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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 goly karst is (russian.) see naked karst.?

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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.
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 cave waters (Keyword) returned 39 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 39 of 39
Community Structure of Subsurface Biofilms in the Thermal Sulfidic Caves of Acquasanta Terme, Italy, 2010, Jones D. S. , Tobler D. J. , Schaperdoth I. , Mainiero M. , Macalady J. L.

We performed a microbial community analysis of biofilms inhabiting thermal (35 to 50°C) waters more than 60m below the ground surface near Acquasanta Terme, Italy. The groundwater hosting the biofilms has 400 to 830 mkM sulfide, <10 mkM O2, pH of 6.3 to 6.7, and specific conductivity of 8,500 to 10,500 mkS/cm. Based on the results of 16S rRNA gene cloning and fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), the biofilms have low species richness, and lithoautotrophic (or possibly mixotrophic) Gamma- and Epsilonproteobacteria are the principle biofilm architects. Deltaproteobacteria sequences retrieved from the biofilms have <90% 16S rRNA similarity to their closest relatives in public databases and may represent novel sulfate-reducing bacteria. The Acquasanta biofilms share few species in common with Frasassi cave biofilms (13°C, 80 km distant) but have a similar community structure, with representatives in the same major clades. The ecological success of Sulfurovumales-group Epsilonproteobacteria in the Acquasanta biofilms is consistent with previous observations of their dominance in sulfidic cave waters with turbulent water flow and high dissolved sulfide/oxygen ratios.


Epikarst hydrology and implications for stalagmite capture of climate changes at Grotta di Ernesto (NE Italy): results from long-term monitoring, 2010, Miorandi Renza, Borsato Andrea, Frisia Silvia, Fairchild Ian J. , Richter Detlev K.

Grotta di Ernesto is a cave site well suited for palaeoclimate studies because it contains annually laminated stalagmites and was monitored from 1995 to the end of 2008 for microclimate, hydrology and hydrochemistry. Long-term monitoring highlighted that cave drips show three different hydrological responses to rainfall and infiltration: (1) fast seasonal drips in the upper part of the cave, which are mostly fed by fractures, (2) slow seasonal drips, located at mid-depth in the cave characterized by mixed feeding and (3) slow drips, mostly located in the deeper gallery, which are fed by seepage flow from bulk porosity with a minor fracture-fed component. The slow drips display daily cycles during spring thaw. Monitoring also indicated that drip waters are only slightly modified by degassing within the soil zone and aquifer and by prior calcite precipitation. Hydrochemical studies show a clear seasonality in calcite saturation index, which results in most cave calcite precipitation occurring during late autumn and winter with similar amounts of precipitated calcite on most stalagmites, regardless of drip rate (discharge) differences. Drip rate, and drip rate variability, therefore, has a minor role in modulating the amount of annual calcite formation. In contrast, drip rate, when associated with moderate reduction in calcite saturation index, clearly influences stalagmite morphology. Increasing drip rate yields a passage from candle-, to cone- to dome-shaped stalagmites. Very high drip rates feed speleothems with flowstone morphology. In summary, monitoring provides information about the karst aquifer and how hydrology influences those physical and chemical characteristics of speleothems which are commonly used as climate proxies.


Escherichia coli, other Coliform, and Environmental Chemoheterotrophic Bacteria in Isolated Water Pools from Six Caves in Northern Alabama and Northwestern Georgia, 2011, J. W. Campbell, A. Watson, C. Watson, H. Ball, And R. Pirkle

Escherichia coli and other bacteria can be used as indicators of water quality within a cave ecosystem. However, bacterial species within caves have not been thoroughly documented, especially in the southeastern United States. Water from isolated pools was gathered along transects from six caves in northern Alabama and northwestern Georgia. We used cultivation techniques to isolate and characterize bacteria. Diversity of coliforms and some environmental genera were determined for each cave, and abundance was determined for E. coli and other coliforms. Distance from the entrance in most caves did not statistically correlate with abundance or species richness of bacteria. A total of fifty bacterial species and one fungal species were isolated from the six caves, with over half of these species considered potentially pathogenic in humans. Some species isolated, such as Vibrio alginolyticus and V. fluvialis, are considered primarily marine and are not expected isolates of cave waters. Most of the species we isolated have never been reported from limestone cave ecosystems. Overall, coliforms were found in all tested caves, indicating fecal contamination of all six caves.


Structural and host rock controls on the distribution, morphology and mineralogy of speleothems in the Castanar Cave (Spain), 2011, Alonsozarza A. M. , Martinperez A. , Martingarcia R. , Gilpena I. , Melendez A. , Martinezflores E. , Hellstrom J. , Munozbarco P.

