Genesi e microstratigrafie della calcite coralloide della Grotta di Lamalunga

2017.08.15 - News a cura di Andrea Borsato - Senior Research Associate - School of Environmental and Life Sciences, The University of Newcastle - Challaghan 2308, NSW, Australia

Genesis and microstratigraphy of calcite coralloids analysed by high resolution imaging and petrography
V.Vanghi - S.Frisia - A.Borsato

The genesis of calcite coralloid speleothems from Lamalunga cave (Southern Italy) is here investigated from a purely petrographic perspective, which constitutes the basis for any subsequent chemical investigation. Lamalunga cave coralloids formed on bones and debris on the floor of the cave.

They consist of elongated columnar crystals whose elongation progressively increases from the flanks to the tips of the coralloid, forming a succession of lens-shaped layers, which may be separated by micrite or impurity-rich layers. Organic molecules are preferentially concentrated toward the centre of convex lenses as highlighted by epifluorescence. Their occurrence on cave floor, lens-shaped morphology and concentration of impurities toward the apex of the convex lenses supports the hypothesis that their water supply was hydroaerosol, generated by the fragmentation of cave drips. Evaporation and degassing preferentially occurred on tips, enhancing the digitated morphology and trapping the organic molecules and impurities, carried by the hydroaerosol, between the growing crystals which became more elongated. Micrite layers, that cap some coralloid lenses, likely identify periods when decreasing in hydroaerosol resulted in stronger evaporation and higher supersaturation with respect to calcite of the parent film of fluid. This interpretation of coralloid formation implies that these speleothems can be used to extract hydroclimate information.

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