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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 hypogeum is the subterranean environment [23].?

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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 evapotranspiration (Keyword) returned 31 results for the whole karstbase:
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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.


Hydrogeologic Constraints on Yucatan's Development, 1974, Doehring Do, Butler Jh,
The Republic of Mexico has an ambitious and effective national water program. The Secretaria de Recursos Hidraulicos (SRH), whose director has cabinet rank in the federal government, is one of the most professionally distinguished government agencies of its kind in the Americas. Resources for the Future, Inc., has been assisting the World Bank with a water planning study which the Bank is undertaking jointly with the Mexican government. The study is intended to provide guidelines for the development of government policies and projects designed to bring about the most efficient use of Mexico's water resources. However, to date, their study has not been directed toward the growing problems of the northern Yucataan Peninsula which are discussed here.LeGrand (13) suggested that man has inherited a harsh environment in carbonate terranes. In the case of the northern Yucatan Peninsula, the physical environment creates a set of hydrogeologic constraints to future economic and social development. Planning for intermediate and long-range land use on the peninsula must be related directly to the limited and fragile groundwater source. Continued contamination will make future aquifer management a difficult challenge for federal, state, and territorial agencies. We conclude that any strategy for long-range land use in the study area should include establishment of a regional aquifermonitoring network for long-term measurements of key hydrogeologic parameters, including precipitation, evapotranspiration, water table elevations, and water quality. Information from this network would flow into a central facility for storage, interpretation, and analysis. At present the SRH is collecting some of these data. Expansion of the existing program to provide sound information for regional planning will greatly benefit present as well as future generations. If such a program is implemented, it will represent a model for regional planning in other tropical and subtropical karstic terrains

