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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 moisture weight percentage is the moisture content expressed as a percentage of the oven-dry weight of a soil [22].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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What is Karstbase?



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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 orleans (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
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Willems L. , Lenoir F. , Levecq J. M. , Vicat J. P. ,
The observation of several forms in the Precambrian formations, in Tertiary and Quaternary deposits brings us to propose a model of topographic evolution mainly generated by a pseudo-karst. This latter is developed in sedimentary deposits and in the lithomargin, in relation with fracturation of the basement

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Stoessell R. K. , Moore Y. H. , Coke J. G. ,
Dissolution of carbonate minerals in the coastal halocline is taking place in the karst terrain along the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. The dissolution is being accelerated in cenotes (sinkholes) where sulfate reduction and oxidation of the produced sulfide is occurring. Hydrogen-sulfide concentrations ranged from 0.06 to 4 mmolal within the halocline in two sinkholes. Relative to concentrations expected by conservative mixing, fluids with high hydrogen-sulfide concentrations were correlated with low sulfate concentrations, high alkalinities, low pH values, and heavy sulfur isotope values for sulfate. Hydrogen-sulfide concentrations were less than those predicted from sulfate reduction, calculated from deficiencies in measured sulfate concentrations, indicating mobility and loss of aqueous sulfide. Fluids with low hydrogen-sulfide concentrations were correlated with very high calcium concentrations, high strontium and sulfate concentrations, slightly elevated alkalinities, low pH values, and sea-water sulfur isotope values for sulfate. Gypsum dissolution is supported by the sulfur isotopes as the major process producing high sulfate concentrations. However, oxidation of aqueous sulfide to sulfuric acid, resulting in carbonate-mineral dissolution is needed to explain the calcium concentrations, low pH values, and only slightly elevated alkalinities. The halocline may trap hydrogen sulfide that has been stripped from the underlying anoxic salt water. The halocline can act as a stable, physical boundary, holding some of the hydrogen sulfide until it is oxidized back to sulfuric acid through interaction with the overlying, oxygenated fresh water or through the activity of sulfide-oxidizing bacteria

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Stoessell R. K. ,
A range of hydrodynamic dispersion coefficients was estimated for fracture-fluid and combined fracture and pore-fluid now within the halocline of the limestone aquifer forming the surface of the northern Yucatan Peninsula. The coefficients are fit parameters in a model reproducing observed halocline profiles in a sinkhole and in a borehole near the northeastern coast. Fitted coefficients range from 10(-7) to 10(-4) cm(2)/sec, of which molecular diffusion, without transverse (vertical) dispersion, can account for 10(-7) to 10(-5) cm(2)/sec. The mechanical stability of the vertical density gradient in the halocline dampens transverse dispersion in pore fluids and in fracture fluids that are transitional between laminar and turbulent flow. The dampening is proportional to the ratio of the energy needed for the fluid to rise and displace a less dense fluid to the vertical component of the kinetic energy of the fluid. The ratio of these two energies is at a maximum during the initial stage of development of a halocline and decreases as the halocline widens

Relations between the structure of storage and the transport of chemical compounds in karstic aquifers, 1997,
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Vaute L. , Drogue C. , Garrelly L. , Ghelfenstein M. ,
Study of the movement of chemical compounds naturally present in the water, or which result from pollution, are examined according to the reservoir structure in karstic aquifers. Structure is represented by a simple geometrical model; slow Row takes place in blocks with a network of low-permeability cracks. The blocks are separated by highly permeable karstic conduits that allow rapid flow, and these form the aquifer drainage system. The karat studied covers 110 km(2). It is fed by an interrupted stream draining a 35 km(2) non-karstic basin, contaminated at the entry to the karst by effluents from a sewage treatment station. The underground water reappears as a resurgence with an annual average flow of approximately 1 m(3) s(-1), after an apparent underground course of 8 km in the karst. Several local sources of pollution (effluent from septic tanks) contaminate the underground water during its course. Sixteen measurement operations were performed at 12 water points, between the interrupted stream and the spring. Some sampling points were at drains, and others were in the low-permeability fissured blocks. Comparison at each point of the concentrations of 14 chemical compounds gave the following results: when pollutant discharge occurs in a permeable zone, movement is rapid in the drainage network formed by the karstic conduits, and does not reach the less permeable fissured blocks which are thus protected; however, if discharge is in a low-permeability zone, the flow does not allow rapid movement of the polluted water, and this increases the pollutant concentration at the discharge, This simple pattern can be upset by a reversal of the apparent piezometric gradient between a block and a conduit during Floods or pumping; this may reverse flow directions and hence modify the movement of contaminants. The study made it possible to site five boreholes whose positions in the karstic structure were unknown, showing the interest of such an approach for the forecasting of the impact of potential pollution.

