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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 huntite is a cave mineral - camg3(co3)4 [11].?

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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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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 hydrodynamic (Keyword) returned 120 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 120
IMPACT OF AN EXCEPTIONAL STORM EPISODE ON THE FUNCTIONING OF KARST SYSTEM - THE CASE OF THE 22/9/92 STORM AT VAISON-LA-ROMAINE (VAUCLUSE, FRANCE), 1995, Lastennet R. , Mudry J. ,
Karstification is a slow geodynamical process, controlled by the interaction between dissolution kinetics and flow dynamics. Moreover, mechanisms of network clogging by calcite precipitation or non-soluble clay accumulation are slow and continuous phenomena. This evolution of a karst system can be widely modified during exceptional rainfall episodes, such as the 22/09/92 storm (> 300 mm) near Vaison-la-Romaine. Such an impulse can modify the hydraulical behaviour of a massif, by unclogging the outlets of the saturated zone or the drainage network of the aquifer, and change hydrodynamical features of a spring (storage capacity etc.). This phenomenon has been demonstrated in a north Vaucluse karst aquifer whose recession coefficient has increased 7-fold and stored volume divided by 6

HYDRODYNAMIC CONTROL OF INORGANIC CALCITE PRECIPITATION IN HUANGLONG RAVINE, CHINA - FIELD-MEASUREMENTS AND THEORETICAL PREDICTION OF DEPOSITION RATES, 1995, Liu Z. H. , Svensson U. , Dreybrodt W. , Yuan D. X. , Buhmann D. ,
Hydrochemical and hydrodynamical investigations are presented to explain tufa deposition rates along the flow path of the Huanglong Ravine, located in northwestern Sichuan province, China, on an altitude of about 3400 m asl. Due to outgassing of CO2 the mainly spring-fed stream exhibits, along a valley of 3.5 km, calcite precipitation rates up to a few mm/year. We have carried out in situ experiments to measure calcite deposition rates at rimstone dams, inside of pools and in the stream-bed. Simultaneously, the downstream evolution of water chemistry was investigated at nine locations with respect to Ca2 Mg2, Na, Cl-, SO42-, and alkalinity. Temperature, pH, and conductivity were measured in situ, while total hardness, Ca-T, and alkalinity have been determined immediately after sampling, performing standard titration methods. The water turned out to be of an almost pure Ca-Mg-HCO3 type. The degassing of CO2 causes high supersaturation with respect to calcite and due to calcite precipitation the Ca2 concentration decreases from 6 . 10(-3) mole/l upstream down to 2.5 . 10(-3) mole/l at the lower course. Small rectangular shaped tablets of pure marble were mounted under different flow regimes, i.e., at the dam sites with fast water flow as well as inside pools with still water. After the substrate samples had stayed in the water for a period of a few days, the deposition rates were measured by weight increase, up to several tens of milligrams. Although there were no differences in hydrochemistry, deposition rates in fast flowing water were higher by as much as a factor of four compared to still water, indicating a strong influence of hydrodynamics. While upstream rates amounted up to 5 mm/year, lower rates of about 1 mm/year were observed downstream. Inspection of the marble substrate surfaces by EDAX and SEM (scanning electron microscope) revealed authigeneously grown calcite crystals of about 10 mu m. Their shape and habit are indicative of a chemically controlled inorganic origin. By applying a mass transfer model for calcite precipitation taking into account the reaction rates at the surface given by Plummer et al. (1978), slow conversion of CO2 into H and HCO3-, and diffusional mass transport across a diffusion boundary layer, we have calculated the deposition rates from the hydrochemistry of the corresponding locations. The calculated rates agree within a factor of two with the experimental results. Our findings confirm former conclusions with respect to fast flow conditions: reasonable rates of calcite precipitation can be estimated in reducing the PWP-rate calculated from the chemical composition of the water by a factor of about ten, thus correcting for the influence of the diffusion boundary layer

