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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 terrace is a flat surface bounded by steplike steep slopes [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 groundwater resources (Keyword) returned 42 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 42 of 42
Review: The Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico , 2011, Bauergottwein Peter, Gondwe Bibi R. N. , Charvet Guillaume, Marin Luis E. , Rebolledovieyra Mario, Meredizalonso Gonzalo

The Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer is one of the most extensive and spectacular karst aquifer systems on the planet. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of approximately 165,000 km2 in Mexico, Guatemala and Belize. The Triassic to Holocene Yucatan limestone platform is located in the vicinity of the North American/Caribbean plate boundary and has been reshaped by a series of tectonic events over its long geologic history. At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Yucatan Peninsula was hit by a large asteroid, which formed the Chicxulub impact crater. The Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer hosts large amounts of groundwater resources which maintain highly diverse groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Large parts of the aquifer are affected by seawater intrusion. Anthropogenic pollution of the aquifer has been increasing over the past few decades, owing to relentless economic development and population growth on the Peninsula. This review summarizes the state of knowledge on the Yucatan Peninsula karst aquifer and outlines the main challenges for hydrologic research and practical groundwater-resources management on the Peninsula.

Karst, Uranium, Gold and Water Lessons from South Africa for Reconciling Mining Activities and Sustainable Water Use in Semi-arid Karst Areas: A Case Study, 2011, Winde, Frank

Despite the fact that much of the water stored in dams and reservoirs is lost to the atmosphere due to prevailing semi-arid conditions, South Africa traditionally relies mainly on surface water. Owing to an ever increasing demand that approaches the limits of economically exploitable surface water, the focus increasingly shifts towards groundwater as a long neglected resource. In this context, dolomitic karst aquifers that store large volumes of water protected from evaporation in vast underground cavities are of particular importance. This even more so as some of these aquifers are located in highly industrialised and densely populated areas such as the Gauteng Province, where water demand by far exceeds local supply and necessitates the expensive import of water from catchments as far as Lesotho. However, owing to impacts related to the century-old, deep-level gold mining that initiated South Africa’s economic development, many of the karst aquifers are currently not usable. Using the Far West Rand goldfield as an example, the extent, type and magnitude of mining-related impacts on dolomitic karst aquifers are analysed. This includes impacts on the geohydrological conditions in the area as well as water availability and ground stability associated with the large-scale dewatering of dolomitic aquifers that overly mine workings. Of particular concern is the mining-related contamination of groundwater and surface water with uranium which accompanies gold in most of the mined ore bodies. Finally, possible scenarios for water-related impacts of future mine closure are outlined and associated research needs identified. 

Management of Karst Groundwater Resources , 2011, Bakalowicz, Michel

Karst aquifers are especially difficult to exploit, manage, and protect because of the extreme variability of their hydraulic properties which are almost impossible to determine at a local scale. Moreover, their functioning may be influenced by non-linearities and threshold effects. Considering long-term aquifer exploitation, karst system complexity does not allow for easy behavioral modeling, such as using the classical isochrone method for determining a protection zone. However, because karst aquifers may offer great storage capacity and high local hydraulic conductivity, high flow rates can be pumped from single sites, allowing for effective management of an aquifer. After outlining the main characteristics of karst aquifers, the management of their groundwater is examined from both quantity and quality viewpoints in order to highlight benefits and problems with this resource. Finally, some new avenues of research are proposed.

Karstification in the Cuddapah Sedimentary Basin, Southern India: Implications for Groundwater Resources, 2011, Dar Farooq Ahmad , Perrin Jerome, Riotte Jean , Gebauer Herbert Daniel, Narayana Allu Chinna, Ahmed Shakeel

The Cuddapah sedimentary basin extends over a significant part of the southern part of Andhra Pradesh State, Southern India. Proterozoic carbonate rocks in the basin are constituted by as three main units- the Vempalle dolomite, the Narji and Koilkuntla limestones. These carbonate rocks are of strategic im­portance for local communities as they provide the main water source for irrigation and domestic use and they are also inten­sively quarried for cement production and building stones. It is therefore, of primary importance to assess to which extent these carbonate units are karstified so as to provide recommendations for appropriate land and water resource management. The field investigations carried out indicate that these carbonate units are significantly karstified and karstification has been an ongo­ing process with several phases under variable climatic condi­tions. As a result, a significant part of aquifer recharge occurs as point-recharge through swallow-holes and groundwater flow is channelized by conduit networks which emerge at karst springs. Karst development was possibly more active during past humid conditions; however karstification is still an ongoing process under the present semi-arid climate especially in the favorable case where karst drains the runoff issued from upstream quartz­itic hills. The karstic nature of these carbonate units need to be integrated in future research and development programmes to avoid practices that may lead to unexpected collapses, reservoir leaks, inaccurate groundwater budgeting, etc.

