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 particle is the smallest individual constituent of an aggregate [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

What is Karstbase?

Search KARSTBASE:

keyword
author

Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for speleothems. (Keyword) returned 92 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 76 to 90 of 92
Organic matter of fossil origin in the amberine speleothems from El Soplao Cave (Cantabria, Northern Spain), 2012, Gzquez Fernando, Jose Maria Calaforra, Fernando Rull, Paolo Forti, And Antonio Garcacasco.

Unusual amberine-coloured speleothems were recently found in El Soplao Cave (Cantabria, Spain). Chromophore elements such as Fe, Mn, Cd, Co or Ti were not present in significant quantities. Rather, our data show that their colour comes from leachates of fossilized organic material hosted in the carbonaceous Urgonian facies of the host rock. These leachates are related to the Cretaceous amber deposit that has been recently discovered in the vicinity of El Soplao Cave. The presence of humic and fulvic acids of fossil origin were confirmed by IR and Raman spectroscopic analysis of the carbonaceous strata and the speleothems. In addition, the mineralogy of the amberine speleothems was studied. Alternating bands made of calcite and aragonite reveal that periods of humidity and aridity occurred within the cave during the speleothem genesis.


Lechuguilla Cave, New Mexico, U.S.A., 2012, Kambesis, Patricia

Lechuguilla Cave in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, has a 2010 surveyed length of 130 km. It is a hypogene cave, formed by uprising H2S-bearing fluids which oxidize to form sulfuric acid when they reach oxygen-bearing meteoric water. The cave is formed in the Permian Capitan Reef Complex. Argon-argon dating suggests that the cave is on the order of 5 million years old. Lechuguilla Cave exhibits dramatic mineralization, particularly gypsum chandeliers, native sulfur, and many massive calcite speleothems. Of particular interest is the microbiology of the cave where microbes, present and past, formed without surface interactions.


Speleothems: General Overview, 2012, White, William B.

Speleothems are secondary mineral deposits formed in caves by flowing, dripping, or seeping water. The most commonly occurring minerals are calcite, aragonite, and gypsum although many other minerals have been found in speleothems. The shapes of speleothems are determined by a competition between the dynamics of the water and the crystal growth habits of the constituent minerals. Stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone, and other speleothems deposited from dripping for flowing water take shapes dictated by the details of the flow behavior. Helictites, anthodites, and gypsum flowers formed from seeping water and various pool deposits take shapes dictated by the habit of crystal growth. Tan, orange, and brown colors common to calcite speleothems and also their luminescence under ultraviolet light is due to inclusion of humic and fulvic acid from overlying soils. Speleothems are also found in lava tubes.


Diagenesis of a drapery speleothem from Castaar Cave: from dissolution to dolomitization, 2012, Martnprez A. , Martngarca R. , Alonsozarza A. M.

A drapery speleothem (DRA-1) from Castañar Cave in Spain was subjected to a detailed petrographical study in order to identify its primary and diagenetic features. The drapery’s present day characteristics are the result of the combined effects of the primary and diagenetic processes that DRA-1 underwent. Its primary minerals are calcite, aragonite and huntite. Calcite is the main constituent of the speleothem, whereas aragonite forms as frostwork over the calcite. Huntite is the main mineral of moonmilk which covers the tips of aragonite. These primary minerals have undergone a set of diagenetic processes, which include: 1) partial dissolution or corrosion that produces the formation of powdery matt-white coatings on the surface of the speleothem. These are seen under the microscope as dark and highly porous microcrystalline aggregates; 2) total dissolution produces pores of few cm2 in size; 3) calcitization and dolomitization of aragonite result in the thickening and lost of shine of the aragonite fibres. Microscopically, calcitization is seen as rhombohedral crystals which cover and replace aragonite forming mosaics that preserve relics of aragonite precursor. Dolomitization results in the formation of microcrystalline rounded aggregates over aragonite fibres. These aggregates are formed by dolomite crystals of around 1 μm size. The sequence of diagenetic processes follows two main pathways. Pathway 1 is driven by the increase of saturation degree and Mg/Ca ratio of the karstic waters and is visible in the NW side of the drapery. This sequence of processes includes: 1) aragonite and huntite primary precipitation and 2) dolomitization. Pathway 2 is driven by a decrease in the degree of saturation of calcite and aragonite and Mg/Ca ratio of the cave waters, and it is observed in the SE side of the drapery. The diagenetic processes of the second pathway include: 1) calcitization of aragonite; 2) incomplete dissolution (micritization) of both aragonite and calcite; 3) total dissolution. This study highlights the importance of diagenetic processes on speleothems and their complexity. The correct interpretation of these processes is crucial for the understanding of possible changes in the chemistry of waters, temperature, or pCO2 and so is critical to the correct interpretation of the paleoenvironmental significance of speleothems.


