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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 volumetric flowmeter is apparatus designed to measure a volume flow rate [16].?

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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 drilling (Keyword) returned 56 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 56
Modelling of karst structures by geophysical methods. An example: the doline of S Pietro dei Monti (Western Liguria), 1998, Armadillo E, Massa F, Caneva G, Gambetta M, Bozzo E,
Integrated geophysical investigations of karat structures were carried out in Liguria and Piedmont (NW Italy); this paper refers to the S. Pietro dei Monti doline, in the karat area of Mt. Carmo (Savona). The techniques used in the integrated study were magnetics, electromagnetics and seismic refraction. The target was to identify, without drilling, the nature of the doline, for example if it is of dissolution or collapse type. A preliminary susceptibility sampling of the outcrop and topsoil and the diffuse fractures with a probable water seepage suggested magnetics and VLF electromagnetics. Such methods applied in an area with an extremely low cultural noise allowed modelling of the buried structure of the doline

Subsidence hazards caused by the dissolution of Permian gypsum in England: geology, investigation and remediation, 1998, Cooper Ah,
About every three years natural catastrophic subsidence, caused by gypsum dissolution, occurs in the vicinity of Ripon, North Yorkshire, England. Holes up to 35 m across and 20 m deep have appeared without warning. In the past 150 years, 30 major collapses have occurred, and in the last ten years the resulting damage to property is estimated at about {pound}1000000. Subsidence, associated with the collapse of caves resulting from gypsum dissolution in the Permian rocks of eastern England, occurs in a belt about 3 km wide and over 100 km long. Gypsum (CaS04.2H20) dissolves rapidly in flowing water and the cave systems responsible for the subsidence are constantly enlarging, causing a continuing subsidence problem. Difficult ground conditions are associated with caves, subsidence breccia pipes (collapsed areas of brecciated and foundered material), crown holes and post-subsidence fill deposits. Site investigation methods that have been used to define and examine the subsidence features include microgravity and resistivity geophysical techniques, plus more conventional investigation by drilling and probing. Remedial measures are difficult, and both grouting and deep piling are not generally practical. In more recent times careful attention has been paid to the location for development and the construction of low-weight structures with spread foundations designed to span any subsidence features that may potentially develop

Cretaceous karst guyots; new evidence for inheritance of atoll morphology from subaerial erosional terrain, 1998, Winterer Edward L. ,
Data from recent surveys and drilling suggest that carbonate platforms over a wide region of the oceanic western Pacific became emergent by amounts of 100-200 m during late Albian time, ca. 100 Ma. The resulting erosional landscapes, now modified by differential compaction over the buried volcanic basement hills, included central basins surrounded by perimeter rims, sinkhole-like depressions, and perimeter benches interpreted as wave-cut terraces. Resubmergence resulted in the sealing of atoll-like erosional topography by pelagic sediments. These Cretaceous proto-atolls, now guyots, provide evidence that ancient as well as modern atolls inherit their form mainly from subaerial landscapes

Basement lithology and its control on sedimentation, trap formation and hydrocarbon migration, Widuri-Intan oilfields, SE Sumatra, 1999, Tonkin P. C. , Himawan R. ,
The Widuri-lntan oilfields produce from late Oligocene sandstones of the Talang Akar Formation, which were deposited in a fluid-to-deltaic setting on the NW side of the Asri Basin, offshore SE Sumatra. The Asri Basin is of rift origin and formed during the early Oligocene, with its axis oriented in a NE-SW direction. Approximately 310 million brls of oil have been produced from the fields within the 12-by-12 mile (20-by-20 km) study area. The oil occurs in a series of structural and stratigraphic traps within slightly sinuous to meandering channel sandstone bodies. The reservoir sequence (sandstone interbedded with minor mudstone and coal) overlies basement rocks, which are predominantly Cretaceous in age. Forty-nine well penetrations have shown that the basement is composed of one of four lithologies: IB hornblende granodiorite; (2) metamorphic rocks, mainly mica schist; (3) plugs of metabasalt and related volcanic rocks; or (4) dolomitic limestone. A combination of drill cuttings, sidewall and conventional cores and FMS/FMI images has been used to identify and map the distribution of basement rock type. The basement was subjected to exposure and deep weathering prior to the formation of the Asri Basin, as evidenced by the zones of surface alteration encountered during drilling. The basement palaeotopography had a strong influence on the later distribution of major fluvial channels and sand pinch-outs. Several major faults appear to be controlled by basement lithology, especially at the boundaries of granodiorite and metabasalt intrusives. An important shear zone, oriented NW-SE, appears to have offset the basement between the main Widuri and Intan fields, and was subsequently the site of silicification of the mica schists in the basement. The Lidya field is situated where the reservoir pinches out onto eroded areas of basement silicification along this shear zone. Palaeocurrents in the upper 34-2 and 34-1 channel sandstones in the Widuri field were controlled by the orientation of this basement feature . Drape and compaction ofOligocene Talang Akar Formation sediments over eroded volcanic plugs have defined or enhanced a number of structural/stratigraphic plays, including the Widuri and Chesy fields. From seismic and well evidence, the reservoir sequence at the Indri field is underlain by dolomitic limestone and exhibits a series of unusual karst-related sinkhole and collapse structures. These are circular to slightly elliptical in shape, and extend from basement level to over 900 ft vertically into the overlying Talang Akar Formation

