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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 stress, preconsolidation is the maximum antecedent effective stress to which a deposit has been subjected, and which it can withstand without undergoing additional permanent deformation. stress changes in the range less than the preconsolidation stress produce elastic deformations of small magnitude. in finegrained materials, stress increases beyond the preconsolidation stress produce much larger deformations that are principally inelastic (nonrecoverable) [21].?

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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 extinction (Keyword) returned 15 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 15
Lattice Deformation and Curvature in Stalactitic Carbonate., 1983, Broughton Paul L.
The cause of lattice curvature is related to the nature of growth on a curved surface, peculiar to stalactites and stalagmites. Lattice curvature in stalactitic carbonate results from the coalescence of sub-parallel to divergent syntaxial overgrowth crystallites on the growing surface of stalactites and stalagmites. Moderate lattice mismatch results in an undulose extinction, or subcrystal domains, whereas more divergent growth favours marked lattice curvature recognized by its optical brush-extinction. Extreme lattice mismatch between the precursor crystallites results a columnar crystal boundary instead of lattice curvature.

The evolution of non-relictual tropical troglobites, 1987, Howarth Francis G.
The discovery of terrestrial troglobites living in caves on young oceanic islands with close epigean relatives living in nearby surface habitats offers unique opportunities to develop and test hypotheses concerning their evolution. Studies comparing the physiological ecology of troglobites with their epigean relatives suggest that troglobites are highly specialized to exploit resources within the system of interconnected medium-sized voids (mesocaverns) and only colonize cave passages (macrocaverns) with a stable, water vapor-saturated atmosphere. Few other animals can live in the mesocaverns. Rather than being relicts isolated in caves by the extinction of their epigean ancestral population, troglobites appear to evolve by a process called adaptive shift from species that are frequent accidentals in the mesocaverns.

Searching for extinction/recovery gradients: the Frasnian-Famennian interval, Mokra Section, Moravia, central Europe, 1996, Cejchan P, Hladil J,
A series of ancient seafloors colonized by diverse organisms has been documented from the Upper Devonian rocks of the Western Mokra Quarry. Situated in the southern tectonic closure of the Moravian Karst, the Frasnian-Famennian shallow carbonate ramps exhibit both Rhenish and Ukrainian affinities. Reconstruction of palaeo-sea floor horizons results in a series of 28 quadrats sufficient for further evaluation. Eighty-five taxa involved were scrutinized for abundance, occupied area, skeletal mass production and biomass production. The aim of the study was to determine whether the observed sequence of quadrats can be distinguished from a random one, and to discover any possible unidimensional gradient as a latent control. Monte Carlo simulations and a graph theoretical approach were utilized. Although the raw data seemed chaotic, the simulations demonstrated the observed sequence is not random. A significant influence of a hidden control is thus suggested. Fifteen characteristics of quadrats (e.g. diversity, number of taxa, vertical stratification of community, number of patches) were utilized for final interpretation. The gradient reconstructed by TSP algorithm reveals a significant crisis within the uppermost part of the Amphipora-bearing limestone

Mapping Chicxulub crater structure with gravity and seismic reflection data, 1998, Hildebrand A. R. , Pilkington M. , Ortizaleman C. , Chavez R. E. , Urrutiafucugauchi J. , Connors M. , Granielcastro E. , Camarazi A. , Halpenny J. F. , Niehaus D. ,
Aside from its significance in establishing the impact-mass extinction paradigm, the Chicxulub crater will probably come to exemplify the structure of large complex craters. Much of Chicxulub's structure may be mapped' by tying its gravity expression to seismic-reflection profiles revealing an [~]180 km diameter for the now-buried crater. The distribution of karst topography aids in outlining the peripheral crater structure as also revealed by the horizontal gradient of the gravity anomaly. The fracturing inferred to control groundwater flow is apparently related to subsidence of the crater fill. Modelling the crater's gravity expression based on a schematic structural model reveals that the crater fill is also responsible for the majority of the negative anomaly. The crater's melt sheet and central structural uplift are the other significant contributors to its gravity expression. The Chicxulub impact released [~]1.2 x 1031 ergs based on the observed collapsed disruption cavity of [~]86 km diameter reconstructed to an apparent disruption cavity (Dad) of [~]94 km diameter (equivalent to the excavation cavity) and an apparent transient cavity (Dat) of [~]80 km diameter. This impact energy, together with the observed [~]2 x 1011 g global Ir fluence in the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) fireball layer indicates that the impactor was a comet estimated as massing [~]1.8 x 1018 g of [~]16.5 km diameter assuming a 0.6 gcm-3 density. Dust-induced darkness and cold, wind, giant waves, thermal pulses from the impact fireball and re-entering ejecta, acid rain, ozone-layer depletion, cooling from stratospheric aerosols, H2O greenhouse, CO2 greenhouse, poisons and mutagens, and oscillatory climate have been proposed as deleterious environmental effects of the Chicxulub impact with durations ranging from a few minutes to a million years. This succession of effects defines a temperature curve that is characteristic of large impacts. Although some patterns may be recognized in the K-T extinctions, and the survivorship rules changed across the boundary, relating specific environmental effects to species' extinctions is not yet possible. Geochemical records across the boundary support the occurrence a prompt thermal pulse, acid rain and a [~]5000 year-long greenhouse. The period of extinctions seems to extend into the earliest Tertiary

