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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 pillar is 1. remnant of bedrock joining the cave floor and ceiling. not to be confused with a column, which is a calcite deposit. pillars are common in phreatic caves, formed by complexly looping ground-water flow, but may also be left as small oxbow cores of vadose origin. a spectacular group of pillars occurs in the ill-named chamber of columns in the sof omar cave, ethiopia [9]. 2. a column of rock remaining after solution of the surrounding rock. 3. a stalactite-- stalagmite that reaches from roof to floor in a cave; more properly termed a column. 4. a tall thin stalagmite that does not reach the roof of a cave [10]. see column; rock pillar.?

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

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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;
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Your search for allogenic (Keyword) returned 64 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 64
Conduit enlargement in an eogenetic karst aquifer, ,
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Moore Paul J. , Martin Jonathan B. , Screaton Elizabeth J. , Neuhoff Philip S.

Most concepts of conduit development have focused on telogenetic karst aquifers, where low matrix permeability focuses flow and dissolution along joints, fractures, and bedding planes. However, conduits also exist in eogenetic karst aquifers, despite high matrix permeability which accounts for a significant component of flow. This study investigates dissolution within a 6-km long conduit system in the eogenetic Upper Floridan aquifer of north-central Florida that begins with a continuous source of allogenic recharge at the Santa Fe River Sink and discharges from a first-magnitude spring at the Santa Fe River Rise. Three sources of water to the conduit include the allogenic recharge, diffuse recharge through epikarst, and mineralized water upwelling from depth. Results of sampling and inverse modeling using PHREEQC suggest that dissolution within the conduit is episodic, occurring only during 30% of 16 sampling times between March 2003 and April 2007. During low flow conditions, carbonate saturated water flows from the matrix to the conduit, restricting contact between undersaturated allogenic water with the conduit wall. When gradients reverse during high flow conditions, undersaturated allogenic recharge enters the matrix. During these limited periods, estimates of dissolution within the conduit suggest wall retreat averages about 4 × 10−6 m/day, in agreement with upper estimates of maximum wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because dissolution is episodic, time-averaged dissolution rates in the sink-rise system results in a wall retreat rate of about 7 × 10−7 m/day, which is at the lower end of wall retreat for telogenetic karst. Because of the high permeability matrix, conduits in eogenetic karst thus enlarge not just at the walls of fractures or pre-existing conduits such as those in telogenetic karst, but also may produce a friable halo surrounding the conduits that may be removed by additional mechanical processes. These observations stress the importance of matrix permeability in eogenetic karst and suggest new concepts may be necessary to describe how conduits develop within these porous rocks.

Present Karstic base level in the main canyons of oriental Languedoc and Plans of Provence., 1978,
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Fabre G. , Nicod Jean
In a karstic country cut by a canyon in which runs an allogenic river, there are several base levels (karstic, fluvial...); chiefly if the limestones develop greatly under the bottom of the gorge. The difficulty of characterizing them appears in all the definitions given. From the example of the three most important canyons of the Eastern Bas Languedoc (South-East of France) and with the different geological controls (s.l.) one ascertains that at present: a) When an allogenic and surface river is perennial without important loss there is a total connection between fluvial level and karstic base level. b) When an allogenic and temporary surface river doesn't flow and has losses, there is no connection between the major fluvial and base level and the karstic base level.

Hydrology and hydrochemistry of the Caves Branch karst, Belize, 1983,
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Miller T. ,
A large conduit spring issuing from Cretaceous limestones in Belize, Central America, displays a positive relation of discharge to solute concentration. Beneath a maturely-dissected cockpit karst, the hydrologic system combines allogenic surface water from an invasion polje with authigenic karst water. Dynamic mixing produces three climatically-induced discharge phases: baseflow, normal, and high-stage flow. Each has an associated hydrochemical regime, predominantly diffuse-flow karst water. An areal solute concentration of ~80 mg l-1 Ca2 is estimated, with a “denudation rate” of 100 mm per 1000 yr

Further Studies at the Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part I, Climate and Hydrology, 1983,
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Jennings, J. N.

