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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 vertical caving is caving that includes a lot of ascending and descending [13]. see also vertical caver.?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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 high-resolution (Keyword) returned 102 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 91 to 102 of 102
A high-resolution spatial survey of cave air carbon dioxide concentrations in Scoska Cave (North Yorkshire, UK): implications for calcite deposition and re-dissolution, 2010,
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Whitaker, Tom, Daniel Jones, James U L Baldini And Alex J Baker
Carbon dioxide concentration variability in caves has implications for palaeoclimatic research involving stalagmites, the conservation of cave art, condensation corrosion, and safety during cave exploration. Here we present a high-resolution spatial survey of cave air carbon dioxide partial pressure (PCO2) in the 1.5km Scoska Cave system in North Yorkshire, UK, constructed using measurements taken during the interval of July 1 to July 5, 2008. According to the spatial P-CO2 survey, 76% of the cave air P-CO2 increase occurred within the first ~50 metres; consequently the P-CO2 gradient throughout the rest of the cave was slight. As is the case in other caves, this suggests that a 'front' exists at this site between high P-CO2 cave air and low P-CO2 outside air, where the P-CO2 increases dramatically over a short distance. Temperature data support this interpretation. This CO2 'front' is thought to represent the farthest point reached by large-scale advection of air out of the cave, and its position is hypothesized to fluctuate depending on atmospheric conditions. Thus, distinct P-CO2 trends characterize sections of the Scoska Cave system, which result in spatial variability in calcite deposition and redissolution. Modelled stalagmite growth rates vary between negligible and 0.21 mm yr-1, depending on unconstrained drip water [Ca2+] values and cave atmosphere P-CO2. Assuming constant drip water [Ca2+], optimum calcite deposition occurs near to the cave entrance, where ventilation and advection reduce P-CO2 levels most effectively. However, calcite precipitation on the roof of the cave may partially control the [Ca2+] of drip water that reaches the floor, so although the link between overall calcite deposition (i.e., on the roof and the floor) and P-CO2 appears robust, the effect of variable cave air P-CO2 on stalagmite growth rates requires more research. These calculations suggest that calcite precipitation rates in different areas of Scoska Cave may differ due to local P-CO2 and temperature variability, highlighting the benefits of thoroughly understanding site-specific cave environmental factors prior to the interpretation of stalagmite-based palaeoclimate records.

Karstic uvala revisited: Toward a redefinition of the term, 2011,
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Ć, Alić, Jelena

Uvalas are a particular type of karst closed depression. While other types of closed depression – dolines and poljes – are regularly listed and relatively well defined in overviews of karst surface morphology, uvalas are either excluded or their vague identification is stressed. The leading idea of this paper is to obtain a clearer meaning of the term uvala and prevent its abandonment from karstology and general geomorphology. Within the study, 43 examples of uvalas have been selected. The studied uvalas are located in the Dinaric karst and karst of the Carpatho–Balkanides. All the case examples have been digitally processed in the same way. Creation of high-resolution digital elevation models enabled quantification of morphometric parameters, generation of inclination maps and cross-sections, as well as application of statistical analyses. Formation of the geographical information system of the studied uvalas was done using raster-based and vector-based GIS software packages. In 12 studied uvalas, detailed structural–geological mapping has been carried out, which revealed dominant development of uvalas along regional scale tectonically broken zones. A revised definition of the term uvala is suggested, leaving the opportunity for further discussion.


Paleokarst Breccia-Pipe Reservoir Analogue, Carboniferous, Svalbard, 2011,
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Wheeler Walter, Tveranger Jan, Lauritzen Steinerik, Heincke Björn, Rossi Guiliana, Allroggen Niklas, Buckley Simon

Upwards-propagating collapse pipes typically form sinkholes where they meet the land surface. Renewed dissolution of breccia in ancient pipes can have a similar effect. For these cases, probability-based models of sinkhole hazard are closely related to the expected mature architecture of the collapse-pipe field. We present a case study of the architecture of a square-kilometre field of collapse-pipes from the Carboniferous-Permian in which the pipes are documented in outcrop and using shallow geophysical methods.

The study site is located on the Wordiekammen plateau in the Carboniferous Billefjorden half-graben basin on Spitsbergen. Cliffs bounding the plateau expose breccia pipes cutting a gently-dipping 200-m-thick series of platform carbonates, in turn underlain by stratiform breccias and residual pods of gypsum. Many of the breccia pipes are tall (>250 m) and postdate several shallow karstification episodes. Most pipes are inferred not to have reached the surface based on a lack of terrigenous material and fluvial structure, although several pipes show indications of such surface communication. Although the pipes are generally attributed to gypsum dissolution, a deep carbonate karstification event is inferred based on high temperature calcite cement, and burial dehydration of gypsum, may also have contributed to void formation.

