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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 delta is a triangular deposit of sediments at the inflow of a river into an ocean or lake [16].?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 soils (Keyword) returned 139 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 139
Les nomades lours du massif calcaire du Kuh-e-Garrin (Zagros central, Iran), 1997,
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Dumas, Dominique
Today many nomadic confederations live in the Zagros range. For a long time, these high mountains have offered these populations both shelter and a large territory which is not as arid as the piedmont plains due to orographic rainfall Whereas the Baxtyari and Qashqa are well described in the literature, little is known about the Lours nomads. In this paper, observations and investigations on nomadic families (Summers 1994, 1995, 1996) are presented together with the characteristics of their seasonal migrations. The socio-economic dimension of these populations is also studied to explain the reasons which account for the overgrazing clearly visible in all Zagros mountains. Today, these high mountain karsts are subject to a higher anthropogenic pressure than previously, which entails an irreversible disappearance of vegetation and soils.

Aufeis of the Firth River basin, Northern Yukon Canada: Insights into permafrost hydrogeology and Karst, 1997,
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Clark Id, Lauriol B,
The 31-km(2) aufeis ice sheet of the upper Firth River holds a wealth of information on groundwater hydrology in periglacial environments. Baseflow recession calculations, corrected for aufeis storage (12% of basin discharge), indicate specific groundwater recharge rates of up to 100 mm yr(-1) (up to 50% of runoff), suggesting a significant proportion of drainage from karst. The upper Firth River aufeis is a composite aufeis, with discrete baseflow contributions from different watersheds. Since the late Pleistocene, annual growth of the aufeis has exerted a strong control on lateral erosion and the local river channel geomorphology. Two groundwater recharge processes are distinguished on the basis of carbonate geochemistry and 8(13)C: (1) Methanogenic groundwaters, with C-13(DIC) up to -3.3 parts per thousand, are recharged through saturated soils underlain by permafrost; conditions which support anaerobic consumption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and produce up to 700 mu g-CH4 L-1 (calculated), and (2) Karst groundwaters, with C-13-depleted DIC, recharged through unsaturated soils and circulate through fissured talik in the carbonate bedrock. Most drainage from the region shows varying contributions of these two groundwaters, although a greater contribution from the methanogenic groundwaters occurs in north-facing watersheds. The 8(13)C values far cryogenic calcite precipitates in the ice indicate that the karst groundwaters are the major contribution to aufeis growth. The combined use of 8(13)C(DIC) and geochemistry may be a useful tool to quantify methanogenesis in northern watersheds

Limestone dissolution processes in beke doline Aggtelek National Park, Hungary, 1997,
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Zambo L. , Ford D. C. ,
Aggtelek National Park, Hungary, is a limestone karst upland characterized by karren, dolines and river caves. For a period of two years, climatic and carbonate dissolution variables were monitored at four depths in a 7.5 m shaft through the soil fill in the floor of a typical large (150m diameter) doline. Results are compared to other monitoring stations in shallow soils on side slopes. Runoff and groundwater flow are focused into the base of the doline soil fill, where moisture is maintained at 70-90 per cent field capacity and temperatures permit year-round production of soil CO2. The capacity to dissolve calcite (limestone) ranges from c. 3 g m(-2) per year beneath thin soils on the driest slopes to 17-30 g m(-2) per year in the top 1-2 m of doline till and at its base 5-7 m below.

Sinkholes, soils, fractures, and drainage: Interstate 70 near Frederick, Maryland, 1997,
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Boyer Bw,
Numerous sinkholes have recently formed on both sides of Interstate 70 south of Frederick, Maryland, All the sinkholes are cover-collapse types, which form when soil cavities grow upward from the bedrock surface until their roofs become unstable, Areas at greatest risk for sinkhole development lie within a network of dry swales, The roughly dendritic map pattern and presence of allochthonous siliciclastic alluvium suggest that these swales are the vestiges of a vanished surface drainage system. Sinkholes occur mainly along bedrock escarpments underlying the swales, which are located along an easterly-trending transverse fracture and a series of strike-parallel fractures which intersect with it. Although the surface drainage appears to have Bowed east and north in the past, surface runoff in large quantities is infiltrating the ground or directly entering some of the sinkholes, then following subsurface conduits which convey it southward under the highway. Compaction grouting has been employed to prevent collapse or further subsidence of the most threatened portions of the highway. Soil Survey maps can be useful in locating cryptic intermittent or relict drainage pathways which may be at high risk for sinkhole formation when subjected to anthropogenic concentrations of perched storm water

Comparison of soil erosion and deposition rates using radiocesium, RUSLE, and buried soils in dolines in East Tennessee, 1997,
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Turnage K. M. , Lee S. Y. , Foss J. E. , Kim K. H. , Larsen I. L. ,

