Theoretical & Applied Karstology

Theoretical and Applied Karstology, vol. 15/2002

Contents and Abstracts
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Editor's Page
S. Constantin p. 4.
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In Memoriam

Stiuca, E. -
Constantin (Costin) Radulescu, 1932-2002. p. 5.
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TAK Reviews

Forti, P.
Speleology in the Third Millenium: Achievments and Challenges, pp. 7-26.

Men have visited caves for a long time, but speleology started about 20 000 yr BP when the human frequentation of caves was no longer “accidental”. The development of caving activities may be subdivided into three periods: prehistory (in which no written report exists), protohistory (in which documentation is available but speleology is not yet that of today) and history (which conventionally started with E. A. Martel).
Nowadays caving activities are split into several branches which may be grouped in four categories: explorative, scientific, social and documentary speleology. In the present paper after a short overview on the development of caving activities from prehistory until present day the challenges and goals for the third millennium are outlined, the main problems speleology will have to face being:
• exploration of the ice caves in Antarctica and of the volcanic caves in the space;
• scientific multidisciplinary investigation of special cave ecosystems;
• extensive search for new drinking water supply and new principles in medicine;
• environmental protection and sustainable tourism.

TAK Articles

Onac, B.P., Breban R., Kearns, J., & Tamas, T. — Unusual minerals related to phosphate deposits in Cioclovina Cave, Sureanu Mts. (Romania). pp. 27-34.

Cioclovina Cave hosted an extensive phosphate deposit estimated at over 50,000 m3.  About 30,000 m3 were mined during the first half of the XXth Century and used as fertilizers.  The mineralogy of this deposit is remarkable as it consists of several rare and/or unusual cave mineral species, mostly phosphates.  Cioclovina Cave is the type locality for ardealite.  Over 40 samples were analyzed by means of X-ray diffraction and fluorescence, scanning electron microscopy, optical observations on thin sections, and electron microprobe.  Out of 26 minerals presented in this paper, 13 have not been previously documented from this cave (berlinite, burbankite, churchite, chlorellestadite, foggite, paratacamite, collinsite, monetite, fluorapatite, sampleite, romanechite, leucophosphite and todorokite). Furthermore, the first six minerals on this list were for the first time identified within the cave environment.  At least one rare mineral species (berlinite or chlorellestadite) may have been produced by spontaneous combustion of bat guano, whereas the other ones formed within the sediment fill indicate reactions between phosphate-rich solutions and limestone bedrock, clays, sandstones or various trace elements.  These reactions took place at different pH values producing specific minerals that may have environmental deposition significance.

Dumitras, D., Marincea, S., Diaconu, G., Constantina C., & Pavel, R. — X-ray powder data on some mineral species from Pestera Curata de la Nandru (Hateg Basin, Romania). pp. 35-42.

In the current contribution, we briefly characterize the main mineral species from the fossil bat-guano deposit in Pestera Curatã de la Nandru cave, based on extensive X-ray powder diffraction study. The layered guano deposit inside the cave was well opened by recent archaeological works. Hydroxylapatite and brushite are the most common constituents; associated minerals are quartz, dolomite, calcite and clay minerals (illite and kaolinite). The mean cell parameters of hydroxylapatite, taken as weighed average of nine sets of values obtained by least-squares refinement of X-ray powder data, are a = 9.429(6) Å, c = 6.862(16) Å and V = 528.9(6) Å3. These values account for the stoichiometry, as well, as in the case of brushite [a = 5.808(7) Å, b = 15.183(1) Å, c = 6.241(8) Å, b = 116.38(6) Å3 for a representative sample]. Calcite [a = 4.980(2) Å, c = 17.033(7) Å, V = 365.8(1) Å3] and dolomite [a = 4.807(9) Å, c = 16.062(6) Å, V = 321.4(1) Å3] occur on diagenetic cracks that affect the deposit. Low (alpha) quartz with a = 4.920(3) Å, c = 5.406(4) Å and V = 113.3(1) Å3, probably allogenic, and minor kaolinite and illite are admixed with the phosphates from the guano groundmass.

