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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Speleology in Kazakhstan

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

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

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

The deepest terrestrial animal

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

Caves - landscapes without light

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

Did you know?

That birnessite is a cave mineral - (na,ca)mn7o14 3h2o [11].?

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 scree (Keyword) returned 39 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 39
Soil gas screening for chlorinated solvents at three contaminated karst sites in Tennessee, 2002,
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Wolfe W. J. , Williams S. D. ,
Soil gas was sampled using active sampling techniques and passive collectors at three sites in Tennessee to evaluate the effectiveness of these techniques for locating chlorinated solvent sources and flowpaths in karst aquifers. Actively collected Soil gas samples were analyzed in the field with a portable gas chromatograph, and the passive soil gas collectors were analyzed in the lab with gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Results of the sampling indicate that the effectiveness of both techniques is highly dependent on the distribution of the contaminants in the subsurface, the geomorphic and hydrogeologic characteristics of the site, and, in one case, on seasonal conditions. Both active and passive techniques identified areas of elevated subsurface chlorinated solvent concentrations at a landfill site where contamination remains concentrated in the regolith. Neither technique detected chlorinated solvents known to be moving in the bedrock at a manufacturing site characterized by thick regolith and an absence of surficial karst features. Passive soil gas sampling had varied success detecting flowpaths for chloroform in the bedrock at a train derailment site characterized by shallow regolith and abundant surficial karst features. At the train derailment site, delineation of the contaminant flowpath through passive soil gas sampling was stronger and more detailed under winter conditions than summer

The vegetation of the high mountains of Crete - a revision and multivariate analysis, 2002,
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Bergmeier E,
The vegetation at elevations above 1,400 m in the south Aegean island of Crete (Greece) is studied and revised. By means of phytosociological classification (assisted by TWINSPAN) and ordination (Detrended correspondence analysis, DCA), the plant communities and abiotic (environmental, geographical) factors governing the variance in vegetation are described and discussed. The analyses are based on 492 sample plots from the three major mountain ranges of Crete. All published data available, as well as own unpublished releves are included. Since the plots differ much with respect to species number and plot size, and to combine different subsets and different data properties, various data sets are used for DCA ordination. Data on environmental variables are used supplementarily. Ordination results suggest the following factors to be of major effect on the variance in vegetation: Rock type, soil type, altitude, geographical situation, degree of substrate fixation, and inclination. The representation of local and regional endemics in the vegetation increases with altitude and along the habitat type series: phrygana and woodland - fixed slopes - dolines - screes. A synoptic table of 26 columns (vegetation types and subtypes) is presented. The vegetation consists of the tragacanth formation of fixed slopes (8 columns), swards and scrub of doline grounds (9), scree vegetation (4), and rupicolous chasmophytic vegetation (2). Phrygana (2) and woodland vegetation (1) are marginal. A hierarchical conspectus of the syntaxa is provided which includes the following nomenclaturally relevant new or validated names of various ranks (in alphabetic order): Alysso sphaciotici-Valantion apricae, Arenario fragillimae-Silenetum antri-jovis, Arenarion creticae, Astragalion cretici, Berberido creticae-Astragaletum cretici, Cicero incisi-Silenetum variegatae, Colchico cretensis-Cirsion morinifolii, Fumano paphlagonicae-Helianthemetum hymettii, Gypsophilo nanae-Arenarietum creticae, Hyperico kelleri-Anchusetum cespitosae, Lomelosio sphacioticae-Centranthetum sieberi, Paronychio macrosepalae-Juniperetum oxycedri, Saturejo spinosae-Scutella-rietalia hirtae, Sideritido syriacae-Verbascetum spinosi, Verbascion spinosi

Reclamation of Limestone Quarries by Landform Simulation: Summary of Lessons Learnt from Trial Sites, 2002,
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Landform simulation is the construction by restoration blasting of varied slope sequences on disused quarry faces consisting of rock screes, buttresses and headwalls which are selectively vegetated to produce landform/vegetation assemblages similar to those on natural limestone dales. This report presents a summary of monitoring of trial sites created at Hope and Tunstead Quarries. It assesses their success in terms of stability, vegetation establishment and visual appearance, and makes recommendations for the future application of the the technique.