Previous study of the temporal and spatial distribution of limestone solution at Cooleman Plain rested on monthly discharges and water analyses of the Blue Waterholes over 4 years. For this study automatic recording of discharge (8 years), rainfall (8 years), evaporation (7 years) and temperature (4 years) was attended by variable success in the face of interference, rigorous climate and inaccessibility. The most important aspect of the climatic data was the support obtained for the earlier assumption of similar water balances in the forested igneous frame and the grassland limestone plain. Runoff was again shown to be highly variable from year to year and to have an oceanic pluvial regime, with a summer-autumn minimum owing much to evapo-transpiration. The flow duration curve from daily discharges puts this karst amongst those where neither extremely high nor low flows are important. The stream routing pattern offsets the effect of 71% of the catchment being on non-karst rocks, damping flood events. An inflection of 700 l/s in a flow duration plot based on discharge class means is interpreted as the threshold at which surface flow down North Branch reaches the Blue Waterholes. Storages calculated from a generalised recession hydrograph parallel Mendip data where baseflow (fissure) storage provides most of the storage and quickflow (vadose) storage only a secondary part. Water-filled conduit storage (the phreas) could not be determined but is considered small. The baseflow storage seems large, suggesting that it can develop independently of caves in some measure. A quickflow ratio for floods derived by Gunn's modification of the Hewlett and Hibbert separation line method appears relatively low for a mainly non-karst catchment and is again attributed to the routing pattern. For analysis of variation of the solute load over time, estimates of daily discharge during gaps in the record where made for the author by Dr. A.J. Jakeman and Mr. M.A. Greenaway (see Appendix). A small number of discharge measures of two contrasted allogenic catchments of the igneous frame shows a unit area yield close to that for the whole catchment. Together with the guaging of most of the allogenic inputs, this supports the idea that the water yield is much the same from the forested ranges and the grassland plain. This is important for the estimation of limestone removal rates.

Further Studies At The Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part II, Water Chemistry And Discussion, 1983,
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Jennings, J. N.

The 1969-77 data confirm that groundwater temperature is significantly higher than air temperature at mean catchment altitude but provide only partial support for an explanation in terms of soil temperature and insulation of drainage from cold air ponding over the Plain. Higher pH of output than input streams is attributed mainly to percolation water chemistry. Water chemistry of two contrasted input streams suggests non-karst rock weathering has an important effect on allogenic input streams. An inverse relationship between carbonate hardness and output discharge is found again and attributed mainly to faster transit through the limestone at high flows. Summer has a steeper regression than winter due to precipitation and high flows depressing carbon dioxide and carbonate concentrations more in that season than in winter. Picknett graphs show how solutional capacity varies through the hydrologic system, with aggressive input streams, mainly saturated percolation water, and rarely saturated output springs because of the allogenic component in the last. The total carbonate load of Cave Creek is directly related to discharge, with little seasonal difference so the annual regression is chosen for later calculation. When the carbonate load duration curve and frequency classes for Cave Creek are compared with those for other karsts, it falls into an intermediate class in which neither very high nor low flows dominate the pattern. This is attributed to a combination of a large allogenic input with a complex routing pattern. Consideration of most input stream solute concentration on one occasion indicates such close dependence on catchment geology that doubt is cast on the smallness of the 1965-9 allocation of carbonate contribution from non-karst rock weathering to the allogenic input. This is explained by new CSIRO rainfall chemistry figures from the Yass R. catchment which are smaller than those used before and by elimination of a previous error in calculation. This time subtraction of atmospheric salts is done on a daily basis with a decaying hyperbolic function. Correction of Cave Creek output for allogenic stream input follows the method adopted in 1965-9 but on a firmer basis, with the assumption of approximately equal water yeild per unit area from the non-karst and karst parts of the catchment being more factually supported than before. It remains a substantial correction. The correction for subjacent karst input to Cave Creek is also improved by putting the calculation in part on a seasonal basis; it remains small. The exposed solute load output shows the same seasonal pattern as was determined earlier, with a winter/spring maximum, and it again evinced much variation from year to year. So did annual rates. The mean annual loss of 29 B was slightly greater than for 1965-9. If this difference is real and not an experimental error, the reduced allowance for atmospheric salts and greater annual rainfall in the second period could explain the increase. This erosion rate of 29 B from an annual runoff of about 400mm places this karst where it would be expected in the world pattern of similar determinations in terms of both runoff and its proximity to the soil covered/bare karst dichotomy of Atkinson and Smith (1976). Combined with the other work at Cooleman Plain on erosion at specific kinds of site, an estimate of the spatial distribution of the limestone solution is presented. It agrees well with the similar attempt for Mendip by Atkinson and Smith (1976), when allowance is made for certain differences in method and context. The main conclusions are the great role of solution in the superficial zone and the unimportance of the contribution from caves. Conflict between this process study and the geomorphic history of Cooleman Plain remains and once again an explanation is sought in long persistence of a Tertiary ironstone cover inhibiting surface solution.

