Special Issue "Geochemical Processes of Karst and Karst Paleoenvironments"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 6938
Meanwhile, We are also glad to welcome selected papers on related topics from International Year of Caves and Karst.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Slobodan Miko
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Croatian Geological Survey, Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: karst soils; environmental geochemistry; paleolimnology; marine sediments; karst paleolandscapes
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nikolina Ilijanić
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Croatian Geological Survey, Zagreb, Croatia
Interests: mineralogy; environmental geochemistry; clay minerals; paleolimnology; soils; marine sediments; Quaternary paleoenvironment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Karst landscapes and karst aquifers, which are composed of a variety of soluble rocks, comprise 20–25% of the ice-free land surface, and nearly 20% of society worldwide relies on karst aquifers for economic, urban, and environmental fresh water. The dissolution of a carbonate rock and the influence on water chemistry are a combination of various geochemical processes of major significance to the origin and evolution of the karst environment. Today, the main driver influencing environmental changes in the karst environment is anthropogenic chemical contamination and climate change. In order to evaluate the impact of these changes on karst systems it is necessary to determine geochemical background levels for delineating between natural and anthropogenic impacts. The geochemistry of natural geological archives, such as soils, sediments, and speleothems, can be used as proxies to estimate the magnitude of human and climate change impacts on water resources today. In this Special Issue, we would like to focus on the study of geochemical processes recorded at various temporal and spatial scales, including water monitoring and changes recorded in geological time frames. We welcome contributions that focus on the inorganic and organic components, as well as isotopes, in all components of existing karst systems and their paleoenvironmental counterparts. Research related to the geochemistry of karst systems in the broadest sense is most welcome.

Dr. Slobodan Miko
Dr. Nikolina Ilijanić
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • karst landscapes
  • karst aquifers
  • rock–water interactions
  • karst soils
  • trace elements
  • emerging contaminants
  • biogeochemistry
  • soil and water contamination
  • lake sedimentary records
  • speleothem records
  • cave sediments
  • paleohydrology
  • stable isotopes.

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
An Introduction to the Special Issue “Geochemical Processes of Karst and Karst Paleoenvironments” as Part of the International Year of Caves and Karst
Water 2022, 14(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14010091 - 04 Jan 2022
Viewed by 733
Abstract
About 15 [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemical Processes of Karst and Karst Paleoenvironments)

