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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 aquifer, leaky is an aquifer overlain or underlain by semipermeable strata from or into which water will flow [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 flooding (Keyword) returned 110 results for the whole karstbase:
Showing 91 to 105 of 110
Das Gamslcher-Kolowrat- Hhlensystem (1339/1) am Salzburger Untersberg, Forschungsergebnisse 2006 2010, 2010,
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Zehentner, G.
The Gamslcher Kolowrat Cave System (1339/1) on the Salzburg part of the Untersberg is the longest and deepest cave in this massif. History of exploration and the connection with the Salzburgerschacht were reported in the 2006 issue of Die Hhle. That article describes the exploration of the past four years, where about 8 km of new passages were explored and the deepest point of the cave could be reached at 1119 m. The current length is more than 34 km. Exploration of this cave system in winter became possible by the discovery of a new entrancewhich is situated a short distance below the Zeppezauerhaus and can easily be reached by skis from the Untersberg cable car station. The descent was accomplished in winter from the newly put up bivouac III, as in summer it would have been too dangerous due to the risk of water flooding. The widely branched and extremely dry labyrinth of the Wste (desert) was explored; the exploration team is confident of having discovered a possible path to cross the massif in a south-western direction.

ADAPTING TO FLOODING ON KARST, 2011,
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Kovač, Ič, G. , Ravbar N.


Role of sediment in speleogenesis; sedimentation and paragenesis, 2011,
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Farrant Andrew R. , Smart Peter L.

Although the effects of sedimentation in caves have been recognised for many years, its role in speleogenesis is frequently overlooked. Influxes of sediment into a cave system fundamentally alter the way cave passages develop, either by alluviation in a vadose environment, forcing lateral corrosion and the development of notches, or by upwards dissolution in a phreatic environment through a process known as paragenesis. Sediment influxes affect the hydrological functioning of a karst aquifer by changing the way conduits behave and subsequently develop both in plan and long section.

Here we give an overview of the mechanisms of cave sedimentation and describe how the process of alluviation and paragenesis affect speleogenesis. A characteristic suite of meso- and micro-scale dissolutional features can be used to recognise paragenetic development, which is reviewed here. In a vadose environment these include alluvial notches, whilst in a phreatic environment, half tubes, anastomoses and pendants, bedrock fins and paragenetic dissolution ramps result. Using these to identify phases of sedimentation and paragenesis is crucial for reconstructing denudation chronologies from cave deposits. We suggest that sedimentation and paragenesis are most likely to occur in certain geomorphological situations, such as ice marginal and periglacial environments, beneath thick residual soils and where rivers can transport fluvial sediment into a cave, either via stream sinks or back-flooding.


Multiple technologies applied to characterization of the porosity and permeability of the Biscayne aquifer, Florida, 2011,
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Cunningham K. J. , Sukop M. C.

Research is needed to determine how seepage-control actions planned by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) will affect recharge, groundwater flow, and discharge within the dual-porosity karstic Biscayne aquifer where it extends eastward from the Everglades to Biscayne Bay. A key issue is whether the plan can be accomplished without causing urban flooding in adjacent populated areas and diminishing coastal freshwater flow needed in the restoration of the ecologic systems. Predictive simulation of groundwater flow is a prudent approach to understanding hydrologic change and potential ecologic impacts. A fundamental problem to simulation of karst groundwater flow is how best to represent aquifer heterogeneity. Currently, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers and academic partners are applying multiple innovative technologies to characterize the spatial distribution of porosity and permeability within the Biscayne aquifer.


Fish remains in cave deposits; how did they get there, 2011,
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Russ H. , Jones A. K. G.

Fish bones are commonly found in cave deposits. How they got there is an interesting question, and one that has, until recently, been largely overlooked. Previous interpretations of fish remains in caves have centred around their exploitation by humans, but there might be a number of other factors involved. These include natural events (such as flooding) or non-human agents of accumulation such as birds, bears, wolves or otters. Whereas there has been considerable research on some of these animals in relation to the economic importance of the fish they consume (e.g. bears and salmon), it is of little value to archaeologists attempting to determine which animals might have eaten the fish, as they do not record the body parts eaten, or the condition of specimens that survive digestion and are deposited in faeces. Controlled feeding experiments can help with interpretation, but these can be difficult logistically. Two experiments involving the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo) and the brown bear (Ursus arctos) and their potential taphonomic signatures are briefly described. Overall, fish remains are a valuable source of information about past human ecology, but there is still a considerable amount of research to be done before they can be interpreted fully.


