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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 pellicular water is 1. the film of water left around each grain or fracture surface of water-bearing material after gravity drainage [22]. 2. water of-adhesion [22]. 3.water that can be extracted by root absorption and evaporation but cannot be moved by gravity or by the unbalanced film forces resulting from localized evaporation and transpiration [22].?

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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.
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 input (Keyword) returned 185 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 185
A preliminary study on the effects of organic pollution of banners Corner Cave, Virginia., 1966, Holsinger John R.
Four pools were observed in Banners Corner Cave, Russell County, Virginia, over a 28 month period from November, 1961, to February, 1964. Three of these pools were visibly polluted with sewage which had seeped into the cave from septic tanks located on the hill above. All four of these pools, at one time or another during the study, contained large populations of planarians, Phagocata subterranea Hyman and isopods, Asellus recurvatus Steeves. Physicochemical and microbiological analyses of the pool waters indicated that oxygen tension is a low as 2.8 mg./l. in one pool and that coliforms and other forms of bacteria (probably saprophytic) are abundant in the contaminated waters of the cave. Microscopic examination of the pool waters revealed a rich and varied microfauna, especially protozoans and rotifers. In addition, the polluted pools contained large amounts of colloidal materials which are believed to be rich in organic content. The influx and accumulation of sewage rich in organic matter is believed to be the basic trophic input in the contaminated pools. It is suggested that this material serves as an important food source for saprophytic bacteria as well as for much of the aquatic fauna, including both micro- and macroforms. Precise trophic relationships between the larger aquatic organisms have not been worked out but several significant feeding responses have been observed.

Cooleman and Right Cooleman Caves, Kosciusko National Park, and the Shift of Risings, 1971, Jennings, J. N.

The Cooleman-Right Cooleman system is an abandoned, nearly horizontal outflow cave of shallow phreatic nature, modified by breakdown. It lies just inside and parallel to a gorge wall of Cave Creek. This relationship, and others like it here, are attributed to a greater water input into the limestone along the lines of dissection of Cooleman Plain rather than to the mechanical effects of slope retreat such as Renault has favoured. This outflow cave has been replaced as the major rising of this karst by the Blue Waterholes a short distance down valley; shallow incision of the valley has accompanied the shift of the rising. This down valley movement does not seem to be explicable by removal of overlying impervious beds in this direction to expose more limestone but by a displacement of the main artery feeding the risings in the course of the deepening of underground karst development as a result of incision. However, this displacement is not more favourable to the emergence of the underground drainage of the Plain as a whole. The downstream shift of the rising therefore remains problematic. Discussion favours interpretation of Cooleman Cave entrance as a secondary breach into the outflow cave previously emerging at Right Cooleman entrance, aided by lateral erosion of the surface stream, but it is recognised that the evidence is far from conclusive.


Observations at the Blue Waterholes, March 1965 - April 1969, and Limestone Solution on Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1972, Jennings, J. N.

After brief descriptions of the geomorphology of the Cooleman Plain karst and in particular of the Blue Waterholes, the methods adopted to analyse the functioning of these major risings are detailed. The discharge regime of Cave Creek below them is oceanic pluvial in type perturbed by drought and snow. There is much annual variation both in seasonal incidence and total amount, with catchment efficiency correspondingly variable. Suspended sediment concentration is even more erratic and monthly determinations are inadequate for calculating corrasional denudation rates. Mean concentrations of suspended solids are about 1/18th of solute load. Total dissolved salts have a strong inverse relationship with discharge, and mean values are high compared with those for other catchments in eastern Australia but none of these determinations are from limestone catchments. Sodium, potassium, and chlorine contents are low compared with the same catchments but silica is relatively high. The ratio of alkaline earths to alkalis indicate that Cave Creek carries carbonate waters and there is an inverse regression of the ratio on discharge. There is inverse correlation of total hardness on discharge likewise due to concentration of surface waters by evaporation in dry periods, together with reduced underground solution rate at times of large, rapid flow. The spring waters remain aggressive. Close regressions of hardness on specific conductivity now permit the latter to be determined in the place of the former. Much evidence converges to indicate that all the springs at the Blue Waterholes are fed from the same conduit. The intermittent flow which comes down the North Branch on the surface to the Blue Waterholes differs significantly in many characters from the spring waters. Rates of Ca + M carbonate equivalent removal vary directly with discharge since hardness varies much less than does water volume. These gross rates have to be adjusted for (a) atmospheric salts entering the karst directly, (b) peripheral solute inputs from the non-karst two-thirds of the catchment and (c) subjacent karst solution before they can be taken as a measure of exposed karst denudation. The methods for achieving this are set out. The total corrections amount to about one third of the total hardness, though the correction for subjacent karst on its own lies within the experimental error of the investigation. The residual rate of limestone removal from the exposed karst also shows a winter/spring high rate and a summer/autumn low rate but the seasonal incidence and annual total varied very much from year to year. In comparison with results from karsts in broadly similar climate, the seasonal rhythm conforms and so does the high proportion (78%) of the solution taking place at or close to the surface. This reduces the importance of the impounded condition of this small karst but supports the use of karst denudation rate as a measure of surface lowering. Cave passage solution may however be more important in impounded karst than its absolute contribution might suggest, by promoting rapid development of underground circulation. The mean value of limestone removal is low for the climatic type and this is probably due to high evapotranspirational loss as well as to the process of eliminating atmospheric, peripheral non-karst and subjacent karst contributions. The difficulties of applying modern solution removal rate to the historical geomorphology of this karst are made evident; at the same time even crude extrapolations are shown to isolate problems valuably.


