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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 estavelle is (french.) an intermittent resurgence or exsurgence, active only in wet seasons. may act alternatively as a swallow hole and as a rising according to ground-water conditions [10]. opening in karstic terrane which acts as a discharge spring during high potentiometric surface and as a swallet during low potentiometric surface. sea estavelles are known to exist [20]. synonyms: (french.) estavelle; (german.) estavelle; (greek.) estavella; (italian.) estavella; (russian.) estavella; (spanish.) estavela; (turkish.) su batar cikari; (yugoslavian.) estavela, ponor-rigalo.?

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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 release (Keyword) returned 79 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 79
Melting of the glacier base during a small-volume subglacial rhyolite eruption: evidence from Blahnukur, Iceland, 2002, Tuffen H. , Pinkerton H. , Mcgarvie D. W. , Gilbert J. S. ,
Although observations of recent volcanic eruptions beneath Vatnajokull, Iceland have improved the understanding of ice deformation and meltwater drainage, little is known about the processes that Occur at the glacier base. We present observations of the products of a small-volume, effusive subglacial rhyolite eruption at Blahnukur. Torfajokull, Iceland. Lava bodies, typically 7 m long, have unusual conical morphologies and columnar joint orientations that suggest emplacement within cavities melted into the base of a glacier. Cavities appear to have been steep-walled and randomly distributed. These features can be explained by a simple model of conductive heat loss during the ascent of a lava body to the glacier base. The released heat melts a cavity in the overlying ice. The development of vapour-escape pipes in the waterlogged, permeable breccias surrounding the lava allows rapid heat transfer between lava and ice. The formed meltwater percolates into the breccias, recharging the cooling system and leaving a steam-filled cavity. The slow ascent rates of intrusive rhyolitic magma bodies provide ample time for a cavity to be melted in the ice above, even during the final 10 m of ascent to the glacier base. An equilibrium Cavity Size is Calculated at which melting, is balanced by creep closure, This is dependent upon the heat input and the difference between glaciostatic and cavity pressure. The cavity sizes inferred from Blahnukur are consistent with a pressure differential of 2-4 MPa, suggesting that the ice was at least 200 m thick. This is consistent with the volcanic stratigraphy, which indicates that the ice exceeded 350 in in thickness, Although this is the first time that a subglacial cavity system of this type has been reconstructed from an ancient volcanic sequence. it shares many characteristics with the modem fim cave system formed by fumarolic melting within the summit crater of Mount Rainier. Washington, At both localities, it appears that localised heating at the glacier base has resulted in heterogeneous melting patterns. Despite the different theological properties of ice and fim, similar patterns of cavity roof deformation are inferred. The development of low-pressure subglacial cavities in regions of high heat nux may influence the trajectory of rising magma, with manifold implications for eruptive mechanisms and resultant subglacial volcanic landforms. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

On feasibility of condensation corrosion in caves (Comment to the paper: ''Hypogenic caves in Provence (France): Specific features and sediments'' by Ph. Audra, J.Y. Bigot and L. Mocochain), 2003, Dreybrodt, W.

In Fig. 6 of this paper the authors suggest how condensation corrosion could shape ceiling cupolas. Hot water containing high concentration of carbon dioxide rises to a lake filling the lower part of the cave room. Degassing of CO2 creates a CO2-containing atmosphere, which is heated by the warmer water below and becomes saturated with vapor, which condenses to the cooler wall of the cave, dissolves limestone and flows back to the lake.
If this process would continue in time it would be perfect to shape large cupolas. However, it does not because condensation stops when the temperature of the cave walls approaches that of the heated air. The reason is that condensation of water at the cave wall releases heat of condensation of 2.45 kJoule/g. This corresponds to an energy flux of 28 Watt/square-meter if a film of 1 mm depth would condensate to the wall in one day. In addition there is also a flux of heat from the warm air to the cave wall. Since the thermal conductivity of limestone (1.3 Watt/m°K) and its thermal diffusivity (5.6 x 10-7 m2/s) are low this heat cannot be rapidly transported into the bedrock, and consequently the temperature of the cave wall rises. Therefore the amount of condensation is reduced. 

One further comment should be given. There have been attempts to measure the effect of condensation corrosion by suspending gypsum plates freely in the air and determining weight loss after a defined time. For the reasons stated above the heat of condensation and the heat flux from the air raise the temperature of such samples much quicker than that of the cave walls. Reliable measurements can only be performed when such samples are fixed to the cave walls by using a high thermal conductivity glue.

