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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 valley sink is (american.) an elongated closed depression or series of interconnecting depressions forming a valley-like depression. compare karst valley; uvala [10].?

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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 underground water flow (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Characteristics of water flow in the karst hinterland of the Temenica river, 1998, Kogovš, Ek Janja, Petrič, Metka

Results of the preliminary study of influences of the planned highway sector Trebnje - Hrastje on karst waters are summarized. The study was based on field survey and review of previous researches. Underground water flow from the stream Lukovški potok to the Zijalo spring with average velocity 0.45 cm/s and further on to the Prečna spring with velocity 4.1 cm/s was proved. This second part of flow is significantly enlarged by recharge from the karst aquifer of Suha krajina. At high and highest waters rather faster flow can be expected and at the same time also fast spreading of eventual pollution. Velocity and mode of infiltration of rain directly into the karst underground was not defined yet. Based on the results of tracing test the underground connection between the Bršljinski potok and Lukovški potok can be estimated as questionable.

Quelques aspects des conditions de circulation des eaux souterraines dans les karsts du gypse des Alpes internes, 1999, Couturier Bernard, Fourneaux Jeanclaude, Sommeria Laure
The Triassic gypsum outcrops are widespread, in the French Inner Alps. They are often found in large heaps between two structural units. Karstic landforms with sinkholes and collapse zones are visible even when they are covered with glacial deposits or fallen rocks. There is also much evidence of underground flows, but the springs do not have any karstic characteristics. The water tracings (two examples) show that the local tectonics have a great influence in the subterranean circulation conditions. At "La Norma" in the Arc valley (Maurienne) the water infiltrated in a large sinkhole supplies several small springs after transit in a fissured aquifer. The spring flow is well regulated. At "Le Clou" in the upper Isre valley (Tarentaise) several sinkholes with loss of ephemeral streams during melting snow supply a large fissured aquifer. There is no spring with karstic features either. The water infiltrated in a sinkhole has been found in several springs during a very long period of time. Whereas the upper part of these aquifers are really like a karstic aquifer, with large stream channels, on the contrary the deeper part is like a fissured aquifer with large water dispersion and low velocity. The fissured and porous aquifer has a throttling action and explains the absence of true resurgence. The underground water flow is unbroken between the different aquifers but permeability decreases according to the depth. These phenomenon are in connection with tectonic activity and the interpenetration of the different geological formations at the bottom of the gypsum layer.

Water tracing test in the Tianshengan region, China at low water level in November 1998, 1999, Kogovš, Ek Janja, Hong Liu

In 1998 a water tracing test at low water level was carried out within the international scientific co-operation between Slovenia and China in the Tianshengan region, Yunnan. This water tracing completed the knowledge achieved by water tracing during middle and high water level that was reached by water tracing tests in 1996 and 1997. From the injection point d towards the final Dalongtan spring the water drainage at low water level was three times slower than at middle water level. The water tracing also showed that water does not flow towards the spring 11 south-west from the injection point near the Shibanshou fault which remained an open question from previous water tracing tests.

Water tracing test in the Tianshengan region, China at high water level, 2000, Kogovš, Ek Janja, Liu Hong

The results of water tracing in the Tianshengan region, Lunan, Yunnan province, China are given. This water tracing presents a continuation of water flow studies in this part of the karst based on Slovene-Chinese scientific co-operation. In September 1997 a water tracing test at high water level was carried out and showed greater velocities double compared to water flow in this area at medium water level in July 1996.

Underground Water Flow from the Tržiščica Sinking Stream (SE Slovenia), 2002, Kogovš, Ek Janja, Petrič, Metka

A tracing test with injection of uranine in the sinking stream Tr¾i¹èica (SE Slovenia) was carried out at the hydrological conditions of recession from medium to low waters. Concentrated flow towards the springs Tominèev studenec, Javornikov izvir and Debeljakov izvir near the village Dvor in the Krka valley was proved. Apparent flow velocities between 2.4 and 4.6 cm/s were obtained, and the share of recovered tracer was estimated to 2/3 of the injected amount. In the Podpe¹ka jama cave the tracer in lower concentrations was detected only after heavy rain occurred after two months of low water. The apparent flow velocity of 0.1 cm/s was calculated. Obtained results, together with the outcomes of the previous tracing tests, indicate that hydrological conditions significantly influence the underground water flow from the Tr¾i¹èica sinking stream.

