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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 flint is a concretionary form of silica, similar to chert, that occurs in chalk as tabular sheets and layers of irregularly shaped nodules. being very hard and relatively insoluble, flint tends to stand out from chalk cliffs. flint-rich horizons may also influencer the inception of beddingrelated dissoluational conduits in chalk [9].?

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

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What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

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 gold (Keyword) returned 42 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 42 of 42
The unique Central Aldan gold-uranium ore district (Russia), 2004,
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Kazansky V. I. ,
In recent years, problems of the formation and distribution of ore deposits large and unique in their origin and scale have been discussed in publications and at international geological meetings. The aim of the present article is to show that not only individual deposits, but also ore districts may be unique. Such ore districts, for example, the Central Aldan gold-uranium ore district, contain deposits of various origins that belong to the same metallogenic epoch and were formed in similar geodynamic conditions. The Central Aldan gold-uranium ore district, with its resources of Au of 1000 t and U of 600000 t, is interpreted as a single unit. Its unique features are reflected at different levels: transregional, regional, and local. At the transregional level, its position is defined by the superposition of intense Mesozoic epicontinental tectonics, calc-alkaline-alkaline magmatism, and extensive hydrothermal ore mineralization on consolidated Early Precambrian structures of the Aldan Shield. In the Mesozoides of East Asia, Au and U deposits are located separately from each other except for in the Central Aldan district, where these deposits occur jointly and possess unique features. The interrelation between the Early Precambrian and the ore-bearing Mesozoic structures is clearly manifested in the Aldan Shield itself. The Central Aldan ore district is situated at the conjunction of the two largest megablocks, the Aldan-Timpton and Timpton-Uchur, which 2 Ga ago were transformed into a gneiss-granulite terrane. The Central Aldan district is confined to the periphery of a giant dome made up of Early Precambrian rocks of the Iengra complex. This district contains the largest and most varied subvolcanic caic-alkaline-alkaline intrusions. Finally, on the local scale, the Central Aldan magmatectonogen appears as the main ore-controlling factor. It consists of radial and ring faults cutting the crystalline basement and platform cover. It defines the distribution of Mesozoic magmatic rocks and various deposits in different radial blocks. The Central Aldan district contains three main types of ore deposits that form the following independent ore fields: the hydrothermal Au-U El'kon, the hydrothermal U Lebedinsk, and the polygenetic Au Kuranakh. The first and third deposits are unique not only in their scale, but in their origin as well. Deposits of the El'kon type are confined to rejuvenated faults of the crystalline basement and are characterized by exclusive extension of low-temperature Au-U mineralization. The third, Kuranakh type, in many respects enigmatic, is characterized by the presence of gold-bearing karst clays at the contact of platform limestones with Jurassic sandstones. The data presented in this article were accumulated during the 70-year history of the study and development of the Central Aldan district. Some deposits have been worked out and others preserved from operation due to different reasons. Many problems of the origin of ore deposits in the Central Aldan district have not yet been solved, and its total ore potential is far from being established

The Access/Impact Problem and the Green and Gold Roads to Open Access, 2004,
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Harnad Stevan, Brody Tim, Vallieres Francois, Carr Les, Hitchcock Steve, Gingras Yves, Oppenheim Charles, Stamerjohanns Heinrich, Hilf Eberhard R. ,
The research access/impact problem arises because journal articles are not accessible to all of their would-be users; hence, they are losing potential research impact. The solution is to make all articles Open Access (OA; i.e., accessible online, free for all). OA articles have significantly higher citation impact than non-OA articles. There are two roads to OA: the 'golden' road (publish your article in an OA journal) and the 'green' road (publish your article in a non-OA journal but also self-archive it in an OA archive). Only 5% of journals are gold, but over 90% are already green (i.e., they have given their authors the green light to self-archive); yet only about 10-20% of articles have been self-archived. To reach 100% OA, self-archiving needs to be mandated by researchers' employers and funders, as the United Kingdom and the United States have recently recommended, and universities need to implement that mandate

