Coves del Drac is visited by more than 1 million tourists annually and has been a tourist destination in the western Mediterranean for over 100 years. All areas of the cave are developed with historic or current tour route infrastructure, including walkways, handrails, and electric lighting. This study compares one vertical water profile collected along the current tour path with two other profiles from historic tour route locations. Differences in freshwater and organic inputs, as well as direct anthropogenic impacts, are clearly observed in the aquatic parameters and stable isotopes collected in the profiles. Anthropogenically-driven undersaturation in the cave pools, as well as rising sea level, may threaten the unique speleothem encrustations that are formed at the air-water interface within the cave.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/bogdan-onac/106/