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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 51, issue 1 (2022)

Current Issue: Volume 50, Issue 3 (2021)



Do different relevance attributes indicate the same conservation priorities? A case study in caves of southeastern Brazil
Maysa F.V.R. Souza, Denizar A. Alvarenga, Marconi Souza-Silva, and Rodrigo L. Ferreira

  • The biological relevance of caves changes dramatically according to their ecological attributes
  • If used alone, certain indices may be inappropriate for subterranean ecological patterns
  • Caves can be devalued for not taking into account their ecological attributes
  • We recommend the conservation of an extremely relevant cave in the study region


Geochronological implications of 210Pb and 137Cs mobility in cave guano deposits
Donald A. McFarlane and Joyce Lundberg

  • 210Pb and 137CS dating techniques have been used to establish chronologies guano deposits
  • Guano deposits may experience rapid decomposition resulting in low pH fluids in the guano
  • 210Pb and 137CS are shown to be highly mobile under moist, low Ph conditions
  • 210Pb and 137Cs chronologies should be supported by an independent, concordant 14C date series


Geochemistry of phosphatic nodules as a tool for understanding depositional and taphonomical settings in a Palaeolithic cave site (San Teodoro, Sicily)
Gerlando Vita, Vittorio Garilli, Mirko Andrea Vizzini, Renato Giarrusso, Angelo Mulone, Massimiliana Pinto Vraca, Valeria La Parola, Pierluigi Rosina, Laura Bonfiglio, and Luca Sineo

  • Geochemistry explained stratigraphy in the Palaeolithic San Teodoro Cave site
  • Study of phosphate nodules allows revision of palaeoenvironmental reconstructions
  • Variscite and amorphous phosphate formed in nodules as result of acidification by bat guano and bone dissolution
  • Taphonomical processes involving bone dissolution made sterile part of the deposit
  • Enrichment in barium and rubidium resulted from interaction of bio and geological processes


Air pressure propagation through Wind Cave and Jewel Cave: How do pressure waves travel through barometric caves?
Annika K. Gomell, Daniel C. Austin, Marc J. Ohms, and Andreas Pflitsch

  • Inside barometric caves, air pressure signals are delayed, smoothed and damped
  • These changes are caused by altitude differences and long response times of the caves
  • In Wind Cave, the related processes take place primarily in the entrance area
  • In Jewel Cave, the related processes take place primarily in the deep parts of the cave
  • Thus induced compensating currents control the caves' microclimate


The relative importance of wind-driven and chimney effect cave ventilation: Observations in Postojna Cave (Slovenia)
Lovel Kukuljan, Franci Gabrovsek, and Matthew Covington

  • Winds can enhance or diminish typical seasonal density-driven cave ventilation
  • The wind-driven effect is generated by variations in the wind pressure field
  • The effect depends on the cave configuration and its surface connections
  • This study provides a better understanding of cave climate and karst processes


Vermiculations in painted caves: New inputs from laboratory experiments and field observations
Perrine Freydier, Eric Weber, Jérôme Martin, Pierre-Yves Jeannin, Béatrice Guerrier, and Frédéric Doumenc

* Vermiculations are a major concern for painted caves

* We propose new tracks to elucidate the physical mechanisms producing these patterns

* Cohesion of natural cave sediment highly depends on water chemistry

* The sediment layer at cave wall can loose its cohesion and move to produce patterns

* A GIS has been developed to follow the evolution of vermiculations in Lascaux cave


Molecular genetic analysis of stygobiotic shrimps of the genus Xiphocaridinella (Crustacea: Decapoda: Atyidae) reveals a connection between distant caves in Central Abkhazia, southwestern Caucasus
Ivan Marin and Ilya Turbanov

  • Molecular genetic analysis of stygobiotic shrimps revealed the connectivity among distant caves
  • A new stygobiotic shrimp species is described
  • The recent diversity of the genus Xiphocaridinella from Caucasus is increasing up to 13 species
  • Karst hydrosystems can be identified with biospeleological methods (i.e. barcoding)