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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 fossil is any remains or traces of animals or plants that lived in the prehistoric past, whether bone, cast, track, imprint, pollen, or any other evidence of their existence [23].?

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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 floods (Keyword) returned 69 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 46 to 60 of 69
An environmental model of fluvial tufas in the monsoonal tropics, Barkly karst, northern Australia, 2006, Carthew Kd, Taylor Mp, Drysdale Rn,
Spring-fed streams that deposit tufa (ambient temperature freshwater calcium carbonate deposits) in the tropics of northern Australia are influenced strongly by perennially warm water temperatures, high evaporation rates, and monsoon driven high-magnitude floods. This paper presents an environmental model that will aid interpretation of fossil fluvial tufas throughout monsoonal Australia. In the Barkly karst, northern Australia, tufas form in dam, cascade and pool/waterhole geomorphic environments. Each environment is represented in the morphostratigraphical record by a specific combination of tufa geomorphic units and facies associations. A diverse array of tufa facies is present, including microphytic, larval, calcite raft, macrophytic and allochthonous types. Preservation of particular Barkly karst tufa facies is thought to reflect the strength of monsoonal floods. A strong monsoon is represented by an abundance of flood indicators such as the allochthonous phytoclastic, lithoclastic and intraclastic tufa facies. Conversely, evidence of weak monsoons or a prolonged absence of floods may include oncoids, calcite rafts and thick accumulations of fine carbonate sediments. The history of the Australian monsoon is not fully understood. However, fossil tufa deposits, which record terrestrial climate information, have been preserved throughout northern Australia and hold great potential for reconstructing the region's climate history. Fossil tufa sequences at two Barkly karst sites have been interpreted using the new model. It can be applied to other Barkly karst fossil tufas as well as those in similar environments elsewhere in the world. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Coastal karst geomorphosites at risk? A case study: the floods of 6-11 December 2004 in central-east Sardinia, 2007, Cossu A, De Waele J, Di Gregorio F,
Extreme rainfall causing floods and great damage occurred in many areas of central-east Sardinia in the period 6-11 December 2004. A total of approximately 700 mm of rain was measured during this extreme event, with a maximum reaching 510 mm of rainfall in 1 day at the rain gauge of Villagrande (Ogliastra). During and immediately after the event all fluviokarstic canyons were activated for at least 1 week, reaching the highest water levels in at least 50 years and reversing great quantities of sediment-loaded water onto the coast and with important geomorphical modifications. There was public fear that serious damage to the natural resources would occur, such as the famous Cala Luna beach that was almost completely destroyed by the flooding of the Codula Ilune River and by the coinciding sea storm. The river, in fact, eroded the longshore bar (beach) and destroyed the small backshore lagoon. A monitoring study has been initiated in order to analyse the natural evolution of this littoral system and to define the resilience of this interesting geomorphosite. The observations have shown that the flood, albeit impacting negatively in the moments immediately after the disaster, almost completely restored the natural equilibrium of this coastal karst geo-ecosystem within a season

DO TURLOUGHS OCCUR IN SLOVENIA?, 2008, Sheehy Skeffington Micheline, Scott Nick. E.
Micheline Shehy Skeffington & Nick. E. Scott: Do turloughs occur in Slovenia? Turloughs are karst basins that fill seasonally with mostly groundwater and drain, usually in summer, to reveal a sedge or grassland community. They are often described as being virtually unique to Ireland. The much larger seasonal poljes of the Slovenian karst are considered different to turloughs. However, a series of small temporary karst lakes in the Slovenian Pivka valley seem remarkably similar to Irish turloughs. Like turloughs, they fill and empty largely through estavelles connecting to underground water systems, which rise and fall with high seasonal rainfall. The Slovenian sites, however, support less wetland communities than Irish turloughs, probably due to drier summer conditions. The plant communities of both systems occur in zones around the basin, related to flood duration. Relevs taken at five Slovenian sites revealed that Petelinjsko jezero, which floods longest each year, is the most similar to turloughs, with, in the lower basin, Eleocharis palustris, potentilla reptans and the unusual form of Ranuculus repens commonly found in Irish turloughs. The difference in climate and terrain means that the Slovenian sites are managed for hay or silage, while the Irish turloughs are under pasture. However, for both, regular flooding precludes much agricultural improvement, so that they are now refuges for flora and fauna. A revised definition for turloughs is proposed and a case made for these Slovenian wetland systems to be recognised as turloughs and for the EU Habitats Directive to be amended to include poljes and other similar temporary karst wetland systems as well as turloughs.

