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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 epikarst; epikarst zone is a relatively thick (the thickness may vary significantly, but 15 to 30 meters thick is a good generalization) portion of bedrock that extends from the base of the soil zone and is characterized by extreme fracturing and enhanced solution. it is separated from the phreatic zone by an inactive, relatively waterless interval of bedrock that is locally breached by vadose percolation. significant water storage and transport are known to occur in this zone. synonym: subcutaneous zone.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for hydraulic properties (Keyword) returned 23 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 23
ASSESSING FLOW SYSTEMS IN CARBONATE AQUIFERS USING SCALE EFFECTS IN HYDRAULIC CONDUCTIVITY, 1994, Rovey C. W. ,
Counter to intuition, small-scale measurements of hydraulic conductivity do not average to regional values. Instead, mean hydraulic conductivity increases with measurement scale up to a critical distance termed the range, beyond which a constant regional value prevails. Likewise, variance in log hydraulic conductivity increases with separation distance between measurement points as the spatial correlation decreases. As dissolution proceeds in carbonate aquifers, heterogeneity and the volume necessary for an equivalent homogeneous medium (EHM) both increase. As these variables increase, the range of scale increase in both mean hydraulic conductivity and variance increases proportionately. Consequently, the range in scale effects is a reliable measure of the degree of secondary dissolution. By correlating the numeric value of range with independently measured hydraulic properties, the prevalent type of flow system, diffuse, mixed or conduit can be determined

Numerical simulation as a tool for checking the interpretation of karst spring hydrographs, 1997, Eisenlohr L, Kiraly L, Bouzelboudjen M, Rossier Y,
A schematic representation of karst aquifers may be that of a high hydraulic conductivity channel network with kilometre-wide intervals, surrounded by a low hydraulic conductivity fractured limestone volume and connected to a local discharge area, the karst spring, The behaviour of the karst spring (hydrographs, chemical or isotopic composition, etc.) represents the global response of the karst aquifer to input events. The available data an karst aquifer hydraulic parameters are limited, Global response is therefore more easily obtained and is commonly used to make inferences on the recharge and groundwater How processes, as well as on the hydraulic parameter fields. Direct verification of these interpretations is, obviously, very difficult. We have used an indirect method of verification, consisting of introducing well-defined theoretical karst structures into a finite element model and then analysing the simulated global response according to presently accepted interpretation schemes. As we know what we put into the numerical model, the validity of any interpretation may be checked. The first results indicate that some of the generally accepted interpretations are not necessarily true. In particular: (i) separation of simulated recession hydrographs into several components shows that different exponential components do not necessarily correspond to aquifer volumes with different hydraulic conductivities: (ii) non-exponential parts of recession hydrographs do not always give information about the infiltration process: and (iii) the recession coefficient of the baseflow (i.e. the last, nearly exponential part of the recession hydrograph) depends on the global configuration of the whole karst aquifer, not just on the hydraulic properties of the low hydraulic conductivity volumes. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

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

Transmissivity estimates from well hydrographs in karst and fractured aquifers, 2000, Powers J. G. , Shevenell L. ,
Hydrograph recessions from rainfall events have been previously analyzed for discharge at springs and streams; however, relatively little quantitative research has been conducted with regard to hydrograph analysis of recessions from monitoring wells screened in karst aquifers, In previous work, a quantitative hydrograph analysis technique has been proposed from which matrix transmissivity (i.e., transmissivity of intergranular porosity) and specific yields of matrix, fracture, and conduit components of the aquifer may be determined from well hydrographs, The technique has yielded realistic results at three sites tested by the authors (Y-12, Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Crane, Indiana; and Fort Campbell, Kentucky). Observed field data, as well as theoretical considerations, show that karst wed hydrographs are valid indicators of hydraulic properties of the associated karst aquifers, Results show matrix transmissivity (T) values to be in good agreement with values calculated using more traditional parameter estimation techniques, such as aquifer pumping tests and slug tests in matrix dominated wells. While the hydrograph analysis technique shows premise for obtaining reliable estimates of karst aquifer T with a simple, relatively inexpensive and passive method, the utility of the technique is limited in its application depending on site-specific hydrologic conditions, which include shadow submerged conduit systems located in areas with sufficient rainfall for water levels to respond to precipitation events

Modeling flow and transport in a wo-dimensional dual-permeability system with spatially variable hydraulic properties., 2000, Vogel T. Gerke H. H. Zhang R. , Van Genuchten M. T.

