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Publication Date

January 2012

Abstract

Unusual amberine-coloured speleothems were recently found in El Soplao Cave (Cantabria, Spain). Chromophore elements such as Fe, Mn, Cd, Co or Ti were not present in significant quantities. Rather, our data show that their colour comes from leachates of fossilized organic material hosted in the carbonaceous Urgonian facies of the host rock. These leachates are related to the Cretaceous amber deposit that has been recently discovered in the vicinity of El Soplao Cave. The presence of humic and fulvic acids of fossil origin were confirmed by IR and Raman spectroscopic analysis of the carbonaceous strata and the speleothems. In addition, the mineralogy of the amberine speleothems was studied. Alternating bands made of calcite and aragonite reveal that periods of humidity and aridity occurred within the cave during the speleothem genesis.

Notes

International Journal of Speleology, Vol. 41, no. 1 (2012-01-27).

Keywords

Speleothems, Infrared Spectroscopy, Organic Matter, Raman Spectroscopy, El Soplao Cave

Description

RDA

Subject: topical

Speleothems; Infrared Spectroscopy; Organic Matter; Raman Spectroscopy; El Soplao Cave

Type

Article

Genre

serial

Identifier

K26-05768

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