Oxidation of organic matter in a karstic hydrologic unit supplied through stream sinks (Loiret, France), 1998,
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Alberic P, Lepiller M,
The aim of this paper is to appraise the ability of the oxidation of riverine organic matter in the control of limestone dissolution, in a karst network. Biogeochemical processes during infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer have already been described for an average flow velocity of 4-5 m d(-1) (Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R, and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706; Von Gunten, H. R., Karametaxas, G., Krahenbuhl, U., Kuslys, M., Giovanoli R., Hoehn E. and Keil R. (1991) Seasonal biogeochemical cycles in riverborne groundwater. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 55, 3597-3609; Bourg, A. C. M. and Bertin, C. (1993) Quantitative appraisal of biogeochemical chemical processes during the infiltration of river water into an alluvial aquifer. Environ. Sci. Technol. 27, 661-666). Karstic drainage networks, such as in the River Loire-Val d'Orleans hydrologic system (Fig. 1), make possible flow velocities up to 200 m h(-1 a) and provide convenient access to different water samples several tens of km apart, at both extremities of the hydrologic unit (Chery, J.-L. (1983) Etude hydrochimique d'un aquifere karstique alimente par perte de cours d'eau (la Loire): Le systeme des calcaires de Beauce sous le val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans; Livrozet, E. (1984) Influence des apports de la Loire sur la qualite bacteriologique et chimique de l'aquifere karstique du val d'Orleans. These, Universite d'Orleans). Recharge of the karstic aquifer occurs principally from influent waters from stream sinks, either through coarse alluvial deposits or directly from outcrops of the regional limestone bedrock (Calcaires de Beauce). Recharge by seepage waters From the local catchment basin is small (Zunino, C., Bonnet, M. and Lelong, F. (1980) Le Val d'Orleans: un exemple d'aquifere a alimentation laterale. C. R. somm. Soc. Geol. Fr. 5, 195-199; Gonzalez R. (1992) Etude de l'organisation et evaluation des echanges entre la Loire moyenne et l'aquifere des calcaires de Beauce. These, Universite d'Orleans) and negligible in summer. This karstic hydrologic: system is the largest in France in terms of flow (tens to hundreds of m(3)/s) and provides the main water resource of the city of Orleans. Chemical compositions of influent waters (River Loire) and effluent waters (spring of the river Loiret) were compared, in particular during floods in summer 1992 and 1993 (Figs 2-4). Variation of chloride in the River Loire during the stream rise can be used as an environmental tracer of the underground flow (Fig. 2). Short transit times of about 3 days are detectable (Fig, 2) which are consistent with earlier estimations obtained with chemical tracers (Ref. in Chery, J.-L. (1983) These, Universite d'Orleans). Depending on the hydrological regime of the river, organic carbon discharge ranges between 3-7 and 2-13 mg/l for dissolved and particulate matter respectively (Fig. 3). Eutrophic characteristics and high algal biomasses are found in the River Loire during low water (Lair, N. and Sargos, D. (1993) A 10 year study at four sites of the middle course of the River Loire. I - Patterns of change in hydrological, physical and chemical variables in relation to algal biomass. Hudroecol. Appl. 5, 1-27) together with more organic carbon rich suspended particulate matter than during floods (30-40 C-org % dry weight versus 5-10%). Amounts of total organic carbon and dissolved oxygen (Fig. 3) dramatically decrease during the underground transport, whereas conversely, dissolved calcium, alkalinity and inorganic carbon increase (Fig. 4). Anoxia of outflows map start in April. Dissolution of calcium carbonates along the influent path outweighs closed system calcite equilibrium of inflow river waters (Table 3). The impact of organic matter oxidation on calcite dissolution may be traced by variations of alkalinity and total carbonates in water. Following, Jacobs, L. A., von Gunten, H. R., Keil, R. and Kuslys, M. (1988) Geochemical changes along a river-groundwater infiltration flow path: Glattfelden, Switzerland. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 2693-2706), results are shown graphically (Fig. 5). Extent of reactions is controlled by the consumption of dissolved O-2 and nitrate for organic matter oxidation and by the release of Ca2 for calcite dissolution (Table 2). The karstic network is considered to behave like a biological reactor not exchanging with the atmosphere, with steady inhabitant microbial communities (Mariotti A., Landreau A, and Simon B. (1988) N-15 isotope biogeochemisrry and natural denitrification process in groundwater: Application to the chalk aquifer of northern France. Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 52, 1869-1878; Gounot, A.-M. (1991) Ecologie microbienne des eaux ei des sediments souterrains. Hydrogeologie, 239-248). Thus, energy requirements only are considered, not carbon assimilation. Moreover, there is no necessity to invoke any delay for nitrification enhancement, as observed elsewhere, after waste water discharge into the river (Chesterikoff, A., Garban, B., Billen, G. and Poulin, M. (1992) Inorganic nitrogen dynamics in the River Seine downstream from Paris (France). Biogeochem. 