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Speleology in Kazakhstan

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

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

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

The deepest terrestrial animal

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

Caves - landscapes without light

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

Did you know?

That depth gage is 1. any device used to measure depths such as water level in wells [16]. 2.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for noise (Keyword) returned 23 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 23
Cave to Surface Communications, 1985, Allum, Ron

The reasons for needing a cave to surface communication system are many, including safety, search and rescue, surveying, science, exploration and commentary. Ideally a unit should be lightweight, portable, robust, easy to operate, have adequate range and be able to communicate speech intelligibly in both directions. The unit described here was designed specifically for use on the 1983 Cocklebiddy Cave expedition. When considering design parameters for a communication system there are many limitations, but in a cave as large as Cocklebiddy these can be less of a restriction. The unit as used does not meet all of the above criteria as an ideal system for all caves, but it worked well in Cocklebiddy Cave, conveying our speech intelligibly with tolerable noise and interference levels.


Approche gomorphologique des karsts du gypse de la Vanoise (la zone alpine et glaciaire du vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz,Alpes), 1991, Chardon, M.
GYPSUM KARSTIC LANDFORMS IN VANOISE: the alpine and glacial valley of Vallon du Fruit-Gbroulaz (Alps, France) - In the inner part of the northern french Alps, the higher regions of the Vanoise offer outcrops of Triassic gypsum of which the surface and thickness vary. In the vallon du Fruit, the Gbroulaz glacier partially covers a long strip of gypsum, which reaches its highest point at the Roc de la Soufrire (2940 m). Rivers and springs in the vallon du Fruit are fed both by sub-aerial glacial outflows and by karstic underground flows, which are pro-glacial and sub-glacial. A very low chemical dissolution exists under the glacier and along the fast pro-glacial underground and sub-aerial flows, whereas the rate of karstic denudation is high in the margin of the glacier where it reaches 1500 mm/ky at around 2500m (1 ky = 1000 years). The formation and evolution of the dolines is rapid and occurs through underground sucking and dissolution once the area is deglaciated, thanks to underground active flows fed by the glacier and snow melting. Gypsum domes are uplifted under the effects of neotectonic movements and postglacial decompression brings about considerable superficial fissuring because of the elasticity of the rock. Over 10,000 years, the morphogenesis of these domes in the humid and cold climatic conditions of these high alpine mountains has transformed them into perforated ladle and domes. Small outcrops are changed into monoliths or gypsum inselberg. A model of the geomorphologic post-glacial evolution of these domes, over some 20,000 years, is proposed.

Evolution actuelle et recent des karsts de la Vanoise orientale, 1992, Chardon M

Un aquifre gypseux de haute montagne : mesures physico-chimiques et traage dans la valle de Gbroulaz (Vanoise, France), 1996, Dzikowski M. , Nicoud G. , Arfib B. , Paillet A. , Rovera G.
During the high flow period of summer 1995, conductivity and temperature were periodically measured in two losses and five springs along a gypsum and anhydrite outcrop in the Gbroulaz valley. These experiments together with a water chemical analysis and an artificial tracer test have highlighted two kinds of flows through the evaporitic formations. The springs are characterised by a rapid flow directly influenced by the infiltration of melt water in a surficial karst. A slower flow shows a deeper circulation through a saturated and fissured milieu. So, in a high mountainous area, the gypsum layer shows a surficial karst over a fissured aquifer. This interpretation allows us to explain the stability of the physico-chemical parameters for the springs, which are not influenced by karstic flow conditions.

La traversee du Gebroulaz en Vanoise. Morphologie d'une cavite gypseuse de haute montagne, 1996, Audra Ph. , Hoblea F.

The use of geophysical techniques in the detection of shallow cavities in limestone, MSc thesis, 1997, Walker, D. C.

