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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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 A-horizon is the topmost eluviated horizon of a soil profile [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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 vulnerability (Keyword) returned 125 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 125
Water vulnerability assessment in karst environments: a new method of defining protection areas using a multi-attribute approach and GIS tools (EPIK method), 1999,
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Doerfliger N, Jeannin Py, Zwahlen F,
Groundwater resources from karst aquifers play a major role in the water supply in karst areas in the world, such as in Switzerland. Defining groundwater protection zones in karst environment is frequently not founded on a solid hydrogeological basis. Protection zones are often inadequate and as a result they may be ineffective. In order to improve this situation, the Federal Office for Environment, Forests and Landscape with the Swiss National Hydrological and Geological Survey contracted the Centre of Hydrogeology of the Neuchatel University to develop a new groundwater protection-zones strategy in karst environment. This approach is based on the vulnerability mapping of the catchment areas of water supplies provided by springs or boreholes. Vulnerability is here defined as the intrinsic geological and hydrogeological characteristics which determine the sensitivity of groundwater to contamination by human activities. The EPIK method is a multi-attribute method for vulnerability mapping which takes into consideration the specific hydrogeological behaviour of karst aquifers. EPIK is based on a conceptual model of karst hydrological systems, which suggests considering four karst aquifer attributes: (1) Epikarst, (2) Protective cover, (3) Infiltration conditions and (4) Karst network development. Each of these four attributes is subdivided into classes which are mapped over the whole water catchment. The attributes and their classes are then weighted. Attribute maps are overlain in order to obtain a final vulnerability map. From the vulnerability map, the groundwater protection zones are defined precisely. This method was applied at several sites in Switzerland where agriculture contamination problems have frequently occurred. These applications resulted in recommend new boundaries for the karst water supplies protection-zones

Karstic groundwater flow characteristics in the Cretaceous Chalk aquifer, Northern Ireland, 1999,
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Barnes S,
The Cretaceous Chalk in Northern Ireland (Ulster White Limestone Formation) is a locally important aquifer for both public and private supply, yet little is known about its groundwater flow regime. This issue is important for the protection of existing groundwater abstractions and for the development of new sources as it will help determine groundwater vulnerability and resource potential in the Chalk. The subject has been addressed using hydrochemical variations from individual springs, together with artificial and natural water tracing techniques employed from river-sinks located at outcrop. A common orientation has been established between traced groundwater flow routes and the dominant northwest-southeast fracture trend within the Ulster White Limestone Formation. Hydraulic gradient has also been shown to have little significance in controlling the flow direction, suggesting poor fracture connectivity and thus extreme aquifer heterogeneity. Tracer breakthrough curve characteristics and velocities (up to 2838 metres per day) are indicative of conduit rather than fracture flow. In addition, the highly variable water chemistry associated with all the proven river-sink supplied springs has been independently classified to meet conduit flow criteria. Conversely, the much less variable water chemistry associated with springs draining Chalk subcrop areas (with no influence from river-sinks) is consistent with a less active karstic regime

Review of groundwater pollution and protection in karst areas, 1999,
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Kacaroglu F. ,
Karst groundwater (the water in a karst aquifer) is a major water resource in many regions of some countries. Water requirements for most of the settlements in the karstic regions are supplied from karst aquifers. Karst environments are also used for the disposal of liquid and solid domestic agricultural, and industrial wastes, which result in karst groundwater pollution. Karst aquifers have specific hydraulic and hydrogeologic characteristics that render them highly vulnerable to pollution from human activities. Karst groundwater becomes polluted more easily and in shorter time periods than water in non-karstic aquifers. Thus, protection measures are required to preserve the quality and quantity of karst groundwater that specifically consider the vulnerability of the karst environment. In order to preserve karst groundwater, the geological, hydrological and hydrogeological characteristics of the karst area must be investigated and information on polluting activities and sources must be collected. Then, a comprehensive protection and control system must be developed consisting of the following six components: (1) develop and implement a groundwater monitoring system, (2) establish critical protection zones, (3) develop proper land use strategies, (4) determine the reasonable development capacity of the karst aquifer, (5) control and eliminate when necessary sources of pollution, (6) increase public awareness of the value and vulnerability of karst aquifers

From a conceptual model of karst hydrological systems to water-vulnerability mapping, 1999,
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Jeannin Py. , Zwahlen F. , Doerfliger N.
A conceptual model of karst hydrological systems is presented hereIt considers that water flows through four cascading subsystems: soils, epikarst, unsaturated zone, and saturated zoneThis model lead us to define four criteria which appear to be significant for intrinsic vulnerability assessment with respect to a spring or a well: characteristics of epikarst (E), characteristics of protective cover (P), recharge or infiltration type (I) and presence/absence of a well-developed conduit network (K)The method has proved to be adequate for karst in Central EuropeIn the future, it should be tested in other areas and compared to numerical approaches of karst systems

