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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 stream flow is the total runoff confined in a stream and its' channel [16].?

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Karst environment, Culver D.C.
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Your search for reactive transport (Keyword) returned 16 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 16
A combined continuum and discrete network reactive transport model for the simulation of karst development, 1996, Clemens T Huckinhaus D. , Sauter M. , Liedl R. , Teutsch G.

The genesis of dedolomites: a disussion based on reactive transport modelling, 1998, Ayora C. , Taberner C. , Saaltink M. W. , Carrera J.

Toward a better understanding of fissure growth in karst formations: Investigations from genesis to maturation and the influence of fracture-matrix interactions., 2002, Cheung, Wendy Wai Wan

There has been interest in quantitative modeling of early karstification with the objectives of estimating time-scales of conduit growth and understanding the nature of cave patterns. In particular, the initiation phase has been studied in great detail because it is the slowest phase in the development of caverns. In this study aperture variability in a two-dimensional framework and fracture matrix interaction are studied to better understand their role in time estimations of aperture growth. The initial phase of karst development is studied from its nascent stage as a fissure into the early stages of turbulence. In uniform fissures in rapidly dissolving minerals, the concentration reaches the solubility limit within a short distance along the flow path. However, the variability in the aperture field inherently provides instabilities to the system and growth is propagated along these perturbations. Flow is focused into preferential channels which are enlarged at a faster rate than surrounding regions of slow flow. As a result, a positive feedback mechanism takes place and creates growth in a highly selective manner. Only in large domains (>25 correlation lengths), can the instabilities create competition for flow at the solution front as well and lead to significant branching. It is this branching which creates the non-monotonic behavior in breakthrough times (defined as the point in which turbulent flow is first encountered). It has been observed that the non-monotonic behavior is scale dependent. Smaller domains do not exhibit this behavior because there are only a few correlation lengths between
the fingertip and the lateral domain boundaries. Aperture variability significantly impacts dissolution patterns in a two-dimensional framework. While aperture variability speeds up growth, the inclusion of the porous bedrock can inhibit growth. The porous matrix serving as a large low - conductive reservoir can significantly influence the development of the fracture by slowing down dissolution growth through matrix diffusion. In a one dimensional model, this issue is further explored. Although the focus of the study is on modeling of early karstification, there are many common themes between this problem and other reactive transport problems that this model can be made suitable for exploring.


Dissolution of deep carbonate rocks by fluid mixing: a discussion based on reactive transport modeling, 2003, Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E,
The geochemical processes proposed until now to explain the formation of cavities in deep carbonates are difficult to reconcile with observations. We propose a mixing model of hydrothermal solutions equilibrated with carbonate. Through numerical reactive transport simulations, we observe that chemical mixing of hydrothermal solutions can generate a zone of host:rock dissolution and another of minor calcite precipitation. Variations in relative fluid velocities, pH or S content may result in the growth of the precipitation zone with respect to the dissolution one. This explains the finding of dissolution cavities in carbonate rocks with subsequent filling by carbonate minerals. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Numerical analysis of conduit evolution in karstic aquifers. PhD Thesis, 2003, Annable, W. K.

