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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 capillary condensation is the formation of rings of pendular water around point contacts of grains, and, when the rings around adjacent contacts become large enough to touch.?

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 faunas (Keyword) returned 38 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 38
Guano mining in Kenyan lava tunnel caves., 1998,
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Simons Jim W.
Commercial mining of bat guano for agricultural fertilizer only became possible in Kenya through discovery of major deposits in the lava tunnel caves of Mt. Suswa and the North Chyulu Hills in the early 1960's. This paper provides historical information leading up to the guano mining, describes the cave deposits, outlines the mining under-takings, and provides information on the guano producing bats and insect faunas. The results of guano analyses, details of the tonnages extracted and sold to recipients between 1966 to 1984, and some benefits which resulted from its use on crops are given. A brief outline of attempts to conserve the areas and caves is also included.

Pleistocene small mammals from some karstic fillings of Slovenia - preliminary results, 1998,
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Aguilar Jeanpierre, Crochet Jeanyves, Krivic Katarina, Marandat Bernard, Michaux Jacques, Mihevc Andrej, Sigé, Bernard, Š, Ebela Stanka

The discovery of Pleistocene small mammals in karstic fillings of Slovenia is reported here. The rodent faunas collected there are mainly composed of arvicolids, murids and to a lesser degree of cricetids, although in one filling only glirids have been recorded yet. Six species of Lipotyphlan insectivores have been identified. A cave filling has yielded bats which belong to species different of those which occupy the cave to date.


A succession of Miocene rodent assemblages from fissure fillings in southern France: palaeoenvironmental interpretation and comparison with Spain, 1999,
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Aguilar Jp, Escarguel G, Michaux J,
An Early to Late Miocene sequence of rodent assemblages from southern France has been quantitatively studied. The resulting pattern seems very similar to a contemporary sequence from central Spain (Calatayud-Teruel Basin). The fossil mammal-bearing localities are of different types: mainly karst infills in France and localities situated in sedimentary basins in Spain. In order to interpret the fossil record, a comparison has been made between southern France faunas of similar age but collected in karst infills and in basin deposits. There seems to be no difference between the two kinds of faunas and thus there is no indication that karst infills systematically give a picture of drier and more open environments. Both types of localities may give a similar relative abundance of taxa and when differences exist they can be attributed to local conditions. The comparison between southern France and the Calatayud-Teruel Basin (central Spain) shows that: (1) similar trends occurred in the two areas; (2) differences between spectra were more important during the late Early Miocene than during the Middle Miocene; (3) the shift between the late Early Miocene and the Middle Miocene environments in southern France does not seem to be correlated with. a general drop in temperatures as inferred from the analysis of central Spain faunas. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Symposium Poster: Subfossil amphibian and reptile faunas from British and Irish caves, 2000,
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Gleedowen C. P.

Symposium Abstract: Sampling Arthropod cave faunas, 2001,
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Mcgavin G. C.

Classification of terrestrial subterranean fauna of volcanic substrates in the Canary Islands, 2001,
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Garca Helga, Martin Jos L. , Orom Y. P.
A system is proposed for classifying the species occurring in the hypogean environment in relation to their ecological and evolutionary characteristics. The ecological criteria utilized relate to the preferred habitat of the animals (the epigean, endogean or hypogean environment) and the evolutionary criteria specify the grade of adaptive modification in three characteristics: reduction of eyes, amount of pigmentation and extent of elongation of the appendages. The object of developing this classification is to provide a system appropriate for those regions; such as those with volcanic rocks; in which the cave faunas include elements originating in different environments, and in which the species show very variable adaptive grades, depending primarily on the antiquity of the island or other distinct geological zone, where they are found.

Systematic composition and distribution of Australian cave collembolan faunas with notes on exotic taxa, 2002,
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Greenslade, Penelope
Collembola (springtails) have been collected from caves in Tasmania, northwestern Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland more intensively in recent years than in the past. A sharp boundary in the composition of faunas of southern and northern Australia was found with the highest diversity of troglobitic forms in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. No extreme examples of troglobitic genera have yet been found in Western Australia. A single record of Cyphoderopsis was made from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, a common genus in caves in Sumatra. The Jenolan cave system has been most completely sampled with nearly 100 samples from fourteen caves. This system contains over twenty species of which three genera, Adelphoderia, Oncopodura and a new genus near Kenyura, are exclusively troglobitic with locally endemic species of conservation and phylogenetic interest. Compared with some Tasmanian caves, the Jenolan fauna appears to harbour more species that are likely to have been introduced.

