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Sample records for cave system italy

  1. Metabolic Strategies in Energy-Limited Microbial Communities in the Anoxic Subsurface (Frasassi Cave System, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCauley, R. L.; Jones, D. S.; Schaperdoth, I.; Steinberg, L.; Macalady, J. L.

    2010-12-01

    Two major sources of energy, light and chemical potential, are available to microorganisms. However, energy is not always abundant and is often a limiting factor in microbial survival and replication. The anoxic, terrestrial subsurface offers a unique opportunity to study microorganisms and their potentially novel metabolic strategies that are relevant for understanding biogeochemistry and biosignatures as related to the non-photosynthetic, energy-limited environments on the modern and ancient Earth and elsewhere in the solar system. Geochemical data collected in a remote stratified lake 600 m below ground surface in the sulfidic Frasassi cave system (Italy) suggest that little redox energy is available for life, consistent with low signal from domain-specific FISH probes. The carbon isotope signatures of biofilms (-33‰) and DIC (-9‰) in the anoxic water suggest in situ production by lithoautotrophs using RuBisCO. 16S rDNA libraries constructed from the biofilm are dominated by diverse sulfate reducing bacteria. The remaining bacterial and archaeal clones affiliate with more than 11 major uncultivated or novel prokaryotic lineages. Diverse dsrAB gene sequences are consistent with high sulfate concentrations and undetectable or extremely low oxygen, nitrate, and iron concentrations. However, the electron donor for sulfate reduction is unclear. Methane is detectable in the anoxic water although no 16S rDNA sequences associated with known methanogens or anaerobic methane oxidizers were retrieved. mcrA gene sequences retrieved from the biofilm by cloning are not related to cultivated methanogens or to known anaerobic methane oxidizers. Non-purgable organic carbon (NPOC) is below detection limits (i.e. <42 μM acetate) suggesting that alternative electron donors or novel metabolisms may be important. A sample collected by cave divers in October 2009 was pyrosequenced at the Pennsylvania State University Genomics Core Facility using Titanium chemistry (454 Life

  2. Morphology and evolution of sulphuric acid caves in South Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Angeli, Ilenia M.; De Waele, Jo; Galdenzi, Sandro; Madonia, Giuliana; Parise, Mario; Vattano, Marco

    2016-04-01

    Sulphuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) related to the upwelling of acid water enriched in H2S and CO2 represents an unusual way of cave development. Since meteoric infiltration waters are not necessarily involved in speleogenesis, caves can form without the typical associated karst expressions (i.e. dolines) at the surface. The main mechanism of sulphuric acid dissolution is the oxidation of H2S (Jones et al., 2015) which can be amplified by bacterial mediation (Engel et al., 2004). In these conditions, carbonate dissolution associated with gypsum replacement, is generally believed to be faster than the normal epigenic one (De Waele et al., 2016). In Italy several SAS caves have been identified, but only few systems have been studied in detail: Frasassi and Acquasanta Terme (Marche)(Galdenzi et al., 2010), Monte Cucco (Umbria) (Galdenzi & Menichetti, 1995), and Montecchio (Tuscany) (Piccini et al., 2015). Other preliminary studies have been carried out in Calabria (Galdenzi, 2007) and Sicily (De Waele et al., 2016). Several less studied SAS cave systems located in South Italy, and in particular in Apulia (Santa Cesarea Terme), Sicily (Acqua Fitusa, Acqua Mintina) and Calabria (Mt. Sellaro and Cassano allo Ionio) have been selected in the framework of a PhD thesis on SAS caves and their speleogenesis. Using both limestone tablet weight loss (Galdenzi et al., 2012) and micro erosion meter (MEM) (Furlani et al., 2010) methods the dissolution rate above and under water in the caves will be quantified. Geomorphological observations, landscape analysis using GIS tools, and the analysis of gypsum and other secondary minerals (alunite and jarosite) (stable isotopes and dating) will help to reconstruct the speleogenetic stages of cave formation. Preliminary microbiological analysis will determine the microbial diversity and ecology in the biofilms. References Engel S.A., Stern L.A., Bennett P.C., 2004 - Microbial contributions to cave formation: New insight into sulfuric acid

  3. Sulfur isotope values in the sulfidic Frasassi cave system, central Italy: A case study of a chemolithotrophic S-based ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zerkle, Aubrey L.; Jones, Daniel S.; Farquhar, James; Macalady, Jennifer L.

    2016-01-01

    Sulfide oxidation forms a critical step in the global sulfur cycle, although this process is notoriously difficult to constrain due to the multiple pathways and highly reactive intermediates involved. Multiple sulfur isotopes (δ34S and Δ33S) can provide a powerful tool for unravelling sulfur cycling processes in modern (and ancient) environments, although they have had limited application to systems with well-resolved oxidative S cycling. In this study, we report the major (δ34S) and minor (Δ33S) isotope values of sulfur compounds in streams and sediments from the sulfidic Frasassi cave system, Marche Region, Italy. These microaerophilic cave streams host prominent white biofilms dominated by chemolithotrophic organisms that oxidize sulfide to S0, allowing us to estimate S isotope fractionations associated with in situ sulfide oxidation and to evaluate any resulting isotope biosignatures. Our results demonstrate that chemolithotrophic sulfide oxidation produces 34S enrichments in the S0 products that are larger than those previously measured in laboratory experiments, with 34εS0-H2S of up to 8‰ calculated. These small reverse isotope effects are similar to those produced during phototrophic sulfide oxidation (⩽7‰), but distinct from the small normal isotope effects previously calculated for abiotic oxidation of sulfide with O2 (∼-5‰). An inverse correlation between the magnitude of 34εS0-H2S effects and sulfide availability, along with substantial differences in Δ33S, both support complex sulfide oxidation pathways and intracellular recycling of S intermediates by organisms inhabiting the biofilms. At the ecosystem level, we calculate fractionations of less than 40‰ between sulfide and sulfate in the water column and in the sediments. These fractionations are smaller than those typically calculated for systems dominated by sulfate reduction (>50‰), and contrast with the commonly held assumption that oxidative recycling of sulfide generally

  4. Microbiology and Geochemistry of Acidic Cave Biofilms in the Frasassi Caves, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Meyer, K. M.; Cleaveland, L. C.; Galdenzi, S.; Macalady, J. L.

    2003-12-01

    Acidic (pH 2-4) and extremely acidic (pH 0-1) biofilms in sulfidic regions of the Frasassi cave system are relatively simple, chemoautotrophic microbial communities. As such, they serve as model systems to test relationships between microbial diversity and physical and geochemical factors. Both biofilm types are isolated from surface sources of C and N and are ultimately powered by oxidation of H2S present in the cave atmosphere. pH 2-4 biofilms consist of cells in close association with sub-um to sub-mm mineral grains (primarily CaSO4) coating cave walls. Direct counts of cells stained with 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole, hydrochloride (DAPI) yield a biomass estimate of 7.5 x 106 to 1.3 x 107 cells per cm3. The great majority of these cells are either dormant (contain few ribosomes) or cells which do not hybridize with either bacteria- or archaea-specific oligonucleotide probes. Sparse clusters of short rod and coccus-shaped cells hybridized with a bacteria-specific Fluorescent In Situ Hybridization (FISH) probe. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) amplification of 16S rDNA was successful with bacteria-specific primers as well as with several sets of archaeal-specific primers, suggesting that some of the "dormant" cells are archaea. Extremely acidic biofilms (snottites) drip from macroscopic (1-2 cm length), reddish CaSO4 crystals on the cave walls. DAPI-staining and FISH revealed abundant bacterial rods, bacterial filaments, and fungi in the snottites. Future work will characterize the acidic cave wall biofilms, as well as neutral-pH cave stream biofilms, using 16S rDNA clone libraries in order to determine whether pH is an important factor controlling microbial diversity.

  5. Micropedological Study of Early Neolithic Deposit in Scaloria Cave (South Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rellini, Ivano; Firpo, Marco; Ciampalini, Andrea

    2010-05-01

    The cave is located at about 1 km NE of Manfredonia (FG). The entrance is about 45 m above present sea level, it overlooks the actual coastal plain. Today Scaloria is a part of a widest karstic system. Scaloria cave was accidentally discovered in 1932 during the construction of an underground aqueduct. The first archaeological excavations were performed in 1978 by University of Genoa and Los Angeles, but in 2007 and 2008 an sampling programme was implemented to investigate the physical character of the cave and the stratigraphic succession. The geoarchaeological study was undertaken using a descriptive approach and so far has included a morphological description and the stratigraphic study of the site by micromorphological analysis. High priority goal is an understanding of the relationships between anthropic and non-anthropic dynamics, paying special attention to site formation processes. The new micromorphological observations of the anthropogenic layers opened a new dimension in the interpretation and assessment of cave use during the Early Neolithic in Puglia (Italy). Data and the presence of occupation layers suggest that the interior of the Scaloria Cave was habited during the Early Neolithic, period of largest expansion of the Neolithic sites in Manfredonia Gulf inland. In addition, the presence of well preserved multi sequence of burnt remains (undistributed hearts), along with several other features, attests the use of this area as a household. In contrast, the upper and the deeper part of the cave don't preserve a clear stratigraphy, this fact suggests that the deposits had been frequently disturbed, but, according to the micromorphological evidences, the cave entrance is an area where dung was frequently accumulated and burnt. It is, thus, reasonable to think that this area was used as a pen (stabling of ovicaprines). These evidences, combined with the identification of archaeological findings (pottery, lithics, bones) suggest the existence of an

  6. Limestone Corrosion and Sulfur Cycling by Biofilms in the Frasassi Caves, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, D. S.; Macalady, J. L.; Druschel, G. K.; Eastman, D. D.; Albertson, L. K.

    2006-12-01

    In the Frasassi cave system, central Italy, a microbial-based ecosystem thrives on chemolithoautotrophic energy derived from hydrogen sulfide oxidation. Microbial life is prolific near the watertable, and biofilms cover nearly all subaerial and subaqueous surfaces. Subaerial biofilms are dominated by acidophilic members of the archaeal lineage Thermoplasmales and bacterial genus Acidithiobacillus. Subaqueous biofilms are diverse and are dominated by sulfide oxidizing, sulfate reducing, and sulfur disproportionating Proteobacteria. The morphology, abundance, and distribution of biofilms is controlled by physical and chemical factors such as seasonal changes in the cave hydrologic regime. In situ microelectrode voltammetry has revealed that stream biofilms speciate sulfur in diverse ways, with implications for acid production and limestone dissolution rates. Hydrogen sulfide loss from the streams cannot be accounted for solely by volatilization. Based on degassing measurements and abiotic sulfide oxidation rate calculations, stream biofilms are responsible for the majority of sulfide disappearance in streams. Rates of limestone corrosion are comparable in subaerial and subaqueous cave regions, indicating that subaerial microbial communities also have an important role in speleogenesis. Metagenomic studies targeting subaerial biofilms have confirmed that they have extremely low diversity, and offer glimpses into the physiology and biogeochemistry of extreme acidophiles in sulfidic cave communities.

  7. Age and speleogenesis of epigenic gypsum caves in the northern Apennines (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Columbu, Andrea; Chiarini, Veronica; De Waele, Jo; Drysdale, Russell; Forti, Paolo; Hellstrom, John; Woodhead, Jon

    2016-04-01

    Triassic and Messinian gypsum beds host the majority of the caves in the eastern flank of the northern Apennines. To date, more than six hundreds voids have been mapped, including the longest known epigenic gypsum cave system in the world (Spipola-Acquafredda, ~11 km of tunnels) (De Waele et al., 2013). Superimposed caves are typically sub-horizontal (Klimchouk, 2000) and connected through vertical shafts, reflecting the palaeo base-level variations. When preserved, river terraces at the surface lie at the same palaeo altitude of the base level and horizontal cave passages. Notwithstanding the well-known geology of the area known (Vai and Martini, 2001), the age of these caves has been greatly underestimated in the past. Considering the rapid dissolution of the gypsum and uplifting of the area, the start of speleogenesis activity was considered to have occurred during the last glacial age. The age of karst voids can be only indirectly estimated by the dating of the infilling sediments. U-Th dating on carbonate speleothems provides high-precision and accurate ages (Hellstrom, 2003; Scholz and Hoffmann, 2008). We thus applied this methodology to 20 speleothems coming from 14 different caves belonging to the Monte Tondo, Spipola Acquafredda, Castelnuovo, Stella-Rio Basino and Brisighella systems. The results show that: i) caves were forming since at least ~300 ka; ii) the peak of speleogenesis was reached during relatively cold climate stages, when rivers formed terraces at the surface and aggradation caused paragenesis in the stable cave levels (Columbu et al., 2015). Besides the significant contribution to the understanding of the Apennines evaporite karst evolution, this study (and its further advancement) may also refine knowledge of the local vs regional uplifting rates and base-level variations since the late Pleistocene (Wegmann and Pazzaglia, 2009). References Columbu, A., De Waele, J., Forti, P., Montagna, P., Picotti, V., Pons-Branchu, E., Hellstrom, J

  8. The small but clear gravity signal above the natural cave 'Grotta Gigante' (Trieste, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braitenberg, Carla; Sampietro, Daniele; Zuliani, David; Barbagallo, Alfio; Fabris, Paolo; Fabbri, Julius; Rossi, Lorenzo; Handi Mansi, Ahmed

    2014-05-01

    Gravity observations are a powerful means for detecting underground mass changes. The Italian and Slovenian Karst has a number of explored caves, several are also touristic due to their size (e.g. Grotta Gigante in Italy; Skocjianske Jame and Postojnska Jama in Slovenia). Just a few years ago another big cave was discovered by chance close to Trieste when drilling a tunnel for a motor-highway, which shows that more caves are expected to be discovered in coming years. We have acquired the gravity field above the Grotta Gigante cave, a cave roughly 100 m high and 200 m long with a traditional spring-gravity meter (Lacoste&Romberg) and height measurements made with GPS and total station. The GPS was made with two different teams and processing algorithms, to cross-check accuracy and error estimate. Some stations had to be surveyed with a classical instrument due to the vegetation which concealed the satellite positioning signal. Here we present the results of the positioning acquisitions and the gravity field. The cave produces a signal of 1.5 mGal, with a clear elongated concentric symmetry. The survey shows that a systematic coverage of the Karst would have the benefit to recover the position of all of the greater existing caves. This will have a large impact on civil and environmental purposes, since it will for example allow to plan the urban development at a safety distance from subsurface caves.

  9. Hypogenic speleogenesis in quartzite: The case of Corona 'e Sa Craba Cave (SW Sardinia, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Onac, Bogdan P.; Galli, Ermanno; Dublyansky, Yuri; Baldoni, Eleonora; Sanna, Laura

    2014-04-01

    The paper presents a detailed study demonstrating the hypogenic origin of the Corona 'e Sa Craba quartzite cave in SW Sardinia (Italy). Although the quartzite host-rock of this cave derived from silicification of Cambrian dolostones and dissolution of carbonate remnants could have had a role in the speleogenesis, detailed morphologic and petrographic investigation revealed clear evidence of quartz dissolution without signs of mechanical erosion by running waters. Thin section microscopy and scanning electron microscope (SEM) images show pervasive dissolution morphologies, such as pits and notches on quartz crystals causing the deep arenization of the cave walls, suggesting that the dissolution of quartz had a primary role in the formation of the void. The study of secondary cave minerals and the sulfur isotopic composition of sulfates and sulfides, coupled with data on fluid inclusions, allowed reconstruction of the peculiar speleogenetic history of this hypogenic hydrothermal quartzite cave. The cave formed by reduced hydrothermal fluids, probably under basic-neutral pH in phreatic conditions. The presence of abundant cations of Ba2 + in reduced Cl-rich fluids enhanced the quartz dissolution rate, allowing the formation of the voids in deep settings. During the Late Oligocene uplift of the area, the hydrothermal fluids in the cave reached oxygen-rich conditions, thus a minerogenetic phase started with the deposition of barite when the temperature of the fluid was ≤ 50 °C. The presence of cinnabar crusts in the lower part of the cave walls and on the boulders suggests a later volcanic phase with Hg-rich vapors ascending from below. Other minerals such as alunite, basaluminite, gypsum and halloysite (typical of an acid sulfate alteration environment), and phosphates were formed in a final, much more recent stage. The δ34S values of the cave sulfate minerals indicate that S is derived from the remobilization of original Precambrian Pb-Zn Mississippi Valley Type

  10. Why is the central area of the Alburni Mts in southern Italy so full of caves?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cafaro, Simona; Gueguen, Erwan; Parise, Mario; Schiattarella, Marcello

    2016-04-01

    The Alburni Mts represent one of the most important karst area of southern Italy, with about 250 registered caves. Located in the southern Apennines, they constitute an impressive carbonate massif within the Mesozoic-Cenozoic Campania-Lucania platform. The study area is located inside the National Park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni, and is bounded by two major rivers: the Calore and Tanagro rivers. This area has been repeatedly affected during Pleistocene by the activity of a regional, partly blind, NW-SE-striking fault system responsible for several huge earthquakes. The massif is limited to the north by an important normal fault zone (Alburni Line), whereas towards the E-SE it is bounded by a complex fault system linking the Alburni Mts to the Maddalena Mts across the Auletta basin and the Vallo di Diano valley. The entire massif is structured by NW-SE trending transtensional faults delimiting half-graben basins, and offset also by NE-SW trending faults. In particular, structural and geomorphological data have shown that the central area of the calcareous ridge is characterized by a relative structural low rhombic-shaped in planimetric view. Approximately 180 karst caves of the known 250, including some of the most significant from a speleological viewpoint, are located in this area. Is this simply due to repeated exploration activity in the last 25 years in this specific sector or might it be related to geological matter? New morphometric and structural data suggest that a relevant transversal structure, consisting of a complex NE-SW fault system, responsible for the genesis of the downthrown area in the central sector of the flat-topped ridge, was able to create the tectonic framework for the development of a great number of karst caves which present peculiar features and hydrological behaviour due to such structural controls. In this contribution we present and discuss these data, aimed at contributing to increase the knowledge on an area of sure

  11. Holocene climate variability from Rio Martino cave (Western Alps, Northern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Regattieri, Eleonora; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Isola, Ilaria; Drysdale, Russell; Hellstrom, John; Dallai, luigi; Baneschi, Ilaria; Magri, Federico

    2013-04-01

    The Alpine region currently experiences complex climatic conditions (Efthymidias et al., 2007). Such a complexity is also apparent during the Holocene, as revealed by the isotopic composition of speleothems (e.g. Spötl et al., 2010). However, virtually no speleothem data are available from the western Alps, which are dominated by North Atlantic synoptic systems. With this in mind, several flowstone cores were retrieved in Rio Martino Cave (Piemonte, Northern Italy, ca. 1530 m asl). A large part of the cave's catchment was substantially glaciated until the end of the Younger Dryas. U/Th dating of three different flowstones indicates that deposition started at the beginning of the Holocene and covered a thick deposit of cemented sand and gravels probably related to the last deglaciation. The combined δ18O record of different flowstones shows substantial variability through the Holocene, both on millennial and century time scales. Relatively low δ18O values last until ca. 6 ka. From 6 to 3 ka, the δ18O increases gradually before decreasing again from 3 ka to the present. This long-term trend may be related to changes in the seasonal patterns of precipitation, as suggested for the lake level record at Ledro (Magny et al., 2012). Superimposed on this trend there are several short-term oscillations which may reflect alternating periods of drier and wetter conditions. Some of these episodes are also in agreement with changes documented at Ledro. Efthymidias D., et al., 2007. Influence of large-scale atmospheric circulation on climate variability in the Greater Alpine Region of Europe. Journal of Geophysical Research, 112, D12104. Magny M. et al., 2012. Holocene palaeohydrological changes in the northern Mediterranean borderlands as reflected by the lake-level record of Lake Ledro, northeastern Italy. Quaternary Research, 77, 382-396 Spötl, C., et al., 2010. Humid climate during deposition of sapropel 1 in the Mediterranean Sea: Assessing the influence on the Alps

  12. Sulphuric acid speleogenesis and landscape evolution: Montecchio cave, Albegna river valley (Southern Tuscany, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Piccini, Leonardo; De Waele, Jo; Galli, Ermanno; Polyak, Victor J.; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Asmerom, Yemane

    2015-01-01

    Montecchio cave (Grosseto province, Tuscany, Italy) opens at 320 m asl, in a small outcrop of Jurassic limestone (Calcare Massiccio Fm.), close to the Albegna river. This area is characterised by the presence of several thermal springs and the outcropping of travertine deposits at different altitudes. The Montecchio cave, with passage length development of over 1700 m, is characterised by the presence of several sub-horizontal passages and many medium- and small-scale morphologies indicative of sulphuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). The thermal aquifer is intercepted at a depth of about 100 m below the entrance: the water temperature exceeds 30 °C and sulphate content is over 1300 mg l- 1. The cave hosts large gypsum deposits from 40 to 100 m below the entrance that are by-products of the reaction between sulphuric acid and the carbonate host rock. The lower part of the cave hosts over 1 m thick calcite cave raft deposits, which are evidence of long-standing, probably thermal, water in an evaporative environment related to significant air currents. Sulphur isotopes of gypsum have negative δ34S values (from - 28.3 to - 24.2‰), typical of SAS. Calcite cave rafts and speleogenetic gypsum both yield young U/Th ages varying from 68.5 ka to 2 ka BP, indicating a rapid phase of dewatering followed by gypsum precipitation in aerate environment. This fast water table lowering is related to a rapid incision of the nearby Albegna river, and was followed by a 20-30 m fluctuation of the thermal water table, as recorded in the calcite raft deposits and gypsum crusts.

  13. Upper Pleistocene interstratal piping-cave speleogenesis: The Seso Cave System (Central Pyrenees, Northern Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bartolomé, M.; Sancho, C.; Moreno, A.; Oliva-Urcia, B.; Belmonte, Á.; Bastida, J.; Cheng, H.; Edwards, R. L.

    2015-01-01

    The Seso Cave System (SCS, South Central Pyrenees, Northeastern Spain) develops in poorly soluble marly interstratum between limestone beds of Eocene age. We propose an innovative and singular pseudokarstic speleogenetic model under vadose conditions based on cave morphological evidence, physicochemical and mineralogical characteristics of the Eocene marly host rock, U-Th dating of cave deposits, and local geological and geomorphological information. Eocene marls are shown to be sensitive to dispersion processes supported by their high clay content and the high concentration of sodium and low electrical conductivity in the seepage water. Runoff inside the cave results from water that infiltrates through joints and seepage water in cave walls. Thereby piping processes become very active, triggering mechanical scouring and outwashing mechanisms. The hydraulic gradient required to develop piping activity is determined by regional fluvial incision. The base level controlling water discharge during opening of the SCS coincides with a terrace of the Ara River dated at 65 ka BP. Considering this age, as well as the U-Th age of the oldest speleothems dated in the cave at 38 ka BP, the timing of the SCS interstratal piping-cave speleogenesis is constrained to the Upper Pleistocene; very likely at the end of Marine Isotope Stage 4 during a period characterized by high water availability following glacial retreat in northern Iberian mountains.

  14. Geoarchaeological study of Katarraktes cave system - a geochemical approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Psomiadis, D.; Dotsika, E.; Albanakis, K.; Pennos, C.; Zisi, N.; Syros, A.; Vaxevanopoulos, M.; Pehlivanidou, S.

    2009-04-01

    Archaeological excavations in the cave system of Katarraktes, near Sidirokastro, Macedonia, Greece, begun in 2004 and brought into surface a great number of historical and prehistoric findings. The setting of the archaeological studies was mainly a rock-roof and the findings aged from Bronze Age till modern times. The main activity of that location seemed to be food preparation and storage. In order to investigate the correlation between human use of the cave and the environmental conditions of the area during those parts of prehistoric and historical time, a geochemical study was conducted, dealing with waters of the cave system, cave unconsolidated sediments and carbonate rocky depositions of the cave like stalagmites. The analysis of the δ13C and δ18O isotopes in carbonate sediments provided information about the conditions at the time of precipitation of the carbonate material inside the cave. Similar analyses took place on samples near the archaeological findings and the results were correlated with archaeological data both in view of time and space. A general reconstruction of the period of human occupation in the Katarraktes cave system was established, on the basis of a combination of archaeological and geochemical data.

  15. The evolution of cave systems from the surface to subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Loucks, R.G. ); Handford, C.R. )

    1996-01-01

    Many carbonate reservoirs are the result of cave-forming processes. The origin and recognition of fractures, breccias, and sediment fills associated with paleocaves were determined through the study of modern and paleocaves systems. Cave formation and destruction are the products of near-surface processes. Near-surface processes include solutional excavation, clastic and chemical sedimentation, and collapse of cave walls and ceilings. Cave sediment is derived from inside and/or outside the system. Depositional mechanisms include suspension, tractional, mass-flow and rock-fall. Collapse of ceilings and walls from chaotic breakdown breccias. These piles can be tens of meters thick and contain large voids and variable amounts of matrix. Cave-roof crackle breccia forms from stress-and tension-related fractures in cave-roof strata. As the cave-bearing strata subside into the subsurface, mechanical compaction increases and restructures the existing breccias and remaining cavities. Fracture porosity increases and breccia and vug porosity decreases. Large cavities collapse forming burial chaotic breakdown breccias. Differentially compacted strata over the collapsed chamber fracture and form burial cave-roof crackle breccias. Continued burial leads to more extensive mechanical compaction causing previously formed clasts to fracture and pack closer together. The resulting product is a rebrecciated chaotic breakdown breccia composed predominantly of small clasts. Rebrecciated blocks are often overprinted by crackling. Subsurface paleocave systems commonly have a complex history with several episodes of fracturing and brecciation. The resulting collapsed-paleocave reservoir targets are not single collapsed passages of tens of feet across, but are homogenized collapsed-cave systems hundreds to several thousand feet across.

  16. The evolution of cave systems from the surface to subsurface

    SciTech Connect

    Loucks, R.G.; Handford, C.R.

    1996-12-31

    Many carbonate reservoirs are the result of cave-forming processes. The origin and recognition of fractures, breccias, and sediment fills associated with paleocaves were determined through the study of modern and paleocaves systems. Cave formation and destruction are the products of near-surface processes. Near-surface processes include solutional excavation, clastic and chemical sedimentation, and collapse of cave walls and ceilings. Cave sediment is derived from inside and/or outside the system. Depositional mechanisms include suspension, tractional, mass-flow and rock-fall. Collapse of ceilings and walls from chaotic breakdown breccias. These piles can be tens of meters thick and contain large voids and variable amounts of matrix. Cave-roof crackle breccia forms from stress-and tension-related fractures in cave-roof strata. As the cave-bearing strata subside into the subsurface, mechanical compaction increases and restructures the existing breccias and remaining cavities. Fracture porosity increases and breccia and vug porosity decreases. Large cavities collapse forming burial chaotic breakdown breccias. Differentially compacted strata over the collapsed chamber fracture and form burial cave-roof crackle breccias. Continued burial leads to more extensive mechanical compaction causing previously formed clasts to fracture and pack closer together. The resulting product is a rebrecciated chaotic breakdown breccia composed predominantly of small clasts. Rebrecciated blocks are often overprinted by crackling. Subsurface paleocave systems commonly have a complex history with several episodes of fracturing and brecciation. The resulting collapsed-paleocave reservoir targets are not single collapsed passages of tens of feet across, but are homogenized collapsed-cave systems hundreds to several thousand feet across.

  17. Italy: health system review.

    PubMed

    Ferre, Francesca; de Belvis, Antonio Giulio; Valerio, Luca; Longhi, Silvia; Lazzari, Agnese; Fattore, Giovanni; Ricciardi, Walter; Maresso, Anna

    2014-01-01

    Italy is the sixth largest country in Europe and has the second highest average life expectancy, reaching 79.4 years for men and 84.5 years for women in 2011. There are marked regional differences for both men and women in most health indicators, reflecting the economic and social imbalance between the north and south of the country. The main diseases affecting the population are circulatory diseases, malignant tumours and respiratory diseases. Italy's health care system is a regionally based national health service that provides universal coverage largely free of charge at the point of delivery. The main source of financing is national and regional taxes, supplemented by copayments for pharmaceuticals and outpatient care. In 2012, total health expenditure accounted for 9.2 percent of GDP (slightly below the EU average of 9.6 percent). Public sources made up 78.2 percent of total health care spending. While the central government provides a stewardship role, setting the fundamental principles and goals of the health system and determining the core benefit package of health services available to all citizens, the regions are responsible for organizing and delivering primary, secondary and tertiary health care services as well as preventive and health promotion services. Faced with the current economic constraints of having to contain or even reduce health expenditure, the largest challenge facing the health system is to achieve budgetary goals without reducing the provision of health services to patients. This is related to the other key challenge of ensuring equity across regions, where gaps in service provision and health system performance persist. Other issues include ensuring the quality of professionals managing facilities, promoting group practice and other integrated care organizational models in primary care, and ensuring that the concentration of organizational control by regions of health-care providers does not stifle innovation. PMID:25471543

  18. An Ochered Fossil Marine Shell From the Mousterian of Fumane Cave, Italy

    PubMed Central

    Peresani, Marco; Vanhaeren, Marian; Quaggiotto, Ermanno; Queffelec, Alain; d’Errico, Francesco

    2013-01-01

    A scanty but varied ensemble of finds challenges the idea that Neandertal material culture was essentially static and did not include symbolic items. In this study we report on a fragmentary Miocene-Pliocene fossil marine shell, Aspamarginata, discovered in a Discoid Mousterian layer of the Fumane Cave, northern Italy, dated to at least 47.6-45.0 Cal ky BP. The shell was collected by Neandertals at a fossil exposure probably located more than 100 kms from the site. Microscopic analysis of the shell surface identifies clusters of striations on the inner lip. A dark red substance, trapped inside micropits produced by bioeroders, is interpreted as pigment that was homogeneously smeared on the outer shell surface. Dispersive X-ray and Raman analysis identify the pigment as pure hematite. Of the four hypotheses we considered to explain the presence of this object at the site, two (tool, pigment container) are discarded because in contradiction with observations. Although the other two (“manuport”, personal ornament) are both possible, we favor the hypothesis that the object was modified and suspended by a ‘thread’ for visual display as a pendant. Together with contextual and chronometric data, our results support the hypothesis that deliberate transport and coloring of an exotic object, and perhaps its use as pendant, was a component of Neandertal symbolic culture, well before the earliest appearance of the anatomically modern humans in Europe. PMID:23874677

  19. San Bernardino Cave (Italy) and the Appearance of Levallois Technology in Europe: Results of a Radiometric and Technological Reassessment

    PubMed Central

    Picin, Andrea; Peresani, Marco; Falguères, Christophe; Gruppioni, Giulia; Bahain, Jean-Jacques

    2013-01-01

    The introduction of Levallois technology in Europe marked the transition from the Lower to the early Middle Paleolithic. This new method of flake production was accompanied by significant behavioral changes in hominin populations. The emergence of this technological advance is considered homogeneous in the European archaeological record at the Marine isotopic stage (MIS) 9/MIS 8 boundary. In this paper we report a series of combined electron spin resonance/U-series dates on mammal bones and teeth recovered from the lower units of San Bernardino Cave (Italy) and the technological analyses of the lithic assemblages. The San Bernardino Cave has yielded the earliest evidence of Levallois production on the Italian Peninsula recovered to date. In addition to our results and the review of the archaeological record, we describe the chronological and geographical differences between European territories and diversities in terms of technological developments. The belated emergence of Levallois technology in Italy compared to western Europe corresponds to the late Italian Neanderthal speciation event. The new radiometric dates and the technological analyses of San Bernardino Cave raise the issue of the different roles of glacial refugia in the peopling and the spread of innovative flaking strategies in Europe during the late Middle Pleistocene. PMID:24146836

  20. Monitoring of cave air temperature and humidity in the Niedźwiedzia Cave system (Sudetes, Poland) - a key to understanding tourists activity impact to cave environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gasiorowski, M.; Hercman, H.

    2012-04-01

    The Niedźwiedzia Cave is located in Śnieżnik Massif (the Easter Sudetes, SW Poland) at 800 m a.s.l. The length of known passages is ~3000 m and denivelation is 69 m. The system is composed of 3 levels of passages and chambers. It is a show cave with ~80,000 visitors every year. In 2010 we started monitoring program of cave air temperature and humidity, drip rate, stable isotopes and Uranium and Polonium content in water in selected sites inside the cave and in its vicinity. Changes in dropping rate in upper level are well correlated with precipitation. However, a response of dripping to rainfall depends on former precipitation frequency and intensity - during the humid period the dripping reacts immediately and after long dry period dripping responses with two-weeks delay. There is not so direct correlation between precipitation and dripping in lower level of the system. Air temperature inside the cave is almost stable in lower level (mean annual ~5.3 °C, and annual variation up to 0.7 °C) and more dynamic in the middle level (mean annual ~6.4 °C, and mean annual amplitude up to 4 °C). Daily and weekly measured changes of cave air temperature demonstrate extremely well correlation with number of visitors. In show cave passages (the middle level of the system) temperature increase 0.1-0.2 °C during every day when the cave is open for tourists and such changes is not observed during days without visitors and in lower level of the system closed for tourists. But even short visits of 3-4 cavers are recorded by temperature sensors exposed in the lower level (~0.02 °C increase). It proves very high sensitivity of cave environment to human activity. This study is funded by the National Science Centre and Higher Education grant no. N N306 131038.

  1. A multi-year monitoring project of the high-altitude Cenote ice cave, Dolomites, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sauro, Francesco; Santagata, Tommaso; Spötl, Christoph; Festi, Daniela; Oeggl, Klaus; Dal Molin, Luca; De Waele, Jo

    2016-04-01

    The Cenote ice cave hosts one of the most voluminous cave glaciers of the Dolomites. This 280 m-deep abyss was discovered in 1994 after the entrance had opened as a result of the abrupt emptying of a small lake at 2940 m a.s.l. in the Regional Park of Fanes, Sennes and Braies. The cave consists of a massive, 130 m-thick layered ice deposit carved by meltwater tunnels and chimneys excavated from below by ascending air. At the lower limit of the cave glacier a shaft opens - ice-free and 165 m deep - leading into a dome occupied by a cave rock glacier with typical terminal tongue embankments. A research project was launched to monitor long-term movements and volume changes of this ice deposit as well as to understand the cave microclimate and the potential for future palaeoclimate studies. During October 2015 a first expedition performed a complete survey of the final chamber using a Leica HDS7000, a phase difference laser scanner equipped with a dual axis compensator, on-board control, a wavelenght of 1.5 microns, a laser "CLASS 1" with a flow rate of 187 m and a resolution of 0.1 mm. A scan station was performed also at 110 m above the bottom of the shaft to map in detail the lower side of the hanging ice glacier. This survey has provided the detailed volume of the chamber (420,000 m3) as well as a first record of the position of the ice masses hanging on the ceiling and of the rock glacier at the bottom. Barometric, temperature and humidity dataloggers have been installed in the cave to record the microclimate. In addition pollen traps have been installed to study the present flux of pollen at the surface and inside the cave, while preliminary analyses on pollen grains preserved in the ice are being carried out. The Cenote ice cave research project aims to shed light on the climate evolution of the Dolomites during the last hundreds or possibly thousands of years, as well as on the more recent environmental changes that lead to the upward melting of the cave

  2. Identifying Source Mixing and Examining Water Chemistry Variations: The Carroll Cave - Toronto Springs System

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Located in the Missouri Ozarks, Carroll Cave is a dendritic stream cave system, formed in Ordivician Gasconade dolomite. In 2002, a new survey effort was launched under the auspices of the Carroll Cave Conservancy to provide a comprehensive map of the system. Since that time, 29.89 km of estimated p...

  3. Anthropogenic sinkholes susceptibility and underground caves density of Naples (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ciotoli, Giancarlo; Guarino, Paolo Maria; Nisio, Stefania

    2016-04-01

    A study of historical anthropogenic sinkholes, the underground caves and related susceptibility in the municipality of Naples is presented. The goals of the research is to construct an inventory of historical sinkholes (events from 1960 to 2015), to identify and analyze their predisposing and triggering factors, and to evaluate the related susceptibility. A fairly complete assessment of historical events occurred up to December 2015 has been carried out. The analysis related to the last sinkholes phenomena is presented, especially regarding those caused by the collapse of subterranean lapillus quarries. The genetic mechanisms of the surveyed sinkholes appear sufficiently clear; the knowledge of how the predisposing factors vary within the study area is adequate as far as the sewage system is considered, whereas it is still defective as concerns the role of the cavity network. The obtained susceptibility map could be a useful contribution to further detailed zoning maps in a densely urbanized area, such as the city of Naples. In addition to the need of further increasing the knowledge on the subsoil of the Neapolitan area, a key issue remains the use of temporal information on historical events for the purposes of hazard evaluation; further studies in this regard are still in progress.

  4. Detrital cave sediments as recorders of environmental changes, the Seso Cave System (Huesca, Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliva-Urcia, Belén; Bartolomé, Miguel; Moreno, Ana; Gil-Romera, Graciela; Sancho, Carlos; Muñoz, Arsenio; Osácar, Cinta

    2014-05-01

    The sedimentological study of a waterlaid detrital sequence of ~ 240 cm thick within the Seso Cave System (West-Central Pyrenees) reveals two types of sedimentary environments, the lower part (first 100 cm) is made of autochthonous (piping detached material from the Eocene marls host rock inside of the cavity) and the upper part, which is mixed with the pond deposits from 100 to 190 cm, is made of allochthonous (stream transported sediments from the outside) sediments. In these sediments, seven charcoal samples were dated using 14C AMS ranging from 2080 to 650 cal yr BP (130 BC-1300 AD). Two levels of human occupation of the cave have been recognized by ceramics associated to the Iberian Period and to the Roman Period, respectively. The autochthonous material is made up of fine grain laminated sediments (lutites and marls) and corresponds to pond facies, whereas the allochthonous material is lutites and sands and corresponds to stream facies. The increase in sedimentation rate towards the end of the sequence points to an intensification of the alluvial activity as a possible consequence of a more arid climate during the Medieval Climate Anomaly. In addition to the sedimentological and chronological studies, magnetic analyses were performed in 44 standard samples taken along the profile. The magnetic signature of the samples confirm the difference in the provenance of the studied sequence, with lower values in the natural remanent magnetization and magnetic susceptibility in the pond facies than in the stream facies due to the lower quantity of ferromagnetic minerals in the former. The rock magnetic analyses reveal that the ferromagnetic mineral is a soft coercive mineral with Curie temperatures of 580ºC, i.e., magnetite. In addition, the direction of the paleomagnetic record of the sediments is modified by the two human settlements.

  5. Draft Genome Sequence of Lampenflora Chlorobium limicola Strain Frasassi in a Sulfidic Cave System.

    PubMed

    Mansor, Muammar; Macalady, Jennifer L

    2016-01-01

    The draft genome sequence of Chlorobium limicola strain Frasassi was assembled from metagenomic sequencing of a green mat in an artificially lighted aquarium inside the Frasassi caves in Italy. The genome is 2.08 Mbp in size and contains the necessary genes for anoxygenic photosynthesis and CO2 fixation. PMID:27174272

  6. Draft Genome Sequence of Lampenflora Chlorobium limicola Strain Frasassi in a Sulfidic Cave System

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The draft genome sequence of Chlorobium limicola strain Frasassi was assembled from metagenomic sequencing of a green mat in an artificially lighted aquarium inside the Frasassi caves in Italy. The genome is 2.08 Mbp in size and contains the necessary genes for anoxygenic photosynthesis and CO2 fixation. PMID:27174272

  7. A stalagmite from Corchia cave (Italy) - an archive of palaeoclimate information on three Terminations during the Middle Pleistocene Transition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bajo, P.; Drysdale, R.; Woodhead, J.; Hellstrom, J.; Perrette, Y.; Zanchetta, G.; Spötl, C.

