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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. ...

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That dispersion is the spreading and mixing of chemical constituents in ground water caused by diffusion and mixing due to microscopic variations in velocities within and between pores [6].?

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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 karstification processes (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
Mineral deposits in carbonate areas, related to karst phenomena. [in Polish], 1980, Bosak, Pavel

Structures des aquifres carbonats d'aprs les donnes de captages d'eau, 1984, Pulidobosch A. , Castillo E.
STRUCTURE OF CARBONATE AQUIFERS IN EASTERN SPAIN FROM THE DATA DERIVED FROM WELLS - From a statistical analysis of the data from several wells, pumping the carbonate materials of Creu Formation (Cenomanian-Senonian), in an area in Eastern Spain, it can be deduced that the yield and specific capacity fits well to a log-normal theoretical distribution. The biggest capacity of the wells located in discharge areas respect to the wells situated in recharge areas is interpreted as a result of the "hierarchical" role of karstification processes.

Karst topography and karstification processes in the Eocene limestone plateau of El Bahariya Oasis, Western Desert, Egypt, 1987, El Aref M. M. , Abou Khadrah A. M. , Lotfy Z. H.

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998, Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Ancient helictites and the formation of vadose crystal silt in upper Jurassic carbonates (Southern Germany), 1998, Reinhold C. ,
Speleothems and vadose crystal silt are effective indications for karstification processes in the fossil record. Upper Jurassic limestones in Southern Germany that have undergone vadose diagenesis contain on crystal margins and tips of coarse bladed calcites numerous fibrous calcite crystals, formed by abnormal growth conditions, and internal sediment within fractures and vugs, Fibrous calcite crystals grew as crusts, in fence and mesh-like arrangements. Fibrous crystals, which have a length:width ratio of greater than 1:10, are made up of stacked subcrystals composed of an alternation of hexagonal prisms and rhombohedra, They exhibit a central to somewhat eccentric capillary. Electron probe microanalysis shows low-Mg calcite mineralogy with negligible amounts of Fe, Mn, and Sr as well as dis seminated clay and metal hydroxide impurities. Stable-isotope data show relatively C-13-enriched and O-18-depleted values (delta(13)C similar to parts per thousand PDB, delta(18)O similar to -6 parts per thousand PDB), suggesting a meteoric environment and CO2 degassing as the main process of formation, Fibrous calcite crystals form from capillary fluids that are highly supersaturated with respect to calcium carbonate, contaminated with alien mineral impurities. The abnormal growth pattern is suggested to be substrate-controlled and attributed to mineral impurities that produce numerous crystallization nuclei. Fibrous calcite crystals are comparable to helictites of the filiform type that are reported only from Quaternary caves. Nevertheless, the diagenetic sequence and oxygen isotope data suggest a Late Cretaceous to early Tertiary age for their formation. The internal sediment consists exclusively of silt-size fragments of fibrous crystals and therefore is comparable to vadose crystal silt. Crystal silt is generated by the erosion of fibrous crystals both by va dose seepage and air currents. This study is the first observation of ancient helictites and related vadose crystal silt, documenting the close relationship between pore ceiling vadose cements and the generation of crystal silt

Karst-like landforms and hydrology in quartzites of the Venezuelan Guyana shield: Pseudokarst or 'real' karst?, 1999, Doerr Sh,
The surfaces of table mountains (Tepuis) in southeastern Venezuela display well-developed karst topography including caves, sinkholes and karren-features. Although the rock (orthoquartzite of the Precambrian Roraima Formation) has a very low solubility, active cave systems are present with passages more than one kilometre in length, descending to more than 300 metres depth. These dimensions are greater than any so far reported in quartzitic rocks. There is strong evidence that corrosive rather than erosive processes are responsible for the karstification. Thin-sections of rock samples show dissolution not only of the amorphous silica cement, but also of the crystalline quartz grains themselves. Together with field observations in and near an active cave system on the Kukenan Tepui, this indicates a close similarity between the processes active on the Venezuelan table mountains and karstification processes in rocks of greater solubility. A combination of factors including high precipitation (4000-7000 mm/year), rock of very high purity (98 % silica) and the absence of other significant geomorphological processes prevailing for at least several million years are thought to have enabled a spectacular karst landscape to evolve in a rock that in the past has been regarded as almost immune to chemical weathering

