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Stable oxygen isotopes in a stalagmite from Jämtland, NW Sweden, record large temperature variations over the last 4000 years
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).
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2010 (English)In: Boreas, ISSN 0300-9483, E-ISSN 1502-3885, Vol. 39, no 1, 77-86 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]




This study of a 4000-year-old stalagmite from Korallgrottan in northwestern Sweden highlights the potentials and challenges when using stable isotopes in stalagmites as climate proxies, as well as the fact that the relationship between climate and proxy may change through time. Both the oxygen and the carbon isotopes display an overall trend of enrichment together with decreasing growth rates over the time period covered by the stalagmite, which is considered a generally cooling period according to current palaeoclimate understanding. The stable isotope records show enriched isotopic values during the, for Scandinavia, comparatively cold period AD 1300–1700 and depleted values during the warmer period AD 800–1000. The indication of a negative relationship between measured

d18O and surface temperature concurs with earlier reported stalagmite records from regions with a seasonal snow cover and is further supported by the fact that the stalagmite d18

O record shows general similarities with both regional and hemispheric temperature reconstructions available for the past 500 and 2000 years, respectively.

Compared with a stable isotope record of lacustrine carbonates from northern Sweden, however, shifting correlations over time between the two records indicate that a local hydrological change may have taken place at Korallgrottan, or at the lake, compared with around 1000 years ago. The earlier part of the stalagmite

d18O might thus be influenced, to some extent, by another process than the later part, which means that a negative relationship between d18O and surface temperature might not hold for the entire 4000-year-old record.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. , 2010. Vol. 39, no 1, 77-86 p.
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-23067DOI: 10.1111/j.1502-3885.2009.00099.xOAI: diva2:190030
Part of urn:nbn:se:su:diva-1408Available from: 2007-01-03 Created: 2007-01-03 Last updated: 2010-11-03Bibliographically 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.
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 3
speleothems, palaeoclimate, stable isotopes, luminescence, karst hydrology, Holocene, Sweden, Jämtland
National Category
Physical Geography
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
Available from: 2007-01-03 Created: 2007-01-03Bibliographically approved

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Sundqvist, Hanna S.Holmgren, KarinMoberg, Anders
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