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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 head water is the upper reach of a stream [16].?

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 criteria (Keyword) returned 72 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 31 to 45 of 72
The environmental impacts of human activities and engineering constructions in karst regions, 2002,
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Milanovic P. ,
With increasing demands on water resources in karst regions, an important issue is how to keep the balance between the necessity for development and preservation of complex and unpredictable hydrogeological systems. Karst terrains have been modified and adapted through a range of human activities as needs for drinking water, hydroelectric power and other resources increase. In many regions, reclamation projects, construction of large dams and reservoirs, deep underground excavations and complex foundation structures have had a detrimental impact on the environment. However, because each karst region is unique, the nature of environmental change is unpredictable, often occurs very rapidly, and similar situations are seldom, if ever, repeated. Changes in karst function can have a profound impact on regional ecological, infrastructure, social and political systems. The majority of impacts can be foreseen and mitigated by appropriate designs. Ecological and environmental protection is more difficult when the changes are unexpected and source of problem is some distance from the impacted area. Optimal environmental protection requires a multidisciplinary approach, a lot of patience and perseverance, and adequate funds. Legal aspects and insurability are also very important basic elements in karst environmental protection. Criteria for determining the environmental protection, as well as regulatory procedures that are applicable for nonkarst regions are generally not suitable for karst terrain. Successful solutions require serious and complex geological/hydrogeological investigation programs and close co-operation of a wide spectrum of scientists and engineers: geologists, civil engineers, biologists, chemists, hydrogeologists, geophysicists, sociologists and many others. In karst areas where interrelations and interactions are inadequately known, the ultimate aim is identification of crucial parameters that define causes and consequences between human activities and the resulting impact (cause-and-effect relations). As a consequence of human activities and engineering construction in karst regions, the common negative environmental impacts are: severe spring discharge change, groundwater quality deterioration, endemic fauna endangering, waste disposal failures, induced seismicity, induced sinkholes, and a number of different secondary uncertainties. In some cases, socio-economic problems related to migration from submerged regions are very pronounced. Similar problems are related with flooding of cultural and historical monuments and natural rarities. The major aims of proper planning of water resource systems in karst terrain are to minimize negative and to maximize positive environmental impacts. The optimal strategy of water resources development in karst areas is a key requirement for regional socio-economic development

Interpretation of recent structures in an area of cryptokarst evolution - neotectonic versus subsidence genesis, 2002,
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Dias Rp, Cabral J,
The study area (Algarve) is located near the Eurasia-Africa plate boundary, experiencing significant tectonic and seismic activities. Regional geology is characterised by the presence of Mesozoic and Miocene carbonate rocks which are affected by karst phenomena. This karst is covered by terrigenous sediments of Upper Miocene and Pliocene-Pleistocene age. In the study area, the Pliocene-Quaternary cover deposits are affected by a large number of mesoscopic structures, including joints, faults, and a few folds, which indicate neotectonic activity. However, these sediments also present similar structures that result from underground karst evolution, raising the need to differentiate the neotectonic structures from those of non-tectonic origin. In fact, a variety of ductile, semi-brittle and brittle structures develop in the sediments that fill up the karst wells, controlled by different theological behaviour of the cover deposits, various strain rates associated with sudden collapse or progressive sinking, and the variable shape of the karst pits walls. The structure's geometry, geographical dispersion and directional scattering were used as criteria to infer a non-tectonic genesis. It is discussed whether some karst related structures may be controlled by the contemporary tectonic stress field and consequently are interpreted in the regional geodynamical framework. (C) 2002 Editions scientifiques et medicales Elsevier SAS. All rights reserved

A little contribution to the karst terminology : special or aberrant cases of poljes?, 2003,
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Nicod, Jean

A usual definition of polje states that it is "great closed karst basin with flat bottom, karstic drainage and steep peripheral slopes". But the Dinaric karst shows a wide range of poljes. The article discusses the main criteria of polje definition and the different degrees of evolution of the polje are emphasised. The essentials are gathered in the table with new tentatives on classification of poljes and comparing the Dinaric karst with other Mediterranean and Alpine countries.