The Castanar Cave (central western Spain) formed in mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks of Neoproterozoic age. The host rock is finely bedded and shows a complex network of folds and fractures, with a prevalent N150E strike. This structure controlled the development and the maze pattern of the cave, as well as its main water routes. The cave formed more than 350 ka ago as the result of both the dissolution of interbedded carbonates and weathering of siliciclastic beds, which also promoted collapse of the overlying host rock. At present it is a totally vadose hypergenic cave, but its initial development could have been phreatic. The cave's speleothems vary widely in their morphology and mineralogy. In general, massive speleothems (stalactites, stalagmites, flowstones, etc.) are associated with the main fractures of the cave and bedding planes. These discontinuities offer a fairly continuous water supply. Other branching, fibrous, mostly aragonite speleothems, commonly occur in the steeper cave walls and were produced by capillary seepage or drip water. Detailed petrographical and isotope analyses indicate that both aragonite and calcite precipitated as primary minerals in the cave waters. Primary calcite precipitated in waters of low magnesium content, whereas aragonite precipitated from magnesium-rich waters. Differences in isotope values for calcite (-5.2‰ for ?18O and -9.6‰ for ?13C) and aragonite (?18O of -4.5‰ and ?13C of -3.5‰ ) can be explained by the fact that the more unstable mineral (aragonite) tends to incorporate the heavier C isotope to stabilize its structure or that aragonite precipitates in heavier waters. Changes in the water supply and the chemistry and instability of aragonite caused: (1) inversion of aragonite to calcite, which led to the transformation of aragonite needles into coarse calcite mosaics, (2) micritization, which appears as films or crusts of powdery, opaque calcite, and (3) dissolution. Dolomite, huntite, magnesite and sepiolite were identified within moonmilk deposits and crusts. Moonmilk occurs as a soft, white powder deposit on different types of speleothems, but mostly on aragonite formations. Huntite and magnesite formed as primary minerals, whereas dolomite arose via the replacement of both huntite and aragonite. Owing to its variety of speleothems and location in an area of scarce karstic features, the Castanar Cave was declared a Natural Monument in 1997 and is presently the target of a protection and research programme. Although the main products formed in the cave and their processes are relatively well known, further radiometric data are needed to better constrain the timing of these processes. For example, it is difficult to understand why some aragonite speleothems around 350 ka old have not yet given way to calcite, which indicates that the environmental setting of the cave is still not fully understood. 


Zerbrochene Hhlensinter und Kryocalcite als Indikatoren fr eiszeitlichen Permafrost im Herbstlabyrinth-Adventhhle-System bei Breitscheid-Erdbach (N-Hessen) , 2011, Richter D. K. , Mischel S. , Dorsten I. , Mangini A. , Neuser R. D. , Immenhauser A.
Speleothem fragments and calcite crystal sands are indicative of the spectacular fragmentation pattern of the central stalagmite of the Weihnachtsbaum-Halle in the Herbstlabyrinth-Advent cave system near Breitscheid-Erdbach (northern Hesse). The fractures are oriented perpendicular and parallel to subparallel to the speleothem layering and were caused by freeze-thaw weathering. According to the trace-element and stable isotope composition the calcite crystal sands formed under cold conditions. The youngest generation of cryogenic calcites, dated to 2324 ka by U/Th, is indicative of slow freezing of cave waters after the Weichselian Interstadial no. 3 and shows ?13C values from 1.0 to 3.1 and ?18O values from 13.7 to 17.3 . Based on the dominant occurrence of the rhombohedral crystal type in the crystal sands we introduce a genetic model of a deepening permafrost soil. The multiphase speleothem fracturing and occurrence of cryogenic calcite suggest an extended period of formation during the Weichselian of the studied stalagmite (the age of the top of stalagmite below the oldest cryogenic calcites is 75.8 ka). The repeated combination of freeze-thawweathering of speleothems and the for - mation of cryogenic calcites represents a new indicator for the decoding of the interstadial/stadial transitions during the Weichselian ice age in the periglacial area of central Europe.

Paleomagnetic Records in Cave Sediments, 2012, Sasowsky, Ira D.

The Earth’s magnetic field reverses polarity at irregular intervals in the range of a few hundred thousand years. Magnetic mineral grains suspended in cave waters orient themselves with respect to the prevailing field direction when they settle from the water and then become locked in place in the resulting pile of cave sediment. Because the time scale of magnetic reversals is well-established, measurement of magnetic orientation in cave sediments and the location of magnetic reversals within sediment piles can be used to date the deposits and thus provide a minimum age for the cave.


Diagenesis of a drapery speleothem from Castaar Cave: from dissolution to dolomitization, 2012, Martnprez A. , Martngarca R. , Alonsozarza A. M.

