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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 nongraded is an engineering term pertaining to a soil or an unconsolidated sediment consisting of particles of essentially the same size [6].?

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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 availability (Keyword) returned 54 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 54
Human influence on the choice of winter dens by European brown bears in Slovenia, 2004, Petram Welf, Knauer Felix, Kaczensky Petra,
The Slovenian brown bear (Ursus arctos ) population is the only viable population in Central and Western Europe, and it coexists with humans in a multi-use landscape. Bears are most vulnerable to human disturbances during denning. To assess the influence of humans on the choice of winter dens by bears we compared availability and use of caves suitable for denning in central Slovenia. Surprisingly, all direct measures of human influence showed no or only a small effect on the use of the caves by bears. We found that the landscape type (big dolines, canyons, river valleys, and karst plateau) was the most important variable. The less accessible a landscape type is, the more it is used. The probability that a cave in a big doline is used is about 200 times higher than on the karst plateau. Furthermore bears preferred long caves with small entrances away from villages. Bears did not use any cave caves were predicted correctly by our model of being used or unused. For conservation and human safety reasons, human activity should be banned from steep ravines and large karst dolines in winter

Spatial and temporal changes in the structure of groundwater nitrate concentration time series (1935-1999) as demonstrated by autoregressive modelling, 2005, Jones A. L. , Smart P. L. ,
Autoregressive modelling is used to investigate the internal structure of long-term (1935-1999) records of nitrate concentration for five karst springs in the Mendip Hills. There is a significant short term (1-2 months) positive autocorrelation at three of the five springs due to the availability of sufficient nitrate within the soil store to maintain concentrations in winter recharge for several months. The absence of short term (1-2 months) positive autocorrelation in the other two springs is due to the marked contrast in land use between the limestone and swallet parts of the catchment, rapid concentrated recharge from the latter causing short term switching in the dominant water source at the spring and thus fluctuating nitrate concentrations. Significant negative autocorrelation is evident at lags varying from 4 to 7 months through to 14-22 months for individual springs, with positive autocorrelation at 19-20 months at one site. This variable timing is explained by moderation of the exhaustion effect in the soil by groundwater storage, which gives longer residence times in large catchments and those with a dominance of diffuse flow. The lags derived from autoregressive modelling may therefore provide an indication of average groundwater residence times. Significant differences in the structure of the autocorrelation function for successive 10-year periods are evident at Cheddar Spring, and are explained by the effect the ploughing up of grasslands during the Second World War and increased fertiliser usage on available nitrogen in the soil store. This effect is moderated by the influence of summer temperatures on rates of mineralization, and of both summer and winter rainfall on the timing and magnitude of nitrate leaching. The pattern of nitrate leaching also appears to have been perturbed by the 1976 drought. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

The vegetation of alpine belt karst-tectonic basins in the central Apennines (Italy), 2005, Blasi C, Di Pietro R, Pelino G,
The vegetation communities of the karst-tectonic basins of the Majella massif alpine belt were studied using the phyto sociological methods, and analysed from coenological, synchorological and syntaxonomical viewpoints. During the field-work, 115 releves were performed using the phytosociological approach of Braun-Blanquet, and these releves were further subjected to multivariate analyses. Eight clusters of releves resulted from the numerical classification. The plant communities identified in the study area were ascribed to the following five associations, two sub-associations and one community type: Leontopodio - Seslerietum juncifoliae (ass. nova); Helianthemo - Festucetum italicae (ass. nova); Gnaphalio - Plantaginetum atratae; Taraxaco-Trifolietum thalii gnaphalietosum magellensis (subass. nova),- Luzulo italicae-Nardetum, Carici - Salicetum retusae; Saxifrago - Papaveretum julici, Saxifrago - Papaveretum androsacetosum (subass. nova), Plantago atrata and Leontodon montanus community. The distribution of these communities within the karst basins was found to be related to variations in topographic and geomorphological parameters, such as altitude, slope, soil availability and stoniness. All the new associations proposed in this paper belong to the suballiance Leontopodio-Elynenion and to the alliance Seslerion apenninae, both of which are endemic to the central Apennines. In order to compare the plant community types identified within the Majella massif to similar associations found in the rest of the Apennine chain, synoptic tables were constructed. Finally, a comparative phytogeographical analysis of the alpine belt vegetation of the Apennines, Dinarides, southern Balkans and eastern Alps is presented

Development and Evolution of Epikarst in Mid-Continent US Carbonates, 2005, Cooley Tony L. , P. E.

