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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 suspended matter is solid matter small enough to be held in suspension by moving or stagnant water [16].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for temporal variation (Keyword) returned 30 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 30
Thesis Abstract: Spatial and temporal variations of Radon and Radon daughter concentrations within limestone caves, 1995, Hyland R. Q. T.

High-resolution temporal record of Holocene ground-water chemistry; tracing links between climate and hydrology, 1996, Banner Jl, Musgrove M, Asmerom Y, Edwards Rl, Hoff Ja,
Strontium isotope analysis of precisely dated calcite growth layers in Holocene speleothems from Barbados, West Indies, reveals high-resolution temporal variations in ground-water composition and may provide a new approach to documenting the links between climate variability and fluctuations in the hydrologic cycle such as recharge rates and flow paths. The speleothems grew in a cave that developed in a fresh-water aquifer in uplifted Pleistocene reef limestones. Three periods of ground-water Sr isotope evolution are observed: 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values decreased from 6 to 4 ka, increased from 4 to 1 ka, and decreased again after 1 ka. The Sr isotope oscillations appear to record periodic variations in the relative Sr fluxes to ground water from exchangeable soil sites vs. carbonate mineral reactions, as reflected in 87 Sr/ 86 Sr values of modern Barbados ground waters. A hydrologic model that explains changes in ground-water flow routes in karst aquifers as a function of amount of rainfall recharge can account for the speleothem Sr isotope record. Independent Holocene climate records that indicate a major period of aridity at around 1.3-1.1 ka in the American tropics correspond with periodic variations in rainfall on Barbados that are predicted by this hydrologic model

Agricultural chemicals at the outlet of a shallow carbonate aquifer, 1996, Felton Gk,
A groundwater catchment, located in Woodford and Jessamine Counties in the Inner Bluegrass of Kentucky, was instrumented to develop long-term flow and water quality data. The land uses on this 1 620-ha catchment consist of approximately 59% in grasses consisting of beef farms, horse farms, and a golf course; 16% row crops; 6% orchard; 13% forest; and 6% residential. Water samples were analyzed twice a week for, Ca, Mg, Na, Cl-, HCO3-, SO4=, NO3-, total solids, suspended solids, fecal coliforms, fecal streptococci, and triazines. Flow rate and average ambient temperature were also recorded. No strong linear relationship was developed between chemical concentrations and other parameters. The transient nature of the system was emphasized by one event that drastically deviated from others. Pesticide data were summarized and the ''flushing'' phenomena accredited to karst systems was discussed. The total solids content in the spring was consistent at approximately 2.06 mg/L. Fecal bacteria contamination was well above drinking water limits (fecal coliform and fecal streptococci averages were 1 700 and 4 300 colony-forming-units/100 mL, respectively) and the temporal variation in bacterial contamination was not linked to any other variable

Temporal variations of spring water temperatures in relation to the extents of the heat transport modes occuring in the karstified lower Gypsum-Keuper aquifer (Karnian, southern Germany)., 1997, Buiidscliiih J.
The importance of different heat transport modes was studied by analysis of the temporal sequences of spring water temperatures in a karstic aquifer. For the aquifer with a horizontal groundwater flow and flow velocities of more than 100 m year"SUP-1", model calculations indicate that horizontal heat transport in the aquifer occurs predominantly by convection. For vertical heat transport from the earth's surface, conduction and convection are implicated in varying degrees; in order to indicate these, the temporal series of the spring water temperatures were separated into their conductively and convectively components. Generally this can yield valuable information about the properties of thin surface-near aquifers. Thus, the quantification of a heat component transported vertically by convection into the aquifer can provide evidence of hydraulic conductivities as potential infiltration routes for contaminants.

Spatial and Temporal Variations in the Dissolved Organic Carbon Concentrations in the Vadose Karst Waters of Marengo Cave, Indiana, 1998, Toth, V. A.
In order to better understand the organic content of microbands in speleothems, seasonal variations in the organic concentrations of vadose drip waters were examined in relation to climatic and environmental variables. Seasonal variations in the organic concentrations of the vadose waters were observed by documenting the fluctuations of Dissolved Organic Carbon (DOC) and its corresponding fluorescence. Tracer dye tests established that the larger drips depositing calcite in Marengo Cave were fed by waters with a short residence time. A strong seasonal variation in DOC concentrations and natural fluorescence was detected at quickly responding sites. Slow, constant drip sites displayed a weaker seasonality. Further investigation is required to distinguish low fluorescing DOC and to determine if the same fluorophors identified in the vadose water can be identified in the organics trapped in the recipient calcite. The overall conclusions are that fluorescence is well correlated with DOC when the fluorescence range is high but it is not a strong indicator of DOC at low fluorescence values; that the value of fluorescence as a predictor of DOC may vary significantly with individual sampling sites; and that the highest fluorescence values occur in springtime and the weakest in summer and fall.

