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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 solution notch is these form wherever humic soil borders on a very steep or vertical limestone surface. the rock becomes undercut by water rich in biogenic co2. in the cone karst of the humid tropics, foot caves occur which are over-sized enlargements of solution notches [3].?

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 subsurface (Keyword) returned 264 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 60 of 264
Interactions between ground water and surface water in the Suwannee River Basin, Florida, 1997,
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Katz B. G. , Dehan R. S. , Hirten J. J. , Catches J. S. ,
Ground water and surface water constitute a single dynamic system in most parts of the Suwannee River basin due to the presence of karst features that facilitate the interaction between the surface and subsurface. Low radon-222 concentrations (below background levels) and enriched amounts of oxygen-18 and deuterium in ground water indicate mixing with surface water in parts of the basin. Comparison of surface water and regional ground water flow patterns indicate that boundaries for ground water basins typically do not coincide with surface water drainage subbasins. There are several areas in the basin where around water flow that originates outside of the Suwannee River basin crosses surface water basin boundaries during both low-flow and high-flow conditions. In a study area adjacent to the Suwannee River that consists predominantly of agricultural land use, 18 wells tapping the Upper Floridan aquifer and 7 springs were sampled three times during 1990 through 1994 for major dissolved inorganic constituents, trace elements, and nutrients. During a period of above normal rainfall that resulted in high river stage and high ground water levels in 1991, the combination of increased amounts of dissolved organic carbon and decreased levels of dissolved oxygen in ground water created conditions favorable for the natural reduction of nitrate by denitrification reactions in the aquifer. As a result, less nitrate was discharged by ground water to the Suwannee River

Radon transport phenomena studied in Karst caves-international experiences on radon levels and exposures, 1997,
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Hakl J. , Hunyadi I. , Csige I. , Geczy G. , Lenart L. , Varhegyi A. ,
The results of radon measurements in caves obtained by using of nuclear track detectors are summarized. Mean radon concentrations are ranging worldwide from 0.1 to 20 kBqm-3 with 2.8 kBqm-3 arithmetic average. From long-term extended radon measurements in caves not only a detailed dosimetric picture can be drawn, but using radon gas as a radioactive tracer, the subsurface and near-to-surface transport processes can be studied, too. It will be shown that long-term radon monitoring by nuclear track detectors, in conjunctions with active detectors which enables detection of fast dynamic changes, offers very important information for naturally-occurring transport processes

The use of geophysical techniques in the detection of shallow cavities in limestone, MSc thesis, 1997,
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Walker, D. C.

Electromagnetic, resistivity and microgravity techniques were compared for their ability to delineate and resolve shallow natural cavity systems in limestone. Geophysical work was carried out at two field sites. Electromagnetic and resistivity constant-depth profiling surveys were carried out at Kitley Caves in Yealmpton, South Devon, with the purpose of determining the lateral extent of the already partially mapped system. Lower Long Chum Cave in Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, was used as a control site for the testing of resistivity tomography and microgravity techniques. Several cavities had already been mapped at this site, and were known to be approximately cylindrical passages, with radii of 2-4m within a depth range of 5-20m, in the area to be surveyed.
At Kitley Caves, both the EM31 and resistivity surveys were carried out over a 20x30m grid, approximately 50m west of Western Ton's Quarry. The station interval for the EM31 survey was 2.5m, whereas resistivity readings were taken at 1m intervals. Both techniques identified a linear, low resistivity, anomaly orientated close to the primary joint direction. This feature is interpreted as a sediment-filled fissure, but excavation of the site would be required for verification.
The main Lower Long Chum Cave passage was also identified using EM mapping at 2.5m intervals. Four 155m lines were surveyed using resistivity tomography technique, with 32 electrodes at 5m spacing selected in a Wenner configuration. This survey successfully delineated Diccan Pot and Lower Long Churn caves in the locations and depth ranges expected, and also identified a previously unmapped feature that was interpreted as an air-filled cave or fissure 40m to the south of the main passage. The inversion process caused the features to be horizontally smeared to approximately twice their true dimensions, and in some cases anomalies from separate features were combined.
Lower Long Churn Cave was also successfully delineated using microgravity. Analysis of the residual Bouguer anomaly, combined with two dimensional forward modelling, implied a density contrast of 2.0g/cc, a radius of 2.1m and a depth of 5m. This agreed to within 2.5m with the depth given by resistivity. The position of the tunnel axis found using the two techniques differed by a maximum of 4m.
Resistivity tomography and microgravity were thus concluded to be techniques accurate in the delineation of shallow subsurface cavities. Future improvements in the latter method depend on the development of instruments that are sensitive enough to detect small changes in gravitational acceleration, whilst remaining relatively insensitive to background noise. Resistivity tomography is becoming an increasingly more valuable technique as refinements in the inversion process reduce smearing of anomalous features and improve the accuracy of the subsurface images produced.

