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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 aeration is the process of bringing air into intimate contact with water, usually by bubbling air through the water to remove dissolved gases like carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide or to oxidize dissolved materials like iron compounds [6].?

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

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for agricultural (Keyword) returned 75 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 61 to 75 of 75
Gypsum karst in the Crotone province (Calabria, Southern Italy), 2005, Parise Mario, Trocino Antonio

The Calabria region of southern Italy presents remarkable examples of gypsum karst, involving evaporite rocks ranging in age from Trias to Miocene. Triassic evaporites are limited to a sequence of about one hundred meters of thickness in the Coastal Chain, on the western Calabrian coast. Messinian evaporites, on the other hand, extensively crop out to the east, in the Crotone Basin. The present contribution intends to describe the main features of gypsum karst in the latter area, from the surface karst morphology to the development of caves. The Crotone Basin is among the most interesting areas as regards evaporite karst in Italy: a variety of surface karst landforms is there present, including dolines, blind valleys, closed depressions, and deep and narrow canyons intensely affected by slope movements. Many caves are located at the bottom of the dolines, as Grave Grubbo which, with a length over 2,500 meters, is one of the longest Italian caves in evaporites. The study area has experienced several transformations, mostly due to agricultural activity and to scarce attention paid by local administrators toward this unique naturalistic landscape. The high value of Calabrian gypsum karst is thus not fully exploited, and several cases of degradation of the caves have been registered, even with consequences for the quality of water flowing in the karst systems.

Morphologie et remplissage des dolines du Causse de Martel daprs les observations ralises au cours du diagnostic archologique de larodrome de Brive-Souillac (Corrze et Lot), 2006, Bruxelles Laurent, Colonge David, Salgues Thierry
Doline morphology and filling in the Causse of Martel based on the observations realized during the archaeological diagnosis of the Brive-Souillac airfield (Corrze and Lot, France) - An operation of archaeological diagnosis was led by the INRAP (national institute for preventive archaeological researches) on the Causse de Martel. On this occasion, 610 trenches with bulldozers were done, mainly localized in the bottom of dolines. The morphology of the depressions presents most often a pronounced asymmetry. We observe a gently dipping slope underlain by sandy alterites. On the opposite side, a steep corrosion rim developed in bathonian limestones. The sections show an accumulation of several meters of different sediments. At the base, we find periglacial deposits (stratified scree and yellow silt) which fossilized some archaeological remains of the middle Paleolithic. Just above an erosional unconformity, brown clays with calcareous gravel are found. Thanks to the presence of archaeological material, we date the emplacement of this level to be between the Protohistory and the medieval age. Finally, one or two meters of modern agricultural colluviums end the sequence. These observations put in evidence at least two main periods of infilling of these dolines. They correspond to two major phases of hillside imbalance. The first one has a climatic origin (Periglacial) and the second a human origin (clearings and agriculture). These accumulations are separated from the underlying deposits by distinct erosion surfaces, which can be linked to a reactivation of the karstic undercapture and the erosion of a part of the filling. This functioning corresponds to periods during which the colluviums are less abundant, indicating a certain stability of hillsides. Finally, the morphology of the rock layers and the geometry of the deposits show that the karstic landscape, which was clearly more accentuated before the Periglacial and even before Protohistory, underwent an important filling. Today, the dolines are partially filled and show with a flat bottom.

Impact of land-use change on soil properties in a typical karst agricultural region of Southwest China: a case study of Xiaojiang watershed, Yunnan, 2006, Jiang Yong Jun, Yuan Dao Xian, Zhang Cheng, Kuang Ming Sheng, Wang Jian Li, Xie Shi You, Li Lin Li, Zhang Gui, He Rao Sheng,

The impact of land use on soil properties in a karst agricultural region of Southwest China: a case study of Xiaojiang watershed, Yunnan, 2006, Jiang Yongjun,

Les Microcodium: un traceur naturel des coulements karstiques dans les craies champenoises proximit des formations palocnes (Marne, France)., 2007, Lejeune O. , Devos A. , Fronteau G. , Roche D. , Lefevre A. , Sosson C.
The microcodium: A natural tracer of karstic flowpaths in the Champagne chalk close to the Paleocene formations (Marne, France) - Our study group GEGENA was asked to study the karstic flowpaths witin the Champagne chalk. This work was done within a research program (AQUAL) investigating the agricultural pollutions within the Vesle basin. The absence of good conditions to conduct classical dye tracing experiments led us to search for a natural tracer to prove that karstic circulations do exist. A stratigraphic study permitted to isolate a microcodium fossil, present in the upper parts of the Campagnian chalks, which could be a natural tracer for the chalk karst area around the Montagne de Reims. This tracer is locally associated with archeological elements which permit to state that the flow is karstic. The Trpail spring was used as a test site for the validation of the method. The sediments collected in the spring as well as in other springs nearby do indeed contain many microcodium remains.

