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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 disturbed sample is a sample disturbed with respect to its original mode of packing and sedimentation (e.g., a drill core) [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 carbonate aquifers (Keyword) returned 89 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 60 of 89
Conceptual models for karstic aquifers, 2003, White, W. B.

Karstic carbonate aquifers are extremely heterogeneous with a distribution of permeability that spans many orders of magnitude. They often contain open conduit flow paths with hydraulic characteristics more like surface streams than ground water. Karstic carbonate aquifers have highly efficient interfaces with surface water through swallets and springs. Characterizing parameters include: area of ground-water basin, area of allogenic recharge basins, conduit carrying capacity, matrix hydraulic conductivity, fracture hydraulic conductivity, conduit system response time, and conduit/fracture coupling coefficients. The geologic setting provides boundary conditions that allow the generalized conceptual model to be applied to specific aquifers.


A comprehensive strategy for understanding flow in carbonate aquifers, 2003, Worthington, S. R. H.

Studies of carbonate aquifers usually either concentrate on sampling the channel flow (e.g. sink to spring tracer testing, spring monitoring) or on sampling the non-channel flow (e.g. borehole measurements). A comprehensive approach is advocated here, integrating both sources of information, as well as measuring the porosity and permeability of the unfractured rock. Representative sampling can be achieved by treating carbonates as triple porosity aquifers, with one-, two-, and three-dimensional porosity elements. The division of carbonate aquifers into "karstic" or "non-karstic" types is unwarranted.


Geophysical evidence for karst formation associated with offshore groundwater transport: An example from North Carolina, 2003, Evans Rl,
Marine geophysical data from Long Bay, North Carolina, involving a novel combination of electromagnetic and high-resolution Chirp seismics, show evidence of submarine karst formation associated with what has been inferred to be a site of high-flux submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) a substantial distance offshore. Recently observed temperature and chemical signals from wells in this area provide the basis for the interpretation of the high-flux SGD here, and they also suggest a terrestrial source for the groundwater and thus a potentially important route for nutrient transport to the oceans. Our data indicate that karstification is localized to the high-flux zone, and we suggest that mixing of the chemically distinct (but saline) groundwater with seawater has resulted in the karstification. As karstification increases permeability and flux, a positive feedback would tend to progressively enhance submarine groundwater discharge. Our data reveal a significant local anomaly in apparent porosity: a dense block that may have initiated the local focusing of groundwater flow. Conditions favorable to the formation of similar locally punctuated sites of high-flux SGD are likely to exist along the mid to inner shelf of the southeastern United States, where carbonate aquifers are prevalent

Numerical analysis of conduit evolution in karstic aquifers. PhD Thesis, 2003, Annable, W. K.

Fractured and solutionally enhanced carbonate aquifers supply approximately 20 percent of the Worlds potable water supply. Although in rare cases these geologic settings can geochemically evolve into conduits which are of sufficient size to be explored and interpreted by researchers, the majority of the solutionally enlarged networks providing fresh water supplies remain too small to be directly measured. As such, we rely upon indirect hydraulic testing and tracer studies to infer the complexity and size of such aquifers. Because solutionally enhanced (karstic) aquifers have multiple scales of porosity ranging from matrix flow, fracture flow and open channel conduit flow, they are particularly vulnerable to contamination due to the high rates of chemical transport. In this study, a numerical model which solves for the variably-saturated flow, chemically-reactive transport and sediment transport within fractured carbonate aquifers has been developed to investigate the evolution of proto conduits from discrete fractures towards the minimum limits of caves which can be explored. The model results suggest that, although potentiometric surfaces can be of assistance in forecasting the possible locations of proto conduits at depth, many conduits are never detected using conventional observation wells relying upon hydraulic head data. The model also demonstrates the strong dependence in the pattern of vertical jointing on how conduits may evolve: fractures oriented similar to the mean groundwater flow direction show conduits evolving along the vertical fracture orientation; however, vertical fractures that differ significantly from the mean groundwater flow direction have vastly more complex dissolution networks. The transport of fine-grained sediments within the fractures has been shown to reduce the rates of conduit development in all but the highest velocity regions, resulting in simplified conduit networks, but at accelerated dissolution rates. The fully-coupled advective-dispersive and reactive chemistry equations were employed strictly with equilibrium reactions to simulate calcite dissolution. This study further shows that higher order kinetics in the form of the kinetic trigger effect of White (1997) are not required if diffusion between the rock matrix and the fracture surfaces account for multi-component matrix diffusion effects between the evolving conduits and the carbonate rock matrix according to the diffusional characteristics of the fractured rock system at hand.


