Community news

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 intergranular stress is the stress between grains in a solid matrix [16].?

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

What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

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

Search in KarstBase

Your search for mechanism (Keyword) returned 338 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 338
Recharge of Phreatic Aquifers in (Semi-)Arid Areas, ,
Groundwater use is of fundamental importance to meet the rapidly expanding urban, industrial and agricultural water requirements in (semi) arid areas. Quantifying the current rate of groundwater recharge and define its variability in space and time are thus prerequesites for efficient groundwater resource managment in these regions, where such resources are often the key to economic development. Attention focuses on recharge of phreatic aquifers, often the most readily-available and affordable source of water in (semi) arid regions. These aquifers are also the most susceptible to contamination, with the recharge rate determining their level of vulnerability. (Semi) arid zone recharge can be highly variable, the greater the aridity, the smaller and potentially more variable the natural flux. Its determination is an iterative process, involving progressive data collection and resource evaluation; there is also a need to use more than one technique to verify results. Direct, localised and indirect recharge mechanisms from a spectrum of known sources are addressed in the framework of recharge from precipitation, intermittant flow and permanent water bodies. The approach taken for each of these reflects the nature and current understanding of the processes involved. The volume also reviews current recharge estimation challenges, outlines recent developments and offers guidance for potential solutions.

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

Sulfate reducing bacteria in microbial mats: Changing paradigms, new discoveries, 0000, 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

Quartzite Karst in Southeastern Venezuela, 1967, Haman Jon F. , Jefferson Gene L. , White William B.
Minor weathering forms on the Roraima Quartzite in the Carrao River Basin of Southeastern Venezuela have the appearance of the karren that form on limestone surfaces in karst terrains. Climatological and chemical evidence indicates that these forms were generated by a solutional mechanism and that this area thus exhibits a minor karst topography on quartzite.

Preference responses and tolerances of the troglobitic Carabid Beetle, Rhadine subterranea., 1971, Mitchell Robert W.
Studies were made on the preference responses and tolerances of the troglobitic carabid beetle Rhadine subterranea to light, temperature, and relative humidity. The beetles are weakly photonegative and appear to have a strong preference far atmospheres of low saturation deficit. Both these responses seem to be orthokineses. They have a strongly developed temperature sense, and their temperature preferendum shifts seasonally. This response seems to be a klinotaxis. They are neither strongly stenothermal nor stenohygrobic. The preference responses, especially that of temperature, are probably mechanisms tending to restrict the beetles to their habitat. The tolerance data suggest that the epigeum could, at times, be used as a dispersal route.

Preference responses and tolerances of the troglobitic Carabid Beetle, Rhadine subterranea., 1971, Mitchell Robert W.
Studies were made on the preference responses and tolerances of the troglobitic carabid beetle Rhadine subterranea to light, temperature, and relative humidity. The beetles are weakly photonegative and appear to have a strong preference far atmospheres of low saturation deficit. Both these responses seem to be orthokineses. They have a strongly developed temperature sense, and their temperature preferendum shifts seasonally. This response seems to be a klinotaxis. They are neither strongly stenothermal nor stenohygrobic. The preference responses, especially that of temperature, are probably mechanisms tending to restrict the beetles to their habitat. The tolerance data suggest that the epigeum could, at times, be used as a dispersal route.

Nitrobacter in Mammoth Cave., 1977, Fliermans C. B. , Schmidt E. L.
Mammoth Cave, a large lirnestone cavern in Mammoth Cave National Park in the Central Kentucky karst, was first mined for saltpetre in 1808 and was a major source of nitrates used in the manufacture of gunpowder during the War of 1812. The mechanism of saltpetre formation is unknown, although hypotheses encompassing both biotic and abiotic functions have been suggested. Present studies were conducted in various saltpetre caves using species specific fluorescent antibodies in order to determine if the chemoautotroph, Nitrobacter, were present. Population densities and species distribution of Nitrobacter were studied in relation to chemical and physical parameters for over 200 sediment samples from Mammoth Cave. Both the isolation and immunofluorescence data indicate that Nitrobacter are present in relatively high population densities in Mammoth Cave sediments, and that such bacteria are common among saltpetre caves in the southeastern United States. Immunofluorescence data further indicates that N. agilis dominates the Nitrobacter population in Mammoth Cave. The possibility that Nitrobacter is the etiological agent for saltpetre formation is suggested.

