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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 aggregation is the formation of aggregates. in drilling fluids, aggregation results in the stacking of the clay platelets face to face; as a result, viscosity and gel strength decrease [6].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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 caving (Keyword) returned 102 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 91 to 102 of 102
105 Jahre Forschung am Hlloch im Mahdtal und seiner Umgebung, Bayern, 2012, Wolf, A.
Hlloch im Mahdtal is currently Germanys second longest cave. One branch of this system extends into the province of Vorarlberg (Austria). This article summarises the caving activities of the last five years since 2007, during which a total of 1400 m of new passages were surveyed.

Monitoring of microbial indicator groups in caves through the use of RIDACOUNT kits, 2012, Mulec J. , Kristů, Fek V. , Chroň, Akova A.

RIDA®COUNT kitsMeasurements of microbiological parameters are not currently widely used for protection, monitoring and preservation of caves although they indicate very well the recent human impact. Here we present a commercially available microbiological kit for cave ecologists, the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany), as a supplementary tool for research and show examples. Simultaneously, lists of microbial indicator groups and cave microhabitats, where this methodology may be applied, are presented. Indicators include certain clinically important human-associated microbes such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus that are easy to quantify with basic cultivation methodology. Relatively higher bacterial counts compared to yeast and moulds on RIDA®COUNT test plates indicate recent and pronounced human impact. Swab samples allow detection of gradients of surface microbial colonization and determination of the microbial load on footprints and fingerprints in caves. In our tests, RIDA®COUNT plates for enumeration of yeast and moulds revealed a similar microbial load between unwashed caving boots and human fingerprints on a metal fence. Similarly, total bacterial counts were comparable between these two surfaces, 5,890 CFU/100 cm2 for unwashed boots and 4,340 CFU/100 cm2 for fingerprints on metal fence. Bacterial counts on walking surfaces in show caves can exceed 10,000 CFU/100 cm2 (Postojna Cave). These examples show that quantification of microbial indicator groups revealed increased microbial load and possible biohazard in the underground. This procedure may be widely adopted as a part of a regular monitoring programme in caves.


Monitoring of microbial indicator groups in caves through the use of RIDACOUNT kits, 2012, Mulec Janez Kritů, Fek Vclav, Chroň, kov Alica

 

RIDA®COUNT kitsMeasurements of microbiological parameters are not currently widely used for protection, monitoring and preservation of caves although they indicate very well the recent human impact. Here we present a commercially available microbiological kit for cave ecologists, the RIDA®COUNT test kit (R-Biopharm AG, Germany), as a supplementary tool for research and show examples. Simultaneously, lists of microbial indicator groups and cave microhabitats, where this methodology may be applied, are presented. Indicators include certain clinically important human-associated microbes such as Escherichia coli, Salmonella spp. and Staphylococcus aureus that are easy to quantify with basic cultivation methodology. Relatively higher bacterial counts compared to yeast and moulds on RIDA®COUNT test plates indicate recent and pronounced human impact. Swab samples allow detection of gradients of surface microbial colonization and determination of the microbial load on footprints and fingerprints in caves. In our tests, RIDA®COUNT plates for enumeration of yeast and moulds revealed a similar microbial load between unwashed caving boots and human fingerprints on a metal fence. Similarly, total bacterial counts were comparable between these two surfaces, 5,890 CFU/100 cm2 for unwashed boots and 4,340 CFU/100 cm2 for fingerprints on metal fence. Bacterial counts on walking surfaces in show caves can exceed 10,000 CFU/100 cm2 (Postojna Cave). These examples show that quantification of microbial indicator groups revealed increased microbial load and possible biohazard in the underground. This procedure may be widely adopted as a part of a regular monitoring programme in caves.
 

Evaluation of Strategies for the Decontamination of equipment for Geomyces destructans, the Causative Agent of the White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), 2013, Shelley V. , Kaiser S. , Shelley E. , Williams T. , Kramer M. , Haman K. , Keel K. , Barton H. A.

