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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 temperature log is a recording curve of ground-water temperature in a well [16].?

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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 paleohydrology (Keyword) returned 12 results for the whole karstbase:
Paleohydrology and Streamflow Simulation of three Karst Basins in Southeastern West Virginia, U.S.A., PhD Thesis, 1975, Coward, Julian Michael Henry

This study was undertaken to gain a better understanding of karst hydrology. To do this, the present day hydrology and the paleohydrology were determined in three karst basins. The basins chosen were the Swago, Locust and Spring Creek basins in Pocahontas and Greenbrier Counties, West Virginia. A number of conventional field techniques were used successfully in this study, including the following: current meter and dye dilution gauging; dye and lycopodium stream tracing; geological and cave mapping; the setting up of stage recorders; geochemistry; and limestone erosion measurements. The climate of the region was investigated to obtain realistic precipitation, temperature and potential evaporation data over the study basins.
It was found that the mean precipitation over two of the basins was 30% higher than recorded data in the valleys. The karst development of the basins was found to take place in four major stages. These were: A) initial surficial flow, B) strike controlled drainage, C) major piracies from one sub-basin to another, and D) shortening of the flow routes. The major controls on the karst development were found to be: A) the Taggard shale, B) the strike direction, which controlled early basin development, and C) the hydraulic gradient from the sink to rising, which controlled later basin development.
To better assess the quantitative hydrology, and to assist in determining the type of unexplorable flow paths, a watershed model was developed. This modelled the streamflow from known climatic inputs using a number of measured or optimized parameters. The simulation model handled snowmelt, interception, infiltration, interflow, baseflow, overland flow, channel routing, and evaporation from the interception, soil water, ground water, snowpack and channel water. The modelled basin could be split up into 20 segments, each with different hydrological characteristics, but a maximum of 3 segments was used in this study.
A total of 29 parameters was used in the model although only 10 (other than those directly measurable) were found to be sensitive in the three basins. The simulated streamflow did not match the real flows very well due to errors in the data input and due to simplifications in the model. It was found, however, that as the proportion of the limestone in a segment increased the overland flow decreased, the interflow increased, the baseflow and interflow recessions were faster, the soil storages were smaller and the infiltration rate was higher, than in segments with a larger proportion of exposed clastics. The flow characteristics of the inaccessible conduits were inferred from the channel routing parameters and it was postulated that the majority of the underground flow in the karst basins was taking place under vadose conditions.


Base-level Changes Inferred from Cave Paleoflow Analysis in the Lagoa Santa Karst, Brazil, 1998, Auler, A. S.
The interpretation of flow marks in relict cave passages in two drainage basins in the tropical karst of Lagoa Santa, East Central Brazil was used to characterize past flow routes. Comparison with present groundwater flow deduced from dye tracing was performed in order to assess the evolutionary history of the karst drainage basins. Samambaia Basin's dry caves show that paleoflow in this basin was directed towards other local base levels, suggesting that some fluviokarst features in the basin were generated in a later stage. Paleoflow analysis in the Palmeiras-Mocambo Basin shows that flow direction has not changed significantly since the genesis of today's dry caves. Relict caves can provide useful clues on the paleohydrology of karst areas.

Sources et hydrosystmes karstiques des rgions arides et semi-arides, essai gographique, 2000, Nicod, Jean
SPRINGS AND KARSTIC HYDROSYSTEMS IN THE ARID AND SEMI-ARID AREAS. A GEOGRAPHICAL ESSAY - The patterns of the main springs and hydrosystems in the deserts and surroundings are sorted, according to their geomorphological situation (piedmont, coastal or inner plateau), to structure of the aquifers and working of groundwater (storage capacity, artesian systems) and to the hydrochemical criteria particularly the solute load in Mg2+, SO42- and Cl-. From the best known examples, the main problems on the genesis and working of the karstic hydro-systems in arid environment are discussed: - the incidence of tectonic stress and paleokarstic and paleoclimatic inheritances; - the recent periods of recharge (in Northern Sahara and Near and Middle East); - the interactions in ionic solutions and hyper-karstic processes: particular_ly with the strong acid, H2SO4, the "double solvency effect", and the mixing water corrosion near the salt water wedge in the coastal karsts.

