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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 undercut karren is these are rinnenkarren (solution grooves) that have been transformed by humus filling and by their side walls having been hollowed under by biogenic co2 [3].?

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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 nitrates (Keyword) returned 13 results for the whole karstbase:
Nitrobacter in Mammoth Cave., 1977, Fliermans C. B. , Schmidt E. L.
Mammoth Cave, a large lirnestone cavern in Mammoth Cave National Park in the Central Kentucky karst, was first mined for saltpetre in 1808 and was a major source of nitrates used in the manufacture of gunpowder during the War of 1812. The mechanism of saltpetre formation is unknown, although hypotheses encompassing both biotic and abiotic functions have been suggested. Present studies were conducted in various saltpetre caves using species specific fluorescent antibodies in order to determine if the chemoautotroph, Nitrobacter, were present. Population densities and species distribution of Nitrobacter were studied in relation to chemical and physical parameters for over 200 sediment samples from Mammoth Cave. Both the isolation and immunofluorescence data indicate that Nitrobacter are present in relatively high population densities in Mammoth Cave sediments, and that such bacteria are common among saltpetre caves in the southeastern United States. Immunofluorescence data further indicates that N. agilis dominates the Nitrobacter population in Mammoth Cave. The possibility that Nitrobacter is the etiological agent for saltpetre formation is suggested.

Chemical Aspectes of the Conversion of Cave Nitrates to Saltpeter, 1981, Eller, P. Gary

Mineralogy of Cave Nitrates, 1981, Hill, Carol A.

Convolution a debit variable a partir des reponses de tracages artificiels; application a un systeme karstique (Causse de Gramat, Lot, France): Convolution in time-dependent system from artificial tra, 1995, Dzikowski M, Delay F, Sauty Jp, Crampon N, De Marsily G,
ResumeLa realisation de tracages artificiels dans des conditions hydrodynamiques differentes sur le systeme karstique de I'Ouysse (Causse de Gamat, France) ainsi que de mesures physicochimiques portant entre autres sur les chlorures, nitrates et matieres en suspension ont permis d'exploiter les possibilites de l'analyse des systemes-tracages dependant du temps. Pour des tracages artificiels realises a des periodes hydrologiques differentes (basses-eaux et hauteseaux), les relations entre les reponses impulsionnelles a l'injection instantanee de traceur et les debits d'ecoulement variables associes sont mises en evidence sur un systeme a deux entrees (pertes de Themines et Theminettes) et une sortie (gouffre de Besaces). Ces relations etablissent une independance entre l'espace occupe par le traceur au cours de son transfert et les conditions hydrodynamiques dans la gamme de debits interessant chaque tracage. Des operations de convolutions d'entrees en chlorures, nitrates et matieres en suspension, basses sur l'hypothese d'un systeme a volume constant dependant du temps ont donc pu etre realisees. Les resultats sont compares au mesures experimentales au point de sortie (Besaces).AbstractArtificial tracer tests conducted under different hydrodynamic conditions on the karst system of Ouysse (Causse de Gramat, France) and chemical measurements have permitted the use of the time-dependent tracer test analysis. For artificial tracer experiments in different hydrologic periods (water rise and high flow), the relationships between the responses to an instantaneous injection are improved in a system defined by two inputs (losses of Themines and Theminettes). They show that the space occupied by the mass of tracer during its transfer can be considered as independent of the discharge according to the range of flow rate in which the tracer experiments have been conducted. Therefore, convolutions on chlorides, nitrates and suspended sediments are simulated under the hypothesis of a constant-volume and time-dependent system. The computed results are compared with the experimental data at the output (cave of Besaces)

