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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 potentiometric field is as used in karst hydrology, a discontinuous highly irregular surface representing the static ground-water head as indicated by the level to which water rises in a selected piezometer. in some piezometers, the water-level rise will be greatly different from other piezometers (either higher or lower) or may be non-existent all together.?

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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 risk (Keyword) returned 118 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 118
History and Status of the Moiliili Karst, Hawaii, 1998, Halliday, W. R.
The Moiliili Karst occurs in Pleistocene reef limestone located in a populous, low-elevation area of Honolulu, Hawaii. A 1934 construction excavation intersected a previously unknown karstic master conduit at a depth of -7 m msl. Temporary dewatering of over 3.7 x 109 L caused considerable economic loss due to collapses and subsidences in a wedge-shaped area about 1 km on each side. These outline a previously unrecognized dendritic karst drainage. Considerable retrograde flow of salt water also occurred. Subsequent urbanization again lowered the water table and dewatering phenomena are still occurring. A section of Moiliili Water Cave is the only clearly karstic feature that remains available for study. It serves as a floodwater conduit. Surprisingly, its water quality has improved since 1983. Its protection should be a prototype for other Hawaiian karsts and pseudokarsts. Other sections of Honolulu also are underlain by reef limestone and may be at risk.

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998, Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Mapping groundwater vulnerability: the Irish perspective, 1998, Daly D, Warren Wp,
The groundwater protection scheme used in the Republic of Ireland since the 1980s had not encompassed the vulnerability mapping concept. Yet internationally, vulnerability maps were becoming an essential part of groundwater protection schemes and a valuable tool in environmental management. Consequently, following a review of protection schemes world-wide, the scheme used in Ireland was updated and amended to include vulnerability maps as a crucial component of the scheme. The approach taken to vulnerability assessments and mapping in the Republic of Ireland has been dictated by the following fundamental questions: Vulnerability of what? Vulnerability to what? Which factors determine the degree of vulnerability? What is the appropriate scale for map production? How can limitations and uncertainties be taken into account? How can vulnerability assessments be integrated into environmental and resource management? The following decisions were made: (i) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater, not aquifers or wells/springs; (ii) the position in the groundwater system specified to be of interest is the water-table (i.e. first groundwater encountered) in either sand/gravel aquifers or in bedrock; (iii) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants generated by human activities (natural impacts are a separate issue); (iv) as the main threat to groundwater in Ireland is posed by point sources, we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants released at 1-2 m below the ground surface; (v) the characteristics of individual contaminants should not be taken into account; (vi) the natural geological and hydrogeological factors that determine vulnerability are the sub-soils above the watertable, the recharge type (whether point or diffuse) and, in sand/gravels, the thickness of the unsaturated zone; (vii) based on these factors, four vulnerability categories are used (extreme, high, moderate and low); (viii) map scales of 1:50 000 and 1:10 000 are preferred; (ix) limitations and uncertainties are indicated by appropriate wording on the maps and a disclaimer; (x) vulnerability maps should be incorporated into groundwater protection schemes, which should be used in decision-making on the location and control of potentially polluting developments. Vulnerability maps have now been produced for a number of local authority areas. They are an important part of county groundwater protection schemes as they provide a measure of the likelihood of contamination, assist in ensuring that protection schemes are not unnecessarily restrictive of human economic activity, help in the choice of engineering preventative measures, and enable major developments, which have a significant potential to contaminate, to be located in areas of relatively low vulnerability and therefore of relatively low risk, from a groundwater perspective

