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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. ...

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That glaciation is a covering of the land surface by glacier ice [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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;
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Your search for mineral composition (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
Mineral composition of clastic cave sediments and determination of their origin, 1998, Hajna, Nadjazupan

Mineral composition of clastic sediments in some dolines along the new motorway Divača-Kozina , 1998, Zupan Hajna, Nadja

In some dolines along the motorway Divača-Kozina archaeological test trenches were excavated. Out of six dolines, a karstic pocket and a cave filled up by sediments at the surface, the X-ray analyses of unconsolidated clastic sediments were done. In the bottom of all these dolines yellow sediments, slightly reddish in places, and also red loam were found. Mineralogical analyses show that differently coloured sediments have the same origin from the flysch rocks. In caves and at the bottom of depressions the sediments are yellow but when they are in contact with the athmosphere they become red. Red coloured sediments and red soil on karst may have their origin not only in flysch rocks but also in weathered remains of limestone with cherts and even in eolian sediments.


Palaeomagnetic research of cave sediments in SW Slovenia, 1998, Bosá, K Pavel, Pruner Petr, Zupan Hajna Nadja

Three profiles of caves sediments (Divača fossil cave, Divaška Jama and Trhlovca Cave) were studied in the Kras near Divača village. Mineralogical study proved relatively uniform mineral composition of the light fraction indicating the main source from weathered sediments of Eocene flysch. Some minerals are derived from weathering profiles and crusts (e.g. gibbsite). Detailed magnetostratigraphic investigations of three profiles defined normal and reverse polarity magnetozones and shows the correlation between the profiles in the Divaška Jama and Trhlovca Cave. The narrow normal magnetozones probably correlate with the Jaramillo polarity event (0.90 to 0.97 Ma) of the Matuyama epoch. Those data indicate the substantial age of cave in which the last phase of filling started before 0.97 Ma and finished before the Brunhes/Matuyama boundary, i.e. around 0.73 Ma. Magnetostratigraphic data of the Divača profile detected two narrow normal magnetozones in the long reverse polarity zone which probably correlate with Olduvai and Reunion polarity events (about 1.67 to 1.87 Ma) of reverse Matuyama epoch or with some of normal magnetozones (about 3.8 to 5.0 Ma) within reverse Gilbert epoch. Data indicate the possibility that the cave was originated during the Messinian period characteristic by sea-level fall and evolution of deep karst in the Mediterranean Basin.


