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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That inception is the earliest stage of speleogenesis. the start of the inception phase marks the transition from 'rock with no caves' (in the widest sense) to 'rock with caves', and extends through whatever time interval is required for gravitational laminar flow conditions to be established in a given situation (see gestation and initiation) [9].?

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Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
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
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Your search for local scale (Keyword) returned 20 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 20
Geophysical mapping techniques in environmental planning, 1987, Culshaw Mg, Jackson Pd, Mccann Dm,
Geophysical information can be used to identify geological features, some of which may be a problem during the planning, design or construction of a new development. The location of magnetic dykes, the investigation of buried channels, or of landslips, the determination of the thickness of drift deposits or the identification of natural or man-made cavities are all problems which can be studied by geophysical surveying methods on both a regional or local scale. The information obtained can then be incorporated into factual or interpreted engineering geological maps for use by planners or engineers. In this paper, the contribution that geophysical surveying methods can make at the planning, design, construction and monitoring stages of a development is examined and illustrated with a number of case histories

Modeling of regional groundwater flow in fractured rock aquifers, PhD Thesis, 1990, Kraemer, S. R.

The regional movement of shallow groundwater in the fractured rock aquifer is examined through a conceptual-deterministic modeling approach. The computer program FRACNET represents the fracture zones as straight laminar flow conductors in connection to regional constant head boundaries within an impermeable rock matrix. Regional scale fracture zones are projected onto the horizontal plane, invoking the Dupuit-Forchheimer assumption for flow. The steady state flow solution for the two dimensional case is achieved by requiring nodal flow balances using a Gauss-Seidel iteration. Computer experiments based on statistically generated fracture networks demonstrate the emergence of preferred flow paths due to connectivity of fractures to sources or sinks of water, even in networks of uniformly distributed fractures of constant length and aperture. The implication is that discrete flow, often associated with the local scale, may maintain itself even at a regional scale. The distribution of uniform areal recharge is computed using the Analytic Element Method, and then coupled to the network flow solver to complete the regional water balance. The areal recharge weakens the development of preferential flow pathways. The possible replacement of a discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium is also investigated. A Mohr's circle analysis is presented to characterize the tensor relationship between the discharge vector and the piezometric gradient vector, even at scales below the representative elementary volume (REV). A consistent permeability tensor is sought in order to establish the REV scale and justify replacement of the discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium. Finally, hydrological factors influencing the chemical dissolution and initiation of conduits in carbonate (karst) terrain are examined. Based on hydrological considerations, and given the appropriate geochemical and hydrogeological conditions, the preferred flow paths are expected to develop with time into caves.


Evidence for rapid groundwater flow and karst-type behaviour in the Chalk of southern England, 1998, Macdonald A. M. , Brewerton L. J. , Allen D. J. ,
With the growing importance of groundwater protection, there is increasing concern about the possibility of rapid groundwater flow in the Chalk of southern England and therefore in the frequency and distribution of karstic' features. Pumping test data, although useful in quantifying groundwater resources and regional flow, give little information on groundwater flow at a local scale. Evidence for rapid groundwater flow is gathered from other, less quantifiable methods. Nine different strands of evidence are drawn together: tracer tests; observations from Chalk caves; Chalk boreholes that pump sand; descriptions of adits; the nature of water-level fluctuations; the Chichester flood; the nature of the surface drainage; geomorphological features; and the presence of indicator bacteria in Chalk boreholes. Although the evidence does not prove the widespread existence of karstic features, it does suggest that rapid groundwater flow should be considered seriously throughout the Chalk. Rapid groundwater flow is generally more frequent close to Palaeogene cover and may also be associated with other forms of cover and valley bottoms

