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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 interference is the condition occurring when the area of influence of a water well comes into contact with or overlaps that of a neighboring well, as when two wells are pumping from the same aquifer or are located near each other [6].?

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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 snow (Keyword) returned 57 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 57
The Problem of Condensation in Karst Studies, 1998, Dublyansky, V. N.
Condensation in karst occurs over a wide range of natural settings, at latitudes from 25 to 70 and altitudes from sea level to 2600 m. In summer (April through September), condensation introduces a significant amount of water into the karst massifs (from 0.1% to as much as 20% of the total dry-season runoff). Contrary to common belief, in winter evaporation does not withdraw appreciable amounts of water from the massifs. Evaporating at depth, the water condenses near the surface within the epikarstic zone or on the snow cover and flows back. Condensation can sustain springs during prolonged dry periods (such as summer and winter) when there is no recharge by liquid precipitation. Condensation can play a significant role in speleogenesis, and many forms of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphologies are attributable to condensation corrosion. It can be particularly efficient in the latter stages of hydrothermal cave development (during partial dewatering) when the temperature and the humidity gradients are highest. Coupled with evaporation, air convection, and aerosol mass transfer, condensation can play a crucial role in the formation of a number of speleothems, as well as create peculiar patterns of cave microclimate.

Quelques aspects des conditions de circulation des eaux souterraines dans les karsts du gypse des Alpes internes, 1999, Couturier Bernard, Fourneaux Jeanclaude, Sommeria Laure
The Triassic gypsum outcrops are widespread, in the French Inner Alps. They are often found in large heaps between two structural units. Karstic landforms with sinkholes and collapse zones are visible even when they are covered with glacial deposits or fallen rocks. There is also much evidence of underground flows, but the springs do not have any karstic characteristics. The water tracings (two examples) show that the local tectonics have a great influence in the subterranean circulation conditions. At "La Norma" in the Arc valley (Maurienne) the water infiltrated in a large sinkhole supplies several small springs after transit in a fissured aquifer. The spring flow is well regulated. At "Le Clou" in the upper Isre valley (Tarentaise) several sinkholes with loss of ephemeral streams during melting snow supply a large fissured aquifer. There is no spring with karstic features either. The water infiltrated in a sinkhole has been found in several springs during a very long period of time. Whereas the upper part of these aquifers are really like a karstic aquifer, with large stream channels, on the contrary the deeper part is like a fissured aquifer with large water dispersion and low velocity. The fissured and porous aquifer has a throttling action and explains the absence of true resurgence. The underground water flow is unbroken between the different aquifers but permeability decreases according to the depth. These phenomenon are in connection with tectonic activity and the interpenetration of the different geological formations at the bottom of the gypsum layer.

Speleological Features in the Mountainous Karst of Risnjak Mountain (Croatia), 1999, Buzjak Nenad, Fiedler Suzana

Risnjak mountain is located in western Croatia. Its central area is, together with the nearby Snjećnik mountain and the upper part of the Kupa river valley, a part of Risnjak National Park. Since it is mostly built of heavy broken Jurassic carbonate rocks (limestones predominate), all kinds of karst features are well developed. Among exokarst forms dolines predominate. Among speleological features shafts are the most frequent forms. There are several morphological types of these in the altitude range between 680 and 1520 m. Although the deepest shaft explored to date is 180 m deep, the rest of the shafts are mostly up to 50 m deep. Consistent with high altitude and a severe climate thick beds of snow and ice were found in a few shafts. Near the southeastern border of the National Park area there are a few streams which flow over the less permeable Triassic dolomite beds and impermeable Triassic and Permian clastic beds. They sink at the contact with permeable carbonate beds. Among their ponors the largest is Vele Vode ponor cave which is 1495 m long.