On the plateau top the collapse pipes are obscured by thick scree, thus km-scale size and spacing data for the pipes and faults was collected by mapping the bedrock with 2D ground-penetrating radar (GPR). GPR profiles were acquired on a grid with 25-meter line spacing, using 50 MHz antennas and achieving 30-40 m penetration. Breccia bodies were identified by steep-sided zones of complex diffraction patterns interrupting bedding-related continuous reflections. Two pipes were further studied in 3D using high-resolution GPR, tomographic seismic and geo-electric. These geophysical data were merged into a comprehensive 3D framework including helicopter-borne lidar and photo scans of the plateau rim geology, thus allowing an integrated visualization and interpretation of the different datasets. The GPR data show the breccia pipes to be slightly oblate with diameters ranging from 20 to over 100 m; 60 meters is a typical value. Approximately 10 pipes are identified in cliff-side outcrops bordering the GPR area, whereas 30 more are identified within the plateau by the GPR data. The GPR volume lies about 200 m above the pipe base, hence the pipe-length frequency-distribution data are incomplete. The strata are cut by small-offset (<5m) faults related to collapse processes and larger-offset faults related to regional basin extension. The breccia pipe field appears to be delimited by these more regional faults, in turn inferred to control the thickness of syn-rift gypsum and/or the hydrology of its dissolution. Collapse breccia pipes form strong vertical heterogeneities in rock properties such as porosity and permeability, matrix density, cement, mechanical strength and lithology, affecting fluid-flow characteristics on a meter to hundred-meter scale. It is rare that pipe fields are well exposed at the kilometre scale. Although some scaling data can be obtained from 3D oil-industry seismic reflection data but the resolution insufficient to visualize critical details. The outcrop combination of seismic, electric and geologic techniques facilitates the interpretation of 3D facies architectures and by proxy porosity-permeability relationships. Studies at the km scale are fundamental for understanding basic karst and collapse processes, and yield petrophysical models that can be applied predictively to natural hazards and groundwater or hydrocarbon exploitation in paleokarst settings.


Paleoclimate Records from Speleothems, 2012,
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Polyak Victor J. , Denniston Rhawn F.

Speleothems, mainly stalagmites, are yielding continuous, high-resolution records of past climate. Because calcite in these speleothems can be dated with exceptional accuracy, these records are matching and in some cases exceeding records from lakes, trees, glaciers, and oceans in their importance, and are providing remarkable detail about regional and global climate change history. Multiple records are offered and discussed in this article and show the significance of caves to the field of paleoclimatology.


The climatic cyclicity in semiarid-arid central Asia over the past 500,000 years, 2012,
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Cheng H. , Zhang P. Z. , Sptl C. , Edwards R. L. , Cai Y. J. , Zhang D. Z. , Sang W. C. , Tan M. , An Z. S.

Central Asia is currently a semiarid-arid region, dominated by the Westerlies. It is important to understand mechanisms of climate and precipitation changes here, as water availability in the region is crucial today and in the future. High-resolution, absolutely-dated oxygen isotope (d18O) records of stalagmites from Kesang Cave characterize a dynamic precipitation history over most of the past 500,000 years. This record demonstrates, for the first time, that climate change in the region exhibits a processional rhythm with abrupt inceptions of low d18O speleothem growth at times of high Northern Hemisphere summer insolation followed by gradual d18O increases that track decreases of insolation. These observations and interpretations contrast with the interpretation of nearby, but higher elevation ice core records. The absolutely-dated cave d18O shifts can be used to correlate the regional climate variability by providing chronological marks. Combined with other paleoclimate records, the Kesang observations suggest that possible incursions of Asian summer monsoon rainfall or related moisture into the Kesang site and/or adjacent areas during the high insolation times may play an important role in changing orbital-scale hydrology of the region. based on our record, arid climate will prevail in this region for the next several millennia, providing that anthropogenic effects do not supersede natural processes.


Candidate Cave Entrances on Mars, 2012,
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Cushing, G. E.

