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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. ...

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That ground air is see soil air.?

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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 ground-water (Keyword) returned 116 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 106 to 116 of 116
Potential effects of recurrent low oxygen conditions on the Illinois cave amphipod, 2006, Panno, S. V. , Hackley, K. C. , Kelly, W. R. , Hwang, H. H. , Wilhelm, F. M. , Taylor, S. J. , Stiff B. J
The caves of Illinois sinkhole plain are the sole habitat of the Illinois Cave amphipod (Gammarus acherondytes), a federally endangered species. The sinkhole plain is a hydrologically-connected sequence of karstified limestone that constitutes an extensive karst aquifer which serves as an important source of potable water for area residents. During this investigation, we examined the ground-water quality in caves within two ground-water basins: 1) Illinois Caverns, where the amphipod is now present after previously reported to have been extirpated from the lower reaches, and 2) Stemler Cave, where the amphipod is reported to have been extirpated. The chemical composition of cave streams in Illinois Caverns and Stemler Cave were compared to determine which parameters, if any, could have contributed to the loss of G. acherondytes from Stemler Cave. Stream water in Stemler Cave contained higher concentrations of organic carbon, potassium, silica, chloride, fluoride, sulfate, iron and manganese than Illinois Caverns. Perhaps most importantly, dissolved oxygen (DO) concentrations in Stemler Cave were, during periods of low flow, substantially lower than in Illinois Caverns. Based on land use, there are probably at least eight times more private septic systems in the Stemler Cave ground-water basin than in the Illinois Caverns ground-water basin. Low DO concentrations were likely the result of microbial breakdown of soil organic matter and wastewater treatment system effluent, and the oxidation of pyrite in bedrock. The near-hypoxic DO in Stemler Cave that occurred during low-flow conditions, and, we speculate, a limited range of G. acherondytes within the Stemler Cave ground-water basin due to a metabolic advantage of the stygophilic aquatic invertebrates over the stygobitic G. acherodytes, resulted in the apparent loss of G. acherondytes from Stemler Cave.

First 226Ra-210Pb dating of a young speleothem, 2006, Condomines M, Rihs S,
Whereas the method based on the decrease of excess 210Pb has already been used to date young (210Pb -- A new technique, Geophys. Res. Lett. 20 (1993) 603-606.]), this paper presents the first dating of a speleothem through the 226Ra-210Pb method. Dating of a young hydrothermal stalagmite from the Mt Cornadore cave (St Nectaire, French Massif Central) was made possible by the high 226Ra and negligible 210Pb contents of such carbonates, formed by precipitation from CO2-rich thermal waters. (210Pb/226Ra) ratios regularly increase with depth along the axis of the 33[no-break space]cm long stalagmite. The age-depth relationship can be interpreted by two main phases of growth, with high but variable axial growth rates of 5.3[no-break space]mm/yr from 1909 to 1967, and 2.6[no-break space]mm/yr from 1967 to 1989 (alternatively, the oldest phase can be subdivided in three episodes with growth rates varying from 2 to 7[no-break space]mm/yr). Thin-section examination reveals the presence of numerous laminae, indicating infra-annual variations. We suggest that this fine layered structure might reflect short-term fluctuations in drip waters, possibly induced by near-surface mixing between thermal and ground waters, and ultimately linked to the pluviometry. A detailed examination of this laminated structure combined with 226Ra-210Pb dating could thus provide a high-resolution record of local paleohydrological fluctuations

Cretaceous Karstic Cave-Fill Manganese-Lead-Barium Deposits of Imini, Morocco, 2006, Gutzmer J. , Beukes N. J. , Rhalmi M. , Mukhopadhyay J. ,
The economically important high-grade manganese ores of the Imini district, Morocco, are exceptional because of their unusually high Mn/Fe ratios and exceptional enrichment in Ba and Pb. There is ample evidence that the three strata-bound manganese orebodies of the Imini district formed in a laterally extensive karst cave system, associated with internal sediment, and developed in a shallow marine dolostone succession of Cretaceous age. The manganese ores occur in dolostone breccias and ferruginous clays that represent the earliest phase of internal sediment in the cave system. Later phases of cave fill are ferruginous without manganese enrichment. Ore formation, karstification, and meteoric dolomitization are all related to an extended period of exposure and terrestrial weathering, prior to the deposition of terrestrial red beds and evaporites of Upper Cretaceous age that overlie the ore-bearing dolostone succession above an erosional unconformity. The manganese ores formed when warm, acidic Mn2?? meteoric water migrated from the elevated regions of the Anti Atlas region into the exposed carbonate succession. Alkali feldspar-rich igneous basement rocks were the source for Mn, Pb, and Ba. Metals were deposited in a zone of mixing between metal-bearing, reducing meteoric water and oxygenated ground water resident in the cave system

