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Enviroscan Ukrainian Institute of Speleology and Karstology


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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 calc- is prefix meaning limy; containing calcium carbonate [10].?

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


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KarstBase a bibliography database in karst and cave science.

Featured articles from Cave & Karst Science Journals
Chemistry and Karst, White, William B.
See all featured articles
Featured articles from other Geoscience Journals
Karst environment, Culver D.C.
Mushroom Speleothems: Stromatolites That Formed in the Absence of Phototrophs, Bontognali, Tomaso R.R.; D’Angeli Ilenia M.; Tisato, Nicola; Vasconcelos, Crisogono; Bernasconi, Stefano M.; Gonzales, Esteban R. G.; De Waele, Jo
Calculating flux to predict future cave radon concentrations, Rowberry, Matt; Marti, Xavi; Frontera, Carlos; Van De Wiel, Marco; Briestensky, Milos
Microbial mediation of complex subterranean mineral structures, Tirato, Nicola; Torriano, Stefano F.F;, Monteux, Sylvain; Sauro, Francesco; De Waele, Jo; Lavagna, Maria Luisa; D’Angeli, Ilenia Maria; Chailloux, Daniel; Renda, Michel; Eglinton, Timothy I.; Bontognali, Tomaso Renzo Rezio
Evidence of a plate-wide tectonic pressure pulse provided by extensometric monitoring in the Balkan Mountains (Bulgaria), Briestensky, Milos; Rowberry, Matt; Stemberk, Josef; Stefanov, Petar; Vozar, Jozef; Sebela, Stanka; Petro, Lubomir; Bella, Pavel; Gaal, Ludovit; Ormukov, Cholponbek;
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Your search for bridge (Keyword) returned 45 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 45
Sinkhole Stabilization Design by Engineered Graded Filters, 2006,
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Prochaska Adam B. ,
With increasing urban sprawl, developments are often forced to be located in areas that are geologically unfavorable. In karstic regions, these unfavorable areas would include locations that are susceptible to sinkholes. This paper provides a simple design procedure for one of the available sinkhole stabilization methods: a granular filter, a concrete slab with a filtered drain, and a rock drain to bridge across bedrock fissures. A hypothetical yet realistic example problem is worked through to illustrate the design process. Although a general sinkhole stabilization process has been outlined in this paper, each sinkhole is geologically unique and must be analyzed on an individual basis

Cathedral Cave, Wellington Cave, New South Wales, Australia. A multiphase, non-fluvial cave., 2007,
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Osborne R. A. L.
Cathedral Cave is an outstanding example of a class of multiphase caves with largely non-fluvial origins. It contains large cavities such as cathedrals and cupolas, characteristic of excavation by convection currents in rising waters. Smaller-scale features such as rising half-tubes, pseudonotches, curved juts, projecting corners, blades and bridges indicate intersection and exhumation of older cavities during the formation of younger ones. It is possible to recognize at least ten significant phases of speleogenesis by morphostratigraphy, in addition to the four generations of cave-filling palaeokarst deposits intersected by the cave. The cave we see today results from the progressive integration of a number of previously disconnected or poorly connected solution cavities.

Desert speleothems reveal climatic window for African exodus of early modern humans, 2007,
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Vaks, A. , Barmatthews, M. , Ayalon, A. , Matthews, A. , Halicz, L. And Frumkin, A.
One of the first movements of early modern humans out of Africa occurred 130?100 thousand years ago (ka), when they migrated northward to the Levant region. The climatic conditions that accompanied this migration are still under debate. Using high-precision multicollector?inductively coupled plasma?mass spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) U-Th methods, we dated carbonate cave deposits (speleothems) from the central and southern Negev Desert of Israel, located at the northeastern margin of the Saharan-Arabian Desert. Speleothems grow only when rainwater enters the unsaturated zone, and this study reveals that a major cluster of wet episodes (the last recorded in the area) occurred between 140 and 110 ka. This episodic wet period coincided with increased monsoonal precipitation in the southern parts of the Saharan- Arabian Desert. The disappearance at this time of the desert barrier between central Africa and the Levant, and particularly in the Sinai-Negev land bridge between Africa and Asia, would have created a climatic ?window? for early modern human dispersion to the Levant.

CARVING UP THE PRE-ILLINOIAN CENTRAL HIGHLANDS: TRANSVERSE SPELEOGENESIS AND EMERGENT BEDROCK MEANDERS IN THE OZARKS, 2007,
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Elfrink, N.

