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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 irrigation is the artificial watering of fields for crop production [16].?

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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 hydrological conditions (Keyword) returned 33 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 33
HYDROGEOLOGY OF GRAND CAYMAN, BRITISH-WEST-INDIES - A KARSTIC DOLOSTONE AQUIFER, 1992, Ng K. C. , Jones B. , Beswick R. ,
On Grand Cayman, freshwater bodies present in the Bluff Formation are typically small and occur as thin lenses floating on top of dense saline water. Evaluation of the water resource potential of these freshwater lenses is difficult because of their variable hydrological conditions, complex paleohydrogeology and aquifer heterogeneity. Secondary porosity created by preferential dissolution of aragonitic fossil components is common. Open fissures and joints developed under tectonic stress and karst development associated with sea-level fluctuations are, however, the two most important causes of porosity and permeability in the aquifers on Grand Cayman. Fracture and karst porosity control the lens occurrence by: (1) acting as avenues for the intrusion of seawater or upward migration of saline water; (2) acting as recharge focal points; (3) enhancing hydrodynamic dispersion; (4) defining lens geometry; (5) facilitating carbonate dissolution along joints and fissures. A clear understanding of the hydrological and geological conditions is important in developing small lenses in a setting similar to that on Grand Cayman. This pragmatic approach can help identify the optimum location of the well field and avoid areas particularly susceptible to saline water intrusion

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.


Results of a study about tracing tests transfer functions variability in karst environment, 1997, Doerfliger N.
Artificial tracing tests are often used to simulate migration of a point-source contaminant under various hydrological conditions in karst hydrogeological impact assessment or to define groundwater protection zones. Due to economic reasons, it is rather difficult to carry out adequate tracing tests to determine what are the possible recovery curves over range of discharges at the outlet, are the tracer test results representative of the spring watercatchment being protected ? Our objective was to characterize the tracing-systems in a karst environment by a mean transfer function; such transfer function may be used to predict the breakthrough curve of a point-source contaminant taking into account an error factor. A Jura mean transfer function with + and -95% interval confidence functions can be established and differentiated from the Alps mean transfer function. The use of this transfer function to predict the response of a point-source contaminant requires considerations of water catchment size, thickness or the aquifer and discharge at the outlet. The results of this variability analysis confirm that the transfer functions by themselves may not be used to protect the whole karst spring water catchment, as this one is affected by the heterogeneity of the physical parameters. At the scale of a water catchment, transfer functions are not the major tool to protect the groundwater. But with a multiattribute approach of vulnerability mapping, transfer functions contribute to the development of groundwater protection strategy.

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.

Combustion Oil pollution of Pazinska Jama - a major Ecological incident in the Karst., 1999, Kuhta M.
The pollution of Pazincica river occurred in August 1997 as a consequence of uncontrolled leakage of vast quantities of oil from a ruptured pipe that connects the oil reservoir and the oil combustion facility of the factory KTI "Pazinka". The oil together with waste waters from the factory first discharged into the watercourse Saltarija and then flowed into the downstream part of Pazincica River. The spilled combustion oil was a threat to the groundwater of the wider region of Istria so extensive and intensive measures were undertaken for its removal. Within these prevention measures two speleological investigations of the Pazincica ponor (Pazinska jama- Foiba di Pisino) were undertaken. It was determined that due to favourable hydrological conditions (the discharge of Pazincica river was 50 l/s) and the fast reaction time of the intervention, only small quantities of oil managed to enter the ponor. On the other hand approximately 168 m3 of combustion oil was detached from the surface watercourse. Unfortunately the speleological examination of the ponor determined a high degree of underground pollution caused by discharge of waste waters from the city of Pazin and its industries into the Pazincica River. Also traces of past unregistered combustion oil pollution were found within the cavern.

