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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 karst hydrology is 1. the branch of hydrology dealing with hydrological phenomena on and in regions and areas composed totally or in part of rocks which are soluble in water, such as limestones, dolomites, gypsum, and halite [20]. 2. the drainage phenomena of karstified limestones, dolomites, and other slowly soluble rocks [10]. synonyms: (french.) hydrologie karstique; (german.) hydrologie des karsts; (greek.) karstike hydrologia; (italian.) idrologia carsica; (russian.) gidrologija karsta; (spanish.) hidrologia karstica; (turkish.) karst hidrolojisi; (yugoslavian.).?

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


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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 phosphates (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
Metastrengite in Loniu Cave, Manus Island, 1982,
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Francis, G.

The unusual occurrence of the mineral metastrengite (FePO4.2H2O) in a cave on Manus Island is described. Its formation is attributed to the interaction of biogenic materials containing phosphates and ferruginous sediments derived from insoluble residues in the limestone bedrock.


La karstification de l'le haute carbonate de Makatea (Polynsie franaise) et les cycles eustatiques et climatiques quaternaires, 1991,
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Dessay J. , Pouchan Y. , Girou A. , Humbert L. , Malezieux J.
THE KARST 0F MAKATEA ISLAND (FRENCH POLYNESIA) AND THE CLIMATIC AND GLACIO-EUSTATISM SETTING - Located in the Central Pacific, in the northwestern part of the Tuamotu Archipelago, Makatea island (148 15 W - 15 50 S) is an uplifted, karstic, carbonate construction of Early Miocene age, which reaches 113m in height. From 1906 to 1966, phosphate deposits were exploited on Makatea Island. These phosphate deposits (apatite) overlaid the Miocene series and filled the karstic cavities in the higher regions of the island. Several traces of ancient shorelines can be observed on Makatea: 1/ three different reef formations, which reach about +27m, +7m, +1m above the present mean sea level and respectively dated 400,000 100,000 yr BP, 140,000 30,000 yr BP, between 4,470 150 yr BP and 3,720 13O yr BP; 2/ four distinct marine notch lines on the Early Miocene cliff at about +1m, +7m, +27m and +56m (or +47m on the west coast caused by tilt) above the present mean sea level; 3/ two exposed marine platforms respectively at +29m and +7m above the present mean sea level. The ages of the former makatean shores are inferred by using: (1) the Pacific glacio-eustatic sea-level curve for the last 140,000 yr BP, (2) the Pacific oxygen isotope curve for the last 900,000 yr BP, and (3) a constant uplift rate during the Pleistocene. In this way, according to their age and elevation, the sea-level indicators at about +1m, +7m and +27m (+29m) above the present mean sea level can be respectively related to the Holocene transgression (Flandrian) dated between 6,000 and 1,500 yr BP, to the last Pleistocene interglacial period (Sangamon) dated between about 130,000 and 110,000 yr BP, and to a Middle Pleistocene interglacial period (Yarmouth) dated between about 315,000 and 485,000 yr BP. If we assume that a sea level similar to the present occurred during the Yarmouth inter-glacial period, the uplift rate is valued at 0.085 mm/yr to 0.056 mm/yr. Thus the sea-level associated with the marine notch at about +56m (+47m) may be about 650,000 yr to 1 M.y. old and can be associated with another Pleistocene interglacial period (Aftonian). Consequently, as indicated by the former shores, the sea level fluctuations can be related to the major glacio-eustatic quaternary events. This climatic and eustatic setting is used to explain the karst observed on the Makatea island. Carbonate dissolution and essentially vertical karst genesis were the result of the superposition of several cycles. Each cycle was initially composed of a solution of the carbonates during an interglacial period, followed by a drainage of the saturated solutions during the marine regression associated with the consecutive glacial period. Nevertheless, this scheme is not enough to explain the specific morphology of the makatean karstic cavities and we suggest using insular phosphatisation to explain this karst genesis. It is generally accepted that phosphate rock deposits on coral reef islands are the result of chemical reaction between seabird guano and reef limestone. Furthermore, petrographic and stable isotope studies suggest several generations of phosphorite formation and reworking episodes in the history of these deposits. The primary deposition of phosphates must have begun during a glacial period. This deposition was followed by some redistribution of phosphorites during the interglacial period and by additional precipitation of apatite from meteoric waters. This assumed process of phosphogenesis is consistent with both the field observations and the geodynamic evolution of Makatea. Thus, the particular morphology of the makatean karst can be the result of the dissolution of the carbonates caused by phosphoric acid etching. This acid is derived from the evolution of the phosphorites during the pleistocene interglacial periods.