Quaternary tectonics: Influence on the structure of two karstic aquifers of Languedoc (France), 2001, Josnin J. Y. ,
Our research focuses on the effect of Quaternary tectonics on the organization of the conduit network of karst ground water flow. In the Languedoc region, the major karstic systems are developed in Malm and Lower Cretaceous platform limestones. Most of these systems are polygenetic, their genesis and evolution having been controlled by fracturing that occurred during major tectonic phases (ante-Senonian, Eocene, Oligocene, Aquitanian, Pliocene). These complex karst systems were reactivated following Messinian eustatic events, under tectonic conditions which are not well-known, particularly those that occurred during the Quaternary. Small scale deformations and a lack of seismic activity make characterization of current tectonics in Mediterranean Languedoc difficult. The presence of vertical offsets, however, demonstrates that there are active faults in the interior of or in proximity to karst systems. In two karst aquifers within the Garden basin, we have observed a correlation between the orientations of active faults and the principal karst conduits. In the Mialet basin, we demonstrate that erosion resulting from post-Miocene uplift (and so changes of boundary conditions) divides the aquifer into smaller, independent units. In the St Chaptes basin, we reconstruct the history of the karst, proposing that tectonic and eustatic events were predominant in the karstification process and that the climatic conditions were only of secondary importance. We also show how the reactivation of faults can lead to the unblocking of abandoned karst conduits, allowing their reintroduction into the active flow system, a phenomenon that can be explained by the combined influence of the present stress field and hydraulic gradients. This work, which represents a preliminary study, leads to hypotheses that we will subsequently validate through different successive modelings

Lower Miocene gypsum palaeokarst in the Madrid Basin (central Spain): dissolution diagenesis, morphological relics and karst end-products, 2002, Rodriguezaranda J. P. , Calvo J. P. , Sanzmontero M. E. ,
The Miocene sedimentary record of the Madrid Basin displays several examples of palaeokarstic surfaces sculpted within evaporite formations. One of these palaeokarstic surfaces represents the boundary between two main lithostratigraphic units, the Miocene Lower and Intermediate units of the Madrid Basin. The palaeokarst formed in lacustrine gypsum deposits of Aragonian age and corresponds to a surface palaeokarst (epikarst), further buried by terrigenous deposits of the overlying unit. Karst features are recognized up to 5.5 m beneath the gypsum surface. Exokarst and endokarst zones are distinguished by the spatial distribution of solution features, i.e. karren, dolines, pits, conduits and caves, and collapse breccias, sedimentary fills and alteration of the original gypsum across the karst profiles. The development of the gypsum palaeokarst began after drying out of a saline lake basin, as supported by recognition of root tubes, later converted to cylindrical and funnel-shaped pits, at the top of the karstic profiles. The existence of a shallow water table along with low hydraulic gradients was the main factor controlling the karst evolution, and explains the limited depth reached by both exokarst and endokarst features. Synsedimentary fill of the karst system by roughly laminated to massive clay mudstone with subordinate carbonate and clastic gypsum reflects a punctuated sedimentation regime probably related to episodic heavy rainfalls typical of arid to semi-arid climates. Duration of karstification is of the order of several thousands of years, which is consistent with previous statements that gypsum karstification can develop rapidly over geologically short time periods

Groundwater chemical composition changes in the Dubravsky Massif hydrogeological structure, induced by magnesite exploitation, 2004, Bajtos P,
Exploited magnesite bodies of the Dubravsky Massif create parts of karst-fissure aquifer confined by Carboniferous metamorphic rocks of low fissure permeability. Extensive mining progress caused considerable changes in both groundwater circulation and groundwater chemical composition of the aquifer. A model of groundwater chemical composition genesis in such complicated conditions is presented in this paper. Saturation indices (SI) for chosen minerals were computed based on speciation modelling, which indicate oversaturation of groundwater with magnesite, dolomite, calcite, and undersaturation with gypsum in all saturated zone of karst-fissure aquifer. Statistical interpretations of hydrochemical data suppose that anthropogenically unaffected groundwater, where mineralisation is slightly altered by pyrite oxidation in dolomitic environment, represents hydrogeochemical background within the aquifer. It is supposed, that azonic acid, generated by condensation of nitrogen-rich gases freeing by blast-firings in mine, accelerate magnesite and dolomite dissolution. Produced groundwater types are of higher content of NO3, Mg and TIC in comparison with background values. Estimated acceleration of karstification processes due to underground mining is about 1.5 times. In spite of detected contamination, threshold values of drinking water standard, given by the Edict of the Slovak Ministry of Health Care No. 29 / 2002 Z. z. are not markedly exceeded for tested parameters. Future possible exploitation of studied aquifer after mining termination is not excluded

