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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

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 capillary fringe is the lower subdivision of the unsaturated zone immediately above the water table in which the interstices are filled with water under pressure less than that of the atmosphere, being continuous with the water below the water table but held above it by capillary forces [22].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals


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SAZU, Ljubljana

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Acta carsologica, 2004, Vol 33, Issue 2, p. 189-206

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Ghar Al Hibashi lava tube: the richest site in Saudi Arabia for cave minerals

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Abstract:

Several large lava tubes have been explored and mapped in different lava fields around the Saudi Arabia. One of the largest is Ghar Al Hibashi, located in the Harrat Buqum-Nawasif lava field. It mainly consists of a huge rectilinear gallery (over 400 m long and 15 m wide) the access to which is through a small vertical pit reaching a side corridor. The cave was long used as a shelter for bats, hyenas, wolves and foxes. Therefore the entire cave floor, consisting of locally thick uncemented sand, is scattered with a great amount of bones and coprolites, while some rather large guano deposits are also found. Some of these guano deposits caught fire, which partially burnt the bones overlaying them as well. The only true speleothems consist of a few small yellow translucent stalactites. During three expeditions in 2003, a few samples of secondary chemical deposits were collected inside this lava tube to be analysed from the mineralogical point of view. Despite the scarcity of these samples, at least 19 different minerals have already been detected, most of which are related to the biogenic mineralization of bones and guano deposits. Three of them, pyrocoproite, pyrophosphite and arnhemite are extremely rare organic compounds strictly related to the guano combustion, which have been observed until now only in a few caves in Africa. Thanks to these findings Hibashi lava tube is not only the most important volcanic cave of Saudi Arabia but also by far the richest mineralogical shelter of the country. Therefore this research, which is far from coming to an end, confirms the recently advanced opinion that amongst the different cave environments, volcanic cavities are very favourable for the development of different minerogenetic mechanisms.

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Keywords: cave minerals, lava tubes, guano combustion, ghar al hibashi, saudi arabia

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