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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 soil water is see soil moisture.?

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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 co2 concentrations (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Radon concentrations range from < 185 to 3,515 Bq m-3 throughout Lechuguilla Cave, Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico. Concentrations in the entrance passages and areas immediately adjacent to these passages are controlled by outside air temperature and barometric pressure, similar to other Type 2 caves. Most of the cave is developed in three geographic branches beneath the entrance passages; these areas maintain Rn levels independent of surface effects, an indication that Rn levels in deep, complex caves or mines cannot be simply estimated by outside atmospheric parameters. These deeper, more isolated areas are subject to convective ventilation driven by temperature differences along the 477-m vertical extent of the cave. Radon concentrations are used to delineate six microclimate zones (air circulation cells) throughout the cave in conjunction with observed airflow data. Suspected surface connections contribute fresh air to remote cave areas demonstrated by anomalous Rn lows surrounded by higher values, the presence of mammalian skeletal remains, CO2 concentrations and temperatures lower than the cave mean, and associated surficial karst features

Role of mixing corrosion in calcite-aggressive H2O-CO2-CaCO3 solutions in the early evolution of karst aquifers in limestone, 2000, Gabrovsek F, Dreybrodt W,
Two cave-forming mechanisms in limestone are discussed currently. First, when two H2O-CO2-CaCO3 solutions, saturated with respect to calcite but with different chemical compositions mix, renewed aggressiveness to limestone dissolution occurs. This process called mixing corrosion [Bogli, 1964, 1980], in combination with linear dissolution kinetics, has been suggested as cave forming. Second, it has been shown that solely the action of nonlinear dissolution kinetics can generate extended karst conduits. This paper combines both mechanisms. By digital modeling of the evolution of the aperture widths of a confluence of two fractures into a third one it is shown that the first mechanism does not create large cave conduits. The combination of mixing corrosion and nonlinear kinetics, however, considerably intensifies karstification, compared to that of nonlinear kinetics solely. The times to terminate early evolution of karst are significantly reduced when the CO2 concentrations of the inflowing solutions differ by no more than 30%. We discuss the underlying mechanisms by inspection of the time dependence of the evolution of aperture widths, flow rates through them, and of the renewed undersaturation of the mixed solution at the confluence of two fractures. Finally, the evolution of a karst aquifer on a two-dimensional percolation network is modeled when mixing corrosion is present, and compared to that on an identical net with identical nonlinear dissolution kinetics, but mixing corrosion excluded. Large differences in the morphology of the net of cave conduits are found and also a reduction of the time of their evolution. From these findings we conclude that climatic changes, which influence the p(CO2) in the soil, can divert the evolving cave patterns

Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001, Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

