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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 dissolution of limestone is the solubility of calcite (and hence of limestone) in pure water is very low, but is vastly increased in the presence of carbon dioxide. this gas, dissolved in the water to produce carbonic acid, permits dissociation of calcium carbonate, and dissolution rates and loads are therefore directly related to carbon dioxide content. this accounts for the importance to limestone dissolution of plant growth; soil water contains greatly more carbon dioxide than stream waters. further dissolution occurs due to mixing of saturated waters of different carbon dioxide content (see mischungskorrosion), because of a nonlinear relationship between carbonate saturation and carbon dioxide content. this process is of major significance to continued dissolution within the phreas. cold water can dissolve more carbon dioxide but, with respect to cave development, this climatic factor is overwhelmed by the higher organic activity producing more carbon dioxide in warmer environments. loss of carbon dioxide, by diffusion into open air, causes water to precipitate calcite as speleothems. limestone dissolution may also be achieved by organic acids or by strong acids, particularly sulphuric acid, though such effects are normally far less than that of carbon dioxide. strong acid dissolution is probably involved in the inception of most underground drainage. dissolution by sulphuric acid formed by oxidation of sulfide minerals or gases may be a major cave-forming process in some regions, and was largely responsible for the enlargement of carlsbad caverns and lechuguilla cave, new mexico [9].?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for landuse (Keyword) returned 8 results for the whole karstbase:
Geological hazards in loess terrain, with particular reference to the loess regions of China, 2001, Derbyshire E,
The considerable morphodynamic energy provided by the continuing tectonic evolution of Asia is expressed in high erosional potentials and very high rates of sediment production that make this continent unequalled as a terrestrial source of primary silt. Many of these environments are hazardous, threatening human occupation., health and livelihood, especially in regions of dense population such as the loess lands of north China. Dry loess can sustain nearly vertical slopes, being perennially under-saturated. However, when locally saturated, it disaggregates instantaneously. Such hydrocompaction is a key process in many slope failures, made worse by an underlying mountainous terrain of low-porosity rocks. Gully erosion of loess may yield very high sediment concentrations ( > 60% by weight). Characteristic vertical jointing in loess influences the hydrology. Enlarged joints develop into natural sub-surface piping systems, which on collapse, produce a 'loess karst' terrain. Collapsible loess up to 20 m thick is common on the western Loess Plateau. Foundation collapse and cracked walls are common, many rapid events following periods of unusually heavy monsoonal rain. Slope failure is a major engineering problem in thick loess terrain, flow-slide and spread types being common. The results are often devastating in both urban and rural areas. An associated hazard is the damming of streams by landslides. The human population increases the landslide risk in China, notably through imprudent land-use practices including careless water management. A number of environmentally related endemic diseases arise from the geochemistry of loess and its groundwaters. including fluorosis, cretinism, Kaschin-Beck Disease, Keshan Disease and goitre. The Chinese desert margins also have a major atmospheric dust problem. The effect of such dust upon human health in these extensive regions, including many large cities, has yet to be evaluated, but pneumoconiosis is thought to affect several million people in north and west China. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Water quality impacts and palaeohydrogeology in the Yorkshire Chalk aquifer, UK, 2001, Elliot T, Chadha Ds, Younger Pl,
A large hydrochemical data-set for the East Yorkshire Chalk aquifer has been assessed. Controls on the distribution of water qualities reflect: water-rock interactions (affecting especially the carbonate system and associated geochemistry); effects of land-use change (especially where the aquifer is unconfined); saline intrusion and aquifer refreshening (including ion exchange effects); and overexploitation (in the semi-confined and confined zones of the aquifer). Both Sr and I prove useful indicators of groundwater esidence times, and I/Cl ratios characterize two sources of saline waters. The hydrochemical evidence clearly reveals the importance both of recent management decisions and palaeohydrogeology in determining the evolution and distribution of groundwater salinity within the artesian and confined zones of the aquifer. Waters encountered in the aquifer are identified as complex (and potentially dynamic) mixtures between recent recharge waters, modern seawater, and ancient seawater which entered the aquifer many millennia ago

