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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 capillary attraction is the adhesive force between a liquid and a solid in capillarity.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 strains (Keyword) returned 25 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 25 of 25
Fluid flow reconstruction in karstified Panormide platform limestones (north-central Sicily): Implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity in the Sicilian fold and thrust belt, 2010, Dewever B. , Berwouts I. , Swennen R. , Breesch L. , Ellam R. M.

Diagenetic analysis based on field and petrographic observations, isotope and microthermometric data was used to reconstruct the fluid flow history of the Cretaceous shallow water limestones from the Panormide platform exposed in north-central Sicily. Analysis focused on diagenetic products in cavities and dissolution enlarged fractures of the karstified limestones that occur just below a regional unconformity. The fluid flow history could be broken down into five stages that were linked to the kinematic and burial history of the region. (1) Petrography (zoned cathodoluminescence and speleothem textures) and stable isotopes (6.5 PDB &/Tm_2 to _5 _C), but at increasingly higher temperatures (Th 60–120 _C). This has been interpreted as precipitation during Oligocene foredeep burial. (4) Hot (Th 130–180 _C), low saline (Tm he low salinity and relatively high d18OSMOW signatures of the fluids are interpreted to be the result of clay dewatering reactions. The presence of bitumen and associated fluorite with hydrocarbon inclusions at this stage in the paragenesis constrains the timing of oil migration in the region. (5) Finally, high saline fluids with elevated 87Sr/86Sr (0.7095–0.7105) signatures invaded the karst system. This last fluid flow event was possibly coeval with localized dolomitization and calcite cementation along high-angle faults of Pliocene age, as suggested by identical radiogenic signatures of these diagenetic products.

Determination of the age of relief and denudation rates of the south-west part of the Inner Range of the Mountainous Crimea from karstological and speleological data, 2011, Klimchouk A. B. , Tymokhina E. I. , Amelichev G. M. , Dublyansky Yu. V. , Staubwasser M.

U/Th dating of calcite speleotems of karst cavities in the south-west part of the Inner Range of the Mountainous Crimea permitted to establish age constrains for the period of termination of the hypogenic development of karst systems and for geomorphologic settings corresponding to incipient and mature expression of the Paleocene segment of the range in relief. This also allowed evaluating rates of denudational deepening of the southern longitudinal depression (SLD). It is found that the main elements of the relief in this belt of the fore-mountains had been formed during the second half of Middle Pleistocene, which changes substantially a concept of the age of the relief for the region toward younger values. The rate of denudational deepening of the depression is determined to be 1.36 (0,08) mm/a. For the time intervals of the second half of Middle Pleistocene (250 130 ka) and Late Pleistocene Holocene (last 130 ka) the rates are, respectively, 0.9 and 1.8 mm/a, although determined with much higher error (0,3 mm/a). The increase in the rates of the denudational deepening of the SLD during Late Pleistocene Holocene indicates the respective increase in the uplift rates

Chemoorganotrophic bacteria isolated from biodeteriorated surfaces in cave and catacombs, 2012, De Leo F. , Iero A. , Zammit G. , Urz C.

The main objective of this work was the comparative analysis of a large number of bacterial strains isolated from biodeteriorated surfaces in three different sites, namely the catacombs of St. Callistus in Rome, Italy, the catacombs dedicated to St. Agatha in Rabat, Malta and the Cave of Bats in Zuheros, Spain. Our results showed that even considering only culturable chemoorganotrophic bacteria the variability is very high, reflecting the great variety of microhabitats present. Hence any strategies to prevent, control or eliminate the biofilm-embedded microbiota from an archeological surface should take into account a number of considerations as stipulated in our study.

Cure from the cave: volcanic cave actinomycetes and their potential in drug discovery, 2013, Cheeptham N. , Sadoway T. , Rule D. , Watson K. , Moote P. , Soliman L. C. , Azad N. , Donkor K. K. , Horne D.