Groundwater resources and vulnerability in the Cretaceous Chalk of Northern Ireland, 2000,
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Barnes S,
A confined Cretaceous Chalk aquifer underlies approximately one quarter of Northern Ireland, yet little is known about its groundwater resource potential. This issue has been addressed on the catchment scale by analysing spring discharge and hydrochemical fluctuations. The Chalk springs are recharged by allogenic leakage and surface runoff from overlying Tertiary basalts. Sources connected to river-sinks show greater variation in flow and quality reflecting a much shorter residence time than those predominantly derived from the diffuse recharge. Discharge from the confined region becomes proportionally significant during prolonged dry spells, but is typically a minor component compared with groundwater circulation volumes in the unconfined region. Spring flood recessions are rapid (recession coefficients up to 0.125 per day) and suggest that the Chalk has a high hydraulic conductivity and a low storage capacity. These characteristics together, with the essentially impermeable matrix, are consistent with an aquifer dominated by a dispersed fracture network. Conceptual aquifer classification suggests that the outcrop region is a highly sensitive karst aquifer. The subcrop areas can only be exploited via boreholes and are likely to be less productive, although the water quality has been shown to be more stable and less vulnerable to contamination

Groundwater protection zone delineation at a large karst spring in western Ireland, 2000,
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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

Groundwater protection in a Celtic region: the Irish example, 2000,
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Misstear Bruce D. , Daly Donal,
One of the key environmental objectives of the proposed EU Water Framework Directive is that Member States must prevent the deterioration of groundwater quality. A national groundwater protection scheme for Ireland has been published recently. This scheme shows certain broad similarities to the groundwater protection policy for England and Wales, incorporating the concepts of groundwater vulnerability, source protection zones and responses to potentially polluting activities. However, the Irish scheme is different in several important respects, reflecting the different hydrogeological conditions and pollution concerns in Ireland. Some of these hydrogeological conditions and pollution concerns are common to the other Celtic regions. A major feature of the Irish scheme is the importance given to subsoil permeability in defining groundwater vulnerability. At present, the subsoil permeability is classified in qualitative terms as high, moderate or low. For the protection scheme to be defensible, it is essential to adopt a systematic and consistent approach for assigning subsoil units to these permeability categories. In mapping groundwater vulnerability, it is also useful to take account of secondary indicators such as groundwater recharge potential, natural and artificial drainage density and vegetation characteristics. Another important issue in Ireland is the protection of groundwater in karst areas, since these areas are especially vulnerable to contamination

Sensitivity analysis for the EPIK method of vulnerability assessment in a small karstic aquifer, southern Belgium, 2000,
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Gogu Radu Constantin, Dassargues Alain,

