6.3 Sources of Water Aggressiveness – The Driving Force of Karstification
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Chemically aggressive water is needed in order to promote bedrock dissolution and karstification. Aggressiveness is generated through a number of processes that include acids from the atmosphere and soil zone (epigenic acids) and from deep-seated mechanisms (hypogenic acids). Carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide are the main players, although additional acidity may be provided by processes that involve mixing of solutions with different degrees of saturation, temperature effects, and microbiological agents. Rainfall will generally have an acid pH due to natural CO2 and mostly anthropogenic gases such as H2S in the atmosphere. The soil zone will further boost acidity levels due to abundant CO2 production in the root and plant horizons. Although the buffering capacity of the carbonate will cause groundwater to quickly achieve saturation, mixing corrosion effects may rejuvenate aggressiveness in situations where waters of different chemistry are in contact. Bacterially mediated processes will both enhance and mediate processes of acid generation and dissolution. Mixing zones between fresh and salt water and between oxygen-rich groundwater (mostly epigenic) and rising thermal water will be important zones where increased levels of acidity will accelerate cave formation. The degree and effectiveness of aggressiveness will depend on a number of variables, such as the geological setting, solubility of the rock, position of the bedrock, and climate, sometimes operating together at various scales and strengths.
Acids, Aggressiveness, Bacteria, Carbon Dioxide, Epigene, Hydrogen Sulfide, Hypogene, Mixing Corrosion, Sulfuric Acid
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Acids; Aggressiveness; Bacteria; Carbon Dioxide; Epigene; Hydrogen Sulfide; Hypogene; Mixing Corrosion; Sulfuric Acid
Auler, Augusto, "6.3 Sources of Water Aggressiveness – The Driving Force of Karstification" (2013). KIP Articles. 3.