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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 storage in depressions is water retention in surface depressions [16].?

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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 pollution (Keyword) returned 30 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 30
Groundwater pollution by contaminant transport from soil to fractured rock, 2000, Witthü, Ser Kai, Č, Enč, Ur Curk Barbara

Water flow and contaminant transport from soil to underlying fractured rock is mainly controlled by the hydraulic conditions of the soil-bedrock boundary. In respect to the necessary understanding of contaminant transport at the soil-bedrock boundary the identification of flow paths within both the soil cover and the fractured media is decisive on the one side. On the other hand substance-specific behaviour of the often reactive pollutants compared to water flow has to be known in detail. Field scale tracer tests with different tracers (uranine and salts) and a potential pollutant as a reactive tracer (nitrate) were performed at the IRGO field research facility Sinji Vrh (SI). Injection points are located on the surface, in the soil, at the soil-rock interface and in the fractured rock; water is sampled in an underground tunnel with the help of two subhorizontal boreholes equipped with sampling devices and a special construction for collecting water seeping from the ceiling. The goal of these experiments is to identify the flow paths of solutes to the underground tunnel and to estimate their residence time dependent on the injection point. So far only some conclusions regarding the waterflux into the tunnel could be drawn.


Lunan "Shilin" (Stone Forest), human impact and protection of (eventual) World Heritage Site (Yunnan, China), 2001, Kranjc Andrej, Liu Hong

The Chinese expression "shilin" (stone forest) is becoming an international term meaning megakarren, that is a Čforest« of intensively corroded limestone pinnacles. The best known is Shilin near the town of Lunan. The first known description of Shilin is from 1382. Shilin is very important tourist site. Modern tourism began to develop in 1980, in 1999 the number of visitors reached over 2 million. In 1981 the whole area (350 sq. km) was protected. Under the auspices of the National Ministry of Construction material is being collected for an application to inscribe Shilin into the list of World's Natural Heritage at UNESCO. Related to human impact the most important threats are: exploitation (destruction) of limestone pinnacles as a source of rock material; the pressure of population towards the protection zone due to their increase (need for new building plots); agriculture (farming and stockbreeding) connected to soil erosion and underground water pollution (use of fertilisers); fast growth of visitor numbers. The Shilin administration introduced different protection measures: ban on rock (limestone pinnacles) exploitation in the protection zone (orientation towards afforestation); construction of new tourist facilities out of the core zone (and demolition of some of them in that zone); establishment of a special protection department within Shilin management (18 person); education of "special voluntary rangers" - recruited among highly respected persons of villages and towns in the region.


The Effect of Darab Salt Dome on the Quality of Adjacent Karstic and Alluvium Aquifers (South of Iran), 2002, Sharafi A. , Raeisi E. , Farhoodi G.

Karstified carbonate formations are among the most important water resources in the south-central regions of Iran. If the karst water is not contaminated by salt domes, the electrical conductivity of water in the karst aquifer is less than 500 µS cm-1 in the south-center of Iran. The study area is located in the southern flank of Shahneshin-Milk anticline, 200 km east of Shiraz. This region is situated in the Zagros Thrust Zone. The Tarbur karstic formation (Late Campanian-Maastrichtian) is outcropped on the southern flank of the Shahneshin-Milk anticline which is underlain by the impermeable Radiolarite formation. The Darab salt dome outcrops inside the karstified Tarbur Formation. Several springs emerge from the Tarbur Formation. The quality of all springs is in the range of unpolluted karst water except for three springs which are located near the Darab salt dome. The electrical conductivity of these springs range from 1200 to 2000 µS cm-1. Part of the alluvium near the Darab salt dome is salt-marsh which is bounded by two channels. The electrical conductivity in the salt-marsh below the water table is about 1400 µS cm-1, and it reduces to 400 µS cm-1 at the lower depths. Run-off from the Darab salt dome and seepage from the channel with low quality water are probably the main reasons of salt-marsh development. A considerable amount of polluted Tarbur karst water does not flow towards the marshland because, firstly, most of the Tarbur karst water discharges from the springs, and secondly, the alluvium aquifer is not affected by polluted water at lower depths.


Karstic problems in the construction of Milwaukee's Deep Tunnels, 2004, Day Mj,
A critical component of Milwaukee's $ 2.8 billion Water Pollution Abatement Program is a 31.2-km inline storage system comprising three Deep Tunnel sections that were bored between 1984 and 1993 at a depth of 80-100 m within Silurian-aged Niagara dolostone. Construction of these Deep Tunnels proved more difficult and expensive than estimated because the karstic nature of the dolostone, particularly its hydrology, had not been fully appreciated. Rock collapse, subsidence and groundwater intrusion necessitated remedial grouting and lining of about 45% of the tunnels, costing some $ 50 million above estimates and delaying completion by 9 months. Tunnel performance since completion continues to be controversial

Groundwater Pollution: Dispersed, 2004, Boyer D. G.

