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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 aquifer, karst is an aquifer in which the flow of water is or can be appreciable through one or more of the following: joints, faults, bedding-plane partings, and cavities - any or all of which have been enlarged by dissolution [18].?

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.
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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 robust (Keyword) returned 22 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 22
The Crustaceans of the reservoir of the Fontaine des Suisses at Dijon., 1966, Dussart Bernard, Graf Franois, Husson Roger
Inventory of the Crustaceans collected in the basin of the Fonatine des Suisses at Dijon. The Copepoda are represented by 5 species: Macrocyclops albidits, Eucyclops serrulatus in two slightly different forms, Eucyclops serrulatus var. mihi, Acanthocyclops venustus, Acanthocyclops vernalis and Acanthocyclops robustus. The coexistence of these two last forms in this very tiny environment makes it probable that we have here to do with two distinct species. A determination key is given for the Genus Acanthocyclops. Amphipoda are represented by Niphargus virei and especially Niphargus kochianus kochianus of which more than 100 samples have been collected. Of this last small species some considerations regarding geography, the laying of eggs, sexual dimorphism and closely related species are also given.

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.


Statistical evaluation of glacier boreholes as indicators of basal drainage systems, 1996, Smart C. C. ,
Between 1988 and 1992 closely spaced arrays of boreholes were drilled at Small River Glacier, British Columbia. The borehole arrays have been used to investigate the interannual and spatial consistency of patterns of basal hydraulics beneath the glacier. A simple robust classification was devised identifying unconnected, high standing, low standing and dry base water levels in boreholes. Spatial and interannual comparisons were made using a simple nearest neighbour statistic, corrected for differences in frequency of different borehole types and evaluated using Monte Carlo confidence intervals to compensate for array form. Arrays in the lower ablation zone showed spatial and interannual coherence, with three distinct areas characterized by low water pressure, till-associated non-connection and high pressure. There was no indication of a dominant conduit. Slightly higher up-glacier borehole patterns were less coherent, and varied from year to year, probably a result of subglacial karst capturing basal waters at a number of low pressure points at the bed. Therefore both the upper and lower arrays at Small River Glacier appear to encompass unusual drainage conditions. The nearest neighbour analysis provides valuable constraints on more specific interpretation

Cueva de Villa Luz, Tabasco, Mexico: Reconnaissance Study of an Active Sulfur Spring Cave and Ecosystem, 1999, Hose, L. D. , Pisarowicz, J. A.
Cueva de Villa Luz (a.k.a. Cueva de las Sardinas) in Tabasco, Mexico, is a stream cave with over a dozen H2S-rich springs rising from the floor. Oxidation of the H2S in the stream results in abundant, suspended elemental sulfur in the stream, which is white and nearly opaque. Hydrogen sulfide concentrations in the cave atmosphere fluctuate rapidly and often exceed U.S. government tolerance levels. Pulses of elevated carbon monoxide and depleted oxygen levels also occasionally enter the cave. Active speleogenesis occurs in this cave, which is forming in a small block of Lower Cretaceous limestone adjacent to a fault. Atmospheric hydrogen sulfide combines with oxygen and water to form sulfuric acid, probably through both biotic and abiotic reactions. The sulfuric acid dissolves the limestone bedrock and forms gypsum, which is readily removed by active stream flow. In addition, carbon dioxide from the reaction as well as the spring water and cave atmosphere combines with water. The resultant carbonic acid also dissolves the limestone bedrock. A robust and diverse ecosystem thrives within the cave. Abundant, chemoautotrophic microbial colonies are ubiquitous and apparently act as the primary producers to the caves ecosystem. Microbial veils resembling soda straw stalactites, draperies, and u-loops suspended from the ceiling and walls of the cave produce drops of sulfuric acid with pH values of <0.5-3.0 0.1. Copious macroscopic invertebrates, particularly midges and spiders, eat the microbes or the organisms that graze on the microbes. A remarkably dense population of fish, Poecilia mexicana, fill most of the stream. The fish mostly eat bacteria and midges. Participants in an ancient, indigenous Zoque ceremony annually harvest the fish in the spring to provide food during the dry season.

