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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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That submarine karst is karst topography developed below the tidal zone. see also subaqueous karst.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 element variations (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
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

Trace element variations in coeval Holocene speleothems from GB Cave, southwest England, 1999, Roberts Mark S. , Smart Peter L. , Hawkesworth Chris J. , Perkins William T. , Pearce Nicholas J. G. ,
We report trace element (Mg, Sr and Ba) records based on laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) from three coeval Holocene speleothems from Great Chamber in GB Cave, southwest England. The trace element records are placed on a common timescale on the basis of a suite of TIMS 230Th-234U ages. This permits assessment of the reproducibility of the trace element record in coeval speleothems. The trace element records are not coherent, raising dobuts over the reliability of individual trace element records as potential archives of palaeoenvironmental information. Mg/Sr in speleothem calcite has been proposed as a potential palaeothermometer as Mg partitioning into calcite from water is temperaturedependent, while Sr partitioning into calcite is temperature-independent. However, we present the results of calculations which demonstrate that the observed Mg/Sr values in the three stalagmites cannot have been produced by Holocene temperature changes alone and that other processes must play a dominant role. We present a model which suggests that the observed trace element variations in the three speleothems reflect hydrological mixing of waters in the epikarstic zone above the cave which have interacted with two geochemi cally distinct source rocks (calcite and dolomite)

Seasonal variations in Sr, Mg and P in modern speleothems (Grotta di Ernesto, Italy), 2001, Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. , Borsato Andrea, Frisia Silvia, Cassidy Nigel J. , Mcdermott Frank, Hawkesworth Chris J. ,
Sub-annual variations in trace element chemistry and luminescence have recently been demonstrated from speleothems and offer the potential of high-resolution palaeoclimatic proxies. However, no studies have yet examined microscopic trace element variations in relation to modern cave conditions. In this study, the spatial variations in trace element (Sr, Mg and P) concentrations in speleothems (a stalagmite and a soda straw stalactite) from the alpine Ernesto cave (temperature 6.60.1[deg]C) in a forested catchment in NE Italy have been studied using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and compared with environmental parameters and waters in the modern cave. An annual lamination exists in the stalagmite and soda straw stalactite in the form of clear calcite with narrow visible layers, which are UV-fluorescent and interpreted to contain soil-derived humic/fulvic acids washed into the cave during autumn rains. Microanalyses were undertaken of seven annual laminae, probably deposited during the 1960s in the stalagmite, and seven laminae in the 1990s for the stalactite.The analysis results show that Sr consistently has a trough and P, a peak centred on the inclusion-rich layer. Mg shows mainly a negative covariation with Sr in laminae formed in the 1990s, but a positive covariation in the stalagmite formed in 1960s. The spatial scale of the main geochemical variations is the same as that of annual laminae of inclusion-poor and inclusion-rich couplets. Mass balance arguments are used to show that the P is inorganic in form and presumably occurs as individual phosphate ions within the calcite.Most drip waters show limited chemical variations, but a summer peak in trace elements in 1995 and a decrease in Mg/Ca in the following winter are notable. More pronounced covariations in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are shown by a site with highly variable drip rates where ratios increase at slow drip rates. The strongest seasonal variations are found in pool waters, where ratios increase reflecting significant Ca removal from the water into the calcite during the winter in response to seasonal PCO2 variations in cave air. Thus, the cave waters' compositions tend to reflect climate conditions, such that Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are tentatively interpreted to be higher when climate conditions are dry.Combining results from the speleothems and cave water along with the behaviour of each trace species, Mg/Ca variations in the speleothems are considered to reflect their variation in the cave waters, whereas, Sr incorporation is also dependent on precipitation rate, in this case, mainly controlled by temporal variations in PCO2 in the cave (and conceivably, also by inhibitors such as phosphate). P adsorption (a fraction of which is subsequently incorporated within calcite) depends on aqueous phosphate concentration and water flux, both of which should increase during the autumn. Therefore, multiple trace element profiles in speleothems reflect multiple aspects of environment seasonality and conditions, and hence, a calibration against weather records is desirable to establish their palaeoclimatological meaning. The strong annual variation of trace elements, and particularly P, can provide chronological markers for high-resolution studies of other climate proxies, such as stable isotopes

