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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 joint or fault system is a system consisting of two or more joint or fault sets or any group of joints or faults with a characteristic pattern (e.g., radiating, concentric, etc.).?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

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 groundwaters (Keyword) returned 67 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 67
Dolines of the Pleistocene dune calcarenite terrain of western Eyre Peninsula, South Australia: a reflection of underprinting?, 2000,
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Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
A field of Middle and Late Pleistocene coastal foredunes occupies much of western Lyre Peninsula, South Australia. The rolling surface reflects the morphology of the stacks of calcarenite dunes that underlie the area. Hardpan calcrete is well developed in relation to the present, as well as to earlier dune surfaces. The region is a typical karst in that surface drainage is lacking. There are a few shallow and short caves but solution pipes and dolines are abundantly developed. Some dolines, including several of the larger forms occur high in the local topography and are also aligned in groups. They are attributed to underprinting, to the diversion of groundwaters into fractures in the pre-Pleistocene basement and the concentration of solution in the limestone above such zones. Low permeability calcrete horizons within the dune sequence have probably disturbed groundwater circulation and also form a stable framework preventing major collapse, and preserving both dolines and caves. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Geological factors affecting the chemical characteristics of the thermal waters of the carbonate karstified aquifers of Northern Vietnam, 2000,
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Drogue C, Cat Nn, Dazy J,
In northern Vietnam, exposed carbonate rock formations cover an area of more than 50,000 km(2). Their accumulated thickness from the Cambrian to the Triassic is in some places as much as 3000 m. Numerous thermal waters (springs and wells) occur in these strongly karstified carbonate massifs. This is the result of significant ancient and present orogenic activity, as the region demonstrates by its strong seismic activity. These karstic formations are water-bearing and strongly recharged by rainfall of between 1600 mm and 2600 mm per year in 90% of the area concerned. In view of the average annual air temperatures ( 17 degreesC-25 degreesC according to the region), 23 sample springs or wells were chosen with water temperatures of between 29 degreesC and 68 degreesC. Hydrochemical characteristics of these thermal waters emerging in different carbonate-rock units were examined by chemical analyses of major ions. In this large region, thermal waters are divided into four hydrochemical types: the Na-Cl type resulting from the intrusion of sea water for distances of up to several kilometres inland and depths of 1000 m, the Ca-SO4 type, probably resulting from the leaching of deposits of metallic sulphides that are widely distributed in these carbonate-rock units, and finally the Ca-HCO3 and Mg-HCO3 types which are chemically similar to fresh karstic waters in limestones and dolostones. The occurrence of these thermal groundwaters as well as their chemical characteristics seem to indicate the existence of large-scale deepseated groundwater flow systems in the karstic aquifers

Speleogenesis: Evolution of Karst Aquifers., 2000,
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The aim of this book is to present advances made in recent decades in our understanding of the formation of dissolutional caves, and to illustrate the role of cave genetic ( speleogenetic ) processes in the development of karst aquifers. From the perspective of hydrogeology, karst ground water flow is a distinct kind of fluid circulation system, one that is capable of self-organization and self-development due to its capacity to dissolve significant amounts of the host rock and transport them out of the system. Fluid circulation in soluble rocks becomes more efficiently organized by creating, enlarging and modifying patterns of cave conduits, the process of speleogenesis. We can assert that karst ground water flow is a function of speleogenesis and vice versa . The advances in cave science are poorly appreciated in what may be termed ?mainstream hydrogeology?, which retains a child-like faith in flow models developed in the sand box. Many karst students also will not be aware of all emerging concepts of cave origin because discussions of them are scattered through journals and books in different disciplines and languages, including publications with small circulation. An understanding of principles of speleogenesis and its most important controls is indispensable for proper comprehension of the evolution of the karst system in general and of karst aquifers in particular. We hope this book will be useful for both karst and cave scientists, and for general hydrogeologists dealing with karst terranes. This book is a pioneer attempt by an international group of cave scientists to summarize modern knowledge about cave origin in various settings, and to examine the variety of approaches that have been adopted. Selected contributions from 44 authors in 15 nations are combined in an integrated volume, prepared between 1994 and 1998 as an initiative of the Commission of Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis, International Speleological Union. Despite a desire to produce an integrated book, rather than a mere collection of papers, the editors' policy has not been directed toward unifying all views. Along with some well-established theories and approaches, the book contains new concepts and ideas emerging in recent years. We hope that this approach will stimulate further development and exchange of ideas in cave studies and karst hydrogeology. Following this Introduction, (Part 1), the book is organized in seven different parts, each with sub-chapters. Part 2 gives a history of speleogenetic studies, tracing the development of the most important ideas from previous centuries (Shaw, Chapter 2.1) through the early modern period in the first half of this century (Lowe, Chapter 2.2) to the threshold of modern times (W.White, Chapter 2.3). The present state of the art is best illustrated by the entire content of this book. Part 3 overviews the principal geologic and hydrogeologic variables that either control