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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 casing, surface is that part of a well casing that extends above land surface [16].?

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


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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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Caves of Kiriwina, Trobriand Islands, Papua, 1968,
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Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K.

The Trobriand group of coral islands is situated 100 miles off the northeast coast of Papua and north of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands. The largest island, Kiriwina, is 30 miles long and 12 miles across at its widest point. The authors visited Kiriwina for two separate periods of one week in 1967 and 1968 to undertake a phytochemical survey and a reconnaissance exploration of the caves. They believe that they explored all the sizeable caves from Wawela north. A DC-3 aircraft of Papuan Airlines operates a weekly flight between Port Moresby and Losuia, the Administration centre. Accommodation is provided on the island at the Trobriand Hotel, conducted by Mr. T. Ward, whose two trucks are used for local transportation on roads engineered by the US Army during World War II.


Caves of Vakuta, Trobriand Islands, Papua, 1969,
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Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K

In a previous paper (1968a) we described caves of Kiriwina, the largest of the Trobriand Islands, a group of coral islands situated 100 miles off the north-east coast of Papua. This paper records caves of Vakuta, a smaller island south of Kiriwina. Vakuta is shaped like a boomerang (Figure 1) and is separated from the southern tip of Kiriwina by Kasilamaka Passage, about half a mile wide. The area of Vakuta Island is approximately 11 square miles. The island contains three villages, the most important being Vakuta Village which has a Methodist (now United Church) Mission. A track links Vakuta Village to Kasilamaka Passage which can be crossed by native canoe; the track continues on Kiriwina to Losuia, 40 miles north. Vakuta Island has a population of about 500. The Vakutans are of the same mixed Melanesian-Polynesian stock as the people of Kiriwina. Woodcarving is not practised to the same extent as in Kiriwina and the quality is generally low. However, some canoes have particularly well decorated prows. The influence of the Mission is very evident in the dress of the Vakutans and in the village, old cast-off clothing, often quite dirty, is the rule. In the fields the women wear grass and fibre skirts though the men were not seen to wear a pubic leaf as usual in Kiriwina, but shorts. Papuan Airlines operate a weekly flight between Port Moresby and Losuia, the Administration Centre, using Skyvan aircraft. Weekend tourist charter flights in DC-3 aircraft arrive frequently, but irregularly, from Port Moresby and occasionally from Lae and Rabual. The authors visited Vakuta Island in December, 1968. Guides were recruited locally and we were fortunate to be assisted by Mr. Gilbert Heers, the only European resident of the island, who speaks fluent Kiriwini which made communication with our guides relatively easy. With his help, we were able to obtain accounts of the legends and traditions associated with the caves on the island. We have also had valuable discussions about Vakuta and the customs and legends of the Trobriand Islands with Mr. Lepani Watson, M.H.A., who was born on Vakuta, and Mr. John Kasaipwalova, a Trobriand Islander now studying at the University of Queensland. We are most grateful for the assistance of these people. Although the most accurate map of the Trobriands is an Admiralty chart, the authors used an old U.S. Army map which was based on a pre-war Government survey. The caves were roughly surveyed using 100 ft tape, prismatic compass and abney level. The village rest-house became the social centre of the village during our stay. We had no difficulty in finding food. A surprising variety of foods such as yams, sweet potato, eggs, pineapples, soursop, tomatoes and fresh coconut appeared and payment was accepted eagerly in stick tobacco and newspaper. Payment in cash was rarely appreciated, though it will become more useful now that a trade store has been established by the Village Co-operative. To avoid repetitive explanations of features in the accounts of individual caves, various general topics will be discussed first.


Some Caves of Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua, 1971,
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Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K

The Trobriand group of coral islands is situated 100 miles off the north-east coast of Papua, north of the D'Entrecasteaux Islands. Kitava, the most easterly island of the group, is approximately 4~ miles by 2~ miles. It is 15 miles east of Wawela on the main island of Kiriwina, though 50 miles by sea from Losuia around the north coast of Kiriwina. The population is approximately 2,000 natives, the majority being subsistence farmers and fishermen. No Europeans live on the island. Yams, taro, sweet potatoes and bananas are the main garden products. Fish, chickens and eggs are eaten, and pigs are used in ceremonial feasts or "sing-sings" . Kitava is served by occasional boats, but cannot be reached by air. The Administration boat, "The Pearl", is based at Losuia and calls at irregular intervals of a few weeks, the journey from Losuia taking about five hours. Kitavans travel far in their canoes, and the ceremonial Kula trade involves journeys to other Trobriand islands, the Amphletts, Dobu and the Woodlark Islands. The authors spent four days on Kitava in May, 1969, and lived in a native house near the village of Bomapou in the north of the island. Trade tobacco was used as currency to pay for food, and to pay guides and carriers. A trade store has since been established near the beach, a mile from the main village of Kumwageya, and payment in cash may be more acceptable in future. Children appreciate being paid in chewing gum, known throughout the islands as "P.K.". Very little English is spoken on the island and we were fortunate in having the company of Mr. Gilbert Heers who speaks the Kiriwinan language fluently.