Der neue Stammbaum der alpinen Hhlenbren., 2004,
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Rabeder G. , Hofreiter M.
In the Upper Pleistocene the Alps were inhabited by at least three taxa of cave bear (group) which differ in their mitochondrial DNA as well as in metrical and morphological criteria. The possibilities of distinguishing these evolutionary lineages in the fossil record are described and discussed. Two high Alpine dwarf forms are described as possible subspecies of U. spelaeus (U. s.? ladinicus and U. s.? eremus), the third taxon is separated as an independent species (U. ingressus). By means of numerous diagrams an attempt is made to find metrical and morphological differences in the teeth and limb bones in order to distinguish the three Alpine taxa. A new phylogenetic tree is drawn. [Hhlenbren-Forschung in Europa, DNA-Untersuchungen]

Surface cover infiltration index: a suggested method to assess infiltration capacity for intrinsic vulnerability in karstic areas in absence of quantitative data, 2004,
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Ekmekci Mehmet, Tezcan Levent
Karst is a hydrogeological environment of importance not only for its water resources potential but also for its scenic and economic potential, thereby increasing the intensity of human impact. The uniqueness of karst in this regard stems from its high sensitivity and vulnerability to imposed pressures and its distinctive response to these pressures. Therefore, a clear definition and formulation of the concept of intrinsic vulnerability is essential for the design of vulnerability and/or management criteria of the karstic system as a resource. In this regard, the recharge rate, the amount of water passing through the unsaturated zone into the aquifer, is among the principal attributes of the intrinsic vulnerability. Where data and measurements are available for even large areas, recharge can be evaluated quantitatively on the basis of field measurements and the water balance equation. However, particularly for countries suffering from lack of essential data for a quantitative evaluation of the net recharge rate, the recharge can be estimated using some derived parameters such as the so called Surface Cover Infiltration Index proposed in this paper. The DRASTIC method which is modified by using SCI, soil thickness and precipitation, allows the unique hydrological behavior of karst to be considered by redistributing of the intrinsic vulnerability values on the basis of hydrologic connections between neighboring cells. Following a detailed description of the SCI index and the modification of DRASTIC method for karst aquifers, a case study carried out to demonstrate this method is presented in this paper whose objective is to discuss and thus elaborate the suggested methodology. The Olimpos National Park area was selected because the great variation in lithology, landuse and topography. It was found that the relative vulnerability may vary particularly in the neighborhood of the highly vulnerable cells covered by carbonate rocks. The methodology was applied using ARC-GIS software. All spatial features used in computations were classified by the appropriate functions built into the software.

Paleocollapse structures as geological record for reconstruction of past karst processes during the upper miocene of Mallorca Island, 2004,
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Robledo Ardila P. A. , Durn J. J. , Pomar L.
Paleocollapse structures and collapse breccias are one of the major features for paleokarst analysis and paleoclimate record. These are affecting the Llucmajor and Santany carbonate platforms. These platforms, of southern and eastern Mallorca respectively, are a good example of progradation reef platform in the western Mediterranean. The Santany platform is constituted of two sedimentary units, both affected by paleocollapse structures: (1) The Reef Complex attributed to the upper Tortonian-lower Messinian; (2) Santany Limestone attributed to the Messinian. There are abundant paleocollapse outcropping in the Reef Complex and Santany Limestone units. These structures have been produced by roof collapse of caverns developed in the underlying reefal complex. According to the genetic model, the origin of same paleocollapse structures may be related to early diagenetic processes controlled by high-frequency sea-level fluctuations. During the lowstands of sea level, fresh water flow or mixing zone might have created a cave system near the water table by dissolution of aragonite in the reef front facies and coral patches existing in the lagoonal beds. During subsequent rise and highstands of sea level, inner-shelf beds overlaid the previously karstified reef-core and outer-lagoonal beds. Increase of loading by subsequent accretion of the shallow-water carbonate might have produced paleocollapse structures by gravitational collapse of cave roof. Morphometric and structural classification of paleocollapse is based on geometric and structural criteria according to the type of deformed strata and strata dip. Paleocollapse structures can be classified according to geometric section, size of the paleocave and lithification degree of the host rock when collapsed. Breccias are classified as crackle, mosaic and chaotic types. In same paleocollapse the type of breccias present a vertical and lateral gradation, from crackle in the upper part, to chaotic in the lower part of the paleocollapse. Chaotic breccias grade from matrix-free, clasts-supported breccias to matrix-supported breccias. Relationship with high frequency of sea-level fluctuation, facies architecture, classification features and products permit to enhance a general paleoclimatic framework.

