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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 sump is 1. in caves a sump is a section of flooded passage. this may be a perched sump, probably quite short, within a vadose cave and created by a local reverse passage gradient. alternatively it may be a major feature, where a cave passage descends below the regional water table into the phreas, as is common at the lower end of many cave systems. some short sumps can be dived without the use of breathing apparatus, but most are restricted to exploration by cave divers. logistics are a barrier to endless sump penetrations, but some have now been explored for many kilometers in length, notable in cocklebiddy cave, australia, the nohoch nah chich and other great flooded systems in mexico's yucatan, and behind keld head in yorkshire [9]. 2. a pool of underground water or point on an underground stream that has a submerged extension, the nature of which has not been determined [10]. 3. a place where the ceiling of a passage drops to and below water level in a cave, leaving no air space with the cave passage continuing underwater [13]. 4. a water trap.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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 catchment (Keyword) returned 211 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 211
The Aggitis karst system, Eastern Macedonia, Greece: Hydrologic functioning and development of the karst structure, , Novel Jean Paul, Dimadi Agoro, Zervopoulou Anna, Bakalowicz Michel,
SummaryThe Aggitis karst system developed in the marbles of the Rhodope massif. The conditions of the development of its karst drainage network are determined from the geological and geomorphologic settings by means of a microstructural analysis, following Eraso's method. This analysis shows that the karst conduit network intensely developed in the western part of the mountain Falakro where the majority of the open fractures oriented in the same direction as the hydraulic gradient, while the two directions are perpendicular in its eastern part drained by the spring of Drama.The behaviour of the system was analysed by means of hydrodynamic and water geochemical techniques. Despite the extension of the cave system and of the favourable development conditions of conduits, the functioning appears complex, with a significant storage, and a slow infiltration as well as an easy drainage. On the contrary the Drama karst system, characterised by a low variability in its hydrological and geochemical characteristics does not show any karst functioning.In the Aggitis karst system the initial groundwater flow conditions in combination with the aperture planes of which the directions are in agreement with the hydraulic gradient, favoured the rapid development of a drainage network system. The recharge from a large surface catchment area on non-karstic rocks, through swallow holes in a wide polje contributed to increase the groundwater flow through the karst part of the system, facilitating the development of the conduits

Transport and variability of fecal bacteria in carbonate conglomerate aquifers, , Goeppert N. , Goldscheider N.

Clastic sedimentary rocks are generally considered non-karstifiable and thus less vulnerable to pathogen contamination than karst aquifers. However, dissolution phenomena have been observed in clastic carbonate conglomerates of the Subalpine Molasse zone of the northern Alps and other regions of Europe, indicating karstification and high vulnerability, which is currently not considered for source protection zoning. Therefore, a research program was established at the Hochgrat site (Austria/Germany), as a demonstration that karst-like characteristics, flow behavior and high vulnerability to microbial contamination are possible in this type of aquifer. The study included geomorphologic mapping, comparative multi-tracer tests with fluorescent dyes and bacteria-sized fluorescent microspheres, and analyses of fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) in spring waters during different seasons. Results demonstrate that (i) flow velocities in carbonate conglomerates are similar as in typical karst aquifers, often exceeding 100 m/h; (ii) microbial contaminants are rapidly transported towards springs; and (iii) the magnitude and seasonal pattern of FIB variability depends on the land use in the spring catchment and its altitude. Different ground water protection strategies than currently applied are consequently required in regions formed by karstified carbonatic clastic rocks, taking into account their high degree of heterogeneity and vulnerability.

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Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity at a karst spring induced by variable catchment boundaries: the case of the Podstenjšek spring, Slovenia, , Ravbar, N. , Engelhardt, I. , Goldscheider, N.

Anomalous behaviour of specific electrical conductivity (SEC) was observed at a karst spring in Slovenia during 26 high-flow events in an 18-month monitoring period. A conceptual model explaining this anomalous SEC variability is presented and reproduced by numerical modelling, and the practical relevance for source protection zoning is discussed. After storm rainfall, discharge increases rapidly, which is typical for karst springs. SEC displays a first maximum during the rising limb of the spring hydrograph, followed by a minimum indicating the arrival of freshly infiltrated water, often confirmed by increased levels of total organic carbon (TOC). The anomalous behaviour starts after this SEC minimum, when SEC rises again and remains elevated during the entire high-flow period, typically 20–40 µS/cm above the baseflow value. This is explained by variable catchment boundaries: When the water level in the aquifer rises, the catchment expands, incorporating zones of groundwater with higher SEC, caused by higher unsaturated zone thickness and subtle lithologic changes. This conceptual model has been checked by numerical investigations. A generalized finite-difference model including high-conductivity cells representing the conduit network (“discrete-continuum approach”) was set up to simulate the observed behaviour of the karst system. The model reproduces the shifting groundwater divide and the nearly simultaneous increase of discharge and SEC during high-flow periods. The observed behaviour is relevant for groundwater source protection zoning, which requires reliable delineation of catchment areas. Anomalous behaviour of SEC can point to variable catchment boundaries that can be checked by tracer tests during different hydrologic conditions.