Evolution des karsts Ocaniens (Karsts, bauxite et phosphates), 1992,
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Bourrouilhlejan, Fr.
EVOLUTION OF THE PACIFIC OCEAN KARSTS - Karst phenomena constitute one of the main characteristics of the "high carbonate islands" of the Pacific Ocean. They are the key to the under-standing of the geological evolution, the stratigraphy, from Lower Miocene to Pleistocene and mid-Holocene, the diagenesis, mainly dolomitization and the current economic interest based on bauxite and phosphate. The eustatic variations have been numerous over the past 25 million years and can be added or substracted from the emersion and submersion movements of the plate supporting these carbonate platforms. Each island therefore has its own complex geological background with dolomitization, calcrete, bauxitic soils, fossil marine notches and karst surface either submerged or filled with phosphate, which can be mined for profit. Thanks to a thorough study of these platforms, it has been possible to establish an evolution of karst genesis in accordance with the evolution of the Pacific lithosphere and also to draw up a new model of phosphate genesis linked to phosphato-bauxitic soils and meromictic anoxic lakes.

Chemical deposits in volcanic caves of Argentina., 1998,
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Benedetto Carlos, Forti Paolo, Galli Ermanno, Rossi Antonio
During the last Conference of the FEALC (Speleological Federation of Latin America and Caribbean Islands) which was held in the town of Malargue, Mendoza, in February 1997, two volcanic caves not far from that town were visited and sampled for cave mineral studies. The first cave (Cueva del Tigre) opens close to the Llancanelo lake, some 40 kms far from Malargue and it is a classical lava tube. Part of the walls and of the fallen lava blocks are covered by white translucent fibres and grains. The second visited cave is a small tectonic cavity opened on a lava bed some 100 km southward of Malargue. The cave "El Abrigo de el Manzano" is long no more than 10-12 meters with an average width of 3 meters and it hosts several bird nests, the larger of which is characterized by the presence of a relatively thick pale yellow, pale pink flowstone. Small broken or fallen samples of the secondary chemical deposits of both these caves have been collected in order to detect their mineralogical composition. In the present paper the results of the detailed mineralogical analyses carried out on the sampled material are shortly reported. In the Cueva del Tigre lava tube the main detected minerals are Sylvite, Thenardite, Bloedite and Kieserite, all related to the peculiar dry climate of that area. The flowstone of "El Abrigo de el Manzano" consists of a rather complex admixture of several minerals, the large majority of which are phosphates but also sulfates and silicates, not all yet identified. The origin of all these minerals is related to the interaction between bird guano and volcanic rock.

Mineralogy of Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, 1999,
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Hill, C. A.
The mineralogy of Kartchner Caverns is both diverse and significant. Six different chemical classes are represented in this one cave: carbonates, nitrates, oxides, phosphates, silicates, and sulfates. It is significant primarily because: (1) the silicate minerals, nontronite and rectorite, have never before been reported from a cave occurrence; (2) the nitrate mineral, nitrocalcite, has never been described using modern techniques; (3) birdsnest needle quartz has been reported only from one other, non-cave, locality; and (4) extensive brushite moonmilk flowstone has not been reported from anywhere else in the world. Kartchner is a beautiful cave because its carbonate speleothems are colorful (shades of red, orange, yellow and tan) and alive (still wet and growing).

