Glossary of Karst related terms
Abbreviations and conventions
Syn. = synonym (word with same meaning);
Cf. = confer (compare) with the following term which is not identical but related to it;
n. = noun;
adj. = adjective;
A word in brackets on the left-hand side (in upper case) is commonly used in conjunction with the following or preceding word without altering the meaning;
A word underlined is defined elsewhere in this list.
Non-living. E.g. abiotic factors in cave environments would include physical and chemical attributes such as temperature, humidity and acidity (pH).
(n.) An animal accidentally living in a cave, usually either fallen or washed in, but can include those carried in: i.e., parasites on mammals, other vertebrates or invertebrates. Used for both aquatic and terrestrial species.
An inherited structural, functional or behavioural characteristic of an organism which improves its chances for survival and reproduction in a particular microhabitat or environment. (See also troglomorphic adaptations.)
Referring to water which is still capable of dissolving more limestone, other karst rock, or speleothems.
mesh or network of tubes or half-tubes, often confined to a bedding plane and usually related to the tube conduits formed in the phreatic zone.
Pair of "feelers" on heads of crustaceans, insects and other invertebrates that function as sensory organs.
Pertaining to organisms that live in water.
A body of rock capable of allowing subterranean water to be stored, transmitted or issue yield as discharge and also capable of absorbing recharge.
A less common crystalline form of calcium carbonate belonging to the orthorhombic crystal class, dimorphous with calcite, but denser than calcite.
A product of human manufacture or art, e.g. tools of bone, stone flakes, etc., paintings, engravings. In caves, tools are often buried in sediment.
The most common group of animals inhabiting caves, including insects, crustaceans, spiders, millipedes, etc. They have jointed limbs and external skeletons.
A relatively stable sub-community of different species living in a characteristic habitat and also characterised by essential uniformity of species composition.
An underground vertical shaft leading upward from a cave passage or cave chamber, which often connects with other passages or shafts above and may be the underground entry point for recharge waters from a sinkhole, streamsink or swallet.
Unicellular microscopic plant organisms, sometimes aggregated in filaments, which can manufacture their own food without sunlight; probably important in caves as decomposers and perhaps as chemosynthetic autotrophs.
Karst with much exposed bedrock. Syn. unmantled karst.
Referring to water moving with some speed through downward looping passages in the phreatic zone.
A depositional layer of sedimentary bedrock or unconsolidated sediment.
A narrow, rectilinear slot in a karst rock outcrop due to solution along a bedding-plane.
A surface separating two beds, usually planar.
Of biological origin. Syn. organic.
The study of the geographical distribution of animals and plants over the globe. Cf. zoogeography and phytogeography
The total mass or weight of living matter, usually relates to a given area, habitat or community.
The separated or interconnected network of "spaces" as air or water-filled cracks, pipes, vertical channels, tubes, voids or microcaverns, horizontal conduits and larger cavities including caves that are inhabited by invertebrates, including in the interstitial medium and saturated zone.
The scientific study of plant or animal organisms living in caves; usually applied to studies of cavernicoles.
Sum total of all plants and animals.
Pertaining to biota.
A valley that is closed abruptly at its lower end by a cliff or slope facing up the valley. It may have a perennial or intermittent stream which sinks at its lower end or it may be a dry valley. (BONE) BRECCIA:
A fragmented deposit usually composed of angular clasts (and/or bone fragments).
A dendritic system of underground streams or passages wherein branches join successively to form a major stream or passage.
A limestone or dolomite rock with a sandy texture, including silica sand fragments and sand-sized coral or shell fragments and possibly other sand sized particles derived from the weathering of older limestones; commonly deposited on or near coastlines by wind and referred to as aeolian calcarenites. (Calcarenites are found in northeast Tasmania and on the Bass Strait islands.)
The commonest calcium carbonate (CaCO3) mineral and the main constituent of limestone, with different crystal forms in the hexagonal-rhombohedral crystal subsystem; dimorphous with aragonite.
(1) A deep valley with steep to vertical walls; in karst frequently formed by a river rising on impervious rocks outside the karst area.
(2) A deep, elongated cavity cut by running water in the roof or floor of a cave or forming a cave passage.
An animal that lives by eating the "flesh" of other animals.
The area drained by various sized watercourses including dolines.
