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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 aphthitalite is a cave mineral - (k,na)3na(so4)2 [11].?

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

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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 detritus (Keyword) returned 23 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 23 of 23
Fens in karst sinkholes - Archives for long lasting 'immission' chronologies, 2003, Hettwer K. , Deicke M. , Ruppert H. ,
Fens in karst sinkholes are excellent archives for the reconstruction of vegetation, land use and emission rates over millennia. The reasons are the usually good preservation of pollen, the high portion of low density organic material with very low background concentrations of heavy metals, and the circum-neutral pH-values in most of these mires preventing migration of heavy metals. Immissions of dust and of harmful elements can easily be correlated with changes in vegetation ('immission' is a synonym for the deposition or impact of pollutants from the atmosphere on a receptor surface). One 13 m core from a similar to5000 yr old karst sinkhole fen (Silberhohl, western margin of the Harz Mountains, central Germany) was investigated by geochemical analysis, pollen analysis and dated by C-14 and palynological data. The core consists of organic material with a few percent of CaCO3 precipitated from groundwater and a small amount of atmospheric detritus. As early as the Iron Age (first pre-Christian millennium), slight but significant enrichments of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd are observed. After 400 AD stronger enrichments occurred culminating in the High Middle Ages (similar to1200-1300 AD). Maximum values are 1250 mug g(-1) Pb, 214 mug g(-1) Cu, 740 mug g(-1) Zn, and 3.8 mug g(-1) Cd. The enrichments are caused by emissions during smelting of sulfidic lead-zinc ores from the adjacent Hercynian deposits to extract Ag and Cu. Except for cadmium, these values were never exceeded in modern times. Since the Iron Age 23 g technogenic Pb, 5.3 g Cu, 27 g Zn and 0.2 g Cd have been deposited per square meter. Palynological investigations show a strong correlation between decreasing red beech pollens (Fagus sylvatica) and increasing demand on wood for smelting in the Middle Ages. Simultaneously, the pollen share of pioneer trees such as birch (Betula pubescens) and of cereal grains (e.g. Secale) increases. Since the beginning of the 14th century, the decline of agriculture and population is reflected in the decreasing contents of Secale and heavy metals in the fen deposits

Impacts of Alterations of Organic Inputs on the Bacterial Community within the sediments of Wind Cave, South Dakota, USA., 2009, Chelius M. K. , Beresford G. , Horton H. , Quirk M. , Selby G. , Simpson R. T. , Horrocks R. , Moore J. C.
Wind Cave (WICA) in the Black Hills of South Dakota, like many mostly dry caves in temperate regions is an energy-starved system. The biotic communities that reside in these systems are low in diversity and simple in structure, and sensitive to changes in external inputs of organic matter. Caves open to tourist traffic offer an opportunity to study the impacts of organic matter amendments in the form of human and rodent hair and dander, clothing lint, material from rodent activity (nesting materials and feces), and algal growth in and around artificial lighting. This study reports on the impacts of carbon amendments from humans and rodents on the bacterial and archaeal communities within the sediments of WICA from annual surveys and from a manipulative study that added lint (L; cellulose plus rodent dander and rodent hair), rodent feces (F), and a combination of both (LF). The survey confirmed that bacterial biomass was higher in regions of the cave with the highest rates of lint (hair and natural clothing fibers) input. The manipulative study found that organic amendments in the forms of lint (L) and rodent feces (F) altered the WICA bacterial community structure in both abundance and diversity, with the combined lint and feces (LF) amendment having the most significant response. The high similarity of the LF and L communities suggests that the cave bacterial community is more carbon than nitrogen limited. The implication of cave development to management practices is immediate and practical. Even small amounts of lint and organic matter foreign to cave bacteria significantly compromise the integrity of the endemic community resulting in the replacement of undescribed species by assemblages with at best, unknown impacts to natural cave features.

Impacts of Alterations of Organic Inputs on the Bacterial Community within the sediments of Wind Cave, South Dakota, USA, 2009, Chelius M. K. , Beresford G. , Horton H. , Quirk M. , Selby G. , Simpson R. T. , Horrocks R. , Moore J. C.