Perspectives in karst hydrogeology and cavern genesis, 1999, Ford D. C.
Hydrogeology and speleology both began during the 19th CenturyTheir approaches to limestone aquifers diverged because hydrogeologists tend to measure phenomena at very local scales between drilled wells and generalize from them to basin scales, while speleologists study the large but sparse conduits and then infer conditions around themConvergence of the two approaches with modem computing should yield important genetic models of aquifer and caveGenesis of common cave systems by dissolution is a three-dimensional problem, best broken down into two-dimensional pairs for purposes of analysisHistorically, the dimensions of length and depth have received most attention, especially the question of the location of principal cave genesis with respect to the water tableBetween 1900 and 1950, different scientists proposed that caves develop principally (1) in the vadose zone; (2) at random depth in the phreatic zone; (3) along the water table in betweenEmpirical evidence suggests that these differing hypotheses can be reconciled by a four-state model in which the frequency of penetrable fissuration controls the system geometryFor the dimensions of length and breadth (plan patterns) there is widespread agreement that dendritic (or branchwork) patterns predominate in common cavesIrregular networks or anastomose patterns may occur as subsidiary componentsWhen hydraulic conditions in a fissure are anisotropic (the usual case), dissolutional conduit development is competitive: local hydraulic gradients are reoriented toward the first conduits to break through to outlet points, redirecting others toward them in a cascading processPlan patterns are most complex where there have been multiple phases ("levels") of development in a cave system in response to such effects as river channel entrenchment lowering the elevation of springs

Derivation of effective hydraulic parameters of a karst aquifer from discharge hydrograph analysis, 2001, Baedke Sj, Krothe Nc,
In well-developed karst terrains, three or more distinct portions of the karst continuum can be identified from hydrographs of springs issuing from the karat aquifer. Hydrographs from mio karat springs within the same drainage basin at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indiana, have been analyzed, and ratios of transmissivity and specific yield (T/S-y) have been established for the conduit and diffuse flow systems. These ratios have been compared with values of T derived from aquifer tests, so that independent values of S-y can be calculated for the diffuse system. Similarly, if the value of S-y is assumed to be 1.0 for a pure conduit, then independent values of T can be calculated for this end-member of the karst continuum. The values of T and S-y derived from this study are similar to values obtained from a dye trace of the conduit-dominated flow system and of values derived from aquifer tests of the diffuse flow system. Values of T for the conduit system of these springs may need to be established at a local scale, while the values for the diffuse flow system may be applicable at a regional scale. A hydrograph separation using isotopic data suggests that the intermediate-flow system represents a mix of water from the conduit and diffuse flow systems. If this portion of the hydrograph is a truly mixing phenomena, ratios of TIS cannot be determined from the hydrograph analysis presented herein. However. if instead, the intermediate-flow system represents water released from a third reservoir (such as small fractures), ratios of T/S, can be established for the intermediate-flow system

Deep karst conduits, flooding, and sinkholes: lessons for the aggregates industry, 2002, Lolcama J. L. , Cohen H. A. , Tonkin M. J. ,
Limestone aggregate quarries in deeply penetrating karst terrain are often at considerable risk of artesian inflow from groundwater or surface water channeled through the karstic aquifer. The inflow occurs through what are likely to be complex conduits that penetrate hundreds of feet into bedrock. Rates of inflow can exceed the operation's pumping capabilities proving to be uneconomic to manage over the long term. Over time, inflow rates can increase dramatically as turbulent flow through the conduit erodes its soft residual clay-rich fill. One recent investigation observed an inflow rate of more than 40,000 gpm from a surface water source. Floodwater persistently laden with sediment is an indicator of conduit washout and implies increasing inflow rates over time. Conduits carrying floodwater can exist in a variety of forms: along deeply penetrating geologic faults, joints, or following the path of preferentially eroded bedding. Preferential structural deformation along faults or bedding can enhance dissolution during subsequent interaction with groundwater. The resulting conduit may be a complex combination of many geological features, making the exploration and remediation of the pathway difficult. Sinkholes at the site can occur within several contexts. Pre-existing subsidence structures can reactivate and subside further, forming new collapse sinkholes within soil directly overlying the conduit. Cover-collapse sinkhole development can be a direct result of increasing downward groundwater velocities and subsurface erosion associated with the enlargement of a conduit. Normal operation events such as a quarry blast can also provide a significant new linkage between the groundwater and the quarry, allowing rapid drainage of the groundwater reservoir. With such drainage and erosion of karst-fill, sinkholes will develop over localized water table depressions, most significantly over enhanced permeability zones associated with fractures. Paradoxically, although the rise in quarry water level will lead to regional reduction in the hydraulic gradients, on local scales, drainage of the groundwater reservoir increases gradients and leads to the development of cover-collapse sinkholes. Recommended methods for preliminary site investigation can include a detailed review of geological literature and drilling logs to compile a conceptual model of the site. A fracture trace analysis with EM geophysics can confirm the locations of major faults and fractures. Fingerprinting of the various water sources to the quarry and the water in the quarry is an inexpensive and effective means of identifying the source and likely direction of the groundwater and surface water flow. Automated geophysical equipment on the market for performing rapid resistivity and microgravity surveys speeds up the site screening process during reconnaissance exploration for deep structure. It is recommended that mine planning fully incorporate this information so that quarry operators can take proactive measures to avoid catastrophic and costly flooding events. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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

Perspectives in karst hydrogeology and cavern genesis, 2003, Ford, D. C.

