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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

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 subterranean river, subterranean stream is underground stream of flowing water in caves and caverns, but not necessarily large [10]. see also underground stream.?

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 variation (Keyword) returned 464 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 464
Evaluation of Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen Data in Cave Atmospheres using the Gibbs Triangle and the Cave Air Index, 1982,
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Halbert, Erik J. M.

Water Vapour determines the volume percentage of component gases in cave atmospheres. This is particularly significant in foul air caves where carbon dioxide and oxygen concentrations are measured and used to diagnose foul air types. The variation in atmospheric composition brought about by systematic change in carbon dioxide and oxygen levels is examined and shown on the Gibbs triangle. The current three foul air types are readily identifiable in this visualisation of data, and the boundaries of these types are mapped. Further, these diverse data can be combined into a Cave Air Index by which foul air atmospheres may be assigned to type in a rapid and objective manner. The use of these concepts in evaluation of published data on Wellington and Bungonia Caves and with mine and soil data is shown.


Le karst mconnu du domaine aride et semi-aride, 1983,
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Jennings, J. N.
Knowledge of semiarid-arid karst is poor, especially as regards process rates. Explanation of well-developed karst here must then depend on independent environmental history. Impoverishment in carbonate karst with decreasing rainfall is demonstrable but the factor of inadequate cave exploration has to be weighed. Distinction between desert and karst factors presents problems. Individuality in dryland karst is more a question of changing relative importance of phenemena found more widely than of distinctive forms. Such process studies as exist suggest wide variation. Gypsum karst develops as well in semiarid as humid climate and halite karst is expressed best in arid.

Nouvelles recherches gomorphologiques sur les karsts mditerranens, 1983,
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Nicod, J.
NEW RESEARCHES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN KARSTS - More precise measurements are now being used to establish the rates of which limestone dissolves and the corrosion processes (regular hydrochemical measurements, Iv. GAMS limestone tablets method). In the study of the morphological evolution, the role of the quaternary paleoclimate is estimated by dating on the speleothems and the meaning of the outer carbonate formations has been revealed. Bauxite and terra rossa and various weatings make it possible to specify the pre-quaternary evolution and the origin of paleokarsts. Thanks to new methods, the influence of neotectonic is taken into account, especially the effects of the rise of numerous massifs to which we can add the variations in the sea level with coastal limestone formations. By way of conclusions we must stress the importance of studying karstical surroundings and the problems of applied karstology studies.

Palaeoenvironment of lateritic bauxites with vertical and lateral differentiation, 1983,
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Valeton Ida,
Formation of lateritic bauxites of the type described in this paper occurs world-wide in Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plains. The bauxites form elongate belts, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, parallel to Lower Tertiary shorelines in India and South America and their distribution is not related to a particular mineralogical composition of the parent rock. The lateral movement of the major elements Al, Si, Fe, Ti is dependent on a high level and flow of groundwater. Varying efficiency of subsurface drainage produces lateral facies variations. Interfingering of marine and continental facies indicate a sea-land transition zone where the type of sediments also varies with minor tectonic movements or sea-level changes. A typical sediment association is found in India, Africa, South and North America. It consists of (i) red beds rich in detrital and dissolved material of reworked laterites, (ii) lacustrine sediments and hypersaline precipitates, (iii) lignites intercalated with marine clays, layers of siderite, pyrite, marcasite and jarosite, and (iv) marine chemical sediments rich in oolitic iron ores or glauconite. A model is developed to account for element distributions in lateritic bauxites in terms of groundwater levels and flow. Finally it is shown that many high-level bauxites are formed in coastal plains and that they are subsequently uplifted to their present altitude

Hydrology of autogenic percolation systems in some tropical karst outcrops, West Malaysia, 1983,
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Crowther J,
This paper reports on the flow regimes of underground seepages in three tower-karst outcrops and in the Setul Boundary Range, West Malaysia. Groundwater movement in the tower-karst hills, which comprise very pure, massive marbles, is confined to vertical and subvertical joints. Although flow is primarily diffuse and the discharges of the majority of seepages correlate most closely with rainfall in antecedent periods of 1-16 days or more, some stormflow occurs along conduits in the upper parts of these aquifers. Many of these conduits appear to peter out at depth into tight rock fractures, thereby forming funnel-shaped underground reservoirs which serve to moderate discharge variations. In contrast, the limestones of the Setul Boundary Range are less pure and retain much of their original bedding. The presence of near-horizontal bedding plane fractures favours lateral groundwater movement and the development of integrated drainage networks within the rock. Compared with the tower-karst caves, seepage rates are generally higher and more responsive to short-term variations in rainfall. The marked difference in topography between the tower-karst hills and the Setul Boundary Range is largely attributable to the contrasted geohydrological properties of the limestones

