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GeoBioScience: Red Wood Ants as Bioindicators for Active Tectonic Fault Systems in the West Eifel (Germany).

Berberich G, Schreiber U - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Bottom Line: The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds.A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants.Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstr. 5, 45141 Essen, Germany. gabriele.berberich@uni-due.de.

ABSTRACT
In a 1.140 km² study area of the volcanic West Eifel, a comprehensive investigation established the correlation between red wood ant mound (RWA; Formica rufa-group) sites and active tectonic faults. The current stress field with a NW-SE-trending main stress direction opens pathways for geogenic gases and potential magmas following the same orientation. At the same time, Variscan and Mesozoic fault zones are reactivated. The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds. While linear mound distribution correlate with strike-slip fault systems documented by quartz and ore veins and fault planes with slickensides, the clusters represent crosscut zones of dominant fault systems. Latter can be correlated with voids caused by crustal block rotation. Gas analyses from soil air, mineral springs and mofettes (CO₂, Helium, Radon and H₂S) reveal limiting concentrations for the spatial distribution of mounds and colonization. Striking is further the almost complete absence of RWA mounds in the core area of the Quaternary volcanic field. A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants. Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Tectonic features of the 1,140 km² study area (a) and of the reference location Oberehe (b) according to the current state of knowledge. At Oberehe it is visible, that knowledge on the tectonic regime [26,30] is limited and incomplete due to the coverage of tectonic faults by soil cover and vegetation (forest stands).
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animals-03-00475-f002: Tectonic features of the 1,140 km² study area (a) and of the reference location Oberehe (b) according to the current state of knowledge. At Oberehe it is visible, that knowledge on the tectonic regime [26,30] is limited and incomplete due to the coverage of tectonic faults by soil cover and vegetation (forest stands).

Mentions: The reference location Oberehe (cf.Figure 2(b)) is located SE of the Hillesheimer Depression (Devonian Klerf strata). A volcanic eruption fissure along the Rudersbach creek strikes approximately NW-SE (±140°), measured slickensides and a linear arrangement of mineral springs (Rudersbach creek) give indications of active fault structures [23,28,29]. Other mineral springs rise at the Oberehe parking lot SW of Oberehe (Laubachshof), around the so-called Sumpfquelle (SE of Oberehe) and along the Rudersbach creek. Nevertheless, knowledge on the active tectonic regime is limited and incomplete due to the coverage of tectonic faults by soil and vegetation (forest stands).


GeoBioScience: Red Wood Ants as Bioindicators for Active Tectonic Fault Systems in the West Eifel (Germany).

Berberich G, Schreiber U - Animals (Basel) (2013)

Tectonic features of the 1,140 km² study area (a) and of the reference location Oberehe (b) according to the current state of knowledge. At Oberehe it is visible, that knowledge on the tectonic regime [26,30] is limited and incomplete due to the coverage of tectonic faults by soil cover and vegetation (forest stands).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4494391&req=5

animals-03-00475-f002: Tectonic features of the 1,140 km² study area (a) and of the reference location Oberehe (b) according to the current state of knowledge. At Oberehe it is visible, that knowledge on the tectonic regime [26,30] is limited and incomplete due to the coverage of tectonic faults by soil cover and vegetation (forest stands).
Mentions: The reference location Oberehe (cf.Figure 2(b)) is located SE of the Hillesheimer Depression (Devonian Klerf strata). A volcanic eruption fissure along the Rudersbach creek strikes approximately NW-SE (±140°), measured slickensides and a linear arrangement of mineral springs (Rudersbach creek) give indications of active fault structures [23,28,29]. Other mineral springs rise at the Oberehe parking lot SW of Oberehe (Laubachshof), around the so-called Sumpfquelle (SE of Oberehe) and along the Rudersbach creek. Nevertheless, knowledge on the active tectonic regime is limited and incomplete due to the coverage of tectonic faults by soil and vegetation (forest stands).

Bottom Line: The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds.A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants.Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Geology, Faculty of Biology, University of Duisburg-Essen, Universitätsstr. 5, 45141 Essen, Germany. gabriele.berberich@uni-due.de.

ABSTRACT
In a 1.140 km² study area of the volcanic West Eifel, a comprehensive investigation established the correlation between red wood ant mound (RWA; Formica rufa-group) sites and active tectonic faults. The current stress field with a NW-SE-trending main stress direction opens pathways for geogenic gases and potential magmas following the same orientation. At the same time, Variscan and Mesozoic fault zones are reactivated. The results showed linear alignments and clusters of approx. 3,000 RWA mounds. While linear mound distribution correlate with strike-slip fault systems documented by quartz and ore veins and fault planes with slickensides, the clusters represent crosscut zones of dominant fault systems. Latter can be correlated with voids caused by crustal block rotation. Gas analyses from soil air, mineral springs and mofettes (CO₂, Helium, Radon and H₂S) reveal limiting concentrations for the spatial distribution of mounds and colonization. Striking is further the almost complete absence of RWA mounds in the core area of the Quaternary volcanic field. A possible cause can be found in occasionally occurring H₂S in the fault systems, which is toxic at miniscule concentrations to the ants. Viewed overall, there is a strong relationship between RWA mounds and active tectonics in the West Eifel.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus