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Community news

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 cave soil is see cave earth.?

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


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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 constant (Keyword) returned 155 results for the whole karstbase:
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Modeling of regional groundwater flow in fractured rock aquifers, PhD Thesis, 1990,
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Kraemer, S. R.

The regional movement of shallow groundwater in the fractured rock aquifer is examined through a conceptual-deterministic modeling approach. The computer program FRACNET represents the fracture zones as straight laminar flow conductors in connection to regional constant head boundaries within an impermeable rock matrix. Regional scale fracture zones are projected onto the horizontal plane, invoking the Dupuit-Forchheimer assumption for flow. The steady state flow solution for the two dimensional case is achieved by requiring nodal flow balances using a Gauss-Seidel iteration. Computer experiments based on statistically generated fracture networks demonstrate the emergence of preferred flow paths due to connectivity of fractures to sources or sinks of water, even in networks of uniformly distributed fractures of constant length and aperture. The implication is that discrete flow, often associated with the local scale, may maintain itself even at a regional scale. The distribution of uniform areal recharge is computed using the Analytic Element Method, and then coupled to the network flow solver to complete the regional water balance. The areal recharge weakens the development of preferential flow pathways. The possible replacement of a discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium is also investigated. A Mohr's circle analysis is presented to characterize the tensor relationship between the discharge vector and the piezometric gradient vector, even at scales below the representative elementary volume (REV). A consistent permeability tensor is sought in order to establish the REV scale and justify replacement of the discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium. Finally, hydrological factors influencing the chemical dissolution and initiation of conduits in carbonate (karst) terrain are examined. Based on hydrological considerations, and given the appropriate geochemical and hydrogeological conditions, the preferred flow paths are expected to develop with time into caves.


La karstification de l'le haute carbonate de Makatea (Polynsie franaise) et les cycles eustatiques et climatiques quaternaires, 1991,
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Dessay J. , Pouchan Y. , Girou A. , Humbert L. , Malezieux J.
THE KARST 0F MAKATEA ISLAND (FRENCH POLYNESIA) AND THE CLIMATIC AND GLACIO-EUSTATISM SETTING - Located in the Central Pacific, in the northwestern part of the Tuamotu Archipelago, Makatea island (148 15 W - 15 50 S) is an uplifted, karstic, carbonate construction of Early Miocene age, which reaches 113m in height. From 1906 to 1966, phosphate deposits were exploited on Makatea Island. These phosphate deposits (apatite) overlaid the Miocene series and filled the karstic cavities in the higher regions of the island. Several traces of ancient shorelines can be observed on Makatea: 1/ three different reef formations, which reach about +27m, +7m, +1m above the present mean sea level and respectively dated 400,000 100,000 yr BP, 140,000 30,000 yr BP, between 4,470 150 yr BP and 3,720 13O yr BP; 2/ four distinct marine notch lines on the Early Miocene cliff at about +1m, +7m, +27m and +56m (or +47m on the west coast caused by tilt) above the present mean sea level; 3/ two exposed marine platforms respectively at +29m and +7m above the present mean sea level. The ages of the former makatean shores are inferred by using: (1) the Pacific glacio-eustatic sea-level curve for the last 140,000 yr BP, (2) the Pacific oxygen isotope curve for the last 900,000 yr BP, and (3) a constant uplift rate during the Pleistocene. In this way, according to their age and elevation, the sea-level indicators at about +1m, +7m and +27m (+29m) above the present mean sea level can be respectively related to the Holocene transgression (Flandrian) dated between 6,000 and 1,500 yr BP, to the last Pleistocene interglacial period (Sangamon) dated between about 130,000 and 110,000 yr BP, and to a Middle Pleistocene interglacial period (Yarmouth) dated between about 315,000 and 485,000 yr BP. If we assume that a sea level similar to the present occurred during the Yarmouth inter-glacial period, the uplift rate is valued at 0.085 mm/yr to 0.056 mm/yr. Thus the sea-level associated with the marine notch at about +56m (+47m) may be about 650,000 yr to 1 M.y. old and can be associated with another Pleistocene interglacial period (Aftonian). Consequently, as indicated by the former shores, the sea level fluctuations can be related to the major glacio-eustatic quaternary events. This climatic and eustatic setting is used to explain the karst observed on the Makatea island. Carbonate dissolution and essentially vertical karst genesis were the result of the superposition of several cycles. Each cycle was initially composed of a solution of the carbonates during an interglacial period, followed by a drainage of the saturated solutions during the marine regression associated with the consecutive glacial period. Nevertheless, this scheme is not enough to explain the specific morphology of the makatean karstic cavities and we suggest using insular phosphatisation to explain this karst genesis. It is generally accepted that phosphate rock deposits on coral reef islands are the result of chemical reaction between seabird guano and reef limestone. Furthermore, petrographic and stable isotope studies suggest several generations of phosphorite formation and reworking episodes in the history of these deposits. The primary deposition of phosphates must have begun during a glacial period. This deposition was followed by some redistribution of phosphorites during the interglacial period and by additional precipitation of apatite from meteoric waters. This assumed process of phosphogenesis is consistent with both the field observations and the geodynamic evolution of Makatea. Thus, the particular morphology of the makatean karst can be the result of the dissolution of the carbonates caused by phosphoric acid etching. This acid is derived from the evolution of the phosphorites during the pleistocene interglacial periods.