Heterogeneity of parent rocks and its constraints on geochemical criteria in weathering crusts of carbonate rocks, 2004,
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Wang S. J. , Feng Z. G. ,
Owing to the low contents of their acid-insoluble components, carbonate rocks tend to decrease sharply in volume in association with the formation of weathering crust. The formation of a 1 m-thick weathering crust would usually consume more than ten meters to several tens of meters of thickness of parent rocks. The knowledge of how to identify the homogeneity of parent rocks is essential to understand the formation mechanism of weathering crust in karst regions. especially that of thick-layered red weathering crust. In this work the grain-size analyses have demonstrated that the three profiles studied are the residual weathering crust of carbonate rocks and further showed that there objectively exists the, heterogeneity of parent rocks in the three studied weathering crusts. The heterogeneity of parent rocks can also be. reflected in geochemical parameters of major elements, just as the characteristics of frequency plot of pain-size distribution. Conservative trace element ratios Zr/Hf and Nb/Ta are proven to be unsuitable for tracing the heterogeneity of parent rocks of weathering crust, but its geochemical mechanism is unclear. The authors strongly suggest in this paper that the identification of the homogeneity of parent rocks of weathering crust in karst regions is of prime necessity

Lithuanian karst region rivers' water ecology: hydrochemical and hydrobiological evaluation, 2004,
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Tumas R. ,
The Lithuanian karst region covers about 1000 km(3) in the northern part of the country. This is the most vulnerable area from a pollution point of view. The structure of the total dissolved solids (TDS) shows that the flow of rivers in the karst region is from hydraulically interconnected aquifers. For the last decade (1991-2000) TDS has varied considerably, from 529 to 732 mg/l. The predominant sources of nitrogen and phosphorus within the headwaters of the monitored rivers were diffuse and agricultural in nature. Downstream from the towns nitrogen and especially phosphorus showed both diffuse and point source signals. Contributions of point sources to the stream pollution by nutrients prevail. The time series of monthly dissolved oxygen (O-2) in the main karst region river - the Musa - shows the existence of multiplicative seasonality. The trend cycle (1991-1999) shows low levels of dissolved oxygen in 1991-1993, with a similar fluctuation in 1994, 1995 and 1996 (due to point pollution from the town of Siauliai) and a gradually improving situation since 1997. The general multiplicative trend of dissolved oxygen in the lower reaches of the Musa river (near the border with Latvia) is decreasing (within the accuracy limits). The abundance and species of zoo benthos are suitable criteria (biotic index - 131) for evaluation of a river's biological water quality. Zoo benthos demonstrates tolerances that vary among species, the oxygen regime and the pollution with nitrogen. The best living conditions for invertebrates are in the riverhead of the karst region rivers - 131 = 5.62-6.74 (1991-1999), where pollution with nutrients is caused mostly by agricultural activity. Rare and asynchronous data of biological water quality shows up tendencies that invertebrates prefer less contaminated reaches of rivers

