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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 spring, fullflow is a spring that is the sole drain of an area.?

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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 karst interest group (Keyword) returned 17 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 17
Inorganic carbon flux and aquifer evolution in the south central Kentucky karst, 2001, Groves C. , Meiman J.

In-cave dye tracing and drainage basin divides in the Mammoth Cave karst aquifer, Kentucky, 2001, Meiman J. , Groves C. , Herstein S.

PROPOSED NATIONAL ATLAS KARST MAP, 2001, Orndorff R. F. , Epstein J. B. , Weary D. J.


Travel Times Along Selected Flow Paths of the Edwards Aquifer, Central Texas, 2001, Kuniansky E. L. , Fahlquist L. , Ardis A. F.

Flow path travel times in the structurally controlled, karstic Edwards aquifer were estimated using simulated ground-water levels obtained from a finite-element model. For this analysis, simulated monthly ground-water levels were averaged over an 11-year calibration period to minimize the transient effect of short-term recharge and discharge events. The 1978-89 calibration period was characterized by average to wetter-than-average climatic conditions; simulated water-level and spring-flow compared favorably with measured data. Flow paths for which travel times were estimated range from 1,250 to 10,000 feet wide and from about 8 to 180 miles long. Effective aquifer thickness and effective porosity can be highly variable and is poorly defined throughout most of the aquifer. Accordingly, travel-time estimates were computed within known or inferred thicknesses and porosities within known or inferred ranges of 350 to 850 feet and 15 to 35 percent, respectively. The minimum rock matrix porosity for each element was divided by 10 to estimate a minimum time of travel (a worst case time of travel). Travel times range from 14 to 160 years for a flow path from the Blanco River Basin to San Marcos Springs and from 350 to 4,300 years for a flow path from the West Nueces River Basin to Comal Springs. Travel times near the minimum of the ranges are similar in magnitude to those determined from tritium isotopes in spring water, thus supporting the hypothesis that effective porosity and effective thickness of the aquifer is less than the respective ranges. 


Hydrogeologic Characterization of a Transitional Karst Aquifer, South-Central Louisville, Kentucky, 2001, Taylor, . J.

Carbonate aquifers typically exhibit a continuum in ground-water flow that ranges between quick flow through solution conduits and solution-enlarged fractures and slow flow through fine fractures and intergranular pores. Hydraulic properties and water quality often change at different locations in carbonate aquifers depending on the degree of solutional (karst) modification—that is, the relative proportion between quick flow and slow flow. Either end member can present special difficulties to hydrogeologic and contaminant transport characterization. The transition between a quick-flow dominated karst aquifer and a slow-flow dominated fractured-carbonate aquifer is examined in this study. 


Exchange of Matrix and Conduit Water with Examples from the Floridan Aquifer, 2001, Martin J. D. , Screaton E. J.

Rapid infiltration of surface water and contaminants occurs in karst aquifers because of extensive conduit development, but contamination of ground water supplies requires loss of conduit water to the matrix. This process is also important for ground water management and for dissolution and diagenetic reactions. Many factors control exchange between conduits and matrix including the head gradient between matrix and conduits, the permeability of the matrix, the gradients of the regional water table and the conduits, and the relative elevation of the conduits and regional water table. The Floridan Aquifer, which is characterized by high matrix porosity and permeability, provides several examples. 


Hydrology, Hazards, and Geomorphic Development of Gypsum Karst in the Northern Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, 2001, Epstein, J. B.