KINETIC ENRICHMENT OF STABLE ISOTOPES IN CRYOGENIC CALCITES, 1992,
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Clark Id, Lauriol B,
The C-13 and O-18 contents of cryogenic calcites formed by expulsion during the freezing of bicarbonate groundwaters are examined. Samples from karst caves within the permafrost region of northern Yukon, Canada, have deltaC-13-values as high as 17.0 parts per thousand, representing the most isotopically enriched freshwater carbonates yet reported. To account for such enrichments, calcium bicarbonate solutions were frozen and sublimated under controlled laboratory conditions. The rapid rate of reaction is shown to effectively preclude isotopic equilibration during bicarbonate dehydration, resulting in a kinetic partitioning of C-13 between CO2 and CaCO3. We find a value of 31.2 1.5 parts per thousand for 1000ln13alpha(KIE)(13alpha(KIE) = 1.032), which is considerably greater than the equilibrium fractionation factor (13epsilon(CaCO3-CO2)) of 10.3 parts per thousand at 0-degrees-C. This kinetic isotope effect (KIE) represents the ratio of the absolute reaction rate constants (13k(d)/12k(d)) for the two isotopic species during the dehydration of dissolved bicarbonate. Similar results for deltaO-18-values confirm that the reaction proceeds without isotope exchange. The KIE of O-18 is determined to be 1.006 for this reaction at 0-degrees-C. These data are compared with the KIE which occurs during the reverse reaction: CO2 hydroxylation by reaction with OH- in hyperalkaline waters

