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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 invasion is in geophysical well logging, the penetration of a fluid into the porous medium [16].?

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

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 photosynthesis (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
Carbonate chemistry of surface waters in a temperate karst region: the southern Yorkshire Dales, UK, 1992,
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Pentecost Allan,
A detailed study of surface water chemistry is described from an important limestone region in northern England. Major ions and pH were determined for 485 sites (springs, seeps, streams, rivers and lakes) during summertime. The saturation state of the waters with respect to calcite was determined as the calcite saturation ratio ([Omega]). An unexpectedly large number of samples were found to be supersaturated (65.5% of the 268 km of watercourses surveyed). As a consequence, several streams entering major cave systems were incapable of further limestone solution, at least during periods of low flow. Many waters were supersaturated from their source and some deposited travertine. A significant negative correlation was found between spring discharge and both ([Omega]) and pH. Supersaturation was caused primarily by atmospheric degassing, with some contribution from aquatic plant photosynthesis.The median total dissolved inorganic carbon and Ca concentrations were 2.49 and 1.35 millimoles 1-1 respectively. Calcium originated exclusively from limestone, and carbon dioxide mainly from the soil and dissolved limestone. South facing catchments provided springwaters with significantly higher levels of TDIC and Ca when compared with north facing catchments. The study suggests that acid rain made a measurable contribution to limestone dissolution.Carboniferous limestone denudation rates were estimated as 54 to 63 m3 km-2 a-1 (54 to 63 mm 1000 years-1). About 50% of the Mg came from limestone and the remainder, together with most K, Na, SO4 and Cl from precipitation.Concentrations of dissolved nutrients were low, medians for NO3, NH4, total PO4 and SiO3 were 24 [mu]mol, 1.4 [mu]mol, 0.64 [mu]mol and 15.5 [mu]mol 1-1 respectively. The concentration of a further 23 trace elements was determined

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Laurila T. , Lattila H. ,
The occurrence of ozone concentrations and exposure indices related to the adverse effects of ozone upon vegetation are reported for four Finnish background stations. In Finland, ozone concentrations are often near the background tropospheric values of cn. 30 ppb. Very high concentrations are not observed. The maximum 1-h average in this data set was 79 ppb. The exposure parameter, which accumulates growing season 1-h average concentrations above a 40 ppb base-line in daylight hours, gave clearly different exposure sums for the stations. These values varied between 4000 and 8500 ppb-h in the southern archipelago, 3000-6500 ppb-h in the southern coastal region, 2000-4000 ppb-h in central parts of the country, and 400-1000 ppb-h in the northern parts of the country. The date of the start of the vegetative season is important in high northern latitudes, because the spring maximum of ozone concentrations is relatively intense compared to the summer maximum. In northern Scandinavia, ozone exposures are particularly sensitive to the date of the start of the growing season. The long daylight period in northern Scandinavia is less important in this respect, since during the growing season ozone concentrations are usually below 40 ppb during the morning and evening hours. A good correlation was found between growing season average concentrations of the sum of gaseous HNO3 and particulate NO3-, and on ozone exposure index which accumulates concentrations above a 40 ppb base-line, confirming the anthropogenic origin of the elevated ozone exposures

Phototrophic Microorganisms of the Pamukkale, 1997,
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Pentecost Allan, Bayari Serdar , Yesertener Cahit
The travertines at Pamukkale contain a diverse assemblage of phototrophs: 17 species of cyanobacteria, 16 diatoms, and 5 Chlorophyceae. Two communities were recognized on the active travertines: (1) surficial mats dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria, particularly Lyngbya (Phormidium) laminosum forming soft weakly mineralized layers to 10 mm thick, and (2) a predominantly endolithic assemblage, also dominated by cyanobacteria developing 2-5 mm below the travertine surface. The distribution of these communities is determined largely by water flow and the degree of desiccation. Two further communities are briefly described from nondepositing areas. Most of the active travertine consists of alternating layers of micrite and sparite 0.25-0.75 mm in thickness, which probably result from short-term fluctuations in water flow rather than diel events (photosynthesis, temperature). The presence of needle-fiber calcite in surface samples suggests that evaporation of water may play some part in travertine formation. The phototrophs appear to influence the travertine fabric only locally, where the surficial growths contain strings of calcite crystals ad-hering to the filaments, forming irregularly laminated layers. The hot-spring water is believed to be contaminated with sewage and agricultural effluent, but there was no evidence to suggest that this is currently affecting the travertine deposits. The water is supersaturated with respect to calcite when it contacts the travertine, and precipitation is primarily the result of carbon dioxide evasion. Water chemistry and discharge measurements indicate a total travertine deposition rate of 35 tonnes per day.

