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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 kafkalla is a term used in cyprus for the hardened upper portion of crust of havara [20]. see also caliche; havara.?

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 decline (Keyword) returned 41 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 41 of 41
The co-evolution of Black Sea level and composition through the last deglaciation and its paleoclimatic significance, 2006,
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Major Candace O. , Goldstein Steven L. , Ryan William B. F. , Lericolais Gilles, Piotrowski Alexander M. , Hajdas Irka,
The Black Sea was an inland lake during the last ice age and its sediments are an excellent potential source of information on Eurasian climate change, showing linkages between regionally and globally recognized millennial-scale climate events of the last deglaciation. Here, we detail changes from the last glacial maximum (LGM) through the transition to an anoxic marginal sea using isotopic (strontium and oxygen) and trace element (Sr/Ca) ratios in carbonate shells, which record changing input sources and hydrologic conditions in the basin and surrounding region. Sr isotope records show two prominent peaks between ~18 and 16 ka BP cal, reflecting anomalous sedimentation associated with meltwater from disintegrating Eurasian ice sheets that brought Black Sea level to its spill point. Following a sharp drop in Sr isotope ratios back toward glacial values, two stages of inorganic calcite precipitation accompanied increasing oxygen isotope ratios and steady Sr isotope ratios. These calcite peaks are separated by an interval in which the geochemical proxies trend back toward glacial values. The observed changes reflect negative water balance and lake level decline during relatively warm periods (Bolling-Allerod and Preboreal) and increasing river input/less evaporation, resulting in higher lake levels, during the intervening cold period (the Younger Dryas). A final shift to marine values in Sr and oxygen isotope ratios at 9.4 ka BP cal corresponds to connection with the global ocean, and marks the onset of sedimentation on the Black Sea continental shelf. This date for the marine incursion is earlier than previously suggested based on the appearance of euryhaline fauna and the onset of sapropel formation in the deep basin

Extended Abstract: Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, 2006,
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Eberhard, Stefan M.

This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.


Monitoring the disappearance of a perennial ice deposit in Merrill Cave, 2007,
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Fuhrmann K.
Merrill Cave, part of a Pleistocene lava flow within Lava Beds National Monument, is the site of ice deposits that have fluctuated widely in volume between the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs. Remnant mineral deposition from ice levels on the walls in the lower level of the cave provides insight into the depth of the ice during this time. The disappearance of a large perennial ice deposit in the lower level of the cave was tracked using historical photographs and modern photographic and ice-level monitoring techniques. A major change in airflow patterns and temperatures in an as yet unexplored lower level of the cave are suspected to have initiated the decline in ice levels. Measurements taken of the elevation of the surface of the ice deposit show a loss of over 1.25 m of ice in eight years. Surface and interior losses of ice from evaporation and/or sublimation have resulted in the near total loss of the large main perennial ice pond in the lower level of the cave. Photographs also document a drastic change in ice volume and levels during the same period of time. Several theories for the disappearance of ice have been suggested. One possible explanation for the loss of ice is related to a significant seismic event in the region in 1993 that may have caused rock fall in another, inaccessible section of the cave and precipitated the loss of ice in the accessible lower level. The dramatic loss of ice may also be the result of climate changes that, over time, indirectly influenced ice levels in Merrill Cave. Visitor impacts to the ice deposit after a large cavity breached the surface of the deposit contributed to the decline of ice conditions. Lastly, the presence of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) in the terrestrial environment above the cave may influence the hydrology of the cave environment.

Cave Cricket Exit Counts: Environmental Influences and Duration Surveys, 2012,
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Wekerly, F. W.

 

Cave cricket abundance is used as an indicator of integrity of cave ecosystems. One means of monitoring cave cricket abundance is counting crickets as they emerge from cave entrances for two hours after sunset. The influence of cloud cover, relative humidity, and surface temperature on counts is unknown and there might be few cave crickets that emerge during the first hour of the survey. Using mixed effects models, I assessed the influence of these environmental variables on exit counts and estimated when cave crickets emerged within the two-hour survey period. Exit-count surveys were conducted in eleven caves over four years in central Texas, and caves were surveyed up to four times a year across the four calendar seasons. Cloud cover, relative humidity, and temperature influenced counts, but the greatest influence was from temperature. Peaks in cave cricket counts occurred 80 to 90 minutes after the start of a survey and declined thereafter. Cave cricket exit count surveys should record surface temperature, cloud cover, and relative humidity at the start of surveys so that counts can be adjusted for these environmental influences. Also, surveys can be shortened to 1 or 1.5 hours in length. Cave cricket abundance is used as an indicator of integrity of cave ecosystems. One means of monitoring cave cricket abundance is counting crickets as they emerge from cave entrances for two hours after sunset. The influence of cloud cover, relative humidity, and surface temperature on counts is unknown and there might be few cave crickets that emerge during the first hour of the survey. Using mixed effects models, I assessed the influence of these environmental variables on exit counts and estimated when cave crickets emerged within the two-hour survey period. Exit-count surveys were conducted in eleven caves over four years in central Texas, and caves were surveyed up to four times a year across the four calendar seasons. Cloud cover, relative humidity, and temperature influenced counts, but the greatest influence was from temperature. Peaks in cave cricket counts occurred 80 to 90 minutes after the start of a survey and declined thereafter. Cave cricket exit count surveys should record surface temperature, cloud cover, and relative humidity at the start of surveys so that counts can be adjusted for these environmental influences. Also, surveys can be shortened to 1 or 1.5 hours in length.


