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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Speleology in Kazakhstan

Shakalov on 04 Jul, 2018
Hello everyone!   I pleased to invite you to the official site of Central Asian Karstic-Speleological commission ("Kaspeko")   There, we regularly publish reports about our expeditions, articles and reports on speleotopics, lecture course for instructors, photos etc. ...

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

Klimchouk on 26 Mar, 2012
Dear Colleagues, This is to draw your attention to several recent publications added to KarstBase, relevant to hypogenic karst/speleogenesis: Corrosion of limestone tablets in sulfidic ground-water: measurements and speleogenetic implications Galdenzi,

The deepest terrestrial animal

Klimchouk on 23 Feb, 2012
A recent publication of Spanish researchers describes the biology of Krubera Cave, including the deepest terrestrial animal ever found: Jordana, Rafael; Baquero, Enrique; Reboleira, Sofía and Sendra, Alberto. ...

Caves - landscapes without light

akop on 05 Feb, 2012
Exhibition dedicated to caves is taking place in the Vienna Natural History Museum   The exhibition at the Natural History Museum presents the surprising variety of caves and cave formations such as stalactites and various crystals. ...

Did you know?

That clay plug is fine flood deposits in a cut off river meander [16].?

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.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for groundwater-flow (Keyword) returned 68 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 68
Karstic groundwater flow characteristics in the Cretaceous Chalk aquifer, Northern Ireland, 1999,
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Barnes S,
The Cretaceous Chalk in Northern Ireland (Ulster White Limestone Formation) is a locally important aquifer for both public and private supply, yet little is known about its groundwater flow regime. This issue is important for the protection of existing groundwater abstractions and for the development of new sources as it will help determine groundwater vulnerability and resource potential in the Chalk. The subject has been addressed using hydrochemical variations from individual springs, together with artificial and natural water tracing techniques employed from river-sinks located at outcrop. A common orientation has been established between traced groundwater flow routes and the dominant northwest-southeast fracture trend within the Ulster White Limestone Formation. Hydraulic gradient has also been shown to have little significance in controlling the flow direction, suggesting poor fracture connectivity and thus extreme aquifer heterogeneity. Tracer breakthrough curve characteristics and velocities (up to 2838 metres per day) are indicative of conduit rather than fracture flow. In addition, the highly variable water chemistry associated with all the proven river-sink supplied springs has been independently classified to meet conduit flow criteria. Conversely, the much less variable water chemistry associated with springs draining Chalk subcrop areas (with no influence from river-sinks) is consistent with a less active karstic regime

The geochemistry of sulphur in a mixed allogenic-autogenic karst catchment, Castleton, Derbyshire, UK, 2000,
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Bottrell Sh, Webber N, Gunn J, Worthington Srh,
Analyses are presented of anion chemistry and sulphur isotopic compositions of sulphate in sinking streams and groundwaters in a mixed allogenic-autogenic karst catchment. Using the sulphur isotopic data, sources of sulphate from agriculture and the effects of sulphate reduction arising from slurry application can be distinguished from natural rock weathering sources. Within the aquifer, sulphate in known autogenic waters has isotopic compositions distinct from allogenic waters, the autogenic waters being dominated by sulphate from rainfall and rock weathering in these low agricultural intensity catchments. On this basis, water rising at low flow from Whirlpool Rising, Speedwell Cavern, has been identified as dominantly autogenic. Groundwater flow between the sinks and risings in Speedwell Cavern is believed to be along conduits following mineralized faults (rakes). During transit SO42-/Cl- in the water increases. Isotopic mass balance shows that this must be due to addition of sulphate from the oxidation of ore minerals by groundwater. Mass balance considerations show that the present rate of sulphide oxidation must be the result of enhancement by lead mining operations on the rakes. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd

Groundwater in the Celtic regions, 2000,
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Robins N. S. , Misstear B. D. R. ,
The Celtic regions of Britain and Ireland have a complex and diverse geology which supports a range of regionally and locally important bedrock aquifers and unconsolidated Quaternary aquifers. In bedrock, aquifer units are often small and groundwater flow paths short and largely reliant on fracture flow. Groundwater has fulfilled an important social role throughout history, and is now enjoying renewed interest. Groundwater quality is generally favourable and suitable for drinking with minimal treatment. However, many wells are vulnerable to microbiological and chemical pollutants from point sources such as farmyards and septic tank systems, and nitrate concentrations from diffuse agricultural sources are causing concern in certain areas. Contamination by rising minewaters in abandoned coalfields and in the vicinity of abandoned metal mines is also a problem in some of the Celtic lands

