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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. ...

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That probe is a sensing instrument used to take measurements at the interior of a relatively unaccessible system [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 stalactite (Keyword) returned 103 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 91 to 103 of 103
Methodology to Assess Water Presence on Speleothems During Periods of Low Precipitation, with Implications for Recharge Sources Kartcnher Caverns, 2011, Blasch, Kyle W.

Beginning in January 2005, recharge processes and the presence of water on speleothems were monitored in Kartchner Caverns during a 44-month period when annual rainfall rates were 6 to 18 percent below the long-term mean. Electrical-resistance sensors designed to detect the presence of water were used to identify ephemeral streamflow in the channels overlying the cave as well as the movement of water within the cave system. Direct infiltration of precipitation through overhead rocks provided consistent inflow to the cave, but precipitation rates and subsequent infiltration rates were reduced during the comparatively dry years. Ephemeral stream-channel recharge through autogenic and allogenic processes, the predominant recharge mechanism during
wetter periods, was limited to two low-volume events. From visual observations, it
appeared that recharge from channel infiltration was equal to or less than recharge from overhead infiltration. Electrical-resistance sensors were able to detect thin films of water on speleothems, including stalactites, ribbons, and stalagmites. These films of water were directly attributed to overhead infiltration of precipitation. Periods of low precipitation resulted in decreased speleothem wetness.


Structural and host rock controls on the distribution, morphology and mineralogy of speleothems in the Castanar Cave (Spain), 2011, Alonsozarza A. M. , Martinperez A. , Martingarcia R. , Gilpena I. , Melendez A. , Martinezflores E. , Hellstrom J. , Munozbarco P.

The Castanar Cave (central western Spain) formed in mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks of Neoproterozoic age. The host rock is finely bedded and shows a complex network of folds and fractures, with a prevalent N150E strike. This structure controlled the development and the maze pattern of the cave, as well as its main water routes. The cave formed more than 350 ka ago as the result of both the dissolution of interbedded carbonates and weathering of siliciclastic beds, which also promoted collapse of the overlying host rock. At present it is a totally vadose hypergenic cave, but its initial development could have been phreatic. The cave's speleothems vary widely in their morphology and mineralogy. In general, massive speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, etc.) are associated with the main fractures of the cave and bedding planes. These discontinuities offer a fairly continuous water supply. Other branching, fibrous, mostly aragonite speleothems, commonly occur in the steeper cave walls and were produced by capillary seepage or drip water. Detailed petrographical and isotope analyses indicate that both aragonite and calcite precipitated as primary minerals in the cave waters. Primary calcite precipitated in waters of low magnesium content, whereas aragonite precipitated from magnesium-rich waters. Differences in isotope values for calcite (-5.2‰ for ?18O and -9.6‰ for ?13C) and aragonite (?18O of -4.5‰ and ?13C of -3.5‰ ) can be explained by the fact that the more unstable mineral (aragonite) tends to incorporate the heavier C isotope to stabilize its structure or that aragonite precipitates in heavier waters. Changes in the water supply and the chemistry and instability of aragonite caused: (1) inversion of aragonite to calcite, which led to the transformation of aragonite needles into coarse calcite mosaics, (2) micritization, which appears as films or crusts of powdery, opaque calcite, and (3) dissolution. Dolomite, huntite, magnesite and sepiolite were identified within moonmilk deposits and crusts. Moonmilk occurs as a soft, white powder deposit on different types of speleothems, but mostly on aragonite formations. Huntite and magnesite formed as primary minerals, whereas dolomite arose via the replacement of both huntite and aragonite. Owing to its variety of speleothems and location in an area of scarce karstic features, the Castanar Cave was declared a Natural Monument in 1997 and is presently the target of a protection and research programme. Although the main products formed in the cave and their processes are relatively well known, further radiometric data are needed to better constrain the timing of these processes. For example, it is difficult to understand why some aragonite speleothems around 350 ka old have not yet given way to calcite, which indicates that the environmental setting of the cave is still not fully understood. 


