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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 phreas, dynamic is a phreatic zone or part of a phreatic zone where water moves fast with turbulence under hydrostatic pressure [25].?

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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 strategies (Keyword) returned 45 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 45
Subsidence hazards in different types of karst: evolutionary and speleogenetic approach, 2002, Klimchouk Alexander
The typology of karst, based on distinguishing the successive stages of general hydrogeologicali evolution, between which major boundary conditions and the overall circulation pattem change considerabliy, gives a natural clue, properly to classify and tie together karst breakdown settings, speleogenetic styles and breakdown development mechanisms. Subsidence hazards vary substantially between the different karst types, so that classifying individual karst according to typology can provide an integrated general assessment. This provides a useful basis for selection and realization of region- and site-specific assessment schemes and management strategies. Intrastratal karst types, subjacent karst in particular, are most potent in generating subsidence problems. Exposed karst types, especially open karst, are the least likely to pose subsidence hazard problems, despite them being recognized more obviously as karstic areas.

Karst groundwater basin delineation, Fort Knox, Kentucky, 2002, Connair Dp, Murray Bs,
Evaluation of karst groundwater quality concern at Fort Knox Kentucky has required the development of a sitewide karst groundwater flow model and basin delineation investigation. The karst aquifer underlying Fort Knox is developed within approximately 60 m of the St. Louis Limestone and is bounded on three sides by surface streams that represent the local base level. The underlying Salem Limestone acts as a regional aquitard and provides a lower limit to karst aquifer development. The study area covers over 130 km(2) and contains over 200-inventoried karst features. As a part of this investigation, innovative multiple dye trace events were conducted throughout the study area using up to six dyes per event with a total of eight dyes used to conduct 14 dye traces during three seasonal events. Dye trace results, structural and topographic controls, spring characteristics, and normalized base flow were used to establish groundwater basin limits and boundary zones and to develop a conceptual sitewide groundwater flow model. The primary finding of this work indicates sitewide groundwater flow is controlled directly or indirectly by local stratigraphy, geologic structure, and changes in stream levels in the geologic past, and that two groundwater basins dominate the study area, accounting for approximately 80% of measured sitewide groundwater discharge. The findings of this investigation will be used to assess the groundwater contaminant contribution from source areas in individual basins, develop an effective groundwater monitoring program, and guide future groundwater management strategies. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V

A decision-logic framework for investigating subsidence problems potentially attributable to gypsum karstification, 2002, Lamontblack J. , Younger P. L. , Forth R. A. , Cooper A. H. , Bonniface J. P. ,
Karst regions, especially gypsum ones, are prone to subsidence; this can cause severe problems in urban areas. However, this subsidence may have causes other than active karstification. A decision-logic framework designed to tackle this issue is presented. It comprises subsidence description identification of causal mechanisms; construction and evaluation of conceptual models; evaluation and parameterization of fundamental processes and development of a management strategy. This framework is applied to an area of active subsidence in the UK underlain by gypsiferous rocks. In this example, particular attention is paid to the evaluation of gypsum dissolution using four criteria: presence of evaporite; presence of undersaturated water; energy to drive water through the system; and an outlet for the water. Gypsum palaeokarst was identified from borehole evidence and contemporary karstification is indicated by groundwaters containing up to 1800 mg/l of dissolved sulphate. Strontium/sulphate ratios enabled the discrimination of gypsum and non-gypsum-derived sulphate ions and correlation with the hydrostratigrapby. Continuous measurement of groundwater levels showed differential potentiometric surfaces between stratigraphical horizons and indicated a complex pattern of groundwater movement. Integration of these data in a physically and chemically based groundwater model, incorporating a void evolution capability, is suggested. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

