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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 sinkhole plain is (american.) plain on which most of the local relief is due to closed depressions and nearly all drainage is subterranean [10].?

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

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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 geographic information systems (Keyword) returned 18 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 18
Geographic Information Systems as a tool for the protection of the Mammoth Cave karst aquifer, Kentucky, 2000, Pfaff R. , Glennon J. A. Groves C. , Meiman J. , Fry J.

Geographic information systems analysis of geologic controls on the distribution on dolines in the Ozarks of south-central Missouri, USA, 2000, Orndorff Randall C. , Weary David J. , Lagueux Kerry M.

The geologic controls on the distribution and development of dolines in the Salem Plateau of the Ozark Plateaus Province, south-central Missouri, USA, was statistically analyzed by using a geographic information system. The controls include lithostratigraphy, geologic structure, slope, and depth to water table. Area and point data for 2,613 dolines in two 30'¥60' quadrangles were compiled on a 30-meter grid. The percent area of dolines was calculated for five lithostratigraphic units, and it was determined that the Jefferson City Dolomite and Roubidoux Formation have the highest density of dolines. A focal sum neighborhood analysis was performed to determine if the distribution of dolines had any clustering or linearity that may suggest structural control. A northwest alignment of doline clusters occurs along a projection of the Bolivar-Mansfield fault zone in south-central Missouri. Most dolines in the study area occur on the plateau areas and on gentle slopes rather than in the highly dissected areas. Intense fracturing near regional fault zones may enhance doline development on the plateau areas. An understanding of the karst system is important for better land-use management practices in the Ozarks, including conservation of natural resources, ground-water management, and environmental protection, especially because the study area includes potential economic lead and zinc mineralization.


Hurricane Crawl Cave: A GIS-Based Cave Management Plan Analysis and Review, 2002, Despain, J. , Fryer, S.
With the goal of minimizing impact to rare, fragile, and significant cave resources, this paper compares the location of such features in Hurricane Crawl Cave, Sequoia National Park, California, to the open and unrestricted areas of the cave as defined by the Hurricane Crawl Cave Management Plan. geographic information systems (GIS) analysis provided statistical data on the relationship of chosen key features and resources to caver travel corridors and open areas, and thus, allowed an unbiased assessment of the appropriateness of travel closures and management restrictions. Using buffer analysis around these features, we determined that the existing plan for the cave addresses the protection of cave speleothems and paleontological features, but is not adequate in the protection of areas of biological significance.

Using Geographic Information Systems to Develop a Cave Potential Map for Wind Cave, South Dakota, 2002, Horrocks, R. D. , Szukalski, B. W.
The cave potential map concept was originally developed to address management concerns, but other uses rose to the forefront, including the likely maximum boundaries of Wind Cave, the potential surveyable length of the cave, and the possibilities of a connection with Jewel Cave. In addition, this method may provide means to judge the exploration potential for any section of the cave and to evaluate hypotheses regarding the caves origin. The cave potential map was based on structural geologic factors, surface contour maps, cave survey data, surface blowhole locations, and hydrologic maps. Geographic information systems (GIS) were used to combine these data with GIS-generated triangular irregular networks, slope and aspect, orthophotoquads, a park boundary map, and land ownership maps. By combining these datasets and deriving buffers and overlays, it was determined that the current cave boundaries cover 1/10 of the total potential or maximum likely extent of the cave. The likely maximum potential boundaries are 97% inside of the current boundaries of Wind Cave National Park. Based on passage density, the length of the Wind Cave survey could range from 400-1760 km. Since the current 166 km of survey represents no more than 40% of the minimum predicted length of the cave or as little as 9% of the maximum predicted length of the cave, a tremendous amount of surveyable passage remains in the system.

Implementation and Application of GIS at Timpanogos Cave National Monument, Utah, 2002, Mcneil, B. E. , Jasper, J. D. , Luchsinger, D. A. , Rainsmier, M. V.
Recent advances in accessibility and functionality of geographic information systems (GIS) have allowed Timpanogos Cave National Monument (TICA), Utah, to implement and apply this valuable management and interpretive tool. This implementation is highlighted by successful collaborations and the development of a 2-m resolution Digital Terrain Model. Applications of GIS at TICA are useful for the interpretation, resource management, and maintenance areas of park management. Specific applications with importance to the management decisions of TICA include interpretive mapping, 3-D visualization, cave resource management, and surface rockfall hazard.

