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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That tritium is a short-lived isotope of hydrogen (?= 12.43 y) that is directly incorporated into the water molecule as 1h3ho or 1hto [24]. commonly used for tracing ground water and for age dating of ground water [16]. see also radioisotope; radioactive tracer; tracers.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for breakthrough (Keyword) returned 87 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 87
Predicting travel times and transport characterization in karst conduits by analyzing tracer-breakthrough curves, , Morales Tomas, De Valderrama Inigo, Uriarte Jesus A. , Antiguedad Inaki, Olazar Martin,
SummaryThis paper analyzes data obtained in 26 tracer tests carried out in 11 karstic connections following solutional conduits in karst aquifers in the Basque Country. These conduits are preferential drainage pathways in these aquifers and so they confer a marked anisotropy and high vulnerability to them. Consequently, their consideration in protection and management studies and projects is a priority.The connections studied cover a wide hydrogeological spectrum (a wide range of sizes, slopes, geomorphic and hydrologic types) and the tests have been carried out at different hydrodynamic states. It is noteworthy that they all follow a similar trend, which has allowed for the development of a statistical approximation for the treatment of the whole information.Relationships have been established involving velocity, solute time of arrival, attenuation of peak concentration and time of passage of tracer cloud. These relationships are a valuable tool for management and supporting decision-making and allow for making estimates in connections in which the information available was scarce. This information is especially useful, given that the complexity of transport in karst conduits gives way to important deviations between real data (empirical observations) and the data obtained by simple approaches based on the Fickian-type diffusion equation

The Hydrology of a Glacierised Alpine Karst Castlegaurd Mountain, Alberta, PhD Thesis, 1983, Smart, Charles Christopher

Alpine karst throughout the world has been affected by past glaciation, and yet little is known of the interactions between glacier ice and karst. This dissertation attempts to gain some understanding of the problem through the study of the Castleguard Area, Alberta, where a karst aquifer is presently overlain by temperate glacier ice.
Quantitative fluorometric tracing and hydrometric measurements generated a broad data base on aquifer behaviour. Tracer breakthrough curves were interpreted using a new systematic approach which considers an explicit set of processes likely to affect the particular tracer under the given experimental conditions. Non-linearity in aquifer behaviour and rapid groundwater velocities demonstrated the aquifer to be an extreme conduit type Conduit springs are elements in a vertical hierarchy in which the topmost springs are "overflows" and exhibit greater flow variability than their associated "underflows". A numerical model was developed to simulate a conduit aquifer. It demonstrated that pulse train and recession analysis widely accepted methods of karst aquifer investigation, could be rather misleading when applied to conduit aquifers.
Interactions between ice and groundwater were observed at two scales: regulation water appeared to feed a diffuse percolation system and supraglacial melt passed into subglacial conduits which entered open vadose shafts. Karst is unlikely to be entirely subglacial in origin because of the limited aggressiveness of subglacial waters.
The Castlegaurd karst appeared to have originated preglacially in response to the breaching of impermeable caprock. Glaciation re-ordered the landscape and produced abundant clastic debris which subsequently blocked or obstructed karst conduits. Much of the resulting karst is paragenetic and comparatively immature due to glacial disruption and slow growth rates. Geomorphic and hydrologic interactions between ice and karst depend intimately upon the relationship between the geographic zones of the glacier and the aquifer.

Microorganisms in Australian caves and their influence on speleogenesis, 1994, James J. M.

A model of speleogenic processes connected with bacterial redox in sulfur cycles in the caves of Kugitangtau Ridge, Turkmenia, 1994, Korshunov V. , Semikolennyh A.

Cenote Verde: a mero-mictic karst pond, Quintana Roo, Mexico, 1994, Wilson W. L. , Morris T. L.

Classification of cave dypsum deposits derived from oxidation of H2S, 1994, Buck M. J. , Ford D. C. , Schwarcz H. P.

Elemental sulfur in caves of the Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, 1994, Cunningham K. I. , Duchene H. R. , Spirakis C. S. , Mclean J. S.