Karst in Turkish Thrace: Compatibility between geological history and karst type, 2005, Ekmekci M,
Geographically, Thrace is a region located in southeastern Europe within the territories of Greece, Bulgaria and Turkey. In Turkish Thrace, karst occurs extensively in Eocene limestones, although some limited karst occurs in marble of the metamorphic series of Palaeozoic age. The karstification base is shallow to very shallow and most of the dolines and poljes have been captured by surface streams. Subsurface drainage has been changed to surface drainage in most parts of the region. Caves and cave relicts are concentrated mainly at three different altitudes, and almost all caves are horizontal or sub-horizontal. With these characteristics, Turkish Thrace hosts a distinct type of karst compared to that of other regions of Turkey, and particularly to the well-developed active Taurus karst. In this paper, the author discusses the major controls on karst evolution and consequently the occurrence of the present karst type with special emphasis on the geological history of the region. Tectonically, the area is weakly active, implying that a relatively steady continental uplift together with sea-level changes provided the source of the energy gradient required for karstification. The erosion base is controlled mainly by impermeable units. From the geological history of the region, it is concluded that no abrupt change in the energy gradient occurred due to continental uplift. However, fluctuation in sea level due to climate change has caused more sudden changes, particularly in erosion-base levels. This suggests that, in contrast to other karst provinces of Turkey, the impact of climate change has been more pronounced in this region. Reconstruction of karst evolution on the basis of the geological history of the region suggests that karstification processes have evolved without major interruption during the neotectonic period. Thus, the evolutionary character of the Thracian karst has produced relict karst with relatively local karst aquifers compared to those existing in the Taurus karst region. Morphological and hydrological aspects of the area indicate that karstification is in a cessation phase

Genesis and functioning of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst (Savoie, France): past research and recent advances, 2010, Hoblea F. , Gallinojosnin S. , Audra Ph.

Aix-les-Bains (Savoie, France) owes its name and reputation to the thermal springs that occur along the eastern shore of Lake Bourget, France largest natural lake. Although the city waters have been exploited since Antiquity, scientific investigations into the nature and characteristics of the hydrothermal karst from which they emerge did not begin until the early 19th century. The present article traces the history of these investigations and summarizes the results of more than two centuries of scientific research. Today, the only visible signs of karstification related to hydrothermal flows are to be found in the discharge zone in the Urgonian limestone anticline that rises above the city centre. These features are: – the Grotte des Serpents, which houses the Alun Spring, the system main natural discharge, – the Chevalley Aven, a blind chimney that was accidentally uncovered in 1996, – other hydrothermal springs that are too small to enter, including the Soufre Spring. Although scientific investigation of the thermal springs at Aix-les-Bains began in the early 19th century, it was not until the 1920s that scientists started examining the relationship between karstification and the state of the aquifer. E.A.Martel was the first researcher to describe the Aix-les-Bains site as an active hydrothermal karst, in a pioneering study published in 1935. Sixty years later, the discovery of the Chevalley Aven during building work on a new hydrotherapy center gave fresh impetus to research into the karstification of the Aix-les-Bains thermo-mineral aquifer. Recent studies have also investigated the deep aquifer below the karst, using data provided by boreholes. The Urgonian limestone karst at Aix-les-Bains is the site of mixing between thermal waters rising through the anticline and meteoric waters percolating from the surface. Meteoric infiltration is sufficiently high for the hydrological behavior of the thermal springs to be identical to that of exsurgences in gravity-fed, cold-water transmissive karsts. The Chevalley Aven is a shaft that descends 30 meters below the surface, thereby providing access to the ground-water at depth. Monitoring of the water quality in the aven has shown that the Legionella contamination of the springs was due to high concentrations of the bacteria in upstream passages in the karst. In 2006, dye-tracing tests confirmed the existence of a hydraulic connection between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun and Soufre Springs, the fact there is a single ascending hydrothermal conduit, which lies between the Chevalley Aven and the Alun Spring. In addition to providing a valuable source of information about the functioning of the thermo-mineral aquifer, the cavities at Aix-les-Bains are of great karstological interest, especially for the study of hypogene speleogenetic processes. The circulation of warm (40oC), sulfur-rich waters and vapours through the system has led to the development of conduits with specific morphologies and the precipitation of characteristic deposits. These features include: – “beaded” chimneys and galleries formed by the linking of spheres produced by condensation-corrosion. Diffuse karstification along bedding planes around the main conduit; – deposition of non-carbonate minerals (gypsum, native sulfur); – formation of biothems and biofilms on walls subject to condensation. The Grotte des Serpents is a horizontal cavity that formed at the upper limit of the water table. The Chevalley Aven is a hypogene chimney that was sculpted under vadose conditions by the release of sulfuric acid-rich vapours above the thermal water table. As well as a surface coating of microbial mats and the presence of bacterial flakes in the thermal water, the vadose parts of the Aix-les-Bains hydrothermal karst contain a characteristic microfauna and flora. These microorganisms are thought to play an active role in hypogene karstification processes.


