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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 carbonate hardness is hardness of water due to presence of dissolved bicarbonates of calcium and magnesium which can be removed by boiling and hence the term 'temporary hardness.' synonyms: (french.) durete temporaire; (german.) temporare harte, carbonatharte; (greek.) parothiki sklipotis anthrakiki sklirotis; (italian.) durezza temporanea; (russian.) karbonatnaja zestkostj; (spanish.) dureza temporal; (turkish.) karbonat sertligi; (yugoslavian.) turdooa, trdota.?

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

Search in KarstBase

Your search for carbon (Keyword) returned 1616 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 1616
Conduit enlargement in an eogenetic karst aquifer, ,
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Moore Paul J. , Martin Jonathan B. , Screaton Elizabeth J. , Neuhoff Philip S.

Most concepts of conduit development have focused on telogenetic karst aquifers, where low matrix permeability focuses flow and dissolution along joints, fractures, and bedding planes. However, conduits also exist in eogenetic karst aquifers, despite high matrix permeability which accounts for a significant component of flow. This study investigates dissolution within a 6-km long conduit system in the eogenetic Upper Floridan aquifer of north-central Florida that begins with a continuous source of allogenic recharge at the Santa Fe River Sink and discharges from a first-magnitude spring at the Santa Fe River Rise. Three sources of water to the conduit include the allogenic recharge, diffuse recharge through epikarst, and mineralized water upwelling from depth. Results of sampling and inverse modeling using PHREEQC suggest that dissolution within the conduit is episodic, occurring only during 30% of 16 sampling times between March 2003 and April 2007. During low flow conditions, carbonate saturated water flows from the matrix to the conduit, restricting contact between undersaturated allogenic water with the conduit wall. When gradients reverse during high flow conditions, undersaturated allogenic recharge enters the matrix. During these limited periods, estimates of dissolution within the conduit suggest wall retreat averages about 4 × 10−6 m/day, in agreement with upper estimates of maximum wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because dissolution is episodic, time-averaged dissolution rates in the sink-rise system results in a wall retreat rate of about 7 × 10−7 m/day, which is at the lower end of wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because of the high permeability matrix, conduits in eogenetic karst thus enlarge not just at the walls of fractures or pre-existing conduits such as those in telogenetic karst, but also may produce a friable halo surrounding the conduits that may be removed by additional mechanical processes. These observations stress the importance of matrix permeability in eogenetic karst and suggest new concepts may be necessary to describe how conduits develop within these porous rocks.

Spatial variability in cave drip water hydrochemistry: Implications for stalagmite paleoclimate records, ,
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Baldini Jul, Mcdermott F, Fairchild Ij,
The identification of vadose zone hydrological pathways that most accurately transmit climate signals through karst aquifers to stalagmites is critical for accurately interpreting climate proxies contained within individual stalagmites. A three-year cave drip hydrochemical study across a spectrum of drip types in Crag Cave, SW Ireland, reveals substantial variability in drip hydrochemical behaviour. Stalagmites fed by very slow drips ( 2[no-break space]ml/min) sites, apparently unconnected with local meteorological events. Water from these drips was typically undersaturated with respect to calcite, and thus did not result in calcite deposition. Data presented here suggest that drips in this flow regime also experience flow re-routing and blocking, and that any stalagmites developed under such drips are unsuitable as mid- to high-resolution paleoclimate proxies. Most drip sites demonstrated seasonal [Ca2] and [Mg2] variability that was probably linked to water excess. Prior calcite precipitation along the flowpath affected the chemistry of slowly dripping sites, while dilution predominantly controlled the water chemistry of the more rapidly dripping sites. This research underscores the importance of understanding drip hydrology prior to selecting stalagmites for paleoclimate analysis and before interpreting any subsequent proxy data

