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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. ...

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,

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. ...

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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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals

SummaryThis paper analyzes data obtained in 26 tracer tests carried out in 11 karstic connections following solutional conduits in karst aquifers in the Basque Country. These conduits are preferential drainage pathways in these aquifers and so they confer a marked anisotropy and high vulnerability to them. Consequently, their consideration in protection and management studies and projects is a priority.The connections studied cover a wide hydrogeological spectrum (a wide range of sizes, slopes, geomorphic and hydrologic types) and the tests have been carried out at different hydrodynamic states. It is noteworthy that they all follow a similar trend, which has allowed for the development of a statistical approximation for the treatment of the whole information.Relationships have been established involving velocity, solute time of arrival, attenuation of peak concentration and time of passage of tracer cloud. These relationships are a valuable tool for management and supporting decision-making and allow for making estimates in connections in which the information available was scarce. This information is especially useful, given that the complexity of transport in karst conduits gives way to important deviations between real data (empirical observations) and the data obtained by simple approaches based on the Fickian-type diffusion equation

Karst aquifers represent dual flow systems consisting of a highly conductive conduit system embedded in a less permeable rock matrix. Hybrid models iteratively coupling both flow systems generally consume much time, especially because of the nonlinearity of turbulent conduit flow. To reduce calculation times compared to those of existing approaches, a new iterative equation solver for the conduit system is developed based on an approximated Newton–Raphson expression and a Gauß–Seidel or successive over-relaxation scheme with a single iteration step at the innermost level. It is implemented and tested in the research code CAVE but should be easily adaptable to similar models such as the Conduit Flow Process for MODFLOW-2005. It substantially reduces the computational effort as demonstrated by steady-state benchmark scenarios as well as by transient karst genesis simulations. Water balance errors are found to be acceptable in most of the test cases. However, the performance and accuracy may deteriorate under unfavorable conditions such as sudden, strong changes of the flow field at some stages of the karst genesis simulations.

The different types of air circulation in caves are classified according to the origin of the circulation, as either static or dynamic. In a cave static causes are: (a) differences between inside and outside air density owing to: (i) air temperature; (ii) relative humidity; (iii) chemical composition; (b) atmospheric pressure variation. Dynamic causes are: (a) moving fluids: (i) inside the cave; (ii) outside the cave. Whenever possible the above mentioned phenomena have been considered from a mathematical point of view in order to obtain equations relating the different quantities involved.

The different types of air circulation in caves are classified according to the origin of the circulation, as either static or dynamic. In a cave static causes are: (a) differences between inside and outside air density owing to: (i) air temperature; (ii) relative humidity; (iii) chemical composition; (b) atmospheric pressure variation. Dynamic causes are: (a) moving fluids: (i) inside the cave; (ii) outside the cave. Whenever possible the above mentioned phenomena have been considered from a mathematical point of view in order to obtain equations relating the different quantities involved.

Using Plummer et al.'s [11] rate equations on the dissolution and deposition of CaCO3 in H2O---CO2 systems, we have calculated deposition rates of CaCO3 to stalagmites in caves which are covered by glaciers or bare karst. In this case no biogenic CO2 from vegetated soil is available and the deposition of CaCO3 involves only atmospheric CO2. The mechanism of deposition proceeds by a temperature effect. Cold melting waters of about 0[deg]C dissolve CaCO3 under open system conditions at the surface of the rock. When this solution saturated with respect to CaCO3, flows through the limestone rock its temperature increases by several degrees. Therefore, it becomes supersaturated, and CaCO3 is deposited under open system conditions in the warmer cave. Maximal growth rates of about 10-3 cm/year are possible. From the kinetics of the deposition of CaCO3 from the thin water films present at the surface of stalagmites we are able to estimate the isotopic composition of carbon in the CaCO3 deposited on the stalagmites to be approximately [delta]13C = %, which is close to some observed values.From our data we conclude that substantial growth of stalagmites is possible during glacial periods as well as in areas of bare karst, a question which was not resolved up to now

The use of multiple regression analysis is shown to overcome current limitations in availability of climatic temperature data for caving sites in the Central and Southern Tablelands of New South Wales. The developed equations are used to calculate climatic data for Jenolan, Wellington, and Oberon which agree well with recorded data at these sites. The equations are also used to calculate data for six major caving areas in New South Wales, including the tourist areas Wombeyan and Yarrangobilly and frequently visited areas such as Bungonia and Wee Jasper.

The relationships between the internal and external evolution of the Mt. Cucco karst complex are studied. A classic set of equations, involving the oxidation of hydrogen sulphide, originated at depth in an evaporitic formation, is used to explain the presence of massive gypsum deposits in the Mt. Cucco and the Faggeto Tondo caves. The distribution and the morphology of more than 30 caves in the system, the presence of gypsum, always located along faults, and the presence of broken stalactites and columns, suggest that the evolution of the karst system has been controlled by tectonic movements. Relationships between the development of the caves and the geomorphic evolution of the area are proposed.

