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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 fresco is a half-section of a stalactite on the wall of a cave.?

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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 different altitudes (Keyword) returned 13 results for the whole karstbase:
Quelques aspects du karst en Chine, 1985, Tricart, J.
Some characteristic features of karst in China Karst terrain is widespread in China: some 2,000,000km2, corresponding to 20-25% of the whole surface of the country. It occurs at very different altitudes and under quite different climates, from the region of Zhoukoudian, where has been found the skull of the Pekin Man, to the Tibet Plateau, where there is presently permafrost conditions, and up to southern tropical moist China, near Canton and Guilin. Recent chinese investigations have proved that most karst features are old. In Southern China a tropical karst (tower-karst or "mogotes" karst) is associated with lacustrine deposits containing the well-known Hipparion Fauna, of Miocene age. Its predates the intensive uplift of the Himalaya and of the Tibet, which has begun during the Pliocene and has continued during all the Pleistocene. The same fossils have been found in this tropical karst in present permafrost areas, above 5,000m. In the region of Guilin (Guangxi Province), this tropical karst has been described. There is evidence for the former existence of a covered karst, where limestones and dolomitic limestones were covered by a thick layer of reddish residual clays, with limonite. This mantle has been stripped during different periods of drier and probably cooler climate, has suggested by pollen spectra. In some places, these residual products have been trapped into pits, cracks, and caves. We have observed a small quantity of red clay painting limestone stalactites and sinters (Chuanshan and Leng Yin Yen Caves, in the surroundings of Guilin). They present sometimes a mining interest and some extractive industries are presently active (limonite, cassierite, etc.). Many caves have been surveyed by the Institute of Karst geology, in Guilin. Some have been equiped for tourism, around Guilin. All these caves are old. Some radiocarbon dating of speleothems yield ages of 33,000 year BP. The famous carving of the Leng Yen Cave have not been affected by calcite deposition from dripping since at least 500 years. The large caves that have been surveyed should correspond to a long evolution span. Along the Lijiang River, at least two terraces can be observed. They are built with gravels and pebbles, covered with thinner sand and loam, suggesting climatic changes, also attested by the changes of fauna and vegetation. These past cooler periods are characterised by an opened vegetation, with the striping of the old weathering cover of the former tropical karst. These karst terrains have been investigated in China for management purposes. Groundwater oscillations have frequently resulted in land subsidences damaging buildings, and in dramatic collapses destroying fields, roads. Sometimes, underground collapse plugged caves and dammed underground rivers, resulting in floodings. The caves are frequently used as reservoirs for irrigation and power plants.

Phreatic overgrowths on speleothems: a useful tool in structural geology in littoral karstic landscapes. The example of eastern Mallorca (Balearic Islands), 2002, Fornos Jj, Gelabert B, Gines A, Gines J, Tuccimei P, Vesica P,
Along the eastern coast of Mallorca, many littoral caves partly filled with brackish waters occur. The most peculiar aspect of these caves is the presence of abundant phreatic overgrowths formed on pre-existing supports located at the underground pools' water table, which corresponds to the present sea level. Besides a specific geomorphological interest, these subaqueous speleothems provide an excellent record of Quaternary sea level stands. The clear relation between phreatic speleothem growth and the contemporary sea level allows the control of the tectonic evolution of an area, by comparing speleothems’ ages and heights with the regionally established eustatic curves. In the studied region different altimetric positions of coeval phreatic speleothems suggest the existence of a recent tectonic activity. The characteristics and chronology of this tectonic event are the objectives of this paper, pointing out at the same time the potential of phreatic speleothems in structural geology investigations. Along the coastline of the studied area, alignments of phreatic speleothems attributed to high sea stands 5a, 5c and 5e are recorded at increasing elevations northwards. This is an evidence of a significant tectonic tilting that took place, at least partially, after substage 5a because phreatic speleothems of this substage are now located at different altitudes. Considering that tectonic tilting has been continuous from post-substage 5a (approximately 85 ka) until now, and that normal displacement is approximately of 1.5 m, the average minimum velocity of the tilting can be estimated about 0.02 mm/year in the southern part with respect to the north end. Data obtained from phreatic speleothems have been compared with other regional, stratigraphical, geomorphological and tectonic evidence that all together point to the same existence of the postulated tectonic tilting. Consequently, phreatic speleothem investigation results in a new method that allows the quantification of average velocities of tilting as well as other tectonic movements with high precision. This methodology can be extended to any littoral karstic landscape where phreatic speleothems are present

