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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 storage capacity is 1. the ability of an aquifer to store water [16]. 2. the capacity of rivers to store water in their own channel [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 speleothems. (Keyword) returned 92 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 92
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

A global review of solutional weathering forms on quartz sandstones, 1997, Wray R. A. L. ,
Solutional landforms in limestone have been described for over a hundred years, but landforms of similar morphology on highly siliceous sandstones and quartzites have also been identified in a wide variety of environments and generally termed pseudokarst. These include large bedrock pinnacles and towers, caves, corridors, grikes, solution basins and runnels, and even silica speleothems. Quartzites and quartz sandstones have been held to be amongst the most chemically resistant of rocks, but the similarity, both in morphology and genetic process of many landforms developed from them to features of known solutional origin on limestone, has prompted some authors to refer to these quartzose landforms as true karst.The most detailed studies of quartzose karst landforms have been in present-day tropical regions, or areas believed to have been tropical in the geologically recent past. This concentration of research in hot-wet areas, allied with the long held assertion of the insolubility of silica, especially quartz, has led to a belief that tropical climatic conditions are necessary for karstic solution of these rocks. However, the existence of quartzose karst landforms in temperate and even sub-polar latitudes, especially where there is no evidence of prior tropical conditions, suggests that the requirement of tropical weathering is no longer tenable.The reports of these quartzose solutional landforms are widely scattered through the geomorphological and geological literature, but a comprehensive world-wide review of the range of solutional landforms on quartzose rocks has not previously been published. Because of the increasing awareness in this karst type such a summary is sorely overdue

Blue Lagon, Afrique du Sud, une grotte remplissage palokarstique permien et concrtions daragonite, 1998, Martini J. E. J. , Moen H. F. G.
The authors de scribe a 7 km long phreatic maze they discovered and explored during the last decade of the 2Oth century in South Africa, developed in the late Archean dolostone in the Malmani Subgroup. This cave is of interest mainly for two aspects. Firstly the cave intersects paleokarst channels filled with bleached kaolinic residuals of Permian age. This paleokarst is most likely to have developed relatively shortly after the Gondwana glaciation in a cool, humid climate. Secondly the cave is remarkable by the abundance of aragonite speleothems. Particularly interesting are subaquatic aragonite formations: rafts, cones, volcanoes, sea urchins and pool floor crust. Aragonite rafts are always associated with more or less calcite, which seems to have formed first and was apparently essential in the initial formation of this speleothem. In the pool floor crust, a cyclical calcite-aragonite deposition seems to correspond to alternation of humid and dry periods, calcite representing wet years. The amplitude of this cycle is possibly in the order of a few decades. Phosphate minerals which developed on cave soil, rock and carbonate speleothems in contact with bat guano, have been identified, in particular the rare mineral collinsite

Pollen and Other Microfossils in Pleistocene Speleothems, Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, 1999, Davis, O. K.
Pollen and other microfossils have been recovered from six carbonate speleothems in three Kartchner Caverns rooms: Grand Central Station (samples T2, T3, T4), the Bathtub Room (T11, T12), and Granite Dells (T16). The carbonate samples were dated from 194-76 Ka. The pollen concentration is greatest (~2 grain/cm?) in sample T11, which has many layers of clastic sediment, and the concentration is least in T4 (~0.05 grain/cm?), which has few mud layers. Therefore, the pollen was probably present in sediments washed into the cave, perhaps during floods. Although the pollen abundance in sample T4 is too low for confident interpretation, modern analogs for the five other samples can be found on the Colorado Plateau in areas that today are wetter and colder than the Kartchner Caverns locality. Agave pollen in samples T2 and T4 indicates that this important source of nectar was in the area during at least the latter part of the Pleistocene. Two orobatid mite exoskeletons recovered in speleothem T4 were probably washed into the cave with the pollen and mud trapped in the speleothems.

