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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 scaling chip is a thin small rather irregular piece of limestone, commonly crumbly, which has fallen from the ceiling or wall of a cave. a form of cave breakdown [10].?

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


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for hydrograph (Keyword) returned 130 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 106 to 120 of 130
Interactions hydrodynamiques surface/souterrain en milieu karstique [Surface water/Groundwater hydrodynamic interactions in karst watersheds], PhD Thesis, 2008,
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Baillycomte, Vincent

Ce travail de these s’inscrit dans la problematique generale de la caracterisation de l’alea inondation. Plus precisement, cette etude cherche a caracteriser l’influence des eaux souterraines sur la genese et la propagation des crues en surface dans les cas d’un bassin versant a forte composante karstique. Le site experimental du bassin versant du Coulazou, riviere temporaire qui traverse le massif karstique du Causse d’Aumelas a l’Ouest de Montpellier a ete retenu pour etudier de maniere approfondie les interactions entre les ecoulements de surface et les ecoulements souterrains en situation de crue.

L’etude hydrodynamique de ce systeme karst/riviere s’appuie sur un dispositif experimental adapte a l’observation des phenomenes hydrologiques (pluie, ruissellement) et hydrogeologiques (piezometrie en forage et dans les drains karstiques, suivi hydrodynamique des exutoires du systeme) tres rapides et tres intenses. La dynamique de ces ecoulements est liee au contexte climatique Mediterraneen mais aussi aux structures de drainage en surface et en souterrain qui permettent un transfert et un transit tres rapide des eaux au sein du systeme karst/riviere.

Une description hydrodynamique classique est completee par une approche fonctionnelle des echanges karst/riviere dans le but de mieux comprendre le fonctionnement hydrodynamique d’un tel systeme et de mettre en avant des indicateurs utilisables dans une demarche de modelisation des echanges surface/souterrain. Un premier modele est presente dans la derniere partie de ce document.

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This work aims at assessing the flooding hazard. More precisely, the study focuses on the influence of groundwater on the genesis and propagation of surface flows in the case of a highly karstified watershed. The experimental site of the Coulazou River, a temporary River which crosses the karstified formation of the Causse d’Aumelas (western Montpellier) has been selected to study hydrodynamic interactions between surface flows and groundwater flows during flood.

The hydrodynamic study of this karst/River system is based on a suitable experimental monitoring of both fast and intense hydrological (rain, runoff) and hydrogeological (water level in wells and karst drains, discharge measurements at the main outlets of the system) phenomenon. The specific hydrological response of this watershed is due to the Mediterranean climate but also to surface and underground drainage structures which allow very fast water flows within the karst/river system.

A common hydrodynamic description is followed by a functional approach of karst/river exchanges in order (i) to better understand the hydrodynamic behaviour of such a system and (ii) to highlight some indicators that can be used in a modelling approach. A first conceptual model of surface water/groundwater exchanges in karst terranes is presented in the latter part of the manuscript.
 


HYDROLOGIC CONNECTIONS AND DYNAMICS OF WATER MOVEMENT IN THE CLASSICAL KARST (KRAS) AQUIFER: EVIDENCE FROM FREQUENT CHEMICAL AND STABLE ISOTOPE SAMPLING, 2008,
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Doctor, D. H.