Origin and Development of ''Positive'' Water Catchment Basins, Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, 1951, Black, Donald M.

Observations at the Blue Waterholes, March 1965 - April 1969, and Limestone Solution on Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1972, Jennings, J. N.

After brief descriptions of the geomorphology of the Cooleman Plain karst and in particular of the Blue Waterholes, the methods adopted to analyse the functioning of these major risings are detailed. The discharge regime of Cave Creek below them is oceanic pluvial in type perturbed by drought and snow. There is much annual variation both in seasonal incidence and total amount, with catchment efficiency correspondingly variable. Suspended sediment concentration is even more erratic and monthly determinations are inadequate for calculating corrasional denudation rates. Mean concentrations of suspended solids are about 1/18th of solute load. Total dissolved salts have a strong inverse relationship with discharge, and mean values are high compared with those for other catchments in eastern Australia but none of these determinations are from limestone catchments. Sodium, potassium, and chlorine contents are low compared with the same catchments but silica is relatively high. The ratio of alkaline earths to alkalis indicate that Cave Creek carries carbonate waters and there is an inverse regression of the ratio on discharge. There is inverse correlation of total hardness on discharge likewise due to concentration of surface waters by evaporation in dry periods, together with reduced underground solution rate at times of large, rapid flow. The spring waters remain aggressive. Close regressions of hardness on specific conductivity now permit the latter to be determined in the place of the former. Much evidence converges to indicate that all the springs at the Blue Waterholes are fed from the same conduit. The intermittent flow which comes down the North Branch on the surface to the Blue Waterholes differs significantly in many characters from the spring waters. Rates of Ca + M carbonate equivalent removal vary directly with discharge since hardness varies much less than does water volume. These gross rates have to be adjusted for (a) atmospheric salts entering the karst directly, (b) peripheral solute inputs from the non-karst two-thirds of the catchment and (c) subjacent karst solution before they can be taken as a measure of exposed karst denudation. The methods for achieving this are set out. The total corrections amount to about one third of the total hardness, though the correction for subjacent karst on its own lies within the experimental error of the investigation. The residual rate of limestone removal from the exposed karst also shows a winter/spring high rate and a summer/autumn low rate but the seasonal incidence and annual total varied very much from year to year. In comparison with results from karsts in broadly similar climate, the seasonal rhythm conforms and so does the high proportion (78%) of the solution taking place at or close to the surface. This reduces the importance of the impounded condition of this small karst but supports the use of karst denudation rate as a measure of surface lowering. Cave passage solution may however be more important in impounded karst than its absolute contribution might suggest, by promoting rapid development of underground circulation. The mean value of limestone removal is low for the climatic type and this is probably due to high evapotranspirational loss as well as to the process of eliminating atmospheric, peripheral non-karst and subjacent karst contributions. The difficulties of applying modern solution removal rate to the historical geomorphology of this karst are made evident; at the same time even crude extrapolations are shown to isolate problems valuably.


The dynamics of solutional and mechanical erosion in limestone catchments on the Mendip Hills, Somerset, 1974, Smith D. I. , Newson M. D.

A Triple Dye Tracing Experiment At Yarrangobilly, 1976, Spate A. P. , Jennings J. N. , Ingle Smith D. , James Julia M.

Rhodamine WT, leucophor HBS and fluorescein were inserted into Deep, Eagles Nest and Traverse Creeks respectively, all sinking wholly or partly into the limestone at Yarrangobilly, as part of a program to determine the catchment area of Hollin Cave. Hollin Cave and three other major springs, together with the Yarrangobilly River above, between and below these springs, were sampled for various periods manually or by machine. Heavy rains began a day after dye insertion. Various lines of evidence and analysis, including the plotting of regression residuals between different wavebands as time series, showed that the relevant fluorescent wavebands were affected by rises in natural fluorescence in the runoff, probably of organic origin. Green was affected most, then blue, and orange only slightly. It was possible to identify a dye pulse of rhodamine at Hollin Cave, most probably representing all the dye put in. A leucophor dye pulse was also identifiable here but a load curve could not be constructed because of probable interference by changing natural fluorescence. Tracing by fluorescein became impossible. Interference between the three dyes was demonstrated. The implications for future quantitative tracing here are discussed.


Dan Yr Ogof Study - Geomorphology of the Catchment, 1977, Coase A. C.

Water Chemistry of the Atea Kananda and the Related Drainage Area, 1980, James, Julia M.

