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Speleothems from Warm Climates: Holocene Records from the Caribbean and Mediterranean Regions
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physical Geography.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0388-4799
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis contributes to increased knowledge on Holocene climate and environmental variability from two complex and sparsely studied areas. Using a speleothem from Gasparee Cave, Trinidad, as a paleoclimate archive, the local expression of the 8.2 ka (thousand years before 1950) climate event and associated patterns of the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) and rainfall is provided. Subsequent speleothem studies using multi-proxy analysis of stalagmites from Kapsia Cave and Alepotrypa Cave, Greece, provide records of climate, vegetation and human induced changes in the cave environment during parts of the Holocene.

The speleothems from the well-studied Neolithic habitation site, Alepotrypa Cave, have produced a climate and habitation record which covers the period of 6.3-1.0 ka. The cave was inhabited between 8.0-5.2 ka and was closed by a tectonic event, which has preserved the settlement. The stable oxygen record shows the first well-dated and robust expression of the 4.2 ka dry event in the Peloponnese, places the timing of the 3.2 ka dry event within an ongoing dry period, and shows a final dry event at 1.6 ka. The North Atlantic as well as more regional drivers, such as the North Sea Caspian Pattern Index is proposed to, in a complex interplay, govern many of the climate trends and events observed.

Trace element variation after the site is abandoned indicate what is interpreted as two volcanic eruptions, the Minoan eruption of Thera (Santorini) around 3.6 ka and the 2.7 ka eruption of Somma (Vesuvius). Variations in trace elements during the habitation period show clear human influence, indicating an association with specific cave activities. One of the most interesting prospects for continued work on Alepotrypa Cave is this successful marriage of speleothem studies and archeology. A framework of dates which constrain some behavior of people living in the cave is only the beginning, and there is great potential to continue finding new clues in the speleothem data.

Abstract [sv]

Denna avhandling bidrar till ökad kunskap om klimatets variationer och miljön i två geografiskt skilda områden på låga breddgrader och under tidsperioder inom den Holocena epoken. Genom att använda en droppsten (stalagmit) från Gasparee-grottan, Trinidad, som ett paleoklimatarkiv, har det bland annat varit möjligt att visa att Trinidad upplevde torrare förhållanden under den snabba klimatförändring som observerats ske för 8200 år sedan på många platser i världen. Denna torrare klimatsituation i Trinidad föreslås vara ett resultat av en sydlig förflyttning av den intertropiska konvergenszonen.

Övriga stalagmiter som studerats för denna avhandling kommer från Kapsia-grottan och Alepotrypa-grottan som finns på Peloponnesos-halvön i Grekland. Resultaten därifrån speglar dels klimat- och vegetationsvariatoner och dels graden av mänsklig aktivitet, under tiden för ca 8000 år sedan till för 1000 år sedan. Alepotrypa-grottan är känd för att vara en av de större Neolitiska boplatserna i Grekland. Isotop- och spårämnesanalyser av stalagmiterna har bidragit med ny kunskap om tidpunkten för mänsklig aktivitet, hur människorna påverkade grott-miljön samt hur klimatet varierat efter det att grottan, genom en tektonisk händelse, stängdes för människans inverkan. Snabba klimatförändringar, för 4200 och 3200 år sedan, observerade i andra regioner, rekonstrueras här för första gången på Peloponnesos. En snabb förändring mot torrare förhållanden observeras även för 1600 år sedan. De klimatstyrande processerna föreslås vara en kombination av storskaliga processer som den nordatlantiska oscillationen och mer regionala processer som det så kallade North Sea Caspian Pattern Index. Variationer i spårämnen i stalagmiterna efter att Alepotrypa-grottan stängdes kan kopplas till två vulkaniska utbrott, nämligen det Minoiska utbrottet av Thera på ön Santorini kring 3600 år sedan och utbrottet av Somma (Vesuvius) kring 2700 år sedan. Spårämnesvariationer under bo-perioden ger tydliga indikationer på människans påverkan på grottmiljön och som delvis kan länkas till specifika aktiviteter, som eldning av dynga i grottan. Avhandlingen är ett resultat av en framgångsrik kombination av klimatstudier och arkeologisk kunskap och utgör ett viktigt underlag för fördjupat interdisciplinärt forskningssamarbete i Alepotrypa-grottan.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physical Geography, Stockholm University , 2015. , 82 p.
Series
Dissertations from the Department of Physical Geography, ISSN 1653-7211 ; 51
Keyword [en]
Stable isotopes, U-Th dating, trace elements, stalagmite, speleothem, Mid-Holocene, Caribbean, ITCZ, rapid climate change, climate, Eastern Mediterranean, Peloponnese, Santorini, Neolithic, Alepotrypa Cave
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121750ISBN: 978-91-7649-246-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-121750DiVA: diva2:861172
Public defence
2015-12-04, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 14, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 621-2012-4344
Note