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

Infiltration measured by the drip of stalactites, 2000, Sanz E. , Lopez J. J. ,
The hydrodynamic processes and mechanisms involved in rain infiltration and recharge in local areas of karst terrain can be identified and quantified by using measurements of the seepage of cave stalactites, Detailed measurements of the seepage of stalactites in seven caves located in an area close to the land surface, or the subcutaneous area of the karst, show a diversity of complex factors involved in infiltration: type of precipitation (rain or snow), air temperature, soil type and thickness, etc., which give rise to larger or smaller variations of flow in the espeleothem hydrographs, In some cases, no explanation can be found for the response of stalactites to rainfall, while in others there is a relationship between outer atmospheric parameters and the recharge represented by the stalactite drip. Romperopas Cave (Spain) has both a rapid and a basic flow, with hydrograph recessions similar to those observed in other caves. Water seepage in this cave varies greatly both in space and in time. The infiltration in Altamira Cave (Spain) was calculated and a multiple regression was found between infiltration, rain and outside air temperature. In other cases, the balance of the water on the soil is responsible for the seepage, Thus, a precipitation runoff numerical model that simulated the stalactite hydrographs could be applied to the Baradla and Beke Caves (Hungary), The complex properties of the ground, which are required for other flow numerical models for the unsaturated zone, were not taken into consideration

The role of condensation in karst hydrogeology and speleogenesis, 2000, Dublyansky V. N. , Dublyansky Y. V.
Condensation in karst occurs over a wide range of natural settings, at latitudes from 25 to 70o and altitudes from sea level to 2600 m. In summer (April through September), condensation introduces a significant amount of water into the karst massifs (from 0.1 % to as much as 20 % of the total dry-season runoff). Contrary to common belief, in winter evaporation does not withdraw appreciable amounts of water from the massifs. Evaporating at depth, the water condenses near the surface within the epikarstic zone or on the snow cover and flows back. Condensation can sustain springs during prolonged dry periods (such as summer and winter) when there is no recharge by liquid precipitation. Condensation can play a significant role in speleogenesis, and many forms of cave macro-, meso-, and micromorphologies are attributable to condensation corrosion. It can be particularly efficient in the latter stages of hydrothermal cave development (during partial dewatering) when the temperature and the humidity gradients are highest. Coupled with evaporation, air convection, and aerosol mass transfer, condensation can play a crucial role in the formation of a number of speleothems, as well as create peculiar patterns of cave microclimate.

Doline morphogenetic processes from global and local viewpoints, 2000, Gams, Ivan

Geomorphogenetical processes of solution dolines are evident from restraints in their global and local distribution: more precipitation than potential evapotranspiration, permeable soil cover, water level and solution front (transition from aggressive to flowstone depositing water) below shallow epikarst, slope inclination below 30°, solid soluble rock. Dolines are an effect of local accelerated solution. In initial phase they are connected with more fractured stone, as the grains have greater specific (surface/volume) surface exposed to soil moisture. Effect of stone fracturing on solution was tested in laboratory. Later growth of basin is based on automatism, as the size of soil/stone interface is increased with deepening of the basin. Funnel-like dolines with growth usually convert in a bowl-like form with greater exceeding. The form is controlled also by water permeability of soil and solifluction. In temperate climate the two million year long Pleistocene offered with more moisture from snow and with intensive fracturing of stone better conditions for doline development than the warmer Neogene and Holocene when man's impact in last centuries essentially redused primary forest environment and thus processes in the basins. Collapse dolines are not taken into account.


HALLOYSITE FROM KARST SEDIMENTS OF THE KONEPRUSY AREA: EVIDENCE FOR ACID HYDROTHERMAL SPELEOGENESIS IN THE BOHEMIAN KARST, CZECH REPUBLIC, 2000, Melka K . , Suchy V. , Zeman A. , Bosak P . , Langrova A .

(Pre)-Cretaceous sediments that fill extensive hydrothermal dissolution cavities in Devonian limestones in the Certovy schody Quarry contain locally abundant halloysite clays. In most samples halloysite coexists with metahalloysite and kaolinite that form snowy-white and blue-green masses intimately intergrown with manganese oxides. The determination of members of kaolinite group minerals was the main purpose of this study. X-ray diffraction method and thermal analyses enabled to differentiate halloysite from metahalloysite and kaolinite. Tubular morphology of halloysite was observable in electron micrographs. A study of the stored material confirmed continuous transition from the halloysite form over interstratified states (mixed-layer halloysite-metahalloysite crystal structure) to metahalloysite. Field observations indicate that halloysite formed due to selective in situ hydrothermal alteration of clayey matrix of quartz sandstone and/or breccias of unclear original composition that occur within the sedimentary fill. The proposed model for halloysite formation involves alteration by warm (< 80°C) acid solutions that migrated through the system of tectonic fractures, dissolved limestone host and altered overlying sedimentary members that collapsed into the resulting hydrothermal depressions. Since halloysite partially replaced also Cenomanian sediments, the hydrothermal alteration must have occurred only during post-Cenomanian time.


