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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 single rope technique is the practice of climbing up and down ropes with the help of ascenders and descenders. abbreviation: srt.?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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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Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 2008, Vol 72, p. 423-437
Modeling stalagmite growth by first principles of chemistry and physics of calcite precipitation

Growth rates and morphology of stalagmites are determined by the precipitation kinetics of calcite and the supply rates of water to their apex. Current modeling attempts are based on the assumption that precipitation rates decrease exponentially with distance along the surface. This, however, is an arbitrary assumption, because other functions for decrease could be used as well. Here we give a process-oriented model based on the hydrodynamics of a water sheet in laminar radial flow spreading outwards from the apex, and the well known precipitation rates F = α(c − ceq); c is the actual calcium concentration at distance R from the growth axis, ceq the equilibrium concentration of calcium with respect to calcite, and α is a kinetic constant. This enables us to calculate the concentration profile c(R) for any point of an actual surface of a stalagmite and consequently the deposition rates of calcite there. The numerical results show that under conditions constant in time the stalagmite grows into an equilibrium shape, which is established, when all points of its surface are shifting vertically by the same distance during a time interval. We also show this by strict mathematical proof. This new model is based entirely on first principles of physics and chemistry. The results show that the modeled precipitation rates can be approximated by a Gaussian decrease along the equilibrium surface. In general from the mathematical proof one finds a relation between the equilibrium radius of the stalagmite, Q the supply rate of water, and α the kinetic constant. This is also verified by numerical calculations. An interesting scaling law is found. Scaling all stalagmites by 1/Req and presenting them with the origin at their apex yields identical shapes of all. The shapes of the modeled stalagmites are compared to natural ones and show satisfactory agreement. Finally we explore the effect of varying water supply Q and kinetic constant α on the shape of a growing stalagmite, and estimate the minimum period of change that can be imprinted into the morphology of the stalagmite.
Keywords: morphology of stalagmites