WATER-BUDGET, FUNCTIONING AND PROTECTION OF THE FONTAINE-DE-VAUCLUSE KARST SYSTEM (SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE), 1992,
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Blavoux B, Mudry J, Puig Jm,
The karst aquifer of the well-known Fontaine de Vaucluse has been recently studied, results have been got about delimitation of the system and its working. Geological data (lithology and structure) have allowed to delimit an 1115 Km2 intake area including Ventoux-Lure north facing range (1,909-1,826 m) and the Plateau which is prolonging it southwards (Fig. 1 and 2). The average altitude of the whole area, obtained by balancing elevation belt surfaces, is about 870 m. This elevation squares with results of tracing tests (Fig. 3), environmental physical, chemical and isotopic tracings, that allow to value a 850 m average altitude for the intake area (Fig. 4). The moisture balance has been computed from an altitude belts climatic model, using local rain an temperature gradients (Fig. 5 and Table II), because the weather network is not representative. So, rainfalls rise of about 55 mm per 100 m elevation and temperature decreases of about 0.5-degrees-C per 100 m. The consequence of these two antagonist phenomena is the quasi constant value of actual evapotranspiration on each altitude belt. With the Fig. 7 organigram, curves of effective rainfalls and infiltration coefficient versus elevation can be plotted (Fig. 6). This computation shows that 3/4 of the total and the whole of dry season effective rainfalls are provided by the part of the intake area situated above the average altitude: on the lowest belt, effective rainfalls are only 120 mm per year and increase to 1380 mm on the upper section (Fig. 8 and Table 1). The weighted effective rainfalls are about 570 mm per year for the whole intake area. Hydrodynamical and physico-chemical studies show, despite its large size, the weak inertia of the system, so proves its good karstification, that confirms for the whole system the pin-point speleological observations. The discharge of the spring, which average value is 21 m3.s-1 (only 18 for the last ten years), can exceed 100 m3.s-1 and the minimum has never been lower than 3.7 m3.s-1 (Fig. 9). When it rains on the intake area, the increase of the discharge is very sudden in a rainy period : one to four days. This short delay is due to seepage through epikarst and unsaturated zone. During dry periods, the spring reaction is deadened, due to storage in the unsaturated zone. The silica content distribution was plotted during several hydrokinematical phases (Fig. 10). It shows: an almost unimodal distribution for the 8 km2 fissured limestone aquifer of Groseau; a multimodal one for the 1115 km2 karst aquifer of Fontaine de Vaucluse. This proves that karstification is more important than size in the response of the system. Weak summer rainfalls do not influence the discharge, nevertheless they influence chemistry of the spring water, and so interrupts the water depletion phasis. Then, the decrease of discharge can continue after the end of the chemical depletion phasis, water which is overflowing after summer rainfalls (in a dry period) is influenced hy the chemistry of seepage water : on the graph of a principal components analysis, done on chemical variables. an hysteresis phenomenon can be seen (Fig. 11). A discriminant analysis (Fig. 12) confirms that these autumn waters, with high ratio seepage tracers, are not reserve waters from the saturated zone. The ratio of reserve water in the total discharge, is preponderant: 3/4 and 2/3 respectively of the yearly runoff volumes for 1981 and 1982 (Fig. 13), but an important part of these reserves can be stored in the unsaturated zone. This storage capacity can be valued by different means: transposing to Vaucluse (1115 km2) the volume measured on another karst system in the Pyrenees (13 km2); it gives about 100 million m2; using setting parameters of Bezes model (1976) on the same aquifer: it gives 113 million m3; using depletion curves, that show, for instance during the 1989 summer and autumn dry period, a 80 million m3 volume. In all cases, we get a value of about one hundred million m3 for the storage capacity of the unsaturated zone. With a 20 m range of fluctuation for the water table and with a 10(-2) specific yield, on a 500 to 1,000 km2 saturated zone, the zone of fluctuation can release about 10 to 20 million m3. Then, the volume of water stored in the whole saturated zone, with a 300 m minimum thickness (depth of the waterlogged pit of the Fontaine), a 500 km2 minimum surface and a 10(-3) specific yield, is about 150 million m3, including 27 million m3 stored in the channels. So, the unsaturated zone represents a significant part of the whole storage capacity and most of the yearly renewable reserves. Paradoxically, the biggest french spring is not tapped at all; as its intake area is neither a regional nor a national park, no general protection covers it : because of its good karstification, the vulnerability of the system is important. Good quality of water is attributable to the low population and human activities density on the intake area (4 inh.km-2). A great part of the intake area is uncultivated (large forest and ''garrigues'' areas). Due to the lack of surface water and scantness of soils, agriculture is not intensive (lavender, thyme, sage and bulk wheat fields. meadowlands). On the mountainous zone, roads are salted in winter and snowmelt water can reach a significantly high chloride ratio than in a natural climatic functioning (for instance 25 mg.l-1 in Font d'Angiou where the ratio would have been 3 mg.l-1). As tourism is developing both on the mountain and on the plateau, the management of the highest intake area must be carefully held: its part is preponderant in the feeding of the system

