Volume 13, Number 1 June 2013 Building understanding of karst through interdisciplinary action
K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 2 Welcome to The Conduit 3 KWI Happenings 3 Nicole Ridlen 2013 Wilson Scholarship Recipient 4 Upcoming 2014 Conference Hypogene Cave Morphologies 4 Research Focus Long term Instrumentation for Omega Cave 5 The 13 th Sinkhole Conference Did Not Sink Expectations! 6 Carbon and Boundaries in Karst Meeting 6 Upcoming Conferences 7 Table of Contents Development Committee Chair Comptroller Dr. David C. Culver Dept. of Environmental Science American University Washington, DC Secretary Dr. Ira Sasowsky Dept of Geology & Environmental Science University of Akron Akron, Ohio Front cover: View from the walking tour in Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, during the field trip for the KWI Carbon and Boundaries in Karst conference held in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Many conferences in the past year have been held in Carlsbad, New Mexico, at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute. Photo by Annette Summers Engel. Current Officers of the Karst Waters Institute President Dr. Janet Herman Department of Environmental Sciences University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA Executive Vice President Dr. William B. White 210 Materials Research Lab Penn State University University Park, Pennsylvania Vice President for Research Dr. Carol Wicks Dept. of Geology & Geophysics Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, Louisiana Vice President for Education Dr. Horton H. Hobbs, III Dept. of Biology Wittenberg University Springfield, Ohio Vice President for Communications Dr. Annette Summers Engel Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences University of Tennessee Knoxville, Tennessee Chairman of the Board Mr. William K. Jones P. O. Box 4142 Leesburg, Virginia The Conduit is an e newsletter of the Karst Waters Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Karst Waters Institute, Inc. P.O. Box 4142 Leesburg, Virginia 20177 Gifts are tax deductible in the United States to the extent allowed by law. Visit www.karstwaters.org for more information. Copyright Karst Waters Institute. All rights reserved. Building understanding of karst through interdisciplinary action Send address changes to vp_communications @ karstwaters.org. Please include subject line when e mailing. Questions about submitting material can also be sent to this address. Thanks! If interested i n advertising in The Conduit please inquire at firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING??? Current Board Members Ms. Emily Davis Speleobooks Schoharie, New York Dr. Horton H. Hobbs, III Dept. of Biology Wittenberg University Springfield, Ohio Dr. Jonathan B. Martin Dept. of Geology University of Florida Gainesville, Florida Dr. Benjamin Schwartz Dept. of Biology Texas State University San Marcos, Texas Dr. John W. Hess Geological Society of America Boulder, Colorado Secretary Dr Ira Sasowsky Dept of Geology & Environ. Science University of Akron Akron, Ohio Dr. William B. White Penn State University University Park, Pennsylvania Dr. Paul J. Moore ExxonMobil Houston, Texas Treasurer Mr. Harvey R. DuChene HNK Energy LLC Lake City, Colorado Vice Chair Dr. Dorothy Vesper Dept. of Geology & Geography West Virginia University Morgantown, West Virginia Dr. Megan Porter Dept of Biology University of South Dakota Vermillion, South Dakota Dr. Daniel Doctor U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia Dr. Steve Taylor Illinois Natural History Survey University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Champaign, Illinois Dr. Paul J. Moore ExxonMobil Houston, Texas Dr. Matt Covington Dept. of Geosciences University of Arkansas Fayetteville, Arkansas
K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 3 Welcome to The Conduit -Annette Summers Engel This e newsletter is distributed twice a year to over 700 karst enthusiasts globally. This issue of The Conduit contains information about the most recent KWI Board meeting held in February 2013 in Colorado. and the KWI Awards banquet that honored Dr. Norman Pace. We also announced the new Wilson Scholarship recipient from Mississippi State University. This issue of The Conduit includes a research spotlight on the Omega Cave System in Virginia. Two KWI Board members, Matt Covington and Benjamin Schwartz, received funding to install long term instrumentation in the cave system. This is an exciting venture for karst science, and anyone interested in the cave, instrumentation, or data should contact them. Reports from two past conferences highlight that they are among the first to take place at the National Cave and Karst Resear ch Institute ( NCKRI ) headquarters in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The cover of this issue celebrates the proximity of NCKRI to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Having attended one of these conference myself this year, I will add that anyone who has an opportunit y to attend a NCKRI hosted conference in the future should jump at the chance. Institute and Board Members meet in Boulder, Colorado The Spring Institute meeting was held February 2 at the Geological Society of America headquarters in Boulder, before the annual Awards Dinner to honor Dr. Norman Pace that evening. Business at the meeting was discussed in person and some Board members unable to attend participated via conference call. Reports were given by the Communications and Development depart ments as well as from the Finance