A Leaky-Conduit Model of Transient Flow in Karstic Aquifers, 2011,
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Loper David E. , Chicken Eric

Karst Flow Model (KFM) simulates transient flow in an unconfined karstic aquifer having a well-developed conduit system. KFM treats the springshed as a two-dimensional porous matrix containing a triangulated irregular network of leaky conduits. The number and location of conduits can be specified arbitrarily, perhaps using field information as a guide, or generated automatically. Conduit networks can be tree-like or braided. Rainwater that has infiltrated down from the surface leaks into the conduits from the adjacent porous matrix at a rate dictated by Darcy’s law, then flows turbulently to the spring via the conduits. KFM is calibrated using the known steady state; geometry and recharge determine the steady fluxes in the conduits, and the head distribution determines conduit gradients and sizes. Spring flow can vary with time due to spatially and temporally variable recharge and due to prescribed variations in the elevation of the spring. KFM is illustrated by four examples run on a test aquifer consisting of 27 nodes, 42 elements, and 26 conduits. Three examples (drought, uniform rainstorm, storm-water input to one element) are simulations, while the fourth uses data from a spring-basin flooding event. The qualitative fit between the predicted and observed spring discharge in the fourth example provides support of the hypothesis that the dynamic behavior of a karst conduit system is an emergent property of a self-organized system, largely independent of the locations and properties of individual conduits.


Structure des rseaux karstiques: les contrles de la splogense pigne, 2011,
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Audra P. , Palmer A. N.

Cave development is related to the geomorphic evolution. Their morphology, preserved far longer than correlative surface features allows reconstructing the regional history of the surrounding landscape. Modeling shows that initial cave development occurs along the water table with loops in the phreatic zone along fractures. Consequently, cave profiles and levels reflect the local base level and its changes. Cave profile is controlled by timing, geological structure, and recharge. In first exposed rocks, juvenile pattern displays steep vadose passages. In perched aquifers, vadose erosion produces large passage along aquiclude. In dammed aquifers, the main drain is established at the water table when recharge is fairly regular. But when irregular recharge causes backflooding, looping profiles develop throughout the epiphreatic zone. Interconnected cave levels correspond to some of the largest cave systems in the world. The oldest abandoned highest levels have been dated beyond 3.5 Ma (Mammoth Cave). However, when base level rises, the deepest parts of the karst are flooded; the flow rises along phreatic lifts, and discharges at vauclusian springs. In the epiphreatic zone, floodwater produces looping tubes above the low-flow water table. In such a case of baselevel rise, per ascensum speleogenesis can produce higher-elevation passages that are younger than passages at lower elevations. base-level rises occur after tectonic subsidence, filling of valleys, or sea-level rise, as for instance around the Mediterranean in response to the Messinian Crisis. Deep-phreatic karst, if not hypogenic, can generally be attributed to flooding by a base-level rise. 


Influence of Karst Landscape on Planetary Boundary Layer Atmosphere: A Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) ModelBased Investigation, 2011,
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Leeper R. Mahmood R, Quintanar A. I.

Karst hydrology provides a unique set of surface and subsurface hydrological components that affect soilmoisture variability. Over karst topography, surface moisture moves rapidly below ground via sink holes,vertical shafts, and sinking streams, reducing surface runoff and moisture infiltration into the soil. In addition,subsurface cave blockage or rapid snowmelt over karst can lead to surface flooding. Moreover, regionsdominated by karst may exhibit either drier or wetter soils when compared to nonkarst landscape. However,because of the lack of both observational soil moisture datasets to initialize simulations and regional landsurface models (LSMs) that include explicit karst hydrological processes, the impact of karst on atmosphericprocesses is not fully understood. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the importance ofkarst hydrology on planetary boundary layer (PBL) atmosphere using the Weather Research and ForecastingModel (WRF). This research is a first attempt to identify the impacts of karst on PBL. To model the influenceof karst hydrology on atmospheric processes, soil moisture was modified systematically over the WesternKentucky Pennyroyal Karst (WKYPK) region to produce an ensemble of dry and wet anomaly experiments.Simulations were conducted for both frontal- and nonfrontal-based convection. For the dry ensemble, cloudcover was both diminished downwind of karst because of reduced atmospheric moisture and enhanced slightlyupwind as moist air moved into a region of increased convection compared to control simulations (CTRL).Moreover, sensible (latent) heat flux and PBL heights were increased (decreased) compared to CTRL. Inaddition, the wet ensemble experiments reduced PBL heights and sensible heat flux and increased cloud coverover karst compared to CTRL. Other changes were noted in equivalent potential temperature (ue) andvertical motions and development of new mesoscale circulation cells with alterations in soil moisture overWKYPK. Finally, the location of simulated rainfall patterns were altered by both dry and wet ensembles withthe greatest sensitivity to simulated rainfall occurring during weakly forced or nonfrontal cases. Simulatedrainfall for the dry ensemble was more similar to the North American Regional Reanalysis (NARR) thanCTRL for the nonfrontal case. Furthermore, the initial state of the atmosphere and convective triggers werefound to either enhance or diminish simulated atmospheric responses