Late Pleistocene microtine rodents from Snake Creek Burial Cave, White Pine County, Nevada, 1998, Bell Cj, Mead Ji,
A total of 395 microtine rodent specimens recovered from Snake Creek Burial Cave (SCBC) are referred to Microtus SP. and Lemmiscus curtatus. Radiocarbon and Uranium series dates indicate an ae for these fossils of between 9460 160) yr. B.P. and 15,1000 700 yr, B.P. The sample of lower first molars of Lemmiscus includes 4-, 5-, and B-closed triangle morphotypes. Earlier reports of the 4-closed triangle morphotype are from Irvingtonian deposits in Colorado, Nevada, and New Mexico and from early Rancholabrean deposits in Washington. The morphotype is not known in living populations of Lemmiscus. SCBC specimens constitute the youngest record of the 4-closed triangle morphotype and are the only-specimens reported item the late Rancholabrean. Thc time of disappearance of Lemmiscus with this molar morphology is unknown, but populations with this morphotype possibly became extinct at or near the end of the Pleistocene

Karst lakes of the Protected Landscape Area - Biosphere Reserve Slovensky kras karst and Aggtelek National Park, 2001, Barancok P,
In the extent karst area belonging to the Protected Landscape Area - Biosphere Reserve Slovensky kras karst and Aggtelck National Park arc several lakes. They arc very significant biotopes. At present they arc extincted rapidly, their water surface is reduced, they are silted relatively quickly and they arc overgrown by wetland vegetation. In order to clarify the causes of their extinction the development of 3 takes of the area Slovensky kras karst - lakes Jastericicic jazero lake, Smradrave jazierko lake and Fardrova jama lake and 3 lakes of the area Aggtelck Karst - lakes Aggtelcki-to, voros-to and Kardos-to were evaluated. From the area Slovensky kras karst are well known 2 further lakes - Lucanske jazierko lake and Cierne jazero lake. Climatic changes and prevailingly negative impact of man have decisive influence on the development of all lakes in the mentioned area

Particle transport in a karst aquifer: natural and artificial tracer experiments with bacteria, bacteriophages and microspheres, 2002, Auckenthaler A, Raso G, Huggenberger P,
Fast changes in spring water quality in karst areas are a major concern for production of drinking water and require detailed knowledge of the complex interaction between karst aquifer, transport behavior of microorganisms and water treatment We have conducted artificial and natural particle transport experiments at a karst spring with bacteria, bacteriophages, microspheres, and pathogens Transport of the investigated microorganisms, turbid matter and chemical pullutants as well as increase in discharge are strongly related to precipitation and the heterogeneity of the aquifer The indicator bacteria E cob revealed a significant correlation to verotoxin-producing E cob and Cryptosporidium spp We conclude that artificial particle tracers can help identify 'hot spots' for microbial recharge and that system parameters in spring water such as turbidity, UV-extinction and increase in discharge can be key parameters for efficient raw water management

