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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 soil-moisture meter is a device used to record soil moisture in situ [16].?

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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 impact (Keyword) returned 356 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 346 to 356 of 356
Microhabitat influences the occurrence of airborne fungi in copper mine in Poland, 2014, Pusz W. , Kita W. , Weber R.

From January to April 2012 we studied the occurrence of air-borne fungi in the Lubin mining site, property of KGHM Polska Miedz´ SA. The research was conducted in three copper-mining shafts: Bolesław, Lubin Zachodni (Lubin West shaft), and Lubin Gło´wny (Lubin Main shaft) at about 610 to 850 meters below ground level. Air samples were collected between 6 and 9 a.m. using the impact method (Air Ideal 3P Sampler) onto Potato Dextrose Agar. The volume of air sampled for each agar plate was 50 liters. We found twenty-seven fungal species, the most numerous being Penicillium notatum, P. urticae, and Aspergillus flavus. As the application of log-linear and correspondence analyses have shown, the population of fungi varied considerably among the copper mine shafts or shaft parts. P. notatum and P. urticae were found to be the best adapted to grow in copper-mine conditions. The significant interaction among the shafts and the sample collection sites suggests a substantial microclimate influence on the population-size variations of studied fungal species in each shaft. The fungal-spore concentration in the majority of the shafts of this copper mine does not present a health risk to the mine workers. But it is enhanced in some portions of the mine, so it may constitute a health hazard locally.


Ecotourism in the state forest karst of Puerto Rico, 2014, Hall A. , Day M.

Ecotourism and nature-based tourism in karst landscapes are often focused on protected areas and are significant both economically and because of potential impacts. Karst covers nearly a third of the highly urbanized island of Puerto Rico, especially adjacent to the north coast and in the southwest. Much of the island’s natureoriented tourism is focused on the karst, because it is the least-fragmented remaining habitat. The authors conducted a literature review and collected data during field research in 2009. The results indicate that the five state (or commonwealth) forests located within the karst of Puerto Rico are a primary focus of ecotourism because they are readily accessible and represent an important resource for low-impact recreation and education. The forests are used by residents and visitors, and they provide opportunities for appreciation and enjoyment of the karst landscape. Ecotourism activities focused on the state forests include hiking, bird-watching, and learning about nature. Without the state forests, levels of ecotourism within the karst would be considerably constrained. So, although they are limited in numbers and extent, they provide a critical recreational and economic resource in the karst landscape.


A new threat to groundwater ecosystems: first occurrences of the invasive crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852) in European caves., 2014, Mazza G. , Reboleira A. S. P. S. , Gonc¸alves F. , Aquiloni L. , Inghilesi A. F. , Spigoli D. , Stoch F. , Taiti S. , Gherardi F. , Tricarico E.

The American red swamp crayfish, Procambarus clarkii, is today the alien species most widespread in European water bodies. This invasive crayfish was found for the first time in some caves of Europe, specifically in Portugal and Italy. The presence of P. clarkii in caves is noteworthy, representing a new threat for the groundwater ecosystems due to the possible negative impacts on the native communities.


A review on natural and human-induced hazards and impacts in karst, 2014, Gutiérrez Francisco, Parise Mario, De Waele Jo, Jourde Hervé

Karst environments are characterized by distinctive landforms related to dissolution and a dominant subsurface drainage. The direct connection between the surface and the underlying high permeability aquifers makes karst aquifers extremely vulnerable to pollution. A high percentage of the world population depends on these water resources. Moreover, karst terrains, frequently underlain by cavernous carbonate and/or evaporite rocks, may be affected by severe ground instability problems. Impacts and hazards associatedwith karst are rapidly increasing as development expands upon these areas without proper planning taking into account the peculiarities of these environments. This has led to an escalation of karst-related environmental and engineering problems such as sinkholes, floods involving highly transmissive aquifers, and landslides developed on rocks weakened by karstification. The environmental fragility of karst settings, togetherwith their endemic hazardous processes, have received an increasing attention from the scientific community in the last decades. Concurrently, the interest of planners and decision-makers on a safe and sustainable management of karst lands is also growing. This work reviews the main natural and human-induced hazards characteristic of karst environments, with specific focus on sinkholes, floods and slope movements, and summarizes the main outcomes reached by karst scientists regarding the assessment of environmental impacts and their mitigation.


