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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 taranakite is a cave mineral - kal3(po4)3(oh).9h2o [11].?

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.
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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 centuries (Keyword) returned 51 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 51
A Mathematical Model of Air Temperature in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, 2001,
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Jernigan, J. W. , Swift, R. J.
Alterations made to the Natural (Historic) Entrance into Mammoth Cave over the past two centuries have resulted in disrupted atmospheric conditions in the Historic Section of Mammoth Cave. In an effort to understand atmospheric phenomena in this section of the cave, Division of Science and Resources Management personnel at Mammoth Cave National Park collected atmospheric data from various sites throughout the Historic Section of Mammoth Cave. These data are used to construct a mathematical model that predicts air temperature at various sites within the cave system. First, an approximate mathematical model is constructed that could apply to any cave system with characteristics (such as cave geometry and the natural force driving airflow) similar to those in Mammoth Cave. Then, the regression analysis of atmospheric data and the use of the derived model allow the construction of a mathematical model that is specific to the Historic Section of Mammoth Cave.

Sediments and stratigraphy in rockshelters and caves: A personal perspective on principles and pragmatics, 2001,
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Farrand Wr,
Over the last half century the study of rockshelter and cave sediments has evolved from straightforward descriptive analysis to sophisticated examination on several scales-from field observations to bulk laboratory analyses to microscopic examination. Still an integrated theory to guide the interpretation of these analyses does not exist, in part because of the idiosyncratic nature of individual eaves and rockshelters. This paper reviews studies that couple field observations with laboratory analyses including particle size, pebble morphology, chemical, and mineralogical studies to provide, first, the necessary basic description of the sediments and, second, an interpretation of the environment of sedimentation. These studies can lead to an understanding of site-formation processes during human occupation, and eventually to a reconstruction of local and, in some cases, regional paleoclimates. Furthermore, sediment study is essential for intrasite correlation, independent of artifact, faunal, floral, and radiometric techniques. Finally, it is emphasized that close cooperation among sedimentologists, archaeologists, and biological specialists during planning, excavation, and interpretative stages is crucial to a successfully integrated study. (C) 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc

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

Molluscan assemblages from deposits filling small karst forms in the Tatra Mountains (Southern Poland), 2001,
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Alexandrowicz, Witold Pawel

Numerous shells of molluscs were found in loamy sediments rich in limestone and dolomite scree filling small karst forms and forming debris fans. They have been analysed from several logs in the Tatra Mountains. Woodland and open-country snails are the main components of fauna. Relations between two mentioned ecological groups of molluscs indicate climatic changes and moving the timberline. Three phases of warming separated by two stages of the colder climate were recognised. They can be related to following ages: XIII and first half of XIV centuries AD (warm phase), second half of XIV - XVII centuries AD (cold phase), XVIII and the first half of XIX centuries (warm phase), second half of the XIX century (cold phase) and finally to XX century (warm phase).


Assessments of the sensitivity to climate change of flow and natural water quality in four major carbonate aquifers of Europe, 2002,
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Younger P. L. , Teutsch G. , Custodio E. , Elliot T. , Manzano M. , Sauter M. ,
A numerical modelling approach has been developed to predict the vulnerability of aquifers to future climate change. This approach encompasses changes in recharge regime, dynamics of flow and storage patterns within aquifers, and natural hydrochemical changes. An application of the approach has been made to four hypothetical spring catchments representative of major carbonate aquifers in three European climatic zones. Since prolific carbonate aquifers typically combine a high transmissivity with a low specific yield, they can be expected to be more sensitive than clastic aquifers to changes in recharge patterns. Simulations of the study systems to the middle of the 21st century predict different outcomes in the three different climate zones: (1) in the northern maritime zone (UK) recharge (and therefore discharge) is predicted to increase by as much as 21 0n response to anticipated increases in precipitation; (2) in the continental zone (Germany) recharge in winter is predicted to remain approximately the same as at present, but summer recharge will decline dramatically (by as much as 32%), so that a net decrease in aquifer discharge is predicted; and (3) in the Mediterranean zone (Spain) recharge is predicted to decrease by as much as 160f the present-day values. For all three systems, increases in water hardness in response to rising CO2 are predicted, but are expected to be negligible in water resources terms