A review of past research on the hydrogeology of the Classical Karst (Kras) region and new information obtained from a two- year study using environmental tracers are presented in this paper. The main problems addressed are 1) the sources of water to the Kras aquifer resurgence zone—including the famous Timavo springs—under changing flow regimes; 2) a quantification of the storage volumes of the karst massif corresponding to flow regimes defined by hydrograph recessions of the Timavo springs; and 3) changing dynamics between deep phreatic conduit flow and shallow phreatic and epiphreatic storage within the aquifer resurgence zone as determined through changes in chemical and isotopic composition at springs and wells. Particular focus was placed on addressing the long-standing question of the influence of the Soča River on the ground waters of the aquifer resurgence zone. The results indicate that the alluvial aquifer supplied by the sinking of the Soča River on the northwestern edge of the massif contributes approximately 75% of the mean annual outflow to the smaller springs of the aquifer resurgence zone, and as much as 53% to the mean annual outflow of the Timavo springs. As a whole, the Soča River is estimated to contribute 56% of the average outflow of the Kras aquifer resurgence. The proportions of Soča River water increase under drier conditions, and decrease under wetter conditions. Time series analysis of oxygen stable isotope records indicate that the transit time of Soča River water to the Timavo springs, Sardos spring, and well B-4 is on the order of 1-2 months, depending on hydrological conditions. The total baseflow storage of the Timavo springs is estimated to be 518 million m3, and represents 88.5% of the storage capacity estimated for all flow regimes of the springs. The ratio of baseflow storage volume to the average annual volume discharged at the Timavo springs is 0.54. The Reka River sinking in Slovenia supplies substantial allogenic recharge to the aquifer; however, its influence on the northwest resurgence zone is limited to the Timavo springs, and is only a significant component of the spring discharge under flood conditions for relatively brief periods (several days to weeks). Sustainability of the trans-boundary aquifer of the Kras will benefit from maintaining high water quality in the Soča River, as well as focused water tracing experiments within the epiphreatic zone of the aquifer to better delineate the recharge zone and to identify sources of potential contamination to the Brestovica water supply well.


A dimensionless number describing the effects of recharge and geometry on discharge from simple karstic aquifers, 2009,
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Covington M. D. , Wicks C. M. , Saar M. O.

The responses of karstic aquifers to storms are often used to obtain information about aquifer geometry. In general, spring hydrographs are a function of both system geometry and recharge. However, the majority of prior work on storm pulses through karst has not studied the effect of recharge on spring hydrographs. To examine the relative importance of geometry and recharge, we break karstic aquifers into elements according to the manner of their response to transient flow and demonstrate that each element has a characteristic response timescale. These fundamental elements are full pipes, open channels, reservoir/constrictions, and the porous matrix. Taking the ratio of the element timescale with the recharge timescale produces a dimensionless number, γ, that is used to characterize aquifer response to a storm event. Using sets of simulations run with randomly selected element parameters, we demonstrate that each element type has a critical value of γ below which the shape of the spring hydrograph is dominated by the shape of the recharge hydrograph and above which the spring hydrograph is significantly modified by the system geometry. This allows separation of particular element/storm pairs into recharge-dominated and geometry-dominated regimes. While most real karstic aquifers are complex combinations of these elements, we draw examples from several karst systems that can be represented by single elements. These examples demonstrate that for real karstic aquifers full pipe and open channel elements are generally in the recharge-dominated regime, whereas reservoir/constriction elements can fall in either the recharge- or geometry-dominated regimes.


A DARCIAN MODEL FOR THE FLOW OF BIG SPRING AND THE HYDRAULIC HEAD IN THE OZARK AQUIFER, MISSOURI, USA, 2010,
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Criss R. E.
The complex discharge hydrograph for Big Spring, Missouri, can be described as the sum of two terms governed by Darcys Law. The dominant, long-term component is proportional to the regional hydraulic gradient, and constitutes about 80% of the average flow of 12.6 m3/s. Superimposed on this is a transient component with a time-constant of about 1.5 days that represents the Darcian response to sharp, rainfall-driven pulses on the head of the shallow groundwater system. This transient component delivers about 20% of the average total flow, but over short intervals can exceed the long-term component. However, the long-term component is so large that the ratio of record high flows to the average flow is only about 4x for Big Spring, and 1.5 to 4.5x for most other large Ozark springs; for comparison, this ratio is 10 to 3000x for most surface streams in Missouri. The strong correlation between the discharge of the large springs and the head in the Ozark aquifer permits the extension of the Darcian rainfall-runoff model to predict groundwater levels in wells.