Fractured and solutionally enhanced carbonate aquifers supply approximately 20 percent of the Worlds potable water supply. Although in rare cases these geologic settings can geochemically evolve into conduits which are of sufficient size to be explored and interpreted by researchers, the majority of the solutionally enlarged networks providing fresh water supplies remain too small to be directly measured. As such, we rely upon indirect hydraulic testing and tracer studies to infer the complexity and size of such aquifers. Because solutionally enhanced (karstic) aquifers have multiple scales of porosity ranging from matrix flow, fracture flow and open channel conduit flow, they are particularly vulnerable to contamination due to the high rates of chemical transport. In this study, a numerical model which solves for the variably-saturated flow, chemically-reactive transport and sediment transport within fractured carbonate aquifers has been developed to investigate the evolution of proto conduits from discrete fractures towards the minimum limits of caves which can be explored. The model results suggest that, although potentiometric surfaces can be of assistance in forecasting the possible locations of proto conduits at depth, many conduits are never detected using conventional observation wells relying upon hydraulic head data. The model also demonstrates the strong dependence in the pattern of vertical jointing on how conduits may evolve: fractures oriented similar to the mean groundwater flow direction show conduits evolving along the vertical fracture orientation; however, vertical fractures that differ significantly from the mean groundwater flow direction have vastly more complex dissolution networks. The transport of fine-grained sediments within the fractures has been shown to reduce the rates of conduit development in all but the highest velocity regions, resulting in simplified conduit networks, but at accelerated dissolution rates. The fully-coupled advective-dispersive and reactive chemistry equations were employed strictly with equilibrium reactions to simulate calcite dissolution. This study further shows that higher order kinetics in the form of the kinetic trigger effect of White (1997) are not required if diffusion between the rock matrix and the fracture surfaces account for multi-component matrix diffusion effects between the evolving conduits and the carbonate rock matrix according to the diffusional characteristics of the fractured rock system at hand.


Role of fluid mixing in deep dissolution of carbonates, 2003,

The presence of cavities filled with new minerals in carbonate rocks is a common feature in oil reservoirs and lead-zinc deposits. Since groundwater equilibrates rapidly with carbonates, the presence of dissolution cavities in deep carbonate host rocks is a paradox. Two alternative geochemical processes have been proposed to dissolve carbonates at depth: hydrogen sulfide oxidation to sulfuric acid, and metal sulfide precipitation. With the aid of geochemical modeling we show that mixing two warm solutions saturated with carbonate results in a new solution that dissolves limestone. Variations in the proportion of the end-member fluids can also form a supersaturated mixture and fill the cavity with a new generation of carbonate. Mixing is in general more effective in dissolving carbonates than the aforementioned processes. Moreover, mixing is consistent with the wide set of textures and mineral proportions observed in cavity infillings


Evolution of hydraulic conductivity by precipitation and dissolution in carbonate rock, 2003,

The evolution of hydraulic conductivity and flow patterns, controlled by simultaneous  precipitation and dissolution in porous rocks, was examined in a series of laboratory  experiments. Linear flow experiments were performed in columns of crushed calcareous  sandstone by injecting different concentrations of HCl/H2SO4 mixtures at various flow  rates. The effect of simultaneous calcium carbonate dissolution and gypsum precipitation  was analyzed. Changes in head gradient, recorded at specific time intervals during the  experiments, were used to calculate overall hydraulic conductivity of each column. The  effluent acid was analyzed for Ca2+ and SO4  2_ concentrations in order to calculate porosity  changes during the experiments. After each experiment, the rock sample was retrieved and  sectioned in order to study the pore space geometry, micromorphology, and mineral  concentrations. Arange of injected H+/SO4  2_ ratios and flow rates was identified which leads  to oscillations in the effective hydraulic conductivity of the evolving carbonate rock  samples. Because the dissolution of calcium carbonate is a mass transfer limited process,  higher flow rates cause a more rapid dissolution of the porous medium; in such cases, with  dissolution dominating, highly conductive flow wormholes were observed to develop.  At slower flow rates, no wormhole formation was observed, but the porosity varied in  different parts of the columns. Analysis of the sectioned parts of the column, after each  experiment, showed that total porosity increased significantly by dissolution of carbonate  mineral near the inlet of the column and decreased along the interior length of the column by  gypsum precipitation. These findings are in qualitative accordance with conceptual  understanding of such phenomena


