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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 contact load is the solid material in sliding or rolling contact with a stream bed [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 connections (Keyword) returned 56 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 56 of 56
Fold and fault control on the drainage pattern of a double-karst-aquifer system, Winterstaude, Austrian Alps, 2010, Goldscheider N, Neukum C.

Lithostratigraphy and geologic structures are major controls on groundwater flow in alpine karst systems. Understanding these factors is important for the delimitation of drinking water protection zones. The Winterstaude mountain chain, western Austria, belongs to the Helvetic nappes and consists of Cretaceous sedimentary rocks, including two karstifiable formations: rfla and Schrattenkalk Limestone (lower and upper karst aquifer), separated by 60 m of marl. Strata are folded and cut by faults with displacements of 40–70 m. Folded carbonate rocks continue below the alluvial valley floor so that the karst system can be subdivided in shallow and deep phreatic zones. This area is suitable for studying the combined influence of folds and faults on groundwater flow in a double-aquifer system. A multi-tracer test with seven injections aimed at characterising hydraulic connections and linear flow velocities. Results show that (i) plunging synclines form the main drainage pathways in the upper karst aquifer, with maximum linear velocities of 91 m/h, while anticlines act as water divides; (ii) recharge into the lower aquifer, which forms the central ridge of the mountain chain, contributes to springs discharging from the upper aquifer near the foot of the mountain (local flow systems); (iii) the two aquifers are hydraulically connected, presumably via faults, because their displacements are in the same order of magnitude as the thickness of the intervening marl; (iv) flow in the upper aquifer continues below the valley floor toward the river, with maximum velocities of 22 m/h (intermediate flow system).


Water tracing in the Muruk-Berenice system (Nakanai Mountains, New Britain, Papua New Guinea), 2011, Audra P. Hoblé, A F.

Three dye tracing have been carried out in the Nakanai Mountains to determine Berenice spring catchment area and some internal connections inside Muruk Cave. Andromede Cave belongs to Muruk-Berenice system, via Arcturus main drain. Due to special conditions in rainforest with difficult of moving, we made qualitative tracing using charcoal bags.


Comparative study of specific groundwater vulnerability of a karst aquifer in central Florida, 2012, Van Beynen P. E. , Niedzielski M. A. , Bialkowskajelinska E. , Alsharifa K. , Matusick J.

The Floridan aquifer system (FAS) is known to be one of the most productive aquifer systems in the USA. With the FAS being a karst aquifer, it presents unique challenges to land use planners because of inherent vulnerabilities to contamination through direct connections between the aquifer and the surface. In this study a new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) -based index, the Karst Aquifer Vulnerability Index (KAVI), incorporates geologic layers used in intrinsic groundwater vulnerability models (GVMs) plus an epikarst layer specific to karst, with land use coverages to create a specific groundwater vulnerability model. The KAVI model was compared to another specific vulnerability model, the Susceptibility Index (SI). Tabulation of the percentage areas of vulnerability classes reveals major differences between the two models with SI suggesting greater vulnerability for the study area than KAVI. Validation of these two models found that KAVI vulnerability levels best reproduced spatially varying concentrations of nitrate in the aquifer. Sensitivity analysis, the application of a variation index and measuring the effective weights for each parameter included in KAVI confirmed the importance of closed depressions but also aquifer hydraulic conductivity. The inclusion of land use was justified; however, effective weight analysis determined its assigned weight was too high as used in the initial calculation of KAVI.


Entrances, 2012, White, William B.

Entrances are connections between an underlying cave passage and the surface above. Most cave entrances are statistical accidents where the breakthrough to the surface is caused by collapse, by valley deepening, or by human activities such as road cuts, quarries, and other excavations. The number of caves with a certain number of entrances decreases rapidly with the number of entrances, leading to the prediction of a large number of caves that have no entrances. Entrances range in size over several orders of magnitude but there is no relationship between the size of the entrance and the size of the cave.


Karst, 2012, Jones William K. , White William B.