17, 147-164). Main microbial processes are assumed to be aerobic respiration, nitrification and denitrification. Reactions with iron and manganese, real but not quantitatively important, were neglected. Sulphate reduction and methane formation, certainly not active, were not considered. Denitrification, which is suggested by low nitrate and ammonium concentrations and anoxia in the outflow, is known to be rapid enough to be achieved in a short time (Dupain, S. (1992) Denitrification biologique heterotrophe appliquee au traitement des eaux d'alimentation: Conditions de fonclionnement et mise au point d'un procede. These, Universite Claude Bernard, Lyon). Reaction are somewhat arbitrary but conform to general acceptance (Morel, M. M. and Hering, J. G. (1993) Principles and Applications of Aquatic Chemistry. Wiley, New York). Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (Mulder A., van de Graaf, A. A., Robertson, L: A. and Kuenen, J. G. (1995) Anaerobic ammonium oxidation discovered in a denitrifying fluidized bed reactor. FEMS Microbiol. Ecol. 16, 177-184). although possible, was not considered. In fact, C/N ratio of the reactive organic matter has only mild repercussions on the results; i.e. in the same range as the analytical errors for alkalinity and total carbonates. The objective was simply to roughly confront characteristics of outflowing waters and the calculation. Respective roles of aerobes and denitrifiers, for instance, are not certain. Several periods during low water or floods were selected with various ranges for calcium dissolution or nitrate and oxygen concentrations. The result is that in most cases simulation and data are in reasonable accordance (Fig. 5). Amounts of organic matter in River Loire are generally sufficient to sustain the process (Table 3. Particulate organic matter is probably the most reactive. The balance of oxidation of organic matter indicates that about 65 mu g C-org/l.h are oxidized during the transport without much variation with the river regime or organic discharge. It is concluded that limestone dissolution is directly dependent on organic matter oxidation, but variation occurs (7-29 mg CuCO3/l) with the level of bases that can be neutralized in the River Loire water. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Inverse modeling of the hydrological and the hydrochemical behavior of hydrosystems: Characterization of karst system functioning, 2001,
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Pinault J. L. , Plagnes V. , Aquilina L. , Bakalowicz M. ,
Inverse modeling of mass transfer characterizes the dynamic processes affecting the function of karst systems and can be used to identify karst properties. An inverse model is proposed to calculate unit hydrographs as well as impulse response of fluxes from rainfall-runoff or rainfall-flux data, the purpose of which is hydrograph separation. Contrary to what hydrologists have been doing for years, hydrograph separation is carried out by using transfer functions in their entirety, which enables accurate separation of fluxes, as was explained in the companion paper [Pinault et al., this issue]. The unit hydrograph as well as impulse response of fluxes is decomposed into a quick and a slow component, and, consequently, the effective rainfall is decomposed into two parts, one contributing to the quick flow (or flux) and the other contributing to the slow flow generation. This approach is applied to seven French karstic aquifers located on the Larzac plateau in the Grands Causses area (in the south of France). Both hydrodynamical and hydrogeochemical data have been recorded from these springs over several hydrological cycles. For modeling purposes, karst properties can be represented by the impulse responses of flow and flux of dissolved species. The heterogeneity of aquifers is translated to time-modulated flow and transport at the outlet. Monitoring these fluxes enables the evaluation of slow and quick components in the hydrograph. The quick component refers to the 'flush flow' effect and results from fast infiltration in the karst conduit network when connection is established between the infiltration and phreatic zones, inducing an increase in water head. This component reflects flood events where flow behavior is nonlinear and is described by a very short transfer function, which increases and decreases according to water head. The slow component consists of slow and fast infiltration, underground runoff, storage in annex-to-drain systems, and discharge from the saturated zone. These components can be further subdivided by measuring chemical responses at the karst outlet. Using Such natural tracers enables the slow component of the unit hydrograph to be separated into preevent water, i.e., water of the reservoir and event water, i.e., water whose origin can be related to a particular rainfall event. These measurements can be used to determine the rate of water renewal. Since the preevent water hydrograph is produced by stored water when pushed by a rainfall event and the event water hydrograph reflects rainwater transfer, separating the two components can yield insights into the characteristics of karst aquifers, the modes of infiltration, and the mechanisms involved in karstification, as well as the degree of organization of the aquifer