Lanthanide-labeled clay: A new method for tracing sediment transport in karst, 1998, Mahler B. J. , Bennett P. C. , Zimmerman M. ,
Mobile sediment is a fundamental yet poorly characterized aspect of mass transport through karst aquifers. Here the development and field testing of an extremely sensitive particle tracer that may be used to characterize sediment transport in karst aquifers is described. The tracer consists of micron-size montmorillonite particles homoionized to the lanthanide form; after injection and retrieval from a ground water system, the lanthanide ions are chemically stripped from the clay and quantified by high performance liquid chromatography, The tracer meets the following desired criteria: low detection limit; a number of differentiable signatures; inexpensive production and quantification using standard methods; no environmental risks; and hydrodynamic properties similar to the in situ sediment it is designed to trace. The tracer was tested in laboratory batch experiments and field tested in both surface water and ground water systems. In surface water, arrival times of the tracer were similar to those of a conservative water tracer, although a significant amount of material was lost due to settling. Two tracer tests were undertaken in a karst aquifer under different flow conditions. Under normal flow conditions, the time of arrival and peak concentration of the tracer were similar to or preceded that of a conservative water tracer. Under low flow conditions, the particle tracer was not detected, suggesting that in low flow the sediment settles out of suspension and goes into storage

Effect of automobile emissions on the Jenolan Caves , 1998, James Julia M. , Antil Sarah J. , Cooper A. , Stone D. J. M.

Jenolan Caves are a major tourist attraction in NSW, Australia. One of the major features of the caves is a natural archway known as the Grand Arch, through which a road passes. Carbon dioxide (CO2), sulfur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and particulate matter were measured in an attempt to determine the associated risk to the caves. CO2 levels were above the average atmospheric concentration but below the limestone damage threshold of 2400 ppm. The SOx, NOx and VOCs concentrations were exceptionally low. Vehicle-produced particulate matter from the Grand Arch was found up to 100 m into the tourist caves but was prevented from further penetration by a barrier of moist cave air.


La conservation des grottes ornees: un probleme de stabilite d'un systeme naturel (l'exemple de la grotte prehistorique de Gargas, Pyrenees francaises), 1999, Mangin Alain, Bourges Francois, D'hulst Dominique,
Painted caves are karstic cavities here considered as stable physical systems in a state of dynamic equilibrium. From the example of the Gargas cave, we show that introduction of excess energy (visitors, lighting) causes a loss of stability and introduces a risk of degradation in the cavity. From different approaches, we identify the periods and the causes of instability and we determine the maximum level of introduced energy which would preserve the conservative properties of the cavity. These results allow cave equipment and visitor capacity compatible with satisfactory conservation conditions to be defined.ResumeLes grottes ornees sont des cavites karstiques considerees comme des systemes physiques stables en etat d'equilibre dynamique. Nous montrons, a partir de l'exemple de la grotte de Gargas, que l'introduction d'une energie excedentaire (visiteurs, eclairage) destabilise le systeme naturel, determinant ainsi un risque de degradation dans la cavite. Differentes approches permettent d'identifier les periodes et les causes de la destabilisation et de determiner le niveau maximum d'energie introduite permettant le maintien du pouvoir conservatoire de la cavite. Ces resultats permettent de definir des amenagements et un niveau de frequentation compatible avec des conditions de conservation satisfaisantes

Linear and nonlinear input/output models for karstic springflow and flood prediction at different time scales, 1999, Labat D. , Ababou R. , Mangin A. ,
Karstic formations function as three-dimensional (3D) hydrological basins, with both surface and subsurface flows through fissures, natural conduits, underground streams and reservoirs. The main characteristic of karstic formations is their significant 3D physical heterogeneity at all scales, from fine fissuration to large holes and conduits. This leads to dynamic and temporal variability, e.g, highly variable flow rates, due to several concurrent flow regimes with several distinct response times. The temporal hydrologic response of karstic basins is studied here from an input/output, systems analysis viewpoint. The hydraulic behaviour of the basins is approached via the relationship between hydrometeorological inputs and outputs. These processes are represented and modeled as random, self-correlated and cross-correlated, stationary time processes. More precisely, for each site-specific case presented here, the input process is the total rainfall on the basin and the output process is the discharge rate at the outlet of the basin (karstic spring). In the absence of other data, these time processes embody all the available information concerning a given karstic basin. In this paper, we first present a brief discussion of the physical structure of karstic systems. Then, we formulate linear and nonlinear models, i.e. functional relations between rainfall and runoff, and methods for identifying the kernel and coefficients of the functionals (deterministic vs. statistical; error minimisation vs. polynomial projection). These are based mostly on Volterra first order (linear) or second order (nonlinear) convolution. In addition, a new nonlinear threshold model is developed, based on the frequency distribution of interannual mean daily runoff. Finally, the different models and identification methods are applied to two karstic watersheds in the french Pyrenees mountains, using long sequences of rainfall and spring outflow data at two different sampling rates (daily and semi-hourly). The accuracy of nonlinear and linear rainfall-runoff models is tested at three time scales: long interannual scale (20 years of daily data), medium or seasonal scale (3 months of semi-hourly data), and short scale or 'flood scale' (2 days of semi-hourly data). The model predictions are analysed in terms of global statistical accuracy and in terms of accuracy with respect to high flow events (floods)

