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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. ...

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That perennial yield is sustained yield [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for groundwater recharge (Keyword) returned 40 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 40
Recharge of Phreatic Aquifers in (Semi-)Arid Areas, ,
Groundwater use is of fundamental importance to meet the rapidly expanding urban, industrial and agricultural water requirements in (semi) arid areas. Quantifying the current rate of groundwater recharge and define its variability in space and time are thus prerequesites for efficient groundwater resource managment in these regions, where such resources are often the key to economic development. Attention focuses on recharge of phreatic aquifers, often the most readily-available and affordable source of water in (semi) arid regions. These aquifers are also the most susceptible to contamination, with the recharge rate determining their level of vulnerability. (Semi) arid zone recharge can be highly variable, the greater the aridity, the smaller and potentially more variable the natural flux. Its determination is an iterative process, involving progressive data collection and resource evaluation; there is also a need to use more than one technique to verify results. Direct, localised and indirect recharge mechanisms from a spectrum of known sources are addressed in the framework of recharge from precipitation, intermittant flow and permanent water bodies. The approach taken for each of these reflects the nature and current understanding of the processes involved. The volume also reviews current recharge estimation challenges, outlines recent developments and offers guidance for potential solutions.

ORIGIN AND MORPHOLOGY OF LIMESTONE CAVES, 1991, Palmer A. N. ,
Limestone caves form along ground-water paths of greatest discharge and solutional aggressiveness. Flow routes that acquire increasing discharge accelerate in growth, while others languish with negligible growth. As discharge increases, a maximum rate of wall retreat is approached, typically about 0.01-0.1 cm/yr, determined by chemical kinetics but nearly unaffected by further increase in discharge. The time required to reach the maximum rate is nearly independent of kinetics and varies directly with flow distance and temperature and inversely with initial fracture width, discharge, gradient, and P(CO2). Most caves require 10(4) - 10(5) yr to reach traversable size. Their patterns depend on the mode of ground-water recharge. Sinkhole recharge forms branching caves with tributaries that join downstream as higher-order passages. Maze caves form where (1) steep gradients and great undersaturation allow many alternate paths to enlarge at similar rates or (2) discharge or renewal of undersaturation is uniform along many alternate routes. Flood water can form angular networks in fractured rock, anastomotic mazes along low-angle partings, or spongework where intergranular pores are dominant. Diffuse recharge also forms networks and spongework, often aided by mixing of chemically different waters. Ramiform caves, with sequential outward branches, are formed mainly by rising thermal or H2S-rich water. Dissolution rates in cooling water increase with discharge, CO2 content, temperature, and thermal gradient, but only at thermal gradients of more than 0.01-degrees-C/m can normal ground-water CO2 form caves without the aid of hypogenic acids or mixing. Artesian flow has no inherent tendency to form maze caves. Geologic structure and stratigraphy influence cave orientation and extent, but alone they do not determine branch-work versus maze character

DIVERSITY - A NEW METHOD FOR EVALUATING SENSITIVITY OF GROUNDWATER TO CONTAMINATION, 1993, Ray J. A. , Odell P. W. ,
This study outlines an improved method, DIVERSITY, for delineating and rating groundwater sensitivity. It is an acronym for Dlspersion/VElocity-Rated SensitivITY, which is based on an assessment of three aquifer characteristics: recharge potential, flow velocity, and flow directions. The primary objective of this method is to produce sensitivity maps at the county or state scale that illustrate intrinsic potential for contamination of the uppermost aquifer. Such maps can be used for recognition of aquifer sensitivity and for protection of groundwater quality. We suggest that overriding factors that strongly affect one or more of the three basic aquifer characteristics may systematically elevate or lower the sensitivity rating. The basic method employs a three-step procedure: (1) Hydrogeologic settings are delineated on the basis of geology and groundwater recharge/discharge position within a terrane. (2) A sensitivity envelope or model for each setting is outlined on a three-component rating graph. (3) Sensitivity ratings derived from the envelope are extrapolated to hydrogeologic setting polygons utilizing overriding and key factors, when appropriate. The three-component sensitivity rating graph employs two logarithmic scales and a relative area scale on which measured and estimated values may be plotted. The flow velocity scale ranging from 0.01 to more than 10,000 m/d is the keystone of the rating graph. Whenever possible, actual time-of-travel values are plotted on the velocity scale to bracket the position of a sensitivity envelope. The DIVERSITY method was developed and tested for statewide use in Kentucky, but we believe it is also practical and applicable for use in almost any other area