Aqueous Geochemical Evidence of Volcanogenic Karstification: Sistema Zacaton, Mexico, 2011, Gary M. O. , Doctor D. H. , Sharp J. M.

The Sistema Zacatón karst area in northeastern Mexico (Tamaulipas state) is limited to a relatively focused area (20 km2) in a carbonate setting not prone to extensive karstification. The unique features found here are characteristic of hydrothermal karstification processes, represent some of the largest phreatic voids in the world, and are hypothesized to have formed from interaction of a local Pleistocene magmatic event with the regional groundwater system. Aqueous geochemical data collected from five cenotes of Sistema Zacatón between 2000 and 2009 include temperature (spatial, temporal, and depth profiles), geochemical depth profiles, major and trace ion geochemistry, stable and radiogenic isotopes, and dissolved gases. Interpretation of these data indicates four major discoveries: 1) rock-water interaction occurs between groundwater, the limestone matrix, and local volcanic rocks; 2) varying degrees of hydrogeological connection exist among cenotes in the system as observed from geochemical signatures; 3) microbially-mediated geochemical reactions control sulfur and carbon cycling and influence redox geochemistry; and 4) dissolved gases are indicative of a deep volcanic source. Dissolved 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratios (mean 0.70719) are lower than those of the surrounding Cretaceous limestone (0.70730-0.70745), providing evidence of groundwater interaction with volcanic rock, which has a 87Sr/86Sr isotope ratio of 0.7050. Discrete hydraulic barriers between cenotes formed in response to sinkhole formation, hydrothermal travertine precipitation, and shifts in the local water table, creating relatively isolated water bodies. The isolation of the cenotes is reflected in distinct water chemistries among them. This is observed most clearly in the cenote Verde where a water level 4-5 meters lower than the adjacent cenotes is maintained, seasonal water temperature variations occur, thermoclines and chemoclines exist, and the water is oxic at all depths. The surrounding cenotes of El Zacatón, Caracol, and La Pilita show constant water temperatures both in depth profile and in time, have similar water levels, and are almost entirely anoxic. A sulfur (H2S) isotope value of δ34S = -1.8 ‰ (CDT) in deep water of cenote Caracol, contrasted with two lower sulfur isotopic values of sulfide in the water near the surface of the cenote (δ34S = -7 ‰ and -8 ‰ CDT). These δ34S values are characteristic of complex biological sulfur cycling where sulfur oxidation in the photic zone results in oxidation of H2S to colloidal sulfur near the surface in diurnal cycles. This is hypothesized to result from changes in microbial community structure with depth as phototropic, sulfur-oxidizing bacteria become less abundant below 20 m. Unique microbial communities exist in the anoxic, hydrothermal cenotes that strongly mediate sulfur cycling and likely influence mineralization along the walls of these cenotes. Dissolved CO2 gas concentrations ranged from 61-173 mg/L and total dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) δ13C values measured at cenote surfaces ranged from -10.9 ‰ to -11.8 ‰ (PDB), reflecting mixed sources of carbon from carbonate rock dissolution, biogenic CO2 and possibly dissolved CO2 from volcanic sources. Surface measurements of dissolved helium gas concentrations range from 50 nmol/kg to 213 nmol/kg. These elevated helium concentrations likely indicate existence of a subsurface volcanic source; however, helium isotope data are needed to test this hypothesis. The results of these data reflect a speleogenetic history that is inherently linked to volcanic activity, and support the hypothesis that the extreme karst development of Sistema Zacatón would likely not have progressed without groundwater interaction with the local igneous rocks 


