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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 chemical carbonate rock is carbonate rock form by the precipitation of mineral matter in situ by chemical or biological processes.?

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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 sampling (Keyword) returned 160 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 136 to 150 of 160
Comparative microbial sampling from eutrophic caves in Slovenia and Slovakia using RIDA COUNT test kits, 2012, Mulec Janez, Kritů, Fek Vclav, Chroň, kov Alica

RIDA®COUNT test plates were used as an easy-to-handle and rapid indicator of microbial counts in karst ecosystems of several caves in Slovakia and Slovenia. All of the caves had a high organic input from water streams, tourists, roosting bat colonies or terrestrial surroundings. We sampled swabs, water and air samples to test robustness and universality of the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany, for quantification of total bacteria, coliforms, yeast and mold. Using data from swabs (colony-forming units per cm2) we proposed a scale for description of biocontamination level or superficial microbial load of cave niches. Based on this scale, surfaces of Ardovská Cave, Drienovská Cave and Stará Brzotínská Cave (Slovakia) were moderately colonized by microbes, with total microbial counts (sum of total bacterial count and total yeast and molds count) in the range of 1 001-10 000 CFU/100 cm2, while some surfaces from the show cave Postojna Cave (Slovenia) can be considered highly colonized by microbes (total microbial counts ≥ 10 001 CFU/100 cm2). Ardovská Cave also had a high concentration of air-borne microbes, which can be explained by restricted air circulation and regular bat activity. The ratio of coliform to total counts of bacteria in the 9 km of underground Pivka River flow in Postojna Cave dropped approximately 4-fold from the entrance, indicating the high anthropogenic pollution in the most exposed site in the show cave. The RIDA®COUNT test kit was proven to be applicable for regular monitoring of eutrophication and human influence in eutrophic karst caves.

Scientific drilling of speleothems a technical note, 2012, Sptl Christoph, Mattey David

This short article provides detailed descriptions of custom-made and commercially available hand-held drilling gear and options for water-flushing units specifically designed to obtained good-quality core material from speleothems even in remote cave regions. We use small-diameter (6-7 mm) diamond drill bits to obtain aliquots of calcite (as little as a few hundreds of milligram) from the interior of the basal part of in-situ stalagmites. These small cores are used to date the onset of stalagmite growth and occasionally to obtain other compositional information. Larger diameter drill bits produce cores 25-32 mm in diameter and up to 1.3 m in length which reveal internal structures and provide axial transects for chemical and isotope analysis and material for preparation of thin sections. This system has been successfully employed to sample flowstone and thick stalagmites. Given the growing interest in speleothem as archives of past environmental change, careful sample selection is primordial to keep the impact of sampling in these unique environments at a minimum. Low-invasive drilling is an essential technique and maximizes the amount of information gained.

Distribution survey of Cyanobacteria in three Greek caves of Peloponnese, 2012, Lamprinou V. , Danielidis D. B. , Economouamilli A. , Pantazidou A.

Caves and hypogean environments host various phototrophic microorganisms, with Cyanobacteria constituting the major group. The spatial and temporal distribution of Cyanobacteria (156 taxa in total) from three Greek caves, located in the limestone arc of Peloponnese and differing in morphology, was studied. The community patterns in different ecological niches were analyzed in relation to environmental parameters (Photosynthetically Active Radiation, Temperature, and Relative Humidity). Cyanobacterial communities were found to thrive in patchy biofilms and showed known protective strategies against desiccation and irradiation. The nMDS analysis of the cumulative seasonal samples per sampling site showed no general pattern of distribution, with a clear differentiation of cyanobacterial communities among the three caves. Only in the typical cave ‘Kastria’, cyanobacterial taxa showed growth habits in accordance with the gradient of light from entrance inwards.

Speleothem microstructure/speleothem ontogeny: a review of Western contributions, 2012, White William B.