Laquifre de la source du Lez : un rservoir deau et de biodiversit, 1997, Malard Florian, Gibert Janine, Laurent Roger
The Lez spring is the main source of drinking water for the inhabitants of the city of Montpellier. This spring has been exploited since the eighteenth century but the amount of groundwater pumped has markedly increased over the last 30 years. This karst harbours an extremely diversified community of groundwater species (at least 37 species) that is a several Million-year-old heritage. Overpumping induces a loss of habitats by lowering the water table during periods of low groundwater recharge. It also results in an artificial fragmentation of mesohabitats by increasing the hydraulic disconnection of different regions in the saturated zone. Thus, overpumping may strongly affect the groundwater fauna but few data are available yet to evaluate the potential loss of biodiversity. There is clearly a need to integrate studies of groundwater fauna within the framework of interdisciplinary groundwater monitoring, management and/or protection programmes.

Aufeis of the Firth River basin, Northern Yukon Canada: Insights into permafrost hydrogeology and Karst, 1997, Clark Id, Lauriol B,
The 31-km(2) aufeis ice sheet of the upper Firth River holds a wealth of information on groundwater hydrology in periglacial environments. Baseflow recession calculations, corrected for aufeis storage (12% of basin discharge), indicate specific groundwater recharge rates of up to 100 mm yr(-1) (up to 50% of runoff), suggesting a significant proportion of drainage from karst. The upper Firth River aufeis is a composite aufeis, with discrete baseflow contributions from different watersheds. Since the late Pleistocene, annual growth of the aufeis has exerted a strong control on lateral erosion and the local river channel geomorphology. Two groundwater recharge processes are distinguished on the basis of carbonate geochemistry and 8(13)C: (1) Methanogenic groundwaters, with C-13(DIC) up to -3.3 parts per thousand, are recharged through saturated soils underlain by permafrost; conditions which support anaerobic consumption of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and produce up to 700 mu g-CH4 L-1 (calculated), and (2) Karst groundwaters, with C-13-depleted DIC, recharged through unsaturated soils and circulate through fissured talik in the carbonate bedrock. Most drainage from the region shows varying contributions of these two groundwaters, although a greater contribution from the methanogenic groundwaters occurs in north-facing watersheds. The 8(13)C values far cryogenic calcite precipitates in the ice indicate that the karst groundwaters are the major contribution to aufeis growth. The combined use of 8(13)C(DIC) and geochemistry may be a useful tool to quantify methanogenesis in northern watersheds

Modelling groundwater flow in a karst terrane using discrete and double-continuum approaches - importance of spatial and temporal distribution of recharge., 1997, Mohrlok U. , Sauter M.
Groundwater flow had been modelled in the karst catchment area 'Gallusquelle' (Swabian Alb, SW-Germany) using two different types of modelling approaches. The discrete and the double-continuum model differ in their respective representation of the conduit network and the formulation of the exchange flux of groundwater between fissured system and conduits. In the case of the discrete ipproach this exchange is determined by local hydraulic properties adjacent to the conduits. The double-continuum approach represents this exchange using a 'steady state', lumped parameter. As a result of this fundamental difference between the two approaches, the temporal distribution as well as the percentual allocation of groundwater recharge to conduits and fissured system plays a major role in (the respective model calibration

