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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 rockfall is the falling of bedrock from a cliff or steep slope [16].?

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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.
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;
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Your search for metabolism (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
The Role of Metabolism in the Evolution of Cave Animals, 1985, Hppop, Kathrin

Geoecological system of karst , 1998, Bá, Rá, Nykevei Ilona

The paper presents some results of the karst geo-ecological system research. The first sphere of the karst-ecological system is the karst microclimate in accordance with the microclimatic factors. Macroclimate is responsible for the quantity and intensity of precipitation while microclimatic effects modify the quantity of water infiltrating to the rocks. Microclimate affects the development of vegetation, soil temperature and humidity. Millions of microorganisms live in the soil, changing the components of soil-air through the decomposition of organic materials and through their own metabolism. They also influence the physical and chemical soil properties indirectly. The inner dynamism of soil can prevent extreme changes occurring in the system, it can change, possibly leading to disturbance in the whole system. The changes due to external effects are reversible down to the rock boundary. When they have entered the rock layer, they become irreversible. Water in the rock layer is the transport agent of materials and energy. This water reaches the surface again in karst springs. Another irreversible process, the dripstone degradation can also be due to polluted water.


A model of early evolution of karst conduits affected by subterranean CO2 sources, 2000, Gabrovsek F, Menne B, Dreybrodt W,
In investigating early karstification of one-dimensional conduits by computer models, so far one has assumed that the CO2 content of the calcite aggressive water stems entirely from the surface. Subterranean sources of CO2, however, can rejuvenate the solutional power of water already close to equilibrium with respect to calcite, and boast dissolution rates. In a first scenario we have investigated the influence of a punctual source of CO2 as the most simple case of release of CO2 into a karstifiable fracture at some position KL from its entrance of the widening joint with length L, (K < 1). The results show that only a small increase of the p(CO2) in the solution to about 0.01 atm is sufficient to reduce the breakthrough times to about 0.3 with respect to the case, where no CO2 is delivered. Other sources of CO2 are due to the metabolic activity of microorganisms. The existence of such diverse subterraneous microbial life in karst systems demonstrated. Whether situated on the fissure surfaces or free floating in the karst water, one basic product of their metabolism is CO2. This contributes over the whole flow path to the p(CO2) of the karst water. Therefore in a second scenario we assumed a constant rate of CO2-input along parts of the fracture, as could be delivered by the activity of aerobic bacteria dwelling at its walls. Such a scenario also applies to an extended diffuse CO2 migration from volcanic activity deep underground. In this case drastic reductions of the breakthrough time by about one order of magnitude are observed. These reductions are enhanced when the fracture aperature width of the initial fracture decreases. The physicochemical mechanisms of enhancement of karstification are discussed in detail by considering the evolution of the fracture aperature width and of the dissolution rates in space and time

The Geomicrobiology of Ore Deposits, 2005, Southam G. , Saunders James A. ,
Bacterial metabolism, involving redox reactions with carbon, sulfur, and metals, appears to have been important since the dawn of life on Earth. In the Archean, anaerobic bacteria thrived before the Proterozoic oxidation of the atmosphere and the oceans, and these organisms continue to prosper in niches removed from molecular oxygen. Both aerobes and anaerobes have profound effects on the geochemistry of dissolved metals and metal-bearing minerals. Aerobes can oxidize dissolved metals and reduced sulfur, as well as sulfur and metals in sulfide minerals can contribute to the supergene enrichment of sulfide ores, and can catalyze the formation of acid mine drainage. Heterotrophic anaerobes, which require organic carbon for their metabolism, catalyze a number of thermodynamically favorable reactions such as Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide reductive dissolution (and the release of sorbed metals to solution) and sulfate reduction. Bacterial sulfate reduction to H2S can be very rapid if reactive organic carbon is present and can lead to precipitation of metal sulfides and perhaps increase the solubility of elements such as silver, gold, and arsenic that form stable Me-H2S aqueous complexes. Similarly, the bacterial degradation of complex organic compounds such as cellulose and hemicellulose to simpler molecules, such as acetate, oxalate, and citrate, can enhance metal solubility by forming Me organic complexes and cause dissolution of silicate minerals. Bacterially induced mineralization is being used for the bioremediation of metal-contaminated environments. Through similar processes, bacteria may have been important contributors in some sedimentary ore-forming environments and could be important along the low-temperature edges of high-temperature systems such as those that form volcanogenic massive sulfides

