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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 carnivore is an animal that lives by eating the flesh of other animals [23]. see also herbivore; insectivore; omnivore.?

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.
See all featured articles
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 hollow (Keyword) returned 39 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 39 of 39
Reticulated filaments in cave pool speleothems: microbe or mineral?, 2008,
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Melim L. A. , Northup D. E. , Spilde M. N. , Jones B. , Boston P. J. , And Bixby R. J.
We report on a reticulated filament found in modern and fossil cave samples that cannot be correlated to any known microorganism or organism part. These filaments were found in moist environments in five limestone caves (four in New Mexico, U.S.A., one in Tabasco, Mexico), and a basalt lava tube in the Cape Verde Islands. Most of the filaments are fossils revealed by etching into calcitic speleothems but two are on the surface of samples. One hundred eighty individual reticulated filaments were imaged from 16 different samples using scanning electron microscopy. The filaments are up to 75 mm (average 12 mm) long, but all filaments appear broken. These reticulated filaments are elongate, commonly hollow, tubes with an open mesh reminiscent of a fish net or honeycomb. Two different cross-hatched patterns occur; 77% of filaments have hexagonal chambers aligned parallel to the filament and 23% of filaments have diamond-shaped chambers that spiral along the filament. The filaments range from 300 nm to 1000 nm in diameter, but there are two somewhat overlapping populations; one 200400 nm in size and the other 500700 nm. Individual chambers range from 40 to 100 nm with 3040 nm thick walls. Similar morphologies to the cave reticulated filaments do exist in the microbial world, but all can be ruled out due to the absence of silica (diatoms), different size (diatoms, S-layers), or the presence of iron (Leptothrix sp.). Given the wide range of locations that contain reticulated filaments, we speculate that they are a significant cave microorganism albeit with unknown living habits.

Hydrogeology of theMississippian scarp-slope karst system, PowellMountain, Virginia, 2009,
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Schwartz B. And Orndorff W.
Mississippian carbonates on scarp-slopes of Powell Valley show few surficial karst features, yet host extensive caves (e.g., Omega, Hairy Hole, Rocky Hollow, and Gap Caves) and complex karst hydrogeologic systems. On the limbs of the Powell Valley Anticline, strata dip moderately to steeply into the mountainside, with passage development and flow dominantly along the strike toward water gaps, nickpoints, or structures such as fold axes or faults. Most significant cave development is in the Greenbrier Limestone, which is underlain by Price-Maccrady Formation siliciclastics and overlain by shales, siltstones, and minor limestones of the Bluefield Formation (including the approximately 13-m Little Lime, approximately 100 m above the Greenbrier Limestone). The South Fork of the Powell River, flowing northwest through PowellMountain at Crackers Neck water gap, defines local base level in the area of recent hydrogeologic studies. Dye traces northeast of Crackers Neck revealed that allogenic recharge sinks into the Little Lime limestone layer and flows southwest beneath the river, resurging on the southwestern bank at the Little Lime Spring. High-flow conditions overwhelm the input capacity of the Little Lime outcrops, and water continues down-slope to sink in the Greenbrier Limestone, then flows southwest along the strike through dominantly vadose cave passages in Omega Cave to the Omega Spring on the northeast side of the Powell River. The stream in Omega Cave is undersized, suggesting that most passage enlargement occurs during high-flow events. Inflows in the upper Greenbrier Limestone near the Crackers Neck water gap drain to a spring on the opposite side of the Powell River. Northeast of the Omega basin, flow is to the northwest, resurging at the nose of the Powell Valley anticline. Springs on the southwest bank of the Powell River receive flow from karstic drainage to both the northeast and southwest, as well as from the river itself. At Powell River Spring, river water includes upstream discharge from Little Lime Spring. This situation resulted in confusing dye- recovery patterns before Little Lime Spring was discovered.

Determining Geophysical Properties of a Near-Surface Cave through Integrated Microgravity Vertical Gradient and Electrical Resistivity Tomography, 2011,
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Gambetta M. , Armadillo E. , Carmisciano C. , Stefanelli P. , Cocchi L. , Caratori Tontini F.

