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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 evapotranspiration is 1. the combined loss of water from a given area and during a specified period of time, by evaporation from the land and transpiration from plants [22]. 2. the return of water in vapor form to the atmosphere through the combined actions of evaporation, plant transpiration, and sublimation [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 site (Keyword) returned 1057 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 1057
Spatial variability in cave drip water hydrochemistry: Implications for stalagmite paleoclimate records, , Baldini Jul, Mcdermott F, Fairchild Ij,
The identification of vadose zone hydrological pathways that most accurately transmit climate signals through karst aquifers to stalagmites is critical for accurately interpreting climate proxies contained within individual stalagmites. A three-year cave drip hydrochemical study across a spectrum of drip types in Crag Cave, SW Ireland, reveals substantial variability in drip hydrochemical behaviour. Stalagmites fed by very slow drips ( 2[no-break space]ml/min) sites, apparently unconnected with local meteorological events. Water from these drips was typically undersaturated with respect to calcite, and thus did not result in calcite deposition. Data presented here suggest that drips in this flow regime also experience flow re-routing and blocking, and that any stalagmites developed under such drips are unsuitable as mid- to high-resolution paleoclimate proxies. Most drip sites demonstrated seasonal [Ca2] and [Mg2] variability that was probably linked to water excess. Prior calcite precipitation along the flowpath affected the chemistry of slowly dripping sites, while dilution predominantly controlled the water chemistry of the more rapidly dripping sites. This research underscores the importance of understanding drip hydrology prior to selecting stalagmites for paleoclimate analysis and before interpreting any subsequent proxy data

Speleothems and paleoglaciers, , Spotl Christoph, Mangini Augusto,
Ice and speleothems are widely regarded as mutually exclusive as the presence of liquid water is a fundamental prerequisite for speleothem deposition. Here we show that speleothems may form in caves overlain by a glacier, as long as the temperature in the cave is above freezing and the conduits are not completely flooded by melt water. Carbonate dissolution is accomplished via sulfide oxidation and the resultant speleothems show high [delta]13C values approaching and locally exceeding those of the parent host rock (lack of soil-derived biogenic C). The [delta]18O values reflect the isotopic composition of the melt water percolating into the karst fissure network and carry an atmospheric (temperature) signal, which is distinctly lower than those of speleothems formed during periods when soil and vegetation were present above the cave. These `subglacial' speleothems provide a means of identifying and dating the former presence of warm-based paleoglaciers and allow us to place some constraints on paleotemperature changes

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, , 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

The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), , Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

Recharge of Phreatic Aquifers in (Semi-)Arid Areas, ,
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.

Fungal communities on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, USA, , Vaughan Michael J. , Maier Raina M. , Pryor Barry M.

Kartchner Caverns, located near Benson, Arizona, USA, is an active carbonate cave that serves as the major attraction for Kartchner Caverns State Park. Low-impact development and maintenance have preserved prediscovery macroscopic cavern features and minimized disturbances to biological communities within the cave.. The goal of this study was to examine fungal diversity in Kartchner Caverns on actively-forming speleothem surfaces. Fifteen formations were sampled from five sites across the cave. Richness was assessed using standard culture-based fungal isolation techniques. A culture-independent analysis using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to assay evidence of community homogeneity across the cave through the separation of 18S rDNA amplicons from speleothem community DNA. The culturing effort recovered 53 distinct morphological taxonomic units (MTUs), corresponding to 43 genetic taxonomic units (GTUs) that represented 21 genera. From the observed MTU accumulation curve and the projected total MTU richness curve, it is estimated that 51 percent of the actual MTU richness was recovered. The most commonly isolated fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Phialophora, and Aspergillus. This culturebased analysis did not reveal significant differences in fungal richness or number of fungi recovered across sites. Cluster analysis using DGGE band profiles did not reveal distinctive groupings of speleothems by sample site. However, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) analysis of culture-independent DGGE profiles showed a significant effect of sampling site and formation type on fungal community structure. Taken together, these results reveal that diverse fungal communities exist on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, and that these communities are not uniformly distributed spatially. Analysis of sample saturation indicated that more sampling depth is required to uncover the full scale of mycological richness across spelothem surfaces.

Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, , Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.


Composite Observations on Cave Life (with Special Reference to Blind Fishes), 1945, Benn, James H.