Trace element (Th, U, Pb, REE) behaviour in a cryptokarstic halloysite and kaolinite deposit from Southern Belgium: importance of 'accessory' mineral formation for radioactive pollutant trapping, 2002,
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De Putter T, Andre L, Bernard A, Dupuis C, Jedwab J, Nicaise D, Perruchot A,
Hectometer wide cryptokarsts in Paleozoic limestone from Southern Belgium have been studied, to determine to what extent U, Th, Ph and rare earth elements (REE) have been mobilized in the karst sedimentary filling, during a Miocene weathering event. The weathering process resulted in the massive halloysite/kaolinite formation at the karst wall. As with most fossil systems, data on weathering fluid chemistry are lacking, hence it is difficult to quantify relevant parameters such as pH, Eh, and to address solution chemistry. However, on the basis of both field studies of more recent systems, and of geochemical modeling, it is proposed that moderately acid fluids percolated through a multi-layer sedimentary filling, in near-surface conditions and in a temperate/warm climate. Special attention is paid to the trace element immobilization/trapping processes, in newly crystallized REE phosphates, at the karst wall. Analytical methods used include major/trace element geochemistry (emission ICP, ICP-MS) and mineralogy (XRD, SEM, TEM, microprobe). The results suggest that both the sandy sediments that are in contact with the karst carbonate wall, and the carbonate wall itself acted as a kind of geochemical 'barrier'. Mineralization cells settled there, at the decimeter to meter scale. This results in sequential trace element (Pb, Th, REE, U) trapping, according to the affinity of these elements for the aqueous solution. At the end of the sequence, minute U-rich automorphic (Ce, Nd) monazite crystals (from 3 nm upwards) formed on kaolinite flakes. Though the analogy between the studied cryptokarst and planned surface-based repositories for low-level radioactive waste (LLW) in argillaceous context is far from complete, the results outlined here are relevant because they show that even in natural-i.e. intrinsically uncontrolled and unmonitored-systems, 'pollutant' radionuclide (U, Th, REE, Pb) migration paths are often limited in space. Various processes converge towards trapping of these elements, that are present in the radioactive waste. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE GEOCHEMISTRY OF SEDIMENTS AND PERCOLATING WATERS IN THE MODRI] CAVE, CROATIA, 2002,
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Miko Slobodan, Kuhta Mladen, Kapelj Sanja

A comprehensive study of Modrić cave was undertaken to evaluate the baseline conditions before its utilization for tourism. Silty loams with guano contain abundant quartz, illite and taranakite and minor vivianite and high concentrations of Cu (2869 mg/kg), Zn (951 mg/kg) and Cd (28 mg/kg). Also sediments mixed with guano are enriched with light REE as well as elevated concentrations of U, Th, Rb and Hg. Sediments with bone fragments contain abundant quartz, illite, calcite and hydroxylapatite and minor carndallite and lower contents of heavy metals. All sediments analysed showed various degrees of contamination by Cu and Zn from dispersed guano. Most of the Zn and Cu in cave sediments and the hydroxyl-apatite crusts are mainly controlled by the iron and manganese hydroxide and the organic fractions, the organic fraction plays an important role in sediment samples with direct influence of guano and in hydroxylapatite crusts while in samples with bone fragments the hydroxide control is dominant. Guano influence on the percolating waters was observed in two cases in the left channel where due to the higher content of orthophosphates saturation in respect to hydroxyl-apatite is present.