Dissolution of gypsum and anhydrite in four stratigraphic units in the Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, has resulted in development of sinkholes and has affected formational hydrologic characteristics. Subsidence has caused damage to houses and water and sewage retention sites. Substratal anhydrite dissolution in the Minnelusa Formation (Pennsylvanian and Permian) has produced breccia pipes and pinnacles, a regional collapse breccia, sinkholes, and extensive disruption of bedding. Anhydrite removal in the Minnelusa probably dates back to the early Tertiary when the Black Hills was uplifted and continues today. Evidence of recent collapse includes fresh scarps surrounding shallow depressions, sinkholes more than 60 feet deep, and sediment disruption and contamination in water wells and springs. Proof of sinkhole development to 26,000 years ago includes the Vore Buffalo Jump, near Sundance, WY, and the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, SD. Several sinkholes in the Spearfish Formation west of Spearfish, SD, which support fish hatcheries and are used for local agricultural water supply, probably originated 500 feet below in the Minnelusa Formation. As the anhydrite dissolution front in the subsurface Minnelusa moves down dip and radially away from the center of the Black Hills uplift, these resurgent springs will dry up and new ones will form as the geomorphology of the Black Hills evolves. Abandoned sinkholes and breccia pipes, preserved in cross section on canyon walls, attest to the former position of the dissolution front. The Spearfish Formation, mostly comprising red shale and siltstone, is generally considered to be a confining layer. However, secondary fracture porosity has developed in the lower Spearfish due to considerable expansion during the hydration of anhydrite to gypsum. Thus, the lower Spearfish yields water to wells and springs making it a respectable aquifer. Processes involved in the formation of gypsum ka 


The Relation Between Structure and Saltwater Intrusion in the Floridan Aquifer System, Northeastern Florida, 2001, Spechler, R. M.

Saltwater intrusion is a potential threat to the quality of ground water in northeastern Florida. Elevated chloride concentrations have been observed in more than 70 wells tapping the Upper Floridan and the upper zone of the Lower Floridan aquifers. In Duval and northern St. Johns County, increased chloride concentrations in water from some wells along the coast and up to 14 miles inland indicate that saline water is gradually intruding into the freshwater zones of the Floridan aquifer system. Several mechanisms may explain this intrusion of saline water and the consequent increase in concentrations of chloride in northeastern Florida. The most plausible explanation is the upward movement of saline water along joints, fractures, collapse features, faults, or other structural anomalies. Land-based seismic reflection and marine seismic reflection profiles along the St. Johns River and off the coast of northeastern Florida show the presence of widely scattered solution collapse features in the Floridan aquifer system and overlying sediments. These features can create conduits of relatively high vertical conductivity, providing a hydraulic connection between freshwater zones and deeper, more saline zones. Lower heads caused by pumping from the shallower freshwater zones of the aquifer can result in an increased potential for upward movement of saline water through nearly vertical zones of preferential permeability. Saline water then can move laterally through the porous aquifer matrix or along horizontal fractures or solution zones within the aquifer toward well fields or other areas of lower hydraulic head


Book Review: ''U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings'' by Eve L. Kunianski (Editor), 2001, 2002, Bednar D. M.

Book Review: ''U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, Shepherdstown, West Virginia'' by Eve L. Kuniansky (Editor), 2002, 2003, Bednar D. M.

Aqueous Geochemical Evidence of Volcanogenic Karstification: Sistema Zacaton, Mexico, 2011, Gary M. O. , Doctor D. H. , Sharp J. M.

