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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. ...

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That Thiem equation is the equation that describes steady-state equilibrium radial flow into a well [16].?

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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 strain (Keyword) returned 198 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 198
Le massif de la Chartreuse, Alpes franaises du Nord : paysages karstiques et organisation des rseaux souterrains, 1990, Lismonde B. , Delannoy J. J.
The massif of Chartreuse: karsts features and underground systems (Alps, France) - The Chartreuse massif is the smallest of the subalpine massifs, but it contains the most important underground systems of French Alps. The massif of Chartreuse is characterised by parallel folds directed N020. The eastern plateau spreads out urgonian limestone (perched syncline); it contains the two largest cave systems: "Alpe-Alpette" (54 km) and "Dent de Crolles" (54 km). To the W, the limestone layers are uplifted by the orogenic strains and thereby, the caves are very deep: "rseau Ded" (- 780m), "puits Francis" (- 723m), "gouffre de Gnieux" (- 675m). Two transverse rivers make the hydrologic drainage: the "Guiers Vif" and the "Guiers Mort", which cut up the region into small hydrological basins. The greatest of them is "Guiers Vif" basin, with an area of 9.2 km2.

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 L1 has been replaced by L2 and has similar trace element, O, C, and Sr isotopic signatures, and similar cathodoluminescence and backscattered electron images.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

Construction and growth properties of a yeast strain defective in sterol 14-reductase, 1992, Marcireau Christophe, Guyonnet Daniel, Karst Francis,

Origin of sulphur in minerals and fluids from Latium (Italy); isotopic constraints, 1992, Cavarretta G, Lombardi G,