SIMULATING DRAINAGE FROM A FLOODED SINKHOLE, 2010,
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Field M. S.
Understanding sinkhole-drainage capacity and functioning is critical to realizing the effects that may be created when direct-ing stormwater drainage into sinkholes. In this paper, the basics of sinkhole drainage are reviewed in terms of point vortex flow created by drainage down a sinkhole swallet. Then, several different, relatively simple sinkhole shapes are presented and mathematical models developed to simulate drainage from in-flowing water. The models emphasize the significance of drainage rate as a function of sinkhole shape and sinkhole wetted cross-sectional area relative to changes in water level and time. Model simulations provide insights into the sensitivity of sinkholes to inflow rates and water-level changes with time. Ma-jor findings include insights into the rapidity by which inflows may increase the water level in a sinkhole and the significance of sinkhole shape and cross-sectional area as it relates to sinkhole drainage rate. The numerical solution is completely general so it allows for varying inflow rates in any manner desired. Application of the model to real sinkholes should assist in the management of sinkhole-flooding problems.

OXYGEN ISOTOPES IN DIFFERENT RECESSION SUBREGIMES OF KARST SPRINGS IN THE BREZOVSK KARPATY MTS. (SLOVAKIA), 2010,
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Malk P. , Michalko J.
Karst spring hydrograph separation method based on quick iterative solution of several simple exponential and linear equations, was developed for linking small datasets of samples to various hydrologic situations. The method is based on a presumption, that a springs discharge depends on the level of aquifer saturation by groundwater, and that the same discharge reflects the same groundwater saturation (piezometric level) in the aquifer. Every spring can be described by unique sets of constant starting discharges, Q0 values, recession coefficients ? (laminar flow components in exponential equations), and ? (turbulent flow components in linear equations). Each subregime can be detected by recession curve analyses of the complete springs discharge time series. In this hydrograph separation, every measured discharge value, Qt, is then determined by a representative time, t; i.e., theoretical elapsed time t from the total maximum discharge value Qmax. The aim of the iteration process is to obtain this representative time t for each discharge. The individual flow components are calculated using the same t value. These variances in subregime discharges in a certain moment can be linked to the components analysed in the same moment, in order to obtain the end members of the theoretical mixture. This technique was developed and applied on the discharge time series of the four karstic springs in the Brezovsk Karpaty Mts. (Slovakia), built mainly by karstified Middle and Upper Triassic dolomites and limestones. Groundwater of individual springs were characterised by ?18O (SMOW) and groundwater temperature values and end members of two laminar and one turbulent subregimes were calculated. Results were based on sparsely populated datasets and manual discharge records, but represent a perspective method for future development and interpretations on limited dataset results.

Water exchange and pressure transfer between conduits and matrix and their influence on hydrodynamics of two karst aquifers with sinking streams, 2010,
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Baillycomte Vincent, Martin Jonathan B. , Jourde Hervé, , Screaton Elizabeth J. , Pistre Sé, Verin, Langston Abigail

Karst aquifers are heterogeneous media where conduits usually drain water from lower permeability volumes (matrix and fractures). For more than a century, various approaches have used flood recession curves, which integrate all hydrodynamic processes in a karst aquifer, to infer physical properties of the movement and storage of groundwater. These investigations typically only consider flow to the conduits and thus have lacked quantitative observations of how pressure transfer and water exchange between matrix and conduit during flooding could influence recession curves.

We present analyses of simultaneous discharge and water level time series of two distinctly different karst systems, one with low porosity and permeability matrix rocks in southern France, and one with high porosity and permeability matrix rocks in north-central Florida (USA). We apply simple mathematical models of flood recession using time series representations of recharge, storage, and discharge processes in the karst aquifer. We show that karst spring hydrographs can be interpreted according to pressure transfer between two distinct components of the aquifer, conduit and matrix porosity, which induce two distinct responses at the spring. Water exchange between conduits and matrix porosity successively control the flow regime at the spring. This exchange is governed by hydraulic head differences between conduits and matrix, head gradients within conduits, and the contrast of permeability between conduits and matrix. These observations have consequences for physical interpretations of recession curves and modeling of karst spring flows, particularly for the relative magnitudes of base flow and quick flow from karst springs. Finally, these results suggest that similar analyses of recession curves can be applied to karst aquifers with distinct physical characteristics utilizing well and spring hydrograph data, but information must be known about the hydrodynamics and physical properties of the aquifer before the results can be correctly interpreted.