Estimating subsurface fissure apertures in karst aquifers from equilibrium activities, 1998,
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Field Ms, Mose Dg,
Rn-222 activities were determined for the karst aquifer underlying Walkersville, Maryland, in an area of ground-water discharge from a single geological unit during the summer and fall seasons, Radon-222 equilibrium activities in karst ground waters can be employed in mass-balance models to estimate microfissure, macrofissure, and conduit aperture dimensions, This approach defines Rn-222 generation and loss in karst aquifers as a function of fissure apertures and the U-238 content of the rock, High Rn-222 activities occur in tight fissures and low Rn-222 activities occur in conduits, In the vadose zone, Rn-222 activities are low as a result of degassing, especially if flow is turbulent and activities are decoupled from the phreatic zone, In the phreatic zone, if recharge to fissures causes a reduction of residence time below that required for equilibrium (approximate to 26 days), Rn-222 activities fall, At springs and in the vadose zone, after a rainfall event, Rn-222 activities increase as waters with long residence and with high Rn-222 activities are expelled from fissure and fracture storage, Field data and selected literature values were used to test the model, Models used to predict median microfissure apertures for this karst aquifer yield aperture estimates ranging from 2.8 mu m to 9.2 mu m. Median macrofissure apertures ranged from 5.53 cm to 5.88 cm, Median conduit apertures ranged from 1.16 m to 1.24 m, Comparison of the models results with published data on karst aquifers and observations at the field site suggest that the predicted apertures are reasonable

Geomorphology of the Tertiary gypsum formations in the Ebro Depression (Spain), 1998,
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Elorza Mg, Santolalla Fg,
This paper reviews the current knowledge of the mainly karstic geomorphological features developed in the evaporitic formations of the Ebro Depression (northern Spain). Special emphasis is given to the recently published and unpublished scientific advances. The gypsum formations, of Tertiary age, have an extensive outcrop area within the Ebro Depression. Here, their morphogenesis is controlled mainly by processes of surface and subsurface dissolution acting on the gypsum. Outstanding landforms in the gypsum terrain include saline lakes developed in flat bottom dolines (saladas). Other characteristic morphologies include karren and gypsum domes, which occur on a decimetre scale. Where the gypsum is covered by Quaternary alluvial deposits the karstification processes are especially intense and cause subsidence phenomena. Karstic subsidence affects stream terraces, mantled pediments and infilled valleys, which in the region are called vales. Dissolution-induced synsedimentary subsidence has produced interesting geological features, which include significant thickening and deformation of the alluvial deposits. In contrast to the rapid removal of gypsum by dissolution, the amount of gypsum removed by erosion is low. Water erosion studies carried out on gypsiferous slopes of the Ebro Depression, indicate that the sediment yield ranges from 0.59 to 7.82 t/ha/year. This low yield results from the high infiltration capacity of the soils. Subsidence caused by gypsum dissolution has important socioeconomic consequences in the Ebro Depression. The active alluvial karstification of the gypsum causes numerous sinkholes that are harmful to linear structures (roads, railway Lines, irrigation channels), buildings and agricultural land. Unforeseen catastrophic subsidence also puts human Lives at risk. The benefits of such terrains include thickened alluvial deposits which act as valuable water reservoirs and which form excellent sources of aggregates. Fluvial valleys in this gypsiferous terrain commonly show an asymmetrical geometry with prominent gypsum scarps at one side. These gypsum scarps are affected by numerous landslides. These slope movements are hazardous, may dam rivers and cause flooding of the alluvial plains. (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Flared slopes revisited, 1998,
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Twidale C. R. , Bourne J. A. ,
Flared slopes are smooth concavities caused by subsurface moisture-generated weathering in the scarp-foot zone of hillslopes or boulders. They are well represented in granitic terrains but also developed in other massive materials such as limestone, sandstone, dacite, rhyolite, and basalt, as well as other plutonic rocks. Notches, cliff-foot caves, and swamp slob are congeners of flared slopes. Though a few bedrock flares are conceivably caused by nivation or by a combination of coastal processes, most are two-stage or etch forms. Appreciation of the origin of these forms has permitted their use in the identification and measurement of recent soil erosion and an explanation of natural bridges. Their mode of development is also germane to the origin of the host inselberg or bornhardt and, indeed, to general theories of landscape evolution. But certain discrepancies have been noted concerning the distribution and detailed morphology of flared slopes. Such anomalies are a result of structural factors (sensu late), of variations in size of catchment and in degree of exposure, and of several protective factors. Notwithstanding, the original explanation of flared slopes stands, as do their wider implications

