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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 surface detention is sheet flow of water in overland flow before a channel is reached [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 greece (Keyword) returned 40 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 40 of 40
Manifestation and measurement of the fractal characteristics of karst hydrogeological formations, 2006, Maramathas A. J. , Boudouvis A. G. ,
A new method of estimating the fractal dimension of the percolation backbone of karst systems, which are discharged through karst springs, is presented. This method is based on the simulation of the spring by the MODKARST deterministic mathematical model. Application has been made to the Psiloritis, karst formation in Crete, which feeds the periodically brackish karst spring 'Almiros' in Crete. Furthermore, the estimated dimension justifies an independently determined power law that quantifies the sea intrusion into the karst system. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

KARST HYDROLOGY IN ANCIENT MYTHS FROM ARCADIA AND ARGOLIS, GREECE, 2009, Clendenon Cindy
The history of karst science includes ancient Greek literary narratives that describe the behavior of karstic waters, yet remain largely unrecognized for their hydrogeological relevance. $is paper integrates karst hydrology with ancient myths and travelogues describing natural features in Arcadia and Argolis of the Greek Peloponnese. $e karstic landscapes of these two regions were %guratively represented in the interrelated myths of the Danaids, Poseidon, and Amymone. In a nonmythical report of a historical occurrence, a deer hunter chased a deer into the temporarily &ooded polje of ancient Stymphalus, but a sudden dislodging of the sinkhole debris plug caused the lake to drain so rapidly that the hunter and his prey were suctioned helplessly down into the whirlpool. Other ancient narratives described the subterranean connection of the Stymphalian polje and the Argolic springs of Erasinus. Some accounts stemmed from an ancient religious practice of throwing items into waters to propitiate the water gods: In one case, the watery disposition of propitiatory wreaths was determined by interweavings of the surface and subsurface components of the two karstic rivers named Alpheus and Eurotas. In other ancient accounts, certain rivers were said to sink underground at the coastline, travel through the bed of a bay or sea, and resurge as subaerial freshwater springs on the opposite shore of the saline waterbody.

PETRALONA CAVE: MORPHOLOGICAL ANALYSIS AND A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON ITS SPELEOGENESIS, 2009, Lazaridis G.

Petralona Cave is one of the most important caves in Greece, due to the abundant paleontological findings of Middle Pleistocene age. Is Petralona Cave a typical karst cave? For almost half a century it was considered to be so. In the present study, a new view of the Petralona Cave speleogenesis is proposed. A brief description of the cave and an analysis of its morphology are given, based on micro- and meso-scale morphology of the passages as well as the horizontal pattern of the cave. Morphological parameters are also estimated. Discriminant analysis is used to separate caves formed in unconfined setting by those formed by transverse speleogenesis. Discriminant functions extracted from the analysis (for 2-D and 3-D data) could be used to classify new cases. The present study introduces a new approach to the Petralona Cave speleogenesis, which is interpreted to be the result of transverse speleogenesis, based on cave morphology and the geological setting of the broader area.


Tafoni and Alveole Formation. An Example from Naxos and Tinos Islands, 2010, Evelpidou Niki, Leonidopoulou Dimitra, Vassilopoulos Andreas

Weathering formations resembling small caves, known by the name of Tafoni, are a characteristic, but not exclusive, feature of the Mediterranean area. Examples of such geomorphological formations have been recorded in Sardinia and Corsica (Klaer, 1956; Frenzel, 1965), in Tuscany (Martini, 1978), in S. Spain (Mellor et al., 1997) and in the Aegean Sea area (Greece) (Riedl, 1991; Hejl, 2005).


