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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 canyon passage is 1. a tubular passage (cave) that is formed by underground streams following gently tilted beddingplane partings or fractures and are eroding channels downward through the rock. their ceiling heights are greater than their widths. they are similar to surface canyons, but they possess roofs and are generally the same distance apart at the top as they are at the bottom. in mammoth cave, most are narrow and winding and may achieve dimensions of 50 feet wide by 100 feet high. if a canyon passage begins forming on an old tube passage, then a keyhole passage may result [15]. 2. also known as vadose canyons, these are cave passages, most commonly formed by continued floor entrenchment or incision, by a free flowing vadose stream. the passage width at any particular level is determined by the flow of the formative stream, the rate of its downcutting and the effects of any subsequent collapse. canyon height reflects the stream's downcutting history. it depends upon the vertical distance available for erosional descent to the local base level and the time that erosional downcutting has been active, as well as upon the more obvious but less important influences of flow rate and erosional capacity. vadose canyons commonly twist and meander sharply, while maintaining roughly parallel vertical sides. in contrast to some meanders in surface streams, underground meanders must generally be imprinted on a bedding plane before entrenchment of the canyon begins. narrow canyon passages, commonly less than 1 m wide and more than 20 m high, are a particular feature of deep alpine caves. perhaps the largest canyon passage in the world is that in skocjanske jama, slovenia, which is over 100 m high and 50 m wide [9]. see paragenetic cave. see also keyhole passage; passage; tubular passage; vertical shafts.?

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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.
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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 heterogeneity (Keyword) returned 84 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 84
Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, , Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.


Surface Lowering and Landform Evolution on Aldabra, 1979, Trudgill S. T. ,
Aldabra landforms are the result of the karstification of carbonate rocks distributed on surfaces which have been exposed to erosion for varying lengths of time. Morphometric analysis (which is of interest in both geomorphological and botanical contexts) suggests that the most well developed karst features (closed depressions) occur on what appear to be the oldest surfaces. Morphology also varies with lithology. Measurements of present-day erosion rates suggests that weakly cemented rocks and the most soluble mineral components are eroding most rapidly. The evolution of a dissected morphology is related to lithological heterogeneity in coralline rocks or, in the case of the more homogeneous rocks, to the short residence time of waters on the rock surface (the more rapidly dissolving mineral grains eroding faster). Dissolution also proceeds in fresh water pools, but this may be offset by precipitation in some cases. The surface is mostly case hardened, except under deep organic soils where erosion rates are much higher than in other areas. A mean erosion rate measured at 0.26 mm/a appears to make it feasible that large erosional features, such as the lagoon, could have been formed during periods of emersion as suggested by research workers who have hypothesized that an atoll shape may be substantially derived by subaerial weathering

Elments d'une approche nergtique du karst, application quelques exemples rels de karsts, 1983, Quinif, Y.
DATA FOR AN ENERGIZING APPROACH OF THE KARST. APPLICATIONS TO A FEW EXAMPLES OF KARST AREAS - One considers the karst like an open thermodynamic system where the located dissipation of hydrodynamical, chemical and mechanical energies gives to the karst a structurated heterogeneity. One discusses about the modalities of the energy dissipation into the karst. The study of some real examples of karstic networks allows understanding how these theoretical concepts explain their characteristics. One ends by a prospect of research: to consider the karstic system like a dissipative system in the meaning of Prigogine.

