Special Issue "Speleothems: Geological, Geochronological and Sedimentological Insights"

A special issue of Minerals (ISSN 2075-163X). This special issue belongs to the section "Mineral Geochemistry and Geochronology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2023) | Viewed by 1473

Special Issue Editors

CSIC-UGR—Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra (IACT), 18100 Armilla, Spain
Interests: climate change; carbonates; karstic caves; stable isotopes; speleothems; mineralogy; trace elements; clay minerals; geochemistry; hydrochemistry
IGME-CSIC—Instituto Geológico y Minero de España, 28003 Madrid, Spain
Interests: karst; hydrogeology; intensive aquifers exploitation; aquifer management; water quality; isotopes; karst cavities; speleogenesis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (e.g., IPCC, 2013, 2021) have showed that we do not fully understand how abrupt climate changes impact ecosystems and the hydrological cycle. In order to estimate future environmental responses and establish accurate future climate models, it is necessary to reconstruct recent past climate variations. Most common paleoclimate records at long-term time scales are obtained from marine and ice records; nevertheless, these sites are located in remote areas and provide limited information to reconstruct terrestrial ecosystems. Karstic environments provide all the necessary components to preserve past environmental signals at a regional scale since their formation is directly linked with climate and hydrological oscillations, making them ideal paleoclimate records. Therefore, speleothems represent a unique opportunity to obtain high-resolution continental records in a middle latitude with an absolute chronology, allowing the reconstruction of past environments and climatic trends. These environments are unique in that they maintain a constant temperature, which makes them an excellent source of information on climate change. In addition, these paleoclimatic data can be compared with archeological information to understand the relationship between climate and past human societies.

This Special Issue is organized into three sections:

Section 1. Speleogenesis in karst environments: process of cave formation and evolution.  Environmental information from speleothems and geophysical information from caves.

Section 2. Speleothem Records of Climate Variability. Reconstructing past temperatures: methods geochemistry, biology, and physics.

Serction 3. Cave Records of Human History.

Dr. Concepción Jiménez de Cisneros
Dr. Antonio González Ramón
Guest Editors

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  • paleoclimate
  • speleothems
  • stable isotopes
  • caves
  • hydroclimate
  • fluid inclusions
  • geochronology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Secondary Minerals from Minothem Environments in Fragnè Mine (Turin, Italy): Preliminary Results
Minerals 2022, 12(8), 966; https://doi.org/10.3390/min12080966 - 29 Jul 2022
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The Fragnè mine, located in the Lanzo valley in the municipality of Chialamberto (Turin, Piedmont Region), represented the most important regional site for Fe–Cu sulfide exploitation over a period of more than eighty years (1884–1965). The entire mining area is part of a [...] Read more.
The Fragnè mine, located in the Lanzo valley in the municipality of Chialamberto (Turin, Piedmont Region), represented the most important regional site for Fe–Cu sulfide exploitation over a period of more than eighty years (1884–1965). The entire mining area is part of a structural complex in the Lower Piedmont Unit of the Western Alps, characterized by the presence of amphibolite, metabasite (“prasinite”), and metagabbroic rocks. In particular, the pyrite ore deposit occurs as massive mineralizations within interlayered metabasites and amphibolites. In this work, we describe secondary minerals and morphologies of minothems from the Fragnè mine that are found only in abandoned underground works, such as soda straws, normal and jelly stalactites and stalagmites, jellystones, columns, crusts, blisters, war-clubs, and hair, characterized by different mineralogical associations. All minothems were characterized by minerals formed during acid mine drainage (AMD) processes. Blisters are composed only of schwertmannite, war-clubs by schwertmannite, and goethite with low crystallinity and hair by epsomite and hexahydrite minerals. Jelly stalactites and stalagmites are characterized by schwertmannite often in association with bacteria, while solid stalactites and stalagmites are characterized by jarosite and goethite. The results indicate that the mineralogical transformation from schwertmannite to goethite observed in some minothems is probably due to aging processes of schwertmannite or local pH variations due to bacterial activity. On the basis of these results, we hypothesize that all the jelly samples, in association with strong bacterial activity, are slowly transformed into more solid goethite, and are thus precursors of goethite stalactites. Full article
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