Groundwater protection in a Celtic region: the Irish example, 2000, Misstear Bruce D. , Daly Donal,
One of the key environmental objectives of the proposed EU Water Framework Directive is that Member States must prevent the deterioration of groundwater quality. A national groundwater protection scheme for Ireland has been published recently. This scheme shows certain broad similarities to the groundwater protection policy for England and Wales, incorporating the concepts of groundwater vulnerability, source protection zones and responses to potentially polluting activities. However, the Irish scheme is different in several important respects, reflecting the different hydrogeological conditions and pollution concerns in Ireland. Some of these hydrogeological conditions and pollution concerns are common to the other Celtic regions. A major feature of the Irish scheme is the importance given to subsoil permeability in defining groundwater vulnerability. At present, the subsoil permeability is classified in qualitative terms as high, moderate or low. For the protection scheme to be defensible, it is essential to adopt a systematic and consistent approach for assigning subsoil units to these permeability categories. In mapping groundwater vulnerability, it is also useful to take account of secondary indicators such as groundwater recharge potential, natural and artificial drainage density and vegetation characteristics. Another important issue in Ireland is the protection of groundwater in karst areas, since these areas are especially vulnerable to contamination

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

Hydrogeologic control of cave patterns, 2000, Palmer A. N.
Cave patterns are controlled by a hierarchy of hydrogeologic factors. The location and overall trend of a cave depends on the distribution of recharge and discharge points within the karst aquifer. Specific cave patterns, i.e. branchwork vs. maze patterns, are controlled mainly by the nature of the groundwater recharge. Individual passage configurations are determined by the structural nature of the bedrock and by the geomorphic evolution of the aquifer. The origin of branchwork caves is favored by point recharge sources of limited catchment area. Floodwater recharge, especially through sinking streams, tends to produce maze caves or local mazes superimposed on branchwork caves. Through floodwater activity, anastomotic mazes form in prominently bedded aquifers, network mazes in prominently fractured aquifers, and spongework mazes in highly porous or brecciated rocks. Epikarst, network caves, and spongework caves are also produced by diffuse or dispersed infiltration into the karst aquifer, and network and spongework caves can be the product of mixing of two waters of contrasting chemistry. Ramiform caves are produced most often by rising water rich in hydrogen sulfide, which oxidizes to sulfuric acid. Deep-seated processes that help to initiate cave development include the interaction between carbonates and sulfates, which can greatly increase the solubility of dolomite, gypsum, and anhydrite, while calcite precipitates. Although tightly confined artesian conditions have long been associated with the origin of maze caves, they actually have no inherent tendency to form mazes. The slow movement of groundwater close to equilibrium with dissolved bedrock, typical of tightly confined artesian aquifers, is the least favorable setting for maze development.

Speleogenesis of the Mammont cave system, Kentucky, USA, 2000, Palmer A. N.
The Mammoth Cave System, in southwestern Kentucky, USA, is located in carbonate rocks of Mississippian (early Carboniferous) age, which dip less that one degree toward the northwest into the Illinois structural basin. The cave is contained within the Chester Upland, a fluvially dissected plateau of limestones and dolomites capped by clastic rocks. However, much of the groundwater recharge to the cave today and in the past has been from the nearby karst surface of the Pennyroyal Plateau, up-dip from the Chester Upland, where the insoluble cap-rock has been removed by erosion, exposing the carbonate rocks over a broad surface. The local bedrock is very prominently bedded, with very few large fractures, and as a result the cave passages are sinuous canyons and tubes, interspersed with vertical shafts that have developed downward in sequence, bed by bed. Passages of vadose origin are oriented almost invariably down the local dip, which is complicated by many irregularities superimposed on the regional dip. Phreatic passages show no inherent relation to the dip and are mostly oriented at very shallow angles to the strike direction. Depth of cave development below the water table is limited to a few tens of meters by the small amount of structural deformation. Dating of sediment shows that most of the earliest passages probably formed during the late Pliocene Epoch, although the very highest passages may be considerably older. These passages are few but large, and consist mainly of wide canyons and tubes that were later almost filled with silt, sand, and gravel during periods of regional aggradation. Diversion of drainage into the Ohio River by glacial ice during the early Pleistocene caused rapid entrenchment of the Ohio and its tributaries in the Mammoth Cave region. Passages became much more numerous as the landscape was dissected and as erosional base levels fluctuated more rapidly. Several major passage levels developed during periods of relatively static base level. The Mammoth Cave System thus provides many clues to the geomorphic history of the surrounding region.

