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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 straw stalactite; straw is 1. the simplest form of stalactite - a fragile, thin walled tube, normally of calcite, which is the diameter of the drops of water that hang from its end and continue its growth. though only about5mm in diameter, straw stalactites (or straws) may grow to great length in clusters of spectacularly dense profusion, more commonly in caves of cooler climates. the length record may be held by a 6m straw in easter cave, western australia. also known as straw stalactite or soda straw [9]. 2. thin tubular stalactite, generally less than a centimeter in diameter and of very great length (examples as long as 4 meters); also called soda straw [10]. see also soda straw; stalactite.?

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.
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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 wisconsin (Keyword) returned 32 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 32
Field survey and analysis of hillslopes on tower karst in Guilin, southern China, 2000,
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Tang T. , Day M. J. ,
Limestone dissolution in tropical and subtropical humid southern China created residual hills with steep slopes, a landform that is referred to as tower karst. Two types of tower karst landform feature, fenglin or peak forest (isolated towers) and fengcong or peak cluster (linked-base towers), were identified in Guilin. Previous studies proposed two hypotheses regarding their origin and evolution. One is the sequential evolution model from peak cluster to peak forest. The other is a parallel development model, which postulates that both peak cluster and peak forest have developed simultaneously. Through detailed field survey and analysis of slope forms on tower karst in Guilin, it was found that the mean slope angle of the towers is very high (62.4 degrees) and ranges from 60 degrees to 75 degrees. There is no significant difference in mean slope angle and slope angle distribution between towers in the peak cluster basin and peak forest floodplain areas. Mean slope angle increases with intensified fluvial dissection. Three levels of caves in the towers of the peak forest in Guilin were identified in previous research. The isolated towers of the peak forest as well as scattered residuals of peak cluster are generally distributed in the centre of the Guilin syncline. Favourable circumstances of allogenic water concentration indicate that development of the peak forest resulted from the combined effects of subcutaneous and subterranean dissolution as well as subsequent collapse and recession by fluvial erosion after uplifting. By contrast, peak clusters generally occur on the limbs of the syncline or at the periphery of the Guilin basin with relatively higher elevations. The thick vadose zone and predominantly vertical flow suggests that peak clusters are mainly formed by the combination of intensive uplifting and the enhancement of original dolines. The evidence of slope survey and slope analysis suggests that both isolated towers and linked-base towers developed simultaneously but by different mechanisms of formation and different combinations of development processes. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Stratigraphy and structure of a Late Wisconsin salt collapse in the Saskatoon Low south of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: an update, 2001,
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Christiansen E. A. , Sauer E. K.

Delineation of capture zones for municipal wells in fractured dolomite, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin, USA, 2001,
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Rayne Todd, Bradbury Kenneth, Muldoon Maureen,

Sandstone caves in Wisconsin. Brasilia, 2001,
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Day M. J.

A late Pleistocene ceiling collapse in Bogus Cave, Jones County, Iowa: A potential relationship to coeval accelerated mass wasting events across the central Midwest, 2002,
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Josephs, R. L.
A thick accumulation of boulder-size dolostone blocks, the result of one or more episodes of ceiling collapse, was encountered during geoarchaeological excavations in the front room of Bogus Cave, east-central Iowa. The rockfall layer was buried by a veneer of Holocene sediments that contained prehistoric artifacts dating to the Woodland Period (2500 - 1000 yr BP). An AMS 14C age of 17,260 120 yr BP, obtained from a caribou (Rangifer tarandus) mandible found wedged among the boulders, dates the collapse near the close of the last glacial maximum, a time when the projected mean annual temperature for this area was at least 14C lower than at present. Paleoenvironmental evidence based on ?13C values from select vertebrate remains and their encompassing sediment, together with a uranium series age of 16,900 4800 yr BP from a stalagmite formed atop one of the boulders, strongly support a late Wisconsinan age for the collapse. The episode (or episodes) of collapse appears to be the result of cryoclastic processes associated with late glacial conditions and the onset of accelerated mass wasting that has been previously documented across the central Midwest

A Late Quaternary Paleoecological Record from Caves of Southern Jamaica, West Indies, 2002,
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Mcfarlane, D. A. , Lundberg, J. , Fincham, A. G.
Studies of an unusual and diverse system of caves in coastal southern Jamaica have yielded a paleoclimatic record associated with a fossil vertebrate record that provides useful insights into the poorly documented paleoecology of latest Wisconsinan and Holocene Jamaica. Episodes of significantly increased precipitation during the Holocene have left characteristic deposits of speleothems, and have supported both faunal and archaeological communities that were dependent on these mesic conditions. Deposits of fossil bat guano preserved in the caves provide a d13C record of alternating mesic and xeric climatic episodes that supports the interpretation of the faunal and archaeological record.

