Versiunea romana                                   Abstract     Project team     Young researchers     Objectives     Results


Epikarst represents the ecotone between surface ecosystems and deep karst. Is the unsaturated zone which started to be studied in the last years and which harbours the highest concentration of fauna in karst masifs. Being near the surface, organic matter and pollutants enter rapidly and can sedimentate in this zone, but it can act also as a buffer-zone. The study of epikarst is possible through sampling of dripping water and its fauna inside caves. Due to spatial and temporal heterogeneity aquatic fauna distribution in the unsaturated zone, the study of each drip can bring supplementary information about the natural heritage of the pollutant circulation. Seasonal variation of groundwater species distribution in the drippings is caused by different amount of precipitation and/or the speed of underground infiltration etc. Apuseni Mountains were chosen as study zone for their richness in subterranean fauna and also, high density of human population. Human impact is reflected in the groundwater quality. The complex study, geomorphologic, hydrologic, chemico-physical and biological of the epikarst can offer information about the limits of polluted areas, degree of pollution and danger of contamination for deep aquifers. Data taken from field or obtained in laboratory will be introduced in a mathematic algorithm to model surface impact on groundwater quality and subterranean biodiversity. Spectrometric, isotopic and molecular analysis will be undertaken on dripping water and some frequent species. Pollutants residence time, impact on biodiversity and the use of subterranean bioindicators will be established. - copyright 2010