A natural subterranean cavity (or series of cavities) large enough to be humanly enterable, commonly formed by solution of carbonate rock in karst, but may also be formed by wind, fluvial erosion or collapse (see "Pseudokarst"). It may be an air-filled or water-filled cavity. Syn. cavern.
All the cavernicolous animals (and plants) that live together in cave habitats, "bound" together by food chains and other inter-related processes.
An accumulation of material other than speleothems, such as charcoal, fossils, skeletal remains and floodborne debris as well as clay, silt, sand and gravel. (See "Cave Fill".)
The study of the interaction and relationships between cave organisms and their environment, e.g. energy input from surface, climatic influences, etc. (See also cave ecosystem and cave community.)
Clay, silt, fine sand and/or humus deposited in a cave. Syn. cave fill.
The ecological system formed by the interaction of the biotic community with its abiotic environment; in biospleleological terms: the coacting organisms of the cave community with their subterranean bio-space environment.
Transported materials such as silt, clay, sand and gravel which cover the bedrock floor or partially or wholly block some part of a cave. (See also "Palaeokarst")
A collection of caves or cavities in a given area which are interconnected by enterable passages or linked hydrologically. Also used as a term for a cave with an extensive complex of chambers and passages.
An animal which normally lives in caves; includes accidentals, trogloxenes, troglophiles and troglobites and their aquatic equivalents: stygoxenes, stygophiles, and stygobites.
A very large chamber within a cave. Also syn. cave.
Any animal (invertebrate) found living in a cave for the whole or part of its life cycle.
The entering and exploration of caves.
The largest order of cavity in a cave, with considerable width and length but not necessarily great height.
A vertical or nearly vertical opening in a cave, narrow enough to be climbed by chimneying.
Transported sediment deposited on a slope.
A speleothem from floor to ceiling, formed by the growth of a stalactite and a stalagmite to join, or by the growth of either to meet bedrock.
An underground stream course completely filled with water and under hydrostatic pressure or a circular or elliptical passage inferred to have been such a stream course.
The interconnected air-filled or water-filled solutional or hydrological network of space/s in any area of karstified carbonate rock.
A scavenger which feeds on animal dung, including guano.
The wearing away of bedrock or loose sediment by mechanical action of moving agents, especially water. i.e. corrosion and abrasion
An area of forest of variable size, shape and orientation on which timber harvesting takes place, usually followed by forest regeneration activity.
Karst where the bedrock is mainly concealed by mulch and litter, soil or surficial deposits. Syn. mantled karst.
(adj.) Term used to describe cavernicoles which may be difficult to locate, due to being very small (often <5mm) or secretive by nature or virtue of their preferred habitat, e.g. in narrow wall crevices or the interstitial spaces in soil and streamside deposits.
The assemblage of small terrestrial animals found living in darkness beneath stones, logs, bark, etc. often in cave entrances and includes species which are potential colonisers of caves.
The insulated (inner) stable part of a cave shielded from external factors where conditions remain relatively constant all year round including a relatively constant temperature that approximates the annual surface mean and high humidity (often near saturation point) with a very low rate of evaporation and in Tasmanian caves, this zone is also characterised by low nutrient input. Syn. "troglic" zone; "deep cave" zone.
Living things, chiefly bacteria and fungi, that live by extracting energy from tissues of dead animals and plants.
Cave features due to secondary mineral precipitation, usually of calcite. Syn. speleothem, sometimes referred to as "formations".
Pertaining to detritus-feeding invertebrates.
Aggregate of fragments from organic structures, as detached or broken-down tissues; small pieces of dead and decomposing plants and animals.
The outflow drainage of aquifer waters.
DISJUNCT (VICARIANT) DISTRIBUTION PATTERN:
Relates to the separate occurrences of corresponding species in separate karst areas; these species are related to a (now extinct) once widespread surface-dwelling common ancestor. Cf:Distributional Relict, Phylogenetic.
Relates to a species surviving in an area isolated from the main or original distribution area usually as a result of intervention of broad scale environmental events such as glaciation or continental drift, e.g. Gondwanan relict or Pangean relict species.
