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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

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 free-water elevation is see water table.?

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 pollution (Keyword) returned 143 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 121 to 135 of 143
UNDERGROUND WATER FLOW BETWEEN BLOKE PLATEAU AND CERKNICA POLJE AND HyDROLOGIC FUNCTION OFKRINA JAMA, SLOVENIA, 2008,
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Kogovek Janja & Prelovek Mitja & Petri? Metka
Krina jama and Krina jama 2 are of important natural value. They have been known for more than hundred years from speleobiological, paleontological, geomorphological and touristic points of view. In 2007 the establishment of a water treatment plant on Bloke plateau raised important question: can partly cleaned water from the water treatment plant contaminate both caves and decrease their value? To answer this question a tracer test was carried out at the Bloke plateau. It showed general underground water flow from Farov?ica ponor at Bloke plateau toward the teber?ica spring at Cerknica polje. Minority of recovered tracer appeared at erovni?ica and Izvir v Podlou springs. The tracer was not detected at Studenec v Lou and Zlatovec springs. Between ponor and springs three karst caves were observed. The highest concentration of tracer was detected in the cave Mrzla jama pri Blo?icah and a much smaller concentration in the Krina jama and Krina jama 2. This shows that at middle water level the underground Farov?ica stream does not flow directly through Krina jama and Krina jama 2 but near or below them. Since the tracer appeared in both caves only after the precipitation, underground water course can be significantly different at high water level. Tracing test also showed some characteristics of underground water flow through dolomite and characteristics of a composed aquifer with alogenic-autogenic recharge.

PHySICAL AND CHEMICAL RESEARCH IN VELEBITA PIT (CROATIA), 2008,
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Paar Dalibor, Ujevi? Magdalena, Baki? Darko, Lackovi? Damir, ?op Ana & Radoli? Vanja
We have performed measurements of the cave microclimate, water quality parameters and radon concentration to a depth of -1000 m in Velebita Cave system (Northern Velebit, Croatia). The results were analyzed as a function of the cave depth and geomorphological characteristics. Two different air temperature gradients were obtained, which can be attributed to a cave morphology and air circulation in the upper part of the pit. The water quality parameters show that the studied waters are poorly mineralized and are of weakly alkaline type. Water chemistry is probably predominantly controlled by the petrography of the bedrock (limestone) and the cave morphology. Water in the cave is not affected by pollution. The average value of radon concentration is rather low, much lower than in some other Croatian caves.

Solid waste disposal in the Environmental Protected Area of the Lagoa Santa Karst, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, 2008,
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Travassos L. E. P, Sampaio J. L. D, GuimarÃ, Es R. L. , Kohler H. C.

The State of Minas Gerais, Brazil, has approximately 580,000 sq km. From this total, it?s believed that at about 29,000 sq km are composed by carbonatic rocks.With a total of 853 municipalities and some noticeable environmental problems, the biggest problem is the proper final waste disposal. This work is intended to demonstrate the potential pollution of karst aquifers due to leachate?s percolation from improper waste disposal sites. In Brazil, it was established three categories to designate them. From the most environmentally incorrect sites for waste disposal to the better suitable for these activities it is possible to identify the waste dumps (lixões), controlled landfills (aterros controlados) and sanitary landfills (aterros sanitários). In each Brazilian State, around 80% of their municipalities have less than 20,000 inhabitants and no sufficient financial resources required to construct a sanitary landfill. It is also observed a certain degree of lack of political will from some municipal administrations to execute these projects. Unfortunately, some of these areas are located in karst terrains and therefore it is important to observe that an effective environmental control is not always made. The region of Lagoa Santa, State of Minas Gerais, is developed on metasediments of the Bambui Group, Sete Lagoas Formation (Upper Proterozoic). This rock Formation favors the development of expressive superficial and underground karst features. Moreover, the region presents great paleontological, archaeological, historical and speleological potential, which must also be protected from quarrying, pressures from population growth and uncontrolled touristic activities. In 1990 this scenario favored the creation of an Environmental Protected Area (Área de Proteção Ambiental - APA) to preserve local fauna and flora as well the physical environment. However, for many years the APA?s municipalities and its surroundings had installed waste dumps (lixões) since the end of the 70´s.With the State Guideline nº 52 (Deliberação Normativa nº 52) from December 2001, the State Government decreed the adequacy of such irregular dumps. The Guidelines clearly states that the waste must be deposit in a site with soil and/or low permeability rocks, with less than 30% steep angles, a minimum distance of 300m from water sources and 500m distant from core population. Furthermore, the standardization requires the municipalities to implement rainwater drainage systems around the site to reduce water percolation. The Document also obligates the municipality to compact and cover the waste cells at least three times a week, isolating the area to avoid human and animal access. In 2005, the state had registered 25 sanitary landfills, 199 controlled landfills and 549 waste dumps. In February 2007 the State Environmental Agency (FEAM) pointed out the same number of landfills, 207 controlled landfills and still a large amount of waste dumps: 519. Sadly, these inappropriate dumps (lixões) that were controlled in or near karst areas still poses as a threat to the environment since all the contamination comes from at least 25 years ago.


