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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 cave blister is 1. a small pimplelike cave formation, roughly oval in shape, generally loose, and having a core of mud [10]. 2. a partly or completely hollow hemispherical to nearly spherical speleothem, usually of gypsum or hydromagnesite, attached to a cave wall. synonym: cave balloon.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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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 karst terrains (Keyword) returned 67 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 67
PROCESSES ASSOCIATED WITH MICROBIAL BIOFILMS IN THE TWILIGHT ZONE OF CAVES - EXAMPLES FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1995, Jones B. ,
The twilight zone of a cave, an environment transitional between the well-illuminated environment outside the cave and the dark environment of the cave interior, is one of the most unusual microenvironments of the karst terrain. Walls in the twilight zone of caves on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac are coated with a biofilm that incorporates a diverse assemblage of epilithic microbes and copious mucus. Most microbes are different from those found elsewhere in the karst terrains of the Cayman Islands, probably because they have adapted to life in the poorly illuminated twilight zone. None of the microbes employ an endolithic life mode, and less than 10% of them show evidence of calcification. The biofilm does, however, provide a medium in which a broad spectrum of destructive and constructive processes operate. Etching, the dominant destructive process, produces residual dolomite, residual calcite, blocky calcite, and spiky calcite. Constructive processes include precipitation of calcite, dolomite, gypsum, halite, and sylvite. Although filamentous microbes are common, examples of detrital grains trapped and bound to the substrate are rare. Destructive processes are more common than constructive ones

ORIGIN OF ENDOGENETIC MICRITE IN KARST TERRAINS - A CASE-STUDY FROM THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, 1995, Jones B. , Kahle C. F. ,
Cavities in the dolostones of the Cayman Formation (Miocene) on Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac commonly contain spar calcite cements and/or a variety of exogenetic (derived from sources external to the bedrock) and endogenetic (derived from sources in the bedrock) internal sediments. Micrite is a common component in many of these internal sediments. The exogenetic micrite, which is typically laminated and commonly contains fragments of marine biota, originated from the nearby shallow lagoons. The endogenetic micrite formed as a residue from the breakdown of spar calcite crystals by etching, as constructive and destructive envelopes developed around spar calcite crystals, by calcification of microbes, by breakdown of calcified filamentous microbes, and by precipitation from pore waters. Once produced, the endogenetic micrite may be transported from its place of origin by water flowing through the cavities. Endogenetic micrite can become mixed with the exogenetic micrite. Subsequently, it is impossible to recognize the origin of individual particles because the particles in endogenetic micrite are morphologically like the particles in exogenetic micrite. Formation of endogenetic micrite is controlled by numerous extrinsic and intrinsic parameters. In the Cayman Formation, for example, most endogenetic micrite is produced by etching of meteoric calcite crystals that formed as a cement in the cavities or by microbial calcification. As a result, the distribution of the endogenetic micrite is ultimately controlled by the distribution of the calcite cement and/or the microbes-factors controlled by numerous other extrinsic variables. Irrespective of the factors involved in its formation, it is apparent that endogenetic micrite can be produced by a variety of processes that are operating in the confines of cavities in karst terrains

Origin of endogenetic micrite in karst terrains; a case study from the Cayman Islands, 1995, Jones Brian, Kahle Charles F. ,

Environmental problems in gypsum karst terrains., 1996, Andrejchuk Vjacheslav, Klimchouk Alexander
Description of environmental problems in gypsum karst areas, especially of the effects related to human impacts that are unique to gypsum karst systems or most commonly occur herein. The paper deals with pollution (oil, radioactive substances and fertilizers), mining activity, underground water abstraction, construction of dams and reservoirs, collapse and subsidence hazards giving examples of former Soviet Union.

Nickpoint recession in karst terrains: An example from the Buchan karst, southeastern Australia, 1996, Fabel D, Henricksen D, Finlayson Bl, Webb Ja,
Nickpoint recession in the Buchan karst, southeastern Australia, has resulted in the formation of an underground meander cut-off system in the Murrindal River valley. Three nickpoints have been stranded in the surface channel abandoned by the subterranean piracy, and these can be correlated with river terraces and epiphreatic cave passages in the nearby Buchan River valley. The presence of palaeomagnetically reversed sediments in the youngest cave passage in the Buchan valley implies that the topographically lowest nickpoint in the Murrindal valley is more than 730 ka old, and the other nickpoints are probably several million years old. The nickpoints are occasionally active during floods, but the diversion of most surface flow underground has slowed down their retreat to the extent that they have been effectively stationary for several million years Underground nickpoint migration has been by both incision within major phreatic conduits and their abandonment for lower-level passages. The nickpoints are all present in the upstream part of the cave system, but have not migrated past the sink in the river channel, despite the long period of time available for this to happen. The sink is characterized by collapsed limestone blocks; these filter out the coarse bedload from the river channel. As a result, erosion within the cave passages is dominantly solutional and therefore slower than in the surface channel, where it is mostly mechanical. In addition, to transmit a drop in base level the cave system requires the removal of a larger volume of rock than for the surface migration of a nickpoint, because any roof collapse material in the subsurface system must be removed. These factors have slowed the migration of the base-level changes through the subsurface system, and may be a general feature in caves that have diffuse sinks as their main inputs

Environmental problems in gypsum karst terrains., 1996, Klimchouk A. B. , Andrejchouk V. N.