    2012-04-01

    During the Middle Pleistocene Transition the period of glacial-interglacial cycles shifted from 40,000 to 100,000 years. Determining the orbital parameter(s) most responsible for this transition is one of the most challenging questions amongst the palaeoclimate community. Although the majority of information about this shift is retrieved from deep sea and ice core records, the inability to radiometrically date these records hampers the production of an absolutely dated palaeoclimate time-series which could be used to test existing orbital theories. Speleothems (secondary precipitated cave deposits) could possibly be used for this purpose. Their geochemical proxies capture information about palaeoclimate changes and their ability to be radiometrically dated makes them exceptional palaeoclimate recorders. Although the vast majority of speleothem-based studies so far have been centred on the late Quaternary (mostly the last 100,000 years), development and improvement of U-Pb dating methods has opened up exciting new opportunities to use speleothems to address palaeoclimate questions that pertain to the period pre-dating the limit of U-Th dating (~500,000 yr). Here we present results of detailed palaeoclimate investigations on a stalagmite (CC8) from Corchia Cave in Italy. Speleothems from this cave have already yielded useful palaeoclimate information for the latter part of the Quaternary. Their characteristics, such as high concentrations of uranium, low concentrations of common lead and thorium, and relatively well-constrained initial uranium-series disequilibria make them ideal candidates for successful U-Pb dating. U-Pb dating results showed that speleothem CC8 grew during part of the Middle Pleistocene Transition (0.81 to 0.99 Ma). By comparing our stable isotope time series (δ18O and δ13C) with the LR04 stack we recognize Terminations X, XI and XII. High-resolution trace element and fluorescence analyses have also been performed through parts of the speleothem

  8. Gravitational deformations and fillings of aging caves: The example of Qesem karst system, Israel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Frumkin, Amos; Karkanas, Panagiotis; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Barkai, Ran; Gopher, Avi; Shahack-Gross, Ruth; Vaks, Anton

    2009-05-01

    The Qesem karst system may serve as an example for aging chamber caves. It includes two caves which have undergone several stages of natural and human-induced deposition, as well as subsidence and collapse. Natural deposits include calcite speleothems, bedrock collapse debris, and clay fill. Karst dissolution and associated sagging and decomposition have operated since the initial cave formation. Inclined sediments are attributed to several processes, mostly dominated by gravitational sagging into underlying dissolution voids, affecting cave deposits and sometimes the host-rock. U-Th dating shows that speleothem deposition has been common during the mid-late Quaternary, but deposition sites shifted according to local conditions. The aging of caves occurs when they become totally filled by sediments and ultimately consumed by surface denudation, as documented in Qesem Cave.

  9. Resource Documentation and Recharge Area Delineation of a Large Fluvial Karst System: Carroll Cave, Missouri

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Located along Wet Glaize Creek in the central Missouri Ozarks, Toronto Spring is a distributary spring system where surface stream flow mixes with flow from the Carroll Cave system. Following recharge area delineations for Thunder River and Confusion Creek in Carroll Cave, flow from these rivers wa...

  10. A stable isotope study of fossil mammal remains from the Paglicci cave, Southern Italy. N and C as palaeoenvironmental indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Iacumin, P.; Bocherens, H.; Delgado Huertas, A.; Mariotti, A.; Longinelli, A.

    1997-04-01

    A set of 102 tooth and bone samples of Pleistocene age (32,600-13,300 yr BP) belonging to the species Cervus elaphus, Bos primigenius and Equus caballus and coming from the Paglicci cave (Southern Italy) was studied for the carbon (δ 13C) and nitrogen (δ 15N) isotopic composition of bone and dentine collage and for the carbon (δ 13C c) isotopic composition of tooth enamel carbonate. The amount of collagen extracted from bone and tooth samples (mg/g) was rather variable, representing approximately only 0.5-15% of the collagen present in a fresh bone. However, the loss of an important fraction of the original collagen during diagenesis did not change the in vivo isotopic composition. In general, when the δ 13C of both collagen and carbonate and the δ 15N of collagen obtained from each level for the three species are compared, wild ox shows the most increased values, deer the most decreased values and horse shows intermediate results. These differences are probably related to distinct diets or to differences in their physiological behaviour. However, the isotopic results suggest that the three species considered lived in an open environment with a diet based on C 3 plants. The stratigraphic sequence of light and heavy nitrogen isotope values between 19,000 and 15,000 may be related to shifts from arid to humid conditions, while the overall trend shown by δ 13C toward lighter values may be related to a progressive development of a forest habitat.

  11. Magnetostratigraphy of Cave Sediments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bosák, P.; Pruner, P.

    2007-05-01

    Karst and cave fills (karst sediments) are relatively special kinds of geologic materials, as the karst environment favors both the preservation of paleontological remains and their destruction: on one hand, karst is well known for its wealth of paleontological sites, on the other hand, most of cave fills are completely sterile (especially the inner-cave facies). Another specific feature is that karst systems can be "frozen" (halted) and then rejuvenated, often for several times. Reactivation processes may degrade the record into an unreadable form, often mixing karst fill of different ages (collapses, reworking, redepositions). Only the last accumulation phase has been dated in caves in most cases. The fossilisation of the cave (fill by deposits) and rejuvenation (exhumation of the fill) reflect changes in resurgence area. The rejuvenation of the karst process can excavate the previous cave fill completely, which is the most common case resulting from the polycyclicity and dynamics of cave environments. Under favorable settings, fills belonging to more infill phases and separated by distinct hiatuses (unconformities) can occur in one sedimentary profile. Such amalgamation is typical especially in ponor part of the cave. During our previous research we found, that owing to the specific character of karst sediments, the use of paleomagnetic methods can bring surprising result, without regards to the character of the method (correlated- ages not providing direct numerical output). The method can serve as helpful tool to interpret not only the age of cave sediments but also to understand the evolution of karst landscape and tectonic history of the region. To obtain more precise results, it is necessary to combine paleomagnetism with other methods of numerical-, relative- or correlated-dating. The analytical results confirmed that the complete step/field procedure offered by the alternating field and thermal demagnetization methods must be applied. The sampling for

  12. Evaluating visual discomfort in stereoscopic projection-based CAVE system with a close viewing distance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, Weitao; Weng, Dongdong; Feng, Dan; Li, Yuqian; Liu, Yue; Wang, Yongtian

    2015-05-01

    As one of popular immersive Virtual Reality (VR) systems, stereoscopic cave automatic virtual environment (CAVE) system is typically consisted of 4 to 6 3m-by-3m sides of a room made of rear-projected screens. While many endeavors have been made to reduce the size of the projection-based CAVE system, the issue of asthenopia caused by lengthy exposure to stereoscopic images in such CAVE with a close viewing distance was seldom tangled. In this paper, we propose a light-weighted approach which utilizes a convex eyepiece to reduce visual discomfort induced by stereoscopic vision. An empirical experiment was conducted to examine the feasibility of convex eyepiece in a large depth of field (DOF) at close viewing distance both objectively and subjectively. The result shows the positive effects of convex eyepiece on the relief of eyestrain.

  13. Connecting Metabolic Potential with Thermodynamic Reality: Lithotrophic Microbial Communities of the Frasassi Cave System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McCauley, R. L.; Macalady, J. L.; Schaperdoth, I.

    2013-12-01

    If Martian life evolved during the Noachian period, it likely would have retreated to liquid water refuges where redox chemistry provided metabolically viable substrates. Present-day Mars appears to have such a refuge with data suggesting that liquid water may persist in the subsurface, however limited data is available with regards to subsurface Martian geochemistry and hydrogeology. On Earth, we find microbial communities thriving in subsurface environments utilizing a multitude of lithoautotrophic metabolisms. The Frasassi cave system in Italy hosts many such lithotrophic microbial communities, which are isolated from surface carbon, sunlight, and oxygen similar to possible Martian microbial populations. By studying the community structure, geochemistry and thermodynamics of the system, as well as the metabolic capabilities using metagenomics, we hope to discover microbes are capable of thriving in so-called 'energy-limited' environments and inform the search for life in the solar system. Two subsurface cave lakes in the Frasassi cave system, Lago Infinito and Lago dell'Orsa, have anoxic waters that host rope-like biofilm communities dominated by Deltaproteobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Planctomycetes clades. Thermodynamic calculations based on in situ geochemistry of waters surrounding the biofilms suggest very few metabolisms are energetically-feasible including: 1) anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) coupled with sulfate reduction 2) anaerobic ammonia oxidation (anammox) coupled with sulfate reduction 3) methanogenesis (Lago dell'Orsa only) 4) chemotrophic sulfate reduction AOM and anammox were only recently discovered and appear to have low energy yields associated with slow growth rates. AOM coupled with sulfate reduction has been shown to occur in a syntrophy between sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) and methanotrophic Archaea. However, these rope-like biofilms have a small (<10%) Archaeal population, which are not closely related to the syntrophic

  14. Can subterranean cave systems affect soil CO2 fluxes?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krajnc, Bor; Ferlan, Mitja; Ogrinc, Nives

    2015-04-01

    Main factors affecting soil CO2 fluxes in most ecosystems are soil temperature and soil moisture. Nevertheless occasionally high soil CO2 fluxes were observed at carst areas, which could result from ventilation of subterranean cavities (Ferlan et al., 2011). The aim of this work was to determine the influence of cave ventilation to soil CO2 fluxes. Research was done in a dead-end passage of Postojna cave (Pisani rov) and on the surface area above the passage (Velika Jeršanova dolina) in south-western Slovenia. Inside the cave we measured CO2 concentrations, its carbon (13C) stable isotope composition, 222Rn activity concentrations, temperatures and air pressure. At the surface we had chosen two sampling plots; test plot above the cave and control. At both plots we measured soil CO2 fluxes with automatic chambers, CO2 concentrations, temperatures and carbon stable isotope composition of soil air at three different depths (0.2 m, 0.5 m and 0.8 m) and different meteorological parameters such as: air temperature, air pressure, wind speed an precipitation. To detect the cave influence, we compared two surface CO2 flux measurements with air temperatures and changes of CO2 concentrations in the cave atmosphere. Our results on CO2 concentrations in the gallery of the cave indicated that the ventilation of this particular gallery also depends on outside air temperatures. Outside temperature increased and corresponded to higher CO2 concentrations, whereas at lower temperatures (T < 9 oC) cave started to ventilate and exhaled CO2 reach air through unknown fissures and cracks. At the control plot the soil CO2 fluxes were in a good correlation with soil temperatures (r = 0.789, p =0.01), where greater soil temperatures correspond to greater soil CO2 fluxes. Soil CO2 fluxes at the plot above the cave did not show statistically significant correlations with soil temperatures or soil moisture indicating that other factors possibly cave ventilation could influence it. References

  15. Hypogenic origin, geologic controls and functional organization of a giant cave system in Precambrian carbonates, Brazil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klimchouk, Alexander; Auler, Augusto S.; Bezerra, Francisco H. R.; Cazarin, Caroline L.; Balsamo, Fabrizio; Dublyansky, Yuri

    2016-01-01

    This study is focused on speleogenesis of the Toca da Boa Vista (TBV) and Toca da Barriguda (TBR), the longest caves in South America occurring in the Neoproterozoic Salitre Formation in the São Francisco Craton, NE Brazil. We employ a multidisciplinary approach integrating detailed speleomorphogenetic, lithostratigraphic and geological structure studies in order to reveal the origin of the caves, their functional organization and geologic controls on their development. The caves developed in deep-seated confined conditions by rising flow. The overall fields of passages of TBV and TBR caves represent a speleogenetically exploited large NE-SW-trending fracture corridor associated with a major thrust. This corridor vertically extends across the Salitre Formation allowing the rise of deep fluids. In the overall ascending flow system, the formation of the cave pattern was controlled by a system of sub-parallel anticlines and troughs with NNE-SSW dominant orientation, and by vertical and lateral heterogeneities in fracture distribution. Three cave-stratigraphic stories reflect the actual hydrostratigraphy during the main phase of speleogenesis. Cavities at different stories are distinct in morphology and functioning. The gross tree-dimensional pattern of the system is effectively organized to conduct rising flow in deep-seated confined conditions. Cavities in the lower story developed as recharge components to the system. A laterally extensive conduit network in the middle story formed because the vertical flow from numerous recharge points has been redirected laterally along the highly conductive unit, occurring below the major seal - a scarcely fractured unit. Rift-like and shaft-like conduits in the upper story developed along fracture-controlled outflow paths, breaching the integrity of the major seal, and served as outlets for the cave system. The cave system represents a series of vertically organized, functionally largely independent clusters of cavities

  16. Reconstruction of the Neanderthal and Modern Human landscape and climate from the Fumane cave sequence (Verona, Italy) using small-mammal assemblages

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    López-García, Juan Manuel; dalla Valle, Chiara; Cremaschi, Mauro; Peresani, Marco

    2015-11-01

    Fumane cave, located at an altitude of 350 m.a.s.l. in the Monti Lessini in the Veneto Pre-Alps, northeastern Italy, is a reference site for southern Europe for the study of the behaviour of Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans (AMH) from Marine Isotope Stages 5 to 2 (MIS5-MIS2). It is one of the few well-dated and closely studied sites in the Italian Peninsula, with a finely layered sedimentary sequence from the Mousterian to Gravettian. In this paper we present for the first time a palaeoenvironmental and palaeoclimatic reconstruction of the MIS3 and MIS2 sequence based on the small mammal (insectivore, bat and rodent) assemblages. The environmental and climatic results, coupled with the radiocarbon dating together with previous studies on large mammals, birds and charcoal and other studies on small mammals and pollen for the same time-span in Italy, enable us clearly to identify distinct climatic periods within our data: Heinrich Event 5 in units A7 to A6, Greenland Interstadial 12 in units A5 + A6 to A4, Heinrich Event 4 in units A3 to A1, and Heinrich Event 3 in unit D1e. Finally, the study shows that Neanderthals and Anatomically Modern Humans were well adapted to the different climatic and environmental conditions of MIS3 at the foot of the Alps.

  17. 76 FR 19129 - Excavations (Design of Cave-in Protection Systems); Extension of the Office of Management and...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-06

    ... 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3506 et seq.) and Secretary of Labor's Order No. 4-2010 (75 FR 55355). ] Signed at... Occupational Safety and Health Administration Excavations (Design of Cave-in Protection Systems); Extension of... information collection requirements contained in the Standard on Excavations (Design of Cave-in...

  18. Understanding of δ13C behavior and its significance in the Furong Cave system through a 10-year cave monitoring study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, J.; Li, H. C.; Li, T.; Li, X.; Yuan, N.; Zhang, T.

    2015-12-01

    The debate about how speleothem δ13C to reflect paleoclimate and paleovegetation changes calls for understanding of δ13C behavior in a cave system. We have conducted a monitoring study in Furong Cave, Chongqing, China since 2005 involving multiple sites in the overlying soil and inside the cave. The measured proxies include pCO2 of the atmosphere, soil and cave air; dripping rate, pH, electronic conductivity, Ca2+, HCO3-, d13CDIC of the dripwaters; and deposition rate, d13C of seasonally selected carbonate deposits. The many observations from this study are: (1) Soil pCO2 is close to the atmospheric pCO2 in winter and reaches >10000 ppm during the summer due to high productivity under warm and wet climates. (2) The pCO2 in cave air is slightly higher than Soil pCO2 and atmospheric pCO2 in winter (400~900 ppm), but elevates up to ~2000 ppm around October due to seepage of soil CO2 into the cave. The cave air pCO2 exhibits double peaks following the seasonal rainfall (1st peak in April-June controlled by Indian monsoon and 2nd peak in July-September influenced by the North Western Pacific monsoon). The cave air pCO2 has about 2-3 month lag to the soil pCO2. (3) Under the influence of soil CO2 and rainfall, the d13CDIC of drpiwaters are depleted in the summer and enriched during the winter. During 2009-2011, southwestern China experienced extremely drought due to summer monsoon failure. The d13CDIC of dripwater in Furong Cave was strongly enriched because of low soil CO2 productivity, less transportation of soil CO2 into the cave, and high CO2 ratio from bedrock input. Dripping rate does not affect the d13CDIC significantly. (4) The d13C of speleothems is controlled by the open/closed system of the seepage pathway on the first order. Monitoring site MP1 owns a relatively open system shown by fast dripping rates, low Ca and HCO3- contents, and low carbonate deposition rate. The d13C of modern deposits from this site not only shows the seasonal variation following

  19. Determination and Assessment of Parameters Influencing Rock Mass Cavability in Block Caving Mines Using the Probabilistic Rock Engineering System

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rafiee, Ramin; Ataei, Mohammad; Khalokakaie, Reza; Jalali, Seyed Mohammad Esmaeil; Sereshki, Farhang

    2015-05-01

    Mining methods such as block caving or sublevel caving rely on the characteristics of the rock mass to cave efficiently to fulfill an economical production. The identification of influencing parameters and cavability assessment are, thus, a prime geotechnical focus for all potential caving projects. In the caving operation, many factors, such as natural and induced factors, affect the caving performance. In this study, after discussing the caving process and identifying all effective parameters, the interaction matrix based on the rock engineering system (RES) is introduced to study the influencing parameters in rock mass cavability. The interaction matrix analyzes the interrelationship between the parameters affecting rock engineering activities. As the interaction matrix codes are not unique, probabilistic coding can be performed non-deterministically, allowing consideration of uncertainties in the RES analysis. As a result, the parameters with the highest probability of being dominant or subordinate, and also the parameters with the highest probability of being interactive, are introduced. The proposed approach could be a simple but efficient tool in the evaluation of the parameters affecting the cavability of rock mass in block caving mines and, hence, useful in decision-making under uncertainties.

  20. The process of ghost-rock karstification and its role in the formation of cave systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dubois, C.; Quinif, Y.; Baele, J.-M.; Barriquand, L.; Bini, A.; Bruxelles, L.; Dandurand, G.; Havron, C.; Kaufmann, O.; Lans, B.; Maire, R.; Martin, J.; Rodet, J.; Rowberry, M. D.; Tognini, P.; Vergari, A.

    2014-04-01

    This paper presents an extensive review of the process of ghost-rock karstification and highlights its role in the formation of cave systems. The process integrates chemical weathering and mechanical erosion and extends a number of existing theories pertaining to continental landscape development. It is a two stage process that differs in many respects from the traditional single-stage process of karstification by total removal. The first stage is characterised by chemical dissolution and removal of the soluble species. It requires low hydrodynamic energy and creates a ghost-rock feature filled with residual alterite. The second stage is characterised by mechanical erosion of the undissolved particles. It requires high hydrodynamic energy and it is only then that open galleries are created. The transition from the first stage to the second is driven by the amount of energy within the thermodynamic system. The process is illustrated by detailed field observations and the results of the laboratory analyses of samples taken from the karstotype area around Soignies in southern Belgium. Thereafter, a series of case studies provide a synthesis of field observations and laboratory analyses from across western Europe. These studies come from geologically distinct parts of Belgium, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom. The process of ghost-rock karstification challenges a number of axioms associated with the process of karstification by total removal. On the basis of the evidence presented it is argued that it is no longer acceptable to use karst morphologies as a basis with which to infer specific karstogenetic processes and it is no longer necessary for a karst system to relate to base level as ghost-rock karstification proceeds along transmissive pathways in the rock. There is also some evidence to suggest that ghost-rock karstification may be superseded by karstification by total removal, and vice versa, according to the amount of energy within the thermodynamic system

  1. Hypogenic contribution to speleogenesis in a predominant epigenic karst system: A case study from the Venetian Alps, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tisato, Nicola; Sauro, Francesco; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Bruijn, Rolf H. C.; De Waele, Jo

    2012-05-01

    Buso della Rana and Buso della Pisatela are two karstic caves located in north-east Italy. They are part of the same karst system and are developed in the Castelgomberto calcarenitic marine sediments, which were deposited in a shallow Caribbean-type sea during the Eocene. The Buso della Rana-Pisatela system developed mostly at the contact between the Castelgomberto calcarenite and underlying volcanic rocks. The system of caves is ~ 37 km long and has only three entrances, two of which are semi-artificial. The overlying karst plateau is not directly connected to the Buso della Rana-Pisatela system and, with the exception of one deep abyss, exhibits a rather poorly developed karst. This is unexpected considering the presence at depth of such a large and long cave. Gypsum (CaSO4·2H2O) has locally been observed on the walls of the Buso della Pisatela cave. Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), performed with a scanning electron microscope (SEM), reveals the presence of sulfur-bearing minerals within the host rock. Gypsum was formed by oxidation of these minerals as indicated by negative δ34S values. The oxidation of sulfide minerals forms a sulfuric-acid solution that dissolves the Castelgomberto calcarenite and, once it is oversaturated in calcium, precipitates as gypsum. The lack of well-developed karst on top of the plateau and the analyses suggest that the formation mechanisms for the Buso della Rana-Pisatela system differ from classical epigenic speleogenesis. The "pyrite-effect" has been recognized in other caves and described in literature. In our case pyrite is responsible of two hypo-speleogenetic processes: i) the dissolution of a portion of the host rock and ii) the enlargement of the karst voids as a consequence of the haloclastic effect.

  2. Microbial community diversity associated with moonmilk deposits in a karstic cave system in Ireland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rooney, D.; Hutchens, E.; Clipson, Nick; McDermott, Frank

    2009-04-01

    Microbial ecology in subterranean systems has yet to be fully studied. Cave systems present highly unusual and extreme habitats, where microbial activity can potentially play a major role in nutrient cycling and possibly contribute to the formation of characteristic subaerial structures. How microorganisms actually function in cave systems, and what ecological roles they may perform, has yet to be widely addressed, although recent studies using molecular techniques combined with analytical geochemistry have begun to answer some questions surrounding subterranean microbial ecology (Northup et al., 2003). Moonmilk has a ‘cottage-cheese' like consistency, comprised of fine crystal aggregates of carbonate minerals, commonly calcite, hydromagnesite and gypsum, and is believed to be at least partially precipitated by microbial activity (Baskar et al., 2006). Microbial metabolic processes have been implicated in the formation of moonmilk, probably a result of biochemical corrosion of bedrock under high moisture conditions. Mineral weathering via bacterial activity has become accepted as a major influence on subsurface geochemistry and formation of belowground structures (Summers-Engel et al., 2004). While many studies focus on bacterial communities in subterranean systems, fungal community structure is also likely to be important in cave systems, given the important role fungi play in the transformations of organic and inorganic substrates (Gadd, 2004) and the significant role of fungi in mineral dissolution and secondary mineral formation (Burford et al., 2003). In general, it is agreed that both biotic and abiotic processes influence moonmilk formation, yet the diversity of the microbial community associated with moonmilk formations has not been characterised to date. Ballinamintra Cave (Waterford County, Ireland) is largely protected from human influence due to accessibility difficulties and thereby offers an opportunity to study microbial community structure that

  3. The archaeal diversity in a cave system and its implications for life on other planets

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leuko, Stefan; Rettberg, Petra; De Waele, Jo; Bessone, Loredana; Sauro, Francesco; Sanna, Laura

    The quest of exploring and looking for life in new places is a human desire since centuries. Nowadays, we are not only looking on planet Earth any more, but our endeavours focus on nearby planets in our solar system. At this point in time, we are not able to send manned missions to other planets, but to be ready and prepared for the day, training today is pivotal. Developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2008, these CAVES missions (Cooperative Adventure for Valuing and Exercising human behaviour and performance Skills), prepare astronauts to work safely and effectively and solve problems as a multicultural team while exploring uncharted underground natural areas (i.e. caves) using space procedures. The hypogean environment is also of great interest for astrobiological research as cave conditions may resemble those in extra-terrestrial environments. Besides the main focus of exploration and skill training, future astronauts are also trained in taking microbiological samples for analysis during the exploration and for further analysis in the lab. During the 2013 mission, astronauts collected soil samples and employed flocked swaps to sample areas with little or no visible soil. Microscopic analysis back in the lab revealed a diverse spectrum of different cell shapes and sizes. Samples were further analysed employing molecular tools such as RFLP analysis, 16s rRNA clone libraries and sequence analysis. RFLP pattern analysis revealed that the community can be divided in 9 main groups and several single patterns. The largest group (40% of all analysed clones) belong to the clade of ammonia oxidizing archaea Nitrosopumilus spp.. Dividing the results by sampling point, it showed that the highest diversity of organisms was located on the flocked swaps, which is interesting as the sample was taken from a rock surface with no visible organic matter. By analysis low energy systems like a cave, we may be able to find clues for what could be necessary to survive on a

  4. Italy.

    PubMed

    1987-04-01

    For "Background Notes" on Italy, the U.S. State Department, Bureau of Public Affairs, covers geography, people, history, government, politics, economy, defense and foreign relations. Italy had 57.3 million persons in 1986, with a growth rate of 2.3%. The life expectancy is 73 years; the infant mortality rate is 14.3/1000 live births. 98% of the people are literate. The current constitutional republic has existed since 1948. Mean per capita income is $6,447. The people work mainly in services (60%), industry (30%) and agriculture (10%). Most of the country is mountainous, without significant food, energy or natural resources, so Italy's central position in the Mediterranean has influenced economic development since ancient times. The nation is highly homogeneous, as the government is centralized. Although there are several influential political parties, the diverse structure of the Christian Democrats has given them power since the war. The current prime minister, Bettino Craxi, is a member of the centralist Italian Socialist Party. The Italian Communist Party is the largest such party in the free world, polling 30% of the vote in 1983. Italy is a member of NATO. PMID:12177926

  5. DELINEATING KARST RECHARGE AREAS AT ONONDAGA CAVE STATE PARK

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Onondaga Cave State Park is located in the north central portion of the Ozarks near Leasburg, Missouri. The park is known for two extensive cave systems, Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave. Both of these cave systems have active streams (1-2 cfs at baseflow) which have unknown recharge areas. As a man...

  6. Active displacements recorded along major fault systems in caves (Eastern Alps, Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mitrovic, Ivanka; Plan, Lukas; Baron, Ivo; Grasemann, Bernhard

    2014-05-01

    Seismic data and GPS observations suggest that several major tectonic fault systems in the Eastern Alps are still active. However, direct geological evidences for recent movements along individual fault systems are rather scarce and limited to local observations in the Vienna Basin. Recently, tectonically damaged speleothems have been described from a cave close to the Salzach Ennstal Mariazeller Puchberger (SEMP) strike-slip fault, which accommodated the lateral extrusion of the Eastern Alps towards the Pannonian Basin. The project SPELEOTECT investigates the Quaternary tectonic activity and recent dynamics of micro-displacements along major fault systems of the Eastern Alps recorded in caves. The work focuses on cave passages, which have been displaced by active faulting and on speleothems, which have been damaged by fault movements. In order to bracket the tectonic events, flowstones, which have grown before and after the tectonic event are dated using the U-series disequilibrium method. For the reconstruction of the local stress field during (re)activation of the faults, the paleostress and the active stress field will be calculated from the fault-slip data of the recent micro-dislocations monitored with high-accuracy 3D crack-gauges. Cataclasites and fault gouges from sheared flowstones are investigated with high-resolution electron beam analytical techniques in order to characterize the microstructures caused by various deformation mechanisms within principal slip surfaces. Cathodoluminescense images are combined with electron backscattered diffraction maps in order to discriminating between fault displacements caused by seismic slip or aseismic creep. The major aim of SPELEOTECT is the record of a solid and broad data base of the paleoseismic record of the Eastern Alps for regional earthquake hazard assessment.

  7. Uplifted flank margin caves in telogenetic limestones in the Gulf of Orosei (Central-East Sardinia-Italy) and their palaeogeographic significance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Sanna, Laura; Calzoni, Claudio; De Waele, Jo

    2015-02-01

    This work reports the results of geomorphological observations carried out in the coastal Fico Cave and surrounding areas (Baunei, Central East Sardinia) in the Gulf of Orosei. A tidal notch, generally believed to be of Eemian (MIS 5e) age, is barely visible at 8.5 above present sea level (asl), some metres below the main entrance of the cave. Old cave passages, now partially opened by cliff retreat and parallel to the coastline, are clearly visible at around 14 m asl and correspond to the main level of Fico Cave. Two more notches are located higher, at 22 and 50 m asl. Fico Cave itself is composed of at least 6 clearly distinguished more or less horizontal levels (- 10 m below present sea level (bsl), and + 14, + 22, + 40, + 50, and + 63 m asl), independent of the stratal dip, arguing for a sea-level, and hence, fresh-water lens control. Cave passages develop along main fractures more or less parallel to the coastline and never extend landward for more than 150 m, mostly ending blindly, or diminishing in their dimensions progressively landward. Most passages only contain clay deposits, lacking fluvial or marine sediments or typical fluvial erosion morphologies (i.e. scallops). It is suggested from this body of evidence that Fico Cave was formed in the coastal mixing zone along major discontinuities during several Quaternary interglacial periods, when sea level was high and relatively stable for enough time to develop large dissolutional voids. The geomorphological observations indicate the main + 14 m asl level of the cave to have formed during MIS 9, and was heavily reworked during MIS 5, while the higher levels are relative to older interglacial highstands that occurred between 1 Ma and 325 ka. The small active branch developed below present sea level has formed during MIS 7 (225 ka). These observations shed new light on the position of the MIS 5e highstand markers in this area of the coast, much higher than previously thought.

  8. Hydraulics of Reka-Timavo system, Classical Karst (Carso), Slovenia-Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabrovsek, Franci; Kaufmann, Georg; Peric, Borut

    2016-04-01

    In tectonically active areas, karst systems continuously adapt to the relatively rapid changes of the structural and boundary conditions. The flow pathways in such systems are characterised by high variability of channel cross-sections and breakdowns, which restrict the flow and cause high fluctuations of groundwater level, particularly if the recharge variations are high. One of the world's most prominent karst systems with such characteristics is the Kras/Carso plateau (Classical Karst), which extends between SW Slovenia and NE Italy. The ground water dynamics is mainly influenced by the allogenic input of Reka river which sinks at the Škocjanske jame (Škocjan caves) and emerges about 40 km north-west at the coast of Adria near Duino in springs of Timavo. The ratio between highest and lowest flow of Reka reaches 1700 with the maximum measured discharge 305 m3/s, and minimum 0.18 m3/s. This work is based on the long-term continuous monitoring of basic physical parameters of underground flow within six active caves of the Reka-Timavo system. Using stage, temperature and specific electric conductivity hydrographs, following questions were addressed: How do different signals (flood pulse, temperature, SEP) propagate through the system? How does the known geometry relate to the recorded hydrographs in caves? Can we infer on the structure of unknown parts of the system from the recorded hydrographs ? Where are the restrictions causing floods in different parts of the system? The data analysis includes heuristic and statistical analysis of the hydrographs and optimisation based hydraulic modelling. The response to recharge events is vigorous; high flow variability causes extreme stage variations along the whole observed system, with more than 100 m difference between the base and highest water levels at rising and recession rates reaching almost 10 m/h. By analysing large recharge events, we show that high floods in the two most upstream caves (Škocjanske jame and Ka

  9. Fish Assemblages of Mediterranean Marine Caves

    PubMed Central

    Bussotti, Simona; Di Franco, Antonio; Francour, Patrice; Guidetti, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Fish assemblages associated with 14 marine caves and adjacent external rocky reefs were investigated at four Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the coasts of Italy. Within the caves sampling was carried out in different sub-habitats: walls, ceilings, bottoms and ends of caves. On the whole, 38 species were recorded inside the 14 caves investigated. Eighteen species were exclusively found inside the caves: they were mainly represented by speleophilic (i.e. species preferentially or exclusively inhabiting caves) gobids (e.g. Didogobius splechtnai) and nocturnal species (e.g. Conger conger). Forty-one species were censused outside, 20 of which were shared with cave habitats. Apogon imberbis was the most common fish found in all 14 caves investigated, followed by Thorogobius ephippiatus (recorded in 13 caves), and Diplodus vulgaris and Scorpaena notata (both censused in 12 caves). Distinct fish assemblages were found between external rocky reefs and the different cave sub-habitats. New data on the distribution of some speleophilic gobids were collected, showing the existence of a pool of species shared by marine caves on a large scale (i.e. hundreds of km). Considering the uniqueness of cave fishes (18 exclusive species and different assemblage structures), the inclusion of marine caves among the habitats routinely investigated for fish biodiversity monitoring could facilitate the achievement of more comprehensive inventories. Due to their contribution to local species diversity and the shelter they provide to species valuable for conservation, marine caves should be prioritized for their inclusion not only within future MPAs through the Mediterranean Sea, but also into larger management spatial planning. PMID:25875504

  10. Influence of stratigraphic factors on the failure mechanisms of sinkholes related to man-made underground caves at Cutrofiano (South-Eastern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lollino, Piernicola; Margiotta, Stefano; Parise, Mario

    2013-04-01

    An increasing number of areas in southern Italy are being interested by sinkholes related to the presence of man-made cavities, with underground quarries representing the more problematic typology of anthropogenic caves in terms of instability. The case of Cutrofiano (Apulia, SE Italy) is here presented as a representative case study. This territory is well known for the underground quarrying activity of soft calcarenitic rocks that caused in the last decades widespread phenomena of subsidence at the surface, with extensive damage and problems to the main communication routes in the area. A very complex and intricate network of subterranean galleries is present underground, for a total development on the order of several tens of kilometres. The Gravina Calcarenite Formation, that is the object of the underground quarries, consists of whitish calcarenite with an upper greenish clayey-sandy interval rich in fossils. This formation is overlain by grey sandy clays (Subapennine Clays) grading upward to fossil-rich sands (Brindisi Sands). In recent years, clay mining has been resumed at the ground surface, following the opening of a cement factory, and resulting in the realization of wide open-pit quarries. The local sedimentary sequence is closed by terraced calcarenite deposits, that holds a phreatic groundwater body. The results of detailed geological, geomorphological and geomechanical surveys, supported by laboratory tests, show that in the Cutrofiano area the thickness of the stratigraphical succession, the depth of the underground galleries, the structural conditions of the rock mass, and the failure mechanisms observed within the quarries are variable. The geological model reconstructed represents the base for the implementation of numerical simulations, which are aimed at defining the eventual mechanisms of rock failure, up to the formation of the sinkhole. Local changes in the stratigraphy are very common in the area, due to the overall slight attitude of the

  11. Geology of Caves.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Davies, W. E.; Morgan, I. M.

    One of a series of general interest publications on science topics, the booklet provides those interested in the study of caves (speleology) with a nontechnical introduction to the subject. Separate sections examine types of caves, how caves form, cave features, minerals found in caves, uses of caves, and caves as natural underground laboratories.…

  12. Employment Problems and the Educational System in Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Birtig, Guido

    1976-01-01

    This article looks at the unemployment problem in Italy and examines the attunement of the educational system to the economy's manpower needs. The journal is available in English, French, and Spanish editions from the International Labour Office Publications, International Labour Office, CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland. (Author/RM)

  13. Gravity for Detecting Caves: Airborne and Terrestrial Simulations Based on a Comprehensive Karstic Cave Benchmark

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braitenberg, Carla; Sampietro, Daniele; Pivetta, Tommaso; Zuliani, David; Barbagallo, Alfio; Fabris, Paolo; Rossi, Lorenzo; Fabbri, Julius; Mansi, Ahmed Hamdi

    2016-04-01

    Underground caves bear a natural hazard due to their possible evolution into a sink hole. Mapping of all existing caves could be useful for general civil usages as natural deposits or tourism and sports. Natural caves exist globally and are typical in karst areas. We investigate the resolution power of modern gravity campaigns to systematically detect all void caves of a minimum size in a given area. Both aerogravity and terrestrial acquisitions are considered. Positioning of the gravity station is fastest with GNSS methods the performance of which is investigated. The estimates are based on a benchmark cave of which the geometry is known precisely through a laser-scan survey. The cave is the Grotta Gigante cave in NE Italy in the classic karst. The gravity acquisition is discussed, where heights have been acquired with dual-frequency geodetic GNSS receivers and Total Station. Height acquisitions with non-geodetic low-cost receivers are shown to be useful, although the error on the gravity field is larger. The cave produces a signal of -1.5 × 10-5 m/s2, with a clear elliptic geometry. We analyze feasibility of airborne gravity acquisitions for the purpose of systematically mapping void caves. It is found that observations from fixed wing aircraft cannot resolve the caves, but observations from slower and low-flying helicopters or drones do. In order to detect the presence of caves the size of the benchmark cave, systematic terrestrial acquisitions require a density of three stations on square 500 by 500 m2 tiles. The question has a large impact on civil and environmental purposes, since it will allow planning of urban development at a safe distance from subsurface caves. The survey shows that a systematic coverage of the karst would have the benefit to recover the position of all of the greater existing void caves.

  14. Recovering data from historical collections: stratigraphic and spatial reconstruction of the outstanding carnivoran record from the Late Pleistocene Equi cave (Apuane Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghezzo, Elena; Palchetti, Alessandro; Rook, Lorenzo

    2014-07-01

    Equi Terme is a hamlet located in northern Tuscany, in Apuan Alps regional Park. An outstanding fossil vertebrate collection housed in Florence is the result of excavations in the Equi cave and shelter during the period 1911-1919. This faunal assemblage (associated with Mousterian artefacts) may be correlated with the middle of MIS 3. All of the specimens recovered at Equi early in the last century were collected with attention to their stratigraphical positions. Detailed field annotation for nearly every specimen allowed us to organize them and attempt a stratigraphical and spatial reconstruction of the fossiliferous deposits. We present the results of the study of the spatial and stratigraphic distribution of the carnivoran species in the Equi cave and shelter, and re-evaluate the taphonomic agents of accumulation and the fossil distribution within the stratigraphic record. In particular, we evaluated the distribution of Panthera pardus, which, unusually for Europe, is abundant in the Equi cave assemblage. This analysis highlights the importance of the re-evaluation of historical collections and allows for future comparisons with data from more recent excavations at the Equi site. The analysis also provides an account of the distribution of carnivorans throughout the stratigraphic record. The constant presence and the predominance of leopards and wolves over lions and smaller carnivorans, allow for evaluations of their ethology and may be related to a short period of sediment accumulation.

  15. CAVE WINDOW

    DOEpatents

    Levenson, M.

    1960-10-25

    A cave window is described. It is constructed of thick glass panes arranged so that interior panes have smaller windowpane areas and exterior panes have larger areas. Exterior panes on the radiation exposure side are remotely replaceable when darkened excessively. Metal shutters minimize exposure time to extend window life.

  16. Caving in the Classroom

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Yoder, Holly

    2010-01-01

    During Cave Week, more than 200 students explore a simulated cave environment and participate in cave-related activities. Active cavers from a local club bring in equipment and photos and speak about their caving experiences. As student groups explore the simulated cave, other groups participate in different activities where they can create bat…

  17. Delineating recharge areas for Onondaga and Cathedral Caves using groundwater tracing techniques

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Onondaga Cave and Cathedral Cave are two large, significant cave systems with active streams located along the Meramec River in the Ozarks ecoregion of Missouri. Groundwater dye tracing has delineated recharge areas for both caves in order to aid in the management of the cave systems by Onondaga Cav...