Hydrologie du Dvoluy: La Souloise, les Gillardes et le puits des Bans, 2008, Lismonde B. , Morel L. , Bertochio P.
Hydrology of Dvoluy (French PreAlps): Souloise river, Gillardes springs and puits des Bans: Dvoluy is a karstic system in the French Alps with a size of 165 km2. The basin is drained by a surface river, the Souloise, and an underground collector, reappearing at the springs of Gillardes. A cave, the puits (shaft) des Bans, situated 200 m higher, is an overflow spring of the underground system. We studied the discharge of the surface river and the spring as well as the flooding heights in the Puits des Bans during a year. The linear correlation between the spring discharge at Gillardes and the water elevation in the puits des Bans is surprising for a karstic flow. We propose a hydrologic model of two basins with a narrow link and laminar flow, of which the commmon spring is Gillardes. The obstacle is localised near the important geologic structure named Digne thrust. Some hydrologic properties are developed: hydrologic connections, hydraulic transmissivity, and storage volumes during floods.

Karst flash flooding in a Mediterranean karst, the example of Fontaine de Nîmes, 2008, Maré, Chal J. C. Ladouche B. Dö, Rfliger N.

Karst flash flooding, identified as one of the hazards in karst terrains, is directly linked to the structure and hydraulic properties of karst aquifers. Due to the characteristics of flow within karst aquifers, characterized by a dual flow ? diffuse flow within fissured limestone and conduit flow within karst conduits networks ? flash flooding may be important in volume and dynamics. Such phenomenon may cause serious damages including loss of lives, as it occurred on 3rd October 1988 in Nîmes (Gard, South France). Flash floods there have been considered to be the result of very intensive rainfall events conjugated to runoff due to thegeomorphologic context of the city located down hill. However, preliminary results of recent studies of the hydrologic behaviour of groundwater and surface water for a specific event (September 2005) show that the karst plays an important role in the flood genesis. The main characteristics of the Nîmes karst system leading to karst flash flooding are presented in this paper. A methodology comprising modelling of the karst system allowed proposing simple warning thresholds for various part of the karst (water level threshold for the karst conduits and cumulative rainfall threshold for the overflowing fissured karst). These thresholds can be included in the flash flood warning system of the Nîmes city.


CAVE TURBIDITES, 2008, Osborne, R. A. L.

Turbidites are uncommon in caves, but are more common as palaeokarst deposits. Marine carbonate turbidites, called caymanites, are the most common cave and palaeokarst turbidites, but marine non-carbonate turbidites, freshwater carbonate turbidites and freshwater non-carbonate turbidites are also deposited in caves and preserved in palaeokarst sequences. One of the most complex sequences of cave turbidites occurs in the Wellington Caves Phosphate Mine in Australia. Cave turbidites form in ponded water in caves and may be triggered by floods and high intensity rain events. While caymanites are most likely to form during marine transgressions, they can be emplaced by tsunami. Freshwater cave turbidites are most likely to form in flooded hypogene caves located in the seasonally wet tropics and in areas with irregular high intensity rainfall events.


Interaction between a dam site and karst springs: The case of Supramonte (Central-East Sardinia, Italy), 2008, De Waele Jo, Forti Paolo

Sardinia is one of the Italian regions with the greatest number of dams per inhabitants, almost 60 for a population of only 1.5 million people. Many of these dam sites are located on non-carbonate rocks along the main rivers of the Island and their waters are used for irrigation, industrial, energy supply, drinking and flood regulation purposes.  The Pedra 'e Othoni dam on the Cedrino river (Dorgali, Central-East Sardinia) is located along the threshold of the Palaeozoic basement on the Northern border of the Supramonte karst area, where water is forced to flow out of the system through several resurgences, the most famous of which is the Su Gologone vauclusian spring, used for drinking water supply. The other main outflows of the system, Su Tippari and San Pantaleo springs, are at present almost permanently submerged by the high water level of the Pedra 'e Othoni dam. In the near future water will be supplied also to other communities with a possible increase of water taken from the spring.

The dam, originally meant to regulate the flooding of Cedrino river but actually used for all sorts of purposes (electricity supply, drinking water, irrigation of farmlands, industrial uses), has a maximum regulation altitude of 103 m a.s.l., only slightly less than a meter below the Su Gologone spring level (103.7 m), and 4 and 9 m respectively above the submerged Su Tippari and San Pantaleo springs.

During floods of the Cedrino river, occurring on average twice a year, also the Su Gologone spring becomes submerged by the muddy waters of the lake for a time ranging between a couple of hours up to several days, making water supply impossible. 