Within the Franco-Belgian segment of the Hercynian orogen, two thick Dinantian anhydritic formations are known, respectively in the Saint-Ghislain (765 m) and Epinoy 1 (904 m) wells. Nevertheless, occurrences of widespread extended breccias and of numerous pseudomorphs of gypsum/anhydrite in stratigraphically equivalent carbonate deposits (boreholes and outcrops), suggest a larger extent of the evaporitic conditions (fig. 1, 2). The present distribution of evaporites is controlled by palaeogeographical differentiation and post-depositional parameters such as tectonics and dissolution. These latter have dissected the deposits formerly present in all the structural units. By using depositional, diagenetic and deformational characters of these formations, the article provides a model for the reconstruction of a dislocated evaporitic basin. This segment of the Hercynian chain is schematically composed of two main units (fig. 1, 3) : (1) the autochthonous or parautochthonous deposits of the Namur synclinorium, (2) the Dinant nappe thrusted northward over the synclinorium of Namur. The major thrust surface is underlined by a complex fault bundle (faille du Midi) seismically recognized over more than 100 km. A complex system of thrust slices occurs at the Hercynian front. Except for local Cretaceous deposits, most of the studied area has been submitted to a long period of denudation since the Permian. Sedimentary, faunistic and geochemical data argue for a marine origin of the brines which have generated the evaporites interbedded with marine limestones. Sedimentary structures. - The thick evaporitic formations are composed of calcium-sulfates without any clear evidence of the former presence of more soluble salts (with the exception of a possible carbonate-sulfate breccia in the upper part of the Saint-Ghislain formation). As in all the deeply buried evaporitic formations, the anhydrite is the main sulfate component which displays all the usual facies : pseudomorphs after gypsum (fig. 4A, B), nodular and mosaic (fig. 4C), laminated. The gypsum was probably an important component during the depositional phase despite the predominant nodular pattern of the anhydrite. Early diagenetic nodular anhydrite may have grown during temporary emersion of the carbonates (sabkha environments), but this mechanism cannot explain the formation of the whole anhydrite. So, most of the anhydrite structures result from burial-controlled gypsum --> anhydrite conversion and from mechanical deformations. Moreover, a complex set of diagenetic processes leads to various authigenic minerals (celestite, fluorite, albite, native sulfur, quartz and fibrous silica) and to multistaged carbonate <> sulfate replacements (calcite and dolomite after sulfate, replacive anhydrite as idiomorphic poeciloblasts, veinlets, domino-like or stairstep monocrystals...). These mineral transformations observed ill boreholes and in outcrops have diversely been controlled during the complex evolution of the series as : depositional and diagenetic pore-fluid composition, pressure and temperature changes with burial, bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction, deep circulations favored by mechanical brecciation, mechanical stresses, role of groundwater during exhumation of the series. Deformational structures. - A great variety of deformational structures as rotational elongation, stretching, lamination, isoclinal microfolding, augen-like and mylonitic structures are generated by compressive tectonic stresses (fig. 4D to J). The similarities between tectonic-generated structures and sedimentary (lamination) or diagenetic (pseudo-nodules) features could lead lo misinterpretations. The calcareous interbeds have undergone brittle deformation the style and the importance of which depend of their relative thickness. Stretching, boudins, microfolds and augen structures F, H. I) affect the thin layers while thicker beds may be broken as large fractured blocks dragged within flown anhydrite leading to a mylonitic-like structure (fig, 4G). In such an inhomogeneous formation made of interlayered ductile (anhydrite) and brittle (carbonate) beds, the style and the intensity of the deformation vary with respect to the relative thickness of each of these components. Such deformational features of anhydrite may have an ubiquitous significance and can result either from compressive constraints or geostatic movements (halokinesis). Nevertheless, some data evidence a relation with regional tangential stresses: (1) increase of the deformation toward the bottom of the Saint-Ghislain Formation which is marked by a deep karst suggesting the presence of a mechanical discontinuity used as a drain for dissolving solutions (fig. 3, 4); (2) structural setting (reversed series, internal slidings) of the Epinoy 1 formation under the Midi thrust. However, tectonic stresses also induce flowing deformations which have contributed to cause their present discontinuity. It can be assumed that the evaporites played an active role for the buckling of the regional structure as detachment or gliding layers and more specifically for the genesis of duplex structures. Breccia genesis. - Great breccia horizons are widely distributed in outcrops as well as in the subsurface throughout the greater part of the Dinant and Namur units (fig. 2). The wide distribution of pseudomorphosed sulfates in outcrops and the stratigraphical correlation between breccia and Saint-Ghislain evaporitic masses (fig. 2) suggest that some breccia (although not all) have been originated from collapse after evaporites solution. Although some breccia may result from synsedimentary dissolution, studied occurrences show that most of dissolution processes started after the Hercynian deformation and, in some cases, were active until recently : elements made of lithified and fractured limestones (Llandelies quarries) (fig. 5A), preservation of pseudomorphs of late replacive anhydrite (Yves-Gomezee) (fig. 5B, C), deep karst associated with breccia (Douvrain, Saint Ghislain, Ghlin boreholes) (fig. 3, 4, 5D)). Locally, the final brecciation may have been favored by a mechanical fragmentation which controlled water circulations (fig. 5E). As postulated by De Magnee et al. [19861, the dissolution started mostly after the Permian denudation and continued until now in relation with deep circulations and surface weathering (fig. 6). So, the above-mentioned occurrences of the breccia are logically explained by collapse after dissolution of calcium-sulfates interbeds of significant thickness (the presence of salt is not yet demonstrated), but other Visean breccia may have a different origin (fig. 5F). So, these data prove the extension of thick evaporitic beds in all the structural units including the Dinant nappe, before dissolution and deformation. Implications. - Distribution of Visean evaporites in northern France and Belgium is inherited from a complicated paleogeographic, tectonic and post-tectonic history which has strongly modified their former facies, thicknesses and limits (fig. IA, 6). Diversified environments of deposition controlled by both a palaeogeographical differentiation and water level fluctuations led to the deposition of subaqueous (gypsum) or interstitial (gypsum, anhydrite) crystallization. Nevertheless, most of the anhydrite structures can be interpreted as resulting from burial conversion of gypsum to anhydrite rather than a generalized early diagenesis in sabkha-like conditions. Deformation of anhydrite caused by Hercynian tangential stresses and subsequent flow mechanisms, have completed the destruction of depositional and diagenetic features. The tectonic deformations allow us to consider the role of the evaporites in the Hercynian deformations. The evaporites supplied detachment and gliding planes as suggested for the base of the Saint-Ghislain Formation and demonstrated by the structural setting of Epinoy 1 evaporites in reverse position and in a multi-system of thrust-slices below the Midi overthrust (fig. 7). So, although the area in which evaporation and precipitation took place cannot be exactly delineated in geographic extent, all the data evidence that the isolated thick anhydritic deposits represent relics of more widespread evaporites extending more or less throughout the different structural units of this Hercynian segment (fig. 1B). Their present discontinuity results from the combination of a depositional differentiation, mechanical deformations and/or dissolution