Electromagnetic, resistivity and microgravity techniques were compared for their ability to delineate and resolve shallow natural cavity systems in limestone. Geophysical work was carried out at two field sites. Electromagnetic and resistivity constant-depth profiling surveys were carried out at Kitley Caves in Yealmpton, South Devon, with the purpose of determining the lateral extent of the already partially mapped system. Lower Long Chum Cave in Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, was used as a control site for the testing of resistivity tomography and microgravity techniques. Several cavities had already been mapped at this site, and were known to be approximately cylindrical passages, with radii of 2-4m within a depth range of 5-20m, in the area to be surveyed.
At Kitley Caves, both the EM31 and resistivity surveys were carried out over a 20x30m grid, approximately 50m west of Western Ton's Quarry. The station interval for the EM31 survey was 2.5m, whereas resistivity readings were taken at 1m intervals. Both techniques identified a linear, low resistivity, anomaly orientated close to the primary joint direction. This feature is interpreted as a sediment-filled fissure, but excavation of the site would be required for verification.
The main Lower Long Chum Cave passage was also identified using EM mapping at 2.5m intervals. Four 155m lines were surveyed using resistivity tomography technique, with 32 electrodes at 5m spacing selected in a Wenner configuration. This survey successfully delineated Diccan Pot and Lower Long Churn caves in the locations and depth ranges expected, and also identified a previously unmapped feature that was interpreted as an air-filled cave or fissure 40m to the south of the main passage. The inversion process caused the features to be horizontally smeared to approximately twice their true dimensions, and in some cases anomalies from separate features were combined.
Lower Long Churn Cave was also successfully delineated using microgravity. Analysis of the residual Bouguer anomaly, combined with two dimensional forward modelling, implied a density contrast of 2.0g/cc, a radius of 2.1m and a depth of 5m. This agreed to within 2.5m with the depth given by resistivity. The position of the tunnel axis found using the two techniques differed by a maximum of 4m.
Resistivity tomography and microgravity were thus concluded to be techniques accurate in the delineation of shallow subsurface cavities. Future improvements in the latter method depend on the development of instruments that are sensitive enough to detect small changes in gravitational acceleration, whilst remaining relatively insensitive to background noise. Resistivity tomography is becoming an increasingly more valuable technique as refinements in the inversion process reduce smearing of anomalous features and improve the accuracy of the subsurface images produced.


Modelling of karst structures by geophysical methods. An example: the doline of S Pietro dei Monti (Western Liguria), 1998, Armadillo E, Massa F, Caneva G, Gambetta M, Bozzo E,
Integrated geophysical investigations of karat structures were carried out in Liguria and Piedmont (NW Italy); this paper refers to the S. Pietro dei Monti doline, in the karat area of Mt. Carmo (Savona). The techniques used in the integrated study were magnetics, electromagnetics and seismic refraction. The target was to identify, without drilling, the nature of the doline, for example if it is of dissolution or collapse type. A preliminary susceptibility sampling of the outcrop and topsoil and the diffuse fractures with a probable water seepage suggested magnetics and VLF electromagnetics. Such methods applied in an area with an extremely low cultural noise allowed modelling of the buried structure of the doline

The recognition of barrage and paludal tufa systems by GPR: case studies in the geometry and correlation of Quaternary freshwater carbonates, 2003, Pedley Martyn, Hill Ian,
Tufas provide virtually the only sedimentary and proxy-environmental records within karstic terrains. However, they are difficult to access. Shallow geophysical prospecting techniques, such as resistivity and shallow seismic reflection, fail to define the often complex internal bedform details in tufa deposits and many deposits appear too well lithified to auger-sample. Nevertheless, the application of ground penetrating radar (GPR) permits the recognition of up to five distinct types of radar reflectors that can be directly related to distinct lithologies commonly seen in tufa cores: (1) well-lithified phytoherms produce sharp, sinuous and often complexly truncated bright signals; (2) soft lime muds produce subhorizontal, laterally continuous lower contrast (dull) laminar bedform signals; (3) organic-rich deposits (sapropels and peats) produce poorly focused dull responses, often with internal noise'; (4) the tops of bladed and coarse-grained deposits, such as flint gravel, give a strong bright signal; and (5) the associated presence of clay-grade lime silts and muds within the top of gravel beds produces the same top-bed signal as 4, but internal details of the deposit are masked and a remarkably homogeneous dull signal response is typical throughout the lower parts of the deposit. From these GPR responses it is possible to make meaningful three-dimensional comparisons of the internal geometries of Holocene tufa deposits. Problematic tufa deposits in the valleys of the Derbyshire Wye and the Hampshire Test, UK, are presented to illustrate the universal value of GPR surveying for fresh-water carbonate recognition and for providing key information on valley-bottom resurgence locations

Runoff generation in karst catchments: multifractal analysis, 2004, Majone B. , Bellin A. , Borsato A. ,
Time series of hydrological and geochemical signals at two karst springs, located in the Dolomiti del Brenta region, near Trento, Italy, are used to infer how karst catchments work internally to generate runoff. The data analyzed include precipitation, spring flow and electric conductivity of the spring water. All the signals show the signature of multifractality but with different intermittency and non-stationarity. In particular, precipitation and spring flow are shown to have nearly the same degree of nonstationarity and intermittency, while electric conductivity, which mimics the travel time distribution of water in the karst system, is less intermittent and smoother than both spring flow and precipitations. We found that spring flow can be obtained from precipitation through fractional convolution with a power law transfer function. An important result of our study is that the probability distribution of travel times is inconsistent with the advection dispersion equation, while it supports the anomalous transport model. This result is in line with what was observed by Painter et al. [Geophys. Res. Lett. 29 (2002) 21.1] for transport in fractured rocks. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

