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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 natural water is water with a mineral content occurring under natural conditions.?

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

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What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for calcium-carbonate (Keyword) returned 19 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 19
Rate of uptake of calcium carbonate in underground karst water, 1971,
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Pitty A. F. ,

Late Quaternary U-series speleothem growth record from southeastern Minnesota, 1983,
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Lively R. S. ,
Cyclic deposition of secondary calcium carbonate that coincides with cycles of late Pleistocene glaciation. Peak intervals of deposition occur from the present to 13,000 yr B.P., from 35,000 to 70,000 yr B.P., from 90,000 to 170,000 yr B.P., and an undivided interval from 170,000 to 350,000 yr B.P. Local climatic conditions seem to have had as much importance in determining when deposition occurred as did the major climatic cycles recorded in the marine record.--Modified journal abstract

Dissolution kinetics of calcium carbonate minerals in H2O-CO2 solutions in turbulent flow: The role of the diffusion boundary layer and the slow reaction H2O? reversible arrow H?, 1997,
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Liu Z. H. , Dreybrodt W. ,

Ancient helictites and the formation of vadose crystal silt in upper Jurassic carbonates (Southern Germany), 1998,
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Reinhold C. ,
Speleothems and vadose crystal silt are effective indications for karstification processes in the fossil record. Upper Jurassic limestones in Southern Germany that have undergone vadose diagenesis contain on crystal margins and tips of coarse bladed calcites numerous fibrous calcite crystals, formed by abnormal growth conditions, and internal sediment within fractures and vugs, Fibrous calcite crystals grew as crusts, in fence and mesh-like arrangements. Fibrous crystals, which have a length:width ratio of greater than 1:10, are made up of stacked subcrystals composed of an alternation of hexagonal prisms and rhombohedra, They exhibit a central to somewhat eccentric capillary. Electron probe microanalysis shows low-Mg calcite mineralogy with negligible amounts of Fe, Mn, and Sr as well as dis seminated clay and metal hydroxide impurities. Stable-isotope data show relatively C-13-enriched and O-18-depleted values (delta(13)C similar to parts per thousand PDB, delta(18)O similar to -6 parts per thousand PDB), suggesting a meteoric environment and CO2 degassing as the main process of formation, Fibrous calcite crystals form from capillary fluids that are highly supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, contaminated with alien mineral impurities. The abnormal growth pattern is suggested to be substrate-controlled and attributed to mineral impurities that produce numerous crystallization nuclei. Fibrous calcite crystals are comparable to helictites of the filiform type that are reported only from Quaternary caves. Nevertheless, the diagenetic sequence and oxygen isotope data suggest a Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age for their formation. The internal sediment consists exclusively of silt-size fragments of fibrous crystals and therefore is comparable to vadose crystal silt. Crystal silt is generated by the erosion of fibrous crystals both by va dose seepage and air currents. This study is the first observation of ancient helictites and related vadose crystal silt, documenting the close relationship between pore ceiling vadose cements and the generation of crystal silt

Oxidation of organic matter in a karstic hydrologic unit supplied through stream sinks (Loiret, France), 1998,
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Alberic P, Lepiller M,
The aim of this paper is to appraise the ability of the oxidation of riverine organic matter in the control of limestone dissolution, in a karst network. Biogeochemical processes during infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer have already been described for an average flow velocity of 4-5 m d(-1) (Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R, and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706; Von Gunten, H. R., Karametaxas, G., Krahenbuhl, U., Kuslys, M., Giovanoli R., Hoehn E. and Keil R. (1991) Seasonal biogeochemical cycles in riverborne groundwater. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 55, 3597-3609; Bourg, A. C. M. and Bertin, C. (1993) Quantitative appraisal of biogeochemical chemical processes during the infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 27, 661-666). Karstic drainage networks, such as in the River Loire-Val d'Orleans hydrologic system (Fig. 1), make possible flow velocities up to 200 m h(-1 a) and provide convenient access to different water samples several tens of km apart, at both extremities of the hydrologic unit (Chery, J.-L. (1983) Etude hydrochimique d'un aquifere karstique alimente par perte de cours d'eau (la Loire): Le systeme des calcaires de Beauce sous le val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans; Livrozet, E. (1984) Influence des apports de la Loire sur la qualite bacteriologique et chimique de l'aquifere karstique du val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans). Recharge of the karstic aquifer occurs principally from influent waters from stream sinks, either through coarse alluvial deposits or directly from outcrops of the regional limestone bedrock (Calcaires de Beauce). Recharge by seepage waters From the local catchment basin is small (Zunino, C., Bonnet, M. and Lelong, F. (1980) Le Val d'Orleans: un exemple d'aquifere a alimentation laterale. C. R. somm. Soc. Geol. Fr. 5, 195-199; Gonzalez R. (1992) Etude de l'organisation et evaluation des echanges entre la Loire moyenne et l'aquifere des calcaires de Beauce. These, Universite d'Orleans) and negligible in summer. This karstic hydrologic: system is the largest in France in terms of flow (tens to hundreds of m(3)/s) and provides the main water resource of the city of Orleans. Chemical compositions of influent waters (River Loire) and effluent waters (spring of the river Loiret) were compared, in particular during floods in summer 1992 and 1993 (Figs 2-4). Variation of chloride in the River Loire during the stream rise can be used as an environmental tracer of the underground flow (Fig. 2). Short transit times of about 3 days are detectable (Fig, 2) which are consistent with earlier estimations obtained with chemical tracers (Ref. in Chery, J.-L. (1983) These, Universite d'Orleans). Depending on the hydrological regime of the river, organic carbon discharge ranges between 3-7 and 2-13 mg/l for dissolved and particulate matter respectively (Fig. 3). Eutrophic characteristics and high algal biomasses are found in the River Loire during low water (Lair, N. and Sargos, D. (1993) A 10 year study at four sites of the middle course of the River Loire. I - Patterns of change in hydrological, physical and chemical variables in relation to algal biomass. Hudroecol. Appl. 5, 1-27) together with more organic carbon rich suspended particulate matter than during floods (30-40 C-org % dry weight versus 5-10%). Amounts of total organic carbon and dissolved oxygen (Fig. 3) dramatically decrease during the underground transport, whereas conversely, dissolved calcium, alkalinity and inorganic carbon increase (Fig. 4). Anoxia of outflows map start in April. Dissolution of calcium carbonates along the influent path outweighs closed system calcite equilibrium of inflow river waters (Table 3). The impact of organic matter oxidation on calcite dissolution may be traced by variations of alkalinity and total carbonates in water. Following, Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R. and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706), results are shown graphically (Fig. 5). Extent of reactions is controlled by the consumption of dissolved O-2 and nitrate for organic matter oxidation and by the release of Ca2 for calcite dissolution (Table 2). The karstic network is considered to behave like a biological reactor not exchanging with the atmosphere, with steady inhabitant microbial communities (Mariotti A., Landreau A, and Simon B. (1988) N-15 isotope biogeochemisrry and natural denitrification process in groundwater: Application to the chalk aquifer of northern France. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 1869-1878; Gounot, A.-M. (1991) Ecologie microbienne des eaux ei des sediments souterrains. Hydrogeologie, 239-248). Thus, energy requirements only are considered, not carbon assimilation. Moreover, there is no necessity to invoke any delay for nitrification enhancement, as observed elsewhere, after waste water discharge into the river (Chesterikoff, A., Garban, B., Billen, G. and Poulin, M. (1992) Inorganic nitrogen dynamics in the River Seine downstream from Paris (France). Biogeochem. 17, 147-164). Main microbial processes are assumed to be aerobic respiration, nitrification and denitrification. Reactions with iron and manganese, real but not quantitatively important, were neglected. Sulphate reduction and methane formation, certainly not active, were not considered. Denitrification, which is suggested by low nitrate and ammonium concentrations and anoxia in the outflow, is known to be rapid enough to be achieved in a short time (Dupain, S. (1992) Denitrification biologique heterotrophe appliquee au traitement des eaux d'alimentation: Conditions de fonclionnement et mise au point d'un procede. These, Universite Claude Bernard, Lyon). Reaction are somewhat arbitrary but conform to general acceptance (Morel, M. M. and Hering, J. G. (1993) Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry. Wiley, New York). Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Mulder A., van de Graaf, A. A., Robertson, L: A. and Kuenen, J. G. (1995) Anaerobic ammonium oxidation discovered in a denitrifying fluidized bed reactor. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 16, 177-184). although possible, was not considered. In fact, C/N ratio of the reactive organic matter has only mild repercussions on the results; i.e. in the same range as the analytical errors for alkalinity and total carbonates. The objective was simply to roughly confront characteristics of outflowing waters and the calculation. Respective roles of aerobes and denitrifiers, for instance, are not certain. Several periods during low water or floods were selected with various ranges for calcium dissolution or nitrate and oxygen concentrations. The result is that in most cases simulation and data are in reasonable accordance (Fig. 5). Amounts of organic matter in River Loire are generally sufficient to sustain the process (Table 3. Particulate organic matter is probably the most reactive. The balance of oxidation of organic matter indicates that about 65 mu g C-org/l.h are oxidized during the transport without much variation with the river regime or organic discharge. It is concluded that limestone dissolution is directly dependent on organic matter oxidation, but variation occurs (7-29 mg CuCO3/l) with the level of bases that can be neutralized in the River Loire water. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