Annual to sub-annual resolution of multiple trace-element trends in speleothems, 2001, Fairchild Ij, Baker Andy, Borsato Andr, Frisia Silv, Hinton Rw, Mcdermott Fran, Tooth Af,
This study aims to establish evidence for the widespread existence of preserved high-resolution trace element variations in speleothems that may have climatic significance. Ion microprobe analysis of speleothems reveals that annual to sub-annual variations in element chemistry exist at five, shallow western European cave sites (Crag Cave, County Kerry and Ballynamintra, County Waterford, Ireland; Uamh an Tartair, Sutherland, Scotland; Grotte Pere-Noel, Belgium; Grotta di Ernesto, NE Italy) with widely varying climatic, geomorphic and geological settings. The variations are not restricted to species (Mg, Sr and Ba) known to substitute directly for Ca in the calcite lattice, but include H, F, Na and P. Phosphorus (as phosphate) displays the greatest variability and may have the most significance as a proxy for the seasonal temperature cycle because of its role as a nutrient element. The technique allows estimation of growth rate of speleothems at any interval of interest, which is one of several possible uses in palaeoclimatology

Annual resolution analysis of a SW-France stalagmite by X-ray synchrotron microprobe analysis, 2003, Kuczumow A. , Genty D. , Chevallier P. , Nowak J. , Ro C. U. ,
A sample of stalagmite from Grotte de Villars, Dordogne, France was analyzed by the use of X-ray synchrotron microprobe in LURE, Orsay, France. Together with the signal of Ca, the main element, much weaker but clear signals of Sr, Fe, Zn and Pb were registered. The X-ray scattered radiation was applied for recognition of the annual zones in the stalagmite structure in parallel with the gray scale morphology from the optical microscope. The elemental scans were superimposed on the optical image of the sample. It was established that places corresponding to dark locations on the annual rings were narrower, composed of less porous matter and had much greater contents of iron and zinc and elevated ratio of Sr/Ca. In the supplementary electron microprobe measurements, the elevated amounts of lighter elements, Si and Mg were found in the same locations. These results will allow a very accurate study of stalagmite elemental composition which is of first importance for paleoclimatic studies from speleothems. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Study of soil leachates in doline above the Beke Cave, Hungary, 2004, Tatar E. , Mihucz V. G. , Tompa K. , Poppl L. , Zaray G. , Zambo L. ,
Fulvic acid, Ca and Mg concentrations as well as dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), pH and electric conductivity values of soil solutions which resulted from injecting bidistilled water onto glass columns filled with different soils (black rendzina, brown rendzina, red clayey rendzina, red clay) characteristic of the Aggtelek karst system (NE Hungary), were determined. Identification and determination of fulvic acid were achieved by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and adsorption chromatography, respectively, with fluorescent spectrometric detection. The Ca and Mg concentration of the samples was determined by applying an inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometric (ICP-AES) method. DIC-expressed in CO2 concentration values-was determined by using a CO2 selective electrode. According to the SEC analysis, the apparent molecular weight of the fulvic acids of the samples were between 500 and 1600 Da. The fulvic acid concentration values of the percolated water samples decreased in function of the soils investigated as follows: black rendzina>brown rendzina>red clayey rendzina>red clay, which is in concordance with the organic matter content of these types of soils. The results obtained for fulvic acid, Ca and Mg concentrations as well as for DIC, pH and electric conductivity of the water samples collected from the column filled with red clay were in good agreement with those of a seepage water sample collected from an observation station built in red clay above the Beke Cave (Aggtelek). Since the artificially prepared red clay column was exposed to the same temperature and humidity conditions like red clay of the sampling site, this method seems to be suitable for modelling infiltration of fulvic acid and metals from red clay into seepage water under laboratory conditions. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Speleothem organic matter content imaging. The use of a Fluorescence Index to characterise the maximum emission wavelength, 2005, Perrette Y. , Delannoy J. J. , Desmet M. , Lignier V. , Destombes J. L. ,
The study of palacoenvironments, especially pedologic and biologic environments, is fundamental to a complete understanding of continental climate changes. Many types of sediment contain organic molecules (OM) that were trapped during the depositional process, with the quantity and the nature of these organic molecules being strongly influenced by climate and other local factors. The quantity of organic matter in sediment can be measured by fluorescence intensity, but its nature is more difficult to determine. For this research, the organic molecules in stalagmites were analysed using emission fluorescence spectroscopy. The analysis of carbonated karst sediments was complemented by studies of clay, soil and seepage water samples. The main objective of this paper is to describe a method for the continuous imaging of the spectroscopic features of stalagmite organic molecules. Continuous imaging provides a means of circumventing the nonlinearity, both in space (of the sediment) and in time (of the sedimentation process), of the trapping of organic matter. This methodological report presents a protocol for calculating a Fluorescence Index (FI) that can be used in palaeoenvironmental studies of sediment. A similar approach to that used for determining E4/E6 ratios was used to determine the ratio of the fluorescence intensities of a sample at 514 nm and at 456 nm. This Fluorescence Index is strongly correlated to the wavelength of the maximum intensity of the organic matter spectrum. Due to the relatively stable chemical environment of calcite growth, changes in the Fluorescence Index can be interpreted as being due to changes in the nature of the organic molecules rather than to pH or quenching effects. As an illustration of how this index can be used, we present some examples of fluorescence indices for speleothem samples that show short-term and long-term environmental changes. To allow fuller palaeoenvironmental interpretations to be made, fluorescence indices need to be calibrated to environments and samples need to be dated. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Modification and preservation of environmental signals in speleothems, 2006, Fairchild Ij, Smith Cl, Baker A, Fuller L, Spotl C, Mattey D, Mcdermott F, Eimp,
