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Authors: Pecoraino, G.* 
D'Alessandro, W.* 
Inguaggiato, S.* 
Editors: Rouwet, D. 
Christenson, B. 
Tassi, F. 
Vandemeulebrouck, J. 
Title: The Other Side of the Coin: Geochemistry of Alkaline Lakes in Volcanic Areas
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg
Issue Date: 2015
Keywords: Alkaline lake, Soda lake, Volcanic lake, Extremophile microbial community ,Saline and hypersaline water, Endorheic basin
Subject Classification03. Hydrosphere::03.04. Chemical and biological::03.04.99. General or miscellaneous 
Abstract: Among surface waters, lakes in volcanic areas display the greatest range in pH values: from negative values up to about 12. The present chapter is 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 CO3 2− 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 geological conditions that allow evaporative concentration of the water (potentially evaporation much higher than water inputs and in 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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