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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 rock fall is see cave breakdown.?

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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 regional groundwater flow (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Theoretical analysis of regional groundwater flow. 2. Effect of water-table configuration and subsurface permeability variations, 1967, Freeze R. A. , Witherspoon P. A

Modeling of regional groundwater flow in fractured rock aquifers, PhD Thesis, 1990, Kraemer, S. R.

The regional movement of shallow groundwater in the fractured rock aquifer is examined through a conceptual-deterministic modeling approach. The computer program FRACNET represents the fracture zones as straight laminar flow conductors in connection to regional constant head boundaries within an impermeable rock matrix. Regional scale fracture zones are projected onto the horizontal plane, invoking the Dupuit-Forchheimer assumption for flow. The steady state flow solution for the two dimensional case is achieved by requiring nodal flow balances using a Gauss-Seidel iteration. Computer experiments based on statistically generated fracture networks demonstrate the emergence of preferred flow paths due to connectivity of fractures to sources or sinks of water, even in networks of uniformly distributed fractures of constant length and aperture. The implication is that discrete flow, often associated with the local scale, may maintain itself even at a regional scale. The distribution of uniform areal recharge is computed using the Analytic Element Method, and then coupled to the network flow solver to complete the regional water balance. The areal recharge weakens the development of preferential flow pathways. The possible replacement of a discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium is also investigated. A Mohr's circle analysis is presented to characterize the tensor relationship between the discharge vector and the piezometric gradient vector, even at scales below the representative elementary volume (REV). A consistent permeability tensor is sought in order to establish the REV scale and justify replacement of the discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium. Finally, hydrological factors influencing the chemical dissolution and initiation of conduits in carbonate (karst) terrain are examined. Based on hydrological considerations, and given the appropriate geochemical and hydrogeological conditions, the preferred flow paths are expected to develop with time into caves.

Geochemistry of Regional Groundwater Flow in the Aladag Karstic Aquifer, Eastern Taurids-Turkey: Effect of Flow Conditions, 1995, Bayari C. Serdar, Kurttas Turker
The geochemistry of regional groundwater flow along the Aladag karstic aquifer indicates a remarkable correlation between the hydraulic and geochemical conditions. The Aladag. karstic aquifer, in between the recharge area and the regional erosion base, comprises unconfined and confined sections. A transition zone along which semi-confined flow conditions dominate also occurs between these sections. The parts of the aquifer in which unconfined and confined flow conditions dominate seem to be analogous of geochemically open and closed systems of carbonate dissolution, respectively. The varition of physical and chemical properties of the karstic effluents implies that although the carbonate dissolution is perpetual along the flow system, dissolution rates decrease where confined flow conditions start to prevail. However, gypsum dissolution along the regional flow path seems to be independent of hydraulic conditions.

Combined use of environmental isotopic and hydrochemical data in differentiation of groundwater flow patterns through the Aladağ karstic aquifer-Turkey, Application of Tracers in Arid zone Hydro, 1995, Bayari C. S. , Gunay G.
Distinction between the different groundwater flow systems in karstic areas constitutes one of the major objetives of the basin-wide hydrogeologic research. Use of environmental isotopic and hydrochemical investigation techniques provide a great deal of information for the identification of regional groundwater flow systems. The Lower Zamantı Basin, located in the eastern Taurids, presents an accountable water resource potential that can be used for hydroelectric power production. The basin, with the elevation range between 400 m and 350 m, occupies a catchment area of 2000 km2. Humid and semi-arid climatic regimes prevail in the southern and northern parts of the basin. The carbonate rocks and the overlaying impervious ophiolite nappe constitute the major geologic units in the area. Systematic hydrochemical and environmental isotopic surveys have been carried out to discriminate between the different groundwater flow systems existing in the basin. Hydrochemical studies have been conducted by insitu measurements, sampling and analyses of water samples from about 80 points. Based on the results of hydrochemical evaluations, 23 sampling points, including streams and karstic springs, have been selected for environmental isotopic survey. The integrated evaluation of the available data indicates clearly that two different groundwater flow patterns exist in the basin; namely a shallow flow and a deep regional flow. The characteristic values of temperature, electrical conductivity, carbonate alkalinity and log PCO2 of the shallow-flow in the karstic effluents fed by shallow groundwater circulation springs are 8C, 80 S/cm, 1.5 meq/l and 10-2 atm, respectively. On the other hand, higher values, such as 15C, 455 S/cm, 5.0 meq/l and 10-1 atm are observed in the springs fed by deep-regional groundwater flow. The tritium data indicate that the springs fed by the deep-regional groundwater have longer residence times. Moreover, the recharge area elevations, as envisaged from the oxygen-18 data, also provide supporting evidence for the distinction of different groundwater flow patterns. Additionally, comparison of groundwater temperature with oxygen-18 content presents reliable information to understand the possible interaction among the different karstic effluents.