The inhibiting action of intrinsic impurities in natural calcium carbonate minerals to their dissolution kinetics in aqueous H2O-CO2 solutions, 1999,
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Eisenlohr L, Meteva K, Gabrovsek F, Dreybrodt W,
We have measured the surface controlled dissolution rates of natural calcium carbonate minerals (limestone and marble) in H2O-CO2 solutions by using free drift batch experiments under closed system conditions with respect to CO2, at 10 degrees C with an initial partial pressure of carbon dioxide of 5.10(-2) atm. All experiments revealed reaction rates F, which can be described by the empirical relation: F-n1 = k(n1) . (1 - c/c(eq))(n1) for c < c(s), which switches to a higher order n(2) for calcium concentrations c greater than or equal to c(s) described by F-n2 = k(n2) . (1 - c/c(eq))(n2) . k(n1) and k(n2) are rate constants in mmole/(cm(2) . s), c(eq) is the equilibrium concentration with respect to calcite. The values of the constants n(1), n(2), k(n1), k(n2) and c(s) depend on the V/A ratio employed, where V is the volume of the solution and A is the surface area of the reacting mineral. Different calcium carbonate minerals exhibit different values of the kinetic constants. But generally with increasing V/A, there is a steep variation in the values of all kinetic constants, such that the rates are reduced with increasing V/A ratio. Finally with sufficiently large V/A these values become constant. These results are explained by assuming intrinsic inhibitors in the bulk of the mineral. During dissolution these are released from the calcite matrix and are adsorbed irreversibly at the reacting surface, where they act as inhibitors. The thickness d of the mineral layer removed by dissolution is proportional to the VIA ratio. The amount of inhibitors released per surface area is given by d c(int), where c(int) is their concentration id the bulk of the mineral. At low thicknesses up to approximate to 3 . 10(-4) cm in the investigated materials, the surface concentration of inhibitors increases until saturation is attained for thicknesses above this value. To analyze the surface concentration and the type of the inhibitors we have used Auger spectroscopy, which revealed the presence of aluminosilicate complexes at the surface of limestone, when a thickness of d approximate to 10(-3) cm had been removed by dissolution. In unreacted samples similar signals, weaker by one order of magnitude, were observed. Depth profiles of the reacted sample obtained by Ar-ion sputtering showed the concentration of these complexes to decrease to the concentration observed in the unreacted sample within a depth of about 10 nm. No change of the concentration with depth was observed in unreacted samples. These data suggest that complexes of aluminosilicates act as inhibitors, although other impurities cannot be excluded. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science Ltd

Microbial communities associated with hydromagnesite and needle-fiber aragonite deposits in a karstic cave (Altamira, northern Spain), 1999,
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Canaveras Jc, Hoyos M, Sanchezmoral S, Sanzrubio E, Bedoya J, Soler V, Groth I, Schumann P, Laiz L, Gonzalez I, Sainzjimenez C,
Microbial communities, where Streptomyces species predominate, were found in association with hydromagnesite, Mg-5(CO3)(4)(OH)(2). 4H(2)O, and needle-fiber aragonite deposits in an Altamira cave. The ability to precipitate calcium carbonate in laboratory cultures suggests that these and other bacteria present in the cave may play a role in the formation of moonmilk deposits

Morphoanalysis of bacterially precipitated subaqueous calcium carbonate from Weebubbie Cave, Australia, 2001,
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Contos Ak, James Jm, Heywood B, Pitt K, Rogers P,
In this article, we present a previously unreported morphology of bacterially precipitated calcite (determined using XRD, FTIR, and SAED) occurring subaqueously in Weebubbie Cave. Observations using FESEM and TEM revealed spindle-shaped crystals with curved [hk.0] faces lying parallel to the c-axis. Calcite precipitated under conditions designed to mimic the inorganic solution chemistry of the cave revealed a different morphology. These differences between the crystals suggest that the formation of the cave crystals is a consequence of biologically activity

