Journal article

Dating stalagmites in mediterranean climates using annual trace element cycles

Gurinder Nagra, Pauline C Treble, Martin S Andersen, Petra Bajo, John Hellstrom, Andy Baker

Scientific Reports | Nature Publishing Group | Published : 2017


Speleothems may preserve geochemical information at annual resolution, preserving information about past hydrology, environment and climate. In this study, we advance information-extraction from speleothems in two ways. First, the limitations in dating modern stalagmites are overcome by refining a dating method that uses annual trace element cycles. It is shown that high-frequency variations in elements affected by prior calcite precipitation (PCP) can be used to date speleothems and yield an age within 2–4% chronological uncertainty of the actual age of the stalagmite. This is of particular relevance to mediterranean regions that display strong seasonal controls on PCP, due to seasonal vari..

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University of Melbourne Researchers


Awarded by ARC

Awarded by Land & Water Australia

Awarded by ARC Discovery Project

Funding Acknowledgements

Many thanks must go to the team at Yanchep National Park, especially Ciara McDuff, Rob Foulds and Gary Hunton for your assistance with the data collection. We also acknowledge ANSTO staff: Stuart Hankin (for designing the template for Figure 1). This research was in part funded by ARC Linkage LP13010017 and Land & Water Australia grant (ANU52) to P. T. The outcomes of this study contribute to ARC Discovery Project DP140102059 awarded to P. T. Pauline undertook the LA- ICPMS analyses whilst a Visiting fellow at RSES, ANU. This research was also supported by the AINSE honours scholarship program awarded to G. N.