Eiszeitliche Klimadynamik im Spiegel eines Stalagmiten aus dem Hlloch (Bayern/Vorarlberg) , 2011,
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Sptl C. , Boch R. , Wolf A.
A speleothem recovered from Hlloch Cave located at the border between Germany and Austria that was deposited during the Last Glacial shows prominent layers of silt and clay documenting episodes of extensive cave flooding. Such intermittent flooding events are not known from the modern cave system, although some galleries are situated in the epiphreatic zone. According to Uranium-Thorium age determinations of 13 calcite subsamples, stalagmite growth started around 62 kyr (= 62,000 years) before present and ended 40 kyr ago, i.e. the only 41 cm-tall stalagmite comprises a time interval of ca. 20 kyr during the Last Glacial. Fin-like extensions in the lower part of the stalagmite document calcite deposition competing with the aggradation of coarsegrained sand. U-Th dates in combination with the internal structure of the stalagmite constrain the age of this period of clastic sedimentation by the cave stream to between 62 and 46 kyr. In addition, the stalagmite also reveals several layers of silty clay documenting growth interruptions as a result of prolonged flood events. Highresolution oxygen isotope measurements along the stalagmite growth axis highlight abrupt alternations of warmer and colder climate conditions during the Last Glacial period. The flooding events occurred preferentially at the end of the relatively short warm phases (interstadials) and at the onset of the subsequent cooling episodes (stadials).

Wet season hydrochemistry of Bribin Cave in Gunung Sewu Karst, Indonesia, 2012,
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Tjahyo Nugroho Adji

This research was conducted on the Bribin River, the most important underground river in the Gunung Sewu Karst, Gunung Kidul, Java, Indonesia. The main purpose of this study was to define the wet-season hydrochemistry of this river. This research also focuses on identifying the relationship between hydrochemical parameters to provide better aquifer characterization.Water-level monitoring and discharge measurements were conducted over a 1-year period to define the discharge hydrograph. Furthermore, baseflow-separation analysis is conducted to determine the diffuse-flow percentage throughout the year. Water sampling for hydrogeochemical analysis is taken every month in the wet season and every 2 hours for two selected flood events. To describe the hydrogeochemical processes, a bivariate plot analysis of certain hydrochemical parameters is conducted. The results show that the diffuse-flow percentage significantly controls the river hydrochemistry. The domination of diffuse flow occurs during non-flooding and flood recession periods, which are typified by a high value of calcium and bicarbonate and low CO2 gas content in water. Conversely, the hydrochemistry of flood events is characterized by the domination of conduit flow and CO2 gas with low calcium and bicarbonate content. According to the wet-season hydrochemistry, it seems that the small- and medium-sized fractures in the Bribin aquifer still provide storage for the diffuse and fissure flows, although the conduit fracture is already developed.


The vertical dimension of karst: controls of vertical cave pattern, 2013,
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Audra P. , Palmer A. N.

