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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 roundness is the degree to which a sand grain approaches spherical shape [16].?

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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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Tertiary weathered sediments located immediately to the west of the harbor at Newhaven, Sussex, UK, were investigated by examination of major and trace elements by scanning electron microscope (SEM), microprobe, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (ICP-MS), and the mineralogy was studied by optical petrography, X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscope (TEM), selective leaching, and thermodynamic modeling. Studied outcrops experienced acid leaching by sulfuric acid percolating downward through Tertiary sediments overlying Cretaceous chalk. The progressive neutralization of the percolating acid fluids resulted in 'sequentially' layered neoformation of minerals: jarosite, iron oxides, aluminous minerals (sulfates, oxyhydroxides), gypsum, and Fe-Mn oxides. Substantial agreement was found between field observations and mineral assemblages obtained by modeling with the program CHILLER. These results suggest that the initial assumptions on the weathering process and mechanisms are correct. The relevance and implications of this study in the modeling of future denudation and weathering processes of radioactive waste-disposal sites (both deeply buried sites for high-level waste and surface sites for low-level waste) are discussed. Neoformed phases, such as jarosite, aluminous minerals, and silico-aluminous gels may play a significant role in the efficient trapping of mobilized pollutant radionuclides

Lechuguilla Cave is a hypogene cave formed by oxidation of ascending hydrogen sulfide from the Delaware Basin. A unique sediment deposit with characteristics suggesting derivation from the land surface, some 285 m above, was investigated. At this location, the observed stratigraphy (oldest to youngest) was: bedrock floor (limestone), cave clouds (secondary calcite), calcite-cemented silstone, finely laminated clay, and calcite rafts. Grain-size analysis indicates that the laminated clay deposits are composed of 59-82% clay-size minerals. The major minerals of the clay were determined by X-ray diffraction analysis and consist of interstratified illite-smectite, kaolinite, illite, goethite, and quartz. Scanning electron microscopy observations show that most of the clay deposit is composed of densely packed irregular-shaped clay-size flakes. One sample from the top of the deposit was detrital, containing well-rounded, silt-size particles. Surface soils are probably the source of the clay minerals. The small amount of sand- and silt-size particles suggests that detrital particles were transported in suspension. The lack of endellite and alunite is evidence that the clays were emplaced after the sulfuric-acid dissolution stage of cave formation. Fossil evidence also suggests a previously existing link to the surface

Acidic cave-wall biofilms located in the Frasassi Gorge, Italy, 2000, Vlasceanu L. , Sarbu S. M. , Engel A. S. , Kinkle B. K. ,
Acidic bioflms present on cave walls in the sulfidic region of the Frasassi Gorge, Italy, were investigated to determine their microbial composition and their potential role in cave formation and ecosystem functioning. All biofilm samples examined had pH values <1.0. Scanning electron microscopy of the biofilms revealed the presence of various filaments and rods associated in large clusters with mineral crystals. Qualitative energy-dispersive x-ray analysis was used to determine that the crystals present on the cave walls, associated with the microbial biofilm, were composed of calcium and barium sulfate. Ribosomal RNA-based methods to determine the microbial composition of these biofilms revealed the presence of at least two strains of potential acidophilic, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, belonging to the genera Thiobacillus and Sulfobacillus. An acid producing strain of Thiobacillus sp. also was obtained in pure culture. Stable isotope ratio analysis of carbon and nitrogen showed that the wall biofilms are isotopically light, suggesting that in situ chemoautotrophic activity plays an important role in this subsurface ecosystem

Photoluminescence Imaging of Speleothem Microbanding with a High-Resolution Confocal Scanning Laser Macroscope, 2000, Ribes, A. C. , Lundberg, J. , Waldron, D. J. , Vesely, M. , Damaskinos, S. , Guthrie, S. And Dixon, T.

Depositional environment for metatyuyamunite and related minerals from Caverns of Sonora, TX (USA), 2001, Onac Bogdan P. , Veni George, White William B. ,
A new mineral association composed of metatyuyamunite, celestite, opal and several minor crystalline phases has been identified in the Caverns of Sonora (Texas). The minerals were identified by means of X-ray diffractometry and optical and scanning electron microscopy. The main component of this association is metatyuyamunite, a uranyl vanadate mineral that appears as aggregates of sub-millimeter platy-like crystals that are often covered by botryoidal opal coatings. The orthorhombic unit cell of the Sonora metatyuyamunite had parameters a = 10.418, b = 8.508, and c = 17.173 A. Opal and celestite formed either directly over the yellow crust or along the cracks that traverse the limy mud on which metatyuyamunite was precipitated. The secondary uranium-vanadium minerals described herein were precipitated in the final stages of cave development