Flow of fossil groundwater, 1977, Bourdon Dj,
The great groundwater basins of North Africa and Arabia extend over an area of some 6.5 million square kilometres. Gradients on the isopiezometric surfaces of their confined ground-waters are generally interpreted as indicating present-day flow of groundwater. Can such flow occur in basins where most or all of the groundwater is fossil and where effective infiltration and recharge may have ceased some 10 000 years ago? Assuming that there is indeed no current recharge in these arid and sem-arid regions, the paper identifies seven groups totalling 12 possible mechanisms which can contribute in varying degrees to maintaining flow of groundwater long after effective recharge has ceased. These are: (i) Residual heads; (ii) Tilting of basin; (iii) Compaction effects, in terms of sediment loading, basalt loading and water loading/unloading; (iv) Thermal drive; (v) Gas drive; (vi) Lowering of discharge level, by tectonic displacement, by pressure bursts and by collapse of cover; and (vii) Evaporation in the discharge zone, such as lowering of lake levels and evaporation from sabkhas. Nine additional mechanisms were considered but rejected. Combinations of these mechanisms can produce heads inducing flow of fossil groundwater, but appear to be insufficient to account for present hydraulic regimes without some current surface recharge. The findings have direct application to studies leading to the development, use and management of these major water resources of the arid zones of the Sahara and Arabia

A critical review of hypotheses on the origin of vermiculations., 1978, Bini Alfredo, Gori M. Cavalli, Gori Silvio
Mud and clay vermiculations are irregular and discontinuous deposits of incoherent materials, almost ubiquitous, found both inside and outside of caves, overlying limestone or other materials, they are formed from many substances (clay, mud, candle-black, colloidal silica, etc.) also their shape dimensions vary greatly. The following genetical hypotheses have been proposed: fossil fillings; chemico-genetical deposition; biological formation; mechanical deposition from moving water or air; clay-layer drying process (Montoriol-Pous hypothesis); physicochemical deposition from drying liquid films. The last is proposed by the authors who, having discussed the various hypotheses, give many examples and the results of some experiments. They distinguish two types of vermiculations: Type 1 or negative vermiculations Type II or normal vermiculations. The genesis of type I is explained by the Montoriol-Pous hypothesis; these vermiculations are large and made of clay or other colloidal material, and are due to the gradual drying of a layer of clay or other substance. The last stage of this drying process causes the vermiculations to form in a more or less dried state. The vermiculations of the second type are small and thin, much ramified and always with a clear halo around them. Vermiculations consisting of many materials have been observed, usually as macroscopic aggregates. They are caused by the drying of a liquid film containing suspended colloidal particles. The proposed mechanism provides a good explanation of all the observed characteristics of vermiculations.

Spontaneous and induced acivity patterns in troglobite beetles (Genera Aphaenops, Geotrechus,Speonomus)., 1978, Lamprecht G. , Weber F.
In Constant temperature the troglobite beetles Aphaenops cerberus and pluto, Geotrechus orpheus and Speonomus diecki are aperiodically active. By periodogram analysis neither circadian nor ultradian or infradian periodic components can be found. Moreover there are no relevant correlations between the lengths of successive activity bursts and rest pauses. Consequently the activity patterns are stochasticly structured.; In cases with constancy of activity respectively rest behaviour the probabilities for the transition from activity to rest and from rest to activity are computed using the Frequency histograms of lengths of activity bursts and rest pauses. The transition probability is time-invariant if the observed histogram can be approximated to the negative exponential function. Y=ae -fx . The transition probability increases continuously if the observed histogram can be approximated to the Poisson or normal function. -74% of the investigated frequency histograms of the length of activity bursts and 57% of the histograms of the lengths of rest pauses can be approximated to one of the tested functions. -Aphaenops and Geotrechus specimens do not react to changes of the illumination intensity. Conversely temperature cycles induce distinct activity periodicities. In Aphaenops the mean length of activity bursts is -on the average; less temperature dependent than the mean length of rest pauses. Moreover, in this species the mean length of bursts is weakly negatively correlated with the mean length of pauses.; The evolution and adaptive reactions of the random mechanism of activity control in troglobite animals are discussed.

Relations between the location of the karst bauxites in the northern hemisphere, the global tectonics and the climatic variations during geological time, 1979, Nicolas Jean, Bildgen Pierre,
The study of the distribution of the laterites and bauxites of karst in the Northern Hemisphere shows that their location is not erratic. Most of the bauxites are ordered after their age, according to alignments indicating the existence of palaeoclimatic belts of humid intertropical type that were susceptible of having generated a laterizing pedogenesis, during geological time when these bauxites and laterites were formed. In relation to the present network of latitudes, these palaeoclimatic belts gradually took up more southerly positions, as geological time passed. A few of these formations appear, however, to be located outside the palaeclimatic belts within which they should occur. To explains this apparent anomaly, it is in consequence necessary to call into play on the one hand, the drift of the palaeoclimatic belts from the north to the south, and on the other, the mechanisms of ocean-floor spreading and of the movement of the continental plates. The results of these processes are integrated into the framework of the principles of global tectonics. They also correspond to those obtained from other disciplines, such as palaeomagnetism, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, palaeontology, etc.Extension of this study to the Southern Hemisphere can not be realized for the present, because the results of the researches relating to it in the field with which we are concerned are much too imprecise and the bibliography linked up with it too summary