Chemical hydrogeology in natural and contaminated environments, 1989, Back W, Baedecker Mj,
Chemical hydrogeology, including organic and inorganic aspects, has contributed to an increased understanding of groundwater flow systems, geologic processes, and stressed environments. Most of the basic principles of inorganic-chemical hydrogeology were first established by investigations of organic-free, regional-scale systems for which simplifying assumptions could be made. The problems of groundwater contamination are causing a shift of emphasis to microscale systems that are dominated by organic-chemical reactions and that are providing an impetus for the study of naturally occurring and manmade organic material. Along with the decrease in scale, physical and chemical heterogeneity become major controls.Current investigations and those selected from the literature demonstrate that heterogeneity increases in importance as the study site decreases from regional-scale to macroscale to microscale. Increased understanding of regional-scale flow systems is demonstrated by selection of investigations of carbonate and volcanic aquifers to show how application of present-day concepts and techniques can identify controlling chemical reactions and determine their rates; identify groundwater flow paths and determine flow velocity; and determine aquifer characteristics. The role of chemical hydrogeology in understanding geologic processes of macroscale systems is exemplified by selection of investigations in coastal aquifers. Phenomena associated with the mixing zone generated by encroaching sea water include an increase in heterogeneity of permeability, diagenesis of minerals, and formation of geomorphic features, such as caves, lagoons, and bays. Ore deposits of manganese and uranium, along with a simulation model of ore-forming fluids, demonstrate the influence of heterogeneity and of organic compounds on geochemical reactions associated with genesis of mineral deposits. In microscale environments, importance of heterogeneity and consequences of organic reactions in determining the distributions and concentrations cf. constituents are provided by several studies, including infiltration of sewage effluent and migration of creosote in coastal plain aquifers. These studies show that heterogeneity and the dominance of organically controlled reactions greatly increase the complexity of investigations

Groundwater chemistry and cation budgets of tropical karst outcrops, Peninsular Malaysia, I. Calcium and magnesium, 1989, Crowther J,
The discharge and chemical properties of 217 autogenic groundwaters were monitored over a 1-yr period in the tower karsts of central Selangor and the Kinta Valley, and in the Setul Boundary Range. Because of differences in soil PCO2, calcium concentrations are significantly higher in the Boundary Range (mean, 82.5 mg l-1) than in the tower karst terrain (44.6 mg l-1). Local differences in both source area PCO2 and amounts of secondary deposition underground cause marked intersite variability, particularly in the tower karst. Dilution occurs during flood peaks in certain conduit and cave stream waters. Generally, however, calcium correlates positively with discharge, since the amount of secondary deposition per unit volume of water decreases at higher flows. Magnesium concentrations and Mg:Ca Mg ratios of groundwaters are strongly influenced by bedrock composition, though bedrock heterogeneity and the kinetics and equilibria of carbonate dissolution reactions preclude extremely low or high Mg:Ca Mg values. Net chemical denudation rates range from 56.6 to 70.9 m3km2yr-1.The results are considered in relation to cation fluxes in surface runoff, soil throughflow and nutrient cycling. Preliminary calcium and magnesium budgets show that (1) dissolutional activity is largely confined to the near-surface zone; and (2) the annual uptake of calcium and magnesium by tropical limestone forests is similar in magnitude to the net solute output in groundwaters

Pervasive early- to late-stage dolomitization of Lower Ordovician Ellenburger Group carbonates in the deep Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico is recorded in core samples having present-day burial depths of 1.5-7.0 km. Seven dolomite-rock textures are recognized and classified according to crystal-size distribution and crystal-boundary shape. Unimodal and polymodal planar-s (subhedral) mosaic dolomite is the most widespread type, and it replaced allochems and matrix or occurs as void-filling cement. Planar-e (euhedral) dolomite crystals line pore spaces and/or fractures, or form mosaics of medium to coarse euhedral crystals. This kind of occurrence relates to significant intercrystalline porosity. Non-planar-a (anhedral) dolomite replaced a precursor limestone/dolostone only in zones that are characterized by original high porosity and permeability. Non-planar dolomite cement (saddle dolomite) is the latest generation and is responsible for occlusion of fractures and pore space. Dolomitization is closely associated with the development of secondary porosity; dolomitization pre-and post-dates dissolution and corrosion and no secondary porosity generation is present in the associated limestones. The most common porosity types are non-fabric selective moldic and vuggy porosity and intercrystalline porosity. Up to 12% effective porosity is recorded in the deep (6477 m) Delaware basin. These porous zones are characterized by late-diagenetic coarse-crystalline dolomite, whereas the non-porous intervals are composed of dense mosaics of early-diagenetic dolomites. The distribution of dolomite rock textures indicates that porous zones were preserved as limestone until late in the diagenetic history, and were then subjected to late-stage dolomitization in a deep burial environment, resulting in coarse-crystalline porous dolomites. In addition to karst horizons at the top of the Ellenburger Group, exploration for Ellenburger Group reservoirs should consider the presence of such porous zones within other Ellenburger Group dolomites