Cave Paintings From Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua, 1971,
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Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K

Kitava is the most easterly island of the Trobriand group. It is an uplifted coral atoll, oval in plan, with a maximum diameter of 4 1/2 miles. The centre of the island is swampy and surrounded by a rim that reaches a height of 142 m. Caves occur in various parts of the rim and several have been described in a previous article (Ollier and Holdsworth, 1970). One of the caves, Inakebu, is especially important as it contains the first recorded cave drawings from the Trobriand Islands. Inakebu is situated on the inner edge of the island rim at the north-eastern end of the island. Map 1 shows the location of the cave on Kitava Island. Map 2 is a plan of the cave, surveyed by C.D. Ollier and G. Heers. The location of the cave drawings is shown on the plan. Inakebu is a "bwala", that is a place where the original ancestor of a sub-clan or dala is thought to have emerged from the ground. The bwala tradition is common throughout the Trobriands and neighbouring islands. It has been described by many writers on the anthropology of the area, and was summarised in Ollier and Holdsworth (1969). The people believe that if they enter such places they will become sick and die. Until November, 1968, no member of the present native population had been in the cave, though there is a rumour that a European had entered it about 20 years before, but turned back owing to lack of kerosene. It must be admitted that this tale sounds rather like the stories one hears in Australia that Aborigines were afraid of the dark caves and therefore did not go into them. In fact, the many discoveries in the Nullarbor Plain caves show that they did, and the cave drawings in Inakebu show that someone has been in this cave. The point is that it does not seem to be the present generations who entered the caves but earlier ones; people from "time before" as they say in New Guinea. The first known European to enter the cave was Gilbert Heers, a trader in copra and shell who lived on the nearby island of Vakuta. He went into the cave on 8 November 1968 accompanied by Meiwada, head of the sub-clan associated with Inakebu, who had never been inside before. Heers and Meiwada investigated the two outer chambers but then turned back because they had only poor lights. They returned with better light on 15 November. Since they had not become sick or died, they then found seven other men willing to accompany them. They found the narrow opening leading to the final chamber, and discovered the drawings. None of the men, many of whom were quite old, had ever seen the drawings or heard any mention of them before. The drawings are the only indication that people had previously been in this deep chamber. There are no ashes or soot marks, no footprints, and no pottery, bones or shells such as are commonly found in other Trobriand caves, though bones and shells occur in the chamber near the entrance. With one exception, the drawings are all on the same sort of surface, a clean bedrock surface on cream coloured, fairly dense and uniform limestone, with a suitably rough texture. Generally the surface has a slight overhang, and so is protected from flows or dripping water. On surfaces with dripstone shawls or stalactites, the drawings were always placed between the trickles, on the dry rock. We have found no examples that have been covered by a film of flow stone. The one drawing on a flow stone column is also still on the surface and not covered by later deposition. A film of later deposit would be good to show the age of the drawings, but since the drawings appear to have been deliberately located on dry sites the lack of cover does not indicate that they are necessarily young. There are stencil outlines of three hands, a few small patches of ochre which do not seem to have any form, numerous drawings in black line, and one small engraving.


Caves of Kitava and Tuma, Trobriand Islands, 1971,
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Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K. , Heers G.