Localization of saturated karst aquifer with magnetic resonance sounding and resistivity imagery, 2003,
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Vouillamoz J. M. , Legchenko A. , Albouy Y. , Bakalowicz M. , Baltassat J. M. , Alfares W. ,
To answer one of the main questions of hydrogeologists implementing boreholes or working on pollution questions in a karst environment-i.e., where is the ground water?-numerous tools including geophysics are used. However, the contribution of geophysics differs from one method to the other. The magnetic resonance sounding (MRS) method has the advantage of direct detection of ground water over other geophysical methods. Eight MRSs were implemented over a known karst conduit explored and mapped by speleologists to estimate the MRS ability to localize ground water. Two direct current resistivity imageries (DC-2D imagery) were also implemented to check their capability to map a known cave. We found that the MRS is a useful tool to locate ground water in karst as soon as the quantity of water is enough to be detected. The threshold quantity is a function of depth and it was estimated by forward modeling to propose a support graph to hydrogeologists. The measured MRS's signals could be used to calculate transmissivity and permeability estimators. These estimators were used to map and to draw a cross section of the case study site, which underline accurately the known karst conduit location and depth. We also found that the DC-2D imagery could underline the karst structures: It was able to detect the known cave through its associated faults. We prepared a computer simulation to check the depth of such a cave to induce resistivity anomaly which could be measured in similar conditions