The Sistema Zacatón karst area in northeastern Mexico (Tamaulipas state) is limited to a relatively focused area (20 km2) in a carbonate setting not prone to extensive karstification. The unique features found here are characteristic of hydrothermal karstification processes, represent some of the largest phreatic voids in the world, and are hypothesized to have formed from interaction of a local Pleistocene magmatic event with the regional groundwater system. Aqueous geochemical data collected from five cenotes of Sistema Zacatón between 2000 and 2009 include temperature (spatial, temporal, and depth profiles), geochemical depth profiles, major and trace ion geochemistry, stable and radiogenic isotopes, and dissolved gases. Interpretation of these data indicates four major discoveries: 1) rock-water interaction occurs between groundwater, the limestone matrix, and local volcanic rocks; 2) varying degrees of hydrogeological connection exist among cenotes in the system as observed from geochemical signatures; 3) microbially-mediated geochemical reactions control sulfur and carbon cycling and influence redox geochemistry; and 4) dissolved gases are indicative of a deep volcanic source. Dissolved 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios (mean 0.70719) are lower than those of the surrounding Cretaceous limestone (0.70730-0.70745), providing evidence of groundwater interaction with volcanic rock, which has a 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio of 0.7050. Discrete hydraulic barriers between cenotes formed in response to sinkhole formation, hydrothermal travertine precipitation, and shifts in the local water table, creating relatively isolated water bodies. The isolation of the cenotes is reflected in distinct water chemistries among them. This is observed most clearly in the cenote Verde where a water level 4-5 meters lower than the adjacent cenotes is maintained, seasonal water temperature variations occur, thermoclines and chemoclines exist, and the water is oxic at all depths. The surrounding cenotes of El Zacatón, Caracol, and La Pilita show constant water temperatures both in depth profile and in time, have similar water levels, and are almost entirely anoxic. A sulfur (H2S) isotope value of δ34S = -1.8 ‰ (CDT) in deep water of cenote Caracol, contrasted with two lower sulfur isotopic values of sulfide in the water near the surface of the cenote (δ34S = -7 ‰ and -8 ‰ CDT). These δ34S values are characteristic of complex biological sulfur cycling where sulfur oxidation in the photic zone results in oxidation of H2S to colloidal sulfur near the surface in diurnal cycles. This is hypothesized to result from changes in microbial community structure with depth as phototropic, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria become less abundant below 20 m. Unique microbial communities exist in the anoxic, hydrothermal cenotes that strongly mediate sulfur cycling and likely influence mineralization along the walls of these cenotes. Dissolved CO2 gas concentrations ranged from 61-173 mg/L and total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) δ13C values measured at cenote surfaces ranged from -10.9 ‰ to -11.8 ‰ (PDB), reflecting mixed sources of carbon from carbonate rock dissolution, biogenic CO2 and possibly dissolved CO2 from volcanic sources. Surface measurements of dissolved helium gas concentrations range from 50 nmol/kg to 213 nmol/kg. These elevated helium concentrations likely indicate existence of a subsurface volcanic source; however, helium isotope data are needed to test this hypothesis. The results of these data reflect a speleogenetic history that is inherently linked to volcanic activity, and support the hypothesis that the extreme karst development of Sistema Zacatón would likely not have progressed without groundwater interaction with the local igneous rocks 


Revised Hydrogeologic framework for the Floridan Aquifer System in the Northern Coastal Areas of Georgia and Parts of South Carolina, 2011, Gill H. E. , Williams L. J.

The hydrogeologic framework for the Floridan aquifer system was revised for eight northern coastal counties in Georgia and five coastal counties in South Carolina (fig. 1) as part of a regional assessment of water resources by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Groundwater Resources Program. In this study, selected well logs were compiled and analyzed to determine the vertical and horizontal continuity of permeable zones that make up the aquifer system, and define more precisely the thickness of confining beds that separate individual aquifer zones. The results of the analysis indicate that permeable zones in the Floridan aquifer system can be divided into (1) an upper group of extremely transmissive zones that correlate to the Ocala Limestone in Georgia and the Parkers Ferry Formation in South Carolina, and (2) a lower group of zones of relatively lower transmissivity that correlates to the middle part of the Avon Park formation in Georgia and updip clastic equivalent units of South Carolina (fig. 2). This new subdivision simplifies the hydrogeologic framework originally developed by the USGS in the 1980s and helps to improve the understanding of the physical geometry of the system for future modeling efforts. Revisions to the framework in the Savannah–Hilton Head area are particularly important where permeable beds control the movement of saltwater contamination. The revised framework will enable water-resource managers in Georgia and South Carolina to assess groundwater resources in a more uniform manner and help with the implementation of sound decisions when managing water resources in the aquifer system


Paleokarst of the USA: A Brief Review, 2011, Palmer A. N. , Palmer M. V.

