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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 corrosive is property of aggressive water.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for hydrological cycle (Keyword) returned 10 results for the whole karstbase:
Dissolution spcifique la priphrie des Grands Causses franais, 1989, Maurin, Y.
Specific denudation on the periphery of the Great Causses (France) - This paper deals with the results of the specific denudation on the carbonate formations, on the western border of the Great Causses of France: Can de lHospitalet, Can de Tardonenche, le Lempezou, Causse des Bonbons, Valdonnez basin. The results are obtained form the hydrochemical measurements taken form the hydrological cycles of 1982-1983. These results are then compared with those of other local and regional karsts. They show that there is important erosion linked to a well-developed endokarst. This situation contrasts with a deficiency of exokarst phenomena.

Inverse modeling of the hydrological and the hydrochemical behavior of hydrosystems: Characterization of karst system functioning, 2001, Pinault J. L. , Plagnes V. , Aquilina L. , Bakalowicz M. ,
Inverse modeling of mass transfer characterizes the dynamic processes affecting the function of karst systems and can be used to identify karst properties. An inverse model is proposed to calculate unit hydrographs as well as impulse response of fluxes from rainfall-runoff or rainfall-flux data, the purpose of which is hydrograph separation. Contrary to what hydrologists have been doing for years, hydrograph separation is carried out by using transfer functions in their entirety, which enables accurate separation of fluxes, as was explained in the companion paper [Pinault et al., this issue]. The unit hydrograph as well as impulse response of fluxes is decomposed into a quick and a slow component, and, consequently, the effective rainfall is decomposed into two parts, one contributing to the quick flow (or flux) and the other contributing to the slow flow generation. This approach is applied to seven French karstic aquifers located on the Larzac plateau in the Grands Causses area (in the south of France). Both hydrodynamical and hydrogeochemical data have been recorded from these springs over several hydrological cycles. For modeling purposes, karst properties can be represented by the impulse responses of flow and flux of dissolved species. The heterogeneity of aquifers is translated to time-modulated flow and transport at the outlet. Monitoring these fluxes enables the evaluation of slow and quick components in the hydrograph. The quick component refers to the 'flush flow' effect and results from fast infiltration in the karst conduit network when connection is established between the infiltration and phreatic zones, inducing an increase in water head. This component reflects flood events where flow behavior is nonlinear and is described by a very short transfer function, which increases and decreases according to water head. The slow component consists of slow and fast infiltration, underground runoff, storage in annex-to-drain systems, and discharge from the saturated zone. These components can be further subdivided by measuring chemical responses at the karst outlet. Using Such natural tracers enables the slow component of the unit hydrograph to be separated into preevent water, i.e., water of the reservoir and event water, i.e., water whose origin can be related to a particular rainfall event. These measurements can be used to determine the rate of water renewal. Since the preevent water hydrograph is produced by stored water when pushed by a rainfall event and the event water hydrograph reflects rainwater transfer, separating the two components can yield insights into the characteristics of karst aquifers, the modes of infiltration, and the mechanisms involved in karstification, as well as the degree of organization of the aquifer