Intrudaction: Monitoring of carst caves, 2002,
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Kranjc, Andrej

The monitoring, a regular, continuous observation aimed to establish the state and eventual changes is an extremely important activity for protection and safeguarding of karst caves, in particular show caves. Obtained data gained by a suitable monitoring are essential for protection and conservation of natural conditions underground. For planning the tourist exploitation and appropriate management in show caves a detailed and integral knowledge of a cave is essential, knowing the natural properties and capacity of regeneration of certain natural characteristics and impact which is caused or could be caused by human activity, in a case of a show cave, by visitors mostly. These questions cannot be solved without an appropriate monitoring. Obviously a protection and conservation of a cave listed in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage is even more important, as this is not only "our" but "world" heritage. In the course of the 17th and the 18th centuries the caves have been looked upon as a very remarkable phenomenon of the Trieste surroundings. A real show cave they have become already in 1819. They have been an important starting point for Lindner's investigations for the water supply sources for Trieste, as proved by Svetina's exploration in 1839. In spite of this the major part of the caves have not been surveyed until the Caving Department of the Littoral Section of the German-Austrian Mountaineering Society has been founded in 1884. Their members reached the final siphon in 1891 and another 100 years were needed before the cave divers passed through it. In pace with exploration the tourist interest and visit grew too as well as the consciousness of safeguarding the precious natural phenomenon. Therefore Škocjanske jame have been one of the first caves being inscribed in the list of World's natural heritage of UNESCO in 1986. This fact requires much more attention oriented towards the protection and safeguarding of natural phenomenon itself than to its economic exploitation. To fulfil this the knowledge of natural state and recording of its changing is necessary. To achieve this the appropriate monitoring has to be established. At the 15th anniversary of the inscription of Škocjanske jame into the UNESCO's list, in November 2001 an international workshop on monitoring in karst caves has been organised. The initiator and the organiser too, together with Karst Research Institute from Postojna and Park Škocjanske jame, has been the Slovenian National Commission for the UNESCO. Professional papers of the workshop are very interesting and important not only for Škocjanske jame, but for the protection of caves in general. So the Editorial Board of Acta carsologica accepted with pleasure to publish the papers of the workshop in this journal.


Evaluation of aquifer thickness by analysing recession hydrographs. Application to the Oman ophiolite hard-rock aquifer, 2003,
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Dewandel B, Lachassagne P, Bakalowicz M, Weng P, Almalki A,
For more than a century, hydrologists and hydrogeologists have been investigating the processes of stream and spring baseflow recession, for obtaining data on aquifer characteristics. The Maillet Formula [Librairie Sci., A. Hermann, Paris (1905) 218], an exponential equation widely used for recession curve analysis, is an approximate analytical solution for the diffusion equation in porous media whereas the equation proposed by Boussinesq [C. R. Acad. Sci. 137 (1903) 5; J. Math. Pure Appl. 10 (1904) 5], that depicts baseflow recession as a quadratic form, is an exact analytical solution. Other formulas currently used involve mathematical functions with no basis on groundwater theory. Only the exact analytical solutions can provide quantitative data on aquifer characteristics. The efficiency of the two methods was compared on the basis of recession curves obtained with a 2D cross-sectional finite differences model that simulates natural aquifers. Simulations of shallow aquifers with an impermeable floor at the level of the outlet show that their recession curves have a quadratic form. Thus, the approximate Maillet solution largely overestimates the duration of the 'influenced' stage and underestimates the dynamic volume of the aquifer. Moreover, only the Boussinesq equations enable correct estimates of the aquifer parameters. Numerical simulations of more realistic aquifers, with an impermeable floor much deeper than the outlet, proves the robustness of the Boussinesq formula even under conditions far from the simplifying assumptions that were used to integrate the diffusion equation. The quadratic form of recession is valid regardless of the thickness of the aquifer under the outlet, and provides good estimates of the aquifer's hydrodynamic parameters. Nevertheless, the same numerical simulations show that aquifers with a very deep floor provide an exponential recession. Thus, in that configuration, the Maillet formula also provides a good fit of recession curves, even if parameter estimation remains poor. In fact, the recession curve appears to be closer to exponential when flow has a very important vertical component, and closer to quadratic when horizontal flow is dominant. As a consequence, aquifer permeability anisotropy also changes the recession form. The combined use of the two fitting methods allows one to quantify the thickness of the aquifer under the outlet. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