Volcanic caves have been little studied for their potential as sources of novel microbial species and bioactive compounds with new scaffolds. We present the first study of volcanic cave microbiology from Canada and suggest that this habitat has great potential for the isolation of novel bioactive substances. Sample locations were plotted on a contour map that was compiled in ArcView 3.2. Over 400 bacterial isolates were obtained from the Helmcken Falls cave in Wells Gray Provincial Park, British Columbia. From our preliminary screen, of 400 isolates tested, 1% showed activity against extended spectrum ß-lactamase E. coli, 1.75% against Escherichia coli, 2.25% against Acinetobacter baumannii, and 26.50% against Klebsiella pneumoniae. In addition, 10.25% showed activity against Micrococcus luteus, 2% against methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, 9.25% against Mycobacterium smegmatis, 6.25% Pseudomonas aeruginosa and 7.5% against Candida albicans. Chemical and physical characteristics of three rock wall samples were studied using scanning electron microscopy and f lame atomic absorption spectrometry. Calcium (Ca), iron (Fe), and aluminum (Al) were the most abundant components while magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), arsenic (As), lead (Pb), chromium (Cr), and barium (Ba) were second most abundant with cadmium (Cd) and potassium (K) were the least abundant in our samples. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) showed the presence of microscopic life forms in all three rock wall samples. 16S rRNA gene sequencing of 82 isolates revealed that 65 (79.3%) of the strains belong to the Streptomyces genus and 5 (6.1%) were members of Bacillus, Pseudomonas, Nocardia and Erwinia genera. Interestingly, twelve (14.6%) of the 16S rRNA sequences showed similarity to unidentif ied ribosomal RNA sequences in the library databases, the sequences of these isolates need to be further investigated using the EzTaxon-e database (http://eztaxon-e. to determine whether or not these are novel species. Nevertheless, this suggests the possibility that they could be unstudied or rare bacteria. The Helmcken Falls cave microbiome possesses a great diversity of microbes with the potential for studies of novel microbial interactions and the isolation of new types of antimicrobial agents.

Deglaciation of the eastern Cumbria glaciokarst, northwest England, as determined by cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) surface exposure dating, and the pattern and significance of subsequent environmental changes, 2013, Wilson P. , Lord T. , Rods .

Four erratic boulders of Shap granite on the limestone terrain of eastern Cumbria have yielded cosmogenic nuclide (10Be) surface exposure ages that indicate the area was deglaciated c.17 ka ago. This timing is in accord with other ages pertaining to the loss of glacial ice cover in the Yorkshire Dales and north Lancashire, to the south, and the Lake District, to the west, and constrains the resumption of landscape (re)colonization and surface and sub-surface karstic processes. Marked shifts in climate are known to have occurred since deglaciation and combined with human impacts on the landscape the glaciokarst has experienced a complex pattern of environmental changes. Understanding these changes and their effects is crucial if the 'post-glacial' evolution of the glaciokarst is to be deciphered.

The effects of UV light on the antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycetes, 2013, Rule Devon, Cheeptham Naowarat

The goal of this study was to determine whether actinomycetes isolated from a volcanic cave in western Canada could produce novel antimicrobial compounds against six multidrug- resistant pathogens when exposed to UV light. One hundred and seventy-six actinomycete strains isolated from Helmcken Falls Cave, Wells Gray Provincial Park, BC, were screened against six pathogens using the “plug assay” in UV light and no light conditions. Of the 176 strains tested, 100 or 57% of the cave actinomycete strains had antimicrobial activities against the pathogens in 124 different instances: 35 instances when exposed to UV and no light, 30 when exposed to UV light, and 59 instances when exposed to no light. The metabolites of six actinomycete strains also lost their antimicrobial activities when exposed to UV light. While the metabolites produced by these strains have yet to be determined, exposure to lighted environments may either deactivate or enhance the antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycete strains. This study represents a confirmation that cave actinomycetes are potential sources of novel antimicrobial compounds and also is the first report of the enhancement of antimicrobial activities of some cave bacteria by exposure to UV light. Further investigation of the role of UV light with respect to activation/deactivation of antimicrobial activities of cave actinomycetes is required.

Comparative microbial community composition from secondary carbonate (moonmilk) deposits: implications for the Cansiliella servadeii cave hygropetric food web, 2013, Summers Engel A. , Paoletti M. G. , Beggio M. , Dorigo L. , Pamio A. , Gomiero T. , Furlan C. , Brilli M. , Leandro Dreon A. , Bertoni R. , Squartini A.

