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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology

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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 potential evapotranspiration is evapotranspiration occurring under adequate soilmoisture supply at all times for given temperature and humidity conditions [16].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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What is Karstbase?



Browse Speleogenesis Issues:

KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

Search in KarstBase

Your search for hydrochemistry (Keyword) returned 85 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 76 to 85 of 85
An Unsung Carbon Sink , 2011,
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Larson, Christina

The abstract below is for the main article, which is:
Jiao, et al.  China Looks to Balance Its Carbon Books

An equitable solution to reining in carbon dioxide emissions worldwide is proving elusive, and with the Kyoto Protocol set to expire in 2012, time is running out. As nations grope for a consensus, China is pressing ahead on its own to sharply reduce energy intensity by shuttering inefficient coal-fired power plants and capping energy use. Last week, the State Council approved a plan to promote low-carbon energy and slash CO2 emissions by 17% per unit of GDP by 2015. But these efforts mask major uncertainties in China's carbon balance sheet: just how much CO2 the country emits and how much its landscape absorbs.


The Larson's entry on the same pages specifically features the work of Chinese scientists studying carbonate karst hydrochemistry and cites thoughts of some international karst scholars (Dr. George Veni, Dr. Niko Goldshcheider, and Dr. Chris Groves) on the role of karst processes as a global carbon sink.  

Submarine and coastal karstic groundwater discharges along the southwestern Mediterranean coast of Turkey, 2011,
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Bayari C. Serdar, Ozyurt N. Nur, Oztan Mehmet, Bastanlar Yalin, Varinlioglu Guzden

A 120 km-long part of the southwestern coast of Turkey, with well-developed karst terrain in contact with the sea, has been investigated by systematic diving surveys to determine the submarine groundwater discharges (SGDs). The physical, chemical and isotopic data have been used to determine the rate of the fresh groundwater end member (FEM) and its temporal dynamics. About 150 SGDs have been detected by diving surveys employed mostly up to a depth of 30 m below sea level (bsl). Among those, 15 SGDs are in the form of coastal or submarine caves with entrances ranging between sea surface and 40 m bsl. The FEM contribution in SGDs ranges from a few percent to more than 80%. Stable isotope data suggest a range of mean recharge area elevations extending from the coast to more than 1,000 m inland. In many of the SGDs, the FEMs are characterized by tritium-based residence times ranging from recent to several decades. Hypothetical geochemical calculations of mixing between freshwater and seawater end members reveal that more than 45% of freshwater contribution is required for karst development in the SGDs. Models suggest a threshold pH of 7.6 or lower for the carbonate rock dissolution. 

Piezometric and hydrogeochemical characterization of groundwater circulation in complex karst aquifers. A case study: the Mancha Real-Pegalajar aquifer (Southern Spain), 2012,
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Gonzalezramon A. , Lopezchicano M. , Rubiocampos J. C.

A small karst aquifer of great structural complexity has been subjected to significant resource withdrawal over recent decades. This exploitation aroused social conflict due to the effect it has had on emblematic springs. This research has analysed piezometric data collected over the course of 12 years and the spatial hydrochemical data supplied by the main water points associated with it. The spatial and temporal evolution of the main chemical species in the groundwater and the hydrogeochemical processes affecting them have been studied, modelling them with the programme PHREEQC. These data suggest a complicated model of hydrogeological function with sectors storing water at different depths and connected to each other locally as determined by the geological structure.


Hydrogeochemistry and possible sulfate sources in karst groundwater in Chongqing, China, 2012,
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Pu J. , Yuan D. , Zhang Ch. , Zhao H.

