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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 plan is a plot of the shape and details of a cave projected vertically onto a horizontal plane at a reduced scale [25].?

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.
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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 trace-element (Keyword) returned 39 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 39 of 39
Modification and preservation of environmental signals in speleothems, 2006,
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Fairchild Ij, Smith Cl, Baker A, Fuller L, Spotl C, Mattey D, Mcdermott F, Eimp,
Speleothems are primarily studied in order to generate archives of climatic change and results have led to significant advances in identifying and dating major shifts in the climate system. However, the climatological meaning of many speleothem records cannot be interpreted unequivocally, this is particularly so for more subtle shifts and shorter time periods, but the use of multiple proxies and improving understanding of formation mechanisms offers a clear way forward. An explicit description of speleothem records as time series draws attention to the nature and importance of the signal filtering processes by which the weather, the seasons, and longer-term climatic and other environmental fluctuations become encoded in speleothems. We distinguish five sources of variation that influence speleothem geochemistry, i.e. atmospheric, vegetation/soil, karstic aquifer, primary speleothem crystal growth and secondary alteration, and give specific examples of their influence. The direct role of climate diminishes progressively through these five factors. We identify and review a number of processes identified in recent and current work that bear significantly on the conventional interpretation of speleothem records, for example: (1) speleothem geochemistry can vary seasonally and hence a research need is to establish the proportion of growth attributable to different seasons and whether this varies over time; (2) whereas there has traditionally been a focus on monthly mean delta O-18 data of atmospheric moisture, current work emphasizes the importance of understanding the synoptic processes that lead to characteristic isotope signals, since changing relative abundance of different weather types might control their variation on the longer-term; (3) the ecosystem and soil zone overlying the cave fundamentally imprint the carbon and trace element signals and can show characteristic variations with time; (4) new modelling on aquifer plumbing allows quantification of the effects of aquifer mixing; (5) recent work has emphasized the importance and seasonal variability Of CO2-degassing leading to calcite precipitation upflow of a depositional site on carbon isotope and trace element composition of speleothems; (6) although much is known about the chemical partitioning between water and stalagmites, variability in relation to crystal growth mechanisms and kinetics is a research frontier; (7) aragonite is susceptible to conversion to calcite with major loss of chemical information, but the controls on the rate of this process are obscure. Analytical factors are critical in generating high-resolution speleothem records. A variety of methods of trace element analysis is available, but standardization is a common problem with the most rapid methods. New stable isotope data on Irish stalagmite CC3 compares rapid laser-ablation techniques with the conventional analysis of micromilled powders and ion microprobe methods. A high degree of comparability between techniques for delta O-18 is found on the millimeter to centimeter scale, but a previously described high-amplitude oxygen isotope excursion around 8.3 ka is identified as an analytical artefact related to fractionation of the laser-analysis associated with sample cracking. High-frequency variability of not less than 0.5 parts per thousand may be an inherent feature of speleothem delta O-18 records. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Hydrocarbon Biomarkers in the Topla-Mezica Zinc-Lead Deposits, Northern Karavanke/Drau Range, Slovenia: Paleoenvironment at the Site of Ore Formation, 2006,
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Spangenberg Jorge E. , Herlec Ursos,
The Mississippi Valley-type zinc and lead deposits at Topla (250,150 metric tons (t) of ore grading 10 wt % Zn and 3.3 wt % Pb) and Me[z]ica (19 million metric tons (Mt) of ore grading 5.3 wt % Pb and 2.7 wt % Zn) occur within the Middle to Upper Triassic platform carbonate rocks of the northern Karavanke/Drau Range geotectonic units of the Eastern Alps, Slovenia. The ore and host rocks of these deposits have been investigated by a combination of inorganic and organic geochemical methods to determine major, trace, and rare earth element (REE) concentrations, hydrocarbon distribution, and stable isotope ratios of carbonates, kerogen, extractable organic matter, and individual hydrocarbons. These data combined with sedimentological evidence provide insight into the paleoenvironmental conditions at the site of ore formation. The carbonate isotope composition, the REE patterns, and the distribution of hydrocarbon biomarkers (normal alkanes and steranes) suggest a marine depositional environment. At Topla, a relatively high concentration of redox sensitive trace elements (V, Mo, U) in the host dolostones and REE patterns parallel to that of the North American shale composite suggest that sediments were deposited in a reducing environment. Anoxic conditions enhanced the preservation of organic matter and resulted in relatively higher total organic carbon contents (up to 0.4 wt %). The isotopic composition of the kerogen ({delta}13Ckerogen = -29.4 to -25.0{per thousand}, {delta}15Nkerogen = -13.6 to 6.8{per thousand}) suggests that marine algae and/or bacteria were the main source of organic carbon with a very minor contribution from detrital continental plants and a varying degree of alteration. Extractable organic matter from Topla ore is generally depleted in 13C compared to the associated kerogen, which is consistent with an indigenous source of the bitumens. The mineralization correlates with {delta}15Nkerogen values around 0 per mil, 13C depleted kerogen, 13C enriched n-heptadecane, and relatively high concentrations of bacterial hydrocarbon biomarkers, indicating a high cyanobacterial biomass at the site of ore formation. Abundant dissimilatory sulfate-reducing bacteria, feeding on the cyanobacterial remains, led to accumulation of biogenic H2S in the pore water of the sediments. This biogenic H2S was mainly incorporated into sedimentary organic matter and diagenetic pyrite. Higher bacterial activity at the ore site also is indicated by specific concentration ratios of hydrocarbons, which are roughly correlated with total Pb plus Zn contents. This correlation is consistent with mixing of hydrothermal metal-rich fluids and local bacteriogenic sulfide sulfur. The new geochemical data provide supporting evidence that Topla is a low-temperature Mississippi Valley-type deposit formed in an anoxic supratidal saline to hypersaline environment. A laminated cyanobacterial mat, with abundant sulfate-reducing bacteria was the main site of sulfate reduction

