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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 Chezy equation is an equation used to compute the velocity of uniform flow in an open channel: mean velocity of flow (v) equals the chezy coefficient (c) times the square root of the product of hydraulic radius in feet (r) times the slope of the channel [1]. see also froude number; manning equation; reynolds number.?

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;
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Your search for transect (Keyword) returned 19 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 19
Isotopic Composition of Precipitation, Cave Drips and Actively Forming Speleothems at Three Tasmanian Cave Sites, 1982, Goede A. , Green D. C. , Harmon R. S.

Monthly samples of precipitation and cave drips were collected from three Tasmanian cave sites along a north-south transect and their 18O/16O ratios determined. At one station D/H ratios were also measured and the relationship between delta 18O and delta D values investigated. The 18O/16O and D/H ratios of monthly precipitation show marked seasonality with values correlating strongly with mean monthly temperatures. The effect of temperature on 18O/16O ratios appears to increase as one goes southwards and is at least twice as strong at Hastings (.61 deg /oo SMOW/ deg C) as it is shown at Mole Creek (.28 deg /oo SMOW/ deg C). Irregularities in the seasonal pattern of 18O/16O change are particularly pronounced at Hastings and in the Florentine Valley and can be attributed to the amount effect. For delta 18O values > -5.5 deg /oo the combined data from the three Tasmanian stations show an amount effect of .026 deg /oo SMOW/mm. Cave drips show apparently random, non-seasonal variation in the 18O / 16O isotopic compostion but the weighted mean of the 18O/16O isotope composition of precipitation provides a good approximation to their mean 18O/16O isotopic composition. In contrast to their D/H ratios for a cave drip site in Little Trimmer Cave, Mole Creek, show a distict seasonal pattern. The 18O/16O and 13C/12C ratios have been determined for a number of actively forming speleothems. With respect to 18O/16O it is found that speleothems the three sites are being deposited under conditions approaching isotopic equilibrium. The 13C/12C ratios of these speleothems are highly variable but the generally less negative values found in Frankcombe Cave (Florentine Valley) compared with the other two sites may reflect the effects of recent clearfelling in the area.


Ring of cenotes (sinkholes), Northwest Yucatan, Mexico; its hydrogeologic characteristics and possible association with the Chicxulub impact crater, 1995, Perry Eugene, Marin Luis E. , Mcclain Jana, Velazquez Guadalupe,
A 180-km-diameter semicircular band of abundant karst sinkholes (Ring of Cenotes) in Northwest Yucatan, Mexico, coincides approximately with a concentric ring of the buried Chicxulub structure, a circular feature manifested in Cretaceous and older rocks, that has been identified as the product of the impact of a bolide. The ring, expressed in Tertiary rocks, marks a zone of high permeability as shown by (1) the sinkholes themselves, (2) breaks in the coastal dune system and high density of springs where the ring intersects the coast, and (3) water-level transects characterized by a decline in water level toward the ring. Any direct relation that exists between the Ring of Cenotes and the Chicxulub structure bears on regional hydrogeology. If the layer or zone responsible for the ring is deeply buried, it may act as a barrier to the movement of ground water across the main flow direction. Shallower zones of horizontal permeability could result in less complete diversion of ground water. Through its influence on Yucatan aquifer characteristics, the ring may provide a link between modern environmental problems and astrogeology. Possible origins for the Ring of Cenotes are (1) faulting, perhaps reactivated by post-Eocene-mid-Miocene basin loading, (2) permeability in a buried reef complex developed in the shallow Paleocene sea around the crater rim, or (3) breccia collapse occasioned by consolidation or by solution of evaporite components. If the ring developed on ancient faults, it may outline hydrothermal systems and mineral deposits produced during Paleocene cooling of the Chicxulub melt sheet

