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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 interflow is subsurface runoff [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 baseflow (Keyword) returned 33 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 33
Timescales for nitrate contamination of spring waters, northern Florida, USA, 2001, Katz B. G. , Bohlke J. K. , Hornsby H. D. ,
Residence times of groundwater, discharging from springs in the middle Suwannee River Basin, were estimated using chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), tritium ((3) H), and tritium/helium-3 (H-3/He-3) age-dating methods to assess the chronology of nitrate contamination of spring waters in northern Florida. During base-flow conditions for the Suwannee River in 1997-1999, 17 water samples were collected from 12 first, second, and third magnitude springs discharging groundwater from the Upper Floridan aquifer. Extending age-dating techniques, using transient tracers to spring waters in complex karst systems, required an assessment of several models [piston-flow (PFM), exponential mixing (EMM), and binary-mixing (BMM)] to account for different distributions of groundwater age. Multi-tracer analyses of four springs yielded generally concordant PFM ages of around 20 2 years from CFC- 12, CFC- 113, H-3, and He-3. with evidence of partial CFC- 11 degradation. The EMM gave a reasonable fit to CFC- 113, CFC- 12. and H-3 data, but did not reproduce the observed He-3 concentrations or H-3/He-3 ratios, nor did a combination PFM-EMM. The BMM could reproduce most of the multi-tracer data set only if both endmembers had H-3 concentrations not much different front modern values. CFC analyses of 14 additional springs yielded apparent PFM ages from about 10 to 20 years from CFC- 113, with evidence of partial CFC- 11 degradation and variable CFC-12 contamination. While it is not conclusive, with respect to the age distribution within each spring, the data indicate that the average residence times were in the order of 10-20 years and were roughly proportional to spring magnitude. Applying similar models to recharge and discharge of nitrate based on historical nitrogen loading data yielded contrasting trends for Suwanee County and Lafayette County. In Suwance County, spring nitrate trends and nitrogen isotope data were consistent with a peak in fertilizer input in the 1970s and a relatively high overall ratio of artificial fertilizer/manure whereas in Lafayette County, spring nitrate trends and nitrogen isotope data were consistent with a more monotonic increase in fertilizer input and relatively low overall ratio of artificial fertilizer/manure. The combined results of this study indicate that the nitrate concentrations of springs in the Suwannee River basin have responded to increased nitrogen loads from various sources in the watersheds over the last few decades, however, the responses have been subdued and delayed because the average residence time of groundwater discharging from springs are in the order of decades. (C) 2001 Published by Elsevier Science B.V

Occurrence of cyanazine compounds in groundwater: Degradates more prevalent than the parent compound, 2001, Kolpin D. W. , Thurman E. M. , Linhart S. M. ,
A recently developed analytical method using liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry was used to investigate the occurrence of cyanazine and its degradates cyanazine acid (CAC), cyanazine amide (CAM), deethylcyanazine (DEC), and deethylcyanazine acid (DCAC) in groundwater. This research represents some of the earliest data on the occurrence of cyanazine degradates in groundwater. Although cyanazine was infrequently detected in the 64 wells across Iowa sampled in 1999, cyanazine degradates were commonly found during this study. The most frequently detected cyanazine compound was DCAC (32.8%) followed by CAC (29.7%), CAM (17.2%), DEC (3.1%), and cyanazine (3.1%). The frequency of detection for cyanazine or one or more of its degradates (CYTOT) was more than 12-fold over that of cyanazine alone (39.1% for CYTOT Versus 3.1% for cyanazine). Of the total measured concentration of cyanazine, only 0.2% was derived from its parent compound-with DCAC (74.1%) and CAC (18.4%) comprising 92.5% of this total. Thus, although DCAC and CAC had similar frequencies of detection, DCAC was generally present in higher concentrations. No concentrations of cyanazine compounds for this study exceeded water-quality criteria for the protection of human health. Only cyanazine, however, has such a criteria established. Nevertheless, because these cyanazine degradates are still chlorinated, they may have similar toxicity as their parent compound-similar to what has been found with the chlorinated degradates of atrazine. Thus, the results of this study documented that data on the degradates for cyanazine are critical for understanding its fate and transport in the hydrologic system. Furthermore, the prevalence of the chlorinated degradates of cyanazine found in groundwater suggests that to accurately determine the overall effect on human health and the environment from cyanazine its degradates should also be considered. In addition, because CYTOT was found in 57.6% of the samples collected from alluvia[ aquifers, about 2-5 times more frequently than the other major aquifer types (glacial drift, bedrock/karst, bedrock/nonkarst) under investigation, this finding has long-term implications for the occurrence of CYTOT in streams. It is anticipated that low-level concentrations of CYTOT will continue to be detected in streams for years after the use of cyanazine has terminated (scheduled for the year 2000 in the United States), primarily through its movement from groundwater into streams during base-flow conditions

