Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite

Franziska A. Lechleitner, James U.L. Baldini, Sebastian F.M. Breitenbach, Jens Fohlmeister, Cameron McIntyre, Bedartha Goswami, Robert A. Jamieson, Tessa S. van der Voort, Keith Prufer, Norbert Marwan, Brendan J. Culleton, Douglas J. Kennett, Yemane Asmerom, Victor Polyak, Timothy I. Eglinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Precisely-dated stalagmites are increasingly important archives for the reconstruction of terrestrial paleoclimate at very high temporal resolution. In-depth understanding of local conditions at the cave site and of the processes driving stalagmite deposition is of paramount importance for interpreting proxy signals incorporated in stalagmite carbonate. Here we present a sub-decadally resolved dead carbon fraction (DCF) record for a stalagmite from Yok Balum Cave (southern Belize). The record is coupled to parallel stable carbon isotope (δ13C) and U/Ca measurements, as well as radiocarbon (14C) measurements from soils overlying the cave system. Using a karst carbon cycle model we disentangle the importance of soil and karst processes on stalagmite DCF incorporation, revealing a dominant host rock dissolution control on total DCF. Covariation between DCF, δ13C, and U/Ca indicates that karst processes are a common driver of all three parameters, suggesting possible use of δ13C and trace element ratios to independently quantify DCF variability. A statistically significant multi-decadal lag of variable length exists between DCF and reconstructed solar activity, suggesting that solar activity influenced regional precipitation in Mesoamerica over the past 1500 years, but that the relationship was non-static. Although the precise nature of the observed lag is unclear, solar-induced changes in North Atlantic oceanic and atmospheric dynamics may play a role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)233-252
Number of pages20
JournalGeochimica et Cosmochimica Acta
Volume194
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

Fingerprint

stalagmite
Carbon
carbon
Caves
karst
solar activity
cave
cave system
atmospheric dynamics
Carbon Isotopes
Soils
carbon cycle
paleoclimate
Carbonates
Trace Elements
host rock
carbon isotope
stable isotope
soil
dissolution

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geochemistry and Petrology

Cite this

Lechleitner, F. A., Baldini, J. U. L., Breitenbach, S. F. M., Fohlmeister, J., McIntyre, C., Goswami, B., ... Eglinton, T. I. (2016). Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 194, 233-252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2016.08.039
Lechleitner, Franziska A. ; Baldini, James U.L. ; Breitenbach, Sebastian F.M. ; Fohlmeister, Jens ; McIntyre, Cameron ; Goswami, Bedartha ; Jamieson, Robert A. ; van der Voort, Tessa S. ; Prufer, Keith ; Marwan, Norbert ; Culleton, Brendan J. ; Kennett, Douglas J. ; Asmerom, Yemane ; Polyak, Victor ; Eglinton, Timothy I. / Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite. In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 2016 ; Vol. 194. pp. 233-252.
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Lechleitner, FA, Baldini, JUL, Breitenbach, SFM, Fohlmeister, J, McIntyre, C, Goswami, B, Jamieson, RA, van der Voort, TS, Prufer, K, Marwan, N, Culleton, BJ, Kennett, DJ, Asmerom, Y, Polyak, V & Eglinton, TI 2016, 'Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite', Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, vol. 194, pp. 233-252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2016.08.039

Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite. / Lechleitner, Franziska A.; Baldini, James U.L.; Breitenbach, Sebastian F.M.; Fohlmeister, Jens; McIntyre, Cameron; Goswami, Bedartha; Jamieson, Robert A.; van der Voort, Tessa S.; Prufer, Keith; Marwan, Norbert; Culleton, Brendan J.; Kennett, Douglas J.; Asmerom, Yemane; Polyak, Victor; Eglinton, Timothy I.

In: Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, Vol. 194, 01.12.2016, p. 233-252.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite

AU - Lechleitner, Franziska A.

AU - Baldini, James U.L.

AU - Breitenbach, Sebastian F.M.

AU - Fohlmeister, Jens

AU - McIntyre, Cameron

AU - Goswami, Bedartha

AU - Jamieson, Robert A.

AU - van der Voort, Tessa S.

AU - Prufer, Keith

AU - Marwan, Norbert

AU - Culleton, Brendan J.

AU - Kennett, Douglas J.

AU - Asmerom, Yemane

AU - Polyak, Victor

AU - Eglinton, Timothy I.

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N2 - Precisely-dated stalagmites are increasingly important archives for the reconstruction of terrestrial paleoclimate at very high temporal resolution. In-depth understanding of local conditions at the cave site and of the processes driving stalagmite deposition is of paramount importance for interpreting proxy signals incorporated in stalagmite carbonate. Here we present a sub-decadally resolved dead carbon fraction (DCF) record for a stalagmite from Yok Balum Cave (southern Belize). The record is coupled to parallel stable carbon isotope (δ13C) and U/Ca measurements, as well as radiocarbon (14C) measurements from soils overlying the cave system. Using a karst carbon cycle model we disentangle the importance of soil and karst processes on stalagmite DCF incorporation, revealing a dominant host rock dissolution control on total DCF. Covariation between DCF, δ13C, and U/Ca indicates that karst processes are a common driver of all three parameters, suggesting possible use of δ13C and trace element ratios to independently quantify DCF variability. A statistically significant multi-decadal lag of variable length exists between DCF and reconstructed solar activity, suggesting that solar activity influenced regional precipitation in Mesoamerica over the past 1500 years, but that the relationship was non-static. Although the precise nature of the observed lag is unclear, solar-induced changes in North Atlantic oceanic and atmospheric dynamics may play a role.

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Lechleitner FA, Baldini JUL, Breitenbach SFM, Fohlmeister J, McIntyre C, Goswami B et al. Hydrological and climatological controls on radiocarbon concentrations in a tropical stalagmite. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta. 2016 Dec 1;194:233-252. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gca.2016.08.039