Mineral ontogeny is the study of the growth and development of mineral deposits in general and, in the present context, speleothems in particular. Previous researchers, mainly in Russia, have developed a nomenclatural hierarchy based on the forms and habits of individual crystals and the assembly of individual crystals into both monomineralic and polymineralic aggegates (i.e. speleothems). Although investigations of the growth processes of speleothems are sparse, there is a large literature on growth processes of speleothem minerals and related crystals in the geochemical and materials science literature. The purpose of the present paper is to sort through the various concepts of crystal growth and attempt to relate these to observations on speleothems and to the Russian conceptual framework of mineral ontogeny. For calcite, the most common mineral in speleothems, the activation energy for two dimensional nucleation (required for the growth of large single crystals) is almost the same as the activation energy for three- dimensional nucleation (which would result in the growth of many small crystals). Calcite growth is highly sensitive to minor impurities that may poison growth in certain crystallographic directions or may poison growth altogether. Extensive recent research using the atomic force microscope (AFM) provides many details of calcite growth including the transition from growth on screw dislocations to growth by two-dimensional nucleation. The deposition of aragonite speleothems requires metastable supersaturation curve and is usually ascribed to the impurities Mg2+ and Sr2+. AFM studies reveal that Mg2+ poisons calcite growth by blocking deposition sites on dislocations, thus allowing supersaturation to build up past the aragonite solubility curve. Sr2+ precipitates as a Sr-rich nucleus with the aragonite structure which acts as a template for aragonite growth. The different morphology of gypsum speleothems can be explained by the different growth habit of gypsum. Examples of twinned growth, dendrite growth, and spherulitic growth are common in the crystal growth literature and can be used to interpret the corresponding cave forms. Interpretation of monomineralic aggregate growth follows from individual crystal mechanisms. Interpretation of polymineralic aggregate growth requires knowing the evolving chemistry which in turn requires new methods for the sampling and analysis of microliter or nanoliter quantities of fluid.

Management in a neotropical show cave: planning for invertebrates conservation, 2012, Pellegrini T. G. , Ferreira R. L.

Lapa Nova is a dolomitic cave about 4.5 km long located in northwestern Minas Gerais state, Brazil. The cave experiences intense tourism, concentrated over a single period of the year, during the Feast of Our Lady of Lapa. In order to evaluate the impacts felt by the invertebrate community from this tourism, a new methodology was proposed. Four types of areas (intense visitation area, outlying visitation areas, moderate visitation areas and no-visitation areas) were sampled for invertebrates. There was one sampling prior and another on the last day of the 128th feast, to evaluate the effects of visitation on cave-dwelling invertebrates. Results show that invertebrate populations residing in more intensely visited areas of the cave undergo changes in distribution following the event. As a consequence of tourism, invertebrates shift to outlying locations from the visited area, which serve as refuges to the communities. Apparently, the fact that there are places inside Lapa Nova inaccessible to tourists reduces the impact suffered by the invertebrate community, as those sites serve as refuges for cave-dwelling organisms during the pilgrimage. A proper management plan was devised for the tourism/religious use of the cave. It consists basically of delimiting marked pathways for tourists, allowing invertebrates to seek shelter at locations outside visited areas and keeping no-visitation areas off-limits to tourism based on the results of the visitation effects on cave-dwelling invertebrates.

The occurrence of Hydra circumcincta (Schulze, 1914) (Hydrozoa: Hydridae) in a well in the Dorset Chalk, UK, 2012, Knight, Lee R. F. D. Johns, Tim

This report details the first record of a Hydra species, Hydra circumcincta, from British groundwater. Ten polyps of the species were recorded from a well in the Dorset Chalk, while sampling for groundwater fauna as part of the Groundwater Animals-UK project. The Hydrozoa is a group rarely recorded from groundwater habitats with only one stygobitic species known to science. International records of Hydrozoa are discussed and several possible colonization pathways into the well are hypothesized.

Environmental Hydrogeological Study of Louros watershed, Epirus, Greece, 2012, Konstantina Katsanou

The present study aims to describe and characterize the Ionian zone karst formation concerning the karstification grade of carbonate formations and the development of aquifers, through the hydrogeological study of Louros River drainage basin, considering hydrological, hydrogeological and meteorological data, as well as major, trace element, rare earth element and isotope concentrations. It also aims to investigate basic karst properties such as storativity, homogeneity, infiltration coefficients and the parameters of the Louros basin hydrological balance.

