monitoring programme at Heshang Cave, Central China., 2008, Hu C. , Henderson G. M. , Huang J. , Chen Z. , Johnson K. R.
Heshang Cave is situated in central China (3027N, 11025E; 294 m) in the middle reaches of the Yangtze Valley, a region strongly impacted by the East Asian Monsoon. It contains large annually-laminated Holocene and late Pleistocene stalagmites which capture past monsoon behaviour with seasonal resolution, and could enhance understanding of the amplitude and frequency of monsoon behaviour in different climate states. In this paper, we present results of a 3-year monitoring programme at Heshang. T loggers outside the cave agree closely with T data from nearby meteorological stations. T at the site of growth of the largest recovered stalagmite averages 18C (identical to mean annual T outside the cave) with a seasonal amplitude of 5C (about one fifth of the external cycle). Rainfall measurements from a station 3 km from the cave indicate strong summer monsoon rain in 2004 and 2005, but rather weaker summer rain (by ?30%) in 2006. Drip rate at the monitoring site has a base flow of 14 drips/minute and shows a sharp increase to ?40 drips/minute early in the summer rains of 2004 and 2005, followed by a gradual return to base-flow as the monsoon weakens. This abrupt change presumably represents threshold behaviour in the hydrological system. This threshold is not passed in 2006 and there is no abrupt increase in drip rate, indicating the sensitivity of this site (and presumably of speleothem chemistry in this cave) to monsoon rainfall. Results are also reported from a 10-month deployment of a Stalagmate drip counter, and for CO2 levels in Heshang Cave. Overall, this monitoring work represents an essential dataset for interpretation of the chemistry of drip waters, of carbonates grown on glass slides and, ultimately, of long speleothem records of past climate from Heshang Cave.

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