The Trobriand group of coral islands is situated a hundred miles off the north-east coast of Papua and north of the D 'Entr'ecasteaux Islands. In previous papers we have described caves on Kiriwina (the main island), Vakuta and Kitava (see References). We now describe caves of Kaileuna and Tuma (see Figures l and 2). In August 1970, we spent one week of intensive search for caves on these two islands, making our headquarters in the copra store in the village of Kadawaga. Kaileuna island is six miles long and almost four miles wide, and supports a population of 1,079 (1969 Census). It is separated from the large island of Kiriwina by a channel two miles wide between Mamamada Point and Boll Point, though the main village of Kadawaga on the west coast of Kaileuna is 18 miles from Losuia and 14 miles from Kaibola. The island is generally swampy in the centre with a rim of uplifted coral around the edge. We were assured that the correct name of the island is Laileula, but since Kaileuna is used on all previous maps it is retained here. However, we prefer Kadawaga to the Kudawaga or Kaduwaga that appear on some maps. The inhabitants are of mixed Melanesian-Polynesian Stock, who are almost totally self-supporting, being in the main farmers and fishermen. The yam (taitu) constitutes the staple crop and the harvest is still gathered in with ceremonies unchanged for centuries. There is great competition among families for the quantity and quality of the crop, which is displayed firstly in garden arbours (kalimonio), later in the village outside the houses; traditionally styled yam huts (bwaima) are then constructed to display the harvest until the next season. The transfer of yams from the garden to the village is occasion for a long procession of gatherers to parade through the village blowing conch shells and chanting traditional airs (sawili) to attract the attention of villagers to the harvesting party, After storage of the harvest, a period of dancing and feasting (milamala) continues for a month or more, Traditional clothing is the rule, Women and girls wear fibre skirts (doba), most of the men, especially the older ones, wear a pubic leaf (vivia) made from the sepal of the betel nut palm flower (Areca catechu Linn.). Tuma, the northernmost of the main islands in the Trobriand group, is six miles long and less than a mile wide. It is a low ridge of coral with swamps in the centre and along much of the western side. The island has been uninhabited since 1963 when the last few residents abandoned it and moved to Kiriwina, but it is still visited from time to time by other islanders who collect copra and fish. Tuma is believed by all Trobriand Islanders to be inhabited now by the spirits of the dead. It is also generally believed that Tuma is the original home of the TrobIiand ancestors; these ancestors are also said to have emerged at Labai Cave on Kiriwina Island, and from many other places of emergence or 'bwala". Lack of consistency in the legends does not appear to concern the Trobrianders very much. The cave maps in this paper are sketches based mainly on estimated dimensions, with a few actual measurements and compass bearings. Bwabwatu was surveyed more accurately, using a 100 ft steel reinforced tape and prismatic compass throughout.


Further Caves of Kitava, Trobriand Islands, Papua, 1971,
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Ollier C. D. , Holdsworth D. K. , Heers G.

In a previous paper (Ollier and Holdsworth, 1970) we described the island of Kitava and many of the caves on the island. This note supplements that account and describes caves and related features discovered during a brief expedition to the south of the island (Figure 1) in 1971. Kitava is a coral island with a number of terraces and reaches a height of 466 feet. There is a central depression in the top of the island, the site of the lagoon before the reef was uplifted. Some caves are associated with the rim of the island, a few occur on mid-slopes, and others are found along the sea cliffs. Many of the caves have been used for burial of human remains, sometimes associated with pots, clam shells or canoe prows. Canoe prow burials are reported here for the first time. Some caves are associated with megalithic structures and legends of the origin of the various sub-clans (dala) of the island.


Observations of karst hydrology in the Waga Valley, Southern Highlands District, Papua, New Guinea, 1975,
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Jacobson G. , Michael Bourke R.

In the neighbourhood of a possible dam site in the Waga Valley, Southern Highlands District, Papua New Guinea, there is little surface drainage apart from the Waga River itself. However, many nearby features - streamsinks, springs, estavelles, dry valleys, dolines and caves - are indicative of the marked development of karst drainage. Loss of river water by entry underground is not balanced by the known local outflows, and larger resurgences must be sought further afield to complete an understanding of the karst hydrology relevant for the engineering proposal.


Atea Kanada, 1976,
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James Julia M. , Randall H. King, Montgomery Neil R.

The Atea Kanada in the Muller Range, Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, was investigated during the 1976 Muller Range Expedition. Four kilometres of cave passages were surveyed and the cave map is presented. The cave is described together with a tentative history of its development. The possible sinking points and resurgences of the cave water are discussed. The paper concludes with a discussion of the depth and length potential, and feasibility of further exploration in such a river system.