Screening for culturable microorganisms from cave environments (Slovenia), 2002,
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Mulec Janez, Zalar Polona, Zupan Hajna Nadja , Rupnik Maja

Various microenvironments in three different caves were screened for the presence of indigenous culturable microorganisms: extremely weathered limestone in Pečina v Borštu and Martinska jama, cave silver and calcite rafts on the surface of subterranean ponds in Pečina v Borštu and calcite moonmilk speleotheme in Snežna jama of Raduha mountain. The counts of viable cells collected are supplemented with laboratory data necessary to establish genus or wider taxonomic group level identity of isolates. Besides other bacterial and fungal groups flourescent pseudomonads are prevailing among isolates.


Collapse Dolines, Deflector Faults and Collector Channels, 2003,
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uteri, F.

In some Slovenian caves collector channels gather sinking underground streams and redirect them for potentially long distances parallel to certain faults. They formed due to permanent collapse of cave roofs at the points where they break through the faults, which function as a kind of screen and are termed deflector faults. The fault trends are marked by collapse within the caves, and by active collapse dolines at the surface.


Use of stable isotopes to quantify flows between the Everglades and urban areas in Miami-Dade County Florida, 2004,
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Wilcox W. M. , Sologabriele H. M. , Sternberg L. O. R. ,
An isotopic study was performed to assess the movement of groundwater for a site located in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The site encompasses portions of a protected wetland environment (northeast Everglades National Park) and suburban residential Miami, incorporating municipal pumping wells and lakes formed by rock mining. Samples of ground, surface, and rainwater were analyzed for their isotopic composition (oxygen-18 and deuterium). Various analytical and graphical techniques were used to analyze this data and two conceptual box models were developed to quantify flows between different regions within the site. Results from this study indicate that the aquifer underlying the study site (the Biscayne aquifer) is highly transmissive with the exception of two semi-confining layers of reduced hydraulic conductivity. Everglades surface water infiltrates into the aquifer and migrates east toward residential areas. In these urban areas, 'shallow' groundwater (above the deeper semi-confining layer) is substantially affected by urban rainfall while 'deep' groundwater (below the deeper semi-confining layer) maintains a composition similar to that of Everglades water. Rock mining lakes in the area provide 'breaks' in the semi-confining layers that allow for mixing of shallow and deep groundwater. As water travels eastward, municipal well intakes, screened to a depth below the deeper semi-confining layer, draw upon not only shallow urban water (predominantly comprised of urban rainfall) and lake water (having influences from both urban rainfall and Everglades water) but also deep water that originated in the Everglades. Results from one of the box models estimate that over 60% of the water being removed by municipal pumping originated in the Everglades. These conclusions suggest that Everglades water, both directly through deep groundwater flow and indirectly through mixing with rock-mining lakes, is being drawn into the operating municipal wellfield.

An inexpensive, automatic, submersible water sampler, 2004,
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Martin J. B. , Thomas R. G. , Hartl K. M. ,
Currently available water samplers are manually actuated, can only be deployed onshore, limiting their use to small or developed water bodies, or are designed for deployment in the deep sea, making them large and expensive. The automatic submersible water sampler described here is small, lightweight, actuated by a microprocessor, and inexpensively and easily constructed. The sampler consists of a pressure case, sample containers constructed of 10 spring-loaded 60 mL syringes connected to solenoid valves, and electronics to control opening and closing of the solenoid valves. Vacuum in the syringes keeps the springs compressed while the solenoid valves are closed. When a valve opens, the spring expands and draws water past a screen and/or filter into the syringe. Once the syringe is filled, the solenoid valve closes, storing the sample. More than one syringe can be opened simultaneously if more than 60 mL are required. Preservatives can be added to the syringe prior to deployment. Some environments where it could be used include karst aquifers, lakes, large rivers, and estuaries

Diversity of culturable bacteria and meiofauna in the epikarst of Škocjanske jame caves (Slovenia), 2004,
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Gerič, Barbara, Pipan Tanja, Mulec Janez

The epikarst zone becomes an important site for hydrogeological, geomorphological and biological investigations. From the samples at four sites in Škocjanske jame caves where water tricklets constantly drip from the cave ceiling the meiofauna were identified. The sites were screened also for the presence of culturable bacteria. The viable cell counts were supplemented with morphological and biochemical analysis of the isolates. Results show that Gram-negative bacteria prevail among culturable bacteria in the percolating epikarst waters.