MORPHOMETRY AND EVOLUTION OF FENGLIN KARST IN THE SHUICHENG AREA, WESTERN GUIZHOU, CHINA, 1992,
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Xiong K. N. ,
Four areas with different styles of fenglin (tower and cone karst) are investigated using morphometric techniques in the Shuicheng area of Guizhou Province. The karsts were formed in the Neogene and were uplifted during the Quaternary, to present elevations of about 1800 m. Measurements were made of the characteristics of 745 cones using maps and aerial photographs supplemented by field investigations. The karst cones are found to be of almost constant slope angle (45-degrees to 47-degrees) regardless of structure, but with a tendency for slightly lower slopes to occur where the carbonates have impure interbeds. Although generally symmetrical in plan, elongation of both cones and intervening depressions appears controlled by major elements of the structure and the general slope of the topography. Spatial analysis shows the cones to be relatively uniformly distributed in three of the four cases studied. Morphometric evidence points strongly to parallel slope evolution of cones. A model is offered of landscape evolution in which sequential development occurs through stages of karst-tableland with dolines to fencong-depression to fenglin-depression and finally to fenglin-plain. Geological control becomes less influential as this development proceeds, with the smaller and more widely spaced cones of the later stages becoming increasingly symmetrical in form

Approche thorique _simplifie de la dissolution karstique, 1994,
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Gombert, P.
The specific behaviour of karsts makes the estimation of karstic denudation very difficult: discharge and water chemical variabili-ties are in fact major characteristics of aquifer karstic systems and cannot be properly estimated by the way of random sampling. The classical empirical methods provide generally high relative errors due to the bad knowledge of the hydrogeological catchment basin and even of the total number of springs. In the case of CORBEL's or WILLIAM's empirical formulas, average relative error can be estimated to about 100 % for a normally known aquifer karstic system : therefore it is impossible to compare different karsts that have not been studied with the same accuracy. The theoretical statisti-cal relationships between karstic denu-dation and a single climatic parameter (rainfall) are open to criticism: main authors tell that effective rainfall and pedological C02 are essential parame-ters of karstic denudation, which are never taken into account. For example, there are different PULINA's formula for different climatic types indicating that it is necessary to use another climatic parameter different from rain-fall! Moreover this way of modelling the data restrains the statistical repre-sentativity of each formula and intro-duces a difficult choice for karsts, which are at the border of two climatic types (or with mountainous parts). Another problem is the case of polar countries karsts where most precipitation is snowy and does not participate in karstic denudation. Therefore a mathematical modelling of carbonate dissolution is shown, based on infiltra-tion rate calculation and knowledge of calco-carbonic equilibrium. Temperature and rainfall are taken into account to determine the efficient part of precipitation, the productivity of pedogenetic C02 and the carbonate solubility constants. This theoretical approach gives the same results but with relative errors under 50 %. Consequently it is easy to compare different karstic countries in the world: hot and wet climates are confirmed to have the main karstogenetic activity but the role of cold countries is rehabilita-ted. Then paleokarstic denudation can be estimated.

FORMATION OF REGOLITH-COLLAPSE SINKHOLES IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS - INTERPRETATION AND IDENTIFICATION OF ASSOCIATED BURIED CAVITIES, 1994,
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Panno S. V. , Wiebel C. P. , Heigold P. C. , Reed P. C. ,
Three regolith-collapse sinkholes formed near the Dongola Unit School and the Pentecostal Church in the southern Illinois village of Dongola (Union County) during the spring of 1993. The sinkholes appeared over a three-month period that coincided with development of a new municipal well. The new well was drilled through clay-rich, valley-fill sediment into karstified limestone bedrock. The piezometric surface of the limestone aquifer is above land surface, indicating the presence of an upward hydraulic gradient in the valley and that the valley fill is acting as a confining unit. Pumping during development of the well lowered the piezometric surface of the limestone aquifer to an elevation below the base of the valley fill. It is hypothesized that drainage of water from the sediments, the resulting loss of hydrostatic pressure and buoyant force in overlying sediments, increased intergranular pressure, and the initiation of groundwater flow toward the well resulted in rapid sediment transport, subsurface erosion, and collapse of the valley-fill sediment. The sinkholes follow an approximately east west alignment, which is consistent with one of the two dominant alignments of passages of nearby joint-controlled caves. A constant electrode-separation resistivity survey of the school playground was conducted to locate areas that might contain incipient sinkholes. The survey revealed a positive resistivity anomaly trending N75E in the southern part of the study area. The anomaly is linear, between 5 and 10 m wide. and its trend either intersects or is immediately adjacent to the three sinkholes. The anomaly is interpreted to be a series of pumping-induced cavities in the valley-fill sediments that formed over a preexisting crevice in the karstified bedrock limestone

