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Publication Type J
Authors Castaneda, C., J. Herrero and J. A. Conesa
Title Distribution, morphology and habitats of saline wetlands: a case study from Monegros, Spain
Source Geologica Acta
Author Keywords Desert Endorheic Halophytes Karstic Playa-lake central ebro basin ne spain playa-lakes evaporite karst gypsum karst groundwater evolution example images texas
Abstract Wetlands in semiarid regions have received less attention than wetlands in humid-temperate areas, and the limited amount of information has resulted in little regulatory recognition. A comprehensive map of the saline wetlands that occur in karstic depressions in the semiarid region of Monegros, NE Spain, was developed from historical data, topography, and surveys of vascular flora. Playa-lakes and other saline depressions are expressions of solution dolines largely founded on groundwater dynamics and favored by the limestone and gypsum-rich substrate. Substrate composition, groundwater dynamics, and the network of infilled valleys are key factors in the distribution of the wetlands. In spite of the anthropogenic imprint, wetlands morphometrics are the expression of geological processes. Significant correlations were found between basin area and depth, and between elongation and substrate composition. The predominantly subelongated shape of the Monegros saline wetlands reflects their origin and a geometry strongly influenced by fractures. Grouping these saline wetlands based on geological and vegetation features, provide a predictable relationship of surficial processes with the occurrence of otherwise complex and undetectable hydrological connectivity. Our ten geology-based Groups showed a high intra-group variation in depth, elongation, and vegetation cover. The eight vegetation-based categories mirror the gradation in flooding frequency and the soil salinity of the Monegros saline wetlands. The significant contrasts existing in-between the groups of wetlands and the disclosure of their causal factors provides a functional perspective at the landscape scale. This approach will help to monitor the ongoing environmental alterations associated with new on-farm irrigation developments.
Author Address [Castaneda, C.; Herrero, J.] CSIC, Estn Expt Aula Dei, E-50080 Zaragoza, Spain. [Conesa, J. A.] Univ Lleida, Dept Hortofruticultura Bot & Jardineria, Lleida 25198, Spain. Castaneda, C (reprint author), CSIC, Estn Expt Aula Dei, Av Montanana 1005-50059,POB 13034, E-50080 Zaragoza, Spain. ccastaneda@eead.csic.es; jhi@eead.csic.es; conesa@hbj.udl.cat
ISSN 1695-6133
ISBN 1695-6133
29-Character Source Abbreviation Geol. Acta
Publication Date Dec
Year Published 2013
Volume 11
Issue 4
Beginning Page 371-388
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1344/105.000002055
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000328922600001
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