The “Inghiottitoio di Masseria Rotolo” is one of the two sites of Apulia Region where karst phenomena allow direct investigation (that is, through cave explorations and surveys) of the groundwater. It is the deepest cave in the Region, with a maximum depth of -324 m below the ground (cave access at 300 m a.s.l.). The cave system is located within the karst polje called “Canale di Pirro”, in central Apulia, elongated in N-E direction, with outcrop of the Cretaceous limestone bedrock, covered discontinuously by thin terra rossa deposits. The cave develops entirely in this limestone formation and shows very impressive underground karst landforms and speleothems. This recent and important discovery is the object of a scientific project, still in progress, funded by Apulia Region. A series of speleological and diving expeditions were carried out to try to discover the whole cave system, but it has not yet been completely explored and the activity is still ongoing. The system monitoring is guaranteed by means of a multi-parameter probe in the water table, and a series of sensors to detect the main climatic parameters of the cave environment; further, geological and geomorphological data useful to characterize this complex karstic system are being collected and examined. During the first phase of water sampling, a multi-parametric profile with depth below water table was performed where groundwater is intercepted by the cave. Today these data are being analyzed, and will be processed by means of a mathematical model to study surface water and groundwater interaction. The second phase of sampling has been scheduled for late June 2018. Water samples, collected at different depth in the cave, provide biological and chemical parameters needed to the groundwater characterization. Specific chemical parameters are detected in order to investigate the water quality in the karst system, and the burden of anthropic impact in a so remote and undisturbed underground habitat as well; other parameters, on the other hand, are taken to investigate the deep-water origin and water flow pathways. In addition, isotope analyses could be addressed to assess age and origin of deep water into the cave. This contribution describes the first monitoring activities carried out during the project with particular attention to the hydrogeological and chemical quality of groundwater and surface water. These, together with geological, morphological and hydrogeological characteristics, will help researchers to understand the complex dynamic of karst areas.
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|Titolo:||Deep water in Apulia Region: monitoring and exploration in the karst environment of “Inghiottitoio di Masseria Rotolo”.|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||4.2 Abstract in Atti di convegno|