The word karst is a Germanized form of the name of a carbonate plateau that is situated above the Adriatic Sea immediately to the east of Trieste, Italy. The term has been generalized as a label for any similar region. The distribution of karst landscapes over the Earth’s surface to a large extent follows the distribution of carbonate (limestone and dolomite) and gypsum rocks, and together these make up about 15% of the Earth’s land area. Karst regions are characterized by a unique set of landforms including closed depressions, deranged drainage, sculptured bedrock surface, and residual hills. Karst regions also differ from other geomorphic regions by the presence of cave systems in the subsurface. In general, surface karst features are more pronounced in regions where the caves have direct hydrologic connections to the land immediately overlying the caves and the surface and subsurface features develop more or less simultaneously.


Water Tracing in Karst Aquifers, 2012, Jones, William K.

Water tracer tests are usually conducted to establish the hydrologic connections between two or more points. The tracer is an identifiable label or marker added to flowing water that establishes the links between the injection point of the tracer and the monitoring points where the tracer reappears. Fluorescent dyes are the most commonly used tracers in karst aquifers, but a wide range of substances has been used successfully. The experimental design of a tracer test may be qualitative to simply establish if a hydrologic connection exists between two points, or quantitative to measure the time-concentration series (breakthrough curve) generated by the recovery of the tracer. Water tracer tests usually work well in karst areas because of the fast groundwater flow rates and the prevalence of flow paths restricted to discrete conduits.


Hydrogeology of gypsum Formations in Iran, 2013, Raeisi E. , Zare M. , Aghdam J. A.

The gypsum formations in Iran are mainly Upper Red (URF), Gachsaran (GF), and Sachun. The GF is divided into salt (SGF) and its non-salt equivalents (NSGF). The conductivity of the spring’s water in Sachun, URF and NSGF is below 3500 mS cm21, but the conductivity of the SGF varies from 2400 to 400,000 mS cm21. Three different sites, Tangsorkh (NSGF), Ambal and Salbiz (SGF), were selected for further studies. The Tangsorkh area is composed of alternating units of marlstone and gypsum. The hydraulic connections between these units are broken by the marls and no sub-aquifer is developed in the gypsum units due to their small catchment area and lack of karst development. The Ambal area, adjacent to the large Karun River, consists of units of marl, anhydrite, and halite. Sinkholes cover all parts of the area. Contact of Karun River with the Amble ridge causes the chemistry of the river to evolve from bicarbonate type to chloride type. The presence of the Karun River inside this ridge formed a network of karstic conduits and sinkholes, which causes the marly layers to collapse such that the Ambal area cannot be considered to have several independent subaquifers. The Salbiz site is composed of alternating units of marl-marlstone and gypsum without any sinkholes or exposed salt layers. It consists of independent sub-aquifers with general flow directions parallel to the strike. The study indicates that the GF is mainly composed of small independent sub-aquifers due to its alternative marl or marlstone layers, resulting water flows parallel to the strike, except in the SGF under specific conditions.


MODELING SPELEOGENESIS USING COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS: POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS TO HYPOGENE CAVES, 2014, Covington M. , Myre J.

Numerical models of speleogenesis typically simulate flow and dissolution within single fractures or networks of fractures. Such models employ fracture flow and pipe flow equations to determine flow rates and only consider average velocities within each fracture segment. Such approximations make large scale simulations of speleogenesis tractable. However, they do not allow simulation of the formation and evolution of micro- or meso-scale cave passage morphologies. Such morphologies are frequently studied within a field setting and utilized for the interpretation of the speleogenetic processes that formed the cave. One classic example is the formation of scallops in cave streams with turbulent flow. Scallops are used to interpret past flow velocities and directions. However, a recent analysis of the theory of limestone dissolution in turbulent flow conditions suggests a discrepancy between theory and reality concerning the formation of limestone scallops (Covington, in review). Similarly, the only attempt to numerically simulate flute formation in limestone found that the flute forms were not stable (Hammer et al., 2011). Motivated by these puzzles, we are developing a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) framework for the simulation of the evolution of dissolution morphologies.

