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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 maze cave pattern is a cave system which consists of a labyrinth of intersecting passages of rather uniform character that form closed loops. see also anastomotic cave pattern; maze cave; network cave pattern; spongework cave pattern.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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 existence (Keyword) returned 181 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 181
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

Unusual speleothems resembling giant mushrooms occur in Cueva Grande de Santa
Catalina, Cuba. Although these mineral buildups are considered a natural heritage, their
composition and formation mechanism remain poorly understood. Here we characterize
their morphology and mineralogy and present a model for their genesis. We propose that
the mushrooms, which are mainly comprised of calcite and aragonite, formed during four
different phases within an evolving cave environment. The stipe of the mushroom is an
assemblage of three well-known speleothems: a stalagmite surrounded by calcite rafts
that were subsequently encrusted by cave clouds (mammillaries). More peculiar is the
cap of the mushroom, which is morphologically similar to cerebroid stromatolites and
thrombolites of microbial origin occurring in marine environments. Scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) investigations of this last unit revealed the presence of fossilized
extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)—the constituents of biofilms and microbial
mats. These organic microstructures are mineralized with Ca-carbonate, suggesting that
the mushroom cap formed through a microbially-influenced mineralization process. The
existence of cerebroid Ca-carbonate buildups forming in dark caves (i.e., in the absence
of phototrophs) has interesting implications for the study of fossil microbialites preserved
in ancient rocks, which are today considered as one of the earliest evidence for life on
Earth.


The Non-existence of the Great Peak Fault [Derbyshire], 1952, Ford T. D.

The Discovery, Exploration and Scientific Investigation of the Wellington Caves, New South Wales, 1963, Lane Edward A. , Richards Aola M.

Although research has been unable to establish a definite date of discovery for the limestone caves at Wellington, New South Wales, documentary evidence has placed it as 1828. The actual discovery could have been made earlier by soldiers or convicts from the Wellington Settlement, which dated from 1823. Whether the aborigines knew of the cave's existence before 1828 is uncertain, but likely, as in 1830 they referred to them as "Mulwang". A number of very small limestone caves were also discovered about the same time in the nearby Molong area. The Bungonia Caves, in the Marulan district near Goulburn, were first written about a short time later. On all the evidence available at present, the Wellington Caves can be considered to be the first of any size discovered on the mainland of Australia. The Wellington Caves are situated in a low, limestone outcrop about six miles south by road from the present town of Wellington, and approximately 190 miles west-north-west of Sydney. They are at an altitude of 1000 feet, about half a mile from the present bed of the Bell River, a tributary of the Macquarie River. One large cave and several small caves exist in the outcrop, and range in size from simple shafts to passages 200 to 300 feet long. Mining for phosphate has been carried out, resulting in extensive galleries, often unstable, at several levels. Two caves have been lit by electricity for the tourist trades; the Cathedral Cave, 400 feet long, maximum width 100 feet, and up to 50 feet high; and the smaller Gaden Cave. The Cathedral Cave contains what is believed to be the largest stalagmite in the world, "The Altar", which stands on a flat floor, is 100 feet round the base and almost touches the roof about 40 feet above. It appears that the name Cathedral was not applied to the cave until this century. The original names were "The Great Cave", "The Large Cave" or "The Main Cave". The Altar was named by Thomas Mitchell in 1830. See map of cave and Plate. Extensive Pleistocene bone deposits - a veritable mine of bone fragments - were found in 1830, and have been studied by palaeontologists almost continually ever since. These bone deposits introduced to the world the extinct marsupials of Australia, and have a special importance in view of the peculiar features of the living fauna of the continent. The names of many famous explorers and scientists are associated with this history, among the most prominent being Sir Thomas Mitchell and Sir Richard Owen. Anderson (1933) gives a brief outline of why the Wellington Caves fossil bone beds so rapidly attracted world-wide interest. During the 18th and early 19th Century, the great palaeontologist, Baron Georges Cuvier, and others, supposed that the earth had suffered a series of catastrophic changes in prehistoric times. As a result of each of these, the animals living in a certain area were destroyed, the area being repopulated from isolated portions of the earth that had escaped the catastrophe. The Bilical Deluge was believed to have been the most recent. Darwin, during the voyage of the Beagle around the world (1832-37), was struck by the abundance of Pleistocene mammalian fossils in South America, and also by the fact that, while these differed from living forms, and were in part of gigantic dimensions, they were closely related to present-day forms in that continent. Darwin's theory of descent with modification did not reconcile with the ideas of Cuvier and others. As the living mammalian fauna of Australia was even more distinctive than that of South America, it was a matter of importance and excitement to discover the nature of the mammals which had lived in Australia in the late Tertiary and Pleistocene.