Chemical and physical controls on waters discharged from abandoned underground coal mines, 2001, Lopez D. L. , Stoertz M. W. ,
Abandoned up-dip drift mines in high-sulphur coal are a major source of acid mine drainage (AMD) in Appalachia. Studies of mines in the Monday Creek watershed of southeastern Ohio show that mines are recharged by surface runoff into subsidence features that dilate the natural stress-relief fracture system. The direct connection between the ground surface and the mines leads to a rapid response in the hydrograph, with a one- to four-day lag between precipitation and corresponding peak mine discharge. Subsidence occurs in topographic depressions where overburden is presumably relatively thin. Subsidence features drain 20-36% of the surface area. Unsaturated storage appears to be volumetrically insignificant, so that far more recharge occurs than the 5% often assumed for this region. Mine storage can change rapidly due to subsidence recharge. Hydrologically, mines with subsidence features behave like karst systems, with meteoric quickflow' representing more than 50% of the total flow. Mine discharge concentrations are relatively uniform through time, suggesting either equilibrium controls on chemistry or drainage of a well-mixed pool, or both. Evidence of dilution by high flows is slight. The first high flows after a baseflow period show only a slight increase in concentrations, attributed to flushing of stored reaction products. Loadings (concentrations x flow) depend on volumetric discharge and as a consequence are highly variable. The Eh/pH environment in up-dip drift mines indicates that mine waters are in contact with the atmosphere at least part of the time, unlike a true groundwater. Iron buffering partly controls pH, which clusters around values of 3.6-5.0

Interpretation of spring recession curves, 2002, Amit H, Lyakhovsky V, Katz A, Starinsky A, Burg A,
Recession curves contain information on storage properties and different types of media such as porous, fractured, cracked lithologies and karst. Recession curve analysis provides a function that quantitatively describes the temporal discharge decay and expresses the drained volume between specific time limits (Hall 1968). This analysis also allows estimating the hydrological significance of the discharge function parameters and the hydrological properties of the aquifer. In this study, we analyze data from perennial springs in the Judean Mountains and from others in the Galilee Mountains, northern Israel. All the springs drain perched carbonate aquifers. Eight of the studied springs discharge from a karst dolomite sequence, whereas one flows out from a fractured, slumped block of chalk. We show that all the recession curves can be well fitted by a function that consists of two exponential terms with exponential coefficients alpha(1) and alpha(2). These coefficients are approximately constant for each spring, reflecting the hydraulic conductivity of different media through which the ground water flows to the spring. The highest coefficient represents the fast flow, probably through cracks, or quickflow, whereas the lower one reflects the slow flow through the porous medium, or baseflow. The comparison of recession curves from different springs and different years leads to the conclusion that the main factors that affect the recession curve exponential coefficients are the aquifer lithology and the geometry of the water conduits therein. In normal years of rainy winter and dry summer, (Xi is constant in time. However, when the dry period is longer than usual because of a dry winter, (X, slightly decreases with time

