Cave System (cave + system)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Invasion of a karst aquifer by hydrothermal fluids: evidence from stable isotopic compositions of cave mineralization

S. H. Bottrell
Abstract Mineral deposits in the Cupp-Coutunn/Promeszutochnaya cave system (Turkmenia, central Asia) record a phase of hydrothermal activity within a pre-existing karstic groundwater conduit system. Hydrothermal fluids entered the caves through fault zones and deposited sulphate, sulphide and carbonate minerals under phreatic conditions. Locally, intense alteration of limestone wall rocks also occurred at this stage. Elsewhere in the region, similar faults contain economic quantities of galena and elemental sulphur mineralization. Comparisons between the Pb and S isotope compositions of minerals found in cave and ore deposits confirm the link between economic mineralization and hydrothermal activity at Cupp-Coutunn. The predominance of sulphate mineralization in Cupp-Coutunn implies that the fluids were more oxidized in the higher permeability zone associated with the karst aquifer. A slight increase in the ,34S of sulphate minerals and a corresponding ,34S decrease in sulphides suggest that partial isotopic equilibration occurred during oxidation. Carbonate minerals indicate that the hydrothermal fluid was enriched in 18O (,18OSMOW , + 10,) relative to meteoric groundwater and seawater. Estimated values for ,13CDIC (,13CPDB , , 13,) are consistent with compositions expected for dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) derived from the products of thermal decomposition of organic matter and dissolution of marine carbonate. Values derived for ,13CDIC and ,18Owater indicate that the hydrothermal fluid was of basinal brine origin, generated by extensive water,rock interaction. Following the hydrothermal phase, speleothemic minerals were precipitated under vadose conditions. Speleothemic sulphates show a bimodal sulphur isotope distribution. One group has compositions similar to the hydrothermal sulphates, whilst the second group is characterized by higher ,34S values. This latter group may either record the effects of microbial sulphate reduction, or reflect the introduction of sulphate-rich groundwater generated by the dissolution of overlying evaporites. Oxygen isotope compositions show that calcite speleothems were precipitated from nonthermal groundwater of meteoric origin. Carbonate speleothems are relatively enriched in 13C compared to most cave deposits, but can be explained by normal speleothem-forming processes under thin, arid-zone soils dominated by C4 vegetation. However, the presence of sulphate speleothems, with isotopic compositions indicative of the oxidation of hydrothermal sulphide, implies that CO2 derived by reaction of limestone with sulphuric acid (,condensation corrosion') contributed to the formation of 13C-enriched speleothem deposits. [source]

Real-Time SLAM with Octree Evidence Grids for Exploration in Underwater Tunnels

Nathaniel Fairfield
We describe a simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) method for a hovering underwater vehicle that will explore underwater caves and tunnels, a true three-dimensional (3D) environment. Our method consists of a Rao-Blackwellized particle filter with a 3D evidence grid map representation. We describe a procedure for dynamically adjusting the number of particles to provide real-time performance. We also describe how we adjust the particle filter prediction step to accommodate sensor degradation or failure. We present an efficient octree data structure that makes it feasible to maintain the hundreds of maps needed by the particle filter to accurately model large environments. This octree structure can exploit spatial locality and temporal shared ancestry between particles to reduce the processing and storage requirements. To test our SLAM method, we utilize data collected with manually deployed sonar mapping vehicles in the Wakulla Springs cave system in Florida and the Sistema ZacatoŽn in Mexico, as well as data collected by the DEPTHX vehicle in the test tank at the Austin Applied Research Laboratory. We demonstrate our mapping and localization approach with these real-world datasets. © 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Distribution of the Ordovician Fluid in the Tahe Oilfield and Dynamic Response of Cave System S48 to Exploitation

LOU Zhanghua
Abstract: The Tahe Oilfield is a complex petroleum reservoir of Ordovician carbonate formation and made up of spatially overlapping fracture-cavity units. The oilfield is controlled by a cave system resulting from structure-karst cyclic sedimentation. Due to significant heterogeneity of the reservoir, the distribution of oil and water is complicated. Horizontally, a fresh water zone due to meteoric water can be found in the north part of the Akekule uplift. A marginal freshening zone caused by water released from mudstone compaction is found at the bottom of the southern slope. Located in a cross-formational flow discharge zone caused by centripetal and the centrifugal flows, the main part of the Tahe Oilfield, featuring high salinity and concentrations of Cl, and K++Na+, is favorable for accumulation of hydrocarbon. Three types of formation water in the Tahe Ordovician reservoir are identified: (1) residual water at the bottom of the cave after oil and gas displacement, (2) residual water in fractures/pores around the cave after oil and gas displacement, and (3) interlayer water below reservoirs. The cave system is the main reservoir space, which consists of the main cave, branch caves and depressions between caves. Taking Cave System S48 in the Ordovician reservoir as an example, the paper analyzes the fluid distribution and exploitation performance in the cave system. Owing to evaporation of groundwater during cross-formational flow, the central part of the main cave, where oil layers are thick and there is a high degree of displacement, is characterized by high salinity and Br, concentration. With high potential and a long stable production period, most wells in the central part of the main cave have a long water-free oil production period. Even after water breakthrough, the water content has a slow or stepwise increase and the hydrochemistral characteristics of the produced water in the central part of the main cave are uniform. From the center to the edge of the main cave, displacement and enrichment of oil/gas become weaker, residual water increases, and the salinity and concentration of Br, decrease. At the edge of the main cave, although the wells have a high deliverability at the beginning with a short stable production period and water-free production period. After water breakthrough, the pressure and deliverability drop quickly, and the water content rises quickly. The hydrochemistral characteristics of the produced water are relatively uniform. Wells in the branch caves have a relatively low deliverability at the beginning, with a short stable production period. Water breakthrough appears quickly and then the pressure and deliverability drop quickly. The salinity and concentrations of Cl, and K++Na+ are usually fluctuant or descend slowly in the produced water. Wells in low areas of ancient karst have a low deliverability and a short stable production period. The yield drops quickly and the water content is high, while the characteristics of the produced water may vary significantly well to well. The salinity and concentrations of Cl, and K++Na+ in the produced water are usually fluctuant with a precipitous decline. [source]

Fluorescence of Dissolved Organic Matter as a Natural Tracer of Ground Water

GROUND WATER, Issue 5 2001
Andy Baker
The fluorescence properties of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in ground water in the Permian limestone of northeast England is determined from six monitoring boreholes, a private water supply well and from a natural resurgence in a flooded collapse doline in the environs of Darlington, County Durham, northeast England. Measurements of both protein and "fulvic-like" fluorescence was undertaken from January to December 1999. The wavelengths of fulvic-like fluorescence excitation and emission and of protein fluorescence emission were all determined to be sensitive fingerprints of organic matter fluxes through the ground water, with water within the till and within both gypsum and limestone strata deep inside the Magnesian Limestone being differentiated by these parameters. Previous research has suggested that proteins in waters are "young" in age, hence our seasonal variations suggest that we are sampling recently formed DOM. The rapid response of all deep borehole samples suggests relatively rapid ground water flow, probably through karstic cave systems developed in the gypsum and solution widened features in the dolomitic limestone. Our results suggest that use of both protein and fulvic-like fluorescence wavelength variations provides a DOM signature that can be used as a natural tracer. [source]