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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 accidental is an animal accidentally living in a cave [25].?

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 processes (Keyword) returned 873 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 873
Conduit enlargement in an eogenetic karst aquifer, ,
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Moore Paul J. , Martin Jonathan B. , Screaton Elizabeth J. , Neuhoff Philip S.

Most concepts of conduit development have focused on telogenetic karst aquifers, where low matrix permeability focuses flow and dissolution along joints, fractures, and bedding planes. However, conduits also exist in eogenetic karst aquifers, despite high matrix permeability which accounts for a significant component of flow. This study investigates dissolution within a 6-km long conduit system in the eogenetic Upper Floridan aquifer of north-central Florida that begins with a continuous source of allogenic recharge at the Santa Fe River Sink and discharges from a first-magnitude spring at the Santa Fe River Rise. Three sources of water to the conduit include the allogenic recharge, diffuse recharge through epikarst, and mineralized water upwelling from depth. Results of sampling and inverse modeling using PHREEQC suggest that dissolution within the conduit is episodic, occurring only during 30% of 16 sampling times between March 2003 and April 2007. During low flow conditions, carbonate saturated water flows from the matrix to the conduit, restricting contact between undersaturated allogenic water with the conduit wall. When gradients reverse during high flow conditions, undersaturated allogenic recharge enters the matrix. During these limited periods, estimates of dissolution within the conduit suggest wall retreat averages about 4 × 10−6 m/day, in agreement with upper estimates of maximum wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because dissolution is episodic, time-averaged dissolution rates in the sink-rise system results in a wall retreat rate of about 7 × 10−7 m/day, which is at the lower end of wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because of the high permeability matrix, conduits in eogenetic karst thus enlarge not just at the walls of fractures or pre-existing conduits such as those in telogenetic karst, but also may produce a friable halo surrounding the conduits that may be removed by additional mechanical processes. These observations stress the importance of matrix permeability in eogenetic karst and suggest new concepts may be necessary to describe how conduits develop within these porous rocks.


Paleoclimate and location of the border between Mediterranean climate region and the Saharo-Arabian Desert as revealed by speleothems from the northern Negev Desert, Israel, ,
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Vaks A. , Barmatthews M. , Ayalon A. , Matthews A. , Frumkin A. , Dayan U. , Halicz L. , Mogilabin A. , Schilman B. ,
Speleothem bearing karstic caves of the northern Negev Desert, southern Israel, provides an ideal site for reconstructing the paleoclimate and paleo-location of the border between Mediterranean climate region and the Saharo-Arabian Desert. Major periods of speleothem deposition (representing humid periods) were determined by high resolution 230Th-U dating and corresponding studies of stable isotope composition were used to identify the source of rainfall during humid periods and the vegetation type. Major humid intervals occurred during glacials at 190-150[no-break space]ka, 76-25[no-break space]ka, 23-13[no-break space]ka and interglacials at 200-190[no-break space]ka, 137-123[no-break space]ka and 84-77[no-break space]ka. The dominant rainfall source was the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, with a possible small contribution from southern tropical sources during the interglacial periods. When the interglacial interval rainfall was of Eastern Mediterranean origin, the minimum annual rainfall was ~ 300-350[no-break space]mm; approximately twice than of the present-day. Lower minimum amounts of precipitation could have occurred during glacial periods, due to the cooler temperatures and reduced evaporation. Although during most of the humid periods the vegetation remained steppe with mixed C3 C4 vegetation, Mediterranean C3 type steppe-forest vegetation invaded southward for short periods, and the climate in the northern Negev became closer to Mediterranean type than at present. The climate was similar to present, or even more arid, during intervals when speleothem deposition did not occur: 150-144[no-break space]ka, 141-140[no-break space]ka, 117-96[no-break space]ka, 92-85[no-break space]ka, 25-23[no-break space]ka, and 13[no-break space]ka-present-day.Precipitation increase occurred in the northern Negev during the interglacial monsoonal intensity maxima at 198[no-break space]ka, 127[no-break space]ka, 83[no-break space]ka and glacial monsoonal maxima at 176[no-break space]ka, 151[no-break space]ka, 61[no-break space]ka and 33[no-break space]ka. However, during interglacial monsoonal maxima at 105[no-break space]ka and 11[no-break space]ka, the northern Negev was arid whereas during glacial monsoonal minima it was usually humid. This implies that there is not always synchroneity between monsoonal activity and humidity in the region.Oxygen isotopic values of the northern Negev speleothems are systematically lower than contemporaneous speleothems of central and northern Israel. This part is attributed to the increased rainout of the heavy isotopes by Rayleigh fractionation processes, possibly due to the farther distance from the Mediterranean coast