A closed depression, often basin-shaped or roughly conical, funnel-shaped depressions, usually formed in the karst land surface of carbonate rock area, as a result of solution or collapse of underlying carbonate rock strata. Dolines have a simple but variable form, e.g. cylindrical, conical, bowl or dish-shaped, and may vary in size dimensions from a few metres to many hundreds of metres wide. Dolines also include sinkholes, which are sites of sinking water that drain underground in karst. Dolines may occur as a network of adjoining collapse or sinkhole features in polygonal karst, separated by narrow ridges of limestone; where two or more dolines may coalesce, the larger feature is usually known as a uvala. Dolines may be be mantled by subsequent glacial drift deposits. Where carbonate rock has dissolved or collapsed beneath other rock types, dolines may form in the overlying rock strata:these are commonly termed as interstratal karst depressions and in Tasmania, there are several examples in the Jurassic Dolerite at Mt. Field (adjoining the Junee-Florentine karst) and in the Permian Mudstone above the Hastings and Ida Bay karsts.
(1) A mineral consisting of the double carbonate of magnesium and calcium, CaMg(CO3)2.
(2) A carbonate rock made chiefly of dolomite mineral.
A valley without a surface stream channel; may be the result of solution or collapse of underlying carbonate rock strata (cf: doline) or have been formed during a previous erosion cycle, when underground conduits where choked or filled with sediment.
An animal (invertebrate) dwelling in the soil.
Pertaining to the domain immediately beneath the surface, i.e. within the soil or under plant litter.
The interface between surface and subterranean (underground) environments leading internally into the twilight zone.
Pertaining to the biological domain at the surface or above it, including streams.
Referring to water moving with some speed in the intermittently or seasonally saturated or floodwater zone on top of the phreatic zone or in the zone liable to be temporarily part of the phreatic zone in flood time.
Pertaining to the upper/ outer layer of karstified carbonate rock in the unsaturated zone, immediatlely below the soil layer.
The wearing away of bedrock or sediment by mechanical and chemical actions of all moving agents such as rivers, wind and glaciers at the surface or in caves.
A process by which water is lost from a catchment or karst surface which includes evaporation of water from wet surfaces as well as transpiration of water from trees and plants.
A spring fed only by percolation water.
A fracture separating two parts of a once continuous rock body with relative movement along the fault plane.
An open crack in rock or soil.
A narrow, verical cave passage, often developed along a joint but not necessarily so. Usually due to solution but sometimes to tension.
A passage, which, though wide, is so low that movement is only possible in a prone position.
Syn. suspended sediment.
Pertaining to processes of flowing water. Cf. lotic.
A series of plants or animals linked together by their food relationships or a specific nutrient and energy pathway. (See also food web.)
An interlocking system of separate food chains in any (cave) community.
The remains or traces of animals or plants preserved in rocks or sediments.
The conservation of geodiversity protecting natural values that encompas its ecological and geoheritage values.
The range or diversity of geologic (bedrock), geomorphic (landform) and soil features, assemblages, systems and processes.
Pretaining to the fluvial processes of meltwater discharged from a glacier.
Water below the level at which all voids in the rock are completely filled saturated. Syn. phreatic water in saturated zone below water table.
A room in a cave of moderate dimensions but richly decorated.
Large accumulations of dung, often partly mineralized, including rock fragments, animal skeletal material and products of reactions between excretions and rock. In caves, derived from bats and to a lesser extent from birds.
The mineral hydrated calcium sulphate, CaSO4.2H2O.
The immediate surroundings (in the specific bio-space) of plants or animals (cavernicoles), with everything necessary for life of the organism that normally lives there.
A semi-cylindrical, elongate recess in a cave surface, often meandering or anastomosing.
An irregular, gravity-defying speleothem with eccentric form (usually composed of calcite or aragonite), which at one or more stages of its growth changes its axis from the vertical to give a curving or angular form.
Chemicals used to kill plants.
An animal that eats plants.
The amount of water vapour in the air; usually expressed as a ratio of the amount of vapour present in air at a given temperature as compared to the amount of vapour that could be present in air at that temperature. Particularly relevant to the deep zone or dark zone of caves where climatic conditions tend to be constant with very little evaporative moisture loss, but also applicable in the entrance zone or twilight zone of many Tasmanian caves in forested karst areas.
Pertaining to the subterranean domain below the endogean, including the dark zone of caves.
Pertaining to water flowing over streambeds in lotic environments.
Of non-biological origin.
Chemicals used to kill insects.
In biological terms usually relates to the covering, investing or coating structure or layer on the outer surface of arthropods, e.g. spiders and beetles.
Spaces between grains of sand or fine gravel.