The environmental impacts of human activities and engineering constructions in karst regions, 2002, Milanovic P. ,
With increasing demands on water resources in karst regions, an important issue is how to keep the balance between the necessity for development and preservation of complex and unpredictable hydrogeological systems. Karst terrains have been modified and adapted through a range of human activities as needs for drinking water, hydroelectric power and other resources increase. In many regions, reclamation projects, construction of large dams and reservoirs, deep underground excavations and complex foundation structures have had a detrimental impact on the environment. However, because each karst region is unique, the nature of environmental change is unpredictable, often occurs very rapidly, and similar situations are seldom, if ever, repeated. Changes in karst function can have a profound impact on regional ecological, infrastructure, social and political systems. The majority of impacts can be foreseen and mitigated by appropriate designs. Ecological and environmental protection is more difficult when the changes are unexpected and source of problem is some distance from the impacted area. Optimal environmental protection requires a multidisciplinary approach, a lot of patience and perseverance, and adequate funds. Legal aspects and insurability are also very important basic elements in karst environmental protection. Criteria for determining the environmental protection, as well as regulatory procedures that are applicable for nonkarst regions are generally not suitable for karst terrain. Successful solutions require serious and complex geological/hydrogeological investigation programs and close co-operation of a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers: geologists, civil engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, sociologists and many others. In karst areas where interrelations and interactions are inadequately known, the ultimate aim is identification of crucial parameters that define causes and consequences between human activities and the resulting impact (cause-and-effect relations). As a consequence of human activities and engineering construction in karst regions, the common negative environmental impacts are: severe spring discharge change, groundwater quality deterioration, endemic fauna endangering, waste disposal failures, induced seismicity, induced sinkholes, and a number of different secondary uncertainties. In some cases, socio-economic problems related to migration from submerged regions are very pronounced. Similar problems are related with flooding of cultural and historical monuments and natural rarities. The major aims of proper planning of water resource systems in karst terrain are to minimize negative and to maximize positive environmental impacts. The optimal strategy of water resources development in karst areas is a key requirement for regional socio-economic development

Development of a Protection Strategy of Karst Limestone Aquifers: The Merida Yucatan, Mexico Case Study, 2002, Escolero Oa, Marin Le, Steinich B, Pacheco Aj, Cabrera Sa, Alcocer J,

MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT IN KARST AREAS, 2002, Hamiltonsmith, Elery

The key management responsibility in World Heritage Areas is a two-fold one of preserving environmental integrity and quality while at the same time providing for broad-scale public access. Although there is some ambiguity in this mandate, there is no question that these two elements of management are complementary, and that one cannot fully assess one without consideration of the other. This leads to the key question of how management is able to meet the responsibility of this mandate. This paper reviews and assesses various conceptual approaches that have been or might be utilised. These include various visitor impact control schemes generally of U.S. origin; the three faceted (environmental /social /economic) sustainability approach and risk management strategies. This paper concludes that each karst area management agency must develop an on-going assessment plan that both deals with broad-scale issues while also meeting the distinctive challenges which are endemic to their own situation. Any of the approaches discussed may make a contribution to any one such plan.


Karstification and Groundwater Flow, 2003, Kiraly, L.

One of the principal aims of hydrogeology is to propose a reasonably adequate reconstruction of the groundwater flow field, in space and in time, for a given aquifer. For example, interpretation of the chemical and isotopic composition of groundwater, understanding of the geothermal conditions (anomalies) or forecasting the possible effects of industrial waste disposals and of intensive exploitation nearly always would require the knowledge of the regional and/or local groundwater flow systems such as defined by Toth (1963). The problem of estimating the groundwater flow field in fractured and karstified aquifers is approached within the framework of a conceptual diagram showing the relationship between groundwater flow, hydraulic parameters (aquifer properties and boundary conditions), distribution of voids and geological factors.
Autoregulation between groundwater flow and karst aquifer properties, duality of karst, nested model of geological discontinuities, scale effect on hydraulic parameters and use of numerical finite element models to check the interpretation of the global response of karst springs are some of the subjects addressed by the author. Inferences on groundwater flow regime with respect to the stage of karst evolution can be made only if the hydraulic parameter fields and the boundary conditions are known by direct observations, or estimated by indirect methods for the different types of karst. Practical considerations on the monitoring strategies applied for karst aquifers, and on the interpretation of the global response obtained at karst springs will complete the paper, which throughout reflects the point of view of a hydrogeologist.