Ostracode-based reconstruction from 23,300 to about 20,250 cal yr BP of climate, and paleohydrology of a groundwater-fed pond near St. Louis, Missouri, 2003, Curry B, Delorme D,

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

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

Late glacial to Holocene climate and sedimentation history in the NW Black Sea, 2005, Bahr A, Lamy F, Arz H, Kuhlmann H, Wefer G,
Gravity cores from the continental slope in the northwestern Black Sea were studied using high-resolution stable isotope, grain size and XRF-scanning data. The measurements provide a 30 000 years AMS 14C-dated record of variations in the hydrological regime of the Black Sea and give insight into changing paleoenvironments in the surrounding areas. Stable climatic conditions during the Last Glacial Maximum were followed by a series of meltwater pulses most likely originating from the Scandinavian ice sheet between 18 000 and 15 500 yr BP.1 This meltwater input rose the level of the Caspian Sea to a point that Caspian water could spill into the Black Sea via the Manych-depression north of the Caucasian mountains. High-frequency oscillations in the XRF-data during this period suggest a probable link to the arctic climate regime. Later, during the Bolling/Allerod and the early Holocene, prevailing high temperatures led to authigenic calcite precipitation through increased phytoplankton activity, interrupted by the Younger Dryas and the '8200 yr BP cold event' with dominant clastic sedimentation

Empirical study of conduit radial cross-section determination and representation methods on cavernous limestone porosity characterization, 2006, Sasowsky I. D. , Bishop M. R.
Radial cross sections are constructed during cave mapping in order to illustrate karst groundwater conduit (cave passage) morphology. These sections can also be employed in studies of porosity distribution and paleohydrology. Cave surveyors usually estimate left, right, up, and down (LRUD) distances from a survey station to the conduit wall, and these four values are used to construct the radial cross section, and occasionally integrated along the length of the passage to determine cave volume. This study evaluates the potential errors caused by LRUD estimation, as well as the effects of differing geometric approximations of passage shape. Passage dimensions at 18 stations of diverse size and morphology in Scott Hollow Cave, West Virginia were first estimated for LRUD and then precisely surveyed using a laser rangefinder taking 16 radial measurements. Results show that, depending upon the purpose of a survey, a reasonable approximation of passage shape might be made with fewer (four or eight) measurements. In cases where only four lengths are determined, approximation of the passage as an ellipse or rectangle provides a more accurate morphology and area than if portrayed as a quadrilateral. In the former case, average area errors were on the order of 10%, as opposed to -45% in the latter. Surveyor estimates of LRUD give an average overestimate of 27%. Length errors compound, however, when areas are calculated. This results in an average cross-section area error (as quadrilateral) of 57% when using estimates instead of measurements. This may be problematic for such analyses as calculation of fluid storage volumes or paleodischarges.

A spreadsheet program (Scallopex) to calculate paleovelocities from cave wall scallops, 2009, Woodward Emily, Sasowsky Ira D.

The determination of paleovelocities through analysis of scal-lops on cave walls is an important part of paleohydrologic analysis. The linked equations that must be solved to do this are cumbersome, though. This paper presents a spreadsheet program that simplifies the process. The user enters scallop lengths, paleotemperatures, and passage dimensions; and the program returns velocities.


Effects of Karst and geological structure on groundwater flow: The case of Yarqon-Taninim Aquifer, Israel, 2010, Dafny Elad, Burg Avi, Gvirtzman Haim

This study demonstrates the significant influences of the geological structure (especially folding and lithology) and the karst system on groundwater flow regime. Folds divert groundwater flow from the general hydraulic gradient; marly layers sustain several perched sub-aquifers above the regional aquifer; and karstification increases the hydraulic conductivity by several orders of magnitude. These phenomena are quantitatively demonstrated within the Yarqon-Taninim (YT) basin, Israel, which is a complex groundwater system, combining several (extremely) opposite characteristics: humid and arid recharge zones, phreatic and confined parts, shallow and deep sub-aquifers, stratified and relatively-homogeneous sub-basins, saline and fresh water bodies, as well as stagnant and fast-flowing groundwater regions.

