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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

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 effluent cave is see outflow cave.?

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


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for diffusion (Keyword) returned 45 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 45
EVOLUTION OF CAVES IN POROUS LIMESTONE BY MIXING CORROSION: A MODEL APPROACH, 2009,
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Dreybrodt W. , Romanov D. , Kaufmann G.

When water from the surface, e.g. from a lake, flows through porous carbonate rocks down along some region with high hydraulic conductivity and encounters the water table of a phreatic aquifer both waters mix by diffusion along their boundary. In a carbonate aquifer, where both surface and phreatic waters are saturated with respect to calcite, mixing corrosion causes renewed dissolution capacity ?ceq of the carbonate rock in the diffusion-mixing zone extending from the boundary separating the phreatic water from the surface water encountering it. A numerical model is presented from which the initial change of porosity in such a diffusion-mixing zone is obtained. The initial change of porosity can be calculated from the local distribution of the mixing ratio and the second derivative of ?ceq with respect to m. m(x,y) is the spatial distribution of the mixing ratio m= Vsurf /( Vsuf + Vprh ) , and the V’s assign the corresponding volumes of surface and phreatic water. The second derivative has been calculated for three geochemical scenarios with differing CO2 -concentrations of surface and phreatic water by use of PHREEQC-2. The spatial distribution m(x,y) is obtained by using MODFLOW and MT3DMS in a modeling domain with constant hydraulic conductivity for various ?ow velocities of the phreatic aquifer. From the results the time scale of cave evolution is estimated. Passages of dimensions of about one meter in width and several 10 cm in height, extending in length along the border line where surface and phreatic water meet, can be created in time scales of 10 000 years. These caves are horizontal with blind ending passages and resemble closely the isolated caves observed in Central West Florida.


Annual and transient signatures of gas exchange and transport in the Castaar de Ibor cave (Spain), 2009,
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Fernandezcortes A. , Sanchezmoral S. , Cuezva S. , Caaveras J. C. , Abella R.

The large microclimatic stability is a basic characteristic of the subterranean karst systems and causes a high sensitivity to changes in environmental conditions. High-accuracy monitoring of Castañar de Ibor cave (Spain) determined the temporal evolution of the aerodynamic processes and ventilation rate by tracking CO2 and 222Rn levels over a twelve-month period. This cave is characterized by a very stable microclimate, with high and relatively constant radon content (the mean value is 32200 Bq/m3, roughly, and the standard deviation is 7600 Bq/m3) and a moderate and quite stable CO2 concentration (the mean value is 3730 ppm and the standard deviation is 250 ppm). Beside the general patterns of cave microclimate throughout an annual cycle, some particular microclimatic processes are described with regard to the gas exchange between the cave and the outside atmosphere. There is a complex microclimatic functional relationship between the meteorological and cave microclimate conditions and the diffusion and flow of tracer gases from the fractures and the pore system of soil and host rock to cave atmosphere. Transient variations of tracer gas on cave air are controlled by natural barometric fluxes and anthropogenic forced ventilation due to uncontrolled opening of cave entrance. The short-term fluctuations of gas levels on cave air reveal distinct patterns during the exhalation process of theses gases from the net of fissures and pores to the cave atmosphere, depending on the isolation effect of soil and host rock.


Candoluminescence of cave gypsum, 2010,
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Sweet J. R. , Hess J. W. , White W. B.
A selection of gypsum specimens from a variety of caves as well as CaSO4 synthesized in the laboratory emit both a green and yellow candoluminescence when excited by a hydrogen diffusion flame. The green emission is attributed to dehydration of gypsum to bassanite and the yellow emission appears upon further dehydration to anhydrite. The source of the luminescence is ascribed to minor concentrations of Mn2+ in the gypsum

Comparison of Conduit Volumes Obtained from Direct Measurements and Artificial Tracer Tests, 2010,
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Vojtechovska Anna, Bruthans Jiri, Krejca Frantisek

