UIS Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis

There will be a Karst Session at GSA 2012 Annual Meeting in November 4-7, Charlotte, NC, USA.

Please submit your papers and please plan to attend the following session.

Title: The evolution of karst landscapes through time in response to changing hydrologic, geomorphic, and tectonic conditions.

Rationale: The scope and characteristics of a karst terrain are dynamic, not static, because the factors controlling the development and distribution of karst features change through time and during geologic and/or climate cycles, especially in response to changes in the hydrologic, geomorphic, and tectonic setting of the region. Each cycle of development generates a recognizable signal.

By knowing the evolutionary history of a karst area, it's easier to interpret the complexities of karst hydrology. For example: during high flow, old conduits are reactivated. This helps to anticipate or explain odd patterns of contaminant dispersion. Continuing conduit development can lead to piracy of one basin by another, changing the flow paths and capacity of each basin (e.g., the piracy of the Mammoth Cave drainage basin by the Turnhole Spring drainage basin). Cave patterns and surface landforms can adjust and change as a result of changes in surface hydrogeology (e.g., pre-glacial versus post-glacial drainage patterns). Karst preserves much of its past in the form of relict features. Those that are underground are preserved much longer and more intact than anything on the surface, where weathering and erosion take their toll. Interpretation of these relict features can also be used to expand the interpretation of past geomorphic events to nearby non-karst regions (e.g., the use of cave levels to help interpret the evolution of the surface drainage system).

Data collection and analytical capabilities continue to improve and expand. Opportunities to not only examine existing data in new ways but to also generate new classes of data and analysis are facilitated by GIS, GPS, advancements in the accuracy of land and cave surveying tools and abilities, the availability of new remote sensing techniques (e.g., LIDAR), and the increasing use of various geophysical survey techniques. The ability to document and analyze the suite of surface and subsurface features in karst terrain and how these features relate to the various components of the local and regional geologic settings been greatly improved by these developments.

Focus Topics: How do the characteristics of karst terrain change in response to changes in hydrology, geomorphology, and tectonism? How are these changes reflected in the landscape and hydrogeology? Recent advances in methodology will also be highlighted.

For more information as it becomes available on the meeting and instructions on submitting abstracts, visit this site.