This paper presents the basic elements of a conceptual model for the development of epikarst in US mid-continent, horizontally-bedded carbonates in which flow is largely confined to secondary and tertiary porosity. The model considers the development of epikarst regimes in carbonate sequences beginning shortly after non-carbonate rocks are eroded away to expose the underlying carbonates and follows this through capture of the shallow flow by deeper dissolution conduits with reorientation of the epikarst to a more vertical form. The model does not require an underlying zone of vadose flow and in many cases considers development of such a zone to depend on the water supply provided by prior development of the epikarst. It is not claimed that all epikarsts form in the accordance with this model; rather this paper presents a viable additional model for epikarst formation under appropriate starting conditions. Factors influencing the development of epikarst are a combination of: 1) the pre-karst topography and modifications to this as the system evolves, 2) the original distribution and aperture of fractures as well as the distance and orientation of physically favorable fractures relative to potential discharge points, such as existing dissolutionally-enhanced channels with low head or nearby valleys, 3) character of soil cover as this affects percolation of water to the rock, erodability of the soil, sediment filling of conduits, and transport of sediment 4) variations in availability of dissolutionally aggressive water with time and location, and 5) low solubility layers, such as shale or chert, that promote lateral flow until a penetration point can be found. These interact to form an epikarst and deeper karst system that progressively increases its capacity both by internal improvement of its flow routes and extension into adjacent areas. The availability of water needed to promote dissolution also often has a positive feedback relationship to epikarst, in which locations of most active dissolution modify their vicinity to progressively increase capture of water, which promotes further dissolution. In early stages, lateral flow through the overlying soils and along top-of-rock must dominate the groundwater flow because the relatively intact carbonates have insufficient transmissivity to convey the available recharge through the body of the rock. Top-of-rock runnels developed by a combination of dissolution of their floors and piping erosion of their roofs would carry a significant portion of the flow. Horizontally-oriented epikarst develops with discharge to local drainage. Cutters and pinnacles, collapse-related macropores, and areas of concentrated recharge would begin to form at this stage. Initial downward propagation of this system would occur mostly due to lateral flow. Mixing corrosion could occur in sumps in these lateral flow routes when fresh, percolating rainwater mixes with older water with a higher dissolved load. Should conditions be suitable, leakage from this system promotes the migration of deeper karst conduits into the area by Ewers multi-tiered headward linking. Other sources of water may also bring in such deeper conduits. Once such deeper conduits are present, the epikarst can evolve into a more vertically oriented system, at least in the vicinity of master drains into this deeper system. Former shallow epikarst routes may then plug with sediment. In some areas, deeper systems may never develop due to unfavorable conditions. The epikarst may be the only significant system in these cases. This includes the case of poor karst formers such as interbedded shales and carbonates that may have very shallow horizontal epikarst flow paths that channel shallow subsurface flows.


KARST WATER MANAGEMENT IN SLOVENIA IN THE FRAME OF VULNERABILITY MAPPING, 2006, Ravbar Nataa, Kova?i? Gregor
Slovene karst sources are of great national importance for drinking water supply. Since karst aquifer systems are very susceptible to contamination, these sources require appropriate and careful managing. Unfortunately, in the acts of Slovene legislation, the special characteristics of water flow within karst regions are not very seriously taken into consideration in determining the criteria for karst water sources protection. In contrast, in some other countries, the concept of groundwater vulnerability mapping has been successfully used for protection zoning and land use planning in karst. Regarding the differences between particular karst aquifer systems, data availability and economic resources, different methods of karst water vulnerability assessment and mapping have already been developed. Already these methods have been many times tested and implemented in different test sites worldwide. However, experience in application using different methodologies for vulnerability mapping of karst aquifers is very modest in Slovenia. The present paper deals with potential methodological problems that might arise while applying the most commonly used methods for karst water vulnerability assessment to Slovene karst regions.

