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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 cavernous karren is pitted, rubbly limestone most commonly found in relatively recent and tertiary limestones of the humid tropics [3]. see also covered karren; karren.?

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

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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 plants (Keyword) returned 50 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 50
The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

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

The world of plants in caves of Lillafured (Hungary)., 1965, Verseghy Klara
The vegetation of the Forrs and Istvn caves at Lillafured in Hungary is composed of algae, micro- and macrofungi and mosses. The algae in both caves are represented by unicellular Cyanophyta and Chlorophyta with small species numbers. The macrofungi are Coprinus and Polyporacea spp. while it was impossible to identify the microfungi. The moss flora is richly developed and it can be supposed to represent a secondary vegetation at the artificially illuminated places of the caves. In Forrs cave 7, and in Istvn cave 15 different mosses were found, only 3 of which proved to be common to both caves: Rhynchostegium murale, Eucladium verticillatum and Pohlia sp. A rare and interesting species: Fissidens minutulus occurred at several localities in Forrs cave.

Summary of the results obtained during a preliminary investigation into the bacterial and botanical flora of caves in South Wales., 1967, Bensonevans Kathryn, Williams Mary Ann Mason
The results of an investigation into the bacterial and botanical flora of South Welsh caves are presented in tabular form. Bacterial counts and species isolated from the caves both from soil and water samples as well as from the air, also the macroscopic plants found in the photic zone are enumerated.

Summary of the results obtained during a preliminary investigation into the bacterial and botanical flora of caves in South Wales., 1967, Bensonevans Kathryn, Williams Mary Ann Mason
The results of an investigation into the bacterial and botanical flora of South Welsh caves are presented in tabular form. Bacterial counts and species isolated from the caves both from soil and water samples as well as from the air, also the macroscopic plants found in the photic zone are enumerated.

Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985, Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

Themes in Prehistory of the Nullarbor Caves, Semi-Arid Southern Australia, 1986, Davey, Adrian

The 200,000 square kilometre Nullarbor Plain is a largely and relatively inhospitable tract of semi-arid land on the southern coast of Australia. It is also one of the world's largest and probably oldest karst landscapes. It contains a substantial number of caves, some of them very large. The sheer size of the plain together with its lack of surface water have made it a powerful ecological, physical and psychological barrier to the dispersal of evolving plants and animals and to human trade, settlement and communications. Because the plain is otherwise easily perceived as featureless, the more obvious of the caves have played an unusually prominent part in human exploration and occupation of the region. Aboriginal prehistory of cave exploration and use extends over many millenia. Two themes are especially interesting: quarrying underground as one of the earliest, and the role of water and shade in an inhospitable environment as the most persistent. The advent of European, Afghan and other cultures on this part of the southern coastline during the last four centuries has diversified the relevant historic themes. Victorian British discovery and exploration is the first stage in modern recognition of the caves, although long after the region was first discovered. The next and perhaps most remarkable phase brings together developments in Australian aviation and the adaptation of a grounded mariner to the land and air. Eventually the action moves on to the development of organised speleology. Other sub-themes in human interactions with the caves in this large waterless area include what may turn out to be either art or vandalism. They also include attempted grand solutions to the problem of water, by improbable engineering, as well as adventures of tourism, recreation and science.


Activity od the scientific commission of ''Grotta Grande del Vento'' (Genga, Ancona, Central Italy)., 1994, Bertolani Mario, Cigna Arrigo A.
The Grotta Grande del Vento (the Great Wind Cave) was discovered in 1971. An administrative body (the "Consorzio Frasassi") under the control of some local authorities took care of its development and the cave was opened to tourists in 1974. A Scientific Commission formed by some experts (choosen by the Consorzio Frasassi) of different disciplines was established in 1975. During these 15 years the Commission acted as an advisory committee for the Consorzio in order to guarantee the protection of the cave environment. In particular the Commission set up a monitoring network of the most important environmental parameters (air and water temperature. air currents, relative humidity and CO2 concentration) in some suitable locations and studied the best solutions to avoid algae and other plants proliferation in the vicinity of light sources. The Commission promoted and directed researches in the karst system under a strict co-operation with the Consorzio Frasassi which funded most of them. Some scientific papers resulted from these researches.