Review: The Yucatn Peninsula karst aquifer, Mexico, 2011, Bauergottwein P. , Gondwe B. R. N. , Charvet G. , Marn L. E. , Rebolledovieyra M. , Meredizalonso G.

The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer is one of the most extensive and spectacular karst aquifer systems on the planet. This transboundary aquifer system extends over an area of approximately 165,000 km2 in México, Guatemala and Belize. The Triassic to Holocene Yucatán limestone platform is located in the vicinity of the North American/Caribbean plate boundary and has been reshaped by a series of tectonic events over its long geologic history. At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Yucatán Peninsula was hit by a large asteroid, which formed the Chicxulub impact crater. The Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer hosts large amounts of groundwater resources which maintain highly diverse groundwater-dependent ecosystems. Large parts of the aquifer are affected by seawater intrusion. Anthropogenic pollution of the aquifer has been increasing over the past few decades, owing to relentless economic development and population growth on the Peninsula. This review summarizes the state of knowledge on the Yucatán Peninsula karst aquifer and outlines the main challenges for hydrologic research and practical groundwater-resources management on the Peninsula

Revised Hydrogeologic framework for the Floridan Aquifer System in the Northern Coastal Areas of Georgia and Parts of South Carolina, 2011, Gill H. E. , Williams L. J.

The hydrogeologic framework for the Floridan aquifer system was revised for eight northern coastal counties in Georgia and five coastal counties in South Carolina (fig. 1) as part of a regional assessment of water resources by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Groundwater Resources Program. In this study, selected well logs were compiled and analyzed to determine the vertical and horizontal continuity of permeable zones that make up the aquifer system, and define more precisely the thickness of confining beds that separate individual aquifer zones. The results of the analysis indicate that permeable zones in the Floridan aquifer system can be divided into (1) an upper group of extremely transmissive zones that correlate to the Ocala Limestone in Georgia and the Parkers Ferry Formation in South Carolina, and (2) a lower group of zones of relatively lower transmissivity that correlates to the middle part of the Avon Park formation in Georgia and updip clastic equivalent units of South Carolina (fig. 2). This new subdivision simplifies the hydrogeologic framework originally developed by the USGS in the 1980s and helps to improve the understanding of the physical geometry of the system for future modeling efforts. Revisions to the framework in the Savannah–Hilton Head area are particularly important where permeable beds control the movement of saltwater contamination. The revised framework will enable water-resource managers in Georgia and South Carolina to assess groundwater resources in a more uniform manner and help with the implementation of sound decisions when managing water resources in the aquifer system

U.S. Geological Survey Karst Interest Group Proceedings, Fayetteville, Arkansas, April 2629, 2011/ Scientific Investigations Report 20115031, 2011, Av

Karst aquifer systems are present throughout parts of the United States and some of its territories and are developed in carbonate rocks (primarily limestone and dolomite) that span the entire geologic time frame. The depositional environments, diagenetic processes, and post-depositional tectonic events that form carbonate rock aquifers are varied and complex, involving both biological and physical processes that can influence the development of permeability. These factors, combined with the diverse climatic regimes under which karst development in these rocks has taken place result in the unique dual or triple porosity nature of karst aquifers. These complex hydrologic systems often present challenges to scientists attempting to study groundwater flow and contaminant transport.
The concept for developing a Karst Interest Group evolved from the November 1999 National Groundwater Meeting of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Water Resources Division. As a result, the Karst Interest Group was formed in 2000. The Karst Interest Group is a loose-knit grass-roots organization of USGS employees devoted to fostering better communication among scientists working on, or interested in, karst hydrology studies.
The mission of the Karst Interest Group is to encourage and support interdisciplinary collaboration and technology transfer among USGS scientists working in karst areas. Additionally, the Karst Interest Group encourages cooperative studies between the different disciplines of the USGS and other Federal agencies, and university researchers or research institutes.
This fifth workshop is a joint workshop of the USGS Karst Interest Group and University of Arkansas HydroDays workshop, sponsored by the USGS, the Department of Geosciences at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Additional sponsors are: the National Cave and Karst Research Institute, the Edwards Aquifer Authority, San Antonio, Texas, and Beaver Water District, northwest Arkansas. The majority of funding for the proceedings preparation and workshop was provided by the USGS Groundwater Resources Program, National Cooperative Mapping Program, and the Regional Executives of the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, South Central and Rocky Mountain Areas. The University of Arkansas provided the rooms and facilities for the technical and poster presentations of the workshop, vans for the field trips, and sponsored the HydroDays banquet at the Savoy Experimental Watershed on Wednesday after the technical sessions.