The Virginia Cave Protection Act: a review (19662009), 2009,
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Lera T.
The Virginia Cave Protection Act was first ratified in 1966, with a major revision in 1979, yet Virginia cave and karst resources are still threatened by vandalism, pollution, and poorly planned development. As public interest in outdoor recreation continues to grow and land development accelerates in the Appalachian Valley and Ridge Province west of the Blue Ridge Mountains, increased pressure will be put on Virginias limited and fragile cave resources. Over the past thirty years, there have been many important court cases in Virginia, as well as countless state and federal actions. The difficulty of apprehension and prosecution of vandals demonstrates the inadequacy of current penalties. More prosecutions and harsher penalties will invariably serve as a deterrent to future potential vandals. Complex state projects, like highway widening and the construction of new prisons and airports, put additional pressure on karst areas. In order to preserve the unique educational, recreational, scientific, historic, and economic values of Virginia caves and karst, the Virginia Cave Board has been authorized to safeguard these resources.

GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION IN KARST AREAS OF SOUTHWESTERN CHINA AND RECOMMENDED COUNTER MEASURES, 2010,
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Guo F. , Yuan D. , Qin Z.
Approximately 33% of China is karstic. The most extensive karst areas are in southwestern China and cover approximately 540,000 km2. Southwestern China hosts some of the most typical karst landforms in the world and has important high-quality karst water resources. Due to the rapid development of China, karst waters are threatened by various types of contamination. Detail field and laboratory investigations in five provinces including several cities in southwestern China were conducted in 2008 and 2009. Eightythree springs and underground rivers were surveyed and water samples collected from each for laboratory analyses for major ions. Four main types of karst aquifer contamination were identified based on contaminant sources: rural and agricultural pollution, pollution from urban development and industry, pollution from mining, and accidental groundwater pollution. Several representative instances for each type of contamination and their impacts on the environment are discussed in more detail. Contamination countermeasures of karst waters and a framework for overall management of karst water resources in southwestern China are provided.

TRACER TESTS AS A TOOL FOR PLANNING THE MONITORING OF NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF THE MOZELJ LANDFILL (SE SLOVENIA) ON KARST WATERS, 2010,
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Kogovek J. , Petri? M.
Tracer tests are one of the most useful research methods in karst hydrogeology and they have proved a valuable tool in various applied projects. In recent years we carried out a series of tracer tests, and their results were used as the bases for planning the monitoring of water quality in the influence areas of various pollution sources. In this paper, a case study of tracing at the landfill near Mozelj in southeastern Slovenia is described. The first goal was testing of the functioning of three monitoring boreholes, which were drilled at the margins of the landfill. As often happens in heterogeneous karst systems, they did not intersect the main flow paths from the landfill and are not suitable as monitoring points. On the other hand, the findings about the characteristics of tracer transport in the karst system and outflow through the karst springs were used for identifying the most suitable springs for monitoring and preparing an adequate sampling plan, which should be adapted to hydrological conditions.

SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL HYDROCHEMICAL VARIATIONS OF THE SPRING-FED TRAVERTINE DEPOSITING STREAM IN THE HUANGLONG RAVINE, SICHUAN, SW CHINA, 2010,
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Wang H. , Liu Z. , Zhang J. , Sun H. , An D. , Fu R. , Wang X.
Automatic hydrochemical logging and in situ titration combined with laboratory analysis were used to understand the spatial and temporal hydrochemical variations of the spring-fed, travertine-depositing stream in celebrated Huanglong Ravine, Sichuan, SW China. This is essential for protection of the Huanglong World Natural Heritage travertine landscape. It was found that the deposition of travertine was due to very strong CO2 degassing from the water, leading to decrease in pCO2 and specific conductivity (SpC), and increase in pH and SIc downstream from the Spring. However, regular downstream hydrochemical evolution was interrupted by dilution with snowmelt water and by renewed CO2 from some downstream springs. The chemistry of Huanglong Spring itself was stable at a diurnal scale though it was altered by the great Wenchuan earthquake of May 12 2008. However, in spring-fed pools downstream, pCO2 and SpC were lower, and pH and SIc were higher in daytime than at night, which indicates that the deposition of travertine was faster during the daylight hours. This was due to the combined e?ects of higher water tempera-tures and higher aquatic algae photosynthesis. In addition, it was found that the phosphate concentration in the stream in-creased remarkably downstream in the tourist midseason, in-dicating water pollution by tourism activities. ?e increase of phosphate (an inhibitor of calcite precipitation) may be one of the reasons for the decrease in travertine deposition rates and accelerated propagation of discoloration by diatoms during the past decades, which needs to be given more comprehensive study and tackled in future for the protection of these world famous travertine deposits.Keywords: hydrochemical var