Karst Water Research in Slovenia, 2000, Kranjc, Andrej

About 43% of the territory of Slovenia is karst and more than 50% of its inhabitants are supplied with water from karst. Karst in Slovenia is divided into Dinaric, Alpine and transitional karst. Each of these types bears its own hydrological properties. Already in the antique literature underground water connections are mentioned. Water tracing in the Slovene Karst is among the first modern tracing research. Karst water research may be divided into several periods: (1) aimed at determining underground water connections between swallow-holes and springs (the first half of the 20th century), (2) to achieve combined water tracing tests (since 1970), (3) to define karst watersheds, (4) to study water percolation through the epikarst and the vadose zone (since 1980). In particular, the researches of karst water quality must be emphasised, as well as the study of karst hydrology as a phenomenon in itself. At the end a logical question appears: what are the future perspectives of karst water studies in Slovenia? Water tracing of not yet fully ascertained connections or repeating the water tracing tests under different hydrological conditions; a detailed determination of watersheds and water flow with the help of tracers directly injected underground; to develop water tracing techniques and methods; to study in the field percolation water behaviour; modelling; to theoretically determine physical laws. Special attention must also be paid to education.


Forecasting of turbid floods in a coastal, chalk karstic drain using an artificial neural network, 2001, Beaudeau P, Leboulanger T, Lacroix M, Hanneton S, Wang Hq,
Water collected at the Yport (eastern Normandy, France) Drinking Water Supply well, situated on a karst cavity, is affected by surface runoff-related turbidity spikes that occur mainly in winter, In order to forecast turbidity, precipitation was measured at the center of the catchment basin over two years, while water level and turbidity were monitored at the web site. Application of the approach of Box and Jenkins (1976) leads to a linear model that can accurately predict major floods about eight hours in advance, providing an estimate of turbidity variation on the basis of precipitation and mater level variation over the previous 24 hours. However, this model is intrinsically unable to deal with (1) nonstationary changes in the time process caused by seasonal variations of in ground surface characteristics or tidal influence within the downstream past of the aquifer, and (2) nonlinear phenomena such as the threshold for the onset of runoff. This results in many false-positive signals of turbidity in summer. Here we present an alternative composite model combining a conceptual runoff submodel with a feedforward artificial neural network (ANN), This composite model allows us to deal with meaningful variables, the actioneffect of which on turbidity is complex, nonlinear, temporally variable and often poorly described. Predictions are markedly improved, i.e,, the variance of the target variable explained by 12-hour forward predictions increases from 28% to 74% and summer inaccuracies are considerably lowered. The ANN can adjust itself to new hydrological conditions, provided that on-line learning is maintained

The speleological diving explorations of the river Slunjcica spring., 2001, Kuhta M.
The spring of the river Sluncica is an upward karst spring formed along the tectonical contact of permeable Lower Cretaceous limestones and impermeable Middle Triassic dolomites. During the speleological diving study the spring was investigated and topographically mapped. The bottom of the spring depression is located at the depth of 26.3 m and the largest depth of the object was determine in a lateral channel at 28.2 m. After detailed investigation, it can be concluded that the spring has no significant submerged cave channel. The intermittent occurrences of high quantities of water at the spring of the Slunjcica River are supplied through several short fissure channels and through collapsed rock blocks and the two depressions on the floor. The investigations resulted in the determination of seven locations were concentrated flow is likely to occur. We estimate that the cave channel located on the southwestern wall of the spring contributes most in this sense. The spelological diving studies were performed by the team of the Speleological department of HPD "Zeljeznicar", during September 1997 with favourable hydrological conditions and the low yield of 1 m3/s.

