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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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. ...

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 rotating meter is a stream velocity meter that transforms stream momentum into angular momentum by vanes and rotor [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
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
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for investigation (Keyword) returned 500 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 500
The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), ,
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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

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity at a karst spring induced by variable catchment boundaries: the case of the Podstenjšek spring, Slovenia, ,
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Ravbar, N. , Engelhardt, I. , Goldscheider, N.

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity (SEC) was observed at a karst spring in Slovenia during 26 high-flow events in an 18-month monitoring period. A conceptual model explaining this anomalous SEC variability is presented and reproduced by numerical modelling, and the practical relevance for source protection zoning is discussed. After storm rainfall, discharge increases rapidly, which is typical for karst springs. SEC displays a first maximum during the rising limb of the spring hydrograph, followed by a minimum indicating the arrival of freshly infiltrated water, often confirmed by increased levels of total organic carbon (TOC). The anomalous behaviour starts after this SEC minimum, when SEC rises again and remains elevated during the entire high-flow period, typically 20–40 µS/cm above the baseflow value. This is explained by variable catchment boundaries: When the water level in the aquifer rises, the catchment expands, incorporating zones of groundwater with higher SEC, caused by higher unsaturated zone thickness and subtle lithologic changes. This conceptual model has been checked by numerical investigations. A generalized finite-difference model including high-conductivity cells representing the conduit network (“discrete-continuum approach”) was set up to simulate the observed behaviour of the karst system. The model reproduces the shifting groundwater divide and the nearly simultaneous increase of discharge and SEC during high-flow periods. The observed behaviour is relevant for groundwater source protection zoning, which requires reliable delineation of catchment areas. Anomalous behaviour of SEC can point to variable catchment boundaries that can be checked by tracer tests during different hydrologic conditions.

Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, ,
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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

Sulfate reducing bacteria in microbial mats: Changing paradigms, new discoveries, 0000,
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Baumgartner Lk, Reid Rp, Dupraz C, Decho Aw, Buckley Dh, Spear Jr, Przekop Km, Visscher Pt,
Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) have existed throughout much of Earth's history and remain major contributors to carbon cycling in modern systems. Despite their importance, misconceptions about SRB are prevalent. In particular, SRB are commonly thought to lack oxygen tolerance and to exist only in anoxic environments. Through the last two decades, researchers have discovered that SRB can, in fact, tolerate and even respire oxygen. Investigations of microbial mat systems have demonstrated that SRB are both abundant and active in the oxic zones of mats. Additionally, SRB have been found to be highly active in the lithified zones of microbial mats, suggesting a connection between sulfate reduction and mat lithification. In the present paper, we review recent research on SRB distribution and present new preliminary findings on both the diversity and distribution of [delta]-proteobacterial SRB in lithifying and non-lithifying microbial mat systems. These preliminary findings indicate the unexplored diversity of SRB in a microbial mat system and demonstrate the close microspatial association of SRB and cyanobacteria in the oxic zone of the mat. Possible mechanisms and further studies to elucidate mechanisms for carbonate precipitation via sulfate reduction are also discussed

Hydrologic Investigation of Caves, 1949,
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Hamilton, Dan K

The Discovery, Exploration and Scientific Investigation of the Wellington Caves, New South Wales, 1963,
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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.

On mosses that, under influence of electrical lights inside the Hungarian and Czechoslovakian caves, penetrate underground., 1964,
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Boros A.
The introduction of electrical illumination into different caves makes the intrusion of some mosses and ferns into such depths of the caves possible which at previous occasions (i. e. before the installation of electrical light) were found sterile of these plants. Investigations of two caves in Czechoslovakia and 4 caves in Hungary revealed the presence of mosses thriving deep inside of these caves making use of the artificial illumination.

Detection of caves by gravimetry., 1964,
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Chico Raymundo J.
For gravimetric investigations, a naturally occurring limestone cave may be compared with a buried empty sphere or cylinder, depending on its shape. The practical limit of detection for a subsurface void, utilizing available equipment (Worden gravity meter) and standard field procedure, is 0.1 milligal. Most corrections normally required by the gravimetric method may be neglected in cave detection, but the altitude control for the field traverse must have an accuracy of 0.1 foot. The detectability of a limestone cave, based on field work done at Luray Caverns, Virginia, and at other localities, is related to its shape, Radius (R), and distance from surface to the cave center (Z). It follows a non-linear relationship. Detectability is possible only when R3/Z2 = 4.3 feet and R3/Z = 2.89 feet. For a cave room and a cave passage respectively.

Progress in the biological exploration of caves and subterranean waters in Israel., 1964,
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Friedmann I.
The article gives an account of the biological works carried out in the caves and other subterranean habitats of Israe1. The botanical and zoological investigations are summarized separately and a list of literature dealing with biospeleological research in Israel is supplied.

On the algal world of Hungarian caves., 1964,
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Palik P.
An account of the researches carried out on the algae living in the caves of Hungary is given. The results of the investigations concerning the algal flora of the Baradla, Peace, Abaliget, Plvlgy, Klyuk caves are enumerated. Theories about the possible energy source utilized by these algae living in the complete darkness of caves such as radiation, symbiosis, chemosynthesis or auxothrophy are discussed. The question of the settling of algae into the caves is debated.