Approche thorique _simplifie de la dissolution karstique, 1994, Gombert, P.
The specific behaviour of karsts makes the estimation of karstic denudation very difficult: discharge and water chemical variabili-ties are in fact major characteristics of aquifer karstic systems and cannot be properly estimated by the way of random sampling. The classical empirical methods provide generally high relative errors due to the bad knowledge of the hydrogeological catchment basin and even of the total number of springs. In the case of CORBEL's or WILLIAM's empirical formulas, average relative error can be estimated to about 100 % for a normally known aquifer karstic system : therefore it is impossible to compare different karsts that have not been studied with the same accuracy. The theoretical statisti-cal relationships between karstic denu-dation and a single climatic parameter (rainfall) are open to criticism: main authors tell that effective rainfall and pedological C02 are essential parame-ters of karstic denudation, which are never taken into account. For example, there are different PULINA's formula for different climatic types indicating that it is necessary to use another climatic parameter different from rain-fall! Moreover this way of modelling the data restrains the statistical repre-sentativity of each formula and intro-duces a difficult choice for karsts, which are at the border of two climatic types (or with mountainous parts). Another problem is the case of polar countries karsts where most precipitation is snowy and does not participate in karstic denudation. Therefore a mathematical modelling of carbonate dissolution is shown, based on infiltra-tion rate calculation and knowledge of calco-carbonic equilibrium. Temperature and rainfall are taken into account to determine the efficient part of precipitation, the productivity of pedogenetic C02 and the carbonate solubility constants. This theoretical approach gives the same results but with relative errors under 50 %. Consequently it is easy to compare different karstic countries in the world: hot and wet climates are confirmed to have the main karstogenetic activity but the role of cold countries is rehabilita-ted. Then paleokarstic denudation can be estimated.

Rospo Mare field is located in the Adriatic Sea, 20 km of the Abruzzes coast, at an average depth of 80 m. The reservoir is a karst which is essentially conductive; yet unlike a conventional porous medium, it cannot be simulated by the usual tools and techniques of reservoir simulation. Therefore, several approaches were used to describe the flow mechanism during the production period in greater detail. The first approach consisted of generating three-dimensional images which were constrained by both petrophysical and geological factors and then, using up-scaling techniques, obtaining the equivalent permeabilities (scalar or tensorial) of grid blocks located in different zones within the karst. This approach shows that within the infiltration zone it is possible, whatever the scale, to find an equivalent homogeneous porous medium; on the other hand, within the epikarst this equivalent medium does not exist below pluridecametric dimensions. Thus it is impossible to study the sweeping mechanism on a small scale, so we must use a deterministic model which describes the network of pipes in the compact matrix, in which a waterflood is simulated by means of a conform finite-element model. This constituted the second approach. The third and final approach consisted of inventing a system of equations to analytically solve the pressure field in a network of vertical pipes which are intersected by a production drain and submitted to a strong bottom water-drive. This model allows us to simulate the water-oil contact rise within the reservoir and study the flows depending on the constraints applied to the production well. It appears that cross flows occur in the pipes even during the production period

