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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. ...

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That strike valley is a valley following the strike of underlying strata [16].?

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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 condensation corrosion (Keyword) returned 29 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 29 of 29
Condensation corrosion: A theoretical approach, 2005, Dreybrodt Wolfgang, Gabrovš, Ek Franci, Perne Matija

Condensation of water from warm, humid air to cold rock walls in caves is regarded to play a significant role in speleogenesis. The water condensing to the cave walls quickly attains equilibrium with the carbon dioxide in the surrounding air, and consequently dissolves limestone or gypsum forming various types of macro- ,meso-, and micromorphologies. In this paper we present the basic physical principles of condensation and give equations, which allow a satisfactory estimation of condensation rates. Water condensing to a cooler wall releases heat of condensation, which raises the temperature of the wall thus reducing the temperature difference (T between the warm air and the cave wall. Furthermore one has to take into account the heat flux from the air to the cave wall. This defines the boundary conditions for the equation of heat conduction. For a constant temperature of the air initial condensation rates are high but then drop down rapidly by orders of magnitude during the first few days. Finally constant condensation rates are attained, when the heat flux into the rock is fully transmitted to the surface of the karst plateau. For spherical and cylindrical conduits these can be obtained as a function of the depth Z below the surface. When diurnal or seasonal variations of the air temperature are active as is the case close to cave entrances, condensation rates can become quite significant, up to about 10-6 m/year. The theoretical results are applied also to corrosion of speleothems and the formation of "röhrenkarren" as described by Simms (2003). To convert condensation rates into retreat of bedrock the saturation state of the solution must be known. In the appendix we present experiments, which prove that in any case the solution flowing off the rock is saturated with respect to limestone or gypsum, respectively.

Studies of Condensation/Evaporation processes in the Glowworm Cave, New Zealand., 2006, De Freitas Chris R. , Schmekal Antje Anna
The condensation/evaporation process is important in caves, especially in tourist caves where there is carbon dioxide enriched air caused by visitors. The cycle of condensation and evaporation of condensate is believed to enhance condensation corrosion. The problem is condensation is difficult to measure. This study addresses the problem and reports on a method for measuring and modelling condensation rates in a limestone cave. Electronic sensors for measuring condensation and evaporation of the condensate as part of a single continuous process of water vapour flux are tested and used to collect 12 months of data. The study site is the Glowworm tourist cave in New Zealand. The work describes an explanatory model of processes leading to condensation using data based on measurements of condensation and evaporation as part of a single continuous process of water vapour flux. The results show that the model works well. However, one of the most important messages from the research reported here is the introduction of the condensation sensor. The results show that condensation in caves can actually be measured and monitored, virtually in real time. In conjunction with the recent developments in data logging equipment, this opens exciting perspectives in cave climate studies, and, more generally, in hydrogeological studies in karst terrains.

Der Nasse Schacht bei Mannersdorf am Leithagebirge, N (2911/21) - eine thermal beeinflusste Hhle am Ostrand des Wiener Beckens, 2006, Plan L. , Pavuza R. , Seemann R.
The Nasser Schacht ("Wet Pit") was opened and surveyed in 1965 during quarry works. A recent study revealed a thermal influence of this 260 m long and 40 m deep cave. The central part developed along a fissure, with a water puddle at its deepest point, and subhorizontal labyrinthic parts are present as well. Water and air temperatures at the deepest point are ca. 15.5C. The galleries formed probably under phreatic conditions but condensation corrosion also played a significant role in speleogenesis. Striking features are coralloids and popcorn as well as various mineral efflorescences, including calcite, dolomite, dolomite, aragonite, huntite, hydromagnesite, and epsomite. Huntite is here reported from an Austrian cave for the first time. Besides the high temperature also radon and CO2 levels are elevated. The mineralization of the waters in the cave, however, indicates are 'normal' seepage waters distinct from thermal waters of the nearby Mannersdorf thermal spring. Stable isotope analyses of the popcorn speleothems show slight deviations from the figures that could be observed in normal caves and are interpreted as slightly hydrothermal.