Geophysical evidence for karst formation associated with offshore groundwater transport: An example from North Carolina, 2003, Evans Rob L. , Lizarralde Dan

Marine geophysical data from Long Bay, North Carolina, involving a novel combination of electromagnetic and high-resolution Chirp seismics, show evidence of submarine karst formation associated with what has been inferred to be a site of high-flux submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) a substantial distance offshore. Recently observed temperature and chemical signals from wells in this area provide the basis for the interpretation of the high-flux SGD here, and they also suggest a terrestrial source for the groundwater and thus a potentially important route for nutrient transport to the oceans. Our data indicate that karstification is localized to the high-flux zone, and we suggest that mixing of the chemically distinct (but saline) groundwater with seawater has resulted in the karstification. As karstification increases permeability and flux, a positive feedback would tend to progressively enhance submarine groundwater discharge. Our data reveal a significant local anomaly in apparent porosity: a dense block that may have initiated the local focusing of groundwater flow. Conditions favorable to the formation of similar locally punctuated sites of high-flux SGD are likely to exist along the mid to inner shelf of the southeastern United States, where carbonate aquifers are prevalent


Microbial contributions to cave formation: New insights into sulfuric acid speleogenesis, 2004, Engel As, Stern La, Bennett Pc,
The sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) model was introduced in the early 1970s from observations of Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, and was proposed as a cave-enlargement process due to primarily H2S autoxidation to sulfuric acid and subaerial replacement of carbonate by gypsum. Here we present a reexamination of the SAS type locality in which we make use of uniquely applied geochemical and microbiological methods. Little H2S escapes to the cave atmosphere, or is lost by abiotic autoxidation, and instead the primary H2S loss mechanism is by subaqueous sulfur-oxidizing bacterial communities that consume H2S. Filamentous 'Epsilonproteobacteria' and Gammaproteobacteria, characterized by fluorescence in situ hybridization, colonize carbonate surfaces and generate sulfuric acid as a metabolic byproduct. The bacteria focus carbonate dissolution by locally depressing pH, compared to bulk cave waters near equilibrium or slightly supersaturated with calcite. These findings show that SAS occurs in subaqueous environments and potentially at much greater phreatic depths in carbonate aquifers, thereby offering new insights into the microbial roles in subsurface karstification

Matrix permeability of the confined Floridan Aquifer, Florida, USA, 2004, Budd Da, Vacher Hl,
The Upper Floridan Aquifer of peninsular Florida retains most of its depositional porosity and, as a result, is a multi-porosity aquifer: double porosity (fractured porous aquifer) downdip where the aquifer is confined, and triple porosity (karstic, fractured porous aquifer) in the updip, unconfined region. Matrix permeability in the confined region varies in the range <10(-14.41)-10(-11.1) m(2), as determined by 12,000 minipermeameter measurements on 1,210 m of slabbed core. Limestones divide into 13 textural classes and dolomites into two. Depositional facies (textural class) strongly correlates with matrix permeability. As a result, the facies architecture of the Eocene and Oligocene carbonates that compose the confined portion of the aquifer controls the lateral and vertical distribution of its matrix transmissivity. The most-permeable facies are grainstones (median k, 10(-12.4) m(2)) and sucrosic dolomites (median k, 10(-12.0) m(2)). Together, they are responsible for &SIM;73% of the matrix transmissivity of the logged cores, although they constitute only &SIM;24% of the thickness. Examination of the flow equations of fractured porous aquifers suggests that the permeability of these two facies is large enough that matrix permeability cannot be discounted in modeling the hydraulics of the double-porosity system. This conclusion likely applies to most, if not all, Cenozoic double-porosity carbonate aquifers, as average matrix and fracture permeabilities in the Floridan Aquifer are similar to other Cenozoic carbonates from around the world

