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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 fountain is a free-flowing well or spring [16]. see also artesian well; spring, artesian.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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.
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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 grassland (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
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

Further Studies at the Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part I, Climate and Hydrology, 1983, Jennings, J. N.

Previous study of the temporal and spatial distribution of limestone solution at Cooleman Plain rested on monthly discharges and water analyses of the Blue Waterholes over 4 years. For this study automatic recording of discharge (8 years), rainfall (8 years), evaporation (7 years) and temperature (4 years) was attended by variable success in the face of interference, rigorous climate and inaccessibility. The most important aspect of the climatic data was the support obtained for the earlier assumption of similar water balances in the forested igneous frame and the grassland limestone plain. Runoff was again shown to be highly variable from year to year and to have an oceanic pluvial regime, with a summer-autumn minimum owing much to evapo-transpiration. The flow duration curve from daily discharges puts this karst amongst those where neither extremely high nor low flows are important. The stream routing pattern offsets the effect of 71% of the catchment being on non-karst rocks, damping flood events. An inflection of 700 l/s in a flow duration plot based on discharge class means is interpreted as the threshold at which surface flow down North Branch reaches the Blue Waterholes. Storages calculated from a generalised recession hydrograph parallel Mendip data where baseflow (fissure) storage provides most of the storage and quickflow (vadose) storage only a secondary part. Water-filled conduit storage (the phreas) could not be determined but is considered small. The baseflow storage seems large, suggesting that it can develop independently of caves in some measure. A quickflow ratio for floods derived by Gunn's modification of the Hewlett and Hibbert separation line method appears relatively low for a mainly non-karst catchment and is again attributed to the routing pattern. For analysis of variation of the solute load over time, estimates of daily discharge during gaps in the record where made for the author by Dr. A.J. Jakeman and Mr. M.A. Greenaway (see Appendix). A small number of discharge measures of two contrasted allogenic catchments of the igneous frame shows a unit area yield close to that for the whole catchment. Together with the guaging of most of the allogenic inputs, this supports the idea that the water yield is much the same from the forested ranges and the grassland plain. This is important for the estimation of limestone removal rates.


High-resolution records of soil humification and paleoclimate change from variations in speleothem luminescence excitation and emission wavelengths, 1998, Baker A, Genty D, Smart Pl,
Recent advances in the precision and accuracy of the optical techniques required to measure luminescence permit the nondestructive analysis of solid geologic samples such as speleothems (secondary carbonate deposits in caves). In this paper we show that measurement of speleothem luminescence demonstrates a strong relationship between the excitation and emission wavelengths and both the extent of soil humification and mean annual rainfall. Raw peat with blanket bog vegetation has the highest humification and highest luminescence excitation and emission matrix wavelengths, because of the higher proportion of high-molecular-weight organic acids in these soils. Brown ranker and rendzina soils with dry grassland and woodland cover have the lowest wavelengths. Detailed analysis of one site where an annually laminated stalagmite has been deposited over the past 70 yr during a period with instrumental climate records and no vegetation change suggests that more subtle variations in luminescence emission wavelength correlate best with mean annual rainfall, although there is a lag of approximately 10 yr. These results are used to interpret soil humification and climate change from a 130 ka speleothem at an upland site in Yorkshire, England. These data provide a new continuous terrestrial record of climate and environmental change for northwestern Europe and suggest the presence of significant variations in wetness and vegetation within interglacial and interstadial periods

Spatial and temporal changes in the structure of groundwater nitrate concentration time series (1935-1999) as demonstrated by autoregressive modelling, 2005, Jones A. L. , Smart P. L. ,
Autoregressive modelling is used to investigate the internal structure of long-term (1935-1999) records of nitrate concentration for five karst springs in the Mendip Hills. There is a significant short term (1-2 months) positive autocorrelation at three of the five springs due to the availability of sufficient nitrate within the soil store to maintain concentrations in winter recharge for several months. The absence of short term (1-2 months) positive autocorrelation in the other two springs is due to the marked contrast in land use between the limestone and swallet parts of the catchment, rapid concentrated recharge from the latter causing short term switching in the dominant water source at the spring and thus fluctuating nitrate concentrations. Significant negative autocorrelation is evident at lags varying from 4 to 7 months through to 14-22 months for individual springs, with positive autocorrelation at 19-20 months at one site. This variable timing is explained by moderation of the exhaustion effect in the soil by groundwater storage, which gives longer residence times in large catchments and those with a dominance of diffuse flow. The lags derived from autoregressive modelling may therefore provide an indication of average groundwater residence times. Significant differences in the structure of the autocorrelation function for successive 10-year periods are evident at Cheddar Spring, and are explained by the effect the ploughing up of grasslands during the Second World War and increased fertiliser usage on available nitrogen in the soil store. This effect is moderated by the influence of summer temperatures on rates of mineralization, and of both summer and winter rainfall on the timing and magnitude of nitrate leaching. The pattern of nitrate leaching also appears to have been perturbed by the 1976 drought. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Fauna of the land habitats of the Pivka lakes, 2005, Polak, S.

