sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Karst and Environmental Sustainability

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 July 2021) | Viewed by 13855

Special Issue Editors


E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb 60115, IL, USA
Interests: karst; sustainability; pollution

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography and Geology, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green 42101, KY, USA
Interests: karst, sustainability; nature-based tourism; environmental education

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Karst landscapes cover about 20 percent of the Earth’s surface and the world’s population derives roughly 40% of groundwater reserves from karst aquifers. Due to the unusual features of these soluble landscapes, they are more vulnerable to environmental challenges than most others. While there are some spectacular and noteworthy karst features such as springs, caves, and sinkholes, most karst landscapes are far more complex than meets the eye. Underground, karst systems are uniquely tied to biochemical systems that link atmosphere and groundwater cycles. As a result, karst systems are the bellwether of global climate change and a variety of other anthropogenic environmental challenges.

This special issue examines a range of themes that have emerged in recent years within the karst literature by bringing together a group of papers focused on the following:

  • Sustainability and karst landscapes
  • Coastal karst systems
  • Karst aquifers
  • Preservation of karst features
  • Cave management
  • Cave ecosystems

Compared with many other earth science fields, karst is a highly interdisciplinary and international topic due to the long interest in cave exploration and because of the historic interaction of humans and karst environments (for example in the Mayan Yucatan, in Southeast Asia, and in much of the Italian Peninsula). As a result, this special issue will have a distinct interdisciplinary and global perspective. The resulting volume will advance the field of sustainability and karst science by highlighting key themes that have not been brought together before.

Review and research articles on these topics and others related to karst and sustainability are solicited for this Special Issue.

Dr. Robert Brinkmann
Dr. Leslie North
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Karst, sustainability, limestone, soluble terrain, groundwater, aquifers, biochemical cycles, climate change, management, caves

Published Papers (5 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

24 pages, 5938 KiB  
Article
Paleohydrogeology of the Karstic System of Fuentetoba Spring (Soria, Spain): An Interdisciplinary Approach
by Eugenio Sanz Pérez, Cristina Fonolla, Ignacio Menéndez Pidal and Pablo Rosas Rodriguez
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7236; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137236 - 28 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1440
Abstract
As a preliminary phase in the conservation and sustainable management of a karst system in Fuentetoba, Soria, Spain, an interdisciplinary study was carried out to determine its hydrogeological evolution. The hydrogeological history of this aquifer system began during the late Miocene, where discharges [...] Read more.
As a preliminary phase in the conservation and sustainable management of a karst system in Fuentetoba, Soria, Spain, an interdisciplinary study was carried out to determine its hydrogeological evolution. The hydrogeological history of this aquifer system began during the late Miocene, where discharges were driven by paleo-emergences in the moor, and associated conduits were developed under phreatic (or vadose) conditions—for example, the upper syngenetic galleries in the main known karst cave (Majada del Cura cave). Later on, the nearby karstic massifs, a general flattening of the relief, occurred during the Quaternary Period, during which the karstic base level had been in decline. The aquifer flow was then derived and modified towards the Fuentetoba spring from the earliest stages through the galleries of the aforementioned cave. The observations made in this cave indicate the existence of a unique type of hydrogeological organization. The hypogean network is the result of the excavation of the same water flow that has been entrenching and abandoning the vadose regimen toward the free regimen. The dating of the tuffaceous buildings, associated with the emergences, indicates that since almost the Middle Pleistocene, flow lines have converged in the Fuentetoba spring, inducing a high grade of karstification in the saturated zone of the syncline basin. Moreover, a major drainage conduit was developed by dissolution. During the late Upper Pleistocene, an essential component of the groundwater flow had been derived towards the source of the Mazos River spring. Tufa and paleogour datings in caves indicate that the aquifer has undergone different climatic stages during the latest Quaternary and, therefore, different feeding and recharge processes. These tufas and paleogours are interrelated as well, as they are associated with the warm stages during the most recent Quaternary, according to the regional context, when there was less natural recharge. The simulation of the springs’ flow enabled an approximate quantification of the variation in the aquifer’s hydraulic balance during the different climatic stages. For example, during the last glaciation, the natural recharge was impacted by snowmelt and increased by 160%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Karst and Environmental Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