The application of Time-Lapse Microgravity for the Investigation and Monitoring of Subsidence at Northwich, Cheshire, 2003,
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Branston Mw, Styles P,
Peter Street is an area of terraced houses in Northwich suffering from subsidence, thought to be related to salt extraction in the 19th century. Microgravity and resistivity profiling have been used as non-invasive techniques to investigate the cause of this subsidence. Repeat (or time-lapse) microgravity has been used to assess the stability and evolution of the low-density areas. Time-lapse microgravity uses the characteristics of anomaly size and gradient to track the development of cavities as they propagate to the surface. It is possible to monitor the change in gravity with time and to model the increase in cavity volume and/or depth. A gravity low was found to be coincident with the area experiencing subsidence. Integratedmodelling techniques including Euler deconvolution, Cordell & Henderson inversion and GRAVMAG modelling have been used to investigate the depth and size of the body responsible for this anomaly. Resistivity imaging has been used to investigate the conductivity of the near surface and constrain the gravity models. Results from both techniques suggest that low density ground is now present at a depth of 3-4 m below the surface in the subsidence affected area. The use of time-lapse microgravity has shown that there has been an upwardmigration of a low-density zone at gravity anomaly C over the monitoring period

Fens in karst sinkholes - Archives for long lasting 'immission' chronologies, 2003,
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Hettwer K. , Deicke M. , Ruppert H. ,
Fens in karst sinkholes are excellent archives for the reconstruction of vegetation, land use and emission rates over millennia. The reasons are the usually good preservation of pollen, the high portion of low density organic material with very low background concentrations of heavy metals, and the circum-neutral pH-values in most of these mires preventing migration of heavy metals. Immissions of dust and of harmful elements can easily be correlated with changes in vegetation ('immission' is a synonym for the deposition or impact of pollutants from the atmosphere on a receptor surface). One 13 m core from a similar to5000 yr old karst sinkhole fen (Silberhohl, western margin of the Harz Mountains, central Germany) was investigated by geochemical analysis, pollen analysis and dated by C-14 and palynological data. The core consists of organic material with a few percent of CaCO3 precipitated from groundwater and a small amount of atmospheric detritus. As early as the Iron Age (first pre-Christian millennium), slight but significant enrichments of Pb, Zn, Cu and Cd are observed. After 400 AD stronger enrichments occurred culminating in the High Middle Ages (similar to1200-1300 AD). Maximum values are 1250 mug g(-1) Pb, 214 mug g(-1) Cu, 740 mug g(-1) Zn, and 3.8 mug g(-1) Cd. The enrichments are caused by emissions during smelting of sulfidic lead-zinc ores from the adjacent Hercynian deposits to extract Ag and Cu. Except for cadmium, these values were never exceeded in modern times. Since the Iron Age 23 g technogenic Pb, 5.3 g Cu, 27 g Zn and 0.2 g Cd have been deposited per square meter. Palynological investigations show a strong correlation between decreasing red beech pollens (Fagus sylvatica) and increasing demand on wood for smelting in the Middle Ages. Simultaneously, the pollen share of pioneer trees such as birch (Betula pubescens) and of cereal grains (e.g. Secale) increases. Since the beginning of the 14th century, the decline of agriculture and population is reflected in the decreasing contents of Secale and heavy metals in the fen deposits