Hydrochemical variations during flood pulses in the south-west China peak cluster karst: impacts of CaCO3-H2O-CO2 interactions, 2004, Liu Z. H. , Groves C. , Yuan D. X. , Meiman J. , Jiang G. H. , He S. Y. , Li Q. A. ,
High-resolution measurements of rainfall, water level, pH, conductivity, temperature and carbonate chemistry parameters of groundwater at two adjacent locations within the peak cluster karst of the Guilin Karst Experimental Site in Guangxi Province, China, were made with different types of multiparameter sonde. The data were stored using data loggers recording with 2 min or 15 min resolution. Waters from a large, perennial spring represent the exit for the aquifer's conduit flow, and a nearby well measures water in the conduit-adjacent, fractured media. During flood pulses, the pH of the conduit flow water rises as the conductivity falls. In contrast, and at the same time, the pH of groundwater in the fractures drops, as conductivity rises. As Ca2 and HCO3- were the dominant (>90%) ions, we developed linear relationships (both r(2) > 0.91) between conductivity and those ions, respectively, and in turn calculated variations in the calcite saturation index (SIc) and CO2 partial pressure (PCO2) of water during flood pulses. Results indicate that the PCO2 of fracture water during flood periods is higher than that at lower flows, and its SIc is lower. Simultaneously, PCO2 of conduit water during the flood period is lower than that at lower flows, and its SIc also is lower. From these results we conclude that at least two key processes are controlling hydrochemical variations during flood periods: (i) dilution by precipitation and (ii) water-rock-gas interactions. To explain hydrochemical variations in the fracture water, the water-rock-gas interactions may be more important. For example, during flood periods, soil gas with high CO2 concentrations dissolves in water and enters the fracture system, the water, which in turn has become more highly undersaturated, dissolves more limestone, and the conductivity increases. Dilution of rainfall is more important in controlling hydrochemical variations of conduit water, because rainfall with higher pH (in this area apparently owing to interaction with limestone dust in the lower atmosphere) and low conductivity travels through the conduit system rapidly. These results illustrate that to understand the hydrochemical variations in karst systems, considering only water-rock interactions is not sufficient, and the variable effects of CO2 on the system should be evaluated. Consideration of water-rock-gas interactions is thus a must in understanding variations in karst hydrochemistry. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Anthropogenic CO2-flux into cave atmosphere and its environmental impact: A case study in the Cisarska Cave (Moravian Karst, Czech Republic), 2006, Faimon J, Stelcl J, Sas D,
The evolution of CO2 levels was studied in the ventilated and unventilated Nagel Dome chamber (the Cisarska Cave) with- and without human presence. Based on a simplified dynamic model and CO2/Rn data (222Rn considered as a conservative tracer), two types of CO2-fluxes into the chamber were distinguished: (1) the natural input of (2-4) x 10- 6[no-break space]m3 s- 1, corresponding to a flux of (8.5-17) x 10- 10[no-break space]m3 m- 2 s- 1 and (2) an anthropogenic input of (0.6-2.5) x 10- 4[no-break space]m3 s- 1, corresponding to an average partial flux of (4.8-7.7) x 10- 6[no-break space]m3 s- 1 person- 1. The chamber ventilation rates were calculated in the range from 0.033 to 0.155[no-break space]h- 1. Comparison of the chamber CO2-levels with chamber dripwater chemistry indicates that the peak CO2-concentrations during stay of persons (log pCO2 ~ - 2.97, - 2.89, and - 2.83) do not reach the theoretical values at which dripwater carbonate species and air CO2 are at equilibrium (log pCO2[DW] ~ - 2.76 to - 2.79). This means that CO2-degassing of the dripwaters will continue, increasing supersaturation with respect to calcite (dripwater saturation index defined as SIcalcite = aCa2? / 10- 8.4 varied in the range from 0.76 to 0.86). The pCO2[DW] values, however, would easily be exceeded if the period of person stay in the chamber had been slightly extended (from 2.85 to 4[no-break space]h under given conditions). In such case, the dripwater CO2-degassing would be inverted into CO2-dissolution and dripwater supersaturation would decrease. Achieving the threshold values at which water become aggressive to calcite (log pCO2[EK] ~ - 1.99, - 2.02, and - 1.84) would require extreme conditions, e.g., simultaneous presence of 100 persons in the cave chamber for 14[no-break space]h. The study should contribute to a better preservation of cave environment

Seasonal Variations in Modern Speleothem Calcite Growth in Central Texas, U.S.A, 2007, Banner Jl, Guilfoyle A, James Ew, Stern La, Musgrove M,
Variations in growth rates of speleothem calcite have been hypothesized to reflect changes in a range of paleoenvironmental variables, including atmospheric temperature and precipitation, drip-water composition, and the rate of soil CO2 delivery to the subsurface. To test these hypotheses, we quantified growth rates of modern speleothem calcite on artificial substrates and monitored concurrent environmental conditions in three caves across the Edwards Plateau in central Texas. Within each of two caves, different drip sites exhibit similar annual cycles in calcite growth rates, even though there are large differences between the mean growth rates at the sites. The growth-rate cycles inversely correlate to seasonal changes in regional air temperature outside the caves, with near-zero growth rates during the warmest summer months, and peak growth rates in fall through spring. Drip sites from caves 130 km apart exhibit similar temporal patterns in calcite growth rate, indicating a controlling mechanism on at least this distance. The seasonal variations in calcite growth rate can be accounted for by a primary control by regional temperature effects on ventilation of cave-air CO2 concentrations and/or drip-water CO2 contents. In contrast, site-to-site differences in the magnitude of calcite growth rates within an individual cave appear to be controlled principally by differences in drip rate. A secondary control by drip rate on the growth rate temporal variations is suggested by interannual variations. No calcite growth was observed in the third cave, which has relatively high values of and small seasonal changes in cave-air CO2. These results indicate that growth-rate variations in ancient speleothems may serve as a paleoenvironmental proxy with seasonal resolution. By applying this approach of monitoring the modern system, speleothem growth rate and geochemical proxies for paleoenvironmental change may be evaluated and calibrated

Spatial-dynamic peculiarities of CO2 distribution in the air of Zoloushka Cave, 2011, Andreychouk V. , Teleshman I. , Kouprich P.

