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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 solubility is the total amount of solute species that will remain indefinitely in a solution maintained at constant temperature and pressure in contact with the solid crystals from which the solutes were derived [22].?

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for photographs (Keyword) returned 47 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 47
Regional Quaternary submarine geomorphology in the Florida Keys, 2003, Lidz Barbara H. , Reich Christopher D. , Shinn Eugene A. ,
High-quality seismic reflection profiles fill a major gap in geophysical data along the south Florida shelf, allowing updated interpretations of the history of the Quaternary coral reef system. Incorporation of the new and existing data sets provides the basis for detailed color maps of the Pleistocene surface and thickness of overlying Holocene accretions. The maps cover the Florida Keys to a margin-wide upper-slope terrace (30 to 40 m deep) and extend from The Elbow Reef (north Key Largo) to Rebecca Shoal (Gulf of Mexico). The data indicate that Pleistocene bedrock is several meters deeper to the southwest than to the north east, yet in general, Holocene sediments are [~]3 to 4 m thick shelf-wide. The Pleistocene map demonstrates the significance of a westward-dipping bedrock surface to Holocene flooding history and coral reef evolution. Seismic facies show evidence for two possible Holocene stillstands. Aerial photographs provide information on the seabed surface, much of which is below seismic resolution. The photographs define a prominent, regional nearshore rock ledge that extends [~]2.5 km seaward from the keys' shoreline. They show that bands of rock ridges exist along the outer shelf and on the upper-slope terrace. The photographs also reveal four tracts of outlier reefs on the terrace, one more than had been documented seismically. Seismic and photographic data indicate the tracts are >200 km long, nearly four times longer than previously thought. New interpretations provide insights into a youngest possible terrace age (ca. 175 ka?) and the likelihood that precise ages of oxygen isotope substage 5e ooid tidal-bar and coral reef components may differ. The tidal-bar/reef complex forms the Florida Keys

An improved method for determination of holocene coastline changes around two ancient settlements in southern Anatolia: A geoarchaeological approach to historical land degradation studies, 2003, Bal Y, Kelling G, Kapur S, Akca E, Cetin H, Erol O,
Two well-known ancient sites in southern Anatolia were selected to investigate and quantify the impact of historical land degradation on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. These sites are the Luwian settlements of Kelenderis (modern Aydincik) and nearby Nagidos (Bozyazi), both in Mersin Province and both occupied since around 4000 BP. Changes in local climatic conditions over this period have produced variations in the rates of fluvial transport of sediment/soil from the hinterland into the relevant deltaic regions, thus influencing rates of coastal progradation and aggradation. In addition, both eustatic and neotectonic movements have contributed to deltaic subsidence and/or hinterland uplift, with consequential impact on coastal evolution (positive or negative). The novel gcoarchaeological methodology adopted in this study involves the creation of a graphical archive from detailed and standardised measurements taken from rectified mono- and stereoscopic aerial photographs. These archival data were then integrated with data from several types of historical map and field measurements in order to develop a geographical information system (GIS) database that could be interrogated, enabling graphical models of past coastal change to be constructed and calculations then made of the coastal configurations at successive historical periods. These calculations reveal that over the past 6000 years there has been only limited erosion/degradation in the karstic hinterland supplying the sediment to these two study sites (contrary to some previous statements concerning the high degradation risk of Mediterranean karst terrains). Furthermore, rates of progradation in each delta appear to have become diminished or even reversed in the past several decades as a result of both natural and anthropogenic factors. The precise contribution of neotectonic movements in this seismically active zone remains unquantified and is a topic requiring further interdisciplinary study.

Late 19th or early 20th century photographs of Hull Pot, North Yorkshire, 2004, Murphy P. J. , Parr Ailsa

Late 19th or early 20th century photographs of Hull Pot, North Yorkshire, 2004, Murphy P. J. , Parr Ailsa