Coastal karst springs in the Mediterranean basin : study of the mechanisms of saline pollution at the Almyros spring (Crete), observations and modelling, 2002, Arfib B, De Marsily G, Ganoulis J,
Variations in salinity and flow rate in the aerial, naturally salty spring of Almyros of Heraklion on Crete were monitored during two hydrological cycles. We describe the functioning of the coastal karstic system of the Almyros and show the influence of the duality of the flow in the karst (conduits and fractured matrix) on the quality of the water resource in the coastal area. A mechanism of saltwater intrusion into this highly heterogeneous system is proposed and validated with a hydraulic mathematical model, which describes the observations remarkably well. Introduction. - Fresh groundwater is a precious resource in many coastal regions, for drinking water supply, either to complement surface water resources, or when such resources are polluted or unavailable in the dry season. But coastal groundwater is fragile, and its exploitation must be made with care to prevent saltwater intrusion as a result of withdrawal, for any aquifer type, porous, fractured or karstic. In karstic zones, the problem is very complex because of the heterogeneous nature of the karst, which makes it difficult to use the concept of representative elementary volume developed for porous or densely fractured systems. The karstic conduits focus the major part of the flow in preferential paths, where the water velocity is high. In coastal systems, these conduits have also an effect on the distribution of the saline intrusion. As was shown e.g. by Moore et al. [1992] and Howard and Mullings [1996], both freshwater and salt-water flow along the fractures and conduits to reach the mixing zone, or the zone where these fluids are superposed in a dynamic equilibrium because of their differences in density ; but the dynamics of such a saltwater intrusion are generally unknown and not represented in models. Such coastal karstic systems are intensely studied at this moment in the Mediterranean region [Gilli, 1999], both as above sea-level or underwater springs, for potential use in areas where this resource would be of great value for economic development. This article discusses the freshwater-saltwater exchange mechanisms in the karstic aquifer of the Almyros of Heraklion aquifer (Crete) and explains the salinity variations observed in the spring. First, the general hydrogeology of the study site is described, then the functioning of the spring : a main conduit drains the freshwater over several kilometres and passes at depth through a zone where seawater is naturally present. The matrix-conduit exchanges are the result of pressure differences between the two media. These processes are represented in a mathematical model that confirms their relevance. General hydrogeology of the studied site. - The karstic coastal system of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete) covers 300 km2 in the Ida massif whose borders are a main detachment fault, and the Sea of Crete in the north, the Psiloritis massif (highest summit at 2,456 m) in the south and west, and the collapsed basin of Heraklion filled in by mainly neo-geneous marl sediments in the east. The watershed basin consists of the two lower units of characteristic overthrust formations of Crete (fig. 1) : the Cretaceous Plattenkalk and the Cretaceous Tripolitza limestones. The two limestone formations are locally separated by interbedded flysch or phyllade units that form an impervious layer [Bonneau et al., 1977 ; Fassoulas, 1999] and may lead to different flow behaviour within the two karstic formations. Neo-tectonic activity has dissected these formations with large faults and fractures. The present-day climate in Crete is of Mediterranean mountain type, with heavy rain storms and snow on the summits in winter. Rainfall is unevenly distributed over the year, with 80 % of the annual total between October and March and a year-to-year average of 1,370 mm. The flow rate of the spring is high during the whole hydrologic cycle, with a minimum in summer on the order of 3 m3.s-1 and peak flow in winter reaching up to 40 m3.s -1. The water is brackish during low flow, up to a chloride content of 6 g.l-1, i.e. 23 % of seawater, but it is fresh during floods, when the flow rate exceeds 15 m3.s-1. During the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 hydrologic cycles, the water was fresh during 14 and 31 days, respectively. The water temperature is high and varies very little during the year (see table I). In the areas of Keri and Tilissos (fig. 1), immediately south of the spring, the city of Heraklion extracts water from the karstic system through a series of 15 wells with depth reaching 50 to 100 m below sea level. Initially, when the wells were drilled, the water was fresh, but nowadays the salinity rises progressively, but unequally from well to well (fig. 2). The relatively constant temperatures and salinities of the wells, during the hydrological cycle, contrast with the large salinity variations at the spring (fig. 2 and table I). They show that the karstic system is complex and comprises different compartments, where