On Grand Cayman, freshwater bodies present in the Bluff Formation are typically small and occur as thin lenses floating on top of dense saline water. Evaluation of the water resource potential of these freshwater lenses is difficult because of their variable hydrological conditions, complex paleohydrogeology and aquifer heterogeneity. Secondary porosity created by preferential dissolution of aragonitic fossil components is common. Open fissures and joints developed under tectonic stress and karst development associated with sea-level fluctuations are, however, the two most important causes of porosity and permeability in the aquifers on Grand Cayman. Fracture and karst porosity control the lens occurrence by: (1) acting as avenues for the intrusion of seawater or upward migration of saline water; (2) acting as recharge focal points; (3) enhancing hydrodynamic dispersion; (4) defining lens geometry; (5) facilitating carbonate dissolution along joints and fissures. A clear understanding of the hydrological and geological conditions is important in developing small lenses in a setting similar to that on Grand Cayman. This pragmatic approach can help identify the optimum location of the well field and avoid areas particularly susceptible to saline water intrusion

Dry Chinquapin oak (Quercus macrocarpa) and American elm (Ulmus americana) leaves were placed in four microcosms fed by groundwater springs to monitor changes in dry mass, ash-free dry mass, and microbial activity over a 35-day period. Oxygen microelectrodes were used to measure microbial activity and to estimate millimeter-scale heterogeneity in that activity. Oak leaves lost mass more slowly than elm leaves. Generally, there was a decrease in total dry weight over the first 14 days, after which total dry weight began to increase. However, there were consistent decreases in ash-free dry mass over the entire incubation period, suggesting that the material remaining after initial leaf decomposition trapped inorganic particles. Microbial activity was higher on elm leaves than on oak leaves, with peak activity occurring at 6 and 27 days, respectively. The level of oxygen saturation on the bottom surface of an elm leaf ranged between 0 and 75% within a 30-mm2 area. This spatial heterogeneity in O2 saturation disappeared when the water velocity increased from 0 to 6 cm s-1. Our results suggest that as leaves enter the groundwater, they decompose and provide substrate for microorganisms. The rate of decomposition depends on leaf type, small-scale variations in microbial activity, water velocity, and the length of submersion time. During the initial stages of decomposition, anoxic microzones are formed that could potentially be important to the biogeochemistry of the otherwise oxic aquifer

Counter to intuition, small-scale measurements of hydraulic conductivity do not average to regional values. Instead, mean hydraulic conductivity increases with measurement scale up to a critical distance termed the range, beyond which a constant regional value prevails. Likewise, variance in log hydraulic conductivity increases with separation distance between measurement points as the spatial correlation decreases. As dissolution proceeds in carbonate aquifers, heterogeneity and the volume necessary for an equivalent homogeneous medium (EHM) both increase. As these variables increase, the range of scale increase in both mean hydraulic conductivity and variance increases proportionately. Consequently, the range in scale effects is a reliable measure of the degree of secondary dissolution. By correlating the numeric value of range with independently measured hydraulic properties, the prevalent type of flow system, diffuse, mixed or conduit can be determined