Efficient hydrologic tracer-test design for tracer-mass estimation and sample-collection frequency, 2. Experimental results, 2002, Field Ms,
Effective tracer-test design requires that the likely results be predicted in advance of test initiation to ensure tracer-test success. EHTD-predicted breakthrough curves (BTCs) for various hydrological conditions were compared with measured BTCs obtained from actual tracer tests. The hydrological conditions for the tracer tests ranged from flowing streams to porous-media systems. Tracer tests evaluated included flowing streams tracer tests conducted in small and large surface-water streams, a karst solution conduit, and a glacial-meltwater stream and porous-media systems conducted as natural-gradient, forced-gradient, injection-withdrawal, and recirculation tracer tests. Comparisons between the actual tracer tests and the predicted results showed that tracer breakthrough, hydraulic characteristics, and sample-collection frequency may be forecasted sufficiently well in most instances as to facilitate good tracer-test design. Comparisons were generally improved by including tracer decay and/or retardation in the simulations. Inclusion of tracer decay in the simulations also tended to require an increase in set average tracer concentration to facilitate matching peak concentrations in the measured BTCs, however. Both nonreactive tracer and reactive tracer predictions produced recommended sample-collection frequencies that would adequately define the actual BTCs, but estimated tracer-mass estimates were less precise

Karst geoindicators of environmental change: The case of Lithuania, 2002, Taminskas J. , Marcinkevicius V. ,
Karst is the result of an epigenetic geomorphologic process that may involve rapid changes to landscapes and their physical properties, with the newly formed relief complicating regional economic development and the protection of nature. The intensity of the karst process is closely linked with the circulation of surface and groundwater, so that the parameters characterising water circulation and chemical denudation can serve as indicators of the intensity of karstification. In this article, we describe the North Lithuanian karst region, and evaluate the influence of climate and hydrological conditions on karstification. Upper Devonian gypsum and dolomites occur beneath the Quaternary sediments here. Sinkholes frequently appear where the latter are particularly thin and underlain by gypsum, suggesting that karstification is intensifying. This is perhaps related to climate change expressed by an increase in mean annual temperature and runoff, especially during warm winters. To identify the main determinants of the karst processes, monitoring was carried out between 1994 and 1999, and data on river runoff and water chemistry from 1962 to 1999 were examined. From 1978 to 1999, the mean chemical denudation rate in the active gypsum karst zone was 30% higher than from 1962 to 1977, a change mirrored by the increased total volume of new sinkholes that appeared in the 1980s and 1990s. We have calculated the rate of chemical denudation and sink-hole formation in the last four decades and discuss karst activitiy as a geoindicator of environmental change

Underground Water Flow from the Tržiščica Sinking Stream (SE Slovenia), 2002, Kogovš, Ek Janja, Petrič, Metka

A tracing test with injection of uranine in the sinking stream Tr¾i¹èica (SE Slovenia) was carried out at the hydrological conditions of recession from medium to low waters. Concentrated flow towards the springs Tominèev studenec, Javornikov izvir and Debeljakov izvir near the village Dvor in the Krka valley was proved. Apparent flow velocities between 2.4 and 4.6 cm/s were obtained, and the share of recovered tracer was estimated to 2/3 of the injected amount. In the Podpe¹ka jama cave the tracer in lower concentrations was detected only after heavy rain occurred after two months of low water. The apparent flow velocity of 0.1 cm/s was calculated. Obtained results, together with the outcomes of the previous tracing tests, indicate that hydrological conditions significantly influence the underground water flow from the Tr¾i¹èica sinking stream.


The Sahara-East Mediterranean dust and climate connection revealed by strontium and uranium isotopes in a Jerusalem speleothem, 2004, Frumkin A, Stein M,
This paper explores the potential of Sr and U isotope systems in speleothems as tracers of eolian dust transport and hydrological conditions. The study focuses on a speleothem from Jerusalem spanning the past 220 kyr. This speleothem provides a precisely dated record of dust flux from the Sahara to the East Mediterranean. Enhanced dust flux and Terra Rossa soil development are reflected by elevated 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the speleothem (0.7082-0.7086), while lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios (~0.7078) indicate higher contribution of the local bedrock due to low dust flux and low soil accumulation. The strontium isotope system in the speleothem is a robust monitor of the Sahara monsoon-modulated climate, since dust uptake is related to development or reduction in vegetation cover of Sahara soil. The [234U/238U] activity ratios in the speleothem range between 1.12 and 1.0. The high activity values may indicate selective removal of 234U from the soil while the low values converge to the bedrock. The migration of 234U to the cave reflects mainly the regional hydrological conditions that are modulated by the North Atlantic-Mediterranean climate system. Thus, the speleothem provides a combined record of the monsoon-North Atlantic climatic systems. Long-term stability in glacial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70830.0001 over the past 220 kyr) suggests an overall similarity in eolian dust sources, and uniformity in the synoptic conditions that dominate the dust storm tracks during glacial periods