Research

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Article
Study of the Trends of Chemical–Physical Parameters in Different Karst Aquifers: Some Examples from Italian Alps
Water 2022, 14(3), 441; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030441 - 01 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 893
Abstract
The results of a series of continuous characterizations of physical parameters (flow, temperature, water conductivity) and chemical analyses in water springs fed by karst aquifers located in the Piedmont region (northwestern Italy) are presented in this work. Rock masses in carbonate rocks, characterized [...] Read more.
The results of a series of continuous characterizations of physical parameters (flow, temperature, water conductivity) and chemical analyses in water springs fed by karst aquifers located in the Piedmont region (northwestern Italy) are presented in this work. Rock masses in carbonate rocks, characterized by very different hydrogeological situations, linked to a different degree of karstification, fracturing, and development of the saturated zone, were examined. A series of data-loggers were installed, operating for several years, and different water sampling missions and subsequent chemical analyses (main ions, metals, and rare earth elements) under different hydrodynamic conditions were carried out. The results show very different trends of chemical–physical water parameters, particularly following significant infiltrative events. Aquifers characterized by a high karstification and reduced saturated zone highlight water mineralization decreases, even within a few hours, as a result of significant flow rate increases (prevalent substitution). Aquifers with a well-developed saturated zone, during an entire flood event, highlight an increase in mineralization linked to the remobilization of water present in the less permeable sectors of the aquifer (piston flow phenomenon). Lastly, aquifers fed by very fractured rocky masses and reduced karstification have a water flow rate with mild annual variations and constant chemical–physical parameters over time (homogenization phenomenon). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemical Processes of Karst and Karst Paleoenvironments)
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Article
A Holocene Sedimentary Record and the Impact of Sea-Level Rise in the Karst Lake Velo Blato and the Wetlands on Pag Island (Croatia)
Water 2022, 14(3), 342; https://doi.org/10.3390/w14030342 - 24 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Lakes in coastal lowland areas represent a critically vulnerable environment as a transitional space between freshwater and seawater environments. The paleoenvironmental reconstruction and anthropogenic impact are assessed through the lake sediment cores from Velo, Malo, and Kolanjsko Blato using multi-proxy analyses (sedimentological, mineralogical, [...] Read more.
Lakes in coastal lowland areas represent a critically vulnerable environment as a transitional space between freshwater and seawater environments. The paleoenvironmental reconstruction and anthropogenic impact are assessed through the lake sediment cores from Velo, Malo, and Kolanjsko Blato using multi-proxy analyses (sedimentological, mineralogical, geochemical, 137Cs and ostracod analyses, and AMS 14C radiocarbon dating). The freshwater lake Velo Blato was formed at 8100 cal yr BP due to rising groundwater levels as a consequence of sea-level rise. The brackish conditions in Lake Velo Blato started at 7100 cal yr BP, giving the index point for the sea-level curve of 7-m lower than present. Lead concentrations showed slightly increased values in the last 1800 cal yr BP, while the spike in Malo Blato lake sediments probably derived from bird hunting with lead bullets. Kolanjsko Blato sediment core archives the sediment record of the last 2050 years, which represents a shallow brackish coastal wetland under marine influence. Enrichment factors showed the accumulation of Cu, Hg, P, Pb, S, and Zn in the sediments from Kolanjsko Blato in the last 650 cal yr BP, which coincides with the high organic carbon content, and in sediments from Malo Blato after the lake’s formation (from the depth of 20 cm upwards). Anthropogenic Cu introduced into the Kolanjsko Blato sediments is the highest in the surface sample. Surficial sediments from Velo Blato are characterized by the high organic carbon, S, P, and N content, indicating high productivity and eutrophication which led to occasional anoxic conditions on the lake bottom in the last 200 years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemical Processes of Karst and Karst Paleoenvironments)
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Article
Low-Calcium Cave Dripwaters in a High CO2 Environment: Formation and Development of Corrosion Cups in Postojna Cave, Slovenia
Water 2021, 13(22), 3184; https://doi.org/10.3390/w13223184 - 11 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1398
Abstract
Speleothems have proven to be one of the most reliable terrestrial archives for palaeoclimate research. However, due to the complexity of karst systems, long-term monitoring and high-resolution analyses of the cave atmosphere and water geochemistry have become essential to better constrain the factors [...] Read more.
Speleothems have proven to be one of the most reliable terrestrial archives for palaeoclimate research. However, due to the complexity of karst systems, long-term monitoring and high-resolution analyses of the cave atmosphere and water geochemistry have become essential to better constrain the factors that control calcite growth and how geochemical palaeoclimate proxies are encoded into speleothems. While calcite precipitation incorporates the palaeoclimate signals into the speleothem fabric, certain conditions in caves can favour dissolution, which may form hiatuses or even destroy these signals. In extreme cases, in-cave dissolution by dripwater can form cup-shaped features (i.e., corrosion cups), which were the main focus of this study. The study site in Postojna Cave, Slovenia was investigated through cave climate monitoring and drip and cup water sampling, which took place during 2017–2021. We found that the cups are fed by low-calcium drips as the consequence of the thin rock overburden above the cave. Due to the specific configuration of the airflow pathways, the study site accumulates high levels of CO2 (>10,000 ppm), which shifts low-calcium dripwater into undersaturation. This causes dissolution on the rock surfaces and speleothems on the cave floor. The results of this study have broader significance in addressing the suitability of cave environments and speleothems used in paleoclimate research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geochemical Processes of Karst and Karst Paleoenvironments)
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