Mineralogical and Stable Isotope Studies of Kaolin Deposits: Shallow Epithermal Systems of Western Sardinia, Italy, 2005,
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Simeone R. , Dilles J. H. , Padalino G. , Palomba M. ,
Large kaolin deposits hosted by Miocene silicic pyroclastic rocks in northwestern Sardinia represent hydrothermal alteration formed within 200 m of the Miocene paleosurface. Boiling hydrothermal fluids ascended steeply dipping faults that are enveloped by altered rock. The broadly stratiform kaolin deposits constitute advanced argillic alteration that was produced in a steam-heated zone near the paleosurface overlying the deeper hydrothermal systems. The deeper zones represent two distinct types of epithermal systems: weakly acidic (inferred low-sulfidation) systems at Tresnuraghes and acidic (high-sulfidation) systems at Romana. Tresnuraghes is characterized at depth by chalcedony {} quartz {} barite veins within a 50-m-wide zone of K-feldspar-quartz-illite alteration and overlying local occurrences of chalcedony sinter, which define the paleosurface. Kaolin deposits near the paleosurface are characterized by zonation outward and downward from an inner shallow zone of kaolinite 1T-opal {} dickite {} alunite (<20-{micro}m-diam grains) to an outer deeper kaolinite 1M-montmorillonite-cristobalite. This zonation indicates formation by descending acidic fluids. The system evolved from ascending weakly acidic or neutral fluids that boiled to produce H2S-rich vapor, which condensed and oxidized within the near-surface vadose zone to form steam-heated acid-sulfate waters and kaolin alteration. At Romana, veins at depth contain chalcedony or quartz and minor pyrite and are enclosed in up to 20-m-wide zones of kaolinite 1T-quartz alteration. Near hydrothermal vents along the paleosurface, chalcedonic silica is enclosed within a zone of kaolinite 1T-alunite (<50-{micro}m-diam grains)-quartz-opal {} dickite {} cristobalite. Kaolin quarries near the paleosurface display outward and downward zoning to kaolinite 1T-opal {} cristobalite and then to montmorillonite-kaolinite 1T {} opal, consistent with formation by descending low pH fluid. The siliceous and advanced argillic alteration along steep conduits formed from acidic ascending magmatic-hydrothermal fluids, whereas the near-surface kaolin formed from steam-heated meteoric waters. Alteration mineral assemblages and stable isotope data provide evidence of the temperature and source of hydrothermal fluids. Barite from Tresnuraghes (average{delta} 18O = 17.1{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 18.8{per thousand}), one alunite sample from Romana ({delta}18O = 12.0{per thousand},{delta} D = -3{per thousand},{delta} 34S = 16.7{per thousand}), and quartz from both localities ({delta}18O = 15.9-22.0{per thousand}) formed in hydrothermal feeders. Source fluids were likely mixtures of meteoric water and minor magmatic fluid, similar to other epithermal systems. Kaolinite-dickite minerals from the kaolin deposits ({delta}18O = 16.6-21.4{per thousand},{delta} D = -43 to -53{per thousand}) formed from steam-heated meteoric water having{delta} D = - 20 per mil, consistent with the presence of anomalous Hg and fine-grained Na- and Fe-poor alunite. The laterally extensive kaolin deposits in Sardinia, and possibly similar deposits elsewhere in the world, appear to represent the uppermost parts of large hydrothermal systems that may be prospects for gold at depth

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

Modelling Karst Hydrodynamics, 2008,
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Kovcs A. , Sauter M.

This article is a lightly edited version the article of the same title that appeared as Chapter 10 in Methods in Karst Hydrology, Nico Goldscheider and David Drew, Eds., Taylor and Francis, London, p. 201-222 (2007). It is reproduced here with the kind permission of Taylor and Francis, Publishers

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Kempe Stephan & Dppes Doris
The Linnean binomial system rests on the description of a ho-lotype. The first fossil vertebrate species named accordingly was Ursus spelaeus, the cave bear. It was described by Rosenmller in 1794 in his dissertation using a skull from the Zoolithen Cave (Gailenreuth Cave) in Frankonia, Germany. The whereabouts of this skull is unknown. In the Humboldt Museum, Berlin, historic skulls of the three spelaeus species (cave bear, cave lion, cave hyena) are displayed. We were allowed to investigate them and further material in the Museums archive in an attempt to locate the holotype skull. Here we report about our findings giving pertinent measurements of this historic material and depicting it for the first time. Studying the old labels we were able to establish the provenience of much of the material that includes in fact specimens from the original Rosenmller collection. One of the cave lion skulls may actually be the one used in establishing the cave lion by Goldfu (Diedrich 2008) while another may be the original that was used to define a cave wolf .