 

White-nose syndrome is an emerging infectious disease that has led to a
dramatic decline in cave-hibernating bat species. White-nose syndrome is caused by the
newly described fungal pathogen Geomyces destructans, which infects the ear, muzzle,
and wing membranes of bats. Although the exact mechanism by which the fungus causes
death is not yet understood, G. destructans leads to a high mortality rate in infected
animals.While the primary mechanism of infection appears to be bat-to-bat transfer, it is
still unclear what role human activity may play in the spread of this pathogen. Here we
evaluate the effectiveness of decontamination protocols that can be utilized by
speleologists to reduce the likelihood of spreading this dangerous pathogen to naı¨ve
bats or uninfected hibernacula. Our results show that pre-cleaning to remove muds and/
or sediments followed by the use of commercially available disinfectants can effectively
remove G. destructans from caving fabrics. Alternatively, immersion in water above
50 uC for at least 20 minutes effectively destroys the fungal spores. These results have
allowed the development of a decontamination protocol (http://www.fws.gov/
WhiteNoseSyndrome/cavers.html) that, when appropriately followed, can greatly
reduce the likelihood of the human mediated transfer of G. destructans from an
infected to uninfected site.


Archaeological test excavations at two caves in Bishopston Valley, Gower, South Wales, UK, 2013, Dinnis R. , Davies J. S. , Boulton J. M. , Reynolds N. , Schouten R. , Smith G. M. , Souter E. M. , Chamberlain A. T.

A survey of the caves of Bishopston Valley, Gower, published previously in Cave and Karst Science (2010: Vol.37, No.2), identified cave sites with the potential to contain archaeological material within their sedimentary deposits, and assessed the conservation status of these sites. Two caves - Ogof Ci Coch and Valley Side Cave 1 - showed clear signs of recent anthropogenic and/or biogenic disturbance of their fill. Archaeological test excavation at both sites was undertaken in summer 2011, and the results are reported here. Ogof Ci Coch is demonstrated to be an archaeological cave containing Mesolithic and later prehistoric artefacts. However, archaeological material was only found within spoil deposits from a caving dig, now overlying intact but archaeologically sterile deposits near to the mouth of the cave. Archaeological interpretation of this material is therefore limited in scope. Valley Side Cave 1 was found to contain only disturbed deposits which are clearly the result of recent unauthorised excavation at the site. These findings have implications for the conservation and management of cave sites in Bishopston Valley.


Cave deposits of North Wales: some comments on their archaeological importance and an inventory of sites of potential interest, 2013, Dinni R. , Ebbs C.

Several caves in North Wales have yielded archaeological and palaeontological material of undoubted interest. Most notably, two caves in Denbighshire are the only archaeological sites in Western Europe to lie north of the Last Glacial Maximum limits and yet still contain archaeological material pre-dating it, offering a rare glimpse of what has been lost elsewhere. Although many North Welsh caves are documented in the scientific and caving literature the record of sites is dispersed and incomplete. Comments are offered here on the archaeological contents of these caves, and more generally about the current record of caves in the region. A selected inventory of sites that may be of potential interest to archaeologists is presented.


THE SAN PAOLO MINE TUNNEL AT SA DUCHESSA (DOMUSNOVAS, SW SARDINIA): TEN INTERCEPTED NATURAL CAVES AND FIRST DATA ON THE COMPOSITION OF SOME SPELEOTHEMS , 2013, Simone Argiolas, Caddeo Guglielmo Angelo, Casu Lucilla, Muntoni Alberto, Papinuto Silvestro