Animals without backbones. Includes the annelids (worms), molluscs (snails) and arthropods found in caves. (See also macroinvertebrates).
The minor (small scale) surface forms of karst due to solution of carbonate rock on the immediate surface or under soil layers.
Terrain with special landforms and drainage characteristics due to greater solubility of certain rocks (notably carbonate rocks such as limestone, dolomite or magnesite) in natural waters. Derived from the geographical name "krs" from part of the karst terrain in Slovenia.
Pertaining to karst.
A periodic or cyclic process, where phases of active solutional development of karst are followed by infilling of karst conduits and voids, depending on global climatic regimes.
KARST HYDROGRAPHIC ZONES:
The three vertically aligned subterranean divisions of karst into upper unsaturated zone, intermittently saturated epiphreatic (or floodwater) zone and lower saturated (phreatic) zone.
An irregular opening often through a thin rock wall in a cave, usually with a stream flowing through.
The active immature, but self-sustaining and independent stage of invertebrate species, prior to assuming the characteristic features of an adult form.
A sedimentary rock consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, (CaC03), derived from the accumulated deposition (and fossilisation) of the calcareous remains of marine or freshwater organisms.
Contains the aquatic cavernicoles.
Pertaining to the aquatic environment of running water.
Larger invertebrates that are visible to the naked eye.
Usually considered as a mineral, but in geomorphic terms as a form of magnesium carbonate rock (cf: dolomite) with varying amounts of magnesium, calcite or iron and may be susceptable to karst solution processes, e.g. the magnesite karst at Savage River in northwestern Tasmania.
Dislodgment and downslope transport of soil and bedrock under the influence of gravity.
The rate at which an organism transforms food into energy and body tissue; most cave animals, particularly the obligates in the dark zone have a reduced metabolic rate.
Predominantly air-filled cavities ranging in size from "fist" sized voids or smaller, usually referring to those bio-space voids in the epikarstic region of the unsaturated zone and can be considered to include all cavities that are not large enough to be defined as caves. Syn. microcaves.
The climate (i.e. temperature, humidity, air movements, etc.) of a restricted area or space, e.g. of a cave or on a lesser scale of the space beneath stones in a cave. (See microhabitat).
The individual faunal habitat or niche within a larger (cave) environment; maybe used to encompass broad regions such as the dark zone or smaller defined habitat niches,where environmental conditions differ from those in a surrounding area, e.g. under logs, in wall crevices or in the interstitial medium.
A complex pattern of repeatedly connecting passages in a cave.
An organisms place in the cave ecosystem:
where it lives, what it consumes, what consumes it and how it interacts with all biotic and abiotic factors.
Referring to water moving slowly in cavities in the phreatic zone.
Pertaining to a juvenile form, particularly related to juvenile insects without wings or with incomplete wings.
Pertaining to a species which is unable to live outside the cave environment, often found in the dark zone and may display troglomorphic adaptations.
An animal (cavernicole) which habitually eats both plants and animals, e.g. the rhaphidophorid cave crickets.
Of biological origin. Syn. biogenic.
A cave from which a stream discharge flows or formerly did so, and which cannot be followed upstream to the surface.
"Fossil" karst: cave or karst features remnant from a previous phase or period of karstification, characterised by the presence of ancient (buried) deposits, as lithified cave fills or (bone) breccias.
An organism which at some stage in its life history derives its food from the tissues of another organism; in cave ecosystems, the Acarina (ticks and mites) are commonly found as parasites on other invertebrates or vertebrates.
Animals found on walls around cave entrances.
A cavity which is much longer than it is wide or high and may join larger cavities.
Usually related to free-moving marine organisms within the water column, but also used in this report to differentiate between the benthic and surface living aquatic invertebrates in cave streams.
Water moving mainly downwards through pores, cracks and tight fissures in the unsaturated epikarstic zone and vadose zone; may also relate to water draining underground from a swallet or streamsink.
The property of rock or soil permitting water to pass through it. Primary permeability depends on interconnecting pores between the grains of the material. Secondary permeability depends on solutional widening of joints and bedding planes and on other solution cavities in the rock.
Zone usually below the water table where voids or tubes in the rock are completely saturated with water. Syn. saturated zone.
Pertaining to an ancient lineage with a long history of development for the species. Viz. race history
An animal association found in the interstitial medium of water separating grains of sand or fine gravel. Syn. phreatobites.
