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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That dome is 1. a high shaft in a room or passage formed by solution [13]. 2. a large hemispheroidal hollow in the roof of a cave,formed by the breakdown and/or salt weathering, generally in mechanically weak rocks, which prevents bedding and joints dominating the form [25]. see also dome pit.?

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Your search for flow conduits (Keyword) returned 7 results for the whole karstbase:
Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc thesis, 1996, Jeannin, P. Y.

This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour.
Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits.
These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow).
For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable.
Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s.
Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k', turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena.
The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models.
The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.


Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc. Thesis, faculte des Sciences de l'Universite de Neuchatel., 1998, Jeannin Py.
This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour. Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits. These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow). For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable. Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s. Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k',turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena. The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models. The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.

Groundwater protection zone delineation at a large karst spring in western Ireland, 2000, Deakin J,
Pouladower Spring is a large karst spring in County Clare, Ireland which is being considered for use as a public supply. Groundwater protection zones have been delineated as a water quality management strategy for the spring. The Irish national groundwater protection scheme methodology is adapted to take account of the hydrological and hydrogeological complexities of the karst regime. The catchment area for the spring is large (approximately 380 km2) and comprises the zones of contribution for two major outlets of water, the spring and the River Fergus. The actual zone of contribution to the spring varies with different water level conditions and the risk to the source from any point within the catchment, at any given time, is less than that for a conventional groundwater source. The catchment area is highly vulnerable, but dilution and sedimentation occurring in the lakes up gradient of the source, the high throughput, and the contribution from fissures outside the main flow conduits have helped maintain good water quality at the spring. The source is considered to be a combination of both groundwater and surface water as they are intricately inter-linked throughout the catchment. An Inner Protection Area is delineated which does not provide the 100-days travel time to the source required by the national scheme, as this would be impractically large and over-protective. Rather, it delineates the area of highest hydrogeological risk to the source and should allow the local authority sufficient time to act in the event of an accidental spill. A certain degree of microbial contamination is inevitable in a karst regime and treatment is essential, as it would be for a surface water source. The remainder of the catchment is classed as an Outer Protection Area. These protection areas are then combined with the vulnerability in a GIS to give groundwater protection zones which will be used by the planners, in conjunction with groundwater protection responses, to control potentially contaminating activities

Sinkhole genesis and evolution in Apulia, and their interrelations with the anthropogenic environment, 2004, Le Rose M. , Federico A. , Parise M. ,
Sinkhole development occurs in many areas of the world where soluble rocks crop out. Sinkholes are generally the surface expression of the presence of caves and other groundwater flow conduits in carbonate rocks, which are solutionally enlarged secondary permeability features. Their formation may be either natural or caused by man's activities. In both cases, heavy consequences have to be registered on the anthropogenic environment and related infrastructures. Knowledge of the mechanism of formation of this subtle geohazard is therefore necessary to planners and decision makers for performing the most appropriate and suitable programs of land use and development. The Apulia region of southern Italy is characterized for most of its extension by carbonate rocks, which makes it one of the most remarkable example of karst in the Mediterranean Basin. Based on analysis of literature and in situ surveys, including caving explorations, we have identified in Apulia three main types of possible mechanisms for sinkhole formation: 1) collapse of a chamber in a natural cave or in man-made cavities; 2) slow and gradual enlargement of doline through dissolution; 3) settlement and internal erosion of filling deposits of pre-existing dolines. Since sinkhole formation very often affects directly the human settlements in Apulia, and have recently produced severe damage, some considerations are eventually presented as regards the interrelationships between sinkholes and the anthropogenic environment

Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst, 2005, Beck B. F.

Conference Proceedings

Sinkholes and the Engineering and Environmental Impacts of Karst Contains over 70 papers addressing karst topography which impacts water resources, waste disposal, foundation stability, and a multitude of other geotechnical and environmental issues. These papers were presented at the 10th Multidisciplinary Conference held September 24-28, 2005 in San Antonio, Texas and Sponsored by the Geo-Institute of ASCE, P. E. LaMoreaux & Associates, Inc. and Edwards Aquifer Authority. The goal of this conference was to share knowledge and experience among disciplines by emphasizing practical applications and case studies. This proceedings will benefit environmental and geotechnical engineers, and others involved in water resources, water disposal, and foundation stability issues.