Intra-specific predation and survivorship of Gammarus pulex (Crustacea: Amphipoda) within aquatic karstic habitats, 2006, Little, Sally, Tom Haslehurst And Paul J. Wood.
Population characteristics (abundance of individuals, body size and body mass index) of the stygophilic freshwater shrimp, Gammarus pulex (Crustacea: Amphipoda), and resource availability (particulate organic matter) within karstic subterranean, spring and riverine habitats in the English Peak District (Derbyshire) were examined. Field experiments were subsequently undertaken to characterize the intra-specific predatory behaviour (cannibalism) of the different populations. The results indicate that the natural abundance of G. pulex was lower in subterranean habitats compared to epigean habitats, although there was a similar body size range of individuals present within each habitat. Subterranean and spring populations had a lower body mass index compared to riverine populations. Experiments assessing intraspecific predation of G. pulex indicated that survivorship was significantly lower at subterranean sites compared to epigean spring and riverine sites. The results are discussed with reference to intra-specific predation within Gammarus spp. populations and resource limitation within aquatic subterranean habitats.

The Messinian salinity crisis in the Mediterranean basin: A reassessment of the data and an integrated scenario, 2006, Rouchy Jean Marie, Caruso Antonio,
After a long period of controversial debate about the interpretation of the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), a near consensus existed since the ODP Leg 42A for a model keeping the major lines of the deep basin-shallow water model initially proposed by Hsu et al. (1973). The knowledge of the crisis was improved since the 1995s by the availability of a very accurate astronomically calibrated timescale. The debate about its interpretation was then reactivated by several new scenarios that questioned most the major aspects of the previous classical models. The updated re-examination of the most salient features along with consideration of the hydrological requirements for evaporite deposition allow us to assess the viability of the new models. We propose an integrated scenario that revives the key points of the previous model with new statements about the chronology, depositional settings, hydrological mechanisms, consequences and correlations with the global changes. A model implying two main stages of evaporite deposition that affected successively the whole basin with a slight diachronism matches better the whole dataset. The distribution of the evaporites and their depositional timing were constrained by the high degree of paleogeographical differentiation and by the threshold effects that governed the water exchanges. It is assumed that the central Sicilian basin was a deep basin located in a marginal position with regard to the deepest central basins. The restriction of the Mediterranean was predominantly under a tectonic control, but the complex development of the evaporitic crisis implied the interplay of both glacio-eustatic changes and fluctuations of the circum-Mediterranean climate.The first evaporitic stage (lower evaporites) that includes the deposition of the thick homogeneous halite unit with K-Mg salt interbeds in the deepest basins is correlated with the major evaporative drawdown and higher aridity, and occurred during the glacial period recorded in the ocean sediments between 6.3 and 5.6 Ma. The deposition of the potash in Sicily is tentatively linked to the two major glacial peaks TG 20 and TG 22, while the end of this first stage is linked to the peak TG 12. The second stage (upper evaporites) correlates with the interval of warming and global sea level rise recorded in the ocean since 5.6-5.5 Ma onwards. During this second stage, freshwater contribution increased and culminated by the latest Messinian dilution, i.e. the Lago-Mare event, as the result of the worsened tectonically driven closure of the Atlantic gateways combined to an evolution towards wetter climate conditions at least on the mountainous peripheral areas. In fact, reduced inputs of seawater continued to enter at least episodically the basin through the MSC explaining the sporadic presence of marine organisms. These inputs reached their lowest value and practically ceased during the latest Messinian dilution, just before the abrupt restoration of stable open marine conditions at the beginning of the Zanclean.A polyphased erosional surface affected the Mediterranean margins during the MSC with several critical episodes. The major episode related to the greatest water level fall, more than 1000 m, occurred during the deposition of the lower evaporites, from the onset of the evaporite deposition till the end of the first stage. Erosional processes remained active during the second evaporitic stage especially whenever the basin dried-up and a last important event marked by the karstification of the evaporites developed during the latest Messinian dilution just before the Early Zanclean reflooding that filled the erosional morphology

Application of x-ray microanalytical techniques to preliminary geomorphological studies in the Jiang Zhou cave system, China, 2007, Dale, John And Tony Harrison.
The increasing availability of microanalytical techniques for the compositional analysis of rock and mineral samples provides an attractive supplement or alternative to traditional water chemistry for geomorphological studies by small caving expeditions overseas. The paper describes how x-ray diffraction (XRD) and energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) spectrometry were used to throw light on queries raised about the speleogenesis of the vast Jiang Zhou cave system, which was recently discovered and explored by three China Caves Project expeditions to Guangxi Province in southern China.