WATER-BUDGET, FUNCTIONING AND PROTECTION OF THE FONTAINE-DE-VAUCLUSE KARST SYSTEM (SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE), 1992, Blavoux B, Mudry J, Puig Jm,
The karst aquifer of the well-known Fontaine de Vaucluse has been recently studied, results have been got about delimitation of the system and its working. Geological data (lithology and structure) have allowed to delimit an 1115 Km2 intake area including Ventoux-Lure north facing range (1,909-1,826 m) and the Plateau which is prolonging it southwards (Fig. 1 and 2). The average altitude of the whole area, obtained by balancing elevation belt surfaces, is about 870 m. This elevation squares with results of tracing tests (Fig. 3), environmental physical, chemical and isotopic tracings, that allow to value a 850 m average altitude for the intake area (Fig. 4). The moisture balance has been computed from an altitude belts climatic model, using local rain an temperature gradients (Fig. 5 and Table II), because the weather network is not representative. So, rainfalls rise of about 55 mm per 100 m elevation and temperature decreases of about 0.5-degrees-C per 100 m. The consequence of these two antagonist phenomena is the quasi constant value of actual evapotranspiration on each altitude belt. With the Fig. 7 organigram, curves of effective rainfalls and infiltration coefficient versus elevation can be plotted (Fig. 6). This computation shows that 3/4 of the total and the whole of dry season effective rainfalls are provided by the part of the intake area situated above the average altitude: on the lowest belt, effective rainfalls are only 120 mm per year and increase to 1380 mm on the upper section (Fig. 8 and Table 1). The weighted effective rainfalls are about 570 mm per year for the whole intake area. Hydrodynamical and physico-chemical studies show, despite its large size, the weak inertia of the system, so proves its good karstification, that confirms for the whole system the pin-point speleological observations. The discharge of the spring, which average value is 21 m3.s-1 (only 18 for the last ten years), can exceed 100 m3.s-1 and the minimum has never been lower than 3.7 m3.s-1 (Fig. 9). When it rains on the intake area, the increase of the discharge is very sudden in a rainy period : one to four days. This short delay is due to seepage through epikarst and unsaturated zone. During dry periods, the spring reaction is deadened, due to storage in the unsaturated zone. The silica content distribution was plotted during several hydrokinematical phases (Fig. 10). It shows: an almost unimodal distribution for the 8 km2 fissured limestone aquifer of Groseau; a multimodal one for the 1115 km2 karst aquifer of Fontaine de Vaucluse. This proves that karstification is more important than size in the response of the system. Weak summer rainfalls do not influence the discharge, nevertheless they influence chemistry of the spring water, and so interrupts the water depletion phasis. Then, the decrease of discharge can continue after the end of the chemical depletion phasis, water which is overflowing after summer rainfalls (in a dry period) is influenced hy the chemistry of seepage water : on the graph of a principal components analysis, done on chemical variables. an hysteresis phenomenon can be seen (Fig. 11). A discriminant analysis (Fig. 12) confirms that these autumn waters, with high ratio seepage tracers, are not reserve waters from the saturated zone. The ratio of reserve water in the total discharge, is preponderant: 3/4 and 2/3 respectively of the yearly runoff volumes for 1981 and 1982 (Fig. 13), but an important part of these reserves can be stored in the unsaturated zone. This storage capacity can be valued by different means: transposing to Vaucluse (1115 km2) the volume measured on another karst system in the Pyrenees (13 km2); it gives about 100 million m2; using setting parameters of Bezes model (1976) on the same aquifer: it gives 113 million m3; using depletion curves, that show, for instance during the 1989 summer and autumn dry period, a 80 million m3 volume. In all cases, we get a value of about one hundred million m3 for the storage capacity of the unsaturated zone. With a 20 m range of fluctuation for the water table and with a 10(-2) specific yield, on a 500 to 1,000 km2 saturated zone, the zone of fluctuation can release about 10 to 20 million m3. Then, the volume of water stored in the whole saturated zone, with a 300 m minimum thickness (depth of the waterlogged pit of the Fontaine), a 500 km2 minimum surface and a 10(-3) specific yield, is about 150 million m3, including 27 million m3 stored in the channels. So, the unsaturated zone represents a significant part of the whole storage capacity and most of the yearly renewable reserves. Paradoxically, the biggest french spring is not tapped at all; as its intake area is neither a regional nor a national park, no general protection covers it : because of its good karstification, the vulnerability of the system is important. Good quality of water is attributable to the low population and human activities density on the intake area (4 inh.km-2). A great part of the intake area is uncultivated (large forest and ''garrigues'' areas). Due to the lack of surface water and scantness of soils, agriculture is not intensive (lavender, thyme, sage and bulk wheat fields. meadowlands). On the mountainous zone, roads are salted in winter and snowmelt water can reach a significantly high chloride ratio than in a natural climatic functioning (for instance 25 mg.l-1 in Font d'Angiou where the ratio would have been 3 mg.l-1). As tourism is developing both on the mountain and on the plateau, the management of the highest intake area must be carefully held: its part is preponderant in the feeding of the system

THE DISCHARGE VARIABILITY OF SOME KARST SPRINGS IN BULGARIA STUDIED BY TIME-SERIES ANALYSIS, 1995, Pulidobosch A. , Padilla A. , Dimitrov D. , Machkova M. ,
The discharge variability of some karst springs in Bulgaria has been investigated in detail within a region situated in the semiarid zone where most of the principal processes controlling spring outflow (evapotranspiration, snow accumulation, karstic functioning) are significant. While the karstification was notable in the Kotel and Bistretz springs with a predominance of quickflow, in the Beden system the baseflow was higher and had a behaviour similar to a porous aquifer. Univariate and bivariate spectral analyses were applied as a suitable tool in preparation for a further application of precipitation-discharge relationship models

Contribution to geomorphological and hydrogeological study of karst in Mediterranean environment: the Aït Abdi plateau (central limestone High Atlas, Maroc),PhD thesis, 1995, Perritaz, L.

