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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. ...

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That submarine spring is see spring, submarine.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for arizona (Keyword) returned 42 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 42 of 42
McCauley Sinks: a compound breccia pipe in evaporite karst, Holbrook basin, Arizona, USA, 2002, Neal J. T. , Johnson K. S. ,
The McCauley Sinks, in the Holbrook basin of northeastern Arizona, are comprised of some 50 individual sinkholes within a 3-km wide depression. The sinks are grouped in a semi-concentric pattern of three nested rings. The outer ring is an apparent tension zone containing ring fractures. The two inner rings are semi-circular chains of large sinkholes, ranging up to 100 in across and 50 in deep. Several sub-basins within the larger depression show local downwarping and possible incipient sinkholes. Permian Kaibab Formation limestone is the principal surface lithology; the limestone here is less than 15 in thick and is near its easternmost limit. Although surface rillenkarren are present, and the sinks are seen in the Kaibab limestone outcrops, the Kaibab is mainly a passive rock unit that has collapsed into solution cavities developed in underlying salt beds. Beneath the Kaibab is Coconino Sandstone, which overlies the Permian Schnebly Hill Formation, the unit containing the evaporite rocks-principally halite in the Corduroy Member. Evaporite karst in this part of the Holbrook basin is quite different from the eastern part, probably because of the westward disappearance of the Holbrook anticline, a structure that has major joint systems that help channel water down to the salt beds farther to the east. Also, the McCauley Sinks are near the western limits of the evaporites. The structure at McCauley Sinks suggests a compound breccia pipe, with multiple sinks contributing to the inward-dipping major depression. The Richards Lake depression, 5 kin southeast of McCauley Sinks, is similar in form and size but contains only a single, central sinkhole. An apparent difference in hydrogeology at McCauley Sinks is their proximity to the adjacent, deeply incised, Chevelon Canyon drainage, but the hydrologic connections are unknown. The 3-km-wide McCauley Sinks karst depression, along with five other nearby depressions, provide substantial hydrologic catchment. Because of widespread piping into karst features and jointed bedrock at shallow depth, runoff water does not pond easily at the surface. There appears to be a greater recharge efficiency here than in alluvial areas; thus concern exists for groundwater users downgradient from the karst area. Accordingly, sinkholes and open fissures should not be used for waste disposal


The evolution of cave monitoring since 19th century is described. The advantage of the development of theories was the possibility to obtain comparable results and forecast the evolution of a cave climate before irreversible modifications take place. The most important parameters to be monitored are indicated. In recent years both important technological improvements have been obtained and the relative importance of each parameter has been reviewed. Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, USA, was opened to the public in November 1999. Some preliminary studies have been performed. Arizona Conservation Project, Inc. (ACPI) established 22 monitoring stations. An evaluation of the impact assessment was obtained. The second case concerns Cango Cave. A simple monitoring network has been installed in September 2000 to be operated for one year. It consists in about 15 rugged data loggers distributed along the cave. Air and water temperature, carbon dioxide concentration, and relative humidity are measured and the values are transferred periodically by a shuttle into a computer outside the cave. A totally automatic monitoring network will be installed in the future after the results of the first simple network are achieved.

Spatial and temporal expression of vegetation and atmospheric variability from stable carbon and nitrogen isotope analysis of bat guano in the southern United States., 2007, Wurster, C. M. , Mcfarlane, D. A. , And Bird, M. I.

Solution-collapse breccia pipes are common features in northwestern Arizona. They were mineralized with uranium, but associated with it are a suite of elements (e.g., As, Mo, V, Ba, Cu, Pb, and Fe) that may form other ore minerals. Breccia bodies are in some cases cut by cave passages, such as at Corkscrew Cave, Arizona, where such structures are exposed along the walls and on the cave ceilings. The abundance of gypsum and barite throughout the cave and their isotopically light 34S value (?11 to ?7) suggest deposition from warm sulfidic solutions that were also responsible, at least in part, for development of the recent cave passages that dissect older paleokarst breccia bodies. The presence of calcite showing depleted 18O values (?11.3 and ?16.9) is considered indicative of a low-temperature hydrothermal episode in the deposition history of cave minerals. Groundwater percolating through the breccia-pipe bodies mobilized and transported ore-related ions into the cave, where they formed a unique assemblage of minerals (i.e., hörnesite, talmessite, carnotite, tyuyamunite, claudetite, and powellite) that mirror breccia-pipe mineralization.

Karst hydrology of Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2010, Hill C. A. , Polyak V. J.