Spatial and Temporal Variation of Groundwater Chemistry in Pettyjohns Cave, Northwest Georgia, USA, 1999,
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Mayer, J.
A longitudinal study of water chemistry in Pettyjohns Cave, Georgia, reveals a wide range of major ion water chemistry at different sampling points within the cave, and pronounced seasonal water-chemistry variations at some locations. The cave occurs in the Mississippian Bangor Limestone on the east side of Pigeon Mountain in the Appalachian Plateaus physiographic province of northwest Georgia, USA. Four sampling points within the cave were monitored at approximately 2- to 3-month intervals for 22 months: a major conduit stream; a small conduit tributary; water dripping into the cave through a small fracture; and water dripping from active speleothems. Other waters, including surface water, were sampled as available. Samples were analyzed for temperature, pH, specific conductance, alkalinity, and major ions. Most spatial water chemistry trends within the cave appear to be the result of rock-water interaction along distinct subsurface flowpaths. Temporal variations, most pronounced in conduit streams, result primarily from mixing of distinct waters in varying ratios, although seasonal changes in CO2 partial pressure may account for some variation. Results illustrate the inherent spatial and temporal variability of water chemistry in karst aquifers and point to the need to design sampling programs carefully.

Agriculture and nature conservation in the Moravian karst (Czech Republic), 1999,
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Balk Ivan, Bosk Pavel, Jano Jozef, Stefka Leos
Moravian Karst is a narrow strip of limestone with long history of settlement, agricultural use and man impact to karst. It is naturally divided into smaller units; karst plateaus; separated by deep valleys (glens). Each plateau has different proportion of land use, i.e. the percentage of agricultural land, forests, etc. The agricultural land constitutes now up to 70% in the north and max. 30% in the centre and south of the total area of plateaus. Intensive agricultural use of the arable land since 60ties of this Century caused great impact to quality of soils and groundwater by overdoses of fertilisers and other artificial chemical substances. Detailed research in 1980 to 1997 resulted in a plan of care based on the zonation of land. There were defined zones with different degree of restriction of land use, agricultural activities and application of fertilisers and biocides. Arable lands has been gradually changed to meadows and pastures by introduction of grass since 1987 in the most strictly protected zone to protect especially subsurface karst forms.

