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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 capillary interstice is an interstice small enough to hold water by surface tension at an appreciable height above a free water surface, yet large enough to prevent molecular attraction from extending across the entire opening.?

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;
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Your search for constraints (Keyword) returned 76 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 76
Speleothems and paleoglaciers, ,
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Spotl Christoph, Mangini Augusto,
Ice and speleothems are widely regarded as mutually exclusive as the presence of liquid water is a fundamental prerequisite for speleothem deposition. Here we show that speleothems may form in caves overlain by a glacier, as long as the temperature in the cave is above freezing and the conduits are not completely flooded by melt water. Carbonate dissolution is accomplished via sulfide oxidation and the resultant speleothems show high [delta]13C values approaching and locally exceeding those of the parent host rock (lack of soil-derived biogenic C). The [delta]18O values reflect the isotopic composition of the melt water percolating into the karst fissure network and carry an atmospheric (temperature) signal, which is distinctly lower than those of speleothems formed during periods when soil and vegetation were present above the cave. These `subglacial' speleothems provide a means of identifying and dating the former presence of warm-based paleoglaciers and allow us to place some constraints on paleotemperature changes

Hydrogeologic Constraints on Yucatan's Development, 1974,
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Doehring Do, Butler Jh,
The Republic of Mexico has an ambitious and effective national water program. The Secretaria de Recursos Hidraulicos (SRH), whose director has cabinet rank in the federal government, is one of the most professionally distinguished government agencies of its kind in the Americas. Resources for the Future, Inc., has been assisting the World Bank with a water planning study which the Bank is undertaking jointly with the Mexican government. The study is intended to provide guidelines for the development of government policies and projects designed to bring about the most efficient use of Mexico's water resources. However, to date, their study has not been directed toward the growing problems of the northern Yucataan Peninsula which are discussed here.LeGrand (13) suggested that man has inherited a harsh environment in carbonate terranes. In the case of the northern Yucatan Peninsula, the physical environment creates a set of hydrogeologic constraints to future economic and social development. Planning for intermediate and long-range land use on the peninsula must be related directly to the limited and fragile groundwater source. Continued contamination will make future aquifer management a difficult challenge for federal, state, and territorial agencies. We conclude that any strategy for long-range land use in the study area should include establishment of a regional aquifermonitoring network for long-term measurements of key hydrogeologic parameters, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, water table elevations, and water quality. Information from this network would flow into a central facility for storage, interpretation, and analysis. At present the SRH is collecting some of these data. Expansion of the existing program to provide sound information for regional planning will greatly benefit present as well as future generations. If such a program is implemented, it will represent a model for regional planning in other tropical and subtropical karstic terrains

The History of Cave Studies, 1986,
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Shaw, Trevor R.

The purpose of this paper is to set the overall scene for those that follow. Its aim is to provide a context for the ones dealing specifically with cave work in Australia. It examines the ways in which cave studies have developed elsewhere in the world, in different circumstances and under different constraints. There is not space here to consider the growth of ideas on speleogenesis, karst hydrology, the formation of speleothems, and the more 'scientific' aspects of the subject (Shaw, 1979). Discussion is therefore limited to progress in cave exploration and recording. Also, because of its impact on the serious study of caves, the growth of the general public's awareness of caves is touched upon. Interest in caves and the amount known about them has increased like so many things at an increasing rate, largely because after a certain stage existing knowledge aided subsequent work. For many centuries though, indeed for most of recorded history, this use of previous knowledge did not occur and explorations if they took place at all, were sporadic. It is convenient to divide cave history into four periods: a) the prehistory of cave exploration : to c.1000 B.C. b) isolated expeditions : c.1000 B.C. - c.1650 A.D. c) explorations making use of published information : c.1650 - 1878 d) explorations by cave societies : 1879 - date

Regional dolomitization of subtidal shelf carbonates: Burlington and Keokuk Formations (Mississippian), Iowa and Illinois, 1987,
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Harris David C. , Meyers William J. ,
Cathodoluminescent petrography of crinoidal limestones and dolomites from the Mississippian (Osagean) Burlington and Keokuk Formations in Iowa and Illinois has revealed a complex diagenetic history of calcite cementation, dolomitization, chertification and compaction. Dolomite occurs abundantly in subtidal, open-marine facies throughout the study area. Three luminescently and chemically distinct generations of dolomite can be recognized regionally. Dolomite I, the oldest generation, is luminescent, thinly zoned, and occurs mainly as a replacement of lime mud. Dolomite II has dull red unzoned luminescence, and occurs mainly as a replacement of dolomite I rhombs. Dolomite III is non-luminescent, and occurs as a syntaxial cement on, and replacement of, older dolomite I and II rhombs. Petrography of these dolomite generations, integrating calcite cement stratigraphy, chertification and compaction histories has established the diagenetic sequence. Dolomites I and II pre-date all calcite cements, most chert, intergranular compaction and styloites. Dolomite III precipitation occurred within the calcite cement sequence, after all chert, and after at least some stylolitization. The stratigraphic limit of these dolomites to rocks older than the St Louis Limestone (Meramecian) suggests that dolomitization took place before or during a regional mid-Meramecian subaerial unconformity. A single dolomitization model cannot reasonably explain all three generations of dolomite in the Burlington and Keokuk limestones. Petrographic and geochemical characteristics coupled with timing constraints suggest that dolomite I formed in a sea water-fresh water mixing zone associated with a meteoric groundwater system established beneath the pre-St Louis unconformity. Dolomite II and III may have formed from externally sourced warm brines that replaced precursor dolomite at shallow burial depths. These models therefore suggest that the required Mg for dolomite I was derived mainly from sea water, whereas that for dolomites II and III was derived mainly from precursor Burlington--Keokuk dolomites through replacement or pressure solution

Isotopic constraints on the genesis of base-metal ores in southern and central Sardinia, 1989,
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Ludwig K. R. , Vollmer R. , Turi B. , Simmons K. R. , Perna G. ,

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Kupecz J. A. , Land L. S. ,
Petrography of the Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group, both in deeply-buried subsurface cores and in outcrops which have never been deeply buried, documents five generations of dolomite, three generations of microquartz chert, and one generation of megaquartz. Regional periods of karstification serve to subdivide the dolomite into 'early-stage', which predates pre-Middle Ordovician karstification, and 'late-stage', which postdates pre-Middle Ordovician karstification and predates pre-Permian karstification. Approximately 10% of the dolomite in the Ellenburger Group is 'late-stage'. The earliest generation of late-stage dolomite, Dolomite-L1, is interpreted as a precursor to regional Dolomite-L2. L1 has been replaced by L2 and has similar trace element, O, C, and Sr isotopic signatures, and similar cathodoluminescence and backscattered electron images. It is possible to differentiate L1 from L2 only where cross-cutting relationships with chert are observed. Replacement Dolomite-L2 is associated with the grainstone, subarkose, and mixed carbonate-siliciclastic facies, and with karst breccias. The distribution of L2 is related to porosity and permeability which focused the flow of reactive fluids within the Ellenburger. Fluid inclusion data from megaquartz, interpreted to be cogenetic with Dolomite-L2, yield a mean temperature of homogenization of 85 6-degrees-C. On the basis of temperature/delta-O-18-water plots, temperatures of dolomitization ranged from approximately 60 to 110-degrees-C. Given estimates of maximum burial of the Ellenburger Group, these temperatures cannot be due to burial alone and are interpreted to be the result of migration of hot fluids into the area. A contour map of delta-O-18 from replacement Dolomite-L2 suggests a regional trend consistent with derivation of fluids from the Ouachita Orogenic Belt. The timing and direction of fluid migration associated with the Ouachita Orogeny are consistent with the timing and distribution of late-stage dolomite. Post-dating Dolomite-L2 are two generations of dolomite cement (C1 and C2) that are most abundant in karst breccias and are also associated with fractures, subarkoses and grainstones. Sr-87/Sr-86 data from L2, C1, and C2 suggest rock-buffering relative to Sr within Dolomite-L2 (and a retention of a Lower Ordovician seawater signature), while cements C1 and C2 became increasingly radiogenic. It is hypothesized that reactive fluids were Pennsylvanian pore fluids derived from basinal siliciclastics. The precipitating fluid evolved relative to Sr-87/Sr-86 from an initial Pennsylvanian seawater signature to radiogenic values; this evolution is due to increasing temperature and a concomitant evolution in pore-water geochemistry in the dominantly siliciclastic Pennsylvanian section. A possible source of Mg for late-stage dolomite is interpreted to be from the dissolution of early-stage dolomite by reactive basinal fluids