Thermodinamic equilibrium, kinetics, activation barriers, and reaction mechanisms for chemical reactions in karst terrains., 1997, White W.

Thermodynamic equilibrium, kinetics, activation barriers, and reaction mechanisms for chemical reactions in Karst Terrains, 1997, White W. B. ,
Chemical reactions pertinent to karst systems divide broadly into (a) speciation reactions within aqueous solutions, (b) dissolution/precipitation and other acid/base reactions between aqueous solutions and solid minerals, and (c) redox reactions involving various carbon and sulfur-bearing species. As a backdrop against which other chemistry can be evaluated, selected phase diagrams and equilibrium speciation diagrams were calculated for the system Ca--Mg--O--H--C--S. The kinetics of reactions within this system span time scales from milliseconds for homogeneous reactions in solution through hundreds of hours for carbonate mineral dissolution reactions, to geologic time scales for reactions such as the aragonite/calcite inversion or the oxidation/reduction of native sulfur. In purely inorganic systems, kinetic barriers, typically on the order of tens of kJ/mole, are set by nucleation processes and by activated complex formation. Biological processes impact the purely inorganic chemistry by the following mechanisms: (a) Secretions and waste products from biological activity or consumption of CO2 by organisms changes the chemistry in the microenvironments of reaction surfaces. Oxidation potentials, pH, and ion activities may be modified, thus shifting equilibria. (b) Reaction rates may be increased due to modification of activated complexes and thus the activation barriers to reaction. (c) Organic compounds or microorganisms may act as substrates, thus lowering nucleation barriers. The preservation of microorganisms in cave deposits does not necessarily prove a cause and effect relationship

Groundwater tracing in the epikarst, 1997, Aley T.

Evaluation of terra rossa geochemical baselines from Croatian karst regions, 1999, Miko S. , Durn G. , Prohic E. ,
In karst regions of Croatia, regolith is the only favourable medium for geochemical mapping. Mediterranean climate and good drainage due to hard, fissured, permeable limestones and dolomites result in a spacious distribution of terra rossa (FAO-luvisols and cambisols) - a polygenetic type of soil. Samples of terra rossa from coastal and inland Croatian Dinaric karst terrains were collected during the initial studies for the Geochemical Map of Croatia at a density of 1 site/25 km(2). A total of 87 terra rossa soil samples taken from a depth of 5-25 cm together with 27 samples from deeper profiles (down to 850 cm) were analysed for total Al, Ba, Ca, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ga, La, Mg, Mn, Ni, Pb, Na, Sr, Ti, V and Zn concentrations. A stoichiometric approach was applied by modeling of terra rossa baselines on the basis of Linear regressions of metals on Al and the calculation of enrichment factors (EF and CEFs) on the basis of soil standards. A noticeable enrichment of Pb was found in surface samples compared to the terra rossa deeper in the soil profile. Using these baseline relationships, an attempt is made to partition terra rossa metal concentrations into natural and anthropogenic fractions. Also, the models from both polluted and less polluted (uninhabited) karstic terrains improve the comparability of element contents through correction of variable background concentrations. A comparison of elemental concentrations revealed that due to contributions of bauxite debris, a number of studied samples is enriched in Cr and Ni (also with variable amounts of boehmite). The corrections will serve to reduce data variability and to increase the detection of spatial and temporal differences presented on the geochemical maps. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Speleogenesis in salts, with particular reference to the Mount Sedom area, Israel, 2000, Frumkin A.
Salt dissolution often occurs in deeply buried beds, where caves are hardly known. Caves are normally formed by selective dissolution along flow routes, rather than complete dissolution of the bulk salt mass. Most salt caves are found in diapirs, where open fissures drain meteoric water, rapidly enlarging to form vadose caves. Salt caves develop faster than other cave types, allowing their use as a natural laboratory for speleogenesis. Salt karst terrains exist mainly in arid climates where rock salt outcrops may escape complete destruction by dissolution. Known salt caves are mostly of Holocene age, while older ones are gradually destroyed by dissolution and collapse. The Mount Sedom salt diapir, with some 20 km of salt caves, is the most studied area of salt karst. Its vadose caves are formed by captured ephemeral streams. Cave profiles are adjusted to base level, allowing reconstruction of the evolutionary history of the region. Some 57% of Mount Sedom surface area is drained by the underground karst system. Waters in cave conduits do not reach saturation during flood flow, unless the water is ponded for at least several hours. Common cave features are vertical shafts, close to the cave inlet, and sub-horizontal passages, leading to outlets at base level. Where there is no fissure connection to the edge of the mountain, an inlet cave is formed, capable of absorbing the flood discharge in a terminal pond. Water and solutes escape from the pond by slow seepage through narrow fissures to a regional aquifer.