Potential impact of a proposed railway tunnel on the karst environment: the example of Rosandra valley, Classical Karst Region, Italy-Slovenia, 2011,
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Zini Luca , Visintin Luca, Cucchi Franco, Boschin Walter

Val Rosandra is a unique geomorphological environment located on the western side of the Classical Karst Plateau (NE Italy). This deep limestone gorge is crossed by a stream that is fed by a large basin located in Slovenia. Val Rosandra is the only example of a karst river valley with surface hydrography in the Classical Karst Plateau. The torrent that crosses it digs a deep gully into the rock, rich in rapids, swirl holes, small waterfalls, enclosed meanders and basins; here, the first seepage phenomena occur, and part of the water feeds the underground aquifer.Val Rosandra is characterised by a complex structural situation. The NE slope culminates in the structure of Mt. Stena, a limestone tectonic wedge between two faults, firmly rooted in the karst platform. Both its external morphology and its caves are influenced by the structure, i.e. by the attitude of bedding planes, fault planes and master joints. Mt. Stena, in particular, hosts a comprehensive net of articulated and diversely shaped caves, basically organised on several levels. This network stretches over a total of 9,000 metres, bearing testimony to ancient geological and hydrogeological origins.The deepest areas of the system reach a suspended aquifer that is probably sustained by an overthrust and placed about 100 meters above the underground aquifer of the Rosandra torrent.A series of feasibility studies on the Trieste-Divača high-speed railway link concentrated on the potential interaction between the project and karst features. In line with the project requirements, risk of voids intersection and water contamination were analyzed as Mt. Stena’s suspended aquifer partially feeds the Rosandra torrent, which flows in a protected natural area. We therefore suggest that further investigations ought to be performed to integrate the existing knowledge on karst and on the hydrogeological aspects of the massif.


The significance of turbulent flow representation in single-continuum models, 2011,
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Reimann T. , Rehrl C. , Shoemaker W. B. , Geyer T. , Birk S.

Karst aquifers evolve where the dissolution of soluble rocks causes the enlargement of discrete pathways along fractures or bedding planes, thus creating highly conductive solution conduits. To identify general interrelations between hydrogeological conditions and the properties of the evolving conduit systems the aperture-size frequency distributions resulting from generic models of conduit evolution are analysed. For this purpose, a process-based numerical model coupling flow and rock dissolution is employed. Initial protoconduits are represented by tubes with log-normally distributed aperture sizes with a mean ?0 = 0.5 mm for the logarithm of the diameters. Apertures are spatially uncorrelated and widen up to the metre range due to dissolution by chemically aggressive waters. Several examples of conduit development are examined focussing on influences of the initial heterogeneity and the available amount of recharge. If the available recharge is sufficiently high the evolving conduits compete for flow and those with large apertures and high hydraulic gradients attract more and more water. As a consequence, the positive feedback between increasing flow and dissolution causes the breakthrough of a conduit pathway connecting the recharge and discharge sides of the modelling domain. Under these competitive flow conditions dynamically stable bimodal aperture distributions are found to evolve, i.e. a certain percentage of tubes continues to be enlarged while the remaining tubes stay small-sized. The percentage of strongly widened tubes is found to be independent of the breakthrough time and decreases with increasing heterogeneity of the initial apertures and decreasing amount of available water. If the competition for flow is suppressed because the availability of water is strongly limited breakthrough of a conduit pathway is inhibited and the conduit pathways widen very slowly. The resulting aperture distributions are found to be unimodal covering some orders of magnitudes in size. Under these suppressed flow conditions the entire range of apertures continues to be enlarged. Hence, the number of tubes reaching aperture sizes in the order of centimetres or decimetres continues to increase with time and in the long term may exceed the number of large-sized tubes evolving under competitive flow conditions. This suggests that conduit development under suppressed flow conditions may significantly enhance the permeability of the formation, e.g. in deep-seated carbonate settings.