Karst hydrogeology of Kusluk-Dilmetas karst springs, Van-Eastern Turkey, 2001, Ozler H. M. ,
Permian marbles and recrystallised limestone nappes outcrop in the Artos Mountain range and comprise an aquifer with a small storage reservoir. Carbonate units are underlain by the impervious Yuksekova ophiolites. Between the marble and ophiolites, there is a transition zone by the northward thrusting, which varies between 500-1,000 m thickness. Fissures and fractures systems are well-developed in this transition zone because of the effects of tectonic movement, and extensive karstification has resulted in a high infiltration although its storage capacity is low. Because of the impermeable ophiolites at the base, groundwater discharges as springs flowing from the plane of the thrust faults. Numerous karst springs (48 springs) issue from this fissured and fractured zone, which are characterised by small discharge rates, a long residence time, and well-regulated spring flows. In addition, a selective enlargement is observed from west to east, which is greatly effected by strike-slip faults. All these springs are mostly fed by snowmelt during 6 months of the year

Soil carbon dioxide in a summer-dry subalpine karst, Marble Mountains, California, USA, 2001, Davis J, Amato P, Kiefer R,
Studies of the seasonality, spatial variation and geomorphic effects of Soil CO2 concentrations in a summer-dry subalpine karst landscape in the Marble Mountains, Klamath National Forest, California, demonstrate the significance of soil moisture as a limiting factor. Modeled actual evapotranspiration (AET) in the four weeks prior to sampling explains 36% of the observed soil-CO2 concentrations, pointing to the importance of root respiration processes in these systems. Late snows are significant in controlling the timing of a snowmelt-initiated pulse of respiration and groundwater. CO2 concentrations were measured at multiple sites in two seasons - 1995 and 1997 - with contrasting patterns of snowmelt. Other than wet-meadow anomalies, where CO2 concentrations reached up to 3.8% in midsummer, alpine meadows on schist were the sites of the highest spring peak concentrations of approximately 1%. Forest sites and sites with thin soils on marble typically peaked at approximately 0.5%, also within a month of snowmelt exposure. Ongoing karstification in the upper bare karst is focused in soil-filled grikes where late-season snowmelt concentrates flow during high-respiration periods, but the lack of active speleothem development suggests that the carbonate solution system is greatly reduced from preglacial periods

The role of accurate recharge estimation in the hydrodynamic analysis of karst aquifers, 2001, Petrič, Metka

For the karst aquifer in the background of the Vipava springs in south-western Slovenia the first the model of the recharge estimation was set on the base of the method of soil moisture balance. Additional to precipitation, the influences of the interception on vegetation cover, snow and snowmelt, evapotranspiration, water storage in soil, rapid recharge and secondary infiltration were also considered in this model. It was calibrated by comparison with the discharges of the Vipava springs and then the daily values of recharge were estimated. To test the role of such accurate estimation of the recharge in further hydrodynamic analysis of karst aquifers, the black-box method was used. As the input signal in the supposed linear system the measured precipitation was first adopted, and then the estimated recharge values. It was demonstrated by comparison of results that the introduction of the recharge function significantly improves the model. In this way the important influence of the processes in the air, vegetation and soil on the amount and the time distribution of the recharge, and through this also on the hydrodynamic functioning of karst aquifers, was proved.