Working with knowledge at the science/policy interface: a unique example from developing the Tongass Land Management Plan, 2000, Shawiii Charles G. , Everest Fred H. , Swanston Douglas N. ,
An innovative, knowledge-based partnership between research scientists and resource managers in the U.S. Forest Service provided the foundation upon which the Forest Plan was developed that will guide management on the Tongass National Forest for the next 10-15 years. Criteria developed by the scientists to evaluate if management decisions were consistent with the available information base were applied to major components of the emerging final management strategy for the Forest. While the scientists remained value neutral on the contents of the Forest Plan and the management directions provided in it, their evaluation indicated that the decisions it contained for riparian and fish sustainability, wildlife viability, karst and cave protection, slope stability, timber resources, social/economic effects, and monitoring achieved a high degree of consistency with the available scientific information. The Forest Plan, revised to conform with existing scientific knowledge, represents a management strategy designed to sustain the diversity and productivity of the ecosystem while producing goods and services commensurate with the agency’s multiple-use mandate. Execution of this research/management partnership highlighted the role of scientific knowledge in forestry decision-making and provided a new mechanism to input such information into the decision making process. The partnership continues as the scientists are addressing high priority information needs generated by the planning effort in order to have additional information available for plan implementation and revision through adaptive management over the next 3-5 years

Variability of karstic permeability between unconfined and confined aquifers, Grand Canyon region, Arizona, 2000, Huntoon P. W. ,
Most of the ground water in the Grand Canyon region circulates to springs in the canyon through the thick, deeply buried, karstified Cambrian-Mississippian carbonate section. These rocks are collectively called the lower Paleozoic carbonates and comprise the Redwall-Muav aquifer where saturated. The morphologies of the caves in the Grand Canyon are primarily a function of whether the carbonates are unconfined or confined, a distinction that has broad significance for ground-water exploration and which appears to be generally transferable to other carbonate regions. Caves in unconfined high-gradient environments tend to be highly localized, partially saturated, simple tubes, whereas those in confined low-gradient settings are saturated 2- or even 3-dimensional mazes. The highly heterogeneous, widely spaced conduits in the unconfined settings make for difficult drilling targets, whereas the more ubiquitously distributed mazes in confined settings are far easier to target. The distinctions between the storage characteristics within the two classes are more important. There is minimal ground-water storage in the unconfined systems because cave passages tend to be more widely spaced and are partially drained. In contrast, there is maximum storage in the saturated mazes in the confined systems. Consequently, system responses to major storm recharge events in the unconfined systems are characterized by flow-through hydraulics. Spring discharge from the unconfined systems tends to be both flashy and highly variable from season to season, but total dissolved solids are small. In contrast, the pulse-through hydraulics in the artesian systems cause fluctuations in spring discharge to be highly moderated and, in the larger basins, remarkably steady. Both total dissolved solids and temperatures in the waters from the confined aquifers tend to be elevated because most of the water is derived from storage. The large artesian systems that drain to the Grand Canyon derive water from areally extensive, deep basins where the water has been geothermally heated somewhat above mean ambient air temperatures. Karst permeability is created by the flow system, so dissolution permeability develops most rapidly in those volumes of carbonate aquifers where flow concentrates. Predicting where the permeability should be best developed in a carbonate section involves determining where flow has been concentrated in the geologic past by examining the geometry and hydraulic boundary conditions of the flow field. Karstification can be expected to maximize in those locations provided enough geologic time has elapsed to allow dissolution to adjust to the imposed boundary conditions. The rate of adjustment in the Grand Canyon region appears to be related to the degree of saturation. The artesian systems are far better adjusted to hydraulic gradients than the unconfined systems, a finding that probably implies that there is greater contact between the solvent and rock in the saturated systems. These findings are not arcane distinctions. Rather, successful exploration for ground water and management of the resource is materially improved by recognition of the differences between the types of karst present. For example, the unsaturated conduit karsts in the uplifts make for highly localized, high risk drilling targets and involve aquifers with very limited storage. The conduits have highly variable flow rates, but they carry good quality water largely derived from seasonal flow-through from the surface areas drained. In contrast, the saturated basin karsts, with more ubiquitous dissolutional permeability enhancement, provide areally extensive low risk drilling targets with large ground-water storage. The ground water in these settings is generally of lesser quality because it is derived mostly from long term storage

