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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 rise pit is an artesian spring rising up through alluvium accumulated in an earlier surface valley phase and often fringed, except on the outlet side, by a minor levee deposited as the force of the vertical discharge dissipates at the surface [19].?

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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 water transport (Keyword) returned 14 results for the whole karstbase:
The sulfate speleothems of Thampanna cave, Nullarbor Plain, Australia, 1991, James, Julia M.

Examination of gypsum speleothems and chemical analysis of the cave drip waters (ions to chloride mole ratios, tot. dissolved solids, nitrate) confirm that the major source of the sulfate in Thampanna cave (Western Australia) is from seawater transported by rain.


INFILTRATION MECHANISMS RELATED TO AGRICULTURAL WASTE TRANSPORT THROUGH THE SOIL MANTLE TO KARST AQUIFERS OF SOUTHERN INDIANA, USA, 1995, Iqbal M. Z. , Krothe N. C. ,
A hydrogeological study was conducted, during the 1991-1992 water year, in the clay-soil mantled portion of a limestone terrain in southern Indiana. The purpose of the study was to investigate the modes of soil-water infiltration contributing to rapid transport of nitrate to the saturated zone. The I-year-cycle profiles of nitrate concentration vs. time show a consistent increase of nitrate at various depths in the unsaturated zone during the period of investigation. The increase of nitrate in soil water is attributed to the rapid flushing of the inorganic fertilizers from the fields after the area received sufficient rainfall in late fall. The investigation also showed a major movement of nitrate in quick pulses through the unsaturated zone, rather than a slow uniform recharge, immediately after a major storm event. The asymmetric profiles of nitrate concentration vs. depth point to the existence of preferential flow through macropores in the clay-soil mantle above the bedrock. Soil-water transport between storm events is by matrix type flow. Nitrogen isotopes were analyzed for representative groundwater samples collected before and immediately after fertilization of fields in the summer, 1991. The delta(15)N values of the samples did not show any major shift in nitrate sources between the sampling periods. The summer of 1991 was extremely dry prohibiting vertical transport of nitrate from the fields to the groundwater system. Any change in nitrate concentration in groundwater during this time is attributed to the mixing through lateral flow within the aquifer

Geophysical evidence for karst formation associated with offshore groundwater transport: An example from North Carolina, 2003, Evans Rl,
Marine geophysical data from Long Bay, North Carolina, involving a novel combination of electromagnetic and high-resolution Chirp seismics, show evidence of submarine karst formation associated with what has been inferred to be a site of high-flux submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) a substantial distance offshore. Recently observed temperature and chemical signals from wells in this area provide the basis for the interpretation of the high-flux SGD here, and they also suggest a terrestrial source for the groundwater and thus a potentially important route for nutrient transport to the oceans. Our data indicate that karstification is localized to the high-flux zone, and we suggest that mixing of the chemically distinct (but saline) groundwater with seawater has resulted in the karstification. As karstification increases permeability and flux, a positive feedback would tend to progressively enhance submarine groundwater discharge. Our data reveal a significant local anomaly in apparent porosity: a dense block that may have initiated the local focusing of groundwater flow. Conditions favorable to the formation of similar locally punctuated sites of high-flux SGD are likely to exist along the mid to inner shelf of the southeastern United States, where carbonate aquifers are prevalent

Geophysical evidence for karst formation associated with offshore groundwater transport: An example from North Carolina, 2003, Evans Rob L. , Lizarralde Dan

Marine geophysical data from Long Bay, North Carolina, involving a novel combination of electromagnetic and high-resolution Chirp seismics, show evidence of submarine karst formation associated with what has been inferred to be a site of high-flux submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) a substantial distance offshore. Recently observed temperature and chemical signals from wells in this area provide the basis for the interpretation of the high-flux SGD here, and they also suggest a terrestrial source for the groundwater and thus a potentially important route for nutrient transport to the oceans. Our data indicate that karstification is localized to the high-flux zone, and we suggest that mixing of the chemically distinct (but saline) groundwater with seawater has resulted in the karstification. As karstification increases permeability and flux, a positive feedback would tend to progressively enhance submarine groundwater discharge. Our data reveal a significant local anomaly in apparent porosity: a dense block that may have initiated the local focusing of groundwater flow. Conditions favorable to the formation of similar locally punctuated sites of high-flux SGD are likely to exist along the mid to inner shelf of the southeastern United States, where carbonate aquifers are prevalent


The origin of sediments inside collapse dolines of Postojna karst (Slovenia), 2004, Stepiš, Nik Uroš,