Coastal karst springs in the Mediterranean basin : study of the mechanisms of saline pollution at the Almyros spring (Crete), observations and modelling, 2002, Arfib B, De Marsily G, Ganoulis J,
Variations in salinity and flow rate in the aerial, naturally salty spring of Almyros of Heraklion on Crete were monitored during two hydrological cycles. We describe the functioning of the coastal karstic system of the Almyros and show the influence of the duality of the flow in the karst (conduits and fractured matrix) on the quality of the water resource in the coastal area. A mechanism of saltwater intrusion into this highly heterogeneous system is proposed and validated with a hydraulic mathematical model, which describes the observations remarkably well. Introduction. - Fresh groundwater is a precious resource in many coastal regions, for drinking water supply, either to complement surface water resources, or when such resources are polluted or unavailable in the dry season. But coastal groundwater is fragile, and its exploitation must be made with care to prevent saltwater intrusion as a result of withdrawal, for any aquifer type, porous, fractured or karstic. In karstic zones, the problem is very complex because of the heterogeneous nature of the karst, which makes it difficult to use the concept of representative elementary volume developed for porous or densely fractured systems. The karstic conduits focus the major part of the flow in preferential paths, where the water velocity is high. In coastal systems, these conduits have also an effect on the distribution of the saline intrusion. As was shown e.g. by Moore et al. [1992] and Howard and Mullings [1996], both freshwater and salt-water flow along the fractures and conduits to reach the mixing zone, or the zone where these fluids are superposed in a dynamic equilibrium because of their differences in density ; but the dynamics of such a saltwater intrusion are generally unknown and not represented in models. Such coastal karstic systems are intensely studied at this moment in the Mediterranean region [Gilli, 1999], both as above sea-level or underwater springs, for potential use in areas where this resource would be of great value for economic development. This article discusses the freshwater-saltwater exchange mechanisms in the karstic aquifer of the Almyros of Heraklion aquifer (Crete) and explains the salinity variations observed in the spring. First, the general hydrogeology of the study site is described, then the functioning of the spring : a main conduit drains the freshwater over several kilometres and passes at depth through a zone where seawater is naturally present. The matrix-conduit exchanges are the result of pressure differences between the two media. These processes are represented in a mathematical model that confirms their relevance. General hydrogeology of the studied site. - The karstic coastal system of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete) covers 300 km2 in the Ida massif whose borders are a main detachment fault, and the Sea of Crete in the north, the Psiloritis massif (highest summit at 2,456 m) in the south and west, and the collapsed basin of Heraklion filled in by mainly neo-geneous marl sediments in the east. The watershed basin consists of the two lower units of characteristic overthrust formations of Crete (fig. 1) : the Cretaceous Plattenkalk and the Cretaceous Tripolitza limestones. The two limestone formations are locally separated by interbedded flysch or phyllade units that form an impervious layer [Bonneau et al., 1977 ; Fassoulas, 1999] and may lead to different flow behaviour within the two karstic formations. Neo-tectonic activity has dissected these formations with large faults and fractures. The present-day climate in Crete is of Mediterranean mountain type, with heavy rain storms and snow on the summits in winter. Rainfall is unevenly distributed over the year, with 80 % of the annual total between October and March and a year-to-year average of 1,370 mm. The flow rate of the spring is high during the whole hydrologic cycle, with a minimum in summer on the order of 3 m3.s-1 and peak flow in winter reaching up to 40 m3.s -1. The water is brackish during low flow, up to a chloride content of 6 g.l-1, i.e. 23 % of seawater, but it is fresh during floods, when the flow rate exceeds 15 m3.s-1. During the 1999-2000 and 2000-2001 hydrologic cycles, the water was fresh during 14 and 31 days, respectively. The water temperature is high and varies very little during the year (see table I). In the areas of Keri and Tilissos (fig. 1), immediately south of the spring, the city of Heraklion extracts water from the karstic system through a series of 15 wells with depth reaching 50 to 100 m below sea level. Initially, when the wells were drilled, the water was fresh, but nowadays the salinity rises progressively, but unequally from well to well (fig. 2). The relatively constant temperatures and salinities of the wells, during the hydrological cycle, contrast with the large salinity variations at the spring (fig. 2 and table I). They show that the karstic system is complex and comprises different compartments, where each aquifer unit reacts to its individual pressures (pumping, rainfall) according to its own hydrodynamic characteristics [Arfib et al., 2000]. The Almyros spring seems disconnected from the surrounding aquifer and behaves differently from that which feeds the wells (upper Tripolitza limestone). It is recharged by fresh water from the mountains, which descends to depths where it probably acquires its salinity. The spring would thus be the largest resource of the area, if it was possible to prevent its pollution by seawater. A general functioning sketch is proposed (fig. 3), which includes the different geological units of interest. Identification of the functioning of the Almyros spring through monitoring of physical and chemical parameters. - The functioning of the aquifer system of the Almyros spring was analysed by monitoring, over two hydrological cycles, the level of the spring, the discharge, the electric conductivity and the temperature recorded at a 30 min time interval. In the centre of the watershed basin, a meteorological station at an altitude of 800 m measures and records at a 30 min time interval the air temperature, rainfall, relative humidity, wind velocity and direction ; moreover, an automatic rain gauge is installed in the northern part of the basin at an altitude of 500 m. The winter floods follow the rhythm of the rainfall with strong flow-rate variations. In contrast, the summer and autumn are long periods of drought (fig. 7). The flow rate increases a few hours after each rainfall event ; the water salinity decreases in inverse proportion to the flow rate a few hours to a few days later. Observations showed that the water volume discharged at the Almyros spring between the beginning of the flow rate increase and the beginning of the salinity decrease is quite constant, around 770,000 m3 (fig. 4) for any value of the flow rate, of the salinity and also of the initial or final rainfall rates. To determine this constant volume was of the upmost importance when analyzing the functioning of the Almyros spring. The lag illustrates the differences between the pressure wave that moves almost instantaneously through the karst conduit and causes an immediate flow rate increase after rainfall and the movement of the water molecules (transfer of matter) that arrives with a time lag proportionate to the length of the travel distance. The variation of the salinity with the flow rate acts as a tracer and gives a direct indication of the distance between the outlet and the seawater entrance point into the conduit. In the case of the Almyros, the constant volume