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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 Rillenkarren is (german.) solution flutes that occur only in places where fresh unspent precipitation is active and end where the water attains too high a content of lime or where water is added. their length increases with slope, temperature, and rainfall; eventually reaching 1 m and more in the tropics, up to 50 cm, and as an exception, 100 cm in the alps. their width extends from 1 to 3 cm. they lie together in rows with no space between, with sharp intermediary ridges of no more than 1 cm in height. they increase at all freely exposed peaks and ridges where fresh rainwater alone is at work. the grooves gradually flatten out to a smooth surface. their theory of origin is unknown. [3]. synonyms: (german.) kannelierungen; solution flutes; and firstkarren.?

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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 o-18 (Keyword) returned 27 results for the whole karstbase:
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The stable isotopic ratios of drip water, pool water and water vapor collected in remote areas of Carlsbad Cavern, New Mexico, were used to develop a conceptual model of the hydrologic conditions of the cave pools. When considered in terms of open and closed pool systems, the data indicate that the pools in Carlsbad Cavern appear to leak more water than they evaporate. The pools in Carlsbad Cavern range between -43 and -31% in delta-D, -7.4 and -5.9% in delta-O-18, and have EC-values of 365-710 mu-S cm(-1). The water vapor is consistently 80-82% more depleted in D than associated pool water and appears to be under direct isotopic control by the pools. Most of the drip water ranges between -51 and -44% in delta-D, between -8.0 and -6.9% in delta-O-18, and have EC-values of 310-350 mu-S cm(-1), regardless of location of collection in the cave. Drip water collected on popcorn formations (which in this case are formed by evaporation of wall seep) have stable isotopic compositions similar to local pool water; however, they have EC-value of up to 1060 mu-S cm(-1). In addition, a small, closed pool near the Lake of the Clouds has stable isotopic compositions similar to those of the Lake and elevated EC-values of up to 9500 mu-S cm(-1). The degree of stable isotopic enrichment that evaporating waters can obtain in the Cavern is limited by exchange with the water vapor which, in turn, appears to be controlled by the pools

Petrography of the Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group, both in deeply-buried subsurface cores and in outcrops which have never been deeply buried, documents five generations of dolomite, three generations of microquartz chert, and one generation of megaquartz. Regional periods of karstification serve to subdivide the dolomite into 'early-stage', which predates pre-Middle Ordovician karstification, and 'late-stage', which postdates pre-Middle Ordovician karstification and predates pre-Permian karstification. Approximately 10% of the dolomite in the Ellenburger Group is 'late-stage'. The earliest generation of late-stage dolomite, Dolomite-L1, is interpreted as a precursor to regional Dolomite-L2. L1 has been replaced by L2 and has similar trace element, O, C, and Sr isotopic signatures, and similar cathodoluminescence and backscattered electron images. It is possible to differentiate L1 from L2 only where cross-cutting relationships with chert are observed. Replacement Dolomite-L2 is associated with the grainstone, subarkose, and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic facies, and with karst breccias. The distribution of L2 is related to porosity and permeability which focused the flow of reactive fluids within the Ellenburger. Fluid inclusion data from megaquartz, interpreted to be cogenetic with Dolomite-L2, yield a mean temperature of homogenization of 85 6-degrees-C. On the basis of temperature/delta-O-18-water plots, temperatures of dolomitization ranged from approximately 60 to 110-degrees-C. Given estimates of maximum burial of the Ellenburger Group, these temperatures cannot be due to burial alone and are interpreted to be the result of migration of hot fluids into the area. A contour map of delta-O-18 from replacement Dolomite-L2 suggests a regional trend consistent with derivation of fluids from the Ouachita Orogenic Belt. The timing and direction of fluid migration associated with the Ouachita Orogeny are consistent with the timing and distribution of late-stage dolomite. Post-dating Dolomite-L2 are two generations of dolomite cement (C1 and C2) that are most abundant in karst breccias and are also associated with fractures, subarkoses and grainstones. Sr-87/Sr-86 data from L2, C1, and C2 suggest rock-buffering relative to Sr within Dolomite-L2 (and a retention of a Lower Ordovician seawater signature), while cements C1 and C2 became increasingly radiogenic. It is hypothesized that reactive fluids were Pennsylvanian pore fluids derived from basinal siliciclastics. The precipitating fluid evolved relative to Sr-87/Sr-86 from an initial Pennsylvanian seawater signature to radiogenic values; this evolution is due to increasing temperature and a concomitant evolution in pore-water geochemistry in the dominantly siliciclastic Pennsylvanian section. A possible source of Mg for late-stage dolomite is interpreted to be from the dissolution of early-stage dolomite by reactive basinal fluids