Origin of sulphur in minerals and fluids from Latium (Italy); isotopic constraints, 1992,
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Cavarretta G, Lombardi G,

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Rouchy J. M. , Groessens E. , Laumondais A. ,
Within the Franco-Belgian segment of the Hercynian orogen, two thick Dinantian anhydritic formations are known, respectively in the Saint-Ghislain (765 m) and Epinoy 1 (904 m) wells. Nevertheless, occurrences of widespread extended breccias and of numerous pseudomorphs of gypsum/anhydrite in stratigraphically equivalent carbonate deposits (boreholes and outcrops), suggest a larger extent of the evaporitic conditions (fig. 1, 2). The present distribution of evaporites is controlled by palaeogeographical differentiation and post-depositional parameters such as tectonics and dissolution. These latter have dissected the deposits formerly present in all the structural units. By using depositional, diagenetic and deformational characters of these formations, the article provides a model for the reconstruction of a dislocated evaporitic basin. This segment of the Hercynian chain is schematically composed of two main units (fig. 1, 3) : (1) the autochthonous or parautochthonous deposits of the Namur synclinorium, (2) the Dinant nappe thrusted northward over the synclinorium of Namur. The major thrust surface is underlined by a complex fault bundle (faille du Midi) seismically recognized over more than 100 km. A complex system of thrust slices occurs at the Hercynian front. Except for local Cretaceous deposits, most of the studied area has been submitted to a long period of denudation since the Permian. Sedimentary, faunistic and geochemical data argue for a marine origin of the brines which have generated the evaporites interbedded with marine limestones. Sedimentary structures. - The thick evaporitic formations are composed of calcium-sulfates without any clear evidence of the former presence of more soluble salts (with the exception of a possible carbonate-sulfate breccia in the upper part of the Saint-Ghislain formation). As in all the deeply buried evaporitic formations, the anhydrite is the main sulfate component which displays all the usual facies : pseudomorphs after gypsum (fig. 4A, B), nodular and mosaic (fig. 4C), laminated. The gypsum was probably an important component during the depositional phase despite the predominant nodular pattern of the anhydrite. Early diagenetic nodular anhydrite may have grown during temporary emersion of the carbonates (sabkha environments), but this mechanism cannot explain the formation of the whole anhydrite. So, most of the anhydrite structures result from burial-controlled gypsum --> anhydrite conversion and from mechanical deformations. Moreover, a complex set of diagenetic processes leads to various authigenic minerals (celestite, fluorite, albite, native sulfur, quartz and fibrous silica) and to multistaged carbonate <> sulfate replacements (calcite and dolomite after sulfate, replacive anhydrite as idiomorphic poeciloblasts, veinlets, domino-like or stairstep monocrystals...). These mineral transformations observed ill boreholes and in outcrops have diversely been controlled during the complex evolution of the series as : depositional and diagenetic pore-fluid composition, pressure and temperature changes with burial, bacterial and thermochemical sulfate reduction, deep circulations favored by mechanical brecciation, mechanical stresses, role of groundwater during exhumation of the series. Deformational structures. - A great variety of deformational structures as rotational elongation, stretching, lamination, isoclinal microfolding, augen-like and mylonitic structures are generated by compressive tectonic stresses (fig. 4D to J). The similarities between tectonic-generated structures and sedimentary (lamination) or diagenetic (pseudo-nodules) features could lead lo misinterpretations. The calcareous interbeds have undergone brittle deformation the style and the importance of which depend of their relative thickness. Stretching, boudins, microfolds and augen structures F, H. I) affect the thin layers while thicker beds may be broken as large fractured blocks dragged within flown anhydrite leading to a mylonitic-like structure (fig, 4G). In such an inhomogeneous formation made of interlayered ductile (anhydrite) and