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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 vadose shaft is a vertical tube in the vadose zone that may be a few inches to several feet in diameter and may be a few feet deep to hundreds and over a thousand of feet deep. they commonly occur as complexes. a drain hole is usually evident at their base. see also vertical shaft.?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
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 release (Keyword) returned 79 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 79
Summit Firn Caves, Mount Rainier, Washington, 1971, Kiver Eugene P. , Mumma Martin D. ,
Heat and steam from the crater fumaroles have melted over 5700 feet (1737 meters) of cave passage in the ice-filled east crater of Mount Rainier. The caves are in approximate balance with the present geothermal heat release. Future changes in the thermal activity of the summit cone will cause corresponding changes in cave passage dimensions, location, and ceiling and wall ablation features

Granite Caves in Girraween National Park, South-East Queensland, 1982, Finlayson, Brian

Four caves and two underground streams in granite occur within the Girraween National Park. Only two of these sites have previously been reported. They mainly occur on the margins of major joints in the granite where streams descend into troughs along the joints. The caves are themselves formed in minor joints. In some cases streams have worked their way down from the surface along a joint but at three of the sites streams flow through horizontal joints in the granite which have not been opened from the surface. For these sites it is not clear how the initial passage was opened up underground. The two possible mechanisms suggested here are solution and joint opening following pressure release. The cave morphology clearly indicates that once the path flow is open, abrasion becomes the major process. Flowstone terraces, 'cave coral', and cemented gravels are found in the caves. The speleothems and the cement are amorphous silica (Opal A). Caves in granite may be more common than was previously thought.


L'accident de Tchernobyl : une retombe positive en hydrogologie, 1986, Sesiano J. , Bueche M.
THE TCHERNOBYL ACCIDENT: A POSITIVE HYDROGEOLOGICAL ASPECT - As a continuation of dye-tracing studies of underground waters in Haute-Savoie, France, over the last few years, we have used the radioactive elements released by the Chernobyl nuclear accident as artificial tracers. The event happened simultaneously with the onset of the spring high waters. The response of the system was thus delayed by more than two weeks, the time for the water to percolate and for the aquifer to recharge. On the third week, a very faint signal was detected by gammametry and by liquid scintillation counters at the two surveyed springs.

Mount Etna Caves: The Fight to Save Mount Etna Caves from Limestone Mining, 1987, Vavryn, Josef M. C.

This treatise is a record of the dates and events, heavily condensed, of the history of Mount Etna since The Caves area was first settled. I hope to show that since the fight to save Mount Etna was first joined, seriously, in 1964 or there about, that the Central Queensland Company and the Queensland Government has had no intention to voluntarily release Mount Etna from limestone mining. Even in the event that conservationists took the Queensland Government to court, the Government had plans prepared to counter such. That was clearly shown when the government rescinded the Recreation Reserve, R444, on Mount Etna and refused to give a fiat to prosecute the Government. The next event, the passing of a law stating that any mining lease inadvertently granted illegally will now stand and be legal, was aimed at the mining lease granted illegally including Mount Etna. At this point in time there is very little that is being done to save Mount Etna. I hope that this paper will create new interest and revive the flagging "Fight to Save Mount Etna", with input from ASF member societies and individuals. If the treatise does not have the desired effect of renewing interest in the fight, and if the Central Queensland Cement Co. Pty. Ltd. Starts mining the main cavernous northern face of Mount Etna, the next ASF conference, or possibly the following, will have a "Letter of Requiem" read to them. If the Australian Public can save the "Gordon-below-Franklin" area and the "Lindeman Island National Park", surely something can be done for Mount Etna.


Radon Production and Release from Cave Sediments, 1991, Bottrell S. H.