Several hundred collapse dolines are recorded on the Slovenian karst surface. Their floors are covered with boulders, scree or a soil layer. In ponor karst areas, where water transports significant amount of allochtonous material, many collapse doline floors are made level by deposits of loamy sediment. This discussion relates to a detailed study of 15 collapse dolines near the Postojna cave system. Loamy sediment appears within several neighboring collapse dolines and covers their floors at approximately the same altitude. The sediment level preserved in the collapse dolines is commonly at the same elevation as flood loam deposits within nearby caves. It transpires that the flattening of the collapse doline floors is a result of flooding inside the karst that extended above the original floors of the collapse dolines. It is possible to predict some of the sedimentation dynamics inside the karst on the basis of the elevations of the loamy sediments within the collapse dolines. On the other hand, it is also possible to find out about collapse doline development by studying the processes inside cave systems.


Microscopic simulations of fracture dissolution, 2004, Szymczak P. , Ladd A. J. C.

Microscopic simulations of fracture dissolution are  reported, taking account of the explicit topography of the  pore space, the transport of reactants and products, and the  chemical kinetics at the solid surfaces. A three-dimensional  numerical model has been constructed, in which the fluid  velocity field is calculated with an implicit lattice-Boltzmann  method, and the transport of dissolved species is modeled by  an innovative random walk algorithm that incorporates the  chemical kinetics at the solid surfaces. The model contains no  free parameters or semi-empirical mass-transfer coefficients.  The simulated morphological changes in a complex fracture  are compared with recent laboratory experiments [Detwiler et  al., 2003] with the same initial topography. 


Significance and dynamics of drip water responding to rainfall in four caves of Guizhou, China, 2005, Zhou Y. C. , Wang S. J. , Xie X. N. , Luo W. J. , Li T. Y. ,
In rainy season, NaCl is adopted to trace sources of cave drip water, time scales of drip water responding to precipitation, and processes of water dynamics in four caves of Pearl watershed in Guizhou, China (Liang-feng cave in Libo, Qixing cave in Duyun, Jiangjun cave in Anshun and Xiniu cave in Zhenning). Because of the variety of karst cave surroundings, interconnections of water transporting ways, water dynamics processes etc., time scales of drip-water in four caves responding to rainfall is 0-40 d. According to the characteristics of water transport in cave roof, pathways of water movement, types of water head etc., drip water of four caves can be divided into five hydrodynamics types. The differences of time scales, and ways of water-soil and water-rock interaction during water transporting in cave roof make it difficult to correctly measure speleothem record and trace material sources. In addition, there exist great differences in water dynamic conditions among the four caves. So the interpretation of the paleoenvironment records of speleothem must be supported by the understanding of hydrodynamics conditions of different drip sites. Based on the data got from drip sites in four caves, drip conductivity accords with precipitation, which indicates that element contents in speleothem formed by drip water record the change of karst paleoenvironment. But results of multi-points study are needed to guarantee the correctness of interpretation

Residence time distribution in the Kirkgoz karst springs (Antalya-Turkey) as a tool for contamination vulnerability assessment, 2007, Ozyurt N. Nur
Lumped parameter modeling of environmental tracer (tritium, CFCs and tritiogenic helium-3) transport in the Kirkgoz karst springs (Antalya-Turkey) appears to be a useful tool for assessing the vulnerability to contamination. Based on tritium observations between 1963 and 2000, the springs revealed a mean residence time (MRT) of 120 years. This suggests an active transport volume of 71 billion cubic meters for the aquifer, a value that is coherent with the estimated void volume of karst aquifer based on the mass of associated travertine deposits. The CFC-11 and CFC-12 MRTs are in agreement with tritium-based MRT, after correcting for excess air effect. Excess crustal and mantle helium flux hindered the use of tritiogenic helium-3 as a potential tracer. The residence time distribution (RTD) indicates a groundwater transport system that is fed by recharges extending back to past several hundred years. This wide RTD suggests that any recent contamination that may have entered the system could progress slowly within the entire aquifer but would be unnoticed in the early period because of the dilution effect of uncontaminated past recharge waters. Once the contamination is recognized, it may last for many centuries ahead even if the contamination practice is stopped. Thus, control of contaminant release to aquifer and monitoring of contaminant level in Kirkgoz springs is an immediate task for the associated public health authorities.