Bats and bell holes: The microclimatic impact of bat roosting, using a case study from Runaway Bay Caves, Jamaica, 2009, Lundberg J And Mcfarlane D A

The microclimatic effect of bats roosting in bell holes (blind vertical cylindrical cavities in cave roofs) in Runaway Bay Caves, Jamaica, was measured and the potential impact of their metabolism on dissolution modelled. Rock temperature measurements showed that bell holes with bats get significantly hotter than those without bats during bat roosting periods (by an average of 1.1C). The relationship is clearest for bell holes with more than about 300g aggregate bat body mass and for bell holes that are moderately wide and deep, of W:D ratio between 0.8 and 1.6. Measurement of temperature decay after abandonment showed that rock temperature returns to normal each day during bat foraging periods. Metabolic activity from a typical population of 400g bat (10 individuals) yields 41g of CO2, 417.6kJ of heat, and 35.6g of H2O in each 18hour roost period, and could produce a water film of ~0.44mm, that is saturated with CO2 at ~5%. The resultant rock dissolution is estimated at ~0.005cm3 CaCO3 per day. The metabolic heat ensures that the focus of dissolution remains vertical regardless of geological controls. A typical bell hole 1m deep may be formed in some 50,000years by this mechanism alone. Addition of other erosional mechanisms, such as direct bacterial bio-erosion, or the formation of exfoliative organo-rock complexes, would accelerate the rate of formation. The hypothesis is developed that bell holes are initiated and formed by bat-mediated condensation corrosion and are governed by geographic distribution of clustering bats and their roosting behaviour.


A significant proportion of the karst areas in Brazil develop over ancient cratonic or tectonically stable zones overlying Precambrian quartzites or Archaean crystalline basement (granite, gneiss, schist). In such settings, due to the low transmissivity and highly anisotropic nature of the bedrock, major groundwater flow of regional scale tends to be restricted, and diffuse ascending cross-formational flow into the carbonate is limited to a few favourable input zones. Nevertheless, caves displaying hypogene features occur in several areas, although few contain the full suite of speleogenetic forms commonly found in “classic” better studied areas of Europe and North America. Major known hypogene caves in Brazil tend to be located in zones bordering the more stable cratonic areas, such as in Vazante and Toca da Boa Vista karst areas, where fault zones are likely candidates for providing ascending flow paths towards the carbonate. The absence of transmissive beds above the carbonate limits the existence of outflow routes. Brazilian hypogene caves develop in mostly horizontally bedded or gently dipping bedrock and typically do not display the three-dimensional character of many hypogene caves elsewhere. The speleogenetic role of competing mechanisms such as sulphuric acid dissolution due to pyrite oxidation and condensation corrosion tend to overprint original forms as well as produce similar convergent features.

A high-resolution spatial survey of cave air carbon dioxide concentrations in Scoska Cave (North Yorkshire, UK): implications for calcite deposition and re-dissolution, 2010, Whitaker, Tom, Daniel Jones, James U L Baldini And Alex J Baker
Carbon dioxide concentration variability in caves has implications for palaeoclimatic research involving stalagmites, the conservation of cave art, condensation corrosion, and safety during cave exploration. Here we present a high-resolution spatial survey of cave air carbon dioxide partial pressure (PCO2) in the 1.5km Scoska Cave system in North Yorkshire, UK, constructed using measurements taken during the interval of July 1 to July 5, 2008. According to the spatial P-CO2 survey, 76% of the cave air P-CO2 increase occurred within the first ~50 metres; consequently the P-CO2 gradient throughout the rest of the cave was slight. As is the case in other caves, this suggests that a 'front' exists at this site between high P-CO2 cave air and low P-CO2 outside air, where the P-CO2 increases dramatically over a short distance. Temperature data support this interpretation. This CO2 'front' is thought to represent the farthest point reached by large-scale advection of air out of the cave, and its position is hypothesized to fluctuate depending on atmospheric conditions. Thus, distinct P-CO2 trends characterize sections of the Scoska Cave system, which result in spatial variability in calcite deposition and redissolution. Modelled stalagmite growth rates vary between negligible and 0.21 mm yr-1, depending on unconstrained drip water [Ca2+] values and cave atmosphere P-CO2. Assuming constant drip water [Ca2+], optimum calcite deposition occurs near to the cave entrance, where ventilation and advection reduce P-CO2 levels most effectively. However, calcite precipitation on the roof of the cave may partially control the [Ca2+] of drip water that reaches the floor, so although the link between overall calcite deposition (i.e., on the roof and the floor) and P-CO2 appears robust, the effect of variable cave air P-CO2 on stalagmite growth rates requires more research. These calculations suggest that calcite precipitation rates in different areas of Scoska Cave may differ due to local P-CO2 and temperature variability, highlighting the benefits of thoroughly understanding site-specific cave environmental factors prior to the interpretation of stalagmite-based palaeoclimate records.