Minerogenesis of volcanic caves of Kenya, 2003,
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Forti Paolo, Galli Ermanno, Rossi Antonio
Kenya is one of the few countries in which karst cavities are scarce with respect to volcanic ones, which are widespread throughout the whole country. The great variability in lava composition allowed the evolution of very different cavities, some of which are amongst the largest lava tubes of the world. As normal for such a kind of cave, the hosted speleothems and cave minerals are scarce but important from the minerogenetic point of view. Anyway up to present no specific mineralogical research have been carried out therein. During the 8th International Symposium on Volcanospeleology, held in Nairobi in February 1998, some of the most important volcanic caves of Kenya have been visited and their speleothems and/or chemical deposits sampled: most of them were related to thick guano deposits once present inside these cavities. Speleothems mainly consisted of opal or gypsum, while the deposits related to guano often resulted in a mixture of sulphates and phosphates. The analyses confirmed the great variability in the minerogenetic mechanisms active inside the volcanic caves, which consequently allow the evolution of several different minerals even if the total amount of chemical deposit is scarce. Among the observed minerals kogarkoite, phillipsite and hydroxyapophyllite, must be cited because they are new cave minerals not only for the lava tubes of Kenya, but also for the world cave environment. The achieved results are compared with the available random data from previous literature in order to allow an updated overview on the secondary cave minerals of Kenya.

Sequence of secondary phosphates deposition in a karst environment: evidence from Magurici Cave (Romania), 2003,
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Onac Bogdan P. , Veres Daniel S. ,
M[IMG]f1.gif' ALT='a' BORDER='0'>gurici Cave hosts a diverse assemblage of minerals. The phosphatization of illite and montmorillonite clay rich sediments, located on the cave's floor, lead to the formation of taranakite and francoanellite. Mineral assemblages precipitated at the boundary between limestone bedrock and guano deposits are dominantly hydroxylapatite, brushite, ardealite, and monetite. A number of sulphate minerals (gypsum, bassanite, mirabilite, and cesanite) were precipitated along with the phosphates, strengthen the physico-chemical conditions of the depositional environment. The major parameters controlling the environments under which these mineral assemblages were deposited are: pH, relative humidity, alkali content, and Ca/P ratio. In addition, this study presents the second worldwide reported occurrence of phosphammite discovered in a cave environment. This rare mineral occurs as small transparent crystals within the guano deposit, precipitated in an early stage from the liquid fraction of guano

Vulnerability mapping of the Turonian limestone aquifer in the Phosphates Plateau (Morocco), 2004,
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Ettazarini S. , Mahmouhi El. N.

Attribution des gravures paleolithiques de la grotte d'Aldene (Cesseras, Herault) a l'Aurignacien par la datation des remplissages geologiques, 2005,
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Ambert P, Guendon Jl, Galant P, Quinif Y, Gruneisen A, Colomer A, Dainat D, Beaumes B, Requirand C,
ResumeLes gravures paleolithiques de la grotte d'Aldene ont ete decouvertes [13] dans une galerie revelee par l'exploitation miniere des phosphates de ce karst [10]. Reduites a une dizaine d'unites, ces gravures ont pourtant suscite plusieurs etudes [13,15,21]. La derniere [19] souligne leurs ressemblances (faunique et stylistique) avec le bestiaire de la grotte Chauvet [5-7]. L'etude stratigraphique, paleontologique et chronologique des remplissages permet de situer le passage des paleolithiques entre le depot de deux planchers stalagmitiques dates de 37 000 et 24 400 BP. La datation de 30 260 [plus-or-minus sign] 220 BP obtenue sur les charbons issus d'un niveau intermediaire atteste une incursion humaine a l'Aurignacien, synchrone de la premiere phase de l'art de Chauvet. Pour citer cet article : P. Ambert et al., C. R. Palevol 4 (2005).AbstractAttribution of the Palaeolithic engravings of the cave of Aldene (Cesseras, Herault) to the Aurignacian by the dating of geological deposits. The Palaeolithic engravings of the cave of Aldene were discovered [13] in a gallery revealed during the mining of phosphates in this karst [10]. Although only made up of about ten units, these engravings have given rise to several studies [13,15,21]. The most recent [19] highlights their similarities (faunal and stylistic) with the bestiary from the Chauvet cave [5-7]. The stratigraphic, palaeontological and chronological study of the cave deposits permits the dating of the presence of the Palaeolithic people between the deposition of two dripstone floors dated at 37 000 and 24 400 BP. The date of 30 260 [plus-or-minus sign] 220 BP obtained on charcoal sampled from an intermediate level attests a human incursion in the Aurignacian period, which is contemporary with the first phase of the art of Chauvet. To cite this article: P. Ambert et al., C.R. Palevol 4 (2005)