Assessing copepod (Crustacea: Copepoda) species richness at different spatial scales in northwestern Romanian caves, 2011,
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Ioana N. Meleg, Frank Fiers, Oana Moldovan

The aim of the present study was to assess copepod species richness in groundwater habitats from the Pădurea Craiului Mountains, Transylvania (northwestern Romania). Five species richness estimators (one asymptotic, based on species accumulation curves, and four non-parametric) were compared by testing their performances in estimating copepod species richness at three hierarchical spatial scales: cave, hydrographic basin, and karstic massif. Both epigean and hypogean species were taken in account. Two data sets were used in computing copepod species richness: 1. samples collected continuously during one year (dripping water) and seven months (pools) from five caves, and 2. samples collected from pools in twelve additional caves (data gathered from literature). Differences in copepod species richness among caves and hydrographic basins suggest that local environmental features are important in determining local species richness trends.


Hydrogeology of Karst Aquifers, 2012,
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White, William B.

Karst aquifers are those in which caves or conduits form an important part of the flow path. Conduit permeability ranges from pipe-like openings greater than one centimeter in aperture to caves many meters in aperture. Recharge to karst aquifers comes from sinking streams, from dispersed infiltration through the epikarst, to storm runoff and into sinkholes. Discharge from karst aquifers is through large springs. Spring discharge tends to respond rapidly to storm flow. Groundwater moves through conduits in turbulent flow and typically carries a sediment load during storm runoff.


Springs, 2012,
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White, William B.

Springs are localized points where groundwater returns to surface routes. Karst springs drains integrated conduit and fracture networks and often have very high discharges. Most spring waters have temperatures very close to local seasonal averages but some waters rise from depths and produce thermal springs. Spring discharges tend to respond rapidly to storm recharge. The hydrographs of springs can be analyzed to provide information on the conduit system that feeds the spring. Karst springs are highly vulnerable to contamination from surface sources. Great caution must be exercised before using karst springs as water supplies.


Karst aquifer draining during dry periods, 2012,
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Fiorillo F. , Revellino P. , Ventafridda G.

We analyzed hydrographs of five karst springs in southern Italy during the recession period using ten continuous years of daily discharge measurements and provided conclusions on the aquifer behavior under dry periods and droughts. A straight line was fitted to a semilogarithmic plot (log-discharge versus time), and the recession coefficient (the slope of the line generated from the equation) was calculated for each spring and for each year considered. A deviation from the straight line produced by a simple exponential decay of discharge through time provides information on the actual emptying rate of the aquifer compared to a simple exponential decline. If the recession coefficient decreases or increases, the aquifer is empting more slowly or more quickly than expected, respectively. Water level of a monitored well inside the karst catchment was also assessed and provided information on the water distribution into aquifers. The results describe the hydraulic behavior of karst aquifers during their emptying and provide information for better management of karst springs.


Environmental Hydrogeological Study of Louros watershed, Epirus, Greece, 2012,
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Konstantina Katsanou

The present study aims to describe and characterize the Ionian zone karst formation concerning the karstification grade of carbonate formations and the development of aquifers, through the hydrogeological study of Louros River drainage basin, considering hydrological, hydrogeological and meteorological data, as well as major, trace element, rare earth element and isotope concentrations. It also aims to investigate basic karst properties such as storativity, homogeneity, infiltration coefficients and the parameters of the Louros basin hydrological balance.

To accomplish this aim daily discharge measurements obtained from Public Power Corporation at the Pantanassa station during the years 1956-1957, along with random discharge measurements from 15 springs along the basin performed by IGME between the years 1979-1989, daily meteorological data from 18 stations and 18 sets of potentiometric surface measurements from 38 sites were compiled. Additionally, chemical analyses on major and trace element concentrations of 42 rock samples and of five sets of water samples from 64 sampling sites, along with fourteen sets of successive periods in order to study the seasonal variation in the chemical composition of 11 springs and REE concentrations of 116 water samples. Moreover isotope ratios from 129 rain samples collected at five different altitudes, 331 samples of surface and groundwater samples, radon measurements on 21 groundwater samples and microbiological on 46 samples of surface and groundwater were evaluated. Daily runoff and random spring discharge missing data were completed applying the SAC-SMA and MODKARST simulation algorithms and the values of these parameters for the duration of the research (2008-2010) were predicted. The accuracy of the predicted values was tested applying statistical methods but also against observed values from in situ measurements performed during the same period (2008-2010).

