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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 hydrometric station is a station at which there usually are a number of hydrometric measurements being performed [16].?

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


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Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
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Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for exchange (Keyword) returned 132 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 132
Geochemical evolution of a karst stream in Devils Icebox Cave, Missouri, USA, 1997,
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Wicks Carol M. , Engeln Joseph F. ,
A 3.7 km flowpath along the main stream channel in Devils Icebox Cave, Boone County, Missouri, was sampled on 23 January, 23 March and 18 September 1994. In January 1994, the water was oversaturated with respect to both calcite and dolomite, and only minor compositional changes were observed along the flowpath. In March 1994, the water was oversaturated with respect to calcite but undersaturated with respect to dolomite. Using a mass-balance approach, the composition of the stream water at downstream locations was predicted by dissolution of dolomite (a maximum of 0.16 mmol s-1) and by a minor amount of calcite precipitation (a maximum of 0.03 mmol s-1). In September 1994, there were increases in the Mg, Ca, and total inorganic carbon (TIC) mass fluxes that were due to the dissolution of dolomite (SIdolomiteSI is saturation index) and calcite (SIcalcite2 of the water should decrease downstream; however, we found an increase in the partial pressure of CO2 along the stream. The source of this additional CO2 is thought to be microbial degradation of bat guano. The decomposition of bat guano appeared to change the composition of the stream water during the period the bats are in the cave, and this change was reflected in the composition of the stream water collected in September 1994. Based on the length of the flowpath and on the average velocity of the water along the flowpath, the travel time of water in this karst stream is less than 4 days. The reactions that control the chemistry of the karst water must be those with equally short characteristic times: the dissolution of dolomite and calcite, CO2 exchange, and microbial degradation of organic matter

CO2 exchange of the endolithic lichen Verrucaria baldensis from karst habitats in northern Italy, 1997,
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Tretiach M. , Geletti A. ,

Modelling groundwater flow in a karst terrane using discrete and double-continuum approaches - importance of spatial and temporal distribution of recharge., 1997,
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Mohrlok U. , Sauter M.
Groundwater flow had been modelled in the karst catchment area 'Gallusquelle' (Swabian Alb, SW-Germany) using two different types of modelling approaches. The discrete and the double-continuum model differ in their respective representation of the conduit network and the formulation of the exchange flux of groundwater between fissured system and conduits. In the case of the discrete ipproach this exchange is determined by local hydraulic properties adjacent to the conduits. The double-continuum approach represents this exchange using a 'steady state', lumped parameter. As a result of this fundamental difference between the two approaches, the temporal distribution as well as the percentual allocation of groundwater recharge to conduits and fissured system plays a major role in (the respective model calibration

River water intrusion to the unconfined Floridan Aquifer, 1998,
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Kincaid Todd R. ,
Rapid infiltration of river water into unconfined parts of the Floridan aquifer represents a significant component of subsequent ground-water discharge in regions where the aquifer is dissected by surface streams. A two-year investigation of the Devil's Ear cave system, an extensive saturated conduit network in the Floridan aquifer which underlies a 1.5-km reach of the Santa Fe River in north-central Florida, revealed that there is an appreciable and rapid exchange of water between the river and the underlying Floridan aquifer. Natural tracers Radon-222 ( 222 Rn) and delta 18 O were used to quantify these exchanges. Cave diving was employed to collect 50 water samples which were analyzed for tracer content and to observe water clarity conditions within the saturated karst conduits as far as 1.2 km from the cave entrance. 222 Rn concentrations measured in the cave system revealed three distinct zones where river water is rapidly intruded into the Floridan aquifer. A two-component mixing model was used to quantify the intruded river water that was found to account for as much as 62 percent of the discharge at Devil's Ear spring. Observations of diminished water clarity in the cave system following large precipitation events in the highland provinces of the Santa Fe River basin indicate that river water intrusion to the aquifer can occur in as little as one or two days. The results of this investigation imply that, in regions such as the western Santa Fe River basin, there can be no clear distinction between ground and surface waters and intruded river water provides a significant vehicle for contamination of the unconfined Floridan aquifer

Contribution to knowledge of gypsum karstology, PhD thesis, 1998,
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Calaforra Chordi, J. M.