Landuse and Land Cover Change in the Lunan Stone Forest, China, 2003, Zhang Chuanrong, Day Michael, Li Weidong

The Lunan Stone Forest is the World's premier pinnacle karst landscape, with attendant scientific and cultural importance. Ecologically fragile, it is also a major tourist attraction, currently receiving over 1.5million visitors each year. Conservation efforts have been undermined by conflicting economic priorities, and landscape degradation threatens the very foundation of the national park. Assessment of the current land cover in the 35km2 core of the Stone Forest and an analysis of land cover change since 1974 in the 7km2 Major Stone Forest reveal the extent of recent landscape change. Exposed pinnacle karst covers 52% of the 35km2 study area, and about half of this is vegetated. Land use is dominated by agriculture, particularly in the valleys, but much of the shilin is devegetated and about six percent of the area is now built-up. Within the 7km2 Major Stone Forest the built-up area increased from 0.15ha in 1974 to 38.68ha by 2001, and during that same period road length increased by 95%, accompanied by a 3% decrease in surface water area. Between 1980 and 2001, annual visitor numbers increased from 139,000 to 1,500,000 - a ten-fold increase. The need to reconcile economic development and landscape conservation involves both short-term versus long-term benefit and also the conservation of natural and cultural heritage.

Surface cover infiltration index: a suggested method to assess infiltration capacity for intrinsic vulnerability in karstic areas in absence of quantitative data, 2004, Ekmekci Mehmet, Tezcan Levent
Karst is a hydrogeological environment of importance not only for its water resources potential but also for its scenic and economic potential, thereby increasing the intensity of human impact. The uniqueness of karst in this regard stems from its high sensitivity and vulnerability to imposed pressures and its distinctive response to these pressures. Therefore, a clear definition and formulation of the concept of intrinsic vulnerability is essential for the design of vulnerability and/or management criteria of the karstic system as a resource. In this regard, the recharge rate, the amount of water passing through the unsaturated zone into the aquifer, is among the principal attributes of the intrinsic vulnerability. Where data and measurements are available for even large areas, recharge can be evaluated quantitatively on the basis of field measurements and the water balance equation. However, particularly for countries suffering from lack of essential data for a quantitative evaluation of the net recharge rate, the recharge can be estimated using some derived parameters such as the so called Surface Cover Infiltration Index proposed in this paper. The DRASTIC method which is modified by using SCI, soil thickness and precipitation, allows the unique hydrological behavior of karst to be considered by redistributing of the intrinsic vulnerability values on the basis of hydrologic connections between neighboring cells. Following a detailed description of the SCI index and the modification of DRASTIC method for karst aquifers, a case study carried out to demonstrate this method is presented in this paper whose objective is to discuss and thus elaborate the suggested methodology. The Olimpos National Park area was selected because the great variation in lithology, landuse and topography. It was found that the relative vulnerability may vary particularly in the neighborhood of the highly vulnerable cells covered by carbonate rocks. The methodology was applied using ARC-GIS software. All spatial features used in computations were classified by the appropriate functions built into the software.