Vertical-gradient microgravity and electrical-resistivity tomography geophysical surveys were performed over a shallow cave in the Italian Armetta Mountain karst area, close to the Liguria-Piedmont watershed. The aim of this study was to test the geophysical response of a known shallow cave. The shallowest portion of the cave exhibits narrow passages and, at about 30 meters below the entrance, a fossil meander linking two large chambers, the target of the geophysical survey. The integrated results of the two surveys show a clear geophysical response to the cave. The surveys exhibited high resistivity values and a negative gravity anomaly over the large cave passages. This work confirms the ability of these geophysical techniques to give the precise location of the voids, even in complex environments. The application of these techniques can be successful for site surveying where the presence of hollows may be expected.


New peculiar cave ceiling forms from Carlsbad Caverns (New Mexico, USA): The zenithal ceiling tube-holes, 2011,
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Calaforra Josemaria, De Waele Jo

During a trip to the Hall of the White Giant, Carlsbad Caverns (NM, USA) cigar-shaped vertically upward developing holes were observed on the ceiling at different heights of the passages. They have a circular cross-section with diameters of 1 to some centimetres and taper out towards their upper end. Their walls are smooth and their bottom edges are sharp, while their length can reach several decimetres. Sometimes gypsum can be found inside. They often occur randomly distributed in groups and their development is not necessarily controlled by fractures or other bedrock structures.

We name these peculiar karren-like cave microforms “zenithal ceiling tube-holes” because of their origin by H2S environment corrosion processes and their vertical (zenithal) upward growth in ceilings. A comparison is made between zenithal ceiling tube-holes and other karstic or non karstic similar forms such as bell holes, oxidation vents, snailholes, Korrosionskolke (mixture-solution hollows) or pockets, röhrenkarren, light-oriented photokarren, borings of (often marine) organisms and negative stalactites.

Zenithal ceiling tube-holes are created by the corrosive effect of sulphuric acid. H2S(g) dissolves in water giving rise to widespread sulphuric acid corrosion. When H2S bubbles are trapped underneath overhanging surfaces or ceilings and water level rises steadily the corrosive effect is concentrated vertically upwards, drilling vertical holes that can also completely pass overhanging rock ledges.


Iron Oxide and Calcite Associated with Leptothrix sp. Biofilms within an Estavelle in the Upper Floridan Aquifer, 2011,
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Florea Lee J. , Stinson Chasity L. , Brewer Josh, Fowler Rick, Kearns B Joe, Greco Anthony M.

In Thornton’s Cave, an estavelle in west-central Florida, SEM, EDS, and XRD data reveal biofilms that are predominantly comprised of FeOOH-encrusted hollow sheaths that are overgrown and intercalated with calcite. Fragments of this crystalline biofilm adhere to the walls and ceiling as water levels vary within the cave. Those on the wall have a ‘cornflake’ appearance and those affixed to the ceiling hang as fibrous membranes. PCR of DNA in the active biofilm, combined with morphologic data from the tubes in SEM micrographs, point to Leptothrix sp., a common Fe-oxidizing bacteria, as the primary organism in the biofilm. Recent discoveries of ‘rusticles’ in other Florida caves suggest that Fe-oxidizing bacteria may reside elsewhere in Florida groundwater and may play a role in the mobility of trace metals in the Upper Florida aquifer.
SEM micrographs from two marble tablets submerged for five months, one exposed to microbial activity and a second isolated from microbial action, revealed no visible etchings or borings and very limited loss of mass. EDS data from the electron micrographs of the unfiltered tablet document the same FeOOH-encrusted hollow sheaths and similar deposits of calcite as seen in the ‘cornflakes’. These results, combined with water chemistry data imply that the biofilm may focus or even promote calcite precipitation during low-water level conditions when CO2 degasses from the cave pools.


Coastal Caves, 2012,
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Mylroie, John E.

Coastal caves are, by definition, caves that form along the coast as a result of the interaction of terrestrial and marine processes. Sea level can fluctuate, both globally as well as locally, and therefore the site of coastal cave development changes through time. Coastal caves form for two main reasons. First, wave and salt attack on any rocky coast can excavate simple hollows and chambers, called sea caves or littoral caves, in a variety of rock materials. Second, on limestone coasts, the dissolution of the rock by the mixing of freshwater and seawater can create complex cave systems called flank margin caves. Blue holes also form in limestone coastal regions from a variety of processes. Safe cave exploration in any environment requires training and preparation; while flank margin caves are relatively safe, the exploration of sea caves and blue holes can be extremely dangerous, even for those with years of experience.