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998, Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Spatial and Temporal Variation of Groundwater Chemistry in Pettyjohns Cave, Northwest Georgia, USA, 1999, Mayer, J.
A longitudinal study of water chemistry in Pettyjohns Cave, Georgia, reveals a wide range of major ion water chemistry at different sampling points within the cave, and pronounced seasonal water-chemistry variations at some locations. The cave occurs in the Mississippian Bangor Limestone on the east side of Pigeon Mountain in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province of northwest Georgia, USA. Four sampling points within the cave were monitored at approximately 2- to 3-month intervals for 22 months: a major conduit stream; a small conduit tributary; water dripping into the cave through a small fracture; and water dripping from active speleothems. Other waters, including surface water, were sampled as available. Samples were analyzed for temperature, pH, specific conductance, alkalinity, and major ions. Most spatial water chemistry trends within the cave appear to be the result of rock-water interaction along distinct subsurface flowpaths. Temporal variations, most pronounced in conduit streams, result primarily from mixing of distinct waters in varying ratios, although seasonal changes in CO2 partial pressure may account for some variation. Results illustrate the inherent spatial and temporal variability of water chemistry in karst aquifers and point to the need to design sampling programs carefully.

Muddy waters: temporal variation in sediment discharging from a karst spring., 1999, Mahler Barbara J.

Muddy waters: temporal variation in sediment discharging from a karst spring, 1999, Mahler B. J. , Lynch F. L. ,
Karst aquifers are capable of transporting and discharging large quantities of suspended sediment, which can have an important impact on water quality. Here we present the results of intensive monitoring of sediment discharging from a karst spring in response to two storm events, one following a wet season and the other following a dry season; we describe temporal changes in total suspended solids (TSS), mineralogy, and particle size distribution. Peak concentrations of suspended sediment coincided with changes in aqueous chemistry indicating arrival of surface water, suggesting that much of the discharging sediment had an allochthonous origin. Concentrations of suspended sediment peaked 14-16 h after rainfall, and the bulk of the sediment (approximately 1 metric ton in response to each storm) discharged within 24 h after rainfall. Filtered material included brightly colored fibers and organic matter. Suspended sediments consisted of dolomite, calcite, quartz, and clay. Proportions of each mineral constituent changed as the aquifer response to the storm progressed, indicating varying input from different sediment sources. The hydraulic response of the aquifer to precipitation was well described by changes in parameters obtained from the particle size distribution function, and corresponded to changes seen in TSS and mineralogy. Differences between storms in the quantity and mineralogy of sediment transported suggest that seasonal effects on surface sediment supply may be important. The quantity of sediment discharging and its potential to sorb and transport contaminants indicates that a mobile solid phase should be included in contaminant monitoring and contaminant transport models of karst. Temporal changes in sediment quantity and characteristics and differences between responses to the two storms, however, demonstrate that the process is not easily generalized. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Temperature as a natural tracer of short residence times for groundwater in karst aquifers, 1999, Martin J. B. , Dean R. W.
Chemistry of karst waters is controlled by reactions with aquifer rocks, the extent of mixing between water sources, and variations in the composition of recharged waterThe extent of reactions and mixing may be determined uniquely if compositions of both recharged and discharged water are known, such as where sinking streams are linked to resurgent springs, and if residence time in the subsurface can be measuredSuch a linked system occurs along the Santa Fe River in north-central Florida, where the river flows underground for approximately 52 km as it crosses from confined to unconfined portions of the Floridan AquiferTemporal variations in temperature can be correlated between the river sink, the river rise, and Sweetwater Lake, a karst window approximately midway between the sink and riseDelays in the arrival time of temperature maxima and minima from the sink to Sweetwater Lake and from Sweetwater Lake to the Rise reflect the residence time of the river water in the subsurfaceResidence time correlates with the river stage and ranges from approximately 12 hours to more than four days at high and low stage, respectively between the river sink and SweetwaterLake, and from about six hours to nearly two days at high and low stage, respectively, between Sweetwater Lake and the river riseThese short residence times reflect minimum flow rates of between 13 and 9 km/day, indicating conduit flowKnowing the residence time at any stage allows sampling of water as it enters the aquifer, and then again as it dischargesChanges in the chemistry of water as it passes through the subsurface should reflect chemical reactions, mixing, or both