Hydrothermal mixing, carbonate dissolution and sulfide precipitation in Mississippi Valley-type deposits, 2004, Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E,
A large number of Mississippi Valley-Type (MVT) deposits are located within dissolution zones in carbonate host rocks. Some genetic models propose the existence of cavities generated by an earlier event such as a shallow karstification, that were subsequently filled with hydrothermal minerals. Alternative models propose carbonate dissolution caused by the simultaneous precipitation of sulfides. These models fail to explain either the deep geological setting of the cavities, or the observational features which suggest that the dissolution of carbonates and the precipitation of minerals filling the cavities are not strictly coeval. We present a genetic model inspired by the textural characteristics of MVT deposits that accounts for both the dissolution of carbonate and precipitation of sulfides and later carbonates in variable volumes. The model is based on the mixing of two hydrothermal fluids with a different chemistry. Depending on the proportion of the end members, the mixture dissolves and precipitates carbonates even though the two mixing solutions are both independently saturated in carbonates. We perform reactive transport simulations of mixing of a regional groundwater and brine ascending through a fracture, both saturated in calcite, but with different overall chemistries (Ca and carbonate concentrations, pH, etc). As a result of the intrinsic effects of chemical mixing, a carbonate dissolution zone, which is enhanced by acid brines, appears above the fracture, and another zone of calcite precipitation builds up between the cavity and the surrounding rock. Sulfide forms near the fracture and occupies a volume smaller than the cavity. A decline of the fluid flux in the fracture would cause the precipitation of calcite within the previously formed cavities. Therefore, dissolution of carbonate host rock, sulfide precipitation within the forming cavity, and later filling by carbonates may be part of the same overall process of mixing of fluids in the carbonate host rock

Dissolution of limestone fractures by cooling waters: Early development of hypogene karst systems, 2005, Andre Bj, Rajaram H,

[1] Fracture dissolution in the early stages of karstification under hypogene conditions is investigated using a coupled numerical model of fluid flow, heat transfer, and reactive transport. Dissolution of calcite in the H2O-CO2-CaCO3 system along a cooling flow path is investigated using both equilibrium and kinetic models. During the very early stages of fracture growth, there is a positive feedback between flow, heat transfer, and dissolution. In this stage the dissolution rate is largely controlled by the retrograde solubility of calcite, and aperture growth is relatively uniform along the fracture length. There is a period of slow continuous increase in the mass flow rate through the fracture, which is followed by an abrupt rapid increase. We refer to the time when this rapid increase occurs as the maturation time. As the flow rate continues to increase after maturation, forced convective effects lead to higher fluid temperatures in the fracture, resulting in a negative feedback that slows the rate of fracture growth. The behavior of aperture growth before the maturation time can be described by a simple ordinary differential equation. The solution of this differential equation provides an estimate of the maturation time, in terms of the initial aperture, hydraulic and thermal gradients, and the change in solubility with temperature. The behavior before maturation in two-dimensional variable aperture fractures is investigated using a simplified model. The maturation time is shown to decrease with the degree of aperture variability due to highly selective growth along preferential flow paths


Reactive transport modeling and hydrothermal karst genesis: The example of the Rocabruna barite deposit (Eastern Pyrenees), 2006, Corbella M, Ayora C, Cardellach E, Soler A,
In western Europe and North Africa, many sulfide and barite deposits appear to be related to the pre-Triassic paleosurface. Some of these mineralizations have traditionally been interpreted as the result of mineral fillings of previously formed karstic cavities. However, reactive transport modeling suggests that those minerals may have originated at depth and simultaneous with the cavity in the carbonate rocks. Numerical simulations using the Rocabruna deposit as an example recreate the genesis of such cavities and their filling by new minerals in a hydrothermal environment. Two warm (T = 150 [deg]C) fluids with different compositions but both saturated with dolomite were allowed to mix at a fracture intersection; the resulting solution strongly corroded the dolomite host rock and was able to create large voids in a hundred thousand year time scale. Our results show that equidimensional cavities originate from mixtures with equal fluxes of the contributing fluids, but elongated dissolution zones appear when the flux ratios were different from unity and the slowest flow direction coincided with the longest dimension of the void. Moreover, when the fluid mixture was dominated by a diluted and slightly alkaline groundwater instead of a 50-50 mixture with an acidic brine, dolomite dissolution or corrosion was more effective. Sulfide minerals precipitate around cavity walls replacing the host dolostone as the dolomite dissolution reaction couples with that of sulfide precipitation. This coupling produces some porosity, which is negligible compared to that caused by the mixing itself. Barite may also precipitate inside the forming cavity, but as the sulfate mineral precipitation reaction is not coupled with that of dolomite dissolution, barite grows in open space