Evaluation of aquifer thickness by analysing recession hydrographs. Application to the Oman ophiolite hard-rock aquifer, 2003, Dewandel B, Lachassagne P, Bakalowicz M, Weng P, Almalki A,
For more than a century, hydrologists and hydrogeologists have been investigating the processes of stream and spring baseflow recession, for obtaining data on aquifer characteristics. The Maillet Formula [Librairie Sci., A. Hermann, Paris (1905) 218], an exponential equation widely used for recession curve analysis, is an approximate analytical solution for the diffusion equation in porous media whereas the equation proposed by Boussinesq [C. R. Acad. Sci. 137 (1903) 5; J. Math. Pure Appl. 10 (1904) 5], that depicts baseflow recession as a quadratic form, is an exact analytical solution. Other formulas currently used involve mathematical functions with no basis on groundwater theory. Only the exact analytical solutions can provide quantitative data on aquifer characteristics. The efficiency of the two methods was compared on the basis of recession curves obtained with a 2D cross-sectional finite differences model that simulates natural aquifers. Simulations of shallow aquifers with an impermeable floor at the level of the outlet show that their recession curves have a quadratic form. Thus, the approximate Maillet solution largely overestimates the duration of the 'influenced' stage and underestimates the dynamic volume of the aquifer. Moreover, only the Boussinesq equations enable correct estimates of the aquifer parameters. Numerical simulations of more realistic aquifers, with an impermeable floor much deeper than the outlet, proves the robustness of the Boussinesq formula even under conditions far from the simplifying assumptions that were used to integrate the diffusion equation. The quadratic form of recession is valid regardless of the thickness of the aquifer under the outlet, and provides good estimates of the aquifer's hydrodynamic parameters. Nevertheless, the same numerical simulations show that aquifers with a very deep floor provide an exponential recession. Thus, in that configuration, the Maillet formula also provides a good fit of recession curves, even if parameter estimation remains poor. In fact, the recession curve appears to be closer to exponential when flow has a very important vertical component, and closer to quadratic when horizontal flow is dominant. As a consequence, aquifer permeability anisotropy also changes the recession form. The combined use of the two fitting methods allows one to quantify the thickness of the aquifer under the outlet. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Thermal variations in the hyporheic zone of a karst stream, 2005, Dogwiler T. , Wicks C.

This investigation quantifies how temperatures fluctuate in relation to discharge, seasonal, and diurnal temperature variations. Furthermore, the linkages between meteorological processes and temperature variation in the hyporheic zone are delineated. Examination of a high-resolution, three dimensional record of temperature variation in a karst stream substrate provides insight into thermal disturbances in the hyporheic zone. Temperatures in the upper portion of the hyporheic zone are strongly linked to air temperatures via the surface water. The variation is considerably less as depth increases. The annual temperature variation in the lower portion of the shallow hyporheic zone is reduced by one-third, relative to the variation observed in the surface water and upper substrate. During storm events, the upper portion (0-5 cm) of the shallow hyporheic zone is subject to a thermal regime very similar to surface stream water. However, below these depths the sharpest temperature fluctuations are effectively muted within the stream substrate. More frequent diurnal variations, particularly those associated with baseflow conditions, are also dampened within the substrate.


Do woody plants affect streamflow on semiarid karst rangelands?, 2005, Wilcox B. P. , Owens M. K. , Knight R. W. , Lyons R. K. ,
There is considerable public and political pressure to reduce woody plant cover on rangelands as a means of increasing water yield, despite the lack of studies documenting that such a strategy is effective. In the Texas Hill Country, runoff from the Edwards Plateau recharges the highly productive and regionally vital Edwards Aquifer. The dominant woody plant on the Plateau is Ashe juniper (Juniperus ashei Buchholz). To understand how woody plant cover may affect the amount and timing of runoff in this region, we monitored streamflow from nine small (3- to 6-ha) watersheds over a 13-year period. After the first two years (initial observations), 100% of the shrub cover was removed from three of the watersheds and similar to70% from another three. Following these treatments we continued to monitor runoff for four years, suspended monitoring for four and a half years, and then resumed monitoring for an additional three years. Runoff from these nine first-order watersheds generally accounted for <5% of the total precipitation and occurred entirely as stormflow (there was no baseflow before or after treatment). Some runoff was generated as subsurface flow, as indicated by hydrographs showing prolonged runoff (typically lasting hours longer than the rainfall). We evaluated the influence of woody plant cover on streamflow by comparing streamflow during the four-year treatment period with that during the posttreatment period (when considerable recovery of woody plants had taken place). Our findings indicate that changes in woody plant cover had little influence on the amount, timing, or magnitude of streamflow from these watersheds. On the basis of this work and other observations in the region, we hypothesize that, for small watersheds, changes in shrub cover will have little or no effect on streamflow except where springs are present