New data fail to support the prevailing theory that meandering bedrock valleys inherit their sinuosity from ancient alluvial rivers. In the Ozarks, observations indicate that bedrock meanders emerge during incision as a result of erosion by emergent groundwater and surface flow. Crustal tilting pressurizes deep aquifers that feed a huge base flow to large springs. Because of their large size and persistence in time, these artesian conduits have the potential to create new base levels of erosion. Transverse speleogenesis causes groundwater flow lines and surface streams to converge toward the springs, thereby further increasing the rate of landscape lowering and creating bedrock meanders. Groundwater outflow accelerates stream piracy, creates asymmetric drainage patterns and cuts channels across structural upwarps. By contrast, the antecedent meander theory favors long-term drainage stability that cannot explain the incredible diversity of the freshwater fauna found in the Central Highlands. Widely disjunct species of highland fish that thrive only in clear, high-gradient streams indicate that the Ouachitas, the Ozarks and the Eastern Highlands were once a continuous upland connected by a “land bridge” in southern Illinois. This connection allowed ancestral species to become widespread enough to be affected by a vicariant event, usually attributed to onset of glaciation. However, a 400-km eastward shift in Gulf of Mexico sedimentation indicates this vicariant event may have occurred in the middle Pleistocene, when it is proposed that the Mississippi River dissected the Central Highlands, separating the Interior Highlands from the Eastern Highlands.


Caves as sea level and uplift indicators, Kangaroo Island, South Australia, 2009,
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Mylroie J. E. And Mylroie J. R.

Flank margin caves have been observed in Quaternary Bridgewater Formation eolianites on Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Horizons of flank margin cave development at 25 m, 30 m, and 35 m elevation demonstrate tectonic uplift of tens of meters during the Quaternary, as the cave elevations are higher than any reported Quaternary glacioeustatic sea-level highstand. Distinct cave horizons indicate that episodic uplift was possible. Wave-cut notches at Hanson Bay, at 30 to 35 m elevation, also support the interpretation from caves that relative sea level was once at the ,30-m- elevation range. Admirals Arch, previously presented as forming solely by wave erosion, is a flank margin cave breached and modified by wave erosion. Point Ellen contains a Late Pliocene subtidal carbonate unit that formed within the reach of wave base, was uplifted and cliffed by wave processes, and then was karstified before being buried by Quaternary Bridgewater Formation eolianites. A possible flank margin cave developed at Point Ellen at 3 m above modern sea level is consistent with earlier interpretations of notching of the nearby coast at a similar elevation during the last interglacial sea-level highstand (MIS 5e); and therefore, no tectonic uplift in the last 120 ka. In contrast, the tafoni of Remarkable Rocks present a cautionary note on evidence of cave wall morphological characteristics as proof of dissolutional origin.


Peculiarities of development and distribution of karst features in evaporite successions of the Western Caucasus, 2009,
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Ostapenko, A. A. , Kritskaya, O. Yu.

Karst landforms are well represented in the upper Jurassic evaporite rocks of the Western Caucasus. Upper part of evaporite successions is represented by gypsum, and lower parts are composed with anhydrite. Gypsum rocks extend by a narrow band to the north from the Skalisty (Rocky) Ridge. Maximum thickness of gypsum successions is observed at the area between rivers Belaya and Bolshoy Zelenchouk. Most of karst landforms occur here.

Climate conditions are favorable for karst process. The amount of precipitation is about 600-900 mm per year. Dissolution rates are about 500-800 m3 year/km2.

Karst features at the surface are presented by dolines, blind valleys and depressions. Dolines with diameters of 60-70 m are most common. Karrens are developed under the soil. Positive karst landforms are presented by cone-like hills, arches and bridges. Some residual hills are composed by calcite dripstones of ancient caves, buried under the soil. Shelter caves are related to active or old destructed caves.

Underground karst  features are mainly presented by through caves, accessible from sink point to resurgence. There is known 9 caves longer than 500 m. All caves longer than 1 km are situated in the area between Khodz and Urup rivers. Passage shapes are stretched vertically, with some terraces.  Cave deposits are presented mostly by gravel, breakdown clasts and dripstones (mostly calcite).

Cave regions were distinguished by areas between rivers that drain karst massives. We analyzed distribution of caves and their parameters at selected areas. Some of cave regions are well-explored.

