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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. ...

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That thermal stratification is the stratification of water in reservoirs due to thermal-density differences [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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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 matrix flow (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
Hydrogeological overview of the Bure plateau, Ajoie, Switzerland, 2003, Kovacs A. , Jeannin P. Y. ,
This study presents a hydrogeological synthesis of the most recent data from the Bure plateau in Ajoie, canton Jura, NW Switzerland. Included is a complete reappraisal of aquifer geometry and aquifer boundaries, the delineation of catchment areas based on tracing experiments, and the evaluation of the hydraulic role of different hydrostratigraphic units. Furthermore, it presents GIS-based calculations on the mean piezometric surface, the thickness of the unsaturated zone and on the thickness of the minimum and mean saturated zones. The spatial extension of the shallow karst zone is also evaluated. A coherent conceptual model and the two-dimensional steady-state combined discrete channel and continuum type numerical model of the aquifer has been constructed. The research site is 83 km(2) in area and is underlain by slightly folded layers of Mesozoic limestones and marls. The Bure plateau is dissected by normal faults, which form a succession of elongated horst and graben structures. The main aquifer consists of Maim limestones, with thicknesses varying between zero (eastern border) and 320 m (south-eastern regions). The aquifer is bounded from below by the Oxfordian Marls. The underlying sediments of Middle Jurassic age are considered to be hydraulically independent. The surface topography of the Oxfordian Marls reveals the periclinal termination of a wide anticline over the plateau and a syncline in the southern parts. The aquifer contains three marly intercalations. Tracing experiments prove that marl layers do not act as regional aquicludes. These experiments also allow for the division of the aquifer surface into several water catchments. Based on tracing tests and piezometric data a NW-SE oriented groundwater divide seems to extend in the regions of Porrentruy-Bure-Croix. Calculations of the average (matrix flow) and minimum (conduit flow) water tables indicate an extended shallow karst zone in the region of Boncourt-Buix-St-Dizier. The thickness of the saturated zone increases towards the extremities of the research site, being thickest in the South. The thickness of the unsaturated zone shows a large variation, reaching its maximum in the central areas. Numerical model calculations roughly reproduce the observed hydraulic heads and mean spring discharges, they confirm current ideas about hydraulic parameters and suggest the existence of extended karst subsystems throughout the model domain

Numerical analysis of conduit evolution in karstic aquifers. PhD Thesis, 2003, Annable, W. K.

Fractured and solutionally enhanced carbonate aquifers supply approximately 20 percent of the Worlds potable water supply. Although in rare cases these geologic settings can geochemically evolve into conduits which are of sufficient size to be explored and interpreted by researchers, the majority of the solutionally enlarged networks providing fresh water supplies remain too small to be directly measured. As such, we rely upon indirect hydraulic testing and tracer studies to infer the complexity and size of such aquifers. Because solutionally enhanced (karstic) aquifers have multiple scales of porosity ranging from matrix flow, fracture flow and open channel conduit flow, they are particularly vulnerable to contamination due to the high rates of chemical transport. In this study, a numerical model which solves for the variably-saturated flow, chemically-reactive transport and sediment transport within fractured carbonate aquifers has been developed to investigate the evolution of proto conduits from discrete fractures towards the minimum limits of caves which can be explored. The model results suggest that, although potentiometric surfaces can be of assistance in forecasting the possible locations of proto conduits at depth, many conduits are never detected using conventional observation wells relying upon hydraulic head data. The model also demonstrates the strong dependence in the pattern of vertical jointing on how conduits may evolve: fractures oriented similar to the mean groundwater flow direction show conduits evolving along the vertical fracture orientation; however, vertical fractures that differ significantly from the mean groundwater flow direction have vastly more complex dissolution networks. The transport of fine-grained sediments within the fractures has been shown to reduce the rates of conduit development in all but the highest velocity regions, resulting in simplified conduit networks, but at accelerated dissolution rates. The fully-coupled advective-dispersive and reactive chemistry equations were employed strictly with equilibrium reactions to simulate calcite dissolution. This study further shows that higher order kinetics in the form of the kinetic trigger effect of White (1997) are not required if diffusion between the rock matrix and the fracture surfaces account for multi-component matrix diffusion effects between the evolving conduits and the carbonate rock matrix according to the diffusional characteristics of the fractured rock system at hand.


Ground water flux distribution between matrix, fractures, and conduits: constraints on modelling, 2005, White W. , White E.