Physics of Condensation Corrosion in Caves, 2010, Gabrovsek F. , Dreybrodt W. , Perne M.

Bell Hole Origin: Constraints on Developmental Mechanisms, Crooked Island, Bahamas, 2011, Birmingham Andrew N. , Mylroie Joan R. , Mylroie John E. , Lace Michael J.

Bell holes are vertical, cylindrical voids, higher than they are wide, with circular cross sections and smooth walls found in the ceilings of dissolutional caves primarily from tropical and subtropical settings. They range in size from centimeter to meters in height and width. The origin of bell holes has been controversial, with two proposed categories: vadose mechanisms including bat activity, condensation corrosion, and vadose percolation; and phreatic mechanisms including degassing and density convection.
Crooked Island, Bahamas has a number of caves with bell holes of unusual morphology (up to 7 m high and 1.5 m in diameter), commonly in tight clusters, requiring significant bedrock removal in a small area. In many cases, numerous bell holes are open to the surface, which requires that up to a meter or more of surface denudation has occurred since the bell hole first formed.
Surface intersection has little impact on the phreatic mechanisms, which were time limited to cave genesis from 119 to 131 ka ago, but greatly reduces the time window for later vadose mechanisms, which need to have been completed before bell hole intersection by surface denudation.
The Crooked Island observations suggest that bell hole development occurred syngenetically with flank margin cave development under phreatic conditions. Because flank margin caves develop under slow flow conditions, vertical convection cell processes are not disrupted by turbulent lateral flow and bell holes formed as a vertical phreatic dissolution signature.

Microsculpturing of solutional rocky landforms., 2013, Lundberg, J.

Karren (small-scale dissolutional features) have a great variety of forms and are known by a huge suite of terms. Bare rock forms are sharper and more gravitomorphic than subcutaneous forms, where rock-fracture control may dominate. Four controls operate: (1) physical properties of the solvent (fluid flow, surface tension, and percolation); (2) chemical properties of the solvent (unmodified rainwater, enhanced aggressivity, and reduced aggressivity); (3) chemical properties of the solute (rock solubility); and (4) physical properties of the solute (fractures and rock texture). Large expanses of bare rock karren are called karren fields, the more famous including China’s ‘Stone Forest’, Madagascar’s ‘Tsingy’, and Mulu’s ‘Pinnacles’. in caves

Atmospheric Processes in Caves, 2013, James, J. M.

The cave atmosphere is placed in context as a geomorphic agent. The composition of cave air in well-ventilated caves isgoverned by exchange between surface and cave air. In poorly ventilated caves, its composition can be altered by dilution and production, and depletion of its components in the cave. Relative humidity is used to introduce water vapor as a critical component of cave air and its variations that result in evaporation of water and condensation of water vapor. The biogenicand inorganic reactions of oxygen and carbon dioxide control solution of limestone and precipitation of calcite. Condensation corrosion is a visual manifestation of atmospheric processes on bedrock and speleothems. Theories and experiment shave resulted in rates for condensation corrosion, which allow a preliminary assessment of its role as aspeleogenetic agent. The cave air carries particulates of both biogenic and inorganic origin; these can influence geomorphic processes in caves and provide significant paleoenvironmental information so as to past cave and surface events and climates. It is concluded that anthropogenic impacts can alter the atmospheric processes in caves.

Karstification by Geothermal Waters, 2013, Dublyansky, Y. V.

