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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 11 Jul, 2012
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That karst topography is topography dominated by features of solutional origin [10]. geomorphically, the dominant features usually but not always obviously present, are sinkholes and caves. in tropical regions, karst towers (e.g. mogotes) may also dominate the landscape.?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
Engineering challenges in Karst, Stevanović, Zoran; Milanović, Petar
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Geochemical and mineralogical fingerprints to distinguish the exploited ferruginous mineralisations of Grotta della Monaca (Calabria, Italy), Dimuccio, L.A.; Rodrigues, N.; Larocca, F.; Pratas, J.; Amado, A.M.; Batista de Carvalho, L.A.
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
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Your search for water levels (Keyword) returned 58 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 58
Palaeoenvironment of lateritic bauxites with vertical and lateral differentiation, 1983, Valeton Ida,
Formation of lateritic bauxites of the type described in this paper occurs world-wide in Cretaceous and Tertiary coastal plains. The bauxites form elongate belts, sometimes hundreds of kilometres long, parallel to Lower Tertiary shorelines in India and South America and their distribution is not related to a particular mineralogical composition of the parent rock. The lateral movement of the major elements Al, Si, Fe, Ti is dependent on a high level and flow of groundwater. Varying efficiency of subsurface drainage produces lateral facies variations. Interfingering of marine and continental facies indicate a sea-land transition zone where the type of sediments also varies with minor tectonic movements or sea-level changes. A typical sediment association is found in India, Africa, South and North America. It consists of (i) red beds rich in detrital and dissolved material of reworked laterites, (ii) lacustrine sediments and hypersaline precipitates, (iii) lignites intercalated with marine clays, layers of siderite, pyrite, marcasite and jarosite, and (iv) marine chemical sediments rich in oolitic iron ores or glauconite. A model is developed to account for element distributions in lateritic bauxites in terms of groundwater levels and flow. Finally it is shown that many high-level bauxites are formed in coastal plains and that they are subsequently uplifted to their present altitude

Limestone weathering: its engineering significance and a proposed classification scheme, 1988, Fookes Pg, Hawkins Ab,
As a foundation material, limestone differs from other rocks in that voids may be found at almost any depth within the rock mass. They may result directly from solution weathering near the surface and along discontinuities, or as specific cave systems at depths related to present or past ground water levels. The paper reviews the processes involved in the weathering by solution of the crystalline limestones, typically of Palaeozoic age. It offers a tentative, simple engineering classification of the solution features characteristic of limestones; and presents case histories to illustrate some of the problems which may be encountered during construction in areas of limestone bedrock

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

GROUND-WATER BEHAVIOR IN KARST - EXAMPLE OF THE OMBLA SPRING (CROATIA), 1995, Bonacci O,
The hydro-electric power plant (HEPP) which will exclusively use water from a karst underground storage basin will be built in the vicinity of the abundant karst spring Ombla in Croatia. This paper presents the results obtained by hydrogeologic, hydrologic and hydraulic investigations related to the principles of ground water circulation in the karst. The analyses included the determination of the effective porosity n(e) of the karst aquifer and the definition of the volume of large conduits and small fractures in the karst which form the aquifer volume. The position and dimensions of large karst conduits have also been defined. It was established that in three small springs, Zaton, Zavrelje and Slavljan, water overflows from the Ombla Spring in periods of high ground water levels, It was also discovered that at certain periods the Dupuit expression for steady-state flow in an unconfined aquifer can be used. In accordance with this, it was possible to determine the values of hydraulic conductivity, K (in m s(-1)), for the Ombla aquifer. They range from 2 x 10(-3) to 5 x 10(-3) m s(-1) and are inversely proportional to the Ombla Spring discharge. Continuous measurements of the ground water level by several piezometers located in the karst hinterland of the Ombla Spring and simultaneous measurement of the discharge made it possible to define discharge curves of the Ombla Spring dependent upon the ground water levels at Various locations. Characteristic features of the discharge curves made the identification of the position and dimensions of the main karst conduits possible