or significantly influence the differing styles of cave development that are found. In Chapter 3.1 Klimchouk and Ford introduce an evolutionary approach to the typology of karst settings, which is a taken as a base line for the book. Extrinsic factors and intrinsic mechanisms of cave development change regularly and substantially during the general cycle of geological evolution of a soluble rock and , more specifically, within the hydrogeologic cycle. The evolutionary typology of karst presented in this chapter considers the entire life cycle of a soluble formation, from deposition (syngenetic karst) through deep burial, to exposure and denudation. It helps to differentiate between karst types which may concurrently represent different stages of karst development, and is also a means of adequately classifying speleogenetic settings. The different types of karst are marked by characteristic associations of the structural prerequisites for groundwater flow and speleogenesis, flow regime, recharge mode and recharge/discharge configurations, groundwater chemistry and degree of inheritance from earlier conditions. Consequently, these associations make a convenient basis to view both the factors that control cave genesis and the particular types of caves. Lithological and structural controls of speleogenesis are reviewed in general terms in Chapters 3.2 (Klimchouk and Ford). Lowe in Chapter 3.3 discusses the role of stratigraphic elements and the speleo-inception concept. Palmer in Chapter 3.4 overviews the hydrogeologic controls of cave patterns and demonstrates that hydrogeologic factors, the recharge mode and type of flow in particular, impose the most powerful controls on the formation of the gross geometry of cave systems. Hence, analysis of cave patterns is especially useful in the reconstruction of environments from paleokarst and in the prediction and interpretation of groundwater flow patterns and contaminant migration. Any opportunity to relate cave patterns to the nature of their host aquifers will assist in these applied studies as well. Osborne (Chapter 3.7) examines the significance of paleokarst in speleogenesis. More specific issues are treated by Klimchouk (The nature of epikarst and its role in vadose speleogenesis, Chapter 3.5) and by V.Dublyansky and Y.Dublyansky (The role of condensation processes, Chapter 3.6). Part 4 outlines the fundamental physics and chemistry of the speleogenetic processes (Chapter 4.1) and presents a variety of different approaches to modeling cave conduit development (Chapter 4.2). In Chapter 4.1, the chemical reactions during the dissolution of the common soluble minerals, calcite, gypsum, salt and quartz, are discussed with the basic physical and chemical mechanisms that determine their dissolution rates. As limestone is the most common karst rock and its dissolution is the most complex in many respects, it receives the greatest attention. Dreybrodt (Section 4.1.1) and Dreybrodt and Eisenlohr (Section 4.1.2) provide advanced discussion and report the most recent experimental data, which are used to obtain realistic dissolution rates for a variety of hydrogeologic conditions and as input for modeling the evolution of conduits. Although direct comparisons between theoretical or analytical dissolution rates and those derived from field measurements is difficult, a very useful comparison is provided by W.White (Section 4.1.3). The bulk removal of carbonate rock from karst drainage basins can be evaluated either by direct measurement of rock surface retreat or by mass balance within known drainage basins. All of these approaches make sense and give roughly accurate results that are consistent with theoretical expectations. It is well recognized today that the earliest, incipient, phases of speleogenesis are crucial in building up the pattern of conduits that evolve into explorable cave systems. It is difficult to establish the major controls on these initial stages by purely analytical or intuitive methods, so that modeling becomes particularly important. Various approaches are presented in Chapter 4.2. Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen present the results of systematic study of the propagation of conduits between input and output points in an anisotropic fissure, using a variety of hardware and software models, in series representing the "single input", "multiple inputs in one rank", and "multiple inputs in multiple ranks" cases (Section 4.2.1). The results indicate important details of the competitive development of proto-conduits and help to explain branching cave patterns. In the competition between inputs, some principal tubes in near ranks first link ("breakthrough") to an output boundary. This re-orients the flowfields of failed nearby competitors, which then extend to join the principal via their closest secondaries. The process extends outwards and to the rear, linking up all inputs in a "cascading system". The exploding growth of computer capability during the last two decades has greatly enhanced possibilities for digital modeling of early conduit development. Investigating the growth of a single conduit is a logical first step in understanding the evolution of caves, realized here by Dreybrodt and Gabrov?ek in the form of a simple mathematical model (Section 4.2.2) and by Palmer by numerical finite-difference modeling (Section 4.2.3). The models show that positive feedback loops operate; widening a fracture causes increasing flow through it, therefore dissolution rates increase along it and so on, until finally a dramatic increase of flow rates permits a dramatic enhancement of the widening. This breakthrough event terminates the initial stage of conduit evolution. From then on the water is able to pass through the entire conduit while maintaining sufficient undersaturation to preserve low-order kinetics, so the growth rate is very rapid, at least from a geological standpoint -- usually about 0.001-0.1 cm/yr. The initiation ("breakthrough") time depends critically on the length and the initial width of the fracture and, for the majority of realistic cases, it covers a time range from a few thousand years to ten million years in limestones. The modeling results give a clear explanation of the operation of selectivity in cave genesis. In a typical unconfined karst aquifer there is a great range of enlargement rates along the competing flow routes, and only a few conduits will grow to enterable size. The modeling also provides one starting point (others are discussed in Chapter 5.2) to explain uniform maze patterns, which will be favored by enlargement of all openings