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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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 pit is a deep hole, generally circular in outline, having vertical or nearly vertical walls [10]. see also jama; pothole (definition 2); shaft.?

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;
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International Journal of Speleology, 2009, Vol 38, Issue 2, p. 111-128
Cottonballs, a unique subaqeous moonmilk and abundant subaerial moonmilk in Cataract Cave, Tongass National Forest, Alaska

The Tongass National Forest is known for its world-class karst features and contains the largest concentration of dissolutional caves in Alaska. Within these karst systems exist unusual and possibly unique formations exhibiting possible biological origin or influence. Cataract Cave is an example of such a system. This cave hosts a unique depositional setting in which so-called “cottonballs� line two permanent pools. The cottonballs are a calcitic deposit heavily entwined within a mass of microbial filaments. They are juxtaposed with extensive subaerial calcitic moonmilk wall deposit of a more conventional nature but of an extraordinary thickness and abundance. Both the cottonballs and moonmilk are composed of microcrystalline aggregates (0.20 wt.%) compared to the cottonballs (0.12 wt.%). However, the cottonballs are dominated by monocrystalline needles, whereas the moonmilk is mainly composed of polycrystalline needles. The microbial environments of both displayed similar total microbial cell counts; however, culturable microbial counts varied between the deposits and among the various media. For both, in situ cultures and isolates inoculated in a calcium salt medium produced calcium carbonate mineralization within biofilms. Geochemical variations existed between the deposits. Moonmilk displayed a slightly higher abundance of organic carbon (0.20 wt%) compared to the cottonballs (0.12 wt%). Stable isotopic analysis revealed that the moonmilk (δ13C = -1.6‰) was isotopically heavier compared to the cottonballs (δ13C = -8.1‰) but both are lighter than the host rock (δ13C = +1.1‰). However, the organic carbon δ13C values of both deposits were similar (δ13C = -27.4 and –26.7‰) and isotopically lighter compared to other overlying surface organic carbon sources. Due to the similarities between the deposits, we infer that both the cottonballs and moonmilk are subject to a set of related processes that could collectively be accommodated by the term “moonmilk�. Thus, the cottonball pool formation can be characterized as a type of subaqueous moonmilk. The differences observed between the moonmilk and cottonballs may be largely attributable to the changes in the depositional environment, namely in air or water.