Groundwater protection zone delineation at a large karst spring in western Ireland, 2000, Deakin J,
Pouladower Spring is a large karst spring in County Clare, Ireland which is being considered for use as a public supply. Groundwater protection zones have been delineated as a water quality management strategy for the spring. The Irish national groundwater protection scheme methodology is adapted to take account of the hydrological and hydrogeological complexities of the karst regime. The catchment area for the spring is large (approximately 380 km2) and comprises the zones of contribution for two major outlets of water, the spring and the River Fergus. The actual zone of contribution to the spring varies with different water level conditions and the risk to the source from any point within the catchment, at any given time, is less than that for a conventional groundwater source. The catchment area is highly vulnerable, but dilution and sedimentation occurring in the lakes up gradient of the source, the high throughput, and the contribution from fissures outside the main flow conduits have helped maintain good water quality at the spring. The source is considered to be a combination of both groundwater and surface water as they are intricately inter-linked throughout the catchment. An Inner Protection Area is delineated which does not provide the 100-days travel time to the source required by the national scheme, as this would be impractically large and over-protective. Rather, it delineates the area of highest hydrogeological risk to the source and should allow the local authority sufficient time to act in the event of an accidental spill. A certain degree of microbial contamination is inevitable in a karst regime and treatment is essential, as it would be for a surface water source. The remainder of the catchment is classed as an Outer Protection Area. These protection areas are then combined with the vulnerability in a GIS to give groundwater protection zones which will be used by the planners, in conjunction with groundwater protection responses, to control potentially contaminating activities

17 beta-estradiol as an indicator of animal waste contamination in mantled karst aquifers, 2000, Peterson E. W. , Davis R. K. , Orndorff H. A. ,
The poultry and cattle industries comprise a large segment of the agricultural economy in the mantled karst area of northwest Arkansas. The associated risks of nutrient and bacterial contamination to karst aquifers by poultry litter have been well documented. However, only recently have the risks associated with hormones, specifically 17 beta-estradiol (E-2), been addressed. During a winter recharge event, five springs in northwest Arkansas were sampled and the waters were analyzed for E-2, fecal coliform, and Escherichia coli. Analyses of the waters from five springs representing three different water-bearing formations revealed that E2 is present in the waters. Concentrations of E-2 ranged from 6 to 66 ng/L. The observed E-2 concentration trends imitated the changes in stage over the recharge event. The EI concentration trends were similar to the concentration trends of both fetal coliform and E. coli at all five springs, indicating that the three components move in the mantled karst system similarly

