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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 base exchange is the displacement of a cation bound to a site on the surface of a solid, as in silica-alumina clay-mineral packets, by a cation solution [6].?

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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 laser (Keyword) returned 42 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 42 of 42
CONTRIBUTION TO A ROCK BLOCK SLIDE EXAMINATION BY A MODEL OF MUTUAL TRANSFORMATION OF POINT CLOUDS, 2009, Koni? Sebastjan, Ribi?i? Mihael & Vuli? Milivoj
Basic objective of this article is to find out whether the rock block on which the castle of Crni kal is situated sticked once to the Kraki rob wall. The result is given on the basis of comparison of forms of both presumed contact surfaces represented by a great number of points determined in space. This cloud of points has been captured by 3D terrestrial laser scanning. On the basis of assessment of geological and morphological characteristics of the Crni kal rock block and the Kraki rob wall 12 characteristic pairs of corresponding (matching) points were collected, one pair consisting of two points, each from its own wall. By use of a method called 12-parameter affine transformation, transformation parameters of one cloud transformation into the other one were calculated. Since for such a transformation 4 pairs of points are enough, and there were even 12 pairs of points used in order to provide better results, the socalled least square method (LSM) was used. By the so obtained transformation vector the reference point cloud of the Crni kal rock block was transformed, for a size of the vector move back, into a cloud of transformed points which should match the reference point cloud of the Kraki rob wall. The comparison of a reference point cloud of Kraki rob and a cloud of transformed points showed that the rock block of Crni kal slid in a S-SW direction for 4.7 m in form of a block failure. Static analysis of matching point clouds proved that as much as 95 % of points fell within a distance less than 0.74 m which confirmed the hypothesis that the rock block on which the castle of Crni kal was situated represented once a part of the Kraki rob wall. Prior to the 11th century at least, it split away from it and moved parallel to the wall in form of a block failure.

Exploring the secrets of the three-dimensional architecture of phototrophic biofilms in caves, 2009, Roldn M. And Hernndezmarin M.
Caves with dim natural light, and lighted hypogean environments, have been found to host phototrophic microorganisms from various taxonomic groups. These microorganisms group themselves into assemblies known as communities or biofilms, which are associated with rock surfaces. In this work, the phototrophic biofilms that colonise speleothems, walls and floors in three tourist caves (Spain) were studied. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study these organisms and acquire three-dimensional data on their biofilm structure. CLSM was used in a multi-channel mode whereby the different channels map individual biofilm components. Cyanobacteria, green microalgae, diatoms, mosses and lichens were found to be grouped as biofilms that differed according to the sampling sites. The biofilms were classified into six types regarding their environmental conditions. These types were defined by their constituent organisms, the thickness of their photosynthetic layers and their structure. Light-related stress is associated with lower biofilm thickness and species diversity, as is low humidity, and, in the case of artificially illuminated areas, the duration of light exposure

STEGBACHGRABEN, A MINERALIZED HYPOGENE CAVE IN THE GROSSARL VALLEY, AUSTRIA, 2009, Dublyansky Y. , Spotl C. , Steinbauer C.

The mineralized cave, Stegbachgraben, in Grossarl valley, Austria is a solutionally-enlarged, near-vertical open fracture in grey marble. The walls of the cave are lined with up to 1 m-thick phreatic calcite. The marble around the cave is isotopically altered, although relationships between alteration and dissolution are not obvious. Calcite was deposited in at least 3 stages, separated by dissolution and the deposition of clay. The ?18 O values of calcite vary in a systematic way, suggesting fluctuating temperature in the mineral-forming solutions. The ?13 C values remain relatively constant and positive (0.4 to 2.4 ‰) throughout the deposition of calcite crust. Fluid inclusions are present in all three calcite generations and are represented exclusively by all-liquid aqueous inclusions, indicating a relatively low-temperature environment. Attempts to generate bubbles by femtosecond laser impulses failed. This indicates that water trapped in inclusions is in a stable state and has a relatively high density, which is consistent with entrapment at elevated, hydrostatic pressure. The isotope composition of hydrogen measured in fluid inclusions from early and late calcite ranges between -105 and -102 ‰, generally similar to the isotope composition of modern lukewarm, 14-15°C springs discharging nearby in the valley (-93.5 to -90 ‰).