Groundwater from karst subterranean streams is among the world’s most important sources of drinking water supplies, and the hydrochemical characteristics of karst water are affected by both natural environment and people. Therefore, the study of karst groundwater hydrochemistry and its solutes’ sources is very important to ensure the normal function of life support systems. This paper focused on the major ion chemistry and sulfate isotope of karst groundwater in Chongqing for tracing the sulfate sources and related hydrochemical processes. Hydrochemical types of karst groundwater in Chongqing were mainly of the Ca-HCO3 type or Ca(Mg)-HCO3 type. However, some hydrochemical types were the K ? Na ? Ca-SO4 type (G25 site) or Ca-HCO3 ? SO4 type (G26 and G14 sites), indicating that the hydrochemistry of these sites may be strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities or unique geological characteristics. The d34S-SO4 2- of collected karst groundwater sample fell into a range of -6.8 to 21.5 %, with a mean value of 5.6 %. In dolomite aquifer, the d34S-SO4 2- value ranges from -4.3 to 11.0 %, and in limestone aquifer, it ranged from -6.8 to 21.5 %. The groundwater samples from different land use types showed distinctive d34S-SO4 2- value. The d34S-SO4 2- value of groundwater samples had range of -6.8 to 16.7 % (mean 4.0 %, n = 11) in cultivated land areas, 1.5–21.5 %(mean 7.2 %, n = 20) in forested land areas, and -4.3 to 0.8 % (mean -1.7 %, n = 2) in coalmine areas. The d34S-SO4 2- values of groundwater samples collected from factory area and town area were 2.2 and 9.9 %, respectively. According to the d34S information of potential sulfate sources, this paper discussed the possible sulfate sources of collected karst groundwater samples in Chongqing. The variations of both d34S and 1/SO4 2- values of the groundwater samples indicated that the atmospheric acid deposition (AAD), dissolution of gypsum (GD), oxidation of sulfide mineral (OS) or anthropogenic inputs (SF: sewage or fertilizer) contributed to sulfate in karst groundwater. The influence of oxidation of sulfide mineral, atmospheric acid deposit and anthropogenic inputs to groundwater in Chongqing karst areas was much widespread. For protecting, sustaining, and utilizing the groundwater resources, the sewage possibly originating from urban, mine or industrial area must be controlled and treated, and the use of fertilizer should be limited

Hydrochemistry of geothermal water in Tianshui and adjacent area, Gansu province, China, 2012,
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Wen Y. , Wang N. , Hu Z.

A geochemical study on thermal water has been carried out in Tianshui and its adjacent area, Gansu province, China. Chemical and isotopic contents were employed in the investigation on the origin and evolution of thermal water and the evaluation of reservoir temperature in the geothermal systems. Thermal waters in Wushan and Tianshui are characterized by outlet temperatures from 15 to 38_C and low TDS (226–255 mg/L), defined as bicarbonate water. Its origin may be attributed to the interaction between meteoric rain, biotite plagioclase gneiss and carbonate reservoir rocks. In contrast, thermal waters in Tongwei and Qingshui have higher outlet temperatures of 25–54.2_C and a moderate TDS of 915–1,793 mg/L, regarded as sulfate waters. These sulfate waters may arise from the interaction between meteoric water, granite and amphogneiss. Isotopic data presented here suggest that thermal waters in the study area have a meteoric origin without being significantly effected by water–rock isotope exchange. Chemical geothermometry indicates the existence of a deep geothermal reservoir of low-to-medium enthalpy (70–111_C) in the Tianshui study area.

Wet season hydrochemistry of Bribin Cave in Gunung Sewu Karst, Indonesia, 2012,
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Tjahyo Nugroho Adji

This research was conducted on the Bribin River, the most important underground river in the Gunung Sewu Karst, Gunung Kidul, Java, Indonesia. The main purpose of this study was to define the wet-season hydrochemistry of this river. This research also focuses on identifying the relationship between hydrochemical parameters to provide better aquifer characterization.Water-level monitoring and discharge measurements were conducted over a 1-year period to define the discharge hydrograph. Furthermore, baseflow-separation analysis is conducted to determine the diffuse-flow percentage throughout the year. Water sampling for hydrogeochemical analysis is taken every month in the wet season and every 2 hours for two selected flood events. To describe the hydrogeochemical processes, a bivariate plot analysis of certain hydrochemical parameters is conducted. The results show that the diffuse-flow percentage significantly controls the river hydrochemistry. The domination of diffuse flow occurs during non-flooding and flood recession periods, which are typified by a high value of calcium and bicarbonate and low CO2 gas content in water. Conversely, the hydrochemistry of flood events is characterized by the domination of conduit flow and CO2 gas with low calcium and bicarbonate content. According to the wet-season hydrochemistry, it seems that the small- and medium-sized fractures in the Bribin aquifer still provide storage for the diffuse and fissure flows, although the conduit fracture is already developed.