Hydrogeology and speleology both began during the 19th Century. Their approaches to limestone aquifers diverged because hydrogeologists tend to measure phenomena at very local scales between drilled wells and generalize from them to basin scales, while speleologists study the large but sparse conduits and then infer conditions around them. Convergence of the two approaches with modem computing should yield important genetic models of aquifer and cave.
Genesis of common cave systems by dissolution is a three-dimensional problem, best broken down into two-dimensional pairs for purposes of analysis. Historically, the dimensions of length and depth have received most attention, especially the question of the location of principal cave genesis with respect to the water table. Between 1900 and 1950, different scientists proposed that caves develop principally (1) in the vadose zone; (2) at random depth in the phreatic zone; (3) along the water table in between. Empirical evidence suggests that these differing hypotheses can be reconciled by a four-state model in which the frequency of penetrable fissuration controls the system geometry.
For the dimensions of length and breadth (plan patterns) there is widespread agreement that dendritic (or branchwork) patterns predominate in common caves. Irregular networks or anastomose patterns may occur as subsidiary components. When hydraulic conditions in a fissure are anisotropic (the usual case), dissolutional conduit development is competitive: local hydraulic gradients are reoriented toward the first conduits to break through to outlet points, redirecting others toward them in a cascading process. Plan patterns are most complex where there have been multiple phases ("levels") of development in a cave system in response to such effects as river channel entrenchment lowering the elevation of springs.


A conceptual model of flow and transport in a karst aquifer based on spatial and temporal variations of natural tracers, 2003, Perrin, Jerome

Karst aquifers represent an important groundwater resource world-wide. They are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport through the system and limited attenuation of contaminants. The two main hydrogeological approaches developed for studying flow and transport are: inference of the
system structure from karst spring hydrographs and chemographs; numerical modelling of flow and transport using a theoretical distribution of flow and transport field parameters. These two approaches lack of validation by detailed field measurements and observations. The main objective of this thesis is to “fill the gap” existing between field and model data. Observations of flow and transport parameters at several locations within the system were used to develop a conceptual model. This model was then compared to the existing models.
The main field test site is the Milandre karst aquifer, located in the Swiss tabular Jura. Natural tracers (major ions, oxygen-18, specific conductance) and discharge were measured on the underground river, its main tributaries, percolation waters, and the main spring. These data were collected on a long-term basis in order to assess the spatial variability of the parameters, and on a short time scale (i.e. flood events) in order to investigate the dynamic processes. Complementary sites (Brandt and Grand Bochat) were used for more observations at the base of the epikarst.
The proposed conceptual model considers four sub-systems: the soil zone, the epikarst, the unsaturated zone, and the phreatic zone. Each has its own specificity with respect to flow and transport. The soil zone controls the actual infiltration into the system. It contributes efficiently to groundwater storage. It mixes quickly stored water with fresh infiltrated water. Its thickness determines land-use: thick soils are generally cultivated whereas thin soils are under forested areas. The solutes concentration of soil waters depends on land-use for pollution-related parameters (nitrate, chloride, sulfate, potassium, sodium). Moreover the soil zone is the main source of CO2 which controls the limestone dissolution-related parameters. The epikarst zone contributes largely to groundwater storage. It distributes groundwater into vadose flow through conduits, and base flow through low permeability volumes (LPV) in the unsaturated zone. It is the sub-system where dissolution-related parameters are mostly acquired.
The unsaturated zone is seen as a transmissive zone connecting the epikarst to the horizontal conduit network of the phreatic zone. In case of flood events, some dissolution still occurs in this sub-system.
The phreatic zone is the partly flooded conduit network draining groundwater to the spring. It collects waters issued from the unsaturated zone, mixes the tributaries, and drain the water towards the discharge area. The role of phreatic storage appears to be limited for both hydraulics and transport.
Tributary mixing is a prominent process that shapes spring chemographs during flood events. In steady-state conditions, base flow is mainly sustained by the epikarst reservoir. Tracer concentrations are stable as the chemical equilibrium is already reached in the epikarst. Waters issued from the different tributaries mix in the conduit network, and the spring chemistry is the result of this mixing.
During flood events, transient flow induces non-linear mixing of the tributaries. The respective contributions of the tributaries change throughout the flood, and the spring chemographs vary accordingly. In case of important recharge, waters issued from other sources than the epikarst participate to the flood. First, soil water reaches the phreatic zone. Its characteristics are a dampened isotopic signal, and ionic concentrations differing from those of the epikarst. Second, fresh water directly issued from rainfall, may reach the phreatic zone. Its characteristics are a varying isotopic signal, and diluted ionic concentrations. The mixing components participating to the flood are controlled by the actual infiltration volume (or height). The limestone dissolution process is effective for the fresh and soil components of flow. However mixing processes play a more important role than dissolution for shaping the spring chemographs.
From a practical point of view, the project confirmed the prominent role of the soil zone and the epikarst on the solute transport in karst systems. This was already integrated in karst vulnerability mapping methods recently developed (EPIK, PI, VULK).

