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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 leakance is 1. the ratio k'/b', in which k' and b' are the vertical hydraulic conductivity and the thickness, respectively, of the confining beds [22]. 2. the rate of flow across a unit (horizontal) area of a semipervious layer into (or out of) an aquifer under one unit of head difference across this layer. synonymous with coefficient of leakage [22].?

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

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What is Karstbase?



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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for errors (Keyword) returned 28 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 28 of 28
Early electric lighting in caves - Postojnska jama, Slovenia, 1883-1929, 2003,
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Shaw, Trevor R.

After some preliminary attempts in 1863, electric lighting was first used in Postojnska jama in 1883 for a visit by Emperor Franz Joseph. Alternative forms of bright light (lime-light in 1852, gas light in 1878) had been considered but not adopted. The permanent electric installation of 1884 was the third anywhere in the world. Its 12 arc lights were increased in later years. An "improved" system was fitted in 1901 but failed so often that it was replaced in 1906. An extensive new system was fitted in 1929. Errors in previous literature are corrected and much information published for the first time.

Comparison of French and Slovene Karstic and Speleological Terminology, 2003,
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Mrak, Berta

The article compares karstic terminology of the two world Karst forces - Slovenia and France, whose scientists have been collaborating for a very long time. From the etymological point of view, the comparison shows that the two vocabularies exerted mutual influence on each other, which in turn brought about several errors when new terms were being adapted. The article also describes some differences in terminology and deviations in the typology of more specific terms, as well as points out great similarity between general terms. The comparison also deals with different lexical abundance of the two terminologies, and concludes with a presentation of some karstic phenomena unique in both countries.

Measurement of pH for field studies in karst areas., 2005,
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Sasowsky I. D. , Dalton C. T.
The determination of pH in karst waters is important for evaluating such chemical processes as cave growth, speleothem deposition, and overall water chemistry. Relatively small errors in pH readings can result in significant misinterpretations of the chemical processes taking place. For example, a pH error of 0.5 units would produce a correlative error in SIcalcite of 0.5. To ensure accuracy, pH must be measured in the field, but the conditions in karst settings make this hard to accomplish, and there is minimal published guidance available. Actions that help to improve data quality include: use of a good meter/electrode (accurate to 2 decimal places), careful preparation before field activities, cautious transport of instruments, frequent calibration, measurement in a beaker (not the water body), and allowance of time for equilibration. Instrumentation that allows measurement of very small samples, samples in wells, or continuous monitoring are available, but are more expensive and usually not as accurate.

New risk-consequence rockfall hazard rating system for Missouri highways using digital image analysis, 2005,
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Maerz N. H. , Youssef A. , Fennessey T. W. ,
The Missouri Rockfall Hazard Rating System (MORFH RS) is a new scheme for rating rockfall hazards along the roads of the Missouri State highway system. Existing rating systems used in other jurisdictions focus on the risk of failure and ignore the consequence of failure, or they lump the ratings for risk and consequence together. Missouri highway rock cuts tend to have low heights but are typically highly weathered, with special problems from karst and paleokarst. In MORFH RS, risk and consequence factors are given equal weight but isolated from each other. MORFH RS utilizes two phases: 1) identification of the most potentially problematic rock cuts using mobile digital video logging; 2) characterization and prioritization of remediation for the potentially problematic rock cuts identified in phase 1, using MORFH RS. In phase 2 four types of parameters are evaluated: 1) parameters that can be measured on computer scaled video images; 2) parameters which are descriptive, and need field evaluation; 3) parameters which are obtained from MODOT records; 4) conditional parameters which are evaluated under specific conditions. Only those parameters were selected that were deemed meaningful and/or relatively easy to measure or estimate. Parameters were assigned to either a risk or consequence category or both. MORFH RS has been tested on sections of Missouri highways. About 300 rock cuts were evaluated and used to prepare, modify, test, and verify the system. Sensitivity analysis of the system was done by quantifying potential errors in the video measurements and by a rating comparison of 12 MODOT and University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR) personnel on 10 rock cuts along Highway 63

Error and Technique in Fluorescent dye Tracing, 2005,
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Smart Chris

