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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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Speleology in Kazakhstan

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

New publications on hypogene speleogenesis

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

The deepest terrestrial animal

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

Caves - landscapes without light

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

Did you know?

That ferric oxide is rust; hematite (fe2o3) [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 conceptual-model (Keyword) returned 40 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 16 to 30 of 40
Deep karst conduits, flooding, and sinkholes: lessons for the aggregates industry, 2002,
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Lolcama J. L. , Cohen H. A. , Tonkin M. J. ,
Limestone aggregate quarries in deeply penetrating karst terrain are often at considerable risk of artesian inflow from groundwater or surface water channeled through the karstic aquifer. The inflow occurs through what are likely to be complex conduits that penetrate hundreds of feet into bedrock. Rates of inflow can exceed the operation's pumping capabilities proving to be uneconomic to manage over the long term. Over time, inflow rates can increase dramatically as turbulent flow through the conduit erodes its soft residual clay-rich fill. One recent investigation observed an inflow rate of more than 40,000 gpm from a surface water source. Floodwater persistently laden with sediment is an indicator of conduit washout and implies increasing inflow rates over time. Conduits carrying floodwater can exist in a variety of forms: along deeply penetrating geologic faults, joints, or following the path of preferentially eroded bedding. Preferential structural deformation along faults or bedding can enhance dissolution during subsequent interaction with groundwater. The resulting conduit may be a complex combination of many geological features, making the exploration and remediation of the pathway difficult. Sinkholes at the site can occur within several contexts. Pre-existing subsidence structures can reactivate and subside further, forming new collapse sinkholes within soil directly overlying the conduit. Cover-collapse sinkhole development can be a direct result of increasing downward groundwater velocities and subsurface erosion associated with the enlargement of a conduit. Normal operation events such as a quarry blast can also provide a significant new linkage between the groundwater and the quarry, allowing rapid drainage of the groundwater reservoir. With such drainage and erosion of karst-fill, sinkholes will develop over localized water table depressions, most significantly over enhanced permeability zones associated with fractures. Paradoxically, although the rise in quarry water level will lead to regional reduction in the hydraulic gradients, on local scales, drainage of the groundwater reservoir increases gradients and leads to the development of cover-collapse sinkholes. Recommended methods for preliminary site investigation can include a detailed review of geological literature and drilling logs to compile a conceptual model of the site. A fracture trace analysis with EM geophysics can confirm the locations of major faults and fractures. Fingerprinting of the various water sources to the quarry and the water in the quarry is an inexpensive and effective means of identifying the source and likely direction of the groundwater and surface water flow. Automated geophysical equipment on the market for performing rapid resistivity and microgravity surveys speeds up the site screening process during reconnaissance exploration for deep structure. It is recommended that mine planning fully incorporate this information so that quarry operators can take proactive measures to avoid catastrophic and costly flooding events. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Karst hydrology: recent developments and open questions, 2002,
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White W. B. ,
Karst aquifers are those that contain dissolution-generated conduits that permit the rapid transport of ground water, often in turbulent flow. The conduit system receives localized inputs from sinking surface streams and as storrn runoff through sinkholes. The conduit system interconnects with the ground water stored in fractures and in the granular permeability of the bedrock. As a conceptual framework, the basic components of karstic aquifers seem to be generally accepted. Progress in the decade of the 1990s has focused mainly on quantifying the conceptual model. The equilibrium chemistry of the limestone and dolomite dissolution has been reliably established, and there are formal models for the kinetics of dissolution. Kinetic models have been used to calculate both fracture enlargement to protoconduits (0.01-m aperture) and the enlargement of protoconduits to the size of typical cave passages. Modeling of ground water flow in karstic aquifers has been less successful. Progress has been made in the use of water budgets, tracer studies, hydrograph analysis and chemograph analysis for the characterization of karstic aquifers. Topics on which progress is needed include (a) the construction of models that describe the complete aquifer including the interactions of all components, (b) models for elastic sediment transport within the aquifer, and (c) working out processes and mechanisms for contaminant transport in karst aquifers. An optimistic assessment at the end of the millennium is that a complete model for karstic aquifers is visible on the horizon.

