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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 cavity is a solutional hollow in a limestone cave.?

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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 spatial distribution (Keyword) returned 60 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 60
Spatial distribution of δ180 in meteoric precipitation, , Bowen G. J. , Wilkinson B.

Spatial biometrie in the subterranean ecosystem: distribution of Meta menardi Latr. (Argiopidae)., 1972, Tercafs Raymond
The spatial distribution of 113 individuals from the species Meta menardi Latr. (Argiopidae) divided in 10 different populations living in 8 Belgian caves has been studied. A grouping test and the calculation of R according to Clark et Evans (1954), based on the measurement of the distance to the nearest neighbour, have been used. Results show that the individuals are distributed at random inside their biotope.

Spatial biometrie in the subterranean ecosystem: distribution of Meta menardi Latr. (Argiopidae)., 1972, Tercafs Raymond
The spatial distribution of 113 individuals from the species Meta menardi Latr. (Argiopidae) divided in 10 different populations living in 8 Belgian caves has been studied. A grouping test and the calculation of R according to Clark et Evans (1954), based on the measurement of the distance to the nearest neighbour, have been used. Results show that the individuals are distributed at random inside their biotope.

A preliminary note on the spatial distribution of Meta menardi, Triphosa dubitata, Triphosa sabaudiata, Nelima aurantiaca and Culex pipiens within a cave ecosystem (Grotte de la Scierie: Haute-Savoie)., 1976, Bourne John D.
Following 8 months of observations in a richly populated cave, (Grotte de la Scierie, HauteSavoie, France), it has been possible to outline the movements and distribution of Meta menardi (Araneae), Nelima aurantiaca (Opiliones), Triphosa dubitata and Triphosa sabaudiata (Lepidoptera) and Culex pipiens (Diptera) within the cave ecosystem. Although no general rule can be postulated it appears that the morphology of the cave walls and the climatic conditions regulate the distribution of these 5 species within the cave ecosystem. The interactions between the 5 species have been investigated.

The Geothermal nature of the Floridan Plateau, 1977, Smith Douglass L. , Griffin George M.

Hydrogeology related to geothermal conditions of the Floridan Plateau -- Geologic and geomorphic setting -- The principal artesian zone -- The Boulder zone -- Injection sites in Florida -- The Geothermal regime of the Floridan Plateau -- Vertical temperature profiles in Floridan Aquifer system, geographic distribution of temperature in Floridan Aquifer system -- Surface evidence of thermal upwelling -- Humble-Lowndes-Treadwell No. 1 -- Warm mineral springs sinkhole -- The Mud hole submarine spring -- Comparison of theoretical and field studies -- The Dolomite question and cavity formation, Geothermal gradients below the Floridan Aquifer system -- Heat flow in Florida oil test holes and indications of oceanic crust beneath the Southern Florida-Bahamas Platform -- Spatial distribution of ground water temperature in South Florida -- Regional significance of Florida heat flow values -- Thermal model for the Florida crust -- A Model of subsidence with inhomogeneous heat production.


Le systme souterrain du Sornin (Berger-Fromagre, Vercors, Isre), 1983, Delannoy, J. J.
THE UNDERGROUND SYSTEM OF PLATEAU DU SORNIN (VERCORS, FRANCE): THE GOUFFRE BERGER AND THE SCIALET DE LA FROMAGERE - Gouffre Berger (-1198m) and Scialet de La Fromagre (-902m) are the two main drains of an important underground complex, which develops 26 km inside Sornin table-land, massif du Vercors, Isre. The glaciers have left deep prints in the surface morphology (Schichttreppenkarst) and have played an important role in the genesis of the underground complex of Sornin. Most of morphological elements and dated witnesses (speleothems) testify to the primacy of this morphoclimatic term. Under present bioclimatic conditions (discontinuous forest - Raw weather climate, T? = 4?C, P = 1700mm), the specific dissolution is estimated to 120mm/ky. This dissolution is important in winter (2,5 times more than in summer). Sornin plateau belongs to an intermediary case between forests mountainous karsts and high karsts regarding the spatial distribution of the dissolution.

Further Studies at the Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part I, Climate and Hydrology, 1983, Jennings, J. N.