Speleothems as indicators of wet and dry periods, 2007, Fairchild Ian John And Mcmillan Emily Anne
Calcareous speleothems provide a record of dripwater composition which in turn is a function of climatic conditions. The historical focus of speleothem palaeoclimate studies has been on the derivation of palaeotemperatures through oxygen isotope studies. However, it is now realized that water availability is a more generally important control on their characteristics. Growth rate and growth morphology in principle should give rise to recognizable changes at low flow. However, accidental plumbing effects during aquifer evolution, can also lead to variations in water supply and it is not easy to distinguish these effects. In areas where there is a strong amount effect on the ?18O composition of atmospheric precipitation, the speleothem ?18O composition can be a direct (and inverse) function of rainfall. High-resolution methods are now available to distinguish the composition and relative abundance of winter and summer precipitation in speleothems which formed from drips of seasonally-varying composition. Two seasonally varying processes can be responsible for significant geochemical effects during the year. Seasonal (normally summer) dryness enhances CO2-degassing which leads to elevated ?13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca in dripwaters, characteristics which are transferred to speleothems. The same effects can arise by enhanced degassing at low PCO2. High-resolution analysis can distinguish the seasonal processes and, where conducted at several time intervals, allows a more confident interpretation of longer-term records.

Speleothems as indicators of wet and dry periods., 2007, Fairchild Ian John, Mcmillan Emily Anne
Calcareous speleothems provide a record of dripwater composition which in turn is a function of climatic conditions. The historical focus of speleothem palaeoclimate studies has been on the derivation of palaeotemperatures through oxygen isotope studies. However, it is now realized that water availability is a more generally important control on their characteristics. Growth rate and growth morphology in principle should give rise to recognizable changes at low flow. However, accidental plumbing effects during aquifer evolution, can also lead to variations in water supply and it is not easy to distinguish these effects. In areas where there is a strong amount effect on the ?18O composition of atmospheric precipitation, the speleothem ?18O composition can be a direct (and inverse) function of rainfall. High-resolution methods are now available to distinguish the composition and relative abundance of winter and summer precipitation in speleothems which formed from drips of seasonally-varying composition. Two seasonallyvarying processes can be responsible for significant geochemical effects during the year. Seasonal (normally summer) dryness enhances CO2-degassing which leads to elevated ?13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca in dripwaters, characteristics which are transferred to speleothems. The same effects can arise by enhanced degassing at low PCO2. High-resolution analysis can distinguish the seasonal processes and, where conducted at several time intervals, allows a more confident interpretation of longer-term records.

Speleothems as indicators of wet and dry periods, 2007, Fairchild I. J. , Mcmillan E. A.

Calcareous speleothems provide a record of dripwater composition which in turn is a function of climatic conditions. The historical focus of speleothem palaeoclimate studies has been on the derivation of palaeotemperatures through oxygen isotope studies. However, it is now realized that water availability is a more generally important control on their characteristics. Growth rate and growth morphology in principle should give rise to recognizable changes at low flow. However, accidental plumbing effects during aquifer evolution, can also lead to variations in water supply and it is not easy to distinguish these effects. In areas where there is a strong amount effect on the δ18O composition of atmospheric precipitation, the speleothem δ18O composition can be a direct (and inverse) function of rainfall. High-resolution methods are now available to distinguish the composition and relative abundance of winter and summer precipitation in speleothems which formed from drips of seasonally-varying composition. Two seasonallyvarying processes can be responsible for significant geochemical effects during the year. Seasonal (normally summer) dryness enhances CO2-degassing which leads to elevated δ13C, Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca in dripwaters, characteristics which are transferred to speleothems. The same effects can arise by enhanced degassing at low PCO2. High-resolution analysis can distinguish the seasonal processes and, where conducted at several time intervals, allows a more confident interpretation of longer-term records.


New records for Cirolanides texensis Benedict, 1896 (Isopoda: Cirolanidae), including possible extirpations at impacted Texas caves, 2008, Krejca, Jean K.
Examination of published literature and available records for the aquifer adapted isopod Cirolanides texensis indicates it is known from only 36 localities. Sampling over the last decade has increased the known range to 57 sites. The author counted individuals at 30 sites and recorded an average of 10.6 individuals (range 069) per site. For 13 sites where search effort was recorded, an average of 1.3 visits was required to locate the species and the average number of isopods found per person minute of searching was 0.680.28. The species was not recorded at three cave sites historically known to contain C. texensis despite an average or above average search effort. These sites have also experienced the greatest human impact, suggesting that the species might have been extirpated. The human activities include the commercialization of a cave, modification of the flood regime, and in two cases those activities led to extirpation of a bat colony. At one site C. texensis persisted after extirpation of a bat colony, indicating that the energy regime for this species is not strictly dependent on bats, however the elevated resource availability might increase the potential for detection. In the future, resource managers should consider anthropogenic activities that might impact caves activities and cause extirpation of Cirolanides texensis isopods, and other hypogean species.