A modern human humerus from the early Aurignacian of Vogelherdhohle (Stetten, Germany), 2000, Churchill Se, Smith Fh,
Implicit in much of the discussion of the cultural and population biological dynamics of modern human origins in Europe is the assumption that the Aurignacian, from its very start, was made by fully modern humans. The veracity of this assumption has been challenged in recent years by the association of Neandertal skeletal remains with a possibly Aurignacian assemblage at Vindija Cave (Croatia) and the association of Neandertals with distinctly Upper Paleolithic (but non-Aurignacian) assemblages at Arcysur-Cure and St. Cesaire (France). Ideally we need human fossil material that can be confidently assigned to the early Aurignacian to resolve this issue, yet in reality there is a paucity of well-provenanced human fossils from early Upper Paleolithic contexts. One specimen, a right humerus from the site of Vogelherd (Germany), has been argued, based on its size, robusticity, and muscularity, to possibly represent a Neandertal in an Aurignacian context. The morphological affinities of the Vogelherd humerus were explored by univariate and multivariate comparisons of humeral epiphyseal and diaphyseal shape and strength measures relative to humeri of Neandertals and Early Upper Paleolithic (later Aurignacian and Gravettian) modern humans. On the basis of diaphyseal cross-sectional geometry, deltoid tuberosity morphology, and distal epiphyseal morphology, the specimen falls clearly and consistently with European early modern humans and not with Neandertals. Along with the other Vogelherd human remains, the Vogelherd humerus represents an unequivocal association between the Aurignacian and modern human morphology in Europe. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc

The sedimentary records in Mediterranean rockshelters and caves: Archives of environmental change, 2001, Woodward J. C. , Goldberg P. ,
It is important to develop rigorous methods and robust conceptual models for the interpretation of rockshelter and cave sediment records so that the cultural sequences they contain can be considered in their proper environmental context. Much of what we know about the prehistory of the Mediterranean region and adjacent areas has largely been pieced together from materials excavated from sedimentary sequences in these environments. The rockshelters and caves of the region form important environmental and sedimentary archives. Recent work has begun to consider if the remarkable climatic variability evident in the high resolution lacustrine and ice core records is manifest in the rockshelter and cave sediment records of the area, In this context, the two main characteristics of a rockshelter or cave site which control its usefulness as an archive of environmental change are the temporal resolution of the sedimentary record and the environmental sensitivity of the site. Many rockshelters and caves can be described as either Active Karst Settings (AKS) or Passive Karst Settings (PKS) and site type is an important influence on climatic sensitivity with a direct influence upon the usefulness of the sedimentary sequence as a proxy record of climate change. It is now clear that some sites may preserve detailed paleoclimatic records and the climatic signal may be represented by distinctive suites of micromorphological features, by variations in the input of allogenic sediment, or by fluctuations in the mineral magnetic properties of the fine sediment fraction. It can be argued that data derived from the analysis of bulk coarse-grained samples often lacks the stratigraphic resolution and environmental sensitivity that can be obtained from other approaches. The most favorable sites for detailed paleoclimatic reconstruction appear to be in active karst settings such as Theopetra Cave (Greece) and Pigeon Cave (Morocco) where micromorphological analyses offer insights into the stratigraphic record that are not otherwise obtainable. The temporal resolution of a site can only be established through a rigorous stratigraphic analysis and a comprehensive dating program. These are fundamental considerations in the study of rockshelter sediment records, especially when attempting to correlate between sites and draw comparisons with other proxy records of environmental change derived from sedimentary environments with rather different characteristics. Rockshelters and caves are part of a wider sediment system, and their investigation must be accompanied by detailed geomorphological, sedimentological, paleoecological, and geochronological studies of the off-site Quaternary record.

