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Central European Geology
Authors: Attila Demény, Alexandra Németh, Zoltán Kern, György Czuppon, Mihály Molnár, Szabolcs Leél-Őssy, Mihály Óvári, and József Stieber

Determination of the long-term behavior of cave systems and their response to changing environmental conditions is essential for further paleoclimate analyses of cave-hosted carbonate deposits. For this purpose, four actively forming stalagmites were collected in the Baradla Cave where a three-year monitoring campaign was also conducted. Based on textural characteristics and radiocarbon analyses, the stalagmites are composed of annual laminae, whose counting was used to establish age–depth relationships. Fast and slowly growing stalagmites have different stable carbon and oxygen isotope compositions as well as trace element contents that could be attributed to differences in drip water migration pathways. The stable isotope compositions were compared with meteorological data of the last ∼100 years indicating that carbon isotope compositions of the stalagmites may reflect changes in precipitation amount, while oxygen isotope compositions are more related to temperature variations. The combined textural–geochemical–meteorological interpretation lead us to select the isotope record that can best reflect variations in environmental conditions and can be used for further evaluation of the climate–proxy relationships.

Open access
Central European Geology
Authors: György Czuppon, Attila Demény, Szabolcs Leél-Őssy, József Stieber, Mihály Óvári, Péter Dobosy, Ágnes Berentés, and Richard Kovács


In this study, already published and new monitoring data are compiled from the Baradla and Béke caves in the Aggtelek Karst, from the Vacska Cave in the Pilis Mountains as well as from the Szemlőhegy and Pálvölgy caves in the Buda Hills. Recent investigations (2019–2020) include monitoring of climatological parameters (e.g., temperature, CO2) measured inside and outside the caves, and the chemical, trace element and stable isotopic compositions of drip waters. In the Baradla Cave, the main focus of the investigation was on the stable isotope composition and the temperature measurements of drip water. In the Vacska Cave, which belongs to the Ajándék-Ariadne cave system, CO2 measurements and drip water collection were conducted in order to perform chemical and stable isotope measurements. In the Szemlőhegy and Pálvölgy caves, the chemical and stable isotope compositions of drip waters at six sites were determined. These datasets were used to characterize the studied caves and the hydrological processes taking place in the karst, and to trace anthropogenic influences. Climatological investigation revealed seasonality in CO2 concentration related to outside temperature variation, indicating a variable ventilation regime in the caves. In addition, the contributions of the winter and summer precipitation to the drip water were also estimated, in order to evaluate the main infiltration period. The knowledge of these parameters plays a crucial role in constraining the carbonate precipitation within the cave. Thus, the dataset compiled in this study can provide a basis for the interpretation of speleothem-based proxies.

Open access