Elevated and variable values of 13C in speleothems in a British cave system, 1997, Baker A, Ito E, Smart Pl, Mcewan Rf,
[delta] 13C isotope variations in speleothems have been investigated for samples from the British Isles, where plants which use the Hatch-Slack or C4 photosynthetic pathway are not present. The range of [delta] 13C expected in speleothem carbonate formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO2 derived from the overlying C3 vegetation should thus fall in the range -12 to -6[per mille sign]. Forty-one actively growing speleothem samples from low-discharge sites were analysed from Stump Cross Caverns, Yorkshire, England. Ten percent have [delta] 13C greater than -6%. In addition, a large range of [delta] 13C was observed (-8.06 1.38[per mille sign], a 1 [sigma] variability of 17%), with adjacent samples having [delta] 13C differing by a maximum of 4.74[per mille sign]. Similar findings were obtained from a review of analyses of late Quaternary speleothem samples from the British Isles, with 75% of flowstone samples and 57% of high-flow stalagmite samples exhibiting elevated [delta] 13C. Three possible processes are proposed as possible causes of elevated [delta] 13C in speleothems. Firstly, fractionation may occur between the stalactite and stalagmite due to evaporation or degassing. Secondly, degassing of the groundwaters may have occurred within the aquifer before reaching the cave void, allowing release of some CO2 from the water whilst remaining saturated in calcium. Finally, the elevated [delta] 13C may be due to short water residence times in the soil, such that equilibrium between soil water and soil CO2 is not reached. Evidence presented here demonstrates that any one of these mechanisms may be important in the karst areas of the British Isles. Caution is needed before interpreting the [delta] 13C signal within speleothems in terms of palaeovegetation

Geochemistry and water dynamics: Application to short time-scale flood phenomena in a small Mediterranean catchment .1. Alkalis, alkali-earths and Sr isotopes, 1997, Benothman D, Luck Jm, Tournoud Mg,
We report major, trace elements and Sr isotope data for water samples taken regularly during a four-day-long September flood of a Mediterranean river, the Vene (Herault, S. France). The objective is to combine all these data into a dynamic model that describes the origin(s) and movements of waters and their loads. This river drains the runoff from a small, mainly carbonate, partly karstified watershed with Miocene and Jurassic lithologies. The watershed is also impacted by both agricultural and urban activities. Both the dissolved and the particulate loads were analyzed. Concentrations of the dissolved components show major remobilization of almost all elements during the first few hours of the flood (water treatment plants and aerosol scavenging), followed by a sharp concentration decrease. Some major species return to their previous summer values (Ca, HCO3) while others reach low 'background' levels (Na, K, Cl, SO4). Some trace elements (Rb, Sr, Cs) show similar behaviour but (Ba) appears somewhat unaffected. Trace element concentrations and ratios define two main periods (three in the suspended particulate matter). Ratios do not allow distinguishing between the three main sources for the dissolved load in the first period (Miocene, Jurassic, water treatment plants), but clearly show the Jurassic karst influence later on. The Sr-87/Sr-86 Of the suspended particulate matter is more variable and more radiogenic than in the dissolved phase. Variations in concentration ratios and Sr isotope composition in particulates indicate the large and variable contribution of Miocene silicates with some carbonate. However, there is a need for another component with [Rb]/[Sr] higher than bedrocks, internal or external to the watershed, possibly due to differential erosion. Dissolved Ca and Mg fluxes during the flood were calculated at 0.26 ton and 0.029 ton/km(2), respectively. Even though the carbonate nature of the watershed restricts variability in Sr isotope composition in the dissolved load, we distinguish several endmembers: seawater(approximate to marine rain), Miocene marls, Jurassic limestones, water treatment plants (and possibly another attributable to fertilizers). Combined with major and trace element variational Sr isotope fluctuations indicate time-varying proportions of different water endmembers at the outflow and suggest a general dynamic model. Based on PCA (principal component analysis), a 3D representation allows to visualize the geochemical evolution of the Vene waters. In particular, Sr isotopes clearly indicate that the inflow of karstic waters during the flood was not continuous but occurred as a series of marked oscillations between flowing waters with chemical signature of Miocene lithologies and increasing flushes of deeper waters that interacted with Jurassic lithologies. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

Terrestrial hot-spring Co-rich Mn mineralization in the Pliocene-Quaternary Calatrava Region (central Spain), 1997, Crespo A, Lunar R,
Central Spain hosts a series of high-Co (up to 1.7% Co) Mn mineralizations displaying a variety of morphologies: spring aprons and feeders, pisolitic beds, wad beds and tufa-like replacements of plants and plant debris. The Mn mineralogy consist of cryptomelane, lithiophorite, birnessite and todorokite. The spring apron deposits formed in close proximity to Pliocene volcanic rocks (alkaline basaltic lava flows and pyroclastics) belonging to the so-called Calatrava Volcanic Field. The spring aprons are found along or near to normal faults bounding small basins and topographic highs. Mn tufa-like deposits are found near to the spring sources, while both pisolitic and wad beds are clearly distal facies occuring well within the Pliocene basins. The two latter are interbedded with clastic lacustrine and fluvial sediments. Collectively, these deposits contain a complex suite of Mn-(Co) mineralization ranging from proximal, hot-spring-type Mn facies, grading into more distant sedimentary, stratabound mineralization. Volcanism, basin formation and Mn deposition took place within a failed rift environment which triggered hydrothermal activity and Mn-(Co) deposition as proximal (near to the volcanic axes) and distal (of sedimentary affinities, within the basins) facies