and Audit Committees. The group discussed the recent conference, Carbon and Boundaries in Karst, held in Carlsbad, New Mexico, at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute ( NCKRI ) headquarters. Highlights from the conference are on page 7. The next KWI conference, Hypogene Cave Morphologies, will be held February 2014 on San Salvador, The Bahamas. See the announcement on page 4 for more information. Ideas for future workshops and conferences were exchanged, and there was discussion about potential book and map projects to be undertaken in the future. Jones, Sasowsky and White were reappointed to the Board, and Dr. Matt Covington (University of Arkansas) and Dr. Megan Porter (University of South Dakota) were elected to the Board. Mylroie was moved to Emeritus status. Dr. Jon Martin will take over as the chair of the Wilson Scholarship committee. The Karst Award banquet was held at the Tangerine restaurant, in Boulder. Thirty two individuals shared a buffet dinner, and then heard Dr. Pace speak about laboratory. The talk summarized some of his recent research on the microbiology of drinking water systems throughout the United States, likening the network of drinking water pipes to karst conduit systems. Dr. Pace is a Distinguished Professor of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The KWI Karst Award adds to the many awards that Dr. Pace has received in his career, including the 2001 Selman A. Waksman Award for Distinguished Contributions in Microbiology from the National Academy of Sciences, the microbiology. Pace has been elected a Fellow of the National Speleological Society ( NSS ), the Cave Research Foundation and the Explorers Club. He received the Lewis Bicking Award from the NSS for his contributions to American caving. KWI Happenings Mingling before the 2013 Karst Award dinner and talk. Jack Hess announcing the schedule of activities for the evening. Karst Award presented to Dr. Pace from Jack Hess, KWI Board Member. KWI Institute and Board members meeting at GSA Headquarters, Boulder, Colorado.
K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 4 Upcoming 2014 Conference Hypogene Cave Morphologies Nicole Ridlen is currently enrolled at Mississippi State University where she is an M.S. Geosciences student. She earned her B.S. in Geology from University of Central Missouri located in Warrensburg, Missouri, and a B.A. in Business Management from Columbia College in Columbia, Missouri. Nicole started caving recreationally in the limestone mines of Missouri with some friends and it quickly became a passion. She is a member of the National Speleological Society, affiliated with the Chouteau Grotto, and has assisted the Kansas City Area Grotto in a few restoration and mapping projects. Infatuated with speleothems she decided to get second bachelors in geology so she could dedicate a career to studying their formation and educating the world on the significance of speleothems and cave geology. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, photography, the outdoors blogging on her website, and of course, caving. The William L. Wilson Scholarship in Karst Science was established in 2002 to recognize the significant karst science contributions of the late William (Bill) L. Wilson. Bill Wilson used a variety of techniques, and unusual creativity, to tackle some of the most difficult karst science questions in Florida and elsewhere. He developed a leading karst consulting company in the United States, Subsurface Evaluations, Incorporated. To stimulate the development of new, energetic, motivated, and creative karst scientists, and to remember the person of Bill Wilson and his dedication to karst science, the scholarship has been established in his memory. The value of the scholarship as a one time award is $1,000. To apply for the William L. Wilson Scholarship, the following conditions exist : The applicant must be currently enrolled in, or have been accepted into, a MS degree program at an institution of higher education in the USA. PhD students are not eligible The application deadline is February 15 annually. See http:// karstwaters.org/scholarship/index.php for details. Nicole Ridlen 2013 Wilson Scholarship Recipient The Hypogene Cave Morphologies conference will be held at the Gerace Research Centre ( GRC ) on San Salvador Island, The Bahamas, February 2 7, 2014. The conference is organized by the Karst Waters Institute, with co sponsorship by the UIS (International Speleological Union) Commission on Karst Hydrogeology and Speleogenesis (within its Hypokarst Project).The main activities of the conference will be to examine and discuss the unique cave morphologies and speleogens associated with hypogene caves, from the scale of 100 km+ cave maps down to the centimeter wall rock shapes and forms. Questions to be addressed include: How could we classify hydrogeological settings/environments of hypogene speleogenesis? Can morphologies be uniquely characterized to identify hypogene caves? What effect do laminar flow regimes have on geochemical dissolution models in hypogene settings? Do flank margin caves fall into the hypogene flow environment? Participation in this small conference is by invitation only, but volunteered abstracts will be considered as space allows. T he meeting is planned as a field conference, where time will be spent in the field every day to examine the unique rock and kars t environments found in small, young carbonate islands. There will be morning scientific sessions, and social events every evening. An optional pre meeting one day field trip