Since many years cavers from different caving teams are carrying out a systematic study on the caves of Sulcis-Iglesiente, including geomorphological studies. Over thirty natural caves have been explored, surveyed and registered in the past few years, and over half of these have been made accessible by mine galleries. Among these are worth to be mentioned the “Tre Sorelle” of Domusnovas: these are three mine caves intercepted by the San Paolo mine tunnel. This tunnel, whose collapsed entrance has been reopened after a long digging campaign, has been explored and surveyed for around 700 meters. A total of 10 natural caves, mostly developed along fractures, have been explored and mapped, with developments ranging between 10 and 250 meters and depths from 15 to over 160 meters. Only two of these caves were previously known in the Regional Cave Register. In most of the caves, speleothems consist mainly of flowstones, some of which are clear or usually white, others are dark-brown or tending to black. Some samples of the first and the second flowstone types were collected respectively from the “Sesta Sorella” and “Seconda Sorella” Caves. The powders of these samples were analysed by an X-ray diffractometer. The first type consists of thicker layers of white and fibrous aragonite, which sometimes alternate with thinner layers of grey columnar calcite. In some samples, however, calcite interlayers were absent and just aragonite was found. The second type is composed of alternating layers of darkbrown hemimorphite. Some additional analyses were performed on these samples by Laser Ablation ICP-MS to determine the concentration of minor and trace elements in the different layers and mineralogical phases. The most abundant minor elements in calcite layers are Mg and Zn. Magnesium is about constant (~ 2000 ppm) on different spots and remains under the average Mg content of the cave calcite in this region, whereas Zn ranges from 103 to 104 ppm and is well above the Zn average in calcite of caves in the world. Barium concentration is about 80 ppm and more abundant than Pb (20 ppm) and Sr (10 ppm). Barium is also the main minor element in aragonite, where it can reach almost 2000 ppm. The Zn concentration is very high even in aragonite and is comparable to that of Sr (400-500 ppm), overcoming considerably the Pb concentration (20 ppm). In hemimorphite, the most abundant minor elements are Al and Fe (about 104 ppm). However, it was not quantified how much of these are in the hemimorphite lattice or come from some impurities. Actually, we notice that concentration of Fe and Al in the black layers of hemimorphite is an order of magnitude greater than in the brown ones. In addition, the black layers show an abrupt increase of Mn concentration, which overcomes Fe and Al. The evolution of these flowstones is most probably related to the circulation of fluids connected to the oxidation of sulphides, specially sphalerite.


PROBLEMS OF VALORIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF THE GIANT GEODE OF PULPI (ALMERIA, SE SPAIN) , 2013, Calaforra, Josemaria

The Giant geode of Pulpí (Almería, SE Spain) hosts some of the most outstanding selenite crystals of the world and the largest ones discovered in Europe. Pinacoidal high-purity selenite crystals up to 2 metres long cover totally its walls, floor and ceiling. The cave void where the geode was formed is in an abandoned mine 3 km far from the coastline and 50 m deep from the surface. The peculiar genesis could be related to the mixing processes between hydrothermal fluids and salt water in the aquifer. The discovery (December 2000) was considered an important highlight in the geological heritage of Spain but not many things have been done since 10 years. Projects developed for their conservation were paralysed and no legal figure of protection is active nowadays. Only the interest of touristic valorisation is still alive but in reality the initial tourist projects are stopped. Only one previous project of “waste mining removal” is active. Nevertheless this project is partially provoking a controversial effect: the destruction and/or decontextualization of some surface mining remains. No doubt the Geode has a tourist interest, which must be tempered by environmental restrictions limiting the public visits. First results demonstrated that a continuous visit of two or three people for more than 10 min- utes provokes the appearance of condensation and risks of corrosion of the gypsum crystals. Although any tourist adaptation must not permit direct visits to the geode indoor and levels/contents like Hg and Rn must be controlled. Regrettably, communication to the authorities of this special situation decreased their interest for the protection and touristization. The present proposal is to highlight not only the geode but the mining environment showing that valorization of this geological-natural heritage is still feasible.


LEAD MINE CAVES IN SOUTHWESTERN WISCONSIN, USA, 2013, Day Mick, Reeder Phil

Lead ores were mined extensively in the Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin during the middle of the XIXth century, when the Upper Mississippi Valley Lead District was one of the major lead-producing regions in the world. Much of the ore was removed from caves that were initially entered directly from the surface or later intersected by vertical shafts or near-horizontal adits. Lead ore mining began around 1815, and was most prevalent between 1825 and 1870, with peak production in the 1840s and an almost uninterrupted decline in production after 1850. Ores were extracted from at least ten prominent mine caves in dolostones in the Platteville and Galena Formations South of the Wisconsin River, and the mine caves in total represent perhaps 50% of the local cave population. Among the more significant lead mine caves are the St. John Mine (Snake Cave), Dudley Cave, the Arthur and Company Mine Cave, the Brown and Turley Mine and the Atkinson Mine Cave. Caves North of the Wisconsin River in the Prairie du Chien Formation dolostones apparently yielded insignificant volumes of ore. Mining has altered the original caves considerably, and there remains considerable evidence of the mining, including excavated and modified passages up to 15 meters wide with rooms and pillars, drill holes and mining tools. Outside the caves there are extensive spoil piles, together with the remains of ore smelters and abandoned settlements. Although none of the lead mine caves remain active industrially, they remain import- ant in several contexts: they provide information about regional speleogenesis; they played a pivotal role in early European and African American settlement of Wisconsin; they were economically of great significance during the XIXth century; and they are important now as bat hibernacula, as caving sites and in regional tourism.