  18. Illumina sequencing of fungi associated with manganese oxide deposits in cave systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zorn, B. T.; Santelli, C. M.; Carmichael, S. K.; Pepe-Ranney, C. P.; Roble, L.; Carmichael, M.; Bräuer, S.

    2013-12-01

    The environmental cycling of manganese (Mn) remains relatively poorly characterized when compared with other metals such as iron. However, fungi have been observed to produce Mn(III/IV) oxides resembling buserite, birnessite, and todorokite on the periphery of vegetative hyphae, hyphal branching points and at the base of fruiting bodies. Recent studies indicate that some of these oxides may be generated by a two-stage reaction with soluble Mn(II) and biogenic reactive oxygen species for some groups of fungi, in particular the Ascomycota. These oxides can provide a versatile protective barrier or aid in the capture of trace metals in the environment, although the exact evolutionary function and trigger is unclear. In this study, two caves in the southern Appalachians, a pristine cave and an anthropogenically impacted cave, were compared by analyzing fungal community assemblages in manganese oxide rich deposits. Quantitative PCR data indicated that fungi are present in a low abundance (<1%) in all locations sampled within the caves. Among amplified DNA sequences retrieved in an 18S rDNA clone library, over 88% were representative of the phylum Basidiomycota (predominantly Agaricomycetes), 2.74% of Ascomycota, 2.28% of Blastocladiomycota and Chytridiomycota, 0.46% of Zygomycota, and 3.65% of Eukarya or Fungi incertae sedis. Using Illumina's MiSeq to sequence amplicons of the fungal ITS1 gene has yielded roughly 100,000-200,000 paired-end reads per sample. These data are currently being analyzed to compare fungal communities before and after induced Mn oxidation in the field. In addition, sites within the pristine cave are being compared with analogous sites in the impacted cave. Culturing efforts have thus far yielded Mn oxide producing members of the orders Glomerales and Pleosporales as well as two Genus incertae sedis (Fungal sp. YECT1, and Fungal sp. YECT3, growing on discarded electrical tape) that do not appear to be closely related to any other known Mn

  19. Aeritalia Space Systems Group, Turin, Italy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Donlan, Vincent

    1989-01-01

    Aeritalia has been involved in European space programs since the early 1960's. Space activities grew to the point that in 1984 Aeritalia established a separate Space Systems Group (SSG), located in Turin. Today, SSG is involved in dozens of projects, some of them jointly with NASA and U.S. aerospace companies. Here, several of the major projects, such as the Tethered Satellite system, HIPPARCOS, Columbus Pressurized Module, Italian Research Interim Stage, and others are briefly described.

  20. Direct satellite broadcasting systems in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abbate, G. P.

    Generic and specific features of the planned Italian five-channel direct broadcast satellite system (DBS), scheduled for operation in the 1990s, are outlined. The channels will have a 27 MHz bandwidth with carrier signals in the 11.7-12.3 GHz range. The FM signals will be received by either outdoor antennas or UHF-VHF televisions. An SNR of 33 dB is projected. Ground-based antennas will be 90-220 cm in diameter, depending on their location relative to the center of the coverage zone. The Italian system will seek to bypass cable networking, which will require individually-modified television receivers. The necessary modification will need to be low cost to spur the market interest in the DBS. However, a compromise may be possible by using existing ground-based transmission facilities as relays for the satellite signals.

  1. Do cave features affect underground habitat exploitation by non-troglobite species?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lunghi, Enrico; Manenti, Raoul; Ficetola, Gentile Francesco

    2014-02-01

    Many biospeleological studies focus on organisms that are exclusive inhabitants of the subterranean realm, but organisms that are not obligate cave-dwellers are frequent in caves, and may account for a substantial portion of biomass. Moreover, several taxa that are usually epigeous are regularly found inside caves, but for most of them it is unknown whether they accidentally enter them, or whether they actively select caves for specific environmental features. In this study we analysed the community of non-strict cave-dwelling organisms (amphibians, gastropods, spiders and orthopterans) in 33 caves from Central Italy, to assess how environmental factors determine community structure. Cave features strongly affected the distribution of the taxa considered. The combined effect of cave morphology and microclimate explained nearly 50% of the variation of community structure. Most of community variation occurred along a gradient from deep, dark and humid caves, to dry caves with wider entrances and extended photic areas. Most of species were associated with humid, deep and dark caves. Most of the non-troglobiont amphibians and invertebrates did not occur randomly in caves, but were associated to caves with specific environmental features. Analysing relationships between cave-dwelling species and environmental variables can allow a more ecological and objective classification of cave-dwelling organisms.

  2. Using CAVE technology for functional genomics studies.

    PubMed

    Sensen, Christoph W

    2002-01-01

    We have established the first Java 3D-enabled CAVE (CAVE automated virtual environment). The Java application programming interface allows the complete separation of the program development from the program execution, opening new application domains for the CAVE technology. Programs can be developed on any Java-enabled computer platform, including Windows, Macintosh, and Linux workstations, and executed in the CAVE without modification. The introduction of Java, one of the major programming environments for bioinformatics, into the CAVE environment allows the rapid development applications for genome research, especially for the analysis of the spatial and temporal data that are being produced by functional genomics experiments. The CAVE technology will play a major role in the modeling of biological systems that is necessary to understand how these systems are organized and how they function. PMID:12614491

  3. The Establishment of an Operational Earthquake Forecasting System in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marzocchi, Warner; Lombardi, Anna Maria; Casarotti, Emanuele

    2014-05-01

    Just after the Mw 6.2 earthquake that hit L'Aquila, on April 6 2009, the Civil Protection nominated an International Commission on Earthquake Forecasting (ICEF) that paved the way to the development of the Operational Earthquake Forecasting (OEF), defined as the "procedures for gathering and disseminating authoritative information about the time dependence of seismic hazards to help communities prepare for potentially destructive earthquakes". In this paper we introduce the first official OEF system in Italy that has been developed by the new-born Centro di Pericolosità Sismica at the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia. The system provides every day an update of the weekly probabilities of ground shaking over the whole Italian territory. In this presentation, we describe in detail the philosophy behind the system, the scientific details, and the output format that has been preliminary defined in agreement with Civil Protection. To our knowledge, this is the first operational system that fully satisfies the ICEF guidelines. Probably, the most sensitive issue is related to the communication of such a kind of message to the population. Acknowledging this inherent difficulty, in agreement with Civil Protection we are planning pilot tests to be carried out in few selected areas in Italy; the purpose of such tests is to check the effectiveness of the message and to receive feedbacks.

  4. Late Neandertals and the intentional removal of feathers as evidenced from bird bone taphonomy at Fumane Cave 44 ky B.P., Italy

    PubMed Central

    Peresani, Marco; Fiore, Ivana; Gala, Monica; Romandini, Matteo; Tagliacozzo, Antonio

    2011-01-01

    A large and varied avifaunal bone assemblage from the final Mousterian levels of Grotta di Fumane, northern Italy, reveals unusual human modifications on species that are not clearly relatable to feeding or utilitarian uses (i.e., lammergeier, Eurasian black vulture, golden eagle, red-footed falcon, common wood pigeon, and Alpine chough). Cut, peeling, and scrape marks, as well as diagnostic fractures and a breakthrough, are observed exclusively on wings, indicating the intentional removal of large feathers by Neandertals. The species involved, the anatomical elements affected, and the unusual type and location of the human modifications indicate an activity linked to the symbolic sphere and the behavioral modernity of this European autochthonous population. PMID:21368129

  5. Management issues in a Tasmanian tourist cave: potential microclimatic impacts of cave modifications.

    PubMed

    Russell, Mick J; MacLean, Victoria L

    2008-05-01

    Caves can be difficult to navigate and often require physical modification to allow easy access for visitors. Single entrance caves double the access impact of each visitor. Visitors in tourist caves have direct physical effects such as the introduction of concrete and steel structures; transport of mud, dust, and nutrients; installation of lights and the exhalation of water vapour and carbon dioxide into the air. Indirect physical effects include alteration of the microclimate, both through physical modifications that change the ventilation regime and through the presence of visitors leading to changes in temperature, humidity and CO2 within the cave environment. Anthropomorphic changes to cave physical environments to aid access or to reduce backtracking can have adverse effects on the internal microclimate of cave systems with subsequent changes to the cave environment affecting the quality of decorations and cave art and the diversity of cave fauna. Although often stated that caves operate at or near a constant temperature, closer examination indicates that cave temperatures are neither static nor constant. The degree of variation depends largely on the structure and physical characteristics of the cave. Air temperature and humidity gradients between the inside and outside cave environment can result in air density differences, which create airflow, which will in turn affect the cave microclimate. As part of the development of a management framework for King Solomons Cave, Tasmania, a study of the microclimate was carried out on behalf of Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service. Analysis of the variables showed significant differences in air temperature within each site and between sites. These differences range from 4 degrees C variation at one site to 0 degrees C at another site. The data were used to model potential airflow between the cave and the external environment. Results indicate that part of the cave is dominated by airflow between the chimney and the

  6. The Science of Exploring Caves.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reid, Frank S.

    1991-01-01

    An introduction to the science of speleology is presented. Discussed is why people explore caves--for the physical challenge, the thrill of discovery, and the joy of viewing their beauty. Cave conservation, cave biology, caving safety, and caving equipment are topics of discussion. A reading list on caves is included. (KR)

  7. 36 CFR 7.68 - Russell Cave National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Russell Cave National... INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.68 Russell Cave National Monument. (a) Caves—(1) Closed Areas. Entering, exploring, or remaining within any cave area other than the...

  8. 36 CFR 7.36 - Mammoth Cave National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Mammoth Cave National Park. 7... SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.36 Mammoth Cave National Park. (a) Fishing—(1... Creek Lake. Live minnows and worms may be used in all other waters. (ii) (b)(1) Cave entry. Except...

  9. 36 CFR 7.68 - Russell Cave National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Russell Cave National... INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.68 Russell Cave National Monument. (a) Caves—(1) Closed Areas. Entering, exploring, or remaining within any cave area other than the...

  10. 36 CFR 7.36 - Mammoth Cave National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Mammoth Cave National Park. 7... SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.36 Mammoth Cave National Park. (a) Fishing—(1... Creek Lake. Live minnows and worms may be used in all other waters. (ii) (b)(1) Cave entry. Except...

  11. 36 CFR 7.68 - Russell Cave National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Russell Cave National... INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.68 Russell Cave National Monument. (a) Caves—(1) Closed Areas. Entering, exploring, or remaining within any cave area other than the...

  12. 36 CFR 7.68 - Russell Cave National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Russell Cave National... INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.68 Russell Cave National Monument. (a) Caves—(1) Closed Areas. Entering, exploring, or remaining within any cave area other than the...

  13. 36 CFR 7.36 - Mammoth Cave National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Mammoth Cave National Park. 7... SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.36 Mammoth Cave National Park. (a) Fishing—(1... Creek Lake. Live minnows and worms may be used in all other waters. (ii) (b)(1) Cave entry. Except...

  14. 36 CFR 7.68 - Russell Cave National Monument.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Russell Cave National... INTERIOR SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.68 Russell Cave National Monument. (a) Caves—(1) Closed Areas. Entering, exploring, or remaining within any cave area other than the...

  15. 36 CFR 7.36 - Mammoth Cave National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Mammoth Cave National Park. 7... SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.36 Mammoth Cave National Park. (a) Fishing—(1... Creek Lake. Live minnows and worms may be used in all other waters. (ii) (b)(1) Cave entry. Except...

  16. 36 CFR 7.36 - Mammoth Cave National Park.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 1 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Mammoth Cave National Park. 7... SPECIAL REGULATIONS, AREAS OF THE NATIONAL PARK SYSTEM § 7.36 Mammoth Cave National Park. (a) Fishing—(1... Creek Lake. Live minnows and worms may be used in all other waters. (ii) (b)(1) Cave entry. Except...

  17. Come to our Cave.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Cassidy, Joan

    2001-01-01

    Describes an activity for first-grade students in which they learn about cave paintings and become spelunkers, or people who explore caves as a hobby, making their own paper head-lanterns. Explains that students draw animals on the walls of their "cave" (a dark hallway lined with brown kraft paper). (CMK)

  18. Modeling and analysis of caves using voxelization

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szeifert, Gábor; Szabó, Tivadar; Székely, Balázs

    2014-05-01

    Although there are many ways to create three dimensional representations of caves using modern information technology methods, modeling of caves has been challenging for researchers for a long time. One of these promising new alternative modeling methods is using voxels. We are using geodetic measurements as an input for our voxelization project. These geodetic underground surveys recorded the azimuth, altitude and distance of corner points of cave systems relative to each other. The diameter of each cave section is estimated from separate databases originating from different surveys. We have developed a simple but efficient method (it covers more than 99.9 % of the volume of the input model on the average) to convert these vector-type datasets to voxels. We have also developed software components to make visualization of the voxel and vector models easier. Since each cornerpoint position is measured relative to another cornerpoints positions, propagation of uncertainties is an important issue in case of long caves with many separate sections. We are using Monte Carlo simulations to analyze the effect of the error of each geodetic instrument possibly involved in a survey. Cross-sections of the simulated three dimensional distributions show, that even tiny uncertainties of individual measurements can result in high variation of positions that could be reduced by distributing the closing errors if such data are available. Using the results of our simulations, we can estimate cave volume and the error of the calculated cave volume depending on the complexity of the cave. Acknowledgements: the authors are grateful to Ariadne Karst and Cave Exploring Association and State Department of Environmental and Nature Protection of the Hungarian Ministry of Rural Development, Department of National Parks and Landscape Protection, Section Landscape and Cave Protection and Ecotourism for providing the cave measurement data. BS contributed as an Alexander von Humboldt Research

  19. 76 FR 1629 - Public Land Order No. 7757; Withdrawal of National Forest System Land for the Big Ice Cave; Montana

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-01-11

    ... Big Ice Cave; Montana AGENCY: Bureau of Land Management, Interior. ACTION: Public Land Order. SUMMARY... Big Ice Cave, its subterranean water supply, and Federal improvements. The land has been and will...-5052. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Forest Service will manage the land to protect the Big Ice...

  20. THE CAVES PROJECT — Collaborative Analysis Versioning Environment System, THE CODESH PROJECT — COllaborative DEvelopment SHell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bourilkov, Dimitri

    A key feature of collaboration in science and software development is to have a log of what and how is being done - for private use and reuse and for sharing selected parts with collaborators, which most often today are distributed geographically on an ever larger scale. Even better if this log is automatic, created on the fly while a scientist or software developer is working in a habitual way, without the need for extra efforts. The CAVES and CODESH projects address this problem in a novel way, building on the concepts of virtual state and virtual transition to provide an automatic persistent logbook for sessions of data analysis or software development in a collaborating group. A repository of sessions can be configured dynamically to record and make available the knowledge accumulated in the course of a scientific or software endeavor. Access can be controlled to define logbooks of private sessions and sessions shared within or between collaborating groups.

  1. Selected caves and lava-tube systems in and near Lava Beds National Monument, California

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Waters, Aaron Clement; Donnelly-Nolan, Julie M.; Rogers, Bruce W.

    1990-01-01

    Much of the north and south flanks of the Medicine Lake shield were built from molten lava transmitted through lava tubes. These tubes formed beneath the congealing surface of basalt flows in somewhat the same way that a brook may continue to flow beneath a cover of its own winter ice. As molten lava emerges from a vent and flows downslope, congealing lava from the top and sides of the central channel often forms a bridge over the lava stream. The sticking together of bits of lava spatter and fragile lava crusts strengthens the bridge in the manner that thin crusts of floating ice raft together to cover a brook during early stages of a winter freeze. Eruption of basalt lava, however, is a much more violent and spasmodic process than the steady gathering of water that feeds a brook. If liquid lava stops rising from its source deep within the earth, the still-molten lava moving beneath the crusted-over top of a lava flow will continue to drain downhill and may ultimately leave an open lavatube cave-often large enough for people to walk through. It is rare, however, to find such a simple scenario recorded intact among the hundreds of lava-tube caves in the monument. Even before the top and walls of a lava flow have time to cool during a pause in lava supply, a new and violent eruption of lava may refill the open tube, overflow its upper end, and spread a new lava flow beside or on top of the first flow. Even if the original tube is large enough to contain the renewed supply of lava, this tube must deliver the new lava beyond the end of its original flow and thus the lava field extends farther and farther downslope. If the gradient of flow flattens, the tube may subdivide into a number of smaller distributaries, which spread laterally over the more gently sloping ground. 

  2. The conservation of Britain's limestone cave resource

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hardwick, P.; Gunn, J.

    1996-10-01

    Limestone caves are an important scientific and recreational resource in Britain. During the mid- to late 1970s, cavers and statutory conservation bodies cooperated in a review of cave resources which resulted in the designation of 48 caves or cave areas as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). During the same period, the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 was introduced to provide more effective planning controls on activities such as agriculture carried out within SSSI boundaries. In one case, at Priddy in the Mendip Hills of Somerset, landowners prevented access to a number of caves in protest over the new, tougher restrictions on agriculture. Faced with the closure, and perceiving that their recreational use of caves might also be controlled, local cavers joined the landowners in opposing the proposals for SSSI designation. As a result the proposals were reviewed, three caves were excluded from the site and controls on the remaining area were relaxed. The case emphasized a need for an effective system to take account of all factors affecting cave conservation, a need which has led to a more constructive dialogue between nature conservation bodies, caver organizations and other interested parties.

  3. Parallel speciation in Astyanax cave fish (Teleostei) in Northern Mexico.

    PubMed

    Strecker, Ulrike; Hausdorf, Bernhard; Wilkens, Horst

    2012-01-01

    We investigated differentiation processes in the Neotropical fish Astyanax that represents a model system for examining adaptation to caves, including regressive evolution. In particular, we analyzed microsatellite and mitochondrial data of seven cave and seven surface populations from Mexico to test whether the evolution of the cave fish represents a case of parallel evolution. Our data revealed that Astyanax invaded northern Mexico across the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt at least three times and that populations of all three invasions adapted to subterranean habitats. Significant differentiation was found between the cave and surface populations. We did not observe gene flow between the strongly eye and pigment reduced old cave populations (Sabinos, Tinaja, Pachon) and the surface fish, even when syntopically occurring like in Yerbaniz cave. Little gene flow, if any, was found between cave populations, which are variable in eye and pigmentation (Micos, Chica, Caballo Moro caves), and surface fish. This suggests that the variability is due to their more recent origin rather than to hybridization. Finally, admixture of the young Chica cave fish population with nuclear markers from older cave fish demonstrates that gene flow between populations that independently colonized caves occurs. Thus, all criteria of parallel speciation are fulfilled. Moreover, the microsatellite data provide evidence that two co-occurring groups with small sunken eyes and externally visible eyes, respectively, differentiated within the partly lightened Caballo Moro karst window cave and might represent an example for incipient sympatric speciation. PMID:21963344

  4. Reed bed systems for sludge treatment: case studies in Italy.

    PubMed

    Masciandaro, G; Iannelli, R; Chiarugi, M; Peruzzi, E

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, reed bed systems (RBSs) have been widely considered as a valid technology for sludge treatment. In this study are presented results about sludge stabilization occurring within beds in four RBSs, situated in Tuscany (Italy). The results showed that stabilization of the sludge over time occurred in all RBSs, as shown by the low content of water-soluble carbon and dehydrogenase activity, which measures indirectly the overall microbial metabolism, and by the re-synthesis of humic-like matter highlighted by the pyrolytic indices of mineralization and humification. Results about heavy metal fractionation, an appropriate technique to estimate the heavy metal bioavailability and sludge biotoxicity, showed that the process of sludge stabilization occurring in RBSs retains metals in fractions related to the stabilized organic matter, making metals less bioavailable. Moreover, the concentrations of various toxic organic compounds were below the limit of concentration suggested by the European Union's Working Document on Sludge, for land application. The effectiveness of the stabilization processes in RBs was hence clearly proven by the results that measured mineralization and humification processes, and by the low levels of bioavailable heavy metals and toxic organic compounds in stabilized sludges. PMID:26398018

  5. Magnetostratigraphy of cave sediments, Wyandotte Ridge, Crawford County, southern Indiana

    SciTech Connect

    Pease, P.P.; Gomez, B. . Dept. of Geography and Geology); Schmidt, V.A. . Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science)

    1992-01-01

    The field polarities of 42 sediment samples obtained from 21 sites in Wyandotte Cave, and five smaller satellite caves in Wyandotte Ridge, southern Indiana, have been determined and correlated with magnetostratigraphic data from Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. In Wyandotte Cave sediment samples obtained between 137 m and 162 m in elevation possessed a normal field polarity, while samples obtained between 168 m and 171 m exhibited a field reversal. The reversal was interpreted to represent the most recent polarity change, dating the sediment fill and the end of the active period of the upper level of Wyandotte Cave at ca 0.788 Ma. There is a temporal correlation between the active period of the upper level in Wyandotte Cave and the C-level in Mammoth Cave, which lies at a similar elevation. Such a correlation is most likely a consequence of the contemporaneous abandonment of passages in the two cave systems during the early Pleistocene reconstruction of the Ohio River system, which acts as the base level control in both caves. Samples from two caves near the top of Wyandotte Ridge, located between elevations of 236 m and 241 m, exhibited a normal polarity. These caves are located at a higher elevation than any of the sample sites in Mammoth Cave and their location suggests that the fill predates sediments from that system. It appears most likely that the fill in these caves is a minimum of ca 2.48 Ma. old and correlates with the residuum of the upper Mitchell Plain surface, not with the fill in the upper (A- or B-levels) in Mammoth Cave.

  6. Secondary hydrothermal mineral system in the Campi Flegrei caldera, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mormone, A.; Piochi, M.; Di Vito, M. A.; Troise, C.; De Natale, G.

    2012-04-01

    Mineral systems generally develop around the deep root of the volcanoes down to the degassing magma chamber due the selective enrichment process of elements within the host-rock. The mineralization process depends on i) volcanic structure, ii) magma and fluid chemistry, iii) host-rock type and texture, iv) temperature and pressure conditions, and v) action timing that affect the transport and precipitation conditions of elements in the solution. Firstly, it generates a hydrothermal system that in a later phase may generate considerable metallogenic mineralization, in terms of both spatial extension and specie abundance. The study of secondary assemblages through depth and, possibly, through time, together with the definition of the general geological, structural, mineralogical and petrological context is the background to understand the genesis of mineral-to-metallogenic systems. We report our study on the Campi Flegrei volcano of potassic Southern Italy belt. It is a sub-circular caldera characterized by an active high-temperature and fluid-rich geothermal system affected by seismicity and ground deformation in the recent decades. The circulating fluids originate at deeper level within a degassing magma body and give rise at the surface up to 1500 tonnes/day of CO2 emissions. Their composition is intermediate between meteoric water and brines. Saline-rich fluids have been detected at ~3000 in downhole. The hydrothermal alteration varies from argillitic to phillitic, nearby the caldera boundary, to propilitic to thermo-metamorphic facies towards its centre. The Campi Flegrei caldera was defined as analogue of mineralized system such as White Island (New Zealand) that is an example of an active magmatic and embryonic copper porphyry system. In order to enhance the knowledge of such a type of embryonic-like metallogenic system, we have carried out macroscopic and microscopic investigations, SEM-EDS and electron microprobe analyses on selected samples from deep wells

  7. Ca Isotope Fractionation During Gypsum Precipitation in a Sulfidic Cave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fantle, M. S.; Macalady, J. L.; Eisenhauer, A.

    2009-12-01

    In sulfidic caves, limestone dissolution above the water table is assocated with sulfuric acid corrosion and attendant precipitation of CaSO4 crusts. Since sulfuric acid is produced by microbially-mediated sulfide oxidation, such systems present unique opportunities to study the effects of microbial processes on Ca isotope systematics. The current study presents preliminary measurements of the Ca isotopic composition of gypsum, calcite, and water samples collected in and around Grotta Bella cave in the Frasassi cave system (central Italy). The environment sampled in this limestone-hosted cave is situated close to flowing sulfidic groundwater (air [H2S]meas ~3 ppm) and is actively forming gypsum in close association with microbial communities ("snottites") dominated by Acidithiobacillus sp [1]. The pH ranges from >2.3 in gypsum crust accumulating on the cave walls to 0-2 at the surface of snottites, while pH in waters sampled outside the cave is between 7 and 8. The current rate of limestone dissolution is ~0.15 mmol CaCO3/cm2/a [2]. This study reports the Ca isotopic composition (δ44Ca, rel. to bulk Earth) of stream and seep water, limestone, and gypsum samples in and around Grotta Bella. Calcium isotopes were measured on a Finnigan Triton TI thermal ionization mass spectrometer at GEOMAR using a 43Ca-48Ca double spike. Field-acidified stream waters and dissolved gypsum were chromatographically purified using MCI Gel (Biorad) while bulk limestone samples were dissolved in nitric acid and loaded onto single Re filaments without additional purification. The δ44Ca values of stream waters and springs are relatively restricted (~0.2‰) and generally the same as bulk limestone. Actively-precipitating CaSO4 minerals, however, show a range of δ44Ca values from limestone-like to values almost 1‰ lighter than corresponding wallrock. Decreasing δ44Ca values in these gypsum minerals correspond to gradients in pH and mineral grain size. The smallest gypsum grains

  8. Geology of caves

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Morgan, I.M., Davies,W.E.

    1991-01-01

    A cave is a natural opening in the ground extending beyond the zone of light and large enough to permit the entry of man. Occurring in a wide variety of rock types and caused by widely differing geological processes, caves range in size from single small rooms to intercorinecting passages many miles long. The scientific study of caves is called speleology (from the Greek words spelaion for cave and logos for study). It is a composite science based on geology, hydrology, biology, and archaeology, and thus holds special interest for earth scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey.

  9. CaveMan Version 3.0: A Software System for SPR Cavern Pressure Analysis

    SciTech Connect

    BALLARD,SANFORD; EHGARTNER,BRIAN L.

    2000-07-01

    The U. S. Department of Energy Strategic Petroleum Reserve currently has approximately 500 million barrels of crude oil stored in 62 caverns solution-mined in salt domes along the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Texas. One of the challenges of operating these caverns is ensuring that none of the fluids in the caverns are leaking into the environment. The current approach is to test the mechanical integrity of all the wells entering each cavern approximately once every five years. An alternative approach to detecting cavern leaks is to monitor the cavern pressure, since leaking fluid would act to reduce cavern pressure. Leak detection by pressure monitoring is complicated by other factors that influence cavern pressure, the most important of which are thermal expansion and contraction of the fluids in the cavern as they come into thermal equilibrium with the host salt, and cavern volume reduction due to salt creep. Cavern pressure is also influenced by cavern enlargement resulting from salt dissolution following introduction of raw water or unsaturated brine into the cavern. However, this effect only lasts for a month or two following a fluid injection. In order to implement a cavern pressure monitoring program, a software program called CaveMan has been developed. It includes thermal, creep and salt dissolution models and is able to predict the cavern pressurization rate based on the operational history of the cavern. Many of the numerous thermal and mechanical parameters in the model have been optimized to produce the best match between the historical data and the model predictions. Future measurements of cavern pressure are compared to the model predictions, and significant differences in cavern pressure set program flags that notify cavern operators of a potential problem. Measured cavern pressures that are significantly less than those predicted by the model may indicate the existence of a leak.

  10. High Level Waste Remote Handling Equipment in the Melter Cave Support Handling System at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Bardal, M.A.; Darwen, N.J.

    2008-07-01

    Cold war plutonium production led to extensive amounts of radioactive waste stored in tanks at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford site. Bechtel National, Inc. is building the largest nuclear Waste Treatment Plant in the world located at the Department of Energy's Hanford site to immobilize the millions of gallons of radioactive waste. The site comprises five main facilities; Pretreatment, High Level Waste vitrification, Low Active Waste vitrification, an Analytical Lab and the Balance of Facilities. The pretreatment facilities will separate the high and low level waste. The high level waste will then proceed to the HLW facility for vitrification. Vitrification is a process of utilizing a melter to mix molten glass with radioactive waste to form a stable product for storage. The melter cave is designated as the High Level Waste Melter Cave Support Handling System (HSH). There are several key processes that occur in the HSH cell that are necessary for vitrification and include: feed preparation, mixing, pouring, cooling and all maintenance and repair of the process equipment. Due to the cell's high level radiation, remote handling equipment provided by PaR Systems, Inc. is required to install and remove all equipment in the HSH cell. The remote handling crane is composed of a bridge and trolley. The trolley supports a telescoping tube set that rigidly deploys a TR 4350 manipulator arm with seven degrees of freedom. A rotating, extending, and retracting slewing hoist is mounted to the bottom of the trolley and is centered about the telescoping tube set. Both the manipulator and slewer are unique to this cell. The slewer can reach into corners and the manipulator's cross pivoting wrist provides better operational dexterity and camera viewing angles at the end of the arm. Since the crane functions will be operated remotely, the entire cell and crane have been modeled with 3-D software. Model simulations have been used to confirm operational and maintenance

  11. The English National Curriculum Assessment System: A Commentary from Italy

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Nardi, Emma

    2009-01-01

    In Italian secondary schools, it is not literature that is studied but the history of literature; it is not philosophy that is studied but the history of philosophy. Similarly, in higher education, history students even have to take an exam in the history of historiography. This is to say that in Italy, history plays a key cultural role. That is…

  12. Empowering Women through Caving.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Gabert, Julie

    1997-01-01

    Describes an introductory horizontal caving experience for college-age women who were uncomfortable with their bodies, insecure with movement, and unwilling to take big risks. The darkness and quiet of the cave released inhibitions and promoted group cohesion, feelings of intimacy and safety, self-discovery, and self-confidence. (SV)

  13. Cave Water Studies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    O'Keefe, Elizabeth S.

    1996-01-01

    Describes a comparative study project where seventh grade students tested water samples from 10 cave sites that had been tested 24 years ago in a study that had attempted to determine if pollution in the environment had reached cave water. Discusses lab skills and some results of the study. (JRH)

  14. Environmental reconstruction of a Mexican flooded cave system: evidence for climate-forced changes to the local freshwater lens

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van Hengstum, P. J.; Reinhardt, E. G.; Beddows, P. A.; Gabriel, J. J.

    2009-05-01

    Three radiocarbon-dated sediment cores (4.2 kya to present) from Aktun Ha (Carwash) Cave, Mexico indicate that sediments in flooded caves document Holocene environmental changes. Three distinct environmental phases were determined based on microfossils (shelled rhizopods), organic geochemistry (δ13C, δ15N, TOC, TN, C/N), and particle size distributions (PSDs). In the three cores, terrestrial organic matter was more prevalent in the core closer to the cave entrance (cenote), whereas, aquatic organic matter was more prevalent in cores deeper into the cave. Euryhaline foraminifera (78%) indicate high oligohaline conditions in the freshwater lens (salinity 3.5 - 5.0 psu) during Phase 1 (preceding 4.3 kya), which had higher hydrologic flow rates as interpreted from low organic OM deposition (less than 10%). Phase 2 (4.2 - 2.7 ky BP) is characterized by oscillations between testate amoebae (centropyxids), euryhaline foraminifera (Ammonia tepida var. juvenile), and variable δ15N values. The increases in testate amoebae from Phase 1 and up to 2.5‰ enrichment in δ15N values coupled with poorly sorted PSDs indicate repeated freshening of the freshwater lens (ca. 3.5 - 2.5 psu shift) and associated transport of terrestrial organic matter into the cave. Phase 3 is marked by the colonization of Lagenodifflugia vas at 2.76 ky BP, indicating the onset of modern salinity (1.5 psu) conditions in the local freshwater lens. This is synchronous with a significant reduction in the C/N ratio, and long-term stabilization in sedimentation. The onset of modern hydrologic flow rates in the freshwater lens (less than 1.5 m/s) contributes to increased algae populations in the cenote, increased abundance of organic matter in the cave (TOC greater than 46%). The observed environmental shifts in the cave sediments correlate well with local precipitation changes and storm activity associated with southward migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone during the late Holocene. Importantly

  15. Carroll Cave: a Missouri legend

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carroll Cave is one of the premiere caves of Missouri and the Ozarks region. At over 20 miles of surveyed passage, it is the 2nd longest cave in the state and 33rd longest in the nation. It is also the largest known cave formed in the Ordovician aged (443-485 million years ago) Gasconade Dolomite o...

  16. Book Review: Caves and Karst of the Yorkshire Dales

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Westaway, Rob

    2015-10-01

    The British Cave Research Association (BCRA) is the research division of the British Caving Association (BCA), itself the principal society in Britain for those interested in caving, with activities including provision of training and safety certification for cavers and managing access to caves. Although some UK cave-related research is carried out by academics, this tends to be restricted to archaeological investigations of caves that have served as human habitations, and to be focused more on the occupants than the caves themselves. In contrast, most cave exploration is undertaken as a leisure activity, under the auspices of clubs affiliated to the BCA/BCRA, this being indeed virtually the only field of Earth science where amateur investigators can continue to make significant discoveries. Many cave explorers are also affiliated with academic researchers, such as managers of dating laboratories; the synergy between these two groups is highly productive, having resulted for instance in the discovery and exploration in recent years of the vast Ogof Draenen cave system in South Wales, which probably dates back to the Early Pleistocene (e.g., Farrant et al., 2014).

  17. Carbon and oxygen isotope study of the active water-carbonate system in a karstic Mediterranean cave: Implications for paleoclimate research in semiarid regions

    SciTech Connect

    Bar-Matthews, M.; Ayalon, A.; Halicz, L.

    1996-01-01

    In a semiarid climatic zone, such as the Eastern Mediterranean region, annual rainfall variations and fractionation processes in the epikarst zone exert a profound influence on the isotopic compositions of waters seeping into a cave. Consequently, the isotopic compositions of speleothems depositing from cave waters may show complex variations that need to be understood if they are to be exploited for paleoclimate studies. This is confirmed by a four-year study of the active carbonate-water system in the Soreq cave (Israel). The {sigma}{sup 18}O (SMOW) values of cave waters range from -6.3 to - 3.5{per_thousand}. The highest {sigma}{sup 18}O values occur at the end of the dry season in waters dripping from stalactites, and reflect evaporation processes in the epikarst zone, whereas the lowest values occur in rapidly dripping (fast-drip) waters at the peak of the rainy seasons. However, even fast-drip waters are about 1.5{per_thousand} heavier than the rainfall above the cave, which is taken to reflect the mixing of fresh with residual evaporated water in the epikarst zone. {sigma}{sup 13}C (PDB) values of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) vary from -15.6 to -5.4{per_thousand}, with fast-drip waters having lower {sigma}{sup 13}C values (mostly-15.6 to -12{per_thousand}) and higher DIC concentrations relative to pool and stalactite-drip water. The los {sigma}{sup 13}C values of fast-drip waters and their supersaturation with respect to calcium carbonate indicates that the seepage waters have dissolved both soil-CO{sub 2} derived from overlying C{sub 3}-type vegetation and marine dolomite host rock. The 10{per_thousand} variation in the {sigma}{sup 13}C values associated with contemporaneous speleothems in order to clarify the effects of degassing from those due to differing vegetation types. 55 refs., 10 figs., 1 tab.

  18. Spaghetti Politics: Local Electoral Systems and Alliance Structure in Italy, 1984-2001

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Parigi, Paolo; Bearman, Peter S.

    2008-01-01

    This article describes the impact of the Italian electoral reforms of 1993 on the structure of local political alliances. The reform, which moved Italy from a purely proportional representation system to a mixed, largely majoritarian system, was designed to increase transparency, reduce corruption, limit the number of political parties, and create…

  19. Meter-long microbial ropes from euxinic cave lakes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Macalady, J. L.; Jones, D. S.; Schaperdoth, I.; Bloom, D.; McCauley, R.

    2008-12-01

    Cave divers exploring a remote conduit in the Frasassi cave system (Italy) discovered unusual 1 to 2 meter- long, rope-like microbial biofilms in the anoxic layer of a permanently stratified cave lake. Organic carbon in the rope-like biofilm has a delta 13C value of -33 per mil, indicating in situ lithautotrophic primary production and little or no input from surface-derived plant carbon. SEM/EDS of critical point dried samples showed interlocking strands of microbial-sized filaments with trapped mineral particles including S, CaCO3, silicate clays, and sulfate and phosphate minerals. Staining with the nucleic acid dye DAPI further showed that the ropes are composed of closely packed, intact microbial cells. Geochemical profiles of the stratified lake (conductivity, pH, ORP, T, oxygen, sulfide, sulfate, ammonium) delineate a sharp chemocline at ~2.3 m water depth, several meters above the ropes. Geochemical data for the water surrounding the microbial ropes suggest that little redox energy is available, and that sulfate reduction and methanogenesis should be the most favorable reactions. Radiocarbon ages for the ropes are associated with a large uncertainty due to potentially changing contributions of radiocarbon-dead limestone carbonate over time. However, the data suggest that the ropes are thousands of years older than animals in the cave system, consistent with extreme energy limitation and slow growth. Based on phylogenetic analyses of archaeal, bacterial and universal 16S rDNA clone libraries from the microbial ropes, approximately 50 percent of bacterial clones affiliate with sulfur-reducing deltaproteobacteria. Approximately 61 percent of archaeal clones (20 percent of all clones) are associated with an environmental clade of euryarchaeota commonly retrieved from deep sea sediments (MBG-D). Most other clones in the libraries grouped in clades without cultivated representatives. No clones associated with known methanogens or anaerobic methane oxidizers were

  20. Candidate cave entrances on Mars

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cushing, Glen E.

    2012-01-01

    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 visible-wavelength 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.

  1. Measuring radon concentrations and estimating dose in tourist caves.

    PubMed

    Martín Sánchez, A; de la Torre Pérez, J; Ruano Sánchez, A B; Naranjo Correa, F L

    2015-11-01

    Caves and mines are considered to be places of especial risk of exposure to (222)Rn. This is particularly important for guides and workers, but also for visitors. In the Extremadura region (Spain), there are two cave systems in which there are workers carrying out their normal everyday tasks. In one, visits have been reduced to maintain the conditions of temperature and humidity. The other comprises several caves frequently visited by school groups. The caves were radiologically characterised in order to estimate the dose received by workers or possible hazards for visitors. PMID:25948834

  2. Shallow caves and blowholes on the Nullarbor Plain, Australia — Flank margin caves on a low gradient limestone platform

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burnett, Shannon; Webb, John A.; White, Susan

    2013-11-01

    The Nullarbor Plain of southern Australia is a very extensive limestone platform with relatively few large caves for its size, but contains thousands of blowholes, sub-circular vertical shafts up to 1-2 m in diameter, which often connect to similar-sized sub-horizontal passages. Recent detailed systematic surveys of large areas of the Nullarbor Plain have provided new distribution data showing that blowholes and associated shallow caves are concentrated in a 25-30 km-wide band located > 75 km inland. The known density of these features (up to 43/25 km2) underestimates the cave porosity because the strong draughts blowing from many of the blowholes indicate that they connect to extensive cave systems of small passages. These shallow caves are relict phreatic features; their entrances (blowholes) were opened as the land surface was lowered by denudation. The band of blowholes and caves is located along the Late Miocene (~ 6 Ma) shoreline across the Nullarbor, when there was a eustatic stillstand. The caves formed in the zone of enhanced dissolution at the seaward margin of the freshwater lens along the carbonate coastline, and can therefore be regarded as flank margin caves on a low gradient limestone platform; a flank margin setting relatively unknown prior to this study. The width of the band of flank margin caves, which is substantially greater than previously documented for this cave type, reflects the very low gradient of both the ground surface and water table, together with the influence of tidal fluctuations and regression of the shoreline. Flank margin cave development stopped when the sea retreated rapidly in the Late Miocene-Early Pliocene due to a period of tilting and uplift. The band of flank margin caves has high permeability and substantial porosity, and would therefore form an excellent, largely overlooked, type of palaeokarst petroleum reservoir.

