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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. ...

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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 calcite crystals (Keyword) returned 33 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 33
Origin of fabrics in speleothems composed of columnar calcite crystals, 1978, Kendall A. C. , Broughton P. L. ,

Sr isotope study of vein and cave calcites from southern Israel, 1990, Avigour A, Magaritz M, Issar A, Dodson Mh,
The strontium isotope compositions of secondary calcites from the Negev, southern Israel, were compared to those of the marine carbonate host rocks, which range in age from Triassic to Eocene, in order to understand fluid source and migration through fracture systems in dominantly carbonate strata. The Sr isotopes of these calcite clusters are divided into two groups: (1) calcites with 87Sr/86Sr values greater than those of the host carbonates; and (2) calcites with 87Sr/86Sr values close to the values of the host carbonate. 1. (1) These secondary calcites were found on the main tectonic lines of the Negev (faults and fold axes) and are enriched in 87Sr (87Sr/86Sr = 0.707709-0.709151) relative to the marine carbonate country rocks (87Sr/86Sr = 0.707251-0.70755, with one exception). These calcites are associated or crossed by thin veins filled by Fe- and Mn-oxides.2. (2) Secondary calcites with 87Sr/86Sr values close to those of the marine carbonate country rocks (0.7073-0.7077) are found in karstic caves and veins, and are located in sites which are not on the major faults and fold axes. These calcites are not crossed by Fe- and Mn-oxides.The isotopic results indicate that the solutions from which the secondary minerals of the first group precipitated were not in isotopic equilibrium with the marine host rocks. The possible source of the precipitating solutions can be either surface rain descending through the fault system or ascending groundwaters from the deep Nubian aquifer (Paleozoic to Early Cretaceous in age). In both cases there would be a limited interaction with the host sandstone rock which usually is depleted in Sr. The similarity of the 87Sr/86Sr values to those of the host rocks in the second group suggests that the main source of Sr in these calcite crystals was from the dissolution of the marine carbonate country rocks by rain- and flood waters

VOID-FILLING DEPOSITS IN KARST TERRAINS OF ISOLATED OCEANIC ISLANDS - A CASE-STUDY FROM TERTIARY CARBONATES OF THE CAYMAN-ISLANDS, 1992, Jones B. ,
Caves, fossil mouldic cavities, sinkholes and solution-widened joints are common in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members of the Bluff Formation (Oligocene Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac because they have been subjected to repeated periods of karst development over the last 30 million years. Many voids contain a diverse array of sediments and/or precipitates derived from marine or terrestrial environs, mineral aerosols, and groundwater. Exogenic sediment was transported to the cavities by oceanic storm waves, transgressive seas, runoff following tropical rain storms and/or in groundwater. At least three periods of deposition were responsible for the occlusion of voids in the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Voids in the Cayman Member were initially filled or partly filled during the Late Oligocene and Early Miocene. This was terminated with the deposition of the Pedro Castle Member in the Middle Miocene. Subsequent exposure led to further karst development and void-filling sedimentation in both the Cayman and Pedro Castle members. Speleothems are notably absent. The void-filling deposits formed during these two periods, which were predominantly marine in origin, were pervasively dolomitized along with the host rock 2 5 million years ago. The third period of void-filling deposition. after dolomitization of the Bluff Formation, produced limestone, various types of breccia, terra rossa, speleothemic calcite and terrestrial oncoids. Most of these deposits formed since the Sangamon highstand 125 000 years ago. Voids in the present day karst are commonly filled or partly filled with unconsolidated sediments. Study of the Bluff Formation of Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac shows that karst terrains on isolated oceanic islands are characterized by complex successions of void-filling deposits that include speleothems and a variety of sediment types. The heterogenetic nature of these void-filling deposits is related to changes in sea level and climatic conditions through time