Variation of karstic permeability between unconfined and confined aquifers, Grand Canyon region, Arizona, 1999, Huntoon Pw. .
Most of the ground water in the Grand Canyon region circulates to springs in the canyon through the thick, deeply buried, karstified Cambrian through Mississippian carbonate sectionThese rocks are collectively called the lower Paleozoic carbonates and comprise the Redwall-Muav aquifer where saturatedThe morphologies of the caves are primarily a function of whether the carbonates are unconfined or confined, a distinction that has broad significance for groundwater exploration and which appears to be generally transferable to other carbonate regionsCaves in unconfined high-gradient environments tend to be highly localized, partially saturated, simple tubes, whereas those in confined low-gradient settings are saturated 2- or even 3-dimensional mazesThe highly heterogeneous distribution of the unconfined conduits makes for difficult drilling targets, whereas the more ubiquitously distributed confined mazes are far easier to targetThe distinctions between the storage characteristics within the two classes is probably even more importantThere is minimal groundwater storage in the unconfined systems because they are well drainedIn contrast, the saturated mazes exhibit maximal storageConsequently, system responses to major storm recharge events in the unconfined systems is often dominated by flow-through rather than the pulse-through hydraulics as found in the confined systemsSpring discharges from the unconfined systems tends to be both flashy and highly variable from season to season, but total dissolved solids are smallIn contrast, the pulse-through hydraulics in the artesian systems causes spring discharge responses to be highly moderated and, in the larger basins, remarkably steadyBoth total dissolved solids and temperatures in the waters from the confined aquifers tend to be elevated because most of the water is derived from storageKarst permeability is created by the flow system, consequently predicting where the permeability is best developed in a carbonate section involves determining how circulation should be ideally organized through an examination of the geometry of the flow systemThe areas where flow concentrates are the areas where karstification will maximize, provided enough time has elapsed to allow dissolution to adjust to the imposed boundary conditionsThe rate of adjustment in the Grand Canyon region appears to be related to the degree of saturationThe artesian systems are far better adjusted to hydraulic gradients than the unconfined systems, a finding that probably implies that there is greater contact between the solvent and rock in the saturated confined systems

Role of cave information in environmental site characterization,, 1999, Jancin M.
For consultants concerned with developing site-specific conceptual models for flow and transport in karst, cave information can be worth accessingAt the scale of the basin, caves often display patterns that correlate with both the flow and recharge characteristics of their aquifersCharacterization of overall basin hydrology bolsters predictions and monitoring recommendations which address the siteAlthough the presence of caves beneath or near sites is rare, site-based information such as water-table maps (under both natural and pumping conditions), well water-level fluctuations, well turbidity observations, borehole-void yields during drilling, and dye-trace results, are potentially useful in defining conduit-flow boundaries to diffuse-flow blocksThe appropriate choice of dye-tracer methods should acknowledge whether most site conduits (or borehole voids, or even caves) are within the epikarst, the vadose zone, the phreatic zone, or the oscillation zoneFor inferences on site flow directions, it is useful to compare the directional frequencies of cave passages and joints, faults, and photolinears in the areaThere is evidence that where caves are well developed, there tends to be a low correlation between photolinear locations and relatively high well yieldsLNAPL migration will be retarded where main conduits are well beneath the water table, but an extensive overlying system of saturated epikarstic pores serve as trapsKarst with high seasonal or storm variations in water level will tend to repeatedly remobilize LNAPLsGiven sufficient volume, DNAPLs can penetrate vertically integrated networks of pores, fractures, or solution conduits to great depthHowever, where such pathway networks are lie above relatively tight lithologies at shallow depth, and are not sediment filled, lateral movement can greatly exceed vertical movementCharacterization of the 3-D nature of pores and pathways is an important element in understanding the migration of free product, and therefore in understanding the evolution of associated aqueous plumes

