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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 percolation; percolation water is 1. ground water moving slowly through the microfissure network of a limestone, most of which eventually joins a major cave conduit and flows more rapidly. in most environments percolation water enters the limestone through a soil cover. it is therefore high in carbon dioxide and has a major influence on limestone dissolution and later redeposition of calcite speleothems. percolation water accounts for most of the storage in a limestone aquifer, responds slowly to flooding in comparison to sinkhole water, and is normally of high enough quality to provide a drinking-water supply [9]. 2. the movement in laminar flow under hydrostatic pressure of water through the interconnected, saturated interstices of rock or soil, excluding movement through large openings such as caves and solution channels. 3. the downward movement of water through the unsaturated zone [22]. 4.the downward flow of water in saturated or nearly saturated porous medium at hydraulic gradients of the order of 1.0 or less [22]. 5. the movement of water through saturated interior pore space [16]. synonym: seepage water.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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 water abstraction (Keyword) returned 20 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 20
HYDROGEOCHEMISTRY OF GRAND-CAYMAN, BRITISH-WEST-INDIES - IMPLICATIONS FOR CARBONATE DIAGENETIC STUDIES, 1995, Ng K. C. , Jones B. ,
Groundwater in the dolostone aquifers of the Bluff Group (Oligocene-Miocene) on Grand Cayman is divided into fresh, lightly and highly brackish, and saline (Type I and II) zones according to chemical characteristics that were determined during a 3 year (1985-1988) monitoring program. Brackish and Type I saline waters display the greatest variation in chemical properties whereas the Type II saline water has the most stable chemical characteristics. Most groundwaters from these dolostone aquifers are thermodynamically capable of precipitating calcite and/or dolomite. The saturation indices for these minerals, however, vary through time and space even in the context of small water lens. Simple mixing of fresh and sea water cannot explain the chemistry of the water found in the joint and karst controlled dolostone aquifers of Grand Cayman. Deviation from a simple mixing model is due to variations caused by tidal fluctuation, the rate of rain water recharge, influx of Ca-rich groundwater from the surrounding limestone aquifers, influx of CO2-rich surface water from sinkholes and swamps, and water-rock interactions (dissolution and precipitation of calcite and dolomite). Sustained groundwater abstraction from a lens can significantly alter the hydrochemistry of the water lens. This suggests that hydrochemical characterization of small fresh water lenses, like those on Grand Cayman, cannot be based on spot or short-term sampling. Interpretation of such fluids in terms of calcite-dolomite precipitation and/or dissolution must be treated with caution if the data base has not been derived from long-term monitoring

Environmental problems in gypsum karst terrains., 1996, Andrejchuk Vjacheslav, Klimchouk Alexander
Description of environmental problems in gypsum karst areas, especially of the effects related to human impacts that are unique to gypsum karst systems or most commonly occur herein. The paper deals with pollution (oil, radioactive substances and fertilizers), mining activity, underground water abstraction, construction of dams and reservoirs, collapse and subsidence hazards giving examples of former Soviet Union.

Gypsum karst of Great Britain., 1996, Cooper Anthony
In Great Britain the most spectacular gypsum karst development is in the Zechstein gypsum (late Permian) mainly in north-eastern England. The Midlands of England also has some karst developed in the Triassic gypsum in the vicinity of Nottingham. Along the north-east coast, south of Sunderland, well-developed palaeokarst, with magnificent breccia pipes, was produced by dissolution of Permian gypsum. In north-west England a small gypsum cave system of phreatic origin has been surveyed and recorded. A large actively evolving phreatic gypsum cave system has been postulated beneath the Ripon area on the basis of studies of subsidence and boreholes. The rate of gypsum dissolution here, and the associated collapse lead to difficult civil engineering and construction conditions, which can also be aggravated by water abstraction.

GYPSUM KARST GEOHAZARDS IN CHINA, 1997, Yaoru Lu, Cooper A. H.

China has the worlds largest proven gypsum (CaSO4.2H2O) resources in the world. The gypsum ranges from pre-Cambrian to Quaternary in age and occurs in varied geological environments. The rapid dissolution rate of gypsum means that gypsum karst development can be very fast, resulting in progressively worsening geohazards. This paper reviews the characteristics of the gypsum deposits and their associated geohazards in China.Three kinds of gypsum karst are discussed. These include karst in massive thick beds of gypsum, karst in thin-bedded gypsum and compound karst in gypsum and carbonate rocks. Some site-specific problems are also examined. In the Shanxi coalfield, breccia pipes, or collapse columns, caused by the dissolution of Ordovician gypsum, penetrate the overlying Carboniferous and Permian coal-bearing sequences resulting in difficult coal mining conditions. In Guizhou Province re-activated gypsum karst is associated with leakage of water through the gypsum from a reservoir. Remedial engineering works have been carried out, but leakage still occurs. Groundwater abstraction from gypsiferous sequences is also problematical. It can yield sulphate-polluted water and cause subsidence problems both through gypsum dissolution and groundwater drawdown.