Ecological assessment and geological significance of microbial communities from Cesspool Cave, Virginia, 2001,
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Engel As, Porter Ml, Kinkle Bk, Kane Tc,
Microbial mats from hydrogen sulfide-rich waters and cave-wall biofilms were investigated from Cesspool Cave, Virginia, to determine community composition and potential geomicrobiological functioning of acid-producing bacteria. Rates of microbial mat chemoautotrophic productivity were estimated using [C-14]-bicarbonate incorporations and microbial heterotrophy was determined using [C-14]-leucine incubations. Chemoautotrophic fixation was measured at 30.4 12.0 ng C mg dry wt(1) h(1), whereas heterotrophic productivity was significantly less at 0.17 0.02 ng C mg dry wt(1) h(1). The carbon to nitrogen ratios of the microbial mats averaged 13.5, indicating that the mats are not a high quality food source for higher trophic levels. Ribosomal RNA-based methods were used to examine bacterial diversity in the microbial mats, revealing the presence of at least five strains of bacteria. The identity of some of the strains could be resolved to the genus Thiothrix and the Flexibacter-Cytophaga-Bacteriodes phylum, and the identity of the remaining strains was to either the Helicobacter or Thiovulum group. Two of 10 sulfur-oxidizing, chemoautotrophic pure cultures of Thiobacillus spp. (syn. Thiomonas gen. nov.) demonstrated the ability to corrode calcium carbonate, suggesting that the colonization and metabolic activity of these bacteria may be enhancing cave enlargement

Factors controlling the chemical evolution of travertine-depositing rivers of the Barkly karst, northern Australia, 2002,
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Drysdale Rn, Taylor Mp, Ihlenfeld C,
Groundwaters feeding travertine-depositing rivers of the northeastern segment of the Barkly karst (NW Queensland, Australia) are of comparable chemical composition, allowing a detailed investigation of how the rate of downstream chemical evolution varies from river to river. The discharge, pH, temperature, conductivity and major-ion concentrations of five rivers were determined by standard field and laboratory techniques. The results show that each river experiences similar patterns of downstream chemical evolution, with CO2 outgassing driving the waters to high levels of calcite supersaturation, which in turn leads to widespread calcium carbonate deposition. However, the rate at which the waters evolve, measured as the loss of CaCO3 per kilometre, varies from river to river, and depends primarily upon discharge at the time of sampling and stream gradient. For example, Louie Creek (Q = 0.11 m(3) s(-1)) and Carl Creek (Q = 0.50 m(3) s(-1)) have identical stream gradients, but the loss of CaCO3 per kilometre for Louie Creek is twice that of Carl Creek. The Gregory River (Q = 3.07 m(3) s(-1)), O'Shanassy River (Q = 0.57 m(3) s(-1)) and Lawn Hill Creek (Q = 0.72 m(3) s(-1)) have very similar gradients, but the rate of hydrochemical evolution of the Gregory River is significantly less than either of the other two systems. The results have major implications for travertine deposition: the stream reach required for waters to evolve to critical levels of calcite supersaturation will, all others things being equal, increase with increasing discharge, and the length of reach over which travertine is deposited will also increase with increasing discharge. This implies that fossil travertine deposits preserved well downstream of modern deposition limits are likely to have been formed under higher discharge regimes. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Constraints on Black Sea outflow to the Sea of Marmara during the last glacial-interglacial transition, 2002,
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Major Candace, Ryan William, Lericolais Gilles, Hajdas Irka,
New cores from the upper continental slope off Romania in the western Black Sea provide a continuous, high-resolution record of sedimentation rates, clay mineralogy, calcium carbonate content, and stable isotopes of oxygen and carbon over the last 20[punctuation space]000 yr in the western Black Sea. These records all indicate major changes occurring at 15[punctuation space]000, 12[punctuation space]800, 8400, and 7100 yr before present. These results are interpreted to reflect an evolving balance between water supplied by melting glacial ice and other river runoff and water removed by evaporation and outflow. The marked retreat of the Fennoscandian and Alpine ice between 15[punctuation space]000 and 14[punctuation space]000 yr is recorded by an increase in clays indicative of northern provenance in Black Sea sediments. A short return toward glacial values in all the measured series occurs during the Younger Dryas cold period. The timing of the first marine inflow to the Black Sea is dependent on the sill depths of the Bosporus and Dardanelles channels. The depth of the latter is known to be -805 m, which is consistent with first evidence of marine inundation in the Sea of Marmara around 12[punctuation space]000 yr. The bedrock gorge of the Bosporus reaches depths in excess of -100 m (relative to present sea level), though it is now filled with sediments to depths as shallow as -32 m. Two scenarios are developed for the connection of the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara. One is based on a deep Bosporus sill depth (effectively equivalent to the Dardanelles), and the other is based on a shallow Bosporus sill (less than -35 m). In the deep sill scenario the Black Sea's surface rises in tandem with the Sea of Marmara once the latter connected with the Aegean Sea, and Black Sea outflow remains continuous with inflowing marine water gradually displacing the freshwater in the deep basin. The increase in the [delta]18O of mollusk shells at 12[punctuation space]800 yr and the simultaneous appearance of inorganic calcite with low [delta]18O is compatible with such an early marine water influx causing periodic weak stratification of the water column. In the shallow sill scenario the Black Sea level is decoupled from world sea level and experiences rise and fall depending on the regional water budget until water from the rising Sea of Marmara breaches the shallow sill. In this case the oxygen isotope trend and the inorganic calcite precipitation is caused by increased evaporation in the basin, and the other changes in sediment properties reflect climate-driven river runoff variations within the Black Sea watershed. The presence of saline ponds on the Black Sea shelf circa 9600 yr support such evaporative draw-down, but a sensitive geochemical indicator of marine water, one that is not subject to temperature, salinity, or biological fractionation, is required to resolve whether the sill was deep or shallow