The paper gives an overview of the current knowledge of the fauna of the land habitats around the Pivka lakes. So far 20 mammal species and 127 bird species have been identified. Of the bird species, 75 also nest here. Special attention is paid to European conservation species such as the corn crake, woodlark, nightjar and barred warbler. The nesting density of the barred warbler, skylark, red-backed shrike and corn bunting at the Pivka lakes is among the highest in the country. In the area of the Pivka lakes 8 reptile species and 9 amphibian species have been identified. The majority of these species are on the Red List of Threatened Animals. The butterflies have been relatively well researched. 106 species have been identified in the area, which amounts to 57% of all species of butterflies living in Slovenia. Many of them are threatened and vulnerable species. To the present, 210 species of beetles have been identified, live here. Many of the threatened species are connected with the marshy grasslands of the lakes, dry karst grasslands and barren rocky outcrops. There are fewer threatened animal species in the forests and brush. The remains of old oak forests are scientifically important. Due to the abandonment of land use by humans in the area of the Pivka lakes we can observe the rapid overgrowth of pasturelands, which leads to decreased biodiversity. In addition to legal protection of the Pivka lakes it is therefore also recommend active management and conservation as well as preserving and encouragement of the formerly extensive farming practices.


DO TURLOUGHS OCCUR IN SLOVENIA?, 2008, Sheehy Skeffington Micheline, Scott Nick. E.
Micheline Shehy Skeffington & Nick. E. Scott: Do turloughs occur in Slovenia? Turloughs are karst basins that fill seasonally with mostly groundwater and drain, usually in summer, to reveal a sedge or grassland community. They are often described as being virtually unique to Ireland. The much larger seasonal poljes of the Slovenian karst are considered different to turloughs. However, a series of small temporary karst lakes in the Slovenian Pivka valley seem remarkably similar to Irish turloughs. Like turloughs, they fill and empty largely through estavelles connecting to underground water systems, which rise and fall with high seasonal rainfall. The Slovenian sites, however, support less wetland communities than Irish turloughs, probably due to drier summer conditions. The plant communities of both systems occur in zones around the basin, related to flood duration. Relevs taken at five Slovenian sites revealed that Petelinjsko jezero, which floods longest each year, is the most similar to turloughs, with, in the lower basin, Eleocharis palustris, potentilla reptans and the unusual form of Ranuculus repens commonly found in Irish turloughs. The difference in climate and terrain means that the Slovenian sites are managed for hay or silage, while the Irish turloughs are under pasture. However, for both, regular flooding precludes much agricultural improvement, so that they are now refuges for flora and fauna. A revised definition for turloughs is proposed and a case made for these Slovenian wetland systems to be recognised as turloughs and for the EU Habitats Directive to be amended to include poljes and other similar temporary karst wetland systems as well as turloughs.

