Volume 45, Issue 2 (2016)

Cover and Front Matter



U-Pb dating of speleogenetic dolomite: A new sulfuric acid speleogenesis chronometer
Victor J. Polyak, Paula P. Provencio, and Yemane Asmerom

  • Sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) produces sulfate, carbonate, and oxide byproducts.
  • Many SAS caves no long contain sulfate byproducts that are dateable by 40Ar/39Ar.
  • We applied U-Pb analyses of a dolomite crust sample from Carlsbad Cavern.
  • A model age of 4.1 +/- 1.3 Ma for the dolomite crusts matches the alunite age.
  • U-Pb dating of speleogenetic dolomite is a new way of measuring the timing of SAS.


Morphological and mineralogical characterization of speleothems from the Chimalacatepec lava tube system, Central Mexico
Rafael López-Martínez, Ricardo Barragán, Hugo Beraldi-Campesi, Tomáš Lánczos, Juan R. Vidal-Romaní, Roman Aubrecht, Juan P. Bernal Uruchurtu, Teresa Pi Puig, and Ramón Espinasa-Pereña

  • Opal-A speleothems from acharacterized.
  • Microscopic observations reveal the presence of biomorphs.
  • The formations from Chimalacatepec lava tube system are classified as biospeleothems.
  • The study shed light on the diversity of speleothems from volcanic caves.


Age re-assessment of the cave bear assemblage from Urşilor Cave, north-western Romania
Marius V. Robu

  • Results of the P4, K and Index of Plumpness indicate an earlier evolutionary stage.
  • All three indices should be used with precaution when analyzing MIS 3 cave bear sites.
  • Urşilor cave bear population seem to belong to a eastern clade of U. Ingressus group.


Search for an artificially buried karst cave entrance using ground penetrating radar: a successful case of locating the S-19 Cave in the Mt. Kanin massif (NW Slovenia)
Andrej Gosar and Teja Čeru

  • Cave entrance buried under debris should be located using a geophysical method.
  • For thick debris which overlays limestone surface a low-frequency GPR was selected.
  • GPR profiles were measured across rough surface using special RTA antennas.
  • In recorded radargrams a topographic depression with the cave was clearly imaged.
  • The exact cave location and debris thickness were proven by successful excavation.


Life in the Underworld: Anchialine cave biology in the era of speleogenomics
Jorge L. Pérez-Moreno, Thomas M. Iliffe, and Heather D. Bracken-Grissom

  • Anchialine cave organisms serve as ideal study subjects for evolutionary biology.
  • Genomic methods can be especially useful for large-scale biodiversity studies.
  • Genomics has great potential to study connectivity, diversification, & speciation of cave fauna.
  • Transcriptomic approaches will elucidate the mechanisms of evolution in extreme environments.
  • Modern technologies considerably expand the breadth & depth of questions to be answered.


Characterization of minothems at Libiola (NW Italy): morphological, mineralogical, and geochemical study
Cristina Carbone, Enrico Dinelli, and Jo De Waele

  • Fe-rich concretions in Libiola Mine are studied
  • The word minothems is coined for secondary mineral precipitated in mine environments
  • Mineralogy, texture, and chemistry of minothems were analyzed
  • Studied minothems are made of ferrihydrite that transforms into goethite upon aging
  • Low crystalline goethite easily retains toxic elements into its structure