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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 streamline is a curve that is everywhere tangent to the specific discharge vector and indicates the direction of flow at every point in a flow domain.?

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.
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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 walls (Keyword) returned 200 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 200
Observations cristallographiques et gntiques sur les mgascalnodres de calcite de la grotte de Valea Firii (Mts. de Bilacar, Roumanie), 1992,
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Ghergari L. , Marza I. , Bodolea A. , Sehiau S.
CALCITE MEGASCALENOHEDRONS IN THE VALEA FIRII CAVE (BIHOR MOUNTAINS, ROMANIA) - Calcite megascalenohedrons in the Valea Firii cave (Bihor Mountains) (3-70 cm long, usually 25-30 cm, the larger weighting 50-55 kg) are of exogenous origin, deposited on fracture walls by Ca(HCO3)2 rich solutions. There are primary (autochtonous) crystals, crystallographic forms developed in the area [2201] and crystals with corroded faces (allochtonous, detached and buried in the clay on the cave floor), with characteristic features in the main [1102] and secondary [1104], [1108] areas.

Guab As, une grotte dans de la dolomie mgascristalline hydrothermale (Namibie occidentale), 1995,
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Marais E. , Martini J. , Irish J.
The authors describe a cave in the semi-desert area of the Hakos Mountains, 100km to the southwest of Windhoek, Namibia. The cave is significant due to the very unusual country rock, with which it is associated. It formed by dissolution of the dolomite core of a large quartz vein, which is 800 m long and 200 m wide, developed in mica-schist. The cave consists of a complex succession of large chambers, more or less overlapping each others, with walls generally consisting of quartz. In most instances the dolomite has been completely dissolved or occurs under the floor, concealed by dust and scree. Although the cave developed within a very small volume of carbonate, the total length reaches 695 m and the depth 85 m. The bottom is occu-pied by a pool which is only temporarily filled with water and probably marks the position of a perched water-table. The cave formed in a perched phreatic environment during an undetermined period

OCCURRENCE OF HYPOGENIC CAVES IN A KARST REGION - EXAMPLES FROM CENTRAL ITALY, 1995,
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Galdenzi S, Menichetti M,
The caves of the Umbria and Marche regions in central Italy are made up of three-dimensional maze systems that display different general morphologies due to the various geological and structural contexts. At the same time, the internal morphologies of the passages, galleries, and shafts present some similarity, with solutional galleries characterized by cupolas and blind pits, anastamotic passages, roof pendants, and phreatic passages situated at different levels. Some of these caves are still active, as is the case for Frassassi Gorge, Parrano Gorge, and Acquasanta Terme, with galleries that reach the phreatic zone, where there is a rising of highly mineralized water, rich in hydrosulfydric acid, and with erosion of limestone walls and the formation of gypsum. Elsewhere there are fossil caves, such as Monte Cucco and Pozzi della Piana, where large speleothems of gypsum are present 500 m or more above the regional water table. In all of these important karst systems it is possible to recognize basal input points through fracture and intergranular porosity networks at the base of the oxidizing zone in the core of the anticline, where mineralized water rises up from the Triassic evaporitic layers in small hydrogeological circuits. Different underground morphologies can derive from the presence of a water table related to an external stream or from the confined setting of the carbonate rocks, underlying low permeable sedimentary cover, where artesian conditions can occur

Determination of stream-incision rate in the Appalachian plateaus by using cave-sediment magnetostratigraphy, 1995,
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Sasowsky Ira D. , White William B. , Schmidt Victor A. ,
Paleomagnetic dating of clastic fluvial sediments contained in caves within the walls of a steeply incised gorge allowed calculation of a maximum incision rate for the East Fork Obey River. The maximum incision rate for this major stream on the western margin of the Cumberland Plateau, north-central Tennessee, was found to be 0.06 m/ka. This rate was determined on the basis of the paleohydraulic relation between the caves and the surface stream, the presence of a normal-to-reverse polarity transition in clastic fluvial sediments deposited within the caves, and the vertical distribution of polarity found in sediments throughout the gorge. The dating results indicate that this highly developed fluviokarst, containing several of the longest known caves in the United States, developed wholly within the Pleistocene and Holocene

