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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. ...

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That discharge area is an area in which ground water is discharged to the land surface, surface water, or atmosphere [22].?

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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 central italy (Keyword) returned 35 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 35
Groundwater lowering in karstic aquifers due to agricultural activity in the Fucino plain (Abruzzi, Central Italy) , 1998, Burri Ezio, Petitta Marco

The alluvial-lacustrine sediments that fill the Fucino Plain (>200 km2) contain an important aquifer, mostly fed by the karstic water. The Plain displays high vulnerability by agricultural activity (potential pollution, depletion of groundwater resources). In order to find water, more than 200 wells have been drilled since the 1950s, with a seasonal delivery of about 2,000,000 m3. The possible consequences can be summarised: 1. Decreased efficiency of the operating wells because of the lowering of the piezometric levels. This kind of problem is already evident and it may determine economic losses and environmental degradation, especially if the summer water shortage causes precarious hygienic conditions in the canal network of the Plain. 2. Reduced discharge in springs. This phenomenon involves the decrease of both available drinking water supplies and regular downflow in the canals. 3. Increased vulnerability of the surrounding carbonate aquifers by the infiltration of poor-quality irrigation waters in the karst aquifers.


Identification de formes karstiques de surface sur une reprsentation cartographique du Gran Sasso dItalia du XVIe sicle (Abruzzes, Italie centrale), 2002, Burri, Ezio
Identification of surface karst features on a XVIth century Gran Sasso dItalia map (Abruzzes, Central Italy) - In August 1573, Francesco De Marchi climbed for the first time the Corno Grande, the highest Gran Sasso peak, which is the highest limestone massif of the Apennins. From this exploration, he let a detailed description that was published after his death in 1599. A map, where some karst features are clearly mentioned and particularly some small karst lakes illustrated this description. Some other karst features, such as the large Campo Imperatore polje are described. In the same time of this climb he also explored Grotta a Male, one of the main caves of the area and gave a scientific description of it.

Natural hydrogeological laboratories: a new concept in regional hydrogeology studies. A case history from central Italy, 2002, Roberto Salvati,

Development of collapse sinkholes in areas of groundwater discharge, 2002, Salvati R. , Sasowsky I. D. ,
Collapse sinkholes are found in groundwater recharge zones throughout the world. They cause substantial loss of property each year, and occasional fatalities. In such settings, the formation of these features occurs through the downward migration of regolith into karst voids. The presence of a void in the bedrock. and sufficient seepage pressure or gravitative force in the regolith, is required for their creation. We investigated the development of cover collapse sinkholes in an unusual setting, areas of groundwater discharge rather than recharge. Upward hydraulic gradients and the likelihood of groundwater saturated with respect to calcite are difficult to reconcile with standard models for collapse development. Short flowpaths or renewed groundwater aggressivity towards calcite (via mischungskorrosion, thermally driven circulation, or deep-seated gaseous sources) are hypothetical mechanisms that could generate the subsurface voids that are needed to allow cover collapse development in discharge areas. For the two field sites in central Italy that we investigated, calculated carbon dioxide partial pressures in springs ranged from 7.38 X 10(-2) to 7.29 X 10(-1) atm. This indicates that deep-seated gaseous sources are most likely the mechanism allowing the development of the sinkholes. Groundwater is recharged in surrounding limestone massifs. The water moves through the carbonates and becomes saturated with calcite. As it circulates deeply in to the adjacent valleys, it mixes with deep-seated waters and gaseous fluxes from major fault systems, acquiring renewed aggressivity towards calcite. Finally, the water ascends into confined aquifers in the valley fill, and dissolves carbonate material present within, leading to surface collapse. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Gypsum deposits in the Frasassi Caves, central Italy, 2003, Galdenzi, S. , Maruoka, T.
The Frasassi Caves are hypogenic caves in central Italy, where H2S-rich groundwater flows in the lowest cave level. Near the water table, the H2S is converted to sulfuric acid by biotic and abiotic processes, which have enhanced cave development. The sulfate generally deposits above the water table as a replacement gypsum crust coating limestone walls or as large gypsum crystals. Although the oxidation of sulfide also occurs below the water table, sulfate saturation is not achieved, therefore, sulfate does not precipitate below the water table. In the upper dry levels of the cave, three main types of ancient gypsum deposits occurs: (1) replacement crusts, similar to the presently forming deposits of the active zone, (2) microcrystalline large and thick floor deposits, and (3) euhedral crystals inside mud. The study of the depositional setting and the analysis of sulfur isotopes in the gypsum and groundwater clearly demonstrate that all the sampled gypsum in the cave formed by H2S oxidation above the water table. Some fraction of small sulfur isotopic differences between H2S in the water and gypsum can be explained by isotopic fractionation during abiotic and/or biotic oxidation of H2S.

