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The International Journal of Speleology is the official journal of the Union Internationale de Spéléologie since 1978 and was founded in 1964. It is a double-blind, peer-reviewed, international scientific journal that publishes research and review articles concerning all sciences involved in karst and caves, such as geology, geomorphology, hydrology, archeology, paleontology, (paleo)climatology, cave meteorology, (geo)microbiology, environmental sciences, physics, chemistry, mineralogy, etc. IJS is published three times per year.

Articles are open access at http://scholarcommons.usf.edu/ijs. The journal is abstracted and indexed in the following services: Directory of Open Access Journals, ISI Thomson Services (Science Citation Index-Expanded including the Web of Science, ISI Alerting Service, Current Contents/Physical, Chemical and Earth Sciences), Bibliography & Index of Geology (GeoRef, Cambridge Scientific Abstracts, EarthScienceWISE (Oxmill Publishing), EBSCO publishing, Geobase, Speleological Abstracts (UIS), Ulrich’s Periodical Directory ™, BIOSIS Zoological record, SCOPUS (Elsevier), and SCImago Journal and Country Rank.

In Journal of Citation Reports®, Thomson Reuters 2020

NEW ISSUE IN PROGRESS: Volume 50, issue 3 (2021)

Current Issue: Volume 50, Issue 2 (2021)



Ecophysiological responses of two closely related epigean and hypogean Niphargus species to hypoxia and increased temperature: Do they differ?
Tatjana Simčič and Boris Sket

  • Oxygen consumption of both Niphargus species increased during post-hypoxic recovery
  • Oxygen consumption of hypogen species gradually decreased after reaching maximum
  • Increased temperature modified the metabolic responses to hypoxia
  • Responses differed between closely related epigean and hypogean Niphargus species


Bacteria, guano and soot: Source assessment of organic matter preserved in black laminae in stalagmites from caves of the Sierra de Atapuerca (N Spain)
Joeri Kaal, Virginia Martínez-Pillado, Antonio Martínez Cortizas, Jorge Sanjurjo Sánchez, Arantza Aranburu, Juan-Luis Arsuaga, and Eneko Iriarte

  • We determined the molecular composition of speleothem organics in black laminae
  • Py-GC-MS and THM-GC-MS indicate bacteria, soot and guano remains
  • Soot marks nearby human activity but microbial sources prevail
  • Molecular screening of bulk organics is a tool to decide further targeted analyses


Microbially-mediated carbonate dissolution and precipitation; towards a protocol for ex-situ, cave-analogue cultivation experiments
Vanessa E. Johnston, Andrea Martín-Pérez, Sara Skok, and Janez Mulec

  • Carbonate tablets inoculated with microbes from Postojna Cave, Slovenia, were observed with SEM
  • Microbes and extracellular polymeric substances seen on polished tablet surfaces
  • Microbially-mediated calcite dissolution/precipitation occurred in cave-like conditions
  • Evidence of entombment of microbes in a Si-rich precipitate
  • Methodological improvements suggested for ex-situ cave-analogue cultivation experiments


Flow dynamics in a vadose shaft – a case study from the Hochschwab karst massif (Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria)
Eva Kaminsky, Lukas Plan, Thomas Wagner, Barbara Funk, and Pauline Oberender

  • Highly dynamic runoff (factor 9500) in a vadose canyon 100 m below the surface
  • Transit velocities differ by three orders of magnitude between base and high flow
  • Recession analysis and numerical modelling indicate a low water storage volume


Multi-criteria analysis for mapping susceptibility to iron formation caves development in the Gandarela mountain range (MG), southeast Brazil
Iraydes Tálita Nola and Luis Almeida Bacellar

  • Karst features in iron-rich geological materials are described
  • The genesis and geographical location of iron caves are not yet properly defined
  • The susceptibility of caves using fuzzy AHP demonstrate good predictive ability
  • Iron formation caves susceptibility map is useful for speleological prospecting
  • Slope gradient criterion was relevant for assessing the susceptibility of caves


The impact of burning on the structure and mineral composition of bat guano
Joyce Lundberg and Donald A. McFarlane

  • Many features of burnt guano cannot easily be distinguished from non-burnt guano
  • Rapid dehydration from burning causes morphological change to crystals (cracking, striations)
  • Many so-called “high temperature” minerals are not diagnostic of fire, other than graphite.
  • Most “high temperature” minerals can also be produced at low temperatures
  • Spontaneous combustion of guano (without human involvement) is extremely unlikely


Cave-dwelling heleomyzid flies (Diptera: Heleomyzidae) from the Polish caves. Historical overview and new data
Joanna Kocot-Zalewska and Andrzej J. Woźnica

  • Altogether 23 heleomyzid species from 7 genera were identified
  • 1 species was considered as troglobiont, i.e., Oecothea praecox
  • 11 species were recognized as eutroglophiles, 9 as subtroglophiles, 2 as trogloxenes
  • Dominant taxa: Scoliocentra brachypterna, Heleomyza captiosa, Eccoptomera pallescens
  • The highest number of species has been found in the Kraków-Częstochowa Upland


Molecular phylogeny of cave dwelling Eremogryllodes crickets (Orthoptera, Myrmecophilidae) across Zagros Mountains and Southern Iran
Mohadeseh Sadat Tahami, Mina Hojat-Ansari, Anna Namyatova, and Saber Sadeghi

  • 16S rRNA marker strongly supports the monophyly of Myrmecophilidae
  • Molecular species tend to be clustered geographically
  • The 16s marker could only partially separate the morpho-species
  • Our study suggests the presence of cryptic species inside caves
  • More gene markers are needed to resolve the taxonomy of Eremogryllodes species