Groundwater in the Arab Middle East , 2012, Wagner, Wolfgang

The region covering the Arabian Peninsula and the adjoining northern Arabian countries coincides approximately with a specific large geologic struCture: the Arabian Plate. Politically the region includes the countries of the Arabian Peninsula together with the northern Arab countries: AI Mashreq - the eastern part of the caliphate or of the Arab World. In a geographic political view the region may be denominated Arab Middle East (Ash Sharq al Awsat) or Western Asia.
The Arab Middle East with an area of 3.7 million lan2 forms a small subcontinent between the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, the Gulf and, in the north, the Zagros-Taurus mountain chains. About 90% of the region are semiarid to arid steppe or desert areas. As perennial rivers exist only in the northern and western margins of the Arab Middle East, the use of groundwater resources is an essential basis for the economic development and survival of the countries. The
region includes 12 Arab countries; water demand/supply previews indicaTe precarious siruations in the near future for mosu of these countries.
The idea ci compiling a book on "Groundwater in the Arab Middle East" arose from the professional activities of the author as hydrogeologist in the services of the German Government between 1965 and 1998, much of which was devoted to groundwater projectS in the Middle East. The information presented in the book is based on reviews of a large number of publications, reportS and documents as well as on field experience in various Arab countries.
The groundwater projects in the Middle East, in which the author had the
chance to panicipate, were carried out in the framework of Technical Cooperation between national or international institutions of the region and the Federal Institute of Geosciences and Natural Resources, BGR, Hannover, partly in connection with activities of the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, GTZ, Eschbom. The projects were sponsored by the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bonn. Regional information on groundwater conditions in the Middle East were obtained, in panicular, through long-term assigrunents of  the author to international institutions: The Arab Centre for the Studies of Arid Zones and Dry Lands of the Arab League (ACSAD), Damascus, and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Amman and Beirut. 

Spatially dense drip hydrological monitoring and infiltration behaviour at the Wellington Caves, South East Australia, 2012, Jex Catherine N. , Mariethoz Gregoire, Baker Andy, Graham Peter, Andersen Martin S. , Acworth Ian, Edwards Nerilee, Azcurra Cecilia

Despite the fact that karst regions are recognised as significant groundwater resources, the nature of groundwater flow paths in the unsaturated zone of such fractured rock is at present poorly understood. Many traditional methods for constraining groundwater flow regimes in karst aquifers are focussed on the faster drainage components and are unable to inform on the smaller fracture or matrix-flow components of the system. Caves however, offer a natural inception point to observe both the long term storage and the preferential movement of water through the unsaturated zone of such fractured carbonate rock by monitoring of drip rates of stalactites, soda straws and seepage from fractures/micro fissures that emerge in the cave ceiling. Here we present the largest spatial survey of automated cave drip rate monitoring published to date with the aim of better understanding both karst drip water hydrogeology and the relationship between drip hydrology and surface climate. By the application of cross correlation functions and multi-dimensional scaling, clustered by k-means technique, we demonstrate the nature of the relationships between drip behaviour and initial surface infiltration and similarity amongst the drip rate time series themselves that may be interpreted in terms of flow regimes and cave chamber morphology and lithology.

Hydrogeochemistry and possible sulfate sources in karst groundwater in Chongqing, China, 2012, Pu J. , Yuan D. , Zhang Ch. , Zhao H.