The first cave occurrence of orpiment (As₂S₃) from the sulfuric acid caves of Aghia Paraskevi (Kassandra Peninsula, N. Greece), 2011, Lazaridis Georgios, Melfos Vasilios, Papadopoulou Lambrini

Orpiment, tamarugite and pickeringite occur in close association above the surface of thermal water cave pools in the active sulfuric acid caves of Aghia Paraskevi on the Kassandra peninsula, northern Greece. Gypsum also occurs as small interstitial crystals or encrustations. Orpiment is of high significance since it has not previously been reported as a cave mineral. In addition, tamarugite and pickeringite rarely occur in karst caves. Water from a borehole and a spring is of Na-Cl type and contains traces of CO2 and H2S. The B/Cl ratios indicate seawater participation with a possible mixing with geothermal water of meteoric origin. Oxidation of fumarolic H2S and incorporation of seawater is a possible cause for the deposition of tamarugite. Orpiment accumulated from vapors under sub-aerial conditions at low temperatures in acidic conditions through an evaporation-condensation process. Fluid cooling and/or acidification of the solution resulting from H2S oxidation were responsible for orpiment precipitation. Oxidation of H2S to sulfuric acid dissolved the limestone bedrock and deposited gypsum.


2D and 3D imaging of the metamorphic carbonates at Omalos plateau/polje, Crete, Greece by employing independent and joint inversion on resistivity and seismic data, 2012, Hamdan Hamdan, Economou Nikos, Kritikakis Giorgos, Andronikidis Nikos, Manoutsoglou Emmanuil, Vafidis Antonis, Pangratis Pangratis, Apostolidou Georgina

A geophysical survey carried out at Omalos plateau in Chania, Western Crete, Greece employed seismic as well as electrical tomography methods in order to image karstic structures and the metamorphic carbonates (Tripali unit and Plattenkalk group) which are covered by post-Mesozoic deposits (terra rossa, clays, sands and gravels). The geoelectrical sections image the metamorphic carbonates which exhibit a highly irregular relief. At the central part of the plateau the thickness of post-Mesozoic deposits (terra rossa, clays, sands and gravels) ranges from 40-130 m. A 3D resistivity image was generated by inverting resistivity data collected on a grid to the south west at the Omalos plateau. The 3D resistivity image delineated a karstic structure at a depth of 25 to 55 m. On the same grid the depth to the top of the karstified carbonates ranges from 25-70 m. This is also verified on the resistivity sections and seismic velocity sections along lines 5 and 7 of the above mentioned grid which are derived from the cross-gradients joint inversion.


Environmental Hydrogeological Study of Louros watershed, Epirus, Greece, 2012, Konstantina Katsanou

The present study aims to describe and characterize the Ionian zone karst formation concerning the karstification grade of carbonate formations and the development of aquifers, through the hydrogeological study of Louros River drainage basin, considering hydrological, hydrogeological and meteorological data, as well as major, trace element, rare earth element and isotope concentrations. It also aims to investigate basic karst properties such as storativity, homogeneity, infiltration coefficients and the parameters of the Louros basin hydrological balance.

To accomplish this aim daily discharge measurements obtained from Public Power Corporation at the Pantanassa station during the years 1956-1957, along with random discharge measurements from 15 springs along the basin performed by IGME between the years 1979-1989, daily meteorological data from 18 stations and 18 sets of potentiometric surface measurements from 38 sites were compiled. Additionally, chemical analyses on major and trace element concentrations of 42 rock samples and of five sets of water samples from 64 sampling sites, along with fourteen sets of successive periods in order to study the seasonal variation in the chemical composition of 11 springs and REE concentrations of 116 water samples. Moreover isotope ratios from 129 rain samples collected at five different altitudes, 331 samples of surface and groundwater samples, radon measurements on 21 groundwater samples and microbiological on 46 samples of surface and groundwater were evaluated. Daily runoff and random spring discharge missing data were completed applying the SAC-SMA and MODKARST simulation algorithms and the values of these parameters for the duration of the research (2008-2010) were predicted. The accuracy of the predicted values was tested applying statistical methods but also against observed values from in situ measurements performed during the same period (2008-2010).

Louros River drainage basin is located at the southern part of Epirus and covers an area of 953 km2. It is elongated and together with the adjacent basin of River Arachthos they constitute the major hydrographic systems discharging in the Amvrakikos Gulf. The main morphological features of the basin are elongated mountain ranges and narrow valleys, which are the result of tectonic and other geological processes mainly controlled by the limestone-“flysch” alternations. The length of the river’s major channel, which is parallel to the major folding direction (NNW-SSE), is 73.5 km. The mountainous part of the hydrogeological basin covers an area of 400 km2 and its endpoint was set at the Pantanassa station, where discharge measurements are performed. The underground limits of the basin coincides with the surface one, defined by the flysch outcrops at the western margin of the Ziros-Zalongo fault zone to the South, the application of isotope determinations and hydraulic load distribution maps at the North and East.