Karst in Turkish Thrace: Compatibility between geological history and karst type, 2005, Ekmekci M,
Geographically, Thrace is a region located in southeastern Europe within the territories of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. In Turkish Thrace, karst occurs extensively in Eocene limestones, although some limited karst occurs in marble of the metamorphic series of Palaeozoic age. The karstification base is shallow to very shallow and most of the dolines and poljes have been captured by surface streams. Subsurface drainage has been changed to surface drainage in most parts of the region. Caves and cave relicts are concentrated mainly at three different altitudes, and almost all caves are horizontal or sub-horizontal. With these characteristics, Turkish Thrace hosts a distinct type of karst compared to that of other regions of Turkey, and particularly to the well-developed active Taurus karst. In this paper, the author discusses the major controls on karst evolution and consequently the occurrence of the present karst type with special emphasis on the geological history of the region. Tectonically, the area is weakly active, implying that a relatively steady continental uplift together with sea-level changes provided the source of the energy gradient required for karstification. The erosion base is controlled mainly by impermeable units. From the geological history of the region, it is concluded that no abrupt change in the energy gradient occurred due to continental uplift. However, fluctuation in sea level due to climate change has caused more sudden changes, particularly in erosion-base levels. This suggests that, in contrast to other karst provinces of Turkey, the impact of climate change has been more pronounced in this region. Reconstruction of karst evolution on the basis of the geological history of the region suggests that karstification processes have evolved without major interruption during the neotectonic period. Thus, the evolutionary character of the Thracian karst has produced relict karst with relatively local karst aquifers compared to those existing in the Taurus karst region. Morphological and hydrological aspects of the area indicate that karstification is in a cessation phase

Long-term changes in the cave atmosphere air temperature as a result of periodic heliophysical processes, 2006, Stoeva Penka, Stoev Alexey, Kiskinova Nadya,
Climatic trends connected with short- and long-period variations of the solar activity occur as a reaction even in such conservative media as the air volumes of karst caves. The yearly mean air temperatures in the zone of constant temperatures of four show caves in Bulgaria were studied for a period of 36 years (1968-2003). The examination was made by everyday noon measurements in Ledenika, Saeva dupka, Snezhanka and Uhlovitsa cave. The caves are situated at different altitudes and geographic latitude. Seasonal fluctuations of the yearly mean air temperature in the ZCT of the explored caves have been identified by Fourier analysis. The same analysis has been applied for the Sunspot number and Apmax indices, which are representatives of the solar and geomagnetic activity, for the same period of data available. Autocorrelograms have been used for examination of the seasonal patterns of the air temperatures in the ZCT in every cave and in Sunspot number and Apmax indices. Cross-spectrum analysis has been applied for retrieving the correlations between air ZCT temperatures in the caves and solar and geomagnetic activity. It has been found that the correlation between ZCT temperature time series and sunspot number is better than that between the cave air temperature and Apmax indices. It has been found that is rather connected with the first peak in geomagnetic activity, which is associated with transient solar activity, i.e., coronal mass ejections (CMEs) than with the second one, which is higher and connected with the recurrent high speed streams from coronal holes (Webb, D.F., 2002. CMEs and the solar cycle variation in their geoeffectiveness. In: Wilson, A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the SOHO 11 Symposium on From Solar Min to Max: Half a Solar Cycle with SOHO, 11-15 March 2002, Davos, Switzerland. ESA Publications Division, Noordwijk, 2002, ISBN 92-9092-818-2, pp. 409-419). This work can contribute to studying the mechanisms of atmospheric circulation changes and calibration of long-period climatic data read from cave speleothems and deposits

Long-term changes in the cave atmosphere air temperature as a result of periodic heliophysical processes, 2006, Stoeva P. , . Stoev A. , Kiskinovab N. .