The Use of GIS in the Spatial Analysis of an Archaeological Cave Site, 2002, Moyes, H.
Although archaeologists traditionally have viewed geographic information systems (GIS) as a tool for the investigation of large regions, its flexibility allows it to be used in non-traditional settings such as caves. Using the example of Actun Tunichil Muknal, a Terminal Classic Maya ceremonial cave in western Belize, this study demonstrates the utility of GIS as a tool for data display, visualization, exploration, and generation. Clustering of artifacts was accomplished by combining GIS technology with a K-means clustering analysis, and basic GIS functions were used to evaluate distances of artifact clusters to morphological features of the cave. Results of these analyses provided new insights into ancient Maya ritual cave use that would have been difficult to achieve by standard methods of map preparation and examination.

Using GIS to Manage Two Large Cave Systems, Wind and Jewel Caves, South Dakota, 2002, Ohms, R. , Reece, M.
The length and complexity of Wind and Jewel Caves offer unique challenges for cave managers. Determining the location of specific cave passages in relation to surface features is a key management tool, which is now greatly facilitated by Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This has been particularly useful at Wind and Jewel, where the complexity of the caves and their lack of obvious relation to the overlying surface make visualization of their locations difficult. GIS has also been used at both Wind and Jewel to display data tied to cave survey stations (such as feature inventories and control points). At Jewel Cave, GIS has been used to aid in management decisions regarding the use of herbicides above cave resources, and to better identify where the cave crosses political boundaries. At Wind Cave, GIS has been used to plan a parking lot replacement project and to create a model of the caves potential extent.

The Application of GIS in Support of Land Acquisition for the Protection of Sensitive Groundwater Recharge Properties in the Edwards Aquifer of South-Central Texas, 2002, Stone, D. , Schindel, G. M.
In May 2000, the City of San Antonio passed a $45 million bond issue to purchase land or conservation easements of sensitive land in the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer in south central Texas. The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of water for over 1.7 million people in the region. The application of geographic information systems (GIS) methods allowed for the objective comparison of all properties within the recharge and contributing zones of the aquifer for possible purchase. A GIS matrix was developed and applied in the process of prioritizing sensitive karst lands.

Morphometric and spatial distribution prarmeters of karstic depressions, Lower Suwannee River Basin, Florida, 2003, Denizman, C.
This study describes an application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to examine the morphometric and spatial distribution of karstic depressions in the lower Suwannee River basin. Morphometris analysis of some 25,000 karstic depressions in an area covered by twenty-four 1:24,000 scale standard USGS topographic quadrangles were made possible by the analytical capabilities of the GIS. The parameters calculated for the study area include length, width, orientation, area, depth, circularity index, depression density, pitting index, and nearest neighbor index. Analysis of ~25,000 depressions in the lower Suwannee River basin reveals that the Florida karst is represented by broad, shallow depressions with an average density of 6.07 depressions/km and an average pitting index of 14.5. Morphometric and spatial distribution parameters of karstic depressions within the lower Suwannee River basin show significant variations. The robust GIS methodology used in this study provides not only a rapid analysis of spatial data on a large population of karstic depressions, but also an objective approach with consistent measurement and calculation processes in which human errors and bias were eliminated. In accordance with the increasing use of GIS in analyzing spatial data on diverse applications, this study shows that the GIS environment can also be efficiently used for karst landform studies.

Suitability Assessment for New Minia City, Egypt: A GIS Approach to Engineering Geology, 2005, Aly Mh, Giardino Jr, Klein Ag,
Urban development is a high priority in Egypt. New Minia City, located on the eastern bank of the Nile River, approximately 250 km south of Cairo, is one of 16 new development communities. Urban development in New Minia City may encounter several geo-environmental problems. Karst conditions and structural features in the local heterogeneous bedrock limit its suitability for constructional purposes. In this research, suitability of the area for urban development was assessed using a geographic information systems (GIS)-based approach. A weighted GIS model that incorporated land use/cover, types of soil, karst feature distribution, fracture densities, slopes, distances to major faults and streams, road network, and city boundaries was established to create a map of site suitability for the city. Model weights were developed using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP) approach. Current urban land use within New Minia City falls into four classes of suitability. Approximately 7 percent of the area built by 2002 is in the low suitability class, which suggests that the map of site suitability can serve as a reliable base for planning sustainable development in New Minia City. The developed map of site suitability is effective for assessing and revealing ratings of suitability for urban development. Furthermore, the map of suitability provides the foundation for informed decision making in the development of New Minia City

Geographic Information Systems and Science, 2005, Longley P. A. , Goodchild M. F. , Maguire D. J. , Rhind D. W.