The Ait Abdi karstic plateau is located in the heart of the calcareous High Atlas (32°N/6°W). With an area of 160 km2, it is situated between 2,200 and 3,000 meters above sea level, i.e. 800 meters above the nearest valleys and canyons. It consists of a large series of massive Bajocian limestones which form a large brachysyncline, the axial plane of which dips gently to the NE. These limestones overlie a thick series of Toarcian-Aalenian detritic sediments forming the regional aquiclude and the top of the half captive Middle Liasic aquifer. The plateau is limited both in the N and S by strong changes in dip to the vertical of the sedimentary layers (ejective thrusted anticlines), and in the W and E by deep canyons created by major rivers. Therefore the plateau is a totally isolated calcareous compartment, from both a morphologic and a hydrogeologic point of view.
The climate of this region is Mediterranean with an altitude modification: maximum rainfall occurs in winter and in spring, snow cover is not durable but sometimes important, storms are common for dry season in summer. The precipitations comprise only 500 to 700 mm/year (subhumide zone) and the effective evapotranspiration is approximately 400 mm/year, including the losses due to sublimation. The snow coefficient is 60 %. This means that the recharge of the aquifer, occurring almost entirely during snow melting, is limited, but the large bare surfaces of the plateau with typical well developed karst forms (dolines, poljes, dry valleys, holes) improve the infiltration rate (40%). The specific discharge is only 8.1 L/s/km2.
The morphologic peculiarity of this nival karst consist of a succession of small parallel and asymmetric dry valleys forming some "waves". For that reason, the French geomorphologist Couvreur termed these climate controlled features "karst en vagues". The role of wind and snow in the genesis of these forms is predominant. The most of time structure controlled plateau's poljes are quasi inactive today. All kinds of high mountain karren landforms are present on the plateau and prove the great role of snow role in the microforms genesis.
An ancient speleological network with vertical shafts occluded lower down suggest of ancient more humid climatic conditions. U-Th dating indicates ages between 3,200 and 220,000 years, or outside the range of the method (more than 400,000 years). The lateral flow is conducted by an interstrata network, inactive and dry in the upper part, or active and phreatic at the base, near the regional aquiclude, attesting three karstification phases.
The water discharges as typically karstic hillfoot springs, most of the time oversaturated and forming tufas. Large doleritic vertical dykes cut the plateau and form major drainpipes. The physical-chemical and chemical signature of these spring waters is quite different of the signature of other springs of this area, which discharge whether from small local Toarcian-Aalenian aquifers or from the huge semi confined karstic Middle Liasic aquifer. The plateau springs hydrodynamic response is characteristic for an elevated karstic aquifer with rapid flow. The aquifer geometry does not allow important reserves, but the mean discharge from all perennial springs (about 1 m3/s) is a precious resource for the population of this far area of the Atlas Mountains.


Le karst en vagues des At Abdi (Haut-Atlas central, Maroc), 1996, Perritaz, L.
The At Abdi plateau (2200-3000 m, 160 km2) is located in the calcareous High Atlas (32? N). It consists of massive Bajocian limestones, which form a large brachysyncline and overlie the clastic Toarcian-Aalenian forming the regional aquiclude and the top of the half captive Middle Liassic aquifer. The rainfall comprises only 500 to 700 mm/yr and the effective evapotranspiration is about 400 mm/yr with a snow coefficient of 60 % and an infiltration rate of 40 %. This means that the recharge of the aquifer mainly occurs during snow melting. The morphology of this nival karst consists in a succession of little parallel and asymmetric dry valleys forming some "waves" ("karst en vagues"). The role of wind and snow in the genesis of these forms is predominant. An old cave system with vertical shafts occluded lower down is proof of ancient more humid climatic conditions. U-Th dating methods on speleothems indicate ages between 3,200 and 220,000 yrs, or more than 400,000 yrs. The horizontal transfer is made by an interstrata network, ancient and dry in the upper part, or recent and phreatic at the base, near the regional aquiclude, attesting three karstification phases.