Weichselian palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment in Europe: background for palaeogroundwater formation, 2001, Vaikmae R. , Edmunds W. M. , Manzano M. ,
A review is given of palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental evidence across Europe for the Weichselian period relevant to interpreting the emplacement and circulation of groundwaters. In addition, this provides the background against which the evidence of past climates and environments contained in groundwaters in coastal areas of Europe, from the Baltic to the Atlantic Ocean may be compared. For much of the Weichselian, although significantly colder than at present, conditions were favourable for the recharge of groundwater, as shown, for example, by periods of speleothem growth. During the last glacial maximum (LGM) recharge is likely to have ceased over much of permafrost-covered Europe, although shallow groundwater recharge from meltwater (generated by the geothermal gradients) could have taken place beneath the ice where pressure relief through tunnel valleys may have occurred. Modern recharge could have started as early as 13 14C ka BP, but probably interrupted by the Younger Dryas between 11 and 10 14C ka BP. In the Baltic areas, ice-dammed lakes inhibited the start of the modern hydrogeological regimes until c. 10.3 14C ka BP. Tundra conditions prevailed over most of ice-free southern Europe at the time of the LGM. At this time the area south of the Portuguese-Spanish border retained a generally warm and relatively humid climate due to the maintenance of warmer sea-surface temperatures derived from Atlantic Ocean circulation. For most of coastal Europe, however, the most significant impact on groundwater circulation is likely to have been the lowering of sea levels that drained large areas of the shelf, such as the North Sea and the English Channel, and also had a significant impact on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula where the maximum lowering of up to 130 m would have been experienced. This, together with the general changes in climate, would also have reorganized the atmospheric chemistry over sites in Europe that is likely to be recorded in the groundwater's chemical and isotopic signatures

The Application of GIS in Support of Land Acquisition for the Protection of Sensitive Groundwater Recharge Properties in the Edwards Aquifer of South-Central Texas, 2002, Stone, D. , Schindel, G. M.
In May 2000, the City of San Antonio passed a $45 million bond issue to purchase land or conservation easements of sensitive land in the recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer in south central Texas. The Edwards Aquifer is the primary source of water for over 1.7 million people in the region. The application of geographic information systems (GIS) methods allowed for the objective comparison of all properties within the recharge and contributing zones of the aquifer for possible purchase. A GIS matrix was developed and applied in the process of prioritizing sensitive karst lands.