 

This paper presents newly discovered candidate cave entrances into Martian near-surface lava tubes, volcano-tectonic fracture systems, and pit craters and describes their characteristics and exploration possibilities. These candidates are all collapse features that occur either intermittently along laterally continuous trench-like depressions or in the floors of sheer-walled atypical pit craters. As viewed from orbit, locations of most candidates are visibly consistent with known terrestrial features such as tube-fed lava flows, volcano-tectonic fractures, and pit craters, each of which forms by mechanisms that can produce caves. Although we cannot determine subsurface extents of the Martian features discussed here, some may continue unimpeded for many kilometers if terrestrial examples are indeed analogous. The features presented here were identified in images acquired by the Mars Odyssey’s Thermal Emission Imaging System visiblewavelength camera, and by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Context Camera. Select candidates have since been targeted by the High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment. Martian caves are promising potential sites for future human habitation and astrobiology investigations; understanding their characteristics is critical for long-term mission planning and for developing the necessary exploration technologies


CAVES AND KARST HYDROGEOLOGY OF JERUSALEM, ISRAEL, 2013,
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Frumkin Amos

 

The city of Jerusalem, Israel, is growing for ~4,000 years on karst terrain. Lacking closed depressions, surface topography seems fluvial, but karst is well demonstrated by speleology and subsurface hydrology. Several caves in the city were truncated by construction works, including an 800 m long river cave (longest limestone river cave in Israel), and a 200 × 140 × 90 m isolated chamber cave (largest chamber cave in Israel). Caves are being discovered at a growing rate, as construction works dig deeper into the subsurface in the crowded city. Some of them are eventually destroyed by the construction works; only presently accessible caves are discussed here. The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the Gihon, Jerusalem’s main karst spring, was studied in order to understand its behavior, as well as urbanization effects on karst groundwater resources. High-resolution monitoring of the spring discharge, temperature and electrical conductivity, as well as chemical and bacterial analysis demonstrate a rapid response of the spring to rainfall events and human impact. A complex karst system is inferred, including conduit flow, fissure flow and diffuse flow. Electrical conductivity is high compared to nearby springs located at the town margins, indicating considerable urban pollution in the Gihon area. The previously cited pulsating nature of the spring does not exist today. This phenomenon may have ceased due to additional water sources from urban leakage and irrigation feeding the spring. The urbanization of the recharge area thus affects the spring water dramatically, both chemically and hydrologically.


Morphology and geology of an interior layered deposit in the western Tithonium Chasma, Mars, 2013,
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Baioni, Davide

This paper describes a morphologic and morphometric survey of a 3.1 km-high, domeshaped upland in western Tithonium Chasma (TC) which coincides with areas containing abundant surface signatures of the sulphate mineral kiersite, as identified by the OMEGA image spectrometer. The morphologic features of the dome were investigated through an integrated analysis of the available Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Mars Orbiter Camera, and Context Camera data, while the morphometric characteristics of the structure were measured using a topographic map (25-m contour interval) built from high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data.
The dome displays surface features that were apparently formed by liquid water probably released from melting ice. These features include karst landforms as well as erosive and depositional landforms. The surface of the dome has few impact craters, which suggests a relatively young age for the dome. Layers in the dome appear laterally continuous and are visibly dipping toward the slopes in some places.
The mineralogical and structural characteristics of the dome suggest that it was emplaced as a diapir, similar to the dome structure located in the eastern part of TC, and to many salt diapirs on Earth.


Morphology and geology of an interior layered deposit in the western Tithonium Chasma, Mars, 2013,
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Baioni, Davide

This paper describes a morphologic and morphometric survey of a 3.1 km-high, domeshaped upland in western Tithonium Chasma (TC) which coincides with areas containing abundant surface signatures of the sulphate mineral kiersite, as identified by the OMEGA image spectrometer. The morphologic features of the dome were investigated through an integrated analysis of the available Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE), Mars Orbiter Camera, and Context Camera data, while the morphometric characteristics of the structure were measured using a topographic map (25-m contour interval) built from high-resolution stereo camera (HRSC) and Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter (MOLA) data.

The dome displays surface features that were apparently formed by liquid water probably released from melting ice. These features include karst landforms as well as erosive and depositional landforms. The surface of the dome has few impact craters, which suggests a relatively young age for the dome. Layers in the dome appear laterally continuous and are visibly dipping toward the slopes in some places.

The mineralogical and structural characteristics of the dome suggest that it was emplaced as a diapir, similar to the dome structure located in the eastern part of TC, and to many salt diapirs on Earth.


AN EVALUATION OF AUTOMATED GIS TOOLS FOR DELINEATING KARST SINKHOLES AND CLOSED DEPRESSIONS FROM 1-METER LIDAR-DERIVED DIGITAL ELEVATION DATA, 2013,
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Doctor D. H. , Young J. A.