Contents:

Application of Geophysical Logging Techniques for Multi-Channel Well Design and Installation in a Karst Aquifer (by Frank Bogle, ...)

Case Studies of Massive Flow Conduits in Karst Limestone (by Jim L. Lolcama)

A Case Study of the Samanalawewa Reservoir on the Walawe River in an Area of Karst in Sri Lanka (by K. Laksiri, ...)

Characterization and Water Balance of Internal Drainage Sinkholes (by Nico M. Hauwert, ...)

Characterization of Desert Karst Terrain in Kuwait and the Eastern Coastline of the Arabian Penninsula (by Waleed Abdullah, ...)

Characterization of a Sinkhole Prone Retention Pond Using Multiple Geophysical Surveys and Closely Spaced Borings (by Nick Hudyma, ...)

Combining Surface and Downhole Geophysical Methods to Identify Karst Conditions in North-Central Iowa (by J. E. Wedekind, ...)

Complexities of Flood Mapping in a Sinkhole Area (by C. Warren Campbell, P.E.)

Conceptualization and Simulation of the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio Region, Texas (by R. J. Lindgren, ...)

Database Development and GIS Modeling to Develop a Karst Vulnerability Rating for I-66, Somerset to London, KY (by Michael A. Krokonko, ...)

Design and Construction of the Foundations for the Watauga Raw Water Intake Facility in Karstic Limestone near the City of Johnson City, TN (by Tony D. Canale, P.E., ...)

Detection of Three-Dimensional Voids in Karstic Ground (by Derek V. Morris, P.E., ...)

Development and Evolution of Epikarst in Mid-Continent US Carbonates (by Tony L. Cooley, P.E.)

Dye Tracing Sewage Lagoon Discharge in a Sandstone Karst, Askov, Minnesota (by Emmit Calvin Alexander, Jr., ...)

The Effectiveness of GPR in Sinkhole Investigations (by E. D. Zisman, P.E., ...)

Effects of Anthropogenic Modification of Karst Soil Texture on the Water Balance of ?Alta Murgia? (Apulia, Italy) (by F. Canora, ...)

Environmental Isotope Study on Recharge and Groundwater Residence Time in a covered Ordovician Carbonate Rock (by Zhiyuan Ma, ...)

Error and Technique in Fluorescent dye Tracing (by Chris Smart)

Essential Elements of Estimating Engineering Properties of Karst for Foundation Design (by Ramanuja Chari Kannan, P.E., Fellow, ASCE)

Estimating Grout Quantities for Residential Repairs in Central Florida Karst (by Larry D. Madrid, P.E., ...)

Evaluation of Groundwater Residence Time in a Karstic Aquifer Using Environmental Tracers: Roswell Artesian Basin, New Mexico (by Lewis Land)

Experience of Regional Karst Hazard and Risk Assessment in Russia (by A. L. Ragozin, ...)

Experimental Study of Physical Models for Sinkhole Collapses in Wuhan, China (by Mingtang Lei, ...)

Fractal Scaling of Secondary Porosity in Karstic Exposures of the Edwards Aquifer (by Robert E. Mace, ...)

The Geological Characteristics of Buried Karst and Its Impact on Foundations in Hong Kong, China (by Steve H. M. Chan, ...)

Geophysical Identification of Evaporite Dissolution Structures Beneath a Highway Alignment (by M. L. Rucker, ...)

Geotechnical Analysis in Karst: The Interaction between Engineers and Hydrogeologists (by R. C. Bachus, P.E.)

The Gray Fossil Site: A Spectacular Example in Tennessee of Ancient Regolith Occurrences in Carbonate Terranes, Valley and Ridge Subpovince, South Appalachians U.S.A. (by G. Michael Clark, ...)

