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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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 analysis, morphometric is a geodetic and geometric description of basin, stream network, or sinkhole plain, the purpose of which is to determine the frequency and hierarchy of occurrences [16].?

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

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Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 existence (Keyword) returned 181 results for the whole karstbase:
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Investigations into the watertightness of the proposed Gordon-above-Olga hydro-electric storage South-west Tasmania, 1974,
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Roberts Glyn T. , Andric Miodrag,
The Gordon-above-Olga scheme is one of several major hydro-electric developments under investigation in the south-west of Tasmania. The proposed storage area includes a zone of Palaeozoic limestone forming part of the eastern limb of a synclinal structure which provided a potential for the existence of leakage paths capable of threatening the viability of the scheme. The geology of the area is described and the methods used in assessing the likelihood of existence of subjacent karst are detailed. The conclusion is drawn on several grounds that neither recent nor ancient activity is likely to have markedly affected the limestone through the synclinorium. In consequence the water-tightness of the proposed reservoir is predicted

Observations on the biology of Stenasellus virei (Crustacea Isopoda Asellota of subterranean waters), 1975,
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Magniez Guy
St. virei has been bred in the laboratory for many years (1960-1974). Most of the St.v.hussoni were captured in karstic waters, near the Moulis subterranean laboratory. Some St.v.virei from the Padirac sink-hole; St.v.buchneri from Cantabrian caves; St.v.boui and St.v.virei from phreatic waters; and St.buili and St.breuili have also been bred. Since Stenasellids are unable to swim, very low aquariums are used, with a bed of cave clay, some calcareous stones, dead wood and dead elm tree leaves. Little depth of water is necessary. Stenasellus was originally carnivorous, being able to capture and devour living prey, such as Chironomid larvae, but the populations of cave waters have developed a different diet: silt, guano, plant remains..., because they have been often insulated from their original phreatic biocenosis. Nevertheless, the existence of cannibalism among them points out that the predatory behaviour has not completely disappeared. Adult St.virei can be fed with Cerophyl. Some observations on the burrowing activity and on the reactions to light, temperature and salt water have been made. All postmarsupial molts of Stenasellus occur in two steps (isopodian molts). The intramolt is extremely long (from 83 h 30 mi for the first molt of the free young), to 8-12 days, for the adult male and female, 14 days for female reproductive molts and 16-21 days for the molts of aged or senile individuals). The intermolts last from 2 1/2 months (first intermolt of the free young), to 9-12 months (non-reproductive ones of the adult) and 12-18 months (average: 15-16), for reproductive 9 intermolts. The normal lifespan of karstic subspecies of St.virei and related species must be estimated as 12 years (males) and 15 years (females). All these values are 10-20 times longer than these of an epigean Asellid of the same size (Asellus aquaticus). The reproductive cycle has been studied. The adult female is larger than the male. There is no precopulatory pairing ("nuptial ride"d 6-7 years or more, fur the female. In the juvenile male, the morphogenesis of I and Il pleopods takes place normally on intermolts 4-9 and lasts 3 years or more. On intermolt 10, it seems that the male is able to mate.

Ecological and biogeographical trends in Harpacticoids., 1976,
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Jakobi Hans
The majority of harpacticoids show a great dependence on the peculiarities of their habitat. This research attempted to detect the possible existence of biogeographical and ecological trends. The limited biogeographical data is discussed, so this is applied the method of analysis of morpho-ecological correlation (Jakobi, 1962) developed to determine ecological trends. This way, all characteristics of the harpacticoidean body selected were studied to check their adaptative value. Based on those results it was possible to establish and to define ecological units. Data were then subjected to statistical tests of homogeneity for variance and significance. Graphs are used to demonstrate the natural adaptation process. Diagrams permit one to recognize the general tendencies as well as degrees of specific evolution. Nevertheless, quite different principles such as type formation and atomic orbit model analogy, were applied to understand biogeographic trends. The change of the endopodits of the 4th leg of adult males (Enp. P4 male) is utilized as an example.