Geophysical Studies at Kartchner Caverns State Park, Arizona, 1999, Lange, A. L.
Geophysical studies over Kartchner Caverns State Park mapped structure and groundwater patterns beneath valley alluvium and determined the geophysical expression of the caverns at the surface. Three techniques were employed: electromagnetics (EM), gravity, and natural potential (NP). Electromagnetic traverses in the area failed to detect the voids, owing to the very low conductivity of the carbonate rock. On the other hand, the EM method succeeded in defining the boundary between carbonate rock and alluvium, and in detecting the high-conductivity underflow beneath the drainage system. Resolution of the gravity survey over outcrop was limited to ~0.1 mgal, due to severe terrain effects. Nevertheless, two of the three major cavern passages were expressed as gravity lows at the surface, and fifteen additional small gravity anomalies could be the effect of fracture zones or unexposed caves. East of the carbonate block, the gravity profiles delineated the range-front fault and afforded interpretations of bedrock structure beneath valley fill. Natural-potential profiles, coincident with those of the gravity survey, produced a prominent compound anomaly over the mapped caverns. The 55 mV NP high was flanked by broad lows measuring ~15 mV over two of the main cavern galleries. The high was incised by a third low over a middle passage of the caverns. The lows are tentatively attributed to filtration downward toward the cave ceilings; the highs, to evapotranspiration from a deeper groundwater reservoir. Elsewhere over the outcrop, continuous NP trends are the likely expressions of faulting and fracturing, possibly accompanied by solution activity

A high-resolution proxy record of rainfall and ENSO since AD 1550 from layering in stalagmites from Anjohibe Cave, Madagascar, 1999, Brook Ga, Rafter Ma, Railsback Lb, Sheen Sw, Lundberg J,
Two stalagmites from Anjohibe Cave have annual layers made up of inclusion-rich calcite over inclusion-free calcite or of darker aragonite over clear aragonite. Geochemical evidence indicates that the basal units are deposited slowly in the wet season and the upper units more rapidly in the dry season. For the period with rainfall and temperature data (ad 1951-1992), layer thickness correlates well with the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), as well as rainfall, water surplus, and actual evapotranspiration (AET) at nearby Majunga. Com parison of the layer record for one stalagmite with 1866-1994 SOI data indicates that layer thickness correlates best with the frequency and intensity of warm, low-phase SO (El Nino) events, not with average SOI conditions. In addition, the 415-year layer thickness time-series from that speleothem agrees remarkably well with historical records of El Nino frequency, with Galapagos (Ecuador) coral records of sea-surface temperature in the eastern Pacific, and with accumulation rates on the Quelccaya Ice Cap of Peru, which are lower at times of high El Nino frequency

Estimating recharge in a tropical karst aquifer, 2000, Jones I. C. , Banner J. L. , Humphrey J. D. ,
Unique constraints on seasonal and spatial variations in recharge to the Pleistocene limestone aquifer of Barbados are obtained from the analysis of oxygen isotopic compositions of groundwater and rainwater. Conventional methods of estimating recharge are based on groundwater chloride variations, coastal groundwater discharge, and potential evapotranspiration. These methods typically yield estimates of recharge for Barbados that range from 9% to 20% of average annual rainfall, with significant uncertainties that arise from poorly constrained model input parameters. Owing to the low relief and tropical climate of Barbados, variations in rainwater and groundwater delta(18)O values are primarily influenced by the amount of rainfall, with negligible temperature or altitude effects. Composite monthly rainwater delta(18)O values are inversely related to rainfall, while groundwater delta(18)O values show little seasonal variability. Rainwater delta(18)O values are equivalent to groundwater values only at the peak of the wet season. By using mass balance, the difference between groundwater and weighted-mean rainwater delta(18)O values gives recharge values. These values are in general agreement with estimates by conventional methods (10-20%) and provide unique additional information including the following: (1) Recharge is restricted to the wettest 1-3 months of the year, and (2) there is less recharge at higher elevations. The effective shift in delta(18)O values between contemporaneous rainwater and groundwater via recharge is a useful tool for estimating temporal and spatial variability in recharge and must be considered in paleoclimatic studies where climate inferences are based on groundwater delta(18)O values preserved in the geologic record

Controls on the geochemistry of speleothem-forming karstic drip waters, PhD thesis, 2000, Tooth, A.