Karst water resources in a changing world: Review of hydrological modeling approaches, 2014,

Karst regions represent 7–12% of the Earth’s continental area, and about one quarter of the global population is completely or partially dependent on drinking water from karst aquifers. Climate simulations project a strong increase in temperature and a decrease of precipitation in many karst regions in the world over the next decades. Despite this potentially bleak future, few studies specifically quantify the impact of climate change on karst water resources. This review provides an introduction to karst, its evolution, and its particular hydrological processes. We explore different conceptual models of karst systems and how they can be translated into numerical models of varying complexity and therefore varying data requirements and depths of process representation. We discuss limitations of current karst models and show that at the present state, we face a challenge in terms of data availability and information content of the available data. We conclude by providing new research directions to develop and evaluate better prediction models to address the most challenging problems of karst water resources management, including opportunities for data collection and for karst model applications at so far unprecedented scales


Diatom flora in subterranean ecosystems: a review., 2014,

In scarcity of light and primary producers, subterranean ecosystems are generally extremely oligotrophic habitats, receiving poor supplies of degradable organic matter from the surface. Human direct impacts on cave ecosystems mainly derive from intensive tourism and recreational caving, causing important alterations to the whole subterranean environment. In particular, artificial lighting systems in show caves support the growth of autotrophic organisms (the so-called lampenflora), mainly composed of cyanobacteria, diatoms, chlorophytes, mosses and ferns producing exocellular polymeric substances (EPSs) made of polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. This anionic EPSs matrix mediates to the intercellular communications and participates to the chemical exchanges with the substratum, inducing the adsorption of cations and dissolved organic molecules from the cave formations (speleothems). Coupled with the metabolic activities of heterotrophic microorganisms colonising such layer (biofilm), this phenomenon may lead to the corrosion of the mineral surfaces. In this review, we investigate the formation of biofilms, especially of diatom-dominated ones, as a consequence of artificial lighting and its impacts on speleothems. Whenever light reaches the subterranean habitat (both artificially and naturally) a relative high number of species of diatoms may indeed colonise it. Cave entrances, artificially illuminated walls and speleothems inside the cave are generally the preferred substrates. This review focuses on the diatom flora colonising subterranean habitats, summarizing the information contained in all the scientific papers published from 1900 up to date. In this review we provide a complete checklist of the diatom taxa recorded in subterranean habitats, including a total of 363 taxa, belonging to 82 genera. The most frequent and abundant species recorded in caves and other low light subterranean habitats are generally aerophilic and cosmopolitan. These are, in order of frequency: Hantzschia amphioxys, Diadesmis contenta, Orthoseira roeseana, Luticola nivalis, Pinnularia borealis, Diadesmis biceps and Luticola mutica. Due to the peculiarity of the subterranean habitats, the record of rare or new species is relatively common. The most important environmental factors driving species composition and morphological modifications observed in subterranean populations are analysed throughout the text and tables. In addition, suggestions to prevent and remove the corrosive biofilms in view of an environmentally sustainable cave management are discussed.


Airborne microorganisms in Lascaux Cave (France), 2014,

Lascaux Cave in France contains valuable Palaeolithic paintings. The importance of the paintings, one of the finest examples of European rock art paintings, was recognized shortly after their discovery in 1940. In the 60’s of the past century the cave received a huge number of visitors and suffered a microbial crisis due to the impact of massive tourism and the previous adaptation works carried out to facilitate visits. In 1963, the cave was closed due to the damage produced by visitors’ breath, lighting and algal growth on the paintings. In 2001, an outbreak of the fungus Fusarium solani covered the walls and sediments. Later, black stains, produced by the growth of the fungus Ochroconis lascauxensis, appeared on the walls. In 2006, the extensive black stains constituted the third major microbial crisis. In an attempt to know the dispersion of microorganisms inside the cave, aerobiological and microclimate studies were carried out in two different seasons, when a climate system for preventing condensation of water vapor on the walls was active (September 2010) or inactive (February 2010). The data showed that in September the convection currents created by the climate system evacuated the airborne microorganisms whereas in February they remained in suspension which explained the high concentrations of bacteria and fungi found in the air. This double aerobiological and microclimate study inLascauxCave can help to understand the dispersion of microorganisms and to adopt measures for a correct cave management.


A conservation status index, as an auxiliary tool for the management of cave environments., 2014,

The conservation of the Speleological Heritage involves bioecological, geomorphological and anthropogenic studies, both from inside the caves and from the external environments that surround them. This study presents a method to rank caves according to their priority for conservation and restoration. Nine caves were evaluated: indicators related to the environmental impacts and the vulnerability status presented by those caves (intrinsic features) and the values scored in a ‘Cave Conservation Index’ (CCI) were established. We also used a rapid assessment protocol to measure cave vulnerability for prioritization of conservation/restoration actions (RAP-cr) comparing natural cavities with the same lithology, due to “strictu sensu” peculiarities. Based on the protocols applied in caves of the municipality of Laranjeiras, Sergipe, Northeastern Brazil, we concluded that the present method attended to the needs for the classification of the caves into categories of conservation/restoration status, using little time and financial effort, through rapid diagnostics that facilitate the comparisons. In this perspective, the CCI can be used to indicate areas that should be protected and caves that should be prioritized to have initiated activities of conservation and restoration.