Thermal waters moving through soluble rock may create voids ranging in sizes from enlarged porosity and cavernosity to extensive two- and three-dimensional cave systems. Hydrothermal caves develop in a number of settings including deep seated phreatic, shallow phreatic (near-water table), and subaerial (above the thermal water table). Speleogenesis in eachsetting involves specific mechanisms, resulting in diverse features of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphology. Mechanisms most characteristic of the hydrothermal speleogenesis are the free convection (in both subaqueous and subaerial conditions) and the condensation corrosion. This chapter describes the morphology of hydrothermal caves


The Devils Hole Ridge, a small block of Paleozoic carbonate rocks surrounded by the Amargosa Desert in southern Nevada, is located at the discharge end of the Ash Meadows regional groundwater flow system.
Continuous, long-term presence of slightly thermal (33.6°C) groundwater and the extensional tectonic setting, creating underground thermal lakes in open fractures, lead to intense dissolution above the water table. The morphology of the subaerial parts of the tectonic caves was slightly modified by condensation corrosion, and the Devils Hole Prospect Cave was almost entirely created by condensation corrosion. Caves and cavities in the Devils Hole Ridge are an interesting example of a hypogene speleogenesis by mechanism by condensation corrosion, operating above an aquifer which was demonstrably supersaturated with respect to calcite for hundreds of thousands of years.


The condensation of acidic waters on subaerial carbonate surfaces (condensation corrosion) can be an important speleogenetic agent under certain conditions (Cigna and Forti, 1986; Sarbu and Lascu, 1997). Specific morphologies associated with condensation corrosion include notches, niches, cupolas, megascallops and domes (Audra, 2009), and have been recognized in many caves from different regions of the world and from different geologic settings. Condensation corrosion can be particularly important in thermal caves, where temperature differences facilitate air convection and water condensation, as well as in sulphidic caves, where degassing and subsequent oxidation of hydrogen sulphide (H2S) gas provides a ready source of acidity to the subaerial cave environment.
In pioneering studies on the formation of sulphidic caves, condensation corrosion via H2S degassing and oxidation to sulphuric acid was considered the primary mechanism for speleogenesis (Principi, 1931; Egemeier, 1981). However, recent research has cast doubt on the importance of subaerial H2S oxidation for sulphidic cave formation (Engel et al., 2004). In the Frasassi cave system, Italy, morphological evidence for both subaerial and subaqueous limestone dissolution has been extensively documented (Galdenzi, 1990; Galdenzi and Maruoka, 2003). In particular, corrosion above the water table has resulted in the formation of massive gypsum deposits as well as specific passage morphologies. Measured rates by Galdenzi et al. (1997) corroborated morphological evidence that condensation corrosion is important at least under certain conditions. Therefore, in order to better define the role of subaerial processes in the Frasassi cave system, we quantified sulphide flux to the cave atmosphere in the modern cave environment, and documented morphological evidence for subaerial corrosion in the past


Hypogene or per-ascensum, whatever you prefer to call them, caves that form from the bottom up have a great range of patterns in plan, large cavity morphology and an expanding, but specific suite of speleogens that distinguish them from fluvial caves formed by descending surface water. Once thought to be rare and unusual, caves or sections of caves with plans, large cavities and suites of “hypogene” speleogens are turning up in situations traditionally thought to have fluvial or even glacial origin. The role of condensation corrosion in the formation of cavities and speleogens remains controversial, but surprisingly some insights may come for processes in salt mines. Phantom rock formation and removal and similar processes involving removal of dolomitized bedrock, de-dolomitized bedrock, and almost trace-free removal of palaeokarst raise problems of both temporal relationships and of how to distinguish between the outcomes of recent and ancient processes. The presence of “hypogene” speleogens in both gneiss and marble caves in Sri Lankan of unclear origin adds to the complexity. Back in the early 1990s, before hypogene caves were de-rigour, workers such as David Lowe were puzzling about speleo-inception, how caves begin. Perhaps the rare occurrences of solution pockets in joints in obvious fluvial caves, such as Postojna Jama, are indicating that many more caves than we imagine are actually multi-process and multiphase and that “hypogene” processes of various types are significant agents of speleo-inception.

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