ASSESSING FLOW SYSTEMS IN CARBONATE AQUIFERS USING SCALE EFFECTS IN HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY, 1994,
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Rovey C. W. ,
Counter to intuition, small-scale measurements of hydraulic conductivity do not average to regional values. Instead, mean hydraulic conductivity increases with measurement scale up to a critical distance termed the range, beyond which a constant regional value prevails. Likewise, variance in log hydraulic conductivity increases with separation distance between measurement points as the spatial correlation decreases. As dissolution proceeds in carbonate aquifers, heterogeneity and the volume necessary for an equivalent homogeneous medium (EHM) both increase. As these variables increase, the range of scale increase in both mean hydraulic conductivity and variance increases proportionately. Consequently, the range in scale effects is a reliable measure of the degree of secondary dissolution. By correlating the numeric value of range with independently measured hydraulic properties, the prevalent type of flow system, diffuse, mixed or conduit can be determined

DIAGENESIS OF AN UPPER TRIASSIC REEF COMPLEX, WILDE-KIRCHE, NORTHERN CALCAREOUS ALPS, AUSTRIA, 1994,
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Satterley A. K. , Marshall J. D. , Fairchild I. J. ,
The Wilde Kirche reef complex (Early-Late Rhaetian) grew as an isolated carbonate structure within the shallow Kossen Basin. At the Triassic/Jurassic boundary a single brief(c. 10-50 ka) period of subaerial exposure occurred. The preserved karst profile (70 m thick) displays a vadose zone, enhanced dissolution at a possible palaeo-watertable (5-15m below the exposure surface), and a freshwater phreatic zone. Karst porosity was predominantly biomouldic. primary cavities and biomoulds were enlarged and interconnected in the freshwater phreatic zone; cavity networks developed preferentially in patch reef facies. Resubmegence of the reef complex allowed minor modification of the palaeokarst surface by sea floor dissolution and Fe-Mn crust deposition on a sediment-starved passive margin. Fibrous calcite (FC), radiaxial fibrous calcite (RFC) and fascicular optic calcite (FOC) cements preserved as low Mg calcite (LMC) are abundant in primary and karst dissolution cavities. FC cement is restricted to primary porosity, particularly as a synsedimentary cement at the windward reef margin. FC, RFC and FOC contain microdolomite inclusions and show patchy non-/bright cathodoluminescence. delta(18)O values ofnon-luminescent portions (interpreted as near original) are -1.16 to -1.82 parts per thousand (close to the inferred delta(18)O of calcite precipitated from Late Triassic sea water). delta(13)C values are constant ( to .2 parts per thousand). These observations suggest FC, RFC and FOC were originally marine high Mg calcite (HMC) precipitates, and that the bulk of porosity occlusion occurred not in the karst environment but in the marine environment during and after marine transgression. The HMC to LMC transition may have occurred in contact with meteoric water only in the case of FC cement. The most altered (brightly luminescent) portions of RFC/FOC cements yield delta(18)O = -2.44 to -5.8 parts per thousand, suggesting HMC to LMC alteration at up to 34 degrees C, in the shallow burial environment at depths of 180-250 m. Abundant equant cements with delta(18)O = -4.1 to -7.1 parts per thousand show crisp, uniform or zoned dull luminescence. They are interpreted as unaltered cements precipitated at 33-36 degrees C at 200-290 m burial depth, from marine-derived fluids under a slightly enhanced geothermal gradient. Fluids carrying the equant cements may have induced the HMC to LMC transition in the fibrous cements