Book Review: ''Geologia regiunilor carstice'' [Geology of Karst Terrains] by Bogdan P. Onac, 2000, 2001, Palmer A. N.

Palaeoseismic events in karst terrains along the northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast, 2001, Angelova D,
The study of the palaoseismic events in the karst terrains of the Bulgarian Black Sea coast is a very important up-to-date problem. The investigated region is one of the highest-energy regions in Bulgaria with established and recorded catastrophic historic and contemporary earthquakes. The terrain is subjected to the influence not only of its own earthquake foci but also of those in Romania and Russia. The palaeoearthquakes that caused considerable disturbances in the karst terrains along the Northern Bulgarian Black Sea coast have left significant traces. They caused disturbances in the environment and the relief (rearrangement of the surface and ground water karst basins, partially or entirely collapsed caves, deformed caves, oil, gas and salt intrusions and gravitationally formed caves). The ecological consequences in historic and contemporary aspects were catastrophic. The palaeoseismic dislocations were formed as a result of global, regional and local geodynamic events related with the destruction of the Moezian platform and the regional extension of the Black Sea basin. The time of their display and their spatial interrelations were established as a result of complex investigations accompanied by original documents

Derivation of effective hydraulic parameters of a karst aquifer from discharge hydrograph analysis, 2001, Baedke Sj, Krothe Nc,
In well-developed karst terrains, three or more distinct portions of the karst continuum can be identified from hydrographs of springs issuing from the karat aquifer. Hydrographs from mio karat springs within the same drainage basin at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indiana, have been analyzed, and ratios of transmissivity and specific yield (T/S-y) have been established for the conduit and diffuse flow systems. These ratios have been compared with values of T derived from aquifer tests, so that independent values of S-y can be calculated for the diffuse system. Similarly, if the value of S-y is assumed to be 1.0 for a pure conduit, then independent values of T can be calculated for this end-member of the karst continuum. The values of T and S-y derived from this study are similar to values obtained from a dye trace of the conduit-dominated flow system and of values derived from aquifer tests of the diffuse flow system. Values of T for the conduit system of these springs may need to be established at a local scale, while the values for the diffuse flow system may be applicable at a regional scale. A hydrograph separation using isotopic data suggests that the intermediate-flow system represents a mix of water from the conduit and diffuse flow systems. If this portion of the hydrograph is a truly mixing phenomena, ratios of TIS cannot be determined from the hydrograph analysis presented herein. However. if instead, the intermediate-flow system represents water released from a third reservoir (such as small fractures), ratios of T/S, can be established for the intermediate-flow system

The environmental impacts of human activities and engineering constructions in karst regions, 2002, Milanovic P. ,
With increasing demands on water resources in karst regions, an important issue is how to keep the balance between the necessity for development and preservation of complex and unpredictable hydrogeological systems. Karst terrains have been modified and adapted through a range of human activities as needs for drinking water, hydroelectric power and other resources increase. In many regions, reclamation projects, construction of large dams and reservoirs, deep underground excavations and complex foundation structures have had a detrimental impact on the environment. However, because each karst region is unique, the nature of environmental change is unpredictable, often occurs very rapidly, and similar situations are seldom, if ever, repeated. Changes in karst function can have a profound impact on regional ecological, infrastructure, social and political systems. The majority of impacts can be foreseen and mitigated by appropriate designs. Ecological and environmental protection is more difficult when the changes are unexpected and source of problem is some distance from the impacted area. Optimal environmental protection requires a multidisciplinary approach, a lot of patience and perseverance, and adequate funds. Legal aspects and insurability are also very important basic elements in karst environmental protection. Criteria for determining the environmental protection, as well as regulatory procedures that are applicable for nonkarst regions are generally not suitable for karst terrain. Successful solutions require serious and complex geological/hydrogeological investigation programs and close co-operation of a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers: geologists, civil engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, sociologists and many others. In karst areas where interrelations and interactions are inadequately known, the ultimate aim is identification of crucial parameters that define causes and consequences between human activities and the resulting impact (cause-and-effect relations). As a consequence of human activities and engineering construction in karst regions, the common negative environmental impacts are: severe spring discharge change, groundwater quality deterioration, endemic fauna endangering, waste disposal failures, induced seismicity, induced sinkholes, and a number of different secondary uncertainties. In some cases, socio-economic problems related to migration from submerged regions are very pronounced. Similar problems are related with flooding of cultural and historical monuments and natural rarities. The major aims of proper planning of water resource systems in karst terrain are to minimize negative and to maximize positive environmental impacts. The optimal strategy of water resources development in karst areas is a key requirement for regional socio-economic development

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