Solution pipes as a novel palaeoclimate proxy

Basic Info


The climate of our planet is constantly evolving. Understanding the dynamics of these changes is important not only for reconstruction of the climatic conditions of past epochs, but also for better prediction of climatic changes in near future. The latter becomes increasingly important due to the dramatic acceleration of climate changes in recent years. In our project, we propose to use surface karst structures called solution pipes as palaeoclimate proxies. Solution pipes are vertical or nearly vertical paraboloidal or cylindrical forms, found in many karst areas of porous carbonate rocks with matrix porosity around the world. They are formed as a result of focused water flow into the rock matrix. The focusing of the flow is followed by enhanced dissolution, which transforms initial inhomogeneities into mature pipes. This opens up a possibility of linking the morphology of the pipes with geology and hydrology of the system at the moment of their formation and – most importantly – with past climatic conditions.

The aim of the proposed project is to define focused water flow in carbonates with matrix porosity as a novel palaeoenvironmental proxy by constructing a combined geo-numerical model of solution pipe formation.

Lead partner in Poland: dr. Piotr Szymczak

Partners: Faculty of Natural Sciences and Engineernig, University of Ljubljana: dr. Andrej Šmuc, dr. Tomislav Popit

Figure 1