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Central Texas Cave Speleothems as Tracers of Long-Term Variations in Groundwater Chemistry and Flow Routes: Implications for Regional PaleoclimateEPA Grant Number: U915135
Title: Central Texas Cave Speleothems as Tracers of Long-Term Variations in Groundwater Chemistry and Flow Routes: Implications for Regional Paleoclimate
Investigators: Musgrove, MaryLynn
Institution: The University of Texas at Austin
EPA Project Officer: Manty, Dale
Project Period: September 1, 1997 through September 1, 2000
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (1997) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Fellowship - Geology , Academic Fellowships , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration
The objective of this research project is to determine whether temporal changes in groundwater chemistry, as recorded in carbonate cements deposited from groundwater in caves (speleothems) over recent geologic time, may be utilized and used to understand mechanisms and time scales of variations in groundwater chemistry and their relation to climatic and hydrologic factors.
The Edwards aquifer of central Texas is developed in karstified Cretaceous limestone, and it is the most significant water resource for the region. Numerous studies have detailed the development of the aquifer, fluid hydrodynamics, and groundwater and limestone geochemistry. In this research project, the integration of strontium and uranium-series isotope measurements in conjunction with other geochemical and hydrologic tracing tools (e.g., carbon and oxygen isotopes and trace elements), is being investigated toward providing improved sensitivity for reconstructing environmental records, and unique insight into the links between climate variability, hydrology, and water chemistry.