A further suggestion to prove condensed water on cave walls is to take samples and analyse them for Ca-concentration and 13 carbon isotopic ratio. Since CO2 comes from the atmosphere exclusively should be below or close to zero, and Ca-concentration should be about 0.6 mmol/liter, when the pCO2 of the cave atmosphere is atmospheric.


Basic processes and mechanisms governing the evolution of karst, 2003, Dreybrodt W, Gabrovek F.

Models of karstification based on the physics of fluid flow in fractures of soluble rock, and the physical chemistry of dissolution of limestone by CO2 containing water have been presented during the last two decades. This paper gives a review of the basic principles of such models, their most important results, and future perspectives.
The basic element of evolving karst systems is a single isolated fracture, where a constant hydraulic head drives calcite aggressive water from the input to the output. Non linear dissolution kinetics with order n = 4 induce a positive feedback by which dissolutional widening at the exit enhances flow rates thus increasing widening and so on until flow rates increase dramatically in a breakthrough event. After this the hydraulic head breaks down and widening of the fracture proceeds fast but even along its entire length under conditions of constant recharge. The significance of modelling such a single fracture results from the fact that an equation for the breakthrough time specifies the parameters determining the processes of early karstification. In a next step the boundary conditions for isolated fractures are varied by including different lithologies of the rock, expressed by different dissolution kinetics. This can enhance or retard karstification. Subterranean sources of CO2 can also be simulated by changing the equilibrium concentration of the solution at the point where CO2 is injected. This leads to accelerated karstification. At the confluence of solutions from two isolated tubes into a third one, mixing corrosion can release free carbon dioxide. Its effect to solutional widening in such a system of three conduits is discussed.
Although these simple models give interesting insights into karst processes more realistic models are required. Combining single fractures into two-dimensional networks models of karst in its dimensions of length and breadth under constant head conditions are presented. In first steps the Ford-Ewers' high-dip and low-dip models are simulated. Their results agree to what one expects from field observations. Including varying lithologies produces a variety of new features. Finally we show that mixing corrosion has a strong impact on cave evolution. By this effect micro climatic conditions in the catchment area of the cave exert significant influence. A common feature in the evolution of such two-dimensional models is the competition of various possible pathways to achieve breakthrough first. Varying conditions in lithologies, carbon dioxide injection or changing hydrological boundary conditions change the chances for the competing conduits.
Karst systems developing at steep cliffs in the dimensions of length and depth are characterized by unconfined aquifers with constant recharge to the water table. Modelling of such systems shows that dissolution of limestone occurs close to the water table. The widening of the fractures there causes lowering of the water table until it becomes stable when base level is reached, and a water table cave grows headwards into the aquifer. When prominent deep fractures with large aperture widths are present deep phreatic loops originate below the water table. A river or a lake on a karst plateau imposes constant head conditions at this location in addition to the constant recharge from meteoric precipitation. In this case a breakthrough cave system evolves along the water table kept stable by the constant head input. But simultaneously deep phreatic loops arise below it.
In conclusion we find that all cave theories such as those of Swinnerton (1932), Rhoades and Sinacori (1941), and the Four-state-model of Ford are reconciled. They are not contradictory but they result from the same physics and chemistry under different boundary conditions


