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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. ...

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That vesicular is containing small circular cavities [16].?

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Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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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Interconnection of the Trinity (Glen Rose) and Edwards Aquifers along the Balcones Fault Zone and Related Topics, 2011,

The proceedings volume contains nine contributions presented during the Karst Conservation Initiative Meeting held in February 17, 2011 at The University of Texas at Austin.

The Edwards and Trinity Aquifers are critical water resources, supplying high-quality potable water to over two million people in the greater Austin-San Antonio region of central Texas, USA. These Cretaceous carbonate aquifers are hydrogeologically juxtaposed by extensive Miocene tectonic deformation associated with the Balcones Fault Zone, where the younger Edwards Group limestone has been downthrown relative to the older Trinity Group. The karstic aquifers are managed separately by regional water regulatory entities, and they have been historically treated as independent systems, both scientifically and from a water policy standpoint. Recent awareness of a significant interconnection between the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers has resulted in a number of hydrogeologic investigations documenting how they may actually operate as a single system. Studies related to upland recharge variability (spatial and temporal), stream loss, phreatic dye tracing, multi-port well monitoring, geochemistry, biologic habitat analysis, geophysics, and groundwater modeling indicate that the two are much less separated than previously observed. Summaries of these investigations conclude that changes in management strategies may be required to properly protect the quantity and quality of water in the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers.

Contents (click to open individual articles)

Introduction and Acknowledgements 

I nterconnection of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers, Central Texas, U.S.A. 
Marcus O. Gary 

Spatial and Temporal Recharge Variability Related to Groundwater Interconnection of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers, Camp Bullis, Bexar and Comal Counties, Texas 
Marcus O.Gary, George Veni, Beverly Shade, and Robin Gary

Potential for Vertical Flow Between the Edwards and Trinity Aquifer, Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer 
Brian A. Smith and Brian B. Hunt

Could Much of Edwards Aquifer “Matrix Storage” Actually be Trinity Aquifer Contributions from the Blanco River? 
Nico M. Hauwert

Geophysical Correlation of Haby Crossing Fault (Medina County) and Mt. Bonnell Fault (Travis County) and Their Implications on T-E Interconnection 
Mustafa Saribudak

Edwards Aquifer – Upper Glen Rose Aquifer Hydraulic Interaction 
R.T. Green, F.P. Bertetti, and M.O. Candelario

Interaction Between the Hill Country Portion of the Trinity and Edwards Aquifers: Model Results 
Ian C. Jones

Using Tracer Testing Data for Resource Management Planning 
Geary Schindel and Steve Johnson

Demonstrating Interconnection Between a Wastewater Application Facility and a First Magnitude Spring in a Karstic Watershed: Tracer Study of the Tallahassee, Florida Treated Effluent Spray Field 2006-2007  
Todd R. Kincaid, Gareth J. Davies, Christopher L. Werner, and Rodney S. DeHan

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Deep confined karst detection, analysis and paleo-hydrology reconstruction at a basin-wide scale using new geophysical interpretation of borehole logs, 2011, Laskow M. , Gendler M. , Goldberg I. , Gvirtzman H. , Frumkin A.

Deep karst voids can be identified by a new method of geophysical interpretation of commonly used borehole logs in deeply confined carbonate aquifers. We show that deep, buried karst voids can be characterized by combining this geophysical interpretation together with geological and hydrological data, and with known speleological constraints. We demonstrate how this characterization can reveal past hydrological regimes and allow mapping of karst distribution on a basin-wide scale.

A combined analysis of geophysical, geological, hydrological, and speleological data in the confined Yarkon–Taninim aquifer, Israel, led us to reconstruct past groundwater levels at different relief and sea levels, with the karst voids as a marker for long-term flow close to the water table. Paleo-canyons along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline strongly affected the region’s paleo-hydrology, by serving as major outlets of the aquifer during most of the Cenozoic. We conclude that intensive karstification was promoted by flow periods of longer duration and/or higher flux and flow velocities close to the aquifer’s past and present outlets. In addition, we suggest that karst voids found under shallow confinement were developed by renewed aggressivity due to hypogene water rising in cross-formational flow becoming mixed with fresh lateral water flow from the east.