Transport of free and particulate-associated bacteria in karst, 2000,
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Mahler B. J. , Personne J. C. , Lods G. F. , Drogue C. ,
Karst aquifers, because of their unique hydrogeologic characteristics, are extremely susceptible to contamination by pathogens. Here we present the results of an investigation of contamination of a karst aquifer by fecal indicator bacteria. Two wells intercepting zones with contrasting effective hydraulic conductivities, as determined by pump test, were monitored both during the dry season and in response to a rain event. Samples were also collected from the adjacent ephemeral surface stream, which is known to be impacted by an upstream wastewater treatment plant after rainfall. Whole water and suspended sediment samples were analyzed for fecal coliforms and enterococci. During the dry season, pumping over a 2-day period resulted in increases in concentrations of fecal coliforms to greater than 10,000 CFU/100 mi in the high-conductivity well; enterococci and total suspended solids also increased, to a lesser degree. Toward the end of the pumping period, as much as 50% of the fecal coliforms were associated with suspended sediment. Irrigation of an up-gradient pine plantation with primary-treated wastewater is the probable source of the bacterial contamination. Sampling after a rain event revealed the strong influence of water quality of the adjacent Terrieu Creek on the ground water. Bacterial concentrations in the wells showed a rapid response to increased concentrations in the surface water, with fecal coliform concentrations in ground water ultimately reaching 60,000 CFU/100 mi. Up to 100% of the bacteria in the ground water was associated with suspended sediment at Various times. The results of this investigation are evidence of the strong influence of surface water on ground water in karst terrain, including that of irrigation water. The large proportion of bacteria associated with particulates in the ground water has important implications for public health, as bacteria associated with particulates may be more persistent and more difficult to inactivate. The high bacterial concentrations found in both wells, despite the difference in hydraulic conductivity, demonstrates the difficulty of predicting vulnerability of individual wells to bacterial contamination in karst. The extreme temporal variability in bacterial concentrations underscores the importance of event-based monitoring of the bacterial quality of public water supplies in karst. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Finding minimal herbicide concentrations in ground water? Try Looking for their degradates, 2000,
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Kolpin D. W. , Thurman E. M. , Linhart S. M. ,
Extensive research has been conducted regarding the occurrence of herbicides in the hydrologic system, their fate, and their effects on human health and the environment. Few studies, however, have considered herbicide transformation products (degradates). In this study of Iowa ground water, herbicide degradates were frequently detected. In fact, herbicide degradates were eight of the 10 most frequently detected compounds. Furthermore, a majority of a herbicide's measured concentration was in the form of its degradates - ranging from 55 to over 99%. The herbicide detection frequencies and concentrations varied significantly among the major aquifer types sampled. These differences, however, were much more pronounced when herbicide degradates were included. Aquifer types presumed to have the most rapid recharge rates (alluvial and bedrock/karst region aquifers) were those most likely to contain detectable concentrations of herbicide compounds. Two indirect estimates of ground-water age (depth of well completion and dissolved-oxygen concentration) were used to separate the sampled wells into general vulnerability classes (low, intermediate, and high). The results show that the herbicide detection frequencies and concentrations varied significantly among the vulnerability classes regardless of whether or not herbicide degradates were considered. Nevertheless, when herbicide degradates were included, the frequency of herbicide compound detection within the highest vulnerability class approached 90%, and the median total herbicide residue concentration increased over an order of magnitude, relative to the parent compounds alone, to 2 mu g/l. The results from this study demonstrate that obtaining data on herbicide degradates is critical for understanding the fate of herbicides in the hydrologic system. Furthermore, the prevalence of herbicide degradates documented in this study suggests that to accurately determine the overall effect on human health and the environment of a specific herbicide its degradates should also be considered. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

The PI method: a GIS based approach to mapping groundwater vulnerability with special consideration of karst aquifers., 2000,
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Goldscheider N. , Klute M. , Sturm S. , Hotzl H.

Valutazione e cartografia automatica delta vulnerabilita degli acquiferi all'inquina-mento con il sistema parametrico SINTACS R5, 2000,
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Civita M. , De Maio M.

Karst groundwater protection: the case of the Rijeka region, Croatia, 2000,
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Biondić, Bož, Idar

The problem of protection of water resources in the karst area of Croatia has been particularly acute for the last 30 years. Specific natural conditions under which the dynamics of groundwater is formed and developed were reasons for difficulties in preparation of uniform criteria of protection. Present experience makes it possible to establish a more organized approach to the problem. This applies, in particular, to the surroundings of the town Rijeka, where considerable funds were invested into research on new groundwater abstractions, but also toward their protection. In this paper the general approach to karst water protection in Croatia will be presented. This consists of an explanation of natural conditions, necessary research activities, general criteria and measures for protection, improvement of sanitary conditions in zones of high protection, design of new constructions in protection zones, urban planning and protection, etc. A part of the paper will be directed to the regulation procedure and organizational problems in such an active approach to karst water protection.

Recent developments in knowledge of the hydrogeology of the Classical Karst, 2000,
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Cucchi Franco, Forti Paolo, Marinetti Enrico, Zini Luca

The Classical Karst may well be the best area for polythematic researches. It would be useful to understand karst phenomena and create a hydrogeological model valid for all mature karst. The Karst area is quite well studied and known. The geology, hydrology and its history have been studied since the 16th century. Nowadays the continuous monitoring of hypogean waters, the elaboration of a Digital Elevation Model, the discovery of some new caves and their study has permited the processing of the vulnerability map. On the basis of the results of all of these researches, we propose activating a co-operation between European researchers to develop hydrodynamic models of the most well known karst in the world: the Classical Karst

Vulnerability mapping in karst areas and its uses in Switzerland1, 2000,
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Tripet Jeanpierre, Doerfliger Nathalie, Zwahlen Franç, Ois, Delporte Cyril

A new approach for delineating protection zones in karst regions based upon vulnerability mapping of catchment areas is being developed at the Swiss National Hydrological and Geological Survey. Due to the particular hydrogeological characteristics of karst aquifers, specific protection measures are required. Protection zones in karst delineated on the basis of existing guidelines generally do not take into consideration hydrogeological factors, and therefore provide only limited efficiency. The newly proposed "EPIK" method is based on vulnerability mapping of the catchment area of the source, where various objective vulnerability factors are taken into consideration: epikarst (E), protective cover (P), infiltration conditions (I), and karstic network (K). A field application on the case of Saint-Imier pilot area is presented.

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