Recharge of Phreatic Aquifers in (Semi-)Arid Areas, ,
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Groundwater use is of fundamental importance to meet the rapidly expanding urban, industrial and agricultural water requirements in (semi) arid areas. Quantifying the current rate of groundwater recharge and define its variability in space and time are thus prerequesites for efficient groundwater resource managment in these regions, where such resources are often the key to economic development. Attention focuses on recharge of phreatic aquifers, often the most readily-available and affordable source of water in (semi) arid regions. These aquifers are also the most susceptible to contamination, with the recharge rate determining their level of vulnerability. (Semi) arid zone recharge can be highly variable, the greater the aridity, the smaller and potentially more variable the natural flux. Its determination is an iterative process, involving progressive data collection and resource evaluation; there is also a need to use more than one technique to verify results. Direct, localised and indirect recharge mechanisms from a spectrum of known sources are addressed in the framework of recharge from precipitation, intermittant flow and permanent water bodies. The approach taken for each of these reflects the nature and current understanding of the processes involved. The volume also reviews current recharge estimation challenges, outlines recent developments and offers guidance for potential solutions.

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity at a karst spring induced by variable catchment boundaries: the case of the Podstenjšek spring, Slovenia, ,
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Ravbar, N. , Engelhardt, I. , Goldscheider, N.

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity (SEC) was observed at a karst spring in Slovenia during 26 high-flow events in an 18-month monitoring period. A conceptual model explaining this anomalous SEC variability is presented and reproduced by numerical modelling, and the practical relevance for source protection zoning is discussed. After storm rainfall, discharge increases rapidly, which is typical for karst springs. SEC displays a first maximum during the rising limb of the spring hydrograph, followed by a minimum indicating the arrival of freshly infiltrated water, often confirmed by increased levels of total organic carbon (TOC). The anomalous behaviour starts after this SEC minimum, when SEC rises again and remains elevated during the entire high-flow period, typically 20–40 µS/cm above the baseflow value. This is explained by variable catchment boundaries: When the water level in the aquifer rises, the catchment expands, incorporating zones of groundwater with higher SEC, caused by higher unsaturated zone thickness and subtle lithologic changes. This conceptual model has been checked by numerical investigations. A generalized finite-difference model including high-conductivity cells representing the conduit network (“discrete-continuum approach”) was set up to simulate the observed behaviour of the karst system. The model reproduces the shifting groundwater divide and the nearly simultaneous increase of discharge and SEC during high-flow periods. The observed behaviour is relevant for groundwater source protection zoning, which requires reliable delineation of catchment areas. Anomalous behaviour of SEC can point to variable catchment boundaries that can be checked by tracer tests during different hydrologic conditions.


Breccia and Pennsylvanian cave filling in Mississippian Saint Louis Limestone, Putnam County, Indiana, 1961,
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Smith Ned Myron, Sunderman Jack Allen, Melhorn Wilton Newton,
A limestone breccia and several bodies of shale and sandstone in Mississippian St. Louis limestone were discovered in a quarry opened during the summer of 1959 in the SE1/4NW1/4 sec. 15, T.15N., R.4W., Putnam County. A small mass of sandy limestone conglomerate overlay part of the breccia. Nearly all these bodies have been removed in quarrying. The breccia and the shale-sandstone masses appear to have originated from 2 separate geologic processes which occurred at 2 different times. The origin of the breccia is in doubt because not enough critical evidence is available to prove conclusively and single origin. The authors believe, however, that the breccia probably is the product of a submarine rock slump during St. Louis time which was triggered by the tectonic activity that initiated early movements along the Mt. Carmel fault. Other possible origins, such as solution of evaporites accompanied by collapse of overlying rock or formation of caves in a karst terrain followed by roof collapse, are not supported by the evidence observed. The shale-sandstone bodies are believed to be rocks of Pennsylvanian age which were deposited in caverns developed during the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian erosion interval. The limestone conglomerate is probably of the same age as the shale-sandstone bodies

About enfluence of carbon dioxide, originated during destruction of oil deposits, on development of karst processes, 1963,
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Kaveev M. C.