Stable isotope (H-2, O-18 and Sr-87/Sr-86) and hydrochemistry monitoring for groundwater hydrodynamics analysis in a karst aquifer (Gran Sasso, Central Italy), 2005, Barbieri M, Boschetti T, Petitta M, Tallini M,
This paper deals with chemical and isotope analyses of 21 springs, which were monitored 3 times in the course of 2001; the monitoring program was focused on the groundwater of the Gran Sasso carbonate karst aquifer (Central Italy), typical of the mountainous Mediterranean area. Based on the hydrogeological setting of the study area, 6 groups of springs with different groundwater circulation patterns were distinguished. The hydrogeochemistry of their main components provided additional information about groundwater flowpaths, confirming the proposed classification. The spatial distribution of their ion concentrations validated the assumptions underlying the hydrogeological conceptual model, showing diverging groundwater flowpaths from the core to the boundaries of the aquifer. Geochemical modelling and saturation index computation elucidated water-carbonate rock interaction, contribution by alluvial aquifers at the karst aquifer boundaries, as well as impacts of human activities. The analysis of O-18/O-16 and H-2/H values and their spatial distribution in the aquifer substantiated the hydrogeology-based classification of 6 groups of springs, making it possible to trace back groundwater recharge areas based on mean isotope elevations; the latter were calculated by using two rain monitoring stations. Sr-87/Sr-86 analyses showed seasonal changes in many springs: in winter-spring, the changes are due to inflow of new recharge water, infiltrating into younger rocks and thus increasing (87)sr/Sr-86 values; in summer-autumn, when there is no recharge and spring discharge declines, changes are due to base flow groundwater circulating in more ancient rocks, with a subsequent drop in Sr-87/Sr-86 values. The results of this study stress the contribution that spatio-temporal isotope monitoring can give to the definition of groundwater flowpaths and hydrodynamics in fissured and karst aquifers, taking into account their hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical setting. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Groundwater fluxes into a submerged sinkhole area, Central Italy, using radon and water chemistry, 2005, Tuccimei P. , Salvati R. , Capelli G. , Delitala M. C. , Primavera P. ,
The groundwater contribution into Green Lake and Black Lake (Vescovo Lakes Group), two cover collapse sinkholes in Pontina Plain (Central Italy), was estimated using water chemistry and a Rn-222 budget. These data can constrain the interactions between sinkholes and deep seated fluid circulation, with a special focus on the possibility of the bedrock karst aquifer feeding the lake. The Rn budget accounted for all quantifiable surface and subsurface input and output fluxes including the flux across the sediment-water interface. The total value of groundwater discharge into Green Lake and Black Lake (similar to 540 160 L s(-1)) obtained from the Rn budget is lower than, but comparable with historical data on the springs group discharge estimated in the same period of the year (800 90 L s(-1)). Besides being an indirect test for the reliability of the Rn-budget 'tool', it confirms that both Green and Black Lake are effectively springs and not simply 'water filled' sinkholes. New data on the water chemistry and the groundwater fluxes into the sinkhole area of Vescovo Lakes allows the assessment of the mechanism responsible for sinkhole formation in Pontina Plain and suggests the necessity of monitoring the changes of physical and chemical parameters of groundwater below the plain in order to mitigate the associated risk. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Investigating epikarst using low-frequency GPR: example from the Gran Sasso range (Central Italy), 2006, Tallini Marco, Gasbarri Diego, Ranalli Danilo, Scozzafava Marco,

Use of speleologic data to evaluate Holocene uplifting and tilting: An example from the Frasassi anticline (northeastern Apennines, Italy), 2007, Mariani S. , Mainiero M. , Barchi M. , Van Der Borg K. , Vonhof H. , Montanari A.