A new Megalonychid Sloth from the Late Wisconsinan of the Dominican Republic., 2002,
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Rega E. , Mcfarlane, D. A. , Lundberg, J. , And Christenson, K.

Deep karst conduits, flooding, and sinkholes: lessons for the aggregates industry, 2002,
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Lolcama J. L. , Cohen H. A. , Tonkin M. J. ,
Limestone aggregate quarries in deeply penetrating karst terrain are often at considerable risk of artesian inflow from groundwater or surface water channeled through the karstic aquifer. The inflow occurs through what are likely to be complex conduits that penetrate hundreds of feet into bedrock. Rates of inflow can exceed the operation's pumping capabilities proving to be uneconomic to manage over the long term. Over time, inflow rates can increase dramatically as turbulent flow through the conduit erodes its soft residual clay-rich fill. One recent investigation observed an inflow rate of more than 40,000 gpm from a surface water source. Floodwater persistently laden with sediment is an indicator of conduit washout and implies increasing inflow rates over time. Conduits carrying floodwater can exist in a variety of forms: along deeply penetrating geologic faults, joints, or following the path of preferentially eroded bedding. Preferential structural deformation along faults or bedding can enhance dissolution during subsequent interaction with groundwater. The resulting conduit may be a complex combination of many geological features, making the exploration and remediation of the pathway difficult. Sinkholes at the site can occur within several contexts. Pre-existing subsidence structures can reactivate and subside further, forming new collapse sinkholes within soil directly overlying the conduit. Cover-collapse sinkhole development can be a direct result of increasing downward groundwater velocities and subsurface erosion associated with the enlargement of a conduit. Normal operation events such as a quarry blast can also provide a significant new linkage between the groundwater and the quarry, allowing rapid drainage of the groundwater reservoir. With such drainage and erosion of karst-fill, sinkholes will develop over localized water table depressions, most significantly over enhanced permeability zones associated with fractures. Paradoxically, although the rise in quarry water level will lead to regional reduction in the hydraulic gradients, on local scales, drainage of the groundwater reservoir increases gradients and leads to the development of cover-collapse sinkholes. Recommended methods for preliminary site investigation can include a detailed review of geological literature and drilling logs to compile a conceptual model of the site. A fracture trace analysis with EM geophysics can confirm the locations of major faults and fractures. Fingerprinting of the various water sources to the quarry and the water in the quarry is an inexpensive and effective means of identifying the source and likely direction of the groundwater and surface water flow. Automated geophysical equipment on the market for performing rapid resistivity and microgravity surveys speeds up the site screening process during reconnaissance exploration for deep structure. It is recommended that mine planning fully incorporate this information so that quarry operators can take proactive measures to avoid catastrophic and costly flooding events. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Dosimetric and radiocarbon chronology of a pre-Wisconsinan mastodon fossil locality at East Milford, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2003,
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Godfreysmith D. I. , Grist A. M. , Stea R. R. ,
We report the final results of a multidisciplinary geochronological study of two subfossil mastodon remains and the sediments associated with them. from the East Milford, N.S. mastodon locality discovered in 1991. The mastodons, which were found in a karstic sinkhole system, are the latest and the most complete of several mastodon remains discovered in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Maine over the last 170 years. The unconsolidated sediments containing the adult specimen were dated using optical dating (IRSL); the mastodon dental enamel was dated using electron spin resonance (ESR); and bone collagen from both individuals plus associated wood were dated using radiocarbon (C-14) dating. Two samples of sediment adhering to the walls of the karstic cavity at the elevation corresponding to the location of the adult specimen yielded statistically indistinguishable IRSL ages of 127 13 (EMM1) and 143 16 ka (EMM2), with a weighted mean of 133 6 ka. This is consistent with pollen data which indicate an interglacial climate. On the basis of its stratigraphic position with respect to overlying till units, the locality is attributed to oxygen isotope stage 5. Three ESR dates on dental enamel (natural prompt, deproteinated prompt, and deproteinated delayed) yielded statistically indistinguishable ages whose weighted mean is 74.9 5.0 ka. This indicates consignment to the geologic record of the mastodon tooth during terminal oxygen isotope stage 5a, when the climatic cooling leading to the Wisconsinan glacial period had already begun. Fission-track analysis of the enamel and dentine cross sections showed minimal U uptake, resulting in no need for early, linear, or late uptake modelling. The direct ESR age indicates that the specimen either became mired in a cavity that was already at least partly infilled with older, probably waterlogged, sediments, or that the sediment's IRSL signal was not completely erased during deposition. The dosimetric ages are consistent with limiting radiocarbon ages on bone collagen (juvenile > 45,760 years BP; adult greater than or equal to 37,040 1730 BP) and wood (near the adult mastodon > 51,000 BP; organic-rich horizon above the karst surface > 50,000 BP). These results provide the first direct age on a mastodon fossil from Atlantic Canada, and the first numeric estimate to demonstrate that mammoths were present in this region during pre-Wisconsinan times, specifically during late oxygen isotope stage 5a. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Karstic problems in the construction of Milwaukee's Deep Tunnels, 2004,
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Day Mj,
A critical component of Milwaukee's $ 2.8 billion Water Pollution Abatement Program is a 31.2-km inline storage system comprising three Deep Tunnel sections that were bored between 1984 and 1993 at a depth of 80-100 m within Silurian-aged Niagara dolostone. Construction of these Deep Tunnels proved more difficult and expensive than estimated because the karstic nature of the dolostone, particularly its hydrology, had not been fully appreciated. Rock collapse, subsidence and groundwater intrusion necessitated remedial grouting and lining of about 45% of the tunnels, costing some $ 50 million above estimates and delaying completion by 9 months. Tunnel performance since completion continues to be controversial