Louros River drainage basin is located at the southern part of Epirus and covers an area of 953 km2. It is elongated and together with the adjacent basin of River Arachthos they constitute the major hydrographic systems discharging in the Amvrakikos Gulf. The main morphological features of the basin are elongated mountain ranges and narrow valleys, which are the result of tectonic and other geological processes mainly controlled by the limestone-“flysch” alternations. The length of the river’s major channel, which is parallel to the major folding direction (NNW-SSE), is 73.5 km. The mountainous part of the hydrogeological basin covers an area of 400 km2 and its endpoint was set at the Pantanassa station, where discharge measurements are performed. The underground limits of the basin coincides with the surface one, defined by the flysch outcrops at the western margin of the Ziros-Zalongo fault zone to the South, the application of isotope determinations and hydraulic load distribution maps at the North and East.

Geologically, Louros River drainage basin is composed of the Ionian zone formations. Triassic evaporites constitute the base of the zone overlain by a thick sequence of carbonate and clastic sedimentary rocks deposited from the Late Triassic to the Upper Eocene. In more detail, from base to top, the lithostratigraphical column of the zone includes dolomite and dolomitic limestone, Pantokrator limestone, Ammonitico Rosso, Posidonia Shales, Vigla limestone, Upper Senonian limestone, Palaeocene-Eocene limestone and Oligocene “flysch”. The major tectonic features of the regions are folds with their axes trending SW-NE at the northern part and NNW-SSE to NNE-SSW southern of the Mousiotitsa-Episkopiko-Petrovouni fault system and the strike-slip fault systems of Ziros and Petousi.

The evaluation of the daily meteorological data revealed that December is the most humid month of the year followed by January, whereas July and August are the driest months. Approximately 40-45% of the annual precipitation is distributed during the winter time and 30% during autumn. The mean annual precipitation ranges from 897.4 to 2051.8 mm and the precipitation altitude relationship suggests an increased precipitation with altitude at a rate of 84 mm/100 m. The maximum temperature is recorded during August and it may reach 40°C and the minimum during January. The temperature variation with the altitude is calculated at 0.61°C/100 m. The maximum solarity time is 377.8 h, recorded during July at the Arta station. December displays the highest relative humidity with a value of 84.2% recorded again at the Arta station. The highest wind velocity values are recorded at the Preveza station and similar velocities are also recorded at the Ioannina station. The real evapotranspiration in Louros drainage basin ranges between 27-39%. The potential evapotranspiration was calculated from the Ioannina station meteorological data, which are considered more representative for Louros basin, at 785.8 mm of precipitation according to Thornthwaite and at 722.0 mm according to Penman-Monteith.

According to the SAC-SMA algorithm the total discharge (surficial and underground) for the years 2008-2010 ranges between 61-73% of the total precipitation. The algorithm simulates the vertical percolation of rainwater in both unsaturated and saturated zones taking into account 15 parameters including the tension water capacity of the unsaturated zone, the maximum water storage capacity of both unsaturated and saturated zones, the water amount escaping into deeper horizons and not recorded at the basin’s outlet, the percentage of impermeable ground which is responsible for instant runoff, etc. These parameters are correlated to the hydrograph and are recalculated according to it. Two interesting aspects were pointed out from the discharge measurements and the algorithm application. The first is related to the maximum amount of free water, which can be stored at the basic flow of the karstic system, which is very high for the whole basin, reaching 1200 mm of precipitation and the second is the amount of water filtered to the deeper horizons, which reaches 0.098.

The discharge of individual karstic units was simulated applying the specialized MODKARST code. The code, which transforms precipitation to discharge resolving mathematical equations of non-linear flow using the mass and energy balance, successfully completed the time series of available data of spring discharge measurements for the period between the years 2008-2010.

Additionally, a number of useful parameters including spring recharge, delay period between precipitation and discharge, the storage capacity of the discharge area were also calculated by the MODKARST code. These data enabled the calculation of the annual infiltration coefficient for each one of the 15 springs and for the whole basin; the latter was found to range between 38-50% of annual precipitation. The total supply area was estimated approximately at 395 km2, which is consistent with the area of Louros hydrogeological basin calculated from hydrogeological data.

