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Stalagmite reconstruction of Asian climate at orbital to sub-annual timescales


IPGP - Îlot Cuvier


Séminaires généraux de l’IPGP


Gideon Henderson

University of Oxford

This talk will combine paleoclimate and geochemistry in an overview of work at Oxford to reconstruct Asian climate using stalagmites. The major focus will be on a cave from central China that captures the East Asian Monsoon, but data from Siberia and Laos will also be shown to extend the range of climates being considered to the permafrost of the north to the SE Asian monsoon of the south. Stalagmites can be very well dated using U/Th approaches, but reconstruction of past environments requires understanding of geochemical proxies. I will summarise results that investigate the controls on oxygen and calcium isotopes in stalagmites - based both on lab and cave measurements - and also show the power of trace elements and a multi-proxy approach to assess past climate. For the central Chinese record, I will focus in particular on the Holocene and the 8.2 kyr event - demonstrating the fantastic ability of stalagmites to provide sub-annual resolution records of past conditions.