Brackish springs in coastal aquifers and the role of calcite dissolution by mixing waters , 2007, Sanz Escud, Esteban

Brackish springs are relatively frequent phenomena in coastal carbonate formations and their existence has been extensively reported in Mediterranean coasts. In fact, more than 300 brackish springs have been identified only in the coast of the former Yugoslavia. They essentially consist of inland or submarine karst outlets discharging waters with flow-dependent salinity. The phenomenon is particularly surprising in inland springs, where high flow rates with significant salinities (presumablyBrackish springs are relatively frequent phenomena in coastal carbonate formations and their existence has been extensively reported in Mediterranean coasts. In fact, more than 300 brackish springs have been identified only in the coast of the former Yugoslavia. They essentially consist of inland or submarine karst outlets discharging waters with flow-dependent salinity. The phenomenon is particularly surprising in inland springs, where high flow rates with significant salinities (presumably


Fluids in geological processes The present state and future outlook, 2010, Mumm Andreas Schmidt, Brugger Joel, Zhao Chongbin, Schacht Ulrike

The research of fluids in the earth's crust is greatly benefiting from methodological (analytical) and experimental advances and the rapid development of increasingly powerful numerical modelling systems. New experimental data continuously refine the accuracy of numerical models aiming to quantitatively reconstruct geological processes. Geological modelling programs have moved on from linear or 2-dimensional approaches to integrating 3 or 4D geology with geothermal aspects, fluids flow and reactive transport processes into complex, quantitative scenarios. These combinations of refinement of the data base and advances in computational capacities are the stepping stones for the development of the predictive quality of mineralising models and hydrocarbon migration and accumulation, access to geothermal energy and the sequestration of CO2.

This special issue presents a selection of contributions on “Fluids in Geological Processes” following the VIth GEOFLUIDS meeting in Adelaide in 2009, emphasizing on recent developments in the different research trends in this field.


Coupled Thermo-Hydro-Chemical (THC) Modeling of Hypogene Karst Evolution in a Prototype Mountain Hydrologic System, 2011, Chaudhuri A. , Rajaram H. , Viswanathan H. S. , Zyvoloski G.

Hypogene karst systems are believed to develop when water flowing upward against the geothermal gradient dissolves limestone as it cools. We present a comprehensive THC model incorporating time-evolving fluid flow, heat transfer, buoyancy effects, multi-component reactive transport and aperture/permeability change to investigate the origin of hypogene karst systems. Our model incorporates the temperature and pressure dependence of the solubility and dissolution kinetics of calcite. It also allows for rigorous representation of temperature-dependent fluid density and its influence on buoyancy forces at various stages of karstification. The model is applied to investigate karstification over geological time scales in a prototype mountain hydrologic system. In this system, a high water table maintained by mountain recharge, drives flow downward through the country rock and upward via a high-permeability fault/fracture. The pressure boundary conditions are maintained constant in time. The fluid flux through the fracture remains nearly constant even though the fracture aperture and permeability increase by dissolution, largely because the permeability of the country rock is not altered significantly due to slower dissolution rates. However, karstification by fracture dissolution is not impeded even though the fluid flux stays nearly constant. Forced and buoyant convection effects arise due to the increased permeability of the evolving fracture system. Since in reality the aperture varies significantly within the fracture plane, the initial fracture aperture is modeled as a heterogeneous random field. In such a heterogeneous aperture field, the water initially flows at a significant rate mainly through preferential flow paths connecting the relatively large aperture zones. Dissolution is more prominent at early time along these flow paths, and the aperture grows faster within these paths. With time, the aperture within small sub-regions of these preferential flow paths grows to a point where the permeability is large enough for the onset of buoyant convection. As a result, a multitude of buoyant convection cells form that take on a two-dimensional (2D) maze-like appearance, which could represent a 2D analog of the three-dimensional (3D) mazework pattern widely thought to be characteristic of hypogene cave systems. Although computational limitations limited us to 2D, we suggest that similar process interactions in a 3D network of fractures and faults could produce a 3D mazework.