By analysing the hydrographs of karst springs it is possible to identify aquifer characteristics and, accordingly, the main features of a karst rock-fissure massif. Consequently, relevant data can be obtained by analysing hydrograph recession curves. This paper presents a detailed analysis and explanation of numerous cases of break points on recession curves via various values of the recession coefficient alpha in Maillet's (1905) equation. The paper also identifies the relationship between alpha and a linear reservoir coefficient by employing groundwater hydrograph methods. It is shown that the linear reservoir coefficient changes with time in accordance with changes of the flow conditions in the karst massif

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

Evaluation of recession hydrographs, from four karst springs in Europe, provides important information concerning the flow process operating in karst aquifer systems. Three analytic equations are used to evaluate the hydrographs: Mangin's equation, that assumes the recession is composed of both quickflow and baseflow; Coutagne's equation which considers the recession to be the response of a single reservoir; and a new function, H(t) (which is derived from Coutagne's equation), that refers to the whole recession curve. Using Mangin's equation it is apparent that the saturated zone and thus baseflow exerts nearly complete control over the discharge of La Villa spring and is fairly important at Fuente Mayor and Baget springs, but is much less significant at Aliou spring. The saturated zone accounts for 100%, 90%, 91%, and 40% respectively for these springs. Using Coutagne's equation and H(t) it is concluded that for Aliou and Baget springs, water flows freely in the high transmissive zones, but in the poorly transmissive zones, there is little continuity of connection in the system. At Fuente Mayor spring the differences in these zones are not so apparent and a gradual transition occurs. However, at La Villa spring, the karst aquifer is evidently much more homogeneous and the discharge is similar to that of a porous intergranular aquifer

A ground water catchment was instrumented as a karst hydrology and water quality laboratory to develop long-term flow and water quality data. This catchment located in Woodford and Jessamine Counties in the Inner Bluegrass, Central Kentucky encompasses approximately 1620 ha, 40 water wells, over 400 sinkholes, 2 karst windows, and 1 sinking stream. The land uses consist of approximately 59% beef pasture, horse farm, and golf course; 16% row crops; 6% orchard; 13%forest; and 6% residential. The instrumentation consisted of a recording rain gage, an H-flume, a water stage recorder, and an automated water sampler. Flow data for 312 days were analyzed, and a peak flow rate prediction equation, specific to this catchment, was developed Recession curves were analyzed and found to be of two distinct mathematical forms, log curves and exponential curves. Prediction equations were good for the log-type recession curve and fair for the exponential-type recession curve. For the exponential recessions, the peak flow rate was found to be bimodally distributed The recession events were classified as either high flow or low flow, with the point of separation at 113 L/s. It was hypothesized that the flow system was controlled by pipe flow above 113 L/s and by open channel flow below 113 L/s. Subsequent analysis resulted in adequate prediction for the low flow events. Explained variation associated with the high flow events was low and attributed to storage in the karst system that was not incorporated into the predictor equation

Our study improves theories of denudation of karst surfaces. We examine a debris zone developed mostly by solutional fragmentation of the fissured rock. Denudation of karsts is attributed to the downward movement of the debris zone. The different rates of this movement in a karst region cause different denudation rates and so wight result in the development of dolinas. Therefore our model might be suitable for the explanation and description of the development of solution dolines. According to the differential equation of solution, the migration rate of the karstic relief is determined by the CO2 production, the soaking time and the average diameter of the fragments of the debris zone. According to the above - supposing constant parameters of karstification - the time of denudation at any point of a karstic area can be also calculated when knowing the original thickness of the rock exposed to karstic denudation. The age of a solution doline can be determined by the formula obtained

The maximum freshwater well pumping flowrate, from an underground karst channel, is defined as function of the channel length, between the well and the submarine spring, in which the channel is terminated. The differential equations that describe the phenomenon of saltwater intrusion into the channel have been analytically solved. The derived dimensionless graphs are suitable for practical applications. Their use can lead to a freshwater exploitation up to 90% of the submarine spring discharge without brackishnesh of the well freshwater

The linear mathematical model for springflow suggested by Bear (1979) can simulate springflow for an initial instantaneous recharge. A springflow model has been developed, using the Bear model and Duhamel's approach, which can simulate springflow for time variant recharge. The suggested model can also be used to compute the time variant recharge to the springflow domain from a given springflow time series. The inverse problem, which contains linear recharge terms and nonlinear depletion terms, has been solved using the Newton-Raphson method for solving a set of nonlinear equations. The model has been tested to compute recharge for Kirkgoz spring, a first magnitude karst spring in the Mediterranean region of Turkey. The estimated annual recharge computed by the model on a monthly basis compared well with the annual recharge which had been estimated (Korkmaz, 1990) using the Bear model

Waters from the surface hydrologic network and the spring of a karstic aquifer in Switzerland were sampled to analyse their colloidal content. The measurements were done weekly with a single particle counter and were verified by other techniques. The particle size distribution (PSD) was modelled in two portions, below and above 5 mu m, using two types of equation: a power law (Pareto distribution) and an exponential law. The model results matched well with the entire PSD data set by varying the parameter values. The parameters obtained from fitting the measured PSD curves were then interpreted in relation to environmental factors. It appears that the two parts of the curves vary independently. The first part of the PSD curve, relating to the smallest particles, is dependent on the pH value of the spring or the temperature of the surface brook. In contrast, the second part of the curve depends mostly on the spring discharge volume. During high flow events, the major effect of the discharge on particle size occurs during the rising limb of the hydrograph, interpreted as clays deposited in the aquifer and resuspended due to high water velocity. The contrasted behaviour of the two parts of the PSD curves suggested that the break point in the curves represents the limit between colloidal and particulate behaviour. Knowing these dependencies, and the characteristics of the particulate matter, allowed the estimation of the role of the colloids in contaminant transport. Large fluxes of suspended matter, specific to karstic aquifers, demonstrate the critical role of colloids in contaminant transport, which is markedly different from what typically occurs in porous media.