to Eleuthera Island to examine some spectacular cave and karst sites is being developed. The GRC is a field station (see www.geraceresearchcentre.com for more information about the field station). The registration fee is $620, which will cover all meals and lodging at the GRC as well as all San Salvador field trip expenses, field guide, etc. Participants will arrive by commercial air to San Salvador. The Eleuthera pre conference field grip will fly Nassau to Eleuthera and then by charter on to San Salvador for the start of the conference. Participants can also stay on at the GRC after the end of the conference if they so desire, to take advantage of the tropical environment, by paying the standard room and board fee for each day extra stayed. Contact John Mylroie at: email@example.com for more information. A non refundable deposit of $200 is due by September 1, 2013, and final fees paid by December 31, 2013. Nicole on Bonaire, December 2012 www.karstwaters.org
Recently the Cave Conservancy of the Virginias (CCV) approved a research grant, for Long Term Hydrogeochemical and Climatological Monitoring in the Omega Cave System, Wise County, provides funding for us to install a network of instrumentation in the Omega Cave System. The Omega system lies beneath the flanks of Powell Mountain in Wise County, VA, USA and is an excellent example of a scarp slope type karst system; a type of karst system that is widespread throughout the Appalachian Mountains and other sedimentary fold and thrust belt mountain ranges around the world. During the past 17 years, work in the Omega System has primarily focused on exploration and survey, and the cave now stands at 47 km in length and 385 m in depth; the longest in VA and the deepest east of the Mississippi River. It also contains one of the longest continuously traversable in cave stream passages in the USA, (over 10 km, and continuing upstream), is listed on the VA Significant Cave list, and may be the longest cave under U.S. Forest Service property (one entrance lies on the U.S. Forest Service). In addition, the cave lies in one of the most biodiverse regions of the USA in terms of obligate cave adapted fauna. With the entrances to the system owned by the CCV and the U.S. Forest Service, and the upper entrance jointly managed by the CCV and the U.S. Forest Service, long term access is essentially guaranteed for research and exploration. There are currently no large cave systems in the Appalachians that have received long term study of this nature, and this cave is an idea natural laboratory for long term monitoring because of its morphology, biology, geology, hydrology, and because of the ideal ownership situation. reasonably thorough biological inventory of the cave, and dye tracing work to delineate major flowpaths Additionally, several smaller ongoing projects are focused on paleomagnetic dating and characterization of sedimentary deposits in the cave, measuring and documenting structural features that have guided passage development, sampling for major ions, nutrients, and liquid water stable isotopes, and cataloging locations of paleontological and paleobotanical remains. Previously, research in Omega has primarily been supported by personal observations, survey data, and donated analyses, and has been performed during annual week long survey expeditions that have been supported by many willing volunteer cavers from VA, around the USA, and even from overseas. This first phase of the research is to install a network of hydrogeochemical and climatological instrumentation in the cave. During the past 17 years, scientific research has been a secondary priority for work in the system. The funding from the CCV will Research Focus Long term Instrumentation for Omega Cave -Submitted by Benjamin F. Schwartz ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) & Matthew D. Covington ( email@example.com ) beginning with continuous hydrogeochemical and environmental data. These data can be used to answer a variety of basic scientific questions about how the system functions and responds to potential changes in environmental drivers over time. In addition, these data will support research that requires basic hydrogeochemical or environmental data to answer a variety of other questions, whether currently defined or as yet undefined. As the instrumentation network is installed and we begin building a dataset, we also welcome inquiries from scientists who are interested in collaborating with us on research that directly or indirectly utilizes these data and/or instrumentation, as well as from any who may be interested in expanding the number or diversity of sites or instruments in the cave. Other inquiries about the cave and/or the instrumentation are also welcome. allow Omega to be established as one of the few well instrumented karst systems in existence, elevating research as a priority in Omega by enabling a long term (i.e., decades, rather than several years) monitoring and data collection program, Campsite in the upstream portion of the cave is situated in Major, MAJOR! Borehole! Photo by Benjamin Schwartz, 2011. Stan Allison inspects large scallops. Photo by Stephen Smith, 2001. K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 5