Climatic trends connected with short- and long-period variations of the solar activity occur as a reaction even in such conservative media as the air volumes of karst caves. The yearly mean air temperatures in the zone of constant temperatures of four show caves in Bulgaria were studied for a period of 36 years (1968–2003). The examination was made by everyday noon measurements in Ledenika, Saeva dupka, Snezhanka and Uhlovitsa cave. The caves are situated at different altitudes and geographic latitude. Seasonal fluctuations of the yearly mean air temperature in the ZCT of the explored caves have been identified by Fourier analysis. The same analysis has been applied for the Sunspot number and Apmax indices, which are representatives of the solar and geomagnetic activity, for the same period of data available. Autocorrelograms have been used for examination of the seasonal patterns of the air temperatures in the ZCT in every cave and in Sunspot number and Apmax indices. Cross-spectrum analysis has been applied for retrieving the correlations between air ZCT temperatures in the caves and solar and geomagnetic activity. It has been found that the correlation between ZCT temperature time series and sunspot number is better than that between the cave air temperature and Apmax indices. It has been found that View the MathML source is rather connected with the first peak in geomagnetic activity, which is associated with transient solar activity, i.e., coronal mass ejections (CMEs) than with the second one, which is higher and connected with the recurrent high speed streams from coronal holes (Webb, D.F., 2002. CMEs and the solar cycle variation in their geoeffectiveness. In: Wilson, A. (Ed.), Proceedings of the SOHO 11 Symposium on From Solar Min to Max: Half a Solar Cycle with SOHO, 11–15 March 2002, Davos, Switzerland. ESA Publications Division, Noordwijk, 2002, ISBN 92-9092-818-2, pp. 409–419). This work can contribute to studying the mechanisms of atmospheric circulation changes and calibration of long-period climatic data read from cave speleothems and deposits.


Historical biogeography of subterranean beetles Platos cave or scientific evidence?, 2007, Moldovan O. T. , Rajka G.

The last two decades were particularly prolific in historical biogeography because of new information introduced from other sciences, such as paleogeography, by the development of quantitative methods and by molecular phylogeny. Subterranean beetles represent an excellent object of study for historical biogeography because they are the group with the best representation in the subterranean domain. In addition, species have reduced mobility, display different degrees of adaptations to life in caves and many specialists work on this group. Three processes have shaped the present distribution of the tribe Leptodirini (Coleoptera Cholevinae) in the world: dispersal, vicariance, and extinction. Therefore, three successive stages can be established in the space-time evolution of Leptodirini: (1) dispersal from a center of origin in the present area(s); (2) dispersal, extinction and vicariance among the present area(s); and (3) colonization and speciation in the subterranean domain. The Romanian Leptodirini, especially those from Western Carpathians is examined with respect to these processes. Their pattern of distribution in different massifs and at different altitudes is discussed, with possible explanations from a historical biogeographic point of view.


The environmental features of the Monte Corchia cave system (Apuan Alps, Central Italy) and their effects on speleothem growth, 2008, Piccini L. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Isola I. , Fallick A. E. , Leone G. , Doveri M. , Mussi M. , Mantelli F. , Molli G. , Lotti L. , Roncioni A. , Regattieri E. , Meccheri M. , Vaselli L.
The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the Galleria delle Stalattiti, the zone under paleoclimate studies, a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.

The environmental features of the Monte Corchia cave system (Apuan Alps, central Italy) and their effects on speleothems growth, 2008, Piccini L. , Zanchetta G. , Drysdale R. N. , Hellstrom J. , Isola I. , Fallick A. E. , Leone G. , Doveri M. , Mussi M. , Mantelli F. , Molli G. , Lotti L. , Roncioni A. , Regattieri E. , Meccheri M. , Vaselli L.