Ectoparasites and Other Arthropods - Occurring in Texas Bat Caves, 1948, Kohls Glenn M. , Jellison William L.

Endellite and Hydromagnesite from Carlsbad Caverns, 1957, Davies William E. , Moore George W.

Breccia and Pennsylvanian cave filling in Mississippian Saint Louis Limestone, Putnam County, Indiana, 1961, 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

The birth of Biospeleology., 1964, Motas Constantin
Modern biospeleology dates from May 15, 1907, with the publication of Racovitza's "Essai sur les problmes biospologiques." In this paper he posed; if he did not answer; every question raised by life in the subterranean world. He outlined a program of biospeological research, made an analysis of the conditions of existence in the subterranean domain and their influence upon cavernicoles, discussed the evolution of subterranean biota, their geographical distribution, etc. Racovitza modified Schiner's (1854) classification, dividing cavernicoles into troglobites, troglophiles and trogloxenes, terms later adopted by a great number of biospeologists. The "Essai", called "Racovitza's famous manifest" by Vandel, was considered the birth certificate of biospeology by Antipa (1927) and by Jeannel (1948), its fundamental statute. Jeannel also made major contributions to the young science through his extensive and detailed studies. The names of Racovitza and Jeannel will always be linked as the uncontested masters of biospeology, the founders of Biospeologica, and the authors of Enumration des grottes visites. Apart from Schiner, whose ecological classification of cavernicoles was utilized and modified by Racovitza, they had another forerunner in Vir, a passionate speleologist who often accompanied Martel in his subterranean explorations, once meeting with a serious accident in which he was on the brink of death. Vir (1897, 1899) studied subterranean faunas, establishing the world's first underground laboratory, where he carried on unsuccessful or ill-interpreted experiments. We consider Racovitza and Jeannel's criticism of him too severe. Let us be more lenient with our forerunners, since their mistakes have also contributed to the progress of science, as well as exempting us from repeating them.

Geomorphology of Punchbowl and Signature Caves, Wee Jasper, New South Wales, 1964, Jennings, J. N.

Because of the ease of its exploration, the Punchbowl-Signature system (Map reference 677587, Army 1/50,000 Sheet 8627-IV, Goodradigbee) is the most frequently visited of the Wee Jasper caves though it contains even less calcite decoration than does Dip Cave. On the other hand, the system is of considerable scientific interest, both biological and geomorphological. Biologically the interest centres on the long-term investigations of the colony of Bentwing Bats (Miniopterus schreibersii blepotis), initiated by G. Dunnet, sustained and enlarged by D. Purchase. On the geomorphological side, though it is now a dry inactive system like Dip Cave, it possesses a morphology which reveals much of the history of its excavation by a former underground river and so contrasts with its neighbour in the same geological formation only a mile away where there are many difficulties in the way of interpretation of its evolution (Jennings, 1963a).

Paleotemperatures and Chronology at Archeological Cave Site Revealed by Thermoluminescence, 1965, Dort W, Zeller Ej, Turner Md, Vaz Je,
Contrasting values of remnant thermoluminescence of limestone samples from Jaguar Cave, eastcentral Idaho, reveal temperature differences attributable to position within the cave microenvironment. Absence of recorded temperature change during cave-filling by rock and human debris indicates brevity of human occupation, which was near the end of Wisconsin (Pinedale) time

Breeding Caves and Maternity Colonies of the Bent-Winged Bat In South-Eastern Australia, 1966, Dwyer P. D. , Hamiltonsmith E.

Eight breeding Caves of Miniopterus schreibersi (Kuhl) are described from South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Southern Queensland, in terms of their structure, the location of nursery areas at which juveniles are deposited after birth, and their physical environments. Maternity colonies are found at these caves through spring, summer and early autumn. Established colonies range from about 15,000 to 200,000 bats at peak size. These individuals are predominantly adult females and their young. Adult males are conspicuous only at the single South Australian breeding cave. Births occur from approximately the beginning of December to mid-January at all colonies except that in South Australia, where a birth period is evident between mid-October to late-November. Artificial warming, as a consequence of bat activity, appears to be characteristic of these Miniopterus schreibersi breeding caves. It is suggested that this may have functional significance in facilitating adequate development of juveniles, and that the habit could be a reflection of the tropical ancestry of this species.

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