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

Effects of nearshore recharge on groundwater interactions with a lake in mantled karst terrain, 2000,
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Lee T. M. ,
The recharge and discharge of groundwater were investigated for a lake basin in the mantled karst terrain of central Florida to determine the relative importance of transient groundwater inflow to the lake water budget. Variably saturated groundwater flow modeling simulated water table responses observed beneath two hillsides radiating outward from the groundwater flow-through lake. Modeling results indicated that transient water table mounding and groundwater flow reversals in the nearshore region following large daily rainfall events generated most of the net groundwater inflow to the lake. Simulated daily groundwater inflow was greatest following water table mounding near the lake, not following subsequent peaks in the water level of upper basin wells. Transient mounding generated net groundwater inflow to the lake, that is, groundwater inflow in excess of the outflow occurring through the deeper lake bottom. The timing of the modeled net groundwater inflow agreed with an independent lake water budget; however, the quantity was considerably less than the budget-derived value

Coastal karst springs in the Mediterranean basin: study of the mechanisms of saline pollution at the Almyros spring (Crete), observations and modelling, 2002,
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Arfib B, De Marsily G, Ganoulis J,
Variations in salinity and flow rate in the aerial, naturally salty spring of Almyros of Heraklion on Crete were monitored during two hydrological cycles. We describe the functioning of the coastal karstic system of the Almyros and show the influence of the duality of the flow in the karst (conduits and fractured matrix) on the quality of the water resource in the coastal area. A mechanism of saltwater intrusion into this highly heterogeneous system is proposed and validated with a hydraulic mathematical model, which describes the observations remarkably well

Karst groundwater basin delineation, Fort Knox, Kentucky, 2002,
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Connair Dp, Murray Bs,
Evaluation of karst groundwater quality concern at Fort Knox Kentucky has required the development of a sitewide karst groundwater flow model and basin delineation investigation. The karst aquifer underlying Fort Knox is developed within approximately 60 m of the St. Louis Limestone and is bounded on three sides by surface streams that represent the local base level. The underlying Salem Limestone acts as a regional aquitard and provides a lower limit to karst aquifer development. The study area covers over 130 km(2) and contains over 200-inventoried karst features. As a part of this investigation, innovative multiple dye trace events were conducted throughout the study area using up to six dyes per event with a total of eight dyes used to conduct 14 dye traces during three seasonal events. Dye trace results, structural and topographic controls, spring characteristics, and normalized base flow were used to establish groundwater basin limits and boundary zones and to develop a conceptual sitewide groundwater flow model. The primary finding of this work indicates sitewide groundwater flow is controlled directly or indirectly by local stratigraphy, geologic structure, and changes in stream levels in the geologic past, and that two groundwater basins dominate the study area, accounting for approximately 80% of measured sitewide groundwater discharge. The findings of this investigation will be used to assess the groundwater contaminant contribution from source areas in individual basins, develop an effective groundwater monitoring program, and guide future groundwater management strategies. (C) 2002 Published by Elsevier Science B.V

Is the water still hot? Sustainability and the thermal springs at Bath, England, 2002,
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Atkinson Tc, Davison Rm,
The hot springs at Bath are the largest natural thermal source in Britain. Sustainable use of the waters for a spa requires maintenance of their temperature and flow rate. Together with smaller springs at Hotwells, Bristol, they form the outflow from a regional thermal aquifer that occurs where the Carboniferous Limestone is buried at depths > 2.7 km in the Bristol-Bath structural basin. The aquifer is recharged via limestone outcrops forming the south and west portions of the basin rim. Current knowledge of the basin's structure is reviewed, and important uncertainties identified concerning the hydrogeological role of thrust faults which may cut the limestone at depth. A simple numerical model is used to determine the possible influence of thrusts upon groundwater flow within the thermal aquifer. Comparison of the modelled flow patterns with geochemical data and structure contours eliminates the hypothesis that thrusts completely disrupt the continuity of the aquifer. The most successful model is used to simulate the possible impact of dewatering by large quarries at the limestone outcrops north and south of Bath. Substantial reductions in modelled flow at Bath result from proposed dewatering in the eastern Mendips, although the steady-state approach adopted has severe limitations in that it does not take account of the incremental staging of actual dewatering, nor allow for partial restitution of groundwater levels. The geological uncertainties highlighted by the modelling could be addressed by future research into the effect of thrusts on the continuity of the Carboniferous Limestone. More refined modelling to predict the timing of possible impacts of quarry dewatering will require measurements of the storativity of the thermal aquifer