Geomorphological evidence for anti-Apennine faults in the Umbro-Marchean Apennines and in the peri-Adriatic basin, Italy, 1996, Coltorti M, Farabollini P, Gentili B, Pambianchi G,
The Apennines are a relatively recent mountain chain which has been affected by uplift movements since the Upper Pliocene. In fact the remnants of an “erosional surface”, reduced close to base level, is preserved at the top of the relief. There is no general agreement on the geodynamic stress field and mechanisms which are creating the chain. However, it is largely accepted that uplift occurred together with the activation, on the western side of the chain, of extensive faults, oriented in the Apennine direction (NW-SE), which have been linked to the opening of the Tyrrhenian sea. A great debate is going on about the presence and significance of anti-Apennine faults (NE-SW) which have been observed by some authors but completely denied by others.The main evidence is represented by[ (1) block faulting of the remnants of the “erosional surface”. Along the Marchean Ridge, more elevated relief, delimiting relatively depressed areas, was created in correspondence with the Sibillini Mts. and Mt. S. Vicino. Similar evidence has been found in the Umbro-Marchean Ridge. Locally more than 1500 metres of displacement have been observed between more and less uplifted remnants. (2) Block faulting of fan deltas and related beaches, of Sicilian to Crotonian age, with more elevated sediments preserved between the Tronto and Tenna rivers and between the Musone and Esino rivers. Maximum displacement along a transect parallel to the coast is 200 metres. (3) fault-scarps affecting the Middle Pleistocene river terraces, as observed along the Esino, the Tronto, the Chienti and the Tenna river valleys. Maximum displacements are in the order of 50 metres. (4) Faulting of horizontal karst galleries and reorientation of the cave network, as in the Frasassi Gorge. Maximum displacements are about 100 metres. (5) Captures and alignments in the drainage network of the main river courses. (6) Large-scale gravitational movements, as in the Ancona landslide, and along the Chienti and Esino rivers.Their activation occurred in most cases after the Lower Pleistocene and although their displacements may be of relatively limited extent, dispite their recent activity, they played a major role in the modelling of the landscape. These faults display transtensive, extensional and trascurrent movements. Apart from the controversial geodynamic significance of these faults, from a geomorphological point of view they must be considered transverse elements of the stress field from blocks more or less uplifted along the Apennine chain.The importance and timing of activity of these faults in the Quaternary geomorphological evolution of the Umbria-Marchean Apennines is demonstrated using evidence usually underestimated by structural geologists, which can contribute to a debate based on a multidisciplinary approach

Sensitivity of karst process to environmental change along the Pep II transect, 1997, Yuan D. X. ,
It has been known since as early as the last century that karst formation is a geologic process related to chemical reaction, but not until the last couple of decades were karst processes viewed as being sensitive to environmental change. The direction and intensity of karst processes are controlled by environmental factors such as temperature, climate, hydrology, vegetation, geology, and the openness of the system to the atmosphere. Accordingly, karst features, as a product of the carbon cycle, differ in space and time. This is clearly evident from the world karst correlation project, IGCP 299. There is a sharp contrast between karst types on both sides of the Qingling Mountain range of central China. Semi-arid karst is located to the north, and humid subtropical karst to the south. Karst features are capable of recording high resolution paleoclimatic change. AMS C-14, isotope and geochemical studies of thin laminae from a giant stalagmite located near Guilin, in southern China, have clearly identified rapid climate changes during the past 40 ka. In karst areas with active neotectonism, huge deposits of calcareous travertine record the amount of deeply sourced CO2 emitted into the atmosphere and can aid studies on modem tectonism because of the association of calcareous travertine with active faults.

Feeding ecology and evolutionary survival of the living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae, 2000, Fricke H, Hissmann K,
One concept of evolutionary ecology holds that a living fossil is the result of past evolutionary events, and is adapted to recent selective forces only if they are similar to the selective forces in the past. We describe the present environment of the living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae Smith, 1939 at Grande Comore, western Indian Ocean and report depth-dependent cave distribution, temperature, salinity and oxygen values which are compared to the fish's distribution and its physiological demands. We studied the activity pattern, feeding behaviour, prey abundance and hunting success to evaluate possible links between environmental conditions, feeding ecology and evolutionary success of this ancient fish. Transmitter tracking experiments indicate nocturnal activity of the piscivorous predator which hunts between approximately 200 m below the surface to 500 m depth. Fish and prey density were measured between 200 and 400 m, both increase with depth. Feeding tracks and feeding strikes of the coelacanth at various depths were simulated with the help of video and laser techniques. Along a 9447 m video transect a total of 31 potential feeding strikes occurred. Assuming 100% hunting success, medium-sized individuals would obtain 122 g and large females 299 g of prey. Estimates of metabolic rates revealed for females 3.7 ml O-2 kg(-1) h(-1) and for males 4.5 ml O-2 kg(-1) h(-1). Today coelacanths are considered to be a specialist deep-water form and to inhabit, with their ancient morphology, a contemporary environment where they compete with advanced, modern fish