Trace-element partition coefficients in the calcite-water system and their paleoclimatic significance in cave studies, 1983,
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Gascoyne M,
Speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites) formed in limestone caves have been found to contain much information on the timing and intensity of past climates, from analysis of their U, Th, 13C and 18O contents. Because the incorporation of certain trace elements (e.g., Mg, Mn and Zn) in calcite is known to be temperature-dependent, it may be possible to use variations in trace-metal content of fossil speleothems as an alternative paleotem-perature indicator. Using specially developed ion-exchange sampling techniques, analysis of trace-metal content of seepage water and associated fresh calcite deposits in caves in Vancouver Island and Jamaica shows that Mg is distributed between phases in a consistent manner within the temperature regimes of the caves (7[deg] and 23[deg]C, respectively). Average values of the distribution coefficient for Mg are respectively 0.017 and 0.045 at these temperatures. These results indicate that the Mg content of calcite varies directly with temperature and in a sufficiently pronounced manner that a 1[deg]C rise in depositional temperature of a speleothem containing 500 ppm Mg, at ~10[deg]C, would be seen as an increase of ~35ppm Mg -- a readily determinable shift. Other factors affecting Mg content of a speleothem are considered

Further Studies at the Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part I, Climate and Hydrology, 1983,
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Jennings, J. N.

Previous study of the temporal and spatial distribution of limestone solution at Cooleman Plain rested on monthly discharges and water analyses of the Blue Waterholes over 4 years. For this study automatic recording of discharge (8 years), rainfall (8 years), evaporation (7 years) and temperature (4 years) was attended by variable success in the face of interference, rigorous climate and inaccessibility. The most important aspect of the climatic data was the support obtained for the earlier assumption of similar water balances in the forested igneous frame and the grassland limestone plain. Runoff was again shown to be highly variable from year to year and to have an oceanic pluvial regime, with a summer-autumn minimum owing much to evapo-transpiration. The flow duration curve from daily discharges puts this karst amongst those where neither extremely high nor low flows are important. The stream routing pattern offsets the effect of 71% of the catchment being on non-karst rocks, damping flood events. An inflection of 700 l/s in a flow duration plot based on discharge class means is interpreted as the threshold at which surface flow down North Branch reaches the Blue Waterholes. Storages calculated from a generalised recession hydrograph parallel Mendip data where baseflow (fissure) storage provides most of the storage and quickflow (vadose) storage only a secondary part. Water-filled conduit storage (the phreas) could not be determined but is considered small. The baseflow storage seems large, suggesting that it can develop independently of caves in some measure. A quickflow ratio for floods derived by Gunn's modification of the Hewlett and Hibbert separation line method appears relatively low for a mainly non-karst catchment and is again attributed to the routing pattern. For analysis of variation of the solute load over time, estimates of daily discharge during gaps in the record where made for the author by Dr. A.J. Jakeman and Mr. M.A. Greenaway (see Appendix). A small number of discharge measures of two contrasted allogenic catchments of the igneous frame shows a unit area yield close to that for the whole catchment. Together with the guaging of most of the allogenic inputs, this supports the idea that the water yield is much the same from the forested ranges and the grassland plain. This is important for the estimation of limestone removal rates.


Further Studies At The Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part II, Water Chemistry And Discussion, 1983,
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Jennings, J. N.

The 1969-77 data confirm that groundwater temperature is significantly higher than air temperature at mean catchment altitude but provide only partial support for an explanation in terms of soil temperature and insulation of drainage from cold air ponding over the Plain. Higher pH of output than input streams is attributed mainly to percolation water chemistry. Water chemistry of two contrasted input streams suggests non-karst rock weathering has an important effect on allogenic input streams. An inverse relationship between carbonate hardness and output discharge is found again and attributed mainly to faster transit through the limestone at high flows. Summer has a steeper regression than winter due to precipitation and high flows depressing carbon dioxide and carbonate concentrations more in that season than in winter. Picknett graphs show how solutional capacity varies through the hydrologic system, with aggressive input streams, mainly saturated percolation water, and rarely saturated output springs because of the allogenic component in the last. The total carbonate load of Cave Creek is directly related to discharge, with little seasonal difference so the annual regression is chosen for later calculation. When the carbonate load duration curve and frequency classes for Cave Creek are compared with those for other karsts, it falls into an intermediate class in which neither very high nor low flows dominate the pattern. This is attributed to a combination of a large allogenic input with a complex routing pattern. Consideration of most input stream solute concentration on one occasion indicates such close dependence on catchment geology that doubt is cast on the smallness of the 1965-9 allocation of carbonate contribution from non-karst rock weathering to the allogenic input. This is explained by new CSIRO rainfall chemistry figures from the Yass R. catchment which are smaller than those used before and by elimination of a previous error in calculation. This time subtraction of atmospheric salts is done on a daily basis with a decaying hyperbolic function. Correction of Cave Creek output for allogenic stream input follows the method adopted in 1965-9 but on a firmer basis, with the assumption of approximately equal water yeild per unit area from the non-karst and karst parts of the catchment being more factually supported than before. It remains a substantial correction. The correction for subjacent karst input to Cave Creek is also improved by putting the calculation in part on a seasonal basis; it remains small. The exposed solute load output shows the same seasonal pattern as was determined earlier, with a winter/spring maximum, and it again evinced much variation from year to year. So did annual rates. The mean annual loss of 29 B was slightly greater than for 1965-9. If this difference is real and not an experimental error, the reduced allowance for atmospheric salts and greater annual rainfall in the second period could explain the increase. This erosion rate of 29 B from an annual runoff of about 400mm places this karst where it would be expected in the world pattern of similar determinations in terms of both runoff and its proximity to the soil covered/bare karst dichotomy of Atkinson and Smith (1976). Combined with the other work at Cooleman Plain on erosion at specific kinds of site, an estimate of the spatial distribution of the limestone solution is presented. It agrees well with the similar attempt for Mendip by Atkinson and Smith (1976), when allowance is made for certain differences in method and context. The main conclusions are the great role of solution in the superficial zone and the unimportance of the contribution from caves. Conflict between this process study and the geomorphic history of Cooleman Plain remains and once again an explanation is sought in long persistence of a Tertiary ironstone cover inhibiting surface solution.