The Ca2+, Mg2+, alkalinity, pH and temperature have been measured in water from the Atea Kananda cave and related surface sites on the Muller Plateau (Papua New Guinea). A wide variation in the Ca2+ and Mg2+ values was found and this has been attributed to the lithology and nature (open or closed) of the water courses. From alkalinity measurements anions other than bicarbonate, probably sulphate are expected to be present in significant quantities in the cave waters. Most of the waters are aggressive. The Ca2+/Mg2+ x 10 ratio is shown to be a useful tool in predicting the origin of unknown waters in the cave. The variations of the measured and calculated parameters for groups of related surface and underground sites are presented and discussed. Tentative solution erosion rates for the Muller Plateau have been calculated and the conclusion reached that where the erosion can be placed as largely occuring on pure limestone these are high. Impure limestones and non-calcareous rocks in their catchments give anomalously low results for the main rivers. A scheme for cave development on the Muller Plateau by solution mechanisms is presented.


Equilibrium Versus Events in River Behaviour and Blind Valleys at Yarrangobilly, New South Wales, 1980, Jennings J. N. , Haosheng Bao, Spate A. P.

Seventeen blind valleys of the Yarrangobilly karst are describes especially with reference to shifting streamsink location and phases of downward incision. A series of measures of them, based partly on ground traverses and partly on contoured maps, is presented and discussed. Standard morphometry of the basins ending in the blind valleys is presented also. These truncated basins are shown to have normal morphometric relationships. Whether a stream sinks or not in the limestone appears generally to relate to the length of limestone to be crossed in relation to full stream or basin length, though basin relief ratio may intervene. The hypothesis that there will be dynamic equilibrium between the dimensions of blind valleys and sinking stream catchments finds only limited support in the data. This is because underground stream capture represents an abnormal event in drainage basin development liable to upset equilibrium relationships and its timing may be adventitious in that development. With a larger population of blind valleys to be analysed, this factor of timing might become subordinate, and a batter predictive model of blind valley volume be derived.


Le rseau de la Diau, 1983, Lismonde, B.
The DIAU SYSTEM - Diau Cave is the resurgence of an important underground drainage system in the massif des Bornes in Haute-Savoie (France). The system's catchment is approximately 9km2, between an altitude of 1200m and 1800m. The average discharge is about 4001/s. Speleological explorations have discovered two sections of the master drainage cave (Diau and Pertuis caves). Two tributaries have also been explored. The total length of the Diau cave system is 14.9km with a height difference of 702m. The master cave occurs in the bottom of the Pertuis syncline at the boundary between the urgonian limestone and hauterivian marls. According to the gradient and the fractures, four types of gallery structure occur, of which two are vadose. The two known tributaries (inlet of the Grenoblois and Tanne des Mtores) follow a NW-SE anticlockwise shear fault, which exists in the Parmelan plateau fracture zone.

Denudation Rates in the River Burry Catchment, Gower, South Wales, 1983, Chambers W.

Further Studies at the Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part I, Climate and Hydrology, 1983, Jennings, J. N.

Previous study of the temporal and spatial distribution of limestone solution at Cooleman Plain rested on monthly discharges and water analyses of the Blue Waterholes over 4 years. For this study automatic recording of discharge (8 years), rainfall (8 years), evaporation (7 years) and temperature (4 years) was attended by variable success in the face of interference, rigorous climate and inaccessibility. The most important aspect of the climatic data was the support obtained for the earlier assumption of similar water balances in the forested igneous frame and the grassland limestone plain. Runoff was again shown to be highly variable from year to year and to have an oceanic pluvial regime, with a summer-autumn minimum owing much to evapo-transpiration. The flow duration curve from daily discharges puts this karst amongst those where neither extremely high nor low flows are important. The stream routing pattern offsets the effect of 71% of the catchment being on non-karst rocks, damping flood events. An inflection of 700 l/s in a flow duration plot based on discharge class means is interpreted as the threshold at which surface flow down North Branch reaches the Blue Waterholes. Storages calculated from a generalised recession hydrograph parallel Mendip data where baseflow (fissure) storage provides most of the storage and quickflow (vadose) storage only a secondary part. Water-filled conduit storage (the phreas) could not be determined but is considered small. The baseflow storage seems large, suggesting that it can develop independently of caves in some measure. A quickflow ratio for floods derived by Gunn's modification of the Hewlett and Hibbert separation line method appears relatively low for a mainly non-karst catchment and is again attributed to the routing pattern. For analysis of variation of the solute load over time, estimates of daily discharge during gaps in the record where made for the author by Dr. A.J. Jakeman and Mr. M.A. Greenaway (see Appendix). A small number of discharge measures of two contrasted allogenic catchments of the igneous frame shows a unit area yield close to that for the whole catchment. Together with the guaging of most of the allogenic inputs, this supports the idea that the water yield is much the same from the forested ranges and the grassland plain. This is important for the estimation of limestone removal rates.