Translating CFC-based piston ages into probability density functions of ground-water age in karst, 2006, Long Andrew J. , Putnam Larry D. ,
SummaryTemporal age distributions are equivalent to probability density functions (PDFs) of transit time. The type and shape of a PDF provides important information related to ground-water mixing at the well or spring and the complex nature of flow networks in karst aquifers. Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) concentrations measured for samples from 12 locations in the karstic Madison aquifer were used to evaluate the suitability of various PDF types for this aquifer. Parameters of PDFs could not be estimated within acceptable confidence intervals for any of the individual sites. Therefore, metrics derived from CFC-based apparent ages were used to evaluate results of PDF modeling in a more general approach. The ranges of these metrics were established as criteria against which families of PDFs could be evaluated for their applicability to different parts of the aquifer. Seven PDF types, including five unimodal and two bimodal models, were evaluated. Model results indicate that unimodal models may be applicable to areas close to conduits that have younger piston (i.e., apparent) ages and that bimodal models probably are applicable to areas farther from conduits that have older piston ages. The two components of a bimodal PDF are interpreted as representing conduit and diffuse flow, and transit times of as much as two decades may separate these PDF components. Areas near conduits may be dominated by conduit flow, whereas areas farther from conduits having bimodal distributions probably have good hydraulic connection to both diffuse and conduit flow

Evaluating the effectiveness of a fixed wellhead delineation: Regional case study, 2006, Hodgson J. Y. S. , Stoll J. R. , Stoll R. C. ,
The 1996 Safe Drinking Water Act amendments mandated that every state must determine the hydrogeologic origin of each public drinking water system and assess the degree to which each system may be adversely affected by potential sources of contamination. Wisconsin delineated and assessed one specific class of systems, transient noncommunity drinking water wells, with the least stringent standards of all governed system types. This study evaluates the effectiveness of Wisconsin's arbitrarily fixed radius approach used in determining susceptibility to potential contamination from 1,872 transient noncommunity ground water wells. Nearly 28 percent of the wells with contaminated water did not have any recorded potential sources of contamination within the delineation radii. Additionally, regression models derived from potential contaminant inventories within the delineation radii could not accurately predict actual incidences of water contamination. Differences between observed and expected frequencies of contamination further suggest that some transient noncommunity systems should probably be delineated with larger and more sophisticated methods that would account for varying geology and contaminant susceptibility. The majority of contamination cases without recorded potential sources of contamination within the delineation radii were in a karst area. Subsequently, the arbitrarily fixed radius delineation method should not be used in areas with karst aquifers

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.

Sulfidic ground-water chemistry in the Frasassi Caves, Italy, 2008, Galdenzi S. , Cocchioni M. , Moricheui L. , Amici V. , And Scud S.
A year-long study of the sulfidic aquifer in the Frasassi caves (central Ita ly) employed chemical analysis of the water and measurements of its level, as well as assessments of the concentration of H2S, CO2, and O2 in the cave air. Bica rbonate water seepage derives from diffuse infiltration of meteoric water into the karst surface, and contributes to sulfidic ground-water dilution, with a percentage that varies between 30% and 60% during the year. Even less diluted sulfidic ground water was found in a localized area of the cave between Lago Verde and nearby springs . This water rises from a deeper phreatic zone , and its chemistry changes only slightly with the seasons with a contribution of seepage water that does not exceed 20'10 . In order to understand how the H2S oxidation, which is considered the main cave forming process, is influenced by the seasonal changes in the cave hydrology, the sulfide/total sulfur ratio was related to ground-water dilution and air composition. The data suggest that in the upper phreatic zone, limestone corrosion due to H2S oxidation is prominent in the wet season because of the high recharge of Oj-rich seepage water, while in the dry season, the H2S content increases, but the extent of oxidation is lower. In the cave atmosphere, the low H2S content in ground water during the wet season inhibits the release of this gas, but the H2S concentration increases in the dry season, favoring its oxidation in the air and the replacement of limestone with gypsum on the cave walls.

Ground-water storage calculation in karst aquifers with alluvium or no-flow boundaries, 2008, Raeisi E.
The determination of water-budget parameters, such as change in storage and subsurface inflow and outflow, is costly and unreliable due to heterogeneities of karst aquifers. Some karst aquifers may have one or a combination of boundaries such as impermeable formations, alluvial aquifers, and known ground-water divides. Karst water only discharges through springs or flows to the adjacent alluvium. A new procedure is proposed to estimate volume of storage in region during the dry season in these settings. The subsurface inflow and outflow can be measured in the adjacent alluvium using equipotential and flow lines, cross-sectional area, and transmissivity of the alluvial aquifer. The dry season makes it possible to calculate the karst spring recession coefficient and karst aquifer dynamic volume at the beginning and end of the hydrological year. The change of storage is the difference between the dynamic volumes of the karst aquifer at the beginning and end of the hydrological year. The volume of water which flows to the adjacent alluvium or spring is measured by plotting the discharge as a function of time and estimating the recession coefficient at the beginning (or end) of the hydrological year. Known equations are used to calculate the dynamic volume of springs. A general equation is proposed to calculate the dynamic volume of a karst aquifer when there is a combination of springs, and subsurface inflow and outflow from the karst aquifer. The proposed method is applicable to the Zagros Folded Zone in Iran.