Geologically, Louros River drainage basin is composed of the Ionian zone formations. Triassic evaporites constitute the base of the zone overlain by a thick sequence of carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks deposited from the Late Triassic to the Upper Eocene. In more detail, from base to top, the lithostratigraphical column of the zone includes dolomite and dolomitic limestone, Pantokrator limestone, Ammonitico Rosso, Posidonia Shales, Vigla limestone, Upper Senonian limestone, Palaeocene-Eocene limestone and Oligocene “flysch”. The major tectonic features of the regions are folds with their axes trending SW-NE at the northern part and NNW-SSE to NNE-SSW southern of the Mousiotitsa-Episkopiko-Petrovouni fault system and the strike-slip fault systems of Ziros and Petousi.

The evaluation of the daily meteorological data revealed that December is the most humid month of the year followed by January, whereas July and August are the driest months. Approximately 40-45% of the annual precipitation is distributed during the winter time and 30% during autumn. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 897.4 to 2051.8 mm and the precipitation altitude relationship suggests an increased precipitation with altitude at a rate of 84 mm/100 m. The maximum temperature is recorded during August and it may reach 40°C and the minimum during January. The temperature variation with the altitude is calculated at 0.61°C/100 m. The maximum solarity time is 377.8 h, recorded during July at the Arta station. December displays the highest relative humidity with a value of 84.2% recorded again at the Arta station. The highest wind velocity values are recorded at the Preveza station and similar velocities are also recorded at the Ioannina station. The real evapotranspiration in Louros drainage basin ranges between 27-39%. The potential evapotranspiration was calculated from the Ioannina station meteorological data, which are considered more representative for Louros basin, at 785.8 mm of precipitation according to Thornthwaite and at 722.0 mm according to Penman-Monteith.

According to the SAC-SMA algorithm the total discharge (surficial and underground) for the years 2008-2010 ranges between 61-73% of the total precipitation. The algorithm simulates the vertical percolation of rainwater in both unsaturated and saturated zones taking into account 15 parameters including the tension water capacity of the unsaturated zone, the maximum water storage capacity of both unsaturated and saturated zones, the water amount escaping into deeper horizons and not recorded at the basin’s outlet, the percentage of impermeable ground which is responsible for instant runoff, etc. These parameters are correlated to the hydrograph and are recalculated according to it. Two interesting aspects were pointed out from the discharge measurements and the algorithm application. The first is related to the maximum amount of free water, which can be stored at the basic flow of the karstic system, which is very high for the whole basin, reaching 1200 mm of precipitation and the second is the amount of water filtered to the deeper horizons, which reaches 0.098.

The discharge of individual karstic units was simulated applying the specialized MODKARST code. The code, which transforms precipitation to discharge resolving mathematical equations of non-linear flow using the mass and energy balance, successfully completed the time series of available data of spring discharge measurements for the period between the years 2008-2010.

Additionally, a number of useful parameters including spring recharge, delay period between precipitation and discharge, the storage capacity of the discharge area were also calculated by the MODKARST code. These data enabled the calculation of the annual infiltration coefficient for each one of the 15 springs and for the whole basin; the latter was found to range between 38-50% of annual precipitation. The total supply area was estimated approximately at 395 km2, which is consistent with the area of Louros hydrogeological basin calculated from hydrogeological data.

The 18 sets of water table measurements, each one corresponding to a different period, revealed that the aquifers of the intermediate part of Louros basin, which are developed in Quaternary alluvial sediments, are laterally connected to the carbonate formations of the individual karstic spring units, forming a common aquifer with a common water table.

