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Paleoclimate reconstruction based on the timing of speleothem growth and oxygen and carbon isotope composition in a cave located in the rain shadow in Israel

Vaks, Anton; Bar-Matthews, Miryam; Ayalon, Avner; Schilman, Bettina; Gilmour, Mabs; Hawkesworth, Chris J.; Frumkin, Amos; Kaufman, Aaron and Matthews, Alan (2003). Paleoclimate reconstruction based on the timing of speleothem growth and oxygen and carbon isotope composition in a cave located in the rain shadow in Israel. Quaternary Research, 59(2) pp. 182–193.

DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0033-5894(03)00013-9
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Abstract

High-resolution Th-230/U-234 ages and delta(18)O and delta(13)C compositions of speleothems in Ma'ale Efrayirn Cave located to the east of the central mountain ridge of Israel enable us to examine the nature of the rain shadow aridity during glacial and interglacial intervals. Speleothem growth occurred during marine glacial isotopic periods, with no growth during the two last marine isotope interglacial intervals and during the peak of the Last Glacial Maximum. This contrasts with speleothem growth in caves located on the western flank of the central mountain ridge, in the Eastern Mediterranean semiarid climatic zone, which continued throughout the last 240,000 yr. Thus, during glacial periods water reached both sides of the central mountain ridge. A comparison of the present-day rain and cave water isotopic compositions and amounts at the Ma'ale Efrayim Cave site with those on the western flank shows that evaporation and higher temperatures on the eastern flank are major influences on isotopic composition and the lack of rainfall. The delta(18)O and delta(13)C profiles of the speleothems deposited between 67,000 and 25,000 yr B.P. match the general trends of the isotopic profiles of Soreq Cave speleothems, suggesting a similar source (eastern Mediterranean Sea) and similar climatic conditions. Thus, during glacial periods the desert boundary effectively migrated further south or east from its present-day location on the eastern flank, whereas interglacial periods appear to have been similar to the present, with the desert boundary at the same position. The decrease in overall temperature and a consequent reduction in the evaporation to precipitation ratios on the eastern flank are viewed as the major factors controlling the decay of the rain shadow effect during glacial periods. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.

Item Type: Journal Article
ISSN: 0033-5894
Extra Information: Added DOI and moved to repository. WM 28/06/07
Keywords: speleothems; delta O-18; delta C-13; paleoclimate; eastern Mediterranean; rain shadow; effective precipitation
Academic Unit/Department: Science > Physical Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)
Item ID: 8207
Depositing User: Astrid Peterkin
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2007
Last Modified: 02 Dec 2010 20:00
URI: http://oro.open.ac.uk/id/eprint/8207
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