Partitioning of Sr2 and Mg2 into calcite under karst-analogue experimental conditions, 2001, Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. ,
There is a paucity of experimental data on calcite precipitation from waters at low ionic strength and low ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca, using controlled and constant precipitation rates. Such data are particularly needed for studies of speleothem geochemistry in relation to palaeoclimates.We carried out a series of experiments using a karst-analogue set-up in a chamber of constant temperature and 100% humidity. A steady flow of NaHCO3 and CaCl2 solutions at PCO2 around 10-3.2 were mixed just before passage through a tube (analogous to a soda-straw stalactite) and allowed to drip onto a surface, analogous to a stalagmite. Growth rates were comparable with linear extension rates of natural speleothems.Analytical spots gave reproducible analyses in later analytical cycles after ablation of surface calcite with Na and Mg contamination. Different crystals from the same experiment tended to show positive covariation of Na and Mg with negative covariation with Sr. This may be due to the presence of growth hillocks with vicinal faces with differential partitioning behaviour.The result for the partition coefficient for Mg (DMg) at 25[deg]C is 0.031 0.004, which is quantitatively in good agreement with the trends of previous workers. At 15[deg]C, the result is 0.019 0.003. The temperature dependency is higher than experimental data on seawater-analogue solutions, but lower than a previous estimate based on a comparison of speleothem chemistry with single water analyses.Data for DSr are mainly in the range of 0.057 to 0.078, with a possible weak dependency on growth rate, consistent with previous experimental work. Absolute values are higher than studies in Mg-free saline solutions, which is attributed mainly to salinity effects. Values of DSr are nevertheless somewhat lower than in natural caves, which may relate to crystal growth factors.Mg partition coefficient values should allow robust determination of solution Mg/Ca compositions in enclosed caves, which are at constant temperature on the decadal timescale. The inferred sensitivity of DSr to growth rate factors implies that Sr values should be interpreted more cautiously. Muted changes could relate entirely to growth rate variations, whereas changes of large magnitude imply a control by solution composition. The absence of local (tens of micron scale) antipathetic variations in Sr and Mg in studied natural speleothems, implies that intracrystalline zoning phenomena, if present, are on a finer scale in those natural materials compared with experimental products

Leg Attenuation and Seasonal Femur Length: Mass Relationships in Cavernicolous Crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae and Rhaphidophoridae), 2002, Studier, E. H. , Lavoie, K. H. , Howarth, F. G.
We report here some factors that affect the relationship between hind femur length (HFL) to crop-empty live weight (CELW) and propose a quantitative, non-lethal measurement ratio that has potential as an index of extent of adaptation to a cavernicolous existence in crickets. Curvilinear relationships exist between HFL and CELW for camel crickets (Ceuthophilus stygius) and cave crickets (Hadenoecus subterraneus). The relationships differ significantly between the species and also by gender within both species and, in cave crickets, by season as well. In C. stygius, females of small HFL are slightly lighter, and those of large HFL slightly heavier than males. In H. subterraneus, females have progressively greater CELW than males as HFL increases. In adult H. subterraneus of identical HFLs, CELW is greatest in fall and least in spring, i.e., individuals are most robust in the Fall in these long-lived crickets, probably due to seasonal constraints on surface feeding. An attenuation index of CELW/HFL? yields a ratio that ranks the extent of adaptation to cave life in these two and eight other species of variously adapted cavernicolous and epigean crickets. Lower values of the attenuation index indicate greater adaptation to cavernicolous existence. The three gryllid species from Hawaii Island are closely related and include the blind, obligate cave cricket, Caconemobius varius, and two surface species, the lava flow cricket, Caconemobius fori, and the marine littoral cricket, Caconemobius sandwichensis. The latter two species are nocturnal scavengers on barren rock habitats. The lower CELW/HFL? ratio in lava flow crickets suggest they use caves more frequently for daytime roosts than does the marine littoral species.

