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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Community news

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 artesian flow is flow through a confined aquifer where the elevation of the overlying aquiclude is locally depressed so that the entire aquifer is saturated and the flow is under hydrostatic pressure. some maze cave development in cavernous limestones may be due to artesian flow, which is commonly related to synclinal fold structures [9].?

Checkout all 2699 terms in the KarstBase Glossary of Karst and Cave Terms


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
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;
See all featured articles from other geoscience journals

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Your search for sensitivity (Keyword) returned 71 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 71
Climate-change impacts in a regional karst aquifer, Texas, USA, 2000,
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Loaiciga H. A. , Maidment D. R. , Valdes J. B. ,
Climate-change scenarios were created from scaling factors derived from several general circulation models to assess the likely impacts of aquifer pumping on the water resources of the Edwards Balcones Fault Zone (BFZ) aquifer, Texas, one of the largest aquifer systems in the United States. Historical climatic time series in periods of extreme water shortage (1947-1959), near-average recharge (1978-1989), and above-average recharge (1975-1990) were scaled to 2 x CO2 conditions to create aquifer recharge scenarios in a wanner climate. Several pumping scenarios were combined with 2 x CO2 climate scenarios to assess the sensitivity of water resources impacts to human-induced stresses on the Edwards BFZ aquifer. The 2 x CO2 climate change scenarios were linked to surface hydrology and used to drive aquifer dynamics with alternative numerical simulation models calibrated to the Edwards BFZ aquifer, Aquifer simulations indicate that, given the predicted growth and water demand in the Edwards BFZ aquifer region, the aquifer's ground water resources appear threatened under 2 x CO2 climate scenarios. Our simulations indicate that 2 x CO2 climatic conditions could exacerbate negative impacts and water shortages in the Edwards BFZ aquifer even if pumping does not increase above its present average level. The historical evidence and the results of this article indicate that without proper consideration to variations in aquifer recharge and sound pumping strategies, the water resources of the Edwards BFZ aquifer could be severely impacted under a warmer climate. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Simulation of daily and monthly stream discharge from small watersheds using the SWAT model, 2000,
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Spruill C. A. , Workman S. R. , Taraba J. L. ,
The Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) was evaluated and parameter sensitivities were determined while modeling daily streamflows in a small central Kentucky watershed over a two-year period. Streamflow data from 1996 were used to calibrate the model and streamflow data from 1995 were used for evaluation. The model adequately predicted the trends in daily streamflow during this period although Nash-Sutcliffe R-2 values were -0.04 and 0.19 for 1995 and 1996, respectively The model poorly predicted the timing of some peak flow values and recession rates during the last half of 1995. Excluding daily peak flow values from August to December improved the daily R-2 to 0.15, which was similar to the 1996 daily R2 value. The Nash-Sutcliffe R-2 for monthly total flows were 0.58 for 1995 and 0.89 for 1996 which were similar to values found in the literature. Since very little information was available on the sensitivity of the SWAT model to various inputs, a sensitivity analysis/calibration procedure was designed to evaluate parameters that were thought to influence stream discharge predictions. These parameters included, drainage area, slope length, channel length, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and available water capacity. Minimization of the average absolute deviation between observed and simulated streamflows identified optimum values/ranges for each parameter. Saturated hydraulic conductivity alpha baseflow factor; drainage area, channel length, and channel width were the most sensitive parameters in modeling the karst influenced watershed. The sensitivity analysis process confirmed die trace studies in the karst watershed that a much larger area contributes to streamflow than can be described by the topographic boundaries. Overall, the results indicate that the SWAT model can be an effective tool for describing monthly, runoff from small watersheds in central Kentucky that have developed on karat hydrology however calibration data are necessary to account for solution channels draining into or out of the topographic watershed