at comparable rates where the discharge/length ratio is great enough. Single-conduit modeling has the virtue of revealing how the cave-forming variables relate to each other in the simplest possible way. Although it is more difficult to extend this approach to two dimensions, many have done so (e.g. Groves & Howard, 1994; Howard & Groves, 1995; in this volume ? Ford, Ewers and Lauritzen, Section 4.2.1; Dreybrodt and Siemers, Section 4.2.4, and Sauter and Liedl, Section 4.2.5). The modeling performed by Dreybrodt and Siemers shows that the main principles of breakthrough derived from one-dimensional models remain valid. The evolution of karst aquifers has been modeled for a variety of different geological settings, including also variation in lithology with respect to the dissolution kinetics. Sauter and Liedl simulate the development of conduits at a catchment scale for fissured carbonate rocks with rather large initial openings (about 1 mm). The approach is based upon hydraulic coupling of a pipe network to matrix continuum in order to represent the well-known duality of karst aquifer flow systems. It is also shown how understanding of the genesis of karst aquifers and modeling of their development can assist in characterization of the conduit system, which dominates flow and transport in karst aquifers. An important point that has emerged from cave studies of the last three decades is that no single speleogenetic model applies to all geologic and hydrologic settings. Given that settings may also change systematically during the evolutionary geological cycles outlined above (Chapter 3.1), an evolutionary approach is called for. This is attempted in Part 5, which is organized to give extended accounts of speleogenesis in the three most important settings that we recognize: coastal and oceanic (Chapter 5.1), deep-seated and confined (Chapter 5.2) and unconfined (Chapter 5.3). Each Chapter begins with a review of modern ideas on cave development in the setting, followed by representative case studies. The latter include new accounts of some "classic" caves as well as descriptions of other, little-known cave systems and areas. Readers may determine for themselves how well the real field examples fit the general models presented in the introductory sections. Mylroie and Carew in Chapter 5.1 summarize specific features of cave and karst development in young rocks in coastal and island settings that result from the chemical interactions between fresh and salt waters, and the effects of fluctuating sea level during the Quaternary. The case studies include a review of syngenetic karst in coastal dune limestones, Australia (S.White, 5.1.1) and an example of speleogenesis on tectonically active carbonate islands (Gunn and Lowe, 5.1.2). Klimchouk in Chapter 5.2 reviews conditions and mechanisms of speleogenesis in deep-seated and confined settings, one of the most controversial but exciting topics in modern cave research. Conventional karst/speleogenetic theories are concerned chiefly with shallow, unconfined geologic settings, supposing that the karstification found there is intimately related to surface conditions of input and output, with the dissolution being driven by downward meteoric water recharge. The possibility of hypogenic karstification in deeper environments has been neglected for a long time, and the quite numerous instances of karst features found at significant depths have usually been interpreted as buried paleokarst. However, the last decade has seen a growing recognition of the variety and importance of hypogene dissolution processes and of speleogenesis under confined settings which often precedes unconfined development (Hill, 1987, 1995; Klimchouk, 1994, 1996, 1997; Lowe, 1992; Lowe & Gunn, 1995; Mazzullo & Harris, 1991, 1992; Palmer, 1991, 1995; Smart & Whitaker, 1991; Worthington, 1991, 1994; Worthington & Ford, 1995). Confined (artesian) settings were commonly ignored as sites for cave origin because the classic concept of artesian flow implies long lateral travel distances for groundwater within a soluble unit, resulting in a low capacity to generate caves in the confined area. However, the recognition of non-classical features in artesian flow, namely the occurrence of cross-formation hydraulic communication within artesian basins, the concepts of transverse speleogenesis and of the inversion of hydrogeologic function of beds in a sequence, allows for a revision of the theory of artesian speleogenesis and of views on the origin of many caves. It is proposed that artesian speleogenesis is immensely important to speleo-inception and also accounts for the development of some of the largest known caves in the world. Typical conditions of recharge, the flow pattern through the soluble rocks, and groundwater aggressiveness favor uniform, rather than competing, development of conduits, resulting in maze caves where the structural prerequisites exist. Cross-formational flow favors a variety of dissolution mechanisms that commonly involve mixing. Hydrogeochemical mechanisms of speleogenesis are particularly diverse and potent where carbonate and sulfate beds alternate and within or adjacent to hydrocarbon-bearing sedimentary basins. Hypogene speleogenesis occurs in rocks of varied lithology and can involve a variety of dissolution mechanisms that operate under different physical constraints but create similar cave features. Case studies include the great gypsum mazes of the Western Ukraine (Klimchouk, Section 5.2.1), great maze caves in limestones in Black Hills, South Dakota (Palmer, Section 5.2.2) and Siberia (Filippov, Section 5.2.3), karstification in the Redwall aquifer, Arizona (Huntoon, Section 5.2.4), hydrothermal caves in Hungary (Y.Dublyansky, Section 5.2.6), and sulfuric acid speleogenesis (Lowe, Bottrell and Gunn, Section 5.2.7, and Hill, Section 5.2.8). Y.Dublyansky summarizes the peculiar features of hydrothermal speleogenesis (Section 5.2.5), and V.Dublyansky describes an outstanding example of a hydrothermal cavity, in fact the largest ever recorded by volume, in the Rhodope Mountains (Section 5.2.9). Recognition of the scale and importance of deep-seated speleogenesis and of the hydraulic continuity and cross-formational communications between aquifers in artesian basins is indispensable for the correct interpretation of evolution of karst aquifers, speleogenetic processes and associated phenomena, regional karst water-resource evaluations, and the genesis of certain karst-related mineral deposits. These and other theoretical and practical implications still have to be developed and evaluated, which offers a