Flow system dynamics and water storage of a fissured-porous karst aquifer characterized by artificial and environmental tracers, 2005, Einsiedl F,
Concentration breakthrough curves obtained from a tracer test and time series of environmental tracers were analyzed to characterize slow and preferential water flow in a karst aquifer of the Franconian Alb, Germany. Tritium (H-3) and chemical tracers (uranine, bromide, strontium) were measured during low flow conditions and a storm runoff event. The mean transit time of water along the conduits was determined using bromide. Environmental tracer data collected between 1969 and 2003 were modeled to estimate the mean transit time of H-3 in the fissured-porous karst system (diffuse flow). The modelling approach was also used to estimate the water volume of the karst system and the conduits. The results suggest that the total water volume in the fissured-porous karst aquifer is in the range of 57 X 10(6) m(3) and approximately 6% of the total water volume is stored in the soil zone and the epikarst. The water storage capacity of the conduits seems to be of minor importance. A mean transit time of bromide in the range of 14 h was calculated for the conduit flow. The fissures and the porous rock matrix have a calculated water saturated porosity of 5.5% and a mean transit time of approximately 62 years was calculated. Thus the porous rock matrix represents the major dilution and storage zone for pollutants in the karst system. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Water quality improvement program effectiveness for carbonate aquifers in grazed land watersheds, 2005, Boyer Dg,
Water quality indicators of two agriculturally impacted karst areas in southeastern West Virginia were studied to determine the water quality effects of grazing agriculture and water quality trends following initiation of water quality improvement programs. Both areas are tributaries of the Greenbrier River and received funding for best management practices under the President's Initiative for Water Quality and then under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). After 11 years of study there was little evidence to suggest that water quality improved in one area. Three and a half years of study in the other area showed little evidence of consistent water quality improvement under EQIP. Lack of consistent water quality improvement at the catchment scale does not imply that the voluntary programs were failures. Increased livestock numbers as a result of successful changes in forage management practices may have overridden water quality improvements achieved through best management practices. Practices that target well defined contributing areas significantly impacting aquifer water quality might be one way to improve water quality at catchment scales in karst basins. For example, a significant decrease in fecal coliform concentrations was observed in subterranean drainage from one targeted sinkhole after dairy cattle were permanently excluded from the sinkhole

Processes of Speleogenesis: a Modeling Approach, 2005, Dreybrodt W. Gabrovsek F. , Romanov D.

This book draws together the major recent advances in the modeling of karst systems. Based on the dissolution kinetics of limestone, and flow and transport processes in its fractures, it presents a hierarchy of cave genetic situations that range from the enlargement of a single fracture to the evolution of cavernous drainage patterns in confined and unconfined karst aquifers. These results are also applied to the evolution of leakage below dam sites in karst. The book offers a wealth of information that helps to understand the development of cave systems. It addresses geologists, hydrologists, geomorphologists, and geographers. It is also of interest to all scientists and engineers who have responsibilities for groundwater exploration and management in karst terrains.