Paleokarst consists of solutional features from a prior geomorphic phase that have been preserved by  burial or by a substantial change in local environment. The two major paleokarst horizons in North  America are of Early-Middle Ordovician (post-Sauk) age and Mississippian-Pennsylvanian (post-Kaskaskia) age. There are also several less extensive paleokarst zones. They all differ in detail but  typically include remnants of surface karst features, caves, breccias, hypogenic porosity, and related  mineral suites. In places they provide high-permeability zones significant to water supply, or serve as  hosts to petroleum, ores, and later karst development. Studies of paleokarst give significant evidence for  past geologic and hydrologic conditions, both surficial and deep seated.


Using Geographic Information System to Identify Cave Levels and Discern the Speleogenesis of the Carter Caves Karst Area, Kentucky, 2011, Peterson E. , Dogwiler T. , Harlan L.

Cave level delineation often yields important insight into the speleogenetic history of a karst system. Various workers in the Mammoth Cave System (MCS) and in the caves of the Cumberland Plateau Karst (CPK) have linked cave level development in those karst systems with the Pleistocene evolution of the Ohio River. This research has shown that speleogenesis was closely related to the base level changes driven by changes in global climate. The Carter Caves Karst (CCK) in northeastern Kentucky has been poorly studied relative to the MCS to the west and the CPK karst to the east. Previously, no attempt had been made to delineate speleogenetic levels in the CCK and relate them to the evolution of the Ohio River. In an attempt to understand cave level development in CCK we compiled cave entrance elevations and locations. The CCK system is a fluviokarst typical of many karst systems formed in the Paleozoic carbonates of the temperate mid-continent of North America. The CCK discharges into Tygarts Creek, which ultimately flows north to join the Ohio River. The lithostratigraphic context of the karst is the Mississippian Age carbonates of the Slade Formation. Karst development is influenced by both bedding and structural controls. We hypothesize that cave level development is controlled by base level changes in the Ohio River, similar to the relationships documented in MCS and the karst of the Cumberland Plateau The location and elevation of cave entrances in the CCK was analyzed using a GIS and digital elevation models (DEMs). Our analysis segregated the cave entrances into four distinct elevation bands that we are interpreting as distinct cave levels. The four cave levels have mean elevations (relative to sea level) of 228 m (L1), 242 m (L2), 261 m (L3), and 276 m (L4). The highest level—L4—has an average elevation 72 m above the modern surface stream channel. The lowest level—L1—is an average of 24 m above the modern base level stream, Tygarts Creek. The simplest model for interpreting the cave levels is as a response to an incremental incision of the surface streams in the area and concomitant adjustment of the water table elevation. The number of levels we have identified in the CCK area is consistent with the number delineated in the MCS and CPK. We suggest that this points toward the climatically-driven evolution of the Ohio River drainage as controlling the speleogenesis of the CCK area 


Temporal Stability of Cave Sediments, 2011, Peterson E. W. , Hughes K.

Sediments within cave systems have been examined concerning source, mineralogy, and transport potential. While sediments in the thalweg are very mobile, the entrainment potential of the sediment piles has not been examined. Over the course of nine months, sediment piles in a Missouri cave were sampled to determine the stability of the piles and of the sediment properties. Sediment cores were analyzed for dry bulk density (ρd), porosity (n), volumetric wetness (θ), organic content (O.C.), hydraulic conductivity (K), and sediment particle size distribution. Observational evidence, deposited sediment and deformation of previous sample holes, suggests that despite elevated flows, the sediment piles were not mobilized over the course of the nine months. Physical properties remained constant at each location, but varied among the various locations. Dry bulk density values ranged between 1.2 g/cm 3 to 1.5 g/cm 3 . Porosity values were 0.42 to 0.57. Volumetric wetness showed similar variation ranging from 0.38 to 0.53. Organic content had the highest variation among the parameters ranging from 1.24 percent at one site to 4.84 percent at another. Hydraulic conductivity ranged from 2.13×10 -7 m/s to 3.10×10 -7 m/s. 


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