Evolution and dynamics of soil-geomorphic systems in karst landscapes of the European north, 1997,
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Goryachkin S. V. , Shavrina E. V. ,
Six types of soil-geomorphic systems within sulfate-karst landscapes in the north of European Russia have been investigated. The distinctions in structure and composition of these systems are conditioned by the tectonic fault pattern and jointing of the karstland. The soil data obtained allow us to gain an insight into the essence of geomorphic processes and to evaluate the dynamics of land surface in karst landscapes. Conceptual models of the origin and dynamics of soil-geomorphic systems of karst landscapes and the model of their evolution within the zone of dense jointing of gypsum rocks under the impact of denudation processes are suggested. The assessment of geomorphic functions of the soils in karst area attests to their importance as the controls of potential erosion. Only soil-biotic processes (Litter accumulation) are undoubtedly protective, while other processes may either hinder or strongly intensify the erosion. After the Quaternary sediments are removed and the erosion starts to penetrate into the hard gypsum layer, a strong positive feedback between soil-forming and karst-forming processes appears. Thus, the final stages of the evolution of soil-geomorphic systems in karst landscapes are characterized by great dynamism

Hydrological response of small watersheds following the Southern California Painted Cave Fire of June 1990, 1997,
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Keller E. A. , Valentine D. W. , Gibbs D. R. ,
Following the Painted Cave Fire of 25 June 1990 in Santa Barbara, California which burned 1214 ha, an emergency watershed protection plan was implemented consisting of stream clearing, grade stabilizers and construction of debris basins. Research was initiated focusing on hydrological response and channel morphology changes on two branches of Maria Ygnacio Creek, the main drainage of the burned area. Research results support the hypothesis that the response of small drainage basins in chaparral ecosystems to wildfire is complex and flushing of sediment by fluvial processes is more likely than by high magnitude debris flows. During the winter of 1990-1991, 35-66 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 10 cm per hour for a five-minute period were recorded with a seasonal total of 100% of average (normal) rainfall (average = 63 cm/year). During the winter of 1991-1992, 48-74 cm of rainfall and intensities up to 8 cm per hour were recorded with a seasonal total of 115% of normal. Even though there was moderate rainfall on barren, saturated soils, no major debris flows occurred in burned areas. The winter of 1992-1993 recorded total precipitation of about 170% of normal, annual average intensities were relatively low and again no debris flows were observed. The response to winter storms in the first three years following the fire was a moderate but spectacular flushing of sediment, most of which was derived from the hillslopes upstream of the debris basins. The first significant storm and stream flow of the 1990-1991 winter was transport-limited resulting in large volumes of sediment being deposited in the channel of Maria Ygnacio Creek; the second storm and stream flow was sediment-limited and the channel scoured. Debris basins trapped about 23 000 m(3), the majority coming from the storm of 17-20 March 1991. Sediment transported downstream during the three winters following the fire and not trapped in the debris basins was eventually flushed to the estuarine reaches of the creeks below the burn area, where approximately 108 000 m(3) accumulated. Changes in stream morphology following the fire were dramatic as pools filled with sediment which greatly smoothed longitudinal and cross-sectional profiles. Major changes in channel morphology occur following a fire as sediment derived from the hillslope is temporarily stored in channels within the burned area. However, this sediment may quickly move downstream of the burned region, where it may accumulate reducing channel capacity and increasing the flood hazard. Ecological consequences of wildfire to the riparian zone of streams in the chaparral environment are virtually unknown, but must be significant as the majority of sediment (particularly gravel necessary for fish and other aquatic organisms) entering the system does so in response to fires. (C) 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Geochemical patterns in soils of the karst region, Croatia, 1997,
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Prohic E. , Hausberger G. , Davis J. C. ,
Soil samples were collected at 420 locations in a 5-km grid pattern in the Istria and Gorski Kotar areas of Croatia, and on the Croatian islands of Cres, Rab and Krk, in order to relate geochemical variation in the soils to underlying differences in geology, bedrock lithology, soil type, environment and natural versus anthropogenic influences. Specific objectives included assessment of possible agricultural and industrial sources of contamination, especially from airborne effluent emitted by a local power plant. The study also tested the adequacy of a fixed-depth soil sampling procedure developed for meager karstic soils. Although 40 geochemical variables were analyzed, only 15 elements and 5 radionuclides are common to all the sample locations. These elements can be divided into three groups: (1) those of mostly anthropogenic origin - Pb, V, Cu and Cr; (2) those of mixed origin - radionuclides and Zn; and (3) those of mostly geogene origin - Ba, Sr, Ti, Al, Na, Ca, Mg, Fe, Mn, Ni and Co. Variation in Pb shows a strong correlation with the pattern of road traffic in Istria. The distributions of Ca, Na and Mg in the flysch basins of southern Istria and Slovenia are clearly distinguishable from the distributions of these elements in the surrounding carbonate terrains, a consequence of differences in bedrock permeability, type of drainage and pH. The spatial pattern of Cs-137 from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident reflects almost exclusively the precipitation in Istria during the days immediately after the explosion. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