The 'Calamine' of Southwest Sardinia: Geology, Mineralogy, and Stable Isotope Geochemistry of Supergene Zn Mineralization, 2003, Boni M, Gilg Ha, Aversa G, Balassone G,
The mining district of southwest Sardinia, Italy, is one of the classic areas where primary carbonate-hosted Zn-Pb sulfide ores are associated with a relatively thick secondary oxidation zone containing Zn (hydroxy-)carbonates and silicates, the so-called 'calamine,' exploited until the 1970s. The extent of the capping oxidized ore zones, reaching deep below the surface, is generally independent of the present-day water table. The base of the oxidation profile containing nonsulfide Zn minerals in various uplifted blocks in the Iglesiente area can be both elevated above or submerged below the recent water table. The genesis of the ores is therefore considered to be related to fossil, locally reactivated, oxidation phenomena. The mineralogy of the nonsulfide mineralization is generally complex and consists of smithsonite, hydrozincite, and hemimorphite as the main economic minerals, accompanied by iron and manganese oxy-hydroxides and residual clays. This study places the secondary ores in the context of the tectonostratigraphic and climatic evolution of Sardinia and includes a petrographic and mineralogic study of the most abundant minerals, relating the mineralogy of secondary Zn and Pb carbonates to their stable C and O isotope geochemistry and constraining the origin of the oxidizing fluids and the temperature of mineralization. The{delta} 18OVSMOW values of smithsonite are homogeneous, regardless of crystal morphology, position, and mine location (avg. 27.4 {} 0.9{per thousand}). This homogeneity points to a relatively uniform isotopic composition of the oxidation fluid and corresponding formation temperatures of 20{degrees} to 35{degrees}C. Considering the karstic environment of smithsonite formation in southwest Sardinia, this high temperature could be due to heat release during sulfide oxidation. The carbon isotope compositions of secondary Zn carbonates display considerable variations of more than 9 per mil ({delta}13CVPDB from -0.6 to -10.4{per thousand}). This large range indicates participation of variable amounts of reduced organic and marine carbonate carbon during sulfide oxidation. The isotopic variation can be related to a variation in crystal morphologies of smithsonite, reflecting different environments of formation with respect to water table oscillations in karstic environments (upper to lower vadose to epiphreatic). The same range in{delta} 13C isotope values is displayed by the calcite associated with Zn carbonates and by recent speleothems. The most reliable time span for the deposition of bulk calamine ore in southwest Sardinia ranges from middle Eocene to Plio-Pleistocene, although further multiple reactivation of the weathering profiles, peaking within the warm interglacial periods of the Quaternary, cannot be excluded

Environmentally acceptable effect of hydrogen peroxide on cave “lamp-flora”, calcite speleothems and limestones, 2003, Faimon J, Stelcl J, Kubesova S, Zimak J,
Mosses, algae, and cyanobacteria (lamp-flora) colonize illuminated areas in show caves. This biota is commonly removed by a sodium hypochlorite solution. Because chlorine and other deleterious compounds are released into a cave environment during lamp-flora cleansing, hydrogen peroxide was tested as an alternative agent. In a multidisciplinary study conducted in the Katerinska Cave (Moravian Karst, Czech Republic), 12 algae- and cyanobacteria taxons and 19 moss taxons were detected. The threshold hydrogen peroxide concentration for the destruction of this lamp-flora was found to be 15 vol.%. Based on laboratory experiments in stirred batch reactors, the dissolution rates of limestones and calcite speleothems in water were determined as 3.77 x 10-3 and 1.81 x 10-3 mol m-2 h-1, respectively. In the 15% peroxide solution, the limestone and speleothem dissolution rates were one order of magnitude higher, 2.00 x 10-2 and 2.21 x 10-2 mol m-2 h-1, respectively. So, the peroxide solution was recognised to attack carbonates somewhat more aggressively than karst water. In order to prevent the potential corrosion of limestone and speleothems, the reaching of preliminary peroxide saturation with respect to calcite is recommended, for example, by adding of few limestone fragments into the solution at least 10 h prior to its application

Geophysical characteristics of epikarst: case studies from Zagros Mts. (Iran) and the Koneprusy region (Czech Republic), 2003, Bosá, K Pavel, Beneš, Vojtech

Characteristics of epikarst zone were studied by geophysical methods, especially refraction seismics, combined with electrical resistivity and gravimetry measurements. Applied methods were equal in both regions, so comparable results were obtained. The interpreted seismic boundaries follow the basal plane of epikarst (s.l.) and limit the epikarst zone from the geophysical point of view, i.e. zone with comparably low seismic velocities (mostly 1,000 to 3,000 m.s-1). The thickness of epikarst in the Czech Karst - the Koneprusy Devonian - is from 5 to about 60 m. The epikarst in Zagros Mts. reached up to 180 m (Cretaceous lmst.). The differences of character and vertical extent of epikarst zone depend on entirely different geological structure and geomorphological setting (relief) and evolution of both sites, which established different conditions for the release of residual stress in the limestone massifs.


Towards defining, delimiting and classifying epikarst: Its origin, processes and variants of geomorphic evolution, 2004, Klimchouk, A. B.