The birth of Biospeleology., 1964, Motas Constantin
Modern biospeleology dates from May 15, 1907, with the publication of Racovitza's "Essai sur les problmes biospologiques." In this paper he posed; if he did not answer; every question raised by life in the subterranean world. He outlined a program of biospeological research, made an analysis of the conditions of existence in the subterranean domain and their influence upon cavernicoles, discussed the evolution of subterranean biota, their geographical distribution, etc. Racovitza modified Schiner's (1854) classification, dividing cavernicoles into troglobites, troglophiles and trogloxenes, terms later adopted by a great number of biospeologists. The "Essai", called "Racovitza's famous manifest" by Vandel, was considered the birth certificate of biospeology by Antipa (1927) and by Jeannel (1948), its fundamental statute. Jeannel also made major contributions to the young science through his extensive and detailed studies. The names of Racovitza and Jeannel will always be linked as the uncontested masters of biospeology, the founders of Biospeologica, and the authors of Enumration des grottes visites. Apart from Schiner, whose ecological classification of cavernicoles was utilized and modified by Racovitza, they had another forerunner in Vir, a passionate speleologist who often accompanied Martel in his subterranean explorations, once meeting with a serious accident in which he was on the brink of death. Vir (1897, 1899) studied subterranean faunas, establishing the world's first underground laboratory, where he carried on unsuccessful or ill-interpreted experiments. We consider Racovitza and Jeannel's criticism of him too severe. Let us be more lenient with our forerunners, since their mistakes have also contributed to the progress of science, as well as exempting us from repeating them.

On subterranean confluences., 1965, Bleahu Marcian
The development of a subterranean drainage system depends on the way in which subterranean confluences between different rivers can be formed. Different from surface, in which confluences are determined by processes related to the surface runoff of water, in subterranean karst confluences have a random pattern and are related to certain circumstances independent of the underground flow. These conditions are: pre-existence of circulation ways and the way they are distributed in space. At these the peculiar processes of subterranean karst flow determined by the flow under pressure, the only one that can explain the systematic appearance of confluences, have to be added. In function of these parameters a morphogenetic classification of subterranean confluences is given.

The Crustaceans of the reservoir of the Fontaine des Suisses at Dijon., 1966, Dussart Bernard, Graf Franois, Husson Roger
Inventory of the Crustaceans collected in the basin of the Fonatine des Suisses at Dijon. The Copepoda are represented by 5 species: Macrocyclops albidits, Eucyclops serrulatus in two slightly different forms, Eucyclops serrulatus var. mihi, Acanthocyclops venustus, Acanthocyclops vernalis and Acanthocyclops robustus. The coexistence of these two last forms in this very tiny environment makes it probable that we have here to do with two distinct species. A determination key is given for the Genus Acanthocyclops. Amphipoda are represented by Niphargus virei and especially Niphargus kochianus kochianus of which more than 100 samples have been collected. Of this last small species some considerations regarding geography, the laying of eggs, sexual dimorphism and closely related species are also given.

