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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 clay marl is 1. a whitish, smooth, chalky clay. 2. a marl in which clay predominates.?

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 metals (Keyword) returned 48 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 48
Contaminant transport in karst aquifers., 2001,
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Vesper D. J. , Loop C. M. , White W. B.
Contaminants are easily injected into karst aquifers through sinking streams, sinkholes, or through open fractures and shafts in the carbonate rock. Transport of the contaminants through the aquifer is by a variety of mechanisms depending on the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant. Contaminants consist of (1) water soluble compounds, both organic and inorganic, (2) slightly soluble organic compounds, less dense than water (LNAPLs), (3) slightly soluble organic compounds, more dense than water (DNAPLs), (4) pathogens, (5) metals, and (6) trash. Water soluble compounds (e.g. nitrates, cyanides, carboxylic acids, phenols) move with the water. But rather than forming a plume spreading from the input point, the contaminated water forms linear stringers migrating down the conduit system toward the discharge point. LNAPLs (e.g. petroleum hydrocarbons) float on the water table and can migrate down the water table gradient to cave streams where they tend to pond behind obstructions. DNAPLs (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), in contrast, sink to the bottom of the aquifer. In the conduit system, DNAPLs pond in low spots at the bottom of the conduit and infiltrate sediment piles. Transport of both LNAPL and DNAPL is dependent on storm flow which can force LNAPL through the system as plug flow and can move DNAPLs by mobilizing the sediment piles. Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) are transported through the karstic drainage system because of the absence of filtration and retain their activity for long distances. Metals (e.g. chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead) tend to precipitate as hydroxides and carbonates in the neutral pH, carbonate rich water of the karst aquifer. Metal transport is mainly as particulates and as metal adsorbed onto small particulates such as clays and colloids. Metal transport is also episodic. Metals migrate down the flow path under flow conditions that take small particulates into suspension. Trash is carried into karst aquifers through sinkholes and sinking streams. It is, in effect, a form of clastic sediment, and can be carried deep into the conduit system where it can act as a source term for other contaminants leached from the trash.

Permo-Mesozoic multiple fluid flow and ore deposits in Sardinia: a comparison with post-Variscan mineralization of Western Europe, 2002,
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Boni M, Muchez P, Schneider J,
The post-Variscan hydrothermal activity and mineralization in Sardinia (Italy) is reviewed in the framework of the geological and metallogenic evolution of Western Europe. The deposits can be grouped into (a) skarn, (b) high- to low-temperature veins and (c) low-temperature palaeokarst. The structural, stratigraphical and geochemical data are discussed. The results suggest three hydrologically, spatially, and possibly temporally, distinct fluid systems. System 1 (precipitating skarn and high-temperature veins) is characterized by magmatic and/or (?) magmatically heated, meteoric fluids of low-salinity. The source of metals was in the Variscan magmatites, or in the Palaeozoic/Precambrian basement. System 2 (low-temperature veins and palaeokarst) is represented by highly saline, Ca-rich (formation or modified meteoric) fluids. Sources of the metals were the pre-Variscan ores and carbonate rocks. System 3 is characterized by low-temperature, low-salinity fluids of meteoric origin. The hydrothermal deposits related to Systems 1 and 2 can be framed in a crustal-scale hydrothermal palaeofield', characterizing most of the post-orogenic mineralization in Variscan regions of Western and Southern Europe, allowing for local age differences of each single ore district and background effects. The suggested timing for the hydrothermal events in Sardinia is: (1) Mid-Permian (270 Ma), (2) Triassic-Jurassic. It is suggested that the Mesozoic events were related to the onset of Tethys spreading

ENVIRONMENTAL BASELINE GEOCHEMISTRY OF SEDIMENTS AND PERCOLATING WATERS IN THE MODRI] CAVE, CROATIA, 2002,
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Miko Slobodan, Kuhta Mladen, Kapelj Sanja

A comprehensive study of Modrić cave was undertaken to evaluate the baseline conditions before its utilization for tourism. Silty loams with guano contain abundant quartz, illite and taranakite and minor vivianite and high concentrations of Cu (2869 mg/kg), Zn (951 mg/kg) and Cd (28 mg/kg). Also sediments mixed with guano are enriched with light REE as well as elevated concentrations of U, Th, Rb and Hg. Sediments with bone fragments contain abundant quartz, illite, calcite and hydroxylapatite and minor carndallite and lower contents of heavy metals. All sediments analysed showed various degrees of contamination by Cu and Zn from dispersed guano. Most of the Zn and Cu in cave sediments and the hydroxyl-apatite crusts are mainly controlled by the iron and manganese hydroxide and the organic fractions, the organic fraction plays an important role in sediment samples with direct influence of guano and in hydroxylapatite crusts while in samples with bone fragments the hydroxide control is dominant. Guano influence on the percolating waters was observed in two cases in the left channel where due to the higher content of orthophosphates saturation in respect to hydroxyl-apatite is present.