  3. Bubble-Induced Cave Collapse

    PubMed Central

    Girihagama, Lakshika; Nof, Doron; Hancock, Cathrine

    2015-01-01

    Conventional wisdom among cave divers is that submerged caves in aquifers, such as in Florida or the Yucatan, are unstable due to their ever-growing size from limestone dissolution in water. Cave divers occasionally noted partial cave collapses occurring while they were in the cave, attributing this to their unintentional (and frowned upon) physical contact with the cave walls or the aforementioned “natural” instability of the cave. Here, we suggest that these cave collapses do not necessarily result from cave instability or contacts with walls, but rather from divers bubbles rising to the ceiling and reducing the buoyancy acting on isolated ceiling rocks. Using familiar theories for the strength of flat and arched (un-cracked) beams, we first show that the flat ceiling of a submerged limestone cave can have a horizontal expanse of 63 meters. This is much broader than that of most submerged Florida caves (~ 10 m). Similarly, we show that an arched cave roof can have a still larger expanse of 240 meters, again implying that Florida caves are structurally stable. Using familiar bubble dynamics, fluid dynamics of bubble-induced flows, and accustomed diving practices, we show that a group of 1-3 divers submerged below a loosely connected ceiling rock will quickly trigger it to fall causing a “collapse”. We then present a set of qualitative laboratory experiments illustrating such a collapse in a circular laboratory cave (i.e., a cave with a circular cross section), with concave and convex ceilings. In these experiments, a metal ball represented the rock (attached to the cave ceiling with a magnet), and the bubbles were produced using a syringe located at the cave floor. PMID:25849088

  4. Bubble-induced cave collapse.

    PubMed

    Girihagama, Lakshika; Nof, Doron; Hancock, Cathrine

    2015-01-01

    Conventional wisdom among cave divers is that submerged caves in aquifers, such as in Florida or the Yucatan, are unstable due to their ever-growing size from limestone dissolution in water. Cave divers occasionally noted partial cave collapses occurring while they were in the cave, attributing this to their unintentional (and frowned upon) physical contact with the cave walls or the aforementioned "natural" instability of the cave. Here, we suggest that these cave collapses do not necessarily result from cave instability or contacts with walls, but rather from divers bubbles rising to the ceiling and reducing the buoyancy acting on isolated ceiling rocks. Using familiar theories for the strength of flat and arched (un-cracked) beams, we first show that the flat ceiling of a submerged limestone cave can have a horizontal expanse of 63 meters. This is much broader than that of most submerged Florida caves (~ 10 m). Similarly, we show that an arched cave roof can have a still larger expanse of 240 meters, again implying that Florida caves are structurally stable. Using familiar bubble dynamics, fluid dynamics of bubble-induced flows, and accustomed diving practices, we show that a group of 1-3 divers submerged below a loosely connected ceiling rock will quickly trigger it to fall causing a "collapse". We then present a set of qualitative laboratory experiments illustrating such a collapse in a circular laboratory cave (i.e., a cave with a circular cross section), with concave and convex ceilings. In these experiments, a metal ball represented the rock (attached to the cave ceiling with a magnet), and the bubbles were produced using a syringe located at the cave floor. PMID:25849088

  5. Gypsum karst in Italy: a review

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Waele, Jo; Chiarini, Veronica; Columbu, Andrea; D'Angeli, Ilenia M.; Madonia, Giuliana; Parise, Mario; Piccini, Leonardo; Vattano, Marco; Vigna, Bartolomeo; Zini, Luca; Forti, Paolo

    2016-04-01

    Although outcropping only rarely in Italy, gypsum karst has been described in detail since the early XXth century (Marinelli, 1917). Gypsum caves are now known from almost all Italian regions (Madonia & Forti, 2003), but are mainly localised along the northern border of the Apennine chain (Emilia Romagna and Marche regions), Calabria, and Sicily, where the major outcrops occur. Recently, important caves have also been discovered in the underground gypsum quarries in Piedmont (Vigna et al., 2010). During the late 80s and 90s several multidisciplinary studies have been carried out in many gypsum areas. All this work converged into a comprehensive overview in 2003 (Madonia & Forti, 2003). Further detailed studies focused on the gypsum areas of Emilia Romagna (Chiesi et al., 2010; Forti & Lucci, 2010; Demaria et al., 2012; De Waele & Pasini, 2013; Ercolani et al., 2013; Columbu et al., 2015; Lucci & Piastra, 2015; Tedeschi et al., 2015) and of Sicily (Madonia & Vattano, 2011). Sinkholes related to Permo-Triassic gypsum have been studied in Friuli Venezia Giulia (Zini et al., 2015). This presentation will review the state of the art regarding different aspects of evaporite karst in Italy focusing on the main new results. References Chiesi M., et al. (2010) - Origin and evolution of a salty gypsum/anhydrite karst spring: the case of Poiano (Northern Apennines, Italy). Hydrogeology Journal, 18, pp. 1111-1124. Columbu A. et al. (2015) - Gypsum caves as indicators of climate-driven river incision and aggradation in a rapidly uplifting region. Geology, 43(6), 539-542. Demaria D. et al. (Eds.) (2012), Le Grotte Bolognesi, GSB-USB, 431 p. De Waele J., Pasini G. (2013) - Intra-messinian gypsum palaeokarst in the northern Apennines and its palaeogeographic implications. Terra Nova 25, pp. 199-205. Ercolani M., et al. (Eds.) (2013), I Gessi e la Cave i Monte Tondo. Studio multidisciplinare di un'area carsica nella Vena del Gesso Romagnola. Memorie Ist. It. Spel. II(26), 559 p

  6. Instrumenting caves to collect hydrologic and geochemical data: case study from James Cave, Virginia

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schreiber, Madeline E.; Schwartz, Benjamin F.; Orndorff, William; Doctor, Daniel H.; Eagle, Sarah D.; Gerst, Jonathan D.

    2015-01-01

    Karst aquifers are productive groundwater systems, supplying approximately 25 % of the world’s drinking water. Sustainable use of this critical water supply requires information about rates of recharge to karst aquifers. The overall goal of this project is to collect long-term, high-resolution hydrologic and geochemical datasets at James Cave, Virginia, to evaluate the quantity and quality of recharge to the karst system. To achieve this goal, the cave has been instrumented for continuous (10-min interval) measurement of the (1) temperature and rate of precipitation; (2) temperature, specific conductance, and rate of epikarst dripwater; (3) temperature of the cave air; and (4) temperature, conductivity, and discharge of the cave stream. Instrumentation has also been installed to collect both composite and grab samples of precipitation, soil water, the cave stream, and dripwater for geochemical analysis. This chapter provides detailed information about the instrumentation, data processing, and data management; shows examples of collected datasets; and discusses recommendations for other researchers interested in hydrologic and geochemical monitoring of cave systems. Results from the research, briefly described here and discussed in more detail in other publications, document a strong seasonality of the start of the recharge season, the extent of the recharge season, and the geochemistry of recharge.

  7. A national early warning system for rainfall-induced landslides in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guzzetti, F.; Rossi, M.; Peruccacci, S.; Brunetti, M.; Marchesini, I.; Ardizzone, F.; Balducci, V.; Bianchi, C.; Cardinali, M.; Fiorucci, F.; Mondini, A.; Reichenbach, P.; Salvati, P.; Tonelli, G.; Dello Buono, D.; Izzi, F.; Amato, L.; La Scaleia, G.; Maio, D.; Pagliara, P.; de Bernardinis, B.

    2010-12-01

    In Italy, intense or prolonged rainfall is the primary cause of landslides, and rainfall-induced slope failures occur every year, claiming lives, causing economic disruption, and producing environmental problems. In 2009, rainfall-induced landslides in Italy have caused more than 200 casualties (deaths, missing persons, injured people), in multiple landslide events. In the period 1950-2009, the average yearly number of harmful landslide events has exceeded 35, most of which were rainfall-induced landslide events. These figures indicate the impact that rainfall-induced landslides have on the population of Italy. The Italian national Department for Civil Protection (DPC), an Office of the Prime Minister, and the Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection (IRPI), of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), have designed and implemented a prototype system to forecast the possible occurrence of rainfall-induced landslides in Italy. The system is based on two main components. The first component consists of: (i) a set of national, regional, and local rainfall thresholds (of the intensity-duration (ID) type) for possible landslide occurrence, (ii) a database of sub-hourly rainfall measurements obtained by a nationwide network of 1950 rain gauges, and (iii) a database of daily quantitative rainfall forecasts obtained through numerical modelling. Every day, and for each individual rain gauge, the system compares the measured and the forecasted rainfall amounts against pre-defined thresholds, and assigns to each rain gauge a probability of possible landslide occurrence. This information is used to prepare synoptic-scale maps showing where rainfall induced landslides are expected, in a period of time. The second component of the system consists of synoptic assessments of landslide hazard and risk in Italy, including small-scale maps. The assessments were obtained through the statistical modelling of thematic and environmental information, including national

  8. Evolution and development in cave animals: from fish to crustaceans

    PubMed Central

    Protas, Meredith; Jeffery, William R.

    2013-01-01

    Cave animals are excellent models to study the general principles of evolution as well as the mechanisms of adaptation to a novel environment: the perpetual darkness of caves. In this article, two of the major model systems used to study the evolution and development (evo–devo) of cave animals are described: the teleost fish Astyanax mexicanus and the isopod crustacean Asellus aquaticus. The ways in which these animals match the major attributes expected of an evo–devo cave animal model system are described. For both species, we enumerate the regressive and constructive troglomorphic traits that have evolved during their adaptation to cave life, the developmental and genetic basis of these traits, the possible evolutionary forces responsible for them, and potential new areas in which these model systems could be used for further exploration of the evolution of cave animals. Furthermore, we compare the two model cave animals to investigate the mechanisms of troglomorphic evolution. Finally, we propose a few other cave animal systems that would be suitable for development as additional models to obtain a more comprehensive understanding of the developmental and genetic mechanisms involved in troglomorphic evolution. PMID:23580903

  9. Acoustic module of the Acquabona (Italy) debris flow monitoring system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galgaro, A.; Tecca, P. R.; Genevois, R.; Deganutti, A. M.

    2005-02-01

    Monitoring of debris flows aimed to the assessment of their physical parameters is very important both for theoretical and practical purposes. Peak discharge and total volume of debris flows are crucial for designing effective countermeasures in many populated mountain areas where losses of lives and property damage could be avoided. This study quantifies the relationship between flow depth, acoustic amplitude of debris flow induced ground vibrations and front velocity in the experimental catchment of Acquabona, Eastern Dolomites, Italy. The analysis of data brought about the results described in the following. Debris flow depth and amplitude of the flow-induced ground vibrations show a good positive correlation. Estimation of both mean front velocity and peak discharge can be simply obtained monitoring the ground vibrations, through geophones installed close to the flow channel; the total volume of debris flow can be so directly estimated from the integral of the ground vibrations using a regression line. The application of acoustic technique to debris flow monitoring seems to be of the outmost relevance in risk reduction policies and in the correct management of the territory. Moreover this estimation is possible in other catchments producing debris flows of similar characteristics by means of their acoustic characterisation through quick and simple field tests (Standard Penetration Tests and seismic refraction surveys).

  10. A prototype mass spectrometer for in situ analysis of cave atmospheres

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patrick, Edward L.; Mandt, Kathleen E.; Mitchell, Evelynn J.; Mitchell, Joseph N.; Younkin, Kerri N.; Seifert, Clarissa M.; Williams, Gregg C.

    2012-10-01

    Research in cave environments has many applications: studying local hydrogeologic activity, paleoclimate studies, analyzing white nose syndrome in bat populations, analogs for underground atmospheres in mining facilities, carbon sequestration efforts, and terrestrial analogs for planetary caves. The atmospheres of many caves contain tracers of current geological and biological activity, but up to this point, in situ studies have been limited to sensors that monitor individual components of the cave atmosphere. A prototype cave mass spectrometer system was assembled from commercial off-the-shelf parts to conduct surveys of atmospheric compositions inside four local Texas caves and to perform atmospheric analysis of two aquifer wellheads to a depth of 60 m. We found increased levels of CO2 in all caves and, surprisingly, increased levels of O2 in Bracken Bat Cave. Aquifer wellhead measurements showed indications of methane, other hydrocarbons, and other constituents not anticipated.

  11. Early warning system to forecast rainfall-induced landslides in Italy (SANF)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, Mauro

    2010-05-01

    Harmful landslide events are frequent in Italy. In this Country, in 2009 rainfall-induced landslides have caused at least 208 casualties, in multiple landslide events. In the period 1950-2009, the average yearly number of harmful landslide events has exceeded 35, most of which rainfall-induced landslide events. These figures indicate the impact that rainfall-induced landslides have on the population of Italy. The Italian national Department for Civil Protection (DPC), an Office of the Prime Minister, and the Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection (IRPI), of the Italian National Research Council (CNR), are designing and implementing a prototype system to forecast the possible occurrence of rainfall-induced landslides in Italy. The system is based on two components. The first component consists of: (i) a set of national, regional, and local rainfall thresholds (of the intensity-duration (ID) type) for possible landslide imitation, (ii) a database of sub-hourly rainfall measurements obtained by a network of 1950 rain gauges in Italy, and (iii) quantitative rainfall forecasts acquired through numerical modelling. Every day, and for each individual rain gauge, the system compares the measured and the forecasted rainfall amounts against pre-defined thresholds, and assigns to each rain gauge a probability for possible landslide occurrence. This information is used to prepare synoptic-scale maps showing where rainfall-induced landslides are expected, in a period of time. The second component of the system consists of synoptic assessments of landslide hazard and risk in Italy, including small-scale zoning maps. The assessments are obtained through statistical modelling of thematic and environmental information, including national catalogues of historical landslides and of historical landslides with human consequences in Italy, in the period 1900-2005. Combination of the hazard and risk zonations with the daily forecasts for possible landslide occurrence, allows

  12. Nitrogen fixation in distinct microbial niches within a chemoautotrophy-driven cave ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Desai, Mahesh S; Assig, Karoline; Dattagupta, Sharmishtha

    2013-12-01

    Microbial sulfur and carbon cycles in ecosystems driven by chemoautotrophy-present at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and sulfidic caves-have been studied to some extent, yet little is known about nitrogen fixation in these systems. Using a comprehensive approach comprising of (15)N2 isotope labeling, acetylene reduction assay and nitrogenase gene expression analyses, we investigated nitrogen fixation in the sulfide-rich, chemoautotrophy-based Frasassi cave ecosystem (Italy). Nitrogen fixation was examined in three different microbial niches within the cave waters: (1) symbiotic bacterial community of Niphargus amphipods, (2) Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms, which occur at the sulfide-oxygen interface, and (3) sulfidic sediment. We found evidence for nitrogen fixation in all the three niches, and the nitrogenase gene (homologs of nifH) expression data clearly show niche differentiation of diazotrophic Proteobacteria within the water streams. The nifH transcript originated from the symbiotic community of Niphargus amphipods might belong to the Thiothrix ectosymbionts. Two abundantly expressed nifH genes in the Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms are closely related to those from Beggiatoa- and Desulfovibrio-related bacteria. These two diazotrophs were consistently found in Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms collected at various time points, thus illustrating species-specific associations of the diazotrophs in biofilm formation, and micron-scale niche partitioning of sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria driven by steep redox gradients within the biofilm. Finally, putative heterotrophs (Geobacter, Azoarcus and Desulfovibrio related) were the active diazotrophs in the sulfidic sediment. Our study is the first to shed light on nitrogen fixation in permanently dark caves and suggests that diazotrophy may be widespread in chemosynthetic communities. PMID:23924780

  13. Coastal hydrogeological system of Mar Piccolo (Taranto, Italy).

    PubMed

    Zuffianò, L E; Basso, A; Casarano, D; Dragone, V; Limoni, P P; Romanazzi, A; Santaloia, F; Polemio, M

    2016-07-01

    The Mar Piccolo basin is an internal sea basin located along the Ionian coast (Southern Italy), and it is surrounded primarily by fractured carbonate karstic environment. Because of the karstic features, the main continental water inflow is from groundwater discharge. The Mar Piccolo basin represents a peculiar and sensitive environment and a social emergency because of sea water and sediment pollution. This pollution appears to be caused by the overlapping effects of dangerous anthropogenic activities, including heavy industries and commercial and navy dockyards. The paper aims to define the contribution of subaerial and submarine coastal springs to the hydrological dynamic equilibrium of this internal sea basin. A general approach was defined, including a hydrogeological basin border assessment to detect inflowing springs, detailed geological and hydrogeological conceptualisation, in situ submarine and subaerial spring measurements, and flow numerical modelling. Multiple sources of data were obtained to define a relevant geodatabase, and it contained information on approximately 2000 wells, located in the study area (1600 km(2)). The conceptualisation of the hydrogeological basin, which is 978 km(2) wide, was supported by a 3D geological model that interpolated 716 stratigraphic logs. The variability in hydraulic conductivity was determined using hundreds of pumping tests. Five surveys were performed to acquire hydro-geochemical data and spring flow-yield measurements; the isotope groundwater age was assessed and used for model validation. The mean annual volume exchanged by the hydrogeological basin was assessed equal to 106.93 10(6) m(3). The numerical modelling permitted an assessment of the mean monthly yield of each spring outflow (surveyed or not), travel time, and main path flow. PMID:26201653

  14. Thick seam sub-level caving with new Hungarian shield

    SciTech Connect

    Pera, F.

    1983-08-01

    Sub-level caving has been introduced in a longwall face at Akja Colliery, Hungary. Upper seams have been mined previously by room and pillar methods, having pillars. The limestone roof has been broken up by the earlier mining operations and continues to fracture. Portions of the remaining coal pillars and the lower seams are fissured. Thus the roof rock and coal can be properly caved. Experience showed that a sub-level caving shield was required, and a caliper-shield type support was developed. The design is described and details are given of its operation. The shield contains a caving door enabling the caved coal to be directed onto the armoured face conveyor. The support system has operated satisfactorily since August 1982.

  15. Egyptian Sea Cave

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Journal of College Science Teaching, 2005

    2005-01-01

    This brief article describes an archaeological expedition to the Red Sea coast area of Egypt in 2004. Kathryn Bard, an associate professor of archaeology at Boston University, along with her team, discovered the well-preserved cedar timbers of an ancient Egyptian seafaring vessel near the entrance to a large man-made cave. Limestone tablets with…

  16. The occupational health and safety services of the national health system in Italy.

    PubMed

    Bodini, Laura

    2005-01-01

    Working conditions have been addressed by laws in Italy since the 1950s, but the revision of the penal sanction laws in 1994 gave greater responsibility to those who had for many years been the de facto "police" of occupational health and safety services, allowing them to carry out inspections and to formulate rules for safety. Current preventive services for OHS within the Italian National Health Service are described, and their main features and developments and perspectives for the near future are situated in relation to EU legislation. There is a growing dichotomy in services between Northern and Southern Italy. The shift towards deregulation and decentralization of the current Government jeopardizes the prevention system. An efficient service will require a strong information system based on reliable notification; communication, training and assistance; and control and surveillance. PMID:15859188

  17. CAVE: A computer code for two-dimensional transient heating analysis of conceptual thermal protection systems for hypersonic vehicles

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Rathjen, K. A.

    1977-01-01

    A digital computer code CAVE (Conduction Analysis Via Eigenvalues), which finds application in the analysis of two dimensional transient heating of hypersonic vehicles is described. The CAVE is written in FORTRAN 4 and is operational on both IBM 360-67 and CDC 6600 computers. The method of solution is a hybrid analytical numerical technique that is inherently stable permitting large time steps even with the best of conductors having the finest of mesh size. The aerodynamic heating boundary conditions are calculated by the code based on the input flight trajectory or can optionally be calculated external to the code and then entered as input data. The code computes the network conduction and convection links, as well as capacitance values, given basic geometrical and mesh sizes, for four generations (leading edges, cooled panels, X-24C structure and slabs). Input and output formats are presented and explained. Sample problems are included. A brief summary of the hybrid analytical-numerical technique, which utilizes eigenvalues (thermal frequencies) and eigenvectors (thermal mode vectors) is given along with aerodynamic heating equations that have been incorporated in the code and flow charts.

  18. Spotted hyena and steppe lion predation behaviours on cave bears of Europe - ?Late Quaternary cave bear extinction as result of predator stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    high alpine regions the leopard Panthera pardus seem to have used the ecological niche of the absent hyenas (Diedrich 2009d, in review a). At open air sites cave bear scavenging by the largest Late Quaternary predators were proven, too (Diedrich 2006, 2009e). The predation stress caused by the three main and largest Late Quaternary predators seem to have provided cave bears to hibernate often deeply in many European caves, and here especially in larger and longer cave systems (e.g. Diedrich et al 2009, in review, Diedrich and Moldovan 2010) to protect themselves against the largest Quaternary predators. In conflicts with those large felids must have been killed by adult cave bears, which explains why those predator carcasses remained as complete skeletons or as partly disarticulated ones even deep in caves all over Europe which were finally not scavenged by the herbivorous cave bears (Diedrich in review). In such cave bear den caves the amount of lion bones generally take only 1-3% of the total bone amount being highly dominated by cave bear bones (Diedrich 2009c, in review). Lions and hyenas seem to have focussed onto the hunt of cave bears all over Europe, especially with the reduction of the biomass in the open environments at the maximum cold period during around 26.000-24.000 BP (Solutrean). The slow extinction of their largest prey was an important motor of the predation pressure onto cave bears. This might be one reason for the cave bear extinction in the final Late Quaternary (early Late Weichselian, maximum cold period) at least in northern Europe, but it seem to have happened in a combination of climatic change, and also human impact (cf. Diedrich, this volume). References Diedrich, C., 2005. Cracking and nibbling marks as indicators for the Upper Pleistocene spotted hyena as a scavenger of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller, 1794) carcasses in the Perick Caves den of Northwest Germany. Abhandlungen der Naturhistorischen Gesellschaft Nürnberg, 45, 73

  19. Vision-mediated interaction with the Nottingham caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ghali, Ahmed; Bayomi, Sahar; Green, Jonathan; Pridmore, Tony; Benford, Steve

    2003-05-01

    The English city of Nottingham is widely known for its rich history and compelling folklore. A key attraction is the extensive system of caves to be found beneath Nottingham Castle. Regular guided tours are made of the Nottingham caves, during which castle staff tell stories and explain historical events to small groups of visitors while pointing out relevant cave locations and features. The work reported here is part of a project aimed at enhancing the experience of cave visitors, and providing flexible storytelling tools to their guides, by developing machine vision systems capable of identifying specific actions of guides and/or visitors and triggering audio and/or video presentations as a result. Attention is currently focused on triggering audio material by directing the beam of a standard domestic flashlight towards features of interest on the cave wall. Cameras attached to the walls or roof provide image sequences within which torch light and cave features are detected and their relative positions estimated. When a target feature is illuminated the corresponding audio response is generated. We describe the architecture of the system, its implementation within the caves and the results of initial evaluations carried out with castle guides and members of the public.

  20. The microbiology of Lascaux Cave.

    PubMed

    Bastian, F; Jurado, V; Nováková, A; Alabouvette, C; Saiz-Jimenez, C

    2010-03-01

    Lascaux Cave (Montignac, France) contains paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period. Shortly after its discovery in 1940, the cave was seriously disturbed by major destructive interventions. In 1963, the cave was closed due to algal growth on the walls. In 2001, the ceiling, walls and sediments were colonized by the fungus Fusarium solani. Later, black stains, probably of fungal origin, appeared on the walls. Biocide treatments, including quaternary ammonium derivatives, were extensively applied for a few years, and have been in use again since January 2008. The microbial communities in Lascaux Cave were shown to be composed of human-pathogenic bacteria and entomopathogenic fungi, the former as a result of the biocide selection. The data show that fungi play an important role in the cave, and arthropods contribute to the dispersion of conidia. A careful study on the fungal ecology is needed in order to complete the cave food web and to control the black stains threatening the Paleolithic paintings. PMID:20056706

  1. Speleothem calcite farmed in situ: Modern calibration of δ 18O and δ 13C paleoclimate proxies in a continuously-monitored natural cave system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremaine, Darrel M.; Froelich, Philip N.; Wang, Yang

    2011-09-01

    Understanding the relationships between speleothem stable isotopes (δ 13C δ 18O) and in situ cave forcing mechanisms is important to interpreting ancient stalagmite paleoclimate records. Cave studies have demonstrated that the δ 18O of inorganically precipitated (low temperature) speleothem calcite is systematically heavier than the δ 18O of laboratory-grown calcite for a given temperature. To understand this apparent offset, rainwater, cave drip water, groundwater, and modern naturally precipitated calcite (farmed in situ) were grown at multiple locations inside Hollow Ridge Cave in Marianna, Florida. High resolution micrometeorological, air chemistry time series and ventilation regimes were also monitored continuously at two locations inside the cave, supplemented with periodic bi-monthly air gas grab sample transects throughout the cave. Cave air chemistry and isotope monitoring reveal density-driven airflow pathways through Hollow Ridge Cave at velocities of up to 1.2 m s -1 in winter and 0.4 m s -1 in summer. Hollow Ridge Cave displays a strong ventilation gradient in the front of the cave near the entrances, resulting in cave air that is a mixture of soil gas and atmospheric CO 2. A clear relationship is found between calcite δ 13C and cave air ventilation rates estimated by proxies pCO 2 and 222Rn. Calcite δ 13C decreased linearly with distance from the front entrance to the interior of the cave during all seasons, with a maximum entrance-to-interior gradient of Δδ 13C CaCO3 = -7‰. A whole-cave "Hendy test" at multiple contemporaneous farming sites reveals that ventilation induces a +1.9 ± 0.96‰ δ 13C offset between calcite precipitated in a ventilation flow path and calcite precipitated on the edge or out of flow paths. This interpretation of the "Hendy test" has implications for interpreting δ 13C records in ancient speleothems. Calcite δ 13C CaCO3 may be a proxy not only for atmospheric CO 2 or overlying vegetation shifts but also for

  2. Shallow Submarine Hydrothermal Systems in the Aeolian Volcanic Arc, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Monecke, Thomas; Petersen, Sven; Lackschewitz, Klas; Hügler, Michael; Hannington, Mark D.; Gemmell, J. Bruce

    2009-03-01

    The majority of known high-temperature hydrothermal vents occur at mid-ocean ridges and back-arc spreading centers, typically at water depths from 2000 to 4000 meters. Compared with 30 years of hydrothermal research along spreading centers in the deep parts of the ocean, exploration of the approximately 700 submarine arc volcanoes is relatively recent [de Ronde et al., 2003]. At these submarine arc volcanoes, active hydrothermal vents are located at unexpectedly shallow water depth (95% at <1600-meter depth), which has important consequences for the style of venting, the nature of associated mineral deposits, and the local biological communities. As part of an ongoing multinational research effort to study shallow submarine volcanic arcs, two hydrothermal systems in the submerged part of the Aeolian arc have been investigated in detail during research cruises by R/V Poseidon (July 2006) and R/V Meteor (August 2007). Comprehensive seafloor video surveys were conducted using a remotely operated vehicle, and drilling to a depth of 5 meters was carried out using a lander-type submersible drill. This research has resulted in the first detailed, three-dimensional documentation of shallow submarine hydrothermal systems on arc volcanoes.

  3. Development of A Real Time Physically-based Flood Forecasting System In The Piemonte Region, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbero, S. P.; Rabuffetti, D.; Buffo, M.; Graziadei, M.

    The development and implementation of the Piemonte RegionSs real-time Flood Fore- casting System is described. The area of interest is the Upper Po River basin (North- west Italy) of approximately 37000 km2 and its river network of about 3000 Km and 3 big lakes. FloodWatch, a GIS-based decision support system for real-time flood fore- casting has been developed and operationally used since June 2000 at the Piemonte RegionSs Room for the Situation of Natural Hazards in Torino, Italy. FloodWatch is based on MIKE 11 modules which provide a continuos lumped hydrological model- ing of 187 tree-structured subcatchments connected by a 1D distributed hydrodynamic model. It is directly linked to the existing telemetric system, which provides measured data from more than 270 meteorological stations (rainfall and temperature) and about 80 water level gauging stations. In addition, FloodWatch uses quantitative precipita- tion and temperature forecasts daily issued by the Regional Meteorological Service on the 11 zones in which the study area is subdivided. At present, FloodWatch auto- matically supplies operational forecasts of water-level and discharge at 73 locations for up to 48 hours. The development of a fast and reliable flow forecasting system for this large and heterogeneous river basin required careful balance between the need for rapid and accurate forecasts and of a correct representation of run-off generation, flood propagation, baseflows, snow accumulation and melting. Strengths and limits of the system are focused addressing the need for future development. Some results are presented with particular regard to the October 2000 flood event, when the northwest of Italy experienced one of the largest floods on record. Heavy and prolonged rainfall fell across the entire Po river basin. The flood inundated vast areas causing widespread damage and thousands of people were warned and alerted to evacuate.

  4. The fungal colonisation of rock-art caves: experimental evidence.

    PubMed

    Jurado, Valme; Fernandez-Cortes, Angel; Cuezva, Soledad; Laiz, Leonila; Cañaveras, Juan Carlos; Sanchez-Moral, Sergio; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2009-09-01

    The conservation of rock-art paintings in European caves is a matter of increasing interest. This derives from the bacterial colonisation of Altamira Cave, Spain and the recent fungal outbreak of Lascaux Cave, France-both included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, we show direct evidence of a fungal colonisation of rock tablets in a testing system exposed in Altamira Cave. After 2 months, the tablets, previously sterilised, were heavily colonised by fungi and bacteria. Most fungi isolated were labelled as entomopathogens, while the bacteria were those regularly identified in the cave. Rock colonisation was probably promoted by the dissolved organic carbon supplied with the dripping and condensation waters and favoured by the displacement of aerosols towards the interior of the cave, which contributed to the dissemination of microorganisms. The role of arthropods in the dispersal of spores may also help in understanding fungal colonisation. This study evidences the fragility of rock-art caves and demonstrates that microorganisms can easily colonise bare rocks and materials introduced into the cavity. PMID:19484211

  5. The fungal colonisation of rock-art caves: experimental evidence

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jurado, Valme; Fernandez-Cortes, Angel; Cuezva, Soledad; Laiz, Leonila; Cañaveras, Juan Carlos; Sanchez-Moral, Sergio; Saiz-Jimenez, Cesareo

    2009-09-01

    The conservation of rock-art paintings in European caves is a matter of increasing interest. This derives from the bacterial colonisation of Altamira Cave, Spain and the recent fungal outbreak of Lascaux Cave, France—both included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Here, we show direct evidence of a fungal colonisation of rock tablets in a testing system exposed in Altamira Cave. After 2 months, the tablets, previously sterilised, were heavily colonised by fungi and bacteria. Most fungi isolated were labelled as entomopathogens, while the bacteria were those regularly identified in the cave. Rock colonisation was probably promoted by the dissolved organic carbon supplied with the dripping and condensation waters and favoured by the displacement of aerosols towards the interior of the cave, which contributed to the dissemination of microorganisms. The role of arthropods in the dispersal of spores may also help in understanding fungal colonisation. This study evidences the fragility of rock-art caves and demonstrates that microorganisms can easily colonise bare rocks and materials introduced into the cavity.

  6. International comparison of cave radon concentrations identifying the potential alpha radiation risks to British cave users.

    PubMed

    Hyland, R; Gunn, J

    1994-08-01

    Elevated concentrations of 222Rn have been recorded in many limestone caves throughout the world. As prolonged exposure to high radon concentrations has been linked to cancer and tumors, particularly of the lung (National Academy of Science 1988; Eatough and Henshaw 1990), a national survey of radon in British caves was undertaken. Passive radon detectors were exposed at 250 sites in 47 caves over four 7-d sampling periods. Mean concentrations ranging from 454-8,868 Bq m-3 were recorded. In one system, in the Peak District, radon concentrations of 155,000 Bq m-3 were recorded. The results indicate that the potential radiation dose from a single 4-h trip could exceed the national average annual background radiation dose (for the UK) from radon of 1.25 mSv. PMID:8026972

  7. International comparison of cave radon concentrations identifying the potential alpha radiation risks to British cave users

    SciTech Connect

    Hyland, R.; Gunn, J.

    1994-08-01

    Elevated concentrations of {sup 222}Rn have been recorded in many limestone caves throughout the world. As prolonged exposure to high radon concentrations has been linked to cancer and tumors, particularly of the lung, a national survey of radon in British caves was undertaken. Passive radon detectors were exposed at 250 sites in 47 caves over four 7-d sampling periods. Mean concentrations ranging from 454-8,868 Bq m{sup {minus}3} were recorded. In one system, in the Peak District, radon concentrations of 155,000 Bq m{sup {minus}3} were recorded. The results indicate that the potential radiation dose from a single 4-h trip could exceed the national average annual background radiation dose (for the UK) from radon of 1.25 mSv. 18 refs., 3 tabs.

  8. Exploring the feasibility of a nationwide earthquake early warning system in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Picozzi, M.; Zollo, A.; Brondi, P.; Colombelli, S.; Elia, L.; Martino, C.

    2015-04-01

    When accompanied by appropriate training and preparedness of a population, Earthquake Early Warning Systems (EEWS) are effective and viable tools for the real-time reduction of societal exposure to seismic events in metropolitan areas. The Italian Accelerometric Network, RAN, which consists of about 500 stations installed over all the active seismic zones, as well as many cities and strategic infrastructures in Italy, has the potential to serve as a nationwide early warning system. In this work, we present a feasibility study for a nationwide EEWS in Italy obtained by the integration of the RAN and the software platform PRobabilistic and Evolutionary early warning SysTem (PRESTo). The performance of the RAN-PRESTo EEWS is first assessed by testing it on real strong motion recordings of 40 of the largest earthquakes that have occurred during the last 10 years in Italy. Furthermore, we extend the analysis to regions that did not experience earthquakes by considering a nationwide grid of synthetic sources capable of generating Gutenberg-Richter sequences corresponding to the one adopted by the seismic hazard map of the Italian territory. Our results indicate that the RAN-PRESTo EEWS could theoretically provide for higher seismic hazard areas reliable alert messages within about 5 to 10 s and maximum lead times of about 25 s. In case of large events (M > 6.5), this amount of lead time would be sufficient for taking basic protective measures (e.g., duck and cover, move away from windows or equipment) in tens to hundreds of municipalities affected by large ground shaking.

  9. Caves: A Course of Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Phillips, Jan

    Middle school students from The College School, a private school in Webster Groves (Missouri) have completed a class called "Caves and Crystallography." A thematic approach was used in the course in which students and teachers read books telling how caves were formed, saw movies which explained the delicate balance of life underground, made…

  10. Calcite Farming at Hollow Ridge Cave: Calibrating Net Rainfall and Cave Microclimate to Dripwater and Calcite Chemical Variability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tremaine, D. M.; Kilgore, B. P.; Froelich, P. N.

    2012-04-01

    .1(1000/T) - 24.6 We analyzed anions, cations, and trace elements in dripwater, bedrock, and farmed calcite to examine the relationships between net rainfall, drip rates, drip water chemistry, and calcite chemistry. Dripwater Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios fall on coherent mixing lines between three geochemical endmembers: rainwater, dissolved dolomite, and dissolved limestone. Dripwater Sr/Ca vs. Mg/Ca ratios are also influenced by evaporative enrichment within the epikarst as a function of net rainfall amount [3]. Farmed calcite trace Cation/Ca ratios faithfully track short-term seasonal variations in dripwater chemistry for Na, Mg, Sr, Ba and U. However, speleothem calibrations are unique to each drip site regardless of proximity to one another, suggesting that individual speleothems are unlikely to be useful as a whole-cave hydrologic proxy. [1] Kowalczk, A. J., Froelich, P. N., 2010. Cave air ventilation and CO2 outgassing by radon-222 modeling: How fast do caves breathe? Earth & Planet. Sci. Lett. 289, 209-219. [2] Tremaine, D. M., Froelich, P. N., Wang, Y., 2011. Speleothem calcite farmed in situ: Modern calibration of δ18O and δ13C paleoclimate proxies in a continuously-monitored natural cave system. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 75, 4929-4950. [3] Tremaine, D. M., Froelich, P. N., 2012. Speleothem trace element signatures: A modern hydrologic geochemical study of cave drip waters and farmed calcite. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta (submitted)

  11. A prototype warning system to forecast rainfall induced landslides in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossi, M.; Brunetti, M. T.; Peruccacci, S.; Guzzetti, F.; Reichenbach, P.; Ardizzone, F.; Cardinali, M.; Salvati, P.; Tonelli, G.; Menduni, G.

    2009-09-01

    We are designing a system to forecast the possible occurrence of rainfall-induced landslides, using empirical rainfall thresholds and small scale zonations of landslide hazard and risk. Rainfall thresholds include national and regional empirical thresholds of the intensity-duration (ID) and normalized-ID types. The thresholds were calculated using objective methods and robust statistical techniques, exploiting a database of 673 rainfall events that have resulted in landslides. The synoptic landslide hazard zonation was obtained through multivariate statistical analysis of small scale environmental information, and catalogues of historical landslides. Similarly, the risk zonation was prepared exploiting a catalogue of historical landslides with human consequences in Italy. The hazard and risk zonations are used to establish if the expected slope failures occur in areas that are considered highly prone to landslides, or where landslide risk is severe or significant. The warning system, designed to support civil defense decisions, compares rainfall measurements with empirical rainfall thresholds, to inform "where" and "when" landslides are expected in a given region. A prototype version of the warning system was applied to the Abruzzo region, Central Italy.

  12. Important caves to be identified

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Criteria to identify significant caves on federal land are being developed by the Interior Department's Bureau of Land Management and the Agriculture Department's Forest Service under requirements of the Federal Cave Resources Protection Act of 1988. The departments gave advance notice of proposed rulemaking March 3 and invited suggestions and comments from the public for 30 days.The law requires protection, to the extent practical, of significant caves on lands administered by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Interior and includes authority to issue and revoke permits for collection and removal of cave resources and special provisions for regulation of cave resources on Indian lands. Final regulations must be published by August 18, 1989.