Exploring the secrets of the three-dimensional architecture of phototrophic biofilms in caves, 2009, Roldn M. , Hernndezmarin M.

Caves with dim natural light, and lighted hypogean environments, have been found to host phototrophic microorganisms from various taxonomic groups. These microorganisms group themselves into assemblies known as communities or biofilms, which are associated with rock surfaces. In this work, the phototrophic biofilms that colonise speleothems, walls and floors in three tourist caves (Spain) were studied. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) were used to study these organisms and acquire three-dimensional data on their biofilm structure. CLSM was used in a multi-channel mode whereby the different channels map individual biofilm components. Cyanobacteria, green microalgae, diatoms, mosses and lichens were found to be grouped as biofilms that differed according to the sampling sites. The biofilms were classified into six types regarding their environmental conditions. These types were defined by their constituent organisms, the thickness of their photosynthetic layers and their structure. Light-related stress is associated with lower biofilm thickness and species diversity, as is low humidity, and, in the case of artificially illuminated areas, the duration of light exposure.


Laser Scanning Technology for the Hypogean Survey: the case of Santa Barbara Karst System (Sardinia, Italy), 2011, Canevese Erminio Paolo, Forti Paolo , Naseddu Angelo, Ottelli Luciano, Tedeschi Roberta

The morphological knowledge of the territory, both in its surface and subterranean aspects, is the main premise to all decision-making procedures as well as all planning and management activities. Knowledge takes shape into reliable precise and complete thematic cartography and databases, which are necessary for anybody dealing with underground contexts: speleologists, scientists, public administrations, managing authorities etc.
Surveys in caves are normally carried out with traditional techniques and instruments, which are essential for a first representation but not enough for a pragmatic effective topographic approach. Laser scanning technique can be an alternative to the traditional systems. Laser scanning quickly acquires the shape of cavities as “point clouds” (x, y, z coordinates and colour values) and produces a high precision database of the surveyed object. Laser scanning technology is therefore a feasible way to document caves in a precise exhaustive way, limiting risks relating to lack and/or inadequacy of data.
The present paper explains the laser scanning survey carried out in San Giovanni mine near Iglesias (Sardinia, Italy), particularly in Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara 2 caves, the data post-processing and three-dimensional modelling of “point clouds” (operations performed with a dedicated software), and
the use of the obtained digital model. Moreover, the paper describes
the advantages of laser scanning for the hypogean survey
in comparison to traditional methods and the future potentialities
of a broad application of laser scanning instruments
in caves.


Detection and morphologic analysis of potential below-canopy cave openings in the karst landscape around the Maya polity of Caracol using airborne LiDAR, 2011, Weishampel J. F. , Hightower J. N. , Chase A. F. , Chase D. Z. , Patrick R. A.

Locating caves can be difficult, as their entranceways are often obscured elow vegetation. Recently, active remote-sensing technologies, in particular laser-based sensor systems (LiDARs), have demonstrated the ability to penetrate dense forest canopies to reveal the underlying ground topography. An airborne LiDAR system was used to generate a 1 m resolution, bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) from an archaeologically- and speleologically-rich area of western Belize near the ancient Maya site of Caracol. Using a simple index to detect elevation gradients in the DEM, we identified depressions with at least a 10 m change within a circular area of no more than 25 m radius. Across 200 km2 of the karst landscape, we located 61 depressions. Sixty of these had not been previously documented; the other was a cave opening known from a previous expedition. The morphologies of the depressions were characterized based on the LiDAR-derived DEM parameters, e.g., depth, opening area, and perimeter. We also investigated how the measurements change as a function of spatial resolution. Though there was a range of morphologies, most depressions were clustered around an average maximum depth of 21 m and average opening diameter of 15 m. Five depression sites in the general vicinity of the Caracol epicenter were visited; two of these were massive, with opening diameters of ,50 m, two could not be explored for lack of climbing gear, and one site was a cave opening into several chambers with speleothems and Maya artifacts. Though further investigation is warranted to determine the archaeological and geological significance of the remaining depressions, the general methodology represents an important advancement in cave detection.