WATER-BUDGET, FUNCTIONING AND PROTECTION OF THE FONTAINE-DE-VAUCLUSE KARST SYSTEM (SOUTHEASTERN FRANCE), 1992, Blavoux B, Mudry J, Puig Jm,
The karst aquifer of the well-known Fontaine de Vaucluse has been recently studied, results have been got about delimitation of the system and its working. Geological data (lithology and structure) have allowed to delimit an 1115 Km2 intake area including Ventoux-Lure north facing range (1,909-1,826 m) and the Plateau which is prolonging it southwards (Fig. 1 and 2). The average altitude of the whole area, obtained by balancing elevation belt surfaces, is about 870 m. This elevation squares with results of tracing tests (Fig. 3), environmental physical, chemical and isotopic tracings, that allow to value a 850 m average altitude for the intake area (Fig. 4). The moisture balance has been computed from an altitude belts climatic model, using local rain an temperature gradients (Fig. 5 and Table II), because the weather network is not representative. So, rainfalls rise of about 55 mm per 100 m elevation and temperature decreases of about 0.5-degrees-C per 100 m. The consequence of these two antagonist phenomena is the quasi constant value of actual evapotranspiration on each altitude belt. With the Fig. 7 organigram, curves of effective rainfalls and infiltration coefficient versus elevation can be plotted (Fig. 6). This computation shows that 3/4 of the total and the whole of dry season effective rainfalls are provided by the part of the intake area situated above the average altitude: on the lowest belt, effective rainfalls are only 120 mm per year and increase to 1380 mm on the upper section (Fig. 8 and Table 1). The weighted effective rainfalls are about 570 mm per year for the whole intake area. Hydrodynamical and physico-chemical studies show, despite its large size, the weak inertia of the system, so proves its good karstification, that confirms for the whole system the pin-point speleological observations. The discharge of the spring, which average value is 21 m3.s-1 (only 18 for the last ten years), can exceed 100 m3.s-1 and the minimum has never been lower than 3.7 m3.s-1 (Fig. 9). When it rains on the intake area, the increase of the discharge is very sudden in a rainy period : one to four days. This short delay is due to seepage through epikarst and unsaturated zone. During dry periods, the spring reaction is deadened, due to storage in the unsaturated zone. The silica content distribution was plotted during several hydrokinematical phases (Fig. 10). It shows: an almost unimodal distribution for the 8 km2 fissured limestone aquifer of Groseau; a multimodal one for the 1115 km2 karst aquifer of Fontaine de Vaucluse. This proves that karstification is more important than size in the response of the system. Weak summer rainfalls do not influence the discharge, nevertheless they influence chemistry of the spring water, and so interrupts the water depletion phasis. Then, the decrease of discharge can continue after the end of the chemical depletion phasis, water which is overflowing after summer rainfalls (in a dry period) is influenced hy the chemistry of seepage water : on the graph of a principal components analysis, done on chemical variables. an hysteresis phenomenon can be seen (Fig. 11). A discriminant analysis (Fig. 12) confirms that these autumn waters, with high ratio seepage tracers, are not reserve waters from the saturated zone. The ratio of reserve water in the total discharge, is preponderant: 3/4 and 2/3 respectively of the yearly runoff volumes for 1981 and 1982 (Fig. 13), but an important part of these reserves can be stored in the unsaturated zone. This storage capacity can be valued by different means: transposing to Vaucluse (1115 km2) the volume measured on another karst system in the Pyrenees (13 km2); it gives about 100 million m2; using setting parameters of Bezes model (1976) on the same aquifer: it gives 113 million m3; using depletion curves, that show, for instance during the 1989 summer and autumn dry period, a 80 million m3 volume. In all cases, we get a value of about one hundred million m3 for the storage capacity of the unsaturated zone. With a 20 m range of fluctuation for the water table and with a 10(-2) specific yield, on a 500 to 1,000 km2 saturated zone, the zone of fluctuation can release about 10 to 20 million m3. Then, the volume of water stored in the whole saturated zone, with a 300 m minimum thickness (depth of the waterlogged pit of the Fontaine), a 500 km2 minimum surface and a 10(-3) specific yield, is about 150 million m3, including 27 million m3 stored in the channels. So, the unsaturated zone represents a significant part of the whole storage capacity and most of the yearly renewable reserves. Paradoxically, the biggest french spring is not tapped at all; as its intake area is neither a regional nor a national park, no general protection covers it : because of its good karstification, the vulnerability of the system is important. Good quality of water is attributable to the low population and human activities density on the intake area (4 inh.km-2). A great part of the intake area is uncultivated (large forest and ''garrigues'' areas). Due to the lack of surface water and scantness of soils, agriculture is not intensive (lavender, thyme, sage and bulk wheat fields. meadowlands). On the mountainous zone, roads are salted in winter and snowmelt water can reach a significantly high chloride ratio than in a natural climatic functioning (for instance 25 mg.l-1 in Font d'Angiou where the ratio would have been 3 mg.l-1). As tourism is developing both on the mountain and on the plateau, the management of the highest intake area must be carefully held: its part is preponderant in the feeding of the system