The Salt That Wasn't There: Mudflat Facies Equivalents to Halite of the Permian Rustler Formation, Southeastern New Mexico, 2000, Powers Dennis W. , Holt Robert M. ,
Four halite beds of the Permian Rustler Formation in southeastern New Mexico thin dramatically over short lateral distances to correlative clastic (mudstone) beds. The mudstones have long been considered residues after post-burial dissolution (subrosion) of halite, assumed to have been deposited continuously across the area. Hydraulic properties of the Culebra Dolomite Member have often been related to Rustler subrosion. In cores and three shafts at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), however, these mudstones display flat bedding, graded bedding, cross-bedding, erosional contacts, and channels filled with intraformational conglomerates. Cutans indicate early stages of soil development during subaerial exposure. Smeared intraclasts developed locally as halite was removed syndepositionally during subaerial exposure. We interpret these beds as facies formed in salt-pan or hypersaline-lagoon, transitional, and mudflat environments. Halite is distributed approximately as it was deposited. Breccia in limited areas along one halite margin indicates post-burial dissolution, and these breccias are key to identifying areas of subrosion. A depositional model accounts for observed sedimentary features of Rustler mudstones. Marked facies and thickness changes are consistent with influence by subsidence boundaries, as found in some modern continental evaporites. A subrosion model accounts for limited brecciated zones along (depositional) halite margins, but bedding observed in the mudstones would not survive 90% reduction in rock volume. Depositional margins for these halite beds will be useful in reconstructing detailed subsidence history of the Late Permian in the northern Delaware Basin. It also no longer is tenable to attribute large variations in Culebra transmissivity to Rustler subrosion

Modelling karst aquifer genesis using a coupled continuum-pipe flow model, 2000, Sauter M. , Liedl R.
This contribution presents a modeling approach for the simulation of karst aquifer genesis during geologic time periods. The approach used here is based upon a hydraulic coupling of a pipe network to a continuum in order to represent the well-known duality of karst aquifer flow systems. In addition, the growth of the karst conduits due to carbonate dissolution can be simulated so that a feedback mechanism with respect to the hydraulic properties of the pipe network is established. The model is applied to some typical scenarios of karst aquifer genesis, i. e. the evolution of a dendritic tube system and of a maze cave network. It is found that the model results can successfully reproduce the basic features of karst development, e. g. the development of maze caves in a carbonate aquifer which is covered by a sandstone caprock.

Comparisons Among Ground-Water Flow Models and Analysis of Discrepancies in Simulated Transmissivities of the Upper Floridan Aquifer in Ground-Water Flow Model Overlap Areas, 2001, Sepulveda N.

Discrepancies in simulated transmissivities of the Upper Floridan aquifer were identified in the overlap areas of seven ground-water flow models in southwest and west-central Florida. Discrepancies in transmissivity are generally the result of uncertainty and spatial variability in other aquifer properties. All ground-water flow models were used to simulate the potentiometric surface of the Upper Floridan aquifer for approximated steady-state conditions from August 1993 through July 1994 using the time-independent hydraulic properties assigned to the models. Specifiedhead and general-head boundary data used to generate boundary conditions appropriate to these models were obtained from the estimated annual average heads for the steady-state period. Water-use data and the approximated surficial aquifer system water table were updated to reflect conditions during the approximated steady-state period. Simulated heads at control points, vertical leakage rates to the Upper Floridan aquifer, and spring flows were used to analyze the discrepancies in transmissivities in model overlap areas. Factors causing transmissivity discrepancies in model overlap areas include differences among directly applied recharge rates, differences among model simulated vertical leakance values assigned to the overlaying confining unit resulting in varying leakage rates to the Upper Floridan aquifer, differences in heads and conductances used in general-head boundary cells, and differences in transmissivities assigned in the vicinity of springs. Additional factors include the grid resolution and algorithm used to approximate the heads of the surficial aquifer system when these are used as a source/sink layer. 