Groundwater flow follows a general N-S direction from the topographic highs to the coastal area with local minor shifts to NE-SW and NW-SE directions. The artificial lake at the position of the Public Power Corporation’s Dam at the south of the region is directly connected to the aquifer and plays an important role in water-level variation. The water table contours display a higher gradient to the southern part due to the decreased hydraulic conductivity of the limestones close to Agios Georgios village. The decreased hydraulic conductivity is believed to be the reason for the development of the homonymous spring although the hydraulic load distributions suggest the extension of the aquifer to the south and a relation to the water level in Ziros Lake, boreholes and the Priala springs. The hydraulic gradient in the broader region ranges between 4-16‰. The absolute water level variation between dry and humid season ranges from 2 m at the South to 15-20 m to the North with an average of 9 m.

The hydrological balance of Louros River mountainous basin according to the aforementioned data is calculated as follows: The total precipitation between the years 2008-2010 ranged between 5.67E+08-9.8E+08 m3 and the discharge at Pantanassa site between 3.47E+08-6.83E+08 m3. The real evapotransiration ranged between 29-39% of the precipitation. The total discharge (runoff and groundwater) accounted for 61-73% of the precipitation, whereas the basic flow due to the percolation ranged between 34-38%. Considering a mean water level variation of 9 m, between the dry and humid season, the water amount constituting the local storage is 2025Ε+07 m3.

Statistical evaluation on spring discharge data and the recession curves analysis revealed three distinct levels with diverse karstic weathering along Louros basin coinciding to the upper, intermediate and low flow of Louros River, respectively. The developed karstic units are generally complex but simple individual units develop as well. The response of spring discharge to the stored water amounts is immediate but with relatively large duration suggesting the storage of large quantities of water and a well-developed system of karstic conduits, which however has not yet met its complete evolution. The karst spring’s units are homogeneous and each one is distinguished from different recession coefficients.

The three levels of flow are also distinguished from the duration curves, which point to individual units upstream, complex units receiving and transmitting water to the adjacent ones in the middle part and complex that only receive water from the upper. This distinguishment is also enhanced by the groundwater’s major ion concentrations, which reveal Ca-HCO3 water-type upstream, along with the isotopic composition at the same part. The prevalent Ca-HCO3-Cl-SO4 water-type in the middle part, the Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 water-type downstream and isotope variation confirms this distinguishment. Moreover, REE variation is also consistent with the three levels. The assumption of relatively large stored water reserves, which contribute to analogous “memory” of spring karstic units, as pointed out by autocorreletion functions is enhanced from SAC-SMA algorithm which premises an increased capacity at the lower zone of basic flow, as well as from the hydrochemical and isotopic composition of groundwater. Monitoring of the seasonal variation in groundwater composition revealed minor variations of hydrochemical parameters and remarkably stable isotopic composition. Both aspects can be explained by the existence of a considerable water body acting as a retarder to external changes.

The crosscorrelation functions suggest a well-developed karstic system, which however has not yet reached its complete maturity also confirmed from field observations. The same conclusion is extracted from the homogeneous evolution at the interval of each karstic unit as demonstrated from recession curves on spring hydrographs.

The results from hydrochemical analyses also revealed the effect of evaporitic minerals and phosphate-rich rocks in groundwater composition and confirmed the hydraulic relationships between surface and groundwater.

The study of the isotopic composition also contributed to exclude the potential connection between the Ioannina and Louros basins, confirmed the meteoric origin of groundwater and revealed the effect of seawater in the chemical composition of few sampling sites.

The microbiological research only revealed minor incidents of contamination and significant attenuation of microorganisms during periods of high discharge.


Formation and development of a karstic system below and above sea level in Messinian Mani Peninsula (S. Greece), 2012, Papadopoulou Vrynioti Kyriaki, Kampolis Isidoros

At the western shores of Messinian Mani Peninsula in South Greece, the composite, integrated karstic system of ‘‘Selinitsa’’ cave and ‘‘Drakos’’ underground river is developed above and below sea-level respectively, in the medium-bedded limestones of the Mani geotectonic unit. The formation and the development of these caves started, most likely, during Middle Pleistocene. Initially, these caves were terrestrial and developed separately. They were connected probably during Holocene through a fi ssure. The development of this united karstic system is controlled by tectonics. ‘‘Selinitsa’’ cave is older than ‘‘Drakos’’. The sequential base levels of karstifi cation demonstrate the continuous sea-level changes during Pleistocene and Holocene, induced by the relative tectonic activity. This united karstic system is characterized by ‘incomplete linkage’ to the sea.