Research was performed at Crag Cave, Castleisland, southwest Ireland, and P8 Cave, Castleton, Derbyshire, in order to determine the main factors responsible for modifying rainwater geochemistry during flow through soil and karstic aquifer zones. Monitoring was performed on a daily basis in summer and winter at Crag Cave, and on a monthly basis over one year at P8 Cave. At both sites, biannual peaks in karst system Ca2+ concentrations occurred due to: (i) promotion of microbial CO2 production by increased summer temperatures, and (ii) retardation of gaseous exchange by ponding of elevated winter rainfall input leading to an unseasonable build up in soil zone CO2. Therefore, speleothems at both sites may form biannual bands in hydrological years subject to elevated winter rainfall input.

In addition to variations in carbonate weathering due to fluctuations in CO2 levels, cation yields in Crag Cave matrix soil water were controlled by dolomite dissolution (Mg2+), plant uptake (K+), and evapotranspiration balanced by enhanced winter marine aerosol input (Na+). Strontium isotope analysis indicates that Sr2+ was derived from a 50:50 silicate/carbonate mixture, whereas the relatively light ?13C signal was related to direct evolution of CO2 into the aqueous phase in water-logged pores.

Within the Crag Cave aquifer variations in karst water geochemistry were controlled by dilution, flow switching, prior precipitation of calcite, and dolomite dissolution along the flow path. Strontium isotope analysis indicates that dissolution in the aquifer dominated, with Sr2+ being sourced from a 25:75 silicate/carbonate mixture. Light karst water 13C values were constrained by the supply of light soil gas to the aquifer.

Elevation in the Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios in the Crag Cave speleothem record compared to present day analogues indicates that the former Holocene climate was drier, whereas heavier 87Sr/86Sr ratios and 13C values suggest variation in soil hydrology over time.


Doline morphogenetic processes from global and local viewpoints, 2000, Gams, Ivan

Geomorphogenetical processes of solution dolines are evident from restraints in their global and local distribution: more precipitation than potential evapotranspiration, permeable soil cover, water level and solution front (transition from aggressive to flowstone depositing water) below shallow epikarst, slope inclination below 30°, solid soluble rock. Dolines are an effect of local accelerated solution. In initial phase they are connected with more fractured stone, as the grains have greater specific (surface/volume) surface exposed to soil moisture. Effect of stone fracturing on solution was tested in laboratory. Later growth of basin is based on automatism, as the size of soil/stone interface is increased with deepening of the basin. Funnel-like dolines with growth usually convert in a bowl-like form with greater exceeding. The form is controlled also by water permeability of soil and solifluction. In temperate climate the two million year long Pleistocene offered with more moisture from snow and with intensive fracturing of stone better conditions for doline development than the warmer Neogene and Holocene when man's impact in last centuries essentially redused primary forest environment and thus processes in the basins. Collapse dolines are not taken into account.


Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001, Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

The role of accurate recharge estimation in the hydrodynamic analysis of karst aquifers, 2001, Petrič, Metka

For the karst aquifer in the background of the Vipava springs in south-western Slovenia the first the model of the recharge estimation was set on the base of the method of soil moisture balance. Additional to precipitation, the influences of the interception on vegetation cover, snow and snowmelt, evapotranspiration, water storage in soil, rapid recharge and secondary infiltration were also considered in this model. It was calibrated by comparison with the discharges of the Vipava springs and then the daily values of recharge were estimated. To test the role of such accurate estimation of the recharge in further hydrodynamic analysis of karst aquifers, the black-box method was used. As the input signal in the supposed linear system the measured precipitation was first adopted, and then the estimated recharge values. It was demonstrated by comparison of results that the introduction of the recharge function significantly improves the model. In this way the important influence of the processes in the air, vegetation and soil on the amount and the time distribution of the recharge, and through this also on the hydrodynamic functioning of karst aquifers, was proved.