Geotourism in the Estrada Real, Brazil, 2009,
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Travassos L. E. P. , Barbosa F. M. Da C. P.
Many natural landscapes are preserved throughout the World due to their cultural and historical values as well as for their environmental importance. TheWay of Saint James of Compostela (Camino de Santiago de Compostela), located in Europe, is a well known example of this. It was the inspiration source for the development of a tourist route in the Brazilian States of Minas Gerais, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, although it has no pilgrimage connotation. The Estrada Real (literally translated as the Royal Route) is made of a series of roads or routes that were formerly used by the portuguese colonizers to control the flow of gold, silver, diamonds and other precious stones and minerals.

Morphological and biological features of underwater caves Tarzanka (Tarhankut Peninsula, Maliy Atlesh), 2011,
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Kovtun O. A. , Pronin K. K.

Based on the performed examination and topographic survey of the underwater karst-abrasion cave Tarzanka on Minor Atlesh (Western Crimea), its morphological description is given for the first time. Features of biology and ecology of inhabitants of this cavity were studied. A new for the Black Sea species of coelenterates – actinia Sagartia elegans (Dalyell, 1848), and a very rare for the Black Sea species of crustaceans – shrimp (Lysmata seticaudata) and mysid (Hemimisis serrata), registered in the Red Data Book of Ukraine, were found in a cave. It was shown that the cave is a permanent habitat for protected species of fishes – goldsinny-wrasse (Ctenolabrus rupestris), Bucchich`s goby (Gobius bucchichi), brown meagre (Sciaena umbra), shore clingfish (Lepadogaster lepadogaster) and crabs - Eriphia verrucosa, Pachygrapsus marmoratus and Pilumnus hirtellus. In a distant tunnel of the cave an interesting group of actinia (Actinia equina) of red colour morphs was found. It is considered that this cave could recently be a place for reproduction of a monk seal that lived in this area (Monachus monachus).

An Unsung Carbon Sink , 2011,
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Larson, Christina

The abstract below is for the main article, which is:
Jiao, et al.  China Looks to Balance Its Carbon Books

An equitable solution to reining in carbon dioxide emissions worldwide is proving elusive, and with the Kyoto Protocol set to expire in 2012, time is running out. As nations grope for a consensus, China is pressing ahead on its own to sharply reduce energy intensity by shuttering inefficient coal-fired power plants and capping energy use. Last week, the State Council approved a plan to promote low-carbon energy and slash CO2 emissions by 17% per unit of GDP by 2015. But these efforts mask major uncertainties in China's carbon balance sheet: just how much CO2 the country emits and how much its landscape absorbs.


The Larson's entry on the same pages specifically features the work of Chinese scientists studying carbonate karst hydrochemistry and cites thoughts of some international karst scholars (Dr. George Veni, Dr. Niko Goldshcheider, and Dr. Chris Groves) on the role of karst processes as a global carbon sink.  

Karst, Uranium, Gold and Water Lessons from South Africa for Reconciling Mining Activities and Sustainable Water Use in Semi-arid Karst Areas: A Case Study, 2011,
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Winde, Frank

Despite the fact that much of the water stored in dams and reservoirs is lost to the atmosphere due to prevailing semi-arid conditions, South Africa traditionally relies mainly on surface water. Owing to an ever increasing demand that approaches the limits of economically exploitable surface water, the focus increasingly shifts towards groundwater as a long neglected resource. In this context, dolomitic karst aquifers that store large volumes of water protected from evaporation in vast underground cavities are of particular importance. This even more so as some of these aquifers are located in highly industrialised and densely populated areas such as the Gauteng Province, where water demand by far exceeds local supply and necessitates the expensive import of water from catchments as far as Lesotho. However, owing to impacts related to the century-old, deep-level gold mining that initiated South Africa’s economic development, many of the karst aquifers are currently not usable. Using the Far West Rand goldfield as an example, the extent, type and magnitude of mining-related impacts on dolomitic karst aquifers are analysed. This includes impacts on the geohydrological conditions in the area as well as water availability and ground stability associated with the large-scale dewatering of dolomitic aquifers that overly mine workings. Of particular concern is the mining-related contamination of groundwater and surface water with uranium which accompanies gold in most of the mined ore bodies. Finally, possible scenarios for water-related impacts of future mine closure are outlined and associated research needs identified. 