Systematic composition and distribution of Australian cave collembolan faunas with notes on exotic taxa, 2002,
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Greenslade, Penelope

Collembola (springtails) have been collected from caves in Tasmania, northwestern Western Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland more intensively in recent years than in the past. A sharp boundary in the composition of faunas of southern and northern Australia was found with the highest diversity of troglobitic forms in southeastern Australia and Tasmania. No extreme examples of troglobitic genera have yet been found in Western Australia. A single record of Cyphoderopsis was made from Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean, a common genus in caves in Sumatra. The Jenolan cave system has been most completely sampled with nearly 100 samples from fourteen caves. This system contains over twenty species of which three genera, Adelphoderia, Oncopodura and a new genus near Kenyura, are exclusively troglobitic with locally endemic species of conservation and phylogenetic interest. Compared with some Tasmanian caves, the Jenolan fauna appears to harbour more species that are likely to have been introduced.


Black Sea-Marmara Sea Quaternary connections: new data from the Bosphorus, Istanbul, Turkey, 2004,
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Kerey I. Erdal, Meric Engin, Tunoglu Cemal, Kelling Gilbert, Brenner Robert L. , Dogan A. Umran,
Previous studies concluded that the Bosphorus Strait was formed during the Quaternary by fluvial incision of a valley between the Black Sea, to the north, and the Marmara Sea in the south. Hitherto, however, few details of the evolution of this connection have been elucidated from the sediments deposited within the Bosphorus itself. We report here details of sedimentological and palaeontological evidence relating to this history, obtained from five boreholes drilled into the unconsolidated sediment fill in the north-central sector of the Bosphorus, together with nearby geophysical profiles. The Quaternary fill of this part of the Bosphorus comprises two major facies associations. Yellow arkosic sands dominate the lower Facies Association A: these are assigned a Middle to Late Pleistocene age and the contained faunas have a lagoonal to lacustrine character and a Black Sea provenance (Paratethyan affinities). The abruptly succeeding units of Facies Association B comprise fining and coarsening upwards units of coarse to fine shelly and clayey sands that alternate with shell-bearing green clays. These sediments were formed in a range of marine and coastal settings and biostratigraphic evidence and absolute dating demonstrate the Mid-Late Holocene age of this upper unit. Initially brackish faunal assemblages in this upper unit show an upward increase in marine and Mediterranean affinities. Integrating these new data with previously published observations from coeval deposits in the southern Bosphorus and Izmit Bay (NE Marmara Sea) we conclude that during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene a topographic barrier existed in the south-central sector of the Bosphorus, on both sides of which estuarine and lagoonal sediments accumulated, with distinctive Black Sea and Mediterranean faunas. During a significant rise in sea level, between 7000 and 5300 years ago, this barrier was finally submerged, permitting interchange of marine waters between the Mediterranean and the Black Sea and creating the present oceanographic situation. This evolution conflicts with the cataclysmic role of the Bosphorus in the early Holocene as postulated in the `Catastrophic Flood' hypothesis of Ryan et al. [Mar. Geol. 138 (1997) 119-126; Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 31 (2003) 525-554]. It also contrasts with the history recorded from the Gulf of Izmit, where intermittent connection between these two bodies of water throughout much of the Quaternary is evident

Aquifers: the ultimate groundwater-dependent ecosystems, 2006,
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Humphreys W. F. ,
Australian aquifers support diverse metazoan faunas comprising obligate groundwater inhabitants, largely crustaceans but also including insects, worms, gastropods, mites and fish. They typically comprise short-range endemics, often of relictual lineages and sometimes widely vicariant from their closest relatives. They have been confined to subterranean environments from a range of geological eras and may contain information on the deep history of aquifers. Obligate groundwater fauna ( stygobites) occurs in the void spaces in karst, alluvial and fractured rock aquifers. They have convergent morphologies ( reduction or loss of eyes, pigment, enhanced nonoptic senses, vermiform body form) and depend on energy imported from the surface except in special cases of in situ chemoautotrophic energy fixation. In Australia, many stygofaunas in arid areas occur in brackish to saline waters, although they contain taxa from lineages generally restricted to freshwater systems. They may occur alongside species belonging to taxa considered typical of the marine littoral although far removed in space and time from marine influence. The ecological attributes of stygofauna makes them vulnerable to changes in habitat, which, combined with their taxonomic affinities, makes them a significant issue to biodiversity conservation. The interaction of vegetation and groundwater ecosystems is discussed and, in places, there are conservation issues common to both

