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Katharina Gröbner, Wolfgang Gadermayr, Giorgio Höfer-Öllinger, Harald Huemer and Christoph Spötl
The Leoganger Steinberge are a heavily karstified massif largely composed of Dachstein dolomite and limestone hosting the deepest through-trip cave in the world, Lamprechtsofen, whose frontal parts are developed as a show cave. Many parts of this 60 km-long and 1724 m-deep system are hydrologically active. 1.5 km behind the lower cave entrance Grüntopf stream and Kneippklamm stream merge to form the main cave stream. Another underground stream, Stainerhallen stream, flows through the eponymous hall of the show cave. Since 2007 water temperature, electrical conductivity and water level have been monitored in the Grüntopf and Kneippklamm stream. Water temperature and water level in the Stainerhallen and main cave stream have been measured since 2016.
The long-term dataset (2013–2017) shows that the water temperature of the cave streams (Grüntopf stream: 3.7–5.2°C; Kneippklamm stream: 5.1–5.9°C) is largely invariant, but the electrical conductivity varies strongly (Grüntopf stream: 107–210 µS/cm; Kneippklamm stream: 131–248 µS/cm) in response to snowmelt and precipitation events. The event water of the Kneippklamm stream is characterized by a low electrical conductivity and is then followed by slightly warmer and higher mineralized water derived from the phreatic zone. This dual flow pattern also explains the asymmetrical changes of the water level during snowmelt: the fast event water flows directly through vadose pathways to the measurement site, whereas the hydraulic (phreatic) response is delayed. The Grüntopf stream reacts to precipitation and snowmelt events by changes in the karst-water table, which can be explained by a piston flow-model. The Kneippklamm stream reveals evidence of a lifter system.
The altitude of the catchments was calculated using δ18O values of water samples from the underground streams and from surface precipitation. The Grüntopf stream shows the highest mean catchment (2280 m a.s.l.), which is in agreement with its daily fluctuations of the water level until August caused by long-lasting snowmelt. The Stainerhallen stream has the lowest catchment (average 1400 m a.s.l.). The catchments of the other two streams are at intermediate elevations (1770–1920 m a.s.l.). The integration of the catchment analyses and observations from tracer tests conducted in the 1970s showed that the latter reflected only one aspect of the karst water regime in this massif. During times of high recharge the water level rises, new flow paths are activated and the karst watershed shifts.
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Nicoletta Santangelo, Paola Romano, Alessandra Ascione and Elda Russo Ermolli
The Quaternary evolution of the main coastal basins located along the southwestern margin of the Southern Apennines has been reconstructed by integrating the huge amount of existing stratigraphical and geomorphological data. The information produced in the last twenty years has shed new light on the recent (late Middle Pleistocene to Present) history of the Campanian and Sele plains or basins. During the early Quaternary, the analysed coastal basins originated as half-grabens in response to opening processes active since the late Tortonian in the southern Tyrrhenian back-arc basin. In some of these basins (e.g. the Campanian Plain), volcanism has also played an important role. In the inner sectors of the coastal basins, the complex interplay between block faulting, sedimentary inputs and glacioeustatic fluctuations gave rise to relative sea-level change and related coastline migrations, leading to the formation of the present-day coastal plains. In the Sele Plain basin, the construction of the present-day landscape mainly resulted from the substantial ceasing of subsidence in the final part of the Middle Pleistocene. Conversely, a strong contribution to the recent evolution of the Campanian Plain has been provided by abundant volcaniclastic aggradation, able to hinder the effect of the vertical motions that occurred in the last 100 ka.
Heike R. Gröger, Matthias Tischler, Bernhard Fügenschuh and Stefan M. Schmid
This study presents zircon fission track data from the Bucovinian nappe stack (northern part of the Inner Eastern Carpathians, Rodna Mountains) and a neighbouring part of the Biharia nappe system (Preluca massif) in order to unravel the thermal history of the area and its structural evolution by integrating the fission track data with published data on the tectonic and sedimentary evolution of the area. The increase of metamorphic temperatures towards the SW detected by the zircon fission track data suggests SW-wards increasing tectonic overburden (up to at least 15 km) and hence top NE thrusting. Sub-greenschist facies conditions during the Alpine metamorphic overprint only caused partial annealing of fission tracks in zircon in the external main chain of the Central Eastern Carpathians. Full annealing of zircon points to at least 300 °C in the more internal elements (Rodna Mountains and Preluca massif). The zircon fission track central and single grain ages largely reflect Late Cretaceous cooling and exhumation. A combination of fission track data and stratigraphic constraints points to predominantly tectonic differential exhumation by some 7-11 km, connected to massive Late Cretaceous extension not yet detected in the area. Later events such as the latest Cretaceous (“Laramian”) juxtaposition of the nappe pile with the internal Moldavides, causing exhumation by erosion, re-burial by sedimentation and tectonic loading during the Cenozoic had no impact on the zircon fission track data; unfortunately it prevented a study of the low temperature part of the Late Cretaceous exhumation history.
Jacek Dlugosz, Miroslaw Orzechowski, Miroslaw Kobierski, Slawomir Smolczynski and Ryszard Zamorski
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