A quantitative method for the characterisation of karst aquifers based on spring hydrograph analysis, 2005, Kovacs A. , Perrochet P. , Kiraly L. , Jeannin P. Y. ,
This paper presents a method for characterizing flow systems in karst aquifers by acquiring quantitative information about the geometric and hydraulic aquifer parameters from spring hydrograph analysis. Numerical sensitivity analyses identified two fundamentally different flow domains, depending on the overall configuration of aquifer parameters. These two domains have been quantitatively characterized by deducing analytical solutions for the global hydraulic response of simple two-dimensional model geometries. During the baseflow recession of mature karst systems, the hydraulic parameters of karst conduits do not influence the drainage of the low-permeability matrix. In this case the drainage process is influenced by the size and hydraulic parameters of the low-permeability blocks alone. This flow condition has been defined as matrix-restrained flow regime (MRFR). During the baseflow recession of early karst systems and fissured systems, as well as the flood recession of mature systems, the recession process depends on the hydraulic parameters and the size of the low-permeability blocks, conduit conductivity and the total extent of the aquifer. This flow condition has been defined as conduit-influenced flow regime (CIFR). Analytical formulae demonstrated the limitations of equivalent models. While equivalent discrete-continuum models of early karst systems may reflect their real hydraulic response, there is only one adequate parameter configuration for mature systems that yields appropriate recession coefficient. Consequently, equivalent discrete-continuum models are inadequate for simulating global response of mature karst systems. The recession coefficient of equivalent porous medium models corresponds to the transition between matrix-restrained and conduit-influenced flow. Consequently, equivalent porous medium models yield corrupted hydrographs both in mature and early systems, and this approach is basically inadequate for modelling global response of karst aquifers. (c) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Thermal Variations in the Hyporheic Zone of a Karst Stream., 2006, Dogwiler Toby, Wicks Carol
This investigation quantifies how temperatures in the streambed sediments of a karst stream fluctuate in relation to discharge, seasonal, and diurnal temperature variations as the stream passes through a karst window. Furthermore, the linkages between meteorological processes and temperature variation in the hyporheic zone are delineated. Examination of a high-resolution, three dimensional record of temperature variation in a karst stream substrate provides insight into thermal disturbances in the hyporheic zone. Temperatures in the upper portion of the hyporheic zone are strongly linked to air temperatures via the surface water. The variation is considerably less as depth increases. The annual temperature variation in the lower portion of the shallow hyporheic zone is reduced by one-third, relative to the variation observed in the surface water and upper substrate. During storm events, the upper portion (0-5 cm) of the shallow hyporheic zone is subject to a thermal regime very similar to surface stream water. However, below these depths the sharpest temperature fluctuations are effectively muted within the stream substrate. More frequent diurnal variations, particularly those associated with baseflow conditions, are also dampened within the substrate.

