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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 volumetric flowmeter is apparatus designed to measure a volume flow rate [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for quantification (Keyword) returned 32 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 32
Seminar on Karst Denudation - Quantification of Limestone erosion in Intertidal, Subaerial and Subsoil Environments with special reference to Aldabra Atoll, Indian Ocean, 1972, Trudgill S. T.

Biology of the Caves at Sinkhole Flat, Eddy County, New Mexico, 1996, Cokendolpher, J. C. , Polyak, V. J.
Quantification of limestone petrology and structure in a 25 km section of the northern Vaca Plateau, Belize, facilitated development of a model of speleogenesis and evolution of area caves and the karst landscape. The limestones in the study area are mostly depositional breccias developed between the mid-Cretaceous and mid-Tertiary adjacent to the emergent Maya Mountain Fault Block. Micritic and some fossiliferous-pelletic lithoclasts of the Cretaceous Campur Formation are cemented by sparite which formed in a shallow-sea high energy environment adjacent to the emergent area. Planes of structural weakness developed in the Campur Limestone have similar orientations to contemporary karst landform features including solution valleys, the long-axis of depressions, and cave passages. This correspondence suggests an important structural control on the formation and evolution of area caves and the karst landscape. Base level modification by way of valley incision and the development of secondary permeability enhanced interfluve development, causing caves to be truncated along valley sides and abandoned as active flow routes. The dry valleys and stair-step cave profiles indicate that the lowering of base level through time was interspersed with stable periods when horizontal cave passages were excavated.

Temporal variations of spring water temperatures in relation to the extents of the heat transport modes occuring in the karstified lower Gypsum-Keuper aquifer (Karnian, southern Germany)., 1997, Buiidscliiih J.
The importance of different heat transport modes was studied by analysis of the temporal sequences of spring water temperatures in a karstic aquifer. For the aquifer with a horizontal groundwater flow and flow velocities of more than 100 m year"SUP-1", model calculations indicate that horizontal heat transport in the aquifer occurs predominantly by convection. For vertical heat transport from the earth's surface, conduction and convection are implicated in varying degrees; in order to indicate these, the temporal series of the spring water temperatures were separated into their conductively and convectively components. Generally this can yield valuable information about the properties of thin surface-near aquifers. Thus, the quantification of a heat component transported vertically by convection into the aquifer can provide evidence of hydraulic conductivities as potential infiltration routes for contaminants.

Karst aquifer genesis - Modelling approaches and controlling parameters, 1997, Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Clemens T. , Hiickinghaus D.
The quantification of regional groundwater flow and the transport of dissolved substances in a karst system generally poses problems in parameter identification as well as in the modelling of the above processes. On the other hand, available qualitative and quantitative geological information on the history of the development of karst aquifers, which can provide information on the distribution of karstitied horizons within the modelled domain, are generally not considered. A model has been developed, capable of simulating the interactions between the different processes, i.e. flow, transport coupled with carbonate dissolution, taking into account the varying boundary conditions, e.g. changes in geological and geomorphological (base level) and climatic conditions (recharge depth, temperature). A sensitivity analysis of the duration of karstification to changes in climatic parameters and physico-chemical constants of carbonate dissolution shows that the equilibrium concentration of calcium and the initial diameter of the conduits are very dominant factors.

Lanthanide-labeled clay: A new method for tracing sediment transport in karst, 1998, Mahler B. J. , Bennett P. C. , Zimmerman M. ,
Mobile sediment is a fundamental yet poorly characterized aspect of mass transport through karst aquifers. Here the development and field testing of an extremely sensitive particle tracer that may be used to characterize sediment transport in karst aquifers is described. The tracer consists of micron-size montmorillonite particles homoionized to the lanthanide form; after injection and retrieval from a ground water system, the lanthanide ions are chemically stripped from the clay and quantified by high performance liquid chromatography, The tracer meets the following desired criteria: low detection limit; a number of differentiable signatures; inexpensive production and quantification using standard methods; no environmental risks; and hydrodynamic properties similar to the in situ sediment it is designed to trace. The tracer was tested in laboratory batch experiments and field tested in both surface water and ground water systems. In surface water, arrival times of the tracer were similar to those of a conservative water tracer, although a significant amount of material was lost due to settling. Two tracer tests were undertaken in a karst aquifer under different flow conditions. Under normal flow conditions, the time of arrival and peak concentration of the tracer were similar to or preceded that of a conservative water tracer. Under low flow conditions, the particle tracer was not detected, suggesting that in low flow the sediment settles out of suspension and goes into storage

