Cave dripwater records wildfires

Water seeps through soil and bedrock before dripping from the roof of a cave and carries with it elements of the outside world and its climate history. That is why speleothems, cave structures formed via precipitation, can be studied as climate proxies. New research suggests that the chemistry of the cave dripwater can also contain the signature of wildfires that burned outside the cave, on the ground above the cave’s roof, yielding a more complex picture of the past.

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Lauren Milideo

Milideo recently completed her doctorate in geosciences at Penn State. She is now a freelance science writer. Follow her at @lwritesscience or check out her writing at www.laurenmilideo.com

Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 06:00