The Coastal Sulfuric Acid Cave System of Santa Cesarea Terme (Southern Italy)

  • Ilenia M. D’Angeli
  • Marco Vattano
  • Mario Parise
  • Jo De WaeleEmail author
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


Santa Cesarea Terme in Salento is the only area in which hypogenic caves have been recognized in the Apulia region. In this spa area, the rising of sulfidic thermal waters that mix with both recent fresh infiltration waters and coastal salt water has formed four active sulfuric acid speleogenesis (SAS) caves. These caves are characterized by the typical set of sulfuric acid meso- and micromorphologies, and also by the presence of both gypsum and native sulfur. In all caves, biofilms are visible in the sulfidic thermal waters and on the cave walls.


Thermal water Spa Speleogenesis Hypogenic cave 



We thank the staff at the Santa Cesarea Terme spa for their availability. The Apulian Speleological Federation is kindly acknowledged for the work carried out during the cave surveys. We thank all the collaborators that helped us during the monitoring and sampling stage and the reviewers who gave us several interesting suggestions to improve this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ilenia M. D’Angeli
    • 1
  • Marco Vattano
    • 2
  • Mario Parise
    • 3
  • Jo De Waele
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Italian Institute of Speleology, Department of Biological Geological and Environmental SciencesUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Earth and Marine SciencesUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Geo-Environmental SciencesUniversity of Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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