Groundwater Pollution: Point Sources, 2004, Schindel G. , Hoyt J.

Groundwater Pollution: Remediation, 2004, Schindel G. , Johnson S. , Smart C.

Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, PhD Thesis, 2005, Eberhard, S. M.

Groundwater is a significant component of the world’s water balance and accounts for >90 % of usable freshwater. Around the world groundwater is an important source of water for major cities, towns, industries, agriculture and forestry. Groundwater plays a role in the ecological processes and ‘health’ of many surface ecosystems, and is the critical habitat for subterranean aquatic animals (stygofauna). Over-abstraction or contamination of groundwater resources may imperil the survival of stygofauna and other groundwater-dependent ecosystems (GDEs). In two karst areas in Western Australia (Yanchep and Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge), rich stygofauna communities occur in cave waters containing submerged tree roots. These aquatic root mat communities were listed as critically endangered because of declining groundwater levels, presumably caused by lower rainfall, groundwater abstraction, and/or forest plantations. Investigation of the hydrology and ecology of the cave systems was considered essential for the conservation and recovery of these threatened ecological communities (TECs). This thesis investigated the hydrology and ecology of one of the TECs, located in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge. A multi-disciplinary approach was used to explore aspects pertinent to the hydrology and ecology of the groundwater system.
Thermoluminescence dating of the limestone suggested that development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and that caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Field mapping and leveling were used to determine hydrologic relationships between caves and the boundaries of the karst aquifer. Monitoring of groundwater levels was undertaken to characterise the conditions of recharge, storage, flow and discharge. A hydrogeologic model of the karst system was developed.
The groundwater hydrograph for the last 50 years was reconstructed from old photographs and records whilst radiometric dating and leveling of stratigraphic horizons enabled reconstruction of a history of watertable fluctuations spanning the Holocene to Late Pleistocene. The watertable fluctuations over the previous 50 years did not exceed the range of fluctuations experienced in the Quaternary history, including a period 11,000 to 13,000 years ago when the watertable was lower than the present level.
The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not reflected in the annual rainfall trend, which was above average during the period (1976 to 1988) when the major drop in water levels occurred. Groundwater abstraction and tree plantations in nearby catchments have not contributed to the groundwater decline as previously suggested. The period of major watertable decline coincided with a substantial reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have contributed to a reduction in groundwater recharge, through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. To better understand the relationships between rainfall, vegetation and fire and their effects on groundwater recharge, an experiment is proposed that involves a prescribed burn of the cave catchment with before-after monitoring of rainfall, leaf-area, ground litter, soil moisture, vadose infiltration and groundwater levels.
Molecular genetic techniques (allozyme electrophoresis and mitochondrial DNA) were used to assess the species and population boundaries of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda. Populations of both species were largely panmictic which was consistent with the hydrogeologic model. The molecular data supported the conclusion that both species of amphipod have survived lower watertable levels experienced in the caves during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed.
Multi Dimensional Scaling was used to investigate patterns in groundwater biodiversity including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography. Faunal patterns were related to abiotic environmental parameters. Investigation of hydrochemistry and water quality characterized the ecological water requirements (EWR) of the TEC and established a baseline against which to evaluate potential impacts such as groundwater pollution.
The conservation status of the listed TEC was significantly improved by increasing the number of known occurrences and distribution range of the community (from 10 m2 to > 2 x 106 m2), and by showing that earlier perceived threatening processes (rainfall decline, groundwater pumping, tree plantations) were either ameliorated or inoperative within this catchment. The GDE in the Jewel Cave karst system may not have been endangered by the major phase of watertable decline experienced 1975-1987, or by the relatively stable level experienced up until 2000. However, if the present trend of declining rainfall in southwest Western Australia continues, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the GDE may become more vulnerable to extinction.
The occurrence and distribution of aquatic root mat communities and related groundwater fauna in other karst catchments in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge is substantially greater than previously thought, however some of these are predicted to be threatened by groundwater pumping and pollution associated with increasing urban and rural developments. The taxonomy of most stygofauna taxa and the distribution of root mat communities is too poorly known to enable proper assessment of their conservation requirements. A regional-scale survey of stygofauna in southwest Western Australia is required to address this problem. In the interim, conservation actions for the listed TECs need to be focused at the most appropriate spatial scale, which is the karst drainage system and catchment area. Conservation of GDEs in Western Australia will benefit from understanding and integration with abiotic groundwater system processes, especially hydrogeologic and geomorphic processes.


Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia [abstract], 2006, Eberhard S. M.
This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.