How types of carbonate rock assemblages constrain the distribution of karst rocky desertified land in Guizhou Province, PR China: Phenomena and mechanisms, 2004, Wang S. J. , Li R. L. , Sun C. X. , Zhang D. F. , Li F. Q. , Zhou D. Q. , Xiong K. N. , Zhou Z. F. ,
In Southwestern China karst rocky desertification (a process of land degradation involving serious soil erosion, extensive exposure of basement rocks, drastic decrease of soil productivity and the appearance of a desert-like landscape) results from irrational land use on the fragile, thin karst soil. Soil particles in the Guizhou karst plateau were accumulated predominantly from residues left behind after the dissolution of carbonate rocks, and the thickness of the soil layer is related to the amount of argillaceous substances in the lost carbonate rock. This paper examines the spatial distribution of karst rocky desertified (KRD) land in Guizhou Province, and relates it to the different assemblages of basement carbonate rocks. Types of carbonate rock assemblages are discussed using a 1 : 500000 scale digital-distribution map. Their distribution and sensitivity to erosion are analysed, demonstrating that the occurrence of KRD land is positively correlated to homogeneous carbonate rocks. Differences in physical and chemical properties of limestone and dolomite rocks lead to differences in dissolution, accumulation rate of soil particles and relief on the surface, and these factors influence land-use potential.

Karst rocky desertification in southwestern China: Geomorphology, landuse, impact and rehabilitation, 2004, Wang S. J. , Liu Q. M. , Zhang D. F. ,
Karst rocky desertification is a process of land degradation involving serious soil erosion, extensive exposure of basement rocks, drastic decrease in soil productivity, and the appearance of a desert-like landscape. It is caused by irrational, intensive land use on a fragile karst geo-ecological environment. The process is expanding rapidly, and it is daily reducing the living space of residents and is the root of disasters and poverty in the karst areas of southwestern China. The tectonic, geomorphic and environmental background to karst rocky desertification is analysed. Population pressure and the intensive land use that have led to this serious land degradation are described. Although the problem concerns the Chinese Government and some profitable experience in the partial restoration or reconstruction of the ecological environment has been gained, effective remedial action has not been achieved on a large scale.

Using Multiple Chemical Indicators to Assess Sources of Nitrate and Age of Groundwater in a Karstic Spring Basin, 2005, Katz Brian, Copeland Rick, Greenhalgh Tom, Ceryak Ron, Zwanka Warren,
Human health and ecological concerns have arisen due to a steady increase in nitrate-N concentrations during the past 40 years in Fannin Springs (0.3-4.7 mg/L), a regional discharge point with an average flow of >2.8 m3/second (>100 ft3/second) for water from the karstic Upper Floridan aquifer (UFA). Multiple chemical indicators (major dissolved species, 15N and 18O of nitrate, dissolved gases, 78 pesticides and degradates, and 67 organic compounds typically found in domestic and industrial wastewater) and transient tracers (3H/3He, chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs], sulfur hexafluoride [SF6]) were analyzed in water samples from nine wells along three transects and in spring water to assess groundwater age and potential contaminant sources. Land use is predominantly agricultural (52 percent) and forest (31 percent) in the 320 km2 (124 mi2) spring basin, which was delineated from a potentiometric-surface map of the UFA using high-resolution water-level data. Nitrate-N concentrations were highly variable in the oxic UFA and ranged from <0.02 to 4.7 mg/L. {delta}15N-NO3 values (3.4-9.9 per mil) indicated that nitrate contamination originated from inorganic sources (synthetic fertilizer) and organic sources (manure spreading or waste disposal). Higher nitrate concentrations and the younger age of spring water relative to water from upgradient wells indicate better communication with N sources at the surface. Apparent ages of groundwater correlated positively with well depth (P < 0.05) and were younger in water from wells nearer to the spring (<8 years) compared with other wells (10-50 years). Most transient tracer concentrations were consistent with binary mixing curves representing mixtures of water recharged during the past 10 years and older water (recharged before 1940). Young water mixing fractions ranged from 0.07 to 0.90. Trace levels of herbicides found in groundwater and spring water were indicative of applications for vegetative control in agricultural and other land-use types

Impact of land-use change on soil properties in a typical karst agricultural region of Southwest China: a case study of Xiaojiang watershed, Yunnan, 2006, Jiang Yong Jun, Yuan Dao Xian, Zhang Cheng, Kuang Ming Sheng, Wang Jian Li, Xie Shi You, Li Lin Li, Zhang Gui, He Rao Sheng,

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