Palaeowaters in European coastal aquifers -- the goals and main conclusions of the PALAEAUX project, 2001, Edmunds Wm,
The PALAEAUX project has brought together up-to-date geochemical, isotopic and hydrogeological information on coastal groundwaters across Europe in a transect from the Baltic to the Canary Islands. These data have been interpreted in relation to past climatic and environmental conditions, as well as extending and challenging concepts about the evolution of groundwater near the present day coastlines. Groundwater movement beyond the present coastline as well as emplacement on shore to greater depths (up to 500 m) than allowed by the present-day flow regime has occurred, hence offshore freshwater reserves are inferred in some coastal areas. The main attributes of palaeowaters, in terms of water quality, are their high bacterial purity, total mineralization that is often less than that of modern waters and being demonstrably free of anthropogenic chemicals. However, in the Mediterranean coastal areas, lower recharge leads to higher salinity conditions in both palaeo- and modern waters. Freshwater of high quality originating from different climatic conditions to the present day, when the sea level was much lower, is found at depth beneath the present-day coastline in several countries. Recharge is shown to have been more or less continuous during the past 100 ka, even beneath the ice, as demonstrated by groundwaters from Estonia, having {delta}O values of c. -22%o. However, elsewhere (UK and Belgium) an age gap can be recognized indicating that no recharge took place at the time of the last glacial maximum. Devensian recharge temperatures (soil air temperatures) were some 6{degrees}C colder across Europe than at the present day. The development of aquifers in Europe during the past 50-100 a, by abstraction from boreholes, has generally disturbed flow systems that have evolved over varying geological timescales, especially those derived from the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Hydrogeophysical logging has demonstrated time and quality stratified aquifers resulting in mixed waters being produced on pumping. A range of specific indicators, including 3H, 3H/3He, 85Kr, chlorofluoro-carbons and pollutants, have been used to recognize the extent to which waters from the modern (industrial) era have penetrated into the aquifers, often replacing the natural palaeogroundwaters. In the coastal regions, many problems for management are identified, including issues relating to quantity and quality of water, seasonal demand, pollution risks and ecosystem damage, requiring a new look at legislation

Post-Miocene stratigraphy and depositional environments of valley-fill sequences at the mouth of Tampa Bay, Florida, 2003, Ferguson Tw, Davis Ra,
Post-Miocene sea-level low stands allowed rivers and karst processes to incise the exposed carbonate platform along the Gulf Coast of Florida. Few Miocene to mid-Pleistocene deposits survived erosion along the present coast except within incised valleys. Since their formation, these valleys have been filled and incised multiple times in response to sea-level changes. The thick sedimentary sequences underlying the mouth of Tampa Bay have been recorded as a range of depositional environments and multiple sea-level incursions and excursions during pre-Holocene time and subsequent to the accumulation of the Miocene carbonate sequences. Sediment analysis of cores collected from a north-south transect across the mouth of Tampa Bay has enabled the identification of lithofacies, ranging from well-sorted, quartz sand to dense, fossiliferous, phosphatic grainstone. These facies were deposited in freshwater, estuarine, and shallow, open marine environments. As a result of channel development and migration within the paleovalley, and cut-and-fill associated with individual transgressions and regressions, correlation of the lithofacies does not extend across the entire transect. Fining-upward sequences truncated by tidal ravinement surfaces that extend throughout the paleovalley can, however, be identified. Age determinations based on 14-C analysis, amino-acid racemization, and strontium isotope analysis dating of numerous samples yield ages of Miocene, Pliocene, early Pleistocene, and late Pleistocene, as well as Holocene for sequences that accumulated and were preserved in this valley-fill complex. Numerous inconsistencies in the stratigraphic organization of the age determinations indicate that there are bad dates, considerable reworking of shells that were dated, or both. For this reason as well as the lack of detailed correlation among the three relatively complete cores, it is not possible to place these strata in a sequence stratigraphic framework. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