of expelled water indicates that sea-water intrusion occurs in a portion of the conduit situated several kilometres away from the spring (table II), probably inland, with no subsequent sideways exchange in the part of the gallery leading up to the spring. As the lag between the flow rate and the salinity recorded at the spring is constant, one can correct the salinity value by taking, at each time step, with a given flow rate, the salinity value measured after the expulsion of 770,000 m3 at the spring, which transforms the output of the system so as to put the pressure waves and the matter transfer in phase [Arfib, 2001]. After this correction, the saline flux at the spring, equal to the flow rate multiplied by the corrected salinity, indicates the amount of sea-water in the total flow. This flux varies in inverse proportion to the total flow rate in the high-flow period and the beginning of the low-flow period, thereby demonstrating that the salinity decrease in the spring is not simply a dilution effect (fig. 5). The relationship that exists between flow rate and corrected salinity provides the additional information needed to build the conceptual model of the functioning of the part of the Almyros of Heraklion aquifer that communicates with the spring. Freshwater from the Psiloritis mountains feeds the Almyros spring. It circulates through a main karst conduit that descends deep into the aquifer and crosses a zone naturally invaded by seawater several kilometers from the spring. The seawater enters the conduit and the resulting brackish water is then transported to the spring without any further change in salinity. The conduit-matrix and matrix-conduit exchanges are governed by the head differences in the two media. Mathematical modelling of seawater intrusion into a karst conduit Method. - The functioning pattern exposed above shows that such a system cannot be treated as an equivalent porous medium and highlights the influence of heterogeneous structures such as karst conduits on the quantity and quality of water resources. Our model is called SWIKAC (Salt Water Intrusion in Karst Conduits), written in Matlab(R). It is a 1 D mixing-cell type model with an explicit finite-difference calculation. This numerical method has already been used to simulate flow and transport in porous [e.g. Bajracharya and Barry, 1994 ; Van Ommen, 1985] and karst media [e.g. Bauer et al., 1999 ; Liedl and Sauter, 1998 ; Tezcan, 1998]. It reduces the aquifer to a single circular conduit surrounded by a matrix equivalent to a homogeneous porous medium where pressure and salinity conditions are in relation with sea-water. The conduit is fed by freshwater at its upstream end and seawater penetrates through its walls over the length L (fig. 6) at a rate given by an equation based on the Dupuit-Forchheimer solution and the method of images. The model calculates, in each mesh of the conduit and at each time step, the head in conditions of turbulent flow with the Darcy-Weisbach equation. The head loss coefficient {lambda} is calculated by Louis' formula for turbulent flow of non-parallel liquid streams [Jeannin, 2001 ; Jeannin and Marechal, 1995]. The fitting of the model is intended to simulate the chloride concentration at the spring for a given matrix permeability (K), depth (P) and conduit diameter (D) while varying its length (L) and its relative roughness (kr). The spring flow rates are the measured ones ; at present, the model is not meant to predict the flow rate of the spring but only to explain its salinity variations. Results and discussion. - The simulations of chloride concentrations were made in the period from September 1999 to May 2001. The depth of the horizontal conduit where matrix-conduit exchanges occur was tested down to 800 m below sea level. The diameter of the conduit varied between 10 and 20 m, which is larger than that observed by divers close to the spring but plausible for the seawater intrusion zone. The average hydraulic conductivity of the equivalent continuous matrix was estimated at 10-4 m/s. A higher value (10-3 m/s) was tested and found to be possible since the fractured limestone in the intrusion zone may locally be more permeable but a smaller value (10-5 m/s) produces an unrealistic length (L) of the saline intrusion zone (over 15 km). For each combination of hydraulic conductivity, diameter and depth there is one set of L (length) and kr (relative roughness) calibration parameters. All combinations for a depth of 400 m or more produce practically equivalent results, close to the measured values. When the depth of the conduit is less than 400 m, the simulated salinity is always too high. Figure 7 shows results for a depth of 500 m, a diameter of 15 m and a hydraulic conductivity of 10-4 m/s. The length of the saltwater intrusion zone is then 1,320 m, 4,350 m away from the spring and the relative roughness coefficient is 1.1. All the simulations (table II) need a very high relative roughness coefficient which may be interpreted as an equivalent coefficient that takes into account the heavy head losses by friction and the variations of the conduit dimensions which, locally, cause great head losses. The model simulates very well the general shape of the salinity curve and the succession of high water levels in the Almyros spring but two periods are poorly described due to the simplicity of the model. They are (1) the period following strong freshwater floods, where the model does not account for the expulsion of freshwater outside the conduit and the return of this freshwater which dilutes the tail of the flood and (2) the end of the low-water period when the measured flux of chlorides falls unexpectedly (fig. 5), which might be explained by density stratification phenomena of freshwater-saltwater in the conduit (as observed in the karst gallery of Port-Miou near Cassis, France [Potie and Ricour, 1974]), an aspect that the model does not take into account. Conclusions. - The good results produced by the model confirm the proposed functioning pattern of the spring. The regulation of the saline intrusion occurs over a limited area at depth, through the action of the pressure differences between the fractured limestone continuous matrix with its natural saline intrusion and a karst conduit carrying water that is first fresh then brackish up to the Almyros spring. The depth of the horizontal conduit is more than 400 m. An attempt at raising the water level at the spring, with a concrete dam, made in 1987, which was also modelled, indicates that the real depth is around 500 m but the poor quality of these data requires new tests to be made before any firm conclusions on the exact depth of the conduit can be drawn. The Almyros spring is a particularly favorable for observing the exchanges in the conduit network for which it is the direct outlet but it is not representative of the surrounding area. To sustainably manage the water in this region, it is essential to change the present working of the wells in order to limit the irreversible saline intrusion into the terrain of the upper aquifers. It seems possible to exploit the spring directly if the level of its outlet is raised. This would reduce the salinity in the spring to almost zero in all seasons by increasing the head in the conduit. In its present state of calibration, the model calculates a height on the order of 15 m for obtaining freshwater at the spring throughout the year, but real tests with the existing dam are needed to quantify any flow-rate losses or functional changes when there is continual overpressure in the system. The cause of the development of this karstic conduit at such a great depth could be the lowering of the sea level during the Messinian [Clauzon et al., 1996], or recent tectonic movements

