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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 sliding is 1. the relative displacement of two bodies along a surface, without loss of contact between the bodies. 2. the downslope movement of rock and earth material [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
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 organic (Keyword) returned 269 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 269
Origin of the sedimentary deposits of the Naracoorte Caves, South Australia, , Forbes Ms, Bestland Ea,
The origin of the sediments located in the Naracoorte Caves (South Australia) was investigated via the analysis of strontium isotope ratios (87Sr/86Sr), elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy. Sedimentary deposits located in Robertson, Wet, Blanche and several other chambers in Victoria Cave are all variable mixes of fine sand and coarse silts, which display similar and consistent strontium isotope ratios (0.717-0.725). This suggests that over the 400[no-break space]ka time frame that these deposits span there has been minimal variation in the source of the clastic sediments. Increased strontium concentrations for these cave sediments correspond with increasing silt content, yet there is no correlation between 87Sr/86Sr ratios and silt content. This implies that the silt-sized component of the sediments is the main contributor of strontium to the cave sediments. Comparisons of 87Sr/86Sr with regional surficial deposits show a significant correlation between the cave sediments (avg: 0.7228; n = 27), the fine silt lunettes of the Bool Lagoon area (avg: 0.7224; n = 4), the sandy A horizons of the Coonawarra Red Brown Earths (RBEs; avg: 0.726; n = 5), and Holocene age podsolic sand deposits (0.723). These data suggest that there has been substantial flux from this group of deposits to the caves, as would be expected considering prevailing winds. This relationship is further supported by a strong correlation between many trace elements, including Ti, Zr, Ce, and Y; however, variations in clay mineralogy suggest that the fine silt-dominated lunettes and Padthaway RBEs were not significant contributors to the cave deposits. Hence, the detritus entering the caves was more than likely from areas proximal to the cave entrance and was dominated by medium grain-sized materials. Major regional deposits, including the coarser-grained, calcite-rich Bridgewater Formation sands, basalts from the lower SE, Padthaway Horst granites, Gambier limestone, and metamorphics from the Adelaide geosyncline show minimal correlation in 87Sr/86Sr ratios, elemental geochemistry, and mineralogy with the cave sediments, and are discounted as significant sources. In comparison, 87Sr/86Sr ratios for the Coorong silty sands (0.717-0.724), Lower Murray sands (0.727-0.730), and the medium size silt component of the Murray-Darling River system (0.71-0.72), compare favourably with the cave sediments. This relationship is further supported by similarities in elemental chemistry and mineralogy. Thus, much of the strontium-rich silt that is now located in the Naracoorte Cave sediments likely originated from the Murray-Darling basin. Over time, this material has been transported to the SE of South Australia, where it mixed with the medium sand component of the regressive dune ridge sequence, locally derived organic matter, limestone fragments, and fossil material to produce the unique deposits that we see evident in many of the chambers of the Naracoorte Cave system today

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity at a karst spring induced by variable catchment boundaries: the case of the Podstenjšek spring, Slovenia, , 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, , 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
Earth.


Algological studies in the cave of Matyas Mount, Budapest, Hungary., 1966, Hajdu Lajos.
Experiments were designed to test the ability of the aphotic speleoenvironment to support algal growth. The first series contained gelatin cultures of Scenedesmus placed in the cave at different localities in order to establish whether or not the microhabitats have any particular effect on the multiplication of the algae. No differences were found in the cultures after a three month incubation period in the cave, which could be traced to influences of microenvironmental conditions. Chlorella cultures in sterile Knop's solution showed measurable growth in the cave whereas if the cultures were installed into sterilized cave water or were shielded by lead against possible radiation effects, no appreciable growth occurred. The presence or absence of magnetic field did not noticeably influence algal development. The experiments seemed to indicate that the algae tested are able to utilize soma kind of radiation in the complete darkness of the cava since, in the absence of organic material, appreciable amounts of molecular hydrogen or symbiotic activity, with iron bacteria, considerable growth occurred in a simple, strictly inorganic medium, whereas the cave waters seam to be deficient in some kind of inorganic salt required for algal nutrition. An investigation of algae living in the cave led to the determination of ten different taxa, the majority of which were Cyanophytes. Besides them, however, the cave may contain a more diversified algal population.

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.

