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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 montmorillonite is a clay mineral containing magnesium oxide (mgo) in its structure [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 groundwater resources (Keyword) returned 42 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 42
Palaeokarst in the Noondine Chert in Southwestern Australia: Implications for Water Supply and the Protection of Biodiversity, 2002, Appleyard, Steve
In southwestern Australia, karst features occur in geological formations other than the coastal calcarenites of the Tamala Limestone. The Noondine Chert was formed by the silicification of carbonate rocks and contains relict carbonate textures and palaeokarst features such as intense brecciation and the presence of subsurface voids. This geological formation is an important aquifer to the east of the Perth Basin where groundwater resources are otherwise limited, and the aquifer is highly vulnerable to contamination from agricultural land use. The Noondine Chert may also contain a rich stygofauna. This has not been taken into account in groundwater protection policies, and needs to be assessed as a matter of urgency

HJWFTAC: software for Hantush-Jacob analysis of variable-rate, multiple-extraction well pumping tests, 2002, Fleming Sw, Ruskauff Gj, Adams A,
Analytical well test solutions are a powerful approach to aquifer characterization and the parameterization of comprehensive numerical models. In addition, wellfield drawdown tests, which consist of coordinated pumping and data collection at a suite of monitoring and operating production wells, are of growing significance due to increasing pressures upon groundwater resources and the consequent management and planning requirement for superior hydrogeologic characterization of existing production wellfields. However. few pumping test analysis codes accommodate the multiple extraction wells involved, particularly for more sophisticated analytic aquifer test solutions. We present and demonstrate here a FORTRAN code for analysis of drawdown at a monitor well due to simultaneous variable-rate pumping at multiple independent production wells, which we developed in response to a need to refine an existing numerical, coupled groundwater/surface water resource management model, Spatial and temporal superposition are used to accommodate the typical operational properties of wellfield pumping tests, The software invokes the well-accepted Hantush-Jacob method for semiconfined or 'leaky' aquifers in a forward simulation procedure and effectively assumes homogeneity in applicable aquifer parameters (transmissivity, coefficient of storage, and leakance). Intended for both professionals and students, the code is widely applicable and straightforward to use as written. However, it can be modified with relative ease to use alternative well test solutions and/or formal inverse modeling techniques, or to accommodate spatial hydrogeologic variability. An application to a pumping test conducted in a karst limestone aquifer at the Cross Bar Ranch wellfield in Tampa Bay, Florida, demonstrates the utility of the software. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst., 2002, Birk S.
Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events. Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer. Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation. In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case. The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst, PhD thesis, 2002, Birk, S.

Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events.
Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer.
Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation.
In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case.
The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.


Palaeokarst in the Noondine Chert in Southwestern Australia: Implications for Water Supply and the Protection of Biodiversity, 2002, Appleyard, Steve

In southwestern Australia, karst features occur in geological formations other than the coastal calcarenites of the Tamala Limestone. The Noondine Chert was formed by the silicification of carbonate rocks and contains relict carbonate textures and palaeokarst features such as intense brecciation and the presence of subsurface voids. This geological formation is an important aquifer to the east of the Perth Basin where groundwater resources are otherwise limited, and the aquifer is highly vulnerable to contamination from agricultural land use. The Noondine Chert may also contain a rich stygofauna. This has not been taken into account in groundwater protection policies, and needs to be assessed as a matter of urgency.


Comparative estimate of resistance to drought for selected karstic aquifers in Bulgaria, 2004, Orehova Tatiana
Effective management of water resources requires adequate knowledge of groundwater system including the influence of climate variability and climate change. The drought of 1982-1994 in Bulgaria has led to important decrease of springflow and lowering of water levels. Therefore, groundwater demonstrated its vulnerability to drought. The purpose of this paper is to determine relative resistance of selected aquifers in Bulgaria to a prolonged decrease of recharge to groundwater. The drought resistance indicator has been defined for some karstic aquifers based on the method proposed in report of BRGM. The data from National Hydrogeological Network located in the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology were processed. For the aim of this study, time-series of discharge for karstic springs were used. Stations with significant impact of human activity on groundwater were eliminated. The results show that most of studied aquifers in Bulgaria have moderate and weak resistance to the drought. They are vulnerable to droughts and need good management for effective use of groundwater resources.

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.


