Variations in the discharge and organic matter content of stalagmite drip waters in Lower Cave, Bristol


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Publication Date

December 1998


Six drip waters, which were actively depositing stalagmites in Lower Cave, Bristol, were analysed both for discharge and luminescence properties. Drip discharges were determined for two different years, and show a complex response to surface precipitation variations. Inter annual variability in drip discharge is demonstrated to be significantly higher than intra‐annual variability, and discharge was demonstrated both to increase and decrease non‐linearly with increased precipitation. Drip waters demonstrate a correlation between their luminescence intensity and drip discharge, with increased luminescence in winter as more organic matter is flushed through the aquifer. The strength of the relationship between luminescence intensity and discharge increases with increased discharge. The results presented here have implications for the palaeoenvironmental interpretation of annual growth laminae and the growth rates of stalagmite samples. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


Karst Hydrology, Stalagmite, Luminescence, Palaeoclimates

Document Type



Hydrological Processes, Vol. 11, no. 11 (1998-12-04).