delta N-15 of nitrate derived from explosive sources in a karst aquifer beneath the Ammunition Burning Ground, Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indiana, USA, 1998, Dignazio Fj, Krothe Nc, Baedke Sj, Spalding Rf,
Military institutions involved in the production and demolition of explosives, propellants, and pyrotechnics have the potential to degrade groundwater aquifers through the addition of numerous contaminants including nitrate. A nitrate plume has been identified in a karst aquifer beneath the Ammunition Burning Ground (ABG) at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indiana, USA. Wells located in the vicinity of surface impoundments and bum pans used for treatment of explosive materials show the highest concentrations of nitrate ranging from 11.2 to 19.6 mg l(-1) as NO3-. Little is known about the isotopic composition of nitrates originating from these processes. Eight wells within the ABG were sampled and analyzed for nitrogen isotopic composition of nitrate. An enrichment in the delta(15)N (delta(15)N = .9, .0, .1. and .5 parts per thousand) occurred at four wells located near the primary areas of disposal activities within the ABG. Four wells located near the outer limits of the ABG had delta(15)N values significantly lower than those observed in the central area of the ABG (delta(15)N = .0, .1, .6, and .0 parts per thousand). Soil samples and burn-pan ash samples were collected and analyzed for the nitrogen isotopic composition of nitrate. Three soil nitrate samples had low delta(15)N values of -1.7, -1.8. and .2 parts per thousand. The burn-pan ash sample produced nitrate with a delta(15)N value of .9 parts per thousand. The observed enrichment in delta(15)N from samples taken from wells located near the ABG has been postulated to be a result of photodegradation or biochemical modification of RDX and TNT contaminated sludges and volatilization of NH3 in storage lagoons within the ABG. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Mineralogy of Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, 1999, Hill, C. A.
The mineralogy of Kartchner Caverns is both diverse and significant. Six different chemical classes are represented in this one cave: carbonates, nitrates, oxides, phosphates, silicates, and sulfates. It is significant primarily because: (1) the silicate minerals, nontronite and rectorite, have never before been reported from a cave occurrence; (2) the nitrate mineral, nitrocalcite, has never been described using modern techniques; (3) birdsnest needle quartz has been reported only from one other, non-cave, locality; and (4) extensive brushite moonmilk flowstone has not been reported from anywhere else in the world. Kartchner is a beautiful cave because its carbonate speleothems are colorful (shades of red, orange, yellow and tan) and alive (still wet and growing).

Nitrates in cave waters of southern part of Cracow Upland. [in Polish], 2000, Goc Piotr, Gorny Andrzej, Klojzykarczmarczyk Beata, Motyka Jacek

Contaminant transport in karst aquifers., 2001, Vesper D. J. , Loop C. M. , White W. B.
Contaminants are easily injected into karst aquifers through sinking streams, sinkholes, or through open fractures and shafts in the carbonate rock. Transport of the contaminants through the aquifer is by a variety of mechanisms depending on the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant. Contaminants consist of (1) water soluble compounds, both organic and inorganic, (2) slightly soluble organic compounds, less dense than water (LNAPLs), (3) slightly soluble organic compounds, more dense than water (DNAPLs), (4) pathogens, (5) metals, and (6) trash. Water soluble compounds (e.g. nitrates, cyanides, carboxylic acids, phenols) move with the water. But rather than forming a plume spreading from the input point, the contaminated water forms linear stringers migrating down the conduit system toward the discharge point. LNAPLs (e.g. petroleum hydrocarbons) float on the water table and can migrate down the water table gradient to cave streams where they tend to pond behind obstructions. DNAPLs (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), in contrast, sink to the bottom of the aquifer. In the conduit system, DNAPLs pond in low spots at the bottom of the conduit and infiltrate sediment piles. Transport of both LNAPL and DNAPL is dependent on storm flow which can force LNAPL through the system as plug flow and can move DNAPLs by mobilizing the sediment piles. Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) are transported through the karstic drainage system because of the absence of filtration and retain their activity for long distances. Metals (e.g. chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead) tend to precipitate as hydroxides and carbonates in the neutral pH, carbonate rich water of the karst aquifer. Metal transport is mainly as particulates and as metal adsorbed onto small particulates such as clays and colloids. Metal transport is also episodic. Metals migrate down the flow path under flow conditions that take small particulates into suspension. Trash is carried into karst aquifers through sinkholes and sinking streams. It is, in effect, a form of clastic sediment, and can be carried deep into the conduit system where it can act as a source term for other contaminants leached from the trash.

Contaminant transport in karst aquifers, 2003, Vesper D. J. , Loop C. M. , White W. B.

Contaminants are easily injected into karst aquifers through sinking streams, sinkholes, or through open fractures and shafts in the carbonate rock. Transport of the contaminants through the aquifer is by a variety of mechanisms depending on the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant. Contaminants consist of (1) water soluble compounds, both organic and inorganic, (2) slightly soluble organic compounds, less dense than water (LNAPLs), (3) slightly soluble organic compounds, more dense than water (DNAPLs), (4) pathogens, (5) metals, and (6) trash. Water soluble compounds (e.g. nitrates, cyanides, carboxylic acids, phenols) move with the water. But rather than forming a plume spreading from the input point, the contaminated water forms linear stringers migrating down the conduit system toward the discharge point. LNAPLs (e.g. petroleum hydrocarbons) float on the water table and can migrate down the water table gradient to cave streams where they tend to pond behind obstructions. DNAPLs (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), in contrast, sink to the bottom of the aquifer. In the conduit system, DNAPLs pond in low spots at the bottom of the conduit and infiltrate sediment piles. Transport of both LNAPL and DNAPL is dependent on storm flow which can force LNAPL through the system as plug flow and can move DNAPLs by mobilizing the sediment piles. Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) are transported through the karstic drainage system because of the absence of filtration and retain their activity for long distances. Metals (e.g. chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead) tend to precipitate as hydroxides and carbonates in the neutral pH, carbonate rich water of the karst aquifer. Metal transport is mainly as particulates and as metal adsorbed onto small particulates such as clays and colloids. Metal transport is also episodic. Metals migrate down the flow path under flow conditions that take small particulates into suspension. Trash is carried into karst aquifers through sinkholes and sinking streams. It is, in effect, a form of clastic sediment, and can be carried deep into the conduit system where it can act as a source term for other contaminants leached from the trash


Groundwater chemical composition changes in the Dubravsky Massif hydrogeological structure, induced by magnesite exploitation, 2004, Bajtos P,
Exploited magnesite bodies of the Dubravsky Massif create parts of karst-fissure aquifer confined by Carboniferous metamorphic rocks of low fissure permeability. Extensive mining progress caused considerable changes in both groundwater circulation and groundwater chemical composition of the aquifer. A model of groundwater chemical composition genesis in such complicated conditions is presented in this paper. Saturation indices (SI) for chosen minerals were computed based on speciation modelling, which indicate oversaturation of groundwater with magnesite, dolomite, calcite, and undersaturation with gypsum in all saturated zone of karst-fissure aquifer. Statistical interpretations of hydrochemical data suppose that anthropogenically unaffected groundwater, where mineralisation is slightly altered by pyrite oxidation in dolomitic environment, represents hydrogeochemical background within the aquifer. It is supposed, that azonic acid, generated by condensation of nitrogen-rich gases freeing by blast-firings in mine, accelerate magnesite and dolomite dissolution. Produced groundwater types are of higher content of NO3, Mg and TIC in comparison with background values. Estimated acceleration of karstification processes due to underground mining is about 1.5 times. In spite of detected contamination, threshold values of drinking water standard, given by the Edict of the Slovak Ministry of Health Care No. 29 / 2002 Z. z. are not markedly exceeded for tested parameters. Future possible exploitation of studied aquifer after mining termination is not excluded

Correlating specific conductivity with total hardness in limestone and dolomite karst waters, 2006, Krawczyk W. E. , Ford D. C. ,
Under field conditions modern digital conductivity meters give standardized, rapid and reproducible measurements. Here we investigate the accuracy of their estimates of the composition of karst waters, as total hardness (TH, as mg/L CaCO3) for limestone and dolomite. These are the fundamental measures of process in carbonate karst geomorphology. PHREEQC theoretical curves for the dissolution of pure calcite/aragonite and dolomite in water at 25 degrees C are compared with water analyses from karst studies worldwide. Other principal ions encountered are sulphates, nitrates and chlorides (the 'SNC' group). From carbonate karsts, 2309 spring, well and stream samples were divided into uncontaminated (SNC < 10%), moderately contaminated (10 < SNC < 20%), and contaminated (SNC > 20%) classes. Where specific conductivity (SpC) is less than 600 mu S/cm, a clear statistical distinction can be drawn between waters having little contamination and substantially contaminated waters with SNC > 20%. As sometimes claimed in manufacturers' literature, in 'clean' limestone waters TH is close to 1/2SpC, with a standard error of 2-3 mg/L. The slope of the best-fit line for 1949 samples covering all SNC classes where SpC < 600 mu S/cm is 1.86, very close to the 1.88 obtained for clean limestone waters; however, the value of the intercept is ten times higher. The regression line for clean limestone waters where SpC > 600 mu S/cm helps to distinguish polluted waters from clean waters with possible endogenic sources of CO2. In the range 250 < SpC < 600 mu S/cm, dolomite waters can be readily distinguished from limestone waters. Copyright (C) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

EVIDENCE FROM CERNA VALLEY CAVES (SW ROMANIA) FOR SULFURIC ACID SPELEOGENESIS: A MINERALOGICAL AND STABLE ISOTOPE STUDY, 2009, Onac B. , Sumrall J. , Wynn J. , Tamas T. , Dormiceanu V. , Cizma? C.

Over 30 caves are known to develop in the Jurassic and Cretaceous limestone that outcrops along the lower part of the Cerna Valley and its tributaries in southwestern Romania. There are three features that strike observers when entering most of these caves: a variety of sulfate speleothems, large amounts of bat guano (both fossil and fresh), and unusually high cave temperatures. Such thermal anomalies are rather uncommon in the ordinary cave environment. Along Cerna Valley, however, one can measure temperatures (in some cavities) as high as 40ºC. This situation is due to (i) presence of thermal water pools, (ii) hot water flowing along cave passages, (iii) hot steam rising up fractures from depth.
Seventy-four mineral samples were collected from eight caves in the Cerna Valley. These were investigated by means of X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscope, and electron microprobe analyses. The minerals identified so far in Sălitrari, Ion Barzoni, Sălitrari 2, Diana, Adam, Despicătura, and Grota cu Aburi caves, are: calcite [CaCO3], aragonite [CaCO3], gypsum [CaSO4•2H2O], anhydrite [CaSO4], pickeringite [MgAl2(SO4)4•22H2O], halotrichite [Fe2+Al2(SO4)4•22H2O], kalinite [KAl(SO4)2•11H2O], melanterite [FeSO4•7H2O], apatite- (Ca(OH) [Ca5(PO4)3(OH)], brushite [CaHPO4•2H2O], darapskite [Na3(SO4)(NO3)•H2O], and nitratine [NaNO3]. The phosphates and nitrates (except for darapskite) were precipitated in a typical vadose environment from reactions between phosphoric solutions supplied by bat guano and limestone bedrock. Most of the sulfates and darapskite are the result of sulfuric acid speleogenesis.
In addition, sulfur isotope measurements (δ34S) on sulfate speleothems and spring waters were undertaken to determine the origin of cave sulfates (i.e., vadose, hypogene, bacteriogenic, etc.). The isotope measurements in the springs show sulfide δ34S ranges from -21.9‰ to 24.0‰ with a mean value of 6.6‰ (n=9), whereas the sulfate δ34S ranges from 16.6‰ to 71.3‰ with a mean value of 30.1‰ (n=10).
Three populations of sulfur isotope values (negative, near zero, and positive) were found in the caves. Samples from Barzoni Cave (the most distant cave from any modern thermal spring) are extremely depleted (-23 to -28‰). Sulfide values of the nearest springs are approximately -20‰. In Sălitrari Cave, the range of values was from -19.8 to +6.5‰. It is more than likely a reflection of the increase in completeness of the reduction of sulfate. The δ34S value of gypsum in Grota cu Aburi (active H2S hot steam cave) was 6.5‰. This value is similar to the sulfur isotopic composition measured in darapskite from Sălitrari Cave; thus, probably documenting earlier sulfuric acid activity in the latter cave.
The final population of caves, especially Despicătura and Diana caves, has enriched sulfur isotope values, which correspond well to the sulfide values of nearby springs. Diana Cave from which Diana 3 spring originates has a sulfide isotopic composition of +19‰, which is approximately the value of the mean of the cave sulfates from Diana Cave. This shows that the cave sulfate isotopic value is controlled by the sulfide, which (after being oxidized) reacts with limestone/marls to produce gypsum or other sulfate minerals.


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


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