Remarks on the significance of experiences in karst geodynamics., 1964,
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Renault Philippe
Distinction is made between the experiment which "demonstrates" having an argumentative value; and the experiment which "questions" nature by isolating one factor and by determining the mode of its action. The concept of experiment in geology and in geodynamics and the distinctions between geodynamics and geophysics are discussed. Karstic geodynamics considers the action of fluids; mainly liquids; on a soluble rock. It is a science bordering the different branches of geochemistry, hydrology, the mechanics of rocks, and geophysics. Researches in karstic geodynamics are based upon measurements obtained through field surveys, or upon the utilization of a subterranean laboratory. However, in the laboratory this hardly surpasses the stage of experimental demonstration. A series of simple experiments are enumerated to exemplify the above statement, like the one where the attack of a diluted acid on a soluble rock is utilized, in order to enable us to classify the major problems encountered in karstic corrosion. The last chapter discusses the bicarbonate equilibriums of Ca-CO2. Experiment furnishes the empiric criterion on which scientific theory is founded. Each discipline has its own methodology dependent on the object under study having experimental criteria of different nature. This is particularly true in case of such distant phenomena which no longer have a common ground with human dimensions like space for astronomy or time for geology. In such cases the possibilities of "instrumental" experimentations are very limited. After a brief recollection of the principles of experimental procedure and the history of the experiments attempted by geodynamicians (tectonics, geomorphology, etc.) we will analyze several methods of investigation and by relying exactly on the example of karstic corrosion we shall determine those which have a value for the science of karstology.

Geomorphology of Punchbowl and Signature Caves, Wee Jasper, New South Wales, 1964,
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Jennings, J. N.

Because of the ease of its exploration, the Punchbowl-Signature system (Map reference 677587, Army 1/50,000 Sheet 8627-IV, Goodradigbee) is the most frequently visited of the Wee Jasper caves though it contains even less calcite decoration than does Dip Cave. On the other hand, the system is of considerable scientific interest, both biological and geomorphological. Biologically the interest centres on the long-term investigations of the colony of Bentwing Bats (Miniopterus schreibersii blepotis), initiated by G. Dunnet, sustained and enlarged by D. Purchase. On the geomorphological side, though it is now a dry inactive system like Dip Cave, it possesses a morphology which reveals much of the history of its excavation by a former underground river and so contrasts with its neighbour in the same geological formation only a mile away where there are many difficulties in the way of interpretation of its evolution (Jennings, 1963a).

Nullarbor Expedition 1963-4, 1964,
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Anderson, Edward G.

The Nullarbor Plain, Australia's most extensive limestone region, consists of about 65,000 square miles of almost horizontal beds of Tertiary limestone. The Plain extends from near Fowlers Bay, South Australia, approximately 600 miles west across the head of the Great Australian Bight into Western Australia. However, for its size, the Nullarbor appears to be deficient in caves compared with other Australian cavernous limestones. The vastness of the area, isolation, and complete lack of surface water, makes speleological investigation difficult. Some of the most important caves are more than 100 miles apart. The 1963-4 Nullarbor Expedition was organised by members of the Sydney University Speleological Society (SUSS). Two major caves, as well as a number of smaller features were discovered in the western part of the Plain. One cave contains what is believed to be the longest single cave passage in Australia.

Data on the Algal Flora of Kolyuk cave close to Manfa (Hungary)., 1965,
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Claus George
The Kolyuk cave lies in the southern part of Hungary in the Mecsek Mountains, about 3 km. in distance from the village of Mnfa. The material accepted for investigation originated from a recently discovered and until now completely entombed part of the cave. It was collected by the geologist Gbor Magyari and consisted of material scraped from the walls and ceiling of a cavity in the cave, which could be reached only by underwater swimming. From these scrapings cultures were installed with sterile Knopp solution and after the algae present in the collection reproduced, a diversified flora developed which consisted of the following: Cyanophyta; 20 species, varietates and formae; Bacillariophyta; 2 species and varietas; Chlorophyta; 7 species. There was a total of 29 different taxa. Since the cave from which the collections were made was completely devoid of light, it is especially significant that a well developed blue-green algal flora was found. We thus have further evidence for our previously advanced theory (Claus, 1955, 1962 a, 1962b) that some algae were present in the caves at the time of their origin. They were able to survive in an actively assimilating vegetative state and not only in the form of cysts or arthrospores.

Algological investigations in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky., 1965,
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Jones H. J.
Algological investigations carried out in the Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, revealed the presence of twenty-seven taxa representing all divisions of the Algae except the Pyrrhophyta and Phaeophyta; diatoms although observed in the samples were not dealt with in the present paper. One species, Oscillitoria clausiana spec. nov. and a form Lyngbya pusilla fa. tenuior fa. nov., both belonging to the Cyanophyta are new to science. In addition, several other rare and interesting algae were found. A comparison is made between the algal flora of the Mammoth Cave and algae found in several European caves. The ecology of the cavernicole algae is discussed.

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