Der neue Stammbaum der alpinen Hhlenbren, 2004,
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Rabeder G. , Hofreiter M.
In the Upper Pleistocene the Alps were inhabited by at least three taxa of cave bear (group) which differ in their mitochondrial DNA as well as in metrical and morphological criteria. The possibilities of distinguishing these evolutionary lineages in the fossil record are described and discussed. Two high Alpine dwarf forms are described as possible subspecies of U. spelaeus (U. s.? ladinicus and U. s.? eremus), the third taxon is separated as an independent species (U. ingressus). By means of numerous diagrams an attempt is made to find metrical and morphological differences in the teeth and limb bones in order to distinguish the three Alpine taxa. A new phylogenetic tree is drawn.

Spatial distribution, morphometry and activity of La Puebla de Alfinden sinkhole field in the Ebro river valley (NE Spain): applied aspects for hazard zonation, 2005,
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Gutierrezsantolalla F. , Gutierrezelorza M. , Marin C. , Desir G. , Maldonado C. ,
A highly active collapse sinkhole field in the evaporitic mantled karst of the Ebro river valley is studied (NE Spain). The subsidence is controlled by a NW-SE trending joint system and accelerated by the discharge of waste water from a nearby industrial state. The morphometry, spatial distribution and temporal evolution of the sinkholes have been analysed. The volume of the sinkholes yields a minimum estimate of average lowering of the surface by collapse subsidence of 46 cm. The clustering of the sinkholes and the tendency to form elongated uvalas and linear belts, in a NW-SE direction have a predictive utility and allow the establishment of criteria for a hazard zonation. With the precipitation record supplied by a pluviograph and periodic cartographic and photographic surveys the influence of heavy rainfall events on the triggering of collapses has been studied

Variation of palaeostress patterns along the Oriente transform wrench corridor, Cuba: significance for Neogene-Quaternary tectonics of the Caribbean realm, 2005,
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Rojasagramonte Y. , Neubauer F. , Handler R. , Garciadelgado D. E. , Friedl G. , Gadodamas R. ,
In this study, we address the late Miocene to Recent tectonic evolution of the North Caribbean (Oriente) Transform Wrench Corridor in the southern Sierra Maestra mountain range, SE Cuba. The region has been affected by historical earthquakes and shows many features of brittle deformation in late Miocene to Pleistocene reef and other shallow water deposits as well as in pre-Neogene, late Cretaceous to Eocene basement rocks. These late Miocene to Quaternary rocks are faulted, fractured, and contain calcite- and karst-filled extension gashes. Type and orientation of the principal normal palaeostress vary along strike in accordance with observations of large-scale submarine structures at the south-eastern Cuban margin. Initial N-S extension is correlated with a transtensional regime associated with the fault, later reactivated by sinistral and/or dextral shear, mainly along E-W-oriented strike-slip faults. Sinistral shear predominated and recorded similar kinematics as historical earthquakes in the Santiago region. We correlate palaeostress changes with the kinematic evolution along the boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. Three different tectonic regimes were distinguished for the Oriente transform wrench corridor (OTWC): compression from late Eocene-Oligocene, transtension from late Oligocene to Miocene (?) (D-1), and transpression from Pliocene to Present (D-2-D-4), when this fault became a transform system. Furthermore, present-day structures vary along strike of the Oriente transform wrench corridor (OTWC) on the south-eastern Cuban coast, with dominantly transpressional/compressional and strike-slip structures in the east and transtension in the west. The focal mechanisms of historical earthquakes are in agreement with the dominant ENE-WSW transpressional structures found on land. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