The C-13 and O-18 contents of cryogenic calcites formed by expulsion during the freezing of bicarbonate groundwaters are examined. Samples from karst caves within the permafrost region of northern Yukon, Canada, have deltaC-13-values as high as 17.0 parts per thousand, representing the most isotopically enriched freshwater carbonates yet reported. To account for such enrichments, calcium bicarbonate solutions were frozen and sublimated under controlled laboratory conditions. The rapid rate of reaction is shown to effectively preclude isotopic equilibration during bicarbonate dehydration, resulting in a kinetic partitioning of C-13 between CO2 and CaCO3. We find a value of 31.2 1.5 parts per thousand for 1000ln13alpha(KIE)(13alpha(KIE) = 1.032), which is considerably greater than the equilibrium fractionation factor (13epsilon(CaCO3-CO2)) of 10.3 parts per thousand at 0-degrees-C. This kinetic isotope effect (KIE) represents the ratio of the absolute reaction rate constants (13k(d)/12k(d)) for the two isotopic species during the dehydration of dissolved bicarbonate. Similar results for deltaO-18-values confirm that the reaction proceeds without isotope exchange. The KIE of O-18 is determined to be 1.006 for this reaction at 0-degrees-C. These data are compared with the KIE which occurs during the reverse reaction: CO2 hydroxylation by reaction with OH- in hyperalkaline waters

Several kinds of base metal deposits occur in the lower Paleozoic of southwest Sardinia (Iglesiente-Sulcis mineral district). This paper deals with those deposits which are generally referred to as Permo-Triassic, because they accompany and postdate the Hercynian orogeny and are related to magmatic activity. A large number of previously published geochemical data, integrated with additional new data (Sr, Pb, O, C, and S isotopes), are reviewed and discussed in the frame of the late to post-Hercynian geologic evolution of southwest Sardinia. According to geological and mineralogical characteristics, three types of deposits can be distinguished: (1) skarn ores related to late Hercynian leucogranitic intrusions, (2) high-temperature veins, and (3) low-temperature veins and karst filling. Pervasive epigenetic dolomitization phenomena are geochemically related to the low-temperature deposits. Sr and Pb isotopes of the first and second types (0.7097-0.7140 Sr-87/Sr-86; 17.97-18.29 Pb-206/Pb-204; 38.11-38.45 Pb-208/Pb-204) are distinctly more radiogenic than those of the third type (0.7094-0.7115 Sr-87/Sr-86; 17.86-18.05 Pb-206/Pb-204; 37.95-38.19 Pb-208/Pb-204) which, in turn, are closer to Paleozoic ores and carbonates. Fluid inclusion data indicate that the fluids responsible for mineralization of the first and second types of deposits were hot and dilute (T(h)= 370-degrees-140-degrees-C; <5 wt % NaCl equiv). In contrast, relatively colder and very saline fluids (T(h)= 140-degrees-70-degrees-C; >20 wt % NaCl equiv) were responsible for the third type of mineralization, as well for epigenetic dolomitization of the Cambrian host rocks. O isotopes measured in minerals from the first two types (deltaO-18SMOW = 12.8-18.9 parts per thousand) are O-18 depleted with respect to the third type (deltaO-18SMOW = 15.9-22.1 parts per thousand). These data, coupled with fluid inclusion formation temperatures, indicate that the fluids responsible for the first two types of mineralization were O-18 enriched with respect to those of the third type and related hydrothermal phenomena. The deltaS-34CDT in sulfides of the first two types vary between 3.7 and 10.73 per mil, whereas the values of the third type range from 12.0 to 17.9 per mil. Late to post-Hercynian mineralization is thus explained as the result of three distinct, though partly superimposed, hydrothermal systems. System 1 developed closer to the late Hercynian leucogranitic intrusions and led to the formation of the first and subsequently the second type of mineralization. The relatively hot and diluted fluids had a heated meteoric, or even partly magmatic, origin. Metals were leached from an external, radiogenic source, represented either by Hercynian leucogranites or by Paleozoic metasediments. Sulfur had a partly magmatic signature. System 2 was characterized by very saline, colder fluids which promoted dolomitization, silicification, and vein and karst mineralization. These fluids share the typical characteristics of formation waters, even though their origins remain highly speculative. The hydrothermal system was mainly rock dominated, with only a minor participation of the external radiogenic source of metals. Sulfur was derived by recirculation of pre-Hercynian strata-bound ores. System 3 records the invasion of fresh and cold meteoric waters which precipitated only minor ore and calcite gangue. It may represent the further evolution of system 2, possibly spanning a time well after the Permo-Triassic. The timing of all these phenomena is still questionable, due to the poor geologic record of the Permo-Triassic in southwest Sardinia. Nevertheless, the hypothesized scenario bears many similarities with hydrothermal processes documented throughout the Hercynian in Europe and spanning the same time interval. A comparison with the latter mineralization and hydrothermal activities leads to the hypothesis that the first two types of mineralization are linked to late Hercynian magmatic activity, whereas the third type may be related to either strike-slip or tensional tectonics which, throughout Europe mark the transition from the Hercynian orogeny to the Alpine cycle