The dynamics of population in the Isopod Proasellus slavus ssp.n. and the larvae of Chironomids in the hyporheic water of the river Drava with regard to pollution., 1976,
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Lattingerpenko Romana, Mestrov Milan, Tavcar Vlatka
If we sum up the data and observations derived from our researches on the Drava river, we conclude after consideration of surface water fauna and after comparison of chemical parameters that it influences the hyporheic water of a rough gravel-sandy alluvium more than 2 m deep, while in the compact sandy substratum it has less influence. The next conclusion is that the horizontal and vertical distribution of Proasellus slavus ssp.n. in the alluvium of the Drava river, depends upon the granulation of substratum, with reference so the largeness of interstices; that the populations vary in density and structure according to the nature of water which irrigates these alluviums; and finally upon the quantity of detritus which this water contains. Concerning the influence of the sewage waters the effect of a sudden action of very polluted water is not known but it is certain that the increasing of decaying material to the alfa-meso saprobial level of the river water does not threaten either the existence or the development of the populations of Proasellus slavus ssp.n.

Geomorphology of the North Karst, South Nahanni River Region, Northwest Territories, Canada, PhD Thesis, 1976,
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Brook, George Albert,

First investigated on the ground in June 1972, the Nahanni karst of northern Canada is the most complex karst terrain yet reported from high latitudes. It is centered at 61°28' N, longitude 124°05' W and lies within the zone of discontinuous permafrost. Mean annual temperature is 24°F and mean total precipitation 22.3 inches. Principal karst forms are fracture-located karst streets and irregularly-shaped closed depression called karst platea which may be up to 600 feet in depth. Platea often contain karst towers which are residuals of wall recession. Vertical-walled pond dolines up to 120 feet deep are common in bare karst areas while subjacent karst collapse, subsidence and suffosion depressions occur on marginal shale- and drift-mantled surfaces. Three small poljes have been identified, two produced entirely by solution, the other a structural form. These are periodically inundated. There are several peripheral fluvial canyons up to 3,000 feet deep that are blocked by glacial drift and which presently drain underground. Similarity in the hydrogeological properties of Nahanni Formation limestones at a variety of scales has led to the development of morphologically-identical karst forms which range in size from inches up to hundreds of feet. Furthermore, many of these landforms are part of a developmental sequence that at one scale links vertical-walled dolines, karst streets, platea and poljes; and at another links solution pits, grikes and joint hollows on limestone pavements. The evidence suggests that poljes form by the coalescence of dolines and uvalas just as Cvijic suggested in 1918. In attempting to explain the almost "tropical" nature of the sub-arctic Nahanni karst landform assemblage, a number of facts are of importance.
(a) The Nahanni Formation limestones have been highly warped and intensively fractures during the past one million years. Open fractures have encouraged karstification by allowing easy movement of water underground. Warping has provided the relief necessary for the development of solutional forms with a distinct vertical component.
(b) The karst can not be considered relict because it was glaciated during the Pleistocene. In addition the hydrological activity in it today is comparable with that in many humid tropical karst areas.
(c) Solutional denudation rates governed by aspects of surficial and bedrock geology may in some localized areas be equivalent to rates in humid tropical carbonate regions.
(d) At present rates, the most highly developed forms could have been produced within the last 200,000 years and because there is evidence to indicate that the karst may not have been glaciated for up to 250,000 years, such a period has been available for solutional development.
Because the Nahanni region has not been glaciated for an extremely long period, it may be one of only a few high-latitude carbonate terrains that have had time to develop fully. Its very existence questions the validity of the concept that the intensity and direction of karst development is climate-controlled. In the Nahanni at least, the structural and lithological properties of the host limestone appear to have been of greater importance. The labyrinth karst type present in regions of humid-tropical to sub-arctic climate, is an outstanding example of a structurally-controlled karst landscape. It may well be that the same controls also influence the distributions of other karst types.