Causes of land subsidence in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, 1997,
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Amin A, Bankher K,
The occurrence of land subsidence in the Kingdom Saudi Arabia is either natural or manmade. Natural land subsidence occurs due to the development of subterranean voids by a solution of host rocks in carbonate and evaporite terrains, over many areas of Saudi Arabia. Man-induced land subsidence is either due to the removal of groundwater in the agricultural areas or to wetting of unstable soils. Therefore, earth fissures and a lowering of the ground surface in unconsolidated sediments took place in alluvial plains and volcanic vent terrains. Unstable soils include Sabkha soils and loess sediments. These types of soils occur in coastal plains, desert areas and volcanic terrains. When this soil is wetted either during agricultural activities, waste disposal or even during a rain storm, subsidence takes place due to either the removal of salts from the Sabkha soil or the rearrangement of soil particles in loess sediments

Thesis Abstract: The microbial biomass of forest soils and cave sediment in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Malaysia, 1998,
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Burgess S.

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998,
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Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Mapping groundwater vulnerability: the Irish perspective, 1998,
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Daly D, Warren Wp,
The groundwater protection scheme used in the Republic of Ireland since the 1980s had not encompassed the vulnerability mapping concept. Yet internationally, vulnerability maps were becoming an essential part of groundwater protection schemes and a valuable tool in environmental management. Consequently, following a review of protection schemes world-wide, the scheme used in Ireland was updated and amended to include vulnerability maps as a crucial component of the scheme. The approach taken to vulnerability assessments and mapping in the Republic of Ireland has been dictated by the following fundamental questions: Vulnerability of what? Vulnerability to what? Which factors determine the degree of vulnerability? What is the appropriate scale for map production? How can limitations and uncertainties be taken into account? How can vulnerability assessments be integrated into environmental and resource management? The following decisions were made: (i) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater, not aquifers or wells/springs; (ii) the position in the groundwater system specified to be of interest is the water-table (i.e. first groundwater encountered) in either sand/gravel aquifers or in bedrock; (iii) we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants generated by human activities (natural impacts are a separate issue); (iv) as the main threat to groundwater in Ireland is posed by point sources, we should map the vulnerability of groundwater to contaminants released at 1-2 m below the ground surface; (v) the characteristics of individual contaminants should not be taken into account; (vi) the natural geological and hydrogeological factors that determine vulnerability are the sub-soils above the watertable, the recharge type (whether point or diffuse) and, in sand/gravels, the thickness of the unsaturated zone; (vii) based on these factors, four vulnerability categories are used (extreme, high, moderate and low); (viii) map scales of 1:50 000 and 1:10 000 are preferred; (ix) limitations and uncertainties are indicated by appropriate wording on the maps and a disclaimer; (x) vulnerability maps should be incorporated into groundwater protection schemes, which should be used in decision-making on the location and control of potentially polluting developments. Vulnerability maps have now been produced for a number of local authority areas. They are an important part of county groundwater protection schemes as they provide a measure of the likelihood of contamination, assist in ensuring that protection schemes are not unnecessarily restrictive of human economic activity, help in the choice of engineering preventative measures, and enable major developments, which have a significant potential to contaminate, to be located in areas of relatively low vulnerability and therefore of relatively low risk, from a groundwater perspective

High-resolution records of soil humification and paleoclimate change from variations in speleothem luminescence excitation and emission wavelengths, 1998,
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Baker A, Genty D, Smart Pl,
Recent advances in the precision and accuracy of the optical techniques required to measure luminescence permit the nondestructive analysis of solid geologic samples such as speleothems (secondary carbonate deposits in caves). In this paper we show that measurement of speleothem luminescence demonstrates a strong relationship between the excitation and emission wavelengths and both the extent of soil humification and mean annual rainfall. Raw peat with blanket bog vegetation has the highest humification and highest luminescence excitation and emission matrix wavelengths, because of the higher proportion of high-molecular-weight organic acids in these soils. Brown ranker and rendzina soils with dry grassland and woodland cover have the lowest wavelengths. Detailed analysis of one site where an annually laminated stalagmite has been deposited over the past 70 yr during a period with instrumental climate records and no vegetation change suggests that more subtle variations in luminescence emission wavelength correlate best with mean annual rainfall, although there is a lag of approximately 10 yr. These results are used to interpret soil humification and climate change from a 130 ka speleothem at an upland site in Yorkshire, England. These data provide a new continuous terrestrial record of climate and environmental change for northwestern Europe and suggest the presence of significant variations in wetness and vegetation within interglacial and interstadial periods

Water table fluctuations in soils overlying semi-confined aquifers in responce to time-varying replenishments., 1998,
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Teloglou I. S. , Zissis T. S. , Karamouzis D. N.

The experimental examination of microbal origin corrosion aggressivity of karst soils , 1998,
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Zá, Mbó, Lá, Szló,

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