Epikarst is the uppermost weathered zone of carbonate rocks with substantially enhanced and more homogeneously distributed porosity and permeability, as compared to the bulk rock mass below; a regulative subsystem that functions to store, split into several components and temporally distribute authogenic infiltration recharge to the vadose zone. Permeability organization in the epikarst dynamically develops to facilitate convergence of infiltrating water towards deeply penetrating collector structures such as prominent fissures that drain the epikarstic zone. This is manifested by epikarstic morphogenesis that tends to transform dispersed appearance of surface karst landforms into focused appearance adapted to the permeability structure at the base of epikarst.
Epikarst is the result of combined action of several agencies including stress release, weathering and dissolution. It is a dynamic system which main characteristics are time-variant, changing in a regular way during the epikarst evolution. This paper examines the main characteristics of epikarst in the light of its origin and evolution.


Seasonal isotopic imprint in moonmilk from Caverne de l'Ours (Quebec, Canada): implications for climatic reconstruction, 2004, Lacelle D. , Lauriol B. , Clark I. D. ,
Moonmilk, which is often seen coating walls in temperate caves, is a porous secondary calcite deposit composed of an aggregate of microcrystalline calcite and water. This study, based on moonmilk deposits found in Caverne de l'Ours, Ottawa Valley region, proposes a model for its formation based on the calcite and water isotope chemistry and evaluates its use as a climatic proxy. In Caverne de l'Ours, non-calcitic mineral inclusions protrude from the bedrock (Grenville marble) into the moonmilk, while others are entirely enclosed within the moonmilk. This observation suggests a mechanism of bedrock dissolution and reprecipitation for the formation of moonmilk, which is controlled by the changing seasonal climate in the cave. The delta(18)O of the moonmilk interstial water indicates that the condensation of water vapour occurs mostly in winter and spring. The condensation of water vapour on the surface of the walls allows for the dissolution of the Grenville marble and releases ions necessary for the precipitation of moonmilk. The delta(18)O and delta(13)C of calcite and delta(18)O of the moonmilk interstitial water indicate that precipitation of moonmilk occurs during summer and fall. During these seasons, the relative humidity in the cave decreases resulting in moonmilk growth through the slow evaporation of calcite-saturated water. A comparison of the delta(18)O record of moonmilk from caves in Gaspesie (Canada) and from Aven d'Orgnac (France) shows that this material retains temperature information valuable for paleoclimatic reconstructions

The early Ordovician Majiagou reservoir of the Jingbian Field, northwest China: Karstic peritidal dolomite, 2004, Zhang W. H. ,
The Jingbian Field is located in the central part of the Ordos Basin in the west part of the North China Platform. It is the largest gas field discovery in China in the 1980's. The field is an example of production from a paleogeomorphic trap formed by karstification of Lower Ordovician peritidal dolomites. In terms of gas potential, the Majiagou Formation is the more important stratigraphic unit. It is composed of six members, the uppermost member (O(1)m(6)) has been largely removed by prolonged Caledonian karst erosion, leaving the underlying (O(1)m(5)) member to provide the main pay for the field. In spite of the 163 wells drilled the field presents many problems and uncertainties because of the poor seismic definition of the pay zones and the great reservoir heterogeneity of the karst system. Statistical data from more than 30 wells show a poor correlation between individual well-flow rates and thickness of the karstic zone or distance of wells, relative to a paleochannel. This suggests karstification is not the most important factor controlling productivity. The release of organic acids (during maturation of the source rock) and fracturing in response to Cretaceous tectonic event appear to be key factors responsible for the productivity of the Majiagou-5 (O(1)m(5)) reservoir in terms of modifying and enlarging the pore network. Carboniferous clays provide an effective updip seal through the infill of karst-breccia zones. High productivity is prominent along structural axes where karstic fractures, solution vugs and caverns are interconnected by vertical to sub-vertical fractures. On the basis of pore-type the Majiagou-5 Member reservoirs can be divided into four reservoir types, each allowing differentiation of reservoir quality through characteristic porosity-permeability ranges and capillary-pressure curves. Key aspects which affect the commerciality of the field are still uncertain but with recent test wells producing gas with water, considerations should focus on the mechanism of weak edge-water drive and the need to predict fracture zones