Spelologische Charakterisierung und Analyse des Hochschwab-Plateaus, Steiermark., 2004, Plan, L.
The Hochschwab is one of the major karst massifs of the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA), situated in the north of the Austrian province of Styria and provides freshwater for the city of Vienna. Karstmorphological mapping of 44 km of its plateau brought the discovery of 770 new caves. Together with formerly recorded caves and possible caves detected on aerial photographs a total of 1284, mainly vertical objects are integrated into a GIS. In combination with additional digital datasets, statistical analyses are performed considering the spatial distribution of cave density as well as the dependence on altitude and lithology. Beside this, the most important caves within the study area are characterised. The investigated caves are mainly pits and vertical canyons which developed in the vadose zone. Phreatic cave levels associated with former valley floors, which are common in the NCA, do not exist in the Hochschwab. A few caves of phreatic origin developed above aquitard geological units. The average cave density in the investigation area is 24 objects/km. In glacially strongly overprinted areas it increases to more than 400 caves per km. Remarkable facts of the dependence on lithology are that the limestone of the Dachstein Formation does not show an increased cave density. In contrast, the diverse facies of the limestones of the Wetterstein Formation exhibit major differences.[Hundsbodenschacht (1744/11), G'hacktsteinschacht (1744/14), Furtowischacht (1744/310), Sargdeckelschacht (1744/363), TremmelSchacht-413 (1744/413), EBNK-Schacht (1744/426), Schrgschacht (1744/442), Hirschgrubenhhle (1744/450), Melkbodeneishhle (1745/1), Eis-Schacht-39 (1745/39), Spaltenschacht (1745/43)]

Multiscale fracture analysis along the French chalk coastline for investigating erosion by cliff collapse, 2004, Genter A, Duperret A, Martinez A, Mortimore Rn, Vila Jl,
Coastal cliffs of Upper Normandy and Picardy are eroded by cliff collapses of various sizes. This paper presents a multi-scale analysis of the pre-existing fractures embedded within the Cretaceous chalk. About 20 representative sites equally spaced along the 120km long coastal section were analysed and compared to a continuous structural analysis of the coast derived from aerial photographs taken in 1986. Ancient collapses interpreted on the aerial photos were compared to the pre-existing fracture content. Regional faults, pre-1986 collapse location and fracture density are spatially correlated. However, recent collapses observed on the field between 1998 and 2001 did not systematically correlate to the pre-existing fracture occurrence and therefore, there is no clear link between recent collapse and the regional faults

Landform differentiation within Gunungkidul Kegel Karst, 2004, Eko Haryono And Mick Day

The Gunung Kidul karst is the western part (65%) of the larger Gunung Sewu (Thousand Hills) karst area, which is generally considered a type example of cone- or kegelkarst (Lehmann, 1936). This classification is an over-simplification, however, in that the karst landscape within the Gunung Sewu is considerably differentiated in terms of landform morphology and genesis. In the Gunung Kidul, this differentiation is evident from aerial photographs, which provide basic information about landform patterns, including lineament information. These observations were confirmed by field investigation, which incorporated landform measurement and acquisition of lithological information. These detailed studies distinguish three Gunung Kidul karst subtypes: labyrinth-cone, polygonal, and residual cone karst. The labyrinth-cone subtype occurs in the central Gunung Kidul karst where hard, thick limestones have undergone intensive deformation. Polygonal karst has developed in the western perimeter on hard but thinner limestone beds. The residual cone subtype occurs in the weaker and more porous limestones (wackestones or chalks), despite considerable bed thickness.


Spelologische Charakterisierung und Analyse des Hochschwab-Plateaus, Steiermark, 2004, Plan, L.
The Hochschwab is one of the major karst massifs of the Northern Calcareous Alps (NCA), situated in the north of the Austrian province of Styria and provides freshwater for the city of Vienna. Karstmorphological mapping of 44 km of its plateau brought the discovery of 770 new caves. Together with formerly recorded caves and possible caves detected on aerial photographs a total of 1284, mainly vertical objects are integrated into a GIS. In combination with additional digital datasets, statistical analyses are performed considering the spatial distribution of cave density as well as the dependence on altitude and lithology. Beside this, the most important caves within the study area are characterised. The investigated caves are mainly pits and vertical canyons which developed in the vadose zone. Phreatic cave levels associated with former valley floors, which are common in the NCA, do not exist in the Hochschwab. A few caves of phreatic origin developed above aquitard geological units. The average cave density in the investigation area is 24 objects/km. In glacially strongly overprinted areas it increases to more than 400 caves per km. Remarkable facts of the dependence on lithology are that the limestone of the Dachstein Formation does not show an increased cave density. In contrast, the diverse facies of the limestones of the Wetterstein Formation exhibit major differences.

Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, PhD Thesis, 2005, Eberhard, S. M.