Reversibility of forest conversion impacts on water budgets in tropical karst terrain, 2006, Chandler Dg,
A conceptual model of the control of tropical land use and vegetative cover on bedrock recharge is developed for highly permeable geologic substrates. A case study of water budgets is then developed from field data and simple modeling for upland sites with three different vegetative covers (cropland, intensively grazed pasture and forest regrowth) in Leyte, Philippines. Water budget model results show that annual precipitation is divided primarily between evapotranspiration and overland flow for the pasture, but apportioned more to evapotranspiration and inputs to bedrock storage for the crop and forest sites. Modeled evapotranspiration from the forest (1906 mm) was not sufficiently greater than that for either the crop (1661 mm) or pasture (1476 mm) sites to offset the greater overland flow from those sites. The differences in overland flow are related to depth profiles of soil bulk density, which decreased between crop and forest and increased between crop and pasture, and drainable porosity, which increased between crop and forest and decreased between crop and pasture. Dry season streamflow is assumed to be primarily base flow and dependent on wet season bedrock recharge, which was dramatically lower for the pasture (106 mm) than for the crop (1134 mm) or forest covers (1320 mm), for 2946 mm of rainfall. The results support the premise that for landscapes with adequate storage in bedrock fractures, forest regrowth can increase recharge to perched aquifers, and hence dry season baseflow, relative to cropping and that dramatic reductions in overland flow and increases in dry season baseflow may be achieved by reforestation of compacted pastures. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

HYDROLOGIC CONNECTIONS AND DYNAMICS OF WATER MOVEMENT IN THE CLASSICAL KARST (KRAS) AQUIFER: EVIDENCE FROM FREQUENT CHEMICAL AND STABLE ISOTOPE SAMPLING, 2008, Doctor, D. H.

A review of past research on the hydrogeology of the Classical Karst (Kras) region and new information obtained from a two- year study using environmental tracers are presented in this paper. The main problems addressed are 1) the sources of water to the Kras aquifer resurgence zone—including the famous Timavo springs—under changing flow regimes; 2) a quantification of the storage volumes of the karst massif corresponding to flow regimes defined by hydrograph recessions of the Timavo springs; and 3) changing dynamics between deep phreatic conduit flow and shallow phreatic and epiphreatic storage within the aquifer resurgence zone as determined through changes in chemical and isotopic composition at springs and wells. Particular focus was placed on addressing the long-standing question of the influence of the Soča River on the ground waters of the aquifer resurgence zone. The results indicate that the alluvial aquifer supplied by the sinking of the Soča River on the northwestern edge of the massif contributes approximately 75% of the mean annual outflow to the smaller springs of the aquifer resurgence zone, and as much as 53% to the mean annual outflow of the Timavo springs. As a whole, the Soča River is estimated to contribute 56% of the average outflow of the Kras aquifer resurgence. The proportions of Soča River water increase under drier conditions, and decrease under wetter conditions. Time series analysis of oxygen stable isotope records indicate that the transit time of Soča River water to the Timavo springs, Sardos spring, and well B-4 is on the order of 1-2 months, depending on hydrological conditions. The total baseflow storage of the Timavo springs is estimated to be 518 million m3, and represents 88.5% of the storage capacity estimated for all flow regimes of the springs. The ratio of baseflow storage volume to the average annual volume discharged at the Timavo springs is 0.54. The Reka River sinking in Slovenia supplies substantial allogenic recharge to the aquifer; however, its influence on the northwest resurgence zone is limited to the Timavo springs, and is only a significant component of the spring discharge under flood conditions for relatively brief periods (several days to weeks). Sustainability of the trans-boundary aquifer of the Kras will benefit from maintaining high water quality in the Soča River, as well as focused water tracing experiments within the epiphreatic zone of the aquifer to better delineate the recharge zone and to identify sources of potential contamination to the Brestovica water supply well.


SPATIAL AND TEMPORAL VARIATION OF HYDROGEOCHEMISTRY AND KARST FLOW PROPERTIES TO CHARACTERIZE KARST DYNAMIC SYSTEM IN BRIBIN UNDERGROUND RIVER, GUNUNG KIDUL REGENCY, DIY PROVINCE, 2010, Adji, Tjahyo Nugroho