The objective of this study was not to establish a definitive judgement regarding a topic for which very little previous information was available, but rather to open new routes for research into karst by means of a particularized analysis of some of the factors involved in the speleogenesis of gypsiferous materials. The main obstacle to the attainment of this goal has been the scientific community's lack of interest in karst in gypsum, particularly in our country, until the nineteen eighties. To overcome this neglect it was decided, in my opinion quite correctly, to extend the bounds of the study as far as possible, so that the information obtained from the contrast found between the most important worldwide zones of karst in gypsum could be applied to the gypsiferous karst in our country, and in particular, to the most significant, the karst in gypsum of Sorbas.
This is the justification for the numerous references in the text to the gypsiferous karst and cavities in gypsum that are most relevant in Spain (Sorbas, Gobantes, Vallada, Archidona, Estremera, Baena, the Ebro Basin, Estella, Beuda, Borreda, etc.) and also to the best-known gypsiferous karsts worldwide (Podolia, Secchia, Venna del Gesso Romagnolo, Sicily and New Mexico). By means of these comparisons, the initial lack of information has been overcome.
The study is based on three central tenets, which are interrelated and make up the first three chapters of this report. The first consideration was to attempt to characterize the particular typology of gypsiferous karst from the geological (both stratigraphic and structural) point of view. This chapter also provides an introduction to each of the gypsiferous karsts examined. The second chapter is dedicated to the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst, under both superficial and subterranean aspects. It is important to note that the study of a gypsiferous karst from the speleological point of view is something that may seem somewhat unusual; however, this is one of the points of principle of this paper, the attempt to recover the true meaning of a word that has historically been unfairly condemned by a large part of the Spanish scientific community. Thirdly, a detailed study has been made of the hydrochemistry of the most important gypsiferous karsts in our region, together with the presentation of a specific analytical methodology for the treatment of the hydrochemical data applicable to the gypsiferous karst.
Geological characterization of gypsum karst
In the characterization of karst in gypsum, the intention was to cover virtually all the possibilities from the stratigraphic and structural standpoints. Thus, there is a description of widely varying gypsiferous karsts, made up of Triassic to Miocene materials, some with a complex tectonic configuration and others hardly affected by folding. The gypsiferous karsts described, and their most significant geological characteristics, are as follows:
Karst in gypsum at Sorbas (Almeria): composed of Miocene gypsiferous levels with the essential characteristic of very continuous marly interstrata between the layers of gypsum, which decisively affect the speleogenesis of the area. The gypsum layers have an average thickness of about 10 m and, together with the fracturing in the zone, determine the development of the gypsiferous cavities. These are mainly selenitic gypsum - occasionally with a crystal size of over 2 m - and their texture also has a geomorphologic and hydrogeologic influence. This area is little affected by folding and so the tectonic influence of speleogenesis is reduced to the configuration of the fracturing.
The Triassic of Antequera (Malaga): this is, fundamentally, the gypsiferous outcrop at Gobantes-Meliones, originating in the Triassic and located within the well-known "Trias" of Antequera. It is made up of very chaotic gypsiferous materials containing a large quantity of heterometric blocks of varied composition; the formation may be defined as a Miocene olitostromic gypsiferous breccia that is affected by important diapiric phenomena. The presence of hypersoluble salts at depth is significant in the modification of the hydrochemical characteristics of the water and in the speleogenetic development of the karst.
The Triassic of Vallada (Valencia): Triassic materials outcrop in the Vallada area; these mainly correspond to the K5 and K4 formations of the Valencia Group, massive gypsum and gypsiferous clays. The influence of dolomitic intercalations in the sequence is crucial to the speleogenesis of the area and this, together with intense tectonic activity, has led to the development in this sector of the deepest gypsiferous cavity in the world: the "Tunel dels Sumidors". As in the above case, the presence of hypersoluble salts at depth and the varied lithology influence the variations in the hydrodynamics and hydrochemistry of the gypsiferous aquifer.
Other Spanish gypsum karsts: this heading covers a group of gypsiferous areas and cavities of significant interest from the speleogenetic standpoint. They include the area of Estremera (Madrid), with Miocene gypsiferous clays and massive gypsum arranged along a large horizontal layer; this has produced the development of the only gypsiferous cavity in Spain with maze configuration, the Pedro Fernandez cave. The study of this cave has important hydrogeological implications with respect to speleogenesis in gypsum in phreatic conditions. The Baena (Cordoba) sector, in terms of its lithology, is comparable to the "Trias de Antequera". Here, the cavities developed in gypsiferous conglomerates, following structural discontinuities have enabled contact between carbonate and gypsiferous levels, and so we may speak of a mixed karstification: a karst in calcareous rocks and gypsum. The karst of Archidona (Malaga) is similar to that of the Gobantes-Meliones group and is significant because of the geomorphologic evolution of the karst, which is related to the diapiric ascent of the area and the formation of karstic ravines. The karst in the Miocene and Oligocene gypsum of the Ebro Basin (Zaragoza), has been taken as a characteristic example of a gypsiferous karst developed under an alluvial cover, with the corresponding geomorphological implications in the evolution of the surface landforms. In the gypsiferous area of Borreda (Barcelona), the presence of anhydritic levels in the sequence might have influenced the speleogenesis of its cavities. The cavity of La Mosquera, in Beuda (Girona), developed in massive Paleogene gypsum. This is the only Spanish example of a phreatic gypsiferous cavity developed in saccaroid gypsum, which is related to the particular subterranean morphology discovered. Finally, this group includes other Spanish gypsiferous outcrops visited during the preparation of this report, the references to which may be found in the relevant chapters.
Karst in gypsum in Europe and America: In order to complete the study of karst in gypsum, and with the idea of using all the available data on the karstology of gypsiferous materials for comparative studies of data for our country, a complementary activity was to define the most significant geological characteristics of the most important gypsiferous karsts in the world. An outstanding example is the gypsiferous karst at Podolia (Ukraine), developed in microcrystalline Miocene gypsum which has undergone block tectonics related to the collapse of the Precarpatic foredeep. This gypsum provides interesting data on speleogenesis in gypsiferous materials, as its evolution is related to the confining of the only gypsiferous stratum (of 10 to 20 m depth) producing interconnected labyrinthine galleries of over 100 km in length. Another well-known karst in gypsum is the one located at "Venna del Gesso Romagnolo" (Italy), in the Bologna region, with a lithology that is very similar to that which developed at Sorbas, but with the difference that it underwent more intense tectonics with folding and fracturing of the Tertiary sediments of the Po basin. In the same Italian province, in "L'alta Val di Sec-chia", there are outcrops of karstified Triassic materials which correspond to the formation of Burano, composed of gypsum and anhydrite with hypersoluble salts at depth and very notable diapiric phenomena. The study of this area has been used for a comparative analysis - geomorphology and hydrogeochemistry - with the Spanish gypsiferous karsts developed in Triassic levels. The third Italian gypsiferous karst to be considered is the one developed in Sicily, which has extensive Messinian outcrops of microcrystalline and selenitic gypsum as well as a great variety of lithologic types within the gypsiferous sequence, which we term the "gessoso solfifera" sequence. This gypsiferous karst is especially interesting from the geomorphologic standpoint due to the great quantity and variety of present superficial karstic forms. This has also served as a guide for the study of Spanish gypsiferous karsts. Finally, considering the relation between climatology and the development of karstic forms, we have also studied the karst in gypsum in New Mexico, where there is an extensive outcrop of Permian gypsum, both micro and macrocrystalline, situated on a large platform almost unaffected by deformation, and where the conditions of aridity are very similar to those found in the gypsiferous karst of Sorbas.
Geomorphological characterization of gypsum karst
From the geomorphological standpoint, the intention is to give an overview of the great variety of karstic forms developed in gypsum, traditionally considered less important than those developed in carbonate areas. This report shows this is not the case.