Ecology, systematics and distribution of two sympatric in North-Germany living Bathynella species (Crustacea, Syncarida)., 1968, Husmann Siegfried
The sympatric occurrence of two bathynellids previously considered races of Bathynella natans; natans and stammeri; is evaluated as a natural ecological-genetic experiment. Since no hybrids appear in mixed populations, these forms are proven to be full species: Bathynella natans Vejdovsky and Bathynella stammeri (Jakobi). Besides the form of the mandibles, which until now was the only taxonomically useful diagnostic character in the genus Bathynella, 7 additional, suitably applicable morphological characters have been found (Table 3). The Bathynella biotope investigated is assigned to the "eustygopsammal" subterranean life province (Husmann 1966), which is associated with the "Parastenocaris-Bathynella" biocoenosis (Husmann 1962). This particular biocoenosis is evidently resistant to organic pollution of ground water. The sympatric existence of Bathynella natans and B.stammeri can be explained by consideration of the geo-limnological developmental history of the interstitial zone of the North German low plain. Sands and gravels were widely deposited in the North German Basin by northward-retreating glaciers, creating microcavernous living space and passages for the interstitial fauna. This microfauna could find passages in layers of sand under and along the northward-flowing streams. Primitive Ice-Age streams (,,Urstromtler" of Keilhack) formed east-to-west cross-connections between the south-north distributional corridors. The great geographical expansion of the tributary river courses which reached the north German plain before, during, and after the Ice Age suggests that ground water habitats were temporarily separated and later rejoined by orogenic movements of the earth's surface. Such an orogenically caused, geomorphological isolation lasting for a sufficiently long geological period could have led to the result that species, originating in isolation from the same phylogenetic stock, subsequently were brought together again in the same biotope. This is particularly true for bathynellids, which as archaic types (Lebensformtypen) of the ancient, extreme "mesopsammal" biotope (Remane) are quite likely to have become sympatric in such a manner.

Ecology, systematics and distribution of two sympatric in North-Germany living Bathynella species (Crustacea, Syncarida)., 1968, Husmann Siegfried
The sympatric occurrence of two bathynellids previously considered races of Bathynella natans; natans and stammeri; is evaluated as a natural ecological-genetic experiment. Since no hybrids appear in mixed populations, these forms are proven to be full species: Bathynella natans Vejdovsky and Bathynella stammeri (Jakobi). Besides the form of the mandibles, which until now was the only taxonomically useful diagnostic character in the genus Bathynella, 7 additional, suitably applicable morphological characters have been found (Table 3). The Bathynella biotope investigated is assigned to the "eustygopsammal" subterranean life province (Husmann 1966), which is associated with the "Parastenocaris-Bathynella" biocoenosis (Husmann 1962). This particular biocoenosis is evidently resistant to organic pollution of ground water. The sympatric existence of Bathynella natans and B.stammeri can be explained by consideration of the geo-limnological developmental history of the interstitial zone of the North German low plain. Sands and gravels were widely deposited in the North German Basin by northward-retreating glaciers, creating microcavernous living space and passages for the interstitial fauna. This microfauna could find passages in layers of sand under and along the northward-flowing streams. Primitive Ice-Age streams (,,Urstromtler" of Keilhack) formed east-to-west cross-connections between the south-north distributional corridors. The great geographical expansion of the tributary river courses which reached the north German plain before, during, and after the Ice Age suggests that ground water habitats were temporarily separated and later rejoined by orogenic movements of the earth's surface. Such an orogenically caused, geomorphological isolation lasting for a sufficiently long geological period could have led to the result that species, originating in isolation from the same phylogenetic stock, subsequently were brought together again in the same biotope. This is particularly true for bathynellids, which as archaic types (Lebensformtypen) of the ancient, extreme "mesopsammal" biotope (Remane) are quite likely to have become sympatric in such a manner.

A Preliminary Note On A Cave In Basalt, Bunya Mountains National park, Queensland, 1971, Graham, A.

The existence of a small cave in Tertiary basalt in the Bunya Mountains, Queensland, has been known for some time, but has only recently come to the attention of speleologists. The origin of the cave is uncertain, although multi-process formation or modification of an original lava tube is suggested. The cave contains a small colony of Miniopterus schreibersii.