The appropriate approach to dye tracing in karst areas depends upon the objective and context of the trace. Dye tracing in karst areas is undertaken to address geographical, hydrogeological and contaminant problems at particular spatial and temporal resolution in the context of prior knowledge, available resources, social and legal expectations and environmental constraints. The value of a trace is improved if the objective can be formalized into a rational hypothesis and where the signal is demonstrably distinct from error. This requires sampling and analysis as much to define error as to detect the signal. The tolerable error depends on the dye trace objective and context, and scales with the sophistication of both, becoming increasingly critical and challenging as higher level interpretations are made. The appropriate technique for a particular trace therefore depends not only on the problem and context, but also upon the necessity of defining and correcting errors. Simpler problems such as establishment of underground connections can often be usefully tackled with simple techniques. Variable background fluorescence is a particularly difficult systematic error in dye tracing that can be reduced by supplementary sampling and control. This approach is illustrated for fluorescence spectra and in situ filter fluorometry. To extract a signal from spectra a statistical correction has been developed allowing compositional and concentration corrections to highlight anomalous samples. Supplementary sampling is required to provide the background statistics necessary for such an approach. The strong spectral coherence of background allows concurrent green fluorescence measurements to define variable background fluorescence during a red dye trace. The relationship between red and green fluorescence in un-dyed samples can be used to model background behavior in the presence of the red dye.

The effect of binocular vision disorders on cave surveying accuracy, 2006,
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Dougherty, Mark
Binocular vision disorders such as heterophoria and hyperphoria are relatively common. This paper shows that, if a cave survey team does not take careful account of the possibility of one or more of its members suffering from such a disorder, very serious errors can occur. Theoretical and empirical evidence is presented. The likely magnitude of these errors implies that BCRA grade 5 cannot be achieved unless surveyors check for or, if necessary, correct for binocular vision disorders. Various techniques to eliminate such errors are explained and compared. Finally, a recommendation is made concerning an additional clause to the notes that accompany the BCRA cave surveying grade definitions. To achieve BCRA grade 5, the possibility of binocular vision disorders must be taken into account.

Empirical study of conduit radial cross-section determination and representation methods on cavernous limestone porosity characterization, 2006,
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Sasowsky I. D. , Bishop M. R.
Radial cross sections are constructed during cave mapping in order to illustrate karst groundwater conduit (cave passage) morphology. These sections can also be employed in studies of porosity distribution and paleohydrology. Cave surveyors usually estimate left, right, up, and down (LRUD) distances from a survey station to the conduit wall, and these four values are used to construct the radial cross section, and occasionally integrated along the length of the passage to determine cave volume. This study evaluates the potential errors caused by LRUD estimation, as well as the effects of differing geometric approximations of passage shape. Passage dimensions at 18 stations of diverse size and morphology in Scott Hollow Cave, West Virginia were first estimated for LRUD and then precisely surveyed using a laser rangefinder taking 16 radial measurements. Results show that, depending upon the purpose of a survey, a reasonable approximation of passage shape might be made with fewer (four or eight) measurements. In cases where only four lengths are determined, approximation of the passage as an ellipse or rectangle provides a more accurate morphology and area than if portrayed as a quadrilateral. In the former case, average area errors were on the order of 10%, as opposed to -45% in the latter. Surveyor estimates of LRUD give an average overestimate of 27%. Length errors compound, however, when areas are calculated. This results in an average cross-section area error (as quadrilateral) of 57% when using estimates instead of measurements. This may be problematic for such analyses as calculation of fluid storage volumes or paleodischarges.

High-resolution absolute-dated Indian Monsoon record between 53 and 36 ka from Xiaobailong Cave, southwestern China, 2006,
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Cai Y, An Z, Cheng H, Edwards Rl, Kelly Mj, Liu W, Wang X, Shen Cc,
The oxygen isotopic record of stalagmite XBL-1 from southwestern China reveals millennial-scale variability of the Indian Monsoon between 53 and 36 ka, synchronous with changes in the East Asian Monsoon recorded at Hulu Cave and similar to Dansgaard-Oeschger cycles recorded in Greenland ice. Our record, in general, confirms the chronology of Hulu Cave. If our correlations between Greenland and the Xiaobailong Cave record are correct, both the Greenland Ice Sheet Project 2 and Greenland Ice Core Project (ss09sea) chronologies are accurate within quoted errors. A dry interval that we correlate with Heinrich Event 5 (H5) and the Greenland stadial preceding Greenland Interstadial 12 (GIS 12) is centered ca. 48.0 ka and a shift to drier conditions, correlated to the end of GIS 12, is ca. 43.5 ka. Overall, the variability of the Indian Monsoon, from XBL-1 data, on millennial scales is similar to and correlated with high-latitude ice core rec ords from the Northern Hemisphere. However, some Indian Monsoon characteristics more closely resemble, but are anticorrelated with, features in the Antarctic record, suggesting some link to climate of the high southern latitudes, in addition to the clear link to the climate of the high northern latitudes