An isolated phreatic loop in a natural cave was used to test the reliability of artificial-tracer tests for estimating the volume of a flooded karst conduit. The volume of a phreatic tube was measured by filling a drained phreatic loop with a constant inflow over a known time period. The volume of the phreatic loop is 190 6 20 m3, and it was compared to independent calculations of conduit volumes based on values based on tracer breakthrough curves. The best results were for mean transit time, where tracer-test calculations yielded volumes very similar to the volume obtained by direct filling of the loop. On the other hand, using the first-arrival time or peak time in the volume calculation resulted in considerable underestimation of the phreatic tube’s volume, and these methods should be avoided except when breakthrough curves are affected by molecular diffusion. This demonstrates that volume estimation by tracer tests may be quite precise for common natural conduits, but results are strongly affected by the breakthrough-curve parameter chosen by the experimenter


On the formation of dissolution pipes in Quaternary coastal calcareous arenites in Mediterranean settings, 2010,
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De Waele Jo, Lauritzen Steinerik, Parise Mario

A large number of uniform cone-shaped dissolution pipes has been observed and studied in Quaternary coastal calcareous arenites in Apulia and Sardinia (Italy) and Tunisia. These cylindrical tubes have a mean diameter of 52·8 cm and are up to 970 cm deep (mean depth for sediment-free pipes is 1·38 m). They generally have smooth walls along their length, are perfectly vertical and taper out towards their bottoms. Their development is not influenced by bedding nor fractures. Sometimes their walls are coated by a calcrete crust. Their morphology has been studied in detail and their relationships with the surrounding rocks and with the environment have been analysed. The perfectly vertical development is a clear evidence of their genesis controlled by gravity. The depth of the dissolution pipes can be described by an exponential distribution law (the Milanovic distribution), strongly suggesting they developed by a diffusion mechanism from the surface vertically downward. We believe dissolution pipes preferentially form in a covered karst setting. Local patches of soil and vegetation cause infiltration water to be enriched in carbon dioxide enhancing dissolution of carbonate cement and local small-scale subsidence. This process causes the formation of a depression cone that guides infiltrating waters towards these spots giving rise to the downward growth of gravity-controlled dissolution pipes. A change of climate from wetter phases to drier and hotter ones causes the formation of a calcrete lining, fossilizing the pipes. When the pipes become exposed to surface agents by erosion of the sediment cover or are laterally breached the loose quartz sand filling them may be transported elsewhere. 


Candoluminescence of cave gypsum, 2010,
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Sweet J. R. , Hess J. W. , White W. B.

A selection of gypsum specimens from a variety of caves as well as CaSO4 synthesized in the laboratory emit
both a green and yellow candoluminescence when excited by a hydrogen diffusion flame. The green emission
is attributed to dehydration of gypsum to bassanite and the yellow emission appears upon further dehydration
to anhydrite. The source of the luminescence is ascribed to minor concentrations of Mn2+ in the gypsum


Modelling of slope processes on karst , 2011,
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Stepinik Uro, Kosec Gregor

The present paper is concerned with the modelling of the karst slope processes. A simple straightforward one dimensional physical model is introduced in order to assess basic behaviour of the slope development. The model takes in account mass continuity of weathered material, the mechanical and chemical weathering of the bedrock. The paper focuses on the slope formation
with respect to the ratios between different magnitudes of governing processes (mechanical and chemical weathering and mass movement). The introduced approach representsa first step in understanding slope processes and does not pose a realistic quantitative comparison with field measurements. However, the results gathered with the model show good qualitative
agreement with the field observations. Three different representative cases are studied: dominant mechanical weathering
case, balanced mechanical and chemical weathering case and dominant chemical weathering case.


Stability of dissolution flutes under turbulent flow, 2011,
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Hammer . , Lauritzen S. E. , Jamtveit B.