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Bayari C. Serdar, Kurttas Turker
Travertines are terrestrial, fresh water carbonate deposits formed by karstic springs and associated streams which are saturated with respect to calcite. Field observations form recently travertine depositing arstic springs in Aladağlar, Eastern Taurids ? Turkey indicate that the deposition process is accelerated considerably by the physical and biochemical contribution of algae which are mostly belong to classes of Cyanophyceae (blue-green algae) Chlorophyceae (diatoms), Eugleno-phyceae and Xhantophyceae. Algae conributes physically to the deposition of travertine by means of trapping of inorganically formed calcite micro-crystals by algal filaments and mucilagenous secretions and by providing proper nucleation sites for calcite precipitation. Biochemical activity of algae also forces the aquatic system to deposit travertine due to the photosynthetic removal of free carbondioxide from the solution. Field observations indicate that the rate of physical and chemical contribution to the deposition depends strongly on the hydraullic conditions. Physical and biochemical roles becomes important in high and low /velocity/energy streams, respectively. The effect of algal association over the travertine deposition can be observed apparently especially in streams where the ratio of algal mass to the rate of stream flow is substantially high. Since the climatic conditions (air temperature and insolation) have strong influence upon the abundance of algae, the rate of travertine deposited by algal contribution decreasing during winter months when algal population decreases. Similarly , the biochemical contribution shows a diurnal pattern with a maximum during a mid day because of the higher uptake of carbondioxide via photosynthesis.

Chemoautotrophic microbial mats in submarine caves with hydrothermal sulphidic springs at Cape Palinuro, Italy, 1998,
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Mattison R. G. , Abbiati M. , Dando P. R. , Fitzsimons M. F. , Pratt S. M. , Southward A. J. , Southward E. C. ,
Observations were made on the distribution, morphology, and chemoautotrophic potential of microbial mats found in submarine caves of dolomitized limestone which contain hydrothermal sulphidic springs at Cape Palinuro, Italy. The distribution of microbial mats is closely associated with the flow of hydrothermal fluid from springs whose activity is intermittent and initiated during low tide. Fluid emitted from active springs in the Grotta Azzurra has a maximum temperature of 24.6 degrees C and is enriched in dissolved sulfur species (H2S, S2O32-) and dissolved gases (CH4, CO2). However, it is depleted in NaCl and dissolved O-2, in comparison with ambient seawater. This fluid is less dense and rises above the ambient seawater to form a visible thermocline and chemocline separating both lavers in the submarine caves. Microbial mats were attached to rock surfaces immersed in fluid above the chemocline and were differentiated into brown and white forms. Brown mats were composed of trichomes (4.2 0.1 mu m and 20.3 0.7 mu m in diameter) resembling the calcareous rock-boring cyanobacterium Schizothrix and clusters (6 mu m in diameter) of sarcina-like cells morphologically resembling methanogenic bacteria. White mats were composed of attached filaments resembling Beggiatoa (19.3 0.5 mu m, 39.0 1.7 mu m, and 66.9 3.3 mu m in diameter) and Thiothrix (4.2 0.2 mu m in diameter). Flexibacteria (<1 mu m in diameter) were common to both mats. Beggiatoa-like filaments were morphologically similar to those attached to rocks and the byssal threads of mussels from Lucky Strike vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Morphological comparisons were also made with typical gliding Beggiatoa from shallow seeps in Eckernforder Bucht, Baltic Sea. White mats displayed chemoautotrophic fixation of CO2 under relatively well-oxygenated laboratory conditions (maximum rate 50.2 nmol CO2/mg dry wt/h) using internal S-0 or possibly S2O32- as electron donor. Photosynthesis may be limited in the Grotta Azzurra by insufficient illumination (6.3 x 10(-7) mu einsteins/cm(2)/s), with the possibility of Schizothrix living (at least in part) as a chemoheterotroph on while mats. Chemoautotrophic fixation of CO2 by white mats is proposed as a significant source of nutrition for benthic fauna in these caves, and has been estimated as contributing 50-70 mu mol CO2/m(2) of mat/min, as measured under laboratory conditions

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Wang H. , Liu Z. , Zhang J. , Sun H. , An D. , Fu R. , Wang X.
Automatic hydrochemical logging and in situ titration combined with laboratory analysis were used to understand the spatial and temporal hydrochemical variations of the spring-fed, travertine-depositing stream in celebrated Huanglong Ravine, Sichuan, SW China. This is essential for protection of the Huanglong World Natural Heritage travertine landscape. It was found that the deposition of travertine was due to very strong CO2 degassing from the water, leading to decrease in pCO2 and specific conductivity (SpC), and increase in pH and SIc downstream from the Spring. However, regular downstream hydrochemical evolution was interrupted by dilution with snowmelt water and by renewed CO2 from some downstream springs. The chemistry of Huanglong Spring itself was stable at a diurnal scale though it was altered by the great Wenchuan earthquake of May 12 2008. However, in spring-fed pools downstream, pCO2 and SpC were lower, and pH and SIc were higher in daytime than at night, which indicates that the deposition of travertine was faster during the daylight hours. This was due to the combined e?ects of higher water tempera-tures and higher aquatic algae photosynthesis. In addition, it was found that the phosphate concentration in the stream in-creased remarkably downstream in the tourist midseason, in-dicating water pollution by tourism activities. ?e increase of phosphate (an inhibitor of calcite precipitation) may be one of the reasons for the decrease in travertine deposition rates and accelerated propagation of discoloration by diatoms during the past decades, which needs to be given more comprehensive study and tackled in future for the protection of these world famous travertine deposits.Keywords: hydrochemical var

In situ acetylene reduction activity of Scytonema julianum in Vapor cave (Spain), 2011,
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Asencio A. D. , Aboal M.