Geochemical methods for distinguishing surface water from groundwater in the Knox Aquifer System, 2002,
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Redwine J. C. , Howell J. R. ,
The Knox Group, a thick package of Cambro-Ordovician rocks, occurs over a wide geographic area in the southeastern US. Characteristics of the Knox Group include strong structural control on porosity and permeability, deep near-vertical solution features, great depth of water circulation, dolomite, as well as limestone, hosting the karstic features, and extreme anistropy and heterogeneity. In this study, geochemical methods were used to distinguish ambient groundwater, in the Knox aquifer from surface water, specifically, water leaking from the Logan Martin resevoir in east-central Alabama. Major cations and anions, as well as stable isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, were used to distinguish lake water from groundwater, and to determine mixed waters. Lake water and groundwater components for mixed waters were calculated, and mapped in plan view. A relatively narrow zone of mixing occurs in the vicinity of Logan Martin dam in map view, which is consistent with the hydrogological conceptual model of deep near-vertical solution-widened fractures (fissures), oriented east-norteast and to a lesser extent north-west, in a much less permeable dolomite matrix

Microgranulometric approach to a chalk karst, western Paris Basin, France, 2002,
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Lacroix M. , Rodet J. , Wang H. Q. , Laignel B. , Dupont J. P. ,
By definition, karst is the result of dissolution, and if the rock is not completely soluble, residues will remain ('acquired' particles). These insoluble residues provide a history of karstic activity and can be found in the outflows after a possible storage period in the endokarst. A direct connection, even if temporary, between the endokarst and the surface is reflected by the contribution of particles, which are referred to as 'inherited'. We have studied the chalk karsts of Haut Normandie by comparing microgranulometric spectra of suspended matter (SM), in subterranean waters and in solutions of the main surface formations (Clay-with-Flints Complex (CFC) and loess) and the Chalk dissolution products of all local stratigraphic levels. Based on these microgranulometric spectra, we propose a conceptual model for processes occurring in chalk karsts and a classification scheme for karstified systems according to how such systems deal with particles. In a 'closed' karst, the suspended matter tends to come from the Chalk itself, while in the case of an 'open' karst, the majority of suspended particles comes from surface formations. This notion of 'openness' differs from the currently used categorization into allogenic and autogenic systems, which depends upon an impermeable cover concentrating the infiltration. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved

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

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

Hydrogeological overview of the Bure plateau, Ajoie, Switzerland, 2003,
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Kovacs A. , Jeannin P. Y. ,
This study presents a hydrogeological synthesis of the most recent data from the Bure plateau in Ajoie, canton Jura, NW Switzerland. Included is a complete reappraisal of aquifer geometry and aquifer boundaries, the delineation of catchment areas based on tracing experiments, and the evaluation of the hydraulic role of different hydrostratigraphic units. Furthermore, it presents GIS-based calculations on the mean piezometric surface, the thickness of the unsaturated zone and on the thickness of the minimum and mean saturated zones. The spatial extension of the shallow karst zone is also evaluated. A coherent conceptual model and the two-dimensional steady-state combined discrete channel and continuum type numerical model of the aquifer has been constructed. The research site is 83 km(2) in area and is underlain by slightly folded layers of Mesozoic limestones and marls. The Bure plateau is dissected by normal faults, which form a succession of elongated horst and graben structures. The main aquifer consists of Maim limestones, with thicknesses varying between zero (eastern border) and 320 m (south-eastern regions). The aquifer is bounded from below by the Oxfordian Marls. The underlying sediments of Middle Jurassic age are considered to be hydraulically independent. The surface topography of the Oxfordian Marls reveals the periclinal termination of a wide anticline over the plateau and a syncline in the southern parts. The aquifer contains three marly intercalations. Tracing experiments prove that marl layers do not act as regional aquicludes. These experiments also allow for the division of the aquifer surface into several water catchments. Based on tracing tests and piezometric data a NW-SE oriented groundwater divide seems to extend in the regions of Porrentruy-Bure-Croix. Calculations of the average (matrix flow) and minimum (conduit flow) water tables indicate an extended shallow karst zone in the region of Boncourt-Buix-St-Dizier. The thickness of the saturated zone increases towards the extremities of the research site, being thickest in the South. The thickness of the unsaturated zone shows a large variation, reaching its maximum in the central areas. Numerical model calculations roughly reproduce the observed hydraulic heads and mean spring discharges, they confirm current ideas about hydraulic parameters and suggest the existence of extended karst subsystems throughout the model domain