Aragonite and calcite geodes from Botovskaya Cave, 2012, Bazarova E. P. , Osintsev A. V.

The article describes unusual secondary mineral formation found in Botovskaya Cave in Eastern Siberia, which are geodes, lined byaragonite and, in some cases, by calcite. Two assumptions of the geode formation are put forward: 1) at the expense of draining solutions that erode loose sediments and fill formed cavities, where then mineral crystallization occurs; 2) at the expense of dissolution of the central body of concretions formed earlier, followed by precipitation of aragonite and calcite in the cavity formed. Later on, the geodes were uncovered during erosion of large volumes of sediments by water flows. Due to peculiar features of their morphology and genesis, these formations can be regarded as a new type of speleothems.


Morphology of Speleothems in Primary (Lava) and Secondary Caves, 2012, Kempe, S.

Caves are defined as natural underground cavities (potentially) accessible by humans. They are decorated by various forms of speleothems that have always fascinated the human explorer. Caves are divided into primary and secondary caves, that is formed with, or long after the deposition of the rocks containing them. The largest group of primary caves is that formed by flowing lava, whereas the largest group of secondary caves is that formed in limestone. Both display specific forms of speleothems. Although primary caves can contain primary speleothems composed of the rock that formed the cave as wellas secondary speleothems formed by later deposition of minerals, secondary caves in contrast contain only secondary mineral speleothems. Rock- and mineral-composed speleothems commonly have similar morphology, determined by gravity, that is, stalactites and stalagmites. However, both primary and secondary speleothems also display forms that are specific to them. Rock speleothems are composed of basalt, whereas secondary speleothems can be composed of over 250different minerals. In this chapter, we explore differences and similarities of primary rock- and secondary mineral-speleothems and discuss processes of their formation.


Atmospheric Processes in Caves, 2013, James, J. M.

The cave atmosphere is placed in context as a geomorphic agent. The composition of cave air in well-ventilated caves isgoverned by exchange between surface and cave air. In poorly ventilated caves, its composition can be altered by dilution and production, and depletion of its components in the cave. Relative humidity is used to introduce water vapor as a critical component of cave air and its variations that result in evaporation of water and condensation of water vapor. The biogenicand inorganic reactions of oxygen and carbon dioxide control solution of limestone and precipitation of calcite. Condensation corrosion is a visual manifestation of atmospheric processes on bedrock and speleothems. Theories and experiment shave resulted in rates for condensation corrosion, which allow a preliminary assessment of its role as aspeleogenetic agent. The cave air carries particulates of both biogenic and inorganic origin; these can influence geomorphic processes in caves and provide significant paleoenvironmental information so as to past cave and surface events and climates. It is concluded that anthropogenic impacts can alter the atmospheric processes in caves.


Morphology of Speleothems in Primary (Lava-) and Secondary Caves, 2013, Kempe, S.

 

Caves are defined as natural underground cavities (potentially) accessible by humans. They are decorated by various forms of speleothems that have always fascinated the human explorer. Caves are divided into primary and secondary caves, that is, formed with, or long after the deposition of the rocks containing them. The largest group of primary caves is that formed by flowing lava, whereas the largest group of secondary caves is that formed in limestone. Both display specific forms of speleothems. Although primary caves can contain primary speleothems composed of the rock that formed the cave as well as secondary speleothems formed by later deposition of minerals, secondary caves in contrast contain only secondary mineral speleothems. Rock- and mineral-composed speleothems commonly have similar morphology, determined by gravity, that is, stalactites and stalagmites. However, both primary and secondary speleothems also display forms that are specific to them. Rock speleothems are composed of basalt, whereas secondary speleothems can be composed of over 250 different minerals.

In this chapter, we explore differences and similarities of primary rock- and secondary mineral-speleothems and discuss processes of their formation.


Solutional Weathering and Karstic Landscapes on Quartz Sandstones and Quartzite, 2013, Wray, R. A. L.

Landscapes on highly quartzose bedrock that exhibit almost identical scale and morphology to those on karstified limestones occur under a range of climates and on most continents. These include ruiniform towers, grikes, stone cities, caves, dolines, smaller surface karren, and silica speleothems.

However, these rocks are much less soluble than most carbonates, and the weathering processes are quite different. However, because chemical solution is demonstratively a critical component in the genesis of these landforms, they may be regarded as karst. This chapter summarizes the processes of karstification in quartz sandstones and then reviews the incidence of these landforms around the world.