Groundwater contamination in caves: four case studies in Spain, 2008, Jimnezsnchez M. , Stoll H. , Vadillo I. , Lpezchicano M. , Domnguezcuesta M. , Martnrosales W. And Melndezasensio M.
Groundwater quality was monitored in four Spanish caves using concentrations of nitrate, potassium, phosphorus and in some cases total organic carbon. Three of the caves are located in NW Spain and contain prehistoric cave paintings and hence have special conservation interest. Of these, two are open show caves (Tito Bustillo and Pindal Caves), while the other one (Herreras Cave) is not managed for tours and is partially closed off to public access. The fourth cave (Las Maravillas Cave) is located in SW Spain and is opened to the public because of its geological features and natural beauty. In this paper, we compare two sampling methodologies used in the four caves. In Pindal and Herrerias Cave high temporal resolution is achieved with a dripwater collector that collects discrete samples every 48 hours. In Tito Bustillo and Las Maravillas Caves a higher spatial resolution is achieved (16 sampling points in each one), but with a frequency of sampling ranging from 15 days to 6 months. Wastewater and livestock waste appear to be the principal sources of contamination to cave waters. Caves with concentrated livestock (stables) or urban and residential wastewater systems directly situated above the cave exhibit the highest level of contamination detected in elevated concentrations of nitrogen species and in some cases depressed oxygen availability in waters

SPELEOTHEM PALAEOCLIMATE RECONSTRUCTIONS FROM NORTH EAST TURKEY, , 2008, Jex, Catherine N

Turkey, in the Near – East, is currently suffering water shortages; with future predictions towards increased aridity. As such, an understanding of past water availability is crucial. This study presents reconstructions of palaeoclimate from stalagmites in north east Turkey over two time periods: 21.6 (± 1.5) ka BP to 7.3 (± 0.3) ka BP; and from ~ 1500 AD to the present day.
Conditions at the LGM (characterised by highest δ18O and δ13C; reduced rate of CaCO3 precipitation) are interpreted as cold and dry with reduced vegetation cover, in line with Israeli and Oman speleothems and Turkish lake core evidence. Towards the Holocene, climate ameliorates and vegetation cover increases. An event centred around 12.4 ka BP is characterised by reduced δ18O, 14C and Sr/Ca and Mg/Ca ratios; and increased δ13C and trace elements (Y, Pb, Cu, Zn and P). This is interpreted as a humid event, contemporaneous with the YD, a time typically associated with arid conditions in the Near- /Middle-East.
A calibration of stable isotopes with climate parameters over the instrumental period is presented; and extrapolated to obtain a record of winter precipitation over the last 500 years. This is the first speleothem reconstruction of its kind in Turkey.


Groundwater contamination in caves: four case studies in Spain, 2008, Jimnezsnchez M. , Stoll H. , Vadillo I. , Lpezchicano M. , Domnguezcuesta M. Martnrosales W. And Melndezasensio M.

Groundwater quality was monitored in four Spanish caves using concentrations of nitrate, potassium, phosphorus and in some cases total organic carbon. Three of the caves are located in NW Spain and contain prehistoric cave paintings and hence have special conservation interest. Of these, two are open show caves (Tito Bustillo and Pindal Caves), while the other one (Herrerías Cave) is not managed for tours and is partially closed off to public access. The fourth cave (Las Maravillas Cave) is located in SW Spain and is opened to the public because of its geological features and natural beauty. In this paper, we compare two sampling methodologies used in the four caves. In Pindal and Herrerias Cave high temporal resolution is achieved with a dripwater collector that collects discrete samples every 48 hours. In Tito Bustillo and Las Maravillas Caves a higher spatial resolution is achieved (16 sampling points in each one), but with a frequency of sampling ranging from 15 days to 6 months. Wastewater and livestock waste appear to be the principal sources of contamination to cave waters. Caves with concentrated livestock (stables) or urban and residential wastewater systems directly situated above the cave exhibit the highest level of contamination detected in elevated concentrations of nitrogen species and in some cases depressed oxygen availability in waters.


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