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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 Hagen-Poiseuille equation is the equation used to define the laminar flow of water in either fractures or tubes and is given as for laminar flow in fractures and for laminar flow in tubes which states that the average volumetric discharge of flow through either type of opening is directly proportional to the type, shape, and dimensions of a particular pore and the hydraulic gradient [5]. note: q=discharge, w=width of the fissure, b=open portion of the long dimension of the fissure, r=radius of the tube, (?and ç are the specific weight and dynamic viscosity of water respectively, dh/dl=gradient, and a minus sign is attached to the equations to indicate that flow occurs in the direction of deceasing hydraulic head.?

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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 discharge zone (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
Flow of fossil groundwater, 1977, Bourdon Dj,
The great groundwater basins of North Africa and Arabia extend over an area of some 6.5 million square kilometres. Gradients on the isopiezometric surfaces of their confined ground-waters are generally interpreted as indicating present-day flow of groundwater. Can such flow occur in basins where most or all of the groundwater is fossil and where effective infiltration and recharge may have ceased some 10 000 years ago? Assuming that there is indeed no current recharge in these arid and sem-arid regions, the paper identifies seven groups totalling 12 possible mechanisms which can contribute in varying degrees to maintaining flow of groundwater long after effective recharge has ceased. These are: (i) Residual heads; (ii) Tilting of basin; (iii) Compaction effects, in terms of sediment loading, basalt loading and water loading/unloading; (iv) Thermal drive; (v) Gas drive; (vi) Lowering of discharge level, by tectonic displacement, by pressure bursts and by collapse of cover; and (vii) Evaporation in the discharge zone, such as lowering of lake levels and evaporation from sabkhas. Nine additional mechanisms were considered but rejected. Combinations of these mechanisms can produce heads inducing flow of fossil groundwater, but appear to be insufficient to account for present hydraulic regimes without some current surface recharge. The findings have direct application to studies leading to the development, use and management of these major water resources of the arid zones of the Sahara and Arabia

Quaternary calcrete, silcrete and gypcrete duricrusts in Karinga Creek drainage system, central Australia, contain abundant late-stage diagnetic features. These indicate repeated episodes of dissolution, precipitation and mobilization of duricrust components in the landscape, following the initial development of the duricrust mantle. 'Mature' duricrust profiles incorporate assemblages of diagnostic textural features and fabrics that clearly indicate the extent of karstification during the past 27 000 years. Diagenetic features in the duricrusts permit recognition of the stages involved in vadose modifications of compositional, textural and morphological features and, hence, assessment of the impact of karst dissolution, precipitation and mobilization of duricrust components under prevailing environmental conditions. At landscape level, the continued development of secondary porosity-permeability zones in topographically elevated areas, and maintenance of effective topographic gradients for soil creep are considered essential for redistribution of duricrust components and lateral and vertical extension of karst features within the Quaternary duricrust mantle. Although developing over a comparatively short span of time, late-stage modification of the Quaternary duricrusts has important implications for evolution of Quaternary landscapes and distribution of groundwater discharge-recharge patterns. Accordingly, differential dissolution and reprecipitation within the duricrust profiles have progressively given way to development of karst solution pipes and cavities, with the latter now acting as effective conduits for recharge of local aquifers in the region

Development of collapse sinkholes in areas of groundwater discharge, 2002, Salvati R. , Sasowsky I. D. ,
Collapse sinkholes are found in groundwater recharge zones throughout the world. They cause substantial loss of property each year, and occasional fatalities. In such settings, the formation of these features occurs through the downward migration of regolith into karst voids. The presence of a void in the bedrock. and sufficient seepage pressure or gravitative force in the regolith, is required for their creation. We investigated the development of cover collapse sinkholes in an unusual setting, areas of groundwater discharge rather than recharge. Upward hydraulic gradients and the likelihood of groundwater saturated with respect to calcite are difficult to reconcile with standard models for collapse development. Short flowpaths or renewed groundwater aggressivity towards calcite (via mischungskorrosion, thermally driven circulation, or deep-seated gaseous sources) are hypothetical mechanisms that could generate the subsurface voids that are needed to allow cover collapse development in discharge areas. For the two field sites in central Italy that we investigated, calculated carbon dioxide partial pressures in springs ranged from 7.38 X 10(-2) to 7.29 X 10(-1) atm. This indicates that deep-seated gaseous sources are most likely the mechanism allowing the development of the sinkholes. Groundwater is recharged in surrounding limestone massifs. The water moves through the carbonates and becomes saturated with calcite. As it circulates deeply in to the adjacent valleys, it mixes with deep-seated waters and gaseous fluxes from major fault systems, acquiring renewed aggressivity towards calcite. Finally, the water ascends into confined aquifers in the valley fill, and dissolves carbonate material present within, leading to surface collapse. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Morphology of Czarna Cave and its significance for geomorphic evolution of the Kościeliska Valley (Western Tatra Mts.), 2002, Gradziń, Ski Michał, , Kiciń, Ska Ditta

Czarna Cave represents phreatic cave with multiple loops. No cave level developed at the water table was detected. The cave was later modified by invasion vadose waters and breakdown processes. The phreatic paleoflow directions were analysed from the asymmetry of scallops. The paleoflow was directed from the east to the west, that is in a direction of Kościeliska Valley. Therefore, this valley represented the main discharge zone of the region during the formation of Czarna Cave.

