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Title: Drip hydrology monitoring in caves to inform stalagmite palaeoclimate records, Yarrangobilly, NSW
Authors: Markowska, M
Treble, PC
Baker, AA
Andersen, MS
Hankin, SI
Keywords: Australia
New South Wales
Groundwater recharge
Issue Date: 1-Jan-2014
Publisher: Australasian Quaternary Association Inc
Citation: Markowska, M., Treble, P. C., Baker, A., Andersen, M. S., & Hankin, S. (2014). Drip hydrology monitoring in caves to inform stalagmite palaeoclimate records, Yarrangobilly, NSW. Paper presented at the AQUA Biennial Meeting, Mildura, Australia, 29th June - 4th July 2014.
Abstract: Palaeoclimate research using speleothems has significantly increased over the last decade, owing to their potential to provide multi-proxy high resolution (sub-annual) terrestrial records of past climate variability. A crucial step in using these archives as high resolution proxies is understanding the connectivity between the surface climate and the signal transferred to the speleothem. This study investigates the modern karst hydrology at Yarrangobilly Caves, in the Snowy Mountains NSW. A high-frequency, spatially-dense drip water monitoring campaign in Harrie Wood Cave, was conducted over a 13 month period to characterise the hydrology of 14 sites within the same cave. By utilising the cave as a natural observatory we can determine 1) vadose-zone flow regimes, and 2) thresholds of recharge at the site. Using a statistical approach (PCA and AHC) 5 main drip hydrological regimes were established. Depth was found to have a moderate relationship (r2 = 0.4) with discharge, whereby increasing depth was associated with a dampening of flow and drip response. However, depth could not account for all the variability observed in the drip hydrology, suggesting complex controls unrelated to depth, such as unsaturated zone storage and mixing, appear to have a significant impact on vadose-zone flow regimes. As a speleothem is a function of the infiltrating drip water, we suggest that stalagmites fed by different drip types may thus contain different parts of the climate record i.e. smoothed mean annual vs. an extreme event record. These findings will be used to assess three suitable stalagmites for palaeoclimate reconstruction, fed by drip waters with different hydrological regimes and the preliminary results presented here. © Australasian Quaternary Association Inc.
Gov't Doc #: 9639
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