Ground-Water Basin Catchment Delineation by Bye Tracing, Water Table Mapping, Cave Mapping, and Geophysical Techniques: Bowling Green Kentucky (by Nicholas C. Crawford)

Groundwater Flow in the Edwards Aquifer: Comparison of Groundwater Modeling and Dye Trace Results (by Brian A. Smith, ...)

Grouting Program to Stop Water Flow through Karstic Limestone: A Major Case History (by D. M. Maciolek)

Highway Widening in Karst (by M. Zia Islam, P.E., ...)

How Karst Features Affect Recharge? Implication for Estimating Recharge to the Edwards Aquifer (by Yun Huang, ...)

Hydrogeologic Investigation of Leakage through Sinkholes in the Bed of Lake Seminole to Springs Located Downstream from Jim Woodruff Dam (by Nicholas C. Crawford, ...)

The Hydrologic Function of the soil and Bedrock System at Upland Sinkholes in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone of South-Central Texas (by A. L. Lindley)

An Integrated Geophysical Approach for a Karst Characterization of the Marshall Space Flight Center (by Lynn Yuhr, ...)

Integrated Geophysical Surveys Applied to Karstic Studies Over Transmission Lines in San Antonio, Texas (by Mustafa Saribudak, ...)

Judge Dillon and Karst: Limitations on Local Regulation of Karst Hazards (by Jesse J. Richardson, Jr.)

Karst Groundwater Resource and Advantages of its Utilization in the Shaanbei Energy Base in Shaanxi Province, China (by Yaoguo Wu, ...)

Karst Hydrogeology and the Nature of Reality Revisited: Philosophical Musings of a Less Frustrated Curmudgeon (by Emmit Calvin Alexander, Jr.)

Karst in Appalachia ? A Tangled Zone: Projects with Cave-Sized Voids and Sinkholes (by Clay Griffin, ...)

Karstic Features of Gachsaran Evaporites in the Region of Ramhormoz, Khuzestan Province, in Southwest Iran (by Arash Barjasteh)

Large Perennial Springs of Kentucky: Their Identification, Base Flow, Catchment, and Classification (by Joseph A. Ray, ...)

Large Plot Tracing of Subsurface Flow in the Edwards Aquifer Epikarst (by P. I. Taucer, ...)
Lithology as a Predictive Tool of Conduit Morphology and Hydrology in Environmental Impact Assessments (by George Veni)

Metadata Development for a Multi-State Karst Feature Database (by Yongli Gao, ...)

Micropiling in Karstic Rock: New CMFF Foundation Solution Applied at the Sanita Factory (by Marc Ballouz)

Modeling Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards Aquifer Using MODFLOW-DCM (by Alexander Y. Sun, ...)

Multi-Level Monitoring Well Completion Technologies and Their Applicability in Karst Dolomite (by Todd Kafka, ...)

National-Scale Risk Assessment of sinkhole Hazard in China (by Xiaozhen Jiang, ...)

New Applications of Differential Electrical Resistivity Tomography and Time Domain Reflectometry to Modeling Infiltration and Soil Moisture in Agricultural Sinkholes (by B. F. Schwartz, ...)

Non-Regulatory Approaches to Development on Karst (by Jesse J. Richardson, Jr., ...)

PA State Route 33 Over Bushkill Creek: Structure Failure and Replacement in an Active Sinkhole Environment (by Kerry W. Petrasic, P.E.)

Quantifying Recharge via Fractures in an Ashe Juniper Dominated Karst Landscape (by Lucas Gregory, ...)

Quantitative Groundwater Tracing and Effective Numerical Modeling in Karst: An Example from the Woodville Karst Plain of North Florida (by Todd R. Kincaid, ...)

Radial Groundwater Flow at Landfills in Karst (by J. E. Smith)

Residual Potential Mapping of Contaminant Transport Pathways in Karst Formations of Southern Texas (by D. Glaser, ...)

Resolving Sinkhole Issues: A State Government Perspective (by Sharon A. Hill)

Shallow Groundwater and DNAPL Movement within Slightly Dipping Limestone, Southwestern Kentucky (by Ralph O. Ewers, ...)