The theory of Convergence of Forms has been shown to be an efficient tool for the study of the morphology of karst in gypsum. Here, its principles have been used to provide genetic explanations for various gypsiferous forms derived from carbonate studies, and for the reverse case. In fact, studying a karst in gypsum is like having available a geomorphological laboratory where not only are the processes faster but they are also applicable to the karstology of carbonate rocks.
A large number of minor karstic forms (Karren) have been identified. The most important factors conditioning their formation are the texture of the rock, climatology and the presence of overlying deposits. The first, particularly, is largely responsible for determining the abundance of certain forms with respect to others. Thus, Rillenkarren, Trittkarren and small "kamenitzas" are more frequently found in microcrystalline and sandstone gypsum (for example, karst in gypsum in Sicily (Italy) and Va-llada (Valencia, Spain). Others seem to be more exclusive to selenitic gypsum, such as exfoliation microkarren, or are closely related to the climatology of the area (Spitzkarren develops from the alteration of gypsum in semiarid conditions). Others are related either to the presence of developed soil cover (Rundkarren, using Convergence of Forms), or to their specific situation (candelas and Wallkarren around dolines and sinkholes) or to the microtexture of the gypsum and the orientation of the 010 and 111 crystalline planes and twinning planes for the development of nanokarren.
The tumuli are the most peculiar forms of the Sorbas karst in gypsum, though they have also been identified in other gypsiferous karsts (Bolonia, New Mexico, Vallada, etc.). These are subcircular domes of the most superficial layer of the gypsum. Their formation has been related to processes of precipitation-solution and of capillary movement through the gypsiferous matrix. Their extensive development is largely determined by the climatology of the area and by the structural organization. It is therefore clear that the best examples are found in the karst of Sorbas due to the abrupt changes in temperature and humidity that occur in a semiarid climate, and because of the horizontality of the gypsiferous sequence.
Karst in gypsum and its larger exokarstic forms, apart from being climatically determined, also depend on the structural state and lithological determinants of the area. Thus, it is possible to differentiate between gypsiferous karsts where the lithology, together with erosive breakup, is more important (Sorbas and New Mexico) and others where confining hydraulic conditions persist (Estremera and Podolia). In other cases, tectonics has played a significant modelling role, and there is a clear possibility of an inversion of the relief (Bolonia or Sicily) or of the effect of diapiric processes (Secchia, Vallada, Antequera). The typological diversity of the dolines is obviously also related to these premisses. Another example is the relation existing between carbonate precipitation and gypsum solution, as evidenced in contrasting examples (Bolonia versus Sorbas).
Subterranean karstic forms have been examined from a double perspective: the morphology of the passages and the mineralization within the cavities. With respect to the former, a noteworthy example is the interstratification karst of Sorbas, where subterranean channels have developed during two well-differentiated phases, the phreatic and the vadose. The first was responsible for the formation of the small proto-galleries, currently relicts that are observable as false dome channels in the bottom of the gypsiferous strata. The second, with an erosive character, enabled the breakup of the marly interstrata and the formation of the large galleries found today. Other aspects considered include the speleogenetic influence of the presence of calcareous intercalations in the gypsiferous sequence (Vallada karst), gypsiferous agglomerates (Baena karst), anhydrite (Rotgers karst), suffusion processes (Sorbas karst) and the importance of condensation.
Spelothemes in gypsiferous cavities have been approached with special concern for gypsiferous speleothemes, in particular those which, due to their genetic peculiarity or to the lack of previous knowledge about them, are most significant. Among these are gypsum balls, with phenomena of solution, detritic filling, capillarity and evaporation; gypsum hole stalagmites, where the precipitation-solution of the gypsum controlling the formation of the central orifice is related to the previous deposit of carbonate speleothemes; gypsum trays that mark the levels of maximum evaporation; gypsum dust, determined by abrupt changes in temperature and humidity in areas near the exterior of gypsiferous cavities. All of these are characteristic of, and practically exclusive to, gypsiferous karsts in semiarid ztenes such as Sorbas and New Mexico.
Karst in gypsum has been morphologically classified with reference to the previously-mentioned criteria: the presence and typology of epigean karstic forms, both macro and microform; the typology of hypogean karstic forms (passages) and the type of speleothemes within the cavities (gypsiferous or carbonate). All these variables are clearly influenced by climatology, and so a study of the geomorphology of gypsiferous karst is seen to be an efficient tool for the analysis of the paleoclimatology of an area.
Hydrogeochemical characterization of gypsum karst
The hydrogeochemical characterization of karst in gypsum was approached in two stages. The first one was intended to establish themodels to be applied to the hydrochemistry approach, while the second provided various examples of hydrochemical studies carried out in gypsiferous karsts.
The theoretical framework which has been shown to be most accurate with respect to the formulation of chemical equilibria in water related to gypsiferous karst is the Virial Theory and the Pitzer equations.
For this study, we used a simplification of these equations as far as the second virial coefficient by means of a simple, polynomial variation to obtain the equilibrium state of the water with respect to the gypsum, for an ionic strength value greater than 0.1 m and temperatures of between 0.5 and 40 "C. This was the case of the gypsiferous karsts found to be related to hypersaline water at depth (Vallada, Gobantes-Meliones, Poiano). In the remaining situations, where the ionic strength was below 0.1 m, only the theory of ionic matching was used.
The hydrochemical study of the gypsiferous karst of Gobantes-Meliones (Malaga) led to the hypothesis of the possible influence of hypersaline water on karstification in gypsum. Using theoretical examples of the mixing of water derived both from hypersaline water and from water related only to the gypsiferous karst, it was shown that above a percentage content of 0.1:0.9 of saline and sulphated water, the mixture is subsaturated with respect to gypsum and other minerals. On reaching percentages greater than 0.5:0.5, values of oversaturation are again found. This could mean that the contact between sulphated and hypersaline water is a karstification zone in gypsum at depth.
In the gypsiferous karst at Salinas-Fuente Camacho (Granada), a study has been made of the hydrochemical influence of dolomitic levels in the sequence by means of the analysis of the hydrochemical routes between hydraulically-connected points. The generic case of mass transfer in this gypsiferous aquifer implies a precipitation of calcite which is in-congruent with dolomitic solution, proving that the process of dedolomitization in gypsiferous aquifers with an abundance of dolomitic rocks can be an effective process. In situations of high salinity, with contributions of hypersaline water, the process may be inverted, such as occurs in coastal carbonate aquifers influenced by the fresh-saltwater interface.
The gypsiferous aquifer of Sorbas-Tabernas (Almeria) provides the best case of karstification in gypsum in Spain; the hydrochemical study carried out has been used as an example of karstification in gypsum completely uninfluenced by sodium-chloride facies. It is shown, from the hydrochemical similarities between the different sectors, that the uniformity of the flow from the system main spring (Los Molinos) responds to the delayed hydraulic input through the overlying post-evaporitic materials and to the pelitic intercalations of the gypsiferous sequence. The aquifer is partially semiconfined, a situation which is comparable to the onset of the karstification stage, while the area of the Sorbas karst, strictly speaking, bears no hydriaulic relation to the rest of the system, behaving like a free aquifer intrinsically related to the epikarstic zone. This fact is demonstrated by the hydrochemical differences between the main spring and those related to gypsiferous cavities.
Apart from the general study of the Sorbas-Tabemas aquifer, a study was also made of the hydrochemical-time variations within cavities, and in particular within the Cueva del Agua, where it is possible to observe particular processes affecting karstification in gypsum, such as the precipitation of carbonates on the floor of the cavity which produce, in that area, a greater solution of gypsum (the phenomenon of hyperkarstification). Furthermore, the temporal evolution of the chemistry of the cavity, along 800 m of subterranean flow through its interior, shows the existence of inertial sectors where the variations were less abrupt. Only in the case of particular sectors, related to sporadic hydriaulic contributions or to the proximity to points of access., was a notable seasonal influence detected.
