Evolution of carbonate and karst critical zones

TitleEvolution of carbonate and karst critical zones
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsSullivan, PL, Macpherson, GL, Martin, JB, Price, RM
JournalChemical Geology
Accession NumberKNZ001962

Carbonate terrains (CT) underlie one-fifth of terrestrial, ice-free land and are an important supply of potable water to the world's population, and yet processes endemic to CT critical zones (CZ) and responses of these processes to climatic and anthropogenic pressures are not well understood. Given the rapid dissolution rates and ability to generate well-developed networks of secondary porosity these landscapes can be highly sensitive to impacts from climate change (e.g., modifications of temperature, precipitation, sea level) and human disturbance (e.g., water withdrawal/diversions, changes in land use/land cover). This special issue includes 16 papers focused on CT-CZ processes and potential responses to climatic and human perturbations. Five major themes emerge from these papers, namely: (1) anthropogenic climate and land use changes alter CT-CZ weathering rate and diagenesis, (2) metal and carbon fluxes in CT-CZ will respond to increasing hydrologic variance caused by climate change, (3) endogenous and exogenous processes operating over short time periods (<10,000 yrs) form landscape patterns in carbonate terrains, (4) rates of carbonate mineral dissolution depend on vadose zone and soil thickness, and (5) open systems may not always promote greater carbonate weathering rates in CT-CZ. These findings reflect the importance of carbonate minerals in Earth's CZ, both in terms of processes unique to carbonate minerals, as well as a predictor of future responses to anthropogenic and environmental changes.

Short TitleChemical Geology