Measurement of luminescent banding in speleothems: some techniques and limitations, 2012, Crowell Bryan E. , White William B.

Speleothems, especially flowstone and cylindrical stalagmites, exhibit phosphorescence which is often banded on the scale of a few tens of micrometers. The luminescence bands are paleoclimatic records with a very high temporal resolution. A technique has been developed using a laser source and a high resolution Raman spectrometer with microscope and computer-controlled translation stage for both luminescence profiles and luminescence spectroscopy. Luminescence intensity could be measured as a function of traverse distance with a spatial resolution of 2 – 3 μm. Potential sources of error include loss of intensity due to radiation damage by the laser beam, irregularities, cracks, and inclusions on the polished speleothem surface, and defocusing of the beam along the traverse path.


Alternative method of analysis of results of 3D terrestrial laser scanning (comment to the article Contribution to a rock block slide examination by a model of mutual transformation of point clouds, Acta Carsologica 38,1), 2012, Perne, Matija
The article Konic et al. (2009) describes efforts to find out if the rock block on which the castle of Črni kal is situated slid away from the Kraški rob wall. 3D terrestrial laser scanning has been used to determine positions of many points on both presumed contact surfaces and 12-parameter affine transformation that transforms the cloud of points from one wall into another has been found. The deviation between matching point clouds has been used as a test of the original hypothesis. It has been concluded that the rock block did slide. Some of the data from the article are re-analysed using another numerical method. A 6-parameter translation composed with rotation that best transforms the 12 published points from the rock block wall into their counterparts on the Kraški rob wall is found. The original hypothesis is confirmed and some additional insight into the block slide is revealed.

A model for the formation of layered soda-straw stalactites, 2013, Paul Bence, Drysdale R. , Green Helen, Woodhead Jon, Hellstrom John, Eberhard Rolan

Climate records based upon instrumental data such as rainfall measurements are usually only available for approximately the last 150 years at most. To fully investigate decadal-scale climate variation, however, these records must be extended by the use of climate proxies. Soda-straw stalactites (straws) are a previously under-utilised potential source of such data. In this contribution we investigate the structure and formation of straws and look at some issues that may affect the reliability of straw-based palaeoclimate records. We use laser ablation-inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) trace element analysis to document surface contamination features that have the potential to obscure annual trace element variations, and develop a method to reveal the underlying layering. We also use LA- ICP-MS to map the two-dimensional trace element distribution in straws. These maps reveal straw-layer geometry, in which layers are widest at the outside edge of the straw, narrowing and becoming almost parallel on the interior of the straw.

Based upon these observations, we present a model for the formation of straws of this type, where rapid degassing of CO2 from the drip extending below the straw forms the wider outer layers. Summers are defined by increased layer widths and higher trace element contents relative to winter layers. In palaeoclimate studies, where such annual variations can be used to construct time-lines, we suggest that, ideally, the outside surface of the straw be analysed where the trace element content difference is greatest and layering is widest.

The terminal phase of one straw (FC-02) shows decreasing layer widths and increased trace element contents. These features may also be representative of soda-straw responses to drought-induced decreases in percolation water.


Morphology and geology of an interior layered deposit in the western Tithonium Chasma, Mars, 2013, Baioni, Davide

This paper describes a morphologic and morphometric survey of a 3.1 km-high, domeshaped upland in western Tithonium Chasma (TC) which coincides with areas containing abundant surface signatures of the sulphate mineral kiersite, as identified by the OMEGA image spectrometer. The morphologic features of the dome were investigated through an integrated analysis of the available Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Mars Orbiter Camera, and Context Camera data, while the morphometric characteristics of the structure were measured using a topographic map (25-m contour interval) built from high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data.
The dome displays surface features that were apparently formed by liquid water probably released from melting ice. These features include karst landforms as well as erosive and depositional landforms. The surface of the dome has few impact craters, which suggests a relatively young age for the dome. Layers in the dome appear laterally continuous and are visibly dipping toward the slopes in some places.
The mineralogical and structural characteristics of the dome suggest that it was emplaced as a diapir, similar to the dome structure located in the eastern part of TC, and to many salt diapirs on Earth.