Ecological and evolutive aspects of the communities of temperate and tropical caves: observations on the biological cycles of some species of Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1973, Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Sbordoni Valerio
Differences between tropical and temperate cave communities are an important topic in the actual biospeleological thinking. Among the most striking differences is the paucity of terrestrial troglobites in tropical caves. This fact may depend on the higher energy input into tropical caves which lessens the selection pressures for energy-economizing troglobite adaptations. Consequently evolutionary rates would be slowed in tropical caves and, in a date group, troglobites would appear later in such caves than in temperate ones with lower energy input. In order to investigate this point the authors studied the degree of adaptation to the cave environment in two species of Mexican Ptomaphagus which, being phylogenetically related, probably descend from the same epigean ancestor. Among these species the first one, P. troglomexicanus Peck, lives in a typical temperate cave (i.e. cold, high altitude cave, with scarce food supply) in the Sierra de Guatemala (Tamaulipas), the other one, P. spelaeus (Bilimek), populates tropical caves (i.e. warm, lowland cave, with rich food supply) in the State of Guerrero. In addition a comparison is made with P. pius Seidlitz, an epigean species from southern Europe. The results show a striking difference between P. troglomexicanus on a side and the other two species. Differences chiefly concern morphological features such as relative antenna length, structural complexity (i.e. the number of sensilla) of the antenna chemioreceptor organs in the 70, 90, 100 segments, degree of reduction of eye, wing and pigmentation and physiological ones such as the length of the life cycle. The possible causes of these differences are discussed. According to the authors these differences appear due to the different selection pressures acting in the two types of caves. In addition a comparison between the "tropical cave" species, P. spelaeus, with the epigean one, P. pius, does not point out the differences that one could expect by the diverse ecology of these species. These observations support the idea that evolutionary rates in cavernicoles are strongly affected by the ecology of the cave, mainly depending on the degree of energy input, and are poorly consistent with the hypothesis that mutations affecting degenerative processes are selectively neutral.

Ecological and evolutive aspects of the communities of temperate and tropical caves: observations on the biological cycles of some species of Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1973, Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Sbordoni Valerio
Differences between tropical and temperate cave communities are an important topic in the actual biospeleological thinking. Among the most striking differences is the paucity of terrestrial troglobites in tropical caves. This fact may depend on the higher energy input into tropical caves which lessens the selection pressures for energy-economizing troglobite adaptations. Consequently evolutionary rates would be slowed in tropical caves and, in a date group, troglobites would appear later in such caves than in temperate ones with lower energy input. In order to investigate this point the authors studied the degree of adaptation to the cave environment in two species of Mexican Ptomaphagus which, being phylogenetically related, probably descend from the same epigean ancestor. Among these species the first one, P. troglomexicanus Peck, lives in a typical temperate cave (i.e. cold, high altitude cave, with scarce food supply) in the Sierra de Guatemala (Tamaulipas), the other one, P. spelaeus (Bilimek), populates tropical caves (i.e. warm, lowland cave, with rich food supply) in the State of Guerrero. In addition a comparison is made with P. pius Seidlitz, an epigean species from southern Europe. The results show a striking difference between P. troglomexicanus on a side and the other two species. Differences chiefly concern morphological features such as relative antenna length, structural complexity (i.e. the number of sensilla) of the antenna chemioreceptor organs in the 70, 90, 100 segments, degree of reduction of eye, wing and pigmentation and physiological ones such as the length of the life cycle. The possible causes of these differences are discussed. According to the authors these differences appear due to the different selection pressures acting in the two types of caves. In addition a comparison between the "tropical cave" species, P. spelaeus, with the epigean one, P. pius, does not point out the differences that one could expect by the diverse ecology of these species. These observations support the idea that evolutionary rates in cavernicoles are strongly affected by the ecology of the cave, mainly depending on the degree of energy input, and are poorly consistent with the hypothesis that mutations affecting degenerative processes are selectively neutral.