Intrinsic vulnerability assessment of Sette Comuni Plateau aquifer (Veneto Region, Italy), 2007, Cucchi Franco, Franceschini Giuliana, Zini Luca, Aurighi Marina
Maps illustrating the different degrees of vulnerability within a given area are integral to environmental protection and management policies. The assessment of the intrinsic vulnerability of karst areas is difficult since the type and stage of karst development and the related underground discharge behavior are difficult to determine and quantify. Geographic Information Systems techniques are applied to the evaluation of the vulnerability of an aquifer in the alpine karst area of the Sette Comuni Plateau, in the Veneto Region of northern Italy. The water resources of the studied aquifer are of particular importance to the local communities. This aquifer must therefore be protected from both inappropriate use as well as possible pollution. The SINTACS and SINTACS PRO KARST vulnerability assessment methods have been utilized here to create the vulnerability map. SINTACS PRO KARST is an adaptation of the parametric managerial model (SINTACS) to karst hydrostructures. The vulnerability map reveals vast zones (81% of the analyzed areas) with a high degree of vulnerability. The presence of well-developed karst structures in these highly vulnerable areas facilitate water percolation, thereby enhancing the groundwater vulnerability risk. Only 1.5 of the studied aquifer have extremely high-vulnerability levels, however these areas include all of the major springs utilized for human consumption. This vulnerability map of the Sette Comuni Plateau aquifer is an indispensable tool for both the effective management of water resources and as support to environmental planning in the Sette Comuni Plateau area.

Comparative study of specific groundwater vulnerability of a karst aquifer in central Florida, 2012, Van Beynen P. E. , Niedzielski M. A. , Bialkowskajelinska E. , Alsharifa K. , Matusick J.

The Floridan aquifer system (FAS) is known to be one of the most productive aquifer systems in the USA. With the FAS being a karst aquifer, it presents unique challenges to land use planners because of inherent vulnerabilities to contamination through direct connections between the aquifer and the surface. In this study a new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) -based index, the Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Index (KAVI), incorporates geologic layers used in intrinsic groundwater vulnerability models (GVMs) plus an epikarst layer specific to karst, with land use coverages to create a specific groundwater vulnerability model. The KAVI model was compared to another specific vulnerability model, the Susceptibility Index (SI). Tabulation of the percentage areas of vulnerability classes reveals major differences between the two models with SI suggesting greater vulnerability for the study area than KAVI. Validation of these two models found that KAVI vulnerability levels best reproduced spatially varying concentrations of nitrate in the aquifer. Sensitivity analysis, the application of a variation index and measuring the effective weights for each parameter included in KAVI confirmed the importance of closed depressions but also aquifer hydraulic conductivity. The inclusion of land use was justified; however, effective weight analysis determined its assigned weight was too high as used in the initial calculation of KAVI.


Biodiversity and conservation of subterranean fauna fromPortuguese karst. Ph.D. Thesis, 2012, Ana Sofia Reboleira

This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.


Biodiversity and conservation of subterranean fauna of Portuguese karst. Ph.D. thesis, 2012, Ana Sofia P. S. Reboleira

This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.This research is a contribution to the study of subterranean biodiversity in karst areas of Portugal, towards its conservation.

The relative inaccessibility of the subterranean environment is a challenge for the study of its fauna, often accessible only in caves but more widely distributed. The subterranean animals are among the most rare, threatened and worldwide underprotected, often by the simple fact of being unknown.

Karst areas of Portugal occupy a considerable part of the territory and harbor more than 2000 caves. The complex biogeographical history of the Iberian Peninsula allowed the survival of several relict arthropod refugees in the subterranean environment.

Subterranean invertebrates have been ignored, as for as the protection of karst systems are concerned in Portugal, largely because knowledge was scarce and disorganized. Reviewing all the bibliographic sources about subterranean fauna from Portugal and listing troglobiont and stygobiont species and locations, was essential to understand the state of knowledge of species richness and the biogeography and conservation status for the studied areas.

In order to understand subterranean biodiversity patterns in karst areas from Portugal, one year of intense fieldwork was performed in more than 40 caves from 14 karst units. Several new species for science were discovered and 7 taxa comprising 2 new genera and 5 new species were described.

Bearing in mind that spatial distribution of subterranean species is crucial to ecological research and conservation, the distribution of hypogean species, from Portuguese karst areas, was mapped using geographic information systems. Also, its subterranean richness was compared with other areas of the world and missing species were estimated on a regional scale. The subterranean biodiversity patterns were analyzed, and several factors were tested to explain richness patterns. Evapotranspiration and the consequent high productivity on the surface may be determinant in the species richness in the different karst units of Portugal, but the depth of the caves and the unique geological features of every massif seemed to play a more important role.

In order to evaluate the tolerance of organisms to groundwater contamination, the acute toxicity of two substances were tested on stygobiont crustaceans with different degrees of troglomorphism. Our study showed that the high levels of endemism contribute to remarkably different toxicological responses within the same genus.

The major problems related to conservation of subterranean habitats were associated to direct destruction and their contamination. These ecosystems lack of specific protection, implying an adequate management of surface habitats and the establishment of priority areas. Integrating all the previous information, this study establishes a ranking of sites for conservation of subterranean fauna in karst areas of Portugal.


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