Principles of early development of karst conduits under natural and man-made conditions revealed by mathematical analysis of numerical models, 1996, Dreybrodt W,
Numerical models of the enlargement of primary fissures in limestone by calcite aggressive water show a complex behavior. If the lengths of the fractures are large and hydraulic heads are low, as is the case in nature, dissolution rates at the exit of the channel determine its development by causing a slow increase of water flow, which after a long gestation time by positive feedback accelerates dramatically within a short time span. Mathematical analysis of simplified approximations yields an analytical expression for the breakthrough time, when this happens, in excellent agreement with the results of a numerical model. This expression quantifies the geometrical, hydraulic, and chemical parameters determining such karat processes. If the lengths of the enlarging channels are small, but hydraulic heads are high, as is the case for artificial hydraulic structures such as darns, it is the widening at the entrance of the flow path which determines the enlargement of the conduit. Within the lifetime of the dam this can cause serious water losses, This can also be explained by mathematical analysis of simplified approximations which yield an analytical threshold condition from which the safety of a dam can be judged. Thus in both cases the dynamic processes of karstification are revealed to gain a deeper understanding of the early development of karst systems. As a further important result, one finds that minimum conditions, below which karstification cannot develop, do not exist

Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc thesis, 1996, Jeannin, P. Y.

This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour.
Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits.
These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow).
For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable.
Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s.
Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k', turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena.
The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models.
The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.

Risk assessment methodology for karst aquifers .1. Estimating karst conduit-flow parameters, 1997, Field Ms, Nash Sg,
Quantitative ground-water tracing of conduit-dominated karst aquifers allows for reliable and practical interpretation of karst ground-water flow. Insights into the hydraulic geometry of the karst aquifer may be acquired that otherwise could not be obtained by such conventional methods as potentiometric-surface mapping and aquifer testing. Contamination of karst aquifers requires that a comprehensive tracer budget be performed so that karst conduit hydraulic-flow and geometric parameters be obtained. Acquisition of these parameters is necessary for estimating contaminant fate-and-transport. A FORTRAN computer program for estimating total tracer recovery from tracer-breakthrough curves is proposed as a standard method. Estimated hydraulic-flow parameters include mean residence time, mean flow velocity, longitudinal dispersivity, Peclet number, Reynolds number, and Froude number. Estimated geometric parameters include karst conduit sinuous distance, conduit volume, cross-sectional area, diameter, and hydraulic depth. These parameters may be used to (1) develop structural models of the aquifer, (2) improve aquifer resource management, (3) improve ground-water monitoring systems design, (4) improve aquifer remediation, and (5) assess contaminant fate-and-transport. A companion paper demonstrates the use of these hydraulic-flow and geometric parameters in a surface-water model for estimating contaminant fate-and-transport in a karst conduit. Two ground-water tracing studies demonstrate the utility of this program for reliable estimation of necessary karst conduit hydraulic-flow and geometric parameters

Results of a study about tracing tests transfer functions variability in karst environment, 1997, Doerfliger N.
Artificial tracing tests are often used to simulate migration of a point-source contaminant under various hydrological conditions in karst hydrogeological impact assessment or to define groundwater protection zones. Due to economic reasons, it is rather difficult to carry out adequate tracing tests to determine what are the possible recovery curves over range of discharges at the outlet, are the tracer test results representative of the spring watercatchment being protected ? Our objective was to characterize the tracing-systems in a karst environment by a mean transfer function; such transfer function may be used to predict the breakthrough curve of a point-source contaminant taking into account an error factor. A Jura mean transfer function with + and -95% interval confidence functions can be established and differentiated from the Alps mean transfer function. The use of this transfer function to predict the response of a point-source contaminant requires considerations of water catchment size, thickness or the aquifer and discharge at the outlet. The results of this variability analysis confirm that the transfer functions by themselves may not be used to protect the whole karst spring water catchment, as this one is affected by the heterogeneity of the physical parameters. At the scale of a water catchment, transfer functions are not the major tool to protect the groundwater. But with a multiattribute approach of vulnerability mapping, transfer functions contribute to the development of groundwater protection strategy.