Extended Abstract: Ecology and hydrology of a threatened groundwater-dependent ecosystem: the Jewel Cave karst system in Western Australia, 2006, Eberhard, Stefan M.

This thesis investigates the hydrology and ecology of a threatened aquatic root mat community in the Jewel Cave karst system in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste Ridge, Western Australia. Development of the karst system dates from the Early Pleistocene and the caves have been available for colonisation by groundwater fauna since that time. Speleogenesis of the watertable maze caves occurred in a flank margin setting during earlier periods of wetter climate and/or elevated base levels. Watertable fluctuations over the last 50 years did not exceed the range experienced in the Quaternary history. The recent groundwater decline in Jewel Cave was not related to rainfall, nor groundwater abstraction nor nearby tree plantations. However, it did coincide with a reduction in fire frequency within the karst catchment. The resultant increase in understorey vegetation and ground litter may have reduced groundwater recharge through increased evapotranspiration and interception of rainfall. The populations of two genera and species of cave dwelling Amphipoda are largely panmictic. Both species have survived lower watertable levels during the Late Pleistocene. A mechanism for the colonization and isolation of populations in caves is proposed. Faunal patterns (including species diversity, species assemblages, habitat associations and biogeography) were related to abiotic environmental parameters. The ecological water requirements of the community were determined as a baseline for evaluation of impacts such as groundwater pollution. If rainfall continues to decline, and the cave watertable declines > 0.5 m below the present level, then the groundwater ecosystem may become more vulnerable to extinction. The taxonomy and distribution of root mat communities is poorly known and a regional-scale survey is required to properly assess their conservation requirements. Meanwhile, conservation actions for the communities need to be focused at the scale of the karst drainage system and catchment area.


Formes et formations superficielles de la partie ouest du Causse de Sauveterre (Grands Causses, Aveyron et Lozre), 2007, Bruxelles Laurent , Simoncoinon Rgine, Guendon Jeanlouis, Ambert Paul
MORPHOLOGY AND SUPERFICIAL FORMATIONS OF THE WESTERN PART OF THE CAUSSE DE SAUVETERRE (GRANDS CAUSSES, AVEYRON AND LOZ?RE, FRANCE). In 2002, the Natural Regional Park of Grands Causses has coordinated a hydrogeological study of the western part of the Causse de Sauveterre, the northernmost of the Grands Causses. A multidisciplinary approach (geology, geomorphology, geochemistry and hydrology) was used to delineate the catchment area of the main springs and to estimate the vulnerability of karstic aquifers. The Grands Causses are situated in the southern part of the French Massif Central. The landscape is characterised by huge limestone plateaus cut by deep canyons. The morphologic study of the western part of the Causse de Sauveterre (Causse de Massegros and Causse de S?v?rac), combined with analysis of superficial formations, allows us to identify the main steps of landscape evolution. The discovery of bauxite and of many outcrops of Upper Cretaceous sandstone confirm that the Coniacian ingression invaded some paleo-landscapes developed within a long period of continental evolution which was initiated at the end of the Jurassic. During the Tertiary, many residual formations form covers of the limestone plateaus. We can distinguish alterites developed from different formations of the stratigraphic series (clay with cherts from Bajocian, dolomitic sand from Bathonian and Callovian, sandy clays from Cretaceous deposits) from some allochtonous deposits which can be found in some parts of the Causse de Massegros. These formations are found in association with morphological features (shelves, polj?s, fluvio-karstic valleys, sinkholes) and are more or less responsible of their development. Furthermore, some volcanic rocks cut through or even reused some of them. With the deepening of canyons and the base level drop, horizontal morphologies are preserved only where superficial formations are abundant and thick enough to maintain crypto-corrosion. Elsewhere, karst unplugging removes most of the superficial formations, and the karstic evolution tends to show a vertical development of morphologies and caves. Some springs, which benefit from a favourable lithologic, structural and hydrologic context, are more competitive and expand their catchment area at the expense of the other springs. Many superficial features express this dynamism on the plateau and allow us to determine the most sensible areas for water pollution and the most fragile ones for human activities.