Mn-Fe deposits in shallow cryptic marine environment: examples in northwestern Mediterranean submarine caves, 2001, Allouc J, Harmelin Jg,
Black coating of hard substrates by Mn and Fe oxides has long been reported from shallow, dark, submarine caves. However, these littoral metallic deposits have never been studied in detail, despite expected analogies with deep-sea polymetallic crusts. Submarine caves are characterized by darkness and low rates of exchanges with the open sea. Lack of primary production and confinement of inner water bodies result in marked oligotrophy and extremely reduced biomass, i.e. conditions close to those prevailing in deep-sea habitats. Field evidences suggested that the formation of Mn-Fe coatings was closely tied to these particular environmental conditions. The goal of this study was to examine the detailed features of Mn-Fe coatings from dark caves with different local conditions, and to try to identify the processes responsible for their deposition. Study sites and methods Three sublittoral, single-entrance, caves were sampled by scuba diving along the coasts of Provence (France, Mediterranean Sea) (fig. 1). The first site is a large karstic cave (Tremies Cave, 16 m depth at entrance floor, 60 m long; Marseille-Cassis area) with an ascending profile which results in a buffered thermal regime and markedly oligotrophic conditions due to warm water trapping in its upper part (fig. 1 and 2). Wall fragments were sampled at 30 m (medium confinement : zone B) and 60 in (strong confinement : zone C) from the cave entrance. The second site is a large tubular cavity open in conglomerate formations (3PP Cave, 15 m depth at entrance floor, 120 m long; La Ciotat) with a descending profile which results in relative permanence of winter temperatures within the inner parts, complex water circulation and presumed greater input of sedimented particles than in the preceding cave (fig.1 and 2). Wall samples were taken at 25 m, 70 in and 100 m from entrance. The third site is a small, horizontal, cave open in quartzite formations (Bagaud Cave, 7 in depth at entrance floor, about 10 m long; WNW of Port-Cros Island, bay of Hyeres). Sampling was performed on walls of a narrow corridor between an anterior room and a smaller inner room. A sporadic outflow of continental waters is located in the inner room. The samples were preserved in 50% ethylic alcohol or studied soon after their sampling. Before carbon coating and SEM examination, or microanalyses with SEM-associated spectrometers, they were treated in a 33% Chlorox solution and thereafter washed in demineralized water and dried. Micromorphology At low-medium magnification (<20,000), the aspect of coatings varies between caves and, especially, between inner-cave locations. All the described structures are made up of Mn and Fe oxides. In Tremies Cave, coatings of walls from zone B are composed of irregular erected constructions (height : 10s to 100s μm) formed by the aggregation of roughly ovoid primary concretions of about 10 μm (fig. 3). The surface of those primary concretions displays numerous lacunose to reticulate films (pores, about 0.5 μm in diameter, are often subrounded). Remnants of these films and organomorphic corpuscles occur also within the primary concretions (fig. 4). On younger substrates (broken wall exposed since 1970), primary concretions are poorly developed and no prominent construction is visible (fig. 5). In more confined conditions (zone C), the erected constructions of ancient coatings are smaller and less numerous than in zone B but are well individualized (fig. 6). In this zone: C, besides some remnants of lacunose to reticulate films (fig. 7), there is an appearance of filaments and ovoid corpuscles (height/width : 10-30/5-15 μm), which seem to be linked to filaments by a short stalk (fig. 8). In 3 PP Cave, at 25-70 m from entrance, wall coatings present porous heaps of primary concretions (fig. 9). The surface and the inside of the latter comprise remnants of lacunose to reticulate films that evoke those observed in Tremies Cave (fig. 10 and 11). On younger substrates (hard parts of sessile invertebrates), coatings are restricted to micrometric organomorphic corpuscles with some remnants of lacunose or fibrous films (fig. 12). At 100 in from the entrance, coatings are shaped by numerous erected constructions, more or less coalescing (fig. 13). Besides remnants of lacunose films, the primary concretions contain interlacing filaments (diameter : 0.2-0.3 μm) forming cords or veils (fig. 14). In Bagaud Cave, the primary concretions are aggregated in irregular heaps (fig. 15). Lacunose films are particularly frequent and tend to form three-dimensional mamillated structures that were not observed in the other caves (fig. 16). In particular, there is an appearance of tubular structures (fig. 17) and of numerous hemispheroidal structures (diameter : 4-5 μm) with an upper orifice (fig. 18 and 19). At higher magnification (20,000), whatever the cave and inner-cave location, the aspect of oxide deposits is rather smooth or, especially, microgranular (fig. 20). Mineral composition The composition of coatings is different between caves and according to their inner-cave location. In both large caves (Tremies and 3 PP), the Mn/Fe ratio increases with the distance from the cave entrance, i.e. when exchanges with the open sea diminish (fig. 21a). This trend is particularly clear in Tremies Cave, where the confinement gradient is strongly marked. Besides, the Mn/Fe ratio also seems to increase when films are present in the analysed volume (some cubic micrometers) (fig. 21b). In Bagaud Cave, the Mn/Fe ratio reaches high values despite the small size of this cave and its low confinement level. Discussion and conclusions SEM observations suggest that in each studied cave, the Mn-Fe coatings are biosedimentary deposits. Genesis of these deposits is assumed to result mainly from the replacement of biofilms (composed of cells and slime, i.e, of extracellular polymeric substance produced by microorganisms) generated by microbial populations colonizing the cave walls. Considering the darkness of the cave-locations, microbes consist mainly in bacteria, but fungi are probably responsible for the filaments and ovoids corpuscules (evoking sporocysts) occurring in innermost parts. Observations at different scales of the morphological features of oxide deposits reveal a structured organisation which varies along the strong environmental gradients (particularly the confinement level) that occur from the entrance to the innermost parts : erected constructions made up of primary concretions become more and more defined and acquire a pseudo-columnar shape. The aspect of biofilms appears to be controlled by the same environmental parameters. In open or relatively open environments, they frequently show a three-dimensional development (with frequent skullcape-like shapes), while in more confined conditions they exhibit a planar layout. These changes reflect either the adaptation of the slime-producing bacteria to the local trophic resources (correlated to the rate of exchange with the open sea) and water movements, or spatial replacement of taxa. It is assumed that slime (mainly composed of water and exopolysaccharides) induces a local increase of the concentration in dissolved Mn and acts as an ion exchange resin that allows the retention of Mn on the functional groups of EPS. These conditions promote the nucleation of Mn oxide crystallites in the slime. Then. the anionic character of Mn oxides in seawater, and their capacity to catalyse the oxydation of Mn2 to Mn4, allow the process to go on without any other biological intervention; thus, the process of crystal growth becomes possible. In caves where Mn is only supplied by seawater (Tremies and 3 PP), the average value of the Mn/Fe ratio of coatings is negatively correlated to the local availability of nutrients. This trend is probably linked to changes in the selectivity of slimes towards the processes of retention of cations, because this ratio is clearly influenced by the occurrence of biofilms. However, independently from trophic resources, the Mn/Fe ratio can be notably increased when additional Mn is provided by the seeping or flowing of continental waters (Bagaud Cave)