Concepts and models of dolomitization: a critical reappraisal, 2004, Machel Hans G. ,
Despite intensive research over more than 200 years, the origin of dolomite, the mineral and the rock, remains subject to considerable controversy. This is partly because some of the chemical and/or hydrological conditions of dolomite formation are poorly understood, and because petrographic and geochemical data commonly permit more than one genetic interpretation. This paper is a summary and critical appraisal of the state of the art in dolomite research, highlighting its major advances and controversies, especially over the last 20-25 years. The thermodynamic conditions of dolomite formation have been known quite well since the 1970s, and the latest experimental studies essentially confirm earlier results. The kinetics of dolomite formation are still relatively poorly understood, however. The role of sulphate as an inhibitor to dolomite formation has been overrated. Sulphate appears to be an inhibitor only in relatively low-sulphate aqueous solutions, and probably only indirectly. In sulphate-rich solutions it may actually promote dolomite formation. Mass-balance calculations show that large water/rock ratios are required for extensive dolomitization and the formation of massive dolostones. This constraint necessitates advection, which is why all models for the genesis of massive dolostones are essentially hydrological models. The exceptions are environments where carbonate muds or limestones can be dolomitized via diffusion of magnesium from seawater rather than by advection. Replacement of shallow-water limestones, the most common form of dolomitization, results in a series of distinctive textures that form in a sequential manner with progressive degrees of dolomitization, i.e. matrix-selective replacement, overdolomitization, formation of vugs and moulds, emplacement of up to 20 vol% calcium sulphate in the case of seawater dolomitization, formation of two dolomite populations, and -- in the case of advanced burial -- formation of saddle dolomite. In addition, dolomite dissolution, including karstification, is to be expected in cases of influx of formation waters that are dilute, acidic, or both. Many dolostones, especially at greater depths, have higher porosities than limestones, and this may be the result of several processes, i.e. mole-per-mole replacement, dissolution of unreplaced calcite as part of the dolomitization process, dissolution of dolomite due to acidification of the pore waters, fluid mixing (mischungskorrosion), and thermochemical sulphate reduction. There also are several processes that destroy porosity, most commonly dolomite and calcium sulphate cementation. These processes vary in importance from place to place. For this reason, generalizations about the porosity and permeability development of dolostones are difficult, and these parameters have to be investigated on a case-by-case basis. A wide range of geochemical methods may be used to characterize dolomites and dolostones, and to decipher their origin. The most widely used methods are the analysis and interpretation of stable isotopes (O, C), Sr isotopes, trace elements, and fluid inclusions. Under favourable circumstances some of these parameters can be used to determine the direction of fluid flow during dolomitization. The extent of recrystallization in dolomites and dolostones is much disputed, yet extremely important for geochemical interpretations. Dolomites that originally form very close to the surface and from evaporitic brines tend to recrystallize with time and during burial. Those dolomites that originally form at several hundred to a few thousand metres depth commonly show little or no evidence of recrystallization. Traditionally, dolomitization models in near-surface and shallow diagenetic settings are defined and/or based on water chemistry, but on hydrology in burial diagenetic settings. In this paper, however, the various dolomite models are placed into appropriate diagenetic settings. Penecontemporaneous dolomites form almost syndepositionally as a normal consequence of the geochemical conditions prevailing in the environment of deposition. There are many such settings, and most commonly they form only a few per cent of microcrystalline dolomite(s). Many, if not most, penecontemporaneous dolomites appear to have formed through the mediation of microbes. Virtually all volumetrically large, replacive dolostone bodies are post-depositional and formed during some degree of burial. The viability of the many models for dolomitization in such settings is variable. Massive dolomitization by freshwater-seawater mixing is a myth. Mixing zones tend to form caves without or, at best, with very small amounts of dolomite. The role of coastal mixing zones with respect to dolomitization may be that of a hydrological pump for seawater dolomitization. Reflux dolomitization, most commonly by mesohaline brines that originated from seawater evaporation, is capable of pervasively dolomitizing entire carbonate platforms. However, the extent of dolomitization varies strongly with the extent and duration of evaporation and flooding, and with the subsurface permeability distribution. Complete dolomitization of carbonate platforms appears possible only under favourable circumstances. Similarly, thermal convection in open half-cells (Kohout convection), most commonly by seawater or slightly modified seawater, can form massive dolostones under favourable circumstances, whereas thermal convection in closed cells cannot. Compaction flow cannot form massive dolostones, unless it is funnelled, which may be more common than generally recognized. Neither topography driven flow nor tectonically induced ( squeegee-type') flow is likely to form massive dolostones, except under unusual circumstances. Hydrothermal dolomitization may occur in a variety of subsurface diagenetic settings, but has been significantly overrated. It commonly forms massive dolostones that are localized around faults, but regional or basin-wide dolomitization is not hydrothermal. The regionally extensive dolostones of the Bahamas (Cenozoic), western Canada and Ireland (Palaeozoic), and Israel (Mesozoic) probably formed from seawater that was pumped' through these sequences by thermal convection, reflux, funnelled compaction, or a combination thereof. For such platform settings flushed with seawater, geochemical data and numerical modelling suggest that most dolomites form(ed) at temperatures around 50-80 {degrees}C commensurate with depths of 500 to a maximum of 2000 m. The resulting dolostones can be classified both as seawater dolomites and as burial dolomites. This ambiguity is a consequence of the historical evolution of dolomite research