EPMA and XRF characterization of therapeutic cave aerosol particles and their deposition in the respiratory system, 2002,
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Alfoldy B, Torok S, Balashazy I, Hofmann W, Winklerheil R,
Cave therapy is an efficient therapeutic method to cure asthma, but the exact healing effect has not yet been clarified. This study was motivated by the basic assumption that aerosols may play a key role in cave therapy. Aerosol particles were collected in a therapeutic cave in Budapest, Hungary (Szemlohegyi cave) at different locations arranged for the therapeutic treatment. Samples were further analysed by EPMA and XRF for chemical composition and morphology, determining the particle number distribution and classifying them according to their elemental composition. Three particle classes were determined based on major element concentrations: aluminosilicate, quartz and calcium carbonate. The combination of single-particle EPMA and XRF resulted in relevant chemical information that could be used further for lung deposition modelling, namely the diameter and the number distribution to calculate the deposition probability, and the concentration of the element within a particle class necessary for the estimation of the deposited dose. The final results for the health effect study are the deposition efficiencies and deposition patterns of inhaled cave aerosols. The results of the stochastic deposition model showed that roughly 41% of the inhaled particles are deposited in the lung. From this amount, around 39% are deposited within airway generations 6-15, which is the most infected area in an asthmatic lung. The explanation of the healing effects might be based on the presented dose calculations. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Analysis of karst tufa from Guangxi, China, 2003,
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Franciskovicbilinski S, Bilinski H, Barisic D, Horvatincic N, Yuan Dx,
The paper presents an analysis of characteristic karst tufa from Guangxi, China, which has not been studied before. A comparison with tufa from Dinaric Karst of Croatia is discussed in view of the C-type climate. The major mineral is calcite. Minor minerals are quartz and dolomite, depending on location. The content of calcium carbonate varies from 65% to 92%, and that of magnesium carbonate from 0.03% to 1.77%. Among other elements, the most abundant are Fe, from 0.02% to 1.50%, and Ti, from 0.15% to 0.27%. Many other trace elements (V, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Br, Rb, Sr, Y, Zr, Hg and Pb) are also present. Specific activity of radionuclides K-40, Th-232, Cs-137, Ra-226 and U-238 varies from sample to sample. Concentration of U in tufa is close to that reported for sedimentary carbonate. Low concentration Of Cs-137 indicates that this part of the world was not exposed to nuclear explosions. The concentration of Ra-226 is the highest in Mashan County. The ratio U-238/Ra-226 (0.21-0.71) in tufa from Mashan County is significantly lower than the theoretical value of 1. In 5 of the 11 studied samples, stable isotopes delta(13)C and delta(18)O were analyzed. They were dated by means of the C-14 method. One tufa sample originated in the Pleistocene and the others in the Holocene. Because all of the tufa samples contain traces of Na and K, and K < Na, the tufa from Guangxi belong to the CO2-outgassing 'N' type according to the classification of Liu and He (1994)