Convolution a debit variable a partir des reponses de tracages artificiels; application a un systeme karstique (Causse de Gramat, Lot, France): Convolution in time-dependent system from artificial tra, 1995,
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Dzikowski M, Delay F, Sauty Jp, Crampon N, De Marsily G,
ResumeLa realisation de tracages artificiels dans des conditions hydrodynamiques differentes sur le systeme karstique de I'Ouysse (Causse de Gamat, France) ainsi que de mesures physicochimiques portant entre autres sur les chlorures, nitrates et matieres en suspension ont permis d'exploiter les possibilites de l'analyse des systemes-tracages dependant du temps. Pour des tracages artificiels realises a des periodes hydrologiques differentes (basses-eaux et hauteseaux), les relations entre les reponses impulsionnelles a l'injection instantanee de traceur et les debits d'ecoulement variables associes sont mises en evidence sur un systeme a deux entrees (pertes de Themines et Theminettes) et une sortie (gouffre de Besaces). Ces relations etablissent une independance entre l'espace occupe par le traceur au cours de son transfert et les conditions hydrodynamiques dans la gamme de debits interessant chaque tracage. Des operations de convolutions d'entrees en chlorures, nitrates et matieres en suspension, basses sur l'hypothese d'un systeme a volume constant dependant du temps ont donc pu etre realisees. Les resultats sont compares au mesures experimentales au point de sortie (Besaces).AbstractArtificial tracer tests conducted under different hydrodynamic conditions on the karst system of Ouysse (Causse de Gramat, France) and chemical measurements have permitted the use of the time-dependent tracer test analysis. For artificial tracer experiments in different hydrologic periods (water rise and high flow), the relationships between the responses to an instantaneous injection are improved in a system defined by two inputs (losses of Themines and Theminettes). They show that the space occupied by the mass of tracer during its transfer can be considered as independent of the discharge according to the range of flow rate in which the tracer experiments have been conducted. Therefore, convolutions on chlorides, nitrates and suspended sediments are simulated under the hypothesis of a constant-volume and time-dependent system. The computed results are compared with the experimental data at the output (cave of Besaces)

Geomagnetic palaeosecular variation recorded in North And Central American speleothems, PhD thesis, 1995,
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Lean, C. M. B.

The aim of this project was to collect samples of stalagmites from Northern and Central America in order to produce records of the palaeosecular variation of the earth's magnetic field. Two stalagmites were sampled from Western Canada and ten from Mexico and Guatemala which could be compared with contemporaneous stalagmite records from these areas (Latham, 1981; Latham et al, 1982; 1986; 1987; 1989).
The stalagmites were generally weakly magnetised but remanence directions were stable upon stepwise thermal and alternating-field demagnetisation. Consistency in directions recorded between central and corresponding lateral sub-samples within two stalagmites (MSC2 from Canada and CP1 from Guatemala) inferred that any depositional errors caused by surface effects were less than the measurement errors. Grain size analysis showed the presence of a fine-grained magnetic fraction (0.01 - 0.1?:m) sourced from the cave drip-waters (either by direct deposition or by chemical precipitation) and a coarser magnetic fraction (0.01 - >10?:m) sourced from the flood-borne detritus. The latter source was dominant in stalagmites which were regularly inundated with water. The type of magnetic mineral present was determined by the geology of the catchment area; magnetite dominated in the Vancouver Island stalagmites, titanomagnetite in the Mexican stalagmites and haematite in the Guatemalan stalagmite.
Uranium-series dating of samples was hindered by the young ages of many of the samples, by low uranium concentrations and by the presence of allogenic thorium. If significant amounts of allogenic thorium were present, a sample age could be calculated based on an estimate of the initial thorium ratio ([230Th/232Th]0). Analysis of samples from Sumidero Recuerdo in Mexico, however, suggested that this ratio is not constant with time and may vary by a factor of two over approximately 1700 years. Due to these imprecisions many dates were out of stratigraphic sequence and age estimates were made assuming constant growth rates, except where growth had ceased for a finite length of time.
Records of sequential change of palaeomagnetic direction were obtained from the Mexican stalagmite SSJ3 and the Canadian stalagmite MSC2. The reliability of the latter record was confirmed by comparison with another Canadian stalagmite record (Latham et al, 1987) and contemporaneous lacustrine records. Other records were disappointing due to poor temporal resolution; each sub-sample represented a period of approximately 1000 years in Mexican stalagmites SSJ2 and SSJ4. Such slow growth rates are insufficient for the resolution of secular variation features with periods of less than 2000 years and are only suitable to gain information about the nature of long-term secular variations, for example the far-sided virtual geomagnetic poles and low inclinations predominant throughout the Holocene in Southern Mexico.
The existence of matching contemporaneous stalagmite records of secular variation together with the demonstrated lack of depositional inclination errors is encouraging, despite the sometimes "hit or miss" aspects of sample selection. Nevertheless it has been proved that speleothem records have the potential to complement the existing archaeomagnetic, lava and lacustrine data.