This research is conducted in karst area, which is particularly enclosed by Bribin Underground River Catchment, Gunungkidul Regency. The objectives of this study are: (1) to understand spatial and temporal variation of flow characteristic as well as Diffuse Flow Proportion (PAD) of Bribin River; (2) to assess hydrogeochemistry and to recognize the relationship between hydrogeochemistry and flow characteristics of Bribin River, and (3) to define water agressivity of Bribin River with respect to carbonate mineral and to express the components of Karst Dynamic System (KDS) one-year behavior.
To define flow characteristic and PAD, three water level data loggers are installed within upper, lower and the leakage point along Bribin River continued by discharge measurement with the purpose of attaining stage-discharge rating curve. Afterwards, PAD is defined by conducting digital filtering baseflow separation approach after calculation of diffuse, fissure, and conduit recession constant. Next, to figure out hydrogeochemical condition, 120 sample of karst water are analyzed including rain, underground-river, and drip water. After that, scatter plots between hydrogeochemical parameters are conducted to achieve the correlation between PAD and hydrogeochemistry as well as to figure out hydrogeochemical processes to occur. Subsequently, Saturation Indices analysis with respect to calcite mineral and KDS components correlation is carried out to define karst water agressivity and its manners along flowpath of Bribin River.
The research’s result demonstrates that there is spatial and temporal differentiation of flow characteristics along Bribin River attributable to the comportment of karst aquifer toward discharging its diffuse, fissure, or conduit flow components, which consequence to the dissimilarity of PAD distribution along Bribin River. Accordingly, PAD characteristics result to dry season hydrogeochemical condition of Bribin River. However, wet season hydrogeochemical condition is more influenced by means of dilution by precipitation process within flood events, which exaggerates CO2 content of water. Generally, the upper-stream cave tend to more aggressive in dissolving limestone, contrast to down-steam cave that be inclined to precipitate carbonate mineral as a result of their differentiation of cavities configuration. In addition, down-stream cave is characterized by open system cavities, subsequent to the CO2 discharge to preserve dissolution process.


Radon and CO2 as natural tracers to investigate the recharge dynamics of karst aquifers, 2011, Savoy Ludovic, Surbeck Heinz, Hunkeler Daniel

This study investigated the use of radon (222Rn), a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 3.8 days, and CO2 as natural tracers to evaluate the recharge dynamics of karst aquifer under varying hydrological conditions. Dissolved 222Rn and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured continuously in an underground stream of the Milandre test site, Switzerland. Estimated soil water 222Rn activities were higher than baseflow 222Rn activities, indicating elevated 222Rn production in the soil zone compared to limestone, consistent with a 226Ra enrichment in the soil zone compared to limestone. During small flood events, 222Rn activities did not vary while an immediate increase of the CO2 concentration was observed. During medium and large flood events, an immediate CO2 increase and a delayed 222Rn activity increase to up to 4.9 Bq/L and 11 Bq/L, respectively occurred. The detection of elevated 222Rn activities during medium and large flood events indicate that soil water participates to the flood event. A soil origin of the 222Rn is consistent with its delayed increase compared to discharge reflecting the travel time of 222Rn from the soil to the saturated zone of the system via the epikarst. A three-component mixing model suggested that soil water may contribute 4–6% of the discharge during medium flood events and 25–43% during large flood events. For small flood events, the water must have resided at least 25 days below the soil zone to explain the background 222Rn activities, taking into account the half-life of 222Rn (3.8 days). In contrast to 222Rn, the CO2 increase occurred simultaneously with the discharge increase. This observation as well as the CO2 increase during small flood events, suggests that the elevated CO2 level is not due to the arrival of soil water as for 222Rn. A possible explanation for the CO2 trend is that baseflow water in the stream has lower CO2 levels due to gas loss compared to water stored in low permeability zones. During flood event, the stored water is more rapidly mobilised than during baseflow with less time for gas loss. The study demonstrates that 222Rn and CO2 provides value information on the dynamics of groundwater recharge of karst aquifer, which can be of high interest when evaluating the vulnerability of such systems to contamination.