Paradox of groundwater age, 2002,
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Bethke Cm, Johnson Tm,
Groundwater in aquifers is generally older than expected on the basis of flow velocity, and this observation has important implications for interpreting radiometric age determinations. Hydrologists commonly account for the aging of water as it flows along streamtubes, but not for the effects of mixing old water from aquitards (or confining layers) into aquifers, because the rate of mass exchange between aquifers and aquitards can in many cases be assumed to be small. We show, however, that the effect on age of such mixing does not depend on the mixing rate; this is the paradox of groundwater age. Surprisingly, the contribution of aquitards to the age of groundwater in aquifers depends only on the ratio of fluid volume in aquitards to aquifers. This result has broad importance for understanding the relationship between groundwater flow and the distribution of radiometric age

Paradox of groundwater age: Correction, 2002,
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Bethke Cm, Johnson Tm,
Groundwater in aquifers is generally older than expected on the basis of flow velocity, and this observation has important implications for interpreting radiometric age determinations. Hydrologists commonly account for the aging of water as it flows along streamtubes, but not for the effects of mixing old water from aquitards (or confining layers) into aquifers, because the rate of mass exchange between aquifers and aquitards can in many cases be assumed to be small. We show, however, that the effect on age of such mixing does not depend on the mixing rate; this is the paradox of groundwater age. Surprisingly, the contribution of aquitards to the age of groundwater in aquifers depends only on the ratio of fluid volume in aquitards to aquifers. This result has broad importance for understanding the relationship between groundwater flow and the distribution of radiometric age

Groundwater-flow modeling in the Yucatan karstic aquifer, Mexico, 2002,
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Gonzalezherrera R. , Pinto I. , Gamboavargas J. ,
The current conceptual model of the unconfined karstic aquifer in the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, is that a fresh-water lens floats above denser saline water that penetrates more than 40 km inland. The transmissivity of the aquifer is very high so the hydraulic gradient is very low, ranging from 7-10 mm/km through most of the northern part of the peninsula. The computer modeling program AQUIFER was used to investigate the regional groundwater flow in the aquifer. The karstified zone was modeled using the assumption that it acts hydraulically similar to a granular, porous medium. As part of the calibration, the following hypotheses were tested: (1) karstic features play an important role in the groundwater-flow system; (2) a ring or belt of sinkholes in the area is a manifestation of a zone of high transmissivity that facilitates the channeling of groundwater toward the Gulf of Mexico; and (3) the geologic features in the southern part of Yucatan influence the groundwater-flow system. The model shows that the Sierrita de Ticul fault, in the southwestern part of the study area, acts as a flow barrier and head values decline toward the northeast. The modeling also shows that the regional flow-system dynamics have not been altered despite the large number of pumping wells because the volume of water pumped is small compared with the volume of recharge, and the well-developed karst system of the region has a very high hydraulic conductivity

The hydrogeochemistry of the karst aquifer system of the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, 2002,
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Perry E. , Velazquezoliman G. , Marin L. ,
Based on groundwater geochemistry, stratigraphy, and surficial and tectonic characteristics, the northern Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico, a possible analog for ancient carbonate platforms, is divided into six hydrogeochemical/physiographic regions: (1) Chicxulub Sedimentary Basin, a Tertiary basin within the Chicxulub impact crater; (2) Cenote Ring, a semicircular region of sinkholes; (3) Pockmarked Terrain, a region of mature karst; (4) Ticul fault zone; (5) Holbox Fracture Zone-Xel-Ha Zone; and (6) Evaporite Region. Regional characteristics result from tectonics, rock type, and patterns of sedimentation, erosion, and rainfall. The Cenote Ring, characterized by high groundwater flow, outlines the Chicxulub Basin. Most groundwater approaches saturation in calcite and dolomite but is undersaturated in gypsum. Important groundwater parameters are: SO4/Cl ratios related to seawater mixing and sulfate dissolution; Sr correlation with SO4, and saturation of Lake Chichancanab water with celestite. indicating celestite as a major source of Sr; high Sr in deep water of cenotes, indicating deep circulation and contact of groundwater with evaporite; and correlation of Ca, Mg, and SO4, probably related to gypsum dissolution and dedolomitization. Based on geochemistry we propose: (1) a fault between Lake Chichancanab and Cenote Azul; (2) deep seaward movement of groundwater near Cenote Azul; and (3) contribution of evaporite dissolution to karst development in the Pockmarked Terrain. Chemical erosion by mixing-zone dissolution is important in formation of Estuario Celestun and other estuaries, but is perhaps inhibited at Lake Bacalar where groundwater dissolves gypsum, is high in Ca, low in CO3, and does not become undersaturated in calcite when mixed with seawater