Karstic groundwater flow characteristics in the Cretaceous Chalk aquifer, Northern Ireland, 1999, Barnes S,
The Cretaceous Chalk in Northern Ireland (Ulster White Limestone Formation) is a locally important aquifer for both public and private supply, yet little is known about its groundwater flow regime. This issue is important for the protection of existing groundwater abstractions and for the development of new sources as it will help determine groundwater vulnerability and resource potential in the Chalk. The subject has been addressed using hydrochemical variations from individual springs, together with artificial and natural water tracing techniques employed from river-sinks located at outcrop. A common orientation has been established between traced groundwater flow routes and the dominant northwest-southeast fracture trend within the Ulster White Limestone Formation. Hydraulic gradient has also been shown to have little significance in controlling the flow direction, suggesting poor fracture connectivity and thus extreme aquifer heterogeneity. Tracer breakthrough curve characteristics and velocities (up to 2838 metres per day) are indicative of conduit rather than fracture flow. In addition, the highly variable water chemistry associated with all the proven river-sink supplied springs has been independently classified to meet conduit flow criteria. Conversely, the much less variable water chemistry associated with springs draining Chalk subcrop areas (with no influence from river-sinks) is consistent with a less active karstic regime

Karst groundwater protection: the case of the Rijeka region, Croatia, 2000, Biondić, Bož, Idar

The problem of protection of water resources in the karst area of Croatia has been particularly acute for the last 30 years. Specific natural conditions under which the dynamics of groundwater is formed and developed were reasons for difficulties in preparation of uniform criteria of protection. Present experience makes it possible to establish a more organized approach to the problem. This applies, in particular, to the surroundings of the town Rijeka, where considerable funds were invested into research on new groundwater abstractions, but also toward their protection. In this paper the general approach to karst water protection in Croatia will be presented. This consists of an explanation of natural conditions, necessary research activities, general criteria and measures for protection, improvement of sanitary conditions in zones of high protection, design of new constructions in protection zones, urban planning and protection, etc. A part of the paper will be directed to the regulation procedure and organizational problems in such an active approach to karst water protection.


Environmental problems caused by gypsum karst and salt karst in Great Britain., 2001, Cooper A. H.
In Great Britain, gypsum karst is widespread in the Late Permian (Zechstein) gypsum of north-eastern England. Here and offshore, a well-developed palaeokarst with large breccia pipes was formed by dissolution of the underlying Permian gypsum. Farther south, around Ripon, the same rocks are still being dissolved, forming an actively evolving phreatic gypsum-maze cave system. This is indicated by the presence of numerous active subsidence hollows and sulphate-rich springs. In the English Midlands, gypsum karst is locally developed in the Triassic deposits south of Derby and Nottingham. Where gypsum is present, its fast rate of dissolution and the collapse of overlying strata lead to difficult civil-engineering and construction conditions; these can be further aggravated by water abstraction. Salt (halite) occurs within British Permian and Triassic strata, and has a long history of exploitation. The main salt fields are in central England and the coastal areas of northwest and northeast England. In central England, saline springs indicate that rapid, active dissolution occurs that can cause subsidence problems. In the past, subsidence was aggravated by shallow mining and the uncontrolled extraction of vast amounts of brine. This has now almost stopped, but there is a legacy of unstable buried salt karst, formed by both natural and induced dissolution. The buried salt karst occurs at depths ranging from about 40 m to 130 m; above these depths, the overlying strata are foundered and brecciated. In the salt areas, construction and development are hampered by both abandoned mines and by natural or induced brine runs, with their associated unstable ground.

Environmental problems caused by gypsum karst and salt karst in Great Britain, 2002, Cooper Ah,
In Great Britain, gypsum karst is widespread in the Late Permian (Zechstein) gypsum of north-eastern England. Here and offshore, a well-developed palaeokarst with large breccia pipes was formed by dissolution of the underlying Permian gypsum. Farther south, around Ripon, the same rocks are still being dissolved, forming an actively evolving phreatic gypsum-maze cave system. This is indicated by the presence of numerous active subsidence hollows and sulphate-rich springs. In the English Midlands, gypsum karst is locally developed in the Triassic deposits south of Derby and Nottingham. Where gypsum is present, its fast rate of dissolution and the collapse of overlying strata lead to difficult civil-engineering and construction conditions; these can be further aggravated by water abstraction. Salt (halite) occurs within British Permian and Triassic strata, and has a long history of exploitation. The main salt fields are in central England and the coastal areas of northwest and northeast England. In central England, saline springs indicate that rapid, active dissolution occurs that can cause subsidence problems. In the past, subsidence was aggravated by shallow mining and the uncontrolled extraction of vast amounts of brine. This has now almost stopped, but there is a legacy of unstable buried salt karst, formed by both natural and induced dissolution. The buried salt karst occurs at depths ranging from about 40 m to 130 in; above these depths, the overlying strata are foundered and brecciated. In the salt areas, construction and development are hampered by both abandoned mines and by natural or induced brine runs, with their associated unstable ground

