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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That stress, seepage is when water flows through a porous medium, force is transferred from the water to the medium by viscous friction. the force transferred to the medium is equal to the loss of hydraulic head. this force, called seepage force, is exerted in the direction of flow [21].?

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.
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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 ecosystem (Keyword) returned 134 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 134
Kotumsar Cave Ecosystem: An Interaction Between Geophysical, Chemical, and Biological Characteristics, 1992, Biswas, J.

Morphometric analysis of dolines, 1992, Bondesan Aldino, Meneghel Mirco, Sauro Ugo
The doline is the most specific surface form of karst landscapes, which enables one to distinguish them from "normal" erosion landscapes shaped by surface water. From a morphodynamic point of view the doline constitutes an elementary hydrographic unit, comparable to a simple basin, which, with its system of slopes, conveys water to the absorbing points at the bottom into an underground network. The morphometric study of these karst landforms enables a quantitative analysis of karst environment. Comparisons of the various parameters may give unexpected results and lead to new hypotheses about the evolution and the dynamism of the karst "geo-ecosystem". All the main morphometric parameters of the dolines are listed and explained and a preliminary discussion about some methods of spatial analysis is developed. It is intended to give methodological suggestions about data sources, systems of measurement, and to stimulate some reflection on the choices of possible processing of morphometric variables and on the significance of statistical analysis applied to different parameters. After a brief review of some morphometric and spatial analyses made in the past by different authors, three different examples are presented, relative to karst areas of the Venetian Prealps (Cansiglio-Cavallo, Montello) and of the Carso di Trieste. From these few examples one can understand how to confront this complex subject and what kind of results the analysis of morphometric parameters may give. In interpreting the results it is evident that one must not forget the geological, geomorphological, pedological, vegetational and climatic context of the karst area.

RESOURCE USE IN THE TROPICAL KARSTLANDS OF CENTRAL BELIZE, 1993, Day M,
Rural tropical ecosystems are subject to many traditional land uses that employ the indigenous karst resources: rock, water, soil, vegetation, and wildlife. Individual resource pressures often arc subtle, but their combined impact can precipitate instability in the tropical karst environment, potentially resulting in disruption of food, water, and fuel supplies. The karst of central Belize was used intensively for some six centuries by Maya farmers. but between the 10th and 19th centuries AD most of it reverted to secondary forest. Commercial logging dominated the 19th and early 20th centuries, followed by the expansion of subsistence and commercial agriculture after 1945. In the 1980s resource use has accelerated as population and other pressures increase. Much karst remains forested, but there is increasing clearance for agricultural uses, particularly for citrus cultivation and small-scale mixed agriculture. Soil depletion has begun to occur, water resources are increasingly taxed, and some wildlife is threatened by habitat destruction and increased hunting. Lime production for the citrus industry has promoted quarrying, water extraction, and fuelwood use. Environmental stresses currently do not exceed the threshold of instability, but the rapidly developing rural economy warrants careful monitoring of resource pressures

Die Slowakischen Shauhohlen und ihre probleme., 1994, Racko Ivan
In 1960 the Slovak Caves Administration, which managed twelve Slovak Caves was founded. It was controlled by the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Socialist Republic and comprised also the Museum of Slovak Karst and the Slovak Speleological Society; a free speleological organisation. In 1981 such an Administration became part of the State Centre for the Protection of Nature. The main task of this centre was obviously the protection of nature in Slovakia but unfortunately many problems remained unsolved. The social movement in November 1989 accelerated the process to solve such problems and the Forum of Professional Workers of Show Caves was set up in Slovakia. Thanks to a very hard work, the first objectives were achieved on July 1, 1990 when the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic signed the Document of Establishment and the Statute of the Slovak Caves Administration. The task of this administration is to ensure a good management of the show caves together with their suitable protection. In cooperation with UNESCO, a sort of Chart for the protection of the karst areas should be developed in order to acknowledge Karst as a natural heritage of Earth because Karst is one of the most important ecosystems. Show caves can play a relevant role in the development of these feelings in the public opinion.

A Subterranean Chemoauthotrophically Based Ecosystem, 1995, Sarbu Serban M. , Kane Thomas C.