each aquifer unit reacts to its individual pressures (pumping, rainfall) according to its own hydrodynamic characteristics [Arfib et al., 2000]. The Almyros spring seems disconnected from the surrounding aquifer and behaves differently from that which feeds the wells (upper Tripolitza limestone). It is recharged by fresh water from the mountains, which descends to depths where it probably acquires its salinity. The spring would thus be the largest resource of the area, if it was possible to prevent its pollution by seawater. A general functioning sketch is proposed (fig. 3), which includes the different geological units of interest. Identification of the functioning of the Almyros spring through monitoring of physical and chemical parameters. - The functioning of the aquifer system of the Almyros spring was analysed by monitoring, over two hydrological cycles, the level of the spring, the discharge, the electric conductivity and the temperature recorded at a 30 min time interval. In the centre of the watershed basin, a meteorological station at an altitude of 800 m measures and records at a 30 min time interval the air temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, wind velocity and direction ; moreover, an automatic rain gauge is installed in the northern part of the basin at an altitude of 500 m. The winter floods follow the rhythm of the rainfall with strong flow-rate variations. In contrast, the summer and autumn are long periods of drought (fig. 7). The flow rate increases a few hours after each rainfall event ; the water salinity decreases in inverse proportion to the flow rate a few hours to a few days later. Observations showed that the water volume discharged at the Almyros spring between the beginning of the flow rate increase and the beginning of the salinity decrease is quite constant, around 770,000 m3 (fig. 4) for any value of the flow rate, of the salinity and also of the initial or final rainfall rates. To determine this constant volume was of the upmost importance when analyzing the functioning of the Almyros spring. The lag illustrates the differences between the pressure wave that moves almost instantaneously through the karst conduit and causes an immediate flow rate increase after rainfall and the movement of the water molecules (transfer of matter) that arrives with a time lag proportionate to the length of the travel distance. The variation of the salinity with the flow rate acts as a tracer and gives a direct indication of the distance between the outlet and the seawater entrance point into the conduit. In the case of the Almyros, the constant volume of expelled water indicates that sea-water intrusion occurs in a portion of the conduit situated several kilometres away from the spring (table II), probably inland, with no subsequent sideways exchange in the part of the gallery leading up to the spring. As the lag between the flow rate and the salinity recorded at the spring is constant, one can correct the salinity value by taking, at each time step, with a given flow rate, the salinity value measured after the expulsion of 770,000 m3 at the spring, which transforms the output of the system so as to put the pressure waves and the matter transfer in phase [Arfib, 2001]. After this correction, the saline flux at the spring, equal to the flow rate multiplied by the corrected salinity, indicates the amount of sea-water in the total flow. This flux varies in inverse proportion to the total flow rate in the high-flow period and the beginning of the low-flow period, thereby demonstrating that the salinity decrease in the spring is not simply a dilution effect (fig. 5). The relationship that exists between flow rate and corrected salinity provides the additional information needed to build the conceptual model of the functioning of the part of the Almyros of Heraklion aquifer that communicates with the spring. Freshwater from the Psiloritis mountains feeds the Almyros spring. It circulates through a main karst conduit that descends deep into the aquifer and crosses a zone naturally invaded by seawater several kilometers from the spring. The seawater enters the conduit and the resulting brackish water is then transported to the spring without any further change in salinity. The conduit-matrix and matrix-conduit exchanges are governed by the head differences in the two media. Mathematical modelling of seawater intrusion into a karst conduit Method. - The functioning pattern exposed above shows that such a system cannot be treated as an equivalent porous medium and highlights the influence of heterogeneous structures such as karst conduits on the quantity and quality of water resources. Our model is called SWIKAC (Salt Water Intrusion in Karst Conduits), written in Matlab(R). It is a 1 D mixing-cell type model with an explicit finite-difference calculation. This numerical method has already been used to simulate flow and transport in porous [e.g. Bajracharya and Barry, 1994 ; Van Ommen, 1985] and karst media [e.g. Bauer et al., 1999 ; Liedl and Sauter, 1998 ; Tezcan, 1998]. It reduces the aquifer to a single circular conduit surrounded by a matrix equivalent to a homogeneous porous medium where pressure