Analytical and numerical models to explain steady rates of spring flow, 2004,
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Swanson S. K. , Bahr J. M. ,
Flow from some springs in former glacial lakebeds of the Upper Midwest is extremely steady throughout the year and does not increase significantly after precipitation events or seasonal recharge. Analytical and simplified numerical models of spring systems were used to determine whether preferential ground water flow through high-permeability features in shallow sandstone aquifers could produce typical values of spring discharge and the unusually steady rates of spring flow. The analytical model is based on a one-dimensional solution for periodic ground water flow. Solutions to this model suggest that it is unlikely that a periodic forcing due to seasonal variations in areal recharge would propagate to springs in a setting where high-permeability features exist. The analytical model shows that the effective length of the aquifer, or the length of flowpaths to a spring, and the total transmissivity of the aquifer have the greatest potential to impact the nature of spring flow in this setting. The numerical models show that high-permeability features can influence the magnitude of spring flow and the results demonstrate that the lengths of ground water flowpaths increase when high-permeability features are explicitly modeled, thus decreasing the likelihood for temporal variations in spring flow

Late Pleistocene paleoclimate in the Black Hills of South Dakota from isotope records in speleothems, 2004,
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Serefiddin Feride, Schwarcz Henry P. , Ford Derek C. , Baldwin Steve,
Two coeval speleothems from the Black Hills are used to investigate [delta]18O and [delta]13C variations within Reed's Cave and reconstruct climate during the Wisconsin glacial period from 82[punctuation space]000 to 24[punctuation space]000 years ago. Variation in growth rates between the two speleothems reveals a strong control of hydrology and surface vegetation on isotopic variability and response of [delta]18O to climate. High-resolution [delta]18O and [delta]13C data show that local environmental conditions can produce an offset of [delta]18O values of up to 4[per mille sign] in coeval speleothems but still reveal important climate events. The transition from warmer to cooler periods results in an increase in [delta]18O of calcite ([delta]18Oct) in sample RC2 while in sample RC20, another equilibrium deposit coeval to part of the RC2 record, [delta]18Oct is offset from RC2 by between 0 and -3.5[per mille sign], and shows much higher frequency isotopic variation. Speleothem RC2 records interglacial/glacial transitions and interstadial events that are also present in speleothems from North America and Europe. Spectral analysis of the [delta]18Oct records for both speleothems reveals periodicity at 1000 to 2000 years, similar to millennial scale variability seen in the North Atlantic sediments and the Greenland ice cores

Constraints on the geological history of the karst system in southern Missouri, U.S.A. provided by radiogenic, cosmogenic and physical/chemical characteristics of doline fill, 2004,
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Weary David J. , Harrison Richard W. , Wright Maria P. , Jacobson Robert B. , Pavich Milan J. , Mahan Shannon A. , Wronkiewicz David J.