The Monte Corchia cave system, one of the most famous and popular caves in Italy, has in recent times been the subject of investigation on its speleothems as paleoclimate archives. This paper describes the geology, geomorphology and water chemistry of the cave system with the aim to elucidate the processes that have generated these speleothems and the properties they contain that are so useful for paleoclimatology. Some general conclusions can be drawn: i) the Corchia system is a cave developed over different altitudes during progressive uplift of the mountain chain in which it is located, probably under drainage conditions very different to those of the present. This has allowed the development of a large (ca. 60 km) and deep (-1187 m) karst system; ii) the dewatering phases have left the deepest chambers far away from clastic input and with long drip pathways; iii) the peculiar geological context has permitted the water to intercept and dissolve a significant source of U (still unknown) that facilitates radiometric dating; iv) in the last 1 Ma at least, no significant changes have occurred in the relief and in the epikarst, in the sense that speleothems have grown under very similar conditions. In addition the extremely low Ca concentration of drip waters have permitted low speleothem growth rates and, at least for the “Galleria delle Stalattiti”, the zone under paleoclimate studies, a stable plumbing system (i.e. chemistry and stable isotopes of drip waters) has produced calcite close to isotopic equilibrium.


Hydrochemical variations of epikarst springs in vertical climate zones: a case study in Jinfo Mountain National Nature Reserve of China, 2011, Zhang Cheng, Yan Jun, Pei Jianguo, Jiang Yongjun

High temporal resolution (15 min) measurements of stage, pH, electric conductivity, temperature, and other hydrochemical parameters of groundwater at two sites in the Jinfo Mountain Nature Reserve of China were collected using automatic data loggers. Bitan Spring (BS 700 m a.s.l.) sits in subtropical climate zone, while Shuifang Spring (SS 2,060 m a.s.l.) is located in plateau temperate climate. The data show that hydrochemistry of epikarst springs at different altitudes is very sensitive to the changes of their physical environment, especially two factors: air temperature and soil CO2 concentration. Springs at lower altitude are associated with higher air temperature and soil CO2 concentration, thus more likely leading to more active karst processes than those at higher elevation. Water temperature and pH of BS showed a noticeable diurnal circle with high values in daytime and low values at night. The data also indicate that at least there are two effects that could impact the variations of groundwater hydrochemistry during flood pulse: dilution effect and CO2 effect.


Environmental Hydrogeological Study of Louros watershed, Epirus, Greece, 2012, Konstantina Katsanou

The present study aims to describe and characterize the Ionian zone karst formation concerning the karstification grade of carbonate formations and the development of aquifers, through the hydrogeological study of Louros River drainage basin, considering hydrological, hydrogeological and meteorological data, as well as major, trace element, rare earth element and isotope concentrations. It also aims to investigate basic karst properties such as storativity, homogeneity, infiltration coefficients and the parameters of the Louros basin hydrological balance.

To accomplish this aim daily discharge measurements obtained from Public Power Corporation at the Pantanassa station during the years 1956-1957, along with random discharge measurements from 15 springs along the basin performed by IGME between the years 1979-1989, daily meteorological data from 18 stations and 18 sets of potentiometric surface measurements from 38 sites were compiled. Additionally, chemical analyses on major and trace element concentrations of 42 rock samples and of five sets of water samples from 64 sampling sites, along with fourteen sets of successive periods in order to study the seasonal variation in the chemical composition of 11 springs and REE concentrations of 116 water samples. Moreover isotope ratios from 129 rain samples collected at five different altitudes, 331 samples of surface and groundwater samples, radon measurements on 21 groundwater samples and microbiological on 46 samples of surface and groundwater were evaluated. Daily runoff and random spring discharge missing data were completed applying the SAC-SMA and MODKARST simulation algorithms and the values of these parameters for the duration of the research (2008-2010) were predicted. The accuracy of the predicted values was tested applying statistical methods but also against observed values from in situ measurements performed during the same period (2008-2010).

Louros River drainage basin is located at the southern part of Epirus and covers an area of 953 km2. It is elongated and together with the adjacent basin of River Arachthos they constitute the major hydrographic systems discharging in the Amvrakikos Gulf. The main morphological features of the basin are elongated mountain ranges and narrow valleys, which are the result of tectonic and other geological processes mainly controlled by the limestone-“flysch” alternations. The length of the river’s major channel, which is parallel to the major folding direction (NNW-SSE), is 73.5 km. The mountainous part of the hydrogeological basin covers an area of 400 km2 and its endpoint was set at the Pantanassa station, where discharge measurements are performed. The underground limits of the basin coincides with the surface one, defined by the flysch outcrops at the western margin of the Ziros-Zalongo fault zone to the South, the application of isotope determinations and hydraulic load distribution maps at the North and East.