Role of soil cover and epikarst on karst groundwater recharge: an experimental approach conducted on the Milandre underground laboratory (Jura Mountains, Switzerland), 2013, Jeannin Pierreyves, Huselmann Philipp, Ltscher Marc

The Milandre underground river is recognized as a site of high patrimonial value and is monitored for many parameters since 1990. The recent construction of a highway in-cluding a tunnel portal 50 meters above the cave galleries induced a series of dedicated observations. Among them, was the monitoring of flow conditions at a series of inlets at cave roof in the part of the cave located directly below the road. Water discharge and CO2 concentrations have been monitored for 5 years before the highway construction, 5 years during the road construction and 3 years after. The effects of the removal of the soil and epikarst, as well as the sealing of the surface could be observed in the cave, implying significant changes in the regime of the water inlets in the cave. As this effect was predicted and confirmed by observations, it was decided to build an injection sys-tem below the road in order to artificially feed this part of the cave which is highly dec-orated with active speleothems. The injection system is operating since October 2011 and several tests are being conducted in order to adjust discharge and CO2 concentra-tions of the injected water. Cave inlets clearly react to injections, but the control of CO2 concentrations is still difficult to fix. A modeling of recharge before, during and after the road construction has been attempted. Changes in the recharge parameters accord-ing to the three situation of the construction could be assessed. The model should be improved in order to take CO2 and possibly temperature transfer into account.
Investigations related to the dimensioning and construction of the injection system, as well as experiments, which can be conducted using this system are very valuable for better characterizing diffuse recharge of karst systems.


SPELEOGENESIS OF A 3D-MAZE CAVE (HERMANNSHÖHLE, LOWER AUSTRIA), 2013, Schober A. Plan L. Scholz D. Spö, Tl C.

 

The 4.4 km-long Hermannshöhle is one of the largest caves in the Lower Austroalpine Unit. The cave is unusual in two respects: its dense network of corridors is arranged in a three-dimensional maze and the most outstanding macro- and micromorphologic features were caused by paragenesis. The aim of this study was to enlighten the origin of this cave using morphological and sedimentological observations as well as U/Th dating of speleothems. First results show that the palaeo-environment of the Hermannshöhle was drastically different from today. Highly corrosive water sourced from nearby non-karstic gneisses and schists gave rise to well-developed contact karst features. A distinct system of paragenetic canyons developed following pulses of clastic sediment input creating the unique maze character of the cave. Preliminary U/Th results suggest that speleothems from the middle level of the cave are already older than ca. 600 ka.


STRONTIUM ISOTOPE RATIOS (87SR/86SR) IN GYPSUM SPELEOTHEMS FROM THE NAICA MINE CAVES (CHIHUAHUA, MEXICO): GENETIC IMPLICATIONS, 2013, Gzquez Fernando, Calaforra Jos Maria, Garcacasco Antonio, Sanna Laura, Forti Paolo

The 87Sr/86Sr ratio of several gypsum speleothems from the caves of the Naica Mine (Chihuahua, Mexico) has been determined in order to evaluate the origin of the saline solution from which they precipitated. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios of the huge selenite crystals from the Cristales Cave (-290 m Level) and of the gypsum core of the “espadas” speleothems from the Espadas Cave (-120 m Level) are 0.707337 and 0.708343, respectively. These values are slightly higher than that of the carbonate host rock (0.7072) as well as that of the Tertiary felsic dikes emplaced in the carbonate sequence (0.7080). They are also lower than those expected for crystallization from seepage water solutions (>0.7090). Therefore, the 87Sr/86Sr values determined for the speleothems at Naica suggest that gypsum in these caves precipitated from a mixture of infiltration water and thermal water. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio of gypsum speleothems is regarded as a useful indicator to infer the rela- tive contribution of meteoric deep thermal water solutions during the genesis of the Naica’s gypsum speleothems.


Groundwater geochemistry observations in littoral caves of Mallorca (western Mediterranean): implications for deposition of phreatic overgrowths on speleothems., 2014, Boop L. M. , Onac B. P. , Wynn J. G. , Fornós J. J. , Rodríguezhomar M. , Merino A.