Hydrogeologic and climatic influences on spatial and interannual variation of recharge to a tropical karst island aquifer, 2003,
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Jones I. C. , Banner J. L. ,
[1] The hydrology and geochemistry of groundwater in tropical island aquifers, such as on Barbados, are significantly influenced by tropical climatic conditions. Recharge to these aquifers is the product of regional and local climate patterns that control rainfall. Oxygen isotopes can be used to estimate the amount and timing of recharge on these islands because seasonal fluctuations of rainwater oxygen isotopic compositions are related to the amount of rainfall. This study shows that estimates of average annual recharge to the limestone aquifer on Barbados vary widely, displaying a more direct relationship to the distribution of rainfall throughout each year than to total annual rainfall. Recharge estimates are higher during years when rainfall is concentrated in the peak wet season months than during years when rainfall is more evenly distributed throughout the year. The El Nino-Southern Oscillation appears to be partially responsible for these rainfall and recharge fluctuations. Knowledge of interannual variation of recharge and processes responsible is important because recharge variation must be considered when setting groundwater management policies related to groundwater availability

Folk karst terminology from Apulia (Southern Italy), 2003,
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Parise Mario, Federico Antonio, Delle Rose Marco, Sammarco Mariangela

Apulia region, in southern Italy, is one of the classical karst areas of the Italian peninsula, being underlain for most of its extension by intensely karstified carbonate rocks. The landscape presents essentially landforms of karstic origin, which have been the object of specific studies for a long time. The three main geographical sub-regions into which Apulia is generally divided (from north to south, the Gargano Promontory, the Murge plateau, and the Salento peninsula) have been characterized in the past centuries by complex and different social and historical events. These resulted in the development, from a linguistical point of view, of very distinct dialects in different parts of Apulia. The terms used to describe the karst landforms, both at the surface and underground, had subsequently been, and still are, extremely variable throughout the region.


Ages et modalits des incursions humaines et animales prhistoriques dans ltage Cathala de la grotte dAldne (Hrault, France). Apport des analyses sdimentologiques et gochronologiques, 2004,
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Guendon Jeanlouis, Ambert Paul, Quinif Yves, Baumes Bernard, Colomer Albert, Dainat Denis, Galant Philippe, Gruneisen Alain, Gruneisen Nathalie
Chronologies and means of prehistoric human and animal frequentations into Aldne cave, Cathala level (Hrault, France). Sedimentology and geochronology studies - The Aldne cave forms a long network of galleries on four levels. Only the first two of these contain prehistoric vestiges. Superior level (Bousquet storey) presents a Lower Palaeolithic stratigraphy in the porch. It contained also, in the deep areas, a thick filling of clays and speleothems with bear bones, intensively quarried during the 19th and 20th centuries for phosphate ore. These workings allowed to discover the second level (Cathala storey) and, in these news galleries, human footprints trail with sooty marks on the walls, numerous animal paw prints, hyena coprolites, scratches and nests made by bears. After study establishing mesolithic age of human footprints (8 200 130 BP, 7 790 60 BP) and anteriority of animal passages, researches were directed on sedimentological and geochronological study (U/Th dating of speleothem). First, the age of the last animal presence in the second level of Aldne was precised, between 41 500 BP to 25 000 BP. Second, means and chronologies of closing of the prehistoric entrance of Cathala storey were revealed. The actual access in these galleries is only an artificial entrance opened up for phosphate mining. It begins by a cat-flap and shafts about twenty meters high. The access used by prehistoric humans and animals is completely obstructed by a very important boulder choke with speleothems interstratified, situated in North part of Cathala gallery. The studies of this boulder choke showed three principal phases of closing of this primitive access: a first collapse of the roof during Middle Pleistocene; an important bedded rock-fragments produced by frost shattering of primitive entrance porch, which filled principal gallery during periglacial stages of the Upper Pleistocene; and a second roof collapse, during Holocene. The burnt pieces of brand left on the ground allowed to recognise the last narrow passage taken by the Mesolithic humans before this last collapse finally obstructing this entrance.