Recharge and aquifer response: Northern Guam Lens Aquifer, Guam, Mariana Islands, 2002, Jocson J. M. U. , Jenson J. W. , Contractor D. N. ,
The Northern Guam Lens Aquifer is an island karst aquifer in uplifted young, highly conductive limestone. Calculations of recharge based on differences between daily rainfall and daily pan evaporation suggest that the maximum annual mass of water delivered to the freshwater lens is about 67% of mean annual rainfall. Hydrographs of daily well-level responses plotted against daily rainfall indicate that the rate at which water is delivered to the lens is a function of rainfall intensity and the relative saturation of the vadose zone. Together, these variables determine the degree to which stormwater is shunted into fast flow through preferred pathways that bypass the bedrock matrix, rather than percolating slowly through the bedrock matrix. Data from the 40-year interval from 1956 to 1995 show that some 17% of rainfall on northern Guam arrives in small amounts (<0.6 cm/day). Most of this light rainfall is probably lost to evapotranspiration. At least another 20% of total rainfall on Guam arrives at very high intensities (>5.0 cm/day), which tend to promote fast flow at the expense of percolation. Rapid recovery of the water table from rapid recharge suggests that the lens either takes such recharge into storage very rapidly, discharges it rapidly without taking it into storage, or some combination of both. Significant vadose buffering of recharge to the lens is indicated by the fact that simulations assuming that the recharge from precipitation received in any given month is transmitted to the lens during the same month consistently over-predict observed peak mean monthly water levels and under-predict the minima. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Palaeoenvironments in semi-arid northeastern Brazil inferred from high precision mass spectrometric speleothem and travertine ages and the dynamics of South American rainforests, 2004, Auler A. S. , Wang X. , Edwards R. L. , Cheng H. , Cristalli P. S. , Smart P. L. , Richards D. A.

Understanding past environmental changes in tropical rainforests is extremely important in order to assess the response of such environments to present and future climatic changes and understand causes and the present patterns of biodiversity.
Earlier hypothesis on the origin of biodiversity have stressed the role of past climatic changes in promoting speciation. According to the “refuge hypothesis” (Haffer, 1982), dry periods could have led to forest fragmentation, isolating more humid forested zones (called refuges) within an environment largely dominated by savannas. The refuge hypothesis does not assign timescales for rainforest fragmentation, although recent studies have suggested that speciation could have occurred over timescales of millions of years (Knapp and Mallet, 2003). Although the focus of heavy criticism (Colinvaux, et a., 2000), the refuge hypothesis has generated a large amount of research. In general, pollen studies (Colinvaux, et a., 1996, Haberle and Maslin, 1999) tend to support a continuous forest cover throughout late Quaternary climatic shifts, although large variations in rainfall have also been demonstrated by other pollen and isotopic studies (van der Hammen and Absy, 1994; Maslin and Burns, 2000).
Amazon and Atlantic rainforests are the two major forested zones in South America. Amazon rainforest, the largest rainforest in the world, comprise a total original area of 4.1 million km2 and is renowned for hosting the large biodiversity in the world (30% of all the world’s known plant and animal species). Atlantic rainforest, also a biodiversity hotspot, occurs along the coast and has been subjected to heavy deforestation since European arrival. Nowadays only c. 7% of its original forested area of 1.3 million km2 remains. These two rainforests are separated by drought-prone semi-arid northeastern (NE) Brazil. Our study does not address the refuge hypothesis directly although it sheds new light on the dynamics of forest expansion in the past as well as indicates alternative ways of promoting speciation. It has long been hypothesized, due to botanical (Mori, 1989; Andrade-Lima, 1982) and faunistic (Costa, 2003) similarities, that the Amazon and Atlantic rainforests were once linked in the past. Although numerous connecting routes have been postulated (Bigarella, et al, 1975; Por, 1992; De Oliveira, et al, 1999), the timing of forest expansion and their possible recurrence have remained elusive.
The study area lies in the driest portion of NE Brazil “dry corridor”, close to the village of Laje dos Negros, northern state of Bahia. Mean annual precipitation is around 480 mm and potential evapotranspiration is in excess of 1,400 mm/year (Fig.1). Present vegetation comprises a low arbustive scrubland known locally as caatinga. The area contains a well-developed underground karst (Auler and Smart, 2003) with abundant secondary calcite precipitates, both underground (speleothems) and on the surface (travertines).


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