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

Lower Eocene carbonate cemented chimneys (Varna, NE Bulgaria): Formation mechanisms and the (a)biological mediation of chimney growth?, 2006, De Boever E, Swennen R, Dimitrov L,
In the area of Pobiti Kamani (Varna, northeast Bulgaria), massive carbonate cemented columns ('chimneys', up to 1.5 m diameter and 8 m high) and horizontal interbeds (2 within loose Lower Eocene sands. Field observations and petrographical and stable isotope geochemical characterisation of four studied locations reveal a relationship between these structures and processes of ancient hydrocarbon seepage. Column and interbed structures both consist of similar well-sorted silt- to sand-sized nummulitic host sediments, predominantly cemented by early diagenetic, low-magnesium calcite. Filamentous textures, about 10 [mu]m in diameter and 80-650 [mu]m long, are only locally detected within interparticle calcite cement of columns. Column samples from two sites reveal a similar, linear and inverse covariant trend of [delta]13C-[delta]18O values, which was interpreted as a mixing trend between two end member fluid/precipitation conditions, i.e. (1) a methane- and/or higher hydrocarbon-derived carbon member characterised by [delta]13C values as low as -[no-break space]43[per mille sign] and marine controlled precipitation conditions with [delta]18O of - 1 0.5[per mille sign] V-PDB and (2) a member with less contribution of methane which was mixed most likely with less depleted carbon sources explaining [delta]13C values ranging up to - 8[per mille sign] V-PDB. The corresponding, depleted [delta]18O values, with many samples clustering around - 8[per mille sign] V-PDB, are interpreted in terms of precipitation at elevated temperatures. This suggests the venting system was not a true 'cold' seep, sensu stricto. Furthermore, column cross-transects often document an internal pattern consisting of (concentric) zones with distinct isotopic signatures, which vary between the two end members. The mixing and internal pattern of column isotopic data, together with petrographical observations, are qualitatively interpreted as evidence of alternating precipitation conditions, controlled by varying seepage rates of a single fluid source at depth, during build-up of individual chimney pipes near the sediment surface. Based on several field observations, migration of the hydrocarbon-charged fluids in Lower Eocene times was possibly channelled along NE oriented faults. Isotopic signatures of calcite cemented horizontal interbeds, with depleted [delta]18O ratios as low as - 8.88[per mille sign] V-PDB and variable [delta]13C (- 1[per mille sign] to - 16[per mille sign], mainly around - 5[per mille sign] to - 7[per mille sign]) suggest that ascending fluids contributed to their cementation or resetted the calcite cement isotopic signature, predominantly during periods of active seepage of warmer fluids. Only few petrographical (and preliminary lipid-biomarker) evidence has been found, pointing to the presence or possibly former activity of microbiota, involved in carbon cycling and calcite precipitation, typical of cold seep settings. This may result from diagenetic alteration of organic components. However, considering the processes of chimney formation, a cementation process, governed by the inorganic oxidation of hydrocarbons in which interstitial oxygen is rapidly consumed without bacterial mediation, is considered

Reconstruction of the paleoenvironmental changes around the Miocene-Pliocene boundary along a West-East transect across the Mediterranean, 2006, Pierre Catherine, Caruso Antonio, Blancvalleron Marie Madeleine, Rouchy Jean Marie, Orzsagsperber Fabienne,
In order to reconstruct the environmental changes at the end of the Messinian salinity crisis, a multidisciplinary study has been carried out with a high sampling resolution of the late Messinian-early Zanclean (Zone MPl 1) sediments along a West-East Mediterranean transect. The studied examples comprise sections from southern Spain (Vera/Almanzora), Balearic Basin (ODP Site 975), Tyrrhenian Basin (ODP Site 974), Sicily (Eraclea Minoa), Zakynthos (Kalamaki), Corfu (Aghios Stefanos), Crete (Aghios Vlasis). Previously analyzed sections from the Levantine Basin (Cyprus and ODP Sites 968 and 969) are used for comparison. The sections have been correlated using planktonic foraminiferal assemblages, sedimentological and stable isotope variations, and compared to the astronomical cyclicity defined in the Miocene-Pliocene boundary stratotype of Eraclea Minoa, Sicily. Variations of CaCO3 content, stable isotopes of carbonates ([delta]18O, [delta]13C), and foraminiferal assemblages indicate similar environmental transition at the Miocene-Pliocene boundary in all of the investigated sections.The latest Messinian deposits are barren of fossils or characterized by only reworked planktonic foraminifers, except for the sporadic presence of Ammonia tepida, brackish or lacustrine ostracods and brackish mollusks typical of the 'Lago-Mare' facies. The oxygen and carbon isotopic compositions of carbonates usually exhibit large variations with dominantly low [delta] values indicating freshwater dilution. The earliest Pliocene (MPl 1, cycle 1) shows a rapid and progressive increase of the [delta]18O values, which indicates the restoration of marine conditions after the Lago-Mare event. Normal marine environments were definitely established and stabilized at the top of cycle 1.These data confirm that the inflow of marine waters occurred contemporaneously within the whole Mediterranean at the base of Pliocene, although stable marine conditions occurred only about 20[no-break space]kyrs later