Hoga island, Sulawesi, Indonesia: geomorphology and groundwater resources of a small tropical carbonate island, 2006, Dykes A. P. , Gunn J.
This paper provides the first report of the geomorphology and hydrogeology of Hoga island, a small tropical carbonate island in southeast Sulawesi, Indonesia, based on reconnaissance field explorations and surveys. Hoga is being developed as a specialist ecotourism destination, and a sustainable water supply is one of the important development issues. The island comprises 3.42km2 of low-lying hard, but highly karstified, coral limestone covered with dense scrub forest and coconut plantations. It displays dissolution features typical of similar tropical islands, including pit caves and flank margin caves. A freshwater aquifer exists with a water table 1.57m above MSL near the centre of the less karstified western two-thirds of the island, where surface elevations locally exceed 6m above MSL. All occurrences of potable freshwater, i.e. having electrical conductivity < 1500 mS cm-1, are also within this main part of the island. Complex hydrogeological conditions are indicated by the patterns of tidal influences on water levels in existing wells and natural dissolution holes. Using published studies and empirical relationships, it is estimated that Hoga contains a potable freshwater lens at least 2m thick (total volume c.300,000m3) and that annual recharge may exceed 500,000m3. As actual annual demand for freshwater since 2001 was < 2800m3, it is concluded that Hoga contains an aquifer that could sustain the present and likely future freshwater demands of residents and seasonal ecotourist populations, subject to satisfactory water quality assessment and management.

Natural and anthropogenic hazards in the karst of Jamaica, 2007, Day Mj,
About two thirds of Jamaica is karst landscape, and karstic hazards affect much of the country and about half of the population, mostly in rural areas. The karst includes extensive areas of dolines and dry valleys, together with poljes and classical tropical tower and cockpit karst. With population and urbanization increases, and as infrastructure is developed, karstic hazards are becoming more prevalent and risks are increasing. One major natural hazard is seasonal drought, which disrupts water supplies, particularly in rural areas where groundwater resources are poorly developed and residents depend on rainwater and springs. Conversely, seasonal flooding, particularly that associated with tropical storms, causes property damage and human death, injury and displacement. Ground surface subsidence and collapse threatens developing infrastructure, dwellings and livestock, but the potential for catastrophic karstic failure of industrial facilities such as dams and retention ponds, including the storage facilities associated with bauxite mining and processing, appears to be relatively limited. Slope failure also occurs, but is not often recognized as a hazard and has not been studied in detail. Human impacts include quarrying, bauxite mining, groundwater abstraction, urbanization, agricultural development and tourism. Groundwater contamination is a serious anthropogenic hazard, particularly associated with the bauxite industry. Less than 10% of the karst area is within protected areas

Evaluating the impact of quarrying on karst aquifers of Salento (southern Italy), 2007, Le Rose M. , Parise M. , Andriani G. F. ,
This paper describes a case study in the Salento karst (Apulia, southern Italy) in a site that has been intensively used to quarry limestones in the last 30 years. After quarrying activity had stopped, the site was transformed into legal and illegal landfills where solid and liquid wastes have been repeatedly dumped, with serious consequences for the groundwater resources. In this paper, through a geological, petrographical and hydrogeological approach, we attempt to assess the consequences of the anthropogenic activities on the local hydrogeology, with particular regard to the surficial aquifer that is contained in the Plio-Quaternary calcarenites cropping out in the area. Application of some well-known methods to assess the vulnerability of aquifer systems to contamination by human activities (DRASTIC, SINTACS, LeGrand and GOD) highlights the limits of such an approach in karst environment, and the necessity to include in the methods data strictly related to the peculiarity of karst. This is further evidenced by application of the EPIK method, specifically designed for karst areas. The final part of the paper focuses on the need of a thorough understanding of the hydrogeological setting for a better management and policy action of karst environments