Groundwater from karst subterranean streams is among the world’s most important sources of drinking water supplies, and the hydrochemical characteristics of karst water are affected by both natural environment and people. Therefore, the study of karst groundwater hydrochemistry and its solutes’ sources is very important to ensure the normal function of life support systems. This paper focused on the major ion chemistry and sulfate isotope of karst groundwater in Chongqing for tracing the sulfate sources and related hydrochemical processes. Hydrochemical types of karst groundwater in Chongqing were mainly of the Ca-HCO3 type or Ca(Mg)-HCO3 type. However, some hydrochemical types were the K ? Na ? Ca-SO4 type (G25 site) or Ca-HCO3 ? SO4 type (G26 and G14 sites), indicating that the hydrochemistry of these sites may be strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities or unique geological characteristics. The d34S-SO4 2- of collected karst groundwater sample fell into a range of -6.8 to 21.5 %, with a mean value of 5.6 %. In dolomite aquifer, the d34S-SO4 2- value ranges from -4.3 to 11.0 %, and in limestone aquifer, it ranged from -6.8 to 21.5 %. The groundwater samples from different land use types showed distinctive d34S-SO4 2- value. The d34S-SO4 2- value of groundwater samples had range of -6.8 to 16.7 % (mean 4.0 %, n = 11) in cultivated land areas, 1.5–21.5 %(mean 7.2 %, n = 20) in forested land areas, and -4.3 to 0.8 % (mean -1.7 %, n = 2) in coalmine areas. The d34S-SO4 2- values of groundwater samples collected from factory area and town area were 2.2 and 9.9 %, respectively. According to the d34S information of potential sulfate sources, this paper discussed the possible sulfate sources of collected karst groundwater samples in Chongqing. The variations of both d34S and 1/SO4 2- values of the groundwater samples indicated that the atmospheric acid deposition (AAD), dissolution of gypsum (GD), oxidation of sulfide mineral (OS) or anthropogenic inputs (SF: sewage or fertilizer) contributed to sulfate in karst groundwater. The influence of oxidation of sulfide mineral, atmospheric acid deposit and anthropogenic inputs to groundwater in Chongqing karst areas was much widespread. For protecting, sustaining, and utilizing the groundwater resources, the sewage possibly originating from urban, mine or industrial area must be controlled and treated, and the use of fertilizer should be limited



The city of Jerusalem, Israel, is growing for ~4,000 years on karst terrain. Lacking closed depressions, surface topography seems fluvial, but karst is well demonstrated by speleology and subsurface hydrology. Several caves in the city were truncated by construction works, including an 800 m long river cave (longest limestone river cave in Israel), and a 200 × 140 × 90 m isolated chamber cave (largest chamber cave in Israel). Caves are being discovered at a growing rate, as construction works dig deeper into the subsurface in the crowded city. Some of them are eventually destroyed by the construction works; only presently accessible caves are discussed here. The hydrogeology and hydrochemistry of the Gihon, Jerusalem’s main karst spring, was studied in order to understand its behavior, as well as urbanization effects on karst groundwater resources. High-resolution monitoring of the spring discharge, temperature and electrical conductivity, as well as chemical and bacterial analysis demonstrate a rapid response of the spring to rainfall events and human impact. A complex karst system is inferred, including conduit flow, fissure flow and diffuse flow. Electrical conductivity is high compared to nearby springs located at the town margins, indicating considerable urban pollution in the Gihon area. The previously cited pulsating nature of the spring does not exist today. This phenomenon may have ceased due to additional water sources from urban leakage and irrigation feeding the spring. The urbanization of the recharge area thus affects the spring water dramatically, both chemically and hydrologically.


Electrical and electromagnetic geophysical characterization is a proven tool for delineating obscured subterranean karstic features, such as caves, sinkholes, and solution enlarged fissures. Geophysical characterizations allow a wide range of deployment scales; airborne methods can accommodate a regional view on the order of kilometers, and ground-based methods can follow up with focused data on the order of meters. A helicopter frequency domain electro-magnetic (HFDEM) survey and ground-based direct-current electrical resistivity imaging (DC-ERI) geophysical studies at the Camp Bullis Military Training Site (Camp Bullis) in central Texas have been used to characterize permeability properties of the Edwards and Trinity Aquifers in the area. Results of three separate investigations identified zones of high density karst features and characterized specific karstic voids, including caves. In 2003, the USGS completed an HFDEM survey of Camp Bullis and nearby areas to map and image subsurface features related to the groundwater resources. The survey refined locations of mapped and previously unmapped faults and characterized the heterogeneity of the subsurface electrical signature. Karst mapping at Camp Bullis identified over 1500 features, and high density zones of features correspond with areas of high resistivity from the HEM data. DC-ERI surveys at several locations were used to infer and characterize known and hypothesized karst features. Site 8 suggests an inferred fault and 195dissolution feature. Two other sites were surveyed near major caves that directly recharge the Trinity Aquifer (indirectly to Edwards Aquifer) along Cibolo Creek. Integration of multi-scale geophysical datasets could be used to augment aquifer-wide recharge characterization and quantification.

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