Measurements of tritium and O-18 concentrations in precipitation and runoff were used to provide further insight into the groundwater storage properties of the Wimbachtal Valley, a catchment area of 33.4 km2, extending between 636 and 2713 m a.s.l. in the Berchtesgaden Alps. The catchment includes three aquifer types: a dominant porous aquifer; a fractured dolomite; a karstic limestone aquifer. Employing a simple hydrological model, information about mean transit times of environmental tracers is derived for the groundwater runoff component and several karst springs from the application of the exponential and dispersion flow models to the isotopic input and output data. The mean transit times calculated from a dispersion model with transit times of 4.1 years for O-18 and 4.2 years for tritium, which agree well, allow calculation of total (mobile stagnant) groundwater storage volume, which is equivalent to 6.6 m of water depth. Direct runoff appears negligible as in many other cases

The hydrology of a small karst drainage basin in Jamaica, the Martha Brae River basin, was examined using stable isotopes. Variations in the isotopic composition of the groundwaters sampled and their positions relative to the local meteoric water line on a delta-D/delta-O-18 diagram permitted the identification of two distinct groundwater types. The isotopic data also provided evidence that the most productive portion of the aquifer is divided by a major fault, which impedes groundwater flow. Information regarding the mechanisms and elevation of recharge was inferred from the delta-D versus delta-O-18 relationships and differences in isotopic composition, respectively