The Sahara - East Mediterranean dust and climate connection revealed by strontium and uranium isotopes in a Jerusalem speleothem, 2004, Frumkin, A. , And Stein, M.
This paper explores the potential of Sr and U isotope systems in speleothems as tracers of eolian dust transport and hydrological conditions. The study focuses on a speleothem from Jerusalem spanning the past 220 kyr. This speleothem provides a precisely dated record of dust flux from the Sahara to the East Mediterranean. Enhanced dust flux and Terra Rossa soil development is reflected by elevated 87Sr/86Sr ratios in the speleothem (0.7082-6), while lower 87Sr/86Sr ratios (~0.7078) indicate higher contribution of the local bedrock due to low dust flux and low soil accumulation. The strontium isotope system in the speleothem is a robust monitor of the Sahara monsoon-modulated climate, since dust uptake is related to development or reduction in vegetation cover of Sahara soil. The [234U/238U] activity ratios in the speleothem range between 1.12 and 1.0. The high activity values may indicate selective removal of 234U from the soil while the low values converge to the bedrock. The migration of 234U to the cave reflects mainly the regional hydrological conditions that are modulated by the North Atlantic-Mediterranean climate system. Thus, the speleothem provides a combined record of the Monsoon - North Atlantic climatic systems. Long-term stability in glacial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (0.70831 over the past 220 kyr) suggests an overall similarity in eolian dust-sources, and uniformity in the synoptic conditions that dominate the dust storm tracks during glacial periods.

Morphometry and distribution of isolated caves as a guide for phreatic and confined paleohydrological conditions, 2005, Frumkin A, Fischhendler I,

Isolated caves are a special cave type common in most karst terrains, formed by prolonged slow water flow where aggressivity is locally boosted. The morphometry and distribution of isolated caves are used here to reconstruct the pateohydrology of a karstic mountain range. Within a homogenous karstic rock sequence, two main types of isolated caves are distinguished, and each is associated with a special hydrogeologic setting: maze caves form by rising water in the confined zone of the aquifer, under the Mt. Scopus Group (Israel) confinement, while chamber caves are formed in phreatic conditions, apparently by lateral flow mixing with a vadose input from above. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved


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