Long term stability of a terrestrial cave community, 1997, Carchini Gianmaria, Di Russo Claudio, Luccarelli Marco, Rampini Mauro, Sbordoni Valerio
We report data on the spatial structure and seasonal variation of the community of Valmarino cave, a medium sized sandstone cave, located a few kilometres from the coast line, in Central Italy. Due to both its habitat features and its relatively recent geological history, Valmarino cave is only inhabited by terrestrial, troglophilic elements, i.e facultative cave dwellers. By means of monthly censuses and density plot estimates we have investigated species abundance, diversity and their spatial organization, by considering separately samples from different cave sectors. Homogeneous sampling design allowed to compare series of samplings performed in 1974 and 1994. On the whole 21 arthropods and one snail species constitute the cave community. Ordination plots resulting from correspondence analyses of monthly samples outline a distinct spatial and temporal structure. Two main sub-communities can be identified: a inner subcommunity, mainly represented by eu-troglophilic species, showing a remarkable stability throughout the year and an outer sub-community, mainly represented by sub-troglophilic species, showing strong seasonal variation. Both spatial and temporal vectors show similar importance in shaping the community structure. An interesting result of this study is the long term stability of both spatial and seasonal components of the community structure which remained almost identical after 20 years, as shown by the comparison of ordination plots obtained from 1974 and 1994 sampling series. Therefore this study provides empirical evidence of a frequently hypothesised, albeit never demonstrated feature of the cave ecosystem.

Hydrological response of small watersheds following the Southern California Painted Cave Fire of June 1990, 1997, Keller E. A. , Valentine D. W. , Gibbs D. R. ,
Following the Painted Cave Fire of 25 June 1990 in Santa Barbara, California which burned 1214 ha, an emergency watershed protection plan was implemented consisting of stream clearing, grade stabilizers and construction of debris basins. Research was initiated focusing on hydrological response and channel morphology changes on two branches of Maria Ygnacio Creek, the main drainage of the burned area. Research results support the hypothesis that the response of small drainage basins in chaparral ecosystems to wildfire is complex and flushing of sediment by fluvial processes is more likely than by high magnitude debris flows. During the winter of 1990-1991, 35-66 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 10 cm per hour for a five-minute period were recorded with a seasonal total of 100% of average (normal) rainfall (average = 63 cm/year). During the winter of 1991-1992, 48-74 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 8 cm per hour were recorded with a seasonal total of 115% of normal. Even though there was moderate rainfall on barren, saturated soils, no major debris flows occurred in burned areas. The winter of 1992-1993 recorded total precipitation of about 170% of normal, annual average intensities were relatively low and again no debris flows were observed. The response to winter storms in the first three years following the fire was a moderate but spectacular flushing of sediment, most of which was derived from the hillslopes upstream of the debris basins. The first significant storm and stream flow of the 1990-1991 winter was transport-limited resulting in large volumes of sediment being deposited in the channel of Maria Ygnacio Creek; the second storm and stream flow was sediment-limited and the channel scoured. Debris basins trapped about 23 000 m(3), the majority coming from the storm of 17-20 March 1991. Sediment transported downstream during the three winters following the fire and not trapped in the debris basins was eventually flushed to the estuarine reaches of the creeks below the burn area, where approximately 108 000 m(3) accumulated. Changes in stream morphology following the fire were dramatic as pools filled with sediment which greatly smoothed longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles. Major changes in channel morphology occur following a fire as sediment derived from the hillslope is temporarily stored in channels within the burned area. However, this sediment may quickly move downstream of the burned region, where it may accumulate reducing channel capacity and increasing the flood hazard. Ecological consequences of wildfire to the riparian zone of streams in the chaparral environment are virtually unknown, but must be significant as the majority of sediment (particularly gravel necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms) entering the system does so in response to fires. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Chemoautotrophic microbial mats in submarine caves with hydrothermal sulphidic springs at Cape Palinuro, Italy, 1998, Mattison R. G. , Abbiati M. , Dando P. R. , Fitzsimons M. F. , Pratt S. M. , Southward A. J. , Southward E. C. ,
Observations were made on the distribution, morphology, and chemoautotrophic potential of microbial mats found in submarine caves of dolomitized limestone which contain hydrothermal sulphidic springs at Cape Palinuro, Italy. The distribution of microbial mats is closely associated with the flow of hydrothermal fluid from springs whose activity is intermittent and initiated during low tide. Fluid emitted from active springs in the Grotta Azzurra has a maximum temperature of 24.6 degrees C and is enriched in dissolved sulfur species (H2S, S2O32-) and dissolved gases (CH4, CO2). However, it is depleted in NaCl and dissolved O-2, in comparison with ambient seawater. This fluid is less dense and rises above the ambient seawater to form a visible thermocline and chemocline separating both lavers in the submarine caves. Microbial mats were attached to rock surfaces immersed in fluid above the chemocline and were differentiated into brown and white forms. Brown mats were composed of trichomes (4.2 0.1 mu m and 20.3 0.7 mu m in diameter) resembling the calcareous rock-boring cyanobacterium Schizothrix and clusters (6 mu m in diameter) of sarcina-like cells morphologically resembling methanogenic bacteria. White mats were composed of attached filaments resembling Beggiatoa (19.3 0.5 mu m, 39.0 1.7 mu m, and 66.9 3.3 mu m in diameter) and Thiothrix (4.2 0.2 mu m in diameter). Flexibacteria (<1 mu m in diameter) were common to both mats. Beggiatoa-like filaments were morphologically similar to those attached to rocks and the byssal threads of mussels from Lucky Strike vent field on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge, Morphological comparisons were also made with typical gliding Beggiatoa from shallow seeps in Eckernforder Bucht, Baltic Sea. White mats displayed chemoautotrophic fixation of CO2 under relatively well-oxygenated laboratory conditions (maximum rate 50.2 nmol CO2/mg dry wt/h) using internal S-0 or possibly S2O32- as electron donor. Photosynthesis may be limited in the Grotta Azzurra by insufficient illumination (6.3 x 10(-7) mu einsteins/cm(2)/s), with the possibility of Schizothrix living (at least in part) as a chemoheterotroph on while mats. Chemoautotrophic fixation of CO2 by white mats is proposed as a significant source of nutrition for benthic fauna in these caves, and has been estimated as contributing 50-70 mu mol CO2/m(2) of mat/min, as measured under laboratory conditions