Mayan Urbanism: Impact on a Tropical Karst Environment, 1979, Deevey Es, Rice Ds, Rice Pm, Vaughan Hh, Brenner M, Flannery Ms,
From the first millennium B.C. through the 9th-century A.D. Classic Maya collapse, nonurban populations grew exponentially, doubling every 408 years, in the twin-lake (Yaxha-Sacnab) basin that contained the Classic urban center of Yaxha. Pollen data show that forests were essentially cleared by Early Classic time. Sharply accelerated slopewash and colluviation, amplified in the Yaxha subbasin by urban construction, transferred nutrients plus calcareous, silty clay to both lakes. Except for the urban silt, colluvium appearing as lake sediments has a mean total phosphorus concentration close to that of basin soils. From this fact, from abundance and distribution of soil phosphorus, and from continuing post-Maya influxes (80 to 86 milligrams of phosphorus per square meter each year), which have no other apparent source, we conclude that riparian soils are anthrosols and that the mechanism of long-term phosphorus loading in lakes is mass transport of soil. Per capita deliveries of phosphorus match physiological outputs, approximately 0.5 kilogram of phosphorus per capita per year. Smaller apparent deliveries reflect the nonphosphatic composition of urban silt; larger societal outputs, expressing excess phosphorus from deforestation and from food waste and mortuary disposal, are probable but cannot be evaluated from our data. Eutrophication is not demonstrable and was probably impeded, even in less-impacted lakes, by suspended Maya silt. Environmental strain, the product of accelerating agroengineering demand and sequestering of nutrients in colluvium, developed too slowly to act as a servomechanism, damping population growth, at least until Late Classic time

Water Chemistry of the Atea Kananda and the Related Drainage Area, 1980, James, Julia M.

The Ca2+, Mg2+, alkalinity, pH and temperature have been measured in water from the Atea Kananda cave and related surface sites on the Muller Plateau (Papua New Guinea). A wide variation in the Ca2+ and Mg2+ values was found and this has been attributed to the lithology and nature (open or closed) of the water courses. From alkalinity measurements anions other than bicarbonate, probably sulphate are expected to be present in significant quantities in the cave waters. Most of the waters are aggressive. The Ca2+/Mg2+ x 10 ratio is shown to be a useful tool in predicting the origin of unknown waters in the cave. The variations of the measured and calculated parameters for groups of related surface and underground sites are presented and discussed. Tentative solution erosion rates for the Muller Plateau have been calculated and the conclusion reached that where the erosion can be placed as largely occuring on pure limestone these are high. Impure limestones and non-calcareous rocks in their catchments give anomalously low results for the main rivers. A scheme for cave development on the Muller Plateau by solution mechanisms is presented.

Investigations of the Troglobitic Crayfish Orconectes inermis testii (Hay) in Mayfield's Cave, Monroe County, Indiana., 1981, Hobbs Iii Horton H.
Mark-recapture studies of some aspects of the biology of the cavernicolous crayfish, Orconectes inermis testii (Hay), were conducted from December, 1969 to March, 1970, in Mayfield's Cave, Monroe County, Indiana. Population size was estimated to be 66 +/- 9 (95% C.L.) for the 300 m study area, but because of the small sample size, this is undoubtedly a deflated value. Size of animals, expressed as total length, indicates that the population was comprised primarily of adults. Seventy-four percent of the marked crayfish moved no more than 10.5 m away (total upstream and downstream distances) from the tagging site. Hence, this species appears to restrict its activities to a specific area ("home range") of up to 10.5 m of stream passage. Form I males travelled greater distances than did Form II (15.1 and 3.0 m, respectively), possibly in search of mates. Adult females moved less than juveniles, and males appeared to move greater distances than females (means of 12.9 and 5.9 m, respectively). Upstream movements were more commonly observed than downstream (mainly Form I males), indicating a possible restocking mechanism following floods. Distances travelled were not rebated to the size of individuals or to elapsed time.

Mixing corrosion in CaCO3/1bCO2/1bH2O systems and its role in the karstification of limestone areas, 1981, Dreybrodt W,
Mixtures of two saturated H2O/1bCO2/1bCaCO3 solutions of different chemical composition gain renewed capability of dissolving calcite. This is an important mechanism in the solution processes of limestone during karstification. Using recent data on the kinetics of calcite dissolution, dissolution rates in mixture corrosion are calculated. In the region of the chemical composition of natural karst waters the solution rate is approximated by:R=-[alpha]([Ca2] - [Ca2]s where [Ca2], [Ca2]s are the concentrations of the Ca2 ion in the solution and at saturation, respectively. [alpha] ranges from 10-4 to 3[middle dot]10-4 cm s-1.This result is applied to the solution of limestone in karst water mixtures flowing in cylindrical conduits. The saturation length, i.e. the length xs which the solution has to travel to drop to 37% of its renewed dissolving capability, is calculated in the region of turbulent flow. This region starts at conduit radii R of several millimeters. At the onset of turbulent flow the saturation length is 260 m, increasing with R1.665. The increase of conduit radii is calculated from the dissolution rates of calcite solution to be on the order of 10-3 cm yr.-1.The results are discussed for a comprehensive model of karstification and cave development, which for the first time gives a realistic theoretical time region for cave development, in agreement to experience

Results 1 to 15 of 338
You probably didn't submit anything to search for