Dissolution of a solid surface under turbulent fluid flow can lead to the formation of periodic ripple-like structures with a wavelength dependent upon flow velocity. A model coupling hydrodynamics with mass transport and dissolution kinetics shows that the shape stability of these structures can be explained from fundamental
principles. The effects of a subgrid diffusion boundary layer must be included in the dissolution model to produce realistic results. The importance of including not only the mean flow velocity, but also the turbulent component of flow, in the dissolution model is emphasized. The numerical experiments also compare dissolution profiles for gypsum and calcite.


Boxwork and ferromanganese coatings in hypogenic caves: An example from Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) , 2012,
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Gazquez Fernando, Calaforra Josemaria, Rull Fernando

This paper examines the greyish-blue deposits that were recently discovered in the lower levels of the Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) which occur as patinas over the walls and ceilings, as well as coating boxwork formations. Their mineralogy was determined using XRD and micro-Raman spectroscopy, while EDX microanalysis was used to determine their elemental composition. The mineralogical analyses revealed the presence of Mn oxides (todorokite and pyrolusite) and Fe with a low degree of crystallinity, whereas EDX microprobe showed elevated concentrations of Mn (38.2 wt.%), Fe (15.2 wt.%) and Pb (8.1 wt.%). The ferromanganese oxyhydroxides occur as botryoidal aggregates overlying blades of calcite that have a visibly sugary texture. The speleogenetic model proposed describes (1) an initial phase of precipitation of hydrothermal calcite veins (of hypogenic origin) within the fissures of the host rock under phreatic conditions and (2) a subsequent vadose phase involving preferential corrosion of the carbonate host rock caused by lowering of the pH resulting from CO2 diffusion in condensed water and oxidation of Fe and Mn under aerobic conditions, probably mediated by microorganisms. It is this later phase that gave rise to the boxwork. The boxwork of the Sima de la Higuera Cave is a singular example of a formation that is generated by dissolution–corrosion of the rock due to acidification caused by oxidation of iron and manganese.


Boxwork and ferromanganese coatings in hypogenic caves: An example from Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain), 2012,
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Gazquez Fernando, Calaforra Josemaria, Rull Fernando

This paper examines the greyish-blue deposits that were recently discovered in the lower levels of the Sima de la Higuera Cave (Murcia, SE Spain) which occur as patinas over the walls and ceilings, as well as coating boxwork formations. Their mineralogy was determined using XRD and micro-Raman spectroscopy, while EDX microanalysis was used to determine their elemental composition. The mineralogical analyses revealed the presence of Mn oxides (todorokite and pyrolusite) and Fe with a low degree of crystallinity, whereas EDX microprobe showed elevated concentrations of Mn (38.2 wt.%), Fe (15.2 wt.%) and Pb (8.1 wt.%). The ferromanganese oxyhydroxides occur as botryoidal aggregates overlying blades of calcite that have a visibly sugary texture. The speleogenetic model proposed describes (1) an initial phase of precipitation of hydrothermal calcite veins (of hypogenic origin) within the fissures of the host rock under phreatic conditions and (2) a subsequent vadose phase involving preferential corrosion of the carbonate host rock caused by lowering of the pH resulting from CO2 diffusion in condensed water and oxidation of Fe and Mn under aerobic conditions, probably mediated by microorganisms. It is this later phase that gave rise to the boxwork. The boxwork of the Sima de la Higuera Cave is a singular example of a formation that is generated by dissolution–corrosion of the rock due to acidification caused by oxidation of iron and manganese.


Bench-scale models of dye breakthrough curves, 2013,
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Anger Cale T. , Alexander Jr. E. Calvin