Basin fluid flow, base-metal sulphide mineralization and the development of dolomite petroleum reservoirs, 2004, Gregg Jay M. ,
Saline basinal fluids, at temperatures from 60 to 250 {degrees}C, have affected almost every sedimentary basin in the world including rocks from Palaeoproterozoic to Cenozoic age. These fluids commonly precipitate base-metal sulphides (pyrite, sphalerite, galena, etc.) and associated minerals (barite, fluorite, calcite, dolomite, etc.) ranging in volume from trace amounts to large economic ore deposits. Such deposits are commonly referred to as Mississippi Valley-type (MVT) after the large Palaeozoic deposits of this kind found in the Mississippi Valley of North America. They are primarily hosted by platform carbonates, typically dolomite, and are usually associated with hydrocarbons. Dolomites not affected by mineralizing fluids commonly display micron- to decimicron-size planar textures, and have well-developed micro- and mesoporosity networks dominated by intercrystal and vug porosity. However, these and other carbonate rocks affected by basinal fluids may undergo massive geochemical and textural alteration. This occurs even when the affected rocks are distal from the main loci of sulphide mineralization. Alteration includes: dolomitization of limestone; neomorphic recrystallization of existing dolomite; and precipitation at intervals of large volumes of open-space-filling dolomite, calcite and quartz cements alternating with dissolution. Dolomitization of limestone and/or neomorphic recrystallization of dolomite, at elevated temperatures, commonly results in centimicron and larger size crystals, and development of nonplanar textures that increase pore-throat tortuosity. Open-space-filling dolomite, calcite and quartz cementation causes a dramatic reduction of porosity and blockage of pore throats. Periods of carbonate dissolution, proximal to intense sulphide mineralization, result in the development of large-scale macroporosity such as breccias that are commonly superimposed on karst and tectonic fractures. Exposure to mineralizing basinal fluids substantially alters porosity and permeability distribution, and thus the potential reservoir properties of the dolomite. The resulting reservoir may have little resemblance to its precursor. Understanding the epigenetic history of a dolomite is critical, therefore, as this will ultimately affect its development strategy and production history

Inversion strategy in crosshole radar tomography using information of data subsets, 2004, Becht A, Tronicke J, Appel E, Dietrich P,
Detecting discrete anomalies, such as cavities or tunnels, is an important application of crosshole radar tomography. However, crosshole tomographic inversion results are frequently ambiguous, showing smearing effects and inversion artifacts. These ambiguities lead to uncertainties in interpretation; hence, the size and position of anomalies can only be interpreted with limited accuracy and reliability. We present an inversion strategy for investigating discrete anomalies with crosshole radar tomography. In addition to the full traveltime data set, we use subsets of specified ray-angle intervals for tomographic inversion. By analyzing inversion results from different ray-angle intervals, a more accurate interpretation of anomalies is possible. The second step of our strategy is to develop a good inhomogeneous starting model from joint interpretation of the inversion results from different subsets. The third step is to invert the full data set using this new starting model and to evaluate the inversion results by analyzing the distributions of mean square traveltime residuals with respect to the ray angles. We use a synthetic model with two discrete anomalies located roughly at the same depth to demonstrate and evaluate our approach. This inversion strategy is also applied to a field data set collected to investigate karst cavities in limestone. From the inversion results of both examples, we show that horizontal smearing of anomalies can be reduced by eliminating near-horizontal rays. A good starting model can be obtained based on the joint interpretation of the inversion results of the different subsets; it leads to a high-resolution final image of the full data set