Incorporation of Auxiliary Information in the Geostatistical Simulation of Soil Nitrate Nitrogen, 2006,
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Grunwald S. , Goovaerts P. , Bliss C. M. , Comerford N. B. , Lamsal S. ,
In north-central Florida the potential risk for movement of nitrate into the aquifer is high due to the large extent of well-drained marine-derived quartz sand overlying porous limestone material coupled with high precipitation rates. Our objective was to estimate spatio-seasonal distributions of soil NO3-N across the Santa Fe River Watershed in north-central Florida. We conducted spatially distributed synoptic and seasonal sampling (September 2003--wet summer/fall season, January 2004--dry winter season, May 2004--dry spring season) of soil NO3-N. Prior distributions of probability for NO3-N were inferred at each location across the watershed using ordered logistic regression. Explanatory variables included environmental spatial datasets such as land use, drainage class, and the Floridian aquifer DRASTIC index. These prior probabilities were then updated using indicator kriging, and multiple realizations of the spatial distribution of soil NO3-N were generated by sequential indicator simulation. Cross-validation indicated that smaller prediction errors are obtained when secondary information is incorporated in the analysis and when indicator kriging is used instead of ordinary kriging to analyze these datasets characterized by the presence of extreme high values and a nonnegligible number of data below the detection limit. The NO3-N values were lowest in September 2003 as a result of excessive leaching caused by large, intense tropical storms. Overall the NO3-N values in January 2004 were high and could be attributed to fertilization of crops and pastures, low plant uptake, and low microbial transformation during the winter period. Despite seasonal trends reflected by the values of observed and estimated NO3-N, we found areas that showed consistently high soil NO3-N throughout all seasons. Those areas are prime targets to implement best management practices

Karst and Cryokarst, 2007,
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"Karst and Cryokarst", dedicated to the memory of Teresa Wiszniowska (authority on research of large fossil mammals, cave bear especially) and Marian Pulina (authority on speleology and geomorphology), contains works covering the subjects of their broad scientific interests.
The book is a joint publication of IGU Karst Commission and UIS Commission Glacier Caves and Cryokarst in Polar and High Mountain Regions /GLACKIPR/.

Eraso A., Domìnguez M.C.
Subpolar glacier network as natural sensors of global warming evolution
Mavlyudov B.R.
Internal drainage systems of glaciers
Schroeder J.
Moulins of a subpolar glacier seen as a thermal anomaly Domìnguez M.C., Eraso A.
Frequent systematic errors In the measurements of the glacier discharge
Domínguez M.C., Eraso A.
Substantial changes happened during the last years in the icecap of King George, Insular Antarctica
Eraso A., Domínguez M.C.
Physicochemical characteristics of the subglacier discharge in Potter Cove, King George Island, Antarctica
Sauro U.
Forms of mixed origin in the karst environment of the Venetian Prealps
Auly T.
Quelques morphologies de rapport karst/glaciaire dans les Pyrénées (France)
Pawłowska-Bielawska P.
Evolution of Wielka Śnieżna Cave in the light of geomorphologic observations
Dobrowolski R.
Model of glaciogenic transformation of the Lublin-Volhynia chalk karst (Poland SE, Ukraine NW)
Bieroński J., Socha P., Stefaniak K.
Deposits and fauna of the Sudetic caves ? the state of research Trofimova E.V.
Particularités du développement récent du karst calcaire de Sibérie et d'Extrême-Orient (Russie)
Cao Jianhua, Yuan Daoxian, Zhang Cheng, Jiang Zhangcheng
Karst ecosystem of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region constrained by geological setting: Relationship between carbonate rock exposure and vegetation coverage
Smieja A., Smieja-Król B.
Springs with active calcium carbonate precipitation in the Polish part of the Tatra Mountains
Parise M., Trisciuzzi M.A.
Geomechanical characterization of carbonate rock masses in underground karst systems
Piasecki J., Sawiński T.
Acoustic measurements of airflow in speleo-climatological studies
Kadebskaya O.
News in monitoring system and recommendations in development of use and protection of Kungur Ice cave
Mokrushina O.
Ordinskaya cave as new object of speleoturism

Book is available at the Department of Geomorphology University of Silesia ordering via e-mail:

Identifying the Stream Erosion Potential of Cave Levels in Carter Cave State Resort Park, Kentucky, USA, 2011,
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Jacoby B. S. , Peterson E. W. , Dogwiler T.