Chemical Weathering of Limestones and Dolomites in A Cave Environment, 2003, Zupan Hajna, N.

The weathered parts of carbonate bedrock on cave walls are a consequence of its incomplete chemical dissolution. The phenomenon is expressed in parts of the caves where walls are in contact with clastic fluvial sediments, wetted by percolation water or wetted by condensation water, and not rinsed by flowing or dripping water. The temperature in the cave is not an important parameter of weathered zone formation. Incomplete dissolution is characteristic both of Alpine and of Mediterranean caves. Limestone or dolomite are dissolved by corrosive moisture; the dissolution is distinctly selective and it go as on at intervals depending on inflow of new aggressive water. The weathered zone of limestone or dolomite is almost identical to the parent rocks in its chemical and mineral composition yet it is much more porous. During chemical weathering the amount of Mg, Sr and U is decreased, these components being leached out of limestone and dolomite. The amount of insoluble residue is usually higher in weathered limestones and in some other cases in fresh limestones which is not very common but it may occur.


Analysis of karst tufa from Guangxi, China, 2003, Franciskovicbilinski S, Bilinski H, Barisic D, Horvatincic N, Yuan Dx,
The paper presents an analysis of characteristic karst tufa from Guangxi, China, which has not been studied before. A comparison with tufa from Dinaric Karst of Croatia is discussed in view of the C-type climate. The major mineral is calcite. Minor minerals are quartz and dolomite, depending on location. The content of calcium carbonate varies from 65% to 92%, and that of magnesium carbonate from 0.03% to 1.77%. Among other elements, the most abundant are Fe, from 0.02% to 1.50%, and Ti, from 0.15% to 0.27%. Many other trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Hg and Pb) are also present. Specific activity of radionuclides K-40, Th-232, Cs-137, Ra-226 and U-238 varies from sample to sample. Concentration of U in tufa is close to that reported for sedimentary carbonate. Low concentration Of Cs-137 indicates that this part of the world was not exposed to nuclear explosions. The concentration of Ra-226 is the highest in Mashan County. The ratio U-238/Ra-226 (0.21-0.71) in tufa from Mashan County is significantly lower than the theoretical value of 1. In 5 of the 11 studied samples, stable isotopes delta(13)C and delta(18)O were analyzed. They were dated by means of the C-14 method. One tufa sample originated in the Pleistocene and the others in the Holocene. Because all of the tufa samples contain traces of Na and K, and K < Na, the tufa from Guangxi belong to the CO2-outgassing 'N' type according to the classification of Liu and He (1994)