Geology and hydrogeology of the El Convento cave-spring system, Southwestern Puerto Rico., 1974, Beck Barry F.
Whereas the North Coast Tertiary Limestones of Puerto Rico are classic karst locales, their southern counterparts are almost devoid of karst development. The El Convento Cave-Spring System is the most prominent feature of the only large scale karst area developed on the South Coast Tertiary limestones. The karst topography is localized on the middle Juana Diaz Formation, which is a reef facies limestone, apparently because of the high density and low permeability of this zone as compared to the surrounding chalks and marls. In the El Convento System a sinking ephemeral stream combines with the flow from two perennial springs inside the cave. The surface drainage has been pirated from the Rio Tallaboa to the east into El Convento's subterranean course. The climate is generally semi-arid with 125-150 cm of rain falling principally as short, intense showers during Sept., Oct., and Nov. Sinking flood waters are absorbed by a small sinkhole and appear two to three hours later in the cave. In the dry season this input is absent. The two springs within the cave have a combined inflow to the system of 1.0 m3/min at low flow but half of this leaks back to the groundwater before it reaches the resurgence. The spring waters are saturated with CaCO3 and high in CO2 (26.4 ppm). As the water flows through the open cave it first becomes supersaturated by losing CO2 and then trends back toward saturation by precipitating CaCO3.

Rapid groundwater flow in fissures in the chalk: an example from south Hampshire, 1974, Atkinson Tc, Smith Di,
Projected road improvements in south Hampshire included plans to dispose of surface drainage into soakaways to be sited near an area of swallow holes in the Chalk. An experiment was undertaken to establish if there was a direct connection between the swallow holes, located near the junction of the Chalk and the Lower Tertiary strata, and major springs used for water supply in the Havant area. As the swallow holes are dry except in periods of storm rainfall a tracer, the fluorescent dye Rhodamine WT, was injected together with a large volume of water into one of the swallow holes. Water samples were collected from the springs at Havant and analysed for Rhodamine WT using a Turner fluorometer. The tracer was found at both sets of springs sampled and the straight line velocity from input point to spring was in excess of 2 km per day. Computations based on the concentration of dye recovered from the springs show that in the event of a tanker spillage within the proposed drainage scheme severe contamination would be expected to occur at the springs. The experiment and the results obtained make it clear that extreme caution should be exercised to avoid contamination of fissure-flow within the Chalk aquifer

The ecology of a predaceous troglobitic beetle, Neaphaenops tellkampfii (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Trechinae). I Seasonality of food input and early life history stages., 1975, Kane Thomas C. , Norton Russell M. , Poulson L. Thomas
The adaptations in the life history of the Carabid beetle Neaphaenops tellkampfii has been investigated in respect to seasonal food input. The following characters have been studied: copulations, egg production, larvae and pupae.