Natural and anthropogenic hazards in the karst of Jamaica, 2007, Day Mj,
About two thirds of Jamaica is karst landscape, and karstic hazards affect much of the country and about half of the population, mostly in rural areas. The karst includes extensive areas of dolines and dry valleys, together with poljes and classical tropical tower and cockpit karst. With population and urbanization increases, and as infrastructure is developed, karstic hazards are becoming more prevalent and risks are increasing. One major natural hazard is seasonal drought, which disrupts water supplies, particularly in rural areas where groundwater resources are poorly developed and residents depend on rainwater and springs. Conversely, seasonal flooding, particularly that associated with tropical storms, causes property damage and human death, injury and displacement. Ground surface subsidence and collapse threatens developing infrastructure, dwellings and livestock, but the potential for catastrophic karstic failure of industrial facilities such as dams and retention ponds, including the storage facilities associated with bauxite mining and processing, appears to be relatively limited. Slope failure also occurs, but is not often recognized as a hazard and has not been studied in detail. Human impacts include quarrying, bauxite mining, groundwater abstraction, urbanization, agricultural development and tourism. Groundwater contamination is a serious anthropogenic hazard, particularly associated with the bauxite industry. Less than 10% of the karst area is within protected areas

Magnetic prospection as an efficient tool for doline detection: a case study in the central Ebro Basin (northern Spain), 2007, Mochales T. , Pueyo E. L. , Casas A. M. , Soriano M. A. ,
The presence of alluvial dolines in the Ebro Basin causes problems to both agricultural and urban areas. At present, new urbanization of former farming areas requires new tools to detect karst zones and so diminish the hazard linked to collapses. In the surroundings of Zaragoza, dolines (developed mainly on Quaternary alluvial terraces covering a Tertiary gypsum substratum) are commonly filled with alluvial deposits, agricultural soils, urban debris, etc. Measurements of magnetic susceptibility show a remarkable contrast between host rocks and cavity fillings, demonstrating the value of magnetic surveying. A field test was made in a recently collapsed (September 2003) doline filled currently with urban debris. A magnetic survey was carried out following a 130 m2 grid, with 1-10 m spacing between profiles. A proton magnetometer with gradiometer was utilized, and the total field intensity and gradient measurements were taken. The magnetic survey demonstrated a strong anomaly with a dipole defined by more than 650 nT and a gradient of about 100 nT m-1. The 2.5-dimensional (2.5D) modelling of the magnetic anomaly fits well with the known geometrical data. Two other dolines (that are not clearly defined at the surface) were also detected during the survey. These results validate the starting hypothesis and open a new research approach to the problem. The magnetic survey output allows the construction of realistic geological models

Gunung Sewu Karst is situated in the block faulted of Southern Java Zone, Indonesia. The area has been uplifted since the Late Pliocene. Three major uplift phases were reported have been taking place resulting in the exposure of Miocene carbonate rocks. Prevailing tropical monsoon climate has made possible the carbonate formations have evolved through karstification process. Three phases of the uplifting thereafter have resulted in three karst landform evolution. Karst landform evolution in Gunungsewu Karst inevitably determined pre-historic human habitation. During the first stage when surface river was active, human settlement occupy open space along river courses. When the caves were exposed in the second stage, human settlement moved to the caves and distributed along dry valleys or near doline ponds. Cave habitations ended when major depression dried out providing extensive agricultural land. In the modern era, the situation was inverted in which the human habitation determind geomorphologic processes. Soil erosion was accelerated due to deforestation and agricultural land extensification. Native species were replaced by exotic species commodities Big mammals mentioned above were extinct.

Interaction between a dam site and karst springs: The case of Supramonte (Central-East Sardinia, Italy), 2008, De Waele Jo, Forti Paolo

Sardinia is one of the Italian regions with the greatest number of dams per inhabitants, almost 60 for a population of only 1.5 million people. Many of these dam sites are located on non-carbonate rocks along the main rivers of the Island and their waters are used for irrigation, industrial, energy supply, drinking and flood regulation purposes.  The Pedra 'e Othoni dam on the Cedrino river (Dorgali, Central-East Sardinia) is located along the threshold of the Palaeozoic basement on the Northern border of the Supramonte karst area, where water is forced to flow out of the system through several resurgences, the most famous of which is the Su Gologone vauclusian spring, used for drinking water supply. The other main outflows of the system, Su Tippari and San Pantaleo springs, are at present almost permanently submerged by the high water level of the Pedra 'e Othoni dam. In the near future water will be supplied also to other communities with a possible increase of water taken from the spring.