Ecological incidents in Northern Adriatic Karst (Croatia), 2000, Geres D, Rubinic J, Ozanic N,
In spite of growing efforts to preserve the quality of groundwater resources, accidental pollution is becoming increasingly frequent, resulting in long-lasting impact on the groundwater status. The consequences of ecological accidents are particularly expressed in karst regions, which are caused by the geological properties of the area where the groundwater aquifers are situated, as well as by hydrological circumstances which also influence the dynamic mechanisms of water flow and transportation of pollution in the karst environment. The paper stresses the hydrological component of karst aquifer function and the related role of hydrology in assessment of the hazards caused by accidental pollution and, once the accident has happened, in monitoring the situation and forecasting the possible impact on water resources. The analysis of ecological accidents in the karst has been made, based on the actual examples of accidents involving fuel substances recorded in the Northern Adriatic karst area in Croatia in the period from 1990 to 1998. The basic characteristics of the mechanism of water movement in the karst are presented from the hydrological standpoint, as well as the related risk of rapid transportation of pollutants into the parts of the aquifers used for water supply. The paper also contains proposals for possible approaches to protection of particularly valuable water resources in the karat from accidental pollution occurring in road transport

Radon Hazards, Geology, and Exposure of Cave Users: A Case Study and Some Theoretical, 2000, Gillmore Gavin K. , Sperrin Malcom, Phillips Paul, Denman Antony
The concerns over the risks to human health from radon in underground caves are poorly documented, unlike in workplace or domestic environments where exposures are relatively well known. In U.K. caves, radon has been identified as occurring at elevated levels; but with the exception of major show caves, its impact and risk to the many groups who use the caves have thus far received inadequate attention. This paper presents a survey performed in a relatively ?low-risk? geographical area of the United Kingdom and quantifies the risk of exposure in this cave environment. Radon levels up to 12,552 Bq m−3 were measured: Such concentrations are very high but are likely to underestimate the levels in many other parts of the cave system, for reasons associated with cave architecture and meteorology. This study confirms previous workers' conclusions that long-term users of deep caves, as opposed to rock shelters, are at risk. Annual doses to certain groups of cave users have been calculated to be as high as 120 mSv, a very high value. The study also demonstrates that there is variation both within and between caves as a result of subtleties of the bedrock geology, fault patterns, and weathering. This paper sets out a theoretical model.

Symposium Abstract: Gauging the risk: The 'Fatal Accident Rate' and 'Non-Fatal Accident Rate' for caving and potholing compared with other sports in England and Wales, 2001, Mohr P. , Mohr Julie

Geological hazards in loess terrain, with particular reference to the loess regions of China, 2001, Derbyshire E,
The considerable morphodynamic energy provided by the continuing tectonic evolution of Asia is expressed in high erosional potentials and very high rates of sediment production that make this continent unequalled as a terrestrial source of primary silt. Many of these environments are hazardous, threatening human occupation., health and livelihood, especially in regions of dense population such as the loess lands of north China. Dry loess can sustain nearly vertical slopes, being perennially under-saturated. However, when locally saturated, it disaggregates instantaneously. Such hydrocompaction is a key process in many slope failures, made worse by an underlying mountainous terrain of low-porosity rocks. Gully erosion of loess may yield very high sediment concentrations ( > 60% by weight). Characteristic vertical jointing in loess influences the hydrology. Enlarged joints develop into natural sub-surface piping systems, which on collapse, produce a 'loess karst' terrain. Collapsible loess up to 20 m thick is common on the western Loess Plateau. Foundation collapse and cracked walls are common, many rapid events following periods of unusually heavy monsoonal rain. Slope failure is a major engineering problem in thick loess terrain, flow-slide and spread types being common. The results are often devastating in both urban and rural areas. An associated hazard is the damming of streams by landslides. The human population increases the landslide risk in China, notably through imprudent land-use practices including careless water management. A number of environmentally related endemic diseases arise from the geochemistry of loess and its groundwaters. including fluorosis, cretinism, Kaschin-Beck Disease, Keshan Disease and goitre. The Chinese desert margins also have a major atmospheric dust problem. The effect of such dust upon human health in these extensive regions, including many large cities, has yet to be evaluated, but pneumoconiosis is thought to affect several million people in north and west China. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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