Composite transfer functions for karst aquifers, 2003,
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Icjukic V. , Jukic D. ,
Linear transfer functions have been extensively used in hydrological studies. Generally, we support this conclusion: rainfall-runoff models based on the convolution between rainfall rates and a nonparametric transfer function (NTF) are not successful at simulating karst spring discharges during long recession periods. The tails of identified transfer functions have irregular shapes and they are not accurate physical representation of the transport through a karst system. Irregularities are the result of unavoidable errors in input and output time series and simplifications made by considering the system as linear and time invariant. This paper deals with a new form of the transfer functions for karst aquifers, the so-called composite transfer function (CTF). The CTF simulates discharges by two transfer functions adapted for the quick flow and the slow flow hydrograph component modeling. NTF is responsible for the quick flow component. The slow flow component is modeled by a parametric transfer function that is an instantaneous unit hydrograph mathematically formulated and defined from a conceptual model. By using the CTF, the irregular shape of the tail of the identified transfer function can be avoided, and the simulation of long recession periods as well as the simulation of a complete hydrograph becomes more successful. The NTF, the Nash model, the Zoch model and other similar conceptual models can be considered separately as simplified forms of the CTF. The rainfall-runoff model based on the convolution between rainfall rates and the CTF was tested on the Jadro Spring in Croatia. The results of the application are compared with the results obtained by applying NTFs independently. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved

Epikarst storage in a karst aquifer: a conceptual model based on isotopic data, Milandre test site, Switzerland, 2003,
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Perrin K. , Jeannin P. Y. , Zwahlen F. ,
The Milandre test site is a karst aquifer characterized by diffuse infiltration, a well developed conduit network, and several tributaries feeding an underground river. Field data include discharge rate measurements, stable isotopes, weekly rainfall and spring-water isotope sampling, and detailed isotope sampling during three flood events. Flood sampling was carried out at several tributaries corresponding to conduit flow, vadose flow and seepage flow. Weekly sampling showed a strong buffering of the rainfall isotopic signal at the spring. This attenuation suggests an important mixing reservoir in the system. Flood events showed highly peaking hydraulic responses but buffered rain isotope responses. These results indicate that the soil and epikarst sub-systems have an important storage capacity. A conceptual model of flow and transport in the soil and epikarst zone is proposed: Soil plays an important role in mixing due to the presence of capillary water storage. Consequently dampened concentrations reach the epikarst despite a rapid hydraulic response. The epikarst acts as the storage element and distributes water as either a base flow component or a quick flow component. When recharge exceeds a given threshold, excess infiltrated water bypasses the soil and epikarst and reaches the saturated zone as fresh flow. Based on this model, the significance of phreatic storage is thought to be limited, at least in Milandre test site. Hence the saturated zone is seen mainly as a transmissive zone through its well developed conduit network. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Physical modelling of the seawater intrusion within a karst aquifer: the case of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete), 2004,
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Arfib B, Ganoulis J,
Physical modelling of the seawater intrusion within a karst aquifer: the case of the Almyros of Heraklion (Crete). Coastal aquifers are subjected to natural seawater intrusion. Laboratory experiments were made to model the hydraulic conditions of saltwater inflow into a porous karstic conduit through which the freshwater flows. The conceptual model is based on the functioning scheme of the coastal karst system Almyros of Heraklion, Crete. The experiments show that seawater intrusion in a karst conduit can be diffuse, does not always lead to density separation of freshwater and seawater, and is not necessarily related to a conduit-network directly connected to the sea.

Divergent evolution in fluviokarst landscapes of Central Kentucky, 2004,
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Phillips J. D. , Martin L. L. , Nordberg V. G. , Andrews W. A. ,
Central Kentucky is characterized by a mixture of karst and fluvial features, typically manifested as mosaic of karst-rich/channel-poor (KRCP) and channel-rich/karst-poor (CRKP) environments. At the regional scale the location and distribution of KRCP and CRKP areas are not always systematically related to structural, lithological, topographic, or other controls. This study examines the relationship of KRCP and CRKP zones along the Kentucky River gorge area, where rapid incision in the last 1.5 million years has lowered local base levels and modified slopes on the edge of the inner bluegrass plateau. At the scale of detailed field mapping on foot within a 4 km(2) area, the development of karst and fluvial features is controlled by highly localized structural and topographic constraints, and can be related to slope changes associated with retreat of the Kentucky River gorge escarpment. A conceptual model of karst/fluvial transitions is presented, which suggests that minor, localized variations are sufficient to trigger a karst-fluvial or fluvial-karst switch when critical slope thresholds are crossed. Copyright (C) 2004 John Wiley Sons, Ltd