The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the thermal waters at Taffs Well, South Wales, UK, 2013,
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Farr G. , Bottrell S. H

Taffs Well is the only thermal spring in Wales, with an average temperature of 21.6°C ± 0.5°C. The River Taff is adjacent to the spring and removal of a weir and work on flood defences has reduced mixing with flood water from the river. This has enabled data to be gathered that more closely represent the thermal water end-member than previously possible. Limited interaction with modern waters is confirmed by tritium, nitrate, CFC and SF6concentrations below or close to lower detection limits, showing at most 6% mixing with modern waters. 14C dating suggests a conservative age estimate of at least 5000 years.
Values for dissolved noble gases suggest that the waters originate as rainfall at an altitude several hundred metres higher than the spring. The northern Carboniferous Limestone outcrop is proposed, which would then require recharged waters to flow to a depth of 400m and distance of 25km, following the synclinal structure of the South Wales Coalfield, to discharge at the spring. Sr isotope data suggest interaction with the Marros Group (formerly known as the Millstone Grit), the waters flowing within or close to the contact between the Carboniferous Limestone and Marros Group before rising via the Tongwynlais Fault.

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Frumkin Amos


The city of Jerusalem, Israel, is growing for ~4,000 years on karst terrain. Lacking closed depressions, surface topography seems fluvial, but karst is well demonstrated by speleology and subsurface hydrology. Several caves in the city were truncated by construction works, including an 800 m long river cave (longest limestone river cave in Israel), and a 200 × 140 × 90 m isolated chamber cave (largest chamber cave in Israel). Caves are being discovered at a growing rate, as construction works dig deeper into the subsurface in the crowded city. Some of them are eventually destroyed by the construction works; only presently accessible caves are discussed here. The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the Gihon, Jerusalem’s main karst spring, was studied in order to understand its behavior, as well as urbanization effects on karst groundwater resources. High-resolution monitoring of the spring discharge, temperature and electrical conductivity, as well as chemical and bacterial analysis demonstrate a rapid response of the spring to rainfall events and human impact. A complex karst system is inferred, including conduit flow, fissure flow and diffuse flow. Electrical conductivity is high compared to nearby springs located at the town margins, indicating considerable urban pollution in the Gihon area. The previously cited pulsating nature of the spring does not exist today. This phenomenon may have ceased due to additional water sources from urban leakage and irrigation feeding the spring. The urbanization of the recharge area thus affects the spring water dramatically, both chemically and hydrologically.

Hydrogeological and Environmental Investigations in Karst Systems, 2014,
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Karst is the result of climatic and geohydrological processes, mainly in carbonate and evaporite rocks, during geological periods of Earth history. Dissolution of these rock formations over time has generated karst aquifers and environments of significant water and mineral resources. In addition, beautiful landscapes have been created which constitute natural parks, geosites, and caves. Due to their origin and nature, karstified areas require investigation with special techniques and methodology. International collaboration and discussions on advances in karst research are necessary to promote Karst Science. The International Symposium on Karst Aquifers is one of the worldwide events held periodically to specifically address karst environments. The symposium constitutes an ongoing international forum for scientific discussion on the progress made in research in karst environments. The first and second symposiums were organized in Nerja (near Malaga, Spain), in 1999 and 2002; the third and fourth symposiums were held in Malaga city in 2006 and 2010. The 5th International Symposium on Karst Aquifers (ISKA5) occurred in Malaga on during October 14–16, 2014. It was organized by the Centre of Hydrogeology University of Málaga (CEHIUMA) and the Spanish Geological Survey (IGME), in cooperation with UNESCO and the International Association of Hydrogeologists (IAH) Karst Commission. More than 100 contributions were received from 30 countries on five continents. Presentations made during the symposium and published in this book are a compendium of 70 of these manuscripts. Papers submitted by April 2014, were peer-reviewed and subsequently accepted by the Scientific Committee. Contributions are grouped into five sections:

• Methods Utilized to Study Karst Aquifers.

• Karst Hydrogeology.

• Mining and Engineering in Karst media.

• Karst Cavities.

• Karst Geomorphology and Landscape.