PROCESSES ASSOCIATED WITH MICROBIAL BIOFILMS IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE OF CAVES - EXAMPLES FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1995,
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Jones B. ,
The twilight zone of a cave, an environment transitional between the well-illuminated environment outside the cave and the dark environment of the cave interior, is one of the most unusual microenvironments of the karst terrain. Walls in the twilight zone of caves on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac are coated with a biofilm that incorporates a diverse assemblage of epilithic microbes and copious mucus. Most microbes are different from those found elsewhere in the karst terrains of the Cayman Islands, probably because they have adapted to life in the poorly illuminated twilight zone. None of the microbes employ an endolithic life mode, and less than 10% of them show evidence of calcification. The biofilm does, however, provide a medium in which a broad spectrum of destructive and constructive processes operate. Etching, the dominant destructive process, produces residual dolomite, residual calcite, blocky calcite, and spiky calcite. Constructive processes include precipitation of calcite, dolomite, gypsum, halite, and sylvite. Although filamentous microbes are common, examples of detrital grains trapped and bound to the substrate are rare. Destructive processes are more common than constructive ones

Karst Geomorphology and Hydrology of Gunung Tempurung, Perak, Malaysia, 1995,
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Gilleson David , Holland Ernst , Davies Gareth

Gunung Tempurung is a 600-metre high limestone tower in the Kinta Valley located to the south of the city of Ipoh, Malaysia. The tower contains at least one extensive cave system, Gua Tempurung, which has a length of approximately 4800 metres and a vertical range of about 200 metres. The tower is an erosional remnant of a thick sequence of Silurian - Permian Limestones initially formed as a shelf deposit near an ancient coastline. The carbonate rocks lie adjacent to, and are laterally bounded by, Late Mesozoic granite plutoniic rocks emplaced by activity related to the Late Triassic uplift from plate boundary stresses along the western edge of the Malay Peninsular. The limestones have been folded and compressed between the granites and have been altered by contact metamorphism to marbles and skarn. Hydrothermal mineralisation of the limestone host rock has yeilded deposits of tin, with some tungsten minerals and other minor ores. In the central part of the karst tower a river-cave system, Gua Tempurung, developed from local damming of the north and south outlets of a small catchment derived from the granite upland area to the east. In several locations inside the dry upper chambers of the cave, vein deposits of tin (cassiterite) are evident in walls and ceilings. Additionally alluvial tin deposits derived from the Old Alluvium are present in the cave.


Structure of northern Mount Sedom salt diapir (Israel) from cave evidence and surface morphology, 1996,
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Frumkin, A.

Mount Sedom salt diapir, at the south-western edge of the Dead Sea, is covered by a residual caprock, concealing its internal structure. Internal structure observed within karstic caves is correlated here to surface lineaments on top of the caprock. The structural evidence suggests that the northern part of the diapir consists of two salt walls rising from the east and the west. The border between the two walls is observed in caves along the northwestern part of the mountain. The layers are highly deformed along this border, while on both limbs the beds are relatively undeformed, dipping in different directions. The eastern limb comprises most of the width of the elongated northern part of the diapir.


The influence of bedding planes on the development of karst caves (in Slovenian and with an English summary and abstract), PhD thesis, 1996,
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Knez, M.

There have been much less researchers looking for the initial water ways in karst along the bedding-planes than those who deduced the origin of cave channels from tectonic structures. The aim of my research was to focus scientific attention on the sphere where the answers within the sedimentology might be expected. The study identified that the basic idea of bedding-plane importance at the initiation of cave channels was correct but also, that the interrelation is different from how it had been supposed. Single lithological, petrological or stratigraphical parameters of the inception are only partly known, or merely guessed. My research threw light on the problem of initial channels met in Velika dolina in Skocjanske jame. Cave passages, or their fragments and other traces of the underground karstification do not appear scattered at random on the walls but they are obviously gathered along a small number of so-called bedding-planes.
The basic working method was to locate the phreatic channels or their fragments, to sample and microscope those parts of the layers adjacent to a bedding-plane. Somewhere a whole layer was considered. Other methods were: regional distribution of caves, photographing, inventarisation and classification of speleogens and complexometry, the latter providing the purity of limestones.
The original channels are practically gathered along only three formative bedding-planes (out of 62 measured); their close vicinity differs from the others in several important properties: typically damaged rock, higher level of calcium carbonate, smaller porosity and others. Consequently the mentioned concordance cannot possibly be only apparent.
From the lithological point of view, I got neither substantial argument nor explanation for selective karstification. However, it was identified that at least in respect of a concrete example from Velika dolina, the inception started along interbedded slides that without doubt pushed the beds aside leaving an interval.