A tubular cavity projecting as much as several metres down from the surface into karst rocks and often filled with earth, sand, gravel, breccia, etc.
A large extensive closed depression draining underground, with a flat floor across which there may be an intermittent or perennial stream and which may be liable to flood and become a lake. The floor makes a sharp break with parts of surrounding slopes. The polje may be a regional karst feature which includes other smaller depressions such as dolines or swallets.
Karst completely pitted by crowded closed depressions, dolines or sinkholes so that narrow ridge-like divides between them form a crudely polygonal shaped network.
(1) Any sediment which accumulated in a pool in a cave. :
(2) Crystalline deposits precipitated in a cave pool, usually of crystalline shape as well as structure.
Individuals of a species in a given locality which potentially form a single interbreeding group separated by physical barriers from other such populations (e.g. populations of the same species in two quite separate caves).
The property of rock or soil of having small voids between the constituent particles. The voids may not interconnect.
A vertical or nearly vertical shaft or chimney open to the surface.
An animal which captures other animals for its food.
Terrain with landforms (including caves) which resemble those of karst but are not the product of karst solution processes.
The inactive stage in the life history of certain insects during which the larva undergoes a gradual reorganisation of its tissues in the process of metamorphosis to becoming an adult.
The process involving the input or intake (absorption) of water into the zone/s of saturation in karst aquifers; also relates to the quantity of water added to the saturation zone.
Concept used to describe the adaptive traits or troglomorphies of obligate cavernicoles, particularly those species that only live in the dark zone. Examples of these traits include: reduced eye size, loss of visual ability or loss of eyes; reduced body pigmentation (or no pigment); loss of wings (in insects, such as carabid beetles); elongated appendages including antennae; longer and greater density spines or setae (hairs); and reduced metabolic rate.
See Distributional Relict
Old cave forms produced by earlier geomorphic processes within the present phase or period of karstification and open to modification by present day processes such as deposition of speleothems, sediments or skeletal deposits.
A spring where a stream, which has a course higher up on the surface, reappears lower down at the surface.
A long, narrow, high and straight cave passage controlled by planes of weakness in the rock. Cf. fissure.
Usually solutional karren formed by air currents with airborne moisture forming closely situated often parallel to sub-parallel vertical grooves.
A deposit formed by precipitation from water flowing over the rim of a pool.
A ridge or rib of rimstone, often curved convexly downstream.
A pool held up by a rimstone dam; these may range in size from a few millimetres (microgours) to several metres. Syn. gours.
Pertaining to streambanks and streamsides. The term could possibly be expanded to include the perimeter area around dolines, particularly those which act as swallets.
A smooth-surfaced rock projection from the roof of a cave due to solution. Usually found in groups. Cf. speleogen.
A part of a cave, wider than a passage but not as large as a chamber.
Surface karst solution feature consisting of rounded grooves in e.g. limestone, normally formed under soil or under heavy litter/ moss layers.
A scavenger feeding on decaying organic material.
(1) Referring to rock with water-filled voids. :
(2) Referring to water which has dissolved as much limestone or other karst rock as it can under normal conditions.
The zone below the water table, composed of the shallow phreatic zone, deep phreatic (or bathyphreatic) zone and stagnant phreatic zone. Syn. phreatic zone.
Characteristically small shallow, asymmetric hollows produced by flowing water, with current markings that intersect to form points which are directed downstream.
Faecal pellets or animal droppings, which may provide an important source of food in caves.
An animal that eats dead remains and wastes of other animals and plants (cf. coprophage, necrophage, saprophage).
A cave in present-day or emerged sea cliffs, formed by wave attack or solution.
A plot of the shape and details of a cave in a particular intersecting plane, called the section plane, which is usually vertical.
Material recently deposited by water, ice or wind, or precipitated from water.
Syn. percolation water.
A vertical cavity roughly equal in horizontal dimensions but much deeper than broad. Wider than a chimney.
A word of American origin used to describe sites of sinking water in a carbonate rock (karst) area; often formed in a doline. Sinkholes also include swallets, and like dolines, can be mantled in by subsequent glacial drift deposits. (In the UK and other parts of Europe, a sinkhole is often referred to as a "swallowhole".)
A waterfilled passage of inverted U-profile which delivers a flow of water whenever the head of water upstream rises above the top of the inverted U.