Speleothems and paleoglaciers, ,
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Spotl Christoph, Mangini Augusto,
Ice and speleothems are widely regarded as mutually exclusive as the presence of liquid water is a fundamental prerequisite for speleothem deposition. Here we show that speleothems may form in caves overlain by a glacier, as long as the temperature in the cave is above freezing and the conduits are not completely flooded by melt water. Carbonate dissolution is accomplished via sulfide oxidation and the resultant speleothems show high [delta]13C values approaching and locally exceeding those of the parent host rock (lack of soil-derived biogenic C). The [delta]18O values reflect the isotopic composition of the melt water percolating into the karst fissure network and carry an atmospheric (temperature) signal, which is distinctly lower than those of speleothems formed during periods when soil and vegetation were present above the cave. These `subglacial' speleothems provide a means of identifying and dating the former presence of warm-based paleoglaciers and allow us to place some constraints on paleotemperature changes

The `human revolution' in lowland tropical Southeast Asia: the antiquity and behavior of anatomically modern humans at Niah Cave (Sarawak, Borneo), ,
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Barker G, Barton H, Bird M, Daly P, Datan I, Dykes A, Farr L, Gilbertson D, Harrisson B, Hunt C,
Recent research in Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia suggests that we can no longer assume a direct and exclusive link between anatomically modern humans and behavioral modernity (the `human revolution'), and assume that the presence of either one implies the presence of the other: discussions of the emergence of cultural complexity have to proceed with greater scrutiny of the evidence on a site-by-site basis to establish secure associations between the archaeology present there and the hominins who created it. This paper presents one such case study: Niah Cave in Sarawak on the island of Borneo, famous for the discovery in 1958 in the West Mouth of the Great Cave of a modern human skull, the `Deep Skull,' controversially associated with radiocarbon dates of ca. 40,000 years before the present. A new chronostratigraphy has been developed through a re-investigation of the lithostratigraphy left by the earlier excavations, AMS-dating using three different comparative pre-treatments including ABOX of charcoal, and U-series using the Diffusion-Absorption model applied to fragments of bones from the Deep Skull itself. Stratigraphic reasons for earlier uncertainties about the antiquity of the skull are examined, and it is shown not to be an `intrusive' artifact. It was probably excavated from fluvial-pond-desiccation deposits that accumulated episodically in a shallow basin immediately behind the cave entrance lip, in a climate that ranged from times of comparative aridity with complete desiccation, to episodes of greater surface wetness, changes attributed to regional climatic fluctuations. Vegetation outside the cave varied significantly over time, including wet lowland forest, montane forest, savannah, and grassland. The new dates and the lithostratigraphy relate the Deep Skull to evidence of episodes of human activity that range in date from ca. 46,000 to ca. 34,000 years ago. Initial investigations of sediment scorching, pollen, palynomorphs, phytoliths, plant macrofossils, and starch grains recovered from existing exposures, and of vertebrates from the current and the earlier excavations, suggest that human foraging during these times was marked by habitat-tailored hunting technologies, the collection and processing of toxic plants for consumption, and, perhaps, the use of fire at some forest-edges. The Niah evidence demonstrates the sophisticated nature of the subsistence behavior developed by modern humans to exploit the tropical environments that they encountered in Southeast Asia, including rainforest

The role of tributary mixing in chemical variations at a karst spring, Milandre, Switzerland, ,
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Perrin J. , Jeannin P. Y. , Cornaton F. ,
SummarySolute concentration variations during flood events were investigated in a karst aquifer of the Swiss Jura. Observations were made at the spring, and at the three main subterraneous tributaries feeding the spring. A simple transient flow and transport numerical model was able to reproduce chemographs and hydrographs observed at the spring, as a result of a mixing of the concentration and discharge of the respective tributaries. Sensitivity analysis carried out with the model showed that it is possible to produce chemical variations at the spring even if all tributaries have constant (but different for each of them) solute concentrations. This process is called tributary mixing. The good match between observed and modelled curves indicate that, in the phreatic zone, tributary mixing is probably an important process that shapes spring chemographs. Chemical reactions and other mixing components (e.g. from low permeability volumes) have a limited influence.Dissolution-related (calcium, bicarbonate, specific conductance) and pollution-related parameters (nitrate, chloride, potassium) displayed slightly different behaviours: during moderate flood events, the former showed limited variations compared to the latter. During large flood events, both presented chemographs with significant changes. No significant event water participates in moderate flood events and tributary mixing will be the major process shaping chemographs. Variations are greater for parameters with higher spatial variability (e.g. pollution-related). Whereas for large flood events, the contribution of event water becomes significant and influences the chemographs of all the parameters. As a result, spring water vulnerability to an accidental pollution is low during moderate flood events and under base flow conditions. It strongly increases during large flood events, because event water contributes to the spring discharge