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

Characterizing a coastal karst aquifer using an inverse modeling approach: The saline springs of Thau, southern France, 2004,
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Pinault J. L. , Doerfliger N. , Ladouche B. , Bakalowicz M. ,
[1] A methodological approach using inverse modeling was used to characterize the functioning of the deep and shallow reservoirs of the Thau karst aquifer system. Three springs were monitored at the convergence of rising saline water diluted with shallow groundwater in karst conduits and unmixed shallow groundwater that behaves as confined groundwater. In such a method, impulse responses of flow and fluxes are combined in order to separate hydrographs. The model explains the salinity and hydraulic head variations of the submarine and inland springs. It confirms and improves the conceptual model of this groundwater system in which mixing of saline and subsurface waters occurs. The different forces driving the upward flowing mixed water into the drainage axis and faults were studied in order to elucidate the springs' functioning. A comparative study of spring functioning is proposed, which clearly shows the very high sensitivity of the groundwater system to changes in recharge and discharge conditions

Natural and EDTA-complexed lanthanides used as a geochemical probe for aquifers: a case study of Orleans valley's alluvial and karstic aquifers, 2005,
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Borgne Fl, Treuil M, Joron Jl, Lepiller M,
The transit of chemical elements within the different parts of Orleans valley's aquifer is studied by two complementary methods. Those methods rely on the fractionation of lanthanides (Ln) during their migration in natural waters. The first method consists in studying natural lanthanides patterns within the watershed, at its entries and exits. The second one lies on multi-tracer experiments with Ln-EDTA complexes. This work is completed through an observation network consisting of 52 piezometers set on a sand and gravel quarry, and the natural entries and exits of the aquifer. Orleans valley's aquifer, which is made of an alluvial watershed lying on a karstic aquifer, is mainly fed by the Loire river via a large karstic network. At the entries of the aquifer (Loire river at Jargeau), the Ln concentrations in the dissolved fraction (< 0,22 {micro}m) vary with the flow of the river. During floods, Loire river waters display bulk continental crust-like Ln compositions with a slight enrichment in heavy Ln from Dy to Lu. When the Loire river flow becomes low level, the crust-normalised Ln patterns show a depletion in light Ln whereas Lu concentrations remain identical. The same evolution spatially occurs between the entries and exits of the karstic network. Spring waters are depleted in light Ln relative to the Loire river whereas heavy Ln (Yb, Lu) remain constant during transit. Furthermore, the depletion in light Ln increases with the distance between entries and exits. Tracer experiments using EDTA-complexed Ln within and between the alluvial and calcareous parts of the watershed have shown that complexed Ln are fractionated across all these geological strata. The recoveries of tracers always follow the order light Ln < heavy Ln. Moreover, both sediments analyses and filtering experiments at a porosity of 0,02 {micro}m show that, in the presence of EDTA, Ln adsorb onto sediments and colloids in the order light Ln > heavy Ln. On the other hand, the filtration of alluvial groundwater with high colloids content induces no significant Ln fractionation when the solution contains no strong chelating agent. Hence, the transit of natural and artificial Ln in Orleans valley aquifer can be explained by two complementary processes. (1) Decanting/filtering or, on the opposite, stirring of colloids. Those processes induce no important Ln fractionation. (2) Exchanges of Ln between solute complexes, colloids and sediments due to the presence of strong chelating agents. Those exchanges fractionate the Ln in the order of their stability constants. Considering the natural Ln fractionation that occurs in the Loire river and in the studied aquifer, the carbonates, the stability constants of which follow the order light Ln < heavy Ln, are the best candidates as natural strong chelating agents. From the hydrodynamic point of view, both tracer experiments and natural Ln concentrations show that the transfer of elements within the alluvial watershed is pulsed by the Loire river movements. During an ascent phase, the elements migrate away from and perpendicularly to the karstic channels direction. During the river descent, horizontal flows are quasi absent and migrations are mainly vertical from the alluvia down to the calcareous part of the aquifer. Due to those hydrodynamic characteristics, alluvia and non fissured limestone have a high dynamic confining capacity. Elements with high affinity for solid or colloidal phases (e.g. light Ln) have an increased confining capacity in the whole aquifer, by sorption and colloid filtration within the alluvia and at the alluvial-calcareous interface, and by colloid decanting within the karstic channels. Overall, this model combines two components. The first one, hydrodynamical, results from the repartition of the loads pulsed by river Loire through the karst. The second one physico-chemical, results from the element distribution mainly controlled by colloide/solute complexes exchange coefficients

Role of karst in the nickeliferous mineralisations of New Caledonia, 2005,
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Genna A, Maurizot P, Lafoy Y, Auge T,
Fracturing associated with the nickeliferous mineralisations of New Caledonia has been Successively considered as pre-dating and then post-dating the metallogenic processes. On the basis of a study of the dynamics of karst contemporaneous with lateritisation, a new emplacement model is proposed for the mineralisation: a network of hydraulic fractures of the crack-seal type governs the emplacement of mineralisation, associated with a network of normal faults that controls the sinking and evacuation of the karst products. (C) 2004 Academie des sciences. Publie par Elsevier SAS. Tons droits reserves