Cave exploration and protection are important because some caves are situated at the areas where gypsum mining is planned, so that caves can be destroyed.


Karst micrometeorology of two caves on the Loser Plateau, Northern Calcareous Alps, Austria - Initial results, 2009,
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Curtis, A.
An ongoing micrometeorological program was initiated in the summer of 2007 by the Cambridge Austrian Cave Science Expedition (CASCE) with the intention of characterizing the heat flux into the diurnal heterothermic zone of two caves on the Loser plateau in the Totes Gebirge mountains, Rundreisehhle and Steinbrckenhhle. The relative importance of the diffusive, advective (airflow), and latent (condensation and evaporation) components of that flux were examined. Three weeks of intensive monitoring resulted in 105,500 temperature data points in Rundreisehhle and 64,000 in Steinbrckenhhle, as well as surface meteorological data. The long penetration distance observed for the diurnal temperature cycle into the caves implies an entrance heat flux several orders of magnitude greater than could be explained by diffusive processes alone, suggesting dominance of advective and / or latent processes. Up to 228.6 litres of condensation was present in the Steinbrckenhhle entrance areas at peak periods (0.34 l m-2 of cave wall), representing a potential maximum heat flux to the affected walls of 555.6 kJ day-1.

INVESTIGATION AND REMEDIATION OF THE CAVERN IN THE VRATA TUNNEL ON THE ZAGREB RIJEKA HIGHWAY (CROATIA), 2010,
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Garai? Mladen, Kova?evi? Meho Saa & Juri?ka?uni? Danijela
In the Dinaric karst system in Croatia some 11500 speleological objects have been explored so far, more than 1000 of which were discovered during construction works. Such speleological objects without natural entrance on the terrain surface (which are called caverns) have been discovered on the construction sites of the highways. Over the past twenty years they have been systematically investigated and treated. A special kind of remediation was conducted in the caverns large hall of the Vrata tunnel on the Zagreb Rijeka highway. Due to size, shape, caverns position and hydrogeological parameters within the karst system it was necessary to design and construct a 58 m bridge over the cavern. In addition, the caverns vault had to be reinforced and stabilized, as the overburden was very thin. The beam-and stringer grid with special anchors was used. The caverns rehabilitation in the Vrata tunnel was a unique undertaking, and the bridge (without piers) is the caverns longest bridge in the world.

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

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

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


New insights into the carbon isotope composition of speleothem calcite: An assessment from surface to subsurface, 2012,
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Meyer, Kyle William

The purpose of this study was to provide new insights into the interpretation of speleothem (cave calcite deposit) δ13C values. We studied two caves in central Texas, which have been actively monitored for over 12 years. We compared δ13C values of soil CO2 (δ13Cs), cave drip water (δ13CDIC), and modern cave calcite (δ13Ccc). Measured average δ13C values of soil CO2 were -13.9 ± 1.4‰ under mixed, shallowly-rooted C3-C4 grasses and were -18.3 ± 0.7‰ under deeply-rooted ashe juniper trees (C3). The δ13CDIC value of minimally-degassed drip water in Natural Bridge Caverns was -10.7 ± 0.3‰. The carbon isotope composition of CO2 in equilibrium with this measured drip water is -18.1 ± 0.3‰. The agreement between juniper soil CO2 and drip water (within ~0.2‰) suggests that the δ13C value of drip water (δ13CDIC) that initially enters the cave is controlled by deeply-rooted plants and may be minimally influenced by host-rock dissolution and/or prior calcite precipitation (PCP). At Inner Space Caverns, δ13CDIC values varied with vegetation above the drip site, distance from the cave entrance, and distance along in-cave flow paths. Whereas CO2 derived from deeply-rooted plants defines the baseline for drip water δ13CDIC entering the caves, kinetic effects associated with the degassing of CO2 and simultaneous precipitation of calcite account for seasonal variability in δ13CDIC and δ13Ccc. We documented increases in δ13CDIC at a rate of up to 0.47‰/hour during the season of peak degassing (winter), suggesting that δ13CDIC variations may be controlled by total elapsed time of CO2 degassing from drip water (Ttotal). We also observed seasonal shifts in the δ13C values of modern calcite grown on glass substrates that are correlated with shifts in drip water δ13CDIC values and drip-rate. Therefore, we suggest that increased aridity at the surface above a given cave results in, slower drip-rates, higher Ttotal, and therefore higher δ13CDIC values. We propose that large variability (>2‰) in speleothem δ13Ccc values dominantly reflect major vegetation changes, and/or increasing Ttotal by slowing drip-rates. Based on these findings, variability in speleothem carbon isotope records may serve as a proxy for paleoaridity and/or paleovegetation change.