Radon measurements in karst caves in Slovenia, 1996,
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Jovanovic Peter,
Concentrations of radon and radon daughters in several karst caves were measured and annual doses for medical staff and patients were estimated. The results show that radon concentrations in caves that are deep under the surface were nearly constant throughout the year. In the caves that were closer to the surface, the concentrations were up to 10 times lower in winter than they were during the summer. Annual doses were estimated by various models, the values ranging from 10 mSv to over 50 mSv for the employed and from 50 [mu]Sv to 200 [mu]Sv for the patients, depending on the lung model

Theoretical model of surface karstic processes, 1996,
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Veress M. , Pentek K. ,
Our study improves theories of denudation of karst surfaces. We examine a debris zone developed mostly by solutional fragmentation of the fissured rock. Denudation of karsts is attributed to the downward movement of the debris zone. The different rates of this movement in a karst region cause different denudation rates and so wight result in the development of dolinas. Therefore our model might be suitable for the explanation and description of the development of solution dolines. According to the differential equation of solution, the migration rate of the karstic relief is determined by the CO2 production, the soaking time and the average diameter of the fragments of the debris zone. According to the above - supposing constant parameters of karstification - the time of denudation at any point of a karstic area can be also calculated when knowing the original thickness of the rock exposed to karstic denudation. The age of a solution doline can be determined by the formula obtained

Palaeosecular variation observed in speleothems from western China and northern Spain, PhD thesis, 1996,
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Openshaw, S. J.

This study has produced records of the palaeosecular variation (PSV) of the earth's magnetic field from Speleothems from China and Spain. The ultimate aim of this project was to produce contemporaneous PSV records which would show that Speleothems accurately record ambient geomagnetic field behaviour. From Sichuan Province, China, five Speleothems were collected of which four were studied for their records of PSV. Eight Spanish Speleothems from the Cantabrian coast were collected but their weak magnetisation allowed only one record of PSV to be produced.
All speleothem sub-samples were weakly magnetised and had, on average, initial intensities of <100 x 10-8 Am2kg-1. Despite this, the majority of sub-samples were stable during stepwise alternating-field and thermal demagnetisation and each displayed a single component of magnetisation after removal of any secondary overprints. Rock magnetic experiments were hampered by low mineral concentrations but suggested that the remanences of each speleothem were carried by a mixture of multi and single-domain (titano-) magnetite and also by haematite present in significant quantities. The primary method of remanence acquisition appeared to be a depositional remanence sourced from flooding. This was corroborated by a linear relationship between sub-sample intensities and weight % acid insoluble detritus.
A selection of sub-samples from each speleothem were dated using uranium-thorium disequilibrium and alpha spectrometry. For the majority of sub-samples the low concentrations of uranium, high levels of detrital contamination and initially low chemical yields raised the associated dating inaccuracies above the quoted level for alpha spectrometry of 5-10%. Two Spanish Speleothems had high uranium concentrations and little, or no, detrital contamination. Percent age errors of these Speleothems ranged from 1 to 6%. Comprehensive experiments on the efficiencies of three electrodeposition methods were also undertaken. The most efficient method was found to be a modified version of the Hallstadius method (Hallstadius, 1984), which consistently achieved chemical yields between 40 and 90% for uranium and thorium.
In order to correct more analytically for the presence of detrital contamination, the leachate/leachate method of Schwarcz and Latham (1989) was tested. The maximum likelihood estimation data treatment technique (Ludwig and Titterington, 1994) was used to calculate dates from these analyses. Tests on Mexican speleothem SSJ2 gave excellent results allowing a revised dating scheme to be adopted. Tests on some sub-samples from Chinese Speleothems were generally unsuccessful due to analytical errors.
The isotope 210Pb was used to date the top surface of one speleothem. A constant growth rate was inferred which was significantly less than that calculated from the 230Th - 234U dating method. This was thought to be due to the former techniques inability to resolve growth rates of periods of less than 200 years.
Despite the dating errors associated with each speleothem the records of PSV compare well with each other and with contemporaneous records from China, Japan and also the UK (for the Spanish record). In addition. agreement with PSV data modelled from observatory records suggested that westward drift of the non-dipole geomagnetic field was predominant during the past 10ka.