DAMPENING OF TRANSVERSE DISPERSION IN THE HALOCLINE IN KARST LIMESTONE IN THE NORTHEASTERN YUCATAN PENINSULA, 1995, Stoessell R. K. ,
A range of hydrodynamic dispersion coefficients was estimated for fracture-fluid and combined fracture and pore-fluid now within the halocline of the limestone aquifer forming the surface of the northern Yucatan Peninsula. The coefficients are fit parameters in a model reproducing observed halocline profiles in a sinkhole and in a borehole near the northeastern coast. Fitted coefficients range from 10(-7) to 10(-4) cm(2)/sec, of which molecular diffusion, without transverse (vertical) dispersion, can account for 10(-7) to 10(-5) cm(2)/sec. The mechanical stability of the vertical density gradient in the halocline dampens transverse dispersion in pore fluids and in fracture fluids that are transitional between laminar and turbulent flow. The dampening is proportional to the ratio of the energy needed for the fluid to rise and displace a less dense fluid to the vertical component of the kinetic energy of the fluid. The ratio of these two energies is at a maximum during the initial stage of development of a halocline and decreases as the halocline widens

CONVOLUTION IN TIME-DEPENDENT SYSTEM FROM ARTIFICIAL TRACER TESTS RESPONSES IN POROUS OR KARST SYSTEMS - THEORY AND MODELING, 1995, Dzikowski M,
An instantaneous point injection of an artificial tracer makes it possible to identify the studied system directly. Whether or not convolutions can be carried out depends on the linearity and stationarity of the tracer-test system. Convolutions from the relations between the impulse responses and the hydrodynamic conditions in time-dependent systems are only allowed under special conditions. The framework in which such convolutions are possible is established and a convolution integral proposed which makes it possible to obtain the result of any input in time at one of the outlets of a vectorial system when an artificial tracer test has been carried out between the injection point and this outlet. A few theoretical examples of convolution results with variable flow rates are presented; these results were obtained with a computer code based on the proposed convolution integral

Convolution a debit variable a partir des reponses de tracages artificiels; application a un systeme karstique (Causse de Gramat, Lot, France): Convolution in time-dependent system from artificial tra, 1995, Dzikowski M, Delay F, Sauty Jp, Crampon N, De Marsily G,
ResumeLa realisation de tracages artificiels dans des conditions hydrodynamiques differentes sur le systeme karstique de I'Ouysse (Causse de Gamat, France) ainsi que de mesures physicochimiques portant entre autres sur les chlorures, nitrates et matieres en suspension ont permis d'exploiter les possibilites de l'analyse des systemes-tracages dependant du temps. Pour des tracages artificiels realises a des periodes hydrologiques differentes (basses-eaux et hauteseaux), les relations entre les reponses impulsionnelles a l'injection instantanee de traceur et les debits d'ecoulement variables associes sont mises en evidence sur un systeme a deux entrees (pertes de Themines et Theminettes) et une sortie (gouffre de Besaces). Ces relations etablissent une independance entre l'espace occupe par le traceur au cours de son transfert et les conditions hydrodynamiques dans la gamme de debits interessant chaque tracage. Des operations de convolutions d'entrees en chlorures, nitrates et matieres en suspension, basses sur l'hypothese d'un systeme a volume constant dependant du temps ont donc pu etre realisees. Les resultats sont compares au mesures experimentales au point de sortie (Besaces).AbstractArtificial tracer tests conducted under different hydrodynamic conditions on the karst system of Ouysse (Causse de Gramat, France) and chemical measurements have permitted the use of the time-dependent tracer test analysis. For artificial tracer experiments in different hydrologic periods (water rise and high flow), the relationships between the responses to an instantaneous injection are improved in a system defined by two inputs (losses of Themines and Theminettes). They show that the space occupied by the mass of tracer during its transfer can be considered as independent of the discharge according to the range of flow rate in which the tracer experiments have been conducted. Therefore, convolutions on chlorides, nitrates and suspended sediments are simulated under the hypothesis of a constant-volume and time-dependent system. The computed results are compared with the experimental data at the output (cave of Besaces)

Contribution to geomorphological and hydrogeological study of karst in Mediterranean environment: the Aït Abdi plateau (central limestone High Atlas, Maroc),PhD thesis, 1995, Perritaz, L.