Authigenic halloysite from El-Gideda iron ore, Bahria Oasis, Egypt: characterization and origin, 2004, Baioumy Hm, Hassan Ms,
Halloysite in El-Gideda iron mine occurs as very soft, light and white-to-pinkish white pockets and lenses ranging in diameter from 50 cm to 1 m within the iron ore. Highly hydrated halloysite is the main constituent of these pockets beside some kaolinite and alunite. The diffraction pattern of the clay fraction (<2 {micro}m) shows a rather broad and diffuse 001 reflection spread between 10.3 and 13.6{degrees}2{theta}. Upon treatment, the 001 reflection of halloysite expands up to 10.94 A and 11.9 A corresponding to ethylene glycol and dimethyl formamide treatment, respectively. After these treatments, kaolinite appeared with its characteristic basal spacing (~7 A ). The percentage of halloysite in halloysite-intercalated kaolinite ranged between 80 and 90%. Heating to 350{degrees}C, produces a kaolinite-like structure (~7.1 A ) that developed to a metakaolinite-structure when heated to 550{degrees}C. Morphologically, halloysite appears as well developed tubes composed entirely of SiO2 and Al2O3, while kaolinite is characterized by very fine platelets arranged in book-like or rosette-like shapes. A differential thermal analysis curve of the studied halloysite showed an endothermic peak at ~138{degrees}C due to the dehydration of interlayer water of halloysite. The small shoulder at ~540{degrees}C and the endothermic peak at ~593{degrees}C is attributed to the dehydroxylation of halloysite, kaolinite and alunite. On the other hand the exothermic peak that appeared at 995{degrees}C is due to the formation of new phases such as mullite and/or spinel. The infrared vibrational spectrum is typical of highly disordered halloysite and kaolinite. Halloysite was formed as a result of alteration of the overlying glauconite suggesting intensive chemical alteration during a humid wet period that prevailed in the Bahria Oasis during the late Eocene. Glauconite alteration releases K, Fe, silica and alumina. Iron forms at least part of the iron ore in the El-Gideda mine while alumina forms halloysite as well as alunite when interacted with silica in an acidic environment

Forecasting Versus Predicting Solute Transport in Solution Conduits for Estimating Drinking-Water Risks, 2004, Field, Malcolm S.

Contaminant releases in karstic terranes can cause rapid and devastating affects on drinking-water supplies. Because future contaminant releases are likely it is necessary that local water managers develop release scenarios so as to be prepared prior to an actual contaminant release occurring. Release scenarios may be forecasted using appropriate historical data or they may be predicted using selected measured parameters. Forecasting contaminant releases to drinking-water supplies in karstic terranes is best accomplished by conducting numerous tracer tests from each potential source location to each exposure point so that acceptable solute-transport parameters for each solution conduit may be estimated from analyses of the breakthrough curves. Compositing the numerous breakthrough curves and fitting a quintic spline allows development of a single representative breakthrough curve that may then be used to forecast the effects of a release. Predicting contaminant releases is accomplished by combining basic measured field parameters for selected solution conduits in functional relationships for application in solute-transport models. The resulting breakthrough curve and solute-transport parameters can be used to predict the effects of a release. The forecasting and prediction methodologies were tested using a hypothetical release into a solution conduit developed in a karstic aquifer. Both methods were shown to produce reasonably acceptable results. The prediction methodology produced better time-of-travel results and better mass recovery and exposure concentration results than did the forecasting methodology.


Ochtin Aragonite Cave (Slovakia): morphology, mineralogy and genesis, 2005, Bosk P. , Bella P. , Cilek V. , Ford D. C. , Hercman H. , Kadlec J. , Osborne A. , Pruner P. ,