A similar hydrochemical study was carried out in the karst of Vallada (Valencia), along the cavity of the Tunel dels Sumidors. The chemistry here was compared with that of the springs of Brolladors (whose water rapidly infiltrates into the cavity) and Saraella (a saline resurgence of the whole system). Unexpected increases in the ionic content of certain salts (sulphates and chlorides) were detected during periods of increased flow; these were interpreted as the effect of the recharging of the Saraella spring arising from the immediate contribution of rapidly circulating sulfated water coming from the cavity and the subsequent mobilization of interstitial water with an ionic content higher than the characteristic level of the spring.
We present as a hypothesis the idea that, in addition to the hydrogeochemical processes described that can affect the evolution of a gypsiferous karst, the processes of sulphate reduction also influence karstification in gypsum, at least during the earliest stages. Some examples such as the presence of gypsum with abundant organic matter reprecipitated into phreatic channels (Sorbas) or veins of sulphur related to gypsiferous karsts (Podolia, Sicily) lend support to this idea.
Studies of the solution-erosion of gypsum have been performed by physical methods (tablets and M.E.M.) showing that the solution-erosion of gypsum within cavities is minimal (0.03 mm/ year) compared to that existing in the exterior (0.3 mm/year). The speleogenetic effect of condensation within the cavities has also been shown, with solution-erosion rates of 0.005 mm/year to be like the equivalent surface lowering. These data correspond to the karst in gypsum at Sorbas, where, additionally, a study about the time variation of the solution-erosion was carried out. It was found that the process is not continuous but clearly sporadic. During periods of torrential rain, the solution-erosion ranges from a weight loss of 400 mg/cm2/year on the surface of the karst to 75 mg/cm2/year inside the caves, while during the rest of the year the weight loss was barely 1 mg/cm2/year. The physical methods were compared with the results obtained from chemical methods, and it was found that, in general, higher values were obtained with the former (10-20% higher when weighted for the rainfall during the measuring periods). Thus it is reasonable to consider that the erosive process is more marked than was at first assumed.
In total, three cavity tracing experiments were carried out, all with fluoresceine, two of them in Cueva del Agua in Sorbas (during periods of high and low water levels) and the other in Tunel dels Sumidors in Vallada. At the first site, the comparison of the two tracing tests reveals a differential hydrodynamic behaviour of the cavity for the two contrasting situations; periods of high water input and periods of low rainfall. This behaviour is characteristic of well developed karstic aquifers, where the hydrodynamic effect of the circulation of water through small channels or, in this case, through the gypsiferous matrix and interbedded marly layers, seems to be more important under conditions of low hydraulic input than when rainfall is abundant. The two situations tested seem to confirm that the Cueva del Agua system, an epikarstic aquifer, which is representative of karstification in gypsum, has scarce retentive power and so large volumes of precipitation are totally discharged via the spring within a few days. However, the explanation of the small but continuous flow from the base of the cavity requires the inclusion of other factors in the interpretation. In this case, the flow seems to be fairly independent of rainfall and attributable to other processes, in addition to the previously described ones, such as the retentive power of the gypsiferous matrix and the marly interstrata. These might include the high degree of condensation measured over long periods, both on the surface of the karst in gypsum and within the cavities. In the case of the Tunel dels Sumidors, a highly irregular response was found, despite the fact that the coefficient of dispersivity was found to be 0.4. This value is similar to that obtained for the karst in gypsum at Sorbas in response to low water conditions, and so, here too, one might assume the influence of greater than expected flow-retaining processes, between the entry and exit points. Doubtless the karstic system of the Tunel dels Sumidors is more complex than was initially expected and in fact, the irregularity reflected by the fluoresceine concentration curve over time implies the existence of other factors to explain the diversity of the relative maxima obtained. Firstly, the presence of numerous Triassic clay intercalations might delay the flow, in addition to retaining a certain quantity of fluoresceine by ionic exchange. There is also a possibility that the flow is dispersed through a network of small conduits and pores, due to the permeability of the gypsiferous matrix. Finally, we cannot discount the possible existence of a deep-level input which, in this case, would be responsible for the variation in the flow and the chemical composition. This set of suppositions, as a whole, would explain the fact that the response of the spring to tracing is so irregular, even though we cannot achieve a definition of the qualitative influence of each one on the hydrodynamics of the system.
In order to verify some of the above hypotheses, particularly those referring to the process of condensation within cavities, an experiment was designed, consisting of a microtracing test at some points where condensation had been detected within the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas. The test produced a range of condensation flow speed values of 0.2 to 30 cm/hour and shows that, in those sections where the presence of condensation flow is visually apparent, there is a rapid dispersion of the colourant. However, it also shows that at points where there is no apparent condensation the process also occurs, but at a lower rate of efficiency. The importance of condensation within cavities has two aspects; firstly, speleogenetic, with the development of solution forms (cupolas) and deposit forms (capillarity boxwork); and secondly, hydrogeological, as this is the reason why certain processes (strong changes in temperature and humidity, multiple routes of airflow exchange with the exterior) may in themselves constitute a hydraulic contribution, of slight importance, but sufficient to explain a large part of the base flow (0.2 - 0.8 L/s) of a whole cavity system such as the Cueva del Agua in semiarid conditions.
With the intention of completing the analyses carried out in various karsts in gypsum, instruments were installed in the Cueva del Agua at Sorbas to measure, by continuous registration, some important physico-chemical parameters that might provide additional data on the hydro-geologic behaviour of this gypsiferous karst, especially at the level of the epikarstic zone. The parameters of temperature and water conductivity were considered most important, due to their singular behaviour patterns. During the experiment there were two periods of rainfall that modified the chemistry of the cavity, one of 30 mm in two days and another of 200 mm (almost the annual total) in four days. In the second case, which was much more extreme, a very significant increase in water temperature (up to 7 °C during the initial period of high water flow) was detected, while conductivity fell. But suddenly, when the minimum conductivity was reached, the temperature dropped sharply by 6-7 °C to return to the base temperature of the cavity. Subsequently, the temperature again stabilized at about 7 °C above the data recorded during the dry period. This behaviour pattern was not detected when the rainfall was slight. The explanation for this dual behaviour observed is fundamentally based on the quantity of rainfall and on the differences between the exterior air temperature, the temperature of interstitial water and the temperature recorded in the spring during high water flow. When water temperature in the cavity during high water flow is higher than the base temperature recorded in the period immediately before, it means that the interstitial water does not mobilize. However, when at any time the two temperatures coincide, one might suppose that there might have existed a process of mobilization of the water previously resident in the rock, by a piston effect, but in the unsaturated zone. On the other hand, the temporal variations of these parameters during the months following periods of high rainfall have enabled us to detect the existence of distinct periods during the return to normal cavity conditions. By carefully examining the decrease curve of water temperature inside the cavity while conductivity regained its maximum stable value, two periods may be differentiated. The first may be termed the "inertial influence period", when the rainfall occurring removes all signs of natural variation in the cavity. Thus, the daily external influences are not clearly detectable and the curve is downward-sloping and asymptotic with no significant oscillations. In the second period, which ends with the total stabilization of the parameter at the level of the initial conditions, the asymptotic descent is seen to be affected by daily temperature variations. This is termed the "inertial recovery period", during which external variations start to have an effect on the interior of the cavity such that there is a progressive increase in the amplitude of the daily variation in water temperature, air temperature and relative humidity. This behaviour pattern of variation of these parameters during periods of high rainfall, might be extended to all karstic systems, varying only in magnitude and temporal extent.