CALCITE FROM THE QUATERNARY SPRING WATERS AT TYLICZ, KRYNICA, POLISH CARPATHIANS, 1993, Kostecka A. ,
At Tylicz, near Krynica Spa (Polish Carpathians), spelean deposits fill fissures and caverns in Eocene flysch rocks. They occur as: (1) clastic cave sediments transformed into hard crusts due to cementation by finely crystalline low-Mg calcite, (2) drusy calcite that covers crust surfaces and fills voids in the crust and (3) colloform calcite. Two varieties of drusy calcite are distinguished: acicular and columnar. The acicular calcite is built up of crystallites forming spherulitic fans or cones. In places it is syntaxially covered with colloform calcite. The drusy calcite is low-Mg ferroan calcite with non-ferroan subzones, whereas the colloform calcite is a low-Mg non-ferroan variety. The columnar calcite crystals form fan-like bundles. Cross-sections cut perpendicular to the c-axes of columnar crystals are equilateral triangular in shape, although some have slightly curved edges. The columnar crystals have steep rhombic terminations and most have curved triangular faces, i.e. gothic-arch calcite. Saddle crystals have also been observed. The columnar crystals are composed of radially orientated crystallites whose long dimension is parallel to the c-axis. The curved crystal faces of such polycrystals are interpreted as a result of differential growth rates of the crystallites. The spelean calcites precipitated from CO2-saturated water. The high rate of CaCO3 Precipitation is thought to be responsible for the formation of radial structures. Finely crystalline calcite formed within pore spaces of clastic sediments close to the water-air interface, drusy calcite crystallized beneath the water-air interface, and colloform calcite precipitated from thin films of water

HYDRODYNAMIC CONTROL OF INORGANIC CALCITE PRECIPITATION IN HUANGLONG RAVINE, CHINA - FIELD-MEASUREMENTS AND THEORETICAL PREDICTION OF DEPOSITION RATES, 1995, Liu Z. H. , Svensson U. , Dreybrodt W. , Yuan D. X. , Buhmann D. ,
Hydrochemical and hydrodynamical investigations are presented to explain tufa deposition rates along the flow path of the Huanglong Ravine, located in northwestern Sichuan province, China, on an altitude of about 3400 m asl. Due to outgassing of CO2 the mainly spring-fed stream exhibits, along a valley of 3.5 km, calcite precipitation rates up to a few mm/year. We have carried out in situ experiments to measure calcite deposition rates at rimstone dams, inside of pools and in the stream-bed. Simultaneously, the downstream evolution of water chemistry was investigated at nine locations with respect to Ca2 Mg2, Na, Cl-, SO42-, and alkalinity. Temperature, pH, and conductivity were measured in situ, while total hardness, Ca-T, and alkalinity have been determined immediately after sampling, performing standard titration methods. The water turned out to be of an almost pure Ca-Mg-HCO3 type. The degassing of CO2 causes high supersaturation with respect to calcite and due to calcite precipitation the Ca2 concentration decreases from 6 . 10(-3) mole/l upstream down to 2.5 . 10(-3) mole/l at the lower course. Small rectangular shaped tablets of pure marble were mounted under different flow regimes, i.e., at the dam sites with fast water flow as well as inside pools with still water. After the substrate samples had stayed in the water for a period of a few days, the deposition rates were measured by weight increase, up to several tens of milligrams. Although there were no differences in hydrochemistry, deposition rates in fast flowing water were higher by as much as a factor of four compared to still water, indicating a strong influence of hydrodynamics. While upstream rates amounted up to 5 mm/year, lower rates of about 1 mm/year were observed downstream. Inspection of the marble substrate surfaces by EDAX and SEM (scanning electron microscope) revealed authigeneously grown calcite crystals of about 10 mu m. Their shape and habit are indicative of a chemically controlled inorganic origin. By applying a mass transfer model for calcite precipitation taking into account the reaction rates at the surface given by Plummer et al. (1978), slow conversion of CO2 into H and HCO3-, and diffusional mass transport across a diffusion boundary layer, we have calculated the deposition rates from the hydrochemistry of the corresponding locations. The calculated rates agree within a factor of two with the experimental results. Our findings confirm former conclusions with respect to fast flow conditions: reasonable rates of calcite precipitation can be estimated in reducing the PWP-rate calculated from the chemical composition of the water by a factor of about ten, thus correcting for the influence of the diffusion boundary layer