A drapery speleothem (DRA-1) from Castañar Cave in Spain was subjected to a detailed petrographical study in order to identify its primary and diagenetic features. The drapery’s present day characteristics are the result of the combined effects of the primary and diagenetic processes that DRA-1 underwent. Its primary minerals are calcite, aragonite and huntite. Calcite is the main constituent of the speleothem, whereas aragonite forms as frostwork over the calcite. Huntite is the main mineral of moonmilk which covers the tips of aragonite. These primary minerals have undergone a set of diagenetic processes, which include: 1) partial dissolution or corrosion that produces the formation of powdery matt-white coatings on the surface of the speleothem. These are seen under the microscope as dark and highly porous microcrystalline aggregates; 2) total dissolution produces pores of few cm2 in size; 3) calcitization and dolomitization of aragonite result in the thickening and lost of shine of the aragonite fibres. Microscopically, calcitization is seen as rhombohedral crystals which cover and replace aragonite forming mosaics that preserve relics of aragonite precursor. Dolomitization results in the formation of microcrystalline rounded aggregates over aragonite fibres. These aggregates are formed by dolomite crystals of around 1 μm size. The sequence of diagenetic processes follows two main pathways. Pathway 1 is driven by the increase of saturation degree and Mg/Ca ratio of the karstic waters and is visible in the NW side of the drapery. This sequence of processes includes: 1) aragonite and huntite primary precipitation and 2) dolomitization. Pathway 2 is driven by a decrease in the degree of saturation of calcite and aragonite and Mg/Ca ratio of the cave waters, and it is observed in the SE side of the drapery. The diagenetic processes of the second pathway include: 1) calcitization of aragonite; 2) incomplete dissolution (micritization) of both aragonite and calcite; 3) total dissolution. This study highlights the importance of diagenetic processes on speleothems and their complexity. The correct interpretation of these processes is crucial for the understanding of possible changes in the chemistry of waters, temperature, or pCO2 and so is critical to the correct interpretation of the paleoenvironmental significance of speleothems.


Exploring the sulfide tolerance of ectosymbiotic Niphargus amphipods from the Frasassi caves, central Italy, 2013, Bauermeister J. , Assig K. , Dattagupta S.

Two species of the crustacean amphipod genus Niphargus inhabit the sulfidic groundwaters of the Frasassi caves in central Italy, and both harbor filamentous, sulfide-oxidizing Thiothrix ectosymbionts. As sulfide is toxic to most aerobic organisms, it appeared possible that the ectosymbionts could help their Niphargus hosts with detoxification processes. In this study, mortality due to sulfide was compared between Niphargus individuals with ectosymbionts and individuals whose ectosymbionts had been killed by antibiotic treatment. Both Frasassi- dwelling Niphargus species revealed exceptionally high tolerances to sulfide compared to other amphipod species studied so far. Niphargus individuals without viable ectosymbionts tolerated sulfide levels exceeding those occurring in Frasassi cave waters. Thus, the amphipods may employ Thiothrix-independent mechanisms for sulfide resistance.


Using isotopes of dissolved inorganic carbon species and water to separate sources of recharge in a cave spring, northwestern Arkansas, USA Blowing Spring Cave, 2013, Knierim Katherine J. , Pollock Erik, Hays Phillip D.

Blowing Spring Cave in northwestern Arkansas is representative of cave systems in the karst of the Ozark Plateaus, and stable isotopes of water (δ18O and δ2H) and inorganic carbon (δ13C) were used to quantify soil-water, bedrock-matrix water, and precipitation contributions to cave-spring flow during storm events to understand controls on cave water quality. water samples from recharge-zone soils and the cave were collected from March to May 2012 to implement a multicomponent hydrograph separation approach using δ18O and δ2H of water and dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13C–DIC). During baseflow, median δ2H and δ18O compositions were –41.6‰ and –6.2‰ for soil water and were –37.2‰ and –5.9‰ for cave water, respectively. Median DIC concentrations for soil and cave waters were 1.8 mg/L and 25.0 mg/L, respectively, and median δ 13C–DIC compositions were –19.9‰ and –14.3‰, respectively. During a March storm event, 12.2 cm of precipitation fell over 82 h and discharge increased from 0.01 to 0.59 m3 /s. The isotopic composition of precipitation varied throughout the storm event because of rainout, a change of 50‰ and 10‰ for δ2H and δ18O was observed, respectively. Although, at the spring, δ2H and δ18O only changed by approximately 3‰ and 1‰, respectively. The isotopic compositions of precipitation and pre-event (i.e., soil and bedrock matrix) water were isotopically similar and the two-component hydrograph separation was inaccurate, either overestimating (>100%) or underestimating (<0%) the precipitation contribution to the spring. During the storm event, spring DIC and δ13C–DIC de- creased to a minimum of 8.6 mg/L and –16.2‰, respectively. If the contribution from precipitation was assumed to be zero, soil water was found to contribute between 23 to 72% of the total volume of discharge. Although the assumption of negligible contributions from precipitation is unrealistic, especially in karst systems where rapid flow through conduits occurs, the hydrograph separation using inorganic carbon highlights the importance of considering vadose-zone soil water when analyzing storm chemohydrographs.  


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