The origin of sediments inside collapse dolines of Postojna karst (Slovenia), 2004,
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Stepiš, Nik Uroš,

Several hundred collapse dolines are recorded on the Slovenian karst surface. Their floors are covered with boulders, scree or a soil layer. In ponor karst areas, where water transports significant amount of allochtonous material, many collapse doline floors are made level by deposits of loamy sediment. This discussion relates to a detailed study of 15 collapse dolines near the Postojna cave system. Loamy sediment appears within several neighboring collapse dolines and covers their floors at approximately the same altitude. The sediment level preserved in the collapse dolines is commonly at the same elevation as flood loam deposits within nearby caves. It transpires that the flattening of the collapse doline floors is a result of flooding inside the karst that extended above the original floors of the collapse dolines. It is possible to predict some of the sedimentation dynamics inside the karst on the basis of the elevations of the loamy sediments within the collapse dolines. On the other hand, it is also possible to find out about collapse doline development by studying the processes inside cave systems.


Neue Erkenntnisse zur Vorgeschichte der Zoolithenhhle bei Burggaillenreuth, Nrdliche Frankenalb, Sddeutschland., 2005,
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Rosendahl, W.
The usage of the Zoolithen Cave during the Iron Age was well known due to pottery fragments recovered from the scree in front of the cave. A radiocarbon date of ash material attached to a pot shard confirms human use during the Iron Age (Hallstatt- Period). A prominent ash-layer occurring in the uppermost speleothem layer of the entrance section of the cave was also dated. The result shows that this layer does not correspond with the Iron Age habitation, but it suggests an older, as yet undocumented late Mesolithic usage of the Zoolithen Cave. [Scherbenfunde in der Zoolithenhhle konnten durch Radiokarbon-Datierung der Hallstattzeit zugewiesen werden; Hinweise auf eine Nutzung der Hhle im Mesolithikum]

Preliminary screening of residual soil stability in karst terrain, 2005,
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Drumm Ec, Yang Mz,
The stability of the residual soils that overlie cavitose limestone is often a concern during the siting, construction, and maintenance of facilities in karst terrain. Voids or domes often form in the residual soil above the rock cavities, and unless the thickness of the residual soil is sufficient for the development of arching, the soil may collapse and sinkholes may form. A preliminary screening method is proposed to estimate the thickness of residual soil required to provide stability for a given range of potential soil-void diameters. The method considers two modes of instability for sites with shallow (less than 25 m) overburden. Stability with respect to the first mode (cover collapse) depends on the development of arching in the residual soil and suggests a minimum allowable cover thickness for stability. Stability with respect to the second mode (cover subsidence) corresponds to the yielding and plastic flow of the soils into the soil and/or rock void and suggests a maximum cover thickness above which subsidence should be evaluated. Sites with very thick overburden (more than 25 m) are generally not considered problematic. The limiting conditions for the first stability mode are compared with estimated sinkhole dimensions reported in the literature and the application of the stability chart is demonstrated by an example

Neue Erkenntnisse zur Vorgeschichte der Zoolithenhhle bei Burggaillenreuth, Nrdliche Frankenalb, Sddeutschland, 2005,
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Rosendahl, W.
The usage of the Zoolithen Cave during the Iron Age was well known due to pottery fragments recovered from the scree in front of the cave. A radiocarbon date of ash material attached to a pot shard confirms human use during the Iron Age (Hallstatt- Period). A prominent ash-layer occurring in the uppermost speleothem layer of the entrance section of the cave was also dated. The result shows that this layer does not correspond with the Iron Age habitation, but it suggests an older, as yet undocumented late Mesolithic usage of the Zoolithen Cave.