Processes of limestone cave development., 1964,
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Howard Alan D.
Three processes successively predominate in enlarging original fractures within limestone into cavern passages: (I) early dissolving by acid produced by oxidizing reactions within the groundwater as it flows through the limestone; (2) dissolving caused by the initial undersaturation with respect to calcite of the groundwater when it enters the limestone; and (3) increased dissolving which occurs at the transition from laminar to turbulent groundwater flow. Only those original fractures in limestone which are widest and which have a high hydraulic gradient acting across them will be enlarged into cavern passages. Until all available surface drainage has been diverted underground, cavern development takes place under a constant hydraulic head, and the rate of limestone solution increases with time. After all available surface drainage has been diverted underground, the discharge through the cave, rather than the hydraulic head, remains constant, and the rate of limestone solution decreases toward a constant value. These principles apply to caverns formed both by water-table flow and by artesian flow.

On subterranean confluences., 1965,
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Bleahu Marcian
The development of a subterranean drainage system depends on the way in which subterranean confluences between different rivers can be formed. Different from surface, in which confluences are determined by processes related to the surface runoff of water, in subterranean karst confluences have a random pattern and are related to certain circumstances independent of the underground flow. These conditions are: pre-existence of circulation ways and the way they are distributed in space. At these the peculiar processes of subterranean karst flow determined by the flow under pressure, the only one that can explain the systematic appearance of confluences, have to be added. In function of these parameters a morphogenetic classification of subterranean confluences is given.

Calcium and Magnesium In Karst Waters, 1965,
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Douglas, I.

The basic textbooks and reference sources in speleology (Kunsky, 1954; Trombe, 1952 and Warwick, 1962) describe the process of solution of carbonate rocks in terms of the system CaCO3 - H20 - CO2, making little or no reference to the role of MgCO3 in the solution process. The widespread occurrence of dolomitic rocks amongst the older sedimentary formations of Australia, e.g., at Buchan, Victoria, and Camooweal, Queensland, makes some knowledge of the complexity of solution processes in rocks containing dolomite highly desirable for the understanding of the development of caves in this continent. This paper is intended to review the scattered literature on this topic and to describe what is known of the behaviour of the system CaO - Mg0 - CO2 - H20.


Processes of Cavern Breakdown, 1969,
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White Elizabeth L. , White William B.

Cave Development during a Catastrophic Storm in the Great Valley of Virginia, 1971,
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Doehring Do, Vierbuchen Rc,
Observations made before aind after a catastrophic storml support the conclutsion that caves receivinig storm recharge may be significantly developed in the vadose zone by the processes of niass transfer. These processes are greatly accelerated during times of major floods. Evidence indicates that in ancient times floods of similar magnitude have occurred

Ecological and evolutive aspects of the communities of temperate and tropical caves: observations on the biological cycles of some species of Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1973,
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Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Sbordoni Valerio
Differences between tropical and temperate cave communities are an important topic in the actual biospeleological thinking. Among the most striking differences is the paucity of terrestrial troglobites in tropical caves. This fact may depend on the higher energy input into tropical caves which lessens the selection pressures for energy-economizing troglobite adaptations. Consequently evolutionary rates would be slowed in tropical caves and, in a date group, troglobites would appear later in such caves than in temperate ones with lower energy input. In order to investigate this point the authors studied the degree of adaptation to the cave environment in two species of Mexican Ptomaphagus which, being phylogenetically related, probably descend from the same epigean ancestor. Among these species the first one, P. troglomexicanus Peck, lives in a typical temperate cave (i.e. cold, high altitude cave, with scarce food supply) in the Sierra de Guatemala (Tamaulipas), the other one, P. spelaeus (Bilimek), populates tropical caves (i.e. warm, lowland cave, with rich food supply) in the State of Guerrero. In addition a comparison is made with P. pius Seidlitz, an epigean species from southern Europe. The results show a striking difference between P. troglomexicanus on a side and the other two species. Differences chiefly concern morphological features such as relative antenna length, structural complexity (i.e. the number of sensilla) of the antenna chemioreceptor organs in the 70, 90, 100 segments, degree of reduction of eye, wing and pigmentation and physiological ones such as the length of the life cycle. The possible causes of these differences are discussed. According to the authors these differences appear due to the different selection pressures acting in the two types of caves. In addition a comparison between the "tropical cave" species, P. spelaeus, with the epigean one, P. pius, does not point out the differences that one could expect by the diverse ecology of these species. These observations support the idea that evolutionary rates in cavernicoles are strongly affected by the ecology of the cave, mainly depending on the degree of energy input, and are poorly consistent with the hypothesis that mutations affecting degenerative processes are selectively neutral.