Leonite [K2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}4H2O], konyaite [Na2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}5H2O] and syngenite [K2Ca(SO4)2{middle dot}H2O] from Tausoare Cave, Rodnei Mts, Romania, 2001, Onac B. P. , White W. B. , Viehmann I. ,
Tausoare Cave is renowned in Romania for its gypsum and mirabilite speleothems. Of interest are the white crystalline speleothems formed on the floor of the Sala de Mese' (Dining Room) that were previously described as consisting of mirabilite. The samples we collected reveal crystals of two different habits. One shows the characteristic mirabilite fibrous crystals (cotton-like speleothem) while the other formed bladed and short prismatic crystals which comprise the delicate cave flowers'. The mineral association was characterized by means of X-ray analysis, scanning electron microscopy and electron microprobe. Beside thenardite (dehydration product of mirabilite) we also identified three sulphate minerals: leonite [K2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}4H2O], syngenite [K2Ca(SO4)2{middle dot}H2O] and konyaite [Na2Mg(SO4)2{middle dot}5H2O]. Of these, leonite and konyaite have never been reported in a cave environment. This paper describes the mineralogy of this particular sulphate deposit and offers some viewpoints on the crystallogenesis

X-ray standing wave study of the Sr/Si(001)-(2 x 3) surface, 2003, Goodner D. M. , Marasco D. L. , Escuadro A. A. , Cao L. , Tinkham B. P. , Bedzyk M. J. ,
Sub-monolayer surface phases of Sr on Si(0 0 1) have been studied with low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) and X-ray standing waves (XSW). A (3 x 1) phase was observed after depositing 0.6-0.8 ML Sr on room-temperature Si(0 0 1). Annealing at 750-800degreesC caused a portion of the Sr to desorb and resulted in a sharp (2 x 3) LEED pattern. Normal Si(0 0 4) and off-normal Si(0 2 2) and Si(1 11) XSW measurements made on the (2 x 3) phase indicate that Sr atoms must sit at either cave or bridge sites. The XSW results also suggest that if a sufficiently low anneal temperature is used. the (2 x 3) phase co-exists with short-range ordered regions of Sr atoms located at valley-bridge sites. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Quaternary dedolomitization along fracture systems in a Late Triassic dolomitized platform (western Southern Alps, Italy), 2004, Ronchi P. , Jadoul F. , Savino R. ,
The studied area belongs to a south vergent thrust and fold belt of the Southern Alps of central Lombardy where the norian Dolomia Principale crops out. This up to 2 km thick carbonate platform succession has been massively dolomitized from early to shallow burial diagenesis. Dark grey bedded dolostones (basal Dolomia Principale), outcropping along the both lower slopes of Iseo Lake (lower Camonica Valley), show a complex network of dedolomitized white-grey areas. The calcareous lenses show an irregular, elongated (up to few ineters large) shape; they are usually located along fault-fracture systems and extending along the strata bedding. Two main fabrics have been recognized: the fabric A is formed by a reticulate of small fractures filled by calcite and surrounded by fine grained calcitized halos, the fabric B is associated to more intense fracturation process that locally gave rise to breccia fabric; moreover a ochre-reddish internal sediment is locally present in small cavities or as a breccia matrix, a huge speleothem-like cementation is associated to these dedolomitized fabric. This study was aimed to reconstruct the dedolomitization process and to propose a relevant genetic model. The petrographic analyses, integrated using cathodoluminescence and electron scanning microscope allowed to find out that dedolomitization process is composed of a first phase of dolomite dissolution along permeable path ways, both at the macro and at the micro scale, followed by calcite precipitation in the pore spaces. The negative delta(13)O and delta(13)C values of the calcite cements and the calcitic fraction of the dedolomitized fabrics suggest precipitation in presence of meteoric water derived fluids. Radiometric absolute age determination (U-230/Th-234) indicates that calcite cements precipitated in the last 100000 years: age during which the area was subject to several advances and retreats of glacial tongues. The field mapping, analytical data and the geomorphology of the areas where the dedolomitized patches are more frequent, in correspondence of a narrow passage of the lower Camonica valley, allowed us to infer that the dedolomitization developed during glacial-interglacial phases particularly active in the region during the Pleistocene. In particular we propose that the fracturation and the first phase of dedolomitization (fabric A) occurred during the glacial period, while extensive calcite precipitation and brecciation (fabric B) formed during the interglacial periods, dominated by a warm climate during which extensive soil cover and karst processes developed