Bats of Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona, 1999, Buecher, D. C. , Sidner, R. M.
Kartchner Caverns, in southeastern Arizona, is a summer maternity roost for approximately 1000-2000 cave myotis (Myotis velifer). The pregnant females first arrive at the cave in late April, give birth in June, and have left by mid- September. These bats are an important element in the cave ecosystem because their excrement introduces nutrients, which support a complex invertebrate cave fauna. Bat population densities and emergence behavior was monitored between 1988-1991. Other bat species seen using the entrance areas of the cave include Corynorhinus townsendi and Choeronycteris mexicana. Because bats are easily disturbed by human intrusion into the roost, the baseline study was accomplished using low-disturbance techniques in an effort to provide the greatest amount of data with the least disturbance to the bat colony. These techniques included limited visual observations in the roost and netting bats only on the surface at a nearby water tank. During the baseline study, an episode of predation by a carnivore (Bassariscus astutus) caused the bats to abandon the site for a short time. Carbon-14 dating of guano from the Throne and Rotunda Rooms suggests that Myotis velifer used the Back Section of Kartchner Caverns 50-45 years Ka.

Cueva de Villa Luz, Tabasco, Mexico: Reconnaissance Study of an Active Sulfur Spring Cave and Ecosystem, 1999, Hose, L. D. , Pisarowicz, J. A.
Cueva de Villa Luz (a.k.a. Cueva de las Sardinas) in Tabasco, Mexico, is a stream cave with over a dozen H2S-rich springs rising from the floor. Oxidation of the H2S in the stream results in abundant, suspended elemental sulfur in the stream, which is white and nearly opaque. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the cave atmosphere fluctuate rapidly and often exceed U.S. government tolerance levels. Pulses of elevated carbon monoxide and depleted oxygen levels also occasionally enter the cave. Active speleogenesis occurs in this cave, which is forming in a small block of Lower Cretaceous limestone adjacent to a fault. Atmospheric hydrogen sulfide combines with oxygen and water to form sulfuric acid, probably through both biotic and abiotic reactions. The sulfuric acid dissolves the limestone bedrock and forms gypsum, which is readily removed by active stream flow. In addition, carbon dioxide from the reaction as well as the spring water and cave atmosphere combines with water. The resultant carbonic acid also dissolves the limestone bedrock. A robust and diverse ecosystem thrives within the cave. Abundant, chemoautotrophic microbial colonies are ubiquitous and apparently act as the primary producers to the caves ecosystem. Microbial veils resembling soda straw stalactites, draperies, and u-loops suspended from the ceiling and walls of the cave produce drops of sulfuric acid with pH values of <0.5-3.0 0.1. Copious macroscopic invertebrates, particularly midges and spiders, eat the microbes or the organisms that graze on the microbes. A remarkably dense population of fish, Poecilia mexicana, fill most of the stream. The fish mostly eat bacteria and midges. Participants in an ancient, indigenous Zoque ceremony annually harvest the fish in the spring to provide food during the dry season.