Groundwater is a significant component of the world’s water balance and accounts for >90 % of usable freshwater. Around the world groundwater is an important source of water for major cities, towns, industries, agriculture and forestry. Groundwater plays a role in the ecological processes and ‘health’ of many surface ecosystems, and is the critical habitat for subterranean aquatic animals (stygofauna). Over-abstraction or contamination of groundwater resources may imperil the survival of stygofauna and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs). In two karst areas in Western Australia (Yanchep and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge), rich stygofauna communities occur in cave waters containing submerged tree roots. These aquatic root mat communities were listed as critically endangered because of declining groundwater levels, presumably caused by lower rainfall, groundwater abstraction, and/or forest plantations. Investigation of the hydrology and ecology of the cave systems was considered essential for the conservation and recovery of these threatened ecological communities (TECs). This thesis investigated the hydrology and ecology of one of the TECs, located in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. A multi-disciplinary approach was used to explore aspects pertinent to the hydrology and ecology of the groundwater system.
Thermoluminescence dating of the limestone suggested that development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and that caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Field mapping and leveling were used to determine hydrologic relationships between caves and the boundaries of the karst aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels was undertaken to characterise the conditions of recharge, storage, flow and discharge. A hydrogeologic model of the karst system was developed.
The groundwater hydrograph for the last 50 years was reconstructed from old photographs and records whilst radiometric dating and leveling of stratigraphic horizons enabled reconstruction of a history of watertable fluctuations spanning the Holocene to Late Pleistocene. The watertable fluctuations over the previous 50 years did not exceed the range of fluctuations experienced in the Quaternary history, including a period 11,000 to 13,000 years ago when the watertable was lower than the present level.
The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not reflected in the annual rainfall trend, which was above average during the period (1976 to 1988) when the major drop in water levels occurred. Groundwater abstraction and tree plantations in nearby catchments have not contributed to the groundwater decline as previously suggested. The period of major watertable decline coincided with a substantial reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have contributed to a reduction in groundwater recharge, through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. To better understand the relationships between rainfall, vegetation and fire and their effects on groundwater recharge, an experiment is proposed that involves a prescribed burn of the cave catchment with before-after monitoring of rainfall, leaf-area, ground litter, soil moisture, vadose infiltration and groundwater levels.
Molecular genetic techniques (allozyme electrophoresis and mitochondrial DNA) were used to assess the species and population boundaries of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda. Populations of both species were largely panmictic which was consistent with the hydrogeologic model. The molecular data supported the conclusion that both species of amphipod have survived lower watertable levels experienced in the caves during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed.
Multi Dimensional Scaling was used to investigate patterns in groundwater biodiversity including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography. Faunal patterns were related to abiotic environmental parameters. Investigation of hydrochemistry and water quality characterized the ecological water requirements (EWR) of the TEC and established a baseline against which to evaluate potential impacts such as groundwater pollution.
The conservation status of the listed TEC was significantly improved by increasing the number of known occurrences and distribution range of the community (from 10 m2 to > 2 x 106 m2), and by showing that earlier perceived threatening processes (rainfall decline, groundwater pumping, tree plantations) were either ameliorated or inoperative within this catchment. The GDE in the Jewel Cave karst system may not have been endangered by the major phase of watertable decline experienced 1975-1987, or by the relatively stable level experienced up until 2000. However, if the present trend of declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia continues, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the GDE may become more vulnerable to extinction.
The occurrence and distribution of aquatic root mat communities and related groundwater fauna in other karst catchments in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is substantially greater than previously thought, however some of these are predicted to be threatened by groundwater pumping and pollution associated with increasing urban and rural developments. The taxonomy of most stygofauna taxa and the distribution of root mat communities is too poorly known to enable proper assessment of their conservation requirements. A regional-scale survey of stygofauna in southwest Western Australia is required to address this problem. In the interim, conservation actions for the listed TECs need to be focused at the most appropriate spatial scale, which is the karst drainage system and catchment area. Conservation of GDEs in Western Australia will benefit from understanding and integration with abiotic groundwater system processes, especially hydrogeologic and geomorphic processes.


Škocjanske jame, Slovenia, in 1891 ý an alpine club excursion, 2005, Shaw, Trevor R.

The excursion after the 1891 general meeting of the Deutsche und Österreichische Alpenverein (DÖAV) was to their Section Küstenland in Trieste which was then actively exploring Škocjanske jame. J. Sigrist-Herder of Switzerland was one of those who visited the cave and he compiled an album containing contemporary publications and also 25 photographs by Francesco Benque of Trieste, 15 of which are published here for the first time. They show the 1891 festivities as well as scenes at the cave entrances and in the dolines. The visit is described here from newspaper articles by Sigrist-Herder supplemented by publications of the DÖAV. A comparison is made with a similar visit in 1885 when less of the cave had been explored. In 1891 the visitors were taken to Müllerjeva dvorana but a few people went along the walls as far as Dvorana planinskega društva, only discovered in 1887.


Intermittent karst lakes of Pivka basin (SW Slovenia) during high waters in November 2000, 2005, Kovač, Ič, G. , Habič, Š, .

