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Data from a reactive transport modeling study of cave seepage water chemistry

August 4, 2021

Karst systems are useful for examining spatial and temporal variability in Critical Zone processes because they provide a window into the subsurface where waters have interacted with vegetation, soils, regolith, and bedrock across a range of length and time scales. The majority of Critical Zone research has emphasized silicate lithologies, which are typified by relatively slow rates of reactivity and incongruent weathering. However, weathering of carbonate dominated lithology can result in secondary mineral deposits, such as speleothems, which provide a long-term archive for Critical Zone processes. Examination of carbon isotope variability in speleothems has the potential to provide records of changes in vegetation, soil respiration, carbon stabilization in deep soils, and/or chemical weathering in the host rock. Despite this opportunity to reconstruct many Critical Zone processes that speleothem carbon isotopes present, these multiple influences can also make interpreting these records challenging. Likewise, trace element ratios in speleothems (Mg/Ca, Sr/Ca, Ba/Ca) have the potential to provide information about past changes in rainfall and infiltration, but controls on them can be complex and their interpretation must be based on an understanding of the modern cave system. In this dataset we provide trace element and carbon chemistry information, including stable and radiogenic carbon isotopes from waters, soils, host rocks, and gases from Blue Springs Cave, located in White County, Tennessee. These data support a larger project intended to apply reactive transport modeling to better understand karst hydrology and chemistry.

Publication Year 2021
Title Data from a reactive transport modeling study of cave seepage water chemistry
DOI 10.5066/P90OTSDY
Authors Corey R Lawrence, Jessica L Oster, Jennifer L Druhan, Aaron K Covey, Max G Giannetta
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center