Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • Publication
    The coupled δ13C-radiocarbon systematics of three late Glacial/early Holocene speleothems; insights into soil and cave processes at climatic transitions
    The coupled δ13C-radiocarbon systematics of three European stalagmites deposited during the Late Glacial and early Holocene were investigated to understand better how the carbon isotope systematics of speleothems respond to climate transitions. The emphasis is on understanding how speleothems may record climate-driven changes in the proportions of biogenic (soil carbon) and limestone bedrock derived carbon. At two of the three sites, the combined δ13C and 14C data argue against greater inputs of limestone carbon as the sole cause of the observed shift to higher d13C during the cold Younger Dryas. In these stalagmites (GAR-01 from La Garma cave, N. Spain and So-1 from Sofular cave, Turkey), the combined changes in δ13C and initial 14C activities suggest enhanced decomposition of old stored, more recalcitrant, soil carbon at the onset of the warmer early Holocene. Alternative explanations involving gradual temporal changes between open- and closed-system behaviour during the Late Glacial are difficult to reconcile with observed changes in speleothem δ13C and the growth rates. In contrast, a stalagmite from Pindal cave (N. Spain) indicates an abrupt change in carbon inputs linked to local hydrological and disequilibrium isotope fractionation effects, rather than climate change. For the first time, it is shown that while the initial 14C activities of all three stalagmites broadly follow the contemporaneous atmospheric 14C trends (the Younger Dryas atmospheric 14C anomaly can be clearly discerned), subtle changes in speleothem initial 14C activities are linked to climate-driven changes in soil carbon turnover at a climate transition.
      998Scopus© Citations 59
  • Publication
    A first evaluation of the spatial gradients in δ18O recorded by European Holocene speleothems
    Oxygen isotope data for well dated Holocene speleothems from Europe have been compiled for the first time. The data were analysed at 1 ka time slices through the Holocene by taking averages of 50 year duration. After filtering the data to exclude high altitude, high latitude and sites proximal to the Mediterranean Sea, the data exhibit surprisingly tight linear correlations between speleothem O isotope values and longitude. The slope of the data on δ18O vs. longitude plots changes systematically from the early to the late Holocene, exhibiting a much steeper zonal gradient in the early Holocene. Changes in the isotope gradient through the course of the Holocene reflect both a gradual increase in δ18O in speleothems from the western margin of the transect and a simultaneous decrease in speleothem δ18O on the eastern end of the transect. These changes follow summer insolation trends through most of the Holocene, but show marked deviations from c. 4 ka to the present day. Steeper early Holocene zonal isotope gradients are attributed primarily to a combination of early Holocene warming in the west and intense convective rainfall over the European continent in summer time driven by high early Holocene summer insolation. Although the absolute δ18O values preserved in speleothems do not precisely reflect the equilibrium values with respect to the waters from which they are precipitated, the tight isotope-longitude correlations indicate that speleothems are reliable recorders of combined rainfall O isotope signals and air temperature.
      820Scopus© Citations 89