Isotopic Stratigraphy of a Last Interglacial Stalagmite from Northwestern Romania: Correlation with the Deep-sea Record and Northern-latitude Speleothem, 1999, Lauritzen, S. E. , Onac, B. P.
LFG-2, a 39.5 cm tall stalagmite from northwestern Romania, has been dated by U-series a-spectrometric dating, and analyzed for stable isotope variations (d18O, d13C) along its growth axis. The sample grew all the way through oxygen isotope stage 5(a-e), and perhaps for some time into stage 4. In spite of a rather low uranium content and therefore imprecise chronology, the sample provides an interesting stable isotope record with high temporal resolution that correlates favorably with other speleothems and with the deep-sea record. Termination II is well defined in the record as a rapid shift from light (cold) to heavier (warm) d18O values, when C3 vegetation seemed to dominate. The d13C in a slow growth zone, corresponding to oxygen isotope stage 5d, as well after the stage 5/4 transition, suggests that C4 plants possibly dominated the surface environment. The d18O record also correlate quite well with the a-dated FM-2 record from northern Norway

Water circulation in karst and determination of catchment areas: example of the River Zrmanja, 1999, Bonacci O,
Karst hydrological investigation of the sinking stream problem of the River Zrmanja is presented. The aim of this analysis is to assess the feasibility of constructing three hydroelectric power plants (HEPP) along the River Zrmanja course. This paper presents a suitable and simple hydrological methodology that can be applied to scarce available data obtained on complex karat terranes. The paper presents a complex but common case of water circulation in a karst system. The primary objectives of the investigations were: (a) to analyse the underground karst connections, (b) to analyse discharge conditions along the River Zrmanja, and (c) to define variations in the catchment area along the River Zrmanja. The fact that the hydrological regime of the River Zrmanja is highly variable, due to the water losses along the open streamflow, strongly influenced the selection of the locations and heights of the HEPP dams. In spite of many hydrological, meteorological and hydrogeological measurements, the River Zrmanja catchment is insufficiently gauged. This dictates the use of a simple, empirically-based hydrological methodology. The Turc (1954) and Coutagne (1954) formulas were used in determination of annual total runoff. Using these simple hydrological methods, some important engineering answers were obtained. This is a first step towards application of sophisticated hydrological models, needing large amounts of reliable data

Forest recovery in abandoned agricultural lands in a karst region of the Dominican Republic, 2000, Rivera L. W. , Zimmerman J. K. , Aide T. M. ,
This study documents the status of forest vegetation in the karst region of Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic, following the abandonment of pastures (less than or equal to 5 years), young (less than or equal to 5 years) 'conucos' (mixed plantings), old (7-30 years) conucos, and cacao plantations (> 25 years). We compared these sites to vegetation characteristics of patches of forest in karst valleys ('old forest'-too old to know their exact land use) and on mogote tops with no recent history of human disturbance. The youngest sites date to when squatters were removed from Los Haitises National Park. Forest structure (density, basal area, and species richness of woody plants greater than or equal to 1 cm DBH) were all significantly affected by land use. Density was highest in intermediate-aged valley sites (old conucos) and mogote tops, while both basal area and species richness tended to increase with age of abandonment. Although cacao plantations had been abandoned for more than 25 years the species diversity was low, due to continued regeneration of this persistent crop. Abandoned pastures had the greatest nonwoody biomass and were dominated by the fern Nephrolepis multiflora which had completely replaced pasture grasses. An ordination of the woody plant communities separated the mogote tops from valleys, emphasizing the strong control that topography has on the forest community in moist and wet tropical forests on karst substrates. Valley sites were arranged in the ordination in order of their age, suggesting a successional sequence converging on the composition of the 'old forest' sites

The distribution of plants in Scoska Cave, North Yorkshire, and their relationship to light intensity, 2001, Pentecost Allan, Zhaohui Zhang
The flora of a small limestone cave was investigated. A total of 59 species was recorded (4 algae, 3 lichens, 47 bryophytes, 4 ferns, 1 angiosperm) making it bryologically the richest cave in Britain and one of the richest in Europe. All but nine of the species had been recorded from other European caves. Species-richness declined irregullarly from the entrance (relative irradiance with respect to open sky 12%) to 34m depth (rel. irradiance 0.004%). Bryophytes were found at 0-16m depth where relative irradiance declined to 0.2% and only algae were encountered at 34m depth. While irradiance, which declined exponentially, was the major factor controlling plant distribution, substratum characteristics and surface moisture were also important.

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