The ecology of a predaceous troglobitic beetle, Neaphaenops tellkampfii (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Trechinae). II Adult seasonality, feeding and recruitment., 1975, Kane Thomas C. , Norton Russell M. , Poulson Thomas L.
In deep cave areas with loose substrate and sufficient moisture, the life history of Neaphaenops tellkampfii (Coleoptera: Carabidae, Trechinae) is synchronized with the seasonal pattern of its primary food sources, the eggs and first instar nymphs of the cave cricket Hadenoecus subterraneus (Orthoptera Gryllacridoidea, Rhaphidophoridae). Neaphaenops reproduction coincides with an order of magnitude increase in Hadenoecus egg input in the spring. Our 46 observations of predation by Neaphaenops suggest some switching to other cave animals as cricket egg and first instar nymph densities decrease during the summer. Neaphaenops life history in areas of Hadenoecus egg input is as follows: (1) female Neaphaenops reach maximum fecundity at the time of the maximum density of frst instar Hadenoecus nymphs; (2) early instar Neaphaenops larvae appear in late summer and fall; (3) last instar Neaphaenops larvae appear in early spring and pupation occurs shortly thereafter; (4) lightly coloured teneral adults emerge two to three months later, a time consistent with laboratory estimates of the length of the pupal stage. Seasonal changes in sex ratio due to differential mortality appear to be consistent with this seasonal pattern. A comparison of Neaphaenops with two other species of carabid cricket egg predators suggests the importance of seasonal food abundance in determining life history seasonality. Darlingtonea kentuckensis has a food resource pattern which appears identical to that of Neaphaenops, and the life history seasonality is also parallel. Rhadine subterranea, however, seems to have a much more equitable food input throughout the year, and appears to have an aseasonal life history.

Paleohydrology and Streamflow Simulation of three Karst Basins in Southeastern West Virginia, U.S.A., PhD Thesis, 1975, Coward, Julian Michael Henry

This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of karst hydrology. To do this, the present day hydrology and the paleohydrology were determined in three karst basins. The basins chosen were the Swago, Locust and Spring Creek basins in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties, West Virginia. A number of conventional field techniques were used successfully in this study, including the following: current meter and dye dilution gauging; dye and lycopodium stream tracing; geological and cave mapping; the setting up of stage recorders; geochemistry; and limestone erosion measurements. The climate of the region was investigated to obtain realistic precipitation, temperature and potential evaporation data over the study basins.
It was found that the mean precipitation over two of the basins was 30% higher than recorded data in the valleys. The karst development of the basins was found to take place in four major stages. These were: A) initial surficial flow, B) strike controlled drainage, C) major piracies from one sub-basin to another, and D) shortening of the flow routes. The major controls on the karst development were found to be: A) the Taggard shale, B) the strike direction, which controlled early basin development, and C) the hydraulic gradient from the sink to rising, which controlled later basin development.
To better assess the quantitative hydrology, and to assist in determining the type of unexplorable flow paths, a watershed model was developed. This modelled the streamflow from known climatic inputs using a number of measured or optimized parameters. The simulation model handled snowmelt, interception, infiltration, interflow, baseflow, overland flow, channel routing, and evaporation from the interception, soil water, ground water, snowpack and channel water. The modelled basin could be split up into 20 segments, each with different hydrological characteristics, but a maximum of 3 segments was used in this study.
A total of 29 parameters was used in the model although only 10 (other than those directly measurable) were found to be sensitive in the three basins. The simulated streamflow did not match the real flows very well due to errors in the data input and due to simplifications in the model. It was found, however, that as the proportion of the limestone in a segment increased the overland flow decreased, the interflow increased, the baseflow and interflow recessions were faster, the soil storages were smaller and the infiltration rate was higher, than in segments with a larger proportion of exposed clastics. The flow characteristics of the inaccessible conduits were inferred from the channel routing parameters and it was postulated that the majority of the underground flow in the karst basins was taking place under vadose conditions.


The effect of cave entrances on the distribution of cave-inhabiting terrestrial Arthropods., 1976, Peck Stewart B.
Populations of cave invertebrates are generally considered to be food-limited. The cave entrance is a major source of food input into the community in the form of decaying organic matter. Thus, the densities of scavenging terrestrial cave invertebrates should be related to the distance from the cave entrance because this represents a measure of food abundance. A test showed this expectation to be true in Crossings Cave, Alabama. A population density peak occurred 10 m inside the cave where the dark zone and detritus infall regions meet. The greatest population peak occurred at 100 m where densities of crickets and their guano are highest. The pattern should hold for most caves, but the actual distances will vary in each site depending on its circumstances. When the fauna was removed from the cave, the remnant had not regained community equilibrium a year later. Removal of the dominant scavenger, a milliped, allowed other species populations to expand because of decreased competitions.