Ecological and evolutive aspects of the communities of temperate and tropical caves: observations on the biological cycles of some species of Ptomaphagus (Coleoptera Catopidae)., 1973,
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Sbordoni Marina Cobolli, Sbordoni Valerio
Differences between tropical and temperate cave communities are an important topic in the actual biospeleological thinking. Among the most striking differences is the paucity of terrestrial troglobites in tropical caves. This fact may depend on the higher energy input into tropical caves which lessens the selection pressures for energy-economizing troglobite adaptations. Consequently evolutionary rates would be slowed in tropical caves and, in a date group, troglobites would appear later in such caves than in temperate ones with lower energy input. In order to investigate this point the authors studied the degree of adaptation to the cave environment in two species of Mexican Ptomaphagus which, being phylogenetically related, probably descend from the same epigean ancestor. Among these species the first one, P. troglomexicanus Peck, lives in a typical temperate cave (i.e. cold, high altitude cave, with scarce food supply) in the Sierra de Guatemala (Tamaulipas), the other one, P. spelaeus (Bilimek), populates tropical caves (i.e. warm, lowland cave, with rich food supply) in the State of Guerrero. In addition a comparison is made with P. pius Seidlitz, an epigean species from southern Europe. The results show a striking difference between P. troglomexicanus on a side and the other two species. Differences chiefly concern morphological features such as relative antenna length, structural complexity (i.e. the number of sensilla) of the antenna chemioreceptor organs in the 70, 90, 100 segments, degree of reduction of eye, wing and pigmentation and physiological ones such as the length of the life cycle. The possible causes of these differences are discussed. According to the authors these differences appear due to the different selection pressures acting in the two types of caves. In addition a comparison between the "tropical cave" species, P. spelaeus, with the epigean one, P. pius, does not point out the differences that one could expect by the diverse ecology of these species. These observations support the idea that evolutionary rates in cavernicoles are strongly affected by the ecology of the cave, mainly depending on the degree of energy input, and are poorly consistent with the hypothesis that mutations affecting degenerative processes are selectively neutral.

Karst processes of the eastern upper Galilee, Northern Israel, 1974,
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Gerson R,
Karst processes dominate most of the geomorphic activity in the Upper Galilee, consisting mainly of dolomites and limestones. Study of the chemical evolution of water passing through the karst hydrologic cycle clearly shows that the major portion of its carbonate solute is gained subaerially and in the upper part of the vadose zone. Most cave and spring water is already saturated with respect to aragonite and calcite.The karst depressions typical to surface morphology are mostly associated with fault-line traces. Their evolution is possible mainly in areas sloping initially less that 5[deg].The absence of evolved caves, representing well-developed karst of an earlier period, is attributed mainly to the marginal climate throughout the past combined with tectonic, and hence hydrologic, instability of the region.The discharge of the karst prings shows clearly dependence on annual precipitation, with a lag of about 2 years of the response to drought or more humid periods. Long-term fluctuations are larger in the smaller T'eo Spring than in the affluent 'Enan Springs.Most of the denuded material is extracted from the region as dissolved load via underground conduits and only small amounts as clastics. Mean long-term denudation is approximately 20 mm/1000 years, averaged for the surface area contributing to the springs.In spite of the above, most topographic forms are shaped by runoff erosion, active during medium to high intensity rainstorms. Solution processes prevail during low to medium rainfall intensities, while different parts of the region are denuded at similar rates. Even in karst depressions, erosion becomes dominant after their bottoms are covered by almost impervious terra-rossa mantle

The dynamics of solutional and mechanical erosion in limestone catchments on the Mendip Hills, Somerset, 1974,
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Smith D. I. , Newson M. D.

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