KARST WATER MANAGEMENT IN SLOVENIA IN THE FRAME OF VULNERABILITY MAPPING, 2006,
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Ravbar Nataa, Kova?i? Gregor
Slovene karst sources are of great national importance for drinking water supply. Since karst aquifer systems are very susceptible to contamination, these sources require appropriate and careful managing. Unfortunately, in the acts of Slovene legislation, the special characteristics of water flow within karst regions are not very seriously taken into consideration in determining the criteria for karst water sources protection. In contrast, in some other countries, the concept of groundwater vulnerability mapping has been successfully used for protection zoning and land use planning in karst. Regarding the differences between particular karst aquifer systems, data availability and economic resources, different methods of karst water vulnerability assessment and mapping have already been developed. Already these methods have been many times tested and implemented in different test sites worldwide. However, experience in application using different methodologies for vulnerability mapping of karst aquifers is very modest in Slovenia. The present paper deals with potential methodological problems that might arise while applying the most commonly used methods for karst water vulnerability assessment to Slovene karst regions.

Thinking about Karst and World Heritage, 2006,
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Hamiltonsmith Elery
Various aspects of the operation of the World Heritage Convention have been reviewed over the last several years. The actual inscription criteria and process have been changed to reduce the differences between natural and cultural sites This may well be of benefit to those seeking recognition of karst sites as many such sites have both natural and cultural values. At the same time, every effort is being made to reduce the number of new inscriptions, while at the same time endeavoring to ensure that the list is balanced, representative and credible. Efforts are being made to establish frameworks to enable more adequate assessment of representivity, and this paper will propose and examine a potential framework for cave and karst sites.

Identifying and characterizing solution conduits in karst aquifers through geospatial (GIS) analysis of porosity from borehole imagery: An example from the Biscayne aquifer, South Florida (USA), 2006,
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Manda A. K. , Gross M. R. ,
We apply geospatial analysis to borehole imagery in an effort to develop new techniques to evaluate the spatial distribution and internal structure of karst conduits. Remote sensing software is used to classify a high resolution, digital borehole image of limestone bedrock from the Biscayne aquifer (South Florida, USA) into a binary image divided into cells of rock matrix and pores. Within a GIS, 2D porosity is calculated for a series of rectangular sampling windows placed over the binary image and then plotted as a function of depth. Potential conduits that intersect the borehole are identified as peaks of high porosity. A second GIS technique identifies a conduit as a continuous object that spans the entire borehole width. According to these criteria, geospatial analysis reveals similar to 10 discrete conduits along the similar to 15 m borehole image. Continuous sampling of the geologic medium intersected by the borehole provides insight into the internal structure of karst aquifers and the evolution of karst features. Most importantly, this pilot study demonstrates that GIS-based techniques are capable of quantifying the depths, dimensions, shapes, apertures and connectivity of potential conduits, physical attributes that impact flow in karst aquifers. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

Translating CFC-based piston ages into probability density functions of ground-water age in karst, 2006,
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Long Andrew J. , Putnam Larry D. ,
SummaryTemporal age distributions are equivalent to probability density functions (PDFs) of transit time. The type and shape of a PDF provides important information related to ground-water mixing at the well or spring and the complex nature of flow networks in karst aquifers. Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) concentrations measured for samples from 12 locations in the karstic Madison aquifer were used to evaluate the suitability of various PDF types for this aquifer. Parameters of PDFs could not be estimated within acceptable confidence intervals for any of the individual sites. Therefore, metrics derived from CFC-based apparent ages were used to evaluate results of PDF modeling in a more general approach. The ranges of these metrics were established as criteria against which families of PDFs could be evaluated for their applicability to different parts of the aquifer. Seven PDF types, including five unimodal and two bimodal models, were evaluated. Model results indicate that unimodal models may be applicable to areas close to conduits that have younger piston (i.e., apparent) ages and that bimodal models probably are applicable to areas farther from conduits that have older piston ages. The two components of a bimodal PDF are interpreted as representing conduit and diffuse flow, and transit times of as much as two decades may separate these PDF components. Areas near conduits may be dominated by conduit flow, whereas areas farther from conduits having bimodal distributions probably have good hydraulic connection to both diffuse and conduit flow

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