Strips of metamorphosed carbonate rocks in a contact-karst area in the Jeseniky Mts, Czech Republic, act as aquifers, draining broad areas of crystalline rocks, mostly phyllites. Significant groundwater resources that are partly used as a water supply are in carbonate rocks. Detailed temperature and conductivity measurements coupled with discharge measurements along all streams in the area demonstrate a relatively quick method to locate virtually all important groundwater outflows from carbonates. Discharge measurements of streams crossing carbonate strips enabled us to locate and quantify the capacity of ponors and losing parts of streams in various water stages. Thanks to a detailed knowledge of losing and gaining parts of streams, we were able to select appropriate profiles to separate catchments with differing hydrologic balances (balanced, gaining, losing). Flow directions in carbonates and recharge and discharge areas were delineated by comparing the specific discharges of individual catchments. Resulting flow directions agree with tracer tests in the area. Our outlined approach can be used in many other areas to locate hidden inflows into streams and to estimate flow between individual small catchments, and it may partly compensate for tracer tests as it allows flow directions to be estimated from hydrological balance and rock geometry.

Genesis and functioning of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst (Savoie, France): past research and recent advances, 2010, Hoblea F. , Gallinojosnin S. , Audra Ph.

Aix-les-Bains (Savoie, France) owes its name and reputation to the thermal springs that occur along the eastern shore of Lake Bourget, France largest natural lake. Although the city waters have been exploited since Antiquity, scientific investigations into the nature and characteristics of the hydrothermal karst from which they emerge did not begin until the early 19th century. The present article traces the history of these investigations and summarizes the results of more than two centuries of scientific research. Today, the only visible signs of karstification related to hydrothermal flows are to be found in the discharge zone in the Urgonian limestone anticline that rises above the city centre. These features are: – the Grotte des Serpents, which houses the Alun Spring, the system main natural discharge, – the Chevalley Aven, a blind chimney that was accidentally uncovered in 1996, – other hydrothermal springs that are too small to enter, including the Soufre Spring. Although scientific investigation of the thermal springs at Aix-les-Bains began in the early 19th century, it was not until the 1920s that scientists started examining the relationship between karstification and the state of the aquifer. E.A.Martel was the first researcher to describe the Aix-les-Bains site as an active hydrothermal karst, in a pioneering study published in 1935. Sixty years later, the discovery of the Chevalley Aven during building work on a new hydrotherapy center gave fresh impetus to research into the karstification of the Aix-les-Bains thermo-mineral aquifer. Recent studies have also investigated the deep aquifer below the karst, using data provided by boreholes. The Urgonian limestone karst at Aix-les-Bains is the site of mixing between thermal waters rising through the anticline and meteoric waters percolating from the surface. Meteoric infiltration is sufficiently high for the hydrological behavior of the thermal springs to be identical to that of exsurgences in gravity-fed, cold-water transmissive karsts. The Chevalley Aven is a shaft that descends 30 meters below the surface, thereby providing access to the ground-water at depth. Monitoring of the water quality in the aven has shown that the Legionella contamination of the springs was due to high concentrations of the bacteria in upstream passages in the karst. In 2006, dye-tracing tests confirmed the existence of a hydraulic connection between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun and Soufre Springs, the fact there is a single ascending hydrothermal conduit, which lies between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun Spring. In addition to providing a valuable source of information about the functioning of the thermo-mineral aquifer, the cavities at Aix-les-Bains are of great karstological interest, especially for the study of hypogene speleogenetic processes. The circulation of warm (40oC), sulfur-rich waters and vapours through the system has led to the development of conduits with specific morphologies and the precipitation of characteristic deposits. These features include: – “beaded” chimneys and galleries formed by the linking of spheres produced by condensation-corrosion. Diffuse karstification along bedding planes around the main conduit; – deposition of non-carbonate minerals (gypsum, native sulfur); – formation of biothems and biofilms on walls subject to condensation. The Grotte des Serpents is a horizontal cavity that formed at the upper limit of the water table. The Chevalley Aven is a hypogene chimney that was sculpted under vadose conditions by the release of sulfuric acid-rich vapours above the thermal water table. As well as a surface coating of microbial mats and the presence of bacterial flakes in the thermal water, the vadose parts of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst contain a characteristic microfauna and flora. These microorganisms are thought to play an active role in hypogene karstification processes.

Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications, 2012, Galdenzi, Sandro

The measurement of the weight loss in limestone tablets placed in the Grotta del Fiume (Frasassi, Italy) provided data on the rate of limestone dissolution due to the sulfidic water and on the influence of local environmental conditions.

A linear average corrosion rate of 24 mm ka-1 was measured in stagnant water, while the values were higher (68-119 mm ka-1) where the hydrologic conditions facilitate water movement and gas exchanges. In these zones the increase in water aggressivity is due to mixing with descending, O2-rich, seepage water and is also favored by easier gas exchange between ground-water and the cave atmosphere. Very intense corrosion was due to weakly turbulent flow, which caused evident changes in the tablets shape in few months.

A comparison between the measured corrosion rates and the cave features showed that the values measured in the pools with stagnant water are too low to account for the largest solutional cave development, while the average values measured in the zones with moving water are compatible with the dimension of the cave rooms in the main cave levels, that must have developed when the base level was stable and hydrologic conditions favored the increase of water aggressivity.

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