Influence of Pedo-chemical Field on Epi-karstification in Subtropical Humid Region-Field Monitoring and Laboratory Experiment , 1998,
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Pan Genxing, Tao Yuxiang, Teng Yogzhong, Xu Shenyou, Sun Yuhua, Han Fushun

The influence of pedo-chemical conditions on epi-karstification in a karst hydrogeochemical experiment site near Guilin was studied. The dissolution of limestone, and pH, CO2, HCO3- in soil and karst water under soil cover conditions was monitored by using filter tubes containing reference rock plate, and by using portable pH meter, CO2 gas meter and Aqumerck Kit. Laboratory experiments of dissolution under different soil conditions were also conducted by using leaching cylinders. In addition, 13C tracing was carried out on the samples of plant- litter- SOM-soil CO2-spring water-travertine-rock in the karst system. Soil pH, SOM status (subsequently CO2 concentration) and Ca+2 saturation constitutes a pedo-chemical field vigorously affecting the rock dissolution. The carbon in the form of HCO3- in the spring water and of CaCO3 in the travertine was closely related with the soil CO2 gas. Thus, soil carbon through the transferring pathway of air CO2-plant carbon-SOC-soil CO2 was involved in the epi-karstification process, and interface exchange of soil Ca+2, HCO3- with karst water existed in the karst hydrogeochemical flow. A modified model for epi-karstification in the studied area was suggested.