Der Hhlenname Ofen, 2012,
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Hasitschka, J.
Since the Middle Ages washed out kolks in canyons, cave entrances, rock recesses or overhanging rock walls mainly situated in the Northern Calcareous Alps have been called fen. They have in common that they look like an ancient vaulted oven to the hollow mould of which they are compared. It is difficult to track topographic-etymologic traces because the concrete names like in Ziegelofenhhle (brickoven cave) are mixed with abstract, figurative meanings like in Gamsofen (chamois oven). The term Ofen got one further meaning by introducing the speleological term Backofentypus (oven type cave). About 130 Austrian caves with the name of Ofen are analyzed topographically and etymologically, from lime kilns (Kalkfen) in the Prealps up to the mountain peaks of Salz- or Rotofen. The question why the name Ofen in modern language is rarely used or even no longer understood is finally dealt with.

Rock features and morphogenesis in epigenic caves, 2013,
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Slabe T. , Prelovsek M.

The factors that form karst caves also leave their traces on the interior surface of the caves. These traces are called rock features. Rock features combine to create the overall relief, the shape of the interior surface of a cave. Rock features and rock relief therefore offer the first and often even comprehensive explanation of the formation and development of the caves that characteristically hollow karst aquifers.
 


MINE CAVES ON THE SOUTH-EASTERN FLANK OF THE HARZ MOUNTAINS (SAXONY-ANHALT, GERMANY) LE GROTTE DI MINIERA DEL VERSANTE SUD-ORIENTALE DELLE MONTAGNE DELLHARZ (SASSONIA-ANHALT, GERMANIA), 2013,
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Brust Michael K. , Nash Graham

The historical copper shale mine excavations on the south-eastern flank of Harz Mountains have cut into numerous large caves in gypsum and anhydrite. These caves are known as “Schlotten” (pl., sg. Schlotte). The word is derived from the Early New High German meaning internal hollow formations allowing the drainage of water and already finds mention in XVIth century literature. However, these quite spectacular gypsum caves have never aroused the interest of the wider public. Discovered through mining, they have always been only accessible via pit shafts and galleries and invariably considered to be part of the mine. But in a scientific sense they are deep phreatic and hypogene caves in a parent rock of anhydrite or gypsum, in their natural state filled with water and without an entrance. They are unique geological outcrops in Zechstein (upper Permian), large karst caves of rare character and particular beauty as well as cultural witnesses to historical mining. The miners used the “Schlotten” for a long period of time to drain water from the mines (until the XVIIIth century) and for economical reasons also to store unwanted spoil (until the XIXth century). As the mine workings reached deeper levels, sub- sidence and flooding became more common and the intensity of the karst dissolution process increased. Problems of catastrophic proportions due to mine flooding were encountered in 1892 near Eisleben and in 1988 near Sangerhausen. The hydrological problems that confronted the copper shale mine excavations in the south-eastern Harz region are of geogenic origin. The exploitable seams, which on average slope between 3º and 8º, are covered with a between 4 and 7 metre thick layer of limestone (Zechstein) with the characteristics of a karst aquifer. Above this a 60 m thick layer of anhydrite or gypsum is found, in which the “Schlotten” are formed, notably on geological faults. The relevance of the “Schlotten” as a natural phenomenon was first appreciated in depth by Johann Carl Freiesleben (1774-1846). He described them scientifically in 1809 and campaigned emphatically for their preservation. With regard to this, the “Wimmelburger Schlotten” near Eisleben were surveyed and geologically mapped by Anton Erdmann (1782-1848). The plan and side elevation of the cave survey were reproduced in copperplate and are considered to be the oldest published depiction of a gypsum cave in Germany. From the mid 70s the “Schlotten” became subject of speleological research for a short period of time. The abandoned projects have only recently been re-established. Two of the “Schlotten” are accessible via the Mining Museum Wettelrode: the “Segen-Gottes-Schlotte” and the “Elisabethschaechter Schlotte” near Sangerhausen. The “Wimmelburger Schlotten” near Eisleben are the largest gypsum caves in Germany and to a certain extent accessible for research.


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