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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. ...

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. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
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 porosity is 1. the ratio of the aggregate volume of interstices in a rock or soil to its total volume; generally stated as a percentage [10]. 2. the ratio, usually expressed as a percentage, of the total volume of voids of a given porous medium to the total volume of the porous medium [22]. 3. the volume percentage of the total bulk not occupied by solid particles [22]. see also porosity, effective; porosity, primary; porosity, secondary; porosity, tertiary.?

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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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 aquifer properties (Keyword) returned 11 results for the whole karstbase:
Hydrogeological study and discharge features of the Niksar karst springs (Tokat-Turkey), 1997, Syed M. A. , Afsin M. , Celik M. ,
The exposed Paleozoic and Recent units in the study area have various hydrogeological characteristics such as pervious, semipervious, and impervious. Pervious limestones and associated impervious formations that were not influenced by tectonic movement are connected to produce karst springs. This paper presents the relationship between the discharge coefficient and other aquifer properties by using the hydrograph analyses of the karst springs. The magnitude of the discharge of the spring apparently controls the character of flow (such as laminar) and conduit in the aquifer. The correlation analysis shows a positive relation between Q(0)-Q(t), Q(0)-storage capacity, Q(t)-storage capacity, and alpha-discharge change, These results enhances the properties of the karst springs. Both monthly and annual rainfall contribute to spring discharge. All karst springwaters are suitable for household and food industry uses

A parsimonious model for simulating flow in a karst aquifer, 1997, Barrett Me, Charbeneau Rj,
This paper describes the hydrologic system associated with the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards aquifer and presents a lumped parameter model capable of reproducing general historical trends for measured water levels and spring discharge. Recharge to the aquifer was calculated based on flow loss studies of the creeks crossing the recharge zone and on estimates of the rate of diffuse infiltration of rainfall. Flow measurements on each creek above and below the recharge zone were used to develop a relationship between how above the recharge zone and the rate of recharge. The five-cell groundwater model, each cell corresponding to one of the watersheds of the five main creeks crossing the recharge zone, was developed to support the management objectives of the City of Austin. The model differs from previous models in that the aquifer properties within cells are allowed to vary vertically. Each cell was treated as a tank with an apparent area and the water level of a single well in each cell was used to characterize the conditions in that cell. The simple representation of the hydrologic system produced results comparable to traditional groundwater models with fewer data requirements and calibration parameters. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

Groundwater Flow and Contaminant Transport in Carbonate Aquifers, 2000, Sasowsky I. D. , Wicks C. M.
Carbonate aquifers are an important source of water throughout the world. They are complicated systems and not always easy to interpret. Caves and channels form in the rock, leading to complex flow pathways and unpredictable contaminant behaviour. This volume covers the range of techniques used to analyse groundwater flow and contaminant transport in carbonate aquifers. The book opens with a review of thoughts and methods, and continues by discussing the use of tracers, hydrograph and hydrochemograph evaluation, estimation of aquifer properties from outcrop studies, numerical simulation, analogue simulation, and 3-D visualization of conduits. Other papers address the critical evaluation of matrix, fracture and conduit components of flow and storage. An understanding of these approaches is important to engineers or hydrogeologists working in carbonate aquifers.

Aquifer properties of the Chalk of England, 2001, Macdonald Alan M. , Allen David J. ,
Aquifer properties data from 2100 pumping tests carried out in the Chalk aquifer have been collated as part of a joint British Geological Survey/Environment Agency project. The dataset is highly biased: most pumping tests have been undertaken in valley areas where the yield of the Chalk is highest. Transmissivity values from measured sites give the appearance of log-normality, but are not truly log-normal. The median of available data is 540 m2/d and the 25th and 75th percentiles 190 m2/d and 1500 m2/d respectively. Estimates of storage coefficient from unconfined tests have a median of 0.008 and from confined tests, 0.0006. The data indicate several trends and relationships in Chalk aquifer properties. Transmissivity is highest in the harder Chalk of Yorkshire and Lincolnshire (median 1800 m2/d). Throughout much of the Chalk aquifer a direct relation is observed between transmissivity and storage coefficient, reflecting the importance of fractures in governing both storage and transmissivity. Pumping tests undertaken in unconfined conditions give consistently higher measurements of transmissivity than in confined areas, probably as a result of increased dissolution enhancement of fractures in unconfined areas. At a catchment scale the data illustrate a relation between transmissivity and winter flowing streams

Comparisons Among Ground-Water Flow Models and Analysis of Discrepancies in Simulated Transmissivities of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in Ground-Water Flow Model Overlap Areas, 2001, Sepulveda N.