Calic-Ljubojevic, J. & Ljubojevic, V. — Karst of the ridge Djevrinska Greda: fluvial influences, caves and groundwater circulation.  pp. 43-50

D?evrinska Greda is an elongated and narrow ridge of Upper Jurassic limestone, situated next to the Danube Gorge (Iron Gates) in Eastern Serbia. It is uplifted along the conspicuous D?evrin Fault  which extends further to the north, to the Mehedinþi Plateau in Romania, and it is surrounded by non-carbonate rocks to the East (Cretaceous flysch and para-flysch) and to the West (Proterozoic and Paleozoic schists).
The relationships between non-carbonate and carbonate lithologies made this karst subject to strong influence of allogenic water input. Due to the small width of the ridge (max. 700 m, 250 m in average), fluvial influence is strong enough to penetrate to the opposite boundary of the limestone. Several separate input-output systems of karst groundwater were determined. Exposed limestone surface does not exceed 5 km2, but 32 caves which altogether have more than 6500 m of passages were explored so far, indicating a significant karst development. The springs are mostly permanent, although relatively weak (up to 10 l/s), and show little seasonal variations. Three springs have elevated temperatures – from 17 to 19 °C. Characteristics of karst springs are the indication of retention capabilities of the karst aquifer as well as of a circulation of the groundwater at great depths. Deep circulation is mostly developed due to the favourable conditions along the regional dislocation – the D?evrin Fault.

Jemcov, I., Pavlovic, R., & Stevanovic, Z. — Morphotectonic analysis in hydrogeological research of karst terrains. A case-study of SW Kucaj Massif, Eastern Serbia. pp. 51-59.

The fracture structures are recognized as being among the principal factors of karst development by analyzing data obtained by remote sensing. Regional fractures were recognized through analysis of satellite imagery — scanograms, while the detailed fault pattern was obtained by stereoscopic analysis of aerial photographs. The method of quantitative geomorphologic analysis was used for the identification of neotectonically active structures. Neotectonic analysis was performed using a morphometric-statistical procedure — the calculation of topographic relief. As a new procedure, supplemental to fault pattern analysis, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) was applied.
Comparison of the results obtained by fault pattern analysis using remote sensing, quantitative geomorphologic analysis and digital elevation model with favored directions of karst groundwater flow, revealed a significant control of the position and function of the faults over karstification. General karst groundwater directions and drainage reorientation  are mainly controlled by the morphotectonic evolution.

Tenu, A., Davidescu, F., Petres R., & Coarna, L. — Environmental isotopes studies and the hydrogeological model of South Dobrogea (Romania). pp. 61-72.

Due to its natural and anthropic features, South Dobrogea (Romania) is a very interesting area from a hydrogeological point of view. In the region there are two superposed calcareous aquifers — the upper aquifer (Sarmatian) and the lower aquifer (Barremian–Jurassic) — which form the so-called “karstic system” of a strategic importance. Isotopic monitoring (3H, 14C, 13C, D, 18O) was performed over the last 25 years by an integrated research of all natural types of waters, in order to improve the knowledge of hydrogeological parameters and of the regional pattern flow. The main isotopic characteristics of meteoric and surface waters are briefly described in the paper. Within the karstic system, our study focused on the lower aquifer for which an up-to-date regional model was carried out by correlating all hydrodynamic and isotopic information. The main isotopic features can be synthesized as follows: the recharge area is located mainly in the Pre-Balkan Platform (Bulgaria); the main groundwater flow direction is east-northeast, towards Lake Siutghiol and the flow velocities, at regional scale, vary from 100 m/year for the secondary groundwater flow to 500–1,800 m/year for the main one.

Taborosi, D. — Biokarst on a tropical carbonate island: Guam, Mariana Islands. pp. 73-91.

“Biokarst” refers to erosional and depositional karst features formed by direct biologic action. However, since no distinct karst landform is produced exclusively by biologic action, most features known as biokarst are actually products of both biotic and abiotic processes operating concurrently in intricate interrelationships. Although biokarst landforms are often regarded as features of local interest and limited significance, the effects of living organisms on karst geomorphology are profound on an ecosystem scale, and are widespread, diverse and of fundamental importance. This is especially true in tropical and coastal environments, where the biologic influence on karst is so common and intense that it makes the distinction between “biokarst” and “non-biokarst” thoroughly impracticable. A survey of karst on Guam has confirmed that nearly all of the small- and medium-scale karst features documented on the island are affected by biota, and bear characteristics of what has been termed biokarst.

Kohler, H., C. & Karfunkel, J. — The Quaternary morphogenesis of the Lagoa Santa tropical karst, Minas Gerais State, SE Brazil.  pp. 93-99; +1 folded map.