ANCIENT GREEK HYDROMYTHS ABOUT THE SUBMARINE TRANSPORT OF TERRESTRIAL FRESH WATER THROUGH SEABEDS OFFSHORE OF KARSTIC REGIONS, 2009, Clendenon Cindy
This study examined the relationship between ancient Greek texts and the physical possibility of focused, distal flow of ter-restrial fresh water through the seabed, particularly offshore of karstic coasts. The four ancient texts which were analyzed describe powerful discharges from submarine springs in the eastern Black Sea; the local transport of groundwater through the bed of Turkeys Bay of Miletus; alleged subterraneansub-marine connections between coastal western Turkey and the Greek northeast Peloponnese; and alleged connections between the coastal western Peloponnese and southeastern coastal Sicily. The plausibility or implausibility of these legends was assessed in the context of modern reports indicating that seabed pathways can transport continental fresh water up to 60 km offshore. Other reports identify fresh water in the seabed as far as 160 km offshore, presumably due to marine-induced forces. These documented cases validated ancient claims of nearshore groundwater transport and legitimized transoceanic claims as mythologized extrapolations of local karstic hydrogeology. As submarine fresh groundwater becomes increasingly important in understanding material transport and in identifying potentially exploitable coastal water supplies, ancient stories from past civilizations may give clues to offshore sites meriting further exploration.

Mechanisms of heat exchange between water and rock in karst conduits, 2011, Covington M. D. , Luhmann A. J. , Gabrovsek F. , Saar M. O. , Wicks C. M.

Previous studies, motivated by understanding water quality, have explored the mechanisms for heat transport and heat exchange in surface streams. In karst aquifers, temperature signals play an additional important role since they carry information about internal aquifer structures. Models for heat transport in karst conduits have previously been developed; however, these models make different, sometimes contradictory, assumptions. Additionally, previous models of heat transport in karst conduits have not been validated using field data from conduits with known geometries. Here we use analytical solutions of heat transfer to examine the relative importance of heat exchange mechanisms and the validity of the assumptions made by previous models. The relative importance of convection, conduction, and radiation is a function of time. Using a characteristic timescale, we show that models neglecting rock conduction produce spurious results in realistic cases. In contrast to the behavior of surface streams, where conduction is often negligible, conduction through the rock surrounding a conduit determines heat flux at timescales of weeks and longer. In open channel conduits, radiative heat flux can be significant. In contrast, convective heat exchange through the conduit air is often negligible. Using the rules derived from our analytical analysis, we develop a numerical model for heat transport in a karst conduit. Our model compares favorably to thermal responses observed in two different karst settings: a cave stream fed via autogenic recharge during a snowmelt event, and an allogenically recharged cave stream that experiences continuous temperature fluctuations on many timescales.


Trophic Dynamics in a Neotropical Limestone Cave, 2011, Marconi Silva, Rogrio Parentoni Martins, Rodrigo Lopes Ferreira

The temporal budgets of the input, retainment and use by invertebrates of detritus and root tufts were evaluated in a short tropical limestone cave (337 m long). Detritus penetrate only through the stream in lower quantities in the dry season, contrary to what happens in the rainy season. However, water transport energies in the rainy season prevent detritus retainment. Roots tufts that emerge from the bottom of the stream provide shelter and food for several species. The abundance (log10) (R2 = 0.63; P < 0.02) and richness (log10) (R2 = 0.63; P < 0.01) related positively with the root tuft biomass (log10). In the terrestrial environment (ground), guano is the main secondary resource available for the invertebrates; the constant production of this resource has shown to influence the structure and distribution of invertebrates. Unfavorable temperature conditions and, especially low soil moisture, promote low plant detritus consumption rates. Historically, different authors assumed that organic resources imported by water are more available in caves in rainy seasons. It is clear that the importation of organic detritus in the rainy season is higher than in the dry season, but as shown in this work, the stochastic pulse flows continually disturb and remove the previously accumulated resource. So, the food that is truly used by the cave communities is that transported at the end of the rainy season (and during all the dry season) that becomes available for the cave fauna. The cave functionality depends, so, directly of the epigean food resources.


Computational Investigation of Fundamental Mechanisms Contributing to Fracture Dissolution and the Evolution of Hypogene Karst Systems, 2011, Chaudhuri A. , Rajaram H. , Viswanathan H. S. , Zyvoloski G. , Stauffer P. H.