Current issues and uncertainties in the measurement and modelling of air-vegetation exchange and within-plant processing of POPs, 2004, Barber Jl, Thomas Go, Kerstiens G, Jones Kc,
Air-vegetation exchange of POPs is an important process controlling the entry of POPs into terrestrial food chains, and may also have a significant effect on the global movement of these compounds. Many factors affect the air-vegetation transfer including: the physicochemical properties of the compounds of interest; environmental factors such as temperature, wind speed, humidity and light conditions; and plant characteristics such as functional type, leaf surface area, cuticular structure, and leaf longevity. The purpose of this review is to quantify the effects these differences might have on air/plant exchange of POPs, and to point out the major gaps in the knowledge of this subject that require further research. Uptake mechanisms are complicated, with the role of each factor in controlling partitioning, fate and behaviour process still not fully understood. Consequently, current models of air-vegetation exchange do not incorporate variability in these factors, with the exception of temperature. These models instead rely on using average values for a number of environmental factors (e.g. plant lipid content, surface area), ignoring the large variations in these values. The available models suggest that boundary layer conductance is of key importance in the uptake of POPs, although large uncertainties in the cuticular pathway prevents confirmation of this with any degree of certainty, and experimental data seems to show plant-side resistance to be important. Models are usually based on the assumption that POP uptake occurs through the lipophilic cuticle which covers aerial surfaces of plants. However, some authors have recently attached greater importance to the stomatal route of entry into the leaf for gas phase compounds. There is a need for greater mechanistic understanding of air-plant exchange and the 'scaling' of factors affecting it. The review also suggests a number of key variables that researchers should measure in their experiments to allow comparisons to be made between studies in order to improve our understanding of what causes any differences in measured data between sites. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Involvement of microorganisms in the formation of carbonate speleothems in the Cervo Cave (L'Aquila-Italy), 2004, Cacchio P, Contento R, Ercole C, Cappuccio G, Martinez Mp, Lepidi A,
Much is known about the bacterial precipitation of carbonate rocks, but comparatively little is known about the involvement of microbes in the formation of secondary mineral structures in caves. We hypothesized that bacteria isolated from calcareous stalactites, which are able to mediate CaCO3 precipitation in vitro, play a role in the formation of carbonate speleothems. We collected numerous cultivable calcifying bacteria from calcareous speleothems from Cervo cave, implying that their presence was not occasional. The relative abundance of calcifying bacteria among total cultivable microflora was found to be related to the calcifying activity in the stalactites. We also determined the delta(13)C and delta(18)O values of the Cervo cave speleothems from which bacteria were isolated and of the carbonates obtained in vitro to determine whether bacteria were indeed involved in the formation of secondary mineral structures. We identified three groups of biological carbonates produced in vitro at 11degreesC on the basis of their carbon isotopic composition: carbonates with delta(13)C values ( a) slightly more positive, (b) more negative, and (c) much more negative than those of the stalactite carbonates. The carbonates belonging to the first group, characterized by the most similar delta(13)C values to stalactites, were produced by the most abundant strains. Most of calcifying isolates belonged to the genus Kocuria. Scanning electron microscopy showed that dominant morphologies of the bioliths were sherulithic with fibrous radiated interiors. We suggest a mechanism of carbonate crystal formation by bacteria

The role of aerial algae in the formation of the landscape of the Yunnan Stone Forest, Yunnan Province, China, 2004, Tian Y. P. , Zhang J. , Song L. H. , Bao H. S. ,
Aerial algae on the surface of carbonate rocks at the Stone Forest, Shilin County, Yunnan Province, China, and their bioerosion were investigated in the field and studied in the laboratory in detail. Through the observation, identification and statistics of more than one hundred algal samples and rock samples with the optical microscopes (stereomicroscope, biological microscope) and the scanning electronic microscope (SEM), the relationships between erosional forms on the surface of the Stone Forest and algae and/or algal communities and the genetic mechanism for the formation of erosional forms were analyzed. It is suggested that aerial algae play an active role in bioerosive processes that may affect the formation of karst erosional forms. These effects include both direct and indirect ones. The direct effect is the initiative control ('algal shape-controlling role') of algae on the formation of karst forms of various scales, mostly micro-scale (<10(-3) m) and minor-scale (10(-3)-10(-1) m) erosional forms. The algal shape-control ling roles can be divided into the algal individual shape-controlling role and the algal community shape-controlling role. The former mostly controls the formation of micro-scale erosional forms, while the latter mostly controls the formation of micro-scale and smaller minor-scale erosional forms. The indirect effect refers to the 'promoting role' of algae in the formation of karst forms, which may affect the formation of karst forms of all types and scales. The bioerosion of algae accelerates the weathering process of the whole Stone Forest karst landforms