While this project was initially conceived to better understand dissolution in turbulent flow, the tools being developed are particu­larly well-suited to examine a variety of other questions related to cave morphology on the micro- and meso-scales. There has been significant recent discussion about the interpretation of features that are diagnostic of hypogenic or transverse speleogenesis, such as the morphological suite of rising flow defined by Klimchouk (2007). Other authors have suggested that such forms can be found in a variety of settings where confined flow is not present (Mylroie and Mylroie, 2009; Palmer, 2011). We propose that simulation of such forms using a CFD speleogenesis code will allow a more complete understanding of the connections between process and form, because in such simulations the processes occurring are well-known, well-defined, and also can be adjusted within controlled numeri­cal experiments, where relevant parameters and boundary conditions are systematically varied.

The CFD framework we are developing is based on the Lattice Boltzman method (Chen and Doolen, 1998), which is a popular tech­nique for modeling the mechanics of complex fluids, including fluid mixtures, reactive transport, porous media flow, and complex and evolving domain geometries. With this framework it is straightforward to simulate many of the processes occurring in hypogene settings, including complex fluid flows, dissolution, solute and heat transport, and buoyancy-driven flow. Furthermore, this modeling framework allows these processes to be coupled so that their interactions and feedbacks can be explored. With the suite of capabili­ties provided by this framework, we can begin to numerically simulate the processes occurring in hypogene speleogenesis, including the driving mechanisms and the role of buoyancy-driven flow and its relationship with the morphological suite of rising flow. In the spirit of a workshop, this work is presented as in-progress, in the hopes that it will stimulate discussion on potential applications of the model being developed.


Hydrological role of karst in the Chalk aquifer of Upper Normandy, France, 2014, Janyani S. El, Dupont J. P. , Massei N. , Slimani S. , Dörfliger N.

The role of karst on large-scale groundwater flow is defined for the Chalk aquifer of Upper Normandy (western Paris Basin), France. In the regional context, chalk plateaus occupy the greater part of watersheds and are the main sites of groundwater recharge. Previous studies focused on karstic output systems in the valleys and less on water-level variations in the recharge zones upstream. This study assesses the relevant hydrogeological processes using time-series data (boreholes and springs) recorded along a down-gradient hydrologeological cross-section in two selected watersheds. These hydrological data are interpreted in the framework of previous descriptions of the morphological organization of the study area’s karst network. The results highlight the hydrological role of (1) the input karst (vertical conduits) which drains recharging water, (2) the output karst (sub-horizontal conduits widely developed in the vicinity of valleys in the surface watersheds) which drains the output flows, and (3) the connections between these two (input and output) networks, which control the upstream water levels and allow quick transfer to springs, particularly after strong rainfall events. A conceptual model of the hydrological functioning of this covered karst aquifer is established, which should serve for the structuring and parameterization of a numerical model


Bacterial migration through low-permeability fault zones in compartmentalised aquifer systems: a case study in Southern Italy., 2014,

The aim of this study was to experimentally verify the significance of microbial transport through low-permeability fault zones in a compartmentalised carbonate aquifer system in Southern Italy.

The temporal variability of microbial communities in two springs fed by the same aquifer system, but discharging up- and down-gradient of two low-permeability fault zones, was analysed using a 16S rDNA polymerase chain reaction-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE)-based approach. At both springs, a remarkable temporal variation in PCR-DGGE profiles was detected throughout the observation period. When comparing the PCR-DGGE profiles of the two springs, a synchronous evolution over time was observed. Moreover, the per cent of PCR-DGGE bands common to both springs progressively increased from early (23%) to late recharge (70%), only to decrease once more in late recession (33%). Considering the results of the hydrogeological and isotopic investigations and EC measurements, the results of biomolecular analyses demonstrate that, at the study site, compartments straddling the analysed fault zones have microbial interconnections, despite the existence of low-permeability fault cores.


Karstification of Dolomitic Hills at south of Coimbra (western-central Portugal) - Depositional facies and stratigraphic controls of the (palaeo)karst affecting the Coimbra Group (Lower Jurassic), 2014, Dimuccio, Luca Antonio

An evolutionary model is proposed to explain the spatio-temporal distribution of karstification affecting the Lower Jurassic shallow-marine carbonate succession (Coimbra Group) of the Lusitanian Basin, cropping out in the Coimbra-Penela region (western-central Portugal), in a specific morphostructural setting (Dolomitic Hills). Indeed, in the Coimbra Group, despite the local lateral and vertical distributions of dolomitic character and the presence of few thick sandy-argillaceous/shale and marly interbeds, some (meso)karstification was identified, including several microkarstification features. All types of karst forms are commonly filled by autochthonous and/or allochthonous post-Jurassic siliciclastics, implying a palaeokarstic nature.