The Ait Abdi karstic plateau is located in the heart of the calcareous High Atlas (32°N/6°W). With an area of 160 km2, it is situated between 2,200 and 3,000 meters above sea level, i.e. 800 meters above the nearest valleys and canyons. It consists of a large series of massive Bajocian limestones which form a large brachysyncline, the axial plane of which dips gently to the NE. These limestones overlie a thick series of Toarcian-Aalenian detritic sediments forming the regional aquiclude and the top of the half captive Middle Liasic aquifer. The plateau is limited both in the N and S by strong changes in dip to the vertical of the sedimentary layers (ejective thrusted anticlines), and in the W and E by deep canyons created by major rivers. Therefore the plateau is a totally isolated calcareous compartment, from both a morphologic and a hydrogeologic point of view.
The climate of this region is Mediterranean with an altitude modification: maximum rainfall occurs in winter and in spring, snow cover is not durable but sometimes important, storms are common for dry season in summer. The precipitations comprise only 500 to 700 mm/year (subhumide zone) and the effective evapotranspiration is approximately 400 mm/year, including the losses due to sublimation. The snow coefficient is 60 %. This means that the recharge of the aquifer, occurring almost entirely during snow melting, is limited, but the large bare surfaces of the plateau with typical well developed karst forms (dolines, poljes, dry valleys, holes) improve the infiltration rate (40%). The specific discharge is only 8.1 L/s/km2.
The morphologic peculiarity of this nival karst consist of a succession of small parallel and asymmetric dry valleys forming some "waves". For that reason, the French geomorphologist Couvreur termed these climate controlled features "karst en vagues". The role of wind and snow in the genesis of these forms is predominant. The most of time structure controlled plateau's poljes are quasi inactive today. All kinds of high mountain karren landforms are present on the plateau and prove the great role of snow role in the microforms genesis.
An ancient speleological network with vertical shafts occluded lower down suggest of ancient more humid climatic conditions. U-Th dating indicates ages between 3,200 and 220,000 years, or outside the range of the method (more than 400,000 years). The lateral flow is conducted by an interstrata network, inactive and dry in the upper part, or active and phreatic at the base, near the regional aquiclude, attesting three karstification phases.
The water discharges as typically karstic hillfoot springs, most of the time oversaturated and forming tufas. Large doleritic vertical dykes cut the plateau and form major drainpipes. The physical-chemical and chemical signature of these spring waters is quite different of the signature of other springs of this area, which discharge whether from small local Toarcian-Aalenian aquifers or from the huge semi confined karstic Middle Liasic aquifer. The plateau springs hydrodynamic response is characteristic for an elevated karstic aquifer with rapid flow. The aquifer geometry does not allow important reserves, but the mean discharge from all perennial springs (about 1 m3/s) is a precious resource for the population of this far area of the Atlas Mountains.


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.