Groundwater abstraction and contamination in Lithuania as geoindicators of environmental change, 2002, Klimas , Gregorauskas ,

Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, PhD Thesis, 2005, Eberhard, S. M.

Groundwater is a significant component of the world’s water balance and accounts for >90 % of usable freshwater. Around the world groundwater is an important source of water for major cities, towns, industries, agriculture and forestry. Groundwater plays a role in the ecological processes and ‘health’ of many surface ecosystems, and is the critical habitat for subterranean aquatic animals (stygofauna). Over-abstraction or contamination of groundwater resources may imperil the survival of stygofauna and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs). In two karst areas in Western Australia (Yanchep and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge), rich stygofauna communities occur in cave waters containing submerged tree roots. These aquatic root mat communities were listed as critically endangered because of declining groundwater levels, presumably caused by lower rainfall, groundwater abstraction, and/or forest plantations. Investigation of the hydrology and ecology of the cave systems was considered essential for the conservation and recovery of these threatened ecological communities (TECs). This thesis investigated the hydrology and ecology of one of the TECs, located in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. A multi-disciplinary approach was used to explore aspects pertinent to the hydrology and ecology of the groundwater system.
Thermoluminescence dating of the limestone suggested that development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and that caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Field mapping and leveling were used to determine hydrologic relationships between caves and the boundaries of the karst aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels was undertaken to characterise the conditions of recharge, storage, flow and discharge. A hydrogeologic model of the karst system was developed.
The groundwater hydrograph for the last 50 years was reconstructed from old photographs and records whilst radiometric dating and leveling of stratigraphic horizons enabled reconstruction of a history of watertable fluctuations spanning the Holocene to Late Pleistocene. The watertable fluctuations over the previous 50 years did not exceed the range of fluctuations experienced in the Quaternary history, including a period 11,000 to 13,000 years ago when the watertable was lower than the present level.
The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not reflected in the annual rainfall trend, which was above average during the period (1976 to 1988) when the major drop in water levels occurred. Groundwater abstraction and tree plantations in nearby catchments have not contributed to the groundwater decline as previously suggested. The period of major watertable decline coincided with a substantial reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have contributed to a reduction in groundwater recharge, through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. To better understand the relationships between rainfall, vegetation and fire and their effects on groundwater recharge, an experiment is proposed that involves a prescribed burn of the cave catchment with before-after monitoring of rainfall, leaf-area, ground litter, soil moisture, vadose infiltration and groundwater levels.
Molecular genetic techniques (allozyme electrophoresis and mitochondrial DNA) were used to assess the species and population boundaries of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda. Populations of both species were largely panmictic which was consistent with the hydrogeologic model. The molecular data supported the conclusion that both species of amphipod have survived lower watertable levels experienced in the caves during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed.
Multi Dimensional Scaling was used to investigate patterns in groundwater biodiversity including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography. Faunal patterns were related to abiotic environmental parameters. Investigation of hydrochemistry and water quality characterized the ecological water requirements (EWR) of the TEC and established a baseline against which to evaluate potential impacts such as groundwater pollution.
The conservation status of the listed TEC was significantly improved by increasing the number of known occurrences and distribution range of the community (from 10 m2 to > 2 x 106 m2), and by showing that earlier perceived threatening processes (rainfall decline, groundwater pumping, tree plantations) were either ameliorated or inoperative within this catchment. The GDE in the Jewel Cave karst system may not have been endangered by the major phase of watertable decline experienced 1975-1987, or by the relatively stable level experienced up until 2000. However, if the present trend of declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia continues, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the GDE may become more vulnerable to extinction.
The occurrence and distribution of aquatic root mat communities and related groundwater fauna in other karst catchments in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is substantially greater than previously thought, however some of these are predicted to be threatened by groundwater pumping and pollution associated with increasing urban and rural developments. The taxonomy of most stygofauna taxa and the distribution of root mat communities is too poorly known to enable proper assessment of their conservation requirements. A regional-scale survey of stygofauna in southwest Western Australia is required to address this problem. In the interim, conservation actions for the listed TECs need to be focused at the most appropriate spatial scale, which is the karst drainage system and catchment area. Conservation of GDEs in Western Australia will benefit from understanding and integration with abiotic groundwater system processes, especially hydrogeologic and geomorphic processes.


Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia [abstract], 2006, Eberhard S. M.
This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.

Sensitivity of ancient Lake Ohrid to local anthropogenic impacts and global warming, 2006, Matzinger A. , Spirkovski Z. , Patceva S. , Wuest A. ,
Human impacts on the few ancient lakes of the world must be assessed, as any change can lead to an irreversible loss of endemic communities. In such an assessment, the sensitivity of Lake Ohrid (Macedonia/Albania; surface area A = 358 km(2), volume V = 55 km(3), > 200 endemic species) to three major human impacts-water abstraction, eutrophication, and global warming-is evaluated. It is shown that ongoing eutrophication presents the major threat to this unique lake system, even under the conservative assumption of an increase in phosphorus (P) concentration from the current 4.5 to a potential future 9 mg P m(-3). Eutrophication would lead to a significant reduction in light penetration, which is a prerequisite for endemic, deep living plankton communities. Moreover, a P increase to 9 mg P m(-3) would create deep water anoxia through elevated oxygen consumption and increase in the water column stability due to more mineralization of organic material. Such anoxic conditions would severely threaten the endemic bottom fauna. The trend toward anoxia is further amplified by the predicted global warming of 0.04 degrees C yr(-1), which significantly reduces the frequency of complete seasonal deep convective mixing compared to the current warming of 0.006 degrees C yr(-1). This reduction in deep water exchange is triggered by the warming process rather than by overall higher temperatures in the lake. In contrast, deep convective mixing would be even more frequent than today under a higher temperature equilibrium, as a result of the temperature dependence of the thermal expansivity of water. Although water abstraction may change local habitats, e.g., karst spring areas, its effects on overall lake properties was shown to be of minor importance

Extended Abstract: Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, 2006, Eberhard, Stefan M.

This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.


Natural and anthropogenic hazards in the karst of Jamaica, 2007, Day Mj,
About two thirds of Jamaica is karst landscape, and karstic hazards affect much of the country and about half of the population, mostly in rural areas. The karst includes extensive areas of dolines and dry valleys, together with poljes and classical tropical tower and cockpit karst. With population and urbanization increases, and as infrastructure is developed, karstic hazards are becoming more prevalent and risks are increasing. One major natural hazard is seasonal drought, which disrupts water supplies, particularly in rural areas where groundwater resources are poorly developed and residents depend on rainwater and springs. Conversely, seasonal flooding, particularly that associated with tropical storms, causes property damage and human death, injury and displacement. Ground surface subsidence and collapse threatens developing infrastructure, dwellings and livestock, but the potential for catastrophic karstic failure of industrial facilities such as dams and retention ponds, including the storage facilities associated with bauxite mining and processing, appears to be relatively limited. Slope failure also occurs, but is not often recognized as a hazard and has not been studied in detail. Human impacts include quarrying, bauxite mining, groundwater abstraction, urbanization, agricultural development and tourism. Groundwater contamination is a serious anthropogenic hazard, particularly associated with the bauxite industry. Less than 10% of the karst area is within protected areas

Aquatic subterranean Crustacea in Ireland: results and new records from a pilot study, 2008, Arnscheidt, Jrg, Hans Jrgen Hahn And Andreas Fuchs.
A total of 106 sites were sampled for subterranean aquatic Crustacea, basic water chemistry parameters and sediment characteristics as part of a pilot study for an all-Ireland survey of hypogean biodiversity. Samples were collected between November 2005 and August 2006. Sites were selected with a view to cover most of Ireland's geographical regions, geological formations and aquifer types. Sampling sites comprised 55 monitoring boreholes, 43 wells (excavated / dug from the surface historically), 5 springs and 3 wells with current groundwater abstraction for drinking water. Aquatic Crustacea were retrieved from 57% of all sites and included the first records of the following taxa for Ireland: Cavernocypris subterraneana, Fabaeformiscandona breuili and Fabaeformiscandona wegelini (Ostracoda), Speocyclops cf demetiensis (Cyclopoida) and Microniphargus leruthi (Amphipoda). These records suggest that the biodiversity of Ireland's freshwater fauna might have been significantly underestimated due to a historical lack of biological research on subterranean ecosystems. The results raise important questions regarding the biogeography of Ireland and the potential survival of subterranean fauna during periods of glaciation within hypogean refugia.

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