brittle (carbonate) beds, the style and the intensity of the deformation vary with respect to the relative thickness of each of these components. Such deformational features of anhydrite may have an ubiquitous significance and can result either from compressive constraints or geostatic movements (halokinesis). Nevertheless, some data evidence a relation with regional tangential stresses: (1) increase of the deformation toward the bottom of the Saint-Ghislain Formation which is marked by a deep karst suggesting the presence of a mechanical discontinuity used as a drain for dissolving solutions (fig. 3, 4); (2) structural setting (reversed series, internal slidings) of the Epinoy 1 formation under the Midi thrust. However, tectonic stresses also induce flowing deformations which have contributed to cause their present discontinuity. It can be assumed that the evaporites played an active role for the buckling of the regional structure as detachment or gliding layers and more specifically for the genesis of duplex structures. Breccia genesis. - Great breccia horizons are widely distributed in outcrops as well as in the subsurface throughout the greater part of the Dinant and Namur units (fig. 2). The wide distribution of pseudomorphosed sulfates in outcrops and the stratigraphical correlation between breccia and Saint-Ghislain evaporitic masses (fig. 2) suggest that some breccia (although not all) have been originated from collapse after evaporites solution. Although some breccia may result from synsedimentary dissolution, studied occurrences show that most of dissolution processes started after the Hercynian deformation and, in some cases, were active until recently : elements made of lithified and fractured limestones (Llandelies quarries) (fig. 5A), preservation of pseudomorphs of late replacive anhydrite (Yves-Gomezee) (fig. 5B, C), deep karst associated with breccia (Douvrain, Saint Ghislain, Ghlin boreholes) (fig. 3, 4, 5D)). Locally, the final brecciation may have been favored by a mechanical fragmentation which controlled water circulations (fig. 5E). As postulated by De Magnee et al. [19861, the dissolution started mostly after the Permian denudation and continued until now in relation with deep circulations and surface weathering (fig. 6). So, the above-mentioned occurrences of the breccia are logically explained by collapse after dissolution of calcium-sulfates interbeds of significant thickness (the presence of salt is not yet demonstrated), but other Visean breccia may have a different origin (fig. 5F). So, these data prove the extension of thick evaporitic beds in all the structural units including the Dinant nappe, before dissolution and deformation. Implications. - Distribution of Visean evaporites in northern France and Belgium is inherited from a complicated paleogeographic, tectonic and post-tectonic history which has strongly modified their former facies, thicknesses and limits (fig. IA, 6). Diversified environments of deposition controlled by both a palaeogeographical differentiation and water level fluctuations led to the deposition of subaqueous (gypsum) or interstitial (gypsum, anhydrite) crystallization. Nevertheless, most of the anhydrite structures can be interpreted as resulting from burial conversion of gypsum to anhydrite rather than a generalized early diagenesis in sabkha-like conditions. Deformation of anhydrite caused by Hercynian tangential stresses and subsequent flow mechanisms, have completed the destruction of depositional and diagenetic features. The tectonic deformations allow us to consider the role of the evaporites in the Hercynian deformations. The evaporites supplied detachment and gliding planes as suggested for the base of the Saint-Ghislain Formation and demonstrated by the structural setting of Epinoy 1 evaporites in reverse position and in a multi-system of thrust-slices below the Midi overthrust (fig. 7). So, although the area in which evaporation and precipitation took place cannot be exactly delineated in geographic extent, all the data evidence that the isolated thick anhydritic deposits represent relics of more widespread evaporites extending more or less throughout the different structural units of this Hercynian segment (fig. 1B). Their present discontinuity results from the combination of a depositional differentiation, mechanical deformations and/or dissolution

