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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 mine drainage is waters coming from or passing through surface or subsurface mine workings [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 fractured rock (Keyword) returned 28 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 1 to 15 of 28
Basic concepts in the theory of homogeneous liquids in fractured rocks,, 1960, Barenblatt, G. E. , I. P. Zheltov, And I. N. Kochina

Modeling of regional groundwater flow in fractured rock aquifers, PhD Thesis, 1990, Kraemer, S. R.

The regional movement of shallow groundwater in the fractured rock aquifer is examined through a conceptual-deterministic modeling approach. The computer program FRACNET represents the fracture zones as straight laminar flow conductors in connection to regional constant head boundaries within an impermeable rock matrix. Regional scale fracture zones are projected onto the horizontal plane, invoking the Dupuit-Forchheimer assumption for flow. The steady state flow solution for the two dimensional case is achieved by requiring nodal flow balances using a Gauss-Seidel iteration. Computer experiments based on statistically generated fracture networks demonstrate the emergence of preferred flow paths due to connectivity of fractures to sources or sinks of water, even in networks of uniformly distributed fractures of constant length and aperture. The implication is that discrete flow, often associated with the local scale, may maintain itself even at a regional scale. The distribution of uniform areal recharge is computed using the Analytic Element Method, and then coupled to the network flow solver to complete the regional water balance. The areal recharge weakens the development of preferential flow pathways. The possible replacement of a discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium is also investigated. A Mohr's circle analysis is presented to characterize the tensor relationship between the discharge vector and the piezometric gradient vector, even at scales below the representative elementary volume (REV). A consistent permeability tensor is sought in order to establish the REV scale and justify replacement of the discrete fracture network by an equivalent porous medium. Finally, hydrological factors influencing the chemical dissolution and initiation of conduits in carbonate (karst) terrain are examined. Based on hydrological considerations, and given the appropriate geochemical and hydrogeological conditions, the preferred flow paths are expected to develop with time into caves.


ORIGIN AND MORPHOLOGY OF LIMESTONE CAVES, 1991, Palmer A. N. ,
Limestone caves form along ground-water paths of greatest discharge and solutional aggressiveness. Flow routes that acquire increasing discharge accelerate in growth, while others languish with negligible growth. As discharge increases, a maximum rate of wall retreat is approached, typically about 0.01-0.1 cm/yr, determined by chemical kinetics but nearly unaffected by further increase in discharge. The time required to reach the maximum rate is nearly independent of kinetics and varies directly with flow distance and temperature and inversely with initial fracture width, discharge, gradient, and P(CO2). Most caves require 10(4) - 10(5) yr to reach traversable size. Their patterns depend on the mode of ground-water recharge. Sinkhole recharge forms branching caves with tributaries that join downstream as higher-order passages. Maze caves form where (1) steep gradients and great undersaturation allow many alternate paths to enlarge at similar rates or (2) discharge or renewal of undersaturation is uniform along many alternate routes. Flood water can form angular networks in fractured rock, anastomotic mazes along low-angle partings, or spongework where intergranular pores are dominant. Diffuse recharge also forms networks and spongework, often aided by mixing of chemically different waters. Ramiform caves, with sequential outward branches, are formed mainly by rising thermal or H2S-rich water. Dissolution rates in cooling water increase with discharge, CO2 content, temperature, and thermal gradient, but only at thermal gradients of more than 0.01-degrees-C/m can normal ground-water CO2 form caves without the aid of hypogenic acids or mixing. Artesian flow has no inherent tendency to form maze caves. Geologic structure and stratigraphy influence cave orientation and extent, but alone they do not determine branch-work versus maze character

Spatial sampling considerations and their applications to characterizing fractured rock and karst systems, 1993, Benson Rc, Yuhr L,

Thesis Abstract: Bedrock Caves and fractured rock surfaces in Sweden; Occurrence and origin, 1996, Sjoberg R.

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

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


Microorganisms as tracers in groundwater injection and recovery experiments: a review, 1997, Harvey R. W. ,
Modern day injection and recovery techniques designed to examine the transport behavior of microorganisms in groundwater have evolved from experiments conducted in the late 1800s, in which bacteria that form red or yellow pigments were used to trace flow paths through karst and fractured-rock aquifers. A number of subsequent groundwater hydrology studies employed bacteriophage that can be injected into aquifers at very high concentrations (e.g., 10(13) phage ml(-1)) and monitored through many log units of dilution to follow groundwater flow paths for great distances, particularly in karst terrain. Starting in the 1930s, microbial indicators of fecal contamination (particularly coliform bacteria and their coliphages) were employed as tracers to determine potential migration of pathogens in groundwater. Several injection and recovery experiments performed in the 1990s employed indigenous groundwater microorganisms (both cultured and uncultured) that are better able to survive under in situ conditions. Better methods for labeling native bacteria (e.g. by stable isotope labeling or inserting genetic markers, such as the ability to cause ice nucleation) are being developed that will not compromise the organisms' viability during the experimental time course