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


2D and 3D GPR imaging of sinkholes and dissolution features in Jandaíra karst of Fazenda Belém oil field, Potiguar Basin-CE, northeast of Brazil, PhD Thesis, 2005, Xavier Neto, Pedro

In Fazenda Belém oil field (Potiguar Basin, Ceará State, northeast Brazil) occur frequently sinkholes and sudden terrain collapses associated to an unconsolidated sedimentary cap covering the Jandaíra karst. This research was carried out in order to understand the mechanisms of generation of these collapses. The main tool used was Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR). This work is developed twofold: one aspect concerns methodology improvements in GPR data processing whilst another aspect concerns the geological study of the Jandaíra karst. This second aspect was strongly supported both by the analysis of outcropping karst structures (in another regions of Potiguar Basin) and by the interpretation of radargrams from the subsurface karst in Fazenda Belém.


It was designed and tested an adequate flux to process GPR data which was adapted from an usual flux to process seismic data. The changes were introduced to take into account important differences between GPR and Reflection Seismic methods, in particular: poor coupling between source and ground, mixed phase of the wavelet, low signal-to-noise ratio, monochannel acquisition, and high influence of wave propagation effects, notably dispersion. High frequency components of the GPR pulse suffer more pronounced effects of attenuation than low frequency components resulting in resolution losses in radargrams. In Fazenda Belém, there is a stronger need of an suitable flux to process GPR data because both the presence of a very high level of aerial events and the complexity of the imaged subsurface karst structures. The key point of the processing flux was an improvement in the correction of the attenuation effects on the GPR pulse based on their influence on the amplitude and phase spectra of GPR signals. In low and moderate losses dielectric media the propagated signal suffers significant changes only in its amplitude spectrum; that is, the phase spectrum of the propagated signal remains practically unaltered for the usual travel time ranges. Based on this fact, it is shown using real data that the judicious application of the well known tools of time gain and spectral balancing can efficiently correct the attenuation effects. The proposed approach can be applied in heterogeneous media and it does not require the precise knowledge of the attenuation parameters of the media. As an additional benefit, the judicious application of spectral balancing promotes a partial deconvolution of the data without changing its phase. In other words, the spectral balancing acts in a similar way to a zero phase deconvolution. In GPR data the resolution increase obtained with spectral balancing is greater than those obtained with spike and predictive deconvolutions.


The evolution of the Jandaíra karst in Potiguar Basin is associated to at least three events of subaerial exposition of the carbonatic plataform during the Turonian, Santonian, and Campanian. In Fazenda Belém region, during the mid Miocene, the Jandaíra karst was covered by continental siliciclastic sediments. These sediments partially filled the void space associated to the dissolution structures and fractures. Therefore, the development of the karst in this region was attenuated in comparison to other places in Potiguar Basin where this karst is exposed. In Fazenda Belém, the generation of sinkholes and terrain collapses are controlled mainly by: (i) the presence of an unconsolidated sedimentary cap which is thick enough to cover completely the karst but with sediment volume lower than the available space associated to the dissolution structures in the karst; (ii) the existence of important structural of SW-NE and NW-SE alignments which promote a localized increase in the hydraulic connectivity allowing the channeling of underground water, thus facilitating the carbonatic dissolution; and (iii) the existence of a hydraulic barrier to the groundwater flow, associated to the Açu-4 Unity.


The terrain collapse mechanisms in Fazenda Belém occur according to the following temporal evolution. The meteoric water infiltrates through the unconsolidated sedimentary cap and promotes its remobilization to the void space associated with the dissolution structures in Jandaíra Formation. This remobilization is initiated at the base of the sedimentary cap where the flow increases its abrasion due to a change from laminar to turbulent flow regime when the underground water flow reaches the open karst structures. The remobilized sediments progressively fill from bottom to top the void karst space. So, the void space is continuously migrated upwards ultimately reaching the surface and causing the sudden observed terrain collapses. This phenomenon is particularly active during the raining season, when the water table – that normally is located in the karst – may be temporarily located in the unconsolidated sedimentary cap.