  13. Nitrogen fixation in distinct microbial niches within a chemoautotrophy-driven cave ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Desai, Mahesh S; Assig, Karoline; Dattagupta, Sharmishtha

    2013-01-01

    Microbial sulfur and carbon cycles in ecosystems driven by chemoautotrophy—present at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, cold seeps and sulfidic caves—have been studied to some extent, yet little is known about nitrogen fixation in these systems. Using a comprehensive approach comprising of 15N2 isotope labeling, acetylene reduction assay and nitrogenase gene expression analyses, we investigated nitrogen fixation in the sulfide-rich, chemoautotrophy-based Frasassi cave ecosystem (Italy). Nitrogen fixation was examined in three different microbial niches within the cave waters: (1) symbiotic bacterial community of Niphargus amphipods, (2) Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms, which occur at the sulfide–oxygen interface, and (3) sulfidic sediment. We found evidence for nitrogen fixation in all the three niches, and the nitrogenase gene (homologs of nifH) expression data clearly show niche differentiation of diazotrophic Proteobacteria within the water streams. The nifH transcript originated from the symbiotic community of Niphargus amphipods might belong to the Thiothrix ectosymbionts. Two abundantly expressed nifH genes in the Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms are closely related to those from Beggiatoa- and Desulfovibrio-related bacteria. These two diazotrophs were consistently found in Beggiatoa-dominated biofilms collected at various time points, thus illustrating species-specific associations of the diazotrophs in biofilm formation, and micron-scale niche partitioning of sulfur-oxidizing and sulfate-reducing bacteria driven by steep redox gradients within the biofilm. Finally, putative heterotrophs (Geobacter, Azoarcus and Desulfovibrio related) were the active diazotrophs in the sulfidic sediment. Our study is the first to shed light on nitrogen fixation in permanently dark caves and suggests that diazotrophy may be widespread in chemosynthetic communities. PMID:23924780

  14. Survey and hydrogeology of Carroll Cave

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Carroll Cave, located in Camden County, Missouri, is the largest known cave formed in the Gasconade Dolomite of the Salem Plateau. Despite extensive visitation over the last 50 years and multiple survey efforts, a comprehensive map of the cave has never been produced. In 2002, the Carroll Cave Conse...

  15. Impacts of cave air ventilation and in-cave prior calcite precipitation on Golgotha Cave dripwater chemistry, southwest Australia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Treble, Pauline C.; Fairchild, Ian J.; Griffiths, Alan; Baker, Andy; Meredith, Karina T.; Wood, Anne; McGuire, Elizabeth

    2015-11-01

    Speleothem trace element chemistry is an important component of multi-proxy records of environmental change but a thorough understanding of hydrochemical processes is essential for its interpretation. We present a dripwater chemistry dataset (PCO2, alkalinity, Ca, SIcc, Mg and Sr) from an eight-year monitoring study from Golgotha Cave, building on a previous study of hydrology and dripwater oxygen isotopes (Treble et al., 2013). Golgotha Cave is developed in Quaternary aeolianite and located in a forested catchment in the Mediterranean-type climate of southwest Western Australia. All dripwaters from each of the five monitored sites become supersaturated with respect to calcite during most of the year when cave ventilation lowers PCO2 in cave air. In this winter ventilation mode, prior calcite precipitation (PCP) signals of increased Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca in dripwater are attributed to stalactite deposition. A fast-dripping site displays less-evolved carbonate chemistry, implying minimal stalactite growth, phenomena which are attributed to minimal degassing because of the short drip interval (30 s). We employ hydrochemical mass-balance modelling techniques to quantitatively investigate the impact of PCP and CO2 degassing on our dripwater. Initially, we reverse-modelled dripwater solutions to demonstrate that PCP is dominating the dripwater chemistry at our low-flow site and predict that PCP becomes enhanced in underlying stalagmites. Secondly, we forward-modelled the ranges of solution Mg/Ca variation that potentially can be caused by degassing and calcite precipitation to serve as a guide to interpreting the resulting stalagmite chemistry. We predict that stalagmite trace element data from our high-flow sites will reflect trends in original dripwater solutes, preserving information on biogeochemical fluxes within our system. By contrast, stalagmites from our low-flow sites will be dominated by PCP effects driven by cave ventilation. Our poorly karstified system allows us

  16. Cave microbial community composition in oceanic islands: disentangling the effect of different colored mats in diversity patterns of Azorean lava caves.

    PubMed

    Riquelme, Cristina; Rigal, François; Hathaway, Jennifer J M; Northup, Diana E; Spilde, Michael N; Borges, Paulo A V; Gabriel, Rosalina; Amorim, Isabel R; Dapkevicius, Maria de Lurdes N E

    2015-12-01

    Processes determining diversity and composition of bacterial communities in island volcanic caves are still poorly understood. Here, we characterized colored microbial mats in 14 volcanic caves from two oceanic islands of the Azores using 16S rRNA gene sequences. Factors determining community diversity (α) and composition (β) were explored, namely colored mats, caves and islands, as well as environmental and chemical characteristics of caves. Additive partitioning of diversity using OTU occurrence showed a greater influence of β-diversity between islands and caves that may relate to differences in rare OTUs (singletons and doubletons) across scales. In contrast, Shannon diversity partitioning revealed the importance of the lowest hierarchical level (α diversity, colored mat), suggesting a dominance of cosmopolitan OTUs (>1%) in most samples. Cosmopolitan OTUs included members involved in nitrogen cycling, supporting the importance of this process in Azorean caves. Environmental and chemical conditions in caves did not show any significant relationship to OTU diversity and composition. The absence of clear differences between mat colors and across scales may be explained by (1) the geological youth of the cave system (cave communities have not had enough time to diverge) or/and (2) community convergence, as the result of selection pressure in extreme environments. PMID:26564959

  17. Wet snow hazard for power lines: a forecast and alert system applied in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bonelli, P.; Lacavalla, M.; Marcacci, P.; Mariani, G.; Stella, G.

    2011-09-01

    Wet snow icing accretion on power lines is a real problem in Italy, causing failures on high and medium voltage power supplies during the cold season. The phenomenon is a process in which many large and local scale variables contribute in a complex way and not completely understood. A numerical weather forecast can be used to select areas where wet snow accretion has an high probability of occurring, but a specific accretion model must also be used to estimate the load of an ice sleeve and its hazard. All the information must be carefully selected and shown to the electric grid operator in order to warn him promptly. The authors describe a prototype of forecast and alert system, WOLF (Wet snow Overload aLert and Forecast), developed and applied in Italy. The prototype elaborates the output of a numerical weather prediction model, as temperature, precipitation, wind intensity and direction, to determine the areas of potential risk for the power lines. Then an accretion model computes the ice sleeves' load for different conductor diameters. The highest values are selected and displayed on a WEB-GIS application principally devoted to the electric operator, but also to more expert users. Some experimental field campaigns have been conducted to better parameterize the accretion model. Comparisons between real accidents and forecasted icing conditions are presented and discussed.

  18. Tsunami Early Warning System in Italy and involvement of local communities

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tinti, Stefano; Armigliato, Alberto; Zaniboni, Filippo

    2010-05-01

    Italy is characterized by a great coastal extension, and by a series of possible tsunamigenic sources: many active faults, onshore and offshore, also near the shoreline and in shallow water, active volcanoes (Etna, Stromboli, Campi Flegrei for example), continental margins where landslides can occur. All these threats justify the establishment of a tsunami early warning system (TEWS), especially in Southern Italy where most of the sources capable of large disastrous tsunamis are located. One of the main characteristics of such sources, that however is common to other countries in not only in the Mediterranean, is their vicinity to the coast, which means that the tsunami lead time for attacking the coastal system is expected to be within 10-15 minutes in several cases. This constraint of time imposes to conceive and adopt specific plans aiming at a quick tsunami detection and alert dissemination for the TEWS, since obviously the TEWS alert must precede and not follow the tsunami first arrival. The need to be quick introduces the specific problem of uncertainty that is though inherent to any forecast system, but it is a very big issue especially when time available is short, since crucial decisions have to be taken in presence of incomplete data and incomplete processing. This is just the big problem that has to be faced by a system like the a TEWS in Italy. Uncertainties can be reduced by increasing the capabilities of the tsunami monitoring system by densifying the traditional instrumental networks (e.g. by empowering seismic and especially coastal and offshore sea-level observation systems) in the identified tsunamigenic source areas. However, uncertainties, though are expected to have a decreasing trend as time passes after the tsunami initiation, cannot be eliminated and have to be appropriately dealt with: uncertainties lead to under- and overestimation of the tsunami size and arrival times, and to missing or to false alerts, or in other terms they degrade the

  19. Visual Sensor Technology for Advanced Surveillance Systems: Historical View, Technological Aspects and Research Activities in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Foresti, Gian Luca; Micheloni, Christian; Piciarelli, Claudio; Snidaro, Lauro

    2009-01-01

    The paper is a survey of the main technological aspects of advanced visual-based surveillance systems. A brief historical view of such systems from the origins to nowadays is given together with a short description of the main research projects in Italy on surveillance applications in the last twenty years. The paper then describes the main characteristics of an advanced visual sensor network that (a) directly processes locally acquired digital data, (b) automatically modifies intrinsic (focus, iris) and extrinsic (pan, tilt, zoom) parameters to increase the quality of acquired data and (c) automatically selects the best subset of sensors in order to monitor a given moving object in the observed environment. PMID:22574011

  20. Spotted hyena and steppe lion predation behaviours on cave bears of Europe - ?Late Quaternary cave bear extinction as result of predator stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Diedrich, Cajus G.

    2010-05-01

    high alpine regions the leopard Panthera pardus seem to have used the ecological niche of the absent hyenas (Diedrich 2009d, in review a). At open air sites cave bear scavenging by the largest Late Quaternary predators were proven, too (Diedrich 2006, 2009e). The predation stress caused by the three main and largest Late Quaternary predators seem to have provided cave bears to hibernate often deeply in many European caves, and here especially in larger and longer cave systems (e.g. Diedrich et al 2009, in review, Diedrich and Moldovan 2010) to protect themselves against the largest Quaternary predators. In conflicts with those large felids must have been killed by adult cave bears, which explains why those predator carcasses remained as complete skeletons or as partly disarticulated ones even deep in caves all over Europe which were finally not scavenged by the herbivorous cave bears (Diedrich in review). In such cave bear den caves the amount of lion bones generally take only 1-3% of the total bone amount being highly dominated by cave bear bones (Diedrich 2009c, in review). Lions and hyenas seem to have focussed onto the hunt of cave bears all over Europe, especially with the reduction of the biomass in the open environments at the maximum cold period during around 26.000-24.000 BP (Solutrean). The slow extinction of their largest prey was an important motor of the predation pressure onto cave bears. This might be one reason for the cave bear extinction in the final Late Quaternary (early Late Weichselian, maximum cold period) at least in northern Europe, but it seem to have happened in a combination of climatic change, and also human impact (cf. Diedrich, this volume). References Diedrich, C., 2005. Cracking and nibbling marks as indicators for the Upper Pleistocene spotted hyena as a scavenger of cave bear (Ursus spelaeus Rosenmüller, 1794) carcasses in the Perick Caves den of Northwest Germany. Abhandlungen der Naturhistorischen Gesellschaft Nürnberg, 45, 73

  1. An operational real-time flood forecasting system in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ortiz, Enrique; Coccia, Gabriele; Todini, Ezio

    2015-04-01

    A real-time flood forecasting system has been operating since year 2012 as a non-structural measure for mitigating the flood risk in Campania Region (Southern Italy), within the Sele river basin (3.240 km2). The Sele Flood Forecasting System (SFFS) has been built within the FEWS (Flood Early Warning System) platform developed by Deltares and it assimilates the numerical weather predictions of the COSMO LAM family: the deterministic COSMO-LAMI I2, the deterministic COSMO-LAMI I7 and the ensemble numerical weather predictions COSMO-LEPS (16 members). Sele FFS is composed by a cascade of three main models. The first model is a fully continuous physically based distributed hydrological model, named TOPKAPI-eXtended (Idrologia&Ambiente s.r.l., Naples, Italy), simulating the dominant processes controlling the soil water dynamics, runoff generation and discharge with a spatial resolution of 250 m. The second module is a set of Neural-Networks (ANN) built for forecasting the river stages at a set of monitored cross-sections. The third component is a Model Conditional Processor (MCP), which provides the predictive uncertainty (i.e., the probability of occurrence of a future flood event) within the framework of a multi-temporal forecast, according to the most recent advancements on this topic (Coccia and Todini, HESS, 2011). The MCP provides information about the probability of exceedance of a maximum river stage within the forecast lead time, by means of a discrete time function representing the variation of cumulative probability of exceeding a river stage during the forecast lead time and the distribution of the time occurrence of the flood peak, starting from one or more model forecasts. This work shows the Sele FFS performance after two years of operation, evidencing the added-values that can provide to a flood early warning and emergency management system.

  2. Generation and dispersal of carbon dioxide in the caves and karst of Gibraltar

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Atkinson, T.; Mattey, D.; Latin, J.-P.; Ainsworth, M.; Durell, R.

    2012-04-01

    The gases in the soil, in caves and in the smaller voids of the vadose zone in karstic limestones are all generally enriched in CO2 relative to open atmosphere. The concentrations and fluxes of CO2 in cave air have a close relationship with the deposition of speleothem calcite but there are still very few detailed studies that trace the generation and dispersal of CO2 in whole karst systems, i.e. as a gas and in dissolved form within a linked system comprising soil, caves and the vadose zone. The Rock of Gibraltar forms a N-S trending ridge 2.5 km long within which solution caves are present at altitudes extending from below sea level to over 300m asl. Cave monitoring has been carried out since 2004 and focuses on two cave systems: St Michaels Cave (SMC) located near the top of the rock at 275m asl and Ragged Staff Cave located in the heart of the rock near sea level. Monthly sampling and analysis of air and water combined with continuous logging of temperature, humidity and drip discharge rates reveals the importance of density-driven seasonal ventilation which drives large-scale advection of CO2-rich air though the cave systems. Advective flow is upwards during winter months, resulting in low pCO2 at sea level and high pCO2 in caves near the top of the rock and the flow reverses in summer, ventilating high-level caves and raising cave air pCO2 at lower altitudes. In this talk we focus on geochemical tracing of CO2 generation and dispersal using the abundance and carbon isotopic compositions of gaseous CO2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The results of a four-year study at SMC are not consistent with the generally accepted view that CO2in cave air originates by degassing of dripwater that has acquired CO2primarily from the soil zone. We demonstrate the importance of deep vadose zone air as a source of CO2 in karst systems and show that in St. Michaels Cave the abundance and isotopic composition of CO2 of the cave atmosphere is primarily controlled by mixing

  3. Radon in Ingleborough / Clapham Cave, North Yorkshire, UK.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillmore, Gavin

    2015-04-01

    Atmospheric radon concentration was measured at Ingleborough Cave, North Yorkshire during the summer of 2004, and the autumn / winter of 2004/5. Significantly, Ingleborough Cave forms part of a larger system which includes the world famous Gaping Gill pothole. This plunges 105 m (334 ft), contains the tallest unbroken waterfall in England and one of the largest known underground chambers in the UK. Measurements were taken to assess the effects of seasonal and spatial variation, elevation and ventilation on radon concentration in Ingleborough. In this study personal dose exposures for three groups of cave user were identified, and the performance of a variety of radon detection systems evaluated. Summer radon concentrations inside the cave peaked at around 7,000 Bq m-3, although average concentrations were less than 5,000 Bq m-3. During the winter measurement period, average concentrations were around 100 Bq m-3, and a winter / summer ration therefore of 47,4. The average annual radon concentration exceeded the legislative limitations for the workplace of 400 Bq m-3 due in part to a failed fan in the ventilation system. When the fan was running we noted an 80% reduction in radon concentrations although reliability of the fan was problematic due to extensive but relatively rare flooding of the cave system. The radon dose experienced by cave workers and guides in this study exceeded the Ionisation Radiation Regulations limit of 5 mSv/annum, and highlighted that for health and safety reasons the ventilation system should be fully operational during the high radon concentration summer months. Keywords: Radon, Cave, Ingleborough, Detection methods

  4. The Earthquake Early Warning System In Southern Italy: Performance Tests And Next Developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zollo, A.; Elia, L.; Martino, C.; Colombelli, S.; Emolo, A.; Festa, G.; Iannaccone, G.

    2011-12-01

    PRESTo (PRobabilistic and Evolutionary early warning SysTem) is the software platform for Earthquake Early Warning (EEW) in Southern Italy, that integrates recent algorithms for real-time earthquake location, magnitude estimation and damage assessment, into a highly configurable and easily portable package. The system is under active experimentation based on the Irpinia Seismic Network (ISNet). PRESTo processes the live streams of 3C acceleration data for P-wave arrival detection and, while an event is occurring, promptly performs event detection and provides location, magnitude estimations and peak ground shaking predictions at target sites. The earthquake location is obtained by an evolutionary, real-time probabilistic approach based on an equal differential time formulation. At each time step, it uses information from both triggered and not-yet-triggered stations. Magnitude estimation exploits an empirical relationship that correlates it to the filtered Peak Displacement (Pd), measured over the first 2-4 s of P-signal. Peak ground-motion parameters at any distance can be finally estimated by ground motion prediction equations. Alarm messages containing the updated estimates of these parameters can thus reach target sites before the destructive waves, enabling automatic safety procedures. Using the real-time data streaming from the ISNet network, PRESTo has produced a bulletin for about a hundred low-magnitude events occurred during last two years. Meanwhile, the performances of the EEW system were assessed off-line playing-back the records for moderate and large events from Italy, Spain and Japan and synthetic waveforms for large historical events in Italy. These tests have shown that, when a dense seismic network is deployed in the fault area, PRESTo produces reliable estimates of earthquake location and size within 5-6 s from the event origin time (To). Estimates are provided as probability density functions whose uncertainty typically decreases with time

  5. Occurrence of organic wastewater and other contaminants in cave streams in northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas.

    PubMed

    Bidwell, Joseph R; Becker, Carol; Hensley, Steve; Stark, Richard; Meyer, Michael T

    2010-02-01

    The prevalence of organic wastewater compounds in surface waters of the United States has been reported in a number of recent studies. In karstic areas, surface contaminants might be transported to groundwater and, ultimately, cave ecosystems, where they might impact resident biota. In this study, polar organic chemical integrative samplers (POCISs) and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs) were deployed in six caves and two surface-water sites located within the Ozark Plateau of northeastern Oklahoma and northwestern Arkansas in order to detect potential chemical contaminants in these systems. All caves sampled were known to contain populations of the threatened Ozark cavefish (Amblyopsis rosae). The surface-water site in Oklahoma was downstream from the outfall of a municipal wastewater treatment plant and a previous study indicated a hydrologic link between this stream and one of the caves. A total of 83 chemicals were detected in the POCIS and SPMD extracts from the surface-water and cave sites. Of these, 55 chemicals were detected in the caves. Regardless of the sampler used, more compounds were detected in the Oklahoma surface-water site than in the Arkansas site or the caves. The organic wastewater chemicals with the greatest mass measured in the sampler extracts included sterols (cholesterol and beta-sitosterol), plasticizers [diethylhexylphthalate and tris(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate], the herbicide bromacil, and the fragrance indole. Sampler extracts from most of the cave sites did not contain many wastewater contaminants, although extracts from samplers in the Oklahoma surface-water site and the cave hydrologically linked to it had similar levels of diethylhexyphthalate and common detections of carbamazapine, sulfamethoxazole, benzophenone, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide (DEET), and octophenol monoethoxylate. Further evaluation of this system is warranted due to potential ongoing transport of wastewater-associated chemicals into the cave. Halogenated organics

  6. Effect of diurnal and seasonal temperature variation on Cussac cave ventilation using co2 assessment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peyraube, Nicolas; Lastennet, Roland; Villanueva, Jessica Denila; Houillon, Nicolas; Malaurent, Philippe; Denis, Alain

    2016-05-01

    Cussac cave was investigated to assess the cave air temperature variations and to understand its ventilation regime. This cave is located in an active karst system in the south west part of France. It has a single entrance and is considered as a cold air trap. In this study, air mass exchanges were probed. Measurements of temperature and Pco2 with a 30-min frequency were made in several locations close to the cave entrance. Speed of the air flow was also measured at the door of cave entrance. Results show that cave air Pco2 varies from 0.18 to 3.33 %. This cave appears to be a CO2 source with a net mass of 2319 tons blown in 2009. Carbon-stable isotope of CO2 (13Cco2) ranges from -20.6 ‰ in cold season to -23.8 ‰ in warm season. Cave air is interpreted as a result of a mix between external air and an isotopically depleted air, coming from the rock environment. The isotopic value of the light member varies through time, from -23.9 to -22.5 ‰. Furthermore, this study ascertains that the cave never stops in communicating with the external air. The ventilation regime is identified. (1) In cold season, the cave inhales at night and blows a little at the warmest hours. However, in warm season, (2) cave blows at night, but (3) during the day, a convection loop takes place in the entrance area and prevents the external air from entering the cave, confirming the cold air trap.

  7. Phylogenetic diversity of culturable fungi in the Heshang Cave, central China

    PubMed Central

    Man, Baiying; Wang, Hongmei; Xiang, Xing; Wang, Ruicheng; Yun, Yuan; Gong, Linfeng

    2015-01-01

    Caves are nutrient-limited and dark subterranean ecosystems. To date, attention has been focused on geological research of caves in China, whilst indigenous microbial diversity has been insufficiently characterized. Here, we report the fungal diversity in the pristine, oligotrophic, karst Heshang Cave, central China, using a culture-dependent method coupled with the analysis of the fungal rRNA-ITS gene sequences. A total of 194 isolates were obtained with six different media from 14 sampling sites of sediments, weathered rocks, and bat guanos. Phylogenetic analysis clustered the 194 sequenced isolates into 33 genera within 15 orders of three phyla, Ascomycota, Basidiomycota, and Zygomycota, indicating a high degree of fungal diversity in the Heshang Cave. Notably, 16 out of the 36 fungal genera were also frequently observed in solution caves around the world and 23 genera were previously found in carbonate cave, indicating potential similarities among fungal communities in cave ecosystems. However, 10 genera in this study were not reported previously in any solution caves, thus expanding our knowledge about fungal diversity in cave ecosystems. Moreover, culturable fungal diversity varied from one habitat to another within the cave, being the highest in sediments, followed by weathered rocks and bat guanos as indicated by α-diversity indexes. At the genus level, Penicillium accounted for 40, 54, and 52% in three habitats of sediments, weathered rocks, and bat guanos, respectively. Trichoderma, Paecilomyces, and Aspergillus accounted for 9, 22, and 37% in the above habitats, correspondingly. Despite of the dominance of Penicillium in all samples, β-diversity index indicated significant differences between each two fungal communities in the three habitats in view of both the composition and abundance. Our study is the first report on fungal communities in a natural pristine solution cave system in central China and sheds light on fungal diversity and functions in

  8. Integrated human surveillance systems of West Nile virus infections in Italy: the 2012 experience.

    PubMed

    Napoli, Christian; Bella, Antonino; Declich, Silvia; Grazzini, Giuliano; Lombardini, Letizia; Nanni Costa, Alessandro; Nicoletti, Loredana; Pompa, Maria Grazia; Pupella, Simonetta; Russo, Francesca; Rizzo, Caterina

    2013-12-01

    In Italy, a West Nile virus (WNV) surveillance plan was firstly implemented in 2008 and 2009 in two affected regions and, since 2010, according to a national plan, a WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) surveillance has to be carried out each year during the period 15 June-30 November, in those regions where WNV circulation has been demonstrated among humans, animals or vectors. Moreover, since WNV can be transmitted to humans even by blood transfusions and organ transplants obtained from infected donors, the national surveillance integrates the blood transfusions and organs transplant surveillances too. The paper describes the results of this integrated human surveillance in Italy in 2012. Overall, in 2012, 28 autochthonous confirmed cases of WNND were reported, 14 blood donations were found WNV positive by Nucleic Acid Amplification Test and no solid organ donors tested positive for WNV. Moreover, 17 cases of WNV fever were confirmed in Veneto region. When comparing the number of WNND cases reported to the surveillance system in previous 4 years (43 cases during the period 2008-2011), with those reported in 2012 an important increase was observed in 2012. The geographic distribution of human cases was consistent with the WNV circulation among animals and vectors. Moreover, the implementation of preventive measures for WNV transmission through blood components allowed the detection of blood donors positive for WNV, avoiding the further spread of the disease. Since surveillance strategies and preventive measures are based on the integration among human, animal and vector control activities, the Italian experience could be considered a good example of collaboration among different sectors of public health in a "one health" perspective. PMID:24351740

  9. Study of radiocarbon dynamics of Baradla Cave, Hungary

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Molnár, Mihály; Dezsö, Zoltán; Futo, Istvan; Siklósy, Zoltan; Jull, A. J. Timothy; Koltai, Gabriella

    2016-04-01

    Carbon isotope composition of speleothems and their parent drip water reflects the isotope composition of the atmospheric CO2, the soil and the host rock and can sometimes be influenced even by the cave atmosphere. Owing to the fact that 14C in the bedrock has long decayed, the bedrock derived carbon content of the seepage water can be considered as inactive or "dead carbon". The initial dead carbon proportion (dcp) of a stalagmite or tufa layer, caused by the incorporation of the inactive carbon, can be calculated with the help of the C-14 level differences between the contemporary atmosphere and the formed stone carbonate. The revolutionary technological advances of 14C (AMS) have brought the possibility of analysing 14C dynamics of karst systems due to the small amount of demanded material. The Baradla-Domica Cave is the largest cave of Gömör-Torna Karst, a karst area situated in the northeast of Hungary, and located on the Slovakian-Hungarian borderland. The approximately 26 km long cave is a typical example of multi-level speleogenesis. As a case study we have investigated several recent (age < 50 years) and older (age about 10-11 kyrs) stalagmites and recent drip water, some freshwater tufa samples and the recent cave air carbon-dioxide of the Baradla-cave to study the carbon dynamics and dead carbon level there. According four modern stalagmites (formed 1991-2004) the current dcp is very small in Baradla Cave (3-7%). Stalagmites deposited in Holocene (U/Th dated) were also characterized by very small dead carbon contents (1-11% dcp). Outside the cave a dpc about 20-25% was found in a freshwater tufa sample. This relatively low dead carbon content might be either explained by the thinness of the limestone bedrock above (56-80 m) or the relatively fast infiltration conditions, or their combined effect. Cave air is enriched in CO2 (2-5 times higher than in natural air, not homogenous) but the source of this surplus CO2 is not the limestone according its

  10. Sandstone caves on Venezuelan tepuis: Return to pseudokarst?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aubrecht, R.; Lánczos, T.; Gregor, M.; Schlögl, J.; Šmída, B.; Liščák, P.; Brewer-Carías, Ch.; Vlček, L.

    2011-09-01

    Venezuelan table mountains (tepuis) host the largest arenite caves in the world. The most frequently used explanation of their origin so far was the "arenization" theory, involving dissolution of quartz cement around the sand grains and subsequent removing of the released grains by water. New research in the two largest arenite cave systems - Churi-Tepui System in Chimanta Massif and Ojos de Cristal System in Roraima Tepui showed that quartz dissolution plays only a minor role in their speleogenesis. Arenites forming the tepuis are not only quartzites but they display a wide range of lithification and breakdown, including also loose sands and sandstones. Speleogenetic processes are mostly concentrated on the beds of unlithified sands which escaped from diagenesis by being sealed by the surrounding perfectly lithified quartzites. Only the so-called "finger-flow" pillars testify to confined diagenetic fluids which flowed in narrow channels, leaving the surrounding arenite uncemented. Another factor which influenced the cave-forming processes by about 30% was lateritization. It affects beds formed of arkosic sandstones and greywackes which show strong dissolution of micas, feldspars and clay minerals, turning then to laterite ("Barro Rojo"). The main prerequisite to rank caves among karst phenomena is dissolution. As the dissolution of silicate minerals other than quartz appears to play not only a volumetrically important role but even a trigger role, these arenitic caves may be ranked as karst.

  11. Is variation management included in regional healthcare governance systems? Some proposals from Italy.

    PubMed

    Nuti, Sabina; Seghieri, Chiara

    2014-01-01

    The Italian National Health System, which follows a Beveridge model, provides universal healthcare coverage through general taxation. Universal coverage provides uniform healthcare access to citizens and is the characteristic usually considered the added value of a welfare system financed by tax revenues. Nonetheless, wide differences in practice patterns, health outcomes and regional usages of resources that cannot be justified by differences in patient needs have been demonstrated to exist. Beginning with the experience of the health care system of the Tuscany region (Italy), this study describes the first steps of a long-term approach to proactively address the issue of geographic variation in healthcare. In particular, the study highlights how the unwarranted variation management has been addressed in a region with a high degree of managerial control over the delivery of health care and a consolidated performance evaluation system, by first, considering it a high priority objective and then by actively integrating it into the regional planning and control mechanism. The implications of this study can be useful to policy makers, professionals and managers, and will contribute to the understanding of how the management of variation can be implemented with performance measurements and financial incentives. PMID:24050981

  12. Some deep caves in Biokovo Mountain (Croatia)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Garasic, Mladen; Garasic, Davor

    2014-05-01

    The investigation of 3 caves explored more than 1000 meters in depth in the Dinaric karst area in Croatia, has been in progress for a considerable period of time. These are complex speleological features situated in the longest mountain range of the Dinaric karst, i.e. at the Northern Velebit mountain range. In fact, these caves have been studied for over two decades now. The first one is a cave system of Lukina jama (Luke's Cave) - Trojama cave, which has been investigated until the depth of 1421 meters (Jalžić, 2007; Šmida, 1993). Its total length is 3731 meters and a new expedition will soon continue to investigate this pit through speleodiving in siphons. The second greatest cave by depth is Slovačka jama (Slovak Cave), 1320 meters in depth, with cave chanals measuring 5677 meters in total length. The third greatest cave by depth is the Cave system of Velebita, reaching down to 1026 m in depth, with the chanal length of 3176 meters (Bakšić, 2006a; 2006b). However, another 3 speleological sites, which can rightly be added to those deeper than 1000 m, have recently been discovered. These are three caverns that were discovered during construction of the Sveti Ilija Tunnel that passes through Mt. Biokovo, in the Dinaric karst area. These caverns undoubtedly point to the link with the ground surface, while the rock overburden above the tunnel in the zone where the caverns were discovered ranges from 1250 and 1350 meters. Bats from the ground surface were found in the caverns and, according to measurements, they are situated in the depth from 200 and 300 meters below the tunnel level. This would mean that the depth of these newly found caves ranges from 1450 and 1650 m, when observed from the ground surface. There are several hundreds of known caves in Biokovo, and the deepest ones discovered so far are Jama Mokre noge (Wet Feet Cave) 831 m in depth, and Jama Amfora (Amphora Cave) 788 m in depth (Bockovac, 1999; Bakšić & all, 2002; Lacković & all, 2001

  13. Exploring old caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luana Belli, Maria

    2015-04-01

    Quarries, caves and mines often contain fossils. During the '30s in Rome, the urban expansion needs for building materials such as gravel, sand and clay were extracted from quarries that surrounded the city. One of these quarries in particular, in the area of Saccopastore (Nomentana area 3 km from the University Sapienza Roma) returned an ancient human fossil skull belonging to a Neanderthal (most likely a female) who lived in Latium about 120,000 years ago. Detailed studies of this fossil were carried out by Sergio Sergi, the son of the founder of the Museum of Anthropology in Rome, Giuseppe Sergi. The museum was founded in 1884 and was later transferred to the University City (1934) where it is still located. Professor Maria Luana Belli, a science teacher in the Liceo Scientifico "G. Keplero" is a volunteer and collaborator with the Museum "G. Sergi", and she and her students retrace the places of the discovery on the trail of the Neanderthals, for understanding the evolution of the territory in a perspective of interdisciplinary teaching.

  14. Paleontology. A Curriculum and Activity Guide to Mammoth Cave National Park. [Grades] 1-12.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    National Park Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    Mammoth Cave (Kentucky) was designated as a national park in 1941 because of its beautiful hills and valleys, scenic rivers, and the vast cave system located within its boundaries. Outstanding physiographic features include karst terrains, sandstone capped plateaus, and bluffs overlooking rivers and streams, which provide an unusually wide variety…

  15. Phylogeography of Sardinian Cave Salamanders (Genus Hydromantes) Is Mainly Determined by Geomorphology

    PubMed Central

    Chiari, Ylenia; van der Meijden, Arie; Mucedda, Mauro; Lourenço, João M.; Hochkirch, Axel; Veith, Michael

    2012-01-01

    Detecting the factors that determine the interruption of gene flow between populations is key to understanding how speciation occurs. In this context, caves are an excellent system for studying processes of colonization, differentiation and speciation, since they represent discrete geographical units often with known geological histories. Here, we asked whether discontinuous calcareous areas and cave systems represent major barriers to gene flow within and among the five species of Sardinian cave salamanders (genus Hydromantes) and whether intraspecific genetic structure parallels geographic distance within and among caves. We generated mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences from 184 individuals representing 48 populations, and used a Bayesian phylogeographic approach to infer possible areas of cladogenesis for these species and reconstruct historical and current dispersal routes among distinct populations. Our results show deep genetic divergence within and among all Sardinian cave salamander species, which can mostly be attributed to the effects of mountains and discontinuities in major calcareous areas and cave systems acting as barriers to gene flow. While these salamander species can also occur outside caves, our results indicate that there is a very poor dispersal of these species between separate cave systems. PMID:22427830

  16. Mapping Overburden and Cave Networks with Muons

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Prettyman, T. H.; Titus, T. N.; Boston, P. J.; Koontz, S. L.; Miller, R. S.

    2015-10-01

    We describe the use of highly-penetrating muons produced by cosmic ray showers to measure overburden and image the rock formation around terrestrial/extraterrestrial caves, and implications for cave science, exploration, and habitation.

  17. Unique Biosignatures in Caves of All Lithologies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Boston, P. J.; Schubert, K. E.; Gomez, E.; Conrad, P. G.

    2015-10-01

    Unique maze-like microbial communities on cave surfaces on all lithologies all over the world are an excellent candidate biosignatures for life detection missions into caves and other extraterrestrial environments.

  18. Numerical modeling of groundwater flow in the coastal aquifer system of Taranto (southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Filippis, Giovanna; Giudici, Mauro; Negri, Sergio; Margiotta, Stefano; Cattaneo, Laura; Vassena, Chiara

    2014-05-01

    The Mediterranean region is characterized by a strong development of coastal areas with a high concentration of water-demanding human activities, resulting in weakly controlled withdrawals of groundwater which accentuate the saltwater intrusion phenomenon. The worsening of groundwater quality is a huge problem especially for those regions, like Salento (southern Italy), where a karst aquifer system represents the most important water resource because of the deficiency of a well developed superficial water supply. In this frame, the first 2D numerical model describing the groundwater flow in the karst aquifer of Salento peninsula was developed by Giudici et al. [1] at the regional scale and then improved by De Filippis et al. [2]. In particular, the estimate of the saturated thickness of the deep aquifer highlighted that the Taranto area is particularly sensitive to the phenomenon of seawater intrusion, both for the specific hydrostratigraphic configuration and for the presence of highly water-demanding industrial activities. These remarks motivate a research project which is part of the research program RITMARE (The Italian Research for the Sea), within which a subprogram is specifically dedicated to the problem of the protection and preservation of groundwater quality in Italian coastal aquifers and in particular, among the others, in the Taranto area. In this context, the CINFAI operative unit aims at providing a contribution to the characterization of groundwater in the study area. The specific objectives are: a. the reconstruction of the groundwater dynamic (i.e., the preliminary identification of a conceptual model for the aquifer system and the subsequent modeling of groundwater flow in a multilayered system which is very complex from the hydrostratigraphical point of view); b. the characterization of groundwater outflows through submarine and subaerial springs and the water exchanges with the shallow coastal water bodies (e.g. Mar Piccolo) and the off

  19. Integrating emergy evaluation and geographic information systems for monitoring resource use in the Abruzzo region (Italy).

    PubMed

    Pulselli, Riccardo Maria

    2010-11-01

    This paper presents an application of an environmental accounting method, namely emergy evaluation, developed for the monitoring and assessment of environmental resource use by local communities in the Abruzzo Region (Italy). Once quantified and classified according to their origin (renewable or non-renewable, local or external), emergy flows were elaborated through a geographic information system (GIS) that allowed us to represent their spatial distribution throughout the region. Outcomes took the form of patterns in which different emergy intensities, namely empower (unit: seJ yr(-1)), were represented through a graduated grey-scale and visualized on a cartographic basis. The concentration of emergy flows, depending on the activity of local communities, showed variable levels of environmental load in different areas. In particular, spatial zones with homogeneous values of empower density (unit: seJ yr(-1) km(-2))--high, medium and low--were detected in order to identify areas with a similar "thermodynamic" nature, emergy being a thermodynamics based function. This allowed for the representation, at a glance, of a kind of geography that mirrors the behavior of a population settled in an area as additional information for investigating the effects of the use of urban structures and functions and improving our understanding of regional systems. A combined use of emergy evaluation and GIS could thus provide a complementary view of a territorial system and inform policy makers for planning specific strategies of future development. PMID:20663603

  20. Endecous peruassuensis n. sp. (Orthoptera: Grylloidea: Phalangopsidae) from caves of Eastern Brazil: evidence of isolation in the subterranean realm and discussion about troglomorphisms.

    PubMed

    Bolfarini, Marcio P; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2015-01-01

    We describe a new species of the genus Endecous Saussure (1878), recorded at the Lapa do Cipó and Olhos d'Água caves, which are located in the Itacarambi municipality, Minas Gerais state, Eastern Brazil. Another species, E. aguassay Mews, 2008 was recordedin the surroundings of the caves. The genus Endecous corresponds to the most common cricket in Brazilian hypogean environments. In general, these crickets inhabit the areas around cave entrances up to the aphotic zones of caves. The genus Endecous is the only cave cricket to present troglobiomorphosis, i.e., an apterous condition. The distribution of the new species is limited to these two caves, which suggests an endemism in this karst system similar to the distribution of other endemic animals, such as harvestmen and amblypygid arachnids. This species is the sixth troglobitic one described for Olhos d'Água cave, which sets this cave as a spot of subterranean fauna in Brazil. PMID:26624364

  1. Catastrophic breakdown of the Caves model for quantum noise in some phase-insensitive linear amplifiers or attenuators based on atomic systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhou, Minchuan; Zhou, Zifan; Shahriar, Selim M.

    2016-03-01

    When considering the effect of quantum noise (QN) in a phase-insensitive linear amplifier or attenuator, it is customary to use the single-channel Caves model (SC-CM). Although this model is valid in simple situations, such as the presence of a beam splitter, it is not necessarily valid when a system with many degrees of freedom is involved. In order to address this issue, we consider in this paper various atomic transitions corresponding to amplification or attenuation using the master-equation- (ME-) based approach to model the QN and to compare the results with the SC-CM. For a four-level system that consists of a transition producing a broad gain peak and a transition producing an absorption dip, which results in perfect transparency at the center, we observe a catastrophic breakdown of the SC-CM. We also show that for a general two-level atomic system, the SC-CM does not apply, except in the limiting case when only either amplification or attenuation exists. A special case where the two models predict the same result is a Λ-type three-level electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) system in which the QN at zero detuning vanishes while the system is in the dark state. We also study an optically pumped five-level gain EIT system which has a perfect transparency dip superimposed on a gain profile and yields the negative dispersion suitable for use in enhancing the sensitivity-bandwidth product of an interferometric gravitational wave detector. In this case, we find that, for some set of parameters, the QN is vanishingly small at the center of the dip, and the SC-CM agrees closely with the ME model. However, we also find that for some other set of parameters, the SC-SM model disagrees strongly with the ME model. All these cases illustrate a wide range of variations in the degree of disagreement between the predictions of the SC-CM and the ME approaches.