Ecology of the hyporheic zone: a review, 2010,
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Pacioglu, Octavian
It is widely recognized that the hyporheic zone is a crucial component of river ecosystems, structurally and functionally. This article provides a contemporary review outlining the historical development of research in the field and an overview of the current state of knowledge regarding the structure and functioning of hyporheic invertebrate assemblages. The paper makes a call for a more holistic approach to the study of the hyporheic zone and the invertebrate communities that inhabit it.

Impact of chlorides, nitrates, sulfates and phosphates on increased limestone dissolution in the karst vadose zone (Postojna Cave, Slovenia) , 2011,
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Kogovek, Janja

Distinctive karst hydrology arises from a combination of high carbonate rock solubility and well developed secondary porosity
(fissures). Soil CO2 is the most important influence on solubility
of carbonate rock (Ford & Williams 2007). Human activity
on the karst surface results in pollution that has an important influence on water quality. Degradation of organic pollution (e.g. waste water, leachates from landfill sites) results in inorganic
acids too. These acids could have an important additional influence on dissolution of carbonate rocks in the vadose zone. In the framework of more than 20 years of research on precipitation
percolation and transfer of contaminants (direct outflow of waste water from a small military facility where about twenty troops were stationed) through the 100-m thick vadose zone of Postojna Cave, contaminated water was observed in drips and trickles in the cave (up to 60 mg Cl-/l, up to 180 mg NO3-/l, up to 2.8 mg PO43-/l, and up to 50 mg SO42-/l). At the same time the sum of calcium and magnesium (Ca+Mg) of trickles was up to two times larger than the Ca+Mg of either the uncontaminated
reference trickle or the input waste water. The amount of dissolved limestone carried by waste water to trickles and drips in the cave was directly proportional to the concentration
of contaminant anions present. This demonstrates that there is an accelerated widening of fissures below source points of wastewater. Water with contaminants can penetrate faster and deeper into the vadose zone along the increasingly permeable
fissures without losing its dissolving power, and thus significant dissolution occurs ever deeper in the vadose zone. This results in ever faster penetration of contaminants through the vadose zone. In the final phase of such development, which takes many decades or longer, relatively rapid transfer of contaminants
through the aquifer all the way to karst springs with minimal self-cleansing effects can be expected.


Review: The Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico , 2011,
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Bauergottwein Peter, Gondwe Bibi R. N. , Charvet Guillaume, Marin Luis E. , Rebolledovieyra Mario, Meredizalonso Gonzalo

The Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer is one of the most extensive and spectacular karst aquifer systems on the planet. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of approximately 165,000 km2 in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. The Triassic to Holocene Yucatan limestone platform is located in the vicinity of the North American/Caribbean plate boundary and has been reshaped by a series of tectonic events over its long geologic history. At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Yucatan Peninsula was hit by a large asteroid, which formed the Chicxulub impact crater. The Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer hosts large amounts of groundwater resources which maintain highly diverse groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Large parts of the aquifer are affected by seawater intrusion. Anthropogenic pollution of the aquifer has been increasing over the past few decades, owing to relentless economic development and population growth on the Peninsula. This review summarizes the state of knowledge on the Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer and outlines the main challenges for hydrologic research and practical groundwater-resources management on the Peninsula.


The hydrogeology of Ogof Draenen: new insights into a complex multi-catchment karst system from tracer testing, 2011,
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Maurice Lou, Guilford Tim

 A current understanding of the hydrology of Ogof Draenen, Wales, one of the longest and most complex cave systems in Europe, is presented. Previous tracer tests are reviewed and results of two new tracer tests presented. Numerous dolines occur on the Marros Group (formerly ‘Millstone Grit’) sandstones and the Pembroke Limestone Group (both of Carboniferous age) that crop out around the edges of the mountains overlying Ogof Draenen, with hydrologically active sinking streams common along the boundary of these strata. Surface pollution of a doline caused diesel pollution in the cave beneath demonstrating the vulnerability of groundwater. There are a few recently formed hydrologically active passages but groundwater flow is also influenced by many kilometres of relict passages formed during multiple phases of speleogenesis. This results in vertical and horizontal underfit streams that cross or flow through large relict passages. In the southeast of the cave, tracer testing revealed an underground watershed demonstrating the complexity of groundwater flowpaths. In the north a cave stream flows to springs which drain north to the Clydach Gorge. Small amounts of drainage in the cave may also reach springs in the Tumble Valley to the northeast, although these springs may be unconnected to the cave and fed entirely by stream sinks on the Blorenge mountainside. Multi-tracer injections within the cave revealed that the major underground streams flow south to feed large springs at Snatchwood and Pontnewynydd in the Afon Lwyd valley, in a different topographical catchment some 8km beyond the known cave, with rapid groundwater velocities of up to 4km/day. Nine other springs in the Afon Lwyd valley appear unconnected to the Ogof Draenen streams, being fed independently by sinking streams on the local mountainside. In addition, we show that Specific Electrical Conductance varies greatly both between and within springs, is negatively related to background fluorescence