Variability of karstic permeability between unconfined and confined aquifers, Grand Canyon region, Arizona, 2000, Huntoon P. W. ,
Most of the ground water in the Grand Canyon region circulates to springs in the canyon through the thick, deeply buried, karstified Cambrian-Mississippian carbonate section. These rocks are collectively called the lower Paleozoic carbonates and comprise the Redwall-Muav aquifer where saturated. The morphologies of the caves in the Grand Canyon are primarily a function of whether the carbonates are unconfined or confined, a distinction that has broad significance for ground-water exploration and which appears to be generally transferable to other carbonate regions. Caves in unconfined high-gradient environments tend to be highly localized, partially saturated, simple tubes, whereas those in confined low-gradient settings are saturated 2- or even 3-dimensional mazes. The highly heterogeneous, widely spaced conduits in the unconfined settings make for difficult drilling targets, whereas the more ubiquitously distributed mazes in confined settings are far easier to target. The distinctions between the storage characteristics within the two classes are more important. There is minimal ground-water storage in the unconfined systems because cave passages tend to be more widely spaced and are partially drained. In contrast, there is maximum storage in the saturated mazes in the confined systems. Consequently, system responses to major storm recharge events in the unconfined systems are characterized by flow-through hydraulics. Spring discharge from the unconfined systems tends to be both flashy and highly variable from season to season, but total dissolved solids are small. In contrast, the pulse-through hydraulics in the artesian systems cause fluctuations in spring discharge to be highly moderated and, in the larger basins, remarkably steady. Both total dissolved solids and temperatures in the waters from the confined aquifers tend to be elevated because most of the water is derived from storage. The large artesian systems that drain to the Grand Canyon derive water from areally extensive, deep basins where the water has been geothermally heated somewhat above mean ambient air temperatures. Karst permeability is created by the flow system, so dissolution permeability develops most rapidly in those volumes of carbonate aquifers where flow concentrates. Predicting where the permeability should be best developed in a carbonate section involves determining where flow has been concentrated in the geologic past by examining the geometry and hydraulic boundary conditions of the flow field. Karstification can be expected to maximize in those locations provided enough geologic time has elapsed to allow dissolution to adjust to the imposed boundary conditions. The rate of adjustment in the Grand Canyon region appears to be related to the degree of saturation. The artesian systems are far better adjusted to hydraulic gradients than the unconfined systems, a finding that probably implies that there is greater contact between the solvent and rock in the saturated systems. These findings are not arcane distinctions. Rather, successful exploration for ground water and management of the resource is materially improved by recognition of the differences between the types of karst present. For example, the unsaturated conduit karsts in the uplifts make for highly localized, high risk drilling targets and involve aquifers with very limited storage. The conduits have highly variable flow rates, but they carry good quality water largely derived from seasonal flow-through from the surface areas drained. In contrast, the saturated basin karsts, with more ubiquitous dissolutional permeability enhancement, provide areally extensive low risk drilling targets with large ground-water storage. The ground water in these settings is generally of lesser quality because it is derived mostly from long term storage

Palynological evidence for Mesozoic karst at Piltown, Co. Kilkenny, 2000, Higgs K. T. , Jones G. L. ,
Exploration drilling by Pasminco Australia Ltd. in 1993 at Piltown near Carrick-on-Suir. encountered brown. yellow and fawn clays of the Piltown Clay Formation (new name) lying on and in Carboniferous limestone. Palynological analysis of these clays indicates that they are late Jurassic to early Cretaceous in age. The palynomorphs are well preserved but not abundant. They consist mostly of terrestrially derived spores and pollen grains, though the rare occurrence of dinoflagellate cysts indicates a weak marine influence in some of the sediments. The presence of these Mesozoic sediments within karstified limestone implies an active karat system before and/or during late Jurassic-early Cretaceous times in south County Kilkenny