Previous study of the temporal and spatial distribution of limestone solution at Cooleman Plain rested on monthly discharges and water analyses of the Blue Waterholes over 4 years. For this study automatic recording of discharge (8 years), rainfall (8 years), evaporation (7 years) and temperature (4 years) was attended by variable success in the face of interference, rigorous climate and inaccessibility. The most important aspect of the climatic data was the support obtained for the earlier assumption of similar water balances in the forested igneous frame and the grassland limestone plain. Runoff was again shown to be highly variable from year to year and to have an oceanic pluvial regime, with a summer-autumn minimum owing much to evapo-transpiration. The flow duration curve from daily discharges puts this karst amongst those where neither extremely high nor low flows are important. The stream routing pattern offsets the effect of 71% of the catchment being on non-karst rocks, damping flood events. An inflection of 700 l/s in a flow duration plot based on discharge class means is interpreted as the threshold at which surface flow down North Branch reaches the Blue Waterholes. Storages calculated from a generalised recession hydrograph parallel Mendip data where baseflow (fissure) storage provides most of the storage and quickflow (vadose) storage only a secondary part. Water-filled conduit storage (the phreas) could not be determined but is considered small. The baseflow storage seems large, suggesting that it can develop independently of caves in some measure. A quickflow ratio for floods derived by Gunn's modification of the Hewlett and Hibbert separation line method appears relatively low for a mainly non-karst catchment and is again attributed to the routing pattern. For analysis of variation of the solute load over time, estimates of daily discharge during gaps in the record where made for the author by Dr. A.J. Jakeman and Mr. M.A. Greenaway (see Appendix). A small number of discharge measures of two contrasted allogenic catchments of the igneous frame shows a unit area yield close to that for the whole catchment. Together with the guaging of most of the allogenic inputs, this supports the idea that the water yield is much the same from the forested ranges and the grassland plain. This is important for the estimation of limestone removal rates.


Further Studies At The Blue Waterholes, Cooleman Plain, N.S.W., 1969-77, Part II, Water Chemistry And Discussion, 1983, Jennings, J. N.

The 1969-77 data confirm that groundwater temperature is significantly higher than air temperature at mean catchment altitude but provide only partial support for an explanation in terms of soil temperature and insulation of drainage from cold air ponding over the Plain. Higher pH of output than input streams is attributed mainly to percolation water chemistry. Water chemistry of two contrasted input streams suggests non-karst rock weathering has an important effect on allogenic input streams. An inverse relationship between carbonate hardness and output discharge is found again and attributed mainly to faster transit through the limestone at high flows. Summer has a steeper regression than winter due to precipitation and high flows depressing carbon dioxide and carbonate concentrations more in that season than in winter. Picknett graphs show how solutional capacity varies through the hydrologic system, with aggressive input streams, mainly saturated percolation water, and rarely saturated output springs because of the allogenic component in the last. The total carbonate load of Cave Creek is directly related to discharge, with little seasonal difference so the annual regression is chosen for later calculation. When the carbonate load duration curve and frequency classes for Cave Creek are compared with those for other karsts, it falls into an intermediate class in which neither very high nor low flows dominate the pattern. This is attributed to a combination of a large allogenic input with a complex routing pattern. Consideration of most input stream solute concentration on one occasion indicates such close dependence on catchment geology that doubt is cast on the smallness of the 1965-9 allocation of carbonate contribution from non-karst rock weathering to the allogenic input. This is explained by new CSIRO rainfall chemistry figures from the Yass R. catchment which are smaller than those used before and by elimination of a previous error in calculation. This time subtraction of atmospheric salts is done on a daily basis with a decaying hyperbolic function. Correction of Cave Creek output for allogenic stream input follows the method adopted in 1965-9 but on a firmer basis, with the assumption of approximately equal water yeild per unit area from the non-karst and karst parts of the catchment being more factually supported than before. It remains a substantial correction. The correction for subjacent karst input to Cave Creek is also improved by putting the calculation in part on a seasonal basis; it remains small. The exposed solute load output shows the same seasonal pattern as was determined earlier, with a winter/spring maximum, and it again evinced much variation from year to year. So did annual rates. The mean annual loss of 29 B was slightly greater than for 1965-9. If this difference is real and not an experimental error, the reduced allowance for atmospheric salts and greater annual rainfall in the second period could explain the increase. This erosion rate of 29 B from an annual runoff of about 400mm places this karst where it would be expected in the world pattern of similar determinations in terms of both runoff and its proximity to the soil covered/bare karst dichotomy of Atkinson and Smith (1976). Combined with the other work at Cooleman Plain on erosion at specific kinds of site, an estimate of the spatial distribution of the limestone solution is presented. It agrees well with the similar attempt for Mendip by Atkinson and Smith (1976), when allowance is made for certain differences in method and context. The main conclusions are the great role of solution in the superficial zone and the unimportance of the contribution from caves. Conflict between this process study and the geomorphic history of Cooleman Plain remains and once again an explanation is sought in long persistence of a Tertiary ironstone cover inhibiting surface solution.