To accomplish this aim daily discharge measurements obtained from Public Power Corporation at the Pantanassa station during the years 1956-1957, along with random discharge measurements from 15 springs along the basin performed by IGME between the years 1979-1989, daily meteorological data from 18 stations and 18 sets of potentiometric surface measurements from 38 sites were compiled. Additionally, chemical analyses on major and trace element concentrations of 42 rock samples and of five sets of water samples from 64 sampling sites, along with fourteen sets of successive periods in order to study the seasonal variation in the chemical composition of 11 springs and REE concentrations of 116 water samples. Moreover isotope ratios from 129 rain samples collected at five different altitudes, 331 samples of surface and groundwater samples, radon measurements on 21 groundwater samples and microbiological on 46 samples of surface and groundwater were evaluated. Daily runoff and random spring discharge missing data were completed applying the SAC-SMA and MODKARST simulation algorithms and the values of these parameters for the duration of the research (2008-2010) were predicted. The accuracy of the predicted values was tested applying statistical methods but also against observed values from in situ measurements performed during the same period (2008-2010).

Louros River drainage basin is located at the southern part of Epirus and covers an area of 953 km2. It is elongated and together with the adjacent basin of River Arachthos they constitute the major hydrographic systems discharging in the Amvrakikos Gulf. The main morphological features of the basin are elongated mountain ranges and narrow valleys, which are the result of tectonic and other geological processes mainly controlled by the limestone-“flysch” alternations. The length of the river’s major channel, which is parallel to the major folding direction (NNW-SSE), is 73.5 km. The mountainous part of the hydrogeological basin covers an area of 400 km2 and its endpoint was set at the Pantanassa station, where discharge measurements are performed. The underground limits of the basin coincides with the surface one, defined by the flysch outcrops at the western margin of the Ziros-Zalongo fault zone to the South, the application of isotope determinations and hydraulic load distribution maps at the North and East.

Geologically, Louros River drainage basin is composed of the Ionian zone formations. Triassic evaporites constitute the base of the zone overlain by a thick sequence of carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks deposited from the Late Triassic to the Upper Eocene. In more detail, from base to top, the lithostratigraphical column of the zone includes dolomite and dolomitic limestone, Pantokrator limestone, Ammonitico Rosso, Posidonia Shales, Vigla limestone, Upper Senonian limestone, Palaeocene-Eocene limestone and Oligocene “flysch”. The major tectonic features of the regions are folds with their axes trending SW-NE at the northern part and NNW-SSE to NNE-SSW southern of the Mousiotitsa-Episkopiko-Petrovouni fault system and the strike-slip fault systems of Ziros and Petousi.

The evaluation of the daily meteorological data revealed that December is the most humid month of the year followed by January, whereas July and August are the driest months. Approximately 40-45% of the annual precipitation is distributed during the winter time and 30% during autumn. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 897.4 to 2051.8 mm and the precipitation altitude relationship suggests an increased precipitation with altitude at a rate of 84 mm/100 m. The maximum temperature is recorded during August and it may reach 40°C and the minimum during January. The temperature variation with the altitude is calculated at 0.61°C/100 m. The maximum solarity time is 377.8 h, recorded during July at the Arta station. December displays the highest relative humidity with a value of 84.2% recorded again at the Arta station. The highest wind velocity values are recorded at the Preveza station and similar velocities are also recorded at the Ioannina station. The real evapotranspiration in Louros drainage basin ranges between 27-39%. The potential evapotranspiration was calculated from the Ioannina station meteorological data, which are considered more representative for Louros basin, at 785.8 mm of precipitation according to Thornthwaite and at 722.0 mm according to Penman-Monteith.

According to the SAC-SMA algorithm the total discharge (surficial and underground) for the years 2008-2010 ranges between 61-73% of the total precipitation. The algorithm simulates the vertical percolation of rainwater in both unsaturated and saturated zones taking into account 15 parameters including the tension water capacity of the unsaturated zone, the maximum water storage capacity of both unsaturated and saturated zones, the water amount escaping into deeper horizons and not recorded at the basin’s outlet, the percentage of impermeable ground which is responsible for instant runoff, etc. These parameters are correlated to the hydrograph and are recalculated according to it. Two interesting aspects were pointed out from the discharge measurements and the algorithm application. The first is related to the maximum amount of free water, which can be stored at the basic flow of the karstic system, which is very high for the whole basin, reaching 1200 mm of precipitation and the second is the amount of water filtered to the deeper horizons, which reaches 0.098.

The discharge of individual karstic units was simulated applying the specialized MODKARST code. The code, which transforms precipitation to discharge resolving mathematical equations of non-linear flow using the mass and energy balance, successfully completed the time series of available data of spring discharge measurements for the period between the years 2008-2010.