Black carbon pollution of speleothems by fine urban aerosols in tourist caves, 2003, Jeong Gi Young, Kim Soo Jin, Chang Sae Jung,
Speleothems in the karst caves of South Korea, which receive many visitors, are losing their aesthetic appeal due to black coloring. Mineralogical, textural, and chemical analyses were conducted on the speleothems to discover the cause of the discoloration. An abrupt color change from the natural color seen in the inner zones to the black color of the outer zones suggests that pollution commenced just after the opening of caves to visitors, and has continued since then. The main mineral compositions of both the outer black and the inner layers are the same, but the concentration of non-carbonate carbon is much higher in the black layers than in the inner layers. Electron microscopy showed that chain-like agglomerates (ca. 0.2-1.1 {micro}m diameter) of sub-micrometer carbon spheres (ca. 0.02-0.05 {micro}m diameter) are absent from the inner layer but present in the black layer, as well as in the cave aerosol. On the basis of their sub-micrometer size, agglomeration pattern, and composition, the carbon spheres and their agglomerates are considered to originate mostly from automobile exhaust. They are presumed to have been carried into the caves by visitors from urban environments and then deposited on the surface of growing speleothems. Protection of speleothems from discoloration requires control of these fine anthropogenic aerosols

A mineralogical and phytolith study of the middle stone age hearths in Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, 2004, Schiegl S. , Stockhammer P. , Scott C. , Wadley L. ,
Sediments from Middle Stone Age hearths and burnt deposits in Sibudu Cave (KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) were analysed for their mineral and phytolith contents. The mineral compositions were determined by FT-IR spectroscopy. The phytoliths were classified and counted by transmitted polarized light microscopy. Burning experiments using wood and grasses from species native to the cave's environment yielded the reference ashes. The visible hearths and ash dumps contain phytolith assemblages characteristic of wood fuel. A significant portion of the phytoliths of hearths and ash layers display morphologies related to intense heating. This finding is suggestive of long-burning wood fires and/or reuse of the same fireplace. The heat-altered phytoliths are useful in tracing fires, especially if hearth structures are not preserved and ash deposits have been diagenetically and heavily altered. The phytolith contents and mineralogical composition of the ash deposits and the surrounding sedimentary matrix are very similar. This feature suggests that the sedimentary matrix originally contained fireplaces and ash deposits, whose structures were destroyed shortly after deposition, presumably by trampling.(21) The intact circular hearths are most likely the product of intense fires. Similar results from hearths and their surrounding matrix have been reported from Middle Palaeolithic cave sites in Israel

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE MINERAL COMPOSITION OF SPELEOTHEMS AND MINERALIZATION OF BRECCIA PIPES: EVIDENCE FROM CORKSCREW CAVE, ARIZONA, USA, 2007, Onac Bogdan P. , Hess John W. , White William B.
Solution-collapse breccia pipes are common features in northwestern Arizona. They were mineralized with uranium, but associated with it are a suite of elements (e.g., As, Mo, V, Ba, Cu, Pb, and Fe) that may form other ore minerals. Breccia bodies are in some cases cut by cave passages, such as at Corkscrew Cave, Arizona, where such structures are exposed along the walls and on the cave ceilings. The abundance of gypsum and barite throughout the cave and their isotopically light 34S value (?11 to ?7) suggest deposition from warm sulfidic solutions that were also responsible, at least in part, for development of the recent cave passages that dissect older paleokarst breccia bodies. The presence of calcite showing depleted 18O values (?11.3 and ?16.9) is considered indicative of a low-temperature hydrothermal episode in the deposition history of cave minerals. Groundwater percolating through the breccia-pipe bodies mobilized and transported ore-related ions into the cave, where they formed a unique assemblage of minerals (i.e., hörnesite, talmessite, carnotite, tyuyamunite, claudetite, and powellite) that mirror breccia-pipe mineralization.

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