Toward understanding transport in the Floridan karst, 1999, Loper D.
There is a strong need for better scientific knowledge of groundwater behavior in Floridan-type karstic aquifers and for better mechanisms to transfer such knowledge into practiceTo facilitate this transfer, a new scientific organization called the Hydrogeology Consortium has recently been establishedThe Consortium is described in detail elsewhere in this volumeIts mission is to cooperatively provide scientific knowledge applicable to groundwater resource management and protectionA necessary adjunct to the mission of the Consortium is the development of better models of transport and dispersion in karstic aquifersA first step in this development is elucidation of the shortcomings of the standard model of dispersionIn this model, dispersion is represented by an effective diffusivity, called the dispersion coefficient, which is the product of the mean flow speed and the decorrelation distanceIt is shown that this model does not correctly describe dispersion in an aquifer having porosity that is weakly correlated on a large scaleThat is, the concept of a decorrelation distance is not viable for a non-homogeneous aquiferOne approach toward the quantification of transport and dispersion in karstic aquifers to model the aquifer as a classic Darcian porous medium riddled by a distribution of macroscopic conduitsThe flow properties of this model are compatible with the standard Darcian model, but its transport equation is non-autonomous; it has coefficients that depend on the elapsed time

Quantification of matrix, fracture and channel contributions to storage and flow in a Paleozoic carbonate, 1999, Worthington S. R. H. , Davies G. J. , Ford D. C.

Forme et rugosit des surfaces karstiques. Consquences pour une thorie spatiale et fractale de linterface terrestre, 2000, Martin, Philippe
This text proposes a theoretical, hypothetical and speculative approach of the transformation of earth's surfaces. This reflection is based on the notion of otherness. Our approach uses two oppositions: levelled/ roughness and karstic/ non karstic. The dimension of the roughness surfaces is understood between 2 and 3. The dimension of the surfaces of levelling is close to 2. Quantifications showed that massifs are limited by surfaces more or less irregular. In certain cases, the erosion transforms so a surface of levelling into rough surface. In that case initial shape is not preserved. The levellings on the karstic massifs (outliers often) seem better preserved (karstic immunity) than on the other rocks. This conservation would explain a weak value of the fractal dimension of air surfaces of karsts tested always with the same protocol (relation S PD). They were compared with the surfaces of reliefs of basal complex. Three ideas summarise obtained results: [1] The average of fractal dimensions of karsts are smaller than those of the relief of basal complex. [2] The dispersal of the mean values of surface of karst is lower to the dispersal of the mean values of basal complex. [3] Distance between minimal and maximal values for karsts is much bigger than distance between minimal and maximal values for basal complex. To explain the weak roughness of karsts we made three hypotheses: [a] These fragments would correspond to zones still not affected by the erosion (time problem) [b] In such a system some changes on a plan would prevent changes on the another plan (spatial problem) [c] Initial shape is replaced by a similar shape (Platon's Parmnide). The endokarst is described empirically and by analogy with the fractal model of Sierpinski's sponge as a unique surface infinitely folded up in a limited volume. So the growth of the karstic spaces in the endokarst, increases almost until the infinity, the size of the internal surface of the karst. To find a theoretical base at the roughness and at the extreme size of these surfaces, we studied the report between the growth of a volume and the growth of the surface, which limits this volume. Three theoretical models show that if surfaces do not change, volume to be affected by unity of surface grows strongly. Eroded volume depends on the size of the exposed surface. If the eroded volume depends on the size of the exposed surface, then time to erase a mountain could be, in theory, infinite. This is not acceptable because a massif can be erased in about 200 Ma. According to analogies with different morphogenesis (physical, biologic), we make the hypothesis that fractal character, of surfaces of the massifs corresponds to the necessity of increasing, as much as possible, the size of the surface subjected to the erosion so as to decrease the time of destruction of the relief. This is coherent with the idea of a system far from the balance, which tends to join the state of balance as quickly as possible by developing specific morphologies. Distance between the relief and the lower limit of the potential of erosion is then introduced as a factor being able to explain the small roughness of high continental surfaces. The reduction of the volume by erosion is cause (and not consequence) of the decrease of the roughness. The surface can become less rough because volume decreases. The surface of levelling constitutes the final morphology, which is transformed only very slowly. In this perspective the dynamics allows only the fulfillment of spatial rules. In the case of the karst, because of the existence of the subterranean part of the karstic surface and its roughness, it is not useful that air part becomes very rough. Levellings would be preserved by geometrical uselessness to destroy them. They would not correspond to forms in respite as implies him the temporal analysis (hypothesis [a]), but to forms corresponding to a particular balance (hypothesis [b]) who would even be locally transformed (karstic levelling) into the same shape (hypothesis [c]). This theoretical plan supplies with more an explanation on the visible contradiction between the speed of the karstic erosion and the durability of levellings.