The tropical karst of the Lagoa Santa region, north of Belo Horizonte, in South-Eastern Brazil was studied, in order to describe the Quaternary morphogenesis and to elucidate the morphodynamic evolution of this area. The karst developed over an interfluvial block, at altitudes between 650 and 850 m above sea level. Structural alignments, consequence of the Brasilian geotectonic cycle, were reactivated through the Cenozoic. These alignments, together with climate oscillations through time, control the main trends of the karst scenario and allow the authors to postulate a morphogenetic history from Tertiary through Holocene.

Erbajeva, M., Khenzykhenova, F., & Alexeeva, N. — Small mammals of the cave sites in the Baikalian region. pp. 101-110.

This paper deals with the small mammal assemblages from the cave sites of the Baikalian region. In the region there are more than 300 caves and shelters (Filippov, 1993a, 1993b), some of which contain numerous small mammal fossils. The oldest fauna is the Middle Miocene from Aya cave containing Eurolagus, Heterosminthus and Gobicricetodon. In other caves, more than 30 taxa of insectivores, lagomorphs and rodents were discovered, mainly of Late Pleistocene and Holocene age. Most of the small mammals belong to modern species, which inhabit the region nowadays; however, specimens of Lagurus lagurus and Dicrostonyx sp., whose area of distribution lies outside of the region currently, were also found.

Stiuca, E. & Arghir, R.
— Martes genus representatives in in the Wurmian of Romania.  pp. 111-116.

Remains of various mustelides (Martes martes, Martes foina, Mustela nivalis, Putorius putorius) have been recovered from the cave Pestera nr. 4 din Scocul Scorotei (Retezat Mountains, Hunedoara county, Romania). This new fossil site of the Southern Carpathians may be assigned to the Late Pleistocene (Middle Würmian). Allometrical and morphological study of the skulls and dentition indicate a climate warming that corresponds to the lower sediment layers (3 and 2), followed by a cooling that corresponds to the upper layer, as well as the existence, during the Würmian of two different types of Martes.

Kranjc, A. — The history of karst ressources exploitation: an example of iron industry in Kranjska (Slovenia). pp. 117-123.

In Slovenia the karst surface covers 43% of the territory. About 57% is Dinaric and 21% Alpine karst. Dinaric karst consists of Jurassic and Cretaceous limestone, while Alpine karst of Triassic carbonate rocks. Everywhere the iron ore is present. Two types can be distinguished, the form of limonite pieces, and the “ironstone” (iron hydroxides), so-called “broad bean ore”. In the 8th Century BC the iron industry prospered in two karst regions: in the Alps and on Dinaric karst. Technology of extracting iron from the ore was simple. The early metallurgists gathered iron ore on the surface and in karst underground. The ore was melted in shaft furnaces with dug-in fireplaces. Because of the ironwork technology, iron industry was scattered all over the country thus no important concentrated pollution appeared. Yet, local impact could have been important in places. The consumption of wood and charcoal was significant including cutting down the forests. In the 10th Century iron industry restarted. Between the 13th and the 15th centuries ironworks began to develop, based on water energy. Extracting and working of iron moved from the plateaux down to the valleys and the ironworks (joint of smelting furnace, fireplaces to heat the iron red-hot, bellows and ironwork hammer) resulted. In 1581, the list of ironworks for Kranjska enumerates 20 smelting furnaces. The direct impact on karst consists of traces of digging on the surface, in dolines, caves and potholes, disused mine shafts and galleries, and “ore pools” scattered across the land. As a direct impact, large quantities of charcoal were consumed and the water was polluted. There were much less forests left than nowadays. The indirect impact consisted mainly in the high concentration of industrial plants and inhabitants.

Rapid communication

Vremir, M. M. & Ridush, B. — Recent paleontological investigations in some caves of the Crimean mountain-range (SE Ukraine). pp. 125-132.

Preliminary results of the most recent speleo-palaeontological investigations made in the Crimean high-mountains are presented. Several caves were investigated in the Chatyrdag massif; also new information regarding fossil remains from caves in several other plateaus (Aj-Petri, Yaltinskaya, Karabi) are added. The most interesting results come from the Emine Bair Khozar cave, which significantly contribute to highlight the Late Pleistocene and Holocene vertebrate faunas existing in the remote mountains of the Crimea.

Book Reviews

Goran, C.
- Monografia carstului din Muntii Padurea Craiului. pp. 133-134.

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