Fluorescent dye tracer breakthrough curves (TBCs) obtained from quantitative traces in karst flow systems record multiple processes, including advection, dispersion, diffusion, mixing, adsorption, and chemical reaction. In this study, TBCs were recorded from small, bench-scale physical models in an attempt to isolate, understand, and quantify some of these processes under full-pipe flow conditions. Dye traces were conducted through a suite of geometries constructed out of Pyrex glass. These geometries consisted of (1) linear conduits, of varying length and diameter, (2) single and dual mixing chambers, and (3) a single chamber with an immobile region. Each glass system was connected to a constant flow apparatus. Dye was then injected with a syringe, allowed to flow through the system, and be naturally or artificially mixed in the process. Solute breakthrough was recorded in a scanning spectrofluorophotometer and the resulting TBC was analyzed. Independent variables examined in each of the three settings were discharge (Q) and dye concentration (Co). Artificial mixing rates (RM), induced by magnetic stirrers in settings (2) and (3), were also considered. Initial runs varied Q from 0.75 to 1.25 mL/s, with constant RM ranging from 0 to 360 revolutions per minute (rpm). Preliminary data yield realistic-looking breakthrough curves with steeply rising leading edges, a peak, and an asymmetric, exponential tail. Analysis of laboratory variables with respect to hydraulic parameters extracted from each TBC suggests that discharge and mixing rate alone can differentiate conduit complexity at the laboratory scale.

 


Carbon fluxes in Karst aquifers: Sources, sinks, and the effect of storm flow, 2013,
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White William B.

An effective carbon loading can be calculated from measured alkalinity and pH of karst waters. The carbon loading is independent of the degree of saturation of the water and does not depend on the water being in equilibrium with the carbonate wall rock. A substantial data base of spring water analyses accumulated by students over the past 40 years has been used to probe the CO2 generation, transport, and storage in a variety of drainage basins that feed karst springs. Carbon loading in the water exiting karst drainage basins depends on the rate of CO2 generation in the soils of the catchment areas and on the partitioning between CO2 dissolved in infiltration water and CO2 lost by diffusion upward to the atmosphere. For any given drainage basin there are also influences due to vegetative cover, soil type, and the fraction of the water provided by sinking stream recharge. Losses of CO2 back to the atmosphere occur by speleothem deposition in air-filled caves, by degassing of CO2 in spring runs, and by tufa deposition in spring runs. There are seasonal cycles of CO2 generation that relate growing season and contrasts in winter/summer rates of CO2 generation. Overall, it appears that karst aquifers are a net, but leaky, sink for atmospheric CO2


Stable isotope data as constraints on models for the origin of coralloid and massive speleothems: The interplay of substrate, water supply, degassing, and evaporation, 2015,
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Caddeo Guglielmo A. , Railsback L. Bruce, Dewaele Jo, Frau Franco

Many speleothems can be assigned to one of two morphological groups: massive speleothems, which consist of compact bulks of material, and coralloids, which are domal to digitate in form. Faster growth on protrusions of the substrate occurs in the typical growth layers of coralloids (where those layers are termed “coralloid accretions”), but it is not observed in the typical layers of massive speleothems, which in contrast tend to smoothen the speleothem surface (and can therefore be defined as "smoothing accretions"). The different growth rates on different areas of the substrate are explainable by various mechanisms of CaCO3 deposition (e.g., differential aerosol deposition, differential CO2 and/or H2O loss from a capillary film of solution, deposition in subaqueous environments). To identify the causes of formation of coralloids rather than massive speleothems, this article provides data about d13C and d18O at coeval points of both smoothing and coralloid accretions, examining the relationship between isotopic composition and the substrate morphology. In subaerial speleothems, data show an enrichment in heavy isotopes both along the direction of water flow and toward the protrusions. The first effect is due to H2O evaporation and CO2 degassing during a gravity-driven flow of water (gravity stage) and is observed in smoothing accretions; the second effect is due to evaporation and degassing during water movement by capillary action from recesses to prominences (capillary stage) and is observed in subaerial coralloids. Both effects coexist in smoothing accretions interspersed among coralloid ones (intermediate stage). Thus this study supports the origin of subaerial coralloids from dominantly capillary water and disproves their origin by deposition of aerosol from the cave air. On the other hand, subaqueous coralloids seem to form by a differential mass-transfer from a still bulk of water towards different zones of the substrate along diffusion flux vectors of nutrients perpendicular to the isodepleted surfaces. Finally, this isotopic method has proved useful to investigate the controls on speleothem morphology and to obtain additional insights on the evolution of aqueous solutions inside caves.