MANAGING AQUIFER RECHARGE (MAR): ASSESSMENT OF GROUNDWATER RESOURCES IN THE SAND, 2007, Kim Thoa Nguyen Thi, Giuseppe Arduino, Paolo Bono, Nguyen Van Giang, Phan Thi Kim Van, Bui Tran Vuong, Dinh Thi Bich Lieu, Brun Clarissa, Chiara Fiori, Fabrizio Gherardi, Francesca Zucco
Extensive geophysical, hydrological and isotopic investigations, including drilling campaigns, long term pumping tests and continuous monitoring of ground water levels in 4 monitoring wells, show that the sand dunes formation is characterized by the occurrence of an unconfined porous aquifer, of variable thickness (40 to 60 m), emerging at ground level in depressed morphological areas (20 to 30 m a.s.l.) where it forms intradune wetlands or natural reservoirs (lakes), and discharging directly to the sea through single springs (up to 200 l/s), linear springs and mostly by diffuse seepage along the shoreline (approximate discharge equal to 30 l/s per km). Hydrochemical and isotopic characterization of surface and groundwater in different periods, shows that the sand dunes aquifers, with electrical conductivity ranging from 50 to 500 μS/cm, are composed of different water types, characterized by complex mixing processes. The site chosen for the artificial recharge, where a 162 days pumping test has been carried out, proved that the use of the bank filtration technique has considerably improved the quality of water, originally highly contaminated by colibacteria. The well field developed within the present project is now capable of supplying 220 m3/day of good water quality to the Hong Phong community, recurrently affected by severe droughts. This project is part of UNESCO-IHP (International Hydrological Programme) and IMET (Italian Ministry for the Environment and Territory) Water Programme for Africa, Arid and Water Scarce zone - Viet Nam component funded by IMET. Funds for the Viet Nam project were also made available from the Vietnamese Government, and from ICSU, the International Council for Science and UNESCO Office Jakarta.

Quantitative Stochastic Hydrogeology: The Heterogeneous Environment, 2008, Ababou, Rachid


Karst Aquifers: Hydrogeology and Exploitation, 2008, Darnault, Christophe J. G.


GROUNDWATER FLOW IN CRYSTALLINE CARBONATES (JESENIKY MTS., CZECH REP.): USING STREAM THERMOMETRY AND GROUNDWATER BALANCE FOR CATCHMENT DELINEATION, 2008, Kukač, Ka J. , Altová, V. , Bruthans J. , Zeman O.

Strips of metamorphosed carbonate rocks in a contact-karst area in the Jeseniky Mts, Czech Republic, act as aquifers, draining broad areas of crystalline rocks, mostly phyllites. Significant groundwater resources that are partly used as a water supply are in carbonate rocks. Detailed temperature and conductivity measurements coupled with discharge measurements along all streams in the area demonstrate a relatively quick method to locate virtually all important groundwater outflows from carbonates. Discharge measurements of streams crossing carbonate strips enabled us to locate and quantify the capacity of ponors and losing parts of streams in various water stages. Thanks to a detailed knowledge of losing and gaining parts of streams, we were able to select appropriate profiles to separate catchments with differing hydrologic balances (balanced, gaining, losing). Flow directions in carbonates and recharge and discharge areas were delineated by comparing the specific discharges of individual catchments. Resulting flow directions agree with tracer tests in the area. Our outlined approach can be used in many other areas to locate hidden inflows into streams and to estimate flow between individual small catchments, and it may partly compensate for tracer tests as it allows flow directions to be estimated from hydrological balance and rock geometry.


Assessment of the thickness of the epikarst zone from distribution of dolines depth, 2009, Klimchouk A. B. , Amelichev G. N. , Naumenko V. G. , Tokarev S. V.

Epikarst zone, due to its peculiar hydrogeologic features and functions, plays a fundamental role in karst morphogenesis and natural protection of groundwater in the conditions of open karst. The presence of epikarst considerably diminishes high vulnerability of groundwaters, generally characteristic for karst systems. Thickness of the epikarst zone is the most important parameter that determines buffering capacity of epikarst with regard to groundwater resources, its ability to retard and neutralize contaminants, hence – the protective role of epikarst with regard to groundwater resources.

The main problem in evaluation of epikarst during groundwater vulnerability assessment is luck of methods for its mapping in area. This paper, based on the analysis of regularities of epikarst morphogenesis, substantiates a possibility to assess variations in thickness of epikarst by distribution of depth of karst dolines.

Maps of doline depth distribution (representing thickness of epikarst) are created for main massifs of the Mountain Crimea, as well as maps of density of dolines and documented caves. Conjugate analysis of these maps from the standpoint of the epikarst concept gives important information about relationship of surface and underground karstification and serves as a basis for accounting for epikarst during groundwater vulnerability assessment in regions of open karst.


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