Nitrogen fixation was measured in situ for the first time by acetylene reduction for a greyish mat composed of Scytonema julianum in cave-like environments. Mat-specific rates (129.9-215.7 nmol C2 H4 m-2 s-1 for daytime fixation and 65.1-120.6 nmol C2 H4 m-2 s-1 for nighttime fixation) recorded in the Vapor cave differed considerably due to the energy reserves stored during photosynthesis being exhausted and used in the dark phase. The most influential environmental parameter for nitrogen fixation in the Vapor cave is temperature in the daytime and nighttime fixations. Nitrogen fixation by cyanobacteria may contribute considerably to the overall nitrogen cycle in harsh environments such as caves. Nitrogenase activity in Scytonema julianum was roughly 30 times higher than that of Scytonema mirabile, which also grew in cave environments, which is due to the characteristics of each site. The entrance of Vapour cave (Spain) faces SE, measures 0.75 x 0.6 m and opens to shafts of a total depth of 80 m. Its dimensions and environmental conditions (relative humidity up to 100%; maximum temperature, 43ºC) imply that it is isolated from external influences, and that the microclimate differs substantially from that experienced externally. Nitrogen fixation, photon flux density, relative humidity and temperature in the Vapor cave were taken hourly over a 24-hour period in winter.

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Ford Derek


Marl lakes are those accumulating fine-grained bottom sediments that include at least 15% CaCO3. They are found worldwide. The most visually attractive, however, have higher proportions of CaCO3, with crystallites precipitating in the water to give it a rich and opaque duck-egg blue colouration. From the literature, such lakes are largely limited to recently glaciated carbonate rock terrains. Most are also shallow, with much or all of the water column being in the photic zone. Little Limestone Lake, (Lat. 53°47’N, Long. 99°19’W in the province of Manitoba) is the finest example that the author has seen. It stands out sharply from neighbouring lakes in summertime colour satellite imagery due to the intensity and uniformity of its colour. The lake occupies a shallow glacial trough scoured in a plain of flat-lying cyclothem dolomites. It is ~12 km long, 1–5 km wide, rarely >7 m deep. Including bordering wetlands, it occupies ~45 % of the area of an elongated, narrow topographic basin. Recharge is through impoverished boreal forest with little soil cover; it discharges chiefly as springs and seeps along and below the shore. Mean annual temperature is ~0 °C, and precipitation is ~475 mm.y1. Previous studies of springs in the surrounding region showed ground waters to be simple bicarbonate composition, with TDS = 230–300 mg.l-1 (Ca 40–60 mg.l-1, Mg 30–40 mg.l-1). Grab sampling at 27 sites throughout the lake found the waters de-gassed to 125–135 mg.l-1, placing them in the mid-range of one hundred marl lakes investigated in more detail in the British Isles. Ca was reduced to 25–30 mg.l-1, while Mg was stable at 30–40 mg.l-1. There were 2–3 mg.l-1 of free CO3 in two fully analysed samples, indicating that plankton photosynthesis might be occurring. However, samples of the bottom marl were predominantly inorganic in their composition. Little Limestone Lake is visually spectacular because it is almost entirely groundwater-fed, with a ratio of recharge area to lake area that is low. It has no large, chemically equilibrated, surface streams entering it. In contrast, the dozens of nearby lakes (similar, larger or smaller in size) are regularly flushed by channelled storm water and, although they also produce some carbonate marl, cannot maintain high densities of crystallites in suspension. Little Limestone Lake was placed under legislated protection as a provincial park in June 2011.

Insights into Cave Architecture and the Role of Bacterial Biofilm, 2013,
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Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside conditions. They lend living proof of the presence of minute life forms that delve deep within the earth’s crust where the possibility of life seems impossible. Devoid of all light sources and lacking the most common source of energy supplied through photosynthesis, the mysterious microbial kingdom in caves are consequently dependent upon alternative sources of energy derived from the surrounding atmosphere, minerals and rocks. There are a number of features that can be observed within a cave that may serve as evidence of microbial activity, for example, formation of biofilms comprised of multiple layers of microbial communities held together by protective gel-like polymers which form complex structures. Different bacterial biofilms can develop on the walls of the cave which can be visually distinguished by their colorations. Moreover, the pH generated by the metabolism of bacterial biofilm on the cave environment can lead to precipitation or dissolution of minerals in caves. Caves also offer an excellent scenario for studying biomineralization processes. The findings on the association of bacteria with secondary minerals as mentioned in this review will help to expand the existing knowledge in geomicrobiology and specifically on the influence of microorganisms in the formation of cave deposits. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of biospeleology of caves and the associated bacterial biofilms. Recommendations for future research are mentioned to encourage a drift from qualitative studies to more experimental studies.

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