Karst aquifer genesis - Modelling approaches and controlling parameters, 1997, Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Clemens T. , Hiickinghaus D.
The quantification of regional groundwater flow and the transport of dissolved substances in a karst system generally poses problems in parameter identification as well as in the modelling of the above processes. On the other hand, available qualitative and quantitative geological information on the history of the development of karst aquifers, which can provide information on the distribution of karstitied horizons within the modelled domain, are generally not considered. A model has been developed, capable of simulating the interactions between the different processes, i.e. flow, transport coupled with carbonate dissolution, taking into account the varying boundary conditions, e.g. changes in geological and geomorphological (base level) and climatic conditions (recharge depth, temperature). A sensitivity analysis of the duration of karstification to changes in climatic parameters and physico-chemical constants of carbonate dissolution shows that the equilibrium concentration of calcium and the initial diameter of the conduits are very dominant factors.

Regional groundwater flow model construction and wellfield site selection in a karst area, Lake City, Florida, 1999, Dufresne Dp, Drake Cw,
The city of Lake City is in the process of expanding their water supply facilities by 45 420 m(3) day(-1) (12 MGD) to meet future demands. One portion of wellfield site selection addressed here includes analysis of ambient groundwater quality and its potential for contamination. This study also addresses the potential impacts of groundwater withdrawals to existing legal users, wetlands, surface waters and spring flows. A regional groundwater flow model (MODFLOW) was constructed using existing hydrogeologic data from state and federal agencies in order to simulate the existing hydrologic conditions of this karst area and to predict withdrawal impacts. The model was calibrated by matching potentiometric surface maps and spring flows to within reasonable ranges. Drawdowns in the Floridan and surficial aquifers predicted by the model show minimal impacts to existing legal users and only a 5% reduction in the flow at Ichetucknee Springs ca 21 km (13 miles) away. Due to the karstic nature of the Floridan aquifer here, the equivalent-porous-medium flow model constructed would not be appropriate for contaminant transport modeling. The groundwater flow model is, however, appropriate to represent hydraulic heads and recharge/discharge relationships on a regional scale. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Groundwater-flow modeling in the Yucatan karstic aquifer, Mexico, 2002, Gonzalezherrera R. , Pinto I. , Gamboavargas J. ,
The current conceptual model of the unconfined karstic aquifer in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, is that a fresh-water lens floats above denser saline water that penetrates more than 40 km inland. The transmissivity of the aquifer is very high so the hydraulic gradient is very low, ranging from 7-10 mm/km through most of the northern part of the peninsula. The computer modeling program AQUIFER was used to investigate the regional groundwater flow in the aquifer. The karstified zone was modeled using the assumption that it acts hydraulically similar to a granular, porous medium. As part of the calibration, the following hypotheses were tested: (1) karstic features play an important role in the groundwater-flow system; (2) a ring or belt of sinkholes in the area is a manifestation of a zone of high transmissivity that facilitates the channeling of groundwater toward the Gulf of Mexico; and (3) the geologic features in the southern part of Yucatan influence the groundwater-flow system. The model shows that the Sierrita de Ticul fault, in the southwestern part of the study area, acts as a flow barrier and head values decline toward the northeast. The modeling also shows that the regional flow-system dynamics have not been altered despite the large number of pumping wells because the volume of water pumped is small compared with the volume of recharge, and the well-developed karst system of the region has a very high hydraulic conductivity