Deep confined karst detection, analysis and paleo-hydrology reconstruction at a basin-wide scale using new geophysical interpretation of borehole logs, 2011, Laskow M. , Gendler M. , Goldberg I. , Gvirtzman H. , Frumkin A.

Deep karst voids can be identified by a new method of geophysical interpretation of commonly used borehole logs in deeply confined carbonate aquifers. We show that deep, buried karst voids can be characterized by combining this geophysical interpretation together with geological and hydrological data, and with known speleological constraints. We demonstrate how this characterization can reveal past hydrological regimes and allow mapping of karst distribution on a basin-wide scale. A combined analysis of geophysical, geological, hydrological, and speleological data in the confined Yarkon–Taninim aquifer, Israel, led us to reconstruct past groundwater levels at different relief and sea levels, with the karst voids as a marker for long-term flow close to the water table. Paleo-canyons along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline strongly affected the region’s paleo-hydrology, by serving as major outlets of the aquifer during most of the Cenozoic. We conclude that intensive karstification was promoted by flow periods of longer duration and/or higher flux and flow velocities close to the aquifer’s past and present outlets. In addition, we suggest that karst voids found under shallow confinement were developed by renewed aggressivity due to hypogene water rising in cross-formational flow becoming mixed with fresh lateral water flow from the east.


Fluid migration and porosity evolution in the Buda Hills, Hungary – selected examples from Triassic and Paleogene carbonate rocks/Dissertation submitted to the Ph.D. program for Geology and Geophysics at the Ph.D. School of Earth Sciences, Eötvös Lor, 2011, Poros, Zsófia

Porosity evolution of carbonates in the Buda Hills was the subject of this research. The aim was to provide an analogue for carbonate reservoirs that underwent multiphase diagenesis. Two major porosity types were recognized: 1) micro-porosity of powdered Triassic dolomites 2) cavernous and fracture porosity represented by the famous hypogenic cave system, hosted by Triassic and Paleogene carbonates. Powderization of dolomite is a general phenomenon in the Buda Hills, where its areal extent is exceptionally large compared to similar occurrences elsewhere in the world. Geochemistry and mineralogy of the dolomite remained constant throughout the disintegration. Powderization is absent at places where the Triassic dolomites are partially calcitized as a result of karst related dedolomitization. Since powderization was controlled by surface related processes and no geochemical changes were associated with it, disintegration of dolomite is interpreted as the result of sub-recent physical weathering, supposedly related to frost action.

Hypogenic caves are found along older calcite-barite-fluorite-sulphide veins, pointing to the fact that young cave-forming fluids migrated along the same fractures as the older mineralizing fluids did. Predominantly NNW–SSE strike of fractures concludes a latest Early Miocene maximum age for the fracture-filling minerals. Vein-calcite contains coeval primary, HC-bearing- and aqueous inclusions indicating that also HCs have migrated together with the mineralizing fluids. The coexistence of aqueous and HC inclusions permitted to establish the entrapment temperature (80°C) and pressure (85 bar) of the fluid and thus also the thickness of sediments, having been eroded since latest Early Miocene times, was calculated (800 m). Low salinity of the fluids (<1.7 NaCl eq. wt%) implies that HC-bearing fluids were diluted by regional karst water. Fluid inclusion studies also revealed that aggressive gases (e.g. CO2, H2S) were associated with HCs and that these gases may have played a role in dissolution of the carbonates. Based on the location of the paleo- and recent HC indications, identical migration pathways were reconstructed for both systems. It was proved that HC-bearing fluids have migrated northwestward from the basin east to the Buda Hills from the Miocene on. Due to the uplift related intensification of groundwater circulation, the proportion of hydrothermal fluids has diminished in favour of cold meteoric fluids. Establishment of the actual porosity of the Buda Karst initiated in Miocene times and earlier diagenetic history of the carbonates affected only the powderization of dolomite, and it had no direct effect on the localization of hypogenic caves.


