Articles | Volume 5, issue 2
The Cryosphere, 5, 485–494, 2011

Special issue: Ice Caves

The Cryosphere, 5, 485–494, 2011

Research article 06 Jun 2011

Research article | 06 Jun 2011

Glaciochemical investigations of the ice deposit of Vukušić Ice Cave, Velebit Mountain, Croatia

Z. Kern1,*, E. Széles2, N. Horvatinčić3, I. Fórizs1, N. Bočić4, and B. Nagy5 Z. Kern et al.
  • 1Institute for Geochemical Research, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2Institute of Isotopes, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary
  • 3Laboratory for Measurements of Low-level Radioactivity, Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb, Croatia
  • 4Department of Geography, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Croatia
  • 5Department of Physical Geography, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary
  • *now at: Department of Palaeontology, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Pázmány Péter str. 1/c, 1117, Hungary

Abstract. The 3H activity and the concentration of 23 metals and metalloids have been analysed in cave ice samples from the perennial cave ice deposit of Vukušić Ice Cave, Velebit Mt., Croatia. The results of tritium measurements exclude a secular age for the upper 2.4 m of ice deposition, and provide clear arguments that the sampled ice sequence consists of frozen post-1950 precipitation. Measured concentrations of most of the analysed elements have largely surmounted reported concentrations of similar elements from local precipitation or Alpine snow/firn/ice records, whereas three metals (Cr, Cu, Pb) show concentrations comparable to them. Principal component analysis was used to select three groups of elements. The Ca-Mg-governed group (PC1) encompasses the bedrock-related components; their fluctuation might thus reflect the past intensity of dissolution in the epikarst. PC2, with the most characteristic elements being Na, Cr and Pb, probably preserved an atmospheric depositional signal. PC3 is governed by Al and Fe. This probably carries the distal, non-karstic crustal signal and hence might be related to atmospheric circulation (i.e., wind direction and speed).

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