Contaminant transport in karst aquifers, 2003,
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Vesper D. J. , Loop C. M. , White W. B.

Contaminants are easily injected into karst aquifers through sinking streams, sinkholes, or through open fractures and shafts in the carbonate rock. Transport of the contaminants through the aquifer is by a variety of mechanisms depending on the physical and chemical properties of the contaminant. Contaminants consist of (1) water soluble compounds, both organic and inorganic, (2) slightly soluble organic compounds, less dense than water (LNAPLs), (3) slightly soluble organic compounds, more dense than water (DNAPLs), (4) pathogens, (5) metals, and (6) trash. Water soluble compounds (e.g. nitrates, cyanides, carboxylic acids, phenols) move with the water. But rather than forming a plume spreading from the input point, the contaminated water forms linear stringers migrating down the conduit system toward the discharge point. LNAPLs (e.g. petroleum hydrocarbons) float on the water table and can migrate down the water table gradient to cave streams where they tend to pond behind obstructions. DNAPLs (e.g. chlorinated hydrocarbons), in contrast, sink to the bottom of the aquifer. In the conduit system, DNAPLs pond in low spots at the bottom of the conduit and infiltrate sediment piles. Transport of both LNAPL and DNAPL is dependent on storm flow which can force LNAPL through the system as plug flow and can move DNAPLs by mobilizing the sediment piles. Pathogens (viruses, bacteria, parasites) are transported through the karstic drainage system because of the absence of filtration and retain their activity for long distances. Metals (e.g. chromium, nickel, cadmium, mercury, and lead) tend to precipitate as hydroxides and carbonates in the neutral pH, carbonate rich water of the karst aquifer. Metal transport is mainly as particulates and as metal adsorbed onto small particulates such as clays and colloids. Metal transport is also episodic. Metals migrate down the flow path under flow conditions that take small particulates into suspension. Trash is carried into karst aquifers through sinkholes and sinking streams. It is, in effect, a form of clastic sediment, and can be carried deep into the conduit system where it can act as a source term for other contaminants leached from the trash


Cadmium and zinc adsorption maxima of geochemically anomalous soils (Oxisols) in Jamaica, 2003,
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Davies Be, Vaughan J, Lalor Gc, Vutchkov M,
Soil samples were collected from a Miocene limestone area of Jamaica (Manchester Parish) where unusual accumulations of Cd and other metals have been described previously. The source of the metals is natural (geological). The soils are aluminous Oxisols and, geochemically, are closely similar to local karst bauxite deposits. For comparison a karst bauxite sample was collected from Alabama (USA) and an Ultisol sample from South Carolina (USA). All the Jamaican soils were in the pH range neutral to slightly alkaline and CaCO3 contents ranged from 1.3 to 23.1 %. Mean total Cd = 102.5 mg/kg (range 13.6-191.8 mg/kg) and mean Zn = 362.6 (range = 125.8-683.3) mg/kg. These values are higher than world averages. The mean readily exchangeable Cd was 0.05 (range 0.01-0.15) mmol/kg and for Zn mean = 0.02 (range 0.01-0.02) mmol/kg. Adsorption data were obtained experimentally and modelled using the Langmuir isotherm. For the Manchester soils the mean Cd adsorption maximum was 9.15 (range 2.26-32.0) mmol/kg; the values were higher than the karst bauxite sample (0.08 mmol/kg) or the Ultisol (0.08 mmol/kg). Reliable Zn isotherms were not obtained for all soils; for three Manchester soils the mean Zn sorption maximum was 2.99 mmol/kg compared with 3.13 mmol/kg for Cd in the same three soils. Mean Al and Fe values are 38.7% Al2O3 and 17.7% Fe2O3 compared with the Ultisol (14.5% Al2O3,11.3% Fe2O3) and the bauxite (52.6% Al2O3, 0.7%Fe2O3). Interpretation of the major element values and the known mineralogy of the soils implies that the high adsorption maxima of the Manchester soils can best be explained by their calcareous nature. It is concluded that the Manchester soils have ample adsorption capacity to trap any incoming Cd or Zn solutes

Evaluation of a peat filtration system for treating highway runoff in a karst setting, 2003,
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Zhou W. F. , Beck B. F. , Green T. S. ,
The deleterious character of highway runoff, especially following long periods without precipitation, has been well documented in the literature. It transports hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and other contaminants from highways, contributing to the pollution of surface water and groundwater. Groundwater is particularly vulnerable in karst areas where highway runoff is transferred quickly into subsurface conduit networks through open sinkholes and/or sinking streams. The difficulties in remediating contaminated karst aquifers make it crucial for karst aquifers to receive only uncontaminated water. A peat filtration system was constructed at the I-40/I-640 interchange in eastern Knoxville, Tennessee, USA, to remove highway runoff contaminants prior to being transported into karst aquifers.- Recent field tests indicate that the system can significantly decrease the concentrations of analyzed constituents including PAHs (polyaromatic hydrocarbons), popper, and zinc. However, the removal efficiency depends on the concentration of the contaminants in the runoff. Long-term monitoring is required to determine the true effectiveness of the designed filtration system and its reliability