The Spider communities in tropical caves (Aranaea)., 1973, Brignoli Paolo Marcello
The so called "tropical" caves (most of which are also geographically "tropical") are distinguished from the "temperate" caves by the much larger trophic resources. Spiders are common in both kinds of caves, but the groups present in one kind are mostly absent in the other (notwithstanding that many families are distributed over at least one temperate and one tropical region). As in all temperate caves more or less the same groups of spiders can be found, so the tropical caves have a typical spider fauna, composed of different groups (often also more than those present in the temperate caves). In the temperate caves the most typical groups are the Leptonetidae, the Dysderidae, many Araneoidea and some Agelenidae; these groups are either absent or rare in the tropical caves. In these the typical groups are some Orthognatha and many primitive spiders of the Haplogynae (Oonopidae, Tetrablemmidae, Ochyroceratidae, Scytodidae, Pholcidae, Telemidae) with a few Araneoidea (Theridiosomatidae and Symphytognathidae). From an ecological point of view, the detriticolous groups are not common in temperate caves, but are exceedingly common in tropical caves. In these live also often some groups which could be considered not strictly detriticolous, but more exactly "microcavernicolous" (i.e. living "normally" in more or less permanent crevices etc. of soil and rocks). In temperate caves are on the other hand more common groups living typically on vegetation, not very close to the soil. Ethologically, in tropical caves the existence of groups is possible which either ambush their prey or search for it actively whereas most spiders of temperate caves capture it with a web.

A new cavernicolous species of the Pseudoscorpion Genus Roncus L. Koch, 1873 (Neobisiidae, Pseudoscorpiones) from the Balkan peninsula., 1973, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
Roncus (Parablothrus) pljakici, a new species of cave living pseudoscorpions, is described from the cave 'Pecina u selu Vrelo' on Mt. Stara Planina, East Serbia. The problem of its taxonomic position in the subgenus is discussed. The new species is the first representative of Parablothrus to be found in Serbia. It seems possible that R. (P..) pljakici represents an endemic species, specialized for a cavernicolous way of living. The analogies of this and other species of the subgenus point to some similar phenomena which occur in other genera of Balkan false scorpions (Curcic 1972). In all these cases, a close relationship among the species inhabiting East Serbia, Macedonia and Herzegovina was noticed. It is probable, therefore, that the three regions represent the autochthonous areas of the original populations of the analysed groups of species, out of which new species came into existence.

A new cavernicolous species of the Pseudoscorpion Genus Roncus L. Koch, 1873 (Neobisiidae, Pseudoscorpiones) from the Balkan peninsula., 1973, Curcic Bozidar P. M.
Roncus (Parablothrus) pljakici, a new species of cave living pseudoscorpions, is described from the cave 'Pecina u selu Vrelo' on Mt. Stara Planina, East Serbia. The problem of its taxonomic position in the subgenus is discussed. The new species is the first representative of Parablothrus to be found in Serbia. It seems possible that R. (P..) pljakici represents an endemic species, specialized for a cavernicolous way of living. The analogies of this and other species of the subgenus point to some similar phenomena which occur in other genera of Balkan false scorpions (Curcic 1972). In all these cases, a close relationship among the species inhabiting East Serbia, Macedonia and Herzegovina was noticed. It is probable, therefore, that the three regions represent the autochthonous areas of the original populations of the analysed groups of species, out of which new species came into existence.

The Spider communities in tropical caves (Aranaea)., 1973, Brignoli Paolo Marcello
The so called "tropical" caves (most of which are also geographically "tropical") are distinguished from the "temperate" caves by the much larger trophic resources. Spiders are common in both kinds of caves, but the groups present in one kind are mostly absent in the other (notwithstanding that many families are distributed over at least one temperate and one tropical region). As in all temperate caves more or less the same groups of spiders can be found, so the tropical caves have a typical spider fauna, composed of different groups (often also more than those present in the temperate caves). In the temperate caves the most typical groups are the Leptonetidae, the Dysderidae, many Araneoidea and some Agelenidae; these groups are either absent or rare in the tropical caves. In these the typical groups are some Orthognatha and many primitive spiders of the Haplogynae (Oonopidae, Tetrablemmidae, Ochyroceratidae, Scytodidae, Pholcidae, Telemidae) with a few Araneoidea (Theridiosomatidae and Symphytognathidae). From an ecological point of view, the detriticolous groups are not common in temperate caves, but are exceedingly common in tropical caves. In these live also often some groups which could be considered not strictly detriticolous, but more exactly "microcavernicolous" (i.e. living "normally" in more or less permanent crevices etc. of soil and rocks). In temperate caves are on the other hand more common groups living typically on vegetation, not very close to the soil. Ethologically, in tropical caves the existence of groups is possible which either ambush their prey or search for it actively whereas most spiders of temperate caves capture it with a web.