Using 2D inversion of magnetic resonance soundings to locate a water-filled karst conduit, 2006, Boucher M, Girard Jf, Legchenko A, Baltassat Jm, Dorfliger N, Chalikakis K,
SummaryA new methodology for magnetic resonance sounding (MRS) data acquisition and interpretation was developed for locating water-filled karst cavities. This methodology was used to investigate the Ouysse karst system in the Poumeyssens shaft in the Causse de Gramat (France). A new 2D numerical MRS response model was designed for improved accuracy over the previous 1D MRS approach. A special survey performed by cave divers confirmed the accuracy of the MRS results. Field results demonstrated that in favourable conditions (a low EM noise environment and a relatively shallow, large target) the MRS method, used with a coincident transmitter/receiver loop, can be an effective tool for locating a water-filled karst conduit. It was shown numerically that because an a priori orientation of the MRS profile with the karst conduit is used in the inversion scheme (perpendicular for instance), any error in this assumption introduces an additional error in locating the karst. However, the resulting error is within acceptable limits when the deviation is less than 30[deg]. The MRS results were compared with an electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) survey. It was found that in Poumeyssens, ERT is not able to locate the water-filled karst. On the other hand, ERT provides additional information about heterogeneities in the limestone

Applications of stalagmite laminae to paleoclimate reconstructions: Comparison with dendrochronology/climatology, 2006, Tan Ming, Baker Andy, Genty Dominique, Smith Claire, Esper Jan, Cai Binggui,
Laminated stalagmites, observed in either ultra-violet or visible light or recognized via trace elements, are now widely recognized as a common deposition form. Annually laminated stalagmites should be expected in caves which have an overlying climate that has a strong seasonality, similar climate zones to where trees grow with distinct annual rings. Continuous laminated stalagmite chronologies (up to several thousand years) should be expected where some mixing of stored water occurs. Such stalagmites can be used to reconstruct climate, particularly through variations in lamina width. Such climate records would be relatively damped by mixing of `event' water with `stored' groundwater, constraining the amount of high-frequency climate signals contained in the stalagmite, but relatively long continuous lamina sequences permit the preservation of low frequency, centennial scale, climate signals. This contrasts with numerous tree ring climate records, which are frequently limited in preserving multi-centennial trends, due to the necessary removal of age related noise from relatively short tree segments. Laminated stalagmites and tree rings should therefore to some degree provide complementary climate information. Appropriate methods for compiling stalagmite layer chronologies and climatologies are presented

Les Microcodium: un traceur naturel des coulements karstiques dans les craies champenoises proximit des formations palocnes (Marne, France)., 2007, Lejeune O. , Devos A. , Fronteau G. , Roche D. , Lefevre A. , Sosson C.
The microcodium: A natural tracer of karstic flowpaths in the Champagne chalk close to the Paleocene formations (Marne, France) - Our study group GEGENA was asked to study the karstic flowpaths witin the Champagne chalk. This work was done within a research program (AQUAL) investigating the agricultural pollutions within the Vesle basin. The absence of good conditions to conduct classical dye tracing experiments led us to search for a natural tracer to prove that karstic circulations do exist. A stratigraphic study permitted to isolate a microcodium fossil, present in the upper parts of the Campagnian chalks, which could be a natural tracer for the chalk karst area around the Montagne de Reims. This tracer is locally associated with archeological elements which permit to state that the flow is karstic. The Trpail spring was used as a test site for the validation of the method. The sediments collected in the spring as well as in other springs nearby do indeed contain many microcodium remains.

Contribution of artificial galleries to the knowledge of karstic system behaviour in addition to natural cavern data, 2008, Garry B. , Blondel Th. , Emblanch Ch. , Sudre Ch. , Bilgot S. , Cavaillou A. , Boyer D. , Auguste M.
The study of karstic systems is mainly based on hydrodynamic and hydrochemical data collected at system inlets (rainfall) and outlets (springs). Indeed, some complementary data base coming from speleological and hydrogeological explorations of natural cavities exist. However, they are not completely representative of all the types of flows. These kinds of flow which have a large part in general hydrodynamics of a system are already the result of a structured organization of karst due to complex phenomena of limestone dissolution. Artificial galleries have the advantage to be easily accessible. Moreover, they cut randomly flows which are much less structured or not. Both types of information seem to be complementary in order to understand a karstic aquifer. In this paper, we focus on the hydrochemical and hydrodynamic study of unstructured flows of the Low-Noise Underground Laboratory of Rustrel- Pays dApt (LSBB), a former military site with 3,4 km of buried galleries.

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