13 pages, 2082 KiB  
Article
Communication Networks as a Catalyst for Holistic Sustainability on Karst Landscapes
by Elizabeth Willenbrink, Leslie A. North, Vu Thi Minh Nguyet, Jason Polk and James Graham
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3360; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063360 - 18 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2600
Abstract
Equitable access to communication and education is a key aspect in ensuring sustainability in any natural area. Karst landscapes are especially susceptible to environmental degradation from natural and anthropogenic forces and can benefit from sustainable economic, social, and environmental practices. This study took [...] Read more.
Equitable access to communication and education is a key aspect in ensuring sustainability in any natural area. Karst landscapes are especially susceptible to environmental degradation from natural and anthropogenic forces and can benefit from sustainable economic, social, and environmental practices. This study took place in Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park (PN-KB), a highly developed karst landscape in central Vietnam. Through in-depth interviews, this study explored the ways in which formal and informal communication networks between the diverse stakeholders living within the park can be used to better protect the landscape from further degradation. The research findings suggest that a lack of consistent communication between PN-KB’s residents, rangers, and governing officials has left the landscape vulnerable to extensive degradation and susceptible to catastrophic climatic events. Increasing communication between the stakeholder groups within the park will bolster economic opportunity and ensure equitable access to information and resources, both of which will promote sustainable practices and karst landscape protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Karst and Environmental Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

14 pages, 6752 KiB  
Article
The Recharge Process and Influencing Meteorological Parameters Indicated by Cave Pool Hydrology in the Bare Karst Mountainous Area
by Fan Liu, Guanghui Jiang, Jia Wang and Fang Guo
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1766; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041766 - 6 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1843
Abstract
Understanding the recharge and runoff processes of the vadose zone is significant for water resource management and utilization in karst mountain areas. Hydrological modeling of the vadose zone in karst caves has provided new methods of evaluating water resources in vadose zones. This [...] Read more.
Understanding the recharge and runoff processes of the vadose zone is significant for water resource management and utilization in karst mountain areas. Hydrological modeling of the vadose zone in karst caves has provided new methods of evaluating water resources in vadose zones. This paper provides modeling of vadose zone hydrology in a subtropical karst cave. The monitoring was conducted in Yuanyang Cave, Fengshan County, Guangxi Province, Southwest China. By monitoring the water level of a pool recharged by drop water in a cave, a model was established to calculate the natural leakage from the bottom and the infiltrated recharge from the vadose zone above. Combined with meteorological data records, the occurrence of recharge events in the vadose zone was analyzed. The correlation between them was established by multiple linear regression. The results showed that the infiltration ratio of precipitation was 20.88%. Recent rainfall of 4–7 days had shown a greater impact on recharge events than that of 3 days. The effect of evaporation was significant. The regression model in the cave pool was used to understand the hydrological process of the vadose zone, which provided a useful method for water resource management and evaluation in the remote karst mountain area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Karst and Environmental Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 1880 KiB  
Article
Sustainability and Slovenian Karst Landscapes: Evaluation of a Low Karst Plain
by Daniela Ribeiro and Matija Zorn
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1655; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041655 - 4 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2171
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to identify the influence of karst landscape on the sustainable development of the Bela krajina region, southeast Slovenia. In order to better understand the influence of karst landscape on sustainable development we used three approaches: (1) the [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to identify the influence of karst landscape on the sustainable development of the Bela krajina region, southeast Slovenia. In order to better understand the influence of karst landscape on sustainable development we used three approaches: (1) the Karst Disturbance Index, (2) a quantitative analysis by using sustainable development indicators and (3) a qualitative analysis using structured interviews. The Karst Disturbance Index classified the degree of disturbance in Bela krajina as low. According to sustainable development indicators we found differences in the structure related to economy, population and environment within the region. And, according to the qualitative analysis, the negative impacts of the karst landscape on sustainable development are mainly associated with hampered agriculture and the positive with tourism; thus, karst landscape cannot only be seen as a limiting factor, since it also has development potential. Regional development in karst areas should therefore be adapted to their specificities and take into account their vulnerability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Karst and Environmental Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

26 pages, 4936 KiB  
Article
Monitoring Human Impact in Show Caves. A Study of Four Romanian Caves
by Silviu Constantin, Ionuț Cornel Mirea, Alexandru Petculescu, Răzvan Adrian Arghir, Dragoș Ștefan Măntoiu, Marius Kenesz, Marius Robu and Oana Teodora Moldovan
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 1619; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13041619 - 3 Feb 2021
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 4654
Abstract
(1) Background: Show caves are unique natural attractions and touristic traffic can trigger their degradation within a short time. There are no universal solutions to counter the effects of the touristic impact upon the cave environment and both protection protocols and management plans [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Show caves are unique natural attractions and touristic traffic can trigger their degradation within a short time. There are no universal solutions to counter the effects of the touristic impact upon the cave environment and both protection protocols and management plans have to be established on a case-by-case basis. (2) Methods: The study includes four show caves from the Romanian Carpathians, where monitoring of the number of visitors, paralleled by the monitoring of the main physicochemical parameters of the air and water (CO2, temperature, humidity, drip rate, conductivity, and pH) was implemented. (3) Results and Conclusions: The results of the study have: established a set of basic principles to be enforced by the management of show caves and issued a set of preventive measures and instructions to be followed by the personnel and stakeholders of the caves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Karst and Environmental Sustainability)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop