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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 water-borne disease is disease spread by organic contaminants contained in the water supply [16].?

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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 soil organic matter (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Comparison of annual luminescent and visible laminae in stalagmites, 1997, Genty D, Baker A, Barnes W,
Polished sections of stalagmites from France and Belgium were examined using UV excitation and natural light in order to examine their annual growth laminae. The most prominent luminescence occurs in the dark compact laminae; this would signify that both types form at the end of Autumn or the beginning of Winter when soil organic matter is flushed into the cave. Under UV excitation, and at a weaker magnification, white porous calcite fabric is found to be much more luminescent than the dark compact one. These results could be due either to optical effects associated with porosity or to the higher luminescence of dark compact laminae

Comparaison entre les lamines luminescentes et les lamines visibles annuelles de stalagmites, 1997, Genty D, Baker A, Barnes W,
ResumeLes sections polies de plusieurs stalagmites provenant de France et de Belgique ont ete observees apres une excitation en lumiere ultraviolette (LTV) et en lumiere naturelle pour etudier les lamines annuelles luminescentes et visibles. La luminescence la plus forte se trouve dans les lamines sombres et compactes, ce qui signifierait que ces deux types de lamines se formeraient a la fin de l'automne et au debut de l'hiver, lorsqu'il y a une brusque augmentation du debit et un apport important de matiere organique. Sous excitation laser UV, la calcite blanche et poreuse est beaucoup plus luminescente que la calcite sombre et compacte. Cette luminescence est soit, liee a la porosite, soit a la presence de lamines sombres et compactes plus luminescentes.AbstractPolished sections of stalagmites from France and Belgium were examined using UV excitation and natural light in order to examine their annual growth laminae. The most prominent luminescence occurs in the dark compact laminae, this would signify that both types form at the end of Autumn or the beginning of Winter when soil organic matter is flushed into the cave. Under UV excitation, and at a weaker magnification, white porous calcite fabric is found to be much more luminescent than the dark compact one. These results could be due either to optical effects associated with porosity or to the higher luminescence of dark compact laminae

Determination of the sources of nitrate contamination in karst springs using isotopic and chemical indicators, 2001, Panno S. V. , Hackley K. C. , Hwang H. H. , Kelly W. R. ,
The sources of nitrate (NO3-) in groundwater of the shallow karst aquifer in southwestern Illinois' sinkhole plain were investigated using chemical and isotopic techniques. The groundwater in this aquifer is an important source of potable water for about half of the residents of the sinkhole plain area. Previous work has shown that groundwater from approximately 18% of the wells in the sinkhole plain has NO3- concentrations in excess of the USEPA's drinking water standard of 10 mg N/1 Relative to background levels, the NO3- concentrations in water from 52% of the wells, and probably all of the springs in the study area, are anomalously high, suggesting that sources other than naturally occurring soil organic matter have contributed additional NO3- to groundwater in the shallow karst aquifer. This information, and the dominance of agriculture in the study area, suggest that agrichemical contributions may be significant. To test this hypothesis, water samples from 10 relatively large karst springs were collected during four different seasons and analyzed for inorganic constituents, dissolved organic carbon, atrazine, and delta (15) N and delta O-18 of the NO3- ions. The isotopic data were most definitive and suggested that the sources of NO3- in spring water are dominated by N-fertilizer with some possible influence of atmospheric NO3- and, to a much lesser extent, human and/or animal waste. Differences in the isotopic composition of NO3- and some of the chemical characteristics were observed during the four consecutive seasons in which spring water samples were collected. Isotopic values for delta N-15 and delta O-18 of the NO3- ranged from 3.2%o to 19.1%o and from 7.2%o to 18.7%o respectively. The trend of delta N-15 and delta O-18 data for NO3- also indicated that a significant degree of denitrification is occurring in the shallow karst hydrologic system (within the soil zone, the epikarst and the shallow karst aquifer) prior to discharging to springs. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Investigations of microbial origin of karst corrosion of soils depending on different temperatures, 2001, Zambo L. , Horvath G. , Telbisz T. ,
The acids accumulating in soils and controlling the solution of carbonates including the predominant CO2, mostly derive from three processes: i) root respiration of higher plants; ii) decomposition of soil organic matter by microorganisms (microbiota) and iii) other decomposition processes not associated with microbial activities. The solution effect under rendzina soils is primarily used for the dissolution of the enclosed limestone fragments and thus here the solution of bedrock is of limited scale. Below karst soils of high clay content the corrosion of bedrock is more intensive than under rendzinas. On the whole, the amount of carbonates dissolved and transported Into the depths of the karst is smaller than below rendzinas. In each soil type studied the solution caused by microbial activities manifold exceeds the rate of solution resulting from temperature factor but there is a manifest dropping trend from rendzina to clays

Dead carbon in stalagmites : limestone paleodissolution versus ageing of Soil Organic Matter - Implications for 13c variations in stalagmites, 2001, Genty D. , Baker A. , Massault M. , Procror Ch. , Gilmour M. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hamelin B

Dead carbon in stalagmites: Carbon bedrock paleodissolution vs. ageing of soil organic matter. Implications for 13C variations in speleothems., 2001, Genty D. , Baker A. R. , Massault M. , Proctor C. , Gilmour M. , Ponsbranchu E. , Hamelin B.

Land use change and soil nutrient transformations in the Los Haitises region of the Dominican Republic, 2005, Templer P. H. , Groffman P. M. , Flecker A. S. , Power A. G. ,
We characterized soil cation, carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) transformations within a variety of land use types in the karst region of the northeastern Dominican Republic. We examined a range of soil pools and fluxes during the wet and dry seasons in undisturbed forest, regenerating forest and active agricultural sites within and directly adjacent to Los Haitises National Park. Soil moisture, soil organic matter (SOM), soil cations, leaf litter C and pH were significantly greater in regenerating forest sites than agricultural sites, while bulk density was greater in active agricultural sites. Potential denitrification, microbial biomass C and N, and microbial respiration g(-1) dry soil were significantly greater in the regenerating forest sites than in the active agricultural sites. However, net mineralization, net nitrification, microbial biomass C, and microbial respiration were all significantly greater in the agricultural sites on g(-1) SOM basis. These results suggest that land use is indirectly affecting microbial activity and C storage through its effect on SOM quality and quantity. While agriculture can significantly decrease soil fertility, it appears that the trend can begin to rapidly reverse with the abandonment of agriculture and the subsequent regeneration of forest. The regenerating forest soils were taken out of agricultural use only 5-7 years before our study and already have soil properties and processes similar to an undisturbed old forest site. Compared to undisturbed mogote forest sites, regenerating sites had smaller amounts of SOM and microbial biomass N, as well as lower rates of microbial respiration, mineralization and nitrification g(-1) SOM. Initial recovery of soil pools and processes appeared to be rapid, but additional research must be done to address the long-term rate of recovery in these forest stands. (C) 2004, Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Potential effects of recurrent low oxygen conditions on the Illinois cave amphipod, 2006, Panno, S. V. , Hackley, K. C. , Kelly, W. R. , Hwang, H. H. , Wilhelm, F. M. , Taylor, S. J. , Stiff B. J
The caves of Illinois sinkhole plain are the sole habitat of the Illinois Cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes), a federally endangered species. The sinkhole plain is a hydrologically-connected sequence of karstified limestone that constitutes an extensive karst aquifer which serves as an important source of potable water for area residents. During this investigation, we examined the ground-water quality in caves within two ground-water basins: 1) Illinois Caverns, where the amphipod is now present after previously reported to have been extirpated from the lower reaches, and 2) Stemler Cave, where the amphipod is reported to have been extirpated. The chemical composition of cave streams in Illinois Caverns and Stemler Cave were compared to determine which parameters, if any, could have contributed to the loss of G. acherondytes from Stemler Cave. Stream water in Stemler Cave contained higher concentrations of organic carbon, potassium, silica, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, iron and manganese than Illinois Caverns. Perhaps most importantly, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in Stemler Cave were, during periods of low flow, substantially lower than in Illinois Caverns. Based on land use, there are probably at least eight times more private septic systems in the Stemler Cave ground-water basin than in the Illinois Caverns ground-water basin. Low DO concentrations were likely the result of microbial breakdown of soil organic matter and wastewater treatment system effluent, and the oxidation of pyrite in bedrock. The near-hypoxic DO in Stemler Cave that occurred during low-flow conditions, and, we speculate, a limited range of G. acherondytes within the Stemler Cave ground-water basin due to a metabolic advantage of the stygophilic aquatic invertebrates over the stygobitic G. acherodytes, resulted in the apparent loss of G. acherondytes from Stemler Cave.

Mixing of shallow and deep groundwater as indicated by the chemistry and age of karstic springs, 2006, Toth D. J. , Katz B. G.

Large karstic springs in east-central Florida, USA were studied using multi-tracer and geochemical modeling techniques to better understand groundwater flow paths and mixing of shallow and deep groundwater. Spring water types included Ca–HCO3 (six), Na–Cl (four), and mixed (one). The evolution of water chemistry for Ca– HCO3 spring waters was modeled by reactions of rainwater with soil organic matter, calcite, and dolomite under oxic conditions. The Na–Cl and mixed-type springs were modeled by reactions of either rainwater or Upper Floridan aquiferwater with soil organic matter, calcite, and dolomite under oxic conditions and mixed with varying proportions of saline Lower Floridan aquifer water, which represented 4–53% of the total spring discharge. Multiple-tracer data—chlorofluorocarbon CFC-113, tritium (3H), helium- 3 (3Hetrit), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)—for four Ca–HCO3 spring waters were consistent with binary mixing curves representing water recharged during 1980 or 1990 mixing with an older (recharged before 1940) tracer-free component. Young-water mixing fractions ranged from 0.3 to 0.7. Tracer concentration data for two Na–Cl spring waters appear to be consistent with binary mixtures of 1990 water with older water recharged in 1965 or 1975. Nitrate-N concentrations are inversely related to apparent ages of spring waters, which indicated that elevated nitrate-N concentrations were likely contributed from recent recharge.