The microbial diversity of moonmilk, a hydrated calcium carbonate speleothem, was evaluated from two Italian caves to provide context for the food web of highly-specialized troglobitic beetles, Cansiliella spp. (Leptodirinae), with distinctive carbon and nitrogen isotope values indicative of a novel food source. The moonmilk and associated percolating waters had low to no extractable chlorophyll, with an average organic C:N ratio of 9, indicating limited allochthonous input and a significant contribution from microbial biomass. The biomass from moonmilk was estimated to be ~104 micro- and meiofaunal individuals per m2 and ~107 microbial cells/ml. Proteobacteria dominated the 16S rRNA gene sequences retrieved from the moonmilk from both caves. The distribution of other proteobacterial classes and phyla in the moonmilk were statistically similar to each other, even though the two caves are geographically separated from each other. Comparing the moonmilk gene sequences to sequences from previously described environmental clones or cultured strains revealed the uniqueness of the moonmilk habitat, as ~15% of all of the moonmilk sequences were more closely related to each other than to sequences retrieved from any other habitat. However, comparative analyses confirmed that as much as ~34% of the clones sequences were also closely related to environmental clones and cultured strains derived from soil and freshwater habitats, which is likely due to the fact that the putative inoculation source for the moonmilk bacterial communities is from overlying soil and percolating fluids from the surface. Prior to our studies of Cansiliella spp., moonmilk has not been considered a food source for cave animals. Our findings provide unique insight into moonmilk microbial diversity that could reveal the underpinnings of the moonmilk carbon and nitrogen cycle that influences the isotopic composition and the morphological adaptations of the troglobitic beetles associated with the moonmilk.


Conspicuous brackish sulfidic springs have been described at the northern Sierra the Chiapas, Mexico. These springs are produced by a mixture between regional and local groundwater flow paths. The regional groundwater has an average Total Dissolved Ions of 3081 mg/L so it has a brackish composition. This brackish water is saturated with respect to calcite and dolomite but undersaturated with respect to gypsum, anhydrite and halite. The mass balance and the discharge rate are used to quantify the mass and volume of minerals that are dissolved by the brackish spring water following Appelo and Postma (1993). This quantification will allow comparing the various speleogenetic mechanisms in the area. This is considering the composition of the spring water is relatively constant over time, as it is suggested by periodic measurements at the Cueva de Villa Luz springs during the last 10 years.
Sulfur isotopes in the water are consistent with anhydrite dissolution as the main source of the sulfate to the brackish spring water. Thus, the average 6 mol/L of sulfate in the brackish springs are produced by dissolution of 6 mol of anhydrite after subtracting the sulfate that could result from evapotranspiration of rainwater. Each liter of brackish water dissolved an average of 882 mg of anhydrite, which are equivalent to dissolving 0.36 cm3 of this mineral considering a density of 2.981 g/cm3. Additionally, using the average brackish water discharge rate of 144 L/s, an average of 57 g of anhydrite are being dissolved each second per every liter of brackish water. This is a minimal value because some of the sulfate in the water is used by sulfate-reducing bacteria in the subsurface to produce the hydrogen sulfide in the spring water. The anhydrite subject to dissolution is found interbedded in the Cretaceous carbonates, either from the subsurface at 4,000 m below sea level to the carbonate outcrops.
Similarly, we can calculate the volume of halite that is being dissolved by the brackish springs, considering chloride is a conservative element and subtracting the chloride concentration from the rainwater from that of the spring water following Appelo & Postma (1993). The 22 mol/L of chloride in the brackish water can result from dissolution in the subsurface of 22 moles or 1.3 g of halite per liter of brackish water. This mass of halite dissolved is equal to 0.59 cm3 considering a density of 2.168 g/cm3. Alternatively, 118 g of halite are dissolved per second per each liter of brackish water if we use the average discharge rate of 144 L/s.
Even when the brackish springs are oversaturated with respect to calcite and dolomite, their dissolution is still possible due to the common ion-effect of calcium after anhydrite dissolution and by mixing of waters with different compositions. A range of 10 to 80 % of brackish water from the regional aquifers mixes with fresh water from the local aquifer based on their water chemistry. Additionally, sulfuric acid speleogenesis occurs due to the oxidation of hydrogen sulfide to sulfuric acid.
Finally, the increase in the chloride concentration of the fresh water springs with respect to the concentration in rainwater was used to estimate that from the 4000 mm/y of annual precipitation, only 4%, 158 to 182 mm/y, recharge the aquifers. This low percentage is slightly higher than the 3.3% recharge in marls, marly limestone, silts and clays (Sanz et al., 2011), probably because of the relatively small area of carbonate outcrops over the entire region and the lack of recharge in altitudes higher than 1500 m above sea level.
Sulfuric acid is the most obvious speleogenetic mechanism occurring in the caves of the northern Sierra de Chiapas, Mexico due to the high hydrogen sulfide concentration in the spring water. In addition, the location of the springs at a zone of regional and local discharge where waters from different composition converge and mix, and the amount of mixing calculated suggests mixing is also an important speleogenetic mechanism. However, the depth and the time constrains at which these two hypogenic mechanisms occur is still unknown. The relatively low rainwater recharge rate suggests epigenesis is limited. Most likely, the porosity created by dissolution of anhydrite and halite in the subsurface is occluded by the precipitation of calcite. Chemical modeling and petrography will help to elucidate the order of the reactions occurring in the subsurface.