Influences of anticlinal structure on regional flow, Zagros, Iran, 2006, Ashjari J. , Raeisi E.
Carbonate karstic formations outcrop in about 23% of the Zagros Region. Seventy-two karstic anticlines were selected to study regional flow. Based on geometry of the anticline and outflow position, a conceptual model is presented for delineation of flow direction, at least within Zagros. The anticlines were divided into two main groups based on presence or absence of hydraulic connectivity between the limbs. The geological and tectonic settings are the main controlling factors within these two groups. Sixty-four out of the seventy-two anticlines showed no hydraulic connectivity between their limbs. Each group was further classified into four subgroups based on the location of the discharge zones, namely one or both plunge apex noses, limb, traversing river, or a combination of plunge apexes, limbs and river. The discharge zones may be located in the adjacent or in the successive anticlines. The discharge zones are mainly controlled by local base level. In most of the cases having no hydraulic connection between the limbs, the direction of flow is initially along the bedding plane dip and finally parallel to the strike at the foot of the anticline. In most of the cases having connections between two limbs, the regional directions of flow, in the connected part, are opposite from the direction of bedding plane dip and eventually parallel to strike. The results show that the primary controlling factors of regional flow are the anticlinal structure of aquifers and geometry of the bedrock.

Genesis and functioning of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst (Savoie, France): past research and recent advances, 2010, Hoblea F. , Gallinojosnin S. , Audra Ph.

Aix-les-Bains (Savoie, France) owes its name and reputation to the thermal springs that occur along the eastern shore of Lake Bourget, France largest natural lake. Although the city waters have been exploited since Antiquity, scientific investigations into the nature and characteristics of the hydrothermal karst from which they emerge did not begin until the early 19th century. The present article traces the history of these investigations and summarizes the results of more than two centuries of scientific research. Today, the only visible signs of karstification related to hydrothermal flows are to be found in the discharge zone in the Urgonian limestone anticline that rises above the city centre. These features are: – the Grotte des Serpents, which houses the Alun Spring, the system main natural discharge, – the Chevalley Aven, a blind chimney that was accidentally uncovered in 1996, – other hydrothermal springs that are too small to enter, including the Soufre Spring. Although scientific investigation of the thermal springs at Aix-les-Bains began in the early 19th century, it was not until the 1920s that scientists started examining the relationship between karstification and the state of the aquifer. E.A.Martel was the first researcher to describe the Aix-les-Bains site as an active hydrothermal karst, in a pioneering study published in 1935. Sixty years later, the discovery of the Chevalley Aven during building work on a new hydrotherapy center gave fresh impetus to research into the karstification of the Aix-les-Bains thermo-mineral aquifer. Recent studies have also investigated the deep aquifer below the karst, using data provided by boreholes. The Urgonian limestone karst at Aix-les-Bains is the site of mixing between thermal waters rising through the anticline and meteoric waters percolating from the surface. Meteoric infiltration is sufficiently high for the hydrological behavior of the thermal springs to be identical to that of exsurgences in gravity-fed, cold-water transmissive karsts. The Chevalley Aven is a shaft that descends 30 meters below the surface, thereby providing access to the ground-water at depth. Monitoring of the water quality in the aven has shown that the Legionella contamination of the springs was due to high concentrations of the bacteria in upstream passages in the karst. In 2006, dye-tracing tests confirmed the existence of a hydraulic connection between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun and Soufre Springs, the fact there is a single ascending hydrothermal conduit, which lies between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun Spring. In addition to providing a valuable source of information about the functioning of the thermo-mineral aquifer, the cavities at Aix-les-Bains are of great karstological interest, especially for the study of hypogene speleogenetic processes. The circulation of warm (40oC), sulfur-rich waters and vapours through the system has led to the development of conduits with specific morphologies and the precipitation of characteristic deposits. These features include: – “beaded” chimneys and galleries formed by the linking of spheres produced by condensation-corrosion. Diffuse karstification along bedding planes around the main conduit; – deposition of non-carbonate minerals (gypsum, native sulfur); – formation of biothems and biofilms on walls subject to condensation. The Grotte des Serpents is a horizontal cavity that formed at the upper limit of the water table. The Chevalley Aven is a hypogene chimney that was sculpted under vadose conditions by the release of sulfuric acid-rich vapours above the thermal water table. As well as a surface coating of microbial mats and the presence of bacterial flakes in the thermal water, the vadose parts of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst contain a characteristic microfauna and flora. These microorganisms are thought to play an active role in hypogene karstification processes.

Radionuclides as natural tracers for the characterization of fluids in regional discharge areas, Buda Thermal Karst, Hungary, 2012, Eross A. , Mádlszonyi J. , Surbeck H. , Horváth Á. , Goldscheider N. , Csoma A. É.