PROCESSES ASSOCIATED WITH MICROBIAL BIOFILMS IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE OF CAVES - EXAMPLES FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1995, Jones B. ,
The twilight zone of a cave, an environment transitional between the well-illuminated environment outside the cave and the dark environment of the cave interior, is one of the most unusual microenvironments of the karst terrain. Walls in the twilight zone of caves on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac are coated with a biofilm that incorporates a diverse assemblage of epilithic microbes and copious mucus. Most microbes are different from those found elsewhere in the karst terrains of the Cayman Islands, probably because they have adapted to life in the poorly illuminated twilight zone. None of the microbes employ an endolithic life mode, and less than 10% of them show evidence of calcification. The biofilm does, however, provide a medium in which a broad spectrum of destructive and constructive processes operate. Etching, the dominant destructive process, produces residual dolomite, residual calcite, blocky calcite, and spiky calcite. Constructive processes include precipitation of calcite, dolomite, gypsum, halite, and sylvite. Although filamentous microbes are common, examples of detrital grains trapped and bound to the substrate are rare. Destructive processes are more common than constructive ones

ORIGIN OF ENDOGENETIC MICRITE IN KARST TERRAINS - A CASE-STUDY FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1995, Jones B. , Kahle C. F. ,
Cavities in the dolostones of the Cayman Formation (Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac commonly contain spar calcite cements and/or a variety of exogenetic (derived from sources external to the bedrock) and endogenetic (derived from sources in the bedrock) internal sediments. Micrite is a common component in many of these internal sediments. The exogenetic micrite, which is typically laminated and commonly contains fragments of marine biota, originated from the nearby shallow lagoons. The endogenetic micrite formed as a residue from the breakdown of spar calcite crystals by etching, as constructive and destructive envelopes developed around spar calcite crystals, by calcification of microbes, by breakdown of calcified filamentous microbes, and by precipitation from pore waters. Once produced, the endogenetic micrite may be transported from its place of origin by water flowing through the cavities. Endogenetic micrite can become mixed with the exogenetic micrite. Subsequently, it is impossible to recognize the origin of individual particles because the particles in endogenetic micrite are morphologically like the particles in exogenetic micrite. Formation of endogenetic micrite is controlled by numerous extrinsic and intrinsic parameters. In the Cayman Formation, for example, most endogenetic micrite is produced by etching of meteoric calcite crystals that formed as a cement in the cavities or by microbial calcification. As a result, the distribution of the endogenetic micrite is ultimately controlled by the distribution of the calcite cement and/or the microbes-factors controlled by numerous other extrinsic variables. Irrespective of the factors involved in its formation, it is apparent that endogenetic micrite can be produced by a variety of processes that are operating in the confines of cavities in karst terrains

Phototrophic Microorganisms of the Pamukkale, 1997, Pentecost Allan, Bayari Serdar , Yesertener Cahit
The travertines at Pamukkale contain a diverse assemblage of phototrophs: 17 species of cyanobacteria, 16 diatoms, and 5 Chlorophyceae. Two communities were recognized on the active travertines: (1) surficial mats dominated by filamentous cyanobacteria, particularly Lyngbya (Phormidium) laminosum forming soft weakly mineralized layers to 10 mm thick, and (2) a predominantly endolithic assemblage, also dominated by cyanobacteria developing 2-5 mm below the travertine surface. The distribution of these communities is determined largely by water flow and the degree of desiccation. Two further communities are briefly described from nondepositing areas. Most of the active travertine consists of alternating layers of micrite and sparite 0.25-0.75 mm in thickness, which probably result from short-term fluctuations in water flow rather than diel events (photosynthesis, temperature). The presence of needle-fiber calcite in surface samples suggests that evaporation of water may play some part in travertine formation. The phototrophs appear to influence the travertine fabric only locally, where the surficial growths contain strings of calcite crystals ad-hering to the filaments, forming irregularly laminated layers. The hot-spring water is believed to be contaminated with sewage and agricultural effluent, but there was no evidence to suggest that this is currently affecting the travertine deposits. The water is supersaturated with respect to calcite when it contacts the travertine, and precipitation is primarily the result of carbon dioxide evasion. Water chemistry and discharge measurements indicate a total travertine deposition rate of 35 tonnes per day.