Vashegyite from Gaura cu Musc? Cave., 2006,
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Onac Bogdan P. , Zaharia Lumini?a, Kearns Joe, Veres Daniel
This study investigated the occurrence of vashegyite from a guano-rich deposit located in the Gaura cu Musc? Cave, Romania. Analytical methods used include optical microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron-microscopy (SEM), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), thermal investigations and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) analyses. Vashegyite occurs as friable, chalky white, irregular nodules of up to 2.5 cm in diameter, within a 15 cm thick sequence of organic and minerogenic sediments. The chemical structural formula is: (Al10.91Fe3+ 0.06Na0.1Ca0.02Mg0.08)?=11.17[(PO4)8.78(SiO4)0.056]?=8.83(OH)6.1743.79H2O. Electron microscope images show vashegyite crystals to be flattened on (001). The orthorhombic lattice constants of vashegyite determined by XRD are a = 10.766(2) , b = 15.00(4) , c = 22.661(1) , and V = 3660.62 3 (Z = 4). The major weight loss, reflected in 3 endothermic peaks, was observed between 40 and 200C, corresponding to the removal of water molecules. Vashegyite FT-IR absorption bands are comparable in position and relative intensity to other Al-phosphates. Water percolating through guano becomes strongly acidic and reacts with the clay-rich sediment laid down by the underground stream to form vashegyite. In the lower part of the investigated profile, crandallite and ardealite were also found.

EVIDENCE FROM CERNA VALLEY CAVES (SW ROMANIA) FOR SULFURIC ACID SPELEOGENESIS: A MINERALOGICAL AND STABLE ISOTOPE STUDY, 2009,
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Onac B. , Sumrall J. , Wynn J. , Tamas T. , Dormiceanu V. , Cizma? C.

Over 30 caves are known to develop in the Jurassic and Cretaceous limestone that outcrops along the lower part of the Cerna Valley and its tributaries in southwestern Romania. There are three features that strike observers when entering most of these caves: a variety of sulfate speleothems, large amounts of bat guano (both fossil and fresh), and unusually high cave temperatures. Such thermal anomalies are rather uncommon in the ordinary cave environment. Along Cerna Valley, however, one can measure temperatures (in some cavities) as high as 40ºC. This situation is due to (i) presence of thermal water pools, (ii) hot water flowing along cave passages, (iii) hot steam rising up fractures from depth.
Seventy-four mineral samples were collected from eight caves in the Cerna Valley. These were investigated by means of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, and electron microprobe analyses. The minerals identified so far in Sălitrari, Ion Barzoni, Sălitrari 2, Diana, Adam, Despicătura, and Grota cu Aburi caves, are: calcite [CaCO3], aragonite [CaCO3], gypsum [CaSO4•2H2O], anhydrite [CaSO4], pickeringite [MgAl2(SO4)4•22H2O], halotrichite [Fe2+Al2(SO4)4•22H2O], kalinite [KAl(SO4)2•11H2O], melanterite [FeSO4•7H2O], apatite- (Ca(OH) [Ca5(PO4)3(OH)], brushite [CaHPO4•2H2O], darapskite [Na3(SO4)(NO3)•H2O], and nitratine [NaNO3]. The phosphates and nitrates (except for darapskite) were precipitated in a typical vadose environment from reactions between phosphoric solutions supplied by bat guano and limestone bedrock. Most of the sulfates and darapskite are the result of sulfuric acid speleogenesis.
In addition, sulfur isotope measurements (δ34S) on sulfate speleothems and spring waters were undertaken to determine the origin of cave sulfates (i.e., vadose, hypogene, bacteriogenic, etc.). The isotope measurements in the springs show sulfide δ34S ranges from -21.9‰ to 24.0‰ with a mean value of 6.6‰ (n=9), whereas the sulfate δ34S ranges from 16.6‰ to 71.3‰ with a mean value of 30.1‰ (n=10).
Three populations of sulfur isotope values (negative, near zero, and positive) were found in the caves. Samples from Barzoni Cave (the most distant cave from any modern thermal spring) are extremely depleted (-23 to -28‰). Sulfide values of the nearest springs are approximately -20‰. In Sălitrari Cave, the range of values was from -19.8 to +6.5‰. It is more than likely a reflection of the increase in completeness of the reduction of sulfate. The δ34S value of gypsum in Grota cu Aburi (active H2S hot steam cave) was 6.5‰. This value is similar to the sulfur isotopic composition measured in darapskite from Sălitrari Cave; thus, probably documenting earlier sulfuric acid activity in the latter cave.
The final population of caves, especially Despicătura and Diana caves, has enriched sulfur isotope values, which correspond well to the sulfide values of nearby springs. Diana Cave from which Diana 3 spring originates has a sulfide isotopic composition of +19‰, which is approximately the value of the mean of the cave sulfates from Diana Cave. This shows that the cave sulfate isotopic value is controlled by the sulfide, which (after being oxidized) reacts with limestone/marls to produce gypsum or other sulfate minerals.