The Buda Thermal Karst (Budapest, Hungary) developed in the regional discharge zone of a carbonate rock aquifer system. High radioactivity of the spring waters has already been reported in 1912, but there has been no detailed study and no consistent explanation for its origin. In this area mixing of cold and hot karst waters was hitherto assigned to be responsible for cave formation. However, the dissimilarity of the discharging waters within Budapest (in the North: Rozsadomb; in the South: Gellert Hill), may suggest also different cave forming processes. The application of radionuclides as natural tracers represents a novel approach to investigate these questions. For this study, we used uranium, radium and radon to identify mixing of fluids in the Buda Thermal Karst system and to infer the temperature and chemical composition of the end members. Chloride as a conservative component allowed the mixing ratios for the sampled waters to be calculated. Their fluid compositions were modeled and through the comparison of modeled and measured values, the end members were validated. As the result of this study, it was possible to characterize the mixing end members for the Rozsadomb area, whereas for the Gellert Hill discharge zone, mixing components could not be identified with the aid of radionuclides. Therefore, it is suggested that different processes are responsible for cave formation in these areas. In the Rozsadomb area, structurally-controlled mixing is the dominant cave forming process, whereas in the Gellert Hill area, due to the lack of mixing members, other processes have to be found, which are responsible for the formation of the caves, such as retrograde calcite solubility and/or geogenic acids, such as H2S. The application of radionuclides thus further supported the differences between the two study areas. This study identified moreover the source of elevated radon content of the waters in the Gellert Hill area in form of iron-hydroxide precipitates that accumulate in the spring caves. These precipitates are highly efficient in adsorbing radium, which generates radon by alpha decay, and hence act as local radon source for the waters. In this study we showed that uranium, radium and radon naturally occurring in groundwater can be used to characterize fluids of different flow systems in regional discharge areas owing to the contrasting geochemical behaviors of these elements

Water supply spring zone Novljanska Zrnovnica (Croatia) – new quantities of drinking water in the conditions of salt water intrusion, 2012, Biondić, R. , Biondić, B. , Measki H.

This paper presents an approach for solving the problem of exploitation of freshwater in the coastal karst aquifer during summer dry periods in the conditions of potential salt water intrusion. The approach is presented on the example of spring zone Novljanska Zrnovnica, situated in the northern part of Croatian Adriatic coastal region. The spring zone is used for water supply (about 250 l/s) of an important tourist area of Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski. After unsuccessful attempts of physical separation of freshwater system from the sea influence, by construction of grout curtain, hydrogeological studies have focused on the possibility of groundwater capturing in the hinterland of discharge zone, outside of the zone of periodical salinity. The final research results with the exploitation well in the spring hinterland can serve as a model for research and exploitation of drinking water in natural conditions of unstable freshwater-saltwater interface in similar natural conditions.

Water supply spring zone Novljanska Žrnovnica (Croatia) – new quantities of drinking water in the conditions of salt water intrusion, 2012, Biondić, Ranko, Biondić, Božidar, Meaški Hrvoje

This paper presents an approach for solving the problem of exploitation of freshwater in the coastal karst aquifer during summer dry periods in the conditions of potential salt water intrusion. The approach is presented on the example of spring zone Novljanska Žrnovnica, situated in the northern part of Croatian Adriatic coastal region. The spring zone is used for water supply (about 250 l/s) of an important tourist area of Crikvenica and Novi Vinodolski. After unsuccessful attempts of physical separation of freshwater system from the sea influence, by construction of grout curtain, hydrogeological studies have focused on the possibility of groundwater capturing in the hinterland of discharge zone, outside of the zone of periodical salinity. The final research results with the exploitation well in the spring hinterland can serve as a model for research and exploitation of drinking water in natural conditions of unstable freshwater-saltwater interface in similar natural conditions.


Thermal springs and hypogenic karstification processes in flow system context, 2013, Mádlsző, Nyi Judit, Erő, Ss Anita

Uplifted unconfined and adjoining confined continental carbonate aquifers contain thermal water with marginal thermal springs as decisive discharge features connected to tectonic contact between the unconfined and confined part of the system. These areas are characterised by positive thermal anomaly, particular mineral precipitates and phre-atophyte vegetation. These systems are important not only as sources of thermal water but the confined parts of the system can serve as hydrocarbon reservoirs, moreover Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) ore deposits can also be connected to such environ-ments. Hypogenic speleogenesis can be active at such marginal discharge zones of groundwater due to the direct corrosive effect of deep originated fluids. These different processes are known from the literature however their relationships have not been revealed comprehensively. The application of regional groundwater flow system theory and evaluation can give a chance to understand the common origin of these different processes, which is moving groundwater. The Buda Thermal Karst offers an exception-al natural laboratory where groundwater flow systems and their effect on rock matrix and the environment can be examined and proved directly. Moreover as new discharge phenomenon a karst corrosive biofilm was recognized here. The presentation displays the most important conclusions which can be generalized for areas with similar hydro-geological settings. The research is supported by the NK 101356 OTKA research grant

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