Journal article

U and Pb variability in older speleothems and strategies for their chronology

Jon Woodhead, John Hellstrom, Robyn Pickering, Russell Drysdale, Bence Paul, Petra Bajo



Speleothem proxy records, coupled with U-Th chronologies, are widely used in studies of palaeoclimate, landscape and faunal evolution. The prospect of extending such studies beyond ∼500 ka has fuelled considerable interest in the U-Pb dating method. While theoretical mechanisms for the transport and incorporation of both U and Pb in speleothem calcite remains a matter of debate, it is clear that natural samples span a broad spectrum of compositional variation, and likely contain Pb components with multiple origins and/or transport pathways. Based upon these observations, optimal methods for sample selection are proposed and a variety of techniques for age estimation are explored. Laser ablat..

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Awarded by Australian Research Council Discovery

Funding Acknowledgements

The speleothem samples used in this study form the part of ongoing collaborations with Paul Devine, Sebastien Breitenbach and Jol Desmarchelier (speleothems from Nullarbor, Baikal and Tasmania respectively). Roland Maas and Alan Greig are thanked for technical assistance. Analytical work was completed under an Australian Research Council Discovery grants DP0985214, DP0773700, and DP110102185. The constructive comments of two reviewers are greatly appreciated.