Development of collapse sinkholes in areas of groundwater discharge, 2002, Salvati R. , Sasowsky I. D. ,
Collapse sinkholes are found in groundwater recharge zones throughout the world. They cause substantial loss of property each year, and occasional fatalities. In such settings, the formation of these features occurs through the downward migration of regolith into karst voids. The presence of a void in the bedrock. and sufficient seepage pressure or gravitative force in the regolith, is required for their creation. We investigated the development of cover collapse sinkholes in an unusual setting, areas of groundwater discharge rather than recharge. Upward hydraulic gradients and the likelihood of groundwater saturated with respect to calcite are difficult to reconcile with standard models for collapse development. Short flowpaths or renewed groundwater aggressivity towards calcite (via mischungskorrosion, thermally driven circulation, or deep-seated gaseous sources) are hypothetical mechanisms that could generate the subsurface voids that are needed to allow cover collapse development in discharge areas. For the two field sites in central Italy that we investigated, calculated carbon dioxide partial pressures in springs ranged from 7.38 X 10(-2) to 7.29 X 10(-1) atm. This indicates that deep-seated gaseous sources are most likely the mechanism allowing the development of the sinkholes. Groundwater is recharged in surrounding limestone massifs. The water moves through the carbonates and becomes saturated with calcite. As it circulates deeply in to the adjacent valleys, it mixes with deep-seated waters and gaseous fluxes from major fault systems, acquiring renewed aggressivity towards calcite. Finally, the water ascends into confined aquifers in the valley fill, and dissolves carbonate material present within, leading to surface collapse. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Using stable isotope analysis (delta D-delta O-18) to characterise the regional hydrology of the Sierra de Gador, south east Spain, 2002, Vandenschrick G. , Van Wesemael B. , Frot E. , Pulidobosch A. , Molina L. , Stievenard M. , Souchez R. ,
Water stress is rapidly increasing in many Mediterranean coastal zones mainly due to expansion in agriculture and tourism. In this paper, we focus on the Sierra de Gador-Campo de Dalias aquifer system (southeastern Spain) in order to assess the capability of water stable isotope analysis (deltaD-delta(18)O) to refine the understanding on recharge of this karstic aquifer system. Different types of surface and groundwater were sampled along an altitudinal gradient from the recharge zone in the mountains to the coastal plain. Surface water is restricted to local runoff, collected in closed reservoirs. Runoff amounts, collected in three of these reservoirs were monitored together with the precipitation in their catchments. Meteorological maps were used to detect the origin of the precipitation generating the majority of the runoff. The results were compared to literature data on local and regional precipitation. The use of oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition has proved to be a useful tool to explain the origin of groundwater in a Mediterranean karstic system. Such studies are, however, not numerous and are often limited to local scale recharge for fast-reacting systems. This paper focuses on the delta(18)O-deltaD relationships of local precipitation to explain the isotopic variability of a large karstic aquifer system. The isotopic compositions of groundwater sampled along an altitudinal gradient from the recharge zone to the coastal plain are well displayed, in a deltaD-delta(18)O diagram, on a mixing line connecting a pole of Mediterranean waters to a pole of Atlantic waters. The Atlantic signature predominates in the shallow groundwater of natural springs, reflecting the rainfall which produced the local runoff sampled. The Mediterranean signature is mainly restricted to deep groundwater from boreholes in the coastal plain. The existence of a degree of spatial separation of groundwater types demonstrates that groundwater flow in a complex karstic system is not always continuous. The Mediterranean signature of deep groundwater could be due to past extreme rainfall events during which connectivity between recharge and reservoir exists, while at the same time the Atlantic signature of recent winter rains dominates in shallow groundwater. The assumption that an equilibrium in isotopic composition is established within a continuous aquifer and that therefore a slope lower than 8 in a deltaD-delta(18)O diagram indicates evaporation is not necessarily valid.

Speleogenesis in carbonate rocks, 2003, Palmer, A. N.

This paper outlines the current views on cave origin in carbonate rocks, combining ideas from a variety of sources. A typical dissolution cave develops in several stages that grade smoothly from one to the next: (1) Initial openings are slowly enlarged by water that is nearly at solutional equilibrium with the local bedrock. (2) As the early routes enlarge, those with the greatest amount of flow grow fastest. (3) These favoured routes eventually become wide enough that groundwater is able to retain most of its solutional aggressiveness throughout the entire distance to the spring outlets. This breakthrough time usually requires times on the order of 104 to 105 years and ends the inception phase of speleogenesis. (4) Discharge along these selected routes increases rapidly, allowing them to enlarge into cave passages rather uniformly over their entire length. Maximum enlargement rates are roughly 0.001-0.1 cm/yr, depending on the local water chemistry and lithology. (5) The cave acquires a distinct passage pattern that depends on the nature of groundwater recharge, the geologic setting, and the erosional history of the region. Branchwork patterns dominate in most carbonate aquifers. Maze caves are produced by any of the following: steep hydraulic gradients (e.g. during floods), short flow paths, uniform recharge to many openings, and mixing of waters that contrast in chemistry. (6) Enlargement rate usually decreases as passages become air-filled, owing to loss of aggressiveness as carbon dioxide escapes through openings to the surface. (7) The cave typically evolves by diversion of water to new and lower routes as the fluvial base level drops. (8) The cave is eventually destroyed by roof collapse and by intersection of passages by surface erosion. At any given time, different parts of the same cave may be experiencing different stages in this sequence.


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