Can we simulate regional groundwater flow in a karst system using equivalent porous media models? Case study, Barton Springs Edwards aquifer, USA, 2003, Scanlon B. R. , Mace R. E. , Barrett M. E. , Smith B. ,
Various approaches can be used to simulate groundwater flow in karst systems, including equivalent porous media distributed parameter, lumped parameter, and dual porosity approaches, as well as discrete fracture or conduit approaches. The purpose of this study was to evaluate two different equivalent porous media approaches: lumped and distributed parameter, for simulating regional groundwater flow in a karst aquifer and to evaluate the adequacy of these approaches. The models were applied to the Barton Springs Edwards aquifer, Texas. Unique aspects of this study include availability of detailed information on recharge from stream-loss studies and on synoptic water levels, long-term continuous water level monitoring in wells throughout the aquifer, and spring discharge data to compare with simulation results. The MODFLOW code was used for the distributed parameter model. Estimation of hydraulic conductivity distribution was optimized by using a combination of trial and error and automated inverse methods. The lumped parameter model consists of five cells representing each of the watersheds contributing recharge to the aquifer. Transient simulations were conducted using both distributed and lumped parameter models for a 10-yr period (1989-1998). Both distributed and lumped parameter models fairly accurately simulated the temporal variability in spring discharge; therefore, if the objective of the model is to simulate spring discharge, either distributed or lumped parameter approaches can be used. The distributed parameter model generally reproduced the potentiometric surface at different times. The impact of the amount of pumping on a regional scale on spring discharge can be evaluated using a lumped parameter model; however, more detailed evaluation of the effect of pumping on groundwater levels and spring discharge requires a distributed parameter modeling approach. Sensitivity analyses indicated that spring discharge was much more sensitive to variations in recharge than pumpage, indicating that aquifer management should consider enhanced recharge, in addition to conservation measures, to maintain spring flow. This study shows the ability of equivalent porous media models to simulate regional groundwater flow in a highly karstified aquifer, which is important for water resources and groundwater management. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Discriminating Sources and Flowpaths of Anthropogenic Nitrogen Discharges to Florida Springs, Streams and Lakes, 2005, Bacchus St, Barile Pj,
Surface discharges of anthropogenic nutrients historically have been the focus of Florida's water-quality regulations. Groundwater contributions to eutrophication of Florida's surface waters are a more recent focus. Florida's naturally oligotrophic springs, streams, and lakes are experiencing significant anthropogenic nutrient contamination resulting from groundwater discharges with elevated nitrate. Sources of nitrate contamination to these surface-water ecosystems include sewage effluent, industrial animal waste (concentrated animal feedlot operations) and inorganic fertilizers. In this study, stable nitrogen isotope ({delta}15N) analysis of freshwater macrophytes was combined with basic knowledge of watershed and springshed land use and aquifer characteristics to provide evidence of nitrogen contamination sources and groundwater flowpaths. Selected naturally oligotrophic ecosystems included springs and a spring-run stream within the Ocala National Forest (ONF) and springs, a blackwater stream, and a sinkhole lake on or adjacent to state lands. Elevated {delta}15N values ([~] 8 to 12{per thousand}) in ONF macrophytes indicated nitrogen contamination from sewage effluent. Underground injections of effluent and other wastes at ONF's Alexander and Juniper Springs Recreation Areas are the sole source of contaminants flowing through the sandy, surficial aquifer at those study areas. Samples from springs on state lands indicated nitrogen contamination from various sources via regional groundwater flowpaths. At Lake Placid's state lands, a dairy-waste lagoon was the groundwater source of nitrogen contamination via the sandy, surficial aquifer. Bulow Creek {delta}15N macrophyte values ([~] 5 to 8{per thousand}) suggested contamination from both cattle and septic tank leachate. Results indicated that uptake of anthropogenic nitrogen occurred in invasive alien and nuisance native macrophytes in the four freshwater ecosystem types evaluated

Hypogene Speleogenesis: Hydrogeological and Morphogenetic Perspective., 2007, Klimchouk A. B.

This book provides an overview of the principal environments, main processes and manifestations of hypogenic speleogenesis, and refines the relevant conceptual framework. It consolidates the notion of hypogenic karst as one of the two major types of karst systems (the other being epigenetic karst). Karst is viewed in the context of regional groundwater flow systems, which provide the systematic transport and distribution mechanisms needed to produce and maintain the disequilibrium conditions necessary for speleogenesis. Hypogenic and epigenic karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems are predominantly local systems, and/or parts of recharge segments of intermediate and regional systems. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems.