2D and 3D GPR imaging of sinkholes and dissolution features in Jandaíra karst of Fazenda Belém oil field, Potiguar Basin-CE, northeast of Brazil, PhD Thesis, 2005, Xavier Neto, Pedro

In Fazenda Belém oil field (Potiguar Basin, Ceará State, northeast Brazil) occur frequently sinkholes and sudden terrain collapses associated to an unconsolidated sedimentary cap covering the Jandaíra karst. This research was carried out in order to understand the mechanisms of generation of these collapses. The main tool used was Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). This work is developed twofold: one aspect concerns methodology improvements in GPR data processing whilst another aspect concerns the geological study of the Jandaíra karst. This second aspect was strongly supported both by the analysis of outcropping karst structures (in another regions of Potiguar Basin) and by the interpretation of radargrams from the subsurface karst in Fazenda Belém.

It was designed and tested an adequate flux to process GPR data which was adapted from an usual flux to process seismic data. The changes were introduced to take into account important differences between GPR and Reflection Seismic methods, in particular: poor coupling between source and ground, mixed phase of the wavelet, low signal-to-noise ratio, monochannel acquisition, and high influence of wave propagation effects, notably dispersion. High frequency components of the GPR pulse suffer more pronounced effects of attenuation than low frequency components resulting in resolution losses in radargrams. In Fazenda Belém, there is a stronger need of an suitable flux to process GPR data because both the presence of a very high level of aerial events and the complexity of the imaged subsurface karst structures. The key point of the processing flux was an improvement in the correction of the attenuation effects on the GPR pulse based on their influence on the amplitude and phase spectra of GPR signals. In low and moderate losses dielectric media the propagated signal suffers significant changes only in its amplitude spectrum; that is, the phase spectrum of the propagated signal remains practically unaltered for the usual travel time ranges. Based on this fact, it is shown using real data that the judicious application of the well known tools of time gain and spectral balancing can efficiently correct the attenuation effects. The proposed approach can be applied in heterogeneous media and it does not require the precise knowledge of the attenuation parameters of the media. As an additional benefit, the judicious application of spectral balancing promotes a partial deconvolution of the data without changing its phase. In other words, the spectral balancing acts in a similar way to a zero phase deconvolution. In GPR data the resolution increase obtained with spectral balancing is greater than those obtained with spike and predictive deconvolutions.

The evolution of the Jandaíra karst in Potiguar Basin is associated to at least three events of subaerial exposition of the carbonatic plataform during the Turonian, Santonian, and Campanian. In Fazenda Belém region, during the mid Miocene, the Jandaíra karst was covered by continental siliciclastic sediments. These sediments partially filled the void space associated to the dissolution structures and fractures. Therefore, the development of the karst in this region was attenuated in comparison to other places in Potiguar Basin where this karst is exposed. In Fazenda Belém, the generation of sinkholes and terrain collapses are controlled mainly by: (i) the presence of an unconsolidated sedimentary cap which is thick enough to cover completely the karst but with sediment volume lower than the available space associated to the dissolution structures in the karst; (ii) the existence of important structural of SW-NE and NW-SE alignments which promote a localized increase in the hydraulic connectivity allowing the channeling of underground water, thus facilitating the carbonatic dissolution; and (iii) the existence of a hydraulic barrier to the groundwater flow, associated to the Açu-4 Unity.

The terrain collapse mechanisms in Fazenda Belém occur according to the following temporal evolution. The meteoric water infiltrates through the unconsolidated sedimentary cap and promotes its remobilization to the void space associated with the dissolution structures in Jandaíra Formation. This remobilization is initiated at the base of the sedimentary cap where the flow increases its abrasion due to a change from laminar to turbulent flow regime when the underground water flow reaches the open karst structures. The remobilized sediments progressively fill from bottom to top the void karst space. So, the void space is continuously migrated upwards ultimately reaching the surface and causing the sudden observed terrain collapses. This phenomenon is particularly active during the raining season, when the water table – that normally is located in the karst – may be temporarily located in the unconsolidated sedimentary cap.