Zoloushka Cave is characterized by relatively high (1-5%) content of 2 in its underground atmosphere. The source of 2 is the oxidation of organic matter and methane by ammonifying and methane-oxidizing bacteria. The accumulation of carbon dioxide in the cave air is caused by slow air exchange with the surface. The distribution of 2 through the cave space has been investigated in August 2008 and 2009 and compared with the CO2 distribution in 1982. The main regularities of 2 distribution in the cave are region-by-region increase in CO2 concentrations in the direction from the entrance into depth of cave and the vertical stratification – increase of carbon dioxide content in depressions of cave bottom and shafts. The influence of 2 on the working conditions in the cave, on the human body and his mind, is also analyzed. The integral table of safety precautions is proposed, which should be followed when doing of research in the cave

Temporal Variability of cave-Air CO2 in Central Texas, 2013, Cowan B. D. , Osborne M. C. , Banner J. L.


The growth rate and composition of cave calcite deposits (speleothems) are often used as proxies for past environmental change. There is, however, the potential for bias in the speleothem record due to seasonal fluctuations in calcite growth and dripwater chemistry. It has been proposed that the growth rate of speleothem calcite in Texas caves varies seasonally in response to density-driven fluctuations in cave-air CO2, with lower growth rates in the warmer months when cave-air CO2 is highest. We monitored CO2 in three undeveloped caves and three tourist caves spread over 130 km in central Texas to determine whether seasonal CO2 fluctuations are confined to tourist caves, which have been modified from their natural states, and the extent to which cave-air CO2 is controlled by variations in cave geometry, host rocks, cave volume, and soils. Nearly 150 lateral transects into six caves over three years show that CO2 concentrations vary seasonally in five of the caves monitored, with peak concentrations in the warmer months and lower concentrations in the cooler months. The caves occur in six stratigraphic units of lower Cretaceous marine platform carbonate rocks and vary in volume (from 100 to .100,000 m3) and geometry. Seasonal CO2 fluctuations are regional in extent and unlikely due to human activity. Seasonal fluctuations are independent of cave geometry, volume, depth, soil thickness, and the hosting stratigraphic unit. Our findings indicate that seasonal variations in calcite deposition may introduce bias in the speleothem record, and should be considered when reconstructing paleoclimate using speleothem proxies.

Role of soil cover and epikarst on karst groundwater recharge: an experimental approach conducted on the Milandre underground laboratory (Jura Mountains, Switzerland), 2013, Jeannin Pierreyves, Huselmann Philipp, Ltscher Marc

The Milandre underground river is recognized as a site of high patrimonial value and is monitored for many parameters since 1990. The recent construction of a highway in-cluding a tunnel portal 50 meters above the cave galleries induced a series of dedicated observations. Among them, was the monitoring of flow conditions at a series of inlets at cave roof in the part of the cave located directly below the road. Water discharge and CO2 concentrations have been monitored for 5 years before the highway construction, 5 years during the road construction and 3 years after. The effects of the removal of the soil and epikarst, as well as the sealing of the surface could be observed in the cave, implying significant changes in the regime of the water inlets in the cave. As this effect was predicted and confirmed by observations, it was decided to build an injection sys-tem below the road in order to artificially feed this part of the cave which is highly dec-orated with active speleothems. The injection system is operating since October 2011 and several tests are being conducted in order to adjust discharge and CO2 concentra-tions of the injected water. Cave inlets clearly react to injections, but the control of CO2 concentrations is still difficult to fix. A modeling of recharge before, during and after the road construction has been attempted. Changes in the recharge parameters accord-ing to the three situation of the construction could be assessed. The model should be improved in order to take CO2 and possibly temperature transfer into account.
Investigations related to the dimensioning and construction of the injection system, as well as experiments, which can be conducted using this system are very valuable for better characterizing diffuse recharge of karst systems.