Karst Hydrogeology and Geomorphology of the Sierra de El Abra and the Valles-San Luis Potosí Region, México, PhD Thesis, 1977,
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Fish, Johnnie Edward

The general objective of this work was to develop a basic understanding of the karst hydrology, the nature and origin of the caves, the water chemistry, the surface geomorphology, and relationships among these aspects for a high relief tropical karst region having a thick section of limestone. The Valles-San Luis Potosí region of northeastern México, and in particular, the Sierra de El Abra, was selected for the study. A Cretaceous Platform approximately 200 km wide and 300 km long (N-S) delimits the region of interest. A thick Lower Cretaceous deposit of gypsum and anydrite, and probably surrounded by Lower Cretaceous limestone facies, is overlain by more than 1000 m of the thick-bedded middle Cretaceous El Abra limestone, which has a thick platform-margin reef. The Sierra de El Abra is a greatly elongated range along the eastern margin of the Platform. During the late Cretaceous, the region was covered by thick deposits of impermeable rocks. During the early Tertiary, the area was folded, uplifted, and subjected to erosion. A high relief karst having a wide variety of geomorphic forms controlled by climate and structure has developed. Rainfall in the region varies from 250-2500 mm and is strongly concentrated in the months June-October, when very large rainfalls often occur.
A number of specific investigations were made to meet the general objective given above, with special emphasis on those that provide information concerning the nature of ground-water flow systems in the region. Most of the runoff from the region passes through the karstic subsurface. Large portions of the region have no surface runoff whatsoever. The El Abra Formation is continuous over nearly the whole Platform, and it defines a region of very active ground-water circulation. Discharge from the aquifer occurs at a number of large and many small springs. Two of them, the Coy and the Frío springs group, are among the largest springs in the world with average discharges of approximately 24 m³/sec and 28 m³/sec respectively. Most of the dry season regional discharge is from a few large springs at low elevations along the eastern margin of the Platform. The flow systems give extremely dynamic responses to large precipitation events; floods at springs usually crest roughly one day after the causal rainfall and most springs have discharge variations (0max/0min) of 25-100 times. These facts indicate well-developed conduit flow systems.
The hydrochemical and hydrologic evidence in combination with the hydrogeologic setting demonstrate the existence of regional ground-water flow to several of the large eastern springs. Hydrochemical mixing-model calculations show that the amount of regional flow is at least 12 m³/sec, that it has an approximately constant flux, and that the local flow systems provide the extremely variable component of spring discharge. The chemical and physical properties of the springs are explained in terms of local and regional flow systems.
Local studies carried out in the Sierra de El Abra show that large conduits have developed, and that large fluctuations of the water table occur. The large fossil caves in the range were part of great deep phreatic flow systems which circulated at least 300 m below ancient water tables and which discharged onto ancient coastal plains much higher than the present one. The western margin swallet caves are of the floodwater type. The cave are structurally controlled.
Knowledge gained in this study should provide a basis for planning future research, and in particular for water resource development. The aquifer has great potential for water supply, but little of that potential is presently used.

New results of the speleological researches in the Hainburger Berge (Lower Austria) and their scientific meaning., 1978,
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Mais Karl
Since 1971 speleological and paleontological investigations have been carried out in the quarry "Hollitzer" which is in the Pfaffenberg near Bad Deutsch Altenburg (Hainburger Berge, Lower Austria). Evident karst phenomena are missing at the surface, but the existence of caves filled with sediments in the quarry show that the area is a fossil buried karst. A steady scientific survey allowed the study of the karstic phenomena without hindering the work in the quarry. Up to now more than 150 cavities have been discovered. Most of them seem to belong to a unique solutional system; corrasive forms are missing. Fossils (Gasteropoda, Amphibia, reptiles, birds and mammals) have been found in more than twenty cave fills. The oldest findings can be dated from the middle to the recent Pliocene (Csarnotanum), the more recent ones to the older Pleistocene (Villanyium; Biharium) the material is well preserved. Its variety in species and individuals as well as the possibility for a biostratigraphical evaluation makes the findings of Pfaffenberg a particular source for the above mentioned periods. The investigations are still continuing.

