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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 sink; sinkhole is (american.) 1. a point where a stream or river disappears underground. the sinking water may filter through a choke that excludes cavers, or may flow into an open horizontal cave or vertical shaft, and while active all of these may be termed sinkholes. the flow of water may be very small, but in full flood many sinkholes swallow flows of tens of cubic meters per second. the character of sink water (or swallet water, as it is commonly termed by hydrologists), flowing directly and rapidly into an open cave, distinguishes it from percolation water [9]. 2. general terms for closed depressions. they may be basin, funnel, or cylindrical shaped [10]. see also closed depression; doline; ponor; stream sink; sumidero; swallet; swallow hole.?

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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 pathogens (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
Microorganisms as tracers in groundwater injection and recovery experiments: a review, 1997, Harvey R. W. ,
Modern day injection and recovery techniques designed to examine the transport behavior of microorganisms in groundwater have evolved from experiments conducted in the late 1800s, in which bacteria that form red or yellow pigments were used to trace flow paths through karst and fractured-rock aquifers. A number of subsequent groundwater hydrology studies employed bacteriophage that can be injected into aquifers at very high concentrations (e.g., 10(13) phage ml(-1)) and monitored through many log units of dilution to follow groundwater flow paths for great distances, particularly in karst terrain. Starting in the 1930s, microbial indicators of fecal contamination (particularly coliform bacteria and their coliphages) were employed as tracers to determine potential migration of pathogens in groundwater. Several injection and recovery experiments performed in the 1990s employed indigenous groundwater microorganisms (both cultured and uncultured) that are better able to survive under in situ conditions. Better methods for labeling native bacteria (e.g. by stable isotope labeling or inserting genetic markers, such as the ability to cause ice nucleation) are being developed that will not compromise the organisms' viability during the experimental time course

Transport of free and particulate-associated bacteria in karst, 2000, Mahler B. J. , Personne J. C. , Lods G. F. , Drogue C. ,
Karst aquifers, because of their unique hydrogeologic characteristics, are extremely susceptible to contamination by pathogens. Here we present the results of an investigation of contamination of a karst aquifer by fecal indicator bacteria. Two wells intercepting zones with contrasting effective hydraulic conductivities, as determined by pump test, were monitored both during the dry season and in response to a rain event. Samples were also collected from the adjacent ephemeral surface stream, which is known to be impacted by an upstream wastewater treatment plant after rainfall. Whole water and suspended sediment samples were analyzed for fecal coliforms and enterococci. During the dry season, pumping over a 2-day period resulted in increases in concentrations of fecal coliforms to greater than 10,000 CFU/100 mi in the high-conductivity well; enterococci and total suspended solids also increased, to a lesser degree. Toward the end of the pumping period, as much as 50% of the fecal coliforms were associated with suspended sediment. Irrigation of an up-gradient pine plantation with primary-treated wastewater is the probable source of the bacterial contamination. Sampling after a rain event revealed the strong influence of water quality of the adjacent Terrieu Creek on the ground water. Bacterial concentrations in the wells showed a rapid response to increased concentrations in the surface water, with fecal coliform concentrations in ground water ultimately reaching 60,000 CFU/100 mi. Up to 100% of the bacteria in the ground water was associated with suspended sediment at Various times. The results of this investigation are evidence of the strong influence of surface water on ground water in karst terrain, including that of irrigation water. The large proportion of bacteria associated with particulates in the ground water has important implications for public health, as bacteria associated with particulates may be more persistent and more difficult to inactivate. The high bacterial concentrations found in both wells, despite the difference in hydraulic conductivity, demonstrates the difficulty of predicting vulnerability of individual wells to bacterial contamination in karst. The extreme temporal variability in bacterial concentrations underscores the importance of event-based monitoring of the bacterial quality of public water supplies in karst. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Contaminant transport in karst aquifers., 2001, Vesper D. J. , Loop C. M. , White W. B.
Contaminants are easily injected into karst aquifers through sinking streams, sinkholes, or through open fractures and shafts in the carbonate rock. Transport of the contaminants through the aquifer is by a variety of mechanisms depending on the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant. Contaminants consist of (1) water soluble compounds, both organic and inorganic, (2) slightly soluble organic compounds, less dense than water (LNAPLs), (3) slightly soluble organic compounds, more dense than water (DNAPLs), (4) pathogens, (5) metals, and (6) trash. Water soluble compounds (e.g. nitrates, cyanides, carboxylic acids, phenols) move with the water. But rather than forming a plume spreading from the input point, the contaminated water forms linear stringers migrating down the conduit system toward the discharge point. LNAPLs (e.g. petroleum hydrocarbons) float on the water table and can migrate down the water table gradient to cave streams where they tend to pond behind obstructions. DNAPLs (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), in contrast, sink to the bottom of the aquifer. In the conduit system, DNAPLs pond in low spots at the bottom of the conduit and infiltrate sediment piles. Transport of both LNAPL and DNAPL is dependent on storm flow which can force LNAPL through the system as plug flow and can move DNAPLs by mobilizing the sediment piles. Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) are transported through the karstic drainage system because of the absence of filtration and retain their activity for long distances. Metals (e.g. chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead) tend to precipitate as hydroxides and carbonates in the neutral pH, carbonate rich water of the karst aquifer. Metal transport is mainly as particulates and as metal adsorbed onto small particulates such as clays and colloids. Metal transport is also episodic. Metals migrate down the flow path under flow conditions that take small particulates into suspension. Trash is carried into karst aquifers through sinkholes and sinking streams. It is, in effect, a form of clastic sediment, and can be carried deep into the conduit system where it can act as a source term for other contaminants leached from the trash.