Middle-Late Quaternary paleoclimate of northern margins of the Saharan-Arabian Desert: reconstruction from speleothems of Negev Desert, Israel, 2010, Vaks Anton, Barmatthews Miryam, Matthews Alan, Ayalon Avner, Frumkin Amos

Speleothems in arid and hyper-arid areas of Negev Desert, Israel, are used in paleoclimate reconstruction of northern margins of Saharan-Arabian Desert, focused on the following objectives: 1) precise U–Th dating of the timing of speleothem growth as an indicator of periods of humid climate, i.e. positive effective precipitation; 2) the origin of rainfall using the speleothem δ18O and changes in spatial pattern of speleothem deposition and speleothem thickness along a north–south transect; 3) changes of vegetation cover based on speleothem δ13C variations.

During the last 350 ka major humid periods, referred to herein as Negev Humid Periods (NHP), occurred in the central and southern Negev Desert at 350–310 ka (NHP-4), 310–290 ka (NHP-3), 220–190 ka (NHP-2), and 142–109 ka (NHP-1). NHP-4, NHP-2 and NHP-1 are interglacial events, whereas NHP-3 is associated with a glacial period. During NHP-1, 2 and 3 the thickness and volume of the speleothems decrease from the north to the south, and in the most southern part of the region only a very thin flowstone layer formed during NHP-1, with no speleothem deposition occurring during NHP-2 and 3. These data imply that the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was the major source of the rainfall in northern and central Negev. More negative speleothem δ18O values, relative to central parts of Israel (Soreq Cave) are attributed to Rayleigh distillation because of the increasing distance from the Mediterranean Sea. Speleothem deposition during the NHP-4 in the southern Negev was more intensive than in most of the central Negev, suggesting the prominence of the tropical rain source.

Decrease in speleothem δ13C during NHP events indicates growth of the vegetation cover. Nevertheless, the ranges of δ13C values show that the vegetation remained semi-desert C4 type throughout the NHPs, with an additional significant carbon fraction coming from the host rock and the atmosphere. These observations, together with small thickness of the speleothem layers, favor that NHP events consisted of clusters of very short humid episodes interspersed with long droughts.

NHP events were contemporaneous with climate periods with monsoon index of ≥51 (cal/cm2 × day) and with the formation of sapropel layers in the Mediterranean Sea. Such simultaneous intensification of the monsoon and Atlantic-Mediterranean cyclones is probably related to the weakening of the high pressure cell above sub-tropical Atlantic Ocean, which enabled more rainfall to penetrate into the Saharan-Arabian Desert from the north and south. The contemporaneous occurrence of the NHP events and the increased monsoon rainfall could have opened migration corridors, creating climatic “windows of opportunity” for dispersals of hominids and animals out of the African continent.


Shore grykes along the western Istrian coast, 2011, Furlani S. , Chersicla D. , Bressan G. , Biolchi S. , Cucchi F.

coast We provided new data on topography, morphology and physical/chemical parameters (pH, T, NO2-, Ca2+, PO43-, NaCl ) collected in several shore grykes along the Northwestern Istrian coast, between Savudrija and Zambratija. Six transects, each containing four to five pools, have been surveyed. Three morphological zones have been identified along the selected profiles. Morphological features of the shore grykes along the western Istrian coast are, in fact, closely related to the local tide. High-level pools are affected by karstic processes, and the surface is usually smooth. At their bottom, terrigenous deposits, mainly terra rossa, occur. Seaward, bioerosion prevails and at the bottom of the grykes, sand and rounded pebbles have been found. Chemical/physical parameters suggest that grykes located at lower altitudes are affected by seawater factors, while pools located at increasing altitudes are affected mainly by rainfall and consequentially freshwater or saltwater remaining from rainfalls or storm events. Shore gryke genesis is strongly controlled by geological weakness, along which they develop. Their origin is in fact due to local tectonics, while their development is related to the active vertical tectonic subsidence of the study area. Pools located at higher altitudes are mainly affected by solution karst processes, but due to the tectonic downdrop of the area, when the grykes come in contact with sea, they are gradually shaped by marine processes.