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Corre B,
Rospo Mare field is located in the Adriatic Sea, 20 km of the Abruzzes coast, at an average depth of 80 m. The reservoir is a karst which is essentially conductive; yet unlike a conventional porous medium, it cannot be simulated by the usual tools and techniques of reservoir simulation. Therefore, several approaches were used to describe the flow mechanism during the production period in greater detail. The first approach consisted of generating three-dimensional images which were constrained by both petrophysical and geological factors and then, using up-scaling techniques, obtaining the equivalent permeabilities (scalar or tensorial) of grid blocks located in different zones within the karst. This approach shows that within the infiltration zone it is possible, whatever the scale, to find an equivalent homogeneous porous medium; on the other hand, within the epikarst this equivalent medium does not exist below pluridecametric dimensions. Thus it is impossible to study the sweeping mechanism on a small scale, so we must use a deterministic model which describes the network of pipes in the compact matrix, in which a waterflood is simulated by means of a conform finite-element model. This constituted the second approach. The third and final approach consisted of inventing a system of equations to analytically solve the pressure field in a network of vertical pipes which are intersected by a production drain and submitted to a strong bottom water-drive. This model allows us to simulate the water-oil contact rise within the reservoir and study the flows depending on the constraints applied to the production well. It appears that cross flows occur in the pipes even during the production period

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Mylroie J. E. , Carew J. L. ,
The exposed carbonates of the Bahamas consist of late Quaternary limestones that were deposited during glacio-eustatic highstands of sea level. Each highstand event produced transgressive-phase, stillstand-phase, and regressive-phase units. Because of slow platform subsidence, Pleistocene carbonates deposited on highstands prior to the last interglacial (oxygen isotope substage 5e, circa 125,000 years ago) are represented solely by eolianites. The Owl's Hole Formation comprises these eolianites, which are generally fossiliferous pelsparites. The deposits of the last interglacial form the Grotto Beach Formation, and contain a complete sequence of subtidal intertidal and eolian carbonates. These deposits are predominantly oolitic. Holocene deposits are represented by the Rice Bay Formation, which consists of intertidal and eolian pelsparites deposited during the transgressive-phase and stillstand-phase of the current sea-level highstand. The three formations are separated from one another by well-developed terra-rossa paleosols or other erosion surfaces that formed predominantly during intervening sea-level lowstands. The karst landforms of San Salvador consist of karren, depressions, caves, and blue holes. Karren are small-scale dissolutional etchings on exposed and soil-covered bedrock that grade downward into the epikarst, the system of tubes and holes that drain the bedrock surface. Depressions are constructional features, such as swales between eolian ridges, but they have been dissolutionally maintained. Pit caves are vertical voids in the vadose zone that link the epikarst to the water table. Flank margin caves are horizontal voids that formed in the distal margin of a past fresh-water lens; whereas banana holes are horizontal voids that developed at the top of a past fresh-water lens, landward of the lens margin. Lake drains are conduits that connect some flooded depressions to the sea. Blue holes are flooded vertical shafts, of polygenetic origin, that may lead into caves systems at depth. The paleokarst of San Salvador is represented by flank margin caves and banana holes formed in a past fresh-water lens elevated by the last interglacial sea-level highstand, and by epikarst buried under paleosols formed during sea-level lowstands. Both carbonate deposition and its subsequent karstification is controlled by glacio-eustatic sea-level position. On San Salvador, the geographic isolation of the island, its small size, and the rapidity of past sea level changes have placed major constraints on the production of the paleokarst