An experimental study of calcite and limestone dissolution rates as a function of pH from -1 to 3 and temperature from 25 to 80 degrees C, 1998, Alkattan M, Oelkers Eh, Dandurand Jl, Schott J,
Dissolution rates of single calcite crystals, limestones, and compressed calcite powders were determined from sample weight loss using free-drift rotating disk techniques. Experiments were performed in aqueous HCl solutions over the bulk solution pH range -1 to 3, and at temperatures of 25 degrees, 50 degrees, and 80 degrees C. Corresponding rates of the three different sample types are identical within experimental uncertainty. Interpretation of these data using equations reported by Gregory and Riddiford [Gregory, D.P., Riddiford, A.C., 1956. Transport to the surface of a rotating disc. J. Chem. Sec. London 3, 3756-3764] yields apparent rate constants and H diffusion coefficients. The logarithms of overall calcite dissolution rates (r) obtained at constant disk rotation speed are inversely proportional to the bulk solution pH, consistent with r = k(2') a(H,b), where k(2)' stands for an apparent rate constant and a(H,b) designates the hydrogen ion activity in the bulk solution, This variation of dissolution rates with pH is consistent with corresponding rates reported in the literature and the calcite dissolution mechanism reported by Wollast [Wollast, R., 1990. Rate and mechanism of dissolution of carbonates in the system CaCO3-MgCO3. In: Stumm, W. (Ed.), Aquatic Chemical Kinetics. Wiley, pp. 431-445]. Apparent rate constants for a disk rotation speed of 340 rpm increase from 0.07 0.02 to 0.25 0.02 mol m(-2) s(-1) in response to increasing temperature from 25 degrees to 80 degrees C. H diffusion coefficients increase from (2.9 to 9.2) x 10(-9) m(2) s(-1) over this temperature range with an apparent activation energy of 19 kJ mol(-1). (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Kinetics and mechanisms of precipitation of calcite as affected by P-CO2 and organic ligands at 25 degrees C, 1998, Lebron I. , Suarez D. L. ,
This study was conducted to develop a model for the precipitation rate of calcite under varying CO2 partial pressures and concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOG). Precipitation rates of calcite were measured in solutions with supersaturation values (Omega) between 1 and 20 and in the presence of 2 m(2)L(-1) of calcite. Experiments were run at partial pressures of CO2 (P-CO2) in the range of 0.035-10 kPa and DOC concentrations in the range of 0.02-3.50 mM. The effects of these two variables were quantified separately for the precipitation mechanisms of crystal growth and heterogeneous nucleation. We found an increase in precipitation rate (at constant Omega) when P-CO2 increased. For constant Omega, we also found a linear relationship between calcite precipitation rate and activity of CaHCO3, indicating that CaHCO3 species have an active role in the mechanism of calcite precipitation. These findings suggest that the increase in the precipitation rate with higher P-CO2 levels is likely caused by the increase in the negative charge on the calcite surface together with an increase in the activity of CaHCO3 species in solution. The mechanism of inhibition of calcite crystal growth by organic ligands has been shown to be surface coating of the crystals by DOG. The amount of DOC adsorbed on the surface of the calcite crystals follows a Langmuir isotherm for all the P-CO2 levels studied; however, the amount of DOC necessary to inhibit calcite precipitation increased. With increasing P-CO2, the negative charge on the crystal increases, which affects crystal growth, but also these increases in P-CO2 cause a decrease in the solution pH and increase in the ionic strength for constant Omega. Solution pH and ionic strength affect the structure and degree of dissociation of the organic functional groups, which in turn affects the and DOC concentration on the inhibition of crystal growth and heterogeneous nucleation. The effect of P-CO2 and DOC concentration on the precipitation rate of calcite is expressed in a precipitation rate model which reflects the contributions of crystal growth and heterogeneous nucleation. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd

Ancient helictites and the formation of vadose crystal silt in upper Jurassic carbonates (Southern Germany), 1998, Reinhold C. ,
Speleothems and vadose crystal silt are effective indications for karstification processes in the fossil record. Upper Jurassic limestones in Southern Germany that have undergone vadose diagenesis contain on crystal margins and tips of coarse bladed calcites numerous fibrous calcite crystals, formed by abnormal growth conditions, and internal sediment within fractures and vugs, Fibrous calcite crystals grew as crusts, in fence and mesh-like arrangements. Fibrous crystals, which have a length:width ratio of greater than 1:10, are made up of stacked subcrystals composed of an alternation of hexagonal prisms and rhombohedra, They exhibit a central to somewhat eccentric capillary. Electron probe microanalysis shows low-Mg calcite mineralogy with negligible amounts of Fe, Mn, and Sr as well as dis seminated clay and metal hydroxide impurities. Stable-isotope data show relatively C-13-enriched and O-18-depleted values (delta(13)C similar to parts per thousand PDB, delta(18)O similar to -6 parts per thousand PDB), suggesting a meteoric environment and CO2 degassing as the main process of formation, Fibrous calcite crystals form from capillary fluids that are highly supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, contaminated with alien mineral impurities. The abnormal growth pattern is suggested to be substrate-controlled and attributed to mineral impurities that produce numerous crystallization nuclei. Fibrous calcite crystals are comparable to helictites of the filiform type that are reported only from Quaternary caves. Nevertheless, the diagenetic sequence and oxygen isotope data suggest a Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age for their formation. The internal sediment consists exclusively of silt-size fragments of fibrous crystals and therefore is comparable to vadose crystal silt. Crystal silt is generated by the erosion of fibrous crystals both by va dose seepage and air currents. This study is the first observation of ancient helictites and related vadose crystal silt, documenting the close relationship between pore ceiling vadose cements and the generation of crystal silt

The evolution of karst and caves in the Konûprusy region Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic), Part II: Hydrothermal paleokarst, 1998, Bosak, Pavel

The origin of hydrothermal karst cavities was connected with the Variscan hydrothermal process. The cavities were formed and filled by crystalline calcite. The process was accompanied by the intensive dolomitisation. Younger phase of hydrothermal karstification was not connected with vein-filling, but with the deep circulation of groundwater, probably associated with neovolcanic activity in the Bohemian Massif. This is supported by pollen grains and decomposed volcanic ash in speleothems which were formed after the major phases of speleogenesis. It is supposed that caves in the Konûprusy Devonian were formed in confined aquifer under phreatic and batyphreatic conditions. Thermal conditions appeared when paleogeothermic gradient was increased due to intensive neovolcanic activity. Hydrothermal karstification partly changed the morphology of caves. The maximum temperatures were stated to 60-700 C from large calcite crystals precipitated under phreatic and deeply phreatic conditions. The piezometric level was situated above limestones in Upper Cretaceous platform siliciclastics as indicated by numerous subvertical phreatic tubes („depressions") filled with sunkened Cretaceous and Tertiary sediments after the water buyoancy support decreased. Popcorn-like silicified Konûprusy Rosettes can be result of decrease of thermal water level and mixing with infiltrating meteoric waters. Outer zones of large calcite crystals with precipitation temperatures of about 400 C can indicate the gradual cooling of the whole system.


