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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 room is a part of a cave system that is wider than a passage [10]. synonym: (british.) chamber.?

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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 backflooding (Keyword) returned 9 results for the whole karstbase:
Overview of Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, 1999, Hill, C. A.
In this paper, the sequence of events for Kartchner Caverns and surrounding region are correlated and traced from the Mississippian Period to the present. Pre-cave events include the deposition of the Escabrosa Limestone during the Mississippian Period and block faulting and hydrothermal activity in the Miocene Epoch. The cave passages formed in the shallow phreatic zone ~ 200 Ka. Vadose events in the cave include the inwashing of pebble gravels and a maximum deposition of travertine during the Sangamon interglacial. Backflooding by undersaturated water caused bevelling of the limestone and travertine. Recent events include the habitation of the cave by vertebrates and invertebrates, and the discovery and development of the cave by humans.

Maze origin by diffuse recharge through overlying formations, 2000, Palmer A. N.
Where water infiltrates through a permeable but insoluble cap-rock into fissures in soluble rock, network caves can form in which each passage enlarges at rather comparable rates, regardless of fissure width. This process is regulated by two factors: (1) the overlying rock acts as a governor to the flow, so that rather uniform amounts of water are delivered to each fissure, regardless of its size; and (2) the water enters the soluble rock while still highly aggressive, under which conditions each opening tends to enlarge at similar rates, regardless of discharge rate. A typical network cave of this type develops in several stages. At first the soluble rock is less permeable than the insoluble rock, and only small amounts of water enter it. However, this water is highly aggressive and is able to enlarge the fissures in the soluble rock. With time, the soluble rock becomes more permeable than the overlying cap-rock, and most groundwater flow in the area passes downward into the soluble rock on its way to river outlets. Because of fluvial entrenchment the cave is eventually drained of its water, but periodic backflooding by local rivers may contribute greatly to the enlargement of the caves.

Les stalagmites d'argile, indicateurs de mises en charge, 2001, Audra Ph.
Detailed morphological description and growing processes linked to backflooding in the epiphreatic zone. These are climatic records, particularly concerning rare floodings.

River backflooding into a karst resurgence (Loiret, France), 2004, Alberic P,
The group of springs located in the west part of the Val d'Orleans exemplifies a type of karstic emergence which has the particularity to get most of its recharge water from a single surface water source, which in this particular case is the River Loire. Hence the flow of this group of springs is known to fluctuate in a close relationship with the water level of the River Loire. Since the second half of the 1990s, the conduit of the upstream spring of the Loiret river (so-called Le Bouillon) has been periodically seen to be invaded by the turbid waters of a small surface tributary (Le Dhuy) flowing back from the confluence to the spring, which then functioned as a swallow-hole. Plotted in a Dhuy versus River Loire diagram, stages of backflooding days describe a domain limited by a curve of the form HDhuy = c e((aH Loire)). The exponential form of the relation corresponds to the increasing resistance of the emerging flow of the spring to the backflooding of the tributary waters, as the River Loire stages rise. The equation above was used to compute a daily backflow index enabling the effective reconstruction of all occurrences effectively counted during the regular period of observation of the spring. Extended to 1985, one can observe that the early 1990s do not appear as a favorable period to backflow events but some may have occurred during the years 1986 to 1989. The observation of rainfall intensity preceding backflooding shows that in a short time span there is no necessity to evoke intrinsic changes inside the Val d'Orleans basin to explain what might appear as a troublesome new phenomenon. In conclusion backflooding has probably existed for a long time and is simply under the control of local heavy rainfall during low River Loire stages. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Hypogenic speleogenesis within Seven Rivers Evaporites: Coffee Cave, Eddy County, New Mexico, 2008, Stafford K. W. , Land L. , Klimchouk A.