Discrepancies in simulated transmissivities of the Upper Floridan aquifer were identified in the overlap areas of seven ground-water flow models in southwest and west-central Florida. Discrepancies in transmissivity are generally the result of uncertainty and spatial variability in other aquifer properties. All ground-water flow models were used to simulate the potentiometric surface of the Upper Floridan aquifer for approximated steady-state conditions from August 1993 through July 1994 using the time-independent hydraulic properties assigned to the models. Specifiedhead and general-head boundary data used to generate boundary conditions appropriate to these models were obtained from the estimated annual average heads for the steady-state period. Water-use data and the approximated surficial aquifer system water table were updated to reflect conditions during the approximated steady-state period. Simulated heads at control points, vertical leakage rates to the Upper Floridan aquifer, and spring flows were used to analyze the discrepancies in transmissivities in model overlap areas. Factors causing transmissivity discrepancies in model overlap areas include differences among directly applied recharge rates, differences among model simulated vertical leakance values assigned to the overlaying confining unit resulting in varying leakage rates to the Upper Floridan aquifer, differences in heads and conductances used in general-head boundary cells, and differences in transmissivities assigned in the vicinity of springs. Additional factors include the grid resolution and algorithm used to approximate the heads of the surficial aquifer system when these are used as a source/sink layer. 


Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst., 2002, Birk S.
Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events. Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer. Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation. In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case. The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst, PhD thesis, 2002, Birk, S.

Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events.
Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer.
Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation.
In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case.
The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.


Karstification and Groundwater Flow, 2003, Kiraly, L.

One of the principal aims of hydrogeology is to propose a reasonably adequate reconstruction of the groundwater flow field, in space and in time, for a given aquifer. For example, interpretation of the chemical and isotopic composition of groundwater, understanding of the geothermal conditions (anomalies) or forecasting the possible effects of industrial waste disposals and of intensive exploitation nearly always would require the knowledge of the regional and/or local groundwater flow systems such as defined by Toth (1963). The problem of estimating the groundwater flow field in fractured and karstified aquifers is approached within the framework of a conceptual diagram showing the relationship between groundwater flow, hydraulic parameters (aquifer properties and boundary conditions), distribution of voids and geological factors.
Autoregulation between groundwater flow and karst aquifer properties, duality of karst, nested model of geological discontinuities, scale effect on hydraulic parameters and use of numerical finite element models to check the interpretation of the global response of karst springs are some of the subjects addressed by the author. Inferences on groundwater flow regime with respect to the stage of karst evolution can be made only if the hydraulic parameter fields and the boundary conditions are known by direct observations, or estimated by indirect methods for the different types of karst. Practical considerations on the monitoring strategies applied for karst aquifers, and on the interpretation of the global response obtained at karst springs will complete the paper, which throughout reflects the point of view of a hydrogeologist.