Caves in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA fall into two main categories: those formed under unconfined conditions and those formed under confined conditions. This study focuses on the hydrology and paleohydrology of the confined caves in the Redwall–Muav aquifer, where the aquifer is overlain by rocks of the Supai Group and underlain by the Bright Angel Shale. Unconfined caves are discussed only in their relation to confined caves. Discharge for confined groundwater was, as it is today, primarily from the Redwall Limestone where it has been incised by the main canyon or its tributaries and where it has converged along a structural low or fault. Descent of the potentiometric surface (or water table) over time is recorded by one ore episode and six cave episodes: (1) emplacement of Cu–U ore, (2) precipitation of iron oxide in cavities, (3) dissolution of cave passages, (4) precipitation of calcite-spar linings over cave passage walls, (5) precipitation of cave mammillary coatings, (6) minor replacement of cave wall and ceiling limestone by gypsum, and (7) deposition of subaerial speleothems. The mammillary episode records the approximate position of the water table when the incision of the canyon was at that level. Discharge toward spring points has reorganized and adjusted with respect to ongoing canyon and side-canyon incision. The dissolution of Grand Canyon confined caves was the result of the mixing of epigene waters with hypogene waters so that undersaturation with respect to calcite was achieved. The karst hydrology of Grand Canyon may be unique compared to other hypogene cave areas of the world.

A New Genus of the Subfamily Cubacubaninae (Insecta: Zygentoma: Nicoletiidae) from Caves in South-Central and Southwestern USA, 2010, Espinasa Luis, Furst Stephen, Allen Thomas, Slay Michael E.

The genus Speleonycta is erected, and S. ozarkensis, n. sp., is described and separated from other species of the subfamily Cubacubaninae. The type species was collected from several caves in the Ozark Plateau, while two more species, collected from a cave in Arizona and from a cave in California, remain under study. Morphology and preliminary analyses using histone DNA indicate that the new genus may be related to Texoreddellia, another nicoletiid from caves of Texas and northern Mexico.

Fungal communities on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, USA, 2011, Vaughan M. J. , Maier R. M. , Pryor B. M.

Kartchner Caverns, located near Benson, Arizona, USA, is an active carbonate cave that serves as the major attraction for Kartchner
Caverns State Park. Low-impact development and maintenance have preserved prediscovery macroscopic cavern features and
minimized disturbances to biological communities within the cave.. The goal of this study was to examine fungal diversity in Kartchner
Caverns on actively-forming speleothem surfaces. Fifteen formations were sampled from five sites across the cave. Richness
was assessed using standard culture-based fungal isolation techniques. A culture-independent analysis using denaturing gradient
gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to assay evidence of community homogeneity across the cave through the separation of
18S rDNA amplicons from speleothem community DNA. The culturing effort recovered 53 distinct morphological taxonomic units
(MTUs), corresponding to 43 genetic taxonomic units (GTUs) that represented 21 genera. From the observed MTU accumulation
curve and the projected total MTU richness curve, it is estimated that 51 percent of the actual MTU richness was recovered. The
most commonly isolated fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Phialophora, and Aspergillus. This culturebased
analysis did not reveal significant differences in fungal richness or number of fungi recovered across sites. Cluster analysis
using DGGE band profiles did not reveal distinctive groupings of speleothems by sample site. However, canonical correspondence
analysis (CCA) analysis of culture-independent DGGE profiles showed a significant effect of sampling site and formation type on
fungal community structure. Taken together, these results reveal that diverse fungal communities exist on speleothem surfaces in
Kartchner Caverns, and that these communities are not uniformly distributed spatially. Analysis of sample saturation indicated that
more sampling depth is required to uncover the full scale of mycological richness across spelothem surfaces.

A New Species of Nicoletiidae (Insecta: Zygentoma) from Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona, 2012, Espinasa L. , Pape R. B. , Henneberry A. , Kinnear Ch.


Speleonycta anachoretes, n. sp., is described and differentiated from S. ozarkensis, known from caves in the Ozark Plateau. The new species was collected from Kartchner Caverns State Park in Arizona. Morphology and preliminary analyses using 16S rRNA corroborate that Speleonycta may be related to Texoreddellia, another nicoletiid genus from caves of Texas and northern Mexico. General information regarding its conservation status within the commercial cave is provided


At least six distinct forms of evaporite karst occur in the Holbrook Basin•depending considerably on overburden and/or bedrock type. Early Permian evaporites in the 300-m-thick Corduroy Member of the Schnebly Hill Formation include halite, sylvite, and anhydrite at depths of 215-250 m. Karst features result from collapse of overlying Permian and Triassic strata into underlying salt-dissolution cavities. Evaporite karst occurs primarily along the 100+ km-long dissolution front on the southwestern edge of the basin, and is characterized by numerous sinkholes and depressions generally coincident with the axis of the Holbrook Anticline•in reality a dissolution-collapse monocline. “The Sinks” comprise ~ 300 individual sinks up to 200 m across and 50 m deep, the main karst features along the dissolution front. Westerly along the dissolution front, fewer discrete sinkholes occur, and several breccia pipes are believed to be forming. Numerous pull-apart fissures, graben-sinks, sinkholes, and broad collapse depressions also occur.A newly recognized subsidence/collapse area of some 16 km2 occurs in the western part of the basin, northward from the extension of the Holbrook “anticline.” The Chimney Canyon area is some 12 km east of McCauley Sinks, a postulated breccia pipe exemplified in, and possibly manifested in at least four other closed depressions. Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data of one depression shows active subsidence of ~4 cm/yr.Karst formation is ongoing, as shown by repeated drainage of Dry and Twin Lakes into newly opened fissures and sinkholes. These two playa lakes were enlarged and modified in recent years into evaporation 2impoundments for effluent discharge from a nearby pulp mill. Four major drainage events occurred within these playa reservoirs during the past 45 years, collectively losing more than 1.23 x107 m3 (10,000 acre-feet) of water and playa sediment. Drainage occurs through piping into bedrock joints in Triassic Moenkopi Formation (sandstone) in the bottom and along the margins of these playas. Effluent discharge has been discontinued into these playas, although recurring precipitation can fill the basins.