Fungal communities on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, USA, ,
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Vaughan Michael J. , Maier Raina M. , Pryor Barry M.

Kartchner Caverns, located near Benson, Arizona, USA, is an active carbonate cave that serves as the major attraction for Kartchner Caverns State Park. Low-impact development and maintenance have preserved prediscovery macroscopic cavern features and minimized disturbances to biological communities within the cave.. The goal of this study was to examine fungal diversity in Kartchner Caverns on actively-forming speleothem surfaces. Fifteen formations were sampled from five sites across the cave. Richness was assessed using standard culture-based fungal isolation techniques. A culture-independent analysis using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) was used to assay evidence of community homogeneity across the cave through the separation of 18S rDNA amplicons from speleothem community DNA. The culturing effort recovered 53 distinct morphological taxonomic units (MTUs), corresponding to 43 genetic taxonomic units (GTUs) that represented 21 genera. From the observed MTU accumulation curve and the projected total MTU richness curve, it is estimated that 51 percent of the actual MTU richness was recovered. The most commonly isolated fungi belonged to the genera Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Phialophora, and Aspergillus. This culturebased analysis did not reveal significant differences in fungal richness or number of fungi recovered across sites. Cluster analysis using DGGE band profiles did not reveal distinctive groupings of speleothems by sample site. However, canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) analysis of culture-independent DGGE profiles showed a significant effect of sampling site and formation type on fungal community structure. Taken together, these results reveal that diverse fungal communities exist on speleothem surfaces in Kartchner Caverns, and that these communities are not uniformly distributed spatially. Analysis of sample saturation indicated that more sampling depth is required to uncover the full scale of mycological richness across spelothem surfaces.

Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, ,
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Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.


Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity at a karst spring induced by variable catchment boundaries: the case of the Podstenjšek spring, Slovenia, ,
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Ravbar, N. , Engelhardt, I. , Goldscheider, N.

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity (SEC) was observed at a karst spring in Slovenia during 26 high-flow events in an 18-month monitoring period. A conceptual model explaining this anomalous SEC variability is presented and reproduced by numerical modelling, and the practical relevance for source protection zoning is discussed. After storm rainfall, discharge increases rapidly, which is typical for karst springs. SEC displays a first maximum during the rising limb of the spring hydrograph, followed by a minimum indicating the arrival of freshly infiltrated water, often confirmed by increased levels of total organic carbon (TOC). The anomalous behaviour starts after this SEC minimum, when SEC rises again and remains elevated during the entire high-flow period, typically 20–40 µS/cm above the baseflow value. This is explained by variable catchment boundaries: When the water level in the aquifer rises, the catchment expands, incorporating zones of groundwater with higher SEC, caused by higher unsaturated zone thickness and subtle lithologic changes. This conceptual model has been checked by numerical investigations. A generalized finite-difference model including high-conductivity cells representing the conduit network (“discrete-continuum approach”) was set up to simulate the observed behaviour of the karst system. The model reproduces the shifting groundwater divide and the nearly simultaneous increase of discharge and SEC during high-flow periods. The observed behaviour is relevant for groundwater source protection zoning, which requires reliable delineation of catchment areas. Anomalous behaviour of SEC can point to variable catchment boundaries that can be checked by tracer tests during different hydrologic conditions.

Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, ,
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Bontognali Tomaso R. R. , D’angeli Ilenia M. , Tisato Nicola, Vasconcelos Crisogono, Bernasconi Stefano M. , Gonzales Esteban R. G. , De Waele Jo

Unusual speleothems resembling giant mushrooms occur in Cueva Grande de Santa
Catalina, Cuba. Although these mineral buildups are considered a natural heritage, their
composition and formation mechanism remain poorly understood. Here we characterize
their morphology and mineralogy and present a model for their genesis. We propose that
the mushrooms, which are mainly comprised of calcite and aragonite, formed during four
different phases within an evolving cave environment. The stipe of the mushroom is an
assemblage of three well-known speleothems: a stalagmite surrounded by calcite rafts
that were subsequently encrusted by cave clouds (mammillaries). More peculiar is the
cap of the mushroom, which is morphologically similar to cerebroid stromatolites and
thrombolites of microbial origin occurring in marine environments. Scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) investigations of this last unit revealed the presence of fossilized
extracellular polymeric substances (EPS)—the constituents of biofilms and microbial
mats. These organic microstructures are mineralized with Ca-carbonate, suggesting that
the mushroom cap formed through a microbially-influenced mineralization process. The
existence of cerebroid Ca-carbonate buildups forming in dark caves (i.e., in the absence
of phototrophs) has interesting implications for the study of fossil microbialites preserved
in ancient rocks, which are today considered as one of the earliest evidence for life on

On the Geology of the Western States of North America, 0000,
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Owen David Dale,
The remarks here submitted will be confined chiefly to that part of the Western States of North America watered by the rivers Ohio, Wabash, Illinois, Rock, Wisconsin, Cumberland and Tennessee, lying between the 35th and 43rd degree of N. latitude and the 81st and 91st of W. longitude. The district includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, and the Du Buque and Mineral Point districts of Iowa and Wisconsin. This territory occupies an area of about half a million of square miles, but its geological features are remarkably uniform, belonging, with a few partial exceptions, to the periods of the bituminous coal and carboniferous limestone as found in Europe, and the Silurian rocks as described by Sir R. Murchison; the exceptions are the superficial deposits which occasionally cover up these from view over considerable tracts, and these must either be referred to the age of gigantic mammalia and formations of a much newer date, or belong to a marl and greensand found in the western district of Tennessee, probably a portion of the greensand and other members of the cretaceous group. A general idea of the geological formations of the whole tract may be obtained from the annexed diagram. ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Sulfate reducing bacteria in microbial mats: Changing paradigms, new discoveries, 0000,
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Baumgartner Lk, Reid Rp, Dupraz C, Decho Aw, Buckley Dh, Spear Jr, Przekop Km, Visscher Pt,
Sulfate reducing bacteria (SRB) have existed throughout much of Earth's history and remain major contributors to carbon cycling in modern systems. Despite their importance, misconceptions about SRB are prevalent. In particular, SRB are commonly thought to lack oxygen tolerance and to exist only in anoxic environments. Through the last two decades, researchers have discovered that SRB can, in fact, tolerate and even respire oxygen. Investigations of microbial mat systems have demonstrated that SRB are both abundant and active in the oxic zones of mats. Additionally, SRB have been found to be highly active in the lithified zones of microbial mats, suggesting a connection between sulfate reduction and mat lithification. In the present paper, we review recent research on SRB distribution and present new preliminary findings on both the diversity and distribution of [delta]-proteobacterial SRB in lithifying and non-lithifying microbial mat systems. These preliminary findings indicate the unexplored diversity of SRB in a microbial mat system and demonstrate the close microspatial association of SRB and cyanobacteria in the oxic zone of the mat. Possible mechanisms and further studies to elucidate mechanisms for carbonate precipitation via sulfate reduction are also discussed

Agressive action of water on carbonate rocks, gypsum and concrete, 1939,
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Laptev F. F.

Some Notes on the Relationship of Carbon Dioxide with Water in Caves, 1949,
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Chantry M. H.

The Carbonation of Cave Waters, 1951,
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Pill A. L.

Loose Carbonate Accretions from Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1951,
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Black Dm,

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