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Article

Stable Isotope Hydrology of Cave Groundwater and Its Relevance for Speleothem-Based Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Croatia

1
Department of Geography, Center for Karst and Coastal Research, University of Zadar, 23000 Zadar, Croatia
2
Institute for Geological and Geochemical Research, RCAES, H-1112 Budapest, Hungary
3
Department of Hydrogeology and Engineering Geology, Institute of Environmental Management, University of Miskolc, H-3515 Miskolc, Hungary
4
Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
5
Croatian Geological Survey, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
6
School of Geography, Faculty of Science, The University of Melbourne, 3010 Melbourne, Australia
7
Laboratoire EDYTEM (UMR CNRS 5204), Universite de Savoie-Mont Blanc, 73000 Chambéry, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(9), 2386; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092386
Received: 24 July 2020 / Revised: 19 August 2020 / Accepted: 23 August 2020 / Published: 25 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Application of Stable Isotopes and Tritium in Hydrology)
Speleothems deposited from cave drip waters retain, in their calcite lattice, isotopic records of past environmental changes. Among other proxies, δ18O is recognized as very useful for this purpose, but its accurate interpretation depends on understanding the relationship between precipitation and drip water δ18O, a relationship controlled by climatic settings. We analyzed water isotope data of 17 caves from different latitudes and altitudes in relatively small but diverse Croatian karst regions in order to distinguish the dominant influences. Drip water δ18O in colder caves generally shows a greater resemblance to the amount-weighted mean of precipitation δ18O compared to warmer sites, where evaporation plays an important role. However, during glacial periods, today’s ‘warm’ sites were cold, changing the cave characteristics and precipitation δ18O transmission patterns. Superimposed on these settings, each cave has site-specific features, such as morphology (descending or ascending passages), altitude and infiltration elevation, (micro) location (rain shadow or seaward orientation), aquifer architecture (responsible for the drip water homogenization) and cave atmosphere (governing equilibrium or kinetic fractionation). This necessitates an individual approach and thorough monitoring for best comprehension. View Full-Text
Keywords: stable isotopes; drip water; speleothem; cave; Croatia stable isotopes; drip water; speleothem; cave; Croatia
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MDPI and ACS Style

Surić, M.; Czuppon, G.; Lončarić, R.; Bočić, N.; Lončar, N.; Bajo, P.; Drysdale, R.N. Stable Isotope Hydrology of Cave Groundwater and Its Relevance for Speleothem-Based Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Croatia. Water 2020, 12, 2386. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092386

AMA Style

Surić M, Czuppon G, Lončarić R, Bočić N, Lončar N, Bajo P, Drysdale RN. Stable Isotope Hydrology of Cave Groundwater and Its Relevance for Speleothem-Based Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Croatia. Water. 2020; 12(9):2386. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092386

Chicago/Turabian Style

Surić, Maša, György Czuppon, Robert Lončarić, Neven Bočić, Nina Lončar, Petra Bajo, and Russell N. Drysdale. 2020. "Stable Isotope Hydrology of Cave Groundwater and Its Relevance for Speleothem-Based Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction in Croatia" Water 12, no. 9: 2386. https://doi.org/10.3390/w12092386

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