The analysis of the available meteorological and hydrogeological data relative to the December 2004 flood, one of the severest of the past 100 years, suggests that the reservoir is filled in a few days time. Several flooding scenarios have been reconstructed using digital terrain models, showing that backflooding submerges most of the discharge area of the aquifer, having important repercussions also on the inland underground drainage system. The upstream flood prone areas prevalently comprise agricultural lands with some sparse houses, but also highly frequented tourist facilities. Fortunately flooding occurs outside the tourist season, thus limiting risk to a limited number of local inhabitants. Massive discharge at the dam site, instead, determines a more hazardous situation in the Cedrino coastal plain, where population density in low lying areas is much higher. To avoid flooding hazard upstream the water level in the lake should be regulated, keeping it low in the flood prone seasons, and having it filled from the end of the winter in order to have enough water stocked before the beginning of the summer. Discharge at the dam site, instead, should be done cautiously, preventing severe flooding of the coastal Cedrino plain.


Glaciokarst of western Orjen, Montenegro, 2009, Stepisnik, Uros, Mateja Ferk, Blaz Kodelja, Goran Medenjak, Andrej Mihevc, Karel Natek And Manja Zebre.
The Orjen Massif is situated in the southeastern part of the Dinaric Mountains on the border between Montenegro, Croatia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its highest peak is Zuba?ki kabao (1894m). Detailed geomorphological mapping was used to facilitate reconstruction of the extent of ice advance during the last glacial maximum within four valley glaciers in western Orjen. The length of the glaciers in the valleys was up to 4km. Glaciation of the karstic surface resulted in a series of features that are typical of glaciokarst. In the upper of the valleys there are a number of over-deepened cirques, kotli? and cave entrances. In the accumulation-dominant areas of the glaciers distinct lateral-terminal moraine complexes were formed and proglacial fans exhibit features indicative of formation by multiple glacial floods that were an indirect result of the contemporary functioning of the glacial and karstic geomorphic system. By studying the up-valley limits of lateral moraines and applying an altitude-ratio methodology, the equilibrium line altitude of the glaciers during their maximum extent was determined at an elevation of 1325m.

Sediment flushing in Mystic Cave, West Virginia, USA, in response to the 1985 Potomac Valley flood, 2009, Van Gundy J. J. , White W. B.
The great November 5, 1985 Potomac Valley flood was responsible for the release of 1800 m3 of alluvial and colluvial sediment from the walls of the entrance doline of Mystic Cave. Flood waters were sufficiently powerful to flush the entire mass of sediment not only into the cave but through the cave. Remnants of the sediment mass in the form of sand bars and a few cobbles wedged in speleothems were the only evidence in the cave that the huge mass of sediment had moved through. The sediment moved as a suspended mass in water moving at peak velocities of many meters per second. Present day cave sediments must be interpreted with the understanding that entire sediment fillings can be transported or rearranged by single extreme events

Sediment flushing in Mystic Cave, West Virginia, USA, in response to the 1985 Potomac Valley flood, 2009, Van Gundy J. J. , White W. B.

The great November 5, 1985 Potomac Valley flood was responsible for the release of 1800 m3 of alluvial and colluvial sediment from the walls of the entrance doline of Mystic Cave. Flood waters were sufficiently powerful to flush the entire mass of sediment not only into the cave but through the cave. Remnants of the sediment mass in the form of sand bars and a few cobbles wedged in speleothems were the only evidence in the cave that the huge mass of sediment had moved through. The sediment moved as a suspended mass in water moving at peak velocities of many meters per second. Present day cave sediments must be interpreted with the understanding that entire sediment fillings can be transported or rearranged by single extreme events.


Flash flood hydrology in karstic terrain: Flumineddu Canyon, central-east Sardinia, 2010, De Waele Jo, Martina Mario L. V. , Sanna Laura, Cabras Salvatore, Cossu Quirico Antonio

In the last five winters (2004–2008) several exceptional meteorological events producing flash floods have been registered in central-east Sardinia. The first of these (December 2004) was the most severe and caused important geomorphic changes in the Riu Flumineddu watershed where the influence of human activity is limited. The hydrological characterisation of this flood is extremely difficult because of the lack of streamflow gauges and the relative paucity of meteorological stations in the region. Peak discharge of the fluviokarstic Riu Flumineddu Canyon has been estimated based on a distributed hydrological model (TOPKAPI) and on empirical methods based on geomorphic and sedimentological observations. The comparison between the results derived from these independent methods allows us to obtain the best possible estimate of peak discharge. Differences between modelled and measured peak flows can be attributed to water losses and/or gains along the river channel from interactions with the underground karst drainage network.

The December 2004 flood, with an estimated recurrence interval of at least 65 years, generated overbank flow and destroyed several bridges in upstream reaches, caused important changes in channel morphology and sediment distribution and was able to move boulders up to 1 m in diameter in downstream reaches.