Identification of localised recharge and conduit flow by combined analysis of hydraulic and physico-chemical spring responses (Urenbrunnen, SW-Germany), 2004, Birk S, Liedl R, Sauter M,
Karst aquifers are highly vulnerable to contamination due to the rapid transport of pollutants in conduit systems. Effective strategies for the management and protection of karst aquifers, therefore, require an adequate hydrogeological characterisation of the conduit systems. In particular, the identification and characterisation of conduits transmitting rapid, localised recharge to springs is of great interest for vulnerability assessments. In this work, it is demonstrated that localised recharge and conduit flow in a karst aquifer (Urenbrunnen catchment, southwest Germany) can be characterised by jointly analysing the hydraulic and physico-chemical responses of a spring to recharge events. Conduit volumes are estimated by evaluating time lags between increases in spring discharge and associated changes in the electrical conductivity and temperature of the discharged water. These estimates are confirmed by the results of a combined tracer and recharge test. Variations in electrical conductivity are also shown to assist in the quantification of the fast recharge component associated with short-term recharge pulses. However, spectral analysis of temperature fluctuations reveals that highly mineralised surface waters locally infiltrate into the aquifer during the winter and spring without causing significant electrical conductivity variations in the spring water. Hence, the most consistent conceptual model is obtained by a combined analysis of both physico-chemical parameters. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Der Naturzustand der sterreichischen Hhlen - Vollerhebung in den Testgebieten Hochtor, Brgeralpe und Anninger., 2005, Herrmann, E.
The first part of a study concerning the status of naturalness (virginity) of Austrian caves comprises overall statistics of three cave regions in Styria and Lower Austria differing in geomorphology and land use. Except in high alpine areas nearly no cave was kept free of human influence if not transformation. Regarding the different motives, the influence of tourism is widespread but never destructive to caves while extraction of raw materials especially in quarries damaged a considerable part of all registered caves. Other cave uses are only of historic interest (like housing, defence) or were never of great importance (like traffic). This paper demonstrates that each karst region shows the effects of its specific human stress on caves. Unfortunately those caves held most important as well as those with large entrances are at the same time most endangered regarding all important aspects: their morphological integrity, their ecological functionality and their aesthetic attractiveness. The rather uniform legislation of cave protection that we have at present is quite unsuitable to guard against the manifold threats caves are facing today. So there is an urgent need for much more diversified strategies and provisions to conserve at least a few remarkable caves in their originality.[Vollerhebung von 120 Hhlen zeigt erhebliche Differenzen im Ausma der menschlichen Einflussnahme auf den unterirdischen Naturraum; Auswertung nach Eingriffsursachen, Hufigkeit der Eingriffe, Eingriffscharakteristik und Regenerierbarkeit auch im Hinblick auf Lage und Erreichbarkeit der Eingnge]

Do woody plants affect streamflow on semiarid karst rangelands?, 2005, Wilcox B. P. , Owens M. K. , Knight R. W. , Lyons R. K. ,
There is considerable public and political pressure to reduce woody plant cover on rangelands as a means of increasing water yield, despite the lack of studies documenting that such a strategy is effective. In the Texas Hill Country, runoff from the Edwards Plateau recharges the highly productive and regionally vital Edwards Aquifer. The dominant woody plant on the Plateau is Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei Buchholz). To understand how woody plant cover may affect the amount and timing of runoff in this region, we monitored streamflow from nine small (3- to 6-ha) watersheds over a 13-year period. After the first two years (initial observations), 100% of the shrub cover was removed from three of the watersheds and similar to70% from another three. Following these treatments we continued to monitor runoff for four years, suspended monitoring for four and a half years, and then resumed monitoring for an additional three years. Runoff from these nine first-order watersheds generally accounted for <5% of the total precipitation and occurred entirely as stormflow (there was no baseflow before or after treatment). Some runoff was generated as subsurface flow, as indicated by hydrographs showing prolonged runoff (typically lasting hours longer than the rainfall). We evaluated the influence of woody plant cover on streamflow by comparing streamflow during the four-year treatment period with that during the posttreatment period (when considerable recovery of woody plants had taken place). Our findings indicate that changes in woody plant cover had little influence on the amount, timing, or magnitude of streamflow from these watersheds. On the basis of this work and other observations in the region, we hypothesize that, for small watersheds, changes in shrub cover will have little or no effect on streamflow except where springs are present