U-series dating and taphonomy of Quaternary vertebrates from Brazilian caves, 2006,
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Auler As, Pilo Lb, Smart Pl, Wang X, Hoffmann D, Richards Da, Edwards Rl, Neves Wa, Cheng H,
The geochronology and taphonomy of internationally important fossil bearing cave deposits were studied, both in the semi-arid Northern Bahia area and the subtropical southeastern Lagoa Santa area of Brazil. Taphonomic analysis suggests that the processes responsible for bone accumulation in the Brazilian caves vary between sites, and taphonomic bias can therefore be significant in causing differences in faunal composition. In the Toca da Boa Vista caves the presence of single articulated skeletons, and the entrance-related distribution indicate that random penetration of animals is the main mechanism of fossil accumulation, a process that biases the assemblage to smaller species, and takes place over extended time periods. In nearby Toca dos Ossos cave transport by runoff in the cave river is predominant, and biases the fauna remains to larger more robust bones and species. Deposition probably also occurred only at times of enhanced runoff giving a more contemporaneous assemblage. Similar processes were responsible for emplacement of the copious fossil remains in the more humid Lagoa Santa area, where terrigenous fossil deposits are found intercalated by massive speleothem calcite layers. In this area runoff under a drier climate probably accounts for the sediment emplacement inside caves. In both areas the mode of emplacement implies bias in the fossil record, resulting in fossil assemblages that do not mirror surface faunas, limiting palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.Mass spectrometric U-series analysis of speleothem calcite overlaying fossil remains gives minimum ages for fossil deposition. These ages confirm the previous view that many of the deposits derive from the late glacial, but also show that much older material (some > 350,000[no-break space]yr) is also present. The habitat requirements of critical fossil species such as bats and monkeys strongly suggest that they derive from much wetter periods when forest cover was present in the currently semi-arid Northern Bahia area. Taphonomy exerts a major control on the diversity and mode of emplacement of cave fossil deposits in eastern Brazil and thus detailed sedimentological and hydrological studies coupled with a sound geochronological approach are essential in quantifying the relative importance of each taphonomic processes before faunal and palaeoecological interpretations can be attempted

Changing perspectives in the concept of 'Lago-Mare' in Mediterranean Late Miocene evolution, 2006,
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Orszagsperber Fabienne,
The Cenozoic Alpine orogeny caused the partition of Tethys into several basins. During the Late Neogene, the Mediterranean attained its final configuration, whereas, eastwards, the Paratethys, isolated from the World Ocean, disintegrated progressively into a series of smaller basins. As a result, an endemic fauna developed in these basins, mainly composed of brackish to freshwater faunas, indicating an environment affected by changes in water salinity. These small basins of the Paratethys were named 'Sea-Lakes' by Andrusov [Andrusov, D., 1890. Les Dreissenidae fossiles et actuelles d'Eurasie. Geol. min. 25, 1-683 (in Russian)]. Subsequently this name was translated into 'Lac-Mer' [Gignoux, M., 1936. Geologie stratigraphique, 2[deg]edition, Masson, Paris].In the Mediterranean isolated from the Atlantic at the end of the Miocene (Messinian), thick evaporites deposited, consisting of a marine Lower Evaporite unit and an Upper Evaporite unit, mainly of continental origin. Ruggieri [Ruggieri, G., 1962. La serie marine pliocenica e quaternaria della Val Marecchia. Atti Acad. Sci. Lett. Arti. Palermo, 19, 1-169.] used the term 'Lago-Mare', to characterize the brackish to fresh water environment which occurred within the Mediterranean at the end of the Messinian.During recent decades, numerous scientific investigations concerning the history of the Messinian within the Mediterranean were devoted to the understanding of conditions prevailing after the deposition of the marine evaporites. Brackish to freshwater faunas are found in several outcrops and boreholes in the Mediterranean, both in the uppermost beds of gypsum and inter-bedded within the clastic sediments of the Upper Evaporite Unit, immediately preceeding the flooding by the marine Pliocene waters. These faunas, because of their similarities with the fauna described in the Paratethys, were named 'Paratethyan', or 'Caspi-brackish' fauna, this leading some authors to imply a migration of these fauna from Paratethys to the Mediterranean. However, others refute this hypothesis.New data induced some researchers to consider that exchanges existed between the Mediterranean and the Eastern Paratethys and also between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean at the Miocene-Pliocene transition. These investigations now take advantage of the accurate time scales established by authors (biostratigraphy, cyclostratigraphy, magnetostratigraphy), allowing good stratigraphic correlations between the Mediterranean and the Paratethys, and precisions on the geodynamic evolution of this area.Furthermore, sediments at the base of the Zanclean (MPl1), locally containing brackish to fresh water faunas conducted authors to attribute this formation to an infra- or pre-Pliocene and also to a Lago-Mare 'event'.Thus, the 'Lago-Mare' concept drifted from its original meaning, and is evolving because of progresses in the understanding of the Mediterranean geodynamics and the adjacent areas during the Miocene-Pliocene transition