Assessing Humidity in an Upper Pleistocene Karst Environment: Palaeoclimates and Palaeomicroenvironments at the cave Divje babe I, Slovenia, 2002, Turk Ivan, Skaberne Dragomir, Blackwell Bonnie A. B. , Dirjec Janez

The article presents a new sedimentary-climatic model for explaining autochthonous clastic sediment in the Upper Pleistocene site, Divje babe I, Slovenia. The sediment analysed here was deposited during Oxygen Isotope Stages 1, 3 and 5 (OIS, OIS 3, OIS 5). The stress is on precipitation, which we explained on the basis of the quantity of authigenic structural aggregates in the sediment. We supported the results with quantitative analysis of clasts with etched surface, which represent corrosion of the cave ceiling, and etched bones, which represent corrosion on the cave ground. We also analysed the relation between climate and cave bears, and Neanderthals and climate, on the basis of mass fossil remains and finds of artefacts. All analyses were made on the basis of three-dimensional sampling, i.e., in horizontal and vertical directions. We sampled 65 profiles over an area of 65 m2. Each profile had 35 arbitrary stratigraphic units (splits) with data on aggregates, etched bones, fossil remains and artefacts. In explaining the sediment characteristics that point to climatic parameters, we consistently took into account the Holocene standards for the site. We found that the climate in OIS 3 was colder and damper than in OIS 1 and OIS 5. People and animals responded to the climatic changes in OIS 3 with more visits to the cave, but not at the same time. The climatic change was presumably reflected in the microlocation of the cave mainly by the longer duration of snow cover.