Hypogene speleogenesis in Italy, 2013, Menichetti, M.

Through more than one century of speleological research in Italy, many hypogenic limestone caves have been explored, mapped and studied. These caves are characterized by a variety of patterns and morphological sizes including three-dimensional maze sys-tems and deep shafts, with both active endogenic CO2 and H2S vents.
An integrate approach taking in account geological, hydrological and geochemical set-tings permit to recognize the main hypogenic speleogenetic process. The H2S oxidation to sulfuric acid, by oxygen-rich groundwaters as well as in the atmosphere is actually the main active hypogenic cave-forming processes. Both phreatic and vadose corrosion reactions involve chemotropic microbial activity, with sulfur-redox bacterial communi-ties that generate sulfuric acid as metabolic product. The bedrock corrosion produce sulfate ions in the phreatic zone and gypsum replacement in the limestone walls of the vadose sectors of the caves. The caves are characterized by both fossil and active pas-sages in which water rich in H2S as well as endogenic CO2 plays a determinant role in speleogenesis. Although sulfuric acid-related speleogenesis typically produces gypsum deposits, in caves where the karstification processes are driven by subterranean CO2 sources, voids and speleothems are the only final products.
In Italy all the end-members of the karst processes can be found, from solution caves to outcrop of carbonate travertine. The hypogenic caves are concentrated for largest and both fossils and active systems in the Tuscany, Umbria, Marche and Latium regions (Menichetti, 2009). These consist of few tens of kilometers of solutional passages with galleries and shafts, which are characterized by large rooms, cupola and blind pits, anas-tomotic passages, bubble trails roof pendants, knife edges, and phreatic passages. Ac-tive smaller karst systems are known in Southern Italy in Apulia, Campania and Sicily, related to the geothermal anomaly associated with CO2 and H2S vents.


Thermal springs and hypogenic karstification processes in flow system context, 2013, Madlsző, Nyi Judit, Erő, Ss Anita

Thermal springs and hypogenic karstification processes in flow system context, 2013, Mdlsző, Nyi Judit, Erő, Ss Anita

Uplifted unconfined and adjoining confined continental carbonate aquifers contain thermal water with marginal thermal springs as decisive discharge features connected to tectonic contact between the unconfined and confined part of the system. These areas are characterised by positive thermal anomaly, particular mineral precipitates and phre-atophyte vegetation. These systems are important not only as sources of thermal water but the confined parts of the system can serve as hydrocarbon reservoirs, moreover Mississippi Valley Type (MVT) ore deposits can also be connected to such environ-ments. Hypogenic speleogenesis can be active at such marginal discharge zones of groundwater due to the direct corrosive effect of deep originated fluids. These different processes are known from the literature however their relationships have not been revealed comprehensively. The application of regional groundwater flow system theory and evaluation can give a chance to understand the common origin of these different processes, which is moving groundwater. The Buda Thermal Karst offers an exception-al natural laboratory where groundwater flow systems and their effect on rock matrix and the environment can be examined and proved directly. Moreover as new discharge phenomenon a karst corrosive biofilm was recognized here. The presentation displays the most important conclusions which can be generalized for areas with similar hydro-geological settings. The research is supported by the NK 101356 OTKA research grant


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