Cave excavation: some methodological and interpretive considerations, 2011,
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Stratford, D. J.

Caves potentially afford excellent levels of preservation for buried sediments, artefacts and faunal remains but, through depositional, post-depositional and diagenetic processes, material can be disassociated from its primary context. As well as the established archaeological or palaeontological research questions, the priorities of excavations in cave sediments include: identifying distinct stratigraphical units, clarifying the site formation processes responsible for the accumulation and distribution of the assemblages, and identifying any preserved primary contextual information. A wide variety of sediments that are "typically missing or masked" (Goldberg and Sherwood, 2006, p.20) in open-air sites can be encountered during cave excavation. This, combined with the stratigraphical complications inherent to cave sites makes every site different and warrants a site-specific, multi-disciplinary approach to its excavation. Stratigraphically sensitive and flexible methods of excavation and documentation are required when approaching cave excavation. A site-specific combination of techniques and practices helps ensure the stratigraphical integrity of the excavation material, successful adaptation to the cave environment and changing sedimentological conditions, and the restriction of information loss. This paper presents some important considerations needed when planning and conducting excavations of artefact and bone-bearing cave sediments as well as some of the interpretive issues surrounding the material once it is removed.

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Dublyansky Yuri, Sptl Christoph

Bare Mountain is an isolated complex of mountain peaks Southeast of the town of Beatty in southern Nevada. This small mountain range is located between the alluvial basins of Crater Flat to the East and the northern Amargosa Desert to the Southwest. The range is built of a folded and complexly faulted, generally northward-dipping sequence of weakly to moderately metamorphosed upper Proterozoic and Paleozoic marine rocks. Along the eastern and northern margins of Bare Mountain there are four clusters of Ag-Hg-fluorite deposits from which pipe-like breccia bodies have been reported in the literature. One of these deposits, the Diamond Queen Mine (aka Goldspar Mine; 36°50.4’ N, 116°38.3’ W) was prospected for gold and mined for fluorspar. The age of the mineralization is younger than 12.9±0.4 Ma (according to K/Ar dates of replacement adularia). During our visit in 2010 we observed solutional cavities in the open-pit works of the mine carved in the dolomite of the Cambrian Nopah Formation. The cavities have dimensions of a few meters to tens of meters. Their inner surfaces are smooth and barren. The morphology of the cavities strongly suggests dissolution under phreatic conditions. Cavities are filled with buff-colored clay material containing bands of black to dark-violet to yellow- green to colorless fluorite. Fluid inclusions in the Diamond Queen fluorite yielded homogenization temperatures of ca. 130°C. We measured the δD of the fluid inclusion water in this fluorite and compared them to δD values measured in scalenohedral calcite from the Sterling Mine (Au) located 1.5 km to the north. Isotopic values are remarkably similar: δD = -100±2 ‰ (n = 6). Despite the fact that the analyzed water was derived from hypogene, hydrothermal minerals these isotopic values bear a paleoclimatological significance. This is because according to the currently accepted model, the Au-Hg-fluorite deposits at Bare Mountain owe their existence to the circulation of meteoric water triggered by emplacement of the silicic magma chamber under the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera some 15 km to the north. The Late Miocene meteoric- hydrothermal water is isotopically similar to the modern-day precipitation (-106 to -92 ‰). Between ca. 1.5 and 2.5 Ma the δD values of meteoric water in the area were substantially less negative (-70 to -50 ‰) and then gradually decreased to modern values. Knowledge regarding hypogene karst associated with the epithermal ore deposits in Nevada is limited. In north-central Nevada, post-ore hypogene dissolution, brecciation and mineralization occurred at some of the Carlin Trend deposits at ca. 2 Ma. In contrast, hypogene karst was a preore process at Diamond Queen; it has played a role in creating the ore-bearing structure.

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