Dam sites in soluble rocks: a model of increasing leakage by dissolutional widening of fractures beneath a dam, 2003,
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Romanov D. , Gabrovsek F. , Dreybrodt W. ,
Water flowing through narrow fissures and fractures in soluble rock, e.g. limestone and gypsum, widens these by chemical dissolution. This process, called karstification, sculptures subterranean river systems which drain most of their catchment. Close to dam sites, unnaturally high hydraulic gradients are present to drive the water impounded in the reservoir downstream through fractures reaching below the dam. Under such conditions, the natural process of karstification is accelerated to such an extent that high leakage rates may arise, which endanger the operation of the hydraulic structure. Model simulations of karstification below dams by coupling equations of dissolutional widening to hydrodynamic flow are presented. The model scenario is a dam 100 in wide in limestone or gypsum. The modelling domain is a two-dimensional slice 1 m wide directed perpendicular to the dam. It extends 375 in vertically and 750 in horizontally. The dam is located in its center. This domain is divided by fractures and fissures into blocks of 7.5 x 7.5 x 1 m. The average aperture width of the fractures is 0.02 cm. We performed model runs on standard scenarios for a dam site in limestone with the height H of impounded water 150 in, a horizontal impermeable apron of width W=262 m and a grouting curtain reaching down to a depth of G=97 m. In a second scenario, we changed these construction features to G=187 m and W=82 m. To calculate widening of the fractures, well-established experimental data on the dissolution of limestone and gypsum have been used as they occur in such geochemical settings. All model runs show similar characteristic behaviour. Shortly after filling, the reservoir exhibits a small leakage of about 0.01 m(-3) s(-1), which increases steadily until a breakthrough event occurs after several decades with an abrupt increase of leakage to about 1 m(3) s(-1) within the short time of a few years. Then, flow in the fractures becomes turbulent and the leakage increases to 10 m(3) s(-1) in a further time span of about 10 years. The widths of the fractures are visualized in various time steps. Small channels propagate downstream and leakage rises slowly until the first channel reaches the surface downstream. Then breakthrough occurs, the laminar flow changes to turbulent and a dense net of fractures which carry flow is established. We performed a sensitivity analysis on the dependence of breakthrough times on various parameters, determining breakthrough. These are the height of impounded water H, the depth G of grouting, the average aperture width a(0) of the fractures and the chemical parameters, which are c(eq) the equilibrium concentration of Ca with respect to calcite and the Ca-concentration c(in) of the inflowing water. The results show that the most critical parameter is a(0). At fracture aperture widths of 0.01 cm, breakthrough times are above 500 years. For values of a(0)>0.02 cm, however, breakthrough times are within the lifetime of the structure. We have also modelled dam sites in gypsum, which exhibit similar breakthrough times. However, after breakthrough, owing to the much larger dissolution rates of gypsum, the time until unbearable leakage is obtained, is only a few years. The modelling can be applied to complex geological settings, as phreatic cave conduits below the dam, or a complex stratigraphy with varying properties of the rock with respect to hydraulic conductivity and solubility. A few examples are given. In conclusion, our results support the assumption that increasing leakage of dam sites may be caused by dissolutional widening of fractures. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Involvement of microorganisms in the formation of carbonate speleothems in the Cervo Cave (L'Aquila-Italy), 2004,
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Cacchio P, Contento R, Ercole C, Cappuccio G, Martinez Mp, Lepidi A,
Much is known about the bacterial precipitation of carbonate rocks, but comparatively little is known about the involvement of microbes in the formation of secondary mineral structures in caves. We hypothesized that bacteria isolated from calcareous stalactites, which are able to mediate CaCO3 precipitation in vitro, play a role in the formation of carbonate speleothems. We collected numerous cultivable calcifying bacteria from calcareous speleothems from Cervo cave, implying that their presence was not occasional. The relative abundance of calcifying bacteria among total cultivable microflora was found to be related to the calcifying activity in the stalactites. We also determined the delta(13)C and delta(18)O values of the Cervo cave speleothems from which bacteria were isolated and of the carbonates obtained in vitro to determine whether bacteria were indeed involved in the formation of secondary mineral structures. We identified three groups of biological carbonates produced in vitro at 11degreesC on the basis of their carbon isotopic composition: carbonates with delta(13)C values ( a) slightly more positive, (b) more negative, and (c) much more negative than those of the stalactite carbonates. The carbonates belonging to the first group, characterized by the most similar delta(13)C values to stalactites, were produced by the most abundant strains. Most of calcifying isolates belonged to the genus Kocuria. Scanning electron microscopy showed that dominant morphologies of the bioliths were sherulithic with fibrous radiated interiors. We suggest a mechanism of carbonate crystal formation by bacteria

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