The distribution and life history of Arrhopalites caecus (Tullberg): Order: Collembola, in Wind Cave, South Dakota, USA., 2005, Moore J. C. , Saunders P. , Selby G. , Horton H. , Chelius M. K. , Chapman A. , Horrocks R. D.
Individuals of the collembolan species Arrhopalites caecus (Tullberg) were collected from drip pools within Wind Cave, South Dakota, at Methodist Church adjacent to the Natural Entrance Tour Route and Room Draculum near survey marker NP-39. Specimens were identified as A. caecus using direct interference and scanning electron microscopy. Molecular analysis of the D2 region of 28S rDNA was performed and the sequences were deposited in Genbank (accession number AY239037). We determined that our population of A. caecus reproduced parthenogenetically by successively isolating and rearing eggs through the F4 generation on 9:5 plaster:charcoal media maintained at 21C, and by the absence of males. Molecular analysis of 16S rDNA for bacterium within our specimens failed to detect the ?-pro-teobacterium (Rickettseales) Wolbachia. Generation times, fecundity, and molt frequency were consistent with other reports for Collembola.

Late glacial to Holocene climate and sedimentation history in the NW Black Sea, 2005, Bahr A, Lamy F, Arz H, Kuhlmann H, Wefer G,
Gravity cores from the continental slope in the northwestern Black Sea were studied using high-resolution stable isotope, grain size and XRF-scanning data. The measurements provide a 30 000 years AMS 14C-dated record of variations in the hydrological regime of the Black Sea and give insight into changing paleoenvironments in the surrounding areas. Stable climatic conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum were followed by a series of meltwater pulses most likely originating from the Scandinavian ice sheet between 18 000 and 15 500 yr BP.1 This meltwater input rose the level of the Caspian Sea to a point that Caspian water could spill into the Black Sea via the Manych-depression north of the Caucasian mountains. High-frequency oscillations in the XRF-data during this period suggest a probable link to the arctic climate regime. Later, during the Bolling/Allerod and the early Holocene, prevailing high temperatures led to authigenic calcite precipitation through increased phytoplankton activity, interrupted by the Younger Dryas and the '8200 yr BP cold event' with dominant clastic sedimentation

Vashegyite from Gaura cu Musc? Cave., 2006, Onac Bogdan P. , Zaharia Lumini?a, Kearns Joe, Veres Daniel
This study investigated the occurrence of vashegyite from a guano-rich deposit located in the Gaura cu Musc? Cave, Romania. Analytical methods used include optical microscopy, X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron-microscopy (SEM), inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES), thermal investigations and Fourier-transform infrared (FT-IR) analyses. Vashegyite occurs as friable, chalky white, irregular nodules of up to 2.5 cm in diameter, within a 15 cm thick sequence of organic and minerogenic sediments. The chemical structural formula is: (Al10.91Fe3+ 0.06Na0.1Ca0.02Mg0.08)?=11.17[(PO4)8.78(SiO4)0.056]?=8.83(OH)6.1743.79H2O. Electron microscope images show vashegyite crystals to be flattened on (001). The orthorhombic lattice constants of vashegyite determined by XRD are a = 10.766(2) , b = 15.00(4) , c = 22.661(1) , and V = 3660.62 3 (Z = 4). The major weight loss, reflected in 3 endothermic peaks, was observed between 40 and 200C, corresponding to the removal of water molecules. Vashegyite FT-IR absorption bands are comparable in position and relative intensity to other Al-phosphates. Water percolating through guano becomes strongly acidic and reacts with the clay-rich sediment laid down by the underground stream to form vashegyite. In the lower part of the investigated profile, crandallite and ardealite were also found.

Identification of cave minerals by Raman spectroscopy: New technology for non-destructive analysis., 2006, White William B.
The identification of minerals from caves generally requires that samples be removed from the cave for analysis in the laboratory. The usual tools are X-ray powder diffraction, the optical microscope, and the scanning electron microscope. X-ray diffraction gives a definitive fingerprint by which the mineral can be identified by comparison with a catalog of reference patterns. However, samples must be ground to powder and unstable hydrated minerals may decompose before analysis is complete. Raman spectroscopy also provides a fingerprint useful for mineral identification but with the additional advantage that some a-priori interpretation of the spectra is possible (distinguishing carbonates from sulfates, for example). Because excitation of the spectra is by means of a laser beam, it is possible to measure the spectra of samples in sealed glass containers, thus preserving unstable samples. Because laser beams can be focused, spectra can be obtained from individual grains. New technology has reduced the size of the instrument and also the sensitivity of the optical system to vibration and transport so that a portable instrument has become possible. The sampling probe is linked to the spectrometer by optical fibers so that large specimens can be examined without damage. Comparative spectra of common cave minerals demonstrate the value of Raman spectra as an identification technique.

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