Geologically, Louros River drainage basin is composed of the Ionian zone formations. Triassic evaporites constitute the base of the zone overlain by a thick sequence of carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks deposited from the Late Triassic to the Upper Eocene. In more detail, from base to top, the lithostratigraphical column of the zone includes dolomite and dolomitic limestone, Pantokrator limestone, Ammonitico Rosso, Posidonia Shales, Vigla limestone, Upper Senonian limestone, Palaeocene-Eocene limestone and Oligocene “flysch”. The major tectonic features of the regions are folds with their axes trending SW-NE at the northern part and NNW-SSE to NNE-SSW southern of the Mousiotitsa-Episkopiko-Petrovouni fault system and the strike-slip fault systems of Ziros and Petousi.

The evaluation of the daily meteorological data revealed that December is the most humid month of the year followed by January, whereas July and August are the driest months. Approximately 40-45% of the annual precipitation is distributed during the winter time and 30% during autumn. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 897.4 to 2051.8 mm and the precipitation altitude relationship suggests an increased precipitation with altitude at a rate of 84 mm/100 m. The maximum temperature is recorded during August and it may reach 40°C and the minimum during January. The temperature variation with the altitude is calculated at 0.61°C/100 m. The maximum solarity time is 377.8 h, recorded during July at the Arta station. December displays the highest relative humidity with a value of 84.2% recorded again at the Arta station. The highest wind velocity values are recorded at the Preveza station and similar velocities are also recorded at the Ioannina station. The real evapotranspiration in Louros drainage basin ranges between 27-39%. The potential evapotranspiration was calculated from the Ioannina station meteorological data, which are considered more representative for Louros basin, at 785.8 mm of precipitation according to Thornthwaite and at 722.0 mm according to Penman-Monteith.

According to the SAC-SMA algorithm the total discharge (surficial and underground) for the years 2008-2010 ranges between 61-73% of the total precipitation. The algorithm simulates the vertical percolation of rainwater in both unsaturated and saturated zones taking into account 15 parameters including the tension water capacity of the unsaturated zone, the maximum water storage capacity of both unsaturated and saturated zones, the water amount escaping into deeper horizons and not recorded at the basin’s outlet, the percentage of impermeable ground which is responsible for instant runoff, etc. These parameters are correlated to the hydrograph and are recalculated according to it. Two interesting aspects were pointed out from the discharge measurements and the algorithm application. The first is related to the maximum amount of free water, which can be stored at the basic flow of the karstic system, which is very high for the whole basin, reaching 1200 mm of precipitation and the second is the amount of water filtered to the deeper horizons, which reaches 0.098.

The discharge of individual karstic units was simulated applying the specialized MODKARST code. The code, which transforms precipitation to discharge resolving mathematical equations of non-linear flow using the mass and energy balance, successfully completed the time series of available data of spring discharge measurements for the period between the years 2008-2010.

Additionally, a number of useful parameters including spring recharge, delay period between precipitation and discharge, the storage capacity of the discharge area were also calculated by the MODKARST code. These data enabled the calculation of the annual infiltration coefficient for each one of the 15 springs and for the whole basin; the latter was found to range between 38-50% of annual precipitation. The total supply area was estimated approximately at 395 km2, which is consistent with the area of Louros hydrogeological basin calculated from hydrogeological data.

The 18 sets of water table measurements, each one corresponding to a different period, revealed that the aquifers of the intermediate part of Louros basin, which are developed in Quaternary alluvial sediments, are laterally connected to the carbonate formations of the individual karstic spring units, forming a common aquifer with a common water table.