  2. Microbial diversity in a Venezuelan orthoquartzite cave is dominated by the Chloroflexi (Class Ktedonobacterales) and Thaumarchaeota Group I.1c.

    PubMed

    Barton, Hazel A; Giarrizzo, Juan G; Suarez, Paula; Robertson, Charles E; Broering, Mark J; Banks, Eric D; Vaishampayan, Parag A; Venkateswaran, Kasthisuri

    2014-01-01

    The majority of caves are formed within limestone rock and hence our understanding of cave microbiology comes from carbonate-buffered systems. In this paper, we describe the microbial diversity of Roraima Sur Cave (RSC), an orthoquartzite (SiO4) cave within Roraima Tepui, Venezuela. The cave contains a high level of microbial activity when compared with other cave systems, as determined by an ATP-based luminescence assay and cell counting. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of microbial diversity within the cave demonstrates the dominance of Actinomycetales and Alphaproteobacteria in endolithic bacterial communities close to the entrance, while communities from deeper in the cave are dominated (82-84%) by a unique clade of Ktedonobacterales within the Chloroflexi. While members of this phylum are commonly found in caves, this is the first identification of members of the Class Ktedonobacterales. An assessment of archaeal species demonstrates the dominance of phylotypes from the Thaumarchaeota Group I.1c (100%), which have previously been associated with acidic environments. While the Thaumarchaeota have been seen in numerous cave systems, the dominance of Group I.1c in RSC is unique and a departure from the traditional archaeal community structure. Geochemical analysis of the cave environment suggests that water entering the cave, rather than the nutrient-limited orthoquartzite rock, provides the carbon and energy necessary for microbial community growth and subsistence, while the poor buffering capacity of quartzite or the low pH of the environment may be selecting for this unusual community structure. Together these data suggest that pH, imparted by the geochemistry of the host rock, can play as important a role in niche-differentiation in caves as in other environmental systems. PMID:25505450

  3. Microbial diversity in a Venezuelan orthoquartzite cave is dominated by the Chloroflexi (Class Ktedonobacterales) and Thaumarchaeota Group I.1c

    PubMed Central

    Barton, Hazel A.; Giarrizzo, Juan G.; Suarez, Paula; Robertson, Charles E.; Broering, Mark J.; Banks, Eric D.; Vaishampayan, Parag A.; Venkateswaran, Kasthisuri

    2014-01-01

    The majority of caves are formed within limestone rock and hence our understanding of cave microbiology comes from carbonate-buffered systems. In this paper, we describe the microbial diversity of Roraima Sur Cave (RSC), an orthoquartzite (SiO4) cave within Roraima Tepui, Venezuela. The cave contains a high level of microbial activity when compared with other cave systems, as determined by an ATP-based luminescence assay and cell counting. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of microbial diversity within the cave demonstrates the dominance of Actinomycetales and Alphaproteobacteria in endolithic bacterial communities close to the entrance, while communities from deeper in the cave are dominated (82–84%) by a unique clade of Ktedonobacterales within the Chloroflexi. While members of this phylum are commonly found in caves, this is the first identification of members of the Class Ktedonobacterales. An assessment of archaeal species demonstrates the dominance of phylotypes from the Thaumarchaeota Group I.1c (100%), which have previously been associated with acidic environments. While the Thaumarchaeota have been seen in numerous cave systems, the dominance of Group I.1c in RSC is unique and a departure from the traditional archaeal community structure. Geochemical analysis of the cave environment suggests that water entering the cave, rather than the nutrient-limited orthoquartzite rock, provides the carbon and energy necessary for microbial community growth and subsistence, while the poor buffering capacity of quartzite or the low pH of the environment may be selecting for this unusual community structure. Together these data suggest that pH, imparted by the geochemistry of the host rock, can play as important a role in niche-differentiation in caves as in other environmental systems. PMID:25505450

  4. Vector Borne Infections in Italy: Results of the Integrated Surveillance System for West Nile Disease in 2013

    PubMed Central

    Napoli, Christian; Di Sabatino, Daria; Martini, Vanessa; Santucci, Vincenzo Ugo; Declich, Silvia

    2015-01-01

    The epidemiology of West Nile disease (WND) is influenced by multiple ecological factors and, therefore, integrated surveillance systems are needed for early detecting the infection and activating consequent control actions. As different animal species have different importance in the maintenance and in the spread of the infection, a multispecies surveillance approach is required. An integrated and comprehensive surveillance system is in place in Italy aiming at early detecting the virus introduction, monitoring the possible infection spread, and implementing preventive measures for human health. This paper describes the integrated surveillance system for WND in Italy, which incorporates data from veterinary and human side in order to evaluate the burden of infection in animals and humans and provide the public health authorities at regional and national levels with the information needed for a fine tune response. PMID:25874224

  5. Cave Art: Reflections of Early Human Culture.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Sullivan, Brother Nicholas

    1981-01-01

    Discusses Paleolithic and Neolithic cave art and artifacts, stressing the degree of intellectual ability exhibited by the creators of this art. Topics discussed include some misunderstandings about cave art intellect shown by cave artists and the use of light and color. (DS)

  6. The Earthquake Early Warning System for Southern Italy: Concepts, Capabilities and Future Perspectives

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Satriano, C.; Elia, L.; Martino, C.; Lancieri, M.; Zollo, A.; Iannaccone, G.

    2009-12-01

    In the framework of earthquake early warning (EEW) experimentation in Southern Italy, we have developed an integrated software platform called PRESTo (PRobabilistic and Evolutionary early warning SysTem). PRESTo is a methodology for regional EEW applications, based on a fully probabilistic and evolutionary approach. This means that probability density functions of source parameters and ground shaking levels are computed , which make possible to evaluate the uncertainties, and to set an appropriate level of reliability of the issued warning. Moreover, the estimates of earthquake location, size and expected ground motion are continuously updated, as new data is available in real-time from the network. The earthquake location algorithm is based on an equal differential time formulation, and a probabilistic framework for describing the hypocenter solution. The algorithm, at each time step, relies on both the information from triggered arrivals and not-yet-triggered stations. The magnitude estimation is based on a Bayesian approach, and exploits an empirical relationship that correlates the final event magnitude with the logarithm of the distance-corrected, peak ground displacement, measured over the first 2÷4 seconds of P- and S-signals. Finally, a ground motion prediction equation valid at regional scale is used to predict the peak velocities and accelerations at the target sites. The core infrastructure of the EEW system in Southern Italy is the high density, wide dynamic-range seismic network ISNet (Irpinia Seismic Network), deployed along the Apennine chain, which is frequently stricken by moderate to large magnitude damaging earthquakes. For earthquakes originating inside the ISNet seismic network, a first alarm can be issued within 4-6 seconds from the origin time, and a stable estimate with relatively small error on location (less than 5 km) and magnitude (about 0.5 magnitude units) is achieved within 10 seconds after the origin time. PRESTo can easily be

  7. Imaging the complexity of an active normal fault system: The 1997 Colfiorito (central Italy) case study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Chiaraluce, L.; Ellsworth, W.L.; Chiarabba, C.; Cocco, M.

    2003-01-01

    Six moderate magnitude earthquakes (5 < Mw < 6) ruptured normal fault segments of the southern sector of the North Apennine belt (central Italy) in the 1997 Colfiorito earthquake sequence. We study the progressive activation of adjacent and nearby parallel faults of this complex normal fault system using ???1650 earthquake locations obtained by applying a double-difference location method, using travel time picks and waveform cross-correlation measurements. The lateral extent of the fault segments range from 5 to 10 km and make up a broad, ???45 km long, NW trending fault system. The geometry of each segment is quite simple and consists of planar faults gently dipping toward SW with an average dip of 40??-45??. The fault planes are not listric but maintain a constant dip through the entire seismogenic volume, down to 8 km depth. We observe the activation of faults on the hanging wall and the absence of seismicity in the footwall of the structure. The observed fault segmentation appears to be due to the lateral heterogeneity of the upper crust: preexisting thrusts inherited from Neogene's compressional tectonic intersect the active normal faults and control their maximum length. The stress tensor obtained by inverting the six main shock focal mechanisms of the sequence is in agreement with the tectonic stress active in the inner chain of the Apennine, revealing a clear NE trending extension direction. Aftershock focal mechanisms show a consistent extensional kinematics, 70% of which are mechanically consistent with the main shock stress field.

  8. Structural compartmentalisation of a geothermal system, the Torre Alfina field (central Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vignaroli, Gianluca; Pinton, Annamaria; De Benedetti, Arnaldo A.; Giordano, Guido; Rossetti, Federico; Soligo, Michele; Berardi, Gabriele

    2013-11-01

    Recent surging of renewed industrial interest in the exploration of low and medium enthalpy geothermal fields makes the accurate assessment of the geothermal potential essential to minimise uncertainties during both exploration and exploitation. The Torre Alfina field is a case of abandoned, but promising, geothermal field of central Italy where the roles of the internal structural setting and of the recharge areas on the hydrothermal circulation are largely unconstrained. In this paper, field structural data integrated with geomorphic lineament analysis document the occurrence of post-orogenic deformation structures controlling the compartmentalisation of the Torre Alfina geothermal field. Strike-slip and subordinate normal fault systems (with associated network fractures) cut and dislocate the internal architecture of the reservoir and prevent its hydraulic connection with Mount Cetona, considered to be the recharge area and where hydrothermal manifestation, including travertine deposition, occurs. 230Th/234U radiometric dating of superposed travertine units gives 200, 120 and 90 ka respectively, inferred to correspond to the age of the fossil hydrothermal circulation during tectonic activity. The results have been used for illustrating a new geological conceptual model for the Torre Alfina area where the geothermal system is composed of different compartments. Tectonic structures define the main boundaries between compartments, helping the understanding of why productive and non-productive wells were found in apparently similar structural settings within the Torre Alfina field.

  9. Testing of a Prototype Tsunami Early Warning System for the Coasts of Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Romano, F.; Piatanesi, A.; Lorito, S.

    2009-12-01

    In the framework of the agreement between Italian Civil Protection and INGV (DPC-S3 project), we are studying the feasibility of a Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS) for the coasts of Italy. The performances of such a prototype TEWS have been evaluated. The underlying concept is borrowed from the Japan Meteorological Agency’s TEWS. This tsunami warning system is in fact based on a set of elementary submarine earthquake sources. In case of an earthquake, the wave heights generated by each elementary source must be interpolated to evaluate in real-time if and where a significant tsunami could have been generated, in order to launch an alert for the most exposed coastlines. A series of synthetic tests have been conducted in order to assess the optimal resolution of the parameter’s space sampling, and to construct a sufficiently accurate database of elementary sources. The results of the synthetic tests are presented here. Moreover, the Mw=6.9 May 2003 Boumerdes- Zemmouri (Algeria) earthquake, which generated a moderate tsunami causing significant damages particularly at Balearic Islands (Spain), has been used as a case-study for the validation of the database.

  10. An innovative mobile georadar system for road monitoring and diagnostic: first application in Southern Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loperte, Antonio; Soldovieri, Francesco; Bavusi, Massimo; Lapenna, Vincenzo; Piscitelli, Sabatino; Valanzano, Antonio; Pafundi, Donato; Lacorazza, Piero

    2013-04-01

    This work will show the preliminary results obtained through the use of an innovative mobile georadar system for road monitoring and diagnostic. This electromagnetic mobile system is an innovative tool which is able to analyse and monitor the road paving of the overall road network with the aim of individuating critical areas affected by sinking or wearing. The georadar system, equipped by a high frequency antenna (f=1GHz), is mounted on a van and is able to acquire suitable data at velocities up to 70Km/hour. Through the use of this kind of mobile system it is possible to obtain in a short time and with very low costs a wide amount of data on thickness and roughness of the asphalt, superficial sinking and water saturated areas. The first tests were carried out on the main provincial road located in an area of the Southern Apennines affected by hydrogeological risk. This activity has been performed in the framework of a project funded by the Province of Potenza, and realized thank to the consolidated collaboration between the Institute of Methodologies for the Environmental Analysis (IMAA) and the Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment (IREA) of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR). This activity has been recognized also at European level as a best practice procedure in the frame of "Window on GMES - Global Monitoring for Environment and Security". The application of this innovative electromagnetic system on the overall road system of the province of Potenza will enable the decision-makers to plan with more detail and awareness the technical actions addressed to maintain and repair the road sections really affected by anomalies, with a time-saving and lower management costs.

  11. Hypogene speleogenesis in dolomite host rock by CO2-rich fluids, Kozak Cave (southern Austria)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spötl, Christoph; Desch, Angelika; Dublyansky, Yuri; Plan, Lukas; Mangini, Augusto

    2016-02-01

    A growing number of studies suggest that cave formation by deep-seated groundwater (hypogene) is a more common process of subsurface water-rock interaction than previously thought. Fossil hypogene caves are identified by a characteristic suite of morphological features on different spatial scales. In addition, mineral deposits (speleothems) may provide clues about the chemical composition of the paleowater, which range from CO2-rich to sulfuric acid-bearing waters. This is one of the first studies to examine hypogene cave formation in dolomite. Kozak Cave is a fossil cave near the Periadriatic Lineament, an area known for its abundance of CO2-rich springs. The cave displays a number of macro-, meso- and micromorphological elements found also in other hypogene caves hosted in limestone, marble or gypsum, including cupolas, cusps, Laughöhle-type chambers and notches. The existance of cupolas and cusps suggests a thermal gradient capable of sustaining free convection during a first phase of speleogenesis, while triangular cross sections (Laughöhle morphology) indicate subsequent density-driven convection close to the paleowater table. Notches mark the final emergence of the cave due to continued rock uplift and valley incision. Very narrow shafts near the end of the cave may be part of the initial feeder system, but an epigene (vadose) overprint cannot be ruled out. Vadose speleothems indicate that the phreatic phase ended at least about half a million years ago. Drill cores show no evidence of carbon or oxygen isotope alteration of the wall rock. This is in contrast to similar studies in limestone caves, and highlights the need for further wall-rock studies of caves hosted in limestone and dolomite.

  12. Assessing two operational systems for monthly and seasonal climatic anomalies forecast in Italy.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pasqui, M.; Pavan, V.; Quaresima, S.; Primicerio, J.; Cacciamani, C.; Gozzini, B.; Perini, L.

    2010-09-01

    The multi-model ensemble system for long term predictions over Italy organised by the National Civil Protection Agency is described. The system has been designed in technical support of decision making at national level in issues related with water management, and, in general, with mitigation of impacts on population and production activities of intense climate anomalies over Italy. Two separate systems have been developed: a multi-model monthly prediction system and a seasonal (three months) prediction system. The final products for these two systems consist of the probability of occurrence of events for specific indices obtained from two surface climate fields: mean temperature and cumulated precipitation. The indices are obtained averaging the values of these fields over the Northern, the Central (plus Sardinia) and the Southern (plus Sicily) Italian regions. The events considered are defined on the ground of the three terciles (lower, medium and upper) of the probability distribution of the values of these indices over a long period (namely from 1987 to 2009) or using the 15th or the 85th percentile over the long period of the same indices, so as to identify the probability of occurrence of possible intense events. Several different Institutes collaborate to the system, but in the present work are analysed only the skill scores of a subset of these products: two separate products of the CNR-IBIMET for the monthly and the seasonal time-scale, and the product of ARPA-SIMC for the seasonal time scale. The two products produced by CNR-IBIMET, namely the monthly and the seasonal predictions, are obtained using a statistical model in which the probabilistic predictions are the predictands of a multi-regressive statistical scheme using as predictors the observed values of selected large-scale atmospheric indices and sea surface anomalies. The seasonal predictions of ARPA-SIMC are obtained applying a Model Output Statistics (MOS) calibration scheme, also based on

  13. 4D modelling of the Alto Tiberina Fault system (Northern Apennines, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Donatis, Mauro; Susini, Sara; Mirabella, Francesco; Lupattelli, Andrea; Barchi, Massimiliano

    2014-05-01

    The Alto Tiberina Fault (ATF) in the Northern Apennines of Italy is a low-angle normal fault dipping to the East and accommodating up to 10 km of extension. The fault is ~70 km long and is the detachment for the SW-dipping Gubbio normal fault. The ATF fault system has been dramatically exhumed and the ATF footwall has evolved in a horst bounded to the east by ATF synthetic faults and to the west by the Corciano west-dipping normal fault. The fault has been widely studied over the last years in order to understand its mechanical behaviour, its present-day deformation rate and its seismological role. By using a wide data-set including subsurface data (seismic reflection profiles and boreholes) and surface geological data (new maps of the CARG project of Italy), we have reconstructed the 3D geometry of both the fault and of the main lithostratigraphic boundaries at the fault hanging-wall and foot-wall. The CARG map data were integrated by local observations and mapping using mobile GIS software (BeeGIS) and Android app (Geopaparazzi). Surface data were combined with seismic reflection profiles and wells interpretation and other data from available literature. The large amount of information were combined in MOVE software (Midland Valley Exploration ltd). Our reconstruction allows to i) build up a three-dimensional geological model of the subsurface including the main faults and lithostratigraphic boundaries; ii) identify a set of east-west trending faults the role of which was previously underestimated; iii) test a 3D-restoration of extension for the visualization of the time evolution and for the validation of the structural reconstruction. The restored structures are the main normal faults in the region. The sequential restoration was performed by taking into account the timing of deformation as derived from the literature. The model was sequentially restored according to the following chronological order from the latest to the oldest: 1a) last deformational event

  14. Geographical Information Systems and canine faecal contamination: the experience in the city of Naples (southern Italy).

    PubMed

    Veneziano, V; Rinaldi, L; Carbone, S; Biggeri, A; Cringoli, G

    2006-06-01

    Geographical Information Systems (GIS) can be used to make transect sampling when non-moving objects are to be counted, involving choosing a line or series of lines along which the counts are to take place. This approach has been used by us in order to study canine faecal contamination in the city of Naples (southern Italy), and to evaluate the consequent presence of canine parasitic elements. A GIS was constructed utilizing the geo-referenced digital photographs and the cadastral maps of Naples. In order to uniformly evaluate the canine faecal contamination throughout the city, a grid representing sub-areas of 1 km x 700 m was overlaid on the city map within the GIS. The territory of Naples was divided in 218 equal, rectangular sub-areas. In each sub-area a 1 km transect was drawn, and digitalized on-screen in the GIS. Canine faeces (copros in Greek) were counted along the transects in 143 sub-areas. In these sub-areas, 415 copros were collected and examined. Out of the 143 sub-areas, 141 contained canine copros. The results of the negative binomial regression model showed a positive association between the number of copros and the human population density. Out of the total of 415 copros, 70 (16.9%) were positive for parasitic elements; eggs of Toxocara canis, Toxascaris leonina, Ancylostoma caninum and Trichuris vulpis were found, as well as oocysts of Isospora canis. PMID:16881413

  15. Pattern of geochemical variations within the volcanic system of Mt Etna, Italy, from 1995 to 2013

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Corsaro, Rosa Anna; Falsaperla, Susanna; Langer, Horst

    2016-04-01

    Dynamic and evolution of magma in the plumbing system are key aspects in the evaluation of volcanic hazard. Eruptive phenomena involve indeed processes of magma upraise and storage, which may change in time and space, and mirror in the composition of volcanic products. In this study, we analyze the pattern of geochemical variations at Etna, Italy, from 1995 to 2013. In this time span, volcanic activity affected all the four craters close to the summit of the volcano (located at about 3300 m above the sea level), and fed eruptive fissures along its upper flanks. In addition, a new crater formed and rapidly built up, giving rise to spectacular lava fountains from 2011 on. Based on a dataset containing the geochemical composition of volcanic products collected over 18 years, we explored the application of data mining methods in the framework of the European MEDiterrranean Supersite Volcanoes (MED­-SUV) project. In the present application, we discuss the relationships among the composition of volcanic products sampled from all the afore-mentioned eruptive centers. Our results highlight differences in magma evolution, dynamic and eruptive style even within a single eruptive center.

  16. Molecular Characterization of Aquatic Bacterial Communities in Dinaric Range Caves.

    PubMed

    Pleše, Bruna; Pojskić, Naris; Ozimec, Roman; Mazija, Mirna; Ćetković, Helena; Lukić-Bilela, Lada

    2016-07-01

    Dinaric limestone cave systems, recognized as a hotspot of subterranean biodiversity, inhabit composite microbial communities whose structure, function and importance to ecosystems was poorly considered until the last few years. Filamentous microbial biofilms from three caves in Dinaric karst were assessed using 16S rRNA-based phylogenetic approach combined with universally protein coding genes/proteins. Studied clone libraries shared divisions but phylogenetic distribution of the obtained phylotypes differed: in Veternica and Vjetrenica clone libraries, Nitrospirae prevailed with 36% and 60% respectively, while in Izvor Bistrac the most abundant were Alphaproteobacteria (41%) followed by Firmicutes (32%). Moreover, three phylotypes were associated with novel uncultured candidate divisions OP3, WS5 and OD1 revealing the diversity and uniqueness of the microbial world in caves. Deeply understanding subterranean habitats could elucidate many new aspects in phylogeny and evolution of microorganisms as well as animal taxa, adjacent to their energy suppliers in microbial communities and biofilms. PMID:27329058

  17. Identification of Martian Cave Skylights Using the Temperature Change During Day and Night

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jung, Jongil; Yi, Yu; Kim, Eojin

    2014-06-01

    Recently, cave candidates have been discovered on other planets besides the Earth, such as the Moon and Mars. When we go to other planets, caves could be possible human habitats providing natural protection from cosmic threats. In this study, seven cave candidates have been found on Pavonis Mons and Ascraeus Mons in Tharsis Montes on Mars. The cave candidates were selected using the images of the Context Camera (CTX) on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). The Context Camera could provide images with the high resolution of 6 meter per pixel. The diameter of the candidates ranges from 50 to 100m. Cushing et al. (2007) have analyzed the temperature change at daytime and nighttime using the Thermal Emission Imaging System (THEMIS) for the sites of potential cave candidates. Similarly, we have examined the temperature change at daytime and at nighttime for seven cave candidates using the method of Cushing et al. (2007). Among those, only one candidate showed a distinct temperature change. However, we cannot verify a cave based on the temperature change only and further study is required for the improvement of this method to identify caves more clearly.

  18. Near surface geophysics techniques and geomorphological approach to reconstruct the hazard cave map in historical and urban areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lazzari, M.; Loperte, A.; Perrone, A.

    2009-04-01

    This work, carried out with an integrated methodological approach, focuses on the use of near surface geophysics techniques, such as ground penetrating radar GPR and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), and geomorphological analysis, in order to reconstruct the cave distribution and geometry in a urban context and, in particular, in historical centres. In fact, there are a lot of historical Mediterranean sites born on an original rupestrian settlement, of which often the new generations forgot the memory and new urban areas built on them burying any marks. The interaction during recent centuries between human activity (caves excavation, birth and growth of an urban area) and the characters of the natural environment were the reasons of a progressive increase in hazard and vulnerability levels of several sites. The reconstruction of a detailed cave map distribution is the first step to define the anthropic and geomorphological hazard in urban areas, fundamental basis for planning and assessing the risk. The integrated near surface geophysics and geomorphological techniques have been applied to the case study of Tursi hilltop town and its older nucleus called Rabatana, located in the south-western sector of the Basilicata (southern Italy), representing an interesting example of the deep bond between natural and man-made environments such as precious cultural heritage. The history of this settlement has always been deeply connected with the characteristics of the neighbouring environment and it seems possible that the first settlement was built by excavating the slopes of the sandy relief. It was a typical rupestrian settlement, where meteoric water was stored inside some cisterns excavated on the slopes. During recent centuries, the increase in territory development by humans produced an increase in cave excavation in the Tursi-Rabatana urban area. To reconstruct the extremely complex near-surface hypogeal environment excavated in the sandy layers, a geophysical

  19. The Astrobiology of the Subsurface: Exploring Cave Habitats on Earth, Mars and Beyond

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Boston, Penelope Jane

    2016-01-01

    We are using the spectacular underground landscapes of Earth caves as models for the subsurfaces of other planets. Caves have been detected on the Moon and Mars and are strongly suspected for other bodies in the Solar System including some of the ice covered Ocean Worlds that orbit gas giant planets. The caves we explore and study include many extreme conditions of relevance to planetary astrobiology exploration including high and low temperatures, gas atmospheres poisonous to humans but where exotic microbes can flourish, highly acidic or salty fluids, heavy metals, and high background radiation levels. Some cave microorganisms eat their way through bedrock, some live in battery acid conditions, some produce unusual biominerals and rare cave formations, and many produce compounds of potential pharmaceutical and industrial significance. We study these unique lifeforms and the physical and chemical biosignatures that they leave behind. Such traces can be used to provide a "Field Guide to Unknown Organisms" for developing life detection space missions.

  20. Economic burden of Clostridium difficile in five hospitals of the Florence health care system in Italy

    PubMed Central

    Poli, Anna; Di Matteo, Sergio; Bruno, Giacomo M; Fornai, Enrica; Valentino, Maria Chiara; Colombo, Giorgio L

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Despite the awareness about the increasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) and the economic burden arising from its management (prolonged hospitalization, laboratory tests, visits, surgical treatment, environmental sanitation), few studies are available in Italy on the economic costs directly attributable to the CDI. The Florence health care system has designed a study with the aim of describing the costs attributable to the CDI and defines the incremental economic burden associated with the management of this complication. Methods We conducted a retrospective study in five hospitals of the Florence health care system. The enrolled population included all patients who were hospitalized during the year 2013 with a diagnosis of CDI. Of the 187 total cases reported in 2013, 69 patients were enrolled, for whom the main cause of hospitalization was directly attributable to CDI. Results We enrolled 69 patients (19 males and 50 females), with a mean age of 82.16 years (minimum 46 to maximum 98). The total number of hospitalization days observed was 886 (12.8 per patient on average). The data from this study show that the mean total incremental cost for a patient with CDI was €3,270.52 per year. The hospital stay length is the most significant cost parameter, having the largest influence on the overall costs, with an impact of 87% on the total cost. The results confirm the costs for the management of CDI in five hospitals of the Florence health care system are in line with data from the international literature. Conclusion The economic impact of CDI is most evident in the extension of the duration of hospitalization and emergency recurrences requiring new therapeutic options with the need to develop and implement new diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms in clinical practice. PMID:26604846

  1. Microbial Diversity and Population Structure of Extremely Acidic Sulfur-Oxidizing Biofilms From Sulfidic Caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jones, D.; Stoffer, T.; Lyon, E. H.; Macalady, J. L.

    2005-12-01

    Extremely acidic (pH 0-1) microbial biofilms called snottites form on the walls of sulfidic caves where gypsum replacement crusts isolate sulfur-oxidizing microorganisms from the buffering action of limestone host rock. We investigated the phylogeny and population structure of snottites from sulfidic caves in central Italy using full cycle rRNA methods. A small subunit rRNA bacterial clone library from a Frasassi cave complex snottite sample contained a single sequence group (>60 clones) similar to Acidithiobacillus thiooxidans. Bacterial and universal rRNA clone libraries from other Frasassi snottites were only slightly more diverse, containing a maximum of 4 bacterial species and probably 2 archaeal species. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) of snottites from Frasassi and from the much warmer Rio Garrafo cave complex revealed that all of the communities are simple (low-diversity) and dominated by Acidithiobacillus and/or Ferroplasma species, with smaller populations of an Acidimicrobium species, filamentous fungi, and protists. Our results suggest that sulfidic cave snottites will be excellent model microbial ecosystems suited for ecological and metagenomic studies aimed at elucidating geochemical and ecological controls on microbial diversity, and at mapping the spatial history of microbial evolutionary events such as adaptations, recombinations and gene transfers.

  2. Beach and dunal system monitoring at Su Giudeu beach, Sardinia (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balzano, Andrea; Sulis, Andrea

    2014-05-01

    Even if coastal floods are quite rare events in Sardinia (Italy) at present, they have had dramatic consequences for coastal communities, particularly in conjunction with river flooding. However, flood risk (defined as the product of event probability, vulnerability and value of assets) is expected to increase significantly in the future, due to climate change, defence degradation and sea level rise. Sardinia island has a costal length of approximately 1.900 km including minor neighbouring islands (25% of the entire Italian coasts) and the estimation of the potential exposure of coastal communities to flooding is therefore a critical task. To date methods for achieving this have been based on modelling of coastal inundation using hydrodynamic or GIS-based models of varying complexity. The Dept of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture at the University of Cagliari is carrying out a comprehensive activity of coastal flooding risk mapping at the regional scale within the framework of a scientific collaboration with the Sardinian Regional Authority for the Hydrographic District, that includes monitoring and scientific activities along the entire Sardinian coast. Bathymetry and topographical surveys, sediment characterization, waves and currents measurements, hydrodynamic and morphodynamic modelling are planned, focusing on critical extended areas. In this paper we present an overview of the entire activity programme and give an in-depth account of the ongoing monitoring survey of the dunal system of the Su Giudeu beach (Southern Sardinia, 50 km far from the city of Cagliari). Su Giudeu is a sandy, bay-shaped beach, extending for about 1200 m between two headlands, evolving under waves with a predominant direction of 220-240°N (Scirocco wind). The survey is expected to provide evidence of the response of the remarkable dunal system to wave runup occurring during storm events, to be used in the verification of existing numerical models of dune erosion.

  3. Monitoring of Bunker Cave (NW Germany): Assessing the complexity of cave environmental parameters

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riechelmann, Dana Fc; Schröder-Ritzrau, Andrea; Scholz, Denis; Spötl, Christoph; Richter, Detlev K.; Mangini, Augusto

    2010-05-01

    Bunker Cave (N 51° 22'03', E 7° 39'53') is located in the Rhenish Slate Mountains in the western part of Germany and is part of a giant cave system in the area of Iserlohn (Hammerschmidt et al., 1995).As part of the DAPHNE (Dated Speleothems - archives of the paleoenvironment) project Bunker Cave is being monitored since the end of 2006. The ongoing monitoring program is performed on a monthly base. Surface climate parameters are measured and samples of rain water, cave air, drip water at eight different drip sites and modern calcite precipitates from watch glasses placed beneath drip sites are collected. Data sets include temperature, precipitation, calculated infiltration, drip rates, electric conductivity, pH, alkalinity, cations, anions and stable isotopes. Bunker Cave shows a constant temperature throughout the year. Active calcite precipitation is higher in winter than in summer, which is due to lower cave pCO2 in winter. The generally low pCO2 values, however, support almost continuous calcite precipitation throughout the whole year. Drip water δ18O values reflect the mean annual isotopic composition of the rainfall in this area with no or less contribution of the summer rain. The slope of the MWL for local precipitation is close to the slope of both the global MWL and the local MWL at the nearby station Bad Salzuflen. The karst aquifer is well mixed as shown by the uniform drip water δ18O values. Hence, the site is well suited to detect multi-annual climate trends using stalagmite stable isotope records. In order to test the potential influence of kinetic isotope fractionation on the stable isotope signals at Bunker Cave, stable isotope data of modern calcite precipitated on watch glasses were compared to predicted values. Comparison of the δ18O values of in situ modern calcite precipitates with the δ18O values expected from equilibrium isotope fractionation suggests a small kinetic influence, which is probably related to the variability in drip rate

  4. Seven Possible Cave Skylights on Mars

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2007-01-01

    [figure removed for brevity, see original site] Figure 1

    Seven very dark holes on the north slope of a Martian volcano have been proposed as possible cave skylights, based on day-night temperature patterns suggesting they are openings to subsurface spaces. These six excerpts of images taken in visible-wavelength light by the Thermal Emission Imaging System camera on NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter show the seven openings. Solar illumination comes from the left in each frame. The volcano is Arsia Mons, at 9 degrees south latitude, 239 degrees east longitude.

    The features have been given informal names to aid comparative discussion (see figure 1). They range in diameter from about 100 meters (328 feet) to about 225 meters (738 feet). The candidate cave skylights are (A) 'Dena,' (B) 'Chloe,' (C) 'Wendy,' (D) 'Annie,' (E) 'Abby' (left) and 'Nikki,' and (F) 'Jeanne.' Arrows signify north and the direction of illumination.

    Mars Odyssey is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, is the prime contractor for the project and built the spacecraft. The orbiter's Thermal Emission Imaging System was developed by Arizona State University, Tempe, in collaboration with Raytheon Santa Barbara Remote Sensing, Santa Barbara, Calif., and is operated by Arizona State University.

  5. Glacioclimatological study of Perennial Ice in the Fuji Ice Cave, Japan. Part I. Seasonal variation and mechanism of maintenance

    SciTech Connect

    Ohata, Tetsuo; Furukawa, Teruo; Higuchi, Keiji )

    1994-08-01

    Perennial cave ice in a cave located at Mt. Fuji in central Japan was studied to investigate the basic characteristics and the cause for existence of such ice under warm ground-level climate considering the ice cave as a thermal and hydrological system. Fuji Ice Cave is a lava tube cave 150 m in length with a collapsed part at the entrance. Measurements from 1984 to 1986 showed that the surface-level change of floor ice occurred due to freezing and melting at the surface and that melting at the bottom of the ice was negligible. The annual amplitude of change in surface level was larger near the entrance. Meterological data showed that the cold air inflow to the cave was strong in winter, but in summer the cave was maintained near 0[degrees]C with only weak inflow of warm air. The predominant wind system was from the entrance to the interior in both winter and summer, but the spatial scale of the wind system was different. Heat budget consideration of the cave showed that the largest component was the strong inflow of subzero dry air mass in winter. Cooling in winter was compensated for by summer inflow of warm air, heat transport from the surrounding ground layer, and loss of sensible heat due to cooling of the cave for the observed year. Strong inflow of cold air and weak inflow of warm air, which is extremely low compared to the ground level air, seemed to be the most important condition. Thus the thermal condition of the cave is quasi-balanced at the presence condition below 0[degrees]C with ice. It can be said that the interrelated result of the climatological and special structural conditions makes this cave very cold, and allows perennial ice to exist in the cave. Other climatological factors such as precipitation seem to be minor factors. 17 refs., 3 figs., 3 tabs.

  6. 36 CFR 290.4 - Confidentiality of cave location information.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false Confidentiality of cave... AGRICULTURE CAVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT § 290.4 Confidentiality of cave location information. (a) Information... location of a significant cave or a cave nominated for designation, unless the authorized...

  7. 36 CFR 290.4 - Confidentiality of cave location information.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false Confidentiality of cave... AGRICULTURE CAVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT § 290.4 Confidentiality of cave location information. (a) Information... location of a significant cave or a cave nominated for designation, unless the authorized...

  8. 36 CFR 290.4 - Confidentiality of cave location information.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false Confidentiality of cave... AGRICULTURE CAVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT § 290.4 Confidentiality of cave location information. (a) Information... location of a significant cave or a cave nominated for designation, unless the authorized...

  9. 36 CFR 290.4 - Confidentiality of cave location information.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Confidentiality of cave... AGRICULTURE CAVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT § 290.4 Confidentiality of cave location information. (a) Information... location of a significant cave or a cave nominated for designation, unless the authorized...

  10. 36 CFR 290.4 - Confidentiality of cave location information.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false Confidentiality of cave... AGRICULTURE CAVE RESOURCES MANAGEMENT § 290.4 Confidentiality of cave location information. (a) Information... location of a significant cave or a cave nominated for designation, unless the authorized...

  11. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica

    PubMed Central

    Tebo, Bradley M.; Davis, Richard E.; Anitori, Roberto P.; Connell, Laurie B.; Schiffman, Peter; Staudigel, Hubert

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth's surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs) are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth's surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica) offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO) genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO), including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the nutritional limits on

  12. Envitonmental monitoring and radiation protection in Škocjan Caves, Slovenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Debevec Gerjeviè, V.; Jovanovič, P.

    2012-04-01

    Škocjan Caves were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1986, due to their exceptional significance for cultural and natural heritage. Park Škocjan Caves is located in South Eastern part of Slovenia. It was established with aim of conserving and protecting exceptional geomorphological, geological and hydrological outstanding features, rare and endangered plant and animal species, paleontological and archaeological sites, ethnological and architectural characteristics and cultural landscape and for the purpose of ensuring opportunities for suitable development, by the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia in 1996. Park Škocjan Caves established monitoring that includes caves microclimate parameters: humidity, CO2, wind flow and radon concentration and daughter products. The approach in managing the working place with natural background radiation is complex. Monitoring of Radon has been functioning for more than ten years now. Presentation will show the dynamic observed in the different parts of the caves, related to radon daughter products and other microclimatic data. Relation of background radiation to carrying capacity will be explained. Implementing the Slovene legislation in the field of radiation protection, we are obligated to perform special measurements in the caves and also having our guides and workers in the caves regularly examined according to established procedure. The medical exams are performed at Institution of Occupational Safety, Ljubljana in order to monitor the influence of Radon to the workers in the cave. The equivalent dose for each employed person is also established on regular basis and it is part of medical survey of workers in the caves. A system of education of the staff working in the caves in the field of radiation protection will be presented as well.

  13. Microbial communities in dark oligotrophic volcanic ice cave ecosystems of Mt. Erebus, Antarctica.

    PubMed

    Tebo, Bradley M; Davis, Richard E; Anitori, Roberto P; Connell, Laurie B; Schiffman, Peter; Staudigel, Hubert

    2015-01-01

    The Earth's crust hosts a subsurface, dark, and oligotrophic biosphere that is poorly understood in terms of the energy supporting its biomass production and impact on food webs at the Earth's surface. Dark oligotrophic volcanic ecosystems (DOVEs) are good environments for investigations of life in the absence of sunlight as they are poor in organics, rich in chemical reactants and well known for chemical exchange with Earth's surface systems. Ice caves near the summit of Mt. Erebus (Antarctica) offer DOVEs in a polar alpine environment that is starved in organics and with oxygenated hydrothermal circulation in highly reducing host rock. We surveyed the microbial communities using PCR, cloning, sequencing and analysis of the small subunit (16S) ribosomal and Ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO) genes in sediment samples from three different caves, two that are completely dark and one that receives snow-filtered sunlight seasonally. The microbial communities in all three caves are composed primarily of Bacteria and fungi; Archaea were not detected. The bacterial communities from these ice caves display low phylogenetic diversity, but with a remarkable diversity of RubisCO genes including new deeply branching Form I clades, implicating the Calvin-Benson-Bassham (CBB) cycle as a pathway of CO2 fixation. The microbial communities in one of the dark caves, Warren Cave, which has a remarkably low phylogenetic diversity, were analyzed in more detail to gain a possible perspective on the energetic basis of the microbial ecosystem in the cave. Atmospheric carbon (CO2 and CO), including from volcanic emissions, likely supplies carbon and/or some of the energy requirements of chemoautotrophic microbial communities in Warren Cave and probably other Mt. Erebus ice caves. Our work casts a first glimpse at Mt. Erebus ice caves as natural laboratories for exploring carbon, energy and nutrient sources in the subsurface biosphere and the nutritional limits on

  14. Changes in the inhabitation of the Biśnik Cave during the Pleistocene

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cyrek, Krzysztof; Sudoł, Magdalena

    2010-01-01

    The Biśnik Cave lies on the left western slope of the Wodąca Valley, which is part of the Niegownice-Smoleń hills, situated in the central part of the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland. The cave consists of several chambers joined by corridors, and a number of entrances. Interdisciplinary research (archaeology, sedimentology, geomorphology and paleozoology) carried out since 1992 has dealt with the exploration of the following elements of the cave system: the main chamber, side shelter, side chamber and the area underneath the overhang. The Biśnik Cave is currently the oldest cave site in Poland with a well-preserved cross-section of sediments formed in separate stages of climatic changes, starting with the period preceding the Odra Glaciation to the Holocene. The oldest traces of settlement of Palaeolithic man go as far back as over 400,000 years ago. The most interesting mid-Palaeolithic sequence of the cave inhabitation comprises 17 cultural levels preserved in the form of stone and bone artefacts' concentrations, hearth remains and fragments of animal bones of post-consumption character. The attempts to date separate levels using the uranium-thorium dating method, electronic paramagnetic resonance and thermoluminescence method are very relevant. Scientific value of the Biśnik Cave turns it into a sample mid-Palaeolithic site in this part of Europe. A three-dimensional localisation of all finds made it possible to prepare a detailed map of the artefacts' distribution in the consecutive sedimentary layers. This, in turn, enabled the reconstruction of changes of the cave inhabitation by man. The correlation of those changes with the description of climatic conditions in the period of formation of sedimentary layers helped link the cave inhabitation methods with natural conditions dominating the area of the Biśnik Cave at that time.