Coastal karst aquifers have highly variable distributions of porosity and permeability. The ability to assess the volume of aquifer occupied by freshwater in coastal karst aquifers is limited by both the lack of understanding of the effect that regions of cavernous porosity and permeability have on the configuration of the saline-freshwater mixing zone and by the limited knowledge of the location of the cavernous regions. A dual-density ground-water flow and solute transport model was used to explore the effect that the depth, lateral extent, and proximity to the coast of zones of high porosity and permeability has on the configuration of the saline-freshwater mixing zone. These aquifer heterogeneities tend to shift the mixing zone upward relative to the position it would have in aquifers with homogeneous porosity and permeability, Zones of high porosity and permeability located at positions shallow in the aquifer or nearer to the coast had the greatest effect. In fact, for the conditions modeled, position was more important in modifying the configuration of the mixing zone than was changing the ratio of the intrinsic permeability of the cavernous zone to the aquifer matrix from 100 to 1000. Modeling results show that ground-water flow is concentrated into the zones of high porosity and permeability and that flow configuration results in steep salinity gradients with depth, Field observations of the location of the halocline and of step changes in ground-water composition coincident with regions of cavernous porosity in coastal karst aquifers corroborate the model results, In a coastal setting with saline water intruding into an aquifer, the effect of cavernous porosity and associated high permeability is to decrease the volume of aquifer in which freshwater occurs by a greater degree than would occur in an aquifer with homogeneous porosity and permeability

Results of a study about tracing tests transfer functions variability in karst environment, 1997, Doerfliger N.
Artificial tracing tests are often used to simulate migration of a point-source contaminant under various hydrological conditions in karst hydrogeological impact assessment or to define groundwater protection zones. Due to economic reasons, it is rather difficult to carry out adequate tracing tests to determine what are the possible recovery curves over range of discharges at the outlet, are the tracer test results representative of the spring watercatchment being protected ? Our objective was to characterize the tracing-systems in a karst environment by a mean transfer function; such transfer function may be used to predict the breakthrough curve of a point-source contaminant taking into account an error factor. A Jura mean transfer function with + and -95% interval confidence functions can be established and differentiated from the Alps mean transfer function. The use of this transfer function to predict the response of a point-source contaminant requires considerations of water catchment size, thickness or the aquifer and discharge at the outlet. The results of this variability analysis confirm that the transfer functions by themselves may not be used to protect the whole karst spring water catchment, as this one is affected by the heterogeneity of the physical parameters. At the scale of a water catchment, transfer functions are not the major tool to protect the groundwater. But with a multiattribute approach of vulnerability mapping, transfer functions contribute to the development of groundwater protection strategy.

Dispersion and tailing of tracer plumes in a karstic system (Milandre, JU, Switzerland), 1997, Jeannin Py. , Marechal Jc.
A large number of tracing experiments have been carried out in a karstic aquifer in the Swiss Jura. These allow to observe the evolution of a tracer plume along the length of a karst conduit. The method of Sauty was used to make possible the comparison between all the observed breakthrough curves. The flow velocities and the dispersivities obtained are extremely variable. The dispersivities measured at different points along the length of an underground stream in the course of the same tracing experiment increase with distance (scale effect). If the fit of theoretical Sauty curves on the experimental curves works well for rising limbs, this is not always the case for falling limbs: a tailing effect or lag of the experimental curves compared to the theoretical ones is often observed. Micro-tracings have shown that the lag effect is linked more to the karst conduit geometry than to the types of flows (turbulent or laminar). Measurable tailing effect is induced by the presence of a single conduit enlargement (also called pool). Further, the experiments have shown that a succession of enlargements along the length of the underground stream causes a clear increase in the dispersivity and a "homogenisation" of the recovery curve which shows up by the apparent disappearance of the lag effect. These observations show clearly the influence of the heterogeneity of the karst conduit geometry on the breakthrough curves. This effect might be considered when one interprets the shape of the breakthrough curves especially for dispersivity estimation.