Seasonal variations in Sr, Mg and P in modern speleothems (Grotta di Ernesto, Italy), 2001, Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. , Borsato Andrea, Frisia Silvia, Cassidy Nigel J. , Mcdermott Frank, Hawkesworth Chris J. ,
Sub-annual variations in trace element chemistry and luminescence have recently been demonstrated from speleothems and offer the potential of high-resolution palaeoclimatic proxies. However, no studies have yet examined microscopic trace element variations in relation to modern cave conditions. In this study, the spatial variations in trace element (Sr, Mg and P) concentrations in speleothems (a stalagmite and a soda straw stalactite) from the alpine Ernesto cave (temperature 6.60.1[deg]C) in a forested catchment in NE Italy have been studied using secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS) and compared with environmental parameters and waters in the modern cave. An annual lamination exists in the stalagmite and soda straw stalactite in the form of clear calcite with narrow visible layers, which are UV-fluorescent and interpreted to contain soil-derived humic/fulvic acids washed into the cave during autumn rains. Microanalyses were undertaken of seven annual laminae, probably deposited during the 1960s in the stalagmite, and seven laminae in the 1990s for the stalactite.The analysis results show that Sr consistently has a trough and P, a peak centred on the inclusion-rich layer. Mg shows mainly a negative covariation with Sr in laminae formed in the 1990s, but a positive covariation in the stalagmite formed in 1960s. The spatial scale of the main geochemical variations is the same as that of annual laminae of inclusion-poor and inclusion-rich couplets. Mass balance arguments are used to show that the P is inorganic in form and presumably occurs as individual phosphate ions within the calcite.Most drip waters show limited chemical variations, but a summer peak in trace elements in 1995 and a decrease in Mg/Ca in the following winter are notable. More pronounced covariations in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are shown by a site with highly variable drip rates where ratios increase at slow drip rates. The strongest seasonal variations are found in pool waters, where ratios increase reflecting significant Ca removal from the water into the calcite during the winter in response to seasonal PCO2 variations in cave air. Thus, the cave waters' compositions tend to reflect climate conditions, such that Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca are tentatively interpreted to be higher when climate conditions are dry.Combining results from the speleothems and cave water along with the behaviour of each trace species, Mg/Ca variations in the speleothems are considered to reflect their variation in the cave waters, whereas, Sr incorporation is also dependent on precipitation rate, in this case, mainly controlled by temporal variations in PCO2 in the cave (and conceivably, also by inhibitors such as phosphate). P adsorption (a fraction of which is subsequently incorporated within calcite) depends on aqueous phosphate concentration and water flux, both of which should increase during the autumn. Therefore, multiple trace element profiles in speleothems reflect multiple aspects of environment seasonality and conditions, and hence, a calibration against weather records is desirable to establish their palaeoclimatological meaning. The strong annual variation of trace elements, and particularly P, can provide chronological markers for high-resolution studies of other climate proxies, such as stable isotopes

Geochronology of late Pleistocene to Holocene speleothemsfrom central Texas: Implications for regional paleoclimate, 2001, Musgrove Marylynn, Banner Jay L. , Mack Larry E. , Combs Deanna M. , James Eric W. , Cheng Hai, Edwards R. Lawrence,
A detailed chronology for four stalagmites from three central Texas caves separated by as much as 130 km provides a 71 000-yr record of temporal changes in hydrology and climate. Mass spectrometric 238U-230Th and 235U-231Pa analyses have yielded 53 ages. The accuracy of the ages and the closed- system behavior of the speleothems are indicated by interlaboratory comparisons, concordance of 230Th and 231Pa ages, and the result that all ages are in correct stratigraphic order. Over the past 71 000 yr, the stalagmites have similar growth histories with alternating periods of relatively rapid and slow growth. The growth rates vary over more than two orders of magnitude, and there were three periods of rapid growth: 71-60 ka, 39-33 ka, and 24-12 ka. These growth-rate shifts correspond in part with global glacial-interglacial climatic shifts. Paleontological evidence indicates that around the Last Glacial Maximum (20 ka), climate in central Texas was cooler and wetter than at present. This wetter interval corresponds with the most recent period of increased growth rates in the speleothems, which is consistent with conditions necessary for speleothem growth. The temporal shift in wetness has been proposed to result from a southward deflection of the jet steam due to the presence of a continental ice sheet in central North America. This mechanism also may have governed the two earlier intervals of fast growth in the speleothems (and inferred wetter climate). Ice volumes were lower and temperatures in central North America were higher during these two earlier glacial intervals than during the Last Glacial Maximum, however. The potential effects of temporal variations in precession of Earth's orbit on regional effective moisture may provide an additional mechanism for increased effective moisture coincident with the observed intervals of increased speleothem growth. The stalagmites all exhibit a large drop in growth rate between 15 and 12 ka, and they show very slow growth up to the present, consistent with drier climate during the Holocene. These results illustrate that speleothem growth rates can reflect the regional response of a hydrologic system to regional and global climate variability