The Ozark region of the U.S. midcontinent is host to a number of Mississippi Valley-type districts, including the world-class Viburnum Trend, Old Lead Belt, and Tri-State districts and the smaller Southeast Missouri barite, Northern Arkansas, and Central Missouri districts. There is increasing evidence that the Ozark Mississippi Valley-type districts formed locally within a large, interconnected hydrothermal system that also produced broad fringing areas of trace mineralization, extensive subtle hydrothermal alteration, broad thermal anomalies, and regional deposition of hydrothermal dolomite cement. The fluid drive was provided by gravity flow accompanying uplift of foreland thrust belts during the Late Pennsylvanian to Early Permian Ouachita orogeny. In this study, we use chemical speciation and reaction path calculations, based on quantitative chemical analyses of fluid inclusions, to constrain likely hydrothermal brine compositions and to determine which precipitation mechanisms are consistent with the hydrothermal mineral assemblages observed regionally and locally within each Mississippi Valley-type district in the Ozark region. Deposition of the regional hydrothermal dolomite cement with trace sulfides likely occurred in response to near-isothermal effervescence of CO2 from basinal brines as they migrated to shallower crustal levels and lower confining pressures. In contrast, our calculations indicate that no one depositional process can reproduce the mineral assemblages and proportions of minerals observed in each Ozark ore district; rather, individual districts require specific depositional mechanisms that reflect the local host-rock composition, structural setting, and hydrology. Both the Northern Arkansas and Tri-State districts are localized by normal faults that likely allowed brines to rise from deeper Cambrian-Ordovician dolostone aquifers into shallower carbonate sequences dominated by limestones. In the Northern Arkansas district, jasperoid preferentially replaced limestones in the mixed dolostone-limestone sedimentary packages. Modeling results indicate that the ore and alteration assemblages in the Tri-State and Northern Arkansas districts resulted from the flow of initially dolomite-saturated brines into cooler limestones. Adjacent to fluid conduits where water/rock ratios were the highest, the limestone was replaced by dolomite. As the fluids moved outward into cooler limestone, jasperoid and sulfide replaced limestone. Isothermal boiling of the ore fluids may have produced open-space filling of hydrothermal dolomite with minor sulfides in breccia and fault zones. Local mixing of the regional brine with locally derived sulfur undoubtedly played a role in the development of sulfide-rich ore runs. Sulfide ores of the Central Missouri district are largely open-space filling of sphalerite plus minor galena in dolostone karst features localized along a broad anticline. Hydrothermal solution collapse during ore deposition was a minor process, indicating dolomite was slightly undersaturated during ore deposition. No silicification and only minor hydrothermal dolomite is present in the ore deposits. The reaction path that best explains the features of the Central Missouri sulfide deposits is the near-isothermal mixing of two dolomite-saturated fluids with different H2S and metal contents. Paleokarst features may have allowed the regional brine to rise stratigraphically and mix with locally derived, H2S-rich fluids

The exposed carbonates of the Bahamas consist of late Quaternary limestones that were deposited during glacio-eustatic highstands of sea level. Each highstand event produced transgressive-phase, stillstand-phase, and regressive-phase units. Because of slow platform subsidence, Pleistocene carbonates deposited on highstands prior to the last interglacial (oxygen isotope substage 5e, circa 125,000 years ago) are represented solely by eolianites. The Owl's Hole Formation comprises these eolianites, which are generally fossiliferous pelsparites. The deposits of the last interglacial form the Grotto Beach Formation, and contain a complete sequence of subtidal intertidal and eolian carbonates. These deposits are predominantly oolitic. Holocene deposits are represented by the Rice Bay Formation, which consists of intertidal and eolian pelsparites deposited during the transgressive-phase and stillstand-phase of the current sea-level highstand. The three formations are separated from one another by well-developed terra-rossa paleosols or other erosion surfaces that formed predominantly during intervening sea-level lowstands. The karst landforms of San Salvador consist of karren, depressions, caves, and blue holes. Karren are small-scale dissolutional etchings on exposed and soil-covered bedrock that grade downward into the epikarst, the system of tubes and holes that drain the bedrock surface. Depressions are constructional features, such as swales between eolian ridges, but they have been dissolutionally maintained. Pit caves are vertical voids in the vadose zone that link the epikarst to the water table. Flank margin caves are horizontal voids that formed in the distal margin of a past fresh-water lens; whereas banana holes are horizontal voids that developed at the top of a past fresh-water lens, landward of the lens margin. Lake drains are conduits that connect some flooded depressions to the sea. Blue holes are flooded vertical shafts, of polygenetic origin, that may lead into caves systems at depth. The paleokarst of San Salvador is represented by flank margin caves and banana holes formed in a past fresh-water lens elevated by the last interglacial sea-level highstand, and by epikarst buried under paleosols formed during sea-level lowstands. Both carbonate deposition and its subsequent karstification is controlled by glacio-eustatic sea-level position. On San Salvador, the geographic isolation of the island, its small size, and the rapidity of past sea level changes have placed major constraints on the production of the paleokarst