Various styles of hypogenic caves that were previously considered unrelated, specific either to certain lithologies or chemical mechanisms are shown to share common hydrogeologic genetic backgrounds. In contrast to the currently predominant view of hypogenic speleogenesis as a specific geochemical phenomenon, the broad hydrogeological approach is adopted in this book. Hypogenic speleogenesis is defined with reference to the source of fluid recharge to the cave-forming zone, and type of flow system. It is shown that confined settings are the principal hydrogeologic environment for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, there is a general evolutionary trend for hypogenic karst systems to lose their confinement due to uplift and denudation and due to their own expansion. Confined hypogenic caves may experience substantial modification or be partially or largely overprinted under subsequent unconfined (vadose) stages, either by epigenic processes or continuing unconfined hypogenic processes, especially when H2S dissolution mechanisms are involved.

Hypogenic confined systems evolve to facilitate cross-formational hydraulic communication between common aquifers, or between laterally transmissive beds in heterogeneous soluble formations, across cave-forming zones. The latter originally represented low-permeability, separating units supporting vertical rather than lateral flow. Layered heterogeneity in permeability and breaches in connectivity between different fracture porosity structures across soluble formations are important controls over the spatial organization of evolving ascending hypogenic cave systems. Transverse hydraulic communication across lithological and porosity system boundaries, which commonly coincide with major contrasts in water chemistry, gas composition and temperature, is potent enough to drive various disequilibrium and reaction dissolution mechanisms. Hypogenic speleogenesis may operate in both carbonates and evaporites, but also in some clastic rocks with soluble cement. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. It may not be manifest at the surface at all, receiving some expression only during later stages of uplift and denudation. In many instances, hypogenic speleogenesis is largely climate- independent.

There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition in an initial flowpath network. This accounts for the development of more pervasive channeling and maze patterns in confined settings where appropriate structural prerequisites exist. As forced-flow regimes in confined settings are commonly sluggish, buoyancy dissolution driven by either solute or thermal density differences is important in hypogenic speleogenesis.

In identifying hypogenic caves, the primary criteria are morphological (patterns and meso-morphology) and hydrogeological (hydrostratigraphic position and recharge/flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system). Elementary patterns typical for hypogenic caves are network mazes, spongework mazes, irregular chambers and isolated passages or crude passage clusters. They often combine to form composite patterns and complex 3- D structures. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, and in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in cave patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Presence of the characteristic morphologic suites of rising flow with buoyancy components is one of the most decisive criteria for identifying hypogenic speleogenesis, which is much more widespread than was previously presumed. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world.

The refined conceptual framework of hypogenic speleogenesis has broad implications in applied fields and promises to create a greater demand for karst and cave expertise by practicing hydrogeology, geological engineering, economic geology, and mineral resource industries. Any generalization of the hydrogeology of karst aquifers, as well as approaches to practical issues and resource prospecting in karst regions, should take into account the different nature and characteristics of hypogenic and epigenic karst systems. Hydraulic properties of karst aquifers, evolved in response to hypogenic speleogenesis, are characteristically different from epigenic karst aquifers. In hypogenic systems, cave porosity is roughly an order of magnitude greater, and areal coverage of caves is five times greater than in epigenic karst systems. Hypogenic speleogenesis commonly results in more isotropic conduit permeability pervasively distributed within highly karstified areas measuring up to several square kilometers. Although being vertically and laterally integrated throughout conduit clusters, hypogenic systems, however, do not transmit flow laterally for considerable distances. Hypogenic speleogenesis can affect regional subsurface fluid flow by greatly enhancing initially available cross- formational permeability structures, providing higher local vertical hydraulic connections between lateral stratiform pathways for groundwater flow, and creating discharge segments of flow systems, the areas of low- fluid potential recognizable at the regional scale. Discharge of artesian karst springs, which are modern outlets of hypogenic karst systems, is often very large and steady, being moderated by the high karstic storage developed in the karstified zones and by the hydraulic capacity of an entire artesian system. Hypogenic speleogenesis plays an important role in conditioning related processes such as hydrothermal mineralization, diagenesis, and hydrocarbon transport and entrapment.

