Special Issue "Carbonate Critical Zone Petrology, Mineralogy, and Geochemistry in Karst Systems"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Mineralogy and Biogeochemistry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2021) | Viewed by 2423

Special Issue Editors

Department of Earth, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, KY, USA
Interests: carbonate geochemistry; karst hydrology; speleothem analysis; isotope geochemistry
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Ilenia M. D'Angeli
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro, Piazza Umberto I, 1, 70121 Bari BA, Italy
Interests: speleology; karst geomorphology; mineralogy; microbiology; geochemisty; multidisciplinary approach; subsurface; caves

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent innovations involving improved analytical methods, statistical analyses, and a focus on critical zone interactions have led to novel approaches in describing carbonate geochemical processes and mineralogical reactions, deeper investigations into the utility and importance of speleothem and carbonate depositional processes as proxies of environmental change, quantification of carbon flux within karst groundwater systems, the discovery of new cave minerals, and the use of advanced analytical instrumentation and high-resolution sampling techniques (i.e., large chamber SEM, Raman spectroscopy, LA-ICPMS, and cutting-edge approaches such as advanced imaging and spectroscopic techniques, isotopic analysis, etc.) to improve geochronologic reconstructions and elemental analysis. These have pioneered new and innovative pathways to improve our understanding of complex carbonate systems and their interactions with the biosphere, hydrosphere, and as recorders of anthropogenic impacts and feedback cycles throughout geologic time at high-resolution.

This Special Issue invites contributions dealing with, but not limited to, mineralogical, geochemical, and petrological aspects of carbonate karst systems, including their formation, evolution, and secondary processes, such as speleothem precipitation, carbon flux cycles, weathering and elemental transformation mechanisms (i.e., dolomitization, redox reactions, etc.), and advances and investigations involving environmental and paleoclimate reconstruction, geochronology development using new analytical techniques, contaminant transport tracing and remediation methods, and thermodynamic and biogeochemical processes influencing carbonate deposition and dissolution.

Dr. Jason Polk
Dr. Ilenia M. D'Angeli
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • carbonate geochemistry
  • speleothem mineralogy
  • karst petrology
  • cave and karst geochronology
  • trace element reconstruction

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Gothic-Arch Calcite from Speleothems of the Bohemian Karst (Czech Republic): Its Occurrence, Microscopic Ultrastructure and Possible Mechanism of Growth
Minerals 2021, 11(8), 866; https://doi.org/10.3390/min11080866 - 11 Aug 2021
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Gothic arch calcite, a specific crystallographic variety of calcite known from some hot springs and tufa streams, has been newly recognized in the Koněprusy Caves. The gothic-arch calcite occurs on the exteriors of exotic coralloid speleothems where it coexists with scalenohedral (dogtooth) spar [...] Read more.
Gothic arch calcite, a specific crystallographic variety of calcite known from some hot springs and tufa streams, has been newly recognized in the Koněprusy Caves. The gothic-arch calcite occurs on the exteriors of exotic coralloid speleothems where it coexists with scalenohedral (dogtooth) spar crystals. The crystals exhibit microscopic ultrastructural features including deeply eroded topography, etch pits, and spiky and ribbon calcite crystallites, pointing to its extensive natural etching. Many gothic-arch calcites originated as late-stage, secondary overgrowths on older, etched dogtooth calcite crystals. Its characteristic outward curvature resulted from the recrystallization of etching-liberated fine carbonate grains and newly formed needle-fiber calcite laths, which were accumulated and bound on the faces and at the bases of corroded crystals. These intimately coexisting destructive and constructive processes of carbonate crystal corrosion and growth were probably mediated by bacteria, fungi, or other microorganisms. Fluid inclusions embedded in calcite crystals point to a vadose setting and temperatures below ~50 °C. This, combined with the wider geological context, indicates that the gothic arch calcite crystals originated only during the late Pleistocene to Holocene epochs, when the cave, initially eroded by hypogene fluids in the deeper subsurface, was uplifted to the subaerial setting and exposed to the meteoric waters seeping from the topographic surface. The radiocarbon analysis shows that gothic-arch calcite crystals are generally older than ~55,000 years, but the surface layers of some crystals still reveal a weak 14C activity, suggesting that microbiologically mediated alterations of the speleothems may have been occurring locally until now. Full article
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