http://doc.rero.ch/record/2604/files/these_PerrinJ.pdf


The unique Central Aldan gold-uranium ore district (Russia), 2004, Kazansky V. I. ,
In recent years, problems of the formation and distribution of ore deposits large and unique in their origin and scale have been discussed in publications and at international geological meetings. The aim of the present article is to show that not only individual deposits, but also ore districts may be unique. Such ore districts, for example, the Central Aldan gold-uranium ore district, contain deposits of various origins that belong to the same metallogenic epoch and were formed in similar geodynamic conditions. The Central Aldan gold-uranium ore district, with its resources of Au of 1000 t and U of 600000 t, is interpreted as a single unit. Its unique features are reflected at different levels: transregional, regional, and local. At the transregional level, its position is defined by the superposition of intense Mesozoic epicontinental tectonics, calc-alkaline-alkaline magmatism, and extensive hydrothermal ore mineralization on consolidated Early Precambrian structures of the Aldan Shield. In the Mesozoides of East Asia, Au and U deposits are located separately from each other except for in the Central Aldan district, where these deposits occur jointly and possess unique features. The interrelation between the Early Precambrian and the ore-bearing Mesozoic structures is clearly manifested in the Aldan Shield itself. The Central Aldan ore district is situated at the conjunction of the two largest megablocks, the Aldan-Timpton and Timpton-Uchur, which 2 Ga ago were transformed into a gneiss-granulite terrane. The Central Aldan district is confined to the periphery of a giant dome made up of Early Precambrian rocks of the Iengra complex. This district contains the largest and most varied subvolcanic caic-alkaline-alkaline intrusions. Finally, on the local scale, the Central Aldan magmatectonogen appears as the main ore-controlling factor. It consists of radial and ring faults cutting the crystalline basement and platform cover. It defines the distribution of Mesozoic magmatic rocks and various deposits in different radial blocks. The Central Aldan district contains three main types of ore deposits that form the following independent ore fields: the hydrothermal Au-U El'kon, the hydrothermal U Lebedinsk, and the polygenetic Au Kuranakh. The first and third deposits are unique not only in their scale, but in their origin as well. Deposits of the El'kon type are confined to rejuvenated faults of the crystalline basement and are characterized by exclusive extension of low-temperature Au-U mineralization. The third, Kuranakh type, in many respects enigmatic, is characterized by the presence of gold-bearing karst clays at the contact of platform limestones with Jurassic sandstones. The data presented in this article were accumulated during the 70-year history of the study and development of the Central Aldan district. Some deposits have been worked out and others preserved from operation due to different reasons. Many problems of the origin of ore deposits in the Central Aldan district have not yet been solved, and its total ore potential is far from being established