Sedimentary evidence for a rapid, kilometer-scale crustal doming prior to the eruption of the Emeishan flood basalts, 2003, He B. , Xu Y. G. , Chung S. L. , Xiao L. , Wang Y. ,
Biostratigraphic and sedimentologic investigations in 67 sections have been carried out for the Middle Permian Maokou Formation that immediately underlies the Emeishan flood basalts in southwest China. The results suggest a domal crustal thinning before the emplacement of the Emeishan large igneous province. Variably thinned carbonates in the Maokou Formation are capped by a subaerial unconformity, which is generally manifested by karst paleotopography, paleoweathering zone, or locally by relict gravels and basal conglomerates. Provenance analysis indicates that these gravels and conglomerates were mainly derived from the uppermost Maokou Formation. Therefore, the stratigraphic thinning likely resulted from differential erosion due to regional uplift. Iso-thickness contours of the Maokou Formation delineate a subcircular uplifted area, in accordance with the crustal doming caused by a starting mantle plume as predicted by experimental and numerical modeling. The duration of this uplift is estimated to be less than 3 Myr and the magnitude of uplift is greater than 1000 m. The sedimentary records therefore provide independent supporting evidence for the mantle plume initiation model for the generation of the Emeishan flood basalts. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Prolonged wet period in the southwestern United States through the Younger Dryas, 2004, Polyak Victor J. , Rasmussen Jessica B. T. , Asmerom Yemane,
The Younger Dryas was one of the more dramatic climatic transitions ever recorded. How these types of climatic shifts are expressed in continental interiors is of primary scientific interest and of vital societal concern. Here we present a speleothem-based absolutely dated record (using uranium-series data) of climate change for the southwestern United States from growth chronology of multiple speleothems. The stalagmite growth represents the onset of wetter climate (12,500 yr B.P.) soon after the start of the Younger Dryas; the wetter climate persisted a millennium beyond the termination of the Younger Dryas. This wet cycle is likely related to a more southern positioning of the polar jet stream in response to cooler Northern Hemisphere climate. The end of the wet period coincides with the peak of the Holocene summer insolation maximum ca. 10,500 yr B.P. The Allerod (prior to the Younger Dryas), which corresponds to Clovis occupation in the southwestern United States, was drier in comparison and seems in line with a climatic contribution to megafauna extinction

Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, PhD Thesis, 2005, Eberhard, S. M.