The Lower Mississippian Mission Canyon Formation of central to southwestern Montana was deposited under dominantly semiarid to arid climatic conditions during Osagean to early Meramecian times. Following deposition, a pronounced climatic shift to more humid conditions occurred during middle Meramecian times. This climatic change is indicated by extensive, post-depositional karst fabrics and in the stable isotopic composition of early, meteoric calcite cements and diagenetically altered sediments. Early meteoric calcite cement in Mission Canyon limestones is generally nonluminescent and fills intergranular and fenestral porosity. Petrographic data indicate that this cement formed during intermittent subaerial exposure of the Mission Canyon platform during Osagean times. This initial generation of meteoric calcite cement has deltaO-18 values from -8.1 to -2.6 parts per thousand PDB. These data, and the oxygen isotopic values from nonluminescent skeletal grains and micrite in host limestone indicate that Osagean meteoric water may have had deltaO-18 values as low as -6.0 parts per thousand SMOW. A second generation of petrographically similar, but isotopically distinct, calcite cement fills biomolds and porosity within solution-collapse breccias in the Mission Canyon Formation. This cement generation postdates earlier nonluminescent Osagean calcite cement and is volumetrically most abundant near the top of the Mission Canyon Formation. DeltaO-18 values from these cements and from nonluminescent lime mudstone clasts and matrix in solution collapse breccias range from -13.8 to -8.2 parts per thousand PDB. These data indicate that Meramecian meteoric water may have had deltaO-18 values as low as - 12.0 parts per thousand. However, a higher-temperature burial overprint on the deltaO-18 values of the calcite cement cannot be ruled out. The more positive deltaO-18 values of the Osagean calcite components probably indicate warm and arid conditions during short-term [10(4)(?) yr) subaerial exposure along intraformational sequence and parasequence boundaries. The more negative deltaO-18 values from Meramecian calcite components and the extensive karst associated with the post-Mission Canyon unconformity may have developed because of cooler and more humid climatic conditions and possible rain-out effects during middle Meramecian times. A dramatic shift towards cooler and more humid climatic conditions may be coincident with the onset of major continental glaciation in the Early Carboniferous. The post-Mission Canyon unconformity has been attributed to a major fall in sea level that may have glacio-eustatic origins. Growth of continental glaciers during a time of global cooling would have caused migration of polar fronts further toward the paleoequator. These polar fronts in turn, would have pushed moist, mid-latitude weather systems toward the paleoequator, resulting in cooler, more humid conditions in low-latitude settings during ''icehouse'' times

The Ladinian Calcare Rosso of the Southern Alps provides a rare opportunity to examine the temporal relationships between tepees and palaeokarst. This unit comprises peritidal strata pervasively deformed into tepees, repeatedly capped by palaeokarst surfaces mantled by terra rossa. Palaeokarsts, characterized by a regional distribution across the Southern Alps, occur at the base and at the top of the unit. Local palaeokarsts, confined to this part of the platform, occur within the Calcare Rosso and strongly affected depositional facies. Tepee deformation ranges from simple antiformal structures (peritidal tepecs) to composite breccias floating in synsedimentary cements and internal sediments (senile tepees). Peritidal tepees commonly occur at the top of one peritidal cycle, in association with subaerial exposure at the cycle top, while senile tepees affect several peritidal cycles, and are always capped by a palaeokarst surface. Cements and internal sediments form up to 80% of the total rock volume of senile tepees. The paragenesis of senile tepees is extremely complex and records several, superimposed episodes of dissolution, cement precipitation (fibrous cements, laminated crusts, mega-rays) and deposition of internal sediments (marine sediment and terra rossa). Petrographical observations and stable isotope geochemistry indicate that cements associated with senile tepees precipitated in a coastal karstic environment under frequently changing conditions, ranging from marine to meteoric, and were altered soon after precipitation in the presence of either meteoric or mixed marine/meteoric waters. Stable isotope data for the cements and the host rock show the influence of meteoric water (average deltaO-18 = - 5.8 parts per thousand), while strontium isotopes (average Sr-87/Sr-86 = 0.707891) indicate that cements were precipitated and altered in the presence of marine Triassic waters. Field relationships, sedimentological associations and paragenetic sequences document that formation of senile tepees was coeval with karsting. Senile tepees formed in a karst-dominated environment in the presence of extensive meteoric water circulation, in contrast to previous interpretations that tepees formed in arid environments, under the influence of vadose diagenesis. Tepees initiated in a peritidal setting when subaerial exposure led to the formation of sheet cracks and up-buckling of strata. This porosity acted as a later conduit for either meteoric or mixed marine/meteoric fluids, when a karst system developed in association with prolonged subaerial exposure. Relative sea level variations, inducing changes in the water table, played a key role in exposing the peritidal cycles to marine, mixed marine/meteoric and meteoric diagenetic environments leading to the formation of senile tepees. The formation and preservation in the stratigraphic record of vertically stacked senile tepees implies that they formed during an overall period of transgression, punctuated by different orders of sea level variations, which allowed formation and later freezing of the cave infills