The fate of CO2 derived from thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR) and effect of TSR on carbonate porosity and permeability, Sichuan Basin, China, 2015, Hao Fang, Zhang Xuefeng, Wang Cunwu, Li Pingping, Guo Tonglou, Zou Huayao, Zhu Yangming, Liu Jianzhang, Cai Zhongxian

This article discusses the role ofmethane in thermochemical sulfate reduction (TSR), the fate of TSR-derived CO2 and the effect of TSR on reservoir porosity and permeability, and the causes of the anomalously high porosity and permeability in the Lower Triassic soured carbonate gas reservoirs in the northeast Sichuan Basin, southwest China. The Lower Triassic carbonate reservoirs were buried to a depth of about 7000 m and experienced maximum temperatures up to 220 °C before having been uplifted to the present-day depths of 4800 to 5500 m, but they still possess porosities up to 28.9% and permeabilities up to 3360 md. The present-day dry gas reservoirs evolved from a paleo-oil accumulation and experienced varying degrees of TSR alteration as evidenced from the abundant sulfur-rich solid bitumens and varying H2S and CO2 concentrations. TSR occurred mainly within the oil and condensate/wet gas windows, with liquid hydrocarbons and wet hydrocarbon gases acting as the dominant reducing agents responsible for sulfate reduction, sulfur-rich solid bitumen and H2S generation, and calcite precipitation. Methane-dominated TSR was a rather late event and had played a less significant role in altering the reservoirs. Intensive H2S and CO2 generation during TSR resulted in calcite cementation rather than carbonate dissolution, which implies that the amount of water generated during TSR was volumetrically insignificant. 13C-depleted CO2 derived from hydrocarbon oxidation preferentially reacted with Ca2+ to form isotopically light calcite cements, and the remaining CO2 re-equilibrated with the 13C-enriched water–rock systems with its δ13C rapidly approaching the values for the host rocks, which accounted for the observed heavy and relatively constant CO2 δ13C values. The carbonate reservoirs suffered from differential porosity loss by TSR-involved solid bitumen generation and TSR-induced calcite and pyrite precipitation. Intensive TSR significantly reduced the porosity and permeability of the intervals expected to have relatively high sulfate contents (the evaporative-platform dolostones and the platform-margin shoal dolostones immediately underlying the evaporative facies). Early oil charge and limited intensity of TSR alteration, together with very low phyllosilicate content and early dolomitization, accounted for the preservation of anomalously high porosities in the reservoirs above the paleo-oil/water contact. A closed system seems to have played a special role in preserving the high porosity in the gas zone reservoirs below the paleo-oil/water contact. The closed system, which is unfavorable for deep burial carbonate dissolution and secondary porosity generation, was favorable for the preservation of early-formed porosity in deeply buried carbonates. Especially sucrosic and vuggy dolostones have a high potential to preserve such porosity.

CO2 emission response to different water conditions under simulated karst environment, 2015,

Habitat degradation has been proven to result associated with drought in karst region in south China. However, how this drought condition relates to CO2 efflux is not clear. In this study, we designed a simulated epikarst water–rock (limestone)–soil–plant columns, under varying water levels (treatment), and monitored CO2 concentration and efflux in soil in different seasons during 2011. The results showed that increased soil water greatly enhanced CO2 concentrations. With which treatment with epikarst water (WEW) had higher CO2 concentration than without epikarst water (WOEW). This was particularly high in low soil water treatment and during high temperature in the summer season. Under 30–40 % relative soil water content (RSWC), CO2 concentration in WEW treatment was 1.44 times of WOEW; however, under 90–100 % RSWC, this value was smaller. Comparatively, soil surface CO2 efflux (soil respiration) was 1.29–1.94 lmol m-2 s-1 in WEW and 1.35–2.04 lmol m-2 s-1 in WOEW treatment, respectively. CO2 efflux increased with increasing RSWC, but it was not as sensitive to epikarst water supply as CO2 concentration. WEW tended to weakly influence CO2 efflux under very dry or very wet soil condition and under low temperature. High CO2 efflux in WEW occurred under 50–80 % RSWC during summer. Both CO2 concentrations and CO2 efflux were very sensitive to temperature increase. As a result, at degraded karst environment, increased temperature may enhance CO2 concentration and CO2 emission; meanwhile, the loss of epikarst and soil water deficiency may decrease soil CO2 concentration and CO2 emission, which in turn may decrease karst corrosion.

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