Aquatic Shallow Subterranean Habitats: General Features
Earth Sciences
Volume 7, Issue 1, February 2018, Pages: 1-6
Received: Aug. 25, 2017; Accepted: Sep. 6, 2017; Published: Dec. 5, 2017
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Tanja Pipan, Karst Research Institute ZRC SAZU, Postojna, Slovenia; UNESCO Chair on Karst Education, University of Nova Gorica, Vipava, Slovenia
David Clair Culver, Department of Environmental Science, American University, Washington, USA
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Shallow (superficial) subterranean habitats, or SSHs are very close to the surface, but are aphotic. Some of these habitats are large cavities, especially lava tubes, while others are small cavity habitats, especially the underflow of streams and rivers (interstitial aquifers), and the soil. But, there is an especially interesting set of SSHs that do not fit into either category, with intermediate sized space with many close connections with the surface. These habitats include talus and scree slopes, milieu souterrain superficiel (MSS), in both carbonate (soluble) and non-carbonate rocks, including volcanic rocks. Epikarst, the uppermost layer of karst formed largely by solutional processes that may be air or water filled, occupies a similar vertical position to that of the MSS, but perhaps with smaller spaces. The most superficial of SSHs are the miniature perched aquifers (isolated wetlands) given the name hypotelminorheic that exit through seepage springs, diffuse discharges when the flow cannot be immediately observed but the land surface is wet compared to the surrounding area. These two SSHs (epikarst and hypotelminorheic), which do not extend beyond a few meters in depth are called strict sense shallow subterranean habitats and will be presented in more detail.
Epikarst, Hypotelminorheic, Seepage Springs, Shallow Subterranean Habitats
To cite this article
Tanja Pipan, David Clair Culver, Aquatic Shallow Subterranean Habitats: General Features, Earth Sciences. Vol. 7, No. 1, 2018, pp. 1-6. doi: 10.11648/
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This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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