The show cave of Diros vs. wild caves of Peloponnese, Greece - distribution patterns of Cyanobacteria, 2014,

The karst cave ‘Vlychada’of Diros, one of the oldest show caves in Peloponnese, sustains extended phototrophic biofilms on various substrata – on rocks inside the cave including speleothems, and especially near the artificial lighting installation (‘Lampenflora’). After a survey of the main abiotic parameters (Photosynthetically Active Radiation -PAR, Temperature -T, Relative Humidity -RH, Carbon Dioxide -CO2) three clusters of sampling sites were revealed according to Principal Component Analysis (PCA): i) the water gallery section predominately influenced by CO2, ii) the dry passages influenced by RH and PAR, and iii) the area by the cave exit at the dry section influenced by temperature. The collected samples from the water gallery section and the dry passages of the cave revealed a total of 43 taxa of Cyanobacteria, with the unicellular/colonial forms being the most abundant. The applied non-metric Multi-dimensional Scaling Ordination (nMDS) of the cumulative species composition showed a clear distinction between the water gallery section and the dry passages of the cave. Further comparison with previous data from other wild caves of Peloponnese (‘Kastria’, ‘Francthi’, and ‘Selinitsa’) was conducted revealing a distinction between the show cave and the wild ones. Apart from the human impact on cave ecosystems – through aesthetic alteration (‘greening’) of cave decorations by the ‘Lampenflora’, and by the cleaning treatments and restoration projects on the speleothems – identification of the organisms constituting the ‘Lampenflora’ might provide taxonomically and ecologically significant taxa.


Tectonic control of cave development: a case study of the Bystra Valley in the Tatra Mts., 2015, Szczygieł Jacek, Gaidzik Krzysztof, Kicińska Ditta

Tectonic research and morphological observations were carried out in six caves (Kalacka, Goryczkowa, Kasprowa Niżna, Kasprowa Średnia, Kasprowa Wyżnia and Magurska) in the Bystra Valley, in the Tatra Mountains. There are three cave levels, with the youngest active and the other two inactive, reflecting development partly under epiphreatic and partly under phreatic conditions. These studies demonstrate strong control of the cave pattern by tectonic features, including faults and related fractures that originated or were rejuvenated during uplift, lasting from the Late Miocene. In a few local cases, the cave passages are guided by the combined influence of bedding, joints and fractures in the hinge zone of a chevron anticline. That these cave passages are guided by tectonic structures, irrespective of lithological differences, indicates that these proto-conduits were formed by "tectonic inception”. Differences in the cave pattern between the phreatic and epiphreatic zones at a given cave level may be a result of massif relaxation. Below the bottom of the valley, the effect of stress on the rock mass is related to the regional stress field and only individual faults extend below the bottom of the valley. Thus in the phreatic zone, the flow is focused and a single conduit becomes enlarged. The local extension is more intense in the epiphreatic zone above the valley floor and more fractures have been sufficiently extended to allow water to flow. The water migrates along a network of fissures and a maze could be forming. Neotectonic displacements (of up to 15 cm), which are more recent than the passages, were also identified in the caves. Neotectonic activity is no longer believed to have as great an impact on cave morphology as previously was thought. Those faults with displacements of several metres, described as younger than the cave by other authors, should be reclassified as older faults, the surfaces of which have been exposed by speleogenesis. The possible presence of neotectonic faults with greater displacements is not excluded, but they would have had a much greater morphological impact than the observed features suggest.


Engineering challenges in Karst, 2015,

Anisotropy and heterogeneity of karstified rocks make them the most problematic media for various interventions which are needed in engineering practice. The long history of attempts to adapt karstic nature to human needs started with the utilization of karstic aquifers: tapping large springs, transferring their waters to the long distances, improving minimal flows or capturing fresh water in coastal areas. During the 20th century the number of other challenges such as building dam and reservoirs, and constructing roads and railways, bridges, tunnels, new settlements open a new era in engineering works but also in collecting new knowledge and experience for the karstology and hydrogeology sciences. Today, almost no engineering projects can be implemented without a proper environmental impact assessment, which establishes a better balance between human and ecological needs. 


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