Hydrogeologic Characterization of a Transitional Karst Aquifer, South-Central Louisville, Kentucky, 2001, Taylor, . J.

Carbonate aquifers typically exhibit a continuum in ground-water flow that ranges between quick flow through solution conduits and solution-enlarged fractures and slow flow through fine fractures and intergranular pores. Hydraulic properties and water quality often change at different locations in carbonate aquifers depending on the degree of solutional (karst) modification—that is, the relative proportion between quick flow and slow flow. Either end member can present special difficulties to hydrogeologic and contaminant transport characterization. The transition between a quick-flow dominated karst aquifer and a slow-flow dominated fractured-carbonate aquifer is examined in this study. 


Groundwater-flow modeling in the Yucatan karstic aquifer, Mexico, 2002, Gonzalezherrera R. , Pinto I. , Gamboavargas J. ,
The current conceptual model of the unconfined karstic aquifer in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, is that a fresh-water lens floats above denser saline water that penetrates more than 40 km inland. The transmissivity of the aquifer is very high so the hydraulic gradient is very low, ranging from 7-10 mm/km through most of the northern part of the peninsula. The computer modeling program AQUIFER was used to investigate the regional groundwater flow in the aquifer. The karstified zone was modeled using the assumption that it acts hydraulically similar to a granular, porous medium. As part of the calibration, the following hypotheses were tested: (1) karstic features play an important role in the groundwater-flow system; (2) a ring or belt of sinkholes in the area is a manifestation of a zone of high transmissivity that facilitates the channeling of groundwater toward the Gulf of Mexico; and (3) the geologic features in the southern part of Yucatan influence the groundwater-flow system. The model shows that the Sierrita de Ticul fault, in the southwestern part of the study area, acts as a flow barrier and head values decline toward the northeast. The modeling also shows that the regional flow-system dynamics have not been altered despite the large number of pumping wells because the volume of water pumped is small compared with the volume of recharge, and the well-developed karst system of the region has a very high hydraulic conductivity

Characterization of the physical and hydraulic properties of the sediment in karst aquifers of the Springfield Plateau, Central Missouri, USA, 2003, Eric Wp, Carol Mw,

Matrix permeability of the confined Floridan Aquifer, Florida, USA, 2004, Budd Da, Vacher Hl,
The Upper Floridan Aquifer of peninsular Florida retains most of its depositional porosity and, as a result, is a multi-porosity aquifer: double porosity (fractured porous aquifer) downdip where the aquifer is confined, and triple porosity (karstic, fractured porous aquifer) in the updip, unconfined region. Matrix permeability in the confined region varies in the range <10(-14.41)-10(-11.1) m(2), as determined by 12,000 minipermeameter measurements on 1,210 m of slabbed core. Limestones divide into 13 textural classes and dolomites into two. Depositional facies (textural class) strongly correlates with matrix permeability. As a result, the facies architecture of the Eocene and Oligocene carbonates that compose the confined portion of the aquifer controls the lateral and vertical distribution of its matrix transmissivity. The most-permeable facies are grainstones (median k, 10(-12.4) m(2)) and sucrosic dolomites (median k, 10(-12.0) m(2)). Together, they are responsible for &SIM;73% of the matrix transmissivity of the logged cores, although they constitute only &SIM;24% of the thickness. Examination of the flow equations of fractured porous aquifers suggests that the permeability of these two facies is large enough that matrix permeability cannot be discounted in modeling the hydraulics of the double-porosity system. This conclusion likely applies to most, if not all, Cenozoic double-porosity carbonate aquifers, as average matrix and fracture permeabilities in the Floridan Aquifer are similar to other Cenozoic carbonates from around the world