Calculations are presented to show the relative contribution of the matrix, fracture, and conduit permeability to the overall flow of ground water through a karst aquifer. The conceptual model is a cross-section spanning the full width and thickness of the aquifer. A constant, but adjustable head is assumed. The rock matrix is characterized by an adjustable hydraulic conductivity. Varying proportions of fractures and conduits of adjustable fracture apertures and conduit diameters were the calculational parameters. Calculations used Darcy’s law for matrix flow, the cube law for fracture flow, and the Darcy-Weisbach equation for conduit flow. The results show a surprising dominance of fracture flow in the early stages of aquifer development. A focusing mechanism is needed to localize the flow into a relatively small number of conduits.


Ground water flux distribution between matrix, fractures, and conduits: constraints on modeling, 2005, White W. B. , White E. L.
Calculations are presented to show the relative contribution of the matrix, fracture, and conduit permeability to the overall flow of ground water through a karst aquifer. The conceptual model is a cross-section spanning the full width and thickness of the aquifer. A constant, but adjustable head is assumed. The rock matrix is characterized by an adjustable hydraulic conductivity. Varying proportions of fractures and conduits of adjustable fracture apertures and conduit diameters were the calculational parameters. Calculations used Darcys law for matrix flow, the cube law for fracture flow, and the Darcy-Weisbach equation for conduit flow. The results show a surprising dominance of fracture flow in the early stages of aquifer development. A focusing mechanism is needed to localize the flow into a relatively small number of conduits.

Impacts of Juniper Vegetation and Karst Geology on Subsurface Flow Processes in the Edwards Plateau, Texas, 2006, Dasgupta S, Mohanty Bp, Kohne Jm,
Impacts of Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei J. Buchholz) and karst geology on the regional water cycle in the Edwards plateau region of Texas are complex and not well understood. The objective of our study was to gain a comprehensive understanding of the subsurface flow processes occurring at a juniper woodland site on the Edwards Plateau near Honey Creek State Natural Area. A 2.3-m-deep, 7-m-long trench was excavated at the downslope end of a 7 by 14 m experimental plot, and time domain reflectometry (TDR) probes were installed at various locations within the trench face to measure volumetric water contents. A multi-port telescopic boom type rainfall simulator was used to provide artificial rainfall on the plot. Six rainfall simulations and two dye-tracer tests were conducted on the plot during a 7-mo period. Subsurface flow was visually inspected at various locations on the trench face during artificial rainfall experiments and water content was monitored near slow and fast flow regions using TDR probes. The total volume of subsurface flow was also recorded after each rainfall simulation event. Results demonstrated that subsurface flow occurred in a bimodal manner, consisting of preferential/macropore flow around juniper root channels and planar fractures in the limestone, and pseudo-matrix flow through the soil matrix (water flowing primarily through the intermediate layers and lenses of soil between the rock layers). Preferential/macropore flow at the trench face depended on imposed boundary conditions and was independent of antecedent moisture content in the soil matrix. Pseudo-matrix flow response time decreased with high rainfall. During large rainfall events (>200 mm), water exchange was observed between the fractures and soil matrix. No apparent water exchange occurred between fractures and the soil matrix during small rainfall events. The dye studies indicated that fractures and juniper root channels are primary pathways for preferential/macropore flow occurring within the plot

Modeling three-dimensional karst aquifer evolution using different matrix-flow contributions, 2010, Kaufmann G. , Romanov D. , Hiller T.

We have developed the program package KARSTAQUIFER, which simulates flow and transport in a three-dimensional transient karst aquifer consisting of fractures and matrix elements. The fractures can be enlarged by chemical dissolution of calcite, increasing the secondary permeability of the karst aquifer. Boundary conditions for our model setup are guided by published benchmark models for karst aquifer evolution in two dimensions (length and width), with a 100 m high hydraulic head difference across the model domain responsible for relatively fast evolution of the aquifer. We are interested in the effect of the third dimension on the evolution of the karst aquifer, especially the effect of matrix flow, with a matrix defined either as porous medium or as fine fracture system, or both. We first discuss our model results using a pseudo-3D setup to be able to directly compare results to the 2D benchmark scenarios published. We then discuss real-3D models with a prominent fault located in the central part of the aquifer, connecting input and output regions. Finally, we replace the prominent fault with a statistical fracture diameter distribution. Our results compare well with existing 2D scenarios, and the additional third dimension offers new insights into the evolution of karst aquifers. Especially the role of matrix flow under fixed-head boundary conditions in their early phases can be studied in more detail.


