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Short-term speleothem growth phases in Central Europe - snapshots of warm and cold conditions during Marine Isotope Stage 3

Jul 10, 2023, 13:15 Uhr
MARUM Seminar room 2070

Prof. Dr. Denis Scholz

Mainz University

Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 3 was characterised by several rapid climate oscillations (the Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) events or Greenland Interstadials (GIs)). The precise timing of these events and their magnitude in Central Europe, however, is still associated with substantial uncertainty. Here we use two types of speleothems to better constrain the timing and duration of the D/O events in Central Europe.

Three flowstones from Bleßberg Cave, eastern Germany, show several short-term growth phases between 60 and 30 ka, which are associated with comparably wet and warm climate conditions during D/O events. Precise determination of the timing and duration of these very thin layers (< 1 mm in some cases) requires a combination of high-resolution in situ LA- and conventional MC-ICPMS 230Th/U-dating.

Cryogenic cave calcites (CCCs) only grow in case of freezing conditions inside the cave and are, thus, an archive for cold conditions. We precisely dated several CCCs from Windloch Cave, western Germany, and statistically compared their occurrence with the D/O events.

The combination of these indicators of warm and cold climate has great potential for the reconstruction of climate variability during MIS 3.