wide field for further research efforts. Ford in Chapter 5.3 reviews theory of speleogenesis that occurs where normal meteoric waters sink underground through the epikarst or dolines and stream sinks, etc. and circulate in the limestone or other soluble rocks without any major artesian confinement. These are termed common caves (Ford & Williams, 1989) because they probably account for 90% or more of the explored and mapped dissolutional caves that are longer than a few hundred meters. This estimate reflects the bias in exploration; caves formed in unconfined settings and genetically related to surface recharge are the most readily accessible and hence form the bulk of documented caves. Common caves display chiefly the branchwork forms where the dissolutional conduits occupy only a tiny proportion of the total length or area of penetrable fissures that is available to the groundwaters. The rules that govern the selection of the successful linkages that will be enlarged into the branchwork pattern are supported in the models presented in Chapter 4.2. In the long section caves may be divided into deep phreatic, multi-loop, mixed loop and water table, and ideal water table types, with drawdown vadose caves or invasion vadose caves above them. Many large systems display a mixture of the types. The concepts of plan pattern construction, phreatic, water table or vadose state, and multi-phase development of common caves are illustrated in the case studies that follow the introduction. They are organized broadly to begin with examples of comparatively simple deep phreatic and multi-loop systems (El Abra, Mexico, Ford, Section 5.3.1 and Castleguard Cave, Canada, Ford, Lauritzen and Worthington, Section 5.3.2), proceeding to large and complex multi-phase systems such as the North of Thun System, Switzerland (Jeannin, Bitterly and Hauselmann, Section 5.3.3) and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky (Palmer, Section 5.3.8), to representatives of mixed vadose and phreatic development in mountainous regions (the Alps, Audra, Section 5.3.4; the Pyrenees, Fernandez, Calaforra and Rossi, Section 5.3.5; Mexico, Hose, Section 5.3.6) and where there is strong lithologic or structural control (Folded Appalachians, W.White, Section 5.3.7; gypsum caves in the South of Spain, Calaforra and Pulido-Bosch, Section 5.3.10). Two special topics are considered by W.White in Section 5.3.9 (Speleogenesis of vertical shafts in the eastern US) and Palmer (Maze origin by diffuse recharge through overlying formation). The set concludes with two instances of nearly ideal water table cave development (in Belize and Hungary, Ford, Section 5.3.12), and a review of the latest models of speleogenesis from the region where modern karst studies in the West began, the Classical Karst of Slovenia and Trieste (?u?ter?ic, Section 5.3.13). In Parts 2-5 attention is directed primarily on how the gross geometry of a cave system is established. Part 6 switches focus to the forms at meso- and micro- scales, which can be created during enlargement of the cave. Lauritzen and Lundberg in Chapter 6.1 summarize the great variety of erosional forms ( speleogenetic facies ) that can be created by a wide range of speleogenetic agents operating in the phreatic or vadose zones. Some forms of cave passages have been subject to intensive research and may be interpreted by means of simple physical and chemical principles, but many others are polygenetic and hence difficult to decipher with certainty. However, in addition to the analysis of cave patterns (see Chapter 3.4), each morphological element is a potential tool that can aid our inferences on the origin of caves and on major characteristics of respective past hydrogeological settings. In Chapter 6.2 E.White and W.White review breakdown morphology in caves, generalizing that the processes are most active during the enlargement and decay phases of cave development. Early in the process breakdown occurs when the flow regime shifts from pipe-full conditions to open channel conditions (i.e. when the roof first loses buoyant support) and later in the process breakdown becomes part of the overall degradation of the karst system. The chapter addresses the mechanism of breakdown formation, the geological triggers that initiate breakdown, and the role that breakdown plays in the development of caves. As the great majority of both theoretical considerations and case studies in this book deal with speleogenesis in carbonate rocks, it is useful to provide a special forum to examine dissolution cave genesis in other rocks. This is the goal of Part 7. Klimchouk (7.1) provides a review of speleogenesis in gypsum. This appears to be a useful playground for testing the validity and limitations of certain general speleogenetic concepts. Differences in solution kinetics between gypsum and calcite impose some limitations and peculiar features on the early evolution of conduits in gypsum. These peculiarities appear to be an extreme and more obvious illustration of some rules of speleogenetic development devised from conceptual and digital modeling of early conduit growth in limestones. For instance, it is shown (e.g. Palmer, 1984, 1991; Dreybrodt, 1996; see also Chapter 3.4 and Section 4.2.2) that initiation of early, narrow and long pathways does not seem feasible under linear dissolution rate laws (n=1) due to exponential decrease of the dissolution rates. Although the dissolution kinetics of gypsum are not well known close to equilibrium it is generally assumed that they are controlled entirely by diffusion and therefore linear. If dissolution of gypsum is solely diffusion-controlled, with no change in the kinetic order, conduit initiation could not occur in phreatic settings or by lateral flow through gypsum from distant recharge areas in artesian settings. Hence, the fact that maze caves are common in gypsum in artesian conditions (see Section 5.2.1) gives strong support to a general model of "transverse" artesian speleogenesis where gypsum beds are underlain by, or sandwiched between, insoluble or low-solubility aquifers (Chapter 5.2), and suggests that it may be applicable to cave development in carbonates. In unconfined settings, speleogenesis in gypsum occurs along fissures wide enough to support undersaturated flow throughout their length. Linear or crudely branching caves overwhelmingly predominate, which rapidly adjust to the contemporary geomorphic setting and to the maximum available recharge. Also, if considerable conduit porosity has been created in deep-seated settings, it provides ready paths for more intense groundwater circulation