The Ozark Plateaus region of southern Missouri is underlain by dominantly carbonate marine platform rocks of Paleozoic age. The region has been sub-aerially exposed since the late Paleozoic and is characterized by extensive karst. To better understand the geologic history of this regional karst system, we examined the stratigraphic record preserved in the fill of a large doline near the largest spring in the region. Samples of fill from natural exposures and drill core were analyzed using thermoluminescence (TL) and 10Be cosmogenic techniques, and the physical/chemical characteristics of the fill material were determined by visual inspection, X-ray analyses, and grain-size measurements. Drill-hole data indicate that the allochthonous doline fill is 36.3 m thick and rests on at least 15.6 m of cave breakdown and sediment. The doline fill is divisible into 7 zones. Analysis of 10Be concentrations suggest that the entire doline fill was derived from local residuum during the middle (Illinoian) to late Pleistocene (Wisconsinan). X-ray diffraction analyses of clays throughout the doline fill indicate that they consist of nearly equal amounts of kaolinite and illite, consistent with terrestrial weathering.


Evaluating the effectiveness of a fixed wellhead delineation: Regional case study, 2006,
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Hodgson J. Y. S. , Stoll J. R. , Stoll R. C. ,
The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments mandated that every state must determine the hydrogeologic origin of each public drinking water system and assess the degree to which each system may be adversely affected by potential sources of contamination. Wisconsin delineated and assessed one specific class of systems, transient noncommunity drinking water wells, with the least stringent standards of all governed system types. This study evaluates the effectiveness of Wisconsin's arbitrarily fixed radius approach used in determining susceptibility to potential contamination from 1,872 transient noncommunity ground water wells. Nearly 28 percent of the wells with contaminated water did not have any recorded potential sources of contamination within the delineation radii. Additionally, regression models derived from potential contaminant inventories within the delineation radii could not accurately predict actual incidences of water contamination. Differences between observed and expected frequencies of contamination further suggest that some transient noncommunity systems should probably be delineated with larger and more sophisticated methods that would account for varying geology and contaminant susceptibility. The majority of contamination cases without recorded potential sources of contamination within the delineation radii were in a karst area. Subsequently, the arbitrarily fixed radius delineation method should not be used in areas with karst aquifers

Evidence against the Dorag (mixing-zone) model for dolomitization along the Wisconsin arch - A case for hydrothermal diagenesis , 2006,
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Luczaj, J. A.

Ordovician carbonates near the Wisconsin arch represent the type locality in ancient rocks for the Dorag, or mixing-zone, model for dolomitization. Field, petrographic, and geochemical evidence suggests a genetic link between the pervasive dolomite, trace Mississippi Valley–type (MVT) minerals, and potassium (K)-silicate minerals in these rocks, which preserve a regional hydrothermal signature. Constraints were placed on the conditions of water-rock interaction using fluid-inclusion methods, cathodoluminescence and plane-light petrography, stable isotopic analyses, and organic maturity data. Homogenization temperatures of two-phase aqueous fluid inclusions in dolomite, sphalerite, and quartz range between 65 and 120°C. Freezing data suggest a Na-Ca-Mg-Cl-H2O fluid with salinities between 13 and 28 wt.% NaCl equivalent. The pervasive dolomitization of Paleozoic rocks on and adjacent to the Wisconsin arch was the result of water-rock interaction with dense brines at elevated temperatures, and it was coeval with regional trace MVT mineralization and K-silicate diagenesis. A reevaluation of the Dorag (mixing-zone) model for dolomitization, in conjunction with convincing new petrographic and geochemical evidence, has ruled out the Dorag model as the process responsible for pervasive dolomitization along the Wisconsin arch and adds to the abundant body of literature that casts serious doubt about the viability of the Dorag model in general.

John Luczaj is an assistant professor of earth science in the Department of Natural and Applied Sciences at the University of Wisconsin–Green Bay. He earned his B. S. degree in geology from the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh. This was followed by an M.S. degree in geology from the University of Kansas. He holds a Ph.D. in geology from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. His recent interests include the investigation of water-rock interaction in Paleozoic sedimentary rocks in the Michigan Basin and eastern Wisconsin. Previous research activities involve mapping subsurface uranium distributions, reflux dolomitization, and U-Pb dating of Permian Chase Group carbonates in southwestern Kansas.


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