Spatial and Temporal Variation of Groundwater Chemistry in Pettyjohns Cave, Northwest Georgia, USA, 1999, Mayer, J.
A longitudinal study of water chemistry in Pettyjohns Cave, Georgia, reveals a wide range of major ion water chemistry at different sampling points within the cave, and pronounced seasonal water-chemistry variations at some locations. The cave occurs in the Mississippian Bangor Limestone on the east side of Pigeon Mountain in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province of northwest Georgia, USA. Four sampling points within the cave were monitored at approximately 2- to 3-month intervals for 22 months: a major conduit stream; a small conduit tributary; water dripping into the cave through a small fracture; and water dripping from active speleothems. Other waters, including surface water, were sampled as available. Samples were analyzed for temperature, pH, specific conductance, alkalinity, and major ions. Most spatial water chemistry trends within the cave appear to be the result of rock-water interaction along distinct subsurface flowpaths. Temporal variations, most pronounced in conduit streams, result primarily from mixing of distinct waters in varying ratios, although seasonal changes in CO2 partial pressure may account for some variation. Results illustrate the inherent spatial and temporal variability of water chemistry in karst aquifers and point to the need to design sampling programs carefully.

Les stalagmites : archives environnementales et climatiques haute rsolution, prsentation des protocoles dtudes et premiers rsultats sur des splothmes du Vercors, 1999, Perrette, Yves
Since the late 80's, the detailed study of speleothem has deve_loped from the crossing of two main approachs; one comes from the ques_tions of speleologists confronted with magnificent cave scenery, the other comes from citizen questions about climatic and environmental changes. The aim of this paper is to show the diversity and the relevance of the data collected by such studies on stalagmitic samples from the Vercors -France. The knowledge of the chemical processes of the H20 - CaCO3 - C02 system in the perspective of the karst infiltration leads to ques_tions about the role of the "supstrat". This word has been used to describe the "roofrock" rather than the bedrock. So, to better unders_tand the different modes of drainage in karst, a global hydrologic study of the Choranche cave vadose zone has been realised, e.g. seepage water rates have been monitoring. These recent studies allow us to model the structural and functional hydrologic network of such a well developed karst system. Actually we demonstrated the hierar_chisation of the drainage and the relation between a transmissive system and a capacitive one. They have been used to propose a graphical typology leading to a better appreciation of the various environmental interests of speleothems. Understanding the processes of speleothem environmental and climatic archiving, needs to know the processes of calcite crystal growth. They are briefly presented through some usual fabrics like columnar, palissadic or dendritic ones and through the optical relation between macroscopic colours and crys_talline porosity. It is the evolution of these crystalline features, which creates the laminae. To explain what are laminae, the diffe_rent type of emission by a solid after a laser irradiation are shown. It justifies the choice of two kinds of laminae measurement i.e. reflectance and fluorescence. Then, results of spectroscopic studies which show a covariation between Mn2+ concentration, the maximum intensity wave length of fluorescence spectra and the reflec_tance trend, allow us to consider reflectance measurement as a water excess proxy. This experimental approach is confirmed by the infra annual laminae. The hydrological interest of "visible" laminae (i.e. reflectance one) is increased by the fluorescence "invisible" lami_nae. In fact, the presence of a wide diversity of organic molecule in the calcite lead us to consider the fluorescence lamina as a temporal proxy controlled by the annual leaf fall and biopedological degradation. To measure these two proxies, an original experimental set has been developed in collaboration with the PhLAM laboratory (Lille, France). Particularly, this experimental set up permits to realise simultaneously a reflectance and a fluorescence image. The data collected are processed and are analysed in the frequency domain. All these data allow us to extract different proxies from speleothems. These proxies have been studied for some Vercors samples. We present the global environmental and climatic data archiving of the post_wurmian (isotopic stage 1) warming. At a higher resolution, the Vercors climate forcing is shown through the spectral analysis of the reflectance of a well laminated sample. The solar (T=22y) and atmospheric (NAO, T=17y) forcings are clearly distinguished. The climate analysis of this sample is limited by an anthropic mask. We show the similarity of the crystal facies evolution of two samples located around the Alps but far from more than 100 km. We would like to interpret this changes as an archiving of the post Little Ice Age warming but here too, Man interfere with climate to induce environmental changes. We show an example of the possibility for distinguishing climate from anthropic changes in environmental evolutions. The wealth of data of the speleothem allows us to appreciate the environ_ment stability of the Vercors which is confirmed in the spectral analysis of the growth rates of a Gouffre Berger sample. The diversity of the data collected in speleothems is directly linked to the diversity of the way of archiving in a karst system. It is why only a global approach seems to be relevant for answering environmental hydrological or morphological karst questions.