Studies on certain aspects of behaviour in the blind catfish Horaglanis krishnai Menon, 2001,
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Balasubramanian N. K. , Mercy T. V. Anna, Pillai N. Krishna
Horaglanis krishnai is a blind catfish inhabiting the dug-out wells at Kottayam, Kerala. This fish has great zoogeographical importance as a similar blind clariid, Uegitglanis zammaroni is found only in the artesian wells of the former Italian Somaliland. Studies on certain behavioural aspects of the fish in captive conditions showed that, this fish even though is blind, exhibited a high degree of thigmotactism. Locomotion, comfort behaviour, feeding and light sensitivity of the fish were studied under laboratory conditions. Though the fish is totally blind and histological study did not reveal the presence of any light sensitive structures, the fish is found to be sensitive to light stimulus. It is a predator. Under laboratory conditions it unerringly snapped up food organisms. This is obviously facilitated by the high degree of development of the tactile and olfactory sense organs.

The sedimentary records in Mediterranean rockshelters and caves: Archives of environmental change, 2001,
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Woodward J. C. , Goldberg P. ,
It is important to develop rigorous methods and robust conceptual models for the interpretation of rockshelter and cave sediment records so that the cultural sequences they contain can be considered in their proper environmental context. Much of what we know about the prehistory of the Mediterranean region and adjacent areas has largely been pieced together from materials excavated from sedimentary sequences in these environments. The rockshelters and caves of the region form important environmental and sedimentary archives. Recent work has begun to consider if the remarkable climatic variability evident in the high resolution lacustrine and ice core records is manifest in the rockshelter and cave sediment records of the area, In this context, the two main characteristics of a rockshelter or cave site which control its usefulness as an archive of environmental change are the temporal resolution of the sedimentary record and the environmental sensitivity of the site. Many rockshelters and caves can be described as either Active Karst Settings (AKS) or Passive Karst Settings (PKS) and site type is an important influence on climatic sensitivity with a direct influence upon the usefulness of the sedimentary sequence as a proxy record of climate change. It is now clear that some sites may preserve detailed paleoclimatic records and the climatic signal may be represented by distinctive suites of micromorphological features, by variations in the input of allogenic sediment, or by fluctuations in the mineral magnetic properties of the fine sediment fraction. It can be argued that data derived from the analysis of bulk coarse-grained samples often lacks the stratigraphic resolution and environmental sensitivity that can be obtained from other approaches. The most favorable sites for detailed paleoclimatic reconstruction appear to be in active karst settings such as Theopetra Cave (Greece) and Pigeon Cave (Morocco) where micromorphological analyses offer insights into the stratigraphic record that are not otherwise obtainable. The temporal resolution of a site can only be established through a rigorous stratigraphic analysis and a comprehensive dating program. These are fundamental considerations in the study of rockshelter sediment records, especially when attempting to correlate between sites and draw comparisons with other proxy records of environmental change derived from sedimentary environments with rather different characteristics. Rockshelters and caves are part of a wider sediment system, and their investigation must be accompanied by detailed geomorphological, sedimentological, paleoecological, and geochronological studies of the off-site Quaternary record.

Partitioning of Sr2 and Mg2 into calcite under karst-analogue experimental conditions, 2001,
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Huang Yiming, Fairchild Ian J. ,
There is a paucity of experimental data on calcite precipitation from waters at low ionic strength and low ratios of Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca, using controlled and constant precipitation rates. Such data are particularly needed for studies of speleothem geochemistry in relation to palaeoclimates.We carried out a series of experiments using a karst-analogue set-up in a chamber of constant temperature and 100% humidity. A steady flow of NaHCO3 and CaCl2 solutions at PCO2 around 10-3.2 were mixed just before passage through a tube (analogous to a soda-straw stalactite) and allowed to drip onto a surface, analogous to a stalagmite. Growth rates were comparable with linear extension rates of natural speleothems.Analytical spots gave reproducible analyses in later analytical cycles after ablation of surface calcite with Na and Mg contamination. Different crystals from the same experiment tended to show positive covariation of Na and Mg with negative covariation with Sr. This may be due to the presence of growth hillocks with vicinal faces with differential partitioning behaviour.The result for the partition coefficient for Mg (DMg) at 25[deg]C is 0.031 0.004, which is quantitatively in good agreement with the trends of previous workers. At 15[deg]C, the result is 0.019 0.003. The temperature dependency is higher than experimental data on seawater-analogue solutions, but lower than a previous estimate based on a comparison of speleothem chemistry with single water analyses.Data for DSr are mainly in the range of 0.057 to 0.078, with a possible weak dependency on growth rate, consistent with previous experimental work. Absolute values are higher than studies in Mg-free saline solutions, which is attributed mainly to salinity effects. Values of DSr are nevertheless somewhat lower than in natural caves, which may relate to crystal growth factors.Mg partition coefficient values should allow robust determination of solution Mg/Ca compositions in enclosed caves, which are at constant temperature on the decadal timescale. The inferred sensitivity of DSr to growth rate factors implies that Sr values should be interpreted more cautiously. Muted changes could relate entirely to growth rate variations, whereas changes of large magnitude imply a control by solution composition. The absence of local (tens of micron scale) antipathetic variations in Sr and Mg in studied natural speleothems, implies that intracrystalline zoning phenomena, if present, are on a finer scale in those natural materials compared with experimental products