A large part of the contributions, 30 %, is related to Methods Utilized to Study Karst Aquifers. Several issues are addressed: methods for groundwater recharge assessment, dye tracer and stable isotope applications, analysis of hydrodynamic data and hydrochemistry, among others. Most contributions, 40 %, however, are on Karst Hydrogeology. These are primarily in connection with various topics such as numerical modeling in karst, floods, karst groundwater flow, protection of karst aquifers or pollution, and vulnerability in karst. Five percent of the published papers deal with Mining and Engineering in Karst Media. These papers are about tunnels, hydrogeological risks, and karst risk assessment in mining and civil engineering. Another section concerning Karst Cavities encompasses 15 % of the contributions. These chapters deal with corrosion and speleogenetic processes, speleothems, CO2 sources, the global carbon cycle in endokarst, and the study of past climate. Karst Geomorphology and Landscape constitutes the remaining 10 % of the contributions. These papers are related to karst features, wetlands, hypogene speleogenesis, geodiversity, and karstic geosites. The results of project work performed by karst specialists worldwide are described in the book. Included in it are experiences from pilot sites, methodologies, monitoring, and data analyses in various climatic, geological, and hydrogeological contexts. Material presented may be utilized for activities such as teaching and technical-professional applications particularly as they apply to the increasingly multidisciplinary nature of karst studies. Information provided may also be useful to decisions makers in making critical decisions regarding development in karst regions. Scientists and engineers and many of the lay public interested in karst environments will benefit from the contents

Hydrogeological Characteristics of Carbonate Formations of the Cuddapah Basin, India, 2014,
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Farooq Ahmad Dar

Karst hydrogeology is an important field of earth sciences as the aquifers in carbonate formations represent vital resource of groundwater that feeds a large part of the world population particularly in semi-arid climates. These unique aquifers posses peculiar characteristics developed by dissolutional activities of water. Karst aquifers possess a typical hydrogeological setup from surface to subsurface. The aquifers are governed by slow groundwater flow in matrix porosity, a medium to fast flow in fractures and rapid flow in conduits and channels. This large variability in their properties makes the prediction and modeling of flow and transport very cumbersome and data demanding. The aquifers are vulnerable to contamination as the pollutants reach the aquifer very fast with little or no attenuation. The geomorphological and hydrogeological properties in these aquifers demand specific techniques for their study. The carbonate aquifers of the semi-arid Cuddapah basin were characterized based on geomorphological, hydrogeological and hydrochemical investigations. All the formations are highly karstified possessing one of the longest and deepest caves of India and few springs along with unique surface features. Karstification is still in progress but at deeper levels indicated by growing speleothems of different architectural size. Model of karstification indicates that lowering of base level of erosion resulted in the dissolution of deeper parts of the limestone as represented by paleo-phreatic conduits in the region. Moist conditions of the past were responsible for the karst development which has been minimized due to the onset of monsoon conditions. Karst has developed at various elevations representing the past base levels in the region.

The recharge processes in these aquifers are complex due to climatic and karst specificities. Point recharge is the major contributor which enters the aquifer as allogenic water. It replenishes the groundwater very rapidly. Diffuse recharge travels through soil and epikarst zone. Average annual recharge of semi-arid Narji limestone aquifer is 29% of the rainfall which occurs during 5-7 rain events in the year.

The hydrogeochemical characteristic of karst aquifers is quite varaible. A significant difference is observed in hydrochemistry. High concentrations of SO42-, Cl-, NO3- suggests the anthropogenic source particularly from agriculture. Local Meteoric Water Line of δ2H and δ18O isotopes of rain and groundwater shows a slope of 7.02. Groundwater isotope data shows more depletion in heavy isotopes -a result of high evaporation of the area. Groundwater samples show a trend with a slope of 4 and 3.1 for δ2H and δ18O respectively. Groundwater during dry months gets more fractionated due to higher temperature and little rainfall. The irrigated water becomes more enriched and then recharges the aquifer as depleted irrigation return flow. The isotopes show large variation in spring water. Few springs are diffuse or mixed type and not purely of conduit type in the area. Tracer results indicate that the tracer output at the sampling location depends on the hydrogeological setup and the nature of karstification.

The study has significantly dealt with in disclosing the typical characteristics of such aquifer systems and bringing out a reliable as well as detailed assessment of various recharges to the system. The groundwater chemistry has been elaborated to establish the nature of possible hydrochemical processes responsible for water chemistry variation in semi-arid karst aquifer. Such study has thrown light on the aquifers that are on one hand very important from social and strategic point of view and on the hand were left unattended from the detailed scientific studies.

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