Morphology and geology of an interior layered deposit in the western Tithonium Chasma, Mars, 2013, Baioni, Davide

This paper describes a morphologic and morphometric survey of a 3.1 km-high, domeshaped upland in western Tithonium Chasma (TC) which coincides with areas containing abundant surface signatures of the sulphate mineral kiersite, as identified by the OMEGA image spectrometer. The morphologic features of the dome were investigated through an integrated analysis of the available Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Mars Orbiter Camera, and Context Camera data, while the morphometric characteristics of the structure were measured using a topographic map (25-m contour interval) built from high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data.

The dome displays surface features that were apparently formed by liquid water probably released from melting ice. These features include karst landforms as well as erosive and depositional landforms. The surface of the dome has few impact craters, which suggests a relatively young age for the dome. Layers in the dome appear laterally continuous and are visibly dipping toward the slopes in some places.

The mineralogical and structural characteristics of the dome suggest that it was emplaced as a diapir, similar to the dome structure located in the eastern part of TC, and to many salt diapirs on Earth.


THE SAN PAOLO MINE TUNNEL AT SA DUCHESSA (DOMUSNOVAS, SW SARDINIA): TEN INTERCEPTED NATURAL CAVES AND FIRST DATA ON THE COMPOSITION OF SOME SPELEOTHEMS , 2013, Simone Argiolas, Caddeo Guglielmo Angelo, Casu Lucilla, Muntoni Alberto, Papinuto Silvestro

Since many years cavers from different caving teams are carrying out a systematic study on the caves of Sulcis-Iglesiente, including geomorphological studies. Over thirty natural caves have been explored, surveyed and registered in the past few years, and over half of these have been made accessible by mine galleries. Among these are worth to be mentioned the “Tre Sorelle” of Domusnovas: these are three mine caves intercepted by the San Paolo mine tunnel. This tunnel, whose collapsed entrance has been reopened after a long digging campaign, has been explored and surveyed for around 700 meters. A total of 10 natural caves, mostly developed along fractures, have been explored and mapped, with developments ranging between 10 and 250 meters and depths from 15 to over 160 meters. Only two of these caves were previously known in the Regional Cave Register. In most of the caves, speleothems consist mainly of flowstones, some of which are clear or usually white, others are dark-brown or tending to black. Some samples of the first and the second flowstone types were collected respectively from the “Sesta Sorella” and “Seconda Sorella” Caves. The powders of these samples were analysed by an X-ray diffractometer. The first type consists of thicker layers of white and fibrous aragonite, which sometimes alternate with thinner layers of grey columnar calcite. In some samples, however, calcite interlayers were absent and just aragonite was found. The second type is composed of alternating layers of darkbrown hemimorphite. Some additional analyses were performed on these samples by Laser Ablation ICP-MS to determine the concentration of minor and trace elements in the different layers and mineralogical phases. The most abundant minor elements in calcite layers are Mg and Zn. Magnesium is about constant (~ 2000 ppm) on different spots and remains under the average Mg content of the cave calcite in this region, whereas Zn ranges from 103 to 104 ppm and is well above the Zn average in calcite of caves in the world. Barium concentration is about 80 ppm and more abundant than Pb (20 ppm) and Sr (10 ppm). Barium is also the main minor element in aragonite, where it can reach almost 2000 ppm. The Zn concentration is very high even in aragonite and is comparable to that of Sr (400-500 ppm), overcoming considerably the Pb concentration (20 ppm). In hemimorphite, the most abundant minor elements are Al and Fe (about 104 ppm). However, it was not quantified how much of these are in the hemimorphite lattice or come from some impurities. Actually, we notice that concentration of Fe and Al in the black layers of hemimorphite is an order of magnitude greater than in the brown ones. In addition, the black layers show an abrupt increase of Mn concentration, which overcomes Fe and Al. The evolution of these flowstones is most probably related to the circulation of fluids connected to the oxidation of sulphides, specially sphalerite.


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