and salinity conditions are in relation with sea-water. The conduit is fed by freshwater at its upstream end and seawater penetrates through its walls over the length L (fig. 6) at a rate given by an equation based on the Dupuit-Forchheimer solution and the method of images. The model calculates, in each mesh of the conduit and at each time step, the head in conditions of turbulent flow with the Darcy-Weisbach equation. The head loss coefficient {lambda} is calculated by Louis' formula for turbulent flow of non-parallel liquid streams [Jeannin, 2001 ; Jeannin and Marechal, 1995]. The fitting of the model is intended to simulate the chloride concentration at the spring for a given matrix permeability (K), depth (P) and conduit diameter (D) while varying its length (L) and its relative roughness (kr). The spring flow rates are the measured ones ; at present, the model is not meant to predict the flow rate of the spring but only to explain its salinity variations. Results and discussion. - The simulations of chloride concentrations were made in the period from September 1999 to May 2001. The depth of the horizontal conduit where matrix-conduit exchanges occur was tested down to 800 m below sea level. The diameter of the conduit varied between 10 and 20 m, which is larger than that observed by divers close to the spring but plausible for the seawater intrusion zone. The average hydraulic conductivity of the equivalent continuous matrix was estimated at 10-4 m/s. A higher value (10-3 m/s) was tested and found to be possible since the fractured limestone in the intrusion zone may locally be more permeable but a smaller value (10-5 m/s) produces an unrealistic length (L) of the saline intrusion zone (over 15 km). For each combination of hydraulic conductivity, diameter and depth there is one set of L (length) and kr (relative roughness) calibration parameters. All combinations for a depth of 400 m or more produce practically equivalent results, close to the measured values. When the depth of the conduit is less than 400 m, the simulated salinity is always too high. Figure 7 shows results for a depth of 500 m, a diameter of 15 m and a hydraulic conductivity of 10-4 m/s. The length of the saltwater intrusion zone is then 1,320 m, 4,350 m away from the spring and the relative roughness coefficient is 1.1. All the simulations (table II) need a very high relative roughness coefficient which may be interpreted as an equivalent coefficient that takes into account the heavy head losses by friction and the variations of the conduit dimensions which, locally, cause great head losses. The model simulates very well the general shape of the salinity curve and the succession of high water levels in the Almyros spring but two periods are poorly described due to the simplicity of the model. They are (1) the period following strong freshwater floods, where the model does not account for the expulsion of freshwater outside the conduit and the return of this freshwater which dilutes the tail of the flood and (2) the end of the low-water period when the measured flux of chlorides falls unexpectedly (fig. 5), which might be explained by density stratification phenomena of freshwater-saltwater in the conduit (as observed in the karst gallery of Port-Miou near Cassis, France [Potie and Ricour, 1974]), an aspect that the model does not take into account. Conclusions. - The good results produced by the model confirm the proposed functioning pattern of the spring. The regulation of the saline intrusion occurs over a limited area at depth, through the action of the pressure differences between the fractured limestone continuous matrix with its natural saline intrusion and a karst conduit carrying water that is first fresh then brackish up to the Almyros spring. The depth of the horizontal conduit is more than 400 m. An attempt at raising the water level at the spring, with a concrete dam, made in 1987, which was also modelled, indicates that the real depth is around 500 m but the poor quality of these data requires new tests to be made before any firm conclusions on the exact depth of the conduit can be drawn. The Almyros spring is a particularly favorable for observing the exchanges in the conduit network for which it is the direct outlet but it is not representative of the surrounding area. To sustainably manage the water in this region, it is essential to change the present working of the wells in order to limit the irreversible saline intrusion into the terrain of the upper aquifers. It seems possible to exploit the spring directly if the level of its outlet is raised. This would reduce the salinity in the spring to almost zero in all seasons by increasing the head in the conduit. In its present state of calibration, the model calculates a height on the order of 15 m for obtaining freshwater at the spring throughout the year, but real tests with the existing dam are needed to quantify any flow-rate losses or functional changes when there is continual overpressure in the system. The cause of the development of this karstic conduit at such a great depth could be the lowering of the sea level during the Messinian [Clauzon et al., 1996], or recent tectonic movements