Groundwater flow follows a general N-S direction from the topographic highs to the coastal area with local minor shifts to NE-SW and NW-SE directions. The artificial lake at the position of the Public Power Corporation’s Dam at the south of the region is directly connected to the aquifer and plays an important role in water-level variation. The water table contours display a higher gradient to the southern part due to the decreased hydraulic conductivity of the limestones close to Agios Georgios village. The decreased hydraulic conductivity is believed to be the reason for the development of the homonymous spring although the hydraulic load distributions suggest the extension of the aquifer to the south and a relation to the water level in Ziros Lake, boreholes and the Priala springs. The hydraulic gradient in the broader region ranges between 4-16‰. The absolute water level variation between dry and humid season ranges from 2 m at the South to 15-20 m to the North with an average of 9 m.

The hydrological balance of Louros River mountainous basin according to the aforementioned data is calculated as follows: The total precipitation between the years 2008-2010 ranged between 5.67E+08-9.8E+08 m3 and the discharge at Pantanassa site between 3.47E+08-6.83E+08 m3. The real evapotransiration ranged between 29-39% of the precipitation. The total discharge (runoff and groundwater) accounted for 61-73% of the precipitation, whereas the basic flow due to the percolation ranged between 34-38%. Considering a mean water level variation of 9 m, between the dry and humid season, the water amount constituting the local storage is 2025Ε+07 m3.

Statistical evaluation on spring discharge data and the recession curves analysis revealed three distinct levels with diverse karstic weathering along Louros basin coinciding to the upper, intermediate and low flow of Louros River, respectively. The developed karstic units are generally complex but simple individual units develop as well. The response of spring discharge to the stored water amounts is immediate but with relatively large duration suggesting the storage of large quantities of water and a well-developed system of karstic conduits, which however has not yet met its complete evolution. The karst spring’s units are homogeneous and each one is distinguished from different recession coefficients.

The three levels of flow are also distinguished from the duration curves, which point to individual units upstream, complex units receiving and transmitting water to the adjacent ones in the middle part and complex that only receive water from the upper. This distinguishment is also enhanced by the groundwater’s major ion concentrations, which reveal Ca-HCO3 water-type upstream, along with the isotopic composition at the same part. The prevalent Ca-HCO3-Cl-SO4 water-type in the middle part, the Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 water-type downstream and isotope variation confirms this distinguishment. Moreover, REE variation is also consistent with the three levels. The assumption of relatively large stored water reserves, which contribute to analogous “memory” of spring karstic units, as pointed out by autocorreletion functions is enhanced from SAC-SMA algorithm which premises an increased capacity at the lower zone of basic flow, as well as from the hydrochemical and isotopic composition of groundwater. Monitoring of the seasonal variation in groundwater composition revealed minor variations of hydrochemical parameters and remarkably stable isotopic composition. Both aspects can be explained by the existence of a considerable water body acting as a retarder to external changes.

The crosscorrelation functions suggest a well-developed karstic system, which however has not yet reached its complete maturity also confirmed from field observations. The same conclusion is extracted from the homogeneous evolution at the interval of each karstic unit as demonstrated from recession curves on spring hydrographs.

The results from hydrochemical analyses also revealed the effect of evaporitic minerals and phosphate-rich rocks in groundwater composition and confirmed the hydraulic relationships between surface and groundwater.

The study of the isotopic composition also contributed to exclude the potential connection between the Ioannina and Louros basins, confirmed the meteoric origin of groundwater and revealed the effect of seawater in the chemical composition of few sampling sites.

The microbiological research only revealed minor incidents of contamination and significant attenuation of microorganisms during periods of high discharge.


VALLEY INCISION IN THE NÍZKE TATRY MTS. (SLOVAKIA) ESTIMATED BASED ON PALEOMAGNETIC AND RADIOMETRIC CAVE SEDIMENT DATINGS, 2013, Kadlec J. Bella P. Č, í, ž, Ková, K. Granger D. E. Hercman H. Holú, Bek P. Chadima M. Orvoš, Ová, M. Pruner P. Schnabl P. Š, Lechta S.