Further Studies At The Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part II, Water Chemistry And Discussion, 1983, Jennings, J. N.

The 1969-77 data confirm that groundwater temperature is significantly higher than air temperature at mean catchment altitude but provide only partial support for an explanation in terms of soil temperature and insulation of drainage from cold air ponding over the Plain. Higher pH of output than input streams is attributed mainly to percolation water chemistry. Water chemistry of two contrasted input streams suggests non-karst rock weathering has an important effect on allogenic input streams. An inverse relationship between carbonate hardness and output discharge is found again and attributed mainly to faster transit through the limestone at high flows. Summer has a steeper regression than winter due to precipitation and high flows depressing carbon dioxide and carbonate concentrations more in that season than in winter. Picknett graphs show how solutional capacity varies through the hydrologic system, with aggressive input streams, mainly saturated percolation water, and rarely saturated output springs because of the allogenic component in the last. The total carbonate load of Cave Creek is directly related to discharge, with little seasonal difference so the annual regression is chosen for later calculation. When the carbonate load duration curve and frequency classes for Cave Creek are compared with those for other karsts, it falls into an intermediate class in which neither very high nor low flows dominate the pattern. This is attributed to a combination of a large allogenic input with a complex routing pattern. Consideration of most input stream solute concentration on one occasion indicates such close dependence on catchment geology that doubt is cast on the smallness of the 1965-9 allocation of carbonate contribution from non-karst rock weathering to the allogenic input. This is explained by new CSIRO rainfall chemistry figures from the Yass R. catchment which are smaller than those used before and by elimination of a previous error in calculation. This time subtraction of atmospheric salts is done on a daily basis with a decaying hyperbolic function. Correction of Cave Creek output for allogenic stream input follows the method adopted in 1965-9 but on a firmer basis, with the assumption of approximately equal water yeild per unit area from the non-karst and karst parts of the catchment being more factually supported than before. It remains a substantial correction. The correction for subjacent karst input to Cave Creek is also improved by putting the calculation in part on a seasonal basis; it remains small. The exposed solute load output shows the same seasonal pattern as was determined earlier, with a winter/spring maximum, and it again evinced much variation from year to year. So did annual rates. The mean annual loss of 29 B was slightly greater than for 1965-9. If this difference is real and not an experimental error, the reduced allowance for atmospheric salts and greater annual rainfall in the second period could explain the increase. This erosion rate of 29 B from an annual runoff of about 400mm places this karst where it would be expected in the world pattern of similar determinations in terms of both runoff and its proximity to the soil covered/bare karst dichotomy of Atkinson and Smith (1976). Combined with the other work at Cooleman Plain on erosion at specific kinds of site, an estimate of the spatial distribution of the limestone solution is presented. It agrees well with the similar attempt for Mendip by Atkinson and Smith (1976), when allowance is made for certain differences in method and context. The main conclusions are the great role of solution in the superficial zone and the unimportance of the contribution from caves. Conflict between this process study and the geomorphic history of Cooleman Plain remains and once again an explanation is sought in long persistence of a Tertiary ironstone cover inhibiting surface solution.


Le Vercors : un massif de la moyenne montagne alpine, 1984, Delannoy, J. J.
THE VERCORS: A MASSIF OF MIDDLE ALPINE MOUNTAIN - The Vercors is a forested massif of middle mountain, in the French Northern Prealps. The characteristic of the Vercors massif is the thick and massif urgonian limestones, which underlines a folded structure. The Vercors quickly hold the attention of speleologists, who had put forward the density and diversity of karstic aspects since the beginning of the century. Landforms display glacial karstic landscapes more or less damaged in terms of bio-climatic levels of mounts and depressions landscapes and of deep water gaps, which main flows of the massif are flowing in. The notion of the morphoclimatic heritage applies to the underground karst for which glacial quaternary episodes have been determinant in the large systems genesis (gouffre Berger - Scialet de la Fromagre, Antre des Damns, Combe de Fer...). The study of underground deposits allows to bring up-to-date various period of karst development; a preglacial stage (e.g. upper levels of Cuves de Sassenage, Gournier, Coufin-Chevaline...). The study of the current dynamic shows that the Vercors as an important karstic ablation, between 120 to 170mm/ky. The karstic dynamic exerts mainly on the superficial slab of the massif (from 80 to 50% of the whole ablation). The Vercors can be considered as the best example of calcareous massif in temperate middle mountains, thanks to the combination of various favourable parameters: pure karst rocks, morpho-climatic episodes not constraining, and a high karstic dynamic.

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