Additionally, a number of useful parameters including spring recharge, delay period between precipitation and discharge, the storage capacity of the discharge area were also calculated by the MODKARST code. These data enabled the calculation of the annual infiltration coefficient for each one of the 15 springs and for the whole basin; the latter was found to range between 38-50% of annual precipitation. The total supply area was estimated approximately at 395 km2, which is consistent with the area of Louros hydrogeological basin calculated from hydrogeological data.

The 18 sets of water table measurements, each one corresponding to a different period, revealed that the aquifers of the intermediate part of Louros basin, which are developed in Quaternary alluvial sediments, are laterally connected to the carbonate formations of the individual karstic spring units, forming a common aquifer with a common water table.

Groundwater flow follows a general N-S direction from the topographic highs to the coastal area with local minor shifts to NE-SW and NW-SE directions. The artificial lake at the position of the Public Power Corporation’s Dam at the south of the region is directly connected to the aquifer and plays an important role in water-level variation. The water table contours display a higher gradient to the southern part due to the decreased hydraulic conductivity of the limestones close to Agios Georgios village. The decreased hydraulic conductivity is believed to be the reason for the development of the homonymous spring although the hydraulic load distributions suggest the extension of the aquifer to the south and a relation to the water level in Ziros Lake, boreholes and the Priala springs. The hydraulic gradient in the broader region ranges between 4-16‰. The absolute water level variation between dry and humid season ranges from 2 m at the South to 15-20 m to the North with an average of 9 m.

The hydrological balance of Louros River mountainous basin according to the aforementioned data is calculated as follows: The total precipitation between the years 2008-2010 ranged between 5.67E+08-9.8E+08 m3 and the discharge at Pantanassa site between 3.47E+08-6.83E+08 m3. The real evapotransiration ranged between 29-39% of the precipitation. The total discharge (runoff and groundwater) accounted for 61-73% of the precipitation, whereas the basic flow due to the percolation ranged between 34-38%. Considering a mean water level variation of 9 m, between the dry and humid season, the water amount constituting the local storage is 2025Ε+07 m3.

Statistical evaluation on spring discharge data and the recession curves analysis revealed three distinct levels with diverse karstic weathering along Louros basin coinciding to the upper, intermediate and low flow of Louros River, respectively. The developed karstic units are generally complex but simple individual units develop as well. The response of spring discharge to the stored water amounts is immediate but with relatively large duration suggesting the storage of large quantities of water and a well-developed system of karstic conduits, which however has not yet met its complete evolution. The karst spring’s units are homogeneous and each one is distinguished from different recession coefficients.

The three levels of flow are also distinguished from the duration curves, which point to individual units upstream, complex units receiving and transmitting water to the adjacent ones in the middle part and complex that only receive water from the upper. This distinguishment is also enhanced by the groundwater’s major ion concentrations, which reveal Ca-HCO3 water-type upstream, along with the isotopic composition at the same part. The prevalent Ca-HCO3-Cl-SO4 water-type in the middle part, the Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 water-type downstream and isotope variation confirms this distinguishment. Moreover, REE variation is also consistent with the three levels. The assumption of relatively large stored water reserves, which contribute to analogous “memory” of spring karstic units, as pointed out by autocorreletion functions is enhanced from SAC-SMA algorithm which premises an increased capacity at the lower zone of basic flow, as well as from the hydrochemical and isotopic composition of groundwater. Monitoring of the seasonal variation in groundwater composition revealed minor variations of hydrochemical parameters and remarkably stable isotopic composition. Both aspects can be explained by the existence of a considerable water body acting as a retarder to external changes.

The crosscorrelation functions suggest a well-developed karstic system, which however has not yet reached its complete maturity also confirmed from field observations. The same conclusion is extracted from the homogeneous evolution at the interval of each karstic unit as demonstrated from recession curves on spring hydrographs.

The results from hydrochemical analyses also revealed the effect of evaporitic minerals and phosphate-rich rocks in groundwater composition and confirmed the hydraulic relationships between surface and groundwater.

The study of the isotopic composition also contributed to exclude the potential connection between the Ioannina and Louros basins, confirmed the meteoric origin of groundwater and revealed the effect of seawater in the chemical composition of few sampling sites.

The microbiological research only revealed minor incidents of contamination and significant attenuation of microorganisms during periods of high discharge.

