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Factors controlling carbonate dissolution rates quantified in a field test in the Austrian Alps


, : Factors controlling carbonate dissolution rates quantified in a field test in the Austrian Alps. Geomorphology 68(3-4): 201-212

Carbonate dissolution rates were investigated by measuring the mass difference of carbonate tablets exposed to natural dissolution for 1 year. 70 tablets were distributed over 13 test sites on the north slope of the Hochschwab Massif in the Austrian Alps. The influences of altitude, subsoil vs. sub-aerial exposure, vegetation, karst morphology, soil humidity, sample lithology, and sample surface morphology were investigated. The observed dissolution rates varied between 13 and 40 mu m/a for subcutaneous samples and about 11 mu m/a for sub-aerial exposure. Outstandingly high rates of 48 mu m/a were observed in a doline and nearly zero rates were measured at a site influenced by seeping spring water. A mass balance, using high-resolution hydrological data, was calculated for the Klaffer Spring, which has an average outflow of 4.8 m (super 3) /s. It indicated a loss of 21X10 (super 6) kg of carbonate rock per year which gives an average dissolution rate of 95 mu m/a for the catchment area of 83 km (super 2) . The dissolution rates of approximately 10 mu m/a from the sub-aerially exposed samples are comparable to values from limestone pedestals, which were protected from dissolution by glacial erratics for the past 15 ka.

US$19.90

DOI: 10.1016/j.geomorph.2004.11.014


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