Microclimate Study of Kartchner Caverns, Arizona, 1999,
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Buecher, R. H.
A detailed two-year study of the microclimate in Kartchner Caverns determined that the most significant problem in maintaining the microclimate of the cave is the potential for drying out due to increased airflow. Two factorsa small, hypothesized upper second entrance and a slight geothermal warming of the cavecontrol natural airflow and increase the amount and intensity of winter air exchange. The average amount of water reaching the cave is 7.9 mm/yr, only twice the amount lost by evaporation from cave surfaces. Kartchner Caverns has an average relative humidity (RH) of 99.4%. Useful measurement of RH required a dewpoint soil psychrometer rather than a sling psychrometer. Moisture loss from cave surfaces is proportional to relative humidity, and small changes in RH have a dramatic effect on evaporation from cave surfaces. A lowering of RH to 98.7% would double the evaporation rate and start to dry out the cave. The volume of air exchange in the cave was estimated from direct measurement, changes in CO2 concentration, and temperature profile models. All of these methods are consistent with a volume of 4,000 m/day entering the cave during the winter. During the summer, the direction of airflow reverses and the volume of air leaving the cave is much smaller than during the winter months. Surface air is almost always drier than cave aironly during the summer months when rain occurs does outside air contain more moisture. However, the rate of air exchange is greatly reduced during the summer, which minimizes any potential effect of increased outside moisture. Radon concentrations in the cave are high enough to be of concern for long-time employees but not for the general public. Radon222 concentrations average 90 pCi/L and radon daughters average 0.77 Working Levels (WL) in the main part of the cave. During the winter, radon levels in the Echo Passage are up to six times higher than the rest of the cave due to the passages stable microclimate and limited air movement, which greatly reduces radon removal by plateout. Natural removal by ventilation is only a minor factor in determining radon levels in the rest of the cave.