Structure et comportement hydraulique des aquifers karstiques, DSc. Thesis, faculte des Sciences de l'Universite de Neuchatel., 1998, Jeannin Py.
This thesis aims to provide a better knowledge of karst flow systems, from a functional point of view (behaviour with time), as well as from a structural one (behaviour in space). The first part of the thesis deals with the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst systems, and the second part with the geometry of karstic networks, which is a strong conditioning factor for the hydrodynamic behaviour. Many models have been developed in the past for describing the hydrodynamic behaviour of karst hydrogeological systems. They usually aim to provide a tool to extrapolate, in time and/or space, some characteristics of the flow fields, which can only be measured at a few points. Such models often provide a new understanding of the systems, beyond what can be observed directly in the field. Only special field measurements can verify such hypotheses based on numerical models. This is an significant part of this work. For this purpose, two experimental sites have been equipped and measured: Bure site or Milandrine, Ajoie, Switzerland, and Holloch site, Muotathal, Schwyz, Switzerland. These sites gave us this opportunity of simultaneously observe hydrodynamic parameters within the conduit network and, in drillholes, the "low permeability volumes" (LPV) surrounding the conduits. These observations clearly show the existence of a flow circulation across the low permeability volumes. This flow may represent about 50% of the infiltrated water in the Bure test-field. The epikarst appears to play an important role into the allotment of the infiltrated waters: Part of the infiltrated water is stored at the bottom of the epikarst and slowly flows through the low permeability volumes (LPV) contributing to base flow. When infiltration is significant enough the other part of the water exceeds the storage capacity and flows quickly into the conduit network (quick flow). For the phreatic zone, observations and models show that the following scheme is adequate to describe the flow behaviour: a network of high permeability conduits, of tow volume, leading to the spring, is surrounded by a large volume of low permeability fissured rock (LPV), which is hydraulically connected to the conduits. Due to the strong difference in hydraulic conductivity between conduits and LPV, hydraulic heads and their variations in time and space are strongly heterogeneous. This makes the use of piezometric maps in karst very questionable. Flow in LPV can be considered as similar to flow in fractured rocks (laminar flow within joints and joints intersections). At a catchment scale, they can be effectively considered as an equivalent porous media with a hydraulic conductivity of about 10-6 to 10-7 m/s. Flow in conduits is turbulent and loss of head has to be calculated with appropriate formulas, if wanting any quantitative results. Our observations permitted us to determine the turbulent hydraulic conductivity of some simple karst conduits (k',turbulent flow), which ranges from 0.2 to 11 m/s. Examples also show that the structure of the conduit network plays a significant role on the spatial distribution of hydraulic heads. Particularity hydraulic transmissivity of the aquifer varies with respect to hydrological conditions, because of the presence of overflow conduits located within the epiphreatic zone. This makes the relation between head and discharge not quadratic as would be expected from a (too) simple model (with only one single conduit). The model applied to the downstream part of Holloch is a good illustration of this phenomena. The flow velocity strongly varies along the length of karst conduits, as shown by tracer experiments. Also, changes in the conduit cross-section produce changes in the (tow velocity profile. Such heterogeneous flow-field plays a significant role in the shape of the breakthrough curves of tracer experiments. It is empirically demonstrated that conduit enlargements induce retardation of the breakthrough curve. If there are several enlargements one after the other, an increase of the apparent dispersivity will result, although no diffusion with the rock matrix or immobile water is present. This produces a scale effect (increase of the apparent dispersivity with observation scale). Such observations can easily be simulated by deterministic and/or black box models. The structure of karst conduit networks, especially within the phreatic zone, plays an important role not only on the spatial distribution of the hydraulic heads in the conduits themselves, but in the LPV as well. Study of the network geometry is therefore useful for assessing the shape of the flow systems. We further suggest that any hydrogeological study aiming to assess the major characteristics of a flow system should start with a preliminary estimation of the conduit network geometry. Theories and examples presented show that the geometry of karst conduits mainly depends on boundary conditions and the permeability field at the initial stage of the karst genesis. The most significant boundary conditions are: the geometry of the impervious boundaries, infiltration and exfiltration conditions (spring). The initial permeability field is mainly determined by discontinuities (fractures and bedding planes). Today's knowledge allows us to approximate the geometry of a karst network by studying these parameters (impervious boundaries, infiltration, exfiltration, discontinuity field). Analogs and recently developed numerical models help to qualitatively evaluate the sensitivity of the geometry to these parameters. Within the near future, new numerical tools will be developed and will help more closely to address this difficult problem. This development will only be possible if speleological networks can be sufficiently explored and used to calibrate models. Images provided by speleologists to date are and will for a long time be the only data which can adequately portray the conduit networks in karst systems. This is helpful to hydrogeologists. The reason that we present the example of the Lake Thun karst system is that it illustrates the geometry of such conduits networks. Unfortunately, these networks are three-dimensional and their visualisation on paper (2 dimensions) is very restrictive, when compared to more effective 3-D views we can create with computers. As an alternative to deterministic models of speleogenesis, fractal and/or random walk models could be employed.