Speleothem Deposition, 2012, Dreybrodt, Wolfgang

Speleothems in limestone caves may form spectacular underground landscapes. Stalagmites show a wide variety of forms, from slim candle stalagmites to massive cascading columns. How fast they grow and which principles determine their shapes can be explained by the physical chemistry of the system H2Osingle bondCO2single bondCaCO3. Precipitation rates of calcite from solutions supersaturated with respect to calcite, which flow as thin films of water on the surface of speleothems, are discussed. They are the fundamental tool to understand the shapes of ideal stalagmites and stalactites. Stalagmites are also important climate archives and conserve climate information from the last 400,000 years. To read this archive, a good understanding of their physics is important.


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.


MACROSCOPIC DIAGENETIC CHANGES IN LATE MIOCENE SPELEOTHEMS, WESTERN DESERT, EGYPT, 2012, Pickford, Martin

Understanding the diagenesis of speleothems is important on account of the fact that such deposits are often used for determining palaeoclimate parameters and for estimating the ages of speleothem growth. Impressive speleothem deposition of Vallesian age occurred in an immense palaeokarst network in the Western Desert, Egypt, the age of formation being determined on the basis of mammalian biochronology (fossils found in spelean clastic deposits intercalated between speleothems). Many of the Egyptian speleothems have been pervasively recrystallised internally, but their outer surfaces are usually well preserved except in the formations which were buried in clastic deposits, in which case the entire speleothem can be recrystallised. The recrystallisation results in large crystals (up to 20 cm diameter) growing radially outwards from the centre of stalagmites and stalactites, or at right angles to the outer surface of flowstone deposits. It is clear that crystal growth occurred without change of volume. Although the recrystallisation of speleothems in the Western Desert of Egypt resulted in the development of unusually large calcite crystals, it does indicate that diagenesis may be an important process that needs to be taken into account before speleothems in other karst systems can be used as raw material for unravelling palaeoclimatic and geochronological parameters. The gross morphology of the Egyptian speleothems is described in order to put on record the effects of diagenesis on them. The geochemistry of the speleothems remains to be studied.


Spatially dense drip hydrological monitoring and infiltration behaviour at the Wellington Caves, South East Australia, 2012, Jex Catherine N. , Mariethoz Gregoire, Baker Andy, Graham Peter, Andersen Martin S. , Acworth Ian, Edwards Nerilee, Azcurra Cecilia

Despite the fact that karst regions are recognised as significant groundwater resources, the nature of groundwater flow paths in the unsaturated zone of such fractured rock is at present poorly understood. Many traditional methods for constraining groundwater flow regimes in karst aquifers are focussed on the faster drainage components and are unable to inform on the smaller fracture or matrix-flow components of the system. Caves however, offer a natural inception point to observe both the long term storage and the preferential movement of water through the unsaturated zone of such fractured carbonate rock by monitoring of drip rates of stalactites, soda straws and seepage from fractures/micro fissures that emerge in the cave ceiling. Here we present the largest spatial survey of automated cave drip rate monitoring published to date with the aim of better understanding both karst drip water hydrogeology and the relationship between drip hydrology and surface climate. By the application of cross correlation functions and multi-dimensional scaling, clustered by k-means technique, we demonstrate the nature of the relationships between drip behaviour and initial surface infiltration and similarity amongst the drip rate time series themselves that may be interpreted in terms of flow regimes and cave chamber morphology and lithology.


Involvement of Bacteria in the Origin of a Newly Described Speleothem in the Gypsum Cave of Grave Grubbo (Crotone, Italy), 2012, Cacchio P. , Ercole C. , Contento R. , Cappuccio G. , Martinez M. P. , Del Gallo M. , Lepidi A.

 

Microorganisms have been shown to be important active and passive promoters of redox reactions that influence the precipitation of various minerals, including calcite. Many types of secondary minerals thought to be of purely inorganic origin are currently being reevaluated, and microbial involvement has been demonstrated in the formation of pool fingers, stalactites and stalagmites, cave pisoliths, and moonmilk. We studied the possible involvement of bacteria in the formation of a new type of speleothem from Grave Grubbo Cave, the third-largest gypsum cave in Italy. The speleothem we studied consisted of a large aggregate of calcite tubes having a complex morphology, reflecting its possible organic origin. We isolated an abundant heterotrophic microflora associated with this concretion and identified Bacillus, Burkholderia, and Pasteurella spp. among the isolates. All of the isolates precipitated CaCO3 in vitro in the form of calcite. Only one of the isolates solubilized carbonate. The relative abundance of each isolate was found to be directly related to its ability to precipitate CaCO3 at cave temperature. We suggest that hypogean environments select for microbes exhibiting calcifying activity. Isotopic analysis produced speleothem d13C values of about – 5.00%, confirming its organic origin. The lightest carbonates purified from B4M agar plates were produced by the most abundant isolates. SEM analysis of the speleothem showed traces of calcified filamentous bacteria interacting with the substrate. Spherical bioliths predominated among the ones produced in vitro. Within the crystals produced in vitro, we observed bacterial imprints, sometimes in a preferred orientation, suggesting the involvement of a quorum-sensing system in the calcium-carbonate precipitation process.