The combined use of Sr-87/Sr-86 and carbon and water isotopes to study the hydrochemical interaction between groundwater and lakewater in mantled karst, 1996, Katz B. G. , Bullen T. D. ,
The hydrochemical interaction between groundwater and lakewater influences the composition of water that percolates downward from the surficial aquifer system through the underlying intermediate confining unit and recharges the Upper Floridan aquifer along highlands in Florida. The Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio along with the stable isotopes, D, O-18, and C-13 were used as tracers to study the interaction between groundwater, lakewater, and aquifer minerals near Lake Barco, a seepage lake in the mantled karst terrane of northern Florida. Upgradient from the lake, the Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio of groundwater decreases with depth (mean values of 0.71004, 0.70890, and 0.70852 for water from the surficial aquifer system, intermediate confining unit, and Upper Floridan aquifer, respectively), resulting from the interaction of dilute oxygenated recharge water with aquifer minerals that are less radiogenic with depth. The concentrations of Sr2 generally increase with depth, and higher concentrations of Sr2 in water from the Upper Floridan aquifer (20-35 mu g/L), relative to water from the surficial aquifer system and the intermediate confining unit, result from the dissolution of Sr-bearing calcite and dolomite in the Eocene limestone. Dissolution of calcite [delta(13)C = -1.6 permil (parts per thousand)] is also indicated by an enriched delta(13)C(DIC) (-8.8 to -11.4 parts per thousand) in water from the Upper Floridan aquifer, relative to the overlying hydrogeologic units (delta(13)C(DIC) < -16 parts per thousand). Groundwater downgradient from Lake Barco was enriched in O-18 and D relative to groundwater upgradient from the lake, indicating mixing of lakewater leakage and groundwater. Downgradient from the lake, the Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio of groundwater and aquifer material become less radiogenic and the Sr2 concentrations generally increase with depth. However, Sr2 concentrations are substantially less than in upgradient groundwaters at similar depths. The lower Sr2 concentrations result from the influence of anoxic lakewater leakage on the mobility of Sr2 from clays. Based on results from mass-balance modeling, it is probable that cation exchange plays the dominant role in controlling the Sr-87/Sr-86 ratio of groundwater, both upgradient and downgradient from Lake Barco. Even though groundwater from the three distinct hydrogeologic units displays considerable variability in Sr concentration and isotopic composition, the dominant processes associated with the mixing of lakewater leakage with groundwater, as well as the effects of mineral-water interaction, can be ascertained by integrating the use of stable and radiogenic isotopic measurements of groundwater, lakewater, and aquifer minerals

Tracing recharge from sinking streams over spatial dimensions of kilometers in a karst aquifer, 1997, Greene E. A. ,
Stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen were used to trace the sources of recharge from sinking streams to wells and springs several kilometers downgradient in the karst Madison aquifer near Rapid City, South Dakota. Temporal sampling of streamflow above the swallets identified a distinct isotopic signature that was used to define the spatial dimensions of recharge to the aquifer. When more than one sinking stream was determined to be recharging a well or spring, the proportions were approximated using a two-component mixing model. From the isotopic analysis, it is possible to link sinking stream recharge to individual wells or springs in the Rapid City area and illustrate there is significant lateral movement of ground water across surface drainage basins. These results emphasize that well-head protection strategies developed for carbonate aquifers that provide industrial and municipal water supplies need to consider lateral movement of ground-water flow from adjacent surface drainage basins