We have introduced a 3D geological-based grid for the basin (for the first time). It was implemented into a numerical code (FEFLOW), which was used thereafter to analyze quantitatively the flow regime, the groundwater mass balance, and the aquifer hydraulic properties. We present up to date conceptual understanding and numerical modeling of the YT flow field, especially at its mountainous parts.

Based on the calibration procedure and the sensitivity analyses, we obtained the best-fitted hydraulic conductivity values for the aquifer mesh. The general phenomenon observed is that as groundwater flow quantity increases, the hydraulic conductivity also increases. We interpret this result by the karstification mechanism (including paleo-karst). Thus, where groundwater flow-lines converge and where groundwater discharge amount increases, the karstification process intensifies and permeability increases. Consequently, at the mountainous region, along the syncline axes, where groundwater flow-lines converge, higher conductivities are found.

Modeling results also exhibit that at the lowland confined area, the geological structure does not play a major role in directing groundwater flow. Rather, the flow field is controlled by the well-developed karst system and the relatively homogenous carbonate section. It is hypothesizes that the extensive karstification took place at the Messinian Salinity Crises, 5.5 Ma, during which groundwater heads as well as sea level were lowered by several 100 m.


Karst hydrology of Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA, 2010, Hill C. A. , Polyak V. J.

Caves in Grand Canyon, Arizona, USA fall into two main categories: those formed under unconfined conditions and those formed under confined conditions. This study focuses on the hydrology and paleohydrology of the confined caves in the Redwall–Muav aquifer, where the aquifer is overlain by rocks of the Supai Group and underlain by the Bright Angel Shale. Unconfined caves are discussed only in their relation to confined caves. Discharge for confined groundwater was, as it is today, primarily from the Redwall Limestone where it has been incised by the main canyon or its tributaries and where it has converged along a structural low or fault. Descent of the potentiometric surface (or water table) over time is recorded by one ore episode and six cave episodes: (1) emplacement of Cu–U ore, (2) precipitation of iron oxide in cavities, (3) dissolution of cave passages, (4) precipitation of calcite-spar linings over cave passage walls, (5) precipitation of cave mammillary coatings, (6) minor replacement of cave wall and ceiling limestone by gypsum, and (7) deposition of subaerial speleothems. The mammillary episode records the approximate position of the water table when the incision of the canyon was at that level. Discharge toward spring points has reorganized and adjusted with respect to ongoing canyon and side-canyon incision. The dissolution of Grand Canyon confined caves was the result of the mixing of epigene waters with hypogene waters so that undersaturation with respect to calcite was achieved. The karst hydrology of Grand Canyon may be unique compared to other hypogene cave areas of the world.


Deep confined karst detection, analysis and paleohydrology reconstruction at a basin-wide scale using new geophysical interpretation of borehole logs, 2011, Laskow M. , Gendler M. , Goldberg I. , Gvirtzman H. , Frumkin A.

Deep karst voids can be identified by a new geophysical interpretation method of commonly used borehole logs at deeply confined carbonate aquifers. We show that deep, buried karst voids can be characterized by combining this geophysical interpretation together with geological and hydrological data, and known speleological constraints. We demonstrate how this characterization can reveal past hydrological regimes and allow mapping of karst distribution on a basin-wide scale.

A combined analysis of geophysical, geological, hydrological and speleological data in the confined Yarkon-Taninim aquifer, Israel, led us to reconstruct past groundwater levels at different sea levels and reliefs, with the karst voids as a marker for long-term flow close to the water table. Paleo-canyons along the Mediterranean Sea shoreline strongly affected the region’s paleohydrology, by serving as major outlets of the aquifer during most of the Cenozoic. We conclude that intensive karstification was promoted by flow periods of longer duration and/or higher flux and flow velocities close to the aquifer’s past and present outlets. In addition, we suggest that karst voids found under shallow confinement was developed by renewed aggressivity achieved by hypogene water rising in cross-formational flow, mixed with fresh lateral water flow from the east.


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