Quantification of thermo-erosion in pro-glacial areas - examples from Svalbard, 2000, Etzelmuller B,
Surface changes in recently deglaciated terrain are calculated by comparing air-photo derived digital elevation models (DEMs) from four pro-glacial areas on Svalbard. The paper quantifies the amount of material mobilised due to thermo-karst processes and discusses the influence of the process on the sediment budget of terrestrial arctic glacier basins underlain by permafrost. The study shows that thermo-erosion in deglaciated terrain is an important process which falls within the concept of paraglacial activity. The average annual material mobilisation due to thermo-erosion can be in the same order of magnitude as field-measured total annual suspended sediment transfer out of the catchments. The study implies further that ice-cored moraines are important sediment magazines, which release more material during warmer periods than during colder periods

On flow and transport of miscible tracers in the vadose zone, 2000, Loboferreira J. P. , Leitã, O Teresa, Quigley Seá, N P. , Theves Thomas

The paper presents a synthesis of LNEC's contribution to the European Commission (DGXII) Contract n° CI1*-CT94-0014 (DG 12 HSMU), based on the results reported by Lobo-Ferreira et al. (1998). The main contribution of LNEC to the project was the development of flow and transport experiments, for different flow type conditions (i.e. saturated and unsaturated). These included experiments at: (1) different scales (two scales in the laboratory and one in a medium scale - artificial aquifer), (2) different saturation conditions, and (3) different tracers (MgCl2, CaCl2, NO3-, Ni, Cd). The goals of the experiments were threefold: (1) analysis and quantification of the physical parameters that control circulation in this zone (hydraulic conductivity correspondent to the degree of saturation etc.); (2) determination and quantification of the more important processes that control the chemical behaviour of heavy metals and nitrate, and (3) to obtain data for calibrating the numerical models.


Recent active faults in Belgian Ardenne revealed in Rochefort Karstic network (Namur Province, Belgium), 2001, Vandycke S. , Quinif Y. ,
This paper presents observations of recent faulting activity in the karstic network of the Rochefort Cave (Namur Province, Belgium, Europe). The principal recent tectonic features are bedding planes reactivated as normal faults, neo-formatted normal faults in calcite flowstone, fresh scaling, extensional features, fallen blocks and displacement of karstic tube. The seismotectonic aspect is expanded by the presence of fallen blocks where normally the cavity must be very stable and in equilibrium. Three main N 070degrees fault planes and a minor one affect, at a decimetre scale, the karst features and morphology. The faults are still active because recent fresh scaling and fallen blocks are observable. The breaking of Holocene soda straw stalactites and displacements of artificial features observed since the beginning of the tourist activity, in the last century, also suggest very recent reactivation of these faults. This recent faulting can be correlated to present-day tectonic activity, already evidenced by earthquakes in the neighbouring area. Therefore, karstic caves are favourable sites for the observation and the quantification of recent tectonic activity because they constitute a 3-D framework, protected from erosion. Fault planes with this recent faulting present slickensides. Thus a quantitative analysis in term of stress inversion, with the help of striated faults, has permitted to reconstruct the stress tensor responsible for the brittle deformation. The principal NW-SE extension (sigma(3) horizontal) is nearly perpendicular to that of the present regional stress as illustrated by the analysis of the last strong regional earthquake (Roermond, The Netherlands) in 1992. During the Meso-Cenozoic, the main stress tectonics recorded in this part of the European platform is similar to the present one with a NE-SW direction of extension. The discrepancy between the regional stress field and the local stress in the Rochefort cave can be the result of the inversion of the sigma(2) and sigma(3) axes of the stress ellipsoid due to its symmetry or of a local modification at the ground surface of the crustal stress field as it has been already observed in active zones