Etude glaciologique et climatologique des cavits glaces du Moncodeno (Grigna septentrionale, province de Lecco, Lombardie, 2003, Turri S. , Citterio M. , Bini A. , Maggi V. , Udistj R. , Stenni B.
GLACIOLOGICAL AND CLIMATOLOGICAL STUDIES IN ICE-CAVES OF MONCODENO (NORTH GRIGNA, PROVINCEOFLECCO, LOMBARDY) - The existence of perennial ice and snow deposits in the karst shafts of the Moncodeno area, at altitudes of about 1800 to 2100 m a.s.l, has long been known. Even so, no detailed study has been formerly carried out. Three ice and snow cores have been drilled in the glaciated cave environment and chemical, isotopic, crystallographic and textural analyses were carried out on them. By linking these observations with the morphology, stratigraphy and internal structures of the deposits, and with the hypogean and epigean climate records, we were able to identify the accumulation processes and to give one upper and some lower limits to the age of these deposits. The most notable deposit shows a more than 15 m thick succession of clear-ice layers, found at a depth of about 80 m and suspended between two shafts in the cave "Abisso sul margine dell'Alto Bregaia Because of the relative position to the cave entrance, no snow can reach this deposit. The crystallographic and textural features, confirmed by the chemical and isotopic trends, show that this is lake-ice. At present no accumulation can be observed and the top surface is now at least 3 m lower than it was three decades ago. The underlying shaft, deglaciated at some time in the past by the air circulation drains the water so that hypogean lakes can no more develop. We have found sound stratigraphic and glaciotectonic evidences of at least three accumulation and three ablation phases. When compared to local present precipitations and to the values available from literature, the ice chemical composition and 6110 values show that this ice must be younger than the end of the last ice age, while preceding the beginning of industrial activity related contributions.

Soil types and eolian dust in high-mountainous karst of the Northern Calcareous Alps (Zugspitzplatt, Wetterstein Mountains, Germany), 2003, Kufmann C. ,
This, study deals with the soil formation on pure limestone in the high-mountainous karst of Wetterstein Mountains (Northern Calcareous Alps). The study area in detail covers the alpine (2000 to 2350 in) and the subnivale zone (2350 to 2600 in) of Zugspitzplatt, a tertiary paleosurface situated next to the highest summit of Germany (Zugspitze 2963 in). The formation of autochthonous soils is determined by the following parameters: uniform geology and geochemistry of Triassic limestone (CaCO3 MgCO3 greater than or equal to 98%), variable substrata (solid rock, debris, local moraine), hypsometric pattern of vegetation modified by microclimate and aspect, variety of micro-environments in karst relief. In the subnivale zone, only leptosols (lithic, skeletic) and regosols (calcaric, humic) occur, whereas in the alpine zone different stages of folic histosols and rendzic leptosols prevail due to the diversity of vegetation. The purity of limestone prevents a distinct contribution of residues to soil formation. Instead of expected A-B-C profiles, the residues are mixed with organic matter of folic horizons (O-OB-C). Only in karst depressions or on local moraines small Bt horizons (2 to 5 cm) occur. They mark a developed stage of folic histosol (O-OB-Bt-C) representing the climax of autochthonous mineral soil genesis in the study area. Special features are brown deposits (mean thickness 30 cm) covering large parts of the alpine zone. On the basis of mineralogical (X-ray diffraction, heavy minerals) and pedological data (grain size, soil chemistry), eolian origin is indicated. The resulting soils are classified as loess loam-like cambisols (Ah-Bw-2(Bt)-2C) and are related to late glacial loess deposition (Egesen-Stade of Younger Dryas). The abundance of mica and silt in the surface layers and the grain size distribution of snow dust samples prove that dust influx by southerly winds is still continuing. The major sources for both late glacial and present-day dust are magmatic and metamorphic rock formations of the Central Alps. Additionally, local dust transport from adjacent outcrops of Jurassic and Lower Cretaceous sediments is evident. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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