Père Noël cave climatology (air and water temperature, PCO2), hydrology (drip rate, conductivity) and geochemistry of water and calcite deposits (δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca) where studied to better interpret stable isotopic and trace element variations of speleothems. Results of an automated monitoring station and of manual sampling between 1991 and 1998 have demonstrated the highly seasonal signal of drip rate, its control by water excess and rainfall, and, at a shorter scale to air pressure changes. The modern calcite deposit study suggests a relationship between cave calcite isotopic composition (δ18O and δ13C) and drip rate likely due to variations in degree of isotopic equilibrium during calcite precipitation. δ18O and δ13C of the calcite are therefore, through drip rate, linked to water recharge. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios of Père Noël cave calcite, depend closely on the residence time of the water, and therefore are also linked to drip rate and therefore to water recharge. This crossed link of δ18O and δ13C as of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca to water recharge may explain the very similar variations of these four parameters along the longitudinal axis of a Holocene stalagmite, but it may also be the consequence of kinetic effects during calcite precipitation as suggested by similar variations of the four parameters along a single layer of the Holocene stalagmite.


Trophic Dynamics in a Neotropical Limestone Cave, 2011, Marconi Silva, Rogrio Parentoni Martins, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira

The temporal budgets of the input, retainment and use by invertebrates of detritus and root tufts were evaluated in a short tropical limestone cave (337 m long). Detritus penetrate only through the stream in lower quantities in the dry season, contrary to what happens in the rainy season. However, water transport energies in the rainy season prevent detritus retainment. Roots tufts that emerge from the bottom of the stream provide shelter and food for several species. The abundance (log10) (R2 = 0.63; P < 0.02) and richness (log10) (R2 = 0.63; P < 0.01) related positively with the root tuft biomass (log10). In the terrestrial environment (ground), guano is the main secondary resource available for the invertebrates; the constant production of this resource has shown to influence the structure and distribution of invertebrates. Unfavorable temperature conditions and, especially low soil moisture, promote low plant detritus consumption rates. Historically, different authors assumed that organic resources imported by water are more available in caves in rainy seasons. It is clear that the importation of organic detritus in the rainy season is higher than in the dry season, but as shown in this work, the stochastic pulse flows continually disturb and remove the previously accumulated resource. So, the food that is truly used by the cave communities is that transported at the end of the rainy season (and during all the dry season) that becomes available for the cave fauna. The cave functionality depends, so, directly of the epigean food resources.


Speleothem deposition at the glaciation threshold An attempt to constrain the age and paleoenvironmental significance of a detrital-rich flowstone sequence from Entrische Kirche Cave (Austria), 2012, Meyer M. C. , Sptl Ch. , Mangini A. , Tessadri R.

Proxy records from high-altitude locations predating the Last Glacial Maximum are rare but could provide invaluable insights into the response of alpine catchments to the rapid climate fluctuations which characterized the last glacial period. Herewe present a detrital-rich flowstone record from Entrische Kirche Cave, an inneralpine cave situated close to the accumulation area of the Pleistocene ice-stream network of the European Alps that expanded repeatedly into the lowlands during glacial maxima. U–Th dating of this calcite is challenging due to high detrital Th. However, petrographic and stable isotope analyses in conjunction with associated clastic cave sediments provide useful insights into the climatic boundary conditions during speleothem formation and into the paleoenvironmental processes which operated in the ~2000 m-high catchment above the cave. Our data show that millennial-scale temperature fluctuations had a first-order control on the periglacial activity and vegetation in the catchmentwhich strongly influenced the formation and infiltration of detritus into the karst aquifer. The brown laminated and brown dendritic fabrics that compose much of the detrital-rich flowstone succession reflect these environmental processes. The temperature-dependence of periglacial and permafrost processes allows to constrain the amount of cooling relative to the present-day mean annual air temperature that is required to initiate detrital-rich calcite formation in Entrische Kirche Cave, i.e. −2.5 °C (minimum) to −6 °C (maximum), respectively. White inclusion-poor calcite that is intercalated with the detrital-rich calcite indicates warm (interstadial) conditions and geomorphological stability in the catchment area. One such phase has been U–Th dated to 88.3±6.9 ka (i.e. Greenland Interstadial 21 or 22). 