KARSTIC: a sensitivity method for carbonate aquifers in karst terrain, 2002,
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Davis Ad, Long Aj, Wireman M,
Groundwater in karstic aquifers can be dangerously sensitive to contamination. Many cities in the western USA rely on karstic carbonate aquifers for municipal water supplies. For example, Rapid City, South Dakota, pumps more than half of its drinking water from wells in the Madison Limestone. This work examined the sensitivity of karstic aquifers to surface contamination in mountainous terrain. Where karstic carbonate aquifers are exposed at their outcrop areas, they are particularly susceptible to the introduction of contamination through diffuse recharge or through point recharge at swallow holes along streams. Residential developments in mountainous regions of the western USA are encroaching on the recharge areas of karstic aquifers. Many of these residential developments are served by onsite wastewater disposal systems such as septic tanks and drain fields, with the attendant danger of introduction of pathogens from malfunctioning treatment systems above fractured limestone which offers little filtering. Where streams disappear into karstic aquifers at swallow holes, microbial contaminants such as Giardia or Cryptosporidium are a concern, as well as potential spills, leaks, or accidents along roads near these streams. The KARSTIC method developed and modified in this work puts greater emphasis on karst features than previous sensitivity procedures such as the US Environmental Protection Agency's DRASTIC method. The modified method gives increased attention to highly sensitive areas of karstic carbonate aquifers by weighting the synergistic effects of fracturing, karst development, and swallow holes of recharging streams. In a field application, hydrogeologic maps of a watershed in the Black Hills, USA, were digitized into a geographic information system. The resulting sensitivity map and report can be used by planners, managers, and the public as a screening tool for assessing groundwater sensitivity in regions which include karstic aquifers

Assessments of the sensitivity to climate change of flow and natural water quality in four major carbonate aquifers of Europe, 2002,
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Younger P. L. , Teutsch G. , Custodio E. , Elliot T. , Manzano M. , Sauter M. ,
A numerical modelling approach has been developed to predict the vulnerability of aquifers to future climate change. This approach encompasses changes in recharge regime, dynamics of flow and storage patterns within aquifers, and natural hydrochemical changes. An application of the approach has been made to four hypothetical spring catchments representative of major carbonate aquifers in three European climatic zones. Since prolific carbonate aquifers typically combine a high transmissivity with a low specific yield, they can be expected to be more sensitive than clastic aquifers to changes in recharge patterns. Simulations of the study systems to the middle of the 21st century predict different outcomes in the three different climate zones: (1) in the northern maritime zone (UK) recharge (and therefore discharge) is predicted to increase by as much as 21 0n response to anticipated increases in precipitation; (2) in the continental zone (Germany) recharge in winter is predicted to remain approximately the same as at present, but summer recharge will decline dramatically (by as much as 32%), so that a net decrease in aquifer discharge is predicted; and (3) in the Mediterranean zone (Spain) recharge is predicted to decrease by as much as 160f the present-day values. For all three systems, increases in water hardness in response to rising CO2 are predicted, but are expected to be negligible in water resources terms