Ambient Temperature Variations in the Hall of Paintings of Altamira Cave [Spain] due to the presence of Visitors, 1984,
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Villar E. , Bonet A, Diazcaneja B, Fernandez P. L, Gutierrez I, Quindos L. S, Solana J. R. , Soto J.

Morphological clines in reduced areas. The case of Henrotius jordai (Reitter), cave-dwelling beetle from Majorca Island., 1985,
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Bells Xavier
The present paper shows a statistically significant correlation between the geographical latitude and the morphological variation of the pronotum of Henrotius jordai (Reitter) (Col. Caraboidea), cave-dwelling beetle from Majorca island, after studying the linear and curvilinear regression between these two variables. The existence of specimens situated at different heights of the regression lines leads to the conclusion that morphological variation is clinal. The phenomenon of "semi-isolation" to which the studied populations are subjected, because of their cavernicolous character, allows to explain the existence of a cline in such a restricted area as that occupied by this beetle (ca. 500 Km2). It is worth pointing out the interest in the study of these reduced clines of cavernicolous populations, because they can provide a restricted "observation field"; easier to deal with; to investigate these genetic phenomena and their evolutive implications.

Shallow-marine carbonate facies and facies models, 1985,
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Tucker M. E. ,
Shallow-marine carbonate sediments occur in three settings: platforms, shelves and ramps. The facies patterns and sequences in these settings are distinctive. However, one type of setting can develop into another through sedimentational or tectonic processes and, in the geologic record, intermediate cases are common. Five major depositional mechanisms affect carbonate sediments, giving predictable facies sequences: (1) tidal flat progradation, (2) shelf-marginal reef progradation, (3) vertical accretion of subtidal carbonates, (4) migration of carbonate sand bodies and (5) resedimentation processes, especially shoreface sands to deeper subtidal environments by storms and off-shelf transport by slumps, debris flows and turbidity currents. Carbonate platforms are regionally extensive environments of shallow subtidal and intertidal sedimentation. Storms are the most important source of energy, moving sediment on to shoreline tidal flats, reworking shoreface sands and transporting them into areas of deeper water. Progradation of tidal flats, producing shallowing upward sequences is the dominant depositional process on platforms. Two basic types of tidal flat are distinguished: an active type, typical of shorelines of low sediment production rates and high meteorologic tidal range, characterized by tidal channels which rework the flats producing grainstone lenses and beds and shell lags, and prominent storm layers; and a passive type in areas of lower meteorologic tidal range and higher sediment production rates, characterized by an absence of channel deposits, much fenestral and cryptalgal peloidal micrite, few storm layers and possibly extensive mixing-zone dolomite. Fluctuations in sea-level strongly affect platform sedimentation. Shelves are relatively narrow depositional environments, characterized by a distinct break of slope at the shelf margin. Reefs and carbonate sand bodies typify the turbulent shelf margin and give way to a shelf lagoon, bordered by tidal flats and/or a beach-barrier system along the shoreline. Marginal reef complexes show a fore-reef--reef core--back reef facies arrangement, where there were organisms capable of producing a solid framework. There have been seven such phases through the Phanerozoic. Reef mounds, equivalent to modern patch reefs, are very variable in faunal composition, size and shape. They occur at shelf margins, but also within shelf lagoons and on platforms and ramps. Four stages of development can be distinguished, from little-solid reef with much skeletal debris through to an evolved reef-lagoon-debris halo system. Shelf-marginal carbonate sand bodies consist of skeletal and oolite grainstones. Windward, leeward and tide-dominated shelf margins have different types of carbonate sand body, giving distinctive facies models. Ramps slope gently from intertidal to basinal depths, with no major change in gradient. Nearshore, inner ramp carbonate sands of beach-barrier-tidal delta complexes and subtidal shoals give way to muddy sands and sandy muds of the outer ramp. The major depositional processes are seaward progradation of the inner sand belt and storm transport of shoreface sand out to the deep ramp. Most shallow-marine carbonate facies are represented throughout the geologic record. However, variations do occur and these are most clearly seen in shelf-margin facies, through the evolutionary pattern of frame-building organisms causing the erratic development of barrier reef complexes. There have been significant variations in the mineralogy of carbonate skeletons, ooids and syn-sedimentary cements through time, reflecting fluctuations in seawater chemistry, but the effect of these is largely in terms of diagenesis rather than facies