Geophysics of Locating Karst and Caves, 2012, Am Ende, Barbara Anne

Many solution cavities ranging from small voids to full-size caves have no entrances and therefore no access from the surface. Geophysical methods can be used, with varying degrees of reliability, to detect such cavities and can also provide information on the bedrock/regolith interface. These methods include microgravity, electrical resistivity, audio-magnetotelluric soundings, ground-penetrating radar, shallow seismic probes, synthetic aperture radar, and thermal probes. Magnetic induction (cave radio) can provide precise locations of underground passages if they have a surface access.


2D and 3D imaging of the metamorphic carbonates at Omalos plateau/polje, Crete, Greece by employing independent and joint inversion on resistivity and seismic data, 2012, Hamdan Hamdan, Economou Nikos, Kritikakis Giorgos, Andronikidis Nikos, Manoutsoglou Emmanuil, Vafidis Antonis, Pangratis Pangratis, Apostolidou Georgina

A geophysical survey carried out at Omalos plateau in Chania, Western Crete, Greece employed seismic as well as electrical tomography methods in order to image karstic structures and the metamorphic carbonates (Tripali unit and Plattenkalk group) which are covered by post-Mesozoic deposits (terra rossa, clays, sands and gravels). The geoelectrical sections image the metamorphic carbonates which exhibit a highly irregular relief. At the central part of the plateau the thickness of post-Mesozoic deposits (terra rossa, clays, sands and gravels) ranges from 40-130 m. A 3D resistivity image was generated by inverting resistivity data collected on a grid to the south west at the Omalos plateau. The 3D resistivity image delineated a karstic structure at a depth of 25 to 55 m. On the same grid the depth to the top of the karstified carbonates ranges from 25-70 m. This is also verified on the resistivity sections and seismic velocity sections along lines 5 and 7 of the above mentioned grid which are derived from the cross-gradients joint inversion.


Geoelectrical Characterization of Sulphate Rocks, 2012, Guinea Maysounave, Ander

Gypsum rocks are widely exploited in the world as industrial minerals. The purity of the gypsum rocks (percentage in gypsum mineral –CaSO4•2H2O- in the whole rock) is a critical factor to evaluate the potential exploitability of a gypsum deposit. It is considered than purities higher than 80% in gypsum are required to be economically profitable. Gypsum deposits have been studied with geoelectrical methods; a direct relationship between the electrical resistivity values of the gypsum rocks and its lithological composition has been established, with the presence of lutites being the main controlling factor in the geoelectrical response of the deposit. This phenomenon has been quantified by means of a combination of theoretical calculations, laboratory measurements and field data acquisition. A geoelectrical classification of gypsum rocks defining three types of gypsum rocks has been elaborated. Anhydrite (CaSO4) is frequently found in gypsum quarries and in no-outcropping sulphates. Because of its highest hardness than gypsum it supposes a problem for the extraction of gypsum; the fronts of the quarries in which anhydrite is found are stopped at the moment when it appears. The electrical properties of calcium sulphates have been studied by means of geoelectrical methods. The conductivity of crystals has been tested in laboratory. A direct relationship between the electrical conductivity values of the calcium sulphate rocks and its lithological composition has been established being the lutitic matrix the main controlling factor when it is percolant (connected at long range). When the rock is matrix dominant, the electrical resistivity trend is bond to the Hashin-Shtrikman lower bound for multiphase systems. On the other hand, when the rock is calcium sulphate dominant the trend shows the one of the Hashin-Shtrikman upper bound. A geoelectrical classification for calcium sulphate rocks has been elaborated. With this classification it is possible to differentiate between calcium sulphate rocks with different composition according to their electrical resistivity value. Glauberite (Na2Ca(SO4)2) is nowadays exploited as industrial mineral. Glauberite rocks usually have high lutite content in their composition, together with other evaporictic minerals as gypsum, anhydrite or halite among others. There is no reference to the conductivity of glauberite rocks in the bibliography, but due to their impurity it is expected to observe values as the observed for other sulphates in the matrix domain (less than 55% in purity). Two areas of the Ebro river basin (the Zaragoza and La Rioja sectors) have been studied by means of electrical resistivity tomography profiles, in which glauberite has been found in boreholes. As example of application for the study of sulphate deposits, an electrical resistivity tomography survey has been carried out in the Pira Gypsum member (SE of Catalan margin of the Tertiary Ebro Basin, Spain). Additionally, a continuous coring drill was performed in order to support the study. Electrical imaging has been successfully applied to identify the gypsum deposits interlayered in lutite units. Another resistivity survey has been carried out in an active gypsum quarry in the Gelsa Gypsum unit (Zaragoza, N Spain). During the extraction of the rock, the most important parameters to know are the purity changes in the deposit. Sudden changes in the purity make the processing of the raw material less profitable. The performed profiles have shown different gypsum layers from which the purest layers have been identified. Electrical resistivity tomography lines are useful in prospection of gypsum deposits. However, electrical imaging prospection should be supported by an accurate petrological study of the deposits, in order to properly interpret the resistivity profiles.