Coffee Cave, located in the lower Pecos region of southeastern New Mexico, illustrates processes of hypogenic speleogenesis in the middle Permian Seven Rivers Formation. Coffee Cave is a rectilinear gypsum maze cave with at least four stratigraphically-distinct horizons of development. Morphological features throughout the cave provide unequivocal evidence of hypogenic ascending speleogenesis in a confined aquifer system driven by mixed (forced and free) convection. Morphologic features in individual cave levels include a complete suite that defines original rising flow paths, ranging from inlets for hypogenic fluids (feeders) through transitional forms (rising wall channels) to ceiling half-tube flow features and fluid outlets (cupolas and exposed overlying beds). Passage morphology does not support origins based on epigenic processes and lateral development, although the presence of fine-grained sediments in the cave suggests minimal overprinting by backflooding. Feeder distributions show a lateral shift in ascending fluids, with decreasing dissolutional development in upper levels. It is likely that additional hypogenic karst phenomena are present in the vicinity of Coffee Cave because regional hydrologic conditions are optimum for confined speleogenesis, with artesian discharge still active in the region.


Interaction between a dam site and karst springs: The case of Supramonte (Central-East Sardinia, Italy), 2008, De Waele Jo, Forti Paolo

Sardinia is one of the Italian regions with the greatest number of dams per inhabitants, almost 60 for a population of only 1.5 million people. Many of these dam sites are located on non-carbonate rocks along the main rivers of the Island and their waters are used for irrigation, industrial, energy supply, drinking and flood regulation purposes.  The Pedra 'e Othoni dam on the Cedrino river (Dorgali, Central-East Sardinia) is located along the threshold of the Palaeozoic basement on the Northern border of the Supramonte karst area, where water is forced to flow out of the system through several resurgences, the most famous of which is the Su Gologone vauclusian spring, used for drinking water supply. The other main outflows of the system, Su Tippari and San Pantaleo springs, are at present almost permanently submerged by the high water level of the Pedra 'e Othoni dam. In the near future water will be supplied also to other communities with a possible increase of water taken from the spring.

The dam, originally meant to regulate the flooding of Cedrino river but actually used for all sorts of purposes (electricity supply, drinking water, irrigation of farmlands, industrial uses), has a maximum regulation altitude of 103 m a.s.l., only slightly less than a meter below the Su Gologone spring level (103.7 m), and 4 and 9 m respectively above the submerged Su Tippari and San Pantaleo springs.

During floods of the Cedrino river, occurring on average twice a year, also the Su Gologone spring becomes submerged by the muddy waters of the lake for a time ranging between a couple of hours up to several days, making water supply impossible. 

The analysis of the available meteorological and hydrogeological data relative to the December 2004 flood, one of the severest of the past 100 years, suggests that the reservoir is filled in a few days time. Several flooding scenarios have been reconstructed using digital terrain models, showing that backflooding submerges most of the discharge area of the aquifer, having important repercussions also on the inland underground drainage system. The upstream flood prone areas prevalently comprise agricultural lands with some sparse houses, but also highly frequented tourist facilities. Fortunately flooding occurs outside the tourist season, thus limiting risk to a limited number of local inhabitants. Massive discharge at the dam site, instead, determines a more hazardous situation in the Cedrino coastal plain, where population density in low lying areas is much higher. To avoid flooding hazard upstream the water level in the lake should be regulated, keeping it low in the flood prone seasons, and having it filled from the end of the winter in order to have enough water stocked before the beginning of the summer. Discharge at the dam site, instead, should be done cautiously, preventing severe flooding of the coastal Cedrino plain.


The Hydrochemistry of Surface Water Backflooding into a Karst Spring and into Cave Stream Passages in Mammoth Cave, KY USA, 2009, Amy Edwards

Structure des rseaux karstiques: les contrles de la splogense pigne, 2011, Audra P. , Palmer A. N.