Spheroidal dolomites in a Visean karst system - Bacterial induced origin?, 1997, Nielsen P. , Swennen R. , Dickson J. A. D. , Fallick A. E. , Keppens E. ,
Spheroidal dolomite crystals occur in the karstified top of a Dinantian dolomite sequence in eastern Belgium. The spheroidal dolomite crystals are best developed at the base of the karst system. The dolomite crystals are characterized by a spherulitic or dumb-bell inclusion pattern, and are overgrown by dolomite cements with a rhombohedral outline. They are considered to be bacterially related precipitates based on, (1) textural similarities with documented bacteriogenic precipitates, (2) the presence of 'bacterial' microspheres and framboidal pyrite embedded within the dolomite, and (3) their general geological setting. The geochemical characteristics of the dolomites and associated minerals support a bacterial origin. The ubiquity of framboidal pyrite, depleted in S-34 (delta(34)S = - 22.4 to - 25.5 parts per thousand CDT), testifies to a period of bacterial sulphate reduction. The isotopic composition of the spheroidal dolomites (delta(13)C = - 2.4 to - 3.2 parts per thousand PDB and delta(18)O = - 3.8 to - 3.4 parts per thousand PDB) suggest a contribution from oxidized organic carbon produced during bacterial sulphate reduction. Sulphate reduction may also result in a concomitant O-18 depletion if the system is nearly closed. It is however, evident from the sulphur isotopic composition of associated framboidal pyrite that the system was fairly open. The O-18 depletion of the spheroidal dolomite crystals (delta(18)O = - 3.8 to - 3.4 parts per thousand PDB) and their occurrence adjacent to, and within karst cavities suggests a mixing zone origin, with a significant proportion of freshwater in it. The rhombohedral cement-overgrowths have calculated delta(18)O values in the range of 0 to 5.3 parts per thousand PDB, which reflect precipitation from normal to slightly evaporated contemporaneous seawater

Changes in the isotopic and chemical composition of ground water resulting from a recharge pulse from a sinking stream, 1998, Katz B. G. , Catches J. S. , Bullen T. D. , Michel R. L. ,
The Little River, an ephemeral stream that drains a watershed of approximately ss km(2) in northern Florida, disappears into a series of sinkholes along the Cody Scarp and flows directly into the carbonate Upper Floridan aquifer, the source of water supply in northern Florida. The changes in the geochemistry of ground water caused by a major recharge pulse from the sinking stream were investigated using chemical and isotopic tracers and mass-balance modeling techniques, Nine monitoring wells were installed open to the uppermost part of the aquifer in areas near the sinks where numerous subterranean karst solution features were identified using ground penetrating radar. During high-flow conditions in the Little River, the chemistry of water in some of the monitoring wells changed, reflecting the mixing of river water with ground water. Rapid recharge of river water into some parts of the aquifer during high-flow conditions was indicated by enriched values of delta O-18 and delta deuterium (-1.67 to -3.17 per mil and -9.2 to -15.6 per mil, respectively), elevated concentrations of tannic acid, higher (more radiogenic) Sr-87/Sr-86 ratios, and lower concentrations of Rn-222, silica, and alkalinity compared to low-how conditions. The proportion of river water that mixed with ground water ranged from 0.10 to 0.67 based on binary mixing models using the tracers O-18, deuterium, tannic acid, silica, Rn-222, and Sr-87/Sr-86. On the basis of mass-balance modeling during steady-state how conditions, the dominant processes controlling carbon cycling in ground water are the dissolution of calcite and dolomite in aquifer material, and aerobic degradation of organic matter. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Ancient helictites and the formation of vadose crystal silt in upper Jurassic carbonates (Southern Germany), 1998, Reinhold C. ,
Speleothems and vadose crystal silt are effective indications for karstification processes in the fossil record. Upper Jurassic limestones in Southern Germany that have undergone vadose diagenesis contain on crystal margins and tips of coarse bladed calcites numerous fibrous calcite crystals, formed by abnormal growth conditions, and internal sediment within fractures and vugs, Fibrous calcite crystals grew as crusts, in fence and mesh-like arrangements. Fibrous crystals, which have a length:width ratio of greater than 1:10, are made up of stacked subcrystals composed of an alternation of hexagonal prisms and rhombohedra, They exhibit a central to somewhat eccentric capillary. Electron probe microanalysis shows low-Mg calcite mineralogy with negligible amounts of Fe, Mn, and Sr as well as dis seminated clay and metal hydroxide impurities. Stable-isotope data show relatively C-13-enriched and O-18-depleted values (delta(13)C similar to parts per thousand PDB, delta(18)O similar to -6 parts per thousand PDB), suggesting a meteoric environment and CO2 degassing as the main process of formation, Fibrous calcite crystals form from capillary fluids that are highly supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, contaminated with alien mineral impurities. The abnormal growth pattern is suggested to be substrate-controlled and attributed to mineral impurities that produce numerous crystallization nuclei. Fibrous calcite crystals are comparable to helictites of the filiform type that are reported only from Quaternary caves. Nevertheless, the diagenetic sequence and oxygen isotope data suggest a Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age for their formation. The internal sediment consists exclusively of silt-size fragments of fibrous crystals and therefore is comparable to vadose crystal silt. Crystal silt is generated by the erosion of fibrous crystals both by va dose seepage and air currents. This study is the first observation of ancient helictites and related vadose crystal silt, documenting the close relationship between pore ceiling vadose cements and the generation of crystal silt