Holocene stratigraphy of Cobweb Swamp, a Maya wetland in northern Belize, 1996, Jacob J. S. , Hallmark C. T. ,
We investigated the soils and sediments of Cobweb Swamp, adjacent to the archaeological site of Colha in northern Belize, to adumbrate landscape evolution and the impact of the ancient Maya on a tropical palustrine wetland. The Cobweb section exposes a complex and dynamically evolving landscape, with a rich interplay between natural and human forces. The Cobweb depression probably formed as a karstic doline or polje in interbedded limestone and marl of late Tertiary or Pleistocene age. During the latest Pleistocene, a terrestrial marsh covered most of the depression. Slope wash and colluviation from adjacent slopes impacted the depression during the early Holocene, possibly in response to a drier and cooler climate reported to have occurred in the region during this time. After ca. 5600 B.P., the Cobweb depression was affected by relatively rapidly rising sea levels in the area, and a brackish lagoon filled the basin. By 4800 B.P., a peat filled in the lagoon, probably because precipitation of a marl in the lagoon coupled with decreasing rates of sea-level rise enabled emergent vegetation to encroach the shallowing waters. Humans first began to affect the landscape when this peat was at the surface. Massive deforestation, resulting in increased runoff and rising water levels, is the most likely explanation for a fresh-water lagoon that again inundated the Cobweb depression between 3400 and 500 B.P. The Maya Clay was deposited on the edge of this lagoon as the result of upland erosion, almost as soon as deforestation began, but the bulk of the deposit was coincident with the sudden collapse of the Classic Maya civilization ca. 1000 B.P., suggesting that significant environmental degradation was associated with the demise of the Classic Maya. Peat began to fill the Cobweb lagoon sometime before 500 B.P., probably the result of shallower water levels from decreasing runoff resulting from reforestation after abandonment by the Maya. ------------------------------------------------------

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

Analysis of well hydrographs in a karst aquifer: Estimates of specific yields and continuum transmissivities, 1996, Shevenell L. ,
Hydrograph analysis techniques have been well developed for hydrographs obtained from streams and springs, where data are cast in terms of total discharge. The data obtained from well hydrographs provide water level versus time; hence, a method of hydrograph analysis is required for situations in which only water level data are available. It is assumed here that three segments on a recession curve from wells in a karst aquifer represent drainage from three types of storage: conduit (C), fracture (F) and matrix (M). Hydrographs from several wells in a karst aquifer are used to estimate the specific yields (S-y) associated with each portion of the aquifer (C, F, M), as well as continuum transmissivities (T). Data from three short injection tests at one well indicate continuum rat this well bore is approximately 5 m(2) day(-1), and tests at numerous other wells in the aquifer yield results between 1 and 7 m(2) day(-1). The T estimated with well hydrographs from two storms indicates a T of 9.8 m(2) day(-1). Well-developed conduit systems in which water levels in wells show a flashy response typically show S(y)s of 1 x 10(-4), 1 x 10(-3), and 3 x 10(-3) for C, F, and M, respectively. Less well-developed conduit areas show more nearly equal S(y)s (8.6 x 10(-4), 1.3 x 10(-3), 3 x 10(-3)). Areas with no evidence for the presence of conduits have only one, or in some cases two, slopes on the recession curve. In these cases, water-level responses are slow. Recession curves with a single slope represent drainage from only the lower T matrix. Those with two slopes have an additional, more rapid response segment on the recession curve which represents drainage from the higher T, lower S-y, fractures in the system

A parsimonious model for simulating flow in a karst aquifer, 1997, Barrett Me, Charbeneau Rj,
This paper describes the hydrologic system associated with the Barton Springs portion of the Edwards aquifer and presents a lumped parameter model capable of reproducing general historical trends for measured water levels and spring discharge. Recharge to the aquifer was calculated based on flow loss studies of the creeks crossing the recharge zone and on estimates of the rate of diffuse infiltration of rainfall. Flow measurements on each creek above and below the recharge zone were used to develop a relationship between how above the recharge zone and the rate of recharge. The five-cell groundwater model, each cell corresponding to one of the watersheds of the five main creeks crossing the recharge zone, was developed to support the management objectives of the City of Austin. The model differs from previous models in that the aquifer properties within cells are allowed to vary vertically. Each cell was treated as a tank with an apparent area and the water level of a single well in each cell was used to characterize the conditions in that cell. The simple representation of the hydrologic system produced results comparable to traditional groundwater models with fewer data requirements and calibration parameters. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