Characterizing moldic and vuggy pore space in karst aquifers using borehole-wall, slabbed-core and thin-section images, 2013, Manda A. K. , Culpepper A. R.

Carbonate aquifers are prolific and important sources of potable water in many parts of the world owing toenlarged dissolution features that enhance porosity and interconnectivity. To better understand the variationsof pore space in different karst aquifers, image and geospatial analyses are used to analyze pore attributes(i.e., pore area and perimeter) in images of vuggy aquifers. Pore geometry and 2D porosity derivedfrom images of the moldic Castle Hayne and vuggy Biscayne aquifers are analyzed at three scales of observation:borehole televiewer, core and thin-section. The Castle Hayne and Biscayne aquifers are the foci of thisstudy because the pore spaces that control the hydrologic properties in each of these aquifers are markedlydifferent even though both of these carbonate reservoirs are prolific aquifers. Assessments of pore area,perimeter and shape index (a measure of shape complexity) indicate that pore geometries and pore complexitiesvary as a function pore type and scale of observation. For each aquifer type, the areas, perimetersand complexities of pores are higher at the larger scale of observation (e.g., borehole) than the smallerscale of observation (e.g., thin section). When the complexity of the moldic pores is compared to the complexityof vuggy pores, the results indicate that moldic pores are generally more complex than vuggy poresat the same scale of observation. Whereas estimates of 2D porosity from the borehole televiewer image ofthe vuggy aquifer are higher than those derived from the moldic aquifer, the range of 2D porosities is largerin core and thin section images for the vuggy aquifer than themoldic aquifer. A model for the development ofpores is presented that suggests that the coalescence of small pores with simple shapes leads to the growth oflarger pores with more complex shapes. The model suggests that the younger Biscayne aquifer is a moremature karst than the Castle Hayne aquifer.


Seismic study of the low-permeability volume in southern France karst systems, 2013, Galibert P. Y. , Valois R. , Mendes M. , Gurin R.