Analytical 1D dual-porosity equivalent solutions to 3D discrete single-continuum models. Application to karstic spring hydrograph modelling, 2002,
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Cornaton F, Perrochet P,
One-dimensional analytical porosity-weighted solutions of the dual-porosity model are derived, providing insights on how to relate exchange and storage coefficients to the volumetric density of the high-permeability medium. It is shown that porosity-weighted storage and exchange coefficients are needed when handling highly heterogeneous systems-such as karstic aquifers-using equivalent dual-porosity models. The sensitivity of these coefficients is illustrated by means of numerical experiments with theoretical karst systems. The presented ID dual-porosity analytical model is used to reproduce the hydraulic responses of reference 3D karst aquifers, modelled by a discrete single-continuum approach. Under various stress conditions, simulation results show the relations between the dual-porosity model coefficients and the structural features of the discrete single-continuum model. The calibration of the equivalent 1D analytical dual-porosity model on reference hydraulic responses confirms the dependence of the exchange coefficient with the karstic network density. The use of the analytical model could also point out some fundamental structural properties of the karstic network that rule the shape of the hydraulic responses, such as density and connectivity. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Groundwater modelling in aquifers with highly karstic and heterogeneous characteristics (KHC) in Palestine, 2002,
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Froukh Lj,
Groundwater modelling is hindered by the lack of adequate information about the groundwater system and hence the need for an interactive and efficient system for data preparation and results analysis. Such a lack of information usually necessitates the use of tedious iterative methodology within a sensitivity analysis scheme. The heterogeneous aquifer systems complicate the issue since more data is required to simulate the system. This study demonstrates the integrated approach to bridge the gap between data handling and modelling. The karst cretaceous aquifer system (complex aquifer system) of the Eastern Basin in the West Bank is used to illustrate this approach. The groundwater modelling approach integrates the outputs from different programs for data preparation and analysis. These include (1) Groundwater Database (GWW) (2) Geographic Information System (GIS) (3) Groundwater Modelling System (GMS). In addition, the paper will summarize the data collection efforts, problems faced and experience gained working with heterogeneous media. This involves linking the results from various field investigations for groundwater development programs in the West Bank

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst., 2002,
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Birk S.
Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events. Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer. Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation. In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case. The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.

Characterisation of karst systems by simulating aquifer genesis and spring responses: model development and application to gypsum karst, PhD thesis, 2002,
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Birk, S.

Karst aquifers are important groundwater resources, which are highly vulnerable to contamination due to fast transport in solutionally enlarged conduits. Management and protection of karst water resources require an adequate aquifer characterisation at the catchment scale. Due to the heterogeneity and complexity of karst systems, this is not easily achieved by standard investigation techniques such as pumping tests. Therefore, a process-based numerical modelling tool is developed, designed to support the karst aquifer characterisation using two complementary approaches: Firstly, the simulation of conduit enlargement, which aims at predicting aquifer properties by forward modelling of long-term karst genesis; secondly, the simulation of heat and solute transport processes, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from short-term karst spring response after recharge events.
Karst genesis modelling is applied to a conceptual setting based on field observations from the Western Ukraine, where the major part of known gypsum caves is found. Gypsum layers are typically supplied by artesian flow of aggressive water from insoluble aquifers underneath. Processes and parameters, controlling solutional enlargement of single conduits under artesian conditions, are identified in detailed sensitivity analyses. The development of conduit networks is examined in parameter studies, suggesting that the evolution of maze caves is predetermined by structural preferences such as laterally extended fissure networks beneath a horizon less prone to karstification. Without any structural preferences vertical shafts rather than maze caves are predicted to develop. The structure of the mature conduit system is found to be determined during early karstification, which is characterised by high hydraulic gradients and low flow rates in the gypsum layer.
Short-term karst spring response after recharge events is firstly examined in parameter studies by forward modelling. The numerical simulations reveal that different controlling processes of heat and solute transport account for the different behaviour of water temperature and solute concentration frequently observed at karst springs. It is demonstrated that these differences may be employed to reduce the ambiguity in the aquifer characterisation.
In order to test the feasibility of the corresponding inverse approach, which aims at inferring aquifer properties from the karst spring response, the model is applied to a field site in Southern Germany (Urenbrunnen spring, Vohringen). Data input is provided by both literature and own field work. Several models, which reproduce the results of a combined tracer and recharge test, are calibrated to spring discharges and solute concentrations measured after a recharge event. In order to validate the calibrated models, the measured spring water temperatures are simulated by heat transport modelling. The model application yields information on aquifer properties as well as flow and transport processes at the field site. Advection is identified as the dominant transport process, whereas the dissolution reaction of gypsum is found to be insignificant in this case.
The application to gypsum aquifers demonstrates that both suggested approaches are suitable for the characterisation of karst systems. Model results, however, are highly sensitive to several input parameters, in particular in karst genesis modelling. Therefore, extensive field work is required to provide reliable data for site-specific model applications. In order to account for uncertainties, it is recommended to conduct parameter studies covering possible ranges of the most influential parameters.


Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and magnesium (Mg2): two complementary tracers of residence time in karstic systems, 2003,
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Batiot C, Emblanch C, Blavoux B,
The Total Organic Carbon (TOC) is an interesting tracer of fast infiltration within karstic systems [3,7]. Regular sampling on several aquifers. from the experimental site of Vaucluse, made it possible to demonstrate the high sensitivity of this tracer compared with other commonly used chemical and isotopic tracers in karstic hydrogeology. The complementarity of magnesium, indicator of the residence time of water within the system, and TOC appears as a relevant tool in order to characterize the behaviour of the aquifer, to differentiate the water types which participate to the karstic flow (fast infiltration, unsaturated zone, saturated zone) and then, to evaluate their vulnerability. (C) 2003 Academie des sciences/Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved

Dam sites in soluble rocks: a model of increasing leakage by dissolutional widening of fractures beneath a dam, 2003,
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Romanov D. , Gabrovsek F. , Dreybrodt W. ,
Water flowing through narrow fissures and fractures in soluble rock, e.g. limestone and gypsum, widens these by chemical dissolution. This process, called karstification, sculptures subterranean river systems which drain most of their catchment. Close to dam sites, unnaturally high hydraulic gradients are present to drive the water impounded in the reservoir downstream through fractures reaching below the dam. Under such conditions, the natural process of karstification is accelerated to such an extent that high leakage rates may arise, which endanger the operation of the hydraulic structure. Model simulations of karstification below dams by coupling equations of dissolutional widening to hydrodynamic flow are presented. The model scenario is a dam 100 in wide in limestone or gypsum. The modelling domain is a two-dimensional slice 1 m wide directed perpendicular to the dam. It extends 375 in vertically and 750 in horizontally. The dam is located in its center. This domain is divided by fractures and fissures into blocks of 7.5 x 7.5 x 1 m. The average aperture width of the fractures is 0.02 cm. We performed model runs on standard scenarios for a dam site in limestone with the height H of impounded water 150 in, a horizontal impermeable apron of width W=262 m and a grouting curtain reaching down to a depth of G=97 m. In a second scenario, we changed these construction features to G=187 m and W=82 m. To calculate widening of the fractures, well-established experimental data on the dissolution of limestone and gypsum have been used as they occur in such geochemical settings. All model runs show similar characteristic behaviour. Shortly after filling, the reservoir exhibits a small leakage of about 0.01 m(-3) s(-1), which increases steadily until a breakthrough event occurs after several decades with an abrupt increase of leakage to about 1 m(3) s(-1) within the short time of a few years. Then, flow in the fractures becomes turbulent and the leakage increases to 10 m(3) s(-1) in a further time span of about 10 years. The widths of the fractures are visualized in various time steps. Small channels propagate downstream and leakage rises slowly until the first channel reaches the surface downstream. Then breakthrough occurs, the laminar flow changes to turbulent and a dense net of fractures which carry flow is established. We performed a sensitivity analysis on the dependence of breakthrough times on various parameters, determining breakthrough. These are the height of impounded water H, the depth G of grouting, the average aperture width a(0) of the fractures and the chemical parameters, which are c(eq) the equilibrium concentration of Ca with respect to calcite and the Ca-concentration c(in) of the inflowing water. The results show that the most critical parameter is a(0). At fracture aperture widths of 0.01 cm, breakthrough times are above 500 years. For values of a(0)>0.02 cm, however, breakthrough times are within the lifetime of the structure. We have also modelled dam sites in gypsum, which exhibit similar breakthrough times. However, after breakthrough, owing to the much larger dissolution rates of gypsum, the time until unbearable leakage is obtained, is only a few years. The modelling can be applied to complex geological settings, as phreatic cave conduits below the dam, or a complex stratigraphy with varying properties of the rock with respect to hydraulic conductivity and solubility. A few examples are given. In conclusion, our results support the assumption that increasing leakage of dam sites may be caused by dissolutional widening of fractures. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