Ecosystem rooting depth determined with caves and DNA, 1999, Jackson R. B. , Moore L. A. , Hoffmann W. A. , Pockman W. T. , Linder C. R. ,

Book Review: ''Ecosystems of the World, Vol. 30: Subterranean Ecosystems'' by H. Wilkens, D.C. Culver & W.F. Humphreys (Editors), 2000, Wood P. J.

Working with knowledge at the science/policy interface: a unique example from developing the Tongass Land Management Plan, 2000, Shawiii Charles G. , Everest Fred H. , Swanston Douglas N. ,
An innovative, knowledge-based partnership between research scientists and resource managers in the U.S. Forest Service provided the foundation upon which the Forest Plan was developed that will guide management on the Tongass National Forest for the next 10-15 years. Criteria developed by the scientists to evaluate if management decisions were consistent with the available information base were applied to major components of the emerging final management strategy for the Forest. While the scientists remained value neutral on the contents of the Forest Plan and the management directions provided in it, their evaluation indicated that the decisions it contained for riparian and fish sustainability, wildlife viability, karst and cave protection, slope stability, timber resources, social/economic effects, and monitoring achieved a high degree of consistency with the available scientific information. The Forest Plan, revised to conform with existing scientific knowledge, represents a management strategy designed to sustain the diversity and productivity of the ecosystem while producing goods and services commensurate with the agency’s multiple-use mandate. Execution of this research/management partnership highlighted the role of scientific knowledge in forestry decision-making and provided a new mechanism to input such information into the decision making process. The partnership continues as the scientists are addressing high priority information needs generated by the planning effort in order to have additional information available for plan implementation and revision through adaptive management over the next 3-5 years

Acidic cave-wall biofilms located in the Frasassi Gorge, Italy, 2000, Vlasceanu L. , Sarbu S. M. , Engel A. S. , Kinkle B. K. ,
Acidic bioflms present on cave walls in the sulfidic region of the Frasassi Gorge, Italy, were investigated to determine their microbial composition and their potential role in cave formation and ecosystem functioning. All biofilm samples examined had pH values <1.0. Scanning electron microscopy of the biofilms revealed the presence of various filaments and rods associated in large clusters with mineral crystals. Qualitative energy-dispersive x-ray analysis was used to determine that the crystals present on the cave walls, associated with the microbial biofilm, were composed of calcium and barium sulfate. Ribosomal RNA-based methods to determine the microbial composition of these biofilms revealed the presence of at least two strains of potential acidophilic, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria, belonging to the genera Thiobacillus and Sulfobacillus. An acid producing strain of Thiobacillus sp. also was obtained in pure culture. Stable isotope ratio analysis of carbon and nitrogen showed that the wall biofilms are isotopically light, suggesting that in situ chemoautotrophic activity plays an important role in this subsurface ecosystem

Drainage-basin-scale geomorphic analysis to determine reference conditions for ecologic restoration--Kissimmee River, Florida, 2000, Warne Andrew G. , Toth Louis A. , White William A. ,
Major controls on the retention, distribution, and discharge of surface water in the historic (precanal) Kissimmee drainage basin and river were investigated to determine reference conditions for ecosystem restoration. Precanal Kissimmee drainage-basin hydrology was largely controlled by landforms derived from relict, coastal ridge, lagoon, and shallow-shelf features; widespread carbonate solution depressions; and a poorly developed fluvial drainage network. Prior to channelization for flood control, the Kissimmee River was a very low gradient, moderately meandering river that flowed from Lake Kissimmee to Lake Okeechobee through the lower drainage basin. We infer that during normal wet seasons, river discharge rapidly exceeded Lake Okeechobee outflow capacity, and excess surface water backed up into the low-gradient Kissimmee River. This backwater effect induced bankfull and peak discharge early in the flood cycle and transformed the flood plain into a shallow aquatic system with both lacustrine and riverine characteristics. The large volumes of surface water retained in the lakes and wetlands of the upper basin maintained overbank flow conditions for several months after peak discharge. Analysis indicates that most of the geomorphic work on the channel and flood plain occurred during the frequently recurring extended periods of overbank discharge and that discharge volume may have been significant in determining channel dimensions. Comparison of hydrogeomorphic relationships with other river systems identified links between geomorphology and hydrology of the precanal Kissimmee River. However, drainage-basin and hydraulic geometry models derived solely from general populations of river systems may produce spurious reference conditions for restoration design criteria

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