Integrated geomorphological analysis of a Mediterranean temporary pond priority habitat: the Lago del Capraro doline (Salento peninsula, Italy)
Keywords:solution doline, doline filling, Salento peninsula, Italy
The Lago del Capraro doline (Salento peninsula, southern Italy), a valuable Mediterranean Temporary Pond (MTP), has been investigated aiming to define its geomorphological features and to collect data about the local hydraulic regime. At the bottom of the Lago del Capraro doline, in fact, a small temporary pond appears soon after major precipitation events as that one of autumn 2013. The morphological survey shows that this solution doline is placed on a karst plain surface stretching at about 70 m of altitude; the doline has an elliptical shape with the major axis 130 m long whereas the length of the minor axis is about 100 m. It shows a flat bottom, placed at about 65 m above m.s.l., due to the presence of a colluvial sandy clays filling, bordered by steep limestone slopes about 5 m high. Geophysical surveys and a cone dynamic penetrometer test allowed a detailed geological model to be realized. In particular, ERT and seismic refraction models revealed the geometry and the thickness of doline filling deposits as well as the preferential infiltration zones of surface waters. Interestingly, the cone penetrometer test reveals that resistance decreases downward in the filling lower part, most likely because of the active solution process at the doline bottom. The results of this study suggest an increase of surface water infiltration at doline bottom in the next future so that the development of a pond will be an increasingly rare event, partly compensated by the clustering of rainy periods during autumn months as expected in the future by climate models.
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