Condensation Corrosion in Movile Cave, Romania, 1997,
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Sarbu, S. M. , Lascu, C.
Condensation corrosion is the dissolution of carbonate by acidic vapors condensing above the water table. This process is rarely noted and receives little attention in the mainstream cave literature. The oolitic limestone walls in Movile Caves upper dry passages are severely altered by a selective corrosion mechanism. Temperature differences between the water in the lower passages and the walls in the upper passages and high concentrations of CO2 in the cave atmosphere create favorable conditions for condensation corrosion to take place. Carbon and oxygen stable isotope data support the hypothesis that condensation corrosion is the major mechanism currently affecting the morphology of Movile Caves upper dry level.

Stratigraphy, sedimentology, and structural geology of gypsum caves in east central New Mexico, 1997,
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Forbes J, Nance R,
Hundreds of solution caves have developed in evaporites and carbonates of the Permian San Andres Formation where it crops out between Vaughn and Roswell, New Mexico, USA. Several of the caves are over 3.2 km (2 miles) in length, and the deepest has a vertical extent of over 120 m (400 feet). These gypsum caves afford an extraordinary opportunity to examine the evaporite rocks in which they are developed. We have examined interbedded gypsum and dolostone strata exposed in the walls of 11 of these caves, and show stratigraphic sections on two geologic cross sections. Gypsum textures exposed in the caves include massive, nodular, and laminar types. While we refer to them as ''gypsum caves,'' gypsum is not the only lithology exposed. Some cave passages and rooms are developed in thick dolostone units intercalated with or overlain by gypsum beds. Correlation of beds exposed in two or more caves has allowed us to infer the local geologic structure. The sedimentary sequence penetrated by a cave exerts a profound effect on the geometry and passage cross-section of the cave. Many cave passages have gypsum walls and a dolostone or limestone floor. Although many of the cave passages flood completely during major storm events, the stairstep profile of most of the caves is indicative of speleogenesis that has occurred predominantly within the vadose zone

An Investigation of the Climate, Carbon Dioxide and Dust in Jenolan Caves, N.S.W., PhD Thesis, 1997,
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Michie, Neville

Pressure of use of Jenolan Caves as a tourist spectacle has raised concerns about the wellbeing of the caves, so three related physical subjects were reviewed and investigated; the cave microclimate, the carbon dioxide in the cave atmosphere and dustfall in the caves. The microclimate has been shown to be dominated by several physical processes: in the absence of air movement, conduction and radiation dominate; in association with air movement, convective coupled heat and mass transfer tends to dominate energy flows. A new approach using boundary conditions and qualitative characteristics of transient fronts enables accurate measurement and analysis of energy, heat and mass transfer. This technique avoids the dimensionless number and transfer coefficient methods and is not geometrically sensitive. Conditions in caves are also determined by the capillary processes of water in cave walls. Air movement in caves depends on surface weather conditions and special problems of surface weather observation arise. A series of experiments were undertaken to evaluate the cave and surface processes. The physical processes that collect, transport and release dust were measured and described. Dust in the caves was shown to be carried from the surface, mainly by visitors. The concept of the Personal Dust Ooud is developed and experimental measurements and analysis show that this process is a major threat to the caves. New techniques of measurement are described. An accurate physiological model has been developed which predicts most of the carbon dioxide measured in Jenolan Caves, derived mainly from visitors on the cave tours. This model, developed from previously published human physiological information also predicts the production of heat and water vapour by cave tourists. The effects of carbon dioxide on cave conditions has been investigated. Details of a two year program of measurements in the caves are given. The generalised approach and methods are applicable to other caves, mines and buildings.