Messinian event in the black sea, 1979,
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Hsu Kenneth J. , Giovanoli Federico,
Three holes were drilled during the 1975 DSDP Leg 42B drilling the Black Sea. A section from Hole 380, at 2107 m water depth on the western edge of the abyssal plain, is 1074 m thick, and provides the most complete stratigraphic section. Dating of the sediments is based upon (1) fossil evidence from pollen, crustaceans, benthic foraminifera, and diatoms, (2) correlation with climatic changes and with unusual isochronous events that have been dated elsewhere, (3) paleomagnetic data, and (4) estimates of sedimentation rate.The history of Black Sea sedimentation recorded by the DSDP cores includes black shale sedimentation during the Late Miocene, followed by periodic chemical sedimentation from Late Miocene to Early Quaternary, and a change to dominantly terrigenous sedimentation from the Middle Quaternary. These hemipelagic and turbiditic sediments were deposited in lacustrine and brackish marine environments. The Messinian sediments, however, consist of stromatolitic dolomite, oolitic sands, and coarse gravels, deposited in supratidal and intertidal environments. The intercalation of the shallow-water sediments in a deep-water sequence suggests a drastic lowering of the water-level within the Black Sea basin during the Messinian so that the edge of the present abyssal plain was then the edge of a shallow lake.The Messinian draw-down phase of the Black Sea was in existence for about 100,000 years during the Lago-Mare stage of the salinity crisis. The evaporated waters formed an alkaline lake before it was drowned by a brackish marine transgression correlative to the Trubi transgression of the Mediterranean

Relations between the location of the karst bauxites in the northern hemisphere, the global tectonics and the climatic variations during geological time, 1979,
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Nicolas Jean, Bildgen Pierre,
The study of the distribution of the laterites and bauxites of karst in the Northern Hemisphere shows that their location is not erratic. Most of the bauxites are ordered after their age, according to alignments indicating the existence of palaeoclimatic belts of humid intertropical type that were susceptible of having generated a laterizing pedogenesis, during geological time when these bauxites and laterites were formed. In relation to the present network of latitudes, these palaeoclimatic belts gradually took up more southerly positions, as geological time passed. A few of these formations appear, however, to be located outside the palaeclimatic belts within which they should occur. To explains this apparent anomaly, it is in consequence necessary to call into play on the one hand, the drift of the palaeoclimatic belts from the north to the south, and on the other, the mechanisms of ocean-floor spreading and of the movement of the continental plates. The results of these processes are integrated into the framework of the principles of global tectonics. They also correspond to those obtained from other disciplines, such as palaeomagnetism, palaeoclimatology, biogeography, palaeontology, etc.Extension of this study to the Southern Hemisphere can not be realized for the present, because the results of the researches relating to it in the field with which we are concerned are much too imprecise and the bibliography linked up with it too summary

Stenasellus chapmani n. sp. Crustacea Isopoda Asellota des eaux souterraines de Borno (Sarawak)., 1982,
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Magniez Guy
The females of a new species of Stenasellidae have been discovered in Snake Cave (= Gua Siput), in Sarawak, 4th Division, Malaysia (Gunong Mulu National Park, Borneo Island), by Mr. Philip Chapman, of Bristol, U.K., during an expedition of the Royal Geographical Society. The females of another larger species were known previously from several Cambodian caves. This suggests the existence of a general distribution of this family in the underground waters of the Peninsula and of the large Islands of the Indochinese Platform. Nevertheless, we must wait for the discovery of the males of these species to study their relationships, either with the European, or with the African stocks of the family.