The animal population of the hyporheic interstitial in a primary rock stream under the influence of the supply of allochthonous organic matter., 1976, Pieper Hansgerd
The Mettma, a mountain stream in the Black Forest, W. Germany, was investigated for effects of input of nutrients and energy by domestic waste water and effluent from a brewery introduced at one specific point. The investigation time ranged from May 1970 to February 1971. Initially, there is an impoverishment and structural changes of the biocoenosis in the hyporheic interstitial. There is an almost complete O2-depletion immediately after the waste water has been added. In winter, temperatures in the interstitial were higher than those in the current. No direct correlation between population densities and amount of organic matter were observed where allochthonous nutrients had been added. Population densities of multicellular animals were from 0 to 1.2 X 105 per 0.1 m3 of sediment. 4.1 km further downstream the fauna is similar to that above the waste water inlet, while at 7.35 km downstream of it is slightly less dense.

The development of limestone cave systems in the dimensions of length and depth., 1978, Ewers R. O. , Ford Derek Clifford
Karst caves are defined as solutional cavities 5-16 mm in diameter and discussion is limited to cases where such continuously extend to a surficial input or output or both. Three opposed sets of general genetic hypotheses ("the classical hypotheses") have been presented for such caves, Arguing that the majority develop 1) in the vadose zone 2) in the phreatic zone 3) proximate and parallel to a watertable. It is contended here that vadose, phreatc and watertable caves are all of common occurrence and may be linked in one genetic theory. A four state model is proposed in which ideal phreatic and watertable caverns are end members: in a given massif of soluble rock the state (cave type) that develops is a function of the frequency of fissures penetrable by groundwater. The water-table type is the high frequency end member. Fissure frequency increases with passage of time after onset of karstification and gradational features may also develop to modify phreatic types. Vadose caves may be of "drawdown" type (following an initial phreatic path) or "invasion" type (developing a new path through rock drained by earlier caves). Extensive cave systems may comprise vadose, phreatic and/or watertable developed contemporaneously.

Cavern Development in the Dimensions of Length and Breadth. PhD Thesis, 1982, Ewers, Ralph Owen

Three conceptual models are proposed for the integration of the large systems of conduits responsible for groundwater flow in soluble rocks. These models are supported by laboratory experiments with scaled solution models, flow-field analogues, and evidence from existing caves.
The three models reflect different boundary conditions imposed by geologic structure and stratigraphy. They have three characteristics in common. First, the smaller elements of the larger systems propagate separately from points of groundwater input toward points of discharge as distributary networks. Second, the integration of the smaller networks proceeds headward from the resurgence, in a stepwise fashion. Third, the result of the integration process in each case is a tributary system with many inputs discharging through a single discharge point.
The potential for growth of each of the smaller networks, within a common pressure field, is related to its distance from the discharge boundary and the distribution of other inputs. The first input to establish a low-resistance link to the discharge boundary will effect a localized depression within the potential field, thus attracting the flow and redirecting the growth of nearby networks until they eventually link with it. As additional orders of links develop, the system takes on a tributary pattern.
The first model applies to steeply dipping rocks. Inputs occur where bedding planes are truncated by erosion, and discharge takes place to the strike. Conduits in this case evolve as a roughly rectangular grid of strike and dip oriented elements. Dip elements are the initial form, with subsequent integration along the strike. The type example is the Holloch in Switzerland.
The second model applies to flat-lying rocks. Inputs occur over a broad area, and discharge takes place along a linear boundary. Conduits in this case evolve in a trellised array with elements normal to the discharge boundary predating those parallel to it. These latter conduits integrate the flow. The type example is the Mammoth Cave Region, Kentucky.
The third model applies to simple systems which occur beneath an impermeable cap rock. Inputs occur where erosion has breached the capping beds. The type example is Cave Creek, Kentucky.


On the Wad-Minerals from the Cavern Environment., 1983, Kashima Naruhiko
The wad-minerals from limestone caves of Yugoslavia, China and Japan were studied. X-ray diffraction analysis revealed five minerals; birnessite, 10A-manganite, pyrolusite, todorokite and goethite. The heavy metal elements, Mn, Zn, Fe and Cr have been detected by X-ray fluorescence analysis and their contents were roughly determined. The condensation water introduced directly from the covering soils formed by the continental weathering and the deriving corrosive water interaction with limestone could be the input sources of manganese and other metal elements into the system.

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