Structural control on cave development in Cretaceous limestone, southern Puerto Rico, 2004,
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Miller T. E. ,
Surveys of Sistema Los Chorros (815 m length) and Sistema Vientos (600 m) represent the first cave maps from southern Puerto Rico published in the last quarter century. These are the largest caves known in that area. They have developed at about 100 m asl in resistant Cretaceous limestones and display structural control dominated by strike and dip (35-60degrees), as well as faults and clastic dikes. In profile they display 2-4 vertically-separated levels with slopes of 30-60 m/km, all greater than those of neighboring surface streams, and indicate relative groundwater lowering of 40-60 meters

Structural vocabulary of cultural landscape on the island of Krk, 2004,
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Anič, Ić, Branka, Rechner Iva, Perica Draž, En

Within the large-scale research project in Croatian cultural landscapes, a special place is occupied by the Mediterranean area, with its highly valuable cultural landscape structures. This area is characterised by authentic structures, which represent a valuable cultural heritage and an important element of the national identity. The island of Krk is particularly inspiring in this respect, due to an intricate cultural landscape typology that has developed there under the influence of natural features on the one hand, and the centuries-long agricultural activity on the other. This paper is the result of research in its structural vocabulary in order better to understand and value these unique landscapes. The complex typological articulation was generated mainly by natural karst phenomena (karst valleys and fields, small dolinas, dry valleys), as well as various stone walls, terraces, and similar features, formed through the process of land cultivation. A considerable diversity of landscape units and patterns has been identified through particular structures which often turned out to be assets themselves, and which at the same time help to understand and interpret the outstanding value of the island's landscape.


Sediment storage and yield in an urbanized karst watershed, 2005,
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Hart Evan A. , Schurger Stephen G. ,
In karst watersheds, sinkholes and other drainage features control the temporal and spatial pattern of sediment storage across the landscape. However, studies dealing with sedimentation in karst watersheds are scarce and the sediment storage function of sinkholes and caves has not been investigated using a sediment budget approach. In this study, we use estimates of channel erosion, sinkhole sedimentation, and suspended sediment yield to examine changes in sediment storage in the 9 km2 Upper Pigeon Roost Creek fluviokarst watershed near Cookeville, TN. The study watershed has undergone urbanization over the last ~ 50 years, and sinkholes and caves in the area show signs of recent sedimentation (buried tree roots, buried cultural artifacts, etc.). While sinkholes are generally considered to be sediment sinks, sinkholes examined in this study are shown to cycle between periods of net sediment storage and net sediment loss. Using copyright dates on trash items buried in sinkhole deposits, we estimated the residence time of sinkhole-stored sediment to range from 6 to 10 years. However, other evidence indicates that some sinkholes may store sediment for several centuries. We propose that sediment storage within sinkholes is controlled by several factors including sinkhole drainage area, sinkhole morphology, and basin sediment yield. In addition, changes in sediment storage in karst watersheds are contingent upon random events such as sinkhole collapses. Annual sediment yield was estimated to be 111 Mg km- 2 year- 1 for the entire study watershed and ranged from 11 to 128 Mg km- 2 year- 1 for 3 sub-watersheds. Sediment eroded from the watershed, perhaps during historic settlement of the area, is stored within a large cave system underlying the city. However, the results of a partial sediment budget indicate that the cave is presently a net sediment source. Overall, the findings indicate that the sediment storage function of caves and sinkholes varies spatially and temporally, and that these changes need to be incorporated into sediment budgets for karst watersheds

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