An integrated linear/non-linear flow model for the conduit-fissure-pore media in the karst triple void aquifer system, 2005, Cheng Jm, Chen Cx,
Most karstic aquifer media may be characterized as the triple-void media with highly-varied hydraulic properties, including matrix pore, fissure and conduit, in which liner flow may co-exist with non-linear flow. In this paper, an attempt is made to couple linear flow with non-linear flow in a single unified flow governing equations by introducing the concept of equivalent hydraulic conductivity (EHC) and deriving a general Darcy's law for various flow. The expression of EHC in the karst conduit and fissure are also derived. The procedures of numerical implementation are demonstrated via an ideal model and a case study of karst aquifer system in the Beishan Ore Formation area, Guangxi Autonomous Region, China

Hypogene Speleogenesis: Hydrogeological and Morphogenetic Perspective., 2007, Klimchouk A. B.

This book provides an overview of the principal environments, main processes and manifestations of hypogenic speleogenesis, and refines the relevant conceptual framework. It consolidates the notion of hypogenic karst as one of the two major types of karst systems (the other being epigenetic karst). Karst is viewed in the context of regional groundwater flow systems, which provide the systematic transport and distribution mechanisms needed to produce and maintain the disequilibrium conditions necessary for speleogenesis. Hypogenic and epigenic karst systems are regularly associated with different types, patterns and segments of flow systems, characterized by distinct hydrokinetic, chemical and thermal conditions. Epigenic karst systems are predominantly local systems, and/or parts of recharge segments of intermediate and regional systems. Hypogenic karst is associated with discharge regimes of regional or intermediate flow systems.

Various styles of hypogenic caves that were previously considered unrelated, specific either to certain lithologies or chemical mechanisms are shown to share common hydrogeologic genetic backgrounds. In contrast to the currently predominant view of hypogenic speleogenesis as a specific geochemical phenomenon, the broad hydrogeological approach is adopted in this book. Hypogenic speleogenesis is defined with reference to the source of fluid recharge to the cave-forming zone, and type of flow system. It is shown that confined settings are the principal hydrogeologic environment for hypogenic speleogenesis. However, there is a general evolutionary trend for hypogenic karst systems to lose their confinement due to uplift and denudation and due to their own expansion. Confined hypogenic caves may experience substantial modification or be partially or largely overprinted under subsequent unconfined (vadose) stages, either by epigenic processes or continuing unconfined hypogenic processes, especially when H2S dissolution mechanisms are involved.

Hypogenic confined systems evolve to facilitate cross-formational hydraulic communication between common aquifers, or between laterally transmissive beds in heterogeneous soluble formations, across cave-forming zones. The latter originally represented low-permeability, separating units supporting vertical rather than lateral flow. Layered heterogeneity in permeability and breaches in connectivity between different fracture porosity structures across soluble formations are important controls over the spatial organization of evolving ascending hypogenic cave systems. Transverse hydraulic communication across lithological and porosity system boundaries, which commonly coincide with major contrasts in water chemistry, gas composition and temperature, is potent enough to drive various disequilibrium and reaction dissolution mechanisms. Hypogenic speleogenesis may operate in both carbonates and evaporites, but also in some clastic rocks with soluble cement. Its main characteristic is the lack of genetic relationship with groundwater recharge from the overlying or immediately adjacent surface. It may not be manifest at the surface at all, receiving some expression only during later stages of uplift and denudation. In many instances, hypogenic speleogenesis is largely climate- independent.

There is a specific hydrogeologic mechanism inherent in hypogenic transverse speleogenesis (restricted input/output) that suppresses the positive flow-dissolution feedback and speleogenetic competition in an initial flowpath network. This accounts for the development of more pervasive channeling and maze patterns in confined settings where appropriate structural prerequisites exist. As forced-flow regimes in confined settings are commonly sluggish, buoyancy dissolution driven by either solute or thermal density differences is important in hypogenic speleogenesis.