Hypogene and supergene alteration of the Late Palaeozoic Ratburi Limestone during the Mesozoic and Cenozoic (Thailand, Surat Thani Province). Implications for the concentration of mineral commodities, 2005, Dill H. G. , Botz R. , Luppold F. W. , Henjeskunst F.
An interdisciplinary study of the Upper Carboniferous to Middle Permian Ratburi Group, Peninsular Thailand, is presented. The investigation involved sedimentary petrography, inorganic geochemistry, Sr, C, O isotope analyses, micropalaeontology as well as radio-carbon age dating. Emphasis was placed on the post-depositional evolution of the Ratburi Limestone in the Surat Thani Province. The Holocene chemical residues and the various calcite and dolomite minerals which have formed since the Late Palaeozoic in the Ratburi Limestone are the product of a complex, multistage alteration which is called supergene and hypogene karstifications, respectively. Sedimentation took place in a shelf environment with some reefs evolving during the late Murgabian at the shelf margin. There was no pre-concentration of elements, except for Ca and F during sedimentation. Diagenetic neomorphism and cementation under marine and freshwater conditions caused the Ratburi Limestone to convert into a marble-like rock. Fabric-selective dolomitization is of local scale and has impacted only on part of the Ratburi Limestone during the Lower to Upper Permian. A significant enhancement of pore space and better conduits were generated during the Late Cretaceous epithermal alteration. The most favorable conditions for the accumulation of metals were provided during the high-temperature stage of epithermal alteration when a low-metal concentration with As, Zn, Sb, U, Co and Pb existed. Unlike the other elements, Sb was subject to a multiphase concentration, giving rise to a considerable Sb deposit in the region. The most recent stage of karstification produced numerous caves, dripstones, tufa terraces and encrustations around brine pools in the study area. This alteration originated from per descensum and per ascensum processes which may be traced back to 15,000 years before present. The alteration of the Ratburi Limestone may be subdivided into two parts. The prograde post-depositional alteration, beginning with diagenesis, reached its temperature climax during epithermal subsurface alteration I. The retrograde branch of alteration lasted until the most recent times. The initial stages deposition and diagenesis took place under more or less closed-system conditions relative to the succeeding stages of the prograde alteration which saw the strongest influx of metal-bearing brine during the epithermal stage I. The retrograde branch of alteration is element-conservative.

Applications of GIS and database technologies to manage a karst feature database, 2006, Gao Y. , Tipping R. G. , Alexander Jr. E. C.
This paper describes the management of a Karst Feature Database (KFD) in Minnesota. Two sets of applications in both GIS and Database Management System (DBMS) have been developed for the KFD of Minnesota. These applications were used to manage and to enhance the usability of the KFD. Structured Query Language (SQL) was used to manipulate transactions of the database and to facilitate the functionality of the user interfaces. The Database Administrator (DBA) authorized users with different access permissions to enhance the security of the database. Database consistency and recovery are accomplished by creating data logs and maintaining backups on a regular basis. The working database provides guidelines and management tools for future studies of karst features in Minnesota. The methodology of designing this DBMS is applicable to develop GIS-based databases to analyze and manage geomorphic and hydrologic datasets at both regional and local scales. The short-term goal of this research is to develop a regional KFD for the Upper Mississippi Valley Karst and the long-term goal is to expand this database to manage and study karst features at national and global scales.

Principal features and problems of karst hydrogeology: Speleogenetic approach, 2008, Klimchouk A. B.

The principal problems of karst hydrogeology and its distinctions from “common” hydrogeology are rooted in the facts that porosity and permeability in karst aquifers 1) are characterised by high heterogeneity and anisotropy, 2) are not inherent and static characteristics of an aquifer but form and develop in the process of the dissolution action of flow on the host rocks. Speleogenetic research focuses on deciphering of mechanisms and rates of solution conduits development, in final analysis – on their evolution, i.e. on revealing of nature of extreme heterogeneity and anisotropy of percolation properties and hierarchical organization of permeability.

The paper provides general characterization of karst porosity and permeability and discusses conceptual models of karst aquifers. Karst aquifers have multi-porosity structure, with respective flow components demonstrating different hydrodynamic behaviour and complex interaction. Various methods of determination of percolation properties characterize medium on a certain level, depending on the scale of the tested domain. Conduit permeability can be adequately estimated only in the scale of a basin (karst hydrological system). Validity of hydrogeological modeling decreases from regional to the local scales of a domain. 

Advances in development of speleogenesis theory attained in last decades of the 20 century render large influence on understanding of peculiar features of karst hydrogeology. The paper outlines principal theoretical regularities of speleogenesis, which, as well as respective conduit permeability structures, differ substantially for unconfined and confined hydrogeological environments.


MORPHOLOGICAL INDICATORS OF SPELEOGENESIS: HYPOGENIC SPELEOGENS, 2009, Audra P. , Mocochain L. , Bigot J. Y. , Nobecourt J. C.