Revisiting three minerals from Cioclovina Cave (Romania), 2011,
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Onac Bogdan P. , Effenberger Herta S. , Collins Nathan C. , Kearns Joe B. , Breban Radu C.

Cioclovina Cave in Romania’s Southern Carpathians is a world-renowned cave site for its paleontological, anthropological, and mineralogical (type locality of ardealite) findings. To date, over 25 mineral species have been documented, some unusual for a cave environment. This paper presents details on the occurrence of collinsite [Ca2(Mg,Fe2+)(PO4)2·2H2O], atacamite [Cu22+Cl(OH)3], and kröhnkite [Na2Cu2+(SO4)2·2H2O] based on single-crystal X-ray diffraction, electron microprobe, stable isotope analyses, and scanning electron microscope imaging. This is the first reported occurrence of kröhnkite in a cave environment. Atacamite represents the weathering product (in the presence of Lower-Cretaceous limestone-derived chlorine) of copper minerals washed into the cave from nearby ore bodies. Atacamite, and kröhnkite have similar sources for copper and chlorine, whereas sodium probably originates from weathered Precambrian and Permian detrital rocks. Collinsite is believed to have precipitated from bat guano in a damp, near-neutral pH environment. The results show the following sequence of precipitation: ardealite-brushite-(gypsum)-atacamite-kröhnkite. This suggests that the observed mineral paragenesis is controlled by the neutralization potential of the host-rock mineralogy and the concentrations of Ca, Cl, Cu, and Na.


Mineralogy of Iza Cave (Rodnei Mountains, N. Romania), 2011,
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Tă, Maş, Tudor, Kristly Ferenc, Barbutudoran Lucian

The secondary minerals from Iza Cave result from the interactions of karst water and/or cave atmosphere over a variety of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks. The cave passages expose at various extents Eocene limestones and conglomerates, Oligocene black shales, Upper Precambrian micaschists, marble and dolomitic marble and associated ore deposits.
Twelve secondary minerals identified in the cave (carbonates, sulfates, phosphates, oxides and hydroxides, and silicates) are presented in this study. Calcite, aragonite, gypsum, brushite and hydroxylapatite are the components of common speleothems in the limestone, dolomite and conglomerate areas of the cave. Ankerite crusts are related to areas with pyrite mineralization within the metamorphic carbonate rocks. Goethite, jarosite, hematite and gypsum form various speleothems in the sectors within micaschists and conglomerates. Large weathering deposits occurring in passage areas developed within micaschists consist of illite, kaolinite, jarosite, goethite, gypsum and alunite. The extent of the weathering deposits occurring on non-karst rocks in the underground environment makes this cave a particularly interesting site for studies of water-rock interactions.


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