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Advances in Karst Research: Theory, Fieldwork and Applications

Product Code: SP466
Series: GSL Special Publications
Author/Editor: Edited by: M. Parise, F. Gabrovsek, G. Kaufmann and N. Ravbar
Publication Date: 05 June 2018
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Special Publication 466

Karst landscapes and karst aquifers are composed of a variety of soluble rocks, such as salt, gypsum, anhydrite, limestone, dolomite and quartzite. They are fascinating areas of exploration, study and research. As karst rocks are abundant on the Earths surface, the fast evolution of karst landscapes and the rapid flow of water through karst aquifers present many challenges from a number of different perspectives. This collection of 25 papers deals with different aspects of these challenges, including karst geology, geomorphology and speleogenesis, karst hydrogeology, karst modelling, and karst hazards and management. Together these papers provide a state-of-the-art review of the current challenges and solutions we face in describing karst from a scientific perspective, while at the same time providing useful data and information for managing karst territories to land planners, developers, and managers of show caves, natural parks and reserves in karst terrains.

Published online 29/05/2018. Print copies available from 05/06/2018

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Type: Book
Ten Digit ISBN:
Thirteen Digit ISBN: 978-1-78620-359-5
Publisher: GSL
Binding: Hardback
Pages: 486
Weight: 1.2 kg



Parise, M., Gabrovsek, F., Kaufmann, G. & Ravbar, N. Recent advances in karst research: from theory to fieldwork and applications

Karst geology, geomorphology, and speleogenesis

Broughton, P. L. Orogeny and the collapse of the Devonian Prairie Evaporite karst in Western Canada: impact on the overlying Cretaceous Athabasca Oil Sands

Klimchouk, A. Tafoni and honeycomb structures as indicators of ascending fluid flow and hypogene karstification

Petrović, A. S., Ćalić, J., Spalević, A. & Pantić, M. Relations between surface and underground karst forms inferred from terrestrial laser scanning

Oberender, P. & Plan, L. A genetic classification of caves and its application in eastern Austria

Parise, M. & Benedetto, L. Surface landforms and speleological investigation for a better understanding of karst hydrogeological processes: a history of research in southeastern Italy

Badino, G., De Vivo, A., Forti, P. & Piccini, L. The Puerto Princesa Underground River (Palawan, Philippines): some peculiar features of a tropical, high-energy coastal karst system

Mylroie, J. E. & Mylroie, J. R. Role of karst denudation on the accurate assessment of glacio-eustasy and tectonic uplift on carbonate coasts

Frumkin, A. & Langford, B. Arid hypogene karst in a multi-aquifer system: hydrogeology and speleogenesis of Ashalim Cave, Negev Desert, Israel

Vaks, A., Bar-Matthews, M., Ayalon, A., Matthews, A. & Frumkin, A. Pliocene–Pleistocene palaeoclimate reconstruction from Ashalim Cave speleothems, Negev Desert, Israel

Karst hydrogeology

Stevanović, Z. Global distribution and use of water from karst aquifers

Jones, C. J. R., Springer, A. E., Tobin, B. W., Zappitello, S. J. & Jones, N. A. Characterization and hydraulic behaviour of the complex karst of the Kaibab Plateau and Grand Canyon National Park, USA

Iván, V. & Mádl-Szőnyi, J. Vulnerability assessment and its validation: the Gömör-Torna Karst, Hungary and Slovakia

Sánchez, D., Barberá, J. A., Mudarra, M., Andreo, B. & Martín, J. F. Hydrochemical and isotopic characterization of carbonate aquifers under natural flow conditions, Sierra Grazalema Natural Park, southern Spain

Ravbar, N., Kovačič, G., Petrič, M., Kogovšek, J., Brun, C. & Koželj, A. Climatological trends and anticipated karst spring quantity and quality: case study of the Slovene Istria

Bonacci, O. Preliminary analysis of the decrease in water level of Vrana Lake on the small carbonate island of Cres (Dinaric karst, Croatia)

Karst modelling

Kresic, N. & Panday, S. Numerical groundwater modelling in karst

Hartmann, A. Experiences in calibrating and evaluating lumped karst hydrological models

Kaufmann, G. & Romanov, D. Geophysical observations and structural models of two shallow caves in gypsum/anhydrite-bearing rocks in Germany

Badino, G. Models of temperature, entropy production and convective airflow in caves

Karst hazards and management

Fiore, A., Fazio, N. L., Lollino, P., Luisi, M., Miccoli, M. N., Pagliarulo, R., Perrotti, M., Pisano, L., Spalluto, L., Vennari, C., Vessia, G. & Parise, M. Evaluating the susceptibility to anthropogenic sinkholes in Apulian calcarenites, southern Italy

Naughton, O., McCormack, T., Gill, L. & Johnston, P. Groundwater flood hazards and mechanisms in lowland karst terrains

Debevec, V., Peric, B., Šturm, S., Zorman, T. & Jovanovič, P. Škocjan Caves, Slovenia: an integrative approach to the management of a World Heritage Site

Kovarik, J. L. & van Beynen, P. E. Karst-specific composite model for informed resource management decisions on the Biosfera de la Reserva Selva el Ocote, Chiapas, Mexico

Auler, A. S., Souza, T. A. R., Sé, D. C. & Soares, G. A. A review and statistical assessment of the criteria for determining cave significance

Forti, P. What will be the future of the giant gypsum crystals of Naica mine?



Stephen Crabtree

The challenge for any book about karst research is focus—what constitutes research and what appeals to the generalist. The editors define karst as the slow work of dissolution exerted by water on soluble rocks. At first glance, karst research appears as a narrow field—as many cavers can attest! However, despite the definition, the papers range far and wide, covering topics from petroleum geology to conservation.

The editors deftly tee up the book by reminding readers that 14% of Earth’s surface is potentially karstic and that 15% of the world’s population drink water from karst aquifers. These bold claims are reflected in four sections—karst geology, geomorphology and speleogenesis; karst hydrology; karst modelling; and karst hazards and management. This editorial approach has risks, because it gives the impression of a lack of clear direction or even worse, good research topics.

Key contributions show the reader that karst research can provide Earth scientists with windows on geological processes that are difficult to unwind from the geological record. The papers on Israeli caves, for example, illustrate how speleothems provide details of both climate and vegetation changes over the past 3 million years. Likewise, the work on denudation, eustacy and uplift demonstrates the importance of understanding karst processes before determining subsidence rates or tectonic uplift.

One major criticism of the publication is the poor editing of the papers—did anyone (Book Society Editors?) read some of these papers before publishing? There is no excuse for verbosity or overly long papers, particularly where the authors have published extensively on the subject.

The editors state, “there are many unresolved theoretical problems in karst processes, water flow, and mass and heat transport”—this publication does not go far enough in trying to resolve some of these problems and, rather than having focus, has taken a shotgun approach in attempting to ground key issues.

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