Computational Investigation of Fundamental Mechanisms Contributing to Fracture Dissolution and the Evolution of Hypogene Karst Systems, 2011, Chaudhuri A. , Rajaram H. , Viswanathan H. S. , Zyvoloski G. , Stauffer P. H.

Hypogene karst systems evolve by dissolution resulting from the cooling of water flowing upward against the geothermal gradient in limestone formations. We present a comprehensive coupled-process model of fluid flow, heat transfer, reactive transport and buoyancy effects to investigate the origin of hypogene karst systems by fracture dissolution. Our model incorporates the temperature and pressure dependence of the solubility and dissolution kinetics of calcite. Our formulation inherently incorporates mechanisms such as “mixing corrosion” that have been implicated in the formation of hypogene cave systems. It also allows for rigorous representation of temperature-dependent fluid density and its consequences at various stages of karstification. The model is applied to investigate karstification over geological time scales in a network of faults/fractures that serves as a vertical conduit for upward flow. We considered two different conceptual hydrogeologic models. In the first model, the upward flow is controlled by a constant pressure gradient. In the second model, the flow is induced by topographic effects in a mountainous hydrologic system. During the very early stages of fracture growth, there is a positive feedback between fluid flow rate, heat transfer and dissolution. In this stage the dissolution rate is largely controlled by the retrograde solubility of calcite and aperture growth occurs throughout the fracture. For the first model, there is a period of slow continuous increase in the mass flow rate through the fracture, which is followed by an abrupt rapid increase. We refer to the time when this rapid increase occurs as the maturation time. For the second model of a mountainous hydrologic system, the fluid flux through the fracture remains nearly constant even though the fracture permeability and aperture increase. This is largely because the permeability of the country rock does not increase significantly. While this limits the fluid flux through the system, it does not impede karstification. At later stages, forced convection and buoyant convection effects arise in both models due to the increased permeability of the evolving fracture system. Our results suggest that there is s strong tendency for buoyant convection cells to form under a wide range of conditions. A modified Rayleigh number provides a unified quantitative criterion for the onset of buoyant convection across all cases considered. Once buoyant convection cells are set up, dissolution is sustained in the upward flow portions of the cells, while precipitation occurs in the regions of downward flow. We discuss the implications of this type of flow pattern for the formation of hot springs and mazework caves, both of which are characteristic of hypogene karst environments. We also investigate the sensitivity of karst evolution to various physical and geochemical factors.


Permeability evolution due to dissolution and precipitation of carbonates using reactive transport modeling in pore networks, 2013, Nogues J. P. , Fitts J. P. , Celia M. A. , Peters C. A.

A reactive transport model was developed to simulate reaction of carbonates within a pore network for the high-pressure CO2-acidified conditions relevant to geological carbon sequestration. The pore network was based on a synthetic oolithic dolostone. Simulation results produced insights that can inform continuum-scale models regarding reaction induced changes in permeability and porosity. As expected, permeability increased extensively with dissolution caused by high concentrations of carbonic acid, but neither pH nor calcite saturation state alone was a good predictor of the effects, as may sometimes be the case. Complex temporal evolutions of interstitial brine chemistry and network structure led to the counterintuitive finding that a far-from-equilibrium solution produced less permeability change than a nearer-to-equilibrium solution at the same pH. This was explained by the pH buffering that increased carbonate ion concentration and inhibited further reaction. Simulations of different flow conditions produced a nonunique set of permeability-porosity relationships. Diffusive-dominated systems caused dissolution to be localized near the inlet, leading to substantial porosity change but relatively small permeability change. For the same extent of porosity change caused from advective transport, the domain changed uniformly, leading to a large permeability change. Regarding precipitation, permeability changes happen much slower compared to dissolution-induced changes and small amounts of precipitation, even if located only near the inlet, can lead to large changes in permeability. Exponent values for a power law that relates changes in permeability and porosity ranged from 2 to 10, but a value of 6 held constant when conditions led to uniform changes throughout the domain


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