and further cave development when uplift brings the gypsum into the shallow subsurface. Speleogenesis in salt, reviewed in general and exemplified by the Monte Sedom case in Israel (Frumkin, Chapter 7.2), has been documented only in open, unconfined settings, where it provides a model for simple vadose cave development. Chapter 7.3 deals with speleogenesis in quartzites, illustrated by case studies from southeastern Minas Gerais, Brasil (Correa Neto, 7.3.1) and South Africa (Martini, 7.3.2). The process involves initial chemical weathering of the quartzite to create zones of friable rocks (sanding, or arenisation) which then are removed by piping, with further conduit enlargement due to mechanical erosion by flowing water. Part 8 combines the theoretical with some applied aspects of speleogenetic studies. Worthington, Ford and Beddows (8.1) show the important implications of what might be termed "speleogenetic wisdom" when studying ground water behaviour in karst. They examine some standard hydrogeological concepts in the light of knowledge of caves and their patterns, considering a range of case studies to identify the characteristic enhancement of porosity and permeability due to speleogenesis that occurs in carbonate rocks. The chapter focuses on unconfined carbonate aquifers as these are the most studied from the speleological perspective and most important for water supplies. Four aquifers, differing in rock type, recharge type (allogenic and autogenic), and age (Paleozoic, Mesozoic and Cenozoic), are described in detail to demonstrate the extent of dissolutional enhancement of porosity and permeability. It is shown that all four cases are similar in hydraulic function, despite the fact that some of them were previously characterized as different end members of a "karst ? non-karst" spectrum. Enhancement of porosity by dissolution is relatively minor: enhancement of permeability is considerable because dissolution has created dendritic networks of channels able to convey 94% or more of all flow in the aquifer, with fractures providing a small proportion and the matrix a negligible amount. These conclusions may be viewed as a warning to hydrogeologists working in carbonate terranes: probably the majority of unconfined aquifers function in a similar manner. Sampling is a major problem in their analysis because boreholes (the conventional exploration tool in hydrogeology) are unlikely to intersect the major channels that are conveying most of the flow and any contaminants in it. It is estimated, using examples of comprehensively mapped caves, that the probability of a borehole intersecting a conduit ranges from 1 in 50 to 1 in 1000 or more. Boreholes simply cannot be relied upon to detect the presence of caves or to ?characterise? the hydrologic functioning of cavernous aquifers. Wherever comprehensive evidence has been collected in unconfined carbonate aquifers (cave mapping plus boreholes plus lab analysis of core samples) it suggests that dissolution inexorably results in a similar structure, with channel networks providing most of the permeability of the aquifer, yet occupying a very minor fraction of its volume (Worthington, Ford and Beddows). Lowe (Chapter 8.2) focuses on developments in understanding the vital role played by karstic porosity, (broadly viewed as being the product of speleogenesis), in the migration of mineralizing fluids (or hydrocarbons) and in their deposition (or storage), and comments on the potential role of new speleogenetic concepts in developing greater understanding in the future. Although some early workers were clearly aware of actual evidence for some kind of relationship, and others noted its theoretical likelihood, it has been ignored by many until relatively recent times. This shortfall has gradually been redressed; new understanding of the extent and variety of karst processes is ensuring that new relationships are being recognized and new interpretations and models are being derived. The chapter does not pretend to give a comprehensive account of the topic but clearly demonstrates the wide applicability of speleogenetic knowledge to issues in economic geology. In Chapter 8.3 Aley provides an overview of the water and land-use problems that occur in areas with conduit aquifers. He stresses that sound land management must be premised on an understanding that karst is a three-dimensional landscape where the surface and subsurface are intimately and integrally connected. Failure to recognize that activity at the surface affects the subsurface, and the converse, has long been the root cause of many of the problems of water and land use in karst regions. Karst areas have unique natural resource problems, whose management can have major economic consequences. Although there is an extensive literature on the nature of particular problems, resource protection and hazard minimization strategies in karst, it rarely displays an advanced understanding of the processes of the conduit formation and their characteristics yet these will always be involved. This book does not pretend to be a definitive text on speleogenesis. However, it is hoped that readers will find it to be a valuable reference source, that it will stimulate new ideas and approaches to develop and resolve some of the remaining problems, and that it will promote an appreciation of the importance of speleogenetic studies in karst hydrogeology and applied environmental sciences. Acknowledgements: We sincerely thank all contributors for their willing cooperation in the long and difficult process of preparing this book, for their participation in developing its logic and methodology and their cheerful response to numerous requests. We thank all colleagues who discussed the work with us and encouraged it in many ways, even though not contributing to its content as authors. We are particularly grateful to Margaret Palmer for invaluable help in editing the English in many contributions, to Nataly Yablokova for her help in performing many technical tasks and to Elizabeth White who prepared comprehensive index. Our thanks are due to Dr. David Drew, Dr. Philip LaMoreaux, Dr. George Moore and Prof. Marian Pulina for reviewing the manuscript and producing constructive notes and comments on improvement of the final product. The organizational costs and correspondence related to the preparation of the book were partially sponsored by the National Speleological Society, the publisher. We thank David McClurg, the Chair of the NSS Special Publication Committee, for his extensive technical and organizational support in the preparation and publishing processes.