Dytiscidae from Papuan caves (Zoological Results of the Britisb Speleological Expedition in Papua New Guinea, 1975, 1)., 1978,
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Gueorguiev Vassil B.
This paper reports the results of the investigations on Dytiscidae from New Guinea caves. Three new species are described: Copelatus subterraneus sp.n., Platynectes (Metaplatynectes) beroni sp.n. and P. (M.) chapmani sp. n. Synonymic notes on the subgenera of the genus Platynectes and descriptions of two new subgenera Notoplatynectes subgen. n. and Metaplatynectes subgen. n. are also reported.

Diplopoda from Papuan Caves (Zoological Results of the British Speleological Expedition to Papua-New Guinea, 1975, 4)., 1978,
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Hoffman Richard L.
Eight species of polydesmoid millipeds are described from the caves of the extreme northwestern corner of Papua New Guinea. Four new genera are named: in Paradoxosomatidae, Selminosoma, type S. chapmani; Astromontosoma, type A. jeekeli; in Doratodesmidae, Scolopopyge, type S. pholeter; Selminarchus, type S. hispidus. Two additional new species are referred to established genera Eustrongylosoma exiguum and Nothrosoma beroni, the latter, however, (known only from females) is probably referable to a new genus. Selminosoma chapmani appears both from its structure and biology to be a true troglobite, the first such species known in the Paradoxosomatidae. The two doratodesmid species extend the known range of this family eastward across Wallace's Line from west Java.

A remarkable new genus and three new species of cavernicolous Carabidae (Coleoptera) (Zoological results of the British Speleological Expedition to Papua-New Guinea 1975, 2)., 1978,
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Moore Barry P.
Speagonum mirabile gen. et sp. n. and Gastragonum caecum sp. n. are described as troglobites from caves in the Behrman Mountains of west New Guinea; Pseudozaena (Trichozaena subgen. n.) cavicola sp. n. is a troglophile from New Ireland.

A new species of Rhachomyces (Ascomycetes, Laboulbeniales) parasitic on the troglobite Carabid beetle Speagonum mirabile Moore, from New-Guinea (Zoological Results of the British Speleological Expedition to Papua-New Guinea, 1975, 3)., 1978,
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Rossi Walter
Rhachomyces beronii n. sp., parasitic on Speagonum mirabile Moore (Coleoptera, Carabidae, Anchomenini) from New Guinea, is described. The new species resembles Rhachomyces tenuis Thaxt. in general habit, but it differs from the latter in having a smaller receptacle, a larger and less pigmented perithecium, a different structure of the appendages and in the multiplication of appendiculate cells.

Caves and Karst On Misima Island, Papua New Guinea, 1978,
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Ollier C. D. , Pain C. F.

27 caves were examined on Misima Island. Most are sea caves, but some have clear phreatic origins and some result from vadose solution along joints. One cave is formed by washing out of fragments in fault-shattered gneiss. Karst development in the raised coral appears to have been limited by the absence of streams flowing through the limestone. This results from the geomorphic development of the area, which has isolated the coral into discontinuous patches. Many caves have human burials, with associated pottery and one cave contains at least 100 skulls.


Caves Of Woodlark Island, Papua New Guinea, 1979,
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Ollier C. D. , Pain C. F.

Woodlark Island consists of folded Tertiary rocks with a cover of Quaternary coral limestone that contains caves of two kinds:- river passage caves and shallow coastal caves mainly at old spring sites. Many caves contain remains of human burials and associated pottery.


Water Chemistry of the Atea Kananda and the Related Drainage Area, 1980,
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James, Julia M.

The Ca2+, Mg2+, alkalinity, pH and temperature have been measured in water from the Atea Kananda cave and related surface sites on the Muller Plateau (Papua New Guinea). A wide variation in the Ca2+ and Mg2+ values was found and this has been attributed to the lithology and nature (open or closed) of the water courses. From alkalinity measurements anions other than bicarbonate, probably sulphate are expected to be present in significant quantities in the cave waters. Most of the waters are aggressive. The Ca2+/Mg2+ x 10 ratio is shown to be a useful tool in predicting the origin of unknown waters in the cave. The variations of the measured and calculated parameters for groups of related surface and underground sites are presented and discussed. Tentative solution erosion rates for the Muller Plateau have been calculated and the conclusion reached that where the erosion can be placed as largely occuring on pure limestone these are high. Impure limestones and non-calcareous rocks in their catchments give anomalously low results for the main rivers. A scheme for cave development on the Muller Plateau by solution mechanisms is presented.


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