Interactions between ground water and surface water in the Suwannee River Basin, Florida, 1997, Katz B. G. , Dehan R. S. , Hirten J. J. , Catches J. S. ,
Ground water and surface water constitute a single dynamic system in most parts of the Suwannee River basin due to the presence of karst features that facilitate the interaction between the surface and subsurface. Low radon-222 concentrations (below background levels) and enriched amounts of oxygen-18 and deuterium in ground water indicate mixing with surface water in parts of the basin. Comparison of surface water and regional ground water flow patterns indicate that boundaries for ground water basins typically do not coincide with surface water drainage subbasins. There are several areas in the basin where around water flow that originates outside of the Suwannee River basin crosses surface water basin boundaries during both low-flow and high-flow conditions. In a study area adjacent to the Suwannee River that consists predominantly of agricultural land use, 18 wells tapping the Upper Floridan aquifer and 7 springs were sampled three times during 1990 through 1994 for major dissolved inorganic constituents, trace elements, and nutrients. During a period of above normal rainfall that resulted in high river stage and high ground water levels in 1991, the combination of increased amounts of dissolved organic carbon and decreased levels of dissolved oxygen in ground water created conditions favorable for the natural reduction of nitrate by denitrification reactions in the aquifer. As a result, less nitrate was discharged by ground water to the Suwannee River

Drip flow variations under a stalactite of the Pere Noel cave (Belgium). Evidence of seasonal variations and air pressure constraints, 1998, Genty D, Deflandre G,
The study of drip rate and seepage water electrical conductivity (hereafter called conductivity) under one stalactite in the Pere Noel cave (Belgium), with data produced from an automatic station since 1991, demonstrates several previously unobserved features: (1) measurement of drop volume shows that, for 94% of the time series, drop volume is constant (= 0.14 ml), but when discharge exceeds 48.2 drips min(-1), drop volume decreases, probably because of secondary drop formation; (2) the interannual drip rate variation is correlated to the annual water excess and its correlant, rainfall (R-2 = 0.98; exponential model); this result introduces a new improvement in the understanding of the previously investigated relationships between stalagmite annual laminae thickness and mean annual rainfall; (3) the drip rate shows a well marked seasonality: it increases abruptly in late fall or early winter and decreases slowly during spring, summer and fall. Increased discharge is accompanied by an increase in conductivity, which suggests that the flushed water is more mineralized and was stored in the karst aquifer for several months; (4) superimposed on these seasonal variations, there are two kinds of flow regimes which are driven by the atmospheric pressure: (i) a 'wiggles regime', whose duration is 1-7 days in length and which is inversely proportional to the air pressure wiggles; it is explained by either a ''shut-off faucet'' process due to the rock formation stress, or to a change in the two-phases flow component proportions (air/water); (ii) an 'unstable regime' characterized by abrupt switches (<2 h) or oscillations with variable periodicities, from a few minutes to a few hours. These occur when the drip rate reaches a threshold (i.e. 240 drops 10 min(-1)); the chaotic behaviour of this phenomenon is discussed. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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.


Hydrogeologic and geochemical factors required for the development of Carolina Bays along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain, USA, 1999, May J. H. , Warne A. G. ,
More than 60 years of intense study and debate have yet to resolve the origin of the Carolina Bays. Carolina Bays are circular to elliptical depressions located along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coastal Plains; Proposed processes of initiation and development of these karst-like features include meteorite impacts, substrate dissolution, wind, ice, marine waves and currents. Based on field studies throughout the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains and on review of coastal plain literature, we propose that Carolina Bays initially developed as silica-karst features. During Pleistocene sea-level lowstands, water tables in the Atlantic Coastal Plain were up to 30 m lower than today. Large volumes of surface water collected in local topographic lows and/or areas of enhanced permeability and infiltrated through sandy substrates of the low-relief coastal plain, Localized infiltration of phreatic water induced extensive desilicification of the sandy and clayey substrates, resulting in volume loss and development of karst-like depressions. Particularly relevant to initial bay development was alteration of kaolinite to gibbsite, which can produce a 34-percent loss in clay material volume, and concurrent dissolution of iron oxide. The initial silica-karst depressions along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts were later modified by eolian and, perhaps, ice-push processes, which enhanced their elliptical form. The subsequent Holocene rise in sea level caused ground-water levels in the coastal plain to equilibrate near the present-day land surface. This curtailed geochemical weathering, as well as eolian and ice-related processes. Ground-water saturation partially reversed chemical reactions associated with intensive weathering of clays beneath the bays, masking evidence of the severe leaching that occurred during their initial formation. Silica-karst features, similar to Carolina Bays in their initial stages of development, are common geologic features, Moreover, silica-karst processes are active today in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical areas in sandy substrates where groundwater levels are well below the ground surface and can cause subsidence or disrupt developing wetlands