Surface and subsurface karst geomorphology in the Murge (Apulia, southern Italy), 2011, Parise, Mario

The Murge (Apulia, southern Italy) is the main karst area in the central part of the region, extending from the inland plateau to the Adriatic coastline. Along this transect, a relief energy of a few hundred meters is reached. Even though such relief may seem small when compared to mountain karst areas, actually it is not for Apulia, a very flat carbonate region that acted as the foreland during the building up of the Apenninic Chain in Miocene time. Murge can be subdivided into two sectors: High Murge, the inland plateau, where remnants of an ancient tropical karst are still recognizable; and Low Murge, closer to the sea, with smoother karst morphologies and landforms. Here, some of the most remarkable underground karst systems of Apulia are located: the Castellana caves, a show cave that has been opened since 1939 to tourists (only a few months after the discovery), and the Pozzo Cucù karst system. Overall, the two systems (that are located few hundreds of meters apart) are more than 5,5 km long. In addition, many other karst caves are widespread in the territory, showing different typologies, from percolation shafts, to intrastratal caves, to tectonically-controlled caves, down to marine caves along the coastline. At the surface, other interesting morphological features related to karst may be observed, the main one being the Canale di Pirro polje, which cuts the SE Murge with an E-W strike, until its easternmost reach against the Murge fault line scarp. This latter is the main morphological feature intervening between the Murge plateau and the Adriatic plain. In this article the karst morphological features of Murge are depicted, putting together surface and underground data, in the effort to contribute to the recognition of the main phases of development of karst processes in the region


Escherichia coli, other Coliform, and Environmental Chemoheterotrophic Bacteria in Isolated Water Pools from Six Caves in Northern Alabama and Northwestern Georgia, 2011, J. W. Campbell, A. Watson, C. Watson, H. Ball, And R. Pirkle

Escherichia coli and other bacteria can be used as indicators of water quality within a cave ecosystem. However, bacterial species within caves have not been thoroughly documented, especially in the southeastern United States. Water from isolated pools was gathered along transects from six caves in northern Alabama and northwestern Georgia. We used cultivation techniques to isolate and characterize bacteria. Diversity of coliforms and some environmental genera were determined for each cave, and abundance was determined for E. coli and other coliforms. Distance from the entrance in most caves did not statistically correlate with abundance or species richness of bacteria. A total of fifty bacterial species and one fungal species were isolated from the six caves, with over half of these species considered potentially pathogenic in humans. Some species isolated, such as Vibrio alginolyticus and V. fluvialis, are considered primarily marine and are not expected isolates of cave waters. Most of the species we isolated have never been reported from limestone cave ecosystems. Overall, coliforms were found in all tested caves, indicating fecal contamination of all six caves.


Scientific drilling of speleothems a technical note, 2012, Sptl Christoph, Mattey David

This short article provides detailed descriptions of custom-made and commercially available hand-held drilling gear and options for water-flushing units specifically designed to obtained good-quality core material from speleothems even in remote cave regions. We use small-diameter (6-7 mm) diamond drill bits to obtain aliquots of calcite (as little as a few hundreds of milligram) from the interior of the basal part of in-situ stalagmites. These small cores are used to date the onset of stalagmite growth and occasionally to obtain other compositional information. Larger diameter drill bits produce cores 25-32 mm in diameter and up to 1.3 m in length which reveal internal structures and provide axial transects for chemical and isotope analysis and material for preparation of thin sections. This system has been successfully employed to sample flowstone and thick stalagmites. Given the growing interest in speleothem as archives of past environmental change, careful sample selection is primordial to keep the impact of sampling in these unique environments at a minimum. Low-invasive drilling is an essential technique and maximizes the amount of information gained.


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