Problemas de Fugas a Traves dei Karst en la Presa de Tous (Espana) (Anlisis estructural, prevision del comportamiento y recomendeciones)., 1983,
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Bermejo Fernando, Pablo Cano Juan, Del Val Joaquin, Eraso Adolfo, Navarro Jos Vicente, Parra Felix, Ribelles Jesus, Saintaubin Julia, Valdes Consuelo
In the present work, the problems of leakages happened in Tous's dam (Valencia-Spain) are studied. Tous's dam is built on karstic terrains with the existence of caverns and strike-slip faults that at the same time become karstic. In this study the techniques of structural geology are applied, so, we deduct the karstic drainage directions, by using determined hypothesis of work. The confirmation of these hypotheses in the course of our fieldwork has permitted to quantify the probability of those leakages for each direction we found. This circumstance has permitted to foretell the places where it would be possible to expect leakages with the increase of the height of the dam foreseen for a second phase of building.

Une morphologie karstique typique en zone intertropicale : les karsts du Bas Zare, 1985,
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Quinif, Y.
A TYPICAL MORPHOLOGY OF TROPICAL KARSTS: THE KWILU BASIN IN THE LOWER-ZAIRE - The Kwilu basin, in the region of Bas-Zaire, shows typical landscapes of tropical karsts: cone and tower karsts shaped in precambrian limestones of the "Groupe schisto-calcaire". These precambrian series are little tectonised. They are covered with cenozoic formations which are important in the evolution of the karst. Different types of cavities are studied and replaced in the morphostructural context: old caves, originating in phreatic zone and now cut by the erosion, river streams in tunnel-caves, network under the water table. The superficial forms are interpreted as successive evolutive steps: dissection of a surface (morphological or structural) by a dendritic hydrographic network, birth of a cone-karst being transformed in tower-karst overlooking a new surface. We insist on the morphogenetic importance of the paleoclimatic changes and on the existence of an intertropical karstic morphology in stable craton.

Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985,
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Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

Morphological clines in reduced areas. The case of Henrotius jordai (Reitter), cave-dwelling beetle from Majorca Island., 1985,
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Bells Xavier
The present paper shows a statistically significant correlation between the geographical latitude and the morphological variation of the pronotum of Henrotius jordai (Reitter) (Col. Caraboidea), cave-dwelling beetle from Majorca island, after studying the linear and curvilinear regression between these two variables. The existence of specimens situated at different heights of the regression lines leads to the conclusion that morphological variation is clinal. The phenomenon of "semi-isolation" to which the studied populations are subjected, because of their cavernicolous character, allows to explain the existence of a cline in such a restricted area as that occupied by this beetle (ca. 500 Km2). It is worth pointing out the interest in the study of these reduced clines of cavernicolous populations, because they can provide a restricted "observation field"; easier to deal with; to investigate these genetic phenomena and their evolutive implications.

The occurrence of the troglobitic amphipod, Stygobromus tenuis tenuis (Smith) (Crangonyctidae) in the Taconic Mountains of southwestern Massachusetts (USA): a case for the existence of a subterranean refugium in a glaciated region., 1985,
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Smith Douglas G.
Stygobromus t. tenuis is one of only two species of troglobitic amphipods known to occur in the New England physiographic province. The rarity of subterranean organisms in New England is attributed to limited karst development and eradication of organisms from the region during glacial times. Traditionally it has been believed that those troglobitic species presently occurring north of the glacial terminus migrated there following glacial retreat from refugia south of the areas influenced by glacial conditions. However, a few recent studies favour the existence of subsurface refugia in glaciated regions during glacial times. Stygobromus t. tenuis is recorded from springs connected with deep, solution zone aquifers in the Taconic Mountains of western New England, an area well north of the glacial terminus. It is suggested that these aquifers served as a refugium for S. t. tenuis during the latter part of perhaps all of the Pleistocene Epoch.

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