Controls on trace element incorporation into carbonates grown in cave-analogue conditions in the laboratory, 2006,
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Day Cc, Johnson Kr, Henderson Gm,

Late Holocene drought responsible for the collapse of Old World civilizations is recorded in an Italian cave flowstone, 2006,
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Drysdale R, Zanchetta G, Hellstrom J, Maas R, Fallick A, Pickett M, Cartwright I, Piccini L,
A severe drought in parts of low-latitude northeastern Africa and southwestern Asia [~]4200 yr ago caused major disruption to ancient civilizations. Stable isotope, trace element, and organic fluorescence data from a calcite flowstone collected from the well-watered Alpi Apuane karst of central-western Italy indicate that the climatic event responsible for this drought was also recorded in mid-latitude Europe. Although the timing of this event coincides with an episode of increased ice-rafted debris to the subpolar North Atlantic, the regional ocean-atmosphere response seems atypical of similar Holocene ice-rafting events. Furthermore, comparison of the flowstone data with other regional proxies suggests that the most extreme part of the dry spell occurred toward the end of a longer-term climate anomaly

The co-evolution of Black Sea level and composition through the last deglaciation and its paleoclimatic significance, 2006,
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Major Candace O. , Goldstein Steven L. , Ryan William B. F. , Lericolais Gilles, Piotrowski Alexander M. , Hajdas Irka,
The Black Sea was an inland lake during the last ice age and its sediments are an excellent potential source of information on Eurasian climate change, showing linkages between regionally and globally recognized millennial-scale climate events of the last deglaciation. Here, we detail changes from the last glacial maximum (LGM) through the transition to an anoxic marginal sea using isotopic (strontium and oxygen) and trace element (Sr/Ca) ratios in carbonate shells, which record changing input sources and hydrologic conditions in the basin and surrounding region. Sr isotope records show two prominent peaks between ~18 and 16 ka BP cal, reflecting anomalous sedimentation associated with meltwater from disintegrating Eurasian ice sheets that brought Black Sea level to its spill point. Following a sharp drop in Sr isotope ratios back toward glacial values, two stages of inorganic calcite precipitation accompanied increasing oxygen isotope ratios and steady Sr isotope ratios. These calcite peaks are separated by an interval in which the geochemical proxies trend back toward glacial values. The observed changes reflect negative water balance and lake level decline during relatively warm periods (Bolling-Allerod and Preboreal) and increasing river input/less evaporation, resulting in higher lake levels, during the intervening cold period (the Younger Dryas). A final shift to marine values in Sr and oxygen isotope ratios at 9.4 ka BP cal corresponds to connection with the global ocean, and marks the onset of sedimentation on the Black Sea continental shelf. This date for the marine incursion is earlier than previously suggested based on the appearance of euryhaline fauna and the onset of sapropel formation in the deep basin

Applications of stalagmite laminae to paleoclimate reconstructions: Comparison with dendrochronology/climatology, 2006,
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Tan Ming, Baker Andy, Genty Dominique, Smith Claire, Esper Jan, Cai Binggui,