THE ROLE OF THE VADOSE ZONE IN THE TRANSFER OF POLLUTION THROUGH KARST AQUIFERS TO KARST SPRINGS, 2011,
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Kogovek, J.


Review: The Yucatn Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico, 2011,
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Bauergottwein P. , Gondwe B. R. N. , Charvet G. , Marn L. E. , Rebolledovieyra M. , Meredizalonso G.

The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer is one of the most extensive and spectacular karst aquifer systems on the planet. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of approximately 165,000 km2 in México, Guatemala and Belize. The Triassic to Holocene Yucatán limestone platform is located in the vicinity of the North American/Caribbean plate boundary and has been reshaped by a series of tectonic events over its long geologic history. At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Yucatán Peninsula was hit by a large asteroid, which formed the Chicxulub impact crater. The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer hosts large amounts of groundwater resources which maintain highly diverse groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Large parts of the aquifer are affected by seawater intrusion. Anthropogenic pollution of the aquifer has been increasing over the past few decades, owing to relentless economic development and population growth on the Peninsula. This review summarizes the state of knowledge on the Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer and outlines the main challenges for hydrologic research and practical groundwater-resources management on the Peninsula


Observations on the biology of the endangered stygobiotic shrimp Palaemonias alabamae, with notes on P. ganteri (Decapoda: Atyidae), 2011,
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Martha Cooper, John Cooper

Palaemonias alabamae is endemic to subterranean waters in northern Alabama. Its type locality is Shelta Cave, Madison County, and ostensibly conspecifi c shrimps have been found in Bobcat and two other caves. Pollution and other factors may have extirpated the shrimp from the type locality. In Shelta Cave the species is smaller than the shrimp in Bobcat Cave and P. ganteri in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. Adult female P. alabamae(s.s.) and P. ganteri are larger than males. Female P. alabamae with visible oocytes or, rarely, attached ova, were observed from July through January in Shelta Cave. Each female there produces 8 to 12 large ova, whereas females of the population in Bobcat Cave produce 20 to 24 ova, and P. ganteri produces 14 to 33 ova. Plankton samples taken in Shelta and Mammoth caves yielded nothing identifi able as zoea or postlarvae.Palaemonias alabamae and P. ganteri usually feed by fi ltering bottom sediments through their mouthparts, but both sometimes feed upside down at the water’s surface. Although there is some overlap, the compositions of the aquatic communities in Shelta and Mammoth caves differ, and there are some major differences among the Alabama shrimp caves. The stygobiotic fi sh, Typhlichthys subterraneus, is a known predator on P. alabamae in Shelta Cave.


Comparative microbial sampling from eutrophic caves in Slovenia and Slovakia using RIDA COUNT test kits, 2012,
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Mulec Janez, Kritů, Fek Vclav, Chroň, kov Alica

RIDA®COUNT test plates were used as an easy-to-handle and rapid indicator of microbial counts in karst ecosystems of several caves in Slovakia and Slovenia. All of the caves had a high organic input from water streams, tourists, roosting bat colonies or terrestrial surroundings. We sampled swabs, water and air samples to test robustness and universality of the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany, http://www.r-biopharm.com/) for quantification of total bacteria, coliforms, yeast and mold. Using data from swabs (colony-forming units per cm2) we proposed a scale for description of biocontamination level or superficial microbial load of cave niches. Based on this scale, surfaces of Ardovská Cave, Drienovská Cave and Stará Brzotínská Cave (Slovakia) were moderately colonized by microbes, with total microbial counts (sum of total bacterial count and total yeast and molds count) in the range of 1 001-10 000 CFU/100 cm2, while some surfaces from the show cave Postojna Cave (Slovenia) can be considered highly colonized by microbes (total microbial counts ≥ 10 001 CFU/100 cm2). Ardovská Cave also had a high concentration of air-borne microbes, which can be explained by restricted air circulation and regular bat activity. The ratio of coliform to total counts of bacteria in the 9 km of underground Pivka River flow in Postojna Cave dropped approximately 4-fold from the entrance, indicating the high anthropogenic pollution in the most exposed site in the show cave. The RIDA®COUNT test kit was proven to be applicable for regular monitoring of eutrophication and human influence in eutrophic karst caves.


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