Pb-Zn-F deposits occur in the very late Archaean (2.55 Ga) shallow marine dolostone of the relatively undeformed Campbellrand and Malmani Sub-groups, which are overlain unconformably by the lower Proterozoic Postmasburg and Pretoria Group siliciclastics. They consist of stratiform deposits formed by replacement and porosity-filling, as well as pipes, ring-shaped and irregular bodies associated with collapse breccia. In the Transvaal basin the latter were generated during the karst denudation period between the deposition of the Chuniespoort Group (ending at similar to 2.4 Ga) and of the Pretoria Group (starting at 2.35 Ga). A part of these mineralisations were overprinted by the metamorphism of the Bushveld Complex intrusion at 2.06 Ga. In the Transvaal basin, the age of the mineralisation is constrained between the start of the Pretoria Group deposition and the Bushveld intrusion. It is concluded that, although most of the mineralisations are characteristic of the Mississippi Valley-type, some of the northernmost occurrences, rich in siderite, are less typical. A classic genetic model is proposed. In an environment characterised by tensional tectonics and basin development, brines of basinal origin were heated by circulation into pre-Chuniespoort rocks, leached metals from the rocks they permeated, and rose as hydrothermal plumes. At relatively shallow depth they deposited minerals after mixing with water of surficial origin

Statistical evaluation of glacier boreholes as indicators of basal drainage systems, 1996, Smart C. C. ,
Between 1988 and 1992 closely spaced arrays of boreholes were drilled at Small River Glacier, British Columbia. The borehole arrays have been used to investigate the interannual and spatial consistency of patterns of basal hydraulics beneath the glacier. A simple robust classification was devised identifying unconnected, high standing, low standing and dry base water levels in boreholes. Spatial and interannual comparisons were made using a simple nearest neighbour statistic, corrected for differences in frequency of different borehole types and evaluated using Monte Carlo confidence intervals to compensate for array form. Arrays in the lower ablation zone showed spatial and interannual coherence, with three distinct areas characterized by low water pressure, till-associated non-connection and high pressure. There was no indication of a dominant conduit. Slightly higher up-glacier borehole patterns were less coherent, and varied from year to year, probably a result of subglacial karst capturing basal waters at a number of low pressure points at the bed. Therefore both the upper and lower arrays at Small River Glacier appear to encompass unusual drainage conditions. The nearest neighbour analysis provides valuable constraints on more specific interpretation

Determining the Exposure Age of a Karst Landscape, 1996, Frumkin A,
An extensive salt karst system has developed in Mount Sedom salt diapir, Israel, during the Holocene. Multilevel vadose caves were14C dated using wood fragments embedded in alluvial deposits. The oldest date of each cave is used to constrain the age of the salt exposure. The upper portion of the southeastern escarpment was the first to rise above base level ~7100 yr B.P. Caves in the surrounding area indicate gradual landscape exposure around this initial karstified area between 7000 and 4000 yr B.P. The northern part of the mountain experienced a similar exposure history, lagging some 3000 yr after the southern part. This lag may be attributed to the narrow width of the diapir in the north, which increases viscous drag at the borders of the rising diapir

Fluid flow through carbonate platforms: constraints from 234U/238U and Cl- in Bahamas pore-waters., 1998, Henderson Gideon M.

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints., 1998, Genty D. , Deflandre G.

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints, 1998, Genty D, Deflandre G,
The study of drip rate and seepage water electrical conductivity (hereafter called conductivity) under one stalactite in the Pere Noel cave (Belgium), with data produced from an automatic station since 1991, demonstrates several previously unobserved features: (1) measurement of drop volume shows that, for 94% of the time series, drop volume is constant (= 0.14 ml), but when discharge exceeds 48.2 drips min(-1), drop volume decreases, probably because of secondary drop formation; (2) the interannual drip rate variation is correlated to the annual water excess and its correlant, rainfall (R-2 = 0.98; exponential model); this result introduces a new improvement in the understanding of the previously investigated relationships between stalagmite annual laminae thickness and mean annual rainfall; (3) the drip rate shows a well marked seasonality: it increases abruptly in late fall or early winter and decreases slowly during spring, summer and fall. Increased discharge is accompanied by an increase in conductivity, which suggests that the flushed water is more mineralized and was stored in the karst aquifer for several months; (4) superimposed on these seasonal variations, there are two kinds of flow regimes which are driven by the atmospheric pressure: (i) a 'wiggles regime', whose duration is 1-7 days in length and which is inversely proportional to the air pressure wiggles; it is explained by either a ''shut-off faucet'' process due to the rock formation stress, or to a change in the two-phases flow component proportions (air/water); (ii) an 'unstable regime' characterized by abrupt switches (<2 h) or oscillations with variable periodicities, from a few minutes to a few hours. These occur when the drip rate reaches a threshold (i.e. 240 drops 10 min(-1)); the chaotic behaviour of this phenomenon is discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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