Hydrogeological research as a basis for the preparation of the plan of monitoring groundwater contamination: A case study of the Stara vas landfill near Postojna (SW Slovenia), 2005, Petrič, Metka, Š, Ebela Stanka

For the present 9 landfills on karst are still active in Slovenia, among them also the Stara vas landfill near Postojna. As strong fissuration of the rock base and very good permeability is typical for karst areas, the waste waters from the landfills particularly endanger the groundwater. The capacity of natural filtration in karst is very low and the dimension of possible negative impact is very high. The actual legislation regulates the performance of operational monitoring, a part of which is also the measurement of parameters of contamination of groundwater by hazardous substances, if they are in the area of influence of the landfill. Preparation of the monitoring plan is based on adequate hydrogeological researches. Besides basic geological and hydrogeological data also the results of tracer tests were used in the case study of the Stara vas landfill. Additionally, the detailed tectonic-lithological mapping in the scale 1:5000 was performed in the narrow area of the landfill. Based on defined characteristics of underground water flow and in accordance with the regulations 3 monitoring points inside (Malenščica and Vipava springs, Fužina cave) and one point outside the area of influence of the landfill (Matijeva jama cave) were selected. The monitoring plan for the observation of water quality and capacity was suggested.

The Mala gora landfill near Ribnica is one of the nine still active landfills on Slovene karst. According to our legislation the monitoring of its impact on groundwater have to be performed, but this can only be effective when the characteristics of the underground water flow in the area of the landfill are well known. Therefore a tracer test was carried out on the Mala gora landfill and the main underground water connections towards the Tomin?ev studenec, Javornikov izvir, Debeljakov izvir and ?ica springs near the settlement Dvor in the Krka valley were proved. In lower concentrations the uranine was detected in the Podpe?ka jama and Kompoljska jama Caves, as well as in the ?ica near Mala Ra?na spring and both springs of the Krka river. At high waters the flow from the landfill towards the Globo?ec spring was proved also, but this important source of water supply is primary recharged from other parts of the karst aquifer. The appearance of tracer is forwarded by favourable hydrological conditions and increased concentrations of uranine were measured at all springs after more intensive precipitation events even one year after the injection. Obtained results were considered in the preparation of the monitoring plan.

Evolution actuelle des phnomnes karstiques dans la Cordillera de la Sal (Atacama, Nord Chili), 2006, Sesiano Jean
New observations about the very slow present-day evolution of karstic phenomena in the Cordillera de la Sal (Atacama, Chile) - A second visit to the salt diapir in the Cordillera de la Sal, on the western margin of the Salar de Atacama was conducted 9 years after the first one. We noticed practically no change in the landscape morphology in that very arid region. A stainless steel piton driven at the base of a small cliff of rock salt was used to measure the salt dissolution rate. It did not show any extra thickness loss. A new passage system, partly underground, was discovered and mapped. Several swallow holes were observed, most of them half-filled with eolian sand. Undoubtedly they become active as soon as enough rain is collected at the surface. The underground water flows probably in the direction of the Salar in order to feed the water-table in the post evaporitic sediments, following the prominently N 140o oriented fracture system of the Cordillera de la Sal. Under the present climatic conditions, which are hyper-arid, observations on a time scale longer than the decade are essential to see changes in morphology.