Cave levels, passages found at similar elevations and formed during the same constant stream base level event, reveal information about paleoclimates and karst geomorphology. The investigation presented here examines how Stream Power Index (SPI) relates to cave levels. The study area, Carter Caves State Resort Park (CCSRP), is a fluviokarst system in northeastern Kentucky containing multiple cave levels. SPI determines the erosive power overland flow based on the assumption that flow accumulation and slope are proportional to potential for sediment entrainment. Part of this digital terrain analysis requires the creation of a flow accumulation raster from a digital elevation model (DEM). In creating the flow accumulation raster, one has the option to fill depressions (also considered errors) within the DEM. Filling these depressions, or “sinks,” creates a well-connected stream network; however it also removes possible sinkholes from the DEM. This paper also investigates the effects a filled and an unfilled DEM have on SPI and what each reveals about erosion potential in the area. The data shows that low elevations within the filled DEM maintain a high SPI value when compared to the unfilled DEM. The filled DEM also created a stream network similar to reality. The unfilled DEM demonstrated similar SPI results between all levels, indicating a well-connected karst system. In order to truly understand the mechanics of this system, a combination of these two DEMs is required.

Effects of sinuosity factor on hydrodynamic parameters estimation in karst systems: a dye tracer experiment from the Beyyayla Sinkhole (Eskişehir, Turkey), 2013,
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Aydin H. , Ekmekci M. , Soylu M. E.

The sinuosity factor (SF) is a critical value in karst systems in terms of estimating their hydrodynamic parameters including groundwater velocity, coefficient of dispersion, etc., through dye tracer experiments. SF has been used in a number of different dye tracer experiments in karstic systems to estimate a representative flow path. While knowing SF is crucially important in the estimation of hydrodynamic parameters, its calculation is associated with significant uncertainty due to the complexity of subsurface karstic features. And yet, only a few studies have discussed its uncertainties, which might lead some errors in estimation of hydrodynamic parameters from dye tracer experiment. In this study, dye tracer experiments were conducted in two consecutive years (2003 and 2004) representing low and high flow conditions in the Beyyayla sinkhole (Eskişehir, Turkey) where the flow path is well known. Uranine was used in experiments as a tracer and QTRACER computer program was used to determine the hydrodynamic properties of the Beyyayla karst system as well as to gain insights into the effects of SF from dye tracer experiments on estimated parameters. The results showed that the breakthrough curve follows a unimodal and a bimodal distribution in low and high flow conditions, respectively. These different distributions stem from the water transport mechanisms, where velocities were calculated as 58.2 and 93.6 m h−1 during low and high flow conditions observed in a spring emerging from the south side of the studied system. The results also show that the coefficient of dispersion, Reynolds number, and Peclet number increased and longitudinal dispersivity decreased with the higher flow rate. Furthermore, the estimated parameters did not vary with either the flow conditions or the tracer transit time, but they have shown some variations with SF. When SF was increased by 50 %, a change in these parameters was obtained in the range of 50–125 %.

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Denton, Jr. R. K.

The assessment of karst conditions and putative karst geohazards prior to residential and commercial development is currently in its infancy, from a scientific aspect. Borrowing from the medical lexicon, most karst features at proposed building sites are dealt with using an approach wherein the “symptoms and conditions” are treated (e.g. sinkhole remediation), often only after site development activities have commenced. If karst hazards are suspected, roadways, foundations and specific at-risk areas may be investigated using various geophysical methods; however the results of these investigations require specialized knowledge to be interpreted and understood. Thus stakeholders without geological training may find the investigator’s results indecipherable, often leading to unnecessary and expensive supplemental studies, the need for which is entirely based on the non-technical stakeholder’s faith in the investigator’s judgment.
In contrast, a recent trend among consulting firms is to attach cursory karst “assessments” to due diligence study reports, particularly Phase I Environmental Site Assessments. These combined assessments are often performed by individuals who are inexperienced in geology, often without any specific training in karst geology. Not unexpectedly, this can lead to numerous mistakes, errors, and oversights. More troubling, these studies often report a lack of karst risks at the site under study, a result that the stakeholders may initially embrace, but which later can result in substantial financial loss and/or significant threats to human health and the environment.
To address these concerns, we propose a proactive, “preventative” standard practice for karst assessments. Ideally, this proactive approach will help to delineate potential karst hazards so that they can be avoided, managed, or corrected by remediation. Requirements for investigators, a proposed scope of services, fieldwork and data review checklist, and a template for a follow-up karst management plan are presented. It is our hope that if carried out and reported accurately, the proposed assessments should allow even a non-technical stakeholder to make informed decisions regarding the relative risk of karst geohazards, the need for further studies, and potential corrective actions that site development may entail.

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