Inferring source waters from measurements of carbonate spring response to storms, 2002,
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Desmarais K, Rojstaczer S,
We infer information about the nature of groundwater flow within a karst aquifer from the physical and chemical response of a spring to storm events. The spring discharges from the Maynardville Limestone in Bear Creek Valley, Tennessee. Initially, spring discharge peaks approximately 1-2 h from the midpoint of summer storms. The initial peak is likely due to surface loading, which pressurizes the aquifer and results in water moving out of storage. All of the storms monitored exhibited recessions that follow a master recession curve very closely, indicating that storm response is fairly consistent and repeatable, independent of the time between storms and the configuration of the rain event itself. Electrical conductivity initially increases for 0.5-2.9 days (longer for smaller storms), the result of moving older water out of storage. This is followed by a 2.1-2.5 day decrease in conductivity, resulting from an increasing portion of low conductivity recharge water entering the spring. Stable carbon isotope data and the calcite saturation index of the spring water also support this conceptual model. Spring flow is likely controlled by displaced water from the aquifer rather than by direct recharge through the soil zone. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Using stable isotope analysis (delta D-delta O-18) to characterise the regional hydrology of the Sierra de Gador, south east Spain, 2002,
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Vandenschrick G. , Van Wesemael B. , Frot E. , Pulidobosch A. , Molina L. , Stievenard M. , Souchez R. ,
Water stress is rapidly increasing in many Mediterranean coastal zones mainly due to expansion in agriculture and tourism. In this paper, we focus on the Sierra de Gador-Campo de Dalias aquifer system (southeastern Spain) in order to assess the capability of water stable isotope analysis (deltaD-delta(18)O) to refine the understanding on recharge of this karstic aquifer system. Different types of surface and groundwater were sampled along an altitudinal gradient from the recharge zone in the mountains to the coastal plain. Surface water is restricted to local runoff, collected in closed reservoirs. Runoff amounts, collected in three of these reservoirs were monitored together with the precipitation in their catchments. Meteorological maps were used to detect the origin of the precipitation generating the majority of the runoff. The results were compared to literature data on local and regional precipitation. The use of oxygen and hydrogen isotopic composition has proved to be a useful tool to explain the origin of groundwater in a Mediterranean karstic system. Such studies are, however, not numerous and are often limited to local scale recharge for fast-reacting systems. This paper focuses on the delta(18)O-deltaD relationships of local precipitation to explain the isotopic variability of a large karstic aquifer system. The isotopic compositions of groundwater sampled along an altitudinal gradient from the recharge zone to the coastal plain are well displayed, in a deltaD-delta(18)O diagram, on a mixing line connecting a pole of Mediterranean waters to a pole of Atlantic waters. The Atlantic signature predominates in the shallow groundwater of natural springs, reflecting the rainfall which produced the local runoff sampled. The Mediterranean signature is mainly restricted to deep groundwater from boreholes in the coastal plain. The existence of a degree of spatial separation of groundwater types demonstrates that groundwater flow in a complex karstic system is not always continuous. The Mediterranean signature of deep groundwater could be due to past extreme rainfall events during which connectivity between recharge and reservoir exists, while at the same time the Atlantic signature of recent winter rains dominates in shallow groundwater. The assumption that an equilibrium in isotopic composition is established within a continuous aquifer and that therefore a slope lower than 8 in a deltaD-delta(18)O diagram indicates evaporation is not necessarily valid.

Concurrent tectonism and aquifer evolution > 100,000 years recorded in cave sediments, Dinaric karst, Slovenia, 2003,
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Sasowsky I. D. , Sebela S. , Harbert W. ,
A natural conduit that had formed along a fault was exposed in Upper Cretaceous limestones during construction of a tunnel near Postojna,. Slovenia. The conduit is filled with poorly indurated clastic sediments. Slickensides found on the margin of the sediment deposit show sinistral fault motion that is consistent with regional tectonism. Analysis of the sediments revealed reversed magnetic polarity. The minimum age for latest movement on the fault, origin of the cave, and deposition of these sediments is 780 ka. Present-day tectonic stresses are concordant with the fault movement, and it is likely that the fault has been continuously active throughout growth, infilling, and hydrologic abandonment of the conduit. Based upon known and modeled growth rates for conduits, this system is recording a period of growth and abandonment that exceeds 100,000 years. The role that rock discontinuities play in groundwater flow may vary over these timescales, and it may be important to account for tectonism when evaluating the long-term evolution of aquifers

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