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AuthorsPecoraino, G.* 
D'Alessandro, W.* 
Inguaggiato, S.* 
TitleVolcanic Lakes
Other TitlesThe Other Side of the Coin: Geochemistry of Alkaline Lakes in Volcanic Areas
Issue Date2012
Keywordsvolcanic lake, soda lake, alkaline lake
Subject Classification05. General::05.02. Data dissemination::05.02.01. Geochemical data 
AbstractAmong surface waters, lakes in volcanic areas display the greatest range in pH values (from negative values up to about 12). The present chapter will be a short review of the main features of alkaline lakes, which belong to the high-pH part of this range. They are characterised by saline or hypersaline waters, pH values higher than 9 and high Na+, HCO3- and CO32- and low Ca2+ concentrations. Alkaline lakes are found in quiescent or recently extinct volcanic areas where neither water vapour nor acidic magmatic gases can reach surface waters. Their occurrence depends on peculiar climatic and geologic conditions that allow evaporative concentration of the water (potentially, evaporation much higher than water inputs and endorheic basins) and on geochemical factors that favour a chemical evolution towards an alkaline environment (composition of the dilute input waters characterised by a ratio between total dissolved inorganic carbon and earth-alkaline elements much higher than 1). Such initial composition, due to evaporative concentration, after the deposition of earth-alkaline carbonate minerals, will lead to the above-mentioned typical composition. Alkaline lakes also host microbial communities sometimes characterised by extremely high productivity. These microbial communities are scientifically remarkable because they comprise some interesting extremophiles, which can grow not only at very high pH and salinity conditions but also in the presence of elevated concentrations of toxic elements (e.g. As, Se, Te).
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