Contribution of correlation and spectral analyses to the regional study of a large karst aquifer (Charente, France), 1998, Larocque M. , Mangin A. , Razack M. , Banton O. ,
The purpose of the study is to demonstrate that correlation and spectral analyses can contribute to the regional study of a large karst aquifer. An example is presented for the La Rochefoucauld karst aquifer (Charente, France). Different types of spatially distributed time series provide valuable spatio-temporal information for the karat aquifer. The available time series consist of the spring flow rates, the flow rates at different locations in sinking streams, the piezometric levels, the electrical conductivity and temperature of the water, the atmospheric pressure and the precipitation The analysis of the flow rates at the springs shows that the aquifer empties very slowly and has a large storage capacity. Hydrodynamic links were established between three of the four rivers flowing on the aquifer and the springs. The results also demonstrate the important spatial heterogeneity of the aquifer and indicate that the most rapid flow occurs in the northern part of the aquifer. Hourly piezometric and electrical conductivity time series indicate that the transmissivity of the aquifer varies when some conductive channels become desaturated during the low water period. The delays between the distributed recharge and the piezometric level, between the localized river input and the how rates at the springs and between the electrical conductivities in rivers and the main spring provide information on the travel times in the aquifer, The observation of earth tides and barometric effects indicate that this apparently unconfined aquifer has a confined behaviour. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Karstic groundwater flow characteristics in the Cretaceous Chalk aquifer, Northern Ireland, 1999, Barnes S,
The Cretaceous Chalk in Northern Ireland (Ulster White Limestone Formation) is a locally important aquifer for both public and private supply, yet little is known about its groundwater flow regime. This issue is important for the protection of existing groundwater abstractions and for the development of new sources as it will help determine groundwater vulnerability and resource potential in the Chalk. The subject has been addressed using hydrochemical variations from individual springs, together with artificial and natural water tracing techniques employed from river-sinks located at outcrop. A common orientation has been established between traced groundwater flow routes and the dominant northwest-southeast fracture trend within the Ulster White Limestone Formation. Hydraulic gradient has also been shown to have little significance in controlling the flow direction, suggesting poor fracture connectivity and thus extreme aquifer heterogeneity. Tracer breakthrough curve characteristics and velocities (up to 2838 metres per day) are indicative of conduit rather than fracture flow. In addition, the highly variable water chemistry associated with all the proven river-sink supplied springs has been independently classified to meet conduit flow criteria. Conversely, the much less variable water chemistry associated with springs draining Chalk subcrop areas (with no influence from river-sinks) is consistent with a less active karstic regime

Linear and nonlinear input/output models for karstic springflow and flood prediction at different time scales, 1999, Labat D. , Ababou R. , Mangin A. ,
Karstic formations function as three-dimensional (3D) hydrological basins, with both surface and subsurface flows through fissures, natural conduits, underground streams and reservoirs. The main characteristic of karstic formations is their significant 3D physical heterogeneity at all scales, from fine fissuration to large holes and conduits. This leads to dynamic and temporal variability, e.g, highly variable flow rates, due to several concurrent flow regimes with several distinct response times. The temporal hydrologic response of karstic basins is studied here from an input/output, systems analysis viewpoint. The hydraulic behaviour of the basins is approached via the relationship between hydrometeorological inputs and outputs. These processes are represented and modeled as random, self-correlated and cross-correlated, stationary time processes. More precisely, for each site-specific case presented here, the input process is the total rainfall on the basin and the output process is the discharge rate at the outlet of the basin (karstic spring). In the absence of other data, these time processes embody all the available information concerning a given karstic basin. In this paper, we first present a brief discussion of the physical structure of karstic systems. Then, we formulate linear and nonlinear models, i.e. functional relations between rainfall and runoff, and methods for identifying the kernel and coefficients of the functionals (deterministic vs. statistical; error minimisation vs. polynomial projection). These are based mostly on Volterra first order (linear) or second order (nonlinear) convolution. In addition, a new nonlinear threshold model is developed, based on the frequency distribution of interannual mean daily runoff. Finally, the different models and identification methods are applied to two karstic watersheds in the french Pyrenees mountains, using long sequences of rainfall and spring outflow data at two different sampling rates (daily and semi-hourly). The accuracy of nonlinear and linear rainfall-runoff models is tested at three time scales: long interannual scale (20 years of daily data), medium or seasonal scale (3 months of semi-hourly data), and short scale or 'flood scale' (2 days of semi-hourly data). The model predictions are analysed in terms of global statistical accuracy and in terms of accuracy with respect to high flow events (floods)

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