Forum Correspondence: Strength and stability of calcite stalactites, 2012, Waltham, Tony

Partial pressures of CO2 in epikarstic zone deduced from hydrogeochemistry of permanent drips, the Moravian Karst, Czech Republic, 2012, Faimon Jiř, , Lič, Binsk Monika, Zajč, Ek Petr, Sracek Ondra

Permanent drips from straw stalactites of selected caves of the Moravian Karst were studied during one-year period. A hypothetical partial pressure of CO2 that has participated in limestone dissolution, PCO2(H)=10-1.53±0.04, was calculated from the dripwater chemistry. The value significantly exceeds the partial pressures generally measured in relevant shallow karst soils, PCO2(soil)=10-2.72±0.02. This finding may have important implications for karst/cave conservation and paleoenvironmental reconstructions.


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.


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.


A model for the formation of layered soda-straw stalactites, 2013, Paul Bence, Drysdale R. , Green Helen, Woodhead Jon, Hellstrom John, Eberhard Rolan

Climate records based upon instrumental data such as rainfall measurements are usually only available for approximately the last 150 years at most. To fully investigate decadal-scale climate variation, however, these records must be extended by the use of climate proxies. Soda-straw stalactites (straws) are a previously under-utilised potential source of such data. In this contribution we investigate the structure and formation of straws and look at some issues that may affect the reliability of straw-based palaeoclimate records. We use laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) trace element analysis to document surface contamination features that have the potential to obscure annual trace element variations, and develop a method to reveal the underlying layering. We also use LA- ICP-MS to map the two-dimensional trace element distribution in straws. These maps reveal straw-layer geometry, in which layers are widest at the outside edge of the straw, narrowing and becoming almost parallel on the interior of the straw.

Based upon these observations, we present a model for the formation of straws of this type, where rapid degassing of CO2 from the drip extending below the straw forms the wider outer layers. Summers are defined by increased layer widths and higher trace element contents relative to winter layers. In palaeoclimate studies, where such annual variations can be used to construct time-lines, we suggest that, ideally, the outside surface of the straw be analysed where the trace element content difference is greatest and layering is widest.

The terminal phase of one straw (FC-02) shows decreasing layer widths and increased trace element contents. These features may also be representative of soda-straw responses to drought-induced decreases in percolation water.


Characterization of minothems at Libiola (NW Italy): morphological, mineralogical, and geochemical study, 2016, Carbone Cristina, Dinelli Enrico, De Waele Jo

The aim of this study is to characterize in detail, the mineralogy of different-shaped concretions as well as to investigate the physico-chemical parameters of the associated mine drainage and drip waters in the Santa Barbara level of the Libiola Mine (NW Italy) by several geochemical and mineralogical techniques. Under the term “minothems” we are grouping all those secondary minerals that occur under certain form or shape related to the conditions under which they formed but occur in a mine, or in any artificial underground environment (i.e., "mine speleothems"). Different types of minothems (soda straw stalactites, stalactites, and draperies) were sampled and analyzed. Mineralogical results showed that all the samples of stalactites, stalagmite and draperies are characterized by poorly crystalline goethite. There are significant differences either in their texture and chemistry. Stalactites are enriched in Zn, Cd, and Co in respect to other minothems and show botryoidal textures; some of these exhibit a concentric layering marked by the alternation of botryoidal and fibrous-radiating textures; the draperies are enriched in V and show aggregates of sub-spheroidal goethite forming compact mosaic textures. Geochemical investigations show that the composition and physico-chemical parameters of mine drainage and drip waters are different from the other acidic mine water occurrences in different areas of the Libiola Mine, where minothems are less abundant. All mine water samples contain Cu, Ni, and Zn in appreciable levels, and the physico-chemical conditions are consistent with the stability of ferrihydrite, which however tends to transform into goethite upon ageing.


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