A deterministic approach to the coupled analysis of karst springs' hydrographs and chemographs, 2003,
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Grasso D. A. , Jeannin P. Y. , Zwahlen F. ,
During the chemically based recession flow phase of karstic springs the carbonate (dissolved limestone) concentration can be expressed as negative power of the flow rate. The empirically determined Conc/Q relationship allows two parameters (alpha and A) to be defined, of which one (alpha) depends on the geometric dimensions of the saturated (submerged) karstic network. In this paper we present a deterministic model which simulates the concentration of carbonate at the outlet of a network of circular rectilinear conduits as a function of flow rate. This model, based on hydraulic principles and the calcite dissolution kinetics, allows the sensitivity of the alpha and A parameters to be studied under different chemical, physical and geometric scenarios. Simulation results show that A is a function of the calcite saturation concentration, whereas alpha depends on the spatial dimensions of the karstic network (void length and aperture). The deterministic model results were applied to real karstic systems to evaluate the geometric dimensions of submerged karstic networks. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Can we simulate regional groundwater flow in a karst system using equivalent porous media models? Case study, Barton Springs Edwards aquifer, USA, 2003,
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Scanlon B. R. , Mace R. E. , Barrett M. E. , Smith B. ,
Various approaches can be used to simulate groundwater flow in karst systems, including equivalent porous media distributed parameter, lumped parameter, and dual porosity approaches, as well as discrete fracture or conduit approaches. The purpose of this study was to evaluate two different equivalent porous media approaches: lumped and distributed parameter, for simulating regional groundwater flow in a karst aquifer and to evaluate the adequacy of these approaches. The models were applied to the Barton Springs Edwards aquifer, Texas. Unique aspects of this study include availability of detailed information on recharge from stream-loss studies and on synoptic water levels, long-term continuous water level monitoring in wells throughout the aquifer, and spring discharge data to compare with simulation results. The MODFLOW code was used for the distributed parameter model. Estimation of hydraulic conductivity distribution was optimized by using a combination of trial and error and automated inverse methods. The lumped parameter model consists of five cells representing each of the watersheds contributing recharge to the aquifer. Transient simulations were conducted using both distributed and lumped parameter models for a 10-yr period (1989-1998). Both distributed and lumped parameter models fairly accurately simulated the temporal variability in spring discharge; therefore, if the objective of the model is to simulate spring discharge, either distributed or lumped parameter approaches can be used. The distributed parameter model generally reproduced the potentiometric surface at different times. The impact of the amount of pumping on a regional scale on spring discharge can be evaluated using a lumped parameter model; however, more detailed evaluation of the effect of pumping on groundwater levels and spring discharge requires a distributed parameter modeling approach. Sensitivity analyses indicated that spring discharge was much more sensitive to variations in recharge than pumpage, indicating that aquifer management should consider enhanced recharge, in addition to conservation measures, to maintain spring flow. This study shows the ability of equivalent porous media models to simulate regional groundwater flow in a highly karstified aquifer, which is important for water resources and groundwater management. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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