Relation entre ecoulements et fractures ouvertes dans un systeme aquifere compartimente par des failles et mise en evidence d'une double porosite de fractures, 1999,
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Bruel T, Petit Jp, Massonnat G, Guerin R, Nolf Jl,
Hydrodynamic characterisation of real fracture systems is necessary to improve modelling of fracture reservoirs as well as nuclear waste disposal sites. This characterisation is usually considered globally and theoretically but very few studies have aimed to identify the real physical environment of flow (matrix, faults, joints etc.) before establishing hydrodynamical models. We present a case study in a fractured reservoir aiming to give an example of how and why fluids actually flow within a given fracture at the various scales of fracturation of a fracture network. This study demonstrates that the determination of type and orientation of fractures actually supporting flow is necessary for accurate interpretation of the pumping tests within a fractured reservoir. It also shows that there is no simple relationship between the fault offset and the importance of flow, probably due to the influence of in situ stress. It is shown that the combination of various methods can be used to determine the fracture-flow relationship and behaviour at subseismic scale in subsurface conditions

Limestone ordinances of New Jersey and Pennsylvania: a practitioner's experiences, 1999,
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Fischer Ja,
Ordinances promulgating land use procedures related to construction in areas underlain by carbonate rocks have been under discussion since the mid-1970s in Pennsylvania and since the mid-1980s in New Jersey. At first, the proposed ordinances only considered ground water contamination then, later included the safety- (or stability) related concerns of constructing in karst areas. The first ordinance addressing both concerns as well as not being so restrictive as to eliminate development is believed to have been passed in Clinton Township, New Jersey in May, 1988. Recently, several other nearby townships have passed ordinances based (either loosely or tightly) upon the 'Model Ordinance' developed by the 'Limestone Committee' of the North Jersey Resource Conservation and Development Council. The Model Ordinance has its roots in the Clinton Township Ordinance. Other ordinances, with little to no geotechnical input, have also been passed (and sometimes repealed) by well-meaning municipalities. As the subsurface conditions are complex and erratic (folded and faulted carbonates), an appropriate site evaluation is difficult to define and generally more costly to perform than a conventional site investigation. With this mix of ordinances, the variability in subsurface conditions and the diverse experience levels of the regional practitioners, the resulting effectiveness of these ordinances is mixed, from the humorous to the very positive. In general, the Clinton Township and Model Ordinance-based legislation, which specify procedures to be used in an investigation, work well. Other ordinances refer to standards which do not exist, have requirements which cannot be met in the real world, or appear poorly related to any realistic geotechnical concepts. This paper will describe some typical examples of projects from the viewpoint of both the reviewer and the submitter. A state-of-the-practice presentation, not necessarily state-of-the-art. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All ri hts reserved

Sinkholes in karst mining areas in China and some methods of prevention, 1999,
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Li G. Y. , Zhou W. F. ,
Mining of coal, lead and zinc, gold, and iron ore deposits in karst areas has been closely associated with sinkholes in China. Surface collapse causes an increase in mine water drainage and the possibility of major water inflow from karst aquifers, which threatens the environment in mining areas and endangers the mine safety. A combination of factors including soil weight, buoyancy, suffusion process and vacuum suction can contribute to the sinkhole formation. The key measures to prevent sinkholes in mining areas are to control the amount of mine drainage, reduce water level fluctuation, seal-off karst conduits and subsurface cavities in the overlying soil, prevent water inflow, and/or to increase gas pressure in the karst conduits. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Geology and evolution of lakes in north-central Florida, 1999,
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Kindinger J. L. , Davis J. B. , Flocks J. G. ,
Fluid exchange between surficial waters and groundwater in karst environments, and the processes that control exchange, are of critical concern to water management districts and planners, High-resolution seismic data were collected from 30 lakes of north-central Florida. In each case study, lake structure and geomorphology were controlled by solution and/or mechanical processes. Processes that control lake development are twofold: (1) karstification or dissolution of the underlying limestone, and (2) the collapse, subsidence, or slumping of overburden to form sinkholes. Initial lake formation is directly related to the karst topography of the underlying host limestone. Case studies have shown that lakes can be divided by geomorphic types into progressive developmental phases: (1) active subsidence or collapse phase (young); (2) transitional phase (middle age); (3) baselevel phase (mature); and (4) polje (drowned prairie) - broad flat-bottom that have one or all phases of sinkhole. Using these criteria, Florida lakes can be classified by size, fill, subsurface features, and geomorphology