HYDRAULIC PROPERTIES OF CARBONATE ROCKS FROM SLOVAKIAN BOREHOLE DATABASE, 2010, Malk P. & vasta J.
Using archival hard copy records on 22,922 wells and hydrogeological boreholes, maintained since 1950s on the territory of Slovak Republic, a spatial database was developed. If possible, each borehole was linked to a certain aquifer or aquifer lithological type, according to its screened interval. Wells with ambiguous position of open casing were excluded from further processing to obtain distinct relation of pumping rate to lithology. Using stored records of hydraulic tests, each pumping rate was processed to obtain uniformly calculated standard specific capacity. These values were subsequently used to reinterpret hydraulic parameters. Based on standardized specific capacity data, estimates of transmissivity (T; in m2s-1) and hydraulic conductivity (K; in ms-1) for each well were calculated and linked to corresponding aquifer type. From these, hydraulic properties of limestones (238 boreholes), dolomites (463 boreholes) and granitoid rocks (96 boreholes) are compared. As anticipated, geometrical mean of transmissivity was low for granitoids (6.5110-5 m2s-1) and one order of magnitude higher for limestones (6.1610-4 m2s-1), due to its enhancement by karstification. The highest observed value of mean transmissivity, two times higher than that found for limestones, was obtained for dolomitic aquifers (1.0410-3 m2s-1). Dolomitic aquifers also show the highest median values of hydraulic conductivity (3.2110-5 ms-1), in one order of magnitude higher than granitoids (2.1010-6 ms-1) and three times higher than limestones (9.4510-6 ms-1). In comparison with limestones, dolomites seem to be slightly more homogeneous in aquifer properties; also several lithological types there show similarities in both T and K. Some limestone lithofacies (Steinalm and Raming), seem to have lower transmissivity and hydraulic conductivity comparing to other limestones types (Dachstein, Gutenstein, Wetterstein). The data on hydraulic properties of all these hard rocks show lognormal statistical distribution and high heterogeneity.

The significance of turbulent flow representation in single-continuum models, 2011, Reimann T. , Rehrl C. , Shoemaker W. B. , Geyer T. , Birk S.

Karst aquifers evolve where the dissolution of soluble rocks causes the enlargement of discrete pathways along fractures or bedding planes, thus creating highly conductive solution conduits. To identify general interrelations between hydrogeological conditions and the properties of the evolving conduit systems the aperture-size frequency distributions resulting from generic models of conduit evolution are analysed. For this purpose, a process-based numerical model coupling flow and rock dissolution is employed. Initial protoconduits are represented by tubes with log-normally distributed aperture sizes with a mean ?0 = 0.5 mm for the logarithm of the diameters. Apertures are spatially uncorrelated and widen up to the metre range due to dissolution by chemically aggressive waters. Several examples of conduit development are examined focussing on influences of the initial heterogeneity and the available amount of recharge. If the available recharge is sufficiently high the evolving conduits compete for flow and those with large apertures and high hydraulic gradients attract more and more water. As a consequence, the positive feedback between increasing flow and dissolution causes the breakthrough of a conduit pathway connecting the recharge and discharge sides of the modelling domain. Under these competitive flow conditions dynamically stable bimodal aperture distributions are found to evolve, i.e. a certain percentage of tubes continues to be enlarged while the remaining tubes stay small-sized. The percentage of strongly widened tubes is found to be independent of the breakthrough time and decreases with increasing heterogeneity of the initial apertures and decreasing amount of available water. If the competition for flow is suppressed because the availability of water is strongly limited breakthrough of a conduit pathway is inhibited and the conduit pathways widen very slowly. The resulting aperture distributions are found to be unimodal covering some orders of magnitudes in size. Under these suppressed flow conditions the entire range of apertures continues to be enlarged. Hence, the number of tubes reaching aperture sizes in the order of centimetres or decimetres continues to increase with time and in the long term may exceed the number of large-sized tubes evolving under competitive flow conditions. This suggests that conduit development under suppressed flow conditions may significantly enhance the permeability of the formation, e.g. in deep-seated carbonate settings.


Modeling of Karst Aquifers, 2012, Kaufmann Georg, Romanov Douchko, Dreybrodt Wolfgang

Groundwater flow through a karst aquifer is prone to contamination because of the very nature of the karstified host rock: Fissures and bedding partings in the rock are enlarged by chemical dissolution over time and provide preferential flow paths, through which water is transferred rapidly and almost unfiltered from input points such as sinks and dolines to output points such as large karst springs. The enlarged fractures and bedding partings are responsible for a very heterogeneous distribution of permeability within the karst aquifer. Enlarged passages can be very conductive (1–10 m s−1) but have low storage capacity. The surrounding rock is orders of magnitude less conductive (10−8 m s−1), but can provide significant storage. This large-scale heterogeneity in conductivity makes it difficult to assess the karst aquifer properties from field studies such as borehole pumping, packer, and slug tests. Monitoring spring discharge, on the other hand, provides only an integral picture of the karst aquifer. A different approach to understanding a karst aquifer and its spatial and temporal evolution are numerical models. This field has evolved dramatically over the last decades, and is described in this article.


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