A stable isotope investigation of the Classical Karst aquifer: evaluating karst groundwater components for water quality preservation, 2000,
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Doctor Daniel H. , Lojen Sonja, Horvat Milena

The karst aquifer resurgence zone that is located along the western border of the Classical Karst region of southwestern Slovenia and to the north of Trieste, Italy is comprised of several distinct groundwater components. The purpose of this ongoing study is to examine the varying influence of these groundwater components on the karstic outflow under changing hydrologic conditions, using natural stable isotopes as tracers. In particular, the influence of the Soča river on the groundwater of this region was examined using mercury, a pollutant of elevated concentration in the Soča, as an additional tracer of Soča river water. The results of the isotopic measurements confirm the division of karstic groundwaters into three main categories: (1) springs and the estavelles of an ephemeral karstic lake (Sablici springs, Moschenizze North spring, Doberdò Lake), which are largely influenced by the Soča and Vipava rivers during periods of low flow, (2) the group of the Timavo springs that is subject to main influences of the Reka River and water derived from local precipitation, and (3) the grouping of Sardos spring and Moschenizze South spring, which form an intermediate category between the first two groups, exhibiting characteristics that indicate variable contributions from the other two end-members. Mercury levels in these karstic groundwaters are generally quite low, however significant variablity in mercury levels with varying hydrologic conditions have been observed, indicating also a varying influence of the Soča river.


Intra- and inter-annual growth rate of modern stalagmites, 2001,
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Genty D, Baker A, Vokal B,
We measure the factors that determine growth rate (temperature, drip rate, calcium ion concentration) for 31 waters that feed stalagmites within six cave systems throughout Europe. Water samples were collected at a frequency of at least month. to permit the modelling of both inter- and intra-annual growth rate variations, utilising the theory of Wolfgang Dreybrodt (Chem. Geol. 29 (1980) 89-105; Chem. Geol, 32 (1981) 237-245; Dreybrodt, W., 1988, Processes in Karst Systems. Springer-Verlag, Berlin 288 pp.). Inter-annual growth rates were measured using the stalagmites that were associated with the analysed water samples; growth rate was determined from annual lamina counting, specific time markers within the stalagmites, and location of bomb C-14. When compared to theoretically predicted values, a good agreement between theoretical and measured stalagmite growth rates is observed (R-2 = 0.69). When compared to site climate and geochemical parameters, a good correlation is observed between measured growth fate and mean annual temperature for five sites (R-2 = 0.63) and dripwater calcium content (R-2 = 0.61), but not drip rate (R-2 = 0.09). The good correlation with both calcium and temperature is due to soil CO, production being primarily determined by surface temperature and soil moisture. However, when we compare our data to that in the Grotte de Clamouse, a site that has little soil cover, we observe that the growth rate-temperature relationship breaks down due to either the lack of soil CO, production or prior calcite: precipitation. Intra-annual data demonstrates that maximum growth rate occurs when calcium concentrations are high, and that this occurs under different seasons depending on the hydrology of each site. Our results demonstrate a stronger dependence of intra-annual stalagmite growth rate on dissolved calcium ion concentrations than drip rate for the range of drip rates investigated here (0.01 < t < 2drip s(-1)), but for lower drip rates, this factor becomes important in controlling growth rate. We suggest that for well-monitored acid -understood sites, stalagmite growth rate variations can provide useful information for palaeoclimate reconstruction. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Geological hazards in loess terrain, with particular reference to the loess regions of China, 2001,
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Derbyshire E,
The considerable morphodynamic energy provided by the continuing tectonic evolution of Asia is expressed in high erosional potentials and very high rates of sediment production that make this continent unequalled as a terrestrial source of primary silt. Many of these environments are hazardous, threatening human occupation., health and livelihood, especially in regions of dense population such as the loess lands of north China. Dry loess can sustain nearly vertical slopes, being perennially under-saturated. However, when locally saturated, it disaggregates instantaneously. Such hydrocompaction is a key process in many slope failures, made worse by an underlying mountainous terrain of low-porosity rocks. Gully erosion of loess may yield very high sediment concentrations ( > 60% by weight). Characteristic vertical jointing in loess influences the hydrology. Enlarged joints develop into natural sub-surface piping systems, which on collapse, produce a 'loess karst' terrain. Collapsible loess up to 20 m thick is common on the western Loess Plateau. Foundation collapse and cracked walls are common, many rapid events following periods of unusually heavy monsoonal rain. Slope failure is a major engineering problem in thick loess terrain, flow-slide and spread types being common. The results are often devastating in both urban and rural areas. An associated hazard is the damming of streams by landslides. The human population increases the landslide risk in China, notably through imprudent land-use practices including careless water management. A number of environmentally related endemic diseases arise from the geochemistry of loess and its groundwaters. including fluorosis, cretinism, Kaschin-Beck Disease, Keshan Disease and goitre. The Chinese desert margins also have a major atmospheric dust problem. The effect of such dust upon human health in these extensive regions, including many large cities, has yet to be evaluated, but pneumoconiosis is thought to affect several million people in north and west China. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Palaeowaters in European coastal aquifers -- the goals and main conclusions of the PALAEAUX project, 2001,