Karst hydrogeology of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, PhD Thesis, 1991,
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Worthington, Stephen Richard Hurst

An analysis of the discharge and hydrochemical variations of contrasting springs at Crowsnest Pass showed they were part of a vertical hierarchy in the aquifer, in which underflow and overflow components play a dominant role. It was found that karst springs at Crowsnest Pass and elsewhere show a range between two end members. Thermal springs have long, deep flow paths, with high sulphate concentrations, low discharge variance and low flow velocities. Overflow springs have local shallow flow paths, low sulphate, high discharge variance, and high flow velocities. Intermediate between these end members are underflow springs; in the Rocky Mountains these are mostly aggraded, and give the sustained winter flow and high sulphate concentrations found in major rivers. It was found that underflow or overflow behaviour is able to explain most of the contrasts found between karst springs in discharge and sulphate concentrations. Conversely, differences in bicarbonate concentration are principally due to the ratio of allogenic to autogenic recharge to the aquifer. Hydraulic analysis showed that gradients decrease in the downstream direction, and are typically 0.0001-0.05 at maximum discharges, that friction factors vary by a factor of $>$1000, and that most active conduits have closed-channel flow and are in dynamic equilibrium with sediment supply. The analysis of the hydrological data from Crowsnest Pass and elsewhere has led to the development of a new conceptual model for groundwater flow in karst, in which the Hagen-Poiseuille flow net conditions the aquifer for conduit development, and determines where the conduits will be. The model explains why most conduits are in dynamic equilibrium with sediment supply, why temperate karst springs are mostly vauclusian, what the mean time for speleogenesis is, how $>$98% of the solution of limestone is in the surficial zone, and why there are karstic hot springs in the Rocky Mountains and elsewhere. The model enables predictions to be made of sink to resurgence flow velocities, of conduit depth below the water table, of the ratio of beds to joints used by conduits, of the spacing between cave tiers, and of the depth of vauclusian springs. This new understanding of how karstic aquifers develop and function gives a powerful predictive ability to karst hydrogeology.

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Grillot J. C. ,
The outflows of a river crossing a developed karst located in the present tropical zone of Madagascar were analyzed during the dry season, considering first the morpholectonical aspect of the karst and second, the hydrochemical data, in particular the dissolved oxygen content (O.D.), recorded from karstic springs and from allogenic flows originating from an upstream sandy watershed. The possible existence of a permanent water supply under the low-water level and the persistence of the river outflows during the low-water level are discussed