Rupture de speleothemes par fluage d'un remplissage endokarstique. L'exemple de la grotte de Ribiere (Bouches-du-Rhone), 1999, Gilli{ Eric,
Natural caves could be good recorders for paleoearthquakes if it was possible to know precisely the underground damage caused by a seismic event. The researched effects are breakings of speleothems. Therefore, several non-coseismic mechanisms may be involved. A recent study of the Ribiere cave shows that the creeping of a karstic filling explains most of the cave breakings that are attributed to earthquakes.ResumeLes cavites karstiques pourraient etre des enregistreurs de paleoseismes, sous reserve de connaitre de facon precise l'impact d'une secousse sismique sur les grottes. Les effets recherches sont essentiellement des cassures de stalactites et stalagmites, plusieurs mecanismes autres que cosismiques pouvant cependant etre invoques pour expliquer ces ruptures. Or, de recentes observations sur la grotte de Ribiere montrent qu'un fluage de sediment endokarstique peut expliquer la plupart des ruptures de concretions attribuees a des seismes

Trace element variations in coeval Holocene speleothems from GB Cave, southwest England, 1999, Roberts Mark S. , Smart Peter L. , Hawkesworth Chris J. , Perkins William T. , Pearce Nicholas J. G. ,
We report trace element (Mg, Sr and Ba) records based on laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) from three coeval Holocene speleothems from Great Chamber in GB Cave, southwest England. The trace element records are placed on a common timescale on the basis of a suite of TIMS 230Th-234U ages. This permits assessment of the reproducibility of the trace element record in coeval speleothems. The trace element records are not coherent, raising dobuts over the reliability of individual trace element records as potential archives of palaeoenvironmental information. Mg/Sr in speleothem calcite has been proposed as a potential palaeothermometer as Mg partitioning into calcite from water is temperaturedependent, while Sr partitioning into calcite is temperature-independent. However, we present the results of calculations which demonstrate that the observed Mg/Sr values in the three stalagmites cannot have been produced by Holocene temperature changes alone and that other processes must play a dominant role. We present a model which suggests that the observed trace element variations in the three speleothems reflect hydrological mixing of waters in the epikarstic zone above the cave which have interacted with two geochemi cally distinct source rocks (calcite and dolomite)

Cave fill in the Črnotiče Quarry, SW Slovenia: palaeomagnetic, mineralogical and geochemical study, 1999, Bosá, K Pavel, Mihevc Andrej, Pruner Petr, Melka Karel, Venhodová, Daniela, Langrová, Anna

A fossil cave, filled with cave sediments was open in the Črnotiče Quarry. An about 1.75 m high section was analysed. Profile consists of banded carbonate rocks intercalated by red clays which was deposited on corroded/eroded surface of older speleothems. Banded and laminated carbonate rocks are composed of recrystallized calcilutite resemble freshwater limestones. Characteristics of lamination could indicate its origin from organic-rich films. Red clays are composed of quartz, smectite, vermiculite, gibbsite, pM kaolinite, goethite, anatase, rutile, haematite, calcite, micas and feldspar. They contain pellets with Mn hydroxyoxides. That red clays are weathering products redeposited in water-saturated environment. Samples are characterised by intermediate up to high magnetic values of Jn which is caused by the presence of high amount of Fe-minerals. Mean palaeomagnetic directions are for the group of normal palaeomagnetic polarity equal to D = 10.6°; I = 55.0°, and for the group of reverse polarity than D = 173.0°; I = -31.3°. The top part of the profile shows reverse palaeomagnetic direction interrupted by two normal magnetised zones. According to the arrangement of individual magnetozones we assume, that the top of the highest normal polarised magnetozone could be correlated with the Olduvai event (1.76/1.79 Ma) as the youngest possibility, and therefore the rest of profile must be older.