Hypogenic speleogenesis can be identi?ed at different scales (basinal ?ow patterns at the regional scale, cave patterns at cave system scale, meso- and micromorphology in cave passages). We focus here on small scale features produced by both corrosion and deposition. In the phreatic zone, the corrosion features (speleogens) are a morphologic suite of rising ?ow forms, phreatic chimneys, bubble trails. At the water table are thermo-sulfuric discharge slots, notches with ?at roofs. Above a thermal water table the forms re?ect different types of condensation runoff: wall convection niches, wall niches, ceiling cupolas, ceiling spheres, channels, megascallops, domes, vents, wall partitions, weathered walls, boxwork, hieroglyphs, replacement pockets, corrosion tables, and features made by acid dripping, such as drip tubes, sulfuric karren and cups. Each type of feature is described and linked to its genetic process. Altogether, these features are used to identify the dominant processes of speleogenesis in hypogenic cave systems. Hypogenic caves were recognized early, especially where thermal or sulfuric processes were active (MARTEL, 1935; PRINCIPI, 1931). However SOCQUET (1801) was one of the earliest modern contributors to speleogenetic knowledge, and probably the ?rst to identify the role of sulfuric speleogenesis by condensation-corrosion due to thermal convection. More recent major contributions evidenced the role of sulfuric speleogenesis and hydrothermalism (e.g. DUBLYANSKY, 2000; EGEMEIER, 1981; FORTI, 1996; GALDENZI AND MENICHETTI, 1995; HILL, 1987; PALMER AND PALMER, 1989). However, most of these case-studies were often considered as “exotic”, regarding the “normal” (i.e. epigenic) speleogenesis. Only recently, KLIMCHOUK (2007) provided a global model, allowing the understanding of “hypogenic” speleogenesis and gathering the characteristics of hypogenic caves. Consequently, the number of caves where a hypogenic origin is recognized dramatically increased during the last years. The hypogenic origin can be recognized at the regional scale (deep-seated karst in basins), at the scale of an individual cave system because of distinctive features in its pattern, by studying the morphology of the cave conduits, or at the local scale of wall features made by corrosion processes (i.e. speleogens). Such type of features depict the characteristics of local cave development, and by extension the characteristics of speleogenesis. The description and interpretation of hypogenic speleogens is generally scattered in the literature. The aim of this paper is to gather the most important hypogenic speleogens, considered here as indicators, and used for the identi?cation and characterization of the hypogenic speleogenesis. Our knowledge is based on the compilation of about 350 caves from the literature, and the study of some of the most signi?cant caves (AUDRA, 2007; AUDRA et al., 2002, 2006). In this paper, we focus on the speleogens (i.e. wall- scale corrosion features) as indicators of hypogenic speleogenesis; we exclude here solution feature at larger scale such as conduits and cave systems and depositional features (sediments). Some of the features observed in the sulfuric caves are speci?cally caused by this strong acid. Some features are closely associated with hydrothermalism. Other features that are widespread in hypogene caves are created without sulfuric in?uence. The following typology mainly takes into account the type of runoff. In con?ned settings with slow phreatic ?ow, cave features are common to all types of hypogene processes, whether they are sulfuric or not (i.e. carbonic, hydrothermal…). In uncon?ned settings, condensation-corrosion processes take place above the water table. These aerial processes, enhanced by the oxidation of sul?des by the thermal convections, and by the microbial processes, result in a large variety of cave features. Some features are closely related to speci?c processes. Consequently, they are considered as valuable indicators of the sulfuric speleogenesis.


Management of Karst Groundwater Resources , 2011, Bakalowicz, Michel

Karst aquifers are especially difficult to exploit, manage, and protect because of the extreme variability of their hydraulic properties which are almost impossible to determine at a local scale. Moreover, their functioning may be influenced by non-linearities and threshold effects. Considering long-term aquifer exploitation, karst system complexity does not allow for easy behavioral modeling, such as using the classical isochrone method for determining a protection zone. However, because karst aquifers may offer great storage capacity and high local hydraulic conductivity, high flow rates can be pumped from single sites, allowing for effective management of an aquifer. After outlining the main characteristics of karst aquifers, the management of their groundwater is examined from both quantity and quality viewpoints in order to highlight benefits and problems with this resource. Finally, some new avenues of research are proposed.


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