The vertical development of karst is related to the geomorphic evolution of the surrounding landscape. Cave profiles and levels reflect the local fluvial base level and its changes through time. These cave features tend to be preserved far longer than correlative surface features, which are more susceptible to weathering and erosion. As a result, cave morphology offers abundant clues that are helpful in reconstructing the regional geomorphic history. In the vadose zone, water is drawn downward by gravity along vertical fractures. In the phreatic zone, water follows the hydraulic gradient along the most efficient paths to available outlets in nearby valleys. Phreatic passages tend to have gentler gradients close to the water table, generally with some vertical sinuosity. Responding to irregular recharge rates, fluctuations in the water table define a transition zone, the epiphreatic zone, in which passages develop by floodwater flow. Free-surface flow in the vadose zone and full pipe flow in the phreatic zone produce distinctive passage morphologies. Identification of former vadose–phreatic transition zones makes it possible to reconstruct the position of former water tables that represent past static fluvial base levels. Early conceptual models considered cave origin mainly in relation to its position relative to the water table. Later, analytical and digital models showed that dramatic enlargement occurs when dissolutional enlargement of initial fissures is sufficient to allow rapid dissolution and turbulent flow to take place throughout the entire conduit length. Cave development is favored by the widest initial openings, and less importantly by the steepest hydraulic gradients and shortest flow distances. Consequently, most phreatic cave development takes place at or near the water table, but the presence of relatively wide fractures can lead to phreatic loops. Cave levels record successive base-level positions as valleys deepen. The oldest levels in Mammoth Cave (USA) and Clearwater Cave (Malaysia) have been dated beyond 3.5 Ma. However, when base level rises, the deepest parts of the karst are flooded and the flow follows phreatic lifts. In the epiphreatic zone, floodwater produces looping tubes above the low-flow water table. In these last two situations, high-level passages with large vertical loops are not necessarily the oldest. The juvenile pattern, composed of steep vadose passages, is common when soluble rock is first exposed. In perched aquifers, vadose erosion can produce very large cross sections. In dammed aquifers, the main drain is established at the water table. Irregular recharge causes backflooding, and passages develop throughout the epiphreatic zone, with looping profiles; however, when recharge is fairly regular, the passages develop along the stable water table. Interconnected cave levels correspond to some of the largest cave systems in the world. When base level rises, the karst is flooded; water rises through phreatic lifts and discharges at vauclusian springs. A per ascensum speleogenesis can produce higher-elevation passages that are younger than passages at lower elevations. Base-level rises occur after tectonic subsidence, filling of valleys, or sea-level rise, especially around the Mediterranean in response to the Messinian Salinity Crisis. Deep-phreatic karst, if not hypogenic, can generally be attributed to flooding by a base-level rise. 


Ostracod Assemblages in the Frasassi Caves and Adjacent Sulfidic Spring and Sentino River in the Northeastern Apennines of Italy, 2013,
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Peterson D. E. , Finger K. L. , Iepure S. , Mariani S. , Montanari A. , Namiotko T.

Rich, diverse assemblages comprising a total (live + dead) of twenty-one ostracod species belonging to fifteen genera were recovered from phreatic waters of the hypogenic Frasassi Cave system and the adjacent Frasassi sulfidic spring and Sentino River in the Marche region of the northeastern Apennines of Italy. Specimens were recovered from ten sites, eight of which were in the phreatic waters of the cave system and sampled at different times of the year over a period of five years. Approximately 6900 specimens were recovered, the vast majority of which were disarticulated valves; live ostracods were also collected. The most abundant species in the sulfidic spring and Sentino River were Prionocypris zenkeri, Herpetocypris chevreuxi, and Cypridopsis vidua, while the phreatic waters of the cave system were dominated by two putatively new stygobitic species of Mixtacandona and Pseudolimnocythere and a species that was also abundant in the sulfidic spring, Fabaeformiscandona ex gr. F. fabaeformis.
Pseudocandona ex gr. P. eremita, likely another new stygobitic species, is recorded for
the first time in Italy. The relatively high diversity of the ostracod assemblages at Frasassi
could be attributed to the heterogeneity of groundwater and associated habitats or to
niche partitioning promoted by the creation of a chemoautotrophic ecosystem based on
sulfur-oxidizing bacteria. Other possible factors are the geologic age and hydrologic
conditions of the cave and karst aquifer system that possibly originated in the early–
middle Pleistocene when topographic uplift and incision enabled deep sulfidic waters to
reach the local carbonate aquifer. Flooding or active migration would have introduced
the invertebrates that now inhabit the Frasassi Cave system


MINE CAVES ON THE SOUTH-EASTERN FLANK OF THE HARZ MOUNTAINS (SAXONY-ANHALT, GERMANY) LE GROTTE DI MINIERA DEL VERSANTE SUD-ORIENTALE DELLE MONTAGNE DELLHARZ (SASSONIA-ANHALT, GERMANIA), 2013,
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Brust Michael K. , Nash Graham