Determination of the sources of nitrate contamination in karst springs using isotopic and chemical indicators, 2001, Panno S. V. , Hackley K. C. , Hwang H. H. , Kelly W. R. ,
The sources of nitrate (NO3-) in groundwater of the shallow karst aquifer in southwestern Illinois' sinkhole plain were investigated using chemical and isotopic techniques. The groundwater in this aquifer is an important source of potable water for about half of the residents of the sinkhole plain area. Previous work has shown that groundwater from approximately 18% of the wells in the sinkhole plain has NO3- concentrations in excess of the USEPA's drinking water standard of 10 mg N/1 Relative to background levels, the NO3- concentrations in water from 52% of the wells, and probably all of the springs in the study area, are anomalously high, suggesting that sources other than naturally occurring soil organic matter have contributed additional NO3- to groundwater in the shallow karst aquifer. This information, and the dominance of agriculture in the study area, suggest that agrichemical contributions may be significant. To test this hypothesis, water samples from 10 relatively large karst springs were collected during four different seasons and analyzed for inorganic constituents, dissolved organic carbon, atrazine, and delta (15) N and delta O-18 of the NO3- ions. The isotopic data were most definitive and suggested that the sources of NO3- in spring water are dominated by N-fertilizer with some possible influence of atmospheric NO3- and, to a much lesser extent, human and/or animal waste. Differences in the isotopic composition of NO3- and some of the chemical characteristics were observed during the four consecutive seasons in which spring water samples were collected. Isotopic values for delta N-15 and delta O-18 of the NO3- ranged from 3.2%o to 19.1%o and from 7.2%o to 18.7%o respectively. The trend of delta N-15 and delta O-18 data for NO3- also indicated that a significant degree of denitrification is occurring in the shallow karst hydrologic system (within the soil zone, the epikarst and the shallow karst aquifer) prior to discharging to springs. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Isotopic, geochemical and biological tracing of the source of an impacted karst spring, Weldon Spring, Missouri, 2001, Criss Re, Fernandes Sa, Winston We,
Weldon Spring is consistently enriched in O-18 relative to other karst springs in east-central Missouri and western Illinois, suggesting an evaporated source component. Regional potentiometric head maps of the shallow aquifer suggest that Prairie Lake, an artificial lake built between 1954 and 1982, could represent this component. Isotopic, biological and chemical tracing of the spring conclusively verify the hypothesis that this lake has impacted Weldon Spring. Mixing calculations indicate that Weldon Spring is now comprised of approximately 80% lake water and 20% groundwater. Recent measurements indicate that the discharge rate of the spring is now approximately 10 times the rate prior to the construction of the lake, confirming the augmentation of flow by a new source. Analysis of the isotopic trends indicates that the subsurface travel time is short, and suggests that the conduits connecting the lake and the spring may be progressively enlarging. (C) 2001 AEHS

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