Engineering method versus Eraso method of structural analysis in hydraulical study of fractured rock - case stady at Unška Koliševka, 1998, Veselič, Miran, Č, Enč, Ur Curk Barbara, Š, Ebela Stanka

The main goal of the study was to compare the Eraso method and engineering method for determining water drainage. These two methods are based on different principles: the first one is based on microtectonic analysis and is mainly applied on surface outcrops, while the second one was developped with purpose of studying geotechnical and hydraulical properties of the rock. Measurements were carried out on surface outcrops and within underground artificial tunnel in two different seasons (autumn 95 and spring 96). The Eraso method is frequently used in karst area to determine direction of regional drainage (mega scale). The engineering method was developed for studies in macro scale, but from the results is evident, that direction of regional waterflow can be obtained.


Karst aquifer evolution in fractured rocks., 1999, Kaufmann G. , Braun J.

Karst aquifer evolution in fractured rocks, 1999, Kaufmann G. , Braun J. ,
We study the large-scale evolution and flow in a fractured karst aquifer by means of a newly developed numerical method. A karst aquifer is discretized into a set of irregularly spaced nodal points, which are connected to their set of natural neighbors to simulate a network of interconnected conduits in two dimensions. The conduits are allowed to enlarge by solutional widening. The geometric flexibility of this method, along with a simplified model for the dissolution kinetics within the system water-carbon dioxide-calcite, enables us to study both laminar and turbulent flow in a karst aquifer during its early phase of evolution. A sensitivity analysis is conducted for parameters such as conduit diameter, hydraulic pressure differences, and recharge conditions along the surface of the aquifer and shows that passage evolution depends strongly on the recharge condition and the amount of water available. Under fixed hydraulic head boundary conditions an early single-passage system develops under laminar conditions and is transformed into a maze-like passage system after the onset of turbulence. Fixed recharge boundary conditions are more likely to result in a branchwork-like passage system, although the addition of distributed recharge may lead to a maze-like system of secondary passages

A comprehensive strategy for understanding flow in carbonate aquifers, 1999, Worthington S. R. H.

Studies of carbonate aquifers usually either concentrate on sampling the channel flow (egsink-to-spring tracer testing, spring monitoring) or on sampling the non-channel flow (egborehole measurements)A comprehensive approach is advocated here, involving the integration of both sources of information, as well as measurements of the porosity and permeability of the unfractured rockRepresentative sampling can be achieved by treating carbonates as triple-porosity aquifers, with one-, two-, and three-dimensional porosity elementsThe division of carbonate aquifers into "karstic" or "non-karstic" types is unwarranted


Porosity and permeability enhancement in unconfined carbonate aquifers as a result of solution, 2000, Worthington S. R. H. , Ford D. C. , Beddows P. A.
Solution processes in unconfined carbonate aquifers result in a network of channels. We examine four contrasting carbonate aquifers, in Paleozoic dolostone, Paleozoic limestone, Mesozoic chalk, and Cenozoic limestone, to characterize the enhancement of porosity and permeability by dissolution. In all four cases the channels add little to the porosity, but enhance the permeability of the fractured rock by one to three orders of magnitude. Similar porosity and permeability changes are predicted for all unconfined carbonate aquifers, in both dolostones and limestones, in both allogenic and autogenic settings, and in carbonates of all ages.

Groundwater pollution by contaminant transport from soil to fractured rock, 2000, Witthü, Ser Kai, Č, Enč, Ur Curk Barbara

Water flow and contaminant transport from soil to underlying fractured rock is mainly controlled by the hydraulic conditions of the soil-bedrock boundary. In respect to the necessary understanding of contaminant transport at the soil-bedrock boundary the identification of flow paths within both the soil cover and the fractured media is decisive on the one side. On the other hand substance-specific behaviour of the often reactive pollutants compared to water flow has to be known in detail. Field scale tracer tests with different tracers (uranine and salts) and a potential pollutant as a reactive tracer (nitrate) were performed at the IRGO field research facility Sinji Vrh (SI). Injection points are located on the surface, in the soil, at the soil-rock interface and in the fractured rock; water is sampled in an underground tunnel with the help of two subhorizontal boreholes equipped with sampling devices and a special construction for collecting water seeping from the ceiling. The goal of these experiments is to identify the flow paths of solutes to the underground tunnel and to estimate their residence time dependent on the injection point. So far only some conclusions regarding the waterflux into the tunnel could be drawn.


Characteristics of porosity and permeability enhancement in unconfined carbonate aquifers due to the development of dissolutional channel systems., 2001, Worthington S. R. H. , Ford D. C. , Beddows P. A.
Dissolution processes in unconfmed carbonate aquifers result in the creation of networks of channels. We examine four contrasting carbonate aquifers, in Paleozoic dolostone, Paleozoic limestone, Mesozoic chalk, and Cenozoic limestone, to characterize the enhancement of porosity and permeability produced by this dissolution. In all four cases the channels are found to add little to the porosity, but enhance the permeability of the fractured rock by one to three orders of magnitude. Similar porosity and permeability changes are predicted for all unconfmed carbonate aquifers, in both dolostones and limestones, in both allogenic and autogenic settings, and in carbonates of all ages.

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