Petrography, strontium, barium and uranium concentrations, and strontium and uranium isotope ratios in speleothems as palaeoclimatic proxies: Soreq Cave, Israel, 1999, Ayalon A, Barmatthews M, Kaufman A,
The reconstruction of the palaeoclimate of the eastern Mediterranean region for the last 60 ka BP is based on the delta(18)O and delta(13)C variations of speleothems from Soreq Cave, Israel. Climatic conditions during most of the rime interval between 60 and 17 ka BP (the period equivalent to the last glacial) were relatively cold and dry, while they were warmer and wetter from 17 ka BP to the present. At similar to 17 ka BP, there was a major climatic change with a sharp increase in annual rainfall and temperature and a very wet period occurring between 8.5 and 7.0 ka BP. During the colder and drier period, large, detritus-free, preferentially oriented calcite crystals were deposited from slow-moving water. As a result of a sharp change in the hydrological regime at similar to 17 ka BP, fast-moving water started entrainment of the soil and carrying detrital material into the cave, and the calcite crystals deposited became small and anhedral. Coinciding with the petrographic and isotopic changes, a sharp drop occurred in the concentrations of strontium, barium and uranium, and in the ratios Sr-87/Sr-86 and (U-234/U-238)(0), which reached mini mum values during the wettest period. This drop reflects enhanced weathering of the soil dolomite host rock. During colder and drier periods, higher trace-element concentrations and higher isotopic ratios reflect an increase in the contribution of salts derived from exogenic sources (sea spray and aeolian dust), and a reduced contribution of weathering from the host dolomites

La grotte et le karst de Cango (Afrique du Sud), 2000, Martini, J. E. J.
The author describes a small karst area in the extreme south of the African Continent, with special reference to the Cango Cave, which is a major tourist attraction. Compared with the other karsts of Southern Africa, this area is unique. The karst is typically exogenic, with caves forming by stream disappearance into swallow holes, where the thalweg intersects steeply dipping Precambrian limestone. Wet caves are vadose, with only short phreatic segments and exhibit rectilinear, longitudinal sections. Passages are low, but wide with bevelled ceilings, often terraced. This peculiar morphology is typical of the caves developing exactly on the water-table and seems to be controlled by the abundance of sediments introduced from the swallow holes. If one excepts a short active lower level, Cango is a dry cave of the same type than the wet ones. It is practically linear in plan and in profile, with a length of 2.6 km from entrance to end for a total of 5.2 km of passages. The age of the speleogenesis has been estimated as early Pleistocene from the entrance elevation, which is in between the altitude of the actual thalweg and the one of the Post African I erosion surface, which started to be eroded during the Upper Pliocene. This relatively young age is in contrast with a Miocene model, which was accepted by most of the previous authors. Cango is well adorned with speleothems, in particular with outstanding abundant shields, monocrystalline stalagmites and pools coated with calcite crystals. In the first chambers from entrance, the speleothems have been deeply corroded by bat guano, with deposition of hydroxylapatite. Previously this corrosion was attributed to resolution due to several rises of the paleowater-table. The meteorology is discussed, in particular the high carbon dioxide, which indicates that the cave is poorly ventilated and which constitutes a problem for management and conservation.

Calcite Moonmilk: Crystal Morphology and Environment of Formation in Caves in the Italian Alps, 2000, Borsato A, Frisia S, Jones B, Van Der Borg K,
Calcite moonmilk, which is a cave deposit formed of calcite crystals and water, is found in many caves in the Italian Alps. These modern and ancient deposits are formed of fiber calcite crystals, 50-500 nm wide and 1 to > 10 {micro}m long, and polycrystalline chains that have few crystal defects. Radiocarbon dating indicates that most moonmilk deposits in these caves are fossil and that for most precipitation ceased [~] 6400 cal years BP, at the end of the mid-Holocene Hypsithermal. In the caves of the Italian Alps, the optimal conditions for formation of calcite moonmilk are: (1) a temperature range of 3.5-5.5{degrees}C, (2) low discharge volumes of seepage waters that are slightly supersaturated (SICAL = 0.0 to [~] 0.2), and (3) relative humidity that is at or close to 100%. Microbial activity apparently did not play an active role in the formation of the calcite moonmilk. Conditions for moonmilk formation are typically found in caves that are located beneath land surfaces, which are soil covered and support a conifer forest. Precipitation of the fiber calcite crystals apparently involved very slow flow of slightly supersaturated fluids. The fact that moonmilk appears to form under a narrow range of environmental conditions means that this cave deposit has potential as a paleoclimatic indicator in high alpine karst areas

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