 

Up to eleven horizontal cave levels occur at different altitudes in Jánska, Demänovská and Mošnická karst valleys in the Nízke Tatry Mts. Most of the caves are filled with allochthonous sediments transported from the area formed mostly by granite. The cave levels were filled with fluvial sediments in dependence on the valleys incision caused by Neogene and Pleistocene uplift of the mountain range. The fluvial sediments are intercalated with, or capped, by flowstone layers in the caves. The paleomagnetic polarities measured both in clastic and chemogenic sediments indicate the age of deposition. Based on obtained polarity data we are able to distinguish cave sediments deposited during the Brunhes, Matuyama and Gauss chrons. The paleomagnetic interpretation was partly verified by U-series datings of flowstones preserved in the sedimentary sections. Except for the horizontal cave levels located in the karst valleys, additional large cave systems were found at extremely high altitudes in the Nízke Tatry Mts. 600–700 m above the lowest horizontal cave level.


Sulphuric acid speleogenesis and landscape evolution: Montecchio cave, Albegna river valley (Southern Tuscany, Italy), 2014, Piccini L. : Dewaele J. , Galli E. , Polyak V. J. , Bernasconi S. M. , Asmerom Y.

Montecchio cave (Grosseto province, Tuscany, Italy) opens at 320 m asl, in a small outcrop of Jurassic limestone (Calcare Massiccio Fm.), close to the Albegna river. This area is characterised by the presence of several thermal springs and the outcropping of travertine deposits at different altitudes. The Montecchio cave, with passage length development of over 1700 m, is characterised by the presence of several sub-horizontal passages and many medium- and small-scale morphologies indicative of sulphuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). The thermal aquifer is intercepted at a depth of about 100 m below the entrance: the water temperature exceeds 30 °C and sulphate content is over 1300mg l−1. The cave hosts large gypsumdeposits from40 to 100mbelowthe entrance that are by-products of the reaction between sulphuric acid and the carbonate host rock. The lower part of the cave hosts over 1 m thick calcite cave raft deposits, which are evidence of long-standing, probably thermal, water in an evaporative environment related to significant air currents. Sulphur isotopes of gypsumhave negative δ34S values (from−28.3 to−24.2‰), typical of SAS. Calcite cave rafts and speleogenetic gypsumboth yield young U/Th ages varying from68.5 ka to 2 ka BP, indicating a rapid phase of dewatering followed by gypsumprecipitation in aerate environment. This fastwater table lowering is related to a rapid incision of the nearby Albegna river, andwas followed by a 20–30mfluctuation of the thermalwater table, as recorded in the calcite raft deposits and gypsum crusts.


Sulphuric acid speleogenesis and landscape evolution: Montecchio cave, Albegna river valley (Southern Tuscany, Italy), 2015, Piccini Leonardo, De Waele Jo, Galli Ermanno, Polyak Victor J. , Bernasconi Stefano M. Asmerom Yemane

Montecchio cave (Grosseto province, Tuscany, Italy) opens at 320 m asl, in a small outcrop of Jurassic limestone (Calcare Massiccio Fm.), close to the Albegna river. This area is characterised by the presence of several thermal springs and the outcropping of travertine deposits at different altitudes. The Montecchio cave, with passage length development of over 1700 m, is characterised by the presence of several sub-horizontal passages and many medium- and small-scale morphologies indicative of sulphuric acid speleogenesis (SAS). The thermal aquifer is intercepted at a depth of about 100 m below the entrance: the water temperature exceeds 30 °C and sulphate content is over 1300 mg l−1. The cave hosts large gypsumdeposits from40 to 100mbelowthe entrance that are by-products of the reaction between sulphuric acid and the carbonate host rock. The lower part of the cave hosts over 1 m thick calcite cave raft deposits, which are evidence of long-standing, probably thermal, water in an evaporative environment related to significant air currents.

Sulphur isotopes of gypsum have negative δ34S values (from−28.3 to−24.2‰), typical of SAS. Calcite cave rafts and speleogenetic gypsumboth yield young U/Th ages varying from68.5 ka to 2 ka BP, indicating a rapid phase of dewatering followed by gypsum precipitation in aerate environment. This fastwater table lowering is related to a rapid incision of the nearby Albegna river, and was followed by a 20–30 m fluctuation of the thermal water table, as recorded in the calcite raft deposits and gypsum crusts.


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