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) surveys of karst terrains provide high-resolution digital elevation models (DEMs) that are particularly useful for mapping sinkholes. In this study, we used automated processing tools within ArcGIS (v. 10.0) operating on a 1.0 m resolution LiDAR DEM in order to delineate sinkholes and closed depressions in the Boyce 7.5 minute quadrangle located in the northern Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. The results derived from the use of the automated tools were then compared with depressions manually delineated by a geologist. Manual delineation of closed depressions was conducted using a combination of 1.0 m DEM hillshade, slopeshade, aerial imagery, and Topographic Position Index (TPI) rasters. The most effective means of visualizing depressions in the GIS was using an overlay of the partially transparent TPI raster atop the slopeshade raster at 1.0 m resolution. Manually identified depressions were subsequently checked using aerial imagery to screen for false positives, and targeted ground-truthing was undertaken in the field. The automated tools that were utilized include the routines in ArcHydro Tools (v. 2.0) for prescreening, evaluating, and selecting sinks and depressions as well as thresholding, grouping, and assessing depressions from the TPI raster. Results showed that the automated delineation of sinks and depressions within the ArcHydro tools was highly dependent upon pre-conditioning of the DEM to produce “hydrologically correct” surface flow routes. Using stream vectors obtained from the National Hydrologic Dataset alone to condition the flow routing was not sufficient to produce a suitable drainage network, and numerous artificial depressions were generated where roads, railways, or other manmade structures acted as flow barriers in the elevation model. Additional conditioning of the DEM with drainage paths across these barriers was required prior to automated 2delineation of sinks and depressions. In regions where the DEM had been properly conditioned, the tools for automated delineation performed reasonably well as compared to the manually delineated depressions, but generally overestimated the number of depressions thus necessitating manual filtering of the final results. Results from the TPI thresholding analysis were not dependent on DEM pre-conditioning, but the ability to extract meaningful depressions depended on careful assessment of analysis scale and TPI thresholding.


Spring discharge records – a case study, 2013,
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Wicks, Carol M.

Spring discharge records integrate of all the processes and the reactions occurring within a karst basin. A brief summary of the use of discharge records as a means to constrain the internal structure of karst basins, as means to constrain rainfallrunoff models for karst basin, and as a means to determine the value of hydrodynamic parameters of karst basins is presented. Data collected from Devils Icebox, a karst basin spring in Missouri, USA, were used to assess these approaches to characterizing karst basins. For Devils Icebox, most of the discharge responses do not record information about the internal structure of the basin rather the responses record information about the recharge to the basin. A rainfall-runoff model failed to reproduce the data from which model parameters were derived and has little utility in a predictive mode. Use of conservation of mass equations as a means to derive hydrodynamic parameters is a useful approach, although critical data are lacking. More generally, karst hydrologists need quantitative tracer data and long-term, high-resolution temporal data of the input(s) to and the output(s) from karst basins.


Vadose CO2 gas drives dissolution at water tables in eogenetic karst aquifers more than mixing dissolution, 2014,
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Gulley J. , Martin J. , Moore P.

Most models of cave formation in limestone that remains near its depositional environment and has not been deeply buried (i.e. eogenetic limestone) invoke dissolution from mixing of waters that have different ionic strengths or have equilibrated with calcite at different pCO2 values. In eogenetic karst aquifers lacking saline water, mixing of vadose and phreatic waters is thought to form caves. We show here calcite dissolution in a cave in eogenetic limestone occurred due to increases in vadose CO2 gas concentrations and subsequent dissolution of CO2 into groundwater, not by mixing dissolution. We collected high-resolution time series measurements (1 year) of specific conductivity (SpC), temperature, meteorological data, and synoptic water chemical composition from a water table cave in central Florida (Briar Cave).We found SpC, pCO2 and calcite undersaturation increased through late summer, when Briar Cave experienced little ventilation by outside air, and decreased through winter, when increased ventilation lowered cave CO2(g) concentrations.We hypothesize dissolution occurred when water flowed from aquifer regions with low pCO2 into the cave, which had elevated pCO2. Elevated pCO2 would be promoted by fractures connecting the soil to the water table. Simple geochemical models demonstrate that changes in pCO2 of less than 1% along flow paths are an order of magnitude more efficient at dissolving limestone thanmixing of vadose and phreatic water.We conclude that spatially or temporally variable vadose CO2(g) concentrations are responsible for cave formation becausemixing is too slow to generate observed cave sizes in the time available for formation. While this study emphasized dissolution, gas exchange between the atmosphere and karst aquifer vadose zones that is facilitated by conduits likely exerts important controls on other geochemical processes in limestone critical zones by transporting oxygen deep into vadose zones, creating redox boundaries that would not exist in the absence of caves.


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