Morphometric and spatial distribution prarmeters of karstic depressions, Lower Suwannee River Basin, Florida, 2003, Denizman, C.
This study describes an application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to examine the morphometric and spatial distribution of karstic depressions in the lower Suwannee River basin. Morphometris analysis of some 25,000 karstic depressions in an area covered by twenty-four 1:24,000 scale standard USGS topographic quadrangles were made possible by the analytical capabilities of the GIS. The parameters calculated for the study area include length, width, orientation, area, depth, circularity index, depression density, pitting index, and nearest neighbor index. Analysis of ~25,000 depressions in the lower Suwannee River basin reveals that the Florida karst is represented by broad, shallow depressions with an average density of 6.07 depressions/km and an average pitting index of 14.5. Morphometric and spatial distribution parameters of karstic depressions within the lower Suwannee River basin show significant variations. The robust GIS methodology used in this study provides not only a rapid analysis of spatial data on a large population of karstic depressions, but also an objective approach with consistent measurement and calculation processes in which human errors and bias were eliminated. In accordance with the increasing use of GIS in analyzing spatial data on diverse applications, this study shows that the GIS environment can also be efficiently used for karst landform studies.

Evaluation of aquifer thickness by analysing recession hydrographs. Application to the Oman ophiolite hard-rock aquifer, 2003, Dewandel B, Lachassagne P, Bakalowicz M, Weng P, Almalki A,
For more than a century, hydrologists and hydrogeologists have been investigating the processes of stream and spring baseflow recession, for obtaining data on aquifer characteristics. The Maillet Formula [Librairie Sci., A. Hermann, Paris (1905) 218], an exponential equation widely used for recession curve analysis, is an approximate analytical solution for the diffusion equation in porous media whereas the equation proposed by Boussinesq [C. R. Acad. Sci. 137 (1903) 5; J. Math. Pure Appl. 10 (1904) 5], that depicts baseflow recession as a quadratic form, is an exact analytical solution. Other formulas currently used involve mathematical functions with no basis on groundwater theory. Only the exact analytical solutions can provide quantitative data on aquifer characteristics. The efficiency of the two methods was compared on the basis of recession curves obtained with a 2D cross-sectional finite differences model that simulates natural aquifers. Simulations of shallow aquifers with an impermeable floor at the level of the outlet show that their recession curves have a quadratic form. Thus, the approximate Maillet solution largely overestimates the duration of the 'influenced' stage and underestimates the dynamic volume of the aquifer. Moreover, only the Boussinesq equations enable correct estimates of the aquifer parameters. Numerical simulations of more realistic aquifers, with an impermeable floor much deeper than the outlet, proves the robustness of the Boussinesq formula even under conditions far from the simplifying assumptions that were used to integrate the diffusion equation. The quadratic form of recession is valid regardless of the thickness of the aquifer under the outlet, and provides good estimates of the aquifer's hydrodynamic parameters. Nevertheless, the same numerical simulations show that aquifers with a very deep floor provide an exponential recession. Thus, in that configuration, the Maillet formula also provides a good fit of recession curves, even if parameter estimation remains poor. In fact, the recession curve appears to be closer to exponential when flow has a very important vertical component, and closer to quadratic when horizontal flow is dominant. As a consequence, aquifer permeability anisotropy also changes the recession form. The combined use of the two fitting methods allows one to quantify the thickness of the aquifer under the outlet. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Assessing subsoil permeability for groundwater vulnerability, 2003, Swartz M. , Misstear B. D. R. , Daly D. , Farrell E. R. ,
Groundwater vulnerability assessment is a key element of any groundwater protection scheme. In Ireland, groundwater vulnerability is determined mainly according to the thickness and permeability of the subsoils (glacial tills and other superficial deposits). The relative permeabilities of the subsoils are assessed qualitatively as high, moderate or low. To improve the robustness of the groundwater protection scheme, research was carried out into subsoil properties with the aims of refining the permeability ratings, and of improving the way in which subsoil permeability classes are assigned. This research focused on subsoils in the low and moderate permeability categories, mainly tills. Important issues investigated were the relationship between permeability and the grain size distribution of the subsoil, description of subsoils for permeability classification, correlation between permeability and indicators of aquifer recharge, and suitable field and laboratory methods for measuring subsoil permeability. A standard system for describing subsoils was selected, namely BS5930:1999, the choice being influenced by the familiarity of this system among the main users of the vulnerability maps. Analysis of subsoil field descriptions and grain size data indicate that those samples identified as CLAY' on the basis of BS 5930 correspond to the low permeability category, and tend to have more than 13% clay size particles. The permeability values obtained from each method are compared and indicate that the numerical boundary between moderate and low permeability lies in the region of 10-9 m/s. Differences between the results from laboratory and various field permeability test methods can be explained by differences in scale and by the presence of discontinuities. The research was successful in refining the permeability ratings and thereby in making the vulnerability maps more defensible against possible challenges. This research has improved the way permeability maps are produced in Ireland, and may prove useful in other countries where permeability data are scarce and mapping relies largely on field assessment of subsoils