Speleothems are primarily studied in order to generate archives of climatic change and results have led to significant advances in identifying and dating major shifts in the climate system. However, the climatological meaning of many speleothem records cannot be interpreted unequivocally, this is particularly so for more subtle shifts and shorter time periods, but the use of multiple proxies and improving understanding of formation mechanisms offers a clear way forward. An explicit description of speleothem records as time series draws attention to the nature and importance of the signal filtering processes by which the weather, the seasons, and longer-term climatic and other environmental fluctuations become encoded in speleothems. We distinguish five sources of variation that influence speleothem geochemistry, i.e. atmospheric, vegetation/soil, karstic aquifer, primary speleothem crystal growth and secondary alteration, and give specific examples of their influence. The direct role of climate diminishes progressively through these five factors. We identify and review a number of processes identified in recent and current work that bear significantly on the conventional interpretation of speleothem records, for example: (1) speleothem geochemistry can vary seasonally and hence a research need is to establish the proportion of growth attributable to different seasons and whether this varies over time; (2) whereas there has traditionally been a focus on monthly mean delta O-18 data of atmospheric moisture, current work emphasizes the importance of understanding the synoptic processes that lead to characteristic isotope signals, since changing relative abundance of different weather types might control their variation on the longer-term; (3) the ecosystem and soil zone overlying the cave fundamentally imprint the carbon and trace element signals and can show characteristic variations with time; (4) new modelling on aquifer plumbing allows quantification of the effects of aquifer mixing; (5) recent work has emphasized the importance and seasonal variability Of CO2-degassing leading to calcite precipitation upflow of a depositional site on carbon isotope and trace element composition of speleothems; (6) although much is known about the chemical partitioning between water and stalagmites, variability in relation to crystal growth mechanisms and kinetics is a research frontier; (7) aragonite is susceptible to conversion to calcite with major loss of chemical information, but the controls on the rate of this process are obscure. Analytical factors are critical in generating high-resolution speleothem records. A variety of methods of trace element analysis is available, but standardization is a common problem with the most rapid methods. New stable isotope data on Irish stalagmite CC3 compares rapid laser-ablation techniques with the conventional analysis of micromilled powders and ion microprobe methods. A high degree of comparability between techniques for delta O-18 is found on the millimeter to centimeter scale, but a previously described high-amplitude oxygen isotope excursion around 8.3 ka is identified as an analytical artefact related to fractionation of the laser-analysis associated with sample cracking. High-frequency variability of not less than 0.5 parts per thousand may be an inherent feature of speleothem delta O-18 records. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Monitoring climatological, hydrological and geochemical parameters in the Pre Nol cave (Belgium): implication for the interpretation of speleothem isotopic and geochemical time-series, 2008, Verheyden S. , Genty D. , Deflandre G. , Quinif Y. And Keppens E.
Pre Nol cave climatology (air and water temperature, PCO2), hydrology (drip rate, conductivity) and geochemistry of water and calcite deposits (?18O, ?13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca) where studied to better interpret stable isotopic and trace element variations of speleothems. Results of an automated monitoring station and of manual sampling between 1991 and 1998 have demonstrated the highly seasonal signal of drip rate, its control by water excess and rainfall, and, at a shorter scale to air pressure changes. The modern calcite deposit study suggests a relationship between cave calcite isotopic composition (?18O and ?13C) and drip rate likely due to variations in degree of isotopic equilibrium during calcite precipitation. ?18O and ?13C of the calcite are therefore, through drip rate, linked to water recharge. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios of Pre Nol cave calcite, depend closely on the residence time of the water, and therefore are also linked to drip rate and therefore to water recharge. This crossed link of ?18O and ?13C as of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca to water recharge may explain the very similar variations of these four parameters along the longitudinal axis of a Holocene stalagmite, but it may also be the consequence of kinetic effects during calcite precipitation as suggested by similar variations of the four parameters along a single layer of the Holocene stalagmite.