Middle Holocene environmental change determined from the salt caves of Mount Sedom, Israel, 1994,
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Frumkin, A. , Carmi, I. , Zak, I. And Magaritz, M. , 1994
Paleoclimatic sequence for the Middle Holocene was constructed, based on Mount Sedom salt caves, and other evidence. Mount Sedom is a salt diapir, on the southwestern shore of the Dead Sea, which has been rising above the local base level throughout the Holocene. Allogenic karst development has kept pace with the rising, forming vadose caves. Wood fragments found embedded in flood sediments that were deposited in sub-horizontal cave passages yielded 14C ages from 7090 to 200 YBP. The paleoclimatic sequence is based on parameters that include: relative abundance of plant types or floral communities, the elevations of the corresponding relict cave passages and the ratio of their width to present passage width. Moister climatic stages are indicated by relatively abundant wood remains, by wide cave passages and by higher-level outlets, indicating high Dead Sea levels. Arid periods are marked by a scarcity of wood remains, by narrow cave passages and by low-level outlets. The results were correlated to other middle-Holocene evidence and temporal settlement changes. The Early Bronze period in Israel was the moistest period during the last 6000 years and as such it encouraged cultural development. It was followed by a considerable desiccation that caused a cultural deterioration.

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Frumkin A, Ford Dc,
Rock salt is approximately 1000 times more soluble than limestone and thus displays high rates of geomorphic evolution. Cave stream channel profiles and downcutting rates were studied in the Mount Sedom salt diapir, Dead Sea rift valley, Israel. Although the area is very arid (mean annual rainfall approximate to 50 mm), the diapir contains extensive karst systems of Holocene age. In the standard cave profile a vertical shaft at the upstream end diverts water from a surface channel in anhydrite or elastic cap rocks into the subsurface route in the salt. Mass balance calculations in a sample cave passage yielded downcutting rates of 0.2 mm s(-1) during peak flood conditions, or about eight orders of magnitude higher than reported rates in any limestone cave streams. However, in the arid climate of Mount Sedom floods have a low recurrence interval with the consequence that long-term mean downcutting rates are lower: an average rate of 8.8 mm a(-1) was measured for the period 1986-1991 in the same sample passage. Quite independently, long-term mean rates of 6.2 mm a(-1) are deduced from C-14 ages of driftwood found in upper levels of 12 cave passages. These are at least three orders of magnitude higher than rates established for limestone caves. Salt cave passages develop in two main stages: (1) an early stage characterized by high downcutting rates into the rock salt bed, and steep passage gradients; (2) a mature stage characterized by lower downcutting rates, with establishment of a subhorizontal stream bed armoured with alluvial detritus. In this mature stage downcutting rates are controlled by the uplift rate of the Mount Sedom diapir and changes of the level of the Dead Sea. Passages may also aggrade. These fast-developing salt stream channels may serve as full-scale models for slower developing systems such as limestone canyons

Geomagnetic palaeosecular variation recorded in North And Central American speleothems, PhD thesis, 1995,
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Lean, C. M. B.