?Processes of Speleogenesis: a Modeling Approach is an exciting book that brings together and displays the products of the first and second generations of karst cave and aquifer computer modeling in a succinct fashion, with excellent illustrations and stimulating contrasts of approach. It is a ?benchmark? publication that all who are interested in speleogenesis should read. It will be a very useful volume for teaching, not only in karst and hydrogeology, but for others who use computer modeling in the physical and spatial sciences.? (From the foreword by D.C. Ford)

?This book is an extraordinary achievement that warrants close attention by anyone interested in speleogenesis??This book is ideal for researchers in speleogenesis who have a solid grasp in technical aspects. Most of the necessary background information is outlined in the first chapter, but subtle aspects will be clear only to those who already have a good background in geochemistry and computer modeling especially when interpreting the figures. This book is not aimed at groundwater hydrologists, although the results would be eye-opening to anyone in that field who denies the importance of solution conduits in carbonate aquifers.? (From book review by A.N. Palmer, JCKS, Volume 67, No.3, 2005)

?To specialists the book is very helpful and and up-to-date, providing many ideas and answering many questions.? (From book review by P. Hauselmann, Die Hohle, Volume 56, 2005)

CONTENTS

  1. Introduction
  2. Equilibrium chemistry and dissolution kinetics of limestone in H2O-CO2 solutions
  3. The evolution of a single fracture
  4. Modeling karst evolution on two-dimensional networks: constant head boundary conditions
  5. Unconfined aquifers under various boundary conditions
  6. Karstification below dam sites
  7. Conclusion and future perspectives
  8. Bibliography

GUEST CHAPTER by Sebastian Bauer, Steffen Birk, Rudolf Liedl and Martin Sauter
Simulation of karst aquifer genesis using a double permeability approach investigation for confined and unconfined settings

GUEST CHAPTER by Georg Kaufmann
Structure and evolution of karst aquifers: a finite-element numerical modeling approach


Influence of depositional setting and sedimentary fabric on mechanical layer evolution in carbonate aquifers, 2006, Graham Wall Brita R. ,
Carbonate aquifers in fold-thrust belt settings often have low-matrix porosity and permeability, and thus groundwater flow pathways depend on high porosity and permeability fracture and fault zones. Methods from sedimentology and structural geology are combined to understand the evolution of fracture controlled flow pathways and determine their spatial distribution. Through this process bed-parallel pressure-solution surfaces (PS1) are identified as a fracture type which influences fragmentation in peritidal and basinal carbonate, and upon shearing provides a major flow pathway in fold-thrust belt carbonate aquifers. Through stratigraphic analysis and fracture mapping, depositional setting is determined to play a critical role in PS1 localization and spacing where peritidal strata have closer spaced and less laterally continuous PS1 than basinal strata. In the peritidal platform facies, units with planar lamination have bed-parallel pressure-solution seams along mudstone laminae. In contrast, burrowed units of peritidal strata have solution seams with irregular and anastamosing geometries. Laminated units with closely spaced bed-parallel solution seams are more fragmented than bioturbated units with anastamosing solution seams. In the deeper-water depositional environment, pelagic settling and turbidity currents are the dominant sedimentation processes, resulting in laterally continuous deposits relative to the peritidal platform environment. To quantify the fracture patterns in the basinal environment, mechanical layer thickness values were measured from regions of low to high bed dip. The results define a trend in which mechanical layer thickness decreases as layer dip increases. A conceptual model is presented that emphasizes the link between sedimentary and structural fabric for the peritidal and basinal environments, where solution seams localize in mud-rich intervals, and the resulting pressure-solution surface geometry is influenced by sedimentary geometry (i.e., stacked fining upward cycles, burrows, planar laminations). In both facies types, laterally continuous PS1 can behave as mechanical layer boundaries. As layer-parallel slip increases to accommodate shear strain in the fold-thrust belt, more PS1 behave as mechanical layer boundaries