Long-term tracing in karstic aquifer reservoir for drinking water:, 2006, Rino Semeraro, Massimiliano Baldassi, Luciano Ballarin, Clarissa Brun, Luca D?amelio, Fulvio Forti
The chain of the Musi Mt (1,869.4 m) is one of the most important karst massifs of the Western Julian Fore-Alps (Italy). It corresponds to an east-west unicline dipping north. The structural northern slope, having glaciokarst morphologies, is conditioned by karst in calcareous rocks (Raethian-Liassic); the southern dolomitic slope (Dolomia Principale, Norian-Raethian), is less karstified and is characterized by trenches. On the northern slope, the Barmàn spring is located; on the southern slope the Voidizza Springs and the Torre Springs are located. The Torre Springs, fed by both the alluvial aquifer of the upper valley of the Torre Stream and by the carbonate aquifer of the Musi, supply the waterworks of western Friuli region managed by ?CAFC Consorzio Acquedotti Friuli Orientale?. Almost the whole feeding basin of the above-mentioned springs is placed in a protected area, managed by ?Ente Parco Naturale delle Prealpi Giulie?. Therefore, the zone is an important example of an area having high vulnerability due to karst and it is strategic for the water supply for an important part of Friuli. Formerly, two tracing tests were carried out injecting Uranine into the Pahor Abyss on the northern slope. From these tests it results that the waters of the karst area drain in the Uragano Cave and in the underlying Barman Spring. Only during heavy low water, when the underground watershed of the massif lowers, is it possible to observe traces of Uranine in the Torre Springs, since the most northern underground regions of the massif are drained. In order to understand better the underground water flow, a long-term tracing was carried out injecting Uranine in the the Pahor Abyss on 11th October 2005. The tracer test was supported by a chemical-physical study of the underground waters of the massif, in the period from 28th September 2005 to 13th January 2006. In this study flow measurements (Q), physical-chemical measurements on the field (TC, pH, E.C.20C), chemical analysis (Tot. hardness, TDS180, Alk. CaHCO3-, K+, Na+, Ca2+, Mg2+, Cl-, SO42-, NO3-, NH4+, B, SiO2, Li+, Rb+, Sr2+, Cd, Co, tot. Cr, Ni, Pb, Mn, Fe, Cu, As, Zn) and the analysis of the stable isotopes (δ18O, δD) were carried out. As for the tracing test two fluorometer probes were positioned: one at the Barmàn Spring, the other in the mixer between the 21 drainages and the capture well of the Torre Springs. Moreover, the Voidizza Springs were checked and regularly sampled. Uranine was found at the Barmàn Spring after 12.26 hours with a distance of about 1,500 m. It probably flowed in large karst conduits, at a theoretical speed of 120 m/h (3.3 cm/s). The breakthrough curves are very quick: Uranine wave extinguished in only three days, thus confirming that it is a high mountain system that reacts to impulses immediately. The E.C.20C of the Barmàn Spring is almost constantly lower than that of the Torre and Voidizza Springs, whereas the temperature of the Voidizza Springs is always the highest of all the waters measured. δ18O of the Barmàn Spring (between -9.0 ? and -9.1?) is always inferior to that of the springs placed on the southern slope (between -8.0? and -8.7 ?) and δD of the Barmàn Spring ranges between -55? and -63?. E.C.20C of the Barmàn Spring (between μS/cm 128.7 and μS/cm 188.0) is almost always inferior to the E.C.20C of the springs of the southern slope (between μS/cm 139.9 and μS/cm 228.0). Ca2+ and Mg2+ are absolutely predominant in all the waters, where the Ca2+ values of the Barman Spring (around 30 mg/L) and of the springs of the southern slope (between 30 mg/L and 31.8 mg/L) are similar, whereas at the Barman Spring Mg2+ is always lower (about 4.9 mg/L) than that of the springs of the southern slope (between 9.0 mg/L and 16.2 mg/L). This confirms that the southern springs are fed by a predominantly dolomitic aquifer (in particular the Voidizza Springs) compared with that of the northern slope. Among the minor elements it is possible to observe Cu and Fe at the Torre and Voidizza Springs, whereas here Sr is remarkable (between 13.9 μg/L and 18.3 μg/L) and diffused in the whole aquifer. SO42- and NO3- are low in all the waters.


It is known, that 90 % or even more of underground water flows through large conduits. Restrictions and siphons represent only small percentage of karstic aquifer. But because of them, con­duits, which transmit water, are only partly accessible. Difficult access is a reason why many water transmissions have not been explored yet. Because of this, geometry and length of all under­ground conduits is not known, it can be only predicted. In such a case processes of water flow in karstic conditions are more easily predictable by modeling. Basic physical models are usu­ally used. They are based on the conduit permeability of karst water. We assume conduits with different dimensions, smaller usually presenting areas of full pipe flow (under pressure) and larger open channel flow. We were interested in the hydraulic conditions, when does the change from open channel to full pipe flow occur and when does underground flow from main conduit divide into two neighbouring conduits. The response of a karst aquifer to a flood pulse was not studied in our model, but we observed its behaviour during a constant increase of re­charge into the karstic underground.

Krina jama and Krina jama 2 are of important natural value. They have been known for more than hundred years from speleobiological, paleontological, geomorphological and touristic points of view. In 2007 the establishment of a water treatment plant on Bloke plateau raised important question: can partly cleaned water from the water treatment plant contaminate both caves and decrease their value? To answer this question a tracer test was carried out at the Bloke plateau. It showed general underground water flow from Farov?ica ponor at Bloke plateau toward the teber?ica spring at Cerknica polje. Minority of recovered tracer appeared at erovni?ica and Izvir v Podlou springs. The tracer was not detected at Studenec v Lou and Zlatovec springs. Between ponor and springs three karst caves were observed. The highest concentration of tracer was detected in the cave Mrzla jama pri Blo?icah and a much smaller concentration in the Krina jama and Krina jama 2. This shows that at middle water level the underground Farov?ica stream does not flow directly through Krina jama and Krina jama 2 but near or below them. Since the tracer appeared in both caves only after the precipitation, underground water course can be significantly different at high water level. Tracing test also showed some characteristics of underground water flow through dolomite and characteristics of a composed aquifer with alogenic-autogenic recharge.

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