Locating dissolution features in the Chalk, 2000, Matthews M. C. , Clayton C. R. I. , Rigbyjones J. ,
Dissolution features are common in the Chalk and may result in differential or collapse settlement of foundations if undetected. Dissolution pipes and cavities may be easily missed by conventional drilling methods. Probing and geophysical methods of investigation offer an attractive alternative due to their ability to cover large areas rapidly and thus minimize cost. The success of geophysical methods depends on many factors, principally the size of the feature in relation to the depth of burial and the cover material. This paper describes a study of dynamic probing and a number of geophysical methods used to locate dissolution features at two sites with contrasting ground conditions. The first site contained a bowl-shaped doline over a clay-filled dissolution pipe beneath a relatively thin soil cover. At the second site there was a thick, predominantly granular cover material that contained cavities which had migrated from dissolution pipes in the chalk below. Ground truth data from trenching was obtained to provide a basis for evaluating the investigation methods used. The ability of both dynamic probing and geophysical methods to locate and map dissolution features is discussed

Engineering impacts of karst: A review of some engineering aspects of limestone weathering with case studies from Devon and Ireland, MSc Thesis, 2001, Pressdee, C.

The thesis aims to review the nature of karstic limestone terrains and the implications for engineering practices as a result of the uniquely difficult ground conditions they present. Case studies are included to highlight two very different, yet apparently common, engineering problems on karst. This abstract deals only with Linhay Hill Quarry in Ashburton, Devon where pinnacled rockhead and clay infilled dissolution pipes present problems in the extraction and processing of the limestone for use as aggregate.
The quarry has been in existence for over a hundred years and the current owners are drilling and blasting the Devonian limestone and processing it for a variety of purposes; namely aggregates for concrete, macadam and unbound applications. In the quarry, the rock is fairly evenly bedded and dipping towards the east. Near the ground surface it is extensively solution weathered to form a karst surface, which is now buried by more recent deposits. The extensive karst topography gives considerable problems, currently on the north side, where the intimate mixture of solution weathered limestone and later infilling clays and sandy sediments makes drilling and blasting difficult and contaminates the limestone material.
On the basis of the work carried out, the following summary of findings is presented:
Using published engineering classification schemes; the Chercombe Bridge Limestone in and around Linhay Hill Quarry has been classified as Class III to IV Karst ('Mature' to 'Complex' Karst, Waltham, 1999).
• The origin of the karst is proposed to be the result of a combination of subtropical climate and localised valley conditions in the early Tertiary. Weathering and erosion of the Dartmoor granite and adjacent Cretaceous rocks provided fluvial sediment to subsequently infill the solution channels and cavities in the limestone.
• The physical effects of weathering have been shown to reduce the strength and density of the limestone whilst increasing the water absorption. This has implications for the quality of aggregate produced in the quarry.
• The chemical effects of dolomitisation and solutional weathering have been shown to produce a highly variable material in the quarry.
• Residual insoluble minerals were found to be randomly distributed and exhibited typically high densities, high absorptions and high clay and iron oxide/hydroxide contents.
• The nature of the infilled karst together with the effects of weathering mentioned above has significantly affected the workings of the quarry with considerable cost implications. They are listed (in no particular order) as follows:
Overburden stripping extremely time consuming and costly.
Increased drilling times through clay infilled fissures/cavities.
Enforced blast hole surveying techniques due to variable ground.
Enforced blast charge restriction resulting in reduced primary fragmentation.
Induced dolines in the surrounding farmland.
Costs of washing/scrubbing of clay coated 'contaminated' rock.
Clay materials not always removed resulting in reduced efficiency of processing plant.
Quality of aggregates impaired by variable rock properties and presence of clay.
Implications for concrete and mortar include potentially reduced workability strength and durability


Searching for Water on Christmas Island, 2001, Barrett, Peter J.

A hundred years of searching for underground water supplies for the settlement and mine operations on Christmas Island has involved dug wells, drilling, cave exploration and geophysics. Water has been extracted from wells, drill holes, springs and caves. The main production at present is from a set of cave streams on the plateau.