Reef margin collapse, gully formation and filling within the Permian Capitan Reef: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico, USA, 1999,
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Harwood G. M. , Kendall A. C. ,
An area of reef margin collapse, gully formation and gully fill sedimentation has been identified and mapped within Left Hand Tunnel, Carlsbad Caverns. It demonstrates that the Capitan Reef did not, at all times, form an unbroken border to the Delaware Basin. Geopetally arranged sediments within cavities from sponge-algal framestones of the reef show that the in situ reef today has a 10 degrees basinwards structural dip. Similar dips in adjacent back-reef sediments, previously considered depositional, probably also have a structural origin. Reoriented geopetal structures have also allowed the identification of a 200-m-wide, 25-m-deep gully within the reef, which has been filled by large (some >15 m), randomly orientated and, in places, overturned blocks and boulders, surrounded by finer reef rubble, breccias and grainstones. Block supply continued throughout gully filling, implying that spalling of reef blocks was a longer term process and was not a by-product of the formation of the gully. Gully initiation was probably the result of a reef front collapse, with a continued instability of the gully bordering reef facies demonstrated by their incipient brecciation and by faults containing synsedimentary fills. Gully filling probably occurred during reef growth, and younger reef has prograded over the gully fill. Blocks contain truncated former aragonite botryoidal cements, indicating early aragonite growth within the in situ reef. In contrast, former high-magnesian calcite rind cements post-date sedimentation within the gully. The morphology of cavern passages is controlled by reef facies variation, with narrower passages cut into the in situ reef and wider passages within the gully fill. Gully fills may also constitute more permeable zones in the subsurface

Linear and nonlinear input/output models for karstic springflow and flood prediction at different time scales, 1999,
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Labat D. , Ababou R. , Mangin A. ,
Karstic formations function as three-dimensional (3D) hydrological basins, with both surface and subsurface flows through fissures, natural conduits, underground streams and reservoirs. The main characteristic of karstic formations is their significant 3D physical heterogeneity at all scales, from fine fissuration to large holes and conduits. This leads to dynamic and temporal variability, e.g, highly variable flow rates, due to several concurrent flow regimes with several distinct response times. The temporal hydrologic response of karstic basins is studied here from an input/output, systems analysis viewpoint. The hydraulic behaviour of the basins is approached via the relationship between hydrometeorological inputs and outputs. These processes are represented and modeled as random, self-correlated and cross-correlated, stationary time processes. More precisely, for each site-specific case presented here, the input process is the total rainfall on the basin and the output process is the discharge rate at the outlet of the basin (karstic spring). In the absence of other data, these time processes embody all the available information concerning a given karstic basin. In this paper, we first present a brief discussion of the physical structure of karstic systems. Then, we formulate linear and nonlinear models, i.e. functional relations between rainfall and runoff, and methods for identifying the kernel and coefficients of the functionals (deterministic vs. statistical; error minimisation vs. polynomial projection). These are based mostly on Volterra first order (linear) or second order (nonlinear) convolution. In addition, a new nonlinear threshold model is developed, based on the frequency distribution of interannual mean daily runoff. Finally, the different models and identification methods are applied to two karstic watersheds in the french Pyrenees mountains, using long sequences of rainfall and spring outflow data at two different sampling rates (daily and semi-hourly). The accuracy of nonlinear and linear rainfall-runoff models is tested at three time scales: long interannual scale (20 years of daily data), medium or seasonal scale (3 months of semi-hourly data), and short scale or 'flood scale' (2 days of semi-hourly data). The model predictions are analysed in terms of global statistical accuracy and in terms of accuracy with respect to high flow events (floods)

Microgravity techniques for subsurface investigations of sinkhole collapses and for detection of groundwater flow paths through karst aquifers, 1999,
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Crawford N. C. . , Lewis M. A. , Winter S. A. , Webster J. A.

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