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Edmunds Wm,
The PALAEAUX project has brought together up-to-date geochemical, isotopic and hydrogeological information on coastal groundwaters across Europe in a transect from the Baltic to the Canary Islands. These data have been interpreted in relation to past climatic and environmental conditions, as well as extending and challenging concepts about the evolution of groundwater near the present day coastlines. Groundwater movement beyond the present coastline as well as emplacement on shore to greater depths (up to 500 m) than allowed by the present-day flow regime has occurred, hence offshore freshwater reserves are inferred in some coastal areas. The main attributes of palaeowaters, in terms of water quality, are their high bacterial purity, total mineralization that is often less than that of modern waters and being demonstrably free of anthropogenic chemicals. However, in the Mediterranean coastal areas, lower recharge leads to higher salinity conditions in both palaeo- and modern waters. Freshwater of high quality originating from different climatic conditions to the present day, when the sea level was much lower, is found at depth beneath the present-day coastline in several countries. Recharge is shown to have been more or less continuous during the past 100 ka, even beneath the ice, as demonstrated by groundwaters from Estonia, having {delta}O values of c. -22%o. However, elsewhere (UK and Belgium) an age gap can be recognized indicating that no recharge took place at the time of the last glacial maximum. Devensian recharge temperatures (soil air temperatures) were some 6{degrees}C colder across Europe than at the present day. The development of aquifers in Europe during the past 50-100 a, by abstraction from boreholes, has generally disturbed flow systems that have evolved over varying geological timescales, especially those derived from the Late Pleistocene and Holocene. Hydrogeophysical logging has demonstrated time and quality stratified aquifers resulting in mixed waters being produced on pumping. A range of specific indicators, including 3H, 3H/3He, 85Kr, chlorofluoro-carbons and pollutants, have been used to recognize the extent to which waters from the modern (industrial) era have penetrated into the aquifers, often replacing the natural palaeogroundwaters. In the coastal regions, many problems for management are identified, including issues relating to quantity and quality of water, seasonal demand, pollution risks and ecosystem damage, requiring a new look at legislation

Weichselian palaeoclimate and palaeoenvironment in Europe: background for palaeogroundwater formation, 2001,
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Vaikmae R. , Edmunds W. M. , Manzano M. ,
A review is given of palaeoclimatic and palaeoenvironmental evidence across Europe for the Weichselian period relevant to interpreting the emplacement and circulation of groundwaters. In addition, this provides the background against which the evidence of past climates and environments contained in groundwaters in coastal areas of Europe, from the Baltic to the Atlantic Ocean may be compared. For much of the Weichselian, although significantly colder than at present, conditions were favourable for the recharge of groundwater, as shown, for example, by periods of speleothem growth. During the last glacial maximum (LGM) recharge is likely to have ceased over much of permafrost-covered Europe, although shallow groundwater recharge from meltwater (generated by the geothermal gradients) could have taken place beneath the ice where pressure relief through tunnel valleys may have occurred. Modern recharge could have started as early as 13 14C ka BP, but probably interrupted by the Younger Dryas between 11 and 10 14C ka BP. In the Baltic areas, ice-dammed lakes inhibited the start of the modern hydrogeological regimes until c. 10.3 14C ka BP. Tundra conditions prevailed over most of ice-free southern Europe at the time of the LGM. At this time the area south of the Portuguese-Spanish border retained a generally warm and relatively humid climate due to the maintenance of warmer sea-surface temperatures derived from Atlantic Ocean circulation. For most of coastal Europe, however, the most significant impact on groundwater circulation is likely to have been the lowering of sea levels that drained large areas of the shelf, such as the North Sea and the English Channel, and also had a significant impact on the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula where the maximum lowering of up to 130 m would have been experienced. This, together with the general changes in climate, would also have reorganized the atmospheric chemistry over sites in Europe that is likely to be recorded in the groundwater's chemical and isotopic signatures

Gypsum Karst in the Western Ukraine: Hydrochemistry and Solution Rates, 2001,
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Klimchouk A. B. , Aksem S. D.
Gypsum karst in the Western Ukraine underlies a large territory of more than 20,000 km2 and is represented by a range of stages (evolutionary types), from deep-seated through subjacent to entrenched. Correspondingly, hydrogeological settings of karst development, circulation patterns, and chemical characteristics of groundwaters differ substantially between the respective areas. Based on 1,800 analyses, the paper summarises hydrochemistry of the gypsum-hosting Miocene aquifer. Most of the sampling has been performed in conjunction with a regime study of gypsum-solution rates by means of standard tablets. This study included 53 tablet stations representing varying conditions of water-rock interaction, where 644 weight-loss measurements have been made during 1984-1992. The highest rates are characteristic of entrenched karst, although active dissolution there is localised along well-defined sinking streams with short underground courses, rare vertical-percolation paths, and the water table. Lower, but still quite substantial, rates are characteristic for subjacent and deep-seated (confined) karst. However, the overall dissolution removal is higher there, due to higher rates of flow through the gypsum and the larger area of rock/solvent contact. The results are generalised in order to derive the approximate solution rates that characterise major situations and that are suitable for modelling purposes.