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.

U-series dating and taphonomy of Quaternary vertebrates from Brazilian caves, 2006, Auler As, Pilo Lb, Smart Pl, Wang X, Hoffmann D, Richards Da, Edwards Rl, Neves Wa, Cheng H,
The geochronology and taphonomy of internationally important fossil bearing cave deposits were studied, both in the semi-arid Northern Bahia area and the subtropical southeastern Lagoa Santa area of Brazil. Taphonomic analysis suggests that the processes responsible for bone accumulation in the Brazilian caves vary between sites, and taphonomic bias can therefore be significant in causing differences in faunal composition. In the Toca da Boa Vista caves the presence of single articulated skeletons, and the entrance-related distribution indicate that random penetration of animals is the main mechanism of fossil accumulation, a process that biases the assemblage to smaller species, and takes place over extended time periods. In nearby Toca dos Ossos cave transport by runoff in the cave river is predominant, and biases the fauna remains to larger more robust bones and species. Deposition probably also occurred only at times of enhanced runoff giving a more contemporaneous assemblage. Similar processes were responsible for emplacement of the copious fossil remains in the more humid Lagoa Santa area, where terrigenous fossil deposits are found intercalated by massive speleothem calcite layers. In this area runoff under a drier climate probably accounts for the sediment emplacement inside caves. In both areas the mode of emplacement implies bias in the fossil record, resulting in fossil assemblages that do not mirror surface faunas, limiting palaeoenvironmental reconstruction.Mass spectrometric U-series analysis of speleothem calcite overlaying fossil remains gives minimum ages for fossil deposition. These ages confirm the previous view that many of the deposits derive from the late glacial, but also show that much older material (some > 350,000[no-break space]yr) is also present. The habitat requirements of critical fossil species such as bats and monkeys strongly suggest that they derive from much wetter periods when forest cover was present in the currently semi-arid Northern Bahia area. Taphonomy exerts a major control on the diversity and mode of emplacement of cave fossil deposits in eastern Brazil and thus detailed sedimentological and hydrological studies coupled with a sound geochronological approach are essential in quantifying the relative importance of each taphonomic processes before faunal and palaeoecological interpretations can be attempted

Navier-Stokes flow and transport simulations using real fractures shows heavy tailing due to eddies, 2007, Cardenas M. B. , Slottke D. T. , Ketcham R. A. , Sharp Jr. J. M.

Two-dimensional Navier-Stokes flow and transport simulations are conducted for a 15-cm long fracture mapped via X-ray computed tomography. (1) The actual fracture with irregular aperture, (2) a truncated fracture where the largest aperture area is excluded from the domain, (3) the truncated fracture with further thinning of other large aperture areas, and (4) a fracture with uniform vertical aperture equal to the actual fracture’s mean aperture, are subjected to the same pressure gradient. Slight variations in fracture characteristics result in significantly different flow and transport behavior. Flux is much larger for the uniformaperture fracture compared to the actual fracture. A pronounced eddy is present at the largest aperture zone of the actual fracture resulting in a power-law tail absent in other cases. The uniform aperture fracture has the largest effective dispersion coefficient estimated via inversion of a 1D analytical model. The analytical model fit to the other cases is not as robust as in the uniform aperture case


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