New insights into the carbon isotope composition of speleothem calcite : an assessment from surface to subsurface, 2012,
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Meyer, Kyle William

The purpose of this study was to provide new insights into the interpretation of speleothem (cave calcite deposit) δ13C values. We studied two caves in central Texas, which have been actively monitored for over 12 years. We compared δ13C values of soil CO2 (δ13Cs), cave drip water (δ13CDIC), and modern cave calcite (δ13Ccc). Measured average δ13C values of soil CO2 were -13.9 ± 1.4‰ under mixed, shallowly-rooted C3-C4 grasses and were -18.3 ± 0.7‰ under deeply-rooted ashe juniper trees (C3). The δ13CDIC value of minimally-degassed drip water in Natural Bridge Caverns was -10.7 ± 0.3‰. The carbon isotope composition of CO2 in equilibrium with this measured drip water is -18.1 ± 0.3‰. The agreement between juniper soil CO2 and drip water (within ~0.2‰) suggests that the δ13C value of drip water (δ13CDIC) that initially enters the cave is controlled by deeply-rooted plants and may be minimally influenced by host-rock dissolution and/or prior calcite precipitation (PCP). At Inner Space Caverns, δ13CDIC values varied with vegetation above the drip site, distance from the cave entrance, and distance along in-cave flow paths. Whereas CO2 derived from deeply-rooted plants defines the baseline for drip water δ13CDIC entering the caves, kinetic effects associated with the degassing of CO2 and simultaneous precipitation of calcite account for seasonal variability in δ13CDIC and δ13Ccc. We documented increases in δ13CDIC at a rate of up to 0.47‰/hour during the season of peak degassing (winter), suggesting that δ13CDIC variations may be controlled by total elapsed time of CO2 degassing from drip water (Ttotal). We also observed seasonal shifts in the δ13C values of modern calcite grown on glass substrates that are correlated with shifts in drip water δ13CDIC values and drip-rate. Therefore, we suggest that increased aridity at the surface above a given cave results in, slower drip-rates, higher Ttotal, and therefore higher δ13CDIC values. We propose that large variability (>2‰) in speleothem δ13Ccc values dominantly reflect major vegetation changes, and/or increasing Ttotal by slowing drip-rates. Based on these findings, variability in speleothem carbon isotope records may serve as a proxy for paleoaridity and/or paleovegetation change.


Dealing with gypsum karst problems: hazards, environmental issues, and planning, 2013,
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Cooper A. H. , Gutierrez F.

Gypsum dissolves rapidly underground and at the surface, forming gypsum karst features that include caves, subsidence areas, and sinkholes. Mapping these landforms, understanding the gypsum karst and local hydrogeology, and producing sinkhole susceptibility and hazard maps are crucial for development and public safety. Situations that change the local hydrogeology, such as dams, water abstraction, or injection/drainage, can accelerate dissolution and subsidence processes, increasing the severity of the problems; dams and canals built on gypsum karst can leak or fail catastrophically. Gypsum karst problems can be mitigated by careful surveying and scientific investigation followed by phased preventive planning, ground investigation, and construction incorporating sinkhole-proof designs. Towns and cities, including parts of Paris (France), Dzerzhinksk (Russia), Madrid and Zaragoza (Spain), Birzai (Lithuania), and Ripon and Darlington (UK), are developed on such ground requiring local planning guidelines and special construction methods. Roads, railways, pipelines, and bridges are particularly vulnerable to such subsidence and require special consideration. 


NA JAVORCE CAVE A NEW DISCOVERY IN THE BOHEMIAN KARST (CZECH REPUBLIC): UNIQUE EXAMPLE OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN HYDROTHERMAL AND COMMON KARSTIFICATION, 2013,
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Dragoun J. Ž, á, K K. Vejlupek J. Filippi M. Novotný, J. Dobeš, P.