Ochtiná Aragonite Cave is a 300 m long cryptokarstic cavity with simple linear sections linked to a geometrically irregular spongework labyrinth. The limestones, partly metasomatically altered to ankerite and siderite, occur as lenses in insoluble rocks. Oxygen-enriched meteoric water seeping along the faults caused siderite/ankerite weathering and transformation to ochres that were later removed by mechanical erosion. Corrosion was enhanced by sulphide weathering of gangue minerals and by carbon dioxide released from decomposition of siderite/ankerite. The initial phreatic speleogens, older than 780 ka, were created by dissolution in density-derived convectional cellular circulation conditions of very slow flow. Thermohaline convection cells operating in the flooded cave might also have influenced its morphology. Later vadose corrosional events have altered the original form to a large extent. Water levels have fluctuated many times during its history as the cave filled during wet periods and then slowly drained.
Mn-rich loams with Ni-bearing asbolane and birnessite were formed by microbial precipitation in the ponds remaining after the floods. Allophane was produced in the acidic environment of sulphide weathering. La-Nd-phosphate and REE enriched Mn-oxide precipitated on geochemical barriers in the asbolane layers. Ochres containing about 50 wt.% of water influence the cave microclimate and the precipitation of secondary aragonite. An oldest aragonite generation is preserved as corroded relics in ceiling niches truncated by corrosional bevels. TIMS and alpha counting U series dating has yielded ages of about 500-450 and 138-121 ka, indicating that there have been several episodes of deposition, occurring during Quaternary warm periods (Elsterian 1/2, Eemian). Spiral and acicular forms representing a second generation began to be deposited in Late Glacial (14 ka – Alleröd) times. The youngest aragonite, frostwork, continues to be deposited today. Both of the younger generations have similar isotopic compositions, indicating that they originated in conditions very similar, or identical, to those found at present in the cave.


Condensation corrosion: a theoretical approach, 2005, Dreybrodt W. , Gabrovek F. , Perne M.

Condensation of water from warm, humid air to cold rock walls in caves is regarded to play a significant role in speleogenesis.
The water condensing to the cave walls quickly attains equilibrium with the carbon dioxide in the surrounding air, and consequentlydissolves limestone or gypsum forming various types of macro- ,meso-, and micromorphologies. In this paper we present the basic physical principles of condensation and give equations, which allow a satisfactory estimation of condensation rates. Water condensing to a cooler wall releases heat of condensation, which raises the temperature of the wall thus reducing the temperature
difference ΔT between the warm air and the cave wall. Furthermore one has to take into account the heat flux from the air to the cave wall. This defines the boundary conditions for the equation of heat conduction. For a constant temperature of the air initial condensation rates are high but then drop down rapidly by orders of magnitude during the first few days. Finally constant condensation rates are attained, when the heat flux into the rock is fully transmitted to the surface of the karst plateau. For spherical and cylindrical conduits these can be obtained as a function of the depth Z below the surface. When diurnal or seasonal variations of
the air temperature are active as is the case close to cave entrances, condensation rates can become quite significant, up to about 10-6 m/year. The theoretical results are applied also to corrosion of speleothems and the formation of »röhrenkarren« as described by Simms (2003). To convert condensation rates into retreat of bedrock the saturation state of the solution must be known. In the appendix we present experiments, which prove that in any case the solution flowing off the rock is saturated with respect to limestone or gypsum, respectively


Effects of microbes and their carbonic anhydrase on Ca2 and Mg2 migration in column-built leached soil-limestone karst systems, 2005, Li W. , Yu L. J. , He Q. F. , Wu Y. , Yuan D. X. , Cao J. H. ,
In natural karst systems, limestone diagenesis can be significantly influenced by bacterial activity in the soil horizon. Here, we investigate the effects of microorganisms on the elements migration of calcium and magnesium in karst soil systems by using different microbial treatments in simulated soil-limestone systems. Two bacterial strains, GLRT102Ca and JFSRT303 were specially studied. The leaching and release of Ca2 in the experiments was characterized by a rapid initial increase followed by a sharp decrease before a gradual approach to equilibrium. In contrast, the Mg2 concentrations in the leachates showed an initial decrease before a gradual approach to equilibrium. Microorganisms significantly promoted Ca2 and Mg2 migration in the simulated systems. The total amounts of Ca2 and Mg2 in leachates varied with microbial treatments. The soil GLRT102Ca columns showed the highest total amount of Ca2 in leachates. This increased by a factor of 2.2 relative to the control columns. The highest total amount of Mg2 in leachates was presented in the soil JFSRT303 columns, which leached 58.0% more total amounts of Mg2 than the control columns. The activities of a microbial specific enzyme, carbonic anhydrase (CA), present in the investigated columns were also examined. Varying levels of CA activities were detected in the leachates collected from soil columns with microbial activity. This suggests that the microbes in soil columns produced and released CA. The mean activity of CA in leachates was significantly correlated with total amount of Ca2 in leachates (r = 0.86, P < 0.01). This implied that microbially produced CA might be a major factor influencing Ca2 release and leaching in natural karst systems. (C) 2005 Elsevier B.V All rights reserved

The Geomicrobiology of Ore Deposits, 2005, 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

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