The article presents the characteristics of the 17 intermittent karst lakes of Upper Pivka. During the extended precipitation in November 2000, when the amount of precipitation was more than three times the average, all the lakes were flooded for the first time in several decades. Also several additional small karst depressions were flooded, where overflowing had never been recorded before. By combining field observations with the interpretation of aerial photographs the water level, the extent of the lakes and the volumes of containing water were calculated.


Poldi Fuhrich (1898-1926): female pioneer of severe cave exploration., 2006, Shaw, Trevor.
Poldi Fuhrich (1898-1926) of Salzburg became one of the leading cave explorers of the 1920s, a remarkable achievement for a woman at that time. Each year from 1919 to 1925 she was in the front line of new exploration in Austria's Eisriesenwelt. In 1925 she was one of the surveyors in the Poulnagollum river cave in Ireland, and she also visited caves in France, Germany, Moravia, Dalmatia, Slovenia and Brazil. Her unpublished documents and photographs from 1921, when she was working deep in kocjanske jame, reveal much about Robert Oedl's surveying methods and about their Slovene assistants. At the age of 28 she died in a cave accident while exploring the Lurgrotte in Austria.

Monitoring the disappearance of a perennial ice deposit in Merrill Cave, 2007, Fuhrmann K.
Merrill Cave, part of a Pleistocene lava flow within Lava Beds National Monument, is the site of ice deposits that have fluctuated widely in volume between the Pleistocene and Holocene Epochs. Remnant mineral deposition from ice levels on the walls in the lower level of the cave provides insight into the depth of the ice during this time. The disappearance of a large perennial ice deposit in the lower level of the cave was tracked using historical photographs and modern photographic and ice-level monitoring techniques. A major change in airflow patterns and temperatures in an as yet unexplored lower level of the cave are suspected to have initiated the decline in ice levels. Measurements taken of the elevation of the surface of the ice deposit show a loss of over 1.25 m of ice in eight years. Surface and interior losses of ice from evaporation and/or sublimation have resulted in the near total loss of the large main perennial ice pond in the lower level of the cave. Photographs also document a drastic change in ice volume and levels during the same period of time. Several theories for the disappearance of ice have been suggested. One possible explanation for the loss of ice is related to a significant seismic event in the region in 1993 that may have caused rock fall in another, inaccessible section of the cave and precipitated the loss of ice in the accessible lower level. The dramatic loss of ice may also be the result of climate changes that, over time, indirectly influenced ice levels in Merrill Cave. Visitor impacts to the ice deposit after a large cavity breached the surface of the deposit contributed to the decline of ice conditions. Lastly, the presence of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) in the terrestrial environment above the cave may influence the hydrology of the cave environment.

The importance of cave exploration to scientific research, 2007, Kambesis Patricia
Of the many objects of scientific interest, caves present a unique challenge because, except for entrance areas, caves are largely hidden from view. As a consequence, caves have not generally attracted the attention of mainstream scientists. With the exception of cave entrances noted on some topographic maps, most caves are not apparent from topographic maps, satellite and LANDSAT imagery, or aerial photographs. Caves and their features exist in an environment with no natural light and contain a myriad of physical and psychological obstacles. It is the cave explorer who ventures past these obstacles, motivated by curiosity and the desire to find and document places previously unknown. Systematic cave exploration is a two-fold process that involves the physical pursuit and discovery of caves and cave systems, and field documentation that provides baseline data in the form of cave survey data and notes, cave entrance and cave/karst feature locations and inventories, written observations, and photo-documentation. These data are synthesized into cave maps, topographic overlays, narrative descriptions, and reports that serve as exploration tools for finding more passages and caves. Systematic documentation and its derivative products also bring the hidden nature of caves and their features to the attention of scientists and provide a basis not only for cave-related research but for a wide range of related scientific endeavors.

Cenotes (anchialine caves) on Cozumel Island, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 2007, Mejaortz L. M. , Yez G. , Lpezmeja M. , And Zarzagonzlez E.
Cozumel Island is a Caribbean locale having karst as the main component of its surface.Known caves are steep-sided, water-filled sinkholes (cenotes), and almost all of them are considered to be anchialine caves because they have seawater connections. In order to identify the location of as many cenotes as possible on the island, we based our study initially on aerial photographs. This was followed by visits to each site for field verification and collection of physical data and biological specimens. We explored several cenotes to record physical data such as temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, depth, pH, light, and to collect the animals living there. As a result, we report on eighteen cenotes on Cozumel Island, their location and fauna. Physical data from three cenotes showed that the freshwater is very thin at the top of the water table.Most of the systems are marine water-filled. Varying degrees of connection exist between these sinkholes and the ocean. In addition, other water bodies were found not to be cenotes, but aguadas (shallow water basins).

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