Algal growth experiments in the Baradla cave at Aggletek (Biospeleologica hungarica XXI)., 1967, Kol Erzsebet
The author kept 108 algal strains (Cyanophyta 53, Chlorophyta 35, Chrysophyta 20), of axenic cultures from the Kol-Algotheca in the Botanical Division of the Hungarian National Sciences Museum in the Baradla Cave, at Aggletek (Hungary) in darkness for 204-420 days under different environmental conditions. The experiments have proven that several algal strains can tolerate well the complete absence of light. Furthermore, that some algal strains show intensive development even under such conditions. These axenic cultures kept in the cave in metal boxes on inorganic medium have shown that the energy source used by these green coloured algae is not some by-product of chemotrophic bacteria, nor is it available organic material, but that it must be some kind of radiation which is able to penetrate even the metal boxes. The ability to adapt to the conditions existing in a cave is not a general characteristic of algal species, but is the capability of individual algal strains within that species. Most probably the algae living in the caves are aerophytes, terrestrial forms, and also some belonging to the edaphon. The cells were found to be smaller in the algae kept in the cave, there was almost no starch deposition in the cells, the pyrenoids were barely discernible, but the development of carotenes was more intense. Whether there are specific cave dwelling algal strains must be determined by future algological research conducted in caves. The composition of the algal floras of the caves may be equally dependent upon the chemical and physical characteristics of the biotope, as is the case in every other biotope.

Further investigations into Bacterial and Algal populations of caves in South Wales., 1967, Williams Mary Ann Mason
Some physical data collected over a period of a year in seven locations of the Ogof Ffynnon Ddu cave system in South Wales are reported, including humidity, air and water temperature, pH of the water, as well as the organic oxygen demand of the water. It is shown that seasonal variations in the physical constant in this particular cave system are not well marked. Algae and bacteria were isolated from the soil samples and from calcareous deposits. A total of 30 algal species, of which 13 belong to the Cyanophyta, 22 to the Chlorophyta, and 7 to the Chrysophyta~Baccilariophyceae were found. Thirty-eight heterotrophic and 7 autotrophic bacteria were isolated. The thin films on water surfaces, besides diatoms, contained several flagellates and some ostracods, while some protozoa were found associated with the bacteria and algae in the soft calcite deposits.

Algal growth experiments in the Baradla cave at Aggletek (Biospeleologica hungarica XXI)., 1967, Kol Erzsebet
The author kept 108 algal strains (Cyanophyta 53, Chlorophyta 35, Chrysophyta 20), of axenic cultures from the Kol-Algotheca in the Botanical Division of the Hungarian National Sciences Museum in the Baradla Cave, at Aggletek (Hungary) in darkness for 204-420 days under different environmental conditions. The experiments have proven that several algal strains can tolerate well the complete absence of light. Furthermore, that some algal strains show intensive development even under such conditions. These axenic cultures kept in the cave in metal boxes on inorganic medium have shown that the energy source used by these green coloured algae is not some by-product of chemotrophic bacteria, nor is it available organic material, but that it must be some kind of radiation which is able to penetrate even the metal boxes. The ability to adapt to the conditions existing in a cave is not a general characteristic of algal species, but is the capability of individual algal strains within that species. Most probably the algae living in the caves are aerophytes, terrestrial forms, and also some belonging to the edaphon. The cells were found to be smaller in the algae kept in the cave, there was almost no starch deposition in the cells, the pyrenoids were barely discernible, but the development of carotenes was more intense. Whether there are specific cave dwelling algal strains must be determined by future algological research conducted in caves. The composition of the algal floras of the caves may be equally dependent upon the chemical and physical characteristics of the biotope, as is the case in every other biotope.

Ecology, systematics and distribution of two sympatric in North-Germany living Bathynella species (Crustacea, Syncarida)., 1968, Husmann Siegfried
The sympatric occurrence of two bathynellids previously considered races of Bathynella natans; natans and stammeri; is evaluated as a natural ecological-genetic experiment. Since no hybrids appear in mixed populations, these forms are proven to be full species: Bathynella natans Vejdovsky and Bathynella stammeri (Jakobi). Besides the form of the mandibles, which until now was the only taxonomically useful diagnostic character in the genus Bathynella, 7 additional, suitably applicable morphological characters have been found (Table 3). The Bathynella biotope investigated is assigned to the "eustygopsammal" subterranean life province (Husmann 1966), which is associated with the "Parastenocaris-Bathynella" biocoenosis (Husmann 1962). This particular biocoenosis is evidently resistant to organic pollution of ground water. The sympatric existence of Bathynella natans and B.stammeri can be explained by consideration of the geo-limnological developmental history of the interstitial zone of the North German low plain. Sands and gravels were widely deposited in the North German Basin by northward-retreating glaciers, creating microcavernous living space and passages for the interstitial fauna. This microfauna could find passages in layers of sand under and along the northward-flowing streams. Primitive Ice-Age streams (,,Urstromtler" of Keilhack) formed east-to-west cross-connections between the south-north distributional corridors. The great geographical expansion of the tributary river courses which reached the north German plain before, during, and after the Ice Age suggests that ground water habitats were temporarily separated and later rejoined by orogenic movements of the earth's surface. Such an orogenically caused, geomorphological isolation lasting for a sufficiently long geological period could have led to the result that species, originating in isolation from the same phylogenetic stock, subsequently were brought together again in the same biotope. This is particularly true for bathynellids, which as archaic types (Lebensformtypen) of the ancient, extreme "mesopsammal" biotope (Remane) are quite likely to have become sympatric in such a manner.