Les Pavements calcaires (Limestone pavements). Caractrisation et valeur patrimoniale dun habitat complexe selon une approche pluridisciplinaire, 2008, Gaudillat V.
Limestone pavements. Characterization and patrimonial value of a complex habitat according to a pluridisciplinary approach. The "Habitats" directive aims to preserve biodiversity within the European Union. Within habitats of community interest that have to be maintained in good conservation are limestone pavements. Difficulties in their characteristics led to specifying its definition for France. A pluridisciplinary study proved to be necessary, with a geomorphological approach in the first time, later adding vegetation. In the beginning, the habitat was mentioned only in the United Kingdom and in Ireland, its official definition is built on its expression in these two States. To help with comprehension, a short presentation of British and Irish pavements is made. It turns out that limestone pavements constitute a type of tabular karren field with a network of fissures (grikes or Kluftkarren) which flat blocks in between (clints or Flachkarren). The vegetation is characterized by a mosaic made up of fissure plant communities rich in ferns, moist vegetations of pits and pans, grasslands, heaths, thickets, even wooded parts. In France this habitat is mainly present in the calcareous Forealps and more sparsely in the Jura, the internal and middle Alps, the Mediterranean region and the Pyrenees. Very little synthetic studies about this habitat exist in France, and its patrimonial value is hardly documented. However, it has a real geological and geomorphological interest, in particular as a record of the landscape and climate evolution. The habitat offers a great diversity of ecological niches corresponding to an important diversity of flora and fauna. These, however, are rarely specific to the habitat and can be found also in other contexts.Still, threatened or rare species with high patrimonial value can be found on the pavements. The situation highly varies from one site to another. This pluridisciplinary approach presents the various aspects of the habitat according to the used disciplines and to sensibilizes specialists and users of this habitat towards its preservation.

Tanella cave (Monte Baldo Verona, Italy): a record of environmental data on the Last Glacial period, 2011, Zorzin Roberto, Agostini Laura, Montecchi Maria Chiara, Torri Paola, Accorsi Carla Alberta,

Since 2003, an extensive hydrogeological investigation has been carried out on Monte Baldo, in order to make a census of springs occurring along the west side of the mountain and to evaluate the quality of their water. The investigation included morphological and hydrogeological observations concerning the Tanella cave and interdisciplinary investigations performed on the deposits found in the cave. This paper shows the first data concerning the hydrogeology of the cave, as well as data on stratigraphy, pollen and micro-charcoals obtained from the analyses of a well preserved sequence located at ca. 80 m from the entrance (sequence A). The aim of the study was to reconstruct the environment of the area around the cave along the time span testified by the sequence. The sequence is 60 cm thick and was built up by fluvioglacial sediments followed by lacustrine sediments. Five samples taken along the sequence plus three recent control samples (mosses), collected in places assumed as origins of the pollen input, were studied for pollen and micro-charcoals. Pollen preservation was good and concentration varied from 101 to 103 p/g. Pollen spectra from the cave showed the evolution from a landscape of alpine grassland above the timberline, likely of glacial age, to a more forested Holocene landscape similar in flora to the current one testified by the control samples. Pollen probably arrived in the cave by air, water and animals and from plants growing near the cave. It appears to have been continuously underwater after its deposition due to its very good state of preservation. Micro-charcoals suggested that fires were sometimes lit near the cave.


Floristic and Functional comparision of karst pastures and karst meadows from the North Adriatic Karst , 2011, Pipenbaher Nataa, Kaligarič, Mitja, kornik Sonja
In the present study, we compared the species richness and the floristic and functional composition of two types of extensively managed, species rich dry grasslands (class Festuco-Brometea) from the North Adriatic Karst: karst pastures (alliance Satureion subspicatae) and karst meadows (alliance Scorzonerion villose). Karst pastures are characterized by shallow rocky soils, high pH, and dry, warm conditions, whereas karst meadows have developed on deeper soil, with more humus and moisture and neutral to alkaline pH. The data set included a table with 100 phytosociological relevés of the studied grasslands and a matrix with 15 functional traits determined for 180 plant species. we found high species richness in these grasslands but no statistically significant differences in species richness between karst pastures and meadows. Differences in floristic composition were analysed with Detrended Correspondence Analysis, which supported a clear division between the two vegetation types and indicated that species composition could best be explained in terms of soil humidity and nutrient availability. We also detected several differences in plant functional traits between meadows and pastures. Some of the traits indicate greater resource availability on karst meadows (in particular, high SLA, low LDMC). In contrast, karst pastures have more slow-growing species with a combination of traits that can be interpreted as an avoidance strategy in relation to disturbance (e.g., grazing) in low productive habitats (e.g., low SLA, high LDMC, early flowering species and plants with rosette). A lower relative proportion of competitors (C) and ruderals (R), and a higher relative proportion of stress-tolerators (S) in karst pastures also suggested that these grasslands generally experience higher intensities of stress when compared to karst meadows, presumably owing to lower resource availability on stony, shallow soil. we could conclude that karst meadows and pastures differ significantly in both floristic composition and functional trait means, owing to their distinctive land-use (disturbance) and environmental conditions.

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