  15. Bacterial Activity and Geochemical Reactions in Submerged Cave Development -- Impact on Karst Aquifers in Florida

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herman, J. S.; Franklin, R. B.; Mills, A. L.; Giannotti, A. L.; Tysall, T. N.

    2008-05-01

    Elucidation of coupled mechanisms of sulfide oxidation and biomass generation supports an improved understanding the driving forces behind acid production, calcite dissolution, cave development, and karst aquifers characterization. Wekiwa Springs Cave and DeLeon Springs Cave, located in central Florida, both contain prolific bacterial mats from which sulfur-oxidizing bacteria have been identified. Wekiwa Springs Cave, a submerged cave developed in the Hawthorne Formation and located near Orlando, Florida, has groundwater discharge from the Floridian aquifer system, with some contribution from surficial and intermediate aquifers. The spring is the headwater of the Wekiwa River and releases a total of 170,000 m3 of water per day. The ceiling and walls are heavily covered (10 cm thick) with three morphologically distinct types of microbial mats largely comprising sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Analysis of nearby groundwater collected from wells confirms sulfide concentrations in the regional groundwater of ~ 1.5 mg/L, though sulfide concentrations for water collected in the cave are below detection. Dissolved oxygen concentration in the water is low (<0.5 mg/L). DeLeon Springs Cave, a submerged cave located in Volusia County, Florida, is a single conduit with an average discharge of ~ 70,000 m3 of water per day, and water chemistry data suggest the presence of a saline seep in the system. Dense microbial mats cover the rock surfaces of the cave; the mats are highly filamentous, with long white streamers that often extend 1-2 feet from the cave wall. Microscopic analysis has confirmed the presence of sulfur granules within these bacterial cells, similar to those observed in the Wekiwa cave organisms. The water chemistry in DeLeon Springs Cave, however, is distinct from that of Wekiwa Springs Cave. Though DO, Fetotal, and HS- values are similar for the two sites, the concentration of ions such as Cl-, Na+, and SO42- are considerably higher at DeLeon. A similar contrast

  16. Central Italy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Clouds and haze cover most of the Italian peninsula in this view of central Italy (41.5N, 14.0E) but the Bay of Naples region with Mt. Vesuvius and the island of Capri are clear. The Adriatic Sea in the background separates Italy from the cloud covered Balkans of eastern Europe and the Tyrrhenian Sea in the foreground lies between the Italian mainland and the off scene islands of Corsica and Sardinia. Several aircraft contrails can also be seen.

  17. Karst show caves - how DTN technology as used in space assists automatic environmental monitoring and tourist protection - experiment in Postojna cave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabrovšek, F.; Grašič, B.; Božnar, M. Z.; Mlakar, P.; Udén, M.; Davies, E.

    2013-10-01

    The paper presents an experiment demonstrating a novel and successful application of Delay- and Disruption-Tolerant Networking (DTN) technology for automatic data transfer in a karst cave Early Warning and Measuring System. The experiment took place inside the Postojna Cave in Slovenia, which is open to tourists. Several automatic meteorological measuring stations are set up inside the cave, as an adjunct to the surveillance infrastructure; the regular data transfer provided by the DTN technology allows the surveillance system to take on the role of an Early Warning System (EWS). One of the stations is set up alongside the railway tracks, which allows the tourist to travel inside the cave by train. The experiment was carried out by placing a DTN "data mule" (a DTN-enabled computer with WiFi connection) on the train and by upgrading the meteorological station with a DTN-enabled WiFi transmission system. When the data mule is in the wireless drive-by mode, it collects measurement data from the station over a period of several seconds as the train passes the stationary equipment, and delivers data at the final train station by the cave entrance. This paper describes an overview of the experimental equipment and organisation allowing the use of a DTN system for data collection and an EWS inside karst caves where there is a regular traffic of tourists and researchers.

  18. Karst show caves - how DTN technology as used in space assists automatic environmental monitoring and tourist protection - experiment in Postojna Cave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gabrovšek, F.; Grašič, B.; Božnar, M. Z.; Mlakar, P.; Udén, M.; Davies, E.

    2014-02-01

    The paper presents an experiment demonstrating a novel and successful application of delay- and disruption-tolerant networking (DTN) technology for automatic data transfer in a karst cave early warning and measuring system. The experiment took place inside the Postojna Cave in Slovenia, which is open to tourists. Several automatic meteorological measuring stations are set up inside the cave, as an adjunct to the surveillance infrastructure; the regular data transfer provided by the DTN technology allows the surveillance system to take on the role of an early warning system (EWS). One of the stations is set up alongside the railway tracks, which allows the tourist to travel inside the cave by train. The experiment was carried out by placing a DTN "data mule" (a DTN-enabled computer with WiFi connection) on the train and by upgrading the meteorological station with a DTN-enabled WiFi transmission system. When the data mule is in the wireless drive-by mode, it collects measurement data from the station over a period of several seconds as the train without stopping passes the stationary equipment, and delivers data at the final train station by the cave entrance. This paper describes an overview of the experimental equipment and organization allowing the use of a DTN system for data collection and an EWS inside karst caves where there is regular traffic of tourists and researchers.

  19. Gas discharges in fumarolic ice caves of Erebus volcano, Antarctica

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fischer, T. P.; Curtis, A. G.; Kyle, P. R.; Sano, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Fumarolic ice caves and towers on Erebus are the surface expression of flank degassing on the world's southernmost active volcano. The caves are formed by warm gases and steam escaping from small vents on the lava flow floors that melts the overlying ice and snow. Extremophiles in the caves may be analogues for extraterrestrial environments. Over the past four Austral summers, mapping, gas and thermal monitoring conducted under the Erebus Caves Project has provided insights into the ice cave formation processes and the relationships between cave structures, magmatic processes, and weather. Gas samples were collected during the 2012 - 2013 field season in 4 ice caves (Warren, Harry's Dream, Sauna, Haggis Hole) as well as the thermal ground at Tramway Ridge. The vents at all of these sites are characterized by diffuse degassing through loose lava or cracks in the lava flow floor. Vent temperatures ranged from 5 to 17°C in most caves and at Tramway Ridge. In Sauna cave the temperature was 40°C. Gases were sampled by inserting a perforated 1 m long, 5 mm diameter stainless steel tube, into the vents or hot ground. Giggenbach bottles, copper tubes and lead glass bottles were connected in series. The gases were pumped at a slow rate (about 20 ml per minute) using a battery pump for 12-24 hours to flush the system. After flushing samples were collected for later analyses. All samples are dominated by atmospheric components, however, carbon dioxide (0.1 to 1.9%), methane (0.005 to 0.01%), hydrogen (0.002 to 0.07%), and helium (0.0009 to 0.002 %) are above air background. Nitrogen (average 74%) and oxygen (23.5%) are slightly below and above air values, respectively. Helium isotopes show minor input of mantle derived helium-3 with 3He4He ratios ranging from 1.03 to 1.18 RA (where RA is the ratio of air). This represents the first detection of hydrogen and helium in the caves. Methane could be produced by anaerobic respiration of subsurface microbes or hydrothermal

  20. Evaluation of a structured alcohol education course in a secondary school system in north Italy.

    PubMed

    Salvagnini, M; Gallimberti, L; Benussi, G; Del Borello, A; Dell'Oro, A; Orlandini, D; Piccoli, A; Ricci, G P; Sciarrone, R; Naccarato, R

    1983-10-01

    The authors describe the results of an alcohol education course given to 2166 high school students in the area of Padua, Italy. An evaluation was performed, utilizing a before and after technique: it was shown that baseline knowledge of relevant information on alcohology was similar among younger and older teenagers; also, baseline information and course gain varied according to question content. PMID:6653390

  1. Modelling cave flow hydraulics in the Notranjski Kras, Slovenia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaufmann, Georg; Gabrovsek, Franci

    2015-04-01

    The Notranjski Kras region is a karst region in western Slovenia, developed in Cretaceous limestone. The region is characterised by hilly relief, with peaks reaching 1300 m elevation. Several well-developed cave systems drain the karst aquifer, providing preferential flow pathes along two sections: The Pivka River, which sinks into Postojnska Jama and reappears in Planinska Jama, and the Stržen and Cerkniščica rivers, which sink into Karlovica Jama, flow through Zelške Jama and Tkalca Jama and also reappear in Planinska Jama. Both sub-surface flow pathes merge in Planinska Jama, providing water for the Unica river. The Unica river leaves Planinska Jama via a large karst srping and passes through Planinsko Polje, disappearing again through two groups of ponors, finally emerging in the Ljubljanka Springs at around 300 m asl. The sub-surface flow path through the Postojnska Jama cave system has been monitored with 7 stations distributed along the flow path, monitoring stage and temperature. We have used the stage data to model flow through the cave system with the program package SWMM, simulating the active parts of Postojnska Jama with simplified geometry. From the comparison of stage observations and predictions, we identified key sections in the cave, which control the sub-surface flow, such as passage constrictions, sumps and by-passes. Using a formal inverse procedure, we determined the geometry of this key sections by fitting predicted to observed stages, and we achieved a very high degree of correlation.

  2. CAVE-CL: An OpenCL version of the package for detection and quantitative analysis of internal cavities in a system of overlapping balls: Application to proteins

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Buša, Ján; Buša, Ján; Hayryan, Shura; Hu, Chin-Kun; Wu, Ming-Chya

    2015-05-01

    Here we present the revised and newly rewritten version of our earlier published CAVE package (Buša et al., 2010) which was originally written in FORTRAN. The package has been rewritten in C language, the algorithm has been parallelized and implemented using OpenCL. This makes the program convenient to run on platforms with Graphical Processing Units (GPUs). Improvements include also some modifications/optimizations of the original algorithm. A considerable improvement in the performance of the code has been achieved. A new tool called input_structure has been added which helps the user to make the data input and conversion more easier and universal.

  3. Venice, Italy

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Four hundred bridges cross the labyrinth of canals that form the 120 islands of Venice, situated in a saltwater lagoon between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers in northeast Italy. All traffic in the city moves by boat. Venice is connected to the mainland, 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) away, by ferries as well as a causeway for road and rail traffic. The Grand Canal winds through the city for about 3 kilometers (about 2 miles), dividing it into two nearly equal sections. According to tradition, Venice was founded in 452, when the inhabitants of Aquileia, Padua, and several other northern Italian cities took refuge on the islands of the lagoon from the Teutonic tribes invading Italy at that time.

    This image was acquired on December 9, 2001 by the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite. With its 14 spectral bands from the visible to the thermal infrared wavelength region, and its high spatial resolution of 15 to 90 meters (about 50 to 300 feet), ASTER will image Earth for the next 6 years to map and monitor the changing surface of our planet.

    ASTER is one of five Earth-observing instruments launched December 18, 1999, on NASA's Terra satellite. The instrument was built by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. A joint U.S./Japan science team is responsible for validation and calibration of the instrument and the data products.

    The broad spectral coverage and high spectral resolution of ASTER will provide scientists in numerous disciplines with critical information for surface mapping, and monitoring dynamic conditions and temporal change. Example applications are: monitoring glacial advances and retreats; monitoring potentially active volcanoes; identifying crop stress; determining cloud morphology and physical properties; wetlands evaluation; thermal pollution monitoring; coral reef degradation; surface temperature mapping of soils and geology; and measuring surface heat balance.

    Dr. Anne

  4. Detrital cave sediments record Late Quaternary hydrologic and climatic variability in northwestern Florida, USA

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, Tyler S.; van Hengstum, Peter J.; Horgan, Meghan C.; Donnelly, Jeffrey P.; Reibenspies, Joseph H.

    2016-04-01

    Detrital sediment in Florida's (USA) submerged cave systems may preserve records of regional climate and hydrologic variability. However, the basic sedimentology, mineralogy, stratigraphic variability, and emplacement history of the successions in Florida's submerged caves remains poorly understood. Here we present stratigraphic, mineralogical, and elemental data on sediment cores from two phreatic cave systems in northwestern Florida (USA), on the Dougherty Karst Plain: Hole in the Wall Cave (HITW) and Twin Cave. Water flowing through these caves is subsurface flow in the Apalachicola River drainage basin, and the caves are located just downstream from Jackson Blue (1st magnitude spring, > 2.8 m3 s- 1 discharge). Sedimentation in these caves is dominated by three primary sedimentary styles: (i) ferromanganese deposits dominate the basal recovered stratigraphy, which pass upsection into (ii) poorly sorted carbonate sediment, and finally into (iii) fine-grained organic matter (gyttja) deposits. Resolving the emplacement history of the lower stratigraphic units was hampered by a lack of suitable material for radiocarbon dating, but the upper organic-rich deposits have a punctuated depositional history beginning in the earliest Holocene. For example, gyttja primarily accumulated in HITW and Twin Caves from ~ 5500 to 3500 cal yr. BP, which coincides with regional evidence for water-table rise of the Upper Floridian Aquifer associated with relative sea-level rise in the Gulf of Mexico, and evidence for invigorated drainage through the Apalachicola River drainage basin. Gyttja sediments were also deposited in one of the caves during the Bølling/Allerød climate oscillation. Biologically, these results indicate that some Floridian aquatic cave (stygobitic) ecosystems presently receive minimal organic matter supply in comparison to prehistoric intervals. The pre-Holocene poorly sorted carbonate sediment contains abundant invertebrate fossils, and likely documents a period

  5. PRESTIGRIS: an operational system for water resources and droughts management on Tuscany, Central Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campo, Lorenzo; Caparrini, Francesca; Castelli, Fabio

    2013-04-01

    In the last years the problems of water management faced by local administration due to the growing demand of the territory and to the changes in terms of availability became more and more important. Also in view of problems issued by the Climate Change, it is necessary to have the availability of information about the present and the future state of the water resources on the territory, both in terms of stress of the water bodies and of trends in the near-future. In this respect, an adequate management and planning of the water resources can make use of meteorological seasonal forecasts (one-three month) for the assessment of the primary sources of fresh water in a given region. The PRESTIGRIS project (PREvisioni STagionali Idrologiche per la Gestione della Risorsa Idrica e della Siccità - hydrologic seasonal forecasts for water resources and droughts management), implemented at the University of Florence in collaboration with Eumechanos Environmental Engineering and LaMMa (Laboratorio di Monitoraggio e Modellistica ambientale, Laboratory for Environmental Monitoring and Modeling), is aimed to provide hydrological seasonal forecasts on the territory of the Tuscany Region, Central Italy, basing on the seasonal meteorological forecasts available at different Weather Services (NOAA, IRI, etc.). The PRESTIGRIS system is based on a stochastic disaggregation of the monthly seasonal forecasts of minimum and maximum air temperature at the ground and of the total rainfall height. Through an analysis based on Principal Component Analysis (PCA) techniques, the forecasts are disaggregated in daily maps at a spatial resolution (500 m) compatible with a complete hydrological balance simulation, performed on the entire Tuscany region (about 22000 km2) by the distributed hydrological model MOBIDIC (MOdello di BIlancio Distribuito e Continuo), developed at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering of the University of Florence. Given a single seasonal forecast, the

  6. The 2009 L'Aquila seismic sequence (Central Italy): fault system geometry and kinematics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valoroso, L.; Amato, A.; Cattaneo, M.; Cecere, G.; Chiarabba, C.; Chiaraluce, L.; de Gori, P.; Delladio, A.; de Luca, G.; di Bona, M.; di Stefano, R.; Govoni, A.; Lucente, F. P.; Margheriti, L.; Mazza, S.; Monachesi, G.; Moretti, M.; Olivieri, M.; Piana Agostinetti, N.; Selvaggi, G.; Improta, L.; Piccinini, D.; Mariscal, A.; Pequegnat, C.; Schlagenhauf, A.; Salaun, G.; Traversa, P.; Voisin, C.; Zuccarello, L.; Azzaro, R.

    2009-12-01

    On April 6 (01:32 UTC) 2009 a destructive MW 6.3 earthquake struck the Abruzzi region in Central Italy, causing nearly 300 deaths, 40.000 homeless, and strong damage to the cultural heritage of the L'Aquila city and its province. Two strong earthquakes hit the area in historical times (e.g. the 1461 and 1703 events), but the main fault that drives the extension in this portion of the Apennines was unknown. The ground surveys carried out after the earthquake find ambiguous evidence of surface faulting. We use aftershocks distribution to investigate the geometry of the activated fault system and to report on spatio-temporal seismicity pattern and kinematics of the whole seismic sequence. Seismic data were recorded at both permanent stations of the Centralized Italian National Seismic Network managed by the INGV and 45 temporary stations installed in the epicentral area. To manage such a large amount of earthquakes, we implemented a semi-automatic procedure able to identify local earthquakes and to provide consistently weighted P- and S-wave arrival times. We show that this procedure yields consistent earthquake detection and high-quality arrival times data for hundreds of events per day. The accurate location for thousands of aftershocks defines a complex, 40 km long, NW-trending normal fault system, with seismicity nucleating within the upper 12 km of the crust. We show the geometry of two major SW-dipping normal faults that form a right lateral en-echelon system. The main fault activated by the 6th of April earthquake is 20 km-long, NW-trending and about 50° SW-dipping and is located below the city of L'Aquila. To the north, we find a second fault, activated on the 9th of April by a MW 5.4 earthquake, that is about 12-km-long and shows a dip angle of about 40° with hypocenters mainly located in the 6 to 10 km depth range.

  7. Short-term evolution of an active basin-fan system, Aspromonte, south Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Antronico, Loredana; Greco, Roberto; Robustelli, Gaetano; Sorriso-Valvo, Marino

    2015-01-01

    Alluvial fans are widespread throughout Calabria (southern Italy), but only a minority of them show evidence of current activity. By means of interpretation of aerial photographs, orthophotos and satellite images, comparison of topographic maps, reconstruction of major rainfall events, and geomorphologic and sedimentologic field observations, we reconstructed the recent history of the geomorphic and sedimentation events and the consequent morphological changes of an active basin-fan system merging with the bed of an ephemeral stream locally named fiumara. The case study is located along the Ionian side of the Aspromonte massif, a sector of Calabria where mass movement, intensive erosion, and channel mass transport are the predominant morphodynamic processes. Evidence is available of large volumes of debris produced by mass movements and erosion processes affecting the upper sector of the feeder basin. The aggressive climate with intense winter storms is the principal cause of erosion and mass movements. Largest rainfall events occurred in clusters of 4-6 events between the 1930s and the early 1970s, at roughly 20-year time intervals. The development of the fan appeared as incipient in 1955 air photos. Activity continues today, with events of sediment output from the feeder basin. Large rainfall events are reflected, with a delay of ca. eight years, by aggradation/dissection and progradation/retrogradation cycles in the feeder channel and the fan, respectively. Mutual interference between fan development and human activity exists, as well as does the interaction between the fan progradation and the floods of the receiving fiumara stream. Based on the aforementioned survey tools, two almost 10-year cycles were recognised. Feeder channel aggradation, owing to the debris input of the feeder subbasin and to the presence of check dams built along the feeder channel, continues until the channel slope reaches a threshold value. This can also be caused by the trimming of

  8. Continuous multichannel monitoring of cave air carbon dioxide using a pumped non-dispersive infrared analyser

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mattey, D.

    2012-04-01

    The concentration of CO2 in cave air is one of the main controls on the rate of degassing of dripwater and on the kinetics of calcite precipitation forming speleothem deposits. Measurements of cave air CO2reveal great complexity in the spatial distribution among interconnected cave chambers and temporal changes on synoptic to seasonal time scales. The rock of Gibraltar hosts a large number of caves distributed over a 300 meter range in altitude and monthly sampling and analysis of air and water combined with continuous logging of temperature, humidity and drip discharge rates since 2004 reveals the importance of density-driven seasonal ventilation which drives large-scale advection of CO2-rich air though the cave systems. Since 2008 we have deployed automatic CO2 monitoring systems that regularly sample cave air from up to 8 locations distributed laterally and vertically in St Michaels Cave located near the top of the rock at 275m asl and Ragged Staff Cave located in the heart of the rock near sea level. The logging system is controlled by a Campbell Scientific CR1000 programmable datalogger which controls an 8 port manifold connected to sampling lines leading to different parts of the cave over a distance of up to 250 meters. The manifold is pumped at a rate of 5l per minute drawing air through 6mm or 8mm id polythene tubing via a 1m Nafion loop to reduce humidity to local ambient conditions. The outlet of the primary pump leads to an open split which is sampled by a second low flow pump which delivers air at 100ml/minute to a Licor 820 CO2 analyser. The software selects the port to be sampled, flushes the line for 2 minutes and CO2 analysed as a set of 5 measurements averaged over 10 second intervals. The system then switches to the next port and when complete shuts down to conserve power after using 20 watts over a 30 minute period of analysis. In the absence of local mains power (eg from the show cave lighting system) two 12v car batteries will power the system

  9. Stable carbon isotope analysis in a South Texas cave: Investigating sources of CO2 production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thompson, Reece

    Studies of interactions between modern local climate, cave atmosphere, and ?13C ratios are needed to determine sources of CO2 in caves, and the cycles of seasonal variations that alter karst geochemistry. A seasonal study, focusing on the analysis of stable isotopes collected from a modern cave system, was conducted in Robber Baron Cave (RBC) in order to identify sources of CO2 in its atmosphere. Determining what conditions affect cave morphology and the transfer path of carbon through a cave system is necessary in order to assess the role of caves in the carbon cycle and correctly interpret past ecological changes. This study investigates the extent that stable isotopic values of carbon in CO2 are affected by CO2 sourced from soils, bedrock, atmospheric air, and vegetation, and how ?13C signals are transmitted in a modern cave system. This study also measures how ventilation affects CO2 concentration and ?13C on seasonal scales. In-cave air grab samples were collected monthly at various transects located in RBC in order to measure CO2 composition in addition to factors such as temperature, and barometric pressure. Soil gas and limestone bedrock were also collected and tested for ?13C composition. Air samples were analyzed using an Ambient Air-Model G2101-I Picarro Cavity Ring-Down Spectroscopy Analyzer for both the concentration and ?13C isotopic value of CO2. These values were then compared to isotopic values of known sources of CO2 in order to determine possible sources of CO2 that result in high CO2 concentrations found in RBC. The background stable isotopic value of carbon from CO2 measured in RBC is -19.1‰ VPDB.

  10. From Cave Walls to Clay Images

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Julie

    2004-01-01

    About 15,000 BC, the bison and other animals roamed the land and cave people, in their spare time, found colorful, chalky rocks with which to play. Over the course of time, they found that the chalky rocks would rub off on the cave walls, thus cave paintings and the pursuit of art was born. This article describes one fourth-grade classroom's…

  11. Cave of the Astronomers at Xochicalco

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lebeuf, Arnold

    The chimney built in the roof of the artificial large cave at Xochicalco, known as "Cave of the astronomers", has been interpreted as a solar zenithal observation tube. Nevertheless, different elements and especially the latitude of the site itself led the author to present a lunar hypothesis. Precise measurements of the impact of light inside the cave show the degree of precision that can be obtained in this camera obscura.

  12. Computer Assisted Virtual Environment - CAVE

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, Phillip; Podgorney, Robert; Weingartner, Shawn; Whiting, Eric

    2014-01-14

    Research at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies is taking on another dimension with a 3-D device known as a Computer Assisted Virtual Environment. The CAVE uses projection to display high-end computer graphics on three walls and the floor. By wearing 3-D glasses to create depth perception and holding a wand to move and rotate images, users can delve into data.

  13. Computer Assisted Virtual Environment - CAVE

    ScienceCinema

    Erickson, Phillip; Podgorney, Robert; Weingartner, Shawn; Whiting, Eric

    2014-06-09

    Research at the Center for Advanced Energy Studies is taking on another dimension with a 3-D device known as a Computer Assisted Virtual Environment. The CAVE uses projection to display high-end computer graphics on three walls and the floor. By wearing 3-D glasses to create depth perception and holding a wand to move and rotate images, users can delve into data.

  14. Evolution of an Alpine fluvioglacial system at the LGM decay: The Cormor megafan (NE Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fontana, Alessandro; Monegato, Giovanni; Zavagno, Enrico; Devoto, Stefano; Burla, Ivonne; Cucchi, Franco

    2014-01-01

    The dramatic climatic and environmental changes that occurred at the end of the last glaciation led to the formation of landforms (e.g., moraines, fluvial ridges, and alluvial terraces) that strongly characterize the landscape in the alluvial plains facing the Alps. This also occurred with the Tagliamento glacier, which built a large LGM moraine amphitheatre in the piedmont sector of the southeastern Alps and fed fluvioglacial systems in the Friulian plain (NE Italy). The Cormor stream was one of the main glacial outwashes and formed an alluvial megafan during the peak of the LGM. At the decline of the LGM, the active belt narrowed and was subsequently abandoned. Since the Lateglacial the Cormor system has been an intermittent stream with limited activity. This sequence of events led to the preservation of large LGM surfaces, which enables their investigation, along with correlatable moraine ridges. The study of megafan depositional phases allows us to precisely constrain the chronology of glacial withdrawal at the end of the LGM, which is difficult in large sectors of the southern Alps. The geomorphological and geological study of the Cormor megafan was realized through the use of remote sensing, DEM analysis, field survey, stratigraphic boreholes, and radiocarbon dating. During the peak glaciation of the LGM, the Cormor experienced widespread aggradation with gravel deposition up to 15-25 km from the megafan apex, while the distal sector was dominated by fine-grained sediments. At the end of the LGM the Cormor stream incised the apical portion of its megafan, funnelling the sedimentary discharge and experiencing a limited aggradation in the distal sector with the formation of a progradational lobe. This deposition buried some swampy areas, sealing peaty and organic-rich clayey horizons with 2-4 m of sediments. The top of these layers is radiocarbon dated at 22.0-19.5 ka cal BP and indirectly constrains the chronology of several recessional moraines that formed

  15. Testing of the INGV Prototype Tsunami Early Warning System for the Coasts of Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lorito, Stefano; Piatanesi, Alessio; Romano, Fabrizio

    2010-05-01

    In the framework of the agreement between Italian Civil Protection and INGV (DPC-S3 project), we are studying the feasibility of a Tsunami Early Warning System (TEWS) for the coasts of Italy. The underlying concept is borrowed, as a starting point, from the Japan Meteorological Agency's TEWS. Some differences arise, however, due to the specificity of the Mediterranean context, as well as due to the reduced possibility of fast direct measurements of the tsunami waves eventually generated. The prototype system is based on a set of elementary submarine earthquake sources, plus a set of scaling laws of the tsunami height with respect to source parameters. In case of an earthquake, according to information released by the INGV seismic center (epicenter, depth, and magnitude), the pre-calculated wave heights produced by each elementary source must be interpolated to evaluate if a significant tsunami could have been generated, and where it will likely hit the coastlines more severely, in order to launch a proper alert. We start by considering a grid of nine epicenters on a 20x20 km square in front of the Algeria coast, and potentially threatening the southern Sardinia coast. At the moment, the geometry of the faults (strike, dip, rake) is keep fixed, while we consider for each of the epicenters several different depths and magnitudes. The (empirical) scaling laws that serve as a guidance for the interpolation are instead derived numerically for a wider range of earthquake parameters. The performances of the prototype have been evaluated both by means of synthetic earthquakes (by simulating hundreds of earthquakes falling in the prototype grid), and by using an ad-hoc database around the epicenter of a real earthquake, which generated a moderate tsunami in the western Mediterranean (the Mw=6.9 May 2003 Boumerdes-Zemmouri earthquake, Algeria). The synthetic tests also serve to assess the uncertainties that will be attached to the forecasts issued, directly descending from

  16. The groundwater system of Livigno area (north Lombardy - Italy):first results

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gambillara, R.; Terrana, S.; Carugati, G.

    2009-04-01

    In the last few years, a progressive impoverishment of water resources took place in the mountain; this is due to the increase of antropic activity and to the change in the precipitation regime. In this context, the preservation of every aquifer will acquire great importance. In particular, the mountain fissured aquifers could play a relevant role in the water supply for the mountain people, although they have a limited productivity. These aquifers, in fact, represent the main alimentation source for mountain people. However, they are made vulnerable by external factors such as the climate change and the pollution, because these springs are near to their recharge areas, therefore their circuits are short and swift. A good knowledge of the mountain hydro-geological circuits allows either their safeguard or a better exploitation. In the mountain environment, for a better reconstruction of groundwater system is suggested the multidisciplinary approach, because it permit to maximize the merit of both methods. The Livigno area represents a good test for the groundwater system reconstruction in the mountain environment because it has a complex geological and tectonical setting and because, in this area, the density of population varies greatly during the year and this generate a shortage of water in some seasons. In order to characterize this aquifer, a multidisciplinary approach, based on lithological, geochemical, hydro-geological and geo-structural methods, has been adopted. Mostly, the geo-structural methods allow to determinate the rock permeability and the hydraulic conductivity tensor, whereas the geochemical method permit to reconstruction of groundwater system. The Livigno area is located at 1800 m s.l.m. in the central Alps (northern Lombardy - Italy). For the tectonic setting this area is comprise between the Err Bernina system (Lower Australpine) and the Ortles-Quatervals system (Upper Austroalpine). The most important regional fault is represented by Zebr

  17. Evolution of Hang Son Doong, Vietnam: the largest cave passage in the world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granger, D. E.

    2011-12-01

    -analyses underway will hopefully improve dating precision. Based on the breccia-filled passage, the age of HSD is at least 2 My, and possibly much older. This is consistent with ages from other large caves around the world, such as the Mammoth Cave system and large caves of the Cumberland Plateau in the southeastern United States, which date to the Pliocene and late Miocene. The very large cave passages of Hang Son Doong and the Ke Bang massif thus likely formed slowly over millions of years with only moderately large discharge, and owe their preservation primarily to rock strength.

  18. Habitual cave use and thermoregulation in chacma baboons (Papio hamadryas ursinus).

    PubMed

    Barrett, L; Gaynor, D; Rendall, D; Mitchell, D; Henzi, S P

    2004-02-01

    The willingness to utilise caves as shelters is held to have been important to early humans but dependent on pyrotechnology. Despite anecdotal evidence that non-human primates will also exploit caves there has as yet been no detailed account of such exploitation or of the reasons underlying it. Here we provide the first such data, on the frequency and patterning of the use of an underground cave system by baboons (Papio hamadryas)-and show that usage is determined, at least in part, by above-ground temperatures. PMID:14871563

  19. A Transcriptomic Analysis of Cave, Surface, and Hybrid Isopod Crustaceans of the Species Asellus aquaticus

    PubMed Central

    Stahl, Bethany A.; Gross, Joshua B.; Speiser, Daniel I.; Oakley, Todd H.; Patel, Nipam H.; Gould, Douglas B.; Protas, Meredith E.

    2015-01-01

    Cave animals, compared to surface-dwelling relatives, tend to have reduced eyes and pigment, longer appendages, and enhanced mechanosensory structures. Pressing questions include how certain cave-related traits are gained and lost, and if they originate through the same or different genetic programs in independent lineages. An excellent system for exploring these questions is the isopod, Asellus aquaticus. This species includes multiple cave and surface populations that have numerous morphological differences between them. A key feature is that hybrids between cave and surface individuals are viable, which enables genetic crosses and linkage analyses. Here, we advance this system by analyzing single animal transcriptomes of Asellus aquaticus. We use high throughput sequencing of non-normalized cDNA derived from the head of a surface-dwelling male, the head of a cave-dwelling male, the head of a hybrid male (produced by crossing a surface individual with a cave individual), and a pooled sample of surface embryos and hatchlings. Assembling reads from surface and cave head RNA pools yielded an integrated transcriptome comprised of 23,984 contigs. Using this integrated assembly as a reference transcriptome, we aligned reads from surface-, cave- and hybrid- head tissue and pooled surface embryos and hatchlings. Our approach identified 742 SNPs and placed four new candidate genes to an existing linkage map for A. aquaticus. In addition, we examined SNPs for allele-specific expression differences in the hybrid individual. All of these resources will facilitate identification of genes and associated changes responsible for cave adaptation in A. aquaticus and, in concert with analyses of other species, will inform our understanding of the evolutionary processes accompanying adaptation to the subterranean environment. PMID:26462237

  20. Design of the monitoring system at the Sant'Alessio induced riverbank filtration plant (Lucca, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetto, Rudy; Barbagli, Alessio; Borsi, Iacopo; Mazzanti, Giorgio; Picciaia, Daniele; Vienken, Thomas; Bonari, Enrico

    2015-04-01

    In Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) schemes the monitoring system, for both water quality and quantity issues, plays a key role in assuring that a groundwater recharge plant is really managed. Considering induced Riverbank Filtration (RBF) schemes, while the effect of the augmented filtration consists in an improvement of the quality and quantity of the water infiltrating the aquifer, there is in turn the risk for groundwater contamination, as surface water bodies are highly susceptible to contamination. Within the framework of the MARSOL (2014) EU FPVII-ENV-2013 project, an experimental monitoring system has been designed and will be set in place at the Sant'Alessio RBF well field (Lucca, Italy) to demonstrate the sustainability and the benefits of managing induced RBF versus the unmanaged option. The RBF scheme in Sant'Alessio (Borsi et al. 2014) allows abstraction of an overall amount of about 0,5 m3/s groundwater providing drinking water for about 300000 people of the coastal Tuscany. Water is derived by ten vertical wells set along the Serchio River embankments inducing river water filtration into a high yield (10-2m2/s transmissivity) sand and gravel aquifer. Prior to the monitoring system design, a detailed site characterization has been completed taking advantage of previous and new investigations, the latter performed by means of MOSAIC on-site investigation platform (UFZ). A monitoring network has been set in place in the well field area using existing wells. There groundwater head and the main physico-chemical parameters (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity and redox potential) are routinely monitored. Major geochemical compounds along with a large set of emerging pollutants are analysed (in cooperation with IWW Zentrum Wasser, Germany) both in surface-water and ground-water. The experimental monitoring system (including sensors in surface- and ground-water) has been designed focusing on managing abstraction efficiency and safety at

  1. Energetics of potential heterotrophic metabolisms in the marine hydrothermal system of Vulcano Island, Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogers, Karyn L.; Amend, Jan P.

    2006-12-01

    Values of overall Gibbs free energy of 144 organic oxidation (respiration) and disproportionation (fermentation) reactions are calculated at the temperatures and chemical compositions that exist in nine submarine vents, sediment seeps and geothermal wells in the hydrothermal system of Vulcano Island, Italy. The organic compounds considered here include four carboxylic acids (formic, acetic, propanoic and lactic), two C 5 aldoses (arabinose and xylose), three C 6 aldoses (galactose, glucose and mannose), and 15 protein-forming amino acids (Ala, Arg, Asp, Glu, Gly, His, Ile, Leu, Lys, Met, Phe, Ser, Thr, Tyr, and Val). Oxidation of these compounds is coupled to five redox pairs: O 2/H 2O, SO42-/HS, S 0/H 2S, NO3-/NH4+ and Fe 3O 4/Fe 2+. Energy yields from potential respiration reactions range from 6 to 118 kJ/mol of electrons transferred and show systematic behavior with respect to the terminal electron acceptor. Overall, respiration with O 2 yields the most energy (98-118 kJ/mol e -), followed by reactions with NO3- (53- 86 kJ/mol e -), magnetite (29-91 kJ/mol e -), S 0 (11-33 kJ/mol e -) and SO42- (6-34 kJ/mol e -). Energy yields show little correlation with organic compound family, but are correlated with fluid pH. Variability in energy yields across the nine sites is greatest for Fe(III) reduction and is primarily influenced by pH and the activity of Fe 2+. In addition to the potential respiration reactions, the energetics of 24 potential fermentation reactions are also calculated. As expected, fermentation reactions generally yield much less energy than respiration. Normalized to the number of moles of carbon transferred, fermentation yields-8 to 71 kJ/mol C, compared with 16 to 531 kJ/mol C for respiration reactions. All respiration and fermentation reactions, except for methionine (Met) fermentation, are exergonic under the in situ hydrothermal conditions and represent a plethora of potential metabolisms for Vulcano's diverse thermophilic heterotrophs.