Phnomnes de karstification observs dans une cavit artificielle du Rincn Blanco (Argentine), 2000, Barredo, Silviap.
The Rincon Blanco subbasin is located in San Juan Province, Argentina, between 69 15' west by 314' to 31 33' south and is characterised by a non marine continental infilling. During the Tertiary times it underwent compressional deformation folding it into a tight north-_south trending syncline. The whole sedimentary sequence is comprised of coarse-grained units interfingered with sandstones and shales. In particular, these latter were deposited in an alkaline lake and are composed of carbonate and organic rich strata. These characteristic lacustrine facies bear bituminous shales widely known as "Rincon Blanco oil slates". During the 1950' s and 1970' s, they were densely explored resulting in a number of galleries that presently are abandoned. They were cut in the bituminous rocks exposing west-east and southeast-northwest systems of minor faults and local fractures. These discontinuities permitted the inflow of meteoric waters through the overlying layers and into these artificial caves, thus resulting in carbonate cement dissolution, and, re-precipitation as tiny stalactites, stalagmites, thick travertine deposits in the floor with incipient microchannels accompanied by pools (gurs) with pearls and botroidal-like concretions. Several solutional speleothems are also found and correspond to ceiling and wall pockets and floor pits. This phenomena seemed to be related to acidic water coming from small discharges and flowing through the network of integrated tectonic openings to the innermost tunnel sections where humid air reaches saturation. Water trickling resulting from condensation produces erosional features and, together with dropping and occasional flows, the speleothems. Events of slight flow turbulence in some enlarged fractures are also inferred by the presence of ceiling and floor dissolutional features.

Dead carbon in stalagmites: Carbon bedrock paleodissolution vs. ageing of soil organic matter. Implications for 13C variations in speleothems., 2001, Genty D. , Baker A. R. , Massault M. , Proctor C. , Gilmour M. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hamelin B.

Partitioning of Sr2 and Mg2 into calcite under karst-analogue experimental conditions, 2001, Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. ,
There is a paucity of experimental data on calcite precipitation from waters at low ionic strength and low ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca, using controlled and constant precipitation rates. Such data are particularly needed for studies of speleothem geochemistry in relation to palaeoclimates.We carried out a series of experiments using a karst-analogue set-up in a chamber of constant temperature and 100% humidity. A steady flow of NaHCO3 and CaCl2 solutions at PCO2 around 10-3.2 were mixed just before passage through a tube (analogous to a soda-straw stalactite) and allowed to drip onto a surface, analogous to a stalagmite. Growth rates were comparable with linear extension rates of natural speleothems.Analytical spots gave reproducible analyses in later analytical cycles after ablation of surface calcite with Na and Mg contamination. Different crystals from the same experiment tended to show positive covariation of Na and Mg with negative covariation with Sr. This may be due to the presence of growth hillocks with vicinal faces with differential partitioning behaviour.The result for the partition coefficient for Mg (DMg) at 25[deg]C is 0.031 0.004, which is quantitatively in good agreement with the trends of previous workers. At 15[deg]C, the result is 0.019 0.003. The temperature dependency is higher than experimental data on seawater-analogue solutions, but lower than a previous estimate based on a comparison of speleothem chemistry with single water analyses.Data for DSr are mainly in the range of 0.057 to 0.078, with a possible weak dependency on growth rate, consistent with previous experimental work. Absolute values are higher than studies in Mg-free saline solutions, which is attributed mainly to salinity effects. Values of DSr are nevertheless somewhat lower than in natural caves, which may relate to crystal growth factors.Mg partition coefficient values should allow robust determination of solution Mg/Ca compositions in enclosed caves, which are at constant temperature on the decadal timescale. The inferred sensitivity of DSr to growth rate factors implies that Sr values should be interpreted more cautiously. Muted changes could relate entirely to growth rate variations, whereas changes of large magnitude imply a control by solution composition. The absence of local (tens of micron scale) antipathetic variations in Sr and Mg in studied natural speleothems, implies that intracrystalline zoning phenomena, if present, are on a finer scale in those natural materials compared with experimental products