Deep inside the Frasassi cave complex in the foreland fold and thrust belt of the northeastern Apennines (central Italy), the remains of hundreds of eels (Anguilla anguilla) are found scattered on the shores of phreatic lakes up to 5 m above the water table. These sub-fossil eels, and the speleothemic calcite encrusting some of them, offer the rare opportunity for radiocarbon dating leading to a geochronologic scale for the shorelines, which record the lowering of the water table and the uplifting of the Frasassi area through the Holocene. The lakes' margins are contoured by white microcrystalline calcite rinds, which also record the progressive lowering of the water table. Detailed surveying revealed that these rinds are no longer horizontal, but slightly tilted toward ENE. Thus these rinds record a recent history not only of uplifting, but also of tectonic tilting of this region. The results of our analyses indicate that the Apennine area around Frasassi has been rising, for the past 8000 years, at a mean rate of 0.6 mm/yr, which is consistent with uplifting rates estimated from the step topography arrangement of interglacial fluvial terraces for the whole Quaternary period in this region. This work demonstrates how an interdisciplinary approach to speleologic research can provide a significant contribution to active tectonic studies.


The environmental features of the Monte Corchia cave system (Apuan Alps, Central Italy) and their effects on speleothem growth, 2008, Piccini L. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Isola I. , Fallick A. E. , Leone G. , Doveri M. , Mussi M. , Mantelli F. , Molli G. , Lotti L. , Roncioni A. , Regattieri E. , Meccheri M. , Vaselli L.
The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the Galleria delle Stalattiti, the zone under paleoclimate studies, a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.

The environmental features of the Monte Corchia cave system (Apuan Alps, central Italy) and their effects on speleothems growth, 2008, Piccini L. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Isola I. , Fallick A. E. , Leone G. , Doveri M. , Mussi M. , Mantelli F. , Molli G. , Lotti L. , Roncioni A. , Regattieri E. , Meccheri M. , Vaselli L.

The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the “Galleria delle Stalattiti”, the zone under paleoclimate studies, a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.


Chemical and isotopic (d18O%, d2H%, d13C%, 222Rn%) multi-tracing for groundwater conceptual model of carbonate aquifer (Gran Sasso INFN underground laboratory central Italy), 2008, Adinolfi Falcone R. , Falgiani A. , Parisse B. , Petitta M. , Spizzico M. , Tallini M.

A hydrochemical and isotope study was conducted on the drainage waters of an underground laboratory, located inside the Gran Sasso massif (central Italy). The study was expected to improve the conceptual model of groundwater circulation at the base of an over 1000-thick unsaturated zone in the Gran Sasso partitioned karst aquifer. This lithostratigraphically and tectonically complex aquifer is typical of Africa–Europe thrust-andfold collision belt in the Mediterranean area. In this case, investigations on water–rock interactions during recharge in complex aquifers, overlaid by a thick unsaturated zone, have been made thanks to the strategic location of the Gran Sasso underground laboratories, located in the core of a huge carbonate aquifer. Knowledge of the local basic hydrogeological setting was the starting point for a detailed hydrogeochemical and isotopic study, which was carried out at the aquifer scale and at the fine scale in the underground laboratories. The water–rock interaction processes were investigated both spatially and in temporal sequences, analysing recharge waters and groundwater in the underground laboratories by multitracing techniques, including major ions and d18O&, d2H& and d13C& stable isotopes. Use of 222Rn provides information on transit time in the aquifer. Processes proved to be typical of carbonate rocks, with clear influence of vertical movement of water on chemical–physical parameters through the unsaturated zone. Conversely, in the saturated zone, these processes proved to be dominantly affected by local geological–structural conditions. A conceptual model with dual flow velocity is proposed, directly related to the local geological-structural setting. 222Rn decay enables to calculate an effective velocity of around 10 m/day for the fracture network, through the sequence of less permeable dolomites and underlying limestone. Lag time between recharge and chemical changes in the saturated zone testifies to an effective velocity of about 35 m/day for fast flow through recent and active extensional faults