At the time of the doctoral defense, the following papers were unpublished and had a status as follows: Paper 1: Manuscript. Paper 4: Manuscript. Paper 5: Manuscript. Paper 6: Manuscript.

Available from: 2015-11-12 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2015-10-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Early Holocene patterns of rainfall, vegetation and soil conditions, inferred from a southern Caribbean stalagmite
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Early Holocene patterns of rainfall, vegetation and soil conditions, inferred from a southern Caribbean stalagmite
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Keyword
Caribbean, speleothem, ITCZ, stable isotopes, Holocene
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121765 (URN)
Projects
Speleothems in Warm Climates
Funder
Swedish Research Council
Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2016-01-29Bibliographically approved
2. Can XRF scanning of speleothems be used as a non-destructive method to identify paleoflood events in caves?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Can XRF scanning of speleothems be used as a non-destructive method to identify paleoflood events in caves?
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2015 (English)In: International Journal of Speleology, ISSN 0392-6672, E-ISSN 1827-806X, Vol. 44, no 1, 17-23 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We have developed a novel, quick and non-destructive method for tracing flood events in caves through the analysis of a stalagmite thick section with an XRF core scanner. The analyzed stalagmite has multiple horizons of fine sediments from past flood events intercalated with areas of cleaner calcite. Flood events detected from the elemental XRF core scanning data show good agreement with the position of flood horizons identified in petrographic thin sections. The geochemical composition of the individual flood layers shows that in certain cases the clay horizons had a distinct geochemical fingerprint suggesting that it may be possible to distinguish individual flood layers based on their geochemistry. This presents the possibility for using flood events as marker horizons to chronologically tie different speleothems in a cave to each other.

Keyword
stalagmite, floods, XRF core scanning, elemental data, Southern Greece
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113956 (URN)10.5038/1827-806X.44.1.2 (DOI)000347922000002 ()
Note

AuthorCount:5;

Available from: 2015-02-20 Created: 2015-02-16 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
3. Speleothems from Alepotrypa Cave: Towards climate reconstruction
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Speleothems from Alepotrypa Cave: Towards climate reconstruction
2015 (English)In: Alepotrypa Cave in the Mani, Greece: A festschrift to honor Dr. G. Papathanasopoulos on the occasion of his 90th birthday / [ed] Α. Papathanasiou, M. Galaty, P. Karkanas, W. Parkinson, D. Pullen, Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015Chapter in book (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2015
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121766 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2016-04-15
4. U-Th dating of calcite on human bones from Alepotrypa Cave, Greece
Open this publication in new window or tab >>U-Th dating of calcite on human bones from Alepotrypa Cave, Greece
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121767 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2016-01-29Bibliographically approved
5. Stable isotopes and phosphorus patterns in calcite stalagmites from Alepotrypa Cave, Peloponnese, Greece as indicators of Holocene changes in rainfall and vegetation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Stable isotopes and phosphorus patterns in calcite stalagmites from Alepotrypa Cave, Peloponnese, Greece as indicators of Holocene changes in rainfall and vegetation
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121768 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2016-01-29Bibliographically approved
6. Trace elements as recorders of human activity and environmental indicators at Alepotrypa Cave, Greece
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Trace elements as recorders of human activity and environmental indicators at Alepotrypa Cave, Greece
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(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
National Category
Physical Geography
Research subject
Physical Geography
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-121770 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-15 Created: 2015-10-15 Last updated: 2016-01-29Bibliographically approved

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