Coastal karst springs in the Mediterranean basin: study of the mechanisms of saline pollution at the Almyros spring (Crete), observations and modelling, 2002, Arfib B, De Marsily G, Ganoulis J,
Variations in salinity and flow rate in the aerial, naturally salty spring of Almyros of Heraklion on Crete were monitored during two hydrological cycles. We describe the functioning of the coastal karstic system of the Almyros and show the influence of the duality of the flow in the karst (conduits and fractured matrix) on the quality of the water resource in the coastal area. A mechanism of saltwater intrusion into this highly heterogeneous system is proposed and validated with a hydraulic mathematical model, which describes the observations remarkably well

Palaeo-climate reconstruction from stable isotope variations in speleothems: a review, 2004, Mcdermott, F.

Speleothems are now regarded as valuable archives of climatic conditions on the continents, offering a number of advantages relative to other continental climate proxy recorders such as lake sediments and peat cores. They are ideal materials for precise U-series dating, yielding ages in calendar years, thereby circumventing the radiocarbon calibration problems associated with most other continental records. Stable isotope studies in speleothems have shifted away from attempting to provide palaeo-temperature reconstructions to the attainable goal of providing precise estimates for the timing and duration of major O isotope-defined climatic events characterised by high signal to noise ratios (e.g. glacial/interglacial transitions, Dansgaard–Oeschger oscillations, the ‘8200- year’ event). Unlike the marine records, speleothem data sets are not ‘tuned’, and their independent chronology offers opportunities to critically assess leads and lags in the climate system, that in turn can provide important insights into forcing and feedback mechanisms. Improved procedures for the extraction and measurement of stable isotope ratios in fluid inclusions trapped in speleothems are likely to provide, in the near future, a much enhanced basis for the quantitative interpretation of O isotope ratios in speleothem calcite. The latter developments open up once again the tantalising prospect of palaeo-temperature estimates, but more importantly perhaps, provide a direct test for a new generation of general circulation models whose hydrological cycles will incorporate the ‘water isotopes’. The literature is reviewed briefly to provide for the reader a sense of the current state-of-the-art, and to provide some pointers for future research directions


A penultimate glacial monsoon record from Hulu Cave and two-phase glacial terminations, 2006, Cheng H, Edwards Rl, Wang Y, Kong X, Ming Y, Kelly Mj, Wang X, Gallup Cd, Liu W,
Oxygen isotope records of three stalagmites from Hulu Cave, China, extend the previous high-resolution absolute-dated Hulu Asian Monsoon record from the last to the penultimate glacial and deglacial periods. The penultimate glacial monsoon broadly follows orbitally induced insolation variations and is punctuated by at least 16 millennial-scale events. We confirm a Weak Monsoon Interval between 135.5 {} 1.0 and 129.0 {} 1.0 ka, prior to the abrupt increase in monsoon intensity at Asian Monsoon Termination II. Based on correlations with both marine ice-rafted debris and atmospheric CH4 records, we demonstrate that most of marine Termination II, the full rise in Antarctic temperature and atmospheric CO2, and much of the rise in CH4 occurred within the Weak Monsoon Interval, when the high northern latitudes were probably cold. From these relationships and similar relationships observed for Termination I, we identify a two-phase glacial termination process that was probably driven by orbital forcing in both hemispheres, affecting the atmospheric hydrological cycle, and combined with ice sheet dynamics

Water storage and transfer in the epikarst of karstic systems during high flow periods, 2006, Aquilina L, Ladouche B, Dorfliger N,
SummaryA monitoring of spring and rain waters in the South of France during two hydrological cycles is presented. Rain waters were sampled after each precipitation event at 3 rain-gauge stations. Four karstic springs located in the same area have also been daily (high discharge events) to monthly (low flow periods) sampled. This paper focuses on compositional changes in the Cl- and Br- ions and the oxygen-18 ([delta]18O) and hydrogen ([delta]D) isotopes during the high discharge events.The responses of the different karstic systems are quite homogeneous and reflect the hydrological state of the system. The waters discharged during the major autumn and winter high discharge events originate from the epikarstic reservoir and show characteristics chemical variations related to residence in the unsaturated zone close to the surface. Their residence time in the order of 1-3 months. Correlations between the composition of the spring-water and the rainwater during three successive high discharge events during the summer of 1998 indicate that the water for high discharge event 'n' is derived from water from precipitation event 'n - 1' via a piston-type mechanism with residence time of 2 weeks.These results are interpreted as an indication of the major role of the epikarst reservoir in the karst recharge functioning. The similar behaviour of the four springs, although located in different geological contexts allows to think that the epikarst role could be more important than previously thought

