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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 ground air is see soil air.?

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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.
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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 ecosystems (Keyword) returned 71 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 71
MICROCLIMATIC RESEARCH IN THE SLOVAKIAN SHOW CAVES, 2002, Zelinka, Jan

The paper deals with the activities of the Cave Protection Department of the Slovak Caves Administration in the field of speleoclimatic monitoring in the Slovakian show caves since 1996. The monitoring is concentrated on detail survey of basic climatic parameters processes (temperature, relative air humidity, dew point, air velocity, atmospheric pressure etc.) in by now studied show caves during minimally one year. The essence of obtained knowledge is to enhance cave protection in the practice of show caves, better understand the geoecosystems; determine visitors' influence, the period of regeneration and evaluation of possible negative influences. The results of the monitoring are used for determining the carrying capacity of individual caves, limits for visitors, guiding the manageiant and other necessary measures. Presented caves were surveyed by priorities like: World Heritage site, ice caves, natural air mass communication with surface climate, potential threats - all in relation to cave utilization and operation. Technical eqqipment, as well as research methodology are described in detail in the paper.


The Cave-inhabiting rove beetles of the United States (Coleoptera; Staphylinidae; excluding Aleocharinae and Pselaphinae): Diversity and Distributions, 2003, Peck, S. B. , Thayer, M. K.
A taxonomic listing is given for new records of 66 species of staphylinid beetles (excluding Aleocharinae and Pselaphinae) collected in caves in the contiguous United States. Most species are judged to be either accidentals or infrequent troglophilic inhabitants of caves. Nine species are classed as frequent troglophiles. When added to the 6 frequent troglophile species of aleocharine staphylinids, this yields a total of 15 species of staphylinid beetles (excluding Pselaphinae) frequently found in US cave ecosystems. No troglobitic species are known from US caves. Troglobitic staphylinids (excluding Pselaphinae) elsewhere in the world are few (some 30 species). They are briefly considered and discussed. Worldwide, troglobitic staphylinids are taxonomically, geographically, and geologically concentrated in the Canary Islands (in volcanic lava tube caves) and in nearby Spain and northwestern Africa.

Filamentous 'Epsilonproteobacteria' dominate microbial mats from sulfidic cave springs, 2003, Engel As, Lee N, Porter Ml, Stern La, Bennett Pc, Wagner M,
Hydrogen sulfide-rich groundwater discharges from springs into Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, where microbial mats dominated by filamentous morphotypes are found. The full-cycle rRNA approach, including 16S rRNA gene retrieval and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), was used to identify these filaments. The majority of the obtained 16S rRNA gene clones from the mats were affiliated with the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' and formed two distinct clusters, designated LKC group I and LKC group II, within this class. Group I was closely related to uncultured environmental clones from petroleum-contaminated groundwater, sulfidic springs, and sulfidic caves (97 to 99% sequence similarity), while group II formed a novel clade moderately related to deep-sea hydrothermal vent symbionts (90 to 94% sequence similarity). FISH with newly designed probes for both groups specifically stained filamentous bacteria within the mats. FISH-based quantification of the two filament groups in six different microbial mat samples from Lower Kane Cave showed that LKC group II dominated five of the six mat communities. This study further expands our perceptions of the diversity and geographic distribution of 'Epsilonproteobacteria' in extreme environments and demonstrates their biogeochemical importance in subterranean ecosystems

Paleoseismic phenomena in karst terrains in Bulgaria and Morocco, 2003, Angelova Dora, Belfoul M'hamed Alaeddin, Bouzid Sophia, Filahi Mustapha, Faik Farid