Hydrogeologic and geochemical factors required for the development of Carolina Bays along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, coastal plain, USA, 1999, May James H. , Warne Andrew G. ,
More than 60 years of intense study and debate have yet to resolve the origin of the Carolina Bays. Carolina Bays are circular to elliptical depressions located along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Coastal Plains. Proposed processes of initiation and development of these karst-like features include meteorite impacts, substrate dissolution, wind, ice, marine waves and currents. Based on field studies throughout the Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plains and on review of coastal plain literature, we propose that Carolina Bays initially developed as silica-karst features. During Pleistocene sea-level lowstands, water tables in the Atlantic Coastal Plain were up to 30 m lower than today. Large volumes of surface water collected in local topographic lows and/or areas of enhanced permeability and infiltrated through sandy substrates of the low-relief coastal plain. Localized infiltration of phreatic water induced extensive desilicification of the sandy and clayey substrates, resulting in volume loss and development of karst-like depressions. Particularly relevant to initial bay development was alteration of kaolinite to gibbsite, which can produce a 34-percent loss in clay material volume, and concurrent dissolution of iron oxide. The initial silica-karst depressions along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts were later modified by eolian and, perhaps, ice-push processes, which enhanced their elliptical form. The subsequent Holocene rise in sea level caused ground-water levels in the coastal plain to equilibrate near the present-day land surface. This curtailed geochemical weathering, as well as eolian and ice-related processes. Ground-water saturation partially reversed chemical reactions associated with intensive weathering of clays beneath the bays, masking evidence of the severe leaching that occurred during their initial formation. Silica-karst features, similar to Carolina Bays in their initial stages of development, are common geologic features. Moreover, silica-karst processes are active today in warm temperate, subtropical, and tropical areas in sandy substrates where ground-water levels are well below the ground surface and can cause subsidence or disrupt developing wetlands

Hydrochemical approach to the alterations of the recharge of a karst aquifer consecutive to a long pumping period: Example taken from Pinchinade graben (Mouans-Sartoux, French Riviera), 1999, Reynaud A. , Guglielmi Y. , Mudry J. , Mangan C. ,
The carbonate aquifer of the Pinchinade graben, which has a well-delimited geometry, involves water,vith well-defined chemical types from calcium sulfate to magnesium bicarbonate. Each ground water type corresponds to a well-delimited area of the aquifer: the magnesium bicarbonate for the Liassic and Rhetian limestone water (with 10 to 30 mg L-1 of sulfate) and calcium sulfate for the water of the relatively impermeable layer of the underlying Keuper (with 300 to 1500 mg L-1 of sulfate). A four-year pumping test,vith a bimonthly to daily monitoring of water chemistry has allowed evaluation of the renewal of the exploitable water reserve. During the four-year period, the survey shows that the average discharge is balanced by natural recharge (2.8 to 105 m(3) y(-1)). A change in the chemical character of the water was observed from Rhetian to Keuper type (from 35 to 167 mg L-1 of sulfate), Such a change indicates a progressive exhaustion of the Rhetian reserves, which are the greater part of the exploitable reserve in the area. The same phenomenon is observed daily depending on the pumped discharge and the season. For pumping rates below 26 m(3) h(-1), the borehole drains the Rehetian inflows to a degree depending on high or low water levels. For pumping rates above 26 m(3) h(-1), whatever the period, the permeable Keuper layers are pumped and sulfate peaks ensue

Le karst haut-alpin du Kanin (Alpes Juliennes, Slovnie-Italie), 2000, Audra, Philippe
Kanin is a high-alpine karst located in the Italo-slovenian Julian Alps. Its surface was elaborated by the quaternary glaciers and includes some inherited discreet tertiary morphological features. Recent dye tracing has shown that the structural setting permits water infiltrated in Italian catchments to contribute to Slovene springs. Hydrodynamic and physico-chemical water analyses show extremely quick transfers of water during snow melt or heavy storms; these create spectacular overflows, such as the Boka spring which emerges as a 100 m high waterfall. The phreatic zone, linked to the impermeable dam of the So_a valley, does not significantly slow these transfers. Nevertheless, it contributes to the occurrence of low water levels during recession periods, giving highly mineralised water after long resident periods. The presence of very deep and developed karst systems is explained by the combination of advantageous factors: thick and jointed limestone, important height gradient, and considerable precipitation. Paleomagnetic dating in one of the largest systems (_rnelsko brezno) attributes some glacial sediments to the Lower Pleistocene period. Their configuration seems to show that this karst system is pre-quaternary.

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