Spent carbide waste retains toxicity long term after disposal in caves and mines , 2012,
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Semikolennykh Andrew A. , Rahleeva Anna A. , Poputnikova Tatjana B.
We studied the environmental impact of wastes derived from calcium carbide, which is widely used for generating acetylene in industry and speleology. It was shown that spent carbide is toxic for biota and harmful to cave ecosystems and the surrounding environment. The toxic components of spent carbide waste were found to include calcium hydroxide, strontium and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The 50% lethal doses (LD 50%) of fresh spent carbide waste were calculated as 0.28-0.32 g/l in biotests with daphnia, infusoria, and fishes. The toxicity of spent carbide declined only slowly over time, with toxicity still present in 13-year-old samples. Spent carbide should be disposed of with great care to ensure that it cannot be disseminated into natural water systems. Spent carbide deactivation could be provided within isolated bowls filled with water (micro sediment bowls) or within water-proof storage containers, and complete recycling could be achieved through the addition of deactivated waste to solid building materials.

Karst aquifer draining during dry periods, 2012,
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Fiorillo F. , Revellino P. , Ventafridda G.

We analyzed hydrographs of five karst springs in southern Italy during the recession period using ten continuous years of daily discharge measurements and provided conclusions on the aquifer behavior under dry periods and droughts. A straight line was fitted to a semilogarithmic plot (log-discharge versus time), and the recession coefficient (the slope of the line generated from the equation) was calculated for each spring and for each year considered. A deviation from the straight line produced by a simple exponential decay of discharge through time provides information on the actual emptying rate of the aquifer compared to a simple exponential decline. If the recession coefficient decreases or increases, the aquifer is empting more slowly or more quickly than expected, respectively. Water level of a monitored well inside the karst catchment was also assessed and provided information on the water distribution into aquifers. The results describe the hydraulic behavior of karst aquifers during their emptying and provide information for better management of karst springs.


Five Blues Lake National Park, Belize: a cautionary management tale, 2012,
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Day M. , Reynolds B. ,

Karst is inherently dynamic, and this may be manifest in unexpected ways, which may have major implications for management of protected areas, where changes may have major impacts on visitor numbers and revenue streams. In Five Blues Lake National Park, Belize, the principal visitor focus is Five Blues Lake itself. An anomalous feature with characteristics of a karst window or cenote but in the setting of a polje or ponor lake, Five Blues has both surface and underground drainage components. Establishment of the national park proceeded under the impression that the lake was a permanent feature, but over July 20 to 25, 2006, the lake drained rapidly underground. Without the lake, visitor numbers and park revenues declined, and the park was all but abandoned. The lake refilled in 2007, but visitor numbers continue to lag. Management and promotion of hydrologic features within protected areas needs to take such possibilities into account, emphasizing variability and change and avoiding a focus on conditions that may not prevail at any given time.


Evaluation of Strategies for the Decontamination of equipment for Geomyces destructans, the Causative Agent of the White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), 2013,
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Shelley V. , Kaiser S. , Shelley E. , Williams T. , Kramer M. , Haman K. , Keel K. , Barton H. A.