KARSTIC: a sensitivity method for carbonate aquifers in karst terrain, 2002, Davis Ad, Long Aj, Wireman M,
Groundwater in karstic aquifers can be dangerously sensitive to contamination. Many cities in the western USA rely on karstic carbonate aquifers for municipal water supplies. For example, Rapid City, South Dakota, pumps more than half of its drinking water from wells in the Madison Limestone. This work examined the sensitivity of karstic aquifers to surface contamination in mountainous terrain. Where karstic carbonate aquifers are exposed at their outcrop areas, they are particularly susceptible to the introduction of contamination through diffuse recharge or through point recharge at swallow holes along streams. Residential developments in mountainous regions of the western USA are encroaching on the recharge areas of karstic aquifers. Many of these residential developments are served by onsite wastewater disposal systems such as septic tanks and drain fields, with the attendant danger of introduction of pathogens from malfunctioning treatment systems above fractured limestone which offers little filtering. Where streams disappear into karstic aquifers at swallow holes, microbial contaminants such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium are a concern, as well as potential spills, leaks, or accidents along roads near these streams. The KARSTIC method developed and modified in this work puts greater emphasis on karst features than previous sensitivity procedures such as the US Environmental Protection Agency's DRASTIC method. The modified method gives increased attention to highly sensitive areas of karstic carbonate aquifers by weighting the synergistic effects of fracturing, karst development, and swallow holes of recharging streams. In a field application, hydrogeologic maps of a watershed in the Black Hills, USA, were digitized into a geographic information system. The resulting sensitivity map and report can be used by planners, managers, and the public as a screening tool for assessing groundwater sensitivity in regions which include karstic aquifers

Altered lignin structure and resistance to pathogens in spi 2-expressing tobacco plants, 2002, Elfstrand M, Sitbon F, Lapierre C, Bottin A, Von Arnold S,

Particle transport in a karst aquifer: natural and artificial tracer experiments with bacteria, bacteriophages and microspheres, 2002, Auckenthaler A, Raso G, Huggenberger P,
Fast changes in spring water quality in karst areas are a major concern for production of drinking water and require detailed knowledge of the complex interaction between karst aquifer, transport behavior of microorganisms and water treatment We have conducted artificial and natural particle transport experiments at a karst spring with bacteria, bacteriophages, microspheres, and pathogens Transport of the investigated microorganisms, turbid matter and chemical pullutants as well as increase in discharge are strongly related to precipitation and the heterogeneity of the aquifer The indicator bacteria E cob revealed a significant correlation to verotoxin-producing E cob and Cryptosporidium spp We conclude that artificial particle tracers can help identify 'hot spots' for microbial recharge and that system parameters in spring water such as turbidity, UV-extinction and increase in discharge can be key parameters for efficient raw water management

Contaminant transport in karst aquifers, 2003, Vesper D. J. , Loop C. M. , White W. B.