Hypogene karst systems evolve by dissolution resulting from the cooling of water flowing upward against the geothermal gradient in limestone formations. We present a comprehensive coupled-process model of fluid flow, heat transfer, reactive transport and buoyancy effects to investigate the origin of hypogene karst systems by fracture dissolution. Our model incorporates the temperature and pressure dependence of the solubility and dissolution kinetics of calcite. Our formulation inherently incorporates mechanisms such as “mixing corrosion” that have been implicated in the formation of hypogene cave systems. It also allows for rigorous representation of temperature-dependent fluid density and its consequences at various stages of karstification. The model is applied to investigate karstification over geological time scales in a network of faults/fractures that serves as a vertical conduit for upward flow. We considered two different conceptual hydrogeologic models. In the first model, the upward flow is controlled by a constant pressure gradient. In the second model, the flow is induced by topographic effects in a mountainous hydrologic system. During the very early stages of fracture growth, there is a positive feedback between fluid flow rate, heat transfer and dissolution. In this stage the dissolution rate is largely controlled by the retrograde solubility of calcite and aperture growth occurs throughout the fracture. For the first model, there is a period of slow continuous increase in the mass flow rate through the fracture, which is followed by an abrupt rapid increase. We refer to the time when this rapid increase occurs as the maturation time. For the second model of a mountainous hydrologic system, the fluid flux through the fracture remains nearly constant even though the fracture permeability and aperture increase. This is largely because the permeability of the country rock does not increase significantly. While this limits the fluid flux through the system, it does not impede karstification. At later stages, forced convection and buoyant convection effects arise in both models due to the increased permeability of the evolving fracture system. Our results suggest that there is s strong tendency for buoyant convection cells to form under a wide range of conditions. A modified Rayleigh number provides a unified quantitative criterion for the onset of buoyant convection across all cases considered. Once buoyant convection cells are set up, dissolution is sustained in the upward flow portions of the cells, while precipitation occurs in the regions of downward flow. We discuss the implications of this type of flow pattern for the formation of hot springs and mazework caves, both of which are characteristic of hypogene karst environments. We also investigate the sensitivity of karst evolution to various physical and geochemical factors.


Effects of sinuosity factor on hydrodynamic parameters estimation in karst systems: a dye tracer experiment from the Beyyayla Sinkhole (Eskişehir, Turkey), 2013, Aydin H. , Ekmekci M. , Soylu M. E.

The sinuosity factor (SF) is a critical value in karst systems in terms of estimating their hydrodynamic parameters including groundwater velocity, coefficient of dispersion, etc., through dye tracer experiments. SF has been used in a number of different dye tracer experiments in karstic systems to estimate a representative flow path. While knowing SF is crucially important in the estimation of hydrodynamic parameters, its calculation is associated with significant uncertainty due to the complexity of subsurface karstic features. And yet, only a few studies have discussed its uncertainties, which might lead some errors in estimation of hydrodynamic parameters from dye tracer experiment. In this study, dye tracer experiments were conducted in two consecutive years (2003 and 2004) representing low and high flow conditions in the Beyyayla sinkhole (Eskişehir, Turkey) where the flow path is well known. Uranine was used in experiments as a tracer and QTRACER computer program was used to determine the hydrodynamic properties of the Beyyayla karst system as well as to gain insights into the effects of SF from dye tracer experiments on estimated parameters. The results showed that the breakthrough curve follows a unimodal and a bimodal distribution in low and high flow conditions, respectively. These different distributions stem from the water transport mechanisms, where velocities were calculated as 58.2 and 93.6 m h−1 during low and high flow conditions observed in a spring emerging from the south side of the studied system. The results also show that the coefficient of dispersion, Reynolds number, and Peclet number increased and longitudinal dispersivity decreased with the higher flow rate. Furthermore, the estimated parameters did not vary with either the flow conditions or the tracer transit time, but they have shown some variations with SF. When SF was increased by 50 %, a change in these parameters was obtained in the range of 50–125 %.


EARTH TIDE, A POTENTIAL DRIVER FOR HYPOGENIC FLUID FLOW: OBSERVATIONS FROM A SUBMARINE CAVE IN SW TURKEY, 2014, Bayari C. S. , Ozyurt N. N.

Initiation and development of karstification requires a con­tinuous flushing of pore water in equilibrium with carbon­ate minerals. Under confined flow conditions, the energy required for pore water transport is supplied by external pressure sources in addition to the by earth’s gravity. Earth tides and water loads over the confined flow system are the main sources of ex­ternal pressure that drives the pore water. Earth tides, created by the sum of the horizontal components of tide generation forces of moon and sun, causes expansion and contraction of the crust in horizontal direction. Water load on top of the confined flow system causes vertical loading/unloading and may be in the form of recharge load or ocean loading in the inland and sub-oceanic settings, respectively. Increasing and decreasing tide generating force results in pore water transport in the confined system by means of contraction and expansion, respectively. Since these forces operate in perpendicular directions, pore water flushing by earth tides becomes less effective when water load on top of the confined flow system increases. Temporal variation of fresh­water content in a submarine cave is presented as an example of groundwater discharge driven by earth tides and recharge load.


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