A review of the engineering behaviour of soils and rocks with respect to groundwater, 1986,
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Bell Fg, Cripps Jc, Culshaw Mg,
The effect of groundwater on the engineering behaviour of soils and rocks is of fundamental importance, indeed to paraphrase Tergazhi -- without water there would be no soil mechanics. This paper reviews these effects in terms of the variation in the properties and behaviour of soils and rocks brought about by changes in moisture content, and associated changes, notably in effective stress, and by the dissolution of parts of the rock or soil mass

Evolutionary genetics and morphometrics of a cave crayfish population from Chiapas (Mexico), 1988,
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Allegrucci Giuliana, Baldari Fabiola, Cesaroni Donatella, Sbordoni Valerio
The recently explored Cueva de Los Camarones, in the remote village of Constitucion, Chiapas, Mexico, houses a unique highly variable population of Procambarus crayfish (Crustacea, Decapoda). Morphologically, a more or less clinal variation is revealed at several features such as the degree of rudimentation in both pigmentation and eye, and the elongation of body and appendages. Extremes are quite different, ranging from typical dark, thick, eyed individuals to light, elongated, microphtalmic phenotypes. Evolutionary relationships among individuals were investigated electrophoretically (25 structural gene loci) and morphometrically (12 characters) by means of multivariate analyses. Results from analysis of individual allozymic multilocus profiles indicate that the "light" phenotypes belong to a distinct gene pool with respect to the "dark" ones, but some level of introgression is hypothesized. Results from analysis of individual morphometric profiles also show a discrimination between light and dark samples, chiefly determined by the shape of the rostrum and chela. The existence of such a discontinuous variation both in morphometric and allozymic characters presumably reflects a history of allopatric divergence followed by secondary contact of the two species.

Mangroves, Mountains and Munching Molluscs: The Evolution of a Tropical Coastline, 1988,
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Kiernan, Kevin

The highly scenic Andaman coast of peninsular Thailand is locally dominated by steep limestone hills and karst towers that rise from broad alluvial plains, from mangrove swamps or from the sea. The karst terrain stretches north and west across the Malay peninsula to the Gulf of Siam. Some of the variations in the style of this karst have resulted from lithological and structural factors. However, steepening of the slopes by marine erosion at times of formerly high sea levels has probably been important to the development of the most spectacular part of this landscape. Notches and caves cut in limestone towers up to 10-15m above present sea level may represent the maximum transgression of the Last Interglacial. Morphological evidence hints that former shorelines may now lie hundreds of metres above present sea level due to diastrophic movements during the late Cainozoic. However, this evidence is equivocal and it has been argued that similar landforms in neighboring parts of Malaysia may be the result of terrestrial planation processes that operated independent of sea level during the Pleistocene glacial stages.


Les importantes mergences de Magland, dans la valle de l'Arve (Haute-Savoie) : physico-chimie et origine des eaux, 1989,
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Sesiano, J.
Dye tracing and physico-chemical analysis of two important springs in the Arve valley (Haute-Savoie, France) - Several dye-tracing experiments and physico-chemical analysis of water samples taken during 18 months were performed at two important springs in the Arve valley (Haute-Savoie, France). The water origin and the type of flow, very different from one to the other, are thus explained. The first spring collects water from both a bare high-altitude karst and a forested karst at a lower elevation. It gathers also waters from the lakes Flaine and Vernant. The drainage is superficial, with strong but short water outbursts; water storage is nevertheless important, the spring being perennial. The physico-chemistry of its water is similar to that of springs located in the Northern Prealps. The second spring is very different. The physico-chemistry variations being much smoother. It comes from a basin filled with fluvio-glacial deposits and located under the Gers Lake. Its physico-chemical properties are rather similar to those of typical springs located in Provence and Southern Provence.

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