Contaminants are easily injected into karst aquifers through sinking streams, sinkholes, or through open fractures and shafts in the carbonate rock. Transport of the contaminants through the aquifer is by a variety of mechanisms depending on the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant. Contaminants consist of (1) water soluble compounds, both organic and inorganic, (2) slightly soluble organic compounds, less dense than water (LNAPLs), (3) slightly soluble organic compounds, more dense than water (DNAPLs), (4) pathogens, (5) metals, and (6) trash. Water soluble compounds (e.g. nitrates, cyanides, carboxylic acids, phenols) move with the water. But rather than forming a plume spreading from the input point, the contaminated water forms linear stringers migrating down the conduit system toward the discharge point. LNAPLs (e.g. petroleum hydrocarbons) float on the water table and can migrate down the water table gradient to cave streams where they tend to pond behind obstructions. DNAPLs (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), in contrast, sink to the bottom of the aquifer. In the conduit system, DNAPLs pond in low spots at the bottom of the conduit and infiltrate sediment piles. Transport of both LNAPL and DNAPL is dependent on storm flow which can force LNAPL through the system as plug flow and can move DNAPLs by mobilizing the sediment piles. Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) are transported through the karstic drainage system because of the absence of filtration and retain their activity for long distances. Metals (e.g. chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead) tend to precipitate as hydroxides and carbonates in the neutral pH, carbonate rich water of the karst aquifer. Metal transport is mainly as particulates and as metal adsorbed onto small particulates such as clays and colloids. Metal transport is also episodic. Metals migrate down the flow path under flow conditions that take small particulates into suspension. Trash is carried into karst aquifers through sinkholes and sinking streams. It is, in effect, a form of clastic sediment, and can be carried deep into the conduit system where it can act as a source term for other contaminants leached from the trash


Comparison of immunofluorescence assay and immunomagnetic electrochemiluminescence in detection of Cryptosporidium parvum oocysts in karst water samples, 2003, Kuczynska E. , Boyer D. G. , Shelton D. R. ,
Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and immunomagneticelectrochemiluminescence (IM-ECL) were used for comparison of the percent recovery of Cryptosporidium parvum in environmental water samples obtained from a spring draining a karst basin. The monoclonal antibodies to C. parvum, isotype IgG3 were used for optimization of the IM-ECL protocol. The combination of biotinylated and TAG-labeled anti-C. parvum antibodies with the streptavidin beads gave a linear regression slope for log ECL vs. log fresh oocysts of 0.79 (from 5 to 5000 oocysts), which indicates a constant ECL signal per oocyst. Standard curves gave a dynamic range of 5 to 5000 oocysts/ml (fresh) and 10 to 100,000 cells/ml (4-month-old oocysts) with the maximum limit of linear detection higher than 100,000. The linear slope of 4-month-old oocysts decreased to 0.62, which indicates that ECL signal is a function of oocyst age. The experiment associated with bead storage time shows that even after 4 months of storage of the biotinylated antibodies, the complex retains the ability for binding the oocysts and generating the ECL signal. Based on the IFA results in the experiment evaluating different protocols for oocysts recovery from karst water samples, the most efficient protocol involved dispersion, followed by flotation and immunomagnetic separation (IMS) (24% recovery). The ECL results obtained in that experiment were very similar to the results obtained in the IFA method, which indicates that the IM-ECL method is accurate. Results of the IFA in the study of the prevalence of C. parvum in the groundwater showed that oocysts were present in 78% of 1 L water samples with average number of oocysts of 6.4 5.5 and ranged from 0 (13 samples) to 23.3 (2 samples). The ECL signal generated from these water samples ranged from 3771 to 622 (average 1620 465). However, the background value estimated in groundwater samples with low number of oocysts detected by IFA was highly variable and elevated (from 3702 to 272, average 1503 475). The background value as a result of nonspecific binding to beads by unidentified organic components in the water can inhibit or even completely mask the signal generated by oocysts. Our investigations showed that the IM-ECL method appears to be promising for the qualitative and quantitative detection of C parvum from the environmental water; however, the method requires further development to improve sensitivity and account for background signals. Published by Elsevier Science B.V

Storm and seasonal distributions of fecal coliforms and Cryptosporidium in a spring, 2003, Boyer Dg, Kuczynska E,
The transmission of disease in ground water is a topic of great concern to government agencies, ground water specialists, and the general public. The purpose of this study was to compare the temporal variability in storm flow of fecal coliform bacteria densities and Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst densities in agriculturally impacted karst ground water. Cryptosporidium parvum oocyst densities ranged from 0 to 1,050 oocysts/l, and mean storm densities ranged from 3.5 to 156.8 oocysts/l. Fecal coliform densities ranged from less than 1 CFU/100ml to more than 40,000 CFU/100ml, and geometric mean storm densities ranged from 1.7 CFU/100ml to more than 7,000 CFU/100ml. Fecal coliform densities correlated well with flow during storms, but Cryptosporidium oocyst densities exhibited a great deal of sample to sample variability and were not correlated with flow. Fecal coliform densities did not correlate positively with Cryptosporidium oocyst densities. Fecal coliform densities were greatest at storm peaks, when sediment loads were also greatest. Multiple transport mechanisms for fecal coliform bacteria and C. parvum oocysts may necessitate various agricultural land management and livestock health maintenance practices to control movement of pathogens to karst ground water