Wet season hydrochemistry of Bribin Cave in Gunung Sewu Karst, Indonesia, 2012, Tjahyo Nugroho Adji

This research was conducted on the Bribin River, the most important underground river in the Gunung Sewu Karst, Gunung Kidul, Java, Indonesia. The main purpose of this study was to define the wet-season hydrochemistry of this river. This research also focuses on identifying the relationship between hydrochemical parameters to provide better aquifer characterization.Water-level monitoring and discharge measurements were conducted over a 1-year period to define the discharge hydrograph. Furthermore, baseflow-separation analysis is conducted to determine the diffuse-flow percentage throughout the year. Water sampling for hydrogeochemical analysis is taken every month in the wet season and every 2 hours for two selected flood events. To describe the hydrogeochemical processes, a bivariate plot analysis of certain hydrochemical parameters is conducted. The results show that the diffuse-flow percentage significantly controls the river hydrochemistry. The domination of diffuse flow occurs during non-flooding and flood recession periods, which are typified by a high value of calcium and bicarbonate and low CO2 gas content in water. Conversely, the hydrochemistry of flood events is characterized by the domination of conduit flow and CO2 gas with low calcium and bicarbonate content. According to the wet-season hydrochemistry, it seems that the small- and medium-sized fractures in the Bribin aquifer still provide storage for the diffuse and fissure flows, although the conduit fracture is already developed.

Stable isotope (O and C) geochemistry of non-sulfide ZnPb deposits; case study: Chah-Talkh non-sulfide ZnPb deposit (Sirjan, south of Iran), 2013, Rezaeian A. , Rasa I. , Amiri A. , Jafari M. R.

The study of oxygen and carbon isotopic ratios has gained importance to determine the origin of ore-bearing fluids, carbon origin, and also to determine the formation temperature of non-sulfide Pb and Zn minerals. In order to determine the origin of fluids and carbon existing in Zn carbonate minerals in Chah-Talkh deposit, initially the amounts of δ18OSMOW and δ13CPDB changes in various zinc minerals in important deposits in Iran and the world were studied, and then by comparing these values in Chah-Talkh deposit with those of other deposits, the origin of fluids responsible for ore forming, carbon, and formation temperature of Chah-Talkh deposit was determined. The range of δ18OSMOW changes in smithsonite mineral in non-sulfide lead and zinc deposits varies from 18.3 to 31.6 ‰, and δ18OSMOW in hydrozincite mineral varies from 7.8 to 27 ‰. Due to the impossibility of smithsonite sampling from Chah-Talkh deposit (due to it being fine-grained and dispersed), hydrozincite minerals which have high isotopic similarities with smithsonite are used for the isotopic analysis of carbon and oxygen. The range of δ18OSMOW changes in hydrozincite mineral of Chah-Talkh deposit varies from 7.8 to 15.15‰, which places in the domain of metamorphic water. The extensiveness of δ18OSMOW changes in Chah- Talkh indicates the role of at least two fluids in the formation of non-sulfide minerals. The obtained formation temperature of non-sulfide minerals (hydrozincite) in Chah- Talkh deposit is 70 to 100 °C, which indicates the role of metamorphic fluids in the formation of deposit. Complete weathering of sulfide minerals to a depth of 134 m confirms the role of rising metamorphic fluids in the formation of non-sulfide minerals. The δ13CPDB values of Chah-Talkh deposit are set in the range of atmospheric CO2 and carbonate rocks, in which the existence of atmospheric CO2 indicates the role of atmospheric fluids, and the existence of carbonate carbon rock indicates of the role of metamorphic fluids in the precipitation of non-sulfide Zn minerals.

Epilithic and aerophilic diatoms in the artificial environment of Kungstradgrden metro station, Stockholm, Sweden, 2013, Norback Ivarsson L. , Ivarsson M. , Lundberg J. , Sallstedt T. , Rydin C.


The Kungsträdgården metro station is an artificial and urban subsurface environment illuminated with artificial light. Its ecosystem is almost completely unknown and as a first step to better understand the biology and rock wall habitats the diatom flora was investigated. A total of 12 species were found growing on the rock walls of Kungsträdgården metro station. The results show the diatom flora in Kungsträdgården to be dominated by e.g. Diadesmis contenta, Diadesmis perpusilla, Pinnularia appendiculata, Nitzschia amphibia, Nitzschia sinuata and Diploneis ovalis. One species, Caloneis cf. aerophila, has never been reported from Sweden before. Significant differences in the species composition between the sampling sites indicate Kungsträdgården metro station to be a heterogeneous habitat that provides different microhabitats.