The 18 sets of water table measurements, each one corresponding to a different period, revealed that the aquifers of the intermediate part of Louros basin, which are developed in Quaternary alluvial sediments, are laterally connected to the carbonate formations of the individual karstic spring units, forming a common aquifer with a common water table.

Groundwater flow follows a general N-S direction from the topographic highs to the coastal area with local minor shifts to NE-SW and NW-SE directions. The artificial lake at the position of the Public Power Corporation’s Dam at the south of the region is directly connected to the aquifer and plays an important role in water-level variation. The water table contours display a higher gradient to the southern part due to the decreased hydraulic conductivity of the limestones close to Agios Georgios village. The decreased hydraulic conductivity is believed to be the reason for the development of the homonymous spring although the hydraulic load distributions suggest the extension of the aquifer to the south and a relation to the water level in Ziros Lake, boreholes and the Priala springs. The hydraulic gradient in the broader region ranges between 4-16‰. The absolute water level variation between dry and humid season ranges from 2 m at the South to 15-20 m to the North with an average of 9 m.

The hydrological balance of Louros River mountainous basin according to the aforementioned data is calculated as follows: The total precipitation between the years 2008-2010 ranged between 5.67E+08-9.8E+08 m3 and the discharge at Pantanassa site between 3.47E+08-6.83E+08 m3. The real evapotransiration ranged between 29-39% of the precipitation. The total discharge (runoff and groundwater) accounted for 61-73% of the precipitation, whereas the basic flow due to the percolation ranged between 34-38%. Considering a mean water level variation of 9 m, between the dry and humid season, the water amount constituting the local storage is 2025Ε+07 m3.

Statistical evaluation on spring discharge data and the recession curves analysis revealed three distinct levels with diverse karstic weathering along Louros basin coinciding to the upper, intermediate and low flow of Louros River, respectively. The developed karstic units are generally complex but simple individual units develop as well. The response of spring discharge to the stored water amounts is immediate but with relatively large duration suggesting the storage of large quantities of water and a well-developed system of karstic conduits, which however has not yet met its complete evolution. The karst spring’s units are homogeneous and each one is distinguished from different recession coefficients.

The three levels of flow are also distinguished from the duration curves, which point to individual units upstream, complex units receiving and transmitting water to the adjacent ones in the middle part and complex that only receive water from the upper. This distinguishment is also enhanced by the groundwater’s major ion concentrations, which reveal Ca-HCO3 water-type upstream, along with the isotopic composition at the same part. The prevalent Ca-HCO3-Cl-SO4 water-type in the middle part, the Na-Ca-Cl-SO4 water-type downstream and isotope variation confirms this distinguishment. Moreover, REE variation is also consistent with the three levels. The assumption of relatively large stored water reserves, which contribute to analogous “memory” of spring karstic units, as pointed out by autocorreletion functions is enhanced from SAC-SMA algorithm which premises an increased capacity at the lower zone of basic flow, as well as from the hydrochemical and isotopic composition of groundwater. Monitoring of the seasonal variation in groundwater composition revealed minor variations of hydrochemical parameters and remarkably stable isotopic composition. Both aspects can be explained by the existence of a considerable water body acting as a retarder to external changes.

The crosscorrelation functions suggest a well-developed karstic system, which however has not yet reached its complete maturity also confirmed from field observations. The same conclusion is extracted from the homogeneous evolution at the interval of each karstic unit as demonstrated from recession curves on spring hydrographs.

The results from hydrochemical analyses also revealed the effect of evaporitic minerals and phosphate-rich rocks in groundwater composition and confirmed the hydraulic relationships between surface and groundwater.

The study of the isotopic composition also contributed to exclude the potential connection between the Ioannina and Louros basins, confirmed the meteoric origin of groundwater and revealed the effect of seawater in the chemical composition of few sampling sites.

The microbiological research only revealed minor incidents of contamination and significant attenuation of microorganisms during periods of high discharge.


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,
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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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