K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 6 The 13 th Sinkhole Conference did not sink expectations! The 13 th Sinkhole 11, 2013 at the headquarters of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute ( NCKRI ) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. In attendance were a total of 113 participants representing 8 countries (China, Croatia, Great Brita in, Italy, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and the USA). The conference was dedicated to the memory of Barry F. Beck, who passed away in 2011. Barry initiated the Sinkhole Conference series in 1984 and was instrumental in maintaining the series of meetings over the years. A special memorial session was held in his honor highlighting his numerous contributions to karst science and his efforts to broaden the community of karst scientists. The Karst Waters Institute was well represented both at the conference and in its organization. KWI Board member Ira Sasowsky was on the organizing committee. KWI Board member Harvey DuChene provided a keynote address at the con ference Mladen (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Mario Parise (National Research Council of Italy), William Kochanov (Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources), and Kenneth Johnson (consulting geologist, Norman, Oklahoma). KWI Board member Daniel Doctor co edited the Proceedings volume (along with Lewis Land and J. Brad Stephenson), and co tools for delineating karst sinkholes and closed depressions from 1 meter LiDAR Evaporite karst in the Black Hills, South Dakota and Wyoming, and the oil play in the Williston Basin, North Proceedings volume is posted within the Karst Information Portal, and is also available for download at the following web address: scholarcommons.usf.edu/sinkhole_2013/Proceedings/ Full_Proceedings /1/ Several field trips were offered, including a visit to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant east of Carlsbad. The Waste Isolation Pil ot related transuranic radioactive waste. Participants received a guided tour of surface operations, followed by an underground tour of the repository rooms, which have been excavated in bedded salt of the upper Permian Salado Formation. The Salado was chosen as the host formation for WIPP because salt deforms in a ductile manner under high confining pressure. After the waste is deposited in the repository rooms, the salt will eventually (after a few years to decades) flow and envelop the canisters, crushing them and entombing the stored waste. The impermeable nature of rock salt prevents waste from leaking out of the repository and contaminating surface or groundwater resources. Abundant surface karst features are developed in the overlying Rustler Formation a few kilometers west of the WIPP site. Extensive research by Sandia National Lab and the Department of Energy indicates that a connection between these surface features and the WIPP repository is unlikely A second field trip to the extensive evaporite karst areas of the Lower Pecos Valley in southeast New Mexico was led by Lewis Land of the New Mexico Bureau of Geology & Mineral Resources and NCKRI Evaporite karst processes have played a fundamental role in shaping the geomorphology of the lower Pecos region and controlling groundwater flow patterns. The trip focus was on engineering and environmental hazards associated with gypsum karst, including the formation of anthropogenic sinkholes associated with brine well operations, and the role of evaporites as confining beds in the Roswell Artesian Basin. The trip ended at Bottomless Lakes State Park east of Roswell, where giant gypsum cenotes serve as groundwater discharge outlets at the downstream end of the regional artesian aquifer system in the Roswell Basin. The final field trip was a walking tour of Carlsbad Caverns, led by George Veni of NCKRI Carlsbad Caverns is generally considered to be one of the most spectacularly decorated large caves on earth, and is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site The cave is developed in the middle Permian Capitan Reef Formation and associated backreef carbonates Primary sedimentary structures associated with the Capitan Reef are still visible in the Big Room, 230 m below ground level Feedback on the conference to the organizing committee was overwhelmingly positive, and anticipation was high for the 14th Sinkhole Conference due to take place October 5 9, 2015, in Rochester, Minnesota. The conference will be co hosted by the Minnesota Groundwater Association and NCKRI -Submitted by Dr. Daniel Doctor (United States Geological Survey) Attendees of the 2013 Sinkhole Conference in New Mexico. Photo curiosity of George Veni
From January 7 to January 11, 2013, the Karst Waters Institute ( KWI ) and the National Cave and Karst Research Institute ( NCRKI ) held an international and multidisciplinary symposium on Carbon and Boundaries in Karst at NCKRI headquarters in Carlsbad, New Mexico. There is growing interest in the dynamics of both inorganic and organic carbon in karst systems, and especially in the flux of carbon and nutrients between the surface and subsurface, and between different components ( e.g. epikarst and vadose zone) in the karst subsurface. This symposium was about these and other questions connected to carbon in karst and boundaries in karst. It was especially timely both because of rapid advances in the field and the importance of carbon sequestration in global climate change The symposium highlighted recent advances in biology, geology, and hydrology that are helping us understand the dynamics of karst ecosystems, especially with respect to carbon. The talks were organized around seven main themes: The Upper Boundary Epikarst ; The Lower Boundary Phreatic Zone; Lateral Inputs Insurgences; Lateral Outputs Resurgences; CO 2 Processing and Storage; Organic Carbon Sources and Quality; Synthesis and Large