Transport and consumption of organic detritus in a neotropical limestone cave , 2012, Souzasilva Marconi, Ferreira De Oliveira Bernardi Leopoldo, Parentoni Martins Rogrio, Lopes Ferreira Rodrigo
Caves are permanently aphotic environments, a fact that precludes the occurrence of photosynthetic organisms. In these systems the resource is allochthonous, coming mainly from the surrounding epigean environment, being imported by physical and biological agents. Even knowing about the importance of the organic allochthonous resources in caves, little is known of their importation and processing. The present work had as an objective, the measuring the coarse particulate organic matter processing and import rates in the subterranean environment. The cave studied was Lapa da Fazenda Extrema I, limestone cave, located in Brazilian savanna biome. Through bimonthly collections, it was observed that the organic detritus penetrated into the cave in low amounts in dry season and high amounts in rainy season. The processing of the organic plant matter in the aquatic hypogean environment was moderate (K-day=0.025), in the epigean environment the processing was predominantly slow (K-day =0.0104). The detritus commonly brought to the interior of the cave were large woods (58.18 g/day), followed by leaves and fragmented material (12.76 g/day), fruits and seeds (0.0069 g/day), animal carcasses (0.002 g/day) and roots (0.001 g/day). The highest richness and abundances of invertebrates were found in the same periods in which there were the highest rates of organic matter import to the cave.

Detritus processing in lentic cave habitats in the neotropics, 2013, Marconi Souza Silva, Rafaelly Karina Sales Rezende, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira

Lentic cave habitatsare almost always heterotrophic habitats where there are food and oxygen input from the surface. This hydrological exchange seems to be the key factor shaping most groundwater communities. Litter processing in cave water environments has not been experimentally studied as much as it has in lotic subterranean systems, although detritus is likely a critical resource for organisms inhabiting shallow groundwater habitats. The present study sought to evaluate the processing rates and the nitrogen and phosphorous dynamics in plant debris deposited in lentic habitats of two Neotropical limestone caves during 99 days. 84–10×10 cm2 litterbags with mesh sizes of 0.04 mm2 and 9 mm2 were used. In each weighed litter bag, 50 green, intact plant leaf disks (± 2.0 gr/bag) were conditioned. At the end of the experiment, the average weight loss was only 17.4%. No macroinvertebrates were found associated to the debris, but significant differences in the processing rate in relation to the cave and mesh size were observed. The weight loss rate of the plant debris was considered slow (average 0.003 K-day). The amount of nitrogen and remaining phosphorous in the plant debris in the two caves showed variations over time with a tendency to increase probably due to the development of microorganisms which assimilate nitrogen and phosphorus. The slow processing rate of the plant debris can be due mainly to the fact that these lentic cave habitats are restrictive to colonization by shredder invertebrates. Furthermore, the abrasive force of the water, which plays an important role in the processing and availability of fragmented debris for colonization by microorganisms, is absent.


Organic matter flux in the epikarst of the Dorvan karst, France, 2013, Simon, Kevin S.

Availability of organic matter plays an important role in karst ecosystems. Somewhat surprisingly, study of the composition and distribution of organic matter in karst aquifers is rare. The most comprehensive study or organic matter flux to date is a two year continuous monitoring of detritus and animal flux in epikarst drip waters and an epikarst-fed cave stream in the Dorvan karst, France. Analysis of those data reveals high temporal variation in detritus and animal flux in both habitats, but little evidence of seasonality in flux. water flux explained 30-69% of the variation in animal flux in both habitats and detritus flux in the epikarst seepage water. Detritus flux in the cave stream was better explained by peak monthly discharge. Lack of coherence between organic matter flux in epikarst seepage and the epikarst stream suggests organic matter transport is governed by differing factors in the two habitats. Overall, much of the particulate organic matter flux in the epikarst occurs as living animals suggesting a dominant role of ecological processes in organic matter transport.


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