Metal transport to karst springs during storm flow: an example from Fort Campbell, Kentucky/Tennessee, USA, 2003,
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Vesper D. J. , White W. B. ,
Low levels of heavy metals were investigated in a series of springs discharging from the Mississippian limestone aquifer underlying the Fort Campbell Army Base in western Kentucky/Tennessee. Springs were sampled at short time intervals through periods of storm discharge. Unfiltered samples were digested and analysed by inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry. Metals detected at the mug/l level included As, Cd, Cr, Ni and Pb. Metal concentrations exhibited a pronounced maximum coincident with the peak of the storm hydrograph in contrast to carbonate species (Ca, Mg) which dipped to a minimum at the peak of the storm hydrograph. Metal concentrations track with aluminium and iron suggesting that the metal transport is mainly by adsorption onto suspended particulates which are mobilized during storm flow.

X-ray standing wave study of the Sr/Si(001)-(2 x 3) surface, 2003,
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Goodner D. M. , Marasco D. L. , Escuadro A. A. , Cao L. , Tinkham B. P. , Bedzyk M. J. ,
Sub-monolayer surface phases of Sr on Si(0 0 1) have been studied with low-energy electron diffraction (LEED) and X-ray standing waves (XSW). A (3 x 1) phase was observed after depositing 0.6-0.8 ML Sr on room-temperature Si(0 0 1). Annealing at 750-800degreesC caused a portion of the Sr to desorb and resulted in a sharp (2 x 3) LEED pattern. Normal Si(0 0 4) and off-normal Si(0 2 2) and Si(1 11) XSW measurements made on the (2 x 3) phase indicate that Sr atoms must sit at either cave or bridge sites. The XSW results also suggest that if a sufficiently low anneal temperature is used. the (2 x 3) phase co-exists with short-range ordered regions of Sr atoms located at valley-bridge sites. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Fens in karst sinkholes - Archives for long lasting 'immission' chronologies, 2003,
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Hettwer K. , Deicke M. , Ruppert H. ,
Fens in karst sinkholes are excellent archives for the reconstruction of vegetation, land use and emission rates over millennia. The reasons are the usually good preservation of pollen, the high portion of low density organic material with very low background concentrations of heavy metals, and the circum-neutral pH-values in most of these mires preventing migration of heavy metals. Immissions of dust and of harmful elements can easily be correlated with changes in vegetation ('immission' is a synonym for the deposition or impact of pollutants from the atmosphere on a receptor surface). One 13 m core from a similar to5000 yr old karst sinkhole fen (Silberhohl, western margin of the Harz Mountains, central Germany) was investigated by geochemical analysis, pollen analysis and dated by C-14 and palynological data. The core consists of organic material with a few percent of CaCO3 precipitated from groundwater and a small amount of atmospheric detritus. As early as the Iron Age (first pre-Christian millennium), slight but significant enrichments of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd are observed. After 400 AD stronger enrichments occurred culminating in the High Middle Ages (similar to1200-1300 AD). Maximum values are 1250 mug g(-1) Pb, 214 mug g(-1) Cu, 740 mug g(-1) Zn, and 3.8 mug g(-1) Cd. The enrichments are caused by emissions during smelting of sulfidic lead-zinc ores from the adjacent Hercynian deposits to extract Ag and Cu. Except for cadmium, these values were never exceeded in modern times. Since the Iron Age 23 g technogenic Pb, 5.3 g Cu, 27 g Zn and 0.2 g Cd have been deposited per square meter. Palynological investigations show a strong correlation between decreasing red beech pollens (Fagus sylvatica) and increasing demand on wood for smelting in the Middle Ages. Simultaneously, the pollen share of pioneer trees such as birch (Betula pubescens) and of cereal grains (e.g. Secale) increases. Since the beginning of the 14th century, the decline of agriculture and population is reflected in the decreasing contents of Secale and heavy metals in the fen deposits

Metals in sediments of springs and cave streams as environmental indicators in karst areas, 2004,
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Guti Crrez, Neill H. , Grand R. V. ,

Spring and conduit sediments as storage reservoirs for heavy metals in karst aquifers, 2004,
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Vesper D. J. , White W. B. ,