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems (POS) precipitate at the air-water interface in the littoral caves of Mallorca, Spain. Mainly composed of calcite, aragonite POS are also observed in specific locations. To characterize the geochemical environment of the brackish upper water column, water samples and salinity values were collected from water profiles (0-2.9 m) in April 2012 and March 2013 near aragonite POS in Cova des Pas de Vallgornera and calcite POS in Coves del Drac (hereafter, Vallgornera and Drac). Degassing of CO2 from the water was evidenced by the existence of lower dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) concentration and enriched δ13CDIC values in a thin surface layer (the uppermost 0.4 m), which was observed in both profiles from Drac. This process is facilitated by the efficient exchange of cave air with the atmosphere, creating a CO2 partial pressure (pCO2) disparity between the cave water and air, resulting in the precipitation of calcite POS as CO2 degasses from the water. The degassed upper layer was not observed in either profile from Vallgornera, suggesting that less efficient cave ventilation restricts outgassing of CO2, which also results in accumulation of CO2 in the cave atmosphere. The presence of an existing uncorroded POS horizon, as well as higher concentrations and large amplitude fluctuations of cave air pCO2, may indicate that aragonite POS deposition is currently episodic in Vallgornera. Ion concentration data from monthly water samples collected in each cave between October 2012 and March 2013 indicate higher Mg:Ca, Sr:Ca, Ba:Ca and Sr:Mg ratios in Vallgornera. Salinity alone does not appear to be a viable proxy for ions that may promote aragonite precipitation or inhibit calcite precipitation. Instead, these ions may be contributed by more intense bedrock weathering or deep groundwater flow.


Diatom flora in subterranean ecosystems: a review., 2014,

In scarcity of light and primary producers, subterranean ecosystems are generally extremely oligotrophic habitats, receiving poor supplies of degradable organic matter from the surface. Human direct impacts on cave ecosystems mainly derive from intensive tourism and recreational caving, causing important alterations to the whole subterranean environment. In particular, artificial lighting systems in show caves support the growth of autotrophic organisms (the so-called lampenflora), mainly composed of cyanobacteria, diatoms, chlorophytes, mosses and ferns producing exocellular polymeric substances (EPSs) made of polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. This anionic EPSs matrix mediates to the intercellular communications and participates to the chemical exchanges with the substratum, inducing the adsorption of cations and dissolved organic molecules from the cave formations (speleothems). Coupled with the metabolic activities of heterotrophic microorganisms colonising such layer (biofilm), this phenomenon may lead to the corrosion of the mineral surfaces. In this review, we investigate the formation of biofilms, especially of diatom-dominated ones, as a consequence of artificial lighting and its impacts on speleothems. Whenever light reaches the subterranean habitat (both artificially and naturally) a relative high number of species of diatoms may indeed colonise it. Cave entrances, artificially illuminated walls and speleothems inside the cave are generally the preferred substrates. This review focuses on the diatom flora colonising subterranean habitats, summarizing the information contained in all the scientific papers published from 1900 up to date. In this review we provide a complete checklist of the diatom taxa recorded in subterranean habitats, including a total of 363 taxa, belonging to 82 genera. The most frequent and abundant species recorded in caves and other low light subterranean habitats are generally aerophilic and cosmopolitan. These are, in order of frequency: Hantzschia amphioxys, Diadesmis contenta, Orthoseira roeseana, Luticola nivalis, Pinnularia borealis, Diadesmis biceps and Luticola mutica. Due to the peculiarity of the subterranean habitats, the record of rare or new species is relatively common. The most important environmental factors driving species composition and morphological modifications observed in subterranean populations are analysed throughout the text and tables. In addition, suggestions to prevent and remove the corrosive biofilms in view of an environmentally sustainable cave management are discussed.


Speleothem and biofilm formation in a granite/dolerite cave, Northern Sweden., 2014,

Tjuv-Antes grotta (Tjuv-Ante's Cave) located in northern Sweden is a round-abraded sea cave ('tunnel cave'), about 30 m in length, formed by rock-water abrasion in a dolerite dyke in granite gneiss. Abundant speleothems are restricted to the inner, mafic parts of the cave and absent on granite parts. The speleothems are of two types: cylindrical (coralloid, popcorn-like), and flowstone (thin crusts). Coralloids correspond to terrestrial stromatolite speleothems in which layers of light calcite alternate with dark, silica-rich laminae. The dark laminae are also enriched in carbon and contain incorporated remains of microorganisms. Two types of microbial communities can be distinguished associated with the speleothems: an Actinobacteria-like biofilm and a fungal community. Actinobacteria seem to play an important role in the formation of speleothem while the fungal community acts as both a constructive and a destructive agent. A modern biofilm dominated by Actinobacteria is present in the speleothem-free parts of the dolerite and located in cave ceiling cracks. These biofilms may represent sites of early speleothem formation. Because of its unusual position in between two types of host rock, Tjuv-Ante's Cave represents a unique environment in which to study differences in microbe-rock interactions and speleothem genesis between the granite and dolerite host rock. Our study shows that the mafic rock is superior to the granite in hosting a microbial community and to support formation of speleothems.


Results 76 to 90 of 92
You probably didn't submit anything to search for