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

Determining karst transmissivities with inverse modeling and an equivalent porous media, 1999,
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Larocque M. , Banton O. , Ackerer P. , Razack M. ,
Flow simulation is difficult to implement in heterogeneous media such as karst aquifers, primarily because the structure of the rock is extremely complex and usually unknown. The aim of this study was to verify the possibility of using inverse modeling and an equivalent porous media to identify transmissivities in a slightly karstified aquifer, the La Rochefoucauld karst (Charente, France), Different simulation scenarios were tested: using two spatial discretizations with different finite-element cell sizes and using measured or interpolated heads. The inverse modeling was performed with the downscaling parameterization procedure, using a finite-element representation of bidimensional ground water flow. The inverse modeling converged satisfactorily with all scenarios: head residuals were small and spring flow rates and the river/aquifer exchanges were adequately stimulated. The scenario using small cells and measured heads generated a highly heterogeneous transmissivity field, indicating an overparameterization of the problem. The calibrated transmissivities and simulated heads of this scenario proved less reliable overall than those of the other scenarios. The use of interpolated heads generated more uniform transmissivities as a result of the head smoothing. A rotation of the initial parameter mesh showed that the scenarios using interpolated heads generate the most stable and reliable results. The scenarios with interpolated heads could therefore be used when head measurements are limited or are unevenly distributed over the aquifer. Overall, the calibrated transmissivities reproduced the entire range of transmissivities measured in the field using different methods. The results indicate that inverse modeling and an equivalent porous media can be used to determine transmissivities in a moderately karstified aquifer

Muddy waters: temporal variation in sediment discharging from a karst spring, 1999,
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Mahler B. J. , Lynch F. L. ,
Karst aquifers are capable of transporting and discharging large quantities of suspended sediment, which can have an important impact on water quality. Here we present the results of intensive monitoring of sediment discharging from a karst spring in response to two storm events, one following a wet season and the other following a dry season; we describe temporal changes in total suspended solids (TSS), mineralogy, and particle size distribution. Peak concentrations of suspended sediment coincided with changes in aqueous chemistry indicating arrival of surface water, suggesting that much of the discharging sediment had an allochthonous origin. Concentrations of suspended sediment peaked 14-16 h after rainfall, and the bulk of the sediment (approximately 1 metric ton in response to each storm) discharged within 24 h after rainfall. Filtered material included brightly colored fibers and organic matter. Suspended sediments consisted of dolomite, calcite, quartz, and clay. Proportions of each mineral constituent changed as the aquifer response to the storm progressed, indicating varying input from different sediment sources. The hydraulic response of the aquifer to precipitation was well described by changes in parameters obtained from the particle size distribution function, and corresponded to changes seen in TSS and mineralogy. Differences between storms in the quantity and mineralogy of sediment transported suggest that seasonal effects on surface sediment supply may be important. The quantity of sediment discharging and its potential to sorb and transport contaminants indicates that a mobile solid phase should be included in contaminant monitoring and contaminant transport models of karst. Temporal changes in sediment quantity and characteristics and differences between responses to the two storms, however, demonstrate that the process is not easily generalized. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Modeling of the complex karstic system in Saint-Chaptes (Gard, France): A tool for the synthesis of geological and hydrogeological data, 2000,
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Josnin J. Y. , Pistre S. , Drogue C. ,
Numerous software packages allow the efficient modeling of the hydrodynamic behaviour of aquifers in continuous media. To study pressure transfer in discontinuous media like karsts, the black-box models are restrictive and the models that consider discrete conduit networks are unsuitable for reservoir scale. We show that the utilization of a continuous media model can lead to useful results, even in the case of complex systems, but needs to be adapted to karst specificity. The problem is approached by studying a hydrogeological system located in the Mediterranean Languedoc region: the S-t-Chaptes basin. This system consists of three superposed aquifers included in four different stratigraphic series. The main aquifer is a karst formation in contact with two other karst formations that belong to different hydrogeologic systems. Considering geological data in addition to hydrological data and with the hypothesis of a relative homogenization of the karst's hydraulic behaviour on a large spatial scale for daily to monthly increments, the model that takes into account the relations with the other aquifers allows (i) a preliminary identification of the main heterogeneities inside the reservoir; (ii) the location of barriers and low-permeability zones that isolate some parts of the aquifer; (iii) the observation of a curious behaviour of the piezometric levels in the confined zones of the aquifer; and (iv) the characterization of the exchanges with the other low-volume but existing aquifers

Controls on bacterial sulphate reduction in a dual porosity aquifer system: the Lincolnshire Limestone aquifer, England, 2000,
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Bottrell Sh, Moncaster Sj, Tellam Jh, Lloyd Jw, Fisher Qj, Newton Rj,
Chemical and sulphur isotopic analyses are presented of fissure-waters and pore-waters in the deep confined zone of a dual porosity carbonate aquifer. Some of the fissure-waters show good evidence for bacterial sulphate reduction, with low concentrations of sulphide present which is strongly to moderately depleted in 34S relative to sulphate. The sulphur geochemistry is best interpreted as mixing between: (i) a reduced water with sulphide ~60[per mille sign] depleted in 34S relative to sulphate; and (ii) a sulphate-rich water from up-dip in the aquifer. In addition, sulphide oxidation occurs where sufficiently oxidizing water is drawn in by abstractions. The large isotope fractionation factor associated with the sulphidic waters is probably the result of redox cycling of sulphur with little net reduction, rather than a true kinetic fractionation factor. By contrast, pore-waters in the 'sulphate reducing zone' show little or no evidence for the effects of sulphate reduction, despite the fact that the pore-waters represent a significant reservoir of sulphate for reduction. Some pore-waters have been modified recognizably by diffusional exchange with the fissure-waters, but the aquifer matrix has not been colonized by sulphate reducing bacteria, probably because porethroats in the limestone are too small for bacteria to pass. Physical exclusion of bacteria from the aquifer matrix and limited diffusional exchange are likely to exert fundamental controls on bacterial redox processes in dual porosity aquifer systems and other systems with low permeability due to small pore interconnections