During the recent years there has been a growing interest in recording and investigating the effects of paleoseismic events in surface and underground karst in almost all countries. Karst represents a reliable reference marker for understanding the potential seismicity in regions with instrumentally established low to moderate seismicity. The karst errains in Bulgaria and Morocco occupy considerable areas. The disturbances in surface and underground karst had usually been provoked by catastrophic one-act events or by repeatedly activated movements by earthquakes. The catastrophic seismic events had disturbed the naturally interrelated karst ecosystems and were the reason for rejuvenation, reactivation or attenuation of karst processes. The natural surface and underground relief had been partially or entirely destroyed; a new type of relief had been formed; the geological environment had been disturbed; changes occurred in the flowrate and direction of surface and underground karst water; wetlands of the gravitation type had been formed; natural caves, local grabens, rock-falls and landslides collapsed partially or entirely and terrains were subjected to subsidence and destruction; the ecological balance in urbanized territories had been disturbed. The present work considers the different types of paleoseismic phenomena in the karst terrains in Bulgaria and Morocco. Recommendations are given for the protection of these areas.


Natural and anthropogenic hazards in karst areas of Albania, 2004, Parise M. , Qiriazi P. , Sala S. ,
In Albania, about one quarter of the country is occupied by outcroppings of soluble rocks; thus, karst represents an important and typical natural environment. Today karst areas are seriously threatened by a number of hazards, of both natural and anthropogenic origin. Many problems are related to agricultural practices: the use of heavy machinery, ever-increasing in recent years, results at many sites in destruction of the original karst landscapes. Use of pesticides and herbicides, in addition, causes the loss of karst ecosystems of great biological relevance, as has been observed in the Dumre district, where about 80 lakes of karst origin are present in the evaporites of Permian-Triassic age. Agricultural practice performed on slopes with medium to high gradient is a further factor which greatly predispose the slopes to erosion. The cave heritage of Albania (estimated so far in about 1000 caves) is at risk because of the uncontrolled quarrying activities which determine the total or partial destruction of karst caves, including many of naturalistic, archaeological and speleological interest. Many caves have also become sites of illegal disposal of solid and liquid wastes, which causes pollution of the karst ecosystems and of the aquifer therein present, with heavy negative consequences on the quality of water. Even though most of the cases here mentioned are related to anthropogenic activities, the natural hazards, such as subsidence phenomena, floods, and the development of sinkholes, have not to be disregarded

Sensitive ecological areas and species inventory of Actun Chapat Cave, Vaca Plateau, Belize., 2005, Wynne J. J. , Pleytez W.
Cave ecosystems are considered one of the most poorly studied and fragile systems on Earth. Belize caves are no exception. This paper represents the first effort to synthesize information on both invertebrate and vertebrate observations from a Belize cave. Based on limited field research and a review of literature, we identified two ecologically sensitive areas, and developed a species inventory list containing 41 vertebrate and invertebrate morphospecies in Actun Chapat, Vaca Plateau, west-central Belize. Actun Chapat contains two ecologically sensitive areas: (1) a large multiple species bat roost, and (2) a subterranean pool containing troglobites and stygobites. The inventory list is a product of sporadic research conducted between 1973 and 2001. Ecological research in this cave system remains incomplete. An intensive systematic ecological survey of Actun Chapat with data collection over multiple seasons using a suite of survey techniques will provide a more complete inventory list. To minimize human disturbance to the ecologically sensitive areas, associated with ecotourism, we recommend limited to no access in the areas identified as sensitive.