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

Quantification of Macroscopic Subaerial Exposure Features in Carbonate Rocks, 2002, Budd Da, Gaswirth Sb, Oliver Wl,
The macroscopic features that characterize subaerial exposure surfaces in carbonates are well known, but their significance has not been quantitatively evaluated. This study presents such an analysis in the lower Oligocene Suwannee Limestone of west-central Florida. Eleven cores were point counted on a foot-by-foot basis for the abundance of caliche, rhizoliths, karst breccia, open vugs, infiltrated sediment, fractures, and pedogenic alteration. These features occur at and below intraformational exposure surfaces, which represent hiatuses estimated at 104 to 105 years, and an uppermost sequence-bounding unconformity representing 0.5 Myr, as revealed by Sr-isotope data. Statistical analyses of the point-count data reveal only a few significant relationships. (1) The hierarchy of exposure surfaces, and by inference duration of exposure, is differentiated only at a marginally significant level by sediment-filled vugs preferentially associated with the sequence boundary. Duration of exposure did not have a significant impact on the relative abundance of all other features. (2) Proximity (< 5 ft; 1.5 m) to any exposure surface is indicated only by rhizoliths, caliche, and pedogenic alteration, whereas karst breccia is preferentially found distal (> 5 ft) to both types of surfaces. Fractures, open vugs, and infiltrated sediment show no proximal or distal preference for either type of surface. (3) Depositional texture has no statistically significant affect on the presence or abundance of the exposure features, with the exception that rhizoliths and open vugs are preferentially more abundant in packstones relative to grainstones. This is interpreted to be the result of a soil-moisture effect. Factor analysis defines four factors that explain 46% to 52% of the total variance in the abundance data relative to the sequence boundary and the intraformational surfaces, respectively. The loading of each exposure feature on each factor is the same with respect to both types of surfaces, which is further evidence that the abundance of exposure features is independent of duration of exposure. Factor 1 is interpreted to be the amplitude of base-level changes and controls the abundance of karst breccia. Factor 2 is interpreted to be abundance of vegetation and relates to the abundance of rhizoliths and fractures. Factor 3 is interpreted to be a combination of soil-zone PCO2 and the availability of water and affects the abundance of pedogenic overprinting, caliche, and open vugs. Factor 4 is stratigraphic proximity to the sequence boundary, which controls the presence of sediment-filled voids. The amount of uncorrelated unique variance associated with infiltrated sediments, pedogenic overprinting, caliche, and open vugs is large (> 60%), meaning that feature abundance is also influenced by other unidentified site-specific factors. These results demonstrate that quantifying the abundance of macroscopic subaerial exposure features in limestones has the potential to yield more insight into the significance of those features than a mere qualitative assessment. This is particularly true when assessing the potential role of the many variables that can affect the development of these features

Measurement and analysis of dissolution patterns in rock fractures, 2002, Dijk P. E. , Berkowitz B. , Yechieli Y.

Nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI) is applied to noninvasively measure flow and dissolution patterns in natural, rough-walled, water-saturated halite fractures. Three-dimensional images of water density and flow velocity acquired with NMRI allow quantification of the developing fracture morphology and flow patterns. The flow patterns are correlated strongly to the local apertures and the large-scale wall roughness. The correlations of the dissolution patterns to the fracture morphology, flow patterns, and mineralogical composition of the rock matrix are a function of the overall dimensionless Damköhler number. At high Damköhler numbers the dissolution patterns are dominated by the flow structure. In addition, at high Damköhler numbers buoyancy (stratified flow) becomes important. In such cases the dissolution patterns also depend on the orientation and elevation of the fracture walls, resulting in preferential upward dissolution. At low Damköhler numbers the dissolution patterns depend mainly on the mineralogical composition of the rock matrix. These findings suggest that coupled flow and dissolution processes are much more complex and unpredictable than commonly assumed, even under simplified conditions.


Filamentous 'Epsilonproteobacteria' dominate microbial mats from sulfidic cave springs, 2003, Engel As, Lee N, Porter Ml, Stern La, Bennett Pc, Wagner M,
Hydrogen sulfide-rich groundwater discharges from springs into Lower Kane Cave, Wyoming, where microbial mats dominated by filamentous morphotypes are found. The full-cycle rRNA approach, including 16S rRNA gene retrieval and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH), was used to identify these filaments. The majority of the obtained 16S rRNA gene clones from the mats were affiliated with the 'Epsilonproteobacteria' and formed two distinct clusters, designated LKC group I and LKC group II, within this class. Group I was closely related to uncultured environmental clones from petroleum-contaminated groundwater, sulfidic springs, and sulfidic caves (97 to 99% sequence similarity), while group II formed a novel clade moderately related to deep-sea hydrothermal vent symbionts (90 to 94% sequence similarity). FISH with newly designed probes for both groups specifically stained filamentous bacteria within the mats. FISH-based quantification of the two filament groups in six different microbial mat samples from Lower Kane Cave showed that LKC group II dominated five of the six mat communities. This study further expands our perceptions of the diversity and geographic distribution of 'Epsilonproteobacteria' in extreme environments and demonstrates their biogeochemical importance in subterranean ecosystems

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