Effects of precipitation events on colloids in a karst aquifer, 2002, Shevenell L. , Mccarthy J. F. ,
The effects of precipitation events on colloid mobilization were evaluated during several storms from six wells in a karstic aquifer at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant in eastern Tennessee (USA). Turbidity increases and rapidly recedes following rain events. Although the magnitude of the turbidity increases are relatively small (less than or equal to4.78 NTU), the increased turbidity suggests transient increases in colloid abundance during storm versus non-storm periods. During the larger storms (> 19 mm), the increased turbidity is associated with increases in pH, total organic carbon (TOC) and temperature, and with decreases in dissolved oxygen (DO). These larger storms result in flushing of a greater proportion of higher pH, TOC (and lower DO) soil or matrix waters into the fractures and conduits than occurs during smaller storms. Smaller storms also result in increases in turbidity, but show increases in DO and decreases in pH reflecting less influence on the water chemistry from the longer residence time epikarst or and matrix waters, and greater impact from the more dilute, newly recharged waters. Due to the complexity of karst flow and temporal variations in flow and chemistry, controls on turbidity are not consistent through time and space at the wells. During smaller storms. recharge by lower ionic strength waters may promote colloid release and thus contribute to observed increases in turbidity. During larger storms, elevated turbidity may be more related to pH increases resulting from greater influx of matrix and soil waters into fractures and conduits. Chemical factors alone cannot account for the changes in turbidity observed during the various storms. Because of the complicated nature of flow and particle transport in karst aquifers, the presence of colloids during precipitation events is dictated by a complex interplay of chemical reactions and the effects of physical perturbations due to increased flow through the conduits and fractures. Simple trends in water quality parameters could not be identified, and broad generalizations cannot easily be made in karst settings, and some of the expected correlations between chemical parameters during the storms were not observed in this work. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Coastal and submarine karstic discharges in theGokova Bay, SW Turkey, 2002, Bayari Cs, Kurttas T,
Hydrochemical, stable isotopic (18O and 2H) and thermal infrared data of LANDSAT 5 TM for sea surface temperature anomalies have been used to determine the extent and spatial variation of salinization in coastal and submarine karstic groundwater discharges in the Gokova Bay area, located in the SW Turkey. The bay is an active graben extending in an east-west direction. An artesian aquifer in the eastern tidal plain is the only source of fresh groundwater, whereas Tertiary and Mesozoic carbonates contacting with sea along the northern coastline provide abundant but saline water. Physical properties, major ion chemistry and stable isotope composition indicate a westward increase in the salinity of the karstic springs. The temporal variation of salinity in groundwater is either related to variations in sea level or in seasonal recharge rates, while some springs have time-invariant salinity. Submarine groundwater discharges were determined successfully from satellite images and verified by ground measurements of pH, temperature and electrical conductivity. Some of these discharges are also characterized by the existence of a halocline, as observed during Scuba diving. The westward-increasing salinity appears to be related to decreasing groundwater discharge in this direction

Soil and karst aquifer hydrological controls on the geochemical evolution of speleothem-forming drip waters, Crag Cave, southwest Ireland, 2003, Tooth Anna F. , Fairchild Ian J. ,
In recent years there has been increased interest in cave speleothems as archives of palaeoclimate. Monitoring of rainfall and soil and karst water chemistries was performed at Crag Cave, Castleisland, Co. Kerry, southwest Ireland, in August 1997 and January 1998 in order to understand temporal and spatial variations in karst water hydrology and chemistry and their implications for interpreting the potential palaeohydrological signal preserved by speleothems at this site. Temporal variations in karst water drip rates and geochemistry allow drips to be classified by hydrological response to rainfall and the associated processes of dilution, piston flow, source change and prior calcite precipitation during aquifer throughflow. Evolution from soil matrix and preferential flow solutions has also been determined to exert an important control on karst water chemistries. As a result of these findings we present hydrogeochemical models and plumbing diagrams that delineate the controls on karst water evolution at a number of sampling locations within the cave at this site. We propose that a palaeohydrological signal may be recorded by Crag Cave speleothems that may be interpreted via the study of Mg/Ca ratios in speleothems linked to monitoring of modern drip water chemistry

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