An appreciation of the wide occurrence of hypogenic karst systems, marked specifics in their origin, development and characteristics, and their scientific and practical importance, calls for revisiting and expanding the current predominantly epigenic paradigm of karst and cave science.

Morphogenesis of hypogenic caves, 2009, Klimchouk A. B.

Hypogenic speleogenesis is the formation of solution-enlarged permeability structures by waters ascending to a cave-forming zone from below in leaky confined conditions, where deeper groundwaters in regional or intermediate flow systems interact with shallower and more local groundwater flow systems. This is in contrast to more familiar epigenic speleogenesis which is dominated by shallow groundwater systems receiving recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, formed by different dissolutional mechanisms operating in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Hypogenic caves commonly demonstrate a characteristic morphologic suite of cave morphs resulting from rising flow across the cave-forming zone with distinct buoyancy-dissolution components. In addition to hydrogeological criteria (hydrostratigraphic position, recharge-discharge configuration and flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system), morphogenetic analysis is the primary tool in identifying hypogenic caves. Cave patterns resulting from ascending transverse speleogenesis are strongly guided by the permeability structure in a cave formation. They are also influenced by the discordance of permeability structure in the adjacent beds and by the overall hydrostratigraphic arrangement. Three-dimensional mazes with multiple storeys, or complex 3-D cave systems are most common, although single isolated chambers, passages or crude clusters of a few intersecting passages may occur where fracturing is scarce and laterally discontinuous. Large rising shafts and collapse sinkholes over large voids, associated with deep hydrothermal systems, are also known. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world. More importantly, hypogenic speleogenesis is much more widespread than it was previously presumed. Growing recognition of hypogenic speleogenesis and improved understanding of its peculiar characteristics has an immense importance to both karst science and applied fields as it promises to answer many questions about karst porosity (especially as deep-seated settings are concerned) which remained poorly addressed within the traditional epigenetic karst paradigm.

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

Thermal springs and hypogenic karstification processes in flow system context, 2013, Mdlsző, 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


The Devils Hole Ridge, a small block of Paleozoic carbonate rocks surrounded by the Amargosa Desert in southern Nevada, is located at the discharge end of the Ash Meadows regional groundwater flow system.
Continuous, long-term presence of slightly thermal (33.6°C) groundwater and the extensional tectonic setting, creating underground thermal lakes in open fractures, lead to intense dissolution above the water table. The morphology of the subaerial parts of the tectonic caves was slightly modified by condensation corrosion, and the Devils Hole Prospect Cave was almost entirely created by condensation corrosion. Caves and cavities in the Devils Hole Ridge are an interesting example of a hypogene speleogenesis by mechanism by condensation corrosion, operating above an aquifer which was demonstrably supersaturated with respect to calcite for hundreds of thousands of years.


The theory of gravity-driven regional groundwater flow was first proposed in 1962/3 based on the Laplace equation. Hydraulic-head patterns were calculated for a two dimensional trapezoidal and homogeneous flow domain with flow lines drawn by hand. The flow region was intended to represent one flank of a stream basin with a periodically undulating water table. At the dawn of numerical modeling the results generated international interest. Numerical models began to be produced with progressively increasing complexity of basin geometry, types and distributions of permeability and time dependent flow. One of the most important results of the first analyses was the birth of the flow-system concept. In a flow system groundwater moves from relatively highly elevated recharge areas, through medium high mid-line regions to relatively low lying discharge areas where it may resurface. Because flow systems are associated with topographic elements of different scale, they are self-organized in hierarchically nested geometric patterns.
The understanding of the systematized structure of basinal groundwater flow soon resulted in the recognition that flow systems act like subsurface conveyor belts. They mobilize and remove matter and heat from the recharge area, pick up more or/and emplace some of it en route, and deposit them in the discharge region. In short: flowing groundwater is a general geologic agent. The original „Theory of regional groundwater flow” became thus expanded into a bimodal umbrella theory with two component theories: i) „The hydraulics of basin-scale groundwater flow” and ii) „The geologic agency of regional groundwater flow”. More than half a century after its conception the theory is extensively analyzed and continues to be applied to a growing number of groundwater related disciplines

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