Paleoclimate archive of the "Leupa" Ice Cave

Paleoclimate archive of the "Leupa" Ice Cave

by Renato R. Colucci, Dept. of Earth System Sciences and Environmental Technology. CNR-ISMAR, Trieste, Italy

Permanent ice deposits formed by water circulation in karstic voids or by firnification of snow deposits, are very well developed in the limestones caves of Julian Alps (southeastern European Alps). Their existence are often related to air circulation and cold traps, but may also indicate the occurrence of permafrost conditions in rock.
Suche ice deposits represent the lesser-known portion of the cryosphere. Despite being not so widespread and easily reachable as mountain glaciers and ice caps, ice-caves preserve several information about past environmental changes and climatic evolution.
Their main characteristics is to have ground-ice older than 2 years, many authors are prone to consider ice-caves as sporadic permafrost phenomena. Here, from "Leupa ice-cave", Canin-Kanin massif (2587 m a.s.l.)