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A high-resolution multi-proxy stalagmite record from Mechara, Southeastern Ethiopia: palaeohydrological implications for speleothem palaeoclimate reconstruction

Asrat, Asfawossen; Baker, Andy; Mohammed, Mohammed Umer; Leng, Melanie J.; van Calsteren, Peter and Smith, Claire (2007). A high-resolution multi-proxy stalagmite record from Mechara, Southeastern Ethiopia: palaeohydrological implications for speleothem palaeoclimate reconstruction. Journal of Quaternary Science, 22(1) pp. 53–63.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jqs.1013
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Abstract

An annually laminated stalagmite from Southeastern Ethiopia grew for 443±8 yr starting at 5023 yr BP (±160 yr) as determined by lamina-tuned U-Th dating. The speleothem shows three growth phases: (1) an initial phase where the stalagmite has a candlestick shape, deposited by relatively slow rate drip water; (2) a middle growth phase where laminae grow on the flanks, suggesting faster drip rates; and (3) a final growth phase where the speleothem becomes narrower owing to a decrease in drip water supply towards the end of deposition. Morphometry, annual growth rate, fluorescence index, and 234U/238U isotope ratio show marked differences between the growth phases, while 13C and 18O do not show significant variation, except within the third phase towards the top of the stalagmite, where they have higher values. The study indicates that the multiproxy approach is crucial as the different proxies respond to single climate forcing in different manners. Our results can be widely applied to speleothem studies distinguishing the relative importance of the various proxies in recording cave external (climate, hydrology) and cave internal (e.g. evaporation) processes. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0267-8179
Keywords: stalagmite; palaeoclimate; palaeohydrology; Holocene; Ethiopia
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Environment, Earth and Ecosystems
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 6900
Depositing User: Users 2315 not found.
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2007
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 19:57
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/6900
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