Source assessment of deposited particles in a Slovenian show cave (Postojnska jama): evidence of long-lasting anthropogenic impact, 2013, Muri G. , Jovič, Ić, A. , Mihevc A.

Postojnska jama (Postojna Cave) is one of the most famous karst caves in the world and has been a well-known tourist attraction for nearly 200 years. It is particularly famous for its unique double-track railway. Eight heavy metals – aluminium (Al), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), strontium (Sr), and zinc (Zn) – were determined in dust deposits by ICP-MS in order to assess sources of deposited particles on the cave walls. The samples were collected along the main passage in the cave, at different horizontal and vertical levels, in order to test horizontal homogeneity and study vertical distribution of the particles. It seems that the railway is an important anthropogenic source of particles, reflected in increased concentrations of Cu, Pb, and Zn, as well as of Fe and Mn in dust deposits at individual sampling sites. The maximum concentrations of Cu (217 μg g-1), Pb (4,940 μg g-1), and Zn (1,060 μg g-1) considerably exceeded their natural abundance and were explained by anthropogenic impact. The three heavy metals are markers for vehicles, engine oil and brake wear. On the other hand, mixed sources could prevail for Fe and Mn. The maximum concentrations of Fe (85,900 μg g-1) and Mn (682 μg g-1) in dust deposits were similar to the concentrations determined in fragments of the railway tracks (97,100 μg g-1 for Fe and 821 μg g-1 for Mn) and were explained by track wear and/or corrosion. In most other parts of the cave, Fe and Mn concentrations were, however, below the concentration of their natural abundance. Al, Sr, and Cr seem to be predominantly of natural origin. They generally exhibited concentrations lower than their natural abundance.

Forty years of epikarst: what biology have we learned?, 2013, Pipan T. , Culver D. C.

Epikarst is not only an important component of the hydrogeology of karst and an active site of speleogenesis, it is habitat for a number of species adapted to subterranean life. Water in epikarst, with a residence time of days to months, is a highly heterogeneous habitat, and the animals are primarily sampled from continuously sampling dripping water or collecting from residual drip pools. While the subterranean fauna of cracks and crevices has been known for over 100 years, it is only in the past several decades that epikarst has been recognized as a distinct habitat, with reproducing populations of stygobionts. Dissolved organic carbon in epikarst drip water is a primary and sometimes the only source of organic matter for underlying caves, especially if there are not sinking streams that enter the cave. Typical concentrations of organic carbon are 1 mg L-1. The fauna of epikarst is dominated by copepods, but other groups, including some terrestrial taxa, are important in some areas. Most of the diversity is β-diversity (between drips and between caves). In Slovenia, an average of nearly 9 stygobiotic copepod species were found per cave. In studies in Romania and Slovenia, a number of factors have been found to be important in determining species distribution, including ceiling thickness, habitat connectivity and habitat size. In addition to eye and pigment loss, epikarst copepod species may show a number of specializations for life in epikarst, including adaptations to avoid displacement by water flow. Several geoscientists and biologists have challenged the uniqueness and importance of epikarst, but on balance the concept is valid and useful. Fruitful future research directions include development of better sampling techniques, studies to explain differences among nearby epikarst communities, phylogeographic studies, and assessing the possible role of copepods as tracers of vadose water.

Investigating Groundwater Flow Between Edwards and Trinity Aquifers in Central Texas, 2013, Wong C. I. , Kromann J. S. , Hunt B. B. , Smith B. A. , Banner J. L.

Understanding the nature of communication between aquifers can be challenging when using traditional physical and geochemical groundwater sampling approaches. This study uses two multiport wells completed within Edwards and Trinity aquifers in central Texas to determine the degree of groundwater inter-flow between adjacent aquifers. Potentiometric surfaces, hydraulic conductivities, and groundwater major ion concentrations and Sr isotope values were measured from multiple zones within three hydrostratigraphic units (Edwards and Upper and Middle Trinity aquifers). Physical and geochemical data from the multiport wells were combined with historical measurements of groundwater levels and geochemical compositions from the region to characterize groundwater flow and identify controls on the geochemical compositions of the Edwards and Trinity aquifers. Our results suggest that vertical groundwater flow between Edwards and Middle Trinity aquifers is likely limited by low permeability, evaporite-rich units within the Upper and Middle Trinity. Potentiometric surface levels in both aquifers vary with changes in wet vs. dry conditions, indicating that recharge to both aquifers occurs through distinct recharge areas. Geochemical compositions in the Edwards, Upper, and Middle Trinity aquifers are distinct and likely reflect groundwater interaction with different lithologies (e.g., carbonates, evaporites, and siliceous sediments) as opposed to mixing of groundwater between the aquifers. These results have implications for the management of these aquifers as they indicate that, under current conditions, pumping of either aquifer will likely not induce vertical cross-formational flow between the aquifers. Inter-flow between the Trinity and the Edwards aquifers, however, should be reevaluated as pumping patterns and hydrogeologic conditions change.