Discriminating Sources and Flowpaths of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Discharges to Florida Springs, Streams and Lakes, 2005, Bacchus St, Barile Pj,
Surface discharges of anthropogenic nutrients historically have been the focus of Florida's water-quality regulations. Groundwater contributions to eutrophication of Florida's surface waters are a more recent focus. Florida's naturally oligotrophic springs, streams, and lakes are experiencing significant anthropogenic nutrient contamination resulting from groundwater discharges with elevated nitrate. Sources of nitrate contamination to these surface-water ecosystems include sewage effluent, industrial animal waste (concentrated animal feedlot operations) and inorganic fertilizers. In this study, stable nitrogen isotope ({delta}15N) analysis of freshwater macrophytes was combined with basic knowledge of watershed and springshed land use and aquifer characteristics to provide evidence of nitrogen contamination sources and groundwater flowpaths. Selected naturally oligotrophic ecosystems included springs and a spring-run stream within the Ocala National Forest (ONF) and springs, a blackwater stream, and a sinkhole lake on or adjacent to state lands. Elevated {delta}15N values ([~] 8 to 12{per thousand}) in ONF macrophytes indicated nitrogen contamination from sewage effluent. Underground injections of effluent and other wastes at ONF's Alexander and Juniper Springs Recreation Areas are the sole source of contaminants flowing through the sandy, surficial aquifer at those study areas. Samples from springs on state lands indicated nitrogen contamination from various sources via regional groundwater flowpaths. At Lake Placid's state lands, a dairy-waste lagoon was the groundwater source of nitrogen contamination via the sandy, surficial aquifer. Bulow Creek {delta}15N macrophyte values ([~] 5 to 8{per thousand}) suggested contamination from both cattle and septic tank leachate. Results indicated that uptake of anthropogenic nitrogen occurred in invasive alien and nuisance native macrophytes in the four freshwater ecosystem types evaluated

Nitrogen Cycling with Respect to Environmental Load in Farm Systems in Southwest China, 2005, Liang Lei, Nagumo Toshiyuki, Hatano Ryusuke,

A study of the activity and ecological significance of carbonic anhydrase from soil and its microbes from different karst ecosystems of Southwest China, 2005, Li Wei, Yu Long Jiang, Yuan Dao Xian, Wu Yun, Zeng Xian Dong,

GROUNDWATER AGE: A VITAL INFORMATION IN PROTECTING THE GROUNDWATER DEPENDENT ECOSYSTEM, 2005, Serdar Bayari, N. Nur Ozyurt, Zubeyde Hatipoglu
Economic gains of use have led to a global explosion of groundwater development in the last several decades. Consequently, groundwater reserves have been depleted extensively. Continuing use of groundwater, which is initially supplied from the storage, causes increasing derivation of additional water from groundwater dependent ecosystems such as, streams, lakes and wetlands. A systematic groundwater age dating in the vicinity of a surface water body may help to quantify the spatio-temporal dynamics of interaction between these resources. Though, numerical flow and transport models may be used to infer the age distribution of groundwater feeding a surface water body, their efficient use requires extensive data that properly characterize the flow domain. In cases, such data is not available or requires to be supplemented by an independent approach, spatio-temporal age dating of groundwater by various tracers can be helpful in understanding the dynamics of flow in the aquifer. This paper provides brief information on how the groundwater age data can be used in surface water ecological problems. Examples from several field sites in Turkey are also presented.

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.


Introduction to cave microbiology: A review for the non-specialist, 2006, Barton, H. A.
Within the past decade there has been an increasing interest in cave microbiota. Such interest has helped many speleologists both recognize and understand the importance of microbial species in caves, which has led to improvements in cave conservation practices to better conserve these unseen ecosystems. While much information on the metabolic properties and functions of such subterranean ecosystems has been published in the microbial ecology literature, is it sometimes unusable by the non-specialist due to technical jargon and unexplained background information. It is the aim of this review to provide such background information and to explain the current technologies available to study cave microbiota. In doing so, it is hoped that this material will make the microbiology literature more accessible to interested non-specialists, and open new areas of inquiry in the study of microbial-mineral interactions.