Wavelet analysis of Late Holocene stalagmite records from Ortigosa Caves in Northern Spain, 2009, Muoz A. , Sen A. K. , Sancho C. , And Genty D.
We have deduced short-term climatic changes from millennial to annual scales from the study of laminae thickness and radiocarbon analysis of Holocene stalagmite records from two caves in Ortigosa de Cameros (Iberian Range, northern Spain). Speleothems are made up of dark compact laminae (DCL) and white porous laminae (WPL) of seasonal origin. Couplets seasonality is deduced from monitoring calcite laminae growth, drip water rates, and soil organic matter flushed into the caves. The thickness variations of the couplets are analyzed using a continuous wavelet transform and the various periodicities at interannual, decadal, multidecadal, and centennial scales are revealed from the wavelet power spectrum. The periodicities at decadal, multidecadal and centennial scales, with periods around 9.7, 10.4, 14, 16, 22, 43, 73, 83 and 180 years, are mainly related to solar activity. Among the interannual periodicities, oscillations around the 2.4-yr-period may be linked to the Quasi-Biennial Oscillation (QBO), whereas periods ranging from 4 to 7 years may be associated with the El Nin o-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and/or the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

From soil to cave: Transport of trace metals by natural organic matter in karst dripwaters, 2012, Hartland A. , Fairchild I. J. , Lead J. R. , Borsato A. , Baker A. , Frisia S. , Baalousha M.

This paper aims to establish evidence for the widespread existence of metal binding and transport by natural organic matter (NOM) in karst dripwaters, the imprint of which in speleothems may have important climatic significance. We studied the concentration of trace metals and organic carbon (OC) in sequentially filtered dripwaters and soil leachates from three contrasting sites: Poole's Cavern (Derbyshire, UK), Lower Balls Green Mine (Gloucestershire, UK) and Grotta di Ernesto (Trentino, Italy). The size-distribution of metals in the three soils was highly similar, but distinct from that found in fractionated dripwaters: surface-reactive metals were concentrated in the coarse fraction (>100 nm) of soils, but in the fine colloidal (b100 nm) and nominally dissolved (b1 nm) fractions of dripwaters. The concentration of Cu, Ni and Co in dripwater samples across all sites were well correlated (R2=0.84 and 0.70, Cu vs. Ni, Cu vs. Co, respectively), indicating a common association. Furthermore, metal ratios (Cu:Ni, Cu:Co) were consistent with NICA-Donnan n1 humic binding affinity ratios for these metals, consistent with a competitive hierarchy of binding affinity (Cu>Ni>Co) for sites in colloidal or dissolved NOM. Large shifts in Cu:Ni in dripwaters coincided with high fluxes of particulate OC (following peak infiltration) and showed increased similarity to ratios in soils, diagnostic of qualitative changes in NOMsupply (i.e. fresh inputs of more aromatic/hydrophobic soil organic matter (SOM) with Cu outcompeting Ni for suitable binding sites). Results indicate that at high-flows (i.e. where fracture-fed flow dominates) particulates and colloids migrate at similar rates, whereas, in slow seepage-flow dripwaters, particulates (>1 μm) and small colloids (1–100 nm) decouple, resulting in two distinct modes of NOM–metal transport: high-flux and low-flux. At the hyperalkaline drip site PE1 (in Poole's Cavern), high-fluxes of metals (Cu, Ni, Zn, Ti, Mn, Fe) and particulate NOM occurred in rapid, short-lived pulses following peak infiltration events, whereas low-fluxes of metals (Co and V>Cu, Ni and Ti) and fluorescent NOM (b ca. 100 nm) were offset from infiltration events, probably because small organic colloids (1–100 nm) and solutes (b1 nm) were slower to migate through the porous matrix than particulates. These results demonstrate the widespread occurrence of both colloidal and particulate NOM–metal transport in cave dripwaters and the importance of karst hydrology in affecting the breakthrough times of different species. Constraints imposed by soil processes (colloid/particle release), direct contributions of metals and NOM from rainfall, and flow-routing (colloid/particle migration) are expected to determine the strength of correlations between NOM-transported metals in speleothems and climatic signals. Changes in trace metal ratios (e.g. Cu:Ni) in speleothems may encode information on NOMcomposition, potentially aiding in targeting of compound-specific investigations and for the assessment of changes in the quality of soil organic matter.


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