HYDROGEOLOGIC CHARACTERISTICS AND DEFORESTATION OF THE STONE FOREST KARST AQUIFERS OF SOUTH CHINA, 1992, Huntoon P. W. ,
Stone forest aquifers comprise an important class of shallow, unconfined karstic aquifers in the south China karst belt. They occur under flat areas such as floors of karst depressions, stream valleys, and karst plains. The frameworks for the aquifers are the undissolved carbonate spires and ribs in epikarst zones developed on carbonate strata. The ground water occurs within clastic sediments which infill the dissolution voids. The aquifers are thin, generally less than 100 meters thick, and are characterized by large lateral permeabilities and small storage. The result is that the aquifers are difficult to manage because recharge during the rainy season moves rapidly out of the aquifers. Water levels fall sharply as the dry season progresses and the ground-water supply falls off accordingly. The magnitude and duration of the seasonal recharge pulse that replenishes the stone forest aquifers have been severely impacted by massive post-1958 deforestation in the south China karst region. Water that was formerly retained beyond the wet season in the forested uplands, later to be released to the stone forest aquifers under the lowland plains, now passes quickly through the system during the wet season. The loss of this seasonal upland storage has resulted in both a reduction in the volume of recharge to the lowland stone forest aquifers and a shortening of the seasonal recharge event. The result is accelerated water-level declines in the stone forest aquifers as the dry season progresses which, in turn, causes premature dewatering of wells and decreased spring discharges. This response is compounded by increased ground-water withdrawals as the people attempt to offset the declining supply. Management of the total water-supply system requires not only tinkering with the aquifer, but massive reforestation efforts to restore dry season water retention in the upland parts of the watersheds

Karstification without carbonic acid; bedrock dissolution by gypsum-driven dedolomitization, 1994, Bischoff Jl, Julia R, Shanks Wc, Rosenbauer Rj,
Aggressive karstification can take place where dolomite and gypsum are in contact with the same aquifer. Gypsum dissolution drives the precipitation of calcite, thus consuming carbonate ions released by dolomite. Lake Banyoles, in northeastern Spain, is a karst lake supplied by sublacustrine springs, and karstic collapse is occurring in the immediate vicinity of the lake. Lake water is dominated by Mg-Ca and SO 4 -HCO 3 , and is supersaturated with calcite that is actively accumulating in lake sediments. Water chemistry, sulfur isotope composition, local stratigraphy, and mass-balance modeling suggest that the primary karst-forming process at Lake Banyoles is dedolomitization of basement rocks driven by gypsum dissolution. Karstification takes place along the subsurface contact between the gypsiferous Beuda Formation and the dolomitic Perafita Formation. This process is here recognized for the first time to cause karstification on a large scale; this is significant because it proceeds without the addition of soil-generated carbonic acid. Gypsum-driven dedolomitization may be responsible for other karstic systems heretofore attributed to soil-generated carbonic acid

KARSTIFICATION WITHOUT CARBONIC-ACID - BEDROCK DISSOLUTION BY GYPSUM-DRIVEN DEDOLOMITIZATION, 1994, Bischoff Jl, Julia R, Shanks Wc, Rosenbauer Rj,
Aggressive karstification can take place where dolomite and gypsum are in contact with the same aquifer. Gypsum dissolution drives the precipitation of calcite, thus consuming carbonate ions released by dolomite. Lake Banyoles, in northeastern Spain, is a karst lake supplied by sublacustrine springs, and karstic collapse is occurring in the immediate vicinity of the lake. Lake water is dominated by Mg-Ca and SO4-HCO3, and is supersaturated with calcite that is actively accumulating in lake sediments. Water chemistry, sulfur isotope composition, local stratigrapy, and mass-balance modeling suggest that the primary karst-forming process at Lake Banyoles is dedolomitization of basement rocks driven by gypsum dissolution. Karstification takes place along the subsurface contact between the gypsiferous Beuda Formation and the dolomitic Perafita Formation. This process is here recognized for the first time to cause karstification on a large scale; this is significant because it proceeds without the addition of soil-generated carbonic acid. Gypsum-driven dedolomitization may be responsible for other karstic systems heretofore attributed to soil-generated carbonic acid