Mixed transport reaction control of gypsum dissolution kinetics in aqueous solutions and initiation of gypsum karst, 1997, Raines M. A. , Dewers T. A. ,
Experiments with gypsum in aqueous solutions at 25 degrees C, low ionic strengths, and a range of saturation states indicate a mixed surface reaction and diffusional transport control of gypsum dissolution kinetics. Dissolution rates were determined in a mixed flow/rotating disc reactor operating under steady-state conditions, in which polished gypsum discs were rotated at constant speed and reactant solutions were continuously fed into the reactor. Rates increase with velocity of spin under laminar conditions (low rates of spin), but increase asymptotically to a constant rate as turbulent conditions develop with increasing spin velocity, experiencing a small jump in magnitude across the laminar-turbulent transition. A Linear dependence of rates on the square root of spin velocity in the laminar regime is consistent with rates being limited by transport through a hydrodynamic boundary layer. The increase in rate with onset of turbulence accompanies a near discontinuous drop in hydrodynamic boundary layer thickness across the transition. A relative independence of rates on spinning velocity in the turbulent regime plus a nonlinear dependence of rates on saturation state are factors consistent with surface reaction control. Together these behaviors implicate a 'mixed' transport and reaction control of gypsum dissolution kinetics. A rate law which combines both kinetic mechanisms and can reproduce experimental results under laminar flow conditions is proposed as follows: R = k(t) {1 - Omega(b)() zeta [1 - (1 2(1 - Omega(b)())(1/2)]} where k(t) is the rate coefficient for transport control, and Omega(b)() is the mean ionic saturation state of the bulk fluid. The dimensionless parameter zeta(=Dm(eq)()/2 delta k() where m(eq)() = mean ionic molal equilibrium concentration, D is the diffusion coefficient through the hydrodynamic boundary layer, delta equals the boundary layer thickness and k() is the rate constant for surface reaction control) indicates which process, transport or surface reaction, dominates, and is sensitive to the hydrodynamic conditions in the reactor. For the range of conditions used in our experiments, zeta varies from about 1.4 to 4.5. Rates of gypsum dissolution were also determined in situ in a cavern system in the Permian Blaine Formation, southwestern Oklahoma. Although the flow conditions in the caverns were not determinable, there is good agreement between lab- and field-determined rates in that field rate magnitudes lie within a range of rates determined experimentally under zero to low spin velocities A numerical model coupling fluid flow and gypsum reaction in an idealized circular conduit is used to estimate the distance which undersaturated solutions will travel into small incipient conduits before saturation is achieved. Simulations of conduit wall dissolution showed-member behaviors of conduit formation and surface denudation that depend on flow boundary conditions (constant discharge or constant hydraulic gradient and initial conduit radius. Surface-control of dissolution rates. which becomes more influential with higher fluid flow velocity, has the effect that rate decrease more slowly as saturation is approached than otherwise would occur if rates were controlled by transport alone. This has the effect that reactive solutions can penetrate much farther into gypsum-bearing karst conduits than heretofore thought possible, influencing timing and mechanism of karst development as well as stability of engineered structures above karst terrain

Turbidity and microorganisms in a karst spring, 1997, Nebbache S. , Loquet M. , Vinceslasakpa M. , Feeny V. ,
This study was focused mainly on relations between turbidity and bacterial contamination of a karst spring. The data from the resurgence site show that for a turbidity <1,2 NTU, the spring is benefits of good sanitary conditions. The highest degree of bacterial contamination generally coincides with increased rainfall (automn and winter). This turbidity is also a factor of enhancing survival in particular-for fecal bacteria. correlations are established between turbidity and fecal bacteria, Those data show different origins of suspended particulate matters. The latter are transfered with superficial waters and rapid throughflow, or with water stored in 'systemes annexes karstifies' (storage units) then flushed out. Following the study of the first peak of turbidity, after recession, we find that turbidity is essentially due to the P3 class of particles (4.3 to 11 mu m) and that some microorganisms are carried by the following classes of articles: ammonifiers by class P1 (<1.7 mu m), mesophilic microflora by P2 (1.7 to 4.3 mu m), fecal streptbcocci by P3 (4.3 to 11 mu m), fecal coliforms and denitrifiers by P4 (11 to 27 mu m). A knowledge of turbidity and bacterial contamination relationships suppose to take into account the stational ecological events and the hydrodynamic of the karst but also the adhesion laws between bacteria and particles

Numerical versus statistical modelling of natural response of a karst hydrogeological system, 1997, Eisenlohr L, Bouzelboudjen M, Kiraly L, Rossier Y,
Structural and hydrodynamic characteristics of karst aquifers are mostly deduced from studies of global responses of karst springs (hydrographs, chemical or isotopic composition). In this case, global response is often used to make inferences with respect to infiltration and ground water How processes as well as on the hydrodynamic parameters. Obviously, the direct verification of these inferences is very difficult. We have used an indirect method of verification, introducing well defined theoretical karst structures into a finite element model and then analysing the simulated global response according to the currently accepted interpretation schemes. As we know what we are introducing into the numeric model, the consistency of the interpretation may be checked immediately. The results obtained in the hydrogeological study of two karst basins in the Swiss Jura and from 2-D and 3-D numerical simulations show the difficulty of finding structural parameters and hydrodynamic behaviour from statistical methods alone, i.e. correlation analyses discharge-discharge and precipitation-discharge. In effect, our first results show that the form of the correlograms depends on several factors besides the structure of the karst aquifer: (i) on the form of the floods. in other words the contrast between quick Row and base How, (ii) on the frequency of hydrological events during the period analysed and (iii) on the type of infiltration processes, in other words the ratio of diffuse infiltration to concentrated information. Obviously, the variability of a karst hydrograph is a result of a combination of these factors. Distinction between them is not always possible on hydrographs, and therefore on correlations (discharge-discharge and precipitation-discharge). (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V