Mixed transport reaction control of gypsum dissolution kinetics in aqueous solutions and initiation of gypsum karst, 1997,
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Raines M. A. , Dewers T. A. ,
Experiments with gypsum in aqueous solutions at 25 degrees C, low ionic strengths, and a range of saturation states indicate a mixed surface reaction and diffusional transport control of gypsum dissolution kinetics. Dissolution rates were determined in a mixed flow/rotating disc reactor operating under steady-state conditions, in which polished gypsum discs were rotated at constant speed and reactant solutions were continuously fed into the reactor. Rates increase with velocity of spin under laminar conditions (low rates of spin), but increase asymptotically to a constant rate as turbulent conditions develop with increasing spin velocity, experiencing a small jump in magnitude across the laminar-turbulent transition. A Linear dependence of rates on the square root of spin velocity in the laminar regime is consistent with rates being limited by transport through a hydrodynamic boundary layer. The increase in rate with onset of turbulence accompanies a near discontinuous drop in hydrodynamic boundary layer thickness across the transition. A relative independence of rates on spinning velocity in the turbulent regime plus a nonlinear dependence of rates on saturation state are factors consistent with surface reaction control. Together these behaviors implicate a 'mixed' transport and reaction control of gypsum dissolution kinetics. A rate law which combines both kinetic mechanisms and can reproduce experimental results under laminar flow conditions is proposed as follows: R = k(t) {1 - Omega(b)() zeta [1 - (1 2(1 - Omega(b)())(1/2)]} where k(t) is the rate coefficient for transport control, and Omega(b)() is the mean ionic saturation state of the bulk fluid. The dimensionless parameter zeta(=Dm(eq)()/2 delta k() where m(eq)() = mean ionic molal equilibrium concentration, D is the diffusion coefficient through the hydrodynamic boundary layer, delta equals the boundary layer thickness and k() is the rate constant for surface reaction control) indicates which process, transport or surface reaction, dominates, and is sensitive to the hydrodynamic conditions in the reactor. For the range of conditions used in our experiments, zeta varies from about 1.4 to 4.5. Rates of gypsum dissolution were also determined in situ in a cavern system in the Permian Blaine Formation, southwestern Oklahoma. Although the flow conditions in the caverns were not determinable, there is good agreement between lab- and field-determined rates in that field rate magnitudes lie within a range of rates determined experimentally under zero to low spin velocities A numerical model coupling fluid flow and gypsum reaction in an idealized circular conduit is used to estimate the distance which undersaturated solutions will travel into small incipient conduits before saturation is achieved. Simulations of conduit wall dissolution showed-member behaviors of conduit formation and surface denudation that depend on flow boundary conditions (constant discharge or constant hydraulic gradient and initial conduit radius. Surface-control of dissolution rates. which becomes more influential with higher fluid flow velocity, has the effect that rate decrease more slowly as saturation is approached than otherwise would occur if rates were controlled by transport alone. This has the effect that reactive solutions can penetrate much farther into gypsum-bearing karst conduits than heretofore thought possible, influencing timing and mechanism of karst development as well as stability of engineered structures above karst terrain

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