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Seasonal Variations Recorded in Cave Monitoring Results and a 10 Year Monthly Resolved Speleothem Δ18O and Δ13C Record from the Han-sur-lesse Cave, Belgium : Volume 10, Issue 2 (22/04/2014)

By Van Rampelbergh, M.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004006673
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 36
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Seasonal Variations Recorded in Cave Monitoring Results and a 10 Year Monthly Resolved Speleothem Δ18O and Δ13C Record from the Han-sur-lesse Cave, Belgium : Volume 10, Issue 2 (22/04/2014)  
Author: Van Rampelbergh, M.
Volume: Vol. 10, Issue 2
Language: English
Subject: Science, Climate, Past
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Quinif, Y., Claeys, P., Verheyden, S., Rampelbergh, M. V., Keppens, E., & Allan, M. (2014). Seasonal Variations Recorded in Cave Monitoring Results and a 10 Year Monthly Resolved Speleothem Δ18O and Δ13C Record from the Han-sur-lesse Cave, Belgium : Volume 10, Issue 2 (22/04/2014). Retrieved from

Description: Earth System Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan, 1050, Brussels, Belgium. Speleothems provide paleoclimate information on multi-millennial to decadal scales in the Holocene. However seasonal or even monthly resolved records remain scarce. They require fast growing stalagmites and a good understanding of the proxy transfer function on very short time scales. The Proserpine stalagmite from the Han-sur-Less cave (Belgium) displays seasonal layers of 0.5 to 2 mm thickness that reconstruct paleoclimates at a monthly scale. Through a regular cave monitoring, we acquired a good understanding of how δ18O and δ13C signals in modern calcite reflect climate variations on sub-seasonal scale. Cave parameters vary seasonally in response to the activity of the vegetation cover and outside air temperature. From December to June, the cave remains in winter-mode. Outside temperatures are cold inducing low cave air and water temperatures. Bio-productivity in the soil is limited leading to low pCO2, higher δ13C composition of the CO2 in the cave air and high discharge due to the inactivity of the plant coverage. From June to December, the cave switches to summer-mode and the measured factors display an opposite behavior. The δ18O and δ13C signals of fresh calcite precipitated on glass slabs vary seasonally. Lowest δ18O values occur during the summer-mode when the δ13C values are high. The δ18O composition of the calcite is in equilibrium with the drip water δ18O and display seasonal variations due to changes in the cave air and water temperature. In contrast to the δ18O signal, δ13C values of the calcite precipitated on the glass slabs do not reflect equilibrium conditions. Highest δ13C values occur during summer, when discharge rates are low increasing the evaporation effect on the thin water film covering the stalagmite. This same antithetical behavior of the δ18O vs. the δ13C signals is seen in the monthly resolved speleothem record that covers the period between 1976 and 1985 AD. Dark layers are formed during summer, while light layers are formed during winter when calcite deposition occurs fast. The darker the color of a layer, the more compact its calcite structure, the more negative its δ18O signal and the more positive its δ13C signal.

Seasonal variations recorded in cave monitoring results and a 10 year monthly resolved speleothem Δ18O and Δ13C record from the Han-sur-Lesse cave, Belgium

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