HYDROTHERMAL CAVES IN ATHOS MT. (AGION OROS), 2014, Lazaridis G. , Zhalov A. Makrostergios L. , Genkov A. , Gyorev V. , Stoichkov K. , Radulescu A. , Agapov I. , Kaminskiy S.

A newly identiied ield of hydrothermal caves in Athos Mt. (Agion Oros) is described here for the

very irst time. The cave pattern and the meso- and micro-scale morphology is given and discussed.

Mineralogical evidence is preliminarily presented.


Perceptions and prevalence of caving-skills training in the United States and the United Kingdom, 2014, Bird A. J. , Sawa M. , Wiles M.

Results are presented of a study of perceptions of caving-skills training. Information in the current study was obtained from questionnaires submitted between May 2011 and February 2012 by recreational cavers, researchers, and others who visit caves for enjoyment, exploration, research, or work. Respondents overwhelmingly support a connection between training and safety during cave visits. In the United States, there is an even split in numbers of people who report having had formal and informal caving-skills training. In the United Kingdom, more respondents report having had informal training than formal. In both the US and UK, experience level is high among respondents, but is not a statistically significant predictor for training type, although large majorities agree training is valuable. Outcomes from this research are used as a basis for discussion of the efficacy of caving-skills training programs in the United States and for discussion of caving-skills training already present in other countries where caving is prevalent, represented here by the United Kingdom


Diatom flora in subterranean ecosystems: a review., 2014,

In scarcity of light and primary producers, subterranean ecosystems are generally extremely oligotrophic habitats, receiving poor supplies of degradable organic matter from the surface. Human direct impacts on cave ecosystems mainly derive from intensive tourism and recreational caving, causing important alterations to the whole subterranean environment. In particular, artificial lighting systems in show caves support the growth of autotrophic organisms (the so-called lampenflora), mainly composed of cyanobacteria, diatoms, chlorophytes, mosses and ferns producing exocellular polymeric substances (EPSs) made of polysaccharides, proteins, lipids and nucleic acids. This anionic EPSs matrix mediates to the intercellular communications and participates to the chemical exchanges with the substratum, inducing the adsorption of cations and dissolved organic molecules from the cave formations (speleothems). Coupled with the metabolic activities of heterotrophic microorganisms colonising such layer (biofilm), this phenomenon may lead to the corrosion of the mineral surfaces. In this review, we investigate the formation of biofilms, especially of diatom-dominated ones, as a consequence of artificial lighting and its impacts on speleothems. Whenever light reaches the subterranean habitat (both artificially and naturally) a relative high number of species of diatoms may indeed colonise it. Cave entrances, artificially illuminated walls and speleothems inside the cave are generally the preferred substrates. This review focuses on the diatom flora colonising subterranean habitats, summarizing the information contained in all the scientific papers published from 1900 up to date. In this review we provide a complete checklist of the diatom taxa recorded in subterranean habitats, including a total of 363 taxa, belonging to 82 genera. The most frequent and abundant species recorded in caves and other low light subterranean habitats are generally aerophilic and cosmopolitan. These are, in order of frequency: Hantzschia amphioxys, Diadesmis contenta, Orthoseira roeseana, Luticola nivalis, Pinnularia borealis, Diadesmis biceps and Luticola mutica. Due to the peculiarity of the subterranean habitats, the record of rare or new species is relatively common. The most important environmental factors driving species composition and morphological modifications observed in subterranean populations are analysed throughout the text and tables. In addition, suggestions to prevent and remove the corrosive biofilms in view of an environmentally sustainable cave management are discussed.


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