Cave development is related to the geomorphic evolution. Their morphology, preserved far longer than correlative surface features allows reconstructing the regional history of the surrounding landscape. Modeling shows that initial cave development occurs along the water table with loops in the phreatic zone along fractures. Consequently, cave profiles and levels reflect the local base level and its changes. Cave profile is controlled by timing, geological structure, and recharge. In first exposed rocks, juvenile pattern displays steep vadose passages. In perched aquifers, vadose erosion produces large passage along aquiclude. In dammed aquifers, the main drain is established at the water table when recharge is fairly regular. But when irregular recharge causes backflooding, looping profiles develop throughout the epiphreatic zone. Interconnected cave levels correspond to some of the largest cave systems in the world. The oldest abandoned highest levels have been dated beyond 3.5 Ma (Mammoth Cave). However, when base level rises, the deepest parts of the karst are flooded; the flow rises along phreatic lifts, and discharges at vauclusian springs. In the epiphreatic zone, floodwater produces looping tubes above the low-flow water table. In such a case of baselevel rise, per ascensum speleogenesis can produce higher-elevation passages that are younger than passages at lower elevations. base-level rises occur after tectonic subsidence, filling of valleys, or sea-level rise, as for instance around the Mediterranean in response to the Messinian Crisis. Deep-phreatic karst, if not hypogenic, can generally be attributed to flooding by a base-level rise. 


The vertical dimension of karst: controls of vertical cave pattern, 2013, Audra P. , Palmer A. N.

The vertical development of karst is related to the geomorphic evolution of the surrounding landscape. Cave profiles and levels reflect the local fluvial base level and its changes through time. These cave features tend to be preserved far longer than correlative surface features, which are more susceptible to weathering and erosion. As a result, cave morphology offers abundant clues that are helpful in reconstructing the regional geomorphic history. In the vadose zone, water is drawn downward by gravity along vertical fractures. In the phreatic zone, water follows the hydraulic gradient along the most efficient paths to available outlets in nearby valleys. Phreatic passages tend to have gentler gradients close to the water table, generally with some vertical sinuosity. Responding to irregular recharge rates, fluctuations in the water table define a transition zone, the epiphreatic zone, in which passages develop by floodwater flow. Free-surface flow in the vadose zone and full pipe flow in the phreatic zone produce distinctive passage morphologies. Identification of former vadose–phreatic transition zones makes it possible to reconstruct the position of former water tables that represent past static fluvial base levels. Early conceptual models considered cave origin mainly in relation to its position relative to the water table. Later, analytical and digital models showed that dramatic enlargement occurs when dissolutional enlargement of initial fissures is sufficient to allow rapid dissolution and turbulent flow to take place throughout the entire conduit length. Cave development is favored by the widest initial openings, and less importantly by the steepest hydraulic gradients and shortest flow distances. Consequently, most phreatic cave development takes place at or near the water table, but the presence of relatively wide fractures can lead to phreatic loops. Cave levels record successive base-level positions as valleys deepen. The oldest levels in Mammoth Cave (USA) and Clearwater Cave (Malaysia) have been dated beyond 3.5 Ma. However, when base level rises, the deepest parts of the karst are flooded and the flow follows phreatic lifts. In the epiphreatic zone, floodwater produces looping tubes above the low-flow water table. In these last two situations, high-level passages with large vertical loops are not necessarily the oldest. The juvenile pattern, composed of steep vadose passages, is common when soluble rock is first exposed. In perched aquifers, vadose erosion can produce very large cross sections. In dammed aquifers, the main drain is established at the water table. Irregular recharge causes backflooding, and passages develop throughout the epiphreatic zone, with looping profiles; however, when recharge is fairly regular, the passages develop along the stable water table. Interconnected cave levels correspond to some of the largest cave systems in the world. When base level rises, the karst is flooded; water rises through phreatic lifts and discharges at vauclusian springs. A per ascensum speleogenesis can produce higher-elevation passages that are younger than passages at lower elevations. Base-level rises occur after tectonic subsidence, filling of valleys, or sea-level rise, especially around the Mediterranean in response to the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Deep-phreatic karst, if not hypogenic, can generally be attributed to flooding by a base-level rise. 


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