Herbicides in karst groundwater in southeast West Virginia, 1996, Pasquarell G. C. , Boyer D. G. ,
A field study was conducted to determine the karst groundwater impact of herbicide application to feed crops in support oil livestock production in southeast West Virginia, Grab samples were taken on a weekly/biweekly schedule at three resurgences for two agriculturally intensive karst watersheds. Two surface water sites were also sampled, The samples were analyzed for the presence of 12 different analytes: atrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine), its two metabolites, desethylatrazine (2-chloro-4-ethylamino-6-amino-1,2,5-triazine) and desisopropylatrazine (2-chloro-4-amino-6-isopropylamino-1,3,5-triazine), and nine additional triazine herbicides. Little impact was detected at the two surface water sites. In contrast, 6 of the 10 herbicides were detected in at least two of the three resurgences. Three of them, atrazine (ATR), metolachlor [2-chloro-N(2-ethyl-6-methylphenyl)-N-(2-methoxy-1-acetamide], and simazine [2-chloro-4-6-(ethylamino)-s-triazine], were detected in more than 10% of all samples at all three resurgences, ATR and desethylatrazine (DES) were detected in more than 50% of samples at all three resurgences; median ATR values were 0.060, 0.025, and 0.025 mu g/L. DAR* the ratio of DES to ATR plus DES, was used to differentiate atrazine leaching following storage for long periods in the soil, from transport that bypassed deethylation in the soil through sinkholes and other solutionally developed conduits. DAR* was low (median of <0.5) and highly varied during the periods immediately following ATR application, indicating that significant quantities of ATR were present. In the winter, a release of ATR metabolites from the soil was evidenced by a steadier, and higher DAR* (median of 0.64). The maximum detected ATR concentration was 1.20 mu g/L, which is within the USEPA maximum contaminant level of 3 mu g/L

Stable isotopic variation of storm discharge from a perennial karst spring, Indiana, 1996, Lakey B. , Krothe N. C. ,
Oxygen and deuterium isotopes and major-ion chemistry of water from a large karst spring were used in an attempt to decipher water recharge, transmission, and storage characteristics of a karst aquifer system. Ionic concentrations and isotopic data indicated that the bulk of discharge during peak flow was derived from groundwater storage. Isotopic hydrograph separation of storm flow revealed that maximum rainwater contribution to discharge was 18 to 24 hours after peak flow and rainwater contributed 20 to 25% of spring discharge over the monitoring periods. Water released from phreatic and vadose conduit storage may have contributed to discharge with the onset of storm flow, while water from soil moisture and epikarst storage may have arrived during initial discharge recession

Elevated and variable values of 13C in speleothems in a British cave system, 1997, Baker A, Ito E, Smart Pl, Mcewan Rf,
[delta] 13C isotope variations in speleothems have been investigated for samples from the British Isles, where plants which use the Hatch-Slack or C4 photosynthetic pathway are not present. The range of [delta] 13C expected in speleothem carbonate formed in isotopic equilibrium with soil CO2 derived from the overlying C3 vegetation should thus fall in the range -12 to -6[per mille sign]. Forty-one actively growing speleothem samples from low-discharge sites were analysed from Stump Cross Caverns, Yorkshire, England. Ten percent have [delta] 13C greater than -6%. In addition, a large range of [delta] 13C was observed (-8.06 1.38[per mille sign], a 1 [sigma] variability of 17%), with adjacent samples having [delta] 13C differing by a maximum of 4.74[per mille sign]. Similar findings were obtained from a review of analyses of late Quaternary speleothem samples from the British Isles, with 75% of flowstone samples and 57% of high-flow stalagmite samples exhibiting elevated [delta] 13C. Three possible processes are proposed as possible causes of elevated [delta] 13C in speleothems. Firstly, fractionation may occur between the stalactite and stalagmite due to evaporation or degassing. Secondly, degassing of the groundwaters may have occurred within the aquifer before reaching the cave void, allowing release of some CO2 from the water whilst remaining saturated in calcium. Finally, the elevated [delta] 13C may be due to short water residence times in the soil, such that equilibrium between soil water and soil CO2 is not reached. Evidence presented here demonstrates that any one of these mechanisms may be important in the karst areas of the British Isles. Caution is needed before interpreting the [delta] 13C signal within speleothems in terms of palaeovegetation