The historical copper shale mine excavations on the south-eastern flank of Harz Mountains have cut into numerous large caves in gypsum and anhydrite. These caves are known as “Schlotten” (pl., sg. Schlotte). The word is derived from the Early New High German meaning internal hollow formations allowing the drainage of water and already finds mention in XVIth century literature. However, these quite spectacular gypsum caves have never aroused the interest of the wider public. Discovered through mining, they have always been only accessible via pit shafts and galleries and invariably considered to be part of the mine. But in a scientific sense they are deep phreatic and hypogene caves in a parent rock of anhydrite or gypsum, in their natural state filled with water and without an entrance. They are unique geological outcrops in Zechstein (upper Permian), large karst caves of rare character and particular beauty as well as cultural witnesses to historical mining. The miners used the “Schlotten” for a long period of time to drain water from the mines (until the XVIIIth century) and for economical reasons also to store unwanted spoil (until the XIXth century). As the mine workings reached deeper levels, sub- sidence and flooding became more common and the intensity of the karst dissolution process increased. Problems of catastrophic proportions due to mine flooding were encountered in 1892 near Eisleben and in 1988 near Sangerhausen. The hydrological problems that confronted the copper shale mine excavations in the south-eastern Harz region are of geogenic origin. The exploitable seams, which on average slope between 3º and 8º, are covered with a between 4 and 7 metre thick layer of limestone (Zechstein) with the characteristics of a karst aquifer. Above this a 60 m thick layer of anhydrite or gypsum is found, in which the “Schlotten” are formed, notably on geological faults. The relevance of the “Schlotten” as a natural phenomenon was first appreciated in depth by Johann Carl Freiesleben (1774-1846). He described them scientifically in 1809 and campaigned emphatically for their preservation. With regard to this, the “Wimmelburger Schlotten” near Eisleben were surveyed and geologically mapped by Anton Erdmann (1782-1848). The plan and side elevation of the cave survey were reproduced in copperplate and are considered to be the oldest published depiction of a gypsum cave in Germany. From the mid 70s the “Schlotten” became subject of speleological research for a short period of time. The abandoned projects have only recently been re-established. Two of the “Schlotten” are accessible via the Mining Museum Wettelrode: the “Segen-Gottes-Schlotte” and the “Elisabethschaechter Schlotte” near Sangerhausen. The “Wimmelburger Schlotten” near Eisleben are the largest gypsum caves in Germany and to a certain extent accessible for research.


Mapping and monitoring geological hazards using optical, LiDAR, and synthetic aperture RADAR image data, 2014,
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Joyce K. E. , Samsonov S. V. , Levick S. R. , Engelbrecht J. , Belliss S.

Geological hazards and their effects are often geographically widespread. Consequently, their effective mapping and monitoring is best conducted using satellite and airborne imaging platforms to obtain broad scale, synoptic coverage. With a multitude of hazards and effects, potential data types, and processing techniques, it can be challenging to determine the best approach for mapping and monitoring. It is therefore critical to understand the spatial and temporal effects of any particular hazard on the environment before selecting the most appropriate data type/s and processing techniques to apply. This review is designed to assist the decision-making and selection process when embarking on a hazard mapping or monitoring exercise. It focuses on the application of optical, LiDAR, and synthetic aperture RADAR technologies for the assessment of pre-event risk and postevent damage. Geological hazards of global interest summarized here are landslides and erosion; seismic and tectonic hazards; ground subsidence; and flooding and tsunami


Assessment of forward osmosis as a possible mitigation strategy for urine management during extended cave exploration, 2014,
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Borer C. H. , Stiles W. J. , Stevenson J. C. , . Cabanillas K. E

Extended expeditions into caves for the purpose of survey, exploration, and scientific studies pose unique challenges to cavers, but also create the potential for environmental degradation as a result of human activities. Human waste disposal can present particular challenges during extended trips underground. Urine may cause rapid microbe proliferation and substantial odor when deposited in areas that do not receive frequent flooding, but weight and bulk make it impractical to carry many days worth of urine to the surface. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of a forward osmosis system to concentrate nitrogen-containing and carbon-containing compounds, which would allow for cleaner treated liquid to be deposited in the cave. The concentrated waste solution, with lower weight and volume than the raw urine, could then be removed from the cave. In our analysis of volume and chemical changes of a urine solution treated over the course of a week-long trial, we determined that the system, as tested, does reduce the weight and concentrate the chemical constituents in urine, allowing some chemical separation from the treated liquid. Unfortunately, the drawbacks of this system (chemical breakthrough, added weight of the system, and unknown ecological effects associated with substantial sodium chloride additions to the cave) outweigh the benefits. We do not recommend this forward osmosis system, as tested, as an effective mitigation strategy, although other treatment strategies may hold promise.


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