Hydrogeochemical balance sheet of natural and anthropogenic impacts onto Orleans valley karstic network performed with major elements : the 'dynamic confinement' model quantification, 2006,
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Le Borgne Francois, Treuil Michel, Joron Jean Louis, Lepiller Michel,
The Orleans valley aquifer comprises both the alluvia of the Loire river and its underlying calcareous stratum. This aquifer is fed by river recharge, thanks to a substantial karstic network in its calcareous part. The main outlets of the aquifer are the Loiret springs, including the famous 'le Bouillon' spring. As a result, entries and exits of Orleans valley watertable make a natural observatory, allowing study of the transit of the chemical species inside the aquifer. Since 1997, this natural observatory has been improved with the installation of 52 piezometers (37 in the alluvial aquifer and 15 in the carbonate aquifer) within an alluvial quarry located in the middle of Orleans valley. Tracer experiments, carried out in this extended observatory, have shown that the porous calcareous and alluvial part of the aquifer constitute a 'dynamically confined system'. As a result, the hydrochemical input of the porous domain of the aquifer to the karstic flow must be negligible. The aim of this study is to confirm this theory with the use of major elements as large-scale temporal and spatial tracers of these exchanges. At 'le Bouillon' karstic spring, the Na, K, Mg2, Cl- and SO42- concentrations are closely correlated to those of the Loire river if a 3-4 day time lag is considered. This indicates a quasi-conservative transit of these elements in the karst. Conversely, calcite dissolution accompanying the organic matter biodegradation induces significant enrichments in Ca2, HCO3- and NO3- (mean annual concentrations of which are, respectively, 27.0, 87.8 and 4.9 mg.L-1 in the Loire river and 37.3, 127 et 7.3 mg.L-1 at 'le Bouillon' spring). After fertiliser spreading, the alluvial waters are highly enriched in NO3-, Cl-, SO42- (respectively 67.2, 24.0, 57.5 mg.L-1) compared to the Loire river (respectively 5.5, 12.7, 17.5 mg.L-1). The anthropogenic input is insignificant for Na, of which the average concentration in the alluvial watershed (11.7 mg.L-1) remains close to the Loire river (12.9 mg.L-1). The alluvial watershed is depleted in K (1.3 mg.L-1) with respect to the Loire river (3.7 mg.L-1) and correlatively enriched in Mg2 (17.0 mg.L-1 against 5.0 mg.L-1). High major element concentrations are measured in several calcareous piezometers confirming that vertical flows occur between the alluvial and calcareous parts of the aquifer. Furthermore, enrichment heterogeneity in those two strata is induced by a dynamic redistribution, with no significant leaching of anthropogenic inputs which were previously homogeneously spread. This redistribution is pulsed by ascents of the Loire river, impacts of which on the watershed are clearly identified on Mg/K-Na/K diagrams showing a main K {leftrightarrows} Mg exchange between Loire water and clays minerals. Taking into account average K and Mg concentrations in the different parts of Orleans valley's watershed, the volume of porous aquifer water brought to the karstic network flow mean estimated is 2.4 % of the total volume which transits between the Loire and the 'le Bouillon' spring, showing the dynamic confining action of the aquifer porous domain. Taking into account more precisely seasonal river Loire and spring composition variation, these inputs can be more precisely established : 1.6% during winter and 1.2% during summer at 'Le Bouillon' spring; 2.4% during winter and 3.9% during summer at 'La Pie' spring. But such a weak global contribution of the porous domain accounts for 10% nitrate composition of the karstic springs. Seasonal spring nitrate composition balance is clearly explained by 60% river Loire, 30 % organic matter oxydation - carbonate dissolution and 10% porous domain inputs during winter, and 30% river Loire, 60% organic matter, - carbonate dissolution and 10% porous domain inputs. Same calcium mass balance calculations point out the necessity of CO2 winter complementary input by local rain fall penetrations

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