 

The Na Javorce Cave is located in the Bohemian Karst, Czech Republic, near the Karlštejn castle, about 25 km SW of Prague. The cave was discovered as a result of extensive exploration including cave digging and widely employed capping of narrow sections. Exploration in the cave has already lasted 20 years. The cave is fitted with several hundred meters of fixed and rope ladders and several small fixed bridges across intra-cave chasms. Access to the remote parts of the cave is difficult because of long narrow crawl passages and deep and narrow vertical sections. The Na Javorce Cave became the deepest cave discovered to date in Bohemia with the discovery of its deepest part containing a lake in 2010. The cave was formed in vertically dipping layers of Lower Devonian limestone; it is 1,723 m long and 129 m deep, of which 9 m is permanently flooded (data as of December 2012). The cave is polygenetic, with several clearly separable evolutionary stages. Cavities discovered to date were mostly formed along the tectonic structures of two main systems. One of these systems is represented by vertical faults of generally N-S strike, which are frequently accompanied by vein hydrothermal calcite with crystal cavities. The second fault system is represented by moderately inclined faults (dip 27 to 45°, dip direction to the W). Smaller tube-like passages of phreatic morphology connect the larger cavities developed along the two above-mentioned systems. The fluid inclusion data obtained for calcite developed along both fault systems in combination with C and O stable isotope studies indicate that the hydrothermal calcite was deposited from moderately saline fluids (0.5 to 8.7 wt. % NaCl equiv.) in the temperature range from 58 to 98 °C. The fluids were NaCl-type basinal fluids, probably derived from the deeper clastic horizons of the Barrandian sedimentary sequence. The age of the hydrothermal processes is unknown; geologically it is delimited by the Permian and Paleogene. The hydrothermal cavities are small compared to cavities formed during the later stages of karstification. The majority of the known cavities were probably formed by corrosion by floodwater derived from an adjacent river. This process was initiated during the Late Oligocene to Early Miocene, as was confirmed by typical assemblage of heavy minerals identical in the surface river sediments and in clastic cave sediments. The morphology of most cavities is phreatic or epiphreatic, with only local development of leveled roof sections (“Laugdecken”). The phreatic evolution of the cave is probably continuing into the present in its deepest permanently flooded part, which exhibits a water level close to that of the adjacent Berounka River. Nevertheless, the chemistry of the cave lake differs from that of the river water. The cave hosts all the usual types of cave decoration (including locally abundant erratics). The most interesting speleothem type is cryogenic cave carbonate, which was formed during freezing of water in relation to the presence of permafrost during the Glacial period. The occurrence of cryogenic cave carbonate here indicates that the permafrost of the Last Glacial period penetrated to a depth of at least 65 m below the surface.


Clay cortex in epikarst forms as an indicator of age and morphogenesis—case studies from Lublin–Volhynia chalkland (East Poland,West Ukraine), 2014,
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Clay cortex from the contact zone between the host rock (chalk) and infilling deposits were examined in

paleokarst forms (pockets, pipes, and dolines of different age) from the Lublin–Volhynia chalk karst region. In light of the sedimentological and micromorphological analyses, it seems possible to work out a model as the basis for genetic and stratigraphic discussions. (1) Dolineswith the Paleogene orNeogene mineral infills are characterized by (a) homogeneous, residual type of massive clay gradually passing into the chalkmonolith, and at the sametime(b) relatively thickweathered zone. (2) Pipeswith glacigenic mineral infill fromthe Saalian Glacial are characterized by (a) sharp contact between host rock and clay, (b) narrow weathering zone of chalk, (c) diffuse nature of the contact zone between residual clay and mineral infill, and (d) contamination of clay by clastic material. (3) Pocketswith glacigenic mineral infill and traces of theWeichselian periglacial transformation are characterized by (a) strong contamination of chalk by quartz grains, (b) diffuse transition between clay and infill: fromclayey matrixwith single quartz grains (at the contactwith chalk) to clayey coatings and intergranular bridges (in the infill), (c) intensive weathering (cracking) of mineral grains in the infill.


Engineering challenges in Karst, 2015,
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Anisotropy and heterogeneity of karstified rocks make them the most problematic media for various interventions which are needed in engineering practice. The long history of attempts to adapt karstic nature to human needs started with the utilization of karstic aquifers: tapping large springs, transferring their waters to the long distances, improving minimal flows or capturing fresh water in coastal areas. During the 20th century the number of other challenges such as building dam and reservoirs, and constructing roads and railways, bridges, tunnels, new settlements open a new era in engineering works but also in collecting new knowledge and experience for the karstology and hydrogeology sciences. Today, almost no engineering projects can be implemented without a proper environmental impact assessment, which establishes a better balance between human and ecological needs. 


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