Observations on Stenasellus virei in its natural biotopes (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota of Subterranean Waters)., 1974, Magniez Guy
Thanks to intensive exploration and to new methods for capturing aquatic underground fauna. 117 localities are now known for Stenasellus virei. The description of some typical biotopes suggests that the species lives as well in karstic waters as in phreatic ones, inside the different environment of the hydrogeological classification of subterranean waters. St. virei buchneri and St. v. hussoni are almost cavernicolous. St. v. angelieri is distributed in the underground waters of Catalonia. St. v. boui is located in the underflow of Salat river basin. St. v. virei is widely distributed in the alluvial water-level of Garonne and Ebro rivers basins. The dispersion of St. virei into the alluvial environment explains the process of colonization of continental underground waters. It explains also the existence of an apparently insulated population into the sink-hole of Padirac. The actual distribution of the five subspecies is explained by important restrictions of the area in quaternary glacial ages, followed by local (in the water-level of the tributaries of Garonne river) spreading during postglacial time. The postglacial reconquest of the Salat river underflow by this species seems to have been responsible for the latest subspeciation (St. v. boui). The endemic populations of fossil karstic systems seem to have an abnormal composition. They include unusually large adults, juvenile stages being rare. They differ from the phreatic populations, which exhibit a normal distribution is size groups, with a formal percentage of juveniles. These differences between karstic and interstitial populations may result from the fact that in caves, Sr. virei is often insulated from its original phreatic biocoenosis: an intraspecific competition between size classes has taken the place of normal heterospecific struggle for existence.

Donnees geomorphologiques sur la region de Fresh Creek, Ile Andros (Bahama), 1974, Bourrouilh F,
A geomorphological study of the east coast of Andros (Fresh Creek area) shows the existence of a paleotopography represented by low-altitude hills (few metres). This paleotopography is protected by the presence of a calcitic Quaternary crust which covers Pleistocene calcarenite.In the western part of the area, there are long woody axes, oriented NE-SW, parallel to the channels of the creek. They end at two kilometres from the coast, along which is a second kind of lower hills, orthogonal to the first.The first axes can be interpreted as megaripples as seen at the present time on modern deposits (on the Great Bahama Bank) and fossilized by the upper crust. The second direction is made by accretion ripples along the coast.The surface of the Bahamian calcarenite has been studied. The Bahamian karst presents two topographical forms: “blue holes” like those outside the island, which are 60-80 m in diameter and both sparse and deep; and “washtub” dolines; these are numerous and shallow, and, from low altitude, exhibit a honeycombed aspect on the surface. This karstic topography with dolines and blue holes is also seen through the water of the Creek the hard bottom of which is covered only here and there with a few centimetres of sediments. Hence, there is a submerged karstic topography, made of the same elements as the aerial karst, but submerged by the Holocene transgression. The present karstic relief, in relation with the different eustatic levels of the Quaternary, has begun 120,000 years ago, according to the isotopic ages, and might be composed by different steps, difficult to show now, in the topography.The blue holes in the interior of the island of young and little evolved karst, were formed more by solution than by collapse of the karstic caves, because of the absence of a real river to drain the Andros shelf at the time of low sea levels. Blue holes of the inside of the island, as they are called, with submarine openings, have the same salinity as the water of the creek (17.5 g/l). The dolines with very low salinity (0.7 g/l to 3.8 g/l) are filled with stromatolites and charophytes, slowly forming sediments made up essentially of high-magnesian calcite.It seems that the Andros Island karst can be compared with that of the Yucatan, where there are round and deep open pits, called cenote, of which the Bahamian equivalent would be the blue holes which were drowned by the Holocene transgression.ResumeSur l'ile Andros, zone emergee du Grand Banc de Bahama, l'auteur montre l'existence d'une paleotopographie comprenant deux categories de rides d'orientation differente et semblant fossilisee par une croute calcitique recente et l'existence d'un karst aux formes jeunes, bien qu'heritage d'un karst holocene en voie de submersion. Ces formes sont des “blue holes” ou trous bleus circulaires (60 a 80 m de diametre) et peu nombreux, et des dolines, dites en baquet. Dans ces dolines se deposent actuellement des croutes stromatolithiques calcitiques dont l'etude est faite par diffractometrie de rayons X et microscopie electronique a balayage

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