Bats and bell holes: The microclimatic impact of bat roosting, using a case study from Runaway Bay Caves, Jamaica, 2009, Lundberg J And Mcfarlane D A

The microclimatic effect of bats roosting in bell holes (blind vertical cylindrical cavities in cave roofs) in Runaway Bay Caves, Jamaica, was measured and the potential impact of their metabolism on dissolution modelled. Rock temperature measurements showed that bell holes with bats get significantly hotter than those without bats during bat roosting periods (by an average of 1.1C). The relationship is clearest for bell holes with more than about 300g aggregate bat body mass and for bell holes that are moderately wide and deep, of W:D ratio between 0.8 and 1.6. Measurement of temperature decay after abandonment showed that rock temperature returns to normal each day during bat foraging periods. Metabolic activity from a typical population of 400g bat (10 individuals) yields 41g of CO2, 417.6kJ of heat, and 35.6g of H2O in each 18hour roost period, and could produce a water film of ~0.44mm, that is saturated with CO2 at ~5%. The resultant rock dissolution is estimated at ~0.005cm3 CaCO3 per day. The metabolic heat ensures that the focus of dissolution remains vertical regardless of geological controls. A typical bell hole 1m deep may be formed in some 50,000years by this mechanism alone. Addition of other erosional mechanisms, such as direct bacterial bio-erosion, or the formation of exfoliative organo-rock complexes, would accelerate the rate of formation. The hypothesis is developed that bell holes are initiated and formed by bat-mediated condensation corrosion and are governed by geographic distribution of clustering bats and their roosting behaviour.





The cave environment inf luencing the lipid prof ile and hepatic lipogenesis of the f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus Reis, 1987 (Siluriformes: Loricariidae), 2013, Bastos V. A. A. , Lopes Ferreira R. , Carvalho D. C. , Pugedo M. L. , De Matos Alves Pinto L.

The metabolism of hypogean organisms is frequently molded by the cave environment traits, especially food scarcity. The aim of the present work was to evaluate the inf luence of such environment on lipid composition and hepatic lipogenesis in the f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus. For this, the species was compared to an epigean population of the species. A greater accumulation of total lipids was observed in the cave-dwelling f ish (18.36 g/100 g tissue) compared to the surface f ish (14.09 g/100 g tissue). The muscle fatty acid prof ile also varied between the populations. Arachidonic acid was only detected in the epigean f ish, while docosahexaenoic acid was present in the cave f ish. In the lipid prof ile of Ancistrus cryptophthalmus there was a higher proportion of saturated fatty acids, followed by monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids; Ancistrus sp. showed a predominance of monounsaturated fatty acids. Signif icant differences were also observed in the activities of the hepatic enzymes glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and malic enzyme. The activities of these two enzymes were greater in the epigean animals. The differences could be related to different food availability observed in the two environments. An ecotone zone was observed, located next to the entrance of the Lapa do Angélica cave (Goiás State, Brazil), where the f ishes showed characteristics that were intermediate between those of hypogean f ishes from deeper within the cave, and the epigean population. It could be concluded that the characteristics of the cave environment signif icantly inf luenced the composition of muscle fatty acids and lipogenesis in the hypogean f ish Ancistrus cryptophthalmus.


Insights into Cave Architecture and the Role of Bacterial Biofilm, 2013,

Caves offer a stable and protected environment from harsh and changing outside conditions. They lend living proof of the presence of minute life forms that delve deep within the earth’s crust where the possibility of life seems impossible. Devoid of all light sources and lacking the most common source of energy supplied through photosynthesis, the mysterious microbial kingdom in caves are consequently dependent upon alternative sources of energy derived from the surrounding atmosphere, minerals and rocks. There are a number of features that can be observed within a cave that may serve as evidence of microbial activity, for example, formation of biofilms comprised of multiple layers of microbial communities held together by protective gel-like polymers which form complex structures. Different bacterial biofilms can develop on the walls of the cave which can be visually distinguished by their colorations. Moreover, the pH generated by the metabolism of bacterial biofilm on the cave environment can lead to precipitation or dissolution of minerals in caves. Caves also offer an excellent scenario for studying biomineralization processes. The findings on the association of bacteria with secondary minerals as mentioned in this review will help to expand the existing knowledge in geomicrobiology and specifically on the influence of microorganisms in the formation of cave deposits. This paper reviews the current state of knowledge of biospeleology of caves and the associated bacterial biofilms. Recommendations for future research are mentioned to encourage a drift from qualitative studies to more experimental studies.


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