Locating groundwater in deep-seated karst aquifers is inherently difficult. With seismic methods, we studied the upper epikarst and the underneath low-permeability volume (LPV) of several karst systems located in the southern Quercy and Larzac regions of France and found that refraction tomography was effective only in the epikarst and not in the LPV. We evaluated a 3D case study using a combination of surface records and downhole receivers to overcome this limitation. This 3D approach unveiled a set of elongated furrows at the base of the epikarst and identified heterogeneities deep inside the LPV that may represent high-permeability preferred pathways for water inside the karst. To achieve the same result when no borehole was available, we studied seismic amplitudes of the wavefield, recognizing that wave-induced fluid flow in low-permeability carbonates is a driving mechanism of seismic attenuation. We developed a workflow describing the heterogeneity of the LPV with spectral attributes derived from surface-consistent decomposition principles, and we validated its effectiveness at benchmark locations. We applied this workflow to the 3D study and found a low-amplitude signal area at depth; we interpreted this anomaly as a water-saturated body perched above the aquifer.


COVER-COLLAPSE SINKHOLE DEVELOPMENT IN THE CRETACEOUS EDWARDS LIMESTONE, CENTRAL TEXAS, 2013, Hunt B. B. , Smith B. A. , Adams M. T. , Hiers S. E. , Brown N.

Sudden cover-collapse sinkhole (doline) development is uncommon in the karstic Cretaceous-age Edwards limestone of central Texas. This paper presents a case-study of a sinkhole that formed within a stormwater retention pond (SWRP) in southwest Austin. Results presented include hydrogeologic characterizations, fate of stormwater, and mitigation of the sinkhole. On January 24, 2012, a 11 cm (4.5 in) rainfall filled the SWRP with about 3 m (10 ft) of stormwater. Subsequently, a sinkhole formed within the floor of a SWRP measuring about 9 m (30 ft) in diameter and 4 m (12 ft) deep. About 26.5 million liters (7 million gallons) of stormwater drained into the aquifer through this opening. To determine the path, velocity, and destination of stormwater entering the sinkhole a dye trace was conducted. Phloxine B was injected into the sinkhole on February 3, 2012. The dye was detected at one well and arrived at Barton Springs in less than 4 days for a minimum velocity of 2 km/day (1.3 mi/day).Review of pre-development 2-foot topographic contour and geologic maps reveals that the SWRP was built within a broad (5,200 m2; 6 acre), shallow depression bounded by two inferred NE-trending fault zones. Photographs taken during SWRP construction showed steep west-dipping bedrock in the northern SWRP wall. Following collapse of the sinkhole, additional hydrogeologic characterization included excavation to a depth of 6.4 m (21 ft), surface geophysics (resistivity), and rock coring. Geologic materials consisted mostly 89of friable, highly altered, clayey limestone consistent with epikarst in-filled with terra rosa providing a cover of the feature. Dipping beds, and fractured bedrock support proximity to the mapped fault zone. Geophysics and surface observations suggested a lateral pathway for stormwater flow at the junction between the wet pond’s impermeable geomembrane and compacted clay liner for the retention pond. The collapse appears to have been caused by stormwater down-washing poorly consolidated sediments from beneath the SWRP and into a pre-existing karst conduit system.

Mitigation of the sinkhole included backfill ranging from boulders to gravel, a geomembrane cover, and reinforced concrete cap. Additional improvements to the SWRP included a new compacted clay liner overlain by a geomembrane liner on the side slopes of the retention pond.


Karst water resources in a changing world: Review of hydrological modeling approaches, 2014,

Karst regions represent 7–12% of the Earth’s continental area, and about one quarter of the global population is completely or partially dependent on drinking water from karst aquifers. Climate simulations project a strong increase in temperature and a decrease of precipitation in many karst regions in the world over the next decades. Despite this potentially bleak future, few studies specifically quantify the impact of climate change on karst water resources. This review provides an introduction to karst, its evolution, and its particular hydrological processes. We explore different conceptual models of karst systems and how they can be translated into numerical models of varying complexity and therefore varying data requirements and depths of process representation. We discuss limitations of current karst models and show that at the present state, we face a challenge in terms of data availability and information content of the available data. We conclude by providing new research directions to develop and evaluate better prediction models to address the most challenging problems of karst water resources management, including opportunities for data collection and for karst model applications at so far unprecedented scales


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