Early evolution of karst aquifers in limestone: Models on two-dimensional percolation clusters, 1997, Dreybrodt W. , Siemers J.
Two-dimensional nets of initial fractures are constructed on a square-lattice by occupying the lines between nearest neighbour sites by a water leading fissure of width a"SUBo" and length l with an occupation probability p. For p > 0.5 percolating nets occur which lead water. To simulate cave genesis we calculate the water flow rates driven by the hydraulic head h through all fissures. By employing nonlinear dissolution rates of the type F=k"SUBn"(l-c/c"SUBeq")'"SUPn" the widening of the fractures is obtained. At the onset of karstification flow is evenly distributed on all fractures. As the system develops solutional widing creates preferred pathways, which attract more and more flow, until at breakthrough both widening and flow increase dramatically. We discuss the evolution of karst aquifers for natural conditions and also upon human impact at dam sites where steep hydraulic gradients may generate water leading conduits below the dam in times comparable to the lifetime of the structure.

Dispersion and tailing of tracer plumes in a karstic system (Milandre, JU, Switzerland), 1997, Jeannin Py. , Marechal Jc.
A large number of tracing experiments have been carried out in a karstic aquifer in the Swiss Jura. These allow to observe the evolution of a tracer plume along the length of a karst conduit. The method of Sauty was used to make possible the comparison between all the observed breakthrough curves. The flow velocities and the dispersivities obtained are extremely variable. The dispersivities measured at different points along the length of an underground stream in the course of the same tracing experiment increase with distance (scale effect). If the fit of theoretical Sauty curves on the experimental curves works well for rising limbs, this is not always the case for falling limbs: a tailing effect or lag of the experimental curves compared to the theoretical ones is often observed. Micro-tracings have shown that the lag effect is linked more to the karst conduit geometry than to the types of flows (turbulent or laminar). Measurable tailing effect is induced by the presence of a single conduit enlargement (also called pool). Further, the experiments have shown that a succession of enlargements along the length of the underground stream causes a clear increase in the dispersivity and a "homogenisation" of the recovery curve which shows up by the apparent disappearance of the lag effect. These observations show clearly the influence of the heterogeneity of the karst conduit geometry on the breakthrough curves. This effect might be considered when one interprets the shape of the breakthrough curves especially for dispersivity estimation.

A breakthrough in the quality of seismic data from the fold belt of Papua New Guinea, 1998, Foster Ms, Price Sj, Hill Gs, Duque C, Ellis D, Stephenson Rw,

Influence of aperture variability on dissolutional growth of fissures in karst formations, 1998, Hanna R. B. , Rajaram H. ,
The influence of aperture variability on dissolutional growth of fissures is investigated on the basis of two-dimensional numerical simulations. The logarithm of the fissure aperture before dissolution begins is modeled as a Gaussian stationary isotropic random field. The initial phase of dissolutional growth is studied up to the time when turbulent flow first occurs at a point within the fissure (the breakthrough time). The breakthrough time in variable aperture fissures is smaller than that in uniform fissures and decreases as the coefficient of variation of the aperture field (sigma/mu) increases. In comparing uniform and variable aperture fissures in limestone, the breakthrough time with sigma/mu = 0.1 is about a factor of 2 smaller than that in a uniform fissure. The breakthrough time is reduced by about an order of magnitude with sigma/mu = 2.0. The mechanism leading to reduced breakthrough times is the focusing of flow into preferential flow channels which are enlarged at a faster rate than the surrounding regions of slower flow. Dissolution channels are narrower and more tortuous as sigma/mu. increases. Investigations of the influence of reaction rate reveal that the influence of aperture variability is more pronounced in rapidly dissolving rock. In uniform fissures in rapidly dissolving minerals, breakthrough times are very long since water becomes saturated with respect to the mineral within a short distance of the entrance to the flow path. However, in variable aperture fissures, breakthrough occurs rapidly because of selective growth along preferential flow channels, which progressively capture larger fractions of the total flow. These results partly explain why conduits develop rapidly in gypsum, although previous one-dimensional studies suggest that conduit growth will not occur

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