Subsidence hazard prediction for limestone terrains, as applied to the English Cretaceous Chalk, 1987, Edmonds Cn, Green Cp, Higginbottom Ie,
Soluble carbonate rocks often pose a subsidence hazard to engineering and building works, due to the presence of either metastable natural solution features or artificial cavities. There is also an inherent danger to the public and lives have been lost because of unexpected ground collapses. Although site investigation techniques are becoming increasingly elaborate, the detection of hazardous ground conditions associated with limestones is frequently difficult and unreliable. Remedial measures to solve subsidence problems following foundation failure are expensive. It would be advantageous if areas liable to subsidence could be identified in a cost-effective manner in advance of planning and ground investigation. Hazard mapping could then be used by planners when checking the geotechnical suitability of a proposed development or by engineering geologists/geotechnical engineers to design the type of ground investigation best suited to the nature and scale of the potential hazard. Recent research focussed on the English Chalk outcrop has led to the development of two new models to predict the subsidence hazard for both natural solution features and artificial cavities. The predictive models can be used to map the hazard at any given chalkland locality, as a cost-effective precursor to ground investigation. The models, although created for the Chalk outcrop, have important implications for all types of limestone terrain. The basis of the predictive modelling procedure is an analysis of the spatial distribution of nearly 1600 natural solution features, and more than 850 artificial cavity locations, identified from a wide varietyy of sources, including a special appeal organized by CIRIA. A range of geological, hydrogeological and geomorphological factors are evaluated to identify significant relationships with subsidence. These factors are ranked, numerically weighted and incorporated into two quantitative subsidence hazard model formulae. The models can be applied to perform hazard mapping

The spatial distribution of turloughs, 1987, Coxon C. E.

The morphometry and spatial distribution of surface depressions in gypsum, with examples from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Manitoba. McMaster Univ. MSc thesis, 1990, Stenson R. E.

Life cycle and population ecology of the cave cricket Dolichopoda geniculata (Costa) from Valmarino cave (Central Italy), 1994, Carchini Gianmaria, Rampini Mauro, Sbordoni Valerio
A D. geniculata population inhabiting a natural cave at low altitude near seashore was followed during two years. The population size, distribution in three age classes, spatial distribution, feeding habits were recorded. The life-cycle was found semivoltine, with overlaps between next choorts in each age class. A comparison to other Dolichopoda showed that the population of Valmarino cave is one of the best adapted to cave life, and this may be related with both historical and present geographical and ecological conditions of the cave.

HIGH SULFATE CONCENTRATIONS IN LIMESTONE SPRINGS - AN IMPORTANT FACTOR IN CONDUIT INITIATION, 1995, Worthington S. R. H. , Ford D. C. ,
Major ion concentrations in 404 springs in carbonate strata were found to exhibit a wide range in sulfate values. Sulfate concentrations are often much larger than would be expected from the analysis of samples from surface outcrops. Springs in the Sierra Madre Oriental (Mexico), the Rocky Mountains Front Range (Canada), and the Peak District (England) show similarities in sulfate concentration and in spatial distribution. Springs with high sulfate concentrations are found close to base level and are thermal. Springs with low sulfate concentration are found at higher elevations above base level and are not thermal. There is a direct relationship between sulfate concentration and spring temperature, and an inverse relationship with discharge. The results from the three areas described support a model of local and regional flow patterns, with deep regional flow providing the warm sulfate-rich water. The initial fracture porosity development in these aquifers may owe as much to the removal of sulfur minerals as to the removal of carbonate minerals. High sulfate values are frequently found in carbonate aquifers, so this model may be of widespread applicability

Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc thesis, 1996, Jeannin, P. Y.