Laminated stalagmites, observed in either ultra-violet or visible light or recognized via trace elements, are now widely recognized as a common deposition form. Annually laminated stalagmites should be expected in caves which have an overlying climate that has a strong seasonality, similar climate zones to where trees grow with distinct annual rings. Continuous laminated stalagmite chronologies (up to several thousand years) should be expected where some mixing of stored water occurs. Such stalagmites can be used to reconstruct climate, particularly through variations in lamina width. Such climate records would be relatively damped by mixing of `event' water with `stored' groundwater, constraining the amount of high-frequency climate signals contained in the stalagmite, but relatively long continuous lamina sequences permit the preservation of low frequency, centennial scale, climate signals. This contrasts with numerous tree ring climate records, which are frequently limited in preserving multi-centennial trends, due to the necessary removal of age related noise from relatively short tree segments. Laminated stalagmites and tree rings should therefore to some degree provide complementary climate information. Appropriate methods for compiling stalagmite layer chronologies and climatologies are presented

Textural, Elemental, and Isotopic Characteristics of Pleistocene Phreatic Cave Deposits (Jabal Madar, Oman), 2007,
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Immenhauser Adrian, Dublyansky Yuri V. , Verwer Klaas, Fleitman Dominik, Pashenko Serguei E. ,
Two main types of karst formation are commonly known: the surficial meteoric one and the subsurface (hypogenic) karst, which can be related to both carbonic (H2CO3) and sulfuric (H2S) acids. This paper documents evidence for a third, CO2-regime related, type of karst that is less commonly described. Petrographic and geochemical properties of exhumed Pleistocene phreatic cave deposits from the diapiric Jabal Madar dome in northern Oman are documented and discussed in a process-oriented context. These calcites form at the interface between two fundamentally different diagenetic and hydrogeological domains: the deep-seated, hydrothermal and the near-surficial, meteoric-vadose one. Four calcite phases are recognized: (i) acicular, (ii) blocky to stubby elongated, (iii) proto-palisade, and (iv) macro-columnar calcites. The macro-columnar calcites, forming the last stage of precipitation, are conspicuous due to their cyclical red zonation, and they form the main (geochemical) focus of this study. Fluid inclusion data point to fluid temperatures of between 30 to 50{degrees}C (monophase liquid inclusions) and elevated salinities (1.6 to 7.3 wt.% NaCl equivalent). Low carbon-isotope data (-8 to -9{per thousand}) are in agreement with the influx of soil-zone CO2 whereas decreasing {delta}18O (-15{per thousand}) values might point to mixing of saline hydrothermal and 18O depleted, meteoric freshwater, i.e., two fluid sources. Trace-element and stable-isotope data shift between the different cement phases and vary cyclically across the red zoning in macro-columnar calcites. With respect to the intra-crystal variability, these patterns are perhaps best explained in the context of redox potential. Two interpretations are presented; the one favored here suggests that the cyclical red zoning in macro-columnar calcites is controlled by Pleistocene monsoonal climate patterns