Sinkhole Case Study ? Is it or Isn?t it a Sinkhole? (by E. D. Zisman, P.E.)

Sinkhole Occurrence and Changes in Stream Morphology: An Example from the Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania (by William E. Kochanov)

Site Characterization and Geotechnical Roadway Design over Karst: Interstate 70, Frederick County, Maryland (by Walter G. Kutschke, P.E., ...)

Soil Stabilization of the Valley Creek Trunk Sewer Relief Tunnel (by Jeffrey J. Bean, P.E., ...)

Some New Approaches to Assessment of Collapse Risks in Covered Karsts (by Vladimir Tolmachev, ...)

Spectral Deconvolution and Quantification of Natural Organic Material and Fluorescent Tracer Dyes (by Scott C. Alexander)

Springshed Mapping in Support of Watershed Management (by Jeffrey A. Green, ...)

Sustainable Utilization of Karst Groundwater in Feicheng Basin, Shandong Province, China (by Yunfeng Li, ...)

Transport of Colloidal and Solute Tracers in Three Different Types of Alpine Karst Aquifers ? Examples from Southern Germany and Slovenia (by N. Göppert, ...)

Use of the Cone Penetration Test for Geotechnical Site Characterization in Clay-Mantled Karst (by T. C. Siegel, ...)

The Utility of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) Interferometry in Monitoring Sinkhole Subsidence: Subsidence of the Devil?s Throat Sinkhole Area (Nevada, USA) (by Rana A. Al-Fares)

Void Evolution in Soluble Rocks Beneath Dams Under Limited Flow Condition (by Emmanuel S. Pepprah, ...)


A statistical model of karstic flow conduits, 2012, Boudinet, P.

A statistical model of karstic flow conduits, based on statistical physics of random walks, is developed. It allows us to compute the mean depth of flow conduits versus the distance from the inlet and versus the dip. It provides results that are in good qualitative agreement with previous results of other authors: the mean depth increases, slowly, with the distance, and it increases, not in a regular fashion, with the dip. The variability of the depth of the conduits, possibly leading to some conduits far from the water table, and the fact that well developed conduits are scarce or not, is linked to the probability of exploitation of the different fractures, the potentially permeable bedding planes, faults and joints in the karstifiable rock. On the basis of this result, we propose that interesting cavities - from the point of view of caving and cave diving - are found only in a small range of those exploitation probabilities. Finally, we emphasize the non-euclidean properties of flow conduits; especially, that many shortest pathways may exist and that a straight line is not usually the shortest pathway that actually develops between inlet and outlet.


A Three-dimensional Statistical Model of Karst Flow Conduits, 2016, Boudinet, P

It already exists several three-dimensional models dealing with groundwater circulation in karst systems. However, few of them are able either to give a large scale prediction of the repartition of the flow conduits or to make a comparison with real field data. Therefore, our objective is to develop a three-dimensional model about the early formation of karst flow conduits and to compare it with actual field data. This geometric and statistical model is based on percolation and random walks. It is computational and can be run on a personal computer. We examine the influence of fissures (joints and bedding planes) of variable permeability and orientations on the development or early flow conduits. The results presented here correspond to computations up to 2015. Because of long runtimes, we focused on some particular stereotypical situations, corresponding to some particular values of the parameters. Regarding the conduit patterns, the opening and directions of fissures have the same qualitative influence in the model than in actual systems. Two other predictions in good accordance with real karst are that flow conduits can either develop close to the water table or deeper, depending on the distribution of permeable fissures; and that, when viewed in the horizontal plane, conduits don't always develop close to the straight line between inlet and outlet. From a quantitative point of view, in the case of weak dips, our model predicts a realistic relationship between the stratal dip, the length of the system and the averaged depth of the conduits. Eventually, we show that the repartition of conduits depends not only on obvious geometrical parameters such as directions and sizes, but also also on other quantities difficult to measure such as the probability of finding open fissures. The lack of such data doesn't enable, at the present time, a whole comparison between model and reality.


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