A track along which logs are dragged by machinery such as bulldozers during timber harvesting or logging operations.
Usually relates to the slow movement or flow of saturated soil or rock fragment masses down slopes and may be applied to subaqueous flowage.
In karst study, the change of bedrock from the solid state to the liquid state by combination with water. In physical solution the ions of the rock go directly into solution without transformation. In chemical solution acids take part, especially the weak carbonic acid formed by hydration of carbon dioxide (CO2).
A solution hollow running down the maximum slope of the rock, of uniform fingertip width and depth, with sharp ribs between it and its neighbours.
A dish-shaped depression on flattish rock; its sides may overhang and carry solution flutes. Its bottom may have a cover of organic remains, silt, clay or rock fragments.
A solution hollow running down the maximum slope of the rock, larger than a solution flute and increasing in depth and width down its length. Thick ribs between neighbouring runnels may be sharp and carry solution flutes.
A group of (invertebrate) animals that have a high degree of similarity and are actually or potentially interbreeding populations reproductively isolated from other such groups by their biology, not simply by physical barriers. Cf. speciation.
A cave feature formed erosionally or by weathering in cave enlargement such as current marking scallops, rock pendants, canyons or spongework.
The exploration, description and scientific study of caves, their contents, various related attributes of subterranean environments and related phenomena of karst terrains.
A cave feature (decoration) formed by the chemical deposition of secondary minerals, most commonly calcite (CaCO3).
A complex of irregular, inter-connecting cavities intricately perforating the rock. The cavities may range from a few centimetres to more than a metre across.
A natural flow of water from rock or soil onto the land surface or into a body of surface water. Syn. rising.
An opening in a cave only passable with effort because of its small dimensions. Cf. flattener, crawl (way).
A speleothem hanging or "growing" downwards from a roof or wall, usually of cylindrical or conical form, with a central hollow tube.
A speleothem projecting vertically upwards from a cave floor and formed by precipitation from drips, often found directly under a stalactite.
A steep-sided valley in karst, generally short, ending abruptly upstream where a stream emerges or formerly did so.
A long, thin-walled tubular stalactite less than about 1cm in diameter that elongates as minerals are deposited at the lower tip by seepage water flows dripping through its hollow interior. May eventually form a stalactite.
A point at which a surface stream disappears underground; may be empty into a collapse feature, cave feature such as shaft or be the gradual downward percolation through streambed gravels or boulders. Cf. swallet.
The orientation, relative to north, of beds of rocks, usually defined as the direction of a horizontal line in a bedding plane, especially applicable in rocks inclined from the horizontal. On level ground it is the direction of outcrop of inclined beds.
A term originally coined to describe the aquatic obligates in subterranean groundwaters and cave streams (i.e., the stygofauna), particularly relevant to species with troglomorphies that are restricted to groundwater habitats, i.e., the aquatic troglobites and phreatobia (phreatobites). The term is now expanded to cover the aquatic equivalents of terrestrial cavernicoles in karstic groundwaters: stygobites, stygophiles and stygoxenes and also covers aquatic species in alluvial groundwaters. (See Gibert, et al., 1994 and Marmonier, et al. 1993.)
An obligate aquatic species of hypogean waters with troglomorphic adaptations, an aquatic equivalent of a (terrestrial) troglobite. Cf. stygobiont. In the expanded definition, stygobites also include the obligatory hypogean forms present in alluvial groundwaters, sometimes found very close to the surface and the phreatobites: stygobites which are restricted to the deep groundwater substrata of alluvial aquifers.(See Gibert, et al. 1994 and Marmonier, et al. 1993.)
Ecologically descriptive term covering (aquatic) groundwater fauna.
A facultative stygobiont, usually lacking troglomorphies, and considered as the aquatic equivalent of a (terrestrial) troglophile. In the expanded definition relating to porous aquifers, stygophiles are divided into three categories: occasional hyporheos, essentially the larvae of aquatic insects (which require an aerial epigean stage to complete their life cycle); amphibites, whose life cycle requires the use of both surface and groundwater systems; and permanent hyporheos - the diverse assemblage of species present in all life stages in the groundwater or benthic habitats. (See Gibert, et al., 1994.)
An habitual stygobiont (aquatic species) which spends only part of its life cycle in cave waters and returns periodically to the epigean domain for food.
Pertaining to underground environments (in karst).