The influence of tectonic structures on karst flow patterns in karstified limestones and aquitards in the Jura Mountains, Switzerland, 2000,
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Herold T. , Jordan P. , Zwahlen F. ,
The development of karst systems is often assumed to be related to tectonic structures, i. e. joints and faults. However, detailed studies report many of these structures to be indifferent ui even obstacles to karst development. The aim of our study is to present a systematic which helps to explain or even predict whether a specific fault or joint, or a class of such structures are permeable (and therefore likely to be widened to karat conduits) or impermeable. Therefore three extended multi-tracer experiments followed by three months of monitoring were performed at some 95 springs and streams in the Eastern Jura fold-and-thrust belt. In addition, detailed mapping of tectonic and hydrogeological structures, including sinkholes and some 600 springs, has been carried out. The study area is characterised by two large anticlines, which have been affected by pre-fold normal faulting and synorogenic folding and thrusting as well as oblique reactivation of pre-existing faults. Hydrogeologically, two karst aquifers can be distinguished, the lower Mid Jurassic Hauptrogenstein (Dogger Limestone) and the upper Late Jurassic Malm Limestone. Both karst aquifers are confined and separated From each other hy impermeable layers. This study has shown that karst development and groundwater circulation is strongly controlled by tectonic structures resulting in specific meso- to macro-scale anisotropies. Fast long distance transport along fold axes in crest and limb at cas of anticlines is found to be related to extension joints resulting from synorogenic folds. Concentrated lateral drainage of water now from anticline limbs is exclusively related to pre-orogenic normal faults, which have been transtensively reactivated during folding. The same structures are also responsible for the significant groundwater exchange between the lower (inner) and upper (outer) aquifer. This water now, through otherwise impermeable layers, which is reported at several places and in both directions, is suspected to take place in porous calcite fault gouges or fault breccias. Transpressively reactivated normal faults and synorogenic reverse faults, on the other band. are found to have no influence on karst development and groundwater circulation. It is proposed that the systematic found in the Weissenstein area, i.e. that karst conduit development is mainly controlled by extensive or transtensive (reactivated) joints and faults, may also be applied to other tectonically influenced karat regions. Transpressive structures have no significant influence on karst system development and may even act as obstacles

Influence of contaminated Vistula River water on the groundwater entering the Zakrzowek limestone quarry, Cracow region, Poland, 2000,
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Motyka J. , Postawa A. ,
Chemical composition of water inflows in the Zakrzowek quarry, developed in fractured and karstified Upper Jurassic limestones, is controlled by infiltration of polluted water from the Vistula River and by infiltrating meteoric water. The river water TDS value is 2.5 g/dm(3). The quarry waters have 0.6-2.0 g/dm(3) TDS. Highly mineralised waters belong to Cl-Na type. With decreasing TDS the percentage of sulphates, calcium, magnesium and hydrocarbonates increases. This seems to result from various processes including dilution of polluted river water, leaching of aquifer rocks, and ion exchange. The transfer time of river water to the quarry is about 100-120 days. Concentration of contaminants contained in the river water declines during the migration through limestones to the quarry

Transport of free and particulate-associated bacteria in karst, 2000,
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Mahler B. J. , Personne J. C. , Lods G. F. , Drogue C. ,
Karst aquifers, because of their unique hydrogeologic characteristics, are extremely susceptible to contamination by pathogens. Here we present the results of an investigation of contamination of a karst aquifer by fecal indicator bacteria. Two wells intercepting zones with contrasting effective hydraulic conductivities, as determined by pump test, were monitored both during the dry season and in response to a rain event. Samples were also collected from the adjacent ephemeral surface stream, which is known to be impacted by an upstream wastewater treatment plant after rainfall. Whole water and suspended sediment samples were analyzed for fecal coliforms and enterococci. During the dry season, pumping over a 2-day period resulted in increases in concentrations of fecal coliforms to greater than 10,000 CFU/100 mi in the high-conductivity well; enterococci and total suspended solids also increased, to a lesser degree. Toward the end of the pumping period, as much as 50% of the fecal coliforms were associated with suspended sediment. Irrigation of an up-gradient pine plantation with primary-treated wastewater is the probable source of the bacterial contamination. Sampling after a rain event revealed the strong influence of water quality of the adjacent Terrieu Creek on the ground water. Bacterial concentrations in the wells showed a rapid response to increased concentrations in the surface water, with fecal coliform concentrations in ground water ultimately reaching 60,000 CFU/100 mi. Up to 100% of the bacteria in the ground water was associated with suspended sediment at Various times. The results of this investigation are evidence of the strong influence of surface water on ground water in karst terrain, including that of irrigation water. The large proportion of bacteria associated with particulates in the ground water has important implications for public health, as bacteria associated with particulates may be more persistent and more difficult to inactivate. The high bacterial concentrations found in both wells, despite the difference in hydraulic conductivity, demonstrates the difficulty of predicting vulnerability of individual wells to bacterial contamination in karst. The extreme temporal variability in bacterial concentrations underscores the importance of event-based monitoring of the bacterial quality of public water supplies in karst. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

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