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Understanding conditions behind speleothem formation in Korallgrottan, northwestern Sweden
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology (INK).
2007 (English)In: Journal of Hydrology, ISSN 0022-1694, E-ISSN 1879-2707, Vol. 347, no 1-2, 13-22 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this study we investigate and characterise the environmental factors that control active speleothem growth in Korallgrottan, northwestern Sweden, in order to get a better understanding of seepage processes in karst areas and to determine whether the fossil speleothems from this site are suitable as palaeoclimatic archives. The drip rates from fast-dripping stalactites (>100 ml/day) vary substantially with the season and the snow regime. Comparisons with measurements of river discharge and simulated ground water recharge show that the drip rate from fast-dripping stalactites can be used as an estimation of the weekly to monthly ground water recharge. Slow-dripping stalactites however, have a steadier drip rate, with almost no seasonal variations. The δ18O composition of the drip water from both fast- and slow-dripping stalactites show some seasonal variation (±1.2‰), but is fairly stable compared to outside precipitation (±11.1‰). The δ18O signal from fast-dripping stalactites is biased towards summer conditions, while the signal is dampened at slow-dripping sites and an annual or even longer signal is evident. This holds true even though calcite precipitation may not occur continuously throughout the year. Similarly, the trace elemental composition of drip water is more stable in the slow-dripping stalactites, reflecting mean annual values or longer. Generally the drip water reaches the highest saturation level during the summer and autumn when biological activity in the soil zone is most intense, and the partial pressure of carbon dioxide, which controls limestone dissolution, is high.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 347, no 1-2, 13-22 p.
Keyword [en]
Speleothem, Karst hydrology, Monitoring, Paleoclimate, Sweden
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23065DOI: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2007.08.015OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-23065DiVA: diva2:190028
Available from: 2007-01-03 Created: 2007-01-03 Last updated: 2011-03-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Speleothems as environmental recorders: A study of Holocene speleothems and their growth environments in Sweden
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Speleothems as environmental recorders: A study of Holocene speleothems and their growth environments in Sweden
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The main aim of this thesis was to contribute with detailed information of regional environmental change during the Holocene through studies of speleothems and their growth environments from two caves, Korallgrottan and Labyrintgrottan in northwestern Sweden, and a cellar vault in Uppsala. This was done through studies of stable isotopes and luminescence properties in the speleothems in combination with a detailed monitoring study in Korallgrottan.

The monitoring study suggests that stalagmites fed by stalactites with slow and stable drip rates from deep inside the cave may be suitable as palaeoclimate archives. Similarities between oxygen isotope signals of contemporary samples from Labyrintgrottan and Korallgrottan emphasize the potential of speleothems from Labyrintgrottan to also provide high resolution regional palaeoclimate information.

Except for a number of cold events stalagmite δ18O records from northern Scandinavia indicate that temperatures were warmer than today between 9500 and 6000 years ago. During this period the interval between 7800 and 6000 years ago seems to have been the warmest. The area above Labyrintgrottan was most likely covered by much denser vegetation than today at the time of stalagmite growth (9500-7500 years ago) and was, unlike today, probably situated below the local tree-limit between 9000 and 8000 years ago. The δ18O record of a stalagmite from Korallgrottan covering the last 4000 years agrees with the concept of a warmer period, the so called Medieval Warm Period, centred around AD1000 and a colder period, the so called Little Ice Age, somewhere between AD1000 and today.

Studies of luminescence properties in fast growing speleothems from Uppsala indicate that the variations in luminescence intensity are annual and that the annual lamiae of the luminescent record represent a flush of organic material.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för naturgeografi och kvartärgeologi, 2007. 69 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 3
Keyword
speleothems, palaeoclimate, stable isotopes, luminescence, karst hydrology, Holocene, Sweden, Jämtland
National Category
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1408 (URN)91-7155-362-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2007-01-26, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8 C, Stockholm, 13:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-01-03 Created: 2007-01-03Bibliographically approved

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