The main aim of this work is to infer the interplay between depositional facies, diagenesis, syn- and postdepositional discontinuities and the spatio-temporal distribution of palaeokarst. Here, the palaeokarst concept is not limited to the definition of a landform and/or possibly to an associated deposit (both resulting from one or more processes/mechanisms), but is considered as part of the local and regional geological record.

Detailed field information from 21 stratigraphic sections (among several dozens of other observations) and from structural-geology and geomorphological surveys, was mapped and recorded on graphic logs showing the lithological succession, including sedimentological, palaeontological and structural data. Facies determination was based on field observations of textures and sedimentary structures and laboratory petrographic analysis of thin-sections. The karst and palaeokarst forms (both superficial and underground) were classified and judged on the basis of present-day geographic location, morphology, associated discontinuities, stratigraphic position and degree of burial by post-Jurassic siliciclastics that allowed to distinguish a exposed karst (denuded or completely exhumed) than a palaeokarst (covered or partially buried).

A formal lithostratigrafic framework was proposed for the local ca. 110-m-thick combined successions of Coimbra Group, ranging in age from the early Sinemurian to the early Pliensbachian and recorded in two distinct subunits: the Coimbra formation, essentially dolomitic; and the overlying S. Miguel formation, essentially dolomitic-limestone and marly-limestone.

The 15 identified facies were subsequently grouped into 4 genetically related facies associations indicative of sedimentation within supra/intertidal, shallow partially restricted subtidal-lagoonal, shoal and more open-marine (sub)environments - in the context of depositional systems of a tidal flat and a very shallow, inner part of a low-gradient, carbonate ramp. In some cases, thick bedded breccia bodies (tempestites/sismites) are associated to synsedimentary deformation structures (slumps, sliding to the W to NW), showing the important activity of N–S and NNE–SSW faults, during the Sinemurian. All these deposits are arranged into metre-scale, mostly shallowing-upward cycles, in some cases truncated by subaerial exposure events. However, no evidence of mature pedogenetic alteration, or the development of distinct soil horizons, was observed. These facts reflect very short-term subaerial exposure intervals (intermittent/ephemeral), in a semiarid palaeoclimatic setting but with an increase in the humidity conditions during the eogenetic stage of the Coimbra Group, which may have promoted the development of micropalaeokarstic dissolution (eogenetic karst).

Two types of dolomitization are recognized: one (a) syndepositional (or early diagenetic), massive-stratiform, of “penesaline type”, possibly resulting from refluxing brines (shallow-subtidal), with a primary dolomite related to the evaporation of seawater, under semiarid conditions (supra/intertidal) and the concurrent action of microbial activity; another (b) later, localized, common during diagenesis (sometimes with dedolomitization), particularly where fluids followed discontinuities such as joints, faults, bedding planes and, in some cases, pre-existing palaeokarstic features.

The very specific stratigraphic position of the (palaeo)karst features is understood as a consequence of high facies/microfacies heterogeneities and contrasts in porosity (both depositional and its early diagenetic modifications), providing efficient hydraulic circulation through the development of meso- and macropermeability contributed by syn- and postdepositional discontinuities such as bedding planes, joints and faults. These hydraulic connections significantly influenced and controlled the earliest karst-forming processes (inception), as well as the degree of subsequent karstification during the mesogenetic/telogenetic stages of the Coimbra Group. Multiple and complex karstification (polyphase and polygenic) were recognized, including 8 main phases, to local scale, integrated in 4 periods, to regional scale: Jurassic, Lower Cretaceous, pre-Pliocene and Pliocene-Quaternary. Each phase of karstification comprise a specific type of (palaeo)karst (eogenetic, subjacent, denuded, mantled-buried and exhumed).

Finally, geological, geomorphological and hydrogeological characteristics allowed to describe the local aquifer. The elaborated map of intrinsic vulnerability shows a karst/fissured and partially buried aquifer (palaeokarst) with high to very high susceptibility to the contamination.


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