Risk assessment methodology for karst aquifers .2. Solute-transport modeling, 1997, Field Ms,
Ground-water flow and solute-transport simulation modeling are major components of most exposure and risk assessments of contaminated aquifers. Model simulations provide information on the spatial and temporal distributions of contaminants in subsurface media but are difficult to apply to karst aquifers in which conduit flow is important. Ground-water flow and solute transport in karst conduits typically display rapid-flow velocities, turbulent-flow regimes, concentrated pollutant-mass discharge, and exhibit open-channel or closed-conduit how Conventional groundwater models, dependent on the applicability of Darcy's law, are inappropriate when applied to karst aquifers because of the (1) nonapplicability of Darcian-flow parameters, (2) typically nonlaminar flow regime, and (3) inability to locate the karst conduits through which most flow and contaminant transport occurs. Surface-water flow and solute-transport models conditioned on a set of parameters determined empirically from quantitative ground-water tracing studies may be effectively used to render fate-and-transport values of contaminants in karst conduits. Hydraulic-flow and geometric parameters developed in a companion paper were used in the surface-water model, TOXI5, to simulate hypothetical slug and continuous-source releases of ethylbenzene in a karst conduit. TOXI5 simulation results showed considerable improvement for predicted ethylbenzene-transport rates and concentrations over qualitative tracing and analytical ground-water model results. Ethylbenzene concentrations predicted by TOXI5 simulations were evaluated in exposure and risk assessment models

An Investigation of the Climate, Carbon Dioxide and Dust in Jenolan Caves, N.S.W., PhD Thesis, 1997, Michie, Neville

Pressure of use of Jenolan Caves as a tourist spectacle has raised concerns about the wellbeing of the caves, so three related physical subjects were reviewed and investigated; the cave microclimate, the carbon dioxide in the cave atmosphere and dustfall in the caves. The microclimate has been shown to be dominated by several physical processes: in the absence of air movement, conduction and radiation dominate; in association with air movement, convective coupled heat and mass transfer tends to dominate energy flows. A new approach using boundary conditions and qualitative characteristics of transient fronts enables accurate measurement and analysis of energy, heat and mass transfer. This technique avoids the dimensionless number and transfer coefficient methods and is not geometrically sensitive. Conditions in caves are also determined by the capillary processes of water in cave walls. Air movement in caves depends on surface weather conditions and special problems of surface weather observation arise. A series of experiments were undertaken to evaluate the cave and surface processes. The physical processes that collect, transport and release dust were measured and described. Dust in the caves was shown to be carried from the surface, mainly by visitors. The concept of the Personal Dust Ooud is developed and experimental measurements and analysis show that this process is a major threat to the caves. New techniques of measurement are described. An accurate physiological model has been developed which predicts most of the carbon dioxide measured in Jenolan Caves, derived mainly from visitors on the cave tours. This model, developed from previously published human physiological information also predicts the production of heat and water vapour by cave tourists. The effects of carbon dioxide on cave conditions has been investigated. Details of a two year program of measurements in the caves are given. The generalised approach and methods are applicable to other caves, mines and buildings.


Gypsum Trays in Torgac Cave, New Mexico, 1998, Doran, L. M. , Hill, C. A.
Mount St. Helens is an active dacitic volcano, which is currently in a semi-dormant state after a catastrophic explosive eruption in May 1980. A dacite dome occupies the crater and plugs the volcanic vent. The crater area has been progressively covered by a layer of snow, firn, and glacier ice since as early as 1986. Heat, steam, and volcanic gases from the crater fumaroles melted over 2415 meters of cave passage in the crater ice mass. The caves are in approximate balance with the present geothermal heat release. Future changes in the thermal activity will influence the dimensions, location, ceiling, wall, and wall ablation features of these caves. Cave passages are located above fumaroles and fractures in and adjacent to the crater lava dome. Cave passages gradually enlarge by ablation, caused by outside air circulation and by geothermal sources beneath the ice. The passages form a circumferential pattern around the dome, with entrance passages on the dome flanks. Passages grow laterally and vertically toward the surface, spawning ceiling collapse.

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