Hypogene speleogenesis in the western United States is associated with a deep source of water and gases that rise and mix with shallow aquifer water. Caves are formed below the surface without surface expressions (ie, sinkholes, sinking streams), and byproducts of speleogenesis are precipitated during the late phase of hypogene speleogenesis. These byproducts provide geochemical and geochronological evidence of a region’s geologic history and include gypsum rinds and blocks, elemental sulfur, halloysite-10Å, alunite, natroalunite, and other sulfur-related minerals. The following speleogenetic and speleothemic features are common: alteration rinds, crusts, mammillaries, folia, rafts, and cave spar. The types of hypogene speleogenesis vary and many can be expressed in space and time in relation to paleo-water tables. We identify two general types: (1) H2S-H2SO4-dominated speleogenesis that takes place predominantly near a paleo-water table (a few meters above and below), and (2) CO2-dominated speleogenesis that mostly takes place 10s to 100s of meters below a paleo-water table, with latest-stage imprints within meters of the water table.
The Kane caves in Wyoming, and the Guadalupe Mountains caves in New Mexico and West Texas, are examples of H2S-H2SO4-dominated speleogenesis (also known as sulfuric acid speleogenesis, SAS), where deposits of H2S- and H2SO4-origin are the obvious fingerprints. The Grand Canyon caves in Arizona and Glenwood Caverns in Colorado are examples of CO2-dominated systems, where H2SO4 likely played a smaller role (Onac et al., 2007). Deeper-seated geode-like caves, like the spar caves in the Delaware Basin area, are probably CO2-dominated, and have formed at greater depths (~0.5 ± 0.3 km) below paleo-water tables. Caves in the Black Hills, South Dakota are composite and complex and show evidence for multiple phases of hypogene speleogenesis. In areas such as the Grand Canyon region, these paleo-water tables, when they existed in thick carbonate rock stratigraphy and especially at the top of the thick carbonate rock strata, were likely regionally relatively flat in the larger intact tectonic blocks.
Geochemical studies of these deposits are providing information about the timing of speleogenesis through U-Th, U-Pb, and Ar-dating. In addition, tracer data from isotopes of C, O, S, Sr, and U are indicators of the sources of water and gases involved in speleogenesis. From these studies, novel canyon incision and landscape evolution interpretations are appearing in the literature. Beyond this, the study of these byproduct materials seems to show evidence that the deeply sourced water and gases involved in hypogene speleogenesis in the western United States are generated during tectonic and volcanic activity, and may be related to mantle processes associated with formation of the Rocky Mountains, Colorado Plateau, Basin and Range province, and Rio Grande Rift.

Biology and ecology of Bat Cave, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 2014, Pape, R. B.

A study of the biology and ecology of Bat Cave, Grand Canyon National Park, was conducted during a series of four expeditions to the cave between 1994 and 2001. A total of 27 taxa, including 5 vertebrate and 22 macro-invertebrate species, were identified as elements of the ecology of the cave. Bat Cave is the type locality for Eschatomoxys pholeter Thomas and Pape (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and an undescribed genus of tineid moth, both of which were discovered during this study. Bat Cave has the most species-rich macro-invertebrate ecology currently known in a cave in the park

Karst piracy: A mechanism for integrating the Colorado River across the Kaibab uplift, Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2014, Hill C. A. , Polyak V. J.

Age, isotopic, and detrital zircon data on the Hualapai Limestone Member and Muddy Creek Formation (western United States) constrain the time of the first arrival of the Colorado River on the west side of the Grand Canyon to ca. 6–5 Ma. We propose a karst piracy mechanism, along with a 17–6 Ma western paleo–Grand Canyon, as an alternative explanation for how the Colorado River became integrated across the Kaibab uplift and for the progressive upsection decrease in δ18O and 87Sr/86Sr values of the Hualapai Limestone Member. An earlier Laramide paleocanyon, along which this western paleocanyon followed, can also perhaps explain why no clastic delta exists in the Grand Wash trough.

Karst piracy is a type of stream piracy where a subterranean drainage connection is made under a topographic divide. The process of karst piracy proceeds through five main stages: (1) establishment of a gradient across a topographic divide due to headward erosion into the low side of the divide, (2) leakage in soluble rock along the steepest gradient, (3) expansion of the leakage route into a cave passage that is able to carry a significant volume of water under the divide, (4) stoping and collapse of rock above the underground river, eventually forming a narrow gorge, and (5) widening of the gorge into a canyon. A karst piracy model is proposed here for the Kaibab uplift area that takes into account the structure and hydrology of that area. Other examples of karst piracy operating around the world support our proposition for integrating the Colorado River across the Kaibab uplift in the Grand Canyon.

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