The dam, originally meant to regulate the flooding of Cedrino river but actually used for all sorts of purposes (electricity supply, drinking water, irrigation of farmlands, industrial uses), has a maximum regulation altitude of 103 m a.s.l., only slightly less than a meter below the Su Gologone spring level (103.7 m), and 4 and 9 m respectively above the submerged Su Tippari and San Pantaleo springs.

During floods of the Cedrino river, occurring on average twice a year, also the Su Gologone spring becomes submerged by the muddy waters of the lake for a time ranging between a couple of hours up to several days, making water supply impossible. 

The analysis of the available meteorological and hydrogeological data relative to the December 2004 flood, one of the severest of the past 100 years, suggests that the reservoir is filled in a few days time. Several flooding scenarios have been reconstructed using digital terrain models, showing that backflooding submerges most of the discharge area of the aquifer, having important repercussions also on the inland underground drainage system. The upstream flood prone areas prevalently comprise agricultural lands with some sparse houses, but also highly frequented tourist facilities. Fortunately flooding occurs outside the tourist season, thus limiting risk to a limited number of local inhabitants. Massive discharge at the dam site, instead, determines a more hazardous situation in the Cedrino coastal plain, where population density in low lying areas is much higher. To avoid flooding hazard upstream the water level in the lake should be regulated, keeping it low in the flood prone seasons, and having it filled from the end of the winter in order to have enough water stocked before the beginning of the summer. Discharge at the dam site, instead, should be done cautiously, preventing severe flooding of the coastal Cedrino plain.

Karst provides a critical physical backdrop for much of the Caribbeans history and many of its existing environmental, agricultural, economic and cultural issues. The karstlands are challenging to human habitation, since they possess a broad array of natural hazards, but they are also at risk of degradation and vulnerable to environmental change. The karst has a rich legacy of pre-Colombian settlement and contains many regional archaeological sites. Unsustainable European colonial agricultural practices degraded the vegetation and landscape severely. The karstlands also played a major role in resistance to colonial authority, and were used by Maroons as both refuges and bases for harassment and guerilla actions. Following emancipation and independence, the karst became a basis for subsistence agriculture, increasingly yielding to commercial agriculture, urbanization and industrial activities, and tourism. Despite hazards such as drought and flooding, human impacts on the karstlands have been long-term and severe. Regional predictions are that anthropogenic climatic change will lead to rising sea levels, changing precipitation totals and the increasing frequency of extreme events, such as droughts and hurricanes. The effects of all these changes will be magnified in the karst, particularly with respect to karst hydrology. Climate change and other human impacts will increasingly threaten already at-risk and vulnerable ecosystems and human communities, necessitating integration of climate change parameters and the adoption of appropriate risk management measures.

Approximately 33% of China is karstic. The most extensive karst areas are in southwestern China and cover approximately 540,000 km2. Southwestern China hosts some of the most typical karst landforms in the world and has important high-quality karst water resources. Due to the rapid development of China, karst waters are threatened by various types of contamination. Detail field and laboratory investigations in five provinces including several cities in southwestern China were conducted in 2008 and 2009. Eightythree springs and underground rivers were surveyed and water samples collected from each for laboratory analyses for major ions. Four main types of karst aquifer contamination were identified based on contaminant sources: rural and agricultural pollution, pollution from urban development and industry, pollution from mining, and accidental groundwater pollution. Several representative instances for each type of contamination and their impacts on the environment are discussed in more detail. Contamination countermeasures of karst waters and a framework for overall management of karst water resources in southwestern China are provided.

Investigating Ancient Maya Agricultural Adaptation through Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) Analysis of Karst Terrain , Northern Yucat n, Mexico, 2010, Munro Stasiuk Mandy J. & Manahan T. Kam
Landscape adaptation on the Northern Yucatn Peninsula, Mexico, is particularly difficult, as soils are thin and the terrain is devoid of any surface water other than the occasional sinkhole (cenote) that connects directly to the groundwater system. Despite this, ancient Maya cities, including Xuenkal, emerged and thrived, likely because of their proximity to natural sinkholes. In the case of Xuenkal, these sinkholes, known locally as rejolladas, have bases above the local water table and, as such, do not provide direct access to the underlying water, but they provide closer access. Recognizing that the presence of rejolladas was likely important to the ancient Maya the purpose of this study is to characterize the rejolladas in terms of their subsurface characteristics, specifically bedrock configuration and soil. Ground penetrating radar analysis, as well as the results of a test pit excavation, confirm the presence of deep soils in the rejollada bases. It seems that the smaller deeper rejolladas have the thickest soils and sediment. The ancient city of Xuenkal is constructed amidst a particularly dense cluster of rejolladas which may have contributed to its location. Rejolladas, containing significantly thicker soils than the surrounding karst surface, and the ability to sustain dense healthy vegetation would have been particularly desirable for the Maya to capitalize on.