Holocene high floods on the Planina Polje, Classical Dinaric Karst, Slovenia , 2012, Stepinik Uro, Ferk Mateja, Gostinč, Ar Petra, Č, Ernuta Luka

The Planina Polje is located in the northwestern part of Notranjsko Podolje, Slovenia. Annual floods cover the flattened floor of the polje at elevation 445 m a.s.l. and reach the depth of approximately 8 meters. Loamy sediments which were found on surface and subsurface features from the inflow part of Planina Polje up to the elevations of about 495 m a.s.l., indirectly show that floods in the past must have been much more extensive than the recent ones. Radiocarbon dating of flowstone layer from side passage Tiha Jama in Planina Cave revealed that the last such extreme floods appeared around 5,706 ± 49 BP. The time frame of the flood roughly corresponds with the Altithermal (8,000–5,000 BP). More humid mid-Holocene climate might be the main cause for the high floods on Planina Polje.


Active tectonics and earthquake destructions in caves of northern and central Switzerland, 2012, Becker Arnfried, Huselmann Philipp, Eikenberg Jost, Gilli Eric

The present publication focuses on the study of caves in northern and central Switzerland in order to detect and date historical earthquakes and active tectonic displacements by investigations of broken and resealed or displaced speleothems datable by U/Th and 14C. While it can be shown that these methods are potentially suitable, the ages obtained are often beyond the range of historically recorded earthquakes, and it cannot be proved that the observed and dated events are related to a seismic event. Particularly this is true for the caves in central Switzerland, where most ages in the Melchsee-Frutt region were beyond the limits of the U/Th method, or of late Pleistocene age in the Siebenhengste-Hohgant region. A direct comparison with known historical (or prehistoric) earthquakes was not possible. In contrast to central Switzerland, the results in the Basle region of northern Switzerland indicates cave and speleothem damages in one cave within the epicentral area of the 1356 Basle earthquake. 14C datings allowed to directly relate the speleothem damages to this M 6.5 earthquake. Further dating results from caves in northern Switzerland on speleothems and organic material in cave deposits supplied ages which indicate older events not related to the historical Basle earthquake. The detection of active fault displacements and prehistoric strong earthquakes can only be achieved by a very careful deciphering of the palaeo-environmental records and many more age determinations which allow to separate active tectonic displacements and seismic events from other events not related to tectonics, i.e. glaciations, creep of sediments, catastrophic floods etc.


HORACE-BÉNÉDICT DE SAUSSURE (1740-1799), THE SUMMITTER OF MONT-BLANC WHO EXPLORED ALPINE CAVES, 2012, Gauchon, Christophe

Horace-Bénédict de Saussure devoted his whole life to the study of the Western Alps and their geology. In his works, and especially in his “Travels in the Alps” (4 volumes, 1779-1796), he gave the description of a dozen of caves and karst phenomena located in the Alps of Savoy, in Jura, in Provence and in England. He was not alone taking an interested in caves, and he had an important letter-writing correspondence with various scientists who explored caves too in France. His explorations took part in a general thought about alpine geology: in the caves, Saussure measured temperatures, he observed speleothems (maybe the first mention of a flowstonefloor), he demonstrated the presence of former floods he couldn’t explain. In his scientific legacy, “agenda for observation and research”, he pointed out the necessity of an accurate investigation in caves for the improvement of geology.


Possible relation between the sudden sinking of river Ika and the sequence of weak earthquakes in September-October 2010 near Ika vas (central Slovenia), 2012, Gosar A. , Brenč, Ič, M.

During heavy rainfalls between September 17 and 19, 2010 large part of Slovenia has suffered extensive floods that last for nearly two weeks. For the river Iška record discharge of 59.3 m3/s was measured on September 19 on the gauging station in Iška vas located at the southern rim of Ljubljansko barje. In the first hour of September 21, 2010 two weak earthquakes (ML=0.6 and ML=0.2) occurred within one minute near Iška vas. They were felt by some inhabitants who reported also a rumbling noise (brontides). During the flood recession period, the water of river Iška started to sink into the gravely stream bed or rocky left banks and the gauging profile completely dried on September 23, day and a half after the first earthquake. Water reappeared again on September 25. In the period September 21 − October 4 additional seven weak earthquakes occurred in the same area. All earthquakes from this series occurred at or near the surface and deviate in hypocentral depth from the seismicity pattern characteristic for the southern rim of Ljubljansko barje, which was analysed for comparison. The epicentres of the first two earthquakes are in good agreement with the location of the dried river bed. It is therefore probable that both phenomena are related. Analyses of seismograms have shown that it is not likely that the observed events are collapse earthquakes, but they are tectonic events. Although earthquakes were relatively weak, it seems that they could be accompanied by small near-surface tectonic movements, because they occurred at the position of a known fault. These movements are probably connected to the opening of pre-existing fissures in the karstified valley bottom, although the primary reason for sinking of the river is that high waters removed the clogged river bed that enables intensive sinking into the river bottom during the flood.


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