THE POSSIBLY HYPOGENE KARSTIC IRON ORE DEPOSIT OF WARDA NEAR AJLOUN (NORTHERN JORDAN), ITS MINERALOGy, GEOCHEMISTRy AND HISTORIC MINE, 2008,
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Almalabeh Ahmad, Kempe Stephan, Henschel Horstvolker , Hofmann Heiko & Tobschall Heinz Jrgen

In this study the iron ore deposit of the historic Warda mine (District of Ajloun, Northern Jordan) and its speleological im­portance is discussed. The number of known dissolutional caves in Jordan is very low, in spite of the fact, that large sections of the country are underlain by Cretaceous limestone. The only large cave yet discovered is Al-Daher Cave, a hypogene maze cave (Kempe et al. 2006). The Warda Iron Deposit was mined during the time of the crusades by one of Saladin’s officers to build and stock the castle of Ajloun. The survey shows that the mine consists of two larger rooms, together about 1000 m2 in area. Much of the mine’s floor is now covered with recent flood sediments (680 m2), up to over 2 m deep. The mine cuts natural cavities, fissures with speleothems and a collapse hall in lime­stone, that may or may not have been created by a collapsed mine ceiling. Calculating the mine volume conservatively, a to­tal of about 1100 t of elemental iron may have been extracted. Mineralogical investigation (XRD) shows, that the iron ore is goethitic/limonitic with noticeable hematite contents. Geo­chemical (XRF) analysis shows that the goethite is very pure; impurities of main elements sum up to 1% only. Among the trace-elements W (248 ppm), As (168 ppm) and Co (124 ppm) show the highest concentrations, with all others < 37 (Ba) ppm. Former prospecting results show that the deposit has a spatial extent of 300 x 200 m with a maximal thickness of about 10 m. Textural, mineralogical and geochemical criteria suggest that the ore body could be of speleogene origin, i.e. deposited in a hypogene, deep phreathic setting, possibly before regional up­lift or even prior to the maximal burial depth. A possibly simi­lar ore-body is for example described from the gigantic Lower Cretaceous and sand-filled cave of Wlfrath (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) (Drozdzewski et al. 1998).


Zerbrochene Hhlensinter und Kryocalcite als Indikatoren fr eiszeitlichen Permafrost im Herbstlabyrinth-Adventhhle-System bei Breitscheid-Erdbach (N-Hessen) , 2011,
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Richter D. K. , Mischel S. , Dorsten I. , Mangini A. , Neuser R. D. , Immenhauser A.
Speleothem fragments and calcite crystal sands are indicative of the spectacular fragmentation pattern of the central stalagmite of the Weihnachtsbaum-Halle in the Herbstlabyrinth-Advent cave system near Breitscheid-Erdbach (northern Hesse). The fractures are oriented perpendicular and parallel to subparallel to the speleothem layering and were caused by freeze-thaw weathering. According to the trace-element and stable isotope composition the calcite crystal sands formed under cold conditions. The youngest generation of cryogenic calcites, dated to 2324 ka by U/Th, is indicative of slow freezing of cave waters after the Weichselian Interstadial no. 3 and shows ?13C values from 1.0 to 3.1 and ?18O values from 13.7 to 17.3 . Based on the dominant occurrence of the rhombohedral crystal type in the crystal sands we introduce a genetic model of a deepening permafrost soil. The multiphase speleothem fracturing and occurrence of cryogenic calcite suggest an extended period of formation during the Weichselian of the studied stalagmite (the age of the top of stalagmite below the oldest cryogenic calcites is 75.8 ka). The repeated combination of freeze-thawweathering of speleothems and the for - mation of cryogenic calcites represents a new indicator for the decoding of the interstadial/stadial transitions during the Weichselian ice age in the periglacial area of central Europe.

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