Karst Geomorphology and Hazards in carbonate and evaporite terrains (co-organized)
|Convener: Mario Parise | Co-Conveners: Natasa Ravbar , Jo De Waele , Jiri Bruthans|
Karst landscapes, in which dissolution of bedrock by water is the dominant geomorphic process, characterise almost 20 % of the continents and more than a quarter of the Earth's population lives on or nearby karst areas. Typical karst topography is essentially related to the subterranean drainage, with a strict interrelation between geomorphology and hydrology. The majority of karst areas worldwide develop in carbonate terrains. Due to a number of particular geologic and hydrogeologic features (fractured rocks, presence of karst cavities and conduits, rapid concentrated flow), carbonate karst areas are among the world’s most vulnerable settings to natural hazards. Occurrence of subsidence phenomena, floods, and slope movements may be very frequent, causing serious damage. Agriculture and land use changes may lead to degradation of the karst landscape, potentially favoring development of erosion and eventually resulting in rocky desertification. Anthropogenic activities such as intensive quarrying may cause partial or total destruction of the karst landscape and of near-surface caves, with the loss of their important geological and archaeological evidence. Fragility of karst environments is further evidenced by karst groundwater systems, which supply about 25% of the global population with drinkable waters. Many hazards affecting karst environments can be fully understood only through a multidisciplinary approach, combining expertise from different fields, including but not limited to, geomorphology, engineering geology, hydrology, hydrogeology, geophysics, and geochemistry.
This session dedicated to Geomorphology and Hazards in Carbonate Terrain is organized as an opportunity to share experiences from different areas of the world, to discuss methodologies and techniques for a better understanding of carbonate karst and the different hazards which may occur in these very fragile environments, and finally, to better understand more correct ways for karst management. The aim of this session is to bring together researchers dealing with both surface and underground dissolutional and depositional karst features in different climatic and geographical situations, and the related hazards.
The session will be dedicated, but not limited to, the following topics:
(1) What are the driving mechanisms of karst dissolution and on what time scales do they operate?
(2) How do variations in geomechanical or hydrological factors affect the development of karstification?
(3) How do the above variations may lead to formation of sinkholes, or development of other hazards?
(4) Are there geophysical, geodetic, or other precursors to sinkhole collapse or other hazards, and how might they be detected and monitored?
(5) What are the factors threatening carbonate karst resources quality and quantity?
(6) How can hazards in and to karst be mitigated?
The conveners look forward to receiving contributions that share experiences and case studies from karst areas worldwide. Contributions that present a multidisciplinary approach to karst-related problems, and/or that discuss new methodologies and techniques, are particularly encouraged.
Note: this session is part of a block of 4 multi-disciplinary sessions on karst that are proposed this year in the EGU programme. A selection of studies presented at this session will be considered for publication in a special issue of a relevant international journal.