Spatial differentiation of the chloride ion concentration in seepage water from the Zakrzwek quarry (Cracow region, S Poland). [in French], 1998, Motyka Jacek, Postawa Adam

Hydrogeochemical vertical zonality in the Cid karst aquifer (Alicante, Spain), 1998, Pulidobosch A. , Andreu J. M. , Estevez A. , Ayanz J. ,
Study of hydrochemical data, conductivity and temperature logs and the samples taken at different depths reveals a marked hydrogeochemical vertical zonality in the Cid karst aquifer. Most saline waters lie in the deepest parts of the aquifer, while those of lowest mineralization occupy the areas of the saturated zone closest to the surface. The hydrodynamic system thus formed is considered to be influenced by two flows: a more superficial one, presenting a lower level of water mineralization; and a deep flow system in which the water, due to contact with Triassic evaporitic materials, experiences a considerable increase in mineralization. (C) Academie des sciences/Elsevier, Paris

Lanthanide-labeled clay: A new method for tracing sediment transport in karst, 1998, Mahler B. J. , Bennett P. C. , Zimmerman M. ,
Mobile sediment is a fundamental yet poorly characterized aspect of mass transport through karst aquifers. Here the development and field testing of an extremely sensitive particle tracer that may be used to characterize sediment transport in karst aquifers is described. The tracer consists of micron-size montmorillonite particles homoionized to the lanthanide form; after injection and retrieval from a ground water system, the lanthanide ions are chemically stripped from the clay and quantified by high performance liquid chromatography, The tracer meets the following desired criteria: low detection limit; a number of differentiable signatures; inexpensive production and quantification using standard methods; no environmental risks; and hydrodynamic properties similar to the in situ sediment it is designed to trace. The tracer was tested in laboratory batch experiments and field tested in both surface water and ground water systems. In surface water, arrival times of the tracer were similar to those of a conservative water tracer, although a significant amount of material was lost due to settling. Two tracer tests were undertaken in a karst aquifer under different flow conditions. Under normal flow conditions, the time of arrival and peak concentration of the tracer were similar to or preceded that of a conservative water tracer. Under low flow conditions, the particle tracer was not detected, suggesting that in low flow the sediment settles out of suspension and goes into storage

Contribution of correlation and spectral analyses to the regional study of a large karst aquifer (Charente, France), 1998, Larocque M. , Mangin A. , Razack M. , Banton O. ,
The purpose of the study is to demonstrate that correlation and spectral analyses can contribute to the regional study of a large karst aquifer. An example is presented for the La Rochefoucauld karst aquifer (Charente, France). Different types of spatially distributed time series provide valuable spatio-temporal information for the karat aquifer. The available time series consist of the spring flow rates, the flow rates at different locations in sinking streams, the piezometric levels, the electrical conductivity and temperature of the water, the atmospheric pressure and the precipitation The analysis of the flow rates at the springs shows that the aquifer empties very slowly and has a large storage capacity. Hydrodynamic links were established between three of the four rivers flowing on the aquifer and the springs. The results also demonstrate the important spatial heterogeneity of the aquifer and indicate that the most rapid flow occurs in the northern part of the aquifer. Hourly piezometric and electrical conductivity time series indicate that the transmissivity of the aquifer varies when some conductive channels become desaturated during the low water period. The delays between the distributed recharge and the piezometric level, between the localized river input and the how rates at the springs and between the electrical conductivities in rivers and the main spring provide information on the travel times in the aquifer, The observation of earth tides and barometric effects indicate that this apparently unconfined aquifer has a confined behaviour. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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.

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