The genesis of cave rings explained using empirical and experimental data, 2009, Nozzoli F. , Bevilacqua S. , And Cavallari L.
A cave ring is a faint speleothem consisting in a thin circle on the floor symmetrically surrounding a water drop impact point. Two different mechanisms seem to be responsible for cave ring formation: the drop splash at the floor, for the splash rings, and the ejection of a secondary droplet during the fall, for the fall down rings. A systematic investigation of 67 speleothem rings discovered in five different caves in central Italy was conducted. The data show compatibility with a common nature for all the observed rings. For the observed rings, the hypothesis of a falling secondary droplet origin is confirmed and the hypothesis of a primary drop splash is rejected. The trajectory of a secondary droplet has been measured, and the collected data suggest that the secondary droplets originate from a primary drop breakup at a distance y0 5 142.7 6 7.2 cm from the stalactite tip. Assuming this spontaneous breakup hypothesis, the velocities ratio b 5 uy/ux 5 25.5 6 1.6 at the breakup time was measured. Finally, the collected ring data (5-cm- to 50-cm-diameter range) exhibit a negative curva- ture trajectory. The large departure from a gravity dominant parabolic trajectory suggests other forces, such as air friction or lift force, are at work on the small secondary droplets.

A recently evolved symbiosis between chemoautotrophic bacteria and a cave-dwelling amphipod, 2009, Dattagupta, S. , Schaperdoth, I. , Montanari, A. , Mariani, S. , Kita, N. , Valley, J. W. And Macalady, J. L.
Symbioses involving animals and chemoautotrophic bacteria form the foundation of entire ecosystems at deep-sea hydrothermal vents and cold seeps, but have so far not been reported in terrestrial or freshwater environments. A rare example of a terrestrial ecosystem sustained by chemoautotrophy is found within the sulfide-rich Frasassi limestone cave complex of central Italy. In this study, we report the discovery of abundant filamentous bacteria on the exoskeleton of Niphargus ictus, a macroinvertebrate endemic to Frasassi. Using 16S rDNA sequencing and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), we show that N. ictus throughout the large cave complex are colonized by a single phylotype of bacteria in the sulfur-oxidizing clade Thiothrix. The epibiont phylotype is distinct from Thiothrix phylotypes that form conspicuous biofilms in the cave streams and pools inhabited by N. ictus. Using a combination of 13C labeling, FISH, and secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), we show that the epibiotic Thiothrix are autotrophic, establishing the first known example of a non-marine chemoautotroph-animal symbiosis. Conditions supporting chemoautotrophy, and the N. ictus-Thiothrix association, likely commenced in the Frasassi cave complex between 350 000 and 1 million years ago. Therefore, the N. ictus-Thiothrix symbiosis is probably significantly younger than marine chemoautotrophic symbioses, many of which have been evolving for tens to hundreds of million years.

The sulfidic thermal caves of Acquasanta Terme (central Italy), 2010, Galdenzi S. , Cocchioni F. , Filipponi G. , Morichetti L. , Scuri S. , Selvaggio R. , And Cocchioni M.

The caves of Acquasanta Terme (central Italy) open at the core of a wide anticline, in the valley of the Tronto River. Cave development is due to the rise of sulfidic thermal water flowing through a thick marine limestone sequence, overlain by thick, low- permeability formations. Some minor caves are developed in the terraced travertines deposited by the thermal water, but the major caves are developed in marine limestone in the small gorge of the Rio Garrafo stream, a tributary of the Tronto River. These caves have a rising pattern, due to the past flow of thermal water toward the surface. The deepening of the Tronto River Valley lowered the regional water table, perching the Rio Garrafo stream ,50 m above the thermal groundwater. At present, surface water sinks through the pre-existing karst passages to reach the thermal water flowing in the lower parts of the caves. Where these waters mix, rapid corrosion of the walls through sulfuric acid speleogenesis occurs. Annual temperature and chemistrymonitoring of the cave water showed that freshwater contributes up to 45% of the volume at the water table. Dilution events are associated with falling water temperature, which ranges between 44uC and 32uC. At the main spring, 2 km downstream, groundwater dilution was higher resulting in lower temperatures (32uC–21uC) and salinity. The periods of high freshwater dilution correspond with a lowering of pHin the phreatic water and with the release ofH2S and CO2 to the cave atmosphere. In the thermal zones, the concentration of H2S increased from 40 to over 240 ppm, while CO2 increased from 0.44% to 2.7%. These data evidence the influence of sinking surface water on the cave environment and speleogenesis.


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