Journal cover Journal topic
Climate of the Past An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2017-100
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
30 Aug 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Climate of the Past (CP).
Palaeoclimate significance of speleothems in crystalline rocks: a test case from the Lateglacial and Early Holocene (Vinschgau, northern Italy)
Gabriella Koltai1, Hai Cheng2, and Christoph Spötl1 1Institut für Geologie, Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria
2Xi'an Jiaotong University, School of Human Settlement and Civil Engineering, Shaanxi, China
Abstract. Coeval flowstones formed in fractured gneiss and schist were studied to test the palaeoclimate significance of this new type of speleothem archive on a decadal to millennial timescale. The samples encompass a few hundred to a few thousand years of the Lateglacial and the Early Holocene. The speleothem fabric is primarily comprised of columnar fascicular optic calcite and acicular aragonite, both being indicative of elevated Mg / Ca ratios in the groundwater. Stable isotopes suggest that aragonite is more prone to kinetic isotope fractionation driven by evaporation and prior calcite/aragonite precipitation than calcite. Changes in mineralogy are also attributed to these two aquifer-internal processes rather than to palaeoclimate. Flowstones formed in the same fracture show similar δ18O changes on centennial scales, which broadly correspond to regional lacustrine δ18O records (e.g. Mondsee), suggesting that such speleothems may provide an opportunity to investigate past climate conditions in non-karstic areas. The shortness of overlapping periods in flowstone growth and the complexity of in-aquifer processes, however, render the establishment of a robust stacked δ18O record challenging.

Citation: Koltai, G., Cheng, H., and Spötl, C.: Palaeoclimate significance of speleothems in crystalline rocks: a test case from the Lateglacial and Early Holocene (Vinschgau, northern Italy), Clim. Past Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/cp-2017-100, in review, 2017.
Gabriella Koltai et al.
Gabriella Koltai et al.
Gabriella Koltai et al.

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Short summary
Here we present a multi-proxy study of flowstones in fractures of crystalline rocks with the aim of assessing the palaeoclimate significance of this new type of speleothem archive. Our results indicate a high degree of spatial heterogeneity, whereby changes in speleothem mineralogy and carbon isotope composition are likely governed by aquifer-internal processes. In contrast, the oxygen isotope composition reflects first-order climate variability.
Here we present a multi-proxy study of flowstones in fractures of crystalline rocks with the aim...
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