The aim of this project was to collect samples of stalagmites from Northern and Central America in order to produce records of the palaeosecular variation of the earth's magnetic field. Two stalagmites were sampled from Western Canada and ten from Mexico and Guatemala which could be compared with contemporaneous stalagmite records from these areas (Latham, 1981; Latham et al, 1982; 1986; 1987; 1989).
The stalagmites were generally weakly magnetised but remanence directions were stable upon stepwise thermal and alternating-field demagnetisation. Consistency in directions recorded between central and corresponding lateral sub-samples within two stalagmites (MSC2 from Canada and CP1 from Guatemala) inferred that any depositional errors caused by surface effects were less than the measurement errors. Grain size analysis showed the presence of a fine-grained magnetic fraction (0.01 - 0.1?:m) sourced from the cave drip-waters (either by direct deposition or by chemical precipitation) and a coarser magnetic fraction (0.01 - >10?:m) sourced from the flood-borne detritus. The latter source was dominant in stalagmites which were regularly inundated with water. The type of magnetic mineral present was determined by the geology of the catchment area; magnetite dominated in the Vancouver Island stalagmites, titanomagnetite in the Mexican stalagmites and haematite in the Guatemalan stalagmite.
Uranium-series dating of samples was hindered by the young ages of many of the samples, by low uranium concentrations and by the presence of allogenic thorium. If significant amounts of allogenic thorium were present, a sample age could be calculated based on an estimate of the initial thorium ratio ([230Th/232Th]0). Analysis of samples from Sumidero Recuerdo in Mexico, however, suggested that this ratio is not constant with time and may vary by a factor of two over approximately 1700 years. Due to these imprecisions many dates were out of stratigraphic sequence and age estimates were made assuming constant growth rates, except where growth had ceased for a finite length of time.
Records of sequential change of palaeomagnetic direction were obtained from the Mexican stalagmite SSJ3 and the Canadian stalagmite MSC2. The reliability of the latter record was confirmed by comparison with another Canadian stalagmite record (Latham et al, 1987) and contemporaneous lacustrine records. Other records were disappointing due to poor temporal resolution; each sub-sample represented a period of approximately 1000 years in Mexican stalagmites SSJ2 and SSJ4. Such slow growth rates are insufficient for the resolution of secular variation features with periods of less than 2000 years and are only suitable to gain information about the nature of long-term secular variations, for example the far-sided virtual geomagnetic poles and low inclinations predominant throughout the Holocene in Southern Mexico.
The existence of matching contemporaneous stalagmite records of secular variation together with the demonstrated lack of depositional inclination errors is encouraging, despite the sometimes "hit or miss" aspects of sample selection. Nevertheless it has been proved that speleothem records have the potential to complement the existing archaeomagnetic, lava and lacustrine data.

Application of Thermography of Karst Hydrology, 1996,
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Campbell C. W. Abd El Latif M. , Foster Jo. W.
Nearly 3000 km of Belize display well-developed karst that occurs dominantly on Cretaceous limestones distributed on the periphery of the Maya Mountains. Other exposed carbonates in Belize, sharing the same tropical climate and heavy rainfall, are not karsted. The Mayas represent a horst structure raised by movement of the Caribbean-North American plate boundary. In excess of 150 km of large cave passage has been mapped, often exhibiting multi-level development likely related to this regional tectonic motion. Passages are dominantly trunk conduits solutionally bored through the lower-lying limestones by integrated allogenic streams from the Mayas. Other large, independent caves and collapse chambers are also known. Limited U-series dating of speleothem gives minimum ages of 176 KaBP for cave development. The karst surfaces are dominated by disaggregated remnants of previous fluvial networks, but also contain spectacular collapse dolines. The karst aquifers appear to be solutionally open systems of relatively high porosity (>1%). Boosting of carbon dioxide levels above surface soil CO2 occurs within aquifers, perhaps due to decay of washed-in vegetation. Mean solutional erosion is estimated at 0.10-0.13 m/Ka for these karsts.

Le karst du canyon du Lobos et son fonctionnement hydrogologique (Soria, Espagne), 1996,
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Sanzperez, E.
The massif of River Lobos, NW of the Iberian Range, is characterised by an important karst crossed by a canyon 26 km long. This canyon was dug into the Cretaceous limestones from a gradually eroded Neogene impervious cover by allogenic waters. The Cretaceous aquifer is drained by La Galiana spring. The general characteristics of the karstic relief and its hydrogeological functioning are descri-bed in this study. La Galiana spring is simulated by a mathematical model of precipitation-water flow. The results show a 4 to 5 day delay between precipi-tation and the spring flow.