Seasonal variations of CO2 and 222Rn in a Mediterranean sinkhole-spring (Causse dAumelas, SE France)., 2007, Batiotguilhe Christelle, Seidel Jeanluc, Jourde Herv, Hbrard Olivier, Baillycomte Vincent
Carbon dioxide and 222Rn monitoring of the atmosphere of a Mediterranean sink hole - spring (SE France) during two hydrological cycles (from September 2004 to September 2006) showed seasonal variations with very high concentrations during summer (greater than 6% and 20000 Bq/m3, respectively). Gas dynamics in caves often show seasonal variations. Meteorological parameters (barometric pressure and temperature mainly), cave geometry and fracture networks control exchanges between the cavity and outside atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and 222Rn may have different sources (atmosphere, soil, bedrock, deep gas diffusion, in situ oxidation of organic matter and, in some caves, the key role of swift underground streams). For a CO2 origin, 13C measurements on water and gas samples taken into the cavity suggest a superficial origin. Radon-222 appears to be locally produced and transported by biogenic CO2. Further investigations will be carried out in order to study the relationship of gas-level variations with barometric pressure variations and piezometric level fluctuations within the aquifer.

Seasonal variations of CO2 and 222Rn in a Mediterranean sinkhole-spring (Causse dAumelas, SE France), 2007, Batiotguilhe Christelle, Seidel Jeanluc, Jourde Herv, Hbrard Olivier, Baillycomte Vincent
Carbon dioxide and 222Rn monitoring of the atmosphere of a Mediterranean sink hole - spring (SE France) during two hydrological cycles (from September 2004 to September 2006) showed seasonal variations with very high concentrations during summer (greater than 6% and 20 000 Bq/m3, respectively). Gas dynamics in caves often show seasonal variations. Meteorological parameters (barometric pressure and temperature mainly), cave geometry and fracture networks control exchanges between the cavity and outside atmosphere. Carbon dioxide and 222Rn may have different sources (atmosphere, soil, bedrock, deep gas diffusion, in situ oxidation of organic matter and, in some caves, the key role of swift underground streams). For a CO2 origin, 13C measurements on water and gas samples taken into the cavity suggest a superficial origin. Radon-222 appears to be locally produced and transported by biogenic CO2. Further investigations will be carried out in order to study the relationship of gas-level variations with barometric pressure variations and piezometric level fluctuations within the aquifer.

Simulation of flow processes in a large scale karst system with an integrated catchment model (Mike She) Identification of relevant parameters influencing spring discharge, 2012, Doummar J. , Sauter M. , Geyer T.

In a complex environment such as karst systems, it is difficult to assess the relative contribution of the different components of the system to the hydrological system response, i.e. spring discharge. Not only is the saturated zone highly heterogeneous due to the presence of highly permeable conduits, but also the recharge processes. The latter are composed of rapid recharge components through shafts and solution channels and diffuse matrix infiltration, generating a highly complex, spatially and temporally variable input signal. The presented study reveals the importance of the compartments vegetation, soils, saturated zone and unsaturated zone. Therefore, the entire water cycle in the catchment area Gallusquelle spring (Southwest Germany) is modelled over a period of 10 years using the integrated hydrological modelling system Mike She by DHI (2007). Sensitivity analyses show that a few individual parameters, varied within physically plausible ranges, play an important role in reshaping the recessions and peaks of the recharge functions and consequently the spring discharge. Vegetation parameters especially the Leaf Area Index (LAI) and the root depth as well as empirical parameters in the relationship of Kristensen and Jensen highly influence evapotranspiration, transpiration to evaporation ratios and recharge respectively. In the unsaturated zone, the type of the soil (mainly the hydraulic conductivity at saturation in the water retention and hydraulic retention curves) has an effect on the infiltration/evapotranspiration and recharge functions. Additionally in the unsaturated karst, the saturated moisture content is considered as a highly indicative parameter as it significantly affects the peaks and recessions of the recharge curve. At the level of the saturated zone the hydraulic conductivity of the matrix and highly conductive zone representing the conduit are dominant parameters influencing the spring response. Other intermediate significant parameters appear to influence the characteristics of the spring response yet to a smaller extent, as for instance bypass and the parameters a in the Van Genuchten relation for soil moisture content curves.


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