Hydrobasaluminite and Aluminite in Caves of the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, 1998,
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Polyak, V. J. , Provencio, P.
Hydrobasaluminite, like alunite and natroalunite, has formed as a by-product of the H2S-H2SO4 speleogenesis of Cottonwood Cave located in the Guadalupe Mountains of New Mexico. This mineral is found as the major component of white pockets in the dolostone bedrock where clay-rich seams containing kaolinite, dickite, and illite have altered during speleogenesis to hydrobasaluminite, amorphous silica, alunite, and hydrated halloysite (endellite). Gibbsite and amorphous silica are associated with the hydrobasaluminite in a small room of Cottonwood Cave. Opalline sediment on the floor of this room accumulated as the cave passage evolved. Jarosite, in trace amounts, occurs in association with the opalline sediment and most likely has the same origin as hydrobasaluminite and alunite. The hydrobasaluminite was found to be unstable at 25C and 50% RH, converting to basaluminite in a few hours. Basaluminite was not detected in the cave samples. Aluminite has precipitated as a secondary mineral in the same small room where hydrobasaluminite occurs. It comprises a white to bluish-white, pasty to powdery moonmilk coating on the cave walls. The bedrock pockets containing hydrobasaluminite provide the ingredients from which aluminite moonmilk has formed. It appears that recent cave waters have removed alumina and sulfate from the bedrock pocket minerals and have deposited aluminite and gypsum along the cave wall. Gypsum, amorphous silica and sulfate-containing alumina gels are associated with the aluminite moonmilk.

Condensation Corrosion in Caves on Cayman Brac and Isla de Mona, 1998,
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Tarhulelips, R. F. A. , Ford, D. C.
Many speleothems in caves on Cayman Brac and Isla de Mona have suffered considerable dissolution. It is suggested that this is a consequence of condensation corrosion rather than of aqueous flooding of the entire cave. A program of temperature and relative humidity measurements during the rainy seasons showed that the entrance zones are areas of comparatively large diurnal variation where condensation from warm air onto cooler walls may occur. Artificial condensation was induced using ice bottles: chemical analysis of the condensation waters determined that they were generally undersaturated with respect to calcite and/or dolomite but that this changes over space and time. Gypsum tablets were suspended inside three sample caves on Cayman Brac and one on Isla de Mona for 16 and 13 months, respectively. At the end of this period, tablets close to the entrances and to the floor were found to have undergone considerable dissolution; this could only have been the result of condensation corrosion

Chemical deposits in volcanic caves of Argentina., 1998,
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Benedetto Carlos, Forti Paolo, Galli Ermanno, Rossi Antonio
During the last Conference of the FEALC (Speleological Federation of Latin America and Caribbean Islands) which was held in the town of Malargue, Mendoza, in February 1997, two volcanic caves not far from that town were visited and sampled for cave mineral studies. The first cave (Cueva del Tigre) opens close to the Llancanelo lake, some 40 kms far from Malargue and it is a classical lava tube. Part of the walls and of the fallen lava blocks are covered by white translucent fibres and grains. The second visited cave is a small tectonic cavity opened on a lava bed some 100 km southward of Malargue. The cave "El Abrigo de el Manzano" is long no more than 10-12 meters with an average width of 3 meters and it hosts several bird nests, the larger of which is characterized by the presence of a relatively thick pale yellow, pale pink flowstone. Small broken or fallen samples of the secondary chemical deposits of both these caves have been collected in order to detect their mineralogical composition. In the present paper the results of the detailed mineralogical analyses carried out on the sampled material are shortly reported. In the Cueva del Tigre lava tube the main detected minerals are Sylvite, Thenardite, Bloedite and Kieserite, all related to the peculiar dry climate of that area. The flowstone of "El Abrigo de el Manzano" consists of a rather complex admixture of several minerals, the large majority of which are phosphates but also sulfates and silicates, not all yet identified. The origin of all these minerals is related to the interaction between bird guano and volcanic rock.

Diagenetic concretions from the cave clastic sediment, Cave in Tounj quarry, Croatia, 1998,
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Lackovič, Damir

Diagenetic concretions from Cave in Tounj quarry (central Croatia) are studied. Concretions are found in non-cemented unsorted clastic cave deposit. They consist of particles of different size (clay to pebble) and from different provenance. One part of calcite and clay minerals are coming from speleothems and cave walls limestone. Detrital particles: chert, quartz, muscovite, chlorite, ilmenite, magnetite and most of clay, are probable transported into the cave from Triassic and Pleistocene clastic sediments from the surface. Autochthonous constituents of concretions are limonitic pizoids and some calcite cement. Composition of concretion is similar to the composition of surrounding non-cemented sediment.


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