Scale Models. Sixty participants from seven countries, including Canada, China New Zealand, Romania Slovenia and Spain, as well as 14 states of the US attended the week long meeting The travel expense of six part icipants were partially supported by a grant from the Cave Conservancy o f the Virginias. The conference included a day long excursion to Carlsbad Caverns National Park. For the first time at a KWI meeting, several participants, who were unable to attend in person gave their presentations via Skype. The meeting was highlighted by two keynote presentations: Ecology of Alluvial River Flood Plains Jack Stanford, from the Flathead Lake Biological Station, Polson, Montana, and Conduit Matrix Exchange and the Karst Hyporheic Zone John Wilson, from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Tech noloogy Socorro, New Mexico Two most distinguished karst scientists, William B. White of Pennsylvania State University and Derek Ford of McMaster University, jointly summed up the meeting. Participants were invited to submit articles that elaborated their meeting presentations to Acta Carsologica and all of the meeting abstracts are available for free as the Karst Waters Institute Special Publication 17. Cover of the new KWI Special Publication 17 comprise of abstracts of presentation for the conference. http :// www.karstwaters.org K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 7 Carbon and Boundaries in Karst meeting There was active discussion after each presentation. Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Field trip attendees at the entrance to Carlsbad Caverns. It was a chilling morning. -Submitted by Dave Culver and Dan Fong (American University) Participants posed with a statue of Jim White during the conference held at the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Photo by Bill Jones
K A R S T W A T E R S I N S T I T U T E THE CONDUIT Page 8 Upcoming Conference Geological Society of America Conference October 27 30, 2013 Colorado Abstract deadline is August 6, 2013 http://community.geosociety.org/2013AnnualMeeting/Home / T58. 125 Years Underground: A Retrospective and Prospective of Cave and Karst Research Session chairs: George Veni Lewis Land. Appreciation knowledge, and understanding of cave and karst systems This session will highlight the changes in the study and application of cave and karst systems since the origin of GSA, with a focus on the past 50 years, and use it as a platform to look ahead toward advancements on the horizon. T59 Assessing Hazards and Groundwater Contamination in Karst Session chair: Yongli Gao Groundwater contamination and hazards such as sinkholes are the two most common environmental concerns in karst lands. This session focuses on advancements in technology and approaches for hazard assessment and contamination investigation in karst areas. T60. Caves as Deep Time Repositories of Geological, Biological, and Anthropological Information Session chairs: Joshua M. Feinberg, and E Calvin Alexander Jr. Caves serve as deep time repositories of scientific information. This session welcomes contributions utilizing cave deposits to create time series of original data that capture information about the evolution of geologic, biologic, and anthropological systems. T61. Karst 2.0: Orogenies and Glaciers and Faulting Oh My! The Impact of Changing Geologic Conditions on Existing Karst Terrane and the New Tools and Techniques We Have to Study It Session chair: Cory W. Blackeagle Once established, how does karst terrain change in response to subsequent edge technologies are being used in karst research today? T62. The Epikarst as a Boundary and Critical Zone Session chairs: Benjamin F. Schwartz and Madeline E. Schreiber. We welcome work on epikarst including modeling, field studies, and novel method developments, that advances our understanding of hydrobiogeochemical processes, physical constraints, and environmental controls on epikarst function as a surface subsurface boundary and critical zone. T63. Transport and Transformation of Non Solute Materials in Karst Aquifers Session chairs: Ellen K. Herman, Michael Sinreich and Dorothy J. Vesper. This interdisciplinary session focuses on innovative studies and techniques related to the transport and transformation of non solute materials in karst waters. We invite abstracts related to sediments, particulate tracers, contaminants (especially non aqueous phase liquids), and biota. T123. Geology in the National Parks: Research, Mapping, and Resource Management Session chairs: Bruce Heise Jason P. Kenworthy and Timothy B. Connors. This session addresses the role of geoscience in the U.S. National Parks. Presentations are invited on geologic research, geologic mapping, paleontology, coastal geology, glacier studies, and resource management in U.S. National Parks, Monuments, Seashores, and Historic Sites. Lastly, there is an effort by many karst scientists to create a Karst Division in GSA. Registration to support this effort is happening through a GSA Karst Interest Group discussion list. We currently have more than half the members needed to form a division. To subscribe to the list and support creation of the Karst Division, contact Cory Blackeagle at firstname.lastname@example.org He will e
Contents: Welcome to The Conduit --
KWI Happenings --
Nicole Ridlen 2013 Wilson Scholarship Recipient --
Upcoming 2014 Conference: Hypogene Cave Morphologies --
Research Focus: Long-term Instrumentation for Omega Cave
The 13th Sinkhole Conference Did Not Sink Expectations!
Carbon and Boundaries in Karst Meeting --