Marl lakes are those accumulating fine-grained bottom sediments that include at least 15% CaCO3. They are found worldwide. The most visually attractive, however, have higher proportions of CaCO3, with crystallites precipitating in the water to give it a rich and opaque duck-egg blue colouration. From the literature, such lakes are largely limited to recently glaciated carbonate rock terrains. Most are also shallow, with much or all of the water column being in the photic zone. Little Limestone Lake, (Lat. 53°47’N, Long. 99°19’W in the province of Manitoba) is the finest example that the author has seen. It stands out sharply from neighbouring lakes in summertime colour satellite imagery due to the intensity and uniformity of its colour. The lake occupies a shallow glacial trough scoured in a plain of flat-lying cyclothem dolomites. It is ~12 km long, 1–5 km wide, rarely >7 m deep. Including bordering wetlands, it occupies ~45 % of the area of an elongated, narrow topographic basin. Recharge is through impoverished boreal forest with little soil cover; it discharges chiefly as springs and seeps along and below the shore. Mean annual temperature is ~0 °C, and precipitation is ~475 mm.y1. Previous studies of springs in the surrounding region showed ground waters to be simple bicarbonate composition, with TDS = 230–300 mg.l-1 (Ca 40–60 mg.l-1, Mg 30–40 mg.l-1). Grab sampling at 27 sites throughout the lake found the waters de-gassed to 125–135 mg.l-1, placing them in the mid-range of one hundred marl lakes investigated in more detail in the British Isles. Ca was reduced to 25–30 mg.l-1, while Mg was stable at 30–40 mg.l-1. There were 2–3 mg.l-1 of free CO3 in two fully analysed samples, indicating that plankton photosynthesis might be occurring. However, samples of the bottom marl were predominantly inorganic in their composition. Little Limestone Lake is visually spectacular because it is almost entirely groundwater-fed, with a ratio of recharge area to lake area that is low. It has no large, chemically equilibrated, surface streams entering it. In contrast, the dozens of nearby lakes (similar, larger or smaller in size) are regularly flushed by channelled storm water and, although they also produce some carbonate marl, cannot maintain high densities of crystallites in suspension. Little Limestone Lake was placed under legislated protection as a provincial park in June 2011.

Aquatic biota of different karst habitats in epigean and subterranean systems of Central Brazil visibility versus relevance of taxa, 2013, Luiza Bertelli Simes, Tnia Cristina Dos Santos Ferreira, Maria Elina Bichuette

The karstic area of São Domingos, central Brazil, holds extensive drainage systems. In order to understand its biodiversity, various volumes of water were filtered with planktonic nets in stretches of subterranean and superficial rivers on five different occasions. We sampled four drips (152L), three calcite pools (368L), two subterranean rivers fed mainly by percolation water (6, 395L), two subterranean rivers fed mainly by water coming from a sinkhole (4, 175L) along different caves, one resurgence (158L), and four epigean rivers (101, 690L). Physical and chemical variables were measured at some sites. Canonical Correlation Analysis was used to verify relationships between taxa and environment. The degree of similarity of the biota was assessed by cluster analysis (Sorensen, single linkage). There were records of exclusive taxa in epigean and subterranean samples, mainly in drips, which harbour the most unique fauna. The high richness of taxa presently recorded reveals the potential of the vadose zone biota in the tropical region, which was neglected in studies on Brazilian subterranean biodiversity. According to our results, the unsaturated zone tropical fauna may have different composition compared to that from temperate habitats. The studied communities were dominated by rotifers, while crustacean are predominant in the latter. The hypothesis can be clarified with the increase of long term studies and taxa identification at species level, besides the use of complementary sampling methods.

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