Ecology, systematics and distribution of two sympatric in North-Germany living Bathynella species (Crustacea, Syncarida)., 1968, Husmann Siegfried
The sympatric occurrence of two bathynellids previously considered races of Bathynella natans; natans and stammeri; is evaluated as a natural ecological-genetic experiment. Since no hybrids appear in mixed populations, these forms are proven to be full species: Bathynella natans Vejdovsky and Bathynella stammeri (Jakobi). Besides the form of the mandibles, which until now was the only taxonomically useful diagnostic character in the genus Bathynella, 7 additional, suitably applicable morphological characters have been found (Table 3). The Bathynella biotope investigated is assigned to the "eustygopsammal" subterranean life province (Husmann 1966), which is associated with the "Parastenocaris-Bathynella" biocoenosis (Husmann 1962). This particular biocoenosis is evidently resistant to organic pollution of ground water. The sympatric existence of Bathynella natans and B.stammeri can be explained by consideration of the geo-limnological developmental history of the interstitial zone of the North German low plain. Sands and gravels were widely deposited in the North German Basin by northward-retreating glaciers, creating microcavernous living space and passages for the interstitial fauna. This microfauna could find passages in layers of sand under and along the northward-flowing streams. Primitive Ice-Age streams (,,Urstromtler" of Keilhack) formed east-to-west cross-connections between the south-north distributional corridors. The great geographical expansion of the tributary river courses which reached the north German plain before, during, and after the Ice Age suggests that ground water habitats were temporarily separated and later rejoined by orogenic movements of the earth's surface. Such an orogenically caused, geomorphological isolation lasting for a sufficiently long geological period could have led to the result that species, originating in isolation from the same phylogenetic stock, subsequently were brought together again in the same biotope. This is particularly true for bathynellids, which as archaic types (Lebensformtypen) of the ancient, extreme "mesopsammal" biotope (Remane) are quite likely to have become sympatric in such a manner.

Hydrological and chemical investigations of running waters of the Schlitzerland (Western Germany). A. Springs, I. Survey., 1976, Brehm Jorg
In a Triassic sandstone woodland (Schlitzerland in Hesse, Western Germany) 17 springs were hydrologically and hydrochemically investigated throughout one year (April 1973; April 1974). Measurements were carried out on water volume, temperature, electrolytical conductivity, pH, aikalinity, chlorinity, dissolved molecular oxygen, dissolved organic material (COD), ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and free phosphate. Among the hydrochemical factors investigated the pH-value was closely related especially to the micro-climate in the spring drainage area. In particular the pH rose both with increasing length of the drainage area and within the same spring with decreasing water supply. On the other hand the pH-value diminished with increasing altitude of the drainage area. Simultaneously the highest values were found on SW-slopes and the lowest ones in NE-exposures.

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.

A Triple Dye Tracing Experiment At Yarrangobilly, 1976, Spate A. P. , Jennings J. N. , Ingle Smith D. , James Julia M.

Rhodamine WT, leucophor HBS and fluorescein were inserted into Deep, Eagles Nest and Traverse Creeks respectively, all sinking wholly or partly into the limestone at Yarrangobilly, as part of a program to determine the catchment area of Hollin Cave. Hollin Cave and three other major springs, together with the Yarrangobilly River above, between and below these springs, were sampled for various periods manually or by machine. Heavy rains began a day after dye insertion. Various lines of evidence and analysis, including the plotting of regression residuals between different wavebands as time series, showed that the relevant fluorescent wavebands were affected by rises in natural fluorescence in the runoff, probably of organic origin. Green was affected most, then blue, and orange only slightly. It was possible to identify a dye pulse of rhodamine at Hollin Cave, most probably representing all the dye put in. A leucophor dye pulse was also identifiable here but a load curve could not be constructed because of probable interference by changing natural fluorescence. Tracing by fluorescein became impossible. Interference between the three dyes was demonstrated. The implications for future quantitative tracing here are discussed.


Microflora and activity of functional groups in the sediments of three caves of Central Italy., 1978, Fumanti B. , Pasqualini A. , Vison L.
A comparative study is presented of the microflora of sediments in three caves with different trophic characteristics. Quantitative and qualitative variations of microflora were investigated for one year by studying the total microflora and the activity of the nitrogen cycle functional groups. Data were compared with those of other works of previous authors. Results show that the quantity and kind of organic matter of sediment are most important factors regulating the abundance and activity of cavernicolous microflora. The experimental part of this paper is prefaced by a digest of investigations previously carried out on cavernicolous microflora and by a report of topographic, geomorphologic, hydrologic and trophic characteristics of the caves examined.

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