Contaminant Transport in Two Central Missouri Karst Recharge Areas, 2011, Lerch, R. N.

Karst watersheds with significant losing streams represent a particularly
vulnerable setting for groundwater contamination because of the direct connection to surface water. Because of the existing agricultural land-use and future likelihood of urbanization, two losing-stream karst basins were chosen for intensive monitoring in Boone County, Missouri: Hunters Cave and Devils Icebox. Both caves were formed in Burlington Limestone and have similar recharge areas (33 to 34 km2) and land uses. Year-round monitoring was conducted from April 1999 through March 2002 to characterize the water quality of the main cave streams relative to herbicide, nutrient, and sediment contamination. Water sampling entailed grab samples at regular intervals and runoff-event samples collected using automated sampling equipment. Total nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment concentrations and loads were consistently higher in the Devils Icebox stream compared to Hunters Cave. Median total N fluxes were 96 g km22 d21 at Devils Icebox and 30 g km22 d21 at Hunters Cave, while median total P fluxes were 8.5 g km22 d21 at Devils Icebox and 3.3 g km22 d21 at Hunters Cave. Herbicides or their metabolites were detected in more than 80% of the samples from both cave streams, and herbicide concentrations and areal loss rates were generally similar between the sites. Overall, the greater loads and mass flux of contaminants in the Devils Icebox recharge area compared to Hunters Cave was a result of both greater stream discharge and the occurrence of more cropped fields (94%) on claypan soils with high runoff potential. These claypan soils are known to be especially problematic with respect to surface transport of contaminants. Prevailing land use has significantly degraded the water quality in both recharge areas, but a watershed plan has been developed for the Bonne Femme watershed, which encompasses these two recharge areas. With the baseline data collected in this study, the impact of changing land uses and the implementation of management practices or new ordinances designed to improve water quality can be documented.

Karst of Sicily and its Conservation, 2012, Di Maggio C. , Madonia G. , Parise M. , Vattano M.

In Sicily, karst is well developed and exhibits different types of landscapes due to the wide distribution of soluble rocks in different geological and environmental settings. Karst affects both carbonate rocks, outcropping in the northwest and central sectors of the Apennine chain and in the foreland area, and evaporite rocks, mainly gypsum, that characterize the central and the southern parts of the island. The carbonate and gypsum karsts show a great variety of surface landforms, such as karren, dolines, poljes, blind valleys, and fluvio-karst canyons, as well as cave systems. Karst areas in Sicily represent extraordinary environments for the study of solution forms. In addition, they are of great environmental value because they contain a variety of habitats that hold species of biogeographic significance. Unfortunately, karst areas are increasingly threatened by human activity, mainly in the form of grazing and other agricultural practices, wildfires, quarrying, urbanization, building of rural homes, and infrastructure development. The value of karst features has been recognized by the Sicilian Regional Government since 1981 when it enacted laws to create several nature reserves to preserve the peculiar karst landscapes, including caves. At present, the state of conservation of karst areas in Sicily may be considered to be at an acceptable level, yet numerous issues and difficulties need to be overcome for the effective protection and enhancement of karstlands.



The movement of autogenic recharge through the shallow epikarstic zone in soil-mantled karst aquifers is important in understanding recharge areas and rates, storage, and contaminant transport processes. The groundwater in agricultural karst areas, such as Kentucky’s Pennyroyal Plateau, which is characterized by shallow epikarst and deeper conduits flow, is susceptible to contamination from organic soil amendments and pesticides. To understand the storage and flow of autogenic recharge and its effects on contaminant transport on water flowing to a single epikarst drain in Crump’s Cave on Kentucky’s Mississippian Plateau, we employed several techniques to characterize the nature and hydrogeology of the system. During 2010–2012, water samples and geochemical data were collected every four hours before, during, and between storm events from a waterfall in Crumps Cave to track the transport and residence time of epikarst water and organic soil amendments during variable flow conditions. Geochemical data consisting of pH, specific conductivity, temperature, and discharge were collected continuously at 10-minute intervals, along with rainfall amounts. In addition, stable isotope data from rainfall, soil water, and epikarst water were collected weekly and during storm events to examine storage and recharge behavior of the system. The changes in geochemistry indicate simultaneous storage and transport of meteoric water through epikarst pathways into the cave, with rapid transport of bacteria occurring through the conduits that bypass storage. The isotopic data indicate that recharge is rapidly homogenized in the epikarst, with storage varying throughout the year based on meteorological conditions. Results indicate current best management practices in agricultural karst areas need to be revisited to incorporate areas that do not have surface runoff, but where contaminants are transported by seepage into local aquifers.

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