Morphologie et remplissage des dolines du Causse de Martel daprs les observations ralises au cours du diagnostic archologique de larodrome de Brive-Souillac (Corrze et Lot), 2006,
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Bruxelles Laurent, Colonge David, Salgues Thierry
Doline morphology and filling in the Causse of Martel based on the observations realized during the archaeological diagnosis of the Brive-Souillac airfield (Corrze and Lot, France) - An operation of archaeological diagnosis was led by the INRAP (national institute for preventive archaeological researches) on the Causse de Martel. On this occasion, 610 trenches with bulldozers were done, mainly localized in the bottom of dolines. The morphology of the depressions presents most often a pronounced asymmetry. We observe a gently dipping slope underlain by sandy alterites. On the opposite side, a steep corrosion rim developed in bathonian limestones. The sections show an accumulation of several meters of different sediments. At the base, we find periglacial deposits (stratified scree and yellow silt) which fossilized some archaeological remains of the middle Paleolithic. Just above an erosional unconformity, brown clays with calcareous gravel are found. Thanks to the presence of archaeological material, we date the emplacement of this level to be between the Protohistory and the medieval age. Finally, one or two meters of modern agricultural colluviums end the sequence. These observations put in evidence at least two main periods of infilling of these dolines. They correspond to two major phases of hillside imbalance. The first one has a climatic origin (Periglacial) and the second a human origin (clearings and agriculture). These accumulations are separated from the underlying deposits by distinct erosion surfaces, which can be linked to a reactivation of the karstic undercapture and the erosion of a part of the filling. This functioning corresponds to periods during which the colluviums are less abundant, indicating a certain stability of hillsides. Finally, the morphology of the rock layers and the geometry of the deposits show that the karstic landscape, which was clearly more accentuated before the Periglacial and even before Protohistory, underwent an important filling. Today, the dolines are partially filled and show with a flat bottom.

The Genesis of the Hope Downs Iron Ore Deposit, Hamersley Province, Western Australia, 2006,
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Lascelles Desmond F. ,
The banded iron formation (BIF)-hosted Hope Downs high-grade hematite ore deposits are situated within the Marra Mamba Iron Formation with subsidiary deposits in the Brockman Iron Formation of the Archean to Proterozoic Hamersley Group of Western Australia. The main orebody extends to 260 m below the surface and is unusually rich in martite (pseudomorphous hematite after magnetite) and poor in limonite and goethite compared to other ore deposits of the Marra Mamba Iron Formation. The high-grade hematite ore is mainly within the Newman Member but also occurs in parts of the Nammuldi Member together with low-grade limonitic ore that becomes high grade after calcining. Karst erosion of the overlying Wittenoom Formation has produced steep-sided buried valleys adjacent to the in situ orebodies that contain thick deposits (<160 m) of goethitic and sideritic sediments, including remnants of Robe Pisolite Formation, bedded siderite, hematite gravels, red ochreous detrital material, and enriched scree deposits that are additional sources of ore. The ore consists of low phosphorous martite-limonite-goethite derived from chert-free BIF by supergene weathering. No evidence of the complete carbonate replacement of chert has been found at Hope Downs nor were any traces of preexisting chert bands seen in the ore, despite the abundance of chert bands in BIF elsewhere. A variety of textures and composition shown by cherty BIF adjacent to the orebodies is described from which the origin of the chert-free BIF is inferred, including sedimentary structures consistent with density-current deposition. A model is presented for the origin of the host iron formation and the ore deposits, in which density currents transported reworked iron silicates and hydroxides in colloidal suspension onto an unstable sea floor. The amorphous silica produced during diagenesis of Al-poor iron silicates formed the characteristic chert bands of BIF but some of the hydrous amorphous silica was lost prior to lithification to form chert-free BIF. Weathering of the chert-free BIF produced the high-grade hematite ore that is exposed today

Dolomite formation in breccias at the Musandam Platform border, Northern Oman Mountains, United Arab Emirates, 2006,
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Breesch L, Swennen R, Vincent B,
The presence of dolomite breccia patches along Wadi Batha Mahani suggests large-scale fluid flow causing dolomite formation. The controls on dolomitization have been studied, using petrography and geochemistry. Dolomitization was mainly controlled by brecciation and the nearby Hagab thrust. Breccias formed as subaerial scree deposits, with clay infill from dissolved platform limestones, during Early Cretaceous emergence. Cathodoluminescence of the dolostones indicates dolomitization took place in two phases. First, fine-crystalline planar-s dolomite replaced the breccias. Later, these dolomites were recrystallized by larger nonplanar dolomites. The stable isotope trend towards depleted values (delta O-18: -2.7 parts per thousand to - 10.2 parts per thousand VPDB and delta C-13: -0.6 parts per thousand to -8.9 parts per thousand VPDB), caused by mixing dolomite types during sampling, indicates type 2 dolomites were formed by hot fluids. Microthermometry of quartz cements and karst veins, post-dating dolomites, also yielded high temperatures. Hot formation waters which ascended along the Hagab thrust are invoked to explain type 2 dolomitization, silicification and hydrothermal karstification. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V, All rights reserved

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