This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour.
Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits.
These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow).
For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable.
Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s.
Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k', turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena.
The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models.
The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.


Ground-water silicifications in the calcareous facies of the Tertiary piedmont deposits of the Atlas Mountain (Hamada du Guir, Morocco), 1997, Thiry M. , Benbrahim M. ,
The Tertiary piedmont deposits (Hamada Formations), on the southern edge of the Haut-Atlas mountains, form extensive tablelands in the Boudenib area. They consist of two main sedimentary sequences, the Hamada de Boudenib and the Hamada du Guir, of Eocene and Miocene age. Both sequences show elastic facies at their base (conglomerates, calcareous sandstones, silty clays) and end with thick lacustrine limestones and pedogenic calcretes are characterised by rather confined facies, palygorskite-rich, with some gypsum in the second sequence. The recent evolution of the region is marked by the dissection of the tableland that is lined with high cliffs. The water flaw is mainly through wide karst features as there is no major river on the tableland. Silicifications which affect the different facies, form pods of various shape and size, and show an erratic spatial distribution. In the calcareous sandstones, there are irregularly shaped tubules of about 5 cm in diameter, more planar bodies from 5 to 50 cm thick, which frequently display voids lined with translucent silica concretions. The conglomerates display relatively few silicifications, the more characteristic ones consist of a silica cortex on some Limestone pebble and silica plates fitting closely the base of the pebbles. The lacustrine limestones and the calcretes from the upper part of the formation show frequently well developed silicifications. These show very variable shapes; horizontally stretching layers, interconnected or isolated amoeba-like bodies, thin slabs, karst micro-breccia, with frequent concretionnary structures, and quartz crystallisations. Limestone nodules remain often included in these silicifications. The more argillaceous facies display either small tubules or thin plates formed of translucent concretionnary silica. As a rule, the importance of the voids and related structures (concretions, drusy crystals) has to be noticed in all these silicifications, sometimes they are also linked with fractures or karst pipes. Petrography of the silica minerals, their relation with the primary structures. their distribution and their succession, give invaluable information on the silicification processes. Microcrystalline and fibrous quartz are the most common silica minerals, including minor amounts of opal and euhedral quartz. But micrographic arrangements show clearly that primary opal deposits have been more extensive and have recrystallized into chalcedony, microcrystalline quartz, or even ''flame-like'' quartz. Silica deposits in voids make up an important part of the silica pods. The tubules and thin plates of translucent silica of the argillaceous facies are formed of laminar chalcedony deposited around voids. Silica deposits in voids are also particularly obvious in the sandstones. The pores between the quartz grains are then cemented by fibrous quartz and little opal. Some samples show very large cemented voids that cannot be related to the primary porosity of the sandstone. These large voids correspond to the dissolution of the primary calcareous cement, which even led to the collapse of the sandstone fabric. In the limestones, there are silicified micro-karst breccia with a very high primary porosity cemented by quartz crystals, and even in the large microcrystalline quartz zones there are numerous void fillings, the primary porosity often exceeding 50%. There is obviously the alternation of silica deposits and calcite dissolution. Beside the void filling, silicifications comprise also matrix epigenesis, that is replacement of the carbonate by silica with preservation of most of the limestone structures, without development of voids. Nevertheless, the epigenesis of the limestone matrix is restricted to the vicinity of the voids. The silicifications relate to diagenetic processes. The main part of the silica is formed of void deposits and matrix replacement (epigenesis) on the edge of the voids. These void deposits give evidence of the feeding solutions. The regularity of the deposits all around the voids point out to a hydrologic regime characterised by a ground-water our now. Silica originates most probably from alteration of the magnesian clay minerals along the ground-water path. Regarding the low solubility of silica in surficial waters, high flows are needed in order to renew continuously the silica precipitated from solution. This points to a relatively humid climate at time of silicification, and to relief and incised landscapes to bring about these high flows

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