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Trace Elements in Speleothems as Indicators of Past Climate and Karst Hydrochemistry: A Case Study from Kaite Cave (N Spain)

Part of the Environmental Earth Sciences book series (EESCI,volume 1)

Abstract

A stalagmite that grew during the Holocene (between 4.9 and 0.9 ka BP) in Kaite Cave (Ojo Guareña Karst Complex, Burgos, N Spain) has been analyzed by Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) with the aim of reconstructing secular variations in the hydrochemistry of the karst system, in turn related to changes in the environment outside the cave. LIBS analyses yield significant changes in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca intensity ratios through the stalagmite, which reveal consistent trends and patterns at decadal to centennial scales. The origin of the observed changes in Mg/Ca and Sr/Ca ratios is discussed in the framework of the cave system and the regional climatic variability, particularly the changes in precipitation.

Keywords

  • Laser Induce Breakdown Spectroscopy
  • Karst System
  • Drip Water
  • Abundant Trace Element
  • Calcite Dissolution

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Acknowledgments

Contribution to project CGL2010-21499-BTE and researches groups “Paleoclimatology and Global Change” and “Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS)” from the UCM (Spain). We thank the facilities and permissions given by the Junta de Castilla y León (Spain) for accessing and working in the Ojo Guareña Natural Monument. The collaboration of the Grupo Espeleológico Edelweiss (Exma. Dip. Prov. Burgos) is also greatly acknowledged. Thanks are extended to S. Moncayo, M.B. Muñoz García, and S. Manzoor for their help and advice in this work.

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Correspondence to J. A. Cruz .

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Cruz, J.A. et al. (2015). Trace Elements in Speleothems as Indicators of Past Climate and Karst Hydrochemistry: A Case Study from Kaite Cave (N Spain). In: Andreo, B., Carrasco, F., Durán, J., Jiménez, P., LaMoreaux, J. (eds) Hydrogeological and Environmental Investigations in Karst Systems. Environmental Earth Sciences, vol 1. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-17435-3_64

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