Aquifers: the ultimate groundwater-dependent ecosystems, 2006, Humphreys W. F. ,
Australian aquifers support diverse metazoan faunas comprising obligate groundwater inhabitants, largely crustaceans but also including insects, worms, gastropods, mites and fish. They typically comprise short-range endemics, often of relictual lineages and sometimes widely vicariant from their closest relatives. They have been confined to subterranean environments from a range of geological eras and may contain information on the deep history of aquifers. Obligate groundwater fauna ( stygobites) occurs in the void spaces in karst, alluvial and fractured rock aquifers. They have convergent morphologies ( reduction or loss of eyes, pigment, enhanced nonoptic senses, vermiform body form) and depend on energy imported from the surface except in special cases of in situ chemoautotrophic energy fixation. In Australia, many stygofaunas in arid areas occur in brackish to saline waters, although they contain taxa from lineages generally restricted to freshwater systems. They may occur alongside species belonging to taxa considered typical of the marine littoral although far removed in space and time from marine influence. The ecological attributes of stygofauna makes them vulnerable to changes in habitat, which, combined with their taxonomic affinities, makes them a significant issue to biodiversity conservation. The interaction of vegetation and groundwater ecosystems is discussed and, in places, there are conservation issues common to both

The role of flow velocity in the vertical distribution of particulate organic matter on moss-covered travertine barriers of the Plitvice Lakes (Croatia), 2006, Milisa M. , Habdija I. , Primchabdija B. , Radanovic I. , Kepcija R. ,
We investigated the distribution patterns of particulate organic matter (POM) on travertine barriers in respect to flow velocity. Research was conducted on the barrage-lake system of the Plitvice Lakes, Croatia. Four layers were distinguished within the substrate (moss mat three travertine layers) in three hydraulic habitats at three sites. Substrate samples were collected monthly with a core sampler. The aim of the study was to explore the ability of moss mats and travertine substrate to accumulate POM; to ascertain the role of flow velocity and to produce a model of POM distribution pattern. The average of POM deposited in the 10 cm deep zone decreased significantly in the three sites along longitudinal profile of the system. Most POM was deposited in the moss mats, and the amounts decreased exponentially with depth. This was observed for coarse particulate organic matter (CPOM), ultra-fine particulate organic matter (UPOM) and total organic matter (TPOM) while fine organic matter (FPOM) deposition appeared unaffected by depth. More POM was accumulated in hydraulic habitats of low flow velocity. Correlation between flow velocity and POM accumulation was generally negative. Positive correlations between flow velocity and deposition rates were noted for CPOM in moss mats and top travertine layers; the deposition of other POM fractions was negatively influenced by the flow velocity. The influence of flow velocity decreased with increasing depth. In the deepest layers (7-10 cm) flow velocity influenced only the deposition of the smallest particles (UPOM)

The Messinian salinity crisis: Looking for a new paradigm?, 2006, Roveri M. , Manzi V. ,
The importance of the sedimentary record of Messinian events in the Apennines foredeep is due to its geological and structural settings, which allow the reconstruction of the relationships between marginal and basinal settings and provide fundamental insights into some important issues. A geologic-stratigraphic model of the Messinian Apennine foredeep indicating a possible solution for closing the last `Messinian gap' is here presented. Moreover, the establishment of a preliminary high-resolution stratigraphy for the terminal Lago Mare stage allows us to attempt Mediterranean-scale correlations across different structural settings.The Messinian evolution of the Apennine foredeep and some considerations of adjacent areas suggest the great importance of tectonic deformation in controlling Messinian events. The intra-Messinian unconformity is a common feature of the marginal basins of the Mediterranean, and it is associated in many cases to the collapse and resedimentation of primary evaporites. The genesis of such unconformity seems to be strictly related to a general tectonic reorganization of the Mediterranean area. Preliminary observation on the stratigraphy of the Lago Mare stage suggest that the high-frequency lithological cyclicity observed in the non-marine deposits of this stage, as well as the superimposed transgressive trend, are common to many Mediterranean basins. These characteristic features might reflect the interplay between a longer-term tectonic trend and higher-frequency, precession-related, climatic changes; this could represent a fundamental tool for establishing a high-resolution stratigraphic framework of the latest Messinian allowing long-distance correlations between terrestrial and marine ecosystems and hence more accurate palaeoenvironmental studies

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