Monitoring climatological, hydrological and geochemical parameters in the Pre Nol cave (Belgium): implication for the interpretation of speleothem isotopic and geochemical time-series, 2008, Verheyden S. , Genty D. , Deflandre G. , Quinif Y. , Keppens E.

Père Noël cave climatology (air and water temperature, PCO2), hydrology (drip rate, conductivity) and geochemistry of water and calcite deposits (δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca) where studied to better interpret stable isotopic and trace element variations of speleothems. Results of an automated monitoring station and of manual sampling between 1991 and 1998 have demonstrated the highly seasonal signal of drip rate, its control by water excess and rainfall, and, at a shorter scale to air pressure changes. The modern calcite deposit study suggests a relationship between cave calcite isotopic composition (δ18O and δ13C) and drip rate likely due to variations in degree of isotopic equilibrium during calcite precipitation. δ18O and δ13C of the calcite are therefore, through drip rate, linked to water recharge. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios of Père Noël cave calcite, depend closely on the residence time of the water, and therefore are also linked to drip rate and therefore to water recharge. This crossed link of δ18O and δ13C as of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca to water recharge may explain the very similar variations of these four parameters along the longitudinal axis of a Holocene stalagmite, but it may also be the consequence of kinetic effects during calcite precipitation as suggested by similar variations of the four parameters along a single layer of the Holocene stalagmite.


Impacts of Alterations of Organic Inputs on the Bacterial Community within the sediments of Wind Cave, South Dakota, USA, 2009, Chelius M. K. , Beresford G. , Horton H. , Quirk M. , Selby G. , Simpson R. T. , Horrocks R. , Moore J. C.

Père Noël cave climatology (air and water temperature, PCO2), hydrology (drip rate, conductivity) and geochemistry of water and calcite deposits (δ18O, δ13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca) where studied to better interpret stable isotopic and trace element variations of speleothems. Results of an automated monitoring station and of manual sampling between 1991 and 1998 have demonstrated the highly seasonal signal of drip rate, its control by water excess and rainfall, and, at a shorter scale to air pressure changes. The modern calcite deposit study suggests a relationship between cave calcite isotopic composition (δ18O and δ13C) and drip rate likely due to variations in degree of isotopic equilibrium during calcite precipitation. δ18O and δ13C of the calcite are therefore, through drip rate, linked to water recharge. Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios of Père Noël cave calcite, depend closely on the residence time of the water, and therefore are also linked to drip rate and therefore to water recharge. This crossed link of δ18O and δ13C as of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca to water recharge may explain the very similar variations of these four parameters along the longitudinal axis of a Holocene stalagmite, but it may also be the consequence of kinetic effects during calcite precipitation as suggested by similar variations of the four parameters along a single layer of the Holocene stalagmite.


A model for the formation of layered soda-straw stalactites, 2013, Paul Bence, Drysdale R. , Green Helen, Woodhead Jon, Hellstrom John, Eberhard Rolan

Climate records based upon instrumental data such as rainfall measurements are usually only available for approximately the last 150 years at most. To fully investigate decadal-scale climate variation, however, these records must be extended by the use of climate proxies. Soda-straw stalactites (straws) are a previously under-utilised potential source of such data. In this contribution we investigate the structure and formation of straws and look at some issues that may affect the reliability of straw-based palaeoclimate records. We use laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) trace element analysis to document surface contamination features that have the potential to obscure annual trace element variations, and develop a method to reveal the underlying layering. We also use LA- ICP-MS to map the two-dimensional trace element distribution in straws. These maps reveal straw-layer geometry, in which layers are widest at the outside edge of the straw, narrowing and becoming almost parallel on the interior of the straw.

Based upon these observations, we present a model for the formation of straws of this type, where rapid degassing of CO2 from the drip extending below the straw forms the wider outer layers. Summers are defined by increased layer widths and higher trace element contents relative to winter layers. In palaeoclimate studies, where such annual variations can be used to construct time-lines, we suggest that, ideally, the outside surface of the straw be analysed where the trace element content difference is greatest and layering is widest.

The terminal phase of one straw (FC-02) shows decreasing layer widths and increased trace element contents. These features may also be representative of soda-straw responses to drought-induced decreases in percolation water.


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