Statistical evaluation of glacier boreholes as indicators of basal drainage systems, 1996,
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Smart C. C. ,
Between 1988 and 1992 closely spaced arrays of boreholes were drilled at Small River Glacier, British Columbia. The borehole arrays have been used to investigate the interannual and spatial consistency of patterns of basal hydraulics beneath the glacier. A simple robust classification was devised identifying unconnected, high standing, low standing and dry base water levels in boreholes. Spatial and interannual comparisons were made using a simple nearest neighbour statistic, corrected for differences in frequency of different borehole types and evaluated using Monte Carlo confidence intervals to compensate for array form. Arrays in the lower ablation zone showed spatial and interannual coherence, with three distinct areas characterized by low water pressure, till-associated non-connection and high pressure. There was no indication of a dominant conduit. Slightly higher up-glacier borehole patterns were less coherent, and varied from year to year, probably a result of subglacial karst capturing basal waters at a number of low pressure points at the bed. Therefore both the upper and lower arrays at Small River Glacier appear to encompass unusual drainage conditions. The nearest neighbour analysis provides valuable constraints on more specific interpretation

Fluid flow through carbonate platforms: constraints from 234U/238U and Cl- in Bahamas pore-waters., 1998,
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Henderson Gideon M.

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints., 1998,
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Genty D. , Deflandre G.

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints, 1998,
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Genty D, Deflandre G,
The study of drip rate and seepage water electrical conductivity (hereafter called conductivity) under one stalactite in the Pere Noel cave (Belgium), with data produced from an automatic station since 1991, demonstrates several previously unobserved features: (1) measurement of drop volume shows that, for 94% of the time series, drop volume is constant (= 0.14 ml), but when discharge exceeds 48.2 drips min(-1), drop volume decreases, probably because of secondary drop formation; (2) the interannual drip rate variation is correlated to the annual water excess and its correlant, rainfall (R-2 = 0.98; exponential model); this result introduces a new improvement in the understanding of the previously investigated relationships between stalagmite annual laminae thickness and mean annual rainfall; (3) the drip rate shows a well marked seasonality: it increases abruptly in late fall or early winter and decreases slowly during spring, summer and fall. Increased discharge is accompanied by an increase in conductivity, which suggests that the flushed water is more mineralized and was stored in the karst aquifer for several months; (4) superimposed on these seasonal variations, there are two kinds of flow regimes which are driven by the atmospheric pressure: (i) a 'wiggles regime', whose duration is 1-7 days in length and which is inversely proportional to the air pressure wiggles; it is explained by either a ''shut-off faucet'' process due to the rock formation stress, or to a change in the two-phases flow component proportions (air/water); (ii) an 'unstable regime' characterized by abrupt switches (<2 h) or oscillations with variable periodicities, from a few minutes to a few hours. These occur when the drip rate reaches a threshold (i.e. 240 drops 10 min(-1)); the chaotic behaviour of this phenomenon is discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Karst and agriculture in Australia, 1999,
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Gillieson David, Thurgate Mia
Much of the development and degradation of karst lands in Australia has occurred in the last two centuries since European settlement. Recent prolonged El Nino events add further climatic uncertainty and place real constraints on sustainable agriculture. The lower southeast of South Australia is perhaps the one area in Australia where karst, and particularly karst hydrology, impinge on the daily lives of the community in that pollution and overexploitation of the aquifer are readily apparent to the local population. Effluent from intensive dairy farms, piggeries and cheese factories enters the karst and has caused concern over pollution of water supplies. Human impacts on the Mole Creek karst of Tasmania have been well documented. The principal recent impacts on the karst arc associated with land clearance for farmland, forest cutting for timber, road building, refuse disposal and associated hydrological change. There is similar evidence of agricultural impacts un karst in central New South Wales, with clear evidence of vegetation clearance and soil stripping on the limestones at Wellington, Orange and Molong.

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