Identification of localised recharge and conduit flow by combined analysis of hydraulic and physico-chemical spring responses (Urenbrunnen, SW-Germany), 2004,
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Birk S, Liedl R, Sauter M,
Karst aquifers are highly vulnerable to contamination due to the rapid transport of pollutants in conduit systems. Effective strategies for the management and protection of karst aquifers, therefore, require an adequate hydrogeological characterisation of the conduit systems. In particular, the identification and characterisation of conduits transmitting rapid, localised recharge to springs is of great interest for vulnerability assessments. In this work, it is demonstrated that localised recharge and conduit flow in a karst aquifer (Urenbrunnen catchment, southwest Germany) can be characterised by jointly analysing the hydraulic and physico-chemical responses of a spring to recharge events. Conduit volumes are estimated by evaluating time lags between increases in spring discharge and associated changes in the electrical conductivity and temperature of the discharged water. These estimates are confirmed by the results of a combined tracer and recharge test. Variations in electrical conductivity are also shown to assist in the quantification of the fast recharge component associated with short-term recharge pulses. However, spectral analysis of temperature fluctuations reveals that highly mineralised surface waters locally infiltrate into the aquifer during the winter and spring without causing significant electrical conductivity variations in the spring water. Hence, the most consistent conceptual model is obtained by a combined analysis of both physico-chemical parameters. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

Modeling the salinity of an inland coastal brackish karstic spring with a conduit-matrix model, 2004,
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Arfib B, De Marsily G,
[1] The salinity of an inland coastal brackish karstic spring is modeled on the basis of a simple concept of fluid exchange through head differences between a continuous porous matrix and a karst conduit. The coastal aquifer is reduced to an equivalent porous medium ( matrix) naturally invaded by seawater, crossed by a single karst conduit where fresh water and brackish water mix in variable proportions and flow up into the spring. A new numerical model with an upwind explicit finite difference scheme, called salt-water intrusion in karst conduits (SWIKAC), was developed and successfully applied to the Almyros spring of Heraklio ( Crete, Greece). The good fit of the model to the observed salinity in the spring validates the proposed conceptual model of salinization. It provides a quantitative description of the seawater intrusion inside the karst conduit. The results open up new perspectives for managing the fragile and precious fresh water resources in karstic coastal zones

Characterizing a coastal karst aquifer using an inverse modeling approach: The saline springs of Thau, southern France, 2004,
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Pinault J. L. , Doerfliger N. , Ladouche B. , Bakalowicz M. ,
[1] A methodological approach using inverse modeling was used to characterize the functioning of the deep and shallow reservoirs of the Thau karst aquifer system. Three springs were monitored at the convergence of rising saline water diluted with shallow groundwater in karst conduits and unmixed shallow groundwater that behaves as confined groundwater. In such a method, impulse responses of flow and fluxes are combined in order to separate hydrographs. The model explains the salinity and hydraulic head variations of the submarine and inland springs. It confirms and improves the conceptual model of this groundwater system in which mixing of saline and subsurface waters occurs. The different forces driving the upward flowing mixed water into the drainage axis and faults were studied in order to elucidate the springs' functioning. A comparative study of spring functioning is proposed, which clearly shows the very high sensitivity of the groundwater system to changes in recharge and discharge conditions

An example of sedimentary filling in the chalk karst of the Western Paris Basin: Characterization, origins and hydrosedimentary behaviour, 2004,
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Laignel B. , Dupuis E. , Rodet J. , Lacroix M. , Massei N. ,
The Petites Dales cave is a favourable site for studying the sedimentary fillings of the chalk karst of the Western Paris Basin. Our study is based on the lithological characterization of karstic sediments and mineralogical and chemical comparisons between these sediments and the likely sedimentary sources (insoluble residue of chalk, clay-with-flints, loess). Our results show that there are three main families of sediment in the Petites Dales karst: brown clayey silts, beige silts, pale beige silts. The karst sediments essentially originate in the mechanical erosion of loess. The insoluble residue of chalk, coming from the chalk weathering, is only located in the brown clayey silts, and constitutes a weak amount of this sediment type. According to these results, we propose three conceptual models of hydro sedimentary behaviour of the Petites Dales karstic system that could have resulted in such an intra-karstic deposition sequence

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