Stable isotope data as constraints on models for the origin of coralloid and massive speleothems: The interplay of substrate, water supply, degassing, and evaporation, 2015,
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Many speleothems can be assigned to one of two morphological groups: massive speleothems, which consist of compact bulks of material, and coralloids, which are domal to digitate in form. Faster growth on protrusions of the substrate occurs in the typical growth layers of coralloids (where those layers are termed “coralloid accretions”), but it is not observed in the typical layers of massive speleothems, which in contrast tend to smoothen the speleothem surface (and can therefore be defined as "smoothing accretions"). The different growth rates on different areas of the substrate are explainable by various mechanisms of CaCO3 deposition (e.g., differential aerosol deposition, differential CO2 and/or H2O loss from a capillary film of solution, deposition in subaqueous environments). To identify the causes of formation of coralloids rather than massive speleothems, this article provides data about d13C and d18O at coeval points of both smoothing and coralloid accretions, examining the relationship between isotopic composition and the substrate morphology. In subaerial speleothems, data show an enrichment in heavy isotopes both along the direction of water flow and toward the protrusions. The first effect is due to H2O evaporation and CO2 degassing during a gravity-driven flow of water (gravity stage) and is observed in smoothing accretions; the second effect is due to evaporation and degassing during water movement by capillary action from recesses to prominences (capillary stage) and is observed in subaerial coralloids. Both effects coexist in smoothing accretions interspersed among coralloid ones (intermediate stage). Thus this study supports the origin of subaerial coralloids from dominantly capillary water and disproves their origin by deposition of aerosol from the cave air. On the other hand, subaqueous coralloids seem to form by a differential mass-transfer from a still bulk of water towards different zones of the substrate along diffusion flux vectors of nutrients perpendicular to the isodepleted surfaces. Finally, this isotopic method has proved useful to investigate the controls on speleothem morphology and to obtain additional insights on the evolution of aqueous solutions inside caves.


Stable isotope data as constraints on models for the origin of coralloid and massive speleothems: The interplay of substrate, water supply, degassing, and evaporation, 2015,
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Caddeo Guglielmo Angelo, Railsback Loren Bruce, De Waele Jo, Frau Franco

Many speleothems can be assigned to one of two morphological groups: massive speleothems, which consist of compact bulks of material, and coralloids, which are domal to digitate in form. Faster growth on protrusions of the substrate occurs in the typical growth layers of coralloids (where those layers are termed “coralloid accretions”),

but it is not observed in the typical layers of massive speleothems, which in contrast tend to smoothen the speleothem surface (and can therefore be defined as “smoothing accretions”). The different growth rates on different areas of the substrate are explainable by various mechanisms of CaCO3 deposition (e.g., differential aerosol deposition, differential CO2 and/or H2O loss fromacapillary filmof solution, deposition in subaqueous environments).

To identify the causes of formation of coralloids rather than massive speleothems, this article provides data about δ13C and δ18O at coeval points of both smoothing and coralloid accretions, examining the relationship between isotopic composition and the substratemorphology. In subaerial speleothems, data showenrichment in heavy isotopes both along the direction of water flow and toward the protrusions. The first effect is due to H2O evaporation and CO2 degassing during a gravity-driven flow of water (gravity stage) and is observed in smoothing accretions; the second effect is due to evaporation and degassing duringwatermovement by capillary action from recesses to prominences (capillary stage) and is observed in subaerial coralloids. Both effects coexist in smoothing accretions interspersed among coralloid ones (intermediate stage). Thus this study supports the origin of subaerial coralloids from dominantly capillary water and disproves their origin by deposition of aerosol fromthe cave air. On the other hand, subaqueous coralloids seem to form by a differential mass-transfer from a still bulk of water toward different zones of the substrate along diffusion flux vectors of nutrients perpendicular to the iso-depleted surfaces. Finally, this isotopic method has proved useful to investigate the controls on speleothem morphology and to obtain additional insights on the evolution of aqueous solutions inside caves.


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