  2. Electromagnetic outline of the Solfatara-Pisciarelli hydrothermal system, Campi Flegrei (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troiano, Antonio; Giulia Di Giuseppe, Maria; Patella, Domenico; Troise, Claudia; De Natale, Giuseppe

    2014-05-01

    We describe the results from a combined CSAMT and MT survey carried out in the Solfatara-Pisciarelli area, located in the central part of the Campi Flegrei composite caldera, west of Naples, Southern Italy. The Solfatara-Pisciarelli area represents the most active zone within the CF area, in terms of hydrothermal manifestations and local seismicity. Since 1969, the caldera is experiencing ground deformation, seismicity and geochemical fluid changes, which are particularly evident in this area. A 1 km long, nearly W-E directed CSAMT-MT profile crossing the fumaroles field was carried out with the aim of deducting an EM model of the structural setting of the hydrothermal system in the first 3 km depth. An interpretation of the EM modelled section is given in this paper, taking advantage from already existing seismic, gravity and geochemical data in the same area. Three well distinct EM zones have been outlined. The first EM zone is a very shallow, electrically conductive body localized beneath the westernmost segment of the profile, which, within a short distance of about 100 m, dips westwards from near surface down to some hundred metres depth. Mostly accounting for the very low resistivity (1-10 Ωm) and the exceedingly high values of vP/vS (>4), this shallow zone has been ascribed to a water-saturated, high-pressurized geothermal reservoir. The second EM zone, which has been localized below the west-central portion of the EM transect, appears as a composite body made of a nearly vertical plumelike structure that escapes at about 2.25 km depth from the top edge of the east side of a presumably horizontal platelike body. The plumelike structure rises up to the free surface in correspondence of the fumaroles field, whereas the platelike structure deepens at least down to the 3 km of maximum EM exploration depth. The combined interpretation of resistivity, wave velocity, gravity and geochemical data indicates the plumelike portion is likely associated with a steam

  3. The 2009 L'Aquila sequence (Central Italy): fault system anatomy by aftershock distribution.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chiaraluce, Lauro

    2010-05-01

    On April 6 (01:32 UTC) 2009 a destructive MW 6.13 earthquake struck the Abruzzi region in Central Italy, causing nearly 300 deaths, 40.000 homeless people and strong damage to the cultural heritage of the L'Aquila city and its province. Two strong earthquakes hit the same area in historical times (e.g. the 1461 and 1703 events), but the main fault that drives the extension in this portion of the Apennines was unknown. Seismic data was recorded at both permanent stations of the Centralised Italian National Seismic Network managed by the INGV and 45 temporary stations installed in the epicentral area together with the LGIT of Grenoble (Fr). The resulting geometry of the dense monitoring network allows us to gain very high resolution earthquake locations that we use to investigate the geometry of the activated fault system and to report on seismicity pattern and kinematics of the whole sequence. The mainshock was preceded by a foreshock sequence that activated the main fault plane during the three months before, while the largest foreshock (MW 4.08) occurred one week before (30th of March) nucleated on a antithetic (e.g. off-fault) segment. The distribution of the aftershocks defines a complex, 50 km long, NW-trending normal fault system, with seismicity nucleating within the upper 10-12 km of the crust. There is an exception of an event (MW 5.42) nucleating a couple of kilometers deeper that the 7th of April that activates a high angle normal fault antithetic to the main system. Its role is still unclear. We reconstruct the geometry of the two major SW-dipping normal faults forming a right lateral en-echelon system. The main fault (L'Aquila fault) is activated by the 6th of April mainshock unluckily located right below the city of L'Aquila. A 50°SW-dipping plane with planar geometry about 16 km long. The related seismicity interests the entire first 12 km of the upper crust from the surface. The ground surveys carried out soon after the occurrence of the earthquake

  4. Spatial organization and connectivity of caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jouves, Johan; Viseur, Sophie; Guglielmi, Yves; Camus, Hubert

    2015-04-01

    The main particularity of karst systems is their hierarchical organization as three-dimensional network of conduits behaving as drain. They are recognized as having a major influence on fluid flow at reservoir scale. However, a karstic network is generally hardly continuously observable and their great intrinsic heterogeneity makes their characterization very complex. This media can be only observed by speleological investigation, conditioned to human possibilities. As a result, only few parts can be observed and therefore it is required to model the non-observable parts for reservoir characterizations. To provide realistic 3D models, non-observable karstic features will be generated using parameters extracted from observed ones. Morphometric analysis of the three-dimensional karstic network provides quantitative measures that can (i) give information on speleogenesis processes, (ii) be used to compare different karst systems, (iii) be correlated with hydrogeological behavior and (iii) control the simulation of realistic karst networks. Recent work done on the subject characterize the karstic network as a whole, without genetic a-priori. However, most of observable caves appears to have a polygenic history due to modifications in boundary conditions and some different karst features can be observed in a same cavity. To study the geometrical organization of caves, we propose to analyze 3D speleological topographies for which speleogenetic context is known. This way, it is possible to characterize karst features according to speleogenetic processes. Several morphometric descriptors have been calculated on three-dimensional topographies provided by speleological works. Some parameters describe the existence of preferential direction of karstification and preferential flow paths, other parameters describe the complexity, geometry and connectivity of the three-dimensional karstic networks. Through the study of fifteen different caves, 150km of 3D data have been analyzed

  5. Integrated MVG and ERT Survey Over a Shallow Cave

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gambetta, M.; Armadillo, E.; Carmisciano, C.; Stefanelli, P.; Caratori Tontini, F.; Cocchi, L.

    2009-05-01

    An integrated geophysical MVG (Microgravity Vertical Gradient) and ERT (Electrical Resistivity Tomography) survey was performed over a shallow cave in the Armetta Mountain karst area, close to the Liguria-Piedmont watershed (Tanaro valley). The aim of this study is to test the response of a known shallow karst cave. The cave was developed in the Mesozoic sedimentary cover (dolostones and limestones - CAU : Caprauna Armetta Unit); the shallowest portion of the cave exhibits narrow passages and, at about 30 m below the entrance, a fossil meander which links two large chambers, that represent the target of the geophysical survey. The site was surveyed with five, 235 m long, ERT sections, crosscutting the underground voids; 53 MVG stations was collected in an area of 150 by 50 meters above the cave. The ERT prospecting was performed using a Syscal R1 (Iris Instrument) multielectrode system with sets of 48 electrodes evenly spaced each 5 meters. A Wenner-Schlumberger array was used. The MVG survey was performed using a LaCoste&Romberg D model gravity meters equipped with a digital data acquisition through the Aliod feedback system, GPS tracking and automatic tide corrections, with a nominal resolution of 1 microGal (10 nm/s2). Each MVG station was achieved by two successive readings performed at the bottom and top of a 1.80 meters high tower frame. Differential GPS, with acquisition rate of 1 Hz and sampling time of 120 s, was used for the geographic position. The results of the integrated survey show a clear geophysical response of the hollow which exhibits high resistivity values and a negative gravity anomaly. This paper confirms the effectiveness of the geophysical exploration even in a quite complex environment giving a precise location of the voids. The application of such techniques can be efficient in site surveying where the conceivable presence of hollows may be expected.

  6. Application of an integrated geotechnical and topographic monitoring system in the Lorano marble quarry (Apuan Alps, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Salvini, Riccardo; Vanneschi, Claudio; Riccucci, Silvia; Francioni, Mirko; Gullì, Domenico

    2015-07-01

    Accurate slope stability analysis is essential for human activity in high-risk geological contexts. This may, however, not be enough in the case of quarrying where the dynamic and evolving environment also requires effective monitoring. A well-designed monitoring system requires the acquisition of a huge dataset over time, improving knowledge of the study area and helping to refine prediction from stability analysis. This paper reports the implementation of an integrated monitoring system in a marble quarry in the Apuan Alps (Italy) and some of the results obtained. The equipment consists of a traditional geotechnical monitoring system (extensometers, crackmeters and clinometers) and two modern topographic monitoring systems (a terrestrial interferometer and a robotic total station). This work aims to provide in-depth knowledge of the large scale rock mass behaviour as a result of marble exploitation, thereby allowing continuous excavation. The results highlight the importance of integrating different monitoring systems.

  7. Protecting the Water Quality of Carroll Cave and Toronto Springs, Missouri, Through Groundwater Recharge Area Delineation of Groundwater Recharge Areas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In a karst area the relationship between activities occurring on the surface and the overall health of the subsurface environment are highly interconnected. However the complex nature of karst flow systems can often make identification of these connections difficult. Carroll Cave a large stream cave...

  8. RISICO: A decision support system (DSS) for dynamic wildfire risk evaluation in Italy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Andrea, Mirko; Fiorucci, Paolo; Gaetani, Francesco; Negro, Dario

    2010-05-01

    chain of the RISICO system is considerably changed. In the first release the system run daily making use of observations only to define the initial state of the dead fine fuel moisture content. The new version of the system is able to run each 3-h making use of observations at each time step. In order to validate the RISICO system, the information obtained from the analysis of really occurred fires has been compared with the information generated by RISICO system. In particular, a data set of more than 11000 wildland fires occurred in Italy between 01/01/2007 and 31/12/2008 has been considered in the validation procedure. The performance indexes selected in order to measure the system effectiveness are relevant to the capability of identifying the correct danger classes with reference to the extension and duration of the fire. In this connection, a comparison between the performance obtained by the new release of the RISICO system and the previous one has been carried out highlighting separately the improvement given by the higher resolution, the model structure and the operational chain. The system RISICO is able to integrate the main Fire Hazard Indexes present in the literature providing a suitable tool for testing the different indexes on the same platform in different environmental and climatic conditions. Risico represents an operational approach to forest fires management both during the prevention and fire fighting phases. The prevention phase represents the main goal for the DPC. Prevention starts with a daily bulletin issue. The bulletin is based on RISICO data, forecast, meteorological data and other observed data such as active fires. The bulletin is dispatched to all operative bodies employed both in fire fighting and civil protection activities. During the fire fighting activities Risico support decision maker to define the best strategies. The objective of the paper is to promote the use of Fire Hazard Forecast as operational tool in fire risk prevention

  9. ComputerApplications and Virtual Environments (CAVE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    Virtual Reality (VR) can provide cost effective methods to design and evaluate components and systems for maintenance and refurbishment operations. The Marshall Space Flight Centerr (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama began to utilize VR for design analysis in the X-34 experimental reusable space vehicle. Analysts at MSFC's Computer Applications and Virtual Environments (CAVE) used Head Mounted Displays (HMD) (pictured), spatial trackers and gesture inputs as a means to animate or inhabit a properly sized virtual human model. These models were used in a VR scenario as a way to determine functionality of space and maintenance requirements for the virtual X-34. The primary functions of the virtual X-34 mockup was to support operations development and design analysis for engine removal, the engine compartment and the aft fuselage. This capability provided general visualization support to engineers and designers at MSFC and to the System Design Freeze Review at Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC). The X-34 program was cancelled in 2001.

  10. ComputerApplications and Virtual Environments (CAVE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    Virtual Reality (VR) can provide cost effective methods to design and evaluate components and systems for maintenance and refurbishment operations. The Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama began to utilize VR for design analysis in the X-34 experimental reusable space vehicle. Analysts at MSFC's Computer Applications and Virtual Environments (CAVE) used Head Mounted Displays (HMD) (pictured), spatial trackers and gesture inputs as a means to animate or inhabit a properly sized virtual human model. These models were used in a VR scenario as a way to determine functionality of space and maintenance requirements for the virtual X-34. The primary functions of the virtual X-34 mockup was to support operations development and design analysis for engine removal, the engine compartment and the aft fuselage. This capability providedgeneral visualization support to engineers and designers at MSFC and to the System Design Freeze Review at Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC). The X-34 program was cancelled in 2001.

  11. Computer Applications and Virtual Environments (CAVE)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1993-01-01

    Virtual Reality (VR) can provide cost effective methods to design and evaluate components and systems for maintenance and refurbishment operations. Marshall SPace Flight Center (MSFC) is begirning to utilize VR for design analysis in the X-34 experimental reusable space vehicle. Analysts at MSFC's Computer Applications and Virtual Environments (CAVE) used Head Mounted Displays (HMD) (pictured), spatial trackers and gesture inputs as a means to animate or inhabit a properly sized virtual human model. These models are used in a VR scenario as a way to determine functionality of space and maintenance requirements for the virtual X-34. The primary functions of the virtual X-34 mockup is to support operations development and design analysis for engine removal, the engine compartment and the aft fuselage. This capability provides general visualization support to engineers and designers at MSFC and to the System Design Freeze Review at Orbital Sciences Corporation (OSC).

  12. Estimation of deep infiltration in unsaturated limestone environments using cave lidar and drip count data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mahmud, K.; Mariethoz, G.; Baker, A.; Treble, P. C.; Markowska, M.; McGuire, E.

    2016-01-01

    Limestone aeolianites constitute karstic aquifers covering much of the western and southern Australian coastal fringe. They are a key groundwater resource for a range of industries such as winery and tourism, and provide important ecosystem services such as habitat for stygofauna. Moreover, recharge estimation is important for understanding the water cycle, for contaminant transport, for water management, and for stalagmite-based paleoclimate reconstructions. Caves offer a natural inception point to observe both the long-term groundwater recharge and the preferential movement of water through the unsaturated zone of such limestone. With the availability of automated drip rate logging systems and remote sensing techniques, it is now possible to deploy the combination of these methods for larger-scale studies of infiltration processes within a cave. In this study, we utilize a spatial survey of automated cave drip monitoring in two large chambers of Golgotha Cave, south-western Western Australia (SWWA), with the aim of better understanding infiltration water movement and the relationship between infiltration, stalactite morphology, and unsaturated zone recharge. By applying morphological analysis of ceiling features from Terrestrial LiDAR (T-LiDAR) data, coupled with drip time series and climate data from 2012 to 2014, we demonstrate the nature of the relationships between infiltration through fractures in the limestone and unsaturated zone recharge. Similarities between drip rate time series are interpreted in terms of flow patterns, cave chamber morphology, and lithology. Moreover, we develop a new technique to estimate recharge in large-scale caves, engaging flow classification to determine the cave ceiling area covered by each flow category and drip data for the entire observation period, to calculate the total volume of cave discharge. This new technique can be applied to other cave sites to identify highly focussed areas of recharge and can help to better

  13. Identification of flood events inside karst cavities: Fria Cave (Asturias - NW Spain)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gonzalez Lemos, Saul; Stoll, Heather

    2013-04-01

    Fluvial records may be well preserved in subterranean karst drainage networks and fluvial deposits cemented in speleothems may provide good chronology of past flood events. In several karst systems in Asturias (NW. Spain), moments of extreme precipitation events produce deposits from flood events in the bed and walls of caves which we propose are also recorded in the calcium carbonate stalagmites growing in the cave. The final stretch of the studied cave (Fria Cave), with a development of 360 m in length, intersects a small perennial stream which in our observation has maintained a minimum discharge of about 0.022 m3/s but periodically overflows into the vadose cave passage. Immediately after a flood overflow event, water marks and foam detritus are visible at various levels on the cave walls and corresponding to heights of bottlenecks in overflow drainage through the cave passage. Flood events deposit sand on terraces on the cave wall and move large volumes of sand in the cave bed. These extreme events leave a long-term record in i) wall coloration or water marks on the cave walls; and ii) detrital particles preserved as inclusions inside the stalagmites. Throughout this cave, it is possible to recognize chromatic changes in the walls, such as manganese oxide stains, which coincide with one of the water marks left during a recent flood event. The most salient manganese oxide on the walls rises up to 1.5 m measured from the thalweg and we interpreted it as the result of a frequent process of wetting - drying related to frequent flooding of the cave. Since 3-4 ka, drapery flowstone has been deposited over this oxide coating in some parts of the cave and the drapery remains free of oxide coating. We interpret this as indicating a reduction in the frequency and/or duration of flooding to this height, coincident with a regional drying trend in late Holocene. Stalagmites growing in the bed of the cave appear to trap fluvial sediments like sand or silts particles, which

  14. Geochemical Investigation of Source Water to Cave Springs, Great Basin National Park, White Pine County, Nevada

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prudic, David E.; Glancy, Patrick A.

    2009-01-01

    Cave Springs supply the water for the Lehman Caves Visitor Center at Great Basin National Park, which is about 60 miles east of Ely, Nevada, in White Pine County. The source of water to the springs was investigated to evaluate the potential depletion caused by ground-water pumping in areas east of the park and to consider means to protect the supply from contamination. Cave Springs are a collection of several small springs that discharge from alluvial and glacial deposits near the contact between quartzite and granite. Four of the largest springs are diverted into a water-collection system for the park. Water from Cave Springs had more dissolved strontium, calcium, and bicarbonate, and a heavier value of carbon-13 than water from Marmot Spring at the contact between quartzite and granite near Baker Creek campground indicating that limestone had dissolved into water at Cave Springs prior to discharging. The source of the limestone at Cave Springs was determined to be rounded gravels from a pit near Baker, Nevada, which was placed around the springs during the reconstruction of the water-collection system in 1996. Isotopic compositions of water at Cave Springs and Marmot Spring indicate that the source of water to these springs primarily is from winter precipitation. Mixing of water at Cave Springs between alluvial and glacial deposits along Lehman Creek and water from quartzite is unlikely because deuterium and oxygen-18 values from a spring discharging from the alluvial and glacial deposits near upper Lehman Creek campground were heavier than the deuterium and oxygen-18 values from Cave Springs. Additionally, the estimated mean age of water determined from chlorofluorocarbon concentrations indicates water discharging from the spring near upper Lehman Creek campground is younger than that discharging from either Cave Springs or Marmot Spring. The source of water at Cave Springs is from quartzite and water discharges from the springs on the upstream side of the

  15. Planning of geological investigations in areas affected by anthropogenic sinkholes: the case of densely urbanised area northeast of Naples (Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guarino, Paolo Maria; Santo, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    In the last years, many studies about sinkholes have been produced. These sudden phenomena can be generated from natural or artificial causes: the first ones are developed in soluble rocks like carbonate or sulphates, the second are linked to the presence of artificial caves or mines. In Italy both the typologies are widely present, but more often the anthropogenic sinkholes are cause of most damages and fatalities, because many ancient city center were built using the local rock, giving rise to complex and widespread networks of underground cavities, whose collapse brings about the formation of sinkholes. Examples are the Lazio, Toscana, Umbria, Campania, Puglia and Sicily regions, where important towns like Rome, Naples and Palermo are frequently affected by sinkholes. Identifying and analyzing natural and anthropogenic predisposing and triggering factors are essential steps for evaluating susceptibility to sinkholes; nevertheless, the susceptibility zoning must be considered the starting point towards further detailed studies. This study aims to provide a contribution to the definition of a more accurate planning of geological studies at the municipality scale, in order to mitigate the risk in densely urbanized areas affected by anthropogenic sinkholes. The considered study area includes the metropolitan area northeast of Naples (Italy), where sinkholes are very frequent because of the widespread presence of artificial caves dug in pyroclastic rocks. In a first phase, data and information relative to stratigraphic logs, presence and distribution of cavities and sinkholes phenomena were collected and organized in a GIS associated database. Thereafter, the processing of contour maps of tuff top surface and caves depth has been realized, as well as fully detailed cross sections, in order to recognize different characteristics and genesis of sinkholes. At the end, with reference to high susceptibility areas, a list of possible geological surveys and monitoring

  16. Mapping planetary caves with an autonomous, heterogeneous robot team

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Husain, Ammar; Jones, Heather; Kannan, Balajee; Wong, Uland; Pimentel, Tiago; Tang, Sarah; Daftry, Shreyansh; Huber, Steven; Whittaker, William L.

    Caves on other planetary bodies offer sheltered habitat for future human explorers and numerous clues to a planet's past for scientists. While recent orbital imagery provides exciting new details about cave entrances on the Moon and Mars, the interiors of these caves are still unknown and not observable from orbit. Multi-robot teams offer unique solutions for exploration and modeling subsurface voids during precursor missions. Robot teams that are diverse in terms of size, mobility, sensing, and capability can provide great advantages, but this diversity, coupled with inherently distinct low-level behavior architectures, makes coordination a challenge. This paper presents a framework that consists of an autonomous frontier and capability-based task generator, a distributed market-based strategy for coordinating and allocating tasks to the different team members, and a communication paradigm for seamless interaction between the different robots in the system. Robots have different sensors, (in the representative robot team used for testing: 2D mapping sensors, 3D modeling sensors, or no exteroceptive sensors), and varying levels of mobility. Tasks are generated to explore, model, and take science samples. Based on an individual robot's capability and associated cost for executing a generated task, a robot is autonomously selected for task execution. The robots create coarse online maps and store collected data for high resolution offline modeling. The coordination approach has been field tested at a mock cave site with highly-unstructured natural terrain, as well as an outdoor patio area. Initial results are promising for applicability of the proposed multi-robot framework to exploration and modeling of planetary caves.

  17. Modelling a strike-slip fault system affecting porous carbonates in Favignana Island (Sicily, southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cilona, A.; Tondi, E.; Agosta, F.; Johnson, G.; Shackleton, R.

    2012-12-01

    Investigating the deformation processes as well as the characteristics and distribution of their end-products is a crucial issue to improve geo-fluid exploitation in carbonate reservoirs (≈50% of natural geo-fluids). Indeed, besides the primary controls on the petrophysical properties of limestones, which are due to nature and organization/shape of the constituent elements (i.e. grains, pores, cement, clay minerals), both containment and migration of fluids in these rocks are influenced by fault zones and fractures. In this contribution we integrate quantitative structural analysis and numerical modelling approaches aiming at testing a new workflow useful to create a 3D discrete fracture network (DFN) model of a reservoir starting from outcrop data collected in Favignana Island (Sicily, southern Italy). The presence of several quarries in the Island provides 3D exposures of ≈25 m-thick Lower-Pleistocene high-porosity grainstones crosscut by two conjugate sets of strike-slip faults. This fault system, documented by Tondi et al. (2012), is comprised of three types of structure: single compactive shear bands (CSB); zones of bands (ZB); and, faults. CSBs are narrow tabular features with porosity less than the surrounding host rocks, and have thicknesses and displacements on the order of a few mm. The growth process for these structures involves localizing further deformation within zones of closely-spaced CSBs and, possibly, along continuous slip surfaces within fault rocks overprinting older ZBs. The transitions from one growth step to another are recorded by different values of the dimensional parameters (i.e. length, thickness and displacement) for the structures. These transitions are also reflected by the ratios and distributions of the dimensional parameters. The DFN model was built by means of the Fracture Modelling module of the commercial software package Move from Midland Valley©. The analysis of an aerial photo was performed firstly to delimit the

  18. High Resolution Analysis of the Pollino Mts. Seisimc Sequence (south Italy): Unraveling the Fault System Architecture

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Totaro, Cristina; Seeber, Leonardo; Waldhauser, Felix; Steckler, Michael; Gervasi, Anna; Guerra, Ignazio; Orecchio, Barbara; Presti, Debora

    2014-05-01

    The Pollino Mts. region is located in a junction area between the Calabrian Arc and the southern Apennines domains (south Italy) and has been proposed, according to paleoseismological evidences, as a seismic gap capable to generate earthquakes of magnitude 6.5-7. In this area a seismic crisis of thousands of small to moderate earthquakes, with maximum magnitude Ml 5.0, has been occurring since Spring 2010 (Totaro & al., SRL 2013). We investigate the space-time evolution of the seismic activity in order to unravel the fault system architecture and its mechanical behaviour. We first obtained hi-precision hypocenter locations by applying the double-difference method and then refined them by relative timing by cross-correlation of seismograms (Waldhauser & Ellsworth, BSSA 2000; Schaff & al., BSSA 2004; Waldhauser & Schaff, JGR 2008). We also computed focal mechanisms by applying the waveform inversion "Cut And Paste" method (Zhao & Helmberger, BSSA 1994; Zhu & Helmberger, BSSA 1996). The combined use of high-resolution seismic catalogue, information on clusters of similar earthquakes and high quality focal mechanisms plus comparison with surface geology allow us to highlight important aspects of the mechanical behaviour of major and minor faults in the Pollino area. Seismicity defines multiple clusters, but the one furthest west is by far the most intense and is the main subject of our interpretation so far. The 3D pattern of hypocenters and focal mechanisms are consistent and image a NNW-striking and west-dipping fault zone between 5 and 10 km deep and 10 km along strike, with predominantly normal motion. This fault kinematics fits the overall pattern of active faults in the Mercure Basin and western Pollino area, although the strike of this currently seismogenic fault is more northerly than most faults highlighted in the area (Ghisetti & Vezzani, 1983; Brozzetti & al., Tectonophysics 2009). The cluster has a sharp floor at a depth of about 10 km and most of the

  19. Electromagnetic outline of the Solfatara-Pisciarelli hydrothermal system, Campi Flegrei (Southern Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Troiano, A.; Di Giuseppe, M. G.; Patella, D.; Troise, C.; De Natale, G.

    2014-05-01

    We describe the results from a combined controlled source audio magnetotelluric (CSAMT) and natural source magnetotelluric (MT) survey carried out in the Solfatara-Pisciarelli (S-P) area, located in the central part of the Campi Flegrei (CF) composite caldera, west of Naples, Southern Italy. The S-P area represents the most active zone within the CF caldera, in terms of hydrothermal manifestations and local seismicity. Since 1969, the CF caldera is experiencing ground deformation, seismicity and geochemical fluid changes, which are particularly evident in the S-P area. A 1 km long, nearly W-E directed CSAMT-MT profile crossing the fumarole field was carried out in the S-P area with the aim of deducting a resistivity model of the structural setting of the hydrothermal system in the first 3 km depth. An interpretation of the modelled section across the profile is given in this paper, taking advantage from already existing seismic, gravity and geochemical data in the same area. Three well distinct zones have been outlined. The first zone is a very shallow, electrically conductive body localized beneath the westernmost segment of the profile, which, within a short distance of about 100 m, dips westwards from near surface down to some hundred metres in depth. Mostly accounting for the very low resistivity (1-10 Ω m) and the exceedingly high values of vP/vS (> 4), this shallow zone has been ascribed to a water-saturated, high-pressurized geothermal reservoir. The second zone, which has been localized below the west-central portion of the CSAMT-MT transect, appears as a composite body made up of a nearly vertical plumelike structure that escapes at about 2.25 km depth from the top edge of the east side of a presumably horizontal platelike body. The plumelike structure rises up to the free surface in correspondence of the fumarole field, whereas the platelike structure deepens at least down to the 3 km of maximum exploration depth. The combined interpretation of

  20. Dark Oligotrophic Volcanic Ecosystems (DOVEs) in Fumarolic Ice Caves of Mt. Erebus Volcano

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Staudigel, H.; Anitori, R.; Davis, R.; Connell, L.; Tebo, B. M.

    2011-12-01

    Dark Oligotrophic Volcanic Ecosystems (DOVEs) in the earth's crust may host substantial biomass sustained by chemolithoautotrophic metabolic reactions. It may serve as the base of the foodweb at the surface via hydrothermal circulation, venting pore fluids, cold seeps or gases, and offer a means for primary carbon fixation. When compared to other crustal oligotrophic environments, DOVEs are particularly relevant due to their considerable reductive potential, high permeability and the substantial chemical exchange facilitated by their hydrothermal systems. We studied terrestrial DOVEs in fumarolic ice caves on the summit plateau of Mt Erebus, an active volcano on Ross Island, Antarctica (http://erebuscaves.nmt.edu/). Most of the ice caves on Mt Erebus are relatively shallow and illuminated by natural light, but some are deep enough to afford complete darkness. Fumarole gases forming these caves are mostly atmospheric, enriched with water vapor and CO2. The fumaroles were studied in three caves, Warren, Warren West and Harry's Dream; these displayed, respectively, temperatures of 18°C, 2°C and 11°C at our sampling sites. Both Warren caves were completely dark, while Harry's Dream received continuous indirect light during the Austral summer, and offered a control to the two dark caves. The composition of the resident microbial communities was assessed using 16S rRNA and ITS libraries, while metabolic and functional characteristics were analyzed by culturing. The latter results are presented by Anitori et al. (this session). The three cave soils displayed very low (Warren, Warren West) or moderate division-level diversity, with distinct communities in each environment. Acidobacteria was the only phylum detected in all three caves, and was a major component of each library. The phototroph-containing phyla Cyanobacteria, Chloroflexi, and Chlorophyta (latter eukaryotic) were only seen in Harry's Dream. A number of phyla whose members are known to oxidize Mn(II) or Fe

  1. Tamarugite in the Steam-Condensate Alteration Paragenesis in Diana Cave (SW Romania)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Puscas, C. M.; Onac, B. P.; Effenberger, H. S.; Povară, I.

    2012-12-01

    possibly aerosols. This highly aggressive alteration of the carbonate rock (known as sulfuric acid speleogenesis) extends from the ceiling of the cave downward to, or slightly below, the water table and is responsible for further enlargement of cave passages. Given the availability of SO42-, gypsum replacement crusts form in the subaerial part of the cave, as well as thin gypsum rafts at the water surface. The presence of tamarugite indicates sufficiently strong acid conditions in the steam-condensate film to dissolve clay minerals, releasing Na+ and Al3+ into the geochemical system. Conditions conducive to tamarugite precipitation in carbonate caves seem to be the presence of: 1) thermo-mineral water, which through surface evaporation and condensation on the cold cave walls causes steam-condensate alteration processes, 2) sulfuric acid, and 3) a constant source of Al3+ and Na+. Such conditions are seldom fulfilled in any ordinary limestone caves. The bedrock geology and the particular tectonics and hydrogeology of the Băile Herculane area seem to be the essential prerequisites, not only for the development of hypogene karst, but also for producing an outstanding cave mineral assemblage.

  2. Design of the monitoring system at the Sant'Alessio induced riverbank filtration plant (Lucca, Italy)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rossetto, Rudy; Barbagli, Alessio; Borsi, Iacopo; Mazzanti, Giorgio; Picciaia, Daniele; Vienken, Thomas; Bonari, Enrico

    2015-04-01

    In Managed Aquifer Recharge (MAR) schemes the monitoring system, for both water quality and quantity issues, plays a key role in assuring that a groundwater recharge plant is really managed. Considering induced Riverbank Filtration (RBF) schemes, while the effect of the augmented filtration consists in an improvement of the quality and quantity of the water infiltrating the aquifer, there is in turn the risk for groundwater contamination, as surface water bodies are highly susceptible to contamination. Within the framework of the MARSOL (2014) EU FPVII-ENV-2013 project, an experimental monitoring system has been designed and will be set in place at the Sant'Alessio RBF well field (Lucca, Italy) to demonstrate the sustainability and the benefits of managing induced RBF versus the unmanaged option. The RBF scheme in Sant'Alessio (Borsi et al. 2014) allows abstraction of an overall amount of about 0,5 m3/s groundwater providing drinking water for about 300000 people of the coastal Tuscany. Water is derived by ten vertical wells set along the Serchio River embankments inducing river water filtration into a high yield (10-2m2/s transmissivity) sand and gravel aquifer. Prior to the monitoring system design, a detailed site characterization has been completed taking advantage of previous and new investigations, the latter performed by means of MOSAIC on-site investigation platform (UFZ). A monitoring network has been set in place in the well field area using existing wells. There groundwater head and the main physico-chemical parameters (temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity and redox potential) are routinely monitored. Major geochemical compounds along with a large set of emerging pollutants are analysed (in cooperation with IWW Zentrum Wasser, Germany) both in surface-water and ground-water. The experimental monitoring system (including sensors in surface- and ground-water) has been designed focusing on managing abstraction efficiency and safety at

  3. GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS IN MANAGING OF TERRITORIAL RESOURCES: AN EXAMPLE FOR THE SABATINI GEOTHERMAL SYSTEM (CENTRAL ITALY)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Procesi, M.; Cinti, D.; Poncia, P.; de Rita, D.

    2009-12-01

    Geographic Information System (GIS) is very important tool in managing the interdisciplinary researches and territorial resources. GIS integrates data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. They can represent a scientific and social benefit. Here we present an application of GIS to a potentially exploitable geothermal area. The geothermal resource can be used either indirectly or directly. In the first case electricity is produced from high enthalpy systems. In second case heating and cooling systems are obtained from medium or low enthalpy systems. Italian geothermal resources employment is still poorly developed in direct use sector, despite the great geothermal potentials suitable for this purpuse. Often this limited application is due mainly to a inadequate territory knowledge and sometimes by difficulties in obtaining required information. In this case the creation of a geo-database can be extremely helpful. The studied area is located in Central Italy, just north of Rome, and comprise the western part of the Sabatini Volcanic District, Tolfa Mountains, extending up to Civitavecchia. Exploration surveys investigated this area during 70’s-90’s for geothermal purpose, but the area still results unexploited. The presence of thermal waters and of anomalous heat flow, together with demographical growing of the last years, make this site a suitable location for direct applications of the geothermal resource. Previews work and new data about geological, structural, hydrogeological, geochemical features have been processed to be recorded in a geo-database . Further, social data about demographical trend and available scientific record concerning the studied area fulfill the database. The majority of available geological information date back to early 90’s; an important part of the work consisted in the digitalization and updating of pre-existent data. The final product is a WEB-GIS that can

  4. Hominin-bearing caves and landscape dynamics in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dirks, Paul H. G. M.; Berger, Lee R.

    2013-02-01

    This paper provides constraints on the evolution of the landscape in the Cradle of Humankind (CoH), UNESCO World Heritage Site, South Africa, since the Pliocene. The aim is to better understand the distribution of hominin fossils in the CoH, and determine links between tectonic processes controlling the landscape and the evolution and distribution of hominins occupying that landscape. The paper is focused on a detailed reconstruction of the landscape through time in the Grootvleispruit catchment, which contains the highly significant fossil site of Malapa and the remains of the hominin species Australopithicus sediba. In the past 4 My the landscape in the CoH has undergone major changes in its physical appearance as a result of river incision, which degraded older African planation surfaces, and accommodated denudation of cover rocks (including Karoo sediments and various sil- and ferricretes) to expose dolomite with caves in which fossils collected. Differentially weathered chert breccia dykes, calibrated with 10Be exposure ages, are used to estimate erosion patterns of the landscape across the CoH. In this manner it is shown that 2 My ago Malapa cave was ˜50 m deep, and Gladysvale cave was first exposed; i.e. landscape reconstructions can provide estimates for the time of opening of cave systems that trapped hominin and other fossils. Within the region, cave formation was influenced by lithological, layer-parallel controls interacting with cross-cutting fracture systems of Paleoproterozoic origin, and a NW-SE directed extensional far-field stress at a time when the African erosion surface was still intact, and elevations were probably lower. Cave geometries vary in a systematic manner across the landscape, with deep caves on the plateau and cave erosion remnants in valleys. Most caves formed to similar depths of 1400-1420 mamsl across much of the CoH, indicating that caves no longer deepened once Pliocene uplift and incision occurred, but acted as passive

  5. Does the Cave Environment Reduce Functional Diversity?

    PubMed Central

    Fernandes, Camile Sorbo; Batalha, Marco Antonio; Bichuette, Maria Elina

    2016-01-01

    Caves are not colonised by all taxa present in the surface species pool, due to absence of light and the tendency to food limitation when compared to surface communities. Under strong species sorting during colonisation and later by the restrictive environmental filter, traits that are not adaptive in subterranean habitats may be filtered out. We tested whether cave communities were assembled by the restrictive regime propitiated by permanent darkness or by competitive exclusion due to resource scarcity. When compared to surface communities, the restrictive subterranean regime would lead to lower functional diversity and phenotypic clustering inside the caves, and the opposite should be expected in the case of competitive exclusion. Using isopods (Oniscidea) as model taxa, we measured several niche descriptors of taxa from surface and cave habitats, used a multivariate measure of functional diversity, and compared their widths. We found phenotypic overdispersion and higher functional diversity in cave taxa when compared to surface taxa. On the one hand, the dry climate outside of caves hampered the survival of several taxa and their ecological strategies, not viable under severe desiccation risk, culminating in the clustering of functional traits. In contrast, this restriction does not occur inside of caves, where isopods find favourable conditions under lower predation pressures and more amenable environmental parameters that allow occupation and subsequent diversification. Our results showed that, at least for some taxa, caves may not be such a harsh environment as previously thought. The high functional diversity we found inside caves adds an additional reason for the conservation of these sensitive environments. PMID:27003837

  6. Invertebrate diversity in relation to chemical pollution in an Umbrian stream system (Italy).

    PubMed

    Pallottini, Matteo; Goretti, Enzo; Gaino, Elda; Selvaggi, Roberta; Cappelletti, David; Céréghino, Régis

    2015-07-01

    We used self-organizing maps (SOM, neural network) to bring out patterns of benthic macroinvertebrate diversity in relation to river pollution. Fourteen stations were sampled over various seasons in the Nestore drainage basin (Central Italy) and characterized for macroinvertebrate communities, nutrient and heavy metal concentrations. Physicochemical variables were introduced into a SOM previously trained with macroinvertebrate data. Patterns of communities matched spatial and seasonal changes in environmental conditions, including water chemistry related to economic activities in the catchment. Although our analyses did not allow us to establish the specific effect of any given environmental parameter upon macroinvertebrate community composition based on the field study, they enabled us to map the ecological health of river ecosystems in a readily interpretable manner. PMID:26043800

  7. Field test of a calcite dissolution rate law: Fort's Funnel Cave, Mammoth Cave National Park

    SciTech Connect

    Slunder, J.S. ); Groves, C.G. . Center for Cave and Karst Studies)

    1994-03-01

    The laboratory-derived calcite dissolution rate law of Plummer et al. (1978) is the most widely used and mechanistically detailed expression currently available for predicting dissolution rates as a function of water chemistry. Such rate expressions are of great use in understanding timescales associated with limestone karst development. Little work has gone into the field testing of the rate law under natural conditions. This work measured dissolution rates by a crystal weight loss experiment in Buffalo Creek within Fort's funnel Cave, which lies within a pristine, forested catchment of Mammoth Cave National Park. Continuous water chemistry sampling over the same period allowed a time-integrated prediction of the dissolution based on the Plummer et al. (1978) expression. Results indicate that the rate law overpredicted dissolution by a factor of about ten. This concurs with earlier laboratory work suggesting that the law tends to overpredict rates in solutions close to equilibrium with respect to calcite, as were the waters within this part of the groundwater flow system.

  8. Top coal caving longwall maximizes thick seam recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Duncan, G.; Sobey,. G.; Clarke, T.

    2007-07-15

    Austar's longwall system offers opportunities in coal seams thicker than 4.5 meters. The Longwall Top Coal Caving (LTCC) method was recently launched in Australia at Yancoal Australia's Austar mines in Hunter Valley, although 90 such longwalls already operate in China. The article describes the method and its installation at Austar. In September 2006 the LTCC face commenced production. The operation is described and measures to prevent spontaneous combustion are outlined. Future work on the longwall is mentioned. 11 figs.

  9. Organic Sulfur Gas Production in Sulfidic Caves

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stern, L. A.; Engel, A. S.; Bennett, P. C.

    2001-12-01

    Lower Kane Cave, Big Horn Basin, WY, permits access to an environment where anaerobic sulfide-rich groundwater meets the aerobic vadose zone. At this interface microorganisms thrive on diverse metabolic pathways including autotrophic sulfur oxidation, sulfate reduction, and aerobic heterotrophy. Springs introduce groundwater rich in H2S to the cave where it both degasses into the cave atmosphere and is used by chemautotrophic sulfur oxidizing bacteria in the cave spring and stream habitat. The cave atmosphere in the immediate vicinity of the springs has elevated levels of CO2, H2S and methane, mirroring the higher concentration of H2S and methane in the spring water. The high CO2 concentrations are attenuated toward the two main sources of fresh air, the cave entrance and breathing holes at the rear of the cave. Conventional toxic gas monitors permit estimations of H2S concentrations, but they have severe cross sensitivity with other reduced sulfur gases, and thus are inadequate for characterization of sulfur cave gases. However employment of a field-based GC revealed elevated concentrations of carbonyl sulfide in cave atmosphere. Cultures of microorganisms collected from the cave optimized for enriching fermenters and autotrophic and heterophic sulfate reducing bacteria each produced carbonyl sulfide suggesting a biogenic in origin of the COS in addition to H2S. Enrichment cultures also produced methanethiol (methyl mercaptan) and an additional as yet undetermined volatile organic sulfur compound. In culture, the organo-sulfur compounds were less abundant than H2S, whereas in the cave atmosphere the organo-sulfur compounds were the dominant sulfur gases. Thus, these organo-sulfur gases may prove to be important sources of both reduced sulfur and organic carbon to microorganisms living on the cave wall in a subaerial habitat. Moreover groundwater has not yet been recognized as a source of sulfur gases to the atmosphere, but with the abundance of sulfidic

  10. Bilateral Meckel's cave amyloidoma: a case report.

    PubMed

    Gültaşli, N; van den Hauwe, L; Bruneau, M; D'Haene, N; Delpierre, I; Balériaux, D

    2012-05-01

    Primary solitary amyloidoma of Meckel's cave is rare, and a bilateral location is even more rare. To the best of our knowledge, only 12 cases in the literature have described such a primary lesion, including one case of bilateral involvement of Meckel's cave. We report here on the case of a 57-year-old woman presenting with pseudotumor masses involving both Meckel's caves and responsible for trigeminal neuropathy. The final diagnosis of amyloidoma was made on the basis of histological examination of surgical biopsy specimens. PMID:21641646