Contributory area definition for groundwater source protection and hazard mitigation in carbonate aquifers, 2007, Gunn J. ,
Carbonate aquifers provide important sources of potable water but are known to be particularly prone to pollution owing to rapid transfer of pollutants from the surface to springs or boreholes. Source protection zones and groundwater vulnerability maps are commonly used to mitigate against the pollution hazard but cannot be applied simplistically to carbonate aquifers, which are usually highly heterogeneous with overlapping groundwater divides that may vary with water levels. Divergent flow and disjunct contributory areas provide further complexity. Under these conditions, water-tracing experiments, repeated under different flow conditions, are the only tool capable of identifying those areas that contribute recharge to a particular source. Examples of water pollution affecting disjunct and overlapping source contributory areas are presented from the Waitomo area (New Zealand), Cuilcagh Mountain (Ireland) and the Peak District (UK). Source protection zones (SPZ), that have been defined by the Environment Agency in the Buxton area of the Peak District using equivalent porous medium models, are shown to be deficient. Further water-tracing experiments are essential if carbonate aquifers are to be adequately protected from pollution

Intrinsic vulnerability assessment of Sette Comuni Plateau aquifer (Veneto Region, Italy), 2007, Cucchi Franco, Franceschini Giuliana, Zini Luca, Aurighi Marina
Maps illustrating the different degrees of vulnerability within a given area are integral to environmental protection and management policies. The assessment of the intrinsic vulnerability of karst areas is difficult since the type and stage of karst development and the related underground discharge behavior are difficult to determine and quantify. Geographic Information Systems techniques are applied to the evaluation of the vulnerability of an aquifer in the alpine karst area of the Sette Comuni Plateau, in the Veneto Region of northern Italy. The water resources of the studied aquifer are of particular importance to the local communities. This aquifer must therefore be protected from both inappropriate use as well as possible pollution. The SINTACS and SINTACS PRO KARST vulnerability assessment methods have been utilized here to create the vulnerability map. SINTACS PRO KARST is an adaptation of the parametric managerial model (SINTACS) to karst hydrostructures. The vulnerability map reveals vast zones (81% of the analyzed areas) with a high degree of vulnerability. The presence of well-developed karst structures in these highly vulnerable areas facilitate water percolation, thereby enhancing the groundwater vulnerability risk. Only 1.5 of the studied aquifer have extremely high-vulnerability levels, however these areas include all of the major springs utilized for human consumption. This vulnerability map of the Sette Comuni Plateau aquifer is an indispensable tool for both the effective management of water resources and as support to environmental planning in the Sette Comuni Plateau area.

GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION IN KARST AREAS OF SOUTHWESTERN CHINA AND RECOMMENDED COUNTER MEASURES, 2010, Guo F. , Yuan D. , Qin Z.
Approximately 33% of China is karstic. The most extensive karst areas are in southwestern China and cover approximately 540,000 km2. Southwestern China hosts some of the most typical karst landforms in the world and has important high-quality karst water resources. Due to the rapid development of China, karst waters are threatened by various types of contamination. Detail field and laboratory investigations in five provinces including several cities in southwestern China were conducted in 2008 and 2009. Eightythree springs and underground rivers were surveyed and water samples collected from each for laboratory analyses for major ions. Four main types of karst aquifer contamination were identified based on contaminant sources: rural and agricultural pollution, pollution from urban development and industry, pollution from mining, and accidental groundwater pollution. Several representative instances for each type of contamination and their impacts on the environment are discussed in more detail. Contamination countermeasures of karst waters and a framework for overall management of karst water resources in southwestern China are provided.

SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL HYDROCHEMICAL VARIATIONS OF THE SPRING-FED TRAVERTINE DEPOSITING STREAM IN THE HUANGLONG RAVINE, SICHUAN, SW CHINA, 2010, Wang H. , Liu Z. , Zhang J. , Sun H. , An D. , Fu R. , Wang X.
Automatic hydrochemical logging and in situ titration combined with laboratory analysis were used to understand the spatial and temporal hydrochemical variations of the spring-fed, travertine-depositing stream in celebrated Huanglong Ravine, Sichuan, SW China. This is essential for protection of the Huanglong World Natural Heritage travertine landscape. It was found that the deposition of travertine was due to very strong CO2 degassing from the water, leading to decrease in pCO2 and specific conductivity (SpC), and increase in pH and SIc downstream from the Spring. However, regular downstream hydrochemical evolution was interrupted by dilution with snowmelt water and by renewed CO2 from some downstream springs. The chemistry of Huanglong Spring itself was stable at a diurnal scale though it was altered by the great Wenchuan earthquake of May 12 2008. However, in spring-fed pools downstream, pCO2 and SpC were lower, and pH and SIc were higher in daytime than at night, which indicates that the deposition of travertine was faster during the daylight hours. This was due to the combined e?ects of higher water tempera-tures and higher aquatic algae photosynthesis. In addition, it was found that the phosphate concentration in the stream in-creased remarkably downstream in the tourist midseason, in-dicating water pollution by tourism activities. ?e increase of phosphate (an inhibitor of calcite precipitation) may be one of the reasons for the decrease in travertine deposition rates and accelerated propagation of discoloration by diatoms during the past decades, which needs to be given more comprehensive study and tackled in future for the protection of these world famous travertine deposits.Keywords: hydrochemical var

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