Public Datasets Integrated with GIS and 3-D Visualization Help Expand Subsurface Conceptual Model, 2002, Phelan, T. L.
Public domain water well drilling logs were used to construct a 3-D visualization of the subsurface in a karst terrain. Subsurface displacements seen in the 3-D visualization model were shown to correlate with surface topography in the Digital Elevation Model (DEM). This methodology could improve the effectiveness of limited funding by using public datasets to contribute to conceptual hydrogeologic models. It could also identify areas that merit additional investigation which might have gone unnoticed otherwise

Modes de positionnement topographique et lectromagntique dun siphon. Exemple du Qattine Azar (Liban), 2002, Courbon, Paul
Topographical and electromagnetic positioning of a deep sump: Qattine Azar (Lebanon) - Wasting, pollution, climatic modifications, urbanisation and demographic explosion will generate a serious water scarcity in many countries, among them, the Middle East. In Lebanon, after the discovery of an important underground river, is established a water impounding project, needing a 280 meters drilling through limestone. The author describes the topographic method used to survey the cave and to set up the future drilling. The survey has been confirmed by an electromagnetic positioning ARCAS (radiolocation) perfected by Joan Erra. The accuracy of the two determinations is estimated.

Deep karst conduits, flooding, and sinkholes: lessons for the aggregates industry, 2002, Lolcama J. L. , Cohen H. A. , Tonkin M. J. ,
Limestone aggregate quarries in deeply penetrating karst terrain are often at considerable risk of artesian inflow from groundwater or surface water channeled through the karstic aquifer. The inflow occurs through what are likely to be complex conduits that penetrate hundreds of feet into bedrock. Rates of inflow can exceed the operation's pumping capabilities proving to be uneconomic to manage over the long term. Over time, inflow rates can increase dramatically as turbulent flow through the conduit erodes its soft residual clay-rich fill. One recent investigation observed an inflow rate of more than 40,000 gpm from a surface water source. Floodwater persistently laden with sediment is an indicator of conduit washout and implies increasing inflow rates over time. Conduits carrying floodwater can exist in a variety of forms: along deeply penetrating geologic faults, joints, or following the path of preferentially eroded bedding. Preferential structural deformation along faults or bedding can enhance dissolution during subsequent interaction with groundwater. The resulting conduit may be a complex combination of many geological features, making the exploration and remediation of the pathway difficult. Sinkholes at the site can occur within several contexts. Pre-existing subsidence structures can reactivate and subside further, forming new collapse sinkholes within soil directly overlying the conduit. Cover-collapse sinkhole development can be a direct result of increasing downward groundwater velocities and subsurface erosion associated with the enlargement of a conduit. Normal operation events such as a quarry blast can also provide a significant new linkage between the groundwater and the quarry, allowing rapid drainage of the groundwater reservoir. With such drainage and erosion of karst-fill, sinkholes will develop over localized water table depressions, most significantly over enhanced permeability zones associated with fractures. Paradoxically, although the rise in quarry water level will lead to regional reduction in the hydraulic gradients, on local scales, drainage of the groundwater reservoir increases gradients and leads to the development of cover-collapse sinkholes. Recommended methods for preliminary site investigation can include a detailed review of geological literature and drilling logs to compile a conceptual model of the site. A fracture trace analysis with EM geophysics can confirm the locations of major faults and fractures. Fingerprinting of the various water sources to the quarry and the water in the quarry is an inexpensive and effective means of identifying the source and likely direction of the groundwater and surface water flow. Automated geophysical equipment on the market for performing rapid resistivity and microgravity surveys speeds up the site screening process during reconnaissance exploration for deep structure. It is recommended that mine planning fully incorporate this information so that quarry operators can take proactive measures to avoid catastrophic and costly flooding events. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

The Role of Sarvak Formation in Supplying Pol-e Dokhtar Town (Iran) with Drinking Water, 2002, Ahmadipour, Mohamad Reza

The Sarvak formation is the most karstified formation of the Bageston group, NW from town Pol-e Dokhtar. Its southern limb is karstified and the most important for the ground water. Three wells were drilled for supplying the drinking water to Pol-e Dokhtar. The pumping test (72 hours) was carried out. Analyses of oxygen-18 and deuterium indicated that the water is of meteoric origin. Water from the well1 has the minimal and from the well3 maximal concentrations of tritium which indicate different residence time. Chemical analyses show that the water is of Ca>Mg>Na and HCO3>SO4>Cl type. During the drilling water samples had relatively high NO3 (27 mg/l), which was reduced due to the protection of the area from agricultural activities. Due to this study, the town of Pol-e Dokhtar, which was facing serious problem of drinking water since before the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been solved.


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