A rare landform: Yerkopru travertine bridges in the Taurids Karst Range, Turkey, 2002,
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Bayari Cs,
Two examples of travertine bridges are observed at 8 to 15 in above stream level in the Lower Zamanti Basin, Eastern Taurids, Turkey. Yerkopu-1 and Yerkopru-2 bridges are currently being deposited front cool karstic groundwaters with log P-CO2 > 10(-2) atm. The surface area and the total volume of travertine in Yerkopru-1 bridge are 4350 m(2) and 40 000 m(3), whereas the values for Yerkopru-2 are 2250 m(2) and 20000 m(3), respectively. The interplay of hydrogeological Structure, local topography, calcite-saturated hanging springs, algal activity and rapid downcutting in the streambed appear to have led to the formation of travertine bridges. Aeration through cascades and algal uptake causes efficient carbon dioxide evasion that enhances travertine formation. Algal curtains aid lateral development of travertine rims across the stream. Model calculations based on a hypothetical deposit in the form of a half-pyramid implied that lateral development should have occurred from both banks of the stream in the Yerkopru-1 bridge, whereas one-sided growth has been sufficient for Yerkopru-2. The height difference between travertine springs and the main strearn appears to be a result of Pleistocene glaciation during which karstic base-level lowering was either stopped or slowed down while downcutting in the main strearn continued. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

A decision-logic framework for investigating subsidence problems potentially attributable to gypsum karstification, 2002,
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Lamontblack J. , Younger P. L. , Forth R. A. , Cooper A. H. , Bonniface J. P. ,
Karst regions, especially gypsum ones, are prone to subsidence; this can cause severe problems in urban areas. However, this subsidence may have causes other than active karstification. A decision-logic framework designed to tackle this issue is presented. It comprises subsidence description identification of causal mechanisms; construction and evaluation of conceptual models; evaluation and parameterization of fundamental processes and development of a management strategy. This framework is applied to an area of active subsidence in the UK underlain by gypsiferous rocks. In this example, particular attention is paid to the evaluation of gypsum dissolution using four criteria: presence of evaporite; presence of undersaturated water; energy to drive water through the system; and an outlet for the water. Gypsum palaeokarst was identified from borehole evidence and contemporary karstification is indicated by groundwaters containing up to 1800 mg/l of dissolved sulphate. Strontium/sulphate ratios enabled the discrimination of gypsum and non-gypsum-derived sulphate ions and correlation with the hydrostratigrapby. Continuous measurement of groundwater levels showed differential potentiometric surfaces between stratigraphical horizons and indicated a complex pattern of groundwater movement. Integration of these data in a physically and chemically based groundwater model, incorporating a void evolution capability, is suggested. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Factors controlling the chemical evolution of travertine-depositing rivers of the Barkly karst, northern Australia, 2002,
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Drysdale Rn, Taylor Mp, Ihlenfeld C,
Groundwaters feeding travertine-depositing rivers of the northeastern segment of the Barkly karst (NW Queensland, Australia) are of comparable chemical composition, allowing a detailed investigation of how the rate of downstream chemical evolution varies from river to river. The discharge, pH, temperature, conductivity and major-ion concentrations of five rivers were determined by standard field and laboratory techniques. The results show that each river experiences similar patterns of downstream chemical evolution, with CO2 outgassing driving the waters to high levels of calcite supersaturation, which in turn leads to widespread calcium carbonate deposition. However, the rate at which the waters evolve, measured as the loss of CaCO3 per kilometre, varies from river to river, and depends primarily upon discharge at the time of sampling and stream gradient. For example, Louie Creek (Q = 0.11 m(3) s(-1)) and Carl Creek (Q = 0.50 m(3) s(-1)) have identical stream gradients, but the loss of CaCO3 per kilometre for Louie Creek is twice that of Carl Creek. The Gregory River (Q = 3.07 m(3) s(-1)), O'Shanassy River (Q = 0.57 m(3) s(-1)) and Lawn Hill Creek (Q = 0.72 m(3) s(-1)) have very similar gradients, but the rate of hydrochemical evolution of the Gregory River is significantly less than either of the other two systems. The results have major implications for travertine deposition: the stream reach required for waters to evolve to critical levels of calcite supersaturation will, all others things being equal, increase with increasing discharge, and the length of reach over which travertine is deposited will also increase with increasing discharge. This implies that fossil travertine deposits preserved well downstream of modern deposition limits are likely to have been formed under higher discharge regimes. Copyright (C) 2002 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Symposium Abstract: Active dolomitisation by saline groundwaters in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, 2003,
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Smith S. L. , Whitaker F. F, Parkes J. R, Smart P. L, Beddows P. A. , Bottrell S. H.

Preliminary investigations of seasonal changes in the geochemical evolution of the Logdson River, Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, 2003,
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Anthony D. M. , Groves C. , Meiman J.

Many geochemical studies have been made of karst waters worldwide. Most data that provide the framework for our current understanding of the evolution of karst waters have come from sampling at discrete times and locations, such as springs or wells. Relatively few studies have been made of the geochemical evolution of groundwater as it moves through an open flow system. This paper addresses the seasonal changes in the geochemistry of the Logsdon River conduit as it passes through nearly 10km of the carbonate aquifer of south-central Kentucky .
The most important control on the ability of groundwaters to dissolve limestone is their carbon dioxide pressure, which is influenced by a variety of complex interactions with soil, bedrock, and in-cave organic decay. The fieldwork involved in this research combines seasonal sampling of the entire traversable length of the Logsdon River conduit, as well as continuous monitoring of the chemistry at key points within the flow system. Preliminary results of this study indicate both seasonal changes in CO 2 , transport through the Mammoth Cave karst aquifer during summer and winter conditions, along with significant geochemical changes as the water moves through a distance of 10km.


Karst and vaucluse springs from the Polish Tatra Mts. Results of long-term stationary investigations, 2003,
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Barczyk, Grzegorz

Karst (vaucluse) springs, transporting water from fissure-karst systems, result from karst development in the area. At the same time, they are the main source of information on the hydrography of the investigated karst area. Continuous monitoring of groundwaters and surface waters in the Tatra Mountains in Poland takes place for a long time. In the mid-70-ties, the team of Prof. D. Malecka organized an observation network, with water marks along the main Tatra streams right to their outlets from the massif, and with observation points of the largest springs and vaucluse springs. Readings from water marks were collected several times each month by the observers (usually Tatra National Park employees). In 1998 the National Committee for Scientific Research approved a three-year research project entitled: "Determination of retention abilities and the dynamics of denudation in the karst areas of the Polish Tatra Mountains basing on stationary investigations of vaucluse springs". In accordance with this project, between November and December 1998 automatic limnimeters were installed in selected vaucluse (five) springs.


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