Study of soil leachates in doline above the Beke Cave, Hungary, 2004,
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Tatar E. , Mihucz V. G. , Tompa K. , Poppl L. , Zaray G. , Zambo L. ,
Fulvic acid, Ca and Mg concentrations as well as dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), pH and electric conductivity values of soil solutions which resulted from injecting bidistilled water onto glass columns filled with different soils (black rendzina, brown rendzina, red clayey rendzina, red clay) characteristic of the Aggtelek karst system (NE Hungary), were determined. Identification and determination of fulvic acid were achieved by size exclusion chromatography (SEC) and adsorption chromatography, respectively, with fluorescent spectrometric detection. The Ca and Mg concentration of the samples was determined by applying an inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometric (ICP-AES) method. DIC-expressed in CO2 concentration values-was determined by using a CO2 selective electrode. According to the SEC analysis, the apparent molecular weight of the fulvic acids of the samples were between 500 and 1600 Da. The fulvic acid concentration values of the percolated water samples decreased in function of the soils investigated as follows: black rendzina>brown rendzina>red clayey rendzina>red clay, which is in concordance with the organic matter content of these types of soils. The results obtained for fulvic acid, Ca and Mg concentrations as well as for DIC, pH and electric conductivity of the water samples collected from the column filled with red clay were in good agreement with those of a seepage water sample collected from an observation station built in red clay above the Beke Cave (Aggtelek). Since the artificially prepared red clay column was exposed to the same temperature and humidity conditions like red clay of the sampling site, this method seems to be suitable for modelling infiltration of fulvic acid and metals from red clay into seepage water under laboratory conditions. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Further dates of heavy metal content on the soil and vegetation of Aggtelek Karst (Hungary), 2004,
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Kaszala Rita, Bá, Rá, Nykevei Ilona, Polyá, K Klá, Ra

During the previous investigation of the Aggtelek Karst we published physical and chemical parameters of the soils and the microelement content of the greenery. The presentation now gives further information about the soil (e.g. EDTA soluble heavy metal content), and the greenery (more species, more elements). The presentation shows the relationship between the heavy metal content of the karstic soil, and the sprout of plants.


Contribution to knowledge of the content of heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd) in speleological objects in the Risnjak national park (Croatia), 2004,
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Vrbek Boris, Buzjak Nenad

Samples of silt were taken from six speleological objects in the Risnjak National Park in Gorski kotar area (NW Croatia). The samples were taken from almost inaccessible rock fissures and shafts in order to find the most natural sediment outside the reach of anthropogenic pollution. The samples were examined in the Laboratory of the Forest Research Institute, where standard pedological analyses were performed, and the content of several heavy metals (Pb, Cu, Zn and Cd) was determined. The results indicate relatively low values of the content of lead, copper and zinc, while the values of cadmium in the sediment were increased above the limit level of 2 mgkg-1 in the majority of speleological objects. The content of other heavy metals (Pb, Cu and Zn) in mgkg-1 was lower than previously determined in samples taken from other speleological objects on the Croatian territory. Also, the content of heavy metals was lower in relation to surface soil samples taken from the humus horizon and mineral part of the soil under the parent rock of limestone, when sampling the soils of the Risnjak National Park


The Geomicrobiology of Ore Deposits, 2005,
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Southam G. , Saunders James A. ,
Bacterial metabolism, involving redox reactions with carbon, sulfur, and metals, appears to have been important since the dawn of life on Earth. In the Archean, anaerobic bacteria thrived before the Proterozoic oxidation of the atmosphere and the oceans, and these organisms continue to prosper in niches removed from molecular oxygen. Both aerobes and anaerobes have profound effects on the geochemistry of dissolved metals and metal-bearing minerals. Aerobes can oxidize dissolved metals and reduced sulfur, as well as sulfur and metals in sulfide minerals can contribute to the supergene enrichment of sulfide ores, and can catalyze the formation of acid mine drainage. Heterotrophic anaerobes, which require organic carbon for their metabolism, catalyze a number of thermodynamically favorable reactions such as Fe-Mn oxyhydroxide reductive dissolution (and the release of sorbed metals to solution) and sulfate reduction. Bacterial sulfate reduction to H2S can be very rapid if reactive organic carbon is present and can lead to precipitation of metal sulfides and perhaps increase the solubility of elements such as silver, gold, and arsenic that form stable Me-H2S aqueous complexes. Similarly, the bacterial degradation of complex organic compounds such as cellulose and hemicellulose to simpler molecules, such as acetate, oxalate, and citrate, can enhance metal solubility by forming Me organic complexes and cause dissolution of silicate minerals. Bacterially induced mineralization is being used for the bioremediation of metal-contaminated environments. Through similar processes, bacteria may have been important contributors in some sedimentary ore-forming environments and could be important along the low-temperature edges of high-temperature systems such as those that form volcanogenic massive sulfides

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