In identifying hypogenic caves, the primary criteria are morphological (patterns and meso-morphology) and hydrogeological (hydrostratigraphic position and recharge/flow pattern viewed from the perspective of the evolution of a regional groundwater flow system). Elementary patterns typical for hypogenic caves are network mazes, spongework mazes, irregular chambers and isolated passages or crude passage clusters. They often combine to form composite patterns and complex 3- D structures. Hypogenic caves are identified in various geological and tectonic settings, and in various lithologies. Despite these variations, resultant caves demonstrate a remarkable similarity in cave patterns and meso-morphology, which strongly suggests that the hydrogeologic settings were broadly identical in their formation. Presence of the characteristic morphologic suites of rising flow with buoyancy components is one of the most decisive criteria for identifying hypogenic speleogenesis, which is much more widespread than was previously presumed. Hypogenic caves include many of the largest, by integrated length and by volume, documented caves in the world.

The refined conceptual framework of hypogenic speleogenesis has broad implications in applied fields and promises to create a greater demand for karst and cave expertise by practicing hydrogeology, geological engineering, economic geology, and mineral resource industries. Any generalization of the hydrogeology of karst aquifers, as well as approaches to practical issues and resource prospecting in karst regions, should take into account the different nature and characteristics of hypogenic and epigenic karst systems. Hydraulic properties of karst aquifers, evolved in response to hypogenic speleogenesis, are characteristically different from epigenic karst aquifers. In hypogenic systems, cave porosity is roughly an order of magnitude greater, and areal coverage of caves is five times greater than in epigenic karst systems. Hypogenic speleogenesis commonly results in more isotropic conduit permeability pervasively distributed within highly karstified areas measuring up to several square kilometers. Although being vertically and laterally integrated throughout conduit clusters, hypogenic systems, however, do not transmit flow laterally for considerable distances. Hypogenic speleogenesis can affect regional subsurface fluid flow by greatly enhancing initially available cross- formational permeability structures, providing higher local vertical hydraulic connections between lateral stratiform pathways for groundwater flow, and creating discharge segments of flow systems, the areas of low- fluid potential recognizable at the regional scale. Discharge of artesian karst springs, which are modern outlets of hypogenic karst systems, is often very large and steady, being moderated by the high karstic storage developed in the karstified zones and by the hydraulic capacity of an entire artesian system. Hypogenic speleogenesis plays an important role in conditioning related processes such as hydrothermal mineralization, diagenesis, and hydrocarbon transport and entrapment.

An appreciation of the wide occurrence of hypogenic karst systems, marked specifics in their origin, development and characteristics, and their scientific and practical importance, calls for revisiting and expanding the current predominantly epigenic paradigm of karst and cave science.


Karst flash flooding in a Mediterranean karst, the example of Fontaine de Nîmes, 2008, Maré, Chal J. C. Ladouche B. Dö, Rfliger N.

Karst flash flooding, identified as one of the hazards in karst terrains, is directly linked to the structure and hydraulic properties of karst aquifers. Due to the characteristics of flow within karst aquifers, characterized by a dual flow ? diffuse flow within fissured limestone and conduit flow within karst conduits networks ? flash flooding may be important in volume and dynamics. Such phenomenon may cause serious damages including loss of lives, as it occurred on 3rd October 1988 in Nîmes (Gard, South France). Flash floods there have been considered to be the result of very intensive rainfall events conjugated to runoff due to thegeomorphologic context of the city located down hill. However, preliminary results of recent studies of the hydrologic behaviour of groundwater and surface water for a specific event (September 2005) show that the karst plays an important role in the flood genesis. The main characteristics of the Nîmes karst system leading to karst flash flooding are presented in this paper. A methodology comprising modelling of the karst system allowed proposing simple warning thresholds for various part of the karst (water level threshold for the karst conduits and cumulative rainfall threshold for the overflowing fissured karst). These thresholds can be included in the flash flood warning system of the Nîmes city.


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