Speleogenetic effects of interaction between deeply derived fracture-conduit and intrastratal matrix flow in hypogene karst settings, 2012, Klimchouk A. B. , Tymokhina E. I. , Amelichev G. N.

In carbonate rocks, especially in those with high primary porosity such as most Cenozoic carbonates, the interaction between deeply derived rising flow through sub-vertical fracture-controlled conduits and intrastratal matrix flow of shallower systems can invoke mixing corrosion and result in prominent speleogenetic effects. This paper outlines a conceptual model of such interaction and provides instructive field examples of relevant morphological effects from two different regions within the Prichernomorsky (north Black Sea) basin, where karst features are developed in lower Pliocene, Eocene and Paleocene limestones. In the Crimean fore-mountain region, extensive steep to vertical limestone scarps formed through recent exposure of hypogenic fracture-controlled conduits provide outstanding possibilities to directly examine details of the original karstic porosity. The morphological effects of the conduit/matrix interaction, documented in both caves and exposed scarps, include lateral widening of sub-vertical conduits within the interaction intervals (formation of lateral notches and niches) and the development of side bedding-parallel conduits, pockets and vuggy-spongework zones. Natural convection circulation, invoked by interaction of the two flow systems, spreads the morphological effects throughout the conduit space above the interaction interval. Where the interaction of the two flow systems is particularly strongly localized, such as along junctions of two vertical fracture sets, the resultant morphological effect can take the form of isolated chambers. The variety of speleogenetic features developed through the conduit/matrix interaction, can be broadly grouped into two categories: 1) variously shaped swells of the major fracture conduit itself (morphological features of its walls – niches and pockets), and 2) features of the vuggy-spongework halo surrounding the conduit. This halo includes clustered and stratiform cavities, spongework zones and lateral side conduits. The speleogenetic features due to conduit/matrix flow interaction, especially the halo forms, often demonstrate distinct asymmetry between opposite walls of the conduits. The prominent phenomenon of the vuggy-spongework halo around fracture-controlled conduits has important hydrogeological implications. A comparison of karst features in different regions and rock formations clearly shows that in spite of some distinctions imposed by local structural, sedimentological and paleo-hydrogeological peculiarities, hypogenic speleoforms in limestones of different age and of different degree of diagenetic maturity demonstrate remarkable similarities.


Comparison of a karst groundwater model with and without discrete conduit flow, 2013, Saller S. P. , Ronayne M. J. , Long A. J.

Karst aquifers exhibit a dual flow system characterized by interacting conduit and matrix domains. This study evaluated the coupled continuum pipe-flow framework for modeling karst groundwater flow in the Madison aquifer of western South Dakota (USA). Coupled conduit and matrix flow was simulated within a regional finite-difference model over a 10-year transient period. An existing equivalent porous medium (EPM) model was modified to include major conduit networks whose locations were constrained by dye-tracing data and environmental tracer analysis. Model calibration data included measured hydraulic heads at observation wells and estimates of discharge at four karst springs. Relative to the EPM model, the match to observation well hydraulic heads was substantially improved with the addition of conduits. The inclusion of conduit flow allowed for a simpler hydraulic conductivity distribution in the matrix continuum. Two of the high-conductivity zones in the EPM model, which were required to indirectly simulate the effects of conduits, were eliminated from the new model. This work demonstrates the utility of the coupled continuum pipe-flow method and illustrates how karst aquifer model parameterization is dependent on the physical processes that are simulated


Comparison of a karst groundwater model with and without discrete conduit flow, 2013, Saller S. P. , Ronayne M. J. , Long A. J.

Karst aquifers exhibit a dual flow system characterized by interacting conduit and matrix domains. This study evaluated the coupled continuum pipe-flow framework for modeling karst groundwater flow in the Madison aquifer of western South Dakota (USA). Coupled conduit and matrix flow was simulated within a regional finite-difference model over a 10-year transient period. An existing equivalent porous medium (EPM) model was modified to include major conduit networks whose locations were constrained by dye-tracing data and environmental tracer analysis. Model calibration data included measured hydraulic heads at observation wells and estimates of discharge at four karst springs. Relative to the EPM model, the match to observation well hydraulic heads was substantially improved with the addition of conduits. The inclusion of conduit flow allowed for a simpler hydraulic conductivity distribution in the matrix continuum. Two of the high-conductivity zones in the EPM model, which were required to indirectly simulate the effects of conduits, were eliminated from the new model. This work demonstrates the utility of the coupled continuum pipe-flow method and illustrates how karst aquifer model parameterization is dependent on the physical processes that are simulated.


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