Microbial communities in a coastal cave: Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Mallorca, Western Mediterranean), 2014, Busquets A. , Fornós J. J. , Zafra F. , Lalucat J. , Merino A.

As a part of an ongoing project on the role of microbes in the biogeochemistry of Majorcan caves, the species diversity of microbial communities present in cave pools of anchialine waters in the Cova des Pas de Vallgornera (Mallorca, western Mediterranean) is investigated by a culture-dependent method. Two-hundred and forty-eight strains isolated from this characteristic cave environment of the littoral karst are identified by whole-cell-MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry and phylogeneticaly by 16S rRNA gene sequences. Total cell counts and species diversity of the bacterial communities decreas with the distance to the entrance of the cave and to the sea. Strains are mainly identified as members of the Gammaproteobacteria and Actinobacteria. Around 20% of the isolates are able to precipitate carbonates. Calcite is the predominant phase, growing in all the precipitates, although struvite is also found in one Pseudomonas and in one Aspergillus cultures. Differences in crystal characteristics of external shape (habit) and growth are observed according to the bacterial species promoting the precipitates. Bacteria associated with multicolored ferromanganese deposits, present in several parts of the cave, are also studied and are identified as Pseudomonas benzenivorans and Nocardioides luteus. The preponderance of Pseudomonas species and the possible contribution of bacteria in calcite deposition are discussed.

Sagging and collapse sinkholes over hypogenic hydrothermal karst in а carbonate terrain, 2014, Frumkin A. , Zaidner Y. , Na'aman I. , Tsatskin A. , Porat N. , Vulfson L.

We show that clusters of karst sinkholes can occur on carbonate hypogene karst terrains. Unlike common doline karst of dissolution origin, the studied sinkholes form mainly by sagging and collapse. Thermal survey, OSL dating and morphologic analysis during quarrying and excavations are applied to study the sinkholes at the Ayyalon karst, Israel. The thermal survey shows the spatial pattern of rising warm water plumes, whose temperature is > 2 °C warmer than the surrounding aquifer water. These plumes dissolve the limestone, creating large voids and maze caves. Mass wasting forms surface sinkholes mainly by sagging and collapse. Both types of deformation often occur within the same depression. Lack of hydrologic connection between the surface and underground voids constrain drainage and promote rapid accumulation of colluvium, dust and pedogenic clays. These have filled the sinkholes up to their rim before the late Holocene. OSL dating constrains the rate of sediment accumulation within the sinkholes. The average filling rate (thickness divided by elapsed time) is ~ 47 mm ka− 1 for the last 53 ± 4 ka in Sinkhole 1, while in Sinkhole 2 (“Nesher Ramla karst depression”), the rate is ~ 61 mm ka− 1 from ~ 200 to 78 ka, and ~ 173 mm ka− 1 since ~ 78 ka. Between ~ 170 and 78 ka, Sinkhole 2 was intensively used by Middle Paleolithic hominins. The studied sinkholes may be considered as a type locality for hypogene sinkhole terrain on carbonate rocks.

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