Assessing the Vulnerability of a Municipal Well Field to Contamination in a Karst Aquifer, 2005, Renken R. A. , Cunningham K. J. , Zygnerski M. R. , Wacker M. A. , Shapiro A. M. , Harvey R. W. , Metge D. W. , Osborn C. L. , Ryan J. N. ,
Proposed expansion of extractive lime-rock mines near the Miami-Dade County Northwest well field and Everglades wetland areas has garnered intense scrutiny by government, public, environmental stakeholders, and the media because of concern that mining will increase the risk of pathogen contamination. Rock mines are excavated to the same depth as the well field's primary producing zone. The underlying karst Biscayne aquifer is a triple-porosity system characterized by (1) a matrix of interparticle porosity and separate vug porosity; (2) touching-vug porosity that forms preferred, stratiform passageways; and, less commonly, (3) conduit porosity formed by thin solution pipes, bedding-plane vugs, and cavernous vugs. Existing ground-water flow and particle tracking models do not provide adequate information regarding the ability of the aquifer to limit the advective movement of pathogens and other contaminants. Chemical transport and colloidal mobility properties have been delineated using conservative and microsphere-surrogate tracers for Cryptosporidium parvum. Forced-gradient tests were executed by introducing conservative tracers into injection wells located 100 m (328 ft) from a municipal-supply well. Apparent mean advective velocity between the wells is one to two orders of magnitude greater than previously measured. Touching-vug, stratiform flow zones are efficient pathways for tracer movement at the well field. The effective porosity for a continuum model between the point of injection and tracer recovery ranges from 2 to 4 percent and is an order of magnitude smaller than previously assumed. Existing well-field protection zones were established using porosity estimates based on specific yield. The effective, or kinematic, porosity of a Biscayne aquifer continuum model is lower than the total porosity, because high velocities occur along preferential flow paths that result in faster times of travel than can be represented with the ground-water flow equation. Tracer tests indicate that the relative ease of contaminant movement to municipal supply wells is much greater than previously considered

Pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms in caves, 2010, Jurado V. , Laiz L. , Rodrigueznava V. , Boiron P. , Hermosin H. , Sanchezmoral S. , Saizjimenez C.
With todays leisure tourism, the frequency of visits to many caves makes it necessary to know about possible potentially pathogenic microorganisms in caves, determine their reservoirs, and inform the public about the consequences of such visits. Our data reveal that caves could be a potential danger to visitors because of the presence of opportunistic microorganisms, whose existence and possible development in humans is currently unknown.

Pathogenic and opportunistic microorganisms in caves, 2010, Jurado V. Laiz L. Rodrigueznava V. Boiron P. , Hermosin H. , Sanchezmoral S. , Saizjimenez C.

With today`s leisure tourism, the frequency of visits to many caves makes it necessary to know about possible potentially pathogenic microorganisms in caves, determine their reservoirs, and inform the public about the consequences of such visits. Our data reveal that caves could be a potential danger to visitors because of the presence of opportunistic microorganisms, whose existence and possible development in humans is currently unknown.


Candoluminescence of cave gypsum, 2010, Sweet J. R. , Hess J. W. , White W. B.

A selection of gypsum specimens from a variety of caves as well as CaSO4 synthesized in the laboratory emit
both a green and yellow candoluminescence when excited by a hydrogen diffusion flame. The green emission
is attributed to dehydration of gypsum to bassanite and the yellow emission appears upon further dehydration
to anhydrite. The source of the luminescence is ascribed to minor concentrations of Mn2+ in the gypsum


The effects of UV light on the antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycetes, 2013, Rule Devon, Cheeptham Naowarat

The goal of this study was to determine whether actinomycetes isolated from a volcanic cave in western Canada could produce novel antimicrobial compounds against six multidrug- resistant pathogens when exposed to UV light. One hundred and seventy-six actinomycete strains isolated from Helmcken Falls Cave, Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC, were screened against six pathogens using the “plug assay” in UV light and no light conditions. Of the 176 strains tested, 100 or 57% of the cave actinomycete strains had antimicrobial activities against the pathogens in 124 different instances: 35 instances when exposed to UV and no light, 30 when exposed to UV light, and 59 instances when exposed to no light. The metabolites of six actinomycete strains also lost their antimicrobial activities when exposed to UV light. While the metabolites produced by these strains have yet to be determined, exposure to lighted environments may either deactivate or enhance the antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycete strains. This study represents a confirmation that cave actinomycetes are potential sources of novel antimicrobial compounds and also is the first report of the enhancement of antimicrobial activities of some cave bacteria by exposure to UV light. Further investigation of the role of UV light with respect to activation/deactivation of antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycetes is required.


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