The show cave of Diros vs. wild caves of Peloponnese, Greece - distribution patterns of Cyanobacteria, 2014,

The karst cave ‘Vlychada’of Diros, one of the oldest show caves in Peloponnese, sustains extended phototrophic biofilms on various substrata – on rocks inside the cave including speleothems, and especially near the artificial lighting installation (‘Lampenflora’). After a survey of the main abiotic parameters (Photosynthetically Active Radiation -PAR, Temperature -T, Relative Humidity -RH, Carbon Dioxide -CO2) three clusters of sampling sites were revealed according to Principal Component Analysis (PCA): i) the water gallery section predominately influenced by CO2, ii) the dry passages influenced by RH and PAR, and iii) the area by the cave exit at the dry section influenced by temperature. The collected samples from the water gallery section and the dry passages of the cave revealed a total of 43 taxa of Cyanobacteria, with the unicellular/colonial forms being the most abundant. The applied non-metric Multi-dimensional Scaling Ordination (nMDS) of the cumulative species composition showed a clear distinction between the water gallery section and the dry passages of the cave. Further comparison with previous data from other wild caves of Peloponnese (‘Kastria’, ‘Francthi’, and ‘Selinitsa’) was conducted revealing a distinction between the show cave and the wild ones. Apart from the human impact on cave ecosystems – through aesthetic alteration (‘greening’) of cave decorations by the ‘Lampenflora’, and by the cleaning treatments and restoration projects on the speleothems – identification of the organisms constituting the ‘Lampenflora’ might provide taxonomically and ecologically significant taxa.


Deep speleological salt contamination in Mediterranean karst aquifers: perspectives for water supply, 2015,

On the Mediterranean coast, submarine karst springs are common. Most of them are brackish and various unsuccessful attempts in France, Greece, and Italy indicate that it is impossible to diminish the salinity at the spring. Based on studies on the shores of south-eastern France and in Kefalonia (Greece), we propose a working model that explains the mechanism of salt contamination. During the Messinian Deep Stage (-5.9 to 5.3 Ma), a substantial sea-level lowering in the Mediterranean allowed the existence of cave networks extending several hundreds of meters below the present sea level. Seawater is now sucked into the system through these caves. This mechanism is supported by a study of the Port Miou underground river (Cassis, France). In the Port Miou cave system, which extends to 250 m below sea level, titanium and heavy metals are present in the sediment. They are similar to those found in the Cassidaigne submarine canyon, which reinforces the hypothesis of a connection between the cave and the canyon. Recent geological studies prove a Messinian origin for the canyon and support the deep contamination model. The model is also supported by examples on Kefalonia Island (Greece) and in the Toix–Moraig system (Spain) where salt-water intrusions are observed in coastal sinkholes and sea caves. This model explains why various attempts to diminish the salinity of these brackish springs, through the construction of dams to increase head, have failed.On the Mediterranean coast, submarine karst
springs are common. Most of them are brackish and various
unsuccessful attempts in France, Greece, and Italy
indicate that it is impossible to diminish the salinity at the
spring. Based on studies on the shores of south-eastern
France and in Kefalonia (Greece), we propose a working
model that explains the mechanism of salt contamination.
During the Messinian Deep Stage (-5.9 to 5.3 Ma), a
substantial sea-level lowering in the Mediterranean
allowed the existence of cave networks extending several
hundreds of meters below the present sea level. Seawater is
now sucked into the system through these caves. This
mechanism is supported by a study of the Port Miou
underground river (Cassis, France). In the Port Miou cave
system, which extends to 250 m below sea level, titanium
and heavy metals are present in the sediment. They are
similar to those found in the Cassidaigne submarine canyon,
which reinforces the hypothesis of a connection
between the cave and the canyon. Recent geological
studies prove a Messinian origin for the canyon and support
the deep contamination model. The model is also
supported by examples on Kefalonia Island (Greece) and in
the Toix–Moraig system (Spain) where salt-water intrusions
are observed in coastal sinkholes and sea caves. This
model explains why various attempts to diminish the
salinity of these brackish springs, through the construction
of dams to increase head, have failed.


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