A point in a cave passage when the water meets the roof.
Referring to water that has more calcium carbonate or other karst rock mineral in solution than the maximum corresponding to normal conditions.
In caving, the measurement of directions and distances between survey points and of cave details from them, and the plotting of cave plans and sections from these measurements either graphically or after computation of co-ordinates.
Small particles of insoluble organic or inorganic matter suspended in the water column. Syn. flocculant, suspended solid.
Usually related to karst, may be considered as a form of sinkhole, but could refer to a streamsink; (often associated with a cave entrance) and is one of the major entry points for recharge waters that drain underground in carbonate rock areas such as limestone. Swallets may empty directly into open or choked cave features such as shafts or avens, or simply be a zone of gradual downward percolation from the base of a streambed.
Affixing a metal tag bearing a cave number near its entrance, normally by means of rock drill and a small nail or screw.
The un-paired terminal abdominal segment of Crustacea, e.g. telson of anaspidean syncarids.
Reddish residual clay soil developed on limestone.
Pertaining to animals living on "land" surfaces in epigean, endogean or hypogean environments.
(1) That part of a cave near the entrance where surface climatic conditions rapidly grade into cave climatic conditions. Not necessarily identical with twilight zone.
(2) Slope or cliff facing up a blind or half-blind valley below a present or former streamsink.
A cave which may be followed from entrance to exit along a stream course or along a passage which formerly carried a stream.
Region between the twilight zone and dark zone where no there is no visible light, but some external factors from the entrance environment may still be apparent, e.g. seasonally fluctuating air temperatures.
Loss of water by plants, usually by evaporation from leaves. Cf. evapotranspiration.
Compact calcium carbonate deposit, often banded, precipitated from spring, river or lake water. Cf. tufa.
An (obligate) cavernicole unable to live outside the cave environment; usually defines an obligate species with troglomorphic adaptations. The term is usually restricted to terrestrial species, but sometimes aquatic obligates maybe referred to as aquatic troglobites.
A human cave dweller.
Adaptations to the cave environment, particularly for species living in the dark zone e.g. lengthening of appendages; loss of pigment; modification of eyes; modified olfactory sensory organs (for "sniffing" out prey and mates etc.); extra sensory structures e.g. elongated legs used as feelers and sometimes modified chelicerae (the grasping organs used to hold prey foods etc.; and reduced metabolic rate are all considered adaptations to the dark zone of caves. Syn. troglomorphies; troglomorphism. Cf. "regressive evolution".
Syn. troglomorphic adaptations. (N.B. Troglomorphies do not necessarily equate to level of adaptation to dark zone environment.)
A terrestrial cavernicole which frequently completes its life cycle in caves but is not confined to this habitat.
A terrestrial cavernicole which spends only part of its life cycle in caves and returns periodically to the epigean domain for food.
A cave passage of smooth surface, and elliptical or nearly circular in cross-section. Cf. phreatic tube
Spongy or vesicular calcium carbonate deposited from spring, river or lake waters. Cf. travertine.
A nearly horizontal cave open at both ends, fairly straight and uniform in cross-section.
Relates to the muddiness, cloudiness or "milkiness" of water and usually reflects the amount of suspended sediment in the water.
The outer part of a cave in which daylight penetrates and gradually diminishes to zero light, where transition zone takes over.
UNSATURATED (VADOSE) ZONE:
The component of the karst hydrographic zone including endogean region in soil and the subterranean subcutaneous epikarst and free draining percolation water where voids in the rock are partly filled with air and through which water descends under gravity. Syn. vadose zone.
A complex closed depression formed by the coalescence of several lesser or smaller depressions or dolines (including sinkholes) within its rim.
Water flowing in free-surface streams in caves.
Syn. percolation water.
Water in the vadose zone.
Syn. unsaturated zone.
Determination of water connection between points of stream disappearance or of soil water seepage and points of reappearance on the surface or underground.
The surface between phreatic water which completely fills voids in the rock, and ground air, which partially fills higher voids.
A deep rounded hole in a cave floor or on the surface in karst.
The organisation of the cave habitat into a series of zones relating to the extent of light penetration, influence of external (or epigean) environmental factors and degree of internal stability. Cave zones referred to in this report are the twilight zone, transition zone and dark zone.
for providing this document.
Updated Friday, 16-Jan-2009 20:37:49 EST.