Subterranean biogeography: what have we learned from molecular techniques?, 2007,
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Porter Megan L.
Subterranean faunas have unique distributional attributes, including relatively small ranges and high levels of endemism. Two general models have been proposed to account for these distributional patternsvicariance, the isolation of populations due to geographic barriers, and dispersal, an organisms ability to move to and colonize new habitats. The debate over the relative importance of each of these models in subterranean systems is ongoing. More recently, biogeographical studies of subterranean fauna using molecular methods have provided new perspectives into the distributional patterns of hypogean fauna, reinvigorating the vicariance versus dispersal debate. This review focuses on the application of molecular techniques to the study of subterranean biogeography, and particularly the contribution of molecular methods in estimating dispersal ability and divergence times. So far, molecular studies of subterranean biogeography have found evidence for the common occurrence of multiple independent colonizations of the subterranean habitat in cave-adapted species, have emphasized the importance of the genetic structure of the ancestral surface populations in determining the genetic structure of subsequent hypogean forms, and have stressed the importance of vicariance or a mixed model including both vicariant and dispersal events.

Evidence for habitual use of fire at the end of the Lower Paleolithic: Site formation processes at Qesem Cave, Israel, 2007,
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Karkanas, P. , Shahackgross, R. , Ayalon, A. , Barmatthews, M. , Barkai, R. , Frumkin, A. , Gopher, A. , And Stiner, M. C.
The Amudian (late Lower Paleolithic) site of Qesem Cave in Israel represents one of the earliest examples of habitual use of fire by middle Pleistocene hominids. The Paleolithic layers in this cave were studied using a suite of mineralogical and chemical techniques and a contextual sedimentological analysis (i.e., micromorphology). We show that the lower ca. 3 m of the stratigraphic sequence are dominated by clastic sediments deposited within a closed karstic environment. The deposits were formed by small scale, concentrated mud slurries (infiltrated terra rosa soil) and debris flows. A few intervening lenses of mostly in situ burnt remains were also identified. The main part of the upper ca. 4.5 m consists of anthropogenic sediment with only moderate amounts of clastic geogenic inputs. The deposits are strongly cemented with calcite that precipitated from dripping water. The anthropogenic component is characterized by completely combusted, mostly reworked wood ash with only rare remnants of charred material. Micromorphological and isotopic evidence indicates recrystallization of the wood ash. Large quantities of burnt bone, defined by a combination of microscopic and macroscopic criteria, and moderately heated soil lumps are closely associated with the woodash remains. The frequent presence of microscopic calcified rootlets indicates that the upper sequence formed in the vicinity of the former cave entrance. Burnt remains in the sediments are associated with systematic blade production and faunas that are dominated by the remains of fallow deer. Use-wear damage on blades and blade tools in conjunction with numerous cut marks on bones indicate an emphasis on butchering and prey-defleshing activities in the vicinity of fireplaces.

Evolution in Karst Lineages, Ages, and Adaptation of Cave Faunas, 2008,
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Porter, M.

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