Radon and CO2 as natural tracers to investigate the recharge dynamics of karst aquifers, 2011, Savoy Ludovic, Surbeck Heinz, Hunkeler Daniel

This study investigated the use of radon (222Rn), a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 3.8 days, and CO2 as natural tracers to evaluate the recharge dynamics of karst aquifer under varying hydrological conditions. Dissolved 222Rn and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured continuously in an underground stream of the Milandre test site, Switzerland. Estimated soil water 222Rn activities were higher than baseflow 222Rn activities, indicating elevated 222Rn production in the soil zone compared to limestone, consistent with a 226Ra enrichment in the soil zone compared to limestone. During small flood events, 222Rn activities did not vary while an immediate increase of the CO2 concentration was observed. During medium and large flood events, an immediate CO2 increase and a delayed 222Rn activity increase to up to 4.9 Bq/L and 11 Bq/L, respectively occurred. The detection of elevated 222Rn activities during medium and large flood events indicate that soil water participates to the flood event. A soil origin of the 222Rn is consistent with its delayed increase compared to discharge reflecting the travel time of 222Rn from the soil to the saturated zone of the system via the epikarst. A three-component mixing model suggested that soil water may contribute 4–6% of the discharge during medium flood events and 25–43% during large flood events. For small flood events, the water must have resided at least 25 days below the soil zone to explain the background 222Rn activities, taking into account the half-life of 222Rn (3.8 days). In contrast to 222Rn, the CO2 increase occurred simultaneously with the discharge increase. This observation as well as the CO2 increase during small flood events, suggests that the elevated CO2 level is not due to the arrival of soil water as for 222Rn. A possible explanation for the CO2 trend is that baseflow water in the stream has lower CO2 levels due to gas loss compared to water stored in low permeability zones. During flood event, the stored water is more rapidly mobilised than during baseflow with less time for gas loss. The study demonstrates that 222Rn and CO2 provides value information on the dynamics of groundwater recharge of karst aquifer, which can be of high interest when evaluating the vulnerability of such systems to contamination.


Radon and CO2 as natural tracers to investigate the recharge dynamics of karst aquifers, 2011, Savoy Ludovic, Surbeck Heinz, Hunkeler Daniel

This study investigated the use of radon (222Rn), a radioactive isotope with a half-life of 3.8 days, and CO2 as natural tracers to evaluate the recharge dynamics of karst aquifer under varying hydrological conditions. Dissolved 222Rn and carbon dioxide (CO2) were measured continuously in an underground stream of the Milandre test site, Switzerland. Estimated soil water 222Rn activities were higher than baseflow 222Rn activities, indicating elevated 222Rn production in the soil zone compared to limestone, consistent with a 226Ra enrichment in the soil zone compared to limestone. During small flood events, 222Rn activities did not vary while an immediate increase of the CO2 concentration was observed. During medium and large flood events, an immediate CO2 increase and a delayed 222Rn activity increase to up to 4.9 Bq/L and 11 Bq/L, respectively occurred. The detection of elevated 222Rn activities during medium and large flood events indicate that soil water participates to the flood event. A soil origin of the 222Rn is consistent with its delayed increase compared to discharge reflecting the travel time of 222Rn from the soil to the saturated zone of the system via the epikarst. A three-component mixing model suggested that soil water may contribute 4–6% of the discharge during medium flood events and 25–43% during large flood events. For small flood events, the water must have resided at least 25 days below the soil zone to explain the background 222Rn activities, taking into account the half-life of 222Rn (3.8 days). In contrast to 222Rn, the CO2 increase occurred simultaneously with the discharge increase. This observation as well as the CO2 increase during small flood events, suggests that the elevated CO2 level is not due to the arrival of soil water as for 222Rn. A possible explanation for the CO2 trend is that baseflow water in the stream has lower CO2 levels due to gas loss compared to water stored in low permeability zones. During flood event, the stored water is more rapidly mobilised than during baseflow with less time for gas loss. The study demonstrates that 222Rn and CO2 provides value information on the dynamics of groundwater recharge of karst aquifer, which can be of high interest when evaluating the vulnerability of such systems to contamination.


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