Discussion on 'The Chalk as a karstic aquifer: evidence from a tracer test at Stanford Dingley, Berkshire, UK': Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology, 28, S31-S38, 1996,
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Banks D, Davies C, Davies W,
M. Price writes: Banks et al. (1995) address the nature of the permeability of parts of the Chalk aquifer, provide useful data from a tracer test, and draw attention to the potential dangers of disposing of agricultural and road run-off to swallow holes. The paper includes a calculation of fissure conductivity and aperture from the results of the tracer test. In this it has to be emphasized that the calculations relate to Darcian flow in an equivalent smooth, plane, parallel-plate opening, not the more likely turbulent flow in a natural fissure. The true average aperture of the fissure is therefore likely to be significantly greater than that calculated (Price 1987, 1996). The situation described at Stanford Dingely is one where drainage originating from impermeable Tertiary strata flows onto the Chalk and sinks into the aquifer. The majority of active Chalk sinks appear to be of this type; the drainage sinking into them originates as run-off from other strata. Rain falling anywhere on the outcrop of the Chalk is normally able to infiltrate, so water flowing across the Chalk outcrop is almost invariably allogenic drainage or water that has infiltrated the Chalk and emerged as baseflow. Drainage to sinks is therefore a minor component of recharge to the Chalk. The tracer test undertaken into at Stanford Dingley involved introducing tracer into a known point of entry in the aquifer, and observing its arrival at a known point of emergence. Such tests almost inevitably measure the speed of groundwater movement along a ... This 250-word extract was created in the absence of an abstract

Bacteria in the Castleton karst, Derbyshire, England, 1997,
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Tranter J. , Gunn J. , Hunter C. , Perkins J. ,
The Castleton area contains an extensive and complex karst drainage system. Recharge is provided by allogenic stream sinks and by infiltration into a soil covered autogenic catchment. Concentrations of the sanitary indicator bacteria faecal coliform (FC) were measured weekly over a 84-week period at three stream-sinks (P6, P7 and P8) and at two contrasting springs (Russet Well and Peak Cavern Rising). Russet Well drains the allogenic catchment, but also receives some autogenic recharge whereas Peak Cavern Rising receives only autogenic recharge except at high stage when it functions as an overflow spring for the Russet Well system. Over the year as a whole and during each three-month season, median FC concentrations at P6 were significantly higher than at Russet Well. The difference was greatest during summer/autumn and was lowest in winter/spring and it appears that FC concentrations at the rising are a complex function of faecal inputs and flow-through time. The relationship between FC concentrations at Russet Well and at Peak Cavern Rising proved to be complex. Over the sampling period as a whole and during the spring and autumn there was no significant difference between median FC concentrations at the two risings; during the winter, when discharge was highest, median FC concentrations at Russet Well were significantly higher than at Peak Cavern Rising; and during the summer FC concentrations at Peak Cavern Rising were significantly higher than at Russet Well. The high FC concentrations in the sinking streams and at the risings suggest that there could be a health risk to cavers, especially during storm events and the summer. Furthermore, the fact that the waters from both springs contain significant concentrations of FC bacteria indicates that even soil covered karat systems are unable to filter out potentially harmful micro-organisms

An investigation, using the chalk karst of Haute-Normandie (France), as an example of the relationships between the surface and endokarst using a granulometric method, 1998,
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Lacroix M. , Leboulanger T. , Wang H. Q. , Feeny V. , Dupont J. P. , Meyer R. ,
Karst, by definition, is the result of rock dissolution. Ii the rock is not completely soluble, residues will remain ('acquired' particles). This insoluble material, present in the springs issuing From the karst body after some time lag, provides information regarding karst processes taking place within the rock body. The presence of pathways between the surface and the endokarst is reflected by an increase in the suspended particulate material (SPM) that may be considered to be 'inherited' from outside of the karst system, By the study of microgranulometric spectra the origins of the particles are differentiated and, on this basis, a classification of karst systems is proposed. The technique was applied to the chalk karat of Haute Normandie (France) by obtaining characterisations of the microgranulometric fraction of the main surface formations (clay-with-flints and loess) and that produced by dissolution of the chalk. By the comparison of these spectra with those of the SPM contained in ten karst springs, it was possible to define two types of karsts ('open' and 'closed') and their intermediates. In 'closed' karst a majority of the particles originated from the dissolution of the chalk itself, while in the 'open' karst, the majority of the particles are derived from the surface formations. This notion of 'aperture' is quite different from the conventional allogenic/authigenic karst classification which implies the formation of an impermeable residual soil that focuses surface water inputs

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