 

White-nose syndrome is an emerging infectious disease that has led to a
dramatic decline in cave-hibernating bat species. White-nose syndrome is caused by the
newly described fungal pathogen Geomyces destructans, which infects the ear, muzzle,
and wing membranes of bats. Although the exact mechanism by which the fungus causes
death is not yet understood, G. destructans leads to a high mortality rate in infected
animals.While the primary mechanism of infection appears to be bat-to-bat transfer, it is
still unclear what role human activity may play in the spread of this pathogen. Here we
evaluate the effectiveness of decontamination protocols that can be utilized by
speleologists to reduce the likelihood of spreading this dangerous pathogen to naı¨ve
bats or uninfected hibernacula. Our results show that pre-cleaning to remove muds and/
or sediments followed by the use of commercially available disinfectants can effectively
remove G. destructans from caving fabrics. Alternatively, immersion in water above
50 uC for at least 20 minutes effectively destroys the fungal spores. These results have
allowed the development of a decontamination protocol (http://www.fws.gov/
WhiteNoseSyndrome/cavers.html) that, when appropriately followed, can greatly
reduce the likelihood of the human mediated transfer of G. destructans from an
infected to uninfected site.


Colonization of subterranean habitats by spiders in Central Europe, 2013,
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Rů, ič, Ka V. , milauer P. , Mlejnek R.

Using data from the Czech Republic, we studied the distribution of spiders in soils, crevice systems, scree and caves, i.e. subterranean habitats at depths spanning from 10 cm to 100 m. In total, we found 161 species. The number of species declines with increasing habitat depth, with a major drop in species richness at the depth of 10 meters. Thirteen species exhibit morphological adaptations to life in subterranean habitats. At depths greater than 10 meters, spider assemblages are almost exclusively composed of troglomorphic species. We propose a hypothesis of evolution of troglomorphisms at spiders during Quaternary climatic cycles.


LEAD MINE CAVES IN SOUTHWESTERN WISCONSIN, USA, 2013,
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Day Mick, Reeder Phil

Lead ores were mined extensively in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin during the middle of the XIXth century, when the Upper Mississippi Valley Lead District was one of the major lead-producing regions in the world. Much of the ore was removed from caves that were initially entered directly from the surface or later intersected by vertical shafts or near-horizontal adits. Lead ore mining began around 1815, and was most prevalent between 1825 and 1870, with peak production in the 1840s and an almost uninterrupted decline in production after 1850. Ores were extracted from at least ten prominent mine caves in dolostones in the Platteville and Galena Formations South of the Wisconsin River, and the mine caves in total represent perhaps 50% of the local cave population. Among the more significant lead mine caves are the St. John Mine (Snake Cave), Dudley Cave, the Arthur and Company Mine Cave, the Brown and Turley Mine and the Atkinson Mine Cave. Caves North of the Wisconsin River in the Prairie du Chien Formation dolostones apparently yielded insignificant volumes of ore. Mining has altered the original caves considerably, and there remains considerable evidence of the mining, including excavated and modified passages up to 15 meters wide with rooms and pillars, drill holes and mining tools. Outside the caves there are extensive spoil piles, together with the remains of ore smelters and abandoned settlements. Although none of the lead mine caves remain active industrially, they remain import- ant in several contexts: they provide information about regional speleogenesis; they played a pivotal role in early European and African American settlement of Wisconsin; they were economically of great significance during the XIXth century; and they are important now as bat hibernacula, as caving sites and in regional tourism.


A framework for assessing the role of karst conduit morphology, hydrology, and evolution in the transport and storage of carbon and associated sediments, 2013,
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Veni George

Karst aquifers and conduits form by dissolution of carbonate minerals and the slow release of inorganic carbon to the surface environment. As conduits evolve in size, morphology, and position within the aquifer, their function and capacity change relative to the storage and transport of inorganic and organic carbon as sediment. Conduits serve mostly as transport mechanisms in relation to sediments. quantified data are sparse, but for conduits to function effectively there must be at least equilibrium in the amount of sediment entering and exiting the aquifer. If sediment discharge exceeds input, little sediment will remain underground. when natural declines in base level cease removing sediments and only deposit calcite speleothems, these materials are stored until the rock mass is denuded. while sediment storage is mostly transient in hydrologically active conduits, relative differences occur. Aquifers with conduits developed at multiple levels or as floodwater mazes store proportionately greater volumes of sediment. Hypogenic systems should store greater volumes of sediment than epigenic aquifers because they mostly discharge a dissolved load as opposed to both dissolved and suspended clastic loads. However, some hypogenic aquifers are diffusely recharged and receive and store little sediment from the surface. The global volume of sediment and organic carbon stored in karst aquifers is estimated in this study to be on the order of 2x104 km3 and 2x102 km3, respectively. The amount of organic carbon stored in paleokarst is not estimated, but available data indicate it is substantially greater than that stored in modern karst aquifers. Development of such data may suggest that paleokarst petroleum reservoirs might serve as efficient carbon sinks for global carbon sequestration. Hydrocarbon-depleted paleokarst reservoirs should provide substantially more storage per injection well than sequestration in non-paleokarstic rocks.


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