Modeling complex flow in a karst aquifer, 2006, Quinn John J. , Tomasko David, Kuiper James A. ,
Carbonate aquifers typically have complex groundwater flow patterns that result from depositional heterogeneities and post-lithification fracturing and karstification. Various sources of information may be used to build a conceptual understanding of flow in the system, including drilling data, well tests, geophysical surveys, tracer tests, and spring gaging. These data were assembled to model flow numerically in Germany's Malm Formation, at a site where water disappears from the beds of ephemeral stream valleys, flows through conduit systems, and discharges to springs along surface water features. Modeling was performed by using a finite-difference approach, with drain networks, representing the conduit component of flow, laced throughout the porous medium along paths inferred on the basis of site data. This approach represents an improvement over other karst models that attempt to represent a conduit by a single, specialized model node at the spring location or by assigning a computationally problematic extremely high permeability to a zone. By handling the conduit portion of this mixed-flow system with drains, a realistic, interpretive flow model was created for this intricate aquifer

Modeling complex flow in a karst aquifer, 2006, Quinn John J. , Tomasko David, Kuiper James A. ,

Carbonate aquifers typically have complex groundwater flow patterns that result from depositional heterogeneities and postlithification fracturing and karstification. Various sources of information may be used to build a conceptual understanding of flow in the system, including drilling data, well tests, geophysical surveys, tracer tests, and spring gaging. These data were assembled to model flow numerically in Germany’s Malm Formation, at a site where water disappears from the beds of ephemeral stream valleys, flows through conduit systems, and discharges to springs along surface water features. Modeling was performed by using a finite-difference approach, with drain networks, representing the conduit component of flow, laced throughout the porous medium along paths inferred on the basis of site data. This approach represents an improvement over other karst models that attempt to represent a conduit by a single, specialized model node at the spring location or by assigning a computationally problematic extremely high permeability to a zone. By handling the conduit portion of this mixed-flow system with drains, a realistic, interpretive flow model was created for this intricate aquifer.


Ground-water residence times in unconfined carbonate aquifers, 2007, Worthington, Stephen R. H.
Tracers have been widely used in unconfined carbonate aquifers to measure groundwater velocities and travel times. Injected tracers have largely been used to measure travel times from sinking streams to springs. Environmental tracers have largely been used to estimate overall residence times in an aquifer, and give times that are typically one hundred times longer than estimates from injected tracers. Use of both environmental and injected tracers has enabled residence times and storage volumes to be calculated for both diffuse and conduit components in a number of aquifers. With the addition of permeability data it is possible to calculate storage and flow components for the matrix, fracture and channel components. Results show that the matrix of the rock provides almost all storage, but has very long residence times, especially in older carbonates. Channels provide little storage, account for most of the flow, and have very short residence times. Fractures play an intermediate role between the matrix and channels and have low storage and moderate residence times. These same contrasts are found in many different aquifers and are likely to be found in all unconfined carbonate aquifers. Thus these aquifers are marked not so much by ranging from conduit flow to diffuse flow types, but rather in having triple porosity with contrasting flow and storage properties in the matrix, fractures and channels. The combination of environmental and injected tracers provides a powerful tool for elucidating these contrasting properties.

Contributory area definition for groundwater source protection and hazard mitigation in carbonate aquifers, 2007, Gunn J. ,
Carbonate aquifers provide important sources of potable water but are known to be particularly prone to pollution owing to rapid transfer of pollutants from the surface to springs or boreholes. Source protection zones and groundwater vulnerability maps are commonly used to mitigate against the pollution hazard but cannot be applied simplistically to carbonate aquifers, which are usually highly heterogeneous with overlapping groundwater divides that may vary with water levels. Divergent flow and disjunct contributory areas provide further complexity. Under these conditions, water-tracing experiments, repeated under different flow conditions, are the only tool capable of identifying those areas that contribute recharge to a particular source. Examples of water pollution affecting disjunct and overlapping source contributory areas are presented from the Waitomo area (New Zealand), Cuilcagh Mountain (Ireland) and the Peak District (UK). Source protection zones (SPZ), that have been defined by the Environment Agency in the Buxton area of the Peak District using equivalent porous medium models, are shown to be deficient. Further water-tracing experiments are essential if carbonate aquifers are to be adequately protected from pollution

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