Improved karst exploration by VLF-EM-gradient survey: comparison with other geophysical methods, 2005, Bosch Fp, Muller I,
The knowledge of size, density and both orientation and vertical distribution of fractures as well as their opening and filling material or overburden thickness is a valuable contribution to estimating hydraulic conductivity and to evaluating the vulnerability and protection strategy of karst aquifers. To obtain some of these parameters and to ascertain high-permeability zones, the Very Low Frequency-Electromagnetic Gradient (VLF-EM GRAD) method was applied, together with Radio Frequency-Electromagnetics (RF-EM), Radioinagnetotellurics (RMT), Geoelectrical Tomography and refraction seismics, over a karstic terrain in the Swiss Jura Mountains. In this area, karst springs infiltrate a porous aquifer. This survey investigated the highly permeable karst structures, which provide fast water-infiltration pathways into the karstic flow network. A dye tracer test validated the geophysical results. The results show the efficiency and reliability particularly of the VLF-EM GRAD method, for high-resolution investigation at shallow depths and for its potential for fast data acquisition over large surfaces at catchment area scale without ground contact

Der Naturzustand der sterreichischen Hhlen - Vollerhebung in den Testgebieten Hochtor, Brgeralpe und Anninger, 2005, Herrmann, E.
The first part of a study concerning the status of naturalness (virginity) of Austrian caves comprises overall statistics of three cave regions in Styria and Lower Austria differing in geomorphology and land use. Except in high alpine areas nearly no cave was kept free of human influence if not transformation. Regarding the different motives, the influence of tourism is widespread but never destructive to caves while extraction of raw materials especially in quarries damaged a considerable part of all registered caves. Other cave uses are only of historic interest (like housing, defence) or were never of great importance (like traffic). This paper demonstrates that each karst region shows the effects of its specific human stress on caves. Unfortunately those caves held most important as well as those with large entrances are at the same time most endangered regarding all important aspects: their morphological integrity, their ecological functionality and their aesthetic attractiveness. The rather uniform legislation of cave protection that we have at present is quite unsuitable to guard against the manifold threats caves are facing today. So there is an urgent need for much more diversified strategies and provisions to conserve at least a few remarkable caves in their originality.

Hydrogeological uncertainties in delineation of leakage at karst dam sites, the Zagros Region, Iran, 2007, Mohammadi Z. And Raeisi E.
Leakage from dam reservoirs has been reported in different karst regions of the world. Water leakage occurs through the karst features directly or indirectly. The estimation of leakage locations, path(s), and quantity are subject to error due to uncertainties in the non-homogenous nature of a karst formation, method of study, and limited investigation due to time and cost factors. The conventional approaches for study on the karst development are local boring at the dam site and geological mapping. In this paper, uncertainties associated with conventional hydrogeological approaches are addressed from both qualitative and quantitative points of view. No major solution cavities were observed in boreholes and galleries of some dam sites in the Zagros Region, Iran, but huge karst conduits were discovered during the drilling of a diversion tunnel. This inconsistency is due to the point character of boreholes and the inherent nonhomogeneity of karst. The results of dye tracing tests in boreholes may be significantly affected by location of the injection and sampling points, as tests executed at the Saymareh and Tangab Dam sites in the Zagros Region, Iran show. The quantitative uncertainty of leakage is analyzed for diffuse and conduit flow systems for cases with and without any grout curtain, under the combined effect of input uncertainties at the Tangab Dam site, southern Iran. Assuming a diffuse flow system, the mean leakage at 95% confidence interval for both strategies is estimated at less than 5% of the mean annual discharge of the river. Accordingly, the dam can be constructed without the necessity of a grout curtain. However, assuming a conduit flow system, the results reveal a significant uncertainty. A small diameter conduit can convey significant amounts of water under high reservoir pressure heads. The leakage of a 4 m diameter conduit (cross section area of 12.5 m2) is 163 times more than the leakage of 0.5 m diameter conduit (cross sectional area of 0.2 m2) while the cross sectional area ratio is 60. The uncertainty may be decreased if a detailed study is carried out on the stratigraphic and tectonic settings, karst hydrogeology, geomorphology, speleogenesis, and by performing several dye tracing tests, especially outside the proposed grout curtain area.

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