Groundwater is a significant component of the world’s water balance and accounts for >90 % of usable freshwater. Around the world groundwater is an important source of water for major cities, towns, industries, agriculture and forestry. Groundwater plays a role in the ecological processes and ‘health’ of many surface ecosystems, and is the critical habitat for subterranean aquatic animals (stygofauna). Over-abstraction or contamination of groundwater resources may imperil the survival of stygofauna and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs). In two karst areas in Western Australia (Yanchep and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge), rich stygofauna communities occur in cave waters containing submerged tree roots. These aquatic root mat communities were listed as critically endangered because of declining groundwater levels, presumably caused by lower rainfall, groundwater abstraction, and/or forest plantations. Investigation of the hydrology and ecology of the cave systems was considered essential for the conservation and recovery of these threatened ecological communities (TECs). This thesis investigated the hydrology and ecology of one of the TECs, located in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. A multi-disciplinary approach was used to explore aspects pertinent to the hydrology and ecology of the groundwater system.
Thermoluminescence dating of the limestone suggested that development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and that caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Field mapping and leveling were used to determine hydrologic relationships between caves and the boundaries of the karst aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels was undertaken to characterise the conditions of recharge, storage, flow and discharge. A hydrogeologic model of the karst system was developed.
The groundwater hydrograph for the last 50 years was reconstructed from old photographs and records whilst radiometric dating and leveling of stratigraphic horizons enabled reconstruction of a history of watertable fluctuations spanning the Holocene to Late Pleistocene. The watertable fluctuations over the previous 50 years did not exceed the range of fluctuations experienced in the Quaternary history, including a period 11,000 to 13,000 years ago when the watertable was lower than the present level.
The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not reflected in the annual rainfall trend, which was above average during the period (1976 to 1988) when the major drop in water levels occurred. Groundwater abstraction and tree plantations in nearby catchments have not contributed to the groundwater decline as previously suggested. The period of major watertable decline coincided with a substantial reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have contributed to a reduction in groundwater recharge, through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. To better understand the relationships between rainfall, vegetation and fire and their effects on groundwater recharge, an experiment is proposed that involves a prescribed burn of the cave catchment with before-after monitoring of rainfall, leaf-area, ground litter, soil moisture, vadose infiltration and groundwater levels.
Molecular genetic techniques (allozyme electrophoresis and mitochondrial DNA) were used to assess the species and population boundaries of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda. Populations of both species were largely panmictic which was consistent with the hydrogeologic model. The molecular data supported the conclusion that both species of amphipod have survived lower watertable levels experienced in the caves during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed.
Multi Dimensional Scaling was used to investigate patterns in groundwater biodiversity including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography. Faunal patterns were related to abiotic environmental parameters. Investigation of hydrochemistry and water quality characterized the ecological water requirements (EWR) of the TEC and established a baseline against which to evaluate potential impacts such as groundwater pollution.
The conservation status of the listed TEC was significantly improved by increasing the number of known occurrences and distribution range of the community (from 10 m2 to > 2 x 106 m2), and by showing that earlier perceived threatening processes (rainfall decline, groundwater pumping, tree plantations) were either ameliorated or inoperative within this catchment. The GDE in the Jewel Cave karst system may not have been endangered by the major phase of watertable decline experienced 1975-1987, or by the relatively stable level experienced up until 2000. However, if the present trend of declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia continues, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the GDE may become more vulnerable to extinction.
The occurrence and distribution of aquatic root mat communities and related groundwater fauna in other karst catchments in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is substantially greater than previously thought, however some of these are predicted to be threatened by groundwater pumping and pollution associated with increasing urban and rural developments. The taxonomy of most stygofauna taxa and the distribution of root mat communities is too poorly known to enable proper assessment of their conservation requirements. A regional-scale survey of stygofauna in southwest Western Australia is required to address this problem. In the interim, conservation actions for the listed TECs need to be focused at the most appropriate spatial scale, which is the karst drainage system and catchment area. Conservation of GDEs in Western Australia will benefit from understanding and integration with abiotic groundwater system processes, especially hydrogeologic and geomorphic processes.


Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia [abstract], 2006, Eberhard S. M.
This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.

Extended Abstract: Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, 2006, Eberhard, Stefan M.

This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.


Cave smoke: Air pollution poisoning involved in Neanderthal extinction?, 2007, Stormer Fredrik C. , Mysterud Ivar,

Historical biogeography of subterranean beetles Platos cave or scientific evidence?, 2007, Moldovan O. T. , Rajka G.

The last two decades were particularly prolific in historical biogeography because of new information introduced from other sciences, such as paleogeography, by the development of quantitative methods and by molecular phylogeny. Subterranean beetles represent an excellent object of study for historical biogeography because they are the group with the best representation in the subterranean domain. In addition, species have reduced mobility, display different degrees of adaptations to life in caves and many specialists work on this group. Three processes have shaped the present distribution of the tribe Leptodirini (Coleoptera Cholevinae) in the world: dispersal, vicariance, and extinction. Therefore, three successive stages can be established in the space-time evolution of Leptodirini: (1) dispersal from a center of origin in the present area(s); (2) dispersal, extinction and vicariance among the present area(s); and (3) colonization and speciation in the subterranean domain. The Romanian Leptodirini, especially those from Western Carpathians is examined with respect to these processes. Their pattern of distribution in different massifs and at different altitudes is discussed, with possible explanations from a historical biogeographic point of view.


The biodiversity of Krem Mawkhyrdop of Meghalaya, India, on the verge of extinction., 2009, Jayant Biswas
Cave fauna are unique and constitute one of the important components of biodiversity. The prevalence of cave organisms (cavernicoles) is always more in wet and longer caves compared to small and dry ones. Cavernicoles continue to evolve in the habitat characterized by complete darkness, constant temperature, high humidity and low predatic pressure. The subterranean biospheres located in tropical and sub-tropical India are poorly explored. Quarrying/mining activities in the karst area directly or indirectly harm such subterranean biosphere. Krem Mawkhyrdop located in Meghalaya, is affected by such activities. Recently, a portion of this cave collapsed despite early warning calls. In this article, we explain how an unscientific and random quarrying/mining process may possibly lead to extinction of biodiversity of this cave.

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