Modelling of speleothems failure in the Hotton cave (Belgium). Is the failure earthquake induced?, 2001, Cadorin Jf, Jongmans D, Plumier A, Camelbeeck T, Delaby S, Quinif Y,
To provide quantitative information on the ground acceleration necessary to break speleothems, laboratory measurements on samples of stalagmite have been performed to study their failure in bending. Due to their high natural frequencies, speleothems can be considered as rigid bodies to seismic strong ground motion. Using this simple hypothesis and the determined mechanical properties (a minimum value of 0.4 MPa for the tensile failure stress has been considered), modelling indicates that horizontal acceleration ranging from 0.3 m/s(2) to 100 m/s(2) (0.03 to 10g) are necessary to break 35 broken speleothems of the Hotton cave for which the geometrical parameters have been determined. Thus, at the present time, a strong discrepancy exists between the peak accelerations observed during earthquakes and most of the calculated values necessary to break speleothems. One of the future research efforts will be to understand the reasons of the defined behaviour. It appears fundamental to perform measurements on in situ speleothems

Speleothem evidence from Oman for continental pluvial events during interglacial periods, 2001, Burns Sj, Fleitmann D, Matter A, Neff U, Mangini A,
Growth periods and stable isotope analyses of speleothems from Hoti Cave in northern Oman provide a record of continental pluvial periods extending back over the past four of Earth's glacial-interglacial cycles. Rapid speleothem growth occurred during the early to middle Holocene (6-10.5 ka B.P.), 78-82 ka B.P., 120-135 ka B.P., 180-200 ka B.P., and 300-325 ka B.P. The speleothem calcite deposited during each of these episodes is highly depleted in 18O compared to modern speleothems. The {delta}18O values for calcite deposited within pluvial periods generally fall in the range of -4{per thousand} to -8{per thousand} relative to the Vienna Peedee belemnite standard, whereas modern speleothems range from -1{per thousand} to -3{per thousand}. The growth and isotopic records indicate that during peak interglacial periods, the limit of the monsoon rainfall was shifted far north of its present location and each pluvial period was coincident with an interglacial stage of the marine oxygen isotope record. The association of continental pluvial periods with peak interglacial conditions suggests that glacial boundary conditions, and not changes in solar radiation, are the primary control on continental wetness on glacial-interglacial time scales

Leonite [K2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}4H2O], konyaite [Na2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}5H2O] and syngenite [K2Ca(SO4)2{middle dot}H2O] from Tausoare Cave, Rodnei Mts, Romania, 2001, Onac B. P. , White W. B. , Viehmann I. ,
Tausoare Cave is renowned in Romania for its gypsum and mirabilite speleothems. Of interest are the white crystalline speleothems formed on the floor of the Sala de Mese' (Dining Room) that were previously described as consisting of mirabilite. The samples we collected reveal crystals of two different habits. One shows the characteristic mirabilite fibrous crystals (cotton-like speleothem) while the other formed bladed and short prismatic crystals which comprise the delicate cave flowers'. The mineral association was characterized by means of X-ray analysis, scanning electron microscopy